Growth of Social Networking Sites

Social networking is the latest fad among the young and old. Social network sites have become a great platform for people of different walks of like to express their views and ideas and meet people with similar interests. There are hundreds of social networking sites on the internet these which have attracted millions of web browsers.

This trend of social networking is quite new. It all began in 1995, when some early networking sites started. One of the first of such sites was Classmates.com. This site was meant to connect old classmates. Another site called SixDegrees.com became very popular in 1997. This site focused on indirect ties among people. This site allowed users to create their profile and they could send messages to other user on their “friends list”. Users were able to interact with members who had similar interests as theirs.

But the real boom in the social networking came after 2004. Many networking sites were launched in this time. One of the today’s most popular networking sites Facebook was launched in February 2004 and it completely changed the face of social networking. The CEO of Facebook Mr. Mark Zuckerberg hit a complete jackpot. He became the youngest self-made billionaire ever at the age of 23. Another couple Michael and Xochi created a website called an extremely successful website called Bebo and sold it AOL for $850 million out of which they got $600 million. n.

The success of Facebook inspired other companies to launch their own social networking sites. In March 2005, Yahoo’s network called Yahoo 360┬║ was launched. In the same year, one of the most successful social networking sites called MySpace was launched.

By the year 2005, MySpace had become extremely popular and it was getting more hits than Facebook which was also growing very fast. The popularity of Facebook increased in 2007 when it allowed add-ons on its website to be used by the members. Other then these, another networking site called Orkut which was launched in 2004 has also become very popular. Right now, there are about 200 networking sites on the net.

The success of social networking lies in the simplicity and convenience they provide for the users. These sites have given the world a whole new way to communicate and share their views, ideas and information. Millions of web surfers log on to these websites everyday and it has almost become a part of their life.

Social networking websites not only give us a window to express our views but they are also being used in the business world to expand the trade. Websites like LinkedIn.com help different professional to connect and interact with each other. LinkedIn.com has approximately 20 million users and the number is growing. These websites also give the entrepreneurs and traders a great place to meet and interact. Many sites are introducing the corporate model in their portals in order to give the companies a place to meet each other.

These websites also help businesses by making individuals interact with each other. You can meet and interact with the experts of different fields and share your ideas and views with them. You can also get their expert advice on various things. You can discuss ideas, projects, share pictures and documents with each other. If you are looking for a new job or an opportunity to get ahead in your career then these sites can make you meet some very important people and companies. This can help you in your career a lot.

Many people these days are earning from these websites also. Most of the networking sites do not charge any fee to sign up. This is because of the fierce competition in the field of social networking and also because it being a new phenomena, most people will not find it essential enough to pay for it. But these sites still earn millions of dollars each year by selling advertising space on the website. This also serves as another reasons to not to charge the members as the website owners want as much traffic on their websites as they can. Increased traffic will mean increased revenue from the advertisement sales.

Many sites have also other means to earn money; for example creating a marketplace on the website where they sell different products or merchandise related to the website. Many professional, goal-oriented website also earn money by selling information about different topics and social connections. One such website is the LinkedIn.com

Another way of earning money through these websites is by selling virtual products like music, skins, avatars etc. Some websites have also linked with some other gaming websites and sell games on their behalf to earn revenue.

But as always, something bad is always attached to something good. Social networking has brought the world closer. It has allowed us to interact with people we don’t even know. It has brought the world closer. And that is where its problem starts. Many frauds, criminals, pedophiles have used these sites as an accomplice in their crimes. There have been many instances when underage kids have fallen pray to the kidnappers and pedophiles through these sites. As we have never met the people we interact on these sites, it is very easy to get fooled by them. It is especially dangerous for small children.

Many a times, people get a little to friendly with their network friend and give away a lot of personal information about their life. This is also very dangerous as there have been instances of identity thefts on the basis of information given on the networking sites. No, we are not saying that all the social networking sites are bad and all the members are there to cheat you. All we are saying is that these websites have a potential danger. You must be aware of them.

But if we measure the benefits and disadvantages of social networking websites, then we will find them to be much more beneficial to the society. These website allow us to express our feelings. They help a community to get united in the face of a threat or problem. Whenever there is a problem in the world, these sites have performed a great role of informing the world about it.

These websites are for the people and by the people. Therefore, there is no scope of whitewashing over some burning issue. This helps the society in more than one way. It not only informs the citizens about the real situation in their country but also encourages them to unite and take action to solve the problems.

Many networking websites encourage their members to use it for the social good. They even help them in collecting charities and give out charity badges to the people who work for a cause. Hence, social network sites are here to stay and will flourish more in the coming years.

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What Are Social Networking Websites?

A social networking sites is a web service, platform, or site that is focused on building and reflecting of social networks or social relations among folks, e.g, who share interests and / or activities. The type of web sites in this category is basically is composed of an illustration of each user ( regularly a profile ), his / her social links, and a selection of extra services. Most social networker web sites are web-based and supply means for users to interact over the web, for example email and instant messaging.

