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Overcoming The Struggle To Create Great Content For Your Blog

May 21st, 2016

The latest and greatest trend in online marketing is the bold declaration that content reigns supreme. With good content (and plenty of it!), you’re told, you can reach any audience and accomplish any goal. Powerful as this form of marketing can be, it comes with one enormous pitfall. It requires you to create a steady supply of fresh website content. How do you get started?

The Challenge Of Content Marketing

The reason why content marketing shouldn’t be entered into lightly is that it is very much a double-edged sword. Although it can be supremely effective when done correctly, a misguided or lackadaisical attempt can waste your time and even end up hurting your website. To do content marketing properly, you have to guarantee two things about your content: It should always be worth reading and it should be updated regularly.

Striking a balance between these two goals can be difficult. Sacrificing quality in the name of speed is dangerous. Giving up on frequent updates can hamstring your marketing and rob it of its promotional power. As a general rule, you shouldn’t force your content simply to meet a schedule. If you must sacrifice something for the sake of pushing out an update, post something short but worthwhile. A brief piece of content can always serve as a “teaser” for a more ambitious post down the road.

Why You Need A Map To Success

Although the previous paragraph was full of cautions about the dangers of sticking to a schedule, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have one. If you use it correctly, a schedule for content delivery can actually be a tremendous asset. By setting up a schedule, you’re starting to build a content pipeline.

Scheduling your content gives you a better grasp of your needs. You can start taking advantage of economies of scale in your production process. If you know you need half a dozen different pieces in the next week, devote a full hour to brainstorming topics. Conduct your research in batches.

Once you have a schedule, you can also start varying your content effectively. Don’t just specify given amounts of content within given spaces of time. Identify the themes and topics that are most important to your audience and make sure you return to them on a regular basis.

Finding The Right Ideas

It’s more than likely that your goal in building a steady content stream is to attract more people to your website. That means search engine optimization is vitally important. Don’t neglect the power SEO can have to inform your content creation process, though! When you conduct keyword research, consider the different terms you come across as potential topics for new content. Reaching out to embrace an idea sparked by a new keyword may bring your site to the attention of a whole new audience.

Keep a file of potential content topics and add to it frequently. Inspiration can strike in a host of different places and you can always spare a second or two to jot down a fresh idea. Be particularly attentive while you’re working on other content pieces. It’s often more effective to hang onto a tangent idea and turn it into fresh content than it is to incorporate it into one huge post. The more you make a habit of this, the more resources you’ll have available when it’s time to generate more content.

Spending Your Time In The Right Areas

Always remember that great content beats decent content. A post that attracts 10,000 readers is way more effective than ten posts that get 100 readers each. This doesn’t just mean refining and polishing your content itself, either. You need to structure each piece for maximum impact.

Make all of your posts inviting and easy to read. Provide your readers with easy sharing features so that they can help spread the word. Many blogs zero in on their best bits and call them out as ready-made “tweetables.” Spend some extra time on the most attention-grabbing parts of your piece (the headline, the description, callouts, etc.) and craft them to appeal to both search engines and human readers.

Creating great content is an art rather than a science. Though this means there is no formula you can use to guarantee success, it also means that your skills will improve over time. Keep plugging away at your content and you’ll find your material steadily drawing in bigger and bigger audiences. The entire creation process will speed up considerably as you practice. With enough dedication, crafting great content will become second nature to you.

Jonathan Leger has been a successful Internet Marketer for over 11 years. He owns an SEO Tools suite at KeywordCanine.com and is the creator of a number of well known and respected software and service applications such as The Best Spinner, INeedArticles and more.

 

 

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Years in Review

December 27th, 2013

A few days before Christmas, our office environment is typically humdrum with hardly a few phone calls and emails.  As the 18th century poem Twas the Night Before Christmas goes, “Not a creature was stirring”, except for my programmers, who were clicking and scrolling and clacking mouse and keys, making beautiful things out of zeros and ones. As evidenced by the repetitive motion of toes tapping and knees jerking, I’m feeling quite antsy. If you’re an entrepreneur, you should understand that when the flood of communication from clients suddenly stops cold, a metaphorical whiplash ensues. You long to push forward with force, but doing so requires the presence of customers; the ones who have gone home to enjoy their families.  So you (if you’re like me) wait it out patiently, setting your sights toward the days following Christmas. Don’t get me wrong. I love Christmas. My kids love Christmas. As far as the corporate modus operandi goes, at least in my industry however, it’s all about getting beyond Christmas so that you can get on with business. Bah Humbug!

Full of anticipation on this, the day after Christmas, I leaped from my bed with excitement. Plans and sugar plums were to be realized, starting today. On the short stroll to my car the air was unusually warm, the sky was a pleasant blue, and birds were chirping gleefully. Mary Poppins, with umbrella in hand, fluttered down from her chimney perch and greeted me with a smile. What a beautiful morning!

