Welcome to the first piece in our “Women In Biz All Around WordPress” feature that will run the 1st Sunday of every month. It’s a brand new series where we spotlight amazing women and the ways in which they have used WordPress to spread their message, sell their products, or provide valuable services.
The hope is to inspire other midlife women to build their online businesses and find what we’re all looking for financial freedom, a lifestyle they love, and excitement they may have been missing! All of these women are clients of mine who have inspired me over the years and I think they will inspire you as well.
In the very first of the series, I want to introduce you a lady very dear to my heart and one of my very first clients! She was instrumental in the creation of the “Luxury Maintenance Plan” that I provide to her and others just like her. Well, no one is quite like The Contessa aka Elizabeth Kirkpatrick! She is the best case of originality.
Her site The Vintage Contessa.net is everything you would expect from an Italian Contessa and much, much more. She’s one part fashionista and one part country farmer and that’s only a small portion of what this beautiful woman possesses! From the very beginning, she has reminded me of Jackie O! Both stunningly glamorous and amazingly down to earth! She’s one of my favorite people and once you meet her she’ll be one of your favorite’s too!
1. What made you first decide to build a blog or website? How long have you had your site?
I had an ANTIQUE SHOP and decided I needed to advertise my wares. So a website was built for THE HEN HOUSE. Once I closed my doors I thought “NOW WHAT DO I DO WITH IT?”I was reading a couple of blogs at the time and thought well, I could talk about myself and see how that goes or possibly sell online! That is how THE Vintage Contessa.net came to be. MY guess is going on seven years that I have been puttering away on the BLOG.
2. What is your niche?
GOOD QUESTION! I talk about every day living from Food to clothes, the garden to Manners! Mostly, I write about what I do who I meet where I go. Today I met CHRISTY TURLINGTON’S SISTER unbeknownst to me at THE TIME! I’m a CHARACTER so I guess you could say my niche is HOW I LIVE!
3. Of all of your blog posts or pages on your site which is your favorite?
ON the HOME page if you click up top on LA CONTESSA than click on PORTRAIT SHOOT IN PARIS!THAT would be MY favorite photos ever and a Memory I will cherish the rest of my Life as I was with my TWO SONS who I showed PARIS too for the first time! We were captured inside and outside of THE LOUVRE with CHICKENS!!!! You can see me feeding The Chickens just like the DUCHESS of DEVONSHIRE did in her BALL gown………..A ball gown would have taken up to much space in the luggage so I settled on a red jersey dress with a Taffeta Opera Coat!
4. What is your favorite social media platform and why?
INSTAGRAM.Hands down……. WHY?Because I can travel the world from the comfort of my home each day and have my breath TAKEN AWAY time and TIME again! One can also find FRIENDS through Instagram as we seem to find our TRIBE there.IT can be a Time SUCKER so be careful……….
5. Do you find WordPress easy to maneuver or do you avoid the back end like the plague?
“AVOID LIKE THE PLAGUE”!!!! That’s why I have RENA! I have NO desire to know how things work and the technical stuff. I just want to CREATE HUMOR and have FUN! I am definitely MORE of a CREATIVE PERSON than a FIX IT GAL!
6. Is your site a business that makes money or a passion that makes your heart sing?
I think my site is THE ONLY BLOG LEFT that does NOT MONETIZE. Maybe I am making a mistake but I can tell YOU this those blogs that have the ADS in them drive ME CRAZY! I think The ADS is ONE BIG REASON BLOGS ARE NOT EXISTING TODAY! It is very confusing sometimes to find the rest of the POST when an AD is telling you to CLICK HERE! MY BLOG is for FUN and it is a PASSION. I get EXCITED every time I hit PUBLISH! I think of it as a diary of my LIFE! Plus, The reader gets to watch me AGE!
7. If you use your site for business what do you sell or what service do you provide?
NO BUSINESS…………. I do like to suggest how you can dress to cover the exercise gear from time to time. My AGELESS STYLE POSTS that I do with another blogger have been a HIT!More for the middle-aged women and what products they are using and clothes they like is shared on the blog once a month! Tune in and SUBSCRIBE and give me TRY…………THEVINTAGECONTESSA.NET
8. What is one thing you’d like people to know about you?
I AM A SHY PERSON! Believe it or NOT!
Now that surprises me! The Contessa never fails to bring a smile to my face. She’s gracious, elegant, and just lovely all around! Check her out for yourself!
Our smartphones are so powerful these days that we can work almost as productive as on our regular desktop computers in some areas. As a matter of fact, many photographers have ditched their computers and completely become reliable on powerful tablets and smartphones, especially while traveling. They use them to capture perfect shots or create astonishing visuals.
