Tuesday, October 6, 2015 by Kevin Wood
If you run a business online or off then you understand the importance of having a website and online presence. However, if it’s your first website, or you designed your website yourself then you might have made mistakes. Luckily, a lot of these mistakes are easy to correct. If you’re relying on your website to drive traffic your way, then you’ll want your website to be a well-oiled machine. Below we highlight the ten mistakes that most beginners make, and what you can do to fix these issues.
Wednesday, September 30, 2015 by Kevin Wood
If you’re planning on using guest posting as a part of your content marketing strategy, it’s important to get it right. A lot of popular bloggers and high-traffic websites receive a ton of guest post pitches every single day. Luckily for you, most of them are pretty terrible. If you spend time crafting the perfect guest post pitch you’ll increase your chances of your post being accepted and hopefully build a long-term relationship with the blogger. Below you’ll find our tips that will increase your chances of landing a guest post on your dream blog or website.
1. Build Rapport And Show That You CareOften, people simply ask to write a guest post without taking the time to build up any kind of relationship. Before you pitch, especially if it’s a single author blog, it’s important you take the time to email them, comment on a blog post, or purchase one of their products. This helps to highlight that you’re an active member of their community and you actually care about the work of the author. You can even build rapport within your email by mentioning how long you’ve been a fan by referencing a few of your favorite posts. Some people have even had success by mentioning a shared interest. For example, maybe both of you are very interested in windsurfing. Building a connection that’s outside of the business space can be very valuable and will help you stand out.
2. Be A Case StudyHave you implemented one of their strategies, or frameworks, and found success in your business and life? If so, then mention it. This can even be the topic of your blog post. A successful case study not only provides value to their readers, but it also provides massive social proof that what the author is sharing actually works.
3. Illustrate Your ValueWhen designing your guest post pitch make sure you gear your post towards the audience of the blog you’re writing for. It can be useful to take a look through their most popular posts, as these resonate highly with the audience. When you’re crafting potential titles for your blog posts make sure they mimic past successful post formats. It can be helpful to mention your background and any other posts you might have written, but make the topic of your email geared towards the value you can bring to them and their audience, not your accolades alone.
4. Give Multiple OptionsWhen pitching potential posts it can be helpful to give them more than one option to choose from. Don’t overwhelm them with post ideas. You can always pitch them again, but give them at least three post topics to choose from. Never write the post first, unless the blog demands it. Always ensure your idea is approved before diving into the writing process. This will save you valuable time.
5. Realize You’re Dealing With PeopleIn the end, it’s always important to remember there’s another person on the end of your email exchange. It can be all too easy to distance ourselves across the digital landscape. Think about what kind of emails you love to receive and reply to and structure your pitch accordingly. Give them the needed information and nothing more. By following the tips above you’ll increase your chances of landing a guest post on a blog or website that has the potential to grow your authority and send traffic back to your website.
Wednesday, September 23, 2015 by Jeremy JensenIn the famous words of Nam June Paik, “The Future is now!”, at least in the sense YouTube's Advertisements have just pioneered the 360 degree world of video, rolling out the capability on Chrome, Android and iOS. Back in January, Google unveiled being able to support the feature, and has very recently seen the first takers from Bud Light & Coca-Cola with exceptionally high-production value. JR Futrell, YouTube's Ad product manager, remarked the new 360-degree format as a “mobile-first” initiative for two reasons:
- Motion - 360 ads will move with the mobile device, allowing you to view the video through a virtual lens.
- Mobile Is Dominating - In ten countries around the world, mobile searches have now surpassed that of desktop use, inspiring innovations to keep viewers watching advertisements longer.
Not Just For CorporationsRight away many viewers new to the concept would expect this technology to be limited to corporations or businesses with a large marketing budget to support the production value. But, creating a video in the three dimensional space has become surprisingly easy, and highly accessible to even the smallest business looking to advertise. The trick is acquiring a camera capable of filming 360 Degree video format. As the technology improves, the amount of camera options has readily increased, including:
Tapping Into Viewers CuriosityIn order to run any effective advertisement you must capture the attention of your viewer within a split second. We've all seen the “Skip this Ad” after 5 seconds button, which has set the standard for how fast you need to capture your audiences attention on YouTube. Skipped ads don't create conversions, and nowadays unless there is something dynamic built into a video, viewers are quick to simply ignore it. The goal with 360 Degree video is to take the viewers from a place of feeling passive, into a realm of activity and curiosity. The Ad can involve scripted elements similar to Coca Cola's, or it can simply allow your viewers to spin the camera behind the scenes to get a perspective on how the ad was created. Google sees this innovation as the future of advertising, and as food for thought, imagine how obsolete regular ads will feel once users can tap into this form of virtual reality. Like everything, we're advancing towards higher forms of stimulation.
Staying Ahead Of The CurveUnderstandably, many business owners might feel overwhelmed by the prospect of generating 360 ads on their own. However, we assure you the process is as easy as regular video once you own the right camera mentioned above. Getting into this trend before it's inevitably dominant will keep your advertising campaign at the forefront of newer innovations once they happen. The more interesting your ads, the greater ROI for your company. Once you have workable videos, follow these steps provided by Google to upload. Campaigns for 360 degree videos running as TrueView Ads can be set up in Adwords. Image Source: http://i.ytimg.com/vi/9VrfFpXPK4E/maxresdefault.jpg
Wednesday, September 2, 2015 by Kevin Wood
Your about page is a crucial part of your website. You can use it to convey valuable information about your business and connect with your user in new and more meaningful ways. Sadly, most business don’t use their about page to actually deepen their relationship with their users. Instead they just use the page to talk about themselves and give a quick rundown of their services offered. These elements are necessary, but they shouldn’t be the sole focus of your about page.
