How To Create A Stripe Account

Screenshot of Stripe login page

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 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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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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Fotosizer for Small Businesses

Simple Small Portable Business

Fotosizer – Convert all your pictures for the Internet with one click.


Fotosizer is a free program, (at this time), that has saved me and thousands of other people hundreds of hours resizing pictures to load on the Internet. It is easy to set up, easy to use and best of all there is a standard and portable version.

Whether it is uploading pictures for Facebook, Picasa, sending pictures to a friend in email or uploading pictures to your website, almost everyone these days uses digital pictures in one way or another. For businesses, this tiny program can be worth a lot in time savings.

Here is something in which many people are not aware. Pictures from your camera are quite often three to four times higher resolution than you need for most Internet applications. A picture that has a resolution of 300 dpi will look much better than a 72 dpi picture when printed at a photo center or on your computer. However, when viewed on the Internet, there is almost no noticeable difference between the two. That is, except for the size of the file and the speed at which it loads on the viewers screen. It also makes a big difference when trying to send these files as attachments or uploading to your website. The larger files can take forever to send and in some cases limit how many pictures you can send at one time.

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Business Marketing 101 – Sell The Sizzle Not The Steak!

or in other words “Your Customers Don’t Care!”

If you have been around anyone vaguely interested in marketing, you have probably heard the saying “Sell the Sizzle NOT the Steak”. Another form of this expression is “Sell the Benefits NOT the Features”. Or perhaps you have heard it put like this, “Sell People What They Want, NOT What They Need”.

Anyway you say it, it all comes down to the simple fact that people “Buy on Emotion and Justify Their Purchases Using Facts“. As a small business owner you have got to work very hard at knowing when to sell the sizzle and when to sell the steak. Trust me, you are at a great disadvantage here. This really is where an outsider, such as someone who specializes in marketing, can be of great help to you. Someone who is not infected with the “we know what went into to making this” virus.

Face it, people don’t care how long you have struggled, how much money you have invested or how many years of your life it took to bring your service or product to fruition. Don’t waste valuable attention time by trying to sell someone on these things. Ask yourself one thing and one thing only. From the customer’s point of view – “What is in it for ME?“.

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