Category: Digital Branding

How does today's branding work?
Digital Branding

Today’s Social World Branding

In today’s social media enriched society, many businesses assume they can do the branding and marketing themselves.  This could not be farthest from the truth.  Businesses, new or old, need help with their brand and marketing more than ever in our social world branding environment.

Remember there is a difference in brand and marketing.  Brand IS the Company and what you represent.  Branding includes everything about the company, from the tag line, to colors, to logo and more.

Marketing is the effort(s) put into making your brand known.

What are some practical tips that small businesses can take until they can hire a company or someone knowledgeable to assist with branding and marketing?  There are some things a business can do, especially in the social world, to help make their brand known.  This can even lay some groundwork for help later.

Branding Tips Include:

  1. Audience – who are you trying to reach?
  2. Consistency – are you consistently putting out articles, blogs, posts and more?
  3. Hashtags – be sure to make use of hashtags for the industry you are in and your company name, as well as, who the brand wants to reach.
  4. Focus – there must be a focus, not simply putting out a massive amount of data or arbitrary posts.

Audience

An important factor to reaching others with your brand is to make sure that you are targeting the right audience.  Too many people and companies throw so much up on social media but do not try to reach a specific audience. They are casting a net that is too wide and, if anything anyone is reached, it is usually by mere accident. 

To begin targeting the right audience you must think like the person(s) or company you are trying to reach.  Who would be your perfect client? Even consider some of your current or past clients that were a great fit. Assign a name and characteristic to your ‘ideal client’.

There are many good ways to write up a profile of your ‘Ideal Client’ that a simple Google Search can assist in finding.  Many go to the trouble of drawing or sketching their ideal client (often also called a ‘Buyer Persona’).  There are many templates that can help you through the process of finding out ‘who is your ideal client?’.

Consistency

It is impossible to build a brand, especially in the social media world of today, without being consistent.  There are too many images, sounds, and videos on social media to make an impact if you are not always making sure you are branding your work and shares. 

Inconsistency breeds confusion.

Consistency not only applies to branding all posts but also applies significantly to how much you share.  The company must post on a regular basis whether you want to or not, whether you have material or not.

A couple of ways to keep consistent posting:

Use a scheduler for curated content – this can be Buffer, HootSuite, Social Pilot or others.  In the past Buffer was our go-to, but recently changed to Social Pilot and must admit is much better with awesome options at reasonable pricing. You can even find out the best times to post with these programs and set it as scheduled and leave it.

Create content ahead of time.  When there are a few extra minutes somewhere (I know it is unusual for a business owner), but sit for 5-15 minutes and capture quotes or write a blog, even record a few tips on your phone or computer and schedule it to post when needed.

Post at least a few times a day.  It used to be good practice to just post a few times a week. That is no longer the case.  Think of all the images and videos that come across one of your platforms in a day.  It really would be impossible to know a brand without seeing it often.  It can take 7 touch points before someone will begin to think about doing business with your brand.  How will they be able to have those if they only see 1-2 posts from the brand every other day?  It certainly will not stick in the mind unless consistent.

Hashtags

Yes, use hashtags!  Those little ‘#’ symbols before wording and separate them with a comma.  Be sure to decide on a hashtag for the company prior to beginning to use.  Shorten the name, if it is a long name, and if able include the local city. For instance, our local networking group is eWomenNetwork and we are in Richmond, Virginia.  The organization is International, so our hashtag is  #ewnrva.

Be sure to use hashtags related to the industry you are in and where your ideal client will be hanging out.  If the person your company is trying to reach is in groups of sales, then you would include #sales or #salestips possibly.  There are many articles regarding the use of hashtags, so if curious about more information they are easy to find.

Focus

Finally, Focus is key.  When doing social world, branding keep focused on the core values and brand of the company.  This includes curated content and other posts you share.  If your company is a marketing company trying to reach lawyers, you do not want to share how your grandchild just cut his first tooth on your company page.  Keep focused on the goals set and keep the brand and colors the same in all you share as much as possible. Others will soon recognize the articles and posts you share on online as coming from your company. 

It is very easy to become sidetracked and distracted on social media.  Therefore, the focus should also apply when online sharing.  Set a timer or even as soon as finished doing the company work, just disengage.  Save it for personal time, otherwise, three hours go by without your realizing. Be mindful and focused on the people you are trying to reach.  Try to think from their perspective and what they will want to see or what would be helpful to them.

Social media can be very successful for many brands.  Although it is recommended to hire a professional, it is understandable that small businesses, starting out, may want to try some of these steps themselves.  Be mindful while you are on social media that you represent the brand. When able, hire a professional to assist your company with their social world branding.

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Tammy Durden is President & Founder of Tammy’s Office Solutions.  Tammy’s Office Solutions helps micro, small and enterprise businesses in bookkeeping, digital marketing (brand, social media+), virtual assistant services (OBM, Presentations+) and Writing Services.  Tammy loves empowering disabled professionals to work by assisting their clients to achieve success.

Digital Branding

Gumtree Australia Evolving With Brand New Logo

 

GumTree

Gumtree Australia New Logo

 The Australian arm of world renowned classifieds website Gumtree, has replaced its dated old logo with a sleek and modern design.

The fresh new logo on the Gumtree Australia site keeps the heart and soul of the original logo, whilst eliminating unnecessary visuals.

It has been crucial for the company to cultivate their online community. After a lot of market research, results showed that many consumers had negative feelings towards the previous company logo.

Feedback received stated the old logo lacked significance and was a little too chaotic for the modern day online shopper. Therefore, Gumtree hired design and branding connoisseurs Koto, to create something more in line with today’s online consumers.

The original design encapsulated a Eucalyptus or Gum tree. The gum tree belongs to the Eucalypt family and reflects natural connotations of stability and growth.

However as mentioned, it looked visually hectic and has not been changed much since Gumtree’s inception.

The tree is essential to the Gumtree brand, so the brief required that this remain. The tree has now been positioned and designed in a way that enhances recognition. The fresh new tree design can scale up or down on mobile devices or billboards.

The ideas for the new design kept three main criteria in mind; simplicity, digital and modern.

Wikipedia

Source: Wikipedia

Gumtree Australia’s new logo uses very simplistic geometric shapes to represent the gum tree. It uses a bright green color for emphasis.

As a giant of classified websites, the new logo finally reflects Gumtree Australia’s digitally innovative and sophisticated development.

The logo is now streamlined and functional, improving brand perception and reflecting the usability of the site.

Consumers use Gumtree to find something to buy, or post an ad to sell a service or product. 80% of Gumtree consumers use the website from their mobile device, so the new logo had to be simple, but recognizable.

Before settling on the final design, Koto presented Gumtree with eight options to choose from. The new logo was decided upon based on user feedback.

The new logo has been met with a lot of positivity from designers.

Logo Tree

Source: Pixabay

What has been most significant about the entire process is that Gumtree adapted and transformed their logo in response to user opinion.

Although it is occasionally risky to put your business decisions in the hands of your customers, this rebrand process proves that Gumtree is essentially a customer-driven business, that are willing to take on customer feedback and act on it.

How To Create A Video Advertisement That Works?
Digital Branding

Real Talk: How To Make A Video Advertisement That Influences

This is a guest post from Gary Cain of Memory Tree, a video production company that works with high tech firms in Austin, Texas and Waterloo, Ontario. Over the last two decades, they’ve produced thousands of videos, from 30-second National TV commercials to 20-minute orientation videos produced in 18 languages and everything in between.
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Times are A-Changin’

When you’re creating a promotional video, there’s a temptation to stick with the same old format we’ve been seeing for years — the classic booming announcer’s voice, grand statements, and a smiling homemaker washing pans with fragrant dish soap. The trouble is, the classic ad format doesn’t work like it used to. According to a recent Marketo survey, nearly two-thirds of consumers are sick and tired of the hard-sell.  The classic ad format is seen as insincere and their messages just aren’t seen as credible. The times have changed, and consumers are now rewarding brands that communicate with authentically. The days, people are only responding positively to real talk.

Nobody Trusts your CEO

No matter how inspiring and earnest your CEO, a message directly from him or her may still fall flat. When you have a personal vested interest in selling your product, people will be skeptical of everything you say. The solution? Let someone else do the talking for you.

Choose a Champion

Find a champion — a customer that’s not only willing but eager to talk about how your product or service has enriched their life.  To convince consumers that your product is worthwhile, it helps to hear it from somebody who is just like them. 

In this video for Westmount Golf & Country Club by Memory Tree, a lifelong member shares his personal story.

 

 

If you’re a little misty-eyed after watching that, you’ve experienced firsthand the powerful impact that a lightly branded advertisement can have on a viewer.  This advertisement is effective because of its authenticity; a real person sharing a personal story about his life and family.  The golf course is another character in the greater narrative. The drone footage of the mist over the greens and sound-ups of the birds are there to convey that this is a special place. It’s the quiet backdrop that facilitates important moments of father-son bonding and communication. Instead of a cheesy slogan followed by a “sign up today” call to action, Westmount simply adds their name briefly at the end – a light touch that completes an authentic message.

