Reconnect With Old Friends on Facebook – Twitter and Grow Your Customer Base

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It seems that today there is no limit to how we are able to connect with people via the internet. Most of the people Facebooking and Tweeting on a daily (or hourly) basis have a vested interest in connecting. I am speaking about those of us that make our living selling online. If you run an online business, you know about social media.

Some have embroidered this marketing trend to the fullest, while others have shunned it. Think you do not want to reconnect with schoolmates you have not seen in decades? Think again. These people knew you before you were a wife, a husband, a mom, a dad … a business owner. Unlike the dreadful small talk we are forced to end at awkward business networking functions, 'catch-up' conversation with old friends comes naturally. Sharing a common point of reference from your past, you are able to reach out and share 'good old days' stories. This is not only refreshing personally, it can be the start of a casual, yet profitable business networking relationship.

You have a greater chance at developing strong networking connections with old classmates, be they former BFFs or just mere acquaints, than a stranger at a business mixer. To ignore a networking tool like Facebook is to turn your back on a free, easy and fun connection to hundreds of potential customers, investors, partners and consultants. It is worth the time and effort setting not only yourself, but also your business up with accounts on these social media / social networking websites.

It is important, if not urgent, to note that there is an unspoken code of ethics when it comes to marketing your company via social media. You should be 'you' and not a weird, unfamiliar salesman version of yourself. When alerting your list of friends or followers to the fact that you even own an online business, you should do it in the same manner in which you might recommend a great restaurant. In other words, take care not to seem pushy or greedy. Mention that you have set your business's page up on Facebook and you'd love it if everyone 'become a fan' (which is the terminology used on Facebook for business pages.) On Twitter, include a link to your site (preferably by first visiting a site like tinyurl.com to condense the URL) and let everyone know that you would love for them to check it out.

If you get lousy results (no one 'fans' your page on Facebook and you can see from your Google Analytics that no one came over to your website via the link you 'tweeted' on Twitter) be patient. Bulk up the content on your company's Facebook page. A couple of times a month (between casual personal FB communications) update your status with something relevant to your business. The same thing goes for Twitter – tweet to your followers that you have added new products, services or content to your website. These things are all acceptable, but in moderation. Do NOT tweet each time you get mentioned in the press. Do NOT update your status on Facebook letting everyone know each time a 'great new product was just added to your website.' If all of your communications to the FB or Twitter community are business related, be prepared to see nothing but lousy results.

I have followed these 'rules' and had a nice amount of success on Facebook. I now have repeat customers that were once fellow Girl Scouts. I have also secured some great exposure for my site on prominent product review blogs through Twitter.

Since I found that social media sites work well for my business, I have since connected my WordPress blog to Facebook. This way, each time I add a post to my blog, a new note pops up on my business FB page. This casually shows up in a box on my personal FB page – not as a headline / status update – but literally as a side note. It is prominent, but not in their face. So, relax, have fun with social media and you can not lose, as long as you remember to be 'you'.

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Source by Stacey Conway

Small Business SEO: 2 Best SEO Practices for Small Business Sites

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For many small businesses just starting out, their primary startup preoccupations would include getting their website up and running. Although they realize the massive sales potential of their online presence but it will remain limited if small business SEO is not employed.

With search engine optimization, your business can gain website traffic both from visits and walk-in traffic from customers, as well as help make your site more popular and reach out to your target customers online.

If you are still having some budget issues that using an SEO company may seem impossible this very moment yet you want to know some ways to use in improving your online presence and ensuring the practices you adopt are sustainable, we have here a few SEO tips to get you started:

Quality Content

With the recent panda algorithm update, Google targets poor quality content. In effect, the search engine gives high quality content higher rank in its search pages. Again, the argument content is king is vindicated and good thing for businesses to realize the quality content is the key to sustainable success. Users are likely to bounce off when their expectations for quality content are not met after searching for results.

Metrics that search engines use when ranking pages in SERPS have also changed. Search engines look for social signals, which means they give more weight to a particular piece of content showing many likes or followerships. Other metrics search engines take into account are: bounce rate, visits and links to the page.

With tight budget, you can start focusing on quality content and researching what questions customers are searching for. With that information, you can start providing content that meets quality standards and answers these questions. Voila, you already have the foundation of your content marketing strategy.

Building Quality Links

Links are important to search engine ranking. With the penguin update targeting low quality links and over optimization, those not following Google's strict policy on link networking are bound to suffer from being penalized. Building quality links can be achieved through the use blogger outreach. Link building tactics that are no longer effective include directory submissions, low quality link networks, social book marks, and article submissions.

Blogger network is the more legitimate small business SEO that you can employ because the focus is on building relationships with other blog owners. Through such network, which are trusted, website owners can pitch content ideas for possible inclusion to the network. As a result, blog owners get content that is not only of good quality but free in exchange for a quality link back. The links are counted as votes by search engines, impressing that the pages are important and popular. Also an important tactic is link variation which ensures that a website's link profile will appear natural.

These are only two essential small business SEO practices – producing quality content and building quality links – that you can employ to have your business rank within search engine platforms. Other strategies are important like on-page optimization and social signals. But prioritizing the foundations of sustaining your SEO efforts through quality content and building quality links, your survival rate on the next round of algorithm updates now look sustainable.

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Source by Rowena Jauod

Creating Membership Sites – WordPress + WordPress Plug-in = Your Membership Site Success

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More and more people are creating membership websites to share information with their subscribers. Why now you may ask. Some membership software available today is incredibly expensive. You would think the more expensive the software, the more features the software would have. You would be wrong. Some of these program are difficult to set up and hard to administrator. Many programs will not allow much customization so it is hard to brand your membership website.

