Top marketing tips for blog

A recent study by McAfee found that four out of five website visits start with a search engine query. So if your website doesn't have good search engine rankings then you're missing out on 80% of the traffic you could be getting. This translates to making 80% less

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Search engine optimization (SEO also search optimization) is the process of editing and organizing the content on a webpage or across

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A recent study by McAfee found that four out of five website visits start with a search engine query. So if your website doesn't hav..

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

20 Free Places to Promote Your Website Online

20 Free Places to Promote Your Website Online
Looking to expand your promotional channels? Check out a list of free sites through which you can promote your website.

Social Media Bookmarking

Sites that help readers to bookmark favorite sites, links and news articles are a great way to spread information about your latest blog post and gain quality backlinks.
  2. StumbleUpon
  3. Digg
  4. Reddit
  5. Pinterest

Online Directories

Submitting your website to popular online directories can help you gain more visibility through targeted searches and increase your website search engine ranking.
  1. Google Local
  2. Yahoo Local
  3. Bing Business Portal
  4. DMOZ
  5. Merchant Circle

Article Marketing

Writing an article specific for your niche interest is a good way to generate notoriety both for yourself and your business, product and website.
  1. EzineArticles
  2. Hub Pages
  3. Go Articles
  4. Article Dashboard
  5. Business Know-How

Press Releases

If you recently introduced a new product or service, writing and submitting a free press release can help generate a bit of buzz about it. In addition, if your press release has links back to your website, it can be an excellent source of search engine juice.
  1. PRLog
  2. Free Press Release
  3. 24-7 PressRelease
  4. 1888PressRelease
  5. PR-Inside (European-based distribution)
It is important to note that the links provided above are not an all inclusive list and that there are many more sites available for promoting your website. The goal is to become creative and to target your promotions specifically for the type of audience you hope to attract.

If You’ve Got It, Flaunt It: Building a Compelling Case Study

buildingcasestudyCase studies can be a very handy part of your marketing kit as a blogger.  While not an absolute requirement for working with brands, they can be a nice, polished way to present your influence, reach and effectiveness as a professional.  In other words, if you’ve got it, flaunt it.  The best case studies are concise, persuasive and visually dazzling.  Here are a few ideas for building a compelling case study.

Lead with a concise summary of the marketing activities in question.

In one or two carefully edited sentences, summarize what you did in partnership with a brand.  Mention the event, activation or other marketing activity that you launched along with the brand, audience and if relevant, key demographic involved in the activity.
  • “Curated a guest list for and hosted a holiday brunch with Local Cool Boutique followed by a sponsored post campaign on my blog and top social media accounts.”
  • “Launched a one week Instagram shoe contest for London Shoe Designer targeting the East Coast market.”

Present your best “before-and-after” stories.

Think about the impact your marketing campaign/activities had on the brand partner.  You may not have access to some of the key analytics such as in-store sales, monthly unique visitors or other metrics the brand will likely measure about this particular campaign.  However, you can certainly measure analytics for your blog and key social media accounts.  You can also share anecdotes and stories about the effect your work had on qualitative measures such as sentiment and goodwill.
  • “On the day of the event and two days following the event, tweets about Local Cool Boutique increased over 150%.”
  • “Over the campaign period, the sponsored post and related social media campaign resulted in over 5000 impressions for New York Bag Brand.”
  • “The online activation resulted in increased engagement for Big Department Store.  Many of the comments on my blog in response to the campaign were positive with reader comments such as ‘Love Big Department Store for participating in this’ and ‘Thank you for the giveaway Big Department Store!’.”

Make it pretty.

Even the most professionally written, analytically sound case study will fail if it isn’t wrapped up in visually appealing packaging.  Remember to keep the text concise and tight and use the accompanying visuals and layout to sell your creativity as a blogger and brand partner.  Choose your best images to magnify the ideas in the case study.

Last but not least- edit with an eagle eye!

