51 Million Use Smart Phones; Will Your Ezine Be Ready?

By | Ezines | One Comment

iPhone5

I get a lot of Ezines in my Inbox and I'm currently working to reduce the list. Since I got my Blackberry, I've appreciated the fact that I can read on the go without anyone asking "What are you reading?". This appreciation has crossed over into my Ezine reading.

The beauty of smart phones… – you can have it with you literally wherever you go.

During a regular day, if I'm at my desk, I don't read Ezines or watch videos unless I absolutely have to. I don't find them as enjoyable while sitting upright at my desk. However, on the couch, in my car, under the hair dryer or any other non-conventional place adds an element of excitement to my Inbox. I read all of my Ezines on the go. Many times I don't even see the pictures until I'm cleaning out my emails from my desk and happen to click on it.

Most recently I've noticed a few technical glitches or oversights that could easily be corrected in Ezines. This is also helpful if you communicate via Twitter, Facebook, or anywhere else online.

  1. Using content within a graphic.

    This means instead of actually typing a message your image has the text content. Unfortunately I don't see images via email on my phone. Only if I click to view in my browser do I see the images. More times than not, I choose not to check out the online version. It's too time consuming when I can just read from my Inbox. Ezines that use content within their graphics for the majority of their information end up in file 'D' (DELETE) or I just unsubscribe.

    However if you utilize the alternative text which displays whenever your image cannot, your reader can at least read what they otherwise would see in the image. If the text says "Gala Apples" then your reader knows exactly what they would be seeing had the image displayed.

  2. Another common thing is not being able to see videos. Flash player is not available on all smart phones, namely iPhone and Blackberry. It's also not available on the iPad.*

    If you have a lot of flash on your site or include a link to a video in flash, your mobile viewer cannot access it. The solution:

    • Don't use flash on your website
    • Use YouTube or something similar for your videos
    • Test your website or Ezine on a smart phone
      Note: Formatting may be slightly off; however, you're checking for content readability and whether or not your video can be viewed.

Sep 19, 2010 9:39:46 AM
www.twitter.com/lynnterry: Stats: there are 5 billion+ cell phone users vs only 1.8 billion internet users. Of those, 51 million use smart phones.

Will your Ezine be ready for them?

*Resource
www.infoworld.com
www.mercurynews.com

Pre-Need, Insurance and Your Website

By | Web Tips | 2 Comments

On August 28, 2010 my father passed away. He was only 62 years old and expecting to come home after 3 days of recovery following surgery. My dad lived his life to the fullest and there isn't anything I know of that he wanted to do and didn't have an opportunity. I get my work ethic, drive, and entrepreneurial spirit from him. He was definitely a risk taker. I'm missing him dearly, however I can hear him saying 'I'm okay'.

Website Pre-Need

My dad left us with one great and unbelievable gift: he'd planned his entire funeral. Sounds a bit strange I know, however my dad owned a funeral home for over 25 years. He selected the songs he wanted as well as two poems; he had everything neatly typed up including the program itself. He also selected two photographs and had written his casket number down. He had a separate insurance policy specific for his funeral, even listing the funeral home as beneficiary. We knew for sure how to plan his homegoing celebration exactly as he would have wanted.

By now you're probably wondering what this all has to do with you and your website. EVERYTHING!

I've come to realize that a pre-need is just that, it's planning before you need it. In the corporate world it was a contingency plan usually implemented during inclement weather. As an online business owner having a website pre-need is essential for your business.

Here are several questions to ask yourself:

  1. Do I have a list of specifics for each client project along with contact information? How would clients be notified in case of an emergency?
  2. If my email server went down, how would I communicate with my team, clients, or email marketing list?
  3. If my website were to shutdown today what is my backup plan?
  4. How will my website run when I'm on vacation? What if I fell ill or if there were a family emergency?
  5. How can I better prepare my assistant for when I'm unavailable? What training and material needs to be in place so my team can be successful ambassadors in my absence?

This is just the tip of the iceberg for planning a website pre-need. It can be complicated or very simple based on your business structure, whatever the case we all must have one before we need it most.

Would you like more information on website pre-needs or do you have tips you'd like to share? Submit your comments below.

PS- I was using my backup laptop as a test before I head to Indy in 2 weeks. I need to rush it to the emergency room (Staples). I'm still waiting for it to respond so I finished up the article on my blackberry. Backup to the backup what can I say? I was able to wrap up the post after rebooting. LOL!

Make the Move to WordPress

By | WordPress.org | 2 Comments

Moving to WordPressMany of you are taking heed and switching to WordPress and some of you are still holding on to the way you've always done things. There's nothing wrong with either except at some point things will need to change.

