Gmail vs. Constant Contact

So Gmail vs. Constant Contact – I had a good friend ask which they should be using.

It seems they had someone question their use of Gmail in their business.constant-contact-share-logo

They had been told that Gmail was bad and Constant Contact was good. My view is that person did not really know exactly what they were talking about – as they are different tools, although both do use email.

Gmail is simply an online general purpose email program – very robust, VERY secure (if your password is secure) and full of great features.

I checked the CC website just to confirm that they had not changed since I last used them (I have had a few clients used CC).

Constant Contact is an email autoresponder and list management tool. IT does not do general email duties (well not easily – not designed for that).

CC does a great job (better than Gmail) at managing a list of contacts, sending out emails to that list, sending out newsletters, and doing automated email functions.

Since they are different tools, I would say that you could use them both – if needed.

Don’t stop using Gmail and if it serves your purpose, keep using it.

If you need more email automation (sign-ups from your website, regular newsletters or automated emails going out to your list) then CC is a great tool.

Although I would persgmail-logoonally recommend MailChimp for my clients (second choice would be Aweber, third choice Constant Contact – but just my preference).

Facebook Page Organic Reach

Here is an amazing  post full of great information from Mari Smith

 

WordPress

wordpress1WordPress is quickly becoming a standard web creation platform. It was originally a blogging platform. WordPress then added more functionality – the ability to have static pages and full featured menus. This allowed WordPress to be used to create full websites rather than simply a blog.

WordPress is a very stable and efficient website platform. On going updates keep it quite secure, even though there have been many attacks on WordPress sites and the code. As always, good security measures by the WordPress developer will ensure your website security.

WordPress has since added more back end database functionality (custom post types). This has now made WordPress surpass platforms like Joomla and Drupal as a content management platform.

The main attraction to WordPress from a developer and content manager perspective is ease of use. A highly intuitive WYSIWYG editor allows content to be entered painlessly and look good withing the website structure and layout. As well, the variety of themes available, and consistency in design elements makes developers jobs easier.

Programmers and Developers have flocked to WordPress to add new functionality and design through three main areas > Themes (and theme frameworks), Plugins and Widgets within themes and plugins.

Themes control the overall look and design of a WordPress site. They set the structure, and the control all the design elements.

wordpress2Plugins offer extra functionality to a WordPress website. From adding forms and email signup to ensuring the site is optimized for the search engines, and even controlling Spam – many key functions can be enhanced with WordPress plugins.

Widgets are built into the core WordPress system as well as into many themes and plugins. This allows the site administrator to control where key elements of the website will appear on the site.

WordPress continues to evolve – another rendition is expected soon. Increased user-friendliness is a primary concern in new editions as well as enhancing security.

If you are planning a new website or redoing your old website – I highly recommend using WordPress as your platform.

Content Marketing is the heart of online success

The internet was created as a form of communication.

Therefore it should come as no surprise that the content on the internet is the most important thing about the internet.

If people want to know it – they will read it, view it, watch it and ultimately share it.

So if you want to use the internet as part of your overall marketing strategy – you better create great content.

 
The anatomy of content marketing - the heart of online success

Online Video Creation

Video is quickly becoming the media of choice on the internet.  Youtube continues to grow. Many sites are adding video directly to their pages.  The major media sites are littered with video  (almost too much for my preference – but I may be old school).

If you want to dabble in video there are many ways to do it.  I found a few sites that can help you out.

First a helping hand from an excellent resource site – Free Technology for Teachers – that gives a guide to creating online videos >> http://www.freetech4teachers.com/p/video-creation-resources.html#.UDpcWaNhGIA

Another site that promises ‘the easiest way to create video’ is Qwiki.com. I haven’t tried them yet, but I was impressed with the demo and the sample videos they have.  I am going to test them out.

Videolicious.com is another video creation site that looks similar to Animoto.  Their personal plan allows only personal videos but their business plan is only $60 for the year and allows movies up to 10 minutes in length with no ads – a great deal in my opinion.