Knowing these 5 Secrets will make Your Blog look amazing

Every year, learning institutions are sending graduates to the job market. As much as this is a good thing, there are no sufficient opportunities to accommodate everyone. That has left many students desperate and in urgent need of alternative source of income. In some cases, they tend to go for trades they never learnt at school. One of these alternative occupations is, without doubt, blogging.

Considering the number of frustrated bloggers, especially the owners of blogs receiving low monthly traffic, some tips are in order. This article, therefore, is going to describe five secrets that can make a blog look awesome and enable it to compete with others for traffic. However, the ability to know when someone’s business/blog needs help always determines the level of success.
The following are the 5 effective practices that can turn around your blog:

blogging

Captivating Design and SEO-friendly Template: Always use a well-designed site with all the necessary SEO features incorporated.  More often than not, it is faster and cheaper to purchase a design template than to build one yourself. In addition, not all student bloggers have a background in HTML or programming. Therefore, buy a responsive template (i.e. a template that can display your blog on different devices such as tablets and smartphones). A template with HTML 5, clean code, CSS social media integration and popular widgets is an added advantage.

Quality/Unique Content: An aesthetic and SEO friendly template, although important, are never enough. For you to get loyal readers and subscribers, you must generate unique and quality articles. It is advisable, at times, to contract an expert freelance writer to write for your blog. To guarantee originality in every blog post, always write on subjects you understand well, or that you have researched on extensively.

Quality Backlinking: The most linked site with the highest number of unique daily visitors gets the top position. Consequently, advertisers will look for such sites to place ads and ensure maximum exposure. Since Alexa and Google rankings are both based on the number of quality and relevant links to your blog, you ought to dedicate time (daily) to create links. However, you need to build these backlinks in the most natural way possible to avoid being categorised as spam by major search engines.

Reliable Hosting/Domain Registration: Host your blog with a reliable webhosting services provider and choose a domain name that points to your main niche/keyword.

Daily Posting/Updating: Ensure that you have fresh content for the search engines on a daily basis. The best practice is posting/updating at least two articles per day. Another factor is your audience, can your audience consume two articles per day? If you are providing shorter blog posts, then that is entirely possible; if you are publishing more detailed guides, on the other hand, then you may need to tone this down somewhat.

Using the above ‘secrets’ is effective if made a routine and not a one-time effort. In fact, with dedication and eagerness to learn new blogging tips, you are guaranteed a reasonable income from your blog.

Do You Need A Blog Afterall?

Unless you have been under a rock these past 5 or 6 years than you absolutely have heard about how critical a blog is to your website and your business.

You’ve heard that it will pull in targeted, interested traffic that converts. You’ve heard that it will help you build a brand and a reputation for yourself that is unparalleled and more importantly, unreplaceable. You’ve heard that it is the key to building a responsive email list full of eager buyers just waiting to hear from you every day…

… And I’m here to tell you that this is absolutely true. All of it. Every single last bit.

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Why Having A Blog Is Critical

If you still aren’t convinced that having a blog is important – I can understand your skepticism. When I first started out with building websites and trying to get traffic to them, I thought blogs were just for trendy hipsters with some social or politic message to spread. I couldn’t be more wrong.

The fact is that a blog is the best tool you can have in your marketing arsenal. There is nothing that you can ever buy that will replace it. There is nothing you will ever find that will compliment your goals, no matter what they are, as well as a fully function and interactive blog will.

In fact, without a blog I’m not entirely sure what you or your business is doing online at all… I’m sure that sounds harsh but let me give you some reasons for understanding why a blog is so critical to what you do online.

Reasons Your Website Needs A Blog

SEO and Search Engine Traffic

Your are going to want to actually have people come to your site and see what you have to say or what you are offering to them. There are a few ways you can get traffic to your site but nothing really beats search engine traffic.

  • It’s Free
  • It’s Targeted
  • It Responds To Your Offers
  • It Spreads Your Brand & Message

You can imagine search engine traffic as the life giving nectar to your website. Without a presence in engines like Google and Bing, it will be much harder for people to find your website. If they can’t find you, they can’t buy from you.

