All posts by Thomas_Prendergast

Is your website ready for Google’s mobile update in May?

It has been widely reported by Search Engine Land, Techcrunch, and others that Google is planning a new update to their algorithm regarding mobile-friendliness.  Mobile web traffic now exceeds traffic from desktop users, so Google is emphasizing how important it is that websites have the ability to display information correctly on mobile devices.

In the spring of 2015, last year Google first prioritized this and will update that original announcement again next month with a new change in their ranking criteria.

What does that mean to website owners and administrators?  Simply, you may lose mobile traffic if your site is not compatible with mobile devices.

Fortunately Google does provide a tool in which you simply type in your url to check your site.You can find it here

—-> Google Mobile Checker <—-

Something else that is less critical, but worth paying attention to is AMP – (Accelerated Mobile Pages). Google would also like sites to use their formula for making web pages load faster.  They are emphasizing news sites right now.  Eventually it will be important for all websites to follow these guidelines.

You can find all about it at the following link.  

—-> AMP <—-

Best of success in all your endeavors.

Jon Lombard – Contributor

Take Your Mobile Marketing To The Next Level With These Great Tips!

mobile marketing

mobile marketing

Take Your Mobile Marketing To The Next Level With These Great Tips!

Taking a step into the wondrous and complex land ofmobile marketing for the very first time might feel a little bit intimidating, but by keeping the helpful tips listed below in mind, you will soon find yourself marketing on par with some of the best marketers in the field.

When it comes to sending mobile marketing messages to your customers, be sure that you keep the size of any media files as small as possible. This is critical to ensuring that the download time for the message is low and that your customers are not charged extra data fees.

Integrate mobile marketing into other types of marketing. Mobile works best when tied together with other things such as print, television, radio, and live performances. Make sure to integrate 2-D bar codes or quick response codes into your print to help drive traffic to your mobile site. You will have endless opportunities.

No matter what type of features you are thinking of adding to your mobile marketing campaign, you need to remember that it is all about the execution here. Mobile users are growing at a faster rate than PC users ever have, so everyone is attempting to go mobile. Stand out by focusing on quality execution rather than just expansion.

If you are thinking about expanding to a different market with a different product, make sure that you start this effort first before you branch out to mobile marketing. It is going to be very difficult to pull people in from the mobile world to your new product, so go with what got you here and just repeat the process.

Take advantage of mobile applications that many mobile consumers already use and are very popular, like Google Maps. Google has a Local Business Center that will list your business on their Google Maps for that region. This way, your business will be targeted to the audience local to your area.

Provide instant rewards. With mobile marketing you can give your customers what they want, with no delays. Having a delay can make things lose their value or demand. People will participate in your marketing campaign hoping to get the promised reward. The quicker they get the reward, the happier they will be.

Remember when mobile marketing that not every mobile device is the same and thus the content you develop needs to cater to the general field and not anything overtly specific. For instance: Some people have slower connections than others, while others have smaller screen sizes. Be encompassing and not specific.

Take advantage of everything a mobile device has to offer. Innovation is happening very quickly in the mobile marketing arena, and much of it is driven by the quick innovation occurring in mobile hardware. Look at what the new devices have to offer and add their new abilities into your mobile marketing strategies. Just in the last two years, new hardware innovations that have affected mobile marketing have included front-facing cameras, location awareness and high definition video recording.

So, after reading and applying the helpful tips listed above, you should feel a bit more at ease in the land of mobile marketing. You have the tools; it's time to use them. You should feel empowered and ready to begin your mobile marketing journey to help better promote your business.

Ida Mae Boyd
Contributor

7 Tips For An Authentic And Productive Writing Process

7 Tips For An Authentic And Productive
Writing Process

 

Richard Tipsword, Contributor

 

Does this sound familiar?

You’re sitting in front of your laptop, staring at a blank screen.

The deadline for the article you need to write is approaching, and you’re struggling to get started when you should be in the final editing stages.

As you sit there trying to put your expertise in writing, a strange insecurity creeps up your spine. You see yourself changing before your own eyes, transforming from a confident expert into a self-conscious amateur.

It’s your own Dr. Jekyll to Mr. Hyde transformation experience.

I’ve been there.

I used to hate writing

Well, actually, it was more like loathing than hating.

Anytime I needed to write anything I’d procrastinate, pretending that avoiding the project would make it go away. Needless to say, the procrastination led to a flurry of rushed writing at the last minute to meet my deadlines, resulting in less than my best work.

But my real problem wasn’t the act of writing. It was fear. Fear of making mistakes, fear that what I wrote would sound stupid, fear that my writing wouldn’t make sense to the reader, etc.

My insecurities were turning me into a monster

So there I was, a guy with more than 15 years of experience, who has won some awards and is even a judge for three international design competitions, worried about sounding stupid.

It sounds ridiculous, but my fear of screwing up made writing a miserable experience for me.

I even used to try to compensate for my fears. I’d use stiff, formal sentences and large, important-sounding words to try to “prove” I knew what I was talking about. Unfortunately, all that did was make me sound like a pretentious jerk.

It was like I was changing from Dr. Jekyll into Mr. Hyde anytime I had to write something.

Then one sentence from my college professor changed everything

I had a job that offered tuition reimbursement benefits, so I decided to take some college classes. One of my classes was a composition class, and the professor gave me the best writing advice I’d ever heard.

“Write the way you talk.”

Wait. What?

It can’t be that easy! Seriously? What a liberating idea! That one piece of advice helped me break free of my fears and relaxed my writing style. No more procrastination. No more using large, unnecessary words to try and impress the reader. I could just relax, be myself, and write.

Now before you get the wrong impression, let me explain something: writing the way you talk does not give you permission to write poorly, or to publish content that sucks.

