Use Images (Not Just Words) to Turn Your Distracted Visitors into Engaged Readers

woman taking iPhone photo

If you have kids — or if you’ve ever been around kids — you’ve heard the sound before.

It’s a noise that’s somewhere between the cry of a lost wolf cub and the wail of a nearby car alarm. It’s one of the most annoying sounds you’ll ever hear.

It’s the ear-piercing cry of a child who has been over-stimulated.

The angelic child becomes a hot mess of whiny, clingy neediness.

If you’re the adult in charge and you manage to keep a cool head, you say something like, “Calm down. I don’t understand what you need. Use your words.”

And sometimes it works. It stops children long enough to engage their brains rather than just their emotions, and they are able to communicate what they need.

As consumers of information online, we’re a little like that over-stimulated child.

[ Continue Reading... ]

The 3-Step Journey of a Remarkable Piece of Content

Image of a person hiking in Norway

You know it when you’ve read it.

It’s that blog post, article, video, or speech that changes you.

It touches you. You are so affected by its message you can’t help but share it.

We’ve all experienced content like this. But do we know how to create it? That’s the question. Because consistently creating remarkable content over time is what it’s all about.

You’re aiming to create content that makes people pay attention, think, and feel.

I believe that remarkable content takes a three-step journey.

[ Continue Reading... ]

How to Use Visual Hierarchy To Create Clear and Easy-to-Read Web Pages

Image of a cave-like basement with perspective facing wall, with stairs descending into the frame from the left and a door wide open in the middle

Imagine you’ve entered a cave.

Your eyes slowly adjust to your surroundings and begin to make out the shapes and forms around you.

You see three doorways: they’re equal in size, and all the same distance from where you stand. How do you choose where to go first?

You’re frustrated, because you don’t have enough information to make a decision. All you can do is guess.

Now imagine you’ve entered a second cave.

In this one, there’s one large doorway before you. It says “Tours” and is wide and well-lit.

To one side, there’s a small doorway with a window in it that says “Tickets” above it. Next to it is a nondescript door that says “Employees only.”

In this cave you know exactly what to do.

[ Continue Reading... ]

How to Know When Your Web Design is Done

Pamela Wilson Authority Intensive

My eyes were starting to lose focus.

It was 2:00 in the morning. My hands were coated with pastel dust. An inch of cold coffee sat in the mug next to me.

I stared at the drawing I’d been working on. I took a step back and tried squinting, then I moved in close and looked at the details.

Was I done?

[ Continue Reading... ]

Why You Can’t Resist Persuasive Techniques (Even When You Spot Them)

image of woman with an orange

I am such a sucker.

Every year around the same time, the catalog comes in the mail. And every year, I think “maybe I’ll skip ordering this year. Maybe I’ll take a break.”

And then, I make the fatal mistake. I decide to take a peek inside.

And before I know it, I’m placing an order for the most expensive oranges I’ll eat all year. I cannot resist.

Even though I understand full well all the persuasion techniques they employ to make their product irresistible, I cave.

[ Continue Reading... ]

4 Easy Ways Non-Coders Can Add Personality to a WordPress Theme

Image of golden brick

It wasn’t easy, but you finally settled on a premium theme for your self-hosted WordPress website.

You bought it, installed it, and watched all of your content magically reorganize itself inside the pages and sidebars of your new site. Your content is served up with new fonts, colors, and beautiful white space. It looks great.

As a matter of fact, it looks just like the example theme that inspired you to choose it. Exactly like it.

At this point, it might dawn on you that your site now looks identical to hundreds of other websites out there. Oh sure, it’s gorgeous, but it’s not unique.

[ Continue Reading... ]