Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Six Ways to Get Traffic to Your Blog – Without Getting Penalised by Google by Ali Luke

All these tips are ones that you can do right from day one … but they’ll also help you out if you’ve been blogging for years and struggling to get traffic.

#1: Write Content That People Want to Read and Link To

Before you put any other traffic-generation tips into practice, you need to make sure your content is as good as it can be.
To get traffic, you need to have content people want to read. It needs to be:
  • Useful or entertaining (or both!)
  • Well-written
  • Nicely formatted for easy reading
When other people link to your content – with no prompting from you – then you’ll know you’ve got it right. These links are also really valuable, as Google views them as natural and trustworthy.
Go further: It’s OK to occasionally ask someone for a link, but only do this for your very best posts. Don’t ask the same people all the time – and don’t target top A-list bloggers when you’re just starting out.

#2: Use Social Media

If you aren’t already on Twitter or Facebook, get started with one of them.
You don’t need to be on every network out there: focus on one or two that you’re comfortable with, and that are a good fit for your audience. (If you’ve got a business-focused blog, for instance, you might find your readers are more likely to hang out on LinkedIn.)
As well as getting traffic from links shared on social media, you’ll get new followers, plus some bloggers will use links they’ve tweeted as the basis of a weekly round-up of their niche.

#3: Leave Comments on Other Blogs

In the early weeks and months of blogging, leaving comments on other people’s blogs is a great way to get some extra traffic. You might only get a handful of visitors from a comment – but if you leave five comments every day, this will soon add up.
Make sure your comments add value to the conversation, and use your real name (or pseudonym) not a keyword.
Go further: Reply to other readers’ comments and questions, rather than just adding your own thoughts. This is a great way to connect with them as well as with the blogger.

#4: Be Generous in Linking Out

How often do you link to other bloggers? If it’s rarely – or never – then you’re not giving them much reason to link to you.
By being generous with your links, you’ll often find that a blogger will return the favour. You may also be able to strike up a relationship them, potentially helping one another out in other ways too.
Go further: Link to other bloggers in your guest posts (see #6); if they receive a link from a high-profile blog as a result, they’ll definitely be grateful.

#5: Use Your Email Signature

Email signatures are often overlooked as a source of traffic. Look at it this way: you probably send multiple emails every day, and some of those will be to people who don’t know about your blog (or who haven’t visited it in a while).
Include a link to your blog in your signature – perhaps with your tagline, or a few words describing what your blog is about.
Go further: Do the same with your signature on any forums you belong to, if this is allowed.

#6: Write Guest Posts for Other Blogs

Guest posting is a great way to grow your blog fast. It gets your writing in front of a new (and usually much bigger) audience, and you’ll have a short bio at the end of your post to link to your blog, or a post on it.
You’ll get traffic directly from your guest post, but the link itself is valuable too and will help your blog rank more highly in search engines.
Google regularly cracks down on low-quality links, however, so make sure you’re only guest posting on high-quality, reputable sites.

Go further: List the top five sites in your niche that you want to guest post for, and study them carefully to find out what types of post they publish.

If you try to get traffic to your blog by dubious methods, Google will sooner or later crack down and you’ll find your traffic gone.

Quick definitions: “Traffic” means readers coming to your blog – the more, the better!
A “backlink” is a link from another site, pointing to your site. It might go to your homepage, to another page, or to a specific blog post.

Monday, December 2, 2013

It's Cyber Monday and LaMothe Services is offering it's very first Social Networking Special!

It's Cyber Monday and LaMothe Services is offering it's very first Social Networking Special!

Social Networking is the fastest and easiest way to stay in touch with colleagues, co-workers, industry professionals, family, and friends. But learning how to navigate a social networking site by yourself can be frustrating especially if you would rather be spending time doing other things. Networking in any form is a great way to keep your business in the forefront of everyone's mind and lead you to a better position in your industry.
Package #1 includes:
(Cyber Monday Special of a one time set up fee of $300.00)
Facebook~LinkedIN~Twitter~Wellsphere etc.
Setting up your social networking site with your e-mail and contact information
Posting your bio and other relevant information
Feed your blog to your networking site if possible
Showing you how to invite friends from your address book to your site
Teaching you how to navigate the site easily and quickly
Package #2 includes:
(Cyber Monday Special of $250.00 paid monthly)
Maintenance of your social networking sites
Posting on your sites 2-3x per week
Networking with other relevant groups from your site
Keeping you informed of events posted on your sites
Posting Your events on your sites
Driving traffic to your social net working sites
You can activate this special between now and Jan 1st, 2014. Just let us know when you would like to get started!
Happy Holidays!
Sharon LaMothe

Friday, November 29, 2013

Four Types of Popular Blog Post That Don’t Require Much Writing by Ali Luke

Do you wish you could produce great blog posts with a minimum of writing?
Well … you can! And they might even turn out to be some of the most popular posts on your blog.
I’m not talking about using video, audio or images here – though all of those can work very well. You can create a normal, text-based post without doing much writing at all.
Here are three types of blog post that often go down very with readers. You won’t need to write more than a few sentences for each (unless you want to).

