Last week we started a countdown of 12 store tips that can get you ready for a successful holiday shopping season in no time. We started with your store setup and customer service tips, and today we’ll continue with promotion and sales.
The countdown to Christmas has begun! If it feels like it’s still too soon to start singing Christmas songs and putting on the yule log, just remember that an estimated 40% of consumers start doing their shopping before Halloween (yes, some people are really that organized...)
Today's post is from Leah Hamilton at TermsFeed! This information is meant for general guidance— if you need specific legal advice, we recommend consulting directly with a professional.
When you’re starting an online business, there’s a lot to think about—everything from the packaging for your amazing products to the design of your product pages. Do you also have the legal aspects sorted out? Making sure you check all the boxes and have all the right forms might not seem as fun, but it’s an essential part of running a business, and keeping your customers happy.
Earlier this week I talked about how to create each individual blog post using Jimdo. All by themselves, these blog posts are just like standalone pages of your website. Next we need to find a way to get website visitors to find and read the posts and connect each post in a blog roll.
Blogging, the act of posting regular updates about a particular topic on a website, is one of the most popular methods of publishing on the internet. By looking at some of the statistics from the largest blogging platforms, we know that there are at least 250 million blogs on the internet today. These range from teenagers ranting about video games in their bedrooms to massive, multi-author sites like Boing Boing or even a site like Huffington Post which demonstrates the blurry lines between a blog and an online newspaper. When it comes to building a blog on your Jimdo website, you’re probably looking for something squarely in the middle of those examples.
With summer in full swing, you may find yourself spending more time perfecting your grilling technique than, say, working on your website. For the record, we heartily approve of this shift in priorities.
You see, I am a full-time travel writer now. I review places all over the world and make sure everybody knows the best or worst places to go. Sounds like the perfect job right? And I can’t deny that it really is. On the other hand, there is no off time when you’re a travel writer, and everything you do has to be documented and scrutinised. I can't sleep on a flight or watch movies; I have to be constantly writing and constantly talking to people. But I really wouldn't have it any other way.
Everybody asks how I became a travel writer and frankly it all comes down to a small decision to create my own website. At the age of 22, with a mortgage and a job in banking on my shoulders, I decided I was taking life way too seriously. I was living to work and not working to live.
So I packed it all in. Goodbye responsibility, hello to the open road. I traveled the world, bit by bit, and then decided that I no longer needed to buy return tickets to the UK. The more people I met and the longer I traveled, people would keep telling me I should write my stories down. I had no background in writing and really didn't think many people would be that interested in my rambles, but I did it anyway—if anything just for something to look back on and smile.
I found Jimdo through another travel blogger site and I loved that I could design every little piece myself. It now became less of a writing platform and more of a creative one.
But I didn’t have a name for it. I was in Ecuador and I sat down with a piece of paper and pen and wrote down everything I loved. It was a pretty simple list. And quite honestly it looked like something a child had written. ‘Swimming with fishes’ ‘slices of cake’ ‘milkshakes’ and ‘coffee’. But this was a travel website. I couldn't call it fish flavoured milkshake, but I could call it Coffee With A Slice Of Life. And that I did. Without even realising, I picked up my coffee and smiled while seeing my slice of life, the view of an Ecuadorian volcano. My name was created. It fit so perfectly with my newly designed website.
I started to document everything, trips through the Amazon, the way I fell head over heels in love with Colombia, getting sick in Guatemala, and CouchSurfing with beautiful strangers. Mostly it would just be my friends reading it. However, sometimes I would get emails from people I didn’t know telling me how much they enjoyed the site. That gave me so much motivation. I loved knowing people could get inspiration from my journey. For a good year, I wrote at least once a week. I ran the blog because it was a passion, I slowly started getting more readers and then one day a company contacted me and asked me to be a part of their affiliate programme.
I didn't even know what that meant.
Not to look like a novice, I did my research. I started to realise there were travelers out there that had blogs like mine and were making money from them. I honestly never knew you could realistically use your blog to travel for free. I signed up for the programme and the next month I received my first $100.
I would spend hours tweaking my website, uploading photos, changing the font, just playing around and trying to portray my personality as creatively as I could. I got more confident in my writing as I loved how my website looked. Traveling was a constant inspiration.
In March this year I moved to Hong Kong. Not on purpose, I accidentally stumbled across it after making my way to Australia. Within a few days, I had met other writers, publishers and bloggers. I talked to everyone, I got business cards printed and I started to tell more people about my travel website. I attended every networking event I could and said yes to absolutely everything. I was here alone after all, and the city had an incredible energy about it. I knew this was where I could find freelance work if I was proactive enough. With 2 years of blogging behind me and endless hours spent on my website, I was proud to show off what I had achieved and decided to take the plunge into full-time freelance writing.
I now rent a co-working space in the center of the city and type away on my laptop alongside other creative entrepreneurs. I get to travel while working and am able to share my experiences with the world. And to think it all just started with a small step of creating a website.
