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YellowWebMonkey Blog

26July

How to Write a List Blog

chalkboardProbably the most common type of blog out there is the "List Blog." Some examples would be "5 New Things to do with...." or a "Top 10 Things that...."


Why are list blogs the most popular? Because they are the easiest to write. These should be your "go-to" choice when you want to write a new post but aren't inspired with a specific topic. Pull out a sheet of paper. List "5 Reasons Why I don't Want to Write a Blog." I bet you can come up with 5 in no time at all.

So besides easy, some other advantages to List Blogs are:

- They tend to be re-posted/shared more often (think going VIRAL)

- Quick for others to read

- Can help you brainstorm ideas for future blogs

 

As with ANY type of blog, the most important part is picking the topic. Find something that is interesting and then google to see if it already exists. Here are the last five List Blogs that YellowWebMonkey has re-posted lately:

- 6 Daily Habits for Facebook Marketing Success

- 5 Ways to Encourage Customers to Share Your Content

- 4 More New Social Media Trends for Freelancers to Explore

- 7 Ways Your Site Can Be Sabotaged - Forbes.com

- 11-Point Facebook Checkup | Social Media Today

 

Here are some pointers on writing your own List Blog:

HOW MANY ITEMS?

Depends on the topic. The shorter the list, the more detail you want. ie, if less than 10, then you want a small description for each item. If its 40 something, then you can just list.

ORDER

Obviously if it is a "top ten" you are going to rank that way. Otherwise, mix it up. remember your goal is to get the reader to read your WHOLE blog.

HIGHLIGHT ITEMS

Pick a few items that you think are worth more attention (or maybe just have more brand recognition) and talk about them a little more. Putting a picture (logo or screenshot) of those items can help distinguish them.

DISTINGUISHING YOUR LIST

There are literally millions of list blogs out there. You goal is to get your blog read and shared so try some of these things:

- Put some personality in there. Share a little vignette about something in the list.

- Put a goofy picture in there (like the one at the beginning of the article)

- Adjust the layout to look clean and easy to scan

- Ask for comments about what items readers would add. Consider making a follow-up post with these (ie "Another Five Things that...."

 

What other pointers do you have on List Blogs? And particular "lists" you would like to see YellowWebMonkey make?

Posted in List Blogs

21July

July Workshop: Pay Per Click Advertising...Learn to Manage Your Online Advertising

Join our final July workshop and learn how to manage your own Pay Per Click Advertising.


Pay per Click may be the best way to maximize your budget when advertising on the web. This workshop will teach you how to set up your own pay per click advertising plan. Yes, you can do this yourself!

This workshop includes:

  • Choosing the best keywords
  • Finding your Target Audience
  • Writing your own ads
  • Set up a GoogleAdWords account with a live campaign or ads
  • Set up LinkedIn and Facebook Ads
  • We will help you create a campaign suited for your business.

When: Friday, July 29, 2011

1:30pm to 3:30pm

Where: Centex Litigation Services / Conference Room

7215 Bosque, Waco

Bring: Laptop (let us know if you don't have one)

Cost: $150/person Sign Up Now

$75/person Virtual option (more information below)

Limited space available. First come, first served.

What is our "Virtual" workshop?

Many of our clients do not live in Texas. Some don't even live in the U.S. This virtual option makes it easy for anyone to attend by simply using their laptop, wireless access and a phone or headset. What does this virtual option include?

  • This is a real time presentation
  • You will view each part or slide of the presentation on your computer and will be able to listen in as the presentation is given
  • You will be able to ask questions or make comments through your own private IM chat
  • There will be a real person dedicated to monitoring our virtual attendees to give you answers or to pose your questions to the presenter

What you need: a laptop or computer, internet access and a phone or headset

Sign up for the Pay Per Click Advertising Workshop (Virtual)

Join us in July in person or virtually and learn the keys to reaching your customers quickly, efficiently and in a cost effective way. We can help you DIY!

