I know, this sounds more like one of my assignments versus a blog post, however, the project can be anything from launching a new product to rebranding your company image. We at Personalized Marketing Inc not only understand but have also recently gone through a rebranding phase. When you decide to start something new you should consider all the elements involved, such as the time you estimate it will take and then add some more. The steps to creating the new item, then add a few more. The time to launch the new item, then add a bit more time. Notice the theme taking place? “A few more / bit more.” When you start working on a new project one of the most important factors to remember is to be flexible. You may find yourself delayed or a task taking longer than anticipated. Also, let’s face it, we live in a digital age and I.T. is “In Theory” if nothing else.
So when it comes to launching a new product, let’s say a book, then you have to give yourself not just the time to finish writing and editing it but also time to market. Yes, I said finish editing it. Book launches should be planned out before the event. They should also start before the book goes on sale or at least when the pre-order option is available. When you are planning out the launch, you have to leave enough time for the final edits, the cover (if not previously made), uploading to your preferred retailer, their submission time, and then where all you want to talk about your book. You cannot just contact a major blog or website and assume that you can get exposure in the same week. Blogs and advertising sites that are popular can be scheduled up for a year in advance.
You also should leave time for collecting the information, such as where you are advertising, what reviews have been sent out, is there a special pricing period. These require using tools such as Excel or Project Manager. (Yes my manager, Cindy, is laughing because I used the “E” word). However, let’s face it when it comes to collecting large amounts of data that needs to be organized and accessed from different locations, spreadsheets or databases are the way to go. Leaving room for “more” means that when a task takes longer than anticipated you are not stressing out over the extra time, items, budgeting, ‘the more’ parts.
#PMInc #Marketing #Websites #Business #ProjectManagement #Consulting #Design #Digital
We want to thank everyone that participated in the event! Hard to believe that the month-long celebration is over... It has been an amazing and wonderful journey! We look forward to providing you with customized services for another 10 Years!
You might wonder why you would want to move your website in the first place... There are a few main reasons...
Whatever your reason for wanting to move your website or blog, there are a few variables to consider.
Is the domain name with your current provider or a different register?
Knowing where your domain name is registered if they allow you to edit the DNS and how long the process takes on their end are important things to know. If you are moving your domain name to the new provider, you have to allow time for the domain name changes to populate. Some only take a few hours while others can take up to 7 business days. If the domain is hosted elsewhere, you will also want to know if you have to purchase a primary domain for the hosting account.
Do you have more than one website to move?
If so, are they small or large websites? One may assume that their website is small until they get inside the filing system, suddenly that relatively small site is much larger than expected. WordPress websites, for example, can often have anywhere from 3 to 12 copies of the same image just in different sizes. Plugins also have their own folders, their own files and sometimes those files can get rather large. It's better to check and make sure that you know exactly what you need before making the move.
Many of the hosting companies now offer services to move your website for you and some even have temporary domains so you can check the site out before starting the DNS changes.
Do you have a 3rd party backup of the website?
This one is a big one... Once you leave your current hosting provider, you may no longer have access to any backups on their server. It is important to have a 3rd party or location backup of your site. You may also find that with some hosting providers they have a standard cPanel and others have something completely different. Then there are managed WordPress sites and those that are not, different providers can have different names inside the WordPress Database.
Not all hosting companies provide an 800 number for consumers to call for support and some charge for those calls. Knowing what type of support system you need is also important. You may find yourself facing a major problem and emailed support alone is not enough. Remember, you get what you pay for ... the same is especially true for website hosting.
As you may have noticed, Personalized Marketing Inc no longer offers website hosting. We decided it was better for you the client for us to offer a variety of hosting packages instead of just one. The companies we list on our affiliate page not only meet technical requirements but they also have excellent customer service.
