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What are the 10 Secret Benefits of Blogging?


#1. You will become a better writer

Just the discipline of sitting down and writing will improve your writing skills. Thinking and planning doesn’t cut it…action and doing does!

Read the full article here:

What are the 10 Secret Benefits of Blogging?.

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Best blogging platform for a small business


I have been asked by a small retail and catering business- Crème de La Catering -to write a recommendation for a suitable blogging platform which will allow them to publicise their company. They’re looking to share recipes and tips on running good events; they also want to feature their suppliers so people know where their products are from.

There are many blogging platforms available on the internet, for example; Blogger, WordPress, Tumblr, Ghost and a more recent blogging platform Medium. I will be discussing 2-3 of these and then discussing the final, chosen blogging platform, which I will recommend to Crème de La Catering in more depth.

Blogger logo

Blogger is a blog hosted platform which gives the option for its user to create an account for free. Blogger allows its users to design their own blog; you can choose from templates which have layouts and backgrounds which can easily be altered to make your blog appear unique.  As well as this Blogger also allows its users to create a custom domain which would allow businesses, such as Crème de La Catering, to be found and followed easier.

As Blogger is owned by Google it allows you to connect seamlessly with Google+ , helping you reach new readers and participate in conversations your posts inspire(Blogger, 2013) meaning if you share your posts you will create conversation about the topic of your post. This is a positive for a small business as creating conversation about your businesses helps to expand your audience reach. Although Blogger seems like a very good blogging platform I don’t think it would be suitable for Crème de La Catering as it seems like a very visual blogging platform, so may not be suitable for posts with a lot of text. However, this would be a good platform for posting pictures of Crème de La Catering’s products, food etc.

Tumblr Logo  Tumblr is a micro-blogging platform which is a very visual platform used, predominantly, by teenagers to post and reblog their friends and people they follow. Although you are able to share your posts on other social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook etc. I don’t think Tumblr would be suitable for a business to use. I believe this because the people who use Tumblr are, mostly, teenagers and as Crème de La Catering don’t specifically target teenagers, but a much wider audience, I don’t think Tumblr would be suitable for this small business is to use as their blogging platform.

WordPress Logo

What is WordPress? “WordPress is a content management system. It’s basically a platform that…makes it insanely simple to create websites” (Wolfe, M 2012).

WordPress.com and WordPress.org; what are the differences?

Well, WordPress.org is “the self-hosted version of the platform” (Wolfe, M 2012) which allows you to host and own your own account; it isn’t hosted on the WordPress server so you have to pay for it. On the other hand WordPress.com “is hosted on WordPress’s servers” (Wolfe, M 2012) meaning that your account is not only free to setup but it is also free to use!

WordPress, like Blogger, allows you to choose custom themes, which can be customised and widgets can be added to make your blog unique and do what you want it to. ‘Widget’ stands for ‘web gadgets’ and help to improve the look and functionality of your sidebar. For example, you can add RSS feeds and Twitter feeds; as well as being able to link your blog to other social media sites, i.e. Facebook and Instagram. There are many widgets available, however not all themes have the same widgets, so you may have to sacrifice a beautiful theme if it doesn’t have the widgets suitable for the purpose you intend.

Widgets

Businesses, in particular small businesses, should blog because it helps your Search Engine Optimisation (SEO); as Google displays the most recent content, therefore if your content is the most recent then you’ll be most searchable. WordPress takes care of 80-90% of the mechanics of search engine optimisation for you(WordPress, 2013). This is so that you don’t have to worry about posts being invisible on Google; if they’re up to date and your blog is updated regularly your post/blog will become even more visible in a Google search. Also, as WordPress takes care of the majority of SEO then you don’t have to spend as much time marketing your business online; it allows you to spend more time within the business while it’s being marketed for you. If you would like further help with searchability there are plugins available on WordPress. Searchability is vital, especially for a small business like Crème de La Catering, as it helps the businesses online presence grow and, therefore the people who buy products will grow. There are many ways which SEO can be improved without installing plugins, for example using; keywords, tags, categories, linking back to yourself, search friendly URLs and fresh, original, up to date content!

Keywords

Keywords are useful because they help your blog and its content to be more searchable. For example, if Crème de La Catering wanted to post a recipe on their blog it would be vital to use keywords which relate to the type of recipe. Say the recipe was a cheesecake recipe keywords used would be “cheesecake” and “recipe” as this clearly states what the post is about, also it will help the business’ SEO because if these terms were Googled then this article would appear. This is easy to do on WordPress as you just decide on a title, or phrase, which is popular on Google and this can be used as the title as WordPress will make it visible in Google.

