My friend, Angela Wills, is giving a free webinar where she will give you three keys to setting up your Wordpress blog for success.
You know I advocate using ONLY Wordpress for your site, you can read my post eons ago here about what I think about Wordpress – I know, that was a long time ago but since that time Wordpress has only gotten better and better. You shouldn’t even consider any other way to set-up your site.
So, back to the reason for my post – if you still don’t have your site set-up, you must sit-in on Angela’s free webinar. Here are the details:
So You Want to Make Money With WordPress?
I’ll Give You THREE Keys to Setting Up
WordPress For Success & Profits!
LIVE Webinar Monday, April 2nd at 8pm ET!
Register for this webinar and you will:
- Learn 3 keys to setting Wordpress up for success
- Receive a video recording of webinar
- Receive a PDF Transcript of webinar
Since Wordpress is FREE, there’s nothing to lose. Click the link now and register for this incredibly informative webinar.
Hope to see you there!
Photo by http://www.planetofsuccess.com/blog/
When it comes to internet marketing you will find that you must be able to produce content for your website. Some people are natural-born writers, all they have to do is hold a pen up to paper and the words start flowing. And then there are people who struggle to write even a few paragraphs.
Developing your own unique writing style will help set your writing apart from others, even if you fall into the group of people that finds writing difficult. Here are five suggestions to help develop your writing style.
1. The best writers have a love of words and are avid readers. Believe it or not, reading is a great way to develop your writing style. The types of things you enjoy reading are probably things you would enjoy writing.
Reading other peoples’ writing will also give you insights on your own writing. As you read, some authors’ styles will seem to pop out at you as very good or very bad. You probably have a writing style similar to the authors you enjoy reading.
2. What are your writing strengths? Some people are great at writing news-oriented stories, while some people prefer to write reviews and opinion pieces. If you like to teach people things, your writing strength could be how-to articles. If you enjoy coming up with slogans and catchy headlines, you might be a natural when it comes to copywriting. There are many types of writing to explore.
3. In order to develop your writing style, you need to practice. Try writing something everyday. The more you write, the easier it will get. Experiment with different styles and techniques. You will see some types of writing come easier to you. Blogs and journals are a great way to get writing practice.
These “practice writings” don’t need to be masterpieces, and you can delete what you write if you want. The point is to keep your writing muscles flexed by exercising them a little each day. Your natural strengths will come out as you try different forms of writing.
4. Embrace your personality and voice as you write. Use words that you would use when you speak. If your writing sounds unnatural and awkward, your reader will be turned off. Let your personality come out in your writing. Have a conversation with your readers as you would with someone you were speaking to face to face. If you like talking about certain subjects, write about them.
5. Free writing can also help you develop your unique style. Sit down in a quiet place and set a timer for five to ten minutes. Clear your head and start writing what comes to your mind, and keep writing until time runs out. Don’t worry about grammar or spelling. Just write whatever you think of.
When the timer goes off, read over what you have written. It may not make sense, but it can give you ideas for other things to write about.
Writing is a necessity for an online business. Even if you think you will outsource your writing, it is still important for you to be able to put an article or blog post on the screen, or reply to an email. Use some of the suggestions above to strengthen your writing skills and make your online business better for it.
Until next time ~
People really love Twitter! There’s evidence everywhere you look, from the Twitter badges on the sidebars of blogs to those who put their Twitter address the signature of forum posts, it’s plain to see, people adore Twitter. Heck, I never see my daughter on FaceBook anymore (what???), she said she rarely logs in because she likes Twitter better. So, what is it that makes this social networking site so lovable? Let’s find out.
The question posed by Twitter, “What are you doing?” has become almost as popular as AOL’s “You’ve got mail.” So much so that it has even caught the eye of offline news mediums such as USA Today, CNN, and ABC. And for those who think Twitter is just a place for computer or Internet geeks, rest assured it’s nothing of the sort.
In some ways, Twitter is like other social networking sites in that it’s a way to interact with like-minded individuals. Whether one is a stay at home mom who craves adult conversation, an at home worker who misses the water cooler chit-chat from past jobs, or a business owner who wants to reach more of their target market, this form of social media fills a need. It makes it easier for people to connect with others in a way they might not have previously been able to.
I follow it on my IPhone at work, of course, I can’t watch it all day, but I do take a look ever so often. My daughter plays college volleyball and Tweets about what’s going on with the team and herself throughout the week. I like to see what she has to say. In addition to watching what’s going on in the internet marketing world, I also follow my political representatives to see what they are currently working on in Austin (I’m in Texas) and Washington D.C..