Your case study should be no more than 1.5 pages or 5 Powerpoint slides long.  So you will need to be a ruthless editor.  For every sentence in the case study or slide in your deck, ask yourself “Does this need to be here?  Does this make sense?  Is this boring?” Use common sense to strike out sections that are repetitive or don’t excite the reader.  Don’t be afraid to show the case study to a friend or third party to give your text and overall presentation an objective eye.

Would you put together a case study for brands?  Was this list helpful for you?

Does Your Blog Own You? 3 Ways to Rethink it & Make it Yours Again

does your blog own you, does blogging consume your life
Lately I have felt like an absolute slave to my blog. Life’s circumstances have been overwhelming (a sick pet,  my wedding is two weeks away, putting in longer hours at the “day job,” etc.), and with all of my energy, time, and resources, I’ve only been able to put in about 1/10th of the work that I usually do toward it. I feel extremely guilty, as well as ensnared, trapped, and as if the site truly owns me.
Why? For one, I’ve set goals and expectations for it and myself that are perhaps on a superhuman level, and unattainable in the first place. I also don’t want to let my readers down, who, in my circumstance, have come to rely on certain types of content live on the site at least every day.  I need to set the reset, and maybe even the HARD reset button on this process, as it has become more draining than enjoyable. For those of you that feel the same way, here are three tidbits of advice that I am executing, that may help you gain a better blog equilibrium as well!
Focus ONLY on What Excites You Most
I have found that when I see the list piling up of “to-dos” as far as articles I have to write, so does the mounting fear, dread, and anxiety that I’m never going to get to it all in the tiny amount of time that I have to squeeze it in.  If, however I start with the item that excites me most, it gives me the drive and fulfillment to feel content with what I just got done. The adage goes that the hardest part about writing is getting started, so if you can start with the aspect you love most, be it outfit pics, product reviews, fashion news, etc, then go for it! It will most likely get your creative juices flowing, and leave you in a much better place mentally.
Be Candid with Your Readers
Sometimes it is a relief to “come clean,” and in this case, let your readers know how much you love and appreciate them, but  will be posting less frequently or need some time to rehash the site. Being upfront and honest about being busy, feeling overwhelmed, or burnt out sooner than later will give you the immediate release from the pressure of feeling compelled to constantly be working on your blog. Plus, everyone is so busy, I’m pretty sure your readers will understand! It’s so much better to let them know, instead of them wondering why you haven’t posted in a long time. Thinking about how you can best utilize your blog and time might be something you want to deliberate for some time, and you may decide to go niche or take it in a whole direction;  it may make your readers feel more involved if you give them a head’s up/sneak peek of what’s to come when you figure it out.
Seek Help
Know some college-age fashionistas? Friends who love to write?  A younger cousin obsessed with fashion? Tap them to write for you once in a while! It will refresh the content on your site to hear from a new voice, and give you some time to really make those posts that you want to work on most robust and memorable. Also tap into your blog network (IFB, ahem!) and see if anyone would be interested in post exchanges – most likely you will get an enthusiastic response.

23 Ways to Promote Posts & Increase Your Blog Traffic

Writing your blog posts is just a small part of growing your blog. The rest is getting readers to your blog…and that’s not always as easy. While there are some tried and true means of growing your blog, there are infinite ways to get your message in front of new people. Here are just a few to get started with!

The Basics (Social Media)

