What Matters Most When You Apply: Six Myths Debunked

Job searching is daunting. Polishing your cover letter(s), perfecting your resume, and finding a professional photo for your LinkedIn is practically a full-time job in itself. Sure, college career centers and bootcamps have great resources and networks, but most job seekers are doing the majority of the legwork themselves. As a recent(ish) college grad who now sits on the other side of the job search, I want to debunk some of the myths that I had heard coming into my first job search. If you’re applying to a small or medium-sized agency like Viget, you can confidently disregard these myths and, hopefully, have a more successful job search.

#1: Job Applications Go Straight Into the Ether
Most applications go through an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) or into an HR specific-email. It’s easy to think that because you’re not submitting your resume directly to a person that your application just disappears into an abyss of other resumes. While a company might get a massive volume of candidates at once (we receive anywhere from 5 to 40 applicants a week here), they do go somewhere. I spend most of my day in our ATS, so I’m always in the know about our candidates pipeline, whether they’re first applying or updating me about their availability for in-person interviews. Even if an application doesn’t come directly into a recruiter’s inbox, you should feel confident that it does, in fact, get reviewed. 

#2: Does Anyone Read These???
A tip I heard once was to “hide words from the job description in white text behind your resume, so the bots let you through.” Hiding “javascript” and “team-player” in your resume will not help you at Viget — there is no automated filtering system. We aim to make our recruiting process as personal and human as possible, so while we’re excited about machine learning and AI, we don’t have our computers reviewing you. I read every bullet point on every resume (usually at least 4 times). My goal in reviewing resumes is to discern if your overall experience, background, and interests match what we’re looking for. I’m not just looking for a short list of keywords.
#3: I Should Put EVERYTHING On My Resume
It’s easy to think if you leave anything off your resume, the person reading it might not fully appreciate your experience, and won’t hire you. Instead, you put everything you can think of on your resume, and suddenly even though you have less than a year of professional experience, your resume is 5 pages long. I know, it happened to me. As I tried to distill down my courses, my internships, and the part-time job I held through college, I thought there was no way a recruiter would get me. Yet, every resource I looked at said one page resumes were ideal. So, I curated and edited until I got it to a single page. Now that I’m on the other side of reviewing resumes, I get it. I know that even the lengthiest resume won’t tell me everything you actually did, give me a full insight into your work ethic, and let me know exactly who you are. In fact, I’ll read your full 5, 10, even 15 page resume. But I’ll be probably be even more impressed if you can trim your experience down to one page.
#4: Recruiters Love Buzzwords
The internet loves to make fun of words like “synergy” and “bleeding edge” because nobody really knows what they mean. I’m included in that population. Clarity is key in writing resumes and cover letters. If you worked on group projects in most of your classes, definitely let us know, but don’t let us know you “cultivated and ideated synergy.” One tip is to imagine a recruiter asking for an example of anything listed on your resume or cover letter. If you'd struggle to provide a quick, specific anecdote to illustrate the claim, you should take it out. And if you can provide the anecdote, it might be best to list that specific accomplishment rather than the vague, trendy words about it.
#5: I Should Only Talk About Myself
This is a tough one to balance in the job search. Your job search is about you, your interests, and your needs. But keep in mind that every new hire will impact a company’s work and culture. From the beginning of an evaluation process, the employer will want to know – Why do you want to work here? What kind of impact do you aspire to make? When I was applying to work at Viget, as a Cleveland Cavaliers fan, I kept coming back to the work we did with ESPN for LeBron James. In your cover letter, it’s a good idea to address (even briefly) why you want to work here, so I know you’re excited about it. Everyone at Viget is passionate, and we want to find other passionate folks to join our team.
#6: Being Professional Means Being Formal
It’s important to be professional and respectful in job applications, but it’s important to let us know who you are, too. You can lose the “To Whom It May Concern,” and be personal. Let us know what makes you, you. We get to know applicants throughout our recruiting process in a variety ways. If you can bring your personality into your application, we’ll start getting to know you sooner, which is always a good thing. It means that as soon as you apply, we can start to know that you might be a good hire. It means I can get energized when I start to read your application and Slack Emily that, “We might have found the one!”

If you’re applying for your first job, or maybe a first job in the tech industry, I encourage you to disregard these 6 myths (and any other suspect advice you might hear). Be personal, authentic, and enthusiastic. Be succinct. Be meticulous — run everything by someone with a critical eye before reaching out — so you can be confident that we’re seeing you at your very best. Rest assured that we are real, live (imperfect) humans reading your resume and cover letter, and we are genuinely eager to get to know you. Good luck!

Source: VigetInspire

Advocating for Accessible UI Design

Accessibility is a hot topic these days, and the older we web-makers get, the hotter it's going to become! That might be a snarky outlook, but what I'm trying to say is that it's about time we start designing the web for everyone because the web was meant to be for everyone, and less and less are we able to predict where, when, and how our work will be consumed.

Accessibility is not just up to developers
As developers, we often encounter accessibility post-design, when we do things like implementating the correct role and aria attributes, ensuring navigation is keyboard friendly, and responsibly hiding elements. In general, our accessibility efforts go towards thinking about how to make specific components and features accessible, such as an SVG icon system or helpful tool-tips.
Given our roles as developers, this makes sense. Accessibility flaws, however, often originate in the UI design itself, and depending on our work environment, we developers don't necessarily have the authority or bandwidth to advocate for accessibility in the designs we are handed.
For example, let's say you are tasked with turning a Sketch file into a one-page WordPress site.
The design has finally been approved by the client, and now you have a weekend to build the thing, plus another two days to work with QA to perfect it. As you take a look at the design for the first time, you notice that, on small devices, the dainty serif typeface overlaid on a background image would be difficult for low-sighted visitors to read.
You, the accessibility-minded developer, could proceed in a few ways:

Remain silent and sate your accessibility conscience by making accessible choices in the code where you can
Go ahead and make accessibility improvements to the UI as you develop, present them in the finished product, and explain yourself after
Compile a list of suggested changes to send to the designer and request they be implemented in the mockups so you can then develop them

I was in a situation like this recently and, judge me if you will, I chose number one.
If I'd had the time and the guts, number 2 would've gotten me the furthest, but given the nature of my role as a first-time contractor at this high-speed agency I was hoping to develop a working relationship with, I felt I'd be overstepping my bounds and wasn't ready to take the risk of being too vocal out of the gate. I chose not to do number 3 for similar reasons, mainly for fear of causing more work and stress for the already extremely busy designer.
Now that I have the benefit of hindsight, however, might I add a fourth item to the list?

