Wednesday, December 23, 2009

How to Double Your Number of Guests Posts

I recommend written by Daniel Scocco. I've learned lots of good blogging tips from him.

The Trick I Used to Double The Number of Guest Posts on This Blog

by Daniel Scocco

If you have a blog, you certainly like being able to feature guest posts, right? It is a situation where everyone wins. The guest blogger wins because he gets a chance to reach your audience. Your readers win because they get to read some good content and to see a different perspective on your blog. You win because you get a free piece of content and th opportunity to network with fellow bloggers.

The only problem is that receiving quality guest post submissions regularly is not that easy. If your blog is relatively new or small, in fact, it will be pretty hard to get people sending your their guest posts.

If you are in that situation, though, here is a trick you can use. When I started using it the amount of guest post submissions I was receiving on this blog doubled. Basically you need to write a post or page outlining the guidelines for guest posting on your blog. If you want to see an example of such a page check mine here.

Read More on How to Double Your Number of Guests Posts ...

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

7 Mistakes to Avoid when Writing Email Newsletters

1. Be sure to backup your mailing list regularly. I recently had a client call me and ask for help in retrieving their mailing list. Someone in the office had cancelled their subscription to Mailchimp to save costs. And now they had no access to their mailing list database. When using third party software like Mailchimp, Constant contact, iContact, Vertical Response, etc, be sure to back up your mailing list monthly. There will be a function on their website that allows you to download your mailing list into an Excel spreadsheet. Do this regularly and you will not lose your email database even if you switch providers.

Need help with managing your email newsletters? Expand your network and gain new paying customers with our custom email newsletter design and email marketing campaigns. Contact Katy at

2. The HTML code used in Email Newsletters is different than HTML used in webpage design. Use tables for your email newsletters. Don’t use CSS. These HTML tags are not supported by many email programs: background-color, background-image, font-family, border, float, margin and padding.

3. Don't forget to design for Preview Panes. Every email software uses a different style of preview pane. Some are horizontal and some are vertical. Your call to action needs to be clearly visible in the preview pane. It’s a good idea to duplicate your call to action button to make sure it is seen by your audience.

Design your email newsletter to be 600 pixels wide. Left align your logo at the top. It is mostly the only thing they are going to see for sure.

4. Don't assume that images are going to be seen. Images are turned off in Gmail by default. Use the alt tag with all your images. This alternative text will show up instead of your image.

5. Too many images, not enough text. I recently received a newsletter that consisted of one large image – a screenshot of their home page. You click on this one large image and go directly to their website. This is very poor e-newsletter design. Using one giant image will usually get caught by spam filters.

6. Not testing in different email programs. There are dozens of email programs being used today to view email. Each one displays your email newsletter differently. is a popular email newsletter provider and it has a handy tool to show your email looks in many different browsers. It’s called Inbox Inspector by MailChimp.

7. The footer of your email is very important. CAN-SPAM laws require that you have an unsubscribe link in the footer and also a mailing address where you can be contacted. If you work from home, use a P.O. Box to keep your home address private. I recommend the UPS Store. They charge about $15.00 per month and you get a Suite # instead of P.O. Box.

Be sure to include these links: your call to action, forward to a friend and subscribe link for new readers.

Need help with managing your email newsletters? Expand your network and gain new paying customers with our custom email newsletter design and email marketing campaigns. Contact Katy at

Thanks for reading!

Happy Holidays,

Kathryn Laan,
Creative Director
Seascape Web Design

Phone: 604.729.4227



How to Get Great Testimonials from Your Clients

Oops, I forgot to post my November newsletter. Here it is:

November 2009

How to Get Great Testimonials from Your Clients

1. Ask your clients for their testimonials. Many business owners are reluctant to ask their clietns for testimonials. This is especially common in women who don’t like to toot their own horn. Clients love to talk about companies they like and most will be happy to give positive comments when asked to do so.

2. Call your clients as part of your follow up and ask for their feedback. They may not have time to write down a testimonial for you. Make it easy for them. Call your client on the phone and ask how they like your product or service. And ask for any questions or comments.

3. Offer to write it down for them. You could say something like "that would make a great testimonial for my website." Offer to write it down for them and send it to them by email. Ask them to edit or add anything they wish and also to authorize it.

4. Ask your clients to be more specific. If they say something like “you did a fantastic job”, ask them to be more specific and to describe a certain aspect of your service that they liked.

5. Ask for their permission. Be sure to ask the client’s permission to publish their testimonial on your website or in your brochure. Let them know how you plan to use it.

6. Refrain from editing your client’s wording. If your client sends you a written testimonial, use it as is. You can remove complete sentences if it’s too long but do not change the wording or the sentence order.

7. Include the client’s full name, title and name of their company, and city. If you use only the person’s initials, it could be anyone and is viewed as less trustworthy.

8. Offer to include a link to your client’s website in the testimonial credits. This will help promote both of your businesses at the same time.

9. Include a small photo of the person who gave the testimonial.
This makes it more personal and assures the reader of the truth of the testimonial.

For more Internet marketing tips, visit our blog at

Kathryn Laan, Creative Director
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