You’ll find that there are lots of different pet social networking sites out there. It is a smart idea for you to look through these and find one that you like. Linked In is a fine example of what is social networking websites. permits users to customise profile pages by entering into such areas as: “About Me” “I’d Like to Meet” “Interests” Videos and flash-based content together with music can be added to private profiles. Socializing in networks isn’t anything new as folk have been meeting buddies through chums in reality for decades. The arrival of the Web, and particularly the Internet, has permitted folks to meet new mates and friends in more different places and in bigger quantities than ever. By simply putting up a profile listing your name, likes, age, location and probably a picture you can meet as many folk as you would like all across the world. Maybe the best answer to what are socializing and networking sites is to cite a couple of the hottest ones. The 1st and originally most well-liked social net community making site was Classmates.com, started in 1995. This site was targeted at getting folk together who had graduated high school, in a reunion format. Rather than being targeted on building new relations, Classmates attempted to replenish old ones. It is a paid service where old classmates could contact one another through e-mail, and keep in contact years after they graduated varsity or school. The size of what is social networking websites has grown stupendously since together with their capability through socially net-working to reach many millions of people, and link them. And the ones that use Facebook will know that’s just one of the various glorious things about it.

Hence what’s the real thing with social networking? The reality is that social net-working concerns folks connecting with folks of the same kind of interests, and sharing info with them. Pre-adolescent youngsters, kids and 20-somethings are examples of the most active users and they certainly do not need telling what is social networking websites, when they’re making new social circles by communicating online with chums, buddies and strangers through assorted social interaction or network building web sites. They just do it and it comes simply to them. However elders must be aware of the potential risks which exist when their kids release private info online. Though the internet sites may differ in the kinds of services they are providing, all of them function as an automobile to bare private info that isn’t otherwise be simply got.

Social interactive network type web sites permit people to form online social communities. To start, people create profiles that describe themselves. People include private info like their contact info, sex, political and non secular principles, relationship standing, and interests. On most social networking sites these profiles also include photographs, videos, and music. People then create connections that they have with other people, connections which are generally based primarily on general interests, backgrounds, and past-times. Connected people can then communicate by public or personal messaging, file-sharing, and conversation boards.

To conclude we have explored what is social networking websites and how they bring unlimited possibilities. How the role of these sites has developed as a medium where old chums meet and new relations are made, in addition has been debated. Today they are so amazingly popular that web businesses consider these sites as the best resource of new ideas as well as prospective buyers.

Whether your goal is to join with buddies and family, find an enchanting match or just meet some new people, any of these sites will assist you in achieving your goal.

All you have got to do is connect.

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What is Social Media? A Guide to Profiting From Social Networking

SM is an umbrella term that encompasses the technologies and the activities that people use to share experiences, ideas and information with each other. The term is still evolving. The term “SOCIAL MEDIA” most often refers to activities that integrate technology, social (or human) interaction, and the construction of words, pictures, videos and audio – better known as “user generated content” [an example of UGC would be videos on YouTube.]

Social media can take many different forms, including Internet forums, weblogs, wikis, podcasts, pictures and video. Technologies include: blogs, picture-sharing, vlogs, wall-postings, email, instant messaging, music-sharing, crowdsourcing (crowd outsourcing), and voice over IP, to name a few.

Examples of social media applications are Google Groups (reference, social networking), Wikipedia (reference), MySpace (social networking), Facebook (social networking), Youmeo (social network aggregation), Last.fm (personal music), YouTube (social networking and video sharing), Second Life (virtual reality), Flickr (photo sharing), Twitter (social networking and microblogging) and other microblogs such as Jaiku and Pownce.

— What is Social Media Marketing (SMM)?

SMM is where you use social media networking and user-generated content platforms to promote a product, service or content. SMM typically involves creating and participating in a “conversation” with the target audience, rather than blatantly advertising to them.

SMM can also include creating and promoting viral content that is meant to be shared by users. Many marketers are not comfortable with the lack of control over social media but when approached properly, social networks can be extremely effective channels for building product evangelism, reputation management or corporate branding

— Why is it becoming so popular?

I believe it’s simply because it mirrors our true nature. We are gregarious by nature and for once we are able to use technology easily to reach out and connect in new and exciting ways. It’s still all so new too, there are new frontiers popping up regularly and it’s a bit like the early Internet “gold rush” days during the 90’s

— Is every Social Media site for every entrepreneur?

They might not think so, but it is. You do it naturally every day, SM online is simply the same thing applied technologically.

— How does a business owner determine which site is the best match for them?

Good question. Not all SM Sites are equal. I typically advise people to think “classical marketing” and don’t let the ‘flashing lights’ fool you. Visit the site, pat attention to the conversation. “Lurk” for a while. Ask a question, see what happens. Each environment has its own rules. Blunder in and start shouting and you’ll get flamed. Respect the environments ‘sub culture’ and you’ll do fine. An obvious example of this in action is a site that caters to “gamers” – you instinctively know that if you’re selling insurance you would have a tough time in that environment. Like I said, think like a classical marketer.

— Are there some “best practices” steps to starting and maintaining your SMM sites? And how do I make social networking work for me?

– Social Media Marketing

Many a company has forgotten the old maxim, “Act in haste, repent at your leisure…” The same warning should be applied to companies rushing to get in on the social media marketing wave.

If you hear things at work like “We should have a blog,” or “Let’s join Facebook,” I suggest [respectfully] that maybe you are about to make a whopper of a mistake.

Here’s why…

– Backwards is bad

You are starting your social media strategy design backwards – and this will lead to trouble.

In any other business endeavor we start by figuring out what we want to accomplish. Social media technologies are not magical. They’re just tools too. It’s time to stop doing social media marketing because it’s trendy and instead do it because it works!

