Monday, May 11, 2009

The Key to Online Business Success - Position Yourself as an Expert

If you want to be successful online (or offline for that matter) it is essential that you are able to give your customers the most current information about the current information and trends in your industry as they happen.

That means being aware of information as it happens. That could involve a lot of time and effort scouring the internet finding information about your industry on news websites, your competitors websites, blogs, forums, and social media pages.

The challenge as a business owner is to be able to keep track of a large amount of information in the shortest period of time to position yourself as an expert in your industry.

There are a couple of ways that I do this.

1. Google Alerts - You can set up a number of alerts so that Google will track new information as it becomes available and then send you an email telling you where to find this information. I set up 8 to 10 alerts covering the main search terms for my industry and then Google sends me an email whenever new content becomes available on the internet.

I always use comprehensive alerts for this purpose. This monitors websites, blogs, vide, news and group websites. I set the frequency to daily.

I then set aside 15 minutes each day to monitor the alerts and review this information, and make relevant notes that I can refer to when I need to.

2. Feeddemon - Feeddemon is a fantastic tool for being able to quickly review new content on the blogs that are of interest to you in your industry. I have about half a dozen blogs that I follow closely and about another half a dozen that I follow not so closely. About half of these blogs relate directly to web design and seo, and about half of them relate to business ownership. This allows me to quickly stay up to date with the relevant information in my industry. I also post comments which give me links back to my website.

Feeddemon allows you to monitor your blogs all from one application. You are also able to search for blogs that you might be interested in following using your key search terms.

I set aside about 10-15 minutes per day to review these blogs and make comments where I feel that I can contribute to the discussion.

These 2 tools allow me to stay up to date with my industry for about 20 to 30 minutes per day. In this time I also do some link building via the blogs as well. I find this a very efficient use of my time as I am getting ideas for new content, staying up to date with my industry and link building all in about half an hour per day.

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