Free Social Media Icon Sets

If you’re looking to boost the social media traffic that your blog receives, you may want to consider adding a few icons to your favorite social media sites. here is a list of cool custom bookmarking and sharing buttons you can use on your blog that are sure to attract more bookmarks and shares.

1. WHITE MAGIK

WHITE MAGIK

2. Plechi

Plechi

3. 108 Red Pearl Soc. Media Icons

108 Red Pearl Soc. Media Icons

4. 53 Brand New Twitter Icons

53 Brand New Twitter Icons

5. Matte White Square Soc. Media

Matte White Square Soc. Media

6. Social networking Icons -knobs

Social networking Icons -knobs

7. Aquaticus.Social

Aquaticus.Social

8. Social Icons Pack

Social Icons Pack

9. Set of social grunge icons

Set of social grunge icons

10. Set of social icons no.4

Set of social icons no.4

11. Social 2 Duo

Social 2 Duo

12. Wood Social Networking Icons

Wood Social Networking Icons

13. Social Media Stars Icon Set

Social Media Stars Icon Set

7 Factors to Generate Traffic to Your Site

In each case the bloggers had strong opinions (and experiences to back those opinions up) on what type of traffic was ‘best’ and how to get it.

  1. In one case the conversation started with a blogger telling me that I focus too much upon social media traffic and not enough on traffic from search engines. Their niche didn’t work with social traffic but with search traffic they did best.
  2. In another case the blogger told me that they’d been told to forget about search traffic in their niche and work more on building traffic from other sites and to convert it into ongoing traffic with newsletters.
  3. In the last case a blogger told me that in their opinion the best type of traffic was social media traffic and they didn’t see the point in newsletters.

I was reminded through these conversations just how many different valid approaches there are to blogging. I also came away with a few thoughts that I thought I’d jot down here on the topic of driving traffic to blogs.

traffic blog 7 Factors to Generate Traffic to Your Site

1. There are Many Valid Sources of Traffic

The above chart shows just 8 of many sources of traffic to a blog. As I write this others are already springing to mind (for example some bloggers run paid advertising to drive traffic to their blog – others get it from banner exchange programs). The reality is that there are many potential sources of traffic.

2. The ‘Best’ Source of Traffic Varies from Niche to Niche

As I thought about the 3 bloggers I was chatting to above it struck me that each had found great sources of traffic but that they were each operating in very different niches.

The first blogger who had written off social media was in a niche that people were simply not using social media for (I won’t reveal the niche as I don’t have their permission but it was a very very niche focused blog). Perhaps they could have driven a tiny bit of traffic with social media but for them Search was a much better place for them to invest their time.

3. Different Sources of Traffic Will monetize differently

Another important factor to consider is that some sources of traffic will monetize ALOT better than others. I’ve found that search traffic can work very well with AdSense for example (it depends upon the niche and intent of the reader). People arrive on your site searching for specific information, read your content, see an ad that relates to their search term and click on it.

RSS readers on the other hand don’t tend to convert for AdSense as they tend to be loyal readers and many don’t even click through to your site to read your content. RSS readers (and social media traffic) however can convert really well for affiliate promotions or selling your own products to.

4. Traffic Patterns Change over the life cycle of a blog

As a blog matures its sources of traffic often quite naturally change.

There’s no typical one size fits all pattern to this but at first the traffic might mainly come from other blogs or forums where you comment – or blogs where you guest post – or articles that you write. In time you might start to see more traffic from RSS or newsletters as a few people subscribe. Perhaps then some traffic will come from other sites who link to you (people who subscribe via RSS might have their own blogs) and from social media. After a while your search engine ranking might kick in as a result of the links from other sites and your guest posting and article writing and you might start seeing Google traffic. Once your blog is more established you might start seeing social bookmarking viral events that spike your traffic.

Again – this is not going to be the pattern for all blogs but in time traffic will naturally start to come from different places – the key is to try to leverage it for ongoing good (trying to get your blog to be sticky rather than just having one time visitors) and to work out how to convert that traffic for the goals you have.