Tags and categories

Tags and categories should always be used in every WordPress blog post; as categories and tags offer an opportunity to increase traffic to your site via search engines(Ewer, T 2013). They also help to organise your blog so people who read your blog can, for example, click on the “recipe” category and know that they’ll be able to just look at all the recipes Crème de La Catering have published. This makes it easier for your readers to find what they want, thus, hopefully, making them want to come back to your blog as it’s easy to use and navigate around. However, don’t go overboard when categorising posts, as a post shouldn’t be in more than 2 categories. Tags are useful because they enable you to “refind sites…you just click on the list of tags displayed on your own page…and it shows you a list of all the sites you’ve given that tag” (Weinberger, D 2008). Both tags and categories are simple to create on WordPress. Categories can be created either in the main dashboard or whilst creating a post. Tags are added to the bottom of each post so that the tags are relevant to your post.

Creating categories & tags
 Tag cloud

Linking back to yourself

Linking back to yourself is an important way to keep an internal link in your blog, it also helps to drive traffic to other posts in your archives. For example, if Crème de La Catering were to post a new recipe they could link to previous recipes they’d do; encouraging viewers to look around the blog and follow it. WordPress allows you to do this by linking text to an internal or external URL or by putting your own article in the ‘related articles’ section; both these way link internally to your blog creating more traffic to more of your blog posts.

Search friendly URLs

Search friendly URLs are important when creating a blog because it’s, for instance, it is easy to understand what ‘www.cremedelacatering.com/recipes’ would contain. However it isn’t easy to understand what ‘www.cremedelacatering/58302’ would contain. Therefore, to make your site easy to remember and easy to predict the content you must have appropriate custom URLs. When setting up your WordPress account it is vital to choose an appropriate name which reflects what your content will be.

Content

Content, yes it may be an obvious one but it’s where people fall down when it comes to SEO. Creating original, fresh and up to date content is key in an online world; as everybody expects to be able to find out the latest fast! Therefore, to make a blog post about last week’s news it wouldn’t be appropriate, because this has already been and gone. So, to create ‘good’ content which will (we hope) become popular it needs to be current! This would work to the advantage of Crème de La Catering because all of the information posted on their blog would be up to date and current; as businesses are always changing, developing and having new ideas. So, Crème de La Catering would be able to inform their readers of this and also share their recent recipes, products etc. with the people reading their blog.

WordPress allows you to do all of the vital things which help towards a good blog post and also to good searchability. Therefore, I would recommend WordPress because it is versatile; you can add or remove plugins and widgets wherever you’d like, dependent on what the theme you’ve chosen allows you to do. However, most themes allow you to have most widgets and plugins which are available to improve the functionality of your blog. As well as this WordPress allows you to add additional pages to your blog. It is important to have an ‘about’ page which is additional to your blog post page, archive etc. so that your readers know what your blog is about; the about page can also be used to add links to your other social media sites, such as Twitter, Facebook etc.

Taxonomy is the way in which data is organised, this would be used on Crème de La Catering’s blog by either using ‘sitemaps’ or categories; which are the most common way of organising your blog posts. “In classification systems, an overstuffed miscellaneous category can be a sign that the system isn’t using all the relevant information” (Weinberger, D 2008), meaning if you “overstuff” a category  it isn’t using it to its full advantage; therefore to use a category correctly you must be specific about what you want in your categories so that you don’t ‘overstuff’ them. Folksonomies would also be used to help the SEO of Crème de La Catering’s blog by using tags as explained earlier.

In conclusion I wouldn’t recommend Blogger and Tumblr to be used by a small business because they are too visual and aren’t versatile enough. However, I would recommend WordPress because it is a very versatile blogging platform which allows the use of taxonomies and folksonomies; not only on the blog but on individual blog posts. As well as this WordPress can be customised and widgets and plugins can be added to make the blog function as you need it to, in order to suit the needs of your business. Overall, WordPress is a blog which allows you to do pretty much anything, although you have to pay for some themes, plugins etc. it isn’t impossible to create a very good, popular blog with a free WordPress blog; as it is (I would say) just as good as the version of WordPress you pay for.

How Twitter Can Get You a Job


Great post, interesting too!

