Tag Archives: audience

How to Write Blog Posts for Your Buyer Personas

The post How to Write Blog Posts for Your Buyer Personas appeared first on HostGator Blog . Quick quiz for business bloggers: In one sentence, describe the audience for your blog. If you had your answer ready, you’re ready to write must-read content for your customers. If you had to stop and think about who your audience is, or if you said “everybody,” it’s time to get a clear picture of your readers so you can create more effective content. In both cases, the key is to research, build, and use buyer personas. Write for a Specific Persona If you aced the quiz, it’s because you have a customer persona . Personas are like character sketches for marketers and bloggers. They define types of audience members by their interests, age range, online behaviors, and shopping habits. You create personas based on data from your site analytics, social media monitoring, site-visitor surveys, and interviews with your readers and customers. If you’re just starting out, research the types of people you’d like to have in your audience. Start with the persona that represents the largest part of your audience. Let’s say you have a blog for your hobby farming supply business. Your primary persona might be a retired banking executive (let’s call her Daisy) in her early 60s whose partner is also retired. She recently bought a vintage farmhouse on a small acreage. Her interests are raising flowers and herbs for market and she’d also like to set up a duck pond and a rental cottage on her property. Daisy likes to carefully research purchases and she prioritizes quality over price. Here’s a sample persona template you can use to create your own website personas: Speak the Same Language as Your Customers Whoever your persona is, write in a voice that they’ll understand. Let’s stick with the hobby farm supply example for a bit. Maybe your background is in agribusiness. Daisy, your retired banking-executive persona, won’t know the ag jargon that you do. She searches for terms like “how much to feed ducks,” not “how to formulate balanced poultry rations.” Include the keywords she’s likely to use in your posts to show her you’re speaking to her, so she’ll stick around. Bonus: Better SEO is a natural outcome of using the phrases your personas use. Not sure how your persona talks about or searches for their interests? Look at your blog and social media comments and email messages from your customers. Monitor your Google Search Console data to see which keyphrases bring readers to your blog. And check out other blogs, vlogs, and podcasts in your niche. The goal isn’t to copy anyone else’s voice but to connect with prospective customers by speaking their language. Tailor Post Length to Your Audience and Your Goals How long should your business blog posts be? That depends on your goals for each post and the time your persona has to read it. Daisy is retired and has time to focus on her interests, but an audience of mid-career professionals with small children will have less time to read. Short and long posts both have their place on your posting schedule, but you’ll want to skew toward what your audience prefers. The Case for Short Blog Posts Short blog posts of at least 300 words are a great way to tackle niche topics. That’s good for readers who want specific information. It’s also good for SEO, because narrowly focused posts can help you rank well for longtail search phrases . For example, if the persona you’re writing for is a pet rabbit owner, it’s going to be hard to rank well for “rabbit care,” which generates more than 443 million results. By going into more detail with posts on “elderly rabbit grooming,” “safe chew toys for rabbits,” “how to build a rabbit castle” and so on, you’re more likely to reach readers searching for those topics. You can later compile all your short posts on one topic into a PDF to give away to readers who join your list. The Case for Long Blog Posts Long posts —1,000 words and more—are more challenging to write and require a bigger time commitment from you and your customers. Long content typically does well in search results, so it’s worth your time to create at least a few. These can be mega-posts that combine and expand on previous short posts. They can also be new content, like a list or a how-to guide, to promote an upcoming launch or new product. For example, if you’re preparing to start selling an online course , a long post that includes a sample of the class material can help prospective students decide to register. Take your time writing and editing long posts to make sure they deliver what your personas want to know, using the same language they do. And if you’re planning a product launch, review your current site hosting plan to make sure it can handle launch-related spikes in traffic. You may want to upgrade to a more powerful plan like HostGator Cloud Hosting for more speed and bandwidth, and add on CodeGuard daily backup service to easily restore your site if your launch-prep site changes temporarily break things. Pace Your Blog Posts Properly Ask your readers how often they want to hear from you, then build a calendar to match your persona’s preferences. If you don’t have a big audience yet, remember that most people are happy to read one or two new posts a week from a blog they value. Less than that is probably okay, too. Too-frequent posts may overwhelm subscribers and lead them to drop your blog. Save daily posting for when you can hire help, have a large audience, and have specific marketing goals that require lots of new content. Keep an eye on your blog, email, and sales metrics. Over