Jean Perpillant, owner, head honcho and web designer extraordinaire of Design Theory and I recently had a conversation about the importance of Social Media and in particular, blogging. Oftentimes one of the hardest parts of our (and in particular my) job is getting clients to believe that professional blogging is a worthwhile cause and can be a great contributor to your business’s success. See a previous blog I wrote on that subject at http://bit.ly/WaawSu. So as we were talking about our own numbers and the ROI therefrom, I suggested lifting the hood on our analytic statistics to prove just how vital this is to the exposure and growth of your business and that business’s profitability. He loved the idea of using our own transparency to prove the validity of our belief to outside clients that there is a tangible benefit To Blog or Not to Blog. No dirty overalls or Goop needed, here we go…
The early part of September hits on our weekly blogs – 572 Page Views
As you can see, we have 3 main contribution sources for our readership this particular week-those who come through our blog being indexed on Google, visits to our blog through visiting www.jpdesigntheory.com directly and others through various alternative search engines. As you can see, the top referring websites that contribute to our audience statistics are Google & LinkedIn with majority this weeks of readership coming from our blogs being indexed on Google. Ah yes, the power of Google.
At Design Theory, we know that our readership is vital to getting our name out there not only in the World Wide Blogosphere but also to the masses as a whole. We’re not a huge corporation with various satellite offices (YET!) but we know that having a world wide presence is the key to meeting our company goals as well as attaining clientele outside our hubs geographic region in Orlando, Florida. What you can also see from the Audience Stats, is that Tuesday happens to be our highest number of reads for this particular week. Knowing that information is important because it tells us at DT, that the early part of the week is the best time to post and also can help clue us in as to who is posting on that day & the impact that person has our readership. Monday is right behind Tuesday for readership and I happen to know that those 2 days blogs are written by Daphne Lenti, our lead Graphic Designer on Monday and me, your happy Wordsmith & Content Marketeer (love the title right!) on Tuesday. What it additionally shows Daphne & I is how important our blogging is to the exposure of our company AND that people are interested in what we have to say & that we have a well-respected level of knowledge on what we write about. It also shows that our connections on LinkedIn are working as an additional exposure source through our professional networks and the groups we are affiliated with on there.
The 3rd week of this month – 994 Page Views
What you see right off the bat is that our Page Views have dramatically increased by 442! Additionally, the 3 main contribution sources to these statistics remain the same but take note of the jump from 24 visits via LinkedIn to a whopping 148 visits in just 2 weeks! Once again Daphne & I are neck in neck until we get to a spike in readership on Thursday. Also note that the top viewing location has changed from Tijuana to Ulaanbaatar in Mongolia. I have no clue why but talk about a world wide presence!
So the crux of our To Blog or Not to Blog and reason for our behind the scenes look at our blogs, is to put our own “argument” to the test and to show you that we practice what we preach to our clients. Oh, and it works!
~ Content Writing Inspiration ~
This morning I took out a comma and this afternoon I put it back again. ~Oscar Wilde
Hey everyone! We’re proud and humble that you all have subscribed, comment, and continue to share our blog posts. I’d like to give a huge thank you from myself and the Design Theory staff. We wouldn’t be successful without all of you!
With all that, we are looking go expand our articles and this is where you come in. Let us know if you’re interested in writing for us. The only requirement is that you’ll be writing a post once a week for a specific day. The range for topics is still pretty open, but it does need to be design related. If you’d like some more information, please fill out the form below or call us at 888.603.1090. [contact-form subject=”New Dt blog writers” to=”firstname.lastname@example.org”] [contact-field label=”Name” type=”name” required=”true” /] [contact-field label=”Email” type=”email” required=”true” /] [contact-field label=”Website” type=”url” /] [contact-field label=”Comment” type=”textarea” required=”true” /] [/contact-form]
Even those who have great aptitude in writing sometimes find themselves with literally NO WORDS! Unlike our verbal language, writing is actually one of the most difficult activities that we humans use to formalize communication sin la boca (without your mouth if you don’t speak Spanish). It sounds simple but as Wikipedia has defined it: writer’s block is “a condition, primarily associated with writing as a profession, in which an author loses the ability to produce new work. The condition varies widely in intensity. It can be trivial, a temporary difficulty in dealing with the task at hand.” Uh, yeah- I couldn’t have said it better. But what does one do when the deadline is looming and the children are to bed and it’s man vs. machine and you realize…I’VE GOT NOTHIN’! Thank God writing pro’s like Mike Rose (famed UCLA Graduate School faculty member and author) even acknowledges that it truly is “an inability to begin or continue writing for reasons other than lack of basic skill or commitment“. Whew…I’m off the hook a little! But now what do I do about it?
Why do you we do this to ourselves…it‘s supposed to speak back to you right? Like in some gone from a book to the big screen movie—the leading character is some highly paid British actor/actress paid to throw their laptop out the window of their 5th story NYC walk-up in utter despair. Yeah…in the real world most of us don’t have the kind of money that allows for those despairing moments. So I have opted not to spend hours wasting good wine or time employing this useless tactic. Instead I think it’s best to stare at something else. Walk around your house- look at some pictures, clean, cook, do a little laundry or run an errand. Heck, play with your kid or a game of chess with your spouse. Do something else besides stewing in the quagmire of I have no clue. You would be amazed how making the best salmon with a lemon dill sauce can jump-start a blog idea. Personal Example: One day I was frustrated about a concept I dreamt about (and DID NOT GET UP & WRITE IT DOWN.. I know bad, bad, bad) and was about to scream when my daughter asked me to color with her. As I was taking note of how precise my “staying within the lines” was and how the unbridled charm of a child’s Crayola skills were, yes the cliché lightbulb went off. And before you knew it, while she was still coloring outside the lines, I was pecking away on my laptop. Writers cramp over came writers block and I was grateful for it.
