5 Steps to Plan and Develop Your Content Marketing Strategy

One thing that’s very important, if you plan to leverage the power of audio, video and text, is to have comprehensive content marketing plan. Here’s a little checklist that might help you do that.

Step 1: Set Your Goals

Missing-the-goal All your content creation should have a purpose and that purpose should not only benefit your readers, but benefit your business as well. Some purposes might be:
  • Search engine traffic
  • Word of mouth and viral effect
  • Pre-selling and warming up the audience to a product
  • Establishing credibility and authority
  • Reader satisfaction
  • Boosting your opt in list subscribers
  • Boosting customer relationships
  • Selling your products  
Just remember, the goal or purpose of each content piece is aligned with your overall marketing strategy. This may also help you decide whether content should be in audio, video or text format. For example, if your goal is to boost customer relationships, you might choose a video of yourself to do that. Make sure your content includes a call to action that supports your goal. For example, “For more information about how to manage debt, grab our free report 12 Steps to Eliminate Debt in 12 Months.” – tell them what you want them to do next. 

Step 2: Research


Carving out time for research is very important. From brainstorming topic ideas to finding supporting information for those topics, there is plenty to be done. You also want to research potential places to distribute your content as well. Here are some things that will make your research easier:
  • Keep a list of content ideas throughout the month. 
  • Use the following to generate content ideas/topics:  
    • Social networking
    • Keyword research tools
    • Blog comments
    • FAQs
    • Client interaction
    • Brainstorming 
  • Review the analytics and results of last month’s content and evaluate which pieces generated the most interest or results. Know which pieces your audience responded to and are use that information to create content topic ideas for this month. 
  • While you’re researching topics, take note of interesting articles, statistics and other items you might reference later as you’re creating your content. 
  • Keep your eye out for places where you might publish your content. Connect with other website owners who might publish for you. Connect with them by subscribing to their sites, on Facebook, Twitter and more. 

Step 3: Creation and Distribution

create_ebook Here are some things to plan and keep in mind, so your content gets out there to your audience.
  • How much content will you need? Will you write it all yourself, hire a writer or use PLR? If you’re using a writer, ensure they have all the information they need well ahead of time, so they can meet your deadline. 
  • Have you created your content publishing schedule? Plan ahead, so that you can match content topics with products you’ll be promoting. Decide where each piece will be published and which pieces will be published in multiple places. For example: 
    • Autoresponder
    • Blog
    • Guest blog
    • Website
    • Social networking page
    • Video sharing website (ex. YouTube)
    • Audio sharing website (ex. iTunes)
    • Other   

Part 4: Repurposing

repurpose content The best way to make the most of your monthly content is to find ways to reuse it and repurpose it. However, when creating your repurposing strategy make sure that you’re still focusing on your goals. Each repurposed or reused piece of content still needs to serve a purpose and support a goal.
  • You’ve created a plan to reuse or repurpose some or all of your content. For example, an article published on your blog can be rewritten and published on an article marketing site. Or an article that resonated with your readers, could be made more visual and viral by turning it into a video. 
  • Each piece of content that is repurposed or reused content has a goal/purpose. You should always keep benefiting your business (and your audience, of course) in mind. 
It may seem overwhelming to have to plan all this content in a variety of mediums, but over time you’ll learn what your audience responds to and where you should focus your efforts. And remember, quality is more important than volume, so focus on delivering the best content you can to your audience.

Why Bother With Text When You Can Use Audio and Video?

content marketingWith all of the possibilities that audio and video have to offer, one might think that plain old text would be outdated.  But even though these things add a great deal to the Internet, there still is, and probably always will be, an important place for the written word.

The Internet was founded on text.  And while text is no longer the only thing you can find online, it is still what the Internet is based on.  It’s largely what the search engines use to determine whether a page is relevant for a given keyword, and it’s often what people want when they are seeking information that they can share easily.

Text is currently the only medium that allows for easy searching.  This is not only important to the search engines, but also for the average user.  This is starting to  change as technology advances, but currently you can’t type in a search term and skip to each instance of it on an online video or audio recording.  But if you’re on a web page and need to find a specific word or words, you can simply use your browser’s search function to go directly to it.

It’s also important to consider that there are people who use text-only browsers to access the Internet.  Those who are blind often use browsers that read the text on a page aloud, and if there is not sufficient text to describe what the page is about, they may seek information elsewhere.  In addition to this, there are users who do not have sound cards or speakers, rendering audio useless and video usable but silent.

There are many things online that need to be presented as text.  Doing them any other way just doesn’t make sense.  For example, you probably wouldn’t want to access your bank account information as an audio file.  And you might not benefit very much from your digital camera user guide being presented in video form, although videos showing specific picture taking and maintenance techniques might be helpful.

Text is still an important part of any web page.  Audio and video can great assets to your website, but in most cases they shouldn’t completely replace your text.  Text is still favored by many Internet users, and it gives the search engines more to go on when they index your site.


Text Can Be Portable, Too

laptopOnline audio and video are becoming easier and easier to take wherever you go.  They can be downloaded to watch later on your computer, or you can put them on portable audio and video players.  But text doesn’t have to be bound to the Internet or computer screen either.

When people find information that is valuable to them online, they often want to save a copy of it for later reference.  They can bookmark the web page, but subsequent changes may move or eliminate the information they want.  They can save the page in question to their hard drives, but few people do.  Making it easy for your site visitors to take your words with them is good for business.  Here are some ways to accomplish that:

  • Offer printer-friendly versions of popular pages.  Your site design may cause pages to print out poorly, especially if you use frames.  Making it easy for users to print pages that look like they should will allow them to easily archive information for future reference.
  • Consider putting certain information in PDF format.  This is the file format that is often used for ebooks and brochures, and it provides easy readability.  It prints out nicely if your users want a hard copy.  And there are now portable ebook readers on the market that allow one to save his ebooks and other PDF files and take them with him wherever he goes.
  • Provide options for mobile web users.  It is worthwhile for to set up mobile web pages and for, some businesses, text alert systems.  If your website offers up-to-date information such as news, weather, or account information, your users could benefit from mobile options.

The many recent innovations that utilize text indicate that it is still a medium that should not be ignored.  While it may not have the potential for personality of audio or be as visually stimulating as video, it is easy to transfer and doesn’t require any special software to use.


Audio and Video Should Complement Text, Not Replace It


One of the most important things to realize about audio and video is that at this point, they often don’t translate into money as quickly as text can.  Utilizing audio and video is more about making a name for yourself and building your brand than immediate monetary gratification.  It helps generate traffic to your website and boosts your business’s image.

Of course, there are exceptions. Popular videos participating in the ad revenue sharing program with YouTube can earn some decent money. YouTube is also always developing their technology for embedding links and other more interactive elements into videos.

In addition, you may find using video on a sales page increases your conversions and it can work as a very well in this regard.

But overall, text is so vitally important on any website.  Audio and video can enhance a website or sales letter, and they can go a long way toward convincing a visitor to become a customer or client.  But ultimately, it is usually text that seals the deal.  At the very least, text is the most effective way to instruct visitors on how to order or sign up.

Audio, video and text can work together to make your website nice to look at and listen to, as well as highly functional.  Each medium appeals to visitors in its own unique way.  Taking advantage of the multimedia opportunities available online can boost your site’s popularity while making it more useful.

How to Incorporate Video to Your Marketing Strategy

3-videoOnline video’s popularity has grown exponentially in a short time, thanks to video sharing sites such as YouTube.  The increasing availability of high-speed Internet has also had a hand in making video so popular, there’s absolutely no doubt about it. More than 1 billion unique users each month to the site shows us we need to pay attention. Add to that, including video on your website can greatly enhance your visitors’ experience.

Live streaming video is a great tool for online tutors and others who can benefit from a high level of interaction with their visitors or customers.  It makes it possible for you to communicate in real time, do live demonstrations, and answer questions with ease.  For your audience, it’s the next best thing to being there with you.

Recorded video can also be a tremendous asset to your website.  It’s much easier than you might think to make professional-looking videos to showcase your products and services.  Your site visitors can watch these videos at their convenience, and if they like them they will often recommend them to friends and colleagues.  For added exposure, you could make your videos available for embedding with YouTube or another video sharing service.

Ways to Use Video

Video is a very versatile medium, and it can be used in a number of ways.  Here are some ideas:

* Make viral videos.  These are usually entertaining clips that include a plug for your business and appeal to a broad audience.  As a promotional method, viral video is not usually very targeted, but it can result in a huge amount of exposure at a relatively low cost.

* Hold online video conferences.  These provide an unparalleled way to reach out to your target audience. You can use tools like Google+ Hangouts to easily hold your online events.

* Make how-to videos. Create them on topics relevant to your website’s subject matter.  Providing informative video content will generate buzz about your website, potentially resulting in an increase in traffic.  It will also help you establish yourself as an expert.

The Advantages and Disadvantages of Video Sharing Sites

 stop sign

YouTube site makes it easy for anyone to upload videos to share with anyone with a computer who cares to watch them, and it provides viewers with a wealth of entertainment and education opportunities. It’s easy to do with a mobile phone, from your computer or just about any device. Sharing your videos on YouTube and other sites definitely has some advantages.

YouTube’s immense popularity can potentially result in lots of people viewing your videos.  If they find videos they like, they can embed them onto their own sites or blogs.  That will result in an even greater audience, and some of them may choose to embed your video on their sites as well.  You can see why some marketers love the idea of video sharing.

There are, however, some disadvantages to putting your videos on sites such as YouTube as well.  One of the biggest concerns of marketers is that video sharing doesn’t require users to come to your site to view the videos.  That means that while your videos may be wildly popular, they might result in very little traffic to your site.  It’s important to give viewers an incentive to visit your site once they are finished watching the video. Alternatively, you can change your videos’ settings so that they can’t be viewed on the YouTube site or embedded elsewhere, but that will limit your viewership.

Make sure you use YouTube’s handy tools to include promotions in your videos, clickable links and more. This will help bring more of your YouTube watchers back to your own site.

The sheer power and excellent features of YouTube likely outweigh and concerns you might have.

Embedding Video from Your Own Server


Those who do not like the idea of uploading their videos to sites such as YouTube can upload them to their servers and embed them from there.  This gives you more control over your videos and ensures there is no “YouTube” logo on your videos.

But before you jump into that, it’s important to remember that video files are usually very large.  Making them available directly from your server can take up valuable file storage space, and it can also drain your bandwidth.  When you upload videos to a video sharing site and embed them from there, you use that site’s storage space and bandwidth.

Whether you should upload video to a video sharing site and embed from there or keep it on your own server depends on several factors.  If you don’t mind having another website’s name pasted on your videos and don’t want to overtax your server, video sharing could be the best option.  But if you want to ensure that users have to come to your site to see your videos and prefer not to provide free advertising for a video sharing site, hosting your own videos might be the best way to go.

How to Use Audio to Promote Your Business and Services

2-audioDid you know that a large portion of the population retains information better when they hear it than when they read it?  This is one of the many reasons that it pays to offer audio as an option for your site visitors.  Here are some more:

* Audio can inject personality into your website in a way that text and graphics can’t.  There’s just something about hearing someone’s voice that makes site visitors feel welcome.

* Audio is convenient.  Those who want or need to multitask can listen to audio while doing something else.  They do not have to be right in front of the computer screen to use it.  You can also make audio available for download to an iPhone, iPod or MP3 player (if people still use those things!), so your visitors can take it with them wherever they go.

* Using audio can separate you from the competition.  Many sites do not utilize audio, and if yours does, those who enjoy it will be likely to come to you instead of your competition.  

Ways to Use Audio

There are plenty of different ways that you can incorporate audio into your website.  Here are a few to consider:

* Record a podcast.  This is similar to blogging, only it is done in audio form.  Users can subscribe to your podcast so that it is automatically downloaded to their feed readers or iPods.

* Do a streaming talk radio show.  This is a great way to get targeted visitors to your website, and it allows you to interact with your audience by accepting calls or answering emails while you’re on the air.

* Offer recordings of online conferences or presentations for download.  This gives visitors an incentive to come to your site as well, and it may entice them to participate in future conferences.

* Record a message for site visitors.  Tell them a little about yourself, suggest areas of the site to visit first, or just welcome them.  This adds a unique personal touch.

Making Your Audio Accessible

There are a number of file formats that you can use when saving audio, but it is important to use popular ones so that your users will be able to listen to them.  The most popular format for most types of recorded audio is MP3.  It offers great file compression while preserving the quality of the audio.  Virtually every computer has an application that can play MP3 files.  The Windows operating system comes with Windows Media Player, which will play these and several other types of audio files.

Another benefit of the MP3 is its versatility.  It can be easily converted for burning on a CD with most CD burning programs.  Users can also put them on their iPhones or just about any other type of portable music player.

How Do I Get Traffic for a New Blog?

online traffic

Probably the trickiest part for any online business owner is getting targeted traffic to their sites.  This is more science than art and has spawned an industry all of its own.  Search engine optimization or SEO as it’s more affectionately referred to, is a major player in how you get targeted traffic to your sites or in this case, your blogs.

There are other promotional and marketing strategies that you can employ to get traffic, but it all starts with optimizing your blogs for SEO.  If you want your blog to be found, you have to optimize it for the search engines.

How much optimization you can perform on your blog depends once again on whether you’re using a hosted blog platform like Blogger.com or a standalone like WordPress.org.

A standalone platform like WordPress.org is the best way to go for SEO purposes.  There are no limits as to how you can customize your WordPress.org blog.  But because most beginners tend to use the hosted option, we’ll explore SEO tactics that everyone can benefit from.

Guest Blog Posting: One of the most effective ways to increase your blog traffic is by posting original content for other blogs related to your niche topic. But, as Matt Cutts said about guest blogging, finding these opportunities should  not be annoying for the blog owners. If you stand out as a trustable source, then people will gladly accept your articles for publishing. Look for popular blogs and check is they have guest posting guidelines and submit your content. Also, start building relationships with other bloggers in your niche, so they are more likely publish your content. When you guest post, you get to promote your website in a byline, so people who love your content will be interested in coming to your site for more.


Use Offline Promotional Methods – Get your blog’s URL printed on your business brochures, flyers, business cards, letter heads, envelopes, ads or anywhere else you advertise offline.  This is a great potential stream of new targeted readers.  You may consider advertising online too.

Add Your Blog’s URL To Outgoing Email – An often overlooked strategy but very effective. You never know, your recipient might be a potential customer.

Other Online Methods – Participate in social networking sites, online groups and forums to let them know about your business blog.  Because they share the same interest, they are bound to pay your blog a visit. Make use of marketing communities to spread the word about your blog. One of them is Social Buzz Club.

Branding the Blog: How to Choose THE Name for Your Blog


If you already own a website, you understand the significance of choosing a good domain name.  A good domain name not only enhances the branding of your business and makes it easy for your readers to share with others.

If your blog is going to play a significant role in your business, then spend some time choosing the right domain name for it.  People tend to remember memorable domain names that end with a dot com to spread it around easier.  You may consider using a free tool such as, DomainsBot.com to help in registering a good name.

check domain name

Try to keep it short and memorable. If the domain name is taken, then you can invent something catchy. Here are some examples of popular blogs with unique names:

Then choose a standalone blog platform like WordPress.org to stand a better chance of attracting heavy traffic to your blog on a regular basis.

How to Join the Brand Boosting Blogging Challenge

blogging challenge

Blogs create a face to your business that your customers can identify with and participate along.  It has become a valuable part of today’s consumer-generated media, giving consumers a platform to engage actively and participate in dialogs with key personnel within a company.


Companies like General Motors, IBM, Boeing, and Microsoft have set up blogs to market their services or products because it is such a cost-effective way of communicating quickly with their prospects and customers.  By providing a blog for their customers to talk about their product, a company can easily find out what their customers really want and tailor their products accordingly.  The open-dialog between company and customer has dramatically cut costs and boosted revenue because companies are getting first-hand research information for next-to-nothing! It is the perfect instant feedback mechanism.

The ease in publishing a blog makes it a perfect marketing vehicle for any type of business.  Whether you work from home or are the CEO of a Fortune 500 corporation, blogs will make an ideal addition to your marketing strategy.


Setting up a blog can take as little as five minutes (and that’s if you’re unsure of what you’re doing) and you are ready to publish your content.  It is that easy.  If you can send an e-mail, you are more than ready to start blogging. The real beauty of blogs lies in its simplicity.  It negates the tedious process of learning HTML, Web design or coding, otherwise needed to operate a functional website.   You can update a blog via any Internet connection, even updating it using a cell phone.


Use the blog to:

  Provide value-added content

  Build a relationship with your readers

  Establish trust with your customers while gaining credibility

  Create awareness about your product offerings

 → Test ideas and research your market by getting your readers and customers to participate in discussions

If you discover that you enjoy blogging, then take the next step and try the 30-Day Blogging Challenge.

How to Give Sneak Peeks into Your Product with Box Shot King


You can use Box Shot King to create professional looking sneak peeks into any finished digital product you are planning to market.  Here’s how… 

Step 1.  Prepare your .PDF

Use your favorite .PDF creator to convert your book from its word processing file to finished .PDF format.  Most people use Adobe Acrobat, but you can also use products that are free – or offer a free trial period – such as Nitro Pro 8, which has not only gathered favorable reviews but offers simple, clear documentation and instructions.

