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3 Tips To Make Your Site Mobile Friendly

Everywhere you look you see people using Smart Phones, iPhones and a variety of handheld devices to surf the web.  I’m sure there’s some fancy statistic I could look up that will tell me the percentage of browsing done by mobile device… and I’m sure as soon as I type it here, it will be outdated.  Suffice it to say, there’s a lot of mobile browsing going on.

Of course, devices like the iPhone and iPad and the Samsung Galaxy S3 make it easy to browse the web, no matter where you happen to be.  So chances are that your site has been visited recently by someone using a mobile device.  If you do any kind of e-mail marketing (publish a newsletter or send regular broadcasts to your followers) or even if you post links to your content on Twitter or Facebook, people will find your site on their phones.  I don’t know about you, but I have email delivered to my Blackberry and often click on the links in the emails to find out more information or view a special offer.  Chances are pretty good that mobile browsers have come knocking on your virtual door.

That’s why I want to cover a few simple ways to make your site mobile friendly.  I said simple — I’m not going to get too techie.  If you need help with any of these steps, just drop me a line in the comments or on Twitter.
Testing Your Site
First thing’s first: you need to check if your site is mobile friendly.  There’s an online validator that can test your site but I promised to keep these steps [...]

Happy Client: BT Basketball 2.0

I love helping clients sites online.  I especially love helping clients find different ways of communicating with the people they’re here to serve.  When you work with me, you’ll find that I’m not just here to build your WordPress site… I also help you understand how to use tools like Twitter and Facebook to help connect with your audience and often share tips that have worked for other clients if I see that they fit with your business.
BT Basketball Upgrades To WordPress
Meet Brian Thomas. Brian is passionate about basketball and excited to nurture a passion for the game in guys and girls of all ages.  BT Basketball is dedicated to helping young people improve their skills, learn the game, and, most importantly, love the game of basketball.

Brian has been blogging since the Fall of 2010 on a Blogspot site.  As his business grew (and his audience grew with him), he realized the benefits of having a WordPress site hosted on his own domain.
Blogspot to WordPress Conversion
Exporting a Blogspot site to WordPress is a relatively painless process.  WordPress has a great tool to facilitate the conversion of other blogging platforms to the WordPress format.  The fun work came in designing a template to showcase the fantastic work that Brian is doing with his basketball clinics and events.

We worked together to select images to showcase on his site and I designed a theme that is reminiscent of the photos we all used to display as teens in our lockers or on a mirror or bulletin board at home.  We also added a photo gallery to share images from past Basketball Clinics.

I [...]

WordPress Plugin: Tweet This

One of the WordPress plugins I always install for clients is Tweet This.  Tweet This allows you to automatically send tweets to your Twitter account each time you create a new blog post or blog page.  While I’m a big believer in NOT automating tweets, there are occasions when I feel that a little automation can help.
Tweet This Installation
You can grab a copy of Tweet This at http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/tweet-this/

Unzip the downloaded file and then upload to your blog into the wp-content/plugins directory.  Once the plugin has been installed, you’ll need to activate it through your dashboard.
Configuring Tweet This
Once you’ve activated the plugin, you’ll be able to access the configuration page by browsing to your settings menu and clicking on Tweet This.

The first two fields to configure are for your preferred URL shortener.  Just select the shortener from the drop down list (I use bit.ly) and configure the API if required.

Next you can configure the Insert Tweet This link at the bottom of your post.  You’ll see from my own blog that I do not use this feature as I use other social share plugins but if Tweet This is going to be your main social share feature then go through and configure your account settings.
Automating Tweets
To enable automatic tweeting, you will need to click on the automatic tweeting link to expand the configuration options.  To use automatic tweeting, you’ll need to register an application with Twitter.  Just click the link in the settings area to open a new window and complete the application using the information provided in your tweet this settings.

Once your application has been configured you [...]

Start UnMarketing Today!

You’ve heard me say this before: people buy who you are long before they buy what you’re selling.  It’s another way of saying people do business with the people they know, like and trust.

In UnMarketing: Stop Marketing. Start Engaging, author Scott Stratten challenges us to think differently about our traditional marketing efforts.  He argues against traditional interrupt and sell marketing tactics and champions a new way of marketing: engaging your past, present and future customers.  Scott advises “If you believe business is built on relationships, make building them your business.”