Send a succinct list of non-technical accessibility tips for UI design to everyone on the team so they make more accessible design choices in future

Where to find such a list? Well, you are in luck! Read on!
Non-technical Accessibility Tips for UI Design
What follows is a list of plain language, no-jargon, "Accessibility Tips for UI Design" you, developer, can share with everyone at work: UI designers, content providers, project managers, and clients alike. The more we can spread awareness about accessibility and think critically about the mockups we are handed to implement, the more accessible the web will be!
I have chosen the examples below from various trendy website feeds, and I used the fantastic Funkify Chrome Extension to simulate the viewing experience of site visitors with varying abilities and disabilities.
First up:
Easy on the animations.
With great power comes great responsibility. The modern web affords us the power to bounce-in, fly-in, or drop-in any content we please, but besides the wow factor, how are these animations contributing to a reader's experience on your site? How are the animations triggered? Can they be mistakenly triggered, causing a confusing jolt in the flow of your site visitor's experience?
Take this example of a car repair company's website. I've applied the "Elderly Ellen" filter from Funkify to simulate slightly blurred vision and shaky hands:
Elderly Ellen's trembling hands cause a jarring experience with bold animations.
If I were Ellen, this experience would likely steer me away from Service King's services! Someone like Elderly Ellen is constantly frustrated with technology. It's unnecessary to cause her that stress when she's trying to read about a service for repairing her car after an already traumatizing fender bender.
Make sure background and text colors have enough contrast.
Although that medium grey text looks just right on that light grey background, it's hard to read...and impossible to read if you are working out in the sunshine (not a common occurance, but I've done it before). Here's an example of the aforementioned grey-on-grey scenario:
The medium grey text color of these icons' captions does not contrast enough with the light grey background color.
And now, the same example affected by the "Sunshine Sue" filter from Funkify deems our low contrast captions simply invisible!
And now, simulating sunshine on a screen, the text is completely gone!
The solution? Run your color choices through the WebAIM contrast checker to see if they meet standards for readability and color contrast, and if they don't, adjust the color values until they do.

The Funkify extension can be used to test anything that is visible in a browser. Even if a design mock isn't yet implemented in code, an image or PDF can be opened in the browser and the extension will still work!
Be very careful when overlaying text on images, or don't.
It might look just right to have that dainty serif overlaid on the big header image, but can you read it if you slightly blur your vision? If not, up the contrast between the text and image, perhaps by brightening the text color and increasing the transparency of the image on a dark background.
On Burberry's website, for example, the user must select from a drop-down in order to enter the site, but the text identifying the drop-down is barely readable over top the background image. There are many ways to solve this from a design standpoint, but for a quick example, we could add a dark background beneath the light text to provide a bit more contrast:
Adding a contrasting background beneath the text overlaid on an image can help with readability.
Similarly, while the delicate descriptive text below the image on Tesla's new Semi website is delicate and beautiful, it is barely legiible when simulating slightly blurred vision with "Blurry Bianca":
The descriptive text overlaid on the bottom of this image is barely legible when simulating slightly blurred vision.
Double-check the readability of font weights and sizes.
The thinner the font weight and the smaller the size, the harder it is to read. Even I, as a hearing, well-sighted individual, find myself zooming in on body text at times because it is so darn lightweight and small, even if the color contrast is up to speed. If you must stick with the lightweight font, increasing the sizes and line height can do wonders as well.
I like to ask myself, does it pass the slightly-cross-eye test? That is when I slightly cross my eyes, can I still make out the text?
Some contrast, line-height, and font-size adjustments make for a more readable text in a disclaimer we are supposed to read.
Indicate external links.
If it is a requirement for a link to open in a new tab, first question whether it should be a requirement, then indicate it visually with a small icon or note in the UI.
Additionally, designers can make a note in their designs where there should be screen-reader-only text indicating the link will navigate the user away from their current viewing portal. This was brought to mind by way of some excellent replies to a Twitter conversation; read through that here.
Differentiate between action-oriented social media links vs. profile links.
When we see small social media icons, I think the general assumption is that they link to the relevant social media profiles. Sometimes, however, these icons are actually actions that, rather than linking to a profile, open a "New Tweet" dialog or similar. These actions should be marked as such.
Don't rely 100% on icons and colors to communicate.
It's easy to assume everyone knows that a hamburger icon indicates a menu or that everyone is familiar with the various versions of LinkedIn's icon. However, this is not the case, and it causes a moment of confusion and insult that isn't necessary to site visitors that are less in-the-know than we are. Especially if your audience tends to be older and/or less tech-savvy, make sure you aren't relying on what you think is common knowledge.
Reliance on colors for meaning causes a similar issue, and more-so for any users that deal with color blindness. A recent Smashing Magazine article covers this problem in detail and uses the example of a color picker on shoe sales website that, for color-blind users, results in an entirely different palette.
What would the design look like without interactivity?
If all a user could do was scroll, does the content still make sense? Are there areas where, rather than hiding the thumbnail caption under a fancy hover event, the caption could be plainly visible instead? What about on a touch screen, where hover events are treated quite differently?
What else?
Have you encountered issues with accessibility in designs you've implemented? How did you handle it? What other tips can we give designers and producers for creating more accessible UI designs?
The first step to advocating for accessible UI design is to simply think twice about what you, the developer, are told to implement. While coding up a design, try applying a few of these Funkify filters and see what results they yield. Think critically about the designs you are handed, and start a conversation with your coworkers.

Advocating for Accessible UI Design is a post from CSS-Tricks
Source: CssTricks

Google’s Job Search Will Now Estimate Salaries For All Job Positions by @MattGSouthern

Google is adding some requested features to its job search experience that was introduced earlier this year. Job seekers will now be able to access salary information directly in search results, which is something Google says is missing from 85% of job postings in the US. When actual salary information is not available, Google will display estimated salary ranges based on job title, location, and employer. In order to provide estimated salaries, Google will be sourcing information from sites like Glassdoor, PayScale, and LinkedIn. It’s possible that Google’s enhancements to job searches will further empower candidates. For jobs that have […]The post Google’s Job Search Will Now Estimate Salaries For All Job Positions by @MattGSouthern appeared first on Search Engine Journal.
Source: https://www.searchenginejournal.com/feed/

Copywriting Q&A: How to Draw Work Opportunities to You

Everyone knows someone for whom things just “work out.” Things go along swimmingly for them, and the things they want just seem to magically drop into their laps. Opportunities seem to appear out of nowhere. The truth is that you, too, can make opportunities appear. Here’s how…
Today’s question is from Raquel Y., who asks, “I know other freelancers who haven’t been around that much longer than I have who just always have work. I mean, we’re not in the same industries and I get that make a difference, but it still seems like stuff is coming so much easier for them. What’s the deal?”
People who seem to have opportunities just fall into their laps aren’t magical—they just know how to be opportunity-oriented. There are opportunities to find new clients around us all the time.
There are two parts to being opportunity-oriented (and, thus, attracting opportunities to you). The first part is that you have to be prepared. Your website needs to be built and ready. You need to have your business cards on you at all times. You need to be able to deliver your USP elevator pitch at a moment’s notice.
When you’re prepared, you can take advantage of the opportunities that are already around you. For example, when you meet a small business owner at a cocktail party who’s talking about how she wants to build her business and improve her marketing, if you have your USP ready to convey and a business card ready to hand over, you’re likely to have another conversation with her about her marketing needs.
If you don’t, you won’t.
The second part of being opportunity-oriented is priming the pump. In order to get opportunities to come to you, you have to put yourself out there in the business world. Pitch new clients, tell people what you do, reconnect with previous colleagues, create a business Facebook page and promote it, write articles about how you’ve helped clients and what other business owners can learn from it, post about it on Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.
There are dozens and dozens of ways to put yourself out there. Putting yourself (and your business) out there is how clients find you, contact you and, eventually refer other people to you.
It looks to you like the people who constantly have work opportunities coming in to them aren’t doing anything at all to get them. And that might be the case now, but I guarantee they’ve worked hard in the past to get what’s coming to them now.
It’s like the case of the businesses that the media calls “overnight successes.” Any of the founders of these companies will tell you that sure, they found success “overnight,” but it took years of hard work to get to that night.
Add tasks that make you more “opportunity-oriented” to your daily to-do list. Put in the effort now and you’ll see the payoff just a little down the line.
Your turn! What one thing are you going to do now to make yourself more opportunity-oriented? Let us know in the comments below!

