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What is the meaning of 'dm' on social networks like Instagram?

DM means Direct Message. ... Dm in social networks like Instagram stand for/mean “Direct Message” so basically a message that will go straight to somebody and not to all your followers. Mubtada Ali, Software Engineer at Arbisoft (2017-present) Answered Aug 10, 2017. DM stands for Direct Message.The 100 Most Important Social Media AcronymsTake the social media acronym quiz!In creating this answer, I quickly put together a short and sweet quiz on some of the terms that appear in the glossary here. Test your knowledge to see which acronyms you know and which you might learn!Acronyms are a natural fit for social media networks. These platforms are based on short and snappy communication, so it makes sense for people to rely on abbreviations, especially for common phrases.But understanding shorthand isn’t just important for the messages you send. There are social media acronyms that you’ll find in business meetings, in marketing or sales reports, and from your IT team. To be the best at your job, you’ll need to know all of the most common abbreviations.This list of acronyms can help you stay fresh with the latest lingo, online and off.Network-Specific AcronymsTo start, it’s probably most helpful to review some of the common acronyms that are tied to specific social media networks. They’re generally intuitive, but you should be sure they’re locked in your brain.1. FB: Facebook.2. G+: Google+.3. IG: Instagram.4. LI: LinkedIn.5. YT: YouTube.There are also a few regularly used acronyms that describe features on those networks. If you’re on Twitter in particular, these are a must-know for improving your communications among team members and with your online audience.6. DM: A “Direct Message” is a one-on-one message sent on Twitter that is only visible to the two individuals exchanging them.7. MT: Sometimes when you’re resharing a Tweet, you’ll alter the text. That makes it a “Modified Tweet.” That may mean shortening it to fit within the character limit or removing the poster’s handle if they have a private account.8. PM: “Private message” is the more general term for any one-on-one communication that’s not visible to the public. It includes DMs.9. RT: A “Retweet” is when you publish somebody else’s Tweet, in its entirety, to your own feed.For BusinessBusiness experts have always had a unique set of terminology. Many of the general terms that would come up in marketing meetings are equally useful in a social media context.10. B2B: This “business to business” label refers to companies that are selling to other companies.11. B2C: On the other hand, “business to consumer” designates a company that is selling to individuals.12. CMGR: This is the abbreviation for “community manager.”13. CMS: A “content management system” is the tool you use for editing, scheduling and publishing any written material for the web.14. CPC: The “cost per click” is the dollar amount an advertiser pays for every person who clicks on an ad.15. CPM: “Cost per thousand” measures an ad’s impressions rather than its clicks (as in CPC).16. CR: The “conversion rate” is a simple equation: the number of people who take an action divided by the number who could have.17. CTA: A “call to action” is a statement that asks the reader to do something. This is usually a specific action related to building the company’s social presence or to getting involved in a marketing push.18. CTR: The “clickthrough rate” is a particular type of conversion rate where the action in question is clicking on a link.19. KPI: A “key performance indicator” is a metric your team or business uses to measure success in achieving goals. For social media, this could be a measurement of engagement, conversions, shares or clicks, depending on your purpose in being on those networks.20. PPC: “Pay per click” is a metric for advertising costs that’s the same as CPC.21. PV: This stands for “page views.”22. ROI: “Return on investment” measures the money you make in relation to the money you spent to make it. It’s a way of assessing the success of certain promotional or advertising efforts.23. UGC: The term “user generated content” encompasses any written or visual material that the individuals using a platform create, from comments or blog posts, to photos or video clips.The Technical TermsThese may not come up frequently in your regular water-cooler chats, but it’s useful for anybody working in social to understand some of the most relevant technical abbreviations. These cover a range of acronyms related to online business that could come up in a chat with the IT team or when dealing with a customer support ticket. In either case, you don’t want to be nodding along without knowing what’s being discussed.24. API: An “application programming interface” is a set of rules for how pieces of software interact. Your social media management tools use the APIs of Facebook, Twitter and the other networks to post and schedule.25. ESP: Your “email service provider” is the software used for sending emails. This can be an outside service used for email blasts to your audience or for powering your internal team communications.26. HTML: You see these letters all the time, and they stand for “hyper text markup language.” It’s the coding language used to build all webpages.27. ISP: Just as the ESP is the business supplying your email needs, your “Internet service provider” is the company powering your Internet service.28. RSS: A “really simple syndication” is a feed of all posted content from a source, usually a blog.29. SaaS: This is an abbreviation for “software as a service,” which is a subset of companies that are in the business of providing software programs.30. SEM: “Search engine marketing” is how businesses leverage search engines for marketing purposes.31. SEO: “Search engine optimization” is a form of SEM. It refers to the choices you make in your written content that are designed to make sure that your creations appear high in the rankings of the correct search terms.32. TOS: “Terms of service.” Just about any online service, including social networks, has a Terms of Service that you must agree to in order to use it. Marketers will want to keep an eye out for any limitations on business activity and details about ownership, both of your content and your data.33. UI: The “user interface” is the display that a person uses to control a tool.34. UX: The “user experience” is a person’s response and reaction to taking actions within a tool.Just for FunMany of these acronyms crossed over into social media from texting or from online shorthand used in forums. Some of them have been bandied around the Internet for years, but others are more modern inventions. You’ll most likely find these in the public posts made and shared by your followers, or in their comments on your social content. Some of them also get turned into popular hashtags that individuals and brands alike can take advantage of.35. AFAIK: Stands for “as far as I know.”36. AMA: Stands for “ask me anything.” Often used to signal an open Q&A opportunity on a social channel.37. BAE: This abbreviation means “before anyone else,” and is one of the more recent creations. Typically it refers to a person’s significant other, but could be a very close friend as well.38. BFF: A throwback to childhood in the 80’s and 90’s, this still stands for “best friends forever.”39. BRB: “Be right back.” This comes up most often in the context of real-time messaging or chat services.40. BTW: Stands for “by the way.”41. FBO: Stands for “Facebook official.” This most often refers to making a public announcement of a life development, such as a new job or new relationship, on Facebook to your entire social audience.42. FF: The “follow Friday” trend began as a Twitter hashtag for recommending people who merit attention on social. These days, most users don’t make this a weekly update, but save it for giving a signal boost to especially interesting or important social profiles.43. FOMO: Stands for “fear of missing out.”44. FTW: This acronym of “for the win” initiated in the gaming world, but has become a cry of victory or success for all.45. FYI: “For your information.” Another classic that’s still in frequent rotation.46. GTG: “Got to go” can end a conversation.47. ICYMI: “In case you missed it” most frequently is used when sharing content that is not current. That could be a news item from a few days prior or an evergreen blog post that you want to return to circulation.48. IDC: Stands for “I don’t care.”49. IDK: Stands for “I don’t know.”50. ILY: Stands for “I love you.”51. IMHO: This acronym means “in my humble opinion.”52. IMO: A slightly different take, this means simply “in my opinion.”53. IRL: This acronym means “in real life,” and is