Author Archive for Tina Cook

How To Publish Your First WordPress Post

How To Publish Your First WordPress Post
It’s an exciting day when you are ready to write your first post on your new website! Every great journey starts with the first step.  I’m going to walk you through how to add new content to your blog on your WordPress website.

There’s a difference between posts and pages as I’ve pointed out previously yet the process of adding content to posts and pages is very similar. To keep things simple, let’s start with a post.

Some still get confused thinking a blog and a website are two different entities. They were in the days before WordPress became so popular and easy to use… when websites were created using complicated software, languages or code. Nowadays your blog is an integrated part of your WordPress website.

Your pages have your evergreen (or static or seldom changed) content and your blog is where your fresh content is organized via your posts and categories.

Your posts appear on your site in chronological order so your readers will find your most recent one first.

Your categories organize your posts so your readers can find what they are looking for easily and, I’ve read, also help the search engines. As you write more and more posts, you’ll see the importance and value of organizing your posts into their relevant categories.

Think of your blog like a library: all the books on dolphins will be on the one shelf and all the books on sharks will be on another shelf. The same principle works on your website: all your posts on leadership will be placed in one category and all your posts on public speaking in another. Unlike a library though, your post can be placed in more than one category. For example, if your post was about public speaking for leaders… you get the idea.

Some like to write their posts directly in the WordPress dashboard of their website and others prefer to write their post in a word processor and copy and paste into WordPress.

To create your post, go to Posts (in the left column of your Dashboard) and Add New and you’ll get to WordPress Visual Editor. You can start writing or, if you’ve written your post elsewhere, just copy and paste.

Tip: If you are copy and pasting from a Microsoft program, use the Paste Text from Word button.

If you mouse over the buttons in the Visual Editor, you see a description of what each button does. Or take a look at the graphic of the WordPress Visual Editor below:

How To Publish Your First WordPress PostEnlarge image

You can format your post using the Visual Editor. A few pointers:

1. The button known as the Kitchen Sink, when clicked, will reveal or hide the row below.

2. The Text Style window has a drop down and this is where you’ll find the H tags or Heading tags. It’s a good idea to decide on a style for your posts and keep it consist through out your website. Heading 1 through to Heading 6 – in most themes headings within a post or page will start at Heading 2 or 3 (H2 or H3 tags), going down to H6. The higher the value, the more important a search engine will consider it, but remember that H1 is usually reserved for the site title at the top of the page, and H2 for the post or page’s title. I usually use the H3 tag for sub headings.

3. Use Bold and Italic in moderation. (Unless, like I’m using in this post, their use makes your content clearer.) Your most important consideration always – keep asking yourself – am I expressing myself clearly?

4. Save your work as you go using Save Draft in the top right column. When you are ready to post click on the Publish button. Once you have published you can always go back and edit to make changes.

5. Read your post back to yourself out loud. Are you writing as you speak? Have you found all the typos?

Don’t want to overwhelm you as your get started with your first post. So will leave you to dive in and start sharing your knowledge and expertise with your readers. More tips and tactics on posting coming up in future posts. Keep focused on the value of the content you are giving to your community. You will master these steps quickly the more you do them. Happy blogging!

About Tina Cook

Web Designer, Social Media and Online Marketing
Coach. Be more profitable online with a high performing website designed to reflect your special talents and personality.
Increase your income with rock solid marketing strategies
and the power of social media and online video.

10 Top Social Media Marketing Quotes

We are very blessed to have great marketers like Gary Vaynerchuk, Guy Kawasaki, David Meerman Scott and Jay Baer to mention a few, share their insights so freely and so succinctly. There are vast volumes of information available online to guide and inform you. I picked these ten nuggets because I consider they hold the core, the essence of how to be successful online using the incredible resources and opportunities at our finger tips today. Some apply to your offline ventures too.

I created the video of the slides using Powerpoint as an example for one of my clients. Which is your favorite quote? Which do you need to do more of?

Social Media Quote by Gary Vaynerchuk

 Social Media Quote by Lee Odden

Social Media Marketing Quote by Guy Kawasaki

Social Media Marketing Quote by Don Schultz

Social Media Marketing Quote by Edgerank Checker

Social Media Marketing Quote  by Leo Burnett

Social Media Marketing Quote by David Meerman Scott

Social Media Marketing Quote by Gary Vaynerchuk

Social Media Marketing Quote by Jay Baer

Social Media Marketing Quote by Jonathan Lister

About Tina Cook

Web Designer, Social Media and Online Marketing
Coach. Be more profitable online with a high performing website designed to reflect your special talents and personality.
Increase your income with rock solid marketing strategies
and the power of social media and online video.

