Thursday, August 16, 2018

Create and Get Started Blogging Online: Part 7 – Installing WordPress in Hosting

We have covered a lot of ground, and will be looking at installing WordPress within your hosting backend. Many of these hosting providers have made it very easy to streamline the entire process, For example, hosting now provides a 1-click interface, which allows you to get the job done quickly and with very little experience. However, it’s still important that we go through the steps so you know what to expect when it comes time to get things moving in the right direction.

Here’s what we’ll be looking at in detail:

  • Installing WordPress
  • Adding a theme
  • Interface functionality
  • Final Thoughts

Let’s get started and jump right in:

Part 7 – WordPress Installation

When choosing a hosting provider, it is important that you select one that has a complete CMS interface installed within the backend. This will allow you to install WordPress and others with the click of a mouse so you can get to work much faster. In the end, it’s important you spend very little time learning how to install the CMS platform, and more time able to customize the site going forward. With that said, let’s go through the process quickly so you know where to look for the application.

First, you’ll log into your hosting provider, and your cPanel. In the backend, you’ll see an “Application” heading, where all of them will be listed from top to bottom. As a matter of fact, WordPress will be listed as the first because it is the MOST popular among all of the others. You can click on WordPress and fill in the required information.

If you have registered your domain with the same hosting provider, then you’ll be able to select it from within the drop-down, which makes the process much faster. If you have your domain registered at another provider, then you’ll have to change the DNS settings, which can be done through the registrar. Search for their tutorials on how you can get this done, which should NOT take more than a few minutes.

You will be required to fill in the following details before installation can begin:

  • Username
  • Password
  • Select domain
  • Sub-folder (if you want in root, then don’t change)

After installation, you can explore the interface, which I’ll discuss next.

Interface

WordPress has one of the best interfaces ever because they make finding things so simple. Once you have installed your website, head over by going to www.example.com/wp-admin. This will bring you to the control panel, where you can login with the username and password you selected. Once you have logged in, you can start scrolling through the left menu, where all the features and settings are placed. Pay close attention to:

  • Appearance
  • Media
  • Posts
  • Pages
  • Plugins
  • Settings

Theme Installation

Having a site with the right theme is very important because this is what matters when people arrive on your website. It’s stated that 80% of people make a decision to stay on your website as soon as they arrive on your page. This means you need a theme that is attractive, and that keeps people on the site long enough so they read content. If you head over to “Appearance” then “Themes”, you’ll be able to browse what they have in their selection. There are many premium themes available that have to be purchased, but the free options will do the trick for now. When figuring out your theme, you have to understand the following:

  • Logo design (for colors)
  • Main colors for your site
  • Layout you have in mind
  • What your competitors are doing in terms of theme
  • Free or premium (some premium themes are more unique and can be customized better)

Once you have answered theme questions, you can head over to “Appearance”, and click “Add New” before scrolling through the FREE selection you have available. Having a good idea of what you’re looking for will help streamline the selection process.

Summarizing

We went over a few quick things today:

First, make sure you choose a hosting provider that has quick WordPress installation. This will streamline installation so you don’t have to download the application. Secondly, install application within the right directory, and choose a safe username + password. Third, you want to think about your theme and layout so your selection process will be more streamlined. If you have a good idea of your layout and colors, you can start to narrow down themes quickly.

Click Here To Download John Chow’s New eBook, and Live The Dot Com Lifestyle!

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

What is the Difference Between Owned, Earned and Paid Media?

Search engine technology is evolving, and so is the digital marketing industry. The more experienced professionals amongst you may remember the days of gleefully stuffing keywords into your copy to boost your rankings, blindly spamming strangers to join your email lists and easily securing media coverage for your thinly veiled advertisements.

These days are gone for good and they have been replaced with sophisticated algorithms that have turned our industry into a fascinating amalgamation of art and science. As the most popular search engines, artificial intelligence and even our own search habits all evolve over time, we need a new approach to drive the best possible results for your business.

With so many companies competing for search engine supremacy with both agencies and in-house marketers, how do you ensure that your strategy is the right strategy? It all starts with how you structure it:

Converged Media

Converged Media Strategy

At Koozai, we call this “the sweet spot”, but the preferred industry name for this structure is “converged media”. I’ve also seen it called the “digital marketing trifecta”. Knowing this, few of you will be too surprised to hear it involves a three-pronged approach to your online strategy.