Source: http://filthyrichwriter.com/feed/

LinkedIn is Testing Autoplaying Video Ads on Mobile by @MattGSouthern

Get ready to start seeing autoplaying video ads in your LinkedIn feed on mobile.The post LinkedIn is Testing Autoplaying Video Ads on Mobile by @MattGSouthern appeared first on Search Engine Journal.
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LinkedIn is Working on a Recruiting Tool Called Talent Insights by @MattGSouthern

LinkedIn is working on a tool called Talent Insights to help companies make data-backed decisions when recruiting talent.The post LinkedIn is Working on a Recruiting Tool Called Talent Insights by @MattGSouthern appeared first on Search Engine Journal.
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LinkedIn Users Can Now Upload Videos to Their Page by @MattGSouthern

All LinkedIn users upload videos to their page, a feature that was previously available to only a select test group.The post LinkedIn Users Can Now Upload Videos to Their Page by @MattGSouthern appeared first on Search Engine Journal.
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10 Email Marketing Strategies Your Clients Will Love

Website owners have a tough gig when it comes to choosing their marketing channels. Every year more platforms hit the scene and everyone involved in marketing wants to make them sounds as exciting as possible. This is why we get so much hype surrounding every integrationin the industry – from chatbots to voice search and every other non-event in between.
Then we have email marketing, the most classic of all digital marketing channels – and still the most effective, despite sporting a few wrinkles. This is important, too. Because, aside from your clients’ website itself, email is the only modern marketing channel they actually own themselves. Every other channel is gobbled up by Google, Facebook and other corporations who dictate who they can interact with people (and how much they should pay for the privilege).
Google even wants to gobble up our websites now with AMP, the greedy little git. But that’s another story.
In celebration of timeless marketing strategies that still get results, here are 10 email marketing strategies you can design and your clients will love.
#1: Price/availability updates

If your client owns a site where product prices or availability can change quickly, offering updates isn’t just a great way to build email lists, it can also boost conversion rates and help maximize sales, too.
This also works for any instance where users fill out a search for to refine products. Consider a used car retailer where users select vehicles by brand, model, age, number of seats, price and whatever else. Now is a good time to ask if they want updates on new models that come in, meeting their search criteria.
#2: Divide those blog posts up with CTAs
On the one hand, I want to say I don’t see this enough on blog pages. But, when I do, the designs are normally pretty awful. Most sites either default to using popups because they can’t think of any alternative or they completely fail when it comes to designing CTAs.
Why slap a popup in front of someone’s face while they’re half way through reading your first paragraph when you can insert non-intrusive CTA sections throughout your blog post?
#3: Create dynamic CTAs to match the category of each blog post
Taking our last tip once step further, the key to maximizing blog post conversions is relevance. Once a user has clicked through to an article, they instantly show an interest in that topic. And each of these topics slots nicely under one of the categories on your clients’ blog.
So you can create resources for each of these categories – eBooks, targeted newsletters, free downloads, etc. – and then design your CTAs for each of them. The magic happens with the help of dome dynamic PHP coding and this works perfectly well for both custom-build and WordPress sites.

Store each blog category as a variable and then run a conditional statement that essentially says “If the blog category is this, this, this or this, insert this CTA”. Which means each user is targeted with CTAs and resources relevant to the interest they’ve already shown on your clients’ sites.
#4: Create a free download section
Yes, we all know creating free downloads is a great email marketing strategy but the build it and they will come philosophy doesn’t cut it in the game. We’ve already covered two ways to promote these resources and they get us off to a good start. Many of your clients will be able to go a lot further than this, though.
If free downloads are a major part of your client’s content, email and lead generation strategy, then create a dedicated free resource page on their site. Get your clients to build its organic search ranking, promote it via social media and turn it into a focal part of their site.
#5: Turn Twitter into email signups
Speaking of social, Twitter remains one of the best tools for building a following fast. This is especially true for B2B brands who are very active on the content marketing side of things. However, your clients can also use the network to bulk out their email lists and get those users into the one marketing channel they actually own.

Mad about #Italy? Sign up for our #newsletter and keep updated on the best of Italy! https://t.co/yhv945FUGO pic.twitter.com/6Ckie8jtqH
— Why in Italy (@whyinitaly) June 30, 2017

Aside from promoting every blog post, get your clients to Tweet specific CTAs for email signups and those free resources you’ve helped them design.
#6: Create a LinkedIn group
If you’ve ever created a LinkedIn group yourself, you’ll know that you have the option to create a custom welcome page that people see once they join. These welcome pages give you space to add a CTA and link for people to sign up to newsletters, updates and anything else your client thinks might convince them to join their email list.
The key thing here is creating a group that’s unique, relevant and popular enough to generate qualified email signups in good volume. As with all the strategies we’re looking at today, it’s about building quality leads over quantity.
#7: Break your free downloads into smaller blog posts
Again, this is a common content marketing trick but it’s normally used to stop you running out of ideas for fresh content. We’re going to put a different spin on this technique for email marketing, though.
By breaking down eBooks, guides and your clients’ best long-form content into smaller chunks, users get a taste of what’s on offer without even needing to sign up. The thing is, by breaking these up into multiple parts, readers have to wait to get the full story. Unless they click your CTA offering the full resource, right now, in a matter of clicks.
#8: Use exit popups strategically
Now, I’m not the biggest fan of popups but there are times when exit popups can work. For example, the price/availability alerts we looked at earlier are ideal for this. Users are done with their but they haven’t quite found what they’re looking for and exit popups can provide an option to stay in the game.
This is a far cry from slapping popups over homepages, expecting people to sign up to newsletters when they couldn’t find a single reason to stick around or click through to another page.
The key to exit popups is implementing them in a way that serves a function in the sales process. Another example is using them to reduce cart abandonment by offering a discount for people who buy instead of quitting the session. Or offering to save their list if they quickly create an account – something that genuinely makes the buying process easier for them.
#9: Multi-step forms

Leadformly‘s multi-step forms don’t look like forms at all
Multi-step forms are great for a number of reasons. First, you can design them to look nothing like forms at all, instantly reducing user reluctance to fill them out. Better yet, you get away with asking for more information and remove the need for typing (vital for mobile). All of which creates a more engaging experience in the signup process.
Crucially, though, by requesting more info from users, your multi-step forms can find out more about why people sign up and your clients can use this to target them with more effective, relevant emails. Once again, quality over quantity.
#10: Get personal, not creepy

Personalisation is made easy with Optimizely X
Personalization is crucial to getting the most from email marketing, but getting too personal can creep people out. There’s no need for calling people out by name and targeting people on their birthdays can be a bit of a gamble, too. It might work, it might not.
However, targeting people based on their interests, previous purchases, location, demographics and professional info is fair game. None of this will send alarm bells ringing but it will make all the difference in getting emails opened and turning them into happy customers.
Helping your clients design email marketing strategies
There’s far more to designing email marketing campaigns than creating a few templates. Without an email list of highly qualified leads, your clients are off to a non-starter, yet this is one of the most overlooked pieces of the puzzle. Thankfully, you can help your clients get out of the email marketing rut by designing more intricate solutions than the all-too-obvious newsletter popups.
The post 10 Email Marketing Strategies Your Clients Will Love appeared first on Web Designer Hub.
Source: http://www.webdesignerhub.com

7 Tips for the Aspiring UX Designer

This time last year, I had never heard of UX. Coming from a family of doctors, the only job-related acronym I knew was MD. But this changed during my summer in Silicon Valley, where I worked as a media intern with a startup accelerator and venture capital firm. Over the course of just three weeks, four colleagues told me that I should look into UX. I really think you would like this. You’d be so good at it!
Thinking it was some sort of sign, I decided to give UX a try. It was love at first sight.

