Keyboard Shortcuts

Well, isn’t it fun to learn new tricks. I just learnt one, and I thought I would share it with you. It only applies to those who are pedantic like me when it comes to formatting. One thing that I don’t like is too much space between lines of texts.

See how there is a bit gap here.

How annoying to have so much space.

So much scrolling.

But if you wanted to keep the lines nice and tight, you simply hold Shift and Enter at the same time. This will remove the line break.
Ta da!

Google Communication - Guest Post

Back in the 90’s, Ph.D students Larry Page and Sergey Brin had the idea of creating an online world to house the physical world’s information in a way that was both useful, accessible, and free. By 1997, Google was born.

The now-billion dollar company has 70 offices in over 40 global locations. When there was a five-minute outage, global web traffic dipped by 40%. Google even has an official definition in the Oxford English Dictionary. But it isn’t just a successful company with high numbers – it’s a part of modern culture. Now more than ever before, information is accessible. Every major business is trying to figure out how to get Google to like them better – that is, how to rank number one in all major online searches.

By 2004, Gmail came along with its 10GB of free space. The concept of “unlimited storage” was revolutionary. Just nine years later, Google Voice and Google Talk came out, and now the latest – Google Hangouts. The evolution of Google is far from over. With Google+’s +Post Ads, the King of the Internet may soon become the King of advertising as well.

Thanks to tollfreeforwarding.com for their assistance with this infographic.

GoogleCommunications

What is Cloud Computing

Every so often, it seems there is a buzz word around technology. The one that I most frequently hear lately is Cloud Computing. Time to get your head out of the clouds and learn what it all means.

Cloud computing conceptIn general terms it can be explained as the use of a network of remote servers hosted on the Internet rather than using a local server. These network of servers are referred to as the Cloud and can store, manage, and process data.

Losely speaking, ‘Cloud Computing’ can be translated to mean ‘The Internet’. If you have a web based email account such as Hotmail or Gmail, you can officially say you are a user of Cloud Computing. These email services are run via the Internet (read Cloud) rather than having to rely on software installed on the computer. The emails are also stored on the Cloud and not directly on the computer.

Cloud Computing is becoming more and more popular and has some added benefits.

1. Reduced costs for purchasing specific software and licenses.
2. Data and files are easily accessible from any computer.
3. Access to automatic updates.
4. Easily share information.

This last point can be seen by the use of things such as Dropbox. This is a file sharing website that is in The Cloud. Users can upload files to Dropbox and share with other people. It saves having to email files, and is especially useful when these files are large.

Cloud Computing is certainly the way forward.

Interesting Infographic

Consumer Psychology and the E-Commerce Checkout – An infographic by the team at vouchercloud

Five Great FREE Marketing Tools

I often get asked by clients about how they can appear further up the list in Google. Search Engine Optimisation, often referred to as SEO, is very competitive. There are paid options, such as SEM (Search Engine Marketing) which guarantee you top listing (e.g. Google Adwords) but these can become quite expensive. Here are some free options that you might like to consider.

1. Make Your Website Your Homepage

This means that everytime you open your Internet browser, it will be one more hit on your website. Most browsers allow you to open multiple tabs, so if you still like to have Google or Herald Sun or Ninemsn as your homepage, then add your own website as another tab. To do this, select Tools, Internet Options and then add your website to the list.

2. Update Your Website

Search engines such as Google like a website that is constantly changing. This is why it is good to have a blog, as you can update it regularly. If you have a static website and would like to include a blog, then contact me to set one up. This can be done in around three to four hours work including instructions on how to add posts. Blogs are relatively straight forward, and all of my clients receive detailed instructions for updating their blog.

3. Direct Everyone To Your Website

Traffic might not be a good thing when you are on the road, but it is what you want online! Send everyone to your website. Change your voicemail to indicate that details of your opening hours/services can be found on your website, or add your url under your signature for emails, or add your website to all letterheads/business cards, etc.

4. Add Your Site To Free Listings

There are many sites that enable you list your website for FREE! For example, Hot Frog is great for location based businesses as people search an area and then for the business type. They also provide regular reports to allow you to monitor traffic to your website via their listing. Another great site to list for free is True Local. The added bonus of True Local is that your clients and customers can rate your service. I have has my own business rated, so when people type in “Web Design, Ocean Grove” I appear towards the top with 5 stars!

5. Word Of Mouth

Research by Neilson (a peak information gathering body) says that people will be four times more likely to buy when referred by a friend. So, make sure you look after your customers and clients. Make sure you have a customer database to keep in touch. Deliver a great service, and you will benefit.

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Seven Tips For Writing Great Blog Posts

There are some simple things you can do to make sure your blog is appealing.

1. Know Your Audience

Even if you might like a certain blog because it is humorous, don’t try to copy if you have a professional business. Keep it relevant to what your day to day operations are.

2. Consider Yourself An Expert

It is amazing how much knowledge you have that others may be interested to know. Perhaps it is something that your came across and worked out a solution. No point others having to re-invent the wheel.
“The guy who invented the first wheel was an idiot. The guy who invented the other three, he was a genius.”
Sid Caesar

3. Keep It Simple

Imagine you are talking to someone that is brand new to your industry. Start with the basics.

