Though Amazon.com is the world’s largest online retailer, it also provides opportunities for others (i.e. you) to get in on the action. Here are four simple ways you can get a piece of the Amazon pie. [Read more…]
What is blog branding? It’s very similar to product branding. It’s a way of ensuring that your readers remember the look and feel of your blog, as well as its name and purpose. Blog branding firmly entrenches your blog into the memory of the internet, thus establishing its presence. Here are 15 ways to brand your blog.
1. CLEARLY DEFINE YOUR BLOG’S PURPOSE
Clearly defining your blog’s purpose helps you stick to a topic, gives you ideas for posts and defines and narrows keyword scope for SEO. What a clear purpose also does is to set you apart as unique from other blogs in your niche area. Highlight your blog’s purpose on your About page and refer to it in your posts.
2. CREATE A MISSION STATEMENT
Create a mission statement that states what your blog represents. This lets your visitors know why they’re visiting your blog and how your blog is worth their time. Highlight your mission statement after your blog title, in emails, in your comment signature and so on. Your aim is to make people associate your mission statement with your blog and vice versa.
3. CHOOSE A UNIQUE COLOR COMBINATION
Think of any product line or company; what colors snap to mind? Or, think of a color combination; which organization or product snaps to mind? Transfer this concept to your blog. Use a unique color combination and ensure that this same combination is repeated in your posts, newsletters, personal emails, digital signature and so on. The color combo becomes synonymous with your blog.
4. CHOOSE AN ORIGINAL BLOG DESIGN
An original design can do great wonders for your blog’s branding. Find a design that distinguishes your blog from the thousands of other blogs out there. It’s a good idea to create your own design; you can customize your colors, add custom blog headers and footers and design new fonts.
5. PICK AN ORIGINAL NAME FOR YOUR BLOG
Pick an original name that reflects your blog’s content and its purpose. If possible, get a .com extension for your blog, as this is the most common one. If you are not able to do so, indicate the extension when you mention your blog name. Keep your blog’s name short, easy to remember, easy to spell and niche-relevant.
6. PUBLICIZE YOUR BLOG
Popularize your blog on sites such as Technorati and StumbleUpon, get backlinks, post comments on other blogs and send out email newsletters. Guest blogging is a great way to bring visitors in to your site. This not only raises awareness, but also earns you links. Guest blogging is also a great way to showcase those writing skills!
7. POST IDENTIFIABLE COMMENTS
When you post comments on other blogs, make sure you mention your name, followed by your blog’s name in the Name field. Be consistent about this. Soon your comments will be easily identified by your name and your blog’s name. You get more search engine credit this way.
8. STICK TO A CONSISTENT WRITING STYLE
The way you write is one of the main parameters that visitors use to determine the overall quality of your blog. A consistent writing style will help you strength your blog’s brand. Decide on a style and stick to it so that people know what to expect when they see a post from you. The writing style fits in with the blog’s branding just as much as other elements do.
9. DON’T CHANGE YOUR TAGLINE
A tagline is not mandatory but helps to stick your blog in people’s memories. Create a descriptive, short, catchy and easy to remember tagline. Start using it consistently with your posts. Don’t experiment with a bunch of taglines on your posts before you finalize on one; you’ll only lose out on branding mileage if you do so. Add the tagline to your website’s tag, so that the tagline is displayed prominently whenever your blog is displayed on search engine results.
10. DESIGN A GREAT BLOG LOGO
A great logo represents your blog visually, just as a country is represented by its flag. Your logo might require a certain amount of investment; even if you have to scrimp on other investments, make the logo your priority. Your logo will be the first thing that people see and the image they’ll recall later.
11. DESIGN A UNIQUE FAVICON
Design a favicon using your logo and the initials of your blog’s name. Your favicon appears on your user’s bookmark, which makes them recognize your blog site immediately.
12. LET YOUR BLOG’S DESIGN FLOW WITH ITS CONTENT
Match your blog’s content with its design and vice versa. It’s incongruous to blog on race cars on a background of flowers or landscape scenes. If you’re providing serious news, opt for a traditional design. If you are blogging about celebrities, use interesting celebrity collages on your borders.
13. POPULARIZE YOUR BLOG’S NAME ON SOCIAL MEDIA SITES
Create accounts for your blog on various social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and FriendFeed and so on. Getting your brand within social networks is like advertising in the front page of all dailies in the world. Even if you are a well known figure, create social networking accounts on your blog’s name.
14. SPLURGE A LITTLE ON ADVERTISING YOUR BLOG
A paid promotional effort, added to all the above efforts, can put your blog on the map more quickly and effectively. Evaluate your budget constraints and decide how much advertising you can afford. By using paid advertising, you can deliver tailored messages to specific audiences.
15. SPREAD THE WORD
Use your blog’s name and your logo in as many places as you possibly can. This has the same psychological impact as product advertising has. Advertisers barrage the public with a repeated image and message for months, to get people to instantly recognize the product. Input your logo, your mission statement, your blog’s name and URL into your email signatures, guest post bylines, online forums, Ad banners and so on.
|This has been a guest post by David. David works for conversion rate optimization Company and helps businesses in landing page optimization, conversion optimizations and affiliate marketing.
If you are interested in contributing a guest post, please contact us.
Top image by Acradenia
A Reminder from Google+
After weeks of diligent effort, I finally got my way through the invitation wall surrounding the news-making Google+ only to be reminded yet again that my Google contact list is out of control. I started using Gmail in 2005, when I received that invite during an extended period overseas. This also happened to be prior to much of my other globe-trotting adventures, so (as you can imagine) 6 years of real-life contact creation had resulted in quite an unwieldy list of friends. I realized the same situation when I first got my HTC EVO, which of course runs on Google’s Android OS.
