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Learning the Basics of RSS


What is RSS?
You probably have seen this three-letter acronym in the course of your internet surfing. RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication or Rich Site Summary; syndicating means republishing an article that comes from another source such as a website.

An RSS is a means of publicizing updates about websites. It may or may not include a summary and photos of the latest posting. But those that provide summaries (thus Rich Site Summary) allow users to skim through the article so that they could decide later on if they want to access the website source. The RSS feed usually contains the title of the update originating from the website. It is also usually the link to the website source.

What are the benefits of RSS?
RSS gives benefits to both readers (users) and web publishers.
1. It gives you the latest updates.
Whether it is about the weather, new music, software upgrade, local news, or a new posting from a rarely-updates site learn about the latest as soon as it comes out.

2. It saves on surfing time.
Since an RSS feed provides a summary of the related article, it saves the user’s time by helping s/he decide on which items to prioritize when reading or browsing the net.

3. It gives the power of subscription to the user.
Users are given a free-hand on which websites to subscribe in their RSS aggregators which they can change at any time they decide differently.

4. It lessens the clutter in your inbox.
Although your email address will be required to enjoy the services of online RSS aggregators, RSS does not use your email address to send the updates.

5. It is spam free.
Unlike email subscriptions, RSS does not make use of your email address to send updates thus your privacy is kept safe from spam mails.

6. Unsubscribing is hassle-free.
Unlike email subscriptions where the user is asked questions on why s/he is unsubscribing and then the user would be asked to confirm unsubscribing, all you have to do is to delete the RSS feed from your aggregator.

7. It can be used as an advertising or marketing tool.
Users who subscribe or syndicate product websites receive the latest news on products and services without the website sending spam mail. This is advantageous to both the web user and the website owner since advertising becomes targeted; those who are actually interested in their products are kept posted.

What are the drawbacks of RSS?
The disadvantages of RSS use are brought about by its being a new technology and some user-preference concerns.
1. Some users prefer receiving email updates over an RSS feed.

2. Graphics and photos do not appear in all RSS feeds.
For conciseness and ease of publication, RSS feeds do not display the photos from the original site in announcing the update except for some web-based aggregators

3. The identity of the source website can be confusing.
Since RSS feeds do not display the actual URL or name of the website, it can sometimes get confusing on what feed a user is actually reading.

4. Publishers cannot determine how many users are subscribed to their feed and the frequency of their visits. Moreover, they would not know the reasons why users unsubscribe which could be important in improving their advertising.

5. RSS feeds create higher traffic and demands on the server.
Most readers still prefer the whole update over a brief summary of the entry, thus they still access the site.

6. Since it is a new technology, many sites still do not support RSS.

How do I start using RSS?
There are two things needed: an RSS feed and an RSS aggregator or reader. The RSS feed comes from an RSS-supported website. There are also websites that provide a list of RSS feeds of different websites. An RSS aggregator is used to read the RSS feed from the source website. It scans and collects data on latest RSS feeds from the worldwide web.

An aggregator comes in two forms: a downloadable program also known as desktop aggregator and an online or web-based aggregator. Downloadable aggregators may require payment before they can be acquired, while internet-based aggregators are usually free of charge. All you need to do is to register an account then you are ready to use their services. Both versions allow you to customize or choose which RSS feeds to enter. Paid aggregators are usually chosen by more experienced users and they usually allow more freedom in customizing feeds.

1. Choose an RSS aggregator to use. For beginners, web-based aggregators are recommended since they are usually user-friendly

2. Scan the homepage of your target website for the RSS or XML button. It contains the RSS code you need to enter in the aggregator. Copy this code. Syndic8 provides a directory of websites that support RSS.

3. Paste the code (which contains the URL of the website) in your aggregator. There is a space provided for pasting the code.

After you have done these three easy steps, you can start reading the RSS feeds coming from the website. New postings appear as they are published real time at the source website.

RSS and Internet Marketing

The original idea of RSS came from Netscape, where their intention is to provide a means for users to customize their personal homepage to contain links to websites that interest them, similar to bookmarking websites.

The application of RSS to internet marketing was an unforeseen development to RSS technology developers. Since users are given the freedom to add RSS feeds to their aggregators, those who are interested in particular products and services available in the internet can now be notified real time. Marketing becomes more specific to interested people and not a hit-and-miss operation.