What it does is help break down the mental barriers of fear and procrastination that keep you from being a more engaging, and more productive writer.

Here’s how to use “write the way you talk” to squash your insecurities and avoid sounding like a pompous idiot:

1. Imagine yourself having a chat with a trusted friend

Good writing is like a conversation between the writer and the reader. So when you’re writing, think about how you would explain your topic to a close friend who was sitting next to you.

If you were having a conversation with that person, what words would you use? What would you talk about first? What examples would you give to help them understand your topic? What questions might they ask?

Approaching your writing this way will help you write copy that’s more informal and conversational in tone, that better engages your audience. As it happens, it’s also the best way to write sales copy.

2. Record yourself talking about your topic.

Not sure what you sound like in a conversation? Try recording yourself talking about your topic.

This is especially helpful for people who have clients they talk to on the phone regularly. The next time you’re explaining something to a client on the phone, record the call and listen to it later (Be sure to check the laws in your state first. Some states require you get the other party’s permission before you record). The easiest way to do this is with one of the many available plugins for Skype that do call recording.

3. Take a deep breath, relax, and just be yourself

By writing the way you talk, you can’t help injecting a little of your personality into what you write. After all, you’ll be writing in your own voice, using plain English everyone can understand, and a tone that makes you seem more human than textbook.

Combine that with a few relevant, well-placed personal stories and you have the makings of some irresistible content.

4. Use the same words that you do in your everyday life.

If you write the way you talk, you’ll be more inclined to use common, everyday words that you would normally use in conversation.

This prevents you from sounding like Captain Jack Sparrow using (in my best Johnny Depp impersonation) obtuse and generally confounding speech that makes your readers wish they were drinking rum.

So keep your writing simple and clear without artificially inflated language. A good rule of thumb is: if the average person would need a dictionary to know what your word means, then you need a different word.

5. Toss out the rule book and just start writing

If all the rules about grammar, writing styles, active versus passive voice, and punctuation are adding to your insecurities about writing, toss out the “rule book” for awhile and just write.

Focus on getting the main points of your idea down in your first draft, and don’t worry about anything else.

Once you’ve done that, you can go back and edit the heck out of what you wrote.

Do you notice any obvious errors? Is there anything that could be rearranged to bring more clarity to what you wrote? If so, now’s the time to fix it along with any grammatical, spelling, or other writing problems.

After you’ve made those corrections, leave the article to sit overnight and look at it again in the morning with fresh eyes. Is there anything you can do to make it even better?

6. Enlist the help of a close friend to keep you honest

Want to make sure that what you write actually sounds like you and not someone else?

Enlist the help of a close friend. Have them read what you write, and tell you if it sounds like someone else wrote it. This will help keep you true to yourself, and will force you to be authentic with your writing.

7. Read what you write out loud

One of the first editing tests I put my writing through is reading it out loud. Doing that makes awkward sentences and bad punctuation become obvious, because as you read, you’ll naturally “stumble” over the parts that need to be fixed.

So as you read your writing aloud, pay attention to those places that tend to trip you up — they may need some additional work.

The moral of the story

Get over the fears of messing up or sounding stupid. Just write the way you talk and you’ll be able to knock out your first draft in no time.

If you’re willing to do that, you’ll find that you’ll dread writing a lot less and be able to get more writing done because you’re working on it instead of fearing it.

I’ve been using these tips to guide my writing for several years now, and today I got the best evidence yet that they work.

I was talking with one of my clients on the phone about blogging, and as we were discussing the content for her blog she told me, “Whenever I read something you wrote, you always sound like such an expert. Like you really know what you’re talking about. ”

Need I say more?

So go ahead. Dive in. Who knows? You may even start to like writing.

Written by: Logan Zanelli

 

How Being Genuine Can Strengthen You, Your Business, and Your Company

Glenn E. Fleming, MD, MPH, Contributor, MarketHive

Recently, I came across an article written by Mamta Chhikara (http://hive.pe/eC), which goes on to list and describe specific qualities that a genuine person possesses:

*They don’t seek attention = Modest

*They’re not concerned with being liked = Confident and Authentic

*They can tell when others are full of it = Intuitive (a good judge of character)

*They are comfortable in their own skin = Self-assured and confident

*They do what they say and say what they mean = Integrity

*They don’t need a lot of stuff = Simplicity

*They’re not thin-skinned = Easy-going

*They’re not overly modest or boastful = Humble

*They’re consistent = Dependable

*They practice what they preach = Genuine, Honest

Always keep these traits in mind not only as business but also as an individual.   As entrepreneurs seeking to gain trust, authority, and a growing customer base, we should always be cognizant of the foundation of inbound marketing, which involves:

*Performing due diligence for you and your company

*Performing due diligence for your targeted audience/clients/potential customers

*Engaging with your targeted audience/clients/potential customers

During the process of engagement, we should always be aware of the above traits of genuineness.  Your future colleagues and customers will be looking for these traits and will likely have the following thoughts/concerns:

*They want to know if you are confident in your company and/or product.

*They will likely be more concerned about the content/effectiveness of your product and/or character more than shiny “bells and whistles.”

*You should be able to eliminate illegitimate leads or potential colleagues within minutes of engaging

*Your customers and your colleagues want to see that not only do you use the product in question, but also that you use the product well and are able to demonstrate the product’s effectiveness to your colleagues and potential customers

*Most of us can eventually “smell” an inferior product or individual within a short period of time.  A usual warning sign is too many “bells and whistles.”  Simplicity is the name of the game.  If it’s too complicated or if it feels like the product (or individual) is too flashy, then it may be perceived as ineffective or disingenuous.

*Your customers and colleagues want to know that they can reach you during tough times or emergent situations.  Are you easily accessible via multiple modalities of communication (i.e., phone, text, email, Skype, etc)?

