20 Truly Free Stock Photography Resources

Thursday, September 18th, 2014
20 Free Stock Photography Resources

Paying for stock photography can eventually suck up all your hard earned money. What is one to do as the Internet gets more visual? Don’t get me wrong, I believe we should purchase quality photos as often we can afford or budget for, in particular when we want a higher quality image to go with the post. However, you can supplement with free stock photography for non-pillar posts. Alert – Stock Photography Savings AppSumo has a great DepositPhoto deal 100 photos for only $39. For a very limited time only. Check it out. Truly Free Stock Photography Before we start with the list, a quick note about what is truly free. Personally, I consider truly free as in CC0 license. Free for commercial and personal use. To be clear, what this usually means is, you can put these images on a for profit blog or website. You can’t however, take these photos, put them in a collection and sell them as a package or even put the image in the product where the image is the main focus. In other words, if your product doesn’t function without the images, it’s probably not legit to use it that way. The sites listed contain

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How 5 Top Websites Capture Leads On Their Blogs

Friday, September 5th, 2014
How 5 Top Websites Capture Leads

To build our list, most of us know we need to put an opt-in box on the very top of the sidebar, or above the fold. But have you ever wondered if that enough? To find out, let’s see what some top websites and blogs are doing to get that opt-in. LeadPages Since they are all about getting leads, let’s start there. There is a lot of content on the LeadPages website. Clicking on Podcasts, you will find the expected things. The podcast synopsis, listen and download buttons. There’s an invitation to subscribe at the top as you’d expect. This is also repeated on the blog except it’s the second item, below a webinar promo. This is a little interesting because usually, we are discouraged to offer two opt-ins. When you click to download the episode, you are asked to sign up. This is uses their LeadLinks (TM) feature. In fact, the whole post on each episode heavily utilizes LeadLinks(TM). The feature image is a call to action that leads to an opt-in when clicked. Handouts and downloadable reports are great. This is also an opportunity to build that list. Ask them to opt-in again when they are listening. The

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Who To Pitch And Who To Ditch On HARO

Sunday, August 31st, 2014
100% Useful Infobytes

Have you heard of HARO? It stands for Help A Reporter Out. Basically, journalists, writers, book authors, and a lot of bloggers use it to find experts to interview, feature, or to quote. For a bootstrapping entrepreneur, there are some golden opportunities there. Most people I know who have successful ‘transactions’ often report spike in traffic and depending on the media outlet, it can really catapult your business. The problem is, as you can imagine from my brief intro, there’s a mixed bunch in HARO. Not all of them are big media journalists and if you get interviewed by a book author, you may not see results for months to come, perhaps even a year down the road. For the smaller publications, you’re also simply taking a shot in the dark. I really like how Ken McGaffin laid out the personas of HARO for us. It definitely helps save time and figure out what to focus on when trying to gain some online PR.

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Lift Your ROI For That Upcoming Conference

Saturday, August 30th, 2014
100% Useful Infobytes

So! You’ve been told that attending conferences are a fantastic way to build your business. Conference organizers won’t hesitate to shout about all the great connections, the successful JV’s and that one break that exploded someone’s business. Is it true? Having attended several myself, I’ll very cautiously say… they could be. A conference will absolutely not help you that much if you aren’t prepared to do a little bit of work before and after. It won’t help you, if you aren’t clear why you’re going, except the idea of mingling with the cool kids. Sorry, but that is a poor reason to go. I’d know that one because I made the same mistake. More than once. A conference is not a vacation! It’s an investment. Because it is an investment and you’re spending a good chunk of money for travel, hotel, and food, you would be wise to try to increase your returns. That doesn’t mean you can’t let your hair down, have fun, socialize, get to know others better. YES! By all means do all that. But… Be sure you get more out of that so that in addition to having fun, you come home with a plan that

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Impress New Leads With This Simple Comment Plugin

Friday, August 29th, 2014

Comments are somewhat difficult to come by these days. It’s nobody’s fault really, we’re all just too busy and commenting… let’s be frank. It takes some work. While I’ve never worried about the number of comments received, one thing is guaranteed. I’m deeply grateful for each genuine comment. To me, if someone takes the time to comment despite their busy schedules, despite the little bit of work, they are a whole lot more willing to engage with me. They are a lot more willing to hear me out. They are more ready to read my posts. They are more open to beginning (and hopefully keeping) a relationship with me or our company. And finally, they are more likely to buy what I offer. Knowing that, it only makes sense to want to be good to these folks. There are a few things you could do like giving them a coupon or special gift after they comment. But what happens if you require approval for comments? On all my blogs, first time commenters require approval. They probably won’t see that message that is displayed immediately after a comment. Jeff Chandler shows us a wonderful little plugin called Comment Approved that will help with that. I

