social media toolsOne of the great things about blogging is how easy it is to set up a blog on any of the multitude of blogging platforms. While there are many options for building your blog, one of the most popular platforms is WordPress.org.

However, what you get when you set up a WordPress blog can be pretty basic depending on the theme you choose. To make your new blog sing and work for you, it’s a good idea to install some key plugins.

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social media toolsCall me biased, but blogs are changing everything and WordPress is leading the charge.  Millions of blogs have sprung up over the last few years and transformed the publishing world.

This represents a big opportunity for your business.

A Little Context

In the early days of the Internet, websites were static creatures. Once a site was published, that’s pretty much how it stayed. Websites were built by programmers and even minor changes required contacting the designer or a specialized web manager.

Then came the blog.

Blogging turned the once-boring website into an ever-changing, dynamic creature. With the advent of the blog came blogging software and the ability to quickly publish content.

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social media tools

Are you a blogger? Using WordPress?  This article contains a number of powerful plugins that will take your blog to the next level.

Blogging and Social Media?

Where does blogging fit into your social media mix? Many people I encounter still haven’t taken the time to start a blog for their business.  I’ve heard many different reasons for not having a business blog—from not having enough time to insecurity about writing style.

Blogging should be one of the cores of your business. It should be right in the middle of your social media mix—the bulls-eye, the main target.

It’s important to note that your blog is the hub into which all of your social media networks feed for optimal exposure. Some people feel overwhelmed by the notion of starting and maintaining a blog, so below I discuss 11 essential WordPress plugins to get your blog off to a racing start.

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Let’s face it, LinkedIn is a very underutilized social media network. Most people believe that it’s too hard to make connections, and therefore use it more as a résumé site. There is so much more potential with this professional social media network.

How many of us have created a LinkedIn account and left it dormant for months?

It was my goal recently to attend more LinkedIn webinars and teleseminars to learn more about this mysterious network. I have often thought to myself, “I’m a professional. Why am I not utilizing this site?” I’ve even heard LinkedIn referred to as the “red-headed stepchild” of social media.

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Video is very hot and there’s a strong social media connection.  Are you using video to promote your business? Do you know the best ways to leverage this growing form of content?

What follows are 5 ways you can tap into the exploding video frontier—and achieve many social media advantages.

Why Video Now?

The demand for video is already proven:  U.S. audiences viewed nearly 28 billion online videos in November 2009 alone.

The demand for video in a social setting is clearly growing:  Nielsen reports that online video viewing on social networking sites was up 98% in 2009.

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Though they had been around for many years, blogs burst on the scene as a hot marketing tool around 2003 when marketers discovered easy-to-use blogging platforms like Blogger, Typepad, and WordPress.

However, just because anyone can set up a blog, doesn’t mean everyone should, and many professionals and businesses start blogging without giving any thought to why, how and who will be doing the blogging.

Over 50 percent of blogs are abandoned within the first 90 days. While this isn’t really important if you’re writing a personal diary, political or celebrity blog, it is very important if you start a blog for your business and don’t keep posting on it consistently and with purpose.

When a prospect lands on a blog that hasn’t been updated in months, it’s akin to walking into a vacant store with busted windows and dust blowing in. It’s just not pretty; and it doesn’t look good for you, your business reputation and your branding.

Don’t let that happen to you. Start right, start smart and follow a few suggested guidelines. First, let’s review some basics:

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