time, you should see how your publishing schedule affects page views, time on the site, email opens and clickthroughs, unsubscribes, and conversions. Tweak the schedule if you need to so your readers stick around. Close with a Call to Action What separates good bloggers from great bloggers? Great bloggers who build thriving online communities and businesses have a clear goal for each blog post before they write it. Before you write, decide what you want your readers to do when they reach the end of your post. Do you want them to join your email list ? Share your post? Buy your duck brooders? Once you know, ask them to do it. Don’t assume it’s obvious. Life is filled with distractions, so make your calls to action clear: Join the list. Get the book. Register now. Reserve your appointment. There’s one other benefit to building personas before you blog. It helps to make your posts more conversational and builds rapport with your audience. So, whenever you’re ready to write, think about your persona, what they want to know, how much time they have to read, and the keywords they search for. Then you’re ready to write posts that will connect. Find the post on the HostGator Blog Continue reading

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5 Fresh Ideas for Ongoing Content Generation

The post 5 Fresh Ideas for Ongoing Content Generation appeared first on HostGator Blog . Content generation can feel like an uphill battle in an online space filled with so much content. It’s your responsibility to bring new, engaging content to your audience. By offering a fresh perspective, your website stands out from the crowd and spotlights your business as an industry leader. Unique ideas can come from anywhere. Whether it’s videos or blog posts, take control of your content generation. Here are five resources to spark your imagination today. 1. Read Industry Reports A content idea doesn’t have to appear out of thin air (or endless original research). You can find what you need by downloading the latest industry report. Industry reports are usually long, dense documents that no one likes reading. However, they are goldmines of valuable information. You can transform those insights into an email marketing series to bolster your brand and thought leadership. For instance, explain a key point in the report, add your critical perspective as a business owner, and then send it to your subscribers in multiple emails. Don’t know where to find in-depth research? Start your search with Think with Google . This website uncovers digital trends with data reports, guides, and infographics. When using industry reports, it’s important to avoid regurgitating the information to your visitors. Your goal is to engage people with a different viewpoint. Don’t be afraid of controversial stances if your brand truly believes in an ideal. Take advantage of the resources available to your small business. An industry report could ignite your next great content piece that your readers will love.   2. Ask Your Audience In the hustle and bustle of work, we often forget the obvious when generating content ideas. Asking your audience is an effective way to add fresh insight to your content. Ross Simmonds , a marketer, strategist, and founder of Hustle & Grind, agrees: “So many people create content without talking to their actual target audience…But if you’re trying to grow a brand, you need to start with your audience in mind. So pick up the phone, open up the inbox or queue up the DM and get in touch with your audience.” Explore different methods of approaching your audience for content suggestions. You can send a three-question survey via email to a segmented group of subscribers. Or you can run a simple Facebook poll. You also may want to incentivize responses with free swag. Showing your appreciation will earn your brand quality feedback. User-generated content can work well for your content, too. You can do an open call for quotes or photos for a specific topic. People love seeing their names in print or hearing it on a podcast episode.   3. Scan Twitter Hashtags Twitter serves as the pulse of the latest trends in consumer behavior. From funny threads to serious news, the social platform gives your brand an inside peek at what your customers discuss and their daily activities. This social network is an oasis of content ideas that can fill your entire calendar. Use specific hashtags to search through recent tweets from your audience. For example, if your online store specializes in beauty products, you might do research with #beautytips or #beautyproducts. With a brand presence on Twitter, it’s possible to receive ideas directly from your customers. Every week make a conscious effort to read responses from your followers. You also should be replying back to them to express your gratitude. Broaden your research by checking out your audience’s responses to competitor brands. You’ll get a sense of what excites and bores customers about the competition. Regularly review your own your Twitter Analytics , too. This social intelligence is enough to build better content for your site. Use it to develop an amazing e-course or vlog.   4. Review Conference Agendas Every year, conferences get flooded with smart participants and charismatic speakers. If you desire remarkable ideas, the conference agenda holds the key to your content generation woes. When examining the agenda, the goal isn’t to swipe someone’s entire presentation. Instead, use it as inspiration to initiate adjacent content ideas. Carro Ford , a marketer and author, says: “Study the agenda and session tracks to get a sense of trending user problems and concerns.
