The Secret to Coming up at the Top of a Google Search

Urban Oasis on top of google search pageDo you want to come up on the first page of a Google search? For a lot of businesses the competition for their main keyword phrase is so steep that it can be difficult to rank on page one in the organic search results. That’s where having a Google Local Business Listing comes in handy.

Businesses that work with or service customers at an actual location can get a Google+ Listing which has a good chance of coming up on a Google Map and can appear in a Google search above the organic listings. How great is that?

My husband and I have a loft bed and breakfast in Atlanta. One evening a man named Jim, was in town from Chicago on business, and taking clients to dinner at the steakhouse down the street.

When Jim checked Google Maps for directions to the restaurant, our Bed and Breakfast listing also popped up. Since he had work in Atlanta that required him to be here for several days most weeks, he liked the idea of staying someplace called the Urban Oasis rather than an anonymous hotel. [Read more…]

How to Connect Mailchimp to Your Facebook Page

When people visit your Facebook page, it is a great opportunity to capture their attention, and get them to sign up for your newsletter.  Luckily, Mailchimp makes it easy to connect your sign up form to your Facebook page.

In order to integrate your Mailchimp sign up form with your Facebook page, you first need to make sure that you have administrator access to the Facebook page.  The connection to Mailchimp first occurs through your personal Facebook account, and then you can select which Facebook page you want the sign up form to show up on.

The goal of this tutorial is to get your Facebook integration with Mailchimp set up so that people can sign up for your newsletter.  Additionally, if you choose, you can automatically post your campaigns to Facebook once you’ve completed this integration. [Read more…]

Increase Newsletter Subscribers with Popupally

newsletter-squareishIf you’ve been following me for long, or had a Talk it Out Session before, then you’ve heard me speak about using your website as the hub of your online marketing efforts.

You’ve also probably heard me emphasize the importance of building a list, and using an online newsletter as a tool to build know, like and trust with your customers and prospective clients.

Online newsletters have become such a powerful marketing tool that companies will go to great lengths to get new subscribers.  Sometimes they go too far, and it’s often at expense of the user.  I’m sure I am not the only one whose been annoyed by a newsletter popup before.

The worst type of sign up box tries to guilt you into signing up by making you choose between something like “Sign up now” or “No thanks, I don’t want to grow my business.” I don’t know whether or not this is effective, but it sure is irritating.

But there are ways to gain newsletter subscribers [Read more…]

How to Add a Video to your Mailchimp Newsletter

Increase Engagement with a Video

A lot of people have been asking how they can add a video to their email newsletter. So I am going to break it down for you below.

Before we get started, it’s important to understand that one can’t actually play an embedded video in an email.  How I have been handling this is to create a picture of the video and link it to play in YouTube.  I found a better method from Amy Bloom’s blog, bloom online  which lets the video open directly in a lightbox when it is clicked.  I like this method because it doesn’t take your reader away from your newsletter. [Read more…]

How to Split Test Your Mailchimp Campaign to Maximize Engagement

mailchimp split testI send out a newsletter, the Just a Digital Minute each and every Wednesday. Of course I want to have as many people read it as possible (sign up here).   I am often stumped as to which subject line will be more appealing and compelling to my readers in order to increase open rates and engagement. A person could drive themselves crazy  having to make such momentous decisions:-)

But Freddy (Mail Chimp’s Mascot) has come to my rescue with easy to use A/B testing capability that they offer to premium account users.

Recently, we have started using their  A/B split campaign function to test and refine subject lines for the, Just a Digital Minute. What we do in a nutshell is create two different subject lines. It will [Read more…]

Stop Flying Under the Radar: The Importance of a Social Network

The importance of a social networkIt may come as a surprise that many of our clients are not very technical, and some even go as far as to pride themselves on their resistance to using LinkedIn, Facebook and other social media sites to stay connected.

Some of these people do it the old fashion way, being diligent about manually keeping up with personal and professional contacts over the years. They immediately send an email after meeting a new acquaintance, add the person to their contact list, and send cards or articles of interest to that person upon occasion. I admire that practice, but most people who eschew the use of social media don’t even do that.

