Easy Ways To Do Legitimate Work From Your Home

Home businesses are a regarding work, around the does not have to be an unhappy experience. Objective should be to have enough money roll as sleep. Second income can help to pay bills while other work to do to herald extra invest. Do you see how perform achieve solid residual living?

Be careful of falling into a rut where you’re barely moving a muscle. Rather than watching the pounds pack on next day day, make a concerted effort to to choose walk or jog. Join a gym. Make a concerted effort to get enough exercise or you will inevitably drop out of descent shape. Not only will exercise help clear mental performance and optimize efficiency, it could keep one’s body healthy.

NEVER finance the ability to work! No genuine company charges employees a fee for a job. However, with enterprise opportunity what happens if you be need to pay to coach you to run your home business. Could possibly also need start-up costs to cover investments, materials, franchises, as well as other items.

It’s almost cliche, however it is not all work at home has staying a responsibility. You can build a business, whether you join a network marketing opportunity, make and sell your own crafts, begin a daycare, commence a website or something like that else at the same time. Starting an industry of all kinds is risky, but it could be be its risk.

Be bendable. Although you have a home job, your clients may keep a different time zoom. Their sleep times may be your waking hours and hours. Try to be flexible with your schedule so that you can have direct contact collectively with your clients required. Flexibility is that one customer perk which land you more work and great referrals. For time management, you might have to shift some duties just as much as. Pick the ones that can be completed at any kind of hour, such as building your grocery list, doing laundry or light cleaning.

First thing to know is which not everyone can write. Excessive have to be an English professor by any means, but it’s be excited to express yourself and put your applying for grants paper. Lots of of the writing assignments you will encounter for blogs, web sites and even reviews are written inside everyday care-free tone the majority of can do. One of proper advantages of work from home writing is which you are overall control. You alone choose assignments when possible take a person to the freedom to pick a topic you’re familiar with.

Consider Your Skill: First and foremost, are you cut-out being a business possessor? Do you have what it takes, meaning the skill, the desire, as well as the fortitude and motivation to work your business, carving out the necessary time, putting your market maximum effort, and finding out how to build a successful home business? Discover that not everyone is meant to be business, a CEO. Speak with a few successful business men and perhaps mentor with them, should you decide to move in front of you. But first, be prepared. Know what you are getting into realizing that you may have to develop skills. Conventional investing in you, your most important resource.

You want to consider an individual will handle things when the kids are disabled. Even if you work getting gone or sleeping, which would be an issue at one particular. How will you get any work attained? Will you need to take some time off?

10 ways to improve a podcast website for you or your clients

Are you building or maintaining a podcast website for you or one of your clients? With more than a million shows and 30 million episodes, podcasts have become a favorite for content consumers. If you haven’t built a podcast website yet, you’re bound to at some point.

Unlike Apple Podcasts where the show sits among thousands, or on Facebook where content is subject to the whims of an algorithm, a podcast website is the only platform you or your client own 100%. No rules, restrictions, or limitations. It’s a central place where you or your client can say anything you want to listeners and potential listeners.

Furthermore, a podcast website is a place where collaborators, potential guests, reviewers, advertisers, and the media learn more about the show and its host. Having a professional and accessible platform makes the whole operation appear legitimate. When a new podcaster asks us how to start a podcast, we always recommend starting a website.

A great podcast website doesn’t have to be fancy or expensive, but it needs a few critical elements to be effective. In this article, we’re going to cover ten best practices to improve a podcast website.

10 best practices to improve a podcast website

How do you make a top-notch podcast website? A podcast website has three purposes:

  1. Make it easy for new listeners to sample the show.
  2. Eliminate any friction users have from subscribing.
  3. Create deeper connections with engaged listeners.

If you build a website that addresses those objectives, you will be set up for success. The following best practices will help you create a site that is technically proficient, aesthetically pleasing, and loved by your fans.

1. Host your audio files with a dedicated podcast hosting provider

Platforms like Google Play and Apple Podcasts are directories that use an RSS link to display podcast content. They don’t store the actual audio. So podcasters need somewhere a place to host their episode files that provides them with an RSS link.

Most traditional website hosts aren’t configured to handle podcast audio files. They don’t have the right optimizations for audio content and can’t handle all the download requests from listeners. You or your client will need to publish their episodes with a dedicated podcast hosting service.

By using separate hosts for the website and the podcast, both the website and the podcast files will run fast and smooth, which is important for SEO and the user experience. It also tends to cut down on costs, even though you’re using multiple services.

