Wired.com How-To Wiki Is A Blog Content Dream Tool

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Illustration by Jason Lee

One of the top concerns expressed by fledgling bloggers as they decide whether to take the plunge into the blogosphere is “How will I ever find enough to write about on my blog?” One great tool that should alleviate that problem is Wired.com fantastic and fascinating How-To Wiki. Everything from how to copy a DVD to Greening your rooftop to tapping a phone line.

Just Like a Wiki

You too can add an article of your own how to to this wiki and collaborate with Wired editors “adding to our library of projects, hacks, tricks and tips.”

1. Create an Article guidelines here

2. Propose a How-To Article here

Where To Find Additional Content Ideas

3. Search the How-To Wiki here

4. Search 500 Categories here

Don’t Miss a Thing

Sign up and register to be a wired.com member and receive their valuable newsletter

Networking Mistake #2 Procrastination Ruins Relationship Building

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Matrix courtesy of projectsidewalk.com/blog

If you are allowing obstacles in your mind to get in the way of performing tasks and making progress then you are suffering from procrastination problems. In networking the biggest problem to creating a networking connection is an individual’s misconception that networking is hard selling themselves, their business, products, and services.

The bridge to a business relationship will fail if the person procrastinates in their follow through after the event. Connecting and forming a business relationship is time sensitive when you begin the process. If you do not follow through with promised information in a timely manner (immediately is best), then you lose.

What’s at Stake?

  1. Lost Opportunity: You most likely will not get a second chance to engage and connect with your intended networking partner.
  2. Reputation: If you do not follow through on your word, your reputation is at stake with your intended networking partner and their circle of friends.
  3. Viral Marketing: If you do not follow through to connect then your inaction may be reported via word of mouth to your industry niche audience.

Tips to Help You Follow Through

  1. To Do List: Note what you promised to deliver your intended networking partner.
  2. Point of Reference: Note what stood out in your conversation that you know your intended networking partner would remember.
  3. Response Habit: Utilizing your point of reference, email or call your intended networking partner as soon as possible (within reason) thanking them for their time.
  4. Set the Next Step: end your email or phone call with a next step. Examples would be to ask for a meeting, set a time to deliver your value as you promised, or invite them to an industry event. Be creative here.
  5. Document: Document your initial efforts to build your connection into a business relationship. Measure what worked, what did not work, and the process involved.

5 Steps To Discovering Your Value Give Away For Networking Success

Hard sales tactics adopted and utilized by most people in their strategies to network online and in the real world fall decidedly flat in an effort to create business relationships that lead to referral business. The 30 second elevator pitch, the blatant sales pitch, the product and services feature-benefit dump, a lack of listening skills, and the “work the room” mentality are giving way to a new much more effective strategy: giving value. Below is an example of the “work the room” business card treasure hunt modeled after a bad speed dating session seen on “Sex and the City.”

Before you can give away something that others value, give it often, give it continuously, and give it without asking for anything in return, you must first understand how to identify what you have to offer. The following should help you get started in identifying your value to others:

5 Tips To Finding Your Value “Give”

1. Make a List of Your Accomplishments: don’t be shy in this exercise. Give a full list with details

2. Make a List of Your Contacts of Influence: prioritize this list by who you know best and who KNOWs you

3. List Your Skill Sets: again do not be shy. Provide everything that is important to building your career

4. From the First Three Lists: analyze and choose what you believe to be the most valuable things you can give to your potential networking partners

5. Create a Plan on How To Deliver: will you utilize a blog or begin a public speaking platform to help benefit your potential networking partners? Identify all of the channels in which you can deliver your value

The New Sales “Paradigm” In Real Estate: “The Hard Sell Is Dead”

The era of real estate hard sell tactics, cold calls, badgering email spam campaigns, and endless (Non-targeted) advertising is coming to a painfully slow end as many Realtors are beginning to painfully understand. The new paradigm shift and strategies, not tactics, are best described in Pat Kitano’s “The Hard Sell is Dead-Slideshow.”

