Thursday 28 July 2011

Free Small Business Marketing Guide

Free Small Business Marketing Guide
Infusionsoft have created yet another quality free guide for you to download.

The leader in marketing automation software for small businesses have created a Free Small Business Marketing Guide which contains 7 proven marketing strategies that will transform your business. Here's a bit more information about the guide...

For many small business owners, the day-to-day demands of their business distract from bigger picture growth goals and personal aspirations. Tasks like "call this customer" and "email that estimate" take attention away from "start an online store" and "coach my child's Little League team".

Infusionsoft developed the free guide to help small business owners like you recapture those dreams by showing you a better way to convert leads, grow sales and save time.

In the guide, you'll learn seven successful strategies for:

  • Capturing, nurturing and converting leads.
  • Increasing conversions with highly-targeted communications.
  • Saving time and money with marketing automation.
  • Creating lifelong fans that advocate for your brand.
  • and much more.

Download the Free Small Business Marketing Guide today and discover a proven framework for developing a more streamlined, scalable marketing plan and watch your small business grow quickly and profitably.

Other free resource guides from Infusionsoft:

1. Internet Marketing Guidebook - 30 Proven Internet Marketing Strategies to help you grow your business online.

2. Email Marketing 2.0 Report - Discover how to close more sales, get repeat business and build lasting, profitable relationships with your contacts using email marketing.

3. The Edge of Success Guide - A must-have resource guide that will help you take your business to the next level.

4. Website Conversion Guide - 13 proven strategies to boost your website conversion rate.

Did you find the guide helpful? Please let me know.

As ever, if you want to stay up to date with the latest blog posts, don't forget to follow via Google Friend Connect (button on sidebar), on Facebook or subscribe to our feed at:

You can also follow me on Twitter @djones1509, Google+ and on Facebook at:

Until my next post, enjoy your free guide!

Tuesday 26 July 2011

3 Steps To Building A Facebook Audience

When you're just starting out on Facebook, you've got to figure out how to attract your initial fan base. There are three key milestones to pass on Facebook, and there are good ways to get past each milestone, without ever having to spend a dime on ads.

Step 1: 25 Fans

Getting to 25 fans is a significant milestone for a brand new page. Once you've reached 25 fans for your page, you're allowed to set a vanity name for your page. Pages by default have a long, random number in them, which can make telling people how to find you on Facebook difficult.

However, Facebook lets pages with more than 25 fans set a short, memorable URL for your presence on Facebook, like, instead of

The best tactic for reaching the 25 fan milestone is to ask the people you're already friends with on Facebook. You can send up to 20 friends at a time a short note using Facebook Messages. Feel free to copy/paste the script I've used below (don't forget to attach a link to your page!):

Hey! I just started a new Facebook Page, and Facebook needs me to have 25 fans before I can get a username for my page. I'd really appreciate you being one of the first 25 people to like my page - it would really help me and only takes a few seconds. Here's the link: [Insert your link here]

Once you get your 25 fans, claim your new vanity URL at:

Step 2: 100 Fans

Reaching 100 fans means that you'll no longer be able to change the name of your Facebook Page, so make sure that you've got a name you like, BEFORE using these tactics.

The best tactic for getting to the 100 fan mark is to work your network. Announce your new vanity URL to your friends via a wall post on Facebook. Ask that your friends do 3 quick things to help: (1) like your page - if they haven't already, (2) like your wall post and (3) share your new page by writing a post themselves. Here's a script for you to use:

I've just gotten a cool new username for my Facebook Page. Please help me grow the page by doing 3 quick things: (1) like the page, (2) like this wall post and (3) share this page with a Facebook update that says: "Check out my friend's new page, [Insert your link here] for the tips on running your marketing efforts on social networks."

Step 3: 1000 Fans and Beyond

Having over 1000 fans shows prospective customers that you have a strong fan base on Facebook and gives you a large base of people to reach when you need to announce a sale, drive new sales, or otherwise interact with.

But reaching 1000 fans doesn't need to be an expensive affair. The best way to reliably reach 1000 fans is to take a slow growth strategy using the places you're already getting others attention.

