How to hashtag my posts or content

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By: Brendan Fitzpatrick

Google

Hash-tagging is an old concept that has recently taken off big time. The origins of hashtag’s go back to the days of Internet Relay Chat (IRC). In the early days of the Internet there were some very smart Geeks that had a lot to say but didn’t know how to say it. Born was the concept of Hashtag’s.

Some of you might be wondering what a hashtag is. Simply defined, it is a short form descriptive way to capture a mood or emotion. Very similar to emoticons (graphical descriptions), hashtags are the textual form of a mood, emotion or description without typing a sentence or paragraph to say what you’re feeling or what your post is about..

Okay, no more history or boring details of how hashtags have evolved. The immediate decision on how to tag your Social Media posts should focus on the following:

  • Descriptive – select descriptive hashtags that describe what you are posting
  • Popular select hashtags that are very popular if not ‘hot’
  • Unique – select hashtags that may not be popular but are unique

Descriptive hashtags keep your content relevant, this is extremely important. If you post a picture of a famous tree you should tag it with search terms that people are searching for. This should lead to short term likes and follows. Relevant tags are usually ‘saturated’ or popular so your posts are usually pushed down in the search results in a few days, but you should see results during this time (ie. likes and followers over a few days).

Popular hashtags are important because you will usually see immediate results (likes & follows) although they are usually short lived. Tag your photos with infamous news, celebrity names, holidays or the latest news topics and you’re guaranteed almost instant results. Keep in mind that you’ll see maximum results within 30 minutes of your post but probably not much more.

Unique hashtags are the best way to tag your content. You usually won’t see instant results (likes or follows) but don’t be surprised if you see a good handfull of activities (likes or follows) over a year or more.

The most important thing to know when tagging your content (image or text) is to use a combination of the above types of tags to find the right balance of types of tags. Don’t tag your content solely with the hottest hashtags or the benefits will be short lived. Don’t tag your hashtag with only Unique tags or it will take years to gain a following. Always tag with Relevant or Descriptive hashtags but also tag with Popular and Unique hashtags.

More importantly, always optimize your content, whether it’s using the most characters in a Twitter post or the right size image for an Instagram post or tagging the post with the maximum allowed tags, you need to do everything possible to do it correctly on the platform that you are posting on. I’ll say it again, maximize your content by using a many characters and or hashtags allowed on the Social Network that you are posting on.

One last recommendation, do as much A and B testing as possible. This means that you post either the same content or similar content with different hashtags and pay attention to the results so that you can identify the best #hashtags that work for your area of interest.

Experiences:

Early on in my Social Networking days I would tag my graphic designs with the likes of #tshirt #graphics #design and similar tags. Now I tag the same content with #instadaily #nba (if Basketball related) #sketchdesign #art #instaart #blue (if the design contains blue as a color) #fun #creative and the results have been exponentially better.

Conclusion:

There is no right or wrong way to hashtag your content, it’s all about maximizing the audience that sees your post (short and long term) so always try to find the hottest hashtags for near instant results but also tag with unique and descriptive phrases for longer term results. It’s all about balance!

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Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – The Simple Guide!

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By: Brendan Fitzpatrick

Google

InternetInReview is finally working on ‘Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – The Simple Guide’ for every situation, whether you’re a newbie, have advanced experience or simply a website owner that wants to do everything that you can to get a leg up on your competitor!

We plan to address 10 major topics from quality HTML design, cross-browser compatibility, competitor analysis and more. Now you might ask, there are unlimited resources on the Internet to dive into each topic and you would be correct, so why pay attention to our Guide? Well, wel’ll keep it simple, we’ve been lucky enough to have several successful websites when it comes to organic search engine traffic but we didn’t stop there. The premise to InternetInReview is that we reverse engineer and share our experiences with our readers so if you’re reading this then you’re in luck!

Follow our blog for updates, we promise to provide informative information that you can use to improve (or as we like to think – maximize) your Internet presence. When it comes to ‘online presence’, we like to compare it to real life experiences so let’s compare it go Golf.

In the game of Golf there are several simple steps that you should follow to improve your game:

  1. Take a breath of fresh air as approach the Tee box
  2. Bend your knees
  3. Align your ball (arms out 90% straight, not 100%)
  4. Keep your eyes on the ball
  5. Slow your swing down and strike the ball

You might ask, what does Golf have to do with SEO? in practice there’s not much – BUT, in concept it’s all the same. You see, at one point SEO was all about content (the more keywords you had the better), however – today, SEO is all about your presence and how you practice it – it has evolved into the Golf experience. Follow the basics and you’ll improve with time. SEO is not an overnight process – but following the basics – as in Golf – you will maximize your improvements over time.

