RescueTime is a a part of my working existence in excess of 6 years, but I’ve never sitting lower to create a RescueTime review until only a couple of several weeks ago.
A couple of several weeks ago marked my first twelve month of self-employment. I required time to re-evaluate my tools and dealing ways to make certain I’d a good time balance of all my priorities.
In the end – regardless if you are compensated hourly or otherwise, your time and effort is the only non-renewable resource. If you are planning to handle anything, it ought to be your time and effort.
Since just about all my professional priorities take presctiption a pc – personal time management software (ie, RescueTime) is really a core a part of that.
Take a look at RescueTime’s Plans here.
Here’s my RescueTime review with pros, cons, use cases and then steps according to my experience.
RescueTime is really a personal time management & productivity software company founded in 2008. The RescueTime application runs without anyone’s knowledge of the devices tracking, calculating and instantly categorizing your activity.
RescueTime is really a free application having a premium upgrade that enables more specific reporting featuring like offline time input. It provides a reporting dashboard with your data sliced, diced and sorted into helpful charts that will help you manage your time and effort.
The application is dependant on Peter Drucker’s (the famous management consultant) maxim that “what will get measured, will get managed.”
RescueTime takes the manual tracking of your time and causes it to be painless and automatic so you really track your time and effort to ensure that – you may be conscious of time use.
That stated, you will find tons of productivity & personal time management tools on the web. Do you know the actual pros & cons of RescueTime? Here’s what I’ve observed through the years.
Disclosure – I receive referral charges from companies pointed out on this web site. Data and/or opinions derive from my experience like a having to pay customer or consultant to some having to pay customer.
Pros of RescueTime
Here’s a few of the benefits of using RescueTime over other solutions.
Set Of Features
At its core, RescueTime do you factor – track time. If your perception this way, it isn’t super special. Technically, you could do this by using a spreadsheet or the a large number of free apps online.
But RescueTime’s set of features is special due to the way it tracks some time and what it really does using the data (also known as, one you’ll really use).
RescueTime watches which home windows presently have activity, compares the window name, and occasions the game for the reason that window. It’s usually running without anyone’s knowledge – always watching.
Unobtrustive, 100% tracking makes RescueTime useful. There’s no friction or hurdle to tracking time.
Since RescueTime’s tracking feature solves this problem, you’ll have data that’s complete, correct & helpful.
RescueTime’s additional features concentrate on making their core feature better. It normally won’t consider adding on complementary features like time-tracking & billing for freelancers. It normally won’t try to get involved with any side companies.
They are doing possess a couple of features which use the tracking feature within an interesting way. For instance, the Get Focused! feature blocks distracting sites and/or apps from running when selected.
They’ve goals and alerts where you can decide what you would like to occur when X happens – and RescueTime is going to do that according to what it’s tracking.
I additionally love how RescueTime does Offline Time Tracking. Rather of getting to look and add it in 100% by hand, you decide on a period period that’s unlogged and complete the blank.
You may also personalize the buttons to create logging offline time simple and quick.
It’s a minimalist set of features – but that’s exactly important great. It’s simple, straightforward and well-done.
RescueTime operates on a Freemium business design. It’s free of charge with compensated upgrades funding the program. I really like e-commerce model for any couple of reasons.
There isn’t any ads cluttering in the experience.
The program is really funded and really earning money – so it’s less inclined to disappear.
It’s free of charge more than a lengthy time period.
You choose to only pay when it’s benefitting you.
RescueTime comes with an incentive to construct in helpful upgrades.
So RescueTime is free of charge to obtain began but the Premium plan’s only $9/month or $72/year.
The Premium plan creates several helpful upgrades, but my top picks are –
More in depth reports – I’m able to drill lower towards the *most* productive/distracting occasions.
Limitless report history – I’m able to match it up time for you to last year and appreciate everyday changes.
Add Offline Time – I’m able to add offline activities it isn’t typical for me personally, but helpful to possess.
The Get Focused! feature isn’t as helpful in my experience (I’ll cover within the Cons section), but it’s often a favorite of some other clients.
In either case – RescueTime is really a no-brainer prices-wise. It’s free of charge.
And when the reporting/advanced features help you save just one hour monthly then it’s compensated by itself even if you’re only causing us to be minimum wage.
RescueTime is definitely an investment which makes sense.
A typical trouble with tracking apps of all types is they always need to be on. The “always on” feature may cause performance issues on laptops & personal computers. It may cause battery problems on cellular devices.
But in my opinion, RescueTime causes neither. It’s running from startup on my small Macbook Pro, my Home windows PC, and my Nexus 5x phone. I’ve never tracked any performance or battery issues towards the application.
It’s lightweight and well-built.
I love the truth that the mobile application doesn’t demand a large number of absurd permissions. It takes use of usage data, but doesn’t attempt to track location, contacts, emails, or the typical privacy violating permissions other apps request.
It’s quick to set up and syncs by having an online dashboard. It pulls in data all sources simultaneously, and crunches the information rapidly if you are around the Premium plan or by following day around the free plan.
What’s the purpose of data should you can’t interpret it or apply it?
RescueTime’s reports solves this problem – and in lots of ways may be the whole idea of utilizing the application more than a spreadsheet.
RescueTime’s Dashboard uses colorful bar graphs and cake charts to exhibit exactly what you’re (and aren’t) doing.
You are able to choose to receive emails reports every single day, week or month.
And on top of that, you are able to search hard in to the reporting with assorted filters and overlays to discover your habits.
It’s really eye-opening to determine the particular period of time that every task takes.
After I employed by an advertising and marketing agency in Atlanta – time tracked to Messages and Gchats was astounding. It altered processes not just for me personally, but additionally my project managers.
Since I’m by myself without any full-time employees – I can tell the precise time which i dedicate to tasks that matter. I’m able to build my day around individuals.
And merely to reiterate – all of the reports are made-to the software. The Dashboard is on my small default – as well as advanced reports are pre-built.
It’s all fast, seamless and efficient so you aren’t ironically putting things off while analyzing your time and effort.
Among the key selling points of RescueTime is the set of features minimalism. They are doing one factor plus they get it done well.
That stated – nearly all people utilizing their product have enough time-based software needs. Whether it’s project management software, billing, team time tracking or anything else – your time and effort needs usually don’t stop with tracking, calculating and categorization.
To resolve this problem, RescueTime’s software integrates having a large range of other software. They’ve a wide open API and direct integrations with common software.
Regardless if you are a freelancer attempting to integrate time tracking into invoicing software like FreshBooks or perhaps a project manager that should collate team member’s time, RescueTime will most likely integrate by using it.
Cons of RescueTime
Like every software though – RescueTime is neither perfect neither is it the very best fit for everybody. Here’s some disadvantages that I’ve observed through the years.
Default Get Focused! Groups
Generally, RescueTime’s groups are very good. Sites like Reddit, Twitter and facebook are “Very Distracting”…for many people. As well as for general tracking, RescueTime’s groups are quick & simple to fix.
But RescueTime’s groups could be served by general news, research sites and distracting sites’ subdomains.
I can’t make use of the Get Focused! functionality for just about any task that needs research (also known as visiting a lot of different websites).
Ironically, time which i need smart blocking functionality happens when I’m doing research for any publish
There is a thin line between this really is productive which is distracting when I’m researching. It’d do well to make use of RescueTime, however the groups aren’t accurate enough for results.
The main problem would be that the Block Sites function isn’t obtainable in reverse (ie, add specific sites to bar). I’m able to only add sites to unblock.
And when I’m visiting several dozen blocked sites – by hand adding them rapidly becomes time wasting.
If you’re searching to have an application which will block only specific distracting sites – RescueTime isn’t it.
Effectiveness versus. Efficiency
RescueTime (or whenever keeper) heightens the bias towards efficiency over effectiveness.
Should you choose the incorrect factor for 18 hrs each day, every single day with perfect focus – you’re still doing the incorrect factor.
The most crucial element in personal time management would be to focus on the best things – the main 20% of your time input which will generate 80% of the outcomes.
And that’s an issue that’s 100% for you. RescueTime can’t solve this problem.
Actually, somewhat, RescueTime can hurt your time and efforts by pushing you towards better efficient doing over strategy, planning and research.
If effectiveness is the core issue, then RescueTime isn’t for you personally. It’ll only worsen.
Rather, I’d recommend studying a few of these books.
Conclusion & Next Steps
RescueTime continues to be an excellent tool for me personally. It isn’t for everybody and it has some feature quirks and downsides.
That stated, the very best factor it’s found here is perspective. It’s very easy to consider that you simply “work a lot” or are “not hooked on your phone” or “spend a lot time writing” or are “seldom on Facebook.”
However the data doesn’t lie. And taking advantage of RescueTime to obtain accurate time data in your digital time will help you literally save your time and effort and set your existence in perspective.
If you feel RescueTime sounds helpful – go take a look at their plans here.
Whether it sounds too in-depth or otherwise what you’re searching for, take a look at these books or read this podcast episode on my small project management software system.
The publish RescueTime Review: Using RescueTime for Personal Time Management made an appearance first on ShivarWeb.
So you’ve decided to build a website. Let me be the first to congratulate you on establishing a presence on the World Wide Web, a.k.a. The Information Superhighway, a.k.a. The Infobahn. Your content is now etched into the soul of the digital cosmos. An electronic statement, a shot in the dark, a 21st century missive written in fire across the pixelated sky.
However, though the knowledge that your creation can be viewed the world over may be intrinsically rewarding, wouldn’t you like some tangible rewards as well? Your website is a potential cash cow, so don’t let those virtual crops wither on the vine. Once you’ve garnered some attention, it may be time to monetize.
Start converting those pageviews into dollars, and before long, you just might acquire enough money to fill a swimming pool with cash a la Scrooge McDuck. Failing that, you might at least establish a modest income stream to supplement your bank account. Perhaps even something in between.
We puzzled panthers of late-stage capitalism, gasping for lifeÂ like salmon in a leaky bathtub, struggling as if our ability to avoid homelessness, despair and ruin depended on it – we have little choice but to scrounge for money wherever we can. The landlord won’t accept your inherent human potential as payment come the 1st of the month.
Here are but a fewÂ ways you can carpe that diem and squeeze some dough out of that website of yours.
#1: Sign Up with Google AdSense
One of the most popular ways to earn revenue from your website is to utilize Google AdSense. If you apply for AdSense and are accepted, Google will place contextual ads (ads in keeping with the nature of your site content) from its extensive advertising network on your site, which generate revenue with every click. A portion of this revenue will go right into your sweaty little palms.
Did I mention that AdSense is free to use? Well, I did now.
If you’ve got a website that garners a decent amount of pageviews, you may be tempted to think “Time to fleece these suckers! I’ll just beg all my followers to click on my ads every day to help me out.” You may then be tempted to quit your lousy day job in a fit of righteousness and book the next flight to Cancun, secure in the knowledge that easy wealth is about to engulf you.
Well, don’t do any of that, because it’s considered click fraud, and Google will catch you and revoke your AdSense approval. Google is building robots that may eventuallyÂ decimateÂ what’s left of the job market – you don’t think they can catch people who violateÂ their Terms Of Service?
Likewise, sites involving pornography, firearms, or drugsÂ won’t get approved byÂ AdSense, thus closing off an avenue for website monetizationÂ to our mostÂ grassroots forms of entrepreneurship.
Want to learn more? I think you do!
AdSense ExplainedÂ – A detailed summarization of the program
Inside AdSenseÂ – A blog chock full of AdSense tips, straight from the horse’s mouth
#2: Sell Ad Space On Your Site
Want to earn revenue from ads on your site while cutting out the middle man? You can always just sell ad space on your site or blog directly to advertisers.
There are a number of different compensation methods used by advertisers:
CPM – CPM stands for Cost Per Mille (mille meaning “thousand” in Latin) .Advertisers paying by CPM are paying a certain rate for every thousand pageviews of your site.
CPC – “Cost Per Click” advertising is what it sounds like: Advertisers pay for every click registered on the ad in question. CPC has grown to become the predominant means of advertiser compensation. And no, I don’t know why we don’t use the Latin word for “click” here.
CPE – “Cost Per Engagement” ad compensation aims to monetize not just pageviews (or “impressions”), but whether the viewer engaged with it in some way. Maybe the user hovered over the ad, causing a video to play (note: most humansÂ find this incredibly annoying). Maybe the ad is presented as a poll, with poll responses counted as engagements. However it works, the point is that the viewer noticed the ad in some measurable fashion.
CPV – “Cost Per View” compensation primarily concerns video advertising, and measures the number of plays a particular ad video gets.
This list does not cover every conceivable means of online ad compensation, but the point is that different kinds of websites may benefit from different kinds of ad programs.
For instance, CPC ads may appeal to smallÂ online companies with a particular niche (like-minded people seeking like-minded products/services), while mobile-focused sites would be well-advised to go for CPE ads, as mobile ads should be geared towards user engagement for maximum turnover.
Of course, none of these advertising methods will do you much good if your website gets minimal traffic. It’s best to give people a reason to come to your site beforeÂ placing ads. But if you’ve got a site that attracts significant traffic – and you don’t find advertising to be inherently corrosive to the human spirit – then have at it! It may prove to be quite lucrative.
Here’s more on the subject:
5 Things You Must Do Before Jumping Into Paid Internet Advertising
BuySellAds.com – The most popular ad market
#3: Affiliate Marketing
Do you run a site or blog in which you showcase the latest and greatest in gadgets, clothes, novels, video games, or anyÂ other productÂ under the sun? Why not monetize your fanboying/fangirling through affiliate marketing?
As a concept, affiliate marketing is fairly simple. If you’re really into a product and would be proud to have your name attached to it, sign up with the affiliate program of the company in question. They’ll send you a link that lets them track everybody who clicks your link to their product. Then, if the user buys the product, you get a commission.
Commission rates can vary from 30% to 70% of the sale of the product in question. Not too shabby, eh? Advertisers don’t mind these rates because they’re only paying for confirmed sales. Other forms of advertising can certainly be effective, but the rewards aren’t as tangible and identifiable as with affiliate marketing.
Given the degree to which our society has commodified every possible tool and experience, one can hardly get through the day without complimenting one product or another, deliberately or not. You may well be doingÂ pro bono promotional laborÂ for some very rich dudes in suits who don’t need the charity. The least they can do is pay you to transmit their messages through the cultural ether.
Hot tip: If you’re going to try your hand at affiliate marketing, stick to promoting things you believe in and that jibe with your personal brand. People can generally smell disingenuousness, so don’t turn off your existing followers by sticking your neck out for something that isn’t you.
Here’s more info for you aspiring affiliates:
The Ultimate Guide To Affiliate Marketing
Amazon Associates – The most popular affiliate program out there
CJ Affiliate by Conversant (formerly Commission Junction) – Large affiliate marketing company
#4: Build an eCommerce Website
Do you haveÂ products to sell? Do you have the ability to produce products to sell? Consider building an eCommerce website.
