Social Media Experiment: 4-month Results

Social Media Icons
Social Media Icons Photo credit: John LeMasney

Social Media Experiment

One of my goals for 2014 was to raise my game with social media.

  • In the role of freelancer and entrepreneur I need to have current social media information. I also need inexpensive marketing channels.
  • In the role of web designer and developer I need to inform and guide clients.
  • As a community member I wanted to take today’s social media pulse.

An Old Dog Learns New Tricks

When I started this social media experiment I had a Facebook account that I used primarily for keeping in touch with friends and family around the globe. I’ve resisted most social media as a distracting time suck. You’ve seen the signs.

I’d rather be hiking.

I’d never used Twitter. I didn’t have a YouTube or Pinterest account. You wouldn’t find me on LinkedIn. Like many, I had a Google+ account but didn’t use it. I didn’t know Vine from Instagram.

I’m a hands-on learner. Since I do best with a guide and a group I decided to take an evening class at the local junior college.

Choosing a Blog Topic

I started the NLP Web Design Tips blog in September 2014 as a requirement for the Social Media class conducted by Donald Laird at Santa Rosa Junior College.

Each student submitted three blog proposals for class consideration. My team decided I would be blogging about NLP Web Design Tips. Sorry guys, you missed out on my version of worm farming or little known Australian travel destinations.

The Parameters

The parameters for the class were simple.

  • Start a blog using and post weekly.
  • Create social media accounts on:
    • RSS feed
    • Twitter
    • Facebook
    • Pinterest and
    • YouTube.
  • Do a modest amount of cross-channel promotion.
  • I decided to grow with organic reach only, so didn’t use any paid promotions.

The Results

NLP Web Design Tips Blog

  • 1478 view from 25 countries on 6 continents
  • Engagement rage > 5%

@nlpwebdesign on Twitter

  • 691 Tweets
  • 700+ impressions a day
  • Engagement rate 1.6%

NLP Web Design on Facebook

  • Engagement rate <1%

NLP Web Design on Pinterest

  • 8 boards
  • 413 Pins

NLP Web Design on YouTube

  • Whale Breach off Coffs Harbour – 133 views.
  • Lazy Sunday Afternoon – 80 views.


  • When I started this social media experiment 4 months ago NLP Web Design didn’t have a Klout score.
  • The Klout score is now 46, which is a few points above average.

Lessons Learned

What Worked

Blogging about NLP Web Design has been satisfying. I loved thinking about how to take complex concepts and make them easily digestible for entrepreneur clients, NLP folks, web designers and web developers. I was surprised at the global interest and reach. Cross promoting the blog on Twitter and Pinterest was essential to success.

Some weeks it was excruciating to decide the topic to write about. I’d find myself researching and drafting two or three entire posts. A good night’s sleep and the light bulb would go off. Overnight my unconscious mind would integrate the research and words into a new piece often unrelated to any of the initial drafts. Can you relate?

I was modestly successful on Twitter. I enjoy steady growth in connections and some churn as non-aligned tweeters came and went. I loved the interaction with people all over the world. The variety of perspectives is impressive. The wealth of information is enormous. I didn’t anticipate the direct access to experts and enthusiasts from multiple fields. Twitter is gold with a lot of silly crud thrown in. Beware the sharks and bigots.

What Didn’t Work

Facebook Page: Having a Facebook Professional Services Page was a waste of time for NLP Web Design. It may even have hurt credibility because of the poor level of engagement. NLP Web Design is not Johnny Cupcakes or Zappos.

My colleagues congregate on web groups, design groups, or entrepreneur groups on Facebook. Potential entrepreneur clients think about web design every three to five years. They aren’t looking for daily updates. I discovered that participating in Facebook groups is more productive than having a dedicated NLP Web Design Page.

The Facebook Page wasn’t a good return on investment at this stage.

