Published by Andrew Noll at March 15, 2016
When you’ve been writing for a blog for a while it can be hard to maintain a fresh flow of ideas. Even if you’ve been getting traffic to your blog and have optimized every post for SEO, you can still end up starved for content. Whether it’s writer’s block or you’re branching out to something new, guest authors can be a great way to provide perspective and expand horizons.
Bringing in a guest blogger, especially from thought leaders in your industry, can establish your blog as a credible and newsworthy source. Read on to discover 5 undeniable reasons to feature guest authors on your blog:
1. Generate More Web TrafficGuest authors bring a new personality, voice, and their pre-established reputation. By featuring a guest author, you are more likely to generate traffic, as it increases your visibility.
Think about it as gossip: if you tell that one friend (who is secretly a megaphone) about the person you have a crush on, you can expect a bunch of their friends to find out. A blog is identical in the sense that the guest author is providing information which is then disseminated on the host blogs website and social media sites. This is one situation where it is beneficial for people to gossip about you.
2. Guest Author PromotionThe guest authors usually share the content published on the host blog to promote themselves. This is good for you, because it provides visibility for your brand via cross-promotion. When you think about the number of views you had before, relative to when you and your partner share content, it’s clear that cross-promotion is an effective way to gain new leads.
Social media is the best friend of any author looking to get noticed, and your guest author is probably already aware of this. By using a guest author, you will most likely have your post featured on their social media channels as well as yours. That’s a lot of people that didn’t know you before, especially if you can get a blog post from respected or established industry leaders.
Didn’t get featured on your guest author’s social media accounts? Just ask!
Odds are they just forgot or haven’t evaluated the possibility of reposting your blog content. You may need to aid new bloggers with options for places to promote blog posts. Feel free to share some common places utilized by your company, but don’t give away any trade secrets. Check with management if you are unsure what is appropriate for aiding a guest blogger in promoting your blog content.
3. Obtain BacklinksYou can expect more backlinks when you feature a guest author. This is a primary reason the guest author is writing for you, because you will link back to their site. However, so long as they post the article on their social media accounts, you also obtain backlinks to your site which are instrumental in SEO and will improve your site’s rankings. Search engine bots prioritize content with more backlinks.
Result? Simple, more people will end up on your site.
4. Lighten Your Content LoadOne guest blog post means one less post for you to write. Does this mean you should outsource all writing? Probably not. The guest author will temporarily bring in more people, but a majority of your original audience is there to read what you and other content creators from your blog have to say. If creating original content is like eating vegetables, guest posts should be the occasional slice of cake. You still need to write to maintain the following you already have and the health of your blog.
That being said, guest authors can be very advantageous if your work pulls you elsewhere, allowing you more time for the other challenges of running a business, blog or website. Think strategically, and find new ways to maximize your guest author’s reach, while prioritizing your own time.
5. Increase Blog Reach (A Lot)You will have organic traffic in addition to traffic from your social media sites and guest author. Guest blogging is a win-win situation for everyone! It’s usually not necessary to create a contract before starting cross-promotion, but may be advisable in some cases. This will allow you to lay out any stipulations that must be met by you or your guest author/company by the end of the partnership. It is an effective way to get everyone on the same page, but may not be necessary if you know the author personally or trust they will work with you every step of the way.
Overall, guest authors are an effective way to get more people to your blog. It is sharing at its finest, allowing both parties to share skills, experience, and followers with one another.
Need help with social media marketing? Get a quote.
Browse our other articles for more information on promoting yourself and how to look great online.
Published by Andrew Noll at March 7, 2016
When you start a website, there are a lot of things to take into consideration. Initially, you have to decide if you should start a website, then you need to develop your ideas and come up with a content plan. Once you are all set to start a site, you will need to know the basics of web design to show your content in a professional, attractive manner that makes your visitors say WOW. At ISO Developers we know websites and we wrote this article to walk you through the basics of web design.
TextAlways make sure to pay attention to your fonts. Different fonts have different personalities. For Example, the following message is the same but you can tell an instinctual difference in interpretation based on the font used:
You already know you’re fabulous!
