WordPress 101

Build and learn how to think about building a website with wordpress and best practices and tools for search engine and social media.

Web Hosting that turns the worst nightmare into a dream host

Worst nightmare: One of my sites got hacked.

Best outcome: My ass was saved.

Dreamhost Advert2This happened rather quickly, so within the first 12 hour period I’m alerted by my hosting service about the situation. They outline in their email what happened and the steps they have already taken to eliminate the attack. Included is a bunch of technical language telling me what I need to do to tighten security on the server. Fantastic.

Nightmare continues: Security is a technical *itch.

I still don’t know what to do. I’m reading their support wiki about all the security steps that can be taken. It’s over my head and full of jargon. I like my admin panels. I email them back letting them know I’m in over my head.

Dream Host Support: They not only tell, they do!

Another email comes back. They’ve taken further steps to eliminate some of the threats. It’s an exhaustive email, it takes me an hour of scanning and rescanning to absorb what I can. I discover all sorts of hidden things that were not visible to me before. I’m able to lock it back down.

Comment: Naysayers have a bad attitude.

Someone bitched about Dreamhost on Youtube the other day. Their gripe conflicts greatly with my experience. As you can see, their commitment to support is exemplary. While the responses don’t come immediately, seeing the amount of effort expended in the depth of material provided, plus the intermediary action-steps they’ve taken, it is understandable if the response comes in some hours later, or early the next day.

Love my Dreamhost. Nice to know a lifeguard is watching me swim over my head.

If you want hosting, you can get a great yearly rate allowing you to host unlimited domains. http://www.dreamhost.com/r.cgi?391391

*And using the link above, helps me with rewards for hosting my community arts sites, and safety sites. Thanks for the support.

Related Sites Mentioned:

Social Media, Intimacy, and Creating Community

we-are-worldSocial Media, by nature, is not an intimate space. Considering the level of exposure that can occur online, however, it is realized that it can be a very vulnerable space, particularly if left untended. Our ability to be open and honest, in a way that communicates and connects with people on a more intimate level, the more we can manage how we are perceived by the online audience. Just because it is not an intimate space by nature, does not mean we cannot create a sense of intimacy.

Simple Translation:

Let the personality of the social media manager (or yourself) also engage your audience in personable and human ways – sharing common traits and interests that connect people. This intersperses the marketing messages, bringing the human relationship into the online space you manage, and becomes a more inviting and recognizable space as a community forms.

Alternative:

The caution here is to not overdo the marketing and selling. If all we do is push products and services, our relevance can become stale quickly, as people tire of seeing the same thing repeatedly. If you haven’t time to manage the space and contribute more than what you sell, spread your message out more over time. Don’t flood it repeatedly. This will help it remain fresh when it does appear.

How does your website make you money?

money-magnetThis idea of building a website and seeing orders pour in seems to be a predominant perspective in a lot of businesses. I encounter, at times, a comment that negates the value of a company’s website by saying we have no internet sales. And yet, I wonder how many people phoned because they saw the company website?

Just like the earlier and simpler days of the White Pages and the Yellow Pages, people looked you and others up and made some phone calls. You had another step in the sales process. And an important one: Build rapport and earn the business.

Now you’re probably freaking. As if you haven’t enough to do already. Right?

Business is a first-things-first arena, though. A living, breathing, heart-beating, red-blooded lead that calls you is definitely a first thing. And you, the business owner, are even better served by getting out there and meeting people, making phone calls, and building relationships. If you can have a small showroom store-front to establish a stronger presence, all the better. All these factors will have a greater influence than your website.

So why bother with the website and all this social media marketing stuff? Right?

Simple. Many of the people you will meet and the events you will be attending will have a social media profile. You’re building a network, and in building this network you’re leveraging the power of social media, the internet, and basic internet marketing principles. As you grow in the real world, you will grow in the virtual world too.

In reverse, the same is possible. The risk, however, is deadly if caught into the trap. Many endeavour to launch their web presence and build a following and neglect the face-to-face interactions and marketing events. Ironically, the social media arena opens avenues to attend events locally and still connect. Many do, of course, but as I said opening this paragraph, if caught into the trap it is deadly. Internet connected and real-world isolation… followed by what?

Are there benefits to online marketing, an ecommerce store, etc?

Absolutely! And even more so today. First of all, you need to manage many aspects of your business. As you establish relationships with your customers, you can offer an online ordering system through your website that helps you to automate your business processes, saving you time, making you and your operations more efficient. The sky is the limit when you have some money to throw at the technical requirements.