Podcast hosting services aren’t simply folders with files. They also provide analytics, WordPress integrations, support, and other tools. The best ones also help podcasters create transcriptions, show notes, and other marketing assets.

2. Install the right podcasting plugins

Once you obtain hosting for the website, we strongly recommend installing WordPress. It’s fast and simple. You’ll have no trouble creating new blog posts for each episode.

Most importantly, WordPress gives you tons of freedom to extend its functionality by installing plugins. The right selection of plugins can turn a basic blog into a high performing brand platform.

Which plugins should you install? It depends on your needs, but here are our recommendations for a powerful podcasting stack:

  • Seriously Simple Podcasting – Manage your podcast right from WordPress, including one-click imports, a beautiful embedded audio player, integrated analytics, multiple show support, and free add-ons.
  • Yoast SEO – Create SEO-optimized pages.
  • Gravity Forms – Collect email addresses.
  • Sucuri – Protect the site from hackers.
  • UpdraftPlus – Create backups to safeguard the site.
  • WP Rocket – Cache the site so it loads quickly.
  • Google Analytics – View site analytics.
  • Email integration – Integrate website with an email service provider.

3. Offer links to the podcast on different apps

Not everyone wants to listen to podcasts off a website. Many people prefer to use their favorite podcasting app, such as Apple Podcast, Google Play, Stitcher, Spotify, etc. So it’s smart to give them links to the podcaster’s episodes on each of those podcast directories.

Make the experience as frictionless as possible by adding these links throughout your site. Just make sure they’re prominent and easy to find, like in your header, footer, or sidebars. You don’t want potential listeners searching too long or they may decide to listen to a more accessible show.

Pod Save America includes these links on their home page, right beneath the show’s title.

screenshot of pod save america home page with three men pictured above podcast app buttons
Pod Save America puts podcast app links on the home page.

They also include links in the sidebar of every episode’s page.

screenshot of podcast episode page with sidebar links to podcast apps
Pod Save America also links to podcast apps alongside episode content.

4. Design with SEO in mind for discoverability

When someone searches for the podcast, you want their website to appear first, not their listing on Apple Podcasts or Spotify or Google Play. This means the website should be built with SEO best practices in mind.

SEO discoverability is a big topic, so we won’t get into the nuances here, but here are some critical ways you can design a site that’s SEO-friendly.

  • Optimize site speed so it loads as quickly as possible.
  • Make it mobile friendly and accessible on all devices and browsers.
  • Create a crawl-friendly sitemap to help search engines catalog pages.
  • Create lots of interlinking opportunities.
  • Use heading tags in a proper hierarchy.
  • Optimize for voice search (it’s growing in popularity)
  • Improve machine readability with structured data and limiting hard-to-read languages like Flash and Ajax.

This is another good reason to use WordPress as a content management platform. WordPress and most premium themes are built with SEO in mind.

If you want to learn more about SEO, we recommend Brian Dean’s complete SEO guide.

5. Set up a unique page for each podcast episode

Every single episode should have its own page on the site. The page’s title should match the episode’s title. If you’re building with WordPress, each episode should be a blog post. You can use the standard post type or create a custom post type for podcast episodes and use the standard post type for other content.

Take a look at Audience by Castos. Each episode gets its own page with an audio player and other content.

Audience creates a unique page for every episode.
Screenshot of a podcast episode page
Audience creates a unique page for every episode.

These are the pages you or your client should link to when they post on social media or send emails to their list, rather than a page on the Apple Podcast, Google Play, or other podcast directory site.

Fortunately, an episode’s page is pretty simple. What should go on this page?

  • A podcast player that’s touch-friendly and queued up for the page’s episode. This should sit at the very top of the page before the visitor has to scroll.
  • Show notes that highlight the important points of the recording, ideally with timestamps.
  • A complete audio transcription (great for SEO and accessibility).
  • Video of the episode (if you have it).
  • Other marketing assets, like audiograms and shareable images.

If you forgo everything else, it’s very important that each page includes that podcast player. New listeners should have the ability to sample an episode without downloading an app for visiting another page.

6. Help new listeners get started with a curated playlist of best episodes

New listeners may be intimidated by the catalog of episodes, especially if the show has been publishing for a while. Listeners may decide to listen to every episode eventually, but in the beginning they want to access the best stuff first. Plus, in the interest of building a strong relationship, it’s important to hook the listener quickly with great content.

Create a page on the site specifically for new listeners. This page should briefly explain the podcast, introduce the host, and provide links to the best episodes. Criminal, a podcast about crime, has a section on their homepage that points new listeners to the best four episodes.