The fact Twitter is easily accessible and even simpler to navigate makes it a favorite as well. Anyone can create a Twitter account of their own with nothing more than a user name and a password. Once that’s done, it’s easy to customize your profile and begin following other tweeps, as those who use Twitter affectionately call one another. To follow what another person is doing, just visit their page and click the follow button. You’ve now been added as a follower and when you log-in to your account you will see their messages on your screen or timeline as it’s called.
If you want to use Twitter when you’re not at home or if you don’t have access to your computer like I do with my IPhone, it’s no problem. Inside your account you can choose whether to have messages sent via cell phone or instant messenger programs. Just browse to your settings and choose the devices tab and in a few steps you’re good to go. This feature makes it possible to tweet on the go. This is perfect for those who travel frequently or while out and about come across something interesting or amusing that they’d like to share with their followers.
Twitter’s arrival has also led to the creation of different platforms and applications to make it even easier to use. Popular applications include, Twitter Fox, Twhirl, TweetDeck, and TweetMyBlog. Twitter Fox and Twhirl give users who prefer the instant messaging look and feel a way to use Twitter in somewhat the same manner. Twitter Fox is an extension for the Firefox browser and Twhirl is a desktop application.
TweetMyBlog is a way to automatically post updates from a user’s blog to Twitter. In order to use it you need a Twitter account and an RSS feed from your blog. It will automatically post a tweet using your account when your blog is updated.
Tweet Deck is another desktop application that allows for more organization of updates. Instead of posting all tweets one right after the other, it allows the user to organize tweets into separate columns within the application. For those who have customers and friends on Twitter this is a great feature as the different categories can separated into separate columns.
If you’re interested in marketing your business on the internet, you will serve yourself well to try Twitter. Most every business industry now has tweeps that Twitter, follow some, tweet some yourself, and before long you will have your own following and so will your business.
Feel free to follow me at @RebaCollins.
Until next time…
I just signed up to be a contributor in the Newbie Training Giveaway put together by Bill McRea. Bill put this event together to help new internet marketers get started in 2009.
The event will run from January 7 to January 31, 2009 and Bill still needs contributors.
These giveaway events are a fantastic way to build your subscriber list. Many marketers mistakenly assume that the people who download information from a free giveaway are just freebie seekers and will never buy anything. This is the wrong assumption to make. It’s true, many will be freebie seekers who never buy but so are those that sign-up at your website. Once you have a subscriber on your list, they will start to hear from you and eventually start thinking of you as an authority. Soon it will come that they are in the market to buy because it gets to be too time consuming for them to sift through the internet (or their hard drive) for the information they seek.
Basically, it’s a numbers game and the bigger the numbers on your list, the more buyers you will have.
So, consider joining this giveaway if you have a product that suits a newbie marketer. Additionally, there is an upgrade option where you can compete to win prizes and offer one-time-offers to those who download your giveaway item. It’s worth looking at, here’s the link:
I have a product entered in the giveaway and, if I do say so myself, it’s a good one (that’s the cover in the pic above). It’s called “Get Started Growing Your Website Traffic” and it’s going on sale after the giveaway. Anyone who is a newbie marketer will truly benefit from the information included in this report. So, if you want the info and you want it for free, keep your eyes open for the start of the “Newbie Training Giveaway” that will start on January 7th. Sign-up for my mailing list and I’ll send you a reminder.
Bill is looking for only quality information products that can help newbies break the learning curve. If you are interested in participating now is the time to get involved.
This is a good way to get your internet business started.
I finally decided to upgrade to WordPress 2.7. I knew I was going to have to do it someday, but I was so scared that something would go awry with my Revolution Theme.
So I was scared it would be a huge mess and I’d have to spend days and dollars fixing it.
Well, as usual, the mind imagines things much bigger than they really are and even though it was scary (especially the part in the instructions where it says to delete all your files-ahhhhh), the upgrade went smoothly and it appears everything is working properly.
The new dashboard is FABULOUS!!! So much more intuitive than the old one. I still need to spend a little time getting used to it but that’s no big deal.
So, if you still haven’t upgraded, don’t be scared. If I can do it, you can too. Just be extra careful to follow ALL the instructions step-by-step.
