A New Year is upon us and it's time for another issue of "here and NOW!"

I've put together some great articles to help you continue with a successful business. Or maybe you've got a new idea to try out? There is lots here to give you ways to help market your site and drive customers to you.

Not sure about Google AdWords, want to find out more about how to use Facebook for your business, or use your YouTube account as an affiliate stream? Read more about it below!

Happy New Year,
Coach Danny


• Keep Your Website Ahead of the Curve in 2012
• YouTube Account Monetization
• AdWords: Local Online Advertising
• Tumblr - New Business Microblogging platform
• Channeladvisor Webinars
• Big Changes to Facebook: What You Need to Do

The winners in life think constantly in terms of I can, I will, and I am. Losers, on the other hand, concentrate their waking thoughts on what they should have or would have done, or what they can't do.
-Dennis Waitley

Keep Your Website Ahead of the Curve in 2012

By Lauren Hockenson

This post originally appeared on the American Express OPEN Forum, where Mashable regularly contributes articles about leveraging social media and technology in small business.

Sure, having a website for your business serves a practical need: to draw net-surfing users to your product or service. However, it's also much more than slapping on a run of the mill two-column template and calling it a day. Nothing kills an online buzz like a poorly designed or drastically outdated website. Dry and boring default templates, broken assets, confusing pages and invasive widgets do nothing but harm a page's style, which in turn reflects poorly on the company.

2012 is heralding a new wave of innovative web technologies and design, and a page that stays in step with these trends is bound to pique interest and lower your bounce rate. Even more, a well done and on-trend website remains effective well after the year is over, reeling users in with thoughtful design and building a design-conscious and taste-making reputation. Keep these tips in mind when you clean up your company's website, and stay ahead of the curve for the new year.

1. Don't Be Afraid to be Bold
Mail Chimp. Instagram. Pinterest. All of these websites are joined together by a commitment to bold designs and layout. Whether it's an exaggerated footer, a turn to minimalism or a bold and new typeface, incorporating a key graphical element to a website speaks volumes about the overall composition of the layout -- and a keen level of attention to detail. Opting for a bold design element is a great way to modernize a website and keep it on trend in the coming years.

A bold design can be obtained with very little money, especially for those who aren't necessarily experienced in coding. For example, webpages operating on a WordPress can find a host of free templates that offer a wide range of customizable options to suit any business. New and exciting fonts can be found via Google's open API font styles and require a simple set of code to be dropped in for compatibility with a website. Inspiration and how-tos for more hands-on DIY upgrades can be found at coding/design blogs like A List Apart, One Extra Pixel and Mashable's Dev and Design channel.
For those with a little more cash to burn on a proper contractor, 99 Designs relies on crowdsourcing to gather great designers for companies looking for a reliable and cutting edge renovation. Companies on 99 Designs are allowed to name their own price, which means a promising design on a budget.
However you choose to go about it, a bold design dusts off the cobwebs on your old page and keeps it fresh for years to come.

2. Use HTML5 ... With Care
For the last couple years, people have been buzzing about HTML5, and it's not just chatter; HTML5 offers a lot of exciting flexibility that can make a website truly interactive. Seamlessly embedded videos, drag-and-drop interfaces and dynamic message posts are all achievable via HTML5, and with relatively little code work.
But it's not enough to just call up your freelance web designer and throw up some HTML5 features. As with any programming language, there's always an issue of browser compatibility. While your new and shiny UI outfitted with dynamic HTML5 might look stunning to a user running on the latest version of Chrome, your high-tech page may look like a series of broken features -- or nothing at all -- to a less tech-savvy user running Internet Explorer 7 (and there's a lot of them).
This issue has been longstanding in the Internet world, but there are precautions to take in order to ensure that every user has a pleasurable experience on your website without you making a major investment. Modernizr is an open-source, JavaScript-based tool that offers feature detection for HTML5, and it's just-as-snazzy brother CSS3. Instead of doing simple browser detection, Modernizr will figure out just what features the user's browser can support and react accordingly. If a user is operating on an incompatible browser, then Modernizr will automatically decide whether to switch to a JavaScript-based fallback of the features or just create a downgraded version.
Make no mistake, this solution shouldn't be implemented by a newbie to code, but it does provide a simple way to implement exciting and revolutionary features while still providing support for the little guys.

