Business Blogging 101 – 3 Mistakes To Avoid When Building Your Business Blog

Business blogging is undisputed as a terrific way to build your corporate brand, your employer brand and personal brand on-line, increase your website traffic and get found in the search engines when people are searching for the products and services that you offer.

However what are some of key mistakes you need to avoid if you want to build a credible business blog? I’m not talking about the mistakes usually referred to such as not posting regularly to your business blog or not engaging in the blogosphere by commenting and linking to other peoples business blogs.

Here are the three mistakes I see business bloggers make:

1. Not branding your business blog – by branding I recommend you look at the following three areas (a) Ensuring that the name of your business blog connects to your business and the services you offer (b) Making sure that the design of your business blog follows through from your corporate identity. There are many low cost and no cost blogging tools available which one of the reasons why business blogging has become so popular. That is fantastic – but please do not scrimp on investing in the design of your business blog to reflect your corporate identity and also making it easy to navigate for the readers of your business blog. (c) Creating content that meets the needs of your target market and niche – consider your blog as a way to represent your unique expertise in your field.

2. Not connecting your business blog to your corporate website – if you have a corporate website make sure that you have a link from your website to your business blog. I do recommend that this link is not just a hyperlink to your blog which is authored on a separate platform. To ensure that you benefit from traffic to your business blog, I recommend that you use a blogging platform such as WordPress.org where you can host your business blog alongside your website.

3. Not adding an about page – you might not realize it but your about page on your business blog or website is the second most likely page that people will click through to. It is important to have details about you and the team authoring your business blog as people want to check out who you are – they are genuinely interested in the authors of your business blog and they are also interested in assessing your professional credibility in the areas you are writing about.

Why not assess your business blog against these common business blogging mistakes and then establish a plan to enhance your business blog so that truly does build your brand?

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Niche Blogs 101

In this internet era, creating profitable niche blogs offer a new way to earn money online. The one main reason why niche blogging can be a viable option for any income hopefuls is its simplicity in creation. Such sites are easy to create, and suitable for anyone regardless of his or her online marketing or web design skills.

Building niche blogs does offer some benefits. If you have a low or even zero budget, you can still build your site! Simply use a free content management system like WordPress and Blogger and you can get started with your very first website within minutes. There are many ready templates to choose from. Within an hour, you could have a professional looking website at zero dollar investment to you. Plus, there are no webhosting and domain costs.

If you are just starting out, you may have some questions why marketers use blogs and not static sites. These websites are interactive and allows open communication with their visitors. People like to visit a site and say something. Blogs allow that to happen. At the same time, they are often updated and visitors and search engines love fresh content!

The reason why niche blogs fare better than general topic blogs lies in relatively lower competition. Rather than vying with big companies with tons of advertising dollars to spend, it will be more advantageous for you to work on the narrower sub-topics where there is lesser competition.

As a start, you may wish to write your own blog posts. But as you build more, it is ideal that you hire others to write the content for you. But needless to say, you do not to be well versed in the topic in order to verify that the content is of quality and not some rehashed crap.

In order to uncover underserved niches, you can make use of the free and paid tools online to conduct your keyword research. At the same time, promoting your site is convenient and there are also tons of free services and tools to help you. So, with close to nothing out of your pocket, building niche blogs to sell products can be a really profitable business. If you are unsure how to promote your site, read up more on what people are saying in the forums.

At this point in time, niche blogging can offer a great opportunity for anyone hoping to create a second income stream on a part-time or full-time basis. Tools and software are readily available to help you start. With time and familiarization, there are just endless numbers of markets that you can create niche blogs for.

Read the below resource and see how a powerful tool is helping others build profitable niche blogs in minutes.

WP Engine Recommends WP101 as a Top WordPress Education Site

We are proud to announce that WP Engine has named WP101 as a Recommended Solution for WordPress Education.

It’s no secret that we’re big fans of WP Engine. In fact, we’ve been a customer since March of 2012, back when there were just a couple thousand of us. Today, WP Engine powers hundreds of thousands of WordPress sites for more than 80,000 customers around the world!

