Month: March 2018

Improve Your Digital Marketing with Typeform

You can’t deny that were in the era of hyper-personalization. Big companies are collecting so much data about our every action that it can seem impossible to compete with them.

As an eCommerce business owner myself, I was feeling pretty frustrated with the whole situation. I wanted to connect with my customers on their terms rather than spy on them and collect their information without their permission.

Typeform was the perfect solution to that problem. Their templates are really easy to install, customize, and they allow you to collect valuable insights from your customers in a way that is honest and upfront. Look, tracking cookies are a part of the industry, but Typeform provides small and medium business owners with a more organic form of collecting data.

Data is Essential in Marketing

Data is an essential part of marketing. Customer feedback is one of the only ways you can make meaningful changes that your customers will love. I was able to collect that necessary feedback using Typeform.

Whether you want to use simple single question forms, or longer surveys, Typeform lets you choose. Here are a few other features that I really liked:?

-An easy to use interface that is designed to be engaging
-The ability to showcase my questions using videos and GIFs
-MailChimp and Google Sheets integration to help you analyze and make sense of the data
-Easily added on to any WordPress website
-Track your results using a detailed analytics dashboard
-Preview your changes to make sure each Typeform looks the way you want it

Since using Typeform, I’ve learned valuable things about my most loyal customers, helping me build a better experience for them and to provide them with products that they really want. I was never able to collect this type of data before when I used traditional tracking methods like Google Analytics, tracking cookies, and data scrapers on social media.

If you ask me, I’ll take the more personalized approach any day of the week. I’m able to collect valuable data without violating my customer’s trust. This has allowed me to build a better brand without feeling like I’m spying on the people who support me and choose my brand over my competitors.

They also offer a quiz maker tool that you can use to test the knowledge of your audience on a specific topic.

The price itself isn’t that outrageous. A free version that allows you to track 100 responses per month and up to 10 fields per form is offered. The Pro version costs $30 per month, includes unlimited responses and fields, and is good for one user. The Pro+ version costs $59 a month, can accommodate one or more users, includes unlimited responses and fields, and you can even remove the Typeform branding, a must-have if you want to maintain your brand and professionalism.

As for security, Typeform claims to host their data on secure Amazon Web Services servers that include 128-bit SSL encryption, data backups, and other security protocols.

If you are looking for a better way to gather insights on your business and overall shopping experience, Typeform is a reliable choice that businesses of all sizes can benefit from.

Original post: Improve Your Digital Marketing with Typeform

How to Generate More Original Topics (and Write More Creatively)

Even the best bloggers occasionally struggle with writer’s block. Being successful demands that you not only generate a constant stream of ideas, but differentiate those ideas from the millions of articles that have come before (and millions of new posts each day). Creativity and inspiration are the driving forces behind visionary bloggers, but you can’t exactly force these qualities into existence—so most writers, after hitting a wall, just end up frustrated and stagnant.

You can’t always prevent writer’s block, and you can’t always move past it easily, but with the right approach, you can create an environment for yourself that’s more conducive to generating original, creative ideas.

Strategies for More Creative Ideas

Employ these strategies as short-term measures of relief, or as long-term parts of your routine to facilitate more creative inspiration, and come up with better blog topics:

Read other blogs. One of the easiest steps you can take is reading other blogs, similar to yours. See what kinds of topics they’re covering, and how their audiences react to those posts. Obviously, you shouldn’t steal one of their ideas outright, but you can use their coverage as a kind of springboard to fuel your own creative efforts. Is there a counterargument you could pose, or could you take a similar approach on a different subject?

Expose yourself to art. It’s hard not to be inspired when you view someone else’s artwork. Art, in any medium, helps you use your brain in different ways, and might provide an abstract idea that serves as a basis for your next project. Hang paintings on the walls, or go to your local art museum. Even playing artistic music could help stimulate those creative muscles.

Visit exotic locations. Break from your routine by visiting somewhere you’ve never been before. The sights and sounds might inspire different lines of thought in you, and interactions with people from another culture could help you get a new perspective on your core subject matter. Some locations may even help you discover something new about yourself, leading to a kind of enlightenment that can help you produce better work.

Talk to other people. Go out of your way to talk to other people as much as possible. You’ll learn new things, get exposed to new dialects and vocabulary, and you’ll be forced to articulate your core subject matter in ways that appeal or make sense to different demographics. Almost any conversation can be one that develops your writing skills and boosts your creative potential.