Now, I am not one who typically needs validation in anything that pertains to who I am as a person but I felt markedly refreshed after reading this article.  Am I a genuine person?  Hell yes!  

Depending upon where you are or whom you are conversing with, we may describe a genuine person as either "the real deal" or "being real."  If you are a fan of Larry Wilmore on Comedy Central, then you are already familiar with his catch phrase "Keep It 100."  It's the same concept and I believe being genuine is parallel with having integrity as well as the other above traits.  

Not only does a genuine & authentic person display his authentic self at all times (obviously with some adjustment for discretionary purposes), but he also "says what he does and does what he says."  He is honest about who he is and his actions reflect his character regardless of the setting.  

Become The Best Blogger

Become The Best Blogger.

Is it necessary to have a goal to become the best blogger in your niche? Is content marketing something that the public on the web is seeking? Many have asked that questions about the value of content marketing and wondered if it is limited to a few types of businesses. This article was printed in Hubspot in August 2014 titled, How To Become The Best Blogger In Your Niche. 

Back in 2012, Max Nisen wrote, “Content marketing is one of the biggest new trends.” He reported NewsCred’s CEO Shafqat Islam as saying, “Every Fortune 2000 company today is a candidate for content marketing. If they're not doing it, they will be.”

Two years later, Nisen and Islam’s prophecies have come to pass. We are in the age of content marketing — and it's showing no signs of going away. The content marketing arena is now so vast and so complex that people are starting to get lost. Don't believe me? Just take a look at this hodgepodge of an infographic from LUMA:

luma-content-marketing

In spite of the scary complexity, blogging is still the one of the most powerful weapons in the content marketer’s arsenal. And the better the blog, the better the content marketing efforts.

So here’s my thesis: If you are the best blogger in your niche, you can be the most successful in your niche. It’s only logical. If blogging is the core of content marketing, and content marketing is the path to success, then we must conclude that being a kickass blogger is the path to marketing success.

And here’s the really good news: You can become the best blogger in your niche. In the post that follows, I will provide three points that explain exactly how to gain that edge.

1) Know your audience.

Answer the most important question:  “Who is my audience?”

Too often, bloggers start with the wrong question. They ask things like:

  • How can I be interesting?
  • What can I write about?
  • What will make this post more engaging?

Those are great questions, but they are totally meaningless unless you first understand your audience.

I came across a line recently that stuck with me:

 

pngbase64c3c9af76173e7e56

When you blog for someone, you will have plenty of things to write about. What’s more, you’ll communicate in the right way — you'll be more "human" and familiar if you treat your audience like real people.

As you ask the big question, “who is my audience,” keep in mind these additional questions that will help you develop a deeper knowledge (From University of Maryland's Writing Resources):

 

  • What is the relationship between the writer and the reader?
  • How much does the reader know
  • Is the audience likely to agree or disagree with you?
  • What will the reader do with the information?

The clearer your view of your audience, the better your writing will be.

Your audience is smaller than you think.

Keep in mind that your audience is probably smaller than you think. Traffic metrics do not reflect an accurate count of your engaged audience. A better way to understand your audience is through engagement metrics.

In a study conducted by Chartbeat on Slate readership, they discovered that the most engaged readers were those who scrolled below the fold. A full 86% of engagement took place when readers scrolled to read an article.

 

chartbeat

Also, share metrics tend to skew the perception of an engaged audience. The people who share your articles don’t always read the whole thing, as an Upworthy study showed. This chart below indicates how long users stayed on a page compared to the point at which they shared the article.

attention_minutes

Your true readership is made of those who are engaged — the users who read your entire article and absorb the material.

You can build your audience.

Even though it is smaller than you think, you can also build your audience. Great bloggers grow in size and reputation. That’s what this article will tell you how to do.

The more you blog, the better knowledge you’ll have of your audience. You discover what they love, what they don’t love, what makes them click, and what makes them convert. In my Complete Guide to Building Your Blog Audience, I wrote this:

"A great blog begins with the content you create, but to be successful, a blog also needs a strong community or audience."

So you should not only learn who your audience is, but also shape that audience, too. To a certain extent, you get to decide who your audience is, and what they want to hear.

Everything starts with audience. If you know your audience and speak directly to them, they’re going to love you.

2) Be consistent.

You’re not going to be a wildly successful blogger unless you’re consistent.

An article on NewIncite had this to say about consistency:

"Quality of content and consistency are the most important factors in setting up your schedule … Consistency will keep them engaged, build brand awareness, and — if done right — help convert them to buyers."

It’s easy to talk about consistency, but it’s hard to do consistency. Bruce Springsteen wasn’t exactly a content marketing professional, but he had a great line about consistency:

"Getting an audience is hard. Sustaining an audience is hard. It demands a consistency of thought, of purpose and of action over a long period of time."

What worked for The Boss works for content marketers, too. You want to be a blogging rockstar? Take it from a real rockstar: Consistency matters.

Being a rockstar blogger feels good. But waking up early every day, hitting the keyboard every day, and maxing out your mental resources every day doesn't always feel good. But that gritty pain is what consistency is made of.

How often should you blog?

So, what does consistency mean in real numbers? How often do you need to publish a blog post? To answer this question, I’m going to be all evasive and tell you to refer to point one — know your audience.

Joe Pulizzi of Content Marketing Institute wrote this on the topic of blogging frequency:

"As long as the blog post serves these two goals it’s worth doing a post: 1) Is a compelling and interesting story to your target audience (the reader), and 2) Serves the objective for your blog. If that means five posts per week, great.  If it’s one per week, that’s fine to. [sic] Focus on whether or not you have a story worth telling."

I can’t give you a hard and fast number. I can, however, recommend a minimum threshold — you should aim for at least one post a week.