Posted in YellowWebMonkey Happenings

20July

Paper.li Review

The people you follow on Twitter can say as much about you as what you tweet. What if you could compile the important links and information displayed in your Twitter feed in a format you can share with your followers? This is the service that the website Paper.li offers.

paperli
 
Concept
Our Twitter stream can say a lot about us. If you are someone who follows Twitter accounts for a specific reason (not just blindly following back), your stream is probably full of articles, photos, and information that interests you. The first few tweets on my stream, for example, are a photo shared by an actor on my favorite TV show, a link to a video of someone I’m subscribed to on YouTube, and an update from my high school. Paper.li gives me the option to share all of those bits of information and media in one place. This website combines everything you want to share on Twitter and publishes it in an online newspaper.
 
Pros
Simplicity. All you have to do is sign up for an account, choose what you want to go into your paper, and publish.
Design. The content is beautifully displayed in a classic layout.
Customization. There are several ways to choose the content that goes into your paper. You can not only add you and the people you follow, but also specific tags, users, and keywords.
Auto-Update. Your paper can be synced to your Twitter account and updated 1-2 times daily or once weekly with little to no maintenance.
 
Cons
Ads. This is a free service so the website is supported by ads that will be placed in your paper.
Control. While you can choose exact streams, lists, or users to add to your paper, you can’t choose which tweets are added. The site chooses the most popular tweets to add, so you can’t always be sure of what will appear in your paper.
 
Alternatives
If you would like to check out sites similar to Paper.li you can give The Tweeted Times, Scoop.it, or Twylah a try. These are all free services that offer ways to share your Twitter stream or other web content with your followers.
 
The Bottom Line
Paper.li is a very cool, fresh idea that can be used to represent you or your company, and I would definitely recommend trying it out. If you think the content represents what you want shared on Twitter I would also recommend linking your accounts. It's a super easy way to post content on Twitter without even logging in. You can use this tutorial if you need help setting up your account and linking it to Twitter. Come back and let us know what you think in the comments below!
 
 
No time to set up our own paper.li? Let YellowWebMonkey set it up for you! set it up for you!

Posted in Review Blogs

18July

How to Write a Review Blog: This Week's Battle of the Intern Challenge

People look for reviews...reviews of products, services and even entertainment. This week our interns will write a review style blog. Learn with them how to use this type of blogging effectively.


 

1. Choose your topic carefully.

- Pick something new, something people do not have a lot of experience with....yet

- Pick something that people would be resistant to just trying themselves because of cost, availability or a wide range of choices

 

2. Break it apart and analyze each aspect of the product or service.

- Look at each main function/aspect separately and review each

- Discuss why this product or service would be useful or desirable to each specific audience.

 

3. Make comparisons.

- If there is a well known competitor, make a table and compare products side by side using those parts you analyzed

- Be specific in comparisons. Give people something tangible as a comparison.

 

4. Conclusion

- Have a 1-2 paragraph summary. Here list whether or not you recommend this product or service and why.

 

5. Comments

- Ask for specific comments. Encourage others opinions. This will expand your review and make it more relevant.

 

When writing a review, do a little research, form your own overall opinion of the product and then consider "What would people most want to know when making a choice between these products and services?". Be specific in your comparisons and don't be afraid to give your well formed and researched opinion....after all, that is why they are reading!

So, this week, look for new Review Blogs by our YellowWebMonkey interns, Scout and Brett. Choose your favorite and vote for them by "Liking" their blog or a quick Retweet. Then, try your hand at a Review blog to boost your web traffic or to convert readers to customers!

Posted in Review Blogs

18July

Visit the New Centex Hispanic Chamber of Commerce

The Centex Hispanic Chamber of Commerce has a new website that communicates their mission, showcases their events and promotes their supporters.


centexnew_smallWith this new Joomla content management system site, they are able to update their events, images, advertisers and member directory themselves, with a little simple, online training.

