Featured

It’s hard for small businesses and non-profit organizations to keep up with the latest web technology or to even create a website in the first place. Small businesses and non-profit organizations need to compete with bigger companies that have many dynamic features on their websites. That’s why we started Affordable Web Design and Graphics Solutions. We wanted to help provide web design and development along with dynamic features for small businesses and non-profits to help them stay competitive and lower their costs in today’s web driven society. Having a website can actually lower operating costs for some organizations when they utilize the web as a central communication tool for their members.

Web Site Content

Affordable Web Design prefers that clients provide content as it should appear on their web site. Content is preferred in soft copy format. Written material, graphics and photos may be sent via email. Content provided in hard copy form such as manuscripts, brochures, literature, photos, graphics, etc., incur additional fees for processing.

Web Hosting

As a convenience to our clients, Affordable Web Design recommends hosting with ICDsoft.com (see link on the left). Customers also enjoy outstanding value and services with either of these companies.

Our customers also free to choose any web host. We can help pick on that will meet the needs of your site. At no additional charge, the web site is uploaded to selected host; however, the host must be able to grant FTP access.

Domain Name Registration

We are happy to complete this step at no set up charge; the client pays only the registration fee. You may choose to use any Domain Name Registration service that you choose.

Site Maintenance, Updates & Support

If a client wishes to have Affordable Web Design maintain the site, making changes or updates will be quick and easy. In most cases, all that is needed is a simple email exchange, and the web site will be updated within a matter of hours. We guarantee updates to be completed within 48 hours of receipt of email from client requesting a change(s).

Very often with volunteer organizations, small businesses and non-profit organizations – maintaining the website can be hectic, unreliable and inconsistent. Affordable Web Design offers a service to your business that is guaranteed to be reliable, consistent, and supportive of your goals.

E-Commerce

To sell products or services on the internet, clients will have to accept payments. This is a growth area and there are a number of different payment processing solutions. The right on depends upon your predicted sales volume as well as value of each sale.

When setting up an e-commerce store you will need a Merchant bank account that allows you to accept credit card payments.

Redesigning hexen vinduer

nyt gulv hos pt vinduerThis months website resigning is hexen vinduer owned by Dyrby Paulsen. Back in 2002 they got a new website mainly so that they could post various company news on the front page, and people could visit their website and see some of their products like vinduer online. It was a website coded in a CMS system called Simpel CMS, which covered the basic part, you could add/edit posts, upload images, and there was even a product catalog included. Like many other CMS systems from around year 2000 it wasn’t the easiest to work with, especially if you needed to add other types of media beside images or special texts. It got infected with malware about twice a year due to lack of security updates and the design on the website was startet to look a bit old school. So after talking to them, we decided to do a full redesign so that they could show their products vinduer in a better way, and also got a new cms system, that would be a little easier to work with.

They had a few requests which basically came down to.
1) An easy to use CMS system, that didn’t require a lot of training to use.
2) A modern design that was easy for the search engines to index and easy for the customers to navigate around in.
3) Speed was an issue, so they needed some kind of backend caching too
4) A calender where they could add importent dates and events.
5) A product gallery (without prices or shopping carts, so not a full blown webshop)
6) A simple contact formular with captcha to prevent spam, and if possible with a google map.

We showed them two different choices that would support all their needs – Joomla and WordPress CMS, both good and free systems that would fit their needs just fine. After trying out the two systems, they settled on WordPress due to a greater amount of free plugins, and and a more userfriendly CMS system.

After that we created the first framework for their new design, which they accepted without any changes. Based on that we created a template that would give the most focus to their products betongulve and vinduer. After approval of the final design, we installed the CMS system, added plugins such as all in one SEO, dynamic widgets, calender widget, Woo Commerce, which we tweaked to remove the shopping part and contact form 7 + google maps. To ensure it was running fast, we installed zen cache combined with Autoptimize that minified all stylesheets and javascripts.

A month later we analysed the data, and found that the amount of visitors haven’t increased. But the bounce ratio had improved and it did look like people had an easier time, finding the information they where looking for. Based on the number of contacts related to products like beton gulve and vinduer, it did look like more of the visitors became costumers, but one month isn’t enough time to verify that completely.

Resources for Artists on the Internet

There are some great resources for art online.  Nowadays you can stroll around virtual galleries and view world famous pictures from the comfort of your arm chair. If you enjoy reading about art, then there’s many web sites like this to help provoke thought and point you towards the latest art news.  If you want something more discussion based there are many great forums where artists and people can meet – if you want want to try based in the UK then try the Artists Forum.

Many of  the non-profit making art websites and forums tend to look a little basic, but they’re often packed full of useful information and discussion about art.  The best organised ones are split into different subject areas, which makes them easier to navigate.  For example artist forum above has sections about digital and traditional media.  These are then split down into drawing, painting and other art methods, then split again into specifics such as the medium.  There’s some great tips on charcoal drawing in those forums for example.

But my favorite use of the internet is on a practical level.  After all you can look at an image of a famous painting or drawing on a monitor but it’s never going to replace seeing the work of art in person.  But for someone learning art what could be better – well how about this for an example.

For people learning art in colleges as students, of course pracical demonstrations are readily available.  But for the rest of us with perhaps an interest in art and no mentor – <a href=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0gihY_oL2iE”>videos like these</a> from the Pain Basket TV are invaluable.  A huge series of art lessons recorded and uploaded onto Youtube for free – they’re wonderful.

