Sunday, 31 May 2015

Cute ponies for the bedroom and school

WELSH PONY CANVAS PRINTSHorse head cartoon sleeve for MacBook airHorse Love Commuter Bag

Cute ponies for the bedroom and school

If you know a boy or girl who loves ponies then here's a collection that should give you some gift ideas.
Any boy or girl will love them - some for bedroom and some for school. Which of these would be best?

Click the image for more details and to buy. You'll also see more designs from the artist there.

Motivational Words #1 Positivity Postcard

A gorgeous best-selling design. Click to customize or personalize. How would it look with your name or monogram on it - why not have a look-see right now?


tagged with: motivational words,, motivation,, positive thinking,, positive attitude,, encouragement,, positive outlook,, encouraging,, encourage,, word art,, hrbstslr mowds1

Motivational Words series Be positive! Here's a great design using motivational word art that could subtly and subconsciously help you improve your outlook and attitude. Each time you look at these influencing words, you should get a little reminder and a small positive boost!
more items featuring these motivational words
more


»visit the HightonRidley store for more designs and products like this

Skeletal Leaf Bowl Sculptures by Kay Sekimachi

Fun and Random

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While attending school at the California College of Arts and Crafts in Oakland, artist Kay Sekimachi was struck by a quote from her teacher Trude Guermon-prez: “Try to make something with the simplest of means.” Over the span of her sixty-year art career Sekimachi took the words to heart as she rose to the forefront of contemporary fiber art in the 60s and 70s by creating challenging artworks with extremely limited means. Leaves, hornet’s nest paper, grass, shells, and linen constitute many of the materials in Sekimachi’s repertoire. Via the Smithsonian:

Sekimachi uses the loom to construct three-dimensional sculptural forms. In the early 1970s she used nylon monofilament to create hanging quadruple tubular woven forms to explore ideas of space, transparency, and movement. Inspired by her ancestral homeland of Japan, Sekimachi repeatedly returns to that ancient culture for ideas.

Among her more recent works are these delicate bowls made from maple leaf skeletons. The pieces are held together with the help of Kozo paper and special coatings of both watercolor and Krylon. Several of the works will be on view at the Bellevue Arts Museum starting July 3, along with an exhibition of work by her late husband, renowned America woodturner Bob Stocksdale. (via My Modern Met)

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#funandrandom 
 » see original post http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/colossal/~3/HF6DJynvIUE/

How to Use Quizzes and Facebook to Build Your List… Fast

Blogging with purpose

original post »

This is a guest contribution from Luke Moulton.

If you’ve spent even a small about of time in the blogging world, you’ll be aware of the power of building an email list. Email is still one of the cheapest and effective forms of online marketing so as a blogger it should be high on your priority list.

But how do we build a list quickly if we aren’t getting a whole lot of traffic to our blog? How do we incentivise people to hand over their email address once they get there?

Sure, we can use the good old “Sign up to our Newsletter” or give something of value away for free. But these don’t always work for fresh visitors who haven’t seen your content before.

I’d like to introduce you to another list building option: quizzes.

You’ve probably seen them in your social media feed, you may have even taken a “Which Sex and the City Character Are You?” style personality test. They’ve been made popular by the likes of Buzzfeed and Mashable, but that’s not to say humble bloggers like you and I can’t use them to build a list.

The Technique: Facebook Ads + Quiz

The case study I’m about to show you combines traffic from Facebook Ads with a quiz. Yes folks, we’re actually going to be spending some money, hope I haven’t lost you yet… stay with me.

1-facebook-quizz-campaign-summary

The results above are from a Facebook Ads campaign I used to drive traffic to a quiz. The campaign lasted 13 days on a budget of $30 per day and from this I was able to build a list of 571 people. Yes, I know, it says 560 in the screenshot above but I also had some viral traffic, so ended up with more leads. This means my cost per conversion, or the cost to acquire an email address, equaled $0.66.

To some, this cost per conversion will seem expensive, to others it’s cheap; all depends what niche you’re operating in. If you know you can generate $1 from every email address you collect, then you’ll be making 50% on your investment… better than any investment I’ve come across recently.

Let’s dive in and build the campaign.

Building the Quiz

Choosing the topic for your quiz is the most important step; obviously it needs to relate to the overall content on your blog, and it also need to appeal to a specific social media audience.

