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15 Surprising Gmail Tricks and Secrets

Whenever it comes to email service providers, Gmail does not need any introduction. It has more than 1 billion monthly users. The factors which make Gmail popular are:

  • Simple interface
  • Easily integrated with other Google applications
  • Cloud-based storage device

The most important advantage of using a Cloud-based service is that the data can be accessed from anywhere at any time. This write-up explains the top tips and tricks to help you use Gmail efficiently and effectively for business as well as personal needs.

Make Use of Gmail in Offline Mode to Access Email Without Internet

gmail offline mode

In the main settings option of Gmail, a link to install Gmail offline will be there under the “Offline” tab. As soon as this Chrome plugin is installed, a user can search, read, reply, and archive the email even in the absence of an internet connection.

Actions are lined up and synced when an internet connection is there. This option is really helpful when there is a limited or unstable internet connection.

Using Canned Responses, Speed Up the Replies

If a user has to type the same reply continuously to a conversation, a lot of time can be saved by activating the option “Canned Responses” in Gmail. This option will be present under the Labs tab. Once this option has been enabled, it can be used by pressing on the arrow sign at the bottom right corner of the Compose New Email dialog box. The multiple scanned responses can be generated and a user can label them for easy reference.

An Option to Filter Emails With Many Aliases

Many people are not aware of the fact that dots in email addresses are neglected. So, users can send email to abc.xyz@gmail.com or abcxyz@gmail.com, and this will not make any difference.

A user can also add words at the end of the usual alias with the help of + symbol. For example, yourname+work at gmail.com or yourname+family at gmail.com. Such email addresses will not require any special setting. They will go to the inbox folder by default.

The filtering option makes this option really helpful. As the emails hit the inbox, a user can apply filtering option to forward it to some specific people, set labels to archive or label the emails automatically. This way, emails are sorted even before a user saw them.

Withdraw Sent Messages

It happens with everybody: a user hits the send button and then regrets it. Maybe a user has sent an email to the wrong person or committed a mistake that has been realized too late.

Fortunately, Gmail provides an option to cancel sent items in Gmail. But, for that, a user has to enable that option.

Navigate to the General tab of Settings. Enable the option of Undo Settings and select a time limit. A user has a maximum of 30 seconds to cancel a sent email.

Backup Gmail Emails Locally

Even though emails are backed up in the cloud-based storage space, it clearly does not mean that there is no need to take a regular backup. It is because in case of account hacking or accidental deletion of data, a user will definitely be left will no emails.

So, the best solution is to take a backup by using Google takeout or ‘export Gmail emails to PST‘ or other file formats using SysTools Gmail Backup SOftware and saving it on the local system. This way, not even a single email will be lost.

Schedule Outgoing Emails

Sometimes, a user composes an email but did not want to send at that time. So, Gmail provides a feature to “Send Later”. For this purpose, Boomerang is a plugin for Gmail, which adds send later button to the Compose New Email dialog window. Then, choose any time to send the message later automatically.

Convert Email Into a To-Do List

Gmail equips an option of “Task” in Gmail. This inbuilt feature is very beneficial to users who use their Inbox folder as a to-do list. In this way, if a user receives an email to perform any task, it can be added to the Task list. The subject of this email will be added to your to-do list with a due date.

Speed Up the Workflow With Keyboard Shortcuts

Following shortcuts can be used for different purposes:

  • c – compose a new email
  • ⌘/Ctrl + Enter – send
  • e – archive
  • r – reply
  • / – search

For this, the option has to be activated in Settings. A plugin known as Key Rocket should be installed.

A Feature to Customize Category Tags

gmail inbox

With the help of “Social” and “Promotional” tabs, the inbox can be managed more efficiently. These tabs can be closed if a user has to use other advanced filters. Other 2 tabs that can be included are “forums” and “updates”.

Easily Unsubscribe from Newsletter

If a user has subscribed to too many newsletters, unsubscribing to them one by one will consume a lot of time. Unroll.Me will be of great help with that. A user can also select an option to receive a daily report which will combine all the relevant information in a single email.

View LinkedIn Profiles of Contacts Within Gmail

For people who use Gmail professionally, Rapportive is a very helpful plugin. This will replace Gmail ads with a summary of the sender’s LinkedIn information.

Increase the Speed of Email Responses

If a user spends a lot of time in replying to the emails, Gmail allows the user to set a time limit for writing a single email. Doing so will compel a user to be concise and write to the point without wasting the time.

Track and Follow Up the Sent Emails

In Gmail, FollowUp is a relationship manager. It will notify you when the emails are opened. It can also remind a user to follow up or sends a follow-up email automatically on behalf of the user.

Mute Noisy Messages in Gmail

In a group discussion, it is bothersome for a user to receive messages that he/she does not need. A user can mute noisy conversations in Gmail. After doing this, all the messages will skip the inbox and go directly to an archive folder.

Open Multiple Gmail Accounts at Once

Gmail facilitates the user to log in to different accounts, without signing out of the previous account.

The Bottom Line

Gmail is a cloud-based email platform which helps users save the data in the cloud. It is one of the most well-known names in the business. To make sure you get the most out of it, there are many tricks for using Gmail you’ll find handy. These 15 tips should be able to get you started right away.

See Also: How To Organize Your Gmail In 20 Minutes (And Keep It That Way)

The post 15 Surprising Gmail Tricks and Secrets appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

The Best WordPress SEO Tips You Should Totally Try

WordPress is one of the largest platforms for creating and managing a website. It offers free services for individuals and organizations which allow them to create a blog or a website. These services can be upgraded for an affordable fee by users at any time.

Another great reason for the popularity of WordPress is its massive range of SEO friendly tools and plugins. Before we get to the WordPress SEO tips, let’s try to understand first why you need a good SEO strategy.

Importance of SEO

wp seo tips

Among numerous ways of browsing the internet, the most common options people use to search for new information is through a search engine. Be it Google, Yahoo or Bing, all modern search engines use some algorithm to arrange their search results.

However, these results are often in millions and most users usually find a useful page link on the first page of search results.

There are various methods that enable website owners to place their websites at the top of search results and increase traffic. While these techniques are not proven to work instantly, they work well in increasing the visitors and ad revenue.

In today’s time, creating a website has become an excellent potential source of income for anyone. Using SEO can turn that potential into a reality.

Effective WordPress SEO techniques

WordPress has a wide range of features and tools which allow users to perform various SEO functions on their websites with ease. A few tried and tested techniques which have yielded positive results are listed below:

Friendly URL structures

Some URL structures contain the Post Name while others can include day and name, month and name, numbers or customized structures. The structures which only contain the Post Name are easy to be read by humans as well as search engines.

These can be accessed through the Permalink Settings of WordPress and may subsequently increase the chances of a page ranking higher in search engine results.

Plugins

Since WordPress is a humongous platform with support from a vast community of developers, there is a WordPress plugin available for almost anything. Users can choose to employ numerous plugins at once.

There are also some plugins which can perform many essential SEO functions. This includes “Yoast SEO” or “All in One SEO Pack” which are also free.

XML Sitemaps

This file lists all the pages on the website, making it easier for search engines to find the site’s entire content.

Although this technique does not boost the site rankings instantly, it makes finding information easier. This helps in quickly getting the initial rankings and also helps search engines to update rankings shortly after a content update.

Various SEO plugins available on WordPress can help in generating the sitemap quickly.

SEO research

Generally, when a person has to search for something on the internet, they enter phrases into the search engine.

For example, a person looking to buy a house in California will enter “real estate in California” and search for further information in the resulting links. Those phrases are known as keywords and search engines look for them in websites before arranging the search results.

WordPress plugins allow users to search for the trending keywords to include in their latest articles and posts which may lead to an increase in their ranking.

Search engines also look at the links embedded on a page, also known as backlinks. While having references and links to useful websites with relevant and high-quality content can improve a website’s ranking, using bad links may lead to the site being banned from search engines permanently.

Analytics

wordpress analytics

WordPress contains a wide range of features that can check the performance of different pages and visitor patterns.

These data can help in monitoring statistics, like the most popular pages and posts on the website. They can also be useful in planning future posts which could potentially generate more revenues.

Other features:

Various editing features can also help in improving search rankings and getting more audience.

WordPress has inbuilt features for tagging the content and dividing it into categories which makes sorting out pages on a website easier and more efficient for visitors as well as search engines. It also has other features to smoothly insert external and internal links, optimize images, etc.

A site may also rank lower if it’s unsecured or performs slowly. People don’t want to visit websites, which have previously received a bad rating or those that are simply time-consuming.

WordPress has numerous advanced features for increasing site performance and updating security which helps users to easily secure and upgrade their website.

WordPress has several more features and functions and regularly adds new ones with every update made by them. People can learn more about SEO using WordPress through official guidebooks and tutorials along with referring unofficial sources as required. Online marketers and website owners can also choose to take a detailed course to learn various uses of WordPress.

Organic SEO techniques allowed by search engines do not guarantee results within a given time. However, many online marketing experts believe that regularly updating high-quality content paired with SEO can increase traffic to a website over time.

The post The Best WordPress SEO Tips You Should Totally Try appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

How to Easily Build Your Website with AI

If you want your business to succeed in the modern world, you’re going to have to think long and hard about how to establish your online presence.

The first thing you should do is put yourself in the shoes of the client that you are trying to win over. Ask yourself: where’s the first place they’re going to look?

You guessed it – Google.

Searching on the Internet is by far the fastest way to get access to information about anything. This is why most people don’t look anywhere else.

Technology is quickly changing the way we do business. With that, our perspective also needs to change if we want to stay on top of our marketing game.

Your Online Presence

If you want your business to be found by your clientele, you have to establish a presence in the very place that they’re going to look – the world wide web. This is what having an online presence means.

If you don’t have a website or a page on social media yet, you need to ask yourself – what exactly is stopping you from doing so?

Is it your time or budget? Or are you simply clueless about what a good website is and what it should be able to offer to your clientele?

Many people think that they aren’t tech savvy enough to start with it. However, the truth is that you don’t really need to be proficient about technology at all. The tools we have access to these days are so advanced.

I assure you that establishing an online presence and building a website is not as difficult as it used to be in the past. One of the main reasons for that is the fact that we have access to artificial intelligence.

What is Artificial Intelligence?

artificial intelligence

Artificial intelligence is a computer’s ability to think instead of just being told what to do.

When you open a browser and type in a web address, your computer takes you to that address. Basically, it is just following orders and you’re the one doing the actual thinking.

AI is the next step. It can improvise and come up with solutions independently.

In other words, with AI, you don’t have to be extra specific. It can think for itself.

An AI website builder is a piece of software that uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to listen to your input and create something based on that. It listens to you and then it takes some extra steps to build your website.

The best thing about it is that AI guides you throughout the process. It doesn’t need you to be tech savvy at all.

AI website builders out there are Bookmark, Firedrop, The Grid, and Wix ADI. Read reviews if you’re interested.

Advantages of AI Website Builders

There are plenty of advantages of using artificial intelligence to build your website.

But first, let’s look at the alternatives.

One of them is doing the whole thing yourself– designing your page, adding functionality, and fiddling with databases. It’s a very complex process that requires skills you can’t just pick up in a day or two.

Another alternative is paying someone to do it for you. But even an experienced web developer needs time to work on your website before it can go live. Dedicated web development companies will take a month or two and they can be quite expensive.

Using an AI website builder solves both of these problems. It’s much cheaper and you can have your fully functional website available within the day.

Will my website be unique?

Yes.

A common misconception with AI website builders is that your website won’t be as unique as it needs to be. And while it is possible to see where this kind of concern comes from, it really isn’t as much of a problem as most people are led to believe.

Your website won’t just be built by a computer. It will be built by you and the computer together.

There’s a big difference. And as I mentioned, the results you’ll receive will directly depend on the input you provide.

Can AI optimize my website?

ai website

Again, yes.

Most modern website builders do a lot more than just build up a web page that looks good and works well. They can also help you with SEO (search engine optimization) and your site’s user-friendliness.

A lot of those things will be up to you but the good thing is that it is pretty hard to mess up when you’re using AI. All the options that you have at your disposal will already lead you to a fairly optimized website that is ready to go.

Embrace AI

Artificial intelligence is slowly taking ground in modern society. As technology evolves further, we’re bound to see more of it in almost every aspect of our lives.

Just the fact that AI has come far enough to aid us in a process as complex as web development is already amazing. It is definitely something you should be taking advantage of as a small business.

So, if you need a website pronto and aren’t overstocked with time and money at the moment, AI is the way to go.

See Also: 5 Reasons Why You Should Consider AI Automation for Small Business

The post How to Easily Build Your Website with AI appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

4 Ways You Can Make Money Online By Selling Old Stuff

Yard sales are one of the most famous ways to sell your old stuff, but it is one of the most excruciating parts of selling anything. Nowadays, several online platforms have made it super easy for you to sell old stuff and make a quick buck.

There are a few methods that I’ve tried personally and would like to share with you all so that you can get rid of your clutter in a really beneficial way. I’ve been selling old stuff online for one year, and all I need was a reliable internet connection to actually keep a check on customers. I’ve been using Mediacom internet service as it is one of the most reliable and high-speed internets. I’d like to discuss some of the ways to earn quick money by just selling your old stuff.

Use Social Media:

social media

Are you new to these selling websites and don’t like to negotiate with strangers? You don’t need to worry about that as social media has got you covered. This would be the most effective way to sell your old items. Just post a picture of your stuff online on social platforms with a clear description of item and price. Your pictures might attract your friends and acquaintances to actually buy those items from you. It would save you from the hassle of negotiating with strangers and to go and deliver the products.

eBay:

ebay

One just can’t resist from discussing eBay when it comes to selling any stuff online. We all know that it’s one of the most efficient and effective ways to sell your stuff. The good thing about eBay for sellers is its really easy process: create an account, list your items, Upload a clear picture, and you’re good to go.

But it’s the preferred platform if you’re selling high-end products and products of high-involvement because of its huge customer market. eBay charges around $.30 as listing fee and it would also charge 10% of the sale price on an item.

Craigslist:

craigslist
Via diapmedia

Another option to consider, if you’re planning on bargaining any stuff that might be of use to someone else or just simply selling your old stuff, then there’s Craigslist for you. It provides a free platform for people to sell their stuff. All you need to do to get most out of it is: post a clear picture of your item, it’s preferred to set a deadline so that potential buyers would opt to negotiate early, be genuine about a product you intend to sell, lot your items together to get rid of them quickly.

Amazon:

amazon

 

It is not only a giant when it comes to buying anything. Amazon also provides with opportunities to sell anything. Have you ever heard of Amazon’s fulfillment program? What it does is that it gives sellers a chance to put their used items right next to new versions of the same products. If buyers are interested in saving a few dollars then they would definitely opt for your used stuff.

The post 4 Ways You Can Make Money Online By Selling Old Stuff appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

How To Work And Travel The World: 10 Helpful Tools

The difference between office and remote jobs is not in the place of work but in the freedom and responsibility. There is no boss who forces you to work and pays the salary at the end of the month. On the contrary, remote workers get paid only for what they actually do. The competition is harsh: there are millions of orders and potential executors so you have to fight for your client.

Three years ago, I left my office job and after a few attempts, I decided to stick to online marketing. Over this period of time, I tried a lot of useful digital tools that helped me to deal with the freelancing duties more efficiently.

In this article, I decided to present you the 10 most productive online tools that can improve the capabilities of any remote worker.

10 Tools to make you a Super-Efficient Remote Worker

It doesn’t matter if you are a copywriter, content manager, blogger, translator, marketer, online teacher, or even a website developer – all these tools can make you better at what you do. Let’s check them out one by one.

Learning Tools:

  • Udemy

udemy

Udemy is a global learning and tutoring platform which offers more than 55 thousand courses. It allows you to gain new knowledge from anywhere in the world with expert help from professional instructors. This is extremely practical if you want the opportunity to obtain new freelance occupation and become eligible for more job openings. Using one of Udemy’s courses three years ago, I got acquainted with alternative ways to prepare and implement social media campaigns.

  • Duolingo

Learning languages while traveling around the world is the best combination to meet different cultures. Duolingo is a digital language learning source that guides you through the basic elements of foreign languages with its friendly user interface and simple functions. I used Duolingo successfully to strengthen my Italian before going to Rome for a few months. It is based on amusing gamification elements and learning through visualization. The navigation is easy and takes you directly to the in-app grammar and vocabulary practices.

Planning Tools:

  • Trello

trello

Planning and time management play an essential role in the life of every remote worker. In that regards, you can use Trello as the best agile management solution. Using this software, you can manage projects through the card board and get acquainted with each new phase of the working process. Trello is an excellent planning tool. When I started using it, it helped to see the big picture of all important processes in my life and helped me to determine the direction in which I want to grow

  • Rescue Time

Rescue Time is an online tool that improves your everyday habits and makes you more productive in general. I wasn’t even aware of my daily activities and behavior patterns before I started using Rescue Time. It helped me to eliminate distractions such as social networks and other features on my computer. In that regard, Rescue Time monitors your progress over time and you can improve even further once you get used to this way of thinking.

Financial Management Tools:

  • On the Job

Remote workers usually can’t keep an eye on their finances easily – or at least I know I can’t. That’s why I suggest you use an app like On the Job, which can assist you in time tracking and invoicing. It makes your personal finances simpler and you won’t struggle with multiple currencies or hourly rates. All you have to do is to set your preferences in On the Job and it will do all of the necessary calculations related to your work.

  • Invoice Ninja

invoice ninja

Recently I had something like five or six different clients at the same time and it was hard to manage all those bills and payments. Invoice Ninja is a high-quality open-source platform with elements like online invoices, payment alerts, due dates, and other valuable features. I must admit that it set me free from everyday accounting work. It doesn’t only make your financial transactions a lot easier but also a lot faster than traditional payment services.

Presentation tools:

  • 24 Slides

24 slides

 

Presentations are one of the basic models of communication for many professionals, especially marketers. 24 Slides is the presentation design tool with all of the essential graphic design elements. The developers of this app created it to avoid seeing boring slides all over the Internet. To be honest, I also exploited many of these standard templates regularly. However, 24 Slides offered me some fresh and creative template solutions, images, and visuals to make presentations much more attractive than usual.

  • Superior Papers

Superior Papers is a group of professionals from various fields of expertise who can help you to create a concept for the presentation and eventually execute the project on their own successfully. From marketing, over finances, all the way to science and IT industry, Best Dissertations offers you a full set of ideas that can make your presentation look perfect. Once I had to deal with the unknown topic of mobile app branding and these guys made sure that I don’t embarrass myself.

Web Development Tools:

  • Coda

Coda is the web development application for macOS. As an amateur in this field, I still managed to handle this tool for coding, testing, and reference, which means that it’s really simple. With its six units, web developers get an efficient text editing tool. Coda allows you to open and handle your files both locally and remotely. It has a simple user interface – a very convenient feature for remote workers who travel a lot.

  • Espresso

espresso app

Espresso is the Mac web editor. It has numerous interesting website development features and gives you the opportunity to get creative at work. You can design and combine various elements, while Espresso makes real-time saves and updates. With this app, it is easy to customize the toolbar and make several changes at once.

Conclusion

Remote work gives you a lot of freedom but also the responsibility to manage your time successfully. In order to get the job done, you often need some kind of help. Fortunately, you can find it in some of many online tools. In this article, I presented you the 10 most fruitful tools that can help you to work and travel at the same time. Give them a try and let me know in the comments which ones you liked the most.

The post How To Work And Travel The World: 10 Helpful Tools appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Cryptocurrency Trading for Beginners: How Can You Get Started?

Cryptocurrency has been a hot topic lately and a lot of people are getting interested in cryptocurrency trading for beginners.

Now, how do you even go about buying it?

Much like stocks, many cryptocurrencies are also traded on exchanges. You input your preferred fiat currency and use that capital to buy, sell or trade various forms of cryptocurrency.

You can either own a coin directly or you can trade in a contract for difference, owning a position with a broker. You’ll have to choose based on things like security of the trading platform, how currency is stored once purchased, which fiat currency you can input, currency input methods, and more.

Cryptocurrency Exchanges Options

  • Binance – Only supports crypto-to-crypto exchanges and does not accept any form of fiat currency into the system. Very low maker and taker fees and no reported security issues.
  • GDAX – Owned by Coinbase but aimed at professional clients. Accepts U.S. dollars, British Pounds, and Euros through bank transfers as well as cryptocurrencies. No maker fees and moderate taker fees and no reported security breaches.
  • Bitstamp – A great platform for European investors, it does not charge for conversion of fiat currency when Euros are deposited through SEPA. U.S. dollars are also accepted with a fee. There are moderate maker and taker fees and there was a major hack in 2015 that lost $5 million worth of cryptocurrency through hot wallets.
  • Kraken – Probably the most versatile exchange in terms of fiat currencies accepted and with no security issues and moderate maker and taker fees. It’s a great option for international users.
  • Bitfinex – This is a popular exchange for American and European traders due to high liquidity of assets. However, there was a serious security breach in 2016 that cost investors $65 million.
  • Bittrex – This is an exchange with a solid security record that is great for beginner investors. Only cryptocurrency is accepted into the exchange and there are moderate maker and taker fees.
  • Bithumb – Based in South Korea, this exchange has low maker and taker fees but recently experienced a massive data breach.
  • Gemini – Founded by the Winklevoss twins who rose to fame in their lawsuit alleging that Mark Zuckerberg stole Facebook from them.  There are moderate maker and taker fees but no security issues at this time.