#1: The Quotes Post

Lists of inspiring, motivational or useful quotes are hugely popular – with good reason. They offer bite-sized, easy-to-digest chunks of advice (or doses of humour).
To put one together, use sites like BrainyQuote and Goodreads to find great quotes on your topic. You might also collect quotes from books, websites, etc during the normal course of your reading and blogging: store them safely for future use.
How to Flourish: 17 Quotes On Living, Being and Doing (Charlie Gilkey, Productive Flourishing)
This post had over 1,400 shares on Facebook – and I know it’s one of Charlie’s most popular pieces. Yet the only words he wrote are a single-line introduction, and a two-sentence conclusion linking to a follow-up piece.

#2: The Interview Post

If you’re not an expert yet, turn to the people who are. An interview post is a win-win-win: it gives you content you couldn’t have written yourself, it raises your interviewee’s profile, and it provides a fresh perspective for your readers.
Interview posts take time to put together, especially if you’re interviewing several people at once (which can make for a really good resource). Make sure you plan ahead and allow time for busy bloggers to get back to you with their answers.
Six Inspiring Experts Answer Five Questions on Writing and Blogging (Ali Luke, Zen Optimise)
I put together this post a few weeks ago for Zen Optimise (where I’m Head of Content). Although I wrote quite a long introduction, it only takes up a fraction of the post – each of the six interviewees provided generous, in-depth answers. Daniel’s one of them, so you may want to check out his tips!

#3: The Discussion Post

This type of post works best once your blog has been running long enough to build up a loyal audience of engaged readers. Instead of writing about a topic yourself, you simply pose a question – and watch the comments come in.
Discussion posts can build engagement and community, and they can also be a rich source of ideas for future posts. (You might write a post quoting some of the best comments, for instance – in a similar way to Great Guest Post Pitching Advice from Two DailyBlogTips Readers.)
DISCUSS: How Often Do You Redesign Your Blog? (Darren Rowse, ProBlogger)
Darren runs discussion posts on a regular basis, with readers adding their answers in the comments. Many readers will write quite in-depth comments – several sentences or a couple of paragraphs.

#4: The Recap Post

New readers often miss out on your older posts, and readers who’ve been around a while may not read every post. A recap post – covering the previous month, three months, six months, or a year – is a great way to showcase some of your best work … without doing much writing.
In your recap post, you’ll obviously put the titles of and links to previous posts, but you might also copy their opening lines or a key paragraph. Once you’ve created one post like this, you can reuse the format again and again – saving you even more time.
Don’t Miss Out: Read Our Five Top Posts from October 2013 (Ali Luke, DailyBlogTips)
This was a quick post to write, with a short introduction and conclusion, and a main body made up of the top five posts of October – each one has the title, date, and a short excerpt.

I’m sure there are a few tricks I've missed! Drop a comment below and let us know your ideas for creating posts without writing much.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Donor Anonymity: Are Sperm Donors Really Anonymous? By Guest Blogger Michelle Patterson

The decision to become a sperm donor is a major decision that needs to be thoroughly thought out beforehand.  While there are many factors to consider before making your decision, the most important factor to consider is that of your confidentiality and anonymity. You should know and understand what to expect from a donation clinic as far as your confidentiality and your rights as a donor are concerned.  While your rights will differ depending upon what type of donor you will choose to be, they are nonetheless important. 

You should take an adequate amount of time to educate yourself regarding the donation clinic’s confidentiality and anonymity contract before making such an important decision.  You need to insure that you are choosing the clinic that best meets your needs.  All donation centers must have a confidentiality agreement that protects your rights as a donor, and knowing those rights beforehand can make a world of difference before signing a contract.  This article will discuss what to expect from a donation center regarding your confidentiality and anonymity as a donor.

While there are two ways to donate your sperm, anonymously and not anonymously, this article will focus on anonymous donors only.  When donating anonymously, you should expect just that; that your sperm donation will be made entirely and completely anonymously with no chance of your name ever being released to the recipient or the child at any point.  Most clinics should assign you a specific donor number that you will be referred to throughout the donation process, and any other time you decide to donate.  This number will then be included on all of your paperwork in the place of your name, thus again further protecting your anonymity.

It is always important that you read any contract that you are given in full detail before signing your name.  If you have any questions regarding the contract and your rights as a donor, it is vital that you have your questions and concerns addressed before signing the contract.  If you are choosing to donate anonymously, then you most likely have concerns about meeting a child later on, and you want to be sure to agree to that fully in the contract.

Another thing to check on at the donation center is whether or not the center has what is called an “openness agreement.”  An openness agreement is an agreement you sign that states that if a child born from your donation wishes to contact you, you can be contacted by the clinic and asked if you would like to meet the child.  Even if you agree to sign this agreement in case you change your mind about anonymity later on, the agreement should state that your name and information will not be given out without your consent and without the phone call from the clinic beforehand.