YouTube: Even though I have taught at university level, I wasn’t ready to sit in front of a camera and create my first business-related video. I chickened out. Introversion won. I posted vacation footage and an early multi-media project instead. Business worthy YouTube videos will have to wait for another day, or never.

Since the videos were not closely related to NLP or web design I didn’t vigorously promote them. I learned that it’s easy to upload a video, but not to edit it once it is live.

Blog: Using is inexpensive but severely limiting for themes, load speed and customization. As a web designer it wasn’t a pleasing platform to work with.

What to Add

KISS: This social media experiment moved quickly and stayed shallow. We didn’t dive deep into any one social media channel. My recommendation for entrepreneurs is to KISS (Keep it Short and Simple). Get your answers to these questions:

  • Who is your audience?
  • How much time can you spend on social media?
  • What is your top reason for social media? Focus on one goal at a time:
    • establish credibility
    • create brand recognition
    • connect with customers, clients, fans, or donors
    • increase donations or sales
  • What is your desired outcome? How will you know when you reach it?
  • How does your social media fit into your overall marketing plan?
  • What one or two social media channels are best for you? Start there and expand over time.
  • What are your results after one, three and six months?
  • Which social media channel will you add next?
  • Which social media management tools (BufferApp, Hootsuite, Sprout Social, Klout or others) are best for you?

I need to add a comprehensive LinkedIn profile to my social media plan. LinkedIn is valuable for developing professional relationships. I suspect that a profile, social interaction, and a few articles will be a much more productive use of my time than investing in the Facebook Page at this stage.

I also need to add a form for email subscriptions. Emails are a powerful, and often undervalued marketing tool.

Where to Go From Here?

I’m taking a break from this blog over the holidays while I regroup. The new year is a wild unknown adventure. Thank you for taking this journey with me. I appreciated your companionship, your interest, your attention, and your valued comments.

Happy holidays!

What social media experiments have your done? What are your social media goals? What has worked for you? Where are you headed in 2015?

If you liked this post you might also enjoy What is Rapport? – Create NLP Rapport in Web Design Part 1 of 3.

Welcome! I’m glad you are here. Please enjoy this blog delivering NLP web design tips. I love to hear from you. Please add your comments by replying below.

Copyright © 2014 Anna Hausfeld. All rights reserved.


7 Quality NLP Resources on the Web

Quality NLP on the Web

Brain Power
Brain Power by Allan Ajifo via Wikimedia Commons CC BY 2.0

This week I’m in finals for my InDesign class. You know how it is. Web designers are always updating their skills. This semester I’m building foundation skills in ePublishing. This post I’m giving you some Neuro-linguistic Programming resources to delve into on your own.

There is a lot of crappy NLP on the web. This list of 7 quality NLP resources helps you avoid wasting your time. Please enjoy your own exploring.

None of these NLP resources is specific to web design. I’m curious what you’ll find that applies to the challenges you are facing with your web design project or your life as an entrepreneur. Please let me know what you find.

  1. John Grinder

What I like about John

John Grinder is one of the two founders of NLP. This site provides his biography, books and details about various trainings around the world.

John keeps innovating. He has a continued focus on excellence. He introduces new streamlined approaches to NLP.

Speed Bumps

The training programs are expensive. The focus is primarily on business leadership excellence and not for everyone.

  1. NLP University

What I like about NLP University and Robert B. Dilts

NLP University, California has a reputation for excellence and draws students from around the world. The university offers bridging programs for students who have certification from other organizations. Robert Dilts is a dedicated academic and researcher.

Speed Bumps

The intensive-style learning schedule doesn’t allow sufficient time for repeated practice and integration of the material.

  1. Encyclopedia of Systemic NLP and NLP New Coding by Robert Dilts and Judith DeLozier

What I like about the Encyclopedia

The encyclopedia is the go to resource for all things NLP. It is a massive achievement.

Speed Bumps

Encyclopedias are dry reading for many.

