Let's face it: Ning is a great social application for bringing together folks with related interests in a way that give them the freedom to express themselves and connect with others using a variety of media. Many of us are members of multiple Ning networks and some of us have even started our own.
What most of us haven't done is utilize the customization available in almost every Ning network to fully promote our products and services in a very passive way that provides our visitors with an even better perspective of what we're all about and why they should consider doing business with us.
Here a just a few ways to put some Zing into your Ning experience so that you maximize your exposure and provide the best possible showcase for your expertise and niche experience.
1. Click the Settings link in the right hand column under your user name. Take a moment to upload a photo, tell us a little about yourself, include a website link and describe your business or interests. You can also add an email address that you can use for mobile uploads to the network.
2. Once you've updated your Profile Settings, click on the My Page link from within the Settings page (it's on the left side). You've already made changes to your profile, you can now choose to change the appearance of your page by changing the template or customizing the color scheme to your own liking. When you're satisfied with the way your personal page looks, save your changes and click the My Page navigation link to actually visit your personal network page.
3. Use custom text boxes to add whatever you like by way of information about you, your business or services. I prefer to use a bit of html code that I've copied into all my My Pages across multiple networks that includes three of my primary internet projects to include my weblog, my forum, and my business directory website. Below these three, I've also included a widget that provides updates from my blog along with a link to my Facebook profile.
4. After you customize your text box, get right into becoming a part of the community by authoring a few weblog posts in your own weblog space, joining some of our groups or creating a new group, participating in our forum discussions, adding pictures, video, or music to your page that can be shared with others in the network. While you're at it, visit some of the other pages and find a few friends to connect with to share best practices and other mutually beneficial information.
These are just a few of the ways you can really enhance your network experience and benefit from increased connections and visitor traffic from others who will see you as an Influencer in your niche. An effective internet presence is just the starting point for long-term relationships and revenue streams that will serve you far longer than the time it takes to optimize your network contribution.
Iceman Baldy is a BlackWebpreneur
and has a weblog focused on technology, entrepreneurship, and personal development.