If you’re ready to give eCommerce a go, there are a number of ways you can go about it. Services such as Shopify and EcwidÂ allow you to build an online store which you can then embed as a widget into your existing website. Consider going this route if you seek to append a store to your existing website.
On the other hand, if you’re starting an eCommerce website from scratch, you may want to use a website builder that incorporates an online storeÂ as a feature.
Website builders likeÂ Squarespace,Â WixÂ and Weebly provide in-house eCommerce widgets, ensuring that your online store is seamlessly integrated with the rest of your site. Other website builders utilizeÂ third-party eCommerce solutions like EcwidÂ and PayPal.Â Some builders provide a thorough set of options regarding shipping and taxes, while others leave all that stuff up to you to figure out. Naturally, those solutions are less than optimal.
If you’re on a tight budget, some website builders,Â such as DudaOne, Jimdo and Jigsy, commendablyÂ let you sell a few products (usually five to ten) without a paid subscription. eCommerce with no overhead isÂ a concept that speaks to my egalitarian heart. Consider going that route if you’re just looking to make a little cash on the side.
Might eCommerce be your thing? Check out these links:
Best eCommerce Software to Easily Build Your Online Store
#5:Â Monetize Your Digital Images
Perhaps you’re intrigued by the potential of eCommerce, but you haven’t the foggiest idea of what you would sell. You look around your cramped apartment and see little of value. There probably isn’t a sizable market for theÂ mostly empty Chinese take-out boxes you’ve got scattered around.
(Okay, so maybe you’re not gross. In which case: My sincerest apologies, your majesty.)
The thing is, you may not have any physical goods to sell. But how many of you amateur shutterbugs have digital cameras just lying around, containing hundreds or thousands of neglected photos? Wouldn’t you like these photos to benefit you, rather than sitting there, forlorn and forgotten, burning a hole in your micro SD card?
Perhaps your images are captured somewhere in “the cloud.” Should social media behemoths be the only ones to benefit from your creative output?
Thankfully, there are ways to monetize your images via your website.Â You’re only limited by the depth of your aesthetic vision.
As it happens, I recently reviewed a website builder calledÂ Pixpa, which is integratedÂ with Fotomoto, an eCommerce service for photographers. Using the Fotomoto shopping cart, the customer can purchase your images in digital and/or physical form. In the case of the latter, Fotomoto will make the prints for you. You’ll need to establish a Fotomoto account, but such accounts start at the free level.
This is far from the only way to build an image-based eCommerce website, but I wanted to use this example to demonstrate just how easy it can be to turn your photos (or any sort of visual artwork, really) into filthy lucre.
The plethora of digitalÂ documentation we leave behind as we careen madly throughÂ our performative 21st century lives is perhaps our most underutilized resource. If Facebook, Snapchat and the NSA get to exploit our image trail for their own ends, shouldn’t the rest of us do so as well?
Here’s a few services that provide photography eCommerce:
Photodeck – Photography eCommerce websites
Fotomoto – Sell images onÂ your website
#6: Take Donations
Obviously, this method of earning revenue is highly dependent on being a compelling/sympathetic figure with something rewarding to offer the public. If you think you fit the bill, you might try accepting donations.
One thing most website builders include nowadays is a PayPal Donate button. You may have nothing to sell the public at the moment, but perhaps you can galvanize your followers into action through the inspirational example of your digital vision. Adding a Donate button to your website is a simple and easy way to solicit support for building the foundation upon which your dreams will be made tangible. Of course, the amount you collect will only be as significant as your ideas merit. Unless you possess cult-like powers of persuasion, that is. In which case, um…maybe I shouldn’t have told you about this.
PayPal buttons aren’t the only way to fundraise online, though. Read more on the subject:
How To Easily Take Donations Online
Fundly.com – A tool for creating fundraising websites
How To Accept Donations Online – WikiHow article
#7: Build an Email List
This may seem obvious, but it bears stating: To get people excited about your content and invested in what you’re doing, it helps to cultivate a personal relationship with them. A good way to keep your most loyal followers engaged is with an email list. This won’t make you money overnight, but it will certainly set you on the path to greater profitability.
Learn how to build a solid email list:
25 Simple Ways to Grow Your Email List
How to Build Your List With Your Website
A note of caution: Many sites build their email lists though the use of pop-up boxes that appear after a site visitor has spent a certain amount of time on the site. Now, nobody loves pop-up boxes, but many have found this to be an effective way of collecting email addresses and building a potential client list.
If you choose to go with this method, you’ll want to follow the news closely, because Google has recently announced their intention to penalize sites that make use of mobile pop-up boxes and interstitial ads (basically full-screen pop-ups). While you’ll still be able to build an email list, Google may soon be restricting one of the more effective means of doing so.
A second note of caution: An email list is ideal for building relationships with middle-aged/older professionals. There’s nothing wrong with this, as these are the people who have the lion’s shareÂ of the money in our society. However, younger people (and those of us who think of ourselves as young despite evidence to the contrary) tend not to be big fans of email marketing. Personally, I probably spend about one minute per week checking the “Promotions” tab in my Gmail inbox – I just can’t be bothered.
If attracting the attention of younger folks is your priority, you may want to focus on my next tip:
#8: Build a Social Media Following
For better or worse, social media dominates a larger portion of our lives with every passing day. To command the attention of those email-ignoring no-goodniks of the younger generation, you need to establish an engaging social media presence to monetize your content.
Social media fluency isn’t rocket science. Just look around at the sort of content in your field that goes viral, and try to command attention in a similar fashion.
Post frequently enough that your followers are regularly reminded of your existence. Provide answers to the questions you notice lots of people asking about. Don’t be afraid to deploy humor, irony, and perhaps even the occasional bit of snark. Identify trending hashtags and get in on the action. Be relatable. If you’re not relatable, do your best approximation of relatability, like I’m doing right now.
If just a fraction of your social media followers visit your website and become engaged in what you’re doing, your efforts will not have been in vain. If you can spread your message in a non-clunky way and can deal with occasional hate tweets from angry racists with frogÂ avatars, this brave new world can be yours.
Also, gifs. Kids love gifs even more than they love Molly.
Check out these tips on achieving virality with your brand:
Growing aÂ Social Following from Scratch
39 Ways to Get More Social Media Followers
#9: Accept Sponsored Articles/Posts
This tactic may not appeal to many of you. “Sponsored Content” has long carried with it a certain stigma. However, it’s my job to highlight ways to monetize your web space, and by gosh, this is one of them.
Once you’ve managed to build a sizable audience for your site or blog, companies in your field may just come a-knocking. Just as with affiliate marketing, if you’re an avowed fan of one product or another, you can monetize your fandom by postingÂ an advertorial. So long as you’re not extolling the virtues of something that doesn’t fit with your established persona, you shouldn’t lose too many authenticity points.
I should hope this goes without saying, but: Sponsored content must always be labeled as such. Never try to pull the wool over your followers’ eyes. It won’t work, and they’ll hate you for it. Be transparent. Do otherwise, and you’ll have FTC fines to worry about. Though, honestly, that’s nothing compared to losing the trust ofÂ your audience. Tread lightly, friend.
Another caveat: Google doesn’t like sponsored links, so use a “nofollow” tag on said links to ensure that Google won’t penalize you.
If Sponsored Content doesn’t fill you with righteous rage, read more here:
Should Bloggers Accept Sponsored Posts?
Advertorials: How To Write Them & Why They’re Awesome
#10:Â Flip Your Website
It’s not widely known that there’s a market for flipping websites. Everyone just assumes that if something is flippable, there must already be a reality show or two about it.
And yet it’s true. There are markets for buying and selling websites, so if you’ve got a website that attracts a decent number of visitors, you can always try selling it for a profit. Admittedly, this isn’t the ideal way to monetize your website, as you could make a lot more money by building it in the long term.
Sometimes, however, you can’t wait for the long term. People get hurt and have hospital bills to pay. People lose their jobs. People need quick cash from time to time. So it’s nice to know that you can cash in your website if you’re in a pinch.
Just as with housing, you can also buy websites with the intent to sell them for a profit. This can be quite the opportunity if you know what to look for. You might find a site or blog that attracts a lot of eyeballs, but has not been monetized. In this case, you could scoop up the site, monetize it using the helpful tips you’ve picked up from yours truly, and, having increased its value, sell it for a nice chunk of change.
And if you put togetherÂ a team of dysfunctional fun-loving knuckleheads to assistÂ you with the site flipping, you might even get a reality show out of it.
Dare to dream.
Here’s some flippin’ links to help you out:
How To Flip Websites In 2016 – Flipping Websites Made Easy
Flippa – Popular website marketplace
#11: Charge People For Access to Password-Protected Pages
People have been trained for the past 20+ years to expect their web content for free. It’s always a challenge to get people to pay for non-erotic premium web content. However, it’s certainly not impossible.
Certain website builders, such as Weebly and Webs, allow you to set up password-protected pages. In the case of the latter, you can even set up members-only “gated” forums. If you have compelling content you think people would be willing to pay to see, build a membership site and charge people for the password for entry.
Given the right subject, people just may be willing to shell out just to have a private place to discuss things in the absence ofÂ trolls.
You’d be surprised what people are willingÂ to pay for.
To learn more:
The Ultimate Guide To Subscription Revenue
12 Successful Subscription Sites And What They’re Doing Right
#12: Generate and Sell Leads
Don’t let the laughing LAPD officer fool you: There’s money to be made in generating leads.
This is most easily accomplished if your website caters to a particular niche or industry.
Let’s say you run a website keeping track of team statistics for a bowling league. You could have the members of your site opt-in to receiving information from companies that manufacture bowling equipment. Maybe you run a financial advice forum. Have your members opt-in to receiving information from financial service companies. This last one has the benefit of not being geography-dependent.
You certainly don’t want to ambush your readers with spammy sales offers. Be selective. If done right, you’ll be connecting people with the service they’re looking for anyways. Boom, everybody wins. Including, as it happens, you.
Read more about lead generation:
The Beginner’s Guide To Lead Generation: 7 Essential Resources
20 Smart Ways to Generate More Leads for Your Business
#13: Offer Consulting
In this hyper-specialized age, everybody’s an expert at something.
Why not take advantage of your untapped expertise and offer consulting services on your website? This can be done either by setting up an expert profile with a third-party consulting service and linking to it on your website, or though a direct offer straight from you.
You can offer your consultant services via email, Google Hangouts, Skype – anything that puts you in touch with those poor information-starved souls out there yearning to drink from the fountain of knowledge that is your brain.
Learn more about online consulting:
How To Make Money Online As A Consultant
Consulting As An Online Business Model
#14: Set Up A Job Board
With job security being soooo 20th century, there are always going to be desperate bands of employment-seekers out there. Why not provide theÂ wounded proletariatÂ with some hope and make some moolah in the process?
This is another case where it helps if you specialize in a particular field of modern industry. Create a job board specific to an industry, and then charge companies for posting job listings. If you’ve built up a following amongst people in said industry, you’ll have all the elements necessary for more win-win-win scenarios.
You’ll be winning so much, you’re going to get tired of winning.
Note: This is one revenue generation idea you might want to pursue soon, before Google puts the finishing touches on theÂ job-killing robots.
Be the jobs candidate:
Web Scribble – JobÂ boardÂ software
7 Reasons Why You Should Start A Job Board
#15:Â Teach Courses Online
Another way to parlay your knowledge into profit is to offer online courses on your website.
There’s a good dealÂ of demand out there for online courses in the sort of tech and design skills that the next generation will require in order to afford to live anywhere fashionable.
Along with consulting, teaching courses online is a means by which you can monetize your brain and your life experiences. It may not be a way to get rich quick, as course preparation involves a lot of labor, but it’s certainly a way to capitalize on the goodwill you’ve built up with your loyal followers.
Check these links for more info, Professor:
How To Run Your Own Online Training Courses – eHow
Teachable – Online course creation service
Udemy – Online course marketplace
#16: Start a Podcast
Perhaps your target audience is interested in your knowledge and expertise, but doesn’t have the time to enroll in online courses or consult with you via video messaging. They might prefer to hear what you have to say while they’re driving to work, or out jogging, or what have you.
Why not start a podcast and host it on your website? If you can record audio, you can create a podcast. It’s an ideal accompaniment to a blog, and it can open up new advertising/marketing possibilities.
Some of us have a face for Skype, and others have a face for podcasting. Showcase your expertise strategically.
Check out these links, would-be podcasters:
Learn How To Podcast
4 Ways To Start Your Own Podcast – wikiHow
#17: Create A Business Directory
If you’re searching for yet more ways to connect your visitors with businesses and services they may be interested in, try creating a business directory on your website.
With a large enough following, you can get businesses to pay for the privilege of placing their contact info in your directory.
If you have a WordPress site or blog, there’s a number of plugins and themes dedicated to directory creation to be found. It’s an ideal way to promote businesses to those looking for their services.
Heck, you can even color your directory yellow as an homage to the old yellow pages. Though, to be honest, I always preferred reading the white pages. So many entertaining names out there.
Read more here:
Create A Business Directory & Earn Money
How To Create A Web Directory In WordPress
These 17 monetization methods are by no means the sole pathways to website profitability. I just wanted you to get a sense of the broad range of possibilities at play.
That’s not to say you’ll have an easy time of it, but you have nothing to lose by giving site monetization a shot! Every penny you manage to wring fromÂ your website is a penny you’ll have earned by means otherÂ than toiling away in a miasmaÂ of burdened ennui atÂ the office.
Think of it as an act of defiance in the face of a socio-economic system whose arc bends towards exploitation. Or think of it another way if you prefer. Just try it.
Warning: You may run the risk of having fun.
The post Top 17 Ways To Monetize Your Website And Win At Life appeared first on Merchant Maverick.
NordVPN is really a ten year old Virtual private network operating from Panama.
NordVPN is well-liked by privacy-focused customers because of strong file encryption and strict no log policies. Furthermore, their legal jurisdiction boasts uncensored Internet, no data retention laws and regulations, with no online government surveillance. NordVPN has servers in 58 countries and enables for six synchronised connections.
After many years of foolishly running my internet business via public Wireless, I decided to employ a Virtual private network to secure my communications (and access a little bit of from market sporting occasions on a trip).
But I discovered that – much like website hosting – there’s no such factor like a “best Virtual private network provider”. Actually, it’s just like a an entire world of confusing information where even reliable details are near-useless because it’s so complex.
This NordVPN review is my notes from giving them a shot in my own purposes like a security-aware, traveling, US-based businessperson who needs good usability and good prices. I’m not a political activist or somebody that regularly travels to firewalled countries.
Regardless if you are searching for any Virtual private network for privacy, for website access, for staying away from geotargeting, for safeguarding communications or all of the above, hopefully, this NordVPN review is going to be helpful. You may also skip to next steps here.