meant to distinguish between people’s online and offline lives.54. JK: This phrase is “just kidding,” and can be helpful in conveying a light-hearted tone when there’s a possibility for a statement to be misconstrued.55. LMAO: Stands for “laughing my a** off.” Not always the right phrase for a business context, but makes it just as necessary to know this acronym when you see it.56. LMK: Stands for “let me know.”57. LOL: A well-used phrase from the beginning of online chat culture, this means “laughing out loud.”58. NBD: Stands for “no big deal.”59. NM: Stands for “not much.”60. NVM: Stands for “never mind.”61. NSFW: The label “not safe for work” usually designates material that is violent, sexual or otherwise inappropriate for a professional setting.62. OH: Stands for “overheard.” Generally used as context for quotes.63. OMG: Stands for “oh my god” or “oh my gosh.”64. OMW: Stands for “on my way.”65. PODT: Commonly used as a hashtag on image-centric networks, this stands for “photo of the day.”66. PPL: This is shorthand for “people.”67. QOTD: Another frequent hashtag, this one means “quote of the day.”68. ROFL: A close relative of LOL and LMAO, this acronym is “rolling on the floor laughing.”69. SMH: This stands for “shaking my head” and is most frequently used to express shock or dismay.70. TBH: Stands for “to be honest.”71. TBT: If you’re sharing an old photo, you’ll most likely want to use the hashtag for “throwback Thursday.” Just make sure you post on the right day of the week!72. TIL: Stands for “today I learned.”73. TL;DR: This unusual acronym means “too long; didn’t read.”74. WTF: Another salty shorthand, this stands for “what the f***.”75. YOLO: The phrase originated in a song by rapper Drake, but the acronym of “you only live once” has also caught on in social communication.View the index of acronyms & abbreviations:Topic: Social media marketingAPI B2B B2C BL CAN-SPAM CMGR CMS CPC CPM CR CRM CSS CTA CTR CX DM ESP FB FTW G+ GA HT HTML IG IO ISP KPI LI P2P PM PPC PR PV ROI RSS RT RTD SaaS SEM SEO SERP SM SMB SMM SMM SMO SMP SoLoMo SOV TOS UGC UI URL UV UX Via WOM YTTopic: Social media communicationAFAIK AMA ASL b/c B4 BAE bc BFF BRB BTAIM BTW CC DAE DFTBA DGAF ELI5 EM EML F2F FaTH FBF FBO FFS FOMO FTFY FUTAB FYI G2G GG Gr8 GTG GTR HBD HMB HMU HTH IANAD IANAL ICYMI IDC IDK IKR ILY IMHO IMO IRL JK L8 LMAO LMK LMS LOL LOLz MCM MM MT MTFBWY NM NSFL NSFW NVM OAN OH OMG OMW OOTD OP ORLY OTP POTD PPL QOTD ROFL ROFLMAO SFW SMH TBH TBT TGIF Thx TIL TL;DR TLDR TMI TTYL TTYN TTYS Tx Txt w/ WBU WCW WDYMBT WOTD YMMV YOLO YSK YT———————————————A————————————————-AFAIK – As far as I knowEx. “AFAIK, there are no peanuts in a Milky Way bar.”AIDA – Attention, Interest, Desire, ActionThis copywriting formula helps devise a list of events that a reader can take toward converting. It’s particularly effective in website copy, online ads, email, blog posts, and social media updates.AMA – Ask Me AnythingThese initials can be used in social media updates as an open call for questions, and the acronym is also quite popular as a recurring question-and-answer series on Reddit, featuring experts and/or well-known names in a huge variety of fields.Ex. “I’m doing an AMA on Reddit tomorrow at 3pm ET all about space travel!”API – Application Programming InterfaceHave you ever wondered how your favorite app connects to so another of your much-loved services? Buffer, for instance, uses the Twitter API to schedule and post tweets. In general, an API outlines the specifics of software applications, telling components how they should act on an interface.ASL – Age/Sex/LocationOften used in getting to know one another.Ex. “Great to meet you! ASL?”——————————————————B——————————————————b/c, bc – BecauseEx. “I’m late b/c traffic.B2B – Business-to-businessCompanies that focus on selling goods and services to other companies. An enterprise analytics tool, for instance, would be a B2B product. Often times you may see marketing strategies and statistics broken up between B2B and B2C because some of the tactics and tips may differ based on this distinction.B2C – Business-to-consumerCompanies that focus on selling to consumers. A clothing retailer, for instance, would be a B2C company.B4 – BeforeEx. “Ask Alice. She got there B4 me.”BAE – Before Anyone ElseUsed as a term of endearment for someone you care about.Ex. “My BAE and I are staying in tonight.”BFF – Best Friends ForeverEx. “Troy and Abed are total BFFs!”BRB – Be right backEx. “brb, making nachos.”BTAIM – Be that as it mayFor use in arguments and discussions online.Ex. “BTAIM, I still prefer comments on blog posts.”BTW – By the wayEx. “captaindan is not my real name BTW.”————————————————-—C——————————————————CAN-SPAM – Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing ActThis law was passed in 2003 in the United States in hopes of cutting down on unsolicited email. Per the rules of CAN-SPAM, there is a lengthy list of requirements that businesses or individuals must comply with when sending out email—items like providing the ability to unsubscribe, including a physical mailing address, and no misleading subject lines.CC – Carbon copyOn social media, CC has the same usage as the CC on your emails: to make sure that a Twitter user sees your Tweet, used with the @ mention and their Twitter handle.CMGR – Community managerOften, this person is helpful in engaging with the community on social media, forums, and meetups. The social media manager job description has a lot of crossover with a community manager.CMS – Content Management SystemA CMS is software used to organize, edit, and publish content. WordPress is the CMS we use for the Buffer blog. Ghost is another popular blogging platform that could be used as a CMS.CPC – Cost per clickIn online advertising, cost-per-click refers to the price paid by an advertiser who is charged every time someone clicks on an ad (rather than every time the ad is shown). The cost-per-click is the dollar amount that the advertiser pays for each click.CPM – Cost per thousandIn comparison to cost-per-click, cost-per-thousand is based on the impressions (views) of an ad. In CPM, the advertiser is charged for every 1,000 impressions of an ad. Fun fact: The “M” in CPM stands for “Mille,” which is the roman numeral name for 1,000 (in case you were wondering why it’s CPM instead of CPT).CR – Conversion rateCR is the number of people who take an action, divided by the number of people who could have. For example, if you have 100 visits to your landing page and 25 people click the button, the button has a 25 percent conversion rate.CRM – Customer Relationship ManagementCRM is a way of managing the interaction and communication between your business and its leads or customers. In certain ways, CRM is like an address book with super powers. Salesforce is one of the leading CRM providers online.CSS – Cascading stylesheetThis code language gives websites their look. The layout, colors, fonts, borders, spacing, and all other visual elements of a website occur because of the styles declared in CSS.CTA – Call-to-actionThe word or phrase that’s used to tell people what to do. Click here. Buy now. Learn more. Join us.CTR – Clickthrough rateLike conversion rate, this measures the amount of people who took an action—in the case of CTR, the action is a click—divided by the number of people who could have. In email marketing, for instance, CTR describes the rate at which people clicked on a link in an email, taking into consideration the number of people who received the email.CX – Customer experienceThe sum of all experiences a customer has with you. This could involve interactions with your product, your website, your customer support, or your social media.—————————————————D———————————————-DAE – Does anyone else … ?Ex. “DAE have an invite code for Google Inbox?”DFTBA – Don’t forget to be awesomeEx. “Good luck in your interview! DFTBA!”DM – Direct MessageThis refers to messages received in your private Twitter inbox.Ex. “I’d love to connect! Can you DM me your email address?”————————————————E——————————————-ELI5 – Explain like I’m 5 (years old)This one is often seen on Reddit. It’s used to ask for a simple explanation to a complex topic.Ex. “ELI5, how does wind work?”ESP – Email service providerA program or software that allows you to send emails. MailChimp, for instance, is an ESP, and some large companies have their own ESPs for sending bulk email.