  1. NLP Marin

What I like about NLP Marin

“Honoring What Is, Embracing What Can Be” with Carl Buchheit, Michelle Masters, and Carla Camou.

I’m biased. This is where I trained and TAed. The instructors are funny and entertaining as well as brilliant. Excellence and compassion are the take-aways from this program.

The two-year masters program includes study groups for practice, feedback and skill enhancement.

The free Introductory Workshops are worth attending as stand-alone events. Trainings attract an awesome caliber of student which makes for great alumni networks. Other free online resources include exercises, articles, a glossary, references, and links.

Speed Bumps

It’s an expensive program in terms of both dollars and time investment. Bring your commitment. Payment plans are available.

  1. Dr. Richard Bolstad

What I like about Richard

He provides excellent information and is generous with his materials. If you can understand the New Zealand accent you’ll appreciate his sensitivity and generosity. The written materials are comprehensive with good reference lists for additional research and reading.

There are quality free resources including:

  • Keys to Success Free Home Study 2 Day Training
  • NLP and Spirituality Afternoon Sample Training
  • Trauma Recovery Free Home Study 2 Day Training
  • Free Sample Of A Transforming Communication Introductory Training
  • Free eBook: The Rapport Based Organisation.

Speed Bumps

The website desperately needs an update to a better look and responsive design. The graphics in the manuals are ugly and dated. The New Zealand accent might be a challenge for some audio listeners.

  1. NLP Comprehensive

What I like about NLP Comprehensive

There is an array of free resources available after registration including a wonderful blog, hundreds of articles, processes, stories, videos, audios, slideshows, and a newsletter.

Speed Bumps

There is so much information you could easily get lost for days.

  1. NLP Magazine

What I like about NLP Magazine

The magazine launched 2012. NLP Magazine has a global readership. There is a free app, but the magazine requires in app purchase after the free trial. It’s available in English, Danish, French, German, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, and Thai.

Speed Bumps

I want to read about younger NLP professionals in additional to early adopters.

  1. BONUS resource

The Milton H. Erickson Foundation Newsletter

Since much of NLP’s wisdom on the unconscious derives from Ericksonian hypnosis you might want to take a look at The Milton H. Erickson Foundation’s free newsletter. The current issue includes an article by the originator of EMDR Francine Shapiro.

What surprised you? What did you discover that applied to your web design or life as an entrepreneur?

If you liked this post you might also enjoy How Can NLP Help Your Web Design?

Welcome! I’m glad you are here. Please enjoy this blog delivering NLP web design tips. I love to hear from you. Please add your comments by replying below.

Copyright © 2014 Anna Hausfeld. All rights reserved.

Zoom Your Web Design for Perspective

Get Perspective in Your Web Design

Mandelbrot via Wikimedia

To create a website you need information. To get all the necessary information you need to:

Zoom out for a wide perspective.

Zoom in for the details.

Most people are usually good at one or the other, but have a hard time keeping both perspectives in mind at the same time.

What is your preferred mode? Do you tend to go from detail to abstraction or big picture to detail? What about your clients? How about your designer?

Only when you have the whole perspective, including both detail and overview, can you create high quality web design recommendations, high quality design, and a great website.

Don’t get stuck in a limited mode. Increase your flexibility so you don’t waste time, get off track, miss important information or disappoint your client and yourself.

Neurolinguistic Programming (NLP) refers to this zooming in and zooming out as chunking up and chunking down.

Chunking Up is zooming out to get a wider perspective of your web project.

Chunking Down is zooming in to see more detail of your web project.

With Fractals Chucking Up or Chunking Down Gets You the Same Perspective.

When do You Chunk Up and When do You Chunk Down in Web Design?

Chunking Up in Web Design

Chunking Up is a great way to stay motivated. You can develop a clear web strategy because you have answered the all-important question of purpose. What is this website for? What role does the website play in the overall marketing or promotion strategy? What is the purpose of the business, service or platform? Why am I participating in this business, service or platform?

