ViralNetworks Has Relaunched!

About 3 years ago I started to work on a project that I became passionate about: ViralNetworks – a social networking platform for online business owners and marketers… and I finally got what I wanted! My business partners Tycho and Michiel and I launched the first version of this business social network about 2 years ago, but we’ve just released a new, improved version (with a new design, new features, feature enhancements and other improvements).

Building and scaling a social network from scratch is hard, no borrowed code or script besides WordPress and ViralInviter! More than 200,000 lines of code in total! The new version of ViralNetworks was in public beta for about two weeks, so you might have already seen it! If not, make sure you take a look at it and sign up now!

Business Social Network
for Internet Marketers

I like to describe ViralNetworks as a content distribution platform, but it’s actually much more than that… it’s a place to meet and network with joint venture partners and get social with your customers, providing them with a Web 2.0 experience. ViralNetworks is a business social network where you can socialize, share, promote, advertise, earn and learn, all in one place!

I cannot cover all the great features and benefits you get by joining the site in a single blog post… but let me briefly mention the main ones: not only you can network with other online business owners and marketers like you, but you can also build a list and email it every 5 days, upload photos and videos, submit articles and wikis, discuss various topics on the forums… and much more! You actually get rewarded for submitting top quality content to the site!

ViralNetworks is free to join but the real power of this social business network is in the upgraded memberships. For example as a Gold or Platinum you can contact 3,000 random members every 3 days! 6,000 as an Elite member! Imagine how many leads and sales you could make by sending your offers to so many members every few days… and that’s just one upgraded feature. There are plenty more!

Among the new features you will find networks for site owners so they can better interact with their customers, an article directory (with dofollow backlinks allowed), an achievements and trophies system to build a reputation online, an events calendar, an upgraded members only forum… The site is also now even more search engine-friendly than before! Create and fill in your profile today, and you will be likely to see the page ranking in Google for your name!

I urge you to join now and start changing the way you do business online!

Click here to join ViralNetworks
& start changing the way you do business online!

To Your Success in Business & Life

Colin Klinkert
Colin Klinkert
Colin Klinkert
How to create a retweet text link for Twitter

Twitter logo

There is now a multitude of scripts that allow you to add all sorts of sharing buttons to your pages, so visitors can easily share them with their social circle. ShareThis and AddThis are two good examples of sharing services. If you visited my blog in the past, you may have noticed the WordPress plugin (SexyBookmarks) I installed. It displays a range of sharing buttons at the bottom of each blog post. Pretty cool, isn’t it?

However, most of these scripts create graphic links, often in the form of buttons, and not text links. No big deal, but you can’t place them wherever you want. Let’s say you want to place a retweet text link right in the middle of your blog post content, or in your email or forum signature… Have you been wondering how to do this? Here is how to create a retweet text link in under a minute:

Let’s break this down into two parts. First, use the following link part:

Then, add your tweet text after the equals sign. In the following example I use a message that I recently tweeted on my Twitter profile @ColinKlinkert. @ColinKlinkert – Colin showing you how to create a retweet text link for Twitter

Now hyperlink the text in your content. Here is the end result:

Click here to retweet

Pretty easy, isn’t it? Now you can place retweet text links wherever you want, including your page content, email signature, forum signature… This is very useful if you want your visitors to take action at a given time when going through your content.

By the way, you know that Twitter only allows messages of 140 characters or less. Well, if you want to shorten your links, make sure you check my 7 reasons to cloak your links with ViralUrl!

Google Goes Social (Again) With Google Buzz!

A few days ago Google officially announced the launch of Google Buzz, a social integration and messaging tool. Google Buzz is Google’s latest attempt to jump into the social networking wave. They already have Orkut and OpenSocial but let’s be honest… who really use them? If you use Gmail, you must know about this new social app already. Google Buzz is a mix of Twitter, Yammer, Foursquare and Yelp.

With Google Buzz, you can share whatever you feel like, including links, photos and videos. It has a few others cool features such as an auto-following function, a public and private sharing function and the inbox integration. Because Google Buzz is integrated into Gmail, it quickly got a great exposure and a lot of internet users started to use it as soon as it was released. According to analysts, 9 million posts were published on Google Buzz within the 56 hours of its release! Wow!

Google Buzz integrates several platforms including Picasa, Flickr, Google Reader, YouTube, Blogger and Twitter. No doubt Google is trying to catch up on social networking and microblogging platforms like Facebook and Twitter. The feedback I read on the web is pretty good so far, and I enjoy using this app myself. I had the feeling it was just another social app… but I quickly started to change my mind. The fact Google Buzz is integrated into Gmail really helps!

To use Google Buzz, you must have Gmail account. No big deal considering it’s one of the best web-based email platforms! Check out the Google Buzz website for more information. It’s pretty simple to use. Right below the link to your inbox, you will see a link to Google Buzz. Click it, start following people and you’re pretty much set up! You can then start posting messages. You can link your Twitter account to your feed so every time you publish a tweet, it will automatically show up on your feed.

