From Loren Nelson, NelsonEcom
Internet Solutions | Visual Design
Web Sites, Podcasts, Multimedia, & Usability Engineering

January 24, 2008 – Vol. XII, No. 03


NetBits is the weekly newsletter keeping your informed of various chatter and other tidbits of potential relevance.


In This Issue:

Item One: 10 Best Places You’ve Never Heard Of
Item Two: Proposition S Taxes Internet Use
Item Three: Nutrition Tip – The New Diet Coke
Item Four: Word of the Week
Item Five: 25 ways to Add Quality Content to Your Web Site (cont’)
Do you know…

Do you want to create more conversions out of visitors to your web site? Or, increase the chances that your message gets through to a visitor, thereby, creating a sale, attracting a customer or converting someone to your point of view? Full-motion online video is becoming the "killer app" that can revolutionize website communications and ecommerce. Contact us for more information.

1. 10 Best Places You’ve Never Heard Of

The best places you’ve never heard of (and, frankly, neither had we). Go now, before the rest of the world catches up.

2. Proposition S Taxes Internet Use

LA county residents will be asked to cast their yes or no vote on Proposition S on February 5. Read the lastest effort of politicians to tax the internet, DSL, wireless services, text messaging, instant messaging, VoIP, PCS and other similar services.

3. Nutrition Tip – The New Diet Coke

Do you drink diet soda by the gallon, but worry about possible long-term health effects? Well, worry no more because the new Diet Coke Plus will ease your mind.Billed as a "Health and ellness brand", it has 15 percent of the B vitmains you need daily and 10 percent of the zinc and magnesium. A Pepsi product called Tava, debuting this fall, will also have small amounts of B and E vitamins, plus chromium. The drinks are the latest in the fortified-food trend. (Orange juice, milk, bread, cereal, even bottled water — all "infused" with vitamins and minerals came first). Nutrition experts caution that these drinks aren’t true "health foods". While Diet Coke Plus has no sugar, fat or calories, it does contain caffeine. (The artificial sweeteners in sodas have no health risks, the latest research shows). Still, if you occasionally forget to take your daily multivitamin, a bottle or can of any vitamin-infused drink might help you out.

4. Word of the Week

cabal • \kuh-BAHL\ • noun

1 : the artifices and intrigues of a group of persons secretly united in a plot (as to overturn a government); also : a group engaged in such artifices and intrigues

2 : club, group

Example Sentence:
The journalist uncovered evidence that a cabal of power brokers was plotting to overthrow the government.

Did you know?
In A Child’s History of England, Charles Dickens associates the word "cabal" with a group of five ministers in the government of England’s King Charles II. The initial letters of the names or titles of those men (Clifford, Arlington, Buckingham, Ashley, and Lauderdale) spelled "cabal," and Dickens dubbed them the "Cabal Ministry." These five men were widely regarded as invidious, secretive plotters and their activities may have encouraged English speakers to associate "cabal" with high-level government intrigue. But their names are not the source of the word "cabal," which was in use decades before Charles II ascended the throne. The term can be traced back through French to "cabbala," the Medieval Latin name for the Kabbalah, a traditional system of esoteric Jewish mysticism.

5. 25 ways to Add Quality Content to Your Web Site

(contiuned from last week)

11. FAQ’s. FAQ’s are content – content that your target audience wants to know. As you get questions from your readers, add additional Q&A’s to your FAQ’s to keep them current.

12. How-to guides. People love “how to” guides. If you sell online plumbing parts, why not have a “how to” guide on installing a new toilet? Make it easy on your customers, and they’ll come back to you again and again. Create a series of “how to” guides. Be The Toilet Guy on the Net. May not sound too glamorous, but if you’re highly visible on the Net and are converting traffic to sales, you can afford to be glamorous OFF the Net!

