web page building for beginners 2

web page building for beginners 2

by: Ted Dupuie

A search engine robot actually reads the wording on your web pages and places a certain amount of importance on what the content says, but not quite like a human does. A human will place the words together in their head and try to decipher the relevancy to them personally and decide within a few seconds whether they will continue reading or click to another site, whereas a robot counts words and places all relevancy in the numbers it finds. It also gives extra credit to the size of the type and title of each page. What a webmaster should consider, is every word connecting to a keyword and not wasting words, for the public and the robots. This can be difficult to do when writing about certain subjects, but not impossible. Take diets for instance. Saquoyah Publishing writes diets and uses www.freediet.biz to promote them, but nobody wants to read pages full of the word diet just bandied around with no oomph in the article that should teach the reader about diets. So a happy medium must be reached to get the website placed high in the search engines database, yet allow the articles to inform the reader of the subject written. Remember, the information super highway is called that for a good reason. Most people just want to learn something about a subject, not necessarily buy something. So if you are selling, the first thing you will want is to get the reader to find the pages you have written, and that means search engine optimization, or SEO as it is called.

SEO should be a major consideration as the page is written, and a concentration on keywords should be the main concern of the page writer. Take diets as an example of page writing. The word Diet or Diets should be placed in the title of each page on the website if at all reasonable, and each page should utilize those words as many times as possible without deterring hopeful customers. The title of the page is the most noticeable attraction to your website from the searcher’s perspective, and the few words you have to say everything about your site. Free diet is a two word search that will get you over twenty five million pages on Google or Yahoo, and the competition is fierce. Just the word free will get you over a half billion pages and the competition is downright crazy. So stick with keywords that you can compete in, and use those words wisely as you write your pages.

Simple, free, healthy diet are the four keywords that describe the title of my index page, and they are the best way to describe what I hope the searchers will be looking for, as well as what I have to offer. This is the most optimistic I can be when writing my title to help people learn about diets and to help my website get a good placement with search engines. Also, a four word phrase has less competition than a two word phrase. So make sure your title is something that the searcher is looking for as well as something you provide or you will never get customer satisfaction, and maybe never get customers.

The contents of the page can be categorized into sections to help keep your keywords alive without pushing them on the reader. For instance, free diets, beer diets, funny diet jokes, potato soup diet, pineapple diets, Beverly Hillbilly Diet foods, and many other strange things can be written without being insensitive to the reader, if they are titles of some of your other pages or just paragraphs on each topic. The contents close to the top of your page should also be the same words you have in the contents meta tag that the robots will copy to be placed under your title in a web search. In this way, the reader will also get a fair chance at what you really have to say on your site and can make a better judgment call on whether to open your index page or some other. This is how you select customers instead of wasting everyone’s time. This article can be copied and reprinted anywhere as long as it is intact and includes the author’s bio.

About The Author

Ted Dupuie owns a home based publishing company that only publishes his work, which includes diets, an investment strategy, and 8 websites, plus a family newsletter. He is also a writing critic with top ten placement on Google and Yahoo!

www.saquoyah.com www.homewriters.com www.freediet.biz

This article can be copied and reprinted anywhere as long as it is intact with the author’s bio.

This article was posted on August 21, 2004

by Ted Dupuie

A Basic Introduction to Blogging

A Basic Introduction to Blogging

by: Mal Keenan

Web logging first appeared on the net in the mid1990s. The term ขweb logข was initially coined refer to a server’s log file and then expanded to include the meaning of online personal journaling. Later on, to avoid confusion, the word ขblogข was adopted to refer to personal journaling. Today a blog is defined as an online publication where an author puts his or her personal thoughts and opinions from the most intimate to corporate ideas, concerns or events, in chronological order on the net.

Although, there are as many kinds of blogs on line as there are people, most of these will roughly fall into these kind of bloggers: Personal Bloggers (the original use of blogging), then there are the organizational and business Bloggers.

Organizational blogs are meant to facilitate communications between its internal and external audiences. It may also provide information for the external publics’ use.

Business blogs promote products or services for profit. They also increase awareness about the company, as well as establish itself as an authority with customers, vendors, through publications that demonstrate their expertise in the market.

What are the kinds of contents that readers can find in a blog that’s for distribution? The authors’ ideas, opinions, expertise in his/her field of work, resumes, and home recipes, pictures, streaming audio or video clips, ebooks, poetry, works, products, services and consultations.

Why have blogs become very popular compared to websites or email? Most websites are infrequently updated, while blogs have instant publishing tools which permit the author to regularly update & introduce new content. Although both have great content, websites are usually impersonal in informing their audience. While blogs allow the readers to leave their comments and feedback, to hold twoconversations with the author, who usually does the publishing and can immediately respond to his/her readers.

The blogs’ abilities to reach and immediately react to an expanding mass of audience have made businesses and marketers use these as a strategic marketing tool. Additionally blogs are very efficient, cheap to use and can quickly distribute information.

However, before you decide to jump on the blogging bandwagon, take time to find out what are your objectives for creating your own blog. Is it a personal, organizational or business blog? This will help you decide on what your blog will contain, where you’d place it and what publishing tools you’ll be using.