Google Buzz

If you want to check out my feed, please visit my Google Profile: Colin Klinkert. If you want to have a Google Profile as well, read this blog post: How to set up a Google Profile. Note that Google changed quite a few things to the initial version of Google Buzz as several users complained about privacy issues.

A few months ago I published a blog post about Google Wave. Well… if Google Wave is the future, Google Buzz is definitely the present! Note that Google Buzz is also available on mobiles. If you want to learn more on this new app, watch this video:

How to Create a Facebook Page for Your Business

Do you want to create a Facebook page for your business? Then you are on the right page, but first let’s talk about Facebook… Before you create a Facebook page, it is important to understand a few things about the social platform. At the time I write this blog post, Facebook has over 350 million active users. 50% of them log on in any given day and the site now counts more than 700,000 business pages.

As an internet marketer or home business owner, this should sound like a great opportunity for you to strengthen the relationships with your existing customers and even maybe generate new leads. Out of 350 million active users, you’d be unlucky not to find any of your customers already on there. Now you know why you want to create a Facebook page for your online business…

Create Facebook Page

A few weeks ago I published a blog post on how to set up a Google profile for yourself. This time I will show you how to create a Facebook page for your business. It’s dead simple but I also give a few tips. Creating a Facebook page only takes a few minutes so don’t miss out on this opportunity…

Having said that, I tend to use Facebook for personal use rather than business use. However, Facebook has made it so easy for businesses to create a page that I eventually decided to jump in. Feel free to check out my page now. I will be giving away some cool products for those who join and participate in the community.

To create a Facebook page for your business, log into your personal account and go to the page creation interface. If you don’t have a Facebook profile yet, you will then need to create one. You first have to choose a category: an area, a brand, product or organization, or an artist, band or public figure. Select the category that best fits your business and move to the next step. Enter the name you want to give to the page and tick the box if you don’t want the page to become public at this time. If you do so you will of course be able to make it public at a later time. Then click ‘Create Page’. Too easy!

Create Facebook Page

Create Facebook Page

You will then land on your newly created business page. You can start customizing it. You may add a picture for example, and edit the information. Click ‘Edit Information’ and fill in the fields: when the business was founded, what the website address is, a short company overview, etc. Make sure you complete the profile comprehensively so it really looks professional. Browse around and check out all the features that you can use for your business page.

Create Facebook Page

Create Facebook Page

Now a few tips: Having a Facebook page for your business is a good thing… if you manage to make it successful. Well, I just created mine but I already have a few ideas on how to get followers. For starters, make sure your page is complete (with a picture, basic information, detailed information, etc.). You may add a link to the page to your blog (check out the buttons on the right), email signature or anywhere you feel like. You may even tweet about it.

To attract followers you will also need to make your page engaging enough, so people actually want to join the community. Make sure you regularly add new content (news, videos, upcoming events, etc.) to your feed. To engage visitors you may even organize contests or reward those who participate (with freebies for instance). These are only a few techniques on growing your followers list. Feel free to share your own!

So what are you waiting for? Create Facebook page now!

Case Study: Twitter Traffic Experiment

Last week we organized a Twitter experiment to learn more on the traffic sent by Twitter to the blog. At this time of the year, the traffic the blog receives is very low and it was thus the perfect time for us to launch this experiment. We created a blog post and tweeted the link @ColinKlinkert a total 6 times over a period of 48 hours (at different times in order to reach most time zones at day time at least once). We also wanted to study the traffic in terms of conversion: Would visitors take action by commenting the post (as we asked them) and get a chance to win $50? Let’s find out!

Overall traffic (over a week)

– 22 total visits on Thursday
– 38 total visits on Friday
– 35 total visits on Saturday

While the overall traffic to the blog is fairly low at this time of the year, we can notice a slight increase during the time of the experiment. This chart has a limited interest for the experiment but at least we can see if there is a significant traffic increase or not. Now let’s move on to the traffic that interests us the most: the Twitter traffic.

Twitter traffic (over a week)

Here we can see that over the week Twitter generated 41 visits to the blog but only 25 between Thursday and Saturday. During that period of time, the blog post we created for the experiment received 26 visits. This can be considered as fairly low for a Twitter account with a list of over 26,300 followers, don’t you think?

Twitter generated traffic to the blog post but not as much as we could have expected. Even though this experiment is not comprehensive enough to draw solid conclusions, we can suggest a few reasons for which the Twitter traffic hasn’t exploded during the period of the experiment and despite the 26,300+ followers @ColinKlinkert.

First, as suggested by several industry experts and confirmed by research firms, Twitter has a lot of members but most of them are inactive (or not active enough to have an impact on the traffic). Secondly, the way the list of followers was built (with tools to be automatically followed by other users) is probably not the most appropriate list building method in terms of conversion. Thirdly, the way we tweeted the links (with call-to-action and link to the blog post) also played a role in the experiment. It is however difficult to evaluate the effectiveness of the calls-to-action.

