Twitter ListTwitter List – the latest addition to Twitter.

Are your using Twitter to promote your business? Do you think it is worthy enough to be used?

Twitter has been a part of my promotional strategies since I joined it in June last year. Twitter was a less know phenomenon then. But by the time it exploded in the beginning of this year, I had a fair foothold of the microblogging platform.

I enjoy tweeting. I personally feel that it is a matter of how much you enjoy using this service, that decides if you will use it in your marketing strategy or, not.

If you are not using Twitter, I would recommend you to try to use it.

Okay, so now Twitter has introduced a new aspect to it – Twitter List.

What is a Twitter List?

Twitter list is a new feature in Twitter that lets you create lists within your profile so that you can organize your followers into various categories like, friends, business, clients, marketing lists etc. In a way it is a way of neatly arranging your followers into specific categories so that you know where to look for a specific person, if at all you had to.

Twitter list has added another dimension to using Twitter. You can now follow an entire list or, one of your complete list can get followed. So that means that you can now follow a group of people at the click of a button. You need not add each individual one by one.

But how useful is this new feature at Twitter?

I personally felt that there was nothing new or, useful that this feature could add to Twitter, except for the fact that your could now be a bit more organized with your followers. One thing that is worth considering is the fact that this feature would add something that is already existent in many other applications, to Twitter as well.

But how Twitter plans to promote this feature and how it plans to encourage its users to accept this feature is to be seen. But my preliminary conclusion tells me that this is not a great feature that Twitter has added.

What’s your opinion about this?

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I had once earlier written about Yaro Starak’s Membership Site mastermind. You can read that post here.

Yaro is very particular about the way he runs his membership courses. He only admits a few people to his course and then closes it for the rest of the year. This time round he has made an exception and has opened the course again for a few days.

Since the time he released this course the last time, there are a lot of people who have made a fortune out of Membership Sites. I am one such online entrepreneur who is currently running 2 membership sites and is making a living online with them. I get a consistent income from these websites.

The objective of this post is not to harp on my successes and advertise my membership sites. Rather it is to inform you all that Yaro is again opening the doors to his course, Membership Site Mastermind. This could be your last chance to enroll for the course this year. You might be wondering, what’s the big deal! You can enroll the next time this opens, i.e. the next year. Yes, for sure you can, but by then you would be reading another success story, probably of one of your friends who enrolled and gained immense success out of his membership sites.

It’s your choice. If you want to sit on the fence, you can. But success comes to the ones who was courageous enough to take the decision to change their fortunes.

If you are ready, join Membership Site Mastermind today itself.

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Quality Content

No GURUS stress the importance of quality content for your blogs, less. Any blog your read, Problogger, Yaro Starak’s blogs or, the daily blog tips, the stress on quality content is the material for one of the posts. Read any marketing ebook and the you will find the mention of “Quality content” there as well.
But the question remains as to what will be defined as quality content? What will your readers consider as quality content. The content quality starts from the quality of the design of your blog. Let’s see each of these aspects in detail:

  1. Blog Design – When you design the blog keep in mind that you are not making it too complex. Keep the design of the blog as simple as possible so that the readers are able to naturally interact with your blog. The links and ads that put up on your blog should be in line with your blogs design. It should naturally integrate with your blog design. WordPress gives you an so many choices of doing this that you will not have to run after your blog designers to get this done.Getting Quality Content
  2. Keyword density – Your blog content must be made around high-in-demand keywords that people normally use while searching for content. You would want your blog to appear in the first page of any search engine so that people find it. This is determined by the amount of keywords in each of the posts in your blog. This is called as “keyword density”. Keyword density is normally misunderstood as stuffing keywords into your content. Unlike this mis-conception, your content should naturally contain about 3-4% keywords that your have researched and that is the base of your content.
  3. Presentation – The content has to be neatly presented in order for anybody to enjoy reading it. The paragraphs should not be too long, but concise and neatly flowing into the next paragraph. The language can be kept as simple as possible and if possible refrain from using “jargons”. This is done keeping in mind the not so savvy readers that will come to your blogs from the search engines.
  4. How to get quality content?

