Month: April 2018

4 Instagram Tips You Should Follow for driving Traffic to Your Blog

Are you successfully driving traffic to your blog? For marketers or business owners, it is very important to be on top of every digital marketing strategy. This is the only way you’ll generate leads.

Instagram can be a great social media marketing tool to drive people to your website. The platform has grown exponentially over the years.

As of April 2017, Instagram has 700 million active users. As one of the most popular social media tools all around the world, about 71% of businesses use it. This behavior reflects the increasing number of customers depending on the platform to find a product or service.

In this article, you’ll discover 4 tips that you should follow to attract people to your blog through Instagram.

1. Boost your brand identity

Strengthen your brand through Instagram. Create an advertising campaign that will stand out from hundreds of campaigns on IG. Give the users something unique and useful to them. Connect with their emotions, answer their needs, and you will surely be at the top of your followers’ minds.

An inspiring example is Playdoh’s colorful clay sets. The company is aligned with its goals and objectives. It focuses on a campaign that shows its followers the potential uses of their products. It incorporates the elements of fun and interest while educating audiences.

2. Use hashtags that are relevant to your business

Instagram is similar to Twitter in that people use hashtags. Hashtags are an important tool to increase your reach. They work by making your Instagram post more visible especially to people who haven’t followed you yet. So, if you’re not using hashtags now, you’re missing out on opportunities to be discovered.

While there are so many popular hashtags you can use to your advantage, it’s more important to prioritize relevance. Whether you’re using hashtags to increase your likes or driving website traffic, attracting the right audience gives you more targeted leads.

For example, if your blog caters to coffee enthusiasts, examples of relevant Instagram hashtags include #coffeelover and #coffeetime.

3. Promote the right way

Marketing is all about the right promotion, at the right time and to the right target audience. You can promote your Instagram account by collaborating with influencers. They are called influencers because of the impact they have on the society that they are in. Influencer marketing is effective in increasing brand awareness.

You can also promote your account by holding actual events or a contest. Make these activities simple, easy to follow, relatable and interesting to your target audience. To throw some ideas, you can launch a “Selfie or Groupie” contest,” “Like-to-Win” or a content that deals with posting a photo of you and your loved one.

You can also use Instagram to promote offers, discounts, special events and other promos. Promotion is the core of marketing. And of course, do not hesitate to try paid ads on Instagram. It may cost you a little, but the returns are great.

4. Optimize the clickable link in your bio

Your business may have wow-worthy, jaw-dropping images – but are you paying attention to that one link you have in your bio? The bio section on Instagram is the only place where you get to include a link to your blog.

The advantage of optimizing this link is that you can take an Instagram visitor to any page. It can be a landing page where you offer a lead magnet in exchange for their email address. That page can also be one of your cornerstone pieces of content. Make sure that you track this link so you’ll know whether your traffic driving strategy has been effective.

Wrapping Up

Instagram has been loved by many – both enterprise and end customers alike. It is a great way to promote brands, build followers, enhance relationships with customers and, most of all, increase website traffic.

All of these will eventually lead to higher conversion rates and a boost in sales. You do not want to be left behind by the competition, right? Now is the right time to reinforce your marketing strategy through various Instagram campaigns and activities. Waste no time. Start it now!

Original post: 4 Instagram Tips You Should Follow for driving Traffic to Your Blog

Let Your Content Determine Your Website’s Design Elements

When creating a new website, the first thing most people do is search for a beautiful theme on sites like Theme Forest of Template Monster. This makes sense; websites should look good. However, there are reasons to avoid choosing a theme based on looks alone.

When you select a theme based on looks, you’re going to need to fit all of your content into that theme’s existing structure and it may not be a match. For example, say you’re building a website for your local mail center business. Your content will likely consist of a few pages detailing the services you provide and perhaps a blurb on who runs the company.

If you look at most themes today, you’ll notice nearly all of them come with a sidebar and endless spots for stock photos. From a professional designer’s point of view, a small, local mail center wouldn’t benefit from a sidebar or stock photos. Regardless, when you fall in love with the demo version of a theme, it’s tempting to want to recreate the way the demo site looks – excess elements and all. However, doing this can detract from the usability of your website.

