According to research done earlier this year, more than half of Americans have smartphones. While using a QR code may have been cutting edge in 2011, this form of mobile marketing is finally starting to reach the masses in 2012. Most consumers are familiar with the funny-looking, black-and-white codes and already have an app to scan them on the go.
QR codes are a great way to promote your small business, but knowing where to place them to maximize your exposure is a problem for some. Here are a few great ideas:
continue reading 7 Smart Ways Small Businesses Can Use QR Codes
Whether you’re blogging or building a business, chances are you’ve heard about Pinterest. Are you already using the up-and-coming social bookmarking site? A lot of people are, and early adopters are proving the site can be a powerful tool for businesses that want to build their brand online.
Even if you’re not sure that your business needs a Pinterest profile, it’s a smart idea to make sure that your website is ready for Pinterest. After all, Pinterest users are busy pinning favorites all over the web! The easier you make it to pin your site, the more likely you are to get pinned.
So, how do you get your website ready for Pinterest? Follow these steps to make your site easy to pin.
continue reading Is Your Website Ready for Pinterest?
A little while back, we talked about the importance of using photos in every post when you’re blogging. Now that you’re convinced that images are an important part of each and every blog post, you might be wondering where you get photos and graphics for your posts. Of course, there are several places where you can find just about any image you might need. Unfortunately, stock photography can be expensive. The secret is knowing where to look to get the best deal, or even find free images that you can use on your website.
Here are 5 places to get started when you need to find free (or at least cheap!) images to use on your blog.
continue reading 5 Places to Download Free and Cheap Images to Use on Your Blog
You spend hours laboring over text, creating the perfect blog post. If you read TutorialBlog, then you also know the importance of including photos on your blog, too. But, how much time did you spend making sure that your images are SEO-optimized for the best performance? Photos can be more than eye-candy for readers, images are a great opportunity to improve your on-page search engine optimization.
continue reading 4 Simple Steps to Optimize Your Photos for Search Engines
You may not realize it, but the color scheme that you choose for your website is one of the most important decisions you will have to make.
Color is important because it effects not only your mind, but your body as well. Studies have shown that the color red can stimulate your senses, and even raise your blood pressure. Casinos have been known to use red neon lights because it’s been said that people gamble more while under the glow of a red light. On the other hand, blue tends to have the opposite effect; It’s been shown to calm the mind, and relax the body.
continue reading How to Choose the Colors for Your Website
After years with no clear path to monetization, Twitter now offers three different methods for advertising or “promoting” your business: Promoted Accounts, Promoted Trends, and Promoted Tweets. Which service is right for you will vary depending on the type of campaign you’re planning. Do you want to acquire followers? Build buzz around a new product? Or, just spread your message as far as possible through the Twittersphere?
The first step is understanding how Twitter’s Promoted advertising works and the benefits of each service. Once you know how Twitter can promote your business, you will be able to choose the best strategy for your social media campaign. So, let’s begin with an overview of each type of Twitter Promotion.
continue reading Twitter Advertising: How to Get Promoted on Twitter
Twitter Advertising: How to Get Promoted on Twitter is a post from: Tutorial Blog
As bloggers, wanna-be writers and hopeful freelancers, we hear, probably on a daily basis, just how important guest blogging is. We know we should be guest blogging which means we know we should be actively seeking out new blogs and new sites as potential homes for our precious content. And usually, considering we’re “writers,” we think we’re fairly good at putting words on a page and drafting an informative, helpful, hopefully even mildly entertaining piece of work. After all, we can write all day long, but if it doesn’t offer benefit to a site or to a blog, there is no site manager (no matter how burnt out or desperate for content), who is going to put that on his beloved page. And we can’t blame him. Those of us with our own blogs know how thin the line is regarding how willing we are at approving content and promoting it on our site. (...)
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Back in April, Facebook rolled out the Send button, a function that provided a simple and direct way for users to privately share content through the platform. Though it has not garnered as much attention as the Like button, this feature can be viewed a huge success considering that the social network says it has already been installed on more than 100,000 sites. Nearly two months later, Facebook has followed up the Send button with a new feature called Send Dialog. In this article, we will discuss the feature in more detail and explain how a marketer can take advantage of the Send Dialog to engage their audience.
continue reading How Can a Marketer Take Advantage of Facebook’s New Send Dialog?