 Conference keynotes and sessions highlight trending topics in your market that you can cover in your blog. You’ll also get ideas for keywords to use in your writing.” As a sign of appreciation, you should mention the speaker’s name and include a link to their work, if possible. These little actions provide an avenue to foster future content relationships. You also could use agendas as a syllabus for your content calendar. You might highlight a specific topic each month or create a quarterly infographic from the title of a talk. It’s not necessary to start from scratch with your content generation. Take the time to scour through conference agendas to find unconventional topics.   5. Connect with Influencers The content generation process shouldn’t operate in a silo. To produce your best content, you’ll want to collaborate with experts, thought leaders, and influencers . Working with others alleviates the ongoing demands of content production. Plus, it also gives your audience an opportunity to hear from other leading voices in your industry. Be selective when working with influencers. Don’t compromise your brand’s integrity just to earn popularity. You can vet thought leaders by analyzing their past content and asking for professional references. Moreover, expand your reach to lesser-known individuals. Help a Reporter Out (HARO) can assist you in developing relationships with experts in a variety of fields. It’s a free resource, and you’ll receive quality quotes for your upcoming stories. Think outside of the box with influencer content. Rather than the same old blog post, get industry leaders to take over your social media accounts for a day. Or ask them to record five three-minute video clips about an interesting topic. These content pieces will be more meaningful to your visitors. Step up your content game with the help of others. You can do more through collaboration.   Fresh Ideas, New Content Generating content is an ongoing process. For fresh ideas, read the industry reports or sift through your Twitter timeline. Be creative and craft extraordinary content for your audience. Need help brainstorming blog topics? Read this post. Find the post on the HostGator Blog Continue reading

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12 Online Copywriting Tips to Improve Your Website

The post 12 Online Copywriting Tips to Improve Your Website appeared first on HostGator Blog . An impressive online presence matters. It’s the difference between visitors learning more about you or losing interest in your brand. To grab your target audience’s attention, upgrade your copywriting skills to engage with visitors. Effective copy helps your business sell more products, boost brand awareness, and dominate the competition. But, several factors influence how you write online. From the specific audience to your existing content, you must weigh what will work best for each piece. It also doesn’t hurt to add your unique personality to the work. Ready to level up your writing skills? Try these online copywriting tips to create a memorable visitor experience. 1. Research Your Audience According to CoSchedule, “successful marketers are 242% more likely to report conducting audience research at least once per quarter. And 56% of the most elite marketers conduct research once or more per month.” Bloggers can break the mold in their writing by becoming better researchers. Knowing about your audience gives you the intel to cater to their interests and maintain their attention. Research comes in many different forms. You can survey your existing audience and ask them particular questions on what topics they would enjoy reading. You could review your Google Analytics reports to assess the type of blog posts people visit the most. Tools like Social Mention also can help you discover new insights. This social media search and analysis platform tracks and measures what people are saying about any topic across social channels. While researching, your goal is to identify themes and patterns. You want to pinpoint ideas that will debunk myths and offer inspiration. Take the time to learn about your audience. Understanding their wants, needs, and behaviors helps your write better content. 2. Write in an Easy-to-Read Format The reading habits of an online visitor varies from a person offline. Research shows that site visitors read 20% of the text on the average web page. Your readers’ intentions are only to scan your content. Some individuals are too busy to read every word. Others just want to get the high-level concepts and move to the next topic. No matter the reasoning, be prepared to adjust your content. Best-selling author Jeff Goins offers his thoughts: “Sure, people can read. They just choose not to. You need to learn how to communicate to people who are functionally illiterate. Or perhaps, more appropriately, aliterate—that is, they’re able to read, but just choose not to do so.” You can make your writing easy to scan by using shorter paragraphs—limiting them to no more than four sentences. You can create scannable chunks by adding multiple subheadings throughout your blog posts. Draw the reader’s attention to important information with numbered lists and bullet points. It’s also wise to use bold and italic formatting to give your words more emphasis. There’s no doubt that your readers will scan your content. It’s up to you to assemble it in an easy-to-read format. 