Posts Tagged "web space content"

Using Pictures to Enhance Your Website

Setting up a new website can be challenging, and one of the most common sticking points is the issue of visuals. A web space needs to be visually appealing in order to grab and hold a customer’s attention. Photographs enhance your site in many different ways, making them an ‘extra’ which no serious site can afford to be without. At our recommended hosts, you’ll find many examples of how visuals can make or break a site.

Connecting with Customers

Creating a personal connection through the internet can be a challenge. This is especially troublesome for small businesses, since many customers are wary of making a purchase from a virtually unknown seller. Although photographs can’t tell customers everything about you or your business, they can have a tremendous impact on consumer trust. Seeing the owner of a shop creates an immediate connection—you’re no longer just another faceless web space among millions. Showcasing yourself or your staff at work is even more powerful, as it lets consumers know that you stand behind the product or service you’re selling. The ‘fun factor’ is a nice bonus as well; people love seeing how things are made and created.

Regardless of the type of website you run, you can find a way to incorporate pictures. If your services are not traditionally photogenic, get creative. A shot of a harried, caffeine-fueled techno-genius hard at work over a keyboard will connect with consumers just as effectively as a lavish shot of a haute couture wedding cake.

Showcase What You Do

Remember that a photograph doesn’t have to include a person in order to be an effective marketing tool. A photo of you and your staff (if applicable) should be somewhere on your site—but feel free to incorporate shots of anything which makes your business tick. If you own a small restaurant, take some candid photos of the building itself. Capture a remodeling project as it happens. Bring your camera to the farmer’s market and score some pictures of the delicious produce you hand-select each morning. These ideas can be customized to fit virtually any type of website.

The People Behind the Service

Web-only services often fall prey to the boring web space trap. After all, they don’t have a storefront, a product, or any real-world items to showcase. However, this is always a mistake. A boring website, at best, tells consumers that you put very little effort into capturing their attention. At worst, it may make them think that you’re running a less-than-reputable business. Fight these negative assumptions by showcasing the people behind your service. Consider posting a staff photo and bio section, allowing consumers to see the real people behind the virtual service. You might include some shots of your workplace, even if it’s just a few cubicles or a cluttered home desk. Anything which lets a consumer connect with you is good for your bottom line.

Your Photos vs. Stock Photos

Stock photos are those available through retailers and wholesalers such as Shutterstock. These images are typically of very high quality, but they can quickly add up and become quite expensive. Thankfully, for most small businesses, stock photos are not necessary. In fact, they can actually be a hindrance to creating a personal consumer connection. So what if the stock-photo woman sitting at a cubicle is a bit better dressed than your employees? Your customers want to see the people behind the service, which stock photos simply can’t deliver.

The Bottom Line

In today’s world, no web space can be without some high-quality, personal photos. Remember that there’s no reason for perfection—customers just want their interest piqued, their curiosity satisfied and a personal connection created. You can probably do this with just your smartphone and a few filters—so get going! Your bottom line will thank you.

The Ideal Blog for Your Website

Incorporating a blog into your web space is an excellent way to generate interest and let consumers into your world. However, there are blogs which engage readers, and blogs which send them clicking away as fast as they can. Here, we’ll review the best way to construct and maintain a blog which keeps your readers coming back for more.

Short and Sweet

You’ve probably received an email or a text message in the past which consisted of a giant block of text. If you’re like most, you found it difficult and frustrating to read. Blocks of text are not informative or entertaining—they’re irritating.

When you construct your blog posts, keep this in mind. Readers are most actively and easily engaged by shorter paragraphs. Bullet points or numbered lists, if complement your topic, are another excellent way to keep information separate and easy to read. You don’t want to bore your readers—you want to inform and entertain.

Punctuation and grammar are two important points which many bloggers overlook. In this digital age, shortened words, abbreviations and ‘text speak’ are becoming more accepted. However, they should be used sparingly, if at all, in your web space. Take the time to spell-check your posts, and have a grammar-savvy friend read them over if you’re unsure of your own grammar and punctuation skills. It takes a bit of extra time, but nothing screams ‘amateur’ like a poorly spelled or improperly structured blog.

Updating Regularly

A blog isn’t much fun if it’s never updated. You certainly don’t need to detail each day of your life. However, updating once per week is a fairly standard and acceptable time frame. It’s also a time frame which allows you time to think up quality content while keeping readers up to date.

Remember that this is your web space, so don’t be afraid to get creative and have fun with post topics. It’s even acceptable, on most blogs, to add personal stories. Some of the most successful bloggers frequently drop personal stories into their blogs, even radically off-topic stories. These glimpses into their personal lives allow their readers to get to know the blogger on a deeper level. They’re also a great option when you’re pressed for time and can’t think up an on-topic post!

Selling Yourself

Your blog is a place to express yourself, inform and entertain your readers and keep them current on your business. Don’t let the business aspect of your blog get lost in the rush to create entertaining content. You want to encourage customers to purchase from you again, and encourage new readers to become first-time customers. However, you also want to do it in subtle, engaging ways.

Pushy sales tactics rarely work. Instead, showcase your product or service. Include write-ups of new products on your blog, accompanied with pictures. Host a small contest with a reasonable, yet exciting prize. Do whatever it takes to get customers through your door, virtual or otherwise—just be careful not to push them away by trying too hard. A quality product or service, presented in an attractive and pressure-free manner, will sell itself. You can get started right away by checking out our top hosting pick and seeing how a well-run blog will enhance your web space.