The Conversation

the-devil-wears-prada-funny-humor-feminiest-review-anna-wintour-shkA recent article in the New York Times discussed the skills necessary to help you get and keep an entry level media job. And unlike Andy, Anne Hathaway’s character in The Devil Wears Prada, entry levels jobs now demand more than just answering the phone, picking up dry cleaning and running to Starbucks. Increasingly, employers want and need assistants with social media skills. Yes, the Devil tweets about Prada.

And even outside of the magazine industry, growing numbers of all kinds of companies are looking for social media managers to handle communication and promotion through blogs, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr and Pinterest.  And some companies have stopped recruiting employees to handle social media. HR directors simply expect all new hires to have those skills. “We are seeing an increased demand for social savvy candidates across the business – from human resources to product to customer service,” noted Amy Crow in Quartz

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Twitter update for Android


image

So, I just updated the Twitter app for Android and this is what it looks like. Instead of a ‘mentions’ or ‘interactions’ tab there is a bell symbol, which represents your Twitter notifications. Personally, as I have only just updated to the latest Twitter app I’m finding it a little strange, but I guess (like all updates) it’s something I’ll have to get used to. It looks pretty good though, nothing wrong with the overall appearance of the app.

image

A REVELATION!
you can now send images via. DM (direct message) on Twitter apps, however cannot (as of yet) send images via. DM from Twitter.
What do you think to this feature?
Is it a good feature for Twitter to have added or will it just add to the nunberous ways in which spam can be sent?

image

ANOTHER NEW FEATURE!
If a whole new layout and being able to send pictures via. DM wasn’t enough you can now send a tweet, on the Twitter app, from your profile page. Personally, I REALLY like this feature..it’s a small, but great detail which I think is very handy!

Well done Twitter!

Let me know what you all think..
Have you just updated the Android or even the IOS Twitter app?
Tell me your thoughts below in the comments or tweet me your thoughts – JessLeeman_

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The Social Network For Introverts


What is Anomo?

Is Anomo “revolutionizing first impressions”?

How ‘Anomo’ describe themselves:

“Anomo switches up the social networking world. You use an anonymous avatar and actually get to know the people around you while interacting in games and group or one-on-one chats. Because everyone starts as an avatar, first impressions reach beyond appearance and relationships grow in a more interactive way. You control how much you want to reveal about yourself in each relationship as you go.”

Have you tried this new  social media site?http://www.jessicaleeman.wordpress.com

Why not take a look at the original blog post by CLisseman

Let us know your thoughts on this new social media website..

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What is LinkedIn Used For?


LinkedIn is seen by many people as:

“that website where you post your resume and connect to your coworkers and old school buddies”

This is NOT all LinkedIn is useful for. However, if you think LinkedIn is useful for this reason only, then you’re certainly missing out. If you are one of those people, but even if your not, I urge you to read on so you can get the best from your LinkedIn account.

LinkedIn is a great ‘social media’ website which allows you to connect with, not only existing employes/employees, but also allows you to find, and so connect, with potential (future) employees/employers.

Unlimited Networking

LinkedIn allows you to network with whoever, and whatever business/business person you like! By accepting connections and inviting people you already know to become connections you are expanding the amount of people your profile is seen by; as the people who you’ve connected with will have connections and their connections will be able to see (and so connect) with your profile. WOW! that was a mouthful. But basically, EXPAND YOUR REACH and your professional profile will blossom.

A Global Think Tank

Not only can you ‘connect’ with people on LinkedIn you can connect with communities by joining groups. Groups which represent official organisations, companies etc. are great to join because you can connect with people like you; people who are either in that field of work, or are looking to be in that area of work. So, sharing information and even your details (i.e. Twitter username to encourage ‘like minded’ followers) on the group so other members can see it is helpful; as it helps you to not only make your LinkedIn profile visible to potential employers, but also helps to expand your other social networks with people who have the same interests, job aspirations etc. as you!

A Recruitment Tool

“Every HR department should thank its lucky stars for LinkedIn’s ability to connect potential employers with stellar potential employees at all skill and experience levels, from first-job seekers to veteran automotive salespeople and managers.”

Source

You can also connect with me;
LinkedIn
Twitter
Facebook
Google+

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LinkedIn Reaches 3 Million Members


According to bizcommunity LinkedIn reached a whopping 3 million users in South Africa at the end of October this year! And a remarkable 11 million members in total for the continent!

“Since partnering with Habari Media in 2010, LinkedIn has gone from strength to strength in both the local and African market.”

