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September 21, 2010 / elgart calago

Why Blog Marketing Has Become So Popular

The popularity of blog marketing has grown but not so much from any aggressive efforts to consciously ‘promote’ business blogging. It is more the case that people in general are much more receptive to this type of approach because it is less invasive. The general public as a whole has grown increasingly weary of ‘in your face’ promotional tactics and the passive approach business blogs use is therefore more appealing. For anybody who expects to get paid to blog they are aware they must perform a service and earn the loyalty and trust of people first and foremost. From the point of view of any potential customer, this is a refreshing change and a win win situation for them.

Here’s how it works!

Capture Attention

Business blogs, as mentioned previously operate on the idea of first ‘attracting’ people to their sites. This is done with the use of interesting or useful content. If the information posted is of good enough quality, people will return to view new updates.

Build Interest

On their first few visits people are normally drawn in on moderate interest but a high level of curiosity. As new post appear, and continue to maintain a certain level of quality, readers become more engaged or interested in the site. This is when loyalty begins to develop.

Increase Credibility

Now it is up to the business blogs to maintain a consistency of both content quality and posting frequency so visitors will know what to expect. When this is done the site and of course the owner begin to develop a credibility that increases with each new post. At the same time reader loyalty is also increasing and all this is transpiring without visitors being pressured to buy anything!

Builds Relationship

The more people continue to visit, the more familiar and comfortable they become with the site. Comments are left, exchanges occur, and a relationship begins to take shape that only strengthens as time goes by.

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Creates Trust

As the relationship ‘bond’ strengthens so does the trust people have in the blog host. Here is when products or services are then ‘offered’ or ‘suggested’ to visitors who are more inclined to heed the suggestions of the blogger because of the credibility and trust that now exists. All this once again transpires without the use of pressure allowing people to remain in a comfort zone where they do not feel any obligation to make a purchase. With this relationship established the site owner is now able to get paid to blog due to the decrease in resistance visitors have towards any promotional efforts.

Blog marketing is growing in popularity because it presents a refreshing change from more traditional and aggressive promotional techniques. Business blogs realize they must first win the trust and loyalty of visitors to their site. This approach is more appealing to people who have grown tired of pushy ‘in your face’ tactics. Another factor not to be overlooked is the growing acceptance of making purchases online. The 5 things a blogger must accomplish if they expect to get paid to blog that are reviewed above, clearly reflect that customer satisfaction is a priority. The blogging business will likely continue to grow in popularity due primarily to its customer friendly approach. Giving people what they want, and at a pace that is comfortable to them, has put the customer back in control, and they apparently have taken a liking to it!

By TJ Philpott

September 18, 2010 / elgart calago

3D Revolution- Why the world isn’t ready for 3D Television

With box-office hits such as Avatar and Alice in Wonderland putting 3D entertainment on the map, it’s no wonder television manufacturers were quick to hop on the bandwagon. Several companies including LG, Sony, Samsung, Toshiba and Panasonic, have all announced their own versions of the 3D television, and TV networks, such as ESPN, have already announced fully 3D channels. However, all this excitement also brings concern. Will there be consumer demand? Will it be finically affordable? Is the world ready for 3D television? I don’t think so, and here’s why.

Why fix what’s not broken

Even though 3D television seems like the way of the future, it still begs the question; when did regular TV become boring and broken? To answer the rhetorical question, it hasn’t, and likely never will. As long as talented writers continue to make interesting content, people will keep watching. Why “cheapen” the experience with another gimmick. We don’t need to fix what’s not broken.

Other markets are still playing catch-up

While there’s no lack in 3D television sets, there is a shortage of available content to be used with those units. While television manufacturers have surged ahead in the 3D market, movie companies and TV networks have been left in the dust. There just isn’t that much content out there to fuel televisions sales. Without quality content, the market can’t sustain itself.

Expensive Technology

To put things simply, technology is expensive. The new 3D TV’s are no exception. With a price range noticeable above high-end LCD TV’s, it’s hard to see the general middle-class consumer buying in to it. Especially when the technology behind the product is just so new. Argue with me all you want, 3D technology has JUST recently began to be pursued. And while it has been around for quite some time, it has just begun to be implemented in the tech market. Only time will tell if consumers will buy in.

Final Thoughts

While there’s no doubt to whether or not 3D technology has the ability to be the next big thing, it really lies in the hands of the consumer. The 3D market could be huge: DVD’s, Blu-Ray discs, video games, designer 3D glasses, the list goes on. Only time will tell if 3D is the future, or one big flop.

By: Tyler Kroke

September 9, 2010 / elgart calago

The Use Of Images On Your Blog

The use of images on a blog is a good way to add more interest and impact to your valued postings. The right image can highlight a point or make a point all on its own. A picture is certainly worth a thousand words. It is perfectly appropriate to add one or more pictures to any and every blog posting.