Stuck for Blogging Ideas?

While blogging often looks ridiculously easy to readers, bloggers know that coming up with fresh, entertaining web space content on a regular basis can be downright nerve-wracking. If you’re feeling stuck, don’t despair—you’re not the only one. Writers’ block hits bloggers just as often as authors, and it’s just as frustrating. Here, you’ll find a few ideas to jump-start your brain and get those creative ideas flowing.

Simple Fixes

Sometimes, finding fresh inspiration can be as easy as reading. Pick up a few copies of magazines devoted to—or somehow related to—your web space content. You can browse websites as well, at no cost. If your web space is more literary, consider picking up a book in a related genre.

While it’s never a good idea to simply copy ideas, reading through related material can give you fresh ideas as to what readers are seeking. If you spot an article which catches your interest, changes are good that it will do the same for your audience. Read it carefully, paying attention to what you feel is wrong with it. Next time you sit down at the keyboard, spin those missing portions for a post which is entirely your own!

Going Way Outside the Box

If you run your own blog, it’s important to remember that you can do virtually anything you want in your web space. If an idea interests you, write about it! Even something totally unrelated to your typical subject matter can be entertaining if written in a fun, engaging way. Many of the most successful bloggers around occasionally drop in personal stories, and their readers it them up.

If you’re uncomfortable talking about personal life online, or if your blog is unsuited to anything too off-topic, get creative. Grab a topic—any topic—and twist it around until it relates to your web space content. This not only enhances your craft by forcing you to think outside your comfort zone, but it entertains readers by providing a totally unexpected take on a familiar subject.

An unfamiliar, exciting format or placement for your blog is another way to set yourself apart. You’ll discover some great options at our top hosting pick, as well as our other recommended hosts.

Something for Nothing

Everybody loves the chance to win something, and there are few posts easier to write than contests. Beauty bloggers, for example, have had huge success—and massive traffic increases—by offering a bundle of beauty loot. This basic concept can be applied to virtually any subject matter, and is virtually guaranteed to interest your readers. You don’t even need a physical prize—offering to feature a reader’s own writing on your blog is a completely free yet extremely attractive way to draw traffic.

Take It Outside

Blogging, especially as a job, can be draining simply because it’s an entirely indoor activity. Humans need a bit of fresh air every day, both for health and mental reasons. Sometimes that new idea you’ve been trying so hard to think up is—quite literally—just around the corner. Take a quick stroll and let your mind wander—you may be shocked at how fast the fresh ideas start rolling in.

As you can see, there are tons of simple, cost-free ways to increase your web space traffic and break through blogger’s block. Always keep this in mind, however—staring at your computer screen and willing an idea to come almost never works. Shake things up, look around and get a fresh perspective—you’ll see the results in increased traffic!

Web Space Copyright

Copyright law can be complicated. It’s a byzantine, incomprehensible mess that could easily be interpreted to categorize singing in the shower as a criminal act.

What’s worse is this: If you’re paying a decent amount for your web space and you’ve put many, many hours into creating the content hosted on it, you have a lot to lose. Under laws like the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, your entire site can be taken down for one infringement, at least until such time as you correct it. A DMCA notice can force your web host to suspend service if they want to avoid legal liability—even if you’re not infringing in the eyes of the law, the suspicion is enough to hurt you

So, you want to avoid any possible accusations of copyright infringement. And the way to do that is simple enough: play it safe. Don’t use content which isn’t either created by you, specifically licensed to you, or in the public domain. Fair use exists; it’s entirely possible for you to make non-infringing use of copyrighted content. But once a content holder decides to send a takedown notice, you’re going to need to put a lot of time and work into defending your use of the content, even if you’re right. It’s not worth it; unless you absolutely must, don’t use it.

Copyright isn’t just a stumbling stone for you, though. It’s also something you can use to secure your own interests. You have de facto copyright to anything you create, and that gives you a lot of power. If your content is stolen by another site, you can file a takedown notice to deal with that. De facto copyright is difficult to prove ownership of, though; there are steps you can take to make this more effective.

Filing for formal copyright is chief among these. Formal registration creates a public record declaring you the creator of your website. It also lets you file infringement suits in court, if necessary. This is simple enough; fill out a form with your country’s copyright office and pay the small clerical fee. Many countries even provide for online copyright filing.

Copyright is a big factor in the content on your web space; however, it’s important for you to realize that copyright does not apply to domain names. A domain name belongs to the first entity to pay for it, period. Even if it’s a name associated with your business, there’s nothing much that you can do using the toolset of copyright.

There is one option available to you, and that’s going after a domain that infringes one of your trademarks. If you’ve registered a trademark, you have some limited options: if the owner of a domain name is using that name to impersonate you and profit from your consumer base, or if they’re simply sitting on it so that they can sell it to you at an inflated price, you have the ability to take action. You want to look into arbitration under ICANN’s Uniform Domain-Name Dispute-Resolution Policy. If the holder of the name is acting in bad faith, and you hold a relevant trademark, you can force them to stop using the name. This is limited, though; you can’t do anything without a trademark, and you can’t do anything to another entity that has a good-faith claim to the name.