Beginners’ Guide – Advantages and Disadvantages of Social Media

We all are beginners at some point. For the beginners the biggest challenge is to know the advantages and disadvantages of Social Media. Today we are going to talk about the Social Media – Advantages and Disadvantages. Many small business owners have not yet taken advantage of social media to help grow their business. It has become so vital for us to stay connected and convey the right message. To get the best out of this platform here are some tips and guidance for the beginners to know.

First of all some facts and figures of social media sites:

  • One in every nine people on earth is on Facebook
  • Twitter is adding nearly 500,000 users everyday
  • One in four Americans watches a video online everyday
  • During the second half of 2010, LinkedIn membership base grew, on average, by 1 million new members every ten days

Connect: Facebook helps you connect and share with people in your life. Just think what was your life before Facebook invented? Was it more relax, exiting, boring or challenging? In Facebook we can create a personal profile, add other users as friends & exchange messages. If we talk about LinkedIn, it gives us the opportunity to connect with professionals across the globe. Whether you are using it for personal growth or spreading your business. It also gives you the opportunity to connect with business minded people like you. If we talk about Twitter, it is simply amazing! Twitter is a real time information network that connects you to the latest stories, ideas what you find interesting. It gives you an opportunity to know what’s happening around the world in 140 characters long tweet!

Interact: With your connections Facebook gives you an opportunity to let people know about you. You can share your photos, stories and create fan page. As a business, Facebook pages are a good source of feedback on your product/services. In LinkedIn you can interact with professionals on one single platform. You can discuss business, resources, ideas, learning opportunities and lot more. In Twitter, tweets are text based posts of up to 140 characters displayed on the author’s profile page and delivered to the followers. On a personal level Twitters allows one to communicate with friends and families. On business level it connects your current & potential customers with your product & service.

Exchange: With the use of Facebook, we exchange joy, fun, sorrows, help and many more things at one place! Facebook slowly also being used like email. So this is one of the cost-effective ways to connected. With the use of LinkedIn we exchange professional expertise along with useful information which eventually enhances our professional brand. It also exchanges stronger business ideas with each other. On a business level, it helps us to exchange feedback, comments which eventually lead to increase business. On a personal level, it helps you in personal development. Twitter is a powerful tool for exchanging information and news as Twitter user often link to useful sites or articles & can be source of alternative news.

Disadvantages: As we discussed the Advantages of Social Media but we cannot ignore the Disadvantages just to be more secure on online platform.

Think about the viral potential of media. When news are negative and bad in taste, the same will happen with that brand. It is hard to undertake damage control when you are dealing with social media. Your name might get spoiled within hours. The best example is MacDonald’s Twitter promotion. According to Mail Online news article – Mac Fail! MacDonald’s Twitter promotion backfires as users highjack hash tag MacD stories to share fast food horror stories. Opponents accused the burger franchise of making customer vomit, serving pig meat from gestation crates and dishing up a burger containing a finger nail. Another disadvantage is to face threat from fake profile and ID. This is one of the biggest disadvantages of Facebook. People often use fake profile to insult or harassing someone. Students who are Facebook addicted do a bad result on his or her exams. One of the major risks of social networking and the Internet in general is breaches in privacy. These sites collect considerable amounts of personal information, with email addresses being one of the most collected pieces of personal data. Also these social networking sites possibly reduce persons’ compassion. You can check Twitter updates from your phone and send messages from anywhere. Social networking sites have the potential of having spreading negative or Anti-social messages. Amongst

As discussed above there are both Advantages and Disadvantages of Social Networking. One thing is clear; it is up to the person how he/she wants to get benefit from Social Media platform. In life we are often subjected to good and bad choices it is only we ourselves, who can decide what we want.

ITIL for Beginners: How To Create a Backout Plan

It is not the best moment of the week, when after long hours of preparations and intense work during an implementation window, your change fails. Moreover, it breaks other things as well. Sometimes, it is evident right after implementation, but sometimes you find out hours or days later. If you are fortunate, you can apply an emergency change to fix a pretty apparent root cause, e.g. missing one of the items on the implementation checklist. However, in many cases it will not be possible and you will need to back out the change.