What has changed is some software creators are taking advantage of the capabilities of WordPress. WordPress is the perfect vehicle for membership software because WordPress is a communications platform. Add a plug-in and presto, you can create a membership website.

Now you may be asking yourself why choose WordPress. First of all, WordPress is free. It is very simple to install on your domain. This is critical because if your blog or membership site is hosted on someone else domain, they could change their business model or close that business line and your website, blog or membership site would be gone. It's happened before. And finally, there are scores of plug-ins that change the functionally of your website. Plug-ins allow you to add, audio, video and just about anything else you can think of. These and other reasons are why WordPress is the industry standard.

Now that you understand why I only recommend WordPress, I want to let you know when you are having a WordPress plug-ins to create your membership site .. The combination of WordPress and a WordPress plug-in is about as close to perfection as you are going to get.

A WordPress plug-in should allow you to password protect single downloads, create multiple membership levels, deliver your content sequentially automatically, provide content in modules and just about anything else you would to do in your membership website. You should be able to link a WordPress plug-in to your autoresponder and shopping cart to appear seamlessly with your membership site. The records created by the a WordPress plug-in should be encrypted so you know the membership software is secure.

Membership software creators should have a developmental team to continue to improve their plug-in. And they should listen to their customers, so improvements in the plug-in are based on requests from their customers.

Membership software should make it easy to brand your membership website. After you have your membership website set up, updating your site should be as simple as adding a post.

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Source by George Arthur Burks

How to Use WordPress For Church Blogs

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Churches need a way to share information. Blogs are a great way to share information without having to require a programmer. Fortunately once blogs are installed they require typing and maybe a little copy and pasting. This allows anyone to keep the church blog going.

Why use WordPress for your church?

WordPress is one blog format that is really popular. This format is very easy to use. You can add and change themes (the appearance) quickly. Plugins allow for more features to make it fit your church and the church's personality better.

How to start WordPress for Church

While you may need a programmer to install it, you can get an instruction manual to teach you how. You also can probably hire someone in church to install it, and get a theme to suit your church blog. Then pages and posts can be added by just about anyone that has access.

What are WordPress pages and why does the church need them?

Pages are a particular way to share information on a blog. Most blog themes will allow page links to be visible no matter where the reader is on the site. Thus pages are great for sharing important facts about the church.

What kind of church pages are needed?

You can have a page with the church location. Another page could be about the church mission or an about us. A page is a great way to explain when church services are. Some churches have pages about the minister or personnel employed by the church or contact information.

What are posts?

Posts are displayed with the latest post first. This makes the blog posts a great place for the minister's latest sermon. Some churches add posts that cover the latest things that happen in the church. They have someone discuss the latest special event and add pictures or videos or both.

Can Church Members add information?

Blogs are easy to be able to add posts, which are individual entries. So it does not require a programmer. Plus WordPress can allow a variety of users to add information. The pastor or other paid personnel can be administrators of the blog, so they can add information or make changes to the blog. Others, even members of the church can be set up as authors to add articles, but not make changes.

Why let church members add blog posts?

Blog posts by church members allow for a different point of view. People can get a feel of the church from fellow parishioners. If they uploaded videos to YouTube, they can copy the code and paste it into a post. Church goers enjoy being able to see themselves and others online.

Church blogs help your outreach.

In many ways starting a church blog will be a great way to expand your outreach. The WordPress is incredibly easy to use, so you can add pages and posts to share information with church goers. Visitors can find out more about your church and know when services are and what makes your church a place they should visit.

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Source by MJ Schrader

Free Blog Themes for Your WordPress Site

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Free Blog Themes is one of the reasons to use WordPress for your website. WordPress is a popular blogging software and a really powerful and quick way to get a website built. You can download the software and have a site up in a day. One problem is finding a good looking theme for your site. Nothing beats free. Its really easy to find free blog themes online. All you have to do is go to your favorite search engine and type in those words. You will get a bunch of sites returned that will provide links to free blog themes.

Free Blog Themes – Why should you choose a free theme?

If you are new to WordPress you might not be ready to purchase a theme just yet. Or you might just be trying to learn the process of changing and installing a theme. Free themes give you a chance to see what your new WordPress site can look like. Its one thing to preview a site and another to actually see a site with your information in it.

What can you expect from free blog themes? Sometimes you will find scaled down versions of paid themes. These are lead generation tools that get you into the designers database. You download the free blog theme and they hope that you will like the theme enough to go for the premium version which typically has more features and updates.

Free Blog Themes – Expect advertising links on free themes

Some free blog themes that you find will be really simple. All blogs are not the same and some might not require a lot of bells and whistles so these basic themes might work for you. Most free themes are going to have some sort of advertising on them. You might find links in the footer area of ​​the free theme that the designer wants to stay in place. If you change or try to modify the code sometimes these free themes will break. So make sure that you read the instructions before you download the files.

Free Blog Themes – WordPress makes it easy to change your site design

The good thing about WordPress is that its really easy to change themes. In addition to searching the web for themes you can also do a search from within WordPress. Under the appearance tab you can install themes and do a search there. You can search by name, number of columns, colors, features and a bunch of other criteria. You can preview and download the themes from inside of your WordPress installation. This makes it really easy to change the look and feel of your website in the matter of minutes. After installation you might still have to make some customizations in the theme options.

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Source by Cory Morris