Email newsletters are vital to startups and small business: but where to start?

Too often a startup, small business (or revamped established business) set on building their presence online feels the first edition of their new email newsletter need be one for the ages. Rather than being a good but otherwise simple and direct avenue for communication with customers it can instead turn into a saga.

For old hands at email marketing it may be straightforward, but a newbie can find a new venture as complex as a SpaceX mission. This can amount to a launch failure all around as many startups and small businesses consign a email newsletter into the ‘do later’ pile and never get around to it.

Sure, a good email newsletter does require good fundamentals – and it’s important you look to build it actively – but those who promise instant success overnight are likely to also say ‘but there’s more’ and promise you things only Australian ad man Tim Shaw should when promoting a Pizza Hut Lunch deal.

SO, being prepared to roll up the shirtsleeves long term is essential. This said, just like that big textbook you know need read or that tax return you know is due soon- deciding to begin and knowing where … Click to continue reading

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HTML CSS & JavaScript: I’ve learned them but where do I code in them? (Part 2)

However you started, if you’re reading this chances are pretty good you can code. 
If you’ve not yet written even one line of code all OK! – maybe go have a quick read of Part 1 then come back – while we wait for those readers catching up let’s get a coding joke on the books;

I. How do you tell an introverted computer scientist from an extroverted computer scientist?

A: An extroverted computer scientist looks at your shoes when he talks to you.

There we go, Da boom chi, and after that B+ zinger the other readers should be just about back. Let’s proceed on: so you’ve learned HTML, CSS, and Javascript – aka the ‘holy trinity’ and the ‘front end fundamentals’ of web design.

You know you need a DOCTYPE at the start of every HTML doc, you know how to link a CSS style sheet to that doc and add in cool colors, fonts, and other design cues to a website. You even know how to write up some cool javascript code to get some pops up and nifty animations going. This is solid knowledge, is great to have learned – but you may now wonder: what … Click to continue reading

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Coding is popular but complex, explain it to me: HTML, CSS, and JavaScript (Part 1)

From slick Shopify websites to fun iOS and Android apps, to websites that have a gorgeous visual flair and design you’d love your businesses online brand to have – you know coding is how to get it done. Yet, by very virtue of the term ‘coding’ learning to code sounds pretty daunting.

Rather than presenting itself as a straightforward and transactional process just like a college degree where you’ll learn first year subjects, second year subjects, and then go on to learn the harder content in your third (and fourth) years, coding can conjure up mental images of those World War 2 spying, tech gurus sitting in dark basements, and NASA launching rockets into orbit.

Spy ingenuity, workaholic technicians, and space exploration may provide remarkable showings of human ability, but this image of coding can be confronting for a blogger or eCommerce store owner sitting at home and thinking about how they can better build their enterprise.

Accordingly, this often leads to varied answers when asking ‘where do I start coding?’ – And this can be made all the harder by tricky terminology. Let’s point you in the right direction with plain language then. Click to continue reading

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Email Newsletters that Impact: Why Weekly trumps Monthly

The era of online is instantaneous and immediate. In the span of time it took you to read this introduction 30,000 new tweets have been posted on Twitter. Let’s add to the count by repeating that once again: 30,000!

With such a rapidity to information’s distribution – and so much content featured within that information – many businesses, startups, and digital specialists ask themselves; how can I stand out? While the rapid rise of social media in the past decade – from Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to Google +, Tumblr and Pinterest – has rapidly changed the way a business or brand seeks to engage with a consumer, recent years have shown the old email list is having a resurrection.

Though it’d surely be unfortunate to bring back the solely HTML text-based newsletters of the dot-com era, for some time now it has been apparent that content-rich and visually crisp email newsletters are very much well positioned to ‘win the day’ when it comes to reaching an audience, and leaving a lasting impression on them.Click to continue reading

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7 CES products that showcase the promise of 2016

Sunday January 18 2015

CES Las Vegas has wrapped and many products indicate an exciting 2016 ahead.

The Consumer Technology Association’s Las Vegas event this year was looked upon with an extra-keen eye. Entering into the second half of the 10’s, the globe has seen at the edges of mass market some ‘game changing’ products in VR, drone flight, 3D printing and more for some time now.

This means an extra sense of ‘oomph’ was sought from this Nevada event to establish how close we are to getting some long desired futuristic gadgets. Let’s examine where and how it delivered.

Oculus Rift VR headset

The Oculus Rift VR headset. Image:

The Oculus Rift VR headset. Image:

Virtual reality has long been a feature of futuristic Hollywood films and predictions about the future but 2016 appears set to be the year VR is firmly moved into mainstream use. While brief flourishes and flirtations with the technology and mainstream adoption have occurred before – most notably during the mid-1990’s – the variety of VR featured at CES affirms this time it has the real potential for long term staying power.

From the entry level Google Cardboard all the way up to the Oculus Rift the diversity Click to continue reading

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Speaking the Language of SEO between Client and Copywriter

SEO is all important for a new business. Picture: supplied

SEO is all important for a new business. Picture: supplied

You cannot be a copywriter without coming across folks who wish for SEO content.

For those yet to come across it, SEO=Search Engine Optimisation. Through the use of a variety of tools and techniques ‘good’ SEO shall ensure a business ranks high on a query made on a search engine.

Good SEO can be achieved via targeted ad campaigns across the internet, it can be done by writing articles on your website and using certain keywords relevant to your industry (like ‘car’ for a mechanic), and by promoting your business on social media among other ways.

Good SEO can grow your business online. Picture: supplied

Good SEO can grow your business online. Picture: supplied

Established businesses seek SEO so they can maintain they prime brand positioning in the market. New business seeks SEO so in the day and age of the internet they can ‘leapfrog’ these businesses in search engine rankings like Google and Bing – and draw new customers to their website.

For example, say you are a new gym in my hometown of Melbourne (AKA the ‘World’s most liveable city’) and you’ve done all the real world legwork in getting a loan, a location and Click to continue reading

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Chris Cincotta’s Camera and Community


A familar sight to any Baysider who’s walked a certain beach in Brighton. Image courtesy: Chris Cincotta photography.

A familar sight to any Baysider who’s walked a certain beach in Brighton. Image courtesy: Chris Cincotta Photography.

by Ed Kennedy

CC are Melbourne photographer Chris Cincotta’s initials. Yet, they may as well stand for the two pillars upon which he’s built his career: cameras and community. In the day-to-day trade of being a photographer in Melbourne, engagement and interaction with community is a must. However, the way in which Chris does it surely makes him a rare commodity.

This Melbourne photographer, who has spent many afternoons and evenings along the coastal trails and among the Melbourne CBD – including having shot some of Bayside’s most famed and picturesque spots – is now in a sense very much anchored down. After a most interesting couple of years around Australia and across the world, Chris is now a Melbourne-based photographer, regularly selling his photos day-by-day in the CBD, and who also a very proud Melburnian. It sounds so straightforward, but just like an Ansel Adams landscape or a Leibovitz portrait; the detail is so very often everything. Chris’ story need be given some further colour and scope then.


…for rare would it appear Chris’ photos struggle for colour: Bayside’s Brighton

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