Creating a Menu in WordPress

You may want to setup a menu on your WordPress blog or perhaps you have setup your website using WordPress.  Having a menu is a good idea for organizing your content and making navigating your site easy for your visitors.

Here are a few tips on organizing to create a menu

Your Plan

When you are designing your website or blog – think of how the content should be organized. What are the main headings – what topics would fit under these main headings. As your website grows having an organized structure is a real help to the visitors so they can find information easily.   It also helps you as you add new pages and posts to know where you will put them.

Using Pages and Sub Pages

When you create a new page in WordPress you can assign it as a main page or a sub page.

Using Categories

Assigning a category is a first step in being able to create a menu item from your POSTS. Think about your categories and how they relate to the major topics of your blog or website. For example on the Out and About Nova Scotia website – PLACES is a category. Any new post that has to do with a PLACE is assigned this category and a place name is assigned as a sub-category. See the PLACES menu with its sub categories.

Managing Categories

If you wish to rename, delete of change a category you will find this under POSTS – CATEGORIES on your dashboard.   This is also a good place to see the overview of all your categories and the number of POSTS assigned to each category and the hierarchy.

Manage categories

Managing your Menu

The Menu manager is found under Appearances on your dashboard. On the left you see a list of all the PAGES you have created. Click the check box(es) next to the pages you want to add to the menu and drag them onto the menu on the right. Then reorder the pages according to your plan. You can make sub pages by indenting a page under another page.

If you wish to add a CATEGORY as a menu item – select the category from the list that you see when you click on “Categories” on the bottom left section. Then select the category you want and add it to the menu on the right.

Be sure to SAVE your menu.

You can select to add your pages automatically when you create them – or each time you want a new page on the menu go through the steps above. You can rearrange pages and posts as your site grows.

menu managae

Categories Widget

Use the CATEGORIES widget to add a categories drop down list with number of posts on your sidebar. This works well if you have a lot of categories and gives a good overview for the website visitor

Categories widget

Places category

menu outandabout





How to use an online survey


As part of planning a series of seminars on Social Media I decided to take a survey of my email list that might help decide on the day, length, price and topics. In just a couple of days I had a clear idea of how to schedule the seminars.

To do this in the past I had used Survey Monkey which was an adequate tool but this time I decided to try out the Constant Contact Online Survey Tool and I found there are several significant advantages.

Online Survey from Constant ContactStep 1 – Contacts:  I reviewed my contacts in Constant Contact and decided to send out the survey to people who lived in my geographic area.  I reviewed the sub-list with the Contact management tool.

Step 2 – Survey Design:  The Online Survey tool has many questionnaires already designed and I browsed and selected the one closest to my needs.  I deleted some irrelevant questions or modified the wording to make it appropriate.   I added introductory text and easily setup a reply page that respondents would see when they completed the survey.   I tested the survey to check that everything was working and that the flow would be clear.

Survey Dashboard Constant Contact
Survey Dashboard Constant Contact

Step 3 – Publish the survey: A link is generated that you can send in an email, post on your website or Facebook or other social media.   To use it in an email there is a link that takes you directly to templates useful in inviting your contacts to fill out the survey. All of this is integrated directly to your email and contact manager

Step 4 – Send out the link:  I created an email inviting people on my specified contact list to take the survey and used the email template as the building block for this. I worked on the email on the weekend but scheduled it to go out on Tuesday morning as that is a good time for people to respond.

Subject: Need your help – Social media seminar planning  See the email here

I also posted the link on my Facebook Business page – the results that come in from any replies from website or Facebook are listed as “anonymous”.  See link to the survey here.

Step 5 – Track Results:  With the excellent reporting features in Constant Contact I was able to graphs and numbers summarizing the results.  For questions that were open ended – the text shows up in a table format.  For optional contact information for people who wanted to continue to be informed a list of names, emails, website were tabulated – and again a very nice feature to add them to a list – I created a list “responded to survey” and this makes it easy to send them more information about the seminars.   The report can be exported to an XLS  file.   I will also be able to send invitations to this list in the event management module.   I was able to see that Thursday mornings for 2-3 hours would be the most popular seminar timing.   Many suggestions on topics and popular pricing are very helpful in planning the seminars.

