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It has been a long road for Markethive .. what is next?

The road has been long, with many obstacles. It has been an emotional journey for many of us involved in Markethive. After becoming involved with Veretekk about 4-5 years ago, I knew that the concept and vision of Markethive was a sure fired winner.

There is no argument that it has taken time and had various delays brought on by certain things that I will not go into now .. why? … because I need to concentrate my energy into building Markethive and not worry about the issues. 

Until just 3 months ago, I was just one of the Founders of Markethive, having invested hard cash into its conception and my own time being a pro-active member. I then took on the role of Chief Engineer, to see Markethive not just to its completion, but to make sure that the systems are built on sound foundations. Many issues have been fixed during these 3 months, many enhancements have been made and I am very close to moving the whole system that is running on servers hosted by one company to Amazon Web Services. The latter is a huge task, mainly due to the way it was configured and how the code was written. For example there are 4000 files containing code, which equates to around 2 million lines of code.

I have recruited server admins, PHP coders etc… only to waste time with them and for them to disappear. Frustrating to say the least, but this is the process we must go through. To sift through the dirt and dust to find the nuggets of gold .. which I am sure I will.

What's next?

The next big enhancement will be the Affiliate Programme. This will be a game changer … now how many times have i heard those claims from companies? .. well I can tell you .. far too many. We are different in so many ways, mainly due to the people involved and their passion .. in helping the little guy and gal to succeed and prosper… not just financially but also as a person.

Well I am working on a new way of sharing blog posts (along with RSS Cocktails of blog posts) with members Social Media accounts. Once configured within Markethive, blog posts will seamlessly be shared across their networks, creating far more exposure than even seen.

I am also working on a Newsletter Subscription system. We know that every blog needs to deliver its message to subscribers. That's why I am creating HivesFeed RSS-to-Email (and eventually integrated with the above enhancement), the reliable solution for bloggers with BIG ambitions.

There are two important things all bloggers need to do…

1. Write great content.
2. Share that content.

HivesFeed helps you to share your content easily, effortlessly and continuously.

We take your RSS feed and enable its distribution.

So there you have it .. that is my own perspective on what we have to look forward to. Here's to a great a future.

If you believe that my message is worth spreading, please use the share buttons if they are visible on this page.

Stephen Hodgkiss
Chief Engineer at MarketHive

markethive.com


John Lombaerde

What good do all those LinkedIn connections do for me anyway?

A segment of a social network

A segment of a social network (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The number of your LinkedIn connections is a critical factor in your long-term marketing success on this unique social network.

If you connect with someone that has 10k 1st level connections on LinkedIn. That person’s 10K 1st level connections automatically become your second level connections.  their 2nd level, automatically become your 3rd.

The larger your network, the larger your reach of potential prospects.  Or, to put it another way, large networks command a larger sphere of influence.  With large networks it is apparent that you cannot know everyone in your network personally, but the advantage in my opinion outweighs the benefit of a smaller network of known associates.

As your network grows it will be more attractive for others to connect to you in order to widen their sphere of influence.  For example, it is clear that a certain point, you will have to make less effort to find connections.  (It has been reported that this usually happens on LinkedIn when 3,000 or more 1st level connections have been made). The larger your network, the more invitations will come to you, instead of having to reach out for every one of your connections.

It is healthy for the growth of your network to have a mix of incoming and outgoing connection requests.  If you only send out connection requests and never receive any incoming requests, it may look unbalanced to LinkedIn.  You might want to check your profile to see if there is anything that would prevent someone from connecting to you, if this happens to you.

Every time you post on Pulse inside of LinkedIn, your post automatically goes out to all of your first level connections.  If you have 10k connections, you have the chance for your content to be seen by over 10,000 people!  You will likely get many more views, likes, and comments with a larger network receiving your posts.

LinkedIn is much more likely to promote your content on Pulse, with a greater number of views.  If LinkedIn does promote your post, it could potentially be seen by tens of thousands of people.  It is not an easy task to get a blog post to command that kind of attention on a typical hosted WordPress blog. It takes quite a bit of time and effort.

One caution here. You will inevitably get more spammy type messages in your inbox. How long does it take to click delete?  If anyone becomes annoying and sends you repeated messages, you always have the option to remove them from your network.

In my opinion the rewards far outweigh the risks, so I am busy building a large network on LinkedIn.  See the following links to find out more about the best ways to do this.

MarketHive – Social Network for Entrepreneurs

Goldfinch Digital Marketing – one-stop shopping for all your local marketing needs

Goldfinch Digital Publishing – marketing blog

Related articles

Email Abuse and how to be blacklisted

Just a bit of advice to readers here. In the old days, it was a clever trick to set up an auto-responder trying to push an "opportunity" on your email address account. These are also referred to as "out of office replies". Do not confuse what I am referring to here with real auto-responders, when someone has actually signed-up to receive information from them.

This is not liked by most ESP's (Email Service Providers).  Times have changed. Now it is just seen as abuse and will not do any good for your on-line reputation.

This will get your email address blacklisted at Amazon who we at Markethive use as our Email Provider and because we have to follow by strict rules and procedures, we then put your email address in our own blacklist, so no further correspondence is sent to it.

So, be sensible .. remove those pesky blighters from your account settings and add a personal touch when contacting prospective clients or customers.

If you believe that my message is worth spreading, please use the share buttons if they are visible on this page.

Stephen Hodgkiss
Chief Engineer at MarketHive

markethive.com


John Lombaerde

Five Ways to Wow Your Clients Every Time

When it comes to dealing with customers, keep these things in mind for repeat business: stay in touch, ask questions, choose "can do" terminology, deliver the goods, and follow up. We share the details of the how and why below.