You know what they say in real estate…Location, Location Location. And I agree. After a very busy weekend and stressful morning I found myself not able to color in anybody’s lines or muster up enough energy required to even stare at a blank page. So what else could I do to get the boost usually relegated to a high-priced cup of Starbucks coffee? I went outside. Yup in the lovely 70° weather, I listened to the sounds of a almost perfect May day in Connecticut. And before I knew it, several titles/concepts came to me which enabled me to write this blog AND birth 2-3 ideas for some other projects. Fantastic right! Sometimes a simple change of location can do wonders for inspiration. Being jailed at your desk is not worth it when you can get some fresh air and use the objects/sounds/feelings around you to motivate your imagination. Like an artist who can use a host of colors or materials to create their masterpiece, so can writers. And I’m not talking laptop vs. plume…I mean what you use to connect ideas/concepts/words together to tap into your linguistic intelligence and unlock the door to your next novella.
1.) Interview a customer about particular concerns/challenges as well as solutions and then blog about it. I’m sure they will love the attention & it gets their name advertised in social media for free. Or you can opt to share an anecdote about an issue that occurred in your own business, from the problem to the solution.
2.) Dialogue with industry-friends via social media and let the responses shape a blog post or video blog with them weighing in on topics relevant to industry news items.
3.) Consider product or service comparisons, a Consumer Reports of sort but on issues like social media, graphic design, use of WordPress themes vs. traditional HTML websites.
4.) Report on a conference or webinar you attended giving perspective to real issues facing people in your own industry or some great highlights and tricks of the trade that you learned.
5.) Address customer questions you’ve received on the same topic/aspect of service. This lets them know that you’re listening and are willing to receive feedback once it’s out on the www.
6.) Expand upon a comment you wrote on someone else’s blog & parlay that into your own blog post. Tread lightly here, these are your peers after all. But bringing in a different angle never hurts.
7.) Correlate what inspires your daily life into the business world and create a blog connection. Hence, look out for my upcoming blog “Coloring In and Out of the Lines in Social Media” – thanks to my daughter’s crayons.
There are a bunch of movies in which individuals team up to take on obstacles they never could have faced alone. My absolute favorites are the Lord of the Rings trilogy in which a group of nine set out to destroy a ring and a Dark Lord. While in the movies, the forming of the Fellowship was a bit more of a volunteer effort, the books tell of a more deliberate approach. Each individual was selected for their particular strengths and how they could best accomplish the goal of saving the world.
While creating a web platform for your business might not equate to “saving the world” per se, the fact is that having a good website gives your business a competitive edge that other marketing methods simply can’t. It can help mobile users find you, help reach a global market, and so much more.
While there are individuals that claim to do it all, the fact of the matter is that no one person can do everything well. Even superheroes have holes in their skillset, and that’s okay…unless you need Kryptonite disposal and you’ve hired Superman. You don’t want to end up with a site that isn’t visually pleasing or whose code keeps search engines from ranking you properly.
Here at Design Theory, I’m fortunate enough to work alongside amazing professionals who are awesome at what they do and who work great together. Design is not my strong suite, but I know that I’m working with people who actually know what kerning is or who understand UI design far better than I ever will. That’s better for clients because they get a strong site that fulfills their business goals with an appealing design and clean, valid code.
This week I’m publishing what I hope to be a series in video interviews with some of our partners and clients of Design Theory. Without them, there’s no us, and without them, we wouldn’t have learned so much. Let me explain… See one of our “theories” is that a client isn’t a one time sale, each of our clients are business relationships. Meaning, they’re with us for the long haul. We learn about them, they learn about us. We help them, they help us.
This interview with Avi is the start of showing or even being a bit more transparent with our business relationships. We asked Avi some questions that not many people know about him, his business, and what makes his brand so different from the rest. See for yourself in this short interview and let us know what you think.
So we’re pretty excited about the upcoming year. It would seem as though this year flew by pretty quickly now looking back. We’ve learned so much about the design industry yet feel there is still way more to learn. We’ve learned and met a lot of you readers both online and in person and look forward to meeting more as the next year rolls in.
There’s a couple of reasons for the excitement. Aside from it just being a new year and a sense of renewal in life and business; we are expanding the content we’re going to be writing about in this blog. It will be a bit more personal, transparent, and more diverse. We’ve brought on a new intern and look forward to her contributions to the blog as well as the Design Theory brand. I won’t get into that too much just yet until we’re ready to officially introduce her. As for the personality, you’re going to hear a bit more about the team. Who we are and more of what we do individually to contribute to this firm. The transparency I think will be interesting. Giving you an in-depth look at what we really do, what programs and apps and tactics we use, and honesty on things we feel need to be said in terms of reviews and strategies.
Video interviews are coming! We’re going to get out there among our business partners and find out what makes them tick. What makes them successful, and what makes them stand apart from their competition. We’ll also be highlighting some firms that are doing it right in the fields of
IT and Technology
So we’d also like to hear from you. If there’s something you’ve been looking to get a real answer on that can help you and your business, feel free to ask us. You’d be surprised at the questions we get via email and phone from our clients each week that sometimes are similar between them. We’re hear to help!