Here’s the link to the instructions, remember, step-by-step, each and EVERY step:
I should talk, when I got to Step 13: Add security key definitions to the wp-config.php file, it said all versions from 2.6 up had a security key. Well, I had version 2.6 and I never added the security key! Shame on me! I added it this time, I’m now secure.
Good Luck with your upgrade! You’re going to LOVE it!
Brent and I got home from our trip to California on Sunday night and my box from StomperNet was sitting on the front porch carefully hidden by the newspapers that our neighbors had kindly moved from the driveway for us. Yay! I had requested Monday as a vacation day because I knew I’d be tired from the trip and I wanted a day to work on my business, timing couldn’t have been better.
If you read my review of the order process when I ordered my free Stomping the Search Engines 2 that came with a free issue of Net Effect, the new internet marketing trade journal from StomperNet, you’ll remember that I purchased ALL the upsells and the box on the front porch had not only my Net Effect magazine, but 18 DVDs as well. Talk about overwhelming!
Anyway, I decided to dig in and started by watching the Net Effect Companion DVD, it’s called StomperNet Insiders’ DVD of the Month Volume 1. This first volume was free just like the magazine. Going forward it will cost $19.97 a month, and in case you didn’t remember, the magazine, Net Effect, will be another $39.97 a month. That’s a grand total of $59.94 each and every month (plus shipping), but after seeing the information covered by these publications, I’m thinking it may well be worth every penny.
I’ll be honest, when I was offered the companion DVD during the order process, my first thought was, “Sure, I’ll take the free month, and then I’ll just cancel after I get it.” I’m sure that’s what a lot of people thought. However, now I’m thinking twice about making that move.
I haven’t had time to read the Net Effect magazine yet, but I did watch the DVD and I can’t tell you how impressed I am. I’ve been studying internet marketing for quite some time and search engine optimization has always baffled me. I seemed to understand the simple strategies but for the life of me couldn’t wrap my mind around all the details. It was just too overwhelming for me. Keyword lists, landing pages, Web 2.0 sites, LSI, and all that SEO “stuff” was just too hard. So, I never did it.
Now, here we go again. More SEO “stuff”. But somehow after watching this DVD it doesn’t seem so hard. I don’t know, maybe it’s the presentation, maybe Andy just has a way of simplifying the details, or maybe I’m just ready this time, I’m not sure, but it just doesn’t seem so hard now. What I do know now is that I’m going to do this stuff because I’m sick and tired of fooling around and not making any money. And if search engine optimization is a way to get more people to my site, then I’m going to do it.
So, what did the DVD include?
It mostly covered linking both within your website and links coming to your site from other websites. It explained how the search engines read your pages and assign where it will rank. And best of all, it covered why linking to subpages in your site will get you more traffic than always linking to your homepage. Andy Jenkins shared some secrets on how to make the search engine spiders read your site the way you want them to read it. And at the end, they gave a list of authority sites you can use to link back to your site. Tons of great information that I have never seen anywhere else.
Having this kind of information can truly make or break a website, I just wish StomperNet hadn’t given it away for free. That’s another reason I think I’ll stay on with the subscription. I know a lot of people signed up for the free trial but will cancel for various reasons, not because the information isn’t valuable and worth every penny, but because they can’t afford it right now or just don’t want to spend the money for whatever reason. So, since not everyone will have this kind of great information going forward, it will give me a edge and everyone needs and edge, right?
So, how do I plan to use this information to benefit you as my reader?
Last week I posted that I needed a plan and that I would post one before I left on my trip to California…well, I made my plan and posted the 2008-09 Editorial Schedule for this site and I plan on keeping that schedule. I also stated that I wanted to make public the things I do to make this site an authority site and still plan to do that. Many of the things I’m learning in these DVDs I will use to grow this site and as I use the concepts, it’s my plan to write about them as a case study. So be sure to subscribe to the feed and my newsletter list so you can stay updated.
By the way, the free offer is available. If you want a free copy of Stomping The Search Engines 2 along with the first issue of Net Effect, just click through one of my links. All the “extra” bonuses they were offering through last Monday are gone, but that shouldn’t stop you from ordering the STSE2 and Net Effect for free, or well, for the price of shipping. It’s great information that just may make the difference in your success.
I’ll report back in a few days with the steps I’ve initiated using the new information I’ve learned.
So, I don’t know how many of you got all the emails last week about the free give-away that Brad Fallon and Andy Jenkins were doing with their Stomping The Search Engines 2, but let me tell you, I was inundated with email from all the “guru type” internet marketers wanting me to get the free e-course through their link. And believe me, I was interested because this was the biggest internet marketing give-away I had ever seen!
