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WordPress Plugins

I’ve been working on a WordPress website for a local prison aftercare program that I volunteer with. As I was adding plugins, I thought many of you might also have a WordPress site and would be interested in seeing which plugins I use, so here is my list. There are many more, like ecommerce ones, that I don’t use, so you won’t find them listed here.

Wordpress

My recommendation when searching for new plugins is to read reviews, check ratings, and most of all, make sure that the plugin is compatible with your version of WordPress. Also, I learned the hard way that when updating your plugins, do one at a time and then check to make sure your site still looks fine. I didn’t do that, updated all my plugins at once, and could no longer see my website online. One of the plugins wasn’t compatible anymore and since I’d updated all of them at the same time, I had no idea which plugin was the culprit. It took hours of back and forth with my web host before I could get my site back online. If you update the plugins individually and your site no longer works, go to your File Manager files in the website CPanel, find the listing of WordPress plugins and delete the one that you tried to update before the site went down. That should rectify the problem.

Here is the list of WordPress plugins I use: Continue reading “WordPress Plugins”

Four Ways To Share Your Expertise

Host and Record a Teleseminar

Did you know how easy it can be to record your own teleseminar or teleconference? Using a service such as Free Conference Calling, you can do just that.

First, go to freeconferencecalling.com and set up an account. The service is free, but you and each of the people involved in your call pay long distance charges. You’ll be given a phone number and a special bridge number that you can use over and over again, as often as you like. Up to 1,000 people can be in on the call, which can last up to six hours. Yes, you read that right, although I can’t imagine having that many people on my call.

As the moderator, you’ll be given a pin number which you need to use to activate the call. Pressing a number allows you to see how many callers are on the line. You can disable the tone that announces new callers, mute and unmute, and of course, record. All with the push of a telephone key or two.

Once the call is finished, simply hang up and the recording stops. Then later in the day, login to your account at Free Conference Calling and the mp3 of your call will be there waiting for you. Calls are posted on your recordings page for 30 days (although mine have been longer than that) and can be downloaded for use on your website or anywhere else you choose to keep it, including submission to iTunes.

I often use the service to record myself doing a tutorial which I can then put on my website or burn to a CD. Quick and easy. I’ve even recorded my mother’s history to be kept as a forever memory for the family. For business or personal use, go ahead and see how easy it can be.

Coaching Idea Using MP3

There is a coach in England who has found a way to work with clients from all over the world and in many different time zones. She creates tailored podcast tutorials for her clients to download as MP3’s and listen to whenever they want to. Are there any other ways you could utilize this idea for your business?

Youtube For Business

A number of business owners have realized the power of video. For instance, an enterprising artist was having trouble selling her paintings. So she started taking videos showing her creating it and discussing how she got her ideas. Then every week, on the same day and time, she posts the video on Youtube with a link under it to the eBay sales page where she is selling the painting. Every week she gets more viewers and her paintings sell for more. How’s that for thinking out of the box! How could you use Youtube to promote your business?

Chamber of Commerce

I finally bit the bullet and joined my local Chamber of Commerce. It’s quite an active one, with a large membership, so I’m not sure why I waited so long. Their facilities here are quite nice and the training room is available for members to rent at a more than reasonable price. I went to my first ‘after five’ event soon after becoming a member, and was pleasantly surprised. Everyone was very friendly and easy to talk to. And as a result, I was recommended to a couple of people that I would otherwise never have met. Becoming a member of my Chamber of Commerce was already beneficial after the first week. I’m looking forward to a great year ahead. Have you had any experience with the Chamber in your city?

There you go, four tips for building more exposure for you and your business. Why not choose one and implement it today?

Carol

Capture Customer Information

article writingI’ve mentioned how important it is to have an opt-in form on your website. That way, when a visitor leaves your site, you still have a way to keep in touch with them. No matter how good your visitors’ intentions, they will often forget you.

I was reminded of that fact the other day when my husband and I went shopping at our local lighting store. Continue reading “Capture Customer Information”

NAMS December Deals

NAMS David Perdew

NAMS – Novice to Advanced Marketing Systems – as many of you know, its dear to my heart. It’s the brainchild of David Perdew, shown above talking to affiliate marketer, Lynn Terry. This photo was taken at one of his rare appearances at a Canadian marketing event. Normally I have gone to Atlanta twice a year for the past many years to learn from this man and his peers, including one time I was there as an instructor.

But times change and in 2015, David decided that NAMS as an in-person event would be no more. Many of us looked forward to that twice yearly event, not only to stay up-to-date with online marketing trends, but also to catch up with old friends and form stronger business alliances. NAMS does have a membership and an online Facebook group called the Insiders, both of which I continue to be a part of. It could never replace the face-to-face times together, but is still a necessary part of our business growth.