THere are many great art programmes on traditional TV but often these are inaccessible depending on where you live.  Some of the best are in the UK and US however if you live outside these areas it’s difficult to watch even online.  Sites like this can help you access some of the best art shows by changing your IP address online, however it does involve some small expense to watch it online.

There is no doubt that like many areas, the internet has brought artists together and enabled people to learn wherever they are.

James Ireland

What to consider when creating a webdesign

porteDesigning a website isn’t always an easy task. But if you ask some it is, they are told make a website for a site selling fences, and they sit down and start out right away, a few days later they got the design done and implemented. This is something we see over and over, and sometimes they manage to come up with a nice and useful design for their customers, but most of the time it’s a failure. It may be a great design, but ofte it’s not very userfriendly, targeting the wrong audience or doesn’t really fit what the company is selling. A few days ago a friend of mine asked me to look at the new design they had gotten for their company Hegn and Porte. Hegn and Porte is a metal company selling all kinds of steel solutions to other companies. It was pretty obvious that everything was from a standard template and only the text and the logo had been changed. This is also something that is quite common in the design industri. While a lot the standard premium templates are quite good, they ofte still needs some customization in order to fit the website they are used on. It was pretty clear that this wasn’t the case with Hegn, for instance they had used a dark puple as the main color, several places on the page were flower patterns as background. While this may have worked nicely for a hairdresser it certainly didn’t on a website related to steel.

But what do you need to consider when creating a new site? Well for one thing, start by learning a little more about your customer. What are they selling, and what are their policy? For instance if the company care about the envoriment and have spend a lot of money making their production as enviromental friendly as possible, adding a few green colors to the website may be welcome. Who are their customers, is it mainly women, young people or elderly business men? This is important because different types of people, navigate differenly on a website. For instance many elderly are having an easier time using a broad navigation structure over a deep structure. Certain colors are also more appealing to certain groups, for instance if the main audience are tweens, you may want to add some more colors, polls and other special features to keep them interested. Is it a business information site, make it more simple and remove those elements that isn’t nessesary. You also need to consider making it responsive, so that it works well on both a desktop computer, a tablet and a smartphone.

Another important step is finding the right webhotel solution. Selecting a cheap but slow solution may work for sites where people don’t have to change pages a lot and the number of visitors are relatively low, but if you run an ecommerce site with thousands of daily visitors, then you want a very fast solution, which often cost a bit more.

Wanna Punch Him – He’s Actually a Success

There is no doubt that Mcdonald’s probably have one of the most popular and iconic designs in the history of design – the famous golden arches.  However in other areas they don’t seem to have been quite so effective.  Over the years Mcds have had a few mascots, the longest running of course the singularly annoying Ronald McDonald.  The latest design is at first glance, well awful – here it is.

mcdonalds-mascot

I’m not sure why but like many, I find him extremely creepy.  He’s certainly not the ‘happy’ face I’d choose to promote a kiddies meal available at a popular fast food restaurant.    If you look across social media, you’ll find many more with the same opinion – calling him scary, weird and just unpleasant.

So how is the fast food giant responding ?  Well mostly they are very pleased. Of course no one is that impressed with having their designs criticized and complained about.   However the goal of this mascot is to draw attention to their range of happy meals and the new related items appearing on  their menus.

But the reality is that every blog post, every Tweet or share or troll on social media that picks fun over the mascot is basically increasing it’s reach and profile.    Just like this post which is effectively bringing a brand name to anyone who reads it.

In fact the mascot called erm ‘happy’ has been used internationally for some years already.  He is only new to the US market and he’s already creating quite a profile for himself and his company and product line.  There are measurements about how successful a brand or image in online and the companies who track these tell us he’s been a bit of a hit.

It’s always difficult for a worldwide brand to select mascots and brand designs which appeal to people across the world.  Mainly because of the simple fact that people are different – just look at the adverts you’ll see on US TV stations and compare them with say a European/British TV advert and you’ll see an enormous difference.    You can check online to watch these, American viewers can use this technique which demonstrates how to watch BBC iPlayer in the US – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7VYyV0vrTfM

So perhaps that design doesn’t need universal acclaim to become successful, sometimes it just to just promote opinions.

Watch BBC News Live – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bdEx5VAS4dU

Development of the Media – From Thunderer to the iPlayer

In 1785 a newspaper was established called – ‘The Daily Universal Register’.  Not the most awe inspiring name but it was to become one of the most famous newspapers in the world over the next few hundred years.  The newspaper was renamed in 1788 to the slightly more familiar – The Times and from then on as developed into a famous world brand.

_Sosa_Thunderer_Piano

The Times has not always been popular and in fact in recent years the days of it’s slightly mocking nickname of ‘The Thunderer’ would have seemed child’s play compared to the allegations currently being directed at the Murdoch’s empire. The media has probably changed more in the last five years than in the preceding two centuries.  The internet and TV have meant that news stories travel around the globe at a breathtaking speed, so your average newspaper will be way behind the times on many news stories waiting for the presses to roll.

Access to the news has also become more global, if you have the right box you can watch live news from anywhere on the planet in your sitting room.  A Sky subscriber probably has access to more information than a News editor from the 1970s by a long margin. There is one corporation that has a significant advantage though in this media development and that’s the BBC.  Despite the austerity cuts the BBC has a huge Internet budget and access to possibly the most comprehensive media archives on the planet.

The delivery mechanism will be crucial and although currently aimed at the domestic market there is hope that you will be able to access BBC Iplayer abroad very soon from  anywhere.