– 4 Things to Remember

(1) The web is about people. You need to know your audience. Understand their capabilities, their hangouts online, their language and behaviors. If you’re targeting business travelers then consider rating and review sites for example. Just don’t guess…

(2) Figure out what will be different when you are done. This is the “why” behind your plans. Do you want to create a close knit community or a product testing ground. Understand the motive’s behind your actions.

(3) What outcomes and objectives are you seeking to achieve. Consider the end result and how you will measure it. A fuzzy or fluffy end result is almost as bad as not specifying one at all. How will you measure success?

(4) What technology to choose. Only answer this question when you’ve completed the others because then you’ll know with clarity and confidence.

In conclusion, if you recognize classic business planning and management principles amongst these notes you’d be correct. The game may have changed, but the rules are still the same. Plan first, then act with confidence.

— How long is this new type of marketing going to take to master?

The actual skills are quite simple – you likely already have them mastered. What you need to learn is the PROCESS. That takes a little time, but frankly not that much.

— What if I don’t know many people to invite to my network?

No problem. Answer this question “If you are the ANSWER, what was the QUESTION?” Armed with that answer you can locate groups of people who would need what you offer. You can then invite them to participate and you can SHARE your knowledge and expertise to PROVE you are the answer to their problem. Use your favourite search engine to locate these people – simply type in the QUESTION or problem. Remember, if people knew the answer they wouldn’t be looking ­čÖé

— How can I get business through SMM?

It’s a funny thing when I’m asked this. We do it daily, so I marvel at the fact people think it’s different online. Sure there’s a layer of technology in the mix, but it’s still about people getting to know people. Remember the old maxim, people buy from people they like and trust.

SMM simply enables (or should I say empowers) you to do this more effectively.

— Why Most Brands Fail on Social Networks

A new report from JupiterResearch sheds light on what many online marketers suspected for quite some time. Most brands are failing to make impact on social networks…

Naughton’s Law states: “We invariably over-estimate the short-term implications of new communications technologies, and we grievously underestimate their long term impacts.” Every brand should be online in the best way, know its consumers, and maximize the benefit of its online offering to those consumers.

Here are some startling facts from the report:

– Startling Facts:

(*) The average branded social networking page has only 6,494 friends.
(*) Many advertisers are still building branded social networking pages that broadcast content rather than inviting users to interact.
(*) “Most advertisers simply don’t know how to market properly within social networks.” – JupiterResearch

– New Research Suggests:

(*) You should promote your SM pages with paid adverts rather than relying on viral marketing to get the message out. Building viral buzz is harder than you think.
(*) You need to engage users on the page. Even simple forms of engagement, such as contests, on average doubled the number of friends acquired by each branded page.
(*) You must also appeal to social networkers’ love of multimedia to get noticed. Social Networkers are twice as likely to visit a branded page focused on media content than a branded page focused on products.

— How does the non-writer do this type of marketing?

It really shouldn’t pose a problem. The ‘Net is vast and there’s room for each of us to be AUTHENTIC. Even behind the shield of a computer many of us seem able to sense a scoundrel or someone “putting on airs”.

If you can email you can do SM. If you can talk you can SM. If you have a pulse… you get the idea.

— Do the Social Media Marketing sites have fees to pay?

Typically NO. I advise you to initially avoid any sites that ask for payment until you know precisely what you are paying for. There are some good fee based sites out there, but the good ones also offer a free version too – start there if you wish. Let the results determine the level of investment you are prepared to make.

— Are there some sites that you would recommend for business people?

LinkedIn.com
eCademy.com
SelfGrowth.com
Ning.com – ‘create your own’ Social Media website.

— Will I have to spend hours a day keeping in touch with all of the people who write to me?

You will need to invest time and energy in your online marketing. Whether it’s YOU that does this or one of your staff is entirely up to you. But you cannot expect a “set and forget” solution to something that is inherently human.

— How can I protect myself from “weirdoes?”

Be careful. Don’t give away sensitive or private information online. You will always be exposed to some degree to odd people. I get some very odd emails and propositions, however you need to remember this is business, and although you are using “personal skills” to network online, never forget that.

— How can I come across as a professional on these sites, and is it possible to do “real” business this way?

Yes. Publish a professional PROFILE. Show you are a professional and act accordingly and you will be perceived as such. Include family photos of you dressed as a clown at your kids birthday party at your own peril. Remember, online your “goofs” are eternal and will haunt you forever. Online reputation is area you need to tread carefully within. It’s a bit off topic, but that’s why I tell teenagers that they should be very careful about the pictures and posts they put on these social websites. Because in a few years the recruiters will be Googling them and this will be part of their “resume” and frankly it can be a career killer before it even starts.

— Why do some people seem to get good results and others just get discouraged?

As with all things in life some people quit too early. Social Media Marketing and Social Networking takes time. It’s like any relationship you develop with another human, rushing to the finish just gets you slapped… Metaphorically and literally too!

Also, success online isn’t about one big thing, it’s about a cluster of little things done consistently with focus and commitment. The strongest trees take the longest to grow. Online things happen a lot faster, but still there is a time commitment, think 6 to 12 months and you’ll be thinking along the right lines.

— Is there a “fast start” strategy once I sign up for a Social media marketing site?

There is. Create a professional profile. Publish some content establishing you as an expert in your field. The ‘readers’ will approve and so will the search engines. Explore the active or “hot zones” within the SM site, pay attention to the type of communication and then dive in. Give first. Build kudos and credit before you try asking for anything.