Any questions about the life of a digital nomad? Let me know in the comments.
To make room for incoming websites, Generic Top-Level Domains (gTLDs) have now been introduced to the public. Gone are the days when you could only choose between a .com or a .biz; you can now choose a .pizza domain for your pizza parlor, a .boutique domain for your local shop, or even a .photos domain to showcase your photography. A full list of available gTLDs is at the bottom of this post.
However gTLDs are still the new kids on the block, so they have some hurdles to overcome. Right now, consumers still tend to trust websites with traditional domains rather than new, unusual ones. This may evolve over time as people become more accustomed to websites with .dance and .ninja in the names. But for now, it’s probably worth checking to see if a good .com address is available first before diversifying into gTLDs.
When you’re ready to register one of these new domains, log in to your Jimdo site and head over to Upgrade > Add-ons. Here, you’ll be able to search the availability of the domain of your choice and then add it to your account. If you’re just signing up for a website now, simply enter the domain you want into the domain field when you're prompted.
So if you think a gTLD will be right for you, head on over to your website and you can add one directly. Because gTLDs are still so new, it’s not clear which ones will catch on, and it may take a while for people to become familiar with them. But, chosen wisely, they can be a fun, unique addition to your website.
com, net, org, biz, info, de, at, ch, fr, eu, nl, com.mx, es, co.uk, it, ru, рф, pl, com.br, be, com.pl
ac.nz, academy, ae.org, agency, airforce, ar.com, asia, associates, auction, audio, bargains, bayern, beer, bid, bike, boutique, builders, business, bz, cab, camera, camp, cards, care, cash, cat, catering, cc, center, cheap, christmas, church, city, cleaning, click, clothing, club, co, co.bz, co.in, co.lc, co.nz, coffee, cologne, com.bz, com.co, com.hk, com.ht, com.lc, com.pt, com.so, com.tw, community, company, computer, construction, consulting, contractors, cooking, cool, country, dance, de.com, deals, democrat, diet, digital, direct, directory, discount, domains, education, email, engineer, enterprises, equipment, estate, eu.com, events, exchange, exposed, fail, farm, fi, fin.ec, firm.in, fish, fishing, fitness, florist, forsale, foundation, futbol, gallery, gb.com, geek.nz, gen.in, gen.nz, gift, gifts, gives, glass, gr.com, graphics, gratis, gripe, guide, guitars, guru, haus, help, hiphop, hk, horse, hosting, house, immo, immobilien, in, ind.in, industries, info.ec, institute, international, jetzt, juegos, kaufen, kitchen, koeln, kr.com, land, lc, life, limited, link, lt, lu, management, market, marketing, med.ec, media, mobi, moda, moscow, net.co, net.hk, net.in, net.lc, net.nz, net.so, network, ninja, nom.co, nu, nyc, nz, org.hk, org.in, org.lc, org.nz, org.pt, org.so, org.tw, parts, photo, photography, photos, pics, pictures, place, plumbing, pm, productions, properties, property, pt, pub, pw, qc.com, re, rehab, reisen, rentals, repair, report, reviews, rocks, rodeo, ruhr, saarland, sarl, school.nz, schule, services, sexy, shoes, si, singles, so, social, software, solar, solutions, supplies, supply, support, surf, systems, tattoo, technology, tel, tf, tips, today, tools, town, toys, training, tv, tw, us.com, vacations, vet, vision, vodka, watch, webcam, website, wf, wien, wiki, works, ws, wtf, xyz, yt, zone
ac, actor, ae, aero, archi, arts.ro, attorney, bar, berlin, bio, blackfriday, br.com, capital, careers, claims, clinic, cn.com, co.ag, co.gy, codes, com.af, com.ag, com.ec, com.gy, com.ro, com.sb, com.vc, condos, cruises, dating, degree, delivery, dental, dentist, diamonds, ec, engineering, expert, finance, financial, firm.ro, flights, fund, furniture, gb.net, global, gs, gy, hamburg, healthcare, holdings, holiday, hu.com, im, info.ro, insure, io, jp, jpn.com, la, lawyer, lease, limo, london, ltda, maison, menu, mn, mortgage, mu, net.af, net.ag, net.ec, net.gy, net.mu, net.sb, net.vc, no.com, nom.ag, nom.ro, nt.ro, or.mu, org.af, org.ag, org.mu, org.ro, org.sb, org.vc, paris, partners, pizza, press, pro.ec, rec.ro, recipes, rest, restaurant, restaurant, ro, ru.com, sa.com, se.com, se.net, sh, store.ro, surgery, tax, tienda, tm.ro, uk.com, uk.net, university, uy.com, vc, vegas, ventures, viajes, villas, voyage, www.ro, za.com
Customer Support Geek
Helping people with their technology needs comes easy to William. He came to Jimdo from EPA.net where he helped local businesses and organizations get online. When he's not answering tech support questions at Jimdo or at home, you might find him playing video games from the comfort of his couch.
