Top 10 Twitter Tips for Newbies

Twitter has been online since the last five years now. Just like Facebook, Twitter has created its own massive following online, with tweeting and retweeting defining a new meaning. Be it bloggers, freelancers, businesses, celebrities or even regular people, everyone has taken to Twitter big time. As a blogger, business or a freelancer, if you are planning to enter the Twitter world and want to build your own following and brand online, then read the below given 10 Twitter tips for newbies. All the 10 tips are intended to help newbies swim quicker in the realm of this very popular social media site.

  • The first tip for every newbie is to be real and not fake. Give your real name or company name. It is also very important to upload a photo. Your real photo is generally recommended, as it helps create an instant and direct impact among fellow tweeters.
  • If you have implemented on the first tip, then the second basic tip is to write a short description in your 160-character bio. Make your bio creative and interesting and give a little about yourself and your business. Don’t overdo creativity or else you will sound boring. Use one or two #tags in your bio for a greater effect while leaving a link of your website or business in it. If you are unsure, then check a few bios before writing one.

  • Start following your friends, like-minded people and businesses, industry experts and also those, whose work you admire (not necessarily related to your business).
  • Start by sharing your blogs, articles, promotional activities, any breaking news, quotes, etc., that you feel like sharing, is engaging, useful and that will help build your identity online. While linking to a blog or article, use a short link like bit.ly instead of the entire linked title.
  • In addition to sharing your own stuff, retweeting and sharing your follower’s blog, an industry expert’s content or any other fascinating work in relation to your business is highly advisable. This will not only help you gain followers but it will also give some new and useful content to your followers.
  • Reply to tweets sent to you while thanking those who retweet your tweets or share your link. This helps in building good online relationships. Remember a late thank you tweet is always better than sending none at all.
  • Use hash tags (#) wherever applicable to widen your conversation and viewers. However use them sensibly as too many hashtags can get annoying.
  • Do not sell all the time or write about routine things regularly.
  • Tweet regularly. One or two tweets every day is adequate. If you have more to share, then you can definitely tweet and share more. However you need to plan and space your tweets in such a scenario. Do not fall into the zone of tweeting today and then disappearing from Twitter for a week or two.
  • Stop thinking too much about followers. They will come while you tweet on a regular basis, find and share original content, ask questions, reply to others, listen to what people are saying and just enjoy yourself while building your identity and brand online.

There are many more tips that can help you build your niche in Twitter. However the above tips top my list. If you feel that there are some more top tips that can be added to the list, then do write it in the comment box. Twitter newbies, including me would love to know!

Why is My Blog Not Attracting Traffic?

Have you often wondered on why some blogs are being liked immensely by readers and shared a lot online? Are you pondering on why your blog is not able to generate traffic to your site, despite you putting in your best efforts?

Well, there are countless websites and millions of articles and blogs online. With so many thousands of articles and blogs written on similar topics, it becomes vital to be different and at the same time attract traffic to your site. If you are a relatively new blogger or an experienced blogger who is finding it difficult to pull free traffic to your site, then I recommend that you continue reading. Below give are some possible reasons that might be hampering your chances of drawing traffic to your site. See where you fit and subsequently make required changes to multiply your possibilities to be loved by Google.

Started Now

If you have started now, with just one or two articles/blog posts to your credit, then it is highly impossible to find thousands of people flocking to your site. In such a case it is actually not your mistake. Be patient but determined in your pursuit to reach your goal. You need to have a good number of useful blogs to your credit and build a good rapport with fellow bloggers and like-minded people to gain a regular flow of traffic to your site. Just continue working and you will definitely be on the road to success.

Infrequent Posting

Do you write when you feel like writing? Do you feel that you are not getting sufficient time to write? If you are nodding your head on both these counts, then you really need to pull up your socks. Take the time out and write regularly. Regularly can be twice, thrice, four or five times a week. Post your best articles on a regular basis, to build your set of loyal readers while also drawing a few more people to your site every week.

Uninteresting or Irrelevant Content

Readers come visiting your site in the hope of finding useful material. If you are not helping them solve their queries or you are writing irrelevant stuff or in a boring manner, then no amount of internet marketing or social media marketing tricks will keep you from going downhill. If you need some ideas on writing a good blog, then I recommend you check this post – ‘30 Inspiring Ideas to Develop Content for Your Blog’ by Jeff Bullas. It will definitely be of some help to you.

