What can Stumbleupon, Digg or del.icio.us do for your business

In addition to using social networks to grow your business and find loyal followers, it is important to also understand the significance and power of social bookmarking sites. Whereas social networks are a type of community where like-people congregate, social bookmarking is a way to make public your favorite sites and web pages. Instead of bookmarking a site on your hard drive for your own pleasure, you let others know about it so they can bookmark the site as well. Examples of social bookmarking sites are Reddit, Technorati, Slashdot, Propeller, StumbleUpon, Digg and del.icio.us (now called Delicious).

thumbs upIn the early days of Slashdot, if someone let others know about your site, you could potentially receive thousands of visitors, and many websites crashed due to the unexpected volume. So, if you think these sites are a waste of time where your business website is concerned, you must rethink your strategy! To be able to get your content or news story on the “buzz” page of Stumbleupon, the “front” page of Digg or the “popular” page of Delicious is an incredible feat and definitely a boost to any website.

Stumbleupon can be be quite useful for your business as a way to attract quality traffic. Although the site will ban accounts that display outward instances of spam and self-promotion, it will send visitors to your site with just a few “thumbs-up” to your page that was stumbled. Thumbs-up is the way in which other users vote for your page. The site also allows you to make a profile page which is advantageous.

Delicious is much less restrictive because the other users do not have to vote for your page or content. You can basically bookmark every page within your website. In addition to potential traffic, the backlinks will help your search engine rankings. We are not saying, however, that you need hundreds of inbound links from the same site. Many people also express the loyalty of Delicious users, the fact that they come back regularly looking for content in their areas of interest. As a way to organize your bookmarks, you can give them “tags” which is similar to categories.

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How to ensure safe e-Commerce by getting High End Web Hosting

E-commerce is a growing industry. It has made new businesses possible and made shopping easier and faster. Unfortunately, every advancement in modern technology brings new, unpleasant, possibilities. Aside from hardware, and software, problems, the major concern is security of payments.

With identity theft on the rise, as more unscrupulous individuals engage in such illicit activities, there is an ever growing need for improvement in the security of online transactions. Measures such as encryption of sensitive information, once only necessary for high-risk transactions, of great value, are now required for the simplest of transactions (even the purchase of a toy) due to the great possibility of significant financial loss. Such an event can result from an unauthorized individual gaining access to someone’s credit card information and using it to purchase several expensive items, or perhaps wire money, in the person’s name. This can, and has repeatedly, ruined numerous lives and buried good people in debt.


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How to Choose a Link Building Company

If you are going to get visitors to your website you are going to have to optimize for the search engines. In order to do that you will need to get links to your site, lots of them. This is an incredibly boring and tedious job so a lot of people choose to outsource it. The problem is that if you outsource it to the wrong person you will end up with a bunch of worthless links. You need to know how to choose a link building company if you are going to outsource the job.

link buildingThe main thing that you are going to want to look at when you are choosing a link building company is how they are going to build the links. There is a right way and a wrong way to do it and if they do it the wrong way the links will not only be useless but they may actually hurt your site. Unfortunately the easy way to build links is also the wrong way which is what a lot of link building companies do. The main thing that you need to avoid is reciprocal links. It is very easy to go out and trade links with hundreds of other sites, these links are basically worthless.

You are going to need know what constitutes a good link before you start looking for a link building company. This will allow you to assess the kind of job that they have done. Also, make sure to look for the company on Facebook and Linkedin, and see if their employees have the right background. Degrees like Online Marketing Degrees or SEO backgrounds are very valuable!

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Taxes: What You Can Expect to Change when Going Professional

taxesPaying taxes and saving on taxes are both going to change when “going professional”. Once you register a business, you are going to be permitted to take deductions that would not be possible with just a salary or hourly earnings from a job. On the other side of the fence, there are certain taxes that you will be required to collect and remit as part of your new business. Failure to collect those taxes could result in not only fines, but also having to pay the government the amount owed that you neglected to collect. Plus, they will not take an amount that you decide, they calculate the liability based on their estimation of your sales.

Certainly taxes fall into different categories which may include corporate tax, state tax, income tax, sales tax, employer taxes, and city taxes. In addition, depending on your business associates and specific business dealings, you may be forced to adhere to rules regarding the VAT (Value Added Tax in Europe) and GST (Goods and Services Tax in Canada). Understanding your tax responsibilities is going to be important right from the beginning. And remember that you cannot just take the good and forget the bad. Just because your business is a hobby and you want to benefit from the deductions does not mean that you can “lower” your real sales figures to pay less tax while at the same time reporting all the deductions.

