3 Reasons Hosting Your Own Blog Is A Must If You Are Serious About Blogging

Over the past few years blogging has been growing in popularity as a method for marketing an online business. But many people that make the decision to start a blog go out there and get one of those “free” blogs that you can just sign up for. Now this is all fine and dandy but if you’re serious about building a real following and get real results from your blogging efforts then you need to get a self hosted blog. Why you ask? Let’s get into just that.

The first thing that we’ll get into around why you need to host your own blog is about the “Look and Feel” of your blog. See with the free blog platforms out there you only have a limited number of designs that you can choose from. You can’t just go on there and start changing what it looks like. They have a set number of designs that you can pick from that that’s it.

Whereas when you host a blog yourself, you can do pretty much anything that you want to it. Change colors, move things around, delete things, add things, anything. There are literally millions of different blog layouts (or themes) out there and if you can’t find something that you want all you have to do is just hire a coder to create it for you.

So you truly have unlimited options in the way of the “Look and Feel” of your blog and that becomes very important as we’ll get into here.

The second reason you don’t want to use a free blogging platform is because of “Professionalism”. People that are searching around on the internet looking to find information on whatever it is they are looking for, want to see a site that looks good.

Now yes, the free platforms look good but it shows that they’re free. And from the eyes of a perspective buyer to your business, seeing a free site means that this business might not be doing so well if they can’t pay for a site of their own.

People want to do business with someone who is reputable, not just some fly by night business and having a “free” website doesn’t give the impression that you’ll be around for a while.

The third and biggest reason is because of “Control”. Control over the content that get’s put up onto the site. See when you use a free blogging platform they have the power and the ability to delete anything on your blog that they don’t like. Say you make some comment that they don’t like well they can just shut down your blog and everything that you would have done would disappear.

But by having your own blog that you self host, no one can shut it down. You have total control over what you say and what you do. And if the worst case your hosting company doesn’t want to host your site for some reason and wants to take away your hosting, you can just move the blog to another hosting company.

Remember, you have the total control over what happens on your site. You can write however you want to write and say anything that you want to say. And this is really important for long term success online.

So when you go out there and you start your own blog, host it yourself. It’s your blog and you should have the power over the “Look and Feel”, the “Professionalism”, and the “Control” of your content. If you don’t, you might end up losing out on either a lot of business or you might lose out on the site itself.

Copywriting Lessons From My First (Tele) Marketing Job (Or Can You Write a Letter This Good?)

I’ve often spoken about the power of direct mail. It has critically changed my life on several occasions. I’ve rarely shared this story but I think it is another great example of the power of direct mail to change lives.

A while back now, my first business had just folded. I was in need of a pay check at the time, so that I could draw breath and plan my next move.

I wrangled up a casual job telemarketing through a family friend. Good deal really. It was 15 hours a week over 3 days. I was making enough money to cover costs with plenty of spare time to ponder what next.

It wasn’t long after this that I would go on to write copy for a living, but at this stage I didn’t know it was called copywriting, I didn’t know you could do it for a living so I didn’t have the ambition to do so.

I was there to build a mailing list. That was my job. Find the people to go and sell the company’s software to. So I did this for 5 hours a day. I called businesses get the name of the appropriate decision maker. Then when there was an hour to go I would to get the mailing organised and send it out.

After 2 weeks of this the sales team was so far behind on their follow up calls that I was on thin ice.

Nobody could quite believe my success rate on the phone.

After about a month I looked at the mailer being sent out. In a moment of arrogance I thought, yeah I could write a better letter than that.

So I gave it a go. It took me all of two hours. So I was paid like $60 for it.

We mailed about 100. Got three meetings. If memory serves they would make $500 per month from a sale at a minimum, plus consulting, plus ongoing training. So the guy who ran the business was pretty excited.

I think one of them went ahead.

Writing that one letter turned me into the writing guy. I was given everything that the company needed written. It turned into a full time job after about 8 weeks.

Shame the business didn’t have a marketing culture, or a sales culture. It was run by coders. So there was no impetus to take advantage of this ‘discovery.’