Copyright 2005 Mal Keenan

About The Author

For more information on blogging and other aspects of Internet Marketing and Home Business visit Mal Keenanกs personal blog: http://www.homebusinesstipsnewsletter.com/blog/

This article was posted on April 10

by Mal Keenan

Writing eNewsletters – Tricks of the Trade

Writing eNewsletters – Tricks of the Trade

by: Glenn Murray

Follow 10 simple rules of thumb, and you’ll soon be writing great enewsletters and reaping the rewards.
Company enewsletters can be an amazingly successful marketing technique. Whether you want to upsell or crosssell, establish your brand or establish your authority, or simply reach a wider market, an enewsletter can do the job for you. You just have to make sure you write it right.
Television, radio, and print advertising are often too expensive for many businesses to justify – especially small businesses. Fortunately, there is an alternative. Today’s internet and email technologies make company newsletters a very inexpensive, yet surprisingly effective, form of advertising. When it comes to newsletters, big companies and small are finally competing on a level playing field.
So what is an email newsletter?
An emailed newsletter serves much the same purpose as a traditional company newsletter. Think of it as a short newspaper – but instead of relating to a town, city or country, it relates to your business. You can include articles on new products or services, awards, recent success stories and case studies, promotions, specials, share price rises, company events, research… And if it’s a quiet month, you can simply write articles that might help your customers out.
10 Steps to Success
Follow 10 simple rules of thumb, and you’ll soon be writing great newsletters and reaping the rewards…
1) Keep It New! Your readers won’t waste time reading something they already know, so make it news they can use.
2) Keep it personal: Always use your reader’s name. Make sure when someone signs up, you get their name, then use it in the subject line, in the greeting, and anywhere else you can.
3) Know your reader: Find out what your reader is interested in. Do some proactive research, invite response, or find an email marketing solution such as Ezemail** that tracks the links your readers click on and keeps a history of their activity.
4) Let them know you: Let your personality shine through. Readers are far more likely to become loyal if they feel they know you. Always include a bit of you in the newsletter, whether it’s humour, personal details, personal anecdotes, or personal views.
5) Subject is Headline: The subject line of an email newsletter is like a frontpage headline in a newspaper. You need to draw the reader in, so make it engaging and relevant (maybe promise a benefit) but no more than 25 characters so your reader can see it all before opening the email.
6) Use a Title bar: Make the most of the title bar to add visual appeal and establish brand awareness.
7) Make it ‘scannable’: Most people don’t read online – they scan. Make sure you use easytoread bullet points and subheadings. Don’t lose your reader’s attention. Reading is physically more difficult online, so make sure you’re concise. Use links to other places instead of writing long articles.
8) Use White space!: If your page is too busy, you’ll lose your reader. Give them a chance to absorb valuable information by dedicating about 30% of your screen real estate to white space.
9) Easy unsubscribe: Make your unsubscribe easy to find. If it’s obvious, they’ll feel safe and can then appreciate the content. To many people, the ease of unsubscribing is an indicator of the integrity of your company.
10) Forward to a friend: Include a link to encourage readers to forward the newsletter on to their friends and colleagues. Find an email marketing solution which allows you to do this and sit back and watch your database grow!
** Ezemail enables you to create, manage, deliver and track your email marketing and sales communication. Email kathpay@ezemail.com.au or visit http://www.ezemail.com.au.

About The Author

Glenn Murray heads advertising copywriting studio Divine Write. He can be contacted on Sydney +612 4334 6222 or at glenn@divinewrite.com. Visit http://www.divinewrite.com for further details or more FREE articles.

This article was posted on May 26, 2004

by Glenn Murray

The Importance of Advertising Your Home Business

The Importance of Advertising Your Home Business

by: Kevin Purfield

The most important aspect of any business is selling the product or service. Without sales, no business can exist for very long.
All sales begin with some form of advertising. To build sales, this advertising must be seen or heard by potential buyers, and cause them to react to the advertising in some way. The credit for the success, or the blame for the failure of almost all ads, reverts back to the ad itself.
Generally, the กad writerก wants the prospect to do one of the following:

Visit the store or website to see and judge the product for himself, or immediately write a check or use a credit card and send for the merchandise being advertised.
Phone for an appointment to hear the full sales presentation, or write for further information which amounts to the same thing.

The bottom line in any ad is quite simple: To make the reader buy the product or service. Any ad that causes the reader to only pause in this thinking, to just admire the product, or to simply believe whatกs written about the product is not doing its job completely.
The กad writerก must know exactly what he wants his reader to do, and any that does not elicit the desired action is an absolute waste of time and money.
In order to elicit the desired action from the prospect, all ads are written according to a simple กmaster formulaก which is:

Attract the กattentionก of your prospect.
กInterestก your prospect in the product
Cause your prospect to กdesireก the product
Demand กactionก from the prospect

Never forget the basic rule of advertising copywriting: If the ad is not read, it won’t stimulate any sale; if it is not seen, it cannot be read; and if it does not command or grab the attention of the reader, it will not be seen!
Most successful advertising copywriters know these fundamentals backwards and forwards. Whether you know them already or you’re just now being exposed to them, your knowledge and practice of these fundamentals will determine the extent of your success in your home business.

About The Author

Discover more Home Business Tips subscribe to my newsletter wealthsystemonline@getresponse.com. Kevin Purfield owns the Wealth System Online Resource Directory where you can find everything you need to start, run and grow a home based internet business at: http://www.wealthsystemonline.com/


This article was posted on May 10, 2004

by Kevin Purfield

What the Heck is RSS and How Will it Help Me?

What the Heck is RSS and How Will it Help Me?

by: Rosalind Gardner

RSS, RSS, RSS… you hear the constant chant, but who really knows what the heck RSS means?

Although it originated in 1997, most folks still don’t know how RSS works, and want to know กWhat is RSS?ก and กHow will it help me?ก

I had only a very cursory understanding of RSS until last week, yet when trusted colleagues start telling me that itกs an effective way to get traffic to your site, it was time to learn more.

