Monday, 30 July 2007

FeedBurner - pushing your information

I've been burning feeds - not something i thought i'd be saying in a marketing role + it's free!

Recently Google purchased news-feed management company FeedBurner for $100 million and Google is now offering the service for free - Google Gives Away Feedburner

Why Would I Want to Set Fire to my Feed?
If you long for creative ways to attract an audience, see where your content goes once you publish it and generally add a lot more value to your feed, then "feedburning" is for you

Your "feed" is redirected so that you can get a true picture of how many subscribers you have, where they come from etc. You are provided with a very detailed analysis which can be tailored to what you require. I've used the data on one blog to help promote the other blogs. It's interesting to see where your traffic comes from and where it is going to!

Thursday, 26 July 2007

Social Bookmarking - is there a less time consuming way?

In order to "push" my blogs out into the blogosphere (or whatever you'd like to call it) i have started to bookmark blog postings and of course the blogs themselves.

This i find to be very time consuming. At the moment i'm bookmarking to Delicious, Stumble Upon, Magnolia and Technorati.

Now with three blogs up and running this adds up to a fair amount of time. Is there an easier, less time consuming way to do this?

I'd really appreciate some advice - i'm verging on the edge of hysteria as nearly everytime i log in to the relevant sites explorer develops a problem and has to "shut down" Grrrrr!!!

Wednesday, 25 July 2007

Blogging - slowly but surely there seems to be a pay off!

We've now been blogging for over a month now and Judith's Divorce Blog is finally gaining recognition.

The last time i spoke with Judith she'd had over 900 hits on her Yahoo 360 blog (which contains the same information as her blogspot blog).

The blogspot blog has been mentioned in various other family lawyers blogs, so many thanks to them - Family Lore & Bloody Relations both excellent blogs in their own right.

I've also managed to have Judith's divorce blog highlighted as a "featured external blog" wikivorce. I'm now in the process of trying for the same on Infolaw. *Update* Judith's Blog is now on infolaw!

Due to the success of this trial blog we have decided to start up another. This time to promote the Private Client side of Latimer Hinks Solicitors. Wills, trusts, probate, inheritance tax planning, estate planning etc etc.

The blog is called Anne's Tax Planning Blog and will advise on all aspects of "planning for the future". Again, i have started the blog in Yahoo 360 - we like the community based blog providers and hope to gain traffic through Yahoo and direct it to the blogspot blog of the same name.

I like the blogspot sites as you can add widgets, set up RSS feeds and monitor through google analytics, which seems to be a problem in Yahoo.

I will keep you updated

Monday, 23 July 2007

ACT NOW - Enduring Power of Attorney vs Lasting Power of Attorney - Deadline FAST Approaching!

I thought that i would take the opportunity to "flag up" a deadline that is fast approaching.

An Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA) is a legal document which i think of an a sort of insurance policy. I say now, who i want to deal with my financial affairs if in the future i can't deal with them personally.

What is an EPA An Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA), is a legal document that enables someone (the donor) to appoint one or more persons (attorney(s)) to manage their financial affairs and property, either now or in the future - and crucially whether or not you are or are not mentally incapacitated.

If you do not have an EPA If you become ill or metally incapacitated and have no EPA, no-one can act on your behalf unless they first went to Court and are appointed "Receiver" for you - all a matter of a lot of time and a lot of expense.

Don't think your spouse and children can act for you without an EPA - in the case of mental incapacity and no EPA - they can't, not without court intervention.

From the 1st October Enduring Powers of Attorney (EPA) can no longer be made. Instead they will be replaced with a revised type of power called Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA). BUT EPA's inplace at 1st October will be operative!

The LPA's will be more expensive and lengthier. At the moment an EPA may cost you around £110 + VAT for a single and £200 + VAT for a double. The cost of the LPA will depend on who prepares the LPA. Estimates from lawyers vary - the figures i've heard vary between £700 + VAT + £1500 + VAT.

Anne Elliott, Partner at Latimer Hinks explains why you should arrange a Power of Attorney asap. Click here

Tuesday, 17 July 2007

Website Optimisation

We've just received a quote to have the Latimer Hinks website updated and optimised. The company i spoke to basically gave the website a pre-MOT and a report.

Apparently the main problem with the site is lack of compliance with Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG). It also lacks search engine optimisation for the main sections. Navigation is javascript dependant, changing to CSS based navigation will allow security conscious people to use the navigation.

It all seems to be ringing the right bells. We don't have alot of traffic to the site and the above problems may explain the reason why. Judith's Divorce Blog sends far more traffic to the Latimer Hinks site that google or msn etc.

I have now arranged a meeting with Business Link in the hope that we can have some of the cost subsidised by a grant. I will let you know how i get on.

PS: I always thought "javascript" was a character out of Star Wars. I have, however have been informed that the Star Wars character was Jabba the Hut!

Monday, 16 July 2007

Blidgets and Widgets!

Some form of new insect/disease? Not at all, simply take your blog, make it into a widget and share it with the widgetsphere.
What’s a blidget?
A blidget is a widget that contains your blog. Other people can place your blidget on their sites, increasing your exposure.

Why should I want a blidget?
A blidget drives readers to your site.
Many bloggers like to show support for the other blogs they read, and like to provide their readers with related articles they might like. Everyone who goes to their blog is instantly given a sneak peak into yours.
Some of our blidgets quickly gain hundreds of subscribers — that is, hundreds of people put your blidget on their site, providing their readers exposure to your content.
I decided to give it a go.
If you look at the right hand side of my blog you will see Judith's divorce blog's blidget. What a mouthful! Judith made her blog into a widget and i was able to add it to my blog. Any changes that are made should show instantly.

It's a direct link to Judith's Divorce blog and whatever topic you wish to view if you click, will take you directly to that topic.

I think that this is a great way to share promotional tactics. Any thoughts?
PS: the widget/blidget came from Widgetbox

Saturday, 14 July 2007

Judith's Divorce Blog

As mentioned earlier, Judith Middleton is part of the Latimer Hinks Guineapig experiment. Judith has "launched" a blog called Judith's Divorce Blog - it seems to be doing really well. I just hope that i have as much success with the Guineapig blog.

Judith's blog is very informative but in an easy/approachable going manner.

Whenever Judith posts a Latimer Hinks press release we tag it in Delicious &Technorati and post it to the blog.

If you have any comments/advice you'd like to give, please feel free. We are striving to learn as much as we can about social networking and are probably going the long way about it so any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thursday, 12 July 2007

The Latimer Hinks Guineapig

This is a time for firsts - my first blog and first posting. The reason I have decided to create a blog is to diary the progress of a marketing campaign which myself and the family law partner (Judith Middleton) at Latimer Hinks Solicitors decided to undertake.

I am hoping that the campaign will generate traffic to the Latimer Hinks website and also raise the profile/awareness of the partners of the firm.

It is an experiment of which Latimer Hinks is the guineapig.

I recently attended a presentation by Roger Coathup of 21 Thoughts . Roger considers himself to be a "futures expert" (GRReat job title I might add). The presentation was excellent and set me to thinking of how best to create a social networking presence.

I took Roger's comments on board and decided to try a few out.