5 Tips to Help You Avoid Your Website Becoming a Money Pit!

Starting a blog or website has many learning curves. Unless you are extremely web savvy, the lessons can become very costly.

Here are 5  tips to help you avoid your website becoming a money pit:

  1. Become familiar with some basic html code. You don’t have to know much anymore as most websites and blogs have great editors. There are times that you will need it and you can simply copy and save the ones you will use most in a text file on your desktop for easy access.
  2. If you are going to be posting content on your blog on a consistent basis, hiring someone to create your graphics can become rather costly. Learn to do some of your own images. You don’t have to be a graphic designer as there are free banner maker sites such as Bannernow as well as inexpensive ones like Flashadcreator.
  3. When hiring someone to work on your site, make sure you  are clear as to the service they are providing and the quality of their work! . Don’t rely on an oratory of their workmanship, you need to visually see what they can do for you! Then, you must make sure you have the details of the service in writing. This ensures that neither of you has misunderstood the nature of the service! A simple email is sufficient to map out what you both have agreed to.
  4. Google and Youtube should be among your best friends! Most of the questions you have when working on your website can be found in one of those 2 sites. When I cannot find what I am looking for on Google, I seek out tutorials on Youtube!!
  5. Avoid a lot of flashy features that you feel are going to attract people to your website.  Although it is true that people are visual and your site must be appealing to the eye, what is going to drive repeated traffic to your website is CONTENT!! Whether you are selling products that people want or your website provides people with great information that is relevant to them, it is all about CONTENT! For bloggers, it is truly about giving your readers consistent, great content that will keep them coming back.

Are there any tips that you would add to my list to help someone’s website from becoming a money pit?

 

 

 

 

 

 

9 Tips to help you get started with Blogging

1. Start with a simple blog

When you start out blogging use one of the easier blog formats. I would suggest you use tumblr to begin with. It is easy to use and great for photographers and writers.
It is also perfect for those starting out. It is a great way to learn the format.

2. Your title

Think about this carefully. Your title is how you will be known. So decide if you want a catchy title for the blog or if you want to use your name and establish a brand for yourself.

3. What do you blog about?

Many of my clients ask me this. How do you find something to blog about? Well here are some tips to get you started. Write about good service at a shop. Write about bad service. Scan Twitter and see what most people are talking about. Write about that. Solve problems, help others. If you are an expert in a certain niche, share your expertise with your followers. Interview someone famous. Interview someone in your field of work.

4. Share your work

When you feel comfortable with your writing skills start to share your blog with people.
Share it all over on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ and other social media networks. Share it on Blogging Networks like Triberr.

5. Add sharing buttons

Add social sharing buttons onto your blog so that your readers can share your work with their friends, family and business associates. Make sure those sharing buttons are at the top of your blog so people can see them easily enough.

6. Add widgets

Once you are blogging away look at adding some widgets. Widgets are small programs or little ways that you can add different items to your blog. So you can add such things as, pictures, lists, subscription forms, bloggers you recommend, the weather, the news and so much more. You will find many such widgets on blogs such as Blogger or WordPress or Posterous

7. Work on the design of your blog

Take a look at your blog regularly. Does it jump out at you? Would people want to read this? Look at it and make sure all the links work correctly. Does it take long to load? If so change it. Work on the design.

8. Work on the headline

Each blog post you write should have a headline that grabs your eye. So work on that headline. Make it interesting. Would someone want to read that blog?

9. Learn to guest blog

A powerful tool for a blogger is to guest blog. What that means is you write a blog post for another blogger. So find other bloggers out there. There are many that are dying for a guest blog. Also look for big bloggers and email them, ask if you can guest blog. The impact will be huge for your blog. So get out there and start writing your blog.
Happy Blogging!

Do you have any tips about Blogging?


About Author

Fred Felton is a keynote speaker, social media consultant, author business analyst and website designer. Fred is also owner of Falcon’s Cove a digital media agency based in Umhlanga Rocks, South Africa. You can also find Fred on Twitter and Facebook.

Twitter’s New Look- Love it or Not?

Twitter headers

Twitter just unleashed a great new feature that seems to be getting fair reviews. You can now upload a header image to your profile. That means you can create a more personalized  look similar to Facebook. It is not easy to do this with a 160 character description, so more options to express yourself are great!

