Category Archives: Content

The 5 Email Bloopers You Wouldn’t Want To Make

Email is the mainstream communication tool for business, and to be professional, you need to be seen as professional. Not just in your personal presentation and the way you conduct yourself in the flesh, but also in the way you communicate electronically. Small things like misspellings or bad formatting can leave a bad impression, whether it’s an inter-office memo or a mass  mailing.

In the sales game, the power now is in the hands of the market. Consumers vote with their money, and they votes decides how business will thrive. Businesses need to make sure that their strategy and tactics to engage their market are relevant, engaging, and personal. While various  social media and mobile platforms are popular ways to connect with target markets, email slips directly into people’s in-boxes, as easy as a newspaper delivered to their front door.

When you commit to using email as your main method of communication with your customers, clientele, and mailing lists, you have to make sure that you come across as someone who is a professional, and a professional is someone who doesn’t cut corners, and does good work. Making mistakes using your email channels can cost your business sales and tarnish your reputation.

 

What are the top email marketing mistakes? Continue reading The 5 Email Bloopers You Wouldn’t Want To Make

How To Handle Negative Comments On Your Blog

Whose blog is it anyway?
Whether you have a blog on your professional website, or just a personal one that you maintain for yourself and a few interested readers, you should have a set of rules in place to handle negative comments and bad behavior. It’s your place: blog, journal or website, it’s your spot on the web, your home, your showcase.

Your place, your rules — which also means you also have to have rules, or else watch on the sidelines as anarchy takes over. Your blog is a place that invites comments and discussions — a comments policy helps prevent the nasties from defacing your work and ruining the conversations you want to happen.

Guests may comment — the purpose of a blog is to foster discussion after all — but people who post inflammatory, inane or vile stuff may as well have sprayed graffiti all over your walls.

This is where a comment policy comes in handy. Everyone comes in knowing the rules and those who don’t follow them can leave or be made to leave. Boors, trolls and asshats may be invited to tone it down or be forcibly booted out– this is the point where comment moderation and deletion comes in handy.

 

What is your SOP regarding comments on your website? Whatever rules you come up with, you have to make them clear,and visible.

 

Clear rules are important because you need strong protections to weed out the unwanted elements sure to wander in on your home space. And it’s not just the rude people you want gone, you also need to address the comments they leave behind: like nasty, spiteful ‘presents’ you’ll want to contain as soon as possible.

  • With no clear rules, chaos reigns.
  • You make the rules, you can’t expect people to follow them if you don’t enforce them.
  • You don’t follow your own rules, you’ve just eaten into your own authority.

It’s that simple. Now, what are unacceptable behaviors you won’t tolerate on your blog?  List them down and work on codifying them. Continue reading How To Handle Negative Comments On Your Blog

What Makes For Good Content?

You know, what with the running theme we had these few weeks about content — making it, spreading it around and marketing it (and marketing with it) — we may have looked past some things that are so simple we take them for granted.

  • Content is messages. You got something to say, and you share it. People can listen or read, and respond.
  • Content calls for engagement, response and reaction.
  • Content is giving form to your thoughts, or voice to your words, and sharing that. Content calls for sharable media in a public forum.
  • Online content is intent captured in ink and pixels: to share, to sell, to uplift, to inform, to teach, to show.
  • Content differs with each creator, but all content-creators want to feel their voice being heard, and to have registered with their audience.
  • Content needs an audience to resonate with.

We are a story-telling race. We tell stories to make sense of the world, to explain things, to teach. We use stories to call attention, incite, and educate. From the first cave-drawing to the little flash-ads scrolling on your screen, people want to get their message across. It’s in our nature.

Now the internet has given us a multitude of platforms on which to stand, and a very big bullhorn with which to reach our audiences. Content is words, and art, and sound, and video. Content lets you tell a story and helps you connect. What else is the internet but an virtual net connecting everyone through posted messages, and reactions sent back and forth? There are great watering holes where we gather to drink our fill of the information we want and need. As long as they don’t run dry, we’ll keep coming back.

What kind of content do we go for anyway?
Blogs, newsletters, and videos for daily updates. E-books, pod-casts, and e-zines to keep current. Webinars, whitepapers, and articles to educate ourselves… Whatever the platform, the content trickles into niches and targeted audiences. Whatever the niche — financial, information technology, entertainment, health and beauty, DIY crafting, self-help — the possibilities to share are endless.

Nobody knows exactly what new things will pop up in the next 5 or 10 years. That’s why we talk to one another and share things over the internet. Continue reading What Makes For Good Content?

How To Take Care of Your Blog — And Your Bloggers

If you want to have a good blog, you need to have good writers. Good writers have to create valuable, useful and distinctive content.

  • Valuable – The content shared adds to the reader’s store of knowledge: by showing old issues in a new light, or giving a new perspective to addressing a common issue or a persistent problem — all in the ultimate aim of helping the reader help himself.
  • Useful – The advice or methods shared in the article are immediately applicable, and will give positive results when put into practice.
  • Distinctive – This can refer to the writer’s style — a distinctive voice which can’t be mistaken for anyone else. Check out James Altucher’s articles on Altucher Confidential, or the recipes shared on Thug Kitchen. ‘Distinctive’ is also generally taken to mean no cookie-cutter re-branded articles, or thinly disguised SEO optimization, or click-bait (articles presented in such a way as to get clicks from interested viewers, but don’t deliver on their implied promises.)

Now, creating quality content takes time, dedication and serious brain-power. The brain power might not be in the same field as, say, calculating deep math or (insert science here) analysis, but it still is involved in problem solving. That’s what good content points to — how people can help themselves. That’s how you get content built around certain ideas, like:

  • We know you have these common issues, doing this can help.
  • How can you improve X with Y.
  • Here are X ways you can address Y.
  • Here are Z classic ways to make X work harder for you.