3. Cut the Fat
The traditional layouts for websites often call for separate pages that encapsulate the "About," "Contact" and other informational areas of the website. 2011 saw minimalist designs from multiple websites, and that often translated to cutting these pages in favor of a sleeker overall design (think Tumblr). Some companies chose to forgo nearly everything to produce a strongly graphical one-page website -- blogs like One Page Love and successful networking tools like Flavors.me show that people are drifting towards a bold singular statement that makes a big impact on fellow users.
As we move forward in 2012, further exploration into one-page websites is a given. But a single-page website has both its pros and cons. HTML5 can help create a one-page website that cleverly contains all necessary information via pop-up boxes or other media, but the amount of information that can be on a one-page website is still relatively limited. Do you want your website to make a bold statement about your company and focus less on a blog-style format? If so, a one-page website could be right in your wheelhouse. Are you more interested in showing off testimonials, case studies and blogs from your employees? If yes, then this trend would be worth passing on.
However, that doesn't mean to forgo trimming entirely. Culling the best parts of your website and truncating the rest will result in a sleeker, more intuitive design -- and sleek never goes out of style.

4. Tie in Social Media Intelligently

This tip could also be titled "Quit it With the Widgets." Announcing your social media presence on your own website is an absolute necessity, but it needs to be done with care. Automatically updating widgets that stream in social media presence seems intrusive and outdated, not to mention that they can be a hassle for a DIY designer to install and maintain.
To put it simply, social media should absolutely be a presence on a business website, but it should not be a dominating presence. Integrating social media, whether in graphic links or a social ticker, should be done with the user's eyes in mind. It's simple on paper, but can be difficult to execute. When social media is done intelligently and with consideration, your website instantly will look socially connected and organized.
Are there any other ways you're keeping your website ahead of the game? Let us know in the comments.

YouTube Account Monetization

Your YouTube account might be eligible to earn revenue from the playbacks of your videos.http://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gif

Making money from your videos is easy. Here's how it works: First sign into your YouTube account. Then review and complete the steps outlined here: youtube.com/account monetization.

If your account is enabled, we may place ads next to the videos you submit for monetization. You will earn a share of the revenue from the ads as long as you meet the program requirements.

AdWords: Local Online Advertising

Analytics tracks the traffic on your website. There's a new way to help you attract more visitors to your site. We just released a version of AdWords that makes advertising on Google super simple for businesses with a local storefront, office, or service -- it's called AdWords Express.

Here's how it works: AdWords Express displays your ads next to search results on Google Search and Maps as users search for the type of product or service that you are offering. What this means is, you reach just the right people at just the right time, whether they're searching on laptops or mobile phones. AdWords Express uses Google's powerful technology and advertising data to automatically manage your ad for you, and you'll see the results in Analytics. Click here to learn more about AdWords Express.

Tumblr - New Business Microblogging Platform

What It Does: Microblogging platformhttp://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gif
Founder: David Karp, 23
Web Site: www.tumblr.com
Based: New York

In 2005, David Karp was running his software consulting business, developing new media for big media companies. He got the idea for Tumblr after becoming captivated by a new form of blogging known as "tumblelogging" that presented material of various formats (such as text, photo, and video) in a stream. While building a tumblelog for himself, the programmer realized other fans of the form would want to use a simple tool that would allow them to create their own. So during a two-week window between consulting jobs, Karp, who first started coding when he was 11, created the first iteration of such a tool designed with speed, ease of use, and customization in mind. Launched in 2007 for general consumption, the Tumblr platform now has 1.8 million users and has landed $5.5 million in venture capital from two rounds of funding with Union Square Ventures and Spark Capital. Karp, 23, says the 10-person company is not making money yet but will be experimenting with revenue-generating features this quarter. "Goal No. 1 is growth. We're aiming this thing for a mainstream audience."

Channeladvisor Webinars

ChannelAdvisor provides you with access to the top e-commerce channels worldwide. With a single inventory feed, you can access hundreds of online channels with ease.