The Art of Getting More Retweets

The Art of Getting More Retweets

Or Make It Easy To Retweet You!

Retweets on Twitter are not only a compliment, they wing your messages to new streams of users who may want more and click the follow button so you increase your digital reach and visibility.

Retweets give you instant feedback: when you are retweeted that’s the sign your followers are finding your content worthwhile.

Getting more retweets is an Art. Like all artists, you need to observe and practice your craft till you achieve the tweeting balance and harmony that gives you a good retweet result.

Here are some tactics to add to your palette and play with until you find the mix and match magic to give your followers the content they appreciate enough to retweet.

1. Tweet more good content

Tweet content relevant to your target market’s needs. Give your followers information that will help them solve their challenges and make progress. Use Hootsuite to pre-schedule your tweets so you can set up (and then get on with your other work). Be sure to check your tweets and mentions later in the day.

Add variety to your tweets:
  • Some breaking news.
  • Some evergreen good stuff.
  • Some inspirational/encouraging.
  • Some promoting you.
  • Some promoting leaders in your niche.
  • Some for fun.

Think of your Twitter stream like a good TV channel. What will keep your target market tuning in?

Mix your mediums:
  • Some text.
  • Some videos.
  • More photos. (Especially now you can upload directly from Twitter.)

2. Make it easy to retweet you

Be clear and succinct. Keep your tweets short – 120 characters at the most – allowing space for your Twitter name in the retweet and their comment.

3. Tweet links

Twitter is a link economy, as Guy Kawasaki reminds us. 90% of your tweets need to have links. Links get retweeted. Mix links to your content with links to others’ content that your target market with find useful. When you tweet about your new blog post, start your tweet with [New Blog Post].

Art of Getting More Retweets

4. Retweet others

The power of reciprocity works wonders.

5. Gratitude works too

  • Thank those who’s content helped you.
  • Thank those that retweeted you. Include their name and a well wish or interesting comment.

6. Use a recognized link shortener

Bit.ly is the best and tracks too.

7. Add a retweet button to your website

If you have a WordPress website, my favourite plugin for Soclal Media share buttons is Shareaholic. Install at the beginning and end of your posts and pages.

Some prefer to use Twitter’s own official Tweet Button. Which ever is your favorite, make it easy for people to retweet you.

Spreading your message will be your reward for your care in crafting and mastering the art of the retweet.

P.S. And sometimes just ask your followers to tweet if they found helpful. So please feel free to tweet too!

Tweet: Is there an art to getting more retweets? Check out these tips: http://ctt.ec/e3z73+

Bonus Tip

Click on the Twitter bird to see what happens.
Want to do this on your site?
Check out Twitter Tips.

About Tina Cook

Web Designer, Social Media and Online Marketing
Coach. Be more profitable online with a high performing website designed to reflect your special talents and personality.
Increase your income with rock solid marketing strategies
and the power of social media and online video.

Take A Fresh Look At The Home Page Of Your Website Through A New Filter

The real voyage in discovery is not seeking new lands,
but seeing with new eyes.” ~ Marcel Proust

New Eyes Create New Opportunities
Social Media and our new online world of inter-connectivity integrates our personal and professional lives whether we like it or not. I love it! Do you?

The merging of our work and play, online and offline worlds in the 21st century is a new fascinating choreography for many.

We know how to build relationships with our prospects and clients offline. How do we do that successfully online without stepping on toes? How do we do that in the Social Media territories of Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and now Google+? What online adventures are open to you now if you see with new eyes ? From a practical point of view, have you looked at your online flagship – your home page – with new filters?

At one level, by embracing the new online technologies, I’ve been able to see and share events and the intimacies of marketing strategies in the making and bold new business success plans with colleagues and clients on different continents from San Diego, California to Auckland, New Zealand. This was just not possible before in the age of the fax machine and telephone. I didn’t need to travel to new lands physically. I did need to change my routine to fit in with the timezones of my clients or the events. I discovered the vast new landscape of opportunities for web entrepreneurs from the comfort of my coastal home office.

This visual insight (there’s a full size version below) with words by Marcel Proust reminds us of another opportunities at deeper levels – each of us in a different way. Doubt the French novelist had any inkling of the new galaxy of the Internet when he penned this wisdom around the early 1900s. Or the multiple meanings his words have in the 21st century. His creative tools were very different to the many mediums available now to express ourselves from YouTube to the avalanche of new Smartphone apps from tweeting to vlogging (video blogging).