You’re on a modest budget though, and as a small business, can see the future possibilities but have to deal with today’s realities. I hear you.

The fascinating thing about the internet, and websites in general today, is that they are living breathing entities that continually transform to keep fresh, inviting, current, and relevant. And in the beginning, one can start with a basic few systems and manage many aspects of their business at a modest fee. As you grow and your revenues, you can scale to larger systems to accommodate the business growth. It’s simply a question of where you are on the timeline.

And in the process of doing these many things on a consistent to semi-consistent basis, is an increase of traffic, search engine ranking, and social media presence. It’s all just a question of work and time.

Plant the seeds.

Facebook: Juggling an Intimate Audience in a Large Crowd

Lists-Facebook-HomeChoosing friends out of a crowd. One of the most difficult things about building a large network on facebook, is actually keeping up with close personal friends; particularly when it comes to sharing.

Whenever you look at a friend’s profile, you have the ‘friend’ button at the upper-right of their page. When clicked, a drop-down appears where you can add them to a list. This serves useful purposes – particularly when you’re looking at your home feed with everyone’s updates flying by.

At the right side of your home page there is the option of choosing a List view based upon your friend lists that you’ve created. Additionally, when posting updates to your own wall, you may choose to post something to a specific group of people, or exclude a specific group of people; not so much as being evasive, but instead being considerate of the noise we generate when we post irrelevant topics.

It’s about becoming more targeted.

 

facebook-friend-choicesNow the real good news: Take a look at the screen image and you’ll also notice at the top “Close Friends” and “Acquaintances” which gives you even more personal control. Sometimes, when you post something – you don’t because you realize your audience is too vast and too wide. Yet, you wish you could share something very intimate with your closest audience.

Now’s your chance.

This additional choice option allows you to specifically identify – regardless of the list they’re on – whether you have a close relationship with this person, or whether they’re just another acquaintance that you met through networking.

Post Closer to Home

facebook-share-with-whoNow when you post something that is more personal for the general audience, you simply change the option for who can see your post to your “Close Friends” and keep it intimate.

Public means the whole world will see it – a nice thing to do with some generic things that help decorate the look and feel of your profile page.

Friends, just the people in your personal facebook network will see the post.

Friends except Acquaintances is this new wonderful jewel, that will filter out friends you’ve tagged as Acquaintances, allowing only those you identified as “Close Friends” to see your post.

Only Me is a great feature too. Consider wanting to bookmark something for later reference. Now you can post it to yourself here on your facebook profile and no one else will see it.

And Custom is where you can get into some finessing even further, using Lists, and even individual’s names.

Facebook: Quieting the Noise of Your Home Feed for Large Friend Networks

Facebook-how-to-quiet-noise1Seeing your friend list grow to large numbers can be fun, exciting, and rewarding. It can also get very noisy! Viewing your HomeFeed, status updates, videos, photos, and links zip by at alarming rates of change, and you rarely get a full view of what is really going on in your own community. Here’s the good news: You can quiet the noise. And it doesn’t mean you have to ‘unfriend’ all those people in your network either.

Hovering your mouse over a friend, their profile box pops up. It lets you see that you’re friends or not, what friend list you have them on, and what kind of updates you want to see from them via the Subscribed feature. In fact, you can Unsubscribe completely — though I don’t recommend this action.

You’ll know who you want to see ALL Updates, MOST, or Only Important Updates. Choosing from these three options as your Home Feed passes your eyes, you’ll gradually clean up the noise on your Home Feed, allowing you to enjoy more from people closer to you, with less disruption from a lot of other – maybe self-promotional – updates.

Dropbox: A useful File Sharing tool for Online Collaboration Work

dropboxDropbox is the easiest way to store, sync, and, share files online. There’s no complicated interface to learn. Dropbox works seamlessly with your operating system and automatically makes sure your files are up-to-date. Available for Windows, Mac, and Linux.

Recently, needing to transfer rather large files, I found this fantastic service. The free level gives you 2gigs of storage right out of the gates. Installing their secure api application, and having created a secure online account on their website, you create a virtual folder on your desktop that quickly and easily manages files to be synced with the web-server.

Once on the webserver, anything you choose to share with others, you specify who to give access via their unique email address for security. A public folder option is also available for sharing via the web. Each upload into the Public folder will get it’s own unique link that you can publish and share on the web. A very handy feature for special downloads you’d like to offer from your own website.

Ease of use, and the bonuses they offer, Dropbox is a very useful service option.