Basically, anyone can pick a smartphone and take a photo, but most people would agree that it takes someone with more skills and talent to create amazing images. Believe it or not, taking incredible images is actually really easy as long as you stick to some basic ideas and use some incredibly innovative mobile apps in the process.
In this article, we will show you a few editing tips & tricks and ideas on how to bring your photography game to the next level.
Extract photos from complex PDF files
Imagine this, you are browsing the internet searching for some great photo ideas and you finally came across a PDF document with a bunch of examples that you like. Logically, you would like to have the ones you like safely stored in your phone, but then you realized that it’s impossible since images are locked in a PDF file.
You could either download the whole file or take screenshots of photos you would like to keep. By taking screenshots you will definitely lose quality which is not good if you want to reuse those images. The best thing you could actually do is use PDF to JPG Converter app to open PDF you like and extract images from it in the best possible quality. We bet you didn’t know this was even possible.
Calibrate your touchscreen
Before thinking about editing pictures on your smartphone, consider calibrating your screen. By doing that, you would be able to more precisely adjust the settings when retouching your work. Most smartphone displays represent accurate colors. However, the majority of modern smartphones comes with a built-in feature that automatically adjusts the brightness and color temperature of your screen which can ultimately affect your editing process.
Our recommendation is to disable that features while you are editing your photos to ensure your colors are consistent. That should be done in two steps, first you would need to disable auto brightness feature and then the one that automatically adjusts the color temperature of your display.
Don’t overdo your photos
Whether you are editing photos in a built-in photo editor that came with your phone or you are using a third-party app, it is always a good idea not to overdo your edits. This is important because our smartphone camera lenses are considerably smaller than compact digital cameras which means that they can capture less light and visual information.
With that said, you can only alter so much of a smartphone image before the quality starts to dissolve. If your photo is too dark or too bright, you can lose much detail when you try to alter it. So the idea is to do subtle adjustments to your images, whenever you start seeing pixelation or noise that meant you should tone it down a bit.
Clean your lens
This one is so obvious and simple, but yet a lot of people make this crucial mistake. Most of the time your phone spends in your pocket, your hand or on a table facing up, and as a result of all of that, it will get dirty. Fingerprints, dirt or grease will eventually end up on your camera lens and will have a big effect on the photos you take.
There’s no point to expect that you will take astonishing photos while your camera lens is dirty. It will block the light and leave smudges or dust spots on your images. So next time don’t forget to clean your lens before you take a photo with your smartphone.
Manually adjust exposure
Exposure refers to how bright or dark your image becomes. When you tap on the subject to focus on it, your camera will also automatically set the exposure for the shot. Sometimes it is not ideal to let your phone set the exposure for you since it could lead to overexposing or underexposing certain parts of your image.
Most modern smartphones allow you to manually set the exposure. Simply set the focus by tapping the screen and use a small toggle slider to swipe up, down, left or right (depending on the smartphone) to manually set the exposure. When you are happy with the result, just release your finger from the screen and take a photo.
You can create some truly astonishing images by incorporating photography editing and capturing tips we shared with you in this article. Once you become familiar with them, you will see how much your photography game will improve.
Online sales are on the rise and e-commerce is expected to grow at a much faster rate than offline retail. With this in mind, it’s hardly surprising that more and more businesses are working hard to build a strong online presence that often includes opening an e-shop.
Important as online stores are, there’s still a lot of misconception about what factors improve the odds for online success.
Take website speed for instance. Though many online marketers believe it is somewhat important for their businesses, they are unaware of the extent it impacts websites.
The gurus of web hosting reviews at the Hosting Tribunal created the fact-packed infographic below to show the latest stats about how page loading time affects online stores.
Meanwhile let’s bust some misconceptions related to speed and e-shops.
For starters, did you know that slow page load time negatively affects your total page views and bounce rate?
Research shows that for every second delay in page loading, you will have 11% fewer page views. Additionally, the bounce rate probability rises sharply with every small increase in page load time.
For instance, sites with load times of 5 seconds have the bounce rate probability of 90%. For sites with load times of 10 seconds, this figure is 123%. So, a 5-second delay in page loading causes bounce rate to increase by a whopping 33%.
But that’s not all. Majority of viewers who choose to stay for longer periods of time on slow online stores are likely to be unhappy with their site experience and as a result never shop there again.
52% of online shoppers rank site speed as an important loyalty factor and 64% of them will take their business elsewhere if their on-site experience is below-par.
A slow web page also means a high cart abandonment rate, which measures the number of people who add an item to their shopping carts but leave without completing the transaction.
All in all, slow page loading affects your online store in many ways. So what are you waiting for? Take a look at the graphic below and apply corrective measures immediately if your site is slow and sluggish.