UnMarketing is written in a way that’s easy to understand.  But don’t let its simplicity fool you.  There is much to be learned in the chapters that make up the book.  Whether you’re new to the concept of engaging your market or not, you will pick up a few great tips to use in your own marketing… er unmarketing efforts.

What I loved most about UnMarketing is the footnotes that you’ll find throughout the book.  Do yourself a favor DO NOT buy the e-reader version of UnMarketing.  All of the footnotes are moved to the end of the book and you’ll miss the witty and insightful comments he makes.  UnMarketing is the first marketing book I’ve read that left me with the feeling that it was being written by someone who’s much like me: witty, sarcastic, and, let’s be honest, geeky :-)  It’s one of those books where I imagine that if Scott and I were ever to meet, we’d be friends.

The world of marketing has changed.  If you’re looking to better understand the concept of engaging customers and turning them into loyal evangelists [...]

The World’s Most In Demand Job

Late last year I watched a new video called… “The Most IN-DEMAND Job on Earth“… you can watch it here

Ever wish you could get paid to hang out on Twitter and Facebook?  I’m sure if you’re like a lot of people, you tweet and Facebook for fun.  Imagine being able to do that for a living?

Let’s Get Social, the course previewed above, teaches you how to set up your own Social Media Management business and if you follow the story of the creator of the course, you’ll know she went from unemployed to $10,000 / month after expenses all while playing on her iPhone.

It’s a great course.  I went through it quickly when I first signed up and have recently been going through it again as the materials were updated and everyone who had previously purchased the course received the updates – talk about over delivering!

Click here if you’re looking for more information on the course that gets my highest recommendation for social media managers and find out a bit more about what’s included in Let’s Get Social,  or check out Kate and Ryan’s video that will give you more details about the market potential.

Let’s Get Social!

Those of you that know me, know that I’ve been lucky to work with some amazing tweeps and Facebook experts and learn the strategy behind social media from early adopters and prolific tweeters.  But when I wanted to improve my skills and learn the art of social media management, I turned to the Social Media Fly Girl: Kate Buck, Jr.

Late last year I watched a new video called… “The Most IN-DEMAND Job on Earth”… you can watch it here

Ever wish you could get paid to hang out on Twitter and Facebook?  This course teaches you how to set up your own Social Media Management business and if you follow the story of Kate, you’ll know she went from unemployed to $10,000 / month after expenses all while playing on her iPhone.

I’m not there… yet :-) but I know that with the training provided by Kate will help me get there.

Kate had already been on my radar.  It was easy to find her on different social networks, sharing her knowledge.  I didn’t have direct contact with her but knew that her course would be full of great tips and tested social media marketing techniques and strategies because I’d seen her in action.  So I registered for her course and began to benefit personally from her expertise.
What You Get
The course is delivered online through a membership site and contains six basic training modules:

Introduction
Branding You
Service Offerings
Doing the Work
Finding Clients
Nuts & Bolts

Each training module consists of one or more videos along with the same presentation in a downloadable audio (.mp3) file, [...]

WordPress Plugin: Disqus

I read an interesting article a few months back by Scott Stratten, you know the guy who’s all that and a bag of chips on Twitter? (He’s @Unmarketing. Follow him. Brilliant!).

In Scott’s article, The Five Words That Kill Your Blog, Scott speaks about how comment moderation kills the flow of conversation on your posts.  To his credit, he states that most people moderate comments in order to stop spam from appearing on their blog, rather than censoring comments and he recommends a few plugins to help with spam filtering: Akismet and DISQUS.

Akismet is included as part of the WordPress build so you’ll likely already have it installed on your blog.  It’s a great little plugin that works to filter spam comments.
DISQUS: An Impressive Comment System
DISQUS is an impressive comment management system.  It includes a lot of features that are great for engaging your community in a conversation.  For example, when someone posts a comment on your blog, you or any other use has the ability to reply to that specific comment directly rather than replying to all.  This feature is called threaded replies and it’s great for conversations.  The threaded replies are indented, making it easy to track sub-discussions.  It’s a favorite feature of bloggers who receive a lot of comments on their blogs.

