May 2011

I ask myself why do I write these e-letters? Does anybody ever read them? Or miss them at their own peril then come back to me saying, “I didn’t sell anything from my website.”

Believe it or not, one reason is to remind you that a website like everything else is merely a tool for you to market yourself and your business, product or what-have you. Just like a spoon or a fork, it will help you bring food to your mouth, but if you don’t use your hands, the food will not automatically jump to your mouth, and you go hungry.

The other reason for writing these e-letters is to let you know I am alive and here for you, along with my team, to help you with your website needs or queries, and to remind you that we do care about you, and as a customer of ours, of course we want you to succeed but we can only do so much – the rest is really up to you.

So I hope you will find these tips helpful.

- Vision without action is a dream.

- Rubbing the right elbows

- Are you blogging?

- What's a blog?

- Why blog?

- New SEO feature

“Vision without action is a dream. Action without vision is simply passing the time. Action with Vision is making a positive difference.” – Joel Barker

I read a very good article in the paper recently by Paul Lambert, Business Liaison Manager of Upper Hutt City Council, who wrote:

Rubbing the right elbows

“We are all subjected to so much information about business practices and opportunities for the future that deciding what to read and act upon is an issue in itself.

One message I always return to is that if you want to be successful in whatever you do, it really helps to mix with successful people. Some of the experience can rub off on you.

Today it is very easy to be in touch directly with so many people and ideas especially via the internet, even though contact with those near to you may be the most difficult even in business. The neighbour, the shop next door or the person sitting next to you on a train or bus, a smile or good morning is a good place to start.”

A website that may help you gather some new business ideas and inspiration is
Register for a fortnightly e-newsletter from Kevin Roberts, worldwide CEO of advertising agency Saatchi and Saatchi, with many kiwi connections.”

Are you blogging?

A blog is a great tool with which to express your opinions, build a community, network with others and drive traffic to your website.

Your website hosted by Anuko has a blog feature, therefore when you blog on your website, your blogs are housed there (on your hosted platform’s server) and people read your blog directly from your website, having been driven there via the search engines by the words you use in the content of your blog. This is a very good thing because people get to also see other pages on your website and what you have to offer.

For example:
NEVEN MacEWAN Word for Today

Neven writes his thoughts every day!

And Neven’s blog is directly on his website,
therefore driving traffic (visitors) to his website.

For example: Alfred Memelink news page
Alfred also blogs on Facebook and and what you see on this blog page on his website is a link that takes people to his other blog on an external site (i.e. a site that is not housed on his website but someplace else, in this case, blogspot). This is good too. The more places you blog the merrier.

The downside though is that external links take people away from your website rather than staying longer to see the rest of your own website. So why it’s important that all blogging you do outside of your website has a link back to your own website, i.e. make sure you put your own website address on all blogs outside your own website.

Another example is the personal diary of artist Lisa Harman which helps to bring back to her site her friends, family and potential buyers!

Need another example?
Wellington Jazz Club newsletter
Wellington Jazz club is doing a great job publicising their monthly newsletters and gigs.

What's a blog?

A blog is a web log, or an online public diary or journal that is written for others to read. You can create blogs for personal reasons, educational and informational reasons, business and corporate reasons or a multitude of other uses and purposes depending on what suits your fancy.

Why Blog?

As a marketing tool, blogs are full of all kinds of potential. Blogs have some truly unique characteristics as a marketing tool. First of all, they are much easier than newsletters when it comes to getting your idea across. They can be added to, and they can be updated at any time and from virtually anywhere. Blogs also have long lasting shelf lives, as they exist on the internet until you decide to remove them. This contrasts well to newsletters which have extremely short shelf lives, because once you send it out, it’s sent, then trashed, and gone. Unless you are just posting marketing materials that are deglossed, most blogs offer a large amount of credibility. Whether your blog is a personal blog or a business blog, viewers come to blogs expecting to find frank and personal perspectives on a topic that you are passionate about.

How to blog?