—————————————————F——————————————————-F2F – Face to faceEx. “Let’s chat F2F instead of skype.”FaTH – First and Truest HusbandThis doesn’t necessarily refer to one’s actual husband but rather anyone you feel a particular bond toward.Ex. “This relationship has been so incredible, you’ll always be my FaTH.”FB – FacebookFBF – Flashback FridayA theme where you share an old picture or status from back in the day, FBF is often represented in hashtag form (and it’s quite similar to another weekly meme, Throwback Thursday).FBO – Facebook officialThis term refers to one’s relationship status on Facebook. When you’re FBO, you’ve set your status on Facebook to “In a relationship.” Along with signifying the start of a relationship, these initials can also be a way of stating that you won’t believe something until you see it online.Ex. “I got a new car! It’s FBO! (picture)”FF – Follow FridayA trend that began on Twitter, Follow Friday lets you share the names of other Twitter users whom you think your followers should follow.Ex. “FF: @leowid @courtneyseiter @nmillerbooks #buffer”FOMO – Fear of Missing OutFOMO describes a type of social anxiety where you feel that if you miss an opportunity you might miss out on something great. FOMO comes into play quite often with social media where some people are compelled to stay connected so they never miss a big moment.FTFY – Fixed that for youA simple shorthand response when someone corrects someone else online.Ex. “Salem, not Portland, is the capital of Oregon. FTFY.”FTW – For the win!A jubilant exclamation, and sometimes used in jest or sarcastically.Ex. “Churros, FTW!”FUTAB – Feet up, take a breakEx. “Just sent his week’s newsletter! FUTAB. :)”FYI – For your informationEx. “FYI, my Macbook Air smells like fresh popcorn!”—————————————————-—G————————————————-G+ – Google+G2G – Got to toEx. “Talk to you later! G2G!”GA – Google AnalyticsGoogle Analytics is the tool created by Google to help you track your website traffic. We use Google Analytics here at Buffer to pull reports on our most popular content and set goals for conversions of Buffer blog readers to Buffer app customers.GG – Good gameEx. “That was fun! GG! Let’s do it again some time soon. :)”Gr8 – GreatEx. “Gr8 stuff! RT @buffer Check out our new transparency dashboard full of resources!”GTG – Got to goGTR – Got to runEx. “Sorry to cut today’s chat short! GTR!”————————————————-—H———————————————-HBD – Happy birthdayEx. “My best friend is turning 30 today! HBD @annief!”HMB – Hit me backHMU – Hit me upEx. “Let’s chat this week. HMB on my cell.”HT – Hat tipA hat tip is a way for users to give thanks or acknowledgement to other users. It refers to the practice of tipping one’s hat toward a person out of gratitude. You see HT a lot in association with shared content, along with “via,” “by,” and “cc.” In some cases, HT can also refer to “Heard Through,” which provides a similar meaning to Hat Tip.HTH – Here to help / Happy to helpEx. “Anyone need help figuring out the Facebook News Feed? HTH.”HTML – Hyper Text Markup LanguageHTML is the coding language used to build webpages and any other information viewable on the web. HTML is the foundation and the frame of every website you visit. CSS adds the color and layout to the page.———————————————————I————————————————-IANAD – I am not a doctorEx. “Whoa, sounds like strep throat! IANAD :)”IANAL – I am not a lawyerEx. “IANAL, but it seems like you’ve got a pretty good case there!”ICYMI – In case you missed itThis one can be used when resharing something from earlier or in a “things you should know today” format. You might find it often in recap-type posts and updates.Ex. “ICYMI, the Buckeyes won the national championship! #gobucks”IDC – I don’t careEx. “Raining today. IDC.”IDK – I don’t knowEx. “Super tough test today! Our 14th president? IDK. ¯_(ツ)_/¯”IG – InstagramIKR – I know, right?Ex. “ikr RT: @vimeo The most amazing announcement ever. Gotta see this video.”ILY – I love youIM – Instant messagePopular instant messaging apps like AOL Instant Messenger predate the more modern social networks like Facebook and Twitter. Some social networks still have built-in instant messaging features. Facebook Chat is perhaps the most well-known (and widely used) version of IM still around.IMHO – In my humble opinionIMO – In my opinionEx. “I’m not sure it’s a good idea to eat and drive at the same time, IMHO.”IO – Insertion orderUsed in advertising and marketing environments, an insertion order is a written contract between an advertiser and an ad agency or media rep, often used for print or broadcast ads. Typical IOs include air date and time, number of times for the ad to be shown, and costs.IRL – In real lifeThis phrase is often used to distinguish between interactions and events that happen online versus the real world.Ex. “Huge fan of @guy! We met IRL a few years back. :)”ISP – Internet service providerWho do you pay for Internet? This is your ISP. Comcast is the largest ISP in the United States.———————————————————J————————————————JK – Just kiddingEx. “I’m king of the world! JK.”——————————————————K—————————————————KPI – Key Performance IndicatorKPIs are the benchmarks and goals that are most important for your business. They help you determine how well your campaigns and strategies are performing. Social media KPIs could be the amount of engagement or shares you’re receiving on your profiles. You could also track clicks and conversions back to your website via social.——————————————————-—L————————————————-L8 – LateEx. “Running L8! See you in 15. :)”LI – LinkedInLMAO – Laughing my a** offEx. “Camping was in tents/intense! LMAO!”LMK – Let me knowEx. “Anyone interested in chatting about small biz marketing? LMK. kevan at Social Media Management Platform | Buffer”LMS – Like my statusYou might see this acronym appear on tweets or Facebook posts, asking those who read it to give the post a like. It’s also an acronym for “Learning Management System,” software for online education courses.Ex. “Got the new iPhone! So stoked! LMS.”LOL – Laughing out loudLOLz – Laughing out loud (plural/sarcastic)Lolz is the plural of LOL, but instead of having an “s,” people write it with a “z”. Some say that LOLz means you’re laughing out loud sarcastically.—————————————————M————————————————MCM – Man crush MondayThis acronym refers to a weekly trend where users mention or post photos about a man whom they like or admire.MM – Music MondayMusic Monday was originally used to share the music you were listening to that day. It’s no longer as popular of an abbreviation as it used to be.MT – Modified tweetModified tweets occur when a user is attempting to manually retweet but the tweet is too long and you have to modify the original tweet. The issues with length can occur if you’re trying to add your own commentary to an already-long tweet.Ex. “Incredible resources here! MT: @unbounce The Ultimate Guide to Landing Pages That Work”MTFBWY – May the force be with youA reference to the Star Wars movies, this abbreviation is used when someone is sending words of encouragement or motivation to another user.Ex. “Finals this week! MTFBWY @amyjones!”———————————————N———————————————-NM – Not muchEx. “What are you up to?” “NM.”NSFL – Not safe for lifeNSFW – Not safe for workNSFW means that a link, photo, video, or text contains graphic or inappropriate content for the workplace.Ex. “New movie trailer for The Hangover (some NSFW language)”NVM – Never mindEx. “Ha, I thought all day that this was a Saturday. LOL. NVM.”——————————————————O—————————————-OAN – On another noteEx. “@andydwer That makes sense. OAN, where’d you get your cool cover photo? :)”OH – OverheardEx. “OH: The show is standing room only tonight.”OMG – Oh my GodEx. “OMG! I can’t believe how great this new app is. :)”OMW – On my wayEx. “OMW. See you in a few!”OOTD – Outfit of the dayThis social media meme has people sharing which outfit they’re wearing that day. Popular on Instagram, OOTD often will appear as a hashtag.Ex. “New shirt. New pants. #OOTD”OP – Original posterEx. “OP stated it best in her original question.”ORLY – Oh really?!Like LOLz, this abbreviation can be used sarcastically as well as seriously.Ex. “ORLY? RT @kevanlee Firecrackers aren’t made from crackers.”OTP – One true pairingThis refers to two people or characters that you feel are meant for each other.Ex. “Lady and the Tramp are my OTP.”——————————————————P———————————————P2P – Person to person, or peer to peerSimilar to F2F, this abbreviation can refer to an in-person meeting, as opposed to an online get together. Also, P2P can come up in a business arena as a way of distinguishing a type of network, tool, meeting, or event.POTD – Photo of the dayPopular on Instagram, this abbreviation often appears as a hashtag for those who want to show off their best photo of the day.Ex. “Check out this sunset! #POTD”PPC – Pay per clickIn online advertising, pay-per-click is when an advertiser pays based on the number of times their ad is clicked. This is also known as cost-per-click (CPC, mentioned above). Google’s ads are perhaps the most common type of PPC avaialble.PM – Private messageEx. “Send me a PM! :)”PPL – PeopleEx. “Tons of PPL here. This place is packed!”PR – PageRank, or Public relationsPageRank refers to an element of the Google ranking algorithm that assigns your webpage a numerical value from 0 to 10 based on the number and quality of links to the page. In this way, PageRank is hoping to measure the quality of the page itself.PV – PageviewsOne of the most widely-used metrics in Google Analytics and web traffic tracking, pageviews refers to the number of times a user visits a webpage. Unique pageviews goes a step further and counts only the pageviews of unique individuals (for example, if Tom visited a page three times and Amy visited once, pageviews would be four, and the unique pageviews would be two).