Andy Green's Blog

A web-workers world…

How to Use Twitter to Enhance Your Website Success

Today it is virtually impossible for any website to have the success it deserves without using social networking. Ask any Internet guru and they will tell you that social networking has numerous benefits to help your online business, especially when it comes to traffic generation. One of the most popular social networking sites is Twitter. I am sure you have heard of it, you may have never used it… based on the recent cell phone commercials talking about how many people tweeted on Twitter though it is time that you take a closer look at it.

Twitter can transmit traffic to your website easily, providing you do it correctly. As with anything else in the world there are rules to using Twitter though. The first and most important rule is that you have to be involved in a community on Twitter. What this means is that you have to take part in the Twitter community. So you have to make posts, comment on other Tweets, help make Twitter a useful community. You cannot get on Twitter and just talk about yourself or your site. In other words you need to build a relationship. Building relationships is very important, not only in social networking but also when it comes to converting a reader to a customer.

A second key rule is that you need to reply to others. This is all a part of involvement. When you participate in conversations with others on Twitter they will reply to you. There is a key feature on Twitter whereby when others reply to you, the persons that follow them are able to connect to your profile. This widens your audience greatly and means that your exposure is increased. It is therefore essential that you make lots of contributions to conversation and keep your involvement on the site high. Really, it isn’t that difficult, it only takes a few minutes and it is free advertising that can really give your traffic the boost it needs.

As they say in all the infomercials “but wait there’s more!” There is also the Twitterfeed site. The Twitterfeed site allows you to send your RSS feed straight to your Twitter page automatically. What does this mean? Simply put it means when you post something new on your website or blog, and update your RSS, that it will post automatically on your Twitter time line. This is an ideal method to ensure that your updates are posted and you don’t have to log on to Twitter and post your update manually. It is also very important that you do not attempt to set up a business profile on Twitter. It is frowned upon and it won’t help your website or you. You really have to make sure that you have a proper balance of updates, promotions and genuine involvement in the community.

Twitter also has a number of badges and widgets that Twitter offers that you can use on your website. This allows the Twitter updates to go to your site and visitors can click on the badge and check out your Twitter profile and even opt to join your following. Twitter is only one of the social networking tools you can use, but it is a good one. The key is to be an active contributing member that helps the Twitter community grow… so that they will help your website grow.

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September 3, 2009 Posted by | Social Networking | , , , | Leave a comment

Get Viral!

One of the quickest ways and possibly the easiest way to get boat loads of traffic to your website is through viral videos. You are probably wondering what a viral video is. Viral videos are the silly and short funny clips that you and all your friends send each other back and forth through email. Still not sure of what a viral video is… think YouTube because they thrive on viral videos.

Most viral videos are hilarious and goofy and on occasion very strange. But they are so compelling enough to make people want to share them with their friends, pass them on in emails so that they spread across the net like a wildfire. Thereby generating more traffic then you can imagine to a website… your website.

Viral videos are known and proven to be great ways to generate traffic. If you take a look at different sites that have made the small leap to including video you will see that their Alexa ranking has improved and they are getting more traffic than they did just a month before. “An individual so appropriately described viral videos as the “lingua franca of the new age”. The evolution of viral videos is definitely progressing and the proof is in the number of people that view these clips.”

You don’t need to hire a cast and crew to shoot these videos, which should be incredibly apparent based on the videos on YouTube. These viral videos can help you create the Brand of You, which is essential to Internet/network marketing. People are not going to do business with you because of your product, service or information. Ultimately they do business with you because of you.

Take a closer look at some of the videos on YouTube. Do you realize that a good majority of them are actually advertisements that you probably never would’ve seen had it not been for viral videos. “Some small time cheap videos on YouTube have been viewed hundreds of thousands of times. Viral videos are faster, better, and less expensive than the rest of the overburdened advertising world. Viral videos are the new wave of the future making YouTube the new MySpace.”

