Blog Overload: Who Has Time to Read it All?

Blog Overload: Who Has Time to Read it All?

There is no question that the blogosphere is growing.  According to webdesignerdepot “WordPress has statistics for both WordPress.com (15.1 million blogs and counting) and self-hosted WordPress installations (17.4 million active installations), which gives part of the picture. There are more than 10 million tumblogs on Tumblr. Blogger doesn’t offer any public statistics on how many blogs they host. Technorati is currently tracking more than 1.2 million blogs. And there are likely millions of other blogs out there hosted on other services like Movable Type, TypePad, Expression Engine, and other CMSs.”

There is no shortage of blog search engines to find blogs that contain information of interest. There are also lots of articles by sites like Forbes and others who occasionally list their idea of top blogging sites.  Google and Google News features can be incorporated into an iGoogle page, and can be another way to keep up with topics to follow.

With all of this information out there, who has time to read it all?  Bloggers know it can be good form to make comments on others’ blogs.  However, finding the time to not only read these blogs but formulate insightful comments may be difficult. Even if people find a good blog to follow and subscribe to their RSS feed, as sites continue to be added to the feed, the feed reader may have more information than people have time to visit.

There has been speculation about when blogging popularity will die down.  The latest discussion is whether Facebook will replace blogging and company websites.  Cnet reported, “Even if Facebook doesn’t somehow supplant lots of Web sites, though, there’s no denying the social network is becoming more important to marketing, and it’s adapting to the idea.

 

How to Market You or Your Product Using Social Media

Today’s Ask Dr. Diane: I just wrote a book that is available through Amazon.  I’m just not sure about the best way to market it?  Any suggestions?
 
That is a good question.  The tips I’m about to give can also be used to market things other than a book. 
 
You could market it through several ways.  I would create a link to it on your site like I have links on my main website to Amazon.  If you don’t want to do that, you could offer it directly from you as a PDF through your site and charge them using PayPal
 
You might want to make a video (3-4 minutes at most) and put it on Youtube.  At the end of the video make mention of a free offer or newsletter and where to go for more information.  If they go to that site, it should be a capture page to get people signed up  to receive free newsletters (through a site like aweber.com) to get them interested in you and your book. 
 
You definitely need to be on Facebook and create fan pages like the ones I have for each of my books there.  See:
 
 
I would be on Twitter as well.  You can tie all of your Facebook, Twitter, WordPress, etc. accounts into one area on sites like Hootsuite . . . but I like to use Posterous a lot. It is like a blog but it has a great share information toolbar that you can get that and it also allows you to share your updates on multiple sites like Hootsuite does. 
 
If you want to learn about social networking and “how to do it” . . .for a reasonable price you can go to  Letsgetsocial and sign up to get their videos.  I watched them and they are really very informative.  They are designed to teach people how to be media managers but people who don’t want to do the job of media management can learn how to do their own media management from them. 
 
I gave a presentation yesterday to a local group here where others were presenting to career-seekers … they all agreed that Youtube is one of the biggest things you can do to get noticed. 
 
I watched a video a while back on Pitchengine.com about videos and they had some good information.  They are more costly though. You might watch their video for information.  If you are going to spend that kind of money, you need to have a major product to promote.  Books probably won’t have the return to support that. 
 
Talks are another great way to promote your book . . . so are radio interviews.   You can go to radioguestlist.com or other sites like that to find people looking to interview you.
 
Blogging is one of the best ways to get your name out there.   I like to use WordPress because it is free and uncomplicated. 
 
You can also release press releases on prweb or other such sites.  I am on wooeb who also has press releases that are not as expensive.  You can send out free releases on pitchengine.
 
You might check out some books . . . .I liked a book called Career Renegade . . . had some good ideas.  (on a different side topic . . .I liked the book The Happiness Advantage written by ex Harvard professor – very entertaining)

WordPress To Introduce New Stats Features For Authors

 

Many blogs on WordPress are large enough that they have several authors writing for them.  Wouldn’t it be nice to see which author is bringing in the most views?  Well now you can. 

