Tech Tuesday with BenSpark #14

This is a repost of my weekly Tech Tuesday With BenSpark that is published on FuelMyBlog’s Blog.

Last week I talked about Photo Hosting Sites as great places for social networking. Today I am going to talk about some simple steps you can take to improve your networking and appeal. I’m not talking about gimmicks like contests. Something which I run each month on my blog and I have won a few on other blogs. I even won one on this blog and that was really fun. But now that I have that Gizfolio there are some things that I need to to do increase my appeal to potential people seeking me for freelance jobs. Well, Gizfolio is unique in that I am writing up a bio and submitting some of my best photos. However I would not consider that a Social networking site. That is a site for freelancers and those who want to hire freelancers.

Social network sites generally ask you for quite a few bits of information and rather than skip things like favorite movies and music you should use that to your advantage. Adding tags to your posts as well as entering information about your likes and dislikes on social networking sites will help to increase the traffic to your blog.

For instance, suppose you were to write a blog about kayaking. You most certainly should add kayaking to your list of sports because other kayakers will inevitably do a search on kayaking and you want your blog to be on that list.

Take for instance MySpace. With MySpace you are asked to put together a list of your favorite

  • I’d Like to Meet:
  • Interests:
  • Music:
  • Films:
  • Television:
  • books:
  • Heroes:

I’ve noticed that many of the social networking sites that I have joined recently have similar questions and the things that you list in each one become searchable tags to find others with similar interests. The more and more I see this I realize that being able to search with tags to find people of similar interests is very fun. So it is very important that you fill out these fields on your profiles. And it is even more important to keep things up to date.

So this week’s tip is very simple, create a file that has all of your answers to these frequently asked questions. And that way you can easily edit the document and update your profiles on all of your social networking sites. You simply would need to copy and paste your answers on a designated interval of time. So for instance if you wanted to always have your profiles updated monthly you could edit the file and copy and paste the new answers into the locations on each social networking site. That way you don’t end up with things outdated in your profile.

An example of an outdated profile would be my profile on Buzznet says I am 32 and recently married in 2005. Well, 2005 is like 20 years ago in the online world. I need to update that profile and make it much more current. I mean the big news going on with me is that my wife and I are expecting our first child. But if you read my profile, nothing much has happened since 1995.

I have also noticed that tagging my posts has increased my readership because the things I blog about are easier to find. Tagging can be very specific or very general, chances are that someone somewhere is searching for the terms that you tag your posts, photos and videos with. I have noticed that my photos that I tag often get much more attention than those that I do not tag.

So to break this Tech Tuesday down to simple terms.

Use profiles in Social Networking sites to gain readers to your blog by:

  • Having up to date and accurate answers for the questions
  • Maintaining an editable file that you can change at your leisure and use to upload new information on an interval of your choice. I’d suggest monthly or bi-monthly, Don’t go the 2 year route like I did.
  • Actively search for readers through keywords.
    Recruiting new readers can be as simple as looking through keywords and finding people then leaving a comment on their blog on a post about one of the topics that you both find in common. You might gain a reader, you might not but you could also become a reader of that other blog yourself.
  • Keep a list of all the social networking sites that you need to update, this could be in the document itself or a folder in your favorites.

Also use the power of tagging, tag everything, be specific, be general, be easy to find.
Make sure that your tags reflect the content of your blog posts on your blog and reflect what you truly enjoy on social networking sites.

Till next Tuesday…
If anyone has a topic that they would like me to discuss please leave a message here on on the Tech Tuesday topic in the FuelMyBlog Forum.

And if you are looking for me online I am all over the social network scene. FuelMyBlog, Facebook, High 5, Myspace, Tecnorati, Digg, Vazaar, Blog Catalog, MyBlogLog Bumpzee, Spicypage, Flickr, Buzznet, Zooomr, Pownce, Twitter, Blogger, TypeKey, and don’t forget your own profile or bio page on your blog.

And don’t forget your avatar either, make sure you have one that you can easily resize from site to site, I have a master one that is 400 pixels by 400 pixels and I can shrink that down to whatever the site is looking for in terms of size.

You may look at some of my profiles and you will notice that I have yet to follow through on my tip for today. But I will.

BenSpark Writes four blogs, is an avid kayaker and a Transformers fan, he also takes at least one photo every single day and posts it to his BenSpark Blog. You can visit him at The BenSpark, BenSpark 2: Electric Boogaloo, Flatwater Tech or The Wired Kayaker.

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