Blogging and Social Media – Where Should You Be Spending Your Time? by Takara

TakaraBookCoverCompressedSm

My background is engineering. I’ve worked on computers since 1985. I put up my first website in about 1995. I have several websites and blogs. I got heavily involved in social media about 4 years ago and spend entirely too much time on Facebook.

After messing around with all these platforms over this length of time, becoming a bestselling author entirely through online means, and having thousands of website and blog visitors daily as well as thousands of newsletter subscribers, I have a few things to say about websites, blogs, and social media

Takara’s Online Tips:

1) if you are going to blog, then do only one.

2) If you are a writer and have more than 1 book, then I say brand yourself and have the name of the blog be your name and just do all your writing there.

3) The social media that will work best for you depends a lot on your area / niche / what you write about.

  • LinkedIn is for professionals, so if you write about topics related to business, it is THE place to be.
  • Facebook used to be a wonderful platform, but with the new algorithm, I like it less and less every day. You work your butt off to get fans to your page, and then they don’t all get to see your posts unless you pay to promote the post or put up stupid pictures that are cute or funny that people will share and like – that have nothing to do with your business or page or anything. Trying to pick clever things that people will like, share, and comment on is, I feel, taking things in the wrong direction.
  • Google+ is also another choice that I am seriously considering treating as another blog and maybe the main blog.
  • Pinterest is fun and lots of people are having great results in driving traffic to their websites/blogs using it. I mess around with it sometimes, but have only about 400 followers for my boards.

LinkedIn is better at pointing to your blog posts than Facebook. Google likes both LinkedIn and Google+ a lot.

Every now and then I Google my name (being sure to click the button that says “hide private results.”) Below you will find the results I got today when I performed that exercise. I have added comments beside each of the results. How these are listed tell you a lot about what is happening with Google’s algorithm right now.
I trust that by looking at the information below, it will help you and your business.

Search Results

  1. Absolute Joy Now with Debbie Takara Shelor

    www.absolutejoynow.com/

    Jun 23, 2013 – Have a deLightful day, Takara http://www.absolutejoynow.com. Posted by Debbie Takara Shelor at 8:42 AM 0 comments 

    (This is a blogger blog that has the words Debbie Takara Shelor (keyword phrase) in the Blog Title. I host it on my own domain, but all the work is done inside the blogger platform online. Lots of people say you must be on WordPress and Blogger isn’t the best choice. But here is one of several of my Blogger blogs showing up number 1 in search results for my name. Google owns Blogger by the way, so I KNOW its a great platform to use and its freaking simple. I always recommend blogger as the place to start for those new to blogging. Its easy to get going and you don’t have to be a computer whiz to have a good blog. There are lots of widgets you can add, so I still prefer it over wordpress although wordpress is growing on me. I don’t even post on this blog very often. Conclusion: Having the keyword in the title is still very important. Google loves blogger blogs.)

  2. DebbieTakaraShelor Official Fanpage | Facebook

    https://www.facebook.com/DebbieTakaraShelor

    DebbieTakaraShelor Official Fanpage. 1375 likes · 104 talking about this.

    (This is one of my facebook fan pages. I’m actually surprised to see it this high in search results. However, the keyword is in the title and URL of this page too. Typically LinkedIn is higher on the list. But, as we hopefully all know by now, Google changes its algorithm all the time, so you have to pay attention.)

  3. Debbie Takara Shelor

    www.debbieshelor.com/

    6 days ago – Takara helps you achieve whole life mastery. She assists you in turning ordinary into extraordinary. Bestselling Author, Speaker, Engineer, 

    (This is a WordPress blog. The keyword is not in the title and URL since I went back to my given name for awhile and sadly it was when I was getting involved in social media. I go by Takara, but because my online presence was so successful with Debbie, I’m stuck with it.)

  4. Debbie Takara Shelor – YouTube

    www.youtube.com/user/DebbieShelor

    Takara is a bestselling author, award-winning speaker, engineer, and mystic. Her email newsletter, Here’s To Your Magnificence, is enjoyed by thousands of re…

    (My YouTube Channel – another online property owned by Google. I have very few videos. Again the full keyword is not in the URL. It is in the title though.)

