Using Thumbnails to GRAB Attention (and Traffic) on Twitter and Facebook

The words free and advertising don’t often go together in real life. Getting more site traffic takes time and effort, finding a way to effortlessly gain more clicks is always good news.

A method for generating more traffic quickly was right in front of me. Banners brought a lot of attention to my site, but not every format allows this type of advertising. Then I discovered another way to use the same pull of a banner that did work in almost in any format.

Social media sites like Twitter, and Facebook, where typical banner advertising is not allowed does have another way to utilize the same drawing power.

Thumbnails can advertise your site as easily as a banner will. The best news is this tool is less expensive to have created and is welcomed with open arms on most social sites.

Smaller Package, Better Visibility

Since thumbnails are allowed on Facebook, Twitter, and similar sites, they become visible. Blogs, chat forums, and other social media sites enthusiastically welcome users to upload a thumbnail with open arms.

My guess as to the reason that thumbnails do not receive the attention they are due is because most people never realize how efficient they can be in helping to generate that click.

Using the Thumbnail to Generate Attention

The thumbnail is really a smaller, and more portable type of banner ad. While leaving a message through many types of social media such as posting on Facebook, or using Twitter your thumbnail works the same as banner ad would in giving anyone who sees it a view of your message.

Thumbnails can be designed and created in many different sizes. Having a selection on hand for the different websites you will visit that allow thumbnails is great idea. Common pixel sizes are 50×50, 80×80, 100×100, 170×170, or 200×200. The pixel that is recommended for iTunes is 600×600.

My wife Arlene created a popular website called She found out how well thumbnails could work in generating interest in her podcast by using professional and descriptive graphics.

 Use Thumbnails to Grab Attention

Having thumbnails created by a professional could be done at a low cost, and Arlene had two sets created, one with her website address which is already descriptive in what the site is about and one that promotes her podcast.

Simple Ways to Generate Traffic

When working online the easiest ways often work the best for you. That is why the technique for promoting a product or service with a banner is very effective. It’s easy to use and can be re-used often. Thumbnails are just as usable and can bring that same exposure on sites where banners can’t be utilized.

Using Facebook and Twitter to Build Your Brand

Using social media sites like Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn business have found a natural for introducing their products and services to people via numerous exposures online. This is the best type of promotionfree! :)

A well thought out and carefully designed thumbnail can even offer a tempting link back to your website from many social media sites. A plain picture or name doesn’t necessarily carry the message you want, or create the desire of everyone viewing it to click the link and go to your site. Having a professional graphic can gain attention instantly giving those viewing it a reason to want to know more.

Businesses Gain Attention on Facebook and Twitter

Online retailers, affiliate marketers, promoters or really anyone using website promotions will find it’s smart to have a set of banners and thumbnails of various sizes.

In the same way, a carefully crafted banner draws attention so too does a well-designed thumbnail establish and build your brand, which can then increase click through rates to your site.

Your thumbnail can bring more people to your site wherever you blog, chat in a forum, or leave a comment on someone else site. No matter where you go online, this can work as a continuous draw for your site.

Get Tons of Traffic for Your Site

Thumbnails have the drawing power to bring thousands to your site. And because thumbnails have more applications in many more places, these smaller versions of banners are more versatile and adaptable.

Grabbing Attention is Key

Polished, professional, and personable thumbnail graphics grab attention. Thinking of thumbnails you might have clicked on or followed back yourself chances are good these carried an image that first caught your attention, and then made you want to know more. You can even give your photo some retouching from a professional.

Posts or Tweets With More Power

As you post a tweet on Twitter, or make a comment on someone else wall in Facebook a thumbnail speaks for you. The greater number of times you use these sites with your thumbnail representing you the more clicks you will see.

I have found this to be true on sites such as Kitcars where I am a frequent poster. Most major blogs where you write, post, or even simply respond to a message, as a commenter will allow the use of thumbnails. With the thumbnail, you are not a ‘John Smith’ type of poster, and people will want to know more about you. Following your interesting thumbnail link thousands will pick up the trail to your site’s door.

Creating a Dynamic Thumbnail Graphic

1. Use a Good Photo

You don’t need to hire a professional photographer to get the best feature all photos need most your smile. A smile is a welcome, and people instinctively respond to you. The background should limited and professional, and be sure there is enough light. A digital photo will work just as well as one taken by a professional camera. A photo retoucher can often help work out problems with a photo you want to use.

2. Find a Graphic Pro

Hiring a professional graphics designer will go a long way to getting the best thumbnail possible. Professionals will have software that can give your graphics a smoother, perfect look. A pro can even retouch your photo to look its best on a thumbnail. Arlene had several thumbnails inexpensively created for her by a professional and she was happy with the results.

