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August 2010 Features » Google Voice, Website Down?, Building Blog Readership

Nancy McCord, Owner of McCord Web Services LLC.Dear Friend,

I will be in Russia when you receive this e-newsletter. (Our Russian clients need servicing too!) Actually, I am on a trip to Moscow and St. Petersburg on vacation.

In the meantime I hope you will find the articles in this e-newsletter interesting reading.

Best Regards,

Nancy McCord

Connect with me online on Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn | Plaxo | Naymz | Our Blog

Google Voice | What to do When Your Website's Down | Building Blog Readership

Google Voice – Why You Must Have It

Google Voice is my new tool that I can now not live without. In fact, I have found it so helpful that I may replace my land line phone number posted on my website with my Google Voice phone number. This last trip, I found my Google Voice account to be an indispensable asset for any business traveler.

There is nothing worse than feeling tethered to your computer when you are a small business owner and there is no faster way to make your family mad at you when you are on vacation and you are stuck doing business on "their" special time. I found that Google Voice put me in the "driver’s seat" when it came to managing my phone calls while on travel.

In the Google Voice settings, I was able to set up groups for my business contacts and then set attributes on who would have immediate access to me by phone. Clients were asked to say their names on dialing, and then Google Voice phoned me and asked if I wanted to answer the call or have it send them directly to my voice mail.

With an additional setting I was able to have all my Google Voice messages transcribed and emailed to my mobile phone. This way I could decide who to call and when. Additionally, when I returned to my office I now had a full archive of all phone calls and transcribed messages. With one click I could listen to the actual phone call to figure out if the transcription was accurate with names. (The transcription was not perfect, but pretty good.)

If you are a business owner on the go, I would highly recommend Google Voice to you for your next trip. No longer is Google Voice by invitation only now anyone can sign up.

P.S. Google is not paying me for this article, I just feel they have a great new product and wanted to share it with you.


Your Website is Down! What Should You Do?

You just looked or a prospect or client emailed you to tell you your website was down, what do you do?

First, don't panic. Sometimes a website will go down because the server at the web host is being refreshed, serviced, or the host had a power outage. Wait for 15 minutes and try to access your site again.

In some cases you will get an error message. Make sure to copy the error message. If you get a reference to your database or header files, don't call your web host, this is a website and webmaster problem. Meaning that something is wrong with the source code of your website or the database that runs your website has gone down (that actually could be a web host issue).

If your website is not up in 15 minutes or your get a database error that you have never seen before and your site was working fine before, it is time to contact your web host. In some cases it is most practical to pickup the phone and in others more practical to do a tech support ticket.

If your email is down as well, it is time to make sure that the problem really isn't that you've let your domain name expire or that you did not pay your web hosting renewal bill. Here a prompt call to your web host sales department is in order. Typically if your web host has had a hiccup and your website is down, your email will still be operational.

Personally I have only seen both email and the site go down when the client has let the domain name or web hosting expire. Of course there may be other reasons, but letting the domain expire or even the web hosting expire are the most common reasons.

So if your site is down for more than a day or if your email is down too you need to take action and start by calling your web host first.


Want to Build Blog Readership? Consistency is Key!

The key to blog readership.If you want to build readership of your blog, consistency is key, but that doesn't just mean posting on the same days, but at the same time, with the same quality, and on your core topics.

I have learned this from personal experience. There is absolutely nothing worse than building up a reader base and then due to your own inconsistency losing it. I had this happen in 2008. I had a number of writer related personnel issues. I had to step in and write consistently at the last moment for a number of client blogs. When you blog for other people, you can get tapped out and simply not want to or have time to write for your own blog.

I saw on my own blog, over a several month period, my traffic go from 40% of all visitors reading my blog to under 10%. It took me over one full year to rebuild my readership with consistent blogging three days a week. It was really tough to keep the momentum up to rebuild what I had lost. I have learned that to not blog is not an option for my own business.

For me, I blog every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. My posts are published at 5:30 AM and are consistently on-topic for what my readers are interested in knowing more about. The payoff has been huge. My RSS subscriber subscription alone is now over 243 readers and my website traffic has nearly doubled this year alone. In 2010 so far my blog has had over 355,008 pageviews and accounts for about 48% of my total website traffic.

Blogging can be hard work to always be at the top of your game, but when you stop or get sporadic you can lose it all! If you need help staying consistent with your blog consider our blog writing services. You don't want to have to rebuild your readership, as I did, if you can simply get someone to step in and help out when you need it.


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