Five Key Factors for Compelling Web Content

Readers-searching1-618wAlthough content has always been considered the be the “king” when it comes to writing compelling web material, with the rapidly increasing numbers of websites “out there”, never has it been so vitally important to make your content better that of your competition, so it pays to take the time to create high quality articles that visitors truly want to read.

Forget about taking shortcuts; no matter what niche or business you are in, the quality of your articles, posts & sales material will always be the key to a successful online venture.

To write content that really conveys the message you want to get across, take note of these 5 key factors:

Make It Easy To Read
Robot_Vector_Character_Holding_a_Note_25

Keep that in mind many people skim-read webpages. Your target readers are probably subscribed to several news feeds or  blogs, so if you want to hold their interest, you need to make your content easy to read.

.

Remember readers like white space, so use short paragraphs and bullet points or numbered lists with subheadings. Use web recommended fonts because research has shown them to be the most easily read by the majority of readers. A particular font might appeal to you, but that doesn’t mean it will have universal appeal or be easily read by others, especially those with poorer eyesight.

.

Add graphics to your articles where that is appropriate as this makes the structure of your post more visually appealing and helps to keep your article focused on the point you want to get across.

Good Quality Material

Cute_Vector_Robot_Character_img1

While it is true that you can get articles written very cheaply when you don’t want (or don’t have time) to write them yourself and also true that some so-called “gurus” claim to still make money using poorly written articles, these guru’s may well have a very large list of people who will buy whatever they recommend, regardless of quality.

.

Therefore, it isn’t a good idea for you to do what they do because you want to build a good reputation for yourself, build your business so that your readers and customers see you as a quality provider and will be more interested in your next offer. Remember, it is easier to sell something to an existing customer than it is to find a new one.

Be Natural

Cute_Vector_Robot_Character_176x189Don’t try to fill your article with keywords; make your sentences flow in a clear, informative and entertaining manner.  Search engines have evolved to the point where you will be penalised for overuse of keywords, rather than rewarded in the rankings.

.

The best advice is to stop worrying about keywords. If you are answering the questions your searchers are asking then the keywords will come into the content naturally.

.

Of course you can add some in on purpose after the article is finished, but in a way that does not upset the flow. Keywords should be secondary to creating an article that’s interesting and informative.

A comfortable Length

Funny_Robot_Vector_Character_25_2There may be accepted “rules” as to how long your online articles should be, but every article and every subject is different, so use your common sense about it.

.

Imagine that you are the person searching for your content; ask yourself if you could find the answer to what you want to know in just 100 – 150 words? If the answer to this is “yes”, then 100 -150 words is long enough! The key is to use as many words as are required to address the subject without getting off track or including unnecessary detail and very often, that will require a lot more than 100 words.

Current

Most online content becomes out of date and needs updating from time to time. Yes, some things don’t change much over time, like how to grow vegetables or recipes, so articles about these subjects are considered “evergreen” because they are still relevant long after being written. Robot_Vector_Character_with_Thumbs_Up_175x215 However, just because they are still relevant doesn’t mean you can re-hash them without penalty from the search engines.

.

Remember that Google, Bing and the like are businesses too, trying to please their customers (searchers) so they will reward those who upload content that is fresh, up to date and original. It pays to take advantage of this fact by keeping on top of your industry and keeping your readers informed. 

.

It is a mistake to take shortcuts when it comes to high quality content. In the long term, it is well worth the time and effort it takes to write material that will convince your reader to take action and join your list or buy whatever you are offering.

Keeping in Touch at Xmas

Nearly Christmas time again and the end of another year – it's amazing how fast the time goes by.

Christmas is a time for family and friends, for catching up with those you haven't seen for a while and for telling others you appreciate them and how much they mean to you. What better way than to send them a greeting whether as a phone call, a letter, a card in the post or an e-card or perhaps a personal video greeting. 

 

Do not be daunted by some of these ideas as they can be fun to make and your sentiments are appreciated by the receiver. Let's start by examining the options: 

If you want to make your own greeting cards, or just want some festive icons to add to emails or web pages, you can get these great Xmas icons free from Mighty Deals – just click on their "Free Stuff" tab. They come in 3 sizes, 64 x 64, 128 x 128 &  256 x 256 so come in very handy for a variety of projects. Mighty Deals also have Xmas stickers free just now – they are on currently on page 2 of the Free Stuff. There's heaps of other graphics in the free stuff as well, so check them out.  

 

Xmas Icons For e-cards with a unique touch, you can't go past Ojolie.com  –  I first heard about Frederikke's cards way back in 2008 (see my earlier blog post for more information) and have renewed my very low priced membership ever since ($12 for one year and $18 for 2 years). I've lost count of how many cards there are available, but there's a wide selection for all sorts of occasions and the great thing is that the membership area keeps track of that cards you have previously sent to the people on your email list there. They have a nice selection of free cards as well for you to try for yourself. Many of my friends have commented on the delightful cards I've sent them, so check them out at Ojolie.com or on facebook.

