Unsure where to start getting ideas for your custom home? Custom home builders Costello Builders have provided some helpful tips for home owners. If you enjoyed this article be sure to check out my husband’s new blog: Homey Improvements
Take a look at these wonderful homes that they have built over the past few years:
Here are some great magazine, trade association and online resources from Costello Builders to get you started!
Home Design and Architecture Magazines
1. Custom Home
Custom Home deals exclusively with the custom home building and buying process. It is an award-winning magazine for home builders and buyers alike. It has great information and ways to incorporate all of the latest trends into your new home.
Custom Home allows you to filter information by the size, location or type of home you’re looking to build, as well as by room. It also features case studies of award-winning custom home projects to get you inspired.
Home & Design Magazine is a great resource for consumers who want to incorporate exquisite design and architecture elements into their homes.
Home & Design has a lot of great insight into the home building process. It displays award winning homes and themed-room inspirations, from natural to lofty, and modern to contemporary. It also features information about a variety of building materials at your disposal for your flooring, paint, roofing, siding, surface materials, tile and windows, making it a great research tool if you’re just getting started.
Dwell Magazine stands that a modern house is a comfortable one. Dwell believes it’s possible to live in a home with bold architecture, exceptional furniture and great design work, while still being a human being. They don’t believe in the “insanely perfect” homes you see in most home design magazines.
Dwell offers insight into everything about creating a modern new home, including lighting, furniture, building materials, appliances, and technology. It also features room by room suggestions for your kitchen, bathrooms, bedrooms, living room, dining room, office, and outdoor space.
The National Association of Home Builders is a trade association that promotes housing as a national priority. It analyzes housing policy issues, works toward improving the housing financial system and researches and forecasts economic and consumer trends.
The NAHB website offers information for consumers about building, buying and owning a home, types of home construction and housing data.
1. How to Buy in New Construction, by Judith A. Stock and Karin Beuerlein, FrontDoor.com
This article is a great resource for guiding you through the process of buying a newly-constructed home. It features information on weighing pros and cons, researching neighborhoods, looking into amenities and upgrades, getting an inspection and home warranty, and how to ultimately close the deal.
2. Custom Home Design: Tips for Designing Your Dream Home, HousePlans.co
This article provides six tips to help create the perfect custom house plan. By starting simple, considering the future, maximizing your space, prioritizing features, considering functionality and reflecting on light, you can help us create the perfect house plan for your family.
3. Building a Custom Home: How to Make the Decisions, TechandScience.com
This article identifies many of the decisions you will have to make regarding your outside finishes, paint/wallpaper colors, light fixtures, flooring materials, and hardware. It also explores your general material and color options for every room of your new home.
Posted by Alicia Lawrence on Mar 4, 2014 in Business
According to a recent B2B industry survey, 67.2% of business-to-business (B2B) marketers plan to increase their online marketing spending for this year. The joint study conducted by BtoBonline.com and TopRankBlog.com also showed that content marketing is a preferred strategy for a lot of B2B marketers, while social media, the preferred distribution channel.
Manufacturers and suppliers should definitely hype up their online marketing efforts if they don’t want to be left behind. This year, here are some strategies B2B marketers can apply to drive up conversion rates and sales:
1. Customised Email Marketing
Traditionally, B2B companies connect with other businesses through trade shows and cold calls. But as more individuals and businesses have become more exposed to the worldwide web, email marketing has proved to be the most successful way to reach target buyers.
Take your email analytics data and use it to customise your email marketing. You are more likely to win conversions if your prospects feel that you are capable of providing personalised services and addressing their unique business needs.
2. More Focused Content Marketing
Content marketing will definitely continue to dominate the B2B online marketing space, with a growing awareness among companies regarding the important of sustained and measurable content marketing programs. As part of a strategic content marketing campaign, there will be a greater demand not just for content, but for better overall quality. Social Media Today provides 10 tips on how to improve your content marketing strategy.
3. Think Mobile
Mobile usage is rapidly increasing and more users are getting in the habit of researching products, comparing prices, and shopping online using tablets, smartphones, and mobile devices. It’s convenient and it’s fast; so why should it be any different for B2Bs, companies that target business owners? Everything you plan should definitely take mobile users into consideration. If you haven’t yet thought of making your website and your content mobile device-friendly, then now is definitely the time to consider.