———————————————————Q————————————————QOTD – Quote of the DayUsed for sharing a funny or interesting quote, QOTD will often appear in a hashtag following the quote.Ex. “You will get everything you want in life if you help other people get what they want. – Zig Ziglar #QOTD”———————————————————R————————————————ROFL – Rolling on the floor laughingROFLMAO – Rolling on the floor laughing my a** offMost often used with the simple ROFL, this abbreviation comes as a response to something really funny, to a greater degree than a LOL.Ex. “Listening to the new Brian Regan CD! ROFL! This is so great. :)”ROI – Return on investmentThis marketing measurement looks at the amount of profit you make based on the difference between revenue and expenses. In social media marketing, ROI tends to be an elusive metric since revenue can be difficult to measure directly from social. Often times, ROI is extended to include a return in clicks, engagement, or new followers based on the time and resources devoted to a social network.Ex. It costs $5,000 a year to maintain your website (domain, hosting, copywriting, design fees, etc.), but is generates $20,000/year in revenue. Based on this example your ROI would be 400% ($20,000 divided by $5000).RSS – Really simple syndicationMany people choose RSS as the way to keep up with the latest blog posts from their favorite blogs, via a feed reader. Feedly is one of the most popular feed readers, letting you pull in content from any site with an RSS feed.RT – RetweetTwitter has added native retweets into their app, so whenever you spy an RT in your timeline now, that user has manually added the RT. For best practices, retweets are to begin with “RT @username” followed by the original tweet. You can add your own commentary before or after.Ex. “Must read. RT @intercom A New Way to Onboard.”RTD – Real-time dataCertain social media dashboards and website tracking tools measure data in real-time. For instance, Chartbeat can tell you how many visitors are on your website this moment, including which pages they’re on and how they’re interacting with your site. This real-time data can be super interesting to see as well as valuable to help optimize your content and web pages.————————————————————S——————————————-SaaS – Software as a serviceSaaS companies provide services via software either online or downloaded to your computer. For instance, Buffer is an SaaS company.SEM – Search engine marketingSEM refers to the way that companies and brands promote their website within search engines. The two main elements of SEM are paid advertising and search engine optimization.SEO – Search engine optimizationSEO refers to the practice of optimizing a website so that it ranks highly in search engine result pages. Some key elements of SEO are content, keywords, headlines, meta information, backlinks, and site structure/speed.SERP – Search engine results pageThis is the page you see when you perform a search.SFW – Safe for workThe SFW abbreviation is sometimes used on content that seems like it may be NSFW but is actually quite non-offensive.Ex. “Loved the new music video from Nicki Minaj! (SFW, btw)!”SM – Social mediaSMB – Small businessSMH – Shaking my headThis abbreviation signifies both something embarrassing and something with which the user might disagree.Ex. “Mustard on my tie, again. SMH.”SMM – Social media marketingSMO – Social media optimizationOften used synonymously, these two terms refer to the process of getting the most out of social media for your business or brand.SMP – Social media platformSocial media platforms may include sites like Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Instagram.SoLoMo – Social, Local, MobileThis refers to a localized and mobile-centric version of search engine results. SoLoMo takes advantage of a phone or tablet’s GPS technologies to deliver a user experience (search results, notifications, etc.) based on location.SOV – Share of voiceShare of Voice is the percentage of all the online content/conversations about your company compared to the content/conversations about your competitors. You might think of it as a form of online market share. Tools like Social Mention can help in discovering your Share of Voice.——————————————————-—T—————————————————-TBH – To be honestEx. “I’ve yet to see the appeal of snuggies, TBH.”TBT – Throwback ThursdayOften used as a hashtag, TBT is when users share a photo from their past, often baby photos or, in the case of companies, photos from their early years.Ex. “Here’s the first version of our logo! Wow, it’s come a long way! #TBT”TGIF – Thank goodness it’s FridayEx. “Been a long week. TGIF!”Thx – ThanksEx. “Big thx to @moz for hosting an awesome conference this week!”TIL – Today I learnedEx. “TIL how tax credits work.”TL;DR – Too Long; Didn’t ReadThis abbreviation may appear in a comment, post, or tweet, where the user is mentioning they weren’t able to completely read an article because of its length. Also, some articles or notes may include this abbreviation in lieu of a summary heading.Ex. “tl;dr RT @cnn The Full Transcript from the State of the Union Address.”TMI – Too much informationEx. “TMI RT @mashable The Percentage of People who Use Social Media in the Bathroom.”TOS – Terms of ServiceTerms of service are the legal notices for browsing a website or using an app.TTYL – Talk to you laterTTYN – Talk to you neverTTYS – Talk to you soonEx. “#bufferchat was awesome! TTYL, everyone!”Txt – TextEx. “Looking forward to the conference. Send me a txt when you get there!”——————————————————-—U——————————————UGC – User generated contentThis refers to all the different types of content—articles, updates, comments, videos, photos, etc.—that are produced by a site’s users. For instance, all the great presentations on SlideShare are UGC.UI – User interfaceUser interface is the aspects of a website or product with which the user interacts with directly. To use an analogy, user interface is the saddle, the stirrups, and the reins. In an app like Buffer, the user interface is the buttons, the composer windows, the screen and mouse and keyboard.URL – Uniform Resource LocatorA URL is the web address for a specific page. The URL for the Buffer blog is Buffer Blog - Social Media Marketing. You can see the URL for any web page by looking in the address bar at the top of your browser window.UV – Unique visitorA unique visitor is an individual website visitor who is counted only once in the traffic stats, regardless of how many times they visit or pages they view.UX – User experienceUser experience describes the way a user feels when using a website or a product. It’s the sum of the user’s experiences. To use an analogy, it would be like the feeling you get riding a horse (as opposed to the horse, the stirrups, the saddle themselves).————————————————————-—V———————————————-ViaUsed to refer to someone on social media, “via” often comes in to play when referencing a site that published a piece of content.————————————————————W————————————————w/ – WithWBU – What about you?Ex. “I’m going to Social Media Marketing World this year. WBU?”WCW – Woman crush WednesdayLike Man crush Monday, Woman crush Wednesday is a chance for social media users to share an update or a photo with reference to a woman they like or admire.WDYMBT – What do you mean by that?Ex. “WDYMBT @kevanlee?”WOM – Word of mouthAnother way to think about this is “sentiment.” What are people saying about your brand or product? Word of mouth has some huge implications for growth, and it spreads even faster as social media expands as a medium.WOTD – Word of the DayWOTD is a fun way to share a new word that you’ve picked up (and like many on the list, it could also be used sarcastically).Ex. “Pandiculation – feeling stiff when you wake up from a nap. #WOTD”——————————————————-—Y———————————————-YMMV – Your mileage may varyIn other words, “your opinion might be different.”Ex. “IMHO, POTUS’ SOTU was great, but YMMV”YOLO – You only live onceThis abbreviation is usually preceded by or in reference to something someone did that was brave, foolish, or spontaneous.Ex. “Signed up for bungee jumping! #YOLO”YSK – You should knowEx. “YSK there’s a really cool convo happening in the comments at @idonethis blog.”YT – YouTubeThanks!