This site includes:

  • A calendar featuring a variety of categories as well as a public view and private administrator view.
  • Database for advertisers with banner advertising that is easily changed
  • Database of members
  • Photo gallery of their popular community events
  • Front page slide show featuring the work of Jose Villareal, a successful San Antonio artist
  • Social Media Toolbar
  • Embedded Video featuring Noticias
  • Testimonial Database
  • Custom Online Forms for Membership, Membership Renewal and Event Hall Reservation
  • Additional databases to include a Job Board and Local Resources
  • Blog and RSS Feed
  • Easy to find Newsletter Sign Up

Visit this new site today and learn how Centex Hispanic Chamber not only benefits the community, but how membership can benefit your organization or business.

http://wacohispanicchamber.com

Posted in New Website Releases

15July

Determining Your Company's Identity with Magnetic Poetry

Before venturing into branding, marketing, or social media, you need to figure out some things about your business. The whole point of all those things is to spread the word about you, but if you don’t know what word to spread, you are probably wasting time and money. Since I am a visual person, I put together a little “magnetic poetry” type action for you to play around with.


Before venturing into branding, marketing, or social media, you need to figure out some things about your business. The whole point of all those things is to spread the word about you, but if you don’t know what word to spread, you are probably wasting time and money. Since I am a visual person, I put together a little “magnetic poetry” type action for you to play around with. This is by no means a comprehensive list of adjectives, but rather an exercise to help you start thinking about your identity. (please suggest other words in comments)

 

1) Who are you?

It is important in today’s marketing world to appear sincere and to show a little personality. Figure out how you identify yourself. A good exercise is: If you were at a networking event and had 60 seconds to stand up and give a little “commercial” for your business, what would you say?

2) Who are your ideal customers/clients?

If you try to market to everyone, you will reach no one. Think about the clients you WANT. Is it the group that brings you the most business (quantity-wise), the most profitable group (quality), or just a niche you want to increase your business with? How would you describe them?

3.) Why are you better?

Imagine you are meeting with a potential client and they ask “why should I give my business to you instead of (insert competitor's name here) --insert competitor's name--. How do you reply? Don’t go for the laundry list; stick to the things where you know you rock. Also, even though people are cost-wary, don’t be afraid to say that you are worth your cost because of _____. Your competitor can always give a discount to undersell you, but if you explain why you are better, its harder for them to counter.

 

What are your thoughts? Was this helpful?

Posted in Marketing

14July

WiseStamp



WiseStamp Chrome extension empowers your email signature on each Gmail or Google Apps email you send. Easily customize Google Chrome html email signatures, Include IM & Social profiles, Automatically share your Blog posts, Quotes, News, Bookmarks and more…Enhance your personal and business Chrome email interactions.

WiseStamp is very useful because you can easily connect people with your social networking sites such as Twitter, RSS feeds, etc. It's also helpful because people can easily find out information about your website, company, or business.

Set up WiseStamp for your Gmail account by following these simple steps:

1. Download the WiseStamp extension.

wisestampstep1

2. Add your personal settings.

wisestampstep2

3. Confirm your settings, and create an email.

Congratulations, you have created your auto-updating signature with WiseStamp!

This video explains the process in detail.

 


This is my finished signature

wisestampstep3

Posted in Review Blogs

14July

5 "Do"s and "Don't"s for Running Your Company's Twitter

Running a corporate Twitter account can seem like a daunting task. Have no fear, just use this guide to avoid some common Twitter faux pas.