From that point on, I spent my free time immersed in UX books, articles, and blogs. I had never felt so passionate about a field before.  I used my Christmas break to take an online UX course. I filled my schedule with phone calls with every UXer in my LinkedIn network. I convinced a professor to give me the last seat in her graduate level usability design course.
And after months of hard work, this intense immersion paid off. In April, I landed my dream job: a UX internship with Viget.
I might have “won the prize,” so to speak, but I haven’t forgotten all of the the stress, long hours, and uncertainty it took to get here. At first, like many aspiring UXers, I was totally lost.  What even is UX? How do I learn the skills I need? What do I need to do to get a UX job?
From my experience, finding answers to the questions can feel impossible.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. Here are 7 tips I’ve come up with to help others interested in pursuing UX get the answers they need...without the stress.

1.  Immerse yourself in UX knowledge

UX is a hot field right now, so there are tons of resources out there to learn more. The challenge is finding the right ones. Here are some of the resources I found the most useful starting off:
Don’t Make Me Think (Steve Krug) – this is UX must-read #1. It walks you through the basics of every aspect of UX, without overwhelming you with hyper-technical terms.The Design of Everyday Things (Don Norman) – although it’s centered around the design of physical objects, this book stresses the importance of understanding user needs. The Elements of User Experience (Jesse James Garrett) – this book will help you see the big picture of UX. It breaks down the complexity of the field into clear explanations and diagrams.
52 Weeks of UX – this is an easy and quick way to build your UX knowledge. Content is broken down into 52 weeks, each of which features 1-3 short UX insights. UX Booth – this site is made for beginners and intermediate UXers. Start with this article for a UX crash course.UX Magazine – this publication is like UX Booth, but with the addition of UX event calendars and job listings.
Brad Frost (@brad_frost) – a developer, designer, speaker, and writer, Brad  tweets about a wide variety of awesome web design stuff.Luke Wroblewski (@lukew) – currently a Product Director at Google, Luke is one of the most influential people in the UX field. (He coined the idea of “Mobile First.”)Kim Goodwin (@kimgoodwin) – author of Designing for the Digital Age, Kim offers great tips on what it takes to be a successful UXer.

2. Take an online class
If you prefer structured learning but don’t have the time or money for a full-fledged UX program, online classes could be the move.  There is a plethora of options out there, but based on my research and personal experience, here are the three classes I  would recommend:
Hack Design – 50 easy-to-follow (and free!) design lessons delivered straight to your inbox over the course of 50 weeksUser Experience Design Fundamentals – a cheap, video-based course that teaches you basic UX principles in just 10 hoursGeneral Assembly UX Design Circuit – if you have the time and money, this is a course worth investing in. You will learn key UX skills and put them to practice in a real project.

3. Find mentors
Although I learned a ton about UX from scouring the internet, reading books, and taking online classes, I have gleaned the most from conversations with people in the field.
If you live in a small city or somewhere non-techy, it may seem like you’re all alone in the big, scary world of UX. But chances are, you’re not.

Do some LinkedIn detective work.  Ask family and friends if they know anyone who does UX (if they look at you with blank stares, try “web design”).  Even if you only find one match, that one UXer can probably connect you to dozens more.
Once you’ve found these potential mentors, get their attention. Send emails and InMails, Tweet at them, reach out via their website. It may take months, but your perseverance will pay off.
When you land a conversation – whether by phone, in-person, or simply through email – make sure you show up prepared. Know what the person does and be ready to ask questions catered to that experience. I saw on your LinkedIn that you attended grad school for Human-Computer Interaction...do you think that’s the best path for becoming a UX Designer?  
Most people don’t want to simply tell you about their job – they want to tell you about the journey, the challenges and successes, and the learnings along the way. And they want to share those learnings with you.
Approach every networking opportunity as an opportunity to learn. Don’t waste your time figuring out how to make yourself sound as awesome as possible. Spend that time finding the best way to learn from each connection you make.

4. Attend local UX Meetups
Meetups are another great way to network with UXers in your area. They’re also an awesome opportunity to learn new design skills and discuss broader tech-related topics.
All you have to do is go to the Meetups app or website, search UX (try usability and interaction design if you reach a dead end), register for an event, and then show up.

5. Start a personal project
After you have some basic UX knowledge under your belt, you can take it to the next level by applying it to an actual project. If you can’t take a class or get an internship or apprenticeship with a company right away, don’t worry – you can do UX work anytime, anywhere.
There are several routes you can take:
Think of a website you hate. What makes you hate it? What could make it better? Now turn those ideas into designs – sketch out some ways you think the site could be improved.Send an email to a company you like asking if you can do some informal research on their website. Does it match the needs of the target audience? Does it follow basic UX design standards? Make sure to clarify that your only intention is professional development.Design your own app or website. You can use a  pre-existing product as a launching point or create something radically new.
No matter which route you choose, make sure you record every part of the project process so you can add it to your UX portfolio. Write about what you did, take photos of sketches and scribbles, and capture screenshots of sites that inspired your designs.  You’ll be able to compile case studies from these artifacts.

6. Analyze everyday experiences
An easy way to build your UX chops is to evaluate the experiences that everyday objects, products, and technologies create.  What could make them more intuitive or enjoyable to use? What prevents them from being this way?
For practice, think about how the principles of UX apply to these examples:

Can you think of other real-world applications of UX principles?
And most importantly...

7. Trust yourself
There are very few rights and wrongs when it comes to UX. There’s no right way to break into the field – no specific degree you have to get or class you have to take.  And there’s is no right way to design a website.
So if you’re worrying about not doing UX “the right way,” don’t.
As long as you’re absorbing all of the knowledge you can and then starting to apply that knowledge in your daily life, you’re already well on your way to becoming a UX Designer.
Have any tips you’d like to add to the list? Post in the comments below!

Source: VigetInspire

Copywriting Q&A: How to Use Blogging to Build Your Copywriting Business

One of the biggest challenges any copywriter will face is finding a steady stream of clients. And while active prospecting can’t be beat, there are also a few other tactics you can use for attracting interest and nurturing potential clients. Read on…
Today’s question is from Heidi P., who asks, “Is there anything I can do to get more attention for my portfolio site? I know it’s important to have one, but I feel like I’m not getting a lot of eyes on it.”
One great way to attract more targeted traffic to your site is to, essentially, become your own content marketer. That is, put together a content plan to attract your ideal clients to your site.
First, you need to have a good idea of who your ideal client is. Are you looking to work with small businesses, solopreneurs, design studios, or large businesses? And are you looking to work with clients, or are you trying to attract full-time job interviews?
Once you know who your client is, you need to start thinking about the kind of content that would be useful for them.
For example, if you’re trying to attract small businesses in need of copywriting and marketing help, you don’t want to write about how to track your copywriting invoices. That would certainly be useful to other copywriters and would attract other copywriters to your site to read it, but it wouldn’t get any clicks from your target audience.
You need to come up with plenty of topics that would be useful for your target audience and that allow you to display your copywriting expertise—without giving people the impression that they can just do the copywriting work themselves.
For example, a post about “How to Write Great Subject Lines for Small Businesses” would probably be very useful for small businesses (and other copywriters, for that matter), but if they think they can write great subject lines on their own, they’re not going to think they need you.
Instead of “how to” posts, consider topics that identify problems or important things that businesses may be overlooking. Things like “5 Reasons Your Email Open Rates Are So Low” or “Why Every Solopreneur Needs an Incredible ‘About Me’ Page” are informative and useful for your target audience, but also let you display your expertise without giving any of your “tricks of the trade” away.
Come up with a list of at least 20 content ideas and then get writing. You want to be posting to your blog consistently—at least once every other week, though once a week is much better—so you’ll want to have a good backlog of posts at the ready.
Now, of course, just because you’re putting these blog posts on your site doesn’t mean anyone is going to find them. Create a business page for yourself, and post the posts on both your business page and your personal profile. Post them on Twitter, and post them on LinkedIn. You may also want to look into posting them on sites like digg.com, stumbleupon.com, scoop.it, and others. The goal is to get your post out there as much as possible.
Medium.com can also be a great way to get your content out there and discovered. Medium asks that the content be unique, though, so you’ll want to make some changes to your blog posts before you post them up there.
And, at the end of every blog post, be sure to include a call to action. Something as simple as, “Interested in talking about your own copywriting project? Get in touch with me today for a free consultation call” will do just fine.
The more quality posts you create and the more places you put them on the net, the more chances you have of someone finding them, visiting your site, and getting in touch with them.
Your turn! Do you post content to your portfolio site? How often do you post? Let us know in the comments below!

