Social networking sites like MySpace, FaceBook, and even Twitter, can be great places to promote your website or blog.
Start by creating a group or groups, centered around your niche market and begin networking with other users who have the same interest in your niche topic.
FaceBook allows you to create a business or “fan” page that can be used to share and post information to promote your business website.
You can use your fan page to share information such as your hours of operation, location, etc. It can function as a marketing tool that can generate leads for and promote your business.
Twitter’s founders don’t actually classify their web site as a social networking site, but anyone using Twitter can tell you in a hurry that it definitely falls into that category.
Twitter is actually more like a micro blog; and although many people consider Twitter and Tweeting to be a total waste of time, if you learn how to use it properly, it can be a valuable sales asset and traffic generating business tool.
Just like anything else, social networking sites can be great promotion tools. But to get the best results, you need to learn how to use them effectively.
It will require a bit of testing and experimentation on your part to determine what works best for you. But when you DO get the right formula; you’ll be glad you “wasted your time” playing around with social networking sites.
We realize that social networking sites aren’t for everyone and that they’re not absolutely necessary to run a successful website or blog, but using them to promote your web sites can definitely make your life run a lot smoother.
It’s important to understand the benefits of Twittering, and that Twitter can be used for much more than just personal updates.
With the introduction of microblogging to the Internet, Twitter has reduced the time it takes to market content from hours, that it used to take from using previous forms of communication; to minutes and even seconds, through the use of Twitter Tweets.
Although many users like to put in cat updates, or tell everyone what they’re doing in the bathroom at 2:00 in the morning; Twitter has many more useful purposes than that.
Initially blogs used to have the same stigma attached to them; but with microblogging, the world suddenly woke up and almost immedately understood what the power of simple publishing, combined with citizen journalism could accomplish.
Twitter is a place where you can freely accomplish many things.
The benefits of Twittering allow you to:
- Promote yourself
- Promote your business
- Promote others (affiliates)
- Get advise on almost anything
- Run polls to find a consensus
- Acquire human resources
- Immediately broadcast important breaking news
- And the list goes on ….
Microblogging has become so widespread, that if you participate in any social media community these days; people probably already know that you’re also on Twitter.
While Twitter doesn’t in itself have the best methods of finding people; you can always Twitter to see who your friends are following, or just join the conversation without being too intrusive, and simply ask.
Don’t be bashful, join in and make your presence known.
When you get involved with the community, jump in and share your expertise. See what people are talking about, ask questions and give good answers when you have them.
Know the difference between pushing and pulling. For instance, when you post a link to your latest blog post to Twitter, you are making a push, or an action to grab the reader. Direct marketers have mastered the technique of pushing and have developed it into an art form.
Although some of your readers can ignore your posts; the people that appreciate your posts will immediately check you out.
On the other hand, RSS is a pull. Users generally check RSS at their own speed, and it usually takes much more time to get any “buzz” going around your content.
Read the Tweets that are already out there.
One of the benefits of Twittering is that there’s a lot of valuable information from a lot of smart individuals on Twitter, that you can use for yourself and your business, if you just take the time.
This is how to get automatic Tweets on your Twitter page, when you get too busy or overwhelmed to do it yourself.
Twitter Feed, is a simple free tool you can use to pull in RSS feeds from your blogs, article sites, or any other site that has an RSS feed you want to hook up with.
You can use Twitter Feed with only your own blogs, or in conjunction with your friend’s blogs and other quality sites that you would like to use to update your blog.
This works great for people who are often too busy to post to their own blogs on a regular basis.
First do a Google search for Twitter Feed, go to their website, and sign up for your free account by providing your email address and creating your password.
- You will then be directed to the second step where you create your feed for your blog.
Here is where you name your feed, and insert the RSS feed URL for your website.
The URL of your feed will depend on which blogging platform is used, but you can usually find it by clicking on a button or icon labeled “RSS”, “Atom”, “Syndicate”, or something similar or by clicking on the icon located in the right hand side of your browser address bar.
If you still have trouble finding it, you can always check the documentation of the blogging platform software that you are using. This should tell you how to find the feed URL.
You can click on the advanced settings to further customize how you want your feed sent.
- Next you move to step two where you configure your publishing services.
Here you can get automatic Tweets on your Twitter page, Laconia, Ping.fm, Hellotxt, or Facebook by just clicking on each service and either joining, or activating and authenticating your existing subscription.
That’s all the work you need to do to finish your feed and to get automatic Tweets on your Twitter page.
You can create all the additional feeds you like by signing into your dashboard and following the above procedure.
This is probably one of the easiest ways to get automatic Tweets on your Twitter page, Facebook, and your other publishing services.
You know that Twitter is good for business, when both Google, and Bing, begin to index Tweets in the search engine results.
Although we’re not sure how they are going to accomplish it; last week, both Google and Bing, made their announcements to that effect.
