Why Would I Use Ping.FM and What’s a Microblog Anyway?

Ping.FM and microblogging is a new way to easily promote your online business. To understand these two concepts and how they relate to your online business let’s provide you with an overview of each and how they work together to make some of your online business social networking tasks a lot easier and faster.

Blogs and Microblogging

A blog is website that you set up for the purpose of offering high quality content that is useful to your readers. Each blog post usually consists of anywhere from 250- 400 words of information that is related to your area of expertise.

Microblogging is a more recent form of blogging that allows users to receive information and updates in 140 characters or less. The information is related to a blog or group and is received by any device that is connected to the Internet. Microblogging can also be accomplished through text messages on mobile devices which are uploaded to a microblogging service such as Twitter and then distributed to the members of the specific groups.

Microblogging is used as a social tool for casual users but it is also a powerful tool for keeping in touch with your business prospects that follow the information and content related to your online business. Microblogging also helps to increase your website traffic when you use it to provide updates and “teasers” to new information you have posted that is useful to your readers.

Pinging and Ping.FM

When you run a blog that offers content that is related to the topic of your business there is a technique that is used which is called “pinging.” Although pinging is something that is also used in computer repair, it is also a technique that is used in blogging to announce when you have added to posts to your blog.

A ping is an application that is sent to a ping server which provides a list of blogs that contain new material. When you ping your blog you are notifying the ping server or blog search engine that your blog has been updated. Although pinging sounds complicated it is actually quite easy and can easily be set up in your blog configuration to work automatically whenever you create a new blog post.

With that said, Ping.FM is a free pinging tool for microblogging which enables you to post to more than one social network at the same time. Without using Ping.FM it would be necessary to log into all of your social media accounts in order to distribute the same message to different groups over the Internet. Instead, you can enter one message into Ping.FM and it will automatically be distributed to a number of different social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter.

Benefits of Ping.FM

Ping.FM also has a number of other benefits that will save you time with online business social networking tasks. Ping.FM is capable of providing multiple listings for your blog title which is a handy little tool for submitting to Google. Since you never know which site will receive the highest ranking from Google you can submit multiple titles for all of your blogs and microblogs instead of spending the time to tweak each individual site to see which one Google will provide with high rankings.

You can also use Ping.FM to shorten a URL instead of using a long website URL. This saves you time and prevents you from having to visit website URL shortening sites such as Tiny URL or bit.ly. Bloggers often use shortened URLs near the beginning of their blog posts so they appear in the RSS feeds and receive more clicks.

So as you can see, using Ping.FM and microblogging can significantly enhance your online business and increase traffic to your blog or website in addition to saving you time with your social networking tasks. Ping.FM will also prevent you from abandoning the option of social networking because it can be so time consuming. Once you have everything set up, the time it takes to distribute a new post is only a matter of minutes and then you can spend your time on other important aspects of growing your online business.

Respectfully Dedicated To Your Success!

Derek Bayer

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Digg: Just a Bookmark?

If you are starting an online business you may want to check out the social networking site called Digg.  Digg is more than just a social bookmarking site and if you play your cards right it can potentially send 150,000 visitors to your website or blog within a very short period of time in addition to building a strong network of clients.

To participate in Digg you have become a member of the community just as you would on other social networking sites.  It also requires an investment of your time if you are going to become a respected community member and win the trust and confidence of other people in the Digg community.

How Digg Works

In addition to using Digg as a social bookmarking site you can also submit articles to Digg that are related to your area of expertise.  The website is moderated and if the other users of the site like your content they will simply vote on it and Digg it.  The more people you have that Digg your article the higher the rankings it will receive.

You can set up an account with Digg for free and set up a professional profile as you would on other social networking sites.  It is best to begin by getting involved with the Digg community and networking with others that share the same interests as you.  Take the time to get to know the community and when you are ready to share your expertise you simply click on “Submit a Story” and share what you have to offer.

If you succeed in writing an article that people really Digg a lot, the article will make its way to the home page of Digg which will generate a significant amount of traffic to your blog or website within a relatively short period of time.  This is known on Digg as the “Digg Effect” and is the highest compliment you can receive on the site.

You can also submit articles by using a Digg Bookmarklet which is a link that you can place on the toolbar of your browser which provides an easy way for you to submit your content to the Digg website.  As an added tip, make sure that you Digg the posts from the top 100 users and posts that other users submit, add them as friends, and support what they do.  In return this will help you to receive Diggs when you submit articles and new posts.