The best advice we can offer to you is 'Make A Plan' to move your website. Write down your requirements, check out the providers and set a date to start. Just because you plan on moving your site on say Saturday, does not mean that it will be done by Sunday morning. So know your stats, inform your visitors, and plan ahead. If the hosting company says it will take 24 - 72 hours, plan on it taking 72 - 96 hours. Give yourself the extra time, that way if it does only take 12 hours, then you have extra time to check things out. If it does take 96 hours (4 days), then you have planned for that and do not feel overwhelmed by the option.
Your website is your official home on the web. It is the storefront to you and your products. It is where you tell people about what's going on and where. If you are overwhelmed by all the steps, the information from different providers and just do not want to chance losing anything... hire someone. It is better to pay an expert to make sure there are copies, move your website, adjust your DNS, and error check the site; then to either stress out about it or worse have something go wrong and cost a lot more.
#PMInc #Hosting #WordPress #HTML
We have covered a variety of topics this month … Websites, Hosting, SSL, SEO, Emails, Marketing, and of course scheduling; each one an essential extension of the others. You cannot have a good website without a great hosting service. Your fabulous new site cannot be found without SEO, SEM, and Marketing. Your email campaigns, website, and social media networks rely on marketing. None of these would be possible without scheduling the time to do them.
Being online, at a brick-and-mortar location, operating from a Kiosk, or any way you can have a business or product to offer, means you have to consider how each element affects the other. If you have a fabulous website, awesome product and good hosting, but you do not have SEO or Marketing, how will people find you? Or if they can find you and the hosting is not the best option, will they wait on your site to load or leave to buy the item elsewhere? Maybe you have everything but forgot that all-important SSL, did you know that some sites cannot be viewed on a mobile device without one?
Having the right package is more than just checking the boxes of the items you want, it is also making sure that you have the items you need. Catering or personalizing a package for a client is more than just going “Yes, we can do that” it’s also evaluating and pointing out what YOU might also “NEED”.
As for the Holiday Weekend…
Put what matters to you first, enjoy time with family and friends… we are!
I can guarantee that the work will be waiting when you return.
See you on Tuesday… Happy Labor Day!
#PMInc #RealMarketing #OrganicGrowth #Marketing #SEO #WordPress #LaborDay
It’s interesting when you get to celebrate your actual birthday and your company’s anniversary at the same time. You find yourself thinking about what is important to both you and the business. What core values you have for your own life and how does that compare to the company you run. We are finishing up the Month-Long Anniversary Party and I want to thank each person who has been involved with it. I also want to send a special thank you to God, my family, our clients, and Cindy, because each one is the only reason we have made it for 10 years.
As you may know, I recently went back to College to obtain a Master’s Degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing. I must say even though I have only been taking classes for a few short weeks, it has been enlightening. It has also reiterated Personalized Marketing Inc’s statement, “Providing Customized Services Based On Your Needs”. It has also brought focus to YOU. Personalized Marketing Inc has always been a transparent company and the services we offer are built on the clients. We also believe in going above and beyond for those we work with, which yes does often mean learning something new to help satisfy the needs of the client or reaching out to others when needed.
10 years ago, this summer, Personalized Marketing Inc opened its doors, not because it was planned but because the need existed. I had been asked by friends for help with their marketing needs. Which then later prompted the opening of Personalized Marketing & Promotions. We are based on our clients, our service and want to continue helping those who need it. We have evolved from doing basic marketing items and small websites; to creating full scale marketing packages and beautiful eCommerce sites. In the beginning, we marketed the company as much as we did our clients. Now, we market the clients more than the company itself. Is this the corporate way to do it? Nope, but it is the right way to do business. We have a choice as a service provider to either remember who we work with or to pay attention to that “bottom line”. Being in customer service (yes, that is what we are) we must always remember who’s important, YOU.
Today’s blog is supposed to be about marketing, and well some of this post was about it… But more importantly, it is about YOU. We want you to know that no matter what service we offer, no matter if we do it ourselves or find someone who can, we want YOU to know that we value your trust and are honored you chose us to help.
We will get back to Marketing next week for the final Personalized Marketing Inc 10th Anniversary Blog Post.