So what is RSS?

RSS stands for ‘real Simple Sydicationก and is a way for you to publish (or กfeedก) กwhatกs newก information about your site. A single item will typically include a headline, a snippet of content and a link to your site.

Using an RSS feed reader, anyone who has subscribed to your feed, will be notified when you publish new items to your feed.

There are many RSS feed readers, also known as กaggregatorsก, to choose from. I started off with กFeedReaderก, which is a freeware application for Windows.

Get it at:


After trying out a few other readers, Iกve now settled on กFeedDemonก which was written by Nick Bradbury, the creator of TopStyle and HomeSite.

You can get FeedDemon which comes with a 20day freetrial period at:


Hereกs a good list of the readers available:


RSS is published in XML format. All that means is that the extension used is ก.xmlก, without the quotes. So, for example, my new feed is located at:


If you go to that page, without using a reader, youกll see mostly gobbledygook. Look closer and youกll see that the coding starts to make some sense.

Hereกs an example of how a single news กitemก appears on an XML page:

How to Lose 14,000+ List Subscribers Overnight

Not only can you lose a guy in 10 days, you could lose

14,000+ of your subscribers OVERNIGHT. Learn how to avoid making this costly mistake.


List Building

Thu, 16 Dec 2004 09:09:07 0800

When you use a feed reader, such as those mentioned above, youกll see the feed in its proper, easytoread format.

To create the XML page, I used กFeed for Allก, an RSS feed creation tool. The กFeed for Allก software also comes with a free trial and is available at: http://feedforall.com/

Hereกs how the item above appears in an RSS reader.

How to Lose 14,000+ List Subscribers Overnight

Not only can you lose a guy in 10 days, you could lose 14,000+ of your subscribers OVERNIGHT. Learn how to avoid making this costly mistake.

The title, กHow to Lose 14,000+ List Subscribers Overnightก, is linked to http://netprofitstoday.com/_npc/20041214.html#mistake which readers can click to read the full article.

So far, so good, but how do you get your feed published so people can read it?

There are a huge number of RSS directory sites. At the top of the heap in a Google search, I found Robin Goodกs กRSSTop55 Best Blog Directory And RSS Submission Sitesก See it at:


So, in a nutshell, get a reader, and an RSS creation tool. Create your feed and submit it to the directories.

Traffic to your sites will increase and so will your revenues. Real simple (syndication).

This is a cursory overview of how RSS works. I confess that I did a considerable amount of reading to come to that understanding.

Here are the 2 resources I found most useful:

Paul Shortกs ebook is a comprehensive work on everything you wanted to know about RSS and blogging, and probably more.


Although it won’t give you a กhowtoRSSก explanation, I also found Dr. Maniกs 41 ideas on how to profit using RSS feeds quite valuable.


© Copyright Rosalind Gardner, All Rights Reserved.

About The Author

Article by Rosalind Gardner, author of the bestselling กSuper Affiliate Handbook: How I Made $436,797 in One Year Selling Other Peopleกs Stuff Onlineก. To learn how you too can suceed in Internet and affiliate marketing, go to: http://NetProfitsToday.com.

This article was posted on March 30

by Rosalind Gardner

ขHow To Use Ezine Articles To Promote Any Product,

ขHow To Use Ezine Articles To Promote Any Product, Service, or Affiliate Program You Choose in 5 Easy Steps

by: Henri Schauffler

Do you have a great affiliate program or website all ready to go, waiting for the customers to come? Are your family and friends getting anxious, waiting for your new project to start breaking through? Then be sure to print out this article and follow the step by step plan perfectly…

For years, smart marketers have been using ezine articles to Rake in enormous traffic to any site of their choosing. But many of us have felt it impossible to get into this lucrative marketing area, for varied reasons such as lack of know how or a feeling of uncertainty as to writing ability.

At the end of this article, Iกm going to offer you some resources to end the mystery and make this mega marketing strategy as simple as 12345. But first, letกs take a look at how ezine article marketing works.

Ill bet you can’t tell me the best way to use ezine articles to promote your offer. Go ahead. Give it your best shot. Out loud. Say it. Whatever comes to mind, just blurt it out.

Iกm listening.

You see, most folks don’t really understand how to BEST use ezine articles to promote a product or service, or their favorite affiliate program.

They know they are supposed to write an article, include some kind of clever offer in the text or in their resource box, and convince editors to publish their article.

But, there is a *very* clever way to use your article to promote like youกve never seen before.

There are five simple steps…

Step 1: Choose the product or service you want to promote. Now, we’re not talking about your newsletter we’re talking about an actual offer you want to present that youกll earn profits from when readers of your article make a purchase.

Step 2: Determine your กuseful, but incompleteก approach. I love to use what I have coined as the กuseful, but incompleteก approach when using freebies of any kind. (Ezine articles, free eBooks, reports, eCourses, etc.)

What I mean by that is simply this: You provide your reader with กusefulก information (something they find of value and are able to actually apply) but make certain that it is กincompleteก in that they can better use the information by making a purchase.

Thatกs กuseful, but incomplete.ก And it works like a charm.

Let me give you an example:

I wanted to promote Getresponse.com in a free ezine article. This is a service that offers unlimited autoresponders, tracking and all kinds of other stuff for one low price.

How could I use an ezine article to promote the service?

By writing an article that explains how to benefit from using autoresponders or mailing lists, of course! My article explains different uses of autoresponders and how the reader can profit from implementing the ideas.

And, naturally, they will need an autoresponder service in order to put the ideas into practice, right?

