Good morning everyone!
It’s a crisp November morning here at the studio and we are all extraordinarily excited about the launch of the brand new Shadowbend Studios website. This has been a LONG time in coming but having successfully navigated a stretch of challenges and obstacles (as evidenced by the rather large gap in my blog posts!!) Shadowbend Studios has come out the other side better than ever! Our new branding and new website reflects our revitalized commitment to bringing our existing and new clients the best possible services in the realms of web design, search engine optimization, social media marketing, graphic design, web hosting and web security.
All of us at Shadowbend Studios are looking forward to the new year, celebrating 15 years in business and rolling out new services for our clients. We invite you all to join us on our journey and stay in touch as we go!
Good morning Clients and Friends of Shadowbend Studios.
Yes, I know it’s Thanksgiving morning. Yes, I know I shouldn’t be working.
However! I’m so very thankful and grateful for all of the upcoming changes happening here at the studio that I just wanted to take to my blog before I start my holiday and let you all know that I am extraordinarily thankful to have such an amazing tribe of past clients, existing clients and friends! It makes stepping into the studio every morning that much better!
So, from all of us here at Shadowbend Studios, we would like to wish all of you a very joyous Thanksgiving filled with contentment, happiness, family and joy.
See you tomorrow for a big surprise! 🙂
“Your Morning Cup Of Marketing Know-How”
Let’s say you’re thinking through domain names for your new website, and you’ve shortlisted a few ideas.
If the one you want is available, it’s a no-brainer to go ahead and register it straight away.
… there’s one crucial check you need to make.
Is your domain name open to misinterpretation?
Let me share a few domain names with you:
Did any (or all) of those sound a bit inappropriate for inclusion on DailyBlogTips?
Here’s the actual names of the sites in order:
Unfortunately, their domain names are far too easy to misread … as you may have noticed!
Does your domain name fall into this trap? (Even if it’s not a rude misreading.) If you think there’s room for misinterpretation, you might want to run it past a few friends or fellow bloggers – ask them to read the domain name then tell you the name of the site.
If you’re attached to the domain name you’ve chosen, you could consider adding a hyphen:
We’d normally recommend avoiding hyphens (URLs are cleaner, simpler, and easier to remember and to spell over the phone without them) but in these cases, they’d probably be a good move.
Have you ever come across an all-too-easy to misread domain name? Share it with us in the comments.
original source: dailyblogtips enewsletter
“Your Morning Cup Of Marketing Know-How”
Black Hat vs White Hat SEO: What You Need to Know
You’ve probably noticed that the internet can be a bit like the Wild West.
Newbies ride into town regularly – often with high hopes of getting rich quick. Perhaps you’re one of them (or perhaps you can at least remember those days).
“Snake oil” salesmen make outrageous promises about how their product can solve all your problems (usually with a heavy dose of yellow highlighter, and a few fake countdown timers).
And just like in the West, there are goodies and baddies – “white hats” who obey the law and “black hats” who break it. In fact, you may well have heard of “white hat SEO” and “black hat SEO” already.
Online, Sheriff Google lays down the law – and you definitely don’t want to get caught doing something you shouldn’t.
So let’s take a look at what you need to know.
SEO stands for “search engine optimization”. It’s the practice of getting your website or blog to rank highly in search engines – particularly Google, which dominates the market.
Sometimes, you’ll also hear “an SEO” used to mean “a professional search engine optimiser”.
Black Hat SEO
Black Hat SEO is SEO that goes against Google’s rules. It results in a website that Google won’t want to promote because no-one will want to read it.
Black Hat practices include:
- Paying another site to link to yours.
- Creating keyword-rich links using dodgy techniques, such as trackback spam.
- Participating in link exchanges with sites that have nothing to do with yours.
- “Scraping” other people’s content to use on your site.
- Using hidden text that readers can’t see but search engines can (e.g. putting lots of keywords in white text on a white background).
- Getting your site linked to from link farms.
(You can find a fuller list of Black Hat practices here.)
Basically, if a technique sounds too good to be true, it probably is. You can’t automate the process of building links to get hundreds overnight.
White Hat SEO
White hat SEO plays by the rules. It results in a website that Google naturally wants to promote, because it’s full of great content and easy for readers to engage with.
White Hat practices include:
- Creating high-quality content for your blog.
- Using WordPress or another solid CMS (content management system) for your site, so it’s well structured.
- Writing great guest posts for other blogs, putting the relationship (not the backlink) first.
- Using Google Webmaster Tools to fix any problems with your site.
- Crafting clear, direct titles for your posts that use the same keywords readers would use.
It might seem like a no-brainer to you that White Hat SEO is the way to go … and we agree.
Black Hat SEO may lead to some quick results … but these will be swiftly followed by a huge drop in traffic when Google catches you. (And bear in mind that Google’s algorithms are getting cleverer all the time.)
As Daniel explains in Business is a Marathon, Not a Sprint, you should focus on the long-term, not on short-term results.
By using White Hat practices, you’ll be sure of building a site that stands the test of time. You won’t have to worry about Google updates knocking you down the rankings, and you’ll also find it easy to engage in other kinds of marketing – like using social media – because you’ll have something truly valuable to offer your readers.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this too: are you actively using SEO techniques to get more traffic to your site? And have you ever used Black Hat methods (perhaps unwittingly) – or are you firmly on the White Hat side?
original source: daily blog tips enewsletter
Shadowbend Studios’ Flashback Fridays
Speed Gibson of the International Secret Police – Episode 6
Speed Gibson, his Uncle Clint Barlow ace operator of the international secret police and Barney Dunlap also of the police are flying to Hong Kong China via the Hong Kong Clipper to end the smuggling activities of the worlds most dreaded criminal, the Octopus…..