Then it happened. The key slid steadily into the ignition. A slight turn of the wrist. Click click click. The battery was dead. For the next 15 minutes, jumper cables were laced from one car battery to the next and neighbors could hear (sorry) the revving of engines.  I drove the car to Pep Boys and waited… waited… waited. So much for taking the bull by the horns.

Times like this call for a mocha.  Some turn to booze; I turn to caffeine. The half mile walk to the quaint coffee house was well worth the smooth lather of caffeine that warmed my throat and eased some anxiety. It is from here that I write this post.  Contradictory to my former prediction, this time is now for reflecting and journaling. It’s strange how things turn suddenly like this.

Sitting here at this java shack during working hours brings back memories. Three years ago, my team had no place to call office. We would migrate from coffee shop the coffee shop,  so as not to wear out our welcome. In the interest of saving money, we hijacked their Internet, work space, and  electricity. Though there were an abundance of interruptions, employees enjoyed particular daily perks: free cups of specialty drinks and lunch.

We still bring in coffee and treats on occasion, but these benefits are now enjoyed from an actual office desk. Looking back, it’s amazing how far we’ve come. At the start of 2012, we were on a path toward doubling the size of our business. That was the plan anyway. Yet, the economy and other events outside of our control changed the tide. A struggle befell us. The proverbial water rose to our noses and we strained to stay afloat. This year, on the other hand, we enjoyed stability and slight-but-steady growth. We incorporated, trimmed our administrative staff, and hired an additional developer. We’ve had long-term programming jobs, as well as government projects. There has been a steady flow of work since January and not even I – The Big Cheese – have missed a single paycheck. Some of you business owners will view this as a feat in itself.

So what’s on the horizon for this next year? Well, after the auto shop fixes my battery, it will be time to launch forward toward achieving greater stability and growth. Next next year, we plan on blogging more – which means that you’ll get more fresh ideas on how to grow your online business. We’ll experiment with various blogging formats: text, voice, and even video (this blog post was the result of a voice-to-text memo). In addition, if there’s enough interest, we hope to roll out various subscription packages. You’ll be able to choose from search engine optimization, social media, content development, Pay-Per-Click, and reputation management subscription options. This will all go toward maintaining the investment you’ve already made into your website and toward growing your Internet presence. We hope to a hire a Traffic Development Engineer, another Programmer, and a Salesperson. If you are already a customer of SiteHatchery.com, you may get a phone call or an email from us about optimizing your website for mobile and handheld devices (i.e. responsive design). If it all works out, it’s going to be a great year for both SiteHatchery.com and our clients!

Please feel free to give us a call or email us if we can help you in anyway. Here’s to a great year!

 

 

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A Life of Meaning

May 16th, 2013

If we are proactive and passionate about personal growth and continuous improvement, then we can achieve the unimaginable.  It is the determination to grow, and the consistent application of knowledge and values that fuel a sense of purpose and ignites the same spark of faith in others. Yes, the positive consequences of our proactive effort are far reaching – beyond anything we can know.

 

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Should You Use a Ghostwriter? 5 Things To Consider

April 11th, 2013

If you’re like me, you have moments where your time feels so stretched, you want to clone yourself: just step into some contraption from a science fiction movie and generate two yous. I know I’d enjoy a having a second Jason around to mow the lawn while I play with the kids.

Read the rest of this entry »

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What Makes Us Different?

October 16th, 2012

We specialize in custom high-end design. Our clients are typically looking for the wow factor in design – something that grabs the attention of their clients. We like to think that we have some of the better designs on the web.

Our aim is perfection. We value quality – from code to design. We have a full time Quality Assurance Technician whose primary purpose is to catch any glitch before it gets in front of users. Most developers and companies don’t have this additional layer of quality assurance. We stand behind our values.

We are goal-oriented. We set deadlines and stick to them. This is what sets us apart from the overloaded freelancer who has the capacity of only one person. We have a team of six, who are focused on the goal of delivering a fully functioning website on time.

We love to communicate. We believe that communication is key to the success of a website launch. Our typical client wants a beautiful website that uniquely defines their business and addresses their goals. We must listen and understand their needs and unique position in the market. Cookie cutter templates are not our thing.