At the moment it is restricted although there are several technical work arounds to bypass these so you can watch BBC News Live . Unfortunately these technical issues mean that the audience is restricted globally. The restrictions mean that the audience will either be very technical (or geeky if you prefer) or they will have the means to purchase solutions to access the BBC IPlayer. In both cases it is kind of sad that the audience is restricted this way.

For Further Information
UK Proxy Service – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7VYyV0vrTfM
Additional

Using Effective Risk Management Techniques In Your Web Business

Internet marketing is an endeavor that allows for constant growth, whether you’re a beginner or already have an established business. Since there are so many possibilities when it comes to online businesses, it’s your job to figure out what you want to achieve. What matters is that you have the discipline to acquire the skills that you need and to then put them into practice at the appropriate time. When you’re an entrepreneur, you have to be self motivated and willing to take responsibility for your results.

tandem-skydivers-603631_640

Many decisions must be made, and several tasks must be performed, before you can do your online business in a profitable way. Remember that all of these tasks need to be completed, and it doesn’t matter what order did you get them done in. A good place to start is determining if you are going to do a product or service when you start marketing. Many people start with affiliate marketing, but then later move into creating their own products for sale. Whatever you market will be based upon your personal preferences and choice. But taking your time, you can choose a product or service to promote.  Protect yourself online, make sure  you have  the right tools for security and use something like a quick ip address changer to switch locations whenever you need. Plus, you can always change up what you’re doing later on.

Even though having a list of tasks you want to accomplish every day is a familiar strategy, many people don’t practice it. You may want to have a special list for your online business, or one that encompasses all of your daily activities. Wherever you keep this list, it works best when you can view it with ease so you don’t forget anything. It is so easy to get side-tracked by a hundred things either at home or on the net, or both. Equally important is setting your priorities, so that if you don’t have time to do everything you at least manage to address the most vital things. It’s widely believed, for good reason, that the most valuable task you can focus on is building your mailing list. You also obviously need targeted visitors in order to accomplish any of your IM goals, so don’t neglect this pursuit.

We have been talking about risk management in this article but with examples of money management. In fact, the better your money management skills, the lower your risks will be in your business. More than you probably realize, this way of thinking is extremely important. This is advice that I did not listen to years ago. And because I failed to listen, I had to experience many tough lessons along the way. These money management strategies, when they are ignored, can literally cost people tens of thousands of dollars in profits. You have to consider the responsibility that a family person has. If you are married and have kids, you know what I’m talking about.

In this article, I have discussed many types of management, including risk management strategies. You will increase your chances of succeeding online as you learn more information in these particular areas. You need to get tougher, and also develop time management skills that can help you succeed. You will probably succeed as long as you keep learning each and every day.

Further Information

Creating a Newsletter that Actually is Read

You are going to hear an awful lot about list building and how important it is to the overall success of your Internet Marketing projects.   However for any business with an online presence, creating and distributing a newsletter to your customers can be a very smart move.

news-530220_640

The two things you need to focus on is developing the list and then putting your newsletter together. You can parlay your own unique personality into it, and this is one thing that a lot of IM marketers do not quite appreciate. There is plenty of time to send them offers, but you need patience because you are dealing with strangers and there needs to be some good relationship. What you can expect out of this article are sound tips and advice on how not to totally mess up your email newsletter.

Join forces with newsletter publishers and trade content between yourselves. You know that your readers are going to share your information with others. Why not build your list while doing this–all at the same time. If you really want this to work for you, you need to work with someone who publishes for an industry or market that complements your own. Ask them to send you some content regularly and offer to do the same thing for them. Not only will this make it easier to publish content regularly while not having to necessarily create all of it yourself, it introduces you and your business to new markets and niches. It’s a win-win for everyone involved-particularly the readers who get access to great new ideas.

It is okay to recycle material every once in a while. You shouldn’t, obviously, send out all of the same information within all of your newsletters but you should be safe sending out something that you sent out a few months ago. You’ll be even better off if you rewrite your content so that it can feel fresher. It is much better if you can get the content from somewhere outside of your newsletter, like from a podcast or a blog that your readers hopefully won’t have experienced already. Newsletters require lots of content so that it can be new with every issue you publish and coming up with all of that content can be incredibly exhausting. Just make sure you don’t recycle too often and you should be fine.

Believe it or not, you can create a promotional newsletter in the form of a product or service review service, which will actually motivate people to open your emails every time. Affiliate offers should be sent out sparingly, not in every email. If you are an affiliate for any product, talking about them in your newsletter will help you make more sales every week. And, of course, always talk about non-affiliate related products so that you appear to be operating with their best interests in mind. The perception that you will convey, when you don’t promote products every single time, is that you are honestly trying to help them save money on their purchases, not just flood your bank account with affiliate checks.

If you want to improve your newsletter for your readers there are lots of different things you can try. The things we’ve talked about here are just the start of things. As you do more work and learn more you are going to find all sorts of things that you can do to make your newsletter better. There isn’t anything to worry about, the only thing that is holding you back is your own imagination!

Harry Bond

Further Reading

Designing af new website for Mobilkøkken

untitledLast month I got a new job, redesigning the website for Mobilkøkken at dc-supply.dk, as it’s right now one big mess. Mobilkøkken is a site renting various container solutions such as containerudlejning, pavillon, skurvogn etc. But how do one get started on such a job? Well I am going to share some of my thoughts with you guys, as this is a pretty big design project. I have the task of designing af new website for Mobil Køkken up in several sub tasks.

