Archives for April 2010

Can you write about your experiences of email marketing? Want some free promotion?

I'm looking for people to write guest blogs on a fairly well trafficked blog. The blog itself focuses on email marketing, so your guest blog would have to be about that. Obviously you can promote your own website within the blog post, but it must also be of interest to our readers.

The basic outline is:

  • there is no fee for this
  • 200+ words
  • Must not be a purely self promotional piece

It could be about how your company uses email marketing, an issue that you had and solved, how you keep in touch with customers through email marketing, how running an email list has helped you to gain customers, even advice about how to write a newsletter or sales email.

In the first instance please contact me on nikkipilk@gmail.com with any questions, or post in the comments here!

10 Top Tips for Facebook Ads

(A guest blog from Claire Jarrett of Marketing by Web.)

Hey – Facebook ads look easy, right?  Just set them up, add a pretty picture and off we go.  Easy!

Wrong! Facebook ads are getting more competitive day by day.  Run your ads without paying attention to these areas, and your Cost Per Click will very rapidly spiral, and your ads will be disabled unless you're willing to pay the higher prices.  Get it right by paying attention to the following  10 areas:

  1. Remember people are having a conversation on Facebook, not searching for a product or service.  Therefore you need to GET their attention.  Bear this in mind when creating your ad copy.  Grab attention fast with your ad copy by asking a question, or being as creative as possible.
     
  2. DO NOT send people to one of your standard website landing pages.  Create a specific Facebook landing page that carries the message through from your advert.  Make sure you have an opt-in box on the page and don't try to sell from that page – just collect information at this stage.
     
  3. Facebook ads do not work for every business.  Examples where they will NOT work are for medical related businesses such as dentists, chiropractors or similar areas.  They are also unlikely to work for finance related businesses such as banking (including loans, credit cards etc) and insurance.
     
  4. Facebook ads work best for specific interest groups, such as vegetarians, cyclists or animals lovers.  They have also worked especially well for politicians in the US (don’t tell our UK politicians I told you that  though or else we will see a real influx on here! )
     
  5. Your images MUST relate to the message.  Choose either bright images or black and white NOT pale colours.
     
  6. Remember you will be targeting people by INTEREST.  If they wouldn't mention a topic by interest your Facebook campaign is unlikely to work.
     
  7. Your ad is charged per click, but the cost per click depends on the Click Through Rate per thousand impressions.  A good CTR is actually extremely low by Google standards – 0.1% is actually high!
     
  8. Conversion tracking is now up and running, and works well.  Install the conversion tracking code on your thank you page to track them.  You MUST be tracking conversions.  It's also worth tracking your conversion as a goal in Google Analytics.
     
  9. Facebook ads suffer from ad fatigue – and quickly.  Add new ads in weekly AND new images to combat this.
     
  10. Run reports to test what type of users your ads are being seen by – run Responder Profiles and Responder Demographics reports as a minimum, in addition to your conversion reports.

Here at NikkiPilkington.com we're going to be partnering with Claire to provide a great 2 for one service – with our Internet Marketing knowledge and her Facebook Ads knowledge you get two heads for the price of one anda great Facebook Ads service! If you'd like to be alerted when we've finialised our packages, please add yourself to the update list by subscribing below:

 


Recommended WordPress Plugin – Facebook 'Like' Button

Since Facebook announced that they were offering the functionality for website oweners to have 'Like' buttons on their non Facebook content, the race has been on to develop a plugin.

We've found two so far.

  • Facebook Like WordPress Plugin V1 (link goes directly to zip file) – this puts a Like button at the top or bottom of your posts (we've put it at the bottom( of ours as you can see). You can change the size and a few other options, which makes this one our favourite. You can find out more about this plugin on this blog post written by the creator.
  • Facebook Like Button Widget – this installs a widget that you can then place in your sidebars. It works well on some blogs but was too wide for our sidebars unfortunately and it can't be changed as far as I can tell.

So now Facebook members can 'Like' your content when they visit your website!

Let us know if you install either of these plugins so we can pop along and take a look!

Not sure how to install plugins? See our Guide to installing WordPress plugins.

Still unable to install? If you need help installing a WordPress plugin, please see our WordPress Plugin Installation Help service.


299 Steps to Blogging Heaven – pre order now!

We’re really excited here at NikkiPilkington.com because we’ve finally finalised (!) the content for our newest ebook, 299 Steps to Blogging Heaven.

299 Steps to Website Heaven was a great success, with over 11,000 downloads, and even though it’s now out of date, we still get asked for it every day, and we know it’s helping people promote their websites properly.

299 Steps to Blogging Heaven aims to be just as helpful, with step by step guides, hints and tips to make your blog the best it can be.