 

For any targeted online business there is a niche market, and for every niche market there are a sets of easily identifiable issues for which you, marketer and business owner, have tailored your business to addressing. Think of it as a higher level of FAQs, where you provide the answers to your market’s most pressing questions: How can I do this? How can I solve this? How can you help me do both? Continue reading How To Take Care of Your Blog — And Your Bloggers

Blogging Your Way To Your Market’s Attention

Social media’s power lies in numbers, in networks, and in its immediacy. One of the most popular social media platforms is the blog, and having one for your business can help you in many ways. You probably have your own favorite bloggers to follow (and blogs to visit) as there are a lot of them that have risen to the top of their niches in terms of popularity and reach, in no smart part due to the trustworthiness, value and reliability built with each post, and how bloggers engaging with their followers and subscribers.

The speedy evolution injected by the internet into our communication media exploded the ways we used to talk to each other. Snail mail was superseded by email, the numbers of long-distance calls fell once Skype was stable and running, and anyone could make their own free website — remember Geocities?

Blogging is no longer a recent phenomenon — not when you think in internet time. But it addresses the same ancient longing to make a connection, only now we can use Wi-Fi to do so. Whatever medium we use –social media, blogging platforms, networking apps and websites, we use it to connect, find information, share it, and motivate people to act on it for our benefit or on behalf of others. Continue reading Blogging Your Way To Your Market’s Attention

The Blogware Vs. CMS Issue: What Fits You?

04 November 2009, by A. Cedilla

On-line communication today is everywhere: we have journals, f-lists, forums, blogs, social networking sites…the ways we keep in touch with one another are many, and the choice of tools we use to do so can be bewildering.

For example, if you want a simple blog of your own there are dozens of free web-based blogging applications you can sign up with, and BAM! You have your blog. Then later on, if you wish to establish a stronger web presence, you can transition to a more robust content management system

But what if you want to save time from the get-go?

Sure, you may just want a blog for now, but what if the time comes you want something with more robust features? At this point, you may want to check out our 2 part article about CMS here and here.

Basically, here are two main types of applications currently available that are used for blogging: blog software and Content Management Systems (CMS). The main difference is that a CMS has more features than blog applications, while being capable of doing everything blogware does. Continue reading The Blogware Vs. CMS Issue: What Fits You?

Free Vs. Paid Blog Hosting

01 February 2009, by A. Cedilla

To say that blogging is popular would be an understatement of near-biblical proportions.

It is currently estimated that tens of millions of readers regularly peruse an equally voluminous number of blogs. You’ve probably read about people making a mint online just by blogging.

Well-known blogmasters like Darren Rowse of Problogger, Brian Clark of Copyblogger, Trent Hamm of The Simple Dollar and Leo Babauta of Zen Habits inspired many would-be’s to carve out their own spot in the blogosphere as well.

Of course, to start logging yourself, you need to set up a blog account. You can pick between a free blogging service or a fee based service.

Continue reading Free Vs. Paid Blog Hosting

Share The Love: 5 Tips on Website Hosting

19 October 2008, by A. Cedilla

Part 2 of 2

If you want to put up a website on the Internet, you need to choose a web host. But, before everything else, you have to clearly state the purpose of the site you plan to put up.

 

For example, if you want to put up a few personal web pages meant to keep in touch and updated with friends and family, you can take advantage of the free service offered by your ISP, or even use one of the many free, very basic hosting services. Bear in mind that while many of these services come free or very cheaply, typically they are also sponsored by advertising, meaning there will be lots of ads and pop-ups.

On the other hand, a website that would include forums, polls, and things like Top 10 lists (as voted by your readers) would by necessity require a much more secure hosting service, as well as business-oriented websites.
Continue reading Share The Love: 5 Tips on Website Hosting

Share The Love: Building A Website

16 October 2008, by A. Cedilla

Part 1 of 2

The Internet has always been a means of communication, first and foremost. Now, it’s a platform, a virtual soapbox for anyone with an opinion or an interest to be able to share that with the rest of the world. The chances are very good that you’re reading this right now from a computer hooked up to the internet.

Today, getting a website onto the Internet is as easy as point-and-click. You’re no longer required to hand-code HTML like you would have needed to a few short years back. You don’t even have to know FTP protocols or how to design a site. Most website hosting companies now provide templates of websites that you can customize with your own links, and content, as easily as you would adjust or edit a letter in your word processor.

There are many companies who will even give you free web space on their computers, mainly referred to as servers, to put your very own website on to. In exchange, they add an advertisement onto your site, usually at the top – called a header. Do a search on the Internet for “free website hosting” and check out your results.

Think about what you would like to share with the world. Do you have any hobbies you’re passionate about, or interests you’d love to let others know about? Continue reading Share The Love: Building A Website

Content Management Systems 101.2

13 October 2008, by A. Cedilla

Part 2 of 2

The previous installment of this series defined what a content management system is and what it does. This post gives out ideas on how to pick the best content management system for you.

 

How do you pick the best CMS for you?
That depends on what you’re looking to accomplish with the particular website you intend to build. What is your strategy? Do you want to build a community, or a website that’s news-driven? Drupal can work wonders for that. If you’re thinking of a portal site, many people use Joomla for that purpose.

The best way to choose is to first decide what you want to accomplish with your website — whether it’s for business or for pleasure.

Do you want to establish a serious reader base with your content and then branch out to forums? Maybe you just want to connect with people who have the same interests and hobbies you do.

Or maybe you just want an online diary of sorts that you can share with friends and family to keep in touch. Define the purpose of your site.

 

There are loads of CM systems on line that are presented as freeware. However, below are two suggestions for different user groups:
Continue reading Content Management Systems 101.2