Conclusion 

People crave authenticity. If you believe your product has made a positive impact in the lives of your clients, let one of them become your champion in your next advertisement. By allowing someone else to tell a real story that involves your brand, you will gain the trust and the business of your target audience.

Building a social media presence
Digital Branding

The Branding Power Of A Strong Social Media Presence

This is a guest post from Pamela Henning of Tresnic Media, a digital agency that helps brands implement growth marketing systems that turn strangers into customers. Her experience in social media is vast, so we got a chance to pick her brain a bit – read away!

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Social media is one of the most powerful tools companies have at their disposal. It allows them to frame themselves in just the right lighting. Companies who maintain a consistent presence on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and/or Pinterest are more successful than their competitors who don’t.

These social media platforms help to increase brand exposure, leverage credibility, close cold conversions, capture referrals, and overall increase cash flow and customer engagement.

Increase brand awareness through social media presence

It isn’t rocket science, it’s simple math.

A greater social media presence creates a greater opportunity to be recognized. More impressions equal more brand exposure, which makes your company more popular and credible.

For example, suppose you want to be hired as a keynote for a conference. Most event planners start their search for credible candidates the same place we do when we’re looking for answers–Google. By establishing an online presence through social media, you’re more likely to rank higher on search engines, increase your popularity, expand your following, and improve your chances of being seen as an industry leader.

Leverage credibility

So you’re not the most credible source yet–no one knows about your little company. What if you’re an entrepreneur and Mark Cuban retweets you? Or Gary Vaynerchuk? What does that say about your brand to their audience? What does that say to your audience?

Social media is powerful stuff. It’s the easiest way to leverage credibility. One of the biggest challenges any business can face is creating trust. Social media posts connect you to industry leaders and their following. Their “share” is a non-committal way that they can endorse your product, increasing your credibility. Something as slight as a retweet could open a huge door for new leads to come pouring through.

Close cold conversions

Let’s say a potential customer has identified their problem and is evaluating potential solution providers. If you have a social media presence (blog, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc.) and your competitor doesn’t, who do you think is going to gain their trust and capture their attention? You. If you and your competitor both have a social media presence, but your content is better than your competitors, who do you think will win? You. Again! So much winning, because you understand the importance of managing your brand with an active online presence.

Capture referral

People don’t trust companies they don’t know, but they do trust reviews. Last year, a study conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) found that 45% of digital buyers worldwide said that reading reviews, comments and feedback on social media influenced their digital shopping behavior.

Social media is the ultimate tool to promote positive customer experiences. You can do so by featuring customer testimonials or by simply responding to people who mention you. The best part about social media is that a little bit goes a long way. You don’t need to write a three page thank you letter to your customers, but favoriting one of their tweets will make you more human and, therefore, more likable.

Increase cash flow

In addition to establishing an online presence, leveraging credibility, and capturing referrals, social media can act as a funnel to your website, where you can convert strangers into customers.

If people like the things you are sharing and the personality of our company based on what they have gathered from your social media platforms, they will want to learn more. Social media is an excellent opportunity to nurture your customers through each stage of the buyer’s journey.

Improve customer engagement and satisfaction

Remember what I said about social media making companies more human? I meant it. Social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook literally give companies a voice. Better yet, they let companies have conversations. How a business interacts with not only their audience but the things that their audience is interested in makes them more relatable, more likable, and more trustworthy. Are you sensing a theme?

Check out some of my favorite (and most successful) social media accounts:

@Wendy’s Twitter
@burtsbees Facebook
@AlexandAni Pinterest
@RedBull Youtube

productivity-tips
Digital Branding

50+ Productivity Tips To Save Your Life And Business

Productivity is essential for the efficiency of your personal life and business life as well.
Overcoming the deadlock of the dreadful indecision and taking that first step is much appreciated and wanted.
After all, when talking about boosting productivity, you will surely improve yours once you go through all the rules presented in this article.

As a single mom who juggles kids, baseball games and running a business, it’s so important to stay on top of everything that needs to get done. Let’s face it, we wear a lot of hats as a woman. Something that I do every day is to create a list of what needs to be done. I tackle those big important ones first. You know, the ones that people put on the back burner while they go through those little, easy to complete ones. I think we have all been guilty of that! Creating your daily list, completing ones that immediately generate revenue first, then the ugly ones that we put off and following up with the little things that can be pushed off to tomorrow if need be. By following this pattern, I feel more accomplished by the end of the day! Deanna Fusillo, Sassy Girl Media

There’s a really simple way to increase productivity. Make an audit of your daily work routines and identify all points that you can automate or cut loose. E.g. use a tool like YouCanBook.me to avoid what I call the “meeting setup ping pong” (“Hey, is Wednesday at 9 AM ok?”, “So maybe Thursday?”) and integrate your CRM with other software. By eliminating few clicks from every process, you gain more time to do the stuff that matters. Bartosz Majewski, Right Hello

It’s so important that tasks are delegated between your team. Do not undertake tasks that are too large and cannot be completed within a certain timeframe. The hardest aspect to this is trusting the team behind you. We’re lucky enough here at MadeByShape to have a solid team who love what they do and excel in their relevant fields. Andy Golpys, Made By Shape

If we do things that we like, we don’t get distracted and get into the zone very easily. Most of us think that this can only happen with tasks that we are passionate about, but we tend to forget that we can put passion in any task that we do. Doing things with passion is a mindset. By focussing on the big picture of the task on hand even the dullest task has a higher reason. – Frédéric Ghys, Silicon Armada

productivity

Everyone works differently but I find that I am the most productive when I can camp myself out at a coffee shop for a day. As long as I can have my cup of joe, free (fast) wifi, and an electrical outlet, I can work all day. There’s something to be said for being amongst a crowd of people, also trying to get work done, and the ambient noise where you feel like you’re not alone. William Tang @  Going Awesome Places

I find that the biggest challenge when it comes to being productive is not getting overwhelmed with everything on my plate. It can be hard to see the forest for the trees sometimes, which is why I use a series of tools to help me stay on track:
Trello. I rely heavily on Trello for all my long-term project planning, especially when I’m working with others.
Digital calendars. I use my digital calendar to keep track of all my high-level to-dos, like meetings, calls, and due dates.
Day planners. I’m obsessed with my Day Designer, which allows me to break down my days into to-do lists with checkboxes for each day.
I also try to fit as much “work” into weekdays as possible. I run my own company, so it can be tempting to let work seep into other areas of my life, but I find that the times when I’m most productive are when I’m physically at my desk during the workday. Alyson Shane – Owner, Starling Social

1. Planning. In the company, the workflow is built according to the Scrum methodology. The key point is planning tasks.

Planning is divided into daily, weekly, monthly, semi-annual and annual.
Every morning the team discusses what tasks its participants will perform. Each participant fixes his tasks for the day and works only on them.

• Each task is posted on the board in the column “In work”.
• After the task is completed, the task is moved to the “Finish” column on the board.
• New tasks are posted in the column “New tasks”.

2. Breaks. Take a break every hour for 5-10 minutes. Take your relax-time to re-immerse yourself in the task. It is better to take a break and gain strength, than to work on a task unproductively.

3. Silence. Quiet surroundings help to concentrate. The company has a working area where most of the time employees work in silence.
In a separate room – you can relax and discuss various issues.

4. Retrospectives. Every month, half a year, a year – conduct a retrospective, where you discuss with your colleagues your achievements, as well as your plans for the future period. Awareness that you are doing an important thing greatly increases productivity.

5. Reading books is one of the best tools for personal growth. For example, in the library of the company WOXAPP already more than 250 books.

6. Say “No” to new tasks. Work without interruption is the guarantee of efficiency.

7. Get up early. Go in for sports or exercise. The company WOXAPP practice a 5-minute exercises during the day.

Finally, the most important thing is to keep your personal goals in focus and live harmoniously!

Company WOXAPP is an experienced mobile application developer. On the market since 2011.

Over this time company has developed more than 50 projects.

Responsiveness is crucial! You must engage with your audience, and in a timely manner. Vincent Sharps, Mindgrub

As a blogger, I often work from home. It’s great under some circumstances where I need the silence and solitude to write, but it can also feel lonely and sap my creativity. I find working in contact with other people really helps to boost my creativity and productivity. I like the background noise and going to a shared location also gets me away from the distractions of my home. Coffee shops are pretty good for this, but I recently tried coworking at The Farm SoHo coworking space. It really helped as I got good advice from the other members using the space, and it was great to have a change of scenery. Sancar Ayalp, The Farm SoHo

“80% of success is getting out of your own way. If we stop doing things that are counterproductive, we have time and resources for things that matter. Nobody lost weight or became wealthy drinking a latte every day. Jay Elkes, Extreme Common Sense

Arguably the best productivity lesson I’ve learned over my years of blogging, is that an editorial calendar can be a life-saver! When you’re using an editorial calendar, you’re automatically organizing all of your blogging, which not only helps you save time – and saves you of those “oh, no, I don’t have anything to publish today” moments – but it also helps you get better results from each and every blog post.
You can better strategize your blogging schedule and content and make sure that whatever else happens, you at the very least have blog posts planned and ready to publish. It also helps you plan the right blog post at the right time so that you maximize the results you get from each one. Lilach Bullock, LilachBullock

The CEO of Swipii, Chitresh Sharma, quoted Winston Chruchill on productivity as his favorite tip: “Success is the ability to move from one failure to another without loss of enthusiasm.”

