Blue skies, a sign of calm

20120605-065743.jpgBlue skies in the distances after rainy days. A sign of clearing. No matter how you have faired in this Great Resession you will live to the next day. We need to look at our tasks ahead and mark them off one by one. As we see progress everything will become more clear.
It is clear to me that to I must find ways to reach out. To bring people and businesses together.
Content is king on the Internet. Find what you have to say. What is important to you? Tell the world! Do it now. Start today.
If you love your work then talk about it the way you do to your family and friends. What do you say when someone asks, What do you do?
Start there.
Also get help when you need it. When a pipe breaks in your house you call a Plummer. So of you need help with your web site find support. Find someone that will listen to your needs and come up with real solutions. That gives you options allows you to learn, grow.
If they feel like the right thing then do it, if not run. Find someone that gives you options and educates to allow you to make informed decisions.
Take the first steps. The second will be easier.
Have a peaceful day.
Bob

Internet Marketing Tonight at Fuel in GB

20120604-071141.jpg Today is the day to come together and work on your web site. Talk to me and others in your community about supporting your site and business. We will meet at Fuel Coffee Shop in Great Barrington MA tonight from 5 to 7 to talk about Internet marketing, WordPress and all things Internet. 

We will work in a group to find the best ways to get more information out about your company and find ways that we can help each other to grow our buisnesses.

Let us come together as a group to learn and support.

I look forward to seeing all of you there. Tonight!

A sunny day and a new month!

20120601-063836.jpg It is a beautiful morning, a new month and a great time to start blogging. I know what you are thinking. I can't write, I don't gave the time, I don't know what to say!
Well then just stay in bed and let the world pass you by.
Get over yourself and find a way that works for you. Find a time, a tool.
For me the morning works best. If you have noticed I get my inspiration from looking out the window and seeing what is going on. Then I take a picture with my phone. Then use the IPhone WordPress app to make the post. It forces me to be short and use the least amount of words. I get tired of typing with my finger.
Think about you product or service. What questions do people ask you?
What are your answers?
Those are great posts! They will have lots of keywords and they will be what people need to hear. Don't worry about anything else just do it. Or find a service like ours to do it for you. But you have to do it or your web site is just not going to be seen.
Remember Monday nights 5 to 7 at Fuel in Great Barrington we are meeting to talk Internet Marketing. Get help and support from us and friends going through the same thing you are.
See you Monday!
Have a peaceful day and great weekend.
Bob

Storms come and storms go.

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The other night a storm came through, the first real one of the summer. The lightning flashed and the thunder boomed. I shut down all my computers to wait it out. The kids were excited to see nature put on a show.
It reminded me that life happens around me even if I don't do a thing.
The Internet grows every day. How can we make a difference? After all we are just one person. You can make a difference. Studies have shown that normal people have about 500 people in their world. If you are working with the public there could be thousands. Facebook has a measurement called "reach". That how many people do all of you fans have. A fan is someone that likes a page on Facebook.
With Linked in they call it your network. How many people can you touch witha post or comment you make?
The other day I looked on my LinkedIn page and saw that I have under 500 contacts but I have over 2 million in my network. What does that mean?
When I post something to LinkedIn it goes on all of my contacts pages and it would then be possible for all if their contacts to see it. Facebook offers the same thing. But with a possible reach of many more. I am now working with both Facebook and Google directly learning how to get the most from a little. They both make their money from Advertising so they want you to spend big. But you don't have to. You can take you existing budget and move it to on line for just one or two months. See what it does for you. With online you can track it all down to the click. You know how you money is working for you.
One work of warning! Don't spend a dime unless your website is ready to convert the new visitors to clients or Contacts. It is worth a call to me to get more info. Or you can come to our Monday night workshop at Fuel coffee shop in Great Barrington from 5-7 starting next week on June 4th.
Life will past you by. So get up and make a difference in your life and business.
Talk to you soon.
Have a peaceful day.
Bob

Each day we have tasks

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Just as the clouds rest on the hill tops for only a short time each day. We can not rest on the work we have done. We need to find that rhythm, that beat that keeps us going.
Some say routine. Whatever you call it find it and own it.
If you do simple things each day, like post a problem you product solves. A joy that your product or service brings. You will bring people to you.
If you sell you product on the web you sales will increase. If you have local services you will raise awareness. Just think of it as that one thing a day to build your business.
Have a peaceful day.
Bob

Today is a good day to start.