SEO

But not only is important for people to find you, those people also need to be engaged in what you are doing or what you are offering. Traffic from search engines is the cream-of-the-crop when it comes to being highly engaged and responsive. They already want to know what you have, all you have to do is offer it to them in such a way that they respond to it. Normally speaking a blog is great for providing that kind of presentation that people respond it. Continue reading

Choosing the Best Web Host for Your Ecommerce Business

A small number of businesses can get away with any old host as long as they have a website that works reasonably well. If you are running an online store, however, issues such as level of security, the problem of downtime and the facility for fast downloads become much more important.

Choosing the right ecommerce web hosting service is not only good for your customers but is vital in developing an online store with a solid reputation. Choose the wrong one,which, for instance, has security issues on a regular basis, and it can be very difficult to rebuild your brand standing in the online community. Customers are fickle creatures at the best of times and technical issues can have them turning to your competitors quicker than you may like to think.

According to ShopSafe.co.uk, ecommerce is continuing to grow in the UK and 2016 is already looking as though it is going to outpace 2015 by a significant margin. This growth has no doubt been largely facilitated by many of us now having smartphones, allowing us to shop on the move, anytime and anyway.

Ecommerce Business

If you are setting up an ecommerce business, then you need a web host that is responsive to this trend and up to date with the latest software.

Secure Payments

We want to pay in different ways nowadays and the ecommerce sites that provide a good mix of different payment methods are more likely to succeed than ones which only except debit or credit cards. There’s PayPal and other online banks that need to be taken into account as well as currencies such as bitcoins. Check out how your hosting company delivers this service through its software but don’t forget to make sure they have a good reputation for keeping customer details safe.

The Right Hosting Package

The volume of traffic that is going to come to your site is important and something you need to have a good idea of. Shared hosting might not be the best option because you can end up with the site being unavailable or at best slow at important busy times. Opt for a VPS, Dedicated or Cloud server if you want the kind of responsiveness a busy ecommerce site needs. They may cost more but they’ll pack the punch you need. Continue reading

The Best 5 Third Party Blog Comment Systems

Interaction is always a big part of successful blogs. Users love to post comments and discuss the subject of top blogs’ contents and articles. This is part of the reasons why making commenting as easy as it can be is very important. Each CMS has its own comment system already built-in, but third-party blog comment systems can help take the discussions to a whole new level. We reviewed 5 of the best third-party blog comment systems in this article.

IntenseDebate

IntenseDebate

IntenseDebate is actually made by the same people behind the famous blogging platform WordPress. It is a product of Automattic and has been one of the most popular third-party blog comment systems today.

As you would expect, IntenseDebate works seamlessly with WordPress. However, it also works with various other blogging platforms, including Blogger. The comment system is also very easy to install. All you have to do is define your blog URL, select the platform you use for your blog and follow the provided step-by-step guide to get IntenseDebate installed.
IntenseDebate is very popular mainly thanks to its Reputation system. Users who comment on your – and many other – blogs get the chance to earn reputation points given by other users. This allows users to focus on providing the best comments and having a truly good quality discussion.

The comment system also sends an email every time a comment is replied. This email notification helps keep users in the discussion, which means you can expect them to return frequently as long as the discussion is alive.

Disqus

Disqus

Disqus is perhaps one of the oldest third-party comment systems out there. It is used by more than 750,000 websites – according to the official website – and accounts for more than 50% of today’s third-party comment system usage.

I do love how Disqus makes importing existing comments very easy to do and if you’re not sure how to do it yourself it has a ton of tutorials like this one. In fact when it comes to comment system tutorials, you will always find one for Disqus before all others!

When you have a matured blog and you want to switch to using Disqus to manage comments, you can easily import old comments to the system in just a few clicks. It also supports importing comments from IntenseDebate, which is a lucrative offering for those switching to Disqus.

Aside from its mobile-friendliness and lightweight user interface, Disqus is also very fluid. Users can attach files, have a truly active discussion, reward other users for their replies and answers, and even have a real-time discussion thanks to Disqus’s Ajax-based interface. I also love the fact that users can reply to comments by directly replying to the notification emails sent by Disqus, but this also means users are less inclined to visit the site frequently.

Facebook Comments

Facebook Comments

This next third-party comment system is very effective for new and existing blogs for one main reason: it has its own user base for you to tap on. Yes, Facebook allows site and blog owners to allow Facebook users to give comments on their site. With more than 1.5 billion active users, Facebook Comments is a very attractive source of traffic nonetheless.