The “Old Way”

1. Call to Action- Realtor attempts to force prospect to make decisions that require a definite action

2. Endless Ads- Always having an advertisement, usually the exact same ad, in as many places as possible

3. Spam- Everyone is a potential client actions of email spam, twitter spam, any unwanted unqualified sales pitch

4. Lead Generation- agents purchase unqualified leads then spam or cold call in attempts to “convert”

5. Unsubstantiated Claims- agents cold call and claim expertise without substantiating, proving, or providing evidence of such stature

The “New Way”

1. Blog- share your knowledge continuously for free proving your knowledge and analysis of your market

2. Social Media- leverage your knowledge by providing “real time” commentary and analysis via social media networks

3. Clients- unknowingly clients follow your blog writing and social media commentary eventually RSS subscribing to your blog

4. Let Them Come to You- clients will contact you without you attempting to reach out to them first

5. Law of Attraction- prospects are attracted to your writing, honesty, personality, and analysis. They will seek you out

Misguided Referral Strategies

1. Brokers- teach the “sphere of influence” friends and family plan of networking but that has limited scaleability

2. Spamming and Hunting- once you have gone through your friends, family, and sphere of influence where do you go for your next lead?

3. Bufini, By Referral Only, and Mike Ferry- they work in the old world but all three of these expensive coaching systems lack “one key component”: They have NO social networking strategy

Buffini Lead Gen Kit: 100 items of value; 50 custom personal notes; 100 Ch By The Way foil stickers; Dry erase board; tracking website setup assistance; Daily activity tracker; Laminated dialog poster

Keys To Understand

1. Online vs Offline Referrals- It’s easier to make an online referral if you write articles and commentary explaining your analysis and take on the market than it is to attempt to cold call an unqualified “prospect” who is not expecting your contact via email or phone

2. Social Media Key to Referral Strategy- Physical networks, like Rotaries or Chamber of Commerce, are moving onto social networks like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Plaxo

3. Information Free Era- transparency in business and free information blogs and site are changing our business environment. What has not changed is the fact that a real estate transaction is often complicated and Realtors are necessary within this transaction

4. Expert Interpretation- leverage your writing platform (blog-freelance articles-newsletter-social commentary) and public speaking platform as methods to “make money selling your expertise”

5. Establish Your Online Expertise- your “network” of people considering hiring you and past clients follow your blog writing, your social commentary, and your bookmarks (digg etc.) which establishes your credentials as an expert in the online world

Kurt Vonnegut’s 8 Basics Of Creative Writing: Tips For Marketing Your Business

The real estate industry, any business for that matter, could take note when searching for marketing ideas and strategies. American author and icon Kurt Vonnegut’s “8 Basics of Creative Writing” provides a few nuggets of wisdom that carry over nicely from his intended target-book readers to consumers.

Kurt Vonnegut’s Marketing Advice

1. Use the time of a total stranger in such a way that he or she will not feel the time was wasted
KV: Give consumers value for free, often, and consistently with blogs, keynotes, and workshops

2. Give the reader at least one character he or she can root for.
KV: Be sympathetic to your audience by being likable, honest, and authentic

3. Every character should want something, even if it is only a glass of water.
KV: Your marketing plan should have a goal that is measurable

4. Every sentence must do one of two things—reveal character or advance the action.
KV: Your writing must reveal your character or advance the reader’s knowledge

5. Start as close to the end as possible.
KV: Make your messages short with impact; do not waste your audience’s time

6. Be a sadist. No matter how sweet and innocent your leading characters, make awful things happen to them—in order that the reader may see what they are made of.
KV: Challenge the status quo. Be willing to take a stand no matter how unpopular with your peers

7. Write to please just one person. If you open a window and make love to the world, so to speak, your story will get pneumonia.
KV: If you do not stay interested in your message how will anyone else

8. Give your readers as much information as possible as soon as possible. To heck with suspense. Readers should have such complete understanding of what is going on, where and why, that they could finish the story themselves, should cockroaches eat the last few pages.
KV: Make your message one of “Radical Transparency” allow all to see everything to build credability

Realtor’s Marketing Strategy #4: Top 10 Reasons Why Consumers Should “Buy” You

FoxBusiness.com published this deansguide article on April 23, 2008

In deansguide’s series on strategies for Realtors we have utilized the marketing ideas of book publishing houses and best selling authors. Staying with this theme, strategy #4 utilizes Jon Kremer’s, author and best selling book marketing strategist, idea of identifying the “Why Someone Should Buy Your Book:Pros and Cons” as a platform for Realtors. We will apply author Susan Hanshaw’s “Inner Architect: How To Build The Life You Were Designed To Live” as an example you can follow with your own real estate practice.

