Archive for the ‘Social Media’ Category

Follow My Blog

I’m doing most of my posting over on HelperB.biz, but you can find details about what Helper B can do to assist you here, by viewing my pages.  Of course, if you have any questions about tasks I can help you accomplish, feel free to contact me at 623-688-0541  or helperb@live.com.

I enjoy providing a quick, economical path to helping businesses create a larger internet presence.  I can set you up on social media platforms, blogging, and/or free business listing services on the internet.   More importantly, I make sure you understand how to access what has been set up for you, and how to utilize it.  I also provide coaching and consultations on creating content to post out on social media.  Social media won’t do you any good if you don’t create and post relevant content consistently.  No matter how much you hear people tell you that you need to be everywhere, a good solid strategy developed around what works for YOU and YOUR business is a necessity.  Contact me today to get your business buzzing…Cindy

Blog Talk Radio – Helper B Sat In Today

Tom Loegering and Terry Munther host a monthly radio show, based upon the book “Success or Failure – The Choice is Yours” on Blog Talk Radio.  Today I had the opportunity to sit in on the live show and talk about some of the challenges I’ve faced in developing Helper B and how Tom and his book have helped me tremendously in my endeavors.  If you’re interested in finding out more about “Success or Failure – The Choice is Yours” go to www.successorfailure.org.

Tom is donation 100% of the book’s sales to autism related programs and charities.  One of these is being started through The Penny Pulz Golf Academy.  Scholarships are being provided for 10 autistic children to participate in The Golf Program for Autistic Kids.  The program is free and information on how to apply for a scholarship is available on The Golf Academy’s website at www.PennyPulzGolf.com.  Please pass this important information on to anyone you know who might be interested.

Listen to internet radio with Boomer and The Babe on Blog Talk Radio

Blogging Advice – It’s Everywhere!

While I am proud of myself that I completed the 31 Day Blog Challenge, sponsored by http://www.ultimateblogchallenge.com, I have still yet to decide how I want to continue with my blog posts in the future. I ran across this blog this morning and thought I would share it with you. http://www.copyblogger.com/mental-blocks-creative-thinking/ The title is “Do you recognize these 10 mental blocks to creative thinking?” Here’s just a snippet of the content and I hope you will read the entire post if you’re either contemplating or currently are blogging and struggling, as I am.

“People like to call this “thinking outside of the box,” which is the wrong way to look at it. Just like Neo needed to understand that “there is no spoon” in the film The Matrix, you need to realize “there is no box” to step outside of.

You create your own imaginary boxes simply by living life and accepting certain things as “real” when they are just as illusory as the beliefs of a paranoid delusional. The difference is, enough people agree that certain man-made concepts are “real,” so you’re viewed as “normal.” This is good for society overall, but it’s that sort of unquestioning consensus that inhibits your natural creative abilities.”

He touched on those boxes we are supposed to step outside of, but noted that those boxes are self-imposed. This is so true. In one of my previous posts titled “What’s Inside Your Box?” http://wp.me/p11Je5-55, I tried to focus thoughts on what is actually inside of my box, before I actually decide how I’m going to step outside of it.

Social media is the big buzz around town now. Everyone is either talking about it, blogging about it, or teaching it. Who do you listen to? How much information do you really need before you go into overload and just give up? Here are my suggestions to those of you out there who are in the same boat as I am – wanting to conquer all of this social media stuff but wondering if it’s worth it in the end:

  • Find someone who is at the level you’re currently at.  There is advice out there from beginning baby steps starting up your social media plan, to complex advice that will make your head explode just trying to read it. 
  • Look for good, consistent content being put out.  Search the internet for resources on websites and blogs.  There is much out there available to read.
  • Subscribe to those blogs who you enjoy so you can stay up with their content and do share with others if you find it useful.  The author will greatly appreciate it.  Most blogs usually have mutiple ways to connect with them – either subscribe and get e-mails, ‘like’ them on Facebook and get their posts sent to your Wall, Twitter, RSS (really simple syndication).
  • Don’t be afraid to ask.  Someone at my networking meeting this week asked “what is a blog and why do I need on”?  She said she was afraid to ask that question because everyone always shakes their heads like they understand while people are discussing it.  “Where do I get one” she asked. 
  • Pick friends and fellow entrepreneurs’ brains.  People are usually willing to share what they have figured out because they know it took them some effort to do so, so why not pass along your  knowledge is my philosophy.
  • Don’t try to get everything up and running at once.  Decide what you’re going to start with.  If you love writing, then start a blog and let people know you’re broadcasting.  Put links to it on your website, Facebook page, Twitter account or LinkedIn.  Wherever you hang out the most.
  • If it’s going to just be another frustration, then don’t do it.  The alternative is to have someone else do it for you and see if it benefits your business.