Screenshot of a podcast page
Criminal has a “start here” section to help new listeners dive in.

Which episodes should you include? Generally speaking, you want to include episodes that evoke strong emotions or provide especially valuable information. If you ask the host, he or she will probably know right away which episodes are the best.

7. Create an archive page for the podcast’s back catalog

Even though each episode has a dedicated page, it’s helpful to have archive pages that link to each of those pages. You should have archive pages for each category of episodes as well as an archive of all episodes.

Archive pages help listeners find the type of content they’re looking for. For example, a personal finance podcaster might have categories for retirement, mortgages, and debt relief. If a new listener wants to learn about mortgages, they can filter by that topic. Pleasing potential listeners quickly is key to growing an audience.

Screenshot of a podcast archive
ArtCurious lets you filter episodes by category to find the content you care about.

This functionality is already built into WordPress. Simply add a category to each post so WordPress knows how to filter the pages. Most other content management platforms Have similar features.

8. Include email lead capture opportunities and links to social media

You or your client probably intends to start an email list so new listeners have a way to receive notifications about new episodes, upcoming content, and other promotions. An email list is important because it’s a direct line of communication to the audience.

To join that list, however, the website needs lead capture opportunities. Add sign up forms in reasonable places, like sidebars, footers, and on the contact page. If you want to supercharge sign ups, giving something away in exchange, like free content or access to a private community.

The Model Health Show puts a sign up button in the sidebar of each episode’s page. The button takes you to a landing page with a form.

Screenshot of podcast page with email newsletter banner
Model Health Show captures email addresses in exchange for content.

Happier with Gretchin Rubin uses a slide-out overlay to capture email addresses.

Screenshot of podcast website with pop up newsletter banner
Happier with Gretchin Rubin puts a form in an overlay.

Furthermore, it’s important to add links to the podcast’s social media pages. These are just more opportunities for the podcaster to connect with its listeners. Just like the podcast app links from tip #3 above, it’s best to place these links in places that are available on every page.

9. Implement Google’s recommended structured data

Google can expose your podcast to users across its entire ecosystem of products. This includes:

  • Google Search (all browsers, desktop and mobile devices) Users can actually play episodes in the browser. See example below.
  • Google Search App
  • Google Podcasts App
  • Google Home speaker system
  • Content Action for the Google Assistant
  • Android Auto for vehicles
  • Google News Briefings
  • Your News Update
Screenshot of Google search rich results for podcast episodes
You can listen to podcasts from Google Search if the RSS feed and website have the right structured data.

You can help the podcast appear on Google by making the RSS feed and the home page point to each other. This is called reciprocal linking.

In the  podcast RSS feed, confirm that there is a <link> element that points to the website’s homepage. It should look like this:

<link>https://link/to/your/homepage/url</link>

If there’s no <link> element in the feed, or if it points to a site other than the website, ask your podcast host how to specify the website’s homepage address.

Next, add the following HTML to the <head> tag of your website so it points to the RSS feed:

<link type="application/rss+xml" rel="alternate" title="Title_Value" href="RSS_URL"/>

Title_Value is the title of your podcast. RSS_URL is the URL of your RSS feed.

10. Create a consistent brand that relates to the podcast’s subject

For a professional podcast website, a generic WordPress theme just won’t do. You need unique branding that’s consistent throughout the website. It should relate specifically to the topic.

If the podcast is about the paranormal, it should be dark and spooky. If it’s about kids and parenting, it should be bright with primary colors. If the show is about healthy eating and natural living, it should use greens and browns. Choose complimentary fonts and – if possible – custom photography.

These design elements help visitors connect with the podcast quickly. They help potential listeners understand the show without reading a word. It’s like a visual elevator pitch.

S-Town’s site uses their distinct flowers and clockwork imagery throughout the whole site.

Screenshot of a podcast website with interesting design
S-Town has an extremely unique style.

The Leviathan Chroncile’s site feels like an adventure game!

Screenshot of a podcast website with science fiction theme
The Leviathan Chronicles matches their branding to the feel of their show.

Summary

The best practices we covered in this list will help you design a professional podcast website that’s accessible, aesthetically pleasing, and easy to use. Keep in mind, however, that all shows and brands are different. Don’t be afraid to experiment with new ideas and creative techniques to make your site unique.

The post 10 ways to improve a podcast website for you or your clients appeared first on GoDaddy Blog.

GoDaddy Blog

What are some low-cost ways to finding talents?