20120529-060739.jpg Yesterday there were parades and celebrations. Honoring our fallen Heroes. Today is the day to become a hero and make you business successful. We are lucky we work for ourselves we have the success of our business in our hands.
For an investment if time we can talk about our business, get it in front of our clients. Show them why we are the best at what we do.
Take 15 minutes a day, an hour a month, down time in you day. Find a way to make it work. Create content in your web site. Write about what you know. You web site is the most effective tool in your marketing plan.
Make sure it is posting to Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Get most out of your work. Even if you have said it before say it again in a different way. It will reach different people.
Web sites can and do make a difference in the way your clients see your business. Make that difference today!
Have a peaceful day.
Bob

Relax, take the day

20120528-064222.jpg We all need time down. Time to reflect on what we have done. Time to rest in the shade. So have a great day today. Spend it with friends, honor our fallen Hero's.
Tomorrow is a great day to start posting great content to your web site. Follow up on a conversation on Facebook or Twitter. Put up some pictures on Pintrest.
The most cost effective way to get the word out about your product is also one If the best.
Have a peaceful day.
Bob

Seed your web content all around the web.

20120524-072856.jpg If you want food in the late spring and summer you need to start planting now. It is the same with your Internet Marketing it take time to grow.
You must engage you visitors get them talking about you products. Don't try to plant too many messages into any one email. It will only confuse the message. Keep your message free from weeds and extra words.

Above all just get out there, read, create content, take pictures, comment on other blogs. Get involved
in the conversation.

If you put yourself out you will be surprised at the. Creating content on your blog the Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and the new one pintrest. Are all good.
Get up and do it now!
Have a peaceful day.
Bob

Find a community in the fog.

20120523-062358.jpgOver cast, gloomy you wake up in the morning and look outside. That is what you see. In life we all have choices we can look at the fog and wish the sun would be out or we can see that the fog give water and life to nature. It serves a purpose. We really don't need to know what that purpose is. Just accept it.
Life throws many things at us every day. Live your life with an open heart and open eyes and you will know what to do.
In a few weeks we are going to start a weekly Internet workshop. It will be a place to ask those silly question. Meet with others in the community to talk about SEM, Content Creation, Design, credit card acceptance, email marketing. All that and more. We will build our online community with support of our physical community. If you are in Great Barrington stop by. June 4th between 5-7 at Fuel the coffee shop. Bring you laptop be ready to give and learn what we have to offer.
The coffee and tea will be hot and the support will be strong.
If you are not around here. Find some other businesses in your community to meet with. Allow your physical community to support your online community.
Have a peaceful day.
Bob

Love what you do and it will grow.

20120522-053020.jpgIn my life and travels around the world I have seen many religions, many ways of life. The one thing that they all had in common at their core was love.
I think that is a strong driving force. It is one of the things that gets us up every morning.
Our companies need love too. They demand time and energy. If we want them to grow we have to take steps to make it happen. I was talking to a marketing director of a local non-profit yesterday. She said we can't afford you and I'm the only one to make this happen. In that situation you have think outside the box as they say. Ask the question. "what can I do to make a difference?"
I believe more every day the Internet is the way, to teach, to reach, and to bring people, real people together. And for those non-profits out there bringing people together create power and excitement for you organization.
Love what you do. Enjoy it, but remember you can't do it alone. If you don't have the money to pay then ask for help. See what happens. Find a way to make it work. To use the Internet to make your organization grow! You have to make time and take that first step. Now start you day with love and peace. See where it brings you.
Have a peaceful day.
Bob

Summer is almost here. What is your SEM plan?

20120520-105628.jpg Summer is almost here, what is you plan to add content to your web site? The kids will be home. Life will get busier than it already is and you don't want to lose the gains you made.
Can you take a few hours a week? Sit down make your posts and schedule them. If you are on WordPress you can.
Plan for the month so you can think about what you want to say. Planning is your best friend. Maybe write a long piece one one subject and break it up into parts.
I know that a lot of this sounds like common sense but sometimes you need to here it. Happy blogging and have a peaceful weekend.
Bob

We live in the Berkshires…

20120517-061244.jpg We live in the. Berkshires of Massachusetts. We live here because it is beautiful, fresh, good food, local food, good local Artists, and theatre. We live here to raise our children. It is not so easy to make a living. If you are not depending on second homers, and tourists. You are supporting a company that does.
The Internet is a way out of that. It allows us to do what we want and still live here. To live in a small community you must work together to build your business.
Starting on June 4th we are going to have a new way to work together, build each others company and outs all at the same time. We will meet at Fuel coffee shop in Great Barrington MA. To support and work on our web presence together. Using the power of our local community to build community on the we web!
Join us, bring your laptop, net book, and come to work with us. We will be there from 5 to 7 starting Monday June 4th. Make a difference in you life and you community.
Have a peaceful day.
Bob

Facebook is your is gold

Today Facebook has upwards of a billion users. Everyone of those users has given personal information about themselves. Even if you turn off all access to that information it is used to display ads and uses those stats to every page you go to on Facebook. If you didn’t know there is a thing called insight the stats package for Facebook.
That is where you can go to see the stats of you page. Great info.

20120516-124911.jpg Blogging then posting that blog post to Facebook then to Twitter WILL
make a difference in your web presence. Just do it. Get off your butt and make a difference in your life and the life of your business.
Have a peaceful day.
Bob

Energy to get it done.