4. Enhancement of Social Media Presence
It’s been recommended to have B2B marketing teams start engaging with other users in social media. While this may not directly lead to sales, social media presence effectively builds your business credibility and authority. Also, social signals have been predicted to have heavier influence on search engine optimisation this year, so it’s definitely important
5. Upgrade Your Online Marketing Tools
Online marketers now have access to a wide range of online marketing tools designed to enhance and support your strategy. These tools include ones for automation, CRM management, social media management, collaboration, cloud-computing, and analytics. Take your pick and be a more efficient marketer.
6. Cross-Channel Integration
You might be getting better conversions in some marketing channels than others. However, according to industry observers, it would be wiser to integrate multiple channels in your overall marketing strategy. Chief Marketer predicts that B2B marketers will be more willing to discover and test out new media, which would enable them to discover and segment new markets.
7. Shoot and Share Videos
The B2B marketer who masters the art of making and sharing short videos is the one who catches the attention of buyers. Thanks to growing Internet penetration rates, it’s been made easier to post, share, and watch videos online. Don’t miss the opportunity to tap into a media-hungry audience. Create your own videos to spice up your B2B marketing campaign.
If you’ve yet to, it’s definitely time to take advantage of digital media in making your B2B company’s products and services known to a much larger market. Whether your company has been around for sometimes, or just starting off, the industry is growing to be more dependent on digital marketing and online media. Don’t miss out on the opportunity. Take advantage of more effective and cost-efficient advertising opportunities by remembering the aforementioned tips.
Cristina Beltran is a writer, blogger and online marketing specialist at Compare Hero, Malaysia’s leading online comparison portal. Tina is also a freelance writer she worked as an information researcher before she pursued her writing career.
Hi MarCom Land readers! I’m Jacky and I blog over at Keep Calm and Blog On. Alicia and I became blog friends a while back with our shared love of travel and fitness. We swapped posts about foam rollers and tips for staying healthy abroad and have decided to swap posts yet again. Please feel free to stop by my blog anytime to say hello!
Last week I completed the BluePrint Cleanse which you can read about here. Since then, I’ve put into action a healthy eating and fitness plan to stay on track with a healthy lifestyle. In order to stick to an exercise plan, I’ve decided to sign up and train for a 10K. In doing some research, I came across some amazing runs that take place across the USA. I give you, the top 10 most creative runs I could find…
1.Wine Country Half Marathon - Need I say more? Something tells me this isn’t great as far as hydration goes… but you go for a run through Napa Valley and water stations are replaced with wine stations. I’d run for that!
2. Ladies Night Out 5K- I originally saw this run when I was living in Boston. It’s so amazing, I can’t even. Basically a bunch of ladies hash it out for 3.1 miles and are greeted by a red carpet and scantily clad men at the finish line offering champagne and chocolate along with a variety of hors d’oeuvres. SIGN. ME. UP.
Hello! I am Ginny from A Modern Commonplace Book, and I am super excited that Alicia has asked me to write a little about my favorite WordPress Plugins!
My blog did not originate on WordPress – but after I transferred to WordPress, I soon realized that the available plugins made WordPress so incredibly customized. If you want more information about WordPress vs. Blogger, see this article. If you want to transfer to WordPress, I would totally recommend Lisette with High Note Designs.
So, I am going to mix a few practical plugins with some really fun ones! Just for the record, I am NOT including the most essential and boring: Jetpack (all-in-one wordpress integration) , Akismet (spam blocker), or Disqus (comment system). IMHO, these are just necessary – go get them!
This plugin makes end-of-post text super easy! I use it if I want every post to end with a signature, a few links to things I am promoting, sponsor spots, a fine-print disclaimer. I have even added Google Adsense code as a “signature”. Basically, the easiest way in the world to list links at the bottom of a post. Disclaimer: you need to know simple HTML. Here’s a super easy tutorial to use this plugin.
This is my absolute favorite Pinterest plugin! It is GORGEOUS, SIMPLE, and makes every pin look like a work of art. It has TONS of display options (gallery, vertical, etc.), and can be used for boards, users, or individual pins. I am not currently using it on my blog, but it is great.
This plugin attaches your Amazon Affiliate information to every Amazon link in your blog. If you forget to use your special link, this plugin verifies all links are covered. NECESSARY if you are a Amazon Affilates. BTW, I LOVE Amazon – and share great Amazon deals on my blog!
