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Lorette

Lorette
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pomodoro technique - getting things done

The Pomodoro Technique – A Great Way to Get Things Done

One of the most common problems that we see with people is getting things done. One of the reasons many people do not accomplish their tasks is due to the fact that they are multi-tasking and do not have set deliverables in place.  This is something that I admit, I sometimes struggle with as well.

Especially as entrepreneurs, there is something called the “shiny object” syndrome. Meaning you don’t stick with something and see it to the end because something “shiny” (better or what seems better) steps into the picture and you jump over to that and abandon what you were doing before.

There is a great technique called the Pomodoro Technique. This technique is a time management method that was developed by a guy named Francesco Cirillo back in the 1980s. This technique uses a time to break down your work task into 25 minute intervals. Each interval is separated with a short break. The 25 minute intervals are called pomodoros. Funny sounding name, but it is the plural in English of the Italian word pomodorus (tomato). This name came about because this was the type of timer that Cirillo used when he was a university student.

The concept is based around the idea of having extreme focus during each interval, which will allow you to accomplish the task at hand. The breaks that are included are thought to improve mental agility.

I am using this technique right now to write and send out this blog post. :-)

To try this technique you will need a timer. If you don’t have a nifty tomato timer like Cirillo, one that we use online is http://e.ggtimer.com

Here are the steps to follow

1. Create your task list

2. Set your time for 25 minutes to accomplish your first task

3. Work on that task (and only that task) until the timer rings. If
you get sidetracked by another task, write it down to get back to it during a different interval, but immediately get back to the main task you were working on.

4. Once the timer rings, put a check mark onto a piece of paper to show that you accomplished one “set”

5. If you have less than 4 check marks (1 hour), take a break (3-5 minutes), then go back to step 1

6. If you have over 4 check marks, now it is time to take a longer break (15-30 minutes), and reset your check mark count to zero, then go back to step 1

These stages can be broken down into Planning (Step 1), Tracking (the timer), Recording (the check marks), Processing (counting the marks and accessing the proper breaktime) and Visualization (self – observation of completed tasks).

This strategy enforces Focus and Flow. If interrupted during a pomodoro, the other activity must be recorded and postponed.

Many tools have been created around this technique, but the creator (as well as myself) prefer a simple timer, paper and pencil The physical act of writing down a check mark gives a sense of accomplishment.

So, try this technique out and let us know what you think in the comments below! Personally, I think it is a great strategy to help you accomplish your tasks!

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Lorette LyttleLorette Lyttle is the “little” sister of “The Lyttle Sisters”. Lorette can’t stop thinking like a marketer everywhere she goes and loves to write about what she observes  from other businesses , personal experiences and other successful entrepreneurs and how certain strategies can be (or shouldn’t be) integrated in your business. She is also the “geeky” one of the sister clan and pulls out some techy stuff once in awhile and likes to write and share with others who will listen (since Alicia usually just nods her head at the tech talk) ! – See more at: 

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Sometimes we all need some reminders to keep us on track and keep us motivated. This applies to all areas of your life from your day to day activities, health as well as food & diet. It is important to make it a habit to continue to grow and continue to improve.

Here are some quick tips…

Day to day business

Quit Multitasking

Once hailed an attribute, several studies have shown why it’s a bad idea to attempt mult-tasking. Not only does it eventually affect your memory, it will eventually prove counter-productive, leaving with numerous loose ends. It’s better to focus finishing one thing at a time.

Health

Go For A Brisk Walk

Studies show that a daily brisk walk can significantly improve your health by helping you maintain a healthy weight, strengthen your skeletal and muscular system, and enhance coordination and balance.

Food & Diet

Eat a Better Breakfast

Scientific studies have confirmed that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so make it count. Have a healthy breakfast with servings of protein, fruits and vegetables. This will help you get the nutrients needed to start the day effectively.

Inspiration

Reward Yourself

Always treat yourself, whether for a job well done, or for achieving a goal etc. The psychology behind rewarding yourself is that you will demand more from yourself and be more disciplined in going after what you want, simply because you enjoy being rewarded.

68ways

These are just a few tips to get you on your way! If you enjoyed these, we got them from this great book from a friend of ours.

68 Ways To Take Your Life Into Overdrive  

–>  http://amzn.to/29RDBPX <—

Available on the Amazon Kindle for only $.99

Have An Amazing Day!   . .   .