You already know you’re fabulous!
You already know you’re fabulous!
Make sure to make font choices that allow you to best express your personality and that align with your company goals. For instance, a professional may choose a conventional font for business, such as Trebuchet MS, Times New Roman or Verdana, rather than a more illogical choice such as Comic Sans. A graphic designer may want to choose a font that makes their site stand out and shows the depth of their typographical knowledge. As a general rule, many designers prefer to use fonts that are in the same font family. You can mix and match but be careful that it doesn’t make things look disheveled.
ColorsEach of us is impacted on an emotional level by color, whether we are aware of it or not. A site that utilizes a darker color scheme may appear more mysterious or sophisticated, while a site with a light color scheme may appear friendly, or not serious enough. Always utilize discretion when choosing your color scheme, as it impacts your brand image and how people interpret and interact with you.
SpaceHave you ever stared at a blank piece of paper? White space has a similar effect in creating a sense of focus and clarity for users.
Unless you are a professional web designer, it is usually better to opt for white space on your site. Some prefer to take the opposite approach of a dark background with white text, but in general white space will be the easiest to read and allows your user to read with a clearer state of mind.
That being said, it’s up to you what background color you choose, if not white space, what color will the space be? Does this color have a positive association for the average person? To check this quickly, you can ask a friend or co-worker for their opinion. If it creates issues of legibility, or doesn’t evoke the right emotional response, you may want to change it.
ImageryYou want people to feel engaged based on what they see on the screen. In terms of photography, images of people, animals, or children are all known to create an emotional appeal. Choose an emotion that goes well with the direction or intended outcome of your content. Create visuals that are engaging for your target demographic.
You can also create video or use graphic design programs such as Adobe Creative Suites to create your imagery. Videos generally have higher engagement and if you repost your content on social media, you can create a gif from your footage.
Make sure that whatever type of imagery you use is relevant. Higher quality will bring more views and greater engagement. Moving imagery will attract the eye more easily than a still image. Play to your strengths and create what will look the best on your site.
GoalsKnow what you are creating ahead of time and plan for your vision. Once you have established that you want a website and know the content you will be creating, you can make the best choices to present it effectively.
Always make sure to keep your end user in mind. What do they associate with your brand? What kind of experience do they want to have while on your site? Tailor everything to your audience and aim for minimal text, a nice color scheme that fits your brand, appropriate white space (odds are you need more), and effective imagery.
Glad we could teach you the basics! We’ll be releasing more about site creation soon.
Need a hand with graphic design? We can help.
Have other questions? Call or email us for a free consultation.
Published by Andrew Noll at February 29, 2016
Pull up your website on your phone.
Do you see anything that looks like it could be improved for a mobile user? Some common problems with mobile optimization include sizing issues, persistent inbound marketing (such as popups), abundant text, and small fonts. These may seem insignificant, but they can impact how your site or business is viewed by others.
Don’t wait until your website misses its metrics! If you haven’t optimized your site for mobile, it can result in loss of potential clients, customers, or viewers. Read on for the top reasons to optimize for mobile right now.
Major Source of Site VisitsThe average American is spending more time on mobile internet than ever before. This is mostly due to convenience and accessibility. Many find it easier to whip out their phone, than to find their laptop, log in, and do a search. This may not be everyone’s preference, but as Millennials and Post-Millennials (that grew up with phones) gain purchasing power, the proportion of mobile versus desktop access will only increase.
According to statistics compiled by Smart Insights, Mobile usage surpassed desktop in 2014 and 80% of internet users own a smartphone. Since there are people that use their phones more than their computers, why wouldn’t you optimize your site for mobile?
Note: Find out how often your site is accessed on mobile using Google Analytics. Just select: Audience – Mobile – Overview.
#SocialSecret: Find mobile access on #GoogleAnalytics by selecting Audience - Mobile - Overview. Click to TweetLost TrafficMost of us don’t have the time for pages with loading issues due to glitchy ads or text that is too small for mobile screens. It seems silly to lose a potential lead after putting so much work into getting them on your site. If you track your site via analytics, one indication of a user compatibility issue is in page view time. This will depend on your site’s average traffic, but a drop may indicate issues with loading or compatibility, rather than lack of engaging content.