Those who intend to use RSS for marketing their products and services should consider linking up with email account providers, (e.g. Yahoo, MSN, Google mail); networking websites (e.g. Friendster, Multiply, My Space, Hi5); websites of newspapers and television network websites (e.g. New York Times, CNN) for medium to big-scale companies. Small-time industries can also look into networking websites as well as personal blog websites (e.g. Blogspot) and websites of clubs and organizations that would probably make use of their products or services e.g. a fishing supplies store can look for the website of their local fishing club for possible RSS marketing.

Clearly, RSS is an innovation in information management in the worldwide web as well as online marketing. We can expect better RSS technology in the not-so-distant future as its popularity increases among users and website owners alike.

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To SEO or To PPC?

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The online community is definitely a large market place that you cannot ignore, especially if you have an internet business. There are thousands if not millions of consumers that you can tap in the internet.

At the same time, the internet also poses a quite different challenge. The easy access that internet provides also gives you as much competition as you can imagine. It is too crowded and congested.

Having a website is not enough to make your business running and able to compete. You must take other alternatives to give way for the online community to access your website at any rate or chance possible.

You have to expose your website. Make it known. It has to be visible. It has to be frequently targeted by consumers and surfers.

Invest in marketing your internet site. There are basically two options available to you, the SEO and PPC. These two are probably the most desirable alternatives you can get for your internet business as strategy for search engine marketing.

1. SEO

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. Some researches indicate that 60% - 70% of internet surfers and users actually resort to using the Google search engine to find and locate web sites and pages, for any topic they desire. SEO is the process taken to make sure that the internet uses will find your website when ranked among the top results of a search. This way you can make sure that you will be visible and can clearly stand out from the rest.

To get a search engine optimization, you will have to build on your own internet site frequently hit internet links to web site pages. The process will involve IBLN or Independent Back-Linking Network, wherein hundreds or even thousands of pages will be utilized to promote a particular website of a client.

In SEO, there is no need for you to pay for the clicks although it will require you to spend time doing research to get a favorable combination of ads and target audience. The SEO process is a long term one. It requires months, 6 months at the least, before the proper outcome is fully achieved, but once the goal is accomplished, you will definitely get a steady source of profit.

2. PPC

PPC means Pay Per Click. It gives way advertising on a search engine. These are sponsored listings that you see whenever you make a search. There will be a charge whenever a visitor or web surfer clicks on any of your ads. There will first be a bidding process. The highest bidder for the price per click will definitely get the chance to be first listed in the search engine.

With this kind of advertising, you can still basically control your campaign as you get to create your own ad. You will also manage the target audience and still stay within the bounds of your budget. Most of the providers of PPC advertising will allow you to specify the target market, either by topic, industry or geographical location. You can also very well check if your ad gets to be shown at all and if it is competitive with the rest.

There are some guaranteed benefits when you get to maximize the PPC strategy.

1. PPC lets you advertise to the whole of the online community. It is also relatively easy to set up.

2. At first glance, PPC advertising may seem very expensive. Could it possibly happen that someone out there will go on clicking on your ad? This will definitely give you a large bill without the expected profit on your part. If this provides a lot of worries, be rest assured that there is a protection for you. Networks are able to recognize fraudulent clicks.

3. You can also set a budget for a certain period. The moment your budget has been used up by the target number of clicks, your ads will no longer be displayed until the next period you want it again displayed.

4. You will also be able to adjust well to changes in market demands and trends.

In deciding which of the two strategies will work right for you, think of your goals and of your resources. They definitely offer benefits and advantages that will work for your good. The better way to approach this two is to evaluate according to your short term and long term plans. Take the PPC course for your short term goals and choose SEO if you have long term ones.

There world is out there for you now. Just make sure you do what will work best for your entrepreneurial endeavors and visions. The secret to success lies in your hands. Just study your options well and you’ll get exactly what you want.

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What Innovation Can Do to Your Life


It's a talent that everyone has, yet they think they don't. The power of innovation. If you've ever marvelled at somebody's creative prowess, guess what, you can create and innovate too. It just takes time. Everyone is born creative. The box of crayons in kindergarten were not limited to those who possessed potential; because the truth is, everybody has potential.