What is the best way to make money?

The Best ways to Make Money are:Blogging:Image Courtesy: GoogleThe best approach to earn money through Blogging is placing Google Ads on your Blog site.· CPC (Cost Per Click): When the reader clicks on the ad, you will be paid for that click.· CPM (Cost Per 1,000 Impressions): These types of ads pay you a fixed amount of money depending upon how many people view your ad.1. Google Ad Sense: Through this popular network, you can easily place the banner on your blog site. Google will choose ads that are relevant to your content.2. Selling Private Ads: One of the best strategies that are used by many Bloggers. When you have a huge amount of traffic on your websites advertisers may contact you to place their ads on your site, or you can contact them as well.Private Ads can be in the form of Banner, Link or Button.In this case, there would be no mediator and you can quote your own rates to the advertiser.3. Sponsored Posts: You can also earn money through sponsored posts, where you can write a topic of your own interest and your advertiser pays you for mentioning him in the content as - 'The article is sponsored by..'Email Marketing:Image Courtesy: GoogleTo earn money through Email Marketing, firstly you should have a well-defined email list. You need an apt list of subscribers well researched by the market analyst.Once you have an accurate list of users you can:1. Send affiliate offers and earn huge affiliate commission every month.2. Sell your Product.3. Benefit Advertisers by adding their sponsored offer in the email. For each click that redirects to their website, you can earn from $100 or more.4. Sending eBooks. Write an ebook "How to Make Money from Home" or anything like that which may attract the user to read further and sell it for $5.YouTube:Image Courtesy: Google1. YouTube Partnership Program: Monetize your channel with AdSense. Once the viewer clicks on the ad, you will get money. To increase your revenue, you can the views on each of your published videos.*Note: You should have more than 1,000 subscribers and more than 4,000 watch hours in the previous year.2. YouTube Merchandising: Celebrities and popular YouTubers are following this way to make money online. You can merchandise any of the products such as - T-shirts, shoes, hats, cosmetics etc.3. YouTube Super Chat: Monetize your channel through this interesting feature. During a live feed, if anyone wants his comment to get noticed/pinned he has to pay to you.*Note: Your channel should have over 1,000 subscribers4. Channel Membership: Create great content and publish on your YouTube Channel. If users are interested to watch your videos they will surely buy your Channel Membership.*Note: Your channel has more than 30,000 subscribers5. Creating Sponsored Videos:You can promote a company's brand or product through your channel and quote your price to the company. This is one of the easiest and quick ways to make money through YouTube.*Note: Don't stick on the particular niche.EBook:Image Courtesy: GoogleIf you are someone who has good writing skills then you can probably be hired for writing, editing or proofreading eBooks.· Write about a Product: You need to write an eBook on a particular company's product and write about it.· Affiliate Marketing: Find the high-commission affiliate programs and write about those products that make the most money. Sign up to promote a company’s products. Each time a user visits the company's website through your eBook and completes a sale, you will earn a commission.Once you are done with writing your eBook:1. Send it your email list.2. Share it on your blog site and add a download link on your blog.3. Share your work on eBook websites.4. You can also advertise your work on Craigslist for free.You can also promote your eBooks on the following platforms:· Kindle· Nook· iBook· Kobo· ScribdProfessional Services:1. Webinars:Image Courtesy: GoogleWebinars are kind of seminars that are usually for educational purpose. If you have knowledge about any particular topic, technology or product and wish to share your experience, you can engage the audience through a webinar.It can be live or pre-recorded. You can share the link through email or share the live videos on social media platforms. You can charge your audience to access the webinar.2. Photography:Image Courtesy: GoogleIf you are good at clicking pictures or photography is your hobby you can probably earn huge money by selling your clicked pictures. Websites such as 500px Prime, SmugMug Pro, Shutterstock, iStockphoto, Etsy etc. pay you for submitting your photographs.3. Freelancing:Image Courtesy: GoogleFreelancers are making huge money online by selling their expertise to clients who are willing to pay them huge. Content creation, copywriting, creative direction, consulting etc. If you have any of these personal skills, you can become a freelancer and earn money.Audiobook:Image Courtesy: GoogleAudiobooks are currently the best way to reach out to your audience and publish your content in the form of audio. If you have a good voice, you can be hired as a narrator, or if you have written a book you can turn it into an audiobook and sell.Following are the steps you need to consider:1. Create a good script removing all the elements that can be a barrier for the narrator, like hyperlinks, captions etc.2. Set up your budget and available resources.3. You can hire a narrator or record yourself depending upon the clarity of your voice.4. If you are narrating the book yourself make sure to use a microphone and a sound-proof room.Studies suggest that almost 20% of Americans listen to audiobooks. Moreover, the cost to convert a book into an audiobook is low. So, if selling a book is your goal you can earn a profit this way with minimal cost.Online surveysThis is one of the easiest ways that can help you make online money in just a couple of minutes.The research companies usually recruit new members to answer their surveys and test their newly launched products. If you have never submitted any survey before you can give it a short.Fill an online survey and make money in your spare time. You will be paid by the host of the website once you complete the online survey and submit. It doesn’t need any extra qualification and you can bag a good amount in just a few minutes.This can be really beneficial for students who want to earn some extra income. You can be paid in the form of rewards or cash depending upon the payment criteria of the company.Some of the good platforms to start with are The Opinion, Lifepoints, Pinecone, SurveyBods, Hiving, New Vista etc, Opinion Outpost, InboxPounds etc.Playing Online Games:1. Exodus3000:It’s one of the most popular multiplayer RPG strategy games. The game depicts a story where Earth is no longer a sustainable planet and you are tasked to find minerals and “Mars Dollars”. Once the user signs up this game he gets 5000 Mars Dollar as a welcome bonus for free.2. Wealth Words:This is an online crossword game where you can earn money by solving the crossword clues. The game is purely based on your brain skills and knowledge of words.3. Swagbucks:People are making money on Swagbucks by doing normal activities like shopping, taking surveys, searching the web etc. and playing games is one of them. While playing games you will earn credits known as Swagbucks. You can redeem the earned credits as coupon codes, Amazon gift cards etc. You can also convert the credits into cash which will be transferred to your PayPal account.These were some of the best ways to make money online! My favourite is making money while having fun and that can only be possible if you also love to play online games ;pLet’s Begin Now!

What are good ways to promote a website?