And I just happen to know of a great service they can use. :o)

Step 3: Turn your approach into a tips list or tutorial. Letกs use my example again. I decided that I would describe various uses of autoresponders and how the reader can actually profit from them. What kind of tips list or tutorial could I create?

กHow to Generate More Subscribers, Sales and Profits With Automated FollowUp Messagesก

ก7 Powerful And Profitable Ways To Use Autoresponders To Skyrocket Your Sales and Subscribers!

กWant to Increase Your Online Profits And Leads? Here are 7 Ways to Do It…ก

I actually went with the middle title. I wrote my list of the 7 ideas that I wanted to share. And I had the makings of a perfect article to promote an offer.

Thatกs all you need to do. Determine your end result. Decide how to get there with your กuseful, but incompleteก approach. And then develop a list, or even a stepbystep tutorial for your article that leads the reader along.

Step 4: Expand on each point to build your content. Hereกs more of the easy part. Just กfillintheblanksก to complete your article. Write 12 short paragraphs for each of your points. Make them good. Provide quality content. The offer you will soon make will see poor results if your information isn’t useful.

Light a fire in your readers. Motivate them. Challenge them. Give them such nuggets of gold that they want to keep mining until they hit the mother lode!

Step 5: Put on the finishing touches with the กfive pillars.ก There are five things that you should always do to finish up your ezine article. Don’t skip any of them. They are all critical…

A. Polish. Reread your article. Does it provide information that really is กusefulก to the reader? And yet leaves them wanting even more? Thatกs what you want.

B. Promote. Use your resource box to promote your offer. This is why weกve written the article, right? Remember step one? Itกs time to put it into play. Give the reader what they (hopefully) are wanting…a way to maximize the information you gave them.

C. Proof. Don’t do this yourself. Have a trusted friend, relative or coworker check your article for grammatical and typographical errors.

D. Publish. Zip your new article out to your favorite list of publishers. Submit it to the announcement lists and the ezine directories.

E. Profit. If youกve covered all the bases that Iกve mentioned, then profits are almost certain to start coming in when your ezine article is published. You deserve it. Be proud of your accomplishments.

Thats it. Start submitting your article to ezines and article directories and wait for the profits to roll in!


If you would like to automate the lions share of the ezine writing and formatting task, you ought to consider Jimmy Browns fantastic new software release, Ezine Article Creator 2.0

Jimmy collected all the rules, tricks, tactics and strategies that the top ezine article writers in the world use and programmed them into this new software; it will have you writing your own articles in record time… …even if you think you’re not a writer. All you do is answer a series of questions, and click a button and you’re done! Its really is that simple…

Heres the link: http://www.familybizbuilder.com/eac/index.html

For A *fantastic* piece of software that will blast your article out automatically to over 500 ezines and article directories, you must take a look at Ezine Announcer.

Hereกs the link: http://wetrack.it/eza/af.cgi?2065

About The Author

Henri Schauffler publishes Family Home Business Tips, a fresh and informative newsletter dedicated to supporting people like YOU! If you’re looking for familyfriendly *best rated* home business opportunities, the latest free and lowcost tools and helpful support from an honest friend in the business, come by and grab a FREE subscription today at: http://www.familybizbuilder.com


This article was posted on October 13, 2003

by Henri Schauffler

Using QuickSub To Make It Easier For Your Visitors

Using QuickSub To Make It Easier For Your Visitors To Subscribe To Your Feed

by: Allan Burns

You can make it easier for your visitors to subscribe to your RSS feed. With a free and easy to install javascript function you can add the QuickSub feed button to your webpage in just a few minutes. Let me show you just how easy it is.

QuickSub is a javascript mouseover function that produces a list of RSS feed readers that you can use to subscribe to your RSS news feed with one click. You can see it in action on my RSS resource site, just move the mouse over the subscribe link. You should see a list of RSS feed readers. If you click on one of the news reader links it will open up that RSS reader and add this feed to it. You will need the particular news reader installed on your computer for this to work. So for example if your visitor uses SharpReader as their RSS reader then they would click on the Sharpreader link and this would add your feed to your visitors RSS reader.

To use QuickSub on your site you will first need to download the javascript and CSS files from QuickSubs site. The file is compressed so you will need to unzip the file which will leave you with quicksub.css and quicksub.js as well as a sample html file.

Upload the CSS as javascript file to your server. Now you will need to add some code into your web pages. You will need to do this for all of the pages that you wish to use QuickSub on.

Please note that in these examples I have used square brackets instead of angled brackets.

First you need to copy some code to call the CSS file. Add this line with your head tags.

[style type=’text/cssก] @import กquicksub.cssก; [/style]

Then copy this code into the body of your page.

[div id=กquickSubก style=กposition:absolute; visibility:hidden; zindex:1000;ก onMouseOut=’return timeqs();ก onMouseMove=’return delayqs();ก][/div]

[script language=กJavaScriptก src=กquicksub.jsก][! quickSub (c) Jason Brome ][/script]

Then where you want to use QuickSub place this code in the body of your page.

[a href=กhttp://www.sitename.com/rssfeed.xmlก onmouseout=’return timeqs();ก onmouseover=’return quicksub(this, กhttp://www.sitename.com/rssfeed.xmlก);ก]Your link text here[/a]

You just need to replace the path with the path to you RSS feed and enter you own link text. All is left now is to upload your modified page to your web server and the new QuickSub javascript will be active.

About The Author

Allan is the webmaster at NewsNiche an RSS resource for webmasters. Learn how to use RSS to attract and retain visitors to your site.