I might say that this is my favorite and most necessary plugin. It runs a check of your site, and tells you which plugins are slowing it down. I keep mine “deactivated” when I am not running it. It spits out a brilliant summary of its check. Because let’s be honest. These plugins slow our sites down!
This plugin tweets old posts at a regular interval – and gives me stress-free tweets with my content! I keep it to one or two tweets a day (10 hour increments) so not to clog Twitter down – but it is awesome! See them in action here.
Most of us have a box of baking soda in our pantry. In addition to making pancakes fluffy and pie crusts flaky, it has lots of other well-known uses, like de-stinking refrigerators and unclogging drains. However, this powerhouse kitchen staple boasts many other uses you may not be aware of. Here are ten things you can do with baking soda to improve your health, your home and your life.
There are a large number of marketing tools that sales professionals use to interact with clients on a regular basis. As the focus of the general public shifts towards emerging technologies and a new social approach to the Internet, there is no singular technique more effective than that of the video. Because the Internet connections people all over the world together through their computer screens, videos are a great way to not only interact with your customers but make them feel like you’re actually in the same room. Using videos properly will not only make you a more efficient salesman but a more successful one, as well.
You Can Be Thorough Without Being Present
One of the benefits of using sales videos on the Internet is that you can be very thorough without actually being present with a customer. If you’re trying to sell a product or service that the client has questions about, they can refer to an online video instead of scheduling a second appointment in person. If your product is one that requires demonstration to use, for example, you can create a video that shows the precise steps a customer would take to do just that. If the client has any questions, they can refer to the video.
Just because you upload your video to the Internet doesn’t mean the client can’t watch them whenever they’d like. Clients can visit sites like http://youtubedownload.altervista.org to download the videos to their hard drives. Once the audio and video information from the streaming video are saved to a hard drive, the client can watch it whenever they’d like even if no Internet connection is present. They will also have the benefit of being able to watch the video multiple times if there is one aspect they didn’t quite grasp.
Establish a Deeper Connection
Using sales videos also allows you to establish a deeper connection with regards to your company as a whole. With a sales video you have the ability to be just as warm and compassionate as you can be in person. You can actually be more affable because you won’t be answering any questions during the video and can continue through in an uninterrupted fashion. How you present yourself in the videos will go a long way towards establishing an excellent impression with regards to both yourself and your company as a whole.
One of the videos that you create should include testimonials from other clients who have used your product or service. New customers will be able to see the way existing customers interact with your product and how it will ultimately fit into their lives. They’ll be able to see real world examples of how they will use the product or service on a daily basis, which will help entice them to place an order in the future. They’ll also be able to see that people are actually happy with what you have to offer, which will help them make the decision to call for more information.
Posted by Alicia Lawrence on Feb 20, 2014 in Business
———————————-Guest Post by Ryan Del Villar———————————-
Due to an upsurge of internet use and the ballooning rate of users throughout the world, businesses—big or small—have started capitalizing on this new medium of information delivery. New media marketing and advertising is fast catching up with traditional marketing as a preferred approach due to its potential reach, effectiveness, and cost-efficiency. But should your business invest in your own online marketing campaign? Let’s take a look at two sides of the same coin.
Why Invest in Online Marketing
First, let’s talk about the advantages of investing in an online marketing campaign:
Reach a wider audience
With online marketing, businesses can reach markets anywhere in the world. You can see how developing countries emergeas top mobile users and online consumers in recent years. With increasing awareness on the advantages of shopping for products online, you now have the potential to reach your market in proportions you never before imagined possible.
Multiple strategy system
Online marketing can be done using a variety of online media channels and marketing methods. Advertisers are given the freedom to formulate a strategy that works in accordance with their business model and marketing goals.
Low advertising costs
Online marketing is much cheaper as compared traditional marketing and advertising strategies. Conventional methods such as shooting TV commercials or publishing print ads can cost a whole lot more than online marketing.
In television or radio, you need to pay expensive airtime fees for your ads to be viewed by the public. In online marketing, you just have to pay a minimal fee (and sometimes it’s free) to get your ads live on blogs, Google, and many other places in the web.
Because of the potential to reach a global audience, online marketing definitely increases your chances of meeting your business goals and marketing targets—with much less effort and budget as opposed to conventional media channels. It is also easier to measure the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns online, as compared to conventional media.