4. Set Out A Plan

Sit down and brainstorm a few post ideas or ask your subscribers and followers what topics they would like covered. Schedule your posts if you have to. That way you will always have something to regularly write about.

5. Use Lists

Numbered lists or bullet points are much easier to read. To help with search engine optimisation, use headings throughout your post.

6. Follow Up On Comments

If you receive comments about your posts (that aren’t spam!) make sure you respond and keep the reader engaged.

7. Offer The Reader Something

Make sure there is a call to action; A reason for the reader to come back again!

Cheers,
Shelley Gross

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Blogging Faux Pas That Will Kill Your Blog

Special thanks to Richard Eaves from Smart Traffic, for this special guest blog post. If you would like to contribute to this website as a guest blogger, please feel free to contact Shelley Gross via email at sales@wonderfulwebsites.com.au.





These days, you can see a number of successful bloggers writing about different topics. Writing content for the Web yourself, it makes you wonder how they managed to attain online popularity.

Well, one of the key things that contribute to their success is learning from their mistakes. With that said, it is time to look at some of the blogging blunders that may have a detrimental effect on your blog.

Not paying attention to your site

As you know, blogging has become a source of income for some people. It has also become a revenue generator for those who offer pay on results services.

Those who made blogging their profession have two secrets: dedication and hard work. For sure, they went through all sorts of hardships before finally achieving success, and these qualities helped them overcome all obstacles.

So if you want a successful blog, you must be willing to devote a large portion of your time to it. You need to consider everything, from its design down to the content you intend to create.

Now, one of the most grievous mistakes you can commit, as a blogger, is failing to post regularly. You have to give your readers something to look forward to so they keep coming back to your blog.

Not engaging with your readers

Readers make up a huge portion of your blog’s success. This is why it is important not to ignore them.

So when readers leave a comment in any of your posts, take the time to respond to them, even if it is just to say, “Thanks”. You can also engage in a conversation with them by asking questions. By doing this, you can guarantee their return to your blog.

Not writing short blog posts

People these days scan rather than read. So it is important to make your blog posts short to keep their attention.

Then again, this doesn’t mean you can’t write lengthy articles. If you have a post that requires numerous paragraphs in order to get your point across, you can break it up into a series of write-ups. By doing so, you can entice readers to come back for the next parts.

Not having a social media presence

The life of your blog post doesn’t have to end when you hit “Publish”. Instead, let more people know about it by sharing the link on Facebook, Twitter, or Google+ to drive relevant traffic to your blog.

One more thing, communicate with your social media followers. Constantly engaging with other users helps build good relationship with them. Once you have built a wonderful reputation, they will return the favour by regularly visiting your blog.

Not minding other bloggers

It helps to establish a relationship with those who write similar topics as yours. A simple link to any of their articles is enough to bring new readers to your blog. They can even become regular visitors if they like the content you provide.

Conclusion

These are just a few of the faux pas of blogging. If you are guilty of any of these, it is time to do something about your mistakes so you can manage a successful blog. Sure, the path to success is not going to be easy, but starting now will get you there.

 

About the Author

Richard Eaves is a Digital Marketing Specialist for Smart Traffic, a reputable company providing SEO services to help businesses grow into well-respected brands. 

10 Great Websites For Kids

Aren’t children wonderful? Their developing brains are like sponges and absorb so much information.  With each generation, technology usage increases and it is amazing to watch a toddler navigate their way around an iphone or iPad. There are some great websites out there that are both fun and exciting and provide learning opportunities at the same time. I have three children myself (aged 10, 8 and 5) and have picked out ten websites that I think are wonderful for children.

www.abc.net.au/abcforkids

ABC 4 Kids is a site that represents all of those favourite programs that most of use grew up with, such as Playschool, Blinky Bill and Sesame Street. This website is aimed at the younger generation and is an easy to use, colourful site that even parents will find easy to navigate. There are games to play, craft activities and your children can even watch their favourite program on the computer again and again and again.

www.funbrain.com

Fun Brain is organised into a reading section, a maths arcade and games. This site is often used in primary schools as it encourages children to learn maths, vocabulary and keyboard skills without them even noticing!

www.pottermore.com

This one is for all of the Harry Potter enthusiasts and was co-created by J.K Rowling. The site is easy to move around in and offers things like the history of the characters, some magical spell recipes, and gives you a real online experience of the Harry Potter world.

www.readingeggs.com.au

Reading Eggs is another ABC initiative. There are some great reading games and activities and are engaging for children. The site is divided into sections based on ages as young as three and right up to 13. There are however charges associated with this site. You can sign up for either a 6 or 12 month subscription at a cost of $59.95 or $79.95 respectively. There is also the option to purchase packs which includes activity books, stickers, posters and reading books. Great for classroom activities. The site offers a 14 day free trial so you can try before you buy.

www.barbie.com

It is claimed that one Barbara Millicent Roberts (aka Barbie Doll) is sold every three seconds, with an estimated one Billion Barbies being sold across 150 countries since 1959. Needless to say, this website needs no introduction. It is what you imagine with all the glitz and glamour that you could imagine.