Again, it is important to do your research on the clinic you wish to use in order to insure your anonymity, although most clinics that are accredited follow confidentiality contracts fully.

About the Author

Michelle Patterson is a nurse with several years’ experience in a sperm clinic.  She suggests looking into the information provided by California Cryobank regarding sperm donor anonymity before making the decision to become a sperm donor.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Borrowed Wisdom: How to Use Quotes on Your Blog from Daily BlogTips

Have you ever read something – perhaps in a book or blog – and thought wow, I wish I’d written that.
While you can’t take the words and pretend they’re your own, you can use them to support your blogging.
Quoting other people is a staple of many types of writing. Journalists use quotes in their stories, magazine writers interview experts to support their piece, and academics quote research papers. As a blogger, you too can borrow the wisdom of others to inspire and support your writing.
This is also an under-used technique, so it’s one that can make you stand out:
For an entire week I read every post from five A-list bloggers to see how many of their posts included quotes. Out of 31 posts, only three did.
– Bamboo Forest, Elevate Your Writing By Using Well-Positioned Quotes, Write to Done
It does take a little extra time and effort to add a quote (or a few quotes) into your post … but if you follow these steps, you can’t go wrong.

Step #1: Find an Appropriate Quote

Quotes can come from all sorts of sources, but three of the most likely ones you’ll use are:
Other Blogs
It’s easy to do a quick Google search for information when you’re writing a post: if you find a great piece of advice, you can include it in your piece as a quote. Alternatively, you might save good quotes as you’re reading, so you can use them in future posts.
It’s fine to quote briefly from a book so long as you acknowledge the source (see Step #3). If you have an ereader, highlight relevant passages when you’re reading so you can easily find useful quotes afterwards.
Collections of Quotes
Sites like Brainy Quote list thousands upon thousands of quotes, and you can search by topic. If you do choose a quote that’s been widely reproduced, check several sites as the wording (and sometimes the attribution) may be incorrect in places.

Step #2: Decide How to Use the Quote

There are plenty of different ways to incorporate a quote into your post, and you don’t need to use the same method each time. These are some popular ones:
At the Start of Your Post
Alex Blackwell of The Bridgemaker has a quote at the start of every post he writes. This is a technique you’ll sometimes see used in books, with a quote at the start of each chapter.
As the Basis for Your Post
Barry Demp of The Quotable Coach bases each of his posts on a specific quote. Here on Daily Blog Tips, we often quote from and explain a good resource when we link to it – see The Psychology Behind The “One Weird Trick” Ads for an example.
To Support a Point You’re Making
Often, a quote from an expert can be a great way to support a particular part of your post. For instance, in Sonia Simone’s post The 5 Things Every (Great) Marketing Story Needs, her bonus – You need the truth – uses a quote from a book.

Step #3: Format the Quote Correctly

It’s often a good idea to distinguish quotes from the rest of your post, especially if you’re quoting more than a line or so.
There’s a handy HTML tag for this:

(Most visual blog editors will have a button that looks like quotation marks: this applies the

Different blog themes will have different styles of blockquotes, but almost all will indent the text from the left. They may use a different font colour or size, and might add other features like a quotation mark graphic or a line down the left hand side.
For very short quotes, you may not want to use the blockquote formatting. You can simply incorporate them into your sentence, using quotation marks. Here’s an example:
This week, I’ve decided to use more quotes on my blog. I was inspired by Ali Luke who explains, “You too can borrow the wisdom of others to inspire and support your writing.”
If you want more on punctuating posts correctly, check out 8 Tips for Using Quotes and Dialogue in Your Blog Posts (ProBlogger).

Step #4: Attribute the Quote Correctly

Make sure that all the quotes you use are attributed carefully: don’t just throw them in without a name or source.
At a bare minimum, you should include the name of the person (or where that’s not available, the website / publication) that the quote is from.
Normally, if you’re quoting from a blog post or website, it’s good to link to the source. This helps out the person you’re quoting (links are good for their search engine ranking) and it also offers extra value to your readers, who may want to read the whole of the source piece.
If you’re going to use quotes on a reasonably regular basis, work out a good standard way to attribute them. There are plenty of ways to do this. I like to have both the quote and the attribution in blockquote format, like this:
– [name], [title of post, which links to it], [name of blog]
So, for instance, if you quoted from this post, you might do it like this:
Normally, if you’re quoting from a blog post or website, it’s good to link to the source. This helps out the person you’re quoting (links are good for their search engine ranking) and it also offers extra value to your readers, who may want to read the whole of the source piece.
– Ali Luke, Borrowed Wisdom: How to Use Quotes on Your Blog, Daily Blog Tips

