Be Authentic! It’s your own blog!


Are you an authority?
A question I get often in results of the amount of reviews in many formats I have shared in the past.
But..

Are you authentic?
After writing about how I feel towards “advertising only” blogs here, I think it’s time to ask the next question:

How can you become a reliable authority blogger?
Well, the answer is very simple: You build your reputation online by time. But it’s hard work:
Research, read, get involved in forums and groups, comment on other blogs with your opinions, join social networking sites and socialize with people around the globe, go to trade shows or join webinars, join twitter and stumble upon (but don’t spam others with unwanted junk!), visit digg or mixx and learn as much as you can before writing on any subject.
Do videos or audio and post them along your blog posts, then ofcourse write, write and write more.
I know it takes time, but before you know it, you will have 100’s of readers to your blog, 100’s of youtube subscribers and maybe 1000’s of Twitter followers!
These I call my “quality and loyal” readers or subscribers that I would share any knowledge with them (like my free online training program on www.WAHOL.com) and will always love to interact with them on a personal level πŸ™‚

And before you know it, you become an authority. Thanks to all the research, hard work and long reading hours, people will stop by you for reliable information. And to me, that means a lot.
Other wise, what’s the benifit of being a blogger?! Right?
Please let me know if you think that you are an authentic blogger and please share your blog’s link on the comments area of this post.
And don’t forget to keep updated for free through the RSS feed!

Web 2.0 workspace (Facebook)

facebook1

Remember when you were young and waiting for the school’s field trip of the candy factory tour?

Well, I do πŸ™‚

Now I can’t wait to go to trade shows with my favorite Web 2.0 companies to visit their tiny booth.

So..
I figured to browse the visits and photo galleries all over to bring you the “behind the scene” actual workspace of some of the popular Web 2.0 offices world wide in a series of posts. Each post will contain photos of a Web 2.0 company. I am starting this one with photos of Facebook SF (The last 2 photos are from the brand new Facebook NYC).

Enjoy! πŸ˜‰

Images credits: All images on this post are properties of obvious photographers!

Be You! It’s your own blog!


I made this point very clear over at the online training program at WAHOL!
I made it clear on this blog many times before!
John Chow made it clear on the interview we did before (Watch it here)
In over 200 blogs that I get their RSS feeds on my Google reader, there is an average of 7 out of 10 bloggers that is pushing their business or affiliate programs or whatever they want to advertise!
7 out of 10!!
That is a lot.
As a web surfer and a blog reader, when I get the feeling of “You have to buy this product” on any blog, I automatically unsubscribe from it’s feeds and I may never go back to read it. Why? Because if I “NEED” something, I’ll just go to amazon.com or eBay.com or I’ll do my own mini research using search engines to find out what it is that other people are saying about this product or service. The people that actually bought it before and wrote a review about it (On the shopping site, not on their blogs), and I just naturally compare and decide to buy it or not.
In all of my seminars, I encourage everyone to get social, join facebook or twitter, to socialize, not to blast your business and product. My advice is normally this:
Be nice, become friends or re-connect with old friends, once in a while mention your service or products and the money will come later. It normally comes later (and lots of it) only by sending out good Karma.

What goes around, comes around!

That is very true, when looking at blogs or newsletters with literary tons of affiliate banners or “Pay Now” buttons, I just get sick and surf away immediately.

Check out this blog’s posts, only every once in a while I include any affiliate link to make commission or to sell something, instead, I concentrate on sharing knowledge and spreading the word about the good stuff that we can all share. Yet again, I am still making some cash to live on, (let me rephrase that), I am making great living from this blog thanks to other people and companies that ask me to advertise here (On the side!) without having to do anything more than what I love doing (Blogging).

Another example is the famous iJustine she started her online life casting just because she have a passion for it, now, YouTube pays her a share of their advertising revenue as a way of saying thank you for bringing more people to us, even on her blog at TastyBlogSnack.com she offers to connect with here on any of her online profiles “THEN” there is a small PayPal donation button “After” everything else, on her Twitter account she has her bio as: ” I am the Internet!” plain and simple.

I am not saying don’t promote your business, I am saying promote it in places where promotions belongs to, go write a feedback on amazon or write a review (or even a giude) on eBay, go to the company’s blog (like at Dell) and write about it and incude your affiliate link or go to another company blog (Like at ThinkGeek) and comment on posts there with what you honestly think of their products and again include your affiliate link in the comment.

But, when it comes to your own blog, do it to share your knowladge, I know that if we all do that, the world will become a much better place to be at.