Give yourself time. Giving yourself extra time to come up with an idea or complete a task is one of the best things you can do for yourself. When your mind has a chance to decompress and wander, it’s more likely to stumble upon a solution on its own; that’s why so many great ideas arise out of boredom, such as when you’re in the shower or in the middle of a long commute. If you find yourself struggle to come up with an idea, stop focusing so hard on it, find something else to do, and come back to the task later. You’ll be amazed what you come up with in the meantime.

Try a new medium. If you want to experiment with thinking in new ways, consider adopting a new medium—at least temporarily. If you’re used to writing blog posts, for example, consider writing the script for a podcast or video, or try your hand at making an infographic or illustration.

Meditate. Mindfulness meditation is associated with so many positive mental and physical benefits, there’s no reason not to try it. Taking a moment to practice mindfulness in the middle of a stressful day can help you decompress, and start blogging with a refreshed perspective. It may also be the critical “boredom” time you need to happen upon a new idea.

Don’t Force It

There’s one key caveat to all these strategies; you have to use them to invite creativity, not to force it to manifest. If you start any of these strategies hell-bent on coming up with a great idea, you’re only going to become distracted or frustrated, ultimately bringing your stream of thought to a halt. Instead, try to center yourself and allow your mind to wander; be okay with the fact that you might not come up with an idea immediately, and let your brain find what it will.

Original post: How to Generate More Original Topics (and Write More Creatively)

Need a WordPress multilingual website? Try Weglot Translate

Increase your potential audience, attract more visitors or improve your conversion rates are all good reasons to get a translated WordPress websites.

However multilingual and translations can be very painful when it comes to doing it for a website. You do not want to re-do and maintain your existing pages in all your translated languages. The good news is you don’t need to handle separated and independent websites you can simply use a multilingual plugin. But which plugin choose?

What’s Weglot Translate?

Founded in 2016, Weglot is a WordPress multilingual plugin to translate and manage your translations, while deploying and displaying your translated pages efficiently.

This plugin is already used by more than 20,000+ websites with more than 500+ five-star ratings on the official WordPress Directory. Actually, it’s the most 5-star rated translation plugin.

Install

Add and setup Weglot in your WordPress website in minutes. You can install Weglot like any other plugins on WordPress (Click pn Plugin -> add-new -> install and activate).

Once installed and activated there are 2 mandatory parameters to finalize the installation (in your WordPress admin, in Weglot settings):

Languages: your main language and all the other languages you would to like to add
Your API key: to get your API key, you need to create a Weglot account here (it’s free, you only need to register with an email and a password)

Then, click on save and go to your homepage, you can already display your website in different languages.

Weglot provides a first layer of machine translations (from best providers available) that you’ll be able to manage.

Manage your translations

All your translation management happens in your Weglot account (the one you just created).

On your homepage you have a summary of all your information (languages added, number of translated words, number of visits on your translated pages).

Edit translations
As if you want to edit the translations provided by default you have 2 tool sto do that easily:

The translations list: In this part of your account you have your original content on the left and the related translations on the right side. If you want to edit a new translation, just change it and it will be saved automatically.

The visual editor: It lets you edit translations while being on your web pages. It means you can see your translations within the web page. You can click on any of your content and easily edit it.

Translations rules
You can also add translations rules that will automatically apply on all your content. You can choose to never translate a word or combination of words which it’s very useful for brand names, product names or some locations you would like to keep the same in all language.

You can also choose to always translate a word or combination of words in a certain way which is useful for specific vocabularies dedicated to an industry or an activity.

Professional translations
If you do not have in-house translators or local teams, and you want to get native/professional translations it’s also possible via Weglot.

You can select pages or strings you would like to order professional translations for and place your order. 48/72h after, it will be automatically integrated in your Weglot account and live on your website.

Thanks to Weglot, you can focus on what really matters, your content.

What are the main benefits of Weglot?

Which aspects of Weglot makes it one of the best solution for a multilingual WordPress websites available?

SEO optimized
Weglot will make sure that all your translated pages are detected and indexed by Google following its guidelines best practices.

Server-side translations: It means that is not a simple dynamic change (JavaScript) of your content that Google could not detect.

Unique and dedicated URL: Weglot will automatically create URLs for each version of your page, using subdirectories (/es for the Spanish pages for example)
Hreflang tags: Weglot will automatically add them in your source code, to make sure Google is aware that you have different versions of a page.

