Which one should I choose: WordPress.org or WordPress.com?

wordpress-logo-stacked-rgbI have been running my Website Creation Workshop program for 7 years now,
but every single time I run an introductory webinar or teleseminar, this question comes up:

What’s the difference between wordpress.com and wordpress.org?

I see how people get confused. Both services were created by the same company called Automattic and offer tools to create websites using the “WordPress” platform.

Their basic functions look the same. However, there are some critical differences that you
should know so that you can make the right choice for you when building a website.

Catch Christina’s free live webinar – Easily Create a Beautiful Website in WordPress – Even if You Hate Technology…. – on Thursday Dec 4, 2014. Register here.
WordPress.com (https://wordpress.com/)
  • Software is free, and it also comes with hosting. (ie. You don’t need to get your own hosting. They will host your website for you.) Note: it does NOT include emails, so you need to get a separate email service.
  • You will get your website URL with “wordpress.com” at the end. (ex. yoursitename/wordpress.com) (They offer a premium plan that allows you to use your own domain name while being hosted on WordPress.com server at extra cost.)
  • From time to time, your site might display ads to logged-out users who aren’t regular visitors  unless you purchase a special feature to turn it off.
  • While it offers many free and paid themes, they cannot be customized to the extent you can with wordpress.org themes.
  • They do not allow you to add plugins, which means the functionalities are limited compared to wordpress.org.
  • To sell products/programs from your site, you need to sign up for “WordPress.com Business” (http://store.wordpress.com/plans/business/) and pay the fee.
  • They allow you to embed certain forms, not all. For example, you can’t embed the opt-in form for many of the popular email services.

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5 Best Practices of Thought Leadership

mitchell-levyThought leadership is a hot buzzword, however, there are many definitions and misconceptions about what a thought leader is.

I’d like to offer a definition that may be slightly broader than what you’re used to. Once you’re comfortable with the definition, I’ll share five best practices.

Who is a Thought Leader?

A thought leader is an individual who is recognized as an expert in their own space, and is referred to for help on various matters. In other words, the key-to-go person who can give an appropriate path to attain best results in the field and geography they specialize in. For a more robust definition, check out this 2×2 showing a definition of thought leadership as audience by content .

The Top Five Best Practices for Thought Leadership are:

1.      Visibility to the Employees and the Management Team:

Due to the accessibility and abundance of numerous product reviews on the Internet, traditional salespeople have become obsolete and ineffective. The new salesperson is Google and is playing a big part in providing a perfect way to review products and services with utmost ease.

Potential customers search on your organization, they want to see “real” people sharing authentic, transparent and trustworthy information. Every employee represents the brand, and they must look good. Particularly, the management team.

On the “About us” page of many organizations today, you not only see a small photo or bio of the executive team, but also links to their individual social accounts (primarily LinkedIn and Twitter). This way, the customers and future advocates get an opportunity to see how the management team represents themselves and engage with them, if appropriate.

Make sure and participate in Mitchell’s FREE live webinar at Social Buzz University on Thursday, November 20, 2014! CLICK HERE to register now!
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Build a Strong Online Presence with Wikipedia

I’m old enough to remember using the Britannica Encyclopedia, considered the defacto reference, when doing my school research work.  My how times have changed.  In today’s information age online journalists and high level influencers turn to the Internet to gather information on individuals and companies.  Where libraries, dictionaries, and encyclopedias once dominated the top spot for research, Wikipedia has quickly become a main source. But unlike these old-fashioned methods this is a place of community driven content.

How does Wikipedia Build your Online Presence?

  1. Having a Wikipedia Page will give you Page One exposure in the search engines.
  2. It establishes you as the expert for journalists with what I think of as the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval.
  3. It will increase your Klout score.

Did you know that anyone can edit a Wikipedia article?  Before you get too excited about how great that is, it’s actually what makes having a Wikipedia page difficult.

It’s very important to understand how Wikipedia works and what is required in order to have a successful page that sticks there. You must have what is called ‘noteworthiness’.  Writing some articles or publishing a book isn’t enough.  What awards have you won?  What big media has written about you?

