A Change in the Big Picture of Big Picture Web

If you've been a reader of this blog over the last 4+ years, you know that the focus of my articles have shifted as Big Picture Web has evolved. Soon there will be another major editorial shift, and I wanted to let you know why. 

Less Squarespace Tips, More Personal Branding Advice

Squarespace has been the central point of focus for this blog for the last few years. Tips, marketing advice, reviews -- I've written just about anything and everything related to the content management system because I enjoy using the platform for my own online marketing needs and because it's been part of my revenue strategy for this blog. For every visitor I convince that Squarespace is the right platform for them, Squarespace provides me with a finder's fee as a part of their affiliate program.  

A major change in how their affiliate program works will cause me to write less about the Squarespace platform and more about a new topic, personal branding, to keep this blog profitable and worth maintaining into the future. I wanted to be transparent about it with you, my reader.

A Brief Lesson in Marketing Attribution

A hot topic in the world of marketing is attribution, which is how companies measure the combined effects of all their marketing efforts and decide which marketing campaign or channel ultimately receives credit for a sale. The two most common ways to look at attribution are:

  • First Touch - This style of attribution gives credit to the first marketing channel responsible for sending a new customer to Squarespace.com and places a lot of incentive in creating awareness for the platform.
  • Last Touch - This attribution method gives credit to the marketing channel that "seals the deal" by being the last marketing effort to send a visitor to Squarespace.com prior to them signing up to become a customer. 

Squarespace's affiliate program has historically been a last touch program, which is why I spent time creating countless resources that went in-depth on the merits and features of the Squarespace product. I wanted to be that blog that pushed people from wondering about the product to being genuinely excited to try it out for themselves. 

Rolling With the Attribution Punches

The Squarespace team recently informed me that the program will be changing from last touch attribution to a first touch program, which means the incentive has shifted from creating clarity around Squarespace's benefits to creating awareness for the product itself.  

The punchline? The content I've developed over the last few years has become a whole lot less valuable overnight, and I'll need to either adapt and shift my focus or end up with four years of content and articles that are nice to read, but whose main benefit is altruism, not a helpful second source of income for my family. 

That said, Big Picture Web's content strategy will begin to shift towards personal branding tips and technology in the coming weeks in an effort to attract an audience that can benefit from my expertise and who might be in the market to create a new website.

The Only Constant is Change

If you've come to enjoy the Squarespace resources on Big Picture Web, don't worry. I'll still be publishing them from time to time. They'll just be balanced with a broader set of topics. I hope you can appreciate why I'll be making this change, and I hope the new editorial focus produces resources you'll deem helpful.

On the Internet, the only constant is change.


Squarespace Customer Service Wins Coveted Awards

The Squarespace customer service team won two Steve Awards last week. Also known as the American Business Awards, these bad boys are coveted as some of the nation's top awards for businesses.  

Squarespace's 50-person-strong Customer Care Team won the Gold Stevie Award for Customer Service Department of the Year - Computer Services, while their Director of Customer Care, Christa Collins, received the Bronze Stevie Award for Customer Service Executive of the Year. 

Squarespace's Customer Service Options

Squarespace's customer service makes it easy for customers to be successful with their platform, which is one of the biggest advantages it holds over free or self-hosted platforms. The Stevie Award-winning Customer Care Team offers several easy ways to get support:

  •  The Squarespace Help Center - The most commonly asked questions are answered in full text and image articles, and they even have a Squarespace 101 section for new customers.
  • Squarespace Help Tickets - Squarespace's signature form of customer service is its blazing-fast email ticketing system, which handles close to 15k requests each week. Submit a ticket from almost anywhere on your site and get an answer often within minutes.
  • Squarespace Answers - This community managed forum features questions and answers from Squarespace customers and designer/developers that use the platform. If your questions are a bit more in-depth, give Squarespace Answers a try. 
  • Live Chat - Last but not least, you can live chat with Squarespace's Customer Care team Monday-Friday between the hours of 11:00 a.m. and 7:00 Eastern time by clicking on the chat invite prompt that appears on the Help Center when chat is available.

I was shocked to hear that Squarespace supports over 14,000 tickets per week with their awesome Customer Care team. When it comes to customer service, Squarespace, has definitely exceeded my expectations in the few times I've needed to engage them as a Squarespace customer. Congrats, Squarespace, on your Stevie Awards - you deserve them! 

Squarespace RSS: How to Add a Feed to Your Website

Really Simple Syndication (RSS) feeds have been around since before the 2000's. One of the web's oldest and still active forms of social media, RSS feeds allow you to build your own "virtual newspaper" by pulling new content from your favorite websites and serving it up in an easy-to-use RSS reader  (e.g., Feedly).  Squarespace recently announced a new RSS support feature. Read on to find out how to add an RSS feed to your Squarespace website.