Much like social networking, which a network marketer really can no longer overlook, you can’t ignore the benefits of viral videos. They are not very hard to make, and the impact they will have on your site is, well… explosive.

August 31, 2009 Posted by | Video Marketing | , , , | Leave a comment

Effective Banner Advertising

While many would agree that banner advertising is a marketing weapon that should be in everyone’s arsenal… few understand how to use banner advertising effectively. If you are new to marketing on the Internet and are unsure of what it meant by “banners” please read on.

First, a banner is nothing more than an Internet term for a graphic image that announces/shows the name of a website. Often it will include a brief description of that site as well. Many companies and entrepreneurs use banners as the foundation of their marketing campaign because of the exposure the banner provides. If you spend any time surfing the Internet you have seen banner advertising at its best and its worse. The goal here is for you to learn how to make your banner campaign an effective and successful campaign.

Change is Good

The very first thing you need to understand is that change is good. Actually change is a mandatory factor in success. While McDonald’s can survive with the golden arches and still experience an increase in sales each and every month, if you want to see dramatic increases in traffic you need to change your banner frequently. The more exposure your banner has, the more people are going to be used to seeing your banner and the lower the click through rate is going to be.

It is a good idea to have a stock of atleast 3 different banners, 6 banners is ideal. That way you can change the banner advertisement based on how many impressions they get.

Improve What You Have

There is a second advantage to having multiple banners, testing. You can test the different banners to see which ones are giving you the best click through rate. Once you know those statistics you will be able to improve your banners, which is the second component to effective banner advertising.

Each banner that you have should have a “call to action” link. This simply means that you want the banner to say something like “click here.” You also need to keep in mind load time. You should also make sure that your banner loads quickly as this will help increase its visibility and the likelihood of it being seen and clicked on, so make sure that your banner is in small bytes.

Don’t forget to change the headline in your banner and make sure that it is a headline that is grabbing people’s attention. You want something that is going to jump off the screen, grab your reader, shake them and make them want to click on your banner. Along with the headline, consider the colors you are using. While you want the banner to jump off the screen at them, you don’t want to blind the reader with neon bright colors, or a color scheme that turns people off. Believe it or not, blue is a very effective border color… and so is black.

Banner Exchanges

This is pretty simple, never put all of your eggs in one basket. Each banner exchange has its own network of sites that they work with. You may find that there are banner exchange sites that work better for your individual business than others.

These are only a few techniques that you should use to improve the effectiveness of your banner advertising campaign. Banners are, after all, the foundation of a successful marketing campaign if they are used correctly.

August 26, 2009 Posted by | Banner Advertising | , , , | Leave a comment

I am back!

Well after taking a break from my blog I am now back, bigger and better with a whole host of fresh ideas and information to get posted. While I have been away I have been working on lots of different marketing strategies which I will be posting about in the near future.

I have also completed the move over to WordPress.com, it did take a while to get all of the posts moved over but I am pleased that it is now done and now I can get started on the new posts!

August 15, 2009 Posted by | General | | Leave a comment

Taking a Break!

I have decided to take a step back from my blog for a while and focus on some new developments and ideas that I have in progress. Not sure how long it will be before I update the blog again but I will be back!

February 15, 2009 Posted by | General | | Leave a comment

Getting the Best Out of Twitter

In case you haven’t heard of it, Twitter it is a relatively new social networking tool that lets you connect with friends and keep in touch it in real time. People have called it “micro-blogging,” because the messages you send and receive from people you “follow” (and who follow you) is limited to just 140 characters. This is pretty limited, but at these short little “bursts” of messages can also make you pretty creative.

Twitter can also be a time waster, but it’s also become a valuable marketing tool. Why? Because you can basically communicate with people in shorthand without having to plow through lots of words to get your message across. Instead, you can instantly tell someone who’s following you what they want to know.