We are going to use Nitro Pro 8 for this demonstration, but if you own Adobe Acrobat, you can follow specific instructions for that program in Box Shot King’s “How to” video section.

(The principles are the same for both.)


Once you have created your report or eBook in .PDF format using Nitro Pro 8, go through the finished result to find pages with images you would like to include in your sneak peek.

If possible, choose pages adjacent to each other (e.g. pages 4 and 5), since you are going to create an “open book” view for people to “peek” at.


Step 2.  Select Your Pages

Select the facing-page-display option from the icons in the bottom right menu bar – or press CTRL + 5 – to view your .PDF in a two-page format.


Grab the slider button in the Zoom Slider and drag until you can see both pages.


You are now looking at a double-page display.

Scroll down until you find a double-page spread you think looks particularly impressive, and take a screen snapshot.


Step 3.  Taking a Screen Snapshot

There are several ways to take a screenshot on your computer.  Pressing “PrtScrn” will take a shot of your entire browser display in Windows.  You have more options using Command-Ctrl key combinations if you are using a MAC. The best way is to use a highly-responsive, easy screen capture program such as TechSmith’s Snagit ($49.95 at time of writing, but there is a free trial period). Or use the totally free Jing (also from TechSmith).


Once you have your screenshot selected and captured, save it to your desktop for easy access.

Step 4. Creating Your Sneak Peek

Next, log into Box Shot King and click anywhere in the “Create” graphic window (or click the “Click here” anchor text).

1.     Click the “Create” menu tab

2.     Slide down through all the display types until you find “Open Report”.  Select it.


3.     Box Shot King will immediately show you the backgrounds page.  Choose “Upload Your Own”.


 4.     If your image isn’t already uploaded to Box Shot King (i.e. you don’t see it in the display that opens up), click on the “Choose File” button and upload your screenshot from the location where you saved it.


 5.     When your image opens up in Box Shot King, click and grab the corner of the bounding box and drag until you have selected the area you want to display in the Open Report (your two pages).


Be as exact as you can, when matching the edges of the bounding box to the “page” edges:  This will make the report display center properly in your Open Report.

 6.     When your Open Report displays properly in the little, top-right, double display, press “Select and continue”.


 7.     Press the “Finalize” button in the right-hand corner of your top-horizontal menu.


 8.     The moving bars will run across your screen display to let you know that your final Open Report display is being generated.

 9.     Finally, you will see your finished Open Report view.  (Be sure to check the “Transparent Background” radio box!)


 10.  Download your Open Report file and save it.


Step 5.  Editing Your File

You can still edit your file, if there is anything you’d like to tweak.

If the center spine of your “open book” looks off-kilter, this means you were out a couple of pixels in dragging your display area corners.  If it’s out just a pixel or two, don’t worry about it; but if it is obviously off-center, simply edit it and re-drag the corners of your display.


If you want to make your Report image smaller or larger within the display, grab the Resize arrow and drag the image to the size you want.


And if you want to select only part of your canvas area, use the “Crop” button.


Keep in mind that you don’t have to use “Open Report” to create your double page spread.  There are other options, such as “Open Book”.

Scan through all the different display options to pick the perfect one for your particular project.


You can also select a wonderful variety of other display formats to use in your “sneak peek” graphics.

Just be sure to choose the formats that best suit your digital product – and your viewer’s tastes!


Troubleshooting Color Selection

Box Shot King is incredibly easy to use, but there is one area where its functionality falls short: And that is in precise color selection for text elements.

When using the “Color Style” tab within your “Insert Text” tab, you cannot simply click on a color and magically have the code appear in the textarea box.  You need to know specific color codes in advance if you want to use precise ones – which can be a problem if you have a specific color in mind but don’t know the exact HEX code for your HTML.

However, there are many online color pickers that will let you find HEX codes, so if you are looking for a custom text shade – one, perhaps, that contrasts strongly with your background color – do this first.

For example, open another browser tab and locate and choose your exact text HEX color code at w3schools.com’s online Color Picker.

  • First, choose the general color.
  • Then in the column on the right hand side, you can adjust that color increment by increment to darker or lighter tones. 


Another option:  If you don’t know the hex codes for text and background colors on your own website, but you want to find out your own color HEX codes for branding purposes, open your website page and do one of the following:

  • Right-click anywhere within your web page.  A pop-up menu will appear.  Select “View Source”.  See if you can spot the appropriate HEX color codes within the HTML.
  • Open up your WordPress dashboard and find your CSS sheet in the Themes editor.  Select your HEX codes.