If you need to be convinced that Twitter is good for business, just go to some of the “big boys” websites to confirm my opinion.
Twitter has been steadily growing in importance, attracting more and more followers every day.
Since so many consumers are now using social media sites like Twitter, more and more savvy internet marketers have noticed that online merchants, are also testing the waters, and experimenting with Twitter.
To date, most merchants still do not seem to be paying much attention to Twitter, or to the other social media sites; however, with Google and Bing’s announcement, things are about to change!
If you’re not currently on a social website like Twitter, your competition may already be out gunning you.
You should consider using Twitter to promote your brand, increase your visibility, and maximize your earnings.
It’s obvious that Twitter is good for business, when e commerce merchants like Amazon, Sears, and Walmart, start using accounts dedicated to Twitter.
This should tell you something.
Some merchants like Amazon, use multiple accounts to manage different sectors of their business, while others like Sears, use only one interactive account.
If you decide to experiment with Twitter, it’s important for you to explain to your customers, exactly how you operate.
You should clarify how many accounts you have; and what type of information you provide on each account.
This clears up any confusion your followers might have, and gives them up to date information on your products, or services.
Keep your customers happy, and give them Tweets with the information they are looking for.
Twitter is good for business; take advantage of it, and use it wisely!
Denial of Service Attacks are currently on the rise on the Internet.
So far in 2014, the biggest issues facing website owners are (DoS) Denial of Service, (DDoS) Distributed Denial of Service, and Brute Force attacks.
To date, more than 162,000 WordPress sites have been unwittingly used in DDoS attacks.
So what is a Denial of Service attack or a Distributed Denial of Service attack and why are they committed by hackers?
The United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team officially describes Denial of Service Attacks as follows:
“In a denial-of-service (DoS) attack, an attacker attempts to prevent legitimate users from accessing information or services. By targeting your computer and its network connection, or the computers and network of the sites you are trying to use, an attacker may be able to prevent you from accessing email, websites, online accounts (banking, etc.), or other services that rely on the affected computer.”
The reason hackers perform both types of attack, is simply to disrupt the daily operation of your website and/or knock it offline.
The motives for these attacks vary considerably.
- Someone or some entity could have a political agenda contrary to yours.
- Someone has nothing better to do with their time or does it out of boredom.
- Your competition wants to cause you problems or wants to shut you down.
- Someone you pissed off is getting revenge.
- Who knows what else lurks in the hearts of men!
Distributed Denial of Service and Denial of Service attacks are the same except for the scale of the attack.
When you hear someone talk about a Distributed Denial of Service attack, you can be sure the attack is on a grand scale.
Conversely, when you hear someone mention a Denial of Service attack, you can expect the attack to be of a much lesser scale.
In both types of attack, the hacker is making use of more than one computer. In fact large DDoS attacks can cover hundreds to thousands of compromised systems and many of those compromised servers can be your own website server.
There is also the distinct possibility that a hacker can leverage ping-back features in your website, in fact if you are currently running a WordPress website, it is entirely
possible that your site could be used in a Denial of Service attack on other websites.
A single attacker can covertly use thousands of clean, popular, WordPress websites to perform their DDOS attack with a simple ping back request to the XML-RPC file:
$ curl -D - "www.anybodyswordpresssite.com/xmlrpc.php" -d '<methodCall><methodName>pingback.ping</methodName><params><param><value><string>http://victim.com</string></value></param><param><value><string>www.anywordpresssite.com/postchosen</string></value></param></params></methodCall>'
Attackers are currently using the ping-back feature inherent in the WordPress platform to perform Layer 7 DDoS Flood Attacks on websites.
These attacks are not limited to just the WordPress platform. They can also be used to attack sites on Joomla, Drupal, osCommerce, vBulletin and other platforms.
Brute Force attacks share some of the similarities of Denial of Service attacks and Distributed Denial of Service attacks with the following exception. They focus on ACCESS to something, usually your website.
We will delve into Brute Force attack in future posts.
If you are currently experiencing a disruption in service with your website, contact your host provider immediately.
You can shield yourself in advance from these type attacks by activating a website firewall like CloudProxy, SiteLock, AppWall, Trustwave, etc. Website firewalls can virtually patch and harden issues like this.
If you are currently monitoring your website or if you have ever been hacked and had to clean your website of malware from hackers like I have, you already know how it feels when your site goes down or through no fault of your own gets blacklisted.
The internet is only as secure as the people in the community make it.
To see if your WordPress website has been used to unintentionally attack other sites, Click on this DDOS Scanner link.
Since social media is now firmly embedded in our everyday lives and does not seem to be going anywhere soon, it seems perfectly logical to assume that social media marketing will be trending high through 2014.
This February marks the ten year anniversary of Facebook and the second year that it has been listed on the NASDAQ.
When it first appeared online, almost nobody knew what “Friending” was all about.
Since then, all the talk about social media being a passing fad has ceased and the term “Friending” has become commonplace on and off line.