· Use “micro-blogging” to advertise your business

Most of us know what blogging is by now, but you might not know what “micro-blogging” is. Basically, it’s what Twitter does, with its 140-character limit. Again, being limited to 140 characters with a message requires you to cut to the chase and get your message out. No laboring over perfect sentence structure, no using hyped up text to try to get people to go to your website. Instead, it’s really just a basic, bare-bones communication method that lets those who are interested in you and what you do find out more. And of course, you can use Twitter to help drive people to your blog or website, where they can find out more information about what you sell.

· Network with other like-minded people

In many cases, Twitter can remove some of the heavy-handed formality that comes with so-called “business” meetings. By having a “meeting” in this sort of informal, quick as lightning exchange, people not only get down to business right away, but they also are less constrained by social “niceties,” if you want to put it that way, and can have a little fun, too. In a lot of ways, it’s a good icebreaker that gets business partnerships or a hook up with a potential client off on a really good foot. You might call Twitter the “backyard get-together” version of a business meeting, and it lets people relax and have fun right away, which is really only good for business relationships or for getting your products or services sold.

· Got a niche that you need to keep up on, instantaneously?

Twitter is actually a great way to find out about your particular niche in the marketing or business industry; with Twitter, you can find out from friends of a like mind that something’s happening before any other news sources find out about it. This can give you a leg up on your competition, or at least make you tops with your customers.

· It can save time

Twitter can save you time because keeping up with people this way might mean that you have to use your e-mail, instant messaging, RSS feeds, etc., less often. It’s quicker than any of these methods to send or receive something, and takes less time to use, too.

· It’s just plain fun

Keep up with friends this way, too. It’s as great for casual conversation as it is for business. In fact, it really was meant originally for casual use and has only recently been evolving into a means of actual business communication.

Some caveats:

When you first begin to use Twitter, you’ll likely find yourself overwhelmed by the plethora of pure chatter you encounter that doesn’t mean anything to you. That’s okay; you can learn to ignore these people and screen it out so that you only get what you want to see.

Finally, Twitter can be addicting in a bad way. Make sure you turn it off and reengage with real-life on a regular basis. It’s fun to use, sure, but only if you use it as an asset, not as an addiction.

With that said, why not try Twitter? It can be a blast (both professionally and personally) if you use it right.

February 12, 2009 Posted by | Social Networking | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Top Benefits of Video Marketing

The human factor is the only feature on which enterprises, whether on or offline, stand or fall. Entrepreneurs offer goods or services on sale to prospective clients, all of whom are humans. The quantity of money being transacted depends on the buyers’ perception of the goods and services; better perception means more money.

For an enterprise to succeed, you as entrepreneur will have to present or place it in viewing range of persons who are keen and ready to buy your goods or services. This sentence is very significant. Your sales pitch must be made in front of the eyes of those who want to buy such goods.

How does it work? Well, there are folks who are looking for things you’re offering to meet their various needs. If he sees your offer and likes it, it’s quite likely he’ll pay you money and become your “customer”. If this happens, it means you’ve successfully “marketed” your products.

There are several ways you can do good marketing. It depends on what your product is. For example, if it’s an automobile, you could offer test drives to hot prospects. Equivalent, your marketing could hinge upon offering the latter trial use on a restricted basis. That would convince him it’s just what he needs and wants.

Here the Internet poses a serious problem because no way can prospects physically see or handle the object. This is where video marketing comes in, offering an excellent method for you to present your products visually before feature-hungry eyeballs.

Mind you, there are some technical issues you must address, using broader bandwidths being one. Only then can you seamlessly include web video features in your website. It’s almost certain web viewers will be thrilled handling this wonderful new medium that brings products they can see, albeit virtually, and get the feel of. That you can do so efficiently and quickly enhances your marketing advantage tremendously to gain the shorter interest span of netizens. They’re not like folks relaxing in armchairs browsing through magazines in leisurely fashion!

Research informs us the typical netizen spends a maximum of only 8 seconds before abandoning a site and moving on to another one. Netizens are impatient people who’re looking for quick, user-friendly search solutions. No long haul answer search scrolling for them! Scrolling to reach texts are particularly unfriendly.

