Pushbullet: A Must Have App for Smartphone Users!

Ever found a great article that you wanted to read or share on your your desktop but you were stuck in your mobile phone? Push it to your desktop to review later! I used to email those things to myself until I discovered Pushbullet. Pushbullet is a freemium app that will integrate your mobile and desktop worlds in a way that will make better sense of your information…

Effective information management

Threefold path to effective info management (1)

These days it seems that we’re drowning in information and starving for wisdom. Here is some ‘wisdom’ about three tools that will help you manage information more effectively if you will take the time to learn how to use them:

Digging deeper into Gmail

Everything I have ever written about the magical tool called Inoreader can be found here. If you need help managing the information that’s flowing into your world, I can help. Consider this review and contact me using the form below…

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What if I told you there’s a way to do it all with email

17opbxYou? You’re a small business owner or solopreneur. You know you need a website you can update by yourself and that there are advantages to participating in social media but you don’t have time to learn WordPress, Facebook, Google+, Twitter and LinkedIn and a host of other tools. You know you should be doing an electronic newsletter too and maybe Instagram and Pinterest as well but you just don’t have the time.

What if I could show you a way that you could do all of these things simply by sending an email to the correct address. That all you had to do was what you already know how to do: write an email and attach a picture and that that content would be magically transported across the internet and end up in all the right places, building your brand online and generating leads for you. Well? I can and I will if you’ll let me.

Chances are, you’re already sending dozens of emails about your business every day but because you’re not exposing them to Google and Facebook and Twitter, you’re only reaching one person at a time. The difference between a thinker and a thought leader is that while they both have a point of view, the thought leader shows up in search by using these good, fast and cheap tools to build an online reputations that is searchable, findable, knowable, usable, memorable and shareable. Because of all these ibles or ables, they become credible when buyers are evaluating opportunities in the zero moment of truth.

If you want to make a bigger splash on the internet using a tool you already know how to use — email — use the contact form below to get connected. I can help you get found online…

7 reasons why I love Buffer

Here are the 7 reasons why I love Buffer!

7 reasons why I love Buffer

I’m coming up on the 4th anniversary of the day that I started using Buffer and I love it so much that I tell people if you only purchase one tool to help you manage social media, Buffer should be the one!

Why such a strong recommendation for Buffer?

These are the features that ring my bell right now [although there are many more!]

  • Buffer is completely cross platform and it runs on my mobile devices just as well as the desktop [although there are some functions that are only available at the desktop level!].
  • Buffer is cost effective — my plan costs only $10 per month to manage a dozen social media accounts and up to 200 posts at a time.
  • Buffer shares images flawlessly across platforms so it makes no difference if you’re posting to Facebook, Google+, Linked, Twitter or Pinterest, Buffer will do it right.
  • Buffer recently added an ‘optimal timing tool’ that will get you the best exposure for your content.
  • Buffer has a power scheduler that will allow you to automagically share content in the future, again with the idea in mind of increasing exposure for your content.
  • Buffer has a new tool for creating eye-catching quotes called Pablo. Watch the video to see how it works.
  • Buffer has ‘happiness heroes’ that offer some of the best technical support in the world. In four years I have never had a single bad experience with them.

Watch this to see how these features work:

Questions? Feedback? Comments? Please engage me using the content form below or head on over to Buffer now and get started.

7 reasons why I love Buffer

Feedly vs Inoreader

Feedly vs Inoreader

According to the Pew Study on Internet and the American Life, only about 11% of American internet users know how to use a feed reader. For me, a feed reader is one of my 3 most important tools. Today I look at a ‘rising star’ — Inoreader — and compare it to Feedly, the tool that has been my standard for the past two years. h/t Brian Clark. Here is my take on Feedly vs Inoreader from the early days of usage back in April:

Now, six months later I am still using Inoreader every day. I stopped subscribing to Feedly immediately after this post and I went on to blog about my experiences with Inoreader 18 times during in that six months — more than any other tool I use. You can read every post and see every screencast here.

As I have mastered new features, my workflow has changed. I don’t know how long I’ve been using Inoreader the ways I am today, but here is my current strategy and you are free to use this or make up a different one that works better for you:

  • I over-subscribe to opml feeds from Alltop, the ‘magazine rack’ of the internet
  • I use the rules feature to scrape the titles of content in these feeds knowing that anyone who writes intentionally would put the keywords I’m searching for in their title
  • I then flip through the 200 or so articles this process yields every morning and curate their content where applicable

Here’s what it looks like:

If having this kind of information is valuable to you for research or content marketing, etc., then Inoreader is the tool for you. I encourage you to do your homework, but include Inoreader in your short list of tools that you evaluate. Questions? Feedback? I love to talk about Inoreader and why content readers are so important!

How to focus on the online activities that get results

How to focus on the activities that get results is one of the most important issues facing entrepreneurs today. When you decide to go it alone or with a small group of people, all the things that have been done FOR you now need to be done BY you.

Take my friend Michael Rohrer for example. Michael is a writer and ‘bon vivant’ who has his own blog and frequently writes for the Huffington Post. When Michael writes for HuffPo, issues like platform, hosting, SEO and social media are all covered for him by one of the most effective organizations in the online publishing world. On his own blog, however, he has to make all these decisions for himself. So it is with the entrepreneur and it’s even more difficult when you don’t already have a platform like HuffPo to provide some lift.