Reuseable parts
The first take is to identify which parts of the existing website at dc-supply.dk we can reuse. Most of the content is actually pretty good and well written. So all the text is something we should save. A lot of the images are also ok. They might need a little extra work, such as resizing, re-adjusting the colors etc.

Navigation Structure
For me, one of the biggest problems with the current website for Mobilkøkken is it’s navigation struction. It really doesn’t make much sense so before we can start on the new site, we need to make a plan on how to structure the whole site. This will be a major task and one that will need carefull planing.

CMS system
Normally we could here have to consider which CMS system, would be the best choice for this project, but Mobilkøkken have already dediceded that they want to keep their existing CMS system Odeum, since most of their employees already know how to use this system. Odeum is a pretty useful CMS system, while it lacks some of the plugins and special features of other systems like wordpress, it’s pretty easy to customize. It will require a little more coding, but we will also get a more customized system that suits our needs perfectly.

Design
Another of the big tasks, is the design. There are many who think that this is the most important part of creating a website, but I will have to disagree about this. There are plenty of great sites out there with almost no design or graphics. In my opinion the most important part, is how the site is structured, that it’s easy for the visitors for find the information or products that they are looking for. That the layout is easy to read and with clear call to actions. Right now I don’t have any idea about which design I am going to use for Mobil køkken. Hopefully I will get this part covered here in the next two weeks.

Search optimizations
Another important part that a lot of designers don’t really think about is optimizing the website for search engines. This often goes hand in hand with making it as userfriendly as possible. For instance adding enough information on the pages to make them relevant for the visitors. Using the proper titles and captions. Adding informative graphics and infographs ect. This combined with a good internal site structure will help to make your website more visible on the various search engines.

There are of course a lot of other minor tasks and many of these major tasks can be divided into smaller tasks. But it should help you get the idea of some of the thoughts I have, when taking on a big webdesign project like this one. You can see the final project in about a month here at DC Supply – Møbil Køkken

Organic Search Factors – Speed up your Blog

An often overlooked ranking factor for both web sites and blogs is that of speed. However over the last few years, Google and the other search engines have continually upgraded this status in it’s algorithms to the point where it’s a very important factor. Obviously it will vary depending on how and where your visitor is visiting, someone using a smart tv vpn can experience delays however those can be minimized if your blog is optimized for speed.

There are many things that can make a blog more or less popular, but one that sometimes gets overlooked is loading time. In fact, there have been an unknown number of times I have clicked away from a site because it was loading too slowly. Having a blog that loads efficiently is, then, essential if you want steady traffic. Not only does a slow blog chase people away, it will even harm your search engine ranking. Not long ago, Google publicly mentioned that load times are one element that affects a site’s ranking. If you want to have a popular, high traffic blog, you simply must care about the issue of load time; let’s see how you can make improvements in this area.

speedometer-153399_640

It’s always worthwhile to take any steps you can to make your blog more enjoyable to visit. Present your information in a way that’s reader friendly, as you want to hold onto visitors as long as possible. Even details you may not pay attention to, such as how long your paragraphs are, can play an important role.

Professional copywriters are well aware of this principle, which is why they vary their paragraph lengths. If all of your paragraphs are the same length, it creates a monotonous effect that you want to avoid. Paragraphs that are too long are hard to read, so you should put in a mixture of lengths ranging from very short to medium-long. Very short paragraphs are useful for highlighting certain things you want people to pay special attention to.

Graphics can also slow down your site, and there are a couple of ways to handle this. If you want the search engines to recognize your graphics, you can take a few different steps. There’s something known as web optimization that allows your images to load more quickly. Very often, your images are slowing down your site because the file sizes are so large -so what you want to do is decrease their size. Images can be optimized in this manner in any graphics program you might be using. One type of image you should avoid using are bitmap images. These images have high resolution and are attractive, but they also are large files. For faster loading times, you are better off sticking with smaller image files.

Any time you cache something into memory, it loads it into a memory location for faster access. So what that gives you is faster response times when your site or blog calls for it. You can easily accomplish this on your blog by installing a good plugin. There are a few plugins that can do this; Super Cache is the name of a widely used one. What this does is create a cache engine that will produce HTML files that are static. You can increase your loading times using this, but be careful you do not negate its purpose by adding more plugins just because you can. The greatest and smartest technique or way of thinking with IM is to look everywhere for something influential. An excellent illustration of this is having power over the experiences of other people when you buy an excellent ebook about online marketing. You have to maintain balance so you do not become a perpetual student and not a doer, though.

Further Information here

 

Does Your Landing Page do the Job?

The landing page is important, perhaps vital to the success of your online business. You may have lots of information and background pages but your landing pages are special, they’re important . Often potential customers arriving at your landing page have cost you money perhaps through PPC or advertising so it’s crucial they don’t just click away. Whether you go the direct sale route, get them to watch a video like this or simply try and snag email addresses – landing pages need to achieve some sort of outcome for your business to succeed.

Success Starts Here Freeway Style Desert Landscape

There are important and huge differences between a landing page and a regular website home page. It isn’t hard to figure out what’s what when you consider what is going on with those pages. Both pages have specific purposes but the landing pages are more immediate. You get to have your most desired response hopefully fulfilled by your visitors. When you have that kind of situation, then the whole dynamic changes which better change the way you approach things. You’ll have a different way of looking at things when you’re working on your page and you’ll be using the standard design tools much differently.