Digg and Networking

Just like other social networking sites you can also develop a community of followers that will help to spread the word about your brand and you can communicate with your network of friends by commenting on content that they have to offer.  This process is known as offering “shouts.”  This is always a good idea since the idea is to network with others and to acknowledge what they have to offer otherwise, you could potentially get a reputation for using Digg for your own self serving reasons.

If you own a website you can also keep in touch with the Digg community by placing a Digg button on your website.  When the latest posts and news are placed on Digg they will automatically appear on your website.  The Digg button also provides your visitors with a way to Digg your most recent posts.

Mind Your Manners

Just like other social networking sites it is important for you to become familiar with how the site works and how the community interacts before you can expect others to create a buzz about your brand and area of expertise.  If you invest the time to get to know others in the community you will reap the rewards that come with caring about what others have to offer.

Respectfully Dedicated To Your Success!!

Derek Bayer

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Best Free Google Tools to Build Your Online Business

When you are looking at starting an online business versus a brick and mortar business you will find that the cost of starting an online business does not even come close to the funds you would need for a business offline. We previously discussed the benefits of starting an online business on this website and low cost was one of these benefits.

Well, to add to our comments about cost effectiveness for starting an online business there are many free tools that you can use to launch and maintain your business. When you think of free sometimes you think of “cheesy” quality however, just the opposite is true with a lot of the tools that are available for free.

There is no doubt that there are some really cheap tools that really do not help your business but there is also some really valuable tools you can use for your business that are free of charge. In fact, some of these tools are so impressive it is hard to believe they are free. Some of these impressive tools are offered by Google and all it costs you is your time to set up a free account with Google. Here is an overview of just a few of the great tools that Google offers for running your online business.

Google Analytics

Google Analytics is a free tool that allows you to keep track of your website statistics in one easy to use dashboard. The tool is capable of tracking the traffic to your website, where its comes from, how your visitor’s arrived at your site, the page where your visitors entered your site, the keywords they used to find you, the path that they follow when they visit your site, and much more.

Without a doubt this tool provides you with some very valuable information for improving and growing your business. It helps you get to know the patterns of your website visitors so you know how to fix any leaks in your website where visitors are leaving. It also provides you with the knowledge you need to grow and improve your online business.

If you use pay per click advertising for driving targeted traffic to your website Google Analytics provides a comprehensive analysis of all of your pay per click advertising campaigns so you can test and tweak to optimize the campaign and make the most of your advertising dollars.

Google Alerts

If you have a Google account you can opt to receive the latest information on your industry and area of expertise. All you do is choose the information you want to receive and Google will automatically alert you with the latest information that pertains to your online business or other topics of interest. No more spending time searching for the latest news on your area of business.

Google Keyword Tool External

This is a free keyword tool that you can use to obtain valuable information on the types of keywords and keyword phrases that people are using to search for your product or service. The tool will also provide suggestions for other keywords that you may not have thought of that people use to search for your product or service.

Google Keyword tool allows you to see the number of people that are searching with specific keywords on a monthly basis as well as the level of competition for bidding on those keywords for AdWords campaigns. The tool also contains a convenient feature that allows you to import keywords into a spreadsheet program such as Excel for further analysis.

Google Friend Connect

On this website, we have discussed the importance of including a social networking strategy in your business and marketing plan. Google Friend Connect can help you to build social networks for your online business by offering an arsenal of free widgets to help you conduct polls, offer buttons on your site that allow your prospects to quickly share your information, receive ratings, allow questions and answers, and much more. The tool can be used with your website or blog to help you to begin to build an entire social networking community for your business.

These are only a few of the free tools that Google offers for running your online business. They are easy to use yet quite sophisticated when it comes to the number of capabilities in each program. And I should also mention that all of the free tools that are offered by Google are accessible by simply signing up with one account. You do not need multiple accounts for each application.

Respectfully Dedicated To Your Success!!

Derek Bayer


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The Convenience of Using Skype in Your Online Business

If you are looking to cut the costs on your business overhead there is a service available online called Skype that will help you to drastically reduce your telephone bills while adding convenience to the way you conduct online business on a daily basis.

If you are not already familiar with Skype it is an online service that allows you to make calls over the Internet which is also known as VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol). Skype is a really nifty service that offers free calls to anyone in the world that has a Skype account and allows you to make calls to landlines and cell phones for a very low monthly fee.