Bonus Step: Changing the Quote

Sometimes, you’ll need to make changes to a quote. This is OK, but it needs to be clear to readers what’s changed. For instance:
  • You might cut out a section of a long quote.
  • You might alter a word to help the quote make sense.
There are standard conventions for doing this.
Cutting Part of a Quote
Use an ellipsis (three dots) to indicate where the cut part is.
Normally, if you’re quoting from a blog post or website, it’s good to link to the source. This … offers extra value to your readers, who may want to read the whole of the source piece.
Some writers like to put the ellipsis in square brackets too, like this: [...]
Warning: Be careful not to use an ellipsis to change the meaning of a quotation.
Changing a Word in a Quote
Sometimes, a quote doesn’t quite work out of context: for instance, there might be a word like “he” or “it” or “this” that refers to something in a previous sentence.
The easiest way to fix this is to simply replace the word by putting the new word or phrase in square brackets. For instance, in our example quote, you might choose to use the second sentence only, and change the word “this” at the start:
[Linking to the source] offers extra value to your readers, who may want to read the whole of the source piece.

Your turn! Use a quote in the next blog post you write. If you get stuck or you’re not sure if you’ve done it right, just pop a comment below so we can help.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Five Ways to Connect With Fellow Bloggers from Daily Blog Tips

How do you build a relationship with other bloggers in your niche?
Whether they’re brand new, well established, or A-listers, fellow bloggers are an invaluable source of support.
If you have a strong relationship with them, they may well help you with your promotions, link to your posts, offer you review copies of their products, etc.
You might wonder, though, how to get noticed by a specific blogger – and how to build a real connection. These five ideas should help. I’ve listed them in order from simplest to most involved (but also most likely to have an impact).

#1: Tweet or Share Their Post

This one takes seconds of your time, and isn’t at all scary! Simple find a blogger you’d like to connect with, pick one of their posts, and tweet it out to your followers. Make sure you include the blogger (e.g. I’m @aliventures) so they see your tweet.
Tip: A-list bloggers won’t always notice a few retweets and shares, but smaller bloggers probably will.

#2: Leave a Comment

When you leave a comment, you’re not just helping out the blogger by adding to the discussion on their site – you’re laying the groundwork for a relationship. Try to comment on their posts over the course of a couple of weeks before moving further.
Tip: Make sure your comments are genuinely useful and relevant. You don’t have to comment on every single post, so don’t push yourself to write something if you have nothing to say.

#3: Send them an Email

In my post Nine Blogging Milestones to Celebrate, DBT reader Shawn Gossman wrote:
I think #9 [Getting a “Thank You” Email from a Reader] is the best milestone out of them all. When my readers contact me to thank me for writing articles, that lets me know that people enjoy what I have to say and it motivates me to continue.
It’s a safe bet that other bloggers feel this way too! By sending a simple “thanks” email, you can really make an impact.
Tip: When emailing someone for the first time, keep it short and simple. Most bloggers are busy people, often blogging around a full-time job.

#4: Write a Guest Post for Their Blog

Not all big bloggers read their comments or even their emails. Writing a guest post, though, is generally a sure-fire way to get your content read by them. Make sure you follow all their guidelines and submit the best piece of content you can.
Tip: Although it’s a wonderful feeling to have a guest post on a major blog in your niche, you can also get great results from smaller blogs – so don’t discount those.

#5: Write About Them on Your Blog

One pretty much certain way to get on someone’s radar is to write a post about them. That could be an in-depth review of one of their products, an overview of who they are and what they blog about, or a piece that links to and describes some of your favourite posts on their blog.
Tip: Make your post as useful as possible to them – by linking to their products, for instance, or by encouraging readers to sign up for their newsletter.

Have you used any of these methods? What’s worked well for you – and what might you try next? Let us know in the comments!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Secrets to Great Blogs!!

Let me tell you a little secret about blogging: It’s very formulaic.

It’s more craft than art.

If you can internalize what’s required to write a solid blog post, you’ll beat out the competition in the same way someone with a black belt will usually win a fight against someone who hasn't trained and internalized fighting principles.

While getting a black belt in blogging doesn't guarantee you’ll become huge, it does significantly increase your chances.

Let’s examine some of the fundamentals you’ll need to master to receive your black belt in the craft of blogging.

1. Use Metaphors and Similes

Using metaphors and similes will increase the quality of your posts in two ways.

It helps your audience to easily understand a concept since you’ll be comparing the new concept with a concept they’re already familiar with.

It paints a picture in the minds of your readers which will engage and please them.

A metaphor I recently used was comparing water to focus. I explained to my audience that focusing on the negative is like randomly pouring water out of your canteen when you’re lost in a jungle and really need that water for survival.

Do you see how the above metaphor not only paints a picture that makes reading more enjoyable, but also instills the lesson with much greater impact than mere plain language does?

2. Be Succinct

Saying everything you want to say in fewer words requires more time than conveying the same message to your audience without concern of how many words you use.

It may seem odd that a shorter post often takes longer to write than a longer one, but it’s not.

When you strive to limit your word count without compromising your message, you have to be methodical in how you express your message. Conversely, when you’re indifferent about word count, you don’t need to make as much an effort in how you convey your message.