When Images are a Must

There are some times that images are a must to add to your blog. If you are blogging about a particular person, place or thing an image is a must. For example, if you are talking about a new car model on the market you should have one or more images of the model with the new posting.

You do not want to leave your followers disappointed that they are unable to see what you are talking about.

How to Get Images

You can find images online. You need to check and make sure you can use the images on your blog without there being a copyright infringement. Give the sources of the image or images when you post them as well.

A Google image search or a Flickr image search should help you find images for just about anything you are blogging about. You can also use drawings, cartoons and other images to highlight a point.

Size and Placement

If you are adding images to your blog you want to make sure they are sufficient size to convey what you are intending to convey. Typically a blog posting will contain a thumbnail or smaller size of the image that appears embedded in the posting. When someone clicks on the image it should increase to its fullest size to show greater detail.

Images can be put in various places within a blog posting. For the most impact you want to consider putting the image in the top right corner of the blog posting. Centered on the bottom of your posting is another good option for an image.

The Bottom Line About Images

The bottom line is you should try to use images to convey a point or emphasize a point on your blog. Images make a blog more appealing while adding greater impact. Make sure the images you use are appropriate for your readers and that you have permission to post them on your blog. Follow these guidelines and add some images to your blog.

By Frank Breinling

September 7, 2010 / elgart calago

How to Build a Website in 5 Minutes

You know you need a website for yourself or your organization. Now the only question is how you are going to go about doing it without breaking the bank. But at the same time, you don’t want it to look cheap either, it needs to look professional and be easy to change when changes are needed.

Having a web site today has become a necessity for individuals and organizations alike. Your online presence matters much in the global world we live in, especially if you want to be heard, to make a difference, then having your website is essential.

Making your own website is even more important if you want to do business online, or want to promote your products or services online. An effective website can do wonders in the marketing domain and get you the sales you desperately need. What’s more is that a mere website can change you from having a local presence to having a global one.

So what do you do if you want to have a website? The first thoughts that come to mind are thoughts that will send jitters down your spine. Instantly when you think of making a professional, classy website, with a website design that is catchy, you think of hiring professional web designers, making them understand how you want your website to be, paying them hundreds (or thousands) of dollars to make the website and then paying them more, and possibly having to wait days or weeks, for every change you want in the future. That is sure to make you weary and your pocketbook thin. In the old days (a few years ago) that used to be about the only choice you had unless you wanted to grind it out on your own trying to learn HTML coding from scratch. Yuck!
Now with CSS programming, it’s even more difficult to do on your own.

Fast forward to today: Now even a rank newbie can have their own professional website in just a few minutes. There are now some great options to make your very own website yourself with hardly any knowledge of programming or HTML or any of those complicated things. You can make your own website design, choose from a range of website templates and fill out the content the way you want, and, if you get the right website builder, you can make changes any time you want, whenever you want without it costing you anything extra. Making your own website has now become an affordable, do-it-yourself and easy thing to do, if, and I say if, you choose the right one.
But beware: choose the wrong web builder, and it could be a nightmare.
What you are looking for is an affordable, workable, professional looking website building tool preferably with a reasonable monthly fee of no more than $50 (to start) and preferably no contract. If you see them ask for a long-term contract, you should step back and reconsider.
Other options to look for in a web page builder is a user-friendly interface that will take you right through the website designing and website publishing process from start to finish. You want to be able to choose from a range of website templates, and you want to be able to change the writing and pictures on your website anytime you desire, even at 2am in the morning, for no extra cost. With the right website builder, there is no need to buy or master expensive and difficult to learn graphics programs. Less effort, less time, less money and better results can be had with the proper website building program.

By Jeffyancey

September 2, 2010 / elgart calago

Ten Great Web Design Blogs

If you’ve ever designed a website, you know what it feels like to hit a wall. Every Web designer has come to the point when he just does not know what to do – whether it’s thinking of a creative design, working past a bug, or finding just the right texture or font.

Fortunately, there are plenty of great blogs out there to help you get over the hump. Some give away free resources, others offer tutorials and tips, while others are just places to find creative inspiration. Keeping up with blogs is also a great way to stay current on Web trends and news. Here are 10 of the most helpful Web design blogs on the Internet right now:
Smashing Magazine has a little bit of everything for Web designers. You’ll find daily posts ranging from creative ideas to lists of dos and don’ts to contests to tutorials. This is a great site to visit regularly if you want to continue learning about Web design.
456 Berea Street is a wonderful place to find resources if you want to make your Web site more accessible to those who have disabilities.
If you’re looking for inspiration for your CSS-designed website, you’ve come to the right place. CSS Beauty is an enormous collection of well-designed CSS websites. It also features an extensive forum as well as news and tips about using CSS.
While most blogs are filled with short tips and guides, you’ll find long, in-depth articles created for Web designers at A List Apart. While it is not updated as much as other blogs, A List Apart is well worth a bi-weekly visit for quality advice.
Another good general Web design blog, Web Design Wall features helpful tutorials news and trends. Visitors can also frequently win prizes just by commenting on certain posts.Every designer loves free stuff.
BittBox is a great resource for free tools, textures and fonts.
If you’re stuck with a technical problem, chances are you’ll find the answer you’re looking for on NetTuts. This is a great resource of Web tutorials for beginning, intermediate and advanced Web designers.
TutorialBlog is another tutorial blog where you can find plenty of practical advice to help you through sticky problems.