Definition: A converged media strategy is a marketing plan that encompasses owned, earned and paid media elements. Each channel will have its own goals, tasks and metrics that define it, but they must all work together to achieve your strategic business goals.

It is crucial to understand that all of these elements need to work together, and the more integrated a strategy can be, the more likely it is to drive success for your business. If each of the channels works too independently, they can drive the business in different and sometimes even contradictory directions.

Most businesses will work towards the following three general goals for their digital marketing strategy in some form:

  • Drive more leads to their website
  • Grow their audience size
  • Establish and maintain a position of authority in their industry

Working with these three goals as an overarching basis for a converged media strategy, we can then look into the individual areas and the impact they can have on these goals.

Paid Media

Definition: paid media is defined as any digital activity where you make a payment in exchange for placement of your advertising on a website or social media platform, or for each click through a search engine. A paid media strategy will often include search ads, display ads and social media advertising methods. 

Key Paid Media Metrics
Acronym Meaning
CPA Cost per acquisition
CPC Cost per click
ROAS Return on ad spend
ROI Return on investment
CTR Click-through rate
CPM Cost per thousand
IS Impression share

Paid media is primarily used as a platform for driving more leads from a popular website or social media platform to your websites through advertising. Most companies that use paid media will be using it to bring new prospects into their websites that can then be converted through their on-site content.

At a more advanced level, there is significant potential for growing your audience or establishing a position of authority in your industry, but the primary goal is usually to drive traffic, leads and conversions for your business.

To achieve this, there are three categories when it comes to paid media:

An example of search advertisingSearch ads: Whenever a search is completed on Google, the results will feature a number of paid adverts. These are usually given prominent positions at the top or to the side of the organic results, since the search engines know that these positions provide stronger conversion rates and so they can charge more for their advertisements.

This example demonstrates an advertisement for “search ads”, which is a very competitive term when it comes to organic rankings. At a very basic level, this kind of intelligence can be used to drive decisions on whether or not we should target a keyword through paid or owned media campaigns, or a combination of the two. This is the foundation of a converged media strategy, as we look to identify the opportunities on offer and the best methods for pursuing them.

Display ads: These are most frequently seen as banner ads appearing around publishers’ content. The more popular, respected and authoritative the website is considered to be, the more valuable it is to advertisers looking to promote on them.

An example of display adsIn this example from the Southern Daily Echo website, you can see two sets of banner ads have been displayed:

There are a number of approaches that digital marketers can take to display ads. They can look to gain placement on a competitor’s website, serve adverts to popular industry-specific websites or even just approach broader news outlets based purely on their popularity.

It is also possible to target users based on their interests and demographic categorisations. The display ad providers offer targeting that allows you to draw on information collected over time; this provides a strong indication of the subjects that matter to users, allowing you to determine the best placements for your paid advertisements.

Social media ads: Whilst social networks provide advertising spaces around their content, they also place adverts within their feeds so that visitors consume them as part of the content. You can see this on my timeline today:

Social media advertisingThese ads are targeted based on information that I have provided to the social network and my behaviour in relation to other business, pages and groups that appear to be similar to Favro. Social media advertising has traditionally been cheaper than search or display ads, although the limited supply of ad space, especially on Facebook, means it’s likely we will see these numbers come closer together over time.

Owned Media

Definition: Owned media is defined as the platforms, digital assets and online property that you possess. This possession means that the content on your website is not controlled by other brands and this web property is uniquely your company’s. From a digital marketing perspective, this encompasses search engine optimisation (SEO), organic social media and content marketing efforts.

Key Owned Media Metrics
Traffic Unique sessions Organic keyword rankings Visibility Goal conversions
Bounce rate Subscribers Trust flow Citation flow Referring domains

SEO: The process of improving your owned media platforms so that search engines trust your website as an authoritative domain on your chosen subject matter. Our aim through SEO is to ensure that the search engines understand your value and want to share that value with as much organic traffic as possible.

There is a huge range of activity that is involved in world-class SEO and the range of those activities is increasing all the time, as Google in particular alters its algorithms over time. More recent developments in SEO include elements like featured snippets and structured data. This is an example of the structured data for Koozai which demonstrates the kind of key information that can be presented by a business.

An example of structured data

Finding and pursuing these opportunities for your business ensures that searchers are more likely to find your website, driving additional traffic and leads through your business.

