An Introduction to Doing Business Online

doing business online

An introduction to doing business online.

Many of my clients do business offline. And by offline, I mean they do all their business in the three-dimensional world that exists beyond computers and the Internet.

Some of them are new business owners who are just starting out and want to make sure they establish an effective online presence. Others have been in business for years and are finally ready to harness the Internet to expand their customer reach and product or service offerings. Many want nothing more than to update their website with current information, a fresh design, and compelling copy. A few would prefer to keep it entirely offline, but they know better.Read More

What is Copywriting?

what is copywriting

What is copywriting?

Text is everywhere. It’s in books and magazines, on packages and labels, in your mailbox, and on the web. And somebody has to write all that text.

In the marketing industry, the word copy refers to written content that is designed to compel people to take some kind of action: order a product, buy a service, or become a member. You’ll find this copy in brochures, e-mail marketing campaigns, websites and blogs, press releases, even social media.

So, why should copywriting matter to small business owners? Read More

The Benefits of Business Blogging

benefits of business blogging

The benefits of business blogging.

When blogs first emerged on the Internet, most of them were personal. Bloggers shared their innermost thoughts and personal experiences; many of the blogs were anonymous. Over time, as the Internet grew in popularity, professionals started blogging, and eventually businesses jumped on the blog bandwagon, harnessing the power of technology to get their products and services in front of more people than ever before.

Business blogging has now become a standard practice, and for good reason.

Read More

Service Spotlight: Website Management

website management

Our website management services are the spotlight.

Regular, ongoing maintenance is essential to the health and success of any business website.

Web software needs to be updated to ensure functionality and to prevent security breaches. Regular backups are essential to prevent total loss of your website in case something goes wrong. And in order to ensure that a website is contributing to the success of the business it represents, regular performance reporting is critical.

Beyond that, a successful website is regularly updated with new content, and ongoing marketing strategies are employed to draw traffic to your website, bringing new customers to your business and retaining the customers you already have.

Our Website Management Services

Here at Scribizzy, we specialize in building and managing WordPress websites. Here are some benefits of hiring us to manage your website:Read More

Build or Buy: The Ethics of Mailing Lists

mailing list ethics

Should you spam your customers?

Did you know you can purchase a mailing list? You can buy postal mailing lists or lists of e-mail addresses. You can even buy targeted lists and go after specific demographics. And then you can send your marketing messages to anyone on the lists you have purchased.

If you’ve ever wondered why you receive e-mails from companies you’ve never heard of — for products and services you have no interest in — now you know how it happened. Someone got your address, put it on a list, and sold it off. These types of e-mails are called spam or junk mail. The term spam refers to unsolicited and unwanted e-mails, usually sent in bulk; junk mail is used for both physical and electronic messages that are unsolicited and unwanted.

If you’re lucky you get only a few pieces of spam mail per week. If you’re not so lucky, you might find yourself spending a lot time deleting spam messages.

As a small business owner or independent professional, you get to decide what kind of business you want to run. Do you want to annoy hundreds, thousands, possibly millions of people in order to catch a few fish in your net and likely damage your credibility in the process? Or do you want to establish your business as trustworthy and ethical?Read More

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