Internet users often browse hundreds of sites per day, which means you have an extremely short window of opportunity to capture their attention if you want them to spend any time on your site. That’s the cold, hard truth of the matter, and you simply have to face this. It’s hard to even calculate all of the factors that come into play regarding this decision. While there may be many elements that affect visitors’ decisions, one we can be sure is important is the headline on your landing page. So, always be direct in any headline you write and avoid being cute, artsy or collegiate. If people find a headline too hard to figure out, they’re likely to just click away, so be as clear and direct as possible.

It’s important to create a really good and really effective message for your opt-in box. It’s important to consider what happens when a person is willing to buy and is right on the brink of making that definite decision. A good sales person will know just what to say to move that person in the right direction. The situation on a landing page is similar because nobody who lacks interest actually visits a landing page. Then all you have to do is figure out what a skilled and very experienced sales person was going to say. Read the words written above the opt-in boxes on most of the landing pages that you find and you will see what others are doing for their clincher messages.

Take a step away from the typical approach to sales copy used on other places within your site. Typically you’ll only use copy (aka words) to share your marketing and informative messages. Sadly, on the landing page, there isn’t really enough space or time for this. Landing pages, by nature, are meant to be pretty short. It is important to make things mostly visual then. You can imply some messages and stories via images instead of relying solely on copy. Humans are very visually oriented, and men are more visual than women. Either way, choosing the right graphics and imagery can help you out quite a lot. A comprehensive study of landing page design will do you a world of good. This is a topic that isn’t really given as much attention as it deserves, especially in high profile marketing products. You can, however, access some low profile yet reliable ebooks, videos and other content, much of it free, in various places online. Hopefully, this article will have sparked your interest in looking for ways that you can improve your landing pages.

James Hetherington

Blogger at British TV Programmes

Building Links to your Site Can be Tough

Link building is one of those things that every web master denies doing but we all end up having to. The reality is that at the moment all the search engines all value links in their algorithms and if you ain’t got any, you won’t have any traffic either!

At first glance, link building doesn’t appear to be hard. After all, how hard can it be to set up a few simple links to your website or business? The truth is that it is more involved than that. You could always try the “hope” strategy by establishing a few profiles on directory sites and hoping it all works out. You have to be ready to do some serious work, though, if you expect your link building efforts to help in the marketing of your site and company. Thus, you probably want to know what strategies you can apply for better link building. Keep reading this article and find out.

Give the novices in your industry a hand. Do you remember what it was like when you first started out? You would frequently build links to people who had done something to motivate you or to give you a hand, didn’t you? You can be an inspiration to others. Be inventive too, try and use different tactics to build useful and relevant links to your site. If you’re web pages are about British TV programmes, then don’t mess around building links from health or finance sites – look to your own niches for real power.

chains-502880_640You can publish a series of eBooks and articles offering advice to the newbies in your industry and you can put them up on your site or use another platform like the Kindle. Your help will be greatly appreciated. You’ll be able to prove to people that you are an expert. When these two things come together, the result is a lot of quality backlinks. If you want a way to generate more visitors, post a survey on your site. You shouldn’t, however, just pick a random survey. Every site has a different type of visitor, and you have to choose a survey that’s a good match for yours. That survey should also be something that people will want to check back in on. A survey can also serve as a pre-sell for an upcoming release, as when you ask people to vote on the “best title for my next report.” This not only lets people know about your next product, it gets them involved and makes them think about it. When people share this survey, you’ll get in influx of links.

A contest that gives your visitors a chance to cast their vote on some issue can be a viral link building tactic. Hold a contest for the best site design in your niche or the best video or -well, anything really. The idea, of course, is to get plenty of entries from your visitors. You want them to tell their friends and followers to vote for you. This means that, yes, you will need to have a good prize but the prize you build will be well worth the effort. Some people might want to enter several times to increase their chances of winning. You never know where news about your contest might end up. Building links requires a lot things. Some people believe that link building is some constant tasks that are done daily. Maybe this happens sometimes. But, usually this is not going to be enough. Be willing to work hard on a daily basis. It takes time for your link building efforts to pay off but once they do, they will pay off in spades. Use the tips we’ve shared here to help you get started.

John Hamish

How Web 2.0 Marketing Can Accelerate Your Business

Web 2.0 marketing is becoming a more and more popular term, due to the advancement of technology in recent years. The Internet as a whole has gone through a plethora of changes because of the Web 2.0 phenomenon; it has completely changed the way we communicate online. Applying these new methods and technologies to your business is key. How would you be able to implement it and get “buzz” generated about your product line? This article will focus on gaining a better understanding of Web 2.0 and how it can help you to get bigger and better results for your marketing campaign now and in the future.

If we look at Web 2.0 at a finer level, it’s nothing but the World Wide Web powered by smart technologies that helped create targeted communities, let people have strong discussions, debates, etc. All of this has come to fruition due to the environments created in the multitude of Web 2.0 sites. The Internet is no longer dull and static, it’s got life. In return, marketing has become far more vibrant. Web 2.0 has seen the emergence of any number of dynamic sites, such as social networks, blogs, forums. Each having the capability to leave comments and have RSS feeds. With all of these new changes, people began to recognize the potential this had for online marketing.

briketter and brænde from brikettertilbud

Ultimately these technologies have opened up the Internet to more than just big businesses with money to spend. The Internet is open to everybody; you can freely create whatever website you want and host whatever content you want. Now it is possible for anyone to create a site for their company or organization for sales, service or publicity.

