Archives for blogsite

Contact Me! Capturing leads on your blog

Have you been wondering how to build your email list?  How to generate leads from your website? Wondering how to encourage people to get in touch with you?

When you look at the hits to your site, every single one is an opportunity to make an introduction. Every visitor is a potential lead.  But how do you capture them?  How do you convert hits to leads?

This is an important question and there are many tactics that can be used. Calls to action, promotions, subscriptions and newsletters are all techniques that work. However, not every lead will automatically be product based. Not everyone is ready to subscribe to your RSS, get your newsletter or buy your product. Some leads want to talk to you first.

This is the beauty of the contact form.  The contact form gives your audience a non-specific way to get in touch with you.

Why is a contact form better than just an email response address?

A contact form captures information.  When people use the form, you have a name and an email address.  This is is an easy way to start building your list.

A contact form can be less intimidating to a potential client/customer.  Sometimes when sending someone an email, they might worry that it is not going to the right person. What if there are multiple emails on the site to choose from, and you select the wrong address?  Some of us like knowing that we are reaching the CEO, others may feel a bit intimidated about emailing someone so important in the company.  A contact form takes away the guess work. It is a safe, generic way for someone to get in touch and feel confident that it is going to the right place, because the form is designed specifically for inquiries.

A contact form can also be set to go to an email address that multiple people receive on your end.  You can establish an email just for the contact form and have it forwarded to multiple email addresses.  This way, if the person who usually responds to inquiries is on holiday, the inquiry will still get attention.  If you are not the usual respondent, but are one of the people receiving the email, you can keep track of the types of inquiries.  With multiple recipients you can also make sure that the right person is responding to an email and the potential client does not feel like they are being bounced around from person to person, but having their question addressed by the right person right away.

Contact Me is a great plugin for blogsites. This will put a “Contact” tab on your pages, making it easy for your visitors to see how to get in touch with you.  Their site also provides a contact management solution so you can keep track of your contacts and even create tasks for follow up communication.

Contact Form 7 is another good one for creating custom forms that are built into your page. These integrate easily and seamlessly and are very professional looking.

*just a side note, neither SM Cubed or Lauren MacEwen is being paid to promote any contact form plugin.

Why Blogsites are better than AOL Hometown

spinning peace sign

As a consultant people often ask me about their website: should they have one? What should it look like? What kind of site should it be?

I admit it. I am biased.

I have been doing web design since AOL came out with their personal web pages and a spinning gif felt like advanced graphic technology.

I have used a variety of web design programs and have always defaulted back to basic code editing.

Now I use blogsites.  I still code, but I can do that in an easier interface.  The tools are much easier to use and really help you create dynamic sites.

Most people think of a blogsite as a website for hosting a blog. It is actually a completely customizable website that is easy to edit and easy to update. It solves a lot of the utility issues presented by traditional websites and can save you a ton of money on design costs.

Updating your website…

The reason this is important is to drive repeat traffic to your site. If your site is static or unchanging then people have little reason to come back to it. To really drive traffic to your site you need to be a source of information. Give them a reason to keep coming back. This is where a blogsite excels! You can incorporate dynamic content through various widgets, making it easy to automatically stream content from sites such as Twitter, Flickr and YouTube. You can also easily update your content through blog posts and site updates.

It’s almost too easy…

You don’t have to be a web designing wiz to be able to set up beautiful blogsites. Themes are the easiest way.  A theme is a preformed site that is installed on top of your blog. It comes pre-loaded with widgets designed to make your site dynamic and highly functional. For the most part you can drag and drop the widgets and easily customize your site. If you are wanting something a little more complex, the CSS style sheet is easy to edit and the web is full of support sites to help you learn how to edit the code.

SEO…

Yup, blogsites are making that easy too.  With plugins like Scribe SEO, it is easy to optimize your posts.  These plugins analyze your writing, identify keywords, give you tags and give you advice.  It is like having a personal SEO consultant looking at your every post.

Back in the day of AOL Hometown, I spent hours scouring other people’s sites, pouring through hundreds of message boards, teaching myself HTML and learning to read source code.  In the end I had a site with a pretty night sky background, some spinning gifs and text in blue writing that I now know is nearly impossible to read.

Blogsites are superior to AOL Hometown – and they are also much better than a lot of standard wesbites.  If you want a site that is easy to update and gives you the option of having dynamic content, then this is the way to go.

The blogsite theme I use is Genesis by Studiopress. I find it easy to work with and easy to customize. It gives a great start to a beautiful and unique site. If you are going to get noticed on the web your webpage is your first impression.

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