See NordVPN’s Plans here…
Here’s my NordVPN review – structured with pros & cons according to my experience like a customer.
Disclosure – I receive referral charges from companies pointed out on this web site. All opinions and knowledge derive from my experience like a having to pay customer performing independent research.
NordVPN Pros / Advantages
NordVPN is popular for any reason – they perform a many things right. Within an industry where trust is vital, they perform a lot to strengthen their trustworthiness while supplying a great consumer experience. In a business filled with tradeoffs, they position themselves because the “world’s innovative Virtual private network.”
Every user may have different needs/wants from the Virtual private network, but here’s NordVPN’s primary advantages according to my knowledge about them along with other Virtual private network providers.
NordVPN offers just one plan, but it’s offered at a number of different cost points.
Pay monthly, and also you get the arrange for $11.95 monthly. Pay twelve months at any given time, and also the cost drops to simply $5.75 monthly.
Obtain the absolute least expensive rate by having to pay for 2 years at any given time just for $4.00 monthly.
Unlike many competitors, NordVPN provides a free trial offer. You’re able to try out the service for approximately 72 hours without any commitment. You do not even need to provide your payment details – though you have to request it.
Additionally towards the free trial offer, NordVPN provides a 30-day money-back guarantee. Try the service for any month. If you are unhappy, you receive a refund. That’s considerably longer than many direct competitors like PureVPN.
Like the majority of Virtual private network providers, NordVPN accepts credit/bank card and PayPal for payment. Prefer providers, additionally they accept Bitcoin.
Paymentwall allows you to make payments with less popular methods, including individuals only accessible in a few countries.
Probably the most daunting areas of obtaining a Virtual private network is really while using Virtual private network. An ideal Virtual private network that you simply never me is worse than an imperfect Virtual private network that you simply always employ.
NordVPN does perfectly about this point.
The organization helps make the entire register, setup, and installation process pretty simple. All that’s needed is really a valid current email address.
Wish to add an additional layer of privacy? Then produce a disposable current email address only for your NordVPN account.
Pay with Bitcoins should you’re utilizing a disposable current email address and don’t want NordVPN to possess all of your personal/payment details.
After registering is finished, you’ll get a confirmation email from NordVPN. Click on the activation link, and also you’re all set.
Immediately download the Virtual private network client onto Home windows, Mac, iOS, and Android.
Manual installation can also be readily available for Linux, Blackberry 10, Chromium, and much more, including an array of routers.
Servers (in Europe)*
NordVPN has servers in 58 regions.
They technically have servers found on every continent, except Antarctica. They presently boast around 850 servers total and therefore are always adding more.
The many servers available guarantees consistent speeds and reliable connections, regardless of where you are…if you’re in Europe. I’ll cover this time more within the disadvantages section. Until then – take a look at their server map.
Notice anything? Yeah – Europe is included. If you’re in Europe, NordVPN will get a large thumbs up. Lots of availability and lots of connections.
Ex-Europe…well, we’ll point out that in just a minute.
Security and File encryption
NordVPN does very well within the privacy and security departments.
The straightforward proven fact that it’s situated in Panama makes up about point about this. The nation doesn’t have data retention laws and regulations with no government surveillance from the Internet.
Panama can also be far enough from the U . s . States and also the Uk the prying eyes from the NSA and GCHQ haven’t much influence there.
Additionally for their prime place for a Virtual private network headquarters, NordVPN also boasts superior file encryption standards. They provide PGP secrets of contact customer support & account details.
Additionally to the standard servers, NordVPN also provides a distinctive double Virtual private network feature. Use “double Virtual private network” to chain multiple servers together. Your data will be passed between two servers coming out of your computer to the web.
On top of that, the details are re-encrypted every time it leaves a web server, creating a kind of double file encryption.
Though “double VPN” and chaining servers does improve security, additionally, it means much slower speeds – that we’ll cover within the disadvantages section.
For most of us, the marginally elevated security doesn’t over-shadow the lag in speeds.
Their OpenVPN connections are supported with AES 256-Bit file encryption, RSA-2048 key file encryption, and HMAC SHA1 authentication.
NordVPN provides a couple of other protocol options, including L2TP/IPSec, however i recommend most people stick to OpenVPN.
An execllent security feature is NordVPN’s no-log policy. Based on the provider:
“We don’t keep any logs – no traffic logs, no timestamps, nothing. Our logs are pointed straight to /dev/null so around organizations want it’s impossible to follow the consumer itself. Additionally, our service only has a small configuration which doesn’t hand out any details about the consumer.Inches
**Caveat – Observe that no Virtual private network is 100% secure. Your visitors are still routing via a company. Any organization can close shop or go rogue. If you’re attempting to avoid your American ISP – then you’re simply replacing distrust of Comcast/Charter using the trust of the Virtual private network. If you’re a political activist where trust is really a existence or dying situation, you have to be using something similar to Tor. This highlights this section of NordVPN’s improvements, however the point remains using a Virtual private network doesn’t instantly create security/privacy. That’s something do via aligning company incentives (ie, having to pay for businesses who maintain security) & being positive.
Regrettably, NordVPN falls a little short in a single security area: IPv6 leaks. The kill-switch prevents IPv4 leaks, although not IPv6.
NordVPN does condition it normally won’t safeguard from all of these leaks online, however they don’t exactly allow it to be obvious.
Despite the fact that IPv6 leaks can’t be employed to identify a person user, I actually do wish the organization was more transparent about the subject online.
Instructions regarding how to by hand disable IPv6 is regrettably hidden deep around the website’s support pages (even though it can there be).
Finally, it’s important to note that NordVPN does allow P2P discussing on certain servers (in countries where P2P is legal). This really is great news for individuals thinking about utilizing their Virtual private network for discussing and torrenting.
Interface / Usability
Like best wishes Virtual private network providers, NordVPN does things right having a clean, easy-to-navigate interface.
Both Home windows and Android client are remarkably similar. You have to the Mac and iOS client (even though they will have some slight variations).
The fundamental style of the customer is fantastic for beginners. It’s simple to switch between servers as well as protocols when needed.
Regrettably, the barebones design does not incorporate many advanced features. Though NordVPN still will get the task done, it doesn’t supply as numerous personalization options since many other Virtual private network services (like AirVPN).
As pointed out above, NordVPN works with Home windows, Mac, Android, and iOS away from the box.
It is also possible for doing things, with manual setup, with Linux, Blackberry 10, Chromium, along with a couple of other platforms.
Website / Design / Sources
On the related note – a good web site is frequently an indication of a great product, especially with regards to VPNs.
Fortunately for NordVPN, the website examines. It’s straightforward and simple design causes it to be increasingly simple to navigate.
You won’t spend enough time searching for that important information. The fundamentals of NordVPN, along with the service’s prices plans, are highlighted online’s primary page.
The NordVPN FAQ web site is really a helpful resource. Even though it never will get very technical, it will answer most fundamental questions.
The city board and NordVPN blog are additional webpages of note. The city board is a superb spot for users to have interaction with one another as the regularly updated blog frequently has new information associated with the Virtual private network industry.
Finally, the website’s servers page may be worth a glance. It lists several real-time statistics associated with all of NordVPN’s servers. This is not merely helpful information, however the transparency increases the trust factor pointed out within the security caveat above.
NordVPN offers 24/7 customer care.
The easiest method to contact the organization is as simple as online ticket system, email, or live chat. You will probably get an almost immediate response with live chat.
Despite how easy it’s to make contact with an assistance representative, I’ve seen lots of rumors about NordVPN’s lackluster support. I can’t support it with personal expertise, but there are many online reviews regarding relatively unhelpful customer care staff.
I’ll place an asterisk beside this, consider customer care experience are extremely anecdotal, It’s my job to try to check out stuff that indicate an investment in customer care (instead of cost-cutting). NordVPN passes that test using their decent knowledgebase, emails, and 24/7 live chat.
They don’t do phone support though. An alternative choice to make contact with NordVPN is by their Facebook accounts, that are maintained on the near-regular basis.
NordVPN is notable for that number of additional privacy features it provides.
These privacy features have the freedom for anybody to make use of, including individuals that aren’t enrolled in their Virtual private network service.
These functions incorporate a free web proxy, a totally free YouTube Proxy, along with a free proxy list.
I additionally like the truth that NordVPN enables for approximately six synchronised connections. Most providers only permit you to use between three and five devices at the same time (sometimes just one!).
They don’t monitor or cap bandwidth. They permit Onion routers for individuals searching for optimum security via Tor.
As needed, the also permit you to buy a dedicated Ip.
NordVPN Cons / Disadvantages
NordVPN does many things right. However, managing a Virtual private network requires a number of tradeoffs. Here are the disadvantages which i found with NordVPN.
Speed / Performance
Like a indication, I’m situated in Atlanta, Georgia, USA. Which means that my tests are heavily biased for the U . s . States, where NordVPN isn’t strong. Here’s that server map again –
See that one server in the united states? Yeah – that’s things i ran speed tests onto minimize geographic latency.
NordVPN’s performance varies broadly with respect to the time you’re utilizing it.
While speeds are wonderful sometimes, they’re very slow other occasions. This is also true should you make an effort to make use of the Virtual private network service during heavy-use hrs within the U . s . States.
The assorted speeds, particularly the slow speeds during busy hrs, hints that NordVPN is most likely oversubscribed.
*Oversubscription is really a tradeoff risk from not monitoring & shifting bandwidth usage.
Quite simply, they’ve so many people while using service for the amount of servers available (despite getting greater than 850 ready to go). That stated, NordVPN did okay in many of my tests.
Here’s standard non-Virtual private network speeds inside my office.
Here’s the normal NordVPN test.
I consistently hit around 52% of my non-Virtual private network speeds.
Compared, both PureVPN and ExpressVPN hit between 76% and 81% of non-Virtual private network speeds.
Still, performance is a good example to stream Netflix, Hulu, and so on, regardless of time or perhaps your location. I could connect with the United kingdom and stream BBC One out of standard definition without hiccups.
Here’s a traceroute test which i ran –
The additional security advantages of chaining servers with “double VPN” did not appear to lessen speeds – or at best not they didn’t increase the latency.
It is also important to note that NordVPN’s performance, speeds, and reliability are a lot better than they used to be.
Should you be disappointed through the service previously, you will probably find their recent enhancements during these areas now suit your needs. If NordVPN could enhance the consistency of those speeds and connections, the consumer experience would drastically improve.
Server Options (ex-Europe)
On the related note – the diversity of server options with NordVPN is really a serious disadvantage. They technically have server options all across the globe, but just about all are clustered in Europe.
If you’re ex-Europe or really are a frequent traveler, NordVPN is really a not really a powerful selection for you – regardless of what their other pros are.
Lastly, I must re-mention NordVPN’s customer care. They appear to take a position a great bit in support when compared with other providers. But –
They don’t have phone support.
They don’t make any service guarantees.
There is a good many legit sounding complaints about customer support.
So while their service looks much better than many others, I’d approach it with eyes open and centered on other benefits.
NordVPN is really a full-featured, privacy-centric Virtual private network service having a solid status.
The truth that it’s resides in Panama, a rustic with great online privacy laws and regulations, is its major highlight for all of us.
Add-on the truth that it’s every bit as good for securely being able to access public Wi-Fi because it is to get past Internet censors in restricted regions, and it is easy to understand why the services are very popular with privacy-focused customers in Europe.
If privacy & usability really are a focus for you personally, and you’re situated in or near Europe, go join NordVPN here.
See NordVPN’s plans here.
If you’re searching for user-friendly Virtual private network with bigger geographic achieve, take a look at ExpressVPN (review).
If you’re searching for any well-priced, user-friendly Virtual private network, take a look at PureVPN (review).
Should you want all the information to locate a fit for any specific need, then browse this well-considered spreadsheet.
NordVPN is really a privacy-focused Virtual private network providers located in Panama.
Compiled by: Nate Shivar
Date Printed: 05/11/2017
NordVPN has excellent features, usability and concentrate on security. They don't have top-notch speeds or server options ex-Europe though.
3.5 / 5 stars
The publish NordVPN Review: Pros & Cons of utilizing NordVPN made an appearance first on ShivarWeb.
Creating content for the website requires a lot of time, money & sources to complete well. However when it doesn’t generate visitors or sales – it’s an enormous waste.
There are plenty of explanations why a bit of content may not succeed, however, you can dramatically increase the chances of you success by prequalifying your articles idea.
Within the offline world, companies use focus groups or sampling to prequalify the marketplace. They will use resumes and canopy letters to prequalify candidates before investing in a job interview (or significantly less a hire). And also the incredible great thing about the web is you can prequalify your articles ideas too with the proper tools and a little bit of research.
Here’s using a variety of tactics from market and keyword research to mining platforms to exploring past successes to locate, inform & guide your articles marketing ideas.
*Note – if you are looking at finding trending topics for social-enhanced posts, also take a look at my Trending Topics guide here.
Keyword Research With A Twist
Market and keyword research is really a foundation of Search engine optimization. You align your website to focus on the keywords that individuals are trying to find to supply probably the most relevant information & get traffic from individuals searches. Many sites use keywords to map their current pages, but never really utilize it to produce additional or ongoing content ideas.
The important thing though would be to look beyond only the actual keyword and consider the issue & function of the keyword to be able to build content that solutions the issue inside a unique but relevant way. Content that’s built around keywords you realize people are trying to find prequalifies the concept. You realize the demand can there be – you just need to supply the content. Here’s the various tools I personally use to mine for content ideas.
Aside – you’ll observe that I deliberately overlooked Keyword Planner. It’s something that’s required for traditional market and keyword research, but could be misleading when employed for the researching content ideas. Take it in after you have identified solid ideas and wish to prioritize according to volume.
It is also known as “go to Google, type – and don’t hit enter.” While you start typing different target keywords, Google provides you with a summary of the most typical stems/variations.
It may be tiresome to by hand examine all of the stems, and so i’ll cover another tool which will pull all of the stems instantly. The easiest method to use Google Suggest directly in the search engines would be to add question terms & wildcards then apply directly in the search engine results for possibilities.
Question Terms: Bring your keyword and add different inquiries to it, for example types of who, what, when, where, why & how. Then see what turns up.
Wildcards: To discover generally looked words in the center of a keyword, use * or _ inside the phrase you’re keying in. Google will again return probably the most generally looked phrases for you personally.
Knowing search engine results: Whenever you get a promising phrase, go on and hit enter to operate looking. Rapidly look at the results. Could they be helpful & quality results? Place yourself in the footwear of somebody trying to find that keyword – would you need to visit a better result? If that’s the case, there’s your winning content idea.
KeywordTool.io (or their competitor Ubersuggest) is software that pull the various Google Suggest queries at the same time. It’s an important tool for market and keyword research, but it is also an excellent tool for locating content suggestions for Search engine optimization.