Best Investment Strategies For Cryptocurrency

cryptocurrency

Just like investing in stocks, investing in cryptocurrency requires a sound investment strategy. Diversify your portfolio by investing in more than one cryptocurrency or ICO. That way, you’re able to protect your funds when volatility strikes.

Remember to invest slowly and incrementally, too.

Don’t panic when volatility strikes and pull your investment out while it is low. And most importantly, don’t invest what you can’t afford to lose.

There are also three types of orders you can use to buy and sell cryptocurrency.

A market order allows you to buy and sell at whatever the market is when you place the order. It is the most susceptible to slippage.

Less susceptible to slippage is a stop order. It allows you to set conditions on buying and selling.

The only way to avoid slippage, however, is to use a limit order. It allows you to set the price at which you are willing to buy or sell your cryptocurrency.

See Also: Cryptocurrency Is On The Rise: Are You Prepared?

All Investments Come With Risk

Investing can be scary, but a little bit of knowledge and preparation can help you make the best decisions possible. Many of the strategies are the same as mainstream investing strategies.

Learn more about cryptocurrency investing options and cryptocurrency exchange platforms from this infographic. Are you ready to dive into crypto?

Top Crypto Exchanges for 2018

The post Cryptocurrency Trading for Beginners: How Can You Get Started? appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

The Best Tips to Boost Pinterest Conversion

Pinterest has emerged as an important marketing platform to drive conversion for businesses. But how exactly can it drive sales and generate leads?

To understand the potential of Pinterest, it is important to know how it stands apart from others. Let us explain first its key attributes.

Visual Content: Most researchers agree that visual elements generate more interest in reading content. Do you want some statistics in favor of it? Just have a look at the following stats:

  • Visual content enhances 94% more page views.
  • It makes at least 37% more engagement.
  • Visual impressions are processed by our brain six billion times faster compared to text.

Easier sharing: Visual content gets better sharing compared to text. A visual in Pinterest gets around 10 repins compared to text.

Driving traffic: Pinterest can generate a good volume of traffic in a quicker time if you can make a solid visual campaign on it. Here are some tips:

  • Do not pin any image without website link.
  • Pin tutorials in greater number to get more clicks than others.
  • Offer pins on trending topics to gain more clicks.
  • Use appropriate Call-to-action buttons like, ‘Repin this’, ‘Comment below’,  and ‘Click here’ to push clicks and conversion.
  • Make all your posts easily pinnable by using a Pin App.

Pinterest is less competitive: The competition on Pinterest is significantly lower as compared to the major social media sites. Facebook has 1.40 billion users while Instagram has over 400 million. Pinterest only has 100 million active users in a month as of now.

More discoverability: The posts on its homepage stay much longer, allowing more views.

Pinterest is ideal for shopping: A 2014 statistics revealed by Pinterest says that 93% of pinners, comprising both men and women, shopped through the platform in the last six months.

So, you have got the mandate loud and clear.

Pinterest conversion is better than other social media platforms. If you are ready to apply it to your business, here are the 5 most effective tips you can use.

Understanding the users

pinterest social media

Every platform has a typical user mindset. The same person while using Facebook has a different mindset than the one using Pinterest.

A recent study by Digitas and Curalate revealed that 70% of brand engagement on this platform is created by the users only, not by the business brands.

What are the basic experiences people refer when using Pinterest? Here’s a quick look:

  • Just having a glimpse.
  • Wish I could do it.
  • Taking a closer look.
  • I am definite of what I want from it.

These four reactions happen on the basis of user needs, context, and time. You should have a solid grasp of the target user preferences, contexts, and the way they prefer content. A unique look and feel coupled up with staying relevant to your audience will be the key to prompt action from them.

Promotional campaigns

On Pinterest, coupons and contests are very popular. Terms like “free”, “discount,” “best offers” will surely get your users’ attention. Seeing the products and reading their data in details can also increase engagement and conversion.

To set up coupons on Pinterest, you can easily take help from a third-party coupon creation app like Wishpond. You can run the campaign through the business website.

There are also free third-party coupon apps. Some of these apps also provide tools, like real-time analytics of campaigns to spot opportunities.

When running a photo contest on Pinterest, make your strategy based on social-proofs and allow only user-created content for the contest. This will enhance credibility and enhance engagement to the contest.

Such contests should allow sharing the content across all social channels, generating fresh traffic for your website and opening new avenues of engagement.

SEO for better discoverability

How can you make your content easy to discover on Pinterest? Well, this requires some maneuvers that we would refer to as Pinterest SEO.

First of all, begin your pins with the username of your company. In Pinterest, just as it is allowed on Facebook, you can create custom URL.

Secondly, always use some target keywords in the About section and then let those keywords appear in the Pinboard names. To make it further optimized, you can also use backlinks to your website or use hashtags within the pin description.

A Pinning Strategy

pinterest

You should have a pinning strategy in place. There are various aspects to it but the most important of them include wise targeting, quality images, and enriching pins.

Let us have a look at these:

  • Pinterest offers robust analytics to know your audience and accordingly fixes your pinning strategy with relevant keywords, image strategy, promoted pins, etc.
  • High-quality images have no alternative to boost your pins for better user engagement. Besides professional quality photos, make use of graphics, infographics, and posters to offer a varied mix of visual content.
  • Rich pins consisting of various types of texts and images can engage audience better.

Using pins to allow direct purchase

There is not a better way to push Pinterest conversion than allowing people to make purchases directly from pins. Pinterest pins can be used to make such direct purchase and they are called buyable pins. At present, they are only available for iOS and Android users only in the U.S. Anytime soon, it will be extended to other parts of the globe and across other platforms.

See Also: Use Pinterest to Plan Your Next Vacation — Here’s How

The post The Best Tips to Boost Pinterest Conversion appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

6 Ways to Constantly Improve IT Skills

As technology continues to develop, the same should happen to your IT skills. Employers only seek out the best IT specialists and the only way to get ahead of your competition is to keep learning and refining your skills.

Becoming complacent is the worst thing any professional could do as this makes you less likely to progress towards your ultimate goals.

As a guide, here are sure ways to consistently improve your IT skills.

Establish Weak Points

read technical books

If there are specific weak points that are dragging you down, consider doing something about them.

If, for example, coding is not your strongest point, figure out why this is the case. It may be that you need extra mentoring.

Reading technical books is hugely beneficial, too. They typically contain helpful information and step-by-step guides which can help you grow as an IT specialist.

Overcome Fear of Automation

Firstly, to self-improve, you must feel confident about yourself and your position in the IT world. Regardless of the industry, the development of automation is inevitable but this should not impact your career potential.

In a report by CompTIA, they stated that an estimated figure of 5.4 million US individuals was hired in the information technology sector. Compared to previous years, this reflects an increase of 2.1%. In 2018, people should expect to see the same growth.

Knowing this, IT professionals can feel safe that their jobs will not be replaced by automation anytime soon.

Consider Further Certifications

You might already have a resume filled with qualifications but these can quickly become outdated and irrelevant in the IT industry.

Certain certifications hold value for IT pros and are more meaningful than others. These include the CAP (Certified Analytics Professional), MCSE (Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert) and more.

As identified by Indeed.com, the most in-demand IT jobs include Java Developer, Network Engineer, and Software Developer. Therefore, adapting your resume to suit these types of jobs will give you an advantage over others.

Work Part-Time or Find Freelance Opportunities

freelance work part time

Education is one of the best ways of learning more of what you enjoy. However, work experience is even better. Taking what you learn and putting it into practice not only improves your IT skills but your transferable skills, too.

Boasting great initiative, problem-solving, and decision-making skills will look fantastic on your resume and give you a well-rounded profile.

Regarding work opportunities, it is great to get more exposure by taking up opportunities you would not normally accept. By doing different projects and jobs, you are learning a variety of things, whether it is a new computer programme or application.

Keep Up-To-Date with Cyber News

A brilliant way of staying fresh with new tech is to keep on top of tech news. Do it even if you have a really packed schedule. Read discussions, watch the news, and join forums so you can stay updated with the latest technology.

Take Advantage of the Free Stuff

Keep on the lookout for industry conferences and webcasts, which happen all year round. There are plenty of online guides which can keep you informed of worldwide tech events.

Typically, these events give inspirational talks, information about new technology, and heavy debates about political changes. Attending these are also a brilliant way of networking and promoting yourself to IT firms.

Online resources, like webinars, articles, podcasts, and videos, are great, too. By using online resources, you have the benefit of learning during your free time whilst choosing specifically what skills you want to focus on.

The key is to stay one step ahead of the game, especially in a world where technology has no limits. With dedication and hard work, you can go from professional to elite and feel confident about your place in the IT world.

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3 Ways To Build A Personal Brand Based On Authenticity

In today’s society, people are used to getting a taste of products for free. When a product or service is so high-quality that its creator is confident enough to give it away, that tells audiences it’s truly valuable.

Take Chance the Rapper, for example: He has risen to stardom over the past seven years — performing for President Barack Obama at the White House, hosting “Saturday Night Live,” and winning three Grammys in 2017 for his rap album “Coloring Book.” If that’s not impressive enough, he managed it all while giving fans his music for free. He’s taken the road less traveled, and zigging when everyone else is zagging, drawing attention from his fans.

I’m certainly not a rapper, but I have relied on a similar method for success in the 17 years I’ve led a gift strategy and logistics company, and I wrote about it in my book “Giftology.” I’ve built a personal brand based on giving and authenticity, and I can show you how to do the same. Here’s where to start:

giftology

Give back to your collaborators and supporters

When building a brand, most people focus on scrounging for every penny to help them rise to the top. But like Chance, I focus on what I can achieve alone, then collaborate with others to let them shine. In my case, that means partnering with the people providing me gifts, then putting the spotlight on them. A core value of my business is relationship-building because even if I can give only a little at the start of a relationship, my partners and I will grow together over time.

Build a giving mentality into the fabric of your personal brand to help set it apart. As often as you can, donate time or resources to give back to the people or companies that helped you get where you are. Chance, for example, champions causes and invests time and money into revamping Chicago and its public schools. Ensure the messaging you create to market your personal brand focuses on how you’ve helped others, not on how you’ve helped yourself.

Be gracious early on

I follow the Gary Vaynerchuk mindset of playing the long game, which Chance demonstrates with every album he releases. While giving his music away for free might seem crazy at first, he’s really just building good faith with his audience, which pays off in spades. It’s the same reason I ask anybody I’m engaging whether I can comp a gift on his behalf to help him look good. This freemium model has helped us land a number of clients, including pro sports teams like the Orlando Magic, and it builds goodwill.

Make the first move of generosity by giving your connections something on the front end. It doesn’t have to be an extravagant gift, either. Maybe you can only afford to take someone out for coffee at a trendy local shop while you network and send him a handwritten thank-you note after your meeting — that’s OK. That act of kindness can be enough to keep you top of mind the next time an opportunity comes along that should have your name written all over it.

Go off-book

 

chance rapper

Any time you can surprise and delight by blazing your own trail is a chance to impress those around you. Just because society has set a standard doesn’t mean you can’t change it. Chance the Rapper doesn’t bow to the pressure of $10 million offers from record labels; he pursues his own vision. Technology has made it easier than ever to build a brand that bucks the status quo, regardless of your credentials.

It’s also a great opportunity to set yourself apart from competitors. Going off the beaten path can be a powerful indicator of who you are and what your brand is. Breaking patterns gets noticed, so whether you’re simply changing the way you present yourself on social media or pulling stunts in your community to generate buzz, don’t be afraid to stand out from the crowd.

Chance the Rapper is known not only for offering his music for free and for his charitable work, but also for becoming a lifestyle icon. No matter your industry, chances are good your personal brand will benefit if you take a page from his book. Take it from me: A personal brand built with authenticity will take you far.

The post 3 Ways To Build A Personal Brand Based On Authenticity appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

How to Increase Conversion Rate: Top Tips in Designing Your Website

You only have 8 seconds to capture a visitor’s attention.

If you’re planning on making it big on the internet, you need to make sure you get that 8 seconds right.

How?

The answer is to keep your site’s visitors as engaged as possible. Make sure that your website is eye-pleasing, easy to navigate, and highly usable.

Based on a research done by Stanford University, over 46% of visitors stated that design is the most important factor they consider in deciding whether they’ll stay or leave a website. But how can you ensure that?

Here are 6 ways to increase conversion rate.

Establish a Visual Hierarchy

visual heirarchy website

Establishing a visual hierarchy helps users find the information they need to make a decision. You can apply the right visual hierarchy to your site to influence users and make them react positively to your call-to-action.

Here’s how you can create a powerful visual hierarchy:

  • Perfectly placed conversion forms
  • Call-to-action buttons need to be bigger, clear, and simple
  • Use of high-quality images
  • Brief and benefit-driven headline
  • Use of power words to make your copy catchy and compelling
  • A good layout that seamlessly moves eyes from one point to another

These design principles can improve the overall experience of your website in a way that users just don’t accomplish goals but also enjoy their visit to your site.

Use the right color combinations

Different color combinations convey different meanings and evoke different emotions. You can play with colors to get people to do exactly what you want.

For example, you can apply contrast psychology to highlight call-to-action buttons and to make headlines and texts noticeable and readable. Other important elements that you want to highlight should stand out from the rest of your site, too. Use the right color combination so that people can see them easily.

Use negative space effectively

Negative space is referred to as white space on a website.

In simple words, positive space has all the elements on your site whereas negative space refers to the empty space between paragraphs, sidebars, and texts.

Despite the name, negative space is valuable to the design of your website. Without it, your site will look cluttered.

Effective use of negative space is necessary to keep your website user-friendly and easy to navigate. So, avoid stuffing your website with too much information.

See Also: Web Design Strategy: How To Give New Life To Your Site

Good typography is critical

The right typography can enhance the readability of your content while optimizing your UI design. A good typography often goes unnoticed because it just makes sense. So, go for a simple yet bold typography that presents your content in a user-friendly way.

Here are some essentials of a good typography.

Consistency- Consistent use of kerning, typefaces, and formatting is essential to give your content a professional look and keep your users focused.
Hierarchy- Creating hierarchy is important to guide users through the content. For example, in web design, it has to be heading followed by subheading and then main copy.
Alignment- Alignment is important to keep the look of your web page unified. You can either settle for flush left alignment or flush right alignment to provide readers a stronger edge line to follow. As much as possible, refrain from choosing a centered alignment.

F Layout is the safest

A user’s natural pattern when browsing the internet follows the ‘F’ pattern. That makes it the safest and most effective website design to follow.

When visiting a site, visitors move their eyes from left to right, starting at the top of the screen. Next, they scan the page downwards to find the information they need. The bottom right of a web page gets the least amount of visibility.

Thus, to boost your site’s conversion rate, you need to place all the important pieces of your website along with that “F” pattern. This will encourage users to take specific actions, like completing a purchase, signing up for a newsletter or downloading an e-book.

Make it mobile-friendly

mobile friendly website

A lot of people access the internet from their handheld devices. If your website is not mobile-friendly, then you’re way behind.

If you want to increase your conversion rate, your website needs to be able to provide a seamless experience to users. Moreover, Google also prefers mobile-friendly websites. You can end up in a higher spot in the search results if Google likes you.

With that, optimizing your website for mobile is no more just an option but a must-do.

See Also: The Essential Elements of Modern Web Design

Final Thoughts

Lastly, remember the K.I.S.S (keep it simple stupid) rule for your web design. Keep it simple and make sure there are fewer distractions. The more aesthetically pleasing your website is, the higher its conversion.

The post How to Increase Conversion Rate: Top Tips in Designing Your Website appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

8 Instagram Trends In 2018 You Need To Know

Instagram offers a wealth of possibilities when it comes to reaching your customers and effectively distributing your content. It is a convenient platform for brands since it’s where your audience already engage with other brands and users.

As you look ahead to 2018 and begin planning your social media strategy, it is essential to monitor trends. With that, here are 8 Instagram trends you need to watch out for this year.

Rise of Instagram Stories

instagram-stories
Via TechCrunch

Instagram Stories were a big deal in 2017. This trend isn’t likely to go anywhere in the coming 12 months.

The introduction of Instagram stories was the most noticeable change in the Instagram user interface. It has enormous marketing implications.

Accounts with over 10,000 followers can now add a link within the feature. This is a significant development as it has the potential to multiply buying or inquiry opportunities.

In just one year after launch, Instagram stories surpassed Snapchat in terms of daily viewers.

Improved Visual Search

The ability to search using image content is an extremely useful feature. Facebook has already started developing an advanced image recognition AI. This feature will be even more valuable on Instagram since its primary focus is image and video posts.

The search feature on Instagram is continually being upgraded. This means that we can look forward to more improvements in 2018. We can expect to see better search capabilities, including images.

This is especially beneficial for brands since they will be searchable both by image content and hashtag. Customers will also be able to find and identify products easily.

A Boost in User-Generated Content

In the coming year, we can expect to see more brands making use of user-generated content. Various companies are already focusing on content created by fans. Most of the time, it’s through community-driven hashtags and campaigns.

Brands are now working on implementing systems that will make it easier to share user-generated content. As a result of this, social media managers will be able to access more trusted, high-quality content.

Expansion of Shopping Tags

In 2018, we’re likely to witness Instagram putting more of a focus on growing their business options. They need to remain competitive with other business platforms that are witnessing substantial growth. As a result, we are likely to see the expansion of their shopping tag. Through that, businesses can add descriptions and prices to their product images.

They have been trying this out since November 2016 and have recently partnered with Shopify. As expected, tons of brands are looking forward to this feature and Instagram is likely to do a more extensive roll out in the next few months.

Video Will Have a More Significant Role to Play

Video content is extremely popular and, therefore, increasingly important for brands. Videos play a huge role in building an audience and generating engagement. They generally get more likes, shares, and comments than any other types of content.

Brands can now create videos and share them immediately with their followers, thanks to the Instagram Stories feature. Having the ability to create and promote video content will be critical for brands in the upcoming year.

More Robust Social Analytics Tools

When someone interacts with a brand on Instagram, they will be immediately put off if they come across something that is irrelevant or doesn’t add value. If they are constantly bombarded with this type of content, they will get frustrated and may even unfollow the brand.

This is the reason why content personalization for audiences is a major trend in content marketing. Marketers will be better equipped to do this with better social analytics tools available. In 2018, social analytics tools are likely to become more detailed and valuable to marketers.

Focus on Generation Z

instagram users

According to a recent study, marketers on Instagram must shift their focus from Millennials to Generation Z. People in this generation are in their early twenties and are just beginning to enter the workforce. This gives them newly increased buying powers that many organizations are looking to tap into.

As more and more brands start to recognize this, they are shifting their social media strategies accordingly. Instagram is a platform Gen Z love and is likely to bring in new features to cater to this group.

Instagram-based Influencer Marketing Will Be on The Rise

An increasing number of brands are adding influencer marketing to their social media strategies. Influencer marketing is an effective way to connect with new followers and build engagement with your existing audience.

Brands that don’t evolve with the times and only opt for traditional advertising strategies will find it difficult to connect with social media users. In 2018, more brands will use social media influencers as a way to improve reach and engagement.

See Also: 5 Reasons Why You Should Consider Instagram Advertising

Final Thoughts

In the next twelve months, we can expect to see numerous developments on Instagram. Marketers will focus on consistently putting out more personalized, high-quality content for their audiences. There will be cutting-edge analytics tools and improved selling options to help them.

These Instagram trends have enormous implications for users and marketers and are set to change the way we use the platform.

See Also: The Secret Behind Instagram’s Success

 

The post 8 Instagram Trends In 2018 You Need To Know appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

A Quick Guide On How To Choose A Website Name

Whether you are starting a new business or you already have a brand and want to create an online presence, you are going to need a website and a good domain name for it. But, do you know how to choose a website name?

After launching your website with responsive WordPress themes, like Genesis or TemplateMonster, you should think about your brand name. Naming a website is not a small fit. In fact, it is an extremely important decision.

Domain names have a huge impact on the success of your business. It can influence click-through rates, referring links, type-in traffic, online advertising, and brandability.

Another thing you have to keep in mind is this: Changing a name, later on, is a huge hassle that is sure to hurt your brand and search rankings. So, you have to choose the perfect name from the very start.

You might have some name ideas already, but is there something important you have to keep in mind when registering the name? Are there things to avoid? What name is sure to make the most impact on the web?

In this article, we will answer these questions, share some useful tools, and essential tips to help you choose the best domain name for your business and finally register it.

You Want a Brandable Name

You want your domain name to sound like a brand name.

Why?

Well, do you really want to end up with a name that is generic, indistinguishable, easy to forget, and not related to your business? If you want to be successful, choose a website name that is memorable, unique, and stands out.

You Want to Avoid Numbers and Hyphens

Hyphens and numbers in domain names look and sound generic and strange. They definitely do not make good brandable names. They are also often misunderstood.

For example, if you hear a website address with a number in it, you won’t easily know if it’s a numeral (3) or if it is spelled out (three).

And hyphens are easy to forget or misplace.

If you choose a domain name with a hyphen because the one without a hyphen is already taken, you will end up sending your potential customers straight to the competitor. Hyphens are also often used in spam domains and you definitely don’t want to be associated with those.

You Want to Avoid Doubled Letters

Domain names with doubled letters in them have more chances to lose traffic to typos and misspellings.

You Want It Short

When it comes to domain names, the general rule is this: the shorter, the better.

The shorter the name is, the easier it is to remember, type in, pronounce, and share with others. It is also less shortened on social media and search results, which is good for branding.

You Want It Pronounceable

While it is true that most people will type your domain name in or even click a link, psychology makes it important for the name to be pronounceable.

People are more likely to remember and have positive associations with things they can easily say or think about, including pronouncing it in their minds. If the domain name cannot be easily said out loud, the domain is more likely to lose a lot in terms of memorability and brandability.