Search Engine StrategiesPerhaps the most important — and inexpensive — strategy is to rank high for your preferred keywords on the main search engines in “organic” or “natural” searches (as opposed to paid ads). Search engines send robot “spiders” to index the content of your webpage, so let’s begin with steps to prepare your webpages for optimal indexing. The idea here is not to trick the search engines, but to leave them abundant clues as to what your webpage is about. This approach is called “search engine optimization,” abbreviated as SEO.1. Write a Keyword-Rich Page Title. Write a descriptive title for each page — rich in keywords you want people to find you with — using 5 to 8 words. Remove as many “filler” words from the title (such as “the,” “and,” etc.) as possible, while still making it readable. This page title will appear hyperlinked on the search engines when your page is found. Entice searchers to click on the title by making it a bit provocative. Place this at the top of the webpage between the <HEAD></HEAD> tags, in this format: <TITLE>Web Marketing Checklist — 37 Ways to Promote Your Website</TITLE>. (It also shows on the blue bar at the top of your web browser.)Plan to use some descriptive keywords along with your business name on your home page. If you specialize in silver bullets and that’s what people will be searching for, don’t just use your company name “Acme Ammunition, Inc.,” use “Silver and Platinum Bullets — Acme Ammunition, Inc.” The words people are most likely to search on should appear first in the title (called “keyword prominence”). Remember, this title is your identity on the search engines. The more people see that interests them in the blue hyperlinked words on the search engine, the more likely they are to click on the link.2. Write a Description META Tag. Some search engines include this description below your hyperlinked title in the search results. The description should be a sentence or two describing the content of the webpage, using the main keywords and key phrases on this page. Don’t include keywords that don’t appear on the webpage. Place the Description META Tag at the top of the webpage, between the <HEAD></HEAD> tags, in this format:<META NAME=”DESCRIPTION” CONTENT=”Increase visitor hits, attract traffic through submitting URLs, META tags, news releases, banner ads, and reciprocal links.”>The maximum number of characters should be about 255; just be aware that only the first 60 or so are visible on Google, though more may be indexed.When I prepare a webpage, I write the article first, and then develop a keyword-rich title (#1 above). Then I write a description of the content in that article in a sentence or two, using each of the important keywords and key phrases included in the article. This goes into the description META tag.Next, I strip out the common words, leaving just the meaty keywords and phrases and insert those into the keywords META tag. It’s no longer used much for ranking, but I’m leaving it in anyway. I think it may have some minor value. So to summarize so far, every webpage in your site should have a distinct title and META description tag. If you implement these two points, you’re well on your way to better search engine ranking. But there’s more that will help your ranking….3. Include Your Keywords in Headers (H1, H2, H3). Search engines consider keywords that appear in the page headline and sub heads to be important to the page, so make sure your desired keywords and phrases appear in one or two header tags. Don’t expect the search engine to parse your Cascading Style Sheet (CSS) to figure out which are the headlines — it won’t. Instead, use keywords in the H1, H2, and H3 tags to provide clues to the search engine. (Note: Some designers no longer use the H1, H2 tags. That’s a big mistake. Make sure your designer defines these tags in the CSS rather than creating headline tags with other names.)4. Position Your Keywords in the First Paragraph of Your Body Text. Search engines expect that your first paragraph will contain the important keywords for the document — where most people write an introduction to the content of the page. You don’t want to just artificially stuff keywords here, however. More is not better. Google might expect a keyword density in the entire body text area of maybe 1.5% to 2% for a word that should rank high, so don’t overdo it.5. Include Descriptive Keywords in the ALT Attribute of Image Tags. This helps your site be more accessible to site-impaired visitors and gives additional clues to the search engines. The ALT attributes dohelp get your images ranked higher for image search (see #12 below).6. Use Keywords in Hyperlinks. Search engines are looking for clues to the focus of your webpage. When they see words hyperlinked in your body text, they consider these potentially important, so hyperlink your important keywords and key phrases. To emphasize it even more, the webpage you are linking to could have a page name with the keyword or key phrase, such as blue-widget.htm– another clue for the search engine.7. Make Your Navigation System Search Engine Friendly. You want search engine robots to find all the pages in your site. JavaScript and Flash navigation menus that appear when you hover are great for humans, but search engines don’t read JavaScript and Flash very well. Therefore, supplement JavaScript and Flash menus with regular HTML links at the bottom of the page, ensuring that a chain of hyperlinks exists that take a search engine spider from your home page to every page in your site. Don’t set up your navigation system using HTML frames (an old, outdated approach); they can cause severe indexing problems.Some content management systems and e-commerce catalogs produce dynamic, made-on-the-fly webpages, often recognizable by question marks in the URLs followed by long strings of numbers or letters. Overworked search engines sometimes have trouble parsing long URLs and may stop at the question mark, refusing to go farther. If you find the search engines aren’t indexing your interior pages, you might consider URL rewriting, a site map, or commercial solutions.8. Create a Site Map. A site map page with links to all your pages can help search engines (and visitors) find all your pages, particularly if you have a larger site. You can use free tools, Create your Google Sitemap Online to create XML sitemaps that are used by the major search engines to index your webpages accurately. Upload your sitemap to your website. Then submit your XML sitemap to Google, Yahoo!, and Bing (formerly MSN), following instructions on their sites. By the way, Google Webmaster Central has lots of tools to help you get ranked higher. Be sure to set up a free account and explore what they have to offer.9. Develop Webpages Focused on Each Your Target Keywords. SEO specialists no longer recommend using external doorway or gateway pages, since nearly duplicate webpages might get you penalized. Rather, develop several webpages on your site, each of which is focused on a target keyword or key phrase for which you would like a high ranking. Let’s say you sell teddy bears. Use Google Insights for Search or the free keyword suggestion tool on Wordtracker to find the related keywords people search on. In this case: write a separate webpage featuring the keyword “teddy bear,” “teddy bears,” “vermont teddy bears,” “vermont bears,” “the teddy bears,” teddy bears picnic,” “teddy bears pictures,” etc. You’ll write a completely different article on each topic. You can’t fully optimize all the webpages in your site, but for each of these focused-content webpages, spend lots of time tweaking to improve its ranking, as described in point #10.10. Fine-tune with Careful Search Engine Optimization. Now fine-tune your focused-content pages and perhaps your home page, by making a series of minor adjustments to help them rank higher. Software such as WebPosition allows you to check your current ranking and compare your webpages against your top keyword competitors. I use it regularly. WebPosition’s Page Critic tool provides analysis of a search engine’s preferred statistics for each part of your webpage, with specific recommendations of what minor changes to make. The best set of SEO tools is Bruce Clay’s SEOToolSet. You can find links to many SEO articles on this site.Frankly, this kind of SEO fine-tuning is time-consuming, painstaking work that takes a lot of specialized knowledge. For this reason, many small and large businesses outsource search engine optimization. If you’ll explain your needs to me on my online form, I can refer you to appropriate SEO firms that I know and trust.11. Promote Your Local Business on the Internet. These days many people search for local businesses on the Internet. To make sure they find you, include on every page of your website the street address, zip code, phone number, and the five or 10 other local community place names your business serves. If you can, include place names in the title tag, too. When you seek links to your site (see #15 below), you should request links from local businesses with place names in the communities you serve and complementary businesses in your industry nationwide.Also create a free listing for your local business on Google Places for Business, Yahoo! Local, and Bing Local Listing Center. That way your business can show up on a map when people do a local search. For more information, see articles on local marketing on my site.12. Promote Your Video, Images, and Audio Content. Google’s “universal search” displays not only webpage content, but also often displays near the top of the page relevant listings for images, videos, local businesses (see #11 above), and audio clips. Therefore, consider creating such content appropriate to your business and then optimizing it so it can be ranked high enough to help you. For example, if you were to get a top-ranking, informative video on YouTube that mentions your site, it could drive a lot of traffic to your site. For more information, search on “optimizing images” or “optimizing videos.” You can see how I use videos to promote my business on my Web Marketing Today YouTube Channel.Linking StrategiesLinks to your site from other sites drive additional traffic. But since Google and other major search engines consider the number of incoming links to your website (“link popularity”) as an important indicator of relevance, more links will help you rank higher in the search engines. Google has a measure called PageRank that reflects the quantity and quality of incoming links. All links aren’t