Out of 26 visits, 4 visitors commented the blog post in time and 2 after the experiment was over. This is a 15 to 23% conversion rate, which isn’t bad but cannot be considered as satisfactory either… Anyhow, the experiment was successful in the way that we were able to study the traffic sent by Twitter to our blog. Have you ever done any similar experiment? If so, please share your own thoughts with us!

Twitter Traffic Experiment 2 – Win $50 Now!

In April last year I organized a Twitter experiment that saw a lucky visitor win $25 cash. This time, I want to go a little further and am ready to give away a total of up to $150! If like me you often wonder how powerful Twitter really is, how much targeted traffic it can send to your site or blog, then take part into this experiment!

Win $50 by simply commenting this post!

To get in, all you need to do is to comment this post answering the following question:

What will make you want to subscribe to my RSS feed
and follow me @ColinKlinkert?

Hints: It could be:
– a type of content you would like to see;
– a topic you would like to learn about, etc.

If we get 50 comments, I give away $50. If we get 100 comments, I give away $100 ($50 each). If we get 200 comments, I give away $150 ($50 each). It is as simple as that. The more comments we get, the more chances you have to win $50 cash! No more questions asked.

We will tweet this post 6 times over the next 48 hours. Like for the previous experiment, Twitter will be the main source of traffic so we can see how many people post a comment and retweet our initial tweets. If you aren’t interested in the cash, you may still participate to help us with this experiment.

You are of course encouraged to retweet my tweets, increasing your chances to win cash.

>>> Click here to retweet <<<

Post a comment now and get a chance to win $50!

The winners will be chosen at the end of the experiment. Please use a real email when commenting, so if you win you will get my reply to your comment on how to get your money! 🙂

Good luck to all of you!

P.S. – Why not subscribe to my mailing list in the top left too… You get a cool free e-book and also updates on future competitions & industry-leading information! You can opt out at any time.

Colin Klinkert
How to Set Up a Google Profile

Late October I published a blog post about Google Social Search explaining that Google uses your Google Profile to know who your friends are and deliver you relevant social search results. A Google Profile can also help you gain online exposure, which is obviously very important if you’re in the internet marketing industry. This week let’s see how to set up a Google Profile. It’s a very simple process but let’s go through it step-by-step so you don’t miss a thing.

Step 1

Go to Google Profiles and click ‘Create my profile’. You need a Gmail account to be able to create a Google Profile. I suggest you to use a user-friendly email address as your username can be used in your Google Profile URL (only if you decide to), as in It’s also more search engine-friendly like this.

Step 2

Enter your details: first name, last name, where you grew up, where you live now and so forth. Don’t forget to add a short bio of yourself so people can learn more about you, and most importantly, add links to your site and blog as well as your Twitter, Facebook, ViralNetworks and other social network profiles. This is how Google will find out about your friends and be able to provide you with relevant social search results. You may also upload a picture of yourself. Once you’ve entered all your details, click ‘Create a Google profile’.

Step 3

You can now see how your Google Profile looks like. You can of course edit it any time you want. That’s all you have to do! Now if you want Google to generate social search results when doing a search, make sure you join the experiment. As explained in a previous blog post, it’s all about relevancy!

Feel free to check out my own profile: Colin Klinkert. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask them here! Julien and myself will be happy to help you. Setting up a Google Profile is quick and easy and has many benefits for internet professionals. You don’t need to tell everything about yourself though. Keep it brief!

Social Networks: Google Social Search Goes Live!

Last week Google announced the launch of a new feature that may revolutionize the way we use search engines: it’s called Google Social Search. Earlier this month, Microsoft announced deals with social giants Facebook and Twitter but Google fired back almost immediately. The social search war is on! Google Social Search is developed by Google Labs and is still an experiment at this blog post is published but is quite likely to be part of the search engine landscape in the near future.

Google basically wants to deliver search results using your social circle as a source: with social sites like Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, Twitter, FriendFeed but also other types of platform like Gmail. They want your social networks to have an influence on your search results. If you join the experiment, when doing a search on Google, relevant search results from your social circle will be displayed at the bottom of the results page.

Google will know who your friends are once you have filled out your Google Profile with links to your social network profile pages. If you’re a Gmail user, Google will also look into your contacts. For now the social search results show up at the bottom of the results page but we can imagine that they will climb up as often your social circle if more relevant to you than the first search results. Would you rather read what Wikipedia says about tourism in the Fiji Islands or read a blogpost a friend of yours recently published about the holidays he spent in the region? What means more to you?

Relevancy seems to be one of the keys to Google’s success, and once again they’re on the way to provide their users with more relevant search results than ever before. For more information on Google Social Search, watch Matt Cutt’s video. Matt Cutt works for the Search Quality team at Google.

Any thoughts on this experiment? Do you think that this feature has the potential to change the way we use search engines?