Source: http://filthyrichwriter.com/feed/

Copywriting Q&A: Should I Pay to Advertise My Business?

If you ever, and I mean ever, look at Facebook or Google, you encounter a ton of ads for a ton of different products and services. After a while, it’s hard not to wonder, “If it’s working for them, wouldn’t it work for me?” Here’s what you need to know about paying to advertise your copywriting services.
Today’s question comes from Ava G., who asks, “What are your thoughts about paid advertising? I’m not getting a lot of people who come to my portfolio site and ads seem like a good way to increase that number.”
Paid advertising—running ads on Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, or other places online—can be a great place to way to get a lot of traffic.
But it can also be a great way to lose a lot of money.
Remember that paid advertising constitutes some people’s entire careers. I’m not saying that it’s something that you can’t master, but I am saying that you’ll waste a lot of money if you don’t at least become proficient in it before you start running ads.
The first question you want to ask yourself is who your audience is. If you haven’t carefully defined your audience first, you’ll waste a lot of money reaching people you don’t want to reach.
You also need to decide how you’re going to capture the leads that get to your site. Just spending money to send people to your site and hoping they’ll decide to get in contact with you is foolish. The vast majority of people will get to your site and quickly leave, likely forgetting that they ever visited.
As much as possible, you want to collect the contact information of the people who visit your site. A great way to do this is to offer some kind of freebie—an ebook, infographic, or video—that your audience will want, and will be willing to give you their email address to get.
Once you’ve gotten their email addresses, you can email them with follow-up information and offers.
You have to work hard, though, to make sure that this freebie is both valuable to your target audience (prospective clients) and that it doesn’t devalue what you offer.
For example, an ebook about how to copywriters can track their invoices and billing would be useful for your fellow copywriters, but wouldn’t be useful for your target audience.
Also, a “How to Write Emails That Get 50% Conversion Rates” is certainly valuable to your target audience, but if they think they can do that by themselves, why would they hire you?
Once you decide what you’re going to give away, you need a method for email collection and freebie delivery. I won’t go too deeply into your software options, but suffice it to say that this email collection and freebie delivery needs to be automatic and instantaneous, so you’ll need an email service provider like MailChimp or AWeber to help you do it.
You should also have a plan for a few emails to automatically go out after someone downloads your freebie. These emails may talk about your background, successes you’ve helped clients achieve, the benefits of working with you as a copywriter, or other relevant topics.
You should also consider an email in this series that directly asks the prospect to set up a free consultation call with you. This email series helps nurture your prospect and keeps them engaged with and interested in you.
Next, you’ll need to decide where you want to run your ads. Personally, I’ve found that LinkedIn ads are exceptionally expensive and Google AdWords can be too complicated for the newer advertiser to quickly master. Facebook offers a lot of different targeting options and you can start running your ads for just a few dollars a day.
There are tons and tons of great resources on the web for how to set up and run Facebook ads (from people much more knowledgeable than I am), so I won’t bother getting into it here. Just be sure to do your research and learn as much as you can about how to create ads before you start paying money to run them.
Paid advertising is never, never a “set it and forget it” solution. Once you start running ads, you need to be constantly monitoring the ad click through rate and the number of people who are signing up for your freebie.
If you have a low click-through rate (below 2%), your ad isn’t performing very well. If you have a high click-through rate but very few people are signing up for your freebie, your campaign still isn’t succeeding. You’re looking for as high of a click-through rate as possible (from your target audience) and as high of a freebie sign-up rate as possible and you need to tweak your ad and your freebie until you hit that sweet spot.
It’s very easy to set up an ad, start it running and then forget about it. Then when you remember to look a few weeks later, it’s very possible to have spent hundreds of dollars with nothing to show for it! Make sure you’re tracking your ad results and making sure that the money you spend is yielding you client leads.
I would also strongly advise you to start with a small daily spend—even as little as $5—and then increase it when you start seeing positive results. It can be very tempting to get excited about the possibilities of paid advertising and want to start out by spending $30 or $40 dollars a day.
That amount may actually be reasonable eventually if you’re getting a great return for your ads. If you’re not, though, that’s a great way to lose $1k a month without making any of it back in new clients.
The verdict? Paid advertising can be a great way to get copywriting client leads. However, if you’re not willing to take the time to learn how to run them properly, set up a lead capture system, and check your metrics on a daily basis, it’s far more likely you’ll lose money than make it.
Your turn! Have tried paid advertising for your business? What were your results? Let us know in the comments below!

Source: http://filthyrichwriter.com/feed/

The Ultimate Facebook Business Manager Guide

Twitter ads are easy. You’ve got promoted accounts, promoted tweets, and that’s about it. LinkedIn ads are also easy. You only need to follow our guide. 😜 But Facebook ads are a little more complex in comparison. That’s actually a good thing in the long run because you’re able to run incredibly sophisticated campaigns on Read more
Source: https://adespresso.com/feed/

5 Ways to Drive More Qualified Leads With LinkedIn Sales Navigator by @Jasmine_Sandler

Rock your B2B sales funnel. Here are five ways you can maximize qualified lead generation via LinkedIn Sales Navigator.The post 5 Ways to Drive More Qualified Leads With LinkedIn Sales Navigator by @Jasmine_Sandler appeared first on Search Engine Journal.
Source: https://www.searchenginejournal.com/feed/

Tech Community’s Very Own Domain Extension

Until 2012, the world only knew of .com, .net etc. Since then, 1200+ new domain extensions have been launched! Today, there are meaningful extensions for all kinds of communities including us, the tech folks! We now have a definitive domain extension that is relevant to us: .tech.
Having a www.yourbrandname.tech domain can be a great boost to your marketing. Even for your personal branding, it's a good idea to set a redirect from www.yourname.tech to your LinkedIn / GitHub or create your portfolio!