You Want It Easy to Type

A name that is easy to type is critical to your success online. Words like “u” instead of “you” and words with multiple spellings are easy to forget, misspell and mix up. They can make you lose lots of leads and traffic.

You Want It Intuitive

A well-chosen domain name gives people a clear idea of what the website is all about. If the name of your choice tells people that your business is producing exactly what it is producing or offering exactly what it is offering, then you’ve won big time.

You Want to Avoid Trademark Violation

Try to avoid words used by well-known brands as much as possible. This is not about your domain name being confused with theirs; it is about the possible legal actions they can take against you. If you have any doubts regarding the name you have in mind, better consult with a legal professional to be safe.

You Want to Use Broad Keywords

It used to be imperative to find a domain name with the target keyword in it, but Google does not give any privileges to such domains anymore. They tend to have a negative association, both with the end users and the search engines.

If you can get a domain with a keyword which makes it clear what the website is about, you most definitely should grab it. But, try to use broader keywords instead of the target keywords you want to be ranked for.

You Want to Stick With .com

It is very true that finding a domain name with .com extension is very hard in 2017 as it’s been around for too long. There are plenty of new extensions to use, not only the top-level domains(TLDs) like .com, .net and .org, but such niche specific ones like .pizza and .photography. And while it is easier to get such a domain extension, .com is still the most credible one. People simply trust it more.

Besides, .com domains are more memorable. A lot of users even type .com automatically after every domain name.

If you can’t find the name of your choice with the .com extension, try to stick to the established top level domains. Here are the most established ones and their proper uses:

  • .net – Mostly technical sites, Internet infrastructure sites.
  • .co – Usually stands for company, community, and commerce.
  • .info – Informational websites.
  • .me – Blogs and personal pages.
  • .org – Nonprofits and non-commercial organizations.
  • .biz – Business and commercial websites.

And don’t forget about country-specific domain extensions if your business is centered in one particular country. These are the domains like .it for Italy, .de for Germany, and .uk for the United Kingdom.

The Best Domain Name Generators

All the above recommendations might have scared you off. And yes, it is not an easy task to get a great domain name these days, especially considering there are about 331.9 million domain name registrations in the top level domains this year so far.

But, don’t fret! There are dozens of tools designed to help you out. They are called domain name generators and we will introduce you to the best of them below.

Lean Domain Search

lean domain search
Via startupstash

Created by team Automattic, the people who are responsible for the WordPress platform, Lean Domain Search is really easy to use, including country-specific. You will need one seed keyword and we recommend one that defines the niche you work in.

The generator can generate tons of name ideas based on your keyword and chances are – some of them will be available with the .com extension.  Lean Domain Search can filter the results by popularity and length. You can save your favorite ideas, track the history of your searches and share the results with your team if you want.

This is a great tool to use if you don’t have any ideas but you have a couple of keywords that define your business.

NameStall

namestall
Via data roots

NameStall is an awesome generator that provides amazing flexibility. It allows you to choose if you want your keyword placed at the end or at the beginning of the name. It allows selecting TLDs, including country-specific ones. You can also choose from various groups of words.

For example, there is a word group named “1500 popular last words” or one named “500 popular first words”. By selecting one of those groups, you will allow the generator to add the popular words to the keyword you specified. This is an awesome search customization feature.

NameStall is a good choice if you do not have a specific name in mind, but want to have more ways to customize your search.

Name Mesh

name mesh
Via mashable

Name Mesh is a versatile tool. It searches for domain names based on more than one keyword. As a result, you get a huge list of names, which can be divided into such categories:

  • New
  • Common
  • Similar
  • Short
  • SEO
  • Fun
  • Mix

There are also filters you can use which will sort the results based on extension, unregistered domains, and length. Name Mesh can also suggest other keywords for you if you can’t find a name.

Name Mesh is the tool for you if you are not opposed to spending more time on looking through more choices.

Check Your Names for Availability

Most of the name generators check the availability of the domains automatically. Simply put, there shouldn’t be any unavailable names in the results the domain name generators provide.

But if you want to double check or forgot to check in the first place, GoDaddy is the best tool for it. And if you want to check the availability of your name across the social networks you are planning to use, the best tool is Namechk.

Where to Register Your Domain Name

There are two ways to go about registering a domain name. The obvious first route is to register a free domain name when you get your hosting. And you will need hosting to launch your online business anyway, so why not use all the benefits it provides?

The most trusted hosting providers on the market are  Bluehost.com, HostGator.com, and InmotionHosting.com.

If you’ve already got your hosting and did not register a domain name with it or you’ve already used your free name for another project, there are dozens, if not hundreds, of domain name registrars out there. There are both free and paid options. We will show you the two most popular and trusted registrars here.

GoDaddy.com

godaddy

GoDaddy has been around for a really long time. It is the go-to name registrar for a lot of professionals. Their prices are not the cheapest on the market, but they often offer promotions and deals.

If you need to claim a name fast, GoDaddy is the best tool for you.

NameCheap.com

namecheap

NameCheap is another popular registrar. It is slightly cheaper in the long run than GoDaddy. If you are sure you will run your online business for a long time, we recommend registering a name for 5 years as that is the cheapest option.

Both these websites offer hosting as well, so if you haven’t got your plan yet, check out their hosting offers, too.

Final Thoughts

Knowing how to choose a  website name and getting a domain name are very important tasks. They can be really challenging, particularly if you are doing it for the very first time.

However, it doesn’t always have to be a complete hassle. In fact, you can make it a fun and an educating experience.

To get an even deeper understanding of how to choose a website name, make sure to read this free ebook.

The post A Quick Guide On How To Choose A Website Name appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

5 Things You Need To Know About Shared Web Hosting

With technology evolving, customers have more options than ever before. They are surrounded by streams of brands- millions of them. People are agog over searching things they want over the internet, so if you do not exist online, you are probably losing a multitude of your potential customers.

Having a website is a must!

Whether you own a large corporation or a small cafe, you will need an influential web presence where your customers can connect with you, discover about your business, and eventually buy your products online. Taken together, an appealing, user-friendly, and informative website can magnetize new customers and prospects.

Businesses that still don’t have a website may be considered as outdated or even unreliable. Obviously, you wouldn’t want your business to have the same impression.

Since a majority of small and big businesses get their own website, they need to choose between different hosting solutions at some point. If your website does not attract much traffic and you have a tight budget, then shared web hosting service is the best option for you.

The Most Affordable Hosting Option

web host

Shared hosting is the most classic and widely chosen hosting plan across the globe. The key reason is its affordability as you don’t have to burn holes in your wallet.

Shared hosting is more like sharing an apartment where you share different facilities, like parking lot, kitchen, internet provider, and so on. When it comes to hosting, you have to share your resources with other hosting mates, like CPU time, memory, data, and disk space.

The Drawbacks

Shared hosting comes with some drawbacks. Potential website instability is one of them.

Take note that your website will be sharing server CPU resources with different other websites. When any of the websites sharing your server experiences an upsurge in traffic, your site might load slowly.

More Things to Consider

Hosting providers offer different plans for shared hosting. They may ask you to pay monthly, quarterly or yearly depending on your chosen plan.

Apart from payment options, you also have to be clear about the features you should be able to get from your plan. Storing files on the server is essential and so is the volume of data transfers and storage limits. If the basic features aren’t enough, you can always get an upgrade but be prepared to pay more.

Many shared hosting providers offer unlimited monthly data transfers to their customers. This may not be a catch, but you have to be sure that there are no hidden prices involved and that your definition of unlimited is same as theirs.

Now comes the OS. Check if you need Windows servers or Linux servers. Most common OS available for servers is Linux, but there are some web hosts that will allow you to choose between Linux or Windows hosting. For server-side apps that require Windows, let’s say SQL Server or a customized software coded in .NET, then Windows hosting will be the right option.

Make sure that your prospective web host offers a user-friendly control panel to streamline server administration and website management. Rather than typing a command line manually, the user can click the icons they recognize.

Another thing is customer support. You need to be certain that your host offers responsive 24/7 customer support. Some useful tools are forums, tutorials, and knowledge bases, but there’s nothing like having a human at your disposal.

customer support

See Also: 5 Effective Ways To Sound More Human Over A Customer Support Live Chat

Hosting For Bloggers

WordPress hosting is an effective and affordable solution, just like shared web hosting. This sort of hosting is the best solution for people planning to create a website powered by WordPress CMS (content management system), but don’t want to be troubled with things like updating CMS and the apps. Managed WordPress plans is mostly comprised of security features aimed at protecting CMS from layabouts.

Some managed WordPress hosts restrict certain plugins. Therefore, if your website demands certain plugins, then you might have to search for other hosting options. Please note that only WordPress CMS can run on managed WordPress hosting.

See Also: How to Choose a Web Host for Your Website

 

To wrap up

Selecting the right hosting option is no rocket-science; it truly depends upon your unique needs and budget. Most of the time shared web hosting is more than enough to cover your hosting needs as it is affordable, practical, and uncomplicated.

The post 5 Things You Need To Know About Shared Web Hosting appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

25 Best Books For Starting An Online Business

There are millions of reasons to start a blog, a landing page or a website. Whatever your goal is, you’ll need the right strategy to stay ahead of the game. That’s exactly why I recommend that you check out best books for starting an online business. These books won’t just answer your question but they can also immensely improve your knowledge.

Are you ready to feel inspired and encouraged? Let’s press on!

eBooks for Blogging

Trying to find eBooks that can guide you in the right direction can be overwhelming. No worries, though. Today, I’m listing down my compilation of the best eBooks about blogging, creativity, and inspiration you’ll need in running your own blog.

  • Content Marketing 101: The Must-Know Essentials

content marketing 101 ebook

Why do some bloggers get the lion’s share of attention while others end up writing posts that virtually nobody will ever read? This eBook is aimed at both the novice and experienced blogger who are suffering from low traffic on their blogging websites.

If you’re eager to present work that creates a reputation and builds businesses, then this eBook is just the thing for you. With this, learn the three essential principles of content marketing: how to produce the right content, how to find feedback and analyze and measure the content performance.

  • A Simple Guide to Blogging for Business

a simple guide to blogging for business ebook

If you are convinced that blogging can catapult your business to greater heights, then this free eBook is a perfect choice for you. Whether or not you already know, companies that blog on a regular basis gain 55% more traffic to their websites.

Can your blog do the same?

This simple guide can help you to learn why blogging is important to your business, how to find and create great content and how to promote your blog. Remember, every time you blog about your company or brand, you put it in a positive light and convince people that your offerings are better.

  • Who’s There?

whos there ebook

If you’re looking for a silver bullet, then I may have to disappoint you. The free eBook I suggest here will not help you write compelling posts. Instead, it will help your blogging website work better.

This eBook aims to showcase how to create a spectacular impact as a blogger. This will be a great surprise for curious people who underestimate blogging or are not doing it well. With the simple idea of helping people get a jumpstart into online marketing, this freebie can dip your toes deeper into the water.

You’ll like the way this book explains things. It’s a great choice for both bloggers and non-bloggers. Seriously, you should read it.

  • How to Make Money Blogging?

how to make money blogging ebook

With this comprehensive free eBook, even a newbie can learn how to blog. It includes step-by-step instructions and links to point you in the right direction.

The best part of this eBook is that it’s full of information necessary for anyone starting out. It covers so many topics, from knowing the importance of a customizable WordPress theme, how to make money from your blog, SEO tips, a set of helpful tools to increase your earnings and much more. If you want to launch like a rocket, get started with this book.

  • How to Start a Blog? The Beginner’s Guide to Successful Blogging

how to start a blog ebook

Here is the perfect beginner’s guide to help you learn how to start a blog. Step-by-step, this will teach you all the necessary information on how to avoid pitfalls and missteps that hinder some novices. It will also help you decide on which platform to choose and install, how to grow your audience, find your niche and more.

  • Business Blogging 101: How to Promote Your Business

blogging 101 how to promoteyour business ebook

Want to take your business to the next level?

With this interesting free eBook, it’s simpler than you think. It’s not a secret that starting a business is a challenge. The good news is this eBook can guide you and help you get your business blog up and running.

Simply put, I think this eBook is worth your attention. Learn the correct ways to promote and spread your blog on the web, how to generate engaging topics, how to increase website traffic and bring new leads- this can teach you that and more!

  • MeetEdgar’s Secret Blogging Formula

meetedgars secret blogging formula ebook

Looking for help? Don’t fret.

Here’s a wonderful opportunity to learn everything you need to create a killer blog post. Get ready to enjoy this free eBook and be inspired to write amazing posts, discover your voice and drive traffic. With this, you’ll get a collection of high-quality free photos, social media guides, and useful social media promotion tools that can generate conversions.

Ready to explore the secret side of successful blogging? Let’s do this.

eBooks for SEO Improvement

If you’re interested in developing and converting an audience, boosting SEO and expecting sales to come flooding you, then this is for you. By reading these wonderful freebies, you’ll surely win.

  • Mobile SEO Tips

mobile seo tips ebook

How many times a day do you check your phone? Did you know that an average person does it about 110 times a DAY or nine times an hour?

If you’re a serious blogger, you want to be sure you’re getting the most traffic possible. Now, how can you accomplish that?

One sure way is to make your website responsive. With this engaging eBook, you’ll learn how to make your page rock on mobile devices of any kind. You’re going to love it.

  • SEO Best Practices for a WordPress Blog Post

seo best practices for a wordpress blog post ebook

Waiting for readers to come to you? That’s not the way to go. The longer you wait, the more competitive your niche gets.

Grab this free eBook to figure out where your readers are, go there and drag them back to your site. Magic happens when you choose the right path. Explore the importance of an SEO-optimized WordPress website that can make your visitors’ lives easier and more enjoyable. It will surely make you win over the world.

  • Everything You Need to Know About Long Tail Keywords

everything you need to know about long tail keywords ebook

Do you ever wonder if there are any helpful strategies to increase the specificity of keywords? Looking for advice on how to arrange long tail keywords across your unique content?

Let’s just say that this free eBook has all the answers to that question. Get this eBook now unless you have a very good reason not to.

eBooks That Will Improve Your Writing Skills

The best way to improve your business or personal writing skills is to read more, write more and study your idols. Let’s look at these free eBooks below.

  • Storytelling That Doesn’t Suck

storytelling that doesnt suck ebook

Written by Catherine Crayon of TemplateMonster, this handy free eBook illustrates the main rules for business storytelling that work.

You can turn your passion into a thriving business, but you need to learn how to tell a story to market yourself first. Learn how to tell your unique story to tease your readers and flirt with them. Sounds intriguing? Try it.

  • How to Make an eBook That Rocks?

how to make an ebook

Raise your hand if you want to make an eBook to sell on your blog or website.

If you do, then this powerful eBook will be useful for you. Written in a straightforward manner, this is a truly step-by-step guide full of brainstorming ideas, defining concepts and designing layout ideas.

  • Author2.0 Blueprint

author2.0 blueprint ebook

If you’re passionate about writing, this free eBook will help improve your talent and make you unstoppable. It’s not only about encouraging you to start writing, but also about giving you smart tips on how to write different types of content.

It will teach you how to draft fiction and non-fiction books, how to market your work and even how to make a living with your unique writing.

  • Writing with Style: Three Concepts and Two Stages

writing with style three concepts and two stages

Grab this freebie and learn the three most important concepts every aspiring writer needs to know. Full of real-life examples, this eBook is a great option for every serious writer/blogger who is eager to improve his writing skills. It will help you become a key player on the web.

  • EBook: 365 Writing Prompts

365 writing prompts ebook

Waiting for inspiration? Need a little push?

Well, you can’t wait for inspiration to come. You have to go after it.

Get this interesting eBook written by The Daily Post team to have an entire year of writing inspirations at your fingertips. Written in an easy-to-read manner, it offers a whole host of fantastic ideas on how to get started with your writing projects. Perfect for honing your writing craft, it will inspire you to get started.

  • 10 Steps to Becoming a Writer

10 steps to becoming a writer ebook

Do you want to become a writer? There’s nothing stopping you from writing, so just write!

This free eBook covers smart ideas on how to become a writer and it will surely keep you busy.

  • How to Turn Site Visitors into Leads? 3 Actionable Strategies

You may think that you already know everything about optimizing your website. However, with this free eBook, you will learn how to create a personalized brand that will last and to make more than just money. Find the best way on how to create landing pages that convert, how to set up a webinar, attract natural traffic and achieve your goals. Remember, a little mindset change and this book can make all the difference.

  • Write Good or Die

write good or die ebook

Don’t miss out on a huge opportunity to learn survival tips from best-selling authors like Kevin J. Anderson, Heather Graham, Gayle Lynds, and more. Don’t leave money on the table with your blog. Explore the power of storytelling. Learn how to develop your writing skills, promote your work and use your imagination. As long as you recognize exactly what you are telling, you’re ready to get the attention you deserve.

eBooks for Social Media Marketing

  • 20 Instagram Post Ideas to Overcome Creative Blocks

20 instagram post ideas to overcome creative blocks ebookDo you want to make your Instagram environment awesome and engaging for your followers? Then you need to read this free eBook to grab some of the coolest Instagram post ideas. Get it, open it and learn from it.

  • Social Media Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

social media mistakes ebook

Sometimes we have an idea but don’t exactly know how to express it.

If this is your case, you will definitely find this free eBook useful and beneficial to your business. It will help you understand the world of social media marketing. It covers all possible bumps in the road and potholes an average business owner faces.

It’s a great choice for everyone who wants to learn the difference between personal and business profiles, how to react correctly to comments, attract more natural traffic and more.

  • How to Build an Audience on Social Media?

how do i build an audience on social media ebook

Not sure where to start building your unique brand or how to find your target audience? Is your website getting as many visitors as you’d like? I’ll tell you the secret:

This amazing freebie can be a source of inspiration for you. With the best practices assembled in this free eBook, you’ll be able to easily attract readers and build a loyal audience.

  • 21 Easy Tips to Create a Powerful Presentation For Your Business

21 easy tips to create a powerful presentation for your business ebook

To create a powerful business presentation, you need to use a strong visual language. It will represent any information and reduce the time it takes to convey your message. Get more information on how to build high-impact content that will captivate and inspire your audience.

  • A Beginner’s Guide to Creating Visual Content

How can you win your prospect’s attention? With tons of information at our fingertips, how can you create the web content that is both useful and aesthetically appealing? I’ll tell you.

This wonderful free eBook will help you learn how to create eye-grabbing things, like high-quality photos, images, charts, infographics and other visual representations for your consumers.

  • How to Create Infographics for Your Marketing?

Imagery is the key to draw in your visitors and tell them the story of your mission. But, how do you create eye-grabbing images worth thousands of words? This free eBook covers the basics of creating and using beautiful infographics in your marketing.

  • A Beginner’s Guide to Creating Shareable Infographics

a beginners guide to creating shareable infographics ebook

With this great eBook, you will be able to create effective and impressive infographics in a way that appeals to customers. The sooner you start reading it, the better.

Starting a blog or making a career online is not that easy. But, with the help of these best books for starting an online business, you will surely be one step closer to achieving your goals.

The post 25 Best Books For Starting An Online Business appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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Why Having A Website Is Important For Freelancers

In this day and time, it is often unthinkable for businesses and professionals to not have some sort of online presence. With over 3 billion people being connected on the web according to Google, it is essential to be visible to as many people as possible. Even for freelancers and entrepreneurs, cultivating your digital presence on all fronts is very important!

Here are 5 reasons why you need to build your own website.

Personal branding

freelancer website

When you think that there are about 3 billion people connected to the web, you realize that it is important to stand out from the crowd and differentiate yourself from others. This is where you can focus on your personal branding.

Think about what will make you different from other freelancers. What can you show to your potential clients that will make them want to work with you? What will make other people think of you when they need a service or product?

Having a website is perfect for your personal branding. Not only does it allow you to demonstrate what you can offer, but it also helps you to make your business or product more popular. Having an eye-catching website can give you an edge over your competitors.

See Also: 10 Proven Ways To Build Your Personal Branding in 2018

Credibility

As a freelancer, you would know that gaining trust from your clients is very valuable. Although there are a number of great freelance platforms out there, such as Upwork or Freelancer, having a website will allow you to reach out to clients that aren’t on those platforms.

With a website, you have more liberty and room to showcase your projects. You’ll have more freedom in introducing yourself and strengthening your online presence.

You can ask your clients to give you reviews which you can publish on your website. This will help you establish credibility. When other potential clients see what others think of you, it can give them more reasons to contact you.

Professional

Not only does a website make you more credible in the eyes of your future clients, but it will give you a professional boost. Having a website demonstrates that you took the time and worked hard to establish yourself as an expert in your field.

Don’t hesitate to demonstrate your knowledge by sharing your ideas and thoughts on your website. Show your potential clients what you are capable of and that you are active. If you make yourself look approachable and reachable, you will most likely gain more contacts.

Visibility

freelancer blog

A website serves as the face of your business. Rather than letting your clients do the guesswork in how well you can do your projects, direct them to your website to give them a clearer idea.

Remember, even if you have a good visibility on social platforms, it doesn’t mean that all of your potential clients will find you there. When you have a website, it acts as another means of contact. You can consider it like a business card.

Make sure that your website is visually attractive, readable and includes the most important information about you. Include your experiences, specialties, recommendations and portfolio.

If you are not an expert in website building, there are a number of great website builders that can help you at very little costs. For example, you can check out Heek. It’s a little robot that will help you build your own website through chat.

See Also: 7 Life-Enhancing Reasons To Start A Blog

Online base

It is important to be a part of freelance networks and communities to expand your reach and have a good audience base. Focusing on only your social presence will not help you create a solid community base.