Some people just aren’t focused on adding new contacts to their social networks. People who are currently [Read more…]

How To Do a MailChimp Merge Tag

How to do Mailchimp Merge TagsWhen you send out email newsletters you can use a merge tag to dynamically pull information from the email list database and insert it into your email. The most common thing to do is to personalize your email with the recipient’s name.

It is good to do this at the beginning of an email message, but you can also put it somewhere in the body of the email for emphasis. People love [Read more…]

Find Yourself a Twitter Chat

Tweet Chat

People often have a difficult time figuring out how to get started on Twitter. A great way to start is with a Twitter chat.

Participating in Twitter chats can be a great way to find a group of people with whom you share an interest; and, because everyone is communicating on the same topic, it is easier to break the ice and begin to add your own expertise to the conversation. This will also help you build your network.

What the heck is a Tweet Chat?
It is a scheduled conversation on a particular topic, open to anyone and held on Twitter. They are identified by a name with a hashtag (#). An example of one of the big daddy Tweet Chats is #blogchat on Sunday nights at [Read more…]

10 Awesome Social Media Plugins and Management Tools for WordPress

Almost every WordPress website could use a social media plugin or two. Take a look at our list of 10 awesome social media plugins and management tools for WordPress.

Social Sharing Plugins

1. Add Twitter Facebook Google Plus One Social Share
Add Twitter Facebook Google Plus One Social ShareAdd Twitter Facebook Google Plus One Social Share is a simple floating social sharing bar. It comes with a couple of handy user options and allows you to change where the bar floats on your site as well as minor style customizations. The plugin also features LinkedIn, Stumbleupon and Pinterest (which it doesn’t mention in it’s title).

[Read more…]

No More Bad Stock Photos, Use Your Instagram Pics on Your Website

InstagramInstagram is my fun place. I don’t use it to “get business,” I use it because I love snapping pics that I find interesting.  I like that I can instantly share them with others through Instagram, and if I want I can send an image to Facebook or Twitter. Although I don’t specifically use it for business, my feed does give people, who follow my feed, a sense of who I am and keeps me in front of mind.

I feel like I really get to know the people I am following by the images they share. It is another way you create the brand of “You”. [Read more…]

Starting Your Email Newsletter List with a Warm-Up Email

Warm Up Your Email ListThis post is for you if you have been thinking about sending out your own newsletter, but don’t know how to get your list started without being in danger of being called a dirty spammer.

Many people have an email opt in box on their websites but have never gotten around to sending out a newsletter. If you are ready to start this process, then you want to warm up a cold list and add current clients, friends and close colleagues to your list in a way that decreases the possibility of unsubscribes or reports of spam.

Be sure to sign up for an email service provider such as MailChimp rather than sending out emails from Outlook, Gmail or any other service you use for your business and personal email. There are two main reasons for not sending newsletters from your personal email. First, bulk emails sent from those services get through spam filters more effectively. Second, email newsletter services provide people with an opportunity to easily unsubscribe. [Read more…]

How to Turn Your Email Newsletter Into a Long Term Relationship

email newsletter relationshipsThis week, while I was preparing a workshop on email marketing, I looked back and saw that I have been sending out my newsletter, Just a Digital Minute, every Wednesday morning since the summer of 2010. I’d say this email newsletter has turned into a long-term relationship!

I am particularly proud that I have not missed a single day. Not when Christmas fell on Wednesday while I was in the mountains in a cabin without Internet. Not even when my dog swallowed a whole pecan and died in surgery. I am so diligent about it since I know it would be all too easy for me to come up with great reasons to let things slide.