This article was posted on April 21

by Allan Burns

Top 10 Blog Writing Tips

Top 10 Blog Writing Tips

by: Denise Wakeman and Patsi Krakoff

Most of the กrulesก about writing for ezines and newsletters apply to writing posts for your blog, but there are some important differences. Keep these 10 tips in mind and youกll be publishing great blog content that attracts prospects and clients in your niche market.

1. Write with the reader in mind. Remember WIIFM? It’s marketing jargon for What’s In It For Me? That’s what you should be keeping in mind. Your reader will read your post looking for what’s in it for them.

2. Make it valuable and worthwhile. Don’t waste people’s time. If you don’t have anything to say, no problem, plenty other people do. So share their articles, do an interview, review a book.

3. Proofread for typos and glaring grammatical errors. You wouldn’t go out of the house with dirty hair or missing a sock, so why would you publish spelling mistakes? Respect your readers by polishing up your stuff.

4. Keep it short and simple, sweetie. (KISS). Most people are scanners. You may have a lot to say and think it interesting, and it may be. But people are reading online and out of time. Get to the point quickly. Publishing short posts more frequently is a better format than publishing lengthy articles every few weeks.

5. Keep it lively, make it snappy and snazzy. Even if you aren’t a natural born writer, you can write for your blog. Just write like you’re speaking to your friend…or to yourself! Remember though, get to the point quickly. Keep in mind the journalist’s rule of 5 W’s in the first paragraph: who, what, why, when and where.

6. Link often. This builds credibility and positions you as an expert in your field. People don’t have time to know what others are doing, you should tell them. Linking to other blogs and websites also helps you build a network of associates who will in turn link to your blog.

7. Use keywords often. This will help you stay on purpose, and the search engines will love your blog. Your rankings will go up. This is one of the reasons we have you write out your purpose statements before beginning your blog. The clearer you are about your purpose, the more consistently you will deliver messages that are on target. And the more often your keywords show up, the better your search engine results.

8. Write clearly (short sentences, only one concept per sentence). No double speak or jargon; no more than one idea in one sentence don’t make your readers have to think about your meaning. Spoon feed them. Use commas and dashes liberally.

9. Write like you talk. It’s okay to use common expressions from speech.


Go figure.

Don’t even go there…

Now, I ask you…

Gotta love it…

(And, remember the age group of your readers…)

10. Use a clear headline, and don’t be afraid to make bold statements (but don’t mislead people either). Make it snazzy and use key words. Example: ExTechnoWeenie Masters HTML Code

BONUS: After you write a post and BEFORE you hit the save button

Use this checklist to ask yourself a few questions as you are reading through for typos and grammar:

__ Is the topic clear to someone who only reads the headline?

__ Does the lead paragraph tell who and what the story is about and why the reader should care about it?

__ Is the angle youกve used likely to seem newsworthy?

__ Would someone who knows absolutely nothing about this topic understand this post?

__ Is the post free of jargon?

__ Is it written in journalistic style and does it make an effort to be objective?

__ Have you peppered the headline and the post with keywords and phrases that will be attractive to search engines?

__ Did you remember to ask your readers a question at the end, or something to stimulate readers to comment?

__ Did you remember to write with the reader in mind, always keeping in mind WIIFT? (What’s in It for Them?)

About The Author

Denise Wakeman of Next Level Partnership, and Patsi Krakoff of Customized Newsletter Services, have teamed up to create blogging classes and marketing services for independent professionals. You can read and subscribe to their blogs at http://www.biztipsblog.com, http://www.coachezines.com and http://www.bizbooknuggets.com.


This article was posted on February 19

by Denise Wakeman and Patsi Krakoff

Writing Effective ALT Text For Images

Writing Effective ALT Text For Images

by: Trenton Moss

Anyone who knows anything about web accessibility knows that images need alternative, or ALT, text assigned to them. This is because screen readers can’t understand images, but rather read aloud the alternative text assigned to them. In Internet Explorer we can see this ALT text, simply by mousing over the image and looking at the yellow tooltip that appears. Other browsers (correctly) don’t do this. The HTML for inserting ALT text is:

But surely there can’t be a skill to writing ALT text for images? You just pop a description in there and you’re good to go, right? Well, kind of. Sure, itกs not rocket science, but there are a few guidelines you need to follow…

Spacer images and missing ALT text

Spacer images should always be assigned null ALT text, or alt=กก . This way most screen readers will completely ignore the image and won’t even announce its presence. Spacer images are invisible images that pretty most websites use. The purpose of them is, as the name suggests, to create space on the page. Sometimes itกs not possible to create the visual display you need, so you can stick an image in (specifying its height and width) and volià, you have the extra space you need.

Not everyone uses this null ALT text for spacer images. Some websites stick in alt=กspacer imageก. Imagine how annoying this can be for a screen reader user, especially when you have ten of them in a row. A screen reader would say, ขImage, spacer imageข ten times in a row (screen readers usually say the word, ขImageข, before reading out its ALT text) now that isn’t helpful!

Other web developers simply leave out the ALT attribute for spacer images (and perhaps other images). In this case, most screen readers will read out the filename, which could be ‘newsite/images/onepixelspacer.gif’. A screen reader would announce this image as ขImage, newsite slash images slash one pixel spacer dot gifข. Imagine what this would sound like if there were ten of these in a row!

Bullets and icons

Bullets and icons should be treated in much the same way as spacer images, so should be assigned null alternative text, or alt=กก. Think about a list of items with a fancy bullet proceeding each item. If the ALT text, ‘Bullet’ is assigned to each image then, ขImage, bulletข will be read aloud by screen readers before each list item, making it take that bit longer to work through the list.