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Creating Compelling Content for Your Email Marketing Campaigns

We’ve heard over and over that you must continue to create content for your subscribers and customers, content is king!

When you provide good email content it deepens your relationship with your audience.

The goal is to deliver quality, niche specific content that your prospects need and hopefully share with others. With that in mind, here are three tips on creating great content.

3 Tips for Great Content

1 – Solve a Problem

People subscribe to emails because they are looking for solutions to their problems. Your emails should be a source to solve their problems.

Examples:

Resort – people who opted in on a resort website

You have an email list of people for a Resort, maybe a resort in Jamaica J Now, what problem is being solved?

If people want to go on a vacation, they are looking for a “break” from the everyday hustle and bustle, to get away from reality, get away from stress – so that is the problem that is being solved.

Emails can focus on “Tired of the 9-5 grind and ready to soak in the warm Caribbean waters and get away from it all…”

Restaurant  – people who opted in on a restaurant website

Why do people go to restaurants? Save time cooking or maybe just a fun night out. Send out an email addressing saving time…” Come visit us at XX and let us cook for you, why spend your precious time in the kitchen. Sit down, relax and we will cater to you…”

As a busy mom, this sounds like a dream come true!

Makeup – people who opted in on a website regarding anti-aging

Why are the on your list? They want to “turn back the clock and look younger”. So your emails can be centered on not only the product you are selling, but different things they can do to look and feel younger. It can be around exercise, even tips on types of clothes to wear.

So think of the REASON why they are on your list and address the problem you are solving.

 

2 – Providing Resources

To go along with solving problems, your emails should also serve as a source of resources. Different types of resources… 

Resort

How to find the best flights to your destination (of course with an affiliate link). Give suggestions and tips on good times to book flights for the best deals, then provide links to the recommend websites to book a flight.

Restaurant

People love to think that they are on the “inside” and only they get access to privileged information. You can send out an email that gives them a “recipe” of one of the dishes at the restaurant, provide ingredients and instructions, and maybe even a video of the chef!

Makeup

Resources can be something in the area of a home recipe for an moisturizing facial mask. Give step by step instructions with pictures or even a video.

 

3 – Make it about them

Try to refrain from talking about how amazing you are unless it can benefit them in some kind of way. The content should focus on THEM and how you can help educate them, and help make their lives better.

How can you make it about them?

Resort

We want YOU to relax and get away from everything (be concerned about them de-stressing)

Restaurant

We want YOU to have a great night to relax, let us cook for you

Makeup

We want YOU to love yourself and the skin that you are in

 

These are some quick tips on how you can improve your email marketing by crafting emails that actually get your readers to want to read and take action.

1-     Solve a problem

2-     Provide resources

3-     Make it about them

Remember, email marketing WORKS, you just need to make sure you are providing the correct content to your list for them to become more active and engage with your messages.

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Lorette LyttleLorette Lyttle is the “little” sister of “The Lyttle Sisters”. Lorette can’t stop thinking like a marketer everywhere she goes and loves to write about what she observes  from other businesses , personal experiences and other successful entrepreneurs and how certain strategies can be (or shouldn’t be) integrated in your business. She is also the “geeky” one of the sister clan and pulls out some techy stuff once in awhile and likes to write and share with others who will listen (since Alicia usually just nods her head at the tech talk) !

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Creating A Daily Action Plan

How do you start your day?

Do you know exactly what you need to get accomplished for the day and how you are going to accomplish it?

Or do you feel like you are staring a blank wall and unsure what you need to get done?

In order to increase your productivity and ultimately your profitability, you should make daily action plans on what needs to be done for the day with the ability for you to check off each task as it is completed.

This is what I do that has helped me become more productive and efficient.

First you should determine how you want to manage your “to-do” list – via an online task management system, or even a smartphone app, or with traditional paper and pen.

Personally, I prefer the old school paper and pen – I have a pink spiral notebook that I carry with me everywhere. As it gets filled, I file it away, and get another one.

When I wrap up my day, I sit down and write out what I need to get done the next day.

I organize it by project and write down each task. The key is not to overwhelm yourself, don’t write every little task you have to do for the entire project to be completed. Your task should be things that can actually get done in that day.

As the tasks are completed, just check them off, draw a line through them, whatever you need to show that the task has been successfully completed. The active motion of crossing off a task gives satisfaction and accomplishment, this helps you and motivates you to continue with the rest of the tasks.