www.readwritethink.org

This great website provides something for all children right from kindergarten through to year 12. There are fun activities, book suggestions, projects, games and even podcasts. Teachers will find research based lessons with detailed instructional plan and worksheets. The site is colourful and easy to navigate with a great search functionality.

www.spellingcity.com

With auto-correct and spell check readily available, spelling seems to be something that is often neglected. Spelling City has some great tools for helping children learn spelling techniques. This website offers Premium Membership which allows student progress tracking, some vocabulary development activities, premium games and much more.

www.thewiggles.com.au

Another family favourite, The Wiggles website is as professional as their world tour. It offers a great range of games and activities. Become a Wiggle Time member and you will get access to even more including a Parent Resource Centre with a Parent Message Board and Forum. The kids can even personalise your own Wiggles website, just like a real web developer!

www.bbc.co.uk/schools/typing

Way back when I was in school, we learnt to touch type using a heavy old industrial type writer. It took all my strength to type an ‘A’ with my left hand pinkie. Now keyboards are much easier to use and there is less of a reason for only using two pointer fingers to type. This website offers a fun set of tutorials to learn how to touch type – something that is becoming far more important than getting your pen licence. The website talks you through step by step in a system called Dance Map Typing.

www.skoodle.com

Skoodle, previously known as Super Clubs Plus, is a safe social network. Think Facebook without the Face. Users are carefully monitored and learn first-hand how to keep themselves safe online. Skoodle is used in a number of schools and is aimed at children aged six to 14. In fact, only four years after it was launched there are over 180,000 Australian primary school children actively participating from 2,200 Australian schools and together with 300,000 children worldwide. Telstra Foundation helped launch the site and their research found that after 4-6 months of being an active user, the vast majority of children consistently exhibit safer, more resilient and respectful online behaviours.

 

This list only just touches the surface of some really great websites for children. Some other sites that my own children explore are www.kidcyber.com.au, www.global2.vic.edu.au, www.mathletics.com.au, www.yepi.com and www.kids.nationalgeographic.com.au.

It is always important to monitor children while they are online, and a good idea to set up some of your own family guidelines that include things like the amount of acceptable time spent online and sites that they are and are not permitted to visit. The web truly is wonderful and offers a whole new world of learning. Enjoy!

Wonderful Shortcuts

The following shortcuts are simply wonderful. Hope you find them useful.

General Formatting
Action Mac PC
Open File Cmd O Ctrl O
Save Page Cmd S Ctrl S
Select All Cmd A Ctrl A
Print Page Cmd P Ctrl P
Undo Cmd Z Ctrl Z
Redo Cmd Y Ctrl Y
Cut Cmd X Ctrl X
Copy Cmd C Ctrl C
Paste Cmd V Ctrl V
Adjusting Text Size
Action Mac PC
Decrease Text Size Cmd - Ctrl -
Increase Text Size Cmd + Ctrl +
Restore Default Size Cmd 0 Ctrl 0
Search Functions
Action Mac PC
Find Cmd F Ctrl F
Find Next Cmd G Ctrl G
Help F1 F1
Browser Functions
Action Mac PC
Return Home Opt Home Alt Home
Go Back Opt Left Arrow Alt Left Arrow
Go Forward Opt Right Arrow Alt Right Arrow
Go To Address Bar Cmd L Ctrl L
Refresh Page F5 F5
Bookmark Page Cmd D Ctrl D
Browser Tabs & Windows
Action Mac PC
Open new tab Cmd T Ctrl T
Close current tab Cmd W Ctrl W
Reopen closed tab Cmd Shift T Ctrl Shift T
Open new window Cmd N Ctrl N
Close current window Cmd Shift W Ctrl Shift W
Open link in new tab Cmd Click Ctrl Left Click
Move right through tabs Cmd Tab Ctrl Tab
Move left through tabs Cmd Shift Tab Ctrl Shift Tab
Move to 1st tab Cmd 1 Ctrl 1
Move to 2nd tab Cmd 2 Ctrl 2
Move to 3rd tab Cmd 3 Ctrl 3
Move to 4th tab Cmd 4 Ctrl 4
Move to 5th tab Cmd 5 Ctrl 5

Business Cloud Solution

I have discovered an exciting new product for keeping my books in order. Spreadsheets used to be my best friend, but now I prefer Xero.

xeroXero was founded in 2006 by a couple of guys that had previously had a big impact in working with MYOB. From their initial launch in New Zealand, Xero has exploded onto the world stadium.

One of the things I love most about Xero is that it is so visual. It has replaced the cumbersome spreadsheets and charts that I used to create myself. But for those still not convinced, you can always export to Excel if you prefer.

There are always new updates happening with plenty of Addons. Their attention to detail is impressive, and am particularly pleased to see that even farmers have been thought of. I am from a farm, and love that they understand what the end user would like. See what I mean by reading their blog here.

You may think that I must have shares in Xero to promote their product so fiercely. I don’t, but perhaps I should!