To keep up, use technology to “feed” your SM presence from your other sites like your blog or website. I use technology to syndicate and publish my content to all my SM sites with the push of one button. It makes connecting and staying up to date a breeze.

Remember to invite your friends to join you. Add a promotional button on your “other” sites – for instance if you decide to join Twitter, you can put a “Follow Me” link on your website. Connect, Communicate and Commit. Now ‘rinse and repeat.’

— Extra Topics…

– The 16 Rules of Social Media Optimization

Social Media Optimization (SMO) is a set of methods for generating publicity through social media, online communities and community websites. Methods of SMO include adding RSS feeds, adding a Digg or Share This button, blogging and incorporating third party community functionalities like Flickr photo slides and galleries or YouTube videos. Social media optimization is a form of search engine marketing (SEO.)

Social media optimization is in many ways connected as a technique to viral marketing where word of mouth is created not through friends or family but through the use of networking in social bookmarking, video and photo sharing websites. In a similar way the engagement with blogs achieves the same by sharing content through the use of RSS in the blogsphere and special blog search engines such as Technorati.

Rohit Bhargava was credited with inventing the term SMO. His original five rules for conducting Social Media Optimization have grown to 16 (as of today.) For reference, here is an aggregated list so far:

1. Increase your linkability

2. Make tagging and bookmarking easy

3. Reward inbound links

4. Help your content travel

5. Encourage the mashup

6. Be a User Resource, even if it doesn’t help you

7. Reward helpful and valuable users

8. Participate

9. Know how to target your audience

10. Create content

11. Be real

12. Don’t forget your roots, be humble

13. Don’t be afraid to try new things, stay fresh

14. Develop a SMO strategy

15. Choose your SMO tactics wisely

16. Make SMO part of your process and best practices

Much of what is listed here is common sense, some say it just Web2.0 marketing. Whatever you may think it’s definitely good advice no matter what. I’m just pleased we are taking the subject seriously now and promoting strategic content creation as an important aspect in the mix.

– 15 Social Media Facts That You Should Know

(1) Approx. 3 out 4 people in North America use the web
(2) Women are a growth area online.
(3) 44% of the Internet users are between the age of 35 and 54.
(4) Approx. 3 out of 4 people in North America use social networks.
(5) They spend an average of 6 hrs a month on these social networks and view more than 800 web pages.
(6) 51% of social network users are female – they also consume about 200 pages more than men and spend an extra 2 hours online.
(7) Canada is a Facebook nation, the USA is a MySpace nation.
(8) 65.7% of Canadians use Facebook each month spending an average of 350 minutes and consuming 725 pages of content.
(9) 35+ is the biggest age growth sector on Facebook.
(10) Online video and multimedia has grown over 300% in North America.
(11) The average length of a video online is 3.4 minutes
(12) 89% of all Internet users have watched a video in the past month.
(13) 57% of all videos are consumed on YouTube.
(14) Blogs reach more than 60% of all (online) people in North America. Blogging is growing at almost twice the rate of the Internet.
(15) Social networking and multimedia has a reach of more than 80% of the North American population.

Bottom line, if you are not engaged in social media conversations with your marketplace, then you face a very uncertain future. As I’m fond of saying “Be Found, Be Noticed or Be History!”

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How to Get More Traffic and Better Results

Successful websites often need tens of thousands of new visitors in order to sustain. On one hand, it is fairly easy to buy website visitors by the thousand, but quality can be a concern. If you want to investigate how to get more traffic, you need to think about the possible results. Low quality traffic may lead to sales, and it can help to boost your ranks, but it is a gamble.

Coming in from around the world, web traffic which is not targeted tends to be lower in quality. This type of web traffic can also be more difficult to regulate, leading to overwhelmed servers. The last thing that you want is your website to go down as a result of a flood of low quality web visitors coming in.

Implementing a Marketing Strategy

Your website may be doing well, but you want it to do better. This is the sole reason that marketers and companies learn how to get more traffic. Web traffic is critical for company growth and expansion. To do this, you need a marketing strategy that incorporates purchasing web visitors. You can buy website visitors directly or usher Internet users in by way of search engines.

Businesses buy website visitors because the Internet is vast, and it can be hard to locate interested web users. Although the Internet continues to gain a dominant stronghold in the marketing world each year, this doesn’t mean that all companies are able to gain new customers on their own. In fact, it is becoming more difficult for smaller companies and independently owned businesses to attract new customers because of the way that the web is changing.

Defining Quality Web Traffic

Low quality web traffic is usually obvious, but there are also other grades of traffic. The more that you are able to get into specifics, the higher the quality will be. Learning how to get more traffic will not take long if you understand the differences between low and high quality web users. After awhile, it becomes almost impossible not to notice the differences in high and low quality traffic.

Businesses can do more with high quality traffic, even if there are fewer end users being sent to their properties. Simply put, a lot of money can be spent on low quality traffic, but you cannot formulate realistic goals. In the end, you can really do more with less. Keep your budget in mind when buying traffic and you will never have to settle on low quality sources.

Clear Goals and Results

If the goal is profit, high quality traffic will yield the ideal result. Buying web traffic for even a day can assist your company, but longer term marketing campaigns can help you to create a clear timeline. Use purchased web traffic to boost your website’s ranks, become more popular with members of your targeted audience, and of course, earn more profits.

