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By Bonnie Bills | Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Online Marketing Fundamentals: Blogs, SEO, & Beyond

The web has completely changed marketing from a primarily one-way form of communication to an interactive, two way customer-centered conversation. It has also changed the rules of participation. You don’t need a big budget or a marketing team to embark on an effective online marketing campaign, you just need to know the fundamentals of online marketing so you can get started on a new campaign, or optimize the campaign you have. The smallest businesses—the one-woman design shop, the auto repair place down the street, the ten-employee consulting business—can engage in many of the same marketing activities as a multinational fast-food chain with a massive marketing budget.

In Online Marketing Fundamentals, web marketing expert Lorrie Thomas Ross explains how businesses can:

• Set themselves up for success by defining their audience and creating an effective website

• Use social media sites from Facebook to Foursquare to interact with customers and prospects in new ways

• Blog to become credible sources of information and reach new audiences

• Use SEO and SEM to reach customers interested in their goods or services

• Analyze their online efforts with web analytics software

• And much more

Whether you’re contemplating your first web marketing efforts or are an experienced web marketer looking for new ideas, you’ll find plenty of information in Online Marketing Fundamentals.

Interested in more? • All business courses in the Online Training Library® • Courses by Lorrie Thomas Ross in the Online Training Library®

Suggested courses to watch next:Social Media Marketing with Facebook and TwitterEffective Email Marketing StrategiesAnalyzing Your Web Site to Improve SEOGoogle Analytics Essential Training

By Bonnie Bills | Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Practical and Effective Email Marketing Strategies

With the holiday season upon us, you may be thinking about email as a way to get the word out about your products or services. Email is still a great way to capture and engage customers—if you know how to plan a campaign that maximizes marketing dollars and maintains your company’s brand and reputation. This week we released a course by online marketing guru John Arnold that explains how to do it right. John has some serious cred in the email marketing world as the pioneer of Constant Contact’s small business education program, a sought-out conference speaker, and the author of For Dummies books on online marketing.

In Effective Email Marketing Strategies, John gives practical tips for how to build a top-quality subscriber list, comply with spam laws, increase sign-ups, choose design elements that grab customers, create compelling content, write subject lines, analyze the effectiveness of your email campaigns, and much more. Here’s a peek:

John’s number one email marketing tip? Think long-term.

“Avoid planning one email at a time or judging your success on one or two emails,” he explains. “Instead, plan to invest in email marketing over the course of six months to a year with multiple emails over the course of several campaigns. That way, you give a chance for the power of repeat messaging to work and you give yourself a chance to fine-tune your email content, frequency, and targeting.”

Suggested courses to watch next:

Google Analytics Essential TrainingSocial Media Marketing with Facebook and Twitter • All courses on business in the Online Training Library®

By Bonnie Bills | Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Three tips for managing your Gmail inbox

Between personal e-mails, work e-mails, mailing lists, offers, and Facebook system alerts, you are probably getting hundreds of e-mails per week. Opening a crowded inbox can an intimidating and stressful experience.

If you use Gmail, you can employ labels, filters, and inbox styles to efficiently manage your messages. Below, lynda.com author and Gmail maven Susan Cline shares a few tips to help get you started.

Tip 1: Create filters to archive and label mailing list e-mails.

Reading the content of weekly newsletters, special offers, and digest e-mails is helpful, but it can be distracting every time a message from Zappos or Corn Dog Lovers pops into the top of your inbox. Use the Filter feature to create a filter that automatically archives the messages (that is, skips the inbox) and labels them. You can see the number of unread messages in each label by looking at the bold number in parenthesis. During your lunch break or down time you can peruse your mailing list e-mails.

In Gmail Essential Training, Susan demonstrates how to create Gmail archive filters.

Tip 2: Memorize a few keyboard shortcuts.

Clearing out your inbox can be time consuming when you are using the mouse. You select the message, then find the appropriate button on the toolbar to delete, archive, or label the message. Gmail has dozens of keyboard shortcuts to help you quickly navigate, delete, star, and label your messages.

Shortcuts to memorize include:

R – reply

A- reply to all

F – forward

R – archive

L – apply label

# – delete message

You can view all the keyboard shortcuts by holding down Shift+Forward Slash (/) when you are in your Gmail inbox.

In her new course, Gmail for Power Users, Susan shows how to employ Gmail’s keyboard shortcuts to quickly move through your inbox.

Tip 3: Send canned responses for common replies.

Do you find yourself writing the same response over and over? Perhaps you are managing a job hunt and sending e-mail confirmations for resumes that you receive. Perhaps you send your clients your rate sheets and terms via e-mail. Stop wasting time typing, and start using Canned Responses. The Canned Responses lab allows you to create and save default reply messages. Then when you want to respond to a message with a canned response, you just select the message from the Canned Responses drop-down menu.

In Gmail for Power Users, Susan shows how to create and send Canned Responses.