Find out:

  • Which blogging platforms work best in search engines
  • Plugins and additions to make life easier
  • Time saving hints and tips
  • The best way to write blogs
  • How to word titles to get more clicks
  • Ways of encouraging comments so your blog doesn’t look like the Marie Celeste
  • and more!
  • PLUS! Have email access to Nikki Pilkington to ask questions once you have the book!

This essential ebook aims to be the perfect guide to starting, running and promoting a blog – every step can be done by you, giving you complete control over your blog, and helping you to promote yourself and your business!

We launched the ebook on 1st August 2010 and the price will eventually be £30 – but order now and pay just £10!

To pre order right now, use the Paypal link below. Whether you decide to order now or not, don’t forget to sign up to the 299 Steps to Blogging Heaven mailing list to receive free tips, hints, and news of the book before anyone else!

Recommended WordPress Plugin – WYSIWYG editor for WordPress

OK, the built in editor in WordPress isn't BAD, but it does make some things a bit difficult, so we love this plugin: Dean’s FCKEditor for WordPress

It makes adding blogs and comments to your WordPress blog as easy as using Word.

Whether you want to change the colour of text, add a smiley ( ), change the size of your text, or a myriad of other things, it makes them easy.

For me, the best part about it is the ability to put tables into WordPress easily, which allows much more freedom when it comes to writing blogs!

Plus, it allows for 'styled and colourful comments' – I've not played with this yet but it could be fun ;)

Features

  • Replace the default wordpress editor with CKEditor
  • Post comment with CKEditor to provide styled and colorful comments(Optional).
  • Build-in File manager and upload manager.
  • Build-in WordPress "read more" Button.
  • Control output format.
  • Customizable toolbar buttons
  • Integrated with WordPress media buttons:

    image

  • Manage and insert Smileys into your post.
  • Customize editor’s skin.
  • …and more.

Thanks to @cartoono for pointing this one out – it's going to be a great addition to my clients' blogs!

To download this plugin, visit the Plugin page.

Not sure how to install plugins? See our Guide to installing WordPress plugins.

Still unable to install? If you need help installing a WordPress plugin, please see our WordPress Plugin Installation Help service.

 


Adding someone else as an Admin on your Facebook Fan Page

admin1If you have a Facebook Fan Page, and you need to make someone else an Admin on the page (for example, if you have more than one member of staff updating the page, or you’ve hired someone like us to help out with your page), the process is as below.

First of all click on the link on the left, underneath your Fan Page profile picture, that says “Edit Page”. This takes you to the page where you can change different parts of your fan page. You can see what this link looks like on our fan page from the image on the left here.

Once on the editing page, you need to scroll down and look on the right of the page where you will see ‘Admins’. This will show you who is currently listed as an admin on your page – more than likely just you at the moment.

On the right is a link to ‘Add’ an Admin, and when you click on that, it brings up a list of people who are fans of the page (see image below). If the person you want to add is a fan of your page, you can simply find them in the list and add them as an admin – they will get an email telling them that you have done so.

The other option (if they are not a fan of the page) is to add them by using their email address. Again they will be sent an email to tell them they’ve been made an Admin of your page.

admin2

It’s worth noting that once someone is an Admin on your Facebook Fan Page, their posts on that page will appear to come from the page, not from them personally, so the avatar next to the post will be the one of the Fan Page, not their personal one – this can be a little confusing if 2 of you are posting things on the wall and replying to each other, as it looks as if the page is talking to itself!

Hopefully this will help you to add Admins to your Facebook fan page if necessary – drop us a line if you have any issues!

WordPress Plugin installation help

wpSince we posted our guide to installing WordPress Plugins we’ve had a lot of emails asking for help.

Not everyone wants to, or indeed can, install their plugins themselves and get them running, but it seems that lots of you want to install plugins on your blogs and don’t know where to turn.

So we’re offering WordPress plugin installation help on a first come, first served basis for a nominal fee (much as we would like to do this for nothing, the amount of requests we’ve had would have meant we’d do no paying work for at least a week!)

If you have seen a plugin on another WordPress blog and want it on yours, or have a specific plugin you want to install, then we’ll do it for you for just £5 per plugin.

This includes uploading / FTPing the plugin, activating it and amending any settings, as well as testing.

All we need from you is your WordPress login details and / or your FTP details.

Use the Paypal button below to book this service. The payment will trigger an email to you that will ask all the questions we need answers to, and we’ll install your plugin within 48 hours.

Are your efforts online paying off? Really?

