Never Underestimate The Importance Of Your Online Presence

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It doesn’t matter whether you run a multi-million pound business, you have just launched your own startup, or you are a freelance blogger, the chances are that you need a well honed and nuanced online presence to appeal to your market. Being visible online is vital because you could have the best product or service on offer, yet no one knows about it. The important part of getting yourself noticed is the ability to market yourself. The largest platform on which to be visible is the world wide web. While giant billboards, TV adverts and cutesy little radio jingle laden adverts still have their place, it is the domain of the millennial that will really get you and your startup noticed.

Your online presence doesn’t just begin and end with a website. There is so much more that you could be doing online to tap into your potential market. Take a look at how the Internet can help your new business become more profitable and why you should never underestimate the importance of your online presence.

Social Media

The most exciting part of being online is the ability to tap social media. These multi faceted platforms are utilized globally and have become a millennial’s go to method of communication. If you haven’t explored the world of social, each platform gives you something extra to appeal to the masses. Facebook is a more informal page on which to show off the credentials of your business. People can like your page, leave reviews and recommend you to others, sharing your page allowing you to gain more visibility.

Twitter is a much more personal approach to communicating with your clientele. There is no page as such, but you will find your company voice on this platform. You can post discounts, offers, and link to meaningful and highly readable content. If your followers like what they see, they can retweet or comment. Make it a point of business to respond in a timely manner. Don’t worry about being formal and use the voice of the potential customer to respond in kind.

Instagram is different yet again in that it is a highly visual platform. Perfectly Holga and Amaro filtered images are displayed to create a grid of photographs from which you can market your wares and services. Using hashtags appropriately will market your business globally. Get the composition of a shot right and pair it with the right hashtag and you could find your image going viral, generating an online buzz and gaining you more followers and greater visibility. Social media platforms shouldn’t be thought of as different marketing tools, and should instead become part of one larger marketing strategy with the aim of directing traffic to your website which you can then convert into sales.

Alex Knight
Your Website

The landing page of your website should represent the face of your business. It’s vital that your branding echoes through your webpages, your social media accounts, and your physical marketing merchandise. Use your creative flair to design your own website if you have the time. There are plenty of drag and drop website builders that have come on leaps and bounds since the dawn of Geocities and Lycos websites that were static and clunky. Now, you can have a fully interactive and intuitive website that immerses your market in aesthetically pleasing visuals and exceptional content.

Get the basics right by checking your spelling, grammar, and punctuation. Any content should be concise, readable, informal and target your market. If you are a craft based business and you are designing personalised bibs, tee shirts and sweaters for babies, don’t be formal like an investment bank. Be chatty and imagine yourself having coffee with your young mum pals. Finding your voice is vital if you are to convert hits into sales.

Always ensure that your content is optimised for search engine results. Consider your clientele and the search phrases they might use to land on your site. Embed these into your content and use keywords and meta tags to enhance your online presence. Being on the first page of Google results is vital to hammer home your place in the market. If you don’t know your keywords from your keyboard, it might be time to outsource so another more expert pair of eyes can ensure that your website is fit for purpose.

More prevalent than ever is the threat of cybercrime. Just because your website uses encryption doesn’t mean a hacker cannot utilise a piece of spyware and steal your customers’ sensitive payment details and home addresses. To combat this threat, you need to use a specialist firm that will take your company information, look closely at your sales goals and business vision, and work with you to implement a cybersecurity plan. If you have a staff team, ensure that they undergo cybersecurity training, and ensure that you backup your data daily, so if the worst should happen, you can carry on trading without any downtime.

Guest Blog

Having your own blog for your business is a solid way of generating another online stream to feed your e-commerce pages. However, a blog is also an excellent platform from which to link to other relevant content online and from which to network. If you gain a large readership, other firms might be keen to get in on the action, asking you to advertise their wares on your pages in return for either getting a chunk of their sales should it be generated through the link on your blog, or by a reciprocal link on their blog.