You know how long it took to learn to ride a bike or drive or to never commit the same mistake again? It's the same with innovation. It takes a bit of practice and a lot of time before this mind function comes easily when called. This article will teach you a few tips on how to bring innovation into your life.

Don't listen to what other people say. Follow the beat of your own drum. Allowing for the input of other people will only bring cacophony to the music you are trying to make. If you have an original idea, don't waste your time and effort trying to make people understand. They won't. And the help you will probably get comes in the form of negative feedback. If all those geniuses listened to their peers, we would probably still be living in the middle ages.

Spend time on it. I cannot stress that enough, although, please do not mistake this tip to tell you to quit your day job entirely. Do not. This involves some tricky time management but with a little discipline you'll be able to squeeze both in.

Exercise. Take a walk. Run a mile or two. Send all those endorphins coursing through your veins. Exercising certainly clears and relaxes your mind and allows for anything to pop up.

Record your dreams. Aren't some of them just the craziest things that your conscious mind would never have thought of? If you've had these dreams before, and I'm sure have, this only shows you the untapped innovative power you have lying within. So jot down those notes. Those dreams may just create an innovative spark in you.

Find your own style. You can always tell a Van Gogh from a Matisse. You'll know Hemingway wrote something by the choice of words on the paper. So it is the same with you. People will appreciate your innovation more because it is uniquely yours and that no one else would have thought of what you were thinking. That will let people see how valuable an asset you are.

Don't hide behind nifty gadgets or tools. You don't need the most expensive set of paints to produce a masterpiece. The same way with writing. You don't need some expensive fountain pen and really smooth paper for a bestseller. In fact, J.K. Rowling wrote the first book of the Harry Potter Series on bits of tissue. So what if you've got an expensive SLR camera if you're a crappy photographer? Who cares if you've got a blinging laptop if you can't write at all? The artist actually reduces the number of tools he has as he gets better at his craft: he knows what works and what doesn't.

Nothing will work without passion. What wakes you up in the mornings? What keeps the flame burning? What is the one thing that you'll die if you don't do? Sometimes people with talent are overtaken by the people who want it more. Think the hare and the tortoise. Ellen Degeneres once said that if you're not doing something that you want to do, then you don't really want to do it. And that's true. Sometimes you just want something so bad you become a virtual unstoppable. And that is passion. Passion will keep you going.

Don't worry about inspiration. You can't force it; inspiration hits when you least expect it to, for those unpredictable yet inevitable moments you should prepare. An idea could strike you on the subway, yet alas, you poor unfortunate soul; you have no sheet of paper to scribble down a thought that could change the world. Avoid these disasters. Have a pen and paper within your arm's reach at all times.

I hope this article has helped you bring more innovation into your life. Keep in mind that you're doing these things for your own satisfaction and not anybody else's. But soon enough they will notice, and everything should snowball from there.

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Building Your Business with an Opt-in List


Before revealing the secrets of the trades, here are myths and fallacies that need to be cleared before one indulges into building an opt-in list. These marketing misconceptions could pose so much of an obstacle towards your profitting well from your business.

Not a lot of people use email

Email marketing is one of the most effective marketing methods nowadays simply because virtually almost all people use email. Check on those email fields or blanks required to be filled up on various forms needed in processing different transactions. A person without an email address is tantamount to a person without an online home, which is one big shameful truth for this generation.

Email marketing campaigns can offend a lot of people

The not-so secret way to surmount this dilemma is through permission-based advertising. There's no harm in trying after asking for permission.

It's stupid to send email to all the people

The key to this predicament is to have a very discerning eye on who to email and who to not email. Better look for some metrics on how to know which group of people would give you high ROI or return on investment.

The Real Deal with Building Opt-in List

After clearing the fog regarding email marketing myths, here's how one can benefit from employing the power of email marketing campaigns - building an opt-in list.

However, building an opt-in list is not a piece of cake particularly for the uninitiated. Here is a roundown of tips on how to succeed in this kind of marketing endeavor.

1. Strategic Collection of Data

Know which information from your audiences will help you in lowering expenses and/or make sales flourish. Devise a tactic to make people voluntarily provide you with the information necessary to create higher conversion.