The entire goal is to get the tasks out of your head and onto a piece of paper in an organized and reasonable manner so the tasks can get completed. The key is to write it down, get it done, and continue the process each day.

This simple strategy of planning your days the night before will help you become more organized and more productive. These two qualities will ultimately help you in becoming more profitable as well!

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Lorette LyttleLorette Lyttle is the “little” sister of “The Lyttle Sisters”. Lorette can’t stop thinking like a marketer everywhere she goes and loves to write about what she observes  from other businesses , personal experiences and other successful entrepreneurs and how certain strategies can be (or shouldn’t be) integrated in your business. She is also the “geeky” one of the sister clan and pulls out some techy stuff once in awhile and likes to write and share with others who will listen (since Alicia usually just nods her head at the tech talk) !

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How to Create the Perfect Photo Collage for Your Social Media Posts in Under 4 Minutes

When creating graphics for social media, I run to free tools online to create the perfect image and effect quickly.  One of my favorite tools is picmonkey.com.  Here are the steps to getting started with this free tool.

Step 1: Go to Picmonkey.com  and sign up for a free account
picmonkey-sign-up

Step 2: Click on collage
picmonkey-sign-up-step-2

Step 3: Pick the type of collage you would like to use. Click around there are some very cool layouts you can choose! In this example I picked the L-egant layout
picmonkey-sign-up-step-3

Step 4: Click on the Photos Icon and upload photos and then put them in the position you would like them in the collage. Play around with it – you will notice that you can change the size and positioning of the photos once it’s placed on the collage.
picmonkey-sign-up-step-4

Step 5: Once you have all the photos in the position you want them in, click Edit.
picmonkey-sign-up-step-5

Step 6: It will now open up the Editor tool where where you can add overlays, text, add shapes and more. Click on “Open in Editor.”
picmonkey-sign-up-step-6

Step 7: Play around with the editor tool. There are a ton of of ways you can get really creative with your photos! NOTE: When you see a crown next to the one of the features you would like to use – that crown symbolizes that in order to use that feature you have to upgrade your account. I upgraded my account – and it was worth it. At the time of writing this, it is $33 a year or $4.99 a month to upgrade to get the premium features.
picmonkey-sign-up-step-7

To sign up for a free Picmonkey account, click here: FREE PICMONKEY ACCOUNT

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pocketHave you ever found a great article or website online and just don’t have the time to read it, but don’t want to lose the website address?

Or maybe you want to save the website address but read it later offline?

Introducing Pocket – a great tool that allows you to save it for later in you “pocket”!

You may be wondering why this is a WordPress tip?

Well, other articles and content that you find online are great tools to use to help bring you inspiration to write content for your blog, so instead of reading something then losing it, save it for later when you are ready to write!

http://www.getpocket.com

Click here for instructions on how to add Pocket to your browser

 Watch the short video below:

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Lorette LyttleLorette Lyttle is the “little” sister of “The Lyttle Sisters”. Lorette can’t stop thinking like a marketer everywhere she goes and loves to write about what she observes  from other businesses , personal experiences and other successful entrepreneurs and how certain strategies can be (or shouldn’t be) integrated in your business. She is also the “geeky” one of the sister clan and pulls out some techy stuff once in awhile and likes to write and share with others who will listen (since Alicia usually just nods her head at the tech talk) !

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calendar

One of the great benefits of WordPress is the ability to schedule posts.

The WP Editorial Calendar Plugin is the best plugin you can use to help stay organized.

Features

  1. See all of your posts and when they’ll be posted.
  2. Drag and drop to change your post dates.
  3. Manage your drafts with our new drafts drawer.
  4. Quickedit post titles, contents, and times.
  5. Publish posts or manage drafts.
  6. Easily see the status of your posts.
  7. Manage posts from multiple authors.

Watch the video below to learn more

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Lorette LyttleLorette Lyttle is the “little” sister of “The Lyttle Sisters”. Lorette can’t stop thinking like a marketer everywhere she goes and loves to write about what she observes  from other businesses , personal experiences and other successful entrepreneurs and how certain strategies can be (or shouldn’t be) integrated in your business. She is also the “geeky” one of the sister clan and pulls out some techy stuff once in awhile and likes to write and share with others who will listen (since Alicia usually just nods her head at the tech talk) !

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Almost every day you are required to remember a password for something…your email, your
bank, your facebook account, your website and more.