all equal. Links from trusted, popular sites help your site rank higher than links from lower traffic sites. You’ll find articles on linking strategies on our site.13. Submit Your Site to Key Directories, since a link from a directory will help your ranking — and get you traffic. A directory is not a search engine. Rather, it is a hierarchical listing of sites sorted according to category and subcategory. Be sure to list your site in the free Open Directory Project, overseen by overworked volunteer editors. But if you don’t get listed right away, don’t be impatient and resubmit, or you’ll go to the end of the queue. A link in this directory will help you a lot.Yahoo! Directory is another important directory. Real humans read submissions; so be careful to follow the instruction given. Hint: Use somewhat less than the maximum number of characters allowable, so you don’t have wordy text that will tempt the Yahoo! editor to begin chopping. Yahoo! Directory Submit requires a $299 annual recurring fee to have your site considered for inclusion within seven business days. Other paid business directories that might help are About.com and Business.com.14. Submit Your Site to Trade Organization Sites and Specialized Directories. Some directories focused on particular industries, such as education or finance. You probably belong to various trade associations that feature member directories. Ask for a link. Even if you have to pay something for a link from the organization, it may help boost your PageRank.Marginal directories, however, come and go very quickly, making it hard to keep up, so don’t try to be exhaustive here. Beware of directories that solicit you for “upgraded listings.” Unless a directory is widely used in your field, a premium ad is a waste of money — but the (free) link itself will help boost your PageRank and hence your search engine ranking.SubmitWolf is a directory submission tool I’ve used with good success. You complete a listing form in the software interface. Then they submit your listing to all the appropriate directories they know of, plus links to sites that require manual submission. It’s a timesaver and works well. Just be careful to submit only to actual directories, not “linking sites.”15. Request Reciprocal Links. Find websites in your general niche and request a reciprocal link to your site (especially to your free service, if you offer one, see #24 below). Develop an out-of-the way page where you put links to other sites — so you don’t send people out the back door as fast as you bring them in the front door. Your best results will be from sites that generate a similar amount of traffic as your own site. High-traffic site webmasters are too busy to answer your requests for a link and don’t have anything to gain. Look for smaller sites that may have linking pages.Check out Ken Evoy’s free SiteSell Value Exchange. It (1) registers your site as willing to exchange links with other sites that have a similar theme/topic content and (2) searches for sites with similar topical content. Additionally, two automated link-building software programs stand out — Zeus and IBP Link Builder. Both of these search the web for complementary sites, help you maintain a link directory, and manage reciprocal links. However, use these programs to identify the complementary sites, not to send impersonal automated email spam to site owners.When you locate sites, send a personal email using the contact email on the site or to the administrative contact listed in a Whois Directory. If email doesn’t get a response, try a phone call. As a warning, only link to complementary sites, no matter how often you are bombarded with requests to exchange links with a mortgage site that has nothing to do with your teddy bear store. One way Google determines what your site is about is who you link to and who links to you. It’s not just links, but quality links you seek. Reciprocal linking as hard, tedious work, but it doesn’t cost you a dime out of pocket! Keep working at this continuously, a little bit at a time. Patience and persistence will get you some good links, so keep at it.16. Write Articles for Others to Use in Websites and Newsletters. You can dramatically increase your visibility when you write articles in your area of expertise and distribute them to editors as free content for their email newsletters or their websites. Just ask that a link to your website and a one-line description of what you offer be included with the article. This is an effective “viral” approach that can produce hundreds of links to your site over time. You’ll find lots of information on how to do this from the most popular article-marketing site, EzineArticles.com. When you create a free membership account, they begin sending you instructions and ideas each week.17. Issue News Releases. Find newsworthy events and send news releases to print and Web periodicals in your industry. The links to your site in online news databases may remain for several months and will temporarily improve traffic to your site and increase link popularity. Use an online news release service such as PR Web. Placing your website URL in online copies of your press release may increase link popularity temporarily.Two additional linking strategies, discussed below, are to ask visitors to bookmark your webpage (#20) and to develop a free service (#23), which will greatly stimulate links to your site.Social MediaOur next type of website promotion comes from the mushrooming field of social media, in which people are encouraged to interact with each other, and respond to each other’s blog postings and comments. You should be aware of four types of social media: (1) blogs, (2) social networking sites, (3) social bookmarking sites, and (4) forums. Don’t be upset if the distinctions between types of social media tend to blur. Social media help promote your site by sending direct traffic, producing links to your site, and generating awareness. The subject is too diverse to go into detail here. You can learn more in our social media articles on this site.18. Begin a Business Blog. Want links to your site? Begin a business blog on your website, hosted on your own domain. If you offer excellent content and regular industry comment, people are likely to link to it, increasing your site’s PageRank. Consistency and having something to say are key. If you have a blog on a third-party blog site, occasionally find reasons to talk about and link to your own domain.19. Become Part of a Social Media Community. Some of the best online communities for business include Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. In addition, you may want to participate in a social bookmarking community in which members share with each other information about websites, articles, or news items that they like (or don’t like). These include Digg, Delicious, StumbleUpon, and Google Bookmarks. Search engine spiders troll these sites looking for links to something new and relevant. You can usually place a link to your website in your profile, but the biggest gain comes when other people mention you (which generates traffic to your site), link to you (which increases your PageRank and brings traffic), or bookmark you (which increases your PageRank and brings traffic, see #21 below).One important reminder, don’t join a community to spam them or talk incessantly about your business. Like any community you must listen, comment, and make a genuine contribution for the good of others. Don’t hog the conversation. Otherwise, your self-serving links and comments will hurt your reputation.Don’t bother with groups consisting of pure spam. Instead, find groups where a serious dialog is taking place. Don’t use aggressive marketing and overtly plug your product or service. Rather, add to the discussion in a helpful way and let the “signature” at the end of your email message do your marketing for you. People will gradually get to know and trust you, visit your site, and do business with you.20. Promote Your Site in Online Forums and Discussion Lists — “old school” social media. The Internet offers thousands of very targeted email based discussion lists, online forums, and groups made up of people with very specialized interests. Use Google Groups to find appropriate groups. Search online for blogs or other forums.21. Ask Visitors to Bookmark Your Site. It seems simple, but ask visitors to bookmark your site or save it in their Favorites list. I use a widget called AddThis. When you put the AddThis JavaScript on your webpage, it automatically determines the title and URL of that page. When visitors click the button on your page, they are automatically taken to a page that allows them to choose which bookmarking service they prefer, and then pre-populates the appropriate form with the title and URL of your webpage. I use AddThis throughout my website, as well as in my newsletters. If you have good content that people want to bookmark, this can generate hundreds of links to your site and significantly raise your rankings.Traditional StrategiesJust because “old media” strategies aren’t on the Internet doesn’t mean they aren’t effective. A mixed media approach can be very effective.22. Include Your URL on Stationery, Cards, and Literature. Make sure that all business cards, stationery, brochures, and literature contain your company’s URL. And see that your printer gets the URL syntax correct. In print, I recommend leaving off the “http://” part and including only the Domain Name Registration and Web Hosting portion.23. Promote using traditional media. Don’t discontinue print advertising that you’ve found effective. But be sure to include your URL in any display or classified ads you purchase in trade journals, newspapers, yellow pages, etc. View your website as an information adjunct to the ad. Use a two-step approach: (1) capture readers’ attention with the ad, (2) then refer them to a URL where they can obtain more information and perhaps place an order. Look carefully at small display or classified ads in the back of narrowly targeted magazines or trade periodicals. Sometimes these ads are more targeted, more effective, and less expensive than online advertising. Consider other traditional media to drive people to your site, such as direct mail, classifieds, post cards, etc. TV can be used to promote websites, especially in a local market.24. Develop a Free Service. It’s boring to invite people, “Come to our site and learn about our business.” It’s quite another to say “Use the free kitchen remodeling calculator available exclusively on our