When it comes to e commerce sites, few things are as important as web forms. They are often the very last step in converting an interested visitor into a paying customer. They are therefore not something that you want to get wrong from a design standpoint. A poorly designed web form can easily end up costing you conversions and with them, profits. (more…)
What sort of visitors do you want to attract to your website? Do you know who your target audience is? Is it a certain age group, a special interest group, or all sorts of people? Answering this question is very important in helping you decide how to reach them online. (more…)
In order to grown your small business, it is necessary to develop some growth strategies for your business. However, as a small business owner, it is important that your growth strategies are feasible and do not amount to simply building castles in the air.
5 ways to grow a small business (more…)
Most bloggers know that writing viral posts is one of the most powerful ways to promote your blog. If you can get everyone linking and talking about your posts, you can generate a swarm of traffic. Quality and “uniqueness” is the key to that game. But another viral game that bloggers can play has to do with viral ebooks. Very few bloggers use this marketing technique because most bloggers surprisingly don’t know how to write an ebook. Well guess what? If you can write a blog post you can write a viral ebook. And no, you don’t need to write an ebook that’s as long or as good as a New York Times Best Seller. Some viral ebooks are less than 10 pages long and fare quite well.
So what should your viral ebook be about? Well, if you want to bring “targeted” traffic to your blog, your viral ebook needs to be related to the subject of your blog. And if you actually want the ebook to go viral, it needs to be BOTH bizarre and extremely useful. In order for the ebook to be bizarre, it needs to somehow tie in with a subject that some people believe to be taboo while still staying on-topic. In order for it to be extremely useful, it needs to be somewhat of a black book with information that most people don’t know about. Combine the two together and you could have a winner. Some people might say that extremely useful would be good enough. In some cases it would be. But it’s really hard to get people to talk about your viral ebook if it doesn’t fall into those two categories.
Once you have your concept down, you’re half finished so pat yourself on the back. All that’s left is the actual writing of the ebook. Don’t worry. You don’t need expensive software to create your viral ebook. In fact, most viral ebooks are nothing more than a simple PDF file. The best software to create a PDF-style ebook can be downloaded at www.OpenOffice.org. After you install this application on your computer, you’re going to need to open the Open Office Writer. This program works in the exact same way as any other word processor. Write your ebook and once you’re finished, click on the PDF icon which is on the top of the page. Wallah! You’re finished and your ebook is ready to be distributed.
But what if you want a much nicer ebook? Simple. All you have to do is find somebody who can create an ebook cover for you. Prices vary but most designers will create a professionally-designed cover for $50 or less. Not all designers are created equal so take your time. When the cover is finished, add an image of the cover within your ebook on the first page and save it as a PDF file. Now your ebook has a face that more people will notice.
Now it’s time to distribute your viral ebook. While there are many ways to do this, the first way I would suggest you promote it is by contacting other blog owners with related blogs. If they like it, they’ll blog about. And if other people follow their blogs, they’ll blog about it too. Let’s not forget all the social bookmarks you’ll get from the people who visit those blogs. If you’re lucky, you’ll get lots of people talking about your ebook and your ebook might even be mentioned in some book one day on how viral marketing should be done. Wouldn’t that be something!
This was Guest Post submitted by Greg Davidson. Check out his site at Script Package.
I don’t know about you but I love new. New stuff. New days. New weeks. New years. They make me smile.
The anticipation of new can be so motivating. Why else do we hold such store by making New Year’s resolutions and bucket lists?
But of course those resolutions soon fall by the way side and, as summer approaches, it can be all too easy to write off this year and look forward to the next. I hear that the summer is traditionally a really quiet time here online. Maybe this lack of new is the reason why?
Well I have some good news for you. This year is only half over. The glass is half full. July 1st is our latest ‘new’ to relish and take encouragement from.
Even if you’ve just stumbled over here and are as green as the lovely Welsh grass outside my window, getting your stuff together right now and deciding that today is the day you’re going to take action makes today your awesome.