  • Tweet your post: Tweeting posts should be a regular thing. But one thing bloggers tend to do is just Tweet, “New post! [Link]” Truth be told, I NEVER click on those links. Write a snappy tweet with a link to your post. It could be your post title, but something that you know your Tweeps will click on. And change it up so you can tweet your post more than once.
  • Facebook: Don’t forget your readers on Facebook! Be sure to include an image on your post and test different times of days to see when your readers click on your links.
  • Pinterest: A powerful traffic driver, Pimp your images for Pinterest, and be sure to include this in you promotional strategy. You may have to test a few things to see what works best for your blog.. including adding text, pinning close up shots, whatever it is your followers best respond to.
  • Stumbleupon: This is an oldie but a goodie. It doesn’t take long to “Stumble” posts, but you never know which posts might get “Stumbled” so you wouldn’t want a chance to miss out on additional traffic boosts. It’s a really great way to get exposure beyond your regular circles.
  • Instagram: While there is no real way to link directly to your posts (yet) in Instagram, it’s always great to let your followers there know you have new content on your blog. Be sure to let them know that your ‘gram is for a new post!
  • Google+: There might be a lot of things disappearing from Google these days, but Google+ isn’t one of them. Google+ give some added value with their SEO features, along with sharing capabilities.
  • Include a “Follow me on Bloglovin” link in all of your posts: Now that Google reader is going away, more and more people are using Bloglovin. Bloglovin actually drives traffic the more followers you have, so make sure you give your readers every chance to follow you on that site so they never miss a post.
  • Do a Twitter chat around a blog topic: Tweeting your posts might not be enough… perhaps another way to promote your content (and your Twitter presence) is to host a Twitter chat and use a hashtag. Here you would write a post on your blog, invite a few blog friends to participate and have a conversation on Twitter.

SEO Promotion

  • Use Google Keywords to promote via SEO: One of the best ways to promote content is to use SEO. It is still the number one traffic driver for all of my websites, and should not be overlooked. Google has a nifty Keyword Tool which allows you to search keywords and see how many people are looking for particular topics, and how competitive the keywords are.
  • Look in your Google Analytics for to see how people find your blog (and expand on that): In Google Analyitcs you can find under “Site Content–>Search Engine Optimization–>Queries” What keywords people are using to find your site. We found a lot of people found IFB through our GIF tutorial, so maybe it’s time to revisit that post topic.
  • Link to other posts within your site to boost SEO: Links within your site do two things, they build authority for your posts, and they keep your readers on your website. Erika Miller noted we shouldn’t overdo it with the links in our post, so be strategic and try not to get carried away.
  • Put relevant keywords in your image “Alt” Tags: Don’t forget your images can be searched too!
  • Guest Post: A lot of people complain that guest posts don’t drive traffic. But maybe if you play it right, driving traffic could be secondary to your SEO goals. Use your guest post opportunities as a chance to link to specific posts within your site to help boost the SEO results and that will get you more traffic.

Good Old-Fashioned Email

  • Email Newsletter to your readers: It’s never to early to start building your newsletter. It may take time, but after all blogging is a long haul game. Email your readers once a week, or once a month to let them know about what’s going on with your blog. It’s the perfect time to promote specific content.
  • Ask your blog friends to promote a post: If you have a post you’d like to promote, and you have a great relationship with your blog friends, asking them once in a while to promote a post for you is no big deal.
  • Pitch your post to other blogs: Say you write a post that would be perfect for another blog, it would be a good time to let that other blogger know about your post. Who knows, maybe you’ll get a link!
  • Pitch your post to the press: Say you’ve done an independent study, maybe you’re an expert in budget fashion or did something newsworthy, or have the perfect post for a website, developing relationships with the press would be a great way to get added exposure on news sites in addition to blogs.

Create Sharable Content

  • Create a free download to share with your readers: Whether it be a calendar, desktop or even a template, free downloads are a great way to get readers to download, keep, and possibly share with others. Everyone likes a freebie!
  • Write content that solves a problem: Do you have a solution to a problem everyone has? Getting rid of muffin top? If you solve a problem, it will help your readers, AND if your readers have friends with the same problem, they’ll probably share your blog post too.
  • Write a catchy headline: I cannot say enough about how important it is to have a straightforward, yet catchy post title. This is often times the first impression people get of your website whether it be through search or through social media. You only have fractions of a second to catch their eye!
  • Write a controversial post: Maybe you don’t agree with what’s going on, maybe you’re on the fence, maybe you have a juicy piece of information to share with your readers. A controversial post will get people talking.
  • Feature another blogger: If you’re new, maybe you can do a feature swap with a blog friend with similar traffic, but featuring other bloggers helps build community along with you might get social media promotion from the other blogger. Word of advice, the other blogger may not share, so don’t expect or demand them to do so, as you may end up burning a bridge.
  • Start a blog meme: Whether it be something like the IFB Project, or the various ones out there, bloggers love to engage with others by sharing content. If you provide a service to share their content, you can always ask that they share your content as well.
  • Create an infographic, and pitch it to other blogs: Infographics… they are fun, and shareable, and most of all pitchable. If you think of a clever way to make information into a graphic, it could really lead to some amazing promotion for your blog!