Just as a good martial artist strives to make every movement as efficient as possible with no wasted energy, likewise, you should make every post you write as short as possible without your message being compromised.

I have made this letter longer than usual, only because I have not had time to make it shorter. ~Blaise Pascal (1623-1662).

Your readership will love you for being concise.

3. Be Entertaining

As Jon Morrow of Copyblogger has mentioned before, if all people wanted was information they’d buy a textbook.

One primary reason people read blogs is because they’re looking for a diversion from the mundaneness of life.

If you want to compete with the competition, discover and practice as many ways as possible to make your blog entertaining.

Here are some ways to do that:

Use metaphors and similes.

Share interesting experiences and how they relate to your message.

Use quotes from books, music bands, movies and TV shows to help illustrate your points.

Be hilarious.

Be controversial.

4. Be Diligent

Unlike a black belt in the martial arts, once you get your black belt in blogging, it can be taken away from you within a moment’s notice.

In martial arts, once you get your black belt, you don’t necessarily have to spar with anyone from that day forward and you’ll always remain a black belt.

Not so with blogging.

You see, we’re fighting every day. Every day we’re fighting for people’s attention and trying to convince them that we’re worth staying subscribed to and that the competition can’t offer what we do.

There’s really only two ways to keep your black belt and it requires tremendous discipline.

1. Read like your life depends on it

I currently read an hour and a half a day and consider my reading more important than content creation for the simple reason that you can create all day long, but if it doesn’t shine, what good is it?

Reading diligently, blogs and books, will ensure that ideas are constantly coming to you and that they’re the kind of ideas that will keep your readers craving more of what you have to offer.

When I fall short in my reading regiment, fewer ideas come to me and the quality of ideas diminish.

2. Write like your life depends on it

While I definitely think reading is even more important than writing, writing’s a close second.

For starters, if you’re not updating your blog on a regular basis you can hardly be considered a blogging black belt no matter how much talent you have.

Writing is also the best way for you to practice all the techniques you’ve learned. Even in martial arts, any serious black belt never becomes complacent once they get to this exalted level. They just want to keep getting better.

What else do you need to receive your black belt in blogging?

About the Author: Tick Tock Timer is an online timer that helps anyone serious about getting things done be more productive, created by Bamboo Forest.

Monday, September 9, 2013

10 Reasons Why You Should STILL Be Using Facebook as a Marketing Professional

Since writing a few blog posts about the benefits of using Facebook for marketing, I have been asked; “Well, how do you do it?” There are no secrets to using Facebook, unless you are running illegal scripts. Depending on the reasons and types of markets you might be dealing with on Facebook, it’s really quite simple to utilize the social network as a marketing tool.

“Don’t hate on Facebook.” Give it a chance before you decide to curse it to hell as an annoying social site that is a waste of time. If you STILL aren’t using Facebook for yourself, you won’t be able to understand how to use it for anyone else.

Create your “internet marketer” profile. I prefer when people give it their own personal touch. Add some (and only some) albums of cool pictures for me to see what you are like. Myself among many others are dying to judge you. This sounds a lot worse than it actually is.

By now, you probably already know over 200 people on Facebook. Whether they are your actually friends, or authors of the blogs you read. The #1 Simple Step of Social Media Success is to connect with these people, according to Chris Winfield. Facebook makes it really easy for you, and separates these people into networks, and clubs. You already know who you should be conversing with. In most cases, networking professionals will accept your friend request.

Some of these people, you might not have gotten a chance to talk to at the latest convention and now you are looking at mobile uploads of their children. This really is a wonderful tool.

Here are 10 reasons why you should STILL be using Facebook as a Marketing Professional:

1. Join all the groups that relate to you and add connections: Start conversations with people you look up to in the industry. Possibly gain a friend request or two hundred.

2. Promote your blog or other blogs you are promoting on your profile, using BlogFriends. You spent hours perfecting the perfect blog post, now everyone knows.

3. Draw attention to yourself quickly: Upload a new album, post a note, poke people (occasionally), comment on everyone’s stuff. Being popular on Facebook can easily transfer over to real life.

4. Set up real life connections: Introduce yourself to your Facebook friends. Start a relationship. These people are also voters on Social News sites, and blog writers, and good people to know.

5. Research information for clients and Gain Knowledge: Dive head first into groups and read what people are saying about your clients. Excellent for those who are practicing Reputation Management. Read forums, participate, research, and get to work!

6. Network before big events: With SMX West coming up, there are tons of groups to join. See who will be there. Set up a meeting with these people by sending them a message on Facebook, or just simply join the group so people will know you will be there as well. Look at their profile, if they have recent news, you will have a conversation starter at the convention.

