social media tools

Most Successful Images on Social Media

 

SocialMedia-Images

No matter if we are writers who want to market our books, e-book-PR or self-employed, trying to sell services, or a famous brand trying to market their products: we all need to learn how we can market without words.

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Readers, consumers, and even casual visitors of social media are all flocking to visual platforms, such as: Pinterest, Snapchat, Instagram or GooglePlus.

Since the new DIY design tool Canva came on the scene, more and more people are recognizing the benefits of creating their own images.If we can learn how to use images, photos, video, and other visual media in our online marketing, then we have a greater chance of reaching more people with our message.

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A Picture Paints a 1000 Words…
But which types of image characteristics will drive more likes? Curalate, a visual-mastering platform, looked at a range of image features across 8,000,000 Instagram photos — including lightness, color, texture and background ratio — and found interesting results.  Their data said “what” but not necessarily “why”, but they have a strong hypothesis on the reasoning behind some of the results.  Here are some of their findings:
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  • 80% of Pins are Re-pins on Pinterest.
    Which means that 80% of information is “shared” and only 20% of content posted up is original. Be the 20% that gets re-pinned by 80% of users, create your own original content!
  • People like colorful images, but moderation matters.
    The most re-pinned images have multiple colors: Images with multiple dominant colors have 3.25 times more re-pins per image than images with a single dominant color.
  • Very light and very dark images are not re-pinned as often.
    The re-pinning rate for images of medium lightness is 20 times higher than for images that are mostly black, and eight times higher than images that are mostly white.
  • Red images get more re-pins than blue images.
    Images that are red, orange and brown receive roughly twice as many re-pins than images that are blue.
  • Get close and personal – people pay attention to details.
    Images that contain less than 30 percent background (e.g. white space) are re-pinned the most.
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Don’t Tell if You Can Show:
Wherever possible, use visuals, such as photos, book trailers / videos, or slideshows / powerpoint presentations.  Creativity will still trump the science and there is no formula for a “perfect” Pinterest or Instagram photo.

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Read More:
http://www.businessinsider.com/how-to-create-the-best-pinterest-images-2013-5

https://www.internetretailer.com/2013/05/31/more-colors-attract-more-attention-pinterest-users

https://searchenginewatch.com/sew/study/2272742/new-pinterest-research-shows-which-images-get-the-most-engagement

https://www.wired.com/2013/06/this-is-the-perfect-pinterest-picture/

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How to Increase Readership via Sharing Buttons

Sharing-buttons

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Originally I wanted to start this blog post, mentioning hundreds of websites I visited just last week, which did not have any sharing buttons.  And how difficult it makes it for the reader to share information about news and events in publishing, such as publishing conferences, writing contest deadlines, freelance offers etc., or book reviewer pages.  Even major international book fairs were missing out on these valuable tools. But it gets worse:

Browsing the Internet for the latest social sharing button offers, I discovered an article at Solostream.com: “Social Sharing Buttons For Your WordPress blog”.  This article did NOT contain a single sharing button on their own blog, despite the introduction sentence for this post: “Social sharing buttons are a must for a blog nowadays. There are multiple plugins for …”
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Benefits of Social Sharing Buttons.
In order to generate free advertising, social sharing buttons are one of the best ways to spread the word via a variety of social media channels.  Social shares are important for driving traffic to your website or blog.  The impact of getting shares from influencers on social media networks will have positive effects on a website.
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More is Not Always Better.
Each social sharing button uses a piece of JavaScript code to connect forth and back between the social network’s servers and your site – which can slow site load-times of your site. The only real way to test their impact is to A/B test pages with and without social media sharing buttons, and make a decision based on the evidence. A/B testing is a way to compare two versions of a single variable typically by testing a subject’s response to variable A against variable B, and determining which of the two variables is more effective.
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Select the Right Social Networks.
There are two ways you can be sure to select the social networks that matter most to your site. First, you can check out where your readers are already sharing your content and then on which social media site you have the most followers.
Limit the number of social media buttons. Three, maximal four social sharing buttons (Google+, Twitter and Facebook) are enough. Make them small, maybe even grey/blue to not distract readers from your content or your message.
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Where to Place the Sharing Buttons?
It’s not enough that your buttons look good, or that they are just present somewhere on your pages. They need to be placed where they’re going to catch your reader’s attention and make it easy for them to share your content with their followers.
Placing social buttons to the left of the blog post makes sense, as readers follow text left to right. A growing trend is to place shareable content inline with the rest of your content, for example these “click-to-tweet” plug-ins.
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No matter where you place the buttons: they should be in close proximity to the content being shared. According to a Nielson eyetracking visualizations study, online visitors in the Western world are mostly reading Web pages in an F-shaped pattern: two horizontal stripes followed by a vertical stripe.  The top left portion is the most-viewed part of the web page, which supports the idea that left and top are best choices for social share buttons (beside an image of your latest book, I might add).
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Remember: “Design is not just about how it looks. It goes much deeper than that. It’s how it works
~ Steve Jobs