There are some things to consider when you decide to upgrade your website from its current static platform to WordPress.

There never is a right time to do this. Putting it off waiting for the right moment just won't happen. It's like starting a weight loss regimen– tomorrow never comes and there will always be something keeping you from making the move.

I like to think of transitioning to WordPress like moving into a new house:

Local Move – adding WordPress to your current host server.

Relocation – moving to a new host server and adding WordPress.

Backup your website. Some host servers provide this as an option from their cPanel and some do not. Consult with your host server or your web guy or girl for assistance with this.

Move the old website files to the new host server and verify the site is functioning as expected. This way while you're working on the new WordPress site the old one is still doing what it does for you.

Now on to the FUN stuff!

When creating the directory for WordPress choose a name that you don't mind visitors seeing like /blog or /wp. Please do not use /wordpress as your directory name as this causes problems later when referencing pages within your new WordPress site.

Now you're all set and can install WordPress.

This is huge and may be the reason you've put off this move.

Choose a design for your website.

I know this is a sticky part and could hold up your new site for months. Don't let this happen. The best design I've found is Thesis and not because they have so many designs to choose from. In fact there's only one option. So if you have trouble making decisions it's perfect for you. The other reason you want to use Thesis is because it's SEO ready meaning your website can easily be found, read, and indexed by search engines.

Once Thesis is installed you’re all set and can start moving those old posts and creating pages.

If you have not been using WordPress you will not be able to pick up and move your blog posts in one big sweep and place them at the new location. Instead you'll have to copy and paste each post and upload each image or continue using your URL for the image if it's stored on your server. Yes, this a tedious task, however if you don't do it now it will get worse as you'll have even more blog posts to move.

Unfortunately you cannot take your comments with you.

If you don't want to copy and paste all of your posts, you can write a goodbye post in your existing site and let everyone know the address of your new blog home. Choose this option especially if you are using a freebie blogging system since redirecting is may not be an option, is too clunky for your visitors, or charges you to redirect to your domain.

In this case I'd still get all of my posts since you never know if the sponsoring site will pull the rug from under you if they deem you're spamming or breaking some of their rules.

Have your graphics designer create a header for your new site and then you can place the header where you'd like. If you don't have a designer and are clues as to where you'd put the header email us at support (at) virtualhiredhand.com we can help with those issues. Checkout our portfolio of headers here.

Redirect your old domain to the new site. When all is done, verified, and tested redirect traffic from the old domain to the new one. This way you don't have to worry about missing any visitors who didn't know you moved.

If you're not one to pack your own stuff, rent a U-Haul, load and unload the U-Haul, seek a web professional who can handle it for you.

Learning from Top Models: Takeaway #5 – Choose a schedule that works for you

By | Teleclasses | No Comments

Just wanted to wrap up the top model series and let you know one of my favorite takeaways had nothing to do with the event, but the days in which they chose to have the event. It was scheduled from a Thursday to a Wednesday.

The beauty of being in charge of my business and working from home is that my days can be shaped how I want them to be. Yes there are deadlines, blog posts to write, discussions to participate in and the list goes on. Yet because I know when I'm most creative, most motivated I'm able to plan my days accordingly. Work doesn't have to begin on Mondays at 9 or end on Fridays at 5 and this teleseminar schedule reminded me of that.

Takeaway #5: Choose a schedule that works for you

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This series was written to help spark ideas in how you can improve your online event planning. And if you’ve never done an online event now is the best time to do so. Use the takeaways to improve how you do your online events.


Here's a Recap of the Previous Takeaways:

Takeaway #1: Schedule two calls to accommodate our friends on the other side of the world.

Make it known the call will be replayed a second time for USA participants. In fact you may find USA participants on that first early call as well, just like I was on day one of the teleconference. (Yeah I know what I said).

Read more »

Takeaway #2: Give it away and offer the replay for a small fee and then give some more away! Also join with others!

Read more »

Takeaway #3: Encourage participants to tweet your event and provide a keyword using the hash or # sign in front.

This will make it easy to identify everyone when searching from blastfollow.com. As a result more people learn about your event and see it over and over making others want to get registered. And those who've tweeted now have the opportunity to engage with others with the same interest and gain followers themselves.

Read more »

Takeaway #4: Remain plugged in throughout the call whether it's live or pre-recorded, especially for a virtual conference.

By getting minute by minute tweets I felt as though we were all in the same room. I'm not sure you can tell, but this got me really excited. Not only did I walk away with valuable information and encouragement, but I got a whole blog series out of the deal. You just never know where your blessings will come from or what they'll look like. You just have to be ready for when they do!

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