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Internet classes in region cater to small businesses

WORTHINGTON -- University of Minnesota Extension, as part of the Minnesota Intelligent Rural Communities program, will host a variety of Internet classes in the region starting this week. The schedule is as follows:

Getting Higher on Google: Noon to 1 p.m. March 1 at BenLee's Café, 212 10th St., Worthington; or from noon to 1 p.m. March 7 at River City Eatery, 344 10th St., Windom. Learn effective ways to market websites including getting found by search engines, viral marketing and using online tools like e-newsletters to drive traffic to your site. Research key words, explore how to purchase online advertising, see examples using social media and find and target customers online.

Doing Business Online: 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. March 7 at Coffee Choices, 404 2nd St., Jackson. Explore options for using the Internet in business and find the best fit to develop an online presence and connect with customers. Explore online tools like blogs, social media and online auctions as well as options for creating a website. Learn strategies for promoting and having your website found online.

Mobile eMarketing: 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. March 14 at Coffee Choices, 404 2nd St., Jackson; or from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. March 14 at River City Eatery, 344 10th St., Windom. People are using handheld mobile devices like iPhones, Android phones or tablets to search the Internet. It is increasingly vital that websites are optimized for viewing through this miniaturized, but highly functional platform. Learn to build your own mobile website or app, how to integrate things like QR codes and digital coupons into your business.

Using the Cloud for Business: Noon to 1 p.m. March 15 at BenLee's Café, 212 10th St., Worthington; or from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. March 21 at Coffee Choices, 404 2nd St., Jackson. Learn about cloud computing and how to define the "cloud." Explore the different cloud applications businesses can use including storing information in the cloud, business automation, and how and when to use these types of services. Learn the different types of services offered, the potential benefits and the key principles of using cloud computing services.

Websites DIY: Noon to 1 p.m. March 21 at River City Eatery, 344 10th St., Windom. Explore how easy it is to create your own website. Participants will leave this class with a workbook detailing step-by-step instructions on how to create a website on Google sites.

From Craig's List to Shopping Carts: Introduction to Selling Online: Noon to 1 p.m. March 22 at BenLee's Café, 212 10th St., Worthington. This class covers the major concerns related to online transactions like security, shipping and costs. Learn about Etsy, Craig's List, eBay and how to work with shopping carts. Explore the use of online tools like Paypal and online banking platforms.

To register for the Windom classes, call (507) 360-9651, or to register for the Worthington or Jackson classes, call 360-9651 or email julie@rconnect.com. All workshops are offered free of charge by U of M Extension in local partnership with the Southwest Initiative Foundation, City of Windom, Finding Windom, WECC, City of Jackson, Jackson Area Chamber, Jackson EDC, Worthington Area Chamber and WREDC.

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