Why? Frequent output — i.e. consistency — is positively correlated with greater traffic, as indicated by HubSpot’s research.

blog-slide-7-resized-600

In addition, HubSpot discovered that bloggers with higher output had better lead generation results:

blog-slide-10-resized-600

So consistency leads to accumulation of content, and the more content you have, the more results you’ll get.

3) Be totally transparent.

If you’re more transparent than anyone else in your niche, you’ll get more readers. People crave transparency.

Kevan Lee, Buffer’s blogger par excellence, writes this in his article, "The Anatomy of a Perfect Blog Post:"

"We aim for an element of storytelling in each of the posts we write, often starting a blog post with a personal anecdote or moment of transparency."

Transparency is a tricky thing. On the one hand, relationships are built on trust and transparency. But it’s hard to be transparent. Nan Russell, in Psychology Today, had some cogent insights about transparency:

"People want other people, not necessarily themselves, to be transparent … Some people find transparency threatening, especially at work, while others find it exhilarating. Some confuse transparency with authenticity, or think transparency means communicating everything or knowing everything they want to know."

Transparency is important in blogging, because you are building trust, developing relationships, and growing an audience. At the same time you must exercise your transparency in a thoughtful and intentional way. You’re not going to spill business secrets, gossip about others, or divulge information that puts you in a dangerous personal situation.

The best advice that I’ve read comes from the article I cited above, regarding the role of transparency in the workplace. These principles, as I’ve restated them and applied to blogging, will make you appropriately transparent:

 

  • Tell stories that demonstrate your openness and vulnerability.
  • Make sure you are respecting your boundaries of confidentiality and the confidentiality of others.
  • Use your transparency to help others, not simply for the sake of being transparent.

When we try to become transparent, we’re usually not as transparent as we think we are. But if we work hard to share personal stories — appropriate details included — we’ll get better at it.

Transparency engages readers and turns your blog into something that readers love. As I’ve studied many blogging niches, I’ve discovered that the bloggers with the greatest degree of personal disclosure are the most successful. So if you want to be a successful blogger, you’ve got to get personal and transparent.

Conclusion

Being the best blogger in your niche has very little to do with writing technique and flawless grammar. Those technical skills kowtow to some way more important things:

 

  1. Knowing your audience.
  2. Being consistent.
  3. Being totally transparent.

If you put these techniques into play, you’re on the path to blogging domination and content marketing success.

*How to Become the Best Blogger in Your NicheWritten by Neil Patel | @neilpatel

DR. Raymond Jewell, is a leading economist and Home Based Business Consultant. He is a Alpha Legacy member of Markethive and manages several blogs on the hive. Markethive Systems is just a click and a sign up and you can witness the power of the Hive first hand. 

Why a Multilingual Website

10 Reasons why you need a Multilingual Website

10 Reasons why you need a Multilingual Website

The internet continues to grow and has become the default point of call for businesses and individuals searching for goods, services or information.

For businesses wishing to get that competitive advantage, a multilingual website now presents one of the most high impact means of expanding a client base and securing greater sales volumes.

The multilingual website will continue to become a necessity for businesses and organizations as the process of internationalization unfolds.

1 Shift Away from English Internet Users

The internet began as an English speaker's invention and as a result was dominated by English speaking users and sites. However, times are changing. With the growing numbers of people buying PC's and internet access available from Nigeria to New Zealand, English speakers will soon be in the minority when it comes to internet use.

Results of research carried out by Nielsen-Netratings in March 2005 described foreign internet markets as "low hanging fruit," i.e. if you have the will and foresight there are massive revenues to be found for relatively little effort. The results showed that internet use in the traditional strong holds of the USA, Germany, the UK and Sweden is flat lining. On the other hand countries such as France, Hong Kong, Italy and Japan are seeing substantial growth in internet usage.

As Kaizad Gotla, senior analyst at Nielsen-Netratings states, "The easiest opportunities are in countries where internet usage patterns and user/site relationships are less established. Acquiring users in markets that are currently in their growth stages will lead to a loyal user base that will pay dividends for internet companies in the future."

2 Cost Effective Marketing Tool

Having the ability to communicate to a whole new international audience in their own language will undoubtedly yield results not only in a financial sense but also in terms of marketing and creating awareness of your brand, service or product.

A multilingual website in the grand scheme of things is probably one of the most cost effective ways of marketing your company, capturing new users, building relationships with new clients and giving your brand an international outlook.

3 New Customers

Ultimately what a multilingual website brings you are new customers. By having your site accessible to potentially thousands of people you are showcasing your company across the globe. For non-English speaking users looking for your product or service, you automatically capture their attention.

4 Sales

With every language added to a website there is the potential for an increase of between 100% in sales. Even if a multilingual website is translated into a few of the major world languages, i.e. Spanish, French, German and Italian there is potentially a 400% increase in sales. There are few other ways to get such an increase for such little investment.

5 Customer-Centric

A multilingual website demonstrates you are thinking about the customer. That little extra effort shows you have thought and cared enough about them to offer the website in their language. As with anything in business, if the customer thinks you care, they will want to do business with you.

6 Trust

For many cultures there is an issue of trust when it comes to buying over the internet, especially if they feel it is in a language they are not fully proficient in. Offering them a language alternative allows the customers to feel secure in the fact they know what they are buying, how and who from.

7 Culturally Sensitive

A multilingual website, if designed properly, overcomes potential cultural barriers through allowing access in a native language. This automatically puts the user in a 'cultural comfort zone' due to their being able to navigate, understand and interact with the website.

8 Beat Competitors

To get the competitive advantage in today's environment you need to think outside the box. Many businesses try to differentiate themselves from their competitors. Look at your competitors – if they have multilingual websites then why don't you? If they don't, then why not lead the marketplace and establish your company or brand abroad before they do.