3. Insert Specific Keywords Organic search is the lifeblood of generating traffic to sites. If people can’t find your blog on Google, Yahoo, or Bing, it’s difficult to get new visitors. Keywords make it possible for potential readers to land on your site. When a person types phrases in a search engine, they get directed to content related to those keywords. Consumers are searching for specific terms with a particular intent. Impact reports that “50% of search queries are four words or longer.” Bloggers must match the searchers’ intent with remarkable content that solves their problems or answers their questions. As a result, readers will locate your blog and discover relevant information. Google Trends analyzes the popularity of top search queries in its search engine. That way, you can observe what people want to learn and write content that fits their needs. It’s not necessary to overload your blog posts with keywords. Stick to the basic search engine optimization guidelines, like adding keywords to your headers and meta descriptions. Writing for the web means getting your content seen. It all begins with including specific keywords in your work. 4. Highlight Notable Experts We’re often taught that writing is a standalone activity. When you’re ready to write, you should go in your perfect writing space and begin jotting down as many of your own words as possible. However, writing doesn’t have to be a lonely process. Writing for the web is also about collaboration. Your audience wants to hear new perspectives from other industry experts. The good news is that you can introduce them to notable people through your blog posts. John O’Nolan , founder and CEO at Ghost, agrees: “Is your brain tired? Borrow someone else’s! Who do you look up to in your industry who your readers might be interested in? Drop them an email and ask if you can do an interview. Your only challenge is to come up with some interesting questions which will get your subject talking.” Choose experts that your audience respects. When formulating interview questions, it’s important that you touch on different topics not present on other blogs. Exceptional questions will provide a fresh perspective to your post. Don’t limit your writing to just your ideas. When you feature thought leaders, it’s a special treat for your readers. 5. Provide Actionable Steps Web writing shouldn’t conclude like a suspense novel with a cliffhanger ending. Your audience wants actionable steps on how to move forward. Whether it’s leading them to a YouTube video or the checkout cart, it’s your responsibility to guide them to that goal. As an expert blogger, it’s easy to forget that your reader lacks the knowledge you possess. So, you may slip up and write with jargon or skip important details. That’s perfectly fine for your first draft. But, in the editing stage, you’ll want to scan for specific words or complex procedures that may hinder your readers from taking action. i am a food blog is a powerful example of how to showcase actionable steps in online writing. The instructions to prepare the dish are straightforward. Any reader can easily scroll to this section of the website and immediately begin cooking. Website design also is essential when writing for the web. You can include your steps in a colorful graphic to gain more attention from readers. What next steps can you offer your audience? Give them a reason to turn your words into productive action. 6. Write Targeted Copy Your website is an opportunity to establish your brand in the market. When people arrive to your site, they want to know what you do and what you stand for. Use your site copy to reflect a clear vision of your business. Rather than offering unnecessary details, select a primary goal that your copy will accomplish. “It’s important to give every piece of copy you write a single objective…Focusing on one objective at a time minimizes confusion and prevents you from including extraneous text,” writes  Sujan Patel , co-founder of Web Profits. Targeted copy will pinpoint the solution you offer visitors. You’re not just a food blogger or a website designer. People want to know how you can help them with their problems. In the image below,  The Art of Sculpting  tells you exactly how they serve their potential customers—taking their fitness to a new level. 7. Make the Visitor the Hero Let’s set the record straight: your copy isn’t about you, your business’s achievements, or even your latest TV appearance. If your desire is to transform visitors into leads (or customers), your copy must focus on your audience and their needs. All the copy should center around helping the visitor. It starts with telling a great story and creating a journey that involves the visitor. Much like the movies, the copy will discuss the challenges and the triumphs of the hero. Copy isn’t always about getting someone to take action. It’s also about etching a unique memory into their minds. That emotion will stay with them after they leave your site. 8. Express Your Value Visitors are interested in knowing how you can change their lives. What value will you provide to customers to improve their outcomes? This value will separate you  from the competition . In-home care startup  Honor  establishes value quickly on its homepage. Their team offers services to help seniors live better, while offering families peace of mind. Be descriptive in your language and avoid the over-the-top tone. It’s perfectly fine to boast about the benefits of your product. However, you don’t want to over-exaggerate. “People don’t want to be sold to. Tone down the hype and write your web copy like you’re talking with your ideal customer face-to-face. Your audience can tell the difference, and will be more likely to participate,” says  Christina Walker , a professional freelance web copywriter. To show your value, highlight the results of your services. Get people engaged in doing things differently with your business. 