Every December, David does something he calls the “NAMS Daily Deals” and this year will be no different. To kick off the event, David gave away the new NAMS course, “Conversion Secrets”. Now, for the rest of December, there will be a different NAMS given every day by going to the following link: http://carolpicks.me/NAMSDecemberDeals

Although I miss the NAMS live events, change is a part of life. In fact, I’ll be making some changes of my own in the near future and I’ll keep you informed about that. In the meantime, I encourage you to click the link and get your great NAMS deals while there is still time.

To Your Online Success,
Carol

P.S. That link again for your NAMS Daily Deal is
http://carolpicks.me/NAMSDecemberDeals
but only for December.

Thanksgiving Thoughts

Thanksgiving turkeyI’m sitting here at my desk feeling very thankful today. Partly because Canadian Thanksgiving is a few days away and that gives me pause to consider all the things I have to be thankful for. In fact, a friend of mine who is struggling to get through chemotherapy told me how thankful she is for all the little things like flowers, the beautiful colours of the trees this time of year, fresh air, and even the gift of waking up every day and having life.

I have friends in Florida who are in the wake of the hurricane about to hit there. They’ve been posting on Facebook that the hotels are all booked and the roads are crowded with cars – everyone trying to leave. Continue reading “Thanksgiving Thoughts”

21 Tips For Getting Traffic To Your Blog

Getting Traffic To Your Blog

  • Just because you have an online presence doesn’t mean that people will easily find you. As marketers, we should always be looking for new ways to promote ourselves and our businesses, both online and off. Besides having your URL on your business card and any other offline advertising, what else can you do? Why not try some of these ways of driving traffic to your website or blog?road traffic
    Use a proper domain name, especially one ending with .com since that’s what most people automatically use. Your domain can end in .ca if you are targeting Canadians (or any country specific extension), but also purchase the .com and point it to the .ca site. Same if you have a Blogger blog – point your own domain name to the Blogger site. It sounds much nicer than one ending in blogspot.com. Use an easy to remember domain name with great keywords on your topic.
  • Write at least five long article posts, called pillar articles. These usually give information, are longer than 500 words, and have long term appeal, which is referred to as evergreen content.
  • For the first month or two, try to write one new blog post per day so that you can get listed in the search engines. After that, try for at least once aweek. If you have no time to write, use a related video from YouTube or an article from EzineArticles.com. Try to have mainly original content though.
  • Post useful content that other sites will want to link to.
  • Write interesting comments on other blogs with similar topics to get links back to your site.
  • Mention other sites in your posts with links to their home page. Not just a link, but a thoughtful post that relates to them in some way. Again, topicsrelevant to your readers.
  • Encourage comments on your own blog. Ask your readers for their opinion about what you’ve written or ask a question.
  • Submit your most recent pillar article to a blog network. These are blog communities centered on a number of different topics. Find the ones suitable for your blog and submit your best work. This can result in hundreds of new readers each time you do.
  • Learn a little about Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Search Engines have a little program they send out to websites to “crawl” or “spider” each site, picking up information to index in their Search Results. You optimize your website pages with keywords that, through your research, you feel will bring in traffic.Next, you put the keywords throughout your text on the page without making your content difficult for a person to read. Your main goal, after all, is still good, solid content for your readers to enjoy. Your chosen keywords or keyword phrases should be mentioned in the title of your page, and in the first paragraph, then sprinkledthroughout the rest of the page. The search engines will pick out your keywords using their robots, bring them back to their computers, index you and give you a rank based on a number of factors.
  • Try to be interesting to readers at the same time, yet put your keywords first. For example, instead of ‘The Best Places To Go For Family Vacations’ say ‘Family Vacations – The Best Places To Go’. The keywords at the beginning are more important that those following and since the main keywords for this post were ‘Family Vacations’ they needed to be first.
  • Eliminate any duplicate content that you may have on your website. This means that if you have two products that are exactly the same but differ in color or some other small characteristic, put them on the same page. Having the same content appear multiple times on a search engine causes you to lose page rank and natural traffic. That goes for blog posts too – don’t post the same content in two different places on your website or you may be penalized for duplicate content.
  • Submit articles to EzineArticles.com, or as a Facebook or LinkedIn post. Articles should be 400-500 words. At the end of the article, have a resource box that mentions what they might find at your site and then a link back to it. Try to leave your readers wanting to know more about what you just wrote and that they can find additional information on the topic by following your link. You can also have an Articles page on your website and encourage people to share your content as long as they leave your contact information intact.
  • Forum marketing – become an active, helpful member of a forum where your potential customers congregate. Although you can’t advertise there, you can include a link to your site in your signature.
  • Yahoo Answers (answers.yahoo.com) – answer questions in your field with a link back to your site.
  • Viral marketing – release helpful reports, with a link back to your site, that others are allowed to download and pass around.
  • Social networking – become active on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.
  • Write online press releases of 250-300 words as often as you like to free or paid services.
  • Use social bookmarking sites to share your content.
  • Have you ever thought about recording your own radio show? People are interested in your expertise and experience and they want to hear about it.
    Thanks to the Internet, broadcasting a radio show is no more difficult than dialing a phone number and talking to your guests, either live or as a recorded segment.Services such as Blog Talk Radio allow you to get your message out quickly and easily. Whether it’s a one time episode or a regular show, you’ll enjoy interacting with your market and promoting yourself and your company. Added bonuses – your show can easily be placed on your website and added to Itunes so your fans can listen at their leisure, and you’ll get new traffic to your site as listeners find yourshow. Plus you can create multiple products from your audio.
  • Post on high ranking sites like Youtube, Craigslist, Kijiji, iTunes, Wikipedia and eBay with links back to your site. Note: eBay only allows links on theAbout Me page.
  • Free Traffic From Television – In 2008, I appeared as part of a three woman tech panel on our local Rogers television station. I was there to answer questions about blogging and my blog address was displayed every time the camera was on me. It resulted in extra traffic to my site for a number of days after the show. The local tv station in your area is usually on the lookout for interesting guests and features, so why not contact them and offer to share your expertise with their viewers? The fact that you are a member of the community will also work in your favour. Although you won’t make any money by appearing on one of their shows, the publicity that results will bring people to your website. If your business is new, you will also become known as a resident expert.

