MAU Web Studio Blog

Inspiring Blogs. Neither blog or website I developed, but I appreciate and enjoy them for different reasons, and in different ways.

So, I’ve got two inspiring blogs today, and both are blogs for designers. Even if you have no relationship with the design world, perhaps you could visit one or both, and glean something inspiring for yourself.

The first is Maria Killam.

maria killam

maria killam

Isn’t this image wonderful?

I’ve been following Maria Killam for I don’t know how many months, and every time I experience her blog, I am inspired in new and wonderful ways to get better.

The second inspiring blog I have for you today is Kandrac & Kole, of Atlanta, Ga.

Now, something interesting is going on with Kandrac & Kole. It’s their graphics on their website. They are custom. And so thoughtful.

In addition, when you check out their blog, they are engaging and, to me, so highly relatable, that I really “got” some of the core of who they are as business women, through their blog. That is a big win, in terms of blog effectiveness, because by the time I met these two ladies, I felt I already knew them, partially, so we were able to not fumble through sometimes time-wasting pleasantries, and get down to business … very much my own style.

kandrac kole Interior Designs, Inc.

kandrac kole Interior Designs, Inc.

Isn’t this graphic devine? I love the custom graphic from both Maria Killam and Kandrac & Kole.

So, there you have it. Two inspiring blogs for today. Check them out. And if you’d like to talk about your own blog, and how you can make it better, leave a comment, and get in touch, and have a terrific week!

–Beverly Mau

This morning, I was checking out my friend Chi Chi Okezie’s Website (businesswoman here in Atlanta) – and I noticed she implemented some changes on her website. NOTE: I did not develop Chi Chi’s website. I am a web developer, and I like finding examples of good work online…

Changes that are emblematic of trends that I think are good decisions, if you are a business owner, and want to maximize your website for your audience.

Here’s what I noticed that Chi Chi did – and what I also recommend for my own clients: she has launched a blog as her main website.

Smart.

Here’s a screenshot of the top part of her website:

Chi Chi Okezie, The Champion Networker

Chi Chi Okezie, The Champion Networker

Why is having your main website be a blog a great idea? Because blogs have unique advantages to benefit you from a Google perspective, as well as a human perspective. There’s technical mumbo jumbo talk about what this means. The summary is this: using a blog as your main website is a terrific solution to keep costs of websites down and to self support.

Here’s a screenshot of the bottom half of Chi Chi’s homepage:

Chi Chi Okezie, the Champion Networker

Chi Chi Okezie, the Champion Networker

For Chi Chi’s site, she is using Blogger – however, WordPress is the number one blogging platform right now. That being said, if you are more comfortable using Blogger, then by all means, go with Blogger.

There are reasons to go with one or the other, and sifting through those reasons may be above and beyond the scope of your knowledge/interest. If this is the case, I’d say, get a professional opinion.

If you’d like to feel more confident every time you think about your businesses IT support, then contact me!

Here’s a screen shot of a site MAU Web Studio launched in Jan 2011:

Style with Aplomb

Style with Aplomb

There’s so much to talk about regarding this website – it’s a good example of what we can achieve here at the Studio.

I will say that it feels really good to have custom images created by my given the thumbs up by the client.

Creating something original takes a collaboration – an effort that is the result of a very good fit between me – the web designer/developer and client.

What colors stand out to you?

If they are the light lavender/purple – then that was the intent by the client. This light lavender/purple is important to weave throughout the site, for purposes of properly branding and creating a certain feel in alignment with the business itself.

If you would like to take your web presence to the next level of success, contact me, Beverly Mau – your Internet Designer / Developer.

I was talking with my cousin the other day, and she liked the analogy I came up with, when talking about what it is we IT people do behind the scenes, so I thought I’d write it down.

What is it that IT people do, anyway, and why is it so expensive?

The answer is as varied and unique as our DNA – so the answer isn’t a quick one.

If you want to make this easier on yourself, the answer is counterintuitive: talk with each IT person or IT team, and you’ll discover the strengths and weaknesses.

For me, when I build a website, it is similar to a house you live in. You didn’t build the frame of the house, and, in fact, the frame won’t change every year or every other couple of years, right?