If you have a website, utilize social plugins like the Like Button and Like Box; they are free to add to your site and they do a great job of turning website visitors into fans. If you have an email list, send an email inviting them to become fans on Facebook. If you operate a physical store, add some signage to your window, next to your cash register, or on your receipt.

The ideas are endless, and different for every business, but think about places where you are already getting attention from people and where you could ask them to become your fan on Facebook.

Did you like this article or have tips to share? Please let me know by using the comments section below.

Related articles:
6 Ways To Get Found On Facebook
9 Tips For More Effective Facebook Marketing
5 Ways To Use Facebook To Promote Your Site

Many thanks to Roland Smart of Involver for the content of this article. If you want to stay up to date with the latest blog posts, don't forget to follow via Google Friend Connect (button on sidebar), on Facebook or subscribe to our feed at:

You can also follow me on Twitter @djones1509, Google+ and on Facebook at:

Until my next post, enjoy the rest of the week!

Friday 22 July 2011

Google Warns Users Of Malware Infections

After discovering unusual patterns of activity, Google is now using notices on its search engine results pages (SERPs) to warn users that their computers are infected with malware.

In a recent post on Google's Online Security Blog, Damian Menscher, a Google Security Engineer said: "Recently, we found some unusual search traffic while performing routine maintenance on one of our data centers. After collaborating with security engineers at several companies that were sending this modified traffic, we determined that the computers exhibiting this behaviour were infected with a particular strain of malicious software, or malware. As a result of this discovery, today some people will see a prominent notification at the top of their Google web search results."

Google Malware Warning

Menscher stated that malware was causing infected computers to send traffic to Google through a small number of intermediary servers called "proxies". Anyone using an infected machine would receive prominent notification at the top of their Google web search results page, warning them of the fact. "We hope that by taking steps to notify users whose traffic is coming through these proxies, we can help them update their anti-virus software and remove the infections."

Although Google aren't aware of a common name for the malware, they have indicated that the malware appears to have gotten onto users' computers from one of roughly a hundred variants of fake antivirus, or "fake AV" software that has been in circulation for a while. They believe that there are approximately 2 million machines effected by this malware which is quite a serious issue, if these numbers are correct. However, since the prominent notification has been in effect, Google have indicated that they have already warned hundreds of thousands of users that their computer is infected.

Google hopes that the knowledge they have gathered will help assist as many people as possible. In case their notice doesn't reach everyone directly and if you're concerned that your computer maybe infected, they have advised that you run a system scan on your computer yourself by following the steps in their Help Center article.

Note: If for some reason you haven't got Antivirus/Antispyware software installed on your computer, may I suggest using either PC Tools or AVG. Both of these packages offer a wide range of powerful tools to protect your computer against online threats.

Have you been affected by malware? What's your thoughts on this new notification? Please let me know.

Related articles:
Google's New Malware Warning
Does Google Consider Your Site Safe?
Google Adds New Security Layer To SERPs

As ever, if you want to stay up to date with the latest blog posts, don't forget to follow via Google Friend Connect (button on sidebar), on Facebook or subscribe to our feed at:

You can also follow me on Twitter @djones1509, Google+ and on Facebook at:

Until my next post, have a fabulous weekend!

Monday 18 July 2011

The 10 Basic Rules Of Social Media Marketing

Each week, I will be doing a featured article on the blog. This week's featured article is by Allison Kahn of Princeton Marketing which lists 10 basic rules of social media marketing...

The 10 Basic Rules of Social Media Marketing

Social Media Marketing is the act of using social media (i.e. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc.) in order to promote a business.

Many companies will want to start their own social media marketing campaign and create a Facebook page or Twitter account. The problem with is they don't have a clue on how to run a successful social media marketing campaign. Here, I have listed 10 of the most basic rules when it comes to social media marketing. Follow these rules in order to have successful accounts with Facebook, Twitter, etc.