 

If you'd like a video to share this Christmas, try Animoto – they make it easy to use your own photos, text & even videos to produce a professional looking video message.  You can make a free one of 30 seconds or less with some limitations on the number of your own photos you upload but the cost is reasonable if you want to a bigger project. The free one below was made in about 4 minutes just as a demo.

The compliments of the season to you all. Trish

Make your own photo slideshow at Animoto.

Promote Your Home Business

Use the same marketing tools as a standard brick and mortar business, to promote your at home venture.

Advertising your service or product, is just as important, if not more, when you work from the home. It is important that the public knows how to find you and that your business exists. In order to find success in running your own home business, you must be totally comfortable promoting yourself.

As the owner of a home business, you will need to talk up your business to a large number of potential customers. You have to be able to make your customers feel that your business and products are of the highest quality. Learning to successfully self-promote, is one of the keys to making big time profits.

Participate in trade shows that focus on your particular product or service. Trade shows provide a great way to network with others in your industry. It is also an effective way to promote your business to many potential customers by providing you with a setting to demonstrate your product or service.

Create a mailing list for your home business. This can either be through snail mail or the internet. Let others know about any special deals you are offering or just promote your business.

You can also send out small updates or newsletters to your customers to let them know what has been going on. This will increase traffic to your web site.

Examine all of the ways your home business appears in the marketplace and be sure you have a consistent message and presentation.

Whether it is your business cards, web site or social media business page, keeping your messaging professional and synchronized helps you promote your business appropriately and clearly across multiple channels.

Having a home business does not mean you have to stay home.

Get out of the house to network and promote your home business.

Promoting your business will help make your business grow and in turn make you more money.

Being active in the community will help to spread the word of your business. Business cards are a great way to promote your home based business and get your name out to the community.

Search for free business cards online and then distribute them wherever you go, including grocery stores, dentist offices and your children's schools.

Set up an advertising and promotional item budget for your home business and make sure you stick to it.

Advertising, free products, printing and more can add up quickly.

When you stick within your allotted budget, you help your business stay on track. Your budget will grow over time and you will be able to spend more money to promote your business down the line.

Promote your home business by offering a coupon for a free sample or a discount for your services. People are attracted to free offers, so this is a good way to bring in new customers. People are more willing to try a new business if they do not have to risk their own money to try it.

If you are caught by what is being called the "latest recession" and you are  wondering, "How is my family going to get by?", see if some of these ideas and helpful tips can help you survive and improve your financial situation.

Freebie for the month


Hi everyone, the free ebook for new registrations this month is “Google Adsense for Newbies”.

This powerful training course contains everything you need to know  so you can start making dramatic profits from Google AdSense quickly.

You’ll learn:

      • How YOU can get Google to stream ads onto your website for free.
      • How Google AdSense ads are specially selected to match your site’s topic.
      • How YOU earn money every time a visitor to your site clicks on one of the ads.
      • How YOU can get killer content for your site that you don’t have to write yourself!

And much, much more!

I currently sell this ebook here for $17, but if you would like a free copy, fill in your name and email over to the right, and then hit the “click to download” button. You will be sent a confirmation email to verify that you asked for information.

After you’ve clicked the link in the confirmation email, you’ll be taken to the download page where you’ll find a download link, plus instructions, if you need them.

 

If you would like a copy of this ebook but get an error message say you are already subscribed, send an email to admin@trishfindlay.com & we will send you the download link.

Cheers
Trish

[wps_custom_form id=0]

 

Share Folders Free with Dropbox

A very useful tool I use, mainly for backing up online and sharing files within my own network , but it has the potential for much much more is Dropbox. Yes, there is an upgrade option, but you can use the free version very well. There is also an option to get more free storage space when someone you tell about Dropbox signs up.

So what does it do?  It lets you share your files and folders with others by sharing an existing folder on your PC or creating a new one to share. Once you add other members to the folder, it will appear in your friends or colleagues own Dropbox just as it does in yours. Any changes made to the shared folder’s contents will appear instantaneously to everyone who is a member of that folder. You can create a folder in your Dropbox folder just as you would anywhere else on your hard drive.Can you see the potential in this?

There are two ways to setup Dropbox, as a local application or online. The procedure is pretty much the same either way.

Read more

Filezilla (ftp) listing problem

Recently I began to  get the error message “Failed to retrieve directory listing” at the point where I tried to list the files in the directory on some of my hosting accounts:

Command: MLSD
Error: Connection timed out
Error: Failed to retrieve directory listing

Filezilla was working fine until I updated to version 3.2.4.1 so this was very frustrating. After contacting the support desk of my hosting account, we worked out that this was either a Mozilla configuration error or my firewall was blocking ftp access.

I had Zone Alarm Security Suite running on my XP partition & initially turning this off allowed me to list. However, after a couple of days, the problem cropped up again. Note that I had the same problem using Windows7, even after allowing Filezilla to communicate through the Windows Firewall.