A Typical Day Social Media Promotions

Email Envelope on White backgroundWith coffee in hand I sit at my computer ready to tackle my incoming email and catch up on my social media spaces. Two tabs are open in my browser when it starts; one is Facebook, the other is my Gmail inbox.

Skimming my inbox, I quickly eliminate a host of emails that belong in the garbage and/or are spam. Others are set aside for general reading when time permits.

Having the email sorted and out of the way, I jump over to the Facebook tab in my web browser. No messages in my Facebook inbox, a few comments to reply to, post a good morning status, and I switch to my Fan Pages.

Responsible for multiple fan pages, I quickly jump from one to the other to post updates. Simple and clever posts using popular quotations that inspire, inform, or laugh, as much to topic of the crowd when necessary.

Back to my Gmail inbox, I click Reader in the menu at the top of the page. A new tab opens with my Google Reader. From here I can scan the RSS feeds I am subscribing to and see if there are any new and interesting stories I can use on my fan pages to share with my audience.

In addition, Google Reader has a share button too, which pushes the article I’ve found to my Google Buzz! and Google Profile. And I’ve also got it importing Google Reader shares to my Friendfeed account too, which selectively pushes updates to my Twitter account.

Some days, I will visit YouTube and click “Like” on videos I’m enjoying, knowing that I’ve set it up to post what I “Like” to my Facebook profile. Again, a semi-automated way to increase my social media activity to more than one space without having to do double the work.

Find out more about the tools used during a typical day with The Google Advantage guide.

Managing Your Online Profile

quality-stand-out-crowdIt is quickly becoming conventional wisdom for professionals to realize the importance of establishing and maintaining a robust and communicative online profile. As has become the case with searching for knowledge of all manner and type, most individuals go first to the Internet – and of those, approximately 85%, go to Google to get the information they need. It’s no different for recruiters, hiring managers, potential employers or contractors, and other stakeholders who need to carefully examine the history, qualifications, and relevant attributes of alleged talent with whom there is potential to forge a professional relationship.

Whether we want to or not, our cyber presence is being developed. Even those who deliberately shy away from social media networking may still have a bio posted on their company’s web site or could be listed on an association’s site as having given a talk at a conference. Maybe you or your company have been reviewed on one of many consumer review sites or someone’s cell phone snapped you at a social event which is now on YouTube. To think your name and reputation can or should remain hidden from the web in this day and age is naïve and potentially harmful to your career.

Getting out in front of how your character is to be perceived by the world will give you the advantage of crafting and determining the message and image that accurately and powerfully presents you to those who may offer opportunities, which could result in career enhancement. Although you may not be able to control all of the content about you that gets caught in the web, there are some steps that can be taken that will anchor your message of core professionalism that can optimize ahead of any weak or worse material that may be out there. The target outcome is simple – to have an online profile that displays your value and talent.

The place to start, however, is with a document that may never make it to the Internet and that is your resume. If this is well written it should be economically and succinctly capturing your value proposition with supporting competencies, achievements, skills both hard and soft, education and training, and any other information highlighting your qualifications. With this foundation in place the professional is ready to communicate a self-appraisal with a variety of online means. Here are four recommended ways in order to accomplish this:

1. LinkedIn – With 85+ million users and growing this is the strongest place to establish your presence. The profile components are designed to give you a well rounded professional look and it is easily updateable. You control the message entirely and it should mirror the value as described in your resume. There is the added advantage of linking to a wide network of colleagues, associates, and groups that increase your exposure and intellectual capital.

2. Twitter – This microblogging service is a great way to build your reputation through sharing relatively frequent commentary on industry insights and promotion of web-based content. It’s simple to use and once you learn about the # and @ communities you can target your messages to people who care about what you have to offer.

3. Your Own Web Site – Controlling your image in a positive and creative way can be done by having your own site designed by yourself or by one of the gazillion boutique webmasters that are around. Here you can write a profile; add pictures; link to other relevant sites or blogs; post a video of yourself talking about what you do, which can be recorded using your webcam or by a friend with a digital camera; include an audio podcast, and post your own blog.

4. Blogging – A wonderful self-promotion technique is to share your professional expertise. Doing so projects knowledge, experience, confidence, and legitimacy. Including your blog as part of your web site by using a sophisticated blogging tool such as WordPress eases the process. Blogging takes commitment, though. Keep posts often and current to get the most impact.

Taking these four steps will position you well for managing your online profile. Remember that your value proposition is the theme that ties all of these tactics together. Be consistent in communicating what great things you offer and be prepared for the career benefits this effort will yield.