Did anyone that follows me on Twitter take a look at my bio there? It’s says: “Bio: Be You, Be cool, Be nice” That is all I do πŸ˜‰

There is a lot more I can ramble about about this topic, but that’s another story! Get the “FREE” RSS to keep updated πŸ™‚

And before you go chopping your laptop because of all the advertising on it, just comment below and answer this question: Why do you “Really” blog?

Happy Holidays from Facebook devs!

As I was going through my wave of messages, I received this message from the Facebook Platform team (As a developer):

We wanted to take a moment and thank you for all of your great work and amazing applications that have helped make Facebook Platform the largest and fastest-growing social platform over the past year and a half. As we end 2008 there are over 660,000 of you worldwide building applications that give users more powerful ways to share and connect, and collectively your applications have reached nearly 140 million people.

Just recently, we’ve been excited to bring you Facebook Connect – allowing you to integrate the tools and features of Facebook Platform on your Websites, devices and desktop applications. In the next several months, we’re looking forward to introducing additional improvements to help users more easily find your applications as well as launching the first sets of Verified Applications to users. If you haven’t applied for verification yet, apply here:
(Link shown only for developers!)
Over the next year, we look forward to continued developments to improve Facebook Platform and help you reach and engage more users, and grow and sustain your business. We would love your feedback and input on what you think is most important – please take a few minutes and answer our survey here:

(Link only shown to developers!)

From all of us at Facebook, we wish you and your families “Happy Holidays,” and we look forward to making the web even more social with you in 2009!

I have been to a couple of the Facebook developers garage day and have 3 videos of the live streaming event via skype, here is the first of 3 videos:

Thank you Facebook for a wonderful 1.5 years and thank you everyone who is reading for a great 4 years run on this blog and others, huge holiday wishes from me to everyone, enjoy and be safe.

Follow what I am doing during the holidays on Twitter, Friend me on Facebook, get the RSS of this blog, and comment below if you want to reach out to anyone πŸ™‚

Happy Holidays from Facebook devs!

As I was going through my wave of messages, I received this message from the Facebook Platform team (As a developer):

We wanted to take a moment and thank you for all of your great work and amazing applications that have helped make Facebook Platform the largest and fastest-growing social platform over the past year and a half. As we end 2008 there are over 660,000 of you worldwide building applications that give users more powerful ways to share and connect, and collectively your applications have reached nearly 140 million people.

Just recently, we’ve been excited to bring you Facebook Connect – allowing you to integrate the tools and features of Facebook Platform on your Websites, devices and desktop applications. In the next several months, we’re looking forward to introducing additional improvements to help users more easily find your applications as well as launching the first sets of Verified Applications to users. If you haven’t applied for verification yet, apply here:
(Link shown only for developers!)
Over the next year, we look forward to continued developments to improve Facebook Platform and help you reach and engage more users, and grow and sustain your business. We would love your feedback and input on what you think is most important – please take a few minutes and answer our survey here:

(Link only shown to developers!)

From all of us at Facebook, we wish you and your families “Happy Holidays,” and we look forward to making the web even more social with you in 2009!

I have been to a couple of the Facebook developers garage day and have 3 videos of the live streaming event via skype, here is the first of 3 videos:

Thank you Facebook for a wonderful 1.5 years and thank you everyone who
is reading for a great 4 years run on this blog and others, huge
holiday wishes from me to everyone, enjoy and be safe.

Follow what I am doing during the holidays on Twitter, Friend me on Facebook, get the RSS of this blog, and comment below if you want to reach out to anyone πŸ™‚

Elance: The Untapped Job Market!

Simply put, it’s the eBay of jobs!
Being a computer geek/blogger I got many jobs from elance.com in my early days (not that early though).
Elance.com allows people worldwide to buy or sell their services and products, or even talents!

Here is how it works:

You subscribe to elance, a small monthly fee will be charged, you view jobs posted under your expertise, you bid a reasonable price for the job and the job’s poster might choose you based on experience (and of course your low bid), then you communicate with them, finish the job and get paid. That is it.
For example: I subscribed to elance in the beginning as a web developer, Then I was able to view and choose between 250-500 jobs posted at that time, choose a programming job that I thought fits my skills, the lowest bid was $150 for the entire job, I bid $145 and was awarded the job, talked to the job’s poster, she explained in more details what she needed, took me about 40 minutes to finish what she needed then submit it, she was happy with what I’ve done and paid me instantly using PayPal.
In this example, it took me less than an hour from start until I got paid, between searching, bidding and working on the job. Some jobs take a bit longer depending on the bidding ending date, or how big the job is.