Prevents New LeadsConsider things from a potential customer’s perspective. When a site doesn’t load or appears outdated, competition is only a click away. They’re doing a search for something they need and if you can’t meet it, they’ll find it elsewhere. If you are trying to grow your brand, you want every lead you can get! Don’t lose the traffic that was rightfully yours in the first place. Cater to your customers with a site that is properly optimized for mobile.
Makes You Look BehindNobody wants to be the last one to get the latest gadget. You certainly don’t want to be the last one to optimize for mobile either! Customers will perceive your brand or company as outdated without a mobile-optimized site. As a site owner, you don’t ever want to look less professional than your competition. Do yourself a favor and stay ahead of the curve, thereby positioning yourself as a leader in your industry. Better to be over-prepared, than short on clients.
Mobile optimization could be the difference between a small or large market share as industries mature and the market grows established. You may already be in one of these industries. The internet is (mostly) limitless, but there are few search engines and users only have so much time. It isn’t just fun and games anymore, you have to get serious if you want to keep your user base. Optimize for mobile now to maintain your search ranking and keep the professional credibility you’ve already cultivated.
Mobile or Bust
Be a cool cat. Go mobile, increase traffic, and get better engagement.
Need help with mobile optimization? We’ve got your back.
Have a question? Call or email us for a free consultation.
Published by Andrew Noll at January 28, 2016
When YouTube started out there weren’t many people posting videos. It was easier to get viewers because there was less content. As YouTube has grown, channels have exploded in subscriber volume. Many of the main search terms have been monopolized by the channels with the highest views. SEO For Your Youtube Channel is an important
How does a new creator get noticed on YouTube? What do popular channels do to get so many views?
There are several important factors affecting higher views, including video, sound and thumbnail quality but the most important is SEO. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization and it is the practice of making your content show up higher on search engines. Although, YouTube is mostly an established platform and there are many large channels, it is still relatively easy to get views on your videos. It all starts with positioning them so they show up as top results in searches. The more easily people find your videos, the more views you’ll get. Simple right?
TagsOne of the most important elements of SEO for your YouTube channel is tagging. On a website, you would need to use html or a WordPress plugin to create the tags. On YouTube, they have done all of the coding for you and you only need to enter it in the tag section of the video.
To get to the video editor, go to the video manager and click the edit button. If you have just uploaded a video the video editor should open automatically. Scroll down to tags (under the description) and enter the appropriate tags. You know a tag is right for your video, if you can enter it as a search on YouTube and similar videos show up to the one you are posting.
Utilize the Video DescriptionYour video description is also indexed by bots that decide your search engine rankings. Make sure to describe the content of your video, including any major points addressed in your video. Some creators also like to post a transcript of what is said in their videos for the bots to sort through. This is an effective way to cover all your bases but may not be ideal for all types of videos.
CategoryMake sure to set a category for your video. This is how YouTube indexes your video on the site and will affect where it shows up in related videos and in searches. To do this from the Video Editor, click on the Advanced Settings Tab and select a Category from the drop down.
LocationSelect a location for your video. Your videos will start out only playing in your location’s country until you garner enough views to be shared internationally.
This is one of the reasons famous youtuber PewDiePie became so successful. He has posted videos in Sweden, Italy, and then gained a following in English speaking countries. Posting in other countries and locations increases your visibility. It can be limiting when you have to scale a larger market, but it is also necessary for YouTube indexing, so make sure to include a location on your videos.
LanguageSelect a language for your YouTube videos. This may seem arbitrary, especially if the video is in English (like most of YouTube) but search engines show results logically and try to provide only relevant results to a given search. If your video does not have a specified language, it will affect its appearance on search results.
About QualityOnce you have implemented these SEO best practices, your YouTube videos will generate significantly more views. Other than SEO, make sure to focus on quality of your thumbnails and the video itself. The more time you invest into a quality video, the better people will perceive it and the more shares you will get. It is also highly advisable to create other social media channels and post or embed your videos externally. This will help increase your views as well.