LinkedIn has grown massively over the past couple of years; as a result there are more than 259 million member Worldwide..and is reportedly growing at 2 members per second- that’s 200,000 new members EVERY DAY! Impressive?

LinkedIn-Logo

  • More than 60% of LinkedIn members return every month.
  • Only 13% of members’ time is spent on managing their professional profile.
  • 71% network with other professionals.
  • 69% learn what other colleagues are doing.
  • 54% stay up-to-date with industry discussions.

But which statistic do you fit into?

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LinkedIn Reaches 1 MILLION Users


LinkedIn has reached 1 Million users in New Zealand! LinkedIn currently has over 259 Million users worldwide. According to LinkedIn’s data the student marketing is increasing, with OVER 30 million students around the world signing up to join LinkedIn. This is most likely because LinkedIn can also be used to search jobs and universities. Businesses can benefit because people can find them on LinkedIn and connect with them, and so learn about their business etc. Building up connections on LinkedIn also helps you to increase your online presence as well as allowing you to build your professional brands.

As there are around 260 Million LinkedIn users it would make sense to tell you, or give you top tips, on how to improve your LinkedIn profile. So, here are 5 top tips to improve your LinkedIn profile:

  1. Make sure your profile picture is professional looking. An employer, or potential employer, isn’t going to want to see an image of you out on a Friday night with your mates.
  2. Use your full name as a LinkedIn username.
  3. Make sure you display your main skills and/or strengths in your title page or headline.
  4. Boost your bio; make sure you fill all of, or as many of the fields as you can; focusing on other jobs and projects you think are valuable to potential employers.
  5. Create relevant post; don’t post things which aren’t relevant to your industry.

Source

Related articles

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Musts for Business Marketing


Right, so as part of my research for my course assessment I thought ‘hey, why not research business marketing’. Why? To get an idea of what businesses like; i.e. how they like to market their business, what they market their business on (i.e. Twitter, Facebook, Blogs) etc. I know my brief is to ‘recommend a blogging platform’, but in order to be able to recommend a blogging platform I feel like I need to get to grips with the kind of marketing which is popular within business.

  1. First and foremost get people talking about your business, be it by word of mouth, via. sharing on Twitter etc. just get your businesses name ‘out there’ (online). Nobody will talk about a business which ‘fits the mould’; which is seen as a stereotypical “boring business”..make sure you do something unique, something which will be remembered THIS will get people sharing. THIS will get people talking.
  2. Don’t ‘drown’ people with information – yes information can be good, BUT if you’re not making sense of ‘tech-talk’ or just generally going off on one this is NOT a good for content marketing. In order to enable good content marketing for your business make sure YOU are the one who makes sense of the information which everybody is confused about. For example, there are millions and millions of webpages on Google, most of which are duplicates (and similar texts edited, changed and put into a different formats/layouts). However, if you’re the one making sense out of all this information your content is more likely to be viewed over the other webpages – insight is more important than heaps of information nobody understands.
  3. People choose their content more now than they ever have, so you’ve got to put yourself in their ‘path’, make sure your visible and somebody who’s looking for content similar to yours can find your content easily.
  4. So, if your content is visible make sure it’s reliable – you need your content, business etc. to stay trustworthy. As you already know ‘word of mouth’ spreads like wildfire, if your company can’t be trusted or isn’t seen as reliable someone could potentially tweet negativity about your business and so discourage others.

These top marketing tips I have explained, inspired by “All You Really Need To Know About Marketing” show that sharing is a vital piece of marketing; as ‘word of mouth’ (well social media) seems to be much more valuable, from personal experience I can also say this, than advertisements and such.

What marketing tips do you use for your business, blog, social media accounts etc?

Any other top tips are welcomed, please share!

Top 10 On-Page SEO Tips & Tricks


go dizital


SEO Search Engine Optimization.......go dizital

On-Page SEO Tips & Tricks

SEO is important aspect when you are promoting something or anything online, it has become essential for that business/individual who wants to gain result whatever they are doing online through search result. There are two major aspects of SEO- On-page SEO & Off-Page SEO. And from my own experience it is difficult to make website or blog 100 percent search oriented or SEO Optimized. It’s not because it’s a hard process but I have to go through many websites who share SEO expertise and a few tips. Here on this blog I am sharing the crux what I’ve got through practice and experience.            

I will try to make this blog updated with algorithm and Search updates from major search engine i.e. Google and other. So bookmarking this page will help you to optimization process of whatever you are…

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