The direct interaction that Web 2.0 allows is one of the major benefits, as you have a straight line link with your potential customers. Furthermore, if your sales website allows commenting, your customers can interact with one another and further promote your products. You business will benefit from receiving as many comments as possible. A rapport between you and your audience is created by this commenting process and it gives your site fresh content for the search engines. Not only do search engines thrive on information that is constantly revised and modernized, but comments will also help move you up in the rankings. Above all, this is quality content that is coming to you for free. The more diverse the comments on your website are, the better your search engine rankings will be because there will be a greater number of relevant keywords to search. Now that we have discussed comments, we should look at another important technology; RSS feeds allow users to subscribe to the feeds on your page so that they will receive all the updates you make to the site. This boosts your “repeat visitor” count as more and more people will be coming back to check the new changes.

Basically, if you are smart about your Web 2.0 marketing, you can find fantastic results in the long run. There are a lot of marketers that know how advantageous having a Web 2.0 marketing campaign can be. If you find that your Internet marketing campaign is not getting you the results you want, wouldn’t it make sense to try something that has a proven track record? The Internet is constantly changing, and so should your marketing strategies in order to keep up. Experimenting with new technologies and trying out new techniques and methods in your business can help you to stay ahead of the curve – and your competition!

Jim Herriot

http://www.proxyusa.com/

Leverage the Power of Twitter for your Business

For years, businesses have focussed on traditional websites to promote their business. Most tended to focus on SEO and bringing in traffic via the search engines like Google and Yahoo. However now there is an increasing focus on social networks and one stands out with huge business possibilities.

Very unique, Twitter is a social community that has no equal. Millions of followers tweet back and forth on a regular basis about every imaginable topic. However, not all Twitter users are effective at their use of the social platform. When it comes to creating a solid foundation, most Twitter followers don’t do this. There are some basics that you have to know to effectively use Twitter everyday. Unless you do that, you won’t find the right direction to move into. It is so easy to use Twitter to help with your Internet marketing and grow your business by leaps and bounds. Your approach needs to be refined before you try to do this. Now let’s look at ways to use Twitter, and become an effective user on the social network, using the following three tips. Let’s begin.

tweeting-150413_640

You have to first of all learn to be helpful towards the other Twitter users, so help them achieve that and they become loyal to you. You will always see people wondering about things and posing various questions. For example, you can reply back to your followers’ tweets when they ask a question. Just be sure you take it easy and do not appear that you are being aggressive. That is the one thing that so many IM marketers fail to either do or do well enough. Repetitive tasks are always difficult to do, and Twitter can help you organize these things in a much more efficient manner. All of your activity should be automated, freeing up a lot more time. It is easy to be more productive when you have extra time. From your perspective, Twitter will be quite valuable if it can help you do this.

Using the right tools, this is possible. There are many tools on the market right now that can make your Twittering much more efficient. Once you have these tools, and have them working for you, you can focus back on things that really matter. All you have to do is go to Google, find them, and download them. It’s that easy!  For example, if you want to leverage the power of Twitter across multiple accounts and countries then consider setting up different profiles using a VPN like this one – http://www.uktv-online.com/.  The one demonstrated on that site is for watching British TV but it works just as well for hiding your location.

Finally, don’t make Twitter a serious and boring place to be. Having fun is what it’s all about!

It’s not something that should be perceived as a task or a chore. You should look at it with a lighthearted attitude, not a cynical one. Everything you do and say should benefit your followers and some way. It should never be a job that has to be completed. You have to approach Twitter the right way to make it work. You should look at this as a way to have fun, and when you do, it’s easy to participate on the site. You can do so much with Twitter – you just have to approach it correctly. Twitter can be very beneficial, taking your business to higher levels. Your online business can certainly benefit from using Twitter for the reasons we have discussed. But the strongest reason is the fact that it can give you targeted traffic within no time. You can really reap the rewards of having a powerful Twitter network, a large, potentially profitable, asset indeed. What can top this? Having a network like this can support you in uncountable ways. Becoming an effective Twitter user, and nurturing your followers, can be extremely beneficial for you and your business. Good luck!

Further Reading on VPNs

http://www.theninjaproxy.org/security/the-best-uk-vpn/

Modern webdesign

karnevalsshoppenWebdesign today is a lot different from what it was just 10 years ago. 10 years ago everybody wanted their own unique designs, a very person webdesign with graphics that fit their business or personal style. A few pieces of flash or some heavy graphics wasn’t any problem and something a lot of website owners gladly used to give their site it’s own unique style. Today everything is more more simple. A lot of modern websites are based on predefined templates, this goes for both personal blogging sites, and for webshops based on Magento, Prestashop or WooCommerce. Because of this, a lot of companies have moved away from the heavy graphics, flash and other such things. Just take a look at a modern webshop like karnevalsshoppen.dk, an online business selling kostumer and udklædning. It’s a pretty standard Magento installation with a unique design on the header and menu, and that is how most sites are now a day. Karnevalsshoppen used to have a very specific design that made it stand out from other webshops and was a bit more eye cathing, but after making it more mainstream with a new theme and a little more simple, it’s convertion ratio actually improved. This only confirms what a lot of the webdesign gurus have been telling us for years, don’t try to move out of the box, keep it on a level where your customers are familiar and recognizes things for what they are. The main point is to make the visitors feel at home, even if it’s a site they have never seen before. If the layout and design are similar to other sites they know, and the general structure of the website are too, then they are having a much easier time finding what they are looking for, and often feel more secure on the site too. Which again increase the changes of them using their credit card on your site.