1. Update! I shouldn't even have to list this as a rule, but many forget how important it is. You should try and update daily because when consumers visit your page and it has not been updated in over a month, they will assume it is inactive and decide not to follow your business. Also, they could easily go with your competitor because their page is so active they feel that business will give them better service. You do not want that to happen, so update your social media accounts regularly!

2. No pitching! You are not Billy Mays. Therefore, you do not need to yell at consumers telling them to purchase your product or use your business. Social media is meant to connect, not pitch. If your consumers feel they have a connection with your company through your Facebook page or Twitter feed, they are more likely to use you over another business that does not make an earnest effort to connect.

3. Communicate with your audience. If you do not feel it is necessary to reply to comments, answer questions, or join in on conversations on your page, then social media is not for you. You need to be a part of the conversations on your page. If not, you will lose touch with your customers and what they want.

4. Choose Wisely. What you say will forevermore remain public record on the internet. Choose what you post on your page wisely. I cannot stress that enough. If you hire a company to post for you, be sure to hire someone you can trust. And, remember, if you manage your social media outlets yourself only post what you would want to see on the front page of the New York Times (or the Huffington Post).

5. Handle angry customers with class. Some customers will just have a bad day and want to take it out on your page and blame you for everything. Do not remove any negative comments. Instead, ignore it if it's only one comment (unless the comment has foul language and is completely inappropriate). If you are in a predicament like Nestle was about a year ago where everybody protested on their Facebook page, post an update saying your business is making moves to fix the problem. Don't ever directly respond to one individual, you won't ever win. Also, don't ever make promises you cannot keep.

6. Link to others. If you find something interesting (and relevant) on the web, link it on your Facebook or Twitter page. Explain why you find it interesting (and relevant) and ask for their input. Link to other companies, articles, cool websites, whatever. Just be sure to ask yourself before posting, is this relevant to my business?

7. Share! Don't be afraid to show your consumers what your company's employees are doing when they are not in the office. Take photos of your office picnic, philanthropic event, or even a run/walk for a good cause. These photos create a positive image about your company for your consumers. They want to know you're human and don't wear ties all the time. If it's casual Friday in the office, take a group photo of everybody wearing the company polo and post it immediately so others know what is going on in your office in real time.

8. Start a weekly trend. If you do something once a week, on the same day each week, your followers are bound to come back that day every week. For example, if you own a shoe store, every Monday you could post the shoe of the week. Include an image and a promotion for the shoe, such as a percentage off that week only. If you posted every Monday, consumers are bound to check every Monday to see what pair is being promoted that week and come into your store to purchase it. It's a great way to get customers onto your social media pages as well as into your store.

9. Link to your blog. You put so much effort into writing that awesome post about trendy heels for the spring, but no one ever reads your blog. Link it on your Facebook, Twitter, etc. Don't do it all the time, because if that is the only thing you do to update your social media outlets, people will get bored with you very quickly. But at the same time, don't be afraid to link back to your blog. You put a lot of hard work and effort into it, and you want people to read it!

10. Spread the word! If you have a Facebook, Twitter, blog, YouTube channel, etc. you really need to tell people. They are not just going to assume you have them. Put them on your company website, on your business cards, put a sign up in your store saying "Add us!" with all the little logos for each site next to the copy. Don't be afraid to tell your customers you're on Facebook. If they like you and your product, they will share it on their Facebook account and say, "Hey, I'm a fan of Sally's Shoes and I want everybody to know!"

About The Author: Allison Kahn is the Marketing Assistant at Princeton Marketing Group in Greensboro, NC. She has a BA in English Literature from Wesley College in Dover, DE. She has a passion for Social Media Marketing.,

Do you like this article? Please let me know.

Would you like your article to be featured on the blog? Please use the Contact tab above to get in touch if you write business-related articles or articles on the topics of Internet Marketing, Affiliate Marketing, Social Media Marketing, Blogging, Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) or Search Engine Marketing (SEM).

HootSuite - Social Media Dashboard

Monday 11 July 2011

Google Plus, Facebook Chat & Blog News

It's been a busy week on the news front, what with announcements from Facebook for example. Here's a quick rundown of some of the topics that's hit the news recently and what's been happening on the blog...

