Author Archives: Ashley

Suffering from writer’s block after a long weekend of sun? Don’t worry – it happens to us all! The following are some useful tips to get back on track.

Tip 1: Improve Your Focus

Sometimes it can be extremely difficult to sit down and simply focus. In order to improve your focus, find out which time of the day works best for you to sit down and write your most productive work. For some, this may be the wee hours of the night, for others it may be first thing in the morning. Once you’ve identified when your best writing time is, it’s important that you make an effort to schedule that time as working time. Another way to improve your focus and avoid writer’s block is to eliminate all distractions. For example, sign off of Facebook and close your Internet browser, don’t check your e-mail, don’t Skype your friends. In order to be truly productive it is best to avoid your Internet browser when working on online marketing writing.

Tip 2: Generate Ideas

To get started, come up with a good headline or title. A catchy title can help generate ideas and help you to formulate what your main points are going to be. Next, make sure that you have done thorough research and have enough background information necessary to begin your online marketing writing. An easy way to check to see if you have done enough research is to have a friend ask you simple questions about the topic. If you cannot easily answer the questions, you need to keep educating yourself. When conducting research, read an article that is similar to the type of writing that you are doing so that you can look to it for inspiration and assistance, but be careful to avoid plagiarizing facts.

Tip 3: Be sociable!

Still suffering from writer’s block? For online marketing writing, it is helpful to get online and ask for assistance from friends! Reaching out to your social circle can be very effective in generating ideas that can eliminate your writer’s block. Question and answer sites such as Quora or Aardvark can be helpful, and don’t forget about your Twitter and Facebook friends too! Software is also available to assist in the feedback process. These programs, (Wridea is a popular option) can help you search ideas on the web and then enables you to ask your friends for feedback.

Tip 4: Stretch and Exercise

A simple task, like stretching, can be of great assistance when trying to overcome writer’s block. Working at a computer all day can leave you hunched forward with a back ache. Stand up and reach your hands to the ceiling, then straighten your shoulders and push your shoulder blades together. This stretch, along with deep breathing, will help to stimulate your brain and get your thoughts in action! Another way to get your ideas flowing is to go for a walk or a run before starting to write.  Statistics have shown that we think well when we are moving, so exercising is a great way to get your ideas going and avoid writer’s block.

Tip 5: Reward Yourself!

After 30 minutes of solid writing, reward yourself by checking your Facebook page or e-mails, calling a friend, or watching a bit of TV. As well, if you convince yourself that you only need to write for ten or fifteen minutes straight, you will often find that you will have enough momentum to continue writing for longer periods of time. By rewarding yourself, you will be able to reach your deadline faster!

How do you tackle writer’s block? Share your tips with the CIK Marketing blog readers.

Call to ActionThe term “call to action” means, well, just what it sounds like – it’s instructing someone to do what you want them to do, or calling them to action. For example, a successful call to action can motivate a customer to click on a link at the end of a blog post, reply to an e-mail, or “like” your post on Facebook. After your readers have finished reading your content, a call to action provides web visitors with the next step, leading them one step closer to converting from a visitor to a customer. Whether it’s completing a sale or downloading an article, a strong call to action is an important part of any marketing strategy.

Why is a Call to Action Important?

A call to action forces participation from a reader, either in the form of leaving a comment, sending a re-tweet, and so on. Some readers may only comment if they are told to comment, so a strong call to action encourages readers that it’s ok to share their thoughts. A call to action motivates people to respond to a post that they know the solution to or have a strong opinion about. When people see that others have understood the call to action and are expressing their opinions, they are more likely to do, as they know the site is trusted and fun to participate in.

How to Write a Call to Action

When writing your own call to action, it is important to keep things quick and simple with the addition of a question or comment. This way, people are not discouraged or confused by how to respond. The call to action should not take up a great deal of time or require instruction, as users should be able to easily respond without any confusion. Make your call to action obvious; let your users know exactly what you are asking of them

Call to Action Techniques

When creating your own call to action, remember to keep it simple. It is important to make it obvious what you are asking the reader to do and make it clear where the call to action is. Your call to action should also be obtainable, as the simpler it is the more likely that people will participate. Your call to action should stand out, and encourage readers to interact with your article or website. It is also helpful to put the call to action in bold or even use a different font or a quote box so that it will stand out and look different from the rest of the text. A call to action is also effective when it is urgent, and demands the readers to do what you want, when you want them to do it. Using phrases like “buy now”, or “click here”, encourages readers to respond immediately.

A call to action is a fantastic tool to generate traffic on your website and to gain opinions and comments from your readers. How have you mastered the art of eliciting a response? Share your techniques below!

The tech world is always changing, and the recent introduction of tablet models (such as the iPad and the Blackberry Playbook) has forced companies to examine how their website looks on a tablet, whether it is designed effectively, and if the site will serve the needs of customers using this new form of online access. Here are a few things you should consider in order to ensure your website is tablet friendly.

Avoid Flash

Flash portal, an animated graphic that has been created by Adobe Flash technology, does not work on a tablet. Companies should be aware if their home page features flash portal; it will not work on tablets such as the iPad. Androids do support Flash, but the performance is very poor, so it is best if companies avoid Flash altogether. Options to substitute for Flash include HTML5 and JavaScript which both feature the same effects as Flash.

Avoid Drop-Down Menus

It is best to avoid drop-down menus on your website if you can. If you would like to keep your drop-down menus, ensure that there are visual cues (for example arrows) that show tablet users that the menu can be opened further and expanded. Instead of using drop-down menus, companies may want to consider creating a showcase page for the different sections of the site so that tablet users can easily navigate around the site and find all the available subpages.

Touch Interaction Versus Mouse Interaction

Due to the fact that tablet users are not clicking or scrolling a mouse, it is important that companies design buttons which are the size of a fingertip instead of cursor so that tablet users are able to travel around your website more efficiently. Users may become quickly frustrated if the links are placed too tightly together, so it is important that companies realize that the clicking and scrolling of a mouse is replaced by touching and swiping gestures on a tablet.

Colours, Textures and Typography

The format of colour and textures can have a significant impact on tablets. The use of bright background colours and patterns are effective as they will reduce the appearance of glares and smudges on an iPad or Blackberry Playbook.  It is best to avoid the use of solid blacks, as it will be incredible distracting for tablet users. The font of your website must also be taken into consideration, as it cannot be too small or too big for tablet users. Finding an ideal balance of font size, line spacing, line length, background colours, and patterns will create a favourable webpage for tablet users, regardless of their chosen model.

Design Your Forms Accordingly

A lot of company websites require users to fill out some kind of form, sometimes as part of an email subscription, or when their submitting a request for more information. For this reason, it is important that companies look over their forms, and ensure that all of the fields are clearly indicated and easily accessible to tablet users. Make sure that your forms don’t have too many fields, as tablet users may get easily frustrated filing out a long form.

If after reading these tips on how to achieve a tablet-friendly website you are still unsure whether or not your website is tablet-friendly, the best way to see how your site performs is by testing it. As more and more consumers opt to join the tablet nation, it’s important to consider how your website design effects tablet navigation and usability. A few quick fixes could be all your site needs to provide a top notch user experience.

Do you have a tablet? What sort of issues do you encounter when surfing your favourite websites?