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Some Facts About Social Media Sharing Sites.
While Facebook has the most users, it is not the best site for SEO, which is GooglePlus, which feeds posts automatically into their search engines.  They don’t need to be “found” by web crawlers, as they are immediately pinged to Google.  A Google sharing button is a must-have component of your social media button set.
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A Twitter button is also a must-have, as the nature of  Twitter itself is content sharing. Including this button on your blog, in combination with participating in the conversation, will drive more traffic to your posts.
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If your blog or website has an image to each article, or videos, place a Pinterest button.  The site is popular among readers who consume lifestyle content.  Think entertainment, books (especially romance, as the majority of Pinterest users are women), recipes, interior design, fashion etc.
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Reading and Sharing.
Hopefully you have already linked your own Twitter page(s) with Google+ and LinkedIn. In order to save time, share the content you found on the internet and let other users and followers know about it with LinkedIn and Google+.  No need to tweet it, it will appear on Twitter automatically – if your Twitter account is connected with those sites!
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Find Links, Images, Descriptions and even Reviews of Sharing Buttons in these web articles:

http://www.practicalecommerce.com/articles/3817-Top-10-Social-Sharing-Buttons-for-Your-Website

http://www.solostream.com/blog/social-sharing-buttons-for-your-wordpress-blog/

 

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33 Tips on How to Get More Followers on Social Media

Followers

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Did you know that only 1% of all your followers will see your tweet or post at any given time?
So, joining Goodreads, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Facebook is only the first step in creating an author platform.   Social media growth is more likely to happen when you are focusing on sharing amazing quality content that you know your audience loves.  To make these sites really work for you is only possible if you have lots of followers, friends or people in your Google+ circles.  

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One of the first questions of every literary agent or publisher will be: What is your platform?”  In other words: do you have a popular, well visited website or blog, and lots of followers with whom you interact on social media.

