Blogging, especially business blogging, is the in thing these days; just about every business with an online presence is into it. It’s something that everybody is doing, and why not, after all a blog not only brings to a website an added sense of credibility, but also improves the brand awareness of your business and its products and services.
But, it must be remembered that blogging just for the heck of it, and because everybody is doing it, doesn’t work. It must be purposeful in order to succeed. To make you job a little easier, you need to keep a few business blogging tips in mind, to ensure that your blog is successful.
Briefly, the point is that users avoid signing up to become a member of a site unless they absolutely have to. Call it, if you will, “social media fatigue“. Ten years ago, the web was yours just like your TV set, and the only time you had to sign up for anything was if you were buying something. Now you can’t click a mouse button without logging in with a nick and password. Who can remember them all? Why does it feel like getting married every time you just want to leave a quick note somewhere?
Some things that bear analysis are asking why users can’t stand a certain element. For instance, why do users hate pop-ups? Well, it’s because you were trying to read this web page, and all of a sudden a new box appears in front of it. What it’s doing is, it’s interrupting your mind, like shouting over the top of someone who’s talking. Can you imagine if you sit down to watch television, and just then someone comes running in with a painting and sticks it between your eyes and the TV screen right when the news gets back from commercial?
Things like that – they seem to be hard to explain to some web owners. Even if that element makes some sales, you have to look at how many people are getting frustrated and going away.
Sometimes you have to wonder what it’s like to be Tim Berners-Lee. To have coded out some basic piece of Internet technology that effectively made the other pieces come together, and then to see your baby become the new media for the whole world and all of the effects it has. Is it working out the way he expected it to? Does he ever feel like Prometheus, perhaps having given us fire too soon?
Sir Tim recently gave a talk at the Nokia conference, cautioning us once again about the dangers of leaving privacy up to corporations and governments, and also about the importance of net neutrality.
Throughout the developed world we see the continued erosion of the idea that the web is a free zone for everyone. It’s starting to become a matter of where you live, what laws control the content, and from whom you buy access. Tim Berners-Lee, like Richard Stallman (founder of GNU), is one of our “Jiminy Crickets,” voices that can do little but talk, and so are out there quietly being the conscience of the tech world. The distressing thing is, their voices grow fainter as time goes on, and few are listening or taking up their cause. What that may spell for the continued level playing field of the web business market is anybody’s guess.
Every web designer should at least save a copy of this chart listing social media use by age. It’s a gold mine of information in a small image. Charting age brackets for young teens, young adults, Generation Y, Generation X, Baby Boomers, Older Boomers, and Seniors, it shows who’s using the features of the modern web, from creators to spectators.
Obviously, you can see the age range from 12 to 40 doing all of the web activity to speak of. After age 40, the dip falls off dramatically until you get to seniors whose extent of web use is email. One interesting exception: RSS usage is flat all the way across the age groups! As surprising as it may seem to those of us who simply can’t start our day without our news feed, syndication just may not be taking off like everybody expected it to.
If you work for a web design firm, you might have to sign no-compete agreements (depending on the laws in your area) saying you won’t work for clients in your off-time. However, web design is a big field, and touches a lot of side enterprises. Here are some ways you can put your extra tech-savvy skill points to work doing a little moonlighting:
Blogging – So obvious we almost don’t have to say. Most every web designer has a blog or social media account of some kind. Toss in some ads, and you’ve got a little side money.
iPhone apps – No doubt you’re heard of some of the top-selling applications for the iPhone. Apple lets you set up a store and sell these at the iPhone apps store.
Twitter backgrounds – Twitter has given rise to a new cottage industry in making backgrounds for Twitter home pages. Many sites give away backgrounds, a few sell them or make them to order for a fee.
SCTimes brought up the very first web banner ad, created by none other than – AT&T! The American telecommunications company (and father of Unix and the C programming language, to boot) launched this ad in 1994.
For those of you who don’t remember, the banner ad’s phrase “you will” was the catch-phrase for AT&T’s early-’90s marketing campaign. TV commercials featured voice-overs asking “Have you ever…” followed by some Utopian visions of futuristic tech usage, and then closing with “you will! And the company that will bring it to you… AT&T!” It was so saturated that numerous parodies sprung up in computing culture. Some original AT&T ads on YouTube.
