Twenty Tips for a Scrumptious Food Blog

Twenty Tips for a Scrumptious Food BlogEveryone and their sister has a blog these days, and what better thing to blog about than food? Food is one of the highest searched content areas on the web. I tried to find how many food blogs there were but the only figure I could find with real numbers was from a 2012 post on a site called Taking back the Kitchen that quoted Technorati saying there were 16,588 Food blogs at that time. I could not update or even verify that information with Technorati since in May of this year Technorati removed all of their pages of their blog directory and associated information and hasn’t replaced it.

The thing about blogging is that it is hard to do. At least it is hard to do for the long haul. Many people start and then abandon their blogs like gym memberships in July when they find out that to blog on a consistent basis is a JOB. [Read more...]

Spread Love with Blog Posts and Emails: Get New Clients and Keep the Old

Spread Love with Blog Posts and Emails: Get New Clients and Keep the Old According to HubSpot, “Customers who write just 3-4 blog posts per month get 20 more monthly lead submissions, 800 more monthly site visits, 60 more Twitter followers, and 50 more Facebook Likes than customers who only write 2 blog posts per month”. I’d say that those are pretty impressive statistics.

This week the New York Times posted an article, For Email Newsletters, a Death Greatly Exaggerated.  As part of their premise that Email Newsletters are not actually dead, they went on to say that they can provide a sort of intimacy between a company and its clients.  I like how they put that since I think that is the best reason for a newsletter. [Read more...]

Collect Testimonials on Your WordPress Site Using Gravity Forms

Collect Testimonials on Your WordPress Site Using Gravity FormsCollecting testimonials from your clients can be a time consuming and slow process, so why not automate the process and let Gravity Forms do the heavy lifting?

After working with a client, there is a good chance you send them some sort of invoice or thank you email. What if you could insert a link in that communication to a form that allows your clients to compose a WordPress testimonial post and does everything but publish it? You can, and it’s easy! Using Gravity Forms you can have your clients fill out a form that automatically creates a WordPress post categorized as “Testimonial” with a picture they’ve uploaded. Here are 7 simple steps to automate your testimonial process: [Read more...]

WordCamp Asheville Keynote: How did we get here?

When I started thinking about what I might say in this keynote address, the song, “Once In A Lifetime” by the Talking Heads kept popping into my head.

“And you may find yourself living in a shotgun shack

And you may find yourself in another part of the world

And you may find yourself behind the wheel of a large automobile

And you may find yourself in a beautiful house with a beautiful wife

You know that song?

So how did we all find ourselves here today, on this beautiful weekend in Asheville, when you could be doing any number of other things?

Can you think of a time in your life when you [Read more...]

Naming Your Business

Naming Your BusinessOnce you have done a little branding homework, it’s time to choose a name for your baby business.  You don’t need to pay big bucks to a naming firm to help you choose a name for your business. On the other hand, it is important to spend the time to find the right name for your business and make sure there are no issues with it.

There are several directions you can go to find a name:

1)    A proper name. Using your own name works for a single practitioner or a professional service but for other businesses it can limit you later if you ever want to sell. Another problem with it is that it puts too much focus on one personality. Using a made up person’s name is not recommended unless you have a really good reason, since it is not authentic. You must have a story behind the name that reflects your brand. Sister Louisa’s Church of the Living Room and Ping Pong Emporium actually works since it definitely has a story behind it. [Read more...]

Creating a Brand Strategy for Your New Business

Creating a Brand Strategy for Your New BusinessPeople are always so eager to start their new business that they often overlook the important process of deliberately defining their brand identity. When they do take the time to go through the steps below it will help in every step thereafter. Naming, content development, website design and all other brand messaging will flow from the information that you develop during this process.

What is your product or service?

First you must know what the purpose of your business is. What products and services are you providing? Why are you going into this business? What is the story behind your [Read more...]

Grow Your Business with Videos, Podcasts and Speaking Engagements

Grow Your Business with Videos, Podcasts and Speaking EngagementsAs you work on your online marketing for your business, writing blog posts and growing your email list will give you more exposure in your industry so that people will start asking you to speak at their events or be interviewed for a Podcast or web article. You may think that you don’t have anything special to say, but that is just not true. Each of us has a story, and if you can tell it to include actionable tips, then you are golden. [Read more...]

Why Developing Grit Will Help You Achieve Extraordinary Success

What does it take to have a successful business? Some might say a degree, intelligence, connections, beauty, a great idea, money, technical ability, health, experience, or a mentor. And while all of those things might be nice to have, studies have shown that they are not in themselves predictive of success.

Angela Duckworth, a psychologist from the University of Pennsylvania has identified the biggest indicator as to whether a person will attain a high level of achievement, or not, it is a trait she named, Grit.

Grit is the ability to stick to something and to see it through to the end. It is more than having self-control. Rather, it is the tenacity to put in the hard work and to stay motivated through the ups and downs, and fallout, from things not going just right. Those who doggedly persevere, and are creative in the way they reach their goals, demonstrate Grit. [Read more...]

20 Steps to Grow Your Online Business From Now to Wow

20 Steps to Grow Your Online Business From Now to WowMany clients come to me with the same dilemma. Either they have started their own online business, or are interested in starting a business and do not how to take it from a good idea to it’s highest potential. So, I have compiled a list complete with links to other posts I have written that go into more detail on specific topics. [Read more...]