Before you get started, I recommend creating a new email account to register all your social channels. You’ll get a lot of emails from these sites and it’s easier to manage and filter from a separate email account. It can be as simple as firstname.lastname@example.org. It’s also a good idea to have a separate email in case you ever hire someone to take over your social media accounts. (Email accounts are included with JimdoPro and JimdoBusiness, and you can always add extra accounts right from your Site Admin).
If multiple people are contributing to your social channels it’s also a good idea to create a style guide. It’s important to create a consistent voice to have a strong presence on social media.
You’ll also find that not every social media platform is right for you, and some of that might just be based on your personal preference. You don't need to spread yourself too thin by putting your business on every channel. Start off on a couple and master those before moving onto more.
Facebook and Twitter tend to be the most popular. But if your business is highly visual, for example involving interior design, weddings, or photography, it might be better to start off on a platform like Pinterest. If your business is more corporate focused, LinkedIn might be a better place to start. If you’re still not sure, here’s a helpful rundown on the benefits of each social platform.
Now, without further ado let’s talk about how to create a business page for each major social media site.
To begin, watch this helpful video on getting started. Then scroll down this page and click on Create a Page. You can also choose the triangle icon on the top right corner of your personal Facebook account and then select Create a Page.
Next, select what type of page you want to create. Are you a local business, artist, philanthropy? Choose the category most closely tied to your business.
Develop a strategy to share content that is valuable and isn’t overly promotional. Here are a few ideas to get you started (Note that most of these suggestions will work for other social media platforms and not just Facebook):
Regardless of what you share, social media scheduling platform Buffer suggests that the perfect post has a link, image, is 40 or less characters long, and is posted at non-peak hours.
Learn more about what it takes to make an awesome Facebook page and to grow your followers.
While Google+ isn’t on everyone’s list of first things to check in the morning, it's still important to your social media strategy. It’s easy to maintain because you can mimic your strategy for Facebook and in the meantime improve your business’s SEO.
That’s it! Now you get to design your page and make it your own.
It’s also a good idea to share images and links accompanied by text full of (naturally occurring) keywords. You should also add hashtags and target your posts toward different groups on Google+.
Like with Facebook, take a moment to come up with a good cover image. You can use a tool like Canva or a professional graphic designer to help.
If you have room to share an image or video, do it! Videos and images are a great way to catch the eye of your followers browsing through their feed.
Take a look at Jimdo customer Jane Douglas-Jones’ feed; she does a great job of mixing her own content and content of other users on Twitter.
No matter what type of content you share, be sure to edit the link of the image to drive traffic back to your site.
Content Marketing and PR at Jimdo
Melissa joined Jimdo in August 2014 to support social media, public relations, and the blog. She has experience in marketing ranging from event management to content marketing. When Melissa isn’t drafting a blog post, you can find her watching stand-up comedy, attending a concert, or rooting for the Oregon Ducks.
A website gives you a sense of professionalism to media, bloggers, fans and even interested labels. A website also gives you free rein to present yourself in a long-form fashion, where social media obviously only gives you insight in a quick, short-form setting. While social media is the go-to spot to show off your personality and the various components to your brand, your website should still serve as the hub of your persona, and act as the one-stop-shop for information on your work.
Here are some essential do’s and don’t of musicians' websites.
Essentially, these companies spend hours assessing where users are more likely to click, and what a perfect navigation would look like. While you obviously can brainstorm this on your own without having to shell out tons of cash to marketing agencies, just know and be aware that a simple and easy-to-use navigation is key to keeping visitors interested.
Recent studies have shown that 55% of users spend less than 15 seconds on a website before clicking away. That being said, your site needs to be easy to navigate!
A simple navigation for an artist would look something like this: Home, About, Media, EPK, Contact. Keep it to the bare essentials, no need for fluff.
This poses a few problems but two main ones:
What makes a graphic bad? A good rule of thumb is to imagine if a major brand would post something similar. Would Apple or Coke post a photo with bad overlay text? Or would they opt for something more polished?
Here is what makes a graphic/design “bad”:
This could be by taking a few classes on graphic design (free classes exist at Lynda.com and more) or even mastering a free service such as Canva or Pixlr. You can also use a professional service like 99designs for quick design tasks that you don't want to do yourself.
Make sure that you look professional and put-together. This is especially important to stand out from the millions of other artists out there. By looking professional you instantly come off as more approachable and established.
Other key widgets to integrate with your page are:
If you’re interested in how your website is holding up (as well as your social channels, EPK and more) I’ll gladly discuss these with you, just head over to my website found in my bio below.
As a music marketing strategist, Tyler Allen works with an extensive array of artists, labels, music tech, and music retail entities. Tyler began his music industry career with Sony Music Entertainment and RED Distribution, as well as the advertising industry. He is dedicated to giving veteran artists the tools to preserve their legacy, and new artists the tools to begin theirs (as well as everything in between). Learn more at wtylerconsulting.com. Follow Tyler on Twitter and Facebook.