As part of their award-winning customer experience, they filter through thousands of WordPress plugins and solutions, and then recommend the best of the best within the WP Engine Solution Center.

So, we’re incredibly honored that WP Engine has selected WP101 as a recommended WordPress education solution for WP Engine customers.

What is the WP Engine Solution Center?

The WP Engine Solution Center is a directory of carefully-vetted 3rd party services, plugins, and software that can help you optimize your WordPress site and create better digital experiences for your visitors.

Solutions in the directory are organized into 12 categories: site setup, development, speed, security, marketing, design, ecommerce, site enhancements, content, site elements (like forms, galleries, etc.), education, and service companies.

WP Engine Solution Center

WP Engine Recommends WP101 for WordPress Education

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About WP Engine

WP Engine is the world’s leading WordPress digital experience platform that gives enterprises and agencies the agility, performance, intelligence, and integrations they need to drive their business forward faster. WP Engine’s combination of tech innovation and an award-winning team of WordPress experts are trusted by over 80,000 companies across over 140 countries to provide counsel and support helping brands create world-class digital experiences. Founded in 2010, WP Engine is headquartered in Austin, Texas, and has offices in San Francisco, California; San Antonio, Texas; London, England; and Limerick, Ireland.

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TIG Welding 101

It is like a rising superstar in this day in which we live. The art of TIG welding has been around for some time but is becoming an ever popular application for welding.

It is drawing upon the curious side of someone already interested in the field of welding.

TIG welding is a very unique form of welding. When you begin to use the left and right hand simultaneously in any process there is more stress involved to the welder and this technique requires more agility than does the more common practices of welding.

When you embark upon a career in TIG welding there are normally pre-requisites that have already been achieved by the time you arrive in the TIG domain.

Stick welding is normally a foundation before a welder steps into the world of TIG. Rarely does the TIG process stand alone. There are places that you find the MIG and TIG process alone but those areas do not entail the vast majority.

Some places you may see just the TIG would be the Aero-Space Industry, lightweight bicycles, hospital equipment, dairy production, etc. For the most part, the TIG process will find you in the Petro-Chemical Industry, Chemical Refining, and the Fossil Fuel Industry.

Power plants, refineries, chemical plants and the likes is actually the place that the biggest money is made as well as the pipeline; which used to be downhill stick only and reserved for the welder with the big head and the rig truck he worshipped as a god.

Things have come a long was needless to say.

The welder in general used to have an upper-hand in his craft but not so any more. Most people in these industries look at the welder in general as a cry baby and whiner who is always looking for the ideal conditions in which to perform his operation.

But! The TIG welder is someone that is still in high demand and carries some prestige connected to his ability to be ambidextrous.

The TIG hand can weld stick, MIG, TIG usually whether it is carbon or alloy metals.

The further the welder can move into the realm of the exotic, the more in demand he becomes. The more certifications he can obtain, the more in need he will find himself (or herself).

The bad part about the area of TIG welding that we are talking about at this stage is the different environments that go with this type of welding.

The already mentioned places that usually call for this type of welding are not the most pleasant places to work. These type of environments eventually take a toll upon the body of the individual.

It is not easy to sustain good optimal health in fume and particulate saturated environments. Toxins and poisons are present. Elevated structures with scaffolding enclosed by fire retardant blanket. Noise levels that can and most of the time due require hearing protection.

Come to think about it, the bike factory is becoming more appealing all the the time. LOL!

Actually, a good TIG hand that is respected in his trade can call the shots. He sizes up the fit on pipe and if it isn’t correct he shoots it down, because once he starts welding on it he has taken the responsibility in saying I can make it happen.

A good TIG welder can make a bad fitter look good. Or take a bad fit and turn the fabricators heartburn into Rolaids to the rescue.

An older man that has become well versed in his trade is widely respected by his peers when he becomes known as the TIG daddy, the man, the khaki daddy, etc. There are up and coming young men that are always following in the footsteps of the well accomplished mentor TIG welder.