Yesterday I listened to this podcast by Pam Moore of Social Zoom Factor and it got me thinking:

The takeaway? Pam said she was too busy ‘doing the work’ to explore Blab and that and I’m thinking deeply today about what she said and how to bring it back to my recurring theme of making things as simple as possible!

Anyone reading this or doing this [blogging] needs to think about this: what is the 20% of my work that will get me 80% of my results. This is not an original thought, it’s called the Pareto Principle or the 80/20 rule [you can read more about it here]. Every entrepreneur must consider this! Watch this and get inspired before you move on…

Now, understand you can’t be one of these people [a world changing entrepreneur] if you are continually getting caught up in the ‘thick of thin things’. I can’t help you with the 20% that will get you the 80% in your business but I can help you with the 20% that will get you 80% of your results online, especially if your objective is to build an online reputation and get found.

Two things you need to do to get found

If you want to get found, here are the two things you must do on a regular basis:

  1. Regularly publish 1-2,000 word essays on a content management system that is well-designed and fully indexed by Google
  2. Regularly find and share great content that is relevant to your online brand on a social networking site that is fully indexed by Google and linked by Google to your domain

[ctt title=”You can always do more, but in the beginning you must focus on WordPress and Google+ if you want to get found.” tweet=”You can always do more, but in the beginning you must focus on WordPress and Google+ if you want to get found. #dothework” coverup=”I9Av3″]
Now, let’s unpack these two activities and understand what they really mean…

Let’s talk about a content management system that is well-designed and fully indexed by Google

‘Content management system’ means a self-hosted WordPress website with a blog. WordPress currently powers about 23% of the world’s websites and for that reason and for its search engine optimization capabilities, it is the obvious choice. You can’t swing a cat without hitting a WordPress resource on the internet and when you consider WordPress itself is free, hosting is inexpensive and resources are widely available, it meets the ‘good, fast and cheap’ test as well.

Well designed? I frequently say that WordPress is just a database with lipstick and rouge. Technically, it is a MySQL database combined with a set of PHP, HTML and CSS files that make it look more appealing. These sets of files are called themes and you can either use a free one, buy one designed by a professional or hire a custom designer.

If you can afford to work with a talented designer like Rachael Albers of RKA Ink do it. If you need a website before that, let Ryan Rhoten’s site DIY Website Guy guide you; either way pick a WordPress theme that is eye-appealing and responsive — personally, I prefer the themes from Studiopress but anything that is a Genesis child-theme will probably work for you. Make sure it’s also appealing to Google from a technical standpoint. Test the theme with the Google Structured Data Testing Tool and the ‘Mobile Friendly‘ test. Later on, don’t forget to use Google’s Page Speed Insights tool to make sure your site loads fast as well! These are just a few of the considerations you need to cover on your own or with a web designer and a search engine optimizer.

Last on this topic? Whatever you decide to do, spend some time in the Google Webmaster Academy to make sure that Google can fully understand your site and content:

Thinking about creating a website? Great! Webmaster Academy has the information and tools to teach you how to create a site and have it found in Google Search.

Who should take Webmaster Academy?
Anyone who’s interested in creating or improving their website can take it. Whether you’re a business increasing your web presence or a photographer putting together an online portfolio, we can help you get started.

Intro to Webmaster Academy – Search Console Help

Whenever I build a site for someone or do an SEO audit, this is the second thing I check. Frequently, I find the site has not been entered into the Google Search Console and when I do that, that traffic might increase 5-10x immediately after I do. If you don’t do this, I know it’s hard to believe but Google may never find your site! There are now almost 200,000 websites launched everyday and no one really gives a damn about all the work you did to get your site online. If you don’t enter your site into the Google search console you have to wait until someone links to your site and the Google bots cross over from an indexed site to your site. Currently Google only indexes about 5% of the internet so if you don’t make sure that your site is indexed by Google your site might never be indexed. Take the time, therefore, to go through the Google Webmaster Academy and learn how to take this critical step. If you don’t you’re just wasting your time if your goal is to get found.

Now let’s talk about a social networking site that is fully indexed by Google and linked by Google to your domain

Currently there is only one and that is your Google Plus page. Google Plus pages are fully indexed by Google for semantic search AND they offer the benefit of being able to link your domain to your page to establish Google Publishership — an added benefit that signals to Google that your website and your Google Plus page are ‘one’ and acting in concert. You also get the benefit of having your page profile picture showing up in search like this which helps set you apart:

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The Google Plus page will also help you get found in private search. My page gets 60x more traffic than my website and I use it to drive people to my site. As you can see here, most of my internet referrals come from Google+:

Social traffic

Click the image to enlarge

You can start your page through the Google My Business program and there are a bazillion resources that will help you get started — Martin Shervington’s Plus Your Business page is a great place to start!

That is my advice

I’m sorry if you were expecting something more, but in my practice I am always trying to break things down to the activities that really matter and if you want to get found, the two tools you need to master are WordPress and your Google+ Page. I’ll be doing a Blab to talk further about this post tomorrow afternoon at 13:00 Central Time in the US [GMT -5] so you can either post your questions below or join me online then [subscription link].

Here’s the blab discussion from Friday 9/11…

Remember…

Things must be made as simple as possible