  5. DebbieTakaraShelor | LinkedIn

    www.linkedin.com/in/debbieshelor

    Roanoke, Virginia Area – Bestselling Author of Books on Meditation, Spirituality, Energy Healing, & Enlightenment | Speaker | Engineer

    View DebbieTakaraShelor’s professional profile on LinkedIn. LinkedIn is the world’s largest business network, helping professionals like Debbie “Takara” 

    (Finally we see LinkedIn. Again the keyword is not in the URL, but it is in the title. Its a good platform and Google really gives it authority. I just don’t spend a lot of time there. I have things connected so that if I post on twitter, it automatically posts to LinkedIn. That is not hard to set up and makes things easy.)

  6. Debbie Takara Shelor (Debbie_Shelor) on Twitter

    https://twitter.com/TakaraShelor

    The latest from Debbie Takara Shelor (@Debbie_Shelor). Author, Engineer, & Mystic who loves wild dolphins, travel, and helping you become Magnificent!

    (Twitter comes up number 6 in the listing. You have to remember that where they rank probably has to do with how active you are, how many friends/fans/followers you have on the various platforms, etc. I rarely go to twitter. However, much of what I post automatically gets posted there from other platforms. I have a decent following. I hear from other authors that twitter is a great platform to be on for book sales. I intend to do a little more with it when I can.)

  7. Amazon.com: Debbie Takara Shelor: Books, Biography, Blog

    www.amazon.com/DebbieTakaraShelor/e/B008WEYNC2

    Debbie Takara Shelor is an author, award-winning speaker, engineer, and mystic. In her mid-30’s she left the comfort and security of a high-paying corporate 

    (I’m very happy to see my Amazon author page showing up on the first page results of Google. That is a very good thing as an author. If you don’t know what to put on your author page, just visit the big names in your niche and see what they are doing.)

  8. Who is DebbieTakara” – Dolphin Empowerment

    www.dolphinempowerment.com/dolphinzonebio.htm

    My name is DebbieTakaraShelor and I am the web designer and author for this site. I once lived a rather “normal” life – or at least tried to anyway. I was an 

    (Finally there is an actual website showing up in the listings. This site was put up in about 2004. I sometimes post new articles, but I tend to blog and its a lot easier than working in Dreamweaver to update things.)

  9. Dowsing With Debbie Takara Shelor

    dowsing-with-debbie.blogspot.com/

    Jan 10, 2012 – Help Make the World a Better Place ~ Debbie Takara Shelor. Make today a memorable day! Whose life can be made better by your presence?

    (This is a very old blog that I almost never post to. Somewhere in the description or meta tags it has the keyword. I actually have an older, larger, much more established site that I am surprised didn’t make the first page of Google results.)

  10. Images for debbie takara shelor

    – Report images

  11. Peering Through the Veil

    www.peeringthroughtheveil.com/

    Oct 15, 2012 – Share to TwitterShare to Facebook. Labels: amazon bestseller, Debbie Takara Shelor, high blood pressure, meditation, stress, Virginia Tech 

    You +1’d this

    (This site is another blogger blog that I set up specifically for my book launch for the book that became a bestseller last year. I haven’t posted since October of last year and it is still showing up on the first page of Google.)

Maximise The Leverage Of Your Blog Content by Caylie Price

Leverage Your Blog Content

If you’re blogging for business or blogging as a business the last thing you need is to work your fingers to the bone producing content only for it not to be seen or read by your target audience.

On a super crazy busy day (aren’t they all) you need options to seriously maximise the return on your blogging for little extra effort. Following are some tactics to achieve just that:

Read more

Blogging and Social Media – Where Should You Be Spending Your Time?

By Debbie Takara Shelor

Social Media Icons by mkhmarketing

My background is engineering. I’ve worked on computers since 1985. I put up my first website in about 1995. I have several websites and blogs. I got heavily involved in social media about 4 years ago and spend entirely too much time on Facebook. After messing around with all these platforms over this length of time, becoming a bestselling author entirely through online means, and having thousands of website and blog visitors daily as well as thousands of newsletter subscribers, I have a few things to say about websites, blogs, and social media.