Poor SEO

You might have come across a number of articles and blogs dedicated to optimizing your content. This holds true if you want people to visit your site and read your blogs. If you have a highly optimized content, then Google and other search engine sites will automatically send visitors to your site, while ranking you high on their search engine pages. There are a lot many ways to optimize your content. However you can first start with using keywords and LSI words in your content and keyword/s in your Title tag. Also use keyword-focussed anchor link in your text and build strong SEO backlinks. Follow these basics and keep on adding a few more SEO link-building technique as you keep on working more.

Insufficient Distribution to Social Media and Social Bookmarking Sites

Posting your blog or article on your website is not going to draw high traffic to your site, if you are not taking sufficient steps to promote it. Unless you promote your content, people will not know that you or your site exists. In today’s day and time, social media plays an important role in getting your content known to millions of people online. Just use it, to attract even a fraction of it and see how you get a loyal set of readers. Post your article/blog and share it on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Digg, Delicious, StumbleUpon, etc. The more you share, the higher are the chances of your article/blog getting noticed and read by people. Remember, all of these are free ways of promoting your content. Do not throw away such wonderful opportunities.

Not writing a catchy headline, not being focussed enough, not engaging with fellow bloggers and even waiting in front of your PC in the hope of driving traffic are all hindrances to your effort of not being get traffic. Just work on these inadequacies and determinedly continue doing your work.

The Best Way To Find Your Dream Home

Buying a house is one of the biggest investments that people make. However, financial constraints and rising property price, only aid in delaying this decision. Attaining your goal of buying a house is not that easy. You need to do your homework well, gain sufficient information and show tremendous patience. If you are ready for this, then welcome to the world of house-hunting.

The entire process of finding and then buying the right home can be very exhilarating. As a buyer, you need to know your housing requirements, plan your budget, research about the locality, find a suitable house, negotiate with the seller, etc. All these things can turn complicated, if you do not gain practical and current information on the below given check list points. These points are the best way to find the right home, suiting your budget and personal requirements.

Set Your Budget

Setting up a price range for your to-be owned house is a vital step. Affordability is the key to buying a house or you will be in deep financial trouble. As an initial step, plan your down payment. Saving money every month is quite essential. It is only if you have some lump sum money in your savings bank account that you can use it as down payment. A down payment considerably lessens the burden of home loan. Similarly, think how much home loan you are intending to take and whether you will be able to pay the EMI per month after excluding your monthly expenses. Do not think unrealistically. If you are a working couple, then you can borrow more or else you need to restrict your unrealistic wants.  As a thumb rule, your monthly repayments towards EMI should not go beyond 30-35% of your net monthly income. It is very important to check your affordability and then move forward.

Know Your Needs

Before finding a house, you need to know your own/family needs and requirements. Ask questions to yourself.

  • Do you want to own a place near your office or in the vicinity of good schools, friends, malls, shops, restaurants etc.?
  • Do you want to own a flat, villa or just buy a plot for now?
  • Do you want to own a flat in a budget apartment or a multi-storey building?
  • Do you want a 2-bedroom, 3-bedroom or 4-bedroom house?

Make a list of all these wants, particularly if you have set a budget. Narrow down on a few localities. Search online to know about market prices in these localities. Remember, buying a house is often a long time investment, so listing down all your housing requirements from a realistic and monetary point of view is very important. If you are willing to expend without compromises, then the choice for housing projects are endless.

Find a Reliable/Experienced Real Estate Agent

Buying a house is not a simple process. With a lot of complexities involved, including having up-to-date real estate information, doing paperwork, getting it pushed and approved, etc., there are many things to do. As a buyer, you will not be able to buy your house smoothly, if you do not have a knowledgeable and reliable real estate agent by your side. You can check with your friends, family or colleagues to identify a trusted real estate agent and then start looking for suitable houses.

Get a preapproved home loan

Banks nowadays are competing with each other by lowering home loan interest rate or announcing discounts to prospective buyers. Take advantage of this by comparing the interest rates of different but reputed banks. Know the advantages and disadvantages of each lender and then decide. A pre-approved loan from a reputed lender will take your credit history, salary and debt into consideration. You on your part can ask about home loan insurance and its benefits, tax benefits, how change in interest rate will affect EMI and loan duration, etc. Be alert, clarify all points and complete all necessary documents to get a preapproved home loan.