7. Update your Status: I hate to say it but those people who tie in their Twitter with their Facebook status are super helpful. If you become a regular status updater, people will always take interest in whatever your doing. It’s like reality TV. *Congratulations to Glen Allsopp who just PASSED HIS DRIVING TEST! 38m ago*

8. Applications Help: It’s true that many applications are annoying. But the Stumble Upon application is awesome! It shows on your profile and news feed what you are Stumbling, so this way everyone else knows, and will also stumble if they are interested.

9. Facebook is Improving: The ever changing controls are sometimes annoying but helpful. You can edit your preferences in the news feeds and see what you want to see. You can also control what people see about you with privacy and security settings.

10. Facebook Profiles Rank- If clients are looking you up, they might like the fact that your profile comes up (but they might not). In this case, it works the same as LinkedIn. So make sure to keep it as Professional as the business you run. *For example: While hiring, I did a search and found a possible employee Facebook page and lets just say they weren’t hired based on the profile picture alone. This could have totally worked in their favor, if I saw a nice clean page with nice comments from Coworkers, friends, a link to their blog, etc.

So… Why Not? It’s totally up to you how you want to use it. If you choose not to use Facebook, then don’t. If you just want to use to it watch what everyone else is doing, that is fine too. You don’t have to add every application, or give drinks to your Top Friends. You can totally make what you want of it.

I hope that this post helps people who are still “Hating” and helps them find success with Facebook conversations, like I have in many ways.

If you have any other reasons or ideas why Marketing Professionals should STILL be using Facebook, please let me know!

Sunday, September 1, 2013

How to use Twitter For Business - Five Tips For Twitter Newcomers By Debs Williams

Twitter is a wonderful business tool, not least because it's free; all it will cost is your time (and if that's in short supply, you can hire a social media marketer to manage it for you).

Used well, Twitter can provide good exposure for your business; but you can also damage your brand with social media marketing if you're not careful, so it's worth learning the biggest dos and don'ts before you start using Twitter.

Tip 1: Be yourself and be human

The beauty of Twitter is that it's a huge global community of human beings (mostly; there are spammer accounts but they're easy to spot, block and report). So do show your human side, especially when using your business account. Talk about things that matter to you: funny things your children say, recent achievements, your favourite band or TV show, and so on. Join in with conversations that interest you - be friendly, show emotion, and use smilies if you want to.

On the other hand, don't be too human. Don't share anything you wouldn't share at a real-world business networking event; keep intimate health problems and controversial or potentially offensive opinions to yourself.

Tip 2: Watch how you write
Some people write well, others don't - that's true in all areas of life, not just on Twitter. You don't need to be a bestselling novelist to use Twitter, but it helps if you have basic literacy skills (and if you use Twitter at the website instead of through a client, your Tweets will be spellchecked as you type anyway - which helps).

However good (or bad) your writing skills are, with Twitter's 140-character limit you'll need to be creative with your Tweets. Your Tweets need to be concise yet informative, and often you'll be trying to squeeze in a URL too (URL shortening services like and are lifesavers).

One definite don't is using text speak. Text speak is fine if you're 13, but as a professional adult promoting your business you're just going to look silly, and won't communicate your messages efficiently - unless you're targeting 13 year olds.

Tip 3: Share and share alike

If you have some good news - related to your business or your personal life - share it; everybody loves a good news story.

Do share links - to your website, your blog, your local news service, or anything else that interests your followers - this is a great way to get conversations going. But do remember to explain what the link's about, or your followers will feel less inclined to click it. And don't Tweet the same link over and over; people will quickly become bored and may stop following you.

Do retweet your friends' links, too; they'll be grateful, and so will your followers if the link is interesting and relevant. But here's a very big 'do' - DO make sure you click the link and read the content before sharing it with your followers, or you could end up sharing a page that's irrelevant or offensive, or which contradicts your usual position on the subject.

Tip 4: Be part of the community

Don't treat Twitter as your personal billboard. It's not: it's a community, millions of members strong, and the community as a whole is not very tolerant of users who constantly advertise. Try to stick to the 80-20 rule when you use Twitter for business: no more than 20% of your Tweets should advertise or self-promote, and at least 80% should be non-promotional. If you can get the ratio down to 90-10 or 95-5, even better.
Listen to what people are saying, and join in. Twitter is a network of conversations, so it's good practice to listen and respond to parts of those conversations that interest you; don't just stand in the middle of the room with a megaphone, shouting "I'm fabulous! I'm selling widgets at 20% off this week!" Again - if you wouldn't do it at a business networking event, don't do it on Twitter.

Do retweet your friends' requests for help (for example, charity appeals and sponsorship requests), and do introduce friends that are new to Twitter and could do with some followers. And again - do retweet useful, interesting links from people you follow, but always check links before sending.

Tip 5: Mind your language

Don't use offensive language when representing your business on Twitter; even mild swearwords can put sensitive souls off following you (and besides - cursing in public is hardly professional).

Use Twitter to answer customer questions and solve their problems, by all means; many organisations use Twitter as a customer services tool very effectively. But never, ever use an impolite or impatient tone with a customer. On Twitter, everything you say is out there for everyone to see, so leave your followers with the best possible impression of your brand at all times... the Internet has a very long memory!