ywmtwitter

  1. Do follow accounts that you are interested in and are relevant to your company. When you follow accounts that are similar to yours they are more likely to follow you in return. As your number of followers grows so will the popularity of your company.
    Don’t follow random accounts just to gain followers. You should be interested in the people you follow so when they view your account it is obvious why you followed them.
    Example: If you run a plumbing company and someone in your area tweets about their malfunctioning shower, it would be acceptable to follow that person. They are a potential costumer and following them will let them know of your company.
  2. Do tweet regularly. Twitter can be used as a method of building relationships with current and future costumers. When you tweet more often your followers will become familiar with your company.
    Don’t tweet excessively. Spamming will lose you followers and can annoy the ones that don’t unfollow you.
    Example: As a general rule tweet at least once a day, but not more than once an hour. You can even queue your tweets by using a third-party plug-in like Tweue.
  3. Do abbreviate if necessary. When you only have 140 characters to communicate a message you have to make every letter count.
    Don’t abbreviate your entire tweet. Your followers need to be able to discern what you are trying to say, so try to avoid shorthand unless the text won’t fit otherwise.
    Example: Say you wanted to tweet the message “Stop by our store today to receive a 20 percent discount on any item of your choice! This is a One-Day-Only offer, so take advantage of it while you can!” This is seven characters too long. You could shorten it by changing One-Day-Only to 1Day-Only and 20 percent to 20%.
  4. Do interact with your followers. Try to check your replies, mentions and direct messages at least once a day to see what people are saying about your company.
    Don’t use bot services to retweet. In fact, don’t use bot services at all. You will end up spamming and losing followers, and you might even get your account suspended.
    Example: If you see a tweet that mentions your company and links to good review, this is something that is acceptable to retweet to your followers.
  5. Do take advantage of hashtags. By creating a hashtag that people want to use in their own tweets, you are attracting attention to your company.
    Don’t hashtag everything. Make sure if you use a hash tag that it is directly related to your company and your followers.
    Example: If your company’s tag line is “I’m lovin’ it,” add the hashtag #ImLovinIt to a tweet. Your followers might post something similar and use the same hashtag. If enough people use your hashtag it could even end up being a Trending Topic.

Posted in Instructional Blogs

13July

Check Out YellowWebMonkey's Tutorials!

If you are having trouble figuring out how to do something online, we are here to help.


Whether you are questioning how to price a product in Tienda, resize a photo, or even set up a Facebook page you definitely want to stop by the Tutorials section of our site. This section is constantly being updated with step-by-step instructions for various online tasks needed to run your business. We currently offer 77 tutorials with screenshot illustrations to guide you along the way and add about 5 a week. To stay up to date with the newest tutorials you can subscribe to the RSS feed.

tutorialblog

If you would like to see to see video examples of our tutorials and listen to our team members walk you through the steps, head on over to YellowWebMonkey's YouTube channel. Here you will find live screen examples of many of the tutorials on our site. If you have a YouTube account and would like to be updated when we upload new videos, feel free to subscribe to our channel!

If you have comments, questions, or suggestions for a tutorial, you can do so here.

Posted in YellowWebMonkey Happenings

12July

How to Write an Instructional Blog: New Battle of the Interns

This week it is Intern Brett vs. Intern Scout as they create an instructional blog. Read on to learn more about instructional blogs. Then watch for our next Intern posts and vote for your favorite.


An instructional blog can range from just simple tips to a step by step tutorial.

 

How to Choose a Topic for an Instructional Blog:

- Choose a topic that people are interested in

- Best topics: something people didn't know they COULD do

- Google the topic first to see if other tutorials already exist. Find a topic without any tutorials or very poor quality ones

WRITING

- State the objective (ie by the end of this post you will have ____)

- State anything/information they need at the beginning (like ingredients of recipe)

- Mention WHY they would want to do this (ie save time, better marketing, look cool, whatever)

- Number your steps (If someone is already in the process, clearly tell them if ___, then skip to Step #)

- Use Multimedia, screenshots or video are great

- Put in hyperlinks to make it easy for them to do each step as they are reading

- Put a "Other Resources" at the bottom and 3-5 links to related tools/blogs that might be helpful

REVIEW

- Give the blog to a friend with no experience and make sure they can complete the task or reach the end state

- At the end of the blog, ask for comments ("Let me know if I missed any steps," "Let me know if this was helpful", "post the link/picture of your completed ____ in the comments"

SHARE

- Tutorials are popular on content sharing sites

- Post to Delicious, Digg, Reddit, and StumbleUpon

Blogging is fun, creative and a great way to gain new fans or customers. Watch for more info on how to write a better blog....and see what Brett and Scout create. Remember, retweet and "Like" your favorite.