Many people find the final option to be both quickest and easiest:

  • Install and use the Colorzilla color picker bookmarklet in your browser.  (Colorzilla works with either Firefox or Chrome.)  To use it, simply click your little Colorzilla eye-dropper bookmarklet in your browser bar, and then choose one of the options in the popup that opens. 


Note that you can simply choose Colorzilla’s “Webpage Color Analyzer” to instantly get a read-out of all colors used on any particular web page.


If you click on any color box, you will be shown (a) its RGB value (b) the HEX code (c) exactly where the color was selected from in the style sheet.

The only thing you will need is the exact HEX code.  So, for example, if you wanted the particular shade of orange we’ve selected in the example above, you would copy “#FFA500” and insert it into your Box Shot King HEX textarea box.


Most of the time, Box Shot King’s color selection options are perfectly adequate – but for those times when you need to know specific HEX color codes for matching purposes, this is the best way to find out.

How to Make Your First Kindle Book Cover


Now it’s time to create your first eBook cover with Box Shot King.  Before deciding on a template, consider the venue where this book cover is going to be displayed.  For example, if you want to upload a Kindle eBook, go to Amazon.com and take a look at how similar books in your genre appear. You won’t have any control over this in Amazon:  You’ll merely upload your cover photo as a placeholder, which will appear without any 3D effects.  (Don’t worry:  Box Shot King will allow you to create a “Flat Cover” version of your 3D graphics.)

On your website, however, you’ll want to spice things up a little more.  You want your book to read as a “real” book, so choose one of Box Shot King’s 3D templates.

Step 1.  Choose your Template


Step 2.  Choose your Background

The moment you choose your eBook cover template, Box Shot King will present you with a selection of backgrounds.


Choose one, upload your own, check out web resources for further backgrounds or customize the default style with your own colors.

When you select one, it will populate in your canvas area, and you can resize to the area you want to select, as well as move your borders around to capture just the right area.


Once you like what you see in the selection area, press the orange “Select and continue” button.


Step 3.  Create Your Title

When creating your title, make sure the font supports the feel and tone of your book.  For example, if you are producing a Hallowe’en collection of spooky recipes, you might choose a “creepy” font – one that people traditionally and automatically associate with horror movies — such as “Zombie Zone” or “Nightmare”.


(Remember, you add text by pressing the “Insert Text” button, once your background has loaded in.  Type your text into the textarea box; then apply your desired font and effects.)


You will also now be able to drag-to-resize your title, so it will fit anywhere you want on your cover. Press the “Submit” button, once you have typed in your Title and applied your selected effects. Your title will now render over your background.  You can then drag-and-resize it by the corner of your bounding box, as well as reposition it on your “page”.


Note that you can customize your Title text even further, using the options available in the editing bar:


Step 4.  Add an Image

Click on the “Insert Images” tab in your top, horizontal menu, and select a tab; then select a graphic; much as you selected your background.


You can select from galleries, stock photos or upload your own from this location.  (You can also use the “Upload Images” tab instead of the “Insert Images” tab.). Your graphic will render (i.e. load slowly within the canvas) and be added to your cover.


You can:

  • Resize it by dragging
  • Move it around
  • Send it behind your text.  (You are working here in layers.)

Step 5. Edit Your Image and Working with Layers

By default, since you created your graphic after your text, it automatically populates as the front [fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][top] layer.  You may not want the title underneath your graphic, so:

a. Click on the element you want at the front (i.e. your title text).  You will know if you have selected your graphic or your title, because the element you click on will be outlined in white.  (Use the double arrow as your click point for drag-resizing or moving.) 


b. Once you have the element you want to position on top selected, click on the “Bring to Front” button


Previously, your graphic was right over top of your title, coloring the letters.


Move your text to the front by selecting the title and pressing the “Bring to Front” button puts your graphic behind the text letters, which usually looks more finished and professional.


Remember; if you don’t like the graphic behind the text after moving it, you can send it “back” again by:

  • Selecting the graphic
  • Pressing “Bring to front”

You can add as many graphics and text elements as you want.

But what if you find part of the image is obscuring your text, yet you still want it on front?

You can simply cut out the offending portion by pressing the “Cut Selected Area” button and moving your editing window until the area you want deleted is greyed-out.


Then press “Cut”.



Step 6.  Save Your Cover

When you are completely happy with the finished look of your eCover, press the black and red “Finalize” button.


