Archive for July, 2011

Widget, but not too much – Avoid widget overload

July 9th, 2011 by Dan

It has become an overwhelming and misguided trend to find as many widgets and plugins possible and find as many places to put them on your blog and website. Misguided is certainly the right word and I know that is the case when I see three different types of Facebook widgets on some people’s blogs that share the exact same information in a slightly different format. I personally don’t need to see how many people “Like” your page three different times.

There are some widgets that I love and often they offer value to blogs and websites across the web. I think it simply becomes a problem when you run out of places to put them on a site and are forced to squeeze them in one way or another. When deciding what widgets to add to your blog/site, take a minute, decide what the true value of adding that information to your site is, how your visitors will use it and ultimately if your visitors themselves will see value.

To widget or not to widget, that is the question.

Overwhelmed by Social Media? – Start by Blogging

July 9th, 2011 by Dan

We often get the question of where to start as a small business owner looking to address the elephant in the office, social media. Without a doubt, without a plan, social media management as a small business owner can be overwhelming. Although having a plan is a good idea there is no reason to overwhelm yourself with anything elaborate.

Our opinion is to pick a platform that works and that you are familiar with whether it be Twitter, blogging, Facebook or any of the other platforms out there. Regardless of what it is, make sure you are comfortable with the way it works, who is seeing your posts and how they are responding to them. When it comes to the plan, like I said, don’t make it too elaborate. One thing that you will probably read a lot is that you should post at least once a week etc. etc. It is a good idea to keep a regular readership and post on somewhat of a schedule but don’t just post to post; post content that people are going to want to read and will value.

What I like to suggest is to start blogging and to start blogging “in private” first. Blogging in private will allow you to find your voice and get into the “flow of things” before going public with your brilliant prose. Now, why start with blogging? The reason why I like to suggest blogging first is because offers the ultimate flexibility and allows for you to post content while at the same time broadcasting it via links to many of the other platforms such as Twitter and Facebook (through use of plugins or settings in most popular blog platforms). Once you think you are in the flow of things, understand how blogging works and what it is you are going to be talking about, go public and don’t abandon your blog. A blog can be a valuable place for you to share information about your industry, interact with clients and showcase your knowledge as a professional in your industry. Don’t pass up the opportunity to blog.

Recap: Take on blogging in private and see how it goes. If you think you got something, go public. If you are still feeling a bit overwhelmed with blogging jump into Twitter, learn how to use it right and start posting interesting content and interacting with you clients/customers.

Note: Although I wouldn’t consider it the most robust platform, check out Posterous as a blog platform. Anything you post (via e-mail no-less) gets sent to most other popular social media platform. You can see a post about Posterous here.