If you have taken care of all the above points, affordability being the most important factor, then you can find and zero in on a house you liked the most. All these points will only help you save from financial stress and is the best way to find your perfect home.

 

 

 

How to Reach Your Target Audience and Initial Customers in an Inexpensive Way

Are you a small business, freelancer or blogger who is looking to target your niche audience and get potential customers for your business? If so, then you really need to work hard to tap your customer base, attract traffic to your site and turn potential customers into your real client and all this within a hard-pressed budget.

The below given ideas will help you in reaching out to your target audience and getting your initial customers in an inexpensive and effectual way.

 Know Your Target Audience

One of the very first steps to reach your target audience is to know your audience. Questions like who are most likely to buy your service/product, people in which age bracket might be most interested in your service/product, which countries or states have high demand for your product/service, etc. are something that you should consider. Write down all such questions, research about them and answer them honestly. Once you determine your target audience, you can very well start on a definite plan to reach them.

Start Blogging

Create your own blog and regularly post and share meaningful, interesting and useful content. This is a great way to pull free traffic to your site. You can also guest blog to increase exposure about your work or business along with giving some useful material for your customers. However the key to blogging is to be consistent in terms of quality and quantity. If you are able to do so, then you can gain good amount of traffic to your site and without spending a dime.

Increase your Credibility

Customers look for a trusted service provider when searching for a product or service. As a newbie, it is essential to get that. But how do you go about achieving it when you are a newcomer? One of the best ways to create your brand credibility is by using the credibility of trusted and present brands. You can link your site with reputed websites. You can also email them and request for an advertisement space in their website or a mention of your website name, whenever they have something specific to say in relation to your business/niche. Besides this, making yourself contactable to people, replying back to queries or comments promptly, having an easy to use and professional looking website and the best of all, having great content on your site is vital, to enhance your credibility online.

Use WOM Marketing

There are numerous websites online with thousands working in your niche. To spread the word about your business, service or product, advertising is a must. Television and radio give instant exposure. Google AdWords is another great way to advertise. But these platforms need money. If you are a freelancer/new business having a tight budget or if you want to advertise in an inexpensive way, then do not keep mum. Word of mouth publicity is one of the easiest and free ways to advertise. Tell about your work and website to your friends, family, former and present teammates and even your employers and subtly tell them to spread the word. This will help with the initial promotion of your website, along with getting you some much needed feedback and even one or two local customers in return.

Social Networking Sites

Another very effective and popular method of advertisement is the net. The internet not only gives you a much wider audience but also stiff competition by your competitors. Be it Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube or Google +, use these free social circles and networking platforms to your benefit. Sign up with these sites for free, start liking, following, networking and conversing with like-minded people while advertising your service/product in both direct and indirect ways. Facebook, Twitter and YouTube offer some great advertisement strategies and within a small budget. You can use it to attract high traffic, expand your networking circle and develop long-lasting professional relationships with potential customers.

Email Marketing

‘The money lies in the list. You might have heard this line a number of times already. Email marketing is definitely a great way to reach potential customers. However for a new business, it is always difficult to get an email list. Now that does not mean that you buy a list. A bought list definitely gives you a number of people whom you can contact to; but your email might end up in the spam box, if people are not looking for your service/product in the very first place.

Go slow and steady by generating an email list instead. For a start, you can post your signup form on your homepage as well on the blog post which is generating regular high traffic to your site. You can also signup for an email list provider, create an opt-in form and then add to your site. Check your comments column. Gather emails of people who have written encouraging/negative feedback. These are emails that you can work on to start off with. Shoot off newsletters whenever you have something new to say or have an important updates to make and not otherwise.

Though there are a whole lot of other ideas that can help you reach your niche market, these are a few inexpensive ways of achieving that. Be nice and sweet to your customers, make a point to listen to their concerns, reply back whenever you have time and offer a discount for your loyal customers. This will not only strengthen your relationship with your existing customers and bring new customers through their referrals, but it will also make them feel appreciated and benefited by using your service.

If you feel that there are more such free and effectual ways to reach your target audience and pull customers to your site, then you are free to comment below. If you like this post, then also please do share it with your peeps!

Websites for the Greater Good: Non-Profits on WordPress.com

Very inspiring! Appreciate the efforts put in by some amazing people and organization to make a positive impact on others.