For this particular example, I’m going to pretend I have a fashion/beauty/cosmetics blog. The topic for my quiz: “Would You Qualify to be a Makeup Artist?”.

I used Sit the Test Builder to build a 10 question, multiple choice test. Sit the Test requires people to enter their email address before taking a test (or quiz). As the test creator I can then export these email addresses to my favourite email marketing platform.

2-sit-the-test-screen

While I know nothing about being a makeup artist, Google does, so make sure you research your topic thoroughly and build a quiz with legitimate questions. You see the example of my quiz here.

With my test written and published, it’s time to build the Facebook campaign.

Creating the Facebook Campaign

To begin, I created three ads to “split test”. I say split test in quotation marks because Facebook automatically favors the better-performing ad after a period and I’m not convinced they wait for statistical significance, but I digress.

3-facebook-ads

The only difference between the three ads above is the image used. It’s important to only test one aspect of your ad at a time.

Ads created, it’s time for the build the audience that I’m going to target.

For this particular campaign I targeted women between the ages of 18 and 24, interest in cosmetics and living with 25 miles of Australia’s two largest cities, Melbourne and Sydney.

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I did experiment with a couple of other Ad Sets, but the Sydney and Melbourne campaigns were the best performing. I also made sure I had Facebook conversion tracking setup so I could closely track the performance of my campaign without having to continuously check to see how many people had taken my quiz.

Launching the campaign, after a day or two you will usually start to see one Ad performing better than the others.

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If you’ve chosen your topic and target audience well, you should be rewarded with a healthy click through rate. In this case the best performing ad generated a click through rate of 2.29%.

After a day or two I usually pause the two poorer performing ads. If none are performing well, try changing the messaging and the image.

The Quiz Results

So how did our participants fare? For this particular test, I set a pass rate of 70%. On average, participants scored 64%. 571 people started taking the quiz, and 521 people completed it. Because we collect the email address at the start, it doesn’t matter if people don’t complete the quiz – although we hope they do!

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What’s Next

So I’ve built my list of 570 odd – what do I do with it now? That’s really up to you and what you have to offer your audience. But here are some suggestions:
Segment out the people who failed and offer them some cosmetics training
Segment out the people who passed and offer offer them accredited training courses
Send them regular email updates from your blog

If you don’t have your own products, there are plenty of beauty, fashion and cosmetics affiliate offers you can present to your audience, just make sure you’re adding when you email the list you’ve build… use it for good not evil and you’ll be rewarded.

Luke Moulton is a digital marketer based in Melbourne Australia, working with Sit the Test, a startup helping people create multiple choice tests and quizzes.

Originally at: Blog Tips at ProBlogger
Build a Better Blog in 31 Days

How to Use Quizzes and Facebook to Build Your List… Fast

Build a Better Blog in 31 Days

How to Use Quizzes and Facebook to Build Your List… Fast
 #bloggingtips 

Thursday, 28 May 2015

Motivational Words #2 Print

A gorgeous best-selling design. Click to customize or personalize. How would it look with your name or monogram on it - why not have a look-see right now?


tagged with: motivational words,, motivation,, positive thinking,, positive attitude,, positive outlook,, encouraging,, encourage,, mowds2 hrbstslr,, wordart values,, motivating encouragement

Motivational Words series Give some positivity! Here's a great design using motivational word-art. Each time you look at them, you should get a subtle positive boost!!

more items featuring these motivational words
more items in the Motivational Words series

Image code: mowds2

»visit the HightonRidley store for more designs and products like this

New Trash and Found Object Murals by ‘Bordalo II’ on the Streets of Lisbon

Fun and Random

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Artist Bordalo II (previously here and here) uses old tires, bumpers, and other scraps of painted found trash to form towering 3D murals of animals on the streets of Lisbon, Portugal. Collected here are several pieces from the last few months, and you can see much more on Facebook.

 
#funandrandom 
 » see original post http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/colossal/~3/vu27nzjJMiY/

Google’s Mobilegeddon: The Best Excuse to Repurpose Old Content

Blogging with purpose

original post »

Google’s Mobilegeddon: The Best Excuse to Repurpose Old ContentThis is a guest contribution from Mike Canarelli.

For bloggers looking to refresh or repurpose old content, after the April 21 release of Google’s “mobile-friendly” update comes at the perfect time and offers tremendous benefits.

