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Behold the Power of the Tip

By Jeanette S Cates, PhD
Posted Friday, January 28, 2005

You are an expert. You have lots of content - even more than you deliver from the presentation platform or in your consulting engagements. But how do you package that content for the web, without giving away the store?

One of the most effective methods for delivering your content is in small chunks. In a speech you do this with quotes, tips to remember, and short items. In print you write a how-to article with the 5 tips. Or you create a booklet of tips.

Online you do the same thing. You create a series of tips. Tips can be delivered online in a variety of ways. The most obvious is a tip of the week or tip of the day. With this technique you merely change the web page as often as you've promised a new tip. But this can be very time-consuming, especially if you decide that a daily tip is appropriate for your audience.

How do you decide how often to change the tip? Determine how often you want your online visitor to visit your website and publicize new tips for that time frame. So if you want them to come back daily for a new tip, then plan to change it daily.

A trend to watch...increasingly experts are relying on their email newsletters to deliver tips to their audience, rather than trying to encourage people to visit their site regularly. Unless you change a lot of content regularly, there really is no reason for them to visit. You're better off delivering your content *to* the audience rather than waiting for the audience to come to you!

If you want them to visit daily you need to invest in an automatic method for updating your tips. Generally this will be a cgi (common gateway interface - it's a "techie" term you don't need to remember) or a web application that will automatically post a new tip daily. You'll need a technical person to do this one for you, so plan to pay for that expertise to set this up. Once it's set up, you can easily enter the tips and keep them updated.

As an alternative to a daily tip, you could provide a tip that changes each time someone visits the page. This may be more effective if you want to keep someone on your site. And it shows them a lot of content in a short period of time. Again, you'll use a cgi for this. Generally you can use the same one as you did for a daily tip - just set it to change each time the web page is loaded.

Yet another alternative is an animated gif. This is a series of graphics with tips on them. They are put into a simple animation program so that they change from one graphic to the next, as someone is on your page. If you have a graphics animation program, you can do this yourself.

Tips are the most versatile and useful piece of information you can create. Get into the habit of recoding tips each time you think of one and each time you share one with a friend or client. Keep those tips handy!

About the Author
Dr. Jeanette Cates is an Internet strategist who works with experts who are ready to turn their knowledge and their websites into Gold. Her reputation as a speaker and trainer has earned her the title of The Technology Tamer. Jeanette shares her news and views in


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