Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Blog at the begining

I thought I'd post a little about this blog. The reason I put this blog together was as a journal for my social media experiment and so others will hopefully find some use when starting there own online social network. But there is something more about blogs. Weblogs are very useful when it comes to promoting something online. Maybe an online store or just yourself and here is no exception. As I mentioned previously I set up a feed using twitter feed so my new blog posts are tweeted. Now a few years back before the likes of facebook, twitter and myspace were on the scene, if you created a post you would have to wait till it was indexed by the search engine, possibly do some seo or post to blog directories. But now, as soon as your post is created it can be tweeted, or posted on your wall for all to see. So its fair to say blogs are an important part of the social media group.

Now the thing ive found with twitter is you are limited to what you can say, so if you want to promote something then its probably better to create a blog post then tweet the post with a catchy interesting title.

So I think we can see a blog is useful. But what about my blog? what have I managed to achieve so far? Well basically using blogger, which is free is dead simple to use. I have played with the gadgets and added a few including some cute little fish at the bottom. Adding gadgets is easy, just hit the design button in blogger and you can simply add a range of widgets to your blog.

I also wanted to add some stats and submit to webmaster tools as you should with all sites if you want them to be indexed. Adding to webmaster tools was no problem, and finding stats is also very easy, however what about an xml sitemap? You are always told its good practice to submit a sitemap, especially to google. But how do you find. Well apparently the atom feed doubles up as a sitemap in blogger.

To find the sitemap in blogger simply look at the robots.txt
> www.yoursite.blogspot.com/robots.txt
And you will see
> www.yoursite.blogspot.com/feeds/posts/default?orderby=updated

Now simply submit /feeds/posts/default?orderby=updated as your sitemap in webmaster tools. Job done.

Thats pretty much it for now on my blog. I will be looking to submit to blog directories and rss directories in the future and just keep on blogging.

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Twitter Apps and things that go tweet in the night

Now I have my twitter account set up. @p4laddi incase you didnt catch my last post ;) I decide to checkout what programs and apps were out there to help me grow my network. I didnt want to go down the route of buying software or even followers, so the key was free apps. There are loads out there and its just a case of finding them.

One program I was familar with was twitterfeed. I wanted to feed a few thing to my account which hopefully would be of interest to others. I had already set my interests in my account and therefore the info I wanted to feed in is related. So I set up a feed from my store, its blog and the local weather. I have since added the feed of this blog to it. Twitterfeed is great. It allows you to feed in any rss feed and have it add new posts as tweets on your twitter. Above all its free!

One of the first follower apps I stumbled upon was twitter follower .com created by John Chow. I signed up but unfortunatly was unable to get any further. I just kept recieving: An internal database error occurred and the requested action could not be completed. Please try again later. I dropped John an email but yet to get a reply. I have had many emails from him, all IM hype about a new system that will make you rich. @johnchow if you just so happen to read this, I would love a response and I'm sure there are others experiencing the same issue.

A couple of stat type apps I found are twittercounter and twitaholic. What I can say is that twittercounter is run by a chap called boris. If you have an issue with unable to see stats, simply send a tweet @boris and he will sort it (and I must say very quickly!). I must say that twittercounter looks great, however I've yet had the opotunity to explore it fully.

Next app I found was twiends. This took about 24 hours from sign up until I was able to use. They make you jump through a few hoops, but not in a bad way and I guess its to preserve the quality of their site. Its a very clever setup in which you can follow people and earn seeds. These seeds can then be used to allow people to follow you. It also has a great feature in which you can find people with similar interests. You can get a little carried away with it and it will pop up a little message reminding you of twitters aggressive following policy.

The final app I will mention for now is justunfollow. I love the simplicity of this site. Once in by connecting with twitter you can check who is following you and who is not. Each screen has a button to follow fans and unfollow non-followers. All very easy to use.

I played around with a few other bits and bobs but nothing I felt was of great significance. If I find any jems I'll let you know.

So for twitter so far in the first week I have managed to obtain 360 followers. I dont know if that is good or bad, but its a reference. I will continue to work on my twitter account and post about anything interesting I find. Next, onto blogging.

Lets get started, Lets get Twittering!

Ok First off a little about me. Ive been involved in online ventures for a few years. From webmastering, hosting, ecommerce and search engine optimisation. I have had some success and a fair few failures. I have also dabbled in online marketing including clickbank and such like affiliate programs. My strongest area of expertise has pretty much been seo. Although, with that being said, lately I have seen the rise in social media becoming a dominating feature in any seo plan. Not to mention an essential part of any online business. Social media can be used for many aspects. Not only search marketing, but also brand marketing. Getting your brand out there and recognised as a trusty worthy strong name is key. It is also something the search engines are now leaning towards.

In the past I was able to skim across social media for any seo campaign. Basically set up and account and link it in and allow people to find it. I might even link from website to it to encourage people to join the network. But this was about it. In the past this would probably of been ok, but now social media is playing a big part in both seo and marketing and anyone ignoring it is missing out big time.

Being one of those missing out big time, I realised I had to catch up, however I had a problem. My knowledge of getting the most out of social media is very limited.

I decided to start with Twitter. I had already set up an account for my business, however I wanted to start fresh. Create an account for me and see how I can promote it. I created the account on 10th September 2011.

My account is @p4laddi of course feel free to follow me ;)

The first things I did was set up the page and add a nice background from twitter backgrounds .com. I hope to create my own background in the future but for now this is fine.

Ok, so now I have an account, next I need to find some followers, or a magic flute.