A key to a successful backout is to have a plan. Yes, a backout plan, the thing that is often overlooked. After all, you want your backout to be an honorable surrender, not a panic escape. In order to limit damage to the business, and your reputation, you need to stay in control of the situation. To do that, the team of engineers need to know what to do and the Service Desk needs to keep the business informed.

A backout plan is intended to keep you in control. It is your insurance policy against Murphy’s Law. Let’s be honest with ourselves: we do not insure everything. Do not prepare a formal backout plan for every change. Just make sure the team can verbally describe how to go back in case things get messy.

You do need a more formal plan for more complex changes, though. Creating such a plan is one of the least favorable activities of many technical people. That is why the Change Manager should be accountable for getting it done. It should be included with the rest of change documentation, ready to be used if necessary.

A good backout plan should include:

  • low-level, technical instructions,
  • specific communication instructions, with contact names.

The list of technical instructions is created by reversing the order of activities from your implementation plan and describing how to back out from each of the executed steps. It may be relatively straightforward if majority of the work could be achieved by restoring the most recent backup. Consider a sample backout plan for such a scenario:

  • Notify the Service Desk about backout plan initiation. (Call them, send an email or raise a ticket – state it specifically.)
  • Disable user access to the system. (How? List the actions.)
  • Restore backup taken before the change implementation. (List the actions needed.)
  • Conduct system health checks.(List them all.)
  • Enable user access.
  • Notify the Service Desk of successful backout.

Often the plan will be more complex than it would seem. There might be many more restoration steps, involving various databases, file systems and other areas of the IT infrastructure. The basic template still applies. It needs to be detailed and tailored to every organization and every change. Needless to say, every action should have an owner, so make sure it is clear who does what.

Communicating with the Service Desk is very important. Communication in general needs to be part of the plan to maintain control over the situation. Moreover, the business needs to know IT is in control. The Service Desk should take care of projecting the image of control towards the business. They can do it by issuing regular communication if business impact is severe enough. They will also take calls from dissatisfied users and inform them about the resolution status.

A backout plan is your insurance policy. It is up to you to have it or not. It is recommended to have it for every complex change, because business continuity and IT credibility are at stake. Start by preparing such a plan for the most complex change you have coming up in your pipeline. Then build on that and over time you will have it ready for all high-risk changes.

Blogging Tips For Beginners

You may already have a blog or want to start a new blog so here are blogging tips starting from choosing the blog name (domain name). Please read following 25 blogging tips to build better blog.

Following are Blogging tips useful before starting a new blog or writing new post. These are important for search engine optimization.

1) First do the keyword research for the blog topic / subject. Finding popular keywords related to your blog or your post topic is must. You will need at least 2-3 keywords to be used in blog title and around 10 keywords for post titles to start with.

2) Try to use the keywords in domain name, blog title, post title, post content,hyper link, ALT tag, TITLE tag a natural way.This will help you to get higher search engine ranking.

3) Try to limit no. of your labels / categories around 20. Use tag cloud or label cloud if you want to save space. If you have many topics on one blog try to regroup and relabel. If totally different topics are mixed on one blog and has sufficient no. of posts for each topic then start new blog for that topic.

4) Do not copy old posts of a blog on new blog.You can get penalized for duplicate content.You need to remove old copy from the search engine and then add same post at new blog.

5) Use post title optimization widget on this blog for blogger / blogspot blog so that you get better search engine ranking. WordPress bloggers can use plugin like All in one SEO for meta tag and title optimization.

Following are blogging tips related to look and content of the blog.

6) The look and layout of the blog should be nice, neat and beautiful so that it can create good impression on the visitor and he should feel to stay more and visit again. Content quality should also be good for this.