3. Keep Text Simple

The wording on graphics should be short and get your point across. The name of the site and a word or two such as Arlene did with by using the name of her site and ‘Podcast’ conveys a clear message. Too much text will detract from the message.

4. Find a Style

Once you find a look that works for you don’t keep changing it. Changing too often will confuse those viewing it and they might not remember you as easily. Keep details between your thumbnail, website, and brand as similar as possible.
Give It Drawing Power

Should you think I’m making a big deal over something that is very simple consider this: the saying that people judge a book by it’s cover is true, and your thumbnail is going to be the cover for every Twitter tweet, Facebook and blog comment, or chat forum thread. Over time, this can number into the thousands of images all working for your site or other promotion.

As Arlene worked on her site and wanted thumbnails created, she decided to use a source she used previously with success. Since she had much of the work for her site done using a service provider site, she quickly found a professional do a touch up on her photo and use a few simple words to convey her message.

As the mother of a child with epilepsy, she wanted to reach as many other mothers as possible who might be facing the same challenges making this site important to her. This was a job she had to keep on a budget, and the results were exactly what she wanted.

She also had a professional graphic designer create banner ads, header graphics, and an image for the audio player she features on her home page. Using these types of sites, a professional is not expensive, because there are many professional writers, technical pros, and others all competing for jobs. Easily negotiating with someone to handle any budgeted job from clerical to a web design is not difficult.

Never Miss Your Chance –Gravatar

Not too long ago I found myself at a site and wanted to post my thumbnail after making a comment. Looking through the settings however, I wasn’t able to find how to add the thumbnail.

After some searching, I was able to find out that many places where you find blogs, chat forums, and commenting boards use a system called Gravatar service to place thumbnails.

Going to I realized that all I had to do was upload the thumbnail on this site, and then give it an assigned email address. From that point on all I had to do was go to any place I wanted to comment or post and use my email address in the usual field and my thumbnail appears without my having to do anything else.

Not A Secret From You

A professionally created thumbnail graphic can provide you with a constant stream of traffic to your website at no cost. With a little effort getting your thumbnails designed, you will be ready to go.

Over to You

Are you satisfied with the thumbnail you have now?

This is a guest post by:

James Martell started his own affiliate marketing business in 1999. Now, a sought after speaker at industry conferences his insights into outsourcing, marketing and natural search are also shared in a popular podcast. James and Arlene live near the seaside in Vancouver with their children.

AdSense For Search Now Powered By Custom Search

AdSense for search

Google announces, today Tuesday 6th May 2008, that AdSense for search is now powered by Custom Search. This means a lot new enhancements and boost for those using and earning a from AdSense for search.

The integration of Custom Search into AdSense for search, will allow you to take advantage of (Custom Search Engine) CSE’s most popular features as listed below:

=> Site Search
=> Improved indexing of your pages
=> Vertical search
=> Tuning search results and ads with keywords
=> Selecting ad location
=> Quick and easy updates

Here’s a video to help you understand things:

For a complete detail and explanation, head on to the AdSense blog.

Good luck with your Adsense earnings! 😉

Should you go with a Flash-Based Website ?

let’s try to see the possible advantages and disadvantages to help you judge whether a Flash-based website will suit you..
Likely Benefits:

1) Interactivity

Flash’s Actionscript opens up a vast field of possibilities. Programmers and designers have used Flash to create interactve features ranging from very lively feedback forms to attractive Flash-based games. This whole new level of interactivity will always leave visitors coming back for more.

2) A standardized site

With Flash, you do not have to worry about cross-browser compatibility. No more “Why you should test your blog with several browsers“. Then you position your site elements in Flash, they will always appear as they are as long as the user has Flash Player installed.

3) Enhanced visual appearance – expressions and emotions conveyed better via animations.

In Flash, one can make use of its animating features to convey a message in a much more efficient and effective way. Flash is a lightweight option for animation because it is vector based (and hence smaller file sizes) as opposed to real “movie files” that are raster based and hence much larger in size.

The likely disadvantage you might expect:

A) Extra effort to download and install The Flash player

People have to download the Flash player in advance before they can view Flash movies, so by using Flash your visitor range will decrease considerably because not everyone will be willing to download the Flash player just to view your site. You’ll also have to put in additional work in redirecting the user to the Flash download page if he or she doesn’t have the player installed.

B) Site optimization

If your content was presented in Flash, most search engines wouldn’t be able to index your content. Hence, you will not be able to rank well in search engines and there will be less traffic heading to your site.