Gloomier prognosticators have nicknamed the update “MOBILEGEDDON” (yes, typically in all caps) because of its potential to disrupt 40% of all online searches—specifically those queried from mobile devices.

What these doom-and-gloomers have forgotten to consider, however, is that because the update applies to individual web pages, as opposed to entire websites, bloggers with mobile sites now have the chance to showcase stale or outdated content by refreshing their posts with new or updated tweaks. For bloggers still working on becoming mobile compliant, the update will allow them the opportunity to build a content refresh right into their website redesign plans.

Let’s face it: not only is high quality content time-consuming and costly to produce, none of it remains relevant forever. When Google says it’s going to highlight some of the best content you’ve produced by re-indexing it for mobile, it would be foolish to waste the opportunity and not update it.

Breathe New Life into Old Content

Above all, when creating content the first time around, try to image how you might repurpose it at a later date. With that in mind, here are some important things to consider when refreshing and repurposing existing content:

Updates

Simply providing new insights on original posts can allow you to reuse blog content and articles. For example, if you wrote an article on the five most important weapons to have during the zombie apocalypse, you could just break each of those five weapons down into five different in-depth writes-ups on each item. This is an easy way to score big points with the Googlebot, which is constantly looking for new, properly formatted pages that are relevant to your site’s general theme.

Presentations

Take information from a post, turn it into a presentation and post your slides to social sites like SlideShare, Issuu, and Docstoc for additional amplification. Google loves presentations, and if you include links to your mobile site in these repurposed slides, you’ll benefit from additional optimization. One word of caution, though: Google does not index presentations stored in its own Google Docs platform, so even if your presentation is stored there and marked “public,” the search giant won’t include it in search results. No biggie: just be sure to publish your presentations to a third party site (like those referenced above), and you’ll be good to go.

Repost

If your content is timeless and consequently doesn’t need much tweaking or refreshing, you might want to consider sharing it across your social media channels a second time. Surprisingly, research suggests that reposting a piece of content can earn up to 75% of the engagement of the original post. Be careful, though: only repost LINKS to your content. Reposting an entire blog to a social media site like LinkedIn and/or a social journalism site like Medium can actually earn you a duplication penalty from Google, which will kill your traffic.

eBooks

Create one ore more eBooks out of a series of blog posts. eBooks can be sold, given away, or gated behind forms to capture visitor contact info. Google actually has a partner program called Google Books that will index your eBook and make it searchable. Best of all, you can control how much of your eBook people can browse, so you’re not giving the whole thing away without some return benefits.

Multimedia

Freshen it up and create a podcast or video series. Webinars are also becoming increasingly popular, so check out your old content to see if there is anything you can use as a webinar. You can also create a podcast and video from the same piece of content, thus earning the indexing benefit of all three (audio, video and your original post). Don’t be overzealous, though: The Googlebot creates a written transcript of the video for its search index, so if you have one, too, it could get you penalized for duplicate content. 

Know When to Let Go

Sometimes it just doesn’t make sense to hold on to content. If it’s no longer timely, or new information has made it incorrect or no longer applicable, it might be time to say goodbye. If you can incorporate into other content you’ll have the benefit of removing dated work from your site while also updating and refreshing content with staying power.

Whatever method you choose to repurpose or refresh your content, the Mobilegeddon update should be top of mind. People on the go are the ones who are consuming the most content, and they’re consuming it on their mobile devices. Imagine your readers, viewers or listeners where they actually are—at airports, waiting in line, or scrolling around at their leisure. If you do this, taking advantage of Google’s new update will go hand in hand with refreshing your content.

Mike Canarelli is the CEO and Co-Founder of Web Talent Marketing, a full-service digital marketing agency based in Lancaster, Pennsylvania that delivers exceptional results to clients. 

Originally at: Blog Tips at ProBlogger
Build a Better Blog in 31 Days

Google’s Mobilegeddon: The Best Excuse to Repurpose Old Content

Build a Better Blog in 31 Days

Google’s Mobilegeddon: The Best Excuse to Repurpose Old Content
 #bloggingtips 

Pneum├átic’s Salvaged Tire Installations Playfully Interact With Barcelona’s Urban Architecture

Fun and Random

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Pneumàtic was founded by artists OOSS, Iago Buceta, and Mateu Targa for the street art festival Ús Barcelona. The idea behind the cut salvaged tire installations was to create works that tested the traditional uses of architecture, playing with the audience’s understanding of what is just beyond their physical grasp.