Top 10 Reasons To Buy My Book or Services

1. You need to find courage to acknowledge your pain and dissatisfaction with your work-life
Realtor: I am an expert in the real estate niche___

2. You want to embrace awareness of your ability to change but you don’t know where to begin
Realtor: I can help identify your needs and we can create an action plan together

3. You need a method to identify what lies between you and change
Realtor: Let me show you new ways to make progress toward your real estate goals

4. You want a Step by Step guide to changing your career and life
Realtor: I can show you how I have helped families just like yours create their dreams

5. How to Discover your passions and purpose
Realtor: I can provide numerous choices that you may not even be aware exist in the market

6. Help in giving yourself permission to believe in you
Realtor: No market is without challenges; let me show you how we can navigate them together

7. How to Identify and break the Cycle of Fear
Realtor: We can review solutions to any problem and find the answers that best fit your needs

8. Learn how to create an Action plan of change from someone who has walked the path of change
Realtor: I have _ years of experience lets put a plan together that addresses the challenges we face

9. Understand the Power of your Words and Thoughts
Realtor: If we remain positive we together may find the solution that is available in this market

10. How to Mentally Claim your New Life
Realtor: Within every challenge is a key to opportunity–lets find our key together

Blogging Realtor’s Traffic Tip #1: Stumble Upon Tutorial To Monster Readership

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This man’s name is Jason and if you adhere to his instructions you can bring instant readership and internet fame to you and your business. Jason is one of the writers of Gorilla Sushi a mashup of “humor, politics, technology, and culture”; a valuable source of business information when the mood strikes, Jason’s “Getting Stumble Upon Traffic” is by far the richest most information packed how to guide on Stumble Upon tactics available–as always it’s free. This is a overview so please reference Jason’s article for the indepth guide for your efforts.

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The following caveat is what drew my initial attention to Jason’s work:

“While I am not an expert on the subject, I have been using StumbleUpon to market myself for over a year and half, having made my fair share of mistakes and have had a few strong successes. Most recently I received over 76,000 hits on one post over the course of a week, including over 21,000 unique visitors in one day.”

What is StumbleUpon? SU is like a moving text and video dictionary of blog and web pages you can click through at your desired pace. When you land upon a page you particularly like or dislike you may vote a “thumbs up or thumbs down” for that page. You can also set your preferences so that the pages delivered with each click match what you are interested in viewing.

In addition StumbleUpon is a community of people. Within this community you have the ability to create your own page telling the world about you and your preferences–a social networking place in the vein of a less detailed Facebook or Linkedin. SU also rates their “Top Stumblers” which in turn helps develop you and your blog within the community.

Jason’s list of “tips and tricks” are broken down into three categories:

1. Become a StumbleUpon Member: SU has nearly 4.5 million members. SU matches high quality site pages, as you click the SU icon, to your preferences as you set them on the site.

Increase Your Standing In the Community:

*Stumble often, daily if possible
*Add a Review in addition to “thumbs up” when appropriate
*Discover new, quality sites
*StumbleUpon Photo Blog It
*Stumble Quality content-finding new quality sites and giving them “thumbs up” can add to your SU community reputation

2. Write Content That Is Going To Get Stumbled: As Jason advises ” There’s no sense in devoting every word that you write to the cause of Stumble fame but keeping SU’s potential in mind when composing a post can increase the likelyhood of getting multiple Stumbles.”

Types of Posts That Do Not Fare Well:

*Link dumps
*Personal posts require interest in the writer something the reader will not have developed
*Series Writing if it is not a one off or self contained then it will not work in this format
*News if it is not relevant in a month then it will not have legs

Types of Posts That Do Fare Well:

*How to Guides or Instructional type posts
*Detailed Posts with links, lists, pictures, something that appears to have taken time to build
*Poignant Posts that make a powerful point in a succinct, short manner
*Visually Interesting posts that bring pictures or artwork to life

3. Submitting Your Content: Writing a quality post is the best formula for Stumble success but here are a few tips Jason adds to help move the process forward.

*Use a Stumble Button on every post
*Place a Stumble Button in your sidebar to support the community
*Link to your StumbleUpon profile-placing it in your about page is a good spot
*Write a Post about StumbleUpon
*If you use Feedburner use the Stumble It FeedFlare

The following are crucial Tactics and Tips, regarding submitting content, which require more detail that can be found in Jason’s article:

*What and When
*Asking For a Discovery
*Your Vote
*The Bandwagon
*The Dark Side

Jason’s advise is simple  “Write something worth while and it will get Stumbled. Let the traffic come to you in a natural way otherwise your efforts will look spammy and garner you a negative reputation.” As always content quality is king-write well and they will come.