5. Bloggers should be open to different approaches

While each of the three bloggers had discovered great lessons and good sources of traffic for their niches and the life cycles of their blogs – I was left wondering in each case whether the bloggers were being a little too closed off to different sources of traffic that perhaps could have added to the overall mix of traffic.

I see a lot of SEO type bloggers write about the worthlessness of social traffic for instance. One common comment that I get from some SEOs (definitely not all) is that social media traffic can’t be monetized. The reality could not be further from the truth. It won’t always convert but it certainly can. For example I know in each of the E-book launches that I’ve done in two niches that I’ve seen significant conversions from Twitter traffic.

On the flip side of things I hear some social media focused bloggers write off SEO and say that it works itself out and you don’t need to optimise your blog for search if you just produce good content. While there is some truth in that (good content does tend to generate natural incoming links to some extent) with a basic understanding of principles of SEO and a few minor tweaks a blog can rank much better in search engines without compromising the integrity of the content.

I guess what I’m getting at is that if you get exclusive about the type of traffic you are after you could actually be limiting the potential of your blog’s incoming traffic.

6. Too many Eggs in One Basket Can Be Dangerous

I used to be very focused upon search traffic in my early days of blogging. I worked hard to optimise my first blogs for search and got to a point where I was making a full time living from the ad revenue I was getting almost exclusively from Google. As a result I got a little lazy in some of the other areas – I didn’t work to convert readers to be loyal with newsletters or with prominent calls to subscribe to RSS, I didn’t build too many relationships with other bloggers to generate referral traffic and I was very inactive in social media (although it was much more limited back then).

As a result when Google decided to adjust their algorithm one day and my rankings dropped (and almost completely disappeared) in their results I lost almost all of my traffic – and as a result almost all of my income.

I was lucky in that Google readjusted their algorithm a couple of months later and I regained a lot of (but not all) of that traffic but in the mean time I looked for and found a ‘real job’ – and more importantly learned an important lesson about the power of having more than one source of traffic.

That experience was the beginning of me doing a few things that included working harder on capturing readers as subscribers (email and RSS), networking more with other bloggers in my niche and getting more involved in promoting my blog in other places (mainstream media, social media etc). My hope in doing all of this was to build up other sources of traffic so that if Google ever switched off my traffic again (temporarily or permanently) I’d at least have enough traffic to survive.

Google still does send me around 40-50% of my traffic (it varies a little from blog to blog) but I’m in a position now where I could survive for an extended period if it all disappeared (not that I’d like for that to happen).

7. The Importance of Personality and Being Yourself

I’m sure there are other factors that are at play that might be worth considering when looking at traffic. One of these (that I’m yet to fully think through) is personality type.

For example a lot of my my technically thinking friends seem to enjoy the challenge of SEO a little more. They love experimenting with and testing what happens when they make small tweaks to different aspects of their blogs. They’re constantly testing different setups and do quite well from it. I am not technically minded and find their attention to detail very very unusual (and so far from where that I’m at that I feel like I’m from another planet).

Other friends are perhaps a little more social by nature and as a result seem to do well on Twitter.

Others seem to do better by applying their freakish ability to write blog posts that get tonnes of links from other sites and which do brilliantly on social bookmarking sites..

Others are networkers and spend a lot of time interacting with other bloggers and site owners and tend to get links and traffic that way.

Others just seem to be brilliant at building community on their blog and as a result retain almost everyone who ever comments and build new readers from those people telling their friends.

I guess the lesson here is to be yourself and work with your strengths. Of course you don’t want to let your strengths dominate so much that you ignore or become lazy in areas that you’re not as strong in – but do follow your natural abilities and leverage them as much as you can.

Remember that there is no wrong or right way to generate traffic for a blog. If you were analyze the sources of traffic on many top blogs you’d find quite different factors at play!

Use Social Media to Promote Your Resource

If you think Twitter, Facebook, and other online social media communities are only for teens, you’re missing out on valuable and free marketing platforms for your brand (book, business or product).

Further, if you’re not on social media, you’re risking losing your own potential clients/customers to those smart business people who are utilizing social media.