Here are some great use cases of .tech domains from the world over:
Horus.tech (Startup)
SEO-Hero.tech (SEO Tool / Global winner of WIX SEO Hero Challenge)
CES.tech (Event)
ChicagoHacks.tech (Hackathon)
Viacom.tech (Brand)
Edgar.tech (Tech Influencer)
If you're in tech, you deserve a .tech domain! Get one for only $4.99 for 1 year and $49.99 for 10 years. Use code CSS17 at checkout on www.get.tech.
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Tech Community’s Very Own Domain Extension is a post from CSS-Tricks
Source: CssTricks

ABP and 7 Other Unbreakable Laws of Copywriting

There are a lot of variables and flexibility in copywriting, which is part of what makes it such an appealing career for people who love to write to write. But I can also tell you that over the course of my 15+ years in the industry, there are also certain inescapable truths. Here, for your learning pleasure, are eight of them.
Law of Copywriting #1 ABP
You’re probably familiar with the ABC scene in David Mamet’s “Glengarry Glen Ross,” in which he explains that ABC stands for “always be closing.” ABP is similar: It stands for “always be prospecting.” No matter how much work you have coming in, no matter how busy you are, you have to Always. Be. Prospecting.
No one is going to bring work to you—at least not in the beginning. The only way to avoid a work dry spell is to make sure you’re prospecting all year long. Luckily, it’s not quite as hard as most people think it is. Set up a system, and follow through. ABP.
Law of Copywriting #2 You Will Work Weekends
No, you won’t work every weekend. In fact, you might not work most of them. But at some point, you’re going to be up against a deadline, and the only way to hit it is to work over the weekend.
To be clear: You must always hit your deadlines. There’s no better way to make your work dry up and your career tank than by missing your deadlines.
You might not have to work many weekends, but if you need to, you will. Because you always hit your deadlines.
Law of Copywriting #3: You’re Only as Good as Your Reputation
No matter where you live, the copywriting community is small. And if you drop the ball on projects or you’re difficult to work with, it will follow you.
Luckily, this is an easy law to work with. Be friendly. Be flexible. Be collaborative. When people want to work with you, they also refer you.
Law of Copywriting #4 If you Don’t Invoice, You Don’t Get Paid
A shocking number of copywriters (and creatives, in general) are behind on their invoices. Not on paying invoices, mind you, but on sending them out for work completed.
A lot of copywriters push hard to get the project done and, once it’s finished, want to relax and celebrate. They put off sending out the invoice because it’s a piddling little task that they don’t feel like doing.
And so they way a few days, a week, a month, a few months before sending their invoice out. Know what’s happening in the meantime? They’re not getting paid. On top of that, when a client gets an invoice a month later, it usually takes them longer to pay it because they have to go back and look up a closed project.
Make invoicing your automatic next step once a project is approved.
Copywriting Law #5 You Will Own the Government Money
If you’re doing any kind of freelance work, you’re invoicing and receiving the whole amount. Your client isn’t holding anything back for taxes, which means you will owe the government money. You must, must plan ahead for this.
Take 25-40% of every check and sock it away into an account you never touch, except in April when it’s time to pay your bills. (Or four times a year if you pay quarterly.)
You will owe the government money: plan for it so you don’t come up short.
Copywriting Law #6: Want to Work? Keep Your Portfolio Site Up to Date
I almost titled this one “If a Client Ask to See a Sample, it Will Be the One You Haven’t Uploaded.” Just as you’re only as good as your reputation, you’re also only as good as your portfolio.
It’s a very common bad habit among creatives to wait to upload new samples until they’re looking for a new job or a new client. And what that means is that when a great new opportunity falls in their laps, they’re completely unprepared to take advantage of it.
Keep your portfolio updated and upload new samples as soon as your client approves them.
Copywriting Law #7Things That Seem Easy, Aren’t
From those job bidding sites to those copywriting trainings that promise you six figures if you write online sales letters, if something seems like an easy solution with a big payoff, you’re being taken for a ride.
The only way to create a successful business is by being willing to put in the time to learn copywriting, practice your skills, prospect for new clients, and build your portfolio. It’s effort, but it’s fun effort. (bidding sites, promise about six figures).
All those “easy,” too-good-to-be-true solutions do is waste your time and waste your money.
Copywriting Law #8 You Have to Market Yourself Like You Market Your Clients
A lot of copywriters put in plenty of effort and skill into writing copy for their clients. But when it comes to writing their portfolio site, or their LinkedIn profile, or their prospecting letters, they let things slip.
They forget to use the copywriting principles they’d use for their own clients. They flex their skills for their clients, but forget to do it for themselves.
Don’t get me wrong: it can be hard to write about yourself. So just forget you’re you, and write for yourself as if you’re your client. What is your benefit to consumer? What’s your USP? What do you bring to the table?
You need to take your own business just as seriously as those of your clients.
Your turn! Have you come across any laws of copywriting that we’ve missed? Let us know in the comments below!

Source: http://filthyrichwriter.com/feed/

Stay Away From These User Interface Design Mistakes

The importance of creating a functional site should not be ignored. No matter how the website is beautifully made, yet does not create interest in the site visitors, the website is doomed from the start. In other words, every aspect of the website must engage the visitor, and it all starts with great user interface design.
The Importance of User Interface Design for Business Websites
Web designers should always keep in mind to provide a functional site that can easily generate interest among the website visitors to create a steady traffic influx. The type of user interface design plays a significant role in driving in a high volume of web traffic. Therefore, carefully deciding which design to use should be of utmost concern.
In this day and age, e-commerce has been enjoying a steady growth, raking in sales worth billions of dollars each year. This is the reason why a lot of businesses have become dependent on online transactions to reach their profit goals. After all, the internet has emerged as an effective channel to provide information, entertainment, commerce and social interaction.

The success of an online business may start with a user-friendly website that can best provide a worthwhile experience to its online visitors. Following a simple but effective user interface design will definitely help in attaining the financial targets of any company or business. Having a good user interface design has two advantages:

It can increase the site’s usability.
It can lead to a seamless completion of any task, thereby allowing visitors to have an enjoyable and enhanced user experience.

There are a lot of ways on how a website can increase its traffic. For starters, integrating online tools  and apps into the website can drastically improve site activity. Some examples include installing an online chat application, encouraging email subscriptions to the company newsletter, and allowing visitors and customers to send inquiries, comments or suggestions.
Despite using mind-blowing graphics, a website with poor functionality will definitely fail to produce considerable traffic and provide superior user experience to the visitors. Social media sites such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn have become extremely successful in engaging their users through fantastic user interface design.
In other words, in order to keep your visitors coming back to your pages, your site should be user-friendly and easy to navigate.
Attributes of a Successful User Interface Design
Online visitors are attracted to and likely to engage a website more if it is well-designed. Websites that sport the best designs have more than a “pretty face” – they also have better functionality. Unfortunately, some web designers are too technical to the point that they integrate such complicated tools that make the website look unattractive and difficult to use.
To attract more people, your website should come out as something that is welcoming or inviting. Casual visitors should not get scared or turned off by having to deal with a lot of effort navigating the site.
A rule of thumb in creating good user interface design is to come up with a design that allows the user to instantly carry out planned actions in an efficient and effective manner, without having to come across any form of distractions. Remember that creating a user-friendly website is your way of engaging your customers remotely.
To provide an excellent user experience is a vital component of a good user interface design. With your business goals in mind, you may follow the following attributes of effective user interface design:
Simple but clear
Adding a whimsical or quirky look on your website can be a come-on to some visitors. However, take note that having a user-friendly website is more than using visual elements. Users should feel that they can easily understand how to use your site. This involves ease in navigating through all the pages, and a clear picture of what the website is all about.
Creative touch to an accustomed interface
It is every web designer’s goal to add a unique and creative touch to their work. While this can be an interesting feature, web designers should stick to something that visitors are familiar with. In short, try to strike a balance between function and form.
Spontaneous and consistent
With the changes in web design standards, website owners may wish to change the look of their pages. However, any changes made on the website should not interfere with what the visitors have been accustomed to. Keep in mind that branding is an important factor, and retaining customers – and site visitors – is extremely important for the success of the business.
Quick to respond
The interface should keep up with the demands of the user. Otherwise, it can diminish user experience and lead to annoyance or dissatisfaction. For instance, waiting too long for your user interface design to load may cause people to feel frustrated. When this happens, they may choose to leave your website and switch to a competitor site. You wouldn’t want that to happen, would you?
This early, you need to be prepared to add more features on your website in the future. However, even before finalizing the design, web designers should have a clear vision on how to add these new features without causing any conflict with the existing design or disruption in service.
Common User Interface Design Mistakes to Avoid
Whether it is for a website or for an app, creating a good user interface design involves two important factors: the kind of design, and the placement of the design. Accordingly, this means that the design should provide clear information to users while trying to avoid confusion in navigating your site.