site.” Make no mistake, it’s expensive in time and energy to develop free resources, but it is very rewarding in increased traffic to your site — and a motivation to link to the site! Make sure that your free service is closely related to what you are selling so the visitors you attract will be good prospects for your business. Give visitors multiple opportunities and links to cross over to the sales portion of your site.Email StrategiesDon’t neglect email as an important way to bring people to your website. Just don’t spam, that is, don’t send bulk unsolicited emails without permission to people with whom you have no relationship. Many countries have anti-spam laws.I’ll mention just a few important elements here. You can learn more from our articles on email marketing.25. Install a “Signature” in your Email Program to help potential customers get in touch with you. Most email programs allow you to designate a “signature” to appear at the end of each message you send. Limit it to 6 to 8 lines: Company name, address, phone number, URL, email address, and a one-phrase description of your unique business offering. Look for examples on email messages sent to you.26. Publish an Email Newsletter. While it requires a commitment of time, creating a monthly email publication is one of the most important promotion techniques. It could be a newsletter (“ezine”), list of tips, industry updates, or new product information — whatever you believe your customers will appreciate. This is a great way to keep in touch with your prospects, generate trust, develop brand awareness, and build future business. It also helps you collect email addresses from those who visit your site, but aren’t yet ready to make a purchase. You distribute your newsletter inexpensively using email marketing services such as: iContact, ConstantContact, and AWeber. If you have a very small list, some of these services let you use their services free until you grow larger. Blogs are very popular, but don’t really replace email newsletters. You have to go to a blog to read it, while an email newsletter appears in your inbox asking to be read.27. Aggressively Ask for Email Sign-ups. If you want to get subscribers to your email newsletter, you’ll need to work hard at it. Include a subscription form on every page of your website. Promote sign-ups through free whitepapers, e-books, or other products. If you have a local business, ask customers to sign up for your email list to get “special Internet only offers.” Also ask other businesspeople when they give you a business card if you can send them your email newsletter. While only the email address itself is necessary, I always ask for a first name also, so I can personalize the newsletter and the email subject line with the recipient’s name.28. Send Transactional and Reminder Emails. A transactional email is sent to an existing customer to initiate, remind, confirm, or thank the person. Be creative. If you keep careful records, you can send emails to customers on their birthday to remind them to return to your site. Subscription confirmation emails can also mention several popular products. You might remind customers that it has been three months since their last order and ask if it’s time for a refill. Thank you for your purchase emails can offer a coupon to bring your customer back for a future sale. Use your imagination, but don’t pester your customers. You’re there to serve them, not the other way around.29. Send Offers to Your Visitors and Customers. Your own list of customers and site visitors who have given you permission to contact them will be your most productive list. Send special offers, coupon specials, product updates, etc. They often initiate another visit to your site. If you have a regular newsletter, you can include many of these in your regular emailing.30. Exchange Email Mentions with Complementary Businesses. You might consider exchanging email newsletter mentions with complementary businesses to reach new audiences. Just be sure that your partners are careful where they get their mailing list so you don’t get in trouble with the anti-spam laws in your country.I’ll mention renting email lists in #37 below under Paid Advertising approaches.Miscellaneous StrategiesHere are a couple of strategies that don’t fit elsewhere.31. Announce a Contest. People like getting something free. If you publicize a contest or drawing available on your site, you’ll generate more traffic than normal. Make sure your sweepstakes rules are legal in all states and countries you are targeting. Prizes should be designed to attract individuals who fit a demographic profile describing your best customers.32. Devise Viral Marketing Promotion Techniques. So-called viral marketing uses existing communication networks to spread the word exponentially. Word-of-mouth, PR, creating “buzz,” and network marketing are offline models. Promotion strategy #16 above, “Write Articles for Others to Use for Website and Newsletter Content,” is a kind of viral approach.The key to the best viral marketing, however, is create something that generates buzz and is so cute / fascinating / fun / bizarre that it gets passed by viewers to their friends via email and social networks — thousands of times — so that it propels more and more people to your website, and, hopefully, helps enhance your brand, produce sales, and ultimately boost profits. Internet marketers often seek to launch viral campaigns on Digg or YouTube. Digg is a social bookmarking site with such power, that if enough people “Digg” you, you appear on the Digg front page and receive a huge number of visitors in a few hours. If your video goes viral on YouTube, you could get tens of thousands of visits to the site you promote in the video. However, viral marketing is difficult to do well.Paid Advertising StrategiesNone of the approaches described above is “free,” since each takes time and energy. But if you want to grow your business more rapidly, there comes a point when you need to pay for increased traffic. Advertising is sold in one of three ways: (1) traditional CPM (cost per thousand views), (2) pay per click (PPC), and (3) pay per action (PPA) or cost per action (CPA) approaches. Examples of the latter are affiliate program and lead generation programs. Banner ads get such a low click-through rate (0.2%) that I don’t recommend paying much for them. Banner ads typically cost about 50 to $1 per thousand page views, except on targeted sites. Do some small tests first to determine response. Then calculate your return on investment (ROI) before spending large amounts. Here are some methods to explore:33. Advertise in an Email Newsletter. Some of the best buys are small text ads in email newsletters targeted at audiences likely to be interested in your products or services. Many small publishers aren’t sophisticated about advertising and offer very attractive rates.More effective (and more expensive) is to send out an appropriate solo email to the targeted list’s subscribers. These often get a good response.34. Begin an Affiliate Program. Essentially, a retailer’s affiliate program is a CPA program that pays a commission to other site owners whose links to the retailer’s products result in an actual sale. The goal is to build a network of affiliates who have a financial stake in promoting your site. If you’re a merchant, you need to (1) determine the commission you are willing to pay (consider it your advertising cost), (2) select a company to set up the technical details of your program, and (3) promote your program to get the right kind of affiliates who will link to your site. Software and service companies are available to facilitate the process. The problem is getting enough affiliates who will actually work hard to promote your products or services. These “super affiliates” will probably consist of only 1% to 3% of your total number of affiliates.35. Purchase Pay Per Click (PPC) ads with Google AdWords, Yahoo! Search Marketing, or Microsoft adCenter. This strategy is way down the list, but it is vitally important. Most Internet businesses will want to explore using Google AdWords to drive targeted traffic to their websites.These PPC ads appear on the search engine results page, typically both above and to the right of the organic or natural search engine results. Since they are keyword-driven, they can be quite relevant to what a searcher is trying to find. Your ranking in this list of paid text ads is determined by (1) how much you have bid for a particular search word compared to other businesses, (2) the click-through rate on your ad, and (3) your Quality Score, which reflects the relevancy and quality of your ad and the landing page it points to.PPC ads can be a cost-effective way to get targeted traffic, since you only pay when someone actually clicks on the link. But I strongly recommend that you study this carefully and expect a learning curve before you invest large sums of money in PPC advertising. You can find articles on Paid Search on our site.36. List Your Products with Shopping Comparison Bots and Auction Sites. If you’re an online merchant, you’ll want to consider this. Shopping bots compare your products and prices to others. Some work on a PPC (Pay Per Click) basis, others on a CPA (Cost Per Action) basis, perhaps with a listing fee. Bots to consider include mySimon, BizRate, PriceGrabber, and Shopping Online at Shopping.com. Shopping sites that include comparison features include: eBay, Yahoo! Shopping, and Amazon Marketplace. You pay to acquire first-time customers, but hopefully you can sell to them a second, third, and fourth time, later on.37. Rent targeted, commercial email lists. The last website promotion technique I’ll mention is renting targeted email lists. We abhor “spam,” bulk untargeted, unsolicited email, and you’ll pay a very stiff price in a ruined reputation and cancelled services if you yield to temptation here. But the direct marketing industry has developed targeted email lists you can rent — lists consisting of people who have agreed to receive commercial email messages. These lists cost $40 to $400 per thousand or 4 to 40 per name. Do a smaller test first to determine the quality of the list. Your best bet is to find an email list broker to help you with this project. You’ll save money and get experienced help for no additional cost. Realize, however, that due to the high cost of renting lists, many businesses won’t generate enough businesses to justify the cost. Run the numbers before you invest

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Justin Miller