When in my photographer mode, I often explore the digital wizardry of the creative filters whilst working in Photoshop. I’m sure you’ve noticed too, how adding a filter can completely change a photograph or subtly enhance an aspect. What filters do I see my world through? What filters do you see your world though?

What happens when you try a new filter?

New Eyes Create New Opportunities

At a practical level – take a fresh look at the home page of your website through the filter of your prospect:

Is the value you are offering crystal clear and how your visitor will benefit?

What do you see first? Is that your most important message?

Is your call to action compelling and prominent?

Is your personality reflected in your choice of colors, visuals, font and words?

Is it easy to feel a connection to you (and you team)? Is there a photo of you? Is your name prominent?

Is it easy to reach you? Are their links to your contact form and Social Media sites?

Through our days and nights of work and play, online and offline, inner and outer journeys we are all seeking at multiple levels. I invite you to watch what happens when you try a new filter! Bon voyage! Send us a “postcard” via the comments.

About Tina Cook

Web Designer, Social Media and Online Marketing
Coach. Be more profitable online with a high performing website designed to reflect your special talents and personality.
Increase your income with rock solid marketing strategies
and the power of social media and online video.

Which Video Camera Should I Buy?

Which Video Camera?

Want to make a video for your website, like many of my speaking coach clients that have a message they can’t wait to share with the world? The next comment they usually make is about the expense: “Well, I’ll need to budget for that. Right?” “Not necessarily” I reply. At this point I’m usually pretty excited to dispel the barrier and myth that making videos is expensive. “If you have an iPhone you have all the camera you’ll need.”

Now I’m even more excited as I discovered this iPhone App today – YouTube Capture which will solve another of my client’s problems and hopefully yours too  – how to edit your video easily.

YouTube makes it really super-easy to create your video and edit it – and its free!

You can record and edit your shots on your phone, add music (if you like), upload to YouTube and share to your Social Media platforms. You can even add previously recorded clips.

From YouTube, you can embed your video on your website. Here’s a quick intro showing you what this app can do, bearing in mind your aim is to spread your message and give value to your clients and prospects:

So go for it! It’s never been easier to get your video messages out there.

Start making a series of videos, each one sharing the solution to a problem you know your clients have. Hopefully this post has solved a problem you had – which video camera to buy?

If you’ve created a video for your website using YouTube Capture, please post the link in the comments so more people can view it and ideally share it too. See you on YouTube!

About Tina Cook

Web Designer, Social Media and Online Marketing
Coach. Be more profitable online with a high performing website designed to reflect your special talents and personality.
Increase your income with rock solid marketing strategies
and the power of social media and online video.

Respect Other’s Creativity And Keep Your YouTube Account

Respect Other's Copyright And Keep Your YouTube Account

YouTube is the second biggest search engine online. You really need to be creating videos to share your expertise or demonstrate all the ways your products can solve problems for your clients and customers.

You don’t want to risk YouTube shutting your account down and this incredible (and free) channel to your target market.

Do you need more incentives to respect other’s creativity and copyright? I came across the video I’ve shared below entitled “YouTube Copyright School” which does a great job of explaining what you can and can’t do. Take a look even though the soundtrack is a little annoying, losing your YouTube account will be far more annoying! Read More→

About Tina Cook

Web Designer, Social Media and Online Marketing
Coach. Be more profitable online with a high performing website designed to reflect your special talents and personality.
Increase your income with rock solid marketing strategies
and the power of social media and online video.

The Science of Getting More Clicks on Twitter

The Science of Getting More Clicks on Twitter
Just enjoyed a great webinar and Twitter Chat hosted by Dan Zarrella, the Social Media Scientist at HubSpot. Dan gave us excellent insights based on his extensive research. Here’s some tweet-aways from the Twitter Chat:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

About Tina Cook

Web Designer, Social Media and Online Marketing
Coach. Be more profitable online with a high performing website designed to reflect your special talents and personality.
Increase your income with rock solid marketing strategies
and the power of social media and online video.

Wishing You The Happiest of Holidays 2012

christmas2012

Wishing you the Happiest of Holidays! However you choose to spend the next few days, may you be happy and enjoy each moment. Thank you for your likes, retweets, and hitting the Google+ button. Greatly appreciate my stunning clients and all the exciting work we have achieved this year. Wishing you many more successes, fulfillment and vibrant, good health all the coming days of 2013!