Having your own personal website will allow potential clients and visitors to contact you directly. You will be able to develop your own client base outside of platforms, which could be very useful if the sites that you are on ceases to run.

And finally, why not think big?

A website can help you build a business rather than just freelance for others! If you take some time to start a website or blog, you will be able to open up doors to other opportunities.

 

The post Why Having A Website Is Important For Freelancers appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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Working From Home: Is it Worth it?

We’ve all fantasized about trading in our demanding office hours, gossiping coworkers, and overbearing bosses for a work from home gig. But, how do we get past the anxieties that come with the transition?

Nip those fears in the bud and get ready to pursue the career of your dreams with some of the information below.

Why is Working from Home So Great?

work at home

Working from home has several benefits besides the ability to make a living in your pajamas. You’ll find that trading in your traditional work can yield great benefits such as:

  • You’ll save money from commuting to work. You can reinvest the $50 you throw in your tank each week into something that you love. You can even use it to buy an equipment for your new home office.
  • Working from home can cut out your lunch expenses as well as a few inches off of your waistline. You’re more likely to prepare and eat healthy lunches if you aren’t heading to the food trucks parked across the street from your office.
  • You can say goodbye to the guilt that comes with having to reschedule outings with friends or missing your kid’s recital because you set your own hours. You’re able to start work whenever you like and put it away just in time to catch a yoga class and a chance to focus on you.

Sounds Perfect, Right?

Not so fast.

There are a lot of great things about working from home, but if you’re seriously considering making the switch, then you need to prepare for its drawbacks.

Check them out:

Discipline

Were you the first to quit a new instrument, dance class or sport after just a couple of days? Do you still allow your gym to take $20 out of your bank account each month despite the fact that you haven’t stepped inside of a gym since the last year?

Discipline is a key factor to successfully working from home.

Work/Life Balance

While working from home can definitely benefit those that seek control over how much work dominates their life, managing a solid work/life balance can be tough for true workaholics.

If you don’t have a dedicated and closed off workspace, you’ll be constantly reminded of how there’s always work to be done. This could easily lead to burnout if you fail to set boundaries between work and your personal life.

See Also: Keep Calm and Don’t Stress: Recognizing and Preventing Job Burnout

Financial Instability

Unless you’re working for a larger company, most self-employed individuals or freelancers that work from home have to acknowledge that their funds will fluctuate. There could be times when you go an entire month without receiving a check and you’ll have to find a way to keep yourself afloat financially in the meantime.

What’s Right For Me?

work from home

It’ll take a lot of self-reflection to figure out if working from home might be ideal for you. Check to see if any of the situations below affect you.

You might flourish with working from home if:

  • You’re self-motivated and you don’t need a boss to stand over your shoulder to ensure that work is done.
  • You have six months’ worth of living expenses in your bank account, just in case you come upon hard times.
  • You don’t mind doing self-employment taxes or advertising.
  • You’re not dependent on a healthcare plan provided by your traditional employer.

You might fail at working from home if:

  • You’re not self-motivated. If you need a kick in the rear to help you get started on a project, you might be better off with a more traditional setup.
  • It would put you or your family in financial trouble.
  • You’re not very good at managing stress. It would only make you more stressed to have the extra responsibility on your plate.
  • You prefer structure set by an outside source.
  • You enjoy being able to wheel your chair over to the next cubicle to chat with your coworkers.

Tips for Making the Change

If you’re determined to work from home, you’re going to need help to manage the transition. Here are a few tips to keep you from giving up on your dream to work from home:

  • Make an effort to get out of the house and see your friends or loved ones 2-3 times a week. When you first start working from home, it can be tempting to just throw yourself into your work 24/7, so that you can make your dream come true. Unfortunately, working all the time can and will lead to burnout.
  • Stick to a morning schedule. You’ll be far more successful if you can create your own structure that you can amend at any time.
  • Take inventory of your pantry and fill it up with non-perishable goods in case you run into some financial trouble. Having five or six boxes of stovetop macaroni and cheese can be a lifesaver if you’re running low on cash.
  • Most importantly, perform extensive research on what you’d like to do! If you want to be a freelance writer, you’ll need to read up on all of the different niches and decide what best fits your skill level and financial needs. There’s also plenty of successful individuals that do freelance graphic design, data entry work, virtual assisting or call center work for a company that doesn’t mind if you work from home.

See Also: How to increase productivity while doing ‘Work from Home’?

Get Started!

If you think that you’re cut out for the challenges that come with working from home, start thinking of when and how you’ll begin your transition. If you plan well, you’ll be able to enjoy the rewards of working from home in no time!

The post Working From Home: Is it Worth it? appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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How To Become A Social Media Influencer

Celebrity endorsements are nothing new. Even as far back as the 1700s, the Royal Family was singing the praises of Josiah Wedgwood’s pottery. To this day, Wedgwood is still a household name.

Building a brand takes a lot of work and until very recently, the best way a brand could build a customer base was by paying a celebrity to endorse a product. This created a shortcut to word-of-mouth advertising as a celebrity served as a stand-in for all the small person-to-person recommendations that would ordinarily be used to build buzz around a brand.

There was a time when people trusted celebrities, but that time has passed. Now people rely on regular people to give them recommendations about goods and services. This has led to a rise in a brand-new phenomenon: the social media influencer.

Social media influencers have a few common traits

social media influencer

  • The social media influencer is a person who was not famous initially but may become famous.
  • It is a person who built a social media following around a particular topic over time.
  • Influencers are typically seen as more authentic and trustworthy than celebrities.
  • Influencers are more likely to interact with their audience than celebrities.

Whereas celebrities are handed down from Hollywood and we don’t generally get much choice about which ones become or stay famous, social media has given rise to a new democratic way to decide who gets to become famous. Influencers aren’t made famous by being discovered by Hollywood – they become famous by being genuine and building up a following over time.

This, of course, means that you can set out to become an influencer as a job. That’s right. The next time your mom tells you that you are spending too much time on your phone, you can tell her that you are working on your next career as a social media influencer.

See Also: The Millennials’ Mania Over Social Media

Here’s how to get started

be a social media influencer

Decide what you are passionate and knowledgeable about and start building your following online within that community. If the community does not yet exist, all the better- that means you get to guide it!

Stay authentic and always interact with others when possible.

Once you have built a significant following on a topic, look for brands in that space that may be open to influencer marketing. Pitch them an idea on how you would market their product on social media.

Of course, it’s not a traditional career path and it is constantly changing. This means you will need to be able to change directions whenever you discover something isn’t working.

When social media influencers first came on the scene a little over a decade ago there were basically no rules. That meant that you could take a payment to say something nice about a brand or a company and never have to disclose it. These days, there are rules in place that prevent that from happening.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) wants to make sure that viewers know when they are seeing an advertisement. This is why when you are scrolling through twitter, you will often see #ad or #sponsored. Influencers must make it clear when they are in a contract with a company or with a brand so that there is no confusion about the fact money has changed hands.

Following the rules is only one part of the equation, though. You also have to remain authentic and believable in order for your services to be viable as a form of advertising. One of the major changes that has taken place over the evolution of social media influencers is that advertisers are no longer moved to write a check based on your follower count – they are looking for actual quantifiable results. That means you will have to be able to turn your Instagram #ad posts into an actual pipeline for sales.

See Also: Five Easy Ways To Make Money From Social Media

As you embark on your new career as a social media influencer, remember to be authentic and to always follow the rules. Nearly three quarters of teens think that YouTubers are more relatable than celebrities, and 88% of people trust online recommendations as much as in person ones. There’s a lot of room for the role of the social media influencer to grow. How will you take advantage of the evolution of the social media influencer ?

The post How To Become A Social Media Influencer appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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How To Make The Gig Economy Work For You

Fifty years ago, the expectation was that you would be in the same job until you retire. Today, 34% of the U.S. workforce are freelancers and that number is expected to reach 43% by 2020.

The shift is being driven by a few different factors.

First, the economy has been slow to recover since the Great Recession that started back in 2007. People have had to figure out how to survive in a terrible job market. But, now that the economy is recovering, people are finding that they prefer the flexibility and independence that comes with being their own boss.

According to Forbes, there are lots of reasons for the projected growth in the freelance lifestyle:

  • Workers who enjoy pension plans in private companies in the US have declined alarmingly from 60% in 1982 to a mere 14% today. That’s much less people getting their retirement money and financial security from private US firms.
  • Average rental costs increased by 13% in the US and yet median family income went down by 8% from 2000 to 2012. This means less buying power despite increased cost of living.
  • According to the popular platform LinkedIn, the average length of time that people are unemployed is more than 25 weeks. This has propelled people looking for jobs into the freelance market.
  • A study by two Oxford professors showed that developments in automation and computerization will put approximately 47% of jobs in the US at risk in the next 20 years. This is projected to affect workers in transportation, logistics, office and administration, and production.

Freelancing is an attractive option for people in all stages of life.

For younger workers, it can give you the flexibility to work whatever schedule suits your lifestyle. Older workers may find that they can have more creative control of their careers. Parents, on the other hand, can schedule work times around family needs.

The freedom and flexibility that come with freelancing have numerous benefits to people in all stages of life.

benefits of freelancing

Freelancing is not without drawbacks, however. Getting and keeping clients, meeting deadlines and paying the bills is all on you:

  • You’ll have to pay your payroll taxes, an additional tax burden above what you pay as an employee of a firm.

  • With no matching funds from an employer, you’ll have to save for retirement.

  • You’ll have to purchase and pay for your own health insurance.

How To Succeed As A Freelancer

There are lots of habits you can put into practice if you want to be successful in the gig economy. Here are a few examples:

  • Maintain a current portfolio so you aren’t scrambling to put together work samples when a potential client asks.

  • Maintain a website and social media presence so you’ll look like an engaged professional.

  • Keep your professional business cards handy because you’ll never know when you might meet a potential client.

  • Always complete work on time as agreed. Your reputation is at stake!

  • Create contracts so that all terms are known and agreed upon.

  • Maintain relationships with past clients. They are more likely to give you repeat business and recommend you to other potential clients

See Also: 5 Freelancing Tips That Will Make you Successful

benefits of gig economy

Forbes points to the rapid rise of part-time freelancers as a big contribution to the rise of the gig economy. LinkedIn has seen a 100% increase of members adding freelance work to their profiles in the last 5 years.

Says Walker: “This is a way for (professionals) to take matters into their own hands and proactively have more control over their professional lives.”

Even if you have a full-time job, with wage stagnation, chances are you are still struggling. Working part time in the gig economy has become a popular option for many people, supplementing their incomes, giving them real world experience and allowing them the freedom to pursue creative jobs they otherwise might not get to do.

Freelancing isn’t for the faint of heart, but it can be a totally liberating experience if you put your mind to it. There are many benefits to the lifestyle and they can really make all the difference in your life. Cutting your commute, for example, could prevent you from having a heart attack or stroke, according to some studies! Learn more about the rise of the gig economy from this infographic!

See Also: 10 Ways Your Life Improves When You Become a Freelancer


Freelancing in the Gig Economy

Inforgraphic by JOBVINE

The post How To Make The Gig Economy Work For You appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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The Hidden Advantages Of Using Nofollow Links For Your SEO Strategy

What is the ultimate goal of your marketing strategy?

For most companies, it is to increase their brand presence. In digital marketing, it is all about getting in the first few ranks of Google search results. You should push your brand towards popularity to increase your ROI.

According to the leading SEO companies, it is all about getting the right kind of links. Getting outbound links and inbound links is the perfect way to encourage new customers. This improves search result ranks as well.

The ideal number of inbound links and outbound links is yet to be found. However, 1:1 seems to be the golden ratio for blogs right now.

Before we get into the details, let’s first talk about the kinds of links that matter.

Dofollow links are the most common type of links that SEOs use to usher in search engine crawlers for site indexing. We have always perceived Nofollow links as the less useful ones. However, a recent report from Kick Media SEO is about to change that.

What are Dofollow links?

If you are aware of SEO terms and practices, we are sure you are already on the edge of your seat waiting to correct us. Technically, there are NO dofollow links. All natural links without the nofollow tag are Dofollow or followed links. These are the literal opposite of the Nofollow links.

It is a link that search engine crawlers can follow to index the content. Dofollow links are the default. Unless you add a Nofollow link, all pages have a basic Dofollow link. This signal is organic and trusted by bots.

The more Dofollow links a website has, the more Google regards the site as authoritative. They are the positive signals no bots can disregard.

What are Nofollow links?

Nofollow links make sure that Google does not pass any “link juice” to your target page. Google does not transfer any PageRank across these sites either. SEOs have always overlooked them since they considered these links ineffective.

Apparently, these links do not have any direct impact on site SEO. Therefore, all efforts on a Nofollow link are useless.

However, Google states they do not follow these links “in general.” This leaves much room for assumptions. This is where a few SEO companies jumped in for new research.

What are the benefits of Nofollow links?

It is quite apparent that using Nofollow links will not boost your page rank. However, Google can use these links to increase your user engagement, particularly organic user engagement. They can boost your visibility and credibility. They can act as an introduction to your company, brands and products.

For Rob Toledo from Moz, using a nofollow link got him hundreds of visitors. It increased CTR and user engagement. Much like his experience, an upward trend is now an expected outcome of using nofollow links.

It is all about balancing the links. The ratio does not have to be 1:1. It is more about your brand’s requirements. Using 40 nofollow links against 60 dofollow links is a standard practice. This creates a more natural link profile that keeps the link ratios almost even.

How can you make the most of your nofollow links?

Nofollow links can bring you more organic engagement. Not all these links are equal and you cannot expect all of them to put in the same kind of traffic. Here are a few ways to optimize your nofollow links:

  • Make it interesting. Make sure the link leads to engaging content. People should feel intrigued by the product or service that is at the end of that link.
  • Develop compelling content. This is basic for any successful digital marketing strategy. If you want the best out of your SEO strategy, you need to work your content team. Get them to write compelling content that will entice human readers and will engage bots for easy indexing.
  • Blend your links. You cannot work with nofollow or dofollow links only. You also need to factor in outbound links that will lead users to authoritative sites. Conduct A/B tests to perfect the ratio according to the outcomes.
  • Include freebies. People love free gifts. The only challenge of working with Nofollow links is to lure people to follow the links. For example, if someone is advertising your products with nofollow links, make sure they link to some contest. This will encourage participation and boost your online presence.

Although Nofollow links have been around since 2005, we have started exploring them only recently. They are no longer response to spam comments and negative reviews. They are now instruments of organic SEO.

See Also: The Future of SEO – Predictions and Premonitions That Will Dominate 2017

 

The post The Hidden Advantages Of Using Nofollow Links For Your SEO Strategy appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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5+ Trends for Bloggers to Follow This Summer

Being a blogger is very exciting because you are part of something that is forever evolving. There are always new trends emerging and old trends taking a back seat. It does sometimes become challenging to keep up with these trends, but you definitely should not fear change.

There are many tools online to help you become a successful blogger. You can find anything from a paraphrasing tool or even a topic generator when you’re a little stuck.

We should be happy that we are living in these times wherein we have technology and software available to us for free. Let’s get right into the trends every blogger should follow this summer.

Longer articles

longer article

We have been seeing this trend make its way into the blogging world for a while, but it has become more prominent as of late. Readers are looking for longer and more high-quality content as opposed to shorter posts.

This isn’t a bad thing since it is better to do one long post once a week rather than doing 5 shorter posts a week. Of course, these posts need to add value to the reader’s life and cannot be a simple rehash of common information. Use a text paraphraser to eliminate any badly worded sentences and produce only high-quality content.

See Also: How to Write a Blog Post That Millennials Will Read

No comments

Many bloggers have started to turn their comments section off and those who decide to leave the comments section activated will see a definite decrease in comments.

This does not mean that commenting in blogs is becoming outdated. Rather, the means of communications is simply changing. Social media is becoming the new comments section and it is vital that no blogger forgets this. Being active on social media is part and parcel of the job and you will be left behind if you do not participate.

Email list

This is a typical trend that we have been following for a while, but some bloggers still do not understand the importance of an email list. You cannot simply start an email list without interacting with those who subscribed.

Make sure that your emails are engaging and add additional value to the subscribers, more so than your blog already does. There has to be something extra for the subscribers because they took their time to click that button and fill out your form.

Branding

I am sure that as a blogger, you already know the importance of your blog’s brand. What will become more of a trend this summer is personal branding. Humans interact and relate to humans and you want your audience to get to know the face behind the blog.

There are great benefits in paying attention to your own brand. The face behind the blog is what people are searching for. If the readers feel like they connect with you as a person, you have the ability to build a relationship of trust.

Mobile traffic

attract web traffic

You are going to see more of your traffic coming from the mobile phone. This trend is not going anywhere and will continue to increase. With all the strides in smartphone technology, many will use their phones more for internet activity.

In anticipation of this, you want to make sure that your blog is mobile friendly and navigates at a fast pace on mobile phones. Our generation has become a little impatient in terms of speed and quality. If you want to win them over, always test your websites on various pieces of technology to make sure it is up to standard.

See Also: 5 Proven Strategies That Can Massively Increase Blog Traffic

Forget about ads

Ad revenue has been dropping for a while because consumers have become aware of the money-making vehicles behind it. Unless an ad seriously interests the viewer, they are unlikely to click on that link.

Also, people have become afraid to click on foreign links for the fear of a virus on their computers or cellphones. There are many other way to make money on the internet and ad clicks are no longer it.

Conclusion

Always be on top of trends. Do not sleep on things that can potentially skyrocket your blog to success. It is not impossible for you to become the next big blogger, but you will have to move with the times.

There are many blogs that are honestly fantastic, but fail to reach maximum heights. The cause could be that they are stuck in the past and refuse to change. A lot of hard work goes into a blog and what you put in is what you will get out. Remember there is a lot of competition out there, but they have nothing on you. Stay committed, be persistent and you will see your blog evolve.

 

 

 

The post 5+ Trends for Bloggers to Follow This Summer appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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A Step-By-Step Guide To Writing Good Web Content That Can Sell For $100

Not so long ago, UX Myths posted an article which demonstrates that people are not too fond of web content reading. In fact, they only read around 20% of all the articles and there’s no guarantee that they actually read everything.

So, it seems kind of unfair that you have to spend hours picking the right keywords, writing and polishing texts only to have readers simply scan through your article.

This, however, should not bother you. As long as you create worthy content and find your audience, you will have no trouble having people that will read your articles. Moreover, you will be able to easily sell this content and make money from it.

Sounds fantastic, don’t you think?

We can almost see you asking us how can you sell your writing for at least $100. And it’s a good thing because we do have an answer.

So, meet this complete guide to good web content writing.

Content is the king

The question of whether your content is read or only scanned through relies heavily on how good the content is. Of course, the style, lists, and visual aids are vital. But, unless your content is interesting and engaging, you will not draw your readers’ attention.

What makes for good content?

According to Kissmetrics, high-quality content is:

  • original
  • actionable
  • accurate
  • engaging
  • though-provoking
  • diverse
  • easy to read

It might sound a bit overwhelming and you might be forced to spend long hours polishing and changing your text. Well, you don’t have to do that. All you need to do is spend some time learning how to create content that will grab readers’ attention.

Identify the audience

target audience

Each one of your articles needs to target the correct audience. It’s the secret of successful writing.

Once you start writing some general articles that talk about everything and at the same time about nothing in particular, you won’t be able to sell it.

People will only want to buy content that is likely to bring them traffic and, as a result, revenue. And for that, it has to speak to a specific audience on specific topics.

So, before you grab a pen or hit the keys, make sure to create a clear picture of who your audience is. Think of why they would be listening to you, what they expect to hear, what pain they have and what solutions you can offer.

Go over each one of these statements if you want to reach them with your message – and voila! – your content will easily be in demand!

Follow the latest trends

You wouldn’t want to be left behind. So, try your best to understand the latest trends these days. Know what people expect to see and what channels you can use to reach out to new people.

For instance, you need to remember that 34% of all online users only read their emails through mobile devices, states the Impact. The same applies to the blog posts on social networks.

Therefore, if you want more people to read your content, you need to optimize it for mobile devices. This means that paragraphs and sentences need to be shorter, the font should be bigger and the formatting eye-catching.

Moreover, keep in mind that more people read content via social media. Posts on Facebook should not be long, must have catchy headlines and contain many visual aids.

All in all, follow the latest trends for better results!

See Also: How To Avoid A Content Crisis When Your Deadline Is Looming

Use the right copywriting techniques

Another important thing when it comes to content writing is to use proper copywriting techniques that can bring your writing to a whole new level.

Among common methods every copywriter must know include:

  • using keywords
  • having one main idea per section
  • adding lists and bullet points
  • using sub-headings
  • writing short paragraphs, sentences, and words
  • inserting links to reliable sources

You will be surprised to see what results such an approach can bring! If you follow these recommendations, that 79% of users that do not read the whole article will be more likely to finish your whole piece. So, why not try it?

Find a good site to sell your articles

find a good site

Thanks to the latest trends, more and more people are willing to work from home. Thus, new sites for freelancers emerge. All you need to do is to find the one that fits your expectations.

We have gathered a list of good sites where you can start your career as a freelancer.

Remember that it is good to have a good and persuasive portfolio at first so that when asked about your experience, you would be able to present good examples of your writing.

To create a portfolio, you might offer your articles to bloggers who can post them in the “Guest posts” section of their sites. You can also start your own blog on any topic you are good at or start writing good informative posts on your page on Facebook.