Colors are everywhere! It’s hard to imagine a world without color, and even harder to measure their impact in our everyday lives. However, the impact is undeniable, and blogging, web design, branding, marketing, and sales are not immune to it. It is well known that colors have an effect on human moods and emotions, which in turn affect decisions and behavior. This effect is the fascinating subject of color psychology and understanding it can be an incredibly useful asset when optimizing your blog.
DesignAdvisor has researched this topic and put together an informative infographic on 40 facts about the psychology of color. If you’re looking for ways to boost your blog, it’s well worth considering the color psychology factor. Here are three questions and answer to help you explore this topic and assess how it’s affecting your blog design.
What messages are associated with different color?
First of all, let’s consider the underlying meanings and messages behind the most frequently used colors:
· GREEN: Just like grass and trees in nature, the color green gives a message of growth and health. Green is a calm and soothing color with an element of freshness. It works well in the household, finance, agriculture, technology, and energy sectors among others.
· BLUE: Blue tends to be a firm favorite across the board. Its message is one of peace and tranquillity, and it symbolizes security, trust, reliability, and productivity.
· RED: The color of passion and excitement, red has been proven to increase the observer’s heart rate in some cases! Red conveys a bold and lively message which can also give a sense of urgency and speed.
· YELLOW: Bright and cheerful like the sun, yellow is an energetic color which speaks of competence and intelligence. It can even arouse hunger pangs making yellow an ideal color for food outlets and catering businesses.
· ORANGE: Another warm and energetic color, orange sends a message of confidence, enthusiasm, and ambition. It is popular with technology and healthcare brands.
· PURPLE: The color of royalty, purple symbolizes wealth, power, authority and sophistication. It is often used in the health and beauty industry, for anti-aging products, as well as in finance and various other industries.
· PINK: This attractive color’s message is one of warmth, sensitivity, sincerity, respect, and sophistication. It also gives the sense of possibilities.
· BROWN: Brown is a solid and earthy color. It works well if you want to convey a message of ruggedness and durability.
· BLACK: Black is a classic – ever elegant and sophisticated, often giving the message of wealth and luxury as well as carrying the weight of power and authority.
· WHITE: White is the ultimate symbol of purity and perfection, and it also gives a fresh and clean look. It works wonderfully as an accent color.
Do my color choices align with my blog’s intended message?
Now that you know the ideas and feelings commonly associated with each color ask yourself how your blog’s color scheme matches up. Have you chosen shades that correspond to your blog’s themes and messages you’re trying to convey? Perhaps your chosen colors have been sending a contradictory message all along. Now might be a great time to rethink your blog design with color psychology in mind. Perhaps after reading this far, you feel convinced that you have chosen the right colors, but for some reason, your readership response is not as high as you would like it to be. If this is the case, here is a bonus question for you to consider.
What color is my CTA button?
Who would have thought that the color of your call to action button can make a huge difference to the number of clicks you are likely to get? Indeed, case studies have confirmed that simply changing the color of the button can cause a marked improvement. Whether you are asking your readers to subscribe to a newsletter, sign up for an ebook or perform another desired action, it’s all about visibility and standing out on the page. The colors which work best for a CTA button are usually orange, red, yellow or green. So what color is yours?
For more information on color psychology in branding and digital marketing, check out the infographic below!
If you haven’t heard, conversion rates are a big deal. Fail to optimize them and you’ll miss out on golden opportunities. But what do you need to know about conversion rates, and what methods can you use to boost them? Let’s take a more detailed look.
They’re not just for e-commerce
As evidenced by the featured image, conversion is often considered a topic for e-commerce marketers to obsess over while they toy with their UX designs, but it’s more than that. It’s important for every business with an online presence of some kind, with very few exceptions. Just imagine how many companies there are that genuinely neither need nor want anything significant in return for the resources and entertainment they provide: a handful, maybe?
Whether you sell products, market a service, or seek to collect data, the everyday operation of your business relies upon the visitors to your website doing what you want them to do: choosing, knowingly or unknowingly, to help you out in some way. Fail to inspire the level of action you need, and your website will sink.
What counts as a conversion is up to you
The reason this can get tricky for non-ecommerce sites is that it isn’t always obvious what exactly should be considered a conversion. With a product purchase, it’s simple: when someone places an order, that’s a conversion. But what about with a promotional site for a service? Does someone sending an email query count as a conversion? What about someone calling you directly? Is that more or less significant?
It all comes down to the likelihood of any given conversion leading to a more classic conversion (i.e. the contribution of money). The most sensible way to approach conversions for a non-ecommerce site is to have a tier of connected conversions, with each one assigned a different value.