7) Navigation and layout should be such that visitor should be able to find the recent posts, labels very easily. So if Recent posts and Labels are near top of side bar it will be visible in first screen of the blog and the visitor will have a quick idea of what the blog is about and can jump to his topic of interest quickly.

8) Use pictures, images wherever possible to make your post colorful and attractive. Do picture / image optimization as described in my earlier post. No need to use large images, you can use medium to small images.

9) Loading time of the blog should not be very long or visitor will run away before the page opens. So keep check on what widgets / code you are installing and does it slows down the loading. If you are loading pictures, make sure that the file size is not big.

Do not use BMP files, you can use jpg, png files. Also check image size. You can do all this using photoshop. As sometimes images load slower from external sources, check that also.

Blogging tips related to writing and visitors

10) Write your post after proper research and gathering total information. Do not write too long. Use grouping, paragraph, sub titling for arranging the information in post body.

11) Writing language should be easy to understand and wherever possible write in humorous way. If visitor enjoys your post he will come back.

12) Give links to useful resources related to your topic. Also give links to your earlier posts with proper anchor text wherever possible. This improves internal linking of your blog.

13) Encourage the reader to participate / comment. You can also run some contest or survey on your blog and keep some prize for that.

14) Use beautiful and professional looking theme / template and header image for your blog. There are many free templates available so you can easily get one suitable to your blog. Choose 3 column template which uses full 1024 X 768 resolution.This gives you more space.

15) The font color and size should be such that blog should be readable in different screen resolution. Other blogging tips to increase readers and revenue.

16) Burn your feed at feedburner and provide subscribe via email facility for your RSS feed.

17) Check your blog visibility and feed in different browser.Especially in internet explorer and Firefox.

18) Try to increase your RSS feed subscriber and use AdSense for feed to display Google AdSense on the feed.

19) Use Google AdSense or other advertisements in post body, right hand side bar and below the header. Use AdSense link unit with labels or links or below header. Match background color of AdSense with blog or post background color.

20) Read my post on blog traffic tips to build traffic from sources other than search engine.

Following are precautionary blogging tips

21) There should not be many outgoing links (pointing to other websites / blogs) in the post or side bar. Remove unnecessary outgoing links. Place all outgoing links near bottom of right hand side bar or footer.

22 ) Do not buy or sell links for link building.

23) If paid posts are must for you keep it minimum or have separate website / blog for paid posts or articles.

24) As said above do not write same post again ( duplicate content ). Do not edit old post titles and content for search engine optimization.

25) Do not have METATAGS only for main home URL of blogger blog, as it will be used for all the post and you will get duplicate metatag error in Google webmaster tools. You are also misguiding and confusing search engine by having same meta tag for all posts. So you can use script / widget which can give different METATAGS to individual posts. WordPress blogger can have METATAG for individual post by using All in one SEO plug-in.

Make Money Online For Free – The Beginner’s Guide Everyone Should Read!

Put away your credit card, do not open your PayPal account today because I’m here to tell you it is possible to make money online for FREE! In fact the simple truth is that there are so many ways to make money online for free that most of us spend months researching the opportunities and forget to actually take any action. Before you know it 3 months has gone by and all you’ve done is download loads of free pdf files which are basically re-hashes of each other, potentially leaving you more confused than you started.

So how do you make money online for free? The answer to that question, like so many others is of course Google. Google is like the Holy Grail – the answer to all our prayers. We go to Google with our questions and problems and we ask it to solve them. When we find a great solution, we are more than happy to pay for it. Over the years I have bought products for me like exercise programs and products for my business such as PR and marketing resources (I run a marketing agency as my day job.)

“This is not about making money online for free”, I hear you cry, “this is about buying stuff!” Correct but – to make money online for free you need paying customers. In every business deal you need a buyer and a seller. And what Google kindly does for you is provide you with an endless stream of customers, who are looking to buy what you are selling. You don’t need to go out and find your own customers, you just present your offering in the correct manner to Google and Google will do the rest.

To make money online for free you don’t need any products of your own to sell!