  1. Place social media sharing buttons (Google+, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Facebook etc.) on your website and blog that will appear on each page.  Make sure you include these social media share buttons on each blog post, not just in your landing page sidebar.  All these sharing button links should also show up on “About Us” pages.
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  2. Put Follow buttons on your website and blog, that are appearing on each page.  Give your readers a way to connect with you. Don’t use only Twitter and Facebook, but also icons for all other social media site you are on: Google+ (the most important), LinkedIn, Pinterest, Goodreads etc.
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  3. Check out Twitter suggestions: “Who to Follow” on your left bar of your Twitter page.  Click the “refresh” button for more suggestions.
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  4. See who other Tweeps are following or who is following them. Do the same on Google+, click on “About” at one’s site and you will find the window “People” where you click on “in her / his circles”.  Then follow those who have the most interesting introduction.
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  5. Connect all your social media sites with each other.  When you post on Google+ or Pinterest your content should automatically appear on Twitter, and from there to all Twitter timelines you have on Goodreads, Amazon, your website etc.
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  6. “Bundle” all your social media accounts, your websites, blogs etc. in one single link, using http://about.me/
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  7. Have an appealing and professional portrait and an attractive background on all your social media sites. No one will follow a cat or a dog or an egg…
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  8. Use Twitter’s hidden gem: the “Pinned Tweet”, a master tweet that always shows up on top of your other tweets. Decide which tweet is most important.  How to place it is explained in Discover Twitter’s Secret Feature.
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  9. Encourage your email newsletter subscribers three or four times a year to follow you on your social media accounts.  List links to all your sites that readers can click to follow.
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  10. Link to your social media accounts from your email signature. The easiest way to let your readers know about ALL your social media sites is to use “About.me”.  See this example: http://about.me/ebookPR
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  11. Link your Google+ page / follower listing to your own website (see on the right site of this post).  Get more recommendations for your site in Google search and grow your audience on Google+.
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  12. In my ebook: 111 Tips on How to Market Your Book for Free, I am explaining in detail how to import your LinkedIn contacts to your Google+ site.
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  13. Goodreads allows you to import (max.) 800 of your followers each from Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo, Gmail, and Goodreads Friends of Friends.
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  14. Post tweets from your Bit.ly (link shortener site, e.g. for blog or book titles) to your Twitter account(s).
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  15. Regularly contribute guest posts to popular influencer sites and link to your social media accounts in your bio, using “About.me”.
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  16. Actively find new followers in your niche and engage with them. Use the search function on top of each social media’s timeline and type in search words for ideal followers, for example: readers, bookworms, avid readers, book bloggers, book reviewers etc. if you are a writer or publisher.
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  17. Choose up to 25 (maximum on most sites, Google+ allows up to 50) new followers per day. If you do this daily on 4 social media sites, several hundred people might follow you back per week.
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  18. Share, retweet, +plus and like your followers content, tag or mention them, or comment on their blogs. Build relationships, spread the good karma, they will return you the favor eventually.
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  19. Find out who are the influencers in your niche using for example Tapinfluence. They explain: “One of the fastest-growing areas of content marketing is influencer marketing, the idea of working with social influencers.
    Your content connects best when it comes from the people your readers are trusting.”   Their influencer marketplace connects you to thousands of content creators on platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Youtube, Vine, and blogs. To learn more they offer a free ebook to potential customers.
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  20. Other professional tools can be found on Buzzsumo (free and paid versions).
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  21. Find the most influential and award-winning book bloggers recommended by Digital Publishing and follow them not only on your blog but also on social media.
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  22. Accumulating new followers and readers often comes down to how often your content gets shared.  Use Hootsuite.com, or Futuretweets.com to schedule your main posts throughout the day, freeing you time to engage with your followers in person, responding to questions and comments.
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  23. Tell stories in your posts and blogs: They are far more likely to be shared than promotional content.
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  24. Get beautiful images on free photo sites, such as Morguefile.com, Wikipedia.com or Flickr.com.  They will greatly improve your posts and entice followers to like, repost or retweet your content.
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  25. Evoking positive emotions through your posts is great for increased sharing.  Posting funny or happy content will give you more shadings.
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  26. Blog about interesting conversations taking place on your social media accounts.  Discuss social media conversations on your blog: Entice your blog readers to follow you on social media by crossing the blog/social network divide.
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  27. Join LinkedIn groups and post articles on LinkedIn: As you provide valuable insights, group members will be more likely to want to hear more from you on social media.
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  28. Include lots of quotes in your posts and tweets.  They are very popular and will be re-tweeted and liked a lot.
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  29. Become a source of trending content and breaking news: Follow leading newspapers and other sources on Twitter and Google+, and then share breaking news with your followers.
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  30. Once a week promote your other social media accounts to your readers and followers.  For example, tweet about your Google+ or Pinterest site, or let your Facebook followers know you are on LinkedIn and Goodreads as well.
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  31. Don’t forget to include a social media call to action on your business card or on your bookmarks (for print versions), such as “follow me on my social media sites” – or “go to my “About.me” page to find all my social media sites”.  Hand them out at book signings, networking events, and writer conferences.
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  32. Use “click-to-tweet” (in your books and blog articles) to encourage your readers and followers to spread the word to their followers and to let them know about your twitter account / website / book.
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  33. Never buy followers. These artificial followers won’t ever re-tweet you or buy your book, mostly they are not even real people, but robots.
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To have more followers also means people assume you are someone interesting or an expert.  It extends your popularity, influence and more book sales.  However, equally important than impressive numbers of followers is how engaged you are with them – and vice versa.  Once you have reached 2,000 followers, there is no further limit and you will see an increase in high-volume and more quality follower offers.