Increasingly, people are finding what they’re looking for at online video portals. One huge contemporary success story is YouTube.com (now owned by Google). These days, with subscribers opting for high bandwidth, it’s simple for them to save video marketing data on their hard disks rather than old-fashioned text based advertising messages. The former is easy and gives more pleasure. The conclusion is clear, viz. the popularity of online video portals is definitely on the rise.

The success of video marketing is owing to the inherent persuasive trustworthiness of products the viewer can see for himself. It creates an exciting bond between buyer and seller. You can be a winner with online video marketing!

February 12, 2009 Posted by | Video Marketing | , , | Leave a comment

Which Podcasting Software?

Podcasting has been quite a mystery even to the experienced Internet users since it was introduced back in 2003. But now with its growing success, increasing demand, and huge income potential, podcasts have now been considered as essential resources in making the site interesting, which greatly help keep people within the site.

This is a great time to stay competitive and set up podcasts of your own so that you too can capture some fans of your own. To start things off, you will need a podcasting software or service that can let you create podcasts quickly and transfer them easily to the server. There are different kinds of podcasting software that vary in features.

Although choosing the software that you are most comfortable in using could be the best choice, it is important to know how each podcasting software weighs in with their pros and cons.

FeedForAll

FeedForAll is a decent program that supports one of the crucial elements in creating podcasts – RSS feeds. RSS is now being supported in all the latest Internet browsers and mobile devices. The sole purpose of RSS support is to allow regular Internet users to have syndicated content of the sites of their choosing and give them the quickest access when updates are made. If your podcasts are created with RSS support, you can easily distribute your podcast RSS link and have them add it to their browser for easier distribution and updating.

However, FeedForAll has no built-in audio recorder and editor requiring you to purchase 3rd party software for podcast production.

Podcast Studio

Podcast Studio is a strong contender because it has it all complete with the RSS feed support, an audio recorder with support for audio signal mixing, an audio editor which can be used to make some quick fixes and enhancements to new recordings, and even a built-in FTP client for uploading the podcasts to your designated server. The interface is well done and even has a trial version available for people having second thoughts in buying. The price is a bit much compared to other podcasting software, but all the programs included make it worth the purchase.

Magix Podcast MAKER

Magix podcast MAKER emphasizes on turning your computer into a radio station. This is the perfect choice for people who want to record their voice and have some music playing in the background. It has plenty of advanced audio options allowing users to tweak things such as the audio speed and even adding some cool audio effects too. It is fairly cheap and should be a perfect companion for making radio-style podcasts. However, it lacks an FTP client, but has a great submission tool for putting the new podcast link in a number of podcast directories.

The best way to choose which podcasting software is best for you is by downloading multiple programs and trying each one directly. Weigh them all in and see what podcasting solution is worth your money. If you find all of them too difficult to use, try to join some forums and ask around on what their favorite podcasting software is. Once you get the hang of things, you should be able to produce podcasts on a routine basis.

January 11, 2009 Posted by | Podcasting | , , , , | Leave a comment

How to Create Your First Podcast

If you are interested in creating a podcast it is really simple to do. If you have never created a podcast, follow these brief instructions and you will have uploaded your very first for distribution. The steps involved in creating a podcast include creating the audio, converting the audio, and publishing, creating a feed, and publishing your news feed.

A podcast is an audio file that you can distribute across the web or upload to your website. This type of file is similar to radio content in a way. Audio content is very important to online viewers today. It provides a way for you to give a feeling to the customer as if you are right there in the same room to the listener. You aren’t forcing an online user to read a bunch of material because you are offering it in audio. Many people would very much prefer audio files rather than read pages and pages of content.

The first thing you want to do when you create a podcast is to create an audio file. You do have certain computer requirements in order to do this. You will need a working microphone on your computer. If you do not have a built in microphone then you will have to purchase one. You will plug a microphone in the back of your computer on the sound card microphone input slot.