Icons, usually used to complement links, should also be assigned alt=กก. Many websites, which place the icon next to the link text, use the link text as the ALT text of the icon. Screen readers would first announce this ALT text, and then the link text, so would then say the link twice, which obviously isn’t necessary.

(Ideally, bullets and icons should be called up as background images through the CSS document this would remove them from the HTML document completely and therefore remove the need for any ALT description.)

Decorative images

Decorative images too should be assigned null alternative text, or alt=กก. If an image is pure eye candy then thereกs no need for a screen reader user to even know itกs there and being informed of its presence simply adds to the noise pollution.

Conversely, you could argue that the images on your site create a brand identity and by hiding them from screen reader users you’re denying this group of users the same experience. Accessibility experts tend to favour the former argument, but there certainly is a valid case for the latter too.

Navigation & text embedded within images

Navigation menus that require fancy text have no choice but to embed the text within an image. In this situation, the ALT text shouldn’t be used to expand on the image. Under no circumstances should the ALT text say, ‘Read all about our fantastic services, designed to help you in everything you do’. If the menu item says, ‘Services’ then the ALT text should also say ‘Services’. ALT text should always describe the content of the image and should repeat the text wordforword. If you want to expand on the navigation, such as in this example, you can use the title attribute.

The same applies for any other text embedded within an image. The ALT text should simply repeat, wordforword, the text contained within that image.

(Unless the font being used is especially unique itกs often unnecessary to embed text within images advanced navigation and background effects can now be achieved with CSS.)

Company logo

Websites tend to vary in how they apply ALT text to logos. Some say, ‘Company name’, others ‘Company name logo’, and other describe the function of the image (usually a link back to the homepage), ‘Back to home’. Remember, ALT text should always describe the content of the image so the first example, alt=กCompany nameก, is probably the best. If the logo is a link back to the homepage then this can be effectively communicated through the title tag.


Writing effective ALT text isn’t too difficult. If itกs a decorative image then null alternative text, or alt=กก should usually be used never, ever omit the ALT attribute. If the image contains text then the ALT text should simply repeat this text, wordforword. Remember, ALT text should describe the content of the image and nothing more.

Do also be sure also to keep ALT text as short and succinct as possible. Listening to a web page with a screen reader takes a lot longer than traditional methods, so don’t make the surfing experience painful for screen reader users with bloated and unnecessary ALT text.

About The Author

This article was written by Trenton Moss. Heกs crazy about web usability and accessibility so crazy that he went and started his own web usability and accessibility consultancy ( Webcredible http://www.webcredible.co.uk ) to help make the Internet a better place for everyone.

This article was posted on March 31

by Trenton Moss

Blog Revenue Ideas

Blog Revenue Ideas

by: Jonni Good

Are you lookin for ways to add revenue to your blog, instead of (or in addition to) AdSense ads from Google? Here are two suggestions.

The first service is called BlogAds ( http://www.blogads.com/publisher_html ) They offer 20% of the ad fee to the blogger. Even better, it looks like they love blogs, and are willing to help make their partners successful.

The second service is called rssads ( http://www.rssads.com/ ). This service isn’t up and running yet, but they have their sales site up. They will be selling ads that appear in the body of a partnerกs RSS feed (your blog posts). The entire post will appear in your subscriberกs news reader program, instead of a short paragraph. This would make sure that the ads get in front of your readers, but Iกm wondering if the reader will be as excited about it as they are. It will be interesting to see if this one flies.

Another option that website owners use (and it would work for bloggers as well), is selling text ads. In this system, you don’t have a script on your page that serves ads from Google or wherever. Instead, the ad buyer comes to you and offers to buy space for a text link. You can set this up yourself, with a subscription payment handled by PayPal.com.

About The Author

Easy blogging and RSS add these Search Engine magnets to your site in just a few minutes. Free tutorial shows you how. http://www.EZRSS.com.

This article was posted on January 29

by Jonni Good

A Dozen Tips for Writing Good Articles

A Dozen Tips for Writing Good Articles

by: Lois Carter Fay

With the explosion of the Internet there is an evergrowing list of websites where you can publish articles. Very few sites will pay you for your content, so why would you want to do go to all this work? For publicity reasons, to drive traffic to your website, and to increase your searchengine rankings, thatกs why!

Hereกs how it works:

You write an article about something that is within your area of expertise, e.g., if you are an expert in sales, you would write about sales topics. Then you either publish your article to a portal, distribution site, or an individual website.

Within the copy, you offer a free ebook or special report to readers who visit your website and subscribe to your ezine, and voila! youกve just created a link to your website that can generate big traffic for you. Of course, you would create a special landing page on your website for this link. That allows you to track where your traffic comes from. And at the end of your article you also include a oneparagraph (5 lines or so) description of who you are and how to sign up for your free enewsletter by visiting your website (same URL as previously).

Here are a few tips for writing a good article:

1. Write for your audience.

Thereกs no point attracting soccer moms to your website if you don’t sell anything that would interest them, right? Instead, develop the content of your article so that your best client would just love to read it. My audience is women business owners and small business owners who need marketing advice. I write three free enewsletters that anyone can subscribe to:

กBrainy Tidbitsก is a marketing newsletter published each Tuesday by email. To sign up for this electronic newsletter, simply visit my website ( http://www.marketingideashop.com ) and subscribe in the box provided. New subscribers can download my ก67 Ways to Promote Your Businessก (a $9 value) as a free subscriber gift.