TIG comes with a few essential items that must be recognized. Clean clothes every morning with starched shirts and a nice skull cap. A bandanna in the back pocket. A bandanna around the neck like a businessman would wear a tie to the office. Fairly new looking gloves that are not your run of the mill leather. TIG welding requires sensitivity in the fingertips and hands.

Most of the time a good TIG hand has cash in his wallet and is on top of his game. The problem we see with that in our economy is that he has to travel a bit more than he would like to keep that going.

The benefit of that is that he will always have a job because of his skills. You see the TIG welder is selling his skill. He doesn’t produce a product so to speak. His arsenal of tools contain his favorite hood or two, small hand tools that are used to accent his skill. Sharp tungsten stored in his tool bag or bucket. Files, die grinders, small wrenches, flapper wheels, emory cloth, filler rod, a coffee thermos (very important), extra gloves and lenses if needed, and possibly some small fit up wedges or flat head screwdrivers.

In our next article we will look at the actual components of his equipment for a further breakdown in lesson TIG 102. Until then, thanks for your time and take care!

Small Business – Improve Your Image, Improve Your Sales – Part 2 Website 101

Small business owners are faced with a dilemma, they know they need a website to attract more business, but they don’t know where to begin. Use this article as a checklist to get help in creating an effective website presence. Note: Over the years we have created a short list of hosting providers that offer the best value to small business owners. We encourage you to visit our website for recommendations on each step of the process.

The first purchase is getting your company domain name. Be sure to purchase the domain name with your company credit card in your own name. Unfortunately too often webmasters will register a domain name in their name and if a relationship with a client goes bad, the client cannot access their domain. So be sure to purchase the domain. In some cases, you can actually get your domain name registration free as part of your hosting package. We recommend hosting services that are less than $ 100/year pre-paid.

Where do you find domain names? It is easy to locate if a domain name is available by conducting a search online. at any hosting service. Look for your company name availability first. For example one of our clients was HB Equipment Company. We looked and the name HB Equipment was already taken, so we chose HBEquipmentCo as the domain name.

As equally important as your domain name is the ability to show your email address as part of your domain as well. So we recommend that you create a couple email addresses – info@yourdomain.com and yourlastname@yourdomain.com This lends credibility ias an organization instead of using a free email account.

Your hosting service is very important because it is the foundation for your website. Starting in mid 2008, we recommend that all small business owners request that their websites are created as blogs. Why? It’s easy… Blogs are very search engine friendly and they are easily updated by the company owner. Once the blog has been created, it is easy for the company owner or administrative assistant to update pages or add new pictures or links. We recommend WordPress blogs because they come in a variety of themes and being open source, they are free. Creating a blog site can be done easily within a few hours, depending upon the complexity of the website content and number of pages.

We recommend the following pages to be included in a typical small business website:

Welcome – a quick overview of your business mission, goals, product and service offerings

Products / Services – a listing of company products and services If there are many, separate these into two pages

Company Brochures – include a capability statement as well as a company flyer for website visitors to download

About Us – a quick overview of your business credentials

Contact Us – use a form to collect feedback and questions from website visitors

Other nice items to consider on your company website that will make it stand out:

– Company logo

– Audio introduction

– Photos of work sites or products

– Photo of the owner

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Internet Marketing Basics 101 – Immediate Action Needed to Make Money Online

These days, you need not look any further than the internet, if you are interested in a change of employment or looking for some extra cash. More and more people are looking to the world wide web to fulfill their dreams. Internet marketing is the latest hot employment opportunity and getting in has never been easier. Find out what you need to do to get your foot in the door making money as an internet marketer.

Before you can do anything else, you need a product or service to offer that has a need by a customer base. Choosing wisely will create a steady stream of traffic that want to buy from you. Finding a quality niche can take time. Investigate what customers want by seeing what they are already buying and talking about. Your best bets for getting niche ideas is to visit amazon.com, ebay.com or magazines.com to see what they are buying. You can also go to the many forums and discussion groups, and see what topics users are discussing.

