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Free Gift: Create a Website that Converts from Andy Hayes [12 Days of Giveaways]

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A free gift from NMX Speaker Andy Hayes: Create a Website that Converts

Here at NMX, planning for our January event is in full swing…but that doesn’t mean we don’t have time for the holidays! That’s why, every day from now through December 25, we’re featuring a brand new giveaway for the entire NMX community!

One of the challenges we all face is actually converting our audience to sales. It doesn’t matter if you’re a business owner, a blogger, a podcaster, or a video producer; if your website is your livelihood, you need to care about conversion. This guide from NMX speaker Andy Hayes and his co-author Kelly Erickson addresses this challenge. Here’s just a taste of what you’ll learn in this book:

  • The Best Language to Use on Your Website: Websites that convert use word choices to appeal to their ideal customer.
  • How to Compete for Attention: You only have three seconds to convince someone to stay on your website.
  • What You Can Do to Optimize Every Page: It’s not just your homepage that is important.

In addition, the last chapter in this book covers the most common mistakes people make on their website, so you definitely want to read this book from cover to cover!

Like all of our 12 Days of Giveaways gifts, Andy’s ebook is completely free for members of our brand new community, NMX University. (Don’t worry – membership there is also free!) You can download the free PDF for a limited time!

Find out more about this ebook and register for NMXU here, of if you are already a member, simply log in to NMXU here to download your free copy today!

Make Your Next Trip to BlogWorld a Healthy One!

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Raise your hand if you had one too many desserts, alcoholic slushies, or fried food meals while at BlogWorld 2010. Yep, that’s what I thought. I think we all did.

In the days leading up to the event, I posted The Coaching Doctor’s Advice for BlogWorld, an interview I did with Dr. Aamer Iqbal about ways to stay healthy while in Vegas. Now, you can go a step further in learning about health trips while traveling. Today, two of BlogWorld’s speakers, Nathalie Lussier and Andy Hayes introduced a brand new project called Healthy Travel Lifestyle.

Nathalie Lussier is the Raw Foods Witch – yup, a witch – and she has the magick secrets to eating healthy. Andy Hayes is that travel guy, the go to man for all your questions travel. Together, they’re nearly too much awesome to handle in a single place. Not only do they have a new site where you can go to learn about healthy travel to BlogWorld (or any event), but they’re offering a free virtual Healthy Travel Lifestyle Happy Hour on December 7th so you can ask all your health and travel questions and learn more about their project. Hope to see you all there!

What Motivates You?

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Earlier this week, I posed the question, “Where are the Remarkable Bloggers?” and it’s been nice to see some readers replying. For those who haven’t yet, I hope that post helped to inspire you to examine what you’re doing as a blogger and how you can move from “just” a blog to something much more. Blog posts (and comments) can definitely be inspirational!

Motivation makes your ideas grow.

But inspiration and motivation aren’t the same thing. I’m inspired all the time, but it takes something more than inspiration to actually motivate me to do something.

Inspiration makes you say, “I want to…” or even “I’m going to…” but motivation makes you actually do those things. We all need the spark of inspiration, but that spark will die without motivation. I would definitely argue that you can’t have motivation without inspiration, but few people understand that inspiration also depends on motivation if you actually want to move forward.

I’d like to talk to you a little about what motivates me most, and then turn over the floor to you. So get your fingers ready to leave a comment about your personal motivation.

My Motivation

Today, someone called me a failure.

I’ve felt like a failure many times. I think we all have, and that’s not limited to bloggers. I tweeted about it, for two reasons: 1) It hurt to hear that, regardless of whether or not I believe it and 2) I fires me up to want to prove the person wrong.

As is usually the case with emotional tweeting, I got some responses, including one from Andy Hayes (@andrewghayes), who I’m quickly learning is one of the most supportive people on Twitter and possibly in the whole world.

@allison_boyer: When people call me a failure, it just makes me realize I’m not.

@andrewghayes: eww! who said that? 🙁

@allison_boyer: Someone who I will prove wrong, one step forward at a time!

@andrewghayes: you dont have anything to prove to them.

You know what? He’s right. I was being motivated by an extremely negative comment, from someone I consider a friend, and turning it into more negativity. Ha! I’m going to prove you wrong!

But I don’t have to prove him wrong. I could work and work and work and at the end of the day, what I do may never be good enough for this person to consider me anything but a failure. Or if not him, someone else might call me a failure. I can’t control others’ reaction to me.