*Note – these power tools might or might not need to shut lower every day now following Google’s closing from the Autocomplete API. They’re working by December 2015 and also have claimed to possess found a workaround.
Begin by keying in not just your broad topical keyword, but additionally various keywords and key phrases and questions. It pulls exactly the same data that you’d receive from Google Suggest – just considerably faster because you don’t need to by hand type [keyword] A then [keyword] B then [keyword] C, etc to determine all of the different stems.
The important thing here though is to check out the keywords less as specific terms to focus on and much more at patterns for questions and angles behind the keyword. For instance, “plumbing job description”, “plumbing hourly rate” and “plumbing qualifications” might be addressed individually with short, FAQ type pages. However, in planning content ideas, I’d see individuals like a theme of keywords indicating people looking to have an authoritative help guide to plumbing like a career.
You are able to also take your phrase ideas and check them on the internet to determine the quality and type of leads to try to enhance what’s already succeeding.
Note 1 – KeywordTool.io also works together with YouTube Search and Application Store search.
Note 2 – Soovle is yet another similar tool that doesn’t scrape as deep, however it does make use of multiple search engines like google simultaneously. It appears at Yahoo!, Bing, Google, Amazon . com, YouTube, Wikipedia & Solutions.com automatically having the ability to increase the by hitting Engines.
Note 3 – Tools like Ahrefs and Moz have innovative compensated tools to locate keywords according to Google Suggest too. Take a look at my help guide to Ahrefs here.
Answer The General Public
Answer The General Public is really a tool that’s much like KeywordTool.io – it’s according to Google Autocomplete. However, it requires queries and converts these to questions and presents these questions visual format.
Make sure to select your correct location around the search page – the default is Uk. The outcomes visible on a visualization in line with the kind of question.
Rather of treating the questions as an FAQ chance, organize the questions by subject and make posts around that subject.
I’ve discussed Google Trends before here. It’s an incredible market and keyword research tool to gauge volume & trends of various terms with time. Additionally, it includes a bonus feature that’s very helpful for picking out content ideas – the increasing section.
Whenever you look for a high volume keyword in the search engines Trends, look towards the bottom box at both Top and Rising. The Increasing tab will explain related keywords which have quickly rising amount of searches. Even though they come from a minimal base, they are able to signal a brand new position of great interest to your keyword/subject.
Consider the keywords within the Rising section less to focus on that exact keyword as well as the question or position behind the keyword. Use that question or position to generate a content idea.
If you’re particularly centered on Trending Topics, I authored a complete help guide to Finding Trending Topics here.
Google Correlate is really a tool that belongs to Google Trends. It enables you to view what keywords share exactly the same amount of searches patterns. It really works particularly well with periodic products, but additionally with services and products having a lengthy sales cycle.
I authored an in-depth help guide to using Google Correlate here, but here’s a few my personal favorite uses of it for content research.
The very first way is to locate related keywords in the same audience. Simply connect keywords into Google Correlate and find out what keywords share exactly the same patterns. You will see lots of unrelated terms and you will see lots of apparent terms. However, you’ll also have keywords which are not directly related or complementary for your keyword strategy. Individuals would be the terms you’re searching to discover and make content around.
For instance, if a person is trying to find “christmas adornments” – they’re also trying to find “eggnog recipes.” It’s exactly the same audience and you’re attempting to stand before them throughout their organic searches.
The 2nd way is to locate related keywords earlier inside your customers’ shopping process – “higher within the funnel” in marketing jargon. Key in your keyword but set the Compare Weekly Time Series window several days back. The concept is you’ll discover what your audience is trying to find X days before they begin trying to find your products.
For instance, 4 days before anybody is trying to find “christmas adornments” in The United States they could be searching for tips about raking up leaves at the begining of November.
In either case, you’ll manage to find content ideas which get your brand before your audience when they’re or will want to consider your product or serviceOrsolutions.
Google Search Console
Before Google stopped supplying keyword data, your personal Analytics provided mountain tops of real content ideas out of your audience. You can see what keywords these were keying in that brought them to your website.
Should you saw a design or perhaps a particularly valuable keyword, then you may build content around it that spoke to that particular question/search. Individuals days have left. However, Google still provides aggregated keyword data in the search engines Search Console.
Many SEOs dismiss Search Console keyword data beyond control since the click information is notoriously inaccurate. What many forget may be the gold mine of information that continues to be should you disregard the click volume and merely consider the keywords as topics to optimize for & inquiries to answer.
In The Search Engines Search Console, visit Search Traffic then Search Analytics. Automatically, you’ll be searching at Top Queries. You are able to browse these for ideas, however these are queries already getting visitors or traffic to your website.
You’re searching for keywords which are getting visitors or traffic, but aren’t particularly highly relevant to the page they’re landing on. This data signifies that Google cannot look for a more relevant page which there’s gap in content on the web. You will find the chance to produce new content that is more relevant compared to page in which the visitors are presently landing.
I authored an in-depth help guide to Search Console here and an in-depth help guide to Search Console’s Search Analytics tool here.
Develop What’s Working
Sometimes market and keyword research can provide a narrow vision of content. Suppose you need to expand, but nonetheless prequalify your articles. Go and find out what kinds of content have previously succeeded or poorly. You’ll possess a benchmark to gauge potential results additionally to getting a beginning point to produce a new position or fresh perspective. Here’s my personal favorite tools to dig into what’s working and/or has labored.
Huge Website & Writer Successes
Publishers, whether or not they are general, niche or industry, can offer an enormous shortcut to locating content suggestions for Search engine optimization that’ll be effective. Publishers live and die using their capability to create interesting content that drives traffic. They likewise have a passionate staff to producing plenty of content.
You can observe what content has been doing well on their behalf and employ that data to create, pre-qualify and reverse-engineer your personal content ideas. Entire sites happen to be built about this model, there’s pointless your site can’t a minimum of gain knowledge from the successes.
All you need to do is create a list of publishers inside your niche or industry. Take individuals websites and plug them right into a backlink checker tool like Ahrefs. It’s something which will provide essential data free of charge and also the rest on compensated plans. I authored a whole help guide to Ahrefs here. Open Site Explorer, SEM Hurry and Buzzsumo (which will get its very own section next) will also be good alternatives.
You’re searching for content that really got links, shares & mentions. Consider the subject, headline, and actual content. Frequently the effectiveness of non-publishers takes a less-news oriented line. I enjoy see should there be topics given a news or short treatment that may be expanded into reference pieces with a little more research and investment.
BuzzSumo and Ahrefs are tools that enables you to view not just what content has been successful for particular domains but in addition for different topics. For BuzzSumo (that provides free features and compensated upgrades) and Ahrefs’ Content Explorer, you can observe and type precisely what content has been doing well on several social systems for various topics, keywords or websites. It also breaks lower the information by type (giveaway, infographic, etc).
Note – you may also use both tools to locate individuals to do manual outreach too additionally to pre-qualifying the information idea. Find out more within my help guide to Ahrefs here.
Outdated Content Finder
With time every content becomes stale & obsolete. And most likely if something did well a few years back and also the subject continues to be relevant, you’ll be able to create an up-to-date version and expect it to complete very well. Actually, explore have only pre-qualified content, but additionally pre-qualified places to advertise it to too.
Unfortunately locating the outdated content. That’s in which the Outdated Content Finder is available in.
Note – even though you curently have a content concept that you’re executing on, still it pays to evaluate any outdated happy to find pre-qualified places to advertise it to.
Mine Platforms for Ideas
Google isn’t the only real place people inquire. Actually, sometimes they use other platforms simply because they can’t find what they desire on the internet. There’s lots of large platforms to mine for ideas. What’s great relating to this approach is you not just get ideas & questions but there is also context. So that as an added bonus, you realize a platform along with a specific persona to focus on and call together with your content. Here’s a couple of of my top picks to mine.
FAQ Fox is really a tool which will rapidly scrape any platform for questions according to your target keyword. You simply key in a keyword, and enter the selection of platforms for example Reddit, Quora, Yahoo! Solutions, etc striking enter. If you’re unclear about what platform to select, you’ll be able to simply click a category.
Then you definitely’ll simply click with the threads to locate questions individuals are asking. Besides it “scale” research, mining all of the platforms let’s you discover common topical threads. The most popular threads indicate not just interest, but too little obvious, consistent solutions elsewhere on the internet.
I’ve written a whole publish on making use of Wikipedia for content marketing & Search engine optimization, because it truly is that big of the gold mine (designed for boring industries).
Additionally to mining Wikipedia for damaged & needed citations, I suggest utilizing it to locate related & complementary topics. As well as on every subject, you should check out traffic figures via Wikipedia article traffic statistics for that article to find out if that content idea could be worthwhile.
For instance, suppose you’re creating content for any plumber however, you don’t have possibilities for grabbing citations or damaged links (that exist via WikiGrabber). Here’s things i’d check:
1. Begin with the primary plumbing article on Wikipedia to check out terms and topics that may have questions around them – I’ll try water softening.
2. Look into the Water Softening page – it appears very fundamental with a few citations needed and incomplete information. Looks interesting. But will it generate traffic?
3. Place the article title into Wikipedia Traffic Statistics – 15,000 visits in November 2014. Yes – 15,000 appointments with a tough draft Wikipedia page about water softening.
Certainly something to analyze further based on goals and strategy. You won’t obtain the traffic that Wikipedia does, however it’s a method to a minimum of benchmark and prequalify topics.
*Edit 12-5-2014 There’s an incredible new tool known as Wikipedia Trends. It’s like Google Trends…but for Wikipedia. If several pages look interesting, plug them in and find out which pages are trending.
Take a look at http://world wide web.wikipediatrends.com/
Reddit is really a goldmine for content marketing & Search engine optimization ideas. Actually, I authored a whole publish about content marketing & Search engine optimization on Reddit here.
It’s (without any hyperbole) the leading Page from the Internet. Additionally, it has a large amount of small niche communities known as subreddits discussing everything imaginable and asking a variety of questions.
My two favorite tactics are utilizing Reddit look for questions & conversations and searching at top content on the niche subreddit.
The first is easy. Visit Reddit.com and look for a keyword. Then click Advanced Search and include question-type words (ie, how or why) or different kind of keywords and key phrases to determine what pops up.
You may also use Reddit lingo to sort results. For instance, LPT means “Life Pro Tip” so if you’re searching for convenient tips around your productsOrsupport then look for “lpt [keyword]“. Others, for example AMA means Ask Me Almost anything to find relevant interviews or ELI5 is Explain Like I’m Five to locate fundamental breakdowns of complex topics.
The second reason is to dig on Reddit to locate a specific, niche subreddit. You’ll usually come across it during your search – something similar to /r/plumbing. Now, within the top menu, click on the top after which sort the time frame.
You’ll see typically the most popular content for your audience for the reason that time frame. You won’t always wish to copy it, however, you can easily make use of the information to obtain informed of the pre-qualified content idea.
Yahoo! Solutions will get made fun of – a great deal in tech & marketing circles. You will find, it’s very bizarre at occasions – but people utilize it. And more importantly, they will use it to inquire about questions. Plus they usually inquire they cannot find the solution to with Google.
And So I view it being an incredible resource to locate content ideas – specifically for Search engine optimization. I don’t have a more elaborate process than finding your category and sifting it by dates. You may also search by keyword. Take notice of the questions & comments.
Quora is essentially a better and fewer weird Yahoo! Solutions. If you’re in software or technology, then this is when you have to be searching for content ideas.
Same process – search by keyword or subject and find out what’s being requested.
The good thing about Quora is the fact that again it enables you to view topics which have interest and therefore are usually broader and much more nuanced than what you could decipher searching at keywords.
Amazon . com.com
Amazon . com is ecommerce online. It sells more stuff than all of the top 12 combined. That’s insane – however it’s additionally a huge chance because which means many people are chilling out on a single website and asking them questions and speaking.
You are able to mine Amazon . com testimonials with Search by trying to find [keyword] site:amazon . com.com inurl:product-reviews or by sorting top products by hand within groups in Amazon . com.
You are able to dig through Amazon . com Questions & Solutions with Search by searching for [keyword] site:amazon . com.com intitle:”questions and solutions” inurl:forum or again by identifying top product and sifting by hand through Q&As.
And when your store or web site is in specific category, you ought to be clicking through and studying the reviews and questions. It’s content idea gold – especially since it is proportional towards the purchase.
I understand which i was looking for a lapel mic and earphones a few days ago. My lapel mic didn’t get from my phone or Macbook. I finished up learning about the TRSS specs via a random Amazon . com review after several frustrating Google searches because nobody had really covered the subject well.
Also, don’t forget that you are able to mine Amazon . com Search as pointed out above in “Keyword Research having a Twist”.
Twitter Advanced Search
Twitter might appear just like a deluge of immediate information. Monitoring it for trending topics could be helpful.
But are you aware that Twitter archives all its tweets and, like Google, you should use advanced searches to find out content ideas?
Buffer includes a full help guide to Twitter advanced search here – however the core concept is by using a number of Twitter’s advanced search operators together to find out content ideas you know works.
iTunes / Podcasts
I really like mining podcasts because normally the submissions are various and not correlated to existing online content. It’s a format that leads to lengthy, nuanced conversational topics.
This means that there’s lots of chance to discover what topics listeners like on popular podcasts – after which drill lower to typically the most popular episodes. You realize without a doubt that the target market has an interest. Your challenge is to turn the podcast subject into something interesting in your website.
Take a look at each popular episode. Take a look at its description, title as well as participate in it. Do you know the core components? What else could you do for the similar subject in your website content?
You will find loads of uses of YouTube for the website’s content & marketing, but there’s a few areas to consider (& mine).
Make use of the same “suggest” techniques as pointed out above. You may also use KeywordTool.io to automate a few of the process.
YouTube Video Descriptions
Have a couple of high visibility videos. You’ll find them via search or by sorting popular channels by “Most Popular” videos.
Scroll lower and check out the recording description.
Ahh – infamous YouTube comments. They’ve already a poor status – however if you simply find a top quality video funnel inside your industry, your comments ought to could be a gold mine.
Have a popular video from the popular (but top quality) funnel and appear with the comments for unanswered questions & keywords.
Note – CoreDNA also offers an excellent outline of those techniques.
Facebook Groups & Forums
Like Reddit & Quora – they are particularly interesting because the questions requested are often questions that Bing is not answering on their behalf.
The secret is to locate relevant & active groups / forums. When you join, sort by questions.
Pinterest is incredible for researching the market. Actually, I authored a whole publish on making use of Pinterest for Content & Search engine optimization.
There’s an excessive amount of to create here – apart from that you are able to (and really should) utilize it. Read my publish here.
Before you decide to make your next editorial calendar or brainstorm content ideas, use 1 or a few these tactics to steer & pre-qualify content suggestions for what’s going to possess the best shot at generating visitors.
If you’re into researching content strategy, additionally, you will like my in-depth help guide to Ahrefs and my help guide to finding trending topics.