  • Chunk 1: Your web site is one part of the bigger picture of your overall marketing plan.
  • Chunk 2: Your marketing plan is part of the bigger picture of your business brand and overall strategy.
  • Chunk 3: Your participation in your business is only one part of the bigger picture of you in your life.

What principles do you embody in your life? For a satisfying website, ensure those same principles are showing in your web design. This bigger picture and greater purpose is often expressed in abstract language. Yet it is this purpose that directs the tiller of your web design sailboat.

Zoom Out
Zoom Out to Get Perspective

Chunking Down in Web Design

Chunking down moves from the general to the specifics of your website. You narrow the focus to the details you will implement.  This implementation is how you create your unique website.

You might ask:

  • How is the information structured?
  • What look do you want?
  • What functionality do you need?

Chunking down helps to take a large project, that is overwhelming, and break it down into single doable actions.


These details include who will do what by when. This forms the basis of your web design work program. It may include:

  • Information Architecture – how will you ensure ease of use for your visitor? About Usability.
  • Structure – Content Management System choice (CMSs include WordPress, Joomla, Drupal and other CMSs), framework choice (Bootstrap and other frameworks), HTML detail, CSS detail, PHP, JavaScript, jQuery and other programming.
  • Look – typography, color palette, layout styling, specific images, graphics and video collateral.
  • Functionality – Links, Forms, Buttons, Errors & Warnings, background images on larger screens, email registrations, carousels, pop-outs, social media. Don’t forget these often overlooked elements.
  • What else do you include?
Mandelbrot Detail
Mandelbrot Detail via Wikimedia

Chunk it down to the individual task and elements until you reach a list of single items.

For example:

Chunk 1: You or your client want a blue website.

Chunk 2: You choose a specific mid blue-green range.

Chunk 3: You choose the specific color #2DDAFF.

You then move on to choosing the type of color palette you want: monochromatic, triadic, complementary etc.

Each item will be:

One doable action or element detailing who will do what by when.

This listing becomes the basis for your website project work plan and timetable. Yet detail can waste your time and lead you astray without zooming out to know your overall purpose and context for your website.


Zoom out to see the bigger picture and stay on purpose.

Zoom in to focus on one doable action and avoid overwhelm.

If you liked this post you might also enjoy How to Use Logical Levels of Change in Your Web Design.

Welcome! I’m glad you are here. Please enjoy this blog delivering NLP web design tips. I love to hear from you. Please add your comments below.

Copyright © 2014 Anna Hausfeld. All rights reserved.


30 Essential Web Design Tools

Thanksgiving for 30 Essential Web Design Tools

Kuler color palette
Screenshot Kuler Color Palette from a photo by Anna Hausfeld

It is Thanksgiving week here in the US. I am grateful for you. Thanks for stopping by NLP Web Design Tips. I’m also grateful for these 30 web design tools. I couldn’t do my job without them. 

Which apps and resources do you love and use all the time?

You’ll see from this list that I value tools with a lot of power, flexibility, intuitive use, and documentation. It’s a bonus if they are open source and free! (FYI – I have not received affiliate fees, financial advantage or favors from these applications. These are the tools I currently use, value, and am happy to recommend to you.)

Website Report

Nibbler screenshot

Nibbler is a free website scoring tool. It includes accessibility, SEO, social media, HTML & CSS compliance and more in the free report that samples pages from your website. It’s great for the before and after baseline and comparison reports on a website. I recommend running a report at the beginning and end of a site redesign. Please take some of the metrics with a grain of salt, especially if you are developing a CMS site on WordPress or similar.

Mind Mapping

FreeMind is a free mind-mapping tool. It is simple to set up and use. It is invaluable for mapping out web design project specifications. It helps both the design team and client know where you are in the process at any time.



