Be More than Just a Name and a Profile Picture

You’ve decided to stake out your online identity and build your personal brand. You might start with a LinkedIn account to let potential employers check out your skills and work experience. You may join one (or a number of) the sites your friends are using, like Twitter or Pinterest. While every social media site offers you an opportunity to shape your brand, it can be hard to give the world a good sense of who you are in only 140 characters.

This is why you turn to Tumblr.

Tumblr is a platform used by both brands and individuals to create, curate, and share content. Through Tumblr you can easily post text, photos, quotes, links, music, and videos, allowing your Tumblr to act as a hub for everything you’re sharing online. While posting original content is key for developing your personal brand, you can also showcase other people’s content using the “reblog” and “like” functions.

How does it work?

Tumblr is made up of two components: your dashboard, and your blog. Once you create an account you can begin to follow other people. Find users with similar interests by searching for specific tags, such as #photography. Soon your dashboard will be filled with a steady stream of content from the blogs you follow. When you really like a certain post you can reblog it and it will appear on your own Tumblr.

Your personal blog can be viewed by both Tumblr users and non-users alike. Keep in mind that because Tumblr doesn’t use algorithms, everything you post will appear in your followers’ dashboards; while you want to provide enough content to engage them, avoid flooding their dashboards with endless posts and reblogs.

Not only can you let your personality shine through on Tumblr through the content you share, but also through the design you select. The site is highly customizable, allowing you to choose your own URL, layout, and colour scheme. While Tumblr is free to use, premium designs are only available for a price. However, with so many free themes to choose from and the ability to develop your own, you can quickly create a unique personal site without investing much time or money.

Just because your Tumblr doesn’t take long 10f8 to set up, don’t underestimate the amount of time you’ll need to devote to it. Before you get started, Neil Patel suggests you ask yourself whether or not you’ll be able to keep up your Tumblr in the long run. Sporadic posts won’t help you to build and maintain followers; keep them engaged by regularly sharing interesting content. Tumblr is very visual in nature, so think about how you can express your brand through images as well as words.

Ultimately, Tumblr is your opportunity to tell your story, using whatever mediums you like best. Show off your personality through your design, or tell people what’s important to you with the content you post and reblog. You’re more than just a name and a profile picture, so use Tumblr to highlight content that represents who you are, and watch as your personal brand takes shape.

Social Media Marketing with Reddit and Tumblr

If you’re a marketer, chances are you’ve read an article on how Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, or Twitter can be used to reach consumers with advertising messages and build communities of loyal followers. But if you’re interested in getting your brand more involved in social media, first get to know some of the alternative options out there that could be a better fit for your business.

Reddit

Reddit

Reddit is an online community where users share news, photos, interesting and obscure pieces of information, along with their own personal stories and opinions. Redittors can post links in various “sub-reddits” (categories such as /r/pics or /r/music), and if their post receives enough up-votes from other users it may make it onto the “front page” (the constantly updating list of hottest posts, found on Reddit’s homepage). The default ranking for all sub-reddits is by popularity, so posts with more up-votes and comments have a greater chance of being seen. Be warned that users can also down-vote posts into obscurity if they find them uninteresting, or identify them as obvious marketing ploys.

This social media platform isn’t about how many friends you have – it’s about posting content that other users find unique, interesting, funny, and relevant to their interests. Reddit won’t be the best match for every brand, and risks include posts being flagged as spam, getting abused in the comments, or down-voted to never be heard from again. Don’t let this scare you off! There are certain topics that excel on Reddit, such as gaming, technology, science, music, educational stories, food, fitness, and more. It’s also a great opportunity to reach a large audience; Reddit had 43 million monthly active users in 2012, and got more than 3 billion page views in August of that year.

Reddit users are highly engaged on the site, and can spend hours at a time clicking through links and images. The reward of being able to determine what it is your Reddit audience wants and then delivering it to them will be a huge surge in traffic.

As with any marketing tactic, the most important thing is to consider who your target market is and whether or not they’re likely to be on the site (look at user demographics). Sub-reddits allow you to target niche audiences, so it’s important to post in ones that are relevant to your business, product or industry. Picking a sub-reddit with higher traffic will help your post to be seen, so choose ones that are consistently being updated with new content. Customize how your front page looks by subscribing to relevant sub-reddits, and then monitor what types of content is most popular within your target area.