With so many different passwords to remember, people have the tendency to make some of the
biggest mistakes when it comes to creating passwords…

1 – You have the same password for almost all of your sites – because it is just
easier to remember

2 – Your password is something personal but easy to figure out, like your birthday,
child’s name, significant others name, pets name etc

(did you know that one of the top passwords for women includes something with their
boyfriend/husbands name)

3 – You keep the default password of a website simply because you are too lazy
to change it (like using “password” as your password)

So how can you make your password more secure?

1 – Use more than 15 characters (the more, the better)

2 – Use numbers, special characters and symbols

3 – Includes upper and lower case letters

4- Make sure it is not a common keyboard pattern like 123456

5 – Store your password in a safe place

Here is a cool tool to help you create a strong password

http://strongpasswordgenerator.com/

But now comes another problem…

How do you remember such a long and complicated password?

We recommend a free password tool that helps you remember your passwords

http://www.freepasswordtool.com

Now, take some time and update your passwords, use the free tool to generate a new one and
the other tool to save them for you!

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Lorette LyttleLorette Lyttle is the “little” sister of “The Lyttle Sisters”. Lorette can’t stop thinking like a marketer everywhere she goes and loves to write about what she observes  from other businesses , personal experiences and other successful entrepreneurs and how certain strategies can be (or shouldn’t be) integrated in your business. She is also the “geeky” one of the sister clan and pulls out some techy stuff once in awhile and likes to write and share with others who will listen (since Alicia usually just nods her head at the tech talk) !

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Get To The Centers Of Influence – A Taxi Ride In Jamaica

centers of influenceWhat do CDs have to do with reaching the centers of influence?

I was in taxi in Jamaica and listening to the music that was playing. It was all the top reggae hits, then there were commercials. I listened to the first commercial and it was advertising a party that upcoming weekend – “Kissans Birthday Bash” – one of the top local DJ were going to be there, open bar and food to purchase – the biggest party of the year!

Sounded like fun…

So, then I was still in  the taxi, people getting in and out (in Jamaica, they pack the taxi until its full with people almost on each others laps). Anyway, after a few more songs, I heard the same commercial again, but with a little variation, advertising “Kissans Birthday Bash”.

Finally, right before I exited the taxi, I heard it yet again – “Kissans Birthday Bash”, biggest party of the year. So I asked my friend, why was every commercial about this party and how can the guy afford to pay the radio station to advertise that much?

He laughed at my questions and explained the promotion strategy…

Where we were in Jamaica most people don’t have cars and the taxi’s run all day up and down the roads packed with people. The people in the taxi’s normally have the same daily route to work. So, the guy who was promoting the party wanted to use the taxi’s to spread the message about the party – they knew the huge reach of people that go in and out of the taxi’s on a daily basis.

So, he approached the taxi drivers and gave them this free CD with all the top hits, so now the people in their taxi would enjoy their ride (they normally dont play music in the taxi). At the same time, when the CD was made they made their own “commercials” which were for promoting the party as well as some of their sponsors (for example a flyer place donated some flyers so they had an ad on the cd as well).

So this CD was a win-win for all parties involved…

  • The taxi driver now had a “cool” cd for his customers to enjoy their ride
  • The customers had something to listen to while on their journey
  • The party sponsors got some exposure to a huge reach of people
  • The party itself reached a huge target audience and was repeated daily for several days to the same people over and over, so the party that was taking place over the weekend was engrained in their mind

The only cost was the creation and duplication of the CDs.

This was a brilliant strategy…

How can you reach a center of influence that can spread your message far and wide?

Share your thoughts below on how you can incorporate this strategy into your business…

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Lorette LyttleLorette Lyttle is the “little” sister of “The Lyttle Sisters”. Lorette can’t stop thinking like a marketer everywhere she goes and loves to write about what she observes  from other businesses , personal experiences and other successful entrepreneurs and how certain strategies can be (or shouldn’t be) integrated in your business. She is also the “geeky” one of the sister clan and pulls out some techy stuff once in awhile and likes to write and share with others who will listen (since Alicia usually just nods her head at the tech talk) !

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Social Proof – If Everyone Else Loves It Then I Should Too…

Social Proof - 5 guys burgersHave you heard of Five Guys Burgers?

I’ve heard people talk about it, and how great the burgers are and I’ve driven by it so many times, so I finally decided to stop one day and have a burger.

First, the location is very simple and they only sell burgers, fries and hot dogs (more about that later), but it was a very welcoming environment.