Identify your biggest obstacles that are preventing you from reaching your goals. For example, as a writer, I need to find a way to write stellar content efficiently to get more work from return clients and attract new clients. To achieve my goals, I use Grammarly to make the editing process much easier and a tool like Ninja Outreach to scour for potential leads. By refining your goals, you pinpoint goals you need to accomplish and focus all your energies to reach them.
Christopher Jan Benitez, ChristopherJanB.

As a content marketing team, we find automation and routinizing the most effective.
Automate less creative processes by using management tools (Trello), editing and proofreading (Grammarly, Hemingway) and more. This clears more space for creativity.
There’s a blend of collaboration and solitary work in marketing to keep everyone on track – so time management is crucial. Choose whatever works best for meeting deadlines – the 5-3-1 rule, the Pareto Principle, or the Pomodoro Technique. But to boost the quality, this content strategy is essential:
Conceptualization. Research the topic in general and understand the basic concepts.
Ideation. Research smaller chunks – micro-goals are easier to achieve and more manageable.
Drafting. A first draft is not a post yet. It outlines two or three problem areas that might interest our audience.
Writing. Research key ideas in depth and develop them into articles.
Revision. Look at ways of getting ideas across through storytelling, imagery, and metaphor. Choose the tone. Improve cohesion and readability. Konstantin Pogrebnoy, Code Tiburon

I am always looking for ways to do my work more efficiently and thus I like to develop scripts and workflows to optimize my work, this allows me to increase my output while reducing the amount of time I spend on a particular task. Also, a big productivity booster is the fact that I delegate, reduce or eliminate tasks that I don’t need to do. I really believe in and live by the 80/20 rule which states that 80% of the results that I achieve will come from 20% of the tasks, so I only focus on the tasks that will yield the best results. Alejandro Rioja, Flux Ventures

Plan your day before going to bed, get up early next morning, take on the least desirable and energy burning tasks first, and stay away from social media! Desirable and energy burning tasks first, and stay away from social media! Saad Khan, Cygnis Media, Inc

Plan not only work but a rest too. Margarita Logoshina, Mentalstack

productive-energy

Work with a Timer – I always use a timer when writing articles or working on a project. This strategy lets me dedicate a set amount of time to devote to a project and helps me stay on task. I use Toggl and can see the timer ticking on the tab at the top of my computer screen. Writing becomes a game to beat the clock. If I gave myself 2 hrs that day to write an article draft and see the timer creeping towards the deadline, I can feel a surge of determination to get more done and more words on paper before the time is up.

Get Rid of Your Phone –  Do more than putting your phone on silent – get it out of sight! I throw mine in a drawer and don’t touch it until break time. Better yet, try giving it to a trusted co-worker and make sure they don’t give it back to you until the break you pre-establish with them. While you may know better than to respond to a text while working on a project, even glancing down at your phone screen when it lights up with a notification can cause you to lose focus. Kaycee Wegener, Rentec Direct

For me, planning and prioritizing are the key to maximizing productivity. I always plan my weeks and days in advance, using Trello to map out my tasks, prioritize activities and ensure I hit my deadlines. Trello is also great for teams, helping everyone keep track of what they and their team-mates are working on. Cam Shearer, Digital Risks

As an owner/manager, I canʻt imagine running a business without making lists of things to do and prioritizing their importance. Itʻs important to be “productive” and not just “busy”. Not only do lists help me attack my days more efficiently, but they also insure that nothing gets overlooked which brings me a peace of mind. As for the Captains, they have lists too, only a different type of list. Similar to a pilot, our Captains have checklists to make sure their boat is ready for an amazing day out on the water. This helps with their peace of mind too, knowing they didnʻt forget to check the plugs, oil, or load snorkel gear, etc. Without these lists, I do not think we would be where we would be today. Nathaniel, Na Pali Experience

Create a blog wall. In our office, we have colored index cards and write topic ideas as they pop up, questions from clients, new technology, whatever. And pull a card from the wall whenever we need inspiration. Lorraine Ball, Roundpeg

Even though I work for a technology company, I still rely on writing to-do lists in notebooks to check off each task I complete. It adds an extra feeling of accomplishment and keeps me organized. I also like to set appointments for myself on my Outlook calendar – this allows me to prioritize and get the most important things done without interruption. – Ashley Fontes, Tech Networks of Boston

to-do-lists

I’m more productive when I give my attention to one thing at a time, so setting my phone to airplane mode helps me focus on the task at hand and frees me from the distraction of endless notifications. Nwando Ivenso, CapitalSquare

Always pre-plan the subjects and points you want to touch on before you dive in. This helps separate the create processes and the writing processes & always results in a lot more of a focused & informative blog post. Personally I mindmap all the points I want to cover, then arrange the headings after to create a logical flow through the article. If you aren’t a mindmap fan I know other well-known bloggers who just bullet point all the points they want to cover first then start writing. Henry Reith, Fridge Magazine

The most powerful productivity technique that I use before starting any sizeable task, or even before starting my day, is planning, planning, planning! Starting with the end in mind gives you a great head start.
When you have an idea of how you want something to go, it’s much easier to begin a task (no easy feat) and stay focused on it (probably even more difficult).

A simple, yet astonishingly useful tool you can use in any situation is the list.

A list is an extremely versatile tool, in that it allows for quickly jotting down steps or building a detailed plan.
With big projects, I like to break down my lists into categories. When I’m creating a website, for example, I’ll break down my list to include staff, roles, budget. marketing. social media, and so on.

Whether a list is straightforward or intricate, it remains a powerful key to getting organized and staying on task.

Acey Gaspard, A Touch of Business

I’ve found that one of the best ways to work productively is to plan out your entire week as if it were a puzzle. Whether it’s a regular weekly take, a long on-going project or a quick one-shot task, we only have a certain amount of time during the week to get work done. Make a list of all your weekly tasks and block out time during your week to work on each task. Schedule time to work on high priority tasks earlier in the week and lower priority tasks later in the week. This will ensure that you have time to touch on all projects and make the most of your time. Shawn McFadden, Dallas Riffle

productivity

Having an editor and someone to post the finished article is essential. It’s usually the last 10% of edits and getting it live that I find most challenging. Being able to hand that off to others is extremely valuable and helps me keep my commitments. Diona Kidd, Knowmad

Write and post on a schedule and post the same time each week. If you can’t post at least once a week you probably shouldn’t be blogging for a living. Look to hire help if you can’t post regularly, such as freelance writers, to keep your blog fresh. If you don’t have the funds, many writers will write for credit, if you promote them on your site. Shell Harris, TopTenz.net

As a blogger and a freelance writer, I never had the luxury to wait for inspiration to start working. I had to train myself to work whether I feel like it or not. So, after searching for ways to keep myself focused on my work and motivated I found out about the 52/17 rule. It’s simple. You work for 52 minutes with the complete focus on the task at hand and take a break for 17 minutes. Then you repeat. I use a timer app on my phone to manage this. So far, it’s been quite effective. Roshan Jerad Perera, Freelancing Hacks

“Constant distractions from social media and email made it hard for me to focus when working on my book series, so I had trouble meeting deadlines with my publisher and editor. To remedy that, I began to check my email and social media first thing in the morning and then unplug from the outside world for four hours. My productivity has more than doubled and the quality of my writing is much better when working with no interruptions. My routine has become food for my soul.” Cherie Ruffo, author of Amanda Fisher & the Source Crystals book series, CherieRuffo

“Automation is my greatest productivity hack. Good automation means keeping your personal touch while spending less time doing it!” Sean and Mittie, Sean and Mittie

To make my days as productive as possible, I schedule tasks in my calendar the night before. Rather than just winging my todo list, I treat every task that needs to get done as an appointment. This keeps me on track and ensures that everything gets done in a timely manner. Allyssa Barnes,allyssabarnes.com

Don’t lean on technology. Technology can be a godsend to productivity, but it can also be a time suck. I have applications that allow me to sync my calendars and task lists to my various devices, which is great. However, I’ve also spent countless hours trying to figure out different programs in the name of productivity to no avail.