Filling in those excess elements makes your site look complicated. Users form an opinion about your website in less than 50 milliseconds (0.05 seconds). That opinion will determine whether they stay or bounce. If your website looks too complicated for what it’s designed to be, visitors will bounce.

Design elements should be used intentionally

A sidebar isn’t just a placeholder for aesthetics. It’s a page element designed to highlight important information that visitors should have easy access to. If you don’t have anything to highlight, you don’t need a sidebar. Stuffing content into a sidebar just to fill in the space is a backwards approach to web design.

The proper way to build a website is to allow your content to determine the design you choose. When you organize your content ahead of time, you’ll know which page elements you need, and which ones you don’t. For instance, if you’re a building a photography portfolio, you’ll benefit from a homepage slider. Or, if you’re building an in-depth research website, you’ll benefit by using a sidebar for extensive navigation.

The possibility that any website benefits from stock photography is questionable. As Intechnic puts it, “No matter how professional the stock photo, it will always be someone else’s vision and someone else’s interpretation of the idea, concept, emotion, etc. that you are trying to convey.”

You can avoid making these mistakes by determining which page elements you need before you search for a design. Look at potential themes through the lens of what you actually need. You can’t afford to make a bad first impression.

According to Kat Kocurek from Kinesis, first impressions are 94% design related. This makes sense considering 90% of the information we process is visual. Kocurek remarks, “Even the best content is rendered powerless when it’s embedded in poor design. Studies of user behavior have found that visual appeal and website navigation have the biggest influence on people’s first impressions of your brand.”

Popular elements aren’t always relevant

Just like sidebars, there are other website elements that aren’t relevant for every website. A prime example is the mega menu. Just like sidebars, mega menus are popular because they look cool, but often make navigation too complicated. It’s rare for a website to make proper use of a mega menu, but it’s not unheard of.

Implemented well by Decaso, their mega menu supports the content. With high-end and one-of-a-kind décor, Decaso uses the mega menu element sparingly. Rather than bombarding users with links to every page on the entire website, they use the menu space to display images of their décor. This appeals to the visual orientation of the human brain. When users click on main menu items, their visual mega menu provides satisfaction rather than confusion.

Premade themes come with limitations

Regardless of how well thought out your content is, using a template will always limit you to the structure of that template. If you’re using a dynamic CMS like WordPress you can add and remove elements like headers, sidebars, and widgets. However, you’ll still be stuck with the overall structure created by the template designer.

A website is an asset for any business, whether you’re a brick-and-mortar store, an ecommerce shop, or a blogger marketing content. To give your website the best chance at impressing, retaining, and converting visitors is to hire a designer to develop your website from scratch.

Original post: Let Your Content Determine Your Website’s Design Elements

Your Blog Isn’t Too Small to Fail: How to Prepare for the Unlikely

“Unlikely” doesn’t mean “impossible.” It’s unlikely that the flight you’re taking next month will crash or the cruise you’re planning this summer will end in a raft of lifeboats washing up on a deserted tropical island. But neither scenario is impossible.

By the same token, it’s unlikely that your small-scale blogging business will suffer a catastrophic compromise that temporarily cripples its revenue stream and leaves your most sensitive personal or business data vulnerable to theft and misuse. It’s unlikely that you’ll have to put your emergency business continuity plan into action.

But not impossible. Not by a long shot.

Even sole proprietors and micro-business owners need to prepare for the unlikely event that they’re singled out for attack or caught up in a broader compromise. Here’s what you can do today to protect yourself against the unthinkable.

Continuously Back Up Important Files

The most important thing sole proprietors and small business owners can do to reduce downtime and revenue loss following a catastrophic compromise is to fully back up all important files. That includes everything in your website’s backend: plug-ins, drafts, published content, image files, macros, tables, and so on.

Use a combination of external media and secure cloud backup to make a complete, rolling fallback for your blogging operation. Choose a solution that backs up frequently, as often as two to four times per hour.

