John on the Fourth Annual International Blue Beanie Day
Today, on Tuesday, November 30th, 2010, the Fourth Annual International Blue Beanie Day ought to remind the Internet community to stick to Web standards.
It will make on-line life so much simpler then.
Imagine how much easier development could be if you could trust your code to work on all major platforms.
It's a call — an outcry — to the big guys like Google and Facebook to make sure their APIs, widgets, and plugins are within the standard and pass validation.
It's also an outcry to the standards committees to adopt innovative ideas and integrate them into the standards more rapidly.
The relatively new social plugins from Facebook, e.g. LIKE button, comments, …, does not validate to the (X)HTML(5) standards.
Same is true for the embedded YouTube Player.
And I could go on, and on, and on …
You might say it doesn't matter if a website doesn't validate 100%. However, one could detect true and serious issues with the code with less hassle in the absence of all those defacto standard violations.
Please, participate by doing the following:
1. Take a self-portrait wearing a blue beanie (toque, tuque, cap) and upload it to the Blue Beanie Day 2010 (↑) pool on Flickr.
2. Add a blue beanie to your social network avatar on Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, etc.
3. Write a web standards haiku and post it on Twitter with the hashtag #bbd4 for your chance to win web design books from Peachpit and A Book Apart in the Blue Beanie Day Haiku Contest.
The following article contains 13 free and inexpensive ways for you to promote your website.
1. Viral Marketing is an approach that persuades people to pass along your message. Like a virus, the message then spreads to more and more people. The persuasion to pass along the message typically comes in the form of humor. If one person thinks the ad, email, video, etc. is funny and/or entertaining, they will pass it on to their friends. If you’re creative, give this a try.
2. Creating a blog, or web log, is becoming more and more popular. A blog will allow you to create a running commentary focused on your products or services. Interested parties will have access to this running log information. WordPress and Blogger are two of the most popular blogging platforms, and both are free to use.
3. Joining an affiliate program will cost a bit of money but can make a huge impact if you’re selling merchandise. Interested parties join your program and sell your products. When they make a sale, you pay them a set commission.
Just one example: Search Engine Marketing
4. What better way to grab people’s attention than to offer them something for free. Using free giveaways like sample products or offering a free consultation is a great way to grab people’s attention and to garner more interest in your products or services.
5. Posting articles focused on your products or services is a great way to promote your business. People are constantly surfing the internet for the latest tips, tricks, and advice… just like you. Adding links in your articles that refer readers to your website is a necessity to increase traffic.
6. Target your audience. Join forums and other online groups that are within the scope of your business, products, or services. Be sure to supply these forums or groups with a steady stream of applicable information. Constant, focused information is a great way to catch a prospective customer’s attention.
7. Make prospective clients feel wanted and special. When your marketing does draw prospects to your site, you want to close the deal. Make someone browsing your website feel good about themselves, and try to relay how much better they’ll feel when they buy what you’re selling.
8. Purchase business cards and company stationary. Use these two for any and all correspondence. Whether it is something personal or related to your website, the more hands you can put your stationary and/or business cards into, the more likely you are to increase site traffic and sales.
9. Sponsoring events is a great way to get your company name in the public eye. Depending on the type of event, sponsorship packages will vary in price. Make sure to select events that are likely to draw your customer demographic and give you the most exposure for your buck.
10. Focus on your uniqueness. While promoting your website, you need to focus on the things that set you apart from your competition. My online business, OBrienMaDe, is an online social marketing company. Our homepage clearly tells prospective clients what sets us apart from the myriad of other marketing companies on the internet. Check it out for yourself- http://www.obrienmade.com.
11. Use e-mail and snail mail campaigns. Obviously, we don’t want to spam prospects or bombard them with junk mail, but you do want to use a calculated mail campaign. Almost everyone has a large database or personal e-mails. Start by advertising to your friends and family; you never know what might come of it. Also, mail out ads to your demographic… and be sure to use company stationary.
12. This one is a no-brainer, but just in case here you go… create a webpage. Having an online presence is very vital. If you’re an online business you have a website, if you’re a brick and mortar establishment you may not have a site. At the very least, create a single web page highlighting your offerings. There are many free web hosting providers you can use. Just search “Free Web Hosting”.
13. Google AdWords offer pay-per-click (PPC) advertising for businesses. Your ad will appear in the Google search engine. When someone clicks on the ad and is directed to your website you pay an amount of money pre-determined by you. You can establish a budget that is not to be exceeded. Once your PPC reaches your monetary limit, the ad will no longer be visible to web surfers.
If you would like help establishing and running a social media marketing campaign, or creating a website, please feel free to visit http://www.obrienmade.com or email: <info[at]obrienmade.com>.
About the Author
Tom O'Brien is owner and operator of OBrienMaDe, an online business focused on helping small businesses increase online visibility and traffic.
Google finally announces that page loading time has become one of the ~200 signals (↑) that influence rankings in its search engine. If you are a little bit tech savvy when it comes to web technologies, check out the post. There you’ll find resources and tips on how to tackle the issue.
The Google Webmaster tool (↑) also offers a new function at Dashboard / Labs / Site Performance which gives you a hint how your site is doing right now.
A friend of mine runs a successful business and just has launched a new website with some great tips for lead generation. I wanted to read one of his articles again and typed-in his URL. Instead of his homepage I saw:
Error: Server not found
This was quite a surprise. He has one of those domains where you have a hard time to remember whether to add the “s” for plural or not. Like in
car.com or cars.com
The weird mess up on his part is that he even has a very beautiful logo with …labs, but his domain name is …lab.com.
I don’t think I am the only one making this mistake, but I am one of the few who actually try the other version as well. The average web surfer might just give up right away.
I just have read a not so bad blog post. However, when I checked out the about page I got turned off.
“This is an example of a WordPress page, you could edit this to put information about yourself or your site so readers know where you are coming from. You can create as many pages like this one or sub-pages as you like and manage all of your content inside of WordPress.”
Come on. You can do better than that.
And you should.
Anybody who is getting serious about putting your blog in their RSS reader or subscribe to your e-mail list will want to know more about you.
The about page is a great place to let your readers know who you are, what you can do for them, and why they should listen to you.
But first things first.
Some Ideas For An Entrepreneurial About Page
You have a name, haven’t you. Use it. Introduce yourself with a short bio. … or introduce each team member who writes in the blog on a regular basis.
Of course we want to see your photo(s). A nice photograph makes it more personal. You do not want to miss this step.
What problems can you help the readers with?
Why are you qualified to help them?
Tell them how they can stay in touch with you. An optin form on the about page i snot such a bad idea. However, remember the good rule of thumb: “One page, one action.” Don’t offer too much.
Now go to work.
You don’t have to get it perfect.
5 % better than your competitors will do.
John W. Furst
P.S.: I just realize I should update the about page of my own as, well.
P.P.S.: In the context of legal issues with online publishing, you MUST NOT have an anonymous blog anyway. Pen names are fine, but readers, customers, and the government must be able to contact you based on the information on your website without having to go through hoops. (I’m not a lawyer. This is not legal advice!)
P.P.P.S.: Do you have anything to add? Any comments? I am sure you have. Let me know.