You can also guest post on industry leading blogs. Sites like Medium, Mashable, and Gizmodo have extraordinary levels of readership. If you’re keen to tap into this and develop your market, this could be the perfect place to market yourself through an informative, entertaining and relevant post.

Being visible online is vital if you are to make a success of your business in the twenty first century. Your industry will already have well established players that you need to compete with. Utilise the power of the Internet to establish yourself as a worthy rival.

5 Reasons To Start Your Own Blog

This is a collaborative post.

One of the things I always hear from people when they hear that I’m a blogger is that they have always wanted to start a blog but wouldn’t know what to write about. I’ve often told them that if the passion is there, then get cracking. It doesn’t matter if you write about something in particular (a niche) or whether you write about anything and everything – it is your own personal space on the internet after all. I found that some of them did give it a go but others couldn’t be bothered once they realised that it wasn’t a get rich quick scheme.

But I’m not here to deter you from starting a blog, far from it. Whilst it isn’t a get rich quick scheme (which some people have thought because of the success of some bloggers and vloggers), you definitely can make money from a blog – but there are other reasons too.

If you’ve always wanted to start your own blog, then here are five reasons why you should give it a go.

You have a passion for it

When it comes to blogging, you can tell the people who have a passion for what they are writing about and those who are trying to make a quick buck and who often give up quite easily. If there is a topic you are particularly passionate about, why not try writing about it? I follow all different types of blogs and the passion the people behind them have is clear to see.

It is a great way to relax

When I first started blogging, it was my safe space, my place to just talk about all of the stuff that was in my head. It was like an online diary which I suppose is what blogs first started as. It was my way to relax whilst Steve relaxed with a game on the PS4.

Photo by Corinne Kutz on Unsplash

 

It can bring some great opportunities

You may not get into blogging for the opportunities it can bring but you are hardly likely to turn them down, are you? Before blogging, I always wanted to be a writer and do that for a living but I lost my way a little. Since I began blogging, I’ve been able to leave my retail job and do what I love for a career – how amazing is that? I’ve also done some things that I could only ever dream of such as attending a literary festival in Paris of all places.

You can make some lifelong friends

Out of the friends I have now, I can honestly say only about three are non bloggers. Most are people I’ve met through blogging who live locally and one is a friend from school who started blogging. They have so much in common with me and I have some really great friends I have made in the last eight years who I couldn’t be without now.

Yes, you can make money

Finally – and the one I bet you’ve all been waiting to read – is that yes, you can make money. But don’t expect to make bank straight away. You’ll need to work hard to get that income coming in and you’ll need multiple income streams if you want to make the jump to it as a career. I not only blog but I also write on a freelance basis, proofread and I’m also a virtual assistant for a number of different bloggers. If you’ve got the time, the patience and the passion to put the work into making a blog succeed, you definitely can make a decent income from it.

So what are you waiting for? Why not start that blog you’ve been wanting to today?

10 Email Marketing Do’s And Don’ts

As someone who makes their living online, I am always looking for handy tips and guides to enable me to grow my business even more and expand my reach. I have a varied selection of income streams – self employment isn’t exactly stable so it is important to diversify – and I’m always looking for new ways to grow in each avenue I work in.

I’ve recently been made aware of some fantastic resources from Campaign Monitor – one such resource being the following infographic from them. Email marketing is still something I really need to get my head around so guides like this are very helpful. Here are ten email marketing do’s and don’t’s – are you guilty of any?

 

10 Email Marketing Do’s and Don’ts - Infographic by Campaign Monitor

Source: 10 Email Marketing Do’s and Don’ts by Campaign Monitor
It shocks me that people still buy their email lists and don’t try to grow it organically like the majority of people do! I already knew that you shouldn’t be generic and that you should try to tailor your emails to each and every client and make them personable and it shocks me people don’t utilise their email marketing campaigns as well as they should!

With these tips on board, I’m definitely going to be finally giving email marketing a whirl and will certainly be checking out the rest of the fab resources Campaign Monitor have to offer. Are you a whizz with email marketing or are you a beginner like me?