In case you haven’t given your name to all these guys yet and didn’t get all the emails, let me fill you in. Brad Fallon and Andy Jenkins wrote an audio course several years back called Stomping The Search Engines. It was a success and became a big seller in the internet marketing circles. After that, they coupled up and started a high-end membership site for people who are serious about search engine optimization. The site is called StomerNet and it costs $797 PER MONTH (yeah, I said per MONTH) to be a member.
Well, I guess they started to realize that they were missing out on a huge market of people who can’t afford the $800 a month price tag and decided to re-write their first product and came out with a sequel. At the same time, in order to catch this same market, they decided to create a printed trade journal and call it Net Effects.
So, being the great guys they are and to get Net Effects out to the masses, they decided to give the new Stomping The Search Engines 2 away for FREE when you subscribed to Net Effects. And to top that off, they were giving away the first issue of Net Effects too. I mean, who could pass up that deal? Free stuff!
It should have clued me in when I got all the emails that there was more to this “give away”. Why would anyone take the time to bother their email list with something they weren’t going to earn money on, right? Well, me, being the internet marketing hoarder I am, of course wanted my free stuff and went to make my order.
Poor Brad and Andy. There were so many people gobbling up the free offer that their servers went down. They ended up delaying the launch until the next day when they could get their act together. I made my order after everything was fixed and it was as slick as ice. Yeah, you go to make your order and even before you put in your name they’re offering another free item ( a DVD to go with Net Effects that will cost you $20 a month after the first month). I say okay to the free DVD making a mental note to cancel after I get the free one and $12.86 for shipping, press the order button.
Then came Offer #1 that was ONLY good at that very moment, and you got it, it was a really good offer.
Offer #1 was to purchase five new courses that hadn’t been released yet. The offer was sweet, purchase one at half-price and get the other four for free. These courses will retail at $197 each when they are put on the market. So, for $97 I’ll get five new DVD courses, a total of 64 DVDs. Yeah, I bought it.
Offer #2 was to purchase the “brain dump” that new StomperNet members get when they pay their first $800 payment. It’s a huge course with tons of internet marketing info. The offer was $247. Again, a pretty sweet deal and I figured since I run an internet marketing site, I need to be educated, right? So yeah, again I whipped out my debit card.
Here’s where I got a little upset but then again, I’m sure they will fix it. When I got my email receipt for the “brain dump” package, I didn’t get charged $247 as the offer said, I got charged $274! Does someone at StomperNet have dyslexia? So far I’ve emailed twice with no response. They owe me $28. I’m sure they are super busy and will eventually give me my credit, I just need to be patient. Well, it’s not like I won’t email them AGAIN this week <<wink, wink>>.
In the end I feel I got a fabulously good deal but really, I need to wait and see how good the information is. I’ll probably get everything late next week or the week after and I’ll start pouring through it. Then I’ll make a post with my assessment.
If you’re interested in getting the free deal, it’s still being offered. The links on this page are my affiliate links and if you decide to buy I’d super duper appreciate you using my link, even if you don’t buy anything, even if you just want the free stuff.
You just need to click over to the Stomping The Search Engines 2 unbelievably annoying page that starts playing announcement music loudly every time you go there (it’s okay the first time when you want to see the video, but don’t go twice ~ annoying!!). Watch the video, read about the product, and then click on the link at the bottom of the page to get signed up and order your FREE stuff.
I know not everyone has a weakness for internet marketing learning materials like me but none the less, you really should at least take advantage of the free stuff. You can’t beat an offer like this, I’m sure you see that, just hold on to your horses when you hit the upsell pages and click on the “no thanks” buttons (not like me clicking “I WANT IT”!!).
Here’s my link again, CLICK IT for:
I’ll let you know what I think when I get the STUFF!!
What more can I say? Wordpress is simply the only way to run a website. Even if you don’t want a blog, you still need Wordpress for content management. I’ve been using Wordpress for years and believe me, it’s changed a lot over those years…for THE BETTER! When it comes to a content management system (affectionately referred to as CMS) you won’t find a more simple or cheaper alternative (it’s free!).
I’ll definitely be writing more about Wordpress as I think I’m going to have to do some tutorials or something but for right now I just wanted to get a post in the “Build Your Website” section of the the site to let you know where I stand and what I’ll be teaching on this site.