The WordPress.com Blog

All kinds of organizations make their home on WordPress.com: small businesses, municipalities, religious organizations, schools, community groups. We also provide an online HQ for quite a few non-profits, from the global to the hyperlocal. They turn to WordPress.com for an easy-to-use, low cost solution that gets them an effective web presence without diverting thousands of dollars from their missions: helping others.

Here are just a few of the organizations that call WordPress.com home, and some of the ways they’ve used WordPress.com to create compelling sites that tell their stories and engage their supporters — nearly all for little or no cost:

Girls’ Globe

Girls’ Globe is a Sweden-based non-profit that connects individuals and organizations dedicated to the rights, health, and empowerment of women and girls.

Girls' Globe

The site creates a space for bloggers and non-profits to share stories of their challenges and successes. Each of those stories becomes a learning experience for…

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4 Most Common SEO Blunders that Newbies Make

As a new blogger or website owner, you would be impatient and very enthusiastic about your new venture. All you would want to do is drive traffic to your site as fast as possible. So what do you do? Write an article or get it written probably. Post it online and then maybe share it with your Facebook friends. The next you do, is dash off to your dashboard to check statistics and find the number of views and visitors you had that day. What happened? Some visitors pour in on the day you published your post. But the following day the number of views and visitors dwindle. Now are you the only one who is staring at your blog post? Well, that is not surprising.

Now in your impatience to drive traffic, you again start writing an article and post it online. As a newbie, if this is what you have done or what you do, then this is one of the biggest SEO blunders. This act of yours is not only wasting your precious time but also does not contribute to a solid result.

Search engine optimization requires your time, patience, smart thinking and a lot of hard work. You should not desire for 1,000 visitors visiting your site every day, when you have not fully optimized or promoted your content. There are many websites and blogs online who write good stuff but only a few rank on page 1, 2 or 3. This is only because they have been in the market for some time now and have tried different SEO methods to promote their site online.

Now if you are doing the above blunder, then get off it. Read below and you will find some other very common SEO mistakes that you might be making unknowingly and keeping Google off its favourite list.

Hurrying to Post Online
Posting a blog or an article in your site is a definite way to attract traffic, but this does not mean that you write and upload content every day. Writing mediocre or stuff that you have copied from some other website is not going to drive traffic. Just like you, there are many other readers and bloggers who check different websites. If they find that your content is not original but has been copied from a particular site, then it is only going to damage your standing online.

‘CONTENT IS KING’ and it will always be. Quantity is necessary but not at the cost of quality. Keep both these things in mind and then start writing. If necessary try a posting schedule, like for example post on Mondays and Fridays or on weekends. This will not only give you sufficient time to research, brainstorm and write on a topic but will also give readers some hope of reading fresh and original piece from you every week.

Stuffing Too Many Keywords
Infusing keywords in your content is a great SEO tactic, as it aids visitors as well as search engines to reach your post. But in the quest of attracting traffic or increasing your page ranking, do not stuff too many keywords and ruin the natural flow of your content.

There are many websites online that have articles where all of a sudden a keyword phrase (used with an intention to sell service/product or increase SERP) pops up. This makes the entire content look poor and distasteful. Neither readers nor search engine sites would love to visit such sites again. While writing, stick to using around 2% keyword and then build up your content using LSI words and synonyms. This will be of great help. But again, beware of going overboard.

Not Enough Promotion
Why do you know Twitter, Facebook or say even Bill Gates? Only because they have marketed themselves well and continue doing so. Just posting your blog and waiting for people to read it or just sharing it with your Facebook friends is not enough. These are not your real target customers. Your customers are people who need your service/product or like-minded people with whom you want to build professional relationship.

If you want people to know that you are offering a service or product online, then you need to market yourself aggressively. Instead of writing a fresh post, uploading it, waiting for people to read it and then forgetting about it after sometime, start sharing it with others. The more you share, the more number of people will know about your work. Be it Facebook, Twitter, Stumbleupon, Digg, Delicious or any other niche site or forum; make your article/blog post known. Always be on the lookout for such avenues and opportunities and use them to your benefit.