There are WordPress addons available for just about any function — including automatic promotion of your blog posts! This article is specifically aimed at folks who are new to blog promotion or want to start their first website marketing campaign but aren’t sure where to begin. The great thing is, these plugins are so simple to set up, there’s absolutely no reason why you shouldn’t be using these tactics to increase your blog’s following.
Here’s a guide to some of the best WordPress plugins for automating your blog promotion tasks without spending a lot of money.
continue reading Free WordPress Plugins and Add-ons to Promote Your Blog On Autopilot
Humor me for a moment and go dig out a copy of the White Pages — you remember, it’s that 10-pound behemoth gathering dust under the sink. Now, flip it open to any page and tell me the truth? Are you pulled into the content? Do you have any desire to continue reading or have you already closed it up and moved on to the next thing?
Online or offline, people constantly come across content and make a split-second decision about whether to stay or go. Often, the decision is made before the content is even assessed. It’s a sub-concious decision to leave based purely on looks.
continue reading 4 Reasons You Should Add Photos or Illustrations to Every Blog Post
A friend of mine just earned his real estate license and now he’s in the process of setting up office online. He’s already familiar with WordPress, so he came to me and asked if I had any advice on using WordPress for a real estate website. WordPress is really the hot ticket for building real estate site right now, which is both good and bad.
On the one hand, the demand for real estate themes and plugins has encouraged innovation among developers and they’re coming up with some pretty neat tools for agents to use when managing their properties online. On the other hand, you want to make sure that your website stands out from the crowd of similarly-themed websites so that you can attract clients and impress them with your marketing skills and web savvy. For an agent, a good website shows potential clients that they have 21st century skills and can do what it takes to sell a home in this tough market.
So, in answer to his question I rounded up a list of the top WordPress themes for building a real estate website that is sure to stand out in a crowd and help you—and your listings—get noticed.
continue reading 9 Stand-Out Real Estate Themes for WordPress
I’ve recently been working on a project to design a daily email newsletter that will be powered by MailChimp’s RSS to Email option. In some ways using RSS limits the design, however by automating the email campaign the site owner can focus on creating content rather than delivering content.
The challenge for this email campaign is to create a template that can accommodate between 4 and 8 articles with photos and summaries, a spot for advertising, branding options and of course space for all the “required” information to be can-spam compliant. Oh yeah, the content all needs to fit together elegantly and encourage users to take action by visiting the site, bookmarking an article, etc. What’s the best way to fit that much information in an email and keep it organized?
I went looking for inspiration on Emailium, and found a collection of content-heavy email designs proving that it is indeed possible to fit a mountain of information into a document no more than 600 pixels wide. Want to be inspired, too? Check out this list of email designs for content-heavy newsletters and publishing sites.
Read the rest of 9 Email Designs for Content-Heavy Newsletters (509 words)
Emailium, an inspiration database for designers who create email marketing campaigns, opened their public beta today. The site is free to join for now, although it makes no mention of what the prices might be once the public beta is over.
The company describes itself as “A filterable, sortable, categorizable, global database of email campaigns for competitive research, design inspiration and industry analysis.” In other words, Emailium is to email marketing what cssmania.com is to web design. (...)
Read the rest of Browse Email Marketing Campaigns on Emailium for Inspiration and Ideas (372 words)
As a freelancer, you are in charge of everything—from invoicing and collections to fun stuff like giving yourself an annual bonus. So, when it comes to giving holiday gifts to your clients, the choice is entirely yours. On the one hand, most clients don’t expect to receive gifts from small vendors or independent contractors. On the other hand, unexpected extras are a great way to remind your clients why they love you.
Just one note of caution: Don’t fall into the trap of “promotional gifts.” Nobody wants to receive a gift that is an obvious gimmick. Steer clear of the cheap and cheesy. This means: No refrigerator magnets; No desk calendars with your logo on the front; and by all means, please, no plastic letter openers. These things aren’t gifts they’re marketing. I’m not saying that promotional gifts don’t have their place, we all love free schwag, but holiday gifts shouldn’t scream “Look at me!”
Instead, give your clients something that shows how creative you can be without looking like an advertisement—in other words, something they’ll appreciate that won’t wind up in the garbage the minute after they open it. Here are some unique gift ideas for clients to spark your imagination. (...)
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I’m hesitant to admit it, but I’m not a huge football fan. My boyfriend, however, loves “his” team — the USC Trojans. And if there’s one thing I’ve learned over the years, it’s that football fans will use any excuse to dress up or decorate with their team colors. Actually, real fans don’t even need a reason to show team spirit.
