Posts By: Laura Christianson

Why You Should Be Wary of One-Page WordPress Themes

Two common problems with one-page WordPress themes

Landing pages — stand-alone web pages that deliver a single marketing message and a single call-to-action — have been around for decades. They’re usually used to entice people to sign up for an offer or mailing list.

During the past year or so, one-page websites have exploded in popularity. Now, instead of functioning primarily as a sales tool, they’ve morphed into full-featured websites.

One-page websites work well for brands in their infancy and for sites that have a small amount of content.

This article shows you one-page websites we have developed for clients, and details two common problems with one-page WordPress themes.

How to Show Clients You Appreciate Them

Customer Service

I spent 45 minutes on the phone with a customer service representative from one of our vendors. The rep did a terrific job; he listened patiently to my questions, showed me how to troubleshoot my problem, and removed a monthly surcharge that I didn’t need to be paying (that last one really made me happy).

He followed up our phone conversation with an email that referred me to several excellent tutorials on their website.

After this happy experience, I was feeling the love, so I posted a two-sentence rave about the vendor on the Blogging Bistro Facebook page. Of course, I linked to the vendor’s Facebook page so they could bask in the warm fuzzies. (I think that’s a mixed metaphor, but who cares?)

Re-Branding a Writers Conference, Phase 2

Set of red christmas balls background. Vector illustration.

Two months ago, we shared the steps we’ve been taking to re-brand the West Coast Christian Writers Conference (I volunteer on the Board of Directors).

We changed the name of the organization, revamped the conference curriculum, moved the conference to a new location, designed a logo and ramped up our marketing efforts.

We created a one-page website that included the conference essentials. The “starter” website introduced the new brand to the world while the board members finalized the conference details.

We just launched the full-featured website (which replaced the one-page site). It’s a WordPress site that uses responsive design technology, meaning that it functions perfectly on a desktop, tablet, or smartphone.

The Ideal Length for Blog Posts, Podcasts and Social Updates

IdealLength

When I teach blogging workshops, someone always asks, “How long should my blog post be?”

My response:

“As long as it needs to be to get your message across.”

In this era of tweet-sized attention spans, the KISS principle (Keep It Short and Simple) applies to blog posts, podcasts, videos, TED Talks, and Slideshare presentations.

A fantastic infographic created by Buffer and SumAll overviews ideal word counts and character counts for online media.

Five Cool Tips from a Blog Mentoring Clinic

5 cool tips from a blog mentoring clinic

By Norma Nill
Guest Columnist

I signed up for Laura Christianson’s Blog Mentoring Clinic at the 2014 Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference because I was falling behind in maintaining three blogs yet wanted share them with more people.

Laura opened the clinic by asking, “Why blog?”

Cool Tip #1

A blog is the number one way to build trust.

I didn’t know that. But I knew I wanted to reach readers, get to know them, and build relationships.

Laura challenged us to ask, “How can my blog help my readers? What problems do they have that my blog could help them solve?”

Writing Contest Prize: Full Tuition to Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference!

MountHermon

Earlier this year, I got to know Kathy Ide, a freelance editor, writing mentor, and author. During the Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference, Kathy and I served on the critique team and co-hosted a lunch and dinner table.

One morning, we joined several other faculty members for a field trip to nearby Santa Cruz, CA, where we ogled a pod of sea lions and sampled chocolate-covered bacon.

As Kathy and I deepened our friendship, I learned that she is not only smart and fun-loving, but she is also kind and generous. Kathy is sponsoring a “Promising Beginnings” contest in which the prize is a FULL SCHOLARSHIP ($897 value) to the 2015 Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference, March 27–31, 2015.

Children’s Author Diane Stortz Gets Brand Refresh

DianeStortzLogo

Children’s author, Diane Stortz, decided it was time to upgrade her Blogger blog to a website that would feature her books and her editing services.

She wanted a “look” that would appeal to her primary audience of parents and grandparents of young children, and her secondary audience of publishers and writers looking to hire an experienced editor. She wanted her brand to be bright, fun, contemporary, personable, and professional. A tall order!

In this article, you’ll learn how the Blogging Bistro team worked with Diane to update her logo, website, business cards, and social media accounts.

7 Simple Steps to Create an Animoto Book Trailer Video

Animoto Pricing Plans

By Sherry Kyle
Guest Columnist

Did you know 30 seconds is enough time to capture someone’s attention? In fact, if you don’t grab them in the first 8 seconds, your viewer will move on to other things.

Here is the 30-second Animoto book trailer I created for my novel Watercolor Dreams, released today from HopeSprings Books.

Let me walk you through the seven-step process so you can make a book trailer of your own…

BriteVerify: An Inexpensive Tool for Shaping Up Your Email List

EmailList verification

If you’ve been collecting names and emails for your e-newsletter and are now ready to begin using them, it’s a good idea to verify that the emails are valid before you import them to your e-newsletter list.

Why?

Because most email marketing services (such as MailChimp, AWeber, and Constant Contact) base their monthly fees on the total number of subscribers.

This article explains how BriteVerify works and includes examples of how two Blogging Bistro clients used the service to axe the deadwood from their email lists.

Re-Branding a Writers Conference One Step at a Time

WCCW_Logo_Square

When there’s a turnover in leadership, it’s not uncommon for a business to change its mission, its primary customer, its services and products – even its name.

During the last decade, I’ve coached many people who have expanded their brand or entirely reinvented it.

Since February 2014, I’ve served as part of a team that is re-branding a Christian writers conference.

Today, I’ll share the progress we’re making and invite you to adapt our strategies for your own business, should you be considering re-branding.