Showing posts with label websites. Show all posts
Showing posts with label websites. Show all posts

Monday, August 1, 2016

Your Website and Graphics


By Karen Cioffi

The title of this article specifies your website, but it’s just as relevant to your social media marketing and content marketing. And, it’s relevant whether you’re a freelance writer, a book marketer, a solopreneur, or small business.
   
Graphics are persuasive. Graphics are powerful.

To show you just how persuasive and effective they are, let’s look at some statistics and information from 3M Corporation in the article, The Power of Visual Communication by Mike Parkinson.

1. “Visuals are processed 60,000 times faster than text, graphics quickly affect our emotions, and our emotion greatly affect our decision-making.”

2. Over 90% of information the brain receives and processes is visual.

3. According to Dr. Lynell Burmark, Ph.D. Associate at the Thornburg Center for Professional Development, words are received and managed by our short-term memory and most people can only hold on to 5-9 bits of information. Images go straight into long-term memory; there those images are permanently imprinted.

4. A 1986 study at the University of Minnesota School of Management discovered that “presenters who use visual aids are 43% more effective in persuading audience members to take a desired course of action than presenters who don't use visuals.”

5. In a survey conducted by the Stanford Persuasive Technology Lab almost 50% of the participants said that when deciding the credibility of a website, its design look was the most significant determining factor.

6. According to Robert E. Horn, a Stanford University's Center for the Study of Language and Information scholar, when words and visuals are tightly meshed together, something new is created—the capability to soak-in, understand, and more effectively produce lots and lots of fresh information.

7. It’s synergy. The combined parts (words and visuals) are much more effective, powerful than the individual parts.

8. Companies and even governments spend billions of dollars each year to find ‘the’ image or imagery that will motivate the audience to buy whatever it is they’re selling: a product, service, or even an idea.

Okay, is that enough? Do you get that graphics, images . . . imagery is what will create results in marketing?

I sure do.

My biggest take away from the 3M in-depth article is that the buyer’s decisions are ‘greatly’ affected by his emotions. And, his emotions are ‘quickly’ affected by graphics.

So, for 2016 and beyond, it will be essential to use emotional imagery to motivate and persuade your audience.

But . . . yes, there’s a ‘but.’

People have been bombarded with those cookie-cutter images (I’m guilty of this too), thus making them much less effective.

An article at Forbes, explains that for images to now be effective they need to have a more natural element to them. The article refers to them as “natural stock photography.”

I started noticing this recently on Twitter and other social networks. There have been some beautiful ‘natural’ scenery images. And, they are powerful enough to grab you. This is what website design, including the images in your blog posts, should look like moving forward.

Another hot tip: Moving images with motivating quotes are still highly shareable graphics, as are infographics.

What are your website design plans for the rest of this year?

Reference:
http://www.forbes.com/sites/tomaslaurinavicius/2015/12/28/web-design-trends-2016/



MORE ON WRITING AND MARKETING

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Thursday, September 18, 2014

Never too Old to Learn New Tricks to Help Your Writing Soar



I am a great believer that we as writers are never too old to learn new tricks to make our writing and our careers soar. That being said I am also aware that some of those "new" tricks may be more difficult for some.

Those same skills that are a must for promoting our work can be absolutely maddening for writers who rather write than do any more techie things needed to connect to outsiders, yet those outsiders are our audience and buy our writing.

I have struggled myself with many fears about the techie world... some days it is a challenge to just open a Google document or sign a contract with an E-signature. I recognize that I needed some added encouragement and instruction so I am taking a course with Julie Foster Hedlund on How to Make Money as a Writer which I am hoping will ease some of my fears about the technical word of promotion and maybe my also fear of success. I need to continue to learn.

Here are  easy tips to get over the fear of technology and get on with the business of writing.

  • Educate yourself on the phases of promotion and production that you are most unfamiliar with. Take classes, on-line courses, read books on the matter, and practice.
  • Practice. This may seem elementary but if you only post to your blog once a month or to your website infrequently then it may take some time to remember how to do it. Guilty as charged. My website takes me a minute every time I go there because I let it go thinking I have nothing new to promote. Wrong. We always have something we can say at least once a week to reach our audience. Getting onto that site more frequently and taking notes helps to make adding content easier.
  • Set Goals. Setting goals will help you to be productive without the frustration. Make the goals for what you need to do or learn reasonable, for instance work on adding images or posting regularly first then go on to adding video etc,
  • Get feed back. Ask others to view what you have done to your site and give you honest feedback on how your technical additions work. Do your pages flow smoothly and are they easy to manage? Can your audience go from the home page on your site to the other pages you offer online? If not, they won't return. Ask for help if you can't get your site to do what you want. Consider paying someone more experienced to do your changes if you don't have time. And if it is E-publishing that you want, find sources that make the process run well and can take some of the pressure off of you- the writer. Many writers handle the start to finish of every e-book they write and others don't want to be bothered with some of the formatting and such. Know your limits and find others who excel in what you need assistance with.
  • Keep going. Never give up even if you feel lost in the techie world. Writing is the first and most important step to success, and the technical stuff will follow either by yourself with learning or by finding another to help.
Social media and all the technical online expectations of an author increase everyday as the audience needs to continually be entertained and engaged. Now is the time to get on board and add more spark to your self promotion and your presentation of your work. Education and practice will give your work just the boost it needs. Remember we are never too old to learn new tricks to make our writing soar.

