Rose and Vine Tours Website Goes Live

Ah, France! Thoughts of long, leisurely lunches and strolls through quaint shops, tours of vineyards, wineries while sipping fine wines spring to mind for me. For one Charleston business owner, this vision became the foundation of her new enterprise.

Rose and Vine Tours Website image

June Thorpe-Galy formerly lived in France and while there and since returning to South Carolina was frequently asked to arrange tours of the Bordeaux region where he used to live. Now, she has launched Rose and Vine Tours to take small groups on customized tours of this premiere wine-producing region in France.

June was referred to Charleston PR & Design by a colleague. Her new website is built on WordPress CMS and is custom-coded for Rose and Vine Tours. Read about the site’s development.

Join us in welcoming Rose and Vine Tours to the web. Go visit the company’s site and experience just a small slice of France. Oh, and be sure to watch the lovely video featured on the home page–it is a small trip to Bordeaux all in itself!

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With Content Marketing: Time Is On Your Side

Time is on my side Rolling Stones

Rolling Stones song a source of timely advice

Just as a young Mick Jagger sings in the Rolling Stones classic hit, ‘Time is on My Side,’ “You’ll come running back go me…” so it is with a long-term content marketing strategy. Well planned content keeps your customers coming back to you for advice and knowledge.

Forbes author John Hall writes,

…content marketing is not designed to convert leads immediately. The goal is long-term, continuous engagement. In fact, many of our leads have been in our pipeline for quite a while. And that’s fine by us — we’re in no hurry. The more time our leads spend interacting with our content, the more educated they become. In the meantime, they begin to see us as a credible resource. That keeps us top of mind. Read more

A content marketing strategy works day in and day out. Your content builds a collection of information that solves your consumers’ problems and answers their questions. It must develop and sustain a relationship with consumers—helping them become your brand advocates. The Rolling Stones certainly have done this over time. The band continues to pull in people through tours, media interviews, and while they may physically show their age, their music (their content) lives on, fresh as it was when first released.

What do you do with your content?

Once you’re built your content (videos, slide presentations, ebooks, whitepapers, blog posts, infographics, photos) then you become a distributor of that content.

Great networks into which you may share your content include:

  1. Your own website’s blog
  2. Youtube
  3. Google+
  4. SlideShare
  5. LinkedIn
  6. Pinterest
  7. Facebook
  8. Instagram
  9. Scribd
  10. Flickr

Getting time on your side

Hall recommends that a content marketing strategy be planned for at least six months, a time commitment we support.

The most difficult thing for many small business owners to commit to is time to create content that supports their ongoing business development goals. However, when you realize that your content is the anchor of your marketing strategy, it becomes easier to make and keep a commitment to creating and sharing content.

With the use of a strategy aligned to your business goals, it will be less confusing to decide what types of content and messages to create. For example if you’re a pool supplies retailer and summer is your big season, plan a series of content (blog posts, pictures, videos, infographics) around answering common questions about managing the chemical levels in the pool, cleaning the pool, pool safety and pool maintenance.

Use the search functions on Social Mention, and Google Trends to “listen in” to what consumers are saying and build your content in direct response to issues identified in your research.

If you need more inspiration, enjoy the classic version of Time is On My Side.

Need help developing your content, strategy or posting and sharing it? Check out our content marketing services.

Content Marketing Bundles and Pricing

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Difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org

WordPress.com must control what is allowed into their home.

What is the difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org?

There is a lot of confusion about the difference between the two flavors of WordPress: WordPress.com and WordPress.org. While each of these platforms allows you to create a website that may include a blog and static pages, there are some critical differences to comprehend between the two.

The best analogy which I can use to help you understand the difference is that of housing choices.

WordPress.com is a landlord

Imagine that you own a very large house and you choose to rent out rooms in this house. For the safety of your residents you need to limit the types of permissible tenant activity. While it might be acceptable for a tenant to have a well-behaved pet dog or cat, it may not be acceptable for a tenant to have dog that bites or a poisonous snake as a pet. Establishing a controlled environment is (in this example) done to protect — because either a bad dog or a poisonous snake may get loose and cause injury to tenants. This is exactly the type of limitation that WordPress.com places upon blogs and websites it hosts.

Let’s extend this analogy just a bit further. Perhaps you don’t want to rent and prefer to own a home. However, you don’t wish to bear the cost of design, and time selecting finishes, you may purchase a new home from a volume home builder. You get a new home, but much of the difficulty has been removed and you get to go straight to the pleasure of enjoying your new residence. On WordPress.com this is like paying for your own domain, and selecting one of the approved themes and moving in, arranging the furniture (your web content) to suit you.

Control your own space

Conversely, if you choose to build your own house you might like to select your architect, your builder, and your interior designer so that you may create a home that is most well-suited for you. In this case, you must specify exactly how many bedrooms and bathrooms are to be built, whether you want brick or lap siding, etc. The cost of a custom built home is more than a volume builder’s new home, just as a full-custom website is more costly than the earlier example of WordPress.com.