The key to making money online for free is to become an affiliate marketer. An affiliate is someone who makes a commission on the sale of a product. This a risk free way of getting your feet wet in internet marketing. Essentially what you will be selling is eBooks, videos, reports, programs, software, in fact anything that is downloadable. According to reports from the UK Publishers Association, the UK the share of digital sales accounted for by the consumer market for eBooks and downloads rose from 2% to 11% in 2010. This market is experiencing phenomenal growth at the moment and the beauty of this route to a new income is that it needn’t cost you a penny! Becoming an affiliate is easy (once you know how!). There are many companies already set up to help you do this. Simply type “affiliate program” into Google and you will get lots of results. I would advise visiting first for several reasons:

  1. They offer lots of training on how to get started and how to use their site
  2. Many of the best publishers use Clickbank to sell their products, giving you access to the best digital products available.
  3. Receiving payments from Clickbank is straightforward, they are very trustworthy and well established organisation so a great one for you to get involved with while you are still finding your feet.

So what have we learned today? That it is possible to make money online for free by tapping into the millions of potential buyers looking for solutions to their problems on Google. That even though we don’t personally have products to sell, we can become affiliate marketers and make a commission from selling other people’s products. Of course there’s more to it than that and in my next Beginner’s Guide I will be talking about article marketing for affiliates, which will enable you to find your buyers – for free naturally!

Top 3 Free and Easy Affiliate Programs to Join for Beginners

Let’s assume you have your website up and running. You have built a website or blog, and now it is time to monetize it. There are so many choices out there online, so where is the best place to start? First of all, from my own experience as a beginning affiliate a few years back, I didn’t have a plan of action. I began my affiliate programs blindly because it was simply too much to process in the beginning, with all of the choices. I didn’t do much research at first, and that made it tough to know exactly where to go for some order in the information overload.

Through my failures and successes, I have learned a lesson of strategy that has finally grown with me. If I had begun my affiliate start up with first a solid plan of action, followed by research on all of the affiliate networks in order to minimize my choices to only the top plan of action and best three affiliate networks to promote while I learned the ropes, I would have succeeded much sooner.

Top 3 Affiliate Networks for beginners

1. Google AdSense

· This is actually an Ad Site, but because it is an extremely popular and easy way to monetize your website, I use it in the same or similar way as I would use to promote products from the actual affiliate network sites.

· Google AdSense offers high rewards along with several options for displaying monetized content.

· You can run various tests and or campaigns for the right types of ads to use on your website. They can be automatic or responsive ad units that change according to those who are viewing the pages on your site, or the content of your site.

· Payouts are monthly. Minimum payout amount available is $100.00. Don’t worry; it adds up quickly when you begin active affiliate marketing.

2. ClickBank

· My number 1 go to market place where there are tens of thousands of vendors offering hundreds of thousands of affiliates commissions of anywhere between 50 to 75% for every sale.

· ClickBank is also a lot like a payment processor.

· Fast, weekly payouts and great customer support.

· ClickBank is awesome for beginners with how easy it is to use.

3. Amazon Associates

· This affiliate program is hands down the easiest to use with about 1.5 million sellers, it is among the largest affiliate marketing programs online.

· Amazon unfortunately offers smaller commissions and longer payout periods at first, which means you have to promote products at a higher volume, but the success and volume of sellers as well as how easy it is to incorporate into any niche makes it worthy of this top 3 list.

Now you have the best 3 affiliate markets for beginners in the affiliate marketing arena. It’s time to know your products and get a step by step plan of action built. It is difficult to form a detailed plan of action when you are new to marketing, but along with knowing the affiliate networks you will utilize first, a detailed plan is a must for any affiliates success.

Digital Marketing Planning Process For Beginners

This article centres around formulating a digital marketing strategy and implementing a digital marketing plan for a business.

In this digital age, businesses cannot afford not to have a digital marketing plan has technology is increasingly influencing our business and social lives. As a matter of fact, a business without a digital marketing plan is a business planning to fail.