According to TimesoftheInternet.com, “Now, WordPress is introducing a stats feature which will allow the admin to see which posts are profitable and which authors are bringing in the most profit. This way, they can ask their authors to change their styles to bring in more profit for the site. This is one feature that is very useful for WordPress blog admins. They can easily manage their top authors from their dashboard and make necessary changes.This feature should be available very soon, probably in the next beta release of WordPress.  So if you’re running a WordPress blog, you could make good use of this feature which will help you manage your site authors.”

Authority Pro: Promises More Than the Typical WordPress Theme Engine

 Authority Pro Review - WordPress Squeeze Page Plugin

 

Authority Pro has positioned itself as a theme engine unlike any other currently available for WordPress.  The intent of the engine is to maximize the ability to have content delivered as needed and to drive conversations.  They offer 24 customizable widgets to increase functionality.

I’ve been reading some reviews of Authority Pro since it debuts today.  

Promotedprofits.com stated, “The promise of Authority Pro is this: you get targeted traffic, and it’ll work to get you the very best conversions possible, on as many of your pages and posts as possible.  It can continuously split-test for you, so that you’re always finding better and more profitable ways of configuring your site. If you have low levels of traffic, Authority Pro might be critical for you, as you need to really maximize the ROI of each visitor that comes to your site.  If you get moderate to high levels of traffic, then it’s obvious that you have a lot to gain from Authority Pro.”  

Netmarketingcourse.net lists the following capabilities as part of Authority Pro:

  • Video Fake Out
  • Google Analytics
  • Google Website Optimizer (split testing)
  • Built In Squeeze Page Graphics
  • Multiple Squeeze Page Templates
  • Aweber & Get Response Intagration
  • Custom Exit Page Redirect
  • Custom CSS Coding

James Morgan at Articlebase.com claims he was skeptical about this product due to all of the hype, but found the product to be much more than a theme.  He stated, “It comes pre-installed with a bunch of different squeeze page templates that make your sites indistinguishable from the ones the pros spend thousands and thousands of dollars testing.”

They are offering this product for $97 and you can get it by clicking here.

If anyone has used this and wants to fill me in on their experience, I’d love to hear about it.

5 Useful Sites For Help With WordPress

Collection of WordPress statistics:  http://en.wordpress.com/stats/

WordPress TV visual resources for all things WordPress: http://wordpress.tv/

Video press – Upload and share videos on WordPress – converts your video into multiple formats:  http://videopress.com/?ref=wpcom

WordPress beginners guide: http://www.wpbeginner.com/category/beginners-guide/

How to create a slide show in WordPress: http://wordpress.tv/2010/04/14/using-slideshows-on-wordpress-com/

WordPress Channels Tumblr with Subscriptions

How Subscriptions Work

Let’s say you’re reading a blog on WordPress.com that you really enjoy — so much so you want to be notified when new posts are published so you remember to read them. You can subscribe to this blog really easily by using the “Subscribe” menu in the admin bar. By going up to your admin bar, and clicking “Subscribe to blog”, you’ll be instantly subscribed and all current and future posts will be added to the subscriptions tab on your WordPress.com home screen. To read the rest of the article go to: via WordPress Channels Tumblr with Subscriptions.

To find out more about WordPress  and the new subscription feature by Andy P. at Just Another WordPress Blog click here: http://en.blog.wordpress.com/2010/09/10/introducing-subscriptions/

The Best and Worst Websites

I often teach marketing courses where we discuss the use of websites to promote products.  In one class, I have students compare two different online malls to see their reaction to them.  Without exception, all students prefer one of the sites over the other.  Here are the two sites:  http://www.1mall.com/ and http://virtuallyshopping.com  Can you guess which one they prefer? 

I use certain sites as examples in my courses to show overly busy pages.  I think Godaddy’s site used to be an example of a difficult to navigate site.  However, they have since made some big improvements.   A company may have a great product, but if the average user can’t navigate easily, they may be losing out on business.