Be the dumbest person in the room

One of the best productivity hacks I’ve learned is to hire people who are better at specific things than I am. I actively work to ensure I’m the dumbest person in the room. By doing this, I become less needed on a day-to-day basis to complete projects, and the company’s talent actually accomplishes more than I ever could. Joshua Conran, Deksia

I’ve found that the best way to increase productivity is to create a routine around the tasks that need to get done. I do the same things at the same time each day. It may sound robotic, but I also block time for ideas that require more creative thinking. This way everything has a place and a process. These routines quickly turn to habits once repeated, and I find myself checking off my to-do list rather easily. Joseph DiTomaso, All The Rooms

As a working mom, I typically get my kids up and off to school in the mornings. This could leave me quite unproductive since I often don’t even get into the office until after 9:00am. However, about a year ago I started getting up early to do my hardest work (brain work and writing) after meditating. To be most productive schedule meetings and other “talking” in the afternoon. Amy Rosenberg, president Veracity

Keep your email minimized during the day to tackle what’s on your to-do list. Set designated times to check your inbox such as 11am for 30 minutes and 6pm for 30 minutes. This will help you tackle your to-do list and eliminate interruptions.  Lindsay Joy Higgins, LeaveittoLindsay.com 

I’ve found that changing up my location is incredibly helpful for increasing my productivity. When I get restless while working in an office or at home, going to a local library or cafe can revitalize my creativity. For me, it’s important to choose a new work location that’s quiet, as I’m always reading and writing. The morning is my most productive time and it’s often most helpful for me to change up my environment in the afternoon and evening to keep that flow going.  Angelica Valentine, Proto.io
As a blogger and a freelance writer, I never had the luxury to wait for inspiration to start working. I had to train myself to work whether I feel like it or not. So, after searching for ways to keep myself focused on my work and motivated I found out about the 52/17 rule. It’s simple. You work for 52 minutes with the complete focus on the task at hand and take a break for 17 minutes. Then you repeat. I use a timer app on my phone to manage this. So far, it’s been quite effective. Roshan Jerad Perera, Freelancing Hacks

A strategized task-list can really boost your productivity level drastically.  Start the day with tasks that directly align with your “bigger picture” then gradually move on to other day-to-day less commanding tasks.  Avoid getting lost in your to-do lists by reviewing your performance daily to assure being on the right track. David Kosmayer, CEO – Bookmark Website Builder

Stay inspired – in my case this means getting outside and challenging myself to new Kauaʻi hiking adventures on a regular basis. By doing so I am able to write with more fluidity and passion, remembering why I started the blog in the the first place and coming up with great new content ideas. Maintain a directly felt sense of connection to that of which you are most passionate about! Jeremiah Felsen, Owner & Lead Guide @ Kauaʻi Hiking Tours 

List everything. I use a mix of paper lists and SimpleNote app, so I have my lists everywhere. Breaking work into manageable chunks makes life much easier. Elliot Taylor, Raison

Even though I work for a technology company, I still rely on writing to-do lists in notebooks to check off each task I complete. It adds an extra feeling of accomplishment and keeps me organized. I also like to set appointments for myself on my Outlook calendar – this allows me to prioritize and get the most important things done without interruption.   – Ashley Fontes, Tech Networks of Boston

Limit your time for everything.  The more time you allow yourself to complete a task the longer you will take so keep deadlines short.  If you give yourself a week to complete something that will only take 2 hours if you just crack on with it then get on with it, do it quickly, finish it and move on to the next thing. Lynette Green, Virtual Head Office

Set Goals and prioritize daily! In addition to establishing goals, I find myself constantly re-prioritizing things daily. Working in a content and advertising operations environment means things are always going to pop-up that need immediate attention. These can be a major distraction against overall productivity. Prioritizing daily, allows me to measure not only what was accomplished each day but keep a tally against overall productivity tied back to my goals. Everyone has their own methods of organization whether it is lists, post-its, notes, email, tasks, etc. but prioritization is the key to increasing productivity. Mark Verone, Gogo 

At wandermelon, we believe in setting yourself up today for tomorrow. So the day is not done till you’ve written up tomorrow’s to-do list, in order of importance, and cleared your desk in preparation for a brand new day. To begin, try a cold shower, a brisk walk and a hot cuppa to energize the body. Then, all you need to do is focus your mind on your list and power through it – no distractions! Reward yourself with a healthy mid-morning smoothie, do some yoga stretches with the cat, cross those done’s off, and move on to the B, C, D list. Rinse and Repeat. Kate Ayrton,  Wandermelon

Understand, Understand, Understand — Understand your audience, you must know who you’re talking to so you can save time. Understand people! Once you understand your audience, understanding what makes your audience tick is your next step. Finally, understand your craft and become an expert in your industry. As an SEO, I have to be an expert so I can reassure people without any doubt that I can help their rankings grow. James McMinn JR, Matchbox Design Group

productivity hacks

The most important part of productivity is process, and the most important part of process is people – you’re only as good as your process and your people.” Anthony De Marco, Boston Web Group

 Keep blog posts short, and always include a picture!  I try to keep my blog posts short enough so that they fit on the average cell phone screen, and I always include an attention-grabbing photo.  Miriam Otto, Blue Frog Shoes
My most effective technique for getting things done is to map out a schedule of my entire day with clear, actionable goals. The night before, I’ll write down 3 goals that I need to accomplish the following day. As soon as I get to my office, I map out my schedule hour by hour leaving just enough time to accomplish those 3 goals while still allowing for regular meetings and anything else that might pop up. This forces me to stay focused and get things done because I hate not accomplishing my goals. – Christophe Limpalair, Scale Your Code
How much time do you spend looking for your keys, phone, glasses and other items you use frequently? By putting items in the exact same spot, without exception, you can save hours over a year by never having to look for them. It also reduces stress when you’re not running around frantically at the last minute looking for these things! – Lori Dennis, Lori Dennis Interior Design
My productivity tips are actually a list of four pretty actionable pieces of advice:
1) Stay as organized as possible.
2) Have a good, supportive help system.
3) Employ honest workmen with an excellent skill set.
4) Make sure to tell the truth at all times.
Start with the most important and time-consuming task on your list first as we naturally procrastinate them and as the day unfolds many other unplanned things disrupt our schedule. Being an interior designer, I have discovered, that by getting the main things out of my head early in the day, sets my mind free to be more creative and at the end of the day I feel more productive. Develop the mental discipline to focus on one thing at a time and try to finish what you started. For example, I have specific times during the day when I respond to emails and check in with social media. – Renata Pfuner, Pfuner Design
Make a to-do list and prioritize it. Then, do the most important thing first each day. Everything else should wait or be handed off to someone else. – Mary Foster, AsterHouse Design

Staying organized and being prepared for the next day’s tasks and meetings have saved me so much time. I use to waste so much time driving back and forth to the office to grab things for each client and looking for items I didn’t have with me. I have found that if I start and end my day looking at my task list and meetings for the day ahead I can organize and be prepared with everything that I would need. I also digitally organize all of my notes and photos at the end of each meeting or each day in a program called Trello, which I can access from my computer or mobile device and ALWAYS have all my client information, notes, and photos with me at all times. This has been INVALUABLE! – Christine Julian, Christine Julian Interiors

While it may sound strange, staying disciplined about breakfast, lunch and snacking plays a big role in personal productivity. Overeating or eating unhealthy foods during the day can make you feel sluggish and tired, and make you lose focus, which on turn can lead to major losses in productivity. Healthy eating and committing to portion control, on the other hand, can help you keep your edge for the full work day. Phil Singleton, CEO, Kansas City Web Design

 

Close all browser tabs not relevant to what you are doing, and put your best pair of headphones on. – Logan Abbott, President of Voip-Info.org

Digital Branding

Getting the Most from a Website Design Professional

Website design is incredibly important when it comes to increasing web traffic and revenue. If you are having issues with your site’s design, there are many options available to you. By working with a professional web design agency, you’re doing something beneficial for yourself. This can help tremendously when it comes to gaining the traffic that you need to stay afloat as a blogger or site owner.

Why Your Site Needs Its Own Design

The reason your site needs its own design is because it helps you to feel confident that you’re unique from all the rest. If you use a free site builder, you’re taking the chance that you’re not going to have something that is unlike other websites on the internet. This can be problematic because of the fact that people will see your site and know that its design was free and used by thousands of others. Be sure to look into working with an agency that does website design for a living.

How to Get It Professionally Designed

The best way to get your site professionally designed is to contact a local agency. This agency is there to ensure that you get help when you need it the most. While it does cost money to have your site designed by the experts, it is well worth the investment when you consider what you will get. Also, it does not have to be too expensive to hire these pros, as they are there to make life easier for you without it costing you an arm and a leg.

Different Options Available

There are tons of options available when it comes to getting the most out of your website design. The only thing to remember is that you’re going to want to get involved in the design process. This helps you to feel confident knowing that you’re getting a layout that is specifically meant for you and your needs. If you are working with any type of company offering website design, be sure to ask if you can be involved in the process of getting the layout created and published.


It is imperative that you put the time, effort and energy into ensuring that your design is specific to your company or blog. Once it has been properly designed, you can feel good knowing that this is something that will benefit you tremendously. Because there are so many unique design firms out there, it’s effortless to find the one that is right for you. Once you have made the decision to hire an agency, it is just a matter of working with them to ensure that you’re doing something beneficial for what they are able to offer. You will be left with a design that looks beautiful, customized and unique. The amount that you pay for the items are nothing compared to what you’ll get from having it done. Be sure to ask a professional designer about their own services and products.

Digital Branding

Getting the Right Training for Your Crew

When you are a busy manager, the last thing you have time for is to teach workers how to use a new program. Because of this, it is essential that you make use of an excellent quality option and Scrum Master Training that will help you to get the job done right. One of the most important things is to train your workers so that they know what to expect out of the programs that you’re considering for the work place.