 

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Best Online Royalty Free Images Photos for Commercial Use

Best Online Royalty Free Images Photos for Commercial Use

If you are like me, photo images have become a way of life. We now add them to blog posts, our Facebook pages and other social media posts, and of course Pinterest. It is always better to use a unique image rather than something everyone else is posting. It’s so easy to take an image, add a few words, save it with a unique name and voila, you have a unique image. The sites I tend to visit often are indicated with a (Takara) in their description.

But where to get the images online?

Read more

Using Wordpad As a Plain Text Editor for Your Personal and Autoresponder eMails

Your email program and your  autoresponder service require that you use a plain text editor for your email messages. Wordpad, free on your PC, is a great choice!

Most businesses online use an autoresponder service to keep in touch with their customers, clients, and subscribers.

 

Autoresponders:

An autoresponder email service is the best way for an online or off-line business to:

  • announce a new product launch,
  • offer special promotions,
  • give advice on how to better use a product or service,
  • send a weekly or monthly newsletter,
  • deliver an ecourse,
  • keep you and your business on top of your customer’s minds,
  • and more.

 

There are several great autoresponder programs available:

  • constant contact
  • aweber
  • icontact
  • infusionsoft

 

Personally I use Aweber.

My online newsletter, Here’s to Your Magnificence, is now 14 years old. When I started out and only had a few hundred subscribers, I sent the messages out manually. As more and more people began joining the list, it became overwhelming to try to keep up with messages that bounced, requests to change email addresses, and to manually add people to the list. So in 2004 I began using Aweber and I’ve been with them ever since. They took a huge time consuming burden off my shoulders.

Now I get to concentrate on doing what’s fun – writing helpful content. They do all the work behind the scenes, adding, changing email addresses, etc.  Whenever I call, they promptly answer my questions, and sometimes they even do things for me to clean up a problem on an email template. They also live chat for assistance. I find all of that invaluable in my business.

For editing purposes, most people prefer to write long messages in a word processing software of some kind before they cut and paste it into an email or autoresponder email service.

That is often a problem.

 

Ugly Coded Email

Most email programs and autoresponder services require plain text. If you cut and paste a Microsoft Word, Open Office,  or WordPerfect document into an email program, you often end up with weird symbols throughout the text.

The reason this happens is because Microsoft Word, Open Office, WordPerfect and others are word processing programs that allow you to  format  the document. Formatting adds code throughout the text. If you type a word like “don’t” into Microsoft Word and then paste it from Word into an email program, the apostrophe often shows up as a weird symbol.

Having symbols like that throughout your emails looks very unprofessional.

 

Here is the fix!

Type your documents into Wordpad and save them as text documents. If you are using a Microsoft operating system, chances are very good that Wordpad is already on your computer.

How to Access and Use Wordpad as a Plaint Text Editor for Your Autoresponder

Follow these instructions:

  • Click on the bottom left – round windows “Start” button on your computer. A box will pop up.
  • Click on “all programs” – just above the start button and the search box down on the left bottom of the page.
  • Scroll up and down the list and look for the “Accessories” folder
  • Click on it.
  • Another list will show up under the folder
  • Double Click on Wordpad. It should already be there.
  • Copy and paste or type your article into Wordpad.
  • Edit as needed. No need to format it, other than using a carrier return (the enter key) to separate paragraphs.
  • When you have finished editing, click on the word “file” at the top left of the window you are in.
  • Click on “save as” in the drop down menu. A box will pop up.
  • Give the file a name
  • In the “save as type” section, click the little “down arrow” to the far right on that line,
  • Click on “text document”
  • Then press the save button.

Your plain text document will now be on your computer wherever documents are normally saved.

Then, copy and paste the Wordpad document into your email or autoresponder program.

Voila! No more weird code.

Have a deLightful day,
Takara

Developing a Website and Blog for One of the Most Important Men In My Life – My Dad

Back in the car business!

I thought when I finished being the Internet Operations Manager for the Nissan dealership in Santa Fe, New Mexico that I was out of the car business for good.