Creative Commons Image Search
Creative Commons Image Search screenshot

Creative Commons Free Image Search provides options for search filters. George Kao’s video shows you how to use it effectively.

Morguefile has an archive section of free images you can use without attribution and for any use even commercial use.

Photo credit: Jeff Sheldon via unsplash

Unsplash provides high-resolution images that don’t look like stock photos. Provide photo credit.


Jamendo has a variety of Creative Commons license music genres you can use as sound tracks for multimedia elements on your website.

SoundCloud provides music and several different player options for embedding audio on your websites. See SoundCloud help for ideas about which player is optimal for your purpose. The SoundCloud comment feature is a winner.


Vimeo has many videos that are available under the Creative Commons license. Make sure to read the use agreements and respect copyrights as they vary.

YouTube is still the largest source for interesting and relevant video content. Beware the quality varies from unwatchable to excellent.

Creative Tool Kit

Kuler is an Adobe product. One of the features I like most is that you can generate multiple color palettes from your own image. You can save your color palettes for later use. You can also download and import color palettes into your Swatches Panel in Adobe CC (2014) apps.

Color Scheme Designer is an alternative free, easy to use color palette generator.

Adobe CC (2014)
Adobe CC (2014) screenshot

Adobe CC(2014) is not free but gives all the power and flexibility needed.
Photoshop is an essential tool for cropping, resizing and optimizing images.
Bridge is the go to tool to easily manage multimedia collateral.
Illustrator is useful for creating vector graphics and so much more.
InDesign is my preferred tool for designing typographic elements for the web as well as anything for print.
Dreamweaver is my main tool for creating web pages.

Web Developer Tools

CanIuse gives quick access to find out the level of browser support for HTML, CSS, SVG, JS and other web elements.

Firebug for Firefox provides a tool to examine and edit web page markup, styling, and Document Object Model (DOM) elements.

Chrome Developer Tools provides the all-important Chrome Inspector tool for examining and previewing changes to web page HTML structure and CSS styling.

Accessibility Tools

WAVE screenshot

WAVE by Web AIM is a free online tool. Enter any URL to get a comprehensive accessibility compliance report for that web page.

WAVE Toolbar is a free Firefox add-on for your browser. It provides an accessibility report with suggested solutions for accessibility compliance errors.

Color Contrast Analyser is a free desktop app. Enter a foreground and a background color to verify that your color palette meets accessibility standards. Running this app early in design can save you much grief over your color palette choices.

Juicy Studio Accessibility Toolbar is a free Firefox toolbar add-on that provides a report for accessibility color contrast failures for your web page.

Browser Compatibility Testing

BrowserStack is a powerful and efficient testing tool available for a fee. Discover how your web page performs on most browsers and devices.

BrowserShots is free and open source. Priority processing is for a fee. You choose which browser/device configurations to test. Your BrowserShots report provides screenshots of your web design in a variety of operating systems and different browsers.

Project Management

Video Conferencing

VSee video conferencing with screen sharing is easy for clients to download, setup and use. It is free to register. You can add more features for a fee.

Document Sharing

Google Drive is the go to resource for document sharing and much more. See Mashable for Google Drive tips.

Dropbox provides free storage for photos, videos, and other files. The easy access from multiple devices is invaluable for delivery of all clients multimedia included on a website.

Team Collaboration

Slack screenshot

Slack is a slick and free team communication app. It puts email, threads, files, and projects all in one place with an easy search function. It is accessible from all devices. Additional features are available for a fee.

Wikispaces is a bit clunky but it a good free tool for cooperative projects.

What apps and resources do you use every day? What is good or bad about them? Which app couldn’t you live without?

If you liked this post you might also enjoy How Can NLP Help Your Web Design?

Welcome! I’m glad you are here. Please enjoy this blog delivering NLP web design tips. I love to hear from you. Please add your comments below.

Copyright © 2014 Anna Hausfeld. All rights reserved.