I hope these tips are useful to you. Please let me know which ones are your favourites and if I can help you to get more traffic to your blog, please let me know.

To your online success,
Carol

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Marketing Tips From NAMS

NAMS presentationAs you know from my last post, I was an instructor at NAMS (Novice To Advanced Marketing Systems) in Atlanta this past August. It was the fulfillment of a dream and proves you’re never too old. (That’s me in the photo)

I also took away some great marketing tips from the other sessions, including the following:

  • keep a journal with your best ideas and give it as a bonus to people who purchase your course
  • write down three people who really inspire you and why. We are a mirror of what we appreciate in others
  • the solution to Too Busy is to say ‘yes’ to those things you are committed to and are passionate about, ask for help, and don’t say ‘yes’ to everything
  • what really works now as far as online marketing is to do product review webinars (and I can help with those – use my contact form and let’s get started)
  • before a webinar, give people a 5 minute video or a PDF in return for their email. Then even if they decide against the webinar, you’ve given them something of value and can continue to connect with them
  • make a list of all the things you can monetize, such as email or a page on your website, and do one of those tasks each day
  • great keywords to use on a sales page include: how to, learn, make, start, remove, stop, get rid of
  • check Yahoo Answers or specialty forums to see the kinds of questions your market is asking
  • one of the best survey subject lines is “I need your help”
  • podcasts allow you to have a conversation with people no matter where they are and can be circulated on iTunes
  • Pinterest and Youtube send a lot of traffic to local businesses
  • COI stands for cost of inaction – how much money are you losing monthly because of your inaction?
  • study what Amazon does for their sales
  • old school direct mail is still very important
  • be the client you would like to have. For example, if you want clients who value training and are willing to pay for it, be that kind of person yourself.

I had all kinds of other points in my notes, but too many to share here. The best action is to purchase your own copy of all the videos from NAMS. Yes, it’s been held twelve times, and I’ve travelled to Atlanta for all but the first one. That’s how much I value the instructors and the training.

To your Online Success,
Carol

P.S. I’d love to hear your thoughts about my session at NAMS. Click here to purchase your copy of the training videos. Invest in yourself and your growth as an entrepreneur.

Customer Service and Retention

Store Door opensI received the following email from Gary Ford (published with his permission) and was really impressed with some of these stats. I know as a consumer I certainly agree with a lot of them, especially #6 about not complaining but never going back. These points make it very clear where your priorities as a business should be.

[Guest Post]
1. 65% of customers leave because they feel unappreciated and only 9% leave because of price -Gary Ford “Life is Management”.

2. A customer is 4 times more likely to defect to a competitor if the problem is service-related than price- or product-related – Bain & Company.

3. The probability of selling to an existing customer is 60 – 70%. The probability of selling to a new prospect is 5-20% – Marketing Metrics.

4. For every customer complaint there are 26 other unhappy customers who have remained silent -Lee Resource.

5. A 2% increase in customer retention has the same effect as decreasing costs by 10% – Leading on the Edge of Chaos, Emmet Murphy & Mark Murphy.