It may be hard to imagine, but buying website traffic can dramatically improve your bottom line. Interested website visitors are shoppers, even if they have not decided to make a purchase in advance. If you believe in your company, these tools can be invaluable.

Having a large amount of traffic on your website is only beneficial if it has been targeted and filtered properly. Know in advance when you should prepare for a large number of visitors perusing your website and offer them the sales, deals and features they have been scouring the web for.

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Why Inexperience Will Cause Newbie Internet Marketers to Fail

Failure. The one thing all Internet marketers never want to hear. And that is understandable Nobody wants to fail, right?I have researched some of the reasons why most newbie internet marketers fail. In this article, you may identify yourself – or others you know. This article is not meant to be one of condemnation. It is being delivered so you can identify what areas you can improve and avoid the dreaded “F” word!First, let me state up front that I mean nothing derogatory with the term “newbie.” Everyone was a newbie at some point in time. It is kind of like being a called a “rookie” in major league sports. Once you have that first year under your belt, you are no longer a rookie. The same for internet marketing. However, a “newbie” could mean a 5 year marketer if that person continues to make “rookie mistakes.” I am using the term “newbie” simply because most new comers to internet marketing are looking for the “quick buck” and most tend to make the same mistakes – “rookie mistakes.”It is my intention to provide you with the information I have discovered and identified my own shortcoming with as well. I may not have made all of the mistakes I will get into, but I have made more than one of them (I can attest to that)! But I am including a few of the others I have not made (phew!) because I have found there are many people who have made them.The Number 1 Reason Why Newbie Internet Marketers Fail: They Do Not Have the ExperienceThat is pretty clear, right?Most newbies lack the experience of marketing a product in which they never have a face to face interaction with their clients. Most people understand about face-to-face marketing and the art of “smiling, agreeing with the statements made by the customer, etc.” Internet marketing is a completely different environment.Experience in this area is the only way to gain the skill set necessary to be successful. Does that mean the newbie marketer is already destined to fail? No. It means the newbie marketer must make the extra effort to ensure success.By learning the methods needed to capture the attention of the buyer; learning what the potential preferences are of the buyer; learning the reasons why the buyer desires their product; learning how to communicate the advantages of their product to satisfy the buyer’s needs – all without any verbal interaction. Only using the written word (and in audio or video marketing as well – but the newbie will never “see” the client).This means the new internet marketer must make a concentrated effort to study the market; study the products; study the tactics used by the experts. This takes time and dedication. It means admitting you do not know everything. It means admitting you cannot do it on your own (as least not right away). It means accepting the fact that immediate riches will probably not be flooding into your back account right way.Now, there are exceptions to every rule. But those exceptions are few and far between. But most newbie marketers (myself included when I first started out) think “they” will be the exception and will reach financial independence ahead of their peers. This mindset will almost always result in discouragement and failure.What are the ways to overcome this “Inexperience Factor?”Probably the best way to gain experience is by “doing.” That sounds simple enough, right? But let me explain…The worst thing a newbie can do is to enter the highly competitive field of internet marketing and think he or she is going to become rich overnight while competing against some marketers who have been doing this for years. The best solution to this situation is to team up with an experienced marketer who can guide them through the first stages of internet marketing and help the newbie avoid some of the pitfalls that plague newbies and drive them from success straight into failure.There are numerous places to gain that type of experience and information. It would take volumes to write about each one. My intent here is simply to make the newbie marketer aware that “you are not destined to failure.” As a matter of fact, failure in and of itself is also a learning tool. Thomas Edison was quoted as saying, when questioned by a reporter as to why he was not discouraged after failing 10,000 times in making the light bulb, his answer was, “Why should I be discouraged? I found 10,000 ways it would not work!”So it is with gaining experience in internet marketing. You can go the way of 10,000 failures on your own, just so you know not to try it that way again, or you can read about the one or two ways a person who has had success did it and then follow the same path. I’m not talking about “copying” the person (though some advocate that). I’m talking about seeing what your comfort zone is; I’m talking about what “clicks” with your personality, experiences, desires and goals.Not every method works for every person. If you examine successful marketers, almost all of them utilize the fundamentals but then they tend to specialize in certain areas. Take, for example, a football team. You see the players all decked out in their uniforms and you can rationally say about any one individual, “He is a football player.” And that statement would be true.But if you look at the individual players and analyze their strengths and weaknesses, you soon realize that some of them weigh 300+ pounds. That person probably is not a wide receiver or a running back. Most likely, he is a lineman. Another is short and lanky and you see him out kicking field goals all practice long. You see a player throwing balls through tires hung at different levels and different yardages – he is probably a quarterback. Each person has a unique set of skills they bring to the “football team.”So it is with internet marketing. You may not be cut out to be a marketer in the self-help niche. You may be more of a hands on type of person who enjoys working on cars or building houses, making you uniquely qualified to assist others in that niche. People looking for information on “How to fix their car” or “How to remodel their kitchen.” Others may be more uniquely qualified to give “relationship advice.” Others on “How to build a website.”You see, there are 1,001 different ways (actually more than that) to make a living as an online marketer. YOU have a special skill set that somebody needs to know. And you have the opportunity to share the experience you already possess in that area – and be paid for it! You need to sit down and ask yourself (and give an honest answer), “What do I know that other people always ask me about?”It could be anything from repairing a clogged drain to fixing a car engine; from hanging dry wall to installing landscaping. Whatever you enjoy doing; whatever you are always helping someone with; whatever people are always seeking your advice on – these are the areas you need to focus. This is probably going to be your niche market. This is the area you will probably be the most successful.The successful marketers are able to identify what they did wrong and begin to take corrective action to put them on the path to success. Failure to identify weak areas will just mean the marketer is more likely to repeat the same mistakes over and over again.