The publish Using 11+ Free Tools To Locate Prequalified Content Suggestions for Search engine optimization made an appearance first on ShivarWeb.
Welcome to the POS integration Hunger Games! These last couple of days have incorporated the very best 11 add-ons for Revel POS, the very best 7 add-ons for Shopify POS, and the top five add-ons for Vend POS. What lucky POS systems’ add-ons will need to duke it for fame and fortune now? Breadcrumb POS.
Breadcrumb began this year to appease the burdens of restaurant/hospitality companies. Since that time, it’s frequently faced crumbling management situations (sorry, I couldn’t resist). The organization’sÂ founder left merely a year after its conception you purchased it , byÂ GrouponÂ in exactly the same year, then offered to Upserve in May of 2016. But with all of that internal turmoil, Breadcrumb POS has remained strong and comparatively lucrative through it allÂ – and thinking about that Upserve is a far greater parent company for aÂ POS system – they might emerge all of the more powerful. I am talking about, who doesn’t love a great underdog story?
If you’re wondering which Breadcrumb add-ons you ought to be integratingÂ into your company, here’s aÂ cheat sheet:
Restaurant Management:Â CTUIT RADAR
Founded in 2000, CTUITâs mission will be the means to fix center industryâs most formidable challenges. CTUIT RADAR seeks to handle your restaurant on numerous levels which means you donât need to bother about a factor. It’s largely effective within this goal â thus earning its rank as greatest rated restaurant management integration for Breadcrumb POS.
With RADAR, you can get business intelligence that can help you earn more money while doing less office work âÂ a perfect combo. From planning occasions to stopping fraud, this integration will it all. The manager log feature enables you to definitely administrateÂ daily restaurant activities from one dashboard the Around The Flyâ¢ feature brings immediate and current data for your fingertips using your mobile phone and also the enterprise report designer enables you to write custom reports which are intuitive for you personally.
Letâs discuss food â this can be a restaurant management integration, in the end. Recipe costing and food costing could be a hassle with no proper tools, but RADAR provides valuable understanding of how you can manage food costs. Additionally, it tracks inventory to eradicate errors and generates prep sheets to create your kitchen area more effective and lucrative.
If sales are the Achillesâ heel, RADAR may be the add-on for you personally. With features for example forecasting, benchmarking, and reporting, you are able to be aware of intricacies of methods your company is running and just what potential changes couldÂ make it run more proficiently and profitably.
Finally, RADAR can help you manage the employees. Labor scheduling, payroll validation and integration, special pay, etc. haven’t been simpler to consider proper care of using their automated and user-friendly platform.
The Takeaway: CTUITâs RADAR is essentially the Swiss Army knife of restaurant management integrations, offering features that anticipate the requirements of any restaurant.
If you have your company running just like a well-oiled machine and just need specific integration methods to make things go just a little smoother, the followingÂ sections are suitable for you:
Only the word âaccountingâ typically strikes fear in to the heart from the average individual. But that’s why the majority of us useÂ technology like QuickBooks and Xero – to create all of the terror disappear. Regrettably, Breadcrumb POS doesn’t integrate directly with QuickBooks or Xero. But donât panic! Breadcrumb does integrate with Shogo, which in turnÂ can integrate with QuickBooks or Xero.
Charge cards, cash, gift certificates, and checks are recognized and supported through Breadcrumb within the posting process. Posting of sales data varies based on regardless of whether you choose QuickBooks or Xero to deal with your accounting. QuickBooks enables you to publish sales data as sales receipts or journal records. Xero provides you with a choice of posting sales data as journal records or invoices. With Shogo, sales information is instantly published specific towards the location. Are discounts a huge part of the business? Shogo can publish discounts at the amount of discount type and you may either map discounts towards the same account in order to detailed makes up about in-depth analysis.
Fed up with by hand entering sales information and doing the entire accounting process by hands? Shogo automates the procedure for you personally by posting profits information every morning. No importing or conveying necessary. If âaccountingâ is really a frightening word, âtaxesâ is most likely available online for too â and donât even get me began on âmultiple sales taxesâ. However this add-on can publish multiple sales taxes as distinct line products like City versus Condition. Sales may also be published in the Breadcrumb Category level or in the product level, whichever you want.
The Takeaway: Shogo may be the bridge involving the Breadcrumb POS and also the foremost accounting services (QuickBooks and Xero).
Beverage Management:Â BinWise
If wines are a main issue with your restaurant business, then take a look at BinWise. Now i’m in no way a Sommelier â especially thinking about that I needed to Google exactly what a Sommelier was â but BinWise is made for Sommeliers by Sommeliers (or wine professionals, for that similarly uncultured).
Letâs face the facts. Counting is difficult and also the added pressure of requiring to obtain the correct amount of wine to visitors sure doesnât help. It can save you some time and your sanity with BinWise it counts precisely and consistently without the chance of human error. Wondering if a person has ended-flowing? Such operational issues are often caught, enabling you toÂ make the required changes. What’s more, you are able to optimize your prices by simply understanding what sells and just what doesnât. BinWise enables you to definitely understandÂ and adjust your wine program to help keep you inside your profit happy place.
You don’t have to be worried about taking a loss due to lost product with BinWiseâs tracking feature. Corked wines could be tracked along with a corked wine report can be delivered to your reps including essential information such as the exact product count, cost, and date purchased. And you may track all of your outstanding orders/products and buy history in the ease of your Breadcrumb POS system.
They actually have a wine database â yes, you heard me right. This veritable Wikipedia for wines are produced and maintained by Advanced and Master Sommeliers to supply detailed descriptions about specific wine products.
BinWiseÂ permits you to definitely process sales instantly out of your POS which means you never exhaust customer favorites. Wine lists are often formatted, updated, and priced the way you like. For those who have multiple locations, the Enterprise View dashboard provides you with use of precious data for example top selling products and purchasers variations across locations.
The Takeaway: BinWise may be the digital wine expert you won’t ever understood your restaurant needed.
Venga may be the greatest rated crm integration for Breadcrumb POS since it is the only CRM integration for Breadcrumb POS. Nonetheless, Venga has earned its stripes by facilitating customer engagement since 2010.
The important thing to the prosperity of any company is personalized service. Venga is aware of this well helping you âturn every guest right into a regularâ. With instantly generated profiles when you need it, one can market to the interests of the customersÂ and provide personalized service. Any guest notes and codes received in a single are seamlessly shared involving the locations for exceptional service at the customersâ convenience. Donât let special demands or Very important personel visitors catch you unawares â Venga transmits a pre-shift are accountable to your inbox so you’re regardless of what.
Building relationships with customers in this point in time requires interaction through technology. Let Venga perform the heavy-lifting for you personally with automated email promotions for visitors who havenât visited shortly, reporting on who returns after an e-mail campaign and just what they’re buying, and targeted marketing founded on groups for example visits, spending, purchases, or guest codes. You may also automate posting in the news feeds from the customerâs Facebook once they go to your store.
Pleading customers forÂ feedback can seemÂ too manipulative that’s where Venga is available in. You are able to visualize reviews of the restaurant on OpenTable, Yelp, TripAdvisor, etc. on this page or independently email specific visitors utilizing a branded email survey. You may also classify testimonials according to word choice as good or bad. Venga collects data from BreadcrumbÂ to see which servers and menu products are earning your clients the most joyful, and every one of this is often reflected within their custom reporting feature.
The Takeaway: Venga keeps customers returning for more with personalized features and e-mail marketing and keep you informed with feedback and reporting features.
Inventory Management:Â Orca Inventory
The prosperity of Orca Inventory is dependant on the experience within the restaurant business accrued by its founders.
Orca Inventory focuses on â you suspected it â inventory management and hasÂ perfected it towards the last detail. Miracle traffic bot providesÂ ways for counts to become verified instantly, a drag system for matching products to shelves, along with a mobile application for inventory counts on-site. Budgeting is easy too. Daily sales could be tracked throughÂ Breadcrumb which means you know what your location is financiallyÂ in real-time. Some factors Orca Inventory takes into account are current weather forecasting and historic and future occasions.
Orca Inventoryâs A Single Click Intelli-Vendor Ordering enables youÂ to order inventory with only just one click. You are able to track credit and returns, view reports on historic prices, and make receiving forms to inspire vendor accountability. Also, any recipes you alter is going to be updated in tangible-time. Building recipes and menus isÂ simple which add-on even notifys you aboutÂ costs so that you can be smart by what menu products you are offering.
Orca Inventory provides finish of month, usage, and price of products offered (COGS) reporting. Variance reporting can also be helpful for seeing how your small business is performing as well as for keeping the edge against your competitors.
The Takeaway: Orca Inventory is made for restaurateurs (by former-restaurateurs) to create inventory management as basic accurately.
I really hope this information has been helpful during your search for integrations which will benefit your company. For those who have any tips, questions, or information on Breadcrumb integrations, drop us a line. We’re here to assist!
The publish 5 Best Add-Ons for Breadcrumb POS made an appearance first on Merchant Maverick.
Unless youâre running a purely eCommerce business, youâre going to need a credit card terminal to accept credit cards. If your business is large enough, or if you operate out of multiple locations, you might need more than one. Credit card terminals come in many shapes and sizes, from simple wired terminals that arenât much bigger than a smartphone up to fancy POS terminals that can do much more than just process credit card transactions.
Procuring terminals for your business can be an expensive proposition for a first-time small business owner. Because of this, many traditional merchant account providers have used leasing arrangements to supply their merchants with the hardware they need. If you get anything out of this article, above all remember this: Donât do it! While that low monthly leasing fee might seem like a bargain compared to the cost of buying a terminal, itâs anything but.
How Leasing Works
Almost all terminal leasing contracts contain the same two provisions: (1) a 48-month (four-year) term, and (2) a clause that makes the lease completely non-cancelable. The standard four-year term deliberately takes advantage of the fact that most merchant accounts start with a three-year term, and automatically renew for one-year periods after that. In other words, even if you successfully close your merchant account after the three-year period is up, youâre still on the hook for your terminal lease for another year. Youâll be paying for equipment that you donât actually own and wonât even be able to use at that point.
The non-cancelable provision in leasing contracts is far and away the most onerous thing about them. Once the leasing company has your bank account information, theyâll keep deducting monthly leasing fees from your account until the contract expires, regardless of the state of your business. Even if youâve closed your business and shipped the terminals back, theyâll keep charging you under the terms of your lease. Deliberately breaking your lease before it expires puts you on the hook for an immediate payment of all remaining months of your contract.
Those monthly lease payments can seem tempting, especially if youâre trying to start a new business on a shoestring budget. What the sales representatives pushing these leases donât tell you, however, is that in addition to a monthly leasing fee, youâll also pay sales tax and a monthly equipment insurance fee. Hereâs a hypothetical example: Letâs say you can lease a terminal for âonlyâ $30.00 per month. Add in $5.00 per month for insurance and 8% sales tax, and youâre actually paying $37.80 per month. Multiply that by 48 months, and the true cost of the contract comes out to $1,814.40. Yikes! Considering that a terminal that leases for that amount can usually be purchased outright for under $300, itâs clear that youâre being ripped off.
Myths About Terminal Leases
If terminal leases are such an obvious rip-off, why do merchants sign up for them? There are several reasons for this. For one thing, the leasing companies have a number of arguments in favor of leasing that can be very persuasive if you donât do your homework. Hereâs what theyâll tell you:
Your upfront costs will be lower. Yes, that first monthâs payment will be lower than buying a terminal outright. If you need multiple terminals, youâll save even more â for a few weeks. After that, the costs just keep adding up until theyâve exceeded the cost of buying a terminal by several hundred percent.
Your leased terminal will be compatible with your merchant account. Again, this is true on its face. What they arenât telling you is that you can buy your own terminal and have it re-programmed by your merchant account provider to work with their system. While some providers will charge you a re-programming fee, many of the better providers will re-program your existing equipment for free. Even if you have to pay a re-programming fee, youâll still save hundreds, if not thousands of dollars over leasing.
Your leased terminal is insured in case it gets damaged or stops working. Itâs true that if you buy your terminal outright, youâll have to find either a way to insure it or go without the insurance. If you buy your terminal directly from your merchant account provider, they might be able to cover this. If you buy your terminal online through a third party, it wonât come with any insurance protection. Hereâs the thing, though: credit card terminals arenât nearly as delicate as many of the other electronic gadgets we rely on every day. Theyâre rugged, and absent deliberate abuse theyâll last for years â possibly even decades â without needing repairs. Obsolescence is a bigger threat to your terminals than physical damage. Given the horrible reputation that terminal leasing companies have for customer service and support, I wouldnât expect much help if you actually had to make a claim. Overall, terminal insurance is both expensive and unnecessary.
Leasing costs are tax-deductible. Like any legitimate business expense, you can deduct the cost of your terminal lease on your taxes. Of course, you can also deduct the cost of buying your terminals outright just as easily. Donât let a sales representative convince you that paying 6-10 times the retail price for a terminal is a good deal because you can write it off on your taxes. Youâll still come out way ahead overall by buying your own terminals.
What Happens at the End of Your Lease?
Hereâs the worst part about leasing: At the end of your lease, you still wonât own your terminals. They remain the property of the leasing company. Your options at this point vary depending on which leasing company youâre working with. Here are the more common possibilities.
You can terminate your lease and return your terminals. Youâll be out from under your lease, but now you wonât have any way to process credit card transactions.
You can buy the terminals from the leasing company. Some companies will let you buy your terminals at the end of your lease, but theyâll usually charge you much more than theyâre really They wonât give you any credit for all those lease payments, either.
You can continue leasing your equipment. Leasing companies will usually allow you to continue leasing your terminals after your initial four-year lease expires. While some companies will allow you to continue leasing on a month-to-month basis, others will put you on another four-year contract. In either case, itâs just not worth it.
How Do They Get Away with This?
If youâve gotten this far, youâre probably asking yourself why anyone would agree to a terminal lease. Unfortunately, it usually comes down to merchants falling for misleading, high-pressure sales tactics from the representatives pushing the lease. Unethical sales agents will tell you that itâs more economical to lease than to buy. They might also tell you that your merchant account provider only offers leases and that if you buy your own equipment, it wonât be compatible. None of this is true.
Credit card terminals used to be a lot more expensive than they are today. Back then, it might have made at least some economic sense to lease a terminal. Today, thanks to increased competition and advances in technology, you can buy a modern, EMV-compliant, NFC-capable credit card terminal for as little as $120. Youâll still need to have the software load installed to make it compatible with your merchant account, but some of the better merchant account providers will do this for free. Even if you have to pay a re-programming fee, itâs still far less expensive than leasing a terminal.
