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5 Top Social Networking Websites

Social networking sites are the big buzz around the internet and not only are they great for socializing with friends, but there are hundreds of Internet Marketers that use these sites to promote their businesses.

There are a lot of different social networking sites around the internet that you can use to market your business and the more of them that you join and use the more potential customers you can connect with.

Let’s take a look at some of the Social Networking websites that are very effective at driving targeted traffic to your own business website.

1. Facebook - Facebook would have to be the most popular social network site on the internet and has millions of members from all over the world. With Facebook you can request people to be your friend and so you can search for people that are interested in the niche of your business and send them a friend request.

You can also set up group pages with Facebook so you can set up a group for your business and your friends and other members can join your group.


The most effective way to market your business is to get to know your potential customers on a personal basis before promoting any offers to them. So you will want to connect with them on a social level as well as a business level.

2. Twitter – Twitter is a website where you can ‘follow’ people. You can follow friends, family and people that you share similar interests with. To use Twitter for your business you will want to follow people that have interests in the niche of your business. When you follow people there is a good chance they will follow you too.

Whenever you make an update on Twitter, the people that are following you will see your update. If used correctly Twitter can be a very powerful marketing tool for your business.

3. Squidoo – Squidoo is another popular social networking site where you create ‘lenses’ where you can write and share information on any topic you choose. Squidoo lenses tend to rank very well in the search engines so if you create a lens for your business it can rank highly resulting in a lot of targeted traffic coming through to your own website.

You can even promote products as an affiliate using Squidoo although you don’t want to abuse the system and be too salesy. As long as your lenses are subtle and offer good quality content then Squidoo can be a very effective tool to market products as an affiliate.

4. Hubpages – Hubpages is a social networking site that is very similar to Squidoo but instead of creating a ‘lens’ you create a ‘hub’. You can share lots of information on your interests or your business as long as you offer good quality content. Hubpages is a very effective method for building backlinks to your own website and driving targeted traffic to your site.

5. Tumblr – Tumblr is another site where you create a type of blog that you can post content to on a regular basis and share your information with the other members of the Tumblr community. With your Tumblr blog you can add video and audio and you can also chat with other members. You can also follow other members and if you are active within the community you will soon have other members following you. The more members you have that follow you then the bigger customer base you are building.

Which social networking sites should you use?

The sites above are just some of the social networking sites available that you can use to promote your business. There are other sites such as YouTube, Stumbleupon and more. It is sometimes a matter of personal choice as to which one you use so why not try them and see what works for you. The more social networking sites that you are a member of the more customers you can connect with. Social Networking Sites for Business has become a tried and true concept, make sure your employ it in your business or find someone who you can hire to get you started with your business social networking.

Social Networking: 7 Steps to More Traffic by Connecting and Repurposing Your Social Marketing

Copyright (c) 2008 OnlineBizU.com

I’m lazy by nature and like to do as little work as possible. Therefore, when I have the opportunity to automate tasks, I jump at it. As I started getting heavily involved in social networking, I quickly became frustrated with having to update my status at several sites, as well as trying to figure out how to introduce my blog, my articles, and my ezine to my social networking audiences.

After much trial and error, here’s how I connect and repurpose all of my social marketing strategies:

1. Set up accounts. Make sure that you have current accounts with Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, MySpace, and any other social networking platforms you regularly use.

2. Open an account at Ping.fm. The Ping.fm service automatically updates your status on all of your social networking sites, 21 of them at the current count. Depending on the number of networks you use, it will take you 10-50 minutes to connect your Ping.fm account to your various social network accounts. However, once everything is set up, you simply log into your Ping account, post your status update (no more than 140 characters), and your status is automatically updated on all of your social networking profiles. Rather than posting updates directly on Twitter or Facebook or MySpace, I instead use Ping.fm as the starting place for my daily status updates.