With a niche in mind, the next step is to create a home for your online business. There are many options when you create a web presence; here are a few:

Build a web page from scratch with your own domain name
Create a blog at Blogger.com
Design a informational site at Squidoo.com or Hubpages.com
Host your niche at WordPress.com

All of the above are free with the exception of the costs of a domain and hosting. It is a good idea to make use of a combination of these sites with links from one to the next, each site its own creative entity.

The last, and most important action you need to take is building traffic. Your site is beautifully hosted on your own domain, but without the traffic, you have wasted your time. If no one knows about your site, they are not going to visit it. Here are some suggestions you can use to build traffic to your niche.

Submit your web site to search engines
Submit a press release
Announce your site at Digg.com, and other social bookmarking sites
Ping your blog at pingmyblog.com
Submit valuable posts in forums and discussion groups
Write articles related to your niche and post at the many article directories, including EzineArticles.com
If you have money to spend (and burn) make use of AdWords to bring pay-per-click traffic to your site.

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Real Estate Blogs 101

Blogs used to just be a place for people to host online diaries and share their personal misadventures with the world. Now however, blogging has transformed into an online marketing powerhouse for real estate agents and other business professionals.

In addition to your conventional real estate web site, starting a blog will help you capitalize on search engine rankings, back links, and lead conversion. A blog can get your name out there, and allow readers to get to know you in a way that isn’t possible through a standard web site. And unlike more traditional advertising methods like bus banners and newsletters, blogs are always evolving, attracting new visitors every day.

If you’re totally new to blogging, you’ll want to know some of the jargon associated with the blogosphere (world of blogs). Here are a few key terms to know:

Blog – at its most basic level, a blog is an online journal. Entries are reversed chronologically so users always see the most recent post at the top. Some people have personal blogs where they share family photos and neighborhood gossip, while others create blogs that promote their businesses.

Blog Host – the provider that hosts your blog space on their server. There are a variety of providers out there, including free and for-cost services.

Trackback – this tool tells you when another blogger has referred to a post of yours on their site.

Pingback – like Trackback, pings notify bloggers when someone links to or talks about their entries.

RSS (Really Simple Syndication) – this allows users to be notified every time you add new content to your blog. This is where you get a lot of your readership from, as users subscribe to your blog postings.

Permalink – this is a permanent link that goes to a particular blog entry. A permalink allows other bloggers to link to specific blog posts of yours without worrying about the URL expiring (link rot).

With the lingo under your belt, you’re ready to come up with a plan for your blog. For real estate agents, it’s actually quite easy to decide on a theme for your blog. You want to focus on your area of service, and the realty market within it. This gives you some flexibility in terms of content, as you can write about anything from community events and tourist attractions to new condo developments and market stats. Allow yourself to be creative and informative, and have fun posting.

Deciding which blog host provider to go with can be a daunting task. There are so many companies and a wide range of plug-ins and special features compatible with each one. The best option is to have a blog built right into your web site so that the design elements and branding are all consistent. It also makes it easy for users to explore the rest of your site, and contact you for an appointment.

If you’re not able to have a built-in blog, you can get a blog hosted by a company like Blogger, WordPress, or TypePad. When choosing a provider, you need to decide how much you want to pay for your blog service.

Going with a free blog provider is a great way to begin blogging. Blogger for instance has a very user-friendly interface, and makes it simple for anyone to start posting pictures and text. If you’re not tech-savvy, this may be the best way to get your feet wet. Once you get comfortable blogging, you can upgrade to a paid service.

Why pay for a blog when you can get one for free? Paid hosting gives you much more control over your blog. If you know some html, you can customize your blog to make it truly representative of you. You can also have your own domain name, which looks more professional than the address you receive through a free provider.

Regardless of which option you choose, there are numerous tutorials available online, both in text and video format that will guide through the set-up and customization of your blog. Going through a tutorial can save you a lot of time and frustration when you’re just starting out, and they can also point you in the direction of some of the fun features like changing design elements and color schemes.