Make Your About Page About Your VisitorsWhen you’re at a party, or having a conversation with someone and they keep going on and on about themselves, it’s not a very fun conversation is it? Your about page comes across the same way when you only talk about yourself and your accolades. Instead, try a different approach, and make your about page about your readers. The moment a visitor clicks over to your about page you’ll want to tell them the benefits they’ll receive if they stick around. You want to speak to anything that will prevent them from clicking the back button. Address their needs and pain points as soon as possible.
Speak To Their FeelingsWhen you can convey emotion and feeling with your about page it’s much easier to get them excited about what you’re offering. By taking the time to explain their feelings, your visitors will automatically feel like they’re accepted and part of what you’re building. It’s much easier to get someone to take action when you show that you deeply understand their needs.
Get Into Their HeadsOnce you’ve shown you understand them on a level of emotion you need to make your readers feel as if you can read their minds and present them with the perfect solution. You can do this by going deeper into their pain points, and showing how you can solve their problems, and that you’ve done it before.
Use The “Humble Brag”When you brag about yourself or your business accomplishments you need to do it in a way that doesn’t turn off your readers. Simply listing your accomplishments can actually isolate your readers and make it harder for them to relate to you. A great way to do this is to wrap your accomplishments inside of a story or a joke. Or, you can highlight them alongside other less than perfect details.
Wrap Up With A Call-To-ActionOnce you finish your newly upgraded copy on your about page it’s time to tell your visitor what to do next. Since your about page often gets a lot of traffic you should conclude the page with a call-to-action that leads to a subscribe form or some other course of action. Give your users a way to continue the conversation with you. Making sure your about page connects with your users is a crucial piece a lot of online business owners are missing. Get this piece right and you’ll see your subscribers and relationships start to blossom.
Tuesday, August 18, 2015 by Alex IvanovsOn the internet, email is like having a mobile phone, with the difference that on the internet -- you can almost always get anyone's phone number, at any given time. Sometimes, you create something and ask users to enter their phone number (email) in for you, so that they can be notified when you share and publish more of the amazing stuff that got the interested in the first place. We now it by the name of email marketing. The reasons for creating an email list have long been known and understood by expert marketers, and we recently published a post ourselves, about the reasons why a small business should invest in an email marketing strategy, and how rewarding it can be. It's without question the leading way of staying in touch with your customers and peers of interest. If you'r new to email marketing, or have done it a few times before, you will be familiar with email marketing campaigns -- in simpler words, it simply means to send out a carefully crafted message and/or announcement to everyone who has signed up to be on your email list. And more often than not, we want these emails to be of highest quality so as to retain the subscribers, but also to convert leads where possible.
1. Talk to Your CustomersMarketing always was and always will be about the customer, there is no denying that. These days there are countless ways of connecting with your customers, social media and content marketing being a few of them, but email is usually the one that plays on the more personal level. And there is nothing more dissatisfying than a corporate email that only wants to sell you something. When sending a new campaign:
- Always greet your customers by their first name, which means you have to find a way to collect their name as well. It's a nice and personal touch.
- Don't drag the email for too long only to try and sell something at the end. Bring value to the table.
- Give them a good initiative to continue reading the email at the top, rather than the bottom.
2. Optimize the Email ExperienceThe mobile experience can now provide just as many features and possibilities as a full-blown desktop computer, and with that in mind, the usage of mobile devices for business and personal needs has increased dramatically over the last few years, even months some would say. And with that in mind, we need to make sure we're catering to our mobile users the same way we are to desktop users. A mobile device is usually going to require a responsive email design that can naturally adapt to the needs of the mobile device. The impact of responsive emails in terms of open rates, and conversion rates, is too huge to miss out on.
3. Test What WorksIn development, programmers test their applications against common errors and performance optimization, in email -- we can use testing to test what works best for us and our subscribers, including the email design, the titles we choose to have, and the overall email experience we provide. It's easy to get started. Testing allows you to compare and contrast different elements of your email campaigns to see how they impact your subscribers’ reactions to them. You can form a hypothesis about what you think will occur, and then formulate a test and find out what really happens.
4. Email Campaign FrequencyThe last task on our list is actually less a task, but more of a reminder to those who are eager to build their email list quickly. It's easy to get carried away with having access to so many people at any given time, and sometimes we may feel that sending out a few emails a week is going to increase our conversion rates significantly, that simply is not true. Even before you begin sending out your first emails, you should get clear about the email marketing strategy that you're going to be using, and whether sending out multiple emails on weekly basis is going to yield you the best result. It's possible to ask your new subscribers to select the frequency of emails they'd like to receive, but then you've to be completely clear about the message you're trying to convey over your email campaigns. Sometimes as frequently as twice a month is enough to capture the attention of your customers, and customers-soon-to-be. MailChimp fully agrees that more is not always better.
*****Alex Ivanovs is an online entrepreneur who has been writing about technology, business and developer topics for over a decade. He currently manages CodeCondo — an aspiring community for designers and developers.