To have the best experience, invest time on the site finding out what users are interested in, posting great content such as photos, videos, as well as up-voting and commenting on other users’ posts. There are general sub-reddits that have a high traffic volume and can span many different topics, such as /r/todayilearned (interesting facts or tidbits of info), /r/askreddit (ask Reddit users for their ideas, opinions, or stories), or /r/askmeanything (a single user is ‘interviewed’ by replying to comments on a specific AMA post). Numerous high profile business leaders and celebrities have done AMAs to spread awareness for causes or projects they’re involved in. The example of Woody Harrelson’s disastrous AMA compared to Gerard Butler’s success – both done to promote upcoming films – shows the difference between truly engaging with users versus blatantly marketing to them.

If you’re interested in reaching Reddit’s audience, but don’t have the time to commit to maintaining an account, there’s also an option for more traditional on-page advertising that can be targeted to specific sub-reddits.

Tumblr

Tumblr

Although Tumblr and Reddit are both focused around sharing great content, Tumblr is much more like a traditional blog. But don’t make the mistake of dismissing Tumblr right away just because you already have a company blog. The posts that do well on this platform are short, sharable, and visual. Although publishing a longer post every few weeks can make you stand out on Tumblr and give your follows more to talk about in the comments, it’s better to save text-heavy posts for your blog.

Tumblr is not a space for you to constantly push out advertising and marketing messages – no one wants to follow a brand that fills their dashboard up with spam. It’s also not just about posting content, but also curating it by sharing other users’ posts. Just like with Reddit, the key is to determine what your audience is interested in, and then give them that type of content. You can’t be all things to all people, so keep your focus on Tumblr narrow.

Sephora is a great brand to look to as an example. Their blog is filled with highly relevant content, and they always have a visual element accompanying a text post. They reward customers for visiting their page with plenty of style tips and how-to tutorials (featuring Sephora products of course). Not only are they engaging consumers, but they can drive traffic back to their website with the message “Shop Sephora.com” at the top of the page.

Beyond the content itself, there are a number of other best practices for marketing with Tumblr. Use tags to make your posts discoverable through Tumblr’s search, and post during peak hours to increase the chance of your content being found. Make your blog accessible to non-users by allowing consumers to subscribe to you via RSS or email, and install Disqus so that anyone can post comments. You can also create categories (as Sephora has done) to keep people exploring your blog for longer. Don’t forget about SEO – optimize page titles and meta descriptions, create custom post URLS, name image files and fill out alt attribute keywords.

Before you jump on the Tumblr bandwagon, make sure this platform is right for your business by answering the following questions:

  • What do you want to achieve with your Tumblr blog (e.g. increase awareness, revenues, customer education)?
  • Who will be responsible for running the blog?
  • Who is your audience, and what will be the focus of your blog?
  • Are you able to commit to this new social media platform in the long term?

I hope this post has started you thinking outside the social media box!

Promotional Items: Advertising that Works for You

Promotional items are great advertisement for your business. Offering “freebies” printed with your company’s logo and contact information does double duty. First of all, it gives the customer a sense of getting something for nothing. Everyone loves a free item, and giving potential customers an item as simple as a keychain or coffee mug creates a feeling of goodwill toward your company, making customers more likely to do business with you in the future. Secondly, a promotional item serves as corporate advertising for your business. Every time that pen, coffee mug or promotional keychain is used, your company’s name and contact information is on display. This puts your business first and foremost in the product user’s mind.

Promotional Items

Promotional items are commonly offered at trade shows, during special business events and sales or even just as a bonus given at the check-out counter or sales desk. Nearly any type of company can utilize promotional products to their advantage. It is, however, important to tailor the particular item offered to the type of business that offers it. A construction company attempting to do business with high-profile contractors and clients may not want to offer a keychain, which would rarely be used in the business, but perhaps a coffee mug or a hat emblazoned with the company logo. Likewise, a bank would do much better giving out pens then it would handing out bumper stickers. Think about who your ideal customer is, and then find a promotional product to suit them.