William W. Ryan is a Concord, New Hampshire based career consultant specializing in customized career coaching, resume and cover letter writing, and personality assessments.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Bill_Ryan

Are You an Ethical Social Networker?

we-are-worldToday as I logged into my Facebook account, I was disturbed to see that a “friend” had sent me a direct message on my wall promoting his opportunity, one that I am familiar with. I voiced my objections privately and removed this person as a friend. He did not see my point of view, and felt he had done nothing wrong. He shared a quote with me that summed up his philosophy regarding business: It went something like You can be right, I’ll be rich.

What does that say about the way some people market? This says to me that it doesn’t matter what tactics you use, as long as you make a sale. That it’s not at all about building relationships but about the bottom line. We all have a choice to make when we market online. Social marketing sites are a great way to promote your business, but the most effective way to use these sites is through relationship building.

If you use social networking sites for marketing, how you use this platform can affect your bottom line. Think of your wall as your online home. When people come to your home, are they getting to know, like and trust you or are you simply bombarding your guests with self promotion? People want to get a sense of who they are doing business with, and if there is nothing on your wall but ads for products and services that benefit you financially, most people will be turned off and either remove you from their news feed or unfriend you. You need to give your prospects a sense of why they would want to work with you; what is the benefit to them to do business with you?

A few tips for ethical social marketing:

Don’t try to sell something in every post you make. Make posts that let your audience get a sense of who you are, what interests you etc.

Share good content, even if it doesn’t directly benefit you. Examples are links to articles, an interesting video, an inspirational quote.

Give something useful away like an ebook or a free report. Make posts that encourage interaction with your friends.

Post relevant comments on your friends walls.

Don’t spam your friends’ walls. Sharing information with your friends is great, but be considerate of their space. Posting your links on a friend’s walls without their permission is disrespectful. Put yourself in their shoes; how would you feel if your friends posted their offers all over your site without your permission?

Successful marketing is not just about making money, it’s also about changing other peoples lives for the better. People will follow those who help others succeed.

Deb Lane has been marketing online since 1998, and been a small business owner since 1993.

Among other duties, Deb handles the office/financial functions for Marketers Edge, the business she co-owns with her business partner, Stephanie Remers. Marketers Edge specializes in providing online marketing tools for both online and offline businesses, as well as help for those seeking to work from home.

To learn more about Deb and Marketers Edge, please visit http://marketers-edge.info

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Deb_Lane

3 Reasons Why Money Making Websites Are Only One Simple Page

money-magnetTypically, marketers believe that money making websites have to be large extravagant, complex, custom built websites with all the widgets and bells and whistles. However, that is not usually the case. If you were to ask any successful full time internet marketer, they would tell you that their first money making website was simple and probably only one page in total. This article gives you three reasons why money making websites are only one simple page and why yours should be too.

Start Your Online Business In One Day

The main reason money making websites are only one page is because of speed. You can put together a good money making site in under one day. There is no reason to start off fancy and elaborate. Just put something out there your prospects will appreciate. You’ll be surprised at the results. You can do this with various types of blog sites or even a simple squeeze page.

Ditch Your Webmaster

Once you enter the world of internet marketing, you’ll undoubtedly end up being your own webmaster. Simply put, you’ll be creating your main website and handle all the details with it. And nobody wants to manage a 29 page monster that is hard to navigate with hundreds of pictures and ridiculous details that nobody cares about. If you had a website like that built, then you’ll spend hundreds of dollars alone. Plus you’ll pay high hosting fees just to maintain the darn thing. Many times, with a site like that you’ll have little to no control over it. Since this is your business, you’ll want 100% control of it. And with your one page simple site, you will.

Create Multiple Streams Of Income

When you are able to produce money making websites quickly, it’ll be easier to create multiple streams of income. For example, you could be an affiliate in 7 different niches and have a good website set up for each niche in under a week. (That’s only if you spent around 30 minutes a day for 7 days). That’s how the big boys in the internet marketing world do it. It’s a proven model that works time and time again.

One can imagine how this could be life changing. Many, many online marketers started out by using a simple one page website to collect leads and make sales. You should be no different. To get your FREE money making website blueprint visit Money Making Website and get your free report that lays it out in detail for you. Thousands of people just like you have already used the report to jump start their online careers. You can too.

A web business is a lot fun and very profitable. And it all starts with a simple website. Visit http://www.moneymakingwebsite.info today for more details.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Shane_M._M._Boyd