Good websites to check out

  • CollegeHumor – It’s not hard to guess what this site is looking for from their writers. Should you have relevant content, don’t hesitate to offer it to them.
  • Love To Know – It is a perfect resource for writers focusing on the financial topics, fashion, beauty, technology, and many other subjects.
  • Freelance Writing Gigs – This site offers you a list of openings for writers you can check out as well as helpful tips for the beginners.
  • iWriter.com – This site has fixed rates for the articles. The problem with this is that once your writing is rejected, you get no money.
  • Upwork – This is a place where both freelancers and clients meet. You can find the job you will enjoy here in no time.
  • Tuts+ – If you are an experienced writer, you can write for this website as well.

The list can go on and on. You absolutely have all the chances to enter the niche and make your first $100 in the nearest time. Just learn how to write well or polish your skills – and get paid for the amazing content you are crafting.

See Also: 21 Must-Read Tips To Write Better Web Content

The post A Step-By-Step Guide To Writing Good Web Content That Can Sell For $100 appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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5 Tips to Stop Wasting Money on Substandard Services When Outsourcing

Outsourcing jobs is a great way to solve problems at work. It can help you deal with heavy work overload, time sensitive deadlines, lack of work competence or having inadequate workforce at a given time.

However, it is still not as ideal as it sounds, especially with all its potential risks. This includes hiring incompetent freelancers or competent freelancers that overcharge their services.

It is in your best interest to avoid both of these scenarios and the following article will help you do so. Here we will provide four tips on how to avoid wasting money on substandard services when outsourcing jobs.

Plan for what is needed

outsourcing plan

The best way to avoid unnecessary expenses is to have a well-laid-out plan for your freelancers. The more specific you are, the better.

First of all, the people you collaborate with are not mind readers. Since you communicate via emails, it’s easy for a project to lose its track due to the lack of necessary information.

Moreover, if you fail to provide detailed information, you risk getting a project that meets your demands but lacks in quality. So, give them online samples of the level of quality you expect to see. Try to be specific about what you do not want to see.

This way, you will be fully covered when asking for a refund if the demands are not met. Moreover, freelancers who lack the competence to meet those demands will back off.

Ask for previous work samples

When you are hiring someone, it is imperative that you go over their portfolio.

Unfortunately, it can be difficult to tell from someone’s portfolio if he can fill in your specific task. So, for that reason, it would be best to ask freelancers if they have a previous work sample of something that is similar to what you are going to ask for.

Maintain communication

maintain communication

Once you select your freelancers and award them the project, it is important that you maintain communication. As we said, you are not sharing the same working space.

If the project is delicate, it would be wise to organize a Skype call. You can also ask to receive screenshots of how your project is going. This way, you can correct any inconsistencies immediately. You’ll be able to see in advance if you have made the right call, too.

Get a referral or test potential candidates

Lastly, if you are not sure in the expertise of your potential candidates, you can test them out. You can also ask for referrals from other trusted users in the same niche as you. You can do the testing if you are down to two or three potential candidates so it won’t cost you a lot.

Focus on these traits

If you want a reliable outsourcing partner, then you need to have a clear list of their purpose. If they can meet these standards, you can count on them.

> Positive results – The Company can help you increase your customer satisfaction and decrease production costs within the desired time frame.

> Compatibility – The Company should share common goals and values as your company. They need to be performance centric, care about their clients and community and use same methods for managing the company.

> Innovative – You need a company that can greatly contribute to your business and that can perform on their own without the constant need for monitoring. They should help you modernize your business regarding technology, equipment, etc.

See Also: How Cloud Technology Can Help Your Business Grow

> Flexibility – You need a company that can adapt to your standards and provide you with a personalized service to meet your demands. They need to consider your needs as a priority and you need to adequately reward them for their devotion.

> Adaptable management – You need a company that can respond quickly and adapt to changes without sacrificing the quality of the end results. In other words, it needs to have a reliable management team as well as competent staff.

> Benchmarking – You are going to know the outsourcing solution is reliable if they can provide you with evidence explaining that you are receiving a high-quality service. They need to create new growth potential and offer measurable success in the field of employee and client satisfaction.

> Resourceful – They need to continuously deliver in-depth content that is innovative and that fits your needs and demands.

> Constant quality improvement – With continuous collaboration, the quality and the performance of your outsourcing solution should improve. Basically, you need a company that can keep up with you. They need to work on their own staff and provide new and comprehensive training courses for their employees in order to achieve these results.

Conclusion

We hope you will end up with an outsourcing agency or freelancer you can trust and collaborate on numerous other projects in the future. Once you find a competent outsourcing company, it will be far easier to handle projects in the future.

See Also: A Practical Guide to Hiring and Managing Freelancers

The post 5 Tips to Stop Wasting Money on Substandard Services When Outsourcing appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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Instagram Tricks For Artists To Achieve A Successful Career

For any artist to succeed in this highly competitive world, he needs to pay as much attention to promoting his art as its generation. Today, art is accessible to everyone. Because it is so common and accessible, you need to maintain and promote the quality of your work both online and offline if you want to gain an edge.

Instagram is quite a great platform for artists as it fundamentally concentrates on sharing images, paintings, and art masterpieces. It enables artists to demonstrate their painting process and even to sell their unique paintings along the way.

As per Vogue, artists sell their paintings on a regular basis today thanks to their Instagram feed. The platform allows incredible and somewhat unprecedented accessibility to all its users across the world.

If you want to take the same path, here are some secret tips for artists to gain Instagram success.

Make It A Fascinating And Interesting Experience

instagram photo

You must always make it a point to share those photos that are relevant and appropriate to your image as a capable artist. Instagram is an effective way to showcase your creativity, the things that inspire or motivate you, and even the events that are happening in your life.

You must understand that Instagram is definitely not just about your art. It can also be about your daily way of life and your brand. You could consider posting about events, inspirations, studio shots and, of course, your work in progress.

See Also: Top 11 Instagram Users You Should Follow If You Like Photography And Nature

Top Quality Pictures

Remember to incorporate really top quality images that would reflect your work as well as your vision. Instagram users usually expect high-quality and highly curated photographs. With the use of effective filters, you can make your pictures look as awesome as your original paintings. Bear in mind that you cannot post any mediocre-grade pictures on Instagram.

Add An Interesting Caption

You must give a serious thought to captions. Instagram is a platform that is just right for visual storytelling. You must get into the habit of sharing pictures with fascinating captions or an interesting story that can engage and grab the attention of Instagram followers.

We all know that Instagram users love to interact and they would be too happy to like a truly mind-blowing and captivating post.

Promote Your Art Effectively On Instagram

promote instagram

Your chief objective for Instagramming is to promote your unique work. But, if you wish to develop a long-term and robust fan base, you should not solely concentrate on selling your artwork. Many Instagrammers have achieved phenomenal success by focusing more on developing a brand and a distinctive style that is loved by the people. That is how you start using Instagram to your advantage.

See Also: How to Increase Your Instagram Followers in 2017

Highlight The Process

Post your progress on Instagram to effectively promote your work. As an artist, you need to pay attention to each aspect of your project. It is wiser to share some interesting pictures as your work updates and not just the finished products.

Using an effective hashtag, such as #coming soon or #sneakpeek can help, too. This is a great way of creating hype for your artwork.

Conclusion

Instagram is a great way to boost your sales. One good reason is that there is no apparent pressure on the followers to purchase your product. As you see your followers multiply, you would find them re-gramming your unique artworks or even tagging their friends. This is how this interactive platform could help your images go viral or at the least, reach that one Instagrammer who would purchase your work.

The post Instagram Tricks For Artists To Achieve A Successful Career appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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5 Effective Ways To Sound More Human Over A Customer Support Live Chat

Not all good call center agents can be great live chat experts. Talking through a live chat requires a special kind of training and it’s more than just typing responses.

For instance, a call center agent providing support via phone is expected to sound patient and relaxed. A live chat agent, on the other hand, should be a multi-tasker who can handle multiple chats and tasks at the same time.

To help you develop those skills, let’s examine the best live chat customer service tips.

Make the most out of the initial seconds

friendly customer support

As a lot of people say, “ the first impression is the last impression”. You should bear this statement in mind, especially if you are into a customer service job.

Some might argue that working as a live chat customer service representative is easy since clients won’t be able to see or hear you. The truth is it’s the other way around.

Creating an impression when you are just typing words can easily lead to miscommunication and misunderstanding. Because of this, you need to be extra careful when chatting with a customer.

Here are a few tips you can use:

• Be cheerful and friendly. Your words and sentences should reflect positivity and politeness. These things can help a customer stressing over an unresolved issue.

• Never be sarcastic even if the customer is. Stay helpful and never joke irreverently with anyone.

• Avoid being blunt and use complete sentences, grammar, phrases, and punctuations. Always reply with a complete answer, even if you believe it’s not necessary.

All you want is good feedback from the customer, and that can only be obtained by using the right tone and the right words.

Speak the customer’s language

Having a refreshing and cheerful attitude is important, but so is speaking in a way your customer feels most comfortable in. For example, if a customer is direct and formal in his/her tone, you should reply accordingly.

On the other hand, if the customer seems to be a conversational-type, then you can start the discussion by asking him how he’s doing. This will help both of you to feel at ease.

In addition to that, you should also know how to approach a customer that’s not too familiar with the English language. In such cases, it’s best if your department can invest in language translation tools or use agents who are multi-lingual.

Avoid jargon

When communicating with a customer, most live chat agents often make the mistake of assuming that the customer is very familiar with their products or services.

To avoid confusion, assume every customer is a new prospect to your offerings. Avoid using jargon or overly complex terms to describe the product’s features and benefits. Instead, keep the conversation as simple and clear as possible.

The point is to make the customer understand the nature of the business and products without making them feel intimidated by their technical aspects.

Remember that you’re not a robot

To counter language and other communication issues, most companies have a defined ‘style guide’ that teaches agents on how to talk to their target audience. Such style guides may teach you the basics of communication within your industry, but you shouldn’t rely on them too much. Remember, you’re not a robot!

Since most companies tend to hear the same concerns over and over again, they believe that creating standard responses to such concerns can save them time. Unfortunately, not all customers will have the same concerns.

Ideally, it should go well if the customer asks something that is exactly in the style guide. If that’s not the case, you have to be prepared to come up with your own resolution. Get used to modifying each reply before sending it to the customer. Keep in mind that agents are there to solve each customer’s issues!

Unlike robots, humans are naturally sympathetic to the specific needs and emotions of their customers.

Take product A and product B for example. A customer might be interested in product A, but as a professional having a clear understanding of what the customer needs, you think product B would be a much better choice for him. So, instead of explaining the features and benefits of both, you try to emphasize why and how product B would meet his needs more than A.

Be honest and work it right

customer support

Continuing the above discussion, you suggested product B over A to the customer because it was a better problem solver. But, what if product A was more expensive than B, and its sales could easily uplift your revenue figures? What would be your preference in such a situation?

No matter how much it tempts you, you should avoid misleading a customer into making a wrong purchase. Always express the most authentic and honest opinion to your customers. The clearer the facts, the easier it will be for them to make the right decision. In the end, a satisfied customer is most likely to be a repeat customer.

Also, if you aren’t thoroughly informed about a product or an item, never lie to your customers. Some live chat features allow the agents to redirect the call to relevant personnel who might be able to provide your customers with the information they need. Don’t hesitate to ask for help if the situation requires it.

See Also: 11 Key Tips for Improving Customer Support

Conclusion

If you are currently working as a live chat agent or you’re undergoing a related training, take those live chat customer service tips into consideration. They won’t only help you build a long-lasting relationship with your customers, but they can also helo boost your sales.

See Also: 5 Steps to Creating a More Productive Sales Team 

 

The post 5 Effective Ways To Sound More Human Over A Customer Support Live Chat appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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Smart Tips On How to Become A More Productive Blogger

Productive people are successful people.  They get their work done, make sure all necessary tasks are tended to and leave no loose ends. If you are a blogger, however, these things can be very hard to achieve.

When you’re a blogger, you’re your own boss. You decide what gets done and when so productivity should always be a high priority for you.

To help you achieve that, we’ve compiled some of the best blogging tips that can help you do more with your time.

Make A Plan

planning blogging

Making a plan for when you’re going to write articles, post them on your blog and social media and respond to and send emails can keep you organized and on track. A plan can help you decide what you need to do for the day and limit the time you’ll have to wonder about your next task.

Delegate Small Tasks to Freelancers

You don’t have to do everything by yourself even if you are the sole owner and operator of your blog. Small things, like formatting photos, creating logos and crafting theme designs, can be done by others.

This will save you time as well as increase the quality of your blog. There are several freelancing options and platforms that can meet your budget and needs.

See Also: A Practical Guide to Hiring and Managing Freelancers

Use Your Bookmark Bar

The bookmark bar is a very useful tool that you may not even be aware of. If you haven’t used it yet, it’s a tool which you can use to save websites that you may frequently visit or need to access later.

You can quickly save a website by holding the control key and then pressing the ‘D’ button. Since you’ll no longer have to manually type the website or search for it, you’ll be able to save a good amount of time.

Utilize Time-Saving Plugins

If you have your own blog website, then this will be very useful to you.

Plugins can do a variety of things. They are like apps for your website which can save you time and a lot of hard work.

For example, Akismet is a common plugin that eliminates spam comments so you don’t have to delete them manually. There are also plugins that preserve your format, font, and layout when you want to publish a post.

However, some plugins, like Write!, have .html export options already built in. This way, you can make use of Write!’s special features without having to use plugin space. Keep this in mind as this is one of the most important blogging tips you can find.

Be Passionate About Your Topic

Finding your passion can be a bit difficult but it can help you complete any task. Hopefully, you have chosen a topic for your blog that you are very passionate about.

Some areas of blogging are really exhausting and frustrating. They can easily make you want to give up.

In order to stay on track and be productive, you should try to find something about these tasks that you enjoy. Being passionate about what you’re doing will motivate you to do your best and be at your most productive.

See Also: How To Find The Best Topic For Your Blog

Create a FAQ Page

create an faq page

Are you constantly being asked the same few questions over and over by your visitors?

If so, then you should really consider writing up a FAQ page where you can answer the most common questions from your fans. It’s a more convenient approach since you won’t have to repeatedly answer the same questions.

It may seem like a tiny thing, but those minutes you’ll use answering their questions can easily add up. It’s time you could be spending writing, posting and marketing your blog.

Eliminate Unnecessary Distractions

This tip isn’t specific for blog productivity but can also be used for any task that requires focus.

If you want an easy, sure-fire way to increase your productivity, then get rid of all of the distractions in your blogging environment. This includes signing out of social media, turning your phone to silent, separating yourself from people that will distract you, and suppressing anything that may draw your focus from your current task.

Music may help you focus or draw your focus from your work. This will depend on your preference and what you’re working on.

The post Smart Tips On How to Become A More Productive Blogger appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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4 Top “Get Paid To Review Sites” You Should Definitely Try

Once you have an established blog in any niche, then writing paid reviews is one of the easiest ways to make money out of it. There are tons of companies today that are willing to pay a good amount of money just to spread awareness about their products.

One review may take only 20 to 30 minutes to write and it can earn you anywhere from $50 to $1000 dollars.

However, although writing is easy, the process of finding a good company that can pay you for writing a review is a different story. If you are looking for the best get paid to review sites, then the following list should be able to help you out.

Best websites to find paid reviews for bloggers

SponsoredReviews

sponsored-reviews

SponsoredReviews is one of the oldest websites when it comes to finding paid reviews for your blog. The site is very basic and does one simple job of acting as a bridge between bloggers and advertisers. It is one of the best market places for buying and selling sponsored reviews for your blog.

There are some conditions that you must satisfy before you can join the site:

1. Your blog must have a minimum age of 3 months.
2. Your blog must contain quality articles.
3. Your blog should be indexed in all major search engines.
4. Your blog must have a good Alexa rank.
5. You must have a Paypal account to accept your earnings.

One of the features of SponsoredReviews is that they allow you to set up your own price for every review.

This is a good thing for people with high authority blogs who complain that they deserve more money for each review they do. However, many new bloggers set the rates too high and then complain about not getting any results. Before joining them, make sure you know the right price for your site.

To start making money by writing paid reviews on your blog, you just need to register yourself on SponsoredReviews.com as a blogger.

BlogMint

blogmint

While there are unlimited ways to make money with your blog, having a YouTube channel is a completely different story. Building a good YouTube channel can take as much effort as building a blog, but the earning potentials are very less, especially since you’re mainly dependent on Adsense income.

However, thanks to BlogMint, new video bloggers have another big platform which they can use to make money with paid reviews so they are not completely at the mercy of Adsense.

You can find a good amount of paid reviews for your blog using BlogMint as well.

Another good thing is that your money is directly transferred to your bank account so you don’t need to do any extra effort to finally be able to use your money.

BlogExpose

blogexpose

BlogExpose.com is made for the sole purpose of acting as a platform for advertisers and bloggers.

The thing I like the most about them is that they don’t control your payments. You can find and talk to bloggers according to your needs and pay them as you like.

This way, you’ll be able to save your valuable money, unlike other sites which take a large commission for doing this.

See Also: 5 Simple Ways to Transform a Blog to a Money Making Machine

Famebit

famebit

And finally, for us, the top choice among this list of get paid to review sites is Famebit. It won’t matter if you have a YouTube channel, Tumbler blog or even an established social media profile before you can land a gig here.

See Also: Five Easy Ways To Make Money From Social Media

This means that normal people who don’t have enough SEO knowledge or don’t have time to work on a blog can also earn a good amount of money. The only downside is that they don’t offer to find regular sponsored posts for bloggers.

Which one of these sponsored review sites did you like the most? Do you know any better site to find sponsored reviews for your blog?

The post 4 Top “Get Paid To Review Sites” You Should Definitely Try appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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Drop In SEO Rankings: A Guide To Complete Recovery

Say, one fine morning you wake up from sleep, get your quintessential cup of morning coffee and sit down at your workstation, only to find that the ranking of a huge chunk of your website has dropped. Now, before you freak out, make sure it’s actually an SEO ranking drop.

Even the smartest of the SEOs make the mistake of fretting and wasting time in the first few hours. For this reason, we have put together a small guide to help you manage dropped rankings successfully.

Is there an SEO ranking drop at all?

drop in ranking

This is the first thing you should check once your website indicates a drop in traffic and sales. Over the years at NYC SEO Authority, we have seen rank trackers not localized properly or being bamboozled by one of Google’s new SEO experiments to give false hits.

If this is the case, you need to find out…

Has organic traffic dropped in your concerned pages?

Compare the organic traffic of your affected pages before and after drop. Note the changes in traffic since after your rankings have dropped and think about possible factors, like Holidays and festivities, that could have brought the changes.

See Also: Effective Ways To Attract Web Traffic Even When On a Small SEO Budget

Does your ranking tracker show a drop in rankings as well?

We recommend our followers to keep a track of their regular keyword rankings to see if the ranking drop stays for a few days.

Once you are sure that the ranking tools are showing a sharp drop but your GSC clicks are still high, then it could be a natural fluctuation.

However, if you can see the ranking change along with the GSC clicks, then there are a few more things you ought to do:

google search

1. Check if a new Google algorithm has kicked in

Google is notorious for getting new algorithms every season and sometimes one has a completely different set of SEO rules from another. Quite a few blogs document even the minor changes in the SEO algorithm.

You can check out the following for all the latest news on Google SEO:

  • Moz
  • Search Engine Watch
  • Search Engine Land

2. Is the problem on your end?

You need to understand why Google is penalizing your website or why your website is not earning any more brownie points from Google. If the trouble is on your end, you will need to change your SEO plan to boost your website ranking.

Here are a few factors on your end that can cause an SEO ranking drop:

Have you changed internal links of the affected pages?

Internal links are the main contributors of high page ranks and if you changed the locations of your pages without updating your XML maps, Google may be penalizing you without any warning. This can happen when site navigation is updated or key pages are updated, too.

What changes have you made to the affected pages?

From changing URLs to removing H1 and H2 targeted keywords, these things can negatively affect your site’s ranking. Therefore, if your team has changed any of these things or even your pages’ keyword density, there’s a good chance you’ll experience a drop in your SEO rankings.

One thing you can do is check if Google spiders can still access your site and check Google search console for recent crawl reports.

Has there been a site-wide link loss?

This is another very common factor that drives the ranks of all websites. If your website has lost external links, then it will reflect on your site’s SEO rankings.

You can run Screaming Frog on your affected pages to check which other pages link internally to them. You can use Majestic or Ahrefs to find all websites that link to the targeted pages. If this is your problem area, you have no other way than to work towards getting those links back in place.

Has your competition website made any recent changes?

Sometimes you may see your SEO ranking drop after your competitors optimized their websites. In this case, there’s nothing more you can do than suck it up and revise your SEO plans.

You can use tools like Versionista and Wayback Machine to find all recent changes made on your competitor websites. You can spot which of your competitors gained traffic and which ones changed internal link structure from these tools.

Take note of what you learn from studying competitor websites. Learn from the improvements made by your competitor sites and implement the same on your pages to make it rank better.

We know it is difficult to stay calm when your Google ranking is challenged. However, these are a few things we do at our firm to make sure that our website always stay on top, even after having our Seo ranking drop.

See Also: The Future of SEO – Predictions and Premonitions That Will Dominate 2017

The post Drop In SEO Rankings: A Guide To Complete Recovery appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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Get One Step Closer To Success: How To Make A Difference in e-Commerce SEO

Creating a new e-commerce website with the WYSIWYG website builders is a cakewalk these days. However, maintaining it and optimizing its user experience is a different story. Without a planned strategy, your dream of running an optimized e-commerce website can very soon turn into a nightmare.