Quite frankly, some business owners are still struggling to understand the need to have a digital marketing plan for their business. Though, the case is quite different for other business owners who already have a digital marketing strategy, but are unhappy and frustrated with the results, of which fall far short of their expectations.

Digital Marketing Planning Process

Whether you have developed a digital marketing plan that is currently active or you have developed a digital marketing plan that is not yet active or you are in the process of developing a digital marketing plan for your business, Follow the process outlined below to help your business grow and succeed online. This process has proven very successful for so many businesses. Having said that, it is very important that the process is followed judiciously in other to get positive results.

You are just a sentence away from growing your business successfully online.

Establish A Web presence

Having a website, a blog or social media page, or listing your business on local business directory websites are some of the ways you can establish a web presence. These days businesses take advantage of these channels to boost their web presence. Without a doubt, it is highly recommended having these digital marketing assets in your arsenal to increase your search visibility. You want to make sure that you utilise every channel possible to boost your online presence. The more your business is established online, the better.

Domain name registration

When choosing a domain name for your business, you want to make sure that your domain name contains keywords relevant to your niche and city, not just your business name. For example, you offer plumbing services in Toronto, the ideal domain name should be

Content Creation

After choosing your domain name, the next step is to develop great contents for your website, contents that would attract qualified leads (prospects that would end up converting), the ideal thing to do in other to develop great contents is to first conduct a research on niche keywords and include these keywords throughout your text, especially in the headings/subheadings, title and meta description on your web pages. Also, it’s a good practice to add the location of your business in the areas mentioned above. Bear in mind, it takes quite some time to rank for your niche keywords – It not as simple as ABC. It’s a clever idea to hire a content developer if you don’t have the technical expertise to create engaging contents –

Content is king!

Optimising your Website

As soon as you have your content ready, the next thing you want to do is hire a professional website developer who is also skilled in (on-page and off-page search engine optimisation SEO), to develop a user and mobile friendly high converting website for your business. Notice how I laid emphasis on “user” and mobile friendly” – You want to make sure that your website has a good user experience, it is said that humans have a short attention span of about seven seconds, in other words you have seven seconds to grab the attention of your website visitors. That being said, It is cheaper to hire a professional website developer with SEO skills than separately hiring a website developer and SEO specialist. If you want to rank on search engine result pages (SERPs), then ensure that your website is fully optimised (on-page and off-page) for search engines A fully optimised website has a 90% possibility of showing up on SERPs.

What is on page and off page SEO? In a lay man’s terminology, on-page SEO is when a website understands and speaks the language of search algorithm and off page SEO Is when other websites send signals (by a way of votes) to search engines that your website has credibility. As soon as your other websites starts sending positive signals to search engines about your website, Chances are your website will show up on SERPs.

Check the performance of your website online and your website SEO when your website is ready to go live, there are free tools online you can use to check the performance of your website as well as SEO. Ensure that you follow up and resolve any issues with your website, especially issues like: loading time of your landing pages, browser caching issues, heading, alt-tags etc. I cannot emphasise enough the importance of having your website fully optimised for search engines.

Link Building

You have chosen a proper domain, created a highly converting website with great contents and your website is fully optimised, at this point, you should start building links. Link building is a technique used in (off page SEO). It is a process whereby you get external web pages with authority, link to your webpages. The following are some of the ways you can build links: submit your website to business directory websites (citations), create social media accounts and distributing content across social media platforms and other across other websites with high authority, optimise press releases, social bookmarking etc. These efforts are geared towards acquiring “link juice”, which increases your website authority (assuming the links are quality backlinks). Outreach (link building) is quite a daunting task. You are better off assigning the task to your website developer, except you are comfortable doing it yourself. Furthermore, list your business on Google my business and Bing places for business and ensure it is optimised.