To cut a long story short, after a lot of trying different settings, we found a fix that worked for my situation so I’m passing it on in case it may help others, too.

This is for Filezilla:

Go to Edit, then Settings

1.Click on Connection – FTP &  Choose Active
2.Click on Connection – FTP – Active Mode & select “Ask your operating system for the external IP address”
3.Click on Connection – FTP – Passive Mode & Choose “Fall Back to Active Mode”
4.Click OK.

Now connect to your FTP site once again. This worked for me, as I got the result below:

Command: MLSD
Response: 150 Connecting to port 55410
Response:226-ASCII
Response:226-Options: -a -l
Response: 226 20 matches total
Status:Directory listing successful

Good luck!

Regards
Trish


Send your free Earth Day ecard now!

Frederikke and Timothy from ojolie.com have added a new card called “Blue Planet” to their selection of  animated ecards just in time for Earth Day on 22nd April.  The wildlife in the card, especially the dolphins, our intelligent counterparts below water, have an important message to deliver.

Earth Day, held on April 22 each year, marks the anniversary of the birth of the modern environmental movement in 1970 and is  now celebrated around the world.

Earth Day 2009 will herald the beginning of the “Green Generation Campaign”; a two-year project culminating with the 40th anniversary of Earth Day in 2010. The Green Generation’s core principles are:

1.  A carbon-free future based on renewable energy that will end dependency on fossil fuels, including coal.

2.  A commitment to responsible, sustainable consumption on an individual level

3.  Creation of a new green economy that addresses poverty by creating millions of quality green jobs and sees the global education system transform into a green one.

For those of you who missed helping to save energy during Earth Hour on March 28th, here is another chance to spread the word about helping our environment by sending Frederikke’s delightful card to your friends.

Best wishes
Trish

Your 404 Error Page Can Make You Money

Have you ever visited a website, but typed in the wrong URL after the domain name? What did you see?

Chances are you saw a generic page that said something like, “The page cannot be displayed,” or “Not Found,” or “The requested URL was not found on this server.”

This is what is more commonly known as the 404 Error Page. It’s the page that shows up by default when someone ‘accidentally’ types in the address of the page they are looking for on your site incorrectly.

Now, in many cases, it truly happens by mistake. However, in many other instances, people end up on this page because they are snooping around trying to look for your download page or thank you page without having to pay or opt-in. Kind of shady, but people do it.

Why not capitalize on it, whether they are doing it purposely or they are truly ending up there by accident.

If you have your own website and it gets traffic, some of your visitors are ending up on that page. Now, if they are seeing the generic message that their browser shows them when it happens, then you are not making good use of your web real estate.

Every page of your website can put money in your pocket, even your 404 error page. You can customize that page just like any other page on your website.

Some ideas to utilize your 404 error page include:

– Making a special offer at a discounted price
– Having it be a squeeze page
– Making it an Adsense page
– Redirecting it to a related affiliate product.

Those are just a few of the many different, yet profitable types of ways you can make good use of your 404 error page. It won’t make you rich, but it definitely can put some extra money in your account. Maybe it will help you pay one of your bills, or you can just reinvest it into your business.

Either way, if you don’t customize this page, you can be leaving money on the table. Having something for your visitors to see that end up on that page is extremely more beneficial to you then not having anything on that page.

If you don’t feel confident to do this yourself yet, there is a very easy way using Jason Dinner’s 404Secrets. It is free to join up and Jason shows you exactly how to set it up in an easy to follow video.

Check it out here: http://trishfindlay.com/Recommends/404Secrets

Let Them Know When You Change Any Details

Today I received a very important message about keeping up to date and how not doing so could be very costly to you in the long term.

I was reading John Thornhill’s blog tonight and he mentioned that many of the emails he was sending out promoting other people’s products were dead links!

Maybe you can relate to how stupid this is if you imagine you have a bricks and mortar shop selling socks and the guy in the shop just along the road sells shoes. Now, you’ve got this arrangement where every time someone buys a pair of shoes at his shop, he tells them that you sell great socks and recommends you go and have a look. Wouldn’t this help you make some sales? Sure it would!

But what if they came along to you and you didn’t have any socks – you decided it wasn’t worth while anymore, or you couldn’t be bothered, you decided to sell handbags instead – whatever reason – wouldn’t you let the guy selling shoes know? Explain that socks weren’t very profitable these days & ask to do a deal about handbags? I’m sure you would – apart from being good business sense, it’s plain good manners.

But, you don’t bother telling him – how do you think he’d feel when he found out? A bit peeved? Probably. Likely to send any more business your way? I don’t think so. Have you helped your business? NO.

Having affiliates who send you referrals is just the same as the arrangement between the shoe seller and the sock seller. It’s a business arrangement and you need to communicate any changes that occur.

So check your sites and your links and make sure they’re up to date. You work hard to win traffic, especially targeted traffic; it’s a crime to let such referrals go to waste. I’ll be checking mine, too. Thank you John.