3. Display Twitters on other accounts. If you go to your Setting tab in your Twitter account and then down to “More Info URL”, you will see a link to “Add Twitter to Your Site.” By clicking on this link, you’ll be taken to a page where you can add your tweets in a separate box (not the Status updates area) in your MySpace and Facebook profiles, on your blogger or Typepad blogs, or get the Flash or HTML widgets to add to other sites like Squidoo lenses or to your website. Just follow the instructions connected to each application. If you use Typepad for your blog, you can also do this through the Widget gallery by finding Twitter widget in the “Publishing Tools” section.

4. Connect your blogposts to Twitter. Twitter Feed, http://www.twitterfeed.com/, enables you to feed your blog posts to your Twitter account. Simply create an account, go to “Create New Twitter Feed”, and enter the RSS feed of your blog. You can control the frequency with which Twitter displays your blog post, as well as the text used to preface your blog feed. I use “Blog update” to preface my posts.

5. Connect your blogposts to Facebook. I use Typepad for my blogs, so if you use a WordPress blog, there are probably plugins that handle this, as well. When you create a new blog post, you can choose to send a link to that post into Facebook. These links will appear in your Mini-Feed on your Facebook profile, and may appear in your friends’ News Feeds.

In your Typepad account, go to Weblogs > Configure > Publicity, select “Prompt me to share new posts on Facebook.” When this item is selected, TypePad will automatically display a prompt from Facebook when you create and publish a new post on TypePad. The Facebook prompt will only appear if you have selected the option in your weblog’s publicity settings, and only when you create and publish a new post. The prompt will not appear when you save a post as draft, when you edit a post, or when you change the status of a post from Draft to Published.

6. Update your EzineArticles.com account. Article marketing is a smart and easy way to drive traffic to your site. If you’re submitting articles online to article directories, you definitely want to be using EzineArticles.com, the biggest and most popular article directory online. To connect to Twitter, click on “Profile Manager” in your account, then “Edit Author Bio” in your Author’s Area. Add your Twitter account information here. Each time a new article is accepted and published at EzineArticles, a post is automatically made to your Twitter account.

7. Update your aWeber account: I use aWeber as my email marketing service. You can now send an automatic Twitter post to all your followers on Twitter with a link to the HTML version of your ezine. When you create a broadcast in aWeber, select the option to publish a broadcast via RSS feed or to an archive, and then enter your Twitter account info, When your ezine is published, all of your Twitter followers will be notified.

There are probably others ways to connect the social networks and to repurpose content on social networks, but these 7 steps are all I need at the moment. Take 30 minutes out of your day to connect and repurpose your social networking, and watch your traffic and list begin to grow!

Online Business Manager and Online Business Coach Donna Gunter helps independent service professionals learn how to automate their businesses, leverage their expertise on the Internet, and get more clients online. To claim your FREE gift, TurboCharge Your Online Marketing Toolkit, visit her site at OnlineBizU.com . Ask Donna an Internet Marketing question at AskDonnaGunter.com
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How To Increase Your Google Web Ranking

backlinkgoldmineBefore you can effectively raise your Google web ranking, you need to understand what factors figure in to the rank number. Google (or any search engine for that matter) uses many methods to determine which pages are displayed first in the results. There is an exact algorithm that determines placement but that is confidential. However, there are several well-known strategies that you can employ to improve where you come up in the search results.

First of all, do not waste your time or effort on submitting your website to hundreds of search engines. Not only will this not get you results, it could actually backfire and cause your ranking to go down. However, submitting your site to the right directories can help. Search for directories that are directly related to your business. Check what there page rank is (the higher, the better) and submit your website there.

Keyword optimization is important. If you aren’t familiar with this term, it basically means using the exact words that people are searching for on the Internet in the content of your website. It’s very easy to find what terms people are searching for and how often they are searching for them.

You can use any of the search engine’s free keyword tools to help you with this. Just in a general term that is related to your business and the tool will give you related terms that users are typing in, along with how many searches per month that term gets, how competitive the term is and other information. If you are just starting out, you will want to use the uncompetitive keywords (those that don’t get too many searches). As you start to build in ranking, you can use more competitive keywords.