I chose my website developer, PS Web Design Studio, because they listened to what I wanted and developed a clean and easy to navigate site.  To see some of their example websites, click here.    Not everyone wants to spend a ton of money to have a site developed.  Many can save money having their site developed using Joomla or other inexpensive applications.  I consider myself pretty tech savvy, but it can help to have the professional touch to add some extra appeal that you may not have considered.  For more information about Joomla, click here.  I also like WordPress for its ease of use and ability to put together a blog with little technical expertise.

For some examples of well-constructed sites check out these links:

http://www.webpractices.com/samplesites.htm

http://sethgodin.com – I tend to like simple sites and Seth Godin’s does everything it needs to do.

http://www.drdaniellebabb.com/ – Dani’s site has a very clean and easy to manage feel. 

https://drdianehamilton.com – I am impartial . . . but I prefer the simple design.

To see some examples of overly busy or poor websites check out these links:

http://www.webpagesthatsuck.com/

http://www.siphawaii.com/

http://www.boogersite.com/boogerSites.cfm

In all of the examples of bad web pages, I think the following one may have my vote for the worst:

 
This may very well be the worst web page of all time.

What is an ePortfolio or Career Portfolio and How Do I Create One?

Today’s Ask Dr. Diane:  When I graduated from high school, I was told to set up a career portfolio.  What is that and how do I do it? 

For a complete explanation for “what is a career portfolio” click here.  The basic definition of a career portfolio is a collection of things that represent your skills and accomplishments.  Like a resume, it contains your education, awards, honors, work experience and strengths. 

There are several ways to develop a career portfolio.  You can find sites where you can pay to upload media you have designed or other things you would like to highlight to potential employers.  There are also a lot of free sites like Linkedin where you can display a lot of your information for others to find you and see your skills and abilities. Many professionals such as educators, journalists, artists and others have used career portfolios for years.  Recently many other types of job-seekers are finding that they want to be able to showcase more of their skills and abilities as well. 

It can take a bit of a time commitment to initially set up your portfolio, but in the end, it will be easier to update and add things once it is prepared. 

Quintcareers.com gives the following examples of things you should include in your portfolio:

  1. Career Summary and Goals: A description of what you stand for (such as work ethic, organizational interests, management philosophy, etc.) and where you see yourself in two to five years.
  2. Professional Philosophy/Mission Statement: A short description of the guiding principles that drive you and give you purpose. Read more in our article, Using a Personal Mission Statement to Chart Your Career Course.
  3. Traditional Resume: A summary of your education, achievements, and work experience, using a chronological or functional format. If you need help developing a resume, visit Quintessential Careers: Fundamentals of a Good Resume.
  4. Scannable/Text-Based Resume: A text-only version of your resume should also be included. More information about this type of resume can be found at: Quintessential Careers: Scannable Resume Fundamentals.
  5. Skills, Abilities and Marketable Qualities: A detailed examination of your skills and experience. This section should include the name of the skill area; the performance or behavior, knowledge, or personal traits that contribute to your success in that skill area; your background and specific experiences that demonstrate your application of the skill.
  6. List of Accomplishments: A detailed listing that highlights the major accomplishments in your career to date. Accomplishments are one of the most important elements of any good job-search. Read more in our article, For Job-Hunting Success: Track and Leverage Your Accomplishments.
  7. Samples of Your Work: A sampling of your best work, including reports, papers, studies, brochures, projects, presentations, etc. Besides print samples, you can also include CD-ROMs, videos, and other multimedia formats.
  8. Research, Publications, Reports: A way to showcase multiple skills, including your written communications abilities. Include any published papers and conference proceedings.
  9. Testimonials and Letters of Recommendations: A collection of any kudos you have received -– from customers, clients, colleagues, past employers, professors, etc. Some experts even suggest including copies of favorable employer evaluations and reviews.
  10. Awards and Honors: A collection of any certificates of awards, honors, and scholarships.
  11. Conference and Workshops: A list of conferences, seminars, and workshops you’ve participated in and/or attended.
  12. Transcripts, Degrees, Licenses, and Certifications: A description of relevant courses, degrees, licenses, and certifications.
  13. Professional Development Activities: A listing of professional associations and conferences attended — and any other professional development activities.
  14. Military records, awards, and badges: A listing of your military service, if applicable.
  15. Volunteering/Community Service: A description of any community service activities, volunteer or pro bono work you have completed, especially as it relates to your career.
  16. References List: A list of three to five people (including full names, titles, addresses, and phone/email) who are willing to speak about your strengths, abilities, and experience. At least one reference should be a former manager. Read more in our article: The Keys to Choosing and Using the Best Job References in Your Job Search.

eHow has a useful article for how to create your online career portfolio for free. 