No manipulation of code source files
It’s simple, you don’t need any skills in coding to use this plugin. There is no needs to know how to manipulate sources files or anything else.

Compatibility
Being obviously compatible with WooCommerce, Weglot is also compatible with any WordPress Themes and Plugins. Thanks to its technical approach, Weglot does not require to have Themes or Plugins “Weglot ready”.

You have nothing to do, it’s just working with any WordPress website part.

Performance
You spent time optimizing your website in your own language to get the best performance possible, it should be the same for your translated versions.

With Weglot, there is no database or admin slowdowns, and Weglot is perfectly working with leading cache solutions, such as WP Rocket, WP Super Cache or WP Fastest Cache.

Pricing

Weglot is a freemium solution with a 10-day free trial period. After this trial you can either stay in a free plan (for websites with 2,000 translated words and 1 extra language) or select one of the premium plans matching your needs.

The main pricing criteria are the number of your translated words and how many extra languages you want to add. You will find below the different plans available and their details:

Wrapping up
If you’re going multilingual, Weglot should definitely be part of your testing shortlist. In addition to their reputation (most 5-star rated WordPress translation plugin and 20,000+ users), the team behind Weglot managed to bring a powerful solution with key benefits:

-Turnkey solutions, easy to setup and use
-SEO optimized
-Compatible and powerful
-Backed by a dedicated team of experts

By the way, they have a 10-day free trial which makes it very easy and convenient to give it a spin.

Original post: Need a WordPress multilingual website? Try Weglot Translate

Create User Engagement and Build a Responsive Email List with GetSiteControl

No one ever said running a website would be easy. If only I could grab a quick template, throw up a few images, type some words, and become a millionaire. Sadly, it isn’t the early 2000s anymore and running a successful website takes time, patience, and the right tools.

For instance, since we all know that “the money is in the list”, it becomes crucial to engage with your audience and convert them from one-time stumblers to regular website visitors – using smart subscription forms, surveys, promotional pop-ups and other interactive elements. Not only do they help you build a list of subscribers, but also allow you to get to know your audience better.

Engaging with your readers on a WordPress website has never been easier though. There are many tools and plugins out there to help you take control of your blog.

I recently stumbled upon one of them, called GetSiteControl, which has a free version, and from a quick glance, seems reliable.

One of the areas I struggle with the most is managing my widgets. It’s not that they are hard to manage, but there are so many plugins out there offering minor widgets – like email subscription boxes, survey forms, notification bars, social media buttons. Manually installing and managing each of them from a separate plugin can be annoying.

GetSiteControl seems to be a great solution to this problem as it provides 7 most popular user engagement widgets in one plugin. These widgets include:

Subscribe widget. This is an email opt-in form to get more newsletter subscribers and generate leads. To use it successfully, you should focus on the targeting settings and your calls to actions (CTAs) that are likely to convert. The best practice is showing a subscription form to those who have spend some time on a webpage or scrolled a certain amount of the page content.

Contact widget. An essential form for most websites, it helps provide better customer service and simply create a chance for the visitors to share their feedback.

Promo widget. These are pop-ups, sidebars, and buttons to promote your products or blog posts with an attention-grabbing message leading to higher conversions. Say, if you’re launching a sale, you may want your customers to know about it so they can take advantage of the opportunity.

Survey widget. One of the best ways to learn more about your customers is asking them questions. With a survey you can gather actionable data to provide a better customer experience and adjust your marketing strategy accordingly.
Follow widget. This widget will help you grow the number of followers on social media.

Sharing widget. Want more traffic? This widget encourages your readers to share your content and help you spread the word. Consider it free advertising.

Live Chat. Communicate with your customers using the chat widget. You can connect it to Slack and answer their questions in real-time from any device.

There are many reasons why you should consider using GetSiteControl. But for me, the main one was my desire to have a plugin capable of hosting the interaction forms under one roof. The fact that everything is managed in a single dashboard, makes the widgets work as an entity too, and saves my time.

It might not be the perfect solution, but for beginner and novice website owners, it really can make the difference and help you create user engagement and build a solid email list. You can further connect it to any email marketing app, Google Analytics or other software you use for business.

So far, I’ve managed to put GetSiteControl to use to help me chat with my website visitors in real time. I sell a niche product, so my customers usually have specific questions about it. I’ve also started collecting more email addresses for my marketing purposes and have gathered a lot of valuable user feedback about my products.

All of this information alone may not seem that valuable, but when you are able to gather multiple forms of data, it helps you see the bigger picture and make meaningful decisions that benefit your business.