With traditional advertising mediums such as print ads or television spots, you are required to pay a premium every time your ad is run. Promotional items need only be purchased once, and their advertising value increases every time the product is used, worn or displayed. Ideas for these items are nearly unlimited and can include things like apparel, calendars or notepads, writing utensils, coffee mugs or tote bags. Anything that can be printed with company information is free game. Promotional items are a great way to spend your advertising budget. They provide long-lasting publicity at a low price. Offering promotional products at your next retail event or trade show can drive sales, increase business and lead to new customers.

Social Influence: Do Brands Have Your Number?

If you’ve ever wondered how much influence you have online, Klout, Kred, and PeerIndex are here to provide you with answer in the form of a numerical score. All three websites similarly define influence as the ability to drive or inspire action, and use information from your social media accounts to determine exactly how much social media influence you wield. Although each site uses different algorithms to calculate your score, all three take the approach of quality over quantity both in terms of your number of friends or followers, as well as the amount of content you post. Interactions and audience engagement are the keys to having high amount of online influence. To better compare these sites, it’s important to have a solid understanding of what each has to offer.

Klout

Klout

Klout provides users with an overall online influence score ranging from 1 to 100 (with 100 being the most influential). To determine your score you’re only required to connect one of your accounts, but have the option of connecting any (or all) of the following: Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, foursquare, and Wikipedia. Klout measures engagement in the form of mentions, likes, retweets, +1s, comments, and so on, as well as examines who is engaging with your content and who they’re sharing it with. Key features of your Klout profile beyond your score include a display of your most influential moments, and a list of topics which you or anyone else can add to your profile to better reflect what types of content you share.

Kred

Kred

By connecting your Twitter and / or Facebook account, Kred will provide you with two different scores. Your influence score is out of a possible 1,000 points, and is based on online interactions such as retweets, replied, mentions, likes, shares, and even event invitations. Your cumulative outreach score represents how generous you are online, and takes your retweets, replies, mentions, and likes of others into account. Similar to Klout topics, your Kred activity page features the communities you are a part of (such as “Fashion,” or “Marketing”) and gives you influence and outreach scores for each. Your activity page additionally displays recent users you mention, users who mention you, most used hashtags, and both you and your friends most retweeted posts. Out of all three options, Kred has made their scoring process the most transparent, helping users understand how their influence and outreach points are being generated.

PeerIndex

PeerIndex

Like Klout, PeerIndex provides users with an influence score ranging from 1 to 100, based on interactions from Twitter, Facebook, Quora, LinkedIn and / or your personal website. PeerIndex measures your knowledge and authority in various subjects by analyzing how you share content on any given topic. This authority is then affirmed when others retweet, share or Facebook, or otherwise engage with your content. This provides users with a list of “Top topics” accompanied by a topical PeerIndex score. Unlike Klout and Kred, other people cannot impact which topics are associated with your profile directly through the PeerIndex website. Currently, PeerIndex does not have a feature similar to the way users can give other people +Kred in a specific community or give +K on a particular topic through Klout.

Which One Should You Use?

While all three options use Twitter and Facebook to calculate influence scores, Klout has the most options for connecting additional accounts; depending on how many other social media websites you’re active on and connect, this could mean higher scores on Klout and PeerIndex than on Kred. However, since all three options offer their measurement services for free I recommend signing up for all of them to maximize the amount of data you have on your online activity. Your Kred activity page is updated in real time, while you Klout and PeerIndex scores are updated daily; however, PeerIndex warns that certain analyses happen weekly, so it may take up to a week for changes to be reflected in your score. No matter which site you use, fairly constant and continuous involvement is required to keep your score from dropping.

Need another incentive to join beyond analyzing your social media interactions? All three options offer rewards for high influencers ranging from exclusive discounts to entirely free items. Klout Perks are rewarded based on your score, topics, and location. Kred rewards are similarly given out based on your communities and location. PeerPerks are available to users based on influence scores, and are featured on your homepage as soon as you sign in.

How Legitimate are these Tools for Measuring Social Influence?