The works, which are all placed in linear or circular arrangements, also test the viewer’s association with architecture, giving a playful tactility to the spaces they occupy. Although most of the sculptures look as if they are only decorative, many impede walking paths, forcing one to walk around their blockade or traipse upon their back like a bridge. Each installation appears as if the solid structures the tires are adhered to are malleable, the pieces disappearing and emerging from the ground and walls like they are being slowly sucked in by quick sand. (via designboom)

 
#funandrandom 
 » see original post http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/colossal/~3/nzn2AZ_WSVw/

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Cute Wild Pony in Dartmoor National Park Postcard

A gorgeous best-selling design. Click to customize or personalize. How would it look with your name or monogram on it - why not have a look-see right now?


tagged with: horses,, wild ponies,, grazing pony,, cute pony,, dartmoor national park,, piebald pony,, hrbstslr hrcol67,, devon pony,, free running dartmoor pony,, english scenes

Dartmoor Pony series: A cute piebald pony quietly grazing beside a lone gorse bush in Dartmoor National Park where the ponies run wild.
more items with this image
more pony Items

image code: hrcol67

»visit the HightonRidley store for more designs and products like this

Monday, 25 May 2015

Intense Eyes of a Woman Round Sticker

A gorgeous best-selling design. Click to customize or personalize. How would it look with your name or monogram on it - why not have a look-see right now?


tagged with: peel off,, womens eyes,, intense look,, staring eyes,, watching,, pink,, seeing,, looking,, hrbstslr wmneyes,, womans intense eyes

A women's eyes, looking out intensely. On a pink background the effect is full-on. Be assertive and say it with your eyes!

more items with this image

»visit the HightonRidley store for more designs and products like this

Cute ponies for the bedroom and school

Cute Pink Paisley Horse Stretched Canvas PrintsHorse head cartoon MacBook air sleeveHorse head cartoon courier bag

Cute ponies for the bedroom and school

If you know a boy or girl who loves ponies then here's a collection that should give you some gift ideas.
Any boy or girl will love them - some for bedroom and some for school. Which of these would be best?

Click the image for more details and to buy. You'll also see more designs from the artist there.

Four Blogging Tools to Make your Content Go Further

Blogging with purpose

original post »

This is a guest contribution from Chris Crawfurd of sovrn.

You put in countless hours to create the highest quality content possible week after week. Maybe you even spend money on hiring a graphic designer to make your work look even better. But what good is a solid piece of content if it’s not being put in front of the right audience?

These four blogger tools are must-haves for any publisher looking to increase the reach of their online content:

1. Use Visual.ly to increase your content distribution

Visual.ly is the world’s marketplace for visual content. Whether it’s an infographic, video, interactive, or presentation, their streamlined process makes it easy to distribute your content and get it in front of the right audience. Visual.ly is sort-of like a social network for infographic and visualization sharing (talk about niche markets). You can explore, share and, in the near future, even create your own. When you open up the home page, you are greeted by a continuous scrolling of some of the best infographics currently on the website, and signing up takes a minute via the link on the top-right of the page (sign-up is free).

Let’s say we are searching for a particular infographic about, say, Digital Advertising. All you have to do is type Digital Advertising into the search box, hit Enter, and Visual.ly will bring up a list of visualizations tagged with the keyword Digital Advertising. While searching for visualizations, you can organize your results in a number of different ways, for example, by visualizations that are currently trending or by most commented or most viewed visualizations. You can also change the layout of your search results – the most useful view shows a description of the graphic so you can find exactly what you are looking for.

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Next Steps:

  1. Register for a free account onVisual.ly
  2. Upload your content
  3. Enjoy the sudden flux of digital eyeballs and link love

2. Use BuzzSumo to gain insights into what your competition is blogging about

BuzzSumo provides insights into the most popular online content and the influencers behind it. The next time you’re brainstorming blog topics for your upcoming content cycle, try researching the topic you’re interested in via the BuzzSumo platform to see what other bloggers and content influencers have to say about it. It might help steer you in the right direction.