Personally I think this mainstreaming of websites are both good and bad. I like that a lot more sites are now a lot userfriendly, it’s easier to find the products or information that you are looking for. But I also find that a lot of the creativity and soul is missing from many sites. If we look at a site like cykler-sundby.dk – that you can see here, it used to have a pretty unique design where the background was a bicycle and the menu was a part of it’s wheels. It was a fun and creative site, now it’s just another standard wordpress site with a generic theme and no soul any more. It may be easier to navigate around it, but from an artistic point of view, it’s far from a success. This is the case with a lot of modern websites, and I understand why many chooses to switch to such a solution, as it’s often a lot more easier to update and maintain. For some sites like karnevalsshoppen, it also means making more money, and often that is the whole point of a site. I may be old fashioned, but I still smile when I enter a site where they have done something special with the design, and created something that you don’t see everyday. A website should be userfriendly, but in my opinion, it should also be something personal or a piece of online art. I have to admit that most of those attemts was a failure, but in those few cases where it actually worked, it worked very well. Modern webdesign is in most cases a success, but I still feel that most of it, lack the artistic freedom we know from the old sites.

Creating a Successful Website for your Business

In order to create a successful business website, you’ll need to put in some time and effort. That is especially true for beginners, and oftentimes they do not realize that concept. If you have the knowledge and experience, then that is one thing and can use it to your advantage. This article will look at three strategies you can use to make any website more effective.

Many times, when your website visitors arrive, you will want them to do many things. MDA or most desired action is what you want them to do when they get there. To become profitable, you need to become an expert with call to action statements on your website. It is important that you make everything as easy to understand as possible. There really are no rules. Being direct is the best course of action. Essentially, a call to action, telling people exactly what to do, is what needs to be accomplished. Don’t worry about your writing abilities – as long as you convey a simple message, people will follow what you are asking them to do.

letters-417683_640 (1)

All of the fonts that you use on your website should be typical, not unusual in any way. You can look at different news sites on the Internet – most of the news very similar fonts across the board. These are a great source to follow on the Internet, and they are made by informed professionals. You want people to read your content and have a relaxed time doing so. Since these fonts work, they are used more often, universally accepted by most people. Using what large online media outlets use is logically the right decision, which is why I recommended looking at what fonts they have on their sites. You really can’t go wrong when you do things like this.

What social media has really done is fuel that need for online surfers and readers to feel some kind of connection with a site. Providing social media options on your site will motivate people to return. Making an effort to reach out to your site visitors in this manner, for whatever reason, should make a positive effect. You will probably not be able to see these people, even though they will interact on your site. People are happy, as long as they think you are looking out for their best interest. Just stay relaxed, and work with your interpersonal skills with your visitors. I’m not kidding – it really is that easy.

Before you make any changes to your website, always check that those tweaks will actually increase your results first. Try to make small changes one at a time, test them for results, and then move onto the next. Keep an eye on your stats and watch your metrics to see if you notice any different visitor behavior, either good or bad. Then you’ll always be on top of which changes create results and which ones aren’t working.

Further Reading

Which WordPress Plugins should you use

Hegn from trådhegn and flethegn in combination with a wordpress design and pluginOne of the most popular CMS systems these days are WordPress. It’s a free open source CMS system and really easy to use. There are currently two versions of the system, one which is a hosted system on wordpress.com, here you can create a free blog and use their system to run it. The other are the version you can install on your own website, which can be downloaded from wordpress.org. Just a few years ago, other open source systems such as Typo3, Drupal and Joomla were really popular, but a lot of sites running these systems has switched to WordPress. But what is so great about WordPress. Well according to Peter Hegn, the guy behind Flethegn and Trådhegn, it’s actually a really simple reason why. It’s it very easy to install, configure and use. There are thousands of free design templates and plugins for the system, the more popular it becomes, the more people are coding new plugins or designing new templates, which will again increase it’s popularity. We asked Peter Hegn which plugins he would recomming for a good WordPress installation, since there are way to many to choose among for those with a limited knowledge of the system. Here are mr. Hegn’s top 5 recommendation.

Ithemes Security
Formerly known as Better WP Security, it’s a most if you are running a professionel site. With WordPress being one of the most used systems in the World, it’s also the system that has the most focus from hackers or other people trying to ruin your site. The more visible your website becomes in the search engines, the more hacking attemts it will get. And without a good security plugin, such as Ithemes security you are likely to be infeced with virus or hacked at some point.

Contact Form 7
Another useful WordPress plugin are the Contact form 7. It’s a super easy way of adding a contact form on your website, allowing your customers to send you a message through your own website, without them having to send it as a mail. The only problem is that a lot of spamming tools are targeting this plugin, and using the contact forms on many sites to send all kinds of spam and junk messages. There are ways around that, but Contact Form 7 is still one of my favorite plugins, and a most on all my sites.

All in one SEO
Most website owners want their site to be found on the search engines, and a good onpage SEO are one way of increasing the chances of being found. I remember installing this plugin on my site Trådhegn, and within 2 months, my traffic had increased by almost 20%. It’s really easy to set up and configure, and can help you avoid problems such as duplicated content, setting page titles, selecting which pages are nofollow or noindex ect.

Better WP cache
One of the more complex and advanced caching plugins. By using a caching plugin, you can ofte make your website load faster for your customers by using various caching and compressing techniques.

