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Archive for May, 2008

30
May

 

WordPress for Dummies

The word “blog” itself comes from “web log”, so “blog” for short. Ever since Google acquired Blogger in 2003, this medium has been on the rise. Today even companies such as General Motors run blogs. Here are five reasons why you should have a blog for your small business or professional practice:

  • Blogging builds credibility. As you get more and more into writing about your experiences on a particular topic, your readers come to realize that they can depend on your posts to provide useful information. This will establish you as an expert; as a consequence, more readers visit your site and more bloggers link to your blogs.
  • Business_Guide-to-BloggingSearch engines love blogs. Because blog pages change very frequently, are content-rich, and easy to index, search engines just love to gobble them up. For example, if you noticed that your web site search engine rankings are slipping, this is most likely because the contents of your web site hasn’t changed in a long while. Search engines love fresh, new content, and by its nature, blogs are the epitome of freshness. To make the most of this, host your blog on your own domain, and use WordPress, or a similar blog system to run it.
  • Blogging is simple. The simplest way to get a presence on the web is through blogging. If you can type and click a mouse, you can blog. It’s like having a virtual piece of paper and you just write your ideas, experiences, describe new products, and hope that the truth behind your articles comes out and entice your reader to also try your product. No knowledge of HTML is necessary, but will certainly come in handy to get some of the more advanced features set up.
  • Blogging is authentic. In this day and age where advertising saturates our lives, we question the credibility of promoters’ claims. However, in blogs, real people share their real-life experiences, untainted by paid advertising. Reading blogs about first-hand product use is like talking to people about their first-hand experience.
  • Blogging costs nothing. You don’t need to have any software, buy web hosting, register a domain, like you do for your web site. Any opportunity get something for free is definitely a bonus, especially to businesses that are starting up. You can start blogging for free at WordPress.com, although, to get the most benefit from your blog I recommend hosting your own WordPress-based blog.
Category : Blogging for Business | Boris Recommends | Driving Traffic to Your site | Email List Building | On Line Networking | Search Engine Optimization | SEO for Article Writing | Small Business Marketing | Web Site Development | Blog
28
May

WordPress for DummiesDo you have a blog? A few days ago I started playing with WordPress for my blog. For weeks I’ve been trying to figure out which technology would be best, and have settled on WordPress for two main reasons:

  1. It allows me to create “static” pages, so I can have a site that looks like a regular web site, with menus such as “About,” “Products,” “Services,” and so on, and at the same time have a blog going.
    and,
  2. Second, I prefer to install the WP software on my own server, rather than use the hosted version of WP (i.e. WordPress.com) or other software, such as Blogger or TypePad, because it’s better for Search Engine Optimization. All the pages are sitting on my server/domain and are being indexed here, not at some blog hosting company.

Once word of advice, from my own experience: If you’re looking to save a few bucks and opt for a free blog, I wouldn’t recommend Blogger. Although it’s a good platform and all that, and being owned by Google can’t hurt these days, what I don’t like about it is the feature they have at the top of each blog, which is a link to “Next blog”: a few times I tried clicking it I ended up on blogs that I wouldn’t want my kids to see, if you know what I mean.

If you have a web site, consider re-doing it using WordPress, then you can enjoy the best of both worlds – and Google and other search engines will just love it so much more!

 

Category : Blogging for Business | Boris Recommends | Driving Traffic to Your site | Email List Building | Search Engine Optimization | Small Business Marketing | Web Site Development | Blog
28
May

 

PhotoRetouchingProThings have been a bit crazy here at YourEzineCoach.com since my wife reluctantly decided to try on the entrepreneurial hat for size. We now share “my” office and I can tell you, it’s working out quite nicely – better than I expected, to be frank :-)

After less than 3 months since the decision was made to start up her own business, work is now coming in regularly. I might even say she’s my lates success story! That’s because we used email marketing to get her business off the ground.

I have to say that my wife turned out the be one of my toughest clients. Not in the sense that she was difficult, but because she a reluctant entrepreneur. Although I keep telling her it sure beats working, it’s hard to let go of the perceived job security that 20+ years of corporate career brings.

