Larry BraunerThere are two common reasons that you and your business might not be ready yet to take advantage of social media marketing.

It’s possible that you do not yet have a suitable website or blog site to be the hub of your social media marketing and to convert your traffic. Darren Rowse, the author of 31 Days to Build a Better Blog, in his video, How I Use Social Media to Promote My Blogs, explains why you’d want one:

It’s also possible that you haven’t yet created even a rough social media and web marketing plan to work with.

You’ll need to outline your marketing objectives, of course. You’ll also need to specify to whom you’re marketing and determine which subject areas are appropriate to discuss.

Then, you’ll plan a course of action that encompasses your websites, content and social sites prior to launching your social media marketing campaign.

Are you ready for social media marketing?

Larry BraunerI consider traffic, along with time, expertise and influence, to be a basic element of social media monetization.

Traffic is monetized by placing ads or sponsored content on blogs, social networking sites or other types of websites.

For years, I have resisted the idea of monetizing my traffic with commercial ads. To a large extent, I regard my blogs as professional work samples. My concern, therefore, has been the possibility that monetizing my blog traffic with ads might to some degree sully my image.

Last week, however, I accepted an invitation from Technorati Media to join their publisher network and placed their ad tags on my blogs and my business networking sites. I was ready for this change and happy to be getting started with a company I knew and trusted.

Of course, I’m not going to get rich from my social media traffic overnight, but ads give me another income stream that I can grow over time.

I invite you to connect and network with me on my new business sites:

You don’t need your own business to participate.

Larry BraunerI started this blog, because I wanted to refocus the content of Online Social Networking on social and business networking, yet I still wanted to discuss other topics, such as New York business events, small businesssearch and social media.

Now that I’ve launched two new business networking sites, and both have blogging capabilities, I’m setting up a New York business blog on one site and a small business blog on the other.

In case this post has sounded so far like an Abbot and Costello routine, here’s a simpler breakdown:

You might be wondering whether this article is merely a shameless plug for my new sites. Fortunately for me, there is a takeaway. ;-)

Although we might hope to build a web presence one time and then coast along, adding a blog post here and a social bookmark there, this online strategy isn’t at all feasible. Over time the world, technology and we too change substantially. These changes need to find expression in our web initiatives.

Therefore, since real world and corresponding social media changes are inevitable, we must expect them, accommodate them.. and grow with them.

We must grow with the flow. :-P

Larry BraunerI asked on Facebook earlier today whether every small business should have a blog. My Facebook focus group provided eight responses of which six were affirmative.

Fortunately, I’m not obliged to side with the majority on such matters, and although I praise blogs in 6 Easy Ways to Integrate Search and Social on Your Blogs and elsewhere, I see a blog as one of a variety of marketing tools at our disposal.

Starting a blog requires a commitment that is inappropriate for many small businesses.

You and I can talk about thought leadership, but when an entrepreneur is already wearing five hats in his or her small business, and there’s a family at home requiring attention, starting a blog could be the very straw that breaks the camel’s back.

Outsource it? That could be pricey and, in any case, I don’t know if that is thought leadership.

Back in April, I asked: Is Going Blogless Really An Option?

My answer: “Going blogless is an option. [With some creativity] you can accomplish with a standard website most of what you’d hope to accomplish with a blog.”

If anybody says your small business must have a blog, send them to me with boxing gloves on, and the two of us will duke it out. :-P

Larry BraunerAt the Search and Social Leadership Forum, Veronica Fielding, whose Digital Brand Expressions sponsored the event, presented case studies of several companies that had optimized their web marketing campaigns by creating synergy between search and social.

These projects were very complex and required expert execution. However, less complex ways exist for you and I to realize similar synergies, each of us according to our own levels of expertise, by integrating search and social on personal or company blogs. Here are six easy ways you can integrate search and social on your blogs:

  1. Content - Post to your blog very frequently. Blogs are social, and they’re content generators. You write; others comment. When you post to your blog, you’re supplying content that attracts both search engines and humans. When you post frequently, your content is fresh. Readers like to find fresh content, and it’s like caviar for Google and other search engines, since searchers crave it.
  2. Comments – Elicit comments, interact with readers and build your community. Consider making your comments dofollow to increase reader participation. Comments augment content and attract both readers and search engines, just like blog posts. Similarly, frequent comments help even more. Some search engines interpret comments as votes for you and for your authority.
  3. FollowersMake it easy for visitors to follow and subscribe to your blog. The more people following and reading your blog, the more authority being conferred upon you by your audience and by search engines.
  4. Widgets – Install Google Friend Connect and other widgets on your blog to increase followers and your perceived authority. Website widgets can help build your following.
  5. Social – Build relationships with readers on and off your blog. I like to connect on Facebook, Twitter, by phone and face-to-face. Always keep in mind that social media is.. uh social. People who like you and your content will often refer others to you and link to you. Inbound links translate into authority with search engines.
  6. Search – Fine tune your search engine optimization. You may receive more visitors from search than from social, and search visitors tend to be searching for something you have. The search engines close the loop by sending new visitors who read, comment and follow your blog, helping you all over again with search engine positioning.

I’ve enjoyed our brief visit. Now it’s time for you to subscribe and leave me a comment. ;-)