ChannelAdvisor is changing the rules of e-commerce. We know that behind every online transaction, there’s a real person searching for that perfect product. We make it easy for retailers worldwide to cut through the clutter and be discovered by that person, every time.

These webinars will be delivered to you via email. To view these webinars, you will need the current Windows media player. For Mac users, please install flip4mac to view this video.

Download Webcasts by providing your name, e-mail, phone and company name.

Building Social Commerce with the Facebook Platform
• Principles of Social Design
• Integrating Facebook into your website
• How leading retailers are currently using Facebook
• Overview of Facebook Ads

Gain Better Insight and Seller Tactics with Amazon 360

• New Features Include Amazon 360
• Comparison Shopping Merchandiser
• Buy.com Upgrades

Understanding Google’s E-Commerce Landscape
• How this new functionality will affect your Adwords and Product Search programs.
• What these changes mean for natural search results.
• How this changes search engine optimization and marketing through social media.


Big Changes to Facebook: What You Need to Do

by Susan Kuchinskas

Facebook is in the process of rolling out three new features that you should know about. Why should you care? Because, early last year, Facebook became the top website in the United States, surpassing Google, and it's remained the most visited site since then, according to Experian Hitwise.

Facebook is where your customers are -- as well as your competitors. Putting up a page is no longer enough.

Here's what's new:

• New design for profiles
• Rolling out Facebook Messages
• Offering deals

Let's take a look at what you need to do right now.

Brighten up your profile.

All business pages will automatically upgrade to include this new feature on March 11, although Facebook has let businesses manually upgrade ahead of that. With the new profile, the most recent photos that you post to your wall or photos that you tag your page in will be displayed in a row along the top of the page. Unlike with personal Facebook profiles, this area will not include any photos posted by your fans.

This feature gives your page visual interest -- but if you don't take the time to post photos, Facebook will automatically grab elements from your page and leave the rest of the squares blank. Your page will look drab and deserted.

Be imaginative and play with this. You can post photos of yourself and your staff, your location, products, book covers, personnel in action, even the office cat.

Don't get lost in the shuffle.

People can now opt for an e-mail address @Facebook.com. Messages, chats and texts all show up in the same place.

Facebook began offering Messages to all users on February 11. And you should definitely pay attention, according to Simms Jenkins, CEO of Brightwave Marketing, a digital marketing agency. The change reflects the way young people communicate, with a preference for texting and Facebook, according to Jenkins.

"They want these messages to read as a thread, rather than in a clunky inbox," he says.

While you now reach most or all of your e-mail subscribers through traditional providers, you should monitor your list for prospects who are using the @Facebook.com domain, he says. You will need to mail to them differently.

"If you get a message that isn't from one of your friends or a brand you're a fan of, it will end up in the Other folder," he explains. "That might as well be a spam folder."

In fact, the Other folder might be worse. Most e-mail applications at least show a Junk folder, but Facebook's Other folder will be automatically hidden from view.

He advises you to segment your @Facebook.com users and encourage them to move your messages from the Other folder; once they do so, future e-mails will arrive in their message threads. You can also ramp up your efforts to get them to "like" your page.

Bring prospects to your door.

Last August, Facebook launched Places, a service that lets people broadcast their locations via an iPhone app or smartphone Web browser. The idea is to let your friends know you're around by "checking in" to a café, restaurant or other venue. The social network followed this up in November with Facebook Deals. The service lets you reach prospects when they're nearby.

"For a small business with a loyal following, for example a café, people checking in there provides free advertising and spreading the word in a way that doesn't cost anything. Others see that so and so is there, and think, 'That's a place I should check out,'" says Victoria Ransom, CEO of Wildfire Interactive, a company that provides simple tools for launching social media marketing campaigns.

If you don't have that loyal following, Facebook Deals may be the answer.

First, you need to claim your Facebook Place, and then sign up for the Deals service. Then, when a Facebook user checks in to a location near you, you can offer digital coupons to lure him or her to your business. Customers do not need to have previously liked your page to take advantage of your deal.

"It's fantastic if you can get people to spontaneously check in to your business, but it's a lot easier if you have a deal associated with it," says Ransom. "Deals opens a connection between the online world and your small business offline."