Friday, 28 January 2011

Check your Links–Check and Check Again


chris colour for home page lighterHaving just published a new blog on wrap dresses at I went to check the links  and three had ‘fallen down’ (my rationale for their not working).

There’s no excuse for sloppy links any more than there is for typos and even though most of us are guilty of writing/blogging/publishing in a hurry we need to haul back.  Stop.  Take a deep breath and take the time to check every single link.  This is even harder when using a mobile device to blog but either way it’s an essential.

Inevitably we write and publish blogs faster and faster.  Who has the time to keep up with the social media caravan every single day when work/meetings/weekends are just set up to get in the way?

If you don’t check your links you’re guilty of looking careless at best, unprofessional at worst and it’ll happen on a day when someone you really want to impress happens by.  Whether you’re talking about affiliate links, text links or picture links on website, blog or anywhere else you need to check, check and check again.

Oh and by the way, if you spot that one of my links doesn’t work please let me know.  I’m just as guilty as anyone else.

Monday, 10 January 2011

Affiliate Marketing–Getting the Creative Right


Chris Colour for Online Fashion BusinessAs an affiliate marketeer at I am frequently turned away from merchants who I would otherwise be interested in promoting due to their creative – the banners which they hope and expect I will display on my site.

Now you may consider me overly fussy, but there’s a particular image I want to portray which matches that of its visitor base and if a banner does not match what I’m looking for the merchant does not get the exposure.

It’s impossible to please everyone, undoubtedly, but the most important rule here, if you are a merchant, is that you should try.  You only have to look at the most successful affiliate merchants to see that they offer something for everyone, from the smallest button to leaderboards and everything in between.  Rushing in with a few small, unattractive creatives will get you nowhere fast and you may wonder why you get no clicks.  At least give your website a chance to convert by enticing potential customers to click through.

The other rule about affiliate creative is to be timely.  We want your Christmas banners well before Christmas, your sale banners when your sale starts (not after Christmas because you haven’t bothered to do them before although everyone else is well on sale) and your new season’s banners in time for the new season.

Affiliate marketing takes a great deal of work, and merchants should be making it as easy as possible for advertisers to promote them.  Yes you need to think about the design of your creative.  Yes you need to offer as much choice as possible.  Yes you should try and build a relationship with your most successful advertisers. 

You need to look at your banners as advertisements for your business and ask yourself if you would look at them or click on them before you send them anywhere.  If the answer is no, try again.  This one is worth doing properly or not at all. 

If you’d like any help or if you’re considering whether or not affiliate marketing is for you, please contact me at

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Trashing the Typos


Chris colour for facebookHaving proof-read seven books and numerous features and thinking I was ‘above all that’ I sent a piece off to the US between Christmas and New Year.  Typed in haste I’ll admit, but it should have had ‘DRAFT’ written all over it as there were no less than three horrors lurking within the three or so pages.  These were not met with amusement.  I apologised, re edited and rectified while muttering the words ‘picky, difficult, perfectionist’ under my breath.  And by the way writing this is ok.  I said that I would.

Which brings me back to what I really want to say – that you cannot be too careful.  Whatever you are writing, however long or short, for website, letter, resume or blog you need to check, check and re-check and if possible get someone else to check as well.  You never know if typos are the particular bugbear of the person you are writing to or for and you don’t want to be on the receiving end if they are.  Which, let’s face it, they should be.  You may go straight into the trash.

Because the urge to click on ‘send’ is so strong and we all ‘message’ so fast, if you have one business resolution this year it should probably be, as it is now in my case, to slow down and get it right, rather than think it doesn’t matter.  Trust me;  it does.