As a freelance writer, I found it better for me to get a copyright (or ghost) writing jobs better than programming or web developing.
However, elance offers way much more variety of jobs, to name a few: Programming & web developing, Sales and marketing, graphic designing, writing and translation, finance and management, even legal advice is offered there as a job category.

At the time of writing this article here are some facts you may need to know:

  • In the last 30 days there were 20,180 jobs posted.
  • There are 134,658 experts on elance.
  • The amount paid and work done since 2005 is of a value of $139,020,239

That means, that no matter what you do, there is a job related to you that you might want to grab the extra cash from.

In time you will build your reputation and gain trust all over the site, and job posters will preffer hiring you even if your not bidding or ask for a higher prices on their posted jobs.

Is it worth to subscribe?

Simply: Yes. My own average jobs is worth $250 per article. average writing jobs today is 7000+ taking only 2 jobs a day will equal $500 (a day!), with a commitment to do it for 30 days (considering being lucky finding 2 jobs a day and being awarded the jobs) that would be $15000 per month, the subscription as of today is $30 a month. So, I think it is worth it.

Of course elance offers a lot of advice from bidding to accepting the jobs, and it’s all available for free as soon as you log in (The Elance University!).

Did I mention that basic posting of a job is for free!

Learn more about elance here.

Comment below with your thoughts and don’t forget to get the RSS or follow me on Twitter πŸ™‚

Google’s Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Guide


Another great post I read last night from Darren Rowse at ProBlogger about SEO Plugins every WordPress Blog should have!
The article (Which I found very useful) came out in perfect timing with Google’s announcement of their own release of a document about SEO (Search Engine Optimization) that you can download for free here!
The document (Which I found not useful at all) is an SEO integration into your website, I think it’s just some basic info that’s available all over the web and all Google did was to put it in one place with “Google” on top of it πŸ˜‰
However, for beginners, I think the guide is useful and it will help putting your site out there not only on Google but also on Yahoo, Live, ask, and AOL searches.
One comment I read about it said that Google may be trying to put SEOs out of business, I don’t think that’s true at all, there is a lot more into the art of SEO than the extremely basic info on the 22 pages they offer.
Though I think there is a much higher amount of info (created by the people) on the Google Webmaster Help Group.
Going back to Darren’s post, I do have 4 of the plugins mentioned that I have been using on this blog since the begining and I think that they have done well for this blog’s rankings.

Own a mini Facebook using Google’s Friend Connect


It is as simple as it sounds, with Google friend connect you will be able to insert little gadgets that will turn your blog or site into a mini Facebook or a Myspace!
Still in beta, but has a lot of social gadgets, Google’s Friend Connect is the result of a greater project that Google started a while back called OpenSocial.
Without the geek talk, a very good example will be Facebook. Think of your Facebook’s profile as your own blog or site and the facebook add-on applications is (instead) your Google Friend Connect gadget.
You choose your social gadget, copy the code then paste it into blog or website and your done, now your blog’s readers can sign from within Google Friend Connect and interact just like any social network.


Now your site is more social than ever, your visitors can sign into Friend Connect using their Google ID, Yahoo ID, Twitter ID, or their OpenID. Pretty easy and slick is the feeling they will get.

Still worried about the coding and geek stuff? Worry no more, at Wahol.com there will be an entire video class (Still for free) about Friend connect as part Wahol’s setting up your Online life section. (Sign up at Wahol.com)

Or maybe the following image will explain:

Adding Friend connect to your self hosted WordPress blog could make your blog as powerful as Facebook in terms of interacting social readers. (A video on Wahol will also go though how to add it to your blog)

You can visit Google Friend Connect here!

Don’t forget to get the RSS and follow me on Twitter.
Any questions about Friend connect? Ask in the comments below and I will answer πŸ˜‰

Create your own Social Network (Introducing Ning!)


Ever dream of having a social network that’s about your own band or another social network just for your company and your co-workers?!
Ning.com allows you to do just that.
“Ning” is a Chinese word for “Peace”, co-founded by Mark Andereessen and Gina Bianchini, and launched in October of 2005.
Ning.com allows you to create a social network just like myspace or facebook including any feature that you can imagine from blogs to forums to sharing photos and videos.
Your own created network could be about your family members or about your company or even your school’s basketball team! There are no limits of what you can create a social network about.

At www.Wahol.com There will be at least 2 classes about setting up a Ning network and other services like Ning. So make sure to sign up soon, it’s free!

In late 2007 Ning added support for OpenSocial, a project started by Google that I think would be the future of social networking.

No matter what your specific interests and no matter if you have any technical skills, Ning’s unique feature of allowing anyone to create their custom network about a topic or need or just to interact with fans or even raise awareness, is just great to have and is simply Web 2.0 at it’s best.