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Getting The Perfect Themed Images As A Blogger

As a blogger and content creator, I am always looking to create the perfect images for my posts. Whether I am writing a review, a sponsored post or some general content, I try to ensure the images are of good quality and are appealing to the reader’s eye. Something I like to try and do is theme my images if the post centres around a specific thing – Christmas posts with Christmas themed decor or food or decorations; birthday posts with the typical things you’d see at a birthday party.

With Halloween coming up, I’ve been searching for some great Halloween backdrops that will give my images that little bit more ‘oomph’. I’ve got so much Halloween content planned in that I need something that will suit all of my content and that is of good enough quality to last multiple shot changes.

Although I have talked about wanting to theme my images based on occasion, I also try to keep the same sort of theme going among my general images. Most product shots I take are currently against a black background – the only time I seem to deviate from this is when I need to show the products in use which is where you will usually see the kids playing with toys on the floor or trying some food at the table.

It would be nice to have a few different backdrops for my general posts like this and I’ve been told a decent photography background would be great for this. I’ve seen a few on Shop Backdrop, the online backdrop store that seem to suit all sorts of occasions. Some gorgeous blue tones, some wooden effect backdrops, they seem to have almost everything you could think of.

As you can imagine, the next few months are going to be super busy over here on Futures – so much content to be written, images needing to be shot, edited and inserted into posts, emails to write and send, emails to read. If I can slice a little bit off my time without having to constantly try to theme my images, why wouldn’t I? A backdrop would be perfect for this.

I’ll definitely be investing a backdrop or two – they’re certainly going to help me up my blogging game and make my images uniquely identifiable to me. Do you currently use any? Or do you theme your photos in a certain way too?

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Why And How I Use SEO For My Blog

Why And How I Use SEO For My Blog

If you’re a blogger, chances are you know plenty of the terms regarding blogging such as DA, PA, reach etc. You’ve probably also heard about SEO – but do you know what it is? SEO is search engine optimisation and is described as the process of affecting the online visibility of a website or a web page in a web search engine’s unpaid results—often referred to as “natural”, “organic”, or “earned” results. So how and why would you use SEO for your blog to increase your online visibility?

The Why

Simply put, I want more eyes on my site. Everyone would love more visits to their sites if they could; they will always strive to beat the previous months stats. I’m no different, I like to try and beat what I got the month before. The other reason I use SEO for my blog is because my blog forms part of my income and you may have noticed that I have ads on this site and sponsored content occasionally. Some ads pay out on views alone so more views to my site means more money; some pay on clicks – you have an increased possibility of clicks if you have more traffic – and people who will approach for sponsored content will always strive to get the best for their money – so a good online visibility is essential.

Arnel Hasanovic
The How

The team at click.co.uk have a fantastic guide to SEO and some brilliant eBooks, talking all about SEO, how and why to use it. So how do I use SEO to improve the online visibility of my site?

First of all, I sneakily use a shortcut. If you are on self hosted WordPress, there is a fantastic plugin called Yoast which really helps you to up your SEO game. It uses a traffic light system to show you what things you are doing well, what you need to improve and what really needs to be changed. This reminds me to add a SEO friendly title with a good keyword, add a meta description that is long enough that includes your keyword and good description, add alt text to images which should describe exactly what the image shows – this is extremely handy for blind or visually impaired people. You want to aim for all green lights on Yoast, then they consider your post to be perfectly optimised for search engines.

Other ways include internal linking. I always aim to include at least one relevant internal link in my posts – I believe I mentioned this in my 3 ways to improve your domain authority post – because it connects my content together and enables search engines to establish a hierarchy on my site and give the more important posts and pages more link value than the much less important ones.

I have also made sure my site is mobile responsive, loads fast (although this is something I regularly check on as it can nearly always be improved) and check for and remove broken links. These all help me to up my SEO game.

This is just a fraction of what you need to do to SEO optimise your site. How and why do you use SEO for your site?

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