Editor’s note: This post was written by Gary Dek, the blogger behind www.StartABlog123.com as well as a dozen other niche sites. He offers amateur and professional bloggers digital marketing advice relating to building sustainable online businesses.
It only takes people a few seconds to decide if they want to browse a site further than the homepage. In an age where every website has dozens of direct competitors, it is critical to get people to stop and read your content. A clean and elegant design coupled with easy navigation, simple blog structure, and immensely useful content can lower your bounce rate and improve user interaction.
By focusing on the user experience, this article will provide you with ideas that can be implemented to enhance your readers’ experience so that they will want to continue reading and share your work. Here are some blog design tips to help you achieve this. Read More
Maybe you’ve had your email account hacked – discovering the breach only when friends let you know they’ve received a weird email that you never sent. When this happened to me, I simply changed my password and moved on. Unfortunately, not all hacking attempts are so innocuous. If you become the victim of online identity theft, it can take lots of time and money to repair the damage. According to Javelin Research, it costs $631 on average to clear up a single identity theft. Don’t fall prey to those who would damage your credit and peace of mind – here are six tips to protect your identity on the Internet, especially if you work online.
Good morning, everyone! What did you do over the weekend? Were you following the World Cup? If so, then I’m guessing it’s back to regular programming for you now, so here are the job board highlights from last week.
Good luck, and have a great week ahead!
OTR Global is looking for a cyclical reporter whose responsibilities will include interviewing and developing industry sources and working with OTR’s research team to expand its Cyclicals coverage. This includes but is not limited to construction, transportation and renewable energy markets. Sources include equipment distributors, project developers, component suppliers and other individuals in the supply chain of various public companies.
It’s no secret we love WordPress, and every time something significant comes up, we can’t wait to test it out. Yesterday, WordPress.org announced that WordPress 4.0 Beta 1 is out.
Of course, it comes with the usual warning that it is still in development – that’s why it’s a Beta – and that it is not recommended that you run it on a live site. Still, that doesn’t mean you cannot play with it! Read More
Launching and running a successful online business and publishing career depends greatly on your ability to continuously acquire and please clients and securing a healthy cash flow. Satisfied clients equal greater potential for profits and success. However, getting the client through the door, closing the sales and acquiring profitable traffic are only small pieces of the puzzle. Seeing projects through to completion and delivering on the clients expectations are key.
Unfortunately, many freelancers and businesses suffer and lack the dedication and organizational skills to follow through; leading to many frustrated and disappointed clients. Many failed projects are not necessarily from lack of skill on part of the web developer, writer or designer but due to poor time and project management skills.
Time tracking is a powerful way to gain control of your clients’ projects and can mean a world of difference as you work to standout. Also, as technology advances and we witness the rise of products like Evernote and Coggle and other design and productivity tools, we gain a better ability to produce stronger results.
Here are some powerful reasons why time tracking is one of the most important practices you can adopt in your practice.
Prevent Creative Fatigue & Burnout
Unfortunately, we’re humans and we will not always possess the energy and drive to work 24/7 passionately with enthusiasm and vigor. It’s simply not possible. There will be down time as we attempt to bang away at the keyboard to get in as much as possible.
This leads to burnout and it will do you more harm than good working excessively at any task without allotting time for breaks and leisure. Using time-tracking as a method of limiting the hours spent on creative work before taking a break or end the day will prevent your brain from crashing and burning. This keeps your mind fresh and in a healthy state for new ideas when you return.
Take note from some of history’s creative geniuses like Ludwig van Beethoven, who although worked very hard at their art, set limits on work and spent time on leisure and mental recovery. Time tracking simply helps you to know when to stop and accounts for the work completed, offering the satisfaction of accomplishment.
Time Tracking Keeps You Focused & Disciplined
There’s something special about taking a seat and hitting start on a timer as you begin your tasks. It creates a sense of urgency and purpose and you’re less likely to be distracted by the outside world and temptations to watch cat videos on YouTube.
