Affiliate Summit West 2015 – Las Vegas, NV. Jan 18-20th 2015

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Affiliate Summit is the one main event for affiliates that we attend every year. We’ve been an exhibitor for the past several years, and we are always excited to meet new and old affiliates alike.  This year, we had the entire Affiliate team attend and get a feel for this mega event. Over 6000 attendees were present in Las Vegas for the show, and we raffled off a Go Pro Camera as well as one of those popular drones everyone keeps talking about.

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It’s always a better feeling when you connect with people face to face, so if you haven’t been to Affiliate Summit, we recommend you give it a shot. You’ll definitely get something valuable out of it, and usually it’s that one thing that makes a difference.  If you’re looking for more information about the event or becoming an affiliate of ours, please contact us!

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Team Member Profile: Ryan Balikian

Team Member Ryan BalikianHometown: Thousand Oaks, CA
Position: Marketing Specialist
Been with InMotion Hosting since: June 2014

How did you get started in the web hosting field?
I’ve worked in the digital space for my entire professional career, ranging from Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) companies, advertising agencies and as a freelance web developer. Learning more about the web hosting vertical and all of the intricacies of what happens behind the scenes of websites and complex applications was something that interested me and the position at InMotion Hosting seemed to be a perfect fit for my skill set and desire to learn.

What is your current role at InMotion Hosting? What do you like most about it?
I am currently the marketing lead for both our Virtual Private Server Hosting and Shared Hosting products. I enjoy the variety of responsibilities that comes with this position. One day I might be developing a brand new landing page and the next day I might be calculating pricing models for my product. Every day brings about a unique and interesting challenge.

Coolest gadget you own, want to own or have read about?
Oculus Rift

What would you like to tell us about yourself?
I come across as an idiosyncrasy of a human. I’m an ex All-American water polo player who is really much more of a nerd than an athlete. California kid who loves the ocean, gaming and live music.

Describe your personality in one word?
Amorphous

2015: The Year of Productivity

Staying productive is one of the most challenging things we face in our daily lives. Whether working or taking care of things at home, we are busier than ever. And while it may seem that every day a new tool is developed to help make our lives easier, sometimes these tools serve as more of a distraction than an aid. So let’s cast all distractions aside and make 2015 the year we commit to being more productive. Here is a list of 9 things to help you do just that.

9 Ways to be More Productive

1. Synchronize – In an age of digitalization, we have calendars on our computers, phones, daily planners, social profiles, and more. It can be difficult trying to maintain updating tasks across that many platforms, which can lead to unnecessary confusion and miscommunications. So let’s start by ditching the numerous calendars we have and stick with just one if possible. If that’s not possible, at least make sure they are synced and accurate. One suggestion is Google Calendar; an easy way to keep track of all tasks and events in one place.

2. Keep Track of Time – Over the course of a week, keep a log to see how much time you are spending on tasks that are unimportant or that can become automated. This way you will be able to see where the majority of your distractions are coming from, what time of day they occur, if more happened on a specific day, etc. Once you have this data, you will have an easier time eliminating tasks, distractions, and interruptions that are wasting valuable time.

3. Prioritize – Set benchmarks for yourself and prioritize tasks based on value. Start with the most important task for the day, then the next important, etc. That way you will always know what the most important task for the day is, and when your most important tasks are completed it is much easier to find time for less important tasks. Also, if anything interrupts or changes your day, you will be able to rest easy knowing you have already accomplished your most important tasks of the day.

4. Minimize Distractions – Schedule a daily period of time where you prevent yourself from being distracted unless absolutely necessary. Concentrate on one activity by turning off your cell phone (if possible), Twitter alerts, Facebook alerts, and other distractors. Utilize tools like IFTTT (think “gift” without the “g”) which is an abbreviation of “If This Then That.” It’s a service where you create recipes that trigger when another service has an update. For example, you might create a recipe that consists of downloading any photo you are tagged in on Facebook to Dropbox.

5. Take A Break – After about 45 minutes our ability to focus tends to fade. So have 45 minute sessions where you apply complete focus to your task, then take a 15 minute break and regroup. Take those 15 minutes and do anything not related to the current task at hand. When your 15 minute break is up, return to the task at hand.

6. Get Organized – A disorganized work space can make it hard to focus. Keep your area clutter-free, organize your digital assets and clear your mind and office free from unnecessary distractions.

7. Set Deadlines – Give yourself a deadline to complete a task (breaks included). One of the reasons deadlines work so well is because they can make large projects more manageable. It also serves as motivation when you successfully meet a deadline. When you can see the finish line, it’s easier to stay focused. Using a Smartsheet is a great tool for setting deadlines and prioritizing tasks. You can also share your sheet with others for easy coordination.

8. Don’t Overschedule – Having too much on your schedule is an easy way to begin to feel overwhelmed. Feeling rushed and inundated can actually detract from work productivity. Try to be aspirational yet realistic when scheduling your day/week/month.

9. Be In the Now – Remember that if you get off track, tomorrow is a new day.  Don’t get stuck on the little things that happened yesterday. Focus on the positive things you have accomplished up until this point and apply that attitude toward your tasks going forward.

With a myriad of distractions available at our fingertips, productivity blockers are always just a click or a swipe of the finger away. The information age is going nowhere, so rather than blaming these distractions, take measures that help you stay productive.  Learning what steps help you personally prosper is key to success in the workplace. Try some of these ideas and see what works for you!

Team Member Profile: Matt Bell

mattb-teamHometown: Portsmouth, VA
Position: Sales Supervisor
InMotion Hosting team member since February 2009

How did you get started in the web hosting field?
I’ve always been the person that my family and friends approached for computer related issues, but the first time I heard anything about Web Hosting was actually when starting with InMotion. From there I quickly found that the industry is one of the only industries that is constantly evolving and growing, which is extremely exciting. WordPress is where I first learned the art of web design and especially coding, and now I’m not only a contact for computer problems but the person that my friends and family contact about setting up their website!

What is your current role at InMotion Hosting? What do you like most about it?
I’m currently the Sales Supervisor here at InMotion Hosting. I love this role because I can share the knowledge and experience I have gathered over my tenure with InMotion. Being able to help improve the overall customer experience by increasing the knowledge of each sales representative is a reward in itself.

Coolest gadget you own, want to own, or have read about?
I want a drone. I have no idea what I would use it for, but wouldn’t it be cool to say, “Yea, I own a drone.” Most likely I would end up using it to provide endless games of fetch with my dog. After about a couple hours of throwing a tennis ball, using a drone to carry the ball away and drop it would be amazing!

What would you like to tell us about yourself?
I’m a huge chemistry nerd. When I was a kid I would (without knowing what would happen) mix any and every household chemical I could find. It wasn’t the smartest thing in the world at the time but now that I’m an adult I thoroughly enjoy studying chemistry. The potential of chemical engineering is endless, especially what can now be done with alternative fuels.

Describe your personality in one word
Perceptive.

5 New Year’s Resolutions for Aspiring Entrepreneurs

October NewslsetterAs the final sentences of 2014 are being written, many are beginning to plan and outline the 2015 chapter of their book. The new year presents a clean slate, an opportunity to turn the page and change the narrative. While most resolutions include ramping up gym attendance, cutting back on the lattes and spending less time binge-watching Netflix, some people are looking to kick start, refine or expand their new businesses. While we can’t run next to you on the treadmill or monitor your caloric intake, we can give you a couple of recommendations on how to make sure the next chapter in your business’ story doesn’t become its epilogue. Below are 5 New Year’s resolutions for the aspiring entrepreneur.

1. Don’t Push a Product, Build a Brand

When you are first conceptualizing your new business, whether it is a software solution, an E-commerce site, a new app opportunity, a retail line or something completely different and innovative, it is common to fall in love with your primary idea or product, rather than first focusing on your presence as a brand.

Most companies, regardless of size or business model, have a staple product or service. Think of Google with its search engine, Apple with iTunes, or Dell with computers. While the development of these products is critical to the success of their respective companies, they all have one thing in common: they have expanded beyond these primary offerings as part of a concerted effort to build a more comprehensive and globally-recognizable brand. Your product is important, but do not neglect defining yourself and defining your company with brand guidelines and culture. As you grow, your brand will be essential as the flag-bearer for your company and a mirror of the values that you represent.

2. Become Data Driven

So often in business, we are faced with defining decisions and are expected to make them based on what we think is best for the company’s bottom line. The “go with your gut” approach, often used by smaller businesses with limited resources, is a dangerous one. Set yourself up to make decisions based on calculated data. Whether it is something as simple as split-testing for marketing conversion rates or as business-critical as modeling out pricing strategies, backing your decisions with informed data is the best way to ensure the decisions you make are moving the needle and lifting your bottom line. Tools such as Google Analytics, KISSmetrics and Adobe Marketing Cloud are very helpful for setting up tests and crunching the numbers for everything from landing page optimization to customer profiling to cost per acquisition and lifetime value. Dedicate human capital to business intelligence to help turn the 50/50 shots in the dark into defining decisions backed by data.

3. Salvation via Automation

Marketing automation has become an essential tool for marketers across all industries. Getting involved with automation at the early stages of business development can set you up for success by guiding you in how to think about your marketing approach. When your marketing efforts are guided by a logical progression of rules, triggers and conversion data, you begin to see the returns of hitting targeted segments of customers and prospects with relevant, specific messaging. Marketing automation can also be a time management savior, especially in regards to communications with daily, weekly or monthly cadences. Rather than pulling lists, sorting through customer journeys and scheduling these emails manually, you can rest assured that the messages you want to send will be done like clockwork, with auto-generated reports to back up your program logic. Automation industry leaders such as Marketo, Oracle Marketing Cloud and Pardot all support these trigger functionalities and have built-in integrations for Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems, such as Salesforce. Enable your marketing and sales teams with the creative freedom and flexibility provided by marketing automation.

4. Teamwork Makes the Dream Work

Fitting the right pieces around you as your business evolves is vital to your company’s growth and success. While finding the most talented candidates for each position is ideal, it is also important to surround yourself with individuals that will contribute to and thrive under your company culture. You want people who you will work amicably with, but will also not be afraid to challenge and push you when necessary. This is especially important for smaller businesses with a few core contributors doing the bulk of the grunt work and making the majority of the decisions. You are only as strong as the weakest link in your corporate chain, so make sure you are selecting talented members who fit into your team’s personality and aren’t afraid to innovate and challenge.

5. Bring Your Website out of the Stone Age

Chances are, if you started your company or created your website before 2010, the web has officially outgrown your design. The introduction of responsive design, tailored to fit the device the consumer is viewing your site on, and the adoption of HTML 5 and CSS 3 have given web designers a whole new arsenal to use when creating intuitive, dynamic designs. In a recent piece highlighting key digital trends for 2015, eMarketer underlines consumer tendency shifts to take into account when giving your site a facelift. Focus on the boom of phone and tablet traffic with a responsive redesign. First impressions of your brand are of the utmost importance, so make sure if your potential customers are coming to your site to see what you are all about, they are getting the best possible experience.

We all know that New Year’s Resolutions are made to be broken. Gyms start to thin out by Valentine’s Day, and how long can you really be expected to say no to chocolate? As an aspiring entrepreneur, make 2015 the year your business turned the page on outdated tactics and began a new chapter driven by analytics, marketing automation and a strong brand identity backed by a flawless, responsive web design.

WordPress and Video Games – WordCamp Orlando 2014

As some of you may know, I had the pleasure of attending WordCamp Orlando this past weekend.  If you didn’t quite get it from the title, everything was classic video game themed. Being someone who loves classic games (but doesn’t have much time to play them) it was great to see all of the work that the organizers put into everything.

Due to Orlando being another WordCamp where individuals flew in from all around the country, I was able to reconnect with others that I have previously met, as well as meet new people whom I was able to learn from and share new ideas.  Meeting with other like-minded individuals and sharing ideas is incredibly motivating.

The Main Event

Unlike most WordCamps that run on Saturday and Sunday, WordCamp Orlando took place on Friday and Saturday.  Throughout the weekend, I couldn’t seem to remember what day it was, but it seemed to work out well as the majority of people were representing a business or freelancing.

WordCamp Orlando was full of talent.  From Syed Balkhi’s incredible business genius to Mark Jaquith’s developer mind, all aspects of the WordPress world were well covered in some sort of “success wonderland”.  Not once was my mind not blown by a conversation I had.

My Presentation on Writing Better Documentation

At WordCamp Orlando, I had the pleasure of deploying my documentation skills onto the brains of developers.  Often times, I feel as if documentation is neglected in lieu of new features.  While new features are great, if not properly documented, those features because hard to use.

I feel that I made a great impact on how developers can write better documentation to enhance user experience and reduce support tickets.  The feedback was excellent and if I got even a single developer to better their documentation, my presentation was a success.

Overall

Overall, WordCamp Orlando was an excellent experience and will go down as one of my favorite WordCamps.  The attendees were top notch, the presentations were inspiring, and the organizers’ efforts were extremely appreciated.  A big thanks goes out to everyone involved who made WordCamp Orlando and unforgettable experience.

 

InMotion Hosting # 1 on HostingReview360

It seems to be awards season everywhere, even in the hosting world!  InMotion Hosting has once again received a #1 hosting for personal and small business award from a prestigious review site, https://hostingreview360.com, and we are all “stumble up the stairs in a designer gown to accept an Oscar excited!!!”

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As a company, InMotion Hosting took the initiative to not only change the perception of calling technical support, but to develop a top-notch Support Center, and a network and service so solid that customers may find Support as a backup option to resolving their problems.  An amazing, 24/7 chat, phone, and ticket backup staffed by brilliant and amazing people who are not only technical, but understand what it is to be human and have a question.

So, it’s beyond rewarding to have Lucy over at https://hostingreview360.com sit up and take notice. Our recent addition of SSD hard drives and ever updating security and network protocols have been the focus of our energies in recent months, and we wouldn’t have been able to achieve those without the solid foundation of our Customer Service and Support Teams who continually deliver the out of this world service upon which InMotion was founded.  We have been able to maintain the reputation we earned in the industry thanks to our hard-working teams who are ever ready to put the servers and our customers’ experiences first.

https://hostingreview360.com gives us an in depth and detailed hosting review that lays everything out on the table.  This honest approach is not only done for InMotion, but also for other top hosting companies.  Having so much of your information put out to the public in such a manner may intimidate other companies, but here at InMotion, we know we’ve got a great service, and it turns out that is easy for others to see as well.

When delivering the good news, Lucy, the founder of https://hostingreview360.com which recommends us as the best choice for personal and small business, said,

“The limitless and rich-features shall not be the selling points right now. An evaluation of a web host is on their hosting reliability, loading speed, and technical support – these almost entirely depend on whether this company oversells their servers and whether this company invests sufficiently in their support team. As a professional reviewer devoted into this industry for 10 years, my 3 years’ of personal experience being hosted by InMotion Hosting, and my personal visit to their office in Los Angeles, have confirmed that this company is trusted on all  3 aspects.”

We just want to say, thank you, to Lucy and everyone at https://hostingreview360.com, we’re blushing!

We’ll keep working to continually update an improve all already stellar service (if I do say so myself,) and you keep holding us to our words!  If you’re interested in reading all that the review had to say, head on over to https://hostingreview360.com/inmotion-review/ and take a look!

Thank you again, to Lucy and https://hostingreview360.com for noticing the hard work and love we put into every aspect of our hosting service!  This is an amazing holiday gift.

Top10inaction.com says InMotion Hosting is #1!

It’s always exciting when your hard work gets noticed, especially when it gets noticed by peers in your field, double especially when it gets noticed by a group of people who really know their stuff.

So, that’s why we’re celebrating, because we were just given an epic high five from the folks over at top10inaction.com.  They recently reviewed our products and services (always a nerve-wracking experience) and we were rated the number one web host based on that review!

At InMotion Hosting, we pride ourselves in changing the industry standard for service and support.  We set out immediately to redefine customer service in the tech industry.  More recently, we’ve been upgrading our servers to feature SSD hard drives, and the latest in technologies that not only bring more speed, but keep the servers and networks safe and secure.

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top10inaction.com is a great site to help you find the right hosting provider for your needs, and it is a privilege to be rated not only in the top 10, but the number 1 hosting provider on their website.  They evaluate not only uptime and available features, but customer service, company policies, and customer reviews.

So, we’d like to say thank you, to everyone over at top10inaction.com for not only performing unbiased and thorough reviews, but also for seeing in our products and services exactly what we work daily to provide to our customers.

You can read the full review here:

http://top10inaction.com/inmotionhosting-review/

Check it out and let us know what you think!

Team Member Profile: Michael Young

michael-teamHometown: Richmond, VA
Position: Designer/Developer
InMotion Hosting team member since September 2013

My very first, and coolest, Pro gig in the Web Hosting field. With many freelance positions and staff positions from The Red Cross to Hulu I decided to take my talents to SoCal! InMotion Hosting welcomed me with open arms and the rest… as they say… Is HISTORY!

Hometown:
Richmond, VA. Two up. Two down. Baleedat!

Position:
Designer/Developer. Protector of the site’s ‘flyness’.

Been at the company since:
Just made 1 year… You know. Creepin’ on the come up.

How did you get started in the web hosting field?
Well actually this is my true ‘start’. IMH is my first hosting company. During my career I’ve done a lot of web design, web animation, changing and fixing this and that but IMH is my first actual hosting gig. So as far as stepping into this role, I saw the ad for the position, saw how close it was to my house and applied! lol. Honestly, I thought it was a good fit. After finding how cool the office and atmosphere was, I believed that not only could I learn a lot from my position but that I could also contribute a lot to the company.

What is your current role at InMotion Hosting? What do you like most about it?
My current role is a Designer/Developer where I get to do a little bit of art and little bit of code. What I like most about this role is that there’s always a puzzle to solve. Whether visually or semantically.

Coolest gadget you own, want to own, or have read about?
I love getting new equipment so my coolest gadget right now is this video/lighting bracket that I just picked up (shouts to amazon, lol) which allows me to stack an ungodly amount of tech on one mono/tripod. Next? Who knows… I’m gonna build a Mac Pro soon.

What would you like to tell us about yourself?
I got skillz. With a ‘z’. Yeah… That’s it. But really tho…. I just love creating and making new things. Trying to keep it flashy, stay fly and show a bit of flair. That’s why I’m here.

Describe your personality in one word
Fresh.

Gearing Up For The Holiday Season

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‘Tis the season to get your online store ready for the busiest time of the year. InMotion Hosting is giving you some important things to check off your holiday list to help your online store gear up for the season.

1. Participate in all the shopping days
The first important date to target is Black Friday, which lands on November 28th this year, with a lot of stores pre-releasing their deals to the public before the day even hits to help people avoid lines and traffic. Another one for local shops that have an online presence is Small Business Saturday, which takes place on November 29th this year and is the perfect time to include in-store and online promos. To top it off, before the big day of Christmas, you have Cyber Monday, which lands on December 1st.

