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.

A quick check of your web site:

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Is your web site up?  How do you know?  There are monitoring tools you can use to find out.  You can see how long it is down and how long it took to get it back up.  The Internet is a tough place; things don't always go as planned, but it is always changing and you can always fix it.  When your site is down is it because you can't see it or is it down in the world?  Sites like http://www.site24x7.com can see if your site is up around the world.  It is possible that your site is not working where you are and is working the rest of the world.  There are great ways to mitigate that.  One is to use a CDN (content delivery network), they put your site on their servers around the world. That way if something happens to your server the site will be up on all the other servers so no one will know.  One of the side benefits is that the site is closer to your users and it loads faster and the load on your server is less, so you can handle more traffic.  CDN's are getting cheaper and more relible, check it out.  Any issue can be fixed. Relax.
Have a great and peaceful day.
Bob

 

Gardens need tending, and so does your web site.

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A garden needs to be prepared. It must be plowed, the rich soil needs to be exposed to bring the nutrient to the surface.
Your website and web presence is the same: you must turn up the keywords that will feed the searches that your potential visitors make.
To do this you need to do the research.  Keyword research is the plow.

Look at your stats, what words are visitors using to find you?

Are they the words that you want to be found for?

Once you have made these lists use a tool like Googles keyword tool to identify the right combination of word that are the most searched.  Add those words to your content and you will be found in more places on the web.  Using the correct words can make the difference between bringing the right visitors to your site or to to your competitor's sites.
People that want to learn more, buy, our give your organization money.  Or the people that don't really care, look for a moment and raise your bounce stats.
It can be the difference between success and failure.
Learn about keywords.  Read on the web or call us we can help.
Have a peaceful day.
Bob

Like day over coming night, SEO can over come low rankings.

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Every morning the earth turns and night becomes day. As sure as that is we have to get up and tend to our web sites. If you had a brick and mortar store you would not expect anyone to buy anything from you if you did not open your doors. It is the same with your web site. If you don’t open the door and put out the sign that says “OPEN” no one is going to find you.
Are not doing everything you can to make it work. Are not putting in 100%. These are questions that we have to answer for our-self’s. We are the only ones that know if we are putting in a 100%. Honestly it is not anyone else’s job to tell us. If our business is struggling then it is up to us to make it work. Even if we are doing fine, can we say that we are getting comfortable with what is going on.
Are we ready if we get blind sided in the future? Look back at the 90s. Everything was going great. Then the world changed. Blame who you want but it is up to us to control our lives and make our businesses grow. We are the only ones that we can depend on. The Internet is alive with the minds of everyone on it. Just trying to do what they feel they should. We can make a difference.

How do you fit? Who are you talking to? Where are they? What do they need to know?
What do I want my visitors to do on my site? How can I collect emails? How do I build community around my site?

These are all questions that we need to answer, over and over again. I am going to talk about each of these over the coming days. But even before I do what are the answers for your business?

Take some time have a cup of tea or coffee. Think about what you need your site to do for you. Make a plan and and take it one step at a time. Do it from a mindful place. In other words take each task one at a time. Put 100% of you into each task! This will help you succeed. This will get you where you need to go and you will be proud of the results. Don’t get me wrong this is not an easy thing to do. If it was everyone would already be doing it. But you are special, you are a business owner. As President Obama says “Small business is the back bone of our Country”
Sometimes we need to kick ourself’s in the pants to get going. Do it now! Make a difference in your business today! Keep reading and we will take this journey together. One day at a time. One step at a time. One post at time.

Keep the faith in yourself and have a peaceful day.

Time to rest or time to move?

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Sunday is a day for rest for many people, a day to spend with family and friends, a day to reflect on the week that past and the week that is coming.
It is also a time that visitors to your web site might have more time to look around. Putting out a special or a bit of information might have a better chance of getting through.
Search Engine Optimizing is all about consistency. Being regular with your posting, always having posts that say what the reader wants to read about. Not to say that you should say the same thing every time. Talk about how, why, and when. Make it a good story. Make it a daily bit of information.
Lastly add a strong call to action!
So get up right now when you are done reading this. Take that step. Write that post, create that page, take the next step on you web presence. Make a difference in the lives of you, you family and your visitor. Do it now!
Have a peaceful day.

The more we do, can be a thing…

20120504-062238.jpg Every day we get we wake, get out of bed. Just like billions of other people around the world. What makes us different, unique? That is something you have to find in yourself . By your spiritual practice or through looking inward. As it becomes clear you need to act, make a move, start down that path. Then make course correction along the way. Almost every morning I wake up make time for myself and the write the next post. If you read back you will see how I have been fining my focus. No matter hard we try to put on a face, we are all learning every day. Sometime we don't want to hear or see it, but it is there. Right in front of us. If we just open our eyes, take the time to smell the flowers. We will find that path for us. When it comes to Internet Marketing, SEO/SEM. We need to find our path there also. Look at your work/business see what parts of it you Love find a way to talk about it. Like you are talking to friends. It is OK to make mistakes, that is life. Own up to them and move on. If you want to make a change in the life of you internet presence you just need to start. Start looking at the stats on your website, Facebook, LinkedIn, what are people doing on you site, what are they reading? How do you use what you feel passion about to change people's lives? Take some time right now. Think about it. Close your eyes make a difference. If we all work each day to be our best self the world will be a better place. Thanks for letting me in to your life. Have a peaceful day.

Lighting a fire.