What are some low-cost ways to finding talents? The CTO I work for doesn't want to spend money for an agency to headhunt for him. Is there a way to find good talent that's low cost? I am thinking that surely there's some kind of service that doesn't cost much or some kind of website other than Indeed that allows you to find good senior programmers. Is there anything like that?

submitted by /u/jadesalad
[link] [comments]
Startups – Rapid Growth and Innovation is in Our Very Nature!

7 Ways To Get Key People Committed To Supporting You

women-team-relationshipInvestors invest in people, not ideas. Customers buy from people, not companies. Employees rally for a great leader, not a brand. As an entrepreneur, you need relationships to succeed. That means relationships with team members, investors, customers, and vendors. One of the best ways to build a good relationship with anyone is to make them feel important.

One of my favorite authors, Brian Tracy, in his classic book “No Excuses!: The Power of Self-Discipline,” outlined seven ways to make other people feel important, which I believe are extremely relevant to entrepreneurs and business:

  1. Accept people the way they are. Because most people are judgmental and critical, to be unconditionally accepted by another person raises that person’s self-esteem, reinforces his or her self-image, and makes that person much more likely to accept you and follow your lead.
  1. Show your appreciation for others. When you appreciate another person for anything that he or she has done or said, they will like themselves and you more as well. The simplest way to express appreciation is to simply say, “Thank you” for an idea, some good feedback, time spent together, or an order.
  1. Be agreeable. The most welcomed people in every situation are those who are generally agreeable and positive with others. Entrepreneurs who like to be argumentative, complaining, or disagreeable, will have a hard time closing a contract, investment, or a customer contract.
  1. Show your admiration. People invest a lot of personal emotion in their possessions, traits, and accomplishments. When you admire something belonging to another person, it makes him feel happy about himself. Everyone has positives, and it’s up to you to find them. In turn, these positives will be reflected back on you.
  1. Pay attention to others. The most powerful way to pay attention to someone is to listen attentively first, even ask questions, before you launch into a monologue answering every question they might never ask. Believe it or not, before you even say a word, you will become a more interesting and intelligent person in their eyes.
  1. Never criticize, condemn, or complain. In business as well as personal relationships, the most harmful force of all is destructive criticism. It lowers a person’s self-esteem, makes him feel angry and defensive, and causes him to dislike you. If your target is someone not present, it still causes a loss of trust in you, since your listener could be the next target.
  1. Be courteous, concerned, and considerate of everyone you meet. When you treat a person with courtesy and respect, they will value and respect you more. By being concerned, you connect with their emotions. Consideration is the discipline to do and say things to people that are important to them.

Think back on your own recent experiences as a customer or contractor. You don’t always buy the cheapest product or service, if you have a good relationship with the people involved. On the other hand, I almost never buy from someone that treats me like I’m not important.

If you want to be a leader, you need to inspire followership. Great leaders develop a good relationship with good people, who are then inspired to follow. A successful leader inspires people to do more than they might have done without the relationship, and more than they may have even dreamed possible.

So, if you follow all these seven ways to make other people feel important, you will receive a seven-fold payback on your own objectives of being a leader and building a successful business. That’s a lot cheaper and lot longer lasting than the best advertising and public relations you can buy.

Marty Zwilling
Startup Professionals Musings

10 Efficient Ways to Save Time So You Can Follow Your Dreams

save time

Time is something we all need more of, but how can you get more of it when there is only 24 hours in a day? Sadly there is no way to put more hours into each day, but what you can do is be more efficient with your time so you can follow your dreams. Here is how I was more efficient during my college years, which allowed me to run a business at the same time.