20120515-070640.jpg A coffee shop with the name Fuel is one of the places I go to have client meetings. I is a nice place to talk have a tea and just work done.
Finding your pace is important. To everyone, we thing of runners. But it really applies to business owners also. How do I get all done and still have time for myself? The first change is to think of yourself first and give your clients real expectations. Decide what you need to do for yourself first!
Yes I have said it twice. It is the core. When you are running a business it is a multi year marathon. If you burn yourself out too soon you will fail. Make a plan or have a clear vision. How do you get to the point where you can have someone else doing the work for you so you can focus on growing your business. If you need help planning, get the help! There many resources around the help you manage your planning.
Just like your web site you business is always changing. If you have been doing things one way for a long time, look around, are there news ways of doing it? In less time? Less cost?
Bottom line if you feel like you are in a rut need a change. You are! Get up look around what’s you gets you fired up. You don’t need to work 18 hours in a day forever.
Again start with you, find out what you need. Then you will be in a better place to help you client, employees, and vendors make you business sing,
Have great and peaceful day.
Bob

As the rain brings life, content brings visitors.

As I looked outside this morning I saw a Robin on the lawn looking for worms.  I remembered the saying "the early bird catches the worm".  That is not always true. Recent studies have shown the best time to put up your post is between 1pm and 3pm EST weekdays.

20120514-073540.jpg It works for me to write posts in the morning before the phones start ringing and my day starts.  Should I post them later?  I think we give it a try and find out.  Will more people see it?  I know a few things.  It will go off of Facebook and Twitter faster.  It is when people take lunch, more to the point when they get back from lunch and check Facebook.  I also know that my sites ranking has steadily going up.  I have been getting more Twitter followers, and more Facebook friends.  It is starting to work.  Also if you have not guessed by now I have for the most part been posting from my phone.  It is forcing me to keep it short, sweet, and to the point, although the spell check can be a challenge.  Try it, post every day.  Talk about you and your company.  Do it for the health of you business.  Do it for the future.  Do it now!
Have a beautiful and peaceful day.
Bob

A place to work your on your web presence and talk SEM.

Come one, come all.  Every Monday night starting in June.  Look for times in the next few weeks.  We are going to meet at Fuel in Great Barrington, MA. to talk Internet Marketing, SEO, Blogging, and whatever you need to get help on.

20120513-062458.jpg it will be a place for networking in the real world.  We all work together to succeed online.  If all you do is create one post a week that will be more than most and you will see you web site rise in the ranking.

It is something that all businesses need but just don't have the money to pay for.  This will be a drop-in workshop to work on your web site at you pace.  There will be no stress, no hassles.  Just support to get you on you way.  Come down join your friends and community to build a strong online presence for the Berkshires. I will talk about it more the closer we get.  Have a great and peaceful Sunday.
Bob

Computer Therapy this morning at 10am EST

Today at 10 am I am running an old show from our archives on web site design and Internet marketing.

20120511-061529.jpg This show will help you get through the everyday issues of getting a web site up on the Internet and getting it seen.  Remember if you need help I can help you with any facet of the Internet.  I can even help you get off you butt and get you going.  Listen and just get up and do it.  Call me at 413.528.6386.  Do it today: get going on making your web site work for you.
Have a peaceful day.
Bob

What to ask a Web Designer before giving them money:

So you need a web site for your buiness or orgainzation.  Where do you start?  A friend will say I know someone that makes web sites or a family member will say I am making web sites for some friends.  This is all well and good if you are creating a web site for your family.  A personal journy through life.  A place to put your throughts. 

Gettng anyone to create your web site is a process.  You need to get this right if it is your business or non profit organisation.  You need to step back and ask a few questions of yourself, your board, or partners.  The more prepared you are the better the result.

  • What is the purpose of this site?
  • What do we expect from this site?
  • What is a conversion?
  • What do we have to spend on this site?
  • Do we need to hook it up to Social Medias?
  • Do we need a logo?
  • Who is going to write the copy?
  • What colors do we want?
  • Name 3 web sites that we like.

Then it is time to talk to a designer or developer about your site.  Ask them a few questions:

  • What other sites have you done?
  • Do you manage the site once it is up?
  • Can you train us to manage the site?
  • What is your process?  It is best to get a written document so you can take it all in and ask questions.
  • What are the costs for creation and on going costs for hosting and management?
  • Have you created a web site like this for someone else?  Can I see it?
  • Can you show me 10 or 15 web sites you have built?
  • What content management system do you work on?
  • Do you have referances?  Can I talk to them?
  • How do you bid the project?
  • How do you deal with changes to the project once it has started?

These Questions will get you started on the road to building your website.  Remember to check in and get milestones from the start.  There seems that there is always a reason and it always takes more time to finish than first throught so be ready for that.  If you need your website in a month then maybe you want to have a phased approach.  Get a page up now that serves your current needs and then make the website what it needs to be.  Also remember that websites are always changing and growing, they're never really done.  It is always a work in progress.  So don't use a Site under Constuction sign on your site.

I will talk about this more over the next few days.