Which social media platforms you focus on depends a great deal on what your brand is. Here are seven excellent reasons why you must use social media no matter what you are promoting:

Reason 1: It’s the Most Cost-Effective Online Advertising.

The current most popular social media platforms being used for business are free: Twitter.com, Facebook.com and LinkedIn.com. (LinkedIn does have an upgrade that costs, but it’s not necessary to get this upgrade.) And this is “relationship” marketing to targeted markets. “Free” is definitely more cost-effective than spending money on online advertising techniques such as Pay Per Click or banner ads.

Reason 2: You Can Have Global Reach With Social Media.

The world is now a global marketplace. Why not reach this global market? Many of the most popular social media platforms have this global reach, and you can see this clearly illustrated on Twitter. At any time of day or night you can see real-time “tweets” from people in Japan, England, the U.S., India and many other countries.

For example, if you have a book that might appeal to anyone in the world who reads in English, why limit yourself to just promoting in the U.S.? Thanks to Amazon people outside the U.S. can buy your book even if it is only available in U.S. stores.

Reason 3: You Can Attract Targeted Groups of People as Potential Clients/Customers for Your Brand.

Social media enables you to join groups of people with the same interests and goals. On LinkedIn and Facebook you can join groups as varied as Children’s Book Writers to eMarketing. If you choose groups to join based on your brand, you’ll be putting yourself in front of the exact groups of people you want to reach as potential clients/customers. This can pay off in increased sales for you.

Reason 4: You Can Form Your Own Community by Using the Community Aspect of Social Media.

Once you are active on social media platforms and have people who are your followers (Twitter), your friends (Facebook) and/or your connections (LinkedIn), you can start your own groups of highly targeted interests. You can create a niche market in your brand, book or business and share your knowledge with others who join your community.

These people can become your loyal followers, friends and connections – and they can help spread your marketing message to their followers, friends and connections.

Reason 5: You Can Use Social Media to Establish Your Expertise.

People like to do business with people they know, like and trust. By sharing your knowledge for free online with the people in the social media groups you belong to, you can establish yourself as an expert. This can pay off in increasing potential clients/customers’ trust in you.

And you can also receive invitations for blog “interviews” or BlogTalkRadio show interviews or podcasts. And these interviews lead to more free exposure for your brand and more free promotion for your expertise.

Reason 6: You Can Use Social Media to Find Cross-Promotional Partners.

Amazingly in the world of social media, people who would be considered competitors in the off-line world are teaming up to provide products and services to their combined clients/customers.

And these clients/customers are very responsive to these cross-promotions (often called joint ventures) – especially when introduced to a second expert by a first expert they already know, like and trust.

You and your cross-promotion partner can each get access to the other person’s “list” (the names of interested clients/customers collected at a website) and thus you’vegreatly expanded your potential client/customer pool.

Reason 7: With a Few Keystrokes You Can Announce New Updates of Your Activities.

Your updates on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn take seconds – and you’ve announced to your followers, friends and connections what you’re doing or what you’re offering or what you’re speaking on. And there are even online applications that allow you to update your status across several of your social media accounts at one time. So it is as easy as 1-2-3 to keep in front of your potential clients/customers.

In conclusion, once you become active yourself on social media platforms, you’ll find many more reasons to promote your brand, book or business on social media in order to attract targeted potential clients/customers. And you’ll look back at your pre-social media days and wonder how you ever did marketing without using online social media.

XING Features

Xing offers the following features for Xing members

Address Book

The XING Address Book offers you these features:
-Access to your contacts – anytime and anywhere, on your smartphone or Blackberry, PC or Mac.
-Map view of your Address Book
-Address Book Comparison
-XING Plugin

The XING Address Book offers you these features:

  • Access to your contacts – anytime and anywhere, on your smartphone or Blackberry, PC or Mac.
  • Map view of your Address Book
  • Address Book Comparison
  • XING Plugin

If you invite your acquaintances and business partners to join your network, you’ll always have phone numbers and email addresses at your fingertips. Good to know: Every person you invite to join XING – and who then does so – gets one month’ Premium Membership for free

Groups

Discuss interesting topics with experts, and share knowledge with other members. There are over 17,000 groups at XING on nearly every topic imaginable, for almost every industry. Use this unique pool of knowledge to get qualified answers to your questions.