  1. Watch television on the web – the problem with television is that you had to watch TV shows when they want you to watch them. Now with the technology advancements most entertainment channels like NBC, FOX, CW, and even a few cable networks let you watch your favorite TV shows online. It is free, you can watch the shows when you want to, and an hour show usually ends up being 45 minutes because there are a lot less commercials.
  2. Sleep more – if you learn to take power naps, you will have more energy throughout the day. Although you may lose some time from napping, you will be able to work more efficiently, which will give you more time.
  3. Eat healthy meals – changing your diet maybe hard at first, but eating balanced meals will affect how you do your daily tasks. It will give you more energy so you can get your work done faster.
  4. Do less work – a lot of the things you do on a daily basis, don’t need to be done. Think about your daily routine and cut out anything that isn’t essential. You will be surprised on how much time you are wasting.
  5. Tell people what’s on your mind – being honest and to the point is a great way to accomplish things quicker. When you beat around the bush things don’t get accomplished as fast. Just think about boardroom meetings, people are hesitant to say what is on their mind, which causes meetings to drag on forever.
  6. Have some fun – all work and no play is a good way to make you feel depressed. Get some fun into your life, it will make you feel better, work harder, and hopefully make you want to accomplish your dreams.
  7. Adjust your working hours – many companies are very flexible on what times you can start and end work. If you work in a heavy traffic city such as Los Angeles you can easily spend an hour or 2 commuting to work during rush hour. But if you adjust your working hours you can cut back on driving time drastically.
  8. Cut down on your communication methods – cell phones, email, and instant messaging are just a few tools you probably use to communicate with others. The problem with some of these methods is that they can easily be abused. For example if you log onto AIM, you may waste an hour talking to others about junk. Try and use communication tools like AIM only when you need them.
  9. Don’t multi-task – when you mult-task you tend to switch between what you should be doing and what you shouldn’t. By single tasking you are more likely to do what you are supposed to be doing.
  10. Get rid of distractions – things you may not be thinking of can be distractions. Whether it is gadgets or even checking emails every 5 minutes, this can all distract you. By getting rid or distractions or controlling them, you will have more time on your hands.

Saving time creates time to focus on you and your goals. But finding time is only half the battle. You need to remain as productive as possible with the time you have to make the most of it.

Need help? Here are 51 free productivity apps that can help you out.

Quick Sprout

5 Ways To Focus Your Strategy On Delighting Customers

my-tesla-arrivedThe world keeps changing, and visible business strategies that worked well in the past, including being the premium brand or low price producer, simply don’t get the customer loyalty they once did. Today, customers are looking for real relationships, a memorable shopping experience, and satisfaction of a higher purpose. They follow leaders who live and promote these strategies.

For example, Tesla and Elon Musk have capitalized on the environmental benefits of electric vehicles, coupled with a more memorable shopping experience by eliminating dealers. Other companies, including Ritz-Carlton, now incent their employees to build real relationships with guests, by authorizing them to spend up to $ 2,000 per guest to solve an individual concern.

Of course, these new customer-facing strategies shouldn’t preclude you from focusing behind the scenes on reducing costs and broadening your product line to supersede competitors. Amazon and Jeff Bezos have managed to do this well, with customers only remembering the fun and ease of shopping online, seemingly instant no-cost delivery, and no-hassle returns or replacements.

If you are rolling out a new business, or focusing on a revamp for your existing one, here is a summary of the key elements I recommend as a long-time business advisor for a winning customer-centric strategy today:

  1. Demonstrate a commitment to purpose and vision. What you say in your mission statement means nothing unless customers see you and your team living it every day. They need to see results in the form of sponsored events, social media, and feedback from influencers and customers that your mission is more than the low-cost producer.

    Whole Foods, for example, have continuously demonstrated their commitment to natural and organic foods, and have amassed an large and intensely loyal customer following for their 475 stores. As a result, they recently were acquired by Amazon for $ 13.5 billion.

  2. Highly focused customer segment targeting. This has to start with doing the customer interaction work to isolate the needs and drivers in the market you intend to serve. Trying to be everything to everyone doesn’t work any more. You need your team to be engaged with customers, finding what gets them excited, and tuning your message and offerings.

    In addition to their focus on purpose, Whole Foods continues to target high-income, educated city-dwellers who are health- or eco-conscious. This approach may not have worked in the startup days of traditional grocery stores, but it fits today’s urban reality.

  3. Dominate your industry before expanding to others. Many businesses are too quick in their efforts to become a conglomerate like General Electric, rather than globally dominating the one they are best suited for. Today, scaling an existing business in a large interconnected environment is generally easier than growing a disparate portfolio.

    Apple, as an example, have consistently focused on consumer electronics, since their early days with personal computers. They now dominate that industry, and achieved massive growth, loyalty, and credibility, without trying to move into enterprise solutions.

  4. Align employee incentives with customer values. Many companies still measure and reward employee productivity on internal processes, such as service calls closed per hour or revenue generated, rather than delighted customers. Results in the short-term may be optimized at the expense of repeat business, customer advocates, and loyalty.

  5. Seek opportunities to leverage competitor shortcomings. Make sure that everyone in your business understands your competitive advantage from a customer perspective, and continually seeks to optimize it. This requires continuous communication up front, agility in adapting to change, and continuous innovation improving satisfaction and experience.

Above all, continuing success requires a constant focus on strategy, and an agility to move quickly with the latest trends and innovation. Too many existing business become complacent, and the world changes around them, including former growth leaders Radio Shack, Nokia, and Enron. All too quickly, customers move on to other players that address their changing needs.