Some of the more unethical sales agents will deliberately obscure the fact that your merchant account provider and your terminal leasing company are two different entities. This mostly comes down to the fact that they donât want you to see your leasing contract before you sign it. As weâll see later, thereâs evidence that some of the most unethical leasing companies have gone so far as to deliberately forge merchantâs signatures on their leasing contracts. The best way for you as a merchant to avoid this kind of blatantly illegal conduct is to avoid terminal leases completely.
While there really arenât any ethical, honest terminal leasing companies that we can recommend to you, we have assembled a rogueâs gallery of the worst companies that you should stay away from. Youâre quite likely to run into one or more of these companies in your search for a merchant account, so itâs important that you understand how they operate and how to protect yourself. Here are the companies that you never want to do business with:
First Data Global Leasing (FDGL)
First Data Global Leasing is a subsidiary of mammoth First Data, which is probably the largest merchant account provider in the United States. Although weâve reviewed First Data favorably, we canât say the same thing about First Data Global Leasing. With expensive, non-cancelable leases ranging from 24 to 48 months in length, FDGL has generated a huge number of complaints from merchants for its business practices.
FDGL primarily leases proprietary First Data-branded credit card terminals and POS systems, including the very popular Clover Station POS. While First Dataâs hardware offerings are all solid products, itâs much more affordable in the long run to buy them rather than leasing them. The Clover Station POS, for example, can be bought for around $1,000.00. While this is a big investment for a small startup business, itâs a lot less than what youâd pay overall for a four-year lease. Youâll also own your equipment outright from the beginning, rather than having to either send it back to FDGL or pay a second time to buy it after your lease expires.
FDGLâs website is remarkably basic, and doesnât provide much information about either the terms of their leases or the leasing fees associated with their products. They do, however, include a brief FAQ that should be enough to convince you that leasing through them is a terrible deal. Hey, at least theyâre honest.
You should also check out First Dataâs Merchant Services Terms and Conditions, which includes a copy of the leasing contract. Itâs on pages 31-32, and Iâve highlighted some of the most egregious provisions. Because FDGL is part of First Data, you wonât have two separate contracts for your merchant account and your equipment lease. At the same time, itâs easy for merchants to skip reviewing this section when they sign their contract since itâs buried in the middle of 48 pages of fine print.
FDGL doesnât have a separate profile with the BBB, so youâll have to look under the main First Data profile. Here, youâll find that First Data has an A+ rating â despite being unaccredited by the BBB and having over 1,000 complaints on file. Looking through those complaints, itâs apparent that a significant number of them involve issues with FDGLâs leasing terms. Unfortunately, responses from First Data make it very clear that they will strictly enforce the terms of the lease in almost all cases.
Ripoff Report has an additional 72 complaints filed against FDGL, including several merchants alleging that FDGLâs sales agents forged their signatures on leasing contract documents. At ConsumerAffairs.com, youâll find another 56 1-star reviews from merchants who have been abused by this company. Thereâs even a Facebook group called First Data Global Leasing Victims, where merchants have posted complaints about FDGL and its leasing contracts.
When shopping around for a merchant account, you need to be aware that First Data has a very extensive network of resellers, some of whom use FDGL to lease their equipment. Merchant account providers such as Elite Pay Global, TransFirst, and many, many others use First Data as their backend processor and offer First Data terminals and Clover POS systems. If youâd like to use First Dataâs equipment or take advantage of the services such a large processor can provide, take a look at Dharma Merchant Services. One of our favorite providers, Dharma utilizes First Data (and other processors) but doesnât partner with FDGL. In fact, they donât lease terminals at all. Theyâll either sell you a terminal at a fair price or re-program your own equipment for a reasonable fee.
Northern Leasing Systems, Inc.
If you think FDGL is a terrible company, I have bad news: there are even worse leasing companies out there that you need to avoid at all costs. Based in New York City, New York, Northern Leasing Systems, Inc. has been in business since 1991. In that time, the company has managed to build such a terrible reputation with merchants that itâs resorted to doing business under numerous DBAs and through various subsidiaries, including Golden Eagle Leasing LLC, Lease Finance Group LLC, MBF Leasing LLC, Lease Source-LSI, LLC, and others.
Like most terminal leasing companies, Northern Leasing uses a standard contract that runs for four years and is utterly non-cancelable. If youâd like, you can review their Lease Agreement right here. Itâs pretty clear from even a brief overview that the contract canât be canceled and you canât break it early without having to pay off the remaining months of the contract. So why do merchants ever agree to this? The truth is they often donât know what theyâre getting themselves into when they sign up for a merchant account. Northern Leasing usually doesnât sell or market their terminal leases directly. Instead, they partner with many different merchant account providers, who package their âservicesâ as part of setting up a new merchant account. Merchants often donât understand that their lease is through a separate company and not their merchant account provider. Northern Leasingâs contract is buried inside the fine print of a merchantâs contract with their merchant account provider, and many merchants donât read everything in their contracts before signing them. Also, sales representatives â particularly independent agents â often do a poor job of explaining the terms of the equipment lease when trying to sell a merchant account.
Northern Leasing is not accredited by the BBB and currently has an F rating. There have been an unbelievable 631 complaints filed against the company within the last three years, with 260 complaints being filed within the last twelve months. Even more complaints can be found on the BBB profiles of several of Northern Leasingâs subsidiaries.
On the companyâs BBB page, youâll also find details about a lawsuit filed against Northern Leasing and several of its subsidiaries in April 2016 by the New York Attorney General. The company is accused of fraudulently forging merchantâs signatures on contracts and illegally obtaining default judgments against merchants who have stopped making payments on their leases. The lawsuit seeks compensation for merchants who have been harmed by Northern Leasingâs predatory and illegal practices, and the complete dissolution of the company. If youâve been victimized by Northern Leasing or one of their subsidiaries, by all means go to the Attorney Generalâs press release about the lawsuit. It contains websites and phone numbers where you can find out more about the suit and get your claim added to it.
Northern Leasing also has 282 complaints on Ripoff Reports, with the same allegations being raised. You can also find many other complaints on the web. In fact, a search for âNorthern Leasingâ mostly leads to consumer protection websites where merchants have complained about the companyâs business practices.
Unfortunately, many merchant account providers continue to use Northern Leasing to provide leased terminals to their merchants. These providers include Central Payments (CPAY), Elite Pay Global, TransFirst, Velocity Merchant Services, and many others. While many of these providers are solid, reputable companies themselves, youâll definitely want to avoid leasing your equipment from Northern Leasing.
Lease Finance Group (LFG)
Based in Chicago, Illinois, Lease Finance Group (LFG) has been happily ripping off unsuspecting merchants since 1992. The company is actually a subsidiary of Northern Leasing Systems, Inc., and pretty much everything weâve said about Northern Leasing applies to LFG as well.
LFG claims on their website to be the â#1 Point of Sale (POS) equipment lessor in the country.â Whether itâs actually true or not, this is a dubious distinction at best. LFG utilizes the same absurd non-cancelable four-year leases to charge merchants as much as ten times the actual retail value of their terminals over the life of the lease. Itâs clear from LFGâs primitive, bare-bones website that theyâre not directly marketing their âservicesâ to merchants. Instead, theyâre looking to partner with merchant account providers so they can sneak their awful lease contracts into the overall contract between the merchant account provider and the merchant. This way, merchants often overlook the onerous terms of the lease contract, and in many cases donât even know that they have a separate contract with LFG at all.
This sort of unethical behavior is compounded by independent sales agents, who often fail to disclose any of the terms of the lease when signing merchants up for an account. Even the most inexperienced merchant would refuse to agree to one of these leasing contracts if they knew and understood what the terms of the lease entailed.
Lease Finance Group is not accredited by the BBB and currently has an F rating. The company currently has 379 complaints, almost all of which involve the absurd terms of their leases and the companyâs tendency to continue charging merchants after their leases have expired. There is also an alert for the lawsuit brought in April 2016 by the New York Attorney General against LFG, Northern Leasing, and several of their other DBAs. While this action is still making its way through the courts, itâs encouraging to see that state governments are finally cracking down on this kind of unethical and illegal behavior.
Like its parent company, the internet is littered with complaints against LFG, including 598 complaints on Ripoff Report alone. Unfortunately, LFG is still being used by TransFirst and many other merchant account providers to supply leased equipment to their customers. If youâre looking into a merchant account provider, be sure to read our reviews and any other reviews you can find online. Merchant account providers rarely disclose the identity of their leasing partners on their company websites, and you certainly canât count on a sales agent to give you an honest answer about this, either.
LADCO Global Leasing Solutions
LADCO Global Leasing Solutions is a subsidiary of Elavon, one of the largest merchant account providers in the United States. The company is located in Knoxville, Tennessee (with a second office in Thousand Oaks, California) and appears to have been in business since 1979. While Elavon provides a decent line of products and services for merchants, the same cannot be said about LADCO. Like all our other worst-rated leasing companies, the company relies on noncancelable, four-year leases to extract far more money from their merchants than what their equipment is worth.
Elavon goes out of its way to avoid disclosing its relationship with LADCO, and for a good reason. The leasing company has a terrible reputation among merchants for high prices and unfair leasing contracts. LADCOâs reputation is so bad that it no longer maintains its own company website. The companyâs former site, www.ladco.com, now re-directs to Elavonâs website. So much for keeping the relationship between the two entities a secretâ¦
While LADCO and other leasing companies go to great lengths to keep merchants from fully reading their contracts, weâve found copies of them on the internet. Even a brief look at LADCOâs Equipment Finance Lease Terms reveals how one-sided these contracts are. The first thing youâll (hopefully) notice is that the word noncancelable is right in the title of the agreement. Merchants often donât understand just how strictly this term is enforced. What this means is that you are liable for the full cost of all 48 monthly payments (and possibly more) from the moment you sign your merchant account provider contract. LADCO will not let you out of your contract under any circumstances. Did you sell your business? Too bad. Did your business fail and you are shutting down altogether? Again, too bad. Iâve even seen complaints where the business owner has died, and the executor is frantically trying to get the lease canceled and the equipment returned â to no avail.
You should also note that LADCO, like most other leasing companies, provides their equipment on an âas isâ basis, with no warranties or guarantees whatsoever. In other words, if your equipment doesnât work, itâs up to you to contact the manufacturer and get it fixed â which you have to pay for. The fact that your monthly lease payments also include charges for âinsuranceâ that wonât do you any good just makes it that much worse.
LADCO does not have a separate profile with the BBB, but you can find plenty of complaints against them under Elavonâs profile for their Knoxville location. While the profile shows 182 complaints over the last three years, some of them refer to problems with leased equipment and many others refer to other aspects of Elavonâs merchant account services. There are also 132 reports on Ripoff Report alleging similar problems with LADCO.
Like Northern Leasing and its numerous subsidiaries, LADCO has frequently found itself in legal trouble over its business practices. In April 2012, the Ventura County District Attorneyâs office settled a case against LADCOâs Thousand Oaks office after uncovering evidence that sales agents were misrepresenting just about everything in their leases, including the length of the lease, the fact that it couldnât be canceled, and the true cost of the lease. LADCO was also apparently leasing used equipment and misrepresenting it as being new, among other practices. There was also evidence that sales agents were forging merchantâs signatures on their leases. To settle the lawsuit, LADCO agreed to pay over $418,000 in fines and restitution, and to be bound by a permanent injunction prohibiting similar violations of the law. Unfortunately, this settlement only seems to have brought relief to merchants located in Ventura County.
The Elavon BBB profile also discloses a similar legal action by the Tennessee Attorney General in 2015. Under the terms of this settlement, LADCO is providing refunds to affected merchants. Again, this settlement seems only to apply to merchants in Tennessee. Despite these legal settlements, the complaints keep coming in from angry merchants, and itâs clear that LADCO hasnât reformed its business practices in any significant way in response to these legal setbacks.
Needless to say, if youâre considering signing up with Elavon for a merchant account, youâll want to avoid being stuck with a terminal lease through LADCO. Be aware that many of Elavonâs re-sellers, including Costco Merchant Services, also use the company to furnish leased equipment. Helcim, one of our favorite providers, uses Elavon as a processor but sells terminals directly rather than offering leases through LADCO.
Exceptions to the Rule
While in almost all cases we recommend that you buy your terminals or POS systems outright, there are two notable exceptions to this general rule. One exception is if youâre working with CDGcommerce, one of our favorite providers. If you need a credit card terminal, CDG will provide one at no upfront cost to you. The only thing youâll have to pay is an annual $79.00 fee for insurance and equipment upgrades. This works out to $6.58 per month â a fraction of what the leasing companies will charge you. Unlike the terminal leasing companies, your contract with CDG is month-to-month, so youâre free to close your account and return your terminal without having to pay anything extra.
The other exception applies only to Canadian merchants. In Canada, EMV-compliant terminals are not designed to be re-sold, so youâll have to rent them instead of buying your own. Helcim, our favorite Canadian merchant account provider (and one of the best choices for US-based merchants as well), will rent you a terminal for a reasonable fee. Helcimâs contracts are also month-to-month, so you can return the terminal at any time with no penalty.
Itâs not hard to see how the leasing companies make their money. With credit card terminals being more affordable than ever, itâs easy for a company to buy a huge number of terminals at wholesale prices and then lease them out to unsuspecting merchants. The initial cost of buying the terminals is recouped within the first few months of the lease, and from there itâs pure profit. By providing the equipment on an âas isâ basis, the company avoids the additional cost of servicing terminals once theyâve been leased. In fact, itâs apparent that none of these companies have an actual customer service department to speak of. The incredibly one-sided nature of the leasing contracts makes them a literal âlicense to steal.â
How can you protect yourself? First and foremost â buy your own equipment. If you donât have the money to pay for your terminals, put it on your business credit card or consider a merchant cash advance. Even with the additional interest, youâll save a lot of money over getting stuck in a lease. Donât ever let a sales agent tell you that you have to use their leased terminals. As long as you use a terminal that your provider supports, you can have it re-programmed to work with their service. While some providers will re-program your equipment for free, others will charge a fee for this. Re-programming fees can run as high as $150, but theyâre usually much less. In any event, youâll still save money over leasing.
Also, beware of âfreeâ terminal offers. While some of these offers are legitimate, many are not. Yes, there are a few providers out there that will let you use a terminal for free as long as you maintain your merchant account with them. Other providers will include the fee for the terminal in your monthly account fee, so the terminal isnât really free. In the worst cases, a sales agent will deliberately lie to you and tell you youâre getting a free terminal, when theyâve actually signed you up for one of these leases without your knowledge or consent. Donât accept a âfreeâ terminal offer without checking it out first.
The unscrupulous business practices of the leasing companies weâve profiled here represent sociopathic capitalism at its worst. While many of the more reputable merchant account providers have abandoned terminal leases altogether in favor of selling the terminals directly (or allowing you to bring your existing equipment), there are still plenty of other providers who are still pushing terminal leases. Itâs reassuring that a few state and local government agencies are finally beginning to crack down on these shady companies, but their actions so far donât seem to have put much of a dent in their business activities. Until a more comprehensive legal remedy becomes available that puts these companies out of business, the best way to protect yourself is simply to avoid doing business with them completely. If youâve had any experience with any of the companies weâve profiled in this article, please feel free to tell us about it in the comment section below.