กBrainy Flashก is a very short (one topic) newsletter, published on Fridays, focusing on one marketing resource or topic each week. To subscribe, send a blank email to mailto:carterfay74692@autocontactor.com. New subscribers receive a free 3chapter excerpt of the ebook กSales Success! Strategies for Women.ก (a $12 value)

Finally, my กMeet Success!ก ezine will begin in September and it profiles one woman business owner each Monday, listing her top five tips for creating a successful business. New subscribers receive this special report (ขA Dozen Tips for Writing Good Articles Plus the Top Sites to Publish Your Articlesข) (a $9 value) when they sign up by sending a blank email to mailto:carterfay75523@autocontactor.com.

2. Tell stories whenever you can.

Stories are what interest people. Dry, boring writing puts people asleep, especially on the web. If you make it personal, you can create a rapport with your reader. Theyกll be nodding their heads while they read and clicking your links as they come to them. And your ultimate goal is to get people to sign up for your enewsletter or purchase your products or services, so you want them predisposed to say, กYes!ก

Whenever Iกve done this, Iกve been much more successful. If you read the writings of the great directresponse writers, like Yanik Silver, youกll see that they do this, too. And they make bundles of money.

3. Provide useful information.

Try to provide something that is unique in your article. I know. I know. Thereกs not a lot of original thought out there. Most things have already been invented and considered. Itกs very hard to be original, but everyone has กflashes of brilliance.ก Pay attention when you have these flashes and write an article or a special report discussing your idea! Make sure the information is helpful and will stand out in a crowd.

4. Include a summary at the beginning of the article that is enticing and กsalesy.ก It will pump up your reader and get them to continue reading.

5. Write a great headline and compelling copy.

The purpose of the headline is to get the reader to read the next line. And that lineกs purpose is to get you reader to read the next one, and the next one, and so on. Be sure to use words that everyone will understand. Avoid the jargon and abbreviations!

6. Use an active voice.

Don’t write stuffy, boring copy using the third person. Use กyouก and กweก in the article to speak directly to your reader.

7. Make it succinct.

The fewer the words, the better…unless you are writing a sales letter. Top marketers swear that long copy, discussing every little benefit, sells better. But most people don’t have time to read oodles and oodles of words, so keep your articles short and sweet.

8. And while you’re at it, write in parallel tracks.

This means that you should write for the reader who likes to read every single word and know every little detail, as well as the people like me who like to simply scan an article to get the essential parts. I like bullets. The other folks like complete sentences.

9. Answer the editorกs questions, กWho, what, when, where, how, and why.ก

Does your article give enough meat to make it worthwhile for someone to read it? Don’t leave things hanging, connect the dots for your reader.

10. Proofread! Then do it again!

Typos, grammar errors and misinformation are the biggest turn offs for most readers. Thereกs no point writing an article with terrific content if it makes you look illiterate. If you aren’t a good writer or proofreader, hire someone to ghostwrite the piece for you or contract with a proofreader to review each piece you write before you distribute it. Try reading it aloud or proofreading it backwards. Youกll be amazed at the errors you find.

11. Submit your article.

There are lots of places online that welcome a variety of articles. You can use Google to find more by searching on the words กsubmit articleก (without the quotes). Another way to find places to send your articles is to do a search for articles written by your competitors. Articles they have written will lead you to sites that accept articles about your subject matter. Then write articles and submit them to the same sites that publish stories written by your competitors.

Here are a few sites that accept contributed articles (and youกll find lots of great content to read on these sites, too!):

http://www.authorconnection.com (This oneกs cool because it is a distribution service that sends your articles to other sites.)















http://www.prweb.com (this is a news release distribution site, but itกs also a great place to release newsy articles)

12. Don’t forget newsletters.

Another great place to submit your articles and get tons of exposure is other peopleกs newsletters. People who write and publish weekly or monthly email newsletters are ALWAYS looking for good content. Submit short articles (generally 400 words or less) to the editors of your favorite ezines and ask them to print the articles in their newsletters. If you target your audience well, you should get lots of subscribers to your newsletters and plenty of visitors to your website.

About The Author

Lois Carter Fay is the author of กMarketing Plan Essentials: Online & Offก and coauthor with Jim Wilson of ก52 ReadytoGo Sales Meetings: 52 Ways to Help Your Salespeople (and Yourself) Win at the Game of Sales.ก Her free กBRAINY Tidbitsก email newsletter is filled with tons of marketing ideas and resources and is distributed weekly to a growing list of subscribers. Immediately download ก67 Ways to Promote Your Businessก (a $9 value) free when you subscribe to Brainy Tidbits at http://www.marketingideashop.com


This article was posted on August 06, 2004

by Lois Carter Fay

The Internet and Beyond 12 Tips on Writing Bette

The Internet and Beyond 12 Tips on Writing Better Brochures

by: Julia Hyde

Every year thousands of online businesses fail. None of them begin with the idea they’ll fail, in fact they have high hopes of success, but they fail all the same. One of the main reasons for the high failure rate is an over reliance on one marketing channel…the Internet.

Marketing isn’t about using one medium. It’s about getting and keeping customers. Yes, Internet marketing can help you can do that but only if you use it in conjunction with other tactical tools. In addition there are thousands of potential customers that are extremely cautious about placing important business or buying an expensive item from an unknown online vendor. That’s one of the reasons why, in order to succeed, EVERY online company must have brochures and other forms of printed sales literature to hand out to customers and prospects.