Of course, we all want to make money on the web. Our web design clients especially.
And most users – even the ones who never click anything – understand that. In the polls we’ve seen of the average website visitor, most say they don’t mind ads as long as they don’t interfere with the browsing experience. Oh, but those others! Here’s five advertising designs not to use:
Talking ads – Like the ‘smiley’ one you see that whistles and yells for attention. Users hate these, and they might also get fired for browsing the web at work when their web browser suddenly starts chattering and they forget they have the sound up.
Expanding banners – The corner kind are OK, since they are easy to recognize and don’t intrude onto the main parts of the page. But when you have the flat kind that drop down over the web page like a curtain, it’s irritating.
Misleading linked text. – This could be not-so-annoying, if only the link went somewhere that had something to do with the article. An adlink going to a swimsuit site in the middle of an article about hamsters, however, is pushing it.
Designing a new website or making alterations to an existing one is fraught with the possibility of mistakes and sometimes even blunders. Therefore it is important that you take certain precautions before plunging into your web designing. Failure to do so may land you in delays rather than in quick success. The following guidelines would help you avoid the unnecessary fuss and frustration!
Know your prospective site user: Acquire a good understanding of the expectations of your prospective site visitors. Analyze their needs. What do visitors of such websites look out for? What kind of websites do your prospective customers expect to see? What should be the layout and design of your website copy? Does it need photographs and graphics? Will you need to alter the content from time to time? A thorough customer research will answer all these questions
Pay for what you need: Don’t overspend your budget. If your business is small you don’t need a lot of bandwidth and web space every month. If you wrongly believe you do it will cost you quite a lot of money. Go for something small that is economical and yet useful. It may turn out to be faster too.
Avoid complicated techniques: As far as possible avoid using complicated techniques such as frames, custom mouse pointers, sound, doorway pages or any other technology that asks users to download rare plug-ins. Usually such techniques scare away most Internet users as they find that it is confusing and takes a longer time to download leading to a complicated navigation.
Keep the search engines in your focus: All web surfers use search engines. Therefore, make sure your site is duly listed in a couple of popular search engines. It is also important that your site links up well internally, and all important pages open with a simple click of the mouse. Your website must be search-engine-friendly for which you must use keywords clearly not only in your website title but also repeatedly in the first paragraph of your web content and text. Remember your key words are the words that Internet users are expected to type in the search bar while looking out for your type of website.
Give usability top priority: Make sure that your web design projects your brand very well. Your site’s usability is of vital importance. If it is not very user-friendly then web surfers will go elsewhere. It is the correct use of key words that makes your website user-friendly. Your texts should be clearly visible and site navigation smooth. Your fonts and colors should look pleasing to the eyes. Your link structure should help people find information quickly.
Remember that the usual top-level menu items are: Home, About Us, Products, Services, and Contact Information.
A website is the image of your company. It acts like a representative for an off-line company.
Thus, it is very important to have a well-designed and attractive site to hold the attention of the browser and leave a mark on him. With an increasing number of businesses going online, the competition has increased tremendously and you have to be very creative when it comes to designing your web page. Your website is your mouthpiece and you need to let it deliver the best to the readers.
As a website has the power to boost your business, you need to be at your best when designing it. Here are a few tips that can help you design a profitable website.
• The moment anyone logs on to the website he looks out for the navigation button to flip through the site pages. Do not have fancy website navigation, as it may confuse the visitor. A website should be user friendly and one should instantly know how to go on to the next page or search what they want.
• Although graphics and images make your website look trendy, they also increase the loading time. Make sure you do not have too many images or your website will run slowly and the visitor may lose interest. Let there be graphics and pictures, but only where necessary.
• When you write any articles or details on the web, remember to keep your paragraphs short and simple. Internet browsers may not have time to go through wordy and lengthy sentences. Thus, split your paragraphs and sentences. The fonts and text color should not hurt the readers’ eye. You can use white space so that it relaxes the eyes and the reader doest get lost while reading. The font should be visible enough so that readers find it convenient to go through it.