Friday, June 14, 2013

Tips on designing websites continue

21. Don't Confuse Users with Different Version :- Some site may ask for bandwidth preference or screen settings. See where they are, way below the rankings. Just give the readers the content that they want to see.

22. Donot Mix Ads with Content :- blending an adsense along the text body might increase the chance of clicks and revenues. Short term wise, this will earn you profits. Long term, imagine that users who are annoyed of being led to an advertisements which they do not need and do not want to see.
23. Simple Navigation are Top-notch :- Simple navigation is an assurance that the user will not be lost while browsing through your web pages. If one gets lost while clicking Next or hopping to another link, you can say goodbye to a potential subscription or sale.
24. No to Intro :- Placing an intro before letting anyone see the contents of your website is really annoying. Not everyone has the time, patience and attention span to watch what you want them to watch. It is just right to respect their time and lead them straight to the information that they need.
25. Avoid Using Frontpage :- Frontpage and other cheap HTML editors may be easy to use but you are sacrificing the quality of the design. You can often see problems with the codes or bugs when using different browsers. Unless you have advance coding skill that you can avoid such problems, Frontpage and other cheap HTML editors is not the way to build your website.
26. Cross-browser Capabilities :- Different browser have different sets of capabilities. What you have to do is make sure that your design is compatible with the most used browsers by your target market.
27. Intelligent Clicking :- Anchor text plays a vital role in your SEO plan. You have to make good use of them to let the users know where they are going if they click on a link. This give them freedom to choose where they want to go.
28. No Link Cloaking :- Hiding links is like telling the user to go jump in the river. The link must be visible and must tell the user where they will be going. Sending the users to affiliate links without them knowing will led to drop in your credibility.
29. Format Links Properly :- Formatting links properly make them more visible. Highlight their colors and underline them so they looks very inviting to the users. Links are optimally colored with blue.
30. Content Formatting :- The normal text should not be underline nor should it use colored fonts. Making normal text look like links might mislead users that they are also clickable.
31. Guide the Users with the Links :- After the color of clicked links so te user will be guided. This will give the user an idea which pages were visited and which one remains to be unexplored.
32. Avoid Using GIFs :- Advertisement banners may need GIF formatting but if these are not necessary on your website, avoid them. A tons of GIFs make the pages look cluttered and very unprofessional.
33. No to Pop Ups :- pop-up windows have been very annoying ever since. There are also chances that your pop-up window will be blocked by available free blockers in the market today.
34. Avoid color that causes Headache :- Color scheme may cause headache. If you think browsing through your website just for several minutes strains your eyes, then you must reconsider checking for another color on the palate.
35. ALT and TITLE attributes for images :- these will help a lot for blind users aside from being SEO friendly.
36. Functional Footer Links :- Internet users are accustomed to finding useful links at the bottom of the page. Usually you can find FAQs, Terms of Agreement, Contact Us and a lot more functional links. User amy click on them especially if they can find information on the pages.
37. Avoid Horizontal Scrolling :- People will tolerate scrolling down their browser to see the rest of the page. Do not give them the burden of scrolling to the left, than going back to the right, than going back up, than going down. Doesn't that sound tiring enough? The most commonly used resolution today is 1024*768 pixels.
38. Refrain from making long pages :- Scrolling down a few times may be okay to see information. Scrolling down forever to see what information you can give the users may be annoying and impractical. Users may decide to skip or just leave your website. A properly designed navigation plan will avoid this problem.
39. Polish the Grammar and Avoid typographical Errors :- Errors in the text will greatly affects the overall quality of your website. Before posting, you must edit, re-edit and proofread your contents to make sure that there are no spelling errors and grammar rules have been followed well all through out.
40. CAPTCHA :- These are utilized by webmasters to avoid spams on their websites. If you are using CAPTCHA, make sure that the letter are readable without having to call the whole family, football team and friends to read them out.

