November 29, 2011

How to Build Momentum NOW and Get a Running Start on a Successful 2012

~ December 7th Telecast ~

Karen pic
        How to Build 
 Momentum NOW and
Get a Running Start on 
   a Successful 2012!

Presented by Karen Newland,  

Join us on ~
Wednesday December 7th at 1pm PST

In this session Karen will talk about: 
  • How you can build momentum in your business during December  
  • What to do to ensure that you go into January with a running start on a successful 2012 
  • How to create your own economic stimulus program 
  • How to do less and make more 
Karen Newland, has over 30 years of experience in starting and running businesses. Karen took her experience in running businesses and marketing, and started a nationwide Virtual Marketing Assistant & Online Business Manager Agency. She specializes in helping entrepreneurs and small businesses in the USA and Canada grow more quickly, easily and affordably. From websites, to blogs, social media, email marketing, newsletters, follow up systems, shopping cart management and sooooo much more, Karen is helping entrepreneurs and small businesses grow even in today's challenging economic climate.

Can't make the call live?  As long as you register, we will send you the replay to listen to...

September 29, 2011

How Long Should Your Online Copy Be?

If your business has a website, every one of your company web pages sells people on your company. Blog posts, press releases, newsletters, brochures, ebooks, etc. are all selling your company somehow – either directly or indirectly. While the decisions on what your company sells and how it is sold are entirely up to you, the words you use to sell your company should be chosen by a professional copywriter. Here's how the pros figure out how long content should be.

A Tried and True Copywriting Method

Bob Bly in The Copywriter’s Handbook says that length of copy should be determined based on the price, purpose, audience, importance, and familiarity of the product or service you’re selling. Put simply, a very involved purchase requires very involved copy.

Does the pen only cost $4? Then don’t waste your time with a lot of copy. Only expensive products demand long copy.

Are you looking to entice your reader into asking for more information? Then short, direct copy will work.

Do you want to sell a product on your website right now? Then longer, more descriptive content could do the job.

At this point, you might be asking: what defines short copy and what defines long copy?

This is subjective. I say for the online medium, 50–200 words is considered short, 201–500 words is considered medium length, and anything beyond 500 words is long.

Online Usability and Your Word Count

Jakob Nielsen, a website usability expert, says that most readers scan website content, and that if a website isn’t usable (i.e. easy to navigate and use, memorable, free of errors, and generally pleasing), web visitors will leave and businesses will lose out on potential sales, information sites will lose readers, social media sites will lose friends, etc.

According to Nielsen, only 16% of users read online content word-for-word, and that means 84% are scanning or not reading at all. To cater to the majority, Nielsen says your copy should be easy to scan (lists, bold formatting, short paragraphs, etc.), and the most important copy should rest at the top and down the left-hand side of the page. (Visit Nielsen’s site to see an example.)

Search Engine Optimization and Your Word Count

Search engine optimization (SEO) experts agree that you need a minimum of 250 words on your most important web pages. Beyond that, there aren't any firm guidelines on length from our friends in the SEO camp.

Most web pages that Google indexes have less than 1,200 words, but that's not necessarily a limit. Just remember that longer pages are less likely to be read in their entirety. If your content extends beyond 1,000 words, it's probably a good idea to include a basic table of contents at the beginning of your page and/or break up your long page into smaller bite-sized pieces.

Frankly, the best SEO word count recommendation should follow Google's Golden Rule that “it's all about the user.” If you can adequately describe and explain your product or service in a couple of short sentences and know that the user will be completely satisfied with that info, then you have your answer.

Sara Lancaster is the Denver-based website content writer behind No. 2 Pen. She specializes in helping businesses sound sharp on the web.

August 26, 2011

Get Off The Fence!!

I always find it interesting how people let a common thing prevent their success. In fact, I think that often the enemy of true success is something that almost can't be seen.

What is it?


Huh? The Fence?

What's "The Fence" - and what does it have to do with me getting what I want in life and achieving my goals... and what does it have to do with me losing what I have and experiencing failure? The Fence is the thing you "sit on" when you're facing a big opportunity or a big challenge (and they're often the same thing). The Fence is that thing that holds you back from taking decisive action when you have a big chance.  The Fence is what keeps you inside your COMFORT ZONE and afraid of changing things.

Right now, you might be sitting squarely on The Fence about the best way to grow your business in this economy.  Maybe it's time to look for innovative ways to proactively grow your business.  Virtual assistants who specialize in marketing support for entrepreneurs, can be an extremely valuable asset to your business success.  They are skilled, knowledgeable and while helping you make your marketing more effective, they can also free you up to focus on high value activities that only YOU can do.

Call us today to find out how we can help you achieve your business success goals quicker and easier!   

May 22, 2011

URL Shortening Services

You may not have given much thought to using a URL shortening service.  For most people, when they click the share button on a blog post, they get redirected to their Twitter or Facebook accounts with the URL already shortened.  

Did you know that not all URL shortening services are created equal?  Remember that more than anything else, the primary use of URL shortening services is that it allows you share your articles, pages and content with the rest of the world.  So take time to choose the best one for your needs.

What is URL shortening?
Basically, it helps you shorten the URL you have, which might prove handy when you are using Twitter or any other services that limits the number of characters that you send.

What makes a good URL shortener?

1. 301 Redirects. You would want more link juice from the shortened URL, which is why a 301 redirect or a permanent redirect is vital.  When a search engine sees a 301 redirect, they would still credit the long URL behind it, earning you brownie points with your search rankings. 

2. Reliability. Think about the embarrassment of tweeting a short URL then have people reply that it is not working.  Choose a highly reliable URL shortening service to avoid this headache.  Also, you might want to test for longevity.  You may have been using a URL shortener for a year and then that service shuts down.  What would happen to a year’s work then?