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Utah Internet Marketing – Outsource or In-house?

If you live in the beehive state or have recently visited Utah for the first time you might have noticed a youthful quality within the state. In Utah-especially in college towns-there is an entrepreneurial energy that keeps new businesses (and the experienced) in the hot skillet of competition.Utah Internet Marketing: The Competition is HotOnline virtual reality is becoming just as competitive or more so than it’s offline counterparts. Utah business men and women are competing for top rankings and widespread advertisement campaigns. Utah Internet marketing campaigns are tough competition especially since online virtual mediums are in an almost constant state of change.If you are a Utah business owner, it can be difficult to decide which Utah Internet Marketing company is the best Internet marketing company for your particular needs or whether or not you should consider an in-house Utah Internet Marketing option instead. This article is designed to help provide you with the information you need to make a more educated decision.Looking to Outsource Utah Internet Marketing Services?If you decide that you want to outsource your Internet marketing campaign to a Utah Internet marketing company, it’s going to be more difficult to “keep tabs” on your company’s Internet marketing projects. So…….when you go looking for a proactive Utah Internet marketing company you need to make sure you have the right information and the right people underway in your own company first.Make sure your company is ready for outsourced Internet Marketing executing the following steps:
Find someone within your own company who can manage and consistently check up on the progression of your Internet Marketing campaign. Essentially, this “marketing” person doesn’t have to be a full time marketing employee. An energetic and ambitious employee who normally works in research, HR, as a consultant, in sales or even in accounting might have a hidden flair for marketing and may enjoy watching, tracking and reporting the progress of the campaign. He or she must spend a good portion of his or her working hours keeping in touch with Internet marketing employees, staying abreast of SEO and PPC projects, contributing to blogs and taking time to approve SEO content. This might seem like an obvious expedient but but you might be surprised how many companies essentially leave their marketing process in the hands of a Utah Internet marketing company of which they know very little. This can damage a campaign even if the Internet marketing company in question is conscientious of providing the services they are contracted to provide. Simply put, almost any Internet marketing company is likely to grease the “squeaky” client wheels and if you aren’t calling, checking up, asking questions and confirming launch dates, it’s very likely that your company will receive second rate services.

Decide exactly what it is that you want your website to accomplish. Whether you want visitors to buy products, make inquiries or submit information via your website, you need to know your goals and the respective priorities that will help you reach them.

Decide how much you want to spend. Your budget will determine the range of prospective Utah Internet marketing companies you can work with. Spending more will not necessarily get you better service or results so it is important that you know how much you want to spend. That way, you can select the best Utah Internet marketing company within your price range without getting unduly distracted.
Start Looking for a Utah Internet Marketing FirmOnce your own company is prepared to invest in an Internet marketing campaign, it is important to look for a Utah Internet marketing firm that has the following five characteristics1:
The Utah Internet marketing company you select should be able to promise you something. Internet marketing sales persons might be quick to say that Internet marketing companies can never promise any thing since so many Internet marketing services are variable in nature. In a sense they are correct, but if they can’t give you a promise of generalized progress over a given amount of time, it isn’t likely that they are trying hard enough to win your patronage.
Does their site rank well? This is important since they are after all an Internet marketing company. Ask them which keyword phrases they rank well for and take a look at their online material. Their sales persons may be slick and polished but if their website is less than helpful it’s not likely that you have found the Utah Internet Marketing company that is going to do your website the most good.
If a company can’t guarantee a certain amount of satisfaction (defined satisfaction) then forget it and move on to another company.
Choose a company that is willing to explain their services to you. Some companies enter the world of Internet marketing without understanding what exactly their Internet marketing firm will do to recruit links for their site. Not knowing the basics can get your company in trouble.
Look for a company that prides themselves on their market research capabilities.
In-House Utah Internet MarketingIf you like getting your own hands in the action then perhaps in-house Internet marketing is the game you should play. In-house marketing is beneficial in the sense that you have complete control of your Internet marketing process. It also means that when things get “tight” you can suspend your campaign and not be penalized for late payments.Whether you go in-house or take the route of outsourcing, investing in Utah Internet marketing is important for almost every kind of Utah business.1 The five characteristics are taken from the following online article: http://www.salemglobal.com/website-marketing-choosing-seo-firm.php

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Which Is More Affordable – Search Engine Marketing or PPC Advertising?