Your final eCover graphic will display, along with a menu bar on top giving details about its contents, including:

  • Background color
  • Width (in pixels)
  • Height (in pixels)

This is what your finished 3D cover will look like, displayed on your Sales page or anywhere else on your website:


You can now choose to:

  • Edit your cover
  • Download your cover

If you are happy with the look of your graphic, click “Download”.

If you are not happy with any of the elements, just click on the “Edit” button and you will be able to go back and tweak that element.

Step 7.  Creating a Transparent Background

For seamless integration into your website, create a transparent background to your actual, finished eCover graphic by simply checking the “Transparent” radio button.


You will know you were successful because the white page background to your finished cover will instantly change to a checkered background, which in the graphic design world signifies transparency.  And the “Background Color” tab will display the word “transparent” inside its textarea box, instead of displaying a color code.

You will not see these checkers on your website.  Instead, your actual website background color will show through behind your book cover.  (White is the best color for displaying elements such as eBook covers, especially if they contain effects such as drop shadows.)

Any final graphic file with a transparent background will download as a .PNG file.  Note that if you change that to a .JPG file, you will lose the transparency.

Step 8.  Creating your “flat” Book Cover

But wait – we’re not quite finished yet.  Remember how we looked at Amazon.com earlier?  We realized that Amazon does not display book covers in 3D.  Instead, they want a perfectly flat graphic.

When you are ready to “Download”, you can create that Amazon-style flat rendition of your eBook cover very easily – simply by pressing the “Download 2D” button.


You can do this before or after you press the “Download” button for your main 3D eCover…


You will instantly be rendered an Amazon “placeholder” version of your eCover that looks like this:


Make sure your size is consistent with Amazon’s 1/6 ratio (height and width ratio).

Amazon’s ideal recommended size is 1,563 X 2,500 pixels, but you can downsize all the way to the Amazon minimum of 625 X 1,000 pixels.

You can adjust the size right on your 2D screen:


Once you’ve downloaded your flat file to your desktop, you can then upload this graphic to Amazon to act as your placeholder.

Step 9.  Retrieving your Covers

Your created eCovers are not lost, once downloaded – it’s not a one-shot deal, when it comes to creation.  They are stored in the cloud, in your Box Shot King files, and you can access them again at any time.

To do so:

1.     Open the Box Shot King home page and click on the “Members” tab

2.     Log in

3.     Click on the anchor text “Click here” under the “Welcome [Your Name]” heading

26-retrieving-your-ecovers4.     Click on the “My ECovers” tab.


 5.     Click on the “Edit” button within the thumbnail of the version you want to edit.


And that’s how easy it is to create, customize and retrieve your first eBook cover with Box Shot King.[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

How to Create Professional Designs with no Graphic Skills

website redesign

It doesn’t matter if you prefer to work using pre-designed templates and gallery images or from scratch; every marketer who regularly needs or uses digital graphics should try Box Shot King.

It combines the options of high-powered graphics editors like Adobe Photoshop with easy pre-designed graphics subscription sites, resulting in a complete combination that until now was often considered impossible:

  • Significant time saving in graphics creations
  • Highly-customized, professional-level results
  • Zero outsourcing costs

Your graphics are created in the “cloud”, so when you are finished, you simply download them to your desktop. (You can also upload your own designs.)  Most of the customization is done using easy drag-and-drop inserting, re-sizing and applying. You don’t have to possess graphic design skills – just the ability to press a button.

You don’t have to have technical abilities.  And Box Shot King will work on either MAC or PC.  Everything is simplified to the ultimate degree.  Every task is easy.

Even professional graphic designers are likely to use Box Shot King, just for its simplicity and time-saving capabilities alone.

What You Can Create

Box Shot King is designed for online marketers who need standard marketing graphics.

These include:

  • eBook Covers, spiral bound
  • CD covers
  • DVD covers
  • Mobile covers
  • iPad screen displays


Things you can do with Box Shot King images:

  • Insert text
  • Insert images
  • Upload images
  • Resize images
  • Create 3D images
  • Download and save them to your desktop

How the Image Editor Works (Overview)

Box Shot King’s image editor is much easier to edit than either Adobe Photoshop or Gimp.  Let’s take a look at some simple tasks.  First, log into Box Shot King.

Click on the “Start Now” button or on any portion of the graphic below the “Create” tab – it doesn’t matter which one.


You will be taken straight away to the eCover Template Gallery.  This is just a sampling of its designs…


Select the template you want.


You are now ready to begin customizing your promotional graphic template with additional text and images.