A personal timer running in the background while you work makes you more aware of your time ticking away and accountable for it. It turns the working day into a challenge that feels like you’re disarming a time bomb set to destroy your home town. Without the anxiety and potential loss of life of course.
Tracking your work time is like having mini-deadlines, only, you don’t get fired for missing them. You simply brush yourself off and refocus. The important thing here is that you know exactly for what you’re accountable.
Develop a Killer Rhythm
For web developers and designers, developing work rhythms prove very beneficial, especially for repetitive and native tasks. Getting in the zone and working with the clock heightens your senses, blocks out the noise and keeps you on track.
As you log your time, you’re indirectly logging your workflow, revealing deeper insight into your creative process. This enables you to better identify and create work structures and models. Armed with this experience and knowledge, you discover the best practices and approach to client projects.
Time tracking is the best tactic for honing your skills and using your time efficiently as a designer, developer or business person. It’s like having a boss to keep you in check without the stresses that comes with a real live boss.
If you haven’t started yet or are doing it manually, here are 4 free time tracking apps that you can give a try and discover your unique work model:
1. Toggl – Create cool charts and discover the best use of your work time,
2. RescueTime – Find your ideal work-life balance.
3. Timesheet – Cool Android work time tracking app
4. Timely – Beautiful & powerful time and cost tracker
The post How to Use Time Tracking to Boost Online Marketing Success appeared first on The Blog Herald.
Editor’s note: This post was written by Alice McGlinn, who has been a tech nerd since receiving her first computer ten years ago. Since then, she’s been spending her time learning and writing about all things technology.
According to the Pew Research Internet Project, 56 percent of all adults in the U.S. own a smartphone, and the number is even higher for 20 to 30-year-olds. This is the first time since the Pew Research Center started watching smartphone trends that the majority of American adults use smartphones. Although most businesses these days have a website to represent their product or service, many of them are not mobile device-ready. Nothing will send your visitors away faster than a website that isn’t usable on a smartphone or tablet.
Becoming an online marketing professional or freelancer, making a living and building a solid reputation for yourself online is quite a challenging task, especially since there are already so many personalities online. Many of whom are experienced masters of their own art. However, the web is vast and regardless of the countless websites online, there still remain niches that are untouched and with visitors who are still searching for the perfect product or community for entertainment, knowledge and inspiration.
While you ponder on some ideas for building your online presence and reputation, think about developing your personal brand through becoming a paid writer / contributor on existing popular websites that already command great influence. Therefore, leveraging their reach and exposure. Writing for websites like Mashable and the Huffington Post can gain you massive exposure and reach in a fair amount of time that would otherwise seem impossible. However, how do you land that cool blogging job opportunity? Surely they do not accept any and everybody who applies, so what will set you apart from the masses and get you noticed by the “big dogs” online? Read More
How was Independence Day weekend? It went great for us, and we thought we’d continue celebrating with a new giveaway! We’ve partnered with CrocoBlock, one of the fastest growing WordPress theme clubs.
CrocoBlock gives you access to 70+ WordPress themes and a choice of three membership levels: Standard, Developer, and Premium. In other words, you can choose the membership that exactly matches your needs. Detailed information about each membership level is available on this page. Read More
Editor’s Note: This post was written by Sophie Turton, a writer, editor and content strategist – fascinated by digital communication. You can also check out her web site: www.freelanceadvisor.co.uk.
Twitter has over 255 million active users a month – it is a massive database, buzzing with real-time information about individuals and communities around the world. Twitter is therefore a valuable source of information for online sales and digital content teams, as well as professional bloggers, who can benefit greatly from easy, personalised communication with prospects, as well as readers and consumers.
A Social Database
Twitter is an interconnected game of follow the leader – if you are savvy, you can use it to start far-reaching conversations, as well as plug into those conversations relevant to your publication or brand.
