Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Google Blogger: For Websites?

Blogger is Google's free web tool for creating blog sites. That's the traditional intent of the product. While it is a great tool for blogging, Blogger is also a terrific tool to create very cost effective and fairly robust professional websites. Such websites are a great cost effective solution for any business, organization and job seeker to promote their brand and develop their initial internet presence.
I built my own company website and blog site using Google Blogger. However, I did so not to save money. As a full service consultant with my own Princeton Technology Advisors, LLC information technology consulting practice, I could have built my website in one of many robust platforms. I offer many other website development platforms to my prospective clients, in addition to Blogger. In this case, I chose to build my website using Blogger to demonstrate to my prospective small-business and non-profit clients just what can be accomplished when their need to manage their investment budget is a top priority.

Developing a full and robust website in Blogger can be as satisfying as it is economical. While not a robust as WordPress or other platforms, the product has many themes and templates built in, and offers the ability to edit and customize the format and content via a simple dashboard and page editor. You can add additional functionality by integrating other Google tools (e.g. Google Drive, Calendar, etc.), as well as incorporating free and low cost 3rd-party plug-ins. In addition, Google has no required website charges for hosting and publishing on the Blogger platform.

Anyone comfortable using computers and having a little technology experience can learn to create and manage their Blogger website with relatively little effort. However, given that most professionals are quite busy with developing their business and brand, it may make very good sense to contract with someone well versed in Blogger (or any web development tool) to help with those efforts for several reasons:
  • Most professionals are quite busy starting their business and growing their brand. They put much of their time in what they know best. If Blogger (or any website platform) is new to you, you may be able to more quickly publish your website when you engage someone with the needed skills to quickly complete the work on your behalf.
  • Soliciting the advice of others can give you objective opinions as to design and style. Also, you may find that others you consult will have an expertise you have not yet achieved.
  • The Blogger dashboard and page editor support many standard and intermediate formatting, including adding links, uploading images and font formatting. Among the shortcomings of the standard page editor are that the default number of font sizes, colors and types are limited, and some layout features such as tables are not supported. However, those can all be accomplished by coding HTML, the language that internet browsers interpret, directly within the page.
If you have not yet published a website, and have put off doing so because of a potentially large upfront cost, consider creating your new website with Google Blogger. You will be pleasantly surprised with the ability of this tool to help you gain and grow your social media and internet presence. Should you have any questions about how to get started, please feel free to contact us at Princeton Technology Advisors, LLC.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Manage Your Professional Network

You've heard this before: "It's not what you know, it's who you know." Of course it helps to know things. But, it's more important to know people who can get you in the position to demonstrate what you know. Those people are your professional network. Building yours doesn't have to be hard.

Here's how to manage your professional network...

Having a strong network is critical to your professional success. The trick is to make sure you are building a diverse network. Do so by adding people from different industries, backgrounds, age groups, ethnic groups, etc. Building a deep network by only including people from your current profession, industry, business or team leaves too many stones unturned, limiting potential opportunities.

If you are just getting started in building your network, begin by creating a list of fifty people you know. Everyone is a potential connection. Include classmates, friends, past and current colleagues, family members and members of associations to which you belong. Include contact information for each person on your list. You will be surprised at how well connected you already are regardless of your career level. Create and develop a professional business profile online. The most popular website for business networking is LinkedIn. Facebook and others will also serve you well. In addition, there might be a sites suited to your profession, industry or specialty. Once you identify you know, connect to your contacts and begin to cultivate your relationships.

We achieve our greatest success through our relationships with others. That's why it is critical to build and maintain your network. However, approach is everything. If you build your network with the goal of supporting others, you will be far more successful than if your goal is to solely satisfy your own objectives. Your network is a valuable component of your professional brand and success.

As you cultivate your relationships, the contacts you have will refer you to people in their own network. Build relationships with those new contacts and grow those relationships. Stay organized, ask each person you connect with the best way to stay in touch, and express thanks with a hand-written note or a thoughtful email. Then, you are well on your way to building a strong network.

To be truly successful at networking, you need to be continuously making new connections while at the same time nurturing the relationships you have. Remember, if you take the attitude that it is about you, you will be less successful in retaining your network. But if you treat your network as a group of people you serve and support, your experience will be much more positive and you will attract what you need to be successful.

I encourage you to leave a comment by clicking on "...comments" below...