9. Craft a Compelling Call to Action Effective copy leads visitors to your desired next step, and that’s where your  call to action comes in. Your website consists of several pages with different purposes. If you’ve worked with marketers, they may have suggested creating pages consistent with your sales funnel. For instance, with new visitors, your goal may be to turn them into qualified leads. The call to action might convince your audience to sign up for a free ebook or checklist. While for your returning visitors who already possess interest in your products, the call to action would be a 10% coupon or a bonus gift after an initial purchase. No matter the call to action, it should speak to the audience’s needs and desires. They should be eager to receive your offering and ready to move down the sales funnel. 10. Add Social Proof Your brand centers around perception. It’s about credibility in the eyes of your future customers. They want to know that your products and services are worth their hard-earned money. Moreover, visitors are curious about whether or not they should associate themselves with your brand. With so much competition in the marketplace, sometimes the only differentiator is the prestige and external validation of your brand. People want to be affiliated with success. We buy cars to transport us from one place to another. So why would anyone want to purchase a Lamborghini or a Tesla? Because customers also seek vehicles to represent their status in society. Leverage social proof, like  customer testimonials , to influence your audience. “ Check out this example from  Backlinko . Brian Dean backs up his expertise with quotes from industry influencers. 11. Avoid Jargon Have you ever sat in a meeting where you didn’t understand anything? Everyone was talking in your native language, but every word seemed foreign. You probably felt confused or as if you didn’t belong. It’s an overwhelming feeling that just makes you want to stand up and exit the room. That’s a similar feeling your visitors experience when landing on a site stuffed with jargon. They don’t understand the content, so in a split second, they decide that this brand isn’t for them. To keep your target audience interested, you must speak their language. Instead of using unfamiliar terms, stick to words your audience knows. Pay attention to the words your current customers use to describe your business. Use social media to learn how your audience talks about your brand. With this insight, you can create copy that invites them into your website experience. 12. Experiment With Different Versions Your first draft of copy isn’t your last. Just like other aspects of business, the best way to learn if something works is to test it. So try not to fall in love with your copy. Remember that every word on the page is to help visitors understand you better. It’s important to keep that principle in mind when  A/B testing your copy . Experts suggest changing only one variable in your experiments. You might test the headline, then the call to action. If you test everything at once, you’ll lose sight of what your visitors actually like about your copy. Below is an example of an A/B test on the call-to-action-button text. The new variation focused on what the company’s offer provided the visitor. Be willing to experiment with your copy. It’s the best way to learn what connects with your visitors. Smart Copywriting that Conveys Your Brand Message Online When visitors land on your site, your goal is to gain their interest and establish trust quickly. Copywriting is a critical component to telling your story to your audience. Write compelling copy that makes every visitor the hero, and use social proof to add to your credibility. Improve your website with better copywriting. Find the post on the HostGator Blog Continue reading

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How to Build a Website From Scratch

The post How to Build a Website From Scratch appeared first on HostGator Blog . You’re here because you want to build a website. Luckily, building a website is much easier than it used to be. What used to take months and months of work can now be done in a single afternoon. Even if you’ve never built a website before, you can quickly build a professional website, all with the help of a website builder. But, building a website requires more than just choosing the right website builder . There are a few foundational steps you’ll want to complete to help ensure the success of your site. Jumping in without a plan is a surefire way to get overwhelmed by the process. Below you’ll learn about the different types of sites you can build, how to plan your website, and finally, how to build a website from scratch without having to touch a single line of code. Why Build a Website? There are plenty of reasons to build a website. Whether you have an idea for a new personal website, want to showcase your passion, start a blog, highlight your portfolio, build an eCommerce website , or create a website for your existing business, it couldn’t be easier to start a new site. And best of all, you don’t have to be an experienced web designer to make one. Just a few years ago building a site was an intensive process. You either had to spend time learning to code yourself or hire a website developer to turn your vision into reality for you. But today, with the help of intuitive website builders the process is incredibly simple. Even if you’ve never built a website before, or even registered a domain name , you can have a website online in a single afternoon, if not sooner. Overall, the length of time it’ll take to build your website will depend upon the type of site you’re building. A simple 3-page website