TWO DOLLAR BILLIt’s all very well frantically beavering away: Facebooking this, Tweeting that, Blogging here, Commenting there, updating your YouTube Channel and spending an age answering questions on LinkedIn – but  are you tracking and measuring the results of all this activity?

I know that if you do all of this work yourself, in theory it costs you nothing, but your time still has a value, right? Even if you don’t always charge your hourly rate, you must have one in mind, so for every hour you spend on your Social Media and Internet Marketing efforts, that’s how much it’s cost you. OK not in cold hard cash, but that’s an hour / a day / a week you haven’t billed out your time, so for the sake of this example let’s say that’s what you’re spending on your online marketing.

So, what’s your ROI? Are you measuring it? Are you tracking leads that come in because of your efforts, working out how many of them convert to sales, looking at the lifetime value of the client and working out whether your efforts are well spent?

If your time is worth £65 an hour, and you spend 10 hours a week on your online marketing efforts, then you need to be making a profit of MORE THAN £650 a week FROM YOUR EFFORTS ALONE for it to be worthwhile.

10 hours sounds a lot, doesn’t it? But it’s not really – it’s easy to spend an hour or so a day messing around on Twitter, chatting to people and answering queries. Then half an hour a day updating the Facebook fan page and replying to people on there (ooh, don’t forget to tend to your Farm and Cafe while you’re there!). Then an hour or so a week blogging, ten minutes a day replying to other people’s blogs. It all adds up.

Don’t believe me? Download and install RescueTime – it tracks the amount of time you spend on each website or activity. It’s a fab piece of software as it tracks without you having to do anything, and gives you a lovely report at the end. Find out EXACTLY how much time you spend on Facebook / Twitter et al.

Then look at the leads and clients that you can track back to your online marketing efforts – ask everyone who contacts you where they heard of you, whether they get in touch by email, phone, or call by your shop / office.

For a month, keep a log of all of this info – and at the end of it work out whether your efforts are well spent or not.

Because let’s face it, it’s easy to let Internet Marketing and Social Media descend into the realms of ego – how many times you’re retweeted, where you’re mentioned, whether someone replies to your blogs. But at the end of the day we’re all here for the same thing – we want to promote our businesses and make money. It’s great if my latest Tweet is retweeted 56 times – but if I’ve spent 15 hours promoting my company in the last week and had no sales or leads, then those retweets aren’t going to put food in the mouths of my kids.

Leave the ego behind and find the facts – are YOUR efforts online paying off?

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Creative Commons License photo credit: Doublep1

Your Facebook Fan Page and SEO

npAlthough the main purpose of a Facebook fan page isn’t for SEO, there’s no point ignoring SEO completely, so it was nice to come across this article on SEO for your Facebook Fan page on the SaveDelete blog.

Please go and read it over there, but in the interests of this post being more than 5 lines, I’ve summarised the bullet points below.

  • Use your brand name as your Fan Page name
  • Select the best Facebook username for your fanpage
  • Install static FBML and create additional tabs and boxes
  • Use the ‘about’ text box for optimisation of your fanpage
  • Use the ‘info’ tab for high density keywords and text
  • Create fresh content regularly
  • Attach YouTube videos
  • Post direct links and relevant sites on your wall
  • Include photos with captions and events with descriptions
  • Get more inbound links to your fan page

While I think that people may go a little overboard on the ‘about’ and ‘info’ boxes, I agree with the rest of the advice, and think it’s a great article, so please do read it if you’re interested in using your Facebook fan page to enhance your SEO.

Recommended WordPress plugin: Google Buzz button

buzzI have to be honest and say that I’ve not paid huge amounts of attention to Google Buzz until recently. I mean I’ve played with it and I like it, but a lack of time has meant I’ve not used it particularly well. It’s just too easy to feed in my Twitter stream and hope for the best. Lazy, huh?

So I decided that I’ll try harder with Buzz over the next few weeks, and work out how to use it in a way that’s different to blogging and different to Twitter – my instinct tells me it’s somewhere in the middle of the two, practice should help me to help my customers use it in an effective way.

Already some people are preferring Buzz to Twitter, so this Google Buzz button plugin is a great addition to a WordPress blog.

Simply download the plugin and install (see here if you’re not sure about installing plugins – and if you’re still stuck, drop me a line as we may be able to help) to put a  Buzz button on your blog posts. The icon can appear at the top of the post, as we have it, or at the bottom. (There is an option for manual insertion if you know what to do with WordPress templates, so theoretically you can have the icon appear anywhere you like).

So download the Google Buzz button for WordPress plugin and give your readers another way to share your blog posts.

Dowload google buzz button for wordpress plugin

If you need help installing a WordPress plugin, please see our WordPress Plugin Installation Help service.

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