Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

WordPress as a Content Management System (CMS)

Monday, June 28th, 2010

wordpressThere has been talk about using WordPress beyond the typical blog set-up, into the realms of a full-fledged content management system or CMS. Yet, most people have no idea how this is even possible.

I have to stress that the default WordPress software is intended to be a blogging tool, so if you’re trying to make it work like a different type of content management tool you’ll have to use the correct plugins (enhancements) and have the a clear idea of what you want to achieve.

While the exact step-by-step method is out of the scope of this article, lets explore some of the ways you can use WordPress, as I have personally done before.

1) WordPress as An Article Directory

To make WordPress work as an article directory, you’ll need a special plugin, and a source for the articles. MyArticleMarketer.com is the perfect tool for this, as the articles there are usually human-approved. They also encourage free distribution of their articles to other article sites.

After you have set-up the WordPress plugin, you need to sign-up for Article Marketer’s distribution list. By filling in their form and specifying the categories (or choose all categories), you automatically qualify to receive all old and new articles that are submitted to MyArticleMarketer.com

However, with WordPress as an article directory, you’ll only be able to receive syndicated articles. Authors won’t be able to sign-up or create an account directly with you. It’s also against MyArticleMarketer.com’s terms or service to encourage authors to sign-up directly with you.

2) WordPress as a Membership Site

You can set-up a free or paid membership site using WordPress. All it takes is a few simple plugins to get the job done. Once you’ve installed the plugins, members will need to login to your site in order to view the content. You can also place a login form in your WordPress theme files to make it easy for users to lo in and out of your membership site.

However, the plugins only create a simple membership system, so if you’re looking to create different membership levels and more advanced features, you’d probably want to sign-up with a professional membership system like AmemberPro.net and use their available plugins to ingrate with WordPress.

At the time of writing, AmemberPro.net has available plugins for a reasonable cost and these will be installed by their support team, so you don’t have to worry about the technical setbacks.

3) WordPress as a Classified Ads System

WordPress can work like any other classifieds website too. Users can sign-up on your site and place classifieds in the form of new blog posts. They can even set expiry dates for their ads and specify listings or “wanted” ads.

However, you will need to create all the necessary categories and even create a sign-up information page to teach your users how to place ads. The upside of using WordPress as a classifieds site is that you can also use tagging tactics to get traffic from social bookmarking sites and sites like Technorati.com

4) WordPress as an Audio / Video Training Site

Using the membership plugins mentioned above or AmemberPro.net’s WordPress compatibility plugins, you can create a membership site with WordPress. Then, all you need to do is to add the “Podpress” plugin which takes care of all audio and video elements on your website.

You will be able to display and stream MP3 audio or FLV video using their built-in players. The Podpress plugin is really robust and also allows you to specify setting on iTunes, so you can make this commercially and available to the entire iPod / iTunes community.

As you can see by now, there’s a whole lot of possibilities when it comes to using WordPress to the extreme.

How Blogging Can Help Your Business

Monday, June 28th, 2010

blogging tips

Not long ago, a diary was a deeply personal thing — a journal of thoughts and observations, kept under lock and key and often buried in a dresser drawer.

The Web has a way of changing things. Now, a diary of thoughts, observations and insight — posted on the Internet — may be a way to boost your business.

Web logs, or “blogs” as they’re better known, have become a way to engage readers and potential customers of businesses big and small.

A blog is a journal posted on a Web site, updated on a regular basis and containing news, opinions, ideas and brainstorms. It might also have links to other sources of information, other Web sites and other blogs.

Many blogs cut both ways, inviting readers to post feedback on what they see. While that can apply to everything from sports and entertainment, it can also generate interest — and, ultimately, income — for your business.

No, blogs aren’t for everyone. But see how they can accomplish these five basic business objectives.

1. Expose a new or little-known product or idea
For Grant Smith, blogging makes a world of sense on a number of levels. Smith operates a business that provides streaming video e-mail and related video communications products. Since many prospective clients might know little about video e-mail, Smith says his blog is a natural way to provide specifics.

“I began blogging to get established in the technology,” Smith says. “It can have a positive impact for business. Readers are always looking for more ways to find out information about companies and for ways to interact.”

That, in turn, can lead to a more informed customer and a more time-effective sales process. Rather than taking time to pitch your product or service to a client who may not need it, a blog supplants you as an information source. If a prospect contacts you, that’s great. If not, you’ve wasted no time in explaining something that generates nothing in return.

2. Improve your search engine rankings
Blogging also puts you in touch with prospects in other ways. As any company with a position on the Internet realises, Web site visitors that come via Google, MSN and other search engines can provide numerous leads. Blogs can add to the frequency with which search vehicles identify you and your company, particularly if your blog allows readers to post a response.

If done properly, blogs have a tremendous benefit relative to search engines, according to Brad Fallon, president of SEO Research, a search engine marketing firm. “With blogs that allow comments, every new post and every new comment becomes an additional Web page filled with additional keywords to be picked up by the search engine spiders,” he says.

3. Position yourself as an expert in an industry or field
Blogging also can also prove an effective marketing tool to establish yourself as an authority in your field. Not only can that generate leads, it also sends a positive message about your credentials through the marketplace and also gives your business a face and a personality.

4. Influence public opinion
Blogging also allows users to bypass traditional journalistic venues and, in effect, become a publisher of their own thoughts and viewpoints. For Steve Rubel, vice president of client services at a public relations firm, blogs are also fast becoming a powerful influence on public opinion.

“Blogs have evolved into legitimate alternative sources of news on niche and micro-niche topics,” Rubel says. “Anyone with a passion and dedication could become an amateur journalist. I feel some of these sites — in aggregate — are having just as much sway on public opinion as larger, more established media brands.”

5. Engage in a forum openly with your customers
Just as important, blogs that solicit reader comments can provide a sense of immediacy with your customers. In one respect, that’s a ready source of feedback on what you’re doing right and what you need to improve.

“My blog provides a forum for customers to give feedback after plunking their money down,” says Fallon. “The result? While the normal market is lucky to have one-half of 1% of customers send an unsolicited testimonial, I have already collected glowing testimonials from over 15% of my customers.”

Hello world!

Monday, June 28th, 2010

Welcome to WordPress. This is your first post. Edit or delete it, then start blogging!