Every industry needs a good bit of myth busting. This month, the Carnies are tackling the myths and misunderstandings of our particular fields. Let’s pull back the curtain, you might just learn something!
I’ve written a number of posts about a variety of myths, and put them in my e-book as well. Let’s round up a bunch and address several right here.
My first blog post ever for this this site, was: The Myth of Hollywood’s “Enhance!”. TV and movies give my customers the unrealistic expectation that they can hand me a small or horrible image, and I can magically “enhance” it or zoom in and see lots of detail. This is simply not true. The technology does not exist at this time, to my knowledge. If you enlarge a small image, you just get a grainy image and see individual pixels in the image. If you give me an ugly image, you get an ugly image. We can’t take a black and white logo from a fax and make it look good for a website, with the push of a few buttons. However, for many hours of work (and lots of money), we can recreate the logo.
I’ve also addressed myths about online email marketing, including this post: B2B Email Newsletter Marketing Don’ts and the CAN-SPAM Act. In a nutshell: you can’t email other businesses without a prior relationship, if you do not want to be a spammer. As I say in that post:
The Bureau of Consumer Protections says, “The law makes no exception for business-to-business email”. In other words: whether your emails are going to businesses or consumers, you must be in compliance. Also, your ISP, web host, and email marketing company (such MailChimp, Constant Contact, and Vertical Response) all tend to include any unsolicited email as spam. At the very least, they are often inclined to view it that way. I would check with those organizations before beginning email campaigns to other businesses you have had no prior relationship with. Odds are good that what you are planning will be counted as spam by them and you risk getting your services shut down and blacklisted.
In yet another post, To The Top of Google in a Day/Week/Month, I point out that this is rare. People make promises about that that are usually lies. If it sounds too good to be true, just like offline, it applies to the online world as well. That said, that post tells you what to look for in an SEO service.
The Realities of Making Money on the Web
I have a previous post by that name, and address it in my e-book too. In a nutshell:
1. The Internet is Not a Magic Money Machine
2. Have a Plan
3. SEO and SEM are Not Magic Either
4. Promoting Your Site Takes Time
5. Everyone is Doing It (you have competition)
6. Incoming Links Are Your Friend
7. Give People a Reason to Link to You
8. The Words are the Key (if you want a word on your site to show in a search engine, it must be on a page on your site)
9. Don’t Try and Game the System
10. Get Reviewed
11. Online Marketing (and SEO) Isn’t Always Free
12. Stand Out From the Crowd
You can read the post The Realities of Making Money on the Web for more details on those 12 items.
Logo Use on Your Site: It’s Not Free Advertising
Just because you work with a vendor, don’t assume they are OK with their logo on your site. Or any business is OK. Or, they may be fine with it but ONLY if you abide by specific rules regareding use of their logo. Always ask first before putting logos on your site, or content from ANY website. Learn more reading my post It’s Not Free Advertising.
But Won’t My Stuff Get Stolen?
No. Or, maybe. But not likely. And if that does happen, there are ways to fix that. My post But Won’t My Stuff Get Stolen?, addresses these issues, and the likelihood of it happening. The post also addresses all the things people try and do to their sites to prevent theft, which only annoys their site visitors. Plus: there are easy ways to get around any of those tricks.
What Websites Track and Can See You Do
In my post, Commentary: Nothing Sinister Here, I cover that very issue, and was commenting on something that hit the news at the time that made people that didn’t understand the web have a fit about it. That posts covers what websites actually track and do not track. It’s a very short list.
Wanna Kill Your Business? Buy An Email List
Another topic I address in a blog post with that name, and in my e-book. The short version is:
Reason 1: You can’t guarantee those addresses are all opt-in addresses
because of that:
Reason 2: You’ll be a spammer.
Reason 3: You’ll get your site and/or email shut down if you are reported as a spammer.
I wrote a post called Accessibility Myths. I am a big advocate of making sites that work for visitors with all types of handicaps: blind, colorblind, deaf, and so on. I wrote a blog post specifically about Accessibility first. Basically to explain: “Accessibility in web design is just like accessibility for the building you work in: your website must provide access to all, regardless of ability or disability.”
Then I wrote about the myths surrounding making an accessible website when I wrote Accessibility Myths.
The myths include:
Myth #1: Accessibility will cost more
Myth #2: But I don’t want a second website!
Myth #3: Accessible sites are ugly
Myth #4: Accessibility is just about the blind
Myth #5: We need to control the user experience
Myth #6: People that need an accessible website don’t come to my site
Read the full post for more details on the subject.
I could go on for much longer. I do in much more detail in my ebook, Website Wonders Made Easy: Websites Unwoven – A Guide to Creating a PROFESSIONAL Website, in Plain English. You can buy the book on sale here as a PDF, or look to the right sidebar and you’ll see links to Kindle and Nook.
There are MANY myths when it comes to the web, email, and just the Internet in general. These are just the tip of the iceberg!
The more you know, the better informed you’ll be regarding business decisions for your website.
Not sure if something you found online is a myth? Just ask me!