You can create networks for free that will be ad supported by Ning or you can create and brand a social network without ads in exchange for a small monthly fee. (A study I did before shows that it’s around $50 a month per network on Ning) and we will go through details of how to have your own branded social network for free, or whether to choose Ning’s paid branded network for your business in a near future class at www.Wahol.com

Ning.com now hosts over half a million networks.

Of course you can join our own network of Guru Of Sales right here: http://guruofsales.ning.com/
Or join our Wahol.com network here: http://waholnetwork.ning.com/ just remember that they are both under research testing right now, so I might not be active on them for quite a while, but I will notify you on twitter, so if you’re not following me, do so, by going here: http://twitter.com/guruofsales

Create your network and comment below with a link to your network and I just might become your first member to join πŸ™‚

Manage your advertising with Google Ad Manager

gamlogo

Although it’s still say that it’s in beta, but Google Ad Manager has been open for public use for a while now.

I have been invited (secretly) to use the service a while back and I found it extremely useful.

Basically the service aims to help web site publishers and blog owners to integrate ads into their pages, whether it’s Google’s AdSense, other ad networks, or even your own in house ads.

googadmng

Here is what they offer (From their site):

Inventory management

  • Inventory levels: Define inventory at granular levels for more efficient line item creation and trafficking. Use ad slots to generate Ad Manager tags for your pages, ad placements to group related ad slots, and ad products to bundle and sell inventory packages with the same cost and targeting criteria.
  • Inventory availability tracking: Easily confirm whether ad impressions are available for specific dates, placements, and targeting criteria. Avoid overbooking and underselling.
  • Simple ad tag generation and management: Copy and paste tags directly into your HTML. Avoid the need to re-tag your site when you change the way you sell your inventory. (Available upon request: iframe tags.)

Yield optimization

  • Optional AdSense Integration: Use AdSense to fill unsold inventory or compete on price against other ad networks.

Ad targeting

  • Built-in targeting options: Target ads to your site visitors’ geography, day and time, bandwidth, browser, browser language, operating system, and domain.
  • Customizable targeting criteria: Target ad impressions by passing your own custom key-value pairs to Ad Manager.

Trafficking, ad delivery, and order booking

  • Delivery options: Choose one of five delivery types (exclusive, premium, standard, remnant, or house) to determine, automatically, how ads may be delivered.
  • Frequency capping: Set multiple levels of frequency capping, which limit the number of ads the same visitor sees over a minute, hour, day, week, month, or lifetime.
  • Roadblocking: Deliver multiple creatives together on the same page. (Available upon request.)
  • Proven Google infrastructure: Enjoy fast, reliable ad delivery and load time.
  • Support for various ad pricing models: Choose from cost-per-thousand-impressions (CPM), cost-per-click (CPC), and cost-per-day (CPD).
  • AdSense integration (optional):Consistently deliver the highest-paying ad by enabling AdSense.
  • Ad network management: Easily manage your third-party ad networks with network orders.

Creatives and rich media management

  • Rich media support: Use tags from a variety of rich media providers. Automatically detect macros.
  • Free ad creatives hosting: Save bandwidth and costs.
  • Redirect creatives support: Easily track ads from a third-party network, affiliate provider, or other URL you provide.

Reporting

  • Multiple reporting options: Run reports on order delivery, inventory performance, or overall sales.
  • Detailed reporting: Break down reports by date, line item, placement, advertiser, and other categories.
  • Fast report generation: Create reports in seconds.
  • Interactive views: Sort data, add or remove columns, review different data subsets, and make other edits without having to leave the page or run a new report.
  • Media Rating Council (MRC) accredited: Feel confident in Google Ad Manager’s ad impression measurement process, accredited by the Media Rating Council to be fully compliant with Interactive Advertising Bureau standards.

User interface

  • Search functionality: Locate order, inventory, or advertiser data from any page in Ad Manager.
  • Intuitive work flows: Quickly and easily create orders, approve orders, and review status of orders. Decrease training time and trafficking steps.
  • AdSense channels integration: Import your existing AdSense channels into Ad Manager (optional).
  • Browser session support: Use your browser’s ‘Back’ button and other built-in navigation without losing data.

Administration

  • Access controls: Set various viewing and editing permissions for your team.
  • Contacts organization: Store and manage advertiser and agency company information.
  • International language and currency support: Use Google Ad Manager in your native language and currency.

And a great 5 slides demo explains it easier is available here.

As of January first we are re-opening our advertising opportunities here at Guru Of Sales and we will be using Google’s Ad Manager πŸ™‚