Also, to add to the “use Wordpress” mantra, only use Wordpress in your own hosting account, that way you own and have control of the content. There is an option to use Wordpress on a hosted site where the content is hosted by wordpress.com, don’t do it. It’s just like using a Blogger account, don’t do it. You’re at the mercy of someone else, don’t do it.
Here’s the link where you can download the most current version of Wordpress ~ and IT’S FREE!!!
Notice the .ORG ~ NOT .COM.
In another post I’ll give you links to two Wordpress plug-ins that are must haves.
Selling affiliate products is a great way to make money online and I’m sure that’s exactly what many of you do, plan to do or will figure out that’s what you need to do. I’ll cover what affiliate marketing is in another post but for now I want to make a simple post to explain what I do to hide my affiliate links.
Whenever you become an affiliate for a product or company, you will receive a specially coded link that when used by a website visitor, it will set a cookie on that visitor’s computer to tell the product owner or company that your website or you referred the visitor to them. If that visitor buys something, you will earn a commission. The link is an integral part of the process as that’s how the company paying the commissions knows to pay YOU.
For the most part, the links that are assigned are long and ugly. To top that off, some people will not use the link, they remove the code that identifies you as the affiliate. In order to “fix” that, the best way I know is to “cloak” the link. Here’s how:
- Create a directory on your site called “info” (or whatever you want to call it). In the “info” directory, create a directory for each of your affiliate links. For example, create a directory called “info” at yoursite.com/info and a directory in the “info” directory called “revolution-theme”.
- In the “revolution-theme” directory, put a file called .htaccess — create this file using a plain text editor like Notepad.
- This file will only have one line in it and it should look like this:
Redirect /info/revolution-theme https://www.e-junkie.com/ecom/gb.php?ii=67579&c=ib&aff=33340&ev=4cdd29eca7
- Note that there are three parts to the line and it should all be on one line (it may wrap in the browser here on the blog): the Redirect command, the location of the directory you want redirected relative to the root of your site (/info/revolution-theme) and the full URL of the location you want that request sent to (the affiliate link). Each of the 3 is separated by a single space and all on one line.
- Upload the .htaccess file to the directory you made for that affiliate. In the example here, you would put the .htaccess file in the revolution-theme directory.
So, if I were to give out the URL http://www.yoursite.com/info/revolution-theme the link would send visitors to revolutiontheme.com using your affiliate code.
There are a few things I want to mention regarding this process that may cause some mix-up. First, when you make the file in Notepad and save it, the file may save as .htaccess.txt. You will need to change the name of the file to exclude the .txt if you want it to work. Also, be sure it has a dot (.) in front of it.
Second, when you upload it to your server, it is considered a hidden file. You may need to change the settings on your FTP program to show hidden files if you want to see it in the directory.
Post any questions in the comment section.
I was reading one of my favorite blogs the other day, Copyblogger, and James Chartrand had a great article about designing your website so it caters to an aging audience. His article struck home instantly as I find myself quite often in the same situation he describes in his article.
Does your website cater to an aging society? Well, I had to ask myself the same question. James recommends a 12pt or larger font size, black or very dark gray on a white background. First thing I did was check the CSS file in the new Revolution Theme I had just purchased and installed as I thought the font size was just a bit small.
The CSS said 12px or 12 pixels. Hmm…was that the same? I thought, no way, it’s just too small. So I changed it to 12pt or 12 points. Points is a unit of measure for measuring font size. Wow, that made a huge difference! And huge in the literal sense. It was too big, certainly James didn’t want me to make all the text on my beautiful new blog 12pt, it looked like everything was typed in bold. So what was I to do?
I decided to go somewhere in between. In playing around with different point sizes, I found that 12px was equal to 10pt. And 10pt was too small, 12pt was too big, 11pt must be just right. It’s 10% bigger than the 10pt but doesn’t look like I’m typing everything in bold.
If your audience includes people of like age to you and me (BOOMERS!!!), don’t forget that it’s a bit harder to read a computer screen than it was a few years ago. Our eyes have probably changed a little. Keep the background as white or a very, very, pale color, and always use black for your text. Gray makes us squint and if a customer starts to squint, they might just leave.
One other thing I don’t want to overlook, there may be a few places on your site where you have a heading, logo or graphic of some sort where you’ll want to use reverse color, or white text on a dark colored background. This is fine for graphics, but never, never, never, do white text on a color background for your body text. There is also one combination that you should never use as it just does crazy things to the eyes, young and old alike, never use red on a blue background. If you don’t believe me, try it, it doesn’t work.