Let the battle continue!

Posted in Instructional Blogs

08July

Battle of the Interns. YellowWebMonkey Needs you to Read, Learn and Vote!

This summer at YellowWebMonkey we have set up a little friendly competition between our two new interns and we need your help! Take this opportunity to not just join in the fun....learn how to create a unique blog in a variety of writing styles.


Our new interns, Brett Wiggins and Scout Riggs, are not just learning about websites, web marketing and sales....they are learning how to write the ideal blog. Over the next few weeks they will write a series of unique blogs covering a number of blog styles including: personal profiles, critiques, reviews, research, utilizing lists and more.

If you would like to write a better blog but are out of ideas and inspiration then tune in while our interns hone their writing skills and share new ideas and styles.

Here is how it works:

  • Both Brett and Scout will post a new blog each week. Each blog will cover a new, unique blog style.
  • You be the judge. Look at each blog critically considering content and writing style.
  • Watch for our Facebook Updates on each new blog release or check out our website.
  • Vote! Once you read their blog, then Like or Tweet their blog to give them a vote (Like and Tweet buttons are included at the bottom of each blog)
  • The intern with the most likes and Tweets will win

The first prize in our competition....a gift from The Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory located at Richland Mall in Waco. We are quite fond of their Gourmet apples....my favorite is Caramel/Peanut. Of course, the German Chocolate Fudge is really special!

Take this opportunity to critque and encourage Brett and Scott and learn about effective blogging in the process.

Read the first set of blogs written in the style of a personal profile and then vote. Encourage our interns and help them learn the art of blogging....perhaps you will learn a little about blogging too!

Read Brett's Blog here

Read Scout's Blog here

Posted in YellowWebMonkey Happenings

29June

Join Our Two New Summer Workshops: Now with a Virtual Option

Join one of our two summer workshops in July and learn how to boost your business and spend less! We have added a virtual option to make it easy for anyone to attend. Learn about pay per click advertising, GoogleAdWords and brush up on all the new benefits of using Social Media effectively.


 

First, join us for our Social Media workshop. This includes our original Social Media Workshop info and much more:social-media2

  • Facebook Business Page: Reach clients and gain fans. Learn what's new.
  • Facebook Places: Claim your Facebook Place.
  • Facebook Deals: Market effectively on Facebook.
  • Twitter: Tweet effectively and get noticed.
  • LinkedIn: Use your connections to enhance your business with personal and company pages.
  • Foursquare or GoWalla: Encourage check ins and use GeoLocation to your advantage.
  • Email Newsletters: Connect with your clients by creating newsletters that get opened.

Whether you need help setting up Social Media for your business or just need to jump start your marketing plan, this workshop is for you.

When: Friday, July 15, 2011

1:30pm to 4:30pm

Where: CenTex Litigation Services / Conference Room

7215 Bosque, Waco

Bring: Laptop (let us know if you don't have one)

Cost: $50/person ($35 if you refer a friend who signs up also) Sign Up Now

$25/person Virtual option (more information below)

Attend both workshops on Bosque and save: $175/person

Limited space available. First come, first served.

 

 

Pay per Click may be the best way to maximize your budget when advertising on the web. This workshop will teach you how to set up your own pay per click advertising plan. Yes, you can do this yourself!

This workshop includes:

  • Choosing the best keywords
  • Finding your Target Audience
  • Writing your own ads
  • Set up a GoogleAdWords account with a live campaign or ads
  • Set up LinkedIn and Facebook Ads
  • We will help you create a campaign suited for your business.

When: Friday, July 29, 2011

1:30pm to 3:30pm

Where: Centex Litigation Services / Conference Room

7215 Bosque, Waco

Bring: Laptop (let us know if you don't have one)

Cost: $150/person Sign Up Now

$75/person Virtual option (more information below)

Attend both workshops on Bosque and save: $175/person

Limited space available. First come, first served.