If your business strategy today doesn’t reflect one or more of the elements outlined here, your time for change may be past due. Winning customers in business is a lot more fun than the alternatives.

Marty Zwilling

*** First published on Inc.com on 09/10/2020 ***

Startup Professionals Musings

5 Ways to Make Budgeting and Strategic Borrowing Easier

Over the nearly 40 years I’ve either owned or otherwise worked in a small business, I’ve observed that even businesses that might not be considered “seasonal” in the traditional sense ebb and flow over the course of the year, creating times when capital becomes tight and the cash flow pinch can cause an otherwise healthy business to struggle. In today’s world, small business budgeting and borrowing are more important than ever. I use these two words together intentionally, because I believe there is a synergy there for business owners who take a strategic approach to capitalizing their businesses.

A reactionary approach to a small business’ need for capital can satisfy a short-term need or meet an unanticipated shortfall, but might not help the business grow. We see evidence of this by the failure rate of small businesses in our country. Of the 30 or so million small businesses in the United States, those that survive the first few years are far too few; and only 40 percent of small businesses are even profitable. What’s more, the most common reason for business failure is a lack of adequate cash. In fact poor cash flow causes 84 percent of the business failures in the U.S.


StartupNation exclusive discounts and savings on Dell products and accessories: Learn more here

Can you anticipate your business cycle?

This probably sounds like a gross oversimplification, but anticipating your business cycle is what the most successful small business owners are able to do to recognize when a peak season ebbs and they need to accommodate for an anticipatable lag in income. This enables business owners to be more strategic and less reactionary to the business’ ebb and flow.

Having spent nearly half of my career in seasonal small businesses, I came to appreciate (and anticipate) the seasonality of what I was doing and the need to plan for the times when I knew cash would be tight. But, we still needed to keep the doors open to prepare for the surge of business that was coming in with the seasonal tide.

During the peak season, it’s far too easy to forget that it’s not going to last forever and to become cavalier in managing cash. I’ve been there myself and understand. I had to learn the hard way that it takes discipline to invest in saving when revenues are fat so you can keep operations going (and even invest in the business) during a lean season. I also came to appreciate this budgeting restraint even more at the end of the slack season.

Depending on the nature of your business, budgeting could also include a lot more than your cash flow. Many businesses reduce staff during an “off season” or may reduce their business hours. We couldn’t do that, but we would invest in projects to keep busy during the slower seasons. That was when I painted our building, upgraded facilities, or attacked major renovations—provided I had anticipated the season and had prepared to make the investments.

Being strategic allows you to invest when you have the time, but maybe not the cash flow. It also enables you to avoid the seasonal “crisis borrowing” that takes place in many small businesses to bridge from one season to another.

Don’t get me wrong, borrowing to bridge the seasons can be a good strategy—provided it’s a strategy and not a reaction. I’m a big advocate of strategic borrowing because it’s easy to make poor decisions when you’ve got to borrow to meet payroll or pay your lease.


Related: Are Business Loans More Affordable Now Due to the Pandemic?

Five ways to make budgeting and strategic borrowing easier

It’s much easier to talk about being more strategic, but it’s a lot more difficult to actually do it. Anticipating the business cycle is only the first step.

Here are five things that will make taking a strategic approach to budgeting and borrowing easier:

  1. Create the plan: You don’t need to wait until the first of the year to create a strategic 12-month plan; you can do it now. Plan for those times when you expect revenue to be tight and decide what you will do to compensate when cash is flush. Will you set aside a percentage of profits to tide you over, or borrow to fill the gaps? Planning now will make it easier to execute at the time that best fits your situation, rather than reacting to the drop when it happens.
  2. Stick to the plan: Creating a plan doesn’t do anything if you don’t take action. I don’t think that means you follow the plan regardless of what happens. If situations change, you may need to adjust (or pivot) a little, but make sure you consider the costs of deviating from the plan and compensate for the changes.
  3. Set goals and measure: Make sure you stay on top of your cash flow goals and consult with your accountant or another trusted financial advisor if you need help setting goals or ideas on how to achieve them. We tend to impact the things we pay the most attention to, so establishing goals and measuring performance against those goals will help you achieve them—even your cash flow goals.
  4. Stay on top of your accounts receivable (AR): Don’t let a day go by without being engaged in your accounts receivable. I know for many small business owners, accounting isn’t their thing, but if you’re going to be strategic with your budgeting and cash flow, you have to be diligent here. It doesn’t take long for an overdue invoice to have lost all profit, and too many of them will start your business on the slog to going out of business. In my view, your AR is every bit as important as generating sales.
  5. The rainy day is on the way: Whether or not your strategy for the year includes borrowing, setting aside a percent of profits for a rainy day is just a good idea. There are a lot of unexpected business expenses that can easily be addressed if you have a little extra cash in the bank. Some of the smartest business owners I know regularly set aside some of their profits to ensure they have at least three- to six-months of operating expenses stashed away in the bank.