There are only a few days to enter the drawing…
Welcome to Weeks 3 & 4 of the Month-Long 10th Anniversary Party. The discount for Week 3 & 4 is Marketing, so is the topic for the blog. Today, you cannot afford to not have marketing, there are hundreds of thousands of other sites and just putting out quality content is not enough.
Organic Marketing is more than just putting a few ads up and hoping that people find you. It takes dedication and time to create real organic growth, it takes knowing who your target niche is and what they are interested in. You also must keep at it, you cannot post occasionally and expect the same outcome as being dedicated.
Just as with the Personalized Marketing Inc blogs, when the Real Marketing for Organic Growth blogs turned a year old, we informed readers to expect change. When we began the month-long anniversary party, we let readers know that the blogs would be more frequent for the month. You have to keep your readers and fans updated but then you also have to stick to what you said.
There are some great tools for keeping you on track, helping you to share your thoughts, and ultimately finding out the much-needed information for your target audience. Marketing is not a short walk or an espresso shot, it is a long distance, full-bodied, vacuum pressed pot of quality coffee and time.
Week 3 & 4 (Aug 17th to 31st)
Do not forget to register for the drawing for a special gift between August 24th and August 31st
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the use of keywords, images, meta tags, links and content that search engines use to determine your ranking. SEO is also website submission to those Search Engines and the use of Marketing. Think of SEO as a roadmap, maps tell us which turns to make to get to a destination. Search Engines tell users what destination to take based on their search.
SEO is important because if you do not have it, then you will rank low on the Search Engines. If people cannot find you or they do not know who you are but are looking for what you offer, and you are not listed within the first couple pages, then they are likely to go elsewhere. SEO not only leads to new people finding you it also helps your current followers know where all they can find you.
Search Engine Optimization is not a short burst of activity, it takes time and dedication to get ranked, it takes time for the Search Engines to populate changes. Yes, there are ways you can ‘pay’ to be ranked rapidly at the top of a Search Engine, however, when you stop paying to be there, without the right efforts, you will fade from the top pages of the search. SEO if done right takes time, it takes making sure that your basics are covered, such as image names. When you put a new image up are you taking the time to name it something relevant, are you giving it a title? The same can be said for links and content, is it relevant to the page name, did you add those all important ‘headers’? Headers, bolding and italicizing are not just there for looks, they not only grab the readers attention, but they also tell the search engines information as well.
SEO Special (Includes Business Site Submission)
#PMInc #SEO #Websites #Marketing
To see what is best for the clients, we must see what is best for the company as well. As with our new look, we did an “out with the old, in with the new” concerning the design and primary services. We have always offered customized services and will continue to do so, however, we needed to find a better way to give you what you need. Think about your website hosting, maybe you do not have one yet and are looking at some options. Now, think about when you go buy a car or computer, you not only look at the brand name but also the value of your dollar. Sure, there are hosting companies that seem to offer packages that look like you are paying literally pennies per dollar when in reality you are giving up critical elements.
Website hosting today is shared hosting, which essentially means that your site and potentially hundreds of others are all using the same server (shoving more files into an already cramped drawer). Shared hosting is not a bad thing, but you want to use a company that offers packages where you have fewer sites on one server. You also want a company that offers backups, CDN, Firewalls, SSL, Emails, and set up for the type of website you want. Your website is your “Online Presence, Your Storefront, Your Point of Contact” it should be hosted where it can really shine and not be bogged down by overloaded resources.
Which then comes in companies like Personalized Marketing Inc, we do website designs, we also do website support, we also pay attention to the fine print on hosting options. We want to know if the service we recommend is actually worth its bottom dollar or if you will be paying for substandard quality. We also want to know what their customer service is like? Do you talk to a machine or wait days for a response? Do you find yourself waiting on the phone for hours only to get someone ‘reading a screen’? Many sites have ‘buy this and get that’, is the ‘this’ worth the ‘that’? (Sorry, spiraling for a moment there)
You will notice that we do not have many hosting companies listed on Personalized Marketing Inc. Either we have not tested the other company, or we have and found that it’s not the best solution for us or our clients. Providing customized services means that you personalize them to each person or organization. It also means that you do the homework and if you find something better, you let the client know.