Keeping up with the changes is crucial to your success with SEO, as best practices are frequently changing. An extreme example is that 15 years ago, strategies like hiding keywords in white text on white backgrounds used to benefit your website. As the algorithms get more sophisticated, the technical side of SEO becomes more difficult, takes longer to master and, frankly, becomes more interesting/important as a factor in your success or failure as a business.

Content: This encompasses how we present valuable information to our audience online. It begins with the copy on our website but also includes any presentation of information in any format. The purpose of your content is primarily to improve your credibility and trustworthiness so that the search engines will drive higher amounts of more relevant traffic to your website.

Content marketing is designed to ensure that people get the most possible value from you. With this in mind, the goal should be to create valuable content that answers questions for your audience. From there, provided you have given them the answers they need, you then earn the right to attempt to convert them into fans, subscribers and ultimately into paying customers.

Examples of content types you could use to market your business

Organic social media: This involves any content that you produce and post directly on a social media network, whether it’s a photo on Instagram or a meme you are sharing on Twitter. Social networks rely on being able to share strong organic content so that users keep returning to the network to keep seeing that network’s unique content.

Organic social media for business

Businesses can post over social media using pages, business profiles, etc. The example below is the Koozai Facebook page, and we use this to share content and information about Koozai (and digital marketing in general).

Personal social media for businessThis next example is from my personal LinkedIn profile and shows that social networks can blur the lines between your personal and professional networks. It is important to remember this when posting from a personal profile, as this can be seen as a direct reflection of your company and how it operates professionally.

Whenever you are considering organic social media strategies, it is important to remember that the goal of social media networks is to ensure that people stay on their website. This means that they will provide greater coverage or ‘reach’ to people whose content keeps users on the social media network and engaging in conversations with each other. On the flip side, they tend to reduce the reach of content that drives users away from the network and onto other websites.

This doesn’t stop it being a fun and exciting way to grow your audience. Provided you get the balance right, the social networks will work with you to share your content to a wider audience and to grow your following and/or community.

Earned Media

Definition: Earned media is the acquisition of free-of-charge publicity (unlike paid advertising) for your business, spokespeople and website online.

Earned media is attained by getting press mentions (or branded citations), positive reviews or links back to your content. It is facilitated by building relationships with key digital publications, journalists and influencers and will help build brand awareness, reputation and positive sentiment.

Technical SEO alone can’t guarantee increases in rankings without the support of proactive digital PR. Gaining branded mentions and backlinks on relevant, authoritative and reputable domains with high trust and citation flow will pass value and assist in elevating your brand to a better position than that of your competitors.

Earned media efforts will be predominantly the preserve of digital PR, but will also include elements of traditional PR; to understand the difference, read this: The Difference Between Digital PR and Traditional PR.

The key objectives of an earned media team are to drive awareness, build your authority within an industry and, ultimately, widen your audience of potential customers. However, the best way to go about earned media is to ensure that you are providing journalists with a great story and making it as easy as possible for them to tell it. If you can achieve that, you will secure the key results that will drive your business into the public eye on a more regular basis.

Key Earned Media Metrics
Referring domains Backlinks from trusted domains Citations and brand mentions Contributing articles Publicity value of media earnt

An earned media strategy will focus on proactive and reactive PR. Proactive activities will include writing press releases to secure media attention, finding opportunities for interviews with spokespeople, news jumping to submit expert comment and writing contributing articles for leading industry websites. Reactive activities will include media monitoring for brand mentions or crisis communications in response to negative press about your company.

An example of proactive PR is securing opportunities to write opinion/expert pieces for popular websites. This can be seen here, with Koozai founder Ben Norman discussing marketing with The Drum Network:An example of an earned media opportunity

The intention of this piece is to ensure that one of our key personnel can demonstrate their industry knowledge, earning a brand mention and frequent links in exchange for providing the network and its readers with a valuable blog post and key information.

Whilst there are many differences between paid, owned and earned media strategies, it is important to remember that a converged or integrated digital marketing strategy encompassing all three elements will provide the best outcomes for you and your business.

The key takeaways for you to remember are:

  • Determine your goals as a business
  • Use these to formulate digital marketing goals and goals for each individual channel
  • Design activities in each channel which support the efforts of the other areas
  • Ensure that you are measuring the right metrics to determine whether or not your digital marketing strategies are successful

If you like what you’ve seen but don’t know what to do next, a great place to start learning more about paid, owned and earned media is Koozai TV. Our team will guide you through a series of sessions that help you develop your skills and will ensure that you are putting your best foot forward when it comes to digital marketing.