9 Shows International Nature

Image is everything. A multilingual website demonstrates you think, work and deal internationally.

10 Search Engines

Search engines lead people to your site. In countries such as China, Japan and France, Google, Yahoo and MSN are not the default search engines. Home grown search engines are emerging and they are proving successful because they work in native languages and are focused on the habits and needs of their users. Such search engines are a key to tapping those markets and unless they have access to a particular language through your multilingual website then you will not be found.

In addition, many of the key search engines, especially Google, are developing the capacity to run searches in foreign languages. Having pages of your site available in those languages ensures maximum potential for your site being picked up in searches.

Conclusion

Business continually sees shifts and changes. At present the multilingual website is still in its early stages, with mostly large multinational companies using them to secure an international foothold. However, the trickle-down effect will naturally occur and the multilingual website will become part and parcel of an internet presence. Whether people chose to invest now or later is the only choice they have.

 

WordPress meets Markethive

WordPress meets Markethive

At one point the decision or revelation became the foundation of the Markethive blogging system. Markethive would make WordPress better.

Let me explain. At one time we considered creating a blog software solution, (Blog Press) with templates that would compete with WordPress. I know, stupid. But at the time, there were many who thought it was a good idea.

The argument went like this, “Joomla, Drupal, Blogger, Typepad, etc.” offer others options so we should too. OK, I said, but then the list of competitors grew from WordPress to a much larger list, and not only did it make us another “ME TOO” company instead of an innovative cutting edge customer centric juggernaut.

I made the decision to “not” jump in as yet another standalone (CMS) blog platform like Word Press, but rather to create a powerful system to make Word Press and other CMS far more manageable, with the goal to make them better. Particularly functioning on making the world heavy weight Word Press even better by enhancing the WP platform with a supporting blog platform so multiple content could be constructed with partner contributors, so we could build a Broadcasting system utilizing literaly millions of members social networks, so we could build massive WordPress sites by many members in collaboration producing powerful SEO campaigns.

The whole idea has manifested as one of the most powerful blog collaboration Inbound Marketing systems ever devised, and that is Markethive.

Our roll being to fuse a powerful vertical targeted social network of Entrepreneurs, thereby making the Word Press and other CMS system powerful by the very spirit of the Rise of the Entrepreneur!

The following lists have become our goal to support the top contenders with plugins, widgets and collaborative power and function.

But the video tells it all.

Choosing blogging software can be a scary process, especially if you are new to blogging. There are many different types of engines and content management systems (CMS) that could be used. Picking the software that you’ll need is not an easy task, given the wide variety and types on the Web today.

There are many different aspects to consider when choosing which blogging software to pick. For instance:

Programming language.

Many blog platforms run on either PHP or Rails, but you can find just about any flavor of programming language you are looking for.

What features you’ll need.

The type of software you might choose is very dependent on the type of blog you are going to run. Some blog software is geared more towards new users, while others are more developer and designer-friendly. It’s a matter of finding software based on the features you need.

The size of the software’s community.

If the software community is larger for one blogging system and much smaller and less active than another, the more active community is usually a better choice for software. More active users within the development community means more improvements on the code base, in a faster time frame.

The age of the software.

The age of the software shows the maturity of the blogging platform. Young projects are more unstable, and are more likely to have bugs.

If you are planning on extending the blog.

If you are thinking about adding things like forums, a store, or some other feature to your blog, some blogging software will be more suited to fill that need than others.

The blog software that you choose can have a big impact on your blogging. It’s important to choose the right software in the very beginning, so you can avoid the hassle of migrating to different engine later on. Here are the pros and cons of the 10 most popular blogging systems.

Here is the list of the top 10 blogging CMS solutions:

1.Wordpress
Alexa Rank (276)-45

WordPress is the most famous and widely-used blogging platform. It features a very intuitive web-based installer so anyone from skill level novice to expert can quickly install the software without any hiccups.

The WordPress community is a major asset to the blogging software. It has one of the largest and most passionate communities of developers and users, so one could find just about any theme or plugin imaginable. The possibilities for extending the software are endless, and many web sites and services have used the WordPress code base to build entirely different applications. WordPress also features integration with Akismet, one of the most effective spam protection systems for blogging software.

WordPress makes it easy for new bloggers to not only install the software, but also to download and install automatic upgrades to plugins with only one click. The learning curve for WordPress is fairly minimal, and if a new user runs in to problems, they can always check the extensive documentation. WordPress is perfect for the new blogger who wants to get his feet wet installing their first blog software, or the advanced developer who’s looking to extend the stable code into something entirely different.

If you are wanting to start a multiple-blog site, you can also check out WordPress MU. WordPress MU is the same code base as the mature WordPress single blog code base, with some added functionality.

2. Drupal
Alexa Rank  (2,497)-17

Drupal isn’t your typical blogging software. While it has an incredible community behind the code and many blogs use it for blogging software, it’s not just blogging software. Drupal is community software.

Drupal really shines as blog software for a blogging community. Performancing is a great example of using Drupal as a community of blogs. Whether you are wanting to power one blog to a 100, Drupal is an excellent choice.

Another strong point about Drupal is the versatility of the software. It comes packaged with a robust user system, but also a lot of community-friendly features like forums, books (for creating documents in a “book” structure) and a tracker which allows you to follow updates and content that other users have published recently.

Drupal also comes with a large community of developers and modules. With these modules, one could build any type of site or add nearly any sort of functionality to their Drupal installation. Many top-notch sites use Drupal to publish their multiple blogs and user communities. Performancing, Spread Firefox, The Onion, and Ubuntu and others.

Drupal is the perfect blogging software for anyone wanting to add a community to their blog with forums and extensions.

