All About WordPress

4919659112_b9f6b0df8f_oWordPress is the most popular and fastest growing content management system in the world. Its ease of use and top-notch support make it perfect for even the novice to develop a solid web presence.

How Did WordPress Begin?

WordPress was started in 2003 as a joint effort between Matt Mullenweg and Mike Little to be a branch off of the platform b2/cafelog. WordPress is considered an Open Source project. This means there are hundreds, maybe even thousands of people from all over the world working on improving it and further developing it on a daily basis. Because of the fact that it’s open source, it allows the average user to be able to utilize it for any type of website without paying licensing fees.

WordPress began as a blogging platform, designed to be used for people to journal online about any topic they wished. As it grew and the number of users grew, it has expanded into a full content management system that’s capable of managing websites with a variety of needs.

WordPress Now

WordPress currently powers over 25% of all websites on the internet. Its ease of use and customization make it popular for everyone, especially those not experienced with coding and web design. The wide array of plug-ins available for WordPress makes it easy to add features that one would previously have to pay a custom coder to develop. Plug-ins can do everything from setting up a photo gallery to include newsletter sign-up forms to create custom graphics. There are several plug-ins that are available to improve SEO rankings.

The Future of WordPress

Recent interviews with Matt Mullenweg have indicated that WordPress is committed to becoming more social media oriented and more mobile responsive in all aspects, including both the website themes it offers and in being able to manage websites.

More improvements are being made to the system using the JetPack interface and the newly created Calypso, which allows you to easily manage your WordPress sites in a fresh, faster dashboard. Calypso is currently only available to WordPress.com users and via an app for Mac users, but it will be available to all self-hosted WordPress.org sites in the future.

If you have a website or are considering designing a website WordPress is the easiest and most seamless way to go. No more learning how to code and building sites from scratch.




4 Ways to Promote Your Event Using Social Media

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Social media is everywhere, and nearly everyone uses it. Moms surf parrot videos on Facebook while bored hipsters spend hours at the coffee shop constructing the perfect portrait of snark in 140 characters or less. It is more likely than not that your ideal audience utilizes social media and, as such, it is a fantastic way to promote your upcoming event.

Here are some tips to help you get started…

1. Create a Unique Hashtag

Creating a special hashtag for your event will help to boost engagement, increase social buzz, and could even boost attendance. Your hashtag should be short, sweet, and unique. Once you have it, use it everywhere you can—in tweets, your event’s website, your email signatures—just promote and promote it. Make sure to use the same hashtag across all social channels to build brand awareness. You’ll be able to watch what is trending around your event in real time and get relevant feedback in the process.

2. Use Photos of Past Attendees in Your Social Updates

If yours is a repeat event, you can leverage all the great photos you took at previous events. Audiences tend respond best to social posts containing images and what better way to show them what a good time they’d have at your event than showing what a good time people have already had there?

If you can, tag the past attendees in the pictures. This will encourage them to engage with the community and give them an opportunity to comment and talk about how much they learned or what a blast they had and how much they’re looking forward to attending again.

3. Share Behind-the-Scenes Visual Content

A great deal of work goes into planning and pulling off a top-notch event. Give a glimpse into this exciting and sometimes chaotic experience by sharing images and videos of the preparations going on.

Share stories of how you’re pulling everything together and don’t forget, mistakes and challenges happen. Be authentic and share the challenges you face and what steps you took to resolve them. It humanizes your brand and makes you more relatable.

4. Create a Facebook Event Page

Most people log into Facebook at least once a day. Make it easy for them to keep up with event news by creating an event page listing. Your event page is also a great place to encourage networking before the event. The convenience of an event page encourages sharing by attendees as well.

To help make your event a success, Facebook has added new tools such as targeted news feed ads and event insights to measure the effectiveness of your efforts. As the day of your event approaches, don’t forget to send out reminders to encourage people to RSVP on your event page.




6 Tips for Optimizing Your Event’s Website

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Event promotion is a complicated beast with a lot of moving parts, but the cornerstone of it all is your event page or website. It’s where all the traffic for your event will be directed toward and is the point at which people have to decide whether or not they’re going to attend your event. If you don’t already have a site dedicated to your event, it’s very simple to set one up at EventBrite.com.

Even once you have your event website set up, you may find that it isn’t converting at the rate you’d like. Here are some tips to help you maximize your event’s website.

1. Target the Right Keywords

It’s important to describe your event in the terms that people are already searching for. You may be describing your event as being in the “self-help” niche, when it turns out your audience is more likely to search for “personal improvement”. Spend some time researching the keywords that relate to your event and utilize them in your copy.

2. Utilize Social Proof

If you have any standout quotes, reviews, or testimonials to share about your event, make sure they appear on your page or website. This could be as simple as adding some positive feedback you received at last year’s event, or publishing the current number of registrations. Either form of proof will make others more likely to sign up.

3. Reach Out to Relevant Websites for Links

If you know of any relevant websites in your niche, send them an email and ask if they’d be willing to cover you. You might be surprised by how many of them are willing to do a write-up of your event! Acquiring links to your event site from others can boost your authority and make you more likely to rank well in searches for the keywords you’re targeting.

4. Write a Compelling Description

Clearly indicate the topic of the event, time, place and who should attend. The description should include specific benefits for each type of attendee. Make it brief and scan-able. Use third-party endorsements when possible, such as a quote from a previous event.

5. Include Speakers’ Photos and Bios

Nothing draws a crowd like a great speaker. Images of people help to remind your prospect that your event is not just an event being hosted by a business, but an event being hosted by human beings just like them. Be sure to include photos of your speakers as well as their credentials on your event page.

6. Have a Prominent “Register Now” Button

Your “register now” button needs to be prominent and clearly visible. Without that and a call to action, you may not be able to get the conversions you want.




6 Ways to Harness the Power of Email Marketing

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If you have a list, email marketing may be your best channel for promoting your event. After all, these are people who have signed up to your list and are therefore predisposed to be interested in what you have to offer. If you don’t have a list, you may ask partners, speakers, or friends to mention the event in their emails.

Whether you already have a list of not, here are a few guidelines that will help you to get the most out of your email marketing.

1. Craft Killer Subjects

The subject is your headline when it comes to email, and as such it should get people’s attention. Subject lines that inspire awe, anger, or anxiety lead to higher open rates. Subject lines with lukewarm emotional content, conversely, are less likely to be opened. Try a subject line such as “10 things you’ll miss if you aren’t at this event”.

2. Send During the Weekend

You may want to consider sending an email on the weekend. Since few companies do it, open and clickthrough rates may be higher. And when possible attendees see it on a weekend, they may feel less stressed for time and more willing to commit a few hours to your event. They may be in a social mood and even invite a friend.

3. Utilize Video

Video thumbnails in emails can improve clickthrough rates, so it’s definitely a strategy worth trying. You could include an interview with a speaker from your event, or perhaps a testimonial from a past attendee.

4. Don’t Send Just One Email

You aren’t the only one who is busy and it’s possible that they may have missed your first email so don’t be afraid to send out reminders and follow-ups! Using subjects with wording like “Last chance…” can help your open rates by creating curiosity.

5. Create an Editorial Calendar

This will help to ensure that you don’t let too much time go by between emails, or send too frequently. As you get closer to your event, your emails should include new speaker announcements, invitations to pre-event activities, links to new blog posts, and other general updates.

6. Send and Send Again

Plan to send an event marketing email several times. For large events, email once months in advance to announce the speaker lineup and to announce early-bird registration discounts. Email just before this discount ends, and again as the event approaches. Finally, send an email a few days before with reminders of time, place for registrants and a final pitch for new registration.