How often do you use the keywords you have chosen to target? You should try to use them in main headings, titles or links within your website as well as within the content. However, the usage should not be forced. Your Google web ranking will actually go down if you try to “trick” the search engine by over-using keywords.

One of the biggest determiners of your rank is how many incoming links you have to your site. If Google sees that you have other sites linking to yours, it signifies to them that your content is valuable and must be worth sending visitors to. The more links, and the better the quality of the links, the better your ranking will be. If you have other high-ranked sites (that are relevant to your business) linking to you, you will get a boost in your ranking.

You can also submit your site to social networking sites. When people bookmark your site, Google sees that as a thumbs up and raises your ranking.

These are just a few things, along with maintaining valuable content and good design, that you can keep in mind to increase your Google web ranking.

Discover A YouTube Alternative For Your Video Marketing

If you’re in search of a YouTube alternative to use for your video marketing, you won’t have to look very far. Although YouTube is by far the most famous, there are many other video social networking sites that you can take advantage of when doing your video marketing.

Here are just a few of them:

Brightcove allows you to create and launch your own internet TV station. It’s quick and easy to get your channel up and running. You can also incorporate videos uploaded by other users into your shows. Your channel is syndicated with other major players on the net and you can earn revenue through advertising as well as video sales. The interface is also extremely impressive.

FlickLife counts among the small handful of revenue sharing hosts that are out there. This is something you definitely want to look into because you can broadcast your own videos to the world at no cost at all and actually get some money in return.

Go Fish is a fairly large YouTube alternative hosting site which helps you promote your leadership skills. The primary goal of this site is to give you your 15 minutes of fame, so to speak. You can post pretty much whatever you want here: business tips, documentaries, comedies, spoofs, pranks, and even episodic dramas – all are welcome here. If you’re seeking a wide exposure for your business, this site offers a great opportunity.

ClipShack is, in a nutshell, a community for the video-addicted – a place for sharing your videos with the world. Its run by Reality Digital, Inc. – a company with years of experience in catering to the multimedia needs of the corporate sector.

Blip.TV brings you the kind of stuff you might be able to find somewhere on television but most likely won’t. This site is very highly rated by PC World and Business 2.0 magazine. It syndicates its content with the likes of AOL Video, Yahoo! Video, MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, MSN Video, Google Video etc., which allows you to reach millions of people in one shot. If you’ve got what it takes to create a great show, it may even get broadcast on this TV channel that blip.tv owns. And if your show’s a hit, they allow you to pick your own advertisers and earn revenue. Flash, QuickTime, DivX, 3gp – more or less all major formats are supported.

Revver is especially interesting because it boasts a clever mechanism that helps it track and monetize the uploaded videos as they spread virally across the internet – so “no matter where your creativity travels, you benefit“. Your uploaded video is paired up with a targeted advertisement and the revenue is split 50/50 with you. Those who share and spread the videos get to keep 20% of the revenues as well. The Revver API lets you build a video-sharing site complete with user accounts, uploading, sharing tools and access to the full Revver library of videos. The bandwidth is covered by Revver and the ad revenue is split three ways: you, Revver and the content creator. This is a great YouTube alternative to take a look at.

Explore the sites carefully and use them as a great source of traffic. There are also a handful of wordpress plugins that will use these sites to build video websites by autoposting!

Web 2.0 Basics Page 5

One of the reasons web logs are popular for marketing is they allow users to provide content that is updated frequently. You can post daily, weekly or monthly. The more frequently you post information to blogs, the more likely you are to maintain your page ranking.

Like social bookmarking sites, blogs are not anything new, but are now gaining more attention and popularity among individuals, communities and online entrepreneurs and marketers. People are using them in many ways, even politically, to announce their passions, beliefs, purpose or to pitch their products and services while providing visitors with valuable content and information.