3. Joomla
Alexa Rank (2,689)-570

Joomla is a CMS that is similar to the community-friendly Drupal, and gaining traction every day. While Drupal is geared more towards developing community-flavored sites and blogs, Joomla seems to be geared more towards ecommerce (you can read more about the comparison between Joomla and Drupal here).

Regardless of their differences, Joomla is very much like Drupal in the fact that it’s easy to get anything from a simple site to a community blog in minutes. Joomla has a vibrant development community which has created many extensions.

Joomla is perfect for anyone wanting to build a blogging community site, or add ecommerce functionality to a blog.

4. ExpressionEngine
Alexa Rank (12,422)-2,466

ExpressionEngine is a very robust blogging platform, but isn’t free. The best feature about ExpressionEngine is the feature to publish multiple websites, either using different subdomains on a single domain, or across multiple domains.

You could use one code base to power multiple sites across multiple domains. The software features an extremely clean and simple backend that shouldn’t confuse the blogger. Designers and developers love ExpressionEngine for the fact that it’s quite easy to hand over a site and have the client update his own blog. It’s a solid all-in-one package.

ExpressionEngine is really geared for people who are trying to start a multi-blog site, but anyone can use the software quite easily thanks to its thoughtful and elegant design. A single license costs $99.95, but if you’re running a personal blog you can download the core version of EE.

5. Liferay
Alexa Rank (26,959)+3,284

Liferay Portal is a free and open source enterprise portal written in Java and distributed under the GNU Lesser General Public License. It allows users to set up features common to websites. It is fundamentally constructed of functional units called portlets. Liferay is sometimes described as a content management framework or a web application framework. It comes with certain portlets preinstalled. These comprise the core functionality of the portal system.

The reasons to use Liferay Portal for your website are simple: it provides a robust platform to serve your site to all clients, be they desktop, mobile, or anything in between; it provides all the standard applications you need to run on your site; and it provides an easy to use development framework for new applications or customization. In addition to this, Liferay Portal is developed using an open source methodology, by people from around the world. The code base is solid, and has been proved to be reliable and stable in mission critical deployments in diverse industries.

6. DotNetNuke
Alexa Rank  (32,058)-238

DotNetNuke is an open source platform for building web sites based on Microsoft .NET technology. It is written in VB.NET and distributed under both a Community Edition BSD-style license and a commercial proprietary license. The Community Edition is a popular web content management (WCM) system and application development framework for ASP.NET, with over 6 million downloads and 600,000 production web sites as of October 2010. More than 8,000 DotNetNuke apps are available for purchase on Snowcovered.com. DotNetNuke.com has over 800,000 registered members as of October 2010.

Major Features:

Distinguishes between community (common features) and enterprise (full set of features) editions. 
Various modules, and data providers.
Provides language packs for about 60 languages.
Customizable through skins and templates.

7. MODX
Alexa Rank (32,333)+1482

Modx is not just an open source CMS but also a web application framework. Raymond Irving and Ryan Thrash began the MODx CMS project in 2004 as a fork of Etomite. In 2008 MODx users created a new logo and branding for the project. Now MODx allows for full segregation of content (plain HTML), appearance and behavior (standards compliant CSS and JavaScript) and logic (PHP, snippets).

Major Features:

As with Joomla, modx officially supports only MySQL database.
Not just CMS but a PHP framework for Web.
Freedom to choose jQuery, Mootools, ExtJS, Prototype or any other JavaScript library.
Supports PHP 4.3.11 and above.
Complete control of all metadata and URL structure for SEO (Search Engine Optimization).
Unlimited hierarchical page depth.
Can create custom fields and widgets for templates.
Role-based permissions for the Manager.
Ability to customize the Manager on a per-deployment basis.
Ecommerce integration via Foxy Cart.
Extensions: 622, also known as add-ons.

8. concrete5
Alexa Rank (33,631)-292

Concrete5 is an open source CMS started in 2003 as a rapid-design approach to building the now-defunct LewisAndClark200.org, the official site for the Ad Council's National Council for the Lewis & Clark Bicentennial. Concrete5 is developed in PHP and is distributed under MIT software license.

Concrete5 features in-context editing (the ability to edit website content directly on the page, rather than in an administrative interface or using web editor software). Editable areas are defined in concrete5 templates which allow editors to insert 'blocks' of content. These can contain simple content (text and images) or have more complex functionality, for example image slideshows, comments systems, lists of files, maps etc. Further addons can be installed from the concrete5 Marketplace to extend the range of blocks available for insertion. Websites running concrete5 can be connected to the concrete5 website, allowing automatic upgrading of the core software and of any addons downloaded or purchased from the Marketplace.

9. Typo3
Alexa Rank (36,110)-8,334

TYPO3 is a free and open source CMS released under the GNU General Public License oriented to small to mid size enterprise-class users. TemplaVoila is an alternative template engine extension for TYPO3. A graphical mapping tool for creating templates is included, an alternative page module, the ability to create flexible content elements and an API for developers. New content element types can be created without programming. TemplaVoila facilitates more flexibility for maintaining web pages than TYPO3's standard templating, while making it possible to enforce a strict corporate design and allowing editors to work with content more intuitively.

Delivered with a base set of interfaces, functions and modules, TYPO3's functionality spectrum is implemented by extensions. More than 5000 extensions are currently available for TYPO3 for download under the GNU General Public License from a repository called the TYPO3 Extension Repository, or TER.

TYPO3 can run on most HTTP servers such as Apache or IIS on top of Linux, Microsoft Windows or Mac OS X. It uses PHP 5.3 or newer and any relational database supported by the TYPO3 DBAL including MySQL, Oracle, PostgreSQL, and others. Some 3rd-party extensions – not using the database API – support MySQL as the only database engine. The system can be run on any web server with a modern CPU and at least 256 MB RAM. The backend can be displayed in any modern browser with JavaScript. There is no browser restriction for displaying user-oriented content generated by TYPO3.