Well a lot of people prioritize affordability, be it on Search Engine marketing or PPC advertising. It could be the affordability of the marketing tools used, the effort which is involved in comparison to the results obtainable from the two above mentioned strategies. In this article we are going to take a closer look and analyse both search engine marketing and Pay Per Click advertising.The majority of online marketers believe that search engine marketing is really cheap, especially considering the fact that if done properly, it has the potential of giving one a lot of free traffic. To a certain extent, i also believe that it is really true. If one gets his/her website on the first page of Google and or Yahoo [which is said to have been overtaken by Bing], then one can truly forget engaging in Pay Per Click marketing.For a moment, let us take a look at a synopsis of the process of search engine marketing to see if it is really that low cost. Firstly, you have to do a thorough research of the various keywords which users use to search for your product or service. For this, you can use a lot of free keyword research tools available on the net, the most popular being the Google keyword tool. Thus far no money has been spent. However, perfectionist marketers always go a step further to invest in some expensive search engine marketing tools which tend to give them a thorough analysis of the various keyword phrases customers have used over a longer period of time. Most free tools will only give you one month results. After spending so much money, usually your site might not make it to the first page of Google. In other words, not only money has been spent, but time and effort as well.The next step could be building a well optimised, content rich website. This process is rarely an overnight job. You have to burn the midnight oil to get it right. Once the website is up and running, you have to go through another long process of link building so that your site can be crawled, indexed and ranked high by the search engines. Depending on your niche, this might mean building a couple of hundreds or even thousands of the best quality links pointing back to your site. 100 articles and 100 blog comments might not even take your site to page 5 of Google, let alone the time it might take for the site to be indexed [ in some cases 6 months ]. Would we be wrong to say that during this tiring process of search engine marketing, you are not making money, and you are also losing money if we are to compare you to another marketer who sets up a site in 3 days and start advertising using pay-per-click advertising?Even so, most people would have invested in high cost search engine marketing tools which promises them that the site will be on the first page of Google within a certain period of time. The cost might range from a couple of hundreds to a few thousands of dollars. Is this really affordable and worth the effort?On three different occasions we used three different search engine marketing tools with such guarantees. Two of them delivered, the other one failed to live to its promises. With the other one, our site was on the first page of Google within 3weeks. It stayed there for 3 weeks, that was it and it was moved to page 6 after that. When we contacted the company, they told us to invest $29, 99 so that we would get a thousand more back links.HOW AFFORDABLE IS PAY PER CLICK ADVERTISING?Roughly, the process of paid advertising involves setting up a website, keyword research and advertising. Please note that there are other small steps involved in between but they are not all that time consuming. One good thing about pay-per-click advertising is that even if your site is not well optimized and does not rank high on any search engine, you still get traffic because you are paying for it. Depending on how good and enticing your adverts are, you are even more likely to receive targeted traffic.You can invest in some affordable PPC marketing tools with most of them going for less than hundred dollars and in some cases as low as twenty dollars. Besides spending money on PPC keyword optimization tools and tracking softwares [which are again low-cost], you need to come up with a budget so as to compete in the bidding game. In some cases, you may pay 5 cents per click or even 5 dollars depending on how competitive your niche is.If you pay 5 dollars per click and say you need at least 100 clicks to get one sale, that means a single sale will roughly cost you five hundred dollars. If you are selling a product which costs $300, you are definitely running a lose. On the other hand, if your product costs $300 and you are paying 5 cents per click, you may spend $50 to get a sale thereby making a profit of approximately two hundred and fifty dollars. Forgive me if my maths is wrong, i studied the subject for 11 years and never passed [lol].A SYNOPSISIn conclusion, one can safely say that the affordability of these marketing strategies is disputable. If you hire a search engine optimization consultant, invest in the necessary search engine marketing tools, then you are spending money which might bring you sales over a period of say two weeks. The process of building a well optimized, good ranking site takes. Link building strategies could take time and TIME IS MONEY. However, once achieved, the fruits would be ripe and delicious. When you build the links you are also marketing your business which is really worth it.On the other hand, with pay-per-click advertising, you can start making money ‘as soon as the site is up and running’. If you are selling high value products which are really on demand, this might be the best way to go whilst you slowly implement search engine marketing. However if you are selling a product which costs less than less than $50 and you need to spend more than that amount to get a sale then forget it and stick to search engine marketing. Both ways are affordable depending on your niche, type of product, but search engine marketing seems to have more advantages.

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Organic Search Engine Marketing – It Really Works!