If someone reaches out to you in some way, that can be a conversion — once money exchanges hands, that can be a more valuable conversion. It’s better than only considering the profitable exchanges as conversions because it highlights the difference between those stages.
These days, marketing campaigns can be very broad, supporting more traditional forms of promotion with social media activity (typically Facebook ads or Instagram marketing) to create more varied traffic streams. If you’re getting plenty of email, phone call or social media conversions but not ever winning any new business, that will suggest that there’s some problem with your follow-up procedure.
They need more than superficial changes
When it comes to product pages, landing pages, and even checkouts, you’ll find plenty of people talking in great detail about how minor alterations can make huge differences. For instance, you changing the color of a primary CTA from blue to orange might raise the conversion rate by 2%, and a comparably-minor change a font size might have a similar effect.
This is entirely true, of course: minor changes can make major differences. But the problem with getting too hung up on this truth is that it can limit your ability to improve by getting you stuck in a cycle of simple A/B testing. One month you change the CTA color to good effect, but the rates go down the next, so you tweak the image style, and so on. You get into a habit of making mostly-arbitrary changes to see what will happen.
And while you’re spending all that time on those speculative tweaks, you’re missing out on other issues that would take much longer to address but might prove even more effective if you did. If you’re simply using a site as a short-term digital asset, as website flippers do, then it won’t be worth your time to get so in-depth — but if you’re sticking with a website for the long haul, you will eventually need to ramp up your analysis to make a difference.
It’s entirely understandable that this happens. If you’re casting a critical eye over a site and you come up with two ideas, one being to radically overhaul the payment system and another being to pad out the product tiles slightly, you’re likely going to do the latter first because it’s much easier. Just make sure that you go deeper than that and look for broader ways to improve.
The best way of measuring conversion rates is by setting up goals & filters within your Google Analytics account. Here is an awesome video that will show you step by step how to set up your own goals within Google Analytics by David over at The PPC Machine. He’s graciously allowed me to embed it below:
They can ruin otherwise-excellent sites
Frustratingly, it’s perfectly possible for a site to have a highly effective marketing funnel right up to the point of conversion, only to drop the ball and see all that hard-earned traffic slip away. It’s such a waste, especially since the flaws responsible for the damage are sometimes remarkably simple and cost-effective to address.
As such, a catch-all solution to your website woes is to find ways to improve your conversion rates. Until you’re entirely sure that you’ve polished all the conversion-relevant elements of your site to a mirror shine, they fully warrant a lot of close attention.
Let’s recap what we’ve looked at here:
Conversion rates are vitally important for all websites, not just ecommerce stores.
You get to decide what metrics they track.
They require in-depth analysis to optimize.
If you get them wrong, they can undermine great sites.
My suggestion for an ongoing conversion rate optimization (CRO) strategy is to combine basic A/B testing on all the small elements you can easily adjust (colors, sizes, ordering, etc.) with more detailed reviews of specific functions. Those improvements (both small and big) will add up, leading to better rates — and thus better business.
Kayleigh Alexandra is a content writer for Micro Startups — a site dedicated to giving through growth hacking. Visit the blog for your latest dose of startup, entrepreneur, and charity insights from top experts around the globe. Follow us on Twitter @getmicrostarted.
While huge corporations can afford to spend a lot of money testing out different marketing strategies, small businesses do not always have that option due to a much more limited budget. That is why they usually need to stick to proven marketing methods which have the best ROI.
The Benefits Of Email Marketing
One such method is email marketing. It is a cost-effective way to reach a large number of customers and has the added benefit of enabling you to track the marketing campaign results easily.
Another great benefit of using email marketing is that you can target specific audiences with specially designed and personalized content. This improves the chances of the email being opened and read because it will reach people who are more likely to be interested in the products and services that your company is offering.
Email marketing also brings dozens of other benefits, all of which are listed in the infographic below provided by 99firms.com.
Know What You Want
Before you start creating an email marketing campaign, you need to define your goals. What is that you are hoping to achieve from the campaign?
Sales conversions – It goes without saying that every business wants to improve conversions. Luckily, there are many metrics that you can use to see how well your email marketing is affecting them.
Website traffic – Bringing as many people as you can to your website can only be a good thing. Not only will this raise awareness of your brand, but it will also improve its ranks on search engines. You can see how effective your emails are by taking a look at the click-through rates.
Increase revenue – Another common email marketing goal is to increase revenue. When recipients start to become customers, you can declare your email marketing campaign as successful.
Once you know why you want to use email marketing, you should segment your email lists into relevant groups. That way, you can send specially designed content to certain groups of people. If you do otherwise, i.e., send the same email to all the addresses you have, your campaign will fail.
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