Program Training Benefits

One of the major benefits to program training is that your workers will find it beneficial to utilize these programs day in and day out. The problem that a lot of work places have is that not everyone knows how to use the programs in question, and so they are left having to do all of the work on their own while their workers do not have to do anything. This training is highly beneficial in many different ways and can be exactly what you need when it comes to performing in the correct manner.

Ways to Be Trained

There are a few ways that you can be trained if this is something you feel is going to benefit your work place. For one, you will find it beneficial to make use of online training programs, as these are the most flexible for workers and managers. You will be able to get everyone on board who wants to be trained, and this is essential if you are looking into something that benefits them in many different ways. Be sure to look into these options if you are going to be getting the training done. Also, you can take a local class if this is something that you feel is going to be the right choice for you and your employees.

Essentials for Employees

The most important thing you can do as a manager or boss is to keep your workers trained when it comes to new programs and software. This is something that will benefit you in many different ways and can be something that you enjoy doing because you will feel confident in that it will get done. Because there are so many training options out there, it is pretty easy to find the one that is ideal for your needs and allows you to feel confident in the fact that you’ve trained your workers.


Now that you know how important it is for you to get the right type of work done in training, you’ll want to think of it as an option for yourself and your work environment. There are lots of low-cost options out there in terms of training, so this is something that is going to benefit you greatly. Once you make the choice to get training done, there are lots of options out there that will benefit you and be a wonderful option for you and your many workers who are looking to get the job done.

 

Digital Branding

100+ Best Marketing And Tech Blogs To Follow In 2017

The universe of tech blogs is vast!

One of the reasons for it is an inescapable fact: people interested in technology spend hours and hours time with computers, so there’s no surprise why a Web-based medium is so wildly popular.

Just notice how many more tech blogs there are than, say, blogs about home remodeling or sailing! And, surprise, surprise there are even more tech blogs than blogs dedicated to cute kittens.

So, in the ocean of opportunities, the question becomes more difficult than ever: Which of all of these tech blogs are worth your time?

To help answer that, the following list surveys the very best

Best Tech Blogs To Read

1) Gizmodo
Shiny tech toys, cell phones, portable electronics, gaming consoles – all the stuff that helps you increase your credit card balance.

2) Engadget
Still more tech toys, like a calculator watch and a device that reads aloud your Twitter feeds. (Do you really want to hear them?). A good place to look for the newest generation of mini Netbooks.

3) Lifehacker
Learn how to live more productively by leveraging the latest technology, from new software to helpful gadgets. For instance, find out how to recycle a cereal box into gift packaging or find the best FTP clients.

4) The Next Scoop

The Next Scoop is an Internet Marketing Blog, providing an benchmark news, tips and information related to Internet Marketing, Social Media Marketing, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Search Engine Updates, Google Algorithm updates and Reputation Management. Their Blog houses expert take opinions and reviews on all the latest creative, marketing and internet related stories from the daily, week basis.

5) Scobleizer – Tech Geek Blogger
Robert Scobleizer is obsessed with technology. A constant and intensely passionate commentator who follows tech news of every stripe.

6) eMarketing Blogger

eMarketingBlogger is SEO & Blogging (How-To) Tips Blog run by Navneet Singh. Here you’ll find in-depth articles on SEO, Link Building, Blogging, Lead Generation and Conversion Optimization strategies. This blog has been featured in Forbes and Marketingland. Here is a recently published article on 17 Blackhat Techniques Killing Your SEO Campaign.

7) The Weebly Inspiration Center

This is a platform for entrepreneurs and small business owners to find expert advice to help bring their ideas to life and grow a successful business. The goal of the publication is to create actionable content that inspires anyone who has started a business or is thinking about starting a business.

8) The Good
The Good publishes weekly long-form insights focused on helping ecommerce brands turn more of their visitors into customers.

9) Boing Boing
Presents the weird and wacky, like a guide to watching videos while driving, microbatteries built by viruses, and a clown cigarette umbrella. The self-described “Dictionary of Wonderful Things” has few boundaries.

10) ReadWriteWeb
Helmed by the intrepid Richard MacManus, with help from an extensive team, ReadWriteWeb covers Web technology and news: Twitter, enterprise Internet news, eBay, Google.

11) Techdirt
A team of IT and tech observers provides in-depth coverage of industry developments, including legal issues. They also post reader submissions.

12) The Cloud Marketing Blog
The savvy folks at Total Product Marketing hold nothing back and dish out a bevy of marketing tips and tricks for cloud hosting providers, MSPs, and ISVs.

13) Mashable
News, rumor and comment about social media and social networking: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and all the other examples of semi-organized Web-based crowd behavior.

14) eAskme
eAskme is a place that not only help you to grow an internet entrepreneur but also help you to learn how to stand in the hardest times of the life. It talks about startup business, money making opportunities, business ideas, growth hacks etc.

15) Ars Technica
Is Ars Technica a blog? As blogs evolve, it’s sometimes hard to tell the difference between a “blog” and a traditional news site. While Ars Technica is commonly listed as a blog, its posts are often full-length pieces written in traditional reportorial style – not the individual voice associated with blogs. If this site is a blog, it’s a good one, covering IT, Apple, gaming, hardware and more.

16) Matt Curry
A great blog and resource for everything Linux; from Raspberry PI, home automation, to DevOps help, and even getting started with the basics.

17) O’Reilly Radar
Tim O’Reilly and his team put out intelligent tech analysis, with the emphasis on predicting what’s coming before it fully arrives.

18) Bits – Technology – New York Times
Smart writing and reporting about both consumer and enterprise tech, with substantially fewer unproven rumors than the typical Red Bull-fueled tech blogger.

19) Internet.com Blogs
Informed commentary by a top crew of veteran writers and reporters, providing insight into everything from software to hardware to mobile to security to PCs. (Published by Jupitermedia, which publishes the site you’re reading.) Among other must-reads, check out Andy Patrizio from Silicon Valley and Sean Michael Kerner on the Linux/enterprise beat. Plus: the new Semantic Web blog covers the emerging Web 3.0 world. Oh, and don’t miss the Datamation blog.

20) Wired’s Blogs
Preternaturally irreverent, but backed up by a hefty staff of in-the-know tech reporters, the Wired News stable of blogs is one of the Internet’s most influential.

21) ZDNet Blogs
Clearly one of the best collections of tech analysts on the Web, including longtime Microsoft watcher Mary Jo Foley, the uncensored insight of Jason Perlow, and the peripatetic musings of Larry Dignan and crew.

22) InformationWeek Blogs
The formidable resources of Information Week gives depth to its panoramic coverage of IT and consumer technology, aided by piquant analysis from Alexander Wolfe, Serdar Yegulalp, Paul McDougall and others.

23) CNET Blogs
Not only does tech heavyweight CNET offer the full universe of tech news, it’s so massively all-encompassing it even has a blog about mechanical engineering. (Can you top that?) Particularly noteworthy is the tech-politics coverage of Declan McCullagh.

24) TechRepublic Blogs
Covers the enterprise IT world: servers, security, tech staffing, virtualization, software as a service, and consultancies.

25) Computerworld: Opinion/Blogs
Experienced voices providing commentary that focuses on enterprise technology yet also delves into consumer tech, featuring voices like Windows pundit Preston Gralla and IT watcher Don Tennant.

26) Omniconvert’s CRO blog

A collection of articles and resources related to conversion rate optimization. They offer great optimization advice for e-commerce, SaaS, and publishing businesses. Some of the most covered subjects include A/B testing, personalization, lead generation & landing page optimization.

27) Dwight Silverman: TechBlog
The Houston Chronicle’s Dwight Silverman earns a spot in the blogrolls of many of top bloggers with his well-written commentary on consumer technology.

tech-blogs

28) InfoWorld
Topics like JavaScript, Sun, Dell, SOA – these blogs focus on mission-critical tech for large corporations.

29) eWeek Blogs
If it has to do with technology – from jobs to security to platforms – there’s commentary about it at the eWeek blog portal. Keep your eye on leading tech pundit Eric Lundquist and security expert Matt Hines.

30) RedHerring Blogs
The once hot print publication still thrives online. (Kind of funny to think they needed a print version, huh?) A mix of software, gaming, gadgets, mobile and big player news.

31) The Guardian’s Tech Blog
Bright, smartly penned commentary with an English accent, mostly about consumer tech: Googlebombs, Windows 7, the iPhone.

32) Financial Times Tech Blog
One of the Continent’s great newspapers analyzes who’s making money and who’s not.

33) BusinessWeek’s Blogspotting
Heather Green and Stephen Baker survey cutting edge technologies: behavioral technologies, privacy rights, social media.

34) Technology Review’s Blogs
Wow, these folks have high IQs (no wonder they write blogs published by the August Massachusetts Institute of Technology.) “Personal genomics”…“people aware computing.” Getting ready for some very heady stuff.

35) Schneier on Security
Is there a more famous security guru than Bruce Schneier? What’s impressive about his blog is the expansive reach of subject matter: software, hardware, the Net, privacy, as well as security issues in a larger societal context.

36) Network Security Blog
Longtime blogger Martin McKeay holds forth on spammers, hackers, black-hatters, and the good IT folks who work to keep them at bay.

