Web Content Development Step Three: Build

The third step in web content development is the build.

Creating web content for online display and distribution is essential in today’s marketplace.

More and more consumers are using the web to find and patronize businesses, and if your content is stale (or nonexistent), your business could be in big trouble.

Today’s post is part of a series on web content development. We’re looking at five basic steps in the process of developing web content for small business owners, independent professionals, and entrepreneurs.

We’ve already explored brainstorming and planning your web content. Today, we’re digging into the building phase. If you’ve done your due diligence and completed the brainstorming and (especially) the planning phases of your web content development, the building phase will be smooth and easy, because you already know what needs to be done.Read More

Service Spotlight: Coaching

coaching

Service Spotlight: Coaching.

When you want to learn a new skill, nothing beats working one-one-one with a coach. A coach works directly with you, tailoring the lessons to your goals and skill level and giving you their full attention. You learn more, you learn faster, and you have access to a pro who can answer your questions and guide you through the learning process.

Here at Scribizzy, we offer a range of coaching services for small business owners and independent professionals.

Our Coaching Services

It’s not unusual for our clients to want to make their own website updates, write their own blog posts, or post to their own social media accounts. But many of our clients haven’t acquired the expertise necessary to manage these tasks effectively; they’ve been busy becoming experts at running their businesses!

So we’ve worked with our clients to pass on the skills they need to accomplish their goals. Over time, we’ve developed a range of coaching programs that help entrepreneurs learn the tools, techniques, and practices that will boost their websites and their businesses.

Here are a few of the coaching services we provide to our clients:

  • Website Coaching: From basic website maintenance (keeping a site healthy, secure, and up-to-date) to adjusting design elements, we can teach you how to oversee your own website.
  • WordPress Coaching: WordPress is a content management system, and we can show you how to use it to add, change, and remove the content on your website.
  • Blog Coach: Business blogging is an excellent way to market your business’s website, and working with an accomplished, expert blogger puts you on the fast track to success.
  • Writing Coach: Adept writing has become a critical skill for anyone in business, and we can help you gain top-notch writing skills for all types of writing, ranging from composing professional e-emails to writing effective blog posts.
  • Social Media Coaching: Social media has swept the globe as one of the most important communication tools. We’ll show you how to develop a plan for using social media to promote your business and then we’ll show you how to execute that plan.

If We Can Do It, We’ll Show You How

Our coaching services aren’t limited to the skills listed above.  We’ve taught small business owners and independent professionals how to optimize images, how to conduct SEO research, and how to develop long-term online marketing plans.

Contact us to learn more about how we can help you acquire the skills you need to succeed online.

Website Basics: Terminology for a Website’s Layout

Learn the basic terminology for a website’s layout.

A website has many parts, and it’s useful for website owners to learn the terminology for these parts in order to communicate clearly with service providers, such as web designers, online marketing professionals, or website administrators.

Consider the following scenario: A consultant is getting a new website designed and sends an e-mail to the web designer, requesting that an “icon on the home page” be modified. The designer sends the revision, but the wrong image has been changed. The consultant wanted the logo changed, not an icon.

An astute web designer might have asked for some clarity about which image to modify, but these back-and-forth conversations and various mistakes due to miscommunications can be eliminated, saving small business owners time and money.

This article provides terminology to help small business owners and independent professionals learn the correct language pertaining to a website’s structure in order to improve communications with the website professionals they work with and save time and money by eliminating miscommunications.Read More

How to Grow Your Mailing List

grow your mailing list

Grow your small-business mailing list!

A mailing list is one of the most effecting marketing tools that a small business or independent professional can develop. You can use your mailing list to build relationships with new customers or strengthen existing customer loyalty by sharing exclusive offers, inside scoops, and special discounts.

But a mailing list is useless if it’s not well populated, and getting people to sign up isn’t always easy, especially when you’re starting out.

Here are some tips that will help you grow your small business’s mailing list:

  1. Make sure it’s easy for people to join your mailing list. Place subscription forms in convenient locations throughout your website: on the home page and in your site-wide sidebars. Popups are known to be extremely effective, but keep them subtle and don’t force a popup to appear every time a visitor lands on your website or navigates to a different page on your site. Be sure to publish a sign-up page that you can direct potential subscribers to.
  2. Test your forms to make sure they work and to ensure the sign-up process is clear and easy. Subscription forms are useless if they’re not functional, and they won’t generate the desired results if they are difficult to use or if the process is confusing.
  3. Place gentle reminders that prompt people to sign up in your communications; your e-mail signatures, social media, and the bottom of your blog posts are all good spots to remind people to subscribe. But don’t overdo it. Subtle and occasional reminders work, but annoying people by bombarding them with sign-up links, forms, and popups could push them away.
  4. Be upfront about how you use your mailing list. Let people know what they’re signing up for, how often they’ll receive e-mails, and what the contents will include. Then stick with the promises you’ve made.
  5. Provide incentives. Some people will sign up simply because they like your business offerings or find your work interesting. Others will need a reason to sign up. Exclusive offers, such as discounts that will only be made available to subscribers, are good incentives. You can also offer a freebie of some kind in exchange for a sign-up. This tends to work best if there’s no cost to you for providing the freebie (digital products are ideal), because subscribers can always unsubscribe after they get their freebie.

