Website Design

7 Minutes To An Irresistible Opt-In Box

  |   Business Tips, Email Marketing, Olyvia TV, Website Design   |   41 Comments

How to get more email subscribers in 7 minutes or less (a smart video tutorial for bloggers + entrepreneurs)

Today I have one simple question for you.

Do you have an email opt-in box in your sidebar that nobody seems to notice?

Trying to encourage people to subscribe to your newsletter can feel a lot like trying to herd cats, even if you have an excellent free opt-in gift (aka: "lead magnet") that you've spent weeks carefully crafting and designing.

(You hear me, right? I mean, let's be really, completely, 100% honest here. At times growing our email lists can be excrrrrruciating.)

But WHY? What's going on that makes sidebar opt-in forms so notorious for blah performance?

1. First of all, everybody has those little boxes in the sidebar of their website. They’re easy to ignore because they're nearly all the same. Common layout elements condition people to be "opt-in blind."



2. In an effort to be pretty, too many people try to blend the opt-in box into the rest of their theme by choosing neutral colors and making it diminutive. As a result, the opt-in area doesn't compete for anybody's attention. Rather than saying, "Look over here!" it says, "Oh, don't mind me...

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50+ Of The Best, Most Beautiful Websites For Free Stock Photos (Because Risking Your Biz For A Free Photo Is Silly!)

  |   Business Tips, Resources, Website Design   |   107 Comments

30+ of the best free stock photo websites for your blog and business. (Regularly updated!) Nothing but gorgeous stock photos!

I'm a hopeless sucker for pretty photos. Especially of chic office spaces with colorful, curvy chairs, elegant white desks, and gleaming Macs.

Every time I spot them on Pinterest, I think about how ridiculously perfect they would be for my next blog post.

But, alas, you won't see them here.

Why? Because those photos -- which seem so casually and easily available -- actually aren't free to use. At all.

They belong to somebody, somewhere, and that person or company has legal rights to the exclusive use of that photo. It makes no difference whether they were taken by Penny Q. Smith for her obscure personal blog about thumbtack art or were published on KateSpade.com. If I used them, I'd be breaking the law.

(And could easily be served a crippling $8,000 in copyright infringement fines.)

My business does well, but I don't have large sums of money laying around to throw at random things like, oh, stiff copyright penalties. Do you?
...

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7 Pro Web Design Tips That Will Make You More Money

  |   Business Tips, Website Design   |   21 Comments

Want to make money with your blog or small business website? Your first step is to make sure your design is marketing friendly, not just pretty to view. These 7 tips will help.

You're frustrated. You have a beautiful website that you've spent long hours designing yourself -- or a lot of cash acquiring via the skills of a professional web designer -- but it's not helping you make money like you had hoped.

In fact, you're getting only a few meager website visitors to sign up for your email list, hire your services, buy your products, or even fill out a contact form inquiry!

What gives?

Having designed websites for over a decade, I'll tell you:

A pretty website does not mean a profitable website. (Tweet it.)

And even the most visually elegant design can stink when it comes to conversion rates.

That's because effective website design is only partially about aesthetics like crisp, eye-catching graphics and a clean color scheme.

In order to be successful from a business perspective, a website also has to be designed with savvy marketing, psychology, and user-experience principles in mind.

Below are 7 pro design tips you need to know if you want your website to make you more money. Print them out and give them to your web designer, or use them yourself for your next redesign!
...

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Do Obnoxious Pop-Ups Really Work?

  |   Classy Marketing, Reputation, Website Design   |   28 Comments

Do website pop-ups work and should you use them on your website? No, and here's why.

You've heard the sermon on website pop-ups, right?

It's the one that says you simply MUST use pop-up email subscription boxes if you want to build an email list that rivals the population of a mid-size American city.

In six days.

(Okay. I may be exaggerating. Slightly.)

If this sounds new to you, here's a quick recap!

"Pop-ups will increase your subscribers by 20000% percent overnight!"
"Pop-ups will make you filthy rich!"
"You're a nincompoop if you don't use pop-ups!"
"Amen."

(Such a great word. Nincompoop. It reminds me of my childhood Smurf-watching days. :) )

Obviously these pop-up evangelizers are pretty hardcore -- but do jolting, intrusive, unwanted solicitations actually work?

And should you use them to grow your brand?

Let's take a look. ...

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