Google+ Private Profiles

Google have announced that they will be deleting all private Google+ profiles after 31st July 2011. If you have your profile currently set to private, you will need to make it public before this date or it will get deleted. Here's an explanation from their help section on why they are doing this:

"The purpose of Google Profiles is to enable you to manage your online identity. Today, nearly all Google Profiles are public. We believe that using Google Profiles to help people find and connect with you online is how the product is best used. Private profiles don't allow this, so we have decided to make it a requirement that all profiles are public.

Keep in mind that your full name and gender are the only required information that will be displayed on your profile; you'll be able to edit or remove any other information that you don't want to share. If you currently have a private profile but you do not wish to make your profile public, you can delete your profile. Or, you can simply do nothing. All private profiles will be deleted after 31 July 2011."

Do you think this will have a negative impact on Google+ when it finally launches to the public? Let me know what you think.

Facebook Group Chat and Video Calling

Last Wednesday (6th July 2011), Facebook announced three product announcements: Video Calling, Group Chat and a new Chat Design.

The new chat design includes a sidebar that lists the people you message most, so it's now even easier to find your friends and start a conversation. The sidebar adjusts with the size of your browser window and will automatically appear when the window is wide enough. The Group Chat is an exciting feature. Within the chat window, you can easily initiate Group Chat by simply adding friends to the conversation by selecting "Add Friends to Chat".

The Video Calling feature which is powered by Skype, is built into chat. To call your friend, you simply click the video call button at the top of your chat window. Facebook have indicated that Video Calling will be available to everyone over the next few weeks in over 70 different languages. However, if you cannot wait until then, you can get it now at:

Do you like these new Facebook features? Let me know what you think.

Blogger's New User Interface

The popular blogging platform Blogger have just made available to all users the new user interface in draft. This new interface is clean, easy to navigate and most importantly, has good statistics reporting. If you have your blog hosted on Blogger, you can see the new interface by visiting:

I'm not entirely sure when this new interface will be rolled-out, but given the fact Blogger have now made the draft available to all users, it shouldn't be long before it replaces the current interface.

What's your thoughts on the new user interface? Please let me know.

Google Blocks 11 Million Websites

Google has blocked all websites from its search results because the domain has been found to be too "spammy".

In a statement from Matt Cutts, head of Google's web spam: "We absolutely do try to be granular, but I wanted to mention that if we see a very large fraction of sites on a specific freehost be spammy or low-quality, we do reserve the right to take action on the freehost as a whole. I think most savvy search/SEO folks would understand this completely, but I figure it's better to over-communicate than under-communicate."

The .cc top-level domain (TLD), which belongs to the Cocos (Keeling) Islands and regular .cc websites are unaffected by Google's changes.

The company said in a recent post on Google's Online Security Blog: "Over the past few months, Google's systems have detected a number of bulk subdomain providers becoming targets of abuse by malware distributors. Bulk subdomain providers register a domain name, like, and then sell subdomains of this domain name, like Subdomains are often registered by the thousands at one time and are used to distribute malware and fake anti-virus products on the web. In some cases our malware scanners have found more than 50,000 malware domains from a single bulk provider.

Google's automated malware scanning systems detect sites that distribute malware. To help protect users we recently modified those systems to identify bulk subdomain services which are being abused. In some severe cases our systems may now flag the whole bulk domain."

In response to the block, the General Manager of Korea-based CO.CC, James Kim has today posted a message on Google's Webmaster Help Forum stating that the decision to block is unfair because out of the 10 million domains that are registered, only 0.01% are malicious. He also challenged Google to block Blogger (blogspot) and Facebook pages from search results since it chose to do the same with all the websites. You can read more on this here.

The Anti-Phishing Working Group (APWG) recently released a 29-page report, "Global Phishing Survey: Trends and Domain Name Use in 2H 2010" (PDF) which revealed that the .cc top-level domain hosted 4,963 phishing attacks in the second half of 2010, almost twice the number found under any other extension.