Although the algorithms aren’t perfect yet, I think that these tools are a strong starting point for understanding how engaged a social media user’s audience is. However, in their present state, I don’t think they can be relied on to always provide an accurate picture of a user’s ability to influence others. The possibility of “gaming the system” (discussed below), combined with points raised by Sean Carlos and Erik Kain have left me unable to completely trust in social influence scores. (more…)

Top Considerations to Make When Hunting for Cheap Web Hosting Packages

Whether you’re trying to run an online business or you just want a dedicated platform from which to spread your message to the world, one thing is clear: you have to make sure that you get quality web hosting! Yet does quality have to mean that you’re spending more money than you anticipated? Not at all. What you have to do is make sure that you have a few considerations out of the way.

1. Reliability

The first thing that you have to look for would have to be reliability. In other words, is this going to be a web hosting company that can keep your site running for the long term, or are you going to be subjected to a lot of unplanned downtime? There’s no way to have 100% uptime these days, not without shelling out heavy fees for a nearly round-the-clock server setup that automatically falls back to a secondary server when the main one has scheduled maintenance. But they can get as close to 100% as possible through smart administration.

web_hosting

2. Speed

Reliability is nothing without speed, because if your visitors have to wait a long time before they can view your site, then it’s not going to be worth it to them. They’ll feel free to go somewhere else, because you didn’t deliver their expectations.

3. Cost

Sure, cost is a factor when you have to think carefully on your web hosting. If you’re going to run a successful business online, you want to make sure that you have a quality server that will meet your needs. Some cheaper web hosting packages will be sufficient for your business needs so spending a lot on a dedicated option isn’t always required. If you can’t afford that server, then you won’t be in business for very long. Dig deep into your business plan and then ask yourself an honest question: how much are you willing to spend? You may get a discount if you go with a yearly subscription instead of a monthly one.

4. Tech Specs

Looking at how much space you get is going to be super important. Just as you don’t want to have so much space you waste it, you don’t want to struggle because your limits are so small. One of the biggest factors is bandwidth, along with storage space. Some popular CMS software such as wordpress require minimum server specifications but it’s more down to the traffic, images and any videos that’ll be the biggest demands for your server. If you’re running a small collection of sites, you’re not going to need as much space as someone that wants a high-volume blog network. Make sure that you look at what you want to achieve through the site or sites, and then shop according to those goals. And if you have questions, don’t be afraid to ask them!

5. Support

Support matters big time, because when something goes wrong you don’t want to wait forever for a fix. Will the support team be able to tell you where your backups are kept, or is that something that you’re going to have to hunt around for on your own time? It just depends on the company that you pick.

Demand for web hosting is on the rise, with specific spikes in the cloud hosting sphere and in dedicated hosting packages. Yet if you study these tips well, you’ll be able to find hosting for all of your personal and professional needs.

HTML Tutorial part 4

HTML Comments

HTML comments can be used to organize your code or to remind you what a certain portion of code does.

All HTML comments begin with <!– and end with –>. Here’s an example comment:

<!--My Comment Goes Here-->

Coding Practice

It’s always positive coding practice to make sure your code does not overlap. For example:

Incorrect: <b><i>Text</b></i>
Correct: <b><i>Text</i></b>

You should always close HTML tags in the order in which they were opened.

HTML_guide

Also, make sure you use quotation marks where necessary. When defining attributes, you must always use quotation marks. Example:

Incorrect: <body bgcolor=#0000ff>
Correct: <body bgcolor="#0000ff">

We are finally ready to publish our documents to the web!

The first step to publishing to the web is to ensure your documents are in “.htm” or “.html” format. This can be done simply by renaming the file extension.

You will now need to order a domain name such as yourname.com. You can get a domain name at Namecheap.com or Godaddy.com.

Next, you will need to order web hosting so your website can be displayed properly.

Once everything is properly prepared, you will need an FTP program to upload your files to the internet. FTP stands for “file transfer protocol.”

Simply use the FTP program to upload all the files to your web host. If you need help with FTP, just contact your web host’s support. Uploading varies from web host to web host so it’s best to contact your web host’s support department for assistance.

Once you have everything uploaded, type in the URL of your website into your address bar and browse your site.

Congratulations! You’ve just setup your first website!