When you create your blog, make sure you pick the right title. Search engines place a lot of weight on blog titles, so put your most important keywords in there. In your blog posts, you should also add keywords to optimize the content, but do so with restraint. Your blog should first and foremost be readable. If you keyword stuff or put in too much self promotion, your readers (and potential clients) will head for the door.

Traffic Booster 101

Hello again,

Today I would like to talk about traffic – to your website, not the kind with exhaust fumes. Are you getting enough? If not, here are the ultimate traffic tips to get you more web traffic every day. Most are free, which is the way we like it, right? I thought so…

Getting targeted traffic to your website is somewhat of a mystery to many, but it doesn’t have to be. There are many ways that people can find you on the web, mostly from search engines – but how do you get “found” in a search engine? Here are the main ones:

1) Search engine traffic (Google, Yahoo, MSN, Ask, etc)
2) Finding articles in Ezine sites
3) Forums that contain links
4) Advertisements such as banner ads
5) Word of mouth

So what must you do to get your web address in front of people? If you want the “free” kind of traffic (I say free in quotes because nothing is really free, you still have to work for it!) you must do your homework. First of all, try writing articles that pertain to your website subject, and always, always, put in as many keywords as you can comfortably fit into them! Not every other sentence, of course, the article must make sense. If it doesn’t, and you stuff too many keywords into the article, you may be banned temporarily. Don’t do that. What advantage does this provide? Well for one, in most ezine sites you have what’s called a “sig file”, short for signature file. This contains a brief bio of yourself, and a place to put your website address. Always use a text link with keywords to display your website, this will get you some powerful back links! Back links are the objective here; they will boost your SEO performance and get you more targeted traffic than almost anything else.

Other ways to get free traffic include writing comments in other peoples forums and blogs. Many blogs actually encourage you to put comments that are relevant to the conversation or blog post, and when you do make sure you include a link to your site. Most bloggers understand this as a friendly “you help me, I’ll help you”, a way to pay you back for posting a thoughtful response in the blog. Of course, make sure it is a well thought out comment, not just a “hey, good post!”.

One of the best new ways to get traffic is to use social networking, I’m sure you are either involved in or at least heard of Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, and a host of other sites that allow you to setup a profile and post content on their sites and/or communicate with others. This is a perfect chance to network with others and let them know about your site, especially if you have some good content you wish to share with others! And don’t forget the social bookmarking sites also, such as Digg, StumbleUpon, Reddit, Technorati, Propeller, Backflip, and others. They can allow you to bookmark your new content on your site and get hundreds of visitors in no time!

Do you have a blog? If not, you must start one pronto! This is another way to get free traffic if you can keep writing interesting content every few days. And why stop at one? You can have multiple blogs, there are plenty of free ones out there. Just go to Google and type in “create blog” and see what you get, I’m seeing quite a few (million) as of this writing. Some of the best are Blogger.com (owned by Google, so it gets great page rank and trust right away), LiveJournal.com, WordPress.com, Weebly.com, and many, many others. Get creative! Start a few and trade off writing in a different blog each day, and make it a habit. Of course put as many links in each blog using keywords that are relevant to your site, and you will get traffic!

Don’t forget other free sites like Squidoo.com, Hubpages.com, Webon.com, Gather.com and others that allow you to setup a free site which you can do pretty much what you want with! Of course within reason, but putting some content up and getting massive text links on a bunch of free sites is like money in the bank, my friend! You will get some sweet back links, which will lead to more traffic, which will lead to more cash in your account. Again, be creative, find out what others are doing to generate more traffic, and keep up with the “big dogs”. Pretty soon you will be one of them!

Article Marketing 101 – A Primer on Article Marketing

Why is article marketing unique? What sets it apart from other online marketing strategies? First, let us define what it actually is.

Basically, marketing with articles is the circulation of content that typically links to a moneymaking landing page or sales page. Writing and turning in your articles to numerous directories is the conventional way of doing this. Today, a number of different ways to help you submit your pieces much more conveniently have been introduced.