Finally - consider this a bonus tip, since it's not really connected to any of the previous ones - try to enjoy yourself when you use Twitter. Try to embrace all that's good about Twitter - the new friendships and business contacts you'll make, the fun hashtags and trending topics, the strong community spirit - and before long you'll be singing (or is that Tweeting?) Twitter's praises to anyone who'll listen.

About the Author: Debs Williams is Managing Director of debbidoo Ltd, a marketing company in Caernarfon, North Wales that provides marketing, website design, copywriting and internet marketing services to organisations of all shapes and sizes in a variety of industries.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Self-Promotion That's Fun

This is a picture of me at the Hubbard Glacier!

I have been working with individuals who have no idea how to market themselves. They even seem a little embarrassed that they have to "do it" at all. In the past many relied on referrals from professionals who have been long standing friends as well as colleagues, but as people move on, change jobs, or retire sometimes those referrals dry up and it's hard to relearn how to network and, well...basically sell themselves and their services.

This article below gives an insight to self-promotion. Many of my clients are already on FaceBook, Linkedin, Twitter, Pinterest and Plaxo among other social networking sites but those venues are just the tip of a very large Internet iceberg!

Feel free to contact me with any questions regarding your own marketing issues. Simple and affordable solutions can be found at

Sharon LaMothe

Self-Promotion That's Fun

by Will Craig

Do you have as many clients as you want? Are you "landing" the type of clients that are absolutely fun to work with? Okay, here is one more question... Are you promoting yourself?

The reason most of us get into coaching is to coach. Few of us -if any- get into this business to promote ourselves (and wouldn't it be great if we didn't have to). The sad fact is, we do.

Here's why:
Unless people know about you they can't hire you. It's easy to think that others who enthusiastically market themselves are, in some way, "fly-by-night hucksters." In some cases this may even be true. The fact is, if you don't promote yourself your potential clients may end up hiring those less qualified individuals instead of you. You've given them no choice because you haven't promoted yourself to them as an option.

If you think about it you have an obligation to promote yourself so that the clients that really need to work with you have a way to reach you (and not someone else). The good news is this doesn't have to be an obnoxious task.

Here's how:

The professionals that are successful at selling their services aren't really selling at all. They are promoting themselves in subtle, yet convincing ways. They are allowing their prospects to get to know them. They are building rapport and trust. In a nutshell, they are just being themselves.

If you put yourself in situations where you allow people to experience you, you will have your pick of clients. And they'll be the best clients for you! Feel good about promoting yourself by recognizing that marketing your professional services is nothing more than relationship building.

Mainstream sales and advertising has given the marketing of professional services a bad rap. When self-promotion is done right, it's fun and rewarding, PLUS you can feel good about it. Go out and be yourself with as many people as possible. The ones who are attracted to you will work the hardest for themselves. They will also be the most fun for you to have as clients.

Sharon LaMothe
LaMothe Services, LLC
LaMothe Surrogacy Consulting
Infertility Answers, Inc.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Blog Post Ideas and Topics for Your Small Business Website from The Small Business Survival Guide

Having new and updated content on your website is important. We are consistently reminding small business owners of the importance of keeping a blog aspect incorporated into their site as well as adding to it on a regular basis.

At times small business owners are stumped as to what to write about. So here is a short list of possible simple topics to get you started. You will quickly notice that many posts can be written in a few minutes.

Meet one of our employees

Meet one of our customers

Here’s an upcoming event you might be interested in.

A quick tip

One of our clients sent us this photo

Something I read that you might find useful

A couple of websites that can be helpful

An industry trend we see developing

Why did we start this company.

What it is like to work for our company

Something we are doing to support our community

How our business was founded

We had a client ask us this yesterday

A new service we are offering

A new product available

How we make the ordering process simple for you.

Meet our customer support team

Find us on Facebook, LinkedIN, Pinterest, Twitter etc

Visit us at ________event

Sign up for our newsletter

In the News

I added a few more ideas but if you need more help you can contact LaMothe Services!! We can brainstorm with you!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

8 Tips to Optimize Your Time for Blog Writing by Marko Saric

I regularly hear statements like I just don’t have time to work on my blog, I am too busy to get out there and promote the blog, I have to do this, I have to do that, plus many other excuses. What these people really mean is I prioritize something else.

“Time is free, but it’s priceless. You can’t own it, but you can use it. You can’t keep it, but you can spend it. Once you’ve lost it you can never get it back.” – Harvey MacKay

Even though time is a limited resource, we still have 24 hours in a day, which is plenty of time, but it is a matter of reevaluating our priorities.

Most bloggers might have a job that takes some 9 hours daily, then you sleep some 7 hours and it leaves you with some 8 hours daily to do some house work, hang out with your friends and family or work on your hobbies.

That is why you have to learn to control your time, optimize it the best possible way and manage it wisely. There are the 8 ways that you can find more time to work on your blogging dreams.