Skype offers a series of different types of plans which are both free and paid depending upon the type of services you choose. For as little as $9.99 per month for the basic plan you can make unlimited calls anywhere in the world and to any type of phone completely over the Internet.

How Skype Works

You can use Skype with any computer that has access to a high speed Internet connection as long as the computer is equipped with a microphone or you have a headset that is equipped with a mouthpiece. If you do not have this equipment you can pick up a headset for as little $20.00 and plug it into the USB port of your PC and you are instantly up and running.

If you want to ditch your landline phone and make all calls through Skype, no problem. Simply get involved with the SkypeIn service and you can register your own cell phone number and when your clients call that number you can pick it up over your PC through Skype. Heck…. you can even make calls via a USB Skype Mouse which allows you to make calls over your PC. This cool device comes equipped with a keypad and mini LCD screen to display your contact list and the caller ID feature.

And that’s not all! For just a little more than $9.99 each month you can make unlimited calls worldwide as well as choose your own phone number which your prospects can call and you can answer on your own computer. It’s awesome!

You can also configure Skype so the calls can be forwarded to your cell phone or your landline phone if you prefer. You can also enjoy added services such as caller ID, voice mail, and chatting face to face if your computer is equipped with a Web cam.

Another nice part about Skype is that if you own a little netbook with a Web cam or even a regular size laptop, you can talk on the phone at any time and any place as long as you have high speed Internet access. With all of the public access points becoming available this is super convenient to use without the high priced phone bill.

What About Call Quality?

A lot of people that are thinking about using Skype ask this question. The good news is the sound quality of Skype calls completely surpasses a landline phone and most cell phones. As long as you have a high speed Internet connection the sound quality is extremely clear even halfway across the world. What’s also nice about the quality is you can adjust the volume of the call to a level you desire which is often not the case with a landline or cell phone.

Skype is a “No Brainer”

If you take the time to look at all of the great things that Skype has to offer it appears to be a “no brainer” when it comes to cutting the costs of your telephone bill and reducing business overhead. It is jammed with great features that offer more than a conventional landline and what’s more is it allows you flexibility and mobility in one easy to use interface.

Respectfully Dedicated To Your Success!

Derek Bayer


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Twitter, The Power Is In the Ability to Integrate & Automate

If you have never used Twitter for your online business you will be surprised to find that there is a lot of power behind 140 character messages. The problem is if you run an online business Twitter can be quite time consuming when you use it to tweet on a daily basis. Also when you use Twitter to keep in touch with your followers it can be time consuming to set up all of your tweets in a manner that does not overwhelm your followers with endless tweets.

The good news is if you know how to effectively integrate Twitter into your online business activity and automate some of the tasks you can enjoy all of the benefits that Twitter has to offer without spending hours and hours of time organizing all of your tweets and other information.

Integrating Twitter with Your Website

If you are trying to integrate Twitter with your website there is a wide variety of Twitter widgets that are designed to be used with any website or blog. Let’s take a look at what a few of the Twitter widgets are and how they can be integrated into your website or blog.

§ Twitter Tools: This is a nifty Twitter widget that allows you to easily integrate Twitter into your blog. It acts as a plugin to WordPress, the popular open source blogging software that many bloggers use and allows you to create a blog post that offers further in depth information that is related to your 140 character tweet message. You can use this tool to automatically create a link to your blog post and also to announce whenever you have added a new post to your blog.

§ Twitter Sidebar: Twitter sidebar allows you to keep up with your Twitter conversations and your website activity right from your browser or your PC’s desktop. You can quickly send messages, read messages, share links, and create announcements about blog posts all from one easy location.

§ Twitter Buttons: With Twitter buttons you can promote your Twitter account through an easy to use icon that is inserted into your website with ready made HTML so you do not even have to have any knowledge of HTML. Twitter allows you to choose from a variety of different size buttons that will suit the design of your website. The buttons encourage your visitors to follow you on Twitter.

§ Tweet Suite: This is another really cool Twitter widget that allows you to easily locate all of the tweets that are related to a specific page of your website or blog post. It also contains features that you can easily use to “retweet” and “tweet this” with a simple click of a button.

These are only a few of the Twitter widgets that you can use to integrate Twitter into your online business. If you research Twitter tools and widgets you can find a host of other widgets that will help you to save time and easily integrate Twitter into your daily routine.

