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I have talked about in the past how important it is for any business to choose the right web host. If you are just starting up or just gaining momentum in your business, you can’t afford not to give your business the best chance to succeed. Many small business owners have the temptation to go with the cheapest web host possible. Some don’t mind paying a few more dollars for those unlimited plans. In reality, you can’t have a free lunch and eat it too. World class web hosts offer very reliable services to their customers, but they will need to charge higher to keep offering high quality service. Those who pay $10 a month for their web hosting service and expect to get the best service in the world are dreaming.

If you are a start-up owner and have big plans for your business, you want to invest in a service that keeps your web services up 24/7. The last thing you want to do is leave things to chances and prayer. Besides, it would leave a very bad impression on your new customers if your service is down frequently.

There is more to web hosting than just comparing numbers. Take the below hosts for example. They are great for small businesses that are starting but don’t plan to get too big too soon. They are great for bloggers and those who don’t intend to offer a web service (e.g. Twitter). But you can’t just compare the numbers and choose one of these services for the next YouTube. [click to continue…]

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The Internet has truly revolutionized the way we do business. You have probably heard that a millions times by now. But there is a difference between doing business on the Internet, and using the Internet to do business. Everyday, a new Web 2.0 service launches. Doing business online is now more than just being present on LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook. You not only need to be involved in these communities, you’ve got to use every single credible Web 2.0 service to build your brand and drive traffic to your site. You heard me right! Every single one of them. That doesn’t mean you should do all this work yourself. But it pays to outdo your competitors in the social media arena.

You may say, “I don’t have time to be involved in every single community on the web.” You are right. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t test them all to see which ones give you the highest ROI. It’s one thing to test and dismiss under-performing social communities. It’s another thing to completely ignore top social media sites just to come back in the game when it’s too late. With that in mind, here are a few technologies that you should be using to build business online.

Social Networking Sites: You can’t afford not to be involved in the social media in 2009. You should have a profile on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook. And you should reach out to others and expand your network. Create your own group. Tweet interesting articles. Provide value to others. That’s what Web 2.0’s all about. Being involved in these communities is a no-brainer at this point:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Linkedin
  • YouTube
  • MySpace

Squidoo: if you are not using Seth Godin’s Squidoo, you are missing out. It’s a great way to build business and credibility. You can always sell your lenses, but I am personally in it for networking and driving traffic to my sites.
Digg: a lot of people say, Digg is overrated! But it’s not. Just because you can’t get anything out of it, doesn’t mean you are doing it right. Digg has proven itself to be a goldmine for a lot of businesses. If you are not taking advantage of it, you are just missing out. Take a look at what other top users are doing, and there is a good chance you can find the flaws within your own Digg strategy.

Orkut: Orkut is underrated but an absolute goldmine. It’s been around for a while and it’s a great way to build traffic and network with a global community.

StumbleUpon: another great site to drive traffic to your business and build up your network. StumbleUpon is more than giving a thumb up to your own story. You’ve got to be involved. You can blog and add friends on StumbleUpon too. And don’t forget that trust is everything. So don’t go around submitting all your pages to it without providing any value to others.

WordPress.com: it’s one thing to host your own WordPress blog. It’s another thing to own a WordPress.com blog and be involved in that community. And let’s not forget that WordPress sites do get ranked pretty well on search engines. It doesn’t take much to start a free blog on WordPress.com, so you should try to do it. It’s worth the time.

Weebly: Weebly is another blogging platform that helps you get links back to your own site and network with others. Creating your blog on Weebly is a piece of cake, so no excuses here.

Tumblr: Tumblr is a rising star. A lot of tweeters are already using Tumblr too! It take a little bit of time to set up your profile and manage your blog, but it’s all worth it. You definitely need to test this.

There you have it. There are thousands of other things you can do to drive traffic to your website. But if you are not taking advantage of the above services, you are missing out big time! It may look daunting to manage all your profiles on these social networks, but that’s the name of the game. You’ve got to out-hustle your competitors if you want to dominate your niche. And before you know it, you get a handle of it all. You got to be in the game to win it, so are you?

*For more information on how to master these web 2.0 services, check out Web Traffic Secrets.

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