37) Securosis
Privacy, app security, physical and home security, Securosis offers thoughtful analysis with a hefty dose of uncensored opinion.

38) Mike Rothman’s Security Incite
Covers the information security marketplace and also offers comment on major security news stories.

39) Brian Krebs’s Security Fix
Backed by the reporting chops of the Washington Post, Security Fix is a deep and widely inclusive resource. Very well done.

40) Rational Survivability
Big time insight about risk management and disruptive innovation. As proof of his street cred, blogger Chris Hoff wrote the infamous “DNS Debacle” poem: “A few months ago/ Kaminsky discovered a flaw / It was with DNS/ It was nasty and raw.”

41) Stiennon on Security
A well known name in the security business, Richard Stiennon pens pithy commentary about enterprise security.

42) Microsoft Security Response Center
All the bulletins and updates you’ll need (or at least most of them) for Microsoft security vulnerabilities. Sign up for a notification so you don’t need to check in regularly.

43) Danger Room
National security coverage written and reported with a high profile reputation. I’ve even heard the Pentagon keeps on eye on this blog.

44) Tao Security
The personal blog of Richard Bejtlich, director of incident response for General Electric. He gets around and knows how to share his insights.

45) The IT Security Guy
Blogger Joel Dubin authored The Little Black Book of Computer Security, which is geared for IT security managers.

46) AgilOne

AgilOne is a leading Customer Data Platform company. The passion that drives them is to help enterprise B2C brands omni-channel customer data so they can engage with their customer authentically and optimize lifetime value.

47) Tech Desigh
A place to know latest android app & tech tips for everyone.

48) Nogentech.org
The latest technology blog for its visitors. 
A collection of contents and useful resources related to SEO, online tech, marketing tips, gadget reviews.

50) Matt Cutts: Gadgets, Google and SEO
Cutts, a former software engineer and head of Google’s Webspam team, covers a lot of Internet-related issues along with a smattering of personal tech.

51) Esther Dyson
Describing herself as the “Internet’s court jester,” Dyson blogs about Web business and social media, among other topics.

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52) Dan’s Cartoons

Dan Rosandich profiles the cartooning business and world of cartoons.

53) TechLila

TechLila covers unique topics related to Android, Windows, and technology. The main goal of TechLila is to provide unique information, such as quality tips and tricks, tutorials and how-to guides.

54) OpsGenie

OpsGenie is an alerting and incident response orchestration platform which provides reliable alerts, on-call schedules, and escalation policies to ensure the right people are notified about any alert event via email, SMS, phone calls, iOS & Android push notifications and chat/collaboration tools. Through their tool and blog, OpsGenie empowers and teaches DevOps teams to stay connected and collaborate in real-time to respond to problems faster and efficiently.

55) Glanceinfo.com

Glaceinfo is a unique blog about social networking, gadgets, technology, blogging tips and much more. This blog provides latest updates on various modern products and gadgets.

56) WorldBank’s Section About Latin America

We live in the land of plenty and high-tech marvels, but we need to be mindful of those less fortunate, explains Gloria Hernandez from Aesbus. Latin America is gaining marketing attention more and more, but it’s important to understand the politics and culture of these emerging markets. So, although this is not technically a marketing blog, it does provide a look into global financial aspects of new market segments.

With a mission to “end extreme poverty within a generation and boost shared prosperity,” the World Bank blogs provide research and data analysis on international financial markets, developing country entrepreneurship, and government leadership and decision-making that impact economic growth, poverty reduction, and the quality of people’s lives. The range and depth of topics and the impressive list of collaborative bloggers ensure an insightful treatise of current issues that are playing out daily across communities worldwide.

57) Merixstudio

On Merixstudio’sblog you can read about software house’s everyday live, cutting-edge technologies, and web development. They cover topics such as startups and hiring developers. And believe me, it’s not everything! They even won the best company blog title in 2015 in the Polish contest organized by Blogifirmowe.com.

58) Jeet Banerjee

Jeet Banerjee is a 24 year old serial entrepreneur, author, digital marketing consultant, and public speaker. In his young career, Jeet has launched several different companies, written two books, and has helped many businesses make more money from the internet. He strives to create the next big tech company and give back to the world in the best way possible.

59) Elise Dopson

Awesome blog run by Elise, a freelance marketing writer & blogger. Perfect to show wannabe-freelancers and online biz owners how to (non-scarily) build their own successful career!

60) Akash Srivastava SEO

A blog by Akash Srivastava, an SEO consultant that helps people create or revise their SEO plan, implement it and monitor results.

A bolt-on digital marketing blog. On their blog you’ll find a ton of useful tips about lead generation, driving prospects directly to your product and service pages and how to do all of that in a cost-effective way.
Clickedwap is a tech blog that covers areas of gadget solutions, free internet browsing tips, alongside with full smartphones specifications and other technology news.
Influence is a blog of a passionate group of entrepreneurs, writers, and content junkies who love what they do. With backgrounds ranging from journalism to tech startups to fortune 500 companies, they tackle the world of thought leadership and content marketing from all angles.
Lead by Anthony Iwuchukwu, Make Money Directories.com is one of the fastest-growing digital marketing service websites. Make Money Directories has many top brands and companies on its account and a brilliant track record to show off.
A great blog and resource for everything related to Digital Marketing, Automation owned by long time blogger Rafi Chowdhury a well-known name in the Industry.

Hyperlink InfoSystem blogs are a gateway to know the latest technology around the world. Tech lovers would cherish their blogs on the latest Mobile App Development, Web Development, AR/VR App Development, Game Development – list is very long. They bring revolution by sharing some unique thoughts on upcoming technology. Mr. Harnil Oza, CEO of Hyperlink InfoSystem is a sharp tech writer and his writing is very unique which touches the heart of the reader. Stay tuned to get into a new high-tech world and get yourself updated every moment with Hyperlink InfoSystem.

66) WiredMahir

Find Interesting and Engaging Research Writing on Android, ChromeOS, Linux, Blogging and Various Useful Tutorials on Trending Technology Topic.

67) OptimWise

A WordPress web design agency that helps professional businesses succeed online.

68) Espresso Shots Blog

Espresso Shots Blog cover the latest trends and tips from the world of digital media, mobile-first web design, content and search marketing, plus freshly ground and brewed updates from the highly caffeinated agency lovingly prepared by their highly caffeinated content mavens.
Magnificent team digs into problems that marketers deal with on a daily basis. Their goal is to keep you up to date on the rapidly changing marketing world.
pexels-photo-450271-min

Wishpond is the world’s easiest marketing platform for generating, managing and nurturing leads. Wishpond’s mission is to make it easy for marketers to grow their business.

71) DataLink SEO

Datalink SEO blog is a great resource for those who are data-driven and want to learn more about digital marketing.

72) Gorilla 360

Gorilla 360’s ecommerce jungle gym is jam-packed with helpful ecommerce resources to help you with your digital marketing strategies. You’ll learn all about the value of emails, social media marketing and hints on creating lifelong customers.
MonkeyData blog is a place for SMBs inspiration. The blog covers current e-commerce topics with a focus on analytics, explain what matters and why, and give advice on how to turn weaknesses into strengths.
V8Media is a web development and online marketing agency with a human touch. Our team of web solutions experts and internet marketing specialists provide a balanced approach to your project, which always delivers the best possible results.

Trellis is a full service strategy, web design, software implementation, and marketing services company – thus their blog is a gold mine of handful information in the industry.

 76) Selro
The technology advancements are constantly growing in this modernized world class e-commerce market, simultaneously there have been many retail stores going live. In fact, the Multi-Channel Selling Platform is providing a great opportunity and ample of scope to online retailers or sellers. Listing Tool Management allows the retail store owners to list their products across different market places, social media channels and make them visible from one place thus there would be a drastic increase in sales outcome.

A blog/collective of resources, links, reviews, articles, and other Internet-based artifacts pertinent to web development, database development, and related technologies – with special focus on coding, devices, advanced networking, and the Internet of Things (IoT). (Published by Codango Labs).

78) Mindstick

Top news about newest technologies, innovative solutions and ways to make more out of your business. Mindstick is a great example of their experience and awesome software development they offer.

79) NewsOrator

A Online Blogging Hub, Sharing information about How to Start Blog and Make Money Online from Different Way. Also Get Best Reviews of Hosting Services, WordPress Plugins and Online Software as well as Get information content of SEO, Social Media Tips, Technology update and Interviews.

80) Cryptocurency Bank MLM (CCBM)

Fastest-growing, cryptocurrency network in the world backed by state-of-the-art hardware and software systems developed to provide speed, security, and reliability.

81) Ontraport

The ONTRAPORT blog is packed with in-depth, step-by-step information on topics including email marketing, landing pages, marketing campaigns, CRM and marketing automation all aimed to support entrepreneurs and small business marketers in growing their business.

82) Takis Athanassiou

Another amazing blog by Takis, European-based e-Business & e-Learning consultant. In his blog, he is sharing ideas, strategies and approaches for leadership, strategy, operations, marketing, social media, and productivity.