In the end, don’t stress yourself out and go into ‘information overload”!  Find a few reliable sources, ask questions and keep moving forward.  That’s what I’m determined to do.  Until next time…Cindy

Customize your posts with HTML

What is HTML you ask?  Here is an official definition: HTML, which stands for HyperText Markup Language, is the predominant markup language for web pages. It is written in the form of HTML elements consisting of “tags” surrounded by angle brackets within the web page content. It is the building blocks of all basic websites.
source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HTML

See any difference? I changed the above text to black by using HTML. The following text is formatted by the theme I’m using, but I don’t like it because it is harder to read.

Don’t let this description intimidate you. Even I have figured out a little html language by playing around. I encourage you to experiment with your blog – everything is reviseable!

Here is how I am using HTML revisions within my blog. The theme I chose comes with certain font styles and colors built in. I have gone into the area where you can change things about the theme and was unable to find the ability to change the color of the post text. If you notice when you are creating a new post in  ‘Add New Post’, there are two tabs on the top right side of where you enter the text – one is ‘Visual’ and the other is ‘HTML’.  When you click on HTML you will see the html language intermingled with your entered text. It is contained within brackets . Bold something in your post and then hit the HTML tab and see the HTML code that is on each side of it.  I tried to put it in here to show you but it just did what it was supposed to and bolded the text!

Where did I find the color codes you ask? I went into ‘Appearance’, ‘Background’ and looked around on the color wheel for the color I wanted and copied down the code. You’ll notice that when you want your HTML direction to end, it will have a slash / after the beginning bracket. That ends that particular coding. Again, I am not an expert, but if this helps you have a little fun without spending the extra time figuring this out, then it has been worth reading this post!

 Here is more helpful information and examples from WordPress Support: http://en.support.wordpress.com/editors/font-size-color/

Have fun and happy blogging!

Another way to update your blog

You can also update your blog through hootsuite.com. Manage your social media from one place and save time! Check out hootsuite.com.

So What’s a Widget Anyway?

Widgets are a handy, easy and simple way to add some flare to your blog. Whether you’d like to display the number of currently online visitors to your site or simply the weather report for Los Angeles, you can do it with widgets. And remember, the first rule of widgetizing your blog is – don’t overdo it!

So you’ve decided to to the blogging thing and see how it works. Great! I will go into a few ‘widgets’ that you should be putting on your blog to begin with, then you can delve further into fancier, more complex add-ins and plug-ins. Always use WordPress.org and Blogger.com as your first resources. There are people out there who are developing their own add-ins, but you don’t know who they are. Go with trusted sources first is my motto.

If you have a Blogger blog set up, they actually have far more widgets listed from within your blog’s main page, or dashboard. Click on the ‘Design’ tab and it will show you the current components in your blog. Blogger actually calls their add-ins ‘Gadgets’. There are pages and pages of things to add. You can always take them back out, so don’t be afraid to play around to see what they do. But remember, more is not always better. You want people to concentrate on what you have to say, not all of the stuff you have on your blog page.

If you have a WordPress blog, you go to your dashboard and click on ‘Appearance’ along the left side and you will see ‘Widgets’. When you click on that, you will see the components of your blog and the available widgets for you to add. You simply drag and drop them where you want them to be placed. WordPress also has a huge amount of what they call ‘plug-ins’, but I have yet to do more research on that subject, so look for an explanation in future blog posts!

What should I have on my blog page?