Then What Happened? Lessons From a Tough Client

An unexpected email. Source: Wikimedia Commons

Then What Happened?

Mix-ups happen. It’s part of life. The real question is “And then what happened?”

Some time ago I had an unexpected misunderstanding with a consult client. It happens, right?

In hindsight it was completely understandable. In the moment I was horribly embarrassed. I suspect she was too.

The trouble was I received an unexpected and unpleasant email. You know the sort. The shame and blame riposte. At the end of the email was a sarcastic well wishing.

My Heart Clenched

The first time I read it my eyes bugged. My heart clenched. My throat closed. I stopped breathing. Early scar tissue was tingling.

Don’t misunderstand. I was genuinely grateful that the client made the effort to write. I took it as brave. I suspect it was hard to send. I received it as an act of generosity. But, the tone shocked me.

I’ll give you some context. My communities act with kindness and generosity as a way of life. When friends and colleagues don’t live up to their own values they tend to own up to their humanity, recommit to living in alignment and move on. It creates an environment of kindness, generosity and safety for all of us. Do you hear me?


Even though my frontal lobes processed the email as a bid for reconnection, emotionally I felt gutted.

My multiple minds were coming up with conflicting messages. My basic survival mind confirmed I was alive. The tiger claws of the client email had drawn blood but didn’t kill me. Whew. I lived.

My emotional mind felt betrayed. I was generous and got trashed. I’d made time for this client in a really packed week. I did something I don’t usually do. I offered a one-off business consult. I did research beforehand. I found a useful video. I prepared a word document to help them take their next step. I gave an unnecessary discount.

I was generous because I value helping other creative women in their entrepreneurial efforts. I love seeing the women around me do well. It makes me happy.

Her email accused bad intent. That hurt my feelings. At the same time I could empathize with her pain. My emotions where churning.

My rational mind told me such a strong email indicated it was mostly about the sender. I told myself to listen and be professional. But, as a professional I couldn’t voice the hurt and childish feelings I was experiencing.

Kindness & Generosity

Gottman’s research reveals that kindness and generosity go with long-lasting relationships. How could I bring kindness and generosity to this situation?

My response:

  1. Okay. I acknowledged her feelings. Everyone deserves empathy. I wanted to meet her where she was suffering and validate her feelings.
  2. Okay. I took full responsibility for all my actions including unintended oversights and consequences. Responsibility honors both of us and restores us to ourselves. Integrity builds trust.
  3. Okay. I communicated self-respect for my time, skills, care and work. Self-respect in the face of criticism is essential to my ongoing sense of wellbeing.
  4. Okay. I was generous in the face of meanness. At times like this I remember these famous words incorrectly attributed to Mother Teresa.

    The Paradoxical Commandments
    by Dr. Kent M. Keith
    People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered.
    Love them anyway.
    If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives.
    Do good anyway.
    If you are successful, you win false friends and true enemies.
    Succeed anyway.
    The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.
    Do good anyway.
    Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable.
    Be honest and frank anyway.
    The biggest men and women with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest men and women with the smallest minds.
    Think big anyway.
    People favor underdogs but follow only top dogs.
    Fight for a few underdogs anyway.
    What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight.
    Build anyway.
    People really need help but may attack you if you do help them.
    Help people anyway.
    Give the world the best you have and you’ll get kicked in the teeth.
    Give the world the best you have anyway.
    © 1968 Kent M. Keith
    Source: Prayer Foundation.

  5. Okay. I offered a 100% money back refund with no questions asked. I left it entirely up to her. “And now what would you like?”

The last time I did a refund was 20 years ago when I owned a retail store. I am fortunate and grateful to work with clients who love my web work, value my skills and want to pay me. I’m telling myself that one refund in twenty years isn’t such a bad track record.

What would you do?

Common Misunderstandings

A few years ago Smashing Magazine listed these common client and designer difficulties and ways to resolve them:

  • Not knowing what you want.
  • Feeling left out of the design process.
  • Changing your mind midway through.
  • Not understanding how design works.
  • Not providing clear specifications.
  • Unrealistic expectations.
  • Struggling to pay on time.

Have you ever been there? I know I have.

Over To You

What unexpected client or designer situations have your experienced? What did you do that worked? What did you do that didn’t work? Share what you learned. What do you want in a current difficulty?

If you liked this post you might also enjoy What is Rapport? – Create NLP Rapport in Web Design Part 1 of 3.

Welcome! I’m glad you are here. Please enjoy this blog delivering NLP web design tips. I love to hear from you. Please add your comments below.

Copyright © 2014 Anna Hausfeld. All rights reserved.


Breathing Life Into Content That Sucks

Phone by Dave courtesy of Morguefile

Kiss or Kill?

As a web designer or web site owner your content can kiss or kill. The worst thing I see in web design is badly written content. A few simple tips and tricks can make the difference between a visitor bounce versus a like, a share, a tweet, a subscription, or a sale.

Get from where you are to excellent content. Writing well is not easy. Yet, good content is rewarding.

Is Content Just Words?

Content is not just the words on your web page. Content includes the images, icons, pop-outs and forms.

What is the Purpose?

A lot of the bad design I see comes from not answering one simple question. The first question for each web page is: What is the purpose of the page? The answer comes from knowing what you want the page to do.

Brad Shorr in What is the Purpose of Your Websitesuggests your online presence will have one of three main purposes:

  1. Sell products and services.
  2. Generate leads.
  3. Establish credentials.

What do you want your web page to do? Once you know the purpose of your page, your design and content serve that purpose.

Avoiding Mistakes

Like me, you probably aim to avoid the mistakes of others. Use this list to guide content decisions. What would you add to this list of mistakes to avoid?

10 Common Mistakes to Avoid in Your Website Content

  • Quirky, misleading or unclear headlines. It’s fun to come up with witty headlines, but clarity wins.
  • Unfocused, foggy content is painful. Be concise. Be clear.
  • Trying to write for everybody. Forget it. Allow your content to speak directly to your niche audience.
  • It’s-all-about-me sites that leave the audience cold. Design content for your visitors. What are their needs and concerns?
  • Irrelevant images or graphics. Forget about it!
  • Large blocks of unformatted text. Break it up.
  • Content is off topic. Focus.
  • Poor grammar. Correct it.
  • Spelling mistakes. Run spell checker plus get feedback.
  • The content is boring. Use sensory language, true stories and strong metaphors.

Vincent Flanders’ Biggest Mistakes in Web Design 1995-2015 gives some fun examples of web design that suck.

Developing Vital Content

I offer these tips for lively content as a fellow traveler, not as an expert. This is my reminder list as much as it might be yours.

Good content is a joy to read. It communicates clearly. It feeds the mind’s need for information. It lifts the heart. At its best it inspires action.

Yet as a web designer or business owner:

  • It may feel excruciating to self promote.
  • Thinking about how your product, service or platform benefits your customers, clients, users, or followers takes hard mental work.
  • Clearly and concisely articulating these benefits into writing is often messy, bumpy and sometimes paralyzing.
  • Persistence pays off.

If you think you can’t write take a look at Ann Handley’s Everybody Writes. Ann provides an entertaining and encouraging go-to guide.

6 Things That Matter

1. Quality

Good background research is essential to clear communication. Is your content technically correct?

2. Clarity

Say what you intend. Clarity is elegant. Clarity takes practice to master. Clarity is worth the clean up effort.

3. Relevance

Every word in your content needs to serve the interests of your website visitor. Your visitors found your website for a reason. You visit a web page with a purpose:

  • You have a problem and want a solution
  • You need information
  • You want to buy a product, service, or experience
  • You want help, entertainment, or connection.

So do your website visitors.

