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Blogging For Beginners

We are all barraged daily with news about how the next multi-millionaire made his millions by social media, ie. Facebook, Twitter, Blogs, etc. If you are like me, you wouldn't mind picking up
something like that for your own business. Every time I see my clients I am always reminding them to write on their blog. Of course I get the "yeah, I will," but when it comes down to writing it,  nobody knows what to write about. We all have a vast amount of knowledge of something, but we just don't
know where to start, myself included. Some with knowledge in culinary arts, others in home repair, others in travel, just to scratch the surface.

So how do we take advantage of this? Here are a few tips on keeping your blog fresh:

  • Write about something you are learning about.We are always thinking of something, look into it further and write about what you have learned. By doing so you help others, and make yourself an "expert" in your field.
  • Write about what how just helped a new client/customer with. You don't have to put yourself out of business. You can just give a little bit of a teaser, just enough for someone to call you if you so desire.
  • Write about happy customers/clients. Even if you have a testimonials section, when people read about other happy people, it makes you look good, and it very often will lead to new sales opportunities.
  • Keep your posts SEO friendly. You want people to find you on the Internet, by keeping your posts SEO friendly you can dramatically increase your business.
  • Few people read the whole article, so be sure to bold the important things (or the things you want to be sure people take away from your post). No, "bolding" the entire message will not make things better, it will only annoy your readers.
  • Everybody likes pictures, it makes your posts far more interesting. When people's eyes are hurting when they read your blog posts, they are very likely to leave and all of your hard work is put to waste.
  • It is likely the single most important step that you can take is to find a good interface for your blog posts. For some, that is good old notebook paper, others it is their portable devices, still others like flat out typing it in Microsoft Word/Apple Pages. If you get a headache thinking about writing your next blog, you need to find a better interface, otherwise you will never get any blogs done.
  • It is for this reason that with our premium package we provide an iPad, it gives our clients a great way to easily blog, and promotes their websites dramatically. With our iPad optimized interface, we strive to make this issue obsolete.
  • Often, people are just not writers (myself included). This is by far the easiest to remedy. If you are married, ask your spouse to proof read it, ask your friends, other family, employees, etc. Addo Solutions also provides writers that can help guide you through this process and can help proof your next composition.
  • Be sure to always proof-read. I remember when I got an newsletter email from a well known store/supplier in the area when he was trying to be funny. He accidentally wrote everybody a email that was PG-13, as oppose to PG as he had intended. This is something you want to avoid.
  • Keeping in mind that you want your readers to become clients/ customers, try to show your readers why you are the best, why they should go with you over the other competition, why they need your product/service at all, and how it will benefit them. Show them how experienced you are in the field, tell stories of what to do, and not to do. This is key in every post. It is not necessary to show all of those reasons, but it is always good to.
  • Finally, be real with your readers. Talk to them, not at them. You are not holding a PA system, you are talking to them personally.  That is why we dont neccessarily advocate using a little "french" in your posts, but if that is how you would naturally talk with a client, tactfully placed it can benefit your post. Get them thinking about what you are saying, and they will leave comments. This gets them more involved and more likely to return. 
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Magento Returns All Products

Periodically we help local Brunswick / Medina Ohio companies with their websites, even if they are not on our system.  On this latest project our client was using a eCommerce platform called Magento.  On Magento, it seemed that no matter what you searched for it would return all the results.  This is a problem on many sites because it is a fundamental feature and needs to work on Magento (versions 1.4, 1.5, and 1.6).

The Cause

Apparently when the layered navigation block is not enabled, Magento seems to generate all products in every search result. Magento seems to generate all products in every search result

The Solution

With this knowledge a fix becomes very simple, so you have a few options depending on your situation.

People Who Dont Want Layered Navigation

In this particular case, the client did not want to have the layered navigation show up at all, but when we did so Magento returned all products no matter what the search terms.  So in order to remove it we used the following in our local.xml file:

<remove name="catalogsearch.leftnav" />

Because this caused Magento  to no matter what you searched for it would return all the results.  So what we did was to in the Magento Admin, we set: System / Configuration / Catalog / Catalog Search/ "Apply Layered Navigation if Search Results are Less Than" we set this to "1."  This hides the layered navigation, and keeps magento showing the proper results.

People Who Don't Want Any Columns

This becomes tricky, our solution to Magento returning all products no matter what the search terms in this case is to on your 1-column.phtml file is to display the left block, but place that inside of a hidden div

<div style="display:none"></div>.  

Feel free to post if you have questions or concerns about Magento seems to generating all products in every search result!

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Tips for New Website Owners

Many people go into the web business totally blind, taking whatever the nice sales-person tells you, and sign up not knowing what you are getting in to.

Check out the Competition

The first thing you want to do is see what your competition is doing. Are you the only one in the market with a website, or are your competitiors all seasoned pros in the web? Another thing you want to see is what you do and do not like about your competition's websites.

Be sure to get the input of whoever you are interested in using for web services. Any quality web firm should be able to answer these questions without any kind of obligation.

Do you Need a CMS?

One very difficult decision many businesses have to make is whether or not they should pay the extra money for a CMS. While in many cases, you will not have to update your website often, it is usually best that you do simply because you will rank better on Google listings.

This is why we provide all clients with a highly affordable and highly easy to use CMS with every website installation.

How Much Will it Cost?

The big question left is how much will it cost to get your website going? The going average is anywhere from $2,000 to $9,000 depending on what you are interested in having on your website.

There are some sources where you can get a generic, low quality website for less then $1,000, however you often get locked into something that you end up changing in the future anyways, costing you time and money.

Our pricing plans reflect our highly optimized and highly efficient website deveoptment process which allows us to spend almost no time re-inventing the wheel, and spending as much time as we can on you and your company.

Give us a call, we would love to hear about your new project!

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Boost Business With a Website

One of the easiest ways to boost business, is via a website. Addo Solutions offers numerous affordable packages to get your website up in no time at all.

The web is becoming more and more popular amongst possible customers, a website is just one way to reach possible customers. Other methods include using social media, utilizing internet advertisement services, and more.

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