C) Loading time

Users have to wait longer than usual to load Flash content compared to regular text and images, and some visitors might just lose their patience and click the Back button. The longer your Flash takes to load, the more you risk losing visitors.

The best way to go is to use Flash only when you absolutely need the interactivity and motion that comes with it. Otherwise, use a mixture of Flash and HTML. But I will advise you to go HTML/CSS/Javascript/PHP (The best combination IMHO)

Suggested reading:
=> Search Engine Friendly Pages
=> Reducing Load Time Through Image Optimization
=> Website Customization: What can you do to improve the layout of your blog or website?
=> Website, a Subset of a Blog?

Website Customization: What can you do to improve the layout of your blog or website?

website customization

Who would not like his/her website to look good and attractive? Not me, and I guess you agree with me. 😉
I will talk on two important aspects which is the the bedrock of the look-and-feel of a website; Color Schemes and Themes

1) Color Schemes

When designing, always choose matching colors. An example of a matching color would be to have a dark background, with visible words and designs. With the dark theme, try not to mix too many bright colors into the design. What we should NEVER do, is to mix two very different colors, such as purple and yellow. Now, of course, it would depend on the purpose of the website, but those two colors are too striking for one who wants it to look more professional.

I will advice you to use this type of free and very effective online tool, presented by Colors On The Web

2) Themes
Themes must always suit the aim of your website or blog. If a blog was made to cater for a food stuffs, it would be wise to stick to that particular category, rather than to revert to a different theme, such as machinery. Keep everything focused!

2.1) Fonts
Fonts should be used in regard to the formality of the website. A simple sans-serif font would suffice in most cases. Exceptional cases such as design and art groups might want to use fanciful designs and fonts. Of course, thats only if you know what you’re doing.

2.2) Pictures
We must always try to think of our visitors, see the way they see. The resolutions and file sizes of the pictures must not be too large in terms of size. This is to allow maximum compatibility and cater our visitors needs.

So, planning is something we should always do, before attempting something. But it all depends on your own creativity!

Other recommended reading:
1) Is a blog the platform you need?
2) Reducing Load Time Through Image Optimization
3) Upload your own image on the Internet, can you?

Uploading your own image on the Internet, how to do it?


Did you ever wanted to show your friends your favorite image or a pic that you have just made or found?
Did you ever wanted to upload your avatar on the net to use it on forums or your blog? I bet that most of you have that strong will, since all “internaut” needs to keep such things handy. :)
This small guide are for people who do not have much experience on the net and yet wants to be trendy :)

Lets, start this small journey..

Before going further, have a look at some specific words and their definition:

  1. Image fileimage file usually ends with the following ‘extensions’: jpg, gif, png, bmp, psd and tiff..etc These different extensions gives a clue of the ‘type of image‘ you are using.
  2. Image Sharing – This is the process of showing your picture or any image from your pc to anyone you want via the Internet. You do this by sharing the ‘link‘ of your image (once uploaded)
    A simple link might look like this:
  3. Image Uploading – In a layman’s term, it is the process of “taking a picture or image from your computer and storing it on a server on the internet.”
  4. Image Hosting – Is The service which allows you to upload your image on the internet.

Image Hosting services are now becoming increasingly available free of charge. Now I guess you are wondering how then will the owner of that service pay the cost of maintaining his server? (Hint: They accrue profit from advertisements and sponsors)

Good, now let’s head to the actual steps:

Step 1:
Choose an Image Hosting Service and open it in your browser. We will be using as our Image Hosting Service.

Step 2:
Click on “Choose” as shown by the red arrow in the picture below

Step 3:
A small window will pop-up in front of you. This is where you will select the image from your computer. Once you have selected the image from your desktop or my documents or whichever place it is on your pc, click on “Open” or “OK“.
See image below:

Step 4:
Now click on “Host it!” and wait for some few minutes for the process to complete
(See image)

Step 5:
Once uploaded, you will be redirected on a new page where you will find different “types” of link for your uploaded image.
Scroll Down the page and select the link where you see “Direct link to image”.
The link will look something like: “
(See image below)

=> Before uploading your image, take careful observation of the size of your image + the type of your image and the size/type allowed by the Hosting Service. If your image does not match the requirements of the Service, you will not be able to upload your image.

=> Google for “Image Hosting Service” to know the different services available and see what additional features they provide, for instance more uploading image size allowed, more types of images allowed..etc

=> For our example above, I have chosen Image Shack, since I have been using it for the last 4 years and it has been very handy for my purposes. It is a stable Service.
Usually you will want to choose for a Service which has been in the business for a long time and which is popular.. but usually the best policy is to try them out and judge for yourself 😉

Happy Uploading!