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16 (More) Ways To Earn People’s Trust and Look Credible Online

  |   Business Tips, Email Marketing, Online Etiquette, Reputation, Social Media Marketing   |   14 Comments

16 ways to look like an authority and build trust on the web + a free worksheet!

When you're working on increasing your online trust and authority, one thing is certain: you need to make headway with the simple things first.

Quick accomplishments are motivating. Once you see big results from small efforts, you'll be more inclined to dig in for the long haul and get the entire job done.

In the first blog post in this series, you learned 27 fairly effortless changes you could make to your website design and content in order to look credible online. Today, you're going to learn how to make your emails, sales process, and online etiquette work for you to build your online authority.

These are 16 specific things you can easily start working on TODAY. Your time is money, so let's get down to business:
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20 Things You Might Not Know About Me

  |   Personal   |   8 Comments

Have you ever felt like business blogs should be less detached and a lot more human?

I have to admit, it's hard for me to break away from the more "corporate" way of thinking about blogging.

I love it when I see others loosen up, be vulnerable, or just have some totally un-business related fun on their blogs.

But when I do it?

Gosh. It just feels WEIRD.

Today, however, hold on to your mouse pads because I'm embracing those weird feelings! That's because this post is nothing about what I do or what I know, and everything (okay, well, not everything, geez!) about who I am.

Have fun reading it, and then add to the fun by sharing some personal tidbits of your own!

Here we go.

looking-down
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27 Ways To Earn People’s Trust And Look Credible Online

  |   Branding, Business Tips, PR, Reputation, Social Media Marketing   |   33 Comments

27 ways to earn people's trust and look credible online as a business owner or blogger + a free worksheet!

It seems that everywhere I go online there are women business owners, entrepreneurs, and business-minded bloggers that are asking the same three questions about their web presence:

"How do I become an influencer?"

"How do I get people to buy from or hire me?"

and

"How do I look like an expert and not an amateur?"

There are a million and one ways to answer these questions, but what they all boil down to is this: to succeed online you must first earn people's trust.

Without trust you will never be viewed as a legitimate business or a credible authority in your field. You need that impression of legitimacy in order to attract clients and customers, look professional, and earn a reputation as a respectable thought-leader.

But how can you earn trust merely by using the web? If you're anything like me, you're crazy busy and forget half of what you need to do right after you read it. You need something that's not a major undertaking and can be done relatively fast, so let's start with the small changes that make a sizable impact.

Here are 27 (fairly) effortless things you can do right now to earn more credibility online. Pick at least one and get the ball rolling after you read this post!
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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   |   103 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   |   20 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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