The same applies to Twitter and the “tweet”.
The social media landscape has changed and now it has become quite clear to everyone that social media is arguably the best way to reach your “friends” and for many companies, the best way to reach potential customers.
Many brands have accepted that social media as the best way to interact with their audience online and as we continue into 2014, we expect many more companies to come to this realization.
During the early stages of social media, Internet marketers would arbitrarily distribute content with the hope of reaching a receptive audience.
Today, companies have evolved from having strictly one sided conversations with potential clients to having more personal relationships with their customers. Companies have come to the realization that people do not want to be marketed at on social media.
Users of social media go online to talk to each other, while brands on social media are there by “invitation only”.
Companies have learned that in order to attract customers, they need to provide value to their customers experiences and in order to do this, they need to listen to what their customers want by engaging them in conversations across social platforms and responding to their needs.
Companies who use information gathered through conversations with potential customers on social media, have a distinct advantage over those who do not.
And those who approach social media with a specific plan of action will fare much better than those who “tweet” without any reason.
Through the use of data based marketing, brands have learned to gather heaps of information from a variety of social media outlets and use it to market more intelligently.
When used properly, this information can help companies understand their consumers’ affinity for their brand and then leverage that knowledge to get consumers to take the desired action.
Brands have adapted to social media to the extent that they have learned how to interact with their audiences online, pull up a seat at the table and be invited to participate in the conversation.
The data that brands have compiled from their interactions with customers outside of social media channels, combined with data they collect through social media, further helps them keep their seat at the table.
It appears that social media marketing by companies who provide timely relevant content and respond to the needs of potential customers will continue to trend high through 2014.
By applying the following blog commenting practices, you will be able to credibly assert yourself as an authority in your market, help you stay in touch with what is happening in your niche, and cultivate substantially more interest in your platform.
Legitimate blog commenting practices are often ignored or abused by Internet marketers.
- When commenting on a blog, use your real name, not an alias, keyword, Company name or website URL.
Remember, people like to connect with other people.
By using your real name, you are presenting yourself as an authority in your market niche and extending your brand.
Using your real name also fosters trust and increases transparency. When other readers want to contact the blog commenter, they expect to connect to a person, not a generic alias, website URL, etc.
Blog commenting practices is all about promoting yourself and your website.
- The best blog commenting practices recognize that blog comments are not advertisement bulletins.
Instead of blatantly promoting yourself in the comment portion of somebody’s blog by simply trying to insert your website URL; try adding value to the topic being discussed by providing your unique insight naturally.
The best blog commenting should exude confidence in your experience of the topic being discussed.
- All blog commenting practices should be relevant to the topic, to the reader’s needs and to their interests.
Pick a specific item from the blog post you intend to comment on and provide some original insight on that specific item.
- Make your comments specific, thoughtful and pithy. Never over-generalize your comments.
A pithy, thoughtful comment that brings your own unique insights to the forum will more likely get rewarded by being posted, and should encourage additional comments by other blog readers.
It is important that the writer of the blog post you are commenting on understand that you have read the blog post.
- Before making wild accusations and jumping to erroneous conclusions about a blog post, take in the full context of the post you intend to comment on.
Some blog commenting practices recommend “stirring up the pot” to generate controversy.
Unless your controversial assertions are calculated and carefully researched, you could be making a serious mistake by appearing conceited and overconfident or by making the author of the blog post appear foolish or poorly informed.
Neither scenario is not what you want to achieve.
If you do not fully understand t he full context of the blog post, ask the author for clarification before providing your insights.
- All blog commenting practices preach staying positive and civil.
Never use angry or destructive language when submitting blog comments. All this can do is embarrass the blogger and bring down your credibility standing.
Submitting positive useful grammatically correct blog comments can only improve your standing in your niche market.
- The best blog commenting practices recommend refraining from automated blogging submissions.
Prior to commenting, most blogs will have an area for you to provide your contact information.
This is where you can insert your website URL to acquire back-links and allow other people to contact you.
If there is no place for you to insert your website URL, it is acceptable practice to insert your link at the end of your comment with a contextual lead in to relevant content on your website.
Even the best automated blog commenting software cannot determine or replicate relevance, specific details or authority.
Only live human beings having their own opinions and lifetime experiences can successfully engage in understandable blog commenting practices.
No software program on earth has yet been able to duplicate the blog commenting process enough to assert your brand and authority in any niche market.
As you comment on a variety of blogs in your market niche, you should also be able to acquire inspiration from the blogs you read.
- This helps keep in touch with your audience needs.
- Helps you stay current on new breakthroughs and trends.
- Helps you keep an eye on and get a “leg up” on your competitors.
- Get ideas from leaders in your niche for social media networking, etc.
- And, to build an article portfolio to use in your article marketing endeavours.
Using the above blog commenting practices can only help you with your marketing when done properly.