will be much faster to build than an eCommerce site that’s selling dozens of products. Step 1: Determining Your Niche The first step in website building is determining what kind of site you’re going to build. The approach you’re going to take to start a blog will be different than building a site for a physical storefront. Review the questions below to determine what kind of site you’re going to build. This will help you save time over the long run and ensure you’re building the right kind of site the first time around. Who’s Your Audience? Every successful website serves a specific audience. By taking the time to understand exactly who your audience is first you’ll improve your chances of creating a successful site. However, you won’t have to do this if you’re creating a simple website that you have no intention of building a business around. For example, maybe you’re creating a personal blog so you can practice writing in public, or you’re creating a simple one-page site for fun. But, if you want to grow and monetize your website, then you’ll want to place a focus on your target audience. Spend time browsing through other sites in your niche and attempt to infer the kind of audience they’re serving. Why do they like certain content types?  Why are some forms of content more popular than others? You can also head over to a tool called Buzzsumo to find the most shared content related to your niche. This can give you an idea of what your audience likes to consume and directions you can take with your site.   How Are You Serving Them? Once you know who you’re serving, it’s time to figure out the best way to do that. For example, maybe you’ve found that your niche loves video content. In that case, you’ll build a site that’s oriented towards videos. Or maybe you’ve uncovered a ton of related eCommerce products you can sell, in that case, you’ll want to build a site that has eCommerce capabilities. Spend time browsing through other sites in your niche to get an idea of certain site elements you’ll want to include. Maybe you’ve found a similar site that you love the layout of, or you like the type of messaging they use on their site. As you browse through competitor sites take note of the things you like and other elements you think you could improve upon. All of this will come in handy during the design phase. Step 2: Planning Your New Website Now that you know the type of site you’re going to build, let’s do some basic planning that’ll help to accelerate the site building process. Below you’ll get a basic feel for the elements that make up a professional website. Get these elements right and your site will stand head and shoulders above your competition. Site Structure Most websites look and function the same. It can be tempting to buck trends and create something wholly unique, but you’ll do yourself a disservice in doing so. Most users have certain expectations in mind when visiting a website. They expect certain website elements to be where they should be. The last thing you want is to confuse and overwhelm your visitors the moment they land on your website. Basic website elements include: An easy to use navigation bar, typically at the top of the site Homepage text and a sidebar, or no sidebar at all Logical site organization that lets users intuitively move from page to page The theme you choose should take care of your initial site organization. It can be tempting but try not to stray too far from the initial build. These templates are created by professional designers and developers and have web design best practices built in. Essential Website Pages The number of pages your site has will differ depending on the type of site you’re building. But generally, most sites will have the following website pages, no matter the niche: Homepage. This is the first page your visitors will see. It should be simple, concise, and immediately tell your visitor’s what your site is about. About page. Your about page is your chance to establish a relationship with your visitors. It’s commonly one of the most popular pages on your site, so you’ll want to spend time creating quality copy that draws your readers in, tells them what you’re about, and speaks directly to their needs and how you’re uniquely qualified to solve them. Services/product page. This will look different depending on what you’re selling and the niche you’re in. However, most sites (unless it’s purely for personal use) will have one of these pages, if not multiple. Contact page. Depending on the type of site you’re creating you’ll probably want to make it easy for your visitors to contact you. This can be through a contact form, an email address, or even your phone number or Skype address. Blog page. Most sites will be able to find some value in maintaining a regular blog. Some sites are purely content-based, while others will be able to use the blog as a means to provide value to your visitors and improve search engine rankings. Keep in mind that most website building software will take care of the basic website layout for you. Once you select a theme or a template, this will form the foundation for the rest of your site. However, by knowing what other pages you want to add, and what site elements you’ll want to include you’ll be able to speed up the process and avoid wasting time when creating your site. Step 3: Choosing Your Website Building Platform By now you’ve determined the type of site you’re going to build, and you have a plan of attack for the website elements and pages you’re going to create. Now, it’s time to choose the right tool to help you build your website. As a beginner you’ll have a ton of different options at your disposal, from website builders to