  5. Using media – Isn’t it natural for you to enjoy the pictures and presentations that you see while you are reading an article. This is the essence of a magazine and that is why you enjoy it. Hence use media wherever possible throughout your blog. Integrate pictures, videos and presentations into the content of your blog.
  6. Usage of links – You would want to integrate links to affiliate products and other related information in your posts. It has been observed that people enjoy reading articles that have link embedded throughout the content much more than articles that have the links mentioned towards the base or, the end of the content.

The quality of a content is determined by the way it is perceived by the reader. Though it is difficult to know how exactly a reader perceives content, there are some simple basics that can be followed to ensure that what you are offering is of quality.

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secureDo you really need to secure your WordPress Blogs?

Funny question, ain’t it?

At least I thought otherwise and hence never bothered to secure my blogs. I felt that my blogs were invincible and that nothing could happen to them.

I was mistaken. Terribly mistaken….!

For those of you who are regular visitors to my blog, you would have noticed that my blog was down for almost 3-5 days. And when it came back online, there were a few articles that were missing.

This was the status with my other blogs. A few were even worse. There were entire articles that were gone and my blogs went back almost a year back in time.

It was a simple server hack that happened to the hosting servers where I was hosting my blog. My hosting company could not recover from the hack and came back to me showing their helplessness at restoring the data back. All that they needed were a few words to explain their helplessness, but what I lost was my efforts of a lifetime.

But, was it really their fault? No it wasn’t. It indeed was my fault. I never backed up my blogs or, their data. Consequently I lost everything that I had built over a period of 3-4 years.

WordPress Backup :-

How can you backup your wordpress blogs? All it requires is understanding the capability of the WordPress blogging platform. The enhancements that WordPress offers, in itself is sufficient for creating a backup of your blog. When I say, enhancements, what I mean is “Plugins”.

Let take a look at these few plugins that can help your backup your blogs:-

  1. WP-DB-Backup – This is by far the best and  easiest of backup plugins that I have used till now. It helps you back the primary tables in your blog database and also provides you an option to choose the other tables that you want to backup. It also provides you an option to automatically email a copy of the backup to a preferred email of your choice.
  2. WordPress Automatic Online Backup - Another very useful plugin. This plugin offers you the facility to create a free account with wordpressbackup.com, and let’s you store your wordpress blog’s backups at their servers. The setup is a bit difficult, otherwise the plugin is extremely good and feature rich.
  3. Secure WordPress – This is not a backup tool. Still it is very important to secure your wordpress installations. Of the rest everything that it does it also removes error information on login page; adds index.html to plugin directory and removes the wp-version.
  4. WordPress Backup – This is a plugin by the Blog Traffic Exchange team. Once again the installation is a bit difficult though it is not rocket science, but the plugin is extremely useful in creating a backup of your themes folder, plugins folder and your database.
  5. DBC Backup – This plugin is similar to the one above, but it works on cron jobs. You need to have the basic knowledge about working with hosting servers to install this plugin. But once installed, this can come in very handy.

Use one or, all of these plugins as per your requirement and protect your blog. A slight carelessness from you could cost you, about a couple of years’ efforts.

In addition to all this, always ensure that you upgrade your WordPress installation to the latest version in order to keep it secure.

Don’t forget to comment on which of these plugins you like the most and which is the one that you have installed in your blog.

Photograph courtesy Carl Silver

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buyer-keywords-imagesWhat are buyer keywords?

The foundation of Internet Marketing is “KEYWORDS”. Any internet marketer without a list of good keywords is like a chemistry lab without chemicals. That’s a funny comparison, isn’t it?

I know that the comparison is funny indeed. So let me put it this way. Internet Marketing is a BIG FLOP if you set out without doing keyword research and without building a list of keywords.

But…….

Are all keywords capable of generating sales and revenue? The same way in which not every internet marketer is successful in internet marketing business, not all keywords can generate sales. In order to understand this you need to understand the stages through which a prospect goes through before buying something online.

Every prospect starts at the research phase. In this phase he is busy researching the kind of product that he should buy in order to fulfill his needs. He would surf around the internet and search all the search engines to do this research. In order to do this he will use a variety of keywords that are generic in nature. For eg: somebody wanting to set up an online business will search for keywords like “internet marketing”, “affiliate marketing” etc. These are research keywords and cannot generate sales.