If you want more e-mail managements strategies and you’re a member of the lynda.com Online Training Library®, Susan devotes a whole chapter to managing your Gmail inbox in Gmail for Power Users. Happy organizing!

By Bonnie Bills | Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Curious about Google+? New course covers the basics

When Google+ opened its doors to the public a few weeks ago, people flocked to the nascent social networking site. The service is evolving, and at this point it’s impossible to tell whether it will become a major player in the social networking space. But given Google’s reach, the service’s features (like customized sharing and video hangouts), and growing discontent with Facebook, many people are wondering what Google+ offers that the other social networking sites don’t.

If you’re one of the curious, Google+ First Lookcovers the basics and gets you up and running in the first 12 minutes. In the course, social media expert Adam Metz also shows how to sync your Google+ account with your other social media assets, like LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook, and reviews the service’s privacy controls.

We’ll be keeping a close eye on Google+ as it develops, and we’d love to hear from you if there’s something you’d like to learn about Google+—or any aspect of social media.

By Bonnie Bills | Thursday, September 15, 2011

Business presentations in PowerPoint: How do you think they can be improved?

As a follow-up to PowerPoint 2010 Essential Training, we’re working on an intermediate course that covers business presentation design and delivery with PowerPoint. We’d like to hear what you want improved in the presentations you’ve participated in, either as a creator, presenter, or an audience member.

1. Neon colors, background images, cartoonish fonts: what’s attractive or fun to the creator might give the audience a headache. In terms of design, what kinds of things make you cringe as an audience member?

2. If you create business presentations, what aspects of design do you struggle with?

3. Some presenters make you sit up and take notes. Others make you watch the clock. When it comes to the delivery of a presentation, what are your pet peeves—and your best memories?

4. If you give business presentations, in what ways would you like to improve your delivery skills?

Please share your thoughts on any or all of these questions in the comments, and your suggestions and questions will help shape this upcoming course. Thank you!

By Bonnie Bills | Monday, May 23, 2011

How would you like to improve your meetings?

We are developing a course on making meetings more effective, and we’d like to get your input on a couple of questions that will help to shape the course:

  1. What is the one thing you wish would improve about the meetings you attend or lead?
  2. What is the biggest mistake you think others make when it comes to participating in a meeting?

Please post your answers in the comments. Thank you for your insights!

By Bonnie Bills | Thursday, May 19, 2011

How can you get the most out of LinkedIn?

LinkedIn’s IPO is making waves in financial circles, but there’s a number being bandied about that should resonate with job seekers as well: 41 percent of its revenue comes from hiring solutions, which signifies the extent to which employers and recruiters are using LinkedIn to find job candidates. LinkedIn is a powerful tool for any job seeker, whether you’re a college student entering the job market or a seasoned professional looking to advance your career.

[Source: OnlineMBA.com]

Richard Colback, author of LinkedIn Essential Training, shares his top tips for getting the most out of LinkedIn:

Complete your profile and keep it up to date. LinkedIn is a live platform with millions of people referring to the profiles it contains on a daily basis. By creating and maintaining a full profile, you will feature more prominently in the results shown to this huge network of people.

Add connections. The value of a network is exponentially greater than your profile on its own. By adding business, educational, and professional contacts to your network, you open up opportunities not only for yourself, but also for others in your network who can help each other via a shared link to you.

Get involved. There are many ways that you can get involved on LinkedIn. These vary from sharing information that will benefit the LinkedIn communities you are part of, to joining groups and providing people with another way to contact you and share their interests and insights with you. Active users of LinkedIn are finding jobs, creating business partnerships, and helping others to advance every minute of the day. It’s incredibly powerful, and simple to get started.

Richard’s course offers in-depth tutorials in setting up a profile and making the most of LinkedIn’s networking and job search features. (We also have a course on creating an effective resume if you need some help with that piece.) Take some time to develop a presence on the site, and see what happens when you open yourself up to a network of millions of employers, recruiters, and colleagues who use LinkedIn to help their businesses—and each other—be more successful.

By Bonnie Bills | Friday, April 22, 2011

Creating an Effective Resume: A conversation with the author

Today we’re pleased to announce the release of a new course designed to help our members market their job skills, Creating an Effective Resume. In the course, lynda.com author Mariann Siegert shares insider recommendations—based on her experience with her own resume service and her interviews with numerous recruiters and hiring managers—for creating a resume that stands out from the crowd. The course covers how to target your resume toward specific employers; how to write your resume so that employers will want to read it; how to choose from the different ways to organize your resume and format each section; how to write titles for online searches and upload to resume banks and job sites like Monster.com; how to write cover letters and thank-you notes; and much more.

In the following video, Mariann answers resume questions that blog readers sent in or posted as comments. As you’ll see, Mariann is passionate about helping people, a passion that is reflected in all the useful tips and techniques in this course. Please let us know what you think!

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