content management systems , and more. One of the easiest ways to build your site will be using the GATOR website builder. Website builders in general greatly simplify the website building process. There are many things you can do with the Gator website builder. You’ll select a theme or template that will act as the foundation of your site, you’ll use the tool to make changes and customize your site, you’ll add content, and then publish your site online. The process is quite intuitive and you’ll be able to build a custom website without having to change, or even look at, any code. In time you can test out other website builders, tools, and content management systems, but when starting out you’ll want to give yourself the advantage of using one of the easiest tools out there. Once you’ve successfully built your first site you’ll have more confidence when it comes to customizing your site, or using different tools altogether. Building a Website with the GATOR Website Builder For the sake of this tutorial, we’ll show you how to build a website from scratch using the HostGator website builder. This website builder is packed with a vast selection of professional themes that span dozens of niches. Once you fire up the tool you’ll be amazed at just how easy it is to customize your template, add site elements, add pages, modify text, and more. Follow the steps below to build a website from scratch using Gator: 1. Select Your Template The first step when launching your website through HostGator’s website builder will be choosing your template. This template will act as the foundation for the rest of your site, so choose wisely. You’ll be able to filter the template selection based upon niche, or you can browse through all of the templates until you find the perfect fit. Most of the themes can fit into a variety of niches. But, you’ll notice that the preloaded content and general structure is more niche-oriented. If you want to build your site as fast as possible, then choose a template that’s within your niche. Once you’ve found a template you’d like to customize, just hover over the template and click ‘Select’. 2. Customize Your Template With your template selected it’s time to start customizing. You’ll probably want to spend a few minutes clicking around and getting used to the layout. It might seem a little confusing at first, but it will get easier. Almost every element of your theme can be customized by clicking. When you hover over and click any element of your site the tool will bring up a window to give you your customization options. If you like the existing layout of the site, then all you’ll have to do is edit and switch out the existing text, and upload your own images. On the left-hand menu you’ll be able to edit any additional pages, add new site elements and sections, along with changing out the overall color scheme. Once you’re satisfied with your site all you have to do is click ‘Publish’. However, it’s probably a good idea to preview your site to catch any last-minute errors before you publish your site online. Get Started Building with GATOR As you can see, building a website is much easier than it used to be. Today there are myriad tools that can help you build a website in a single afternoon, all without having to touch a single line of code. With the GATOR website builder, you can quickly and easily build a professional website completely from scratch. For beginners, it’s hard to beat the usefulness and simplicity of the GATOR website builder. Find the post on the HostGator Blog Continue reading

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4 Great Examples of Video Content that Converts on Social Media

The post 4 Great Examples of Video Content that Converts on Social Media appeared first on HostGator Blog . They say, “Content is king,” but that’s only true if you are creating the right type of content for your target audience. And when it comes to social media marketing, it’s all about video content. Text and blog content will always have a value and place of its own, but video is getting all of the attention, buzz and engagement when it comes to Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram users. When used correctly, it’s also been a huge influencer in higher site conversions as well. With this in mind, today we are going to be looking at four different ways to create video content for your social audiences, while also growing your reach, conversions, and engagement in the process. 1. Create Videos Based on Current Events and Existing Viral Content One of the many benefits to focusing your efforts on video content, is that most of the time a lot of the work is already done for you. With blogging, whall of your content has to be original, but things are completely different with video and images. Everyone is always sharing the same stuff, and making memes, and we often really never know who the original creator or uploader was. A perfect example of this can be seen here . We’ve probably all seen the video of the people in the boat, who aren’t sitting down and are going way too fast. End result, they fly all over the place and the video goes viral. But the reason why this particular example is so perfect, is because “ Rick Lax’s Favorite Videos ” (which currently has 1.6 million Facebook fans) is killing it with videos that have already gone viral. They simply add their own text and commentary to each and republish them under their own channel. This video example alone has more than 50k shares and over 17 million views. 