It’s different based on your professions.  For authors, there is a general guideline that has been established by Wikipedia and can be found here under “creative professionals” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:AUTHOR#Creative_professionals). While the guideline seems very specific, the majority of authors can have Wikipedia pages created if they have had significant coverage in reliable sources that are independent of them. For instance, if there is an article about them that has appeared in the New York Times or a well-known magazine, that could qualify them.

For books, the same would apply. The books would need to receive significant coverage. Generally, book reviews in well-known publications would qualify.

Want to get first-hand help with this topic? Attend Susan’s FREE, LIVE webinar with us on October 23! Click here for details & registration.
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Top Ways Google Alerts Help You Get Into the Media

Carol-Margolis-250x250Recently presenting to SocialBuzzU on How To Get Your Blog All Over The Media , I shared numerous no-cost ways to get publicity for your blog and business.

Here is one additional tool I use to identify publicity opportunities and it, also, is FREE!

I’m talking about Google Alerts. Setting up alerts that not only let you know (via email) when you and your business are being talked about, but all these other alerts:

Alerts on:

  • The topic of your business (business travel, in my case)
  • Conferences and trade shows in your topic area  (“conference social media” and “tradeshow social media” for example)
  • Experts in your topic area (“Mari Smith social media” for example)
  • Speaking opportunities (“call for speakers social media” for example)
  • Statistics in your topic area (“statistics social media” for example)
  • The magazines/media in your topic area (“Inc. magazine” “social media” for example)
  • Your name
  • Your business name
  • And other areas that you want to keep apprised of in your niche.

Can you see how being alerted with this information could help you apply for speaking opportunities, write an article that can be submitted to a magazine, be a guest blogger on another site and come up with topic ideas for your business? All at no monetary cost, just a bit of your time.

How do you get started? Go to https://www.google.com/alerts, sign into your Google account and start creating alerts. You can have as many as will be valuable to you. Have too many and it may be overwhelming to keep up with!

Emails will begin to flow into your mailbox. I recommend forwarding them automatically to a subfolder so you can review several at a time and have them all in one place.

Google Alerts have been invaluable for me. So set some up today (or add to your existing Google Alert list) and your business will be expanding all over the place!

Why Images are Dominating the Business World

Why Images are dominating the Business

Have you noticed the amount of images that have exploded into the social media scene?

Why Images are dominating the BusinessIt’s no mistake that these images have taken over our favourite social media platforms.

With the advent of smart phones that have some super high quality lenses, the ability for us to take great quality photos in an instant has arrived.

It is believed that 95% of us have a smart phone within arms reach of us most of our waking day. Its no wonder that the amount of image uploads has grown rapidly.

This growth has also sparked a proliferation of photo sharing sites and apps that continue to dominate the news. Not only are there new sites popping up everywhere, even old sites that had no intention of using images at its core have succumbed. Think Twitter and LinkedIn.

As these sites grow and our tastes adapt, there is also a need to produce more engaging images. Images that are getting the most eyeballs, the most shares and the most engagement are sophisticated, chic and relevant to the mood of the day. How can somebody with no graphic skills or a creative bone in their body even compete?

Well, thanks to this obsession with images, there are also a growing number of photo editing apps and sites that make even a novice look like a pro in no time.

Catch Andrew’s free webinar with Social Buzz U on Thursday August 7, 11am Pacific. Click here for details & registration!

There are a few rules that you need to follow if you decide to start creating some graphical masterpieces to get them amongst your network.

First and foremost are they engaging? Do people want to share them and are they happy to add their name to the list of people who have shared it?

Secondly, do they fit with your own branding or the relevancy of your message? Is the image you are creating relevant to your target market?

And Thirdly, can the image be linked back to your business in some way? Have you created the image with a connection back to your business, in the case that it gets shared outside of your own network?

Just following these 3 steps can save you a lot of wasted time and frustration in your Endeavour to create the perfect image and keep up with your competition.

In this presentation, I will go over the reasons behind the image explosion and then walk through some of the great tools that are out there for small business owners and entrepreneurs. I will also dig into what makes an shareable and engaging so that you can begin to create the right type of image for your business.