Sign Up: Receive the StartupNation newsletter!

I’ve discovered over the years that good advice doesn’t always have to be new advice. Taking a more strategic approach to budgeting and borrowing will help you become less reactionary and help you build a strong and healthy business that will outlast your small business peers who ignored this advice.

Let us know what you’re doing to be more strategic and how it’s helped your business.


This article originally appeared on Nav.com by Ty Kiisel

The post 5 Ways to Make Budgeting and Strategic Borrowing Easier appeared first on StartupNation.

StartupNation

For someone with a small social media following, what are some ways to promote a startup online?

As the title says, I'm someone with a small social media following but I would like to start promoting my startup online. My original thought was to just use my personal account and promote it but that didn't really work out. What are some ways to promote it online/ through social media if my following is small?

submitted by /u/Thornon1
[link] [comments]
Startups – Rapid Growth and Innovation is in Our Very Nature!

5 Actionable Ways to Grow Your Side Hustle Using SEO

Launching a side hustle takes a lot of work, and if you want to eventually grow yours into a full-time business, you cannot afford to ignore Search Engine Optimization (SEO). There are an estimated 5.8 billion searches on Google every day, leading to 93 percent of online experiences. In short, SEO helps potential customers find your business on their own when they search for something on Google. A good SEO strategy helps increase your brand awareness, brings visitors to your website, and helps you meet your businesses goals for very little cost.

Below are five actionable ways to grow your side hustle using SEO.


StartupNation exclusive discounts and savings on Dell products and accessories: Learn more here

Conduct keyword research and find the right terms to target

One of the most important parts of any SEO strategy involves keywords. A keyword is the term or phrase that someone enters into Google when they start a search. It is very important to be thorough with your keyword research so you know what keywords to optimize your website for. When you do your research, look for keywords that have a good search volume. You also want keywords that have a manageable difficulty score, which tells you how difficult it is to rank for that keyword.

Keyword research is necessary for pretty much every part of your SEO strategy. You write your content around target keywords, you make your anchor text in link building campaigns based on specific keywords, and so on. The keywords you target should be relevant to your business, but you should also prioritize keywords that actually lead to sales.

Here are some tips to keep in mind when starting your keyword research: 

  1. Reverse engineer the keywords your competitors are ranking for to know what they have targeted.
  2. Keep “search intent” in mind so you are writing content specifically for what people are trying to find when they use certain keywords.
  3. Look for long-tail keywords that have lower search volumes but are less competitive, and therefore easier to get a higher ranking.
  4. Look for keywords in the form of a question and then write content that answers those questions.

Once you have finished your keyword research and have a good list to work with, you can move on to the next most important element of SEO.


Related: 10 SEO Tips and Tactics to Improve Communication During COVID-19

Create great content (that your audience wants to read)

With your new keyword list, you can start by planning out your content. If you execute this well, content by itself can help you generate business in the long-term.

First, you need to find content ideas. Enter your most important keywords into a search engine and see what content ranks at the top. You can also check what content your competitors have written about on their website. Think about the common questions and concerns your customers have and write content to address those needs.

Secondly, think about the type of content you create. Content doesn’t just mean written copy. Your strategy should also include images and custom graphics, videos, case studies, audio and more.

Now. it’s time to actually start creating content.

Here are some tips to guide you in the process:

  1. Create a content framework using the keywords you want to target, the information you want to cover, and what types of content you want to include.
  2. Use tools like Hemingway App or Grammarly to make sure your content has no mistakes and is at an acceptable reading level.
  3. Use bullets to break up paragraphs of text that contain useful statistics or helpful tips.
  4. Mix in useful links to both your other content and outside, high authority websites that provide more relevant information.
  5. Use Google Analytics or other data to see what content is working well and what isn’t so can refine your process for future content.

Once you have the content drafted, you can move on to the next step.

Follow on-page SEO best practices

The next step is publishing your content to your website. There are a number of what are called “on-page SEO factors” that help your content rank better, so it’s important to follow best practices here, too.