SmushIT
One of my favorite image compressing plugins. Most websites out there, don’t compress their images, and could gain a lot of extra speed by using a plugin such as Yahoo SmushIT. The best part is that you can run it on all your previously installed images. And it will then compress them without any visible quality loss.

Source:
Perlcritic.org
Web: http://www.perlcritic.org/selecting-right-wordpress-plugins/

Posted in CMS

Using Twitter to Effectively Market Your Business

Twitter has become one of the trendiest websites– and not just as a social medium; it is rapidly becoming the best way to advertise your business. All sensible online business owners are asking how they can use Twitter based marketing to help them generate more visitors for and increase interest in their site. Well, this is one tool that is just growing rapidly with time, which means the competition is high.

However, if you take the proper steps, you can outpace all of those vying for your market. There are any number of ways you can use Twitter to gain exposure for your product, so you can develop a multi-pronged strategy for your marketing campaign. The best way to find out the precise method for your company is try out the various ways and go with the one that works best.

bird-592510_640

You’ll need to put in the time and effort to set it all up, but you’ll see excellent returns if you do. This article will explain how you can use Twitter to market your product and what steps you need to follow to make sure your Twitter campaign is a successful one.

The main thing to focus on when beginning is to grow in followers when you start a Twitter campaign. Most people gain followers one way or another, but there are ways you can ensure you will get the most followers possible. Every person who’s active on Twitter has his/her own followers list who keep a tab on what they’re doing by following.  It’s part of their everyday life, just like Facebook, Netflix and other social and media sites.  They even use methods like this to access Netflix and Twitter through VPN servers when  they’re blocked at work.

People on Twitter have a goal of keeping all their followers constantly informed on their activities. You need to be sure that people follow you are actually intrigued by your updates if you want to have a good marketing outcome. But just taking any random follower is not always going to be helpful. Your goal should be to add followers who are interested in your niche so you’ll have a good return for all your efforts. On the other hand, quality followers will almost guarantee a traffic and conversions. As a business you’ll want to keep your followers updated on company news, products and strictly business-oriented posts. You should keep people informed on exactly how they can be added as a follower on Twitter and also you need to show them how to keep themselves updated. Don’t assume that people know and they’ll understand the whole process by themselves.

Bolstering your Twitter network is a major facet of succeeding at Twitter Marketing. It is important to keep people who you are professionally engaged with updated. Having them use Twitter to do so is something you should encourage. Show them the benefits they can have from Twittering and how you’re able to build a brand for yourself and market your business effectively. The simple formula is the more Twitterers added to your network, the better everything works out for you!

Advertising with Twitter has become such a successful marketing tool because it is fairly straight forward. However, there is always a need to generate new and innovative ideas to generate the best traffic– a continual effort by many Twitter marketers. It will take you some time to set things up initially, but realize that Twitter is an effective way to drive in traffic from the search engines and as well as direct human traffic. If you are struggling initially, a good strategy would be to consult, or at least research, with others about what has been successful for them. Keep an eye on how they’re doing things, and you might just find your own success blueprint.

Further Reading – Review of Best VPN Software

Boosting those Online Sales

In case you didn’t know, online business transactions require some form of merchandise. Yours may be physical products. Another web entrepreneur may be selling services. For the purposes of this article, we are going to talk about merchandise that has been created to supplement other projects. You could be interested in this article because of a store you have created to supplement the advertising revenue earned through your blog. The key to selling merchandise is to work harder at what you’re doing. If you want to make money online, you can’t expect it to appear out of thin air. By using these tips, you will sell more items online.

secretary-544180_640

Create a sense of urgency by offering a time sensitive sale. For only 24 hours, you could offer a discount on your products. People will be driven to purchase your products if you offer them for sale for only 24 hours not wanting to miss the discount. Think about it: when you go to the store, aren’t you more likely to purchase a sale item if the sale is ending that day – especially if you have been on the fence about it so far?

This strategy works when selling online merchandise too. Many people like to use promo codes. Also link your products to big events especially if their related.  Companies selling online VPNs and proxies, often market du to big sporting events which are on TV.  For example if you want to watch the Grand Prix on the BBC iPlayer, then market the product to places which can’t get the BBC online like Ireland – watch this. You could send individual items as well. The trick is sticking to your set time-line. Always ignore requests to make an extension on the sale. This tends to mess things up.

If they want to buy another product, sell it for a discount. Sometimes brick-and-mortar stores will offer “buy one get one half off” sales on the merchandise. The same strategy can be utilized when selling online goods. Both bloggers and Internet marketers use this strategy when trying to sell supplemental merchandise. They even use it with digital products that are sold from their websites. A great way to clear extra space at your office is to get rid of products that can bring in a little bit of money. But just sending this out to people on your list or blog that ordered it, you can get tidy and make money at the same time.

You can offer future discounts on merchandise yet to be released. For the people that usually pay full price, you can offer them a promo code. So if they buy something from you today, the next purchase will be half off. Merchandise sales like these happen everyday. Yes some people are going to try to game the system by buying a very low priced item one moment and then using the promo code on larger ticket items. What is the point of caring about this? People that purchase are individuals that may never have given you any money without the promo code.

If this happens, why is it a problem? Doing this will just cause people to come to your store time and time again. You have many choices when it comes to selling your products in a way that’s enticing to customers. Very often, businesses use merchandise to brand themselves or make a few extra dollars. On the other hand, you can make merchandise the main focus of your business. Whichever route you have chosen to go, use these tips to help you earn more money and build your business. There’s no business that couldn’t benefit from some strategic merchandising.

For more Information: Check this Link