Want help designing a website for your videos? Click here
Need help with Social Media? Check this out
Published by Andrew Noll at January 27, 2016
One of the hardest things about having a small business is obtaining customers. Until you have customers, it is almost impossible to make a profit. If you work in a B2B industry, then you contact your customers directly and establish a relationship. What about when your customer has to find you? Read on to understand how to get found online and generate leads.
1. Have a Presence On Social MediaWith the advent of social media, the marketing world has been forever changed. Companies are no longer interpreted based entirely on a pre-determined and advertised message. Most consumer opinions now relate to electronic word-of-mouth on social media platforms. As such, all companies need a social media presence if they want to get new business and maintain relationships with their current customers.
Make sure to have a link to your company website in the description on all of your social media channels, so that you can be easily found. If you run an online store, you may want to post your products on sites like instagram and pinterest. Follow others in your industry and post about business on Twitter, but try not to sound too salesy. It can be off-putting.
Check out 4 Solid Ways to Gain Followers on Twitter
2. Be Search Engine OptimizedWhen your customers search for your company, they need to be able to find you. Make sure that your site is search engine optimized. To be search engine optimized you must establish the list of top keywords. These are the terms that customers will enter on search engines that your site will show up for. Afterwards, make sure to use these terms often in any articles, titles, page titles, image titles and throughout your site. You can also add them as html tags or, if you’re on WordPress with plugins such as Yoast SEO.
3.Use Inbound Marketing on Your WebsiteThis includes subscriber forms and other requests for information. You may also want to create a popup to obtain information such as email addresses. This is usually most effective for blogs but can also be utilized on shopping sites. This would not be advisable for all types of businesses. Put links to all your social media sites on your main website. This will help to increase your following and thereby customer engagement.
4.Be Easy to Contact
Make sure it is easy for customers to contact you when they are interested in your business. Clearly state your contact information on your website. It is a good idea to have both email and phone options, so that you can be easily reached.
Generating a large number of customers can be a difficult process. The easier it is to find your business online, the easier it will be for customers to learn about it. Having a social presence will help you be found more often, as you will have more visibility, and you will be able to lay the groundwork for how your business is branded. See how we can set this up easily for you!
Published by Andrew Noll at January 27, 2016
WordPress Blog Hosting is a very important aspect to consider. When creating your WordPress blog, you are given the choice between external and internal hosting. External Hosting is generally better for customization and those with coding experience, but internal may be preferable if you don’t want to spend a lot of time on your blog. How do you know what is best for you?
Custom Domain NameInternal (WordPress.com):
When hosting internally, you are given a free domain with the format [YourSite].Wordpress.com. You have the option to purchase a custom domain name for about $30. This is much more expensive than a custom domain on most external platforms.
Pricing is variable, but most are cheaper and many offer a free domain name.
There is no option for plugins but they include some basic features such as comments and include social media integration. This is easier when you do not know how to use plugins, or would prefer not to spend much time on formatting your site.
You can use WordPress plugins. These have so many functions and I cannot stress enough how easy they make the process of developing your website. They can do everything from improve security to social media sharing. To design an attractive WordPress site with all of the bells and whistles, you don’t need coding skills but you do need plugins and there is a plugin for pretty much everything.
Getting HelpInternal (WordPress.com):
If you have a business account, WordPress offers chat support 7am-7pm US EST. For premium subscribers there is direct email support.
Service will vary greatly but there are good external hosting sites that offer service on par with WordPress. One of these is SiteGround, which offers 24/7 help via a chat window.
What We RecommendChoosing your hosting provider depends on your needs. If you use WordPress free, it is cheaper to obtain a domain name externally and this is often included in the price of an external hosting registration. External hosting is generally cheaper than a WordPress subscription.
You will still receive templates and be able to write content under the free plan on WordPress.com. The disadvantage is being unable to customize the site or use plugins. With higher levels of subscription on WordPress you are given more access to customizing templates, fonts, better support, and other features. WordPress will give you more help to implement changes with a higher subscription plan but they will not make changes for you.