Here are some of the most common mistakes to run away from, when it comes to user interface design:
Lack of consistency in design
Any website owner or developer aims to build a following to drive traffic to the website and eventually generate more revenue for the business. One of the first strategies that come to their mind is to create an appealing, explosive, and attention-grabbing design.
Unfortunately, not every website owner may have the eye for the kind of beauty that the online audience may want. Creating a loud design may catch attention in a way, but using a user interface design that looks too busy can be a disadvantage.
Clashing of colors
Different colors have different meanings. In the case of companies and businesses, choosing the right color should be based on branding.
For instance, it is important to stick to only 2-3 high-contrast colors, preferably colors that complement each other. Use these colors consistently all across the pages of the website. Take note that using too many colors can be distracting and uninviting.
Incompatibility to mobile devices
Browsing through mobile devices has become an increasing trend for online users, and so web designers should be conscious of this. Aside from the fact that Google prefers to index websites that are mobile-friendly, a website that looks good on smartphones and tablets will encourage mobile users to return to your site for more content.
In other words, don’t make the mistake of dismissing mobile browsing, unless you want to discourage a huge chunk of your potential market.
Drowning with text
Websites are expected to provide information to users, but not to the extent of having to deal with pages upon pages of text. Websites flooded with a lot of textual content can instantly drive away any visitor.
Yes, visitors want information, but not to the point of having to read a whole chapter about it. If you can summarize your information in only a few sentences, then aim for concise content.

Using different pages to present a list
As a user, you probably want an instant solution or answer as much as possible. One of the trends in web design is breaking a long list into several pages. While this strategy reduces the text content in the page, this may discourage some users to read the rest of the list.
Inability to continue a specific activity
As the website owner or developer, you need to set a goal of creating a seamless browsing experience for your visitors. Unfortunately, some websites are plagued with distractions that disrupt the user interface, the most common flaw of which is pop-up ads or boxes.
Although pop-up boxes are good in encouraging site visitors to sign up for your newsletter, this may turn off some users because of the disruptive nature of this kind of interface.
If you choose to implement pop-ups, make sure that you use them on pages that do not need continuity or involve critical steps.
Overly complex interactions
If you’re an iPhone user, you’ve probably encountered the alarm clock feature. The app allows you to set the alarm by scrolling through numbers 00 to 11 for the hour, and 00 to 59 for the minute. While this looks amazing, it may turn off some people who would rather set the alarm in just a few clicks.
In contrast, Android phones have a drastically easier way of setting the alarm: click the hour hand and minute hand positions to set your desired time.
The lesson here is this: Don’t sacrifice functionality for the sake of showing off your impressive design skills.
Poorly designed signup or order forms
Most signup form need only a few bits of information – name, email address, and password, for starters. However, some websites require users to fill up a form with a lot of fields that are not necessarily needed at the moment.
The same goes in filling up order forms. Every so often, users are asked to re-enter information several times only to end up leaving the site due to a bug that has not been fixed.
Most importantly, make sure that the Submit button is visible and working. Otherwise, this will put off your potential clients.

Creating a worthwhile online experience should always be among the top priorities of a website owner or designer. Gone are the days when web design is too dainty or too fancy. The best and most critical aspect of an excellent user interface design is the ability to provide a browsing experience that is uncomplicated and easy to navigate.
The post Stay Away From These User Interface Design Mistakes appeared first on Web Designer Hub.
Source: http://www.webdesignerhub.com

Cleaning Up Twitter

One of the things that I’ve been doing, behind the scenes, is cleaning up a lot of my social network accounts that aren’t being used.
You see, even though I’ve put Twitter on “bot-mode” I still have a lot of other accounts that just need to be deleted entirely.

So, what I’ve done is delete nearly all of my Twitter accounts that I have (and I know how many I have via 1Password).
I couldn’t believe how many that I’ve had and it’s kind of embarrassing to be honest.
For every project that I created I started a new Twitter account because I believed that it was necessary for the project’s success.
I actually believe that you can be just as successful without Twitter and many of the social networks that the many “gurus” and “the pros” recommend.
You see, in a world where signing up for Twitter and using it to broadcast stuff out into the internet is incredibly easy I believe the stuff that ultimately lasts and gets the most attention and the things that create the most value for everyone involved is the hard stuff.
I’ve written before this a bit in the past and how the most important work is just plain hard. It’s hard. Not easy. Twitter? Easy. Most social media stuff? Easy. It just doesn’t make the impact that it once did (did it ever…?) and it wastes a lot of valuable time and focus.
And… on the topic of focus… and control…
Keep the tweet count low!
Finally, not only have I blown away most of my Twitter accounts is that I’ve set up a small script to delete any tweet that’s older than a week on my “main” account, @8BIT.
So, anything over a week just simply is erased so that anyone, for whatever reason, will just see the last week’s tweets. This required that I first deleted all tweets from my account(s) which was more than 70,000 tweets. Yikes.
The reason I’m doing this is because of privacy and control. I just don’t want old tweets to be part of the canonical story of my life. Rather, I want anything canonical to be found on a system that I ultimately control, just like I’ve done with LinkedIn.
Cleaning up Twitter and the accounts themselves has been an important part of my process of removing all of this noise from my life. It’s been great and I’m getting a bit addicted to this digital clean-up.
The post Cleaning Up Twitter appeared first on John Saddington.
Source: https://john.do/

Tips To Create Effective ‘Coming Soon’ Landing Pages

The company website is an effective tool for grabbing the attention of potential customers. While it may seem like a daunting task, creating an effective ‘coming soon’ landing page is not all that hard. Just like any website page, it needs to have an appealing and attractive design to make your customers excited about the launch of your new website.
What is a ‘Coming Soon’ Page?
Before we learn some tips on how to make an effective ‘coming soon’ page, let us first have an understanding of what these pages are. As the name implies, these are placeholders that announce whether your website is launching or undergoing maintenance. They are designed to capture a visitor’s limited attention span.
While creating one may take time and energy, it can also help create a sense of anticipation to your loyal and potential customers. Making them look forward to your launch date can also have some huge benefits to your company. On your part, it can also be a form of motivation. It would not give you any reason to quit because you know that people are expecting something from you.