  • You should have a place for archived articles, so you can set your page to show only a few posts.  Nobody likes scrolling on forever and forever, so they will be able to click on archive and browse through past posts.
  • Definately have a way for readers to subscribe to your blog.  On Google’s Blogger you can ‘follow’ a blog, on WordPress you can put in a ‘subscribe to blog’ box.  This helps you see who is reading your blog and provides a way for you to contact them, if you wish.
  • Have a way for your readers to pass along your blog, if they wish to share it.  You can put social media buttons after each blog on both blogging platforms.  If you make it easy for them to tweet, facebook, or email your blog to friends, that greatly expands your blog’s reach.
  • Links of Interest – most definately!  This allows  you to lead your readers to your main website and any other places you would like them to find more information.  You can also use this area to list related website or links that you think they will find informative or useful.
  • Both platforms allow you to add html text, which is code, so you can add a badge for your Meetup Group, or an ad banner for an affiliate website.  You simply add the text/html gadget to your blog components and copy and paste the provided code into that area.  If you look at my blogs at www.helperbs.wordpress.com and www.helperb.blogspot.com you will see a banner at the bottom for a website company I use – ipage.  I have also added a couple of other badges that will take you directly to things like my networking group on Meetup.com.  Things like this are not necessary to start with, but add to the effectiveness of your blog, in directing people to places and information you would like them to see.

 

There are many other things to add in and play with, but you can do that gradually.  Just remember, you don’t want to distract people from your content.  On Blogger you can ‘monetize’ your blogs – Google will select ads to place within your blog posts and if someone clicks on an ad, and makes a purchase I believe, you receive a small amount of money.  WordPress can choose at any time to insert ads into your blog posts and you have to pay them not to do so.  Something to consider when choosing which platform you would like to use for your blog.

The wonderful thing about blogging is there is a delete button.! You can undo and change things to your hearts desire.  Have fun, play around and know you are not locked into stone.  Concentrate on the important thing – the content.  Make it valuable, consistent, understandable and useful to those who are reading your blog posts.

I hope that you have found this post useful and informative and I will continue to do research and pass along what I have found to be useful tips. 

You are invited to attend the Business Brainstormers Meetup Group on 9/21 at 11:00 where we will have our computers in tow and will be going through setting up a blog and getting started together.  Look the group up on www.meetup.com.  Until Monday – have a safe and enjoyable holiday weekend!

Oops – I fell off of the Blogging Bandwagon!

So, as I had previously discussed, in an earlier blog post this week, you need to think about your desire to be consistent with your social media. Are you willing to make a commitment to post content to your blogs, Twitter and Facebook on a regular basis? If you aren’t, then should you still try this whole social media thing? Sure – it never hurts to try something new and see if it will work for you. We are living in a whole new society where people are spending many hours on the computer, on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and so on. We have become a society engrossed in instant and constant news updates.

So I fell off of the blogging bandwagon after 14 posts! I had thought things out and decided that I was up to the challenge of writing an article each and every Sunday that I could then divide up into daily blog posts. This is what the social media ‘experts’ are advising that you do. “I can do that” I thought. But what do you do when your thought process dries up? You keep plugging forward!

I would like to provide you with a short outline of information that I have gleaned, that compels me forward in my efforts to conquer the social media challenge.

• If you put a blog within your website, your site will be indexed by the search engines faster and rated higher, because you have frequently updated content.
• More name/company/brand exposure on the internet. Nowadays just putting up a website and waiting on the customers to come to you just doesn’t cut it. There are over a trillion website on the internet.
• If you give out valuable information on your blogs, helpful tips or little tidbits that other people are charging their customers for, then people will come looking for you because you were helpful to them, without necessarily trying to sell them your product.
• By getting your name/company/brand out there on Twitter, YouTube, Facebook and blogs, you get in front of your potential customers. A lot of time is spent on the internet nowadays – shopping, local searches for businesses and so on. You need to be found.

So, I missed my Wednesday post this week. Did the world stop revolving – no. I’m hopping back on the blogging bandwagon with a sense of determination. Does that mean I won’t fall off again – definitely not, but you dust yourself off and get back up again.

I hope that I am giving you some information that you find valuable, or at least entertaining, in your efforts to bring your businesses into the world of social media and blogging!

Tune into tomorrow for What’s a Widget – a discussion of what extra components you should be using on your blog to get the most out of your efforts.

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