In case you’re interested in professional digital photo retouching, or know of a professional photographer who might be looking for a virtual digital assistant take a look at her site PhotoRetouchingPro.com

 

Category : Email Marketing | Personal | Blog
14
May

Does your Email service Provider (ESP) provide you with reports on your email campaigns? Do you track your email opens? Can you see who and when opened your emails, clicked on which links, unsubscribed from your list, reported it as spam, etc?

If you answered yes, don’t you, at least sometimes, feel like you’re spying on your audience?

I’ve been on line for many years and I have yet to come across a privacy policy which says: “After you give us your name, email and permission to contact you, we will also be able to see when you open your email, at what time of day, how many links you clicked, etc. If you agree, please click here.”

If you saw a privacy policy like that, would you sign up? I didn’t think so.

Being CAN-SPAM compliant is one thing, but shouldn’t we go beyond compliance? We should make sure that we respect our subscribers’ privacy as much as possible. At the very least, try not to take advantage of the data you can gather from your ESP reports.

Here’s one possible abuse scenario: an email marketer sends out his/her campaign and closely monitors open rates. S/he then decides to call subscriber Mr. X because he opened his email, which is obviously at his work (you can make an assumption like that if the email address is J.Jones@CorporateSoundingDomain.com).

S/he proceeds to say: “Hey M. X, I just noticed you opened my email, clicked on a link and thought I could offer some additional information about my products.

Bad idea, I hope you’ll agree.

Tracking is not all bad, actually it helps both our subscribers and us as ezine publishers. The data I’m talking about is “bounces,” or undeliverable emails. This gives us a list of email addresses to which our ESP has not been able to deliver emails. They may be obsolete email addresses, as when people move from one ISP to another, or, if they’re using company email, they have changed jobs. In case you’re not using double opt in, you subscribers might have entered a bad email either by accident or on purpose – just one more reason to use double opt in.

Mind you, not all ESPs are created equal, and they widely differ in this area. Of the ones I have first-hand experience with, Constant Contact offers the most detailed reporting, followed by 1ShoppingCart, while neither GetResponse, nor Aweber offer any information on individuals who open email campaigns. If you’re using Campaign Monitor you can even see open rates broken down to hours of the day!

If that’s not Big Brother, than I don’t know what is.

Speaking of the law, there will be some changes to CAN-SPAM, and it’s happening now. I will report on these changes as soon as they are made public, perhaps as soon as in the next issue of this ezine.

Respect your subscriber’s privacy by going above the requirements of the law. There are other ways to keep track of your list, buy monitoring unsubscribes, for example.

As always, feel free to comment by replying to this email. I am in the process of setting up a blog so you’ll be able to comment there as well.

Keep sending your e-newsletter out, it’s still one of the best way to reach out to your audience, with a very high return on investment.

© 2008 Boris Mahovac – Your Ezine Coach

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Category : Email Marketing | Blog
14
May

Mitzko the CatI am happy to announce that my cat, Micko, is recovering nicely from his surgery. The vet needed to remove both of his canines, and two more teeth as they were badly infected. Micko is only 12 years old, if he’s lucky he can be with us for another 12 years.

A number of my subscribers have responded to my special offer, and I thanked them personally, so if you were one of them, you should have received a “thank-you note” from me by now, in case you haven’t – Thank you!

Category : Personal | Blog
8
May

Rev Debbie LongI have been working with Boris for over two years. There are two things that I am so grateful for that he has brought to the table. First, when I tell Boris what I want and how I want it, the end products he has produced for me have shown me I was heard and his priority is to provide me with what I truly desire.

Second, being one who is terrified by computers, he has been patient and an amazing teacher, making me, for the first time, feel comfortable and capable.

His integrity and values are impeccable. Throw in his most reasonable rates and I would recommend Boris to anyone.

Reverend Debbie Long
The Joy Minister

If you’re a client, customer or subscriber, please leave a comment – Thanks!

Category : Testimonials | Blog