Report - days and times

Here’s an example export report from a survey. It includes the summary data in graph and numeric format.  It does not include the text answers that people gave as they included comments not for public view.  Social Media Seminar – copy for email – RESPONSES from survey1

Some examples of surveys

Here are just a few ideas of how to use surveys: Customer satisfaction, event planning, employee feedback, shopping and purchase experience, product development, website feedback, travel and tourism.  All of these and more have several templates in Constant Contact that give you a quick start in your survey design.

Value of a survey

A survey helps you to find out what your contacts think, need, want.  You can view the results on an individual or compiled in easy to read reports. With Constant Contact you are able to integrate this information with your contact list management and with your email newsletter or invitation.  With the many templates available the design part of survey creation is greatly simplified.

Start your free trial of Constant Contact to see in detail how the survey / email / contacts work seamlessly together to create a powerful way to communicate with your contacts and get relevant feedback directly from them by asking.

Start a Trial Today - Constant Contact Survey
Start a Trial Today – Constant Contact Survey

Constant Contact is very responsive in replying to your questions and have great customer support.


Should Video be Part of Your Internet Strategy?


Here are just 6 statistics about video from the 50 statistics on the article from Insivia “50 video marketing statistics that you need to be aware of for 2013” see more

  1. According to ComScore, 45.4 percent of users viewed at least one video online over the course of a month and the average user spend over 16 minutes watching video ads in a month
  2. 86% of colleges and universities have a presence on YouTube, according to the University of Dartmouth.
  3. 90% of users say that seeing a video about a product is helpful in the decision process.
  4. 75% of executives watch work-related videos on business websites at least once a week.
  5. One minute of video is equal to 1.8 million words.
  6. According to Online Publishers Association, 80% of users recall a video ad they viewed in the past 30 days.

Using video is an effective way to engage with your customers, members and prospects.

Video engages people in a way that photos and text alone can’t. For small
business owners and nonprofit managers, using video in your marketing
can bring faces, voices, personality, and heart to your operation, while also
demonstrating your authenticity. To top that, on sites like Facebook, video
posts generate 100% more engagement than text-only posts.

Here are five reasons to add video to your marketing mix.

  1. Tell your story quickly:  People don’t have a lot of time, so you want to get your message across quickly. Video can communicate a lot of information in a short amount of time.
  2. Put a face to your business or organization: A video helps bring your business or organization to life, and it makes your communications more personal. Putting people on camera makes you and your team real to your customers and members.
  3. Get your readers to remember your message: Let’s face it: In general, we remember little of what we read. Our retention of a message is much better (estimates are three times better) when it includes pictures, sound, and motion. Your readers can only take action if they remember what you said.
  4. People enjoy video: People like to read, but they really like video. We watch TV, go to the movies, stream video content to our computers and mobile phones, and more.
  5. Creating your video is fun and easy to share: You can create your own videos or work with a partner.  Share your video is available on YouTube, Vimeo, Facebook, your own website and blogs.  Videos hosted on these sites can help your search engine optimization (SEO) efforts as they give sites like Google and Bing yet another  piece of content associated with your brand to crawl and serve up to the masses.

Some Examples

Welcome to your business.  Put a personal face on your business. Use this on your website, facebook page, play it at a trade show, share at a business networking meeting, ad to your blog.

Demo of a product or service.  Show how your product is made, how you carry out your services, add value to the product by showing the quality and details of how it is made.  Excellent for artists, artisans, creators of all types.

Tourist destination.  Show your area, environment, activities, experiences.

Fundraising.  Show the issue or problem and what you are doing to be part of the solution.  Touch the heart of the viewer and get them engaged so they want to take action.

Tour a Property.  Show a property for sale, destination, features and

There are lots of ways to make a video and a variety of approaches.  Create your plan, shoot and edit the video – on your own or with a partner.  Contact me with any questions on how to get started. 

See Eckova Film and Media Production for more details about creating video.