Step 1.  Setting a Background

You have four choices when it comes to selecting a background for your image:

  • Choosing a background pattern from the images offered in the Background Gallery (“System Default)


  • Uploading your own custom background image 


  • Using web resources to find the right image


  • Entering HEX color codes for your signature branded colors


No matter what method you choose, after you’ve made your selection, you will see your chosen background rendering (i.e. loading in) – almost as if it was “painting” itself.


Once it has filled the “canvas”, you can drag-and-resize anywhere within the canvas to select only the portion you want to use.  Your book cover will display in the upper right hand side of the canvas as you drag, reflecting how these changes will look within the “real” cover.

To resize, you will see little square “nodes” in each of the four corners.


As you move your cursor over a node, it will change to a double arrow.


This indicates that you can:

  • Shrink the size of the area to be visible as your cover background
  • Expand the size of the area to be visible as your cover background
  • Move the visible area around

Go ahead and experiment with changing the areas to be visible by dragging and re-sizing the bounding box (dotted, movable edges of the highlighted canvas area).

The area that becomes greyed-out in your “canvas” – outside the bounding box – will not appear in the final eBook cover.


(It can take a couple of seconds for changes to render, or appear.)

In other words, you are not obliged to keep the entire background.  Note that, in resizing and area selection, below, we have selected only a small portion of the available background graphic to appear as our book cover graphic…


Press the orange-gold “Select and continue” button.


Step 2.  Modifying a Font

You will add elements to your background – text and graphics.  First, let’s look at the text options.

In the top, horizontal menu bar, select “Insert Text”:


A new window will open up under the menu.  It will contain a textarea box where you first input your text by typing it; then selecting and applying text options and effects (found in the menu bar below the textarea box).


Let’s go through the options on this menu bar…

  • Color Style – Use this if you know your preferred HEX color code for your text color.  Simply type it in the tiny textarea box within the Color Style tab.


The background color of the textarea box will change to show you the actual text color you’ve selected.


  • Text Outline You can also add an outline to your text. 


  • Alignment – Next, decide if you want your text centered, left-justified or right-justified. 


  • Font – When you press “Font”, however, an entire gallery opens up.  Simply click on the graphic thumbnail of the font you want to apply it.


  • Text Effects – Another gallery opens up when you press the “Text Effects” link. You can apply any of these effects to any font you have selected.


Once you have selected all your text preferences, press the orange-gold “Submit” button.


Your text will take a few seconds to render (load in).  You will see the horizontal bar of squares within the load window moving continuously to indicate that rendering is proceeding… Finally, you will see the text you typed into the textarea box, with your effects, fonts and outlines applied.

Step 3.  Adding a Graphic

To add a graphic to your template, go back to your main, horizontal menu bar and select either of the following tabs:

  • Insert Images
  • Upload Images

Notice that the options bar below the menu will change to offer you graphics customizations options, such as blur, flip, arc, rotate and the like.


Let’s insert an image from the collection supplied by Box Shot King and apply each of these effects, so you can see what each actually does…

First, we’ll press “Upload Images” and upload one of our own images.

(Notice that you can upload only .JPG, .GIF and .PNG file types.)

Choose a file from your hard drive.  While it is uploading, you can glance at the bottom-left corner of your canvas and check its progress. Once it has loaded in, you will see the plain, unadorned, unfiltered image over top of your chosen background.  (You can drag your photo to the size and proportion you want.)


And here is what your photo looks like with various graphics options applied…

1.     Flip

You can flip your graphic vertically or horizontally (e.g. our boat, here, is now pointing the opposite direction).

30-flip 2.     Arc

Applies an arcing effect on a black background to our photo.

31-arc3.     Grayscale

Removes all color from our photo.

32-grayscale4.     Sharpen

Provides you with customizable options to sharpen details or edges in your photo.

33-sharpen5.     Blur

Provides customizable options for softening all the edges in your photo.


6.     Contrast

Increases the range between light and dark areas in your photo.  You can customize the degree to which you want to showcase lighter or darker contrasts.


Copy”, “Cut” and “Rotate” should need no explanation.

You can apply each effect alone, or in combination with other effects.  For example, here’s what happens if you apply “Arc”, “Blur” and “Grayscale” all at once…


You can undo any effect if you are not happy with it very easily – by pressing the “Undo” button.

37-undo button

You can delete your graphic, if you are not happy with it, by pressing the red-lettered “Delete” button next to “Undo”.