So what motivates me is not the negativity of wanting to prove someone wrong. What I’m allowing to motivate me is the drive to be better for myself. Someone thinks I’m a failure, and I may never be able to convince him that I’m not, but I can use that as motivation to be better than I am right now, to take steps forward, to always reach for success, whether I can prove it to him or not. And more than that, I can surround myself with people who cheer me on, rather than break me down.

So what motivates me is the need to be better, and the reminder that it isn’t ok to stand still. What motivates me is not the need to do more and more and more and more so much that I can’t slow down, but to be better at the things I do choose to do. What motivates me is people like Andy Hayes and all the other wonderful supporters I have on Twitter and otherwise, telling me that they believe in what I’m doing.

Your turn – what motivates you?

Why Care about Usability

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BlogWorld 2010 Speaker
Tools & Technology Track

Friday October 15, 2010
Tradewinds A& B/10

Time: 4:00PM to 5:00PM

 
Usability? Reader Experience? Meh. Who cares, right?

I’ll be speaking to you at this year’s conference about your blog’s “reader experience.” That’s a simple way of saying that we’re going to talk about website usability – which doesn’t sound as interesting, right?

Website or blog usability doesn’t mean you need to walk around with a labcoat and goggles recording obtuse figures on a clipboard. You could do this if you wanted, but yo’‚d be spending a lot of time and money to uncover things that you could find out in cheaper, less time-consuming ways. But why should you care about usability anyway?

First Impressions Count

As a blogger, content is your number one priority, right? That’s the whole idea of a blog – words, pictures, and videos that help express your viewpoint, your product or service, or just you. But when that page first loads, after I type in the domain from your business card or I stumble across you when looking for tweed blankets from Scotland, I’ll see a general look and feel and some header information that will orientate me to where I have landed. This is important because I’m quickly making a gut reaction on what I find. My first impressions could tell me things like:

  • You aren’t what I am looking for.
  • You aren’t trustworthy.

Bad first impressions could me a user hits the back button before you even get to start expressing yourself. Usability can help make sure you get new visitors off on the right footing.

Easy Usability Test: Find someone in a café and ask them if they have a minute, flash up a copy of your website for 15 seconds, then ask them what they thought you were selling and what you were about. The results may be surprising.

Keeping Them Along for the Ride

Catering to new readers is hard, but catering to your regular readers is even trickier and very important for the long term health of your blog. Successful bloggers know the kinds of problems you have to avoid when trying to keep your readers along for the ride:

  • Keeping a healthy balance of revenue-generation (advertisements, sales pitches, etc) versus value-generation (content, information, and advice that you are the expert for).
  • Organizing the archive of all that content so it remains useful and easily accessible.
  • Developing a unique voice without repeating oneself .

The key to making each of these tasks a lot simpler is to really understand your Ideal Reader as clearly and detailed as possible. How do you feel when you visit a blog and feel like that blogger wrote something just for you?

Easy Usability Test: Picture your Ideal Reader in your mind, then write down a list of tasks you might want to take after reading a blog post. Now, find an innocent victim tester from your mailing list or your forum and ask them to try and do those things. You sit and watch, say nothing. Did your tester get confused or frustrated at any point?

Closing the Deal

If you’re reading this, your blog probably is a business in itself or it is attached to a business, whether that’s your widget sales or your services. So, at some point you need to bring those readers back into a call to action. Usability can help you make that call to action and close the deal, because it is tricky. How many times have you heard someone say:

  • You do what? I didn’t know that! Why didn’t I know about this service before?
  • I unsubscribed from his list – it was nothing but sell, sell, sell!
  • I definitely wanted a copy of her new eBook, but I couldn’t find it on her site. I guess it isn’t available anymore.

You have to ask people to do something, make it easy for them to do it, and you have to keep repeating yourself to remind them without being a jerk. Testing and usability gives you a structured way to do this.

Easy Usability Test: You’ll need another victim tester for this one, but find one and just ask them if they know about the products and services you provide. Do new people know what you do? What about those who’ve been around awhile? Candid feedback can make a huge difference (and improvement) to your approach.

Andy will be presenting Does Your Blog Create A Great Reader Experience? Why Ugly Websites Sometimes Make Happier Readers, on Friday, October 15th at 4 PM. If you can‚t make it, or want to know more about website usability right now, have a look at his popular new eBook, Why Your Website Sucks ˆ And How to Fix It.

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