The post What is the Difference Between Owned, Earned and Paid Media? appeared first on Koozai.com

Create and Get Started Blogging Online: Part 6 – Choosing a CMS

Welcome to Part 6 of my awesome blogging series. We have covered a lot of ground, and encourage all of you to go back and read other sections before going forward. Today, we’ll be jumping into the actual setup of your blogging site, and explore the various options you have available. At one point, you would have to code your entire website, however, now, you can install a content management platform to get you set up right away. For example, I have set up an entire website in under 4 minutes, and have a tutorial to prove it to you. Even when you have to customize your website, you can now install plug-ins to get the job done for you. This is why so many new websites are popping up every day because they are so easy to publish.

Let’s jump right in and look at the various options you have available when choosing your blogging platform. I’ll go over some cool features of each.

Part 6 – Choosing a CMS

In my experience, you have 3-4 solid options when choosing a CMS provider, and they all bring something unique to the table. I have worked with many and have been able to use them for different types of sites. Instead of me recommending you choose all of them, depending on your purpose, why not have “1” that does it all for you…right? With that said,

Let’s explore some of the awesome options you have available when choosing your CMS provider. Keep in mind, some have partnerships with hosting providers so can be installed with a click of a mouse whereas others, you’ll have to download, unzip, and install using FTP. I’ll go in order from the MOST popular to least in my experience.

Let’s get started…

WordPress –

The ultimate blogging platform, and has built its popularity by providing the best plugins, interface, security, and more. I use WordPress for all my designing because of the simplicity it provides to all my projects. I can use this CMS when building an eCommerce site, general blog, directory, etc. Over the years, their popularity has led to enormous development in themes and plugins, which give you complete customization control. Even after Google rolled out their mobile update, WordPress was the first to introduce responsive themes that can be installed from the backend of your admin panel. Next,

You can buy, and own, premium themes from sites like Themeforest.net. They have mastered theme creation and selling, allowing others to upload to their marketplace. Finally, they have just gone into the hosting avenue, which is proving to be very lucrative for them.

Weebly.com –

This is my favorite drag & drop builder because everything is so easy. It’s perfect for those who don’t want to learn a new interface, and don’t need anything too sophisticated. If you need a simple 5-6 page website, then Weebly.com should be your choice. I love it because they offer all the main features like video, text, headlines, themes, and contact forms, which can be added with drag & drop.

Drupal –

I don’t have too much experience with Drupal, however, there are some avid users. These people have stated Drupal is an awesome CMS, however, I find it to be very limited. If you are looking for a variety of themes and plugins, then I would stick to WordPress. Because I don’t have experience with Drupal, I can’t really discuss their interface, plugins, security, etc.; however, from the reviews I’ve read, I would stick to WordPress as your all-in-one solution.

Joomla –

This is another CMS platform that is similar to WordPress and Drupal. It offers a solid interface and plugins, however, reviews say WordPress is much better in getting the job done. I would encourage you to test it out for yourself before making your final choice. If you head over to Google, and do a quick search using “Joomla + reviews”, you’ll be able to get authentic reviews from users who have experience with every different CMS platform.

Final Thoughts

Each person is different and you should try each one before making your final choice. You might find one CMS platform works better for you compared to the others, however, you’ll only know after you play with the interface. I know you’ll find WordPress your number one choice because the ease at which it can be used. You can also head over to Google and do a quick search to read reviews on all of these platforms.

In the next section, we’ll be going over WordPress and installing the platform on your hosting. You have two ways that this can be done: 1-click through hosting or by downloading the application.

Click Here To Download John Chow’s New eBook, and Live The Dot Com Lifestyle!

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Bad Food Court Food at Aberdeen Centre

Aberdeen Centre is a shopping mall in Richmond, British Columbia. It is the first truly Asian style mall in North America. It’s a cool place to visit if you can find parking. Also, the bubble tea at the food court leaves a lot to be desired.

Click Here To Download John Chow’s New eBook, The Ultimate Online Profit Model!

Create and Get Started Blogging Online: Part 5 – Setting Up Hosting and Domain

We have covered the following:

  • Create the right idea
  • Choosing a domain
  • Choosing a hosting provider

Today, we’ll be discussing how to select the right hosting plan, and setting up the fundamentals. For example, in the previous step, you went over 3-4 elements of hosting research and have narrowed down the MOST important elements. You can now make an informed decision about the hosting provider you would like to choose.