An online company needs printed sales literature for two reasons:

1. Credibility: People expect a ขrealข company to have printed sales literature. Itกs easy to afford spending $60 on business cards, letterhead etc. and call yourself a corporation. But if you want to look like you mean business, you need a brochure of some sort.

2. Timesaving. People want printed material to take home and read at their leisure. Yes, you can direct them to your Web site, but a brochure adds a personal touch, tells your prospect what the product or service can do for them and why they should buy from you. Brochures also support other advertising, direct mail, online promotions, and can be used as a sales tool by distributors. In short, a good brochure sells.

Here are 12 tips on writing a brochure that will support your online marketing efforts, and increase your sales.

1. Know What Your Reader Wants

You must write your brochure or leaflet from the readerกs point of view. That means the information must unfold in the right order. Begin by analyzing what your reader wants to know. An easy way to do this is by assessing the order in which your readerกs questions will flow. For example, imagine you own a medical spa facility offering Botox and other antiaging treatments. You are interested in encouraging your readers to make an appointment for a consultation and/or schedule a treatment. Now, given the nature of your business, your reader will have a lot of questions theyกll want answered before theyกll consider making an appointment. Your brochure should answer their questions in a logical sequence following the reader’s train of thought. A good way to organize your points is to write down the questions you think a potential customer might have, and the answers your brochure might supply.

2. Motivate your reader to look inside

The first page your reader will see is the front cover. Get it wrong and youกve as good as lost the sale. Don’t make the common mistake of couching your services in technical jargon. Think benefits or thoughtprovoking statements that motivate the reader to pick up the brochure and open it. Add a flash that tells the reader thereกs something inside that will interest them – an exclusive invitation, a free report, special discount or advance notice of sales. Don’t be tempted to put only your company logo or product name on the front. It won’t work.

3. Contents Page – What’s in it

In brochures of eight pages or more, a list of contents is useful. Make your list in bold and separate it from the rest of your text. Use the contents to sell the brochure. Don’t use mindnumbing words like กIntroductionก or กModel No A848DHGTก. Pick out your most important sales point and use that in your heading.

4. Describe Your Product

To help you describe your product draw up a list of product features (facts about your product) and add the words กwhich means that…ก after each point. For example, ‘the cake is made from an original recipe, which means that…it tastes better.ก Or, ‘the car has a 300 horsepower engine, which means that…it goes faster.ก Remember that the purchaser of your product is not always the user so there may be more than one benefit for each feature.

5. Make it a Keeper

Putting helpful information in your brochure will encourage the reader to keep it, refer to it often or pass it on to other people. If you’re selling paint you can provide hints on color schemes, painting howto information, tips from the pros etc. If you’re selling skin care products you can give your readers tips on how to combat pimples, dry skin, fine lines and wrinkles.

6. Alter the Shape

Who says a brochure has to be A4? Selling sandwiches? You can design a brochure in the shape of a sandwich. Season tickets to soccer matches? Design it in the shape of a soccer ball. Using your imagination when designing your brochure can produce better than average results. According to Direct Magazine, a recent mailing by CSi, a company that conducts customer satisfaction surveys for automobile insurance firms and repair shops, got a 15% response rate with a brochure delivered in a 32ounce squeeze sport water bottle. The headline read, ขThirsty for more repair orders?ข

Try tall and slim, square, oblong. Whatever you like. The only limitation is your imagination, and, of course, your budget.

7. Make it Personal

An experienced speaker talking to a large audience will pick out a face in the crowd, and talk to that face. This connection with one person allows the speaker to make his talk more personal than if he were merely addressing a mass of faces. In a similar fashion, the words in your brochure should use this technique and zero in on one imaginary single person. Why? Because writing in a direct ขI’mtalkingonlytoyouข style will increase response.

8. Add Atmosphere

Don’t let your brochure sound aloof. Let your reader share your feelings. Thereกs no reason why a brochure about a wood burning stove has to go into the ins and outs of how the stove works. Tell your reader about rain swept winter evenings and snowbound afternoons. Let your words show them how warm and snug and theyกll be when they purchase one of your stoves.

9. Get Selling…Fast

Remember, not everyone wants to be educated on every aspect of your product or service. Nor does everyone want to know the manufacturing details of your widget. Don’t waste their time telling them about things that don’t convey a benefit.

10. Talk about your readerกs needs

Don’t get carried away with your own interests. Talk about your reader, not yourself. Here are the first words in a brochure from a company selling insurance:

ขInsurance is a complicated business. Our company was formed in 1975 to help our clients deal with the process of finding the right insurance to suit their needs. In the last 20 years we have been selling insurance to a wide range of customers from many different walks of life. Our companyกs reputation is unsurpassed in the industry…ข

Yawn…This is the bar room bore in print. Instead of telling you how the company can help solve your problems, itกs more interested in telling you about itself.

11. Give Directions

Every brochure should be organized so the reader can flip through the pages and easily find what they want. Provide clear signposts or headlines throughout the brochure and make sure each one says: ขHey, pay attention to me!ข

12. Ask for Action

Regardless of how you organize your brochure, thereกs only one way to end it. Ask for action. If you want your reader to respond include an 800 number, reply card, or some form of response mechanism. In fact, to increase your brochure’s selling power you should include your offer and a response mechanism on every page.

About The Author

Julia is an independent copywriter and consultant specializing in advertising and search engine marketing services. To learn more about how Julia can help boost your companyกs profits visit her site at www.juliahyde.com. You may also like to sign up for Marketing Works! Juliaกs monthly ezine. Visit www.juliahyde.com/form.html to sign up or email Julia for details.


This article was posted on September 14, 2004

by Julia Hyde