By IADT Orlando

August 27, 2010 / elgart calago

Learning Web Design

Whether you want to pursue a career as a Web designer or you want to create your own website, it is important to learn Web design the right way. Many people think that because they can create websites in Dreamweaver or some other WYSIWIG (What You See Is What You Get) editor, they can skip all the technical computer stuff.

While it is possible to create a simple website without any technical programming understanding, it is not wise. Eventually, you’ll run into a problem that you won’t be able to fix without knowledge of computer languages or style sheets. Advanced programming knowledge also opens up a whole new world of Web design possibilities.

The following list represents the right way to learn Web design. The principles listed are in order from most basic and foundational to most advanced.

1. Design Fundamentals

If you’re creating a website through a WYSIWIG editor, the principles of design are the most important things you need to know. Put together a website that is based on good use of color, composition, visuals and type, and you’ll have a solid foundation to build from which to build. Remember that any website can be destroyed with bad design.

2. HTML (HyperText Markup Language)

HTML forms the foundation of every website. By knowing HTML, you’ll know how your site is put together. This knowledge is vital if you are going to fix bugs, clean up messy code or make tweaks. If you want to work professionally as a Web designer, you will not be hired without a firm grasp of HTML.

3. CSS (Cascading Style Sheets)

Web designers use style sheets to change Web elements like layout, font, color and size. Because CSS is complicated, it can be difficult to learn on the job. Do yourself a favor and get trained on CSS before you try to apply it to your site.

4. JavaScript

You don’t need to know a lot of JavaScript to design websites, but basic JavaScript knowledge can be a huge help if you want to complete a simple task like creating a dropdown box, open a new window through a link or create a rollover image. The more JavaScript you know, the more extras you’ll be able to add to a site.

5. Web programming languages

Web programming languages like PHP, C and Java are some of the tools that Web developers use to create large websites. Many large companies hire programmers with knowledge of a certain language to help them write software for their site. If you’re serious about developing content for the Web or trying to get a Web development position with a large company, you will need to learn some of the most popular Web design languages.

By IADT- Academy – Online

August 24, 2010 / elgart calago

Text or Banner Design for Online Advertisements

In the recent years there had been great buzz around contextual advertising programs such as Adsense. The text based ads are cheaper, and are generally considered a cost saving way to brand a product or service online. However, it is also widely accepted that image based banner ads are still getting more response from the web surfers.

A general misconception that is found among small businesses looking for cheap online advertisement solutions is that they believe that only the text ads can be contextual. Please allow me to explain what context in online advertisement means. In today’s popular online advertising program, you define a certain few keywords in your ad campaign, and then you define a region, or other demographic information. These advertising programs use cookies to track web users, when the defined keywords, region and demographics information are matched your ad is displayed. It does not matter whether your advertisement is in text format or in image format.

We all know the common phrase and the marketing mantra that an image is better than a thousand words. So an image based Banner Design advertisement is much better than a simple text message.

It can hold information that text simply can’t convey. An image can deliver complex ideas that would otherwise require lots of text to explain in words. It can use colors, artistic style, and aesthetic sense and user sensitivities to exploit the human nature.

A banner design does not need to be a static image, it could be an animated image with blinking text, or it could be a small flash movie. Illustrations are much more powerful especially when the ideas are presented in an organized animated form where important features are highlighted or moved around the canvas. An image is not a dead medium, depending on the skills of an artist your designer can be moving, motivating, inspiring and attractive.

Banner design based advertising may cost a little more than the text based advertisements. This is again a proof that they have proven to be more effective than simple text based advertisements. The cost difference between an image ad and text ad is due to the fact that a banner causes more money to be served as an advertisement, it takes more bandwidth and disk space than a few words of text. But since they have proven to be more effective, many businesses that are concerned about highlighting their brand image use banner advertisements.

There are many online design agencies that provide banner design services to clients. There are many different kind of banner in use. Prices of design services vary from one company to another. Your decision to choose the right design service depends on your needs, budget and where you would like to use this banner and how you intend to use it.

A banner design has no limitations on its usage. Even if you do not advertise through online advertisement programs, you can still take your banner design to your own website, your social media marketing campaigns, or print it at the footer of your company’s fax or email templates.

By Emily Matthew