But, alas, developing a website and blog for my dad involves getting back into cars.

Dad has been rebuilding, repairing, designing, racing, tinkering with, altering, and helping others with their cars since he was a small child. He’s now in his early 80’s. For that last 30 years or so he’s been buying and selling antique engine parts for Ford Motor Company vehicles – Ford, Lincoln, and Mercury.

Until now, it’s been mostly a hobby. Most of his sales happen through the Antique Automobile Club of America’s meets in Hershey, PA (probably the largest and best known), Charlotte, NC, and Maggie Valley, NC. He also is often referred by word of mouth.

Now we’re taking it global with an online presence.

As with any new online presence project, I start with research. What are people searching for online that he is offering? That means what keywords are people using to find the products he offers.

There are many free tools out there, but my “weapon” of choice is a paid software called Market Samurai: http://bit.ly/cqpUdh

With this business, there are many things people might type in to try and find auto parts for their antique car or truck.

Some options include antique car parts, classic car parts, old car parts, etc. After typing several choices into Market Samurai and letting it spit out the magic numbers telling me which one of the choices far outweigh the others, we started brainstorming domain names.

You see the domain name is crucial in your online plan for market domination. With Market Samurai’s help, I determined that Classic Car Parts was our best choice. Of course, that domain was already taken – as most obviously “good” domain names are. So are many other variations.

Sometimes you have to think outside the box. As an Industrial Engineer, that’s what I’m trained to do in order to solve a problem.

I remembered this website I used several years ago to get a replacement top for my Geo Tracker.

~~~~~ Side Story ~~~~

Several years ago I was working with a client who was struggling financially. She was great as an office manager/assistant, a service I needed. And I could help her heal the past and move forward in life. So, we made an agreement to trade my services for hers.

Suddenly she found herself moving to Florida. She had already done a couple of sessions with me but had not begun helping me in the office.

She needed to do something in exchange for my services and did not have time to do the office work we had agreed on. So she called me one day and said, “How would you like my car for $250?” Now even if the thing didn’t run, I could probably get $250 out of it. So I agreed.

For the ridiculously low price of $250, I got a great little Geo Tracker. It was perfect for bopping around Santa Fe.

It only had a couple of problems.  First, she was a smoker and the car wreaked of cigarettes. Second, the canvas roof needed to be replaced. So I got some great stuff from the auto parts store to clean the carpet and upholstery and eliminate the odor. And then I went online in search of a replacement top.

First I visited Geo. They wanted $1400 – $1500 for the canvas top. Yeah right! I paid $250 for the whole vehicle. I wasn’t about to spend that much on the roof.

Through google searching I found Tops4Less. I got the replacement canvas top for $250 and it was made of superior materials to Geo’s. I was oh so impressed with my manifesting ability. A great little vehicle for $500.

Funny thing is, I bought that top many years ago and I still remember the name of the site. Hmmm. Why? Because something about Tops4Less is seriously memorable. I think it’s the 4 in the middle. I don’t know for sure, but I know after all these years I have no trouble remembering that name.

~~~ End of Site Story ~~~

Remembering the site with the easy to remember name, I chose ClassicParts4Cars.com. It’s clever. It has the term classic car parts built right in. And it was available.

What you name your site makes a big difference in your search engine rankings.

If you type in Debbie Shelor, this blog comes up first. It’s not because it is my biggest website. Far from it. It’s not because it’s my oldest website. Not even close. It’s not because it is my website with the highest page rank (PR). Again, many of my other sites are significantly larger, older, and have higher page rank. All of those are things the search engines take into consideration when deciding which sites get listed first in their rankings when you do a search.

What this site has that the others don’t is the term “Debbie Shelor” in the domain name.

Keep that in mind before you put up your site or blog.

 

Online Business Success Consultant – What One Can Do For You!

Online Business Success SEO Web Design Marketing PR Local Search

 

The Good Old Days

In the not so distant past, online business success could happen with a nice sign out front, a small ad in the local paper or yellow pages, and maybe an actual mailed advertisement every now and then. Believe it or not, you could run your entire business without a computer.

Wow, how times have changed!