“The audience is your ultimate consideration. Ask, what do they need to know and what’s the most simple way to express it?”
James Caig

4. Uniqueness

Your individual life experiences have given you a unique perspective. Let your unique stance echo through your content for crunchy aliveness. Your truth has power to engage.

5. Inspiration

Does your content inspire your visitors to return? Keep it fresh, fun, and easy to navigate. Updated your content often.

Use rapport and sensory language to increase connection and inspire action.

6. Consistency

Develop a brand or platform voice. Keep it consistent across all your online and other channels. Like your logo your written tone and voice becomes your brand signature. A unique voice takes time to develop. Begin where you are and refine it.

Seth Godin urges candor, urgency, timeliness, pithiness, controversy and utility for effective CEO blog content.

It sounds good. Do you agree or disagree?

Take Away

Imagine the primary purpose for each web page you design, develop or create. Focus on what matters. Produce quality content that is relevant, memorable and engaging.

Remember, all good creative work may start with a mess. But when you hone your craft, at least your content won’t suck.

Over to You

What do you want more or less of in your online content? What barriers are you facing in your content? Where are you stuck? What has worked for you?

If you liked this post you might also enjoy How to Use Logical Levels of Change in Your Web Design.

Welcome! I’m glad you are here. Please enjoy this blog delivering NLP web design tips. I love to hear from you. Please add your comment below to join the conversation.

Copyright © 2014 Anna Hausfeld. All rights reserved.


Free Marin-style Neurolinguistic Programming (NLP)

Free Introduction to Marin-style NLP: Workshop November 15th

Groundsel calyx and pappus
Wishes Photo: Jusben courtesy of Morguefile

In 2010 I attended both my first demonstration of NLP and my first Family Constellation workshop. Michelle Masters led both events. I was blown out of the water by the easy, natural and compassionate way she facilitated change.

When speaking about it to friends I kept telling stories of the processes. I’d hear myself saying “I want to be like her when I grow up.” I’ve since learned what I value and wanted to learn was my version of Michelle’s inner stance.

If you really knew me, you’d know that I don’t easily endorse teachers. I’ve taught most of my life. My father and mother were both university professors. I love learning. I adore good teaching from any source.

With bright eyes and much ignorance I leapt at the chance to attend the Free Introductory workshop at NLP Marin. I was uncertain about the leader Carl Buchheit and wanted to meet him before spending a bucket and committing my time and attention to a two-year training.

I was late getting away. Pulling the car door to, turning over the engine and onto H101. Fumbling and recovering my breath, I grabbed one of the last chairs at the San Rafael, California hotel. Looking around, we were about twenty people in a small narrow room with air pumped in.

A 3-Hour Tour

Carl started to speak. He took us on a 3-hour journey of self-discovery. At the end, you’ll receive information and an opportunity to register for the NLP Foundations training, but no heavy sales pitch. The free workshop is worth taking even if you have no intention of taking any other trainings. I had my checkbook out and paid a deposit for the training on the spot. I knew it was for me.

Free Introductory Workshop Saturday, November 15th, 2014 An amazing experience for everyone who didn’t get the full “User Manual” for being human. A 3-hour tour of the NLP toolbox led by Carl Buchheit! Call 415-261-5297 or e-mail: to register.

If you’d like to put your butt in that chair and hear for yourself what Carl has to say take the Free Introductory workshop coming up in two weeks. (I receive no payment or gratuity from letting you know about this event. I do get the joy of sharing value with you.)

I spent two years in training and an additional two years on training staff at NLP Marin as a TA. I found it an complex and challenging program with lots of laughter. For me it was worth the effort.

If you liked this post you might also enjoy How Can NLP Help Your Web Design.

Welcome! I’m glad you are here. Please enjoy this blog delivering NLP web design tips. I love to hear from you. Please add your comment below to join the conversation.

Copyright © 2014 Anna Hausfeld. All rights reserved.