I’m not a big LinkedIn user, but I poke around there occasionally, maybe update my profile, add my social security number and birthday, that sort of thing … 😉 But I was inspired by a meeting I had with Bob Gates and Nadja Specht this morning in which we talked in quite some detail about social networking–and how you can make it work for your business.
The other day, I saw a post from another website designer in the WordPress LinkedIn group asking for website hosting recommendations. Everybody and their cousin has a hosting recommendation, but I thought my answer was a little more helpful than many of the others, so I posted a comment. I didn’t just say, “I like hosting company XYZ.” but I took an extra 10 minutes and wrote up what I thought was a more insightful suggestion, complete with links and examples of companies I liked and had worked with. Because this isn’t the first time I’ve had this question (or this answer), I had already written up a How To post (complete with tutorial video) on my own website (Using Google Apps email for firstname.lastname@example.org) on how to do what I was recommending.
So later in the comments, Rob writes some thank you’s to people who commented. Here they are. I’ve bolded his response to me.
@Lucian, thank you for your vote for JustHost
@David, thank you for your input
@Stephane, thanks for your thoughts on shared hosting
@Bradley, yes, I’ve never bumped into anyone else on Surpass either. I’ve found them to be getting a little worse in the last few months – packing their shared servers with accounts in order to maximise profits.
Thank you for clarifying this whole Google Apps for mail issue. I didn’t realise you could use Google’s vast resources for your own personal email@example.com mail address. That’s awesome! This actually slightly negates my need to move as mail was the #1 gripe with Surpass and literally took me hours to sort out. I watched your entertaining movie a couple of times.
@Paul thanks for your UK based recommendation
@Justin, thank you, you may well have saved me a few dollars there. You’re a star!
@Kevin, thanks, another one for Hostgator
People, I may well write a blog post on the back of this discussion as I think I’ve got some really good opinions and recommendations from some seasoned WordPress pros. Would that be OK?
You’ll see he carefully read through the comments and even went to my site and watched the video. Great, sounds like I helped him out. Of course, he is also helping me out by mentioning my helpful post and video on my site so others might come and see it.
So you ask, “That’s all delightful, but how does it help your business?”
For one, I see the website design business as cooperative rather than competitive. So this helps someone in my industry, my industry is stronger for it. But how it directly helps me are the hits/clicks to my site and the traffic that might follow. Maybe someone else reads this same post and thinks that my post is worth linking to from their site, maybe they Digg it or Tweet it or just mention it elsewhere on the web. These are all links to my site, they’re called backlinks. Backlinks are good. Backlinks are very important. But I’m getting a little technical. The bottom line is that I helped someone using my expertise and didn’t go unnoticed.