Overload of data is not good. Ask only for opt-in, with their full name and email addresses. Make sure that the profiles that you gather are updated to aid in improving the relevance, timeliness and satisfaction from each deal you make.

2. Good Implementation

Old adage says it all - 'action speaks louder than words'. This easily translates to the difficulty one has to undergo during the execution of his or her email marketing efforts. It's a good thing that various methods, often low-cost, abound to hasten and facilitate the building up of one's opt-in database.

Tracking your email marketing results can pose great hardship, too. Technology and relevant sources should be employed in making this aspect of your marketing a lot manageable. Your high traffic groups of opt-ins with the greatest result should be taken noted of.

The following are the most widely used methods to leverage channels without overspending:

1. Make use of websites.

It is an excellent tool for data collation and providing you with relevant info regarding your email offers. Use forms that solicit your visitor's email address and consent.

2. Make use of print ads, brochures, TV, radio and direct mail.

These are the more popular ways of marketing aiming to lead traffic to one's site. You may want to ask for signups for email services. Make your website more visible through these media. Offering free electronic newsletters and or rewards program can do well in making it easy to win the nod of your audiences, too.

3. Maximize your sales force.

Customer service associates can help a lot in making you benefit more from your email correspondence. Sales people with proper education on how to aid you in this endeavor can very well contribute to higher ROI. Techniques like offering account updates and special programs through email can easily land you those lists of valuable visitors.

4. Don't make your point of sale pointless.

Forms for signup located at cash registers and other high-traffic and highly visible spots can be very excellent venues for your business to collect email addresses. Notification of upcoming sales through their email addresses and names can coax them to supply you with the information you need.

5. Conferences or trade shows can work, too.

Giveaway offers or entries on sweepstakes are great for opt-in to volunteer their contact details.

These tactics should be applied with adequate caution and should focus on earning the trust of your opt-in list instead of simply collating data for your sole own benefit. Always make sure that the forms that you will use and other methods that you will employ will not necessitate too much fuss to subscribe. This is for people to not be annoyed during the process of data supplication.

With that bunch of information, who can ever go wrong with the feat of building an opt-in list?

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Increasing Sales Through Strategic Internet Marketing


The Internet has now become an important medium for product and service advertisements. Almost every company that can afford print, radio and TV advertisements have also ventured into placing ads on the Internet.

But with millions of websites out there being visited by millions of computer users, how can you make sure that your ad can be seen by your target customers and that your leads will be followed by these users? Here are a few tips.

1. Place an ad on the websites frequented by your target customers. Before doing this, you need to define who will be your target customers. Placing an ad on sites that they usually visit will increase the possibility that your ad will gain the attention and will be followed your target customers.

Also, consider the website's search engine placement, traffic, external linking and the other ads placed on it. External linking will determine if there are other sites that link to this site. This will mean that people can get to the site where your ad is placed, even if they are browsing a different site. Check if many of your competitors have ads on this site.

2. Placing ads on some sites cost some money. However, there are also sites that can place a link to your site, product or service in exchange of having their link being displayed on your site. This is also true about the newsletters sent by site owners to its mailing list members regularly.

Also, having helpful links placed on your site and having sites link to your pages help in boosting search engine ranking. This is similar to making a statement that your site's content is important that other sites have links to your web pages.

3. Pay-per-click (PPC) is also a good method in Internet marketing. You will only need to pay for the ad if the link is clicked. If you prefer this method of advertisement, make sure that you are using services that set limits on daily expenses. There are also services that help you determine effective keywords and monitor the PPC results.

4. Choose your domain name wisely. It is still being debated if domain names matter when it comes to search engine placement. Whether it does or not, having product related domain names help consumers remember your domain, that they can go back to your site even without the links.

5. Make sure you have useful content on your sites. While keyword density is important in search engine placement, having useless information or annoying repetition of keywords will not increase your customer's confidence in your site. It may even affect your sites traffic and can get your site removed from search engines. So make sure that keywords are used strategically.

6. When thinking of keywords, think like your target customers. What do you think are they going to search so they can get to your site? Also, use specific keywords or key phrases. Submitting a single word or a very general phrase to a search engine will not get you to the top of the search results compared to submitting specific keywords that describe your product and services perfectly.