Today, Search Engine algorithms have advanced so far that it’s more about what you’re doing than what you have done. Let’s use Google for example, today you can have a website that references a specific keyword more than any other website on the Internet. 10 years ago you would likely show up on the first page of Google but today you might not. Why? In our Guide you will learn why.

Our Guide will be designed to outline the simple steps that you need to continually follow on a regular basis to make your way onto the first page of Google and stay there. Nowadays, SEO is more about constant updates and quality content than ever before, gone are the days of simply publishing the most keywords.

We’ll dig into Content Quality, Social Media publishing, Relevance and Features that you should offer your visitors on a regular basis to keep up with and surpass your competitors. Our Guide will be written in a way that makes sense to you and when you follow it for just 2 or 3 weeks you will begin to see maximum benefits. As in Golf:

  • Take a breath of fresh air as approache the Tee box
  • Bend your knees
  • Align your ball (arms out 90% straight)
  • Keep your eyes on the ball
  • Slow your swing down and strike the ball

The Guide will offer pictorials, action items and recommendations for tools to manage your online presence. It will also share our experiences on how to compete with Amazon.com with Free Shipping solutions and how to procure products from China while being competitive (which is not nearly as simple as it has been in the past). We intend to publish a Summary of our Guide of each chapter on InternetInReview.com so follow us over the next several weeks to learn about our SEO Best Practices.

Future posts will include a summary about:  Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – The Simple Guide! (Chapter XX – Subject)

Bonus: The first 10 followers to this Blog will receive a copy Free of our Guide!

 

 

Online and Under Attack

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By: John Farley
Guest Blogger – Cyber Risk Management

Google

Online threats have drawn every business into a cyber war with hackers. The unfortunate reality for every CEO is that a cyber attack can cost them their job, or worse, lead to the downfall of an entire company. The groundbreaking new book, Online And Under Attack , aims to arm corporate leaders with the weapons to fight back. The reader will be equipped with the tools to create and implement a comprehensive cyber risk management program. The multi-faceted approach provides a unique perspective from both the hacker and the victim’s lens. This book provides key insights into the latest hacking techniques, technology defense, privacy law, government initiatives, insurance risk transfer products , best practices in data breach response and predictions into the future of the “Internet of Things”. It can be found here

Retail and dropshipping profits in danger : Amazon.com

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It’s a relatively quiet topic but all retailers are in danger of being victims of Amazon.com. Why? Amazon is the most successful retailer online but what most people don’t realize is that Amazon is out for blood! Amazon’s latest techniques involve shady practices such as figuring out which FBA (Fulfillment By Amazon) products sell successfully. What does this mean? If you use FBA and you are a “top seller”, say you sell 1,000 products by month, it is common knowledge that Amazon could (or more likely, will) reject your product at some point so that they can source your product directly from China and to sell it themselves.Can you say ‘Modern Day Monopoly?”.

Now, you might think that the chances of Amazon stealing your products or ideas is slim if you are a smaller business but the fact is that if you are an entrepreneur or an aggressive salesperson that you could be fighting a losing battle.

I hesitate to identify my products that this has happened to but I will share them when appropriate. For now, you should Google your products and compare them to the price they sell for on Amazon.com and figure out a way to compete.

Here’s how it works, if you are fortunate to have a “hot seller” I’m certain that Amazon either already sells that product at a cheaper price OR they will sell it soon enough. The real problem is that you might be able to compete with Amazon’s price BUT there is little chance that you can compete with Amazons “Free” shipping.

So here’s the deal, Amazon latches onto successful selling products and then has no problem earning $0.50 or $1.00 per sale (who can live off that?) as they put their competitors out of business. Once enough competitors are out of business then they’ll raise their prices to an acceptable profit level as they deem fit.Pretty scary, huh?

Am I the Only One Talking About Outsourcing?

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By: Brendan Fitzpatrick

Google

20 years ago I was concerned for the safety of the Information Technology (IT) industry. Not too long before, the manufacturing industry went overseas to various countries. The IT industry was on the same path but what made it so easy no matter how transparent the process was – was the fact that there was no union to put up a fight. Now, there was never really a chance to unionize the IT industry but at least at one point there were talks or a desire of some groups on Wall Street which at least spawned some conversations of the idea.

The IT movement overseas (ie. outsourcing) has been surprisingly slow compared to other industries, especially considering that it’s all about computers and automation. Int he last 20 year or so I was surprised to see certain industries completely outsourced overseas before at a faster rate than the IT industry. Financial back office and the medical field both come to mind. Someone very close to me (ie. related) worked for a very large financial industry in New York, they managed an entire back office team for a very large retirement fund for a Union. It was well known within the company that they worked for that they had to keep it secret that they were moving their entire team to India. The Union would have pulled it’s multi-billion dollar account on the spot. The person I’m speaking about was responsible for transferring all functions to the team in India which although was a tough process – the kinks worked themselves out over time.