The key to running an e-commerce website with a regular inflow of traffic and healthy conversion rates is the prioritization of SEO (search engine optimization). This is very different from UEO (user experience optimization).

Confused already? Let’s elaborate it for you.

Get a bit creative with product descriptions

You don’t need to be overly expressive in describing your products. In fact, just a few, but quality, lines can do the trick.

Make your product descriptions informative, fun to read and engaging. Cover all features within 150-300 words and write in a way that focuses on your target audience’s perspective.

For example, if you are selling shoes, think of what your target buyers would look for in your shoes. Find out what search keywords they could use and make sure to include them in your product description.

Do not forget to include your products or niche when writing subheadings. This will make it much easier for crawlers to index the products on your site.

See Also: The Average Joe’s Guide To Setting Up An Online Business

Do not shy away from including product reviews

ecommerce site

Including good reviews with every product may seem like blowing your own trumpet, but this is an absolute necessity in the world of digital marketing. Each and every positive review can add credibility to your products and can also provide quite an effective way to improve your content.

When looking for reviews, you should consider Amazon. Some of their top products have thousands of reviews, making them the favorite of search engine spiders.

Moreover, online shoppers give a lot of importance to fellow shopper’s reviews before making a purchase. It is similar to the personal “touch” shoppers experience at a physical store.

If the products you are promoting don’t have any reviews yet, you can send follow up emails to your customers urging them to review your products and their shopping experience.

Do not stuff keywords into your content

Although the newest updates of Google may not penalize you, stuffing ill-fitting keywords into your content may not give you benefits, too. Instead of putting senseless keywords in your posts, it’s a good idea if you can take time to write about keywords that are truly relevant to your site and products. They should be contextual and have a healthy density.

Since we are recommending a 300-word description for each product, we will not advise a keyword density of more than 1%. So, instead of focusing on keywords, pay more attention on giving your customers a complete description of your product. This will improve user experience and boost your organic authority over time.

Include alternate text for images

Do not leave the original text for the product images. Access your back-end editor and change the name of each image to a relevant text. We suggest using names or terms you are aspiring to rank for but steer clear of stuffing keywords.

Image alt texts are hardly 3 to 4 words and we would rather advise you to include a descriptive name that is relevant. For example, “leather tan boots with 2 inch heels – XYZ (brand name)”.

Put on your thinking hat for titles and URLs

Titles are more important for SEO than you can ever imagine. They help in indexing and SERP ranking by enabling search engines to understand the purpose of every landing page in your website.

So, steer clear of duplication by skipping vendor titles and manufacturer titles since your competitors may use the same. We would suggest you go a little creative when it comes to creating titles for each of your landing page.

While making URLs, keep your customers in mind. Use simple names and special descriptions for your URLs that will help your visitors easily find their way to your products.

Create XML maps and share with search engines

Your website builder might have this as a built-in option. If not, use a simple plug-in that can generate an XML map of your website indexing all the pages, subpages etc. Update any existing map to give the search engines an easy route through your website and new products.

Most of the CMS platforms that are dedicated to catering to e-commerce websites have automated sitemap generation options. This is to levy the stress most site crawlers are subjected to when you continuously update your inventory and make changes to the content of your site. Keep your XML sitemaps updated to keep your site in the good books of all search engines.

Internal linking to quality content

ecommerce products

The days of “blackhat” SEO are over. Now, if you stuff keywords repeatedly from other sources, you may not be penalized actively but your SRL ranking can decrease tremendously.

Today, it’s better if you can focus on meaningful content with wise use of contextual keywords. Since the introduction of Hummingbird, the keyword game has changed and the current algorithms focus more on the meaning of an entire sentence rather than isolated phrases or words.

Do not forget to use active and good quality backlinks while constructing your articles or product content. This builds reputation and credibility. Including backlinks from reputable websites builds consumer trust and helps in boosting customer conversion rate magnificently.

See Also: The Future of SEO – Predictions and Premonitions That Will Dominate 2017

Be ready to make new friends

Many website owners may not believe it just yet, but Schema is going to be your new best friend. Schema.org is designed to fabricate, maintain and advertise structured data online. These are most commonly used by the likes of Google and other search engines to make sure the consumers get more than they can chew on. You can consider including Schema into the following places:

• Brand
• Offers
• Rating and reviews
• Product

Content website definitely needs more focus in the coming year if you want to make your e-commerce website a raging success. You must remember that there are thousands of successful online shopping portals people search for every day and you must always one-up them in every aspect to make yourself visible. Serve your target audience exactly what they are looking for and use e-commerce SEO to boost incoming traffic and conversion rates.

The post Get One Step Closer To Success: How To Make A Difference in e-Commerce SEO appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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Five Easy Ways To Make Money From Social Media

Making money with social media is no longer a myth. In fact, you can even do it without breaking a sweat. There a lot of opportunities for those who are actively online, but to give you specific ideas on how you can actually earn, here are five good ways you can try.

Social Media Manager

social media manager

This wouldn’t make you eye-boggling sums but it will make you some cool side cash if you find the right gig. If you have had real success in getting people to notice, like, comment on or share your posts across social media platforms, then you already have the basic requirements.

Companies that know how social media is no longer an option in the 21st century can hire you to manage their social media marketing campaigns, design social media strategy and manage their platforms. What you just have to do is to know what these companies are. Most of the time, these are private contractor’s jobs that can be done remotely.

Make Money Off Of Your Videos

Not everyone can swing this admittedly, so I guess it may not be an “easy tip” for everyone. But, if you have an engaging personality, sense of humor, a unique perspective and considerable knowledge of a particular subject, then you can do a lot of things with social media.

You can monetize your YouTube Channel, for instance, by being a vlogger and posting videos. Once they go viral, you can get a reasonable side income. Apart from virality, you can also earn revenue by joining the Youtube Partner Program which basically allows Google to install ads at the start of your videos.

Take, for example, Grace Helbig. She creates fun Youtube videos and shares them on her other social media accounts.

You could also coach someone remotely. With the engagement that social media has brought about, you can do almost anything that can be done personally through a video tutorial, Skype or even over e-mail.

If you have an area of expertise and reasonable knowledge to help someone with, you can offer your services via social media like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Charge a fee for your services and make that cash.

You can even use a YouTube channel to upload your tutorials on a general basis and then promote them via other social media platforms.

Make Money Off Of Your Photos

make money of your photos

If you are an avid Instagram user and post various original photos across social media, you can turn that into a paying gig. However, before this gig can fly, you would probably have to have built a following and made people reasonably aware of your work and the quality of your work.

You can promote your work with platforms like Flickr or you can offer your work so people can use them for free on their websites. Once you are able to increase the number of people who are aware of your work, you can join paying sites like Shutterstock or iStockphoto. If someone takes interest in your work, he’ll be required to pay for your pictures before using them on his blogs.

Utilize Your Instagram Account

I can safely say that Instagram has a proven track record of conversion for businesses than most platforms. Its visual and captivating nature make it a great ground to start from.

You probably didn’t know that you could monetize your Instagram account, did you? Well, you can!

While you can’t make purchases from Instagram yet, its unique features make it a great place for showcasing your work. With platforms like Like2b.uy, which is designed to allow your followers to buy what they’ve seen in your feed with just a few clicks, you’ll be earning good cash in no time.

For you to experience this, you may need to add a third-party app. “Shop Instagram” or ” As Seen on Instagram” are great choices since they only need to be added to a part of your homepage. You can also link them in your Instagram bio or your website so you can drive traffic there

JennieKwonDesigns is one of those people who has had great success with this trick.

 

See Also: How to Increase Your Instagram Followers in 2017

Sell Your Art And Songs

Instagram and Tumblr are great means to test the waters with your artwork. When you get great responses, you can then utilize them to sell prints and other merchandise through online stores, like Etsy or Big Cartel.

If you can make great beats, jingles and good music, places like Soundcloud are one of the best and easiest to use platform that can help you get your work noticed. You can share the SoundCloud link to all your social media platforms and get instant downloads. Who knows who will hear your work?

See Also: 3 Things You Should Know Before Pursuing A Songwriting Career

There are a lot more options like Freelance writing, selling an e-book, and you can even come up with one! The opportunity to make money from social media is relatively endless. You just have to figure out what will work best for you.

Go make some money!

The post Five Easy Ways To Make Money From Social Media appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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Effective Ways To Attract Web Traffic Even When On a Small SEO Budget

Search engine optimization is one of the most practical ways of generating new leads for sales conversions. Unfortunately, it can be pretty expensive for online businesses. This is one reason why some people choose to cut corners and engage in generating spam comments.

Such tactics have no chance of succeeding these days as search engines have become increasingly sophisticated and favor quality over quantity. This can leave most small online businesses in a tight spot since hiring experienced and skilled SEO practitioners can be quite costly and usually unaffordable.

If you are looking for ways to increase your web traffic while on a tight budget, here are some practical tips worth trying.

Publish Detailed and High-Quality Content

high quality content

A study that involved 20,000 keywords revealed that the average word count of the top 10 results was 2,000. The number one spot was taken by an article of 2416 words. This is a far cry from the short articles you can normally encounter on the web.

This reflects the idea that although users turn to search engines for quick answers, more than 10% of them are still interested in reading in-depth articles. This is why Google is also offering related search results to help users find more detailed information on their chosen subject.

The best way of achieving consistently high ranks in the SERPs is to create detailed and informative content that is relevant to what users need. However, you should never sacrifice quality to just to achieve a certain word count. Users can easily spot such tactics very easily.

Enhance On-Page SEO

Discussions on SEO are often dominated by topics such as link building, social signals, etc.

While they are indeed important, the function and importance of on-page SEO cannot be ignored. On-page SEO consists of optimizing the individual pages of the website so that they rank higher in search results. They are also needed to attract more user traffic.

For the meta description, pay attention to the readability, include the target keyword, and keep the word count to 70 characters or less. Even though the page description isn’t as important as before, creating proper description can still boost the click-through.

Keeping the URL short and easy-to-understand also counts. It gives users an idea of what the page contains even before the click. While keyword density is no longer a ranking factor, you can still include it twice or thrice in the body. Make sure it happens organically and naturally, as opposed to being forced.

Use Internal Linking

Internal linking is a process of referring links in one page to another page in the same domain. It is very useful for SEO because it can attract Google to a particular page of a site.

Internal linking also gives you visitors more options for reading. It also assists Google to index web pages more efficiently and boost your ranking for specified keywords. The fundamental benefit of internal linking is that it enables you to pass the authority of a particular page to another one.

Adopt Responsive Design

web design

Since more people do online searches using smaller devices, it’s a good idea to use a responsive design. Good examples include CSS style sheets, proportion-based grids, as well as adjustable images. These things enable the site’s layout and content to adjust to the devices’ requirements.

See Also: The Essential Elements of Modern Web Design

Conclusion

Although professional and sophisticated SEO is never cheap, it doesn’t mean that you always have to break the bank just to boost your traffic. The techniques outlined hardly cost anything, yet they are easy to implement. They can provide the basic building blocks for achieving superior SEO.

See Also: The Future of SEO – Predictions and Premonitions That Will Dominate 2017

The post Effective Ways To Attract Web Traffic Even When On a Small SEO Budget appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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The Average Joe’s Guide To Setting Up An Online Business

E-commerce can be a minefield to the average Joe. Many big decisions need to be made, from deciding what to sell to how you can start setting up an online business. But, don’t let the online world scare you. With the following tips, you will be well on your way to creating your own successful business.

Refining, Designing And Sourcing Your Product

There are lots of options when embarking on a career in e-commerce these days. You can design your product, employ a third-party company to do this for you or source stock and mark up the price to make a profit.

It doesn’t matter how you go about obtaining your product. What’s more important is that you take your time to make the right decisions.

The D.I.Y. Approach

Product design can be a long and arduous process. But, if you want to offer a unique and valuable product or service to your customers and succeed with your online business, then you need to be ready to do your homework.

Pro tip: To launch an online business with a self-designed and prototyped product, your product needs to be refined to meet the needs of your audience. This should involve rigorous product testing.

GoldieBlox is one good example. It has taken the children’s toy industry by storm with products designed to encourage young girls to pursue an interest in STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and mathematics).

These construction toys were designed to overcome the societal obstacles that can afflict girls in early childhood development and make them believe that STEM subjects are off limits to them.

GoldieBlox craftstruction

Shopify entrepreneur and founder Debbie Sterling divulged that, to get her product right, she embarked on a long process of prototype testing and tweaking with focus groups to test on small children. Sterling created crude prototypes of her early designs and she employed children of differing age groups to play with them, observing them as they did.

Each focus group revealed new things to change about her products. One of her discoveries was that female children get frustrated with asymmetrical construction toys. As a result, she tweaked her designs to feature only symmetrical slots.

Debbie’s experiences teach us that all products need multiple levels of refinement and testing to ensure that they successfully fill a niche in the market and meet a customer’s needs.

Third Party Design

Third party design can be a great way to get your product ready to prototype or manufacture quickly. This method of design can speed up the process of getting your product ready to market in your online store and allow you to focus solely on marketing it and making sales.

Services, such as Viral Style, enable you to design your unique, personalized garments online, set your price and use their services to market the product through email placements and social media.

Here’s how it works:

  • You need to create your garment with the online design suite
  • Set a price at which you wish to sell your product online
  • Utilize Viral Style’s marketing services to gain exposure for your product
  • Collect a percentage of each design’s sales as a profit

However, this kind of design model is not without its drawbacks. For example, Viral Style takes a percentage of each sale for their service.

Despite this, by speeding up the product design process, third party designing services is still a good tool, especially since it can make your business more accessible to people.

Buying In Your Product

Is creating or designing a product not so appealing? If this is your concern, you should consider becoming an online merchant.

Being a merchant requires spending time doing a lot of research to ensure that you find the best quality products at the lowest price and then mark them up to make a profit.

Here are some ways you could source products and set up an online business:

Find a simple accessory niche – Merchants make most of their profits on the accompanying accessories to their products. These accessories, such as HDMI cables and phone cases, are less price-sensitive. Despite this, merchants can still make the same profit on an HDMI cable as they would do on a TV.

Consumable/ disposable and subscription products – These products often lead to repeat business, which is great for any merchant. If your product is regularly ordered, you could be on your way to generating a sustainable profit. Consider running a subscription service for guaranteed periodic sales.

Gaps in the online shelves – Perusing the online stock levels of products on Amazon or Ebay is often a good idea. Products which are consistently out of stock are a great business opportunity for you.

Be relentless: test your product, or do your research until you get it right. See our previous article on why your business ideas most likely need a little work.

Setting Up Shop

setting up shop

So, now that you’ve made or found your niche product, how do you get the ball rolling?

Here are some important points to consider when you are selecting which method to adopt in selling your product online:

The ability to showcase your products and brand through attractive imagery: Promote your products and brand with unique imagery, including crisp, high definition photos or infographics.

A clearly designed buyer’s journey: An easy to use online interface is required to convert your page visits into sales and avoid shopping cart abandonment

Communications with customers are key: Make the most of the online world by using calls-to-action to capture email addresses and click-through buttons to gain social media follows. You can then use social media and newsletters to advertise your products and get your brand heard.

Content value exchange is important: Linking your online store to your brand’s social media and offering other content, such as a blog, can be very useful. Your customers will be more likely to give you their contact details or business if you inform or entertain them.

Strategize your platform: Ebay, Amazon or Etsy are all fantastic ways to sell products online. However, if you want more control over the buyer’s journey, you should consider an all-in e-commerce platform.

See Also: How Online Blogging Is Influencing Business Trends

Marketing Your brand: Authenticity Is Key

A brand story is the foundation of any growth strategy.

Making your brand story clear and engaging with your customers is a great way to make your online business stand out from the crowd. You can also try giving your products and services a human face.

Invest In Your Brand Story

Your brand story should include:

  • The reason your company came to be
  • What motivates you and your team to come to work each day
  • An inside look at your company

High Brew Coffee, for example, engage their customers with an excellent brand story of their online store. The coffee retailer’s website boasts the story of how the founders first came to conceptualize the brand.

Their website even hosts a short animated video which transforms their story into stylized visual content. This is in keeping with their brand image and creates an emotional connection with the consumer.

The experience of buying from them is not like buying from a stranger as their brand story has put a face to the name High Brew Coffee.

See Also: 5 Smart Ways to Boost Brand Awareness 

Take Aways

Setting up an online business has never been easier but there are a few things you need to do before you set up your shop:

Refine your product: Whether it has been handcrafted or purchased online, make sure that your product fills a niche in the online market that guarantees sales.

Sell your products the right way for you: With so many options out there, it is worth doing your research to find the right way to sell your products online. Consider an e-commerce platform for greater control.

Be authentic: Let your customers know what’s special about your company by expressing your brand story and offering a face to your brand’s name.

Are you considering setting up your own online business? What lessons will you take away from it? Let us know in the comments.

The post The Average Joe’s Guide To Setting Up An Online Business appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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5 Ways to Legitimately Start Making Money Online in Your Spare Time

Have you ever wanted to make money online but weren’t sure how to get started? The good news is that tons of people are already making money online and many of them have done this by turning their expertise, passion, or hobby into profits.

To help with this process, today I wanted to share a list of five great ways you can start making money online. Each method is unique in their own way but also generating millions of dollars in revenue daily for people around the world.

Start a Blog

start a blog

Blogging is one of the most popular ways to start a website or a place of your own on the internet. Ever since the creation of WordPress, it’s never been easier to get started with a website or blog without the need to know anything about web hosting, programming or even content creation.

Many blogs start out as hobbies or personal sites, then as their readership builds up, different forms of monetization and potential revenue come into play. To learn more about how to start a blog and even make some money in the process, be sure to check out this blogging resource guide.

See Also: 5 Simple Ways to Transform a Blog to a Money Making Machine

Freelance Writing

Many people are great at writing but never really get to put this to good use. At the same time, many people have a lot of free time during their day and could start making a few dollars in the process by completing articles for websites, marketing agencies and different brands around the world.

Through the use of sites like Fiverr, TextBroker, and iWriter, anyone can create an account, look up the latest article jobs, then complete them at their leisure or even create a new freelance writing business in the process.

See Also: How To Find Great Ideas For Writing A Story 

Create an Etsy Store

Creativity is something many people possess but it’s not something many people can successfully make money with. Thanks to sites like Etsy.com, anyone can create an online store of their own and start selling crafts, paper products, art work, t-shirts or anything else you can think of.

When starting an Etsy store, try to provide the highest quality products and build a brand around your business. The start-up costs for Etsy are quite minimal and many of their users are earning over five-figures per month selling through their site.

Affiliate Marketing

If you have a passion for business or know how to sell products, the world of affiliate marketing might just be what you were looking for. The concept of affiliate marketing is quite simple.

Many web sites and brands will pay out a commission to site owners and partners who promote their website. Every time a new customer or lead is referred, an affiliate would then receive a commission for the transaction that takes place.

Some of the many benefits of affiliate marketing include not needing to hold any inventory, never needing to handle a transaction and there is also unlimited earning potential.

Sell Stuff on Amazon and eBay

sell stuff on amazon

We all use sites like Amazon and eBay on a daily basis as a customer, but not enough of us are using these online stores to their full advantage. eBay is one of the best sites for selling junk or unwanted products you might currently have in your house. What many people don’t know is that Amazon has a program of their own for selling content through their site as well. This can be done with individual products, or even with bulk products that you might already create and sell elsewhere.

Now that you’ve seen some of the best ways to start making money online, it’s time for you to get in on the action. Each of the methods are unique in their own way, and can make more or less depending on the time, work and effort you put into them.

 

The post 5 Ways to Legitimately Start Making Money Online in Your Spare Time appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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5 Ways to Legitimately Start Making Money Online in Your Spare Time

Have you ever wanted to make money online but weren’t sure how to get started? The good news is that tons of people are already making money online and many of them have done this by turning their expertise, passion, or hobby into profits.

To help with this process, today I wanted to share a list of five great ways you can start making money online. Each method is unique in their own way but also generating millions of dollars in revenue daily for people around the world.

Start a Blog

start a blog

Blogging is one of the most popular ways to start a website or a place of your own on the internet. Ever since the creation of WordPress, it’s never been easier to get started with a website or blog without the need to know anything about web hosting, programming or even content creation.

Many blogs start out as hobbies or personal sites, then as their readership builds up, different forms of monetization and potential revenue come into play. To learn more about how to start a blog and even make some money in the process, be sure to check out this blogging resource guide.

See Also: 5 Simple Ways to Transform a Blog to a Money Making Machine

Freelance Writing

Many people are great at writing but never really get to put this to good use. At the same time, many people have a lot of free time during their day and could start making a few dollars in the process by completing articles for websites, marketing agencies and different brands around the world.

Through the use of sites like Fiverr, TextBroker, and iWriter, anyone can create an account, look up the latest article jobs, then complete them at their leisure or even create a new freelance writing business in the process.

See Also: How To Find Great Ideas For Writing A Story 

Create an Etsy Store

Creativity is something many people possess but it’s not something many people can successfully make money with. Thanks to sites like Etsy.com, anyone can create an online store of their own and start selling crafts, paper products, art work, t-shirts or anything else you can think of.

When starting an Etsy store, try to provide the highest quality products and build a brand around your business. The start-up costs for Etsy are quite minimal and many of their users are earning over five-figures per month selling through their site.

Affiliate Marketing

If you have a passion for business or know how to sell products, the world of affiliate marketing might just be what you were looking for. The concept of affiliate marketing is quite simple.

Many web sites and brands will pay out a commission to site owners and partners who promote their website. Every time a new customer or lead is referred, an affiliate would then receive a commission for the transaction that takes place.