It is unfortunate that quite a lot of innocent people are going to be seriously affected by this move...I do have some idea of how it feels. Given the fact that my blog was once hosted on a domain and the problems I had with Facebook because of it back in February (see post: Facebook Website Blocking Update: All CO.CC Domains Blocked), it was lucky that I moved my blog to the new purchased domain ( before this happened.

Have you been affected by this? Please let me know.

Blog News

1. Blog Gets Google PageRank 3: Since the recent update, I am pleased to announce that Derek's Home and Business Blog has now got a Google PR3. It looks as though all my hard work is finally starting to pay off! Let's see if I can get it higher :)

2. Increase in Traffic: I've noticed a major increase in traffic to the blog over the past 2-3 weeks which may have something to do with my newly acquired PageRank. This is good news and therefore, I would like to take this opportunity to welcome all the new visitors to the blog.

3. Google+ Icon: I've now installed a Google+ icon on the blog which will enable you to connect with me on the new social networking platform. You can find the icon with the rest of the social icons on the top of the side-bar under the heading "Follow & Share".

4. Business Network Tab: With the creation of the new Facebook page for small business owners and affiliate marketers (see post: Introducing The Mirage Business Network), I've now added a Business Network tab to the top of the blog. This tab gives information on the new page and how to access it. If you're a business owner or affiliate marketer and have yet to advertise your business on the page, you can do so now by visiting:

5. Blog Directory: If you're a blog owner and have a good quality blog, you can now list your blog in the newly created directory page. Information on how to do this can be found on the Blog Directory tab above. Don't forget to also join the Bloggers Network at:

6. Guest Posting: I'm always on the lookout for good quality, informative articles to offer my readers. If you write business-related articles or articles on the topics of Internet Marketing, Affiliate Marketing, Social Media Marketing, Blogging, Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) or Search Engine Marketing (SEM), I would like to hear from you. Please use the Contact tab above to get in touch.

Finally, the sun is shining here in the UK so I'm off for a long bike's orders :) If I take any more scenic pictures while on my travels, I'll upload them later on Facebook under the album: Bike Ride Photo Collection.

As ever, if you want to stay up to date with the latest blog posts, don't forget to follow via Google Friend Connect (button on sidebar), on Facebook or subscribe to our feed at:

You can also follow me on Twitter @djones1509, Google+ and on Facebook at:

Until my next post, have a great week!

Friday 8 July 2011

Introducing The Mirage Business Network

To replace the Mirage Discussion Board which was recently closed down due to frequent spam posts and being a magnet for spammers (see post: Discussion Board, Google Plus One & Other News), I am pleased to announce the creation of a new Facebook page for small business owners and affiliate marketers called the Mirage Business Network.

The Mirage Business Network is a page for business owners and affiliate marketers to network with each other. Advertise your business, post your latest offers, plus discuss anything to do with business. You can access the new page by visiting:

If you're looking to increase traffic and sales, need help and advice, or just want to chat with other business owners and affiliate marketers to share ideas and marketing tips etc, the Mirage Business Network is the place for you. Join us today and start networking!

I'm still in the process of setting up dedicated topics on the page's Discussion Board, similar to those topics found on the original board. I will also be setting up in the next few days a Business Network group to compliment the page. Stay tuned for more information on this.

Note: If you're a blog owner, don't forget to join the Bloggers Network. You can access the group and support page by visiting:

I hope you find Mirage Business Network useful for your business and if you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact me using the Contact tab above.

Other News

The past 3 weeks have been a bit hectic here which has meant I haven't been able to spend as much time online as I would like. Not only was there a delay in launching the Mirage Business Network page, but it's been over 3 weeks since my last blog post - not good..!! Anyhow, give me a day or so to catch up then it's business as usual :)

As ever, if you want to stay up to date with the latest blog posts, don't forget to follow via Google Friend Connect (button on sidebar), on Facebook or subscribe to our feed at:

You can also follow me on Twitter @djones1509 and on Facebook at:

Until my next post, have a wonderful weekend!