The second thing that comes to mind is in the medical field. Look up ‘zocdoc.com’ on Google and you’ll see that they were expected to be the next billion dollar startup company. The fastest rising startup in a long time – the idea behind them was that you would use your webcam to have a face to fact ‘appointment’ with a doctor overseas an they could write you basic subscriptions. Now, this could be an extremely amazing ‘technology’ it becomes amazingly disturbing the more you think about it.

I won’t even go into the accounting industry which is also being unwillingly outsourced overseas but what I will leave you with is a question and a thought – “is there anything that the American people won’t sell out on?” To answer this question you have to define “American People who drive these industries”. These are primarily the multi-billionaire investors that drive Capitalism.. I’ve always said that “the principles that have built America” (ie. Capitalism) are the very same principles that are tearing it down. Investors are too greedy to make an extra dime instead of re-investing into America.

Why Amazon and Ebay are so Bad for the U.S.

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By: Brendan Fitzpatrick

Google

Simply explained:

  • Manufacturers reside in China, India and beyond
  • Historically, manufacturers would wholesale to U.S. retailers who would then retail those products to consumers
  • As the internet grows, China, India and the likes are implanting their countrymen in the U.S. as “preferred sellers” who undercut American retailers or “sellers” (as called by Amazon and eBay)

The implanted “preferred sellers” in the U.S. are relatives, employees and in some cases simply “acquaintances” of the manufacturers – it’s a full blown monopoly. Herein lies the problem, those acquaintances get true wholesale prices and are able to sell at the narrowest profit margins (via Amazon and Ebay) while American retailers who sell the same products have to sell at a lower margin (ie. lose $billions in sales) because they’re paying more for the same products. The margin of difference is the control point on eBay and Amazon which catapults the “preferred resellers” (of the Manufacturer) to “Top Seller” status on these sites (BTW, Top Seller status spells success which snowballs over and over as the more they sell, the cheaper it is to ship more products in bulk).

Here’s a real life example, search for ‘watchbox’ on Amazon.com and see if you can find this product or similar:

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This is a nice watchbox made in China. Now, before getting into the quality, shipping expenses (from China, to Amazon etc.) and Amazon service charges take a look at the price of this item, $6.17. This is not Alibaba.com or Aliexpress.com, this is direct to Consumer via Amazon. There is no way an American retailer is selling this product, this is purely a direct transaction from Manufacturer (via “preferred reseller”) to Consumer. The question becomes, is it even possible to prevent China from selling the bulk of it’s exports directly (or indirectly via “preferred reseller) to Consumers and how will that impact retailers in the U.S.? I do believe U.S. retailers are now on the path of being outsourced, the same as manufacturing jobs as well as with technology (India) and other markets.

Pretend you wanted to source the product above in bulk and retail it directly in the U.S., go to Alibaba.com (this is a direct Manufacturer to Retailer site) and see how much you can find the same product for.. 90% of the results will cost you $10 or more.. This is the evidence that proves this article. When Amazon (reseller price) is selling individual products cheaper than bulk pricing on Alibaba.com (wholesale price) it is proof that China, India and the like are creating a monopoly and cutting out the American retailer!

How does the American retailer compete directly with manufacturers from China when eBay and Amazon are in play? I don’t think it’s possible. How can an import tax solve this problem? It cannot when resellers and “preferred resellers” aka “implanted resellers” are being taxed the same. The only thing that the American retail market can hope for is to bring back manufacturing to the U.S. and the one thing China better be aware of is that Automation will wipe them out at some point.

 

China owns U.S. Retail

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By: Brendan Fitzpatrick

Google

We’ll keep this one quick. All I can say is that if you’re looking to sell a “box of rocks”, all you have to do is check on aliexpress.com and or alibaba.com and you’ll find it for say $1.99 as an example.. After shipping to the U.S. (assuming you buy 200 boxes as an example) it will cost you approximately $2.49 per box.

 

Here lies the problem, typically a retailer or reseller would sell that box for $5.00 and earn 100% profit (ie. 2x purchase price). Unfortunately, nowadays – China has satellite connections throughout the U.S. and their hooks are buried in the likes of Amazon.com and Ebay.com. What does this mean for us?

Well, here is the sad reality.. As a retailer I search Aliexpress.com, Alibaba.com and several other online sites (all brokers for Chinese, Indian as well as other manufacturers) for that “box of rocks” and that box that I wanted to sell in America now wholesales for $4.00 a box on Amazon. (try it for yourself with any product)
What does this mean?  At the moment I’ve only seen this problem with China which is why the title of this article is what is is (subject to change). It really means that the U.S.A. is being penetrated by immigrants that are receiving really cheap products from different countries which enable them to monopolize Amazon and all U.S. Retail companies because it enables a direct connection from foreign manufacturer to local consumer! Let’s pay attention to how the current Administration will handle this issue.