13. Content that solves a problem. Why do people visit the Web? To look for information or to comparison shop. If you can solve problems for your visitors, you’re giving them just what they’re looking for online. For example, let’s say that you sell Oriental rugs. Your potential customer might be looking for decorating ideas for her office. Her office is very small, and she’s trying to think of a way to add color. Most of the wall space is taken up with windows and metal bookcases. You’ve created a series of content that shows pictures of problems/solutions that your oriental rugs have solved, including one with an Oriental runner. Not only does the content have pictures, it also has text describing each problem and the corresponding solution. Your potential customer found your page in the search engine results.

14. Historical data. Let’s say that you sell steel pipes. What’s the history of steel pipes? Creating a page outlining its history is quite appropriate. In fact, taking it a step further, creating pages that compare steel to copper and other types of piping; what causes rust; how strong is steel; how valuable steel piping really is (how steel piping is used in almost every building, etc.); how long will steel last; and on and on and on will create a whole section of extremely valuable content to a Web site. Here’s the catch. Is this valuable to the target audience of the steel pipe company? Think of one target audience: vocational education classes all over the US. This would be a great resource for them. If they linked to this site, all of them being .edu’s, wouldn’t this be a great link popularity builder for the site? Think about that for a minute. We’re talking about quality content and quality link building. Another example of historical data would be a hotel on St. Simons Island. The hotel could certainly provide historical data about the island on its Web site as well as tour information, etc. How could a site that sells mustang parts use this strategy? A site that sells wedding dresses?

15. Interviews – the easiest way of building content yet! Interview an expert in your industry. Send the expert a list of questions and let the expert answer in his/her own words. Don’t change any of the expert’s answers, except to correct misspellings or grammatical errors. Always be upfront with the expert, and always maintain the integrity of the article and yourself. Write a series of interview articles, and highlight them on the main page of your site.

16. Seasonal articles. Is your industry “seasonal” in any respect? If so, seasonal articles are always extremely popular.

17. Statistics. Offering stats on your site is also another way of adding content to a Web site. If the stats aren’t your own, always indicate where you’re getting them. Quote the source! How could financial or mortgage sites use this strategy?

18. An advice column. This can be used for a dating site, or it can be used for other sites as well. How could an SEO site use this strategy? How could a decorating site? What about a plastic surgery site?

19. Winners of the month. Let’s say you have a site where you sell cut flowers. Get your Web audience to send in pictures of bouquets and arrangements they’ve made with your flowers. Post the pictures online. Pick a winner of the month, and have that winner’s picture posted on the main page of your site. Give the winner a $25 gift certificate.

20. Using the flower example, create video tutorials for creating flower arrangements. Make sure you sell all of the materials they’ll need to create the flower arrangements they can make if they follow the video tutorials.

21. Again with the flower example, have customers send in an outline of how they created their flower arrangement, the materials they used, as well as the pictures. Link to all of those materials in your online store. Be creative. Can you do something similar with your own Web site in your own industry? What if you had a costume site? An art site? Give it a few twists and use it on a hunting or fishing site.

22. Send out a monthly newsletter offering your own tips, tips from customers, sale items, holiday ideas, the winner of the month, etc. Encourage readers to post their ideas to the blog. Post past newsletters on your site for more content.

23. A biography about someone’s life, if it relates to your industry. You can see how this would work well if you have a Civil War site or a used book store.

24. News events pertaining to your particular industry.

25. Community-related page, if this is a local Web site. For example, you could discuss local restaurants, little league baseball, school openings, etc., on community-related pages or a blog.

6. Do You Know…
On this day:

  • Hitchcock Releases First Film, The Pleasure Garden (1927)
    Alfred Hitchcock was an iconic English-American director and producer and a master of the suspense thriller genre. Hitchcock directed more than 50 feature films during his 60 year career. His pioneering style, which uses suspense and voyeurism to draw the audience members into the film’s action and blur the line between reality and fiction, has made him one of the most popular directors of all time.
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