Read also: How to Get More Followers on Your Social Media Sites and How to Be More Social and Less Media

 

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7 Online Marketing Trends for 2015

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Online-Outlook

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The year 2015 is just two weeks old, and you might have read a couple of predictions already in the last days and weeks.  Here are some in terms of digitally marketing books.  Knowing the new trends as an author will help you to change and succeed in presenting yourself and market your writing to an online audience.  These  are my seven predictions for 2015:

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#1 Content is King!
Great content will compensate for the “Facebook problems”. They tremendously decreased the number of news feeds from (business) users and the way businesses can be seen in users news feeds, which forced account owners to change their marketing strategy on Facebook. Businesses will need to find good writers and turn to content marketing in order to compensate the decline of Facebook organic reach.

What it means for author-publishers:
Write short, 300 word articles for your Facebook book pages (not your personal ones) instead of “book ads”.

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#2 Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Will Depend on Content Marketing
No more SEO tactics and tricks anymore – which will also improve the search experience of Google users. One of the many contributors to a high ranking on Google is how many websites link back to your site.

What it means for author-publishers:
They can get SEO through blogging, e-books, and resource guides, in order to fully take on content marketing. Way more importantly: write more on Google+ up to 500 words.

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#3 Sharing / Follow Buttons are Imperative!
Get a higher chance of increasing the amount of visitors and also increase reader engagement. In an earlier blog (March 2012) we wrote about the necessity of sharing plug-ins and explained that these sharing buttons can mean up to seven times more visitors.
Blog-Share-Icons-Top-Side Features such as social sharing buttons and social login can do just that.

What it means for author-publishers:
Make sure you have all the social media follow buttons (where you can be found), and the sharing buttons for all Social Media on the market. After all there are still people on MySpace…

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#4 Tweets Need to Be Optimized for Twitter’s Search Engine
Similar to GooglePlus, the inclusion of the right keywords in tweets will allow you be more visible in search queries. Using the right hashtags, links, and images will set you up to be more optimized for Twitter searches. With the recent Twitter search engine changes, Twitter achieves one of their long-standing goals of allowing people to search through every tweet, ever published.

What it means for author-publishers:
Make sure you have at least 2-3 hashtags on each tweet you post.

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#5 Target Audience Will Be More Important
Authors who do nothing but sell, sell, sell, will get ignored, dismissed and overlooked by followers and readers. Yes, the internet offers marketers the opportunity to have a very large audience. But you need to choose and pick your target audience: book lovers, readers, book reviewers etc.
and really interact with them. It also means dedicating more time to answer reader questions and provide more value online.

What it means for author-publishers:
Choose your following carefully and understand the meaning of Social Media – being SOCIAL and NOT constantly talking about your book!
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#6 Data Driven Marketing Will Be Essential
Trade Publishers and Online Retailers have the potential to capture massive amounts of data related to sales, personal customer information, purchase history, search activity and many more. Data that has proven to be very valuable for them. Authors on the other hand rarely know who their readers are when selling through online channels only.

What it means for author-publishers:
Diversify, diversify, diversify!  Don’t sell through online retailers only. Use your website or blog to sell your books and get your customers data.  There are dozens of ready-to-go online stores available, called “e-commerce” which can be installed in your existing website or blog – relatively easy and quick.  The benefit: Much higher revenues, faster payments and most important: you know who are your readers.
Get in touch with your readers: Install a sign-up form on your website and contact potential readers directly through email newsletters. Offer value and get your future (or present) readers to know. Don’t give your readers data to online retailers for free! Get the data yourself. There are many more tips for getting to know your readers, but this will be a different blog article. Stay tuned.