Automating Twitter

Twitter is only an effective social networking tool if you commit to using it on a regular basis and as your business grows, so will the time it takes to use Twitter to keep in touch with your list of followers. There are many online tools that will help you automate your tasks for Twitter and one of those tools is called HootSuite.

HootSuite is a dashboard tool that allows you to automate all of your Twitter tasks. HootSuite allows you to manage all of your Twitter tasks and if you have more than one Twitter account it can be an extremely useful tool and time saver. All you have to do is log into the HootSuite website, set up a free account, and then you will be walked through adding your Twitter profiles. Once you configure the dashboard you can simply create all of your tweets and then set them up for distribution at scheduled times and you are done.

So if you are thinking that social networking is going to be too time consuming may it help you to know there are free tools that are readily available for helping you to easily establish an online presence in social networking. Social networking is part of Web 2.0 method of communicating and has started a new wave of the way we promote online business, so it is best to get on board now and learn how to use these tools because you will be using these tools for many years to come as your online business grows.

Respectfully Dedicated To Your Success!

Derek Bayer


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The Power of Automated Tools for Your Online Business

“Where does he get those toys?” — this is a quote by Joker from the movie, Batman, that applies to the magic of utilizing automated tools to make running your online business a whole lot easier and making you the envy of your competition!

Automated tools are online tools that will run your online business when you are away from your computer and even while you are sleeping. I know, if it sounds too good to be true it probably is….right? Well, not really when it comes to using automated tools.

Depending upon the type of tools you are using sometimes costs can be a drawback but when you discover what some of these tools do you realize that the investment is well worth its weight in gold because it leaves you more time to expand and grow your online business. Let’s take a look at what some of the automated tools are and how they can save you hours and hours of time so you can concentrate on other aspects of your online business.

Autoresponders
When you establish an online business one of the important aspects is creating what is called an opt-in list. This is a list of subscribers that opt to join your mailing list so you can develop a rapport with them and build a trusting relationship. As your online business grows so does your mailing list which requires more and more time to maintain it and keep in touch with everyone.

By using an autoresponder service you can automatically keep in touch with your mailing list by automating tasks such as sending out your newsletter, updating your prospects on the newest developments with your business, offering useful high quality information and much more.

The only time you invest is in setting up the autoresponders by loading your content into the software and then setting the time for distribution. You can also use autoresponders to distribute information on demand.

For example, if you post to a blog with information related to something you offer on an autoresponder, people can simply click on your autoresponder address at the end of the post and the information is automatically sent to their email address within minutes. Think of all the time this will save you once your business starts to take off.

List Management

As your mailing list grows it could take you hours and hours just to do the administrative tasks that are associated with list management. This includes management of “subscribes” and “unsubscribes” as well as questions and concerns and other tasks related to customer service. There is a host of different software available online to help you manage and automate these tasks. The only time investment is setting up the software and configuring it to do the individual tasks that your business requires.

Ecommerce Software

With the growth of online businesses ecommerce software has gotten quite sophisticated and performs a wide variety of automated tasks that are associated with purchases, returns, billing, invoices, sales tracking, payment processing, and all of the other tasks that are usually performed by an employee in the back office of the business. There are many high quality ecommerce platforms that are capable of automating all of these tasks and keeping everything organized so when you want to review it you simply print out a report.

If you are a small business and have an information product you are selling as a download, services such as PayPal can have you up and running within minutes selling your product. The services provide easy configuration for setting up online payment with a link to your information product.

You simply establish a free account and set up payment processing in a few easy steps. When the customer purchases your product they pay for it through the service and download your product. When you open up your email you have money. It’s that simple and saves hours of time processing transactions.

Analytics Tools

There are a lot of analytics tools that are free just for the asking and they perform a lot of sophisticated functions that would otherwise take a business owner hours to complete. Many of the analytics tools are capable of automatically tracking traffic patterns on your website, ad campaigns, where the weaknesses and strengths are in your website, how your traffic got to your site and the terms they used to search, sales conversions, keyword tracking, and ad performance, just to name a few things.

If you had to start from scratch it would take you forever to try and gather all of this data and without testing you have no barometer to measure the results of your business goals and objectives.

These are only a few of the many automated tools you can use to run your business without having to invest hours of work. So when the Joker said “Where does he get those toys?” now you have an idea of the where to find them and the power that they can bring to the success of your online business.

Respectfully Dedicated To Your Success!

Derek Bayer


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