The reason for this specific post is the power of social proof.

As soon as I walked in the door the entire restaurant was plastered with signs and awards on how great their burgers were! Check out the picture with some of the signs that were on their walls.

Now, when you sit down and start eating your burger, you have these signs all around you.  Do you think that will influence the way you feel about your burger? Of course!

I mean, GQ magazine voted it the best burger for $5, in NYC it was rated the #1 burger for lunch and the list goes on….

So, it will be highly unlikely you are going to sit there and say your burger is gross…everyone else loves it, so you should love it too !

Now how can you translate this into your business?

I am sure you’ve seen sales letters and sales pages with testimonials on them..and that is because they work! People like to know what other people are thinking and how they feel about that specific product and service. In fact, review sites are popping up more and more these days like Yelp.com and TripAdvisor.com.

Studies have shown that buying decisions are heavily weighted on other peoples opinions.

So if you have testimonials from  happy clients, share them!

Post them on your blog, your website, your facebook page. Depending on your business, make sure you are on review sites like Yelp.com or TripAdvisor.com.  As long as you are providing high quality products and services, positive reviews and the power of social proof will help grow your bottom line!

Oh…and don’t forget to take a trip to Five Guys Burgers….and remember, its for market research :-)

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Lorette LyttleLorette Lyttle is the “little” sister of “The Lyttle Sisters”. Lorette can’t stop thinking like a marketer everywhere she goes and loves to write about what she observes  from other businesses , personal experiences and other successful entrepreneurs and how certain strategies can be (or shouldn’t be) integrated in your business. She is also the “geeky” one of the sister clan and pulls out some techy stuff once in awhile and likes to write and share with others who will listen (since Alicia usually just nods her head at the tech talk) ! Learn from Lorette with various posts on Marketing Mondays as well as Tuesdays Tips and Tools.

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The Value of a Lead – Baby Formula and More Baby Formula…

Value of a lead I am a new mom and while I was pregnant I got a bunch of free samples, not sure how or what list I got on, but it was fun getting so much stuff!

The one thing that really stood out is how many samples and coupons of baby formula I received.

Now when I say that I received a lot of baby formula, I’m not exaggerating.  I would receive boxes of them!   Every time I went to anything like a  birthing class, baby care class they were always given out as samples.   When I would go to my doctors office based on  what month you are, they give you goodie bags, and in that goodie bag is formula.

In addition, I would also get boxes of formula in the mail.   When I left the hospital I got samples of more formula.  Formula was just coming out of the woodworks non-stop.  You get little travel formula, you get specialty formula, you get powdered formula, liquid formula, and all the types of different formula for all types of different needs.

In addition to just the formula you also get carrying cases and more neat little backpacks, storage bags, all kinds of fun stuff based around the different formula.

There were two companies that were fighting for my attention; one was called Enfamil and one was called Similac.   Both of them were sending me free samples on a regular basis.

Did you know the amount of money parents spends on formula during the lifespan of when the baby needs formula is $2000-$3000… that’s a lot of money.

After I learned how valuable I was (as a pregnant mother deciding on what formula to use) I fully understood the reason why they kept on giving me free samples.  These different formula companies were willing to send me formula that I’m sure cost them some money.  First of all they’re heavy to mail, that costs some significant amount of money for postage.  And they’re full supply, not your typical  sample packet but a supply that would last an extended amount of time… full sized containers.

It is obvious that they understand the value of a lead.  If they have to spend $50 or something to get me to buy their formula then it’s worth it because they know that $50 or whatever they’re spending on me, can potentially lead up to $3000 over the year.

So now of course if I choose to purchase formula, who do you think I’m going to purchase?

I’m going to purchase one of the companies that gave me free samples because I know how to use them, I’m familiar with them.  These are the only names I actually know.  I don’t even know names of any other formula that are out there.

They did a very good job courting me and getting me familiar with the different types of formula that are out there and I understand why they did it.  It’s because I’m valuable, I would account for about $2000 -3000 of revenue for their business.  So it’s totally worth it for them to spend that money up front on the lead.

The reason I’m sharing this with you is because I want you to look at your business and understanding the value of your leads.  What do you have into your funnel?  How much can you spend on the front end knowing that your lead is worth X amount of dollars on the back end?

Understand the value of your lead especially the lifetime value of your lead. Is it worth it for you to spend some money upfront?