They also suggest the following tips and warnings:

Tips & Warnings

  • Creating an online portfolio will increase your chance of landing your dream job
  • Always be honest with yourself when displaying your qualifications
  • Give your website address to prospective employers to market yourself
  • Don’t be dishonest because it will backfire!
  • Only give your website to legitimate employers
  • Do not include official transcripts online because it includes your SSN
  • Only give your personal information to only jobs you have applied for
  • Do not include your web portfolio address on your online resume with any online career site such as Monster, Hot Jobs, Vault and Career Path. Read more by clicking here.

The Fox School of Business had an interesting article about how you should spend a moment to Google yourself to see what others might find out about you online.  They reference the following statistics:  44% of hiring managers use google, myspace, and facebook to do online background checks on candidates. Nearly 1/3 of these background checks lead to rejection of a candidate.

Some tips they suggest to create your own online image include:

  1. Join Linkedin.com.  This is a great site that will allow you to create a professional social networking “resume” and allows you the chance to connect to a lot of great contacts.  Your linkedin.com profile will also show up when you google your name.  Use this to your advantage and list all of your strengths, education, and experience using well written short descriptions. 
  2. Start a blog.  Starting a blog is not just for people with uncommon niche interests.  Find a topic you find interesting and is relevant to your professional life and write in it often.  Read other blogs on industry news and comment.  All of these small things will help to create a good social presence for your on the internet. 
  3. Check your Myspace and Facebook profiles.  If there is anything that would give an employer the wrong impression of you, take it down!  Pictures should be professional.  You can stand out from the pack if you use your myspace or facebook page as another tool in your job search strategy.  Not everyone has the attitude of “it’s just a social profile.”  Make sure all privacy settings are enabled so only close friends can see things about you.
  4. For those more web savvy people, start a website or create an online resume.  These can be great additions to your paper resume and you can certainly include a link to your online resume on your paper resume and in any footings or signatures of any emails you send to employers regarding your job search.   You can detail more experiences, share some volunteer experiences and even include pictures, showcase some examples of your work.  Be careful with this though….professionalism is of utmost importance.

A useful student-centered platform for building an eportfolio is available at eportfolio.org.  Once you register, you can set up your portfolio as a student, faculty or institution.  You can then control what goes into your portfolio, who can see it, and can create several versions of it to use based on who you want to view it.  There are fees for this based on how many megabytes of storage you would require. 

In schools, some students are being taught to create web pages using a virtual learning environmental (VLE) that are not as easily accessible outside of the environment in which they are created.  A good alternative for a student who wants a format that is easier to share outside a school environment, would be to get signed up with a free account on Linkedin.  Linkedin has added a lot of features that allows people to showcase more than just work experience.  Users can also import Google Docs presentations, include a WordPress blog, and there are many more options available to update and promote abilities to prospective employers or potential connections.

For an example of a Linkedin portfolio, you can look at mine by clicking here.  To see all of the options I have added to mine, you can send me a request to be linkedin with you.  I accept all invitations.  At that point, you can see how I have incorporated Google Docs, WordPress and other features to display my information.

Bring Traffic to Your Page by Creating Custom Text in Facebook

Mashable.com has a great article you should check out about creating a landing page in Facebook.   If you have an individual page set up for your business on Facebook, I recommend reading their article about promoting that page by clicking here

If you are in Facebook, look up Static FBML in the search bar at the top and add it to your page.  You can simply go into edit your page to add HTML text.  It is like the WordPress widget text box.  In Facebook, it will put a tab on the top of your page and you can put in text just like you would into any HMTL text screen.  I found it very useful to add the icons where they can follow me at other locations such as Twitter, Linkedin, etc.  To see my example page, click here.

WordPress By The Numbers

For complete story click here