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Social Networking Your Home Business

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If you are looking for new ways to market your work at home business, then it is time to start socializing online by getting active on social media web sites like MySpace and Digg. These sites are extremely popular web sites with high Google Page Rank numbers -- and if you can get links on these, it will help your web site generate more traffic and improve your search engine rankings.

Before I tell you how to use these sites for improved search engine placement and traffic generation, let me explain more about social media web sites. Social media sites make up 5 of the top 10 fastest growing web brands on the Internet, according to Nielsen/NetRatings. They are simply online gathering places where people share online information with each other. This information can take many different forms, but the following are the best ways to help your home business:

  • Information in the form of blogs;
  • Useful articles about anything and everything; and
  • Collections of bookmarks to favorite online articles or web sites that people can check out for themselves.

Members of these communities can comment on the information, engage in discussions, and find other people who are interested in similar things.

Participating on these sites can be a great way to make new online friends or business contacts. It is also an effective strategy you can use to drive more traffic to your home business site -- not only from the social media sites themselves, but also from the improved search engine placement you'll get from having high Page Rank links pointing to your web site.

Social media sites can be organized into several main categories, but for the purpose of promoting your home business you should concentrate on the following 3 categories:

1) Social Networking Sites

Social networking sites are basically online communities that connect people through networks of friends.

MySpace is the most popular social networking community on the Internet. On their profile pages, MySpace users can describe their interests, upload pictures, post blog-style entries, participate in forums and list the other MySpace users who have become their friends. People in pretty much any field can gain more exposure by creating a MySpace page. And the great thing is, it is free!

To participate, just set up a free account, start networking and adding other people in your industry to your "friends" list, and make your name and web site visible on these popular sites. Make sure you link to your home business site in your profile!

Some other popular social networking sites include: Friendster, Facebook, and Linkedin.

2) Social Bookmarking Sites

At social bookmarking sites, people save links to their favorite web sites or articles -- just like you do with the "Favorites" or "Bookmarks" function in your own personal web browser (e.g., Internet Explorer or Firefox).

When you save your favorite links at a bookmarking site like del.icio.us, they become public and can be viewed by other members of the site. You should also "tag" your links with descriptive home based business keywords, so people have a better idea of what kind of content your links are pointing to. This will be more clear once you set up an account and add a site....there will be a Tags field where you simple enter the keywords or keyphrases associated with your web site.

Tagging your bookmarks is useful in another important way: When people use the site's internal search engine to look for bookmarks on a particular topic, any links that are tagged with keywords related to that topic will appear in the search results.

The more an article or a web site gets bookmarked by members of these sites, the higher it ranks in the search results. So if you include an appropriately tagged link to your own site (or to an article you've written) in your bookmarks list, and a lot of other members add it to their bookmarks as well, your link will be seen by a lot more people searching for your keywords. If your link becomes really popular, it might even end up on the bookmark site's homepage -- which will generate a TON of traffic and incoming links to your web site!

Even if your site does not get bookmarked enough to end up on page 1, just ONE link from a top bookmarking site will boost your site ranking in the eyes of major search engines.

Below are the most popular, highest ranked social bookmarketing sites:

After you set up an account, list a few of your favorite sites as bookmarks, making sure to also include links to YOUR web site or articles. Be sure to make them public, so others can view your favorites as well.

3.) Encyclopedia (wiki) Sites

A wiki is a type of web site that lets ALL its users update the site's content. Every visitor to a wiki web site can add, delete, or edit the site's content, creating a living web page full of fresh content and current information from multiple users.

Wikipedia.org is the Web's biggest and best-known wiki. It's an online encyclopedia that allows users to update its database of entries on almost every subject you can think of. After you set up a free Wikipedia account, you can start making changes to existing articles, or add completely new articles related to your industry or area of expertise and grow your reputation as an expert in your field.

Plus, you can look for suitable opportunities to include links to your own web site or articles in the entries you edit. For example, at the end of every Wikipedia article is a section called "External links." If you write an entry on a term related to your website theme, and your web site can help people learn more about this topic, you can include a link back to your site.

Getting the Most Traffic using Social Media Sites

There are thousands of ways to create good content for social media sites -- if you use your imagination. Here are some examples and ideas to get you started:

  • Compile an informative list related to your working at home expertise: Some of the most popular stories on are list articles.
  • Take existing content from your business opportunity web site and rewrite it for social media sites: You probably already have valuable content on hand that is already written for your site. Simply tweak this existing content to make it shorter, and re-use it on the social media sites.
Spend some time thinking up a catchy headline, because that is one of the biggest factors in getting people to click on your article. Make sure you tag it with popular and appropriate home business related keywords.

Here is a very important thing to keep in mind when using social media sites to get improved search engine placement for your site. These are social sites, so people do not visit them expecting to be hit with a bunch of marketing messages.

So make sure that you're participating honestly and being low-key about your business. Be sure you share other relevant and entertaining links with the community, in addition to your own products and articles.

Below is a summary of how to get started using social media sites:

  • Create a profile with a link back to your web site
  • Tag your articles with relevant keywords
  • Participate in the discussions to build your credibility
  • Contribute to the growth and value of these sites by creating and submitting content that is informative and solves problems
  • Invite your friends to go online and vote for your links
  • Give your articles catchy headlines that will get people to read further
  • Do not spam sites with links only to your own articles, or bookmarks pointing only to your site
  • Do not go overboard when encouraging friends to vote for your links.
  • Do not just promote yourself -- nobody wants to be friends with people who are only out for themselves.

By following these steps, you'll become part of the online community, and people will begin to value your opinion and see you as a credible source of information. This will allow your links and articles to carry more weight than the anonymous contributions of a new member.

By spending time at these sites, you'll discover what type of information is popular, get tons of ideas for new articles, and find out what other users are interested in.

By participating honestly and sharing some interesting links and articles -- as well as providing links to your own web site -- you might find that a lot of other people will start linking to your articles and your business site.

If you do things right, play by the rules, and create some informative and interesting content, you'll be able to grow the number of relevant links pointing to your site -- and that should lead to your ultimate goal of improved search engine placement.

So, start posting some links and articles on social media sites as a way to increase your traffic or get improved search engine ranking today.



Disclaimer: The information presented and opinions expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of Work-at-Home-Business.com and/or its partners.
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