This also ties into what we do with local businesses getting them on daily deal sites.  Now many businesses don’t understand the concept of getting on a daily deals site like Living Social or Groupon, it’s all about the lead and the exposure for your business.

I was talking to a dentist that we were able to get on a deals site and he said he could care less what he gets in his pocket from the deal, it doesn’t matter for him because he knows the lifetime value of that particular customer.  The same with a vet that we got on Living Social.  He said the same thing, he doesn’t care what it costs upfront because he knows that once that animal gets there he now has the animal for life.  The lifetime value of having that animal come into his veterinarian office is way more valuable than just a one time shot for buying a voucher.  So they have a solid understanding of what it means for customer acquisition as well as understanding the lifetime value of that particular customer.

So that’s just a lesson today on lifetime value of your customer and understanding the importance of lead acquisition and understanding how much your lead is worth to you in the long run. Understand your funnel and grow your business!

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Lorette LyttleLorette Lyttle is the “little” sister of “The Lyttle Sisters”. Lorette can’t stop thinking like a marketer everywhere she goes and loves to write about what she observes  from other businesses , personal experiences and other successful entrepreneurs and how certain strategies can be (or shouldn’t be) integrated in your business. She is also the “geeky” one of the sister clan and pulls out some techy stuff once in awhile and likes to write and share with others who will listen (since Alicia usually just nods her head at the tech talk) ! Learn from Lorette with various posts on Marketing Mondays as well as Tuesdays Tips and Tools.

 

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Online Webinar Service

More and more people are having online meetings these days then ever before. If you are looking for a quick and FREE way to have an online meeting, check out this great resource http://www.join.me

Follow the steps below to get started….

1. Go to http://www.join.me – and click on “Share”, this will install the application on your computer and will go into your Program files.

Online webinar service

Join.me has great features, the expanded list is below. The two features that I think are the biggest benefits of using this service are:

1. You get a free conference line – phone number and a call in code

2. Ability to invite up to 250 participants

online webinar service

2. Once the application is downloaded, it will be installed in your Start menu on your computer. Click on the icon to launch the application.

3. Once you click on the icon to launch the application, you will see the control panel at the top of your screen.

To invite others to join your meeting, simply provide them with the url that shows up in the control panel (in this example, join.me/474-432-577). You now have some cool features that come along with it, like a conference call number, ability to chat, turn screen share on and off and see a list of participants.

(The control sharing option is if you upgrade to the Pro version. )

Online Webinar Service

How can you use this tool in your business?

  • Meeting with a client (especially those that are not tech savy, there are very little steps involved)
  • Need a quick conference call number for a meeting
  • Meeting with team members to review a project

How is this better than screen sharing in Skype?

Someone asked me the benefit of using this over doing a screen sharing session in Skype. The answer is the volume of people that can be added to this meeting. Skype is great to do a screen share with one person, but it can only be used for group screen sharing if you have a Mac.

If you are looking to do a webinar or host an online meeting for FREE, visit http://www.join.me

Note: The only thing that it does not have (that I wish it did), is the ability to record the webinar.

 

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This tutorial is going to walk you through how to add a custom menu to the top of your blog/website. Now, keep in mind, this may vary depending on what theme you are using, but this is the generic way to do it and works with almost any theme.

Here are the steps.

1 – Login to your wordpress dashboard and click on “Appearance” then “Menus”

2. You will see a screen like this. First, create a name for your menu and click “Save Menu”

Custom WordPress Menus3. The next step is to choose the pages that you want to appear in your menu. In the bottom left, there will be a list of all the pages that are on your site. Just check the box next to the pages that you want to show up.

Wordpress Custom Menus

4. When you choose the pages, they will show up in your menu area. Each one represents a page that will show up in your menu/navigation.

Wordpress Custom Menus

5. If you would like to create drop down lists, simple click and drag the pages as seen below, then click “save menu”.Wordpress Custom Menu

6. In order for the menu to show up, on the left hand side of the Menu screen, it will ask you what menu do you want to show, choose the name of the menu you just created from the drop down box and click “Save”.

This is what your final menu/navigation would look like.

Wordpress Custom Menu

Have Fun!

Lorette

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Every WordPress Dashboard has a variety of configuration options to help set up your site to your specific requirements. In this post we are going to review, the “Settings” area in your Dashboard.
I am going to go highlight the settings that you should pay close attention to…

1. General – This is where you would update your sites title and description (make sure it is keyword rich). You would also update the date and time to display on your site.