While helping traditional ecommerce companies increase their organic search engine marketing, I realized that the services and techniques we apply to those traditional ecommerce clients can be utilized by Internet marketers anywhere and everywhere, including affiliate marketers!My realization led me to write this article. My goal here is to outline the general process and techniques we employ for organic search engine marketing.I’m going to construct the body of this article with the following sections:1. Organic search engine marketing v. paid search engine marketing (PPC) 2. Blogs v. static web pages 3. Long tail keywords v. short head keywords 4. Unique content and Web 3.0 5. Internet marketing and Web 2.01. Organic Search Engine Marketing v. Paid Search Engine Marketing (PPC)Organic search engine marketing is marketing a website to increase the ranking for its web pages in the organic, or natural, search engine results pages (SERPs).Paid search engine marketing is incorporating paid advertising strategies such as Google┬« AdWords or Yahoo┬« Search Marketing in order to be listed in the “sponsored” or “advertisement” sections of the search engine results pages (SERPs).With the increasing costs of paid search engine marketing, advertisers have been suffering from a downward trend in return on investment (ROI). On the other hand, with more sophisticated and proven strategies for organic search engine marketing, the return on investment (ROI) for those who market to rank higher naturally in the SERPs is increasing. Therefore, we advise ecommerce companies, affiliates and super-affiliates alike to shift their resources from paid search engine marketing to organic search engine marketing.2. Blogs v. Static Web PagesBlogs have an inherent and distinct advantage over static web pages. Search engines like blogs better. Everything being equal (design, content, page layout, H tags, Alt tags, age, etc.), a blog page will outrank a static web page more often than not. However, all things are not equal! Blogs take advantage of plug-ins, or features, to be very search engine friendly.We create and customize “Power Blogs” for our clients. A “Power Blog” is a search engine friendly WordPress blogs with tons of SEO plug-ins. Once we install a Power Blog we use it as a platform for Web 2.0 marketing, a.k.a. social marketing.The benefits of our Power Blog include:(A) Multi-Channel Visitor Strategy – Instead of having Google┬« be responsible for 95% of your visitors, now you can also get visitors from all of the Blog Search Engines. Because blogs use RSS (really simple syndication), you will find that other websites are syndicating your content on their websites, bringing you more visitors and links. By having multiple streams of visitors you protect yourself in case one of your traffic streams starts to underperform.(B) Free Links To Your Site – The amount of links that you have to your site plays a huge role in how highly you rank on Google┬«. By utilizing the Trackback feature in WordPress, you can automatically get other websites to link to you for free.3. Long Tail Keywords v. Short Head KeywordsRemember, this is called “Organic Search Engine Marketing”…..it’s marketing, and marketing needs a focus. In order to focus in on what to market for, you need to have a solid foundation of the main keywords that describe your business and/or products that you are selling. These main keywords are one to three phrase keywords (or keyword phrases) generally speaking and are more than likely highly competitive. These types of keywords are known as “Short Head” keywords. For example, “car insurance.”Once you know your short head keywords, you will want to market directly to more specific, longer keywords related to the main short head keywords. These longer, more specific keywords are known as “Long Tail” keywords. For example, “car insurance discounts in Georgia.”Although the traffic for each long tail keyword is usually much less than its short tail relative, if you add up all the long tail keywords, they will usually add up to much more traffic and most importantly, targeted traffic, than the short tail keywords alone.4. Unique Content and Web 3.0Once you have targeted the long tail keywords for your business or niche, then you can start marketing for them.The cornerstone for organic search engine marketing is unique content creation. Whether it’s 500-word articles, blog posts, blog comments, forum posts, social snippets, or videos, you are going to want to be able to create unique content based on your long tail keywords.Web 3.0 is a term that refers to the future of the World Wide Web. In our opinion, that future includes the “Semantic Web” or web use affected by artificial intelligence. Sounds kind of like Star Wars┬«, Alien and E.T. all wrapped into one big and scary [http://WWW…doesn]’t it?! Well, not really of course. Semantic Web in this case just means that search engines will be able to figure out what a web page is all about in a different, more intelligent way. The major idea here is that search engines will take a more encompassing view at a page and understand its meaning rather making a determination based on figuring out which keywords pop up most often. In this new Web 3.0 scenario, a search engine might find a web page on “sun tanning in Florida” to also be quite relevant to “sun tan oil application” and therefore list this example page in the search engine results pages under both keywords.What does Web 3.0 mean to you? Basically, when creating your unique content, keep the semantic web concept in mind and use synonyms for your target keyword wherever it’s natural. Never stuff keywords in your content, i.e. use a keyword just to use it and not when it should be used naturally…and never stuff keyword synonyms either!5. Internet Marketing and Web 2.0Web 2.0 is the “Social Web,” so naturally, the concept of social marketing should apply to today’s Internet Marketing strategies.Social marketing includes posting on social networking, social news and social bookmarking websites.You can also think of blogging as part of Web 2.0, and of course you’re covered because you have read Section 2 above.In conclusion, whether you own your own ecommerce business and sell your own products, or if you are an affiliate or super-affiliate, organic search engine marketing must be on your “actions list.” In the long run, outranking your competitors in the search engine results pages proves to bring a higher return on investment (ROI) than trying to out-advertise your competitors in paid search engine marketing.You now have the basic know-how to create your organic search engine marketing strategy.

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Different Ways Social Media Impacts SEO

Social Media is about interacting with the audience and knowing them better. It’s not a choice whether we do it or not, it’s about how well you do it. It inspires the audience and gives them a reason to stay loyal to your brand. It plays a vital role in the branding of your business and you shouldn’t take it for granted. It’ll impact your search ranking and put down your efforts to zero. In an order to turn the table positively for your business, make sure you hire a well-reputed company that handles your social platforms. If you want to know more how it’ll impact your SEO, take a look at the points mentioned below.

┬Ě Drive Traffic To Your Website: When a visitor likes your post or want to know more about your company, they’ll move to your website directly. It may automatically increase the flood of traffic to your website and to make it possible, make sure you complete your social profile and provide all your details down.

┬Ě Help To Rank Higher In Search Engines: Everything you put on social media will stay always in the Google and help the search engines index it well, which improve the ranking of your website. It’ll help you knock the competitors out and make your position higher among the customers. For this, you stay active on all the social platforms and target the right audience.

┬Ě Boost Brand Awareness: Also, it helps the audience aware of your presence, which increases your chances of getting connected with more and more people. It not only increase brand awareness, but also target the right audience. Make sure you are always ready to get engaged with your audience and stay active and available to them all the time.

┬Ě Easy To Capture External Links: External links are very much important to increase the ranking of your website and social media helps to capture them easily. You can use different social platforms to promote and share your content to a wider audience, which increases your chances to get more and more external links.

These are some of the ways that prove how social media impacts SEO. So, don’t take your social image for granted and prepare yourself for that too. Create your presence on different platforms and complete your profile with all the necessary details to reap the benefits of social sharing for your higher search ranking and expansion of your business.

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