Shadowbend Studios’ – “The Shelf Chronicles”
This unnamed muse of my office was found completely on accident at a fantastic little hole-in-the-wall vintage toy stores in San Jose. He has become one of the favorites of my collection and I’m sure that anyone who was a “60’s or ’70’s kid” knows why…
Who is this lovable creature who refuses to scare anyone??
Shadowbend Studios’ Client Showcase
“Advanced Eyecare Optometry”
I have been working with Dr. Robert Turcios of Advanced Eyecare Optometry here in Pleasant Hill for many years. Both he and his wife Janet are long term clients and we have had quite a bit of success in redesigning their office website, filming his “Eyecare Tip Of The Week” segments for their YouTube Channel and, most recently, getting them started on a social media marketing campaign.
As a man of a “certain age” I decided a couple of months ago that it was time to ditch my “cheater” reading glasses and get serious about having my eyes examined. I made an appointment with “Dr. Bob” and was very happy with the results. It was a great experience going to see a medical professional who I have known for years and already established a relationship with even before I needed his services.
Shadowbend Studios’ Monday Morning Marketing
“Your morning cup of marketing know-how”
4 Steps to Creating Better Goals for Your Blog
If you don’t write down your goals with clear instructions, your plans will be mere wishes.
I read the post Daniel brought to us to usher in the new year Write Down and Share Your Goals, and I thought it would be a good idea to expand on it to make sure you maximize the potential of your blog in 2014 by being specific about your goals.
Write down Your Goals
This might seem obvious and an echo of what Daniel said earlier, but this is still a very important step. You must be clear and concise with your goal writing. You can’t leave out anything, and you can’t imply it because your subconscious won’t understand it when you see it again.
It is best to have 5-10 goals in present tense, as active, affirmative statements.
- I post 3-5 posts a week on my blog…
- I earn $500-$1000 from my blog a month…
- I am a successful blogger…
Write the Time Frame You Want Your Goal Completed
To reiterate: If you aren’t specific about your goals, you are merely wishing. If your goals do not have a deadline (somewhere between 3 months to 1 year), you’re unlikely to reach them.
Some people are reluctant to set deadlines, but they do three things to help you along.
- You will have the date in the back of your mind, even if you only write it once.
- You will be accountable, which will motivate you more than fear or shame from others.
- You will be able to prioritize your work accordingly.
If you say “I post 3-5 posts a week on my blog by March 31st, 2014,” you are committing to do just that.
Write What You Will Do to Complete the Goal
Flesh out your goals so that they become real plans. Add a line to each of them explaining what exactly you plan to do.
If you say “I post 3-5 posts a week on my blog by March 31st, 2014 by writing two short posts in the morning to create a back catalog,” you are now committing to what you’ll do and taking it upon yourself to adjust your morning routine to accomplish this.
Repeat Writing Your Goals until You Complete Them
There is something to be said about repetition. Through the act of writing your goals down every day, you are reinforcing your desire to do the task at hand. It will infuse your day with energy and emotion as you keep going through your day remembering what you wrote down.
It’s fine to change the wording of the goals, and their order, especially early on. You might have your posts goal in the number 3 position, but then the next day you have it in the number 6 position. Just keep writing them down. As your priorities change, so will your goals. This is a necessary part of the process.
I tested this out for myself from Sept. 1st, 2013 to December 31st, 2013. I wrote down 10 goals to start off with, but trimmed it down to 5 to make sure I could accomplish what I set out to do. They were:
- I am a successful writer, completing 5 stories to 2nd draft by December 31st, 2013 through dedicated morning writing and taking any opportunity I can to write during the day.
- I am a well-read person, completing 10 books on writing by December 31st, 2013 through reading first thing in the morning as I wake up for 30 minutes each day.
- I am a learned person, earning two certificates through Coursera by December 31st, 2013 through focused study and diligent note taking when the classes were released.
- I am a wiser saver, setting aside $2500 by December 31st, 2013 through a tighter budget and setting aside at least 10% of my income (and whatever bonuses I acquire).
- I am a healthier person, weighing 200 pounds by December 31st, 2013 through better eating and steady exercise.
I am pleased to say I completed four of the five goals I set out for me by December 31st, 2013 (sadly, my love affair with burritos keeps me above 200 lbs).
With these steps, even just a few written goals can change your life.
Happy blogging! Once you’ve written down your goals, tell us about them in the comments.
original source: ali luke, daily blog tips enewsletter
Shadowbend Studios’ Flashback Fridays!
Speed Gibson of the International Secret Police – Episode 5
Speed, Clint and Barney send a cablegram in code to Chief Reilly at headquarters stating that a jewel smuggler was also on the clipper bound for Hong Kong…..
Shadowbend Studios’ “The Shelf Chronicles”
We are going to do something a bit different this week with our “Shelf Chronicles” post. This is one of my FAVORITE muses in the office and one of the reasons is that she is rather obscure. Not very many people know who she is.
That being said… I’m going to turn this into a contest. The VERY FIRST person who can correctly identify who this is will win one (1) FREE BUSINESS CARD DESIGN (just the design… the printing is up to you) from Shadowbend Studios. Post your guess in the comments section below and GOOD LUCK! 🙂