So which keywords will generate sales?

“Buyer Keywords” are what will generate sales. These keywords are the ones that prospects who are ready to buy a certain product use to search for offers that are available online. To explain that more clearly, let us use the same example as above. What will such a prospect be searching for? He will be searching for products like Keyword Elite, ebooks like Affiliate X Factor etc. So the terms that he will use is the specific product names or, other combinations like “Buy Keyword Elite” and such.

So if I am to define “Buyer Keywords”, it will be -

Buyer keywords are search based keywords that show a customer’s  willingness to buy a certain product.

Now that we have understood what a “Buyer Keyword” is, the obvious question that arises is, “How to research and make a list of these buyer keywords”.

A simple way to do this is by using the Google Adwords External keyword analysis tool. But that is a complicated method, There are other simple tools available online, but that will require you to shell out some money. But I should tell you that it is worth it. Let’s look at a few such tools -

Keyword Elite

Keyword Elite is by far the best keyword research and analysis tool in the market today. With Brad Callen introducing the next generation of this tool, named Keyword Elite 2.0, it has become the most talked about keyword analysis tool. This tool has immense capabilities and can do a lot of things. In addition to researching keywords, you will be able to create a list of very useful keywords and this also includes “buyer keywords”. Keyword Elite’s capability includes generating huge lists of keywords including ones created from the Keyword Elite database.

Micro Niche Finder

Micro Niche Finder is another excellent keyword research tool that can help you find niche markets in clicks. When I say “clicks”, I literally mean – “Clicks”. Micro Niche Finder returns niche keywords in under 2 minutes and a bit of research can give you access to niche markets that you would never ever have even dreamt about.

Micro Niche Finder at the same time can also give you a list of buyer keywords. After all, it is these buyer keywords that will turn out to be niche markets, isn’t it? Using Micro Niche Finder is a child’s play and hence it is one of my most recommended tools if you are new to Internet Marketing and you want to research keywords.

Buyer Keywords Generator

Buyer Keywords Generator is one of the latest tools that I have bought. I should say that this is one of the best tools to generate buyer keywords, if you are new to Affiliate Marketing. Affiliate Marketing requires a bit of PPC marketing as well and buyer keywords will help you be competitive in your PPC campaigns, especially at Google Adwords. If you are banking more on Affiliate Marketing, then you would not need another tool for your keyword analysis and research. Buyer Keywords Generator can do the trick for you.

People who are relatively new to the concept of PPC marketing, tend to often burn their fingers at Google Adwords. Adwords can be extremely dangerous if you do not know how to work with it. Buyer Keywords Generator can solve this problem for you

You can find out more details about Buyer Keywords Generator here.

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frustration

My blogs were down for the past few days….

I was frustrated and I tried calling up my hosting service provider to check what the problem was. I realized that I had not direct customer service number to call them on. The only option was to write to them by creating a “support trouble ticket”. No chat, no phone lines.

I raised a trouble ticket which took about a day for them to respond. The response was heart-breaking. They wrote,

Our servers have been hacked and were brought down by some people who were intentionally trying to target us. We have cleaned our servers and will be unable to restore your database and files. You will have to do a clean upload of all your files and database.

After I read that mail, I was shattered. I did not know what to do. I had a few blogs and websites that were almost 3 years old. I had no backup for these blogs or, websites. I was back to where I was, when I started.

I repeatedly wrote to the hosting providers to at least give me a my database, so that I can restore my blogs. None of my mails were responded to and they eve suspended their support system.

That was a black Friday in my Internet Marketing journey. It is almost one week now and I have moved my websites and blogs to another hosting provider – Hostgator, with whom I had a few other blogs and websites. The hacked hosting provider in question here was one who had canvassed me into shifting a few of my websites to them saying they were a leading provider and that they were aiming to be the biggest service provider etc. All hollow promises and failed missions.

Lesson I learnt from this experience?