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Here’s a breakdown of what BuzzSumo actually does:

  • Allows you to search for content that has been widely shared within social media sites
  • Gather metrics around content and segment it by content format
  • Quickly find guest posts, contests, videos, interviews and infographics
  • Find out who the influential content curators/aggregators are within any niche
  • Gather statistics on industry influencers and their associated websites
  • Export all of the intelligence into Excel spreadsheets

The real meat of BuzzSumo is in its “Pro” version. Through BuzzSumo Pro you can access its Content Analysis Reports. Think of these as regular BuzzSumo reports on steroids.

For data nerds (and I know there’s a few of you out there), this level of reporting will keep you up at night.

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From this dashboard, you can see just about everything there is to know about a specific topic. In this example, “AdWords” is the content area of interest. In addition to tons of other cool graphs, you can also see, at a glance, which domains are just killing it in your industry. 

3. Use Hootsuite to manage and distribute your social media

Manage social networks, schedule messages, engage your audiences, and measure ROI right from the Hootsuite dashboard. Hootsuite is a third-party tool or application that is designed to collate all of your social media account streams into one handy dashboard. You can write, send, schedule and track posts from its simple interface across multiple networks and multiple accounts. It is therefore a good option for those people or businesses that have either multiple accounts on one social media network or accounts across multiple networks – for example Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.

Hootsuite is web-based and does not require any software download. You can also add team members (and implement work-flow) as well as monitor analytics and performance.

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The primary use of Hootsuite is a social media dashboard (or social media management system) that provides a view of all your social media activity across all your accounts and allows you to post to all of them from one place. It gives you access to up to five of your top social media streams for free – including Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, WordPress, Mixi, Instagram, Google+ among others, which can be much easier than trying to manage all of these accounts directly from a browser. Not only can you track your posts, but you can also reply directly within Hootsuite as well as post updates on every network from the one place.

What do you get with Hootsuite?

  • Manage multiple Twitter, Facebook (profiles, events, groups and pages), LinkedIn (Profiles, Pages and Groups), WordPress, Google+, Foursquare, MySpace (does this even still exist?), Vimeo, Instagram, ping.fm and more accounts from one place
  • Schedule your social media updates
  • Collaborate as a team – including ability to assign replies, mark as done, track messages etc.
  • Manage it all through mobile applications
  • Customized analytics, included automated scheduled reports (though this can be costly)
  • RSS integration
  • Customer support

4. Use meridian to harness the value of your data and grow your influence 

meridian is a new publisher platform built and designed by sovrn Holdings. meridian acts as a conduit between publishers and advertisers by providing publishers with unique data insights that allow publishers to create better, more targeted and lucrative content. Through meridian, publishers can: manage their ad tags; view unique revenue metrics paired with targeted audience segments; see how their site compares to other sites within their vertical; gain access to an expanding library of publisher tools and third-party integrations.

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meridian features detailed, individual advertising performance metrics on a site-by-site, and zone-by-zone basis along with clear trending information. Inside the platform publishers will see detailed audience segmentation detailing the advertiser-driven values and characteristics of readers visiting their sites. In addition to advertising management and optimization, sovrn’s meridian boasts easy to understand reporting and user-friendly data visualization. Publishers see their earnings in real-time. Payments to publishers happen faster than any other system, in virtually every currency, and in every major payment mechanism.

Here are more specifics on what exactly you’ll see in meridian:

  • Fresh, user-friendly interface with real-time data visualizations
  • Improved ad management tools and performance metrics
  • Vertical comparisons for benchmarking performance
  • Audience demographics and reader insights
  • Integrated content from sovrn’s Publisher Resource Center
  • Personalized support from the sovrn Publisher Advocate Team

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Pretty cool, right? Here’s what you need to do to gain access to meridian:

  1. Sign up for a sovrn account on meridian
  2. Create ad tags, install the audience analytics beacon and search widget
  3. Sit back and reap the rewards of your hard-earned data.

Well, what did you think? Were these tools helpful? If you have any other tools you’ve found useful in your blogging/content creating endeavors, contact me a ccrawfurd@sovrn.com or leave us a comment below!

Chris Crawfurd is VP of Publisher Services at sovrn Holdings, responsible for growing and managing sovrn’s 20,000+ publisher relationships. Contact him: ccrawfurd@sovrn.com

 

Originally at: Blog Tips at ProBlogger
Build a Better Blog in 31 Days

Four Blogging Tools to Make your Content Go Further

Build a Better Blog in 31 Days

Four Blogging Tools to Make your Content Go Further
 #bloggingtips