3. Tracking. An added service for most URL shortening sites, tracking can give you good insights on which ones of your tweets and shares are getting clicked.  This way, you would know which topics are of interest to your audience and you could do more of these in the future.

Some people might think that tracking is not important.  They reason that you could get the same information on Google Analytics anyway.  But tracking and metrics provided by URL shortening service are much more detailed.  GA would just tell you the total number of visits you get from Twitter, for example.  There is no way of knowing which links have been clicked and what content was appreciated by relying on GA alone.

4. Sharing. If you want more traffic for your pages, then consider a URL shortener that also shares the most clicked or most popular URLs clicked through them.  For example, tweets the most popular links on its Twitter account, Plurl shows the most recent links on its home page, while Snurl has a Browse Snips tab.

What We Recommend
While choosing a URL shortening service is a matter of personal choice, we recommend this service based on the criteria above. – uses 301 redirects, and provides tracking and sharing support.  What’s more, you could use it on TweetDeck, Twitterfeed and Twhirl. This is what we use personally.

April 21, 2011

Free Telecast - The ABC's of E-newsletters

The ABC's of E-newsletters ~
Karen pic
How to Create Them..  
and Why You Should  

Join us on April 28th at 11am PST for this free teleseminar and learn the "soup to nuts" for creating newsletters that get results.

Karen Newland from YourGo2Gals - Virtual Assistants, Online Business Managers and Marketing Consultants talks about the ABC's of how to create an effective newsletter including...
  • Creating newsletter content, how to and how much
  • HTML or text, which you should use and why
  • Best services to use and how they compare
  • Why you should have a newsletter
  • What results you can expect
If you're not utilizing this valuable tool for your business, you are probably leaving money on the table and losing clients!

March 31, 2011

Hey! Where Did Everyone Go?


Have you noticed that you are only seeing updates in your newsfeed from the same people lately? Have you also noticed that when you post things like status messages, photos and links, the same circle of people are commenting and you are not hearing from anyone else?

...The problem is that a large chunk of your contact list can't see anything you post and here's why:

The "New Facebook" has a newsfeed setting that by default is automatically set to show ONLY posts from people you've recently interacted with or have interacted the most with (which would be limited to the couple of weeks just before people started switching to the "new profile"). So, in other words, for both business and personal pages, unless you or your friends/fans commented on one anothers posts within those couple of weeks - you are now invisible to them and they are invisible to you!!

On your homepage click the "Most Recent" title on the right of the Newsfeed, then click on the drop down arrow beside it and select "Edit Options". Click on "Show Posts From" and change the setting to "All Of Your Friends and Pages" (you can also access the "Edit Options" link at the very bottom of the Facebook homepage on the right)

Note: Business pages do not have a newsfeed. Owners of business pages should adjust the settings on their personal accounts.

The good news is:
You can now view all of your friends and fans again.

The bad news is:
YOU ARE STILL INVISIBLE to a large portion of your list. If you want to re-establish contact, you will need to get the word out to ALL of your contacts so they can adjust their settings. You can create an "event" with this information and invite your friends, you can also tweet about it, create a blog post or send out an email to your subscribers in hopes of reaching them all.

March 18, 2011

Stop Putting It Off

Fact: the cost in time of putting things off is far higher than simply getting them done. The more you keep adding to your to do list, the more you feel overwhelmed with everything that needs to be done, the more that you get stressed by it all. It doesn't take a scientist to know that isn't ideal!
There tends to be three reasons why we put things off.
  • Complacency - thinking it'll only take us a few minutes to do, so it can wait
  • Avoiding Discomfort - believing the task will cause us to experience a negative emotion
  • Fear of Failure - believing we're likely to fail in the task, so why bother starting it
And here are some ways of overcoming these barriers and just getting it done!
Complacency - if you really believe it'll only take minutes to do, pick a time within the next 48 hours when you're going to get it done and do it!
stop putting it off Avoiding discomfort - the more you think about the negative feelings, the bigger and more severe they'll feel. If it involves someone else (you're scared of hurting their feelings) write down what you want to say, how you want to say it and the outcome you're looking for. This won't take away all the discomfort, but it'll certainly minimize it. If it's something you just don't like doing, set yourself a super fast time limit for getting it done and go for it. Racing through it faster will also keep discomfort to a minimum.
Fear of failure - if it's something you've done before and you failed last time, look at the reasons why you failed and build in some ways of avoiding those. If you haven't tackled this before but are still afraid of failing, find someone who has managed it successfully, or research what you need to do in order to increase your chances of success. Then allocate a time within the next three days to get the job done and strike while the iron is hot.
Stop Putting it Off - Start Getting it DONE!

January 18, 2011

7 Email Newsletters Tips

Here are 7 email newsletter tips that will boost readership and response. 

1. Don't send your email newsletter the same time every month.  Make it varied.  You don't want people getting into a routine where they know your sending something and they just delete it. 

2. Don't make it look exactly the same every time.  People like "What's New" not what's old and boring.  Bring something fresh to them or they won't pay attention. 

3. Don't make your newsletter about you!  Write your newsletter about them. The benefits to them of your product, service or content. 

4. Don't use technical jargon about you, your industry or your product. You care about that, not your customers. 

5. Make it fun to read.  Try different things each time, run contests, do give-a-ways, make offers.  Be entertaining. 

6. Don't use your company name as the title.  Company names, titles and logos are all about you.  People don't care about you (once you realize this your marketing becomes better and you actually start making money) they care about themselves.  Title your newsletter something your readers would care about. 

7. Don't always send the newsletter format.  Switch up what you send. Occasionally just send a coupon offer with a dotted line around it so it looks like an offer. That's what we are programmed to know is an offer when we see it.