If social networking isn’t growing by leaps and bounds then I don’t know what is.  For all of you WordPress application users out there, you will be happy to know (if you don’t already) that WordPress is now introducing their own Social Networking platform called BuddyPress.  As explained by the WordPress family, Buddy Press maintains all the features of WordPress, but allows you to socially interact with other WordPress users. You can download Buddy Press 1.0, but it requires you to be a current WordPress  MU version user, 2.7.1 or greater.




It is one of those lazy Sundays, I’ll admit.  I spent the majority of the day eating whatever I could find around the kitchen, and splitting time between texting my boyfriend, watching a Golden Girls marathon, and an hour of Sherlock Holmes on MPT all, of course, while sitting with my laptop under fingertips.  I’ve been doing what I usually do, roaming around and researching articles and opinions on Internet marketing and so on, and one of my new favorite blogs is Hubspot.com.  While poking around I came across one of their Popular Posts called “7 Signs You Should Run Screaming from an SEO Consultant“.   Just starting out myself with professional consultation, I did take into consideration how much knowledge I could glean from this article.

The 7 Signs where as follows:

1. References to unknown “Experts”

2. Suggesting Specific Keyword Densities

3. Manic Directory Submissions

4. Over Focus on Link Buying

5. Naive Use of Social Sites

6. Black Hat Practices

7. Overly Complicated Explanations

I won’t go into all 7 as I mentioned earlier this is a lazy Sunday and I will  get tired I typing sooner than usual.  One of the 7 that ruffled my feathers the most was the Purchasing of Links as I have had this conversation of should you/shouldn’t you before.  Here was my comment on the Hubspot.com page about the issue.

Ok, I’m laughing right now, seriously. I think I’m gonna have to do a link back on my page to this article because it is so true. I am just starting off in this venue professionally but that doesn’t mean I haven’t done my research. I think the reason I consider myself no good at “sales” is because I’m too honest, and I believe the more honest you are with your clients, the more you will receive in return. I believe in building “organically” I honestly would not and have not suggested to any clients to buy links…I think it ridiculous, and in these days a total waste of money. It would be more cost effective to hire a someone to work part-time, and research QUALITY links within your niche.  As for overly complicated explanations…if I don’t know it, I don’t know it but I’ll sure as hell research it and get back to you instead of building up a bunch of BS, it’s just not worth it, and makes you look like a clown.

I can say I don’t quite understand why people would try to take advantage of businesses (and in my case) small businesses, by telling them they need to purchase links.  I can understand the difficulty in getting the word out about who you are and what you do, but I have always been a proponent for hard work and enjoying the fruits of your labor in the future.   It is to the benefit of many new online companies (bloggers) to grow their business organically. The whole point of everything you do online really is to grow organically, in my eyes anyway.  The Internet may be light-years faster than word of mouth but the idea is still the same.  You give good service to that one person you found who would actually allow you to do whatever it is you do, then you rely on that one customer to give good reference about you to other potential clients and that is how the majority of good, stead fast businesses grow.  It is rare that businesses see customers coming in en mass without good organic marketing, even with high priced advertising!  So, why not attribute that same thinking to online?  Building links is just like building relationships, and not just any old relationships, QUALITY relationships…I cannot stress “quality” enough.  Throwing yourself shamelessly at unknown sites, just to get your name somewhere is not the way to grow.  Links can be built, though it takes strategy and time, without spending mega dollars.  Check out this article “101 Link Building Tips to Market Your Website” on building links written by  Andy Hagans and Adam Wall.   Many, many innovative ways lain out for those in search of retrieving links without going broke.

Remember: Don’t believe that you have to invest a good amount “money” to start from the ground up…but you should believe in investing a good amount of time.

Being a multi-blog blogger, for the past few years or so, and writing content for a few online magazines I have come to love writing and conveying ideas more than I had in the past.  Though I am a soft speaker and choose to stay in the back ground of things than be in the forefront, I still believe that people should know what is on my mind at the time I’m confident enough to say it.  Blogging and posting frequently, for me, has definitely been an outlet where I can say my piece and get the reactions and comments of people from different view points all around the world.  Now, how does that tie into building online presence & marketing?  I’ll tell you.  These days it is rare…or at least it should be, that we find companies online that do not have some sort of social media outlet that tells their customers what is happening with the business.  The Neiman Marcus chain store CUSP (www.cusp.com), started it’s website that way when opening one of its first stores at Tysons Corner Mall in Tysons Corner, VA.  Their site, at the time, was just a plan old blog.  When I first went to the site, I’ll admit, I was a bit frustrated because I couldn’t order anything  (not that I had the money to anyway…but it was the principle…you know), but I soon found that the blog was more in-depth than a regular site.  They posted frequently about interesting information such as new store openings, pictures of new employees, events, sales etc.  CUSP is now a full blown website but they still maintain a blog and  “tah-daahhh”  Facebook and MySpace pages.  It is imperative that businesses not post only about the BIG EVENTS, but also try to post frequently about smaller more “in the know” things, like what is happening in the office today, or who stopped by to chat today.  I believe those interesting pieces of information bring your audience closer, increasing interest, encouraging interaction and an in turn building, from the ground up, a  loyal following.

In looking around the internet doing my own research, I see where a lot of companies can do simple things to possibly enhance their web presence by simply taking pride in the way their website looks to potential customers.  It is my opinion that websites have evolved greatly since the 90’s, and in doing so sites should no longer be using thick black frames as a way to separate graphics, unless that is truly the aesthetic of the site.  It is imperative that companies invest monetarily in the appearance of their site.  For instance, take the site http://www.converse.com and compare it to milkshakekicks.com.  Both sell awesome footwear, and though the latter site has great potential, there is a significant difference in the flow of the site and where the eye takes the customer…motion, compared to the stagnate.

Remember: There is great potential in a simple makeover