Now, let us talk about the possible downside of investing in online marketing:
When customers’ expectations aren’t met
Online marketing makes it easier to reach more people—but this also works as a double-edged sword. Customers can also reach you or talk about just as easily, and you might not always be spared from negative comments and feedback. While such things can happen even to the biggest brands, such liberties demand business owners to be more accountable, transparent, and sincere.
Let’s look at e-commerce websites as an example. A website may promise to provide hassle-free shopping experience to customers, as well as easy payments through credit cards or third party payment providers. However, it doesn’t allow customers to return or refund merchandise under any circumstance. Most likely, such a policy will result in a string of unsatisfied customers, who can spread word about their unpleasant experience through their own social networks. This, obviously, is bad for business.
PPC (pay-per-click) and paid online ads can give you fast gains but are not recommended if you are looking for a more sustainable advertising solution. SEO (search engine optimization) can be beneficial for long-term brand awareness, but it is a process that takes a while to shows results.
Torn between investing too little or too much
There are no surefire SEO and online marketing methods. Strategies are different for every business. On top of this, the online marketing landscape changes all the time. So should your campaigns. As a business owner, you don’t want to be investing too much nor too little—but it can get quite tricky finding out which way you’re going.
Whether you think online marketing can be a benefit or difficulty, the main goal is to formulate a marketing strategy that can help your business grow and gain more customers. Online marketing may be the best way to promote your product, brand, or service in the internet age, but this does not immediately mean that you should forget about traditional forms of media.
A lot of businesses have successfully made traditional and new marketing channels work for each other. You can do it too, if you know your market well enough to formulate a strategy that can create the biggest impact.
Ryan Del Villar is a writer and online marketing specialist at Money Max, Philippines’ leading online comparison portal. Ryan is also a freelance writer at Helm Word, an Online Reputation Management company. He worked as an online video editor before he started his writing career.
Social media has grown over the past few years and is now an important aspect of many careers. However, most colleges do not have classes or majors that focus solely on social media. This can make getting a job that requires you to use social media once you graduate difficult.
That’s not to say that you don’t hear about social media in school. For example, when I was working on my Communications degree, many of my professors stressed the importance of maintaining numerous social media accounts in a professional manner. But while I was told this in my classes, I never got the option to choose a class specifically about social media and its nuances, tools, etc. If I wanted to learn the ins and outs of social media, I had to do it on my own.
So I did.
The most important thing I can tell you about social media is this: use it often. I cannot stress this enough. You won’t learn how something works just by looking at it or even reading about it. There are dozens of social media sites out there — Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr, Google+ and so many more. Create an account and start using them right away – even if you’re the only person you know that’s using it. Familiarize yourself with these sites and figure out how they work and how people can use them. You have to know about the newest social sites and apps before the rest of the world. That way, once everyone else catches on, you’re already an “expert” on the subject.
A great way to get some practice with social media is by doing it for free for non-profit organizations, on-campus clubs or even small businesses in the local area. The group that you volunteer for will appreciate the work and you’ll be getting valuable experience in the process. If that’s not enough, you can also include the work experience on your resume and LinkedIn profile.
Social media is growing in popularity for larger businesses as well, and most have at least a Facebook page and a Twitter account. Find internships focused around social media with these businesses. If you can’t find internships that revolve specifically around social media, look for related opportunities, like assisting in the SEO or web design department where you’ll get to edit website copy or photos. Since most colleges don’t offer online marketing classes, any online experience will look good on your resume.
Another important aspect of social media is doing your research. Don’t be scared to send out surveys to friends, coworkers, family and fellow students asking them their opinion of the site and to get some solid data about the new social site’s users.
For example, back in 2011, I was browsing the Internet when I discovered Pinterest. It was still a fairly new site, but it caught my interest right away. I used the site heavily for a few months then sent out a survey in 2012 when it started to get more popular. The data I collected and analyzed from that survey was soon turned into a thesis that was published by the Association for Business Communication.
Not only did my research help me better understand and use Pinterest to effectively engage with potential consumers, but it also looked great on my resume to employers.
Social media is a great way to get news quickly and efficiently. Use this to your advantage. Keep up-to-date on changes in the social media scene, as well as tips and case studies. Many forms of social media are incredibly fast-paced, and you’ll need to learn how to keep up with it if you want to successfully use it.
Follow the leaders in social media, analyze what they do and figure out why they are successful. Read social media campaign awards, like The Webby Awards, to get a firm understanding of what works, how to track your campaigns, and creative ideas.