Here’s where story telling comes in. And effective story telling is the key to achieving your goals. Have you ever thought that you are just a couple of true stories away from achieving your big goal? Sharing the story around your goals attracts supporters who often help you achieve your goals.

As some of you may know, besides my web design business, I am also a transcriptionist where I have enjoyed transcribing interviews with many successful business leaders over the years. These savvy people know how to tell their stories and the story of their business. And we can relate to their stories in some way. So I am in no doubt that the secret to successful business is in the story telling.

Will true stories help you achieve your goals? Who will be interested? How will the stories help create action?

Your product, service and experience are vital, but it's the story that captivates and attracts an audience and then the follower market. Refining, refreshing and adapting your story along the way in a relevant and impactful way to your target audiences including your own team, suppliers, partners, clients and the market is vital.

The art of story telling is learned really early on in life if you are lucky. If you can draw on this you will be okay. Have you ever told your children a story "out of your imagination" rather than reading out of a book? Have you ever told a story to your friends? Many of us tell stories each day in general conversation. It's about theatre of the mind, setting the scene, relating to your audience and having good timing. It has a beginning, a middle and an end.

We don’t need to be born with a silver spoon in our mouths. Many if not most successful people come from humble beginnings, ordinary backgrounds but there are recurring themes in the tales of these leaders that rise to the top of their professions. They are goal oriented, in touch with good and accessible stories and share them regularly. The stories are then easy to repeat and share with others.

It’s really about capturing hearts and minds. Stories attract people and like-minded groups. Use social media to engage with people and tell your story.
I was very much inspired by Kay Douglas’ book “Living Life Out Loud” in which 22 inspiring New Zealand women share their wisdom. Among them are Sonja Davies, Theresa Gattung, Leilani Joyce, Sally Synnott, Barbara Kendall, Lucy Lawless, and Kapka Kassabova.

You may never know what results come of your action, but if you do nothing there will be no result.

Mahatma Gandhi said: "Be the change you want to see in the world."

So why not …
  • Pursue your dreams. “…you can learn anything you need to learn to become anyone you want to become, to achieve anything you want to achieve. There are few limitations and most of them are on the inside, not on the outside.” (Maximum Achievement, Brian Tracy)
  • Believe. “Beliefs help us to tap the richest resources deep within us, creating and directing these resources in the support of our desired outcomes.” (Unlimited Power, Anthony Robbins)
  • Create a vision. “Through imagination we can visualise the uncreated worlds of the potential that lie within us.” (The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey)
  • Commit to action. “Every day thousands of people bury good ideas because they are afraid to act on them. And afterwards the ghosts of those ideas come back to haunt them.” (The Magic of Thinking Big, David J. Schwartz)
  • Overcome doubts and fears. “All you have to do to diminish your fear is to develop more trust in your ability to handle whatever comes your way.”(Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway, Susan Jeffers.
  • Meet the challenge of setbacks. “When you look at life and its many challenges as a test, you begin to see each issue you face as an opportunity to grow.” (Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff, Richard Carlson)
  • Listen to your gut feeling. “We all begin with the question: What am I really? What is my work here?” (Women Who Run with the Wolves, Clarissa Pinkola Estes)

So be inspired, get motivated, and get blogging!

Lastly, I would like to mention our newest feature that's been developed for better SEO:

page description.

Basically, for those of you who are editing your own websites, there is "Page Description" - you can see the box "Description" on the top of the text area on each page when you are in editing mode. Put a short description of your page content there and don't forget to use valuable keywords! This snippet may be displayed in Google and Yahoo search results. If anyone is interested to find out more about this, please email myself or Inga.

As you know, we continue to work on improving our websites to keep ahead of technological advancements. We don’t just take your money, build your website and forget all about you or the reason why you wanted to have a website in the first place. We keep an eye on all our customer websites and offer up-to-date information to help you achieve your goals.

Thank you for taking the time to read my e-letter.

And to all the mothers in New Zealand out there,
Happy Mother’s Day for next Sunday.


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