How To Create A Stripe Account

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At Castlewood Studios (our Website & Internet Marketing business) we get a lot of clients wanting to sell items on their website. If you want to accept credit and debit cards and online payments, a free Stripe account is a great way to go about it. Here we’ll show you how to easily create your business Stripe account, step-by-step.

If you’re looking for a way to accept credit/debit cards and digital payments online, then you should consider creating a Stripe account. Why choose Stripe over something like Paypal? Both are great options, and both charge roughly the same processing fees. However, Stripe has one advantage over Paypal – combined with a free WordPress plugin, it will allow you to easily add inventory-controlled buttons to the most basic websites or blogs.

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A Free and Easy eCommerce Solution Using Stripe Buttons

If you’re looking for a way to easily manage inventory on your WordPress website without making the leap into a full-blown eCommerce solution, Stripe Payments is a wonderfully quick and easy solution for you and your customers. Let’s discuss why you’d need it, how it works, and how to implement it on your site. But first, a little background.

Castlewood Studios in Lebanon, Missouri (my employer), provides website design and management services across the country to all kinds of businesses, from event coordinators to electricians to Government offices and nonprofits. Each comes to us with their own unique needs and requirements, relying on us to find a solution to their specific problems. Fortunately, that’s something we enjoy helping with!

If you’d like to discuss how Castlewood Studios’s services can help your business grow, Contact Us today!

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The Best Style of Website For Your Business

Choosing style over substance could doom your business website

Nice looking header, but unneeded animations and way too much content on the homepage bring mrbottle.com down.

If you’re considering building a business website, you might have wondered what style you should use. Should you go with bright colors and animated graphics that give a feeling of fun and freshness? Or abstain from unnecessary distractions, using somber tones of blue and grey to denote a serious, professional appearance?

Do a Google search on the subject and you’ll quickly discover that everyone has an opinion on the matter. As a website designer who’s spoken with many clients and has built my fair share of websites over the years, here’s my advice: the “style” you choose ultimately matters far less than its speed and ease of use. Read on and I’ll explain why, as well as provide a couple examples and exceptions to the rule.

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Do I Need a Business Website?

The Hidden Dangers of Marketing on Other People’s Sites

Imagine you’ve worked for over a decade to build your business’ reputation and brand awareness. Then, one day, somebody you’ve never even spoken to decides to take it all down as a punishment for some minor infraction, then refuses to hear your appeals or even listen to you. Some business owners don’t have to imagine – they’ve already lived through it, and have the scars to prove it. If you’d like to learn how to protect your business from a similar fate, then read on.

A Story of Hope and Loss

Meet Hope (not her real name, obviously). Hope had started her small business over 10 years ago armed with

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5 Steps to Becoming the Master of Your Domain (Name)

Don’t Take Chances With Your Business’ Online Presence

Your domain name is like the deed to your property, except in this case it is your business’ online presence, as well as its headquarters on the Internet. Castlewood Studios has helped scores of businesses of all kinds sell products and services online, and over the years we’ve battled time and time again with issues related to lost, expired, or forgotten domain names. Sometimes we could help our clients regain control, but other times even we couldn’t do anything to help, and their businesses lost revenue and resources as a result. In an effort to help your business avoid such costly mistakes, we’ve put together a list of five things you need

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What Is Split Testing (A/B Testing) In Marketing?

*This post was originally published on CastlewoodStudios.com, and is republished here with permission.

meet the chumbeques

From those promoting global corporations down to those crafting ads for the smallest businesses, advertisers of every size know that choosing the wrong words, colors, or images can harm the effectiveness of a particular advertisement, potentially scaring away the very people they’re trying to entice. For this reason, advertisers spend a great deal of time, money, and effort trying to make sure their ads are as effective as possible.

But how can you know beforehand if your ads really will be effective, and not just a waste of time? By testing their ads against one another in a process called multi-variant testing, split testing, or A/B testing.

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How To Set Up A Business Pinterest Account

Ever heard of a little something called “Pinterest”? If you haven’t, just know that it has rapidly become a big deal in the business world, with even companies like McDonald’s and Wal-Mart using it to promote their interests. Essentially, it’s a visual search-engine, as well as something of a poster-child for online marketing. But it’s not just another trendy social media company; it’s a giant, and it’s getting bigger and stronger every day.

Created in 2010, by September 2015 Pinterest had already surpassed 100 million active monthly users, and was valued at more than $11 billion dollars! With that kind of growth, it’s no surprise that businesses of all kinds and sizes are rushing to “pin” their products, services, and brands to the hearts and minds of Pinterest users all over the globe. So the only question left is: why aren’t you?

ssb how to bus pinterest

Maybe it’s because you’re not familiar with Pinterest, and creating and using an account seems intimidating. If that’s the case, relax; it’s actually pretty easy. Sit back, crack open a refreshing beverage, and let us show you, step by step, just how easy it is to get your business on Pinterest.

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How To Create A Facebook Business Page

How To Use Facebook To Market Your Business: Part 1- Setting Up Your Business Page

ssb how to bus facebookFor many individuals, Facebook is the greatest thing ever invented. Others think it’s an utter waste of time. But regardless of how you personally view it, the truth is Facebook has grown into a powerful tool for marketing businesses of all kinds. With over 1.5 billion people actively using Facebook each month, it’s a great platform to reach audiences and customers you’d never encounter otherwise, and learning how to use it to promote your products and services might just give your business the marketing boost you’ve been looking for.

In this article, we’ll show you how to create a Facebook Business page from beginning to end, and when we’re done, you’ll know everything you need to create your own Facebook Business page in just a matter of minutes, no matter how familiar you are with computers or online marketing. Of course, simply setting up your account merely scratches the surface of what Facebook can do for your business, since it also offers one of the best online-marketing systems currently available, but we’ll cover that in a future article.

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Review of “How to Get Rich” by Felix Dennis

How to Get Rich by Felix Dennis

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Blunt, Yet Sharp

Bluntness is the first word that comes to mind as I begin this review, and it’s the best part of this book. I like it, I try to use it, and I appreciate others who don’t waste time getting to the point. Mr. Dennis is very blunt and direct. The founder of Maxim magazine and publisher of about fifty other magazines, he started from nothing. Today, he estimates his net worth is between 400 and 900 million dollars. While that’s a big gap in his estimated figures, one thing is certain; he more than qualifies to be in the “rich” category.

The worst thing about this book is the title. I turned the book face down and hid it in a drawer as I was reading it. I am sure that if any of my friends saw the title, they would laugh at my naivety and gullibility for thinking a book would help me become rich. I would not have even picked this book up off the shelf had it not been for someone’s recommendation, who said it is really about the focus, determination and discipline needed to start and grow a simple small business into a successful one.

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Starting a New Business: How to Form an LLC in 1 Afternoon

Get Email Notification Button 169x73x96We recently needed to form an entirely new company from scratch. Being entrepreneurs, and having limited spare time, we needed a way to do it as quickly and efficiently as possible. In the end, we were able to do everything, from verifying our business’ name to obtaining a tax ID to registering with the Secretary of State, all in one afternoon.

Of course, you shouldn’t create your own LLC in one afternoon unless you’ve already put in a great deal of time and thought. That said, we’d like to show you it’s actually much quicker and easier to form an LLC than you might think. We’ve laid out our experiences below in hopes that it helps others interested in forming an LLC understand the process, and to show just how quickly and easily it can be done.

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