So, in honor of football fans everywhere and to kick off the fall football season in America, I thought it would be fun to show how to use one of the new tools in CSS3 to decorate a web page with your team colors. Let’s play with the selection declaration.
There are many neat design tricks in CSS3. The selection declaration — ::selection — is a quick way to add some polish onto a design and give a website the “wow” factor that really makes clients happy. Using a .selection class can override the operating system’s default highlight color with any color you specify.
As with so many of the best html and css goodies, browser support varies. Safari and Firefox both recognize the selection declaration, but you’ll need to implement the code a bit differently for each browser. Here’s how to use CSS3′s new selection declaration to add a dash of unexpected color to your web design.(...)
Read the rest of Design is in the Details: Using CSS Selection Pseudo-Classes to Declare Your Team Spirit
These days, anyone with a computer and an Internet connection can build a website. The question is, what kind of website will you get? Will your new website function well and be able to expand as your company grows? Your website is often the first impression that clients have of your business, so you need a professional web design agency—not some guy who pirated a copy of Dreamweaver with a stack of business cards using a VistaPrint template.
There are a few things which you need to check before signing a contract and handing over a deposit—especially if you are building an eCommerce site. Below are some of the key points to check before deciding which design agency to use.(...)
Read the rest of How to Choose a Web Design Agency to Build Your eCommerce Site
This Photomatix Tutorial will be geared towards the beginning user. When I was a newbie to Photography in general I didn’t even know the difference between aperture and shutter speed. When I was new to HDR I felt a similar sense of ignorance when I ran across certain terms related to HDR. I only began using Photomatix myself a few months ago but due to a pretty heavy immersion I’ve picked up quite a lot of information in that period of time.
I’m breaking this tutorial up into two main parts. Part one is a very basic walk-through of HDR and Photomatix. Part two will go into the various adjustment sliders in the Details Enhancer mode, which is the most commonly used mode in Photomatix.
Although there are several versions of Photomatix (including a Light version), I’m going to talk mostly about Photomatix Pro. This is the standalone version of the software and is the most commonly purchased version.
I actually initially bought the Light version because I was feeling pretty tight with money at the time. Although it is less expensive than the Pro version, it’s also considerably “Lighter”. After upgrading to the Pro version I ran some experiments using the same three bracketed images. The final result from the Light version was pretty good but the result from the Pro version was better. (...)
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When you’re designing websites for a global audience, you need to be aware of cultural differences that will affect the way they are viewed in different parts of the world. You cannot expect the exact same website to be well-received around the globe. You need to adapt your websites to allow for cultural differences and make sure they are equally effective in whichever region you are targeting. (...)
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Photoshop is one of the most versatile tools available for the graphic designer or artist. Many people don’t realize how truly powerful the program can be when it comes to altering and enhancing images, but the fact is that most commercial images have been touched by Photoshop at some point. When it comes to using the application, well, anyone who has ever opened the program knows that Photoshop’s versatility comes with a somewhat steep learning curve. Fortunately, Photoshop tutorials are available for those who would like to learn how to use the program but need a little bit of extra help.
Here are some of our favorite Photoshop tutorials suitable for beginners pulled from the TutorialBlog.org archives: (...)
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WordPress, long known as one of the most popular blogging platforms, has turned into so much more. With the release of WordPress 3 “Thelonious”, the platform really steps into its own as a powerful content management system for writers, designers and everyone else to create or manage stunning, cutting-edge websites.
Most people prefer WordPress because it is not only is it easy to use, it’s totally free. You can host your WordPress blog on your own servers or use free hosting with WordPress.com. Either way, using WordPress to manage your website is easy—add pages, delete pages, schedule content, add functionality with plugins and connect to the WordPress community.
The first thing most WordPress users learn to do is change their theme. There are hundreds of free WordPress themes available to download as well as many premium WordPress themes with special features such as built-in SEO. Installing and customizing WordPress themes is your ticket to creating brilliant websites that are also user-friendly. Changes to WordPress in the last year make installing new themes easier than ever. For newbies, it’s a good idea to start with a WordPress tutorial on how to install a new WordPress theme or change an existing WordPress theme.
In fact, most users will get the most out of WordPress by using and learning from the many free WordPress tutorials available online. Finding useful WordPress tutorials on the web will show you to create stunning websites with this free platform, and even add unique features to make your website stand out. (...)
Read the rest of Beyond the Blog: Get on the WordPress Bandwagon