How to Add an RSS Feed to Your Sidebar

Adding a link to your Squarespace blog's RSS feed on your blog's sidebar is easy. First, identify where you want to place your RSS feed on your site. I have an email sign-up option on my blog. Putting the RSS feed link in this area seems to makes sense.

This is as good a spot as any for an RSS feed link.

This is as good a spot as any for an RSS feed link.

Log into your Squarespace website and view your blog. Click on the Edit Content option. Next, click on the plus sign to add a new content block. Click on the Social tab to locate the RSS feed block. Drag it to the desired location on your blog's sidebar.

The RSS feed block is within the Squarespace Social blocks tab.

The RSS feed block is within the Squarespace Social blocks tab.

Next, pick the blog you want to link to. You'll see an option for every different collection you have on your Squarespace site, currently including blogs, image galleries, and events. 

Choose from any collection on your Squarespace site.

Choose from any collection on your Squarespace site.

And that's all there is to it. Upon hitting save, your blog's RSS feed will be featured on your sidebar and will update automatically every time you publish new content on your site. 

An RSS feed featured on a Squarespace site. 

An RSS feed featured on a Squarespace site. 

Is RSS Even Worth It? 

The Squarespace RSS feature gives you 95% of what you'd need (i.e., I'd love to be able to customize feed URLs to integrate with Feedburner) to add this great feature to your site, but is it even worth it?

RSS isn't widely used--Google even announced the sun-setting of its Google Reader product--but don't let its low adoption dissuade you from adding an RSS feed to your Squarespace site. People who subscribe to your RSS feed can often be considered among the most loyal followers of your blog because, unlike social media network followers who are exposed to every tweet and status update possible, RSS subscribers elect only to see your new blog content when they follow you.


The 11 Most Popular Squarespace Cities in the World

Web publishing platform Squarespace is an international hit, both in terms of its customer base and more recently its business operations. Squarespace's Dublin offices were announced in early May, marking the first office outside of the U.S. for the start-up content management system.

While Squarespace offices in Ireland is news, international customers is nothing new. Squarespace has been popular in the U.K., U.S., Canada, and Australia for years.

The Most Popular Squarespace Cities in the World

According to Google Trends, Squarespace's international popularity is greatest in its hometown of New York , but Toronto, Sydney and London all rank among the top great Squarespace cities. Here's the breakdown of the top eleven:

  1. New York City, United States
  2. San Francisco, United States
  3. Los Angeles, United States
  4. Seattle, United States
  5. Toronto, Canada
  6. Sydney, Australia
  7. Melbourne, Australia
  8. Chicago, United States
  9. Atlanta, United States
  10. Houston, United States
  11. London, England

What countries will Squarespace expand to next?

Big Picture Web Turns Four Years Old

I pulled up Google Analytics to take a look at the web analytics stats for BigPictureWeb.com this week and what did I find? This humble home to Squarespace tips and resources turned four years old on May 27, 2013. That's right. I've been writing articles to help Squarespace website owners with marketing for their websites since 2009.

Big Picture Web turned 4 on May 27, 2013.

Big Picture Web turned 4 on May 27, 2013.

The 6 Most Popular Squarespace Resources in 4 Years

What pages and blog posts have been the most helpful for Squarespace website owners over the years? Here are the most popular half dozen pages on BigPictureWeb.com--as measured by lifetime website visits--in the last four years:

  1. Squarespace Vs. Wordpress - Here's a comparison I did in partnership with a Wordpress expert to write a comparison on the two content management systems. Obviously I rooted for Squarespace.
  2. The Squarespace Template Guide - Are you planning a new Squarespace website? This guide contains a complete list of all of Squarespace's current templates, screenshots, and the pro's/con's of using each one for your next website project.
  3. Why You Should Consider a Squarespace Website - Arguably our best resource, this page demonstrates the value of owning a Squarespace website to the potential owner.
  4. My Squarespace Review - All the way back from 2010, see my first impressions from moving to Squarespace from Drupal for BigPictureWeb.com. This review was for Squarespace v5.
  5. Squarespace SEO Secrets You Should Know - Looking to drive more search engine traffic to your Squarespace website? Be sure to reference this handy guide back from 2010 to help your website earn more visits from the Googles.
  6. Squarespace Designer Directory - Our free directory features over twenty professional Squarespace designers that can help you take your website to the next level with Squarespace v5 or Squarespace 6.

Your Favorite BPW Resources?

Are you a fan of Big Picture Web? Then thank you for helping to make this blog a repeat destination for many Squarespace website owners. I'm happy if I was able to help you out in any small way with these how-to's. 

What resource or resources have been the most helpful to you over the years? What topics relative to owning and marketing your Squarespace website should I write about over the next four years?