2 – Writing – Customizing the way your posts are written (recommended to leave all the information as default)
3 – Reading – This area is where you can choose how your website is “read”. You can choose to either show your blog posts on the front page of yours site or even choose a static page for your front  page.
You can also choose how many posts are displayed at one time – for example if you only want to show 5 posts on the front page, simply change the default number to five, and how to adjust RSS syndication feed features to determine how the information from your site is sent to a reader’s web browser or other applications.
Wordpress reading settings
4 – Discussion – In this setting you can control how people interact on your blog. For example, are comments autoposted or approval needed.
wordpress discussion settings

5 – Media – This area is where you can specify the maximum dimensions to use when inserting an image into a post (leave these as default)

6 – Privacy – Choose whether you want your site to be indexed by search engines—like Google, Bing, or Yahoo, or only to your specific visitors, of course you would want to choose the first option to get maximum exposure to your site.
wordpress privacy settings

7 – Permalinks – Create a custom URL structure for your permalinks and archives.

Please read a previous post on how to correctly set up your Permalink settings.
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Enjoy!
Lorette
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Gravatar

This is not necessarily a WordPress tip…but, it’s a good tip to know that relates to blogs :-)

Have you ever wondered how people comment on blogs and have their picture show up next to the comments?

Those pictures are called Gravatars. Why would you even want to use one?

If you frequently post on blogs and leave comments (which you should to bring backlinks to your website), it is a good idea to have a Gravitar so that people and the blog owner begin to recognize you and it will help build relationships…and relationships is what its is all about these days.

This goes along with the whole social media craze, of networking and relationship building, and this will only help with your relationship building.

So this is how to create a Gravatar that will travel along with your email address everywhere you post something online with that email address.

Here is exactly how to to do….

1. Go to www.gravatar.com and click on “Get Your Gravatar Today”

Gravatar

2. Enter the email address that you want associated to your new Gravator

Gravatar Images

3. Next, click on the bottom where it says “Add one by clicking here” to upload an image

gravator images

4. Upload a picture. If the picture is too big it will automatically crop the picture and then you can choose which picture you want to associate to your email (if you uploaded more than one).

5. Now, go test your Gravatar! Go through the steps above, then post a comment on this post below to test it out!

You can see my sample post below (responding to a post on a blog on if it is a good idea to put a picture on a business card), so when entering my email address, it automatically associates my picture and posts it when my comment is posted.

Have fun!

Lorette

 

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YouTube Video Widget

We all know how powerful videos are today. Not only can they be educational but they can also be very entertaining, and a great marketing tool.

If you have a video that you would like to showcase on the sidebars of your WordPress website, check out the tips below and cool plugin to help you along the way.

There are a few ways to do this, but this one is the easiest…

Follow these steps…

1. Login to your WordPress Dashboard

2. Click on “Plugins” -> “Add New” and search for the plugin called “Video Sidebar Widget”

Wordpress Video Widget3. The first results in the search is the plugin you need called – “Video Sidebar Widget”, click Install then Activate the plugin

4. Now to set up your widget, go to “Appearance”, then “Widgets” and you will see the installed widget, click on Add or drag it to the sidebar that you want to add the widget on.

YouTube Sidebar Widget

5. Next, find the YouTube video that you want to add and get the Video Id. This can be found in the URL of the actual video.

YouTube Video Widget

6. Now that you have this information, you can start to create your video sidebar widget.  Create a title, choose YouTube from the drop down, and put in the video ID. For the width and height, this will vary for different blogs, leave it blank to start, then you can adjust the size. You can choose to have text under the video as well as if you want to video to autostart when someone visits your site.

video sidebar widget7. After you fill out the details, click “Save Widget” and go look at your website. The image below is what my widget looks like to start. So, now I need to go back and edit the size and I would like to make the link under it “clickable”

video widget wordpress

8. Go back to the Widget area and click on “Edit” for the widget. The changes I made:

Width: 290   Height: 280

For the video caption box, I added code to make it clickable and centered: (use this code and replace the url and the title with your website)

<center><a href=”http://www.mygoldenrolodex.info”>My Golden Rolodex </a></center>

The image below is the end result!

Enjoy adding videos to your WordPress Sidebars!

Lorette :-)

 

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This Tuesday we are not testing any new software, but I wanted to share a great site with you. Since we’ve been doing a ton of traveling lately, I was raking up a bunch of points but all of my points were in different systems that I had to login to different sites and I didn’t know how much I had in each one.