Some of the many benefits of affiliate marketing include not needing to hold any inventory, never needing to handle a transaction and there is also unlimited earning potential.

Sell Stuff on Amazon and eBay

sell stuff on amazon

We all use sites like Amazon and eBay on a daily basis as a customer, but not enough of us are using these online stores to their full advantage. eBay is one of the best sites for selling junk or unwanted products you might currently have in your house. What many people don’t know is that Amazon has a program of their own for selling content through their site as well. This can be done with individual products, or even with bulk products that you might already create and sell elsewhere.

Now that you’ve seen some of the best ways to start making money online, it’s time for you to get in on the action. Each of the methods are unique in their own way, and can make more or less depending on the time, work and effort you put into them.

 

The post 5 Ways to Legitimately Start Making Money Online in Your Spare Time appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Powered by WPeMatico

5 Ways to Legitimately Start Making Money Online in Your Spare Time

Have you ever wanted to make money online but weren’t sure how to get started? The good news is that tons of people are already making money online and many of them have done this by turning their expertise, passion, or hobby into profits.

To help with this process, today I wanted to share a list of five great ways you can start making money online. Each method is unique in their own way but also generating millions of dollars in revenue daily for people around the world.

Start a Blog

start a blog

Blogging is one of the most popular ways to start a website or a place of your own on the internet. Ever since the creation of WordPress, it’s never been easier to get started with a website or blog without the need to know anything about web hosting, programming or even content creation.

Many blogs start out as hobbies or personal sites, then as their readership builds up, different forms of monetization and potential revenue come into play. To learn more about how to start a blog and even make some money in the process, be sure to check out this blogging resource guide.

See Also: 5 Simple Ways to Transform a Blog to a Money Making Machine

Freelance Writing

Many people are great at writing but never really get to put this to good use. At the same time, many people have a lot of free time during their day and could start making a few dollars in the process by completing articles for websites, marketing agencies and different brands around the world.

Through the use of sites like Fiverr, TextBroker, and iWriter, anyone can create an account, look up the latest article jobs, then complete them at their leisure or even create a new freelance writing business in the process.

See Also: How To Find Great Ideas For Writing A Story 

Create an Etsy Store

Creativity is something many people possess but it’s not something many people can successfully make money with. Thanks to sites like Etsy.com, anyone can create an online store of their own and start selling crafts, paper products, art work, t-shirts or anything else you can think of.

When starting an Etsy store, try to provide the highest quality products and build a brand around your business. The start-up costs for Etsy are quite minimal and many of their users are earning over five-figures per month selling through their site.

Affiliate Marketing

If you have a passion for business or know how to sell products, the world of affiliate marketing might just be what you were looking for. The concept of affiliate marketing is quite simple.

Many web sites and brands will pay out a commission to site owners and partners who promote their website. Every time a new customer or lead is referred, an affiliate would then receive a commission for the transaction that takes place.

Some of the many benefits of affiliate marketing include not needing to hold any inventory, never needing to handle a transaction and there is also unlimited earning potential.

Sell Stuff on Amazon and eBay

sell stuff on amazon

We all use sites like Amazon and eBay on a daily basis as a customer, but not enough of us are using these online stores to their full advantage. eBay is one of the best sites for selling junk or unwanted products you might currently have in your house. What many people don’t know is that Amazon has a program of their own for selling content through their site as well. This can be done with individual products, or even with bulk products that you might already create and sell elsewhere.

Now that you’ve seen some of the best ways to start making money online, it’s time for you to get in on the action. Each of the methods are unique in their own way, and can make more or less depending on the time, work and effort you put into them.

 

The post 5 Ways to Legitimately Start Making Money Online in Your Spare Time appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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How To Avoid A Content Crisis When Your Deadline Is Looming

Have you ever found yourself in front of your computer just staring at your screen? Worse, your calendar is showing a looming deadline. It could be for a project or proposal at school, or it may be for a business brief or marketing plan at work. Whatever the situation is, you need to write, and you have to do it fast. There’s only one problem: your mind decides to go blank right when you need it the most.

How do you write with the speed of light without sacrificing the level of quality you produce? Here are few tricks and tools that will help you do that.

Tips for Avoiding a Content Crisis: How to Write Faster and Better at the Same Time

The key to writing fast is getting your mind to work faster. You cannot force yourself to write the content ASAP, but you can inspire yourself to do so. There’s a huge difference between pressure and inspiration, and you’ll understand it as soon as you start working on your self-confidence.

Here are few tips to help you with that:

Get ready before you start writing

prepare writing equipments

What do you need to finish this writing project?

  • Your laptop/desktop computer
  • Pen and paper for taking notes
  • Tons of research
  • A fresh cup of coffee

Take everything you need and organize your desk. Then, start the research process. You need enough facts and data from relevant sources to support your arguments. That’s the only way towards a believable piece of content.

The research process may take a significant portion of your time, but it’s worth it. Once you have the information you need, you’ll go through the writing stages with ease.

See Also: How to Organize Your Writing Workplace for Better Productivity

Don’t worry about making each sentence brilliant

When you try too hard to write perfect content, you block your ideas because you pay too much attention to every single sentence. Just let go! Set your ideas free. Try to connect them in a logical content flow and write away.

Remember all those grammar rules your English teachers taught you? You are already a natural so you don’t need to think about them as you write.

“Do I use passive in this sentence? Wait, I read an article that said passive was not okay. But it really works in this case. What do I do?” That’s the perfect recipe for getting stuck.

Many great writers will tell you they did their best work under pressuring deadlines. Why? – Because they didn’t think too much about polishing out the sentences.

Take some time to brainstorm and write as your ideas flow in your head. You’ll edit once you finish the first draft. That’s when you’re supposed to think about fixing the grammar and style.

Set expectations. Make them realistic!

How fast can you write? You can speed up the process, but you cannot go too far beyond your limits. You can’t write an entire Ph.D. dissertation in a day… that’s an unrealistic goal. Ask yourself these questions:

  • How many days or hours do you have before the deadline?
  • How much of that time can you devote to research and writing?
  • What daily tasks can you sacrifice for the sake of this project?

When you have the answers, make a plan. Organize your time in a way that helps you write as much content as possible within the limited time you have. When you have the progressive steps marked in your calendar, the goal will seem achievable, and you’ll relieve yourself from a huge load of stress.

Don’t skip the outline

It doesn’t matter how close the deadline is; writing an outline is never a waste of time. Once you have a general idea about the project you’re supposed to submit, give it shape. Plan every single thing you’re going to write in the introduction, body, and conclusion of the content.

The outline will speed up the writing process because you’ll already be aware of the logical flow you want to achieve.

Focus

writing focus

When you have a deadline to meet, something inside is telling you to organize all your clothes by color, clean the entire kitchen, or polish the silver. Any task seems urgent, but don’t fall victim to the tricks your mind plays on you.

If you really want to write that content by the due date, you need to glue yourself to your seat and work on it. Leave your phone in another room. Block all distracting websites. Tell everyone you need to stay alone and focus on the task you have to complete.

You can give yourself short breaks after each milestone you achieve. For example, you can take a coffee or a healthy snack after two hours of devoted work.

See Also: 4 Habits That Will Improve Your Focus And Destroy Procrastination

Tools that Help You Write Fast

When you think about the tools you need to write that piece ASAP, it may occur to you that you only need a computer and a notebook. Well, that’s not the case. There are great online tools that can help you work faster.

  1. Pinterest

You didn’t expect this one, did you? Although Pinterest looks like nothing more than a mainstream tool for trendsetters, it’s perfect for collecting online sources. Create a private board and collect all important online publications there. Then, you’ll easily access them and you’ll always know where your ideas came from.

  1. AdBlock or LeechBlock

These browser extensions (for Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox respectively) will prevent you from wasting time on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and other distracting websites. Adjust the settings and make sure to block all social media sites and forums that usually tempt you.

3. Quora

Do you have any dilemmas about the issue you elaborate? Post a specific question on Quora. You’ll get answers by knowledgeable people, who will give you fresh ideas related to your topic.

4. Google Calendar

This is the ultimate organization tool for writing projects. When you plan all steps that drive you towards successful completion, the goal will seem achievable and you’ll start writing with greater self-confidence. Make sure to plan the stages of completion in your calendar and follow them as precisely as possible.

Are you ready to tackle the next writing challenge? Take a deep breath and start working on it!

 

The post How To Avoid A Content Crisis When Your Deadline Is Looming appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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The 6 Item Checklist for Effective Freelancing This Year

Freelancing is an excellent way to build your income or your confidence if you are just getting started. If you are willing to put in the extra work, becoming a freelancer can be extremely lucrative.

Effective freelancing involves goal-setting, deciding how many hours to dedicate, and harnessing the support of family and friends.

We’ve put together a 6 item checklist that will break down the process and help you be a more productive freelancer.

Highlight Your Skills

It is not mandatory to freelance in the same field you work in now. Take into account all the abilities you have, including hard skills and soft skills. Determine the areas where you can excel.

If you are confused, there are career assessment tests available online to help identify your strong traits and evaluate where your skills lie. For example, if you are a good writer, you may want to consider freelancing as a content creator.

See Also: 7 Convincing Reasons for Working as a Freelancer 

Define Your Personal Brand

It is important not only to understand your skills and talents but to also make sure that potential employers know about them. Your skills must translate into relevant services that you can provide for them. Most employers don’t have the attention span to go through pages of content. So it is critical to nail your resume to stand out from the clutter and establish yourself as a brand.

Use Social Media to Increase Visibility

social media presence

In today’s world, it is important to have a presence online. An easy way for freelancers to establish an online presence is through social media. Harness the power of social media platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram to create an active presence online.

You can also use websites such as Upwork and Fiverr to reach potential clients directly and also use private networking communities on Facebook. It is an added advantage if you can support your social media presence with a professional website or blog. This lends legitimacy and credibility to your work and provides a professional platform. You will also be able to outline your expertise and services and project a positive image.

Be a Pro at Networking

It is important to build and use your network as a freelancer. Learning how to reach out to other freelancers and potential employers can help you grow your business in numerous ways. By projecting the right image of your brand to family, friends, and colleagues, you will set the groundwork for the future success of your venture.

Have a short pitch about the services you offer ready at all times. This will enable you to be clear about your message and the service you provide. Ensure that you practice this pitch so that it comes out naturally and does not sound awkward or forced. Be ready to take on new jobs at any time as a single conversation can lead to new job opportunities.

When an opportunity arises, you need to be able to convince the client that you are the ideal candidate for the job. The best way to approach a pitch is to talk to the client and understand their needs.

Decide On the Right Rate to Charge and Price Yourself Suitably As a Freelancer

When it comes to negotiations and pricing, it can be difficult to decide how much to charge as this is linked to how much you think you are worth. However, it is important to understand that the best clients are those who are willing to pay for the added value you provide and appreciate it. So setting the right price and not selling yourself short will pay off in the long run, although you may end up losing some business.

You can also adjust pricing as you go, but it is important to make a profit in order to continue. Nail the money-making aspect of your freelance business by scoping out each job and assigning a fee. When setting your rates, it is essential to take factors such as market, location, visibility and demand into consideration.

You can also do some research or talk to other freelancers to find out how much they charge. The freelancing community is very open and welcoming, so you can get useful tips from other freelancers on ways to operate.

Set Tangible Goals and Develop a Game Plan to Achieve These

tangible goals

To be successful as a freelancer, it is important to set goals and continuously move forward. This will help you graduate to the next level and enhance your skills. It will also allow you to gain new clients and even charge higher rates.

As a freelancer, you will not be getting a steady paycheck, so you need to plan accordingly and get ready for the ups and downs in cash flow. Learn about taxes, income and expense planning and become comfortable with handling these.

In addition to making money, it is also essential to do enjoyable work that makes you feel fulfilled. When you are passionate about what you do, you will be able to grow your freelancing skills organically without worrying about keeping your business afloat.

Final Thoughts

You can set yourself up for success as a freelancer by following the guidelines mentioned in this article. It is important to be organized and handle invoicing, deadlines, etc. with clarity.

Understand the job at hand and align your expectations with that of your client. Establish the top priorities of the project and ensure that you meet them. As a freelancer, the work ebbs and flows, so it can be difficult to maintain a consistent schedule.

Another important aspect of freelancing is time management. As a freelancer, you need to be disciplined and self-motivated to maintain a work-life balance. Be aware of the financial and legal obligations that come with the reality of being self-employed. Consistently meeting client expectations and managing your resources are keys to a successful and fulfilling career as a freelancer.

See Also: 9 Tips To Overcome Stress For Freelancers

 

The post The 6 Item Checklist for Effective Freelancing This Year appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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5 Hacks To Help You Reuse Old Content for More Traffic

Creating stunning new content regularly is a hell of a task, I know. Are you plagued by the same concerns? Low on time to create converting content? Looking for smart ways to use your old and existing content to drive more visits to your blog?

Here are 5 superb methods to help you create new content faster.

Transform Your Webinar Content Into A Series of YouTube Episodes

youtube series

If you have already done a few webinars, you can reuse them to drive visits to your websites. Begin by collecting related webinars together. Now, split them into 10 (or 6) minute videos, and create a whole episodic series of short advice videos. You can then shares these episodes one by one on your YouTube channel, and during each upload, suggest the viewer hop over to your website to get a sneak-peek into the upcoming episode.

Check out Moz’s list of YouTube tools to optimize your video content, and increase the campaign’s effectiveness. I’ve used this tactic and literally tripled the eventual success of my webinars by transforming them into a series of YouTube episodes.

Weave Your Related Blog Posts into An Ebook

blog posts ebook

Not done any webinars yet? No issues. I am sure you have a few super successful blog posts already. Arrange posts from a single niche together, and weave them into a nice and comprehensive ebook. I’d say 80% of your work is copy paste, and the rest is about connecting the dots and organizing the content into a book form. Once your ebook is ready, you can use it as a freebie to promote lead generation from your blog landing pages (motivate users to share email ID by offering free ebook). ShoutMeLoud’s list of top ebook creation tools will help you.

See Also: 5 Proven Strategies That Can Massively Increase Blog Traffic

Use Your Old Website A/B Test Experiences As Knowledge With the World

In the past couple of years, experimental data and case studies have grown as a more sophisticated and effective method of building credibility and authority in one’s niche. Did you run an A/B test on your website, to evaluate the effectiveness of your marketing strategies, landing page’s conversion ratio, buying guides on your e-stores, or keyword research?

Well, if you have the data with you, and memory that serves you well, you can organize it all, and share your experience-based outcomes in the form of a case study. Also, remember this tactic the next time you do any kind of comparisons and testing for your website. Such a case study will help you build authority, and can aid in email marketing and lead generation activities.

Let Your Powerpoint Presentations Do Some Magic

I’m assuming you’d have created at least a few presentations (Powerpoint, or any other) in the past couple of years. Why let them eat dust? Get them all, put them in a folder, organize the content, update them wherever necessary, and give them a makeover by using a decent template. Once done, you have a whole gold mine of slides that can bring traffic to your web pages.

To achieve this, create a SlideShare account, upload the presentations there, and embed some of the slides into your web pages. Be creative, and you can easily motivate readers to share email ids in exchange of complete decks. I strongly advise you to check out LifeHack’s list of top 10 suggestions to create stunning PowerPoint presentations.

The Quora Method of Repurposing Your Old Blog Posts to Garner Fresh Traffic

A lot of bloggers and content marketers like you are excited about Quora. Here’s a tactic to help you make the most of it. Study some of the more successful blog posts you have done. Now, go to Quora, and search for questions that are answered, to some extent, by your posts.

Hint: Go for Quora questions with the high number of upvotes, because it means they are in demand, and actively visited.

Now, answer the question on Quora in your words, and suggest readers check out the finer details by visiting your blog post.

See Also: 8 Common Content Marketing Myths You Should Stop Believing

 

The post 5 Hacks To Help You Reuse Old Content for More Traffic appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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5 Reasons Why I Fell in Love with Swift

Swift, as many of you would know, is the programming language for iOS developed by Apple after Objective-C. Swift was launched approximately two years back and it was an instant hit among the iPhone app development services. With a few new releases and version updates, Swift has been able to swiftly and effortlessly replace its predecessor—the Objective-C. Due to the ease of use, it is the first choice made by professionals who offer iPhone app development services.

When I personally started using Swift, it took some time before I got accustomed to it. But then, the more I worked on it, the more I grew fond of it.

In this blog, I will focus on the top 5 reasons why I fell in love with Swift:

Multiple-Features

apple_swift

Swift has a lot of features that provide ease, flexibility, and liberty to be creative. In terms of ease and flexibility, Swift offers short and adept syntax and community support. In terms of liberty, Swift lets you create your own extensions and share them across the community for all associated members. Swift lets you learn by making use of the integrated playground that is your medium to experiment and create new things.

Easy to Learn

Another feature why I fell in love with Swift is its adaptability and easy-to-learn feature. Basic knowledge and working module can be learnt through online videos posted by advance developers.

These posted videos provide some specific ideas on how to go about Swift. The learning is also easy because of Apple’s stringent procedure of approving its product therefore the videos which are posted on Apple’s official eBook can be truly relied on. Swift users are also givers — givers in the sense that they provide details about their hard work and process. By sharing, they make life easier for amateur Swift users.

Futuristic

swift playground

The best part of Swift is that it is futuristic. This feature makes Swift the most used language by developers because it of its ability to solve any task. Swift is in-built with ARC (Automatic Reference Counting) which allows Swift to give proper results by guessing the searched words similar to Google’s auto-complete feature for word searches. It is perhaps the only language which can be used simultaneously with Objective-C.

Swift Development

Swift is really swift. It is perhaps the fastest among all the programming languages. However, it requires iOS 7 or macOS10.9 versions. With the use of Swift, you receive fast results which enable you to overcome any problem in the development stage. It is a huge time-saver.

Debugging

Many programming languages struggle in debugging during development. iPhone app development services providers take utmost precaution to overcome such instances. In contrast, Swift has the ability to debug in the process of development. With use of real eval print loop (REPL), it is easily to debug scripts. Swift is therefore considered to be ideal for quality system programming language.

Conclusion

With Swift, there are immense opportunities and a lot of those rely on your skills. If you are a Swift fan, share your knowledge and the reasons you prefer Swift as your programming language.

 

The post 5 Reasons Why I Fell in Love with Swift appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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7 Tips to Happy Coworking with Your Pets

It may surprise you to know a few facts:

There are about 80 million dogs and more than 90 million cats nice and comfy in U.S.A. homes.

According to the New Jersey Institute of Technology, 45% of people telecommute for at least part of their work week.

Now that’s a lot of mega numbers and stats to throw at you – but it only means one thing to pet parents who are trying to get work done from a home office: that one of your closest coworkers has four paws and may need a walk at lunchtime or perhaps some tuna!

If you are working from home but are having a challenging time with your pet, hopefully these tips will help you. Probably the most important “take away” to understand is that your four-footed colleagues have needs and priorities, just as anyone who is trying to reach a work deadline or land a big client does too. If you are tempted to work from home then it is important for you to understand that getting along with your pets is part of the equation.

Tip #1: Your pet belongs in the home just as you do.

If you are frustrated at your pet’s actions while you are working, realize that in some ways you have “invaded” their space. You have been the one who has been working outside of the home, going to school or who has had another routine. In other words, they are the alpha dog and you are the beta.

coworking desk with pet

Tip #2: Understand that your dog or cat has a “job” just as you do.

Now drinking out of the toilet in the middle of the day or watching traffic go by from the biggest window in the living room may not seem like the toughest job you’ve ever seen – and we certainly aren’t going to disagree with you. But your pet is doing what they’ve always done and what you love them for – being a pet and an animal! Most pets have a sense of a routine to their day and will regularly do things in the morning, mid-day and then the afternoon just as you do for your job. Now that you are working from home – your job and their “job” may have conflicts, as your pet is trying to do what they’ve always done and you, my friend, are trying to do something new. Again, you are the beta.

Tip #3: If their actions disrupt yours, how can you work with them?

You may need to help them modify behavior – or you may need to slightly modify yours if you can. Now this is one of the most helpful tips to getting along with your pet. I’ll give you an example from working from home with my cat Sammy.

Sammy was part Russian Blue, a cat breed that is known for being very social, super friendly and also extremely vocal (big meows!). I would be on the telephone with clients and they would say, “Do you need to check on that crying baby?” Most of my clients are pretty understanding about a cat, but if I was making an important call or calling a new client – I would put Sammy outside or try to call when he was going outside for awhile.

I have a new cat now, Penguin. He has a very sweet personality but I’ll admit I’m finding it frustrating that he is absolutely determined to walk straight across my keyboard when I’m typing! To modify his behavior, I’m picking him up when he starts to walk by and then patting him. It seems to me that he wants my attention because the computer and keyboard have all of my focus in that moment – and smart lil’ kitty has figured that out! So again, modifying behavior can be possible too sometimes.

Other ways to modify behavior include giving them toys to play with as a distraction, treats for a reward for good behavior, and sending them outside (like with Sammy).

Tip #4: Be proactive about phone time.

After chatting with work-at-home friends, I discovered that this is one of the top challenges they’ve faced with working with a pet. The pet is either noisy or simply wants them to be with them instead of the phone. Realize that you have made the choice to work from home and it may come with some benefits – no commute other than from your morning cup of coffee to your laptop and you can wear yoga pants all day. But your phone calls to your boss should not be interrupted by you saying every 2 minutes “Not now Pickles, walk time later! Sorry…what was that again?” Otherwise you’ll likely find yourself back in the cubicle farm and someone on the other end of Pickles’ leash!

morning routine

Tip #5: Protect your computer.