I would recommend HostGator from my experience. I prefer HostGator because they are continuously growing, with their plans getting better each year. They’re also the webhost of John Chow dot Com.

The easiest way to set up your blog and hosting is by using our free WordPress installation service. The service is really simple. We will install and set up a WordPress blog for you at no cost to you. Not only that, I will also install for free a bunch of really cool plugins to get your blog started on the right foot.

Final Thoughts

Now that we have taken care of the fundamentals, I’ll be outlining WordPress installation in the next section. GoDaddy.com and other hosting providers make it very easy for you to install the application using a 1-click interface system. Going forward, it’s all about setting up your website, customization, and layout. Later, we’ll be discussing writing content, marketing, and outreach.

Click Here To Download John Chow’s New eBook, and Live The Dot Com Lifestyle!

Monday, August 13, 2018

Testing The Sony A7 III at Terra Nova Adventure Playground

The Terra Nova Adventure Play Environment is a play experience unique to the Lower Mainland. It’s also a great place to test out the Sony A7 III full frame digital camera.

Click Here To Download John Chow’s New eBook, The Ultimate Online Profit Model!

Create and Get Started Blogging Online: Part 4 – Hosting Research and Narrowing Down

In Part 4, we’ll be discussing the importance of research when choosing the right hosting provider. It’s important you know what different types of packages you have available, and what options you should be looking for as a beginner or expert. The combination of hosting and domain are probably the most important in building your brand and allowing people to access your website. If you have a poor domain then people won’t remember, and won’t know what your niche is about. Next, with a poor hosting provider, your site won’t be accessible, and this slows down engagement. Both work hand in hand, which is why you know how to choose the right hosting provider.

Today, we’ll be going over some of the MOST important elements of choosing a hosting provider, and how to perform research. In the next part, we’ll be going over plan registration and domain setup.

Let’s get started…

Part 4 – Hosting Research

Researching the right hosting providers is NOT tough if you know what you are looking for. I also think it’s very important to know where to look, which will make it much easier for you in the end. I recommend the following areas when researching hosting providers.

Authority Blogs – One of the best ways to find out which hosting providers should be on your radar. Many influential people have been blogging for years, and have a handful of hosting providers they deal with. They have experience and know which ones provide what you need.

Google Search – Sometimes, doing a quick search in Google will provide you with the information you need to choose the right provider. For example, type in “top hosting providers”, and you’ll find a combination of reviews pointing you in the right direction.

Comments and Reviews – There are some directories that are dedicated to providing you with the right hosting providers and reviews. It’s amazing what directories are online that will give you all the information you need. For example, here’s a quick directory that provides you with the top hosting providers. You can also leave a review for others who will be visiting so they choose the right directory, too. Or you can just use HostGator, which host this blog.

Above, I have discussed the “3” most popular ways to find what hosting providers are credible and should have your focus going forward. However, you need to know what features matter so here’s a quick breakdown…

Hosting Features

I always recommend looking over 5-7 features when choosing the right hosting. These features determine how the company will perform while you are hosting with them. For example, you obviously want a hosting provider that is live 99.9% of the time, guaranteed…right? If the hosting keeps going down, then your site won’t be accessible, which is why I always look for uptime first. Let’s go through the others…

Uptime – Very important because this will guarantee how active your site stays most of the time. It protects you from your site going down when people are trying to visit.

Pricing – I like to keep an eye on this because things can get pretty steep sometimes, especially when starting out. Some hosting providers will charge you 1 year upfront, which is something that NOT everyone can afford.

Ad Coupons – Choose a provider that gives you free coupons for advertising. This will help you get a jumpstart after you have gone live with your blog. Some hosting providers offer Google, Bing, and even Fotolia image credits.

Email Accounts – With some hosting providers, you’ll get unlimited email accounts, which is important if you have a team. This way, you are NOT paying for additional accounts, but have them with your packages.

Applications – Very important because you want to streamline the application process during installation. For example, I can think of two hosting providers that have 1-click WordPress installation.

FTP Setup – I like to have access to easy FTP setup because there will come a time I need to upload files or even hire someone to do some work for me. FTP makes it easy for me to hire someone while providing them with limited access to my website.

cPanel – Very important because it streamlines and organizes your hosting control panel. This allows you to navigate through the interface, easily making use of all the elements.

Final Thoughts

In the next part, we’ll be going over how to choose the right hosting package and the setup. We’ll be going over setting up your domain, and what your DNS settings are.