You should have software that will give you the opportunity to record audio files. Today, most Microsoft operating systems have integrated software that will allow you to record a short audio file of you talking. This will be called ‘Sound Recorder’ or something similar. This is what you will use to create your audio file.

Your podcast is going to be an audio file. You should write out exactly what you are going to say. You might want to have the text on your screen so you can read it as you speak. This should be professional. Be sure you do not say a lot of ‘ums’ or it will not sound professional but amateur. You might have to record yourself reading the content a few times until you are comfortable with the way you sound and read your copy.

Be sure while you are reading that there are no distractions or loud noises in the background. Many cheap audio applications, like the one integrated inside of the Window’s operating system will pull in the background noises. You should create these files with no television, radio, or children playing in the background. It should be silent. Open the recorder when you are ready. Press record and say aloud into the microphone your copy that you want to tell the world. When you are done click on stop. You have now created your audio file.

Once this is complete you will need to convert the file into an MP3 format. The best way to do this is to use a converting tool. If you don’t want to go through all of the work. Save the audio file to a thumb drive or a CD. Put the CD back into your computer and let your Windows Media Player automatically convert the file.

You have to have a website if you want a podcast. These instructions are upon the assumption you have a website and a web host. The next thing you will do is log into your web host and publish your audio file. This will require you to upload the file to the server. The next thing you will do is create a podcast RSS news feed to the location of your podcast. This is really simple. On your hosting tools you will click on the button that says create RSS feed. It will automatically generate a link that will be the destination of your website RSS feed.

Now all you have to do is publish the RSS feed and you are done. This means click on the save button or publish with your web host. Not all web hosts are the same. Some only require you to click on save. When you go to your website you will see an RSS link and your podcast file. When you click on it you will immediately begin to hear your audio file that you have just created.

You can create a podcast in just a couple of minutes if you have the right tools to do it. You will need audio software, a converter or a media player, and a web host. You can immediately begin blogging and distributing your podcast upon the upload of the file.

January 11, 2009 Posted by | Podcasting | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How to Customize Your MySpace Profile

It seems that everybody who is anybody has a MySpace page so that they can keep in touch with everyone that is important to them. Whether you are an actor, a business professional, or a stay at home mom, MySpace is the tool to use when you want to keep your friends and family up to date on with what is going on in your life. Besides being a communication tool it is also a way for people to express their individual personality through using different profile layouts and custom pages.

Upon first glance at a MySpace profile page you can get a good sense of what that person is into. Whether it is the style of music they like, their favorite basketball team, or their favorite kind of art, the profile is the page to display who you are and what you like to represent yourself as to the world. It is sort of an unspoken message about your personality and that could be the very reason why most of the users on MySpace are so particular about the layouts they use. Some people will literally spend hours selecting and creating what they feel is the perfect MySpace layout.

The great thing about this is that whether you were born with a computer in your hands or you are just getting on one for the first time in sixty years, the MySpace site is one that is extremely easy to use. Step by step directions will walk a person through setting up their profile for the very first time. Entering in all of your personal data is done with ease by clicking on the appropriate tags in the edit profile section. After all of that is said and done you will probably want to add some personality to your page.

By visiting different MySpace layout sites you will be able to pick from a never ending variety of layouts. Customize your own through their navigation system or select from one of their hundreds of choices. Once you have created the MySpace profile page that is to your liking the site will generate what is called HTML code. You simply want to highlight that code and copy it. This code is all of the information that is needed to get that fancy layout on your page so make sure that you do not erase it before setting it up or you will have to start all over again.

Now all you will want to do is head over to your MySpace page and click on the tab that says edit profile. Go directly to the box labeled “About Me” and paste your HTML code right into that box. Click the save button and then you may have to type in a visual verification code to make sure that you are not a robot. After all of that is said and done your MySpace page will have its brand new look. Change it as often as you like or never at all. Since it is your page you can do whatever you want with it.

January 11, 2009 Posted by | Social Networking | , , , | Leave a comment