The post The Worst Credit Card Terminal Leasing Companies appeared first on Merchant Maverick.
Like I pointed out in How You Can Choose Which Keywords To Make Use Of: Market And Keyword Research for novices – a vital a part of market and keyword research is knowing keyword difficulty.
If you’re developing a page to create organic traffic – there’s no reason in eliminating a losing fight by targeting keywords you have absolutely no way in ranking for.
You probably know this, everybody has limited sources. You need to spend your limited sources creating content/pages that may “win” (also known as “prequalified”).
Actually, the most typical beginner Search engine optimization mistake I see isn’t selecting which keywords to focus on – that’s usually fairly straightforward. Rather, it’s selecting which keywords / content topics to avoid.
Many SEOs over-simplify knowing keyword difficulty to –
How difficult will it be to position with this keyword?
How strong would be the pages that already rank around the first page of Google?
Individuals questions are redundant and never useful.
Rather, let’s break lower a few of the how to go about keyword difficulty, to be able to depend less on guess-work and automatic tools – and much more on professional judgement & process.
It’s professional judgement & good procedure that will place you in front of the competition instead of simply copying tactics that anybody may use.
*Note – all images within this publish ought to be clickable to be able to begin to see the full-size image.
Concepts To Bear In Mind
First – You’re going for any theme of keywords – but every theme includes a focus. Your target/focus keyword can help you shape your articles is the content that Google “wants” to position.
Imagine you’re casting a huge fishing internet. Your internet covers a sizable area – but to obtain the right area, you need something to strive for. A good thing to strive for will help you to more proficiently cover a bigger area.
Second – An emphasis keyword doesn’t eliminate “targeting” other keywords with similar page. Don’t get stuck on ranking for just one specific keyword.
Third – Regardless of how much research you’ve done, you don’t know until your page is live. This time is the reason why the procedure for knowing keyword difficulty is essential. When you are with the process (without getting stuck on ensuring you’re “correct” or otherwise), you’ll get what you ought to aim well, and go live.
You’ll be able to always revise with real data out of your website.
Inquiries To Consider
When you’re researching some keywords to focus on, here’s the “mini-process” I tell you with every someone to judge keyword difficulty.
Not one question will dictate a choice. It’s more essential to undergo each one of these since each answer won’t help in making judgement in your potential keyword – it will help you find out more about your general website subject / audience.
Exactly What Do third party Metrics Say?
There are many excellent third party tools to assist judge keyword difficulty. Most these (appropriately) put many of their weight around the quality & volume of exterior links pointing to both ranking page and also the domain from the page.
I presently use Ahrefs (my help guide to Ahrefs is here now) – and can rely on them within my examples, though Moz, SEMRush and BuzzSumo provide similar data. All of them crunch lots of data around strength of exterior links, kind of link, anchor-text along with other factors to generate a keyword difficulty score.
You should use the keyword difficulty score to assist sort & narrow lower a huge listing of keywords. However, once keywords are inside a ~30 point range, you need to move lower to more specific analysis.
That stated, you don’t need to crunch all of the data they crunch. Rather, you can try two specific metrics (the precise names will be different with vendor, however these are Ahrefs’ terms).
URL Rating (UR) is really a score from the links pointing for an exact URL. The greater quality links that the page has – the much more likely it’s to position well. For just about any specific keyword, the greater the UR score of SERPs, the greater competitive individuals SERPs are.
Domain Rating (DR) is really a score from the links pointing to some domain. The greater quality links that the domain has – the much more likely its pages will be to show up. Consider it such as the “big brand bonus.” If your page endures a very-rated domain (think Wikipedia, etc), it’s prone to rank even when it’s not really a perfect fit.
Unlike URL Rating though, Domain Rating isn’t a direct signal of competitiveness. When there’s very little competition for any keyword, you may see Google ranking only slightly relevant pages from the well-known domain because it can’t find anything better.
That stated, it’s vital that you see who exactly you’ll be in competition with.
For UR/DR, Ahrefs and Moz offer SERP Overlay apps for the Chrome browser to be able to pull these stats quickly.
Should you don’t have these power tools, you may still keep these metrics in your mind and guess-timate recent results for Domain Rating as you can see increasingly more results.
What’s The SERP Type?
Google has stopped showing it’s 󈫺 blue links” for a long time now. Google is a lot more sophisticated about showing various kinds of search engine results in line with the search query.
You’ve likely seen features in your searches. Whether or not this’s a “local pack” result, a understanding box, a solution box or perhaps a music video – Google has different SERP type according to your research.
You may still find organic links in each and every result, but you need to be conscious of the way your website will be provided should you choose rank.
Does your target/focus keyword trigger a complete group of ads? How about a solution box?
Will it trigger news results? What about local results?
Should you didn’t rank within the organic results – would you rank in another place (like Images, Video or Answer box?)
Exactly what do the additional features let you know about the query? Exist synonymous terms? It’s branded in some manner?
I’m able to’t count the amount of occasions I’ve found a higher-volume keyword that switched out to become a music video or book title. You would like your page to suit the best SERP type.
What’s The Searcher’s Intent?
Keywords are typical denominator between humans along with a search formula. Every search totally a proxy for any much deeper, more complicated question.
Even should there be 1000 searches monthly for any specific keyword, every one of individuals searches is exclusive. As well as individuals searches has story behind it.
Bing is attempting to serve results that answer the issue behind the keyword.
Knowing keyword difficulty is partially a meta-exercise to understand the issue behind the keyword. You need to perform a couple of things.
1. Determine the intent according to keyword modifiers, Google Instant and SERPs.
2. Evaluate which Google thinks the searcher’s intent is.
hint – on occasions when a keyword is simply too broad, Google can have an arbitrary assortment according to different intents as you can tell for “gardening”
3. Determine if the present results are the most useful possible results depending on how you realize searcher’s intent.
4. Determine if your position could possibly be the most effective position in line with the current competition.
What’s The Preferred Result Type?
For many keywords, Google recognizes that a particular kind of website meets user’s needs greater than every other.
Whenever you take a look at search engine results, locate a pattern of website types.
For instance, if nine out of ten answers are college websites – and you’re not really a college – the keyword isn’t a fit (regardless of how good your articles is).
There’s also some keywords where Google doesn’t worry about the web site type, but instead the information type.
For instance, if nine out of ten answers are educational content (not commercial) you will want to focus on that term by having an educational page, not really a product page.
Same applies to videos, reviews, which help pages. Classify the website and content type to find out if that which you presently have can compete or if you want to target it with another thing.
What’s The Subject Type?
Google is becoming a lot more sophisticated about understanding broad topics and just how individual keywords can fit inside a subject.
Which means that sometimes pages which are highly relevant for any broad subject can have in looks for a particular keyword.
For instance, looking “how much does it cost to insure a vehicle” generates recent results for pages entitled “How Much Does Vehicle Insurance Cost?” *but* the #1 outcome is simply entitled “Car Insurance Calculator”.
That may not appear like an issue, but when compared with old-fashioned Search engine optimization – it’s huge. It shows Google searching in the query like a subject – and serving an effect that matches the subject.
If you notice clues such as this – this means you have both more competition and much more versatility to produce fantastic content that fits an extensive selection of needs. You are able to concentrate on a far more achievable keyword, knowing that you could “build up” to some competitive, topical keyword.
For instance, rather of ruling out “car insurance” like a keyword, you can target “how to obtain cheap vehicle quotes for youthful drivers” – understanding that the keyword is less competitive, but nonetheless relevant for broader keywords like “cheap vehicle insurance” – or perhaps “car insurance quotes”.
What’s Your Individual Judgement?
Google really wants to serve results that meet user’s needs. They need to have good search engine results.
Among the best methods to judge keyword difficulty is to check out looking results like a disinterested user and get:
Exist results that you’d not wish to click or are seriously missing?
Exactly what does page 2 seem like? Is there great results?
I additionally refer to this as the “Yahoo! Solutions” test.
If your SERP has Yahoo! Solutions within the top, then this means that Bing is getting trouble finding great results to exhibit. Which means there’s opportunity for you personally.
Quora, pay-walled content, old forums, old amateur sites, PDFs, and DOCs will also be all tell-tale indications of chance.
Have You Got Relevant Data & Historic Performance?
Your site information is the only real factor that you could for sure take a look at in Search engine optimization. Anything else has an excessive amount of nuance or a lot of variables to check out for sure.
Even if you’re creating content or completely redoing your site, you need to draw training out of your existing data.
What pages do well? Which kind of keywords could they be succeeding with?
What’s an similar group of keywords which you may succeed with?
For instance, if you are a ecommerce company doing Search engine optimization, you may see that you simply do very well with product-name terms, but poorly on category-level terms.
Which should tell you just how category-level terms may be too competitive or too broad for the website.
When you’re knowing category-level terms, you need to bias towards less competitive versions of the target keyword.
If you can get a third party tool like Ahrefs, you are able to pull similar (though believed) data for close competitors.
When you’ve went through process, you’ve enough data to consider. It’s not really an elaborate one either – you can either concentrate on the keyword or else you don’t.
Aside – This method takes practice, and really should accelerate with time. An expert Search engine optimization could by hand run this method every ten seconds for five to six keywords each minute. A novice usually takes a couple of minutes per keyword.
But in either case, remember not not to become stuck on one keyword. Move and searching. Don’t over-complicate it. You’ll look for a fit after a little bit of practice.
Concentrate On The Keyword
Which means you’ve made the decision that the keyword is fairly simple. You believe you are able to rank well for it – also it’d be worth the money.
Now bring your observations to create a tighter theme. Make use of your research to determine *exactly* what your website need to look like and just how it ought to squeeze into your keyword map. Take a look at topical terms, modifiers along with other terms.
Proceed up with all of your market and keyword research.
Target Another Keyword
Which means you’ve made the decision that the keyword looks too hard. You don’t think you are able to rank well for it which wouldn’t be worth the money.
Now bring your observations and proceed to a far more effective plan of action.
If you haveOrwant this bit of content –
Niche lower – Are you able to help make your keyword/idea more specific? Are you able to trade potential volume at a lower price competition?
Create a lateral jump – Can there be such like but different that you could target?
Get rid of the keyword/idea – Is that this keyword necessary to your articles strategy or are you able to proceed to some thing useful?
Improve your position/strategy – What is the different position or modifier that you could target? What could you accomplish that will make you competitive? Have you got confidence inside your promotion / link-building technique to move this site in difficult SERPs?
Growing organic traffic and “doing Search engine optimization” means going after possibilities that you could win.
In your market and keyword research process, make sure to make use of a small-tactic to judge keyword difficulty and concentrate on keywords that you could win.
Should you loved this – you’ll most likely like my curated e-newsletter, my ecommerce marketing strategy and/or my local company marketing strategy.
The publish How You Can Judge Keyword Difficulty (also known as “Can I Rank well for [Keyword]?”) made an appearance first on ShivarWeb.
The other day, I required yourself on an excursion of a few of the add-ons which make Squarespace the formidable website building platform it’s. Squarespace might not have a genuine application market like Wix and Weebly, however it does contain numerous key integrations that will help you achieve out to your website visitors.
Let’s delve much deeper into the field of Squarespace’s third-party integrations.
1. Google Maps
Squarespace’s Map Block connects you with Google Maps to provide you with a good way to show your company’s location. It’s not really a feature unique to Squarespace, however it’s well-implemented here.
Entering your address in to the space provided during setup will set a pin into the spotlight showing where you are. You are able to re-size the map any way you like by dragging the underside handle in which you will. Not thrilled with the feel of your map? You are able to adjust the look the way you like using the design options. For example, you may make the map display the satellite view if you want. You may also choose if you should result in the map controls available so people and zoom out and in for their heart’s content. (Pro tip: result in the map controls available! Having the ability to zoom out helpsÂ people by providing them reference points a more in-depth-in map might miss.)
2. Apple News
Do you want to visit your blogs achieve as wide a crowd as you possibly can? With Squarespace’s Apple News integration, you are able to mix-publish your site inside the Apple News application (an application included in all current iPhones and iPads in america, United kingdom, and Australia) and obtain your articles printed alongside those of major news organizations an internet-based magazines.
You’ll need to submit your site to Apple for approval to get involved with this program, therefore it’s not at all something you can easily do on impulse. However if you simply’re recognized, your site can get the type of exposure you’d need to work very difficult (and also over a lengthy time period) to obtain otherwise. There are several other steps you’ll have to take before effectively adding your Squarespace blog being an Apple News funnel – fortunately, Squarespace details the procedure here.
3. Apple Pay
Staying with the Apple theme, here’s a Squarespace integration that enables your clients — individuals using Apple devices, that’s — to create purchases out of your site without getting to go in their shipping/billing information. With Apple Pay enabled, your iCustomers can purchase your products as rapidly and simply as you possibly can. The only real catch is the fact that Apple Pay are only able to be employed to buy physical products.
The good thing? You won’t need to add this integration yourself. It’s already there. You just need to enable it inside the payment info settings. This help article demonstrates how to achieve that.
4. OpenTable Block
Squarespace comes with an integration targeted at whatever you restaurateurs available. (Restaurateur…that’s certainly one of individuals words have a tendency to looks incorrectly spelled)
Using the OpenTable block, would-be diners can reserve a table at the restaurant without departing your Squarespace site. You’ll need to setup a free account with OpenTable first to determine an OpenTable ID, but when you’ve done that, all of those other process is really a cinch. You are able to change the feel of the block with style and design options too.
5. Getty Images
Must find a brand new way to obtain images for the site? Squarespace has your back. Here’s another 3rd party integration included in the machine that you simply won’t need to add yourself. With Squarespace’s Getty Images partnership, you get access to the whole Getty Images collection.
Search and add images within the following places in your website:
Page Thumbnail Images
Cover Pages that support imagery
Mobile Fallback Images for background videos
Banner or background images within the Style Editor
Each image is high-resolution and charges $10 a pop. What, you thought these were free? Not bloody likely!
6. Twitter Block
Squarespace’s Twitter integration is definitely an easily implemented way of infusing your site together with your social networking presence. Connect the Twitter Block for your Twitter account, and also you’ll have the ability to display between someone to 20 of the newest tweets.
Should you’d rather display an rss feed of tweets by hashtag, mentions, or other search phrase, you’re free to achieve that rather. Observe that search feeds is only going to display is a result of tweets published within the last 7 days.
Stripe is Squarespace’s official payment processor. Connecting a Stripe account aimed at your website will help you to accept charge card, bank card, and Apple Pay payments in your eCommerce.