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Each day when I light the candles I find the wicks buried in a little wax. Once I light them the wax melts and they start to burn bright.
We need to make marketing our service or product the like that candle. We need to melt away the things that are holding us back. Get on track and work out a way to achieve our goals.
Reaching out to Facebook friends and asking a question is one way. Start the conversation. Then be involved and lead it. This will not only establish you as an authority but set you on a path to allowing your visitors/clients to get to know you. That will help them to buy your service. Everyone wants to buy from a friend.
Have a peaceful day.

Sometimes you just need to get up.

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Getting it done everyday is the only way to really see results from your blog. Creating content, getting the word out is the only way to really see results from your web site.
Many Internet consultants took the easy way of SEO and bought links. Now we know how many, I have read reports of as much as 35% of the Internet being effected by the last changes Google made to it’s search. But I have also learned that if you follow the rule to good SEO you get moved up on the rankings and stay there because you are putting out useful information that people need. I am happy to say that not one of my web site dropped in the rankings. In fact a lot went up because of less real competition.
So keep writing what you know, do it as much as you can and learn from your stats.
Have a peaceful day.

Rainy day, May day find time to write

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Writing a letter used to be the way people communicated with each other now it is by email. Another way to get your thoughts out is to blog. There are many changes happening at Google all the time. Their goal is to give you up to date information you can use. To do that they index the web, to feed that we must create information that is helpful to our sector and do it often.
Social Networks are another way todo it. Post a lot ask questions. Keep the conversation going your. Client will find you. The fastest way to make a possible mistake or issue go away is to address it head on before it gets out there. Remember President Clinton? If he would have just faced up In the start it would have been bad but he would not have been impeached!
Tell the truth, not a lie. Take the heat and move on to making a better day tomorrow.

Have a good day, may you complete your task quickly and correctly. To allow you to have a tea and think about you next goal.
You will succeed! Just talk the first step.

How do I find an Internet Marketing Consultant?

When you own your own business you get up everyday and think about the things you have to do. If you love what you do you do it with a smile. You do it with excitement. If not you find it hard to get started and at some point you find a million reasons why you are not making it and then you quit. Quitting is not a bad thing if you are not having fun with your company. Running a buiness is way too hard to do if you don’t enjoy what you do.

I find that there are parts of my business that are hard and that I don’t like doing, but other parts that I love and just want to do all of the time. But both parts work very well together. So I just keep on going.

It is the same with your web site. You need to find the parts that you do like and make that a priority and then get help from others that love the parts you don’t. It is important that your web site serve the purpose for which it was intended. It needs to serve the customers that you have. Maybe find some new ones. By turning your excitement for your product or service into a sale.

If you are not a designer then don’t design your web site. You need to understand how it works, who it is talking to, and what you want it to do.( understand what a conversion is) But you don’t need to design or build a web site. Two big reasons. One is will not look like you want it to look without many more hours than you can afford to spend learning and doing something you are only going to do a few times in your life. It will not have the functionally that it should. Because you just don’t know what questions to ask.

Just like a lawyer, doctor, accountant a good Internet Marketing consultant can help you find the right designer and steer you clear of the holes. Find someone that has a clear view of the entire process not just design. You need to know how your site falls into the eco-system called the Internet. You need to know who your clients are and how to talk to them to get a result. A good Internet Marketing Consultant has a background in the Internet, Marketing, and Design. They might not have been all of these in a past life but they know how to get a result.

From a consultants point of view I like to take on clients that are motivated and are good people with right intentions. Everything else we can create, a marketing plan, design of a web site, offers to get people to sign up for our newsletter, a good email campaign, learning how to read stats and put them to use.

These are all things that need to be done. If you are missing any of these then you are missing a piece of the pie. find out why find out what you don’t know. Then you will get a lot value from your consultants time.

Good Luck. Many happy convertions.

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The weekend find time to post for the week.

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Finding a few hours on the weekend to create posts for you web site can be a great way to deal with a busy week.
Wordpress allow you to schedule you posts to go up all week.
Sit down make a cup of tea think about the last week of you work. What questions did people ask, what did you learn new. Those are the kinds of things that will feed others in their quest for knowledge.
Help the world grow. Give back and you will receive.
Have a great day.

Overcome the storms

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Every day I get up and say that I am going to start marketing my business/web site. Everyday life happens. It seems like there is always something that stops me.
Today I looked at the sun trying to get through the clouds. The sun that warms our planet. The Internet is a lot like that solar system we are in. It is hard for us to wrap our heads around how big and powerful it is. The Internet is made up of tens of billions of pages. How am I going ever be seen.
You don't have to over come all of them just the one that , like the cloud blocking us from our visitors. It might be that you have a personal business like yoga or you sell propane to your local area. You just need to be seen by them . And you can do this by creating information/ content that will help those people, the real people in your area to live a better life.
Your clients will read it on Facebook or your web site tell their friends and that will help your business grow.

Remember it is the fund drive for WBCR this week. So listen to Computer Therapy today at 10 am and give to the station. Help us keep it going.
Have a peaceful day.

My Internet presence

Everyday is the right day to begin your web marketing. Just start talking about your work. Describe what you did yesterday. Talk about what you want to do tomorrow. It does not have to be long it just has to be there.

Then as you go learn how to do keyword research to find the best words to use, post it to Facebook, twitter, and any other network you be long to.

In the beginning it is more important that you do it than it is perfect. You can do this!

Don’t let the wind of competition blow out your candle.

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As the sun comes up every day…

As the Sun comes up in the east we see the new day. We need to think about our business, our clients, and our goals. Focus can give us a clear mind to get our name out, sell our product/service. Each day we need to find the best way to reach out.
Keyword research is important in your writing. Using the right words can make all the difference in the search engines.