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Starting Your Own Web Design Company

webdesign businessThe lucrative nature of web designing companies might tempt you to switch jobs. If you are planning to start your own web design company, you will have to keep a tab on numerous factors. You might have seen people making handsome figures sitting at the comfort of their homes by designing websites for their clients. You can follow their footsteps or set up a fully-fledged startup business as a web designer! The second option seems more viable because of the greater profits involved. Besides, if you are able to flourish in this business, you can team up with others and set up subsidiary companies.

a) The knowledge of existing web designing practices – This is one of the most important factors, which you must consider as an aspiring web designer. Plenty of freeware and open source CMS platforms are available, which might reduce your workload significantly. The clients might ask you to design the website in compliancy with numerous factors. You must have ample exposure to designing techniques and tools in order to excel in this niche. Even if you do not have any working knowledge about the requirements of the clients, you must hire diligent professionals for your web design company.

b) The layout of the website – Look and ponder over the works of professional web design companies. They will strive hard to create simplistic websites. The widespread availability of various kinds of web technologies will tempt the designers to experiment with unknown arenas. It can lead to overall failure of the design. Certain plug-ins and widgets might also induce additional vulnerabilities into the website. Follow the age-old tradition “keep it simple”. Enhanced levels of eye-candy might incorporate additional expenditure of precious bandwidth. The clients could even reject the work – this could turn out to be highly disadvantageous to your business.

c) Make the website search engine friendly – The best web designing companies will also design the website so that the search engine bots can index it properly, and do the needed on-site Search Engine Optimization. The layout of the website along with the content included in every page plays a pivotal role in determining the search engine ranking of a website. The clients might realize this simple factor and could award you with more work. It is a win-win situation. News can pass around and within months, your web design company will get the attention it was lacking.

Designing and implementing a website might seem like an easy method to make extra dough. However, appearances can be deceptive, and it takes a lot of hard work to rise to a dominating posture in this industry. Perhaps you can concentrate on specific paradigms such as e-commerce web design. That would help you to maintain a distinct position in the niche. Furthermore, outsourcing of web designing works is also on the rise these days. Creative web designers reside in some of the third world countries – they take regular work from trusted clients. Maybe you could try setting up an online business venture to utilize their services.

Starting A Web Hosting Company

Web hosting is an ever growing industry and, each day, numerous companies spring up trying to make it in this competitive field. Of these many attempts, very few last long enough to become profitable due to a variety of reasons such as poor planning, insufficient capital, unexpected circumstances etc. This article should serve as an effective guideline to person seeking to venture into this industry from people who’ve actually done it themselves!

vpsFirstly, you need to know how you will provide the service. Will you run your own servers? Will you lease servers from a larger company? These are some of the questions you need to ask yourself before you begin. Running your own servers is quite expensive and usually only turns out profitable in larger companies. The best bet for a new company, with a small budget, is to purchase a “reseller plan” from the many large companies that offer them.

Reseller plans work like this. You pay a monthly fee (usually) in return for a certain allotted amount of disk space and bandwidth which you can then “resell” in smaller amounts to your own clients. They will provide you with a Control Panel from which you can add accounts for your new clients and adjust their features as necessary. You must plan carefully, beforehand, and ensure that you can make a profit on the resale of the service you lease.

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How to use Social Networks to your Advantage

social mediaIn today’s society, you cannot escape the fact that the internet has become a social hangout for people all over the world. Even if you are the oldest person on the earth and have no clue about websites, you hear the familiar names like Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, and others. Reporters ask you to comment on their pages, and television commercials tell you to follow businesses on their fan pages. But what is social networking and how do you use social networks to your advantage?

Social networks are places on the internet where you interact with others. They have gone beyond the scope of message boards to become instant response centers. Unlike forums where you might wait hours or even days for someone to answer, social networks are much like answering the telephone, or receiving a text message on a cell phone. Individuals have effectively opened up their personal lives providing all kinds of information about themselves, and letting others know anything and everything from what they are wearing to what they are cooking for supper.

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Making a Twitter Page for your Business/Web site: The Benefits

TWITTER LOGOTwitter page is a good idea for businesses who want to keep themselves and their brands in the limelight. That does mean that every time you “tweet”, you have to promote your website link, but it does mean that you should be adding useful information to conversations to let people know you care and can offer something of value or substance. Although there are no specific rules of etiquette for using Twitter, there are nonetheless, some things that are common sense really. Before we look at the benefits of making a Twitter page for your business or website, let’s examine two things which you must avoid.