We have a process. Other companies will jump right into blind development and will waste their and your valuable time with rework.  Here’s our process:

  1. Discovery
    We start with a fact finding mission. We ask lots of questions to determine how to best meet your needs. We’ll run reports, look at statistics, and review competitor sites. We learn what you are about, where you’ve been, and where you are wanting to go.
  2. Wireframing and Documentation
    We begin sketching our ideas using plain old pen and paper and/or digital wireframing tools – whatever fits the occasion.  Depending on the size of the project, we will also provide documentation such as use cases, test cases, field definitions and architectural design documentation. The goal here is to get everything we need to design and build the project, establish deadlines and deliverables and more clearly define scope.
  3. Design
    Once you are comfortable with the plan, we will begin the graphic design process for the home page. After feedback and revisions, once we’ve gotten your comments and approval on the home page, we will create full color designs for additional major page types.
  4. Development
    During the development process we write the code that transforms your designs into a fully functioning website or intranet. This includes everything from front end development using HTML and CSS, to hard core server-side software programming.
  5. Testing
    Testing is actually done at every level of the design-build process. Our goal is perfection, so we assign a Quality Assurance Technician to test and inspect every detail of your website at every step.
  6. Go Live!

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Meet the Owner

June 5th, 2012

Jason has been developing websites and software professionally for 10 years.  He has programmed for a major web-based retailer, software and design agencies and currently has an established and growing development business that has successfully served hundreds of clients throughout the United States.

In 2005, Jason started as a freelance business, working from home and out of coffee shops, while working full time. Eventually, his side business exploded. Taking the Entrepreneurial leap of faith, he left his stable web development position and delved full-time into his own business. That was almost 3 years ago and the demand has never been greater than it is now.

Jason plans on continuing to expand SiteHatchery. With exceptional customer service, innovative and high quality designs, and timely delivery, Jason plans to double the size of his business by the end of this year.

Author: Jason Cox | Follow me:

 

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Duckback Products Testimonial

April 6th, 2012

SiteHatchery was recommended to us by one of our local print vendors Creative Composition.  We liked the user friendly aspect and clean design of the Creative Composition site and Duckback was in need of a complete website overhaul.  We desired a site that would be easy to navigate and visually appealing.  With over 25 unique products under the brands of Superdeck and Mason’s Select, we also required that the products be organized in a very user friendly fashion.  Duckback sells products through an international distribution to 3,500 store locations requiring an online retailer database with zip code search and map function.  In addition we required a media center to share files, videos, photos and other marketing content with our customers and vendors.  We wanted to post customer testimonials and photos as well.  Needless to say we asked for a lot.  The team at SiteHatchery did an amazing job that resulted in a completely new and modern look with major improvements to the design and functionality of the site.  Duckback has been in business in Chico for over 20 years, and as a local manufacturer we are pleased to support another Chico business within our community.  Please visit our new site at www.superdeck.com and let us know what you think!

Jennifer Haney
Senior Project Manager
Duckback Products

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Meet Kim, Our New Administrative Assistant

April 2nd, 2012

March 2012 marks the addition of a new Administrative Assistant/Quality Assurance Technician, Kim Ketner. She will be another attentive point of contact providing conscientious and caring customer service that stems from personal integrity and years of experience in fields ranging from guitar stores to doctor’s offices. Kim has most recently been freelancing as an Internet Marketing Assistant focusing on SEO. Her familiarity with industry concepts and interest in optimizing internet presence will make her a great help with our projects. She is naturally analytical, organized, and detail oriented with an intuitive sense for aesthetics and design. Kim says she is excited to work with creative and technical people, and looks forward to assisting our team in creating the very best, unique solutions for our clients!

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Happy St. Patrick’s Day

March 16th, 2012

Greetings everyone!  Happy St. Patrick’s Day!  It has been an exciting first couple of months for our 2012 year.  We just finished wrapping up the website for a national wood stain and concrete stain brand, Duckback Products – makers of Superdeck and Mason’s Select.  It was one of the larger scale projects we’ve done and look forward to working with them in the future if the opportunity presents itself.

We are currently beginning work on a website for Fanny Pak, a dance crew competing on this season of MTV America’s Best Dance Crew.  This will be one of the first entertainment and celebrity-driven sites that we have worked on.  We’re excited to give them an awesome look and feel for their website, and watching them take the crown this year on ABDC.  We wish them the best of luck.

Speaking of luck… it’s St. Patrick’s Day tomorrow!  We hope you all have a safe holiday and maybe we will see some of you at the Chico Home & Garden show this weekend.  We’ve been helping them with updates on their website this year and look forward to seeing the work we put into their site come to life this weekend.

Until next time!!

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Video Blog – Search Engine Optimization > Backlinks

March 10th, 2012

Jason Cox, Owner of SiteHatchery, discusses the role SEO (Search Engine Optimization) in the success of an online business. Specifically, he quickly describes different backlinking methods.

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Meet Tom, Our PHP Programming Rockstar

February 9th, 2012

Tom is a self-taught web developer with over a decade of experience as a freelancer in the graphic and web design business.  He’s been working for a little over a week now as our in-house PHP rockstar.