10. Alfresco
Alexa Rank (36,854)+2,483

Alfresco is an open source enterprise content management system for Microsoft Windows and Unix-like operating systems. Alfresco includes a content repository, an out-of-the-box web portal framework for managing and using standard portal content, a CIFS interface that provides file system compatibility on Microsoft Windows and Unix-like operating systems, a web content management system capable of virtualizing web apps and static sites via Apache Tomcat, Lucene indexing, and jBPM workflow. The Alfresco system is developed using Java technology. John Newton (co-founder of Documentum) and John Powell (a former COO of Business Objects) founded Alfresco Software, Inc. in 2005.

11. b2evolution
Alexa  Rank (80,628)-14,427

b2evolution is another blogging platform that allows for a single installation of a blog, or a whole network of blogs, right out of the box. b2 probably has the weakest developer community behind it, with only a 200+ plugins (compared to Joomla’s 3,400+).

The software features a very easy-to-understand backend, ideal for beginners. b2 also has has a built in stats feature, which is something most blogging platforms don’t have out of the box. The software also features a post editor with a very minimal WYSIWYG editor, which is perfect for a beginning blogger.

While the b2 developer community may not be very large, it has a very promising code base and many people still use b2evolution to power their blogs and blogger communities.

The Irrelevant Others

Plone.org                           
Alexa Rank (102,395)+10,174

cmsmadesimple.org
Alexa Rank (104,671)-32,048

umbraco.com
Alexa Rank  (116,439)-16,212

ez.no
Alexa Rank (154,173)-43,687

movabletype.org
Alexa Rank (174,802)-9,166

textpattern.com
Alexa Rank (187,704)-45,048

Being Irrelevant,

mephistoblog.com
Alexa Rank (8,419,219)-2,169,053

There is no other blogging platform, that integrates support for all Blog CMS systems, engages social networks so reaches high into the stratosphere, nor institute a learning environment so building competent content teams is easily achieved.

Markethive, It is that easy It is that powerful

Thomas Prendergast
CMO
Markethive, Inc.

 

 

See You At The Top

See you at the top of what?

We hear it said by people in Network Marketing all the time, "See you at the top!" Top of what? A mountain, a building, life, what? We all know what they mean but does it ever happen? Are they hollow words?

How many network marketing companies have you joined looking for the big hit? I am sure you have heard this before but I'll say it again, the big hit formula has to be in place for you to get the big hit? Only when you find a company that you like and can talk to others about will you rise to the top in the company. Passion is one of the ingredients that motivates anyone to become great, thus when they have passion they will move mountains to get to the goal.  Formula: Passion + Feelings + Emotions = Big Hit

So, you are probably asking "How do I find a company that I have passion for?" It's easy! We as human beings are driven by feelings and emotions and when things feel right we become emotionally invested. In looking for a company we need to find one that emotionally charges us up, and we have good feelings. 

It's like falling in love with your significant other. Are you in love, or in love with being in love? Are you in your network marketing company because someone else presented it to you and you fell in love with it because someone else was in love with it, or are you in love with it because it turns you on all the time?

I recently found a new company that totally turned me on and I fell in love with it. To top it off, when I told my wife about it she fell in love with it, [My wife has never liked any network marketing company I have ever been with, she just tolerates them. But she loves to cash the checks they generate.] This new company has me excited all the time, and its easy to talk to others about. 

When you look for a company that will be your guide to riches, you want one that you can easily talk to others about. If you find any hesitation about presenting your product you are in love with being in love, and not in love with the company. It's like a movie you have recently seen that you like, how easy is it to recommend to others? But if you don't like the movie you will not recommend it or never mention it. 

How do you know when you find the right company? Well as I said it's, emotion and feelings, that will be an indicator. But here is another way to tell. It's like the new company I was telling you about, I kept looking at the company and saying to myself,"There is no way that this pay plan can be so lucrative." "How long can this company be around paying out so much money?" And so it goes, I kept asking all these silly questions trying to kill the opportunity. I was getting in my own way!

Finally, It dawned on me, I was trying to remove a path to get to the top. I was doing what many people do, getting in my own way, and finding reasons why my high emotional levels we false. It's like a love affair with one foot out the door. I was looking for a reason why it was not going to work, and as long as that goes on it will never work.

Finally, I just said, "If the the worse happens, Oh well!" So I joined and am having a ball! It's just fun!

Ariving at the top only happens when the top is in sight, when you can actually see the path. Remember, we do things based on feeling and emotions and when we are emotionally charged up about what we do we will soon have the vision and image of how to get to the top. Vision is what you are able to see in your minds eye. You know that you are on the path and will not waiver from it. This article is written through a program that was developed by a friend of mine, and when he got the vision for Markethive he never wavered until it came to reality. He could see it in his minds eye.

So when people say, "see you at the top" I always ask the question "have you seen the path to get there in your minds eye?" Do you know how to get there? I personally want to know, if you know! As I have written in this article, you will know based on your feelings and emotions about what you are planning on doing. Your internal guide is, how do you feel emotionally. 

By the way if you want to know the company that I am so charged up about  click here and take a look. 

Thanks for reading,
Dr. Raymond Jewell

 

 

Please… No more, “What’s Your Passion?” Questions

Please… No more, “What’s Your Passion?” Questions
By Art Williams

If one more person asks me, “What’s your passion, I’m going to scream.” Of course, I’m past the age where I get asked that question much but it’s still a very common question read and heard in almost countless articles and speeches. And it bothers me because I don’t think it hits the nail on the head as well as gurus and guru-wannabees think it does.