Use social media to brand yourself. No one is going to hire you if your own social media accounts aren’t up to par. Anyone who looks at your profiles should be able to see what kind of person you are. So word to the wise, don’t put up anything that you don’t want your potential employer to know. Learn from the mistakes of communication experts who didn’t think before they posted like Justine Sacco.
Because social media allows for fast communication, you have the potential to connect with anyone who has access to the Internet. Follow blogs that you find enlightening and share links to them. Reach out to your favorite author, who might actually respond to you. Learn the best methods for communication now, while you’re still in school, so you’ll be better prepared once you have that degree in your hands.
I’m not saying that you should disregard your coursework and focus solely on social media. You might be able to find some classes, whether they’re offered at your school or even though an online program, which allow you to go more in depth with your knowledge of social media. If not, look for any classes that focus on marketing, new media, or public relations. An education is an invaluable resource to have, but just remember that your degree does not automatically guarantee a job after you graduate. A strong background in a specific field, however, will work in your favor when interviewing.
Social media is a fascinating aspect of the Internet and it’s only growing in strength and popularity. It’s a great idea to learn as much as you can about it. Keep an eye out for changes — because if there’s anything else I can tell you, it’s that social media is constantly changing.
If you have even the slightest interest in social media, go for it. Feed your curiosity. Learn as much as you can. Fuel your passion. Just because social media isn’t on your class syllabus does not mean you can’t learn about it.
Often the best lessons in life are the ones you learn on your own.
Undoubtedly, you have a LinkedIn profile for your business. But is that profile working as hard for you as it should be? Many companies make the mistake of putting up a bare-bones profile, then barely using the site again. That’s a huge mistake, because unlike Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest, the other hot social media sites, LinkedIn is geared toward businesses and can be a great resource whether you’re searching for new talent or trying to interpret a new rule in your industry.
Here are seven tips for getting the most out of your business’s LinkedIn profile.
1. Customize Your Page
This tool is unique to LinkedIn: you can change the appearance of your page touting services depending on who you are targeting. Many businesses have distinct audiences for their different products. For example, say you sell weed killer and birdseed. One page can target weed killer customers and the other birdseed customers.
2. Make a Video
LinkedIn allows you to embed multiple YouTube videos. This is your chance to speak directly to would-be clients or employees. Give them a reason to want to work with or for your company. Put a face to the company by showing off some of your employees. Consider creating seasonally themed videos that you can change year-round.
3. Pursue Recommendations
You can ask people who have used your services before to recommend you on LinkedIn. You can even request that they review a specific aspect of your company, but make sure not to offer any suggestions on what to say. Let them speak in their own voice.
4. Study the Analytics
Sounds obvious, but you’d be surprised how many people never click on their analytics. One of particular interest to businesses is a tool that will compare your performance in different categories to that of your competitors.
5. Customize Your URL
LinkedIn automatically generates URLs for your page, which is usually a series of letters and numbers that make no sense. That’s no good if you want people to remember your URL. The social media site does allow you to customize the URL, so instead you can make it into “linkedin.com/ln/[your company name here].” That will optimize searches as well as being something folks can remember.
6. Have a Jobs Link
You want to make it as easy as possible for people to apply for a job right off of your page. Smart companies put a link right at the top so job searchers will see it right away. Make sure all your job listings are current. Having a proper about page that tells about your business is important too.
7. Be Visual
Go beyond the usual stale LinkedIn layouts. Give your page some visual pop and personality to draw people in. The look should draw their eye, and the substance will keep them on the page. Post your recent blog posts or infographics to LinkedIn to add to that visual aspect. Maxwell Systems does a great job of optimizing their LinkedIn. The proof is in their high conversion rates from LinkedIn referrals.
Hi Folks! Jacky from Keep Calm and Blog On is holding this awesome giveaway that could help your blog get to the next level. The winner of this giveaway will get ad space on the sidebar of all 20 blogs for the month of February! This means that your ad could reach a potential of 30,000 followers (including our blog and social media followers). This is an awesome opportunity for a new blogger, small business or a blogger who wants to get some more exposure (really, what blogger doesn’t??). Be sure to enter the Rafflecopter below and visit all of the fabulous ladies participating in the giveaway!
James' blog Homey Improvements is sure to become one of your favorites. He and his wife share their home advice on interior design, DIY projects, and all things homey living including their journey building their own home, which they call "The Burrow".
Subscribe via RSS
MarCom Land is proudly powered by WordPress and FreeUsenext