Designing tips for web page

As the owner of a website design business, I have to admit that I've seen it all when it comes to websites.

Some clients come to me with fancy, expensive sites, packed with lots of Flash animation and high-end gadgets. The sites look great, but sales are virtually non-existent.

While others have homemade sites they either created themselves or with the help of a friend or relative (or the high school kid down the street). These sites usually give a very unprofessional image and don't perform.

And more than a few don't even have a website (and that's the kiss of death in today's wired world).

Well, no matter where you are in the process of getting on the web, this course will help you create a better, more successful website.

Since most of my clients tend to be businesses, we're going to focus on creating commercial websites that increase sales and generate more leads.

However, even if you have an informational website, you'll pick up a few tricks from this e-course to help you attract and retain more visitors.

We'll even talk about how your website can open up additional revenue streams for you or your business.

So let's get started...

First, I want to share the two most important ingredients that every commercial website needs...

Traffic and conversion.

Here are the short and sweet definitions:

Traffic is simply the people who visit your website, preferably people who want what your business produces or sells.

And conversion means getting those people to perform a desired action while they are visiting your site. That action might be buying your product directly from your website using online ordering or phone, or it could be contacting you by email, phone, or online form for more information (in other words, a lead).

If your site has both traffic and conversion, then it's doing its job and becomes an important asset to your business.

But, if either one of these ingredients is missing, then your website (and business) is in trouble.

Let's take a closer look at traffic.

Quality traffic (also known as "targeted traffic") means visitors who want what your business has to offer. If you have no traffic coming to your website (a problem for MANY businesses), then nothing happens. Having no traffic is as bad as not having a website at all.

Likewise, if the people visiting your site don't really want what you offer, then nothing happens.

For example, say you own a plant nursery. But the people who visit your site are looking for furniture for a BABY nursery. You certainly won't sell many tree seedlings, tomato plants, or gardening supplies to new parents who are shopping for a crib.

We'll get more into how to find and attract visitors to your website in Lesson 4 of this course. So keep checking your email!

That said; most people's websites are absolutely horrible at conversion.

The first step is getting people to stay on your website long enough to take the action you want them to take.

That's tougher than it sounds. For most websites, the average visit lasts less than 30 seconds before the visitor clicks away.

A website that converts well will first capture a visitor's attention through a combination of effective design (which includes photos, graphics, and layout) with relevant copy (the text).

Once your website has a visitor's attention, the copy and design should work together to persuade a qualified visitor to take the action you desire.

Conversion is an interesting combination of art and science. And what's really interesting is the fact that even small improvements in conversion can mean a huge increase in sales and profits.

Increasing your site's conversion rate from 1% to 2% means DOUBLING your results. That's twice as many sales or leads!

Project work

Social Bookmarking sites:

website directory submission

What are website directories?

Website directories are similar to phone books (or more specifically, the yellow pages); you navigate to the appropriate category/topic and it lists the businesses that fall under that particular section - enabling you to find a company that offers what you're looking for. Website directories are no different; they categorize websites into different topics.

What are the benefits of website directory submissions?

The benefits of getting listed in website directories are twofold;
1) You get traffic from the directory from people using it as a search resource.
2) Every directory that lists your website is providing a link to your website, this link will contain your targeted keywords and therefore you'll get better search engine rankings for those words/phrases.
Submitting to website directories is one of the most essential parts of search engine optimization (SEO) because directories are the quickest and easiest method of generating powerful links to your website, there is no easier method of generating links to your website than website directory submissions.