Anyone who has not dropped out of the sky from a time machine sent from 1982 or who is not a complete luddite knows that you need to have antivirus software. But that’s not at all what this is about. I’m talking about protecting it from your four-footed coworker.

Yes, there is actually software to prevent what is called “cat like typing!” So when your pet jumps up and types RFTRFTRFTRFT all over your report and then puts a hind leg on the Enter key, this lovely document will not be sent to the Corporate Office where they will wonder what you are putting in your morning coffee.

Tip #6: Listen to what your pet is saying to you when they act up.

One of the true gifts of working at home with pets is you have the opportunity to really bond with your pet, spending time with them during the day you might not have otherwise. And the two of you may need to adjust to this, as I’ve mentioned, with you needing to help them modify a bit and you doing that as well.

But if you’ve tried this in a gentle way and your dog keeps barking or your cat keeps being disruptive, it may be time to take them to the vet. It is better to have a quick vet visit to rule out other conditions, like an illness that is causing them pain or discomfort so they are acting in this way because they are uncomfortable and upset.

No one wants their pet to suffer and if there is nothing else going on, your vet may have other tips to suggest for you, ways to modify your home environment, or routine to help them as they know your specific pet.

Tip #7: Be glad you can cowork with your pet.

All joking aside, one of the things I’ve enjoyed the most about working from home is spending time with my cats. You can remind me of that in case Penguin does manage to send a funny document to a client as I help him “modify” his behavior!

Two years ago, my cat Steinbeck was diagnosed with cancer and given a month to live, if that. I was devastated but took comfort in the fact that I would be at home with him as much as possible. Stienbeck lived for four and a half months, in comfort, active and with a hearty appetite, all things that surprised his vet. “He lived to be with you,” one of my friends told me. Enjoy every day with your pets!

See Also: 8 Tips for Coping with Pet Loss

 

The post 7 Tips to Happy Coworking with Your Pets appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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10 Amazing Business Ideas For Stay-At-Home Retirees

Retirement does not mean that a senior just has to sit at home and do nothing. Many seniors prefer to work even after they have crossed the retirement age. Some seniors actually perceive this as a golden opportunity to follow their long forgotten entrepreneurship dreams.

Listed below are 10 businesses that seniors can successfully run from home.

Knitting

knitting

Knitting is an excellent activity to be pursued in the later years. It is known to reduce stress and boost self-esteem and cognitive functions.

Recently, 91-year-old Morrie Boogart became an inspiration for seniors when he didn’t let his limited mobility stand in the way of helping homeless and needy in Michigan.

Seniors who know how to knit or have learnt it as a new hobby in their golden years can knit beautiful pieces and then turn this hobby into a business. They can even create a blog and sell their products online along with donating some to a charity. They can even help the needy with the proceeds of the sales.

Crocheting

Just like knitting, crocheting is also an amazing activity for seniors who are skilled. They can make their crocheted goods and sell it in the market or to a reseller. They can even setup a small shop in their home and earn in their golden years. It will keep seniors busy and provide a sense of being resourceful and independent.

Freelance Writing

Seniors with good writing skills can also become freelance writers or become text brokers if they know people who can write and have great marketing skills. It allows them to keep on searching for new things and gaining knowledge about a variety of things, even in senior years, while providing a way to make money.

Writing is known to boost mental wellbeing as it keeps us engaged in reading, researching and finding new stuff to write about.

Blogging

blogging

Blogging is a way of sharing ideas, professional and personal experiences with the world. Seniors can create their own blog and give space on their website to place advertisements so they can earn some extra money or by affiliate marketing. With so many years and experiences behind them, seniors have a lot they can share with their readers.

Teaching

Another potential way of making money in one’s golden years is teaching. Seniors who are devoted to helping children and adults solve math problems, gain knowledge or learn new skills, like knitting, crocheting, sewing, pottery, painting, sketching, cooking, dancing, hairstyling, make up, and many others, can consider becoming a teacher.

Along these lines, a senior can set up a school and become a private teacher or an online teacher. It can be a part-time or full-time job entirely depending on how much time they have got to spend.

Consulting

Seniors must focus on opportunities that can leverage their years of work and career experience, such as consulting. Consulting is a great business for retirees who have learned a lot from their life lessons and previous jobs. Such experiences make seniors well positioned to convey their opinions and share their knowledge.

It is not necessary to share knowledge through face-to-face meetings. Freelance writing and blogging can also be pursued as ways of engaging in an online community, hence, generating income.

Gardening Maintenance Services

Elderly who have sufficient knowledge in gardening can offer their skilled services even in their neighborhood so they don’t have to go to remote areas. This provides a source of income with an opportunity to make new friends and socialize.

Gardening is a relaxing activity, known to alleviate stress and help stay fresh in golden years.

Pet Sitting

pet sitting

Pet sitting is one of the best ways to earn while enjoying the time spent with a furry friend. This is not only a way to make money post-retirement. It is also an effective kind of therapy to find relaxation and a sense of purpose in one’s golden years.

Seniors who love spending time with animals can consider pet sitting. They can ask their neighbors to let them know if they need a pet sitter or even their family members so they can earn while enjoying some time with loving creatures.

Babysitting

Seniors who enjoy the company of children can make great babysitters as they have sufficient knowledge of handling little children and helping them with their concerns like home work, hair-dos, dressing, eating meals, dealing with a bully in school etc.

Spending time with children provides seniors with enthusiasm to help them pursue their goals and share thoughts to let their inner artist shine. In fact, children can make us learn a lot of new things as well.

Cooking – Takeaway Restaurant

Seniors who can cook amazingly delicious dishes can open a takeaway restaurant in their own homes. They can take orders via the phone or online.

Cooking will not only give seniors an opportunity to earn, but will also motivate to do more. This way, senior can also help the poor and needy people by giving food or some money that they have earned.

These are some of the amazing, fun and resourceful ways of making money after retirement. They provide the elderly with a sense of purpose, self-satisfaction, daily motivation, and a boost in one’s physical and mental being. Overall, this helps seniors enjoy an active and happy life in one’s golden years.

See Also: Retirement Activities that are Financially Viable 

 

The post 10 Amazing Business Ideas For Stay-At-Home Retirees appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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How to Keep Your Blog Running Smoothly

While blogging is an interesting hobby that can even become your main source of income if you put some effort into it, it still requires a lot of hard work. The real challenge begins not when you start your blog and write a few first posts, but when you actually start building up your loyal audience. Simply being dedicated, monitoring the blogging trends and updating regularly is not enough to run your blog smoothly: you have to build a certain strategy and stick to it.

Lucky for you, there are actually only a few things you need to focus on. These include ocial media, quality of your content, emails, trends and statistics.

Today, I’m going to tell you more about them, allowing you to create your own system of running your blog smoothly.

Social media

social media

Even if your posts are amazing, they’re useless if no one can find them. That’s what you need social media for. Social media platforms help people find you, share your articles and ideas, recommend you to friends, and so on.

To create a correct social media strategy, try to imagine your potential audience. What is it like? Maybe it consists of young people who spend most of their time online on Twitter, or maybe it mostly consists of active Facebook users. This is especially important to understand if you don’t have much time to spend on social media. Having this information lets you focus on a single platform and update the others when you have time for it.

However, social media can be used not only for sharing your new posts. If you update your blog once a week, this means that your social media accounts will look quite empty the rest of the week. Try sharing other interesting information, or create other types of content (for example images, videos, etc.). This way, your followers will stick to your social media accounts. After all, they’ll be able to find something there that isn’t posted on your blog.

Content

The content is what brings people to your blog. That’s why it has to be interesting and valuable to the readers. Focus on making your content as high-quality and unique as possible. Don’t forget that this is even more important than regular updates and this has to be a priority. If you have to choose between updating your blog more often and making the content more interesting, choose the latter.

Researching your niche and what your competitors are up to is an extremely important part of the whole blogging process. You have to do your research well and repeat it few times a month in order to see what your competitors can offer and which blogging trends exist on the web. This will allow you to respond to these trends with your content and to avoid unintentional plagiarism.

See Also: How To Find The Best Topic For Your Blog 

Analytics

If you want to run your blog smoothly, you need to understand which of your methods work well and which don’t. This will allow you to optimize them and to adjust your strategy according to the preferences of your audience.

Analytics is the main tool that can help you with that. It allows you to understand where your audience is coming from, how much time they spend on your website, which posts they like the most and so on. Lucky for you, there’s an easy way to go about it. All you need to do is to use the Google Analytics service and to learn how to work with it.

It is important not only to analyze the effectiveness of your blog but also to make it more effective. That’s why you should learn more about the latest SEO trends and try to incorporate them in your blog. However, be sure not to overdo it. If your posts are overloaded with keywords, readers will notice it and this can turn them away.

See Also: 5 Proven Strategies That Can Massively Increase Blog Traffic

Email offers

email marketing

Even now, despite the development of social media, emails still remain the most effective marketing tool. Don’t hesitate to use that tool for your blog promotion and remember, those who subscribe to your blog are your most loyal readers.

However, if you don’t have an email list yet and want people to subscribe, you have to offer them something valuable. Yes, many people do subscribe simply because of new posts notifications, but you’ll be surprised how much this number could increase if you offer something more interesting for everyone who’ll subscribe, for example, an eBook.

It’s important to repeat such offers from time to time, changing the content every time, instead of doing this only once. This way you’ll be able to keep the existing subscribers as well as attract new ones.

What is even more important is learning how to integrate all these things mentioned above into your blogging strategy. Learning more about them is one thing but learning how to use them is another.

To do so, you need to spend some time thinking about these things. Which strategies will benefit your blog immediately and which ones will do so only with time? Which ones are the easiest to do and which ones require more time and effort to understand and implement them? Answering these questions will help you set your priorities. You will see what you have to focus on first and what can be done later. Maybe your content is good enough already but you have no idea about how to use Google Analytics. It’s time to figure this out.

After you do so, write down the main things you need to add to your marketing strategy and try to add them to your blogging schedule. For example, if you want to focus on social media, don’t forget to schedule the nearest updates and find some time to learn more about the most popular types of social media content in your niche. And if you need to focus on emails, try finding time to read some guides and to learn how to write emails better.

I hope that this article will help you and inspire you. Good luck with your blog!

 

The post How to Keep Your Blog Running Smoothly appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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5 Awesome Tools To Help You Newbie Geeks With Your Open Source Project

Every new year welcomes new resolutions.

We probably all want the same thing — to achieve more and feel proud of what we have achieved. For example, Mark Zuckerberg’s is to visit and meet someone in every U.S. state and mine is to keep my website alive for as long as I am living.

If you are one of those passionate IT folks, technical nerds and computer enthusiasts who are still looking for a challenge this year, here may be one that will interest you: an open source project.

So, as you kick-start the new year aiming to achieve and share greatness, here are five easy-to-use tools that can help you.

GitHub

github

John Resig, the creator of jQuery, once tweeted: “When it comes to hiring, I’ll take a Github commit log over a resume any day.” GitHub is undoubtedly the largest developer community in the world. Programmers like yourself go there when it comes to hosting your codes, and sharing and contributing to them.

GitBook

gitbook

GitBook is a simple online and desktop tool for building books. Like GitHub, it is seen as a tool for programmers. But it can be surprisingly useful even for non-tech writers – especially if you want to write your books or documents about your project. You can use Markdown to write, edit and style your content simultaneously. To publish, a simple git push is all you need.

Sublime Text

sublime text

In the question “What is the best programming text editor you are using?”, the answer is usually Sublime Text. It is a simple and sophisticated-looking text editor that comes with color schemes for your codes.

When you switch between different files or search, it is blazing fast, and stable. Not to mention it comes with the best Markdown experience you will ever find, as well as tons of packages like Pretty JSON that will make your use of this tool even richer.

Quire

quire

While being a task management tool, Quire can play a part in your open source project too. If you prefer an interactive place for your milestones or features (which you probably entered in spreadsheet apps like Microsoft Excel and ZK Spreadsheet), tutorial or guide, or even a public forum, list them all out here.

With features like favorites and comments, you can see right away what topics are more popular, have a say in discussions, change the priority of your plan whenever you want, etc. Github commit links can even be found in the comments once you integrate with it.

See Also: 5 Essential Tools And Apps To Build Your Early Startup 

Inkscape

inkscape

Last but not least, where will your project be without design? Seen as a great alternative to Adobe Illustrator, Inkscape is a free (and open-source) vector graphic editor made for you to create illustrations, arts, logos, charts, and paintings. Some say it is way ahead of Illustrator for its better UI, same professionalism, and superior quality features. It has also got a massive community forum where you can show off your work, and contribute ideas to.

See Also: 20 Best Productivity Apps and Programs for 2017

 

The post 5 Awesome Tools To Help You Newbie Geeks With Your Open Source Project appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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9 Tips To Overcome Stress For Freelancers

You’re a freelancer. You work day in and out, Mondays to Fridays, and sometimes even during the weekends. You spend more than 8 hours a day sitting in front of your computer with occasional coffee and TV breaks. Your inbox is always full, you never run out of deadlines, and your unfinished work is piling up on your desk.

The question is: How do you survive?

Stay on Schedule

Stress is a feeling brought by lack of control of a situation. And it happens to me whenever I break my schedule. One of the ways you can combat the feeling of stress brought about by being overwhelmed by the number of jobs you have to do is to create a doable schedule that works for you.

I personally have an excel file which I name “work calendar” and here I list every project I need to do every month. Sometimes my calendar will have work booked for more than 3 weeks. Sometimes when I’m running low, I only have work for the next three days. That’s the time I know I have to hustle.

Having a schedule helps you control the flow of work. It creates order in your work life.

Tаke Brеаkѕ

breaktime

It may seem counterproductive to take frequent breaks while working but believe me when I say breaks are the only thing that will probably keep you sane while working freelance.

There will be times when you simply don’t feel like sitting any longer in front of your computer because your eyes hurt or your brain isn’t working anymore. Don’t ignore it. Follow your body cues and take short breaks for no more than 30 minutes to refresh your mind and body.

See Also: Not Getting Enough Work Done? Try Taking More Breaks

Dоn’t let уоur сlіеntѕ gеt уоu down

I used to worry and feel stressed when my clients are not 100% happy. But then I realized that I can’t please every client I have. And this is perfectly normal.

Most freelancers encounter difficult clients more than once in their freelance careers. Sometimes freelancers will encounter clients that are hard to understand, clients who don’t pay on time, or those that rush you for results even if it’s just a day after you started the contract.

Learn tо say NO

Being a freelancer means you have to go look for jobs yourself. And while the competition is fierce, that doesn’t mean you have to say “Yes” to every job offer that comes your way.

Don’t accept jobs if you’re already over-scheduled. Don’t write for free for a test job. Don’t slave away for work with little pay. Be honest if you aren’t comfortable in writing a subject far from your niche, and politely decline.

Set Rules Before Starting any Job/Project

Clarify everything before starting the project. This includes project due dates and pays schedules which will save everyone a huge headache later on. If a сlіеnt is ореnlу rudе tо you, drор thеm. Bе сlеаr аbоut уоur hours. If your client resides on the other side of the world, let them know the time to contact you. You don’t want to be answering client calls at 3 am in the morning.

Outsource

Now that you’re earning more than you can handle. It’s time to delegate tasks so you could accomplish more during the day.

If you don’t want to do your admin tasks, you can hire a virtual assistant to do it for you. If you’re a web designer, you can outsource web content to a writer who can do the job better than you. Sites like Upwork, Freelancer.com, and EssayPro.Club have available workers to help with tasks and projects for every kind of freelancer.

Write on your niche

niche writing

I found that when I’m passionate about what I’m writing, I tend to write more smoothly and quickly. In freelancing, it’s important to know your strengths and weaknesses. If you excel at writing humor pieces, don’t spend all your time writing boring tech pieces. Figure out what sets your writing apart and focus on the stuff that only you could write.

Bе рrераrеd tо defend уоur lifestyle tо ѕtrаngеrѕ

Sоmе реорlе wіll think you’re living an enviable life as a freelancer while others will look at you with fаіnt panic because іt dіѕtrеѕѕеѕ thеm thаt уоu’vе chosen such аn uncertain саrееr раth. Don’t let them get to you. Go to workshops аnd seminars, find your соmmunіtу of artistic ѕuрроrt, аnd trу tо lооk worldly and knowing in front of judgmental strangers.

Manage Time Wisely

Set work hours every day and stick to it. It will help if you set timers or batch your day for certain projects. For example, you can focus all morning to work on your website, the afternoon to edit your content, and the evenings to answer client calls. Make it work for you. Remember that you control your time as a freelancer.

See Also: 7 Convincing Reasons for Working as a Freelancer 

Closing Thoughts

Too much ѕtrеѕѕ саn hаrm your frееlаnсе wrіtіng career, аѕ well аѕ your mіnd and bоdу. Try thе above tірѕ tо ѕее іf they can work for уоu.

 

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10 Ways Your Life Improves When You Become a Freelancer

Have you ever considered how your life might change if you became a freelancer?

It’s nice having job security. You know you have a guaranteed paycheck every two weeks, a set schedule, good benefits, and two weeks of vacation each year. But deep down inside, there is a nagging question that never really goes away:

Could I have a better life if I hung my shingle as a freelancer?

For many, the answer is a definite yes. And there has never been a better time to be in business for yourself providing freelance services to others.

Becoming a freelancer is not without its challenges, of course. You have to be highly self-motivated, know how to advertise effectively, and be able to offer a service that others want and need. But once established with a handful of customers who give you repeat business, your quality of life will improve in a number of ways.

You Earn More When You Work More

As a salaried employee, it doesn’t matter whether you work 40 hours a week or 60. It also doesn’t matter whether you work harder than everyone else in your department or do just enough to keep from getting fired. You are paid exactly the same regardless of your efforts.

See Also: 5 Freelancing Tips That Will Make you Successful 

Things are much different for freelancers.

As a freelancer, the more projects you take on, the more you earn. If you want to earn more to save up for a new car, you can take on more client projects and work longer hours. And on the other hand, if you are comfortable with earning less and want to have more time to enjoy life, you can do that, too.

You Can Work Wherever You Want

work anywhere

As an employee, you usually have to work at a designated location. Yes, there are some companies that now recognize the benefits of letting employees work from home. But for most companies, such arrangements are the exception rather than the norm.

As a freelance, you are free to work wherever you want – even if it’s from your hotel room while you’re on an extended Caribbean vacation or while you’re traveling the country in an RV. There’s a good reason why many refer to freelancing as the laptop lifestyle. You have everything you need to run your business as long as you have access to a laptop computer, a telephone, and an internet connection.

See Also: 5 Ways To Travel The World While Keeping a Full-Time Job

You Get to Set Your Own Hours

Employees usually have to adhere to a rigid schedule with set hours. Not so for freelancers who have a great deal of flexibility in when they work.

Do you do your best work early mornings or late at night? No problem. As a freelancer, you can work during the hours of your choosing. You can also take time off if you aren’t feeling well without having to explain your absence to a boss.

No More Commute

The daily commute to and from work takes up a huge chunk of your everyday life.  As a freelancer, you are already at work wherever you are so you are able to reassign your commute time to either more work hours or more leisure time.

And in addition to saving time from cutting out the commute, you also save by putting fewer miles on your vehicle each year. That means you get to save big on maintenance, repairs, and expensive fuel.

No More Following Company Rules

As an employee, you usually have to follow a rigid – and often lengthy – set of company rules. Sometimes these rules are based on common sense and are easy to follow. But that’s not always the case.

As a freelance entrepreneur, you are your own boss. Your work rules are whatever you say they are. You are free to make things as rigid or relaxed as you like.

You Save Money on Work Attire

Nearly all companies have dress codes that you are required to follow. And this can really get expensive if you are expected to dress up on a daily basis.

As a freelancer, you are free to dress however you like. Your work attire could be sweatpants and a t-shirt if you prefer. This lets you save big on pricey outfits and cleaning bills.

You Get to Skip Time-Wasting Meetings

If you’ve ever been in an unproductive meeting that felt like it would never end, you’re certainly not alone. Company meetings are notorious time-wasters. But attendance is often mandatory.

As a freelancer, you can keep the meetings to a minimum. If it’s necessary to have a meeting with a client, you can set the terms to make sure it’s brief, to the point, and that it stays on track.

An End to Office Politics

Dealing with office politics can be demeaning. Being in a position where you have to affirm everything your boss says and does to advance your career is a terrible way live.

As a freelancer, you don’t have to be a “yes person” to anyone. You are the boss. You get to earn more by working more instead of brown nosing for a promotion.

You Get to Take Breaks Whenever You Want

freelancing benefit

As an employee, you are trading hours for dollars. The company owns your time. They determine your work schedule, approve your vacation time, and even tell you when you can take a break.

As a self-employed freelancer, you can take a break whenever you like and for as long as you want. As long as you complete all of your work, it truly doesn’t matter. There are some, for example, who can actually increase their productivity by taking short, frequent breaks.

No More Thermostat Wars

Do you prefer to work in an environment that’s a little warmer or cooler than everyone else? Well, tough luck if you work for a company where thermostats are typically set for maximum efficiency. Your options are usually limited to bundling up or bringing a fan and hoping for the best.

As a freelancer, you are completely free to keep your dwelling as warm or cool as you like. Being comfortable in your environment allows you to concentrate on your work without the distraction of being too warm or too cold.

The Grass Really is Greener on the Other Side

Making the transition from employee to freelance writer is not always easy, but it is definitely worth it. When you do, your quality of life will improve in so many ways, even ways you may not have thought of. There’s never been a better time to make it happen.

 

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