• Do not be relaxed if your website looks good only on the Internet explorer. If your website breaks and does not show up well in Firefox or other browsers, you need to fix the problem. It is always better to view your website on various browsers to know how it looks. If your website is not coming up well on other browsers chances are you are losing many prospective customers.
• Do not be restricted to any particular script, as it may not open up on every computer and the visitor may miss important information. Always use normal script available that any server can easily open and read.
• Always make use of website templates as it saves both time and money when you want to create a new layout. However, when you make use of templates make sure you do not go in for very popular ones as many other websites may be using the same template too, and you may just be following the herd.
Apart from the website being user friendly, it also needs to appear neat and attractive. Following the tips above will help you make the most out of your website and increase traffic tremendously. A well design site is sure to help you earn loads of profit.
Network marketing provides wide opportunities selling at substantial profits. When you plan to use Internet marketing for your MLM business you have to ensure that you come across as a professional. Your website should describe your business and your professionalism perfectly.
Equally important is to ensure that your website is content rich, so that visitors find it quickly in their search engine listing. You get good traffic by ensuring that you use appropriate content and keywords that best describe your business.
A very important aspect of an Internet marketing business is seller’s reliability. Even before you sell or introduce your products, you have to come across as someone trustworthy and reliable. Once people start to place their trust in you, you will be able to put forth your product to them.
They may buy your product, as they feel assured to buy a product that ‘you’ are offering it. It is like personal branding. This is attraction marketing.
It is very useful to have a sizzle line or a voice mail system for your website. You can put some good short message than can be convincing enough for visitors to get in touch with you about your product. They may even be ready to leave their details with you so that you may contact them later on.
Business cards, blogs, small ads, and similar communication tools can be of great use for promotional purpose. Blogs with precise content can be good tools to update visitors on your latest products and other information related to network marketing.
Web designers should also remember that the autoresponder tool is extremely important for networking. Regular communication about your business will be helpful as it inclines visitors towards your website.
Focus on what you are selling. If you have multiple products of different categories, create separate pages for different categories. This ensures that customers are not confused about the products that he is looking for. Sometimes even separate websites for separate products can be fruitful.
When you develop content, make sure that you are clear about what you want to communicate. Similarly, you start with trying to resolve the problem of your visitors. Rather than forcing them to buy anything, you can provide them with additional articles and information about problem resolution. This can go a long way in impressing them and winning their respect. The next time you they visit you site, they will be steered to your website and thus to your product.
It is necessary not to overload your website with graphics and Flash or multimedia content. You can make your website contain compressed image files and short videos so that visitors are not put off with slower connection of bulky websites. You never know who your customer may be.
Your website should preferably have a short questionnaire for the visitor to complete. This helps your visitor understand that you are network marketers. This is useful so that you find it easier to resolve their discontent in case they are not interested in buying your product any further.
Last but not the least; you have to ensure that your web content is Search engine optimized. This is because you want prospective customer to find you quickly. Put appropriate keywords so that search engine spiders index you in relevant searches.
You website design has to be like a tailor-made suit to fit you perfectly. Your website should be able to inspire visitor’s confidence towards your network marketed products.
To make it easy for the customers, there needs to be an online order processing system. It mostly involves a shopping cart to select and store orders.
You will need a payment option like PayPal. This involves getting a PayPal ‘business account’ – which is quick and easy. PayPal will need to verify you as a legitimate person by several levels of checks ie: bank account, credit card etc
If you choose to accept credit cards via your own processing account, you will need a bank internet merchant account – which can be a tiresome process and more expensive to set up and operate. If you are a serious business – it is the only option in my opinion.
For this option you will need to sign up with a secure gateway provider, which sits in between your website and the bank website. Providers such as Securepay or Camtech in Australia are a good option. Others are Verisign (owned by PayPal) – but they are a more expensive option.
There has to be enough security to allow payments online. The credibility of the merchant is a very important factor to be checked. Your order form should be secured which may be done using SSL encryption technologies. Additionally, you may also offer a money back guarantee to people to build up confidence.
Remember that it is also useful to display a price list of your products. It makes it easier for the visitor to make a decision to buy from your site.
Unless you provide a simple system for the potential customers to buy from you, you cannot keep him happy. It is important to make a system that would not frustrate your potential customer.