First, instead of submitting your item to a directory and waiting for the publisher to pick it up, you may opt to do away with the middleman and contact the publisher directly. Ask him or her what kind of articles their directory is looking for and write some on that particular topic. This is a surefire way to get your pieces published.

A second method to have your articles published is to post them on blogs or hub pages. WordPress and Blogger are some examples of such online blogs where you can publish your writing. Some sites have built-in SEO functionality, which is definitely an advantage. Hub pages and Squidoo are examples of these sites.

Unknown to many, forums and sites like Yahoo! Answers are great places to do some unconventional article marketing. Write short replies to other people’s posts and then include a link to your site or sales page where they can find more information about the solution you have suggested.

Lastly, micro-blogs, such as Twitter, can also be used for your marketing purposes. Here, you’ll find multitudes of distinctive networking opportunities.

Article marketing is special because there are a variety of ways to go about it. Find one technique (or maybe several) that you’re comfortable with and begin your internet marketing ventures!

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Bridal Roses 101

Roses are one of the favorite flowers for weddings. They have a classic appeal and a year round availability that makes them a wonderful option for many different types of weddings. If you are not familiar with the various types of roses that are available, this handy primer will soon have you feeling like an expert.

There are some misconceptions about roses. Many people think that roses are always going to look stuffy or too formal; some brides think that because they are so popular, roses cannot be used to create unique or original floral displays. They think that roses are only appropriate for brides who are wearing elaborate custom bridal gowns with traditional bridal jewelry. In fact, these things are not true. Because roses are grown in such an incredible array of varieties, you will be able to find roses that are more relaxed or have a quirkier charm than you ever might have expected.

The most commonly used type of rose is the hybrid. These are the roses that probably spring to mind when you picture a rose, with their petals arranged in concentric circles with a higher center and a long stem. Classic hybrid roses are the ones that you are most likely to see in the florist’s display case. They are particularly popular for weddings thanks to their hardy nature and year round availability. Many of the most classic wedding roses, such as the rich red Black Magic or the lovely white Bianca, are hybrid tea roses.

The hybrid rose is an ideal choice for a bride who loves roses precisely because of their classic style and grace. A round bouquet of a single color and type of rose would be the prefect complement to a wedding gown with a full skirt and pearl custom bridal jewelry. Hybrid roses also look fabulous in combination with flowers such as lisyanthus and hydrangeas.

If you love flowers like lush peonies, then you will adore the large full look of garden roses. These roses are generally bigger than hybrid teas and have an incredible plucked from the garden look, often with a heady scent to accompany it. These roses are gorgeous for centerpieces that are overflowing from garden urns, and work wonderfully with loose and trailing greens. If you are designing a wedding with a romantic English garden flavor, garden roses would be perfect. Garden roses do have some limitations, however; they are more expensive and fragile than hybrid roses, and they are not available in the winter.

This brings us to the spray rose. Spray roses are flowers that grow in clusters of four or five, rather than a single blossom on one long stem such as the hybrid roses have. Spray roses combine beautifully with hybrid or garden roses to add texture and interest to a rose-based bouquet. They are often paired with hybrid or garden roses in the same color. Since they have several blooms on every stem, spray roses are a very popular addition to floral arrangements when you want to quickly add more fullness. They are available in virtually any color, making them even more versatile.

Finally, there are the miniature roses, which just as their name suggests, are small roses. As with the spray roses, mini roses are a wonderful addition to a hybrid rose bouquet or centerpiece. Their petite size adds a nice contrast in scale that will make your displays more interesting. Mini roses are also very sweet for boutonierres and make adorable bouquets for flower girls.

The beauty and availability of roses has made them the gold standard for wedding flowers. From the classic hybrid, the lush garden, the versatile spray, to the darling mini rose, there is a type that will have just the look that you want. Whatever season and whatever your style, there will be a rose that is just perfect for your wedding.

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