Wednesday, February 25, 2009

This Is My "Last" Tip...

Construction works at a prefabricated houseImage via Wikipedia

It's been a long time since I started writing internet marketing tips in January, 2002. And since I started I've written a tip almost every week for 6 years.

During that time the format has changed several times.

  1. The first tips were contained in a weekly email message.

  2. A couple of years later the tips were taken out of the message and placed on a page on the site however they weren't archived.

  3. A year or so later the look of newsletter was redesigned however the tips still weren't archived.

  4. Then when Blogger became popular I saw the advantage of having it archive my tips so the tips were moved from to Blogger.

  5. And while I still like Blogger the tips are moving again.

Starting next week the FriendsWhoCare tips will be hosted on their own blog at

Now this move is long overdue however it wouldn't happened right now if it wasn't for Dan Shaw.

You see Dan has been an active reader and has been an internet friend of mine for several years. He's also a savvy internet marketer himself and knows that a Wordpress blog has more potential and capabilities than a Blogger blog. And being the friend he is last week he gave me the motivation I needed to move the newsletter tips to their own Wordpress blog.

So even though the tip's new home will be under construction for awhile, that's where it's going to be starting March 4, 2009.

And since I'm currently working the design of the tips new home I thought I'd share

5 Tips for a Successful Blog

  1. Make your blog worth reading. Offer useful information or good entertainment to get people to read your blog and come back again and again.

  2. Include things that capture the readers attention like pictures and videos.

  3. Use anchor text in your blog posts. (Anchor text is when you link some of the keywords and keyword phrases in your content to sites.)

  4. Use social networking sites to drive traffic to your blog.

  5. Bookmark your blog on at least 3 or 4 of the major bookmarking sites.

Having a successful blog is a great way to increase traffic to your site and to make more money. So if you don't have 1 I recommend you get 1. You can use a free blog host like I've done for several years or host your own like I did at SusanCarrollHome and starting next week for our weekly internet marketing tip.

Please leave a comment. - Thanks.

To Your Success,

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Wednesday, February 18, 2009

CSS Is Not Rocket Science

Space Shuttle Atlantis takes flight on the STS...Image via Wikipedia

If you've read my ebook "10 Internet Marketing Statements You Need To Understand Before You Give Up On Your Online Business" you already know what "It's not rocket science" actually means.

And since knowing what a cascading style sheet (CSS) is and how to use CSS style tags shouldn't be rocket science I've created a slide show.

The slide show doesn't cover all the capabilities of CSS and won't make you an expert CSS programmer. It's intent is to give you a start on understanding the basics of CSS and will:
  1. Explain why CSS is an important part of website design.
  2. Tell you where you can use a free online CSS generator.
  3. Tell you when to include CSS code in your HTML and when to use an external CSS file.
  4. Show you how to use HTML tags to put CSS code in your HTML code.
  5. Show you how to make a CSS external style sheet and how to link it to your HTML pages.

Easy CSS
View more presentations from Susan Carroll. (tags: how to)

If you liked today's tip or would like to add to the list please leave a comment. - Thanks.

To Your Success,

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Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Common Writing Mistakes--Part 2

Warning signImage via Wikipedia

This is the second and last part of our 2 part series about some of the common mistakes people make when writing articles, web site content and email.

Last week we talked about 3 common types of improper word usage.

This week we'll discuss the punctuation rules and recommendations for online writing.

11 Punctuation Rules and Recommendations for Online Writing

7 Rules:

  1. Periods, exclamation marks, question marks and commas always go inside of quotation marks.

  2. There is never a space before a period or before a comma.

  3. In hyphenated words there are no spaces on either side of a hyphen.

  4. Use a question mark only after a direct question.

  5. If the last word in a sentence ends in a period (a.m.), do not follow it with another period.

  6. There is never a space before or after punctuation marks included in a number ($2.97, 1,234, 10:05).

  7. There are no spaces before or after an apostrophe used in a contraction (don't).

4 Recommendations:

  1. Only 1 space only is required after every punctuation mark (period, exclamation mark, question mark, colon, semicolon, commas, etc.), including bullets and numbers.

  2. Don't use Excessive Punctuation (!!!!!) in the content of your articles and web page content. Headlines and Sub-Headlines may violate this rule occasionally but not too often.

  3. Only use 3 dots when doing this "..."

  4. When using dashes, use two in a row like in the title of this tip.

Unfortunately HTML editors and word processors won't help you catch punctuation errors. I typed "this is a test to see . if twenty - five" into both Frontpage and Word and neither of the violated rules (2 and 3) were caught.

The best way to verify your punctuation is to carefully proof read what you've written and check your punctuation marks.

Remember, when writing for the web you want to write as if you're talking to someone however you must also remember they are actually reading your words. And to have them read what you're saying you must use the correct words and punctuation.

If you liked today's tip or would like to add to the list please leave a comment. - Thanks.

To Your Success,

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Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Common Writing Mistakes--Part 1

We've all been told that when you write something for your online readers you write as if you're talking to them. And while it's good advice it's not as easy as it sounds.

You see, when you talk to someone you don't have to worry about how things are spelled or what punctuation to use. However when you write you don't want to throw your reader off with a lot of glaring mistakes.

Now no one is perfect and we all make make an occasional writing mistake. I know because I've not only seen the occasional error on others' sites but I've also had some of mine pointed out to me by my readers. And although we're all going to make a few mistakes the goal is to keep them to a minimum.

So this week and next week I'm going to go over 2 areas where the most common online writing mistakes are made. This week we'll cover 3 of the most common types of improper word usage.

3 Types of Improper Word Usage

  1. Contractions that sound like other words:

    There - Their - They’re

    * There indications a location.

    * Their is the possessive version of they.

    * They’re is a contraction, short for they are.

    Its - It’s

    * Its is the possessive version of it.

    * It’s is a contraction, short for it is.

    Your - You’re

    * Your describes the possessor as someone else.

    * You’re is a contraction, short for you are.

    Were - We're

    * Were is the plural version of was.

    * We're is a contraction, short for we are.

  2. Sound alike words:

    Know - No

    * Know is usually a verb meaning to understand.

    * No is a negative reply, refusal or disagreement.

    To - Too - Two

    * To is a function word to indicate relative position.

    * Too can indicate excessiveness or in addition to.

    * Two is the number 2.

    A lot - Allot - Alot

    * A lot is an indication of amount.

    * Allot means to distribute.

    * Alot is not a word.

  3. Common misused words:

    Loose - Lose

    * Loose is an adjective, the opposite of tight or contained.

    * Lose is a verb that means to suffer a loss.

    Choose - Chose

    * Choose is a present tense verb meaning to select.

    * Chose is a past tense verb meaning to select.

    Effect - Affect

    * Effect is usually a noun meaning result.

    * Affect is usually a verb meaning to influence.

    I.e. - E.g.

    * I.e. means in other words.

    * E.g. means for example.
You may think that using a good HTML editor or word processor will help you catch these types of common mistakes. Actually an HTML editor won't help at all and a word processor will help but it won't catch or fix all of them.

For example, I found that my version of Word:

  • caught and automatically fixed the your - you're usage

  • caught and highlighted the chose - choose usage but didn't fix it

  • didn't catch the were - we're usage

And neither FrontPage or Nvu caught any of them.

So the next time you're writing an email message, article or web page remember to use your tools to check your spelling and word usage and then carefully proof read what you've written. Making an occasional mistake is 1 thing however making lots of mistakes or the same mistake several times can really hurt your credibility.

If you liked today's tip or would like to add to the list please leave a comment. - Thanks.

To Your Success,


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