You might like to write the first half of the year off as your time for learning and research. You maybe took the time to build a rather wonderful looking online home. Did you start connecting with people via Twitter or LinkedIn and as such, have built trust and recognition for your brand?
All of those things are valid and wonderful. They’re a great foundation for this second half of the year.
But unless you put yourself out there, show the little corner of your world exactly what it is you’re about and what you have to offer, all of that ground work will soon get grown over with weeds and you’ll waste a huge chunk of next year getting your daisies straight again.
Your 10 minute task, if you choose to accept it, is to make a list of all the little things that you could be doing that will make a difference to you and your business. We’re not looking for epic stuff right now. This is about the little things that you never seem to have time left for at the end of a busy day.
Maybe it’s the customer you promise yourself you’ll follow up with. Or it could be the emails that left unanswered because you’re a one person operation and you just haven’t got to it yet. Did you promise yourself you’d get more structured with how you hung out on twitter but you didn’t yet devise a plan? Or maybe you just need to ask for the sale?
Whatever it is that you keep putting off doing, add it to the list. And sure, I cheated, just a little, because this list might take a little longer than 10 minutes to put together. But once you have it you’re good to go.
Here’s how: Every day for the next 30 days (or until you genuinely can’t find another thing to add to your list!) choose one thing off your list and do it. First. Before anything else.
And then feel to come back here at the end of the 30 days and tell me I’m an idiot if your business hasn’t grown in some measurable way as a result.
The journey of a thousand miles might start with a single step* but it’s the one after that and the one after that and the one after that that gets you there.
What are you doing today to make the second half of 2011 brilliant?
Let’s be honest … none of us start out aiming to ruin our customer’s day. It’s not like you woke up today and thought, “Now what’s the best way I can make my favourite customer really grumpy this morning?”
But how much time have you spent delighting your customers today? Or if you’re a blogger, have you thought about how you can make the world a brighter place for your readers right now?
Because if the answer can be counted on the digits of one hand, there’s a good chance you’re making your customers miserable, right now, and you don’t even realise it.
Anyone can teach you to write a fabulous sales page. You could even throw cash at it and hire one of the great guns of the web to do it for you. Full of emotionally compelling language and highly charged awesome sauce that gets people plotting how they can sell a spare kidney to buy from you.
Maybe you’ll get lucky? Throw enough eyeballs at your emotionally compelling stuff and people will buy it. Make it cheap enough and maybe they won’t ask for a refund when it’s over-hyped garbage. Maybe they’ll just chalk it up to experience and move on and you’ll be none the wiser.
That’s one sure-fire way to really wind up your customers!
Or maybe you’re the opposite of Mr ‘All Talk and No Substance’ over there? If someone comes to your site at 3am when you’re tucked up dreaming sweetly, what do you want them to do? Subscribe? Read? Comment?
What if they love what you do and they really want to buy a piece of you? How easy do you make it for people to buy off you right now?
Naomi Dunford calls this The Golden Minute. (And seriously, please do click that link and read her post. It’s great. We won’t wait for you but the magic that is the Inter-web means we’ll be here when you get back.)
Look at your site through the eyes of your customer. What can they do right now that will get them a piece of you?
Has this ever happened to you …
You make a carefully considered decision to buy something online. You click to ‘buy now’ but before you can login to Paypal they hit you with ‘oh, well seeing as you want to buy this amazing stuff from me, maybe you’d like to buy this thing that costs ten times the price but get it for fifty bucks, but only this one time.’
And you sigh. And your tummy does that thing that the person who wrote the amazing one time offer knows it will do because that’s the emotion they were playing on when they wrote it, but you know your budget and click ‘no thanks’. You’re mentally willing them to just take you to Paypal so you can get the deed done but wait for it, there’s more …
‘You don’t want that? Well how about this much cheaper but just as life transforming thing that I put together for just such an eventuality as this’?
I understand that one time offers work.
I know that they’re popular.
I know they earn people a lot of money.
But please … do we really have to bash our customers over the head with them, time after time after time after time after … you catch my drift?
And now it’s your turn. What have you done to really upset your customers this week? Confess all in the comments. We promise to be kind.