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How To Take Content Strategy Cues From Magazines

Thursday, August 28th, 2014
100% Useful Infobytes

Magazines and other print publications have been around for a really long time compared to the Internet. It’s also a highly competitive business where profit margins drive a lot (if not everything) of what goes into the covers and in the magazine itself. With such stakes at hand, you bet they know how to sell or they’d go bust. So learning from them is truly smart. In Simon Penson’s post about learning from magazines at Search Engine Watch, he breaks down a magazine cover and and shows us how to spot editorial pillars. These are crucial since these pillars need to be covered in each issue. He also goes on to reverse engineer the personas – types of people who read the magazine. This area is one that I got the most from. I’ve long known about writing to a specific person and even learned to envision them in my mind but somehow, it never quite occurred to me to actually jot it down with a picture and have it saved into my Evernote (or printed). Also, for some strange reason, I’ve never created more than one persona for the blogs I write. How silly! This is something to put into

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Sneak Peak of WordPress 4.0

Wednesday, August 27th, 2014
100% Useful Infobytes

Yes, another  update soon. WordPress 4.0 is in the works. Often times, we are way too busy to check out what’s new. The official developer site is OK but it’s way too geeky for most to understand. Sure, you can test it out yourself but that involves installing a test version. Who has time for that? Thankfully, the good folks at Smashing Magazine did the job for us so we can see for ourselves and have an idea what to prepare for. Two things I think I’ll like are: Plugin installation screen makeover. As a plugin developer, this is definitely something to look forward to. Video preview in editor Edit box update Anything stand out for you?

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How Not To Be The Dreaded Troll Everyone Avoids

Tuesday, August 26th, 2014
100% Useful Infobytes

Trolls. They are everywhere. With each new blog post you publish, you might secretly hope and pray none will appear. Ok, so maybe you don’t do that but I do sometimes. Especially when the topic at hand is a little (or a lot) controversial. We all recognize them, and would rather banish that person from our virtual kingdom any day. However, have you ever wondered if you yourself may come across as a troll? Hmmm… admittedly, I haven’t. It’s not that I think I’m all that but I’m not confrontational by nature. Also, I’ve learned some pretty good tricks how to respond fairly and logically. So, when I read this post about the types of comments a troll makes. I was curious to test myself. The good news, I’m 3/4 safe. The bad news, I now wonder about the know-it-all thing. I don’t intentionally go into a comment to show off my knowledge, but when people ask for help, I’ll answer. I suppose it’s all in the delivery. Some interesting points brought up in that post. It’s certainly made me more aware of the comments I make in the future.

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100% Useful Infobytes

One truth I’ve learned over time. There’s always something that you can do, tweak, try, and/or improve. So when we feel like we’ve done “everything” to make our business or blog successful, chances are, we haven’t. There’s always something we forgot, didn’t know about, didn’t think of or is new to try. Part of staying in business is to have sales. Sales come from current and new customers but all customers start as a lead. That’s why it is essential for us to always be accumulating fresh leads in addition to making existing customers happy. This post on Unbounce contains 38 items to check off to optimize your blog for lead generation is a great place to start. I particularly love what the author says here, To gain more business with your blog, you should stop thinking like a salesman and start acting like your reader’s mentor. Be insanely helpful. Read it, do it. It’ll keep us all busy for a while and on the road to better sales later.

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The Podcast Episode That Made Me Cry

Saturday, August 23rd, 2014
100% Useful Infobytes

That is rather an embarrassing admission. I like to think of myself as someone who doesn’t shed tears easily. I guess in some ways I don’t. For example, I didn’t cry on my kids’ first day of school. One thing is for sure. I don’t cry over a podcast episode. Whoever heard of something so silly? Trust me, I didn’t think it was possible. However, I think I know how it all came about. You see, I started that morning absolutely exhausted. We started homeschool for the 8th grader this week. The day before, we attended an orientation for the new 6th grader and that day itself, was orientation for our new 4th grader. I was feeling a little overwhelmed as it was, trying to get back into the rhythm of a new homeschool curriculum, getting school supplies, stressing over incomplete school uniforms, getting a wholesome dinner on the table (argh!), worrying about not being able to be as consistent with my workout as before, working around my husband’s schedule, and of course tend to the business. Always a fan of Michael Hyatt’s podcast, I decided to tune into this episode, Why Doing Less Is the Best Way to Do More. Let me feed

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