Like social networking sites, blogs are targets for spammers, who frequently post spam and links to junk sites in the comments section of blogs, so most webmasters will have to monitor this to avoid clogging their blog with unnecessary spam.

Everyone these days, from celebrities again to political commentators use blogs to deliver information and news to people throughout the globe. There are private and public blogs, blogs focusing on entertainment, those focusing on politics, the media and people. Even corporations are starting their own blog campaigns to encourage people to investigate their company.

Of course, as with anything there are problems with blogs and potential concerns. For example, many people do not realize the consequences of posting potentially negative or defamatory information on their blogs. Yes, free speech is important. But bloggers beware, there are many instances where bloggers have been cited for liability or defamation. Make sure if you communicate you do so wisely and with good intent.

Folksonomies

An interesting name for an interesting concept. These are sites that allow users to categorize and classify information on the Web, including websites or pages, photographs and other information like links. Users can classify information using tags, or special labels containing brief information about each categorized piece of information.

An example of a popular “foksonomy” site is Flickr, where users can classify and organize and share photographs. Yet another is del.icio.us that allows users to tag and classify information ranging from web pages to links to blogs and more. As with anything, once information is tagged and categorized, it becomes more easily and readily available to the public. Think of tagging as a unique way of creating navigation bars, bars that reside throughout the Web or that are easily accessed through multiple portals on the Web, rather than through a single web page.

Tagged sites are more likely to be picked up by search engines, though some people will refer to popular folksonomy sites to find information they are looking for rather than rely on popular search engines including Google.

There are some disadvantages of using categorical sites as these. For one, the tagging “system” isn’t really well defined. Because there are no exact rules or regulations defining how tags should be implemented or inserted, many are inserted inconsistently. This can make navigating these sites a bit tricky.

However, if used wisely, folksonomy sites and tagged pages are an excellent way to provide information to the public in an easily navigable format. As with anything, entrepreneurs and other small business owners can use these sites to help promote their products, services or link to their web pages or affiliate marketing sites on the Web.

Wikis

Another example of Web 2.0 in full force is the wiki. These are websites that allow individuals to add, edit and even remove content. Many act like an encyclopedia, like Wikipedia.org, where users can add content creating a global online dictionary or encyclopedia of sorts.

The problem with such sites is the information provided in the sites may not always be accurate. Remember, anyone can log into the site and edit, remove or add information, so most “wikis” need some form of monitoring.

This usually comes in the form of community collaboration, where a group or wiki community work together to make sure any and all users are engaging in reasonable and acceptable practices when adding information.

Web 2.0 Basics Page 4

Web 2.0 sites differ in their mission and purpose from traditional web pages. Some provide users the opportunity to share personal biographies, pictures and journals. Examples include sites like MySpace.com. This fast and growing site is popular among the young and old. Even celebrities use the site to post pictures, update their fans and promote their latest shows or movies.

One of the advantages of Web 2.0 is users can use it to express their opinions or passions, but also passively promote their products or services in the process. Here are some other common sites characteristic of this new trend.

Social Bookmarking Sites

Social bookmarking sites are sites that allow Internet users to classify and share their Internet bookmarks or favorites with others. They are similar to social networking sites, where users share content, personal photographs and other information. Social networking and social bookmarking sites alike both work to promote a community-type look and feel.

While the intent of social networking sites is more to create communities of like-minded people, social bookmarking sites concentrate more on increasing the popularity of common Internet bookmarks or favorites. You can tell the whole world what your passions are, and increase the page rank to your favorite sites, by placing tags on them and listing them in social bookmarking networks.

Social networks are nothing new, they have existed for decades on the Internet. Only recently however, have people taken a keen interest in their potential, especially from a marketing perspective. Think about it; you put bookmarks to all your blogs, sites and lists in a public forum. Others can link to your sites and click through to visit your sites through the social networking site you list with. You increase knowledge and awareness of your sites and also get free advertising and targeted traffic.