From my time there I can lift 3 lessons.

1) One Good Sales Letter Fixes Almost Everything
With the right list and the right sales letter you can fix almost any business problem. Being able to generate a whole lot of leads seamlessly is of vital importance.

2) No Campaign Can Be Effective Without Good Copy
If your copy doesn’t covert, then it almost doesn’t matter how elaborate the campaign is – it will at best underperform at worst be an elaborate waste of money.

3) Good is relative
While I had some copywriting training I was able to out perform a terrible letter. That made me the go to guy in this environment. I don’t have a copy of it in my files which is disappointing, but I know there isn’t much about it I did right. I don’t think there was a single benefit in the letter – only features masked as benefits – fitting of the way a professional project manager would sell their own software.

None the less, it showed me the power of the written word and what difference it can make in your life.

That letter could have launched that business into orbit, with some more marketing smarts. It didn’t happen. Oh well. Not that I had equity.

While doing that job I got serious about copywriting. I mastered the craft by studying at night and taking courses.

I will share this to demonstrate the gap in marketing knowledge out there. Recently, I was contacted by the owner of that business – they’d grown okay over the last 6 or so years, they’d just hired a consultant. The consultant said that he was impressed with the brochures I’d penned back in my early days, they were some of the best he’d ever seen.

Bottom Line: In the end, copywriting is a craft worth mastering. Those sales letters can last a long time and still be making you money for years to come. And now I would like to invite you to claim your FREE instant access to three free “Copywriting Video Critiques” (and two free copywriting reports) when you visit http://www.zacnelles.com/twofreereports

You’ll see how common copywriting mistakes and what you can do to change them to increase the response rate to your sales letters, websites and much more. You can make these changes for yourself right away.

Web Development – Myths About Programming

There are few misconceptions or myths about web development and it is important to understand before any conclusions are made. While working on development projects everyone wants good bug-free code with the best technology and less time to market.

Myth: To get a delayed project finish fast, increase the number of programmers!

So if you want a development project to finish fast you hire more number of programmers? This is not actually true! Adding more programmers to a project will not make it finish faster. It may actually delay the project. There are a lot of theories about this but it has been proved that just increasing the programmers will not complete the project in time or faster.

Myth: For cheaper and faster projects, offshore them!

This is an essential strategy these days for big companies to get projects done at affordable costs. The service providers believe that offloading work to developing economies can help in reducing costs. But again this is not always true. We already that increasing programmers does not mean fast development, similarly sending a project overseas is also not always a good idea. In fact going overseas may make matters worse or increase cost as well because you may have train the new staff increase infrastructure and added to that is the cost of communication between the two teams. Also there the time zone difference and language and culture differences.

It may be a good decision in some cases but there are cases where deadlines have slipped with outsourced projects and work had to be completed by in-house employees.

Of course if you get it right, then it definitely is a cost saver!

Myth: Programmers working long hours are good coders

This is seen many times where programmers work long hours and on weekends staying up late at night. In fact programming is considered as a profession where employees are the most sleep-deprived.

But this is actually not true. Working long hours does not mean productivity.

Putting extra effort to meet deadlines is alright but sometimes the estimate may be unrealistic or project milestones are not clearly defined. Sometimes there are changes in the requirements itself from client. Some new requirements are added midway of the project and the whole timeline goes for a toss.

So programmers have to wait long hours and make up for the delays chasing unrealistic goals.

Effort should not be confused with progress. Putting extra effort does not mean that the project is progressing.

So working long hours does not mean that a programmer is good. In fact programmers would love to leave office on time like everyone else!

Myth: Using cutting edge technology produces good software

While developing software generally the technology is of utmost importance because it decides cross platform compatibility and robustness of software etc.

But it does not mean that just by using a great technology all your problems are solved. It is true that the choice of software tools is important for a product, because server environment, scalability, performance all play a very important role in the success of a product.Building quality software with the right technology is important.

Web development or application development is more about making the right choices and decisions with clear vision ad focus. Choosing the right technology, the right team with required skills and having clear time estimate would lead to a well built product.