There is a caveat to Twitter’s new header feature. Eye catching photography perhaps looks  appealing, but your bio may be difficult to read!  There might be a desire at the beginning to upload a dynamic image, but keep in mind how this will appear to others viewing it! A clean, minimalistic Twitter header might be your best choice!

Here’s how to add a Twitter header to your profile:

Go to your profile page and click  Edit Your Profile.  Then click Design and then scroll down past the “pre-made” templates and you will see the Header Option.

 

Have you uploaded a header image to Twitter and what do you think of the new feature?

Email Marketing is Topic for #Turnitsocial this Thursday at 8pm EST!

Thursday night at 8 pm EST on our weekly Twitter chat #Turnitsocial, Jen McGahan from Myteamconnects.com will be talking about how to create an effective email marketing campaign for your business! This is one of the most under utilized parts of your business and most definitely one of the most important.

Why MUST you be at #Turnitsocial this week?

According to Jen:

62% of people online start their day with email.

Email gets a return on investment of up to $42 for every dollar spent.

Email helps you “click” with your customers and strengthen your brand.

We will be discussing  lots more, so be prompt please!! Also, we are going to go over to Google+ Hangouts afterward! If you don’t have Google+ yet, please sign up now!! You will LOVE Google+ Hangouts. You can also connect with Jen on Twitter @JenMcGahan or myself @turnitsocial for more details!
See you Thursday, September 20 at 8 pm EST on #Turnitsocial!!

Top 5 Most Popular Pinterest Topics

Top 5 most popular pinterest topics

Pinterest is the hottest new trend in social media which begs the question— what is everyone looking at? While everyone creates their own set of “boards”, there tends to be themes that everyone can zero in on.

Some of the most popular categories are:

1. Recipes –Pinners tend to focus in on tried and true recipes where they can give honest reviews. I tend to see a lot of comfort food, desserts, and family friendly meals. These recipes can be great when pinners are looking for changes to their meals plans or unique treats. I for one have tried MANY of the ideas and received rave reviews at home. It’s like one big recipe swap!
2. Clothing-– need an idea of what to wear to work or a night out? Head to Pinterest. Pinners tend to be trend forward when pinning fashion ideas. Like what you see? Many pins have direct links to sites where the fashions can be purchased. Some of the best pins you will see are complete outfits, set out there for you to copy at home.
3. Holidays—Pinners love the holidays! This time of year Pinterest is filled with new ideas for Halloween and even Christmas. New decorations, new gifts, new party ideas…all you need to look like a professional interior decorator or party planner during the upcoming seasons.
4. Home Décor—Pinners love to dream. Dream wall colors, dream furniture, dream backyards, and full-fledged dream houses. If your house needs updating or you want ideas for a dream home, Pinterest is your guide. There are beautiful and amazing pictures of some of the most beautiful home décor out there. Dare to dream.
5. Kid Stuff—Pinterest is FULL of ideas for kid’s parties, activities, and family outings. Pinterest even has tons of general parenting advice. It’s like one big parenting idea pool.
While I tend to lean toward the recipe sections, I love seeing the huge mix of ideas that Pinners create—go check it out and find your favorite category!


About Author

Betsy Larson, has worked for over 15 years in many retail based Fortune 1000 companies both in a finance and legal capacity. Betsy is currently employed at a large scale retail company within the Minneapolis, Minnesota area and is the owner of Betsy Larson Law Office which focuses on helping small businesses succeed. Betsy utilizes social media both on a professional and personal level to create efficiency as she juggles life as a busy mom of 3, wife and business owner. You can reach Betsy on Pinterest, on Twitter or on her blog.

#Turnitsocial Twitter Chat Thursday- Utilizing Video in Your Social Media Campaign

This Thursday night, September 13 at 8 pm EST, we will be chatting with Chris Yates from Huddle Productions. Chris is a video content creator for brands and has worked with companies such as Anheuser-Busch, Michael Stores and Verizon. He is also is an amazing story teller who uses video to humanize a business and therefore create a dynamic presentation that touches people’s emotions.

Video can be a very compelling way to increase brand awareness. It is one of the most highly shared forms of information through Social Media Channels and should be a part of everyone’s Social Media strategy.

Join our Twitter Chat  #Turnitsocial Thursday at 8 pm EST to find out how to utilize video with your social media business and why you must offer this to your clients to maximize their exposure!

You can reach Chris on Twitter @chrisyates11  as well as Tweet us @turnitsocial !