1. Avoid the urge to “tweet” 24/7. Unfortunately many people are finding that Twitter is addicting. Somehow they feel if they are not tweeting, they are out of the loop. Understand that reading every update and tweeting is a detriment to your business and your time management.

2. Although Twitter is very informal, avoid the urge to talk about frivolities. Be professional. No-one cares about your cat using the litter box or your pants that are too short.

Despite these two warnings, there are a variety of reasons and benefits to make a Twitter page for your business. Here is our list abbreviated in point form.

  • A way to build excitement and interest for a new product. You can give users advance notice of an event or a product launch in the pipeline.
  • Responses are immediate which aids in information gathering. If you want to know what your customers think or need input on something, a poll or question will help you get what you need. Just be careful not to divulge proprietary info for which you have not yet trademarked or patented.
  • A form of networking. Find joint ventures, freelancers, customers, and mentors.
  • Twitter is a consistent place to find you. Many people follow others on particular blogs or magazines. Once you are no longer a contributor, there is no way to follow you anymore. A Twitter page resolves that issue.
  • Encourages you to work especially when your page is busy.
  • Gives you the topics to create articles and blog posts.
  • Spy on your competitors.
  • If you need clarification on something, get help from others by asking your question.
  • You will receive traffic if you are helpful to others. Don’t only use your links to your website but also show links to general websites which are beneficial to the reader. For example, if you do accounting, and someone asks a particular question, there is no reason why you cannot send her to the relevant page on the IRS site or a certified accounting association.
  • Twitter users will spread your word if they like you.
  • People are more in tune with an identity, a person, rather than a company logo.
  • Level playing field. You can connect with experts where otherwise it would have been impossible. Try contacting experts by telephone or mail. But many times, they will communicate with you on Twitter pages.
  • Twitter gets information out instantly. Many see the “news” on Twitter pages before newspapers.
  • More than one person in an organization can tweet on the page.
  • Search to find out what others think about your products and add useful information to their sites. But do not get defensive and engage in combat. Use the information to improve your situation. Be helpful above all.
  • Can be used for instant meetings when people are not in the same location.

As you can see, if used properly, making a Twitter page for your business or website has many benefits. We have a very young twitter-page over at @dom4j – but have had great succes with The Lingerie Post‘s twitter-page!

Ranking In Country Specific Search Engines

Have you ever considered how search engines are able to display the most relevant results? An Indian searching for personal injury lawyers is interested in learning about prominent attorneys in India. Imagine the scenario when Google displays the contact details of an American lawyer to an Indian user! In simple terms, search engines incorporate advanced algorithms that display results that are highly relevant to a country or a particular region. In the subsequent sections, we will consider the same comprehensively.

flagsIn order to obtain a good ranking in the country specific search engines, you will have to consider certain strategies. You must always consider the country where you are planning to host the website. For example, if you wish to promote a service in America, please ensure that an American company that has servers in USA does the web hosting. If you tweak the website in an optimum manner, then the search engine rankings will increase within no time. Many webmasters fail to grasp this concept and wonder what went wrong! Because we’re active in Belgium, we are experts on the subject. Many of our sites, like our wine site, rank in both Belgium and The Netherlands with different pages.

How does a search engine determine the country of an internet user? Every cyber citizen will have a unique IP address. This IP address is relevant to an ISP (internet service provider). Search engines will determine the ISP and will subsequently display country specific search results. The same company will employ another strategy too to determine the precise location of a user. The domain name plays a significant role in deciding the appropriate location. For instance, the websites hosted in the United Kingdom will have a co.uk domain name. Similarly, those websites hosted in China will have co.cn domain attributes. If you wish to entertain the interests of the Chinese, please opt for a co.cn domain and a web hosting company that has servers in China.

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WordPress.com Review

Wordpress logoWordPress.com is an exciting blogging platform that can help you get on the internet with no cost and little work. Unlike wordpress.org where you install the script on your own hosting account and domain, wordpress.com does not require web hosting nor domain names. Everything is stored right on the wordpress.com site and you are basically up and running in a matter of minutes. That sounds like a whole bunch of advantages, no?

For new webmasters, this is the ideal solution to express yourselves and get your opinions published without the hassle of dealing with web hostingphp and editing template files…

So let’s take a look at the advantages and disadvantages of using WordPress.com as a blogging platform…

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