Stop reading, take action

Reading and learning is important, but only to a point. It is important to stop and implement some of the things you have read about. If you don’t take your time to use what you have learned, nothing will change and you will stand still. Be a blog producer.

Stop checking the stats

If you are regularly stressing yourself checking your blog visitor stats, your RSS subscriber stats, your earning stats, stop. Checking them will not help, but actively working on things that will improve those stats will. Try not to check the stats more than once daily.

Focus on the tasks that have the highest impact

You must focus your energy on the tasks that have the highest impact on your goals. For bloggers, the goal usually is to increase the readership, and the task that will bring you closer to that goal is creating remarkable content and pulling your target audience to your blog.

Don’t get distracted

In the age of the Internet it is very easy to get distracted and waste several hours reading RSS, checking Facebook, sending tweets or reading Steve Pavlina’s blog (it happens to me every once in a while as Steve’s blog is so good). Shut out the distractions!
Throw away your television

Most of the people that say that they are too busy to be able to work on their blogs regularly, still seem to have enough time to watch hours of television every day. TV watching might be entertaining, but it is not going to bring you closer to your blogging goals.

Forget your strict schedule

Did you set yourself on a very strict schedule of having to produce regular blog posts? Forget about it. Your blog will not become extinct if you miss a day or two. The tight schedule just might strain you so much that you give up the blog. Writing one great post per week will have a much bigger impact than writing one average post daily.

Maximize your health

Eat healthy. Do some exercise. Get enough sleep. Leading a healthy lifestyle will definitely make you more energetic, fresh and will improve your productivity and will win you time.

Your passion motivates you

We always hear about the blog passion and it really is true. If your blog topic is something you really love, it is going to be so much easier to motivate yourself to work on it. You will not be able to fall asleep because you would want to blog, you would wake up very early energetic to get out of the bed and do even more blogging.

From passive viewing to active working

Majority of the “busy” bloggers are spending more time surfing the internet and watching TV than working on their blogs and at the end of another day they have nothing to show for. You must be disciplined and shift your focus from passive viewing into active working on your blogging targets and dreams. No one else but you can do it.

**You can always hire a "ghost blogger" from LaMothe Services. We offer monthly packages to help you keep up with the demands of your readers! Give us a call!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

How is Your Work-Life Balance? By Dr. Christina Grant~Guest Blogger

When you are in balance and harmony with life you can be most effective in your business. What you want to achieve suffers when you are too much engrossed in the tasks or worries of work and not taking time to maintain harmony within your body, mind, and spirit.

Most of us have been trained to work hard. If we are not working hard, we have been programmed to feel guilty about not working hard. Ever heard someone called lazy because they weren’t working hard enough?

Hard work has held the promise of reward, but there is a downside if we find ourselves not enjoying the living of it all. If balance between work and life outside of work is not maintained, your well-being can suffer, harming your peace of mind, physical health, and your relationships.

Even if you love your work, thrive on it, and can do it all day and into the night, it is important to take some time to rest and create a balance. Stop, reflect, restore, and revitalize. Your relationships need attention, your spirit needs nurturing, your body needs care, and your mind needs some time off. If these are neglected, is there any amount of success that can make up for their loss?

I think it is important to work at something you love, or at least like. Simultaneously, it is important to pay attention to your inner world. This helps you maintain a healthy balance. There are 10 simple things you can do each day to aid you in this worthy endeavor. I practice them myself and hope you will join me.

1. Inhale with awareness.

2. Walk in nature, even for just 10 minutes. Aim for 30.

3. Sit in silence and still your mind for at least 10 minutes each day.

4. Notice if you are thirsty, hungry, tired. What do you do about it?

5. While eating, slow down and give your full attention.

6. Avoid people who consume your energy.

7. Embrace people who accept and support your endeavors.

8. Regard the beauty of your surroundings.

9. Appreciate the freedom and ability to work or establish a business of your own.

10. Exhale completely.

Dr. Christina Grant is a holistic healer and spiritual counselor who works in person and by phone. She has helped hundreds of people attain physical, mental, emotional and spiritual well-being through personal transformation. Her writing is published nationwide. She is co-author of Eight Minute Muse and is completing a book with a fresh perspective on women’s health. To learn more see her website and blog

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Are You Ready for START ART 2013 in Las Vegas?

This STARTART Congress will be held August 8-10, 2013 at:
Renaissance Las Vegas Hotel
3400 Paradise Road
Las Vegas, NV

For your convenience, a direct link to reservations at the Renaissance Las Vegas Hotel is available on our website at Enter the group code STRSTRA to receive the discounted rate of $99 + tax. Reservations can also be made by calling toll free 800-750-0980 or locally 702-784-5700. Refer to the STARTART Room Block.

I hope to see you there!!
Sharon LaMothe

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year 
LaMothe Services, LaMothe Surrogacy Consulting and Infertility Answers!
Wishing you all the best in 2013!