No, we did not go into this offering everything that we do. What we did, however, was talk to the client, find out what they needed, figured out the best way to do it, then offered it to them. If we cannot provide, we find somewhere else that can. We want you to be happy with your services, we want each client to be successful in their ventures, we also know that times change and so must Personalized Marketing Inc.
Just like with our original name, Personalized Marketing & Promotions, we realized that to offer the best services possible, we had to rethink how we provided them. What areas were best suited and which services had to go. Personalized Marketing Inc offers many of the original services, but some things were dropped. Why? Because there was a better company, it required a skillset we did not have on staff, or it was a ‘fluff’ product. Take website development, yes, we can and have done Joomla, Drupal, even Ruby on Rails. We no longer offer support or builds for Ruby. Why? Because there are developers out there that do it better and all the time. It’s a part of putting YOU first and being a transparent company.
One thing that I have done to improve the level of services we offer is return to the University of Phoenix for my M.B.A with a concentration in marketing. Why? Because times have changed, and everyone needs to be refreshed or learn what’s new out there. Our Manager Cindy lives and breathes business administration, she also loves editing and is a killer designer (see the Main Chess Pieces Slide on site). I look forward to great things coming from her and the skills she offers our clients.
We are still working on the Real Marketing for Organic Growth workbook. The process is taking a bit longer than originally planned but we feel that is a good thing since you should get more benefit from it. I also do not want to rush it and am trying to make sure that the topics requested are being covered.
#PMInc #Hosting #10Years
Sorry so late with the blog… We have been working hard to bring you the new site version of Personalized Marketing Inc, which I am happy to say launches August 1st! I have also returned to school to obtain my Masters in Business with a certification in Marketing, it’s been a great experience so far.
I know I recently did an article series not long ago that mentioned websites in them, however, with us launching our new design and some bumps along the road, it seems pertinent. Websites require reliable hosting, they require access to dedicated servers, they most generally use a database and often have areas where security is a must; which if you do not have an SSL you could find yourself falling in the rankings!
Cindy and I built Personalized Marketing Inc’s new site on the content management platform (CMS) WordPress, so we have all of those needs mentioned before and sometimes additional headaches. If you have ever used WordPress then you know of plugins, which are great when they work but when they do not it can be a headache. Plugins, unless you make them, are generally taken care of via third party, if a core update conflict with the plugin, it can and will stop working right. If that happens then your entire site will come down. Recently, I have noticed several plugins that worked beautifully for years stop working correctly or adding unnecessary id tags. The cleaner your website code the better it works.
WordPress generally sends out an update at least once a month and lately several times a month. Turning on Auto Updates in your hosting is an option for keeping the site updated, however, if you have one of those pesky “non-compatible” moments you just found yourself with that headache we mentioned. Which can and has brought websites completely down and if you rely on that site for your business, well you now have a bigger problem. So, if you are not willing to pay to have someone go in and care for your website, then you have to learn to do it yourself. What is your time worth?
It is hard for me to imagine that Personalized Marketing Inc is 10 years old… It does not seem like that much time has come to pass. In the past 10 years, we have had many changes but one thing never will, we are a transparent company that is focused on providing customized services based on the client’s needs and wants. We are a Faith based company that cares about the people we work with and we want to help them thrive by providing the best service we can.
We mark the birthday of the company each year in August for two main reasons: one it is my birthday month and two because I like giving gifts during my birthday month! Normally, I run one discount special all month long, however, this year we are going to be giving out multiple gifts to celebrate. We are also going to draw one special surprise during the month as well. So if you haven’t already signed up to receive our newsletter, if you are not following the blog, or maybe you have not connected with us on Social Media, August 1st is the day to start!