About Tina Cook

Web Designer, Social Media and Online Marketing
Coach. Be more profitable online with a high performing website designed to reflect your special talents and personality.
Increase your income with rock solid marketing strategies
and the power of social media and online video.

Drum Roll for Release of WordPress 3.5

Drum Roll for New WordPress 3.5 Release by Tina Cook

The brilliant WordPress wizards have pipped Santa to bring us a bright bundle of new toys just in time for the Holidays! The new WordPress 3.5 was released last week and nicknamed “Elvin” in honor of drummer Elvin Jones.

Topping the list of the new version of the blogging platform’s goodies is the new media manager which makes uploading images much smoother.

Media galleries are also much improved and quicker to create.

The WordPress dashboard is beautiful with super sharp graphics and is Retina-ready.

And many more improvements, most of which are under the hood.

Many thanks to the long list of WordPress contributors and wishes to you all for the Happiest of Holidays!

Check out the overview in this video created by WordPress:

If you’d like to read a detailed breakdown of all the new features, take a look at WPCandy.com’s great post “Everything we know about WordPress 3.5”

TIP: Before you upgrade your WordPress, be sure to do a full backup of your website. The best plugin to help you do this is BackupBuddy. It’s so important to backup your website regularly and automatically.

About Tina Cook

Web Designer, Social Media and Online Marketing
Coach. Be more profitable online with a high performing website designed to reflect your special talents and personality.
Increase your income with rock solid marketing strategies
and the power of social media and online video.

Create a Website your Visitors and Prospects Will Find Useful (and Attractive)

Create a Website your Visitors and Prospects Will Find Useful (and Attractive)-TinaCook.tvThe huge benefits of creating a website that is useful and just-what-your-prospects-are-looking-for seem so obvious yet it’s often not the first priority of most busy small business owners and entrepreneurs. As their attention may not be on the ever-changing online trends, they need to rely on savvy web designers and online marketing consultants to give them the top advice to ensure they take full advantage of the opportunities online. Often the shifts are small and subtle and simple. But if you aren’t watching the ball you’ll miss the catch.

Some may also still be attached to the past when websites were merely online brochures or were all about you rather than how best to serve your prospects and clients. Occasionally web designers get carried away with what they love the most – the design – yes we have all been guilty of giving too much attention to the look instead of prioritizing the content and our web surfer’s needs and expectations.

So how do we find a successful mix of being visually attractive and incredibly relevant?

Jump into the shoes of you web surfing prospect -Tinacook.tv

The first gear shift to make is to jump into the shoes of your web surfing prospect and think like your client or customer-to-be.

Ask yourself:

“When my prospect goes to Google what do they type in the search box?”

“What information are they looking for?”

Focus your content on the needs of the clients and customers you wish to attract and serve.

Here’s some ideas to help you follow the footprints of your target market and find the clues to make your content relevant:

Tune into their wavelength-TinaCook.tv

1. Listen

Tune into their wavelength. When you hear the same question a few times from your customers – a beep, beep, beep should go off! Write the question down. It’s a fabulous opportunity for you to get writing and answer in your next blog post. Many more of your prospects will have the same question.

Or if they are looking for a resource, add it to your resource page.

For example, my clients asked what the advantages were of choosing WordPress for their website so I wrote a post on that exact topic.

Most of the entrepreneurs I serve haven’t mastered PhotoShop so I researched free photo editors for them and added this resource to the “Tools” section of my website. There are so many amazing resources online and many are free. You can assist your customers by testing them out and finding the ones that work the best. This will save them valuable time and they will really appreciate you.

Ask your visitors what they need help with the most-TinaCook.tv2. Ask

Set up a poll or a survey on your website and ask your visitors what they need help with the most?

There are WordPress plugins that make setting up a poll on your site a breeze. One I like is WP-Polls.

Set up a poll or a survey on your website-TinaCook.tv

The online survey service SurveyMonkey (there are others) has a free version to you can try out. This is very powerful and useful for more detailed surveys and the results are collated in a format that is easy to assess. You can also embed the survey on your website which is always a better option than taking your visitor off your site.

People are searching online for solutions and information 24/7. Create a website that helps the people you wish to serve solve their problems and you will be rewarded with loyal clients (not to mention more tweets and likes) – all leading to increased business for you.

Do you have a story to share in the comments of how you heard your clients’ questions and acted?

About Tina Cook

Web Designer, Social Media and Online Marketing
Coach. Be more profitable online with a high performing website designed to reflect your special talents and personality.
Increase your income with rock solid marketing strategies
and the power of social media and online video.