WordPress.com offers a handy table outlining the differences between the two flavors of WordPress which we have reproduced below (click the table to view the original, including links on WordPress.com.)

Difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org

WordPress help for either flavor of WordPress

Don’t be overly concerned regarding the WordPress.org notations about “getting your hands dirty” by digging deep into code, that’s why we’re here. We do the heavy lifting or in this case the arranging of electrons to help you gain the home most well suited for you.

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2014 Charleston WordCamp Tickets on Sale

Charleston's First WordCamp May 17

WordCamp conference for all levels of WP users

If you are using WordPress for your business website or if you’re even thinking about using it, put the upcoming 2014 Charleston WordCamp on your calendar. Charleston’s first WordCamp happens May 17 2014 at the College of Charleston Stern Student Center.

Exceptional presenters are coming from across the United States to share their knowledge and expertise with attendees at this specialty conference. There will be tracks for beginners, business users, and developers. The cost is only $15.00 per person and tickets are sure to go fast. Head on over to the Charleston WordCamp web site and register for your tickets.

WordPress leaders presenting

Keynoting the WordCamp Charleston will be Andrew Nacin; Lead Developer of the WordPress web publishing platform.

As one of the six lead WordPress developers, Nacin “wrangles contributions, develops new features,” and “tries to fix more bugs than I create.” He is heavily involved in many facets of the WordPress community, ranging from the development cycle to meeting users at as many WordCamps. Nacin’s updates are posted on the bug tracker, development blog, many mailing lists, in the IRC development channel, and throughout wordpress.org. Nacin is a Tech Ninja at Audrey Capital; WordPress founder Matt Mullenweg’s investment and research firm.

As one of the organizers for this first Charleston WordCamp, I’m excited for the learning opportunities and networking that will happen at this stellar event.

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Why Your Website Needs Compelling Copy

Cheryl’s Note: This guest post is from my colleague Heather Mueller who is one of the most savvy web copy writers around. Her tips on creating compelling copy and setting attributes for it are important advice for every business owner and following them will lead to less frustration and more success.

Frustration button

On the web, you have mere seconds to grab people’s attention. Which is why having a polished, professionally-designed website is so essential.

But what if you’ve invested in a killer website for your business—one that’s mobile-friendly, fast and filled with stunning visuals, readable fonts and a beautiful color scheme—and it still isn’t generating the results you expected? What more can you do?

The answer is in your copy.

Carefully crafted web copy is what turns casual website visitors into paying customers. Add a few SEO (search engine optimization) elements, and more of your dream customers will discover your business in Google, too.

What high quality copy can do for your website

For example, did you know image captions are some of the most-read copy on a web page? Or that image alt tags (for people who are visually impaired) help search engines determine what your website is about? Or that after last year’s big Hummingbird update, Google favors conversational language?

Paying attention to these details can make a big difference in how your web pages are indexed by search engines, where they appear in search results and, most importantly, what people will do when they land on your site.

High quality web content can:

Lead more dream customers to discover your business in Google

And Bing, and Yahoo, and even often-overlooked search engines like YouTube. (Yes, even YouTube has a place for search engine-friendly copy.)

In addition to writing image captions and alt tags as mentioned above, you should spend some time crafting unique title tags and meta descriptions (more on this below), headlines (also known as h1s), subheads (h2s, h3s, h4s) and behind-the-scenes code (called structured data markup) to help your website stand out in search results.

Even your image names and URLs can impact how the search engines “read” your web pages and blog posts.

Convince people to click from search results to your website

Every web page has a title tag that appears as a clickable headline in search results, along with a meta description or, in some cases, snippets of on-page web copy.

Web copy: write compelling titles and descriptions

Don’t overlook your website’s page titles and descriptions. This is where great web copy can help drive more revenue and profits to your business.

If you spend time on just one aspect of your web content, it should be page titles and descriptions. If you want people to click on your search result instead of a competitor’s, it needs to be compelling.

Keep visitors from hitting the back button

How often have you clicked on a Google search result, only to find the actual website doesn’t offer what you were looking for? Your prospects are doing the same thing. And they’re deciding within seconds whether or not to hit the back button.

Your copy should give them a reason to stick around.

Answer a pressing question. Provide a solution. Include an offer of help. Web copy that sells is typically:

  • Free of jargon and acronyms
  • Easy to skim (that’s what bullets, bolding and short paragraphs offer)
  • Focused on readers and their needs

Great web copy can also inform your website’s calls to action—the language that convinces people to signup for your newsletter, follow you on social media, subscribe to your blog’s RSS feed and hit a “buy now” button.

Make your web content a priority, not an afterthought

Do you have one of those polished, professional websites I mentioned at the start of this post? Great! Now go fill it with compelling, searchable web copy that sells.


Heather Mueller of Mueller WritingHeather Mueller is a website copywriter who went digital with her love of the written word after a decade in journalism and public relations. You can connect with Heather on Twitter and Google+.


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