6. 96% of unhappy customers don’t complain, however 91% of those will simply leave and never come back – 1Financial Training services.

7. A dissatisfied customer will tell between 9-15 people about their experience. Around 13% of dissatisfied customers tell more than 20 people. – White House Office of Consumer Affairs.

8. Happy customers who get their issue resolved tell about 4-6 people about their experience. – White House Office of Consumer Affair.

9. 70% of buying experiences are based on how the customer feels they are being treated – McKinsey.

10. 55% of customers would pay extra to guarantee a better service – Defaqto research.

11. Customers who rate you 5 on a scale from 1 to 5 are six times more likely to buy from you again, compared to ‘only’ giving you a score of 4.8. – TeleFaction data research.

12. It takes 12 positive experiences to make up for one unresolved negative experience – “Understanding Customers” by Ruby Newell-Legner.

13. A 5% reduction in the customer defection rate can increase profits by 5 – 95% – Bain & Company.

14. It costs 6-7 times more to acquire a new customer than retain an existing one – Bain & Company.

15. eCommerce spending for new customers is on average $24.50, compared to $52.50 for repeat customers – McKinsey.

Check out Gary Ford at www.lifeissales.ca for all the your training and motivational needs. I met him at an event and he is a very entertaining and informative speaker.

To your Online Success,
Carol

NAMS Training Tidbits

I’ve just returned from the NAMS marketing workshop in Atlanta that I attend twice a year. I admit the first two days back I was feeling a little brain dead, but I’m slowly getting back to normal and itching to implement some of the great ideas I found out about there.

For instance, in a book development workshop, the instructor – Kristen Eckstein – had one of the attendees (a life coach) stand and throw a beach ball back and forth to her. At the same time they discussed possible chapter ideas for a book. By the middle of the exercise, the coach started getting all kinds of ideas about the content she would include. Apparently, some form of play, like the ball toss, activates the creative right brain and is especially good if most of the time you are too analytical. Kristen suggested throwing a ball against a wall if you don’t have a partner and recording everything you say. I can’t wait to try it with some of the projects I’m working on.

I also attended workshops that covered everything from time management to video marketing. There were people from all kinds of different business backgrounds, beginner to advanced as far as Internet marketing skills. We started and ended each day with a motivational keynote and learned a lot of tricks of the trade. I’ll try to share some of my main takeaways in future posts.

If you’d like to know a bit more about what goes on at NAMS, why not attend one of their free live training sessions? Today’s session is about maximizing the use of your WordPress website. Every Wednesday a different expert speaks on a topic. It’s all education and these instructors give a lot of detailed information. I hope you’ll take advantage of a session, either by clicking on the Free Live Training banner at the top of the Home page, or by clicking the link near the beginning of this paragraph. And if you use that brain exercise with the beach ball, let me know if it helped you.

Bye for now,
Carol

P.S. You can also get to that link for the free sessions by clicking here.

Your Content – Are You Re-Purposing It?

book coverAs business owners, we spend a lot of time creating content – for presentations, websites, marketing pieces – any number of things. Why not re-purpose that content and let it work for you in many different ways? Here are my favourite ideas for keeping my content in front of people:

  • After creating an interesting article or blog post of over 250 words, post it on an article directory such as ezinearticles.com for extra exposure. Your bio and a link back to your site will be there and when people take your article to post on their site, a whole new market will be exposed to your expertise and you’ll get more traffic to your site.
  • Turn your written content into audio and upload it to your site. Using a service like freeconferencecalling.com you simply talk on the phone and your recording is available as an mp3 download for you to use. (This is one of my top ideas.)
  • Create a Youtube video similar to the text content and link it to the original. Using a service such as Animoto, you can easily turn photos and text into a video.
  • Take video or audio of your presentations and sell or use as marketing material. The first time I did that when teaching a workshop, I made sure I turned on my lavalier mic, but forgot to turn on the recorder until part-way through the presentation. But I was still able to use that sample in my promotions. In fact, I’ve included it on my audio page.
  • Try out Blog Talk Radio and then use the resulting audio on your own website as well as having it show up on BlogTalk. I did an interview about Facebook Groups using that method and have it available here as well.
  • Create an information product that showcases your expertise and have it available as a digital download (think Kindle), a CD or DVD, and even as a physical book. These methods are a little more technical, so I had help from my faithful virtual assistant, Melanie.

There you have it. Some of the ways I re-purpose my content. There are many more, so please share how you make your content work for you more than once.

To your success,
Carol

P.S. Melanie and I have assembled a team to help with your information product efforts. If you want to promote yourself and your business with a digital or physical book, or an audio or text (or photos) CD or DVD, we would be pleased to tell you about our new service. Just give me a call or send an email for more information.