7. Track your ads. Always check how much you have spent on placing links on frequently visited sites and on PPC. There are services that allow you to monitor PPC transactions and how many of these end in sales. You always need to consider if the ads that you have placed on these websites are getting you to your target consumers and if these ads can lead to revenue.

One final tip on marketing products and services, sell the benefits. It will help your marketing strategies a lot if you highlight the benefits of choosing your products and services instead of merely discussing the product specifications. Product specifications may not mean much to customers, unless they know what these stand for (how these specifications affect the quality of the product or service).

Many people say getting to the top of search engine results is difficult since millions of websites exist, which can be using the same keywords. While this is true, this doesn't mean that your website has to stacked under your competitors' websites when presenting search engine results. Strategic advertising and linking, together with useful content, can also get you to the top of the search results.

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The 3 Easiest Ways For Newbies To Start In Affiliate Marketing


With the aid of the Internet, you can almost have everything right at your fingertips. With just a few clicks you get access to thousands and even millions of pieces of information and data on virtually any field of interest. As years pass by, the Internet continuous to effect radical changes in many facets of human endeavors, including commerce. Experts say that the information space, commonly known as the “world wide web,” grows by over a million pages everyday as more and more people utilize the Internet for information, education, entertainment, business and other personal reasons. It doesn’t take a business-oriented individual to realize that this phenomenon can bring about sky-high financial gains. The Internet’s fast-growing popularity in the recent years is surely an opportunity for business that any entrepreneur would not want to miss.

You might be thinking only businessmen can make much money out of the Internet, don’t you? Think again. You too can earn big bucks through the Internet even if you don’t have products to sell and high-profile and established company. How? That is through affiliate marketing. You might have come across these words over the net while surfing. Affiliate marketing is a revenue sharing between a merchant and an affiliate who gets paid for referring or promoting the merchants’ products and services. It is one of the burgeoning industries nowadays because it is proven to be cost-efficient and quantifiable means of attaining great profit both for the merchant and the affiliate and other players in the affiliate program, such as the affiliate network or affiliate solution provider.

Affiliate marketing works effectively for the merchant and the affiliate. To the first, he gains opportunities to advertise his products to a larger market, which increases his chances to earn. The more affiliate websites or hard-working affiliates he gets, the more sales he can expect. By getting affiliates to market his products and services, he is saving himself time, effort and money in looking for possible markets and customers. When a client clicks on the link in the affiliate website, purchases the product, recommends it to others who look for the same item or buys it again, the merchant multiplies his chances of earning. On the other hand, the affiliate marketer benefits from each customer who clicks on the link in his website and who actually purchases the product or avails of the service provided by the merchant. In most cases, the affiliate gets commision per sale, which can be fixed percentage or fixed amount.

If you want to be an affiliate marketer and make fortunes out of the Internet, you may follow the following three most basic and easiest ways to start an effective affiliate marketing program. First is to identify a particular thing you are interested in or passionate about so you won’t be bored and forced to develop your affiliate web site later on. Focusing on a specific area you know very well will help you bring out your best without much risks and effort. You can add a personal touch to your site and give your visitors who are possible buyers an impression that you are an expert in your field. In this way, you gain their trust and eventually encourage them to buy the products you endorse. Next is to look for good paying merchants and products or services related to your interest and create now a website. In choosing the products, you must also consider its conversion rate—the number of visitors-turned-buyers. There are various affiliate networks and affiliate solution providers that can give you info on the most profitable products and best paying merchants. The key here is, be wise enough to choose the right one.

Now that you have decided where to concentrate, have chosen the products to endorse and the merchant you are supporting and have created your own web site with top level domain name and reliable hosting, you are ready to promote. This is a crucial task, since it is through this that you would be able to increase traffic to the business website, sales and of course, profit. In affiliate marketing, it is possible to earn large sums of money in a short span of time especially when you’re endorsing high-priced items. Expensive products are hard to sell; however, with the right marketing strategies and sales techniques, you can draw visitors to the merchant’s site and make them buy the products. How to promote the products, though, would need a separate discussion. Continue to educate yourself by reading books or other articles online about the best advertising techniques.