2. Grab Attention with Whiteboard and Text Animation Videos As wonderful as video can be for social media, it’s not simply a matter of uploading a video and then seeing results. When the thought of video comes to mind, many people shy away because they either have no idea how to create them, or they don’t want to spend a lot of money on a design team. Just like anything else, you need to create content that grabs the attention of your audience and makes them want to stop scrolling through their news feed. An excellent way to accomplish this is through the use of whiteboard and text animation videos. These types of videos are also very affordable and easy to make. Using a tool like mysimpleshow makes the video creation quite simple, as you just need to grab images, add text, and then move them around to your liking. Then, once you find an idea and concept that works with an audience, you can continue to tweak and customize it until it’s perfect. If there was ever an example for how important and effective animation and explainer videos are, this video is it. I don’t know many people that actually care how deep the ocean is, or would even spend 10 second to read about it… but when it’s in visual form, it can result in millions of views and new social followers or customers. If you aren’t too familiar with the concept of whiteboard and animation video, or how you can start using them for your own brand or business, check out this article with 17 great examples . 3. Develop Brand Mentions with Industry Experts and Video Interviews How many times have you visit a top influencer blog or online marketing guru site and then started seeing their advertisements and videos on Facebook? It happens all the time, and we will actually cover this in more detail in the next point. What I want to focus on now however, is the importance of video branding and visual association with other experts and trusted brands within a given niche. These videos work well for many reasons. They improve brand awareness and build reputation points as well. It’s not just about people searching for your videos. It’s also about them searching for who you might be doing an interview with. There are a number of tools out there to help with the tracking of social media mentions, while also providing you with some valuable data on who the top experts are within your space — which could lead to more interview and partnering opportunities. The best examples of these co-branded videos are often seen with one-to-one video interviews and webinars, which are then turned into sponsored content on social media. It’s usually Q&A for the first half, then upselling for something in the second portion. If you see someone interviewing or having a chat with someone else you know and trust, you are also more likely to follow and trust them as well. Plus, think about how many people you could be reaching when the person you are interviewing also shares it with their audience. This is something Russell Brunson has been doing for a while to grow his company. Head over to his YouTube account and you can see one of his interviews with Tony Robbins. Once you have something like that in place, you can keep marketing it and milking it for all it’s worth — since Tony is such a well-known and trusted name. Also, once you start to secure bigger names for interviews and JV opportunities, it will make the process of bringing in other influencers much easier. By using social media to host and promote this content, you are also growing a community forum around the content with comments, questions, and sharing. 4. Set Up a Remarketing Video Campaign We’ve covered a bunch of different ways to create video content, but not so much on how to effectively target your audience. As with all advertising, it’s ideal to show your best advertisements and ad copies to audiences that are already familiar with your brand or what you have to offer. Once again, this is where the magic of social media advertising comes into play once again. Through the use of remarketing, one can create an ad campaign that will deliver specific advertisements to audiences that have either been to your site and left, subscribed to your mailing list, or are already a follower of your social accounts. These types of video campaigns are ideal with upselling and bringing users back to complete a process they might not have acted on. These are commonly used with webinars as well, often being reminders that a webinar offer is closing and to act soon. There are many different methods for setting these types of campaigns up, and Adespresso has an excellent guide on the different options available. Through the use of custom audiences, you can even create campaigns and retarget users based on how much of your video they watched. Another great thing about remarketing ads is that your advertising dollars are spent more efficiently. Since your ads are being seen by people that are already interested in something you offer, they are more likely to click and buy. Not only can this lead to increased conversions, but also lower ad costs as a result of a much higher click through rate. Video is Here and It’s Also the Future! After skimming through each of the video creation and marketing examples laid out above, you should have some nice ideas for implement similar concepts into your own business and brand. The concept of using video to create content and target your audience is nothing new, but the methods in which you are reach, engage and upsell your video marketing is. Be sure to start using these methods today, as video isn’t just here right now… it’s also the future of all online, offline, and social media engagement. Get started with these 7 video ideas every business should feature on their website. Find the post on the HostGator Blog Continue reading

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