83) Wigzo

People at Wigzo respect individuality and aim to build a global network free from spam and so does their blog. The soul idea is to personalize every message that reaches the society.

84) Top Tech Analyst

Your daily dose of latest Tech news, views and reviews. Top Tech Analyst brings you latest tech news, views, reviews and updates on Technology trends from around the world.

85) TechiNews24
TechiNews24.com is a technology blogging platform. Here you can read reviews and news on the different types of laptops, mobiles, computers, gadgets and electronics items etc. To read the latest technology news Techinews24.com is the perfect for you.

86) Niche Site Project

Niche Site Project is all about SEO, productivity, project management, and niche sites. Read it for some awesome advice.

87 ) Kathryn Elizabeth Jones

A published writer since 1987, I have published various newspaper and magazine articles for teens and adults. She manages her blog where she writes about news in her industry. She also takes on clients who need help with publishing their books in terms of editing, cover design and more.

88) Tim Lorang Consulting

Inbound marketing, content creation, and social media outreach are practical, online strategies that are available to everyone, from businesses to solopreneurs. Tim’s blog is written from the perspective of someone who had to figure it out while he was building his business.

89) Vitis PR

PR blog with tips and tricks on how to gain exposure for your technology brand.

90) DigitalCrafts

Want to learn more about software and code in general? DigitalCrafts is the best-reviewed coding bootcamp in Georgia and Texas, and often publishes tutorials in addition to servicing their consumer and corporate training clients.

91) Grammar Chic

Founded in 2008, Grammar Chic, Inc. is a full-service content writing company that publishes The Red Ink, a blog focused on offering audiences easy-to-implement content writing and marketing tips, tactics, and techniques.

92) Workiva

The Workiva blog covers company advancements, opinions on trends in technology and regulations, promotes upcoming user conferences, The Exchange Community, and more. Their Tech blog was created to share some of Workviva’s ideas, technologies, and concepts that they apply in their offices every day. It’s a place to start meaningful conversations, spur ideas for fellow engineers and developers across all industries, and discuss some of Workviva’s methodologies.

Make mobile moments magic: get mobile-first digital marketing strategies and insights from experts at the world’s leading mobile engagement solution.

94) Psyborg

psyborg® is a design studio passionate about using the latest tools to build brands and business. Founded by Daniel Borg, Daniel combines creativity and design thinking in an efficient and engaged client process. It’s a cool blend of engineering know-how and creative design. He positions this as part mind | part machine and he loves doing it so much that he regularly posts video’s and blogs about helping business thrive and grow through creativity and design thinking!

95) Gold Mind Digital
Do you want actionable integrated marketing strategies and tactics to grow your business? Drive results and reach your business goals with our blog!

96) Beeketing

Beeketing offers professional marketing solutions for businesses who need that extra push. Their eCommerce Blog packed with real and useful information about marketing for eCommerce, conversion rate optimization, best eCommerce apps reviews and more.

97) Checkealos

User Experience Blog to give you the necessary tools to define, plan, execute and measure the usability and user experience of any Ecommerce in the easiest way.

98) Chorally

Chorally blog covers company advancements, opinions on trends in social customer service, CRM chatbot, brand monitoring, promotes upcoming user conferences, and more. Their blog was created to share some of Chorally’s ideas, technologies, and concepts that they apply in their offices every day.

99) Floship

Top blog for eCommerce professionals and Crowdfunders (on Kickstarter and Indiegogo) at all skill levels and all learning styles. Learn how get your products in the hands of customers around the world by optimizing your crowdfunding and e-commerce shipping.
The dedicated team covers the technological advancements and news related to Prestashop, Magento, OpenCart, Shopify and other. With an emphasis on the easy accomplishment of customer engagement and conversion rate optimization, the blogs provide a roundup of all the eCommerce aspects with smart Kindly review and share your feedback.

Fora Financial is a working capital provider to small business owners nationwide. The Fora Financial blog covers topics pertaining to small businesses including finances, marketing, technology and much more.

 

102) Localytics

Localytics Mobile Engagement blog is your go-to resource for all things mobile app marketing. Stay up to date with the latest mobile news, trends, and best practices so that you can create meaningful relationships with your customers on the device they frequent most often.

103) RT Insights

RTInsights.com is an independent, expert-driven web resource focused on helping senior business and IT professionals accelerate their business with real-time insights. Our technology coverage includes Internet of Things (IoT), real-time analytics, big data, industry insights, and enabling technologies such as cloud, decision management, edge computing, streaming analytics, machine learning and any other critical technologies for operating your business in real-time.

104) Red C

As one of London’s leading app development agencies, Red C are experts at providing mobile solutions. Since 2007, they have built long-term relationships with a range of SME’s and corporates by helping to meet their business goals and refine their processes with detailed user research and design-led development. The Red C blog covers a range of insightful tech content from tips on the best practices to what we think of the latest industry news.

105) SecurionPay
SecurionPay Blog covers must-know payments and fintech news and provides a free knowledge base, known as the SecurionPay Academy, for all who want to learn how to accept seamless payments on their website and provide the best payment experience.

106) Boomtrain
Boomtrain blog is a one-stop destination for all things Digital Marketing and Artificial Intelligence. You can find tips and tricks to improve performance metrics across your marketing channels.<

107) Fincyte
Fincyte is a business blog focuses on latest small business trends, news and insights. It is a perfect platform for entrepreneurs and business professionals to read latest trends on finance, management, marketing and technology.

108) Rieback & David

Chriss David is the “David” half of the dynamic duo of Rieback & David.  She has worked in digital marketing and advertising as well as higher education for 20 years.
Chriss is passionate about making a difference in this world and professes to do this by helping everyone that crosses her path and blogs.  Founded by Michelle Rieback and Chriss David, Rieback & David blend right and left brain thinking and creativity becoming digital engineers. Their passion for helping businesses learn and grow is evident in the information they share and the work they produce.  Are you looking to learn about SEO, digital ads or why a website matters?  Think you can’t compete? Talk with Chriss about her David & Goliath theory and how even the smallest business can compete with the big guys in the digital world.

109) The Blogger City

The Blogger City is a place you can find the high-quality Content from various sectors and rich, interactive multimedia storytelling. And we offer to you a large content of articles, stories, interviews of famous personalities and inspirational stories from top leading media networks across the world. So, you can Read, watch, engage, participate with us. and on this journey with the blogger city, you can explore new territory, gather information and expand your mind.

110) Whatagraph

Killer blog content with tips, tricks, lists of proven tactics and quick ideas to help your marketing grow.

111) Octopus Seo Hong Kong
Hong Kong is very a different game when it comes to online searcher intent.

For the most part, locals in Hong Kong still use Yahoo. Of course, Google now is number one but up until a few years ago the most popular search engine in Hong Kong was Yahoo and even today it still commands about 25% market share.

Locals in Hong Kong are bilingual. Cantonese and English are both official languages. Furthermore, traditional Chinese characters are used in Hong Kong instead of simplified Chinese like in mainland China.

In addition, they prefer to buy in a store. Going to the mall is a favorite pastime in Hong Kong and due to the dense population, many people prefer the convenience of stepping out of their home to shop instead of ordering online and waiting.
Learn all about it in the blog!

111) MegaUpdate24

MegaUpdate is run by Luthar – a software engineer passionate about all things blogging and technology. With his blog he is helping tech enthusiasts learn more about programming and how to work and earn online.

112) Noobpreneur
Award-winning entrepreneurship blog offering tips, ideas and news for entrepreneurs and small business owners.

humanize your brand
Digital Branding

How To Humanize Your Brand And Deepen The Relationship With Your Audience

The age of cold PR is long gone and the businesses that will truly prosper in this new economy are those that know how to connect authentically with their audience. When so much of what’s out there is a commodity and when most businesses compete on price, what’s the one thing that makes your brand memorable?

The Gold Is In Your Story

The likeability factor lies in your founding story told truthfully and wholeheartedly. It’s the vulnerability you’re willing to share with your audience that will make them say “Hey, this guy gets me!”

No matter how hard you try to flood your audience with facts, figures and the benefits of them buying from you, it won’t be until you prove that you hear and understand them that they’ll start to actually pay attention to you and open their wallets, too.

If you balance good brand storytelling with delivering high value, you will build a strong following around your brand. Always aim to prove your readers that you understand their problems and make sure that you have a clear intention for every piece of content you create.

How do you want people to feel and what action do you want them to take after consuming your content? The more character you infuse into your content, the more your audience will relate to you and your brand. And likeability is a powerful currency in business.

Why Your WHY Matters

Having a strong connection between you brand and your audience provides a strong base for long-term loyalty and sustainable growth in the future. Telling stories about your brand and business is not just about standing above your competition.

It’s about helping people connect with your big WHY and making them care about what you have to offer. It’s about establishing your authenticity and dictating your value.

Having a good story is what turned Starbucks from just another coffee provider to building a whole new category in their niche and putting themselves above the competition.

Authenticity is not something you can fake. People have strong BS radars and expect a lot from the brands they choose to support. And this is mostly true with millennials who’d rather choose a less than perfect product or service if it has a strong enough “Why” and social mission.