Too Much Reliance on Link building
Link building is definitely one of the most important SEO strategies. Google and other search engines favour websites that have more links. But more links does not imply low quality links or links directed from poor directories. Good and naturally produced links go a long way. Instead of leaving an unrelated comment on a blogger’s site with a link in it, try and build links naturally. You can submit your blog posts in social bookmarking sites, social network sites and niche forums. You can also find a good article directory and submit your post under a suitable category. All these are good ways to build links. But the best way to build natural link is by writing an original, informative and interesting content. If you have written a good article then people would automatically start following you and sharing your posts. Building good online/offline relationships with genuine bloggers is a great way to spread the word about your site.

There are a lot more SEO blunders that newbies make. But the above ones are the commonest.

If you feel that this article was worthy enough then you can definitely share it. Suggestions are also welcome!

4 Effective Ways to Build Strong SEO Links

Link building has and will always be an important SEO strategy. However link building is one of those search engine optimization methods that do not show instant results. The only way to enhance your search engine performance and SERP is to practically work hard to create natural and quality links for your website/blog.

Unnaturally produced links by buying bulk links, spinning or duplicating your articles, mass blog commenting, focussing your attention on only DO FOLLOW links, etc., will help you build links fast. But these links are low in quality and the tactics are certainly not liked by Google. In fact if Google detects a website/blog adopting unnatural link building tactics with an intention to enhance its rankings and popularity, then it might even nuke the site.

Keeping these things in mind, it is ideal to build your brand online and enhance your SERP through some natural and effective link building exercises. Just follow the four SEO link building tips given below and be ready to flourish ethically online.

  • Content is King
    You cannot overlook this fact ever. Writing and offering quality and informative content is the only sure-shot way of bringing people back to your website. If you are not sure of writing yourself, then you can always hire good ghostwriters (not the cheap ones that you get in the range of $2 or $5) to write articles or blogs on topics of your choice. Remember, a badly written content can leave a bad taste in your readers’ mouth, implying lower visits and lower Google search rankings. Provide meaningful, engaging and useful content and see visitors staying longer on your website and even liking, commenting and sharing your articles. This is in fact one of the most natural, secure and effective way of building quality SEO links.
  • Guest blogging
    Another organic link building exercise is guest blogging. Guest blogging means asking or requesting a website or blog owner to allow you to contribute with an article or blog post in their site. There are a number of websites/bloggers, who are in need of fresh and original content for their site. They will readily allow you to write for them. You in turn can include your website link or leave an inbound website page link in the ‘About The Author’ column or any relevant place in the content. This will not only help build organic links and drive high traffic and leads to your site, but will also help create your identity online, display your expertise to visitors and popularize your website overtime.

Tips: As a tip, it is essential to first load good and considerable content in your own website/blog, before guest blogging. It is only after you have ensured that your website has informative and useful material for visitors that you should start finding out about guest blogging sites.

There are numerous guest blogging sites, but it is advisable to go for some popular guest blogging websites in your niche, as they have a good reach. Research about the topic you are going to write, its targeted keywords and then start preparing for a strong and valuable content. This is because only a quality and original guest post can drive free traffic to your site and not some mediocre one.

  • Vary your Anchor Texts
    Google has been specifically severe on websites/blogs that are known to compel it to get their site ranked high on search engine sites by over-optimizing their website using specific keyword phrases. Thinking what this means? Well, there are a number of websites that redirect their visitors to their linked partners, using specific keyword phrases. Google feels that this is not a natural way to build links. Instead of artificially using a keyword phrase and then redirecting visitors to a different site, it is best to use natural and honest phrases like ‘Click here’ or ‘Learn more’. These natural words, (which regular bloggers use) are not only genuine ways to build links but the efforts are also much appreciated by Google.
  • Deep linking
    This is another very valuable SEO link building strategy. Deep linking means that instead of leaving the url of your homepage in a forum/guestblogging site or any other niche sites, you can leave the link of your inner webpages or top blog post. Leaving your homepage link everywhere is not advisable. Internal links or deep linking is very vital to enhance your website’s structure. A website that has links at most of its pages can be easily crawled, indexed and searched by Google. It is also best, as the visitor will get to read the most relevant and useful material that they have been looking for online. In short, it is a win-win situation for both the visitors and website owners.

There are many other link building strategies, but the ones mentioned above are the safest and natural way to build efficient SEO links. Google is not going to penalize you for using these methods. Instead these link building methods will only help you flourish online for a long long time.