August 1, 2014

Choose the right monetization model for your blog

choosing
Photo by Julia Manzerova on Flickr (CC BY)

Target audience: Bloggers, small businesses, self-publishers, nonprofits, educators, Web publishers, journalists.

Ayelet NoffEveryone has different reasons why they decide to create their own blog or website. Many use it as a platform to share their opinions with others. Others see it as a great way to build up their name or business.

Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus can also play a big role in a blogger’s effort to promote themselves, but they have their drawbacks too. Facebook is a great tool, but when it comes to self-promotion they use a pay to play kind of system where you only see limited content and if you want to be more viral you need to pay for it. Twitter is widespread, but also limited, a maximum of 140 characters per tweet will only get you so far. As for Google Plus, well, it may claim big numbers, but when’s the last time you actually hopped onto your account?

Anyone who runs a blog knows that it takes a fair amount of time (and sometimes, money) to create the kind of interesting content that keeps visitors coming back — or to entice others to contribute to it. Getting a return on your investment can be challenging, but for many bloggers and personal website owners having your own blog is a great opportunity to make some extra cash. Continue reading

July 30, 2014

Why Google Plus is the antisocial network

antisocial

Google’s top-down approach doesn’t work when you’re trying to build a community

This is the second of a three-part series on Google Plus. Also see:
Hey Google! Here’s why Google+ is still a ghost town
Why Google Plus is more like a forum than a social network

Target audience: Marketing professionals, SEO specialists, PR pros, brand managers, businesses, nonprofits, educators, Web publishers, journalists.

Chris AbrahamOver the last few weeks I have been writing almost exclusively about Google Plus. The first article was a hopeful but disappointed look into the ghost town known as Google+. The second article was in response to those passionate G+ users who professed love for their online community home, Plus.

Well, in the words of my friend and colleague Ike Piggot:

“I really believe one of the issues with Google Plus is that it wasn’t ‘born organically.’ It was thrust upon us as an answer to a question no one was asking. It didn’t have a gestational period, and as such seems artificial. Like a little Android Baby, for lack of a better term.”

The virtual online community

Back in the 90s and early 2000s when online virtual communities were new to the web, three books defined the online community (and I recommend you read them all):

• The Virtual Community: Homesteading on the Electronic Frontier by Howard Rheingold
• Community Building on the Web: Secret Strategies for Successful Online Communities by Amy Jo Kim
• The Cathedral & the Bazaar: Musings on Linux and Open Source by an Accidental Revolutionary by Eric S. Raymond

While the first two books are explicitly about community development online, the third is about the emergent nature of distributed, asynchronous, online community in its creation, growth, and maintenance of the Linux operating system. Continue reading

July 28, 2014

Top 10 small business tips for using Google Plus

google-plus

Target audience: Small businesses owners, marketing professionals, SEO specialists, PR pros, brand managers, nonprofits, educators, Web publishers, journalists.

By Megan Totka
ChamberofCommerce.com

Google Plus can be a powerful tool for promoting your small business online, in more ways than one. In addition to being an active social network with 250 million users, the features and tools of Google+ can help you improve search engine ranking, strengthen your industry authority, and make influential connections to grow your business network.

Here are 10 tips for using Google+ to power your small business marketing.

Set up your business’s Google+ page

1Similar to most social networks, Google+ allows you to set up both personal and business pages. If you’re not already using Google+, or if you only have a personal page, the first step to promoting your business on this network is to create a Google+ business page.

You’ll need a Google or Gmail account to link to. The process of setting up a business page is simple: head to Google My Business to choose the best business category, and follow the prompts to create your page. Continue reading

July 25, 2014

From telephone party lines to social media  

Phone-evolve

Photo credit: CC-BY, weelakeo, Flickr

The way we communicate is in transition

Target audience: Marketing professionals, SEO specialists, PR pros, analysts, brand managers, businesses, educators, journalists.

Ayelet NoffThere was a time when social media meant a telephone party line. Phones have come a long way since then, especially the introduction of hand-held cellular phones that could be carried in your pocket or purse. Nevertheless, for the most part, the telephone has remained a one-to-one communications device.

That might have been the end of the story – until the Internet and then social media emerged. Over the past 10 years, we’ve all been caught up in the fun and usefulness of being able to share and exchange ideas and information across the globe through social media. Not surprisingly, as our mobile phones got smart, we found ways to bring apps and tools from our computers into them, allowing today’s phones to act as conduits to the mushrooming social world.

Continue reading

July 23, 2014

Why Google Plus is more like a forum than a social network

Five-things-Google-Plus-changed-in-our-world
A Google+ affirmation graphic.

Tips on what works and doesn’t work on G+

This is the second of a three-part series on Google Plus. Also see:
Hey Google! Here’s why Google+ is still a ghost town
Why Google Plus is the antisocial network

Target audience: Marketing professionals, SEO specialists, PR pros, brand managers, businesses, nonprofits, educators, Web publishers, journalists.

Chris AbrahamIt occurred to me, after spending a week deep-diving into Google+, that Plus is not a social network — or even a social layer. It’s a global reboot of the message board.

If you want to succeed, you need to forget about your friends and your family. Leave them behind. There are cooler, smarter, funnier people on Google+ than we have in our own lives now. Continue reading

July 21, 2014

Amp up your Facebook page and generate more leads with a contact form

contact-form
Contact forms are among the most powerful – and most underutilized – apps for Facebook. From the opening page of PageYourself.com.

Target audience: Marketing professionals, SEO specialists, PR pros, brand managers, businesses, nonprofits, educators, Web publishers, journalists.

Post by Andrew Lisa

Andrew-LisaIn the never-ending hunt to make my Facebook page stronger than the day before, I’ve found that one of the most powerful add-ons is also one of the most underutilized: contact forms. Facebook is still far and away the most widely used social media marketing site, and a contact form is a robust addition that makes social marketing on Facebook even friendlier to my friends list.

Contact forms for conversions and sales

As discussed in “Make Your Facebook Page Work Harder with a Contact Form,” leads can be converted into actual, real-world sales and repeat business with a well-placed, well-utilized contact form. Getting a contact form on my page was easy, but making it work for my business took a little work. Continue reading