It’s true that lots of people find themselves in dead-end jobs which provide little or no satisfaction. But the problem in asking people what their ‘passion’, as a magical means of self-discovery, doesn’t take into account several factors in the diverse array of human personalities.

For one thing, most people don’t even know what passion is. Often, they think it’s got something to do with an R Rated movie. Or…they don’t view passion as something positive (because they’ve never known anybody who had a wholesome and constructive passion). And some people also sometimes feel that ‘passion’ has connotations that don’t fit into what they think is their personality type.

However…assuming that people who ask this question (“What’s your passion?”) know what they mean and that they do have good intentions, could there be another question, or questions, that achieve the desired objective?

Yes…I think there are. How about these questions that take a more practical approach and make the ‘passion-question’ much less nebulous and esoteric?

NB: Keep in mind that, in this hypothetical example, we’re talking about somebody who genuinely is looking for answers.

Here are the three questions:

1. What can I do that really helps others?

There’s a big difference between what a person wants to do and what they’re capable of doing at any point in time. For you, it’s doubtful that you’re going to really enjoy doing something you don’t do very well or something that wasn’t at least of some use or value to somebody else.

Most career counselors and personal development ‘experts’ like to prescribe skills assessment tests but sometimes this is wasted effort because there are deeper aspects of your psyche at play.

However, why even bother determining what your skills are unless you plan on developing skills that help others? Luckily, most skills are of some use to somebody. You’ve just got to find out what those skills are, whether or not you have them, whether or not you want to take the time to develop them, and (most importantly) ‘do they help others’.

2. What Does My Ideal Day Look Like?

Luckily, modern technology has radically changed the default definition of ‘work’. The term ‘word day’ doesn’t usually mean a 9 to 5 factory job any more. So…what would the perfect work day look like to you?

If you decide that your idea of a perfect work day is something like, (1) having tea on your porch in the morning, (2) walking to work, (3) working evenings only (when it’s cooler or more serene), (4) working physically with teams of people, (5) a job that involves lots of travel, or (6) being able to mix your personal interests (e.g. working out at the gym) with your work…  coming up with your ideal ‘workday’ like this will give you a more tangible goal to pursue and it will help determine what requisite skills you have or need to get.

3. What Do I Find Unacceptable?

Since this is your plan, it’s OK to factor in those work situations that you don’t like and/or find unacceptable. Making this determination is almost as constructive as deciding what you want…and many people find that it’s easier to do because frequently it’s based on experiences they’ve already had.

Stay cognizant of what strengths you know you have, and more importantly, what your values are. Then figure out what doesn’t accommodate those strengths and values.

This is not to recommend that you only need to start with a long list of jobs and start scratching off the ones you don’t like. There are too many job titles to do that. What it means is that you should focus on your strengths and inclinations and be sensitive to where those strengths and values are respected.

After all, you have those strengths and values for a reason. Learn to listen to your inner-advisor. Instead, focus on what your values are and what they are not. You’ll usually find certain jobs and activities will align more with your values and your aptitudes. Then, you’ll be able to use this information to craft your perfect day.

If you’ll address these three questions in trying to find out what really ‘turns you on’, you’ll find that the prospect of determining your ‘passions’ becomes less arduous, much more practical, and also much more worthwhile.Markethive Contributor

 

Art Williams
Case Study Writer and Markethive Contributor

 

 

Transgender Bathroom Laws, Trump, and A Possible Solution to the “Problem”

Trump B2Trump says HB2 has caused 'unnecessary strife'

We’ve heard so much about proposed bills that would prevent transgendered individuals from using public bathroom facilities that correspond to their “current sex.”  The most common rationale for implementing these anti-LGBT laws is the concern that an adult male will enter the women’s bathroom and attempt to sexually assault a young female.

Even Presidential Candidate Donald Trump has spoken out against North Carolina’s controversial House Bill 2 law which includes anti-LGBT protections as well as other issues regarding minimum wage requirements for private employers.

So, what we have here is a problem no matter what your opinion is: There’s the obvious anti-LGBT tone.  Many would also agree that there is a violation of civil rights.   Transgendered individuals are faced with more discrimination, fear, and uncertainty as to where they should go to relieve themselves.

Many would argue that most individuals utilize a public restroom because they really have to either defecate or urinate.  Both men and women also are likely to use a public facility if they need to wash their hands or check their appearance.

The rationale behind House Bill 2 and similar bills is the irrational fear of a grown man (dressed in women’s clothing) possibly sexually assaulting a young female (or female child). 

Rather than discuss all the reasons for these irrational, illogical, and anti-LGBT bills, let’s focus on a possible solution that would address this issue or “problem.”

Has anyone thought about gender-neutral public facilities?  Think about it.  When we walk into a public restroom of most facilities, we often see a series of bathroom stalls.  If you are in a men’s public bathroom, there are also a series of urinals.  In addition to stalls and urinals, we see a series of sinks and mirrors, soap dispensers, dryers or disposable hand towels.

 

Well, instead of having a series of bathroom stalls, urinals, sinks, etc occupying a large space such as the quintessential public restroom, why not just create a series of individual, one-person, gender-neutral restrooms that lock from the inside? 

Think about it?  We’re talking about peace of mind for all.  Obviously, we cannot always agree on the various views (religious, political, personal, etc) but there is a way that could uphold a person’s right to use a public restroom.  I’m not a plumber or an architect, but this doesn’t seem like a complicated project when considering how many public bathrooms are designed. 

Obviously, price is always a concern so this would mean focusing more on function rather than aesthetics.  Furthermore, the restroom facilities would need to be built based on current evidence-based guidelines with regard to public health and safety.

What do you think?  Is this a viable solution that many states could implement?  Any contractors/plumbers/architects, etc out there have any ideas of implementation?