Authenticity Is Bigger Than Marketing

The purpose of running your business – communicated clearly and genuinely – is going to be at the core of a deeper connection with your audience.

Think of Gary Vaynerchuck, one of the most authentic entrepreneurs out there, a guy that’s extremely authentic and charismatic. But why is it? It’s because he’s extremely open, acknowledges his mistakes, he shares his processes, pours his personality into everything he does and always communicates his “Why”.

This is the type of entrepreneurs that you just feel how much he loves serving his audience and making his followers feel understood. It’s from this place that an authentic leader can start to build a strong relationship and really make an impact through his or her business.

So What’s Your WHY?

People are more than happy to support a business that proudly stands for something. Think of “Pencils of Promise”, a charity organization that builds schools all across the world. They have a really strong following and are heavily supported because they have a genuine founding story that connected them to their audience.

This is an invitation to start seeing your brand not just part of a bigger picture, but rather the big picture of why you’re in business. The more compelling your story, the easier it will be for you to rise above your competition and make your audience stick with you for the long run.

The biggest brands in the world, Disney to Nike and Apple are so loved because they went beyond being just a product and became an idea that nourished people’s emotional desires.

Your Followers Are Your Friends

Keep this in mind every time you create a new piece of content. Act as if you’re talking to a friend and you’re describing how their life can be improved as a result of using your product or service.

Take them behind the scenes and give them a personal view of what goes on behind the doors. Use your social media profiles to show photos and videos of you and your team at work or just having fun around the office. This will humanize your operations and help people connect with you on a more personal level.

People connect with people, not faceless businesses, so give your brand some personality. If your brand were a person, who would it be? What kind of qualities would they have? If your brand were a celebrity or car, which one would you choose? And why? What are their traits, skills and interests? Think about human-like characteristics to describe your brand. Zappos, for example, is friendly, helpful, fun and sometimes even silly.

Be open about your path, talk about the hard times and people will be more likely to relate to you. Always stay centered on your customer’s interests and aspirations and remember that the stronger the connection you have with your audience the longer you’ll stay in business.

In Conclusion

Creating an authentic, deep, lasting connection with your audience is not easy and takes time. This is also good news because going the extra mile is never crowded.

And ultimately, all you need is a plan with some goals and lots of perseverance. This is not rocket science. We’re all humans working with humans and if you keep this simple truth in mind, you’ll be OK. Simple may not always be easy but if you love your customers more than you love your business, you’ll always be in business.

Humanizing your brand, fostering trust and a genuine and lasting connection with your audience is serious work. It may not always seem to pay off in the short term and it’s not easy to measure and scale. But in the long run, it’s the only path to lasting success and meaningful impact.

Digital Branding

Crowdfunding Marketing – How to Raise Millions in a Month

It has been repeatedly said over and over again that, to gain success in your crowdfunding, campaign you need to have a perfect product, project or idea. People must desire the thing that you offer because, when they don’t, you are doomed. However, a beginning entrepreneur needs to be aware of the fact that the difference between crowdfunding success and failure isn’t just about this one factor, as there are many more things that matter in the process. As well as a good idea, you need to think carefully, tweak every step you take and have a well-executed crowdfunding marketing plan.

If you have a brilliant idea, tested with your family and friends, you can start to think about the beginning your campaign. Crowdfunding platforms offer an easy way to kick off the campaign, which enables groups or individuals to collect the exact, specified amount of money needed to reach the market on a high scale. However, publishing the idea on such a platform doesn’t always equal success. Behind every triumph, there’s a great crowdfunding marketing plan with a notable effort by its founders.

marketingfounders

The idea of crowdfunding is all about showing the personal ethos of the campaign, the connection between what you want to say and the emotions of your product’s potential recipients. You have to think how to create and present your product to make people desire it and be the only one who can satisfy their needs.

Follow this article to find out how to plan a successful crowdfunding campaign.

When to Plan a Crowdfunding Marketing Campaign?

The best crowdfunding marketing campaigns are planned out long ahead of their launch. It’s a good idea to schedule all the steps as early as possible, to make the campaign deliberate and fruitful. Make sure that as many people as possible know about your idea, get them used to it and ensure they are ready to share their thoughts with others – it’s how you broaden your potential for better traction, and it all happens before you launch your campaign. It may sound strange at the very beginning, but it is incredibly crucial – if you want to succeed in a crowdfunding campaign, it will be helpful to proceed with early media outreach. Of course, the media is swamped with eager entrepreneurs pitching products. Therefore, you have to be aware that it’ll take some time to get on the radar of most journalists, so the best decision in this case is to not hesitate and begin this process ahead of your launch.

5 Famous Rebrands and What We Can Learn From Them

The Most Important Factors

The important rule for fundraising marketing in general (and crowdfunding marketing in particular) is to take many steps at the same time. You need to do these things in parallel, so be prepared to try your hand at multitasking.

The Product

Although, earlier on, I’ve mentioned that the idea or product by itself isn’t the only key factor in the crowdfunding marketing process, but it is still one of the most important aspects. The object of the campaign needs to be special and unique; in short, it has to attract the attention of potential users. It will be an additional benefit if it is an embodiment of innovation. There should be a need or scarcity of your product in the market. The old rule says that such scarcity drives demand, so it is one of crowdfunding’s expected rules that your supporters should get something in exchange for their participation and money. You can offer some simple exchange for the help from participants by providing them an equity participation in your business or an early bird copy of your product, just as an act of returning a favor.

Broaden Your Network

Start with your personal network on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and so on. It is likely that the major part of your social media network consists of your family and friends, and that is an excellent factor. These are people who are eager to hear good news from you and be a part of your success. For sure, they’ll do all they can to spread your idea out there and make good use of it. But how do you make them want to contribute more? Remember not to send out the same message to everyone. Separate your contacts into lists of friends, family, business and acquaintances. This doesn’t mean that you have to write different messages to all of the people on your list, but do try to personalize it, even by just a little. It is also good to know who may be the biggest influencer on your list – in other words, who’s got the largest social circles both online and offline – as they can be of real help when expanding your network.

networking

Besides your social circle, look at the network of other business group related to your campaign. It is a good idea to connect with them and try to write a guest post on their blogs, or maybe they can give you a shout out on your blog or campaign. As you reach this new audience, you have to keep them engaged with questions and conversations – you need to maintain contact with them. Only with this engagement will you be able to build a sense of community and convert followers into supporters.

Create a Narrative

Everyone who is involved in your project should follow the same script. They have to know the history of the enterprise or a startup – how things started, where you want to go and how you intend to get there. Also, you need to explain why you’ve chosen crowdfunding instead of other investment strategies and, of course, you need to give them a description of how their funding will make a difference.

 

Make it Multi-Dimensional

Now, it is still time to persuade potential backers. It is incredibly important to testify with proof and credibility – in other words, support your pitch with facts, figures, and specifics on costs, forecasts and expectations. It’ll make you look and sound like a professional who knows the market in exact detail and is aware of how the product development will be executed, including when to take each step.

Your campaign should also be a media event, something that goes viral across many platforms and social media services. If it goes viral, it will be seen by the highest range of people, amongst whom may be some who desire your idea, like it and, what is highly important, choose to share it on their profiles, making it go further and further.

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Today, people are more likely to pay attention to vivid videos and photographs – so try to make a good use of these. Arrange a few photos of individuals interacting with the product, show the commitments by key principals and testimonials made by older users and people who are eager to support your project.

Last, but not least, create educational, informative and entertaining videos of prototypes in action, the users involved or comments from analysts. It will help to engage with recipients and to better help make your campaign go viral.

Find Early Backers

Before your campaign emerges on the crowdfunding platform, make sure you don’t start at “0% funded.” You’ve already gained the attention of your family, friends and probably your friends’ friends. If you are lucky and creative enough, your material went viral and it is a huge success! You’ve got connections with online business groups interested in your product and you’ve gained some more traction. Now, the aim is to get a commitment from them and make them the earliest backers, who will support your project as soon as you launch the campaign. That way, you can demonstrate momentum right off the bat!

It is not hard to find them as long as you have a brilliant idea, as you’ve already broadened your network and traction – this step is incredibly important to do ahead of your launch.

Improve, improve, improve

As things are ongoing, your product and campaign develop continuously. Prove what has changed and give evidence to support these positive developments. Remember that your strategy must include the development and improvement of existing marketing media – it will be a shred of evidence that more and more people are interested and it is worth shining a light on your product and devoting some time to know it better.

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Revitalize your website as soon as it is needed. Inform your audience about what’s new and what’s shaking with the campaign: keep them up to date. If you do this correctly, you’ll build a loyal community of recipients, ready to support and go for your idea.

Statistics show that 60% of crowdfunding campaigns fail to reach their funding – no wonder, creating a crowdfunding campaign isn’t just about signing up on the platform and looking at how the money on your account rises day by day. The process is much more complicated, as you might have noticed. It is all about being prepared to answer all of the doubts and questions which may show up during the campaign, knowing who may follow the idea and always broadening your network. Furthermore, to gain success, you have to do all of these things in parallel and be ready for any sudden plot twist.

Remember you are the only person who is going to care enough about your campaign. Follow the rules, work hard, and you will succeed for sure.