Here’s what groups have to offer you:

  • Search for groups, articles, or keywords
  • Subscribe to forum threads
  • Delve into lively discussions with like-minded people
  • See the profile behind the well-written articles
  • Receive RSS feeds to your favorite groups

Can’t find your dream group?

Just start your own group with moderation, design, and newsletter capabilities

Appointments

Organize your own events, appointments or meetings with the XING Event tool. Invite both XING members and those not yet members.

An informational page with all the details of your events
  • Keep an eye on who is attending your event
  • Easy for participants to export events to MS Outlook
  • Unlimited number of participants (for basic members up to 10 participants).

Events

Benefit from XING Events:

  • Meet other XING members in your city or area.
  • Meet new contacts in a laid-back setting.
  • Deepen existing relationships through personal meetings.

Good to know

And… there are also Official XING Events. These events are organized by selected and licensed XING Ambassadors in accordance with strict quality guidelines.

Jobs

Much more than a job portal: XING Jobs creates unique career opportunities for business professionals worldwide. Companies can use the platform to reach potential candidates who are not active on conventional job sites.

Benefit from “Jobs” on XING:

  • Intelligent matching brings companies and applicants together.
  • Job postings that might interest you are displayed on your home page.
  • The connection path between the poster and applicant makes it easy to get in touch.
  • Advantage for posters: No basic charges, no minimum fees. You only pay for the number of hits to your posting.

Mobile

Access your business contacts on the go – with the XING Mobile site for your smartphone, iPhone, PDA or Blackberry. Prepare for meetings while traveling, view your contacts’ details or find key decision makers.

No matter where you are, with XING Mobile you can:

  • Access your contacts in the XING Address Book
  • Use the XING Search to find members
  • Read and reply to messages
  • Manage or organize events
  • Change your profile status message
  • XING Jobs and much more.

BestOffers

At XING, not only will you find valuable contacts, but you can also benefit from special limited offers on…

  • Travel
  • Electronics
  • and much more

XING BestOffers is a benefit program for XING members, offering exclusive deals on products and services for home and office. Premium Members have access to all offers, while basic members can take advantage of selected offers.

Profile

Show the online world who you are and what you can do. You can even decide if you want your profile to be found on search engines, e.g. Google & Co.

Let other members know:
  • What you have to offer
  • What you’re looking for
  • What your interests are
  • Your professional experience
  • Your educational background and academic degrees

All Premium Members’ profiles are ad-free.

Personal Home Page

On the XING home page, you’ll see all key information at a glance. You choose which information is relevant to you and where it should appear on the screen – just drag and drop each section where you want it to be!

Select from over 10 infoboxes, including:

  • What’s new in your network
  • Visitors to your profile (only for Premium Members)
  • Upcoming birthdays, events, new articles written in your groups…
  • Job postings that might interest me
  • To select infoboxes, just click on “Customize home page” in the upper-right corner.

Search

It’s easy to find the right contacts with XING Search.

Search by:

  • Name, city, industry
  • Company or position (only for Premium Members)
  • Interests, haves, wants (only for Premium Members)
  • Or by a keyword of your choice (only for Premium Members).

Filter results by:

  • Language
  • Direct and 2nd degree contacts (only for Premium Members)
  • Status (only for Premium Members)

Good to know

By creating a search alert, you will be informed by email the second new profiles are found that match your search criteria.

Powersearch

The Powersearch gives you more than 20 additional search options involving your profile, your contacts and other XING members.

Powersearch highlights:

  • Find coworkers and former colleagues
  • Find out which of your contacts has made career changes recently
  • Find members who know several of your contacts
  • See who has looked at your profile recently
  • Find members who want what you have to offer, and vice versa and much more!

Messages

XING’s internal messaging system allows you to make contact quickly, even if you don’t know a member’s email address. Other members can get in touch with you easily as well, which can be beneficial in generating new business or receiving job offers, while still keeping your email address private.

Advantages:

  • Secure communication with members even if you don’t know their email address
  • It is easy to send and receive messages
  • Message inbox with search function