It is best to evaluate what features you want before choosing between internal and external hosting. In general, users seeking customization should host externally. This will be a little more difficult for someone without experience but is still relatively easy to figure out, as most major changes can be made with plugins. External hosting is feasible for a beginner as long as they choose a site provider with good support.
You can find a list provided by WordPress for the differences between internal and external hosting here.
Wordpress provides a list of the most compatible hosting providers here.
Don’t want to design your site? We can do it for you with our Web Design services.
Published by Andrew Noll at January 27, 2016
“Gain followers on Twitter” is one of the most popular social topics out there. It’s hard to get noticed with the sheer magnitude of content on Twitter. Every Minute there are 350,000 tweets and in a single day that adds up to more than 500 million tweets!
So how do I get noticed on Twitter when there is so much out there? Great question!
Know Your Followers
Do they share any overlapping qualities, such as an interest in humor, art, web design or music? Do they have a shared culture or religious background? What about the content of your account or tweets led them to press the follow button?
You should evaluate your followers to get a better idea of who you are talking to when you post a tweet. To get higher engagement on your tweets, say things that your followers will be interested in. Be relatable and down-to-earth so that people will get to know you, or your business, on a personal level.
Think about why you are on Twitter. Most of your followers are following you because of a shared interest and if your posts are things you are interested in, chances are your followers will be interested as well.
Have an Effective Bio
Your Twitter Bio is deceptively simple and most people overlook its importance. A well-written Twitter Bio is significant in communicating who you are to potential followers, your goals on Twitter and what your posts are about. If you have a business or website, include a URL so that users can find more about you.
People are more likely to follow an account when they know what it is about. Accounts without Bios look less interesting, because they appear as if they have nothing to say. Poorly written Bios can be detrimental, causing users to appear unprofessional, unfriendly, or disinterested. Think about how you would like people to perceive you and compare your Bio to other users that you have similar content with.
This is the summary of your account and the only way that users have an opportunity to meet you before reading your posts. Say something interesting or funny that helps you stand out. A general description is fine, but it’s easier to obtain new followers when your bio gets a reaction from readers.
Check out the description of our Twitter account on the left. Adding a location to your description not only gives your user/customer an idea of where you are, but also increases your SEO ranking in the local area.
Note: If your posts are unrelated to your bio, write a new one! You want people that find you to have an interest in your tweets.
Use Hashtags (#wisely)
One of the main ways users get noticed on Twitter is through hashtags. You want to use hashtags that are relevant to your posts and will draw the attention of the users you want to find you.
A common mistake is overusing hashtags. If you use too many, it will look spammy and users will ignore it. As a general rule, you want to use 1-2 hashtags where they fit into the content of your post. If it’s hard to read or it looks overwhelming, its probably better to scale it down and use less.
Note: A great way to learn the best hashtags is to see what your followers are using.
Like and retweet posts from your Twitter Feed. Many users that are working to gain followers will go outside of their network and forget to look at their Twitter Feed. Just like a relationship in the real world, Twitter relationships rely on interaction. If you don’t respond to your followers or engage with their posts, then you will always appear distant.
Most Twitter users didn’t obtain thousands of followers in a few days. Its a long-term process that takes time. If you post regularly with interesting content, use hashtags appropriately, appeal to and engage with your followers, then your account will grow.
Published by Andrew Noll at January 28, 2016
So you’ve already got your videos optimized for SEO and you want to get more viewers. Better yet, you want to get your competitors views and increase your video traffic. It’s easy to do with this quick YouTube hack. It’s an awesome trick if you are new to the SEO world as it gives you a list of trending keywords that you can easily use in your videos.
One-Up The CompetitionYou know that your competitors are using SEO, but did you realize that you can use it to your advantage? All you have to do is find their tags and adding them to your own content. Then you will start showing up as a related video on their videos and appear higher in SEO results for those tags.
To get views from competitors, find the videos that have a similar target demographic as you. These are channels that appeal to the people you want to watch your videos. You may also find these videos by searching keywords you want to dominate and using this hack on the top results.
Once you have selected your video, follow these easy steps:
Voilà, you just did a bit of hacking and are now generating views from rival channels! Felt good, didn’t it?