Generally, these landing pages are designed to provide your visitors with an explanation for its existence. Your failure to give them an explanation can be tantamount to a lost customer. A ‘coming soon’ landing page will stir curiosity on the part of your customer which will make them come back to your website.
These pages generally have three major purposes:

Announce the impending launch of your website
Explain the purpose of the website
Invite the visitors to return to the website once it is officially launched

For the page to be effective, it has to create buzz and anticipation.
Make Your ‘Coming Soon’ Landing Pages Spectacular!
Ready to drum up excitement for your website’s big launch? Here are effective strategies to bring the anticipation in your ‘coming soon’ landing pages to fever pitch:

Be Unique With Your Design
While your website is not yet fully functional, your design should effectively create excitement to your visitors. The design should have a wow factor as the page should stir some interest on your customers. To make your layout unique, you can check other ‘coming soon’ pages and make a design that suits your intended purpose. But as much as possible, keep your design minimal especially if there is limited content and information.
When making your basic announcement, make sure that you are not making a generic copy. Try to personalize the message. Small mistakes can have a huge impact on your traffic data.
Display Your Mission Statement
By adding a mission statement that explains your purpose or intent, visitors will gain an idea on whether the final website will be enticing to them. In your mission statement, you should:

Describe what the visitors can expect
Explain the purpose of the site
Arouse visitor interest
Have a launch date

The phrase ‘coming soon’ by itself is not enticing enough, nor is including a site name without giving a clue that an actual site is coming. Whether it’s a sentence or a paragraph, you should provide visitors with some explanation on what is your site about, but you should keep it as short and simple as possible for the reason of keeping the excitement until the final launching of the actual website. The idea is just to give visitors a taste of what they can expect.
Putting a date somewhere on the page can help generate repeat visitors during site launch. Giving them more information will help encourage your visitors to bookmark your date so they can easily return to your site.
Utilize Social Media
Social media has become a powerful tool for marketing websites and you can use these channels to promote your landing page. With so many people owning social media accounts, you can take advantage of your network to give your upcoming website the exposure it needs. When utilizing social media, make sure that you truly have an active social media account. It will not help your cause if you lead visitors to an inactive social media account.
Just because your website has already been launched does not mean you need to stop utilizing your social media channels. You will still need Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other social media channels to promote and invite visitors to your new website.
Your ‘coming soon’ page will need as much exposure as it can to generate excitement to your potential and existing customers. You would want to announce your upcoming website to keep everyone informed of your site’s progress and official launch.
Add Subscription Forms
Your ‘coming soon’ page will prove effective if you add some kind of subscription form to it. This will help you gain potential customers through a mailing list. It will also help increase the chances of getting revisits to your website. To make your subscription form effective, consider the following:
Explain what’s going on
When adding a subscription form to your landing page, make sure to make your visitors aware of what they are signing up for. Visitors will most likely not subscribe if they do not know what benefits they will get from subscribing. Make sure that you give them an assurance that any information they will provide would remain safe.
Provide incentives
When adding a ‘coming soon’ page, offer something in return for those who will subscribe to your newsletter or mailing list. The incentives may be in the form of a discount or free trial. If you are not offering a product, you can consider a giveaway that will help gain more subscribers or increase your mailing list.
Use your mailing list
The mailing list you generated will prove to be a valuable asset for your business. While keeping your subscribers updated is necessary, it is still important to regulate the number of updates you will send. You do not want to lose your subscribers because you are frequently sending them updates.

Final Word
An effective ‘coming soon’ page has the ability to generate excitement and anticipation on the part of your existing and potential customers. This would mean more traffic to your website once it is fully launched. By bearing in mind the tips mentioned above, you can look forward to getting your visitors eager about your website launch.
The post Tips To Create Effective ‘Coming Soon’ Landing Pages appeared first on Web Designer Hub.
Source: http://www.webdesignerhub.com

4 Effective SEO Strategies to Help B2B Companies Land on Top Search Results

Business-to-business (B2B) companies rely more on search engine optimization (SEO) to increase engagement with their prospective or loyal clients. Sure, most SEO strategies are geared towards marketing, but zoomed in closer, you will see that it is a lot more than that. SEO is defined by how your company engages with your market and how people make use of the digital world to connect to other companies that implement SEO.
Having said this, here are some SEO strategies you may want to use in your own online journey as a B2B company:
1. Make your site ready to be viewed on any device or screen size

People are always in a hurry, and usually, their phones and their tablets are their best friends In short, a lot of people carry mobile devices with them at all times.
These gadgets should be considered as one of your B2B SEO strategies. Your website should be mobile-friendly and should speak the same language as these gadgets. You want your site to be more competitive? Change your site’s interface to be more accessible and user-friendly to people using mobile phones and similar gadgets.
2. Create a LinkedIn page for your company

LinkedIn opens doors for professional connections among people and companies working in the same industry, and even among those who are just looking for companies or people whose expertise are needed in a given project. LinkedIn serves as a social networking site for businesses and companies.
Just like how any other social networking site works, your LinkedIn page is an effective B2B SEO strategy that will help you create networks and links with other companies.
3. Boost your site’s section for Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

FAQs are your connection to prospective clients who are clueless on what to search for. If your site offers the answers they are looking for, then most likely, they will find your company credible. Your expertise to the services or products you are offering can be measured by the questions and answers you include.
Here is a tip for you to take, though: Always remember that the questions you include are usually as important as the answers you put. Be very smart in selecting what you put in your FAQs section because this is a B2B SEO strategy that bridges your visitors to your site.
4. Make use of Content Management System (CMS)

Your online presence should come with value, and value in digital marketing stands for an updated website that carries all the information your prospective customers should know. The main reason why you developed your site, to begin with, is to keep your site visitors interested in what is up in your company. Updated sites make people feel that your company is putting in the effort to engage with them.
Developing your site through CMS is a good B2B SEO strategy because it makes regular updating easier to do. CMS platforms such as WordPress and Joomla allow you to squeeze in time to upload pictures and blog posts despite your busy schedule.
The post 4 Effective SEO Strategies to Help B2B Companies Land on Top Search Results appeared first on Web Designer Hub.
Source: http://www.webdesignerhub.com

A Canonical Curriculum Vitae

If you’ve been watching my vlog recently you’ll know that I’ve been curating my social media and a variety of social networks by either cleaning them up or removing them entirely.
It’s been one of the most freeing activities that I’ve done in a long time and it’s something that I can’t quite get enough of.

One of the things that I’ve mentioned is the “struggle” that I have with LinkedIn, especially because there is still some very good reasons to keep it around, namely the fact that I need a personal account to manage and administer the official page of my startup.
This is unfortunate but it is what it is I suppose. In due time I will, once and for all, leave LinkedIn and that’ll be great but for now I’ve figured out and worked on a very decent alternative and I spent the afternoon putting it together.
LinkedIn Settings
What I’ve essentially done is add a new page here on my blog which captures my work history and many (but not all) of the projects that I’ve worked on as a professional. Most of the content was a direct copy-and-paste from LinkedIn.
You can see it here.
In addition, I’ve cleaned up my LinkedIn profile to only show my current project and very little else.
I actually had no idea you that you could choose with some level of granularity the amount visible on the profile.
The biggest change was removing the profile from public search engines, like Google. My hope that over time Google and the other search engines will smartly go to my new dedicated and canonical work history and de-list the LinkedIn profile from the public eye.
The reasons that I’ve spent the time doing this are as follows:

Simplify the curation of my work history into a page that I fully control and manage. LinkedIn won’t last forever so it’s inevitable that I do this at some point in time.
I get so much spam from LinkedIn that it’s not even funny. By removing myself from the public search engines and also the amount of metadata that LinkedIn has on me, I hope to reduce this significantly. I also just want LinkedIn to know less about me in its entirety.
Move one step closer to removing LinkedIn from my life. I can imagine a future where I won’t need one (and it’s probably pretty soon and close) but for now this is a decent solution.

I’m happy about the results and the time, I believe, was well-spent.
The post A Canonical Curriculum Vitae appeared first on John Saddington.
Source: https://john.do/