#Turnitsocial Thursday Night at 8 pm EST- Topic is Social Engagement

turn it social

Last Thursday evening, we hosted our 1st Twitter chat on #Turnitsocial. The turnout was incredible and we thank everyone who joined us!  Very special thanks to our cohost, Randy Thio from Ideabloke.com and Kelly Lieberman from the highly popular Wednesday night Twitter Chat  #Pinchat.

This Thursday night, September 6, at 8 pm EST we will be talking about Social Engagement. Do you feel totally at ease chatting on Twitter and Facebook or are you like many who  feel like no one is listening to them! Are you unsure what to say when you are on a Social Platform?

Engagement is the life blood of Social Media and if you are simply posting information and tweets without active communication, then your time and effort has little value! Let’s chat about what YOU need to gain more mutual engagement as well as what you may be doing that works great for you!

Join us this Thursday night at 8 pm EST for #Turnitsocial !


Are you Setting Up Too Many Barriers on Twitter for Success?

Twitter barriers

When we first enter into Social Media, it can be overwhelming and to some a bit frightening. Engaging with people you do not know and allowing them to see your personal information such as photos and name can be intimidating. On the other hand, if you do not allow access or limit it because of these fears, you will have a hard time growing the following that you need to promote your business.

So, you must decide if you can take the steps you need to really make a difference in your exposure. If not, you might want to reevaluate if Social Media is truly right for you.

There are 2 things on Twitter which I feel will slow you down:

1. Protected Tweets- When you select “Protect My Tweets”, only those that you approve will be able to see your tweets and follow you. When I see this, normally I “unfollow” someone. I want to engage with people and share their content and promote them. How can I do this if no one else will see it?

2. Twitter Validation-  Making someone go to their Twitter inbox to click into a “Validation” link for approval to follow you. First of all, it is time consuming and painful to go through this process. Secondly, most dms are considered spam and receiving a dm to validate your follow is annoying to many and often ignored!

The key to success through Twitter and Social Media begins and ends with ENGAGEMENT!!! I hope this was helpful and would love to know your thoughts!

 

9 Tips to help you get started with Google+

Google+

Here are 9 Tips to help you get started with Google+

1. Keep it simple

When you start using it keep what you post simple. Start to see what people are posting and start using that +1 button to like people’s status updates or pics or videos.

2. Those Circles

Plenty of people ask me about those Circles, what are they? Are they crop circles? What is going on? Here is a simple definition for you. With the Circles Google has allowed you to move people you add into various circles. Those being Friends, Family, Acquaintances, Following. However here is a nice option you can also add your own circles. So if you are a business person or salesperson you could add a circle for leads. You could add a circle for inspirational people, book clubs, the list is endless. What kind of circle could you create for yourself?

3. Status Updates

Google has a somewhat different status update section to Twitter or Facebook. On the Google one you have a stream, you can update with text, photo’s, videos, links, locations and you can also direct those updates or streams to everyone or just to friends or to a select circle. The choice is yours. Do you see the opportunity for project management here, think tank work amongst work colleagues, friends etc.

4. Events

Google has just recently added an Events icon to Google+. What that means is just like with Facebook you can now market your Events whatever they may be. This gives you another marketing tool for you or your business.

5. Hangouts

Hangouts are fun and you can start a hangout with your live webcam, think of it as a meeting of your friends or business colleagues online. You can also save those hangouts on Youtube as a video. A great option.

6. Trending on Google+

Just like with Twitter you can see what is Trending on Google+ it shows you what is popular.

7. Play around with your Profile

What are you going to use Google+ for? Think it through and then adjust your profile. What does your profile picture say about you? What does your ‘’About page’’ say about you?
Here you can show any email address or websites you want to share and any other contact info you care to share.

8. Pages

Pages is similar to Facebook Pages and allows you to set up a page for your business.
A valuable marketing tool for any small business.

9. A valuable networking tool

Google+ is a valuable networking tool for friends, business people and families. The choice is yours.
As with all social networking tools, it’s a tool, it’s up to you how you want to use it and what you want to use it for.

Do you have any tips about Google+?


About Author

Fred Felton is a keynote speaker, social media consultant, author business analyst and website designer. Fred is also owner of Falcon’s Cove a digital media agency based in Umhlanga Rocks, South Africa. You can also find Fred on Twitter and Facebook.