You Are Now Living in the Digital Information Age

People under 30 don’t subscribe to newspapers anymore. Why look something up in the yellow pages, when you can go online or search for something on your iPhone? Why listen to the radio and all their disruptive ads when you can get commercial free satellite radio listening to only the type of music you enjoy most?

A recent study indicates that 79% of English-speaking American adults use the internet. The iPad sold over 2 million units in its first 60 days. There are 6.7 billion people on the planet and 61% of them have a cell phone subscription.

106 million people have Twitter accounts. Every day another 300,000 people sign up for Twitter. 37% of Tweets (messages posted on Twitter) are sent from a cell phone.

Facebook has over 400 million active users. That’s active users. Over 50% of those active users log in on any given day.

With the addition of social media (Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, MySpace, LinkedIn), the internet has changed dramatically.

A Website for Your Business Isn’t Enough

Even having a website isn’t enough to be successful in today’s competitive marketplace. With eBay and Amazon selling everything from used books to health food,  it takes more than putting up a nice website to keep your company competitive.

Having a Web site and Having Online Business Success is a Lot Like Writing a Book

An author takes about 6 months to 2 years to write a book. Then they spend the rest of their life promoting it. Having an online presence is a very similar endeavor. It’s not enough to have a great looking website. It takes smart and consistent work with a website or blog and multiple social media profiles to have people find your business among the 234 million websites out there.

Being on the First Page of Google Matters

When a person types in words in a search box to find your website or blog, it matters where you show up in the results.

I wish I could remember who said this in order to give due credit. But, I’ve been on-line for 10 years and I’ve read thousands of articles, books, and blogs on internet marketing. The best comment about where you want your internet business to be was this: Would you rather have your business out in a corn field or downtown Manhattan?

Just putting up a website and doing no promotion is like sticking it out in the middle of a corn field. No one is going to find you. You’ll be paying for hosting, a web designer,  a domain name, and a whole bunch of other services and it won’t get you even one web visitor.

Working with someone like myself, an online business success consultant who specializes in social media management and marketing, is what you need to get your business on the first page of Google and other search engines.  That’s the equivalent of putting your business downtown Manhattan. If you sell real estate in Birmingham, when someone is searching for Birmingham Real Estate, if you don’t show up on page 1 of Google results, no one is going to visit your website. You might as well not even have one.

You can use pay per click advertising and get listed above your competitors. But that can get very expensive very quickly.

Being on the Internet is a Bit Like Being on Mars

It’s a very different world than your brick and mortar business on main street. It has its own language.  It is continuously changing. And to win the internet game, you have to learn and master every aspect of it even as it’s changing.

Anyone can throw up a website or blog. To be successful on the web, you have to do significantly more, And every step and component counts.

Why Hire an Online Business Success Consultant?

An Online Business Success Consultant is a person that already knows the internet inside and out. They have ample experience with traditional websites, blogs, social media, search engine optimization (SEO), and much more. You can read about the important aspects of an internet business here.

They have already successfully put their own websites, and those of their clients, on the first page of Google and other search engines for the important terms being searched by their prospective clients and customers.

They look at your business and the on-line presence you are wanting to create, and they help you put together a winning game plan by:

  • doing advanced keyword research to find out what people are searching who might be looking for you and your products or services,
  • helping you choose the best domain name for your site or blog,
  • recommending web designers, web hosts, domain registrars, autoresponder services,  social media sites, and other services,
  • picking topics for articles, press releases, blog, and social media posts to rank well on search engines and get targetted visitors to your site,
  • helping you determine if you need to get into mobile websites and text message advertising,
  • ensuring that your site(s) and media profiles stay updated with fresh content,
  • analyzing every aspect of your on-line presence on an ongoing basis to determine what is working well and what needs to be changed,
  • making changes to the plan as the business and the internet changes, and
  • keeping you updated with trends and laws that can impact your online business success.

There’s more of course.

The bottom line is this . . . to be successful in business, you must have a web presence. The only web presence worth having is one in which you dominate your market.

An Online Business Success Consultant is your secret weapon for making that happen.

Learn more about what we offer to take the hassle out of your online business and help you beat your competition online!

Takara

 

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