Get Your Clients to Close the Deal- Deciding Isn’t Enough

Get Your Clients to Close the Deal  Deciding Isnt EnoughI can’t remember where I heard this the first time but the message was something like this: If you are having a problem with someone or something, take 100% responsibility for it because if you do, you can change it.

This came to mind recently during a conversation with a friend who was troubled about not getting paid for work that he had done and was upset [Read more...]

8 Steps to Improve Your Local Business Placement in Google’s Search Engine Results

8 Steps to Improve Your Local Business Placement in Google’s Search Engine ResultsI have a friend who started a service business and I created her website. When we were finishing up, she told me emphatically that she was not going to blog or be on any Social Media platforms. Of course I gave her my spiel about all of my reasons why this was a terrible idea in terms of her business being found on the Internet, but she was adamant that she was not going to do any of that.

Instead, my friend said that she felt like their business was going to come mostly from referral and marketing calls and that her goal for the website was to [Read more...]

Three Ways to Make Money With Your Website

Three Ways to Make Money With Your WebsiteOne of the things I love about websites is that they can help you make money. Even blogs that did not start out as businesses can use their sites to make money. But if you have a business, it is even more important to use it as more than a pretty advertisement and actually put it to work. Here I offer you three ways to make money from your website and would like to hear from you about additional methods you employ to make money from your site.

Sell your Services

If you have a blog or a website then I am presuming you have some expertise in your topic.

[Read more...]

Customer-Centric Web Design: What Makes A Hero?

Customer Centric Web Design: What Makes A Hero?One of the most common challenges I face as a web designer is the task of helping my clients create a site that targets the messaging to their ideal client’s needs while setting themselves apart from other businesses in their industry who provide the same services.

Most of the time, the companies I work with want to tell the visitors all about themselves and why they are great. I understand the urge. You probably do have the best products, in the best location, with the best service. The problem is that customers see this type of content as [Read more...]

10 Baby Steps to Creating Your Personal Brand Online

10 Baby Steps to Creating Your Personal Brand Online This is for those of you that are struggling to find your way. Maybe you are stagnant in your job and looking for a new one. Maybe you have branched out on your own and are trying to get established. Maybe you started a company and are waiting for your customers to find you. Maybe you are totally clueless about what to do next. How do you show up and get on the radar?

I know of a woman in her late forties who has worked as a professional in the same firm for twenty years and watched her field dry up in the recession. Many of her co-workers lost their jobs but she hung on to hers despite her salary [Read more...]

Use IFTTT to Automate Pesky Time Consuming Tasks

Use IFTTT to Automate Pesky Time Consuming TasksI have written about how to use IFTTT  (If Then Then That) to automate pesky time consuming tasks before, but it is time to roll it out again in case you missed the magnitude of this little program’s brilliance and the myriad of ways it can help you streamline some of the work you do.  IFTTT is a robust service that lets you create simple actions in the form of “if this then that”.

You can set it up and identify a first action called the trigger and then you specify what reaction should occur as a result of the trigger. The triggers and reactions [Read more...]

How To Direct Traffic on The Highway of Your Mind

How To Direct Traffic on The Highway of Your MindAfter putting on WordCamp in March, we were very busy here at New Tricks. We had to play a little catch up after the conference, and then a lot of people decided the time was right to have their new websites designed by the end of April.

The New Tricks team can handle working on multiple projects simultaneously because projects typically come in at different times and, therefore, are in different stages as we work on them.

When I am working on sites, I like to block out a group of hours and work on one project at a time. Normally, with a couple of projects at the same design stage, my mind is like a highway with a couple of cars on it, and the traffic moves along well. But, once there are more than a few projects, [Read more...]

How to Create a Newsletter People Want to Receive

How to Create a Newsletter People Want to ReceiveBefore you can start planning an email campaign, you need to clearly define your audience. Once you get a good idea who you are writing to, it will be easier to decide what you want to send to them and how often they want to hear from you. This is similar to the process you should go through to determine the content for your blog.

What are some words that describe the people you are writing to? The more specific you can be in understanding your niche, the better you will be in targeting your content to their particular needs. [Read more...]

Show ‘em You Know Your Stuff- How to Host a Webinar

Show em You Know Your Stuff  How to Host a WebinarThe goal for a lot of small business websites is to build relationships just like you would if people came to your shop or met you at a chamber of commerce meeting.

In real life, we build business relationships by going where our potential clients or customers are or inviting them to visit us, being personal and approachable, listening to what they say they need and showing them that we get them, and share some helpful information with them.

It may not happen all at once, but if we continue to keep in touch, we build a trusting relationship that leads to making a sale or signing up a new client.

We want to do the same thing online. Presenting an attractive website that puts our best foot forward, we show our visitors that we understand their issues and give them some information about the issues in a way that the feel like they can trust us enough to do business with us. [Read more...]

Find a Buddy (or two) To Check Out Your Site

Find a Buddy (or two) To Check Out Your SiteThis week, find a buddy or two to check out your site.  Sometimes we are so close to our own work we have difficulty seeing what might make it work better.  Be ready to take notes so you remember what was said. This feedback ought to give you some food for thought and possibly be what you need to improve your site results.

Here are a few things to look for:
1. Is it clear what you do and, if applicable, where you do it?
2. It is clear who would use your services and why?
3. Do you describe your services in an understandable manner and language?
4. Do you provide enough information for a visitor to [Read more...]

Blogging Establishes Your Brand And Helps You Get Hired

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