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#7 Blogs and Websites Must be Mobile Friendly
In 2015 visitors to online presences are growing to over 50% of all users worldwide. Think also about the growth of wearable tech, which is another reason why your website should be mobile friendly.  So, it’s a no-brainer that your blog or business’ website needs to be mobile-friendlyRead my former blog on this topic: 5 Tips How to Create Mobile-Friendly Blogs and Websites.

  • Provide Quick Access,
  • Provide Short Landing Pages
  • Provide a “No-Zoom Page”
  • Provide Value
  • Provide Simple Forms

What it means for author-publishers:
Make sure your blog or website is optimized for mobile. And if that sounds to “nerdy” get an affordable freelancer on Elance.com who can do it for you.

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Conclusion:
The need to stay on top of these growing trends will be a priority for all authors in order to make sure their efforts will help to establish their brand, using digital platforms. Valuable tips we provided here on this blog in the last two years will help you to become even stronger in 2015 and we will continue to inform you about everything that could boost the success of your books.

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If you would like to get more support in all things publishing, have your book intensively promoted and learn how to navigate social media sites – or to learn how you can make yourself a name as an author through content writing: We offer for three months all this and more for only $179 – or less than $2 per day! Learn more about this customized Online Seminar / Consulting for writers: http://www.111Publishing.com/Seminars

Please check out all previous posts of this blog (there are more than 1,160 of them : ) if you haven’t already. Why not sign up to receive them regularly by email? There is also the “SHARE” button for easy sharing at Pinterest, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn etc.

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Benefits of a WordPress.org Website

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WordPress.org-Benefits

Moving to a New Website / Blog

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Part 1 of the website series explained the possibilities of setting up a website and the pros and cons of free URL’s. In Part 2 you will learn about the differences between free WordPress.com and self-hosted WordPress.org websites / blogs and the benefits of having your OWN  website. WordPress started out as a blogging tool, focused on creating an easy user experience with nice design. It has since grown to be the largest self-hosted blogging platform in the world.
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Difference between WordPress.com – WordPress.org
A frequent point of confusion — what’s the difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org?
Just some of the many: In a WordPress.org website you can install payment systems, you can sell your print books from your own website and earn more, all plug-ins are allowed. You get rid of the annoying ads that appeared on your WordPress.com site. If you want you can sell your own ads and monetize even on affiliate programs – which is all not possible on free WordPress.com blogs / websites.

The WordPress.org interface is clean and user-friendly. WordPress also offers a rich content editor, allowing immediate changes on the live website. Users can easily extend functionality with the use of plug-ins, adding features such as a shopping cart, contact form, gallery, or social media tools. WordPress is intuitively search engine-friendly. Built-in features and functions as well as a host of plug-ins aid a quick and easy search engine indexing of WordPress websites.

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Benefits of your own website
I love how relatively easy my new WordPress.org website works. You will need to learn the platform initially – done in minutes – as there is not much difference to a WordPress.com blog. Installing a PayPal button is done in seconds. Once you have done some editing to posts and pages, you will find how much you really have at your fingertips without having to sign-up for the big web maintenance plans of the past or have to wait for days and weeks for a non-responsive developer or coder to change an event date or update an article about your latest book on your site. You will become totally independent!

You can now update your own website in addition to adding fresh news, information, and posts about your books or add your latest blog post! It’s as easy as writing a blog! Google’s Search Engines love frequent updated websites! Good for your Search Engine Ranking (SEO) too! Find more reasons this article “7 Reasons to Convert Your WordPress.com Blog to WordPress.org“.