Summary of major dates to target:

  • Black Friday – November 28th
  • Small Business (Saturday) – November 29th
  • Cyber Monday – December 1st

2. Get to the wallet first with a good first impression
You will want to start by figuring out which offers to push and when to push them. Typically, you will want the highest discounted offer to hit first before everyone runs dry on funds by the later targets like Cyber Monday. Adobe has shown in recent data that the deepest discounts will be given the Monday before Thanksgiving this year, and holiday shoppers are some of the savviest around, so keep that in mind when positioning your offers. The idea is to get to the wallet before others do or before it gets tapped out, so why not hit them with your best offer first before everyone of your competitors.

Check out the marketing data compiled by Adobe in their Holiday Predictions Report for 2014…

3. Use channels that you know are proven and brace for cart abandonment
Focus your efforts on outreach to the channels you know are revenue workhorses. For many online retailers, one of the largest engagement opportunities is email. For some, email may not be the primary workhorse and you may have a stronger audience in terms of revenue per visitor on Instagram or Facebook. But in either case, work your channels with both warm-up messaging and messaging on the day of the offer release. Another idea is to use multiple channels at once to get the synergy and hype going.

Make sure you also utilize remarketing via Google or Facebook for all lost prospects with discounted offers to return and finish the sale. With all that extra holiday traffic, you will surely want to build some solid audiences in your respective advertising networks that you can go back to. Unfortunately, an expected consequence of online store traffic is the dreaded cart abandonment.

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Here are some of the key insights for cart abandonment gathered by the people at Virtual Website Optimizer from their recent 2014 eCommerce Survey:

  • “unexpected shipping cost is the biggest reason for cart abandonment among online shoppers.” (Simple fix: Addressed below with offering free shipping…)
  • “having to create a new user account is the second biggest reason for cart abandonment.” (Simple fix: Allow guest checkout or social login)
  • “shoppers say they will purchase products they left in their cart, if offered again at a discounted price.” (Simple fix: Offer cart abandonment emails with a dynamic discount coupon that expires certain days after their visit to prompt urgency)
  • “shoppers among 25-34 age group open to retargeting via discounts.” (Simple fix: addressed above with remarketing via Google or Facebook)

4. Develop your holiday editorial calendar
As aforementioned, you will want to have dates locked down on your calendar for when to start exposing people to your upcoming offer. Along with warming up before the offer goes live, you will want the hard dates that your offer will not only be marketed, but go live on your site.

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For more help with the top holiday dates and scheduling your calendar, check out ExactTarget’s 2014 Email Marketing Holiday Calendar here.

5. Go the extra mile on your holiday offer
Not only will you want to offer an exclusive, time-sensitive offer and in some cases flash sale on your site for the holiday, but you will also want to get creative and avoid the mundane percentage discount. You can offer free shipping at a certain purchase threshold with an added incentive such as free swag.

Regardless of the offer, you also want to make sure you make it easy to return items and possibly extend your return policy for items purchased within the holiday season like Best Buy.

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6. Don’t forget about mobile!
Make sure everything looks good on mobile devices. We are now in the mobile-first era of online shopping. For this, you can test using your own device or devices, or utilize services like BrowserStack to test out your website on multiple devices (whether desktop or mobile) to make sure the experience is fluid and in unison across all modern-day platforms.

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For those that want to check their email offers on multiple platforms we recommend the following sites for email testing:

Data provided by emarketer shows that sales volume is continuing to grow year over year thanks to mcommerce, the “always-on commerce” in your pocket. With that being understood, we can not emphasize enough that your online store and marketing messaging have to work well with desktop, tablets and mobile devices. The advent of cashless systems like Apple Pay and Google Wallet will help streamline the mobile commerce experience, which will in turn make buying via mobile device more popular. So again, make sure you don’t miss the boat with your website and emails and disregard the user experience on mobile.

We hope these last minute tips will help you this holiday season on gearing up for more sales.

Best wishes on your holiday endeavors from us here at InMotion Hosting!