After connecting your Stripe account to Squarespace, you’ll have the ability to run test orders without charging a card to make certain everything works as intended. You’ll need to be careful should you’re exceeding one Squarespace site with similar Stripe account, however. To avoid Stripe from disconnecting from a number of your sites, you’ll need to incorperate your existing accounts to 1 Stripe profile after which switch involving the accounts.
Read Squarespace’s Stripe FAQ to understand all you need to know if you wish to make use of this key eCommerce integration.
Lately introduced but still within the beta stage, Squarespace’s integration with PayPal provides you with another choice for accepting payments inside the eCommerce system. Actually, you are able to connect your Stripe as well as your PayPal accounts to your website and give people two way of creating a payment.
Keep in mind this PayPal integration is not related to the Donation Block – quite simply, PayPal is not related to Squarespace’s donation system.
Just connect your PayPal Business account for your Squarespace account, and also you’ll be on the right path. Should you have only a PayPal Personal account, you are able to update to PayPal Business free of charge. Review Squarespace’s PayPal FAQ to learn more.
Squarespace demonstrates because you don’t require a huge application store to supply your website visitors and customers using the functionality they have to launch their dreams in to the stratosphere (presuming which was where they meant to launch them). Using its core business and social integrations, Squarespace provides you with the various tools you’ll need leaving the tools you most likely don’t need.
So, what exactly are you awaiting? Go construct your own website and take a risk with that business concept that’s been going swimming inside your mind. Chances are, should you don’t, another person will beat you to definitely the punch, I understand Zuckerberg arrived first, but I was really the first ones to develop the concept to construct a social networking which makes you hate half your loved ones and buddies. Just proves you need to strike as the iron is hot.
The publish Top 8 Squarespace Integrations made an appearance first on Merchant Maverick.
Should you own a small company and spend enough time online, odds are Google algorithms have pressed some ads for online funders on your browser. These funders promise 1000s of dollars to small companies, even individuals with a bad credit score, with only an easy application and eight – 72 hrs to finalize the offer.
At this time, your too-good-to-be-true sense may be tingling. If that’s the case, pat your self on the rear: you’re approaching the internet funding industry with the proper mindset. That stated, many of these funders do legitimately offer fast funding to companies that may have a problem getting capital from classical sources. Should you’re careful and research your options, you will find a deal that meets your requirements without tearing too large an opening in the bank.
Surrender To High-Pressure Sales Tactics:Â If you choose to solicit multiple offers, remember that you’re most likely likely to be walking via a gauntlet of high-pressure sales tactics. Keep in mind that they, actually want to lend you cash and you convey more leverage than you may think. Condition firmly that you simply’re thinking about offers and can provide them with a solution shortly.
Disregard the Funder’s History:Â If your funder hasn’t existed very lengthy, proceed with a lot more caution. Funders by having an established background and subscriber base have, at the minimum, done the minimum to pay for their overhead and their customers happy. Newer funders aren’t always not so good news, but bear in mind they haven’t been fully vetted through the small company community.
Ignore the small print On Liens:Â Some short-term funders may have you sign blanket liens. This sort of document basically is really a lien in your entire business. If you can’t repay the loan, the funder can seize all of your business assets to extract their loss. A couple of funders even require their clients to waive their to challenge their debt in the court. If at all possible, you need to avoid handling a company that needs this.
Assume You Are Able To’t Look for a Funder Who Will Help You:Â In case your company has a bad credit score, no credit, or maybe even hasn’t been around for very lengthy, it may seem like you’re stuck inside a Catch-22. Have faith in the truth that you are, actually, very common. After some persistence and a few research, you are able to most likely look for a funder which will use you at (fairly) reasonable rate.
Get Multiple Offers:Â Among the advantages to the convenience with which you’ll make an application for online funding is it’s pretty simple to get multiple offers inside a almost no time. You’ll don’t know without a doubt what sort of rate you’ll receive from a funder til you have the sale on paper. Just remember that most online funders will work a minimum of a gentle pull on your credit report, so don’t get too transported away.
Investigate the Funder:Â Considering that American finance is often, let’s say “ethically challenged,” it’s best to know that you’re conducting business.Â Luckily most funders have a tendency to leave a reasonably large online footprint of reading user reviews and complaints. Great places to begin are Trustpilot and BBB. While most of the complaints and accolades count ignoring (ones that appear to be like these were published by staff or by customers who clearly were within the wrong), you are able to get a feeling of where the organization’s weaknesses and strengths are.
Comprehend the Financial Product You’re “Buying”:Â Short-term lending options have a tendency to function a little differently than traditional banks loans. Regardless of whether you’re obtaining a short-term loan or perhaps a merchant cash loan, the repayment schedule is generally daily instead of monthly. Furthermore, the loan most likely won’t have rates of interest. Rather, short-term lending options have a tendency to front-load their costs into a set amount. The way they get to the dpi varies by funder, but your credit rating is generally a factor. You’ll would also like to understand what, or no, collateral you need to set up for that loan.
Take A Look At Our Reviews and Sources:Â If you’re able to excuse just a little shameless self-promotion, it’s worth mentioning that Merchant Maverick online reviews funders and produces handy comparison charts and guides which will make your search for any good online funder just a little simpler.
The publish The Dos and Don’ts to find a brief-Term Loan Online made an appearance first on Merchant Maverick.
Getting pointed out inside a publication (also known as PR) has a lot of advantages of referral visitors to branding to lengthy-term organic traffic growth. It’s a lever that may provide marketing returns well past neglect the.
But “getting press” could be daunting. And lots of agencies can help re-inforce that feeling.
There’s a job for PR professionals. However, you don’t need to invest lots of money with an agency to obtain press. Developing a PR campaign is difficult. It’s difficult, but it isn’t magic either. Actually, the formula is rather straightforward.
Write a pitch
Send it to a author
That they like your story & publish it
However in individuals easy steps bury some details. To operate a effective DIY PR campaign, you’ll need to know the procedure and make your personal plan. That’s the idea of this publish.
Let’s get began.
Step One. Define Your Ultimate Goal
A typical misconception about creating a PR plan would be that the goal would be to “get press”. Getting PR for PR’s sake isn’t a goal. It isn’t a measurable outcome.
Rather, consider that which you really want to attain, and reverse engineer your PR strategy after that. For instance –
Who would you like to stand before?
If you wish to achieve a particular audience, you’ll need to pay attention to outlets that does not only achieve that audience, but additionally command high attention.
For instance, youthful college-educated males who choose hiking might browse Backpacker magazine once in a while. However they might really focus on Outdoors magazine or specific blogs like Andrew Skurka‘s.
Would you like broad awareness regarding your brand?
If that’s the case, you’ll need to concentrate on who reads & re-posts who. If you’re able to get press within an outlet that other outlets re-publish, you’ll be more effective at getting broad coverage.
Would you like to position your brand inside the market?
When you get selected up with a general interest outlet, will affecting your boutique/elite branding? Will it match your target persona?
Are you currently searching to achieve credibility?
If that’s the case, you’ll wish to arrange for the kind of PR you would like. For instance, you’ll want to interviewed being an expert and have your original data reported.
Would you like to build links?
If that’s the case, you’ll have to prequalify your contacts to make certain their publication links out. There’s anything frustrating than investing hrs and hrs on outreach, follow-up, and interviewing in the future away without any organic links.
Must you take control of your messaging?
If that’s the case, you might like to avoid outlets which have strict editorial standards. If your negative mention is going to be worse than no mention whatsoever, you’ll have to remember that.
Many of these are PR goals, but every one has different ways to have them. Your ultimate goal defines everything. Without them, you cannot develop a plan to start with.
Step Two. Define Your Outlets & Authors
After you have your ultimate goal, it’s time for you to nail lower outlets and authors particularly individuals which will accomplish your ultimate goal.
Begin by working the food chain of numerous outlets, or the kind of content/tales they read and repeat. For instance, if you are targeting Upworthy, you will know positive and uplifting tales are their focus. Individuals would be the tales that succeed on their behalf and have a tendency to obtain plenty of shares.
It, Believe Me I’m Laying, is a superb resource about this approach.
You’ll should also consider your outlets’ goals and just how individuals align with your personal. To have an outlet like Upworthy, it’s going viral. They would like to spread their story to as many folks as you possibly can. For other people, it’s high engagement and exclusive legal rights.
Next, identify your outlets’ authors. Fundamental essentials a person who’ll write and publish the storyline.
Which kind of author do you want? News, entertainment, financial? Which kind of content do these authors share? What’s the pecking order in the outlet? As the top authors might have more clout, individuals lower around the totem pole have to publish more tales. They’re more prone to run having a (good) story you supply.
Keep in mind that their incentive is to buy a subject approved by their editor – and obtain pageviews after publication.
For instance, one of my favorite PR wins was identifying the junior staff author in an outlet. She was accountable for the daily “fun & fluffy” type content. She was likely in constant necessity of fun, interesting & entertaining material.
My pitch made lots of sense and also got selected up immediately.
By identifying many of these things, you’ll begin to formulate a success list of the very most relevant authors and outlets.
If you are getting trouble picking out outlets by yourself, try sorting through google news for the kinds of outlets/authors that report for your story.
For instance, if I wish to garner awareness throughout my new sustainable dog bowls, I’d do a google search News for “sustainable dog products” to determine the kinds of outlets and authors reporting on these topics and when they align with my product. When they do, I add these to my listing of outlets and reports, that we retain in a spreadsheet.
You should use compensated tools to locate authors, but you may also learn how to search better on the internet. For instance, make good utilisation of the inurl and/or intitle operators (e.g., “inurl:author”)
Should you not wish to accomplish the heavy-lifting yourself, browse the following tools:
Pressfarm: Provides you with the contact details of 250 prominent journalists who talk about start-ups.
Buzzsumo: Find typically the most popular articles on the certain subject, in addition to prominent sharers (individuals who Tweeted the content).
Ahrefs: Make use of this to locate backlinks for the competitors. Achieve to individuals outlets, too! You may also search for specific authors (and just what content performs on their behalf). I authored helpful tips for Ahrefs here.
Alltop: Provides you with the very best ranking blogs for any specific subject. Remember to be really narrow during your search.
JustReachOut.io: Something for DIYers to handle & rapidly contact reporters.
Bear in mind that whenever you’re doing outreach to attain your PR goals, you could go the standard junk e-mail — er… I am talking about, high volume pitch/PR wire route. Or, you could utilize all the different tools are the disposal to actually learn about your outlets and authors, the things they cover, and the way to refer to them as.
Quite simply, you are able to send 100 templated emails wishing for any 1% rate of conversion. Or you might send take the time researching to transmit 10 emails having a 10% rate of conversion.
Remember simple things like searching in their social networking profiles. You can study a lot in regards to a author according to the things they share and discuss. Add notes for your spreadsheet so this can be used info to craft the right pitch.
Talking about pitch…
Step Three. Define (or Refine) Your Story & Pitch
Here’s the factor: usually, people pitch the storyline they wish to tell.
Nobody likes you your story BUT everyone likes you tales that educate, entertain or make their existence better.
You have to produce a story which will interest your target writer’s readers. What this means is doing all of your research and customizing your story to suit your target author.
Distilled suggests searching at these different criteria to determine in case your story will resonate together with your target author:
Timeliness: Is your story topical?
Impact: Does your story speak to numerous people?
Prominence: Does your story have a prominent person or issue?
Closeness: Are you targeting local news outlets for any local story?
Bizarreness: Is your story weird, or simply plain available? Does it get people speaking?
Conflict: Are you being bold something? Or conflicting a unpopular opinion?
Uniqueness: Are you currently doing something others haven’t?
Human Interest: Can you discover someone to speak about your trouble and set it into human terms?
Step Four. Define Your Pitch Process
After you have your pitch, it’s time to determine your pitch process. Perhaps, this is often as essential as the pitch itself, since writer’s have specific pitch preferences.
First of all: stay with email. Based on OkDork, 81% of authors prefer this process for pitches. Another important stats they mention? 88% of authors prefer emails which are 200 words or fewer, so ensure that it stays short and sweet.
Now, to be able to stay with email, you’ll need the right current email address. Whether it appears apparent, that’s since it is! However it bears repeating. Whenever you take a look at authors and outlets, pay special mind to email information. Use tools like Voila Norbert, Discover That Email or good ‘ole manual research to obtain the right current email address.
When developing your pitch process, you’ll want to select what emails to transmit so when you signal them. Okdork notes 69% of journalists choose to be pitched each morning. You may also take a look at when they’re participating in social networking, because odds are once that begins to happen, they’ve already checked email addresses at least one time.
Now some PR pitches incorporate a short, templated email along with a link, I’ve found the 2 step pitch works much better. The initial step includes delivering a brief email explaining exactly what the story is and why they’d have an interest. It will not include the hyperlink to see the bit of content. Rather, inform them when they’re interested, you’ll pass it along.
Here’s a good, short situation study pitching. And the other great one on guidelines. And the other great one on PR techniques for SEOs.
When the author has an interest, send your piece along. You may also offer to produce a custom intro to aid your story as needed. When they don’t respond, follow-up after 3-7 working days.
Bear in mind by using this method, you have to be sure you’ve your story and extra material all set to go (for example media package, references, bio, imagery, etc.). Make certain all this is finalized before you begin pitching, so you’ll have a quick turnaround for reporters who are curious about your story.
Step Five. Send Your Pitch
It’s time for you to send your pitch! You’ve already determined the correct occasions to transmit your email, but make certain you’re keeping the own availability in your mind. Send your messages when you are able be accessible to reply. Also send to check out feedback from writer’s. If they’re uninterested within the story, what is the specific reason they are able to indicate? What is the better time or way to talk with them?
You’ll should also personalize your follow-up. Should you sent lots of emails, you can utilize a template. However, make certain web site could be tweaked to complement the author you’re delivering it to.
When they send a quick, short response – then you need to send a brief, fast response.
Consider next stages in your follow-up. Anticipate additional questions. Attempt to concisely respond to them to hurry the procedure making the author’s job simpler.
Step Six. Measure Failure or success, Optimize
In the finish during the day, all this comes lower for your goal (recall the first section at the outset of this piece?).
As a result, you’ll wish to be sure you’re calculating failure or success when it comes to that goal. In case your goal was brand awareness, take a look at metrics for example unique visitors aimed at your website or perhaps a specific product page you had been promoting. Should you desired to stand before a particular audience, take a look at the way your story performed and who’s engaging by using it. Will they suit your audience?
Make use of this information to create changes and begin in your next campaign!
Now you understand what adopts creating your personal PR plan, it’s time for you to determine if PR may be the right funnel to operate on at this time. Listed here are a couple of next steps:
Determine if PR fits your needs. Have you got a story to inform?
Break lower your objectives. You cannot develop a plan without one.
Begin with the press’ needs, not your personal. Then, reverse engineer success after that.
You could also find my marketing plans for ecommerce & for local companies helpful. You’d like my e-newsletter where I send 4 helpful links each week where one can learn how to fare better marketing.
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