To see how to tag like a pro, check out Powerful SEO For Your YouTube Channel.
Want help with SEO for your website? Try our SEO services
ISO Developers went bankrupt and there website is permanently down including Wordpress, but I can get a few of the posts using Wayback Machine. Will start posting those now.
Find this blog post with images at:https://www.brainleaf.com/blog/new-features/2044/
In the world of design, there are a lot of great minds at work. Different designers bring new perspectives to the field but inevitably, you’ll encounter designers that just aren’t your cup of tea. You may encounter bad spacing or poor font choice, among a host of other issues. Keeping an open perspective will help you in your own design and allow you to remain positive in aesthetically displeasing situations. The better you are at understanding the perspective of other designers, the better you will be at collaboration within your own team. Continue reading to learn how to see things from the perspective of another designer.
Take Time For ObservationSlow down and really take the piece in. Scan it and look at different angles of approach. Pinpoint what is working and what isn’t but make sure not to be judgmental. Unless it is collaborative work, do not be aggressive or assertive in your opinion. Try to achieve a higher level of understanding before interpreting the work in front of you.
Ignore Negatives, Focus On MeritsAnyone can point out the bad in things. In fact, many of the most famous works of art in history are full of flaws. What most art and design is known for is merit rather than faults. It is good to constantly seek improvement, but it is invaluable to see the good, especially when you want to address a designer directly regarding their work.
Great smile or too sad? Depends on your opinion.Always try to take note and remark on “what is working” for the piece. This helps make a better impact on others, which leads to more progress in collaborative work and keeps you from insensitivity. If you need to be critical, address the good first and tread lightly when addressing dislikes. After all, good and bad are subjective concepts that do not exist without perspective. Designers are more receptive to feedback if there is positivity in the interaction.
Put Yourself In Their ShoesDifferent people have different opinions and this couldn’t apply more than in the world of design. Always make sure to keep the lifestyle and perspective of the designer in mind and try to view things through their lense. For example, a very literal example is the art of kenyan Cyrus Kabiru, who shows that another man’s trash is another’s art.
Cyrus creates eyewear from trash. This creative endeavor pushes the boundaries of the artistic world and shows his unique perspective. It is important to consider his background in order to have a greater understanding of his ideals, but in the end the art stands alone.
Always consider the motivations of others and where they are coming from. If in a management position, this mindset leads to better delegation of responsibilities to colleagues. If there is any lack of understanding, just ask! It’s never weird to ask someone’s opinion and most designers will appreciate the interest.
Understand Personal BiasRemember that we all have a bias and this influences how we interpret sensory inputs. For instance, some people prefer vanilla and others prefer chocolate. Vanilla beans and cocoa are both calming; they both fulfill the same biological desire to relax and consume sugar, but people have different preferences. Biases, like flavor preferences, are influenced by past experiences, demographics, thoughts, opinions and environments.
You can never expect someone to be exactly like you, so why would you expect them to have the same expression in design? Even identical twins differ on their likes and dislikes. Keep an open mind and remember that from the perspective of a client or purchaser you may be wrong. Always keep the end user or buyer of a design in mind and be willing to detract from your personal standards – they may be holding you back.
ConclusionIn trying to understand the perspective of other designers, especially when it is difficult, there is potential for growth and a deeper knowledge not only of the work in front of you, but of future pieces. This leads to a happier experience as things are seen from a more positive perspective and credit is given where credit is due. More importantly, others start to enjoy working with you more when positvity is maintained.
Looking at design from a fresh perspective can help to develop and improve upon personal work. It can improve team dynamics and lead to better interactions with team members. It is easier, and more fun, to network with a mindset that looks for alternative ways to view and understand the world.
Overall, keep others’ perspectives in mind for a more collaborative work environment that produces better designs. Provide constructive feedback more easily as you acknowledge what you like before your concerns. Always keep the buyer in mind in your design process, but don’t lose sight of your fellow designers in design pursuits. Ultimately, it’s great to have a developed palate and high quality standards but do not write off others based on a biased perspective; learn something from even the worst of designs.
Note: Posts have been copied onto this page to show Andrew's writing skills in perpetuity.
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