Tom comes to us from Sacramento where he worked as a PHP programmer and mobile web developer.  He brings with him the eye for design and attention to detail that comes from working not only as a coder, but also as a front end designer, and his background as a one-man web development firm means that he knows the ins and outs of the life of a web site, from planning to design to publishing and beyond.

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Merry Christmas!

December 14th, 2011

The SiteHatchery Egg even loves Christmas!

2011 has been a fun and exciting year for us here at the SiteHatchery office.  This year we brought on three new employees, worked simultaneously on web development projects, and are ending the year doing perhaps the most exciting website we’ve done as a company thus far.  It’s our first government website as a company, so it’s quite the rewarding experience for us to be given the opportunity to develop a website that will have such a high impact on its community.

We have wrapped up many projects this year including websites for entrepreneurs as well as local and out of state businesses.  Among these, Edwards Property Management, The Ebay Life Blog, Swank Plank and a website for a radio station out of New Jersey, WFDU FM.  We are thrilled and anxious to see what 2012 will bring, and how we can possibly further challenge ourselves in our creativity and web design elements.  As a company, we constantly strive to keep up with the latest, modern web designs and features, offering up-to-date, professional websites to our clients.

As this year comes to a close we would like to thank all of you who have supported us this year; to all of our clients and friends, we wish you a Merry Christmas and hope that your holiday season is filled with joy, laughter and great memories for the years to come.

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The Ebay Life Blog Testimonial

November 11th, 2011

Sitehatchery did an excellent job designing my new blog, The eBay Life. I wanted to improve the look and functionality of my site in order to take my blog to the next level. Jason and his team designed a site that’s clean and easy to use. It’s exactly what I had in mind. They answered my emails in a timely manner and were available to fix any problems I was having with the new blog. I will definitely be using Sitehatchery in the future!

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Will, Our Operations Manager

August 17th, 2011

Will Langley
Will Langley joined our team in August of 2011 as our Operations Manager. Will handles all of the communication between clients and staff, as well as controls the flow of work that comes through SiteHatchery.  This is his first management job in the web development industry. Will comes from working in graphic design in the entertainment industry, doing mostly print work, web design and web marketing, with some of his work being seen on MTVs America’s Best Dance Crew and Pay-Per-View.

Will began working in graphic design in 2005 and in 2008 started working in the field full-time, mostly doing free lance work for various companies and individuals in the Chico and Los Angeles areas. Will is extremely detail oriented, and has an eye for design detail, thus making sure that the production activity is in line with Sitehatchery.com’s and the client’s expectations.

Update:  Will left the company in October 2012 on great terms.  We wish the best to him in his future endeavors!

 

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Extreme Makeover: Office Edition

August 17th, 2011

Until 5 months ago, we were doing business out of various coffee shops in our city. In the beginning, it was a fantastic way to save overhead expense – no Internet, rent or power bill. My grand vision was to have a large and lean virtual company made up of SiteHatchery employees networked all over California, working out of coffee shops. The perk? Free coffee and treats. Of course there were certain problems inherent with my plan. For one, the noise was very distracting and sometimes unbearable. I even purchased a $350 pair of headphones to block out the chatter. Outgoing phone calls were challenging (I often sat in my car), the Internet connection was usually slow or down, and we found ourselves regularly engaging in long conversations with familiar patrons. For a while we were able to tolerate these issues, however, it eventually became apparent that maybe it was time for an office. Though having an office would be in increase in overhead, we would certainly be more efficient and focused. So, in April, we made the big move.

The coolest looking pillows! Perfect for our new office and new chairs.

It’s been 5 months in the new office and we are loving it. We moved to the north side of Chico in the Esplanade North complex, just across from the new Brain Freeze and CVS shopping center. We really wanted to stay away from

the stereotypical web development company – having an office in downtown with limited paid parking. Instead, we decided to settle down in a professional location where our clients and future prospects would take us a little more seriously. Our new office was a blank canvas for creating the perfect work environment, so we brushed on a wall of black paint as a base and placed our giant logo over the top of it. The Craigslist gods even brought us a beautiful vintage gold velvet couch! Soon we will be adding a nice coffee table and a pair of retro white chairs with funky pillows that have “@” symbols on them. We can’t wait to start our new video blog with this cozy area as the backdrop.

 

Our new chairs for the office should be here anytime! Were extremely excited for their arrival.

Business is doing well, though we do miss the simple perks of working out of coffee shops, it’s nothing a quick trip across the street to Brain Freeze every now and then can’t fix. The new office is a place where we will be able to grow as a company and look good doing it! We’re excited for all of the new things that are happening in the SiteHatchery office, and would love for you to come see our new home. Maybe you can even help us design the office a little bit, we would love the input. Just give us a ring at (530) 680-2734; We would love to show you our work spaces and share with you our vision.  Hope to see you soon!

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