That’s because the frame of the house is similar to the architecture of your website. The ones I build are, anyway. So, when I build the architecture of your website, once it is approved, that is going to remain fixed.

Now, you decorate your home. You bring in chairs that look a certain way, and you hang pictures on the wall. This is similar to the design of your website. With the design of your website, change is a little easier. We can swap out colors, pictures, and the placement of everything on your site relatively easily.

That doesn’t mean change happens with the quick click or two of the mouse.

I am a developer, and I don’t work with templates, I hand code. What this means is that what I do is a craft. I’m not working with software that tells me what to do. My education and experience and my brain tells me what to do – and that is what costs so much money.

The advantage of working with a developer to develop your website is that I can think through problems and come up with custom solutions that fit your unique circumstances. If you work with someone who can’t think through a problem, then you’re going to get a site that doesn’t really fit your needs, represent your business. It’s not going to work.

The disadvantages of working with a developer such as myself is probably this: takes longer to develop a site. Customization takes time. If client and I aren’t able to communicate effectively, then the whole project takes longer – or worse – the project never finishes.

So, if you want solutions that are custom to your unique needs, then leave a message or visit me at my business website here.

Thanks for stopping by and reading!

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I think one of the reasons why Obama won the Presidency is that he has a story – and the majority of U.S. citizens related to that story.

What story did Obama have? Well, his father is from Africa. That is a story. Obama was raised in beautiful Hawaii. That is a story. Obama is an intellectual. That is part of the fabric that is his story.

And how did he convey that story? Most effectively, he conveyed it through technology. Before Obama’s campaign, nobody really thought Facebook and Twitter could be leveraged to the extent that his campaign leveraged it, for success. Obama’s people conveyed his story through the internet and through television – and radio and in person. But how Obama reached the greatest number of people, and how he kept the buzz alive, was through the internet, no doubt.

Now the Republicans have their social media strategy. And the republicans have put in their play book how to leverage technology.

Let’s have technology on our side as well. As business owners, let’s leverage technology – put into action a plan, for success, to spread the message of your own company.

That’s how stories are conveyed these days. Technology.

So, there are multiple elements that work in concert to create your successful, effective blog.

One element that stands out to me today is the concept of “legacy”. What this word means is that the longer you post blog posts, the greater your legacy of writing. Each blog post, in this example of legacy, adds strength to your overall legacy.

How the concept of legacy adds to your blogging effectiveness success is two-fold. First, from Google indexing perspective, the more you blog, the greater the opportunity for Google to crawl and index your words. This adds to your strength.

Second, from a human perspective, your legacy either runs broad, or horizontal, or deep – vertical. If you have a lot of different tags or categories in your blog, then your writing runs horizontal – very broad. The risk with running too horizontal is that your message may be too dilute. The advantage of running horizontal with your writing is that you are probably showing more of “your story” – or your humanness. This is very relate-able and likeable. You can bring people into your blogging world by running horizontal.

Go vertical when you want to establish yourself as an expert. Very focused writing reaffirms you know your stuff. The disadvantage with writing vertically is that it will not work unless you differentiate your message – your writing will just be added noise on the internet. There are a hundred million gurus – how are you different? Your differentiation is memorable. Also, with writing vertically, you exclude all other topics, and in so doing, you may exclude a population of readers who want a more diverse topic set.

If you want more confidence in your business website, contact me at bevmau [@] gmail [dot] com

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If you want to learn more about building your online presence, google “long tail keyword phrase” and “inbound linking strategy” is hot right now, as well as listing your business in paid and non paid directories, and continued blogging.

If you’re into Facebook, then the “like” button is an emerging trend. Scout Mob, Groupon, and Twitter are good for generating short bursts of activity.

I still recommend having a “template press release” on hand, and filling in the blanks and sending to press anything press worthy that happens with your business, a name change would be worthy of alerting the press. I would talk about how changing your name is one of a number of things you’re doing to better align with delivering value to clients.

I would still add a connection or two every month in Linkedin – and then when you have something to say regarding your business, then you can blast the info via LinkedIn.

If you’d like to feel more confident about your business IT support, send me a note. I’m a professional website developer for business owners, and I support my clients remotely to achieve their online goals.

Thanks for reading!

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