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5 tips to create the best content for your non profit’s blog

Posted in: Blogging Tips

You have a new WordPress website with a shinny blog included. Not it is time to start using your blog increase the traffic to your website. This can only happen after you begin posting interesting and relevant content to your blog. The following are tips on designing the best content for your non profit’s blog.

1) Write content that’s useful and unique to readers.

Readers read blogs for a number of reasons, including to be entertained, to be educated and informed, to keep up with news and to belong to a community. Factors like these should always be considered when writing a blog post. Is there any news that should be mentioned in your non profit or field of work? Has anything happened that would make readers smile? Has a new study revealed information relevant to your non profit’s mission? This, of course, relies on…

2) Keeping up with trends in your field.

By monitoring other blogs or news stories that are relevant to the work carried out by your non profit, you’ll have an idea of what is going on, and therefore have a better idea of what sorts of things readers need to know about. Don’t just think on a local scale; depending on the non profit, federal issues can always impact your mission and therefore your blog content.

3) Write content that reminders readers that they matter.

A non profit by definition relies on its supporters, and in any business, supporters want to be told that they matter. Think about how supporters you’re your non profit and praise them for it in as many blog posts as possible. For example, animal shelter blogs should include thank you’s since readers often help support daily shelter operations, especially when it comes to spay and neuter programs.

4) Tell a story.

Readers don’t want straight-up statistics and facts. They want to learn while reading something interesting. That’s why journalists try to tell stories from the point of view of a person whenever it’s possible. What sorts of stories can be told from the point of view of your non profit’s supporters or staff?

5) Ask your readers what they want.

It’s a simple trick that should utilized more often. You have a blog; use its interactive features to find out what readers think and what they want to hear. Ask questions, read the feedback in the comments, and continue to build your blog content based on the feedback you get.

When to Update your Website

Posted in: Effective Website Design

When to Update your Website

I am often asked the question of “How long will my website last?” Put another way, “How long will this investment last?”

Ideally, you want to be updating your website every two years.

Why? Well, the reason is simple. If your business is growing and maturing, it means that you’re constantly, and in many ways redefining your business, right? It’s not that you or your business has changed, but you are solidifying your focus as the market shifts. The products and services you offered two years ago matched the market for its time. In the same respect, your website that was built two years ago was designed for the vision of your business two years ago, which since then has probably fallen out of step of where your business actually is and where it’s headed. This brings me to my next point.

You want your website to reflect where your business it going, not where you are today.

Here’s what I mean:  Your website needs to be in-line with your marketing plan and you need to grow into it. Lets say that you want to handle higher client volume, or perhaps higher-level clients than you are today. Your website shouldn’t appeal to the customers that you have today, your website should appeal to the customers of the future. If you simply have a website that looks good enough for your clients today, but would not impress them two years from now, you’re never going to reach your goal. Instead you need to look the part. Present yourself in a manor that attracts your ideal customers of the future.

Utilize the power of your website to increase business sales and be sure it’s updated every two years.

Contact us

Share your thoughts on this topic with us today. Do you have a specific question on the topic that wasn’t answered here? Email us directly, with your specific question.

Is your WordPress website Mobile ready?

Posted in: Effective Website Design, Wordpress Themes

Remember the last time you browsed a site on your phone optimized?

Is your WordPress website Mobile ready? website theme site screen Responsive Themes responsive page Mozak Design Mobile Plugins information content change business

Constant zooming in to read text and zooming out to navigate and super slow load speeds made it tedious to find what you needed and chances are you didn’t stay on the site for long.

I usually end up leaving sites that aren’t mobile optimized pretty quickly and I’m not the only one. Recent studies reveal that as much as 40% of mobile users turn to competitors’ sites, after having a bad mobile experience.

You can’t afford a bad mobile site! 

If you’re a WordPress user, when it comes to ensuring that your website is mobile user friendly, you have two ways to go about it:

  1. Choose a plugin that instantly creates a mobile version of your site.

  2. Choose a responsive WordPress theme that is self aware of screen size.

Which option is better? Let’s compare:

1. Mobile Plugins

Is your WordPress website Mobile ready? website theme site screen Responsive Themes responsive page Mozak Design Mobile Plugins information content change business

 

If you already have put a lot of time and energy into your website and you didn’t use a responsive theme, you may be thinking: “Isn’t there a plugin that can eliminate the work of having to choose a new theme and redesign my entire website?”

Yes there is, one plugin I recommend is WP Touch Pro.  

WP Touch Pro is a well designed and supported mobile plugin.  It works by detecting devices like iPhones, iPads, Androids & and more, and displaying its mobile theme instead of your regular desktop theme.

 

While this may sound wonderful, there are some limitations namely:

  1. Some of the custom functions like shortcodes that your current theme has might not be supported.  This will result in part of your page not being displayed or being displayed incorrectly.
  2. Mobile plugins are geared more to blogs than business websites. As a result, they strip away most of the website design leaving only the core page content displayed to the viewer. This means sidebars and footers are not displayed. While this works well for a blog whose job is to communicate content it is less effective for a business website who also cares about controlling the full user experience on their website. 
  3. Since they are a second theme they need to be customized and maintained just like your primary theme.

That said, while a mobile plugin isn’t perfect, it will send you in the right direction.

2. Responsive Themes

Responsive themes are becoming more and more common these days, especially as we move into an age where almost half of mobile users are smartphone users. In the last year the number of individuals who have accessed web information has more than doubled worldwide.

Responsive themes dynamically change how they display things based on the device they are being viewed on.

Based on this information the website will automatically adjust itself for optimal viewing experience. 