Users don’t need to sign up for a new account to comment. They can use their existing Facebook accounts directly; since most users don’t really sign out of Facebook, this means they can always comment on blogs that use Facebook Comments immediately.

Whenever a user posts a comment, the comment gets automatically posted on their wall as well, complete with a link to the page he or she is commenting. This is a good way to promote your site to an even wider audience.

Livefyre

Among many other third-party comment systems, Livefyre is perhaps the youngest; it is far from being the worse, though. The whole comment system is very easy to use, easy to the eyes and highly engaging. These three traits make Livefyre suitable for a wide range of blogs.

The comment system is also quick to support existing social networks. For example, Livefyre allows users to tag other users in their comments. It works very similarly to Mentions on Twitter. You can add an ‘@’ symbol followed by the tagged user’s name. The function works with Facebook and Twitter accounts as well.

It is also possible to automatically post comments to Facebook and Twitter. On top of that, users can follow a conversation without having to leave a comment first.

Vicomi

The last comment system in our list is Vicomi. Vicomi is particularly unique because of its Emotions feature. It basically allows users to tell site owners how they feel about the content or the subject of the content. There are five emotions to choose from on top of every Comments section.

The setup process is also very easy to complete. Vicomi integrates well with many blogging platforms, including WordPress and Blogger. The comment system can be used for free and users can use their existing social media accounts to log in before commenting.

4 ways branded products can help improve your business

Branded products are excellent for spreading your name. Customers and clients will more readily recognize your brand if they view it daily on their pens and calendars; perhaps more importantly, this will also help your business stay at the forefront of their minds during longer buying cycles. Here are a few ways that branded products can improve your business this year.

4. Highly Used Items are Highly Visible

People love to receive free items: from frisbees to t-shirts, coffee mugs to promotional calendars, people love collecting free gear at conventions, meetings, and offices. By handing out free stuff, you can make immediate friends, gain loyal customers, and help your brand reach maximum exposure.

Branding

A free t-shirt or pen will be used eventually. The customer might wear it to a store where hundreds of other customers will see it, or pull out your pen to write a check in a busy bank. Everyone who sees it will slowly begin to recognize your brand. And the ones who already recognize it will be subtly reminded of it.

3. Recognition Helps You Become a Household Name

Building name recognition means that everyone exposed to your branded products could eventually refer to your brand as a household name. Think about Coke or Pepsi: how much free stuff have you gotten with their logos over the years, and how willing are people to buy their branded products because they are loyal? Continue reading

Boost Your Search Engine Rankings

Ranking in different search engines nowadays can become a challenge given the periodical changes in the Google algorithm being implemented. Search engine optimization (SEO) is important in driving traffic to your website. But helping your website rank and boost its traffic can be a daunting task if you do not have the expertise in such kind of work.

Do not fret because you can bank on the help of SEO agencies to help increase your website traffic. Hiring the services of these companies can provide a wide range of benefits for your business. Let us take a look at what SEO providers can offer your business.

Web Design

Although the main objective of SEO is to generate traffic for your website, many of these companies also provide website design services. The main objective is to maximize your conversions. Likewise, the service will help you evaluate your website’s usability. SEO companies can also help determine the position of your website against your competition.

Reputation Management

SEO providers can also make you aware of your website’s online reputation. By putting your company on the Internet, people will become aware of your products or services. The SEO company can help counter negative reviews and convert them into a positive image.

Boost sales

Social Media

Social media has become a revolution and is integrated to search engine optimization. SEO providers can help boost your online presence not only on search engines but also help you to stand out against your competition.

GEO-Targeted Campaigns

If your target market is located in one particular territory, Australia for example, you can hire SEO services in Sydney to strengthen your position in that particular location. A good SEO company will ensure that your brand will be able to reach its desired audience.

Considering search engine optimization can boost the overall exposure of your website on search engine results pages (SERPs). Latest figures reveal that 85% of website traffic is derived from search engines.

So if you are keen on improving traffic to your website and increasing your return of investment, hiring the services of SEO companies can help boost your online presence. Don’t you think it is about time to consider search engine optimization and incorporate it into your marketing strategy? This will make a huge difference in your quest to keep in step or get an advantage against your competition.