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Got rid of the dreaded Uploading…
I was always struggling to upload new content of our website to the web hosting, mixing up File-Zilla
panes and screwing up the website. As a “non-techie” it was always kind of trial & error for me, and I had to call more than once the web hosters technical help – including all the waiting times at the call center, having to listen to their annoying music or commercials… Now with the WordPress websites, I just delete the old text, and type in the new one or add/exchange images as easy as it is on my blog.
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Benefits of your own website
With your very own website or blog, you will get all the Search Engine Rankings – CONTRARY to “free” websites, such as Weebly, WordPress.com or Wix, where you are NOT even the owner of the site. You can add your own plug-ins, opt-in email address form for future newsletters, follow-me buttons, affiliate programs etc.
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Moving to WordPress.org using Guided Transfers
How to set up your WordPress.org website is explained in several YouTube videos, created by BlueHost. You find these step-by-step introductions in seven short videos. Being somewhat computer / web-savvy these instructions will help you. And there are also WordPress.org forums where you can find answers to possible questions.

If you move your WordPress.com blog or website to a new domain name, you will find that internal links to pages and references to images are not updated. Instead, these links and references will point to your old domain name. There is a free plug-in available that helps you change old URL’s and links in your website.
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In case you don’t want to do this yourself:
If you want to move your WordPress.com blog to a self-hosted blog using the WordPress.org software, you have the option to purchase a Guided Transfer. All your content will be moved, your domain(s) switched over, and support for your new WordPress.org provided for a two-week period. If you would like to get this help, the WordPress Guided Transfer is available for a one-time fee of $129.00 per blog.

… or for much less, if you find such a great web help as I found online:

Individual help for transfer
Changing existing websites / blog to WordPress.org, I was lucky to find a young British computer specialist over the Internet. He is a WordPress whizz and set-up three websites for us, but also transferred one of our existing websites to WordPress.org and the existing blog to the new address:
for a much more favorable fee. Drop me a line if you want to get his coordinates: 111Publishing a t gmail.com
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What we got: Blog or Website Set-up / Improvements

  • download WordPress website (free)
  • Email newsletter opt-in
  • Share buttons for Google+, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, Pinterest etc.
  • Follow-Me buttons
  • Background colors, font colors, font size change
  • contact form or set-up email
  • transfer of all images and text

Optional:
- Custom Logo (if you already have one)
- Transfer to Hosting (e.g. your own URL from GoDaddy.com to BlueHost.com)

Conclusion: If you run a professional web site – an author blog, a publishing business, a portfolio - then you are much more likely to need total control over your hosting, advertising, branding, sales and more.

Resources:

http://the247entrepreneur.com/list/wordpress-for-business/
http://mashable.com/2011/02/09/move-blog-wordpress-com-org/
http://diythemes.com/thesis/rtfm/differences-wordpress-com-org/
http://en.support.wordpress.com/moving-a-blog/#moving-to-wordpress-org
http://www.wpbeginner.com/beginners-guide/self-hosted-wordpress-org-vs-free-
wordpress-com-infograph/

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If you would like to get help in all things publishing, have your book intensively promoted and learn how to navigate social media sites: We offer all this and more for only $ 159 for 3 months. Learn more about this individual book marketing help: http://www.111Publishing.com/ Once you are on this website, click on Seminar to register.

Please check out all previous posts of this blog (there are 880+ of them : ) if you haven’t already. Why not sign up to receive them regularly by email? Just click on “Follow” in the upper line on each page – and then on “LIKE” next to it. There is also the “SHARE” button underneath each article where you can submit the article to Pinterest, Google+, Twitter, Chime.in, Facebook, Tumblr and to StumpleUpon.

Thanks a lot for following:

@111publishing

http://on.fb.me/TvqDaK

http://bit.ly/VmtVAS 111Publishing @ Google+

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Tagged: benefits of WordPress.org website, contact form, content editor, Difference between WordPress.com - WordPress.org, gallery, installing plug-ins, installing sharing buttons, Search Engine Rankings, self-hosted WordPress.org website, shopping cart, social media tools, upload to hoster, Wordpress.org


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