Yes, indeed there were a few lesson that I learnt from this experience -

  1. Never go by promises. Always believe in experiences. Read a few reviews and testimonials and ask a few questions to existing users and then decide.
  2. Vintage is assurance. Yes, that is right. The older and established a business, the better it will be. They have not been there for the past so many years just like that. They would have gone through a lot of troughs and crests and would be seen tough times and yet lived to see the day.
  3. Never fall for cheap deals. When all established sellers are selling it for $10.00, why would someone sell it for $1.00? The question answers itself. They are compromising on critical aspects of the product. Why fall for that?
  4. Always keep backups. Irrespective of how much reputed your server providers are, just ensure that you keep a backup of all your files and databases.

How do you select a hosting provider?

While selecting you hosting service provider, there are a few things that you should remember.

  1. Hosting charges – Hosting services will normally cost around $4.00 for a single domain hosting for Windows / Linux and about $7.00 for a multiple domain hosting plan. If a service provider is offering you a deal which is much lower than these rates then there is a need to further evaluate the security options that they provide. It is highly unlikely that they are quality service providers.
  2. Customer Service number – Only select a service provider who has a valid and working customer service number and a technical support number. If these numbers are toll-free numbers, the best. Don’t fall for support tickets. A working technical support and customer service chat system should also be fine. Don’t forget to check if they are working.
  3. Security – Check and double check the security that they offer. If required, speak to their sales department and ask them the kind of security that they offer. Confirm if they provide a regular backup of your websites including your databases and also confirm if they are maintaining these at the same servers or, at different servers.
  4. Bandwidth – You would not want to get cramped for bandwidth. Hence go for a plan that offers you enough bandwidth – preferably unlimited bandwidth.
  5. Vintage – Check and confirm the time duration that the service provider has been in business. About 3-4 years is a considerable good enough period. You might want to also confirm if the service provider is a reseller to bigger hosting service providers, in which case the duration that they have been in business should not be a problem as the parent company is what provides the service.

These are certain critical factors that you need to evaluate before buying a hosting service. The other basic factors that you should consider is available all over the internet.

The easiest way to check these critical aspects of a hosting provider is by reading customer reviews and testimonials. Just search Google with a keyword, “hosting provider reviews”, replacing the ‘hosting provider’ with the name of the hosting provider that you want to evaluate.

I would personally recommend two hosting service providers to you -

  1. Hostgator – They have been in business for long and is reliable.
  2. Stores4domains – I own this reseller business from Godaddy. You can evaluate the services. I have been in business for almost 4 years now.

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Wordpress WizardAre you new to the blogging world?

In case you are, then let me ask you to rate yourself on a scale of 1-10 on your skills with WordPress. Read on as you rate yourself.

You may even take the vote that you see here.

[poll id="2"]

When I started blogging about 3 years back, I first set up my blog at blogger.com, which I believe, is one of the favorite platforms for all bloggers. But as you season as a blogger, your interest changes shores to WordPress. This is exactly what happened with me. After blogging for almost about 8-9 months, I learnt about WordPress and the extendability that it offers to a blogger. I was so amazed and awed at the potential of WordPress that I straightaway headed over to a hosting company and bought a domain and installed my first WordPress blog. The story doesn’t end there….!

WordPress offers a world famous 5-minute installation process, which ensures that you are up with your blog in minutes. This statement is where I started my blog installation. But……It took me about 2 days to get my blog up and running. If your start-up was better than me then I should say that you are a much better player than me.

Let me tell you the points where I got stuck up:-

  1. My hosting was not compatible for a WordPress Installation.
  2. I couldn’t figure out how to import my blogger blog into my new wordpress blog.
  3. My theme would not install properly because of some stupid permission problems.
  4. My database would not install properly.
  5. I did not know how to configure my config.php file.
  6. I couldn’t install the plugins that was required.

These were just the problems with my startup. The hiccups extended on until about 5 months into my launch by which time I had gained a fairly good understanding of php and MySQL, probably because I had an interest in it.

I had been on the lookout for a course that could offer the initial assistance required to any blogger starting off with WordPress and gradually handhold them until they could popularize their blog and earn from it. I had even thought of starting a WordPress Master course. While I was playing with this idea, I stumbled upon another course by a good friend of mine who was heading the Max Blog Press team. This course is called WordPress Wizard. Though it is not a membership course, it offers an indepth study into WordPress and WordPress blog management.

You might want to check out this course in case you are really keen towards launching a WordPress blog or, even bettering the blog that you are currently running on WordPress.

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