The Problem: Duplicate Contacts
In addition to all the random contacts I met once and added an entry for, several of the people in my life with whom I do want to maintain contact have, themselves, been through several email addresses or phone numbers as well. To make a long story short, I had several entries that were duplicates and didn’t need to be. As a Gmail, Android, or Google+ user, perhaps you are in a similar situation. Fortunately, Google has made a very useful and easy tool to solve this problem.
How to Find and Merge Duplicate Google Contacts
Follow these quick steps to find and merge your duplicate Google contacts:
- Go to your Gmail account
- Find the “Contacts” option in the navigation menu
- Above the list of your contacts there will be a button in the horizontal menu that says “More Actions.” Click it.
- In the second section of the menu that drops down, there will be an option for “Find and Merge Duplicates…” Click it. An in-page window will pop up displaying what Google thinks are your duplicates.
- Scan the results, unselecting any contacts that you don’t want to merge.
- When you are happy with your selection, click the “Merge” button at the bottom of the pop-up.
- Enjoy your duplicate-free contact list.
Now that I have my duplicates merged, I’m one step closer to having a clean, accurate contact list. Now I just have to go back and clear out those folks I haven’t talked to in years. Anyway, thanks for reading this quick post about how to find and merge duplicate Google contacts. Happy Googling!
Site stats can be incredibly addictive for webmasters, and if you’ve been working on websites for any time at all, you are probably very familiar with Google Analytics. However, you may not be familiar with another useful tool: Clicky Analytics.
Like Google’s system, Clicky Analytics records data on your sites’ traffic, but one of the biggest advantages of Clicky is that the statistics are real time. With other analytics programs, you have to wait for the data to process before you can view it. With Clicky, you can view the traffic data as soon as it hits your websites.
This data is then displayed in very intuitive charts and graphs. By default, you will see the real time site stats for the current day, hour-by-hour, with the previous day’s stats displayed for quick comparison. Readily available on your Clicky dashboard (in addition to the basic information such as number of visitors, time spent on your site, etc.), you will also see widgets for inbound links to your site, popular search terms that brought visitors, your most popular content, and where your visitors are from geographically.
Clicky is also easily integrated into your workflow. Right on the Clicky website, you will find links for plugins for your data to be displayed directly in the administrative menus of WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, and other popular content management systems. Not at a computer? Quickly check your site stats remotely with mobile ClickyTouch App for iPhone and iPad or the ClickyDroid App for Android.
I’ve been using Clicky for a few weeks now, and I find it to be a great supplement to Google Analytics. But you don’t have to take my word for it. All new accounts get free Pro-level service for the first 21 days. After that, if you want to keep using Clicky for free, they will track the stats for your first 3,000 visits per day at no charge. A reasonably priced tier structure is always there for you if you want to upgrade later.
Ready to get started? Click either Clicky graphic on this post or follow this link to get started measuring your site stats with Clicky.
I like LifeHacker; I really do. The website is a great resource for “tips, tricks, and downloads for getting things done,” as their about page says. But like any site, sometimes they miss the mark.
LifeHacker recently published an article by TheFu on how to block ads while web-surfing. TheFu goes in depth on how to modify your hosts file to block communication with ad servers, breaking down step-by-step how to avoid online advertisements.
What the article doesn’t mention is the philosophy behind advertising and the reason that websites host ads in the first place. Furthermore, they declined to publish my comment on the matter.
For those interested, this is the comment that LifeHacker declined to publish:
This article is very informative on how to block ads. What it doesn’t address is the reason for the ads in the first place. A large percentage of the content that is available “for free” on the internet is because of funding that is made possible through advertisements. Sites like Google and Facebook, as well as a “host” of other sites, make a large portion of their income through advertising–income that is needed for these sites (especially the smaller ones) to stay in business. For non-ad-blocking viewers like myself, it’s clear that even LifeHacker gets some support from these ads (I’m currently seeing in this very article an advertisement for Nintendo 3DS and T-Mobile).
Do you like the internet services that are provided to you “for free” by sites that publish advertisements? I think it’s safe to say that you probably do. If so, before you go blocking every advertisement possible, remember that these sites exist, in large part, because of these advertisements. As an extreme thought experiment, what if every user on the internet used some sort of ad-blocking technique? Advertisers would stop paying publishers (that is, the sites that are providing services to users), then the publishers would not make any income, and they would no longer have any capital to operate their sites with. Users would have ad-free internet with no content.
Granted, that is taking things to an extreme, but the point is still the same: if you are blocking ads, you are hurting the sites you visit.
Ads serve a purpose. Don’t take the websites you use for granted by blocking their ads.
“How to Make a Website: Part 1″ is the first in a multi-part series on how to make a website. This post will cover the important initial steps in creating a website: how to come up with an idea for a website and how to choose a name for a website. These websites won’t build themselves, and if you don’t build them someone else will, so let’s get going and learn how to make a website. [Read more…]
That “W” is pretty cool, but it’s not very expressive of my site. Here’s how to change your favicon in WordPress. [Read more…]
Here’s today’s random tip: don’t buy HDMI cables in a brick-and-mortar store (eg. Best Buy, Walmart, or Target). For that matter, don’t buy any electronics cables in a store. They are way over-priced. [Read more…]
HTML and CSS can be quite ominous, especially for beginners. Thankfully, many have gone before us in the ways of web development and have graciously decided to share their learning. I recently came across a very useful site doing just this. [Read more…]