So, I found this site called Points.com and I LOVE it!

The best part is it is not only for Travel, but you can register your credit card points programs and even retail locations like Best Buy.

This is the blurb from their website….

Points.com makes it easy to Trade, Exchange, Buy, Give or Redeem your points, miles and rewards from many of the world’s leading programs. You can manage over 100 of the top loyalty programs, such as Aeroplan®, American Airlines AAdvantage®, American Express® Membership Rewards®, Airmiles, Delta SkyMiles®, Priority Club® Rewards, US Airways® Dividend Miles® and many more all from one convenient location.

Here is what you do to get started.

1. Register with the site, Click Here to register (opens in new window)

2. Enter in your information for the different points programs you have.  It will automatically pull in your points balances and keep them updated in your account.

They have tons of programs in their system from airlines, hotels, financial and retail.

Yo can see mine below, most are airlines and I have some Best Buy rewards:-)

3. After you have your points entered into the system, the next step is to decide what you want to do with them!  You can just keep collecting, or trade, swap or redeem them.

As soon as you login you will see on the bottom of the screen “Earn Opportunities”, this lists people that are willing to trade points based on the points that you have in your account.

Each trade has a fee associated with it (set by the loyalty program). But, if you are trying to get a plane ticket for example and need an extra 1,000 miles, just go to this site and trade miles from another program into the program that you need.


You can do a simple search to see all trade opportunities that are available, and even have the options to post your own trade for others to accept.

You can even  choose to switch between your own programs . For example, I can exchange my 300 Best Buy points for 143 American Airline miles. (not that exciting but just an example)

So, be sure to check out this site, Points.com,  it can come in handy when you need some points!

Have fun

P.S. I am traveling home from Australia to Orlando on points!

 

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It’s great having a blog and posting content to it, but it really doesn’t mean anything if you don’t have any traffic. This can especially be a challenge if you are new online and haven’t created a following yet.

One tip is to get your blog listed in blog directories. Why is this something that can help you?

There are a few reasons…

1- People that visit these blog directories are usually looking for something specific. So, if you have your blog listed and in the proper category, you will be sure to gain extra traffic and visibility!

2- Many of these blog directories are well established and credible, therefore if you are listed in their directory, you will now have more quality backlinks leading to your site, which helps with your organic traffic.

3 – Submitting to blog directories in combination with other traffic strategies that you are implementing will only make your results in the search engines even more powerful.

Some people may argue that directory submissions is not a way to get fast traffic, and I agree! You will not get a flood of traffic instantly, but you will get traffic over time and it is critical for your SEO strategy to have a variety of traffic strategies working together driving traffic to your site.

Here is a list (short list) of some of the top blog directories to list your site:

Although I provided a short list above on where you can submit your blog, I don’t recommend doing it yourself. This is a very tedious and time consuming project. I HIGHLY recommend outsourcing this project and not through the use of software, but outsourced to a human.

If you are looking for a great low cost service that can help you with this, just click on the Contact Us tab and we will connect you!

Enjoy!

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We recently did a Live webinar walking people through, in 5 easy steps, how to set up your first WordPress Website…for only $3!

If you missed it, check out the replay link below!

Build A Site For 3 Bucks

Description: In 60 minutes you will learn everything you need to set up your first WordPress website. Our training is easy to follow, we cover the entire process so that after the webinar we guarantee that you can set up a wordpress site by yourself!

(Ideal for newbies or anyone wanting to understand WordPress)

Webinar Replay: http://www.buildasitefor3bucks.com/webinar

Read what people are saying about this webinar….

  • “I love you guys. You are honest and sincere. I’d do business with you at the drop of a hat. You are valuable help in this marketing world. Give me more. I’m hooked.” – Vernial Batts
  • “You ladies are simply AWESOME! This webinar was very helpful.  It took me 2 weeks to hash through all the steps to create my website. You guys did it within 1 hour. I’m impressed. Thanks for being real!!” – Eartha Dingle
  • “Thanks girls you are great- woo hoo from australia!This 1 hour webinar clarified what I struggled in a weekend seminar. Do you have more courses?” – Nick Elflett
  • “Great webinar…easy to listen to and learn at the same time! Thanks Alicia and Lorette” – Arley Owens
  • “This was a great webinar I have been trying to figure it out for at least a year now. Thanks” – Aerica Karriem