Like a few other comment systems that I’ve worked with, DISQUS also attaches your Gravatar picture automatically based on the e-mail address you’re using to comment.  So whether a user is registered with DISQUS or not, you’ll have an image associated with their comment (assuming, of course, that they’re registered with Gravatar).  If you haven’t registered with [...]

Can You Live Without The Internet?

I spent some time at our family cottage this weekend.  We decided to head North on Friday afternoon so I packed my kitten up and decided to leave the computer behind.  Our cottage is located about an hour North of the City and because we don’t live there full time, we don’t pay for high speed internet.

I have a USB Rocket stick that allows me high-speed access or I have the option of using dial-up (trust me, dial-up is not an option for the work that I do LOL) but my honey man was in a rush to get moving so I didn’t bother to look for the stick (and as I’m typing this now, I see it’s right in front of me, tucked beneath my monitor!) and had the first disconnected weekend I’ve had in months.

Well, it wasn’t truly disconnected as you’ll see in the video below.  Just press play now and listen to me share my thoughts… bloopers and all.

iDeborah Asks: Can You Live Without The Internet?

Now that I’m back in the City, I feel much more refreshed.  I had moments of complete boredom which lead to some really great brainstorming and creativity.  With no external sources competing for my attention, I was able to sit down and review the things that have been working and not working in my business and make decisions or come up with creative solutions to tweak things that could be working a little bit better.

I’ll be the first to admit that I haven’t completely disconnected from the world but do go through periods of digital cleansing.  What about you?  Your turn to share your thoughts.

iChat: [...]

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    HootSuite Review: Manage Your Social Media Through One Dashboard

HootSuite Review: Manage Your Social Media Through One Dashboard

Twitter has been a revolutionary tool for business owners who maintain an online presence. Even though Twitter limits you to only 140 characters, it’s ability to reach a wider audience make it a MUST for every entrepreneur out there (online or offline) to create their own Twitter account and start tweeting!

Once you start becoming an active tweeter, you can use the microblogging service to identify and follow key people in their industries, get up-to-date feeds on the latest breaking news, industry trends, industry competition, as well as creative ideas for articles and marketing!

As you start to create relationships, you’ll have a boatload of information you’ll need to track. People you want to connect with. Developments in your niche on which you want to remain current. The stream of information is endless and can seem overwhelming. That’s why you’ll need help organizing all of it. There are various applications that even allow you to manage these feeds. HootSuite is one of those applications.

HootSuite allows you to efficiently schedule tweets, link existing RSS feeds and tweet them out, use Ping.fm tweet broadcasting, manage multiple Twitter accounts, track tweet statistics, and even allow for multiple editors so Corporate users can have several team members tweet under the same profile. Let’s take a closer look at some of the features.
Schedule Tweets
I’ll admit, I rarely use the scheduled tweet feature unless I tweet on behalf of a client and know that I’m not going to be in the office at the time the tweet is scheduled. After all, it’s a social platform, you should be around to engage and interact with your followers, not [...]

The John Mayer Digital Cleanse

Happy New Year!  2010 is off to an interesting start for me.  A day before New Year’s Eve, I happened to see a tweet by John Mayer proposing a week long hiatus from Twitter, Facebook, texting and mobile e-mail.  When I first saw the tweet, I thought of all the reasons I couldn’t partake but it was appealing to me.  In fact, I know that I tweeted a half-hearted committed response… I’d link to it on Twitter for you but… I’m off Twitter this week.

Turns out, I decided to jump right in with both feet on January 1st.  I didn’t even get out any last Happy New Year tweets and text messages.  My cousin sent me a text message early on New Year’s day, long before the cut off time, and I didn’t reply via text.  I was already in digital cleanse mode.

It’s been an interesting experience so far but I guess I should outline my current digital habits for you so you can judge for yourself whether or not I’ll gain any benefit from disconnecting for a while:

- My family communicates by text message: My brother’s and sister’s text me exclusively.  I rarely receive calls from them… it’s always a text message.  If I don’t reply to their text message, they send me a message on Facebook or IM me on Yahoo or MSN.

- I Tweet / Facebook for work: Clients communicate with me via DM on Twitter.  I also do brand monitoring on Twitter.  So I’m changing my game plan for the week.  Any tweets initiated by me will obviously not go out.  Any DM’s that are sent to me will [...]