Here is how the Mozak Design responsive theme displays on the iPhone & iPad:

Is your WordPress website Mobile ready? website theme site screen Responsive Themes responsive page Mozak Design Mobile Plugins information content change business

Notice how the theme knows when it is on a narrow screen (iPhone) and collapses the navigation and moves the sidebar below the primary content.

There are 2 main benefits to a responsive theme:

  1. You have just one theme to keep up to date. 
  2. No matter how your website is viewed, you have a single look and feel, creating a strong, consistent brand image. 

My Suggestion:

If you have a small business, invest in a theme that is responsive. It will save you time and money in the long run. 

Susan Rich, Copy-Writer

Posted in: Client Stories

Susan Rich, Copy-Writer

Susan’s Story

I started working with Jocelyn when I hit website overload: Three different WordPress sites, all with a different back-end operation.

Like many solo-pros, I built my websites piece by piece. I had a very distinct vision about WHAT I wanted each one to do – but lacked the programming savvy (and patience) to make it happen. The result was predictable – website mayhem. 

Being a copy-writer (author, public speaker, marketing expert and internet radio show host) I wanted a site with clean lines, simple navigation and a streamlined back-end that allowed me to create pages and update content whenever the mood struck. I’ve been using WordPress for years and would never change.

One website is for my primary business, RichWriting.com. The second is the author platform for my book: Write it Rich! How to write a kick-butt resume cover letter. And the third is for a slowly evolving sideline: Rich&GlutenFree.

What I want people to know is that I work with both business owners and job seekers to help them grab attention, drive action, and get results. Business owners need more clients; job seekers need a job – and I excel at helping both groups launch their get-noticed-now! strategy.

From writing workshops to 1:1 consulting, I’m obsessed with helping every person I work with succeed. That means my professional partners must have the same drive, the same integrity and passion.

Jocelyn Mozak is the ultimate partner for my trio of websites.

Working with Jocelyn was a great experience: She dove into the mechanics of making each site work properly. She created efficiency and continuity – simple changes that make it easy for me to work behind the scenes on all the sites. She updated databases, installed new software and made sure my existing data was safely archived. Jocelyn even worked directly with my website host to address their database problems – an effort completely above and beyond anything I ever expected!

What I love about Jocelyn is her approach to client service: If I’m not asking for updates or tweaks, or lessons in how to use new tools like AWeber, she is pinging me about changes I can make to ensure my users get the most out of my websites.

 

Jackie’s story in her own words

Posted in: Client Stories

Born and raised in Portland, Oregon Jackie Hooper is a public speaker, author and creator of www.wouldhavesaid.com, a place where she posts letters written from anyone to anyone and portray a variety of emotions. She released a collection of those letters in book-form called, “The Things You Would Have Said”.

Jackie loves to help people find their voice. She’s drawn to those who feel unsure about where they stand or what they have to offer, helping them recognize and believe that they matter, discovering their strengths, and believing in themselves, especially when it comes to their role in relationships.

WordPress.COM: Great for personal blogs, not for business

Jackie’s WordPress Story, in her own words.
I tried to make a website on my own using the free WordPress.com blogging service. Unfortunately, after spending a lot of time trying to figure it out I realized that what I actually needed for my business was a website with an integrated blog, not just a free blog.  I needed the ability to customize the look of my site, to optimize it for SEO, and to be able to integrate any plugins I needed; WordPress.com was just not going to cut it.

I started looking around for a website designer and found Jocelyn’s website. I contacted her, and immediately knew that she was a really good fit for me.

Mozak Design: Empowering the client

Jocelyn is a wonderful teacher. At some points I was frustrated, but in a good way.  I would ask her a question and in addition to answering my question she would make me a video or send me a link on how to do it. She said to me once that she wants to empower her clients to do this on their own. This was huge – to learn how to do all these things myself. It’s great that she’s excited to teach others how to do these things for themselves. She even made a page with all the video tutorials so I can go back to them if I do ever forget something she said. Especially with the kind of learner I am, her walking me through the process on video was a huge help. I now feel that I really am able to manage and update my site when I need to.

Coaching and looking at the big picture

What I really loved about Jocelyn was that she helped me with my website. She was a really great sounding board and coach. I came to her saying that I wanted her to replicate the site I had created on WordPress.com but on my own hosting where I could completely control the SEO and design. If I had just gone to someone else and said “Please just replicate this site”, they would have done it without question and then I wouldn’t have been happy with the end result. Jocelyn guided me through the process pointing out where my initial design would and would not serve me in the search engines. To me, website coaching she did was as important, if not more important than the actual website design work she did.

The website I had made was a picture of me in the center with a little tab at the top.  I had seen a website like this and I was trying to be artsy with it.  When we talked on our first call, the insight she provided was invaluable.  The homepage, she explained, is key to search engine optimization and to visitor engagement. While a graphic might be nice, if you make your visitor have to click just to be able to get to a page with information you run the risk of losing them because you are making them work too hard to learn about your services.

Jackie’s story in her own words work website visitor site search engines picture Mozak Design com client business

She started asking me big picture questions like, “what’s your goal with this, what do you want clients to see right away?”  I think just talking through it all made me realize I didn’t just want a giant picture of me on the front but I needed to provide some content. So in a really subtle way, she said the way I was doing it was ok and then did a great job leading me in the direction I wanted to go. I feel that every question I had, she really gave me great answers and guidance.

Throughout the process, we joked because we both emailed each other tons of times back and forth and that was exactly what I needed. She gave such great attention to me and she would respond so quickly either with an email or gave me a call. In moments where I felt frazzled she would work right there with me and didn’t make me wait around.-

Would I recommend Mozak Design?

Absolutely!

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