If the quality of information you provide is worthwhile, chances are you benefit tremendously from this new technology.

There is little difference between the two technologies, many use them as one in the same. If you do plan to use social networking or bookmarking sites to publicize your content, just be sure you do it in a non-threatening, non-confrontational and legitimate manner. No one likes a spammer, and you can spam social sites.

Remember, people join these sites and post information because they want quality links and information from real people. If you use the sites as a general “bulletin board” or classified ad, you diminish the value and might even get booted off.

In fact, one of the more commonly cited “drawbacks” of these sites is they do not rely on a standard set of tagging or keywords, so people can often set up unclear tags or fill the site with misspelled tags in the name of driving more traffic to their sites. Many sites are more likely to corrode as people use them more as a page rank boosting or search engine tool than to provide valuable information. Don’t book the same site repeatedly or you will get into trouble.

Weblogs

You’ve probably heard the term “blog.” This is short for web log or weblog. This is a site that allows users to create journal or diary-like entries in a chronological way. Users often post blogs or short entries and articles on information they are passionate about or have an interest in. Still others focus on providing content about news, entertainment or political commentary.

Many use these as online journals and diaries to communicate the latest and greatest events with their friends. Most bloggers now include photos and other graphic elements in their web pages, along with basic text. You can even use MP3 or videos to enhance the quality of content provided in blogs.

Most bloggers allow visitors to post feedback or comments about their blog entries, so in some ways web logs serve as a mini community or forum. Popular blogs may receive hundreds of visitors every month. There are search engines whose sole purpose involve tracking blogs and related sites, including Technorati.com for example.

Web 2.0 Basics Page 1

Web 2.0 for Newbies

Introduction Web 2.0

The wave of the future is here… and it is Web 2.0. If you haven’t heard already, out with the old and in with the new. Well, sort of…

In “times of old” people relied on the Internet as a one-way tool for communicating with others. Most business entrepreneurs will set up a website, then offer their opinions, advice and more to anyone willing to listen, pay attention or chime in.

That has all changed. Now people are relying on a relatively old concept to change the way they do business on the Web. Instead of using the Internet as a one-way tool for communicating, people are now realizing the Web’s potential for creating an interactive, dynamic environment. In this environment, individuals, consumers and businesses can collaborate and communicate in new and simpler ways.

First popularized in 2004 and coined by O’Reilly Media, Web 2.0 is the “next generation” Web…

When we think of the term “next generation”, we automatically think of something new and innovative. The way se use the Web is new, but the technology supporting what people do with the Web has existed for decades.

While 2.0 isn’t exactly new, the next generation user or modern web users are using the technology supporting it in new ways. Long gone are the days of old where reading information on the Web was much like reading a book. Today people use the web for various purposes, including sharing information with others and to collaborate and communicate with others. To understand this, you must understand 2.0.

What IS It?

Web 2.0 is a broad term describing many different kinds of websites, websites that provide a platform where end-users have control over the content of sites. Web 2.0 includes social networking sites, wikis, sites like Squidoo.com and MySpace.com, folksonomies, Blogs, RSS Feeds and other sites that emphasize collaboration and sharing among users.

Web 2.0 isn’t a NEW Internet, but a new way of communicating using the World Wide Web. It focuses on building communities where people come together to share their ideas, passions and interests. Some people used collaborative and community-based sites since the dawn of the Web. Only recently have people other than consumers begun realizing the true potential of collaborative networking.

The “old” way of doing things focused on individual users creating applications from which they presented visitors information. For example, a person sat at their computer, created a website and provided information to visitors. They sold product to visitors. They allowed feedback, usually in the form of a one-way email communication, web form or other application. Web 2.0 encourages an approach to the Web where people form communities and collaborate to provide information on the Web. Instead of one person sitting at the end of a computer terminal, there are multiple people at many terminals all capable of accessing the same information, like a list of your favorites you bookmark on the Web.