Many businesses set up their mailing list and then forget to put any effort into growing it. If your website gets popular, you may attract subscribers organically, but if you’re struggling to grow your list, consider using the practices above to attract more subscribers to your mailing list.

Scribizzy can help you set up your mailing list, grow your list, and develop content for your subscribers that will boost your business. To learn more about how we can help your business leverage mailing lists, contact us.

9 Things to Avoid in Your Small Business Website Design

Small business website design tips.

When you’re shopping around for a small business website design, do you know what to look for and what to avoid? Do you know which design elements will make your site more appealing and which elements will turn visitors away?

If you’ve spent much time surfing the web, you’ve probably noticed that some websites’ design elements are distracting, annoying, or just plain ugly. We’ve all bumped into a few websites that make us want to scream. Luckily, escape is just a click away.

But if you’re a small business owner, you definitely don’t want visitors clicking away from your website, especially if they’re seeking escape because the design is unappealing or irritating.Read More

How to Build a Blog with Purpose

Are you blogging with purpose?

Does your website have a clearly defined purpose? And if so, does your blog support that purpose unequivocally?

Most websites exist to serve as online headquarters and marketing outposts for the businesses they represent. Everything about a website, from its design to its blog, should be structured to fulfill the business’s primary objective, which is usually to generate profit.

A blog is one component of a website, yet it is an area that often drifts from a website’s core purpose. I’ve seen business bloggers posting personal stories and photos, engaging in political or religious diatribes, and sharing other content that simply has nothing to do with their main objectives.

There are exceptions to every rule, so certainly there are cases where publishing seemingly unrelated content makes sense. Public figures, such as artists and entertainers, often share personal stories. Some businesses make a conscious decision to support or oppose political positions. But these actions are almost always carefully designed to build their brands.

The vast majority of websites are better served by maintaining blogs that are focused on the goals of the website and business.Read More

Service Spotlight: Online Marketing

online marketing

Scribizzy’s service spotlight: online marketing.

Once you build your website, you need to figure out how to get people to visit it. You can put your website address on business cards, in your company’s signage, and on your letterhead. But one of the best ways to draw traffic to your site is through online marketing.

Scribizzy helps small business owners and independent professionals with every aspect of online marketing. We can assess your business model and make recommendations for which marketing strategies are right for you. We can plan your marketing campaigns, develop marketing materials, and execute your marketing efforts, or we can oversee this work on your behalf, working with third-party providers.

The Internet offers a wide range of opportunities for online marketing. Some marketing ventures are free — they cost nothing more than time. Others require a budget of some kind. In some cases you might find a free marketing opportunity but you’ll need to pay an expert to plan, develop, and execute the campaign for you. Read More

Before You Hire a Website Copywriter…

Hiring a website copywriter.

Hiring a website copywriter.Hiring a website copywriter.Small business owners understand that in today’s market, a website is essential. Your business website is your online headquarters, a place where you can promote your wares, connect with customers, and provide information and special offers that enhance your brand.

Most small business owners also understand that in consumers’ minds, the text on a website speaks to its quality and professionalism. Content that is peppered with typos or bad grammar looks sloppy. Language that is convoluted and fraught with industry jargon is confusing.

Bad copy drives customers away. That’s why hiring a professional website copywriter is essential in the modern business world. But what actions should you take before you hire a copywriter? How can you prepare to ensure that you get excellent service while fostering a mutually beneficial relationship with your copywriter?Read More

The Purpose of Online Marketing Strategies

What’s the purpose of your online marketing strategies?

What’s the difference between traditional and online marketing strategies?

Simple. Online marketing strategies are executed entirely on the web.

Of course, that’s assuming it’s happening at all.

Plenty of business owners and website managers are wandering around, handing out blank business cards. They are failing miserably at marketing their products and services online, even if they’ve established some kind of online presence.Read More

How to Assess Your Website’s Performance: The Basics

Assess your website performance.

There was a time when a website’s performance was summed up by how many hits it had received in a given time period (a day, a week, or a month). It’s still an important statistic but long gone are the days when the number of hits is the only piece of data we consider in assessing a website’s performance.

The number of visits is just one of the basic stats we examine for any website, but there other stats we can examine to better understand how our websites are performing. And once we understand how sites are performing, we can make improvements so they perform better. As a result, our businesses will grow.Read More