When I first started New Tricks, I put an opt-in box on the sidebar of my website, but that year I didn’t send out a single newsletter to the 33 people who had subscribed. I knew that was pretty lame so I set up an RSS feed newsletter to send out my posts automatically. It seemed like a great idea until six months later, I got an unsubscribe notice from someone I really respected. [Read more…]

The Magic of Hashtags

magic_of_hashtagsAre you in mystery about Hashtags? It is really pretty simple. Hashtags are words or phrases that are used on Social Media apps like Twitter, Instagram, Google+, Facebook and Pinterest to name a few, as a way for people to follow or track a particular subject, business, TV show, webinar or other type of event. Hashtags let people find and join into conversations on different topics. [Read more…]

Before Applying For College Get Your Social Media S*%T Together

Google YourselfYou know I am a fanatic about cleaning up one’s digital image before embarking on any endeavor that is likely to prompt a Google Search of your name. Whether it is a college application or a job interview, you have to Google Yourself and clean it up. One of my son’s friends found out his mug shot for a DUI was online when he had applied for graduate school and one of the school recruiters let him know. Not good. Be proactive and don’t just stop at cleaning it up, you can work to craft your online brand. Although I always say, It’s Never Too Late, in this case it is Never to Early!

The following post is from Direct Hits Education, an SAT preparatory that is giving this great advice while SIMULTANEOUSLY (at the same time)  building up your vocab!

Social media has become UBIQUITOUS (omnipresent) in our culture. With Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, LinkedIn, YouTube, and more, we’re sharing a lot of information online. In case you’re OBLIVIOUS (unaware), your online image matters, especially when it comes to applying for colleges, scholarships, and jobs. How you present yourself online can be a BOON (benefit) or BANE (source of harm) for you, as more and more college admissions officers and prospective employers use Facebook and other sites to research applicants. A negative online image could COMPROMISE (jeopardize) your college applications or job opportunities. Let us help you ELEVATE (move to a higher place) your social media presence as you prepare for college and beyond. [Read more…]

Switch to a Mobile Friendly Newsletter with MailChimp’s Drag and Drop Editor

Freddie the MailChimpMailChimp has some big news. Based on customer feedback and preferences, they just completed a redesign. Over 3 million people use MailChimp to create, send, and track email newsletters.

I have been playing with some of the changes to my Just A Digital Minute newsletter for the past few weeks. You may have noticed the new streamlined format.  I used the Drag and Drop Editor to create a one column template which should make it easier to view my newsletter on Mobile devices.

The following are guidelines are for making a change to the Drag and Drop editor for those of you who have been using a regular template. [Read more…]

Ten Tips to Create Email Newsletters That People Want to Receive

Email with WingsOver the past week or so, I have received some great examples of email newsletters from my clients and WordPress Meetup peeps.

My definition of great is they were effective. I actually wanted to read them, I did not want to unsubscribe and I will remember them. I have actually referred to some of them over the past [Read more…]

How to Share Your Blog Posts Right Into Your Subscribers’ Inbox

MailChimp LogoIn honor of the impending demise of Google Reader coming up in July, I wanted to offer an even better way to share your online goodness.

People who write content on their websites need to make it easy for others to access it and unfortunately, those other people, even if they like your content, will forget to go to your website. It is so true.

Some people have used RSS (really simple syndication) feeds to get your content delivered to a feed reader, [Read more…]

Build a Better Buffer for Your Tweets

Buffer appOne of my social media secret weapons that saves me time making and sharing articles on Twitter is called Buffer App. This app lets me schedule my tweets so that they come out at predetermined times throughout the day.

Scheduling your tweets helps to insure that your tweets are being seen by a variety of people, not only the ones that happen to be on Twitter at the same times you are.

When you have a tweet that you want people to take notice of, it is perfectly acceptable to send it out a couple of times a day. Twitter does not want you to send duplicate tweets, so change them up a bit before adding them to your buffer. Other apps including TweetDeck and HootSuite allow you to schedule the tweets, but you have to add them, one at a time. With Buffer App, [Read more…]

Utilize StumbleUpon for More Traffic

Utilize StumbleUpon for More TrafficStumbleUpon is a website discovery engine that is designed to gear pertinent, quality content to it’s users based on their self-assigned interests.

A user can sign up and choose what kind of content they’re trying to “stumble” upon as well as submit links they’ve found on their own accord.

If you are a website owner who creates good quality, unique content, you can create a StumbleUpon account, submit links from your own website, and categorize them into one of StumbleUpon’s interests. The submitted link will be reviewed by StumbleUpon’s machines and/or employees to verify the quality.

If your content is of interest, StumbleUpon will start driving users, who are “stumbling” the interest you selected, directly to your content. When users are stumbling content they can [Read more…]

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