Search Engine and Social Media Marketing

At this stage, creating a Pay Per Click (PPC) campaign on Google AdWords and Facebook is certainly a clever way to strengthen your online marketing campaigns. It is essential to explore means to drive quality traffic to your website, this would help to improve your ranking on search engines (if done properly). You can start with as little as $50 advertising budget per month if you are on a tight budget. Trust me, it worth your every penny, because as you drive quality traffic to your website for your “focus keywords”, your keywords quality score improves, and if done consistently, chances are your webpages will rank high on search engines. Anyway, creating an ad is one aspect of it, optimising the ad copy is another aspect which is very crucial. You want to make sure that your focus keywords are relevant to their target webpages. If your focus keywords are not relevant to the target webpages, search engines i.e. Google would dock your website as a result. Simply put, avoid attracting visitors that would end up bouncing from your website, hence why it is necessary to create relevant ads. I can’t stress enough the importance of creating relevant ads. Furthermore, utilise social media platforms to promote your business. Create an ad on Facebook to promote your business webpages. The amount of time people spend on social media platforms these days is overwhelming, hence why you need to utilise this medium as an opportunity to grow your business.

Google Search Console

Sign in to Google search console and get familiar with the basics. Follow the instruction on how to improve your search presence. If this is too technical for you, ask your website developer or digital marketing specialist to assist you in setting it up. This tool will not only give you insights in regards to your site’s performance, but will also guide you through on how to resolve any issue that would affect the performance of your website.

Google Analytics

Sign in to Google analytics and follow the set-up process. This tool would help you track important metrics such as conversion, customer engagement, page views etc. You can monitor the effectiveness of your online marketing campaigns, contents on your websites and user experience with this tool. Basically, you want to know which areas you need to improve on, once you identify the areas, you can apply a solution.

Closing Thoughts

Don’t be overwhelmed by the process outlined above, remember Rome was not built in a day. Begin now, apply this result-driven digital marketing plan to your business, be consistent and follow the process judiciously – I guarantee your business will grow and succeed online.

All the best!

A Surefire Horse Racing System For Beginner’s Luck and Betting on the Races

Anyone who gambles or places bets on horse races eventually learns about beginner’s luck. Beginner’s luck (BL) is the phenomena of beating the odds whenever you bet on a new game or go to the horse track for the first time. It is usually balanced off by that other natural law of gambling known as, “what goes round comes round.” That is usually experienced the second time you go to the track and bet extravagantly because it seemed so easy to win the first time. The result is that usually you lose all your winnings from the first trip with a little more thrown in, just to keep the pot full for the next beginner, and so it goes.

So how can anyone use BL to beat the odds consistently? It seems that it is impossible to keep being a beginner at the race track, or anything else in life. But a friend of mine actually did find a way to beat the system, for a while anyway, and developed what he called the Beginner’s Luck Horse Racing System.

The key to my friend’s method was that he had to have someone who had never been to the races with him whenever he used the system. He wasn’t much of a planner and didn’t like the cerebral strain of handicapping the races. Being a free spirit, he was more inclined to decide to go to the race track at the last minute. The problem with this method, of course, is where do you find someone who is willing to drop everything and go with you at a moment’s notice?

His remedy for the situation was to drive to the part of town where ladies could be found on the street corners. These ladies were in the entertainment business, so to speak, and would readily accompany him, if the price was right and paid up front. While his first question to them was a bit out of the ordinary, he was able to find willing participants who had never been to the race track before.

He would take the lady to the track and show her a very good time and of course, he would bet on anything she picked and would often have a very good day. Other than running out of a supply of lady “entertainers” who had never been to the race track, it seemed there wasn’t a flaw in his plan until he proposed a trip to the track to the wrong lady. While she appeared to be a lady entertainer, she was actually a lady police officer in disguise. He was arrested for propositioning, though the charges were later dropped when it was determined that asking someone if they would like to go to the race track is not a crime, even if you offer to pay him or her to accompany you.

While it may appear that the Beginner’s Luck System had finally failed, it was revealed that this was actually the lady police officer’s first day working undercover. In other words, her first arrest was just, you guessed it, BL.

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