First, there are the meta tags. Each page that is published should have a meta title and a meta description. The meta title is the hyperlinked portion of text that you see in search results:

meta

This acts as a “title” for the page and should include the page’s most important keyword. The meta description is the text below the meta title, which offers a lengthier explanation for what the page is about.

Other on-page factors include your headings and URL structure.

The H1 is another type of title for your page, but it should not be the exact same as your meta title. Your H2s are the sub-headings that introduce each section of your content. You can have H3s or lower within each sub-section, but they aren’t as necessary.

For the URL structure, make sure to keep it as short as you can while describing what the page is about in a few words.

When writing each of these technical elements, here are a few tips to keep in mind:

  1. Write your titles, headings and descriptions in ways that entice searchers to click on and read the content.
  2. Update your content regularly, especially if the keywords you initially targeted don’t get searched for as frequently anymore.
  3. Make sure your main keyword is included in each the meta title, description and headings.
  4. Track how the content performs using common SEO metrics so you can keep working on pages that aren’t performing well.

With your content written and optimized, your work isn’t done yet. Now it’s time to promote it with an effective link building campaign.

Create quality links with link building

Link building involves a set of strategies and methods for getting other websites to link to your website. Search engines like Google use backlinks as a signal that other people like and trust your content, and will improve your search rankings as a result.

There are good ways and bad ways to go about getting links, the latter of which can actually result in Google penalizing your website. In general, avoid low-quality links from irrelevant websites. You want to focus on getting high quality links from other websites that are relevant to your business.

Here are some tips you can follow for an effective link building strategy:

  1. Search for broken links on other websites so you can notify the webmaster and ask for them to replace it with your link instead — it’s a quick win.
  2. Find websites linking to your competitors so you can get links from them if you offer up better content than theirs.
  3. Avoid working too much on getting links from websites that only add them as nofollow, since you won’t get the same boost to your rankings.
  4. Make sure the anchor text used in the links is optimized using relevant keywords that also describes the page.
anchor

(Source: NeilPatel.com)

The final tip to follow is to focus on getting links from websites that are locally and topically relevant, so Google doesn’t think it’s spam and ignore it. You should also try to get links from higher authority websites, such as universities, government websites or respected news websites. They provide a more significant benefit to your SEO rankings.


Sign Up: Receive the StartupNation newsletter!

Use technical SEO to ensure search engines can find your site

Last, but not least, you need to make sure your website and each of its pages is set up properly from a technical perspective. Technical SEO means optimizing the coding and server elements of your website to make it friendlier to search engines.

Optimizing the technical elements of your website helps search engines easily and efficiently crawl and index your website. That way, they fully understand what your website contains. When they understand your website, they’re more likely to show it in relevant and valuable searches.

SEO

(Source: HubSpot)

Here is a quick outline of the most important technical SEO elements you should focus on:

  1. Site structure: Create logical categories for your content using menus and URL strings based on topics, products, locations, and so on.
  2. Make sure each page links to other internal pages that are relevant to pass the link juice around.
  3. Set a canonical URL so search engines know which version of a page to crawl, and which ones to ignore.
  4. Optimize the page loading speed by compressing images and making the server and page coding more efficient.
  5. Use 301 redirects for pages you are getting rid of so you don’t lose any link juice you built for it.
  6. Make sure your website uses an SSL certificate to encrypt the communication between the browser and server.
  7. Create HTML sitemaps and submit them to Google via Google Search Console so they know the structure and pages on your website to crawl.

The technical parts of SEO can seem more complicated, and you might not have the technical expertise to do it yourself. If that is the case, you can also hire a freelance expert to assist with this part.

Summary

These actionable SEO tactics form the core of what you should be doing with your website in order to help your business grow.

Let’s recap. To set yourself up for success, you need to:

  • Know what keywords to target
  • Write great content
  • Optimize on-page elements
  • Build backlinks
  • Fix technical elements

The real benefit of SEO is that while it can take a lot of work, executing it properly can lead to a long-term surge in online growth for your business. More people who are actively searching for a business like yours will find you online, and those are customers you don’t have to pay for.

The post 5 Actionable Ways to Grow Your Side Hustle Using SEO appeared first on StartupNation.

StartupNation

Why founders should invest in personal branding – and three ways to get started

At first sight, personal branding might seem mystifying – maybe even a little narcissistic. This is especially so if you’re a first-time startup founder, driven by the all-consuming challenge of launching your product, building your team, and attracting your first customers. With an endless to-do list, the task of elevating your own profile probably won’t…

This content is for members only. Visit the site and log in/register to read.

EU-Startups