Keep in mind, there is no facile and quick path towards success. Affiliate marketing may seem very tempting due to numerous encouraging testimonies of merchants and affiliate marketers alike who have benefited from it, but it entails great deal of hard work and persistence. Likewise, you need to be creative, flexible and willing to embrace new ideas to market your partners’ products until you find the perfect strategy that works for a specific market that you are targeting. Neither signing up for an affiliate program nor copying ads and leading others towards the merchants’ site doesn’t guarantee success yet. Many affiliate marketers fail to understand this, so when they don’t make sales, they quit, look for other programs and repeat the same mistake. In the end, they conclude that affiliate marketing is just one of those scams in the Internet. Even as you sleep, you can work your way to great financial success if you employ the right strategies in affiliate marketing. Be creative, be smart and surely, you’ll achieve your goals.

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5 Reasons Why Blogging is the New Internet Marketing Tool


Blogging is a concept that started in late 90s. It used to be a way to comment an existing webpage, an opportunity for visitors and readers to react or voice out one’s opinion on the said page. What started as a single-sentence commentary has evolved into pages of personal take on just about anything and everything under the sun. As it continues to move forward, online advertising has tapped into the blog’s potential. Here are 5 reasons why you should use blogging as an Internet marketing tool.

1.Blogging is simple. The simplest way to get your piece on the net is through blogging. No skills are necessary… an average adult can read and type, or at least click a mouse. It’s like having a virtual piece of paper and you just write your ideas, experiences, new products, and hope that the truth behind your articles comes out and entice your reader to also try your product. If you have a PC and an Internet connection (who doesn’t?) then you can blog and advertise.

2. Blogging is authentic. In this day and age where advertising saturate our lives, we question the credibility of promoters’ claims. However, in blogs, real people share their real-life experiences, unscathed by paid advertising. Reading blogs about first-hand product use is like talking to people about their first-hand experience. You definitely want to buy a tried and tested product.

3. Blogging is free. Because blogging is yet to be proven as a mainstream online advertising media, most sites see it as something to augment current marketing tools and thus offer it for free. Any opportunity for free webtime is definitely a bonus especially to businesses that are starting up. Needless to say, paid blog pages can generate more income for your seriously growing business.

4. Blogging builds credibility. As you get more and more into writing your experiences on a particular product or industry, your readers come to realize that they can depend on your posts for their own information needs. As such, you become an expert on it; as a consequence, more readers visit your site and more bloggers link to your blogs. As companies and professional organizations notice the growth of your readership base, they may soon get in touch with you for advertising on your blog page, or make you an affiliate, which pays for every referral generated from your blog site.

5. Blogging builds your market. Unless you are a Hollywood star, chances are, only your Mom reads your posts. Mom has a lot of friends, so she lets her friends know how interesting your blog site is. But you need not depend on Mom to increase your readership base. Look into the following ways to build your market through blogging:

-By using your e-mail. Today, blogging is overcoming the e-mail’s popularity in quickly and effectively reaching and expanding a market. In this age of speed and quick access, logging in and downloading e-mail is simply taking longer than clicking into a blog site. Let them explore your site by using a short e-mail message as teaser to your blog site. If your e-mail is on an entirely different subject, use your e-mail signature to give a link to the site.

-By using subscription. An easy way to get your readers e-mail is to give them an opportunity to subscribe to your blogsite. Keep some exclusive information for your subscribers to entice readers to subscribe and give their e-mail address. Just be responsible in using their e-mail address, as the last thing you want is a comment on your blog that you are a spammer.

-By understanding your readers. Conduct a simple survey for your readers to understand their profile and advertising preferences. Ask consumers to give you feedback on a post, an ad link, or a trial that you shared. In this way, it is like interviewing your readers without the commitment and intrusion of a face-to-face interview.

-By joining a blog network –A network of blogs maybe a collection of blog sites that share the same industry, interest, readership base, payment mode, etc. Consumers find credibility and convenience in clicking one link to several real bloggers about a single subject. Clearly, more bloggers are better than one.

-By using RSS. RSS is the fastest growing technology on the Internet today. As such, having RSS feeds to your blog is definitely another means of generating awareness for your readership base. Having a variety of feeds can add interest to your blog site.

Give your business a boost by effectively using blogging as an Internet marketing tool!

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