We hear often of the importance of putting information out there on social media and using these platforms to gain followers and develop a valuable community. Twitter presents an alternative method to target and connect with your audience on a personal level and learn about their habits, interests and concerns. This provides a unique opportunity to understand what information your target audience is looking for, how they interact with content and therefore the most effective way to provide it.
Twitter also offers a great opportunity to jump on the back of social trends. For example, you may notice that Game of Thrones is a (pretty darn massive) current trend that lends itself to a plethora of content ideas – a travel blog may write a piece about destinations that resemble those in the book/tv show, a freelance advice blog may write a ‘five things I learnt from Game of Thrones’ advice piece. Shove #GameofThrones on the end of your tweet, complete with the link and a nifty image, and let the wildlings flood in.
Hashtags Are More Than Just A Trend
Hashtags allow you to plug into a conversation and get your tweet, and the content attached to it, noticed. Effective use of hashtags could catapult your content further – therefore reaching far more people – than if you rely on your social channels alone.
Look out for any big event or social movement that relates to your blog, use it for inspiration for a post and then wop in the official hashtag. You will quickly see how many more people retweet, favourite and follow, which will hopefully also lead to a higher click-through and potential conversion rate.
Tweetreach is a great way to assess how far your tweet, and others like it, have reached and gives you the opportunity to analyse what hashtags are most effective. As an example, the hashtag #GameofThrones was used in a sample of 50 tweets and reached almost 130,000 Twitter accounts.
Keywords are Vital
Keyword searches are another brilliant way to identify your target audience. For instance, I am a writer targeting the freelance market so my keywords are very specifically focussed on freelancers and contractors. By setting up a keyword search in Hootsuite, I am able to gather every tweet that uses the word ‘contractor’ and ‘freelance’ and can analyse this data to more efficiently and effectively target my intended audience. I also keep an eye out for recurrent themes – is there a tax issue that many freelancers are discussing? What content can I provide to help solve any issue or confusion they might have?
Furthermore, you can monitor any conversations about your brand, industry or area of expertise – even when tweets don’t mention you directly – by setting up a stream in Hootsuite using a keyword search (domain name, hashtag, alternative spelling, industry, type of products you sell or topic of your blog).
Make content the solution
Look for buying or advice signals by searching for keyphrases such as ‘anyone recommend’ or ‘any advice on’ to identify those looking for immediate assistance. Once you’ve spotted an opportunity, jump in armed with a useful blog post that will help solve the problem – you can even use the information gained through Twitter, such as the person’s name, profession, interests, etc, to help you more effectively tailor your content and response.
You can then use Twitter to monitor whether the problem persists and make contact again with further information, therefore ensuring a return to the blog and adding a personal touch that could really make you stand out against your blogging competition.
And into the sales funnel
Making content the solution is a great way of engaging prospects through Twitter without immediately putting them off with the hard sell. By putting your customers at the centre of all of your content, and ensuring everything you retweet is relevant to them, you will build a community that successfully engages with and values your brand.
This doesn’t apply to all bloggers, many of whom rely on web traffic for advertisements but do not actually sell anything. However, for companies that manage a corporate blog, the most important part of the process is shimmying the prospect further down the sales process and proving the worth of your blog through increased conversions.
A story in 140 characters
Twitter is a powerful tool – not only does it give you hands-on, immediate access to your audience and target audience, it also provides a plethora of real-time information about people around the world. It can initially feel daunting and some have previously been put off using it for little more than a sharing device. However, with a little bit of savvy and some serious gumption, you will see a significant increase in conversion rates, as well as the monthly visits to your site.
The post How to Use Twitter for Prospecting appeared first on The Blog Herald.
How did the long weekend go? I hope you’re all looking forward to a week of lots of work.
This week, we’re making some changes with the job board highlights and publishing them every Monday instead of every Friday. We hope that this will serve you better.
A social news site is looking to hire an experienced blogger/writer with his or her finger on the pulse of social media and able to find and write stories as they break or begin trending on social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram.