Tuesday, August 18

We're moving!

We have decided to move this blog to our main domain - http://www.jayrodchicago.com/blog/

Be sure to visit us, bookmark us and share us with your friends. I've had many followers because of blogspot and I'm appreciative. Please be sure to join me at www.JayRodChicago.com/blog/

Monday, August 10

A great site for web traffic

I stumbled across (of course on Stumble Upon) a great website to increase web traffic.

Sure it's about an hour and a half long, but your business' website is worth it, isn't it?


Monday, August 3

The importance of having your website ready before implementing a social media plan

We’ve all heard the phrase, ‘You never get a second chance to make a first impression.’ Well, the Internet is no different. Think of it as dating. Let’s say you disperse 200 of your friends to let everyone know you’re available and to take a pamphlet that shows your face and a brief bio (like this would ever happen, but for the sake of argument, roll with me).

Much like social media, these friends can “share” the brochure with their friends and so on and so forth.

You obviously would want your nicest picture, a crisp bio and accurate contact information, right? Well, that’s much like your business’ website and the information that floats on the web through social media.

Thousands of sites are dug, StumbleUpon, reddit, and favorited each hour. If your information is valuable enough, and sometimes just quirky enough, you catch someone’s attention. They click on your story and you have them. Like a fisherman to fish, they’re hooked.

SO, now they’re on your site likely just reading what caught their interest. There are several universal tabs (Home, Contact, About Us to name a few) that many web developers would require for you to have on every page. Is your information valuable enough to make them explore further? Is your website hearty enough to lure people to your “make me a favorite” tab? Probably most importantly, do you have updated information on a regular (consistent basis) that would make them come to your site on a weekly basis without any prompt? That’s the ultimate goal of a social marketer and your business. You want the word out there about your business, obviously a call to action (to generate business) and then the perfect blend of customer service and quality content that will create a Top of Mind Awareness when they need someone in your field.

So in our first example, social media represents your friends and the brochure represents your website. Is your website prepared for the type of exposure social media can bring to it? It’s something every business owner needs to ask themselves before they ask for exposure (embarrassingly) at the wrong time – when they are unprepared.

Monday, July 27

Stressing "On a Dime"

Service Corps of Retired Executives, or SCORE, is an essential part of the lifeline of any business.

In this blog this week, we're focusing on the "on a dime" aspect of the title. SCORE has offices scattered throughout the nation with a ridiculously overwhelming amount of information and experience to help any business owner get their project off the ground and onto the right path.

With the business I'm in, social media knowledge and tips are key. Peggy Corwin is the woman to go to here in Chicago. Her site is amazing: http://pegcorwin.com.

Monday, July 20


Check your site with these free site analysis tools
Before you hurry off to submit your web site to all the search engines and directories, remember to check your web site thoroughly to see if your web site is optimized. There are a number of free web site analysis tools available on the net that will check your site for spelling mistakes, dead links, browser compatibility, html design and loading time. They will also rate your web site on a scale of poor to excellent. Checking your site with these online tools will take only a minute of your time will give you a lot of valuable information about your site.
You know how frustrating it is to wait for a page to load. Most of the time you won't bother to wait for more than 30 seconds or so, and if a page has still not loaded you might think 'To hell with it - I'm going somewhere else'. Another often frustrating problem is to click on a link only to find the following error on your screen: 'The requested URL does not exist'. This is known as a dead link. It could happen by giving a wrong link or by deleting a page that is linked to other pages in your site. And when you see a spelling mistake, your response is probably 'If they haven't checked their own web site for spelling mistakes, are they professional enough for me!' Make sure your web site loads fast and it doesn't have any dead links or spelling mistakes. You could lose tons of visitors if you don't optimize your web site.
Web site Analysis and Optimization Tools
Some of our Favorite Tools
· NetmechanicThis is our absolute favorite. We strongly recommend that you use this tool for checking your load time, spelling mistakes, and browser compatibility. The report generated is concise and easy to understand. You can also use the HTML design report along with the Hit Box HTML report. THIS IS ALSO AWESOME TO CREATE A “SHARE” MODULE ON YOR SITE!!http://netmechanic.com/toolbox/html-code.htm
· Website GarageThis tool offers two extra checks i.e. Link Popularity and Register-It! Readiness. Your load time results may not be accurate as it does not recognize Flash and other plug-ins. http://websitegarage.netscape.com/
· HitboxIf you would like to be cheered up with your web site load time go to Hitbox to get a good report on your load time. You will find that there is a big difference in these results when compared to the other tools. We recommend that you use the HTML design report along with the Netmechanic HTML report to get a good idea of how to improve the HTML design in your site.http://www.hitbox.com/cgi-bin/page.cgi?tools/doc
· BobbyIf you want a strict evaluation of your web site we recommend you use Bobby. If you pass his stringent criteria you can get a Bobby Approved stamp.http://www.cast.org/bobby/ NEXT WEEK: SEARCH ENGINE SUBMISSION

Monday, July 13

How can Twitter benefit my business?

So, I’ve been getting the question rather often: Have you found any good use for Twitter? Phh. I ask, “How much time do you have?”

So often, we get stuck looking at the big picture. I find this a lot when I review resumes and cover letters. People tell me: “I was only a camp counselor” or “I just worked at a convenient store.” After a little prodding (courtesy of my reporter days), I help them indentify some of the obvious. That job as a camp counselor had you looking out for the health and well being of 25 children. That position at the convenience store had you handling the owner’s deposits and withdrawals for 10 years. Doesn’t that count for something? It sure does.

Twitter is the same way. I’m asked: “How can you get your message across in 140 characters or less?” Hmm. My response: “What’s to say you need to have your message on Twitter? Why not at a blog or your website?” That’s when a light bulb comes on. Twitter for businesses has a variety of great uses.

Take, for example, Ford. Their social media guru sets up discussions with the CEO on a somewhat regular basis and opens it up for the world to ask him questions. Kind of on a big scale, I know, but you get the point.

The key to starting any great social media experience is listening. What are people in your field/people who are your customers talking about? If need be (and the situation calls for it), interact. Follow them on Twitter and 7 times out of 10, they will follow you. Online conversations are much like offline conversations. You see someone at the same function as you, you want to know why they chose to be there. With Twitter, you want to know why they are asking what they are asking and if you could be of assistance.

After listening and taking an interest, use your account to promote “off-Twitter” content. Send a teaser with a link… much like a headline in a newspaper. For example: Chicago’s best food listed here. Did ur fave make it? www.JayRodChicago.com/2016. In 80 characters, I’ve teased the reader and shot them to my website. That’s good once in a while. Do that too much and people will turn your “follow” button off.

Be human. Give some real-life experiences. There’s flexibility with your brand on social networking sites like Twitter, facebook and more. Have fun with it, but don’t get too carried away. No one wants to see their beautician doing a keg stand last weekend through twitpics. Let them know you have a human side, a sense of humor and a family. People are more receptive to those they can relate to.

We have barely scratched the surface here, but I’m hoping you get the picture… even if it’s the little one!

Monday, July 6

Request for cheap computer maintenance from our customers

I’ve been getting several requests for computer information, specifically making your computer work quicker. I did a quick check with a national office supply company to see how much they charge to do something like this and I learned it was $30!

Those of you who know about defragmenting your computer should be astounded by that price. All it takes is a matter of a few clicks and voila – you’ve saved yourself $30 AND made your computer work quicker.

Defragmenting was explained to me like this: Picture a floor filled with various colored marbles – some solid red, some blue, some white and some black – but all blended together. That is the information that your computer stores as you are online. Let’s say we sent a very smart snail through the room to look for a black marble. Since they are all mixed up, it’s going to take him awhile. What defragmenting does is separate the marbles – or information in your computer – into those with common interests (or colors) making it easier for the snail to find the black marble. Now you can picture the room with marble in separate groups of red, white, blue and black.

So as your computer is told to find information that would be in one pile and not the other, after it is defragmented, it will find the information much quicker.

SO, after that lengthy description, let me explain to you how to defragment your computer and save yourself from spending $30 at that national office supply store.

1) Go to computer on your desktop or from your start-up menu, which is in the lower left hand corner of your screen.

2) Right click, with your computer mouse, the C: drive. There should be a pull-down menu that comes up.

3) Left click Properties. From there, a separate box will appear. Click on Tools.


5) Once your defragmenting is done, close the box and enjoy your quicker computer!

Have an idea for a blog here? Text “BLOG IDEA” followed by the idea to 312-515-9459 or you can join the JayRodChicago page on facebook and submit through there!