Your mileage may vary, but GetSiteControl worked for me and it will help you put your website to work for you.

Original post: Create User Engagement and Build a Responsive Email List with GetSiteControl

3 Things You Can Do to Keep Your Business Independent

It does matter what your business is: whether it is a store, a performance, or your own blog. There is a need to collaborate. Collaborations come in many forms with varying lengths of time. It can be a one-time gig or a business partnership that may last a lifetime. It is easy to identify the benefits of collaboration. The risk and responsibility are divided among the members. This also means that money should not be an issue, with more people contributing it makes capital easy to accumulate. The difficulty with collaborations is when people don’t see eye to eye.

You want to expand your business, but they want to play it safe. You want to stay original, but they want to follow trends. The farther into these partnerships you go, the more you realize that the first vision you both agreed on drifts away. The issues are not only on the level of creative differences. The cracks may appear at a management level. In an ideal world, work will be split 50-50, playing to each of your strengths. What are the odds of you being perfect complements of each other? You might take up more of the work, or the kinds of jobs might not be properly split. It is difficult to properly measure equal distribution.

These warnings stand if you are thinking about getting into a partnership. What do you do when you already find yourself trapped? Here are 3 things you can do to stay independent, or bad business partnership solutions.

1. Prevention is better than cure.

The first way is to not get into a partnership in the first place and avoid a reliant mentality. If you have just gotten out of a bad deal, don’t go jumping into a new one no matter how promising it may seem at the beginning. There will be a honeymoon period, a time when ideas are always fresh, and you work like a well-oiled machine. However, as individuals, we naturally make independent decisions. If there is a misstatement online or controversial content that you did not consent to, you are obligated to go down with the sinking ship. The reverse can also be true, you might want to feature a new product that you believe will be the next best thing, but your partner has apprehensions and you end up not pursuing it.

It’s a push and pull game, and you don’t know when you or they will be right. The risk might be divided, but the credit of a good idea or the blame for a bad move are not as easily split down the middle. Avoid the blame shifting and be independent.
This isn’t to say that you have to run your business or blog on your own. It is just that the power dynamics are tricky to navigate between two people in supposedly equal positions. Have your collaborations but be clear about who is boss.

2. Shift the Power

When you do find yourself in a bad partnership, but you believe in its potential you may opt to shift the power. Identify the roles taken during the rough patch, see who stepped up and pulled the weight. If you did most of the heavy lifting, propose to take over. They may still work with you, but it cannot be equal. If you take over the finance and management, it is best that they take over the creative aspects. Being apart of different sectors guarantees that you are both limited, and no one should have absolute power.

When the other person is willing to fall back, by all means, don’t be afraid to take charge. It might be uncomfortable at first, to be the sole face of your business or blog, but this means you are easy to identify. There should be no misunderstanding about who did what, and credit will naturally fall where it is due.

When everyone works in the environment that fits them best, the whole entity will benefit. Having a clear power structure allows people to properly focus on their job. No one will have to do the major heavy lifting because there was no choice.

3, Go Your Separate Ways.

In particularly bad situations, it is not cowardly to jump ship. When the project has become too different and the people are unreasonable. Take what you can get and start on your own, if you can’t buy them out, then sell out. The ideas that have been neglected now have a proper space to grow. It may seem daunting with the lack of funds. Do as much as you can alone and take out small loans. The progress might be slow, and the work is backbreaking. But at the end of the day, everything is yours. You don’t have to fight over intellectual property rights or division of assets. When you look back, you might be surprised at how far you have come. When you take the opportunities you believe in and you are your own boss, the extra work is worth it.

Collaborations and partnerships aren’t bad. They provide a good safety net for those who are starting out, for those who need an extra push, or for really big ideas that need to be executed fast. If you are more of the turtle than the hare, make the extra effort to be independent. Small collaborations with other equal businesses are fine. They add diversity and help you reach a broader audience. The level of commitment in a long-term partnership is the problem.

Being independent in the long run has more fruits with less of the headache of coordinating and matching up to someone else. You save time, you save effort. Taking out small loans has also become increasingly popular in recent years, with more and more start-ups. The discrimination against small businesses has gone. You can achieve the same success on your own as the likes of Kat von D with her own makeup line and college students pursuing their own businesses straight out of school, the market is ripe with opportunities. If anything, it is the right time to be independent.

Original post: 3 Things You Can Do to Keep Your Business Independent