Freelancers, whether they're working as virtual assistants, writers, or transcribers for local law offices, are under constant pressure to please clients each and every time.

You know all too well how hungry the competition is. It’s one of the reasons you always try to go above and beyond with each client. The good news is that there are five ways you can wow your clients every time so they’ll never need to consider anyone but you.

Stay in Touch

You’d be surprised by just how much this means to clients. Not to mention how few competitors take this advice to heart. It’s easy to lose touch over the duration of long projects. A simple email note about the status of the project goes a long way towards helping your clients feel appreciated and preventing them from worrying about whether you’ll be able to deliver on time.

Ask Questions

More importantly, listen to the answers and use them in your work. Clients love it when you give them exactly what they want. Sometimes, that requires asking questions, refining, and narrowing.

Choose “Can Do” Terminology

When working with clients, there are many times when it’s not what you say that makes the difference, but how you say it. Learning to communicate effectively is a must when dealing with clients. However, learning to effectively communicate positively adds that extra little wow factor that keeps clients coming back for more. For instance, instead of telling your client that you can’t have a project finished until after 3 p.m. on Friday, try telling your clients that "I can have that project finished by 3 p.m. on Friday. Does that work for you?” That subtle change has a significant impact on the way clients view you. When you use words like can’t, they view you as someone who can’t get things done. When you change them to can, they see you as someone with a can-do attitude who will make things happen.

Deliver the Goods

In many cases, this is all it takes. However, you don’t want to merely deliver what the client asked for. You want to exceed your client’s expectations and you want to make sure that the client leaves the transaction believing he got more than his money’s worth.

Follow Up

The fortune is in the follow-up. You’ll hear this in almost any business you enter into. It’s not the one-time sell that becomes your bread and butter. It’s the people who keep coming back, month after month, to make use of the services you provide or the goods you sell. Follow up.

Make sure they’re happy with the product, service, etc. and double-check to ensure nothing is wrong, missing, or lost in translation. Then, ask if they need other products or services you offer and invite them to call on you again. This gives them the perfect opportunity to hire you again.

You don’t have to move mountains, make hard sells, or walk on burning coals to make customers happy. These five steps are relatively simple and yet they deliver happy customers time and time again. Try them out and see what a difference they make for your business.

If you believe that my message is worth spreading, please use the share buttons if they show at the top of the page.

Stephen Hodgkiss
Chief Engineer at MarketHive

markethive.com


John Lombaerde

Coming up With a Niche for a Blog

In a sea of endless posts, how will you differentiate yourself? Keep these factors in mind when starting a blog. 

With over 150 million blogs on the internet, starting one that stands out enough to gain followers and earn an income certainly isn't an easy task. Before the big blogging boom, it was much simpler to gain a readership, but with so many blogs out there, the first step to starting a blog is to find a unique niche – a topic that you can comfortably write about, that a lot of people want to read about.

One reader took to the forums to gauge interest and get some insight on choosing a niche for her blog, potentially on the topic of frugal living in a high cost area. But the feedback that came back could help out anyone looking to start their own blog – so counting the feedback and adding a few more tips, here's what to consider when coming up with a niche for your own blog.

Is there a big enough interest for the topic?

Blogs that earn an income have a very high number of daily visitors. Are there enough people interested in that topic to generate that kind of traffic? The trick is to make your topic broad enough to interest a wide range of people, but narrow enough that you're "not just another blog."

Do you have enough experience to write on the topic?

What information can you offer readers? If you are researching the information yourself and simply regurgitating what you read elsewhere, it's probably not a good topic for you. On the other hand, if you have quite a bit of experience in the area or are living through it as in a frugal living blog, then you may have found the right topic for you.

Can you write a lot of different articles on that topic?

If your goal is to turn your blog into an income, it will take many, many hours of work. Don't pick a topic you are not passionate about – you"ll end up burnt out months down the road. If, on the other hand you can't stop talking about your topic and love anything related, that passion will come in handy managing a blog.

What kind of competition is out there?

Small blogs don't have much chance ranking in the search results behind large companies that have entire teams devoted to search engine optimization. What other blogs cover the same topic? Are there many, or just a few? Do they cover it in a similar manner, or is there something to set your blog apart? Once you've scoped out the other competing sites, take a look at the Google AdWords Keyword Tool and type in a few potential topics you might write about, click the keyword ideas tab, then click the competition tab twice to arrange the ideas from low to high. Are there related keywords that rank low? If all the keywords you come up with are ranking high, it will be extremely tough for your blog to show up in the first few pages of the search results.

Can you pinpoint an audience?

Writing a blog involves reaching out to an audience – do you know who that audience is? Sure, your blog can have one main audience and a few smaller audiences, but you should be able to pinpoint who you are writing to. Are you reaching out to moms? Dads? Businessmen? Teenagers? A frugal living in a high cost area blog would have a very defined audience, yet that group of people is probably big enough to work with.

Is it easy to monetize?

There's more than one way to make money from a blog. How would your blog make money? Selling ads with a program like AdWords is a popular option – you"ll just need to ensure your topic reaches to an audience businesses also want to advertise to. Blogs can also make money by selling ebooks or products, or through affiliate links. It's a good idea to build an audience before monetizing, but you should still consider just how your topic can be monetized before you get started.

Blogs can be an excellent home-based businesses, if you have the passion, knowledge, writing skills and time. But every successful blog also needs a niche – consider elements like competition, interest and audience before venturing out into the world of blogging.

If you believe that my message is worth spreading, please use the share buttons if they show at the top of the page.

Stephen Hodgkiss
Chief Engineer at MarketHive

markethive.com


John Lombaerde

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