 

What is our "Virtual" workshop?

Many of our clients do not live in Texas. Some don't even live in the U.S. This virtual option makes it easy for anyone to attend by simply using their laptop, wireless access and a phone or headset. What does this virtual option include?

  • This is a real time presentation
  • You will view each part or slide of the presentation on your computer and will be able to listen in as the presentation is given
  • You will be able to ask questions or make comments through your own private IM chat
  • There will be a real person dedicated to monitoring our virtual attendees to give you answers or to pose your questions to the presenter

What you need: a laptop or computer, internet access and a phone or headset

Sign up for the Social Media for Dummies Workshop (Virtual)

Sign up for the Pay Per Click Advertising Workshop (Virtual)

Join us in July in person or virtually and learn the keys to reaching your customers quickly, efficiently and in a cost effective way. We can help you DIY!

Posted in YellowWebMonkey Happenings

12June

New York Gold Party, LLC gets a new LittleWebMonkey Site...Let the Fun Begin!

Have you ever been to a gold party? Do you know what a gold party is? Well, New York Gold Party, LLC has just launched a LittleWebMonkey Site to promote this unique, new business.


nygssThis budding new business, located in New York city, organizes Gold Parties, where people can bring their old, unwanted gold and exchange it for cash! Their new 5 page Joomla website includes, Social Media, easy to use blog, Twitter integration to keep people informed. The contact page offers the opportunnity to gain more information or to request a party. Best of all, this site is designed so it is easy for the client to update or change.

Check out this new site: http://www.nygoldpartyllc.com/

Learn more about our LittleWebMonkey sites or our new Site Packages:

http://www.yellowwebmonkey.com/site-packages.html

Posted in New Website Releases

11April

Shopping Horsefeathers of Salado is Easy with this New eCommerce Site

From Waco, it is a short, pleasant drive to the small town of Salado, the perfect place to shop for unique things for your home. Now, it is even easier to choose fine home furnishings and accessories online at Horsefeathers of Salado.


Horsefeathers, well know as "the" place to shop in Salado for one of a kind accents for the home, now offers a wide variety of fine accessories online. From candle holders to clocks....Horsefeathers of Salado has something special for your home and now you don't have to plan a short trip to get there! This beautiful, custom designed website puts the emphasis on the fine products that Horsefeathers offers.

This new eCommerce site includes:

  • CMS (content management system) easy to manage and update
  • Tienda eCommerce system
  • Easy to manage product catalog
  • Image gallery for every product
  • Inventory system
  • View and manage orders easily
  • Full line of reports including orders, inventory and financial
  • Secure payment options
  • Supports coupons or promo codes
  • Custom design
  • Slide show with "Ken Burns Effect"
  • Create Sales or Featured Items
  • Social Media including Facebook, Twitter

Shopping is easy....and fun. Visit Horsefeathers of Salado today.

http://www.horsefeathersofsalado.com/

Old Site New Site

oldhf - copyhfport

Posted in New Website Releases

08April

For McAnally CPA, April is Not Just About Taxes Anymore!

For McAnally, CPA, April does not just spell tax time. It also means the launch of a new website for this Central Texas business.


This new site makes it easy to learn more about John McAnally and the services his office offers.

This new 5 page LittleWebMonkey Site includes:

  • Easy to manage Joomla! CMS (content management system)
  • Contact Page (includes anti spam protection)
  • Integrated Blog
  • Testimonial Database

Visit McAnally today and see what financial services they offer. Subscribe to their blog for helpful tax and financial tips. If you need a good CPA, just fill out the contact form on the website. We aren't just their webdesigners...we are their clients. We recommend McAnally for financial assistance anytime, but we find them especially helpful this time of year.

Learn more: http://mcanallycpa.com

 

Old McAnally CPA New McAnally CPA

mcanallyport

macanallyold

Posted in New Website Releases

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