Terri Forehand and her husband live in the hills of Brown County Indiana where they own a quilt shop. She writes for children and adults, is the author of The Cancer Prayer Book and has begun designing her own patterns with stories to match with the goal of making her writing soar. Her website is www.terriforehand.webnode.com or visit her blog at http://terri-forehand.blogspot.com
 

Monday, August 19, 2013

Website Hosting - A Bluehost Back to School Special You Don’t Want to Miss

Everyone who wants to sell a service or product or who simply wants a place to voice their thoughts and opinions needs a website. This includes authors, writers, and marketers.

While websites come from a number of sources, free and paid for, it’s the ones with paid hosting that offers the greatest support and freedom.

I don't usually make a promo post, but I use Bluehost for all my website hosting needs and I appreciate their service so much, I’m an affiliate for them.

Being an affiliate, I learn of new deals and pricing AND from August 19th through August 25th, Bluehost is having a SUPER SPECIAL:

12 months - $5.95/mo
24 months - $4.95/mo
36 months - $3.95/mo (best option)

This is an amazing offer.

So, if you’ve been procrastinating about signing up with a hosting service, or if you’re new to the writing and marketing arena, you should absolutely take advantage of this special pricing.

If you’re not sure what some of the difference are between free hosting and paid hosting, let me explain.

Free hosting comes from services, like Blogger.com and Weebly.com. They do provide some useful features, but they are lacking compared to paid services, like Bluehost.

For example, with Blogger you don’t have the ability to optimize your images and you’re limited to 10 pages per site. When it comes to SEO, this is a big deal.

With Weebly, you are only allowed up to six pages per site.

With Bluehost, you can create as many pages as you want on your site. And, there are unlimited domains on ONE account. This means if you sign-up with Bluehost, you can create as many websites (with different domain names) as you like. I currently have about 10 sites.

In addition, free services don’t have support if something goes wrong with your site. Or, if they do, it’s a pain-in-the-neck: difficult to find, difficult to navigate and difficult to get prompt answers. I've just been through this with Blogger.

One of the other BIG differences between the two is Google loves WordPress and most free sites don't support it. This will also affect your SEO efforts.

This folks, is a no-brainer. If you need a website this is the time to get it. If you choose the 36 month plan, you pay only $3.95 per month!

CLICK HERE TO SIGNUP FOR BLUEHOST.COM TODAY!

Still not sure?

To make this special offer even better, if you order through me, I’ll add in Create Your Author-Writer Online Platform eCourse Option No.1. You can check it out at: http://www.karencioffi.com/author-online-platform-ecourse/ (scroll down to the Options section). It's a $67 value!

Just send me your receipt. I’ll verify it with Bluehost and then send you your bonus ecourse!

SIMPLY CLICK ON THE IMAGE BELOW (Although it says $6.95, once you click on the image you'll be brought to the $3.95 page)



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Friday, July 15, 2011

3 Keywords Needed to Create an Effective Website

All writers need a website; it’s just the nature of the writing business these days. But, just throwing a website up won’t cut it. You need to create an effective, engaging, and appealing website.

According to a number of marketers, the most essential words on your site are: SIGN UP.
These two little words are the building blocks of your empire. They are the link to developing a relationship with the visitors to your site.

With attention spans dwindling and competition increasing, the main goal of your website is to get email addresses that convert into sales. During an initial visit, your visitor may not have the time to spend browsing your site for information to entice him to make the decision to purchase your book or product. This is where those two little words come in; it takes less than a minute to type in a name and email address. And, if you have a FREE GIFT offer for signing up, you’ve made the sign up decision even easier.

While it’s important to offer that Free gift, which is considered an ethical bribe, if it’s of no value to the visitor, he probably won’t bother signing up. So, how do you decide if your gift is valuable enough to grab that email address?

The answer to this question is easy: you know who your target buyers are. Think about it . . . what do they want? What would you want? If your site and product is about writing, guess what…your visitors would probably appreciate an e-book on that topic, maybe a how to write guide. Or, if you’re into marketing…offer an e-book of marketing tips and guidance. If your site is about cooking, offer recipes, or an instructional cooking e-book. The idea is to establish yourself as an expert…as someone your reader wants to learn from. They need to want what you’re offering, whether it’s for instructional value, information, entertainment, or other

So, that’s pretty easy, right?

But, a word of caution here: make sure your new subscriber is able to get his free gift. There are a couple of sites I’ve signed up to because I wanted the free offers. When I received the link to the offer, either the link didn’t work, or I couldn’t download the gift. Either way, I unsubscribe to the sites. I have on occasion sent an email to the site owner and ended up receiving the gift, but most often I don’t, and I’m sure others don’t, have the time to do this.

Just a quick note here: you need an opt-in box in order to acquire those email addresses. Services such as Icontact, GetResponse, and ConstantContact offer this service.

The next two words that are essential to every website that is selling a book or other product are, BUY NOW, or some other call-to-action. The call-to-action words or button needs to be visible and near the top of your home page. It should also be throughout your site on the sidebar. It’s been said over and over that only 1% of first time visitors will buy a product. It’s usually after developing a relationship through your newsletter, information, and offers that your potential customer or client will click on the BUY NOW button!

These are just three of a number of items that your website will need, but they are three of the most important.

Karen Cioffi is an award-winning children’s author and children’s ghostwriter as well as the founder and editor-in-chief of Writers on the Move. She is also an author/writer online platform instructor with WOW! Women on Writing.
You can check out Karen’s e-classes through WOW! at:
http://www.articlewritingdoctor.com/content-marketing-tools/

And, she'd love to connect with you at:
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