Use Two-Factor Authentication for All Logins

Don’t let a lost password ruin your week. Besides making unique, difficult-to-guess passwords, the most important step you can take to prevent account compromise is to implement two-factor authentication everywhere that permits it. (And to consider switching out services that don’t yet use two-factor authentication.)

Don’t Store Your Passwords or Other Sensitive Credentials on Your Computer

Don’t store passwords or sensitive personal data on your computer (or in your website’s backend, which is even more vulnerable to compromise). Keep a hard copy of your current passwords in a secure location in your home or office, and take it out only to make changes or jog your memory. This might sound paranoid, but you’ll thank yourself if your system is ever compromised.

Have a Detailed Plan in Place

Set up a detailed business continuity plan that outlines every step of your response and recovery process, beginning from the moment you discover that something’s wrong. Include detailed procedures for notifying clients, vendors, and others with whom you do business.

Bear in mind that some business interruptions occur through no fault of your own: say, a fire or break-in at your server farm. You need to know as soon as possible when such incidents occur so that you lose as little time as possible in recovery.

Execute Dry Runs

What good is a plan that’s not ready for prime time? Run periodic “disaster drills” during which you run through the steps in your recovery plan. Then, debrief, identifying kinks to be worked out (and steps to do so).

Don’t Rely on a Single Server

Even a small-scale blogging business could use a backup server. Opt for a hosting provider with multiple backup locations, if your budget allows.

Get Ready for the Unthinkable Today

The unthinkable is inconceivable — until it happens. Then it’s merely unfortunate.

No matter how unlikely you believe a catastrophic compromise to be, it’s in your best interest to be ready. If you’re not sure where to start, get in touch with a cybersecurity or business continuity expert to learn more about cost-effective protection against what may come.

Original post: Your Blog Isn’t Too Small to Fail: How to Prepare for the Unlikely

5 Amazing WordPress Plugin for Building Your Own Shopping Website

If you are a businessman or a tech geek who is planning to do something great in the world of technology then creating e-commerce website is a great option. There are thousands of people who prefer to shop online while using coupons and deals. In order to start an e-commerce business, it is essential to have an amazing WordPress plugin.

There are many websites using these plugins for their websites and achieving phenomenal results, Couponbuffer is one of them. However, it is difficult to know the best WordPress e-commerce plugin for your shopping website. The better you choose the more opportunities your business will have. This is why I have come up with the list of top WordPress plugins, check them out.

What to look for in an eCommerce Plugin?
Before I tell you about the best WordPress eCommerce plugins in the market, you need to know what a plugin must have. So, here you go!

There are eCommerce websites which are good for selling physical goods, it requires shipping and inventory management. While there are other eCommerce website plugins which are excellent for digital items like photos, music, and eBooks. Not only this, there are also eCommerce plugins which have both of them.

Once you decide what your e-commerce website will be selling, you get to know what kind of features you would need to run your online website.
Apart from that, your eCommerce plugin will not have a theme. You would need to see that the plugin you select has themes that work.
The next thing that you need to consider is payment gateways. Make sure that the plugin you choose support those payment gateways by add-ons or default.
It is definitely not possible to have all the features in a website plugin. Luckily, most of the problems can be solved with the help of add-ons. These add-ons are able to extend the functionality of your eCommerce plugin.

1 – WooCommerce – WooCommerce is the most famous WordPress eCommerce plugin in the world of technology. It was acquired by Automatic (the company behind blog hosting service) in 2015.

As it’s the most used plugin, it comes with numerous add-ons and themes. The plugin makes it possible to add limitless product pages within your site. It offers a wide range of eCommerce functionalities such as order management, shopping cart, checkout, control over shipping, product & inventory management, coupon management, interactive statistics, and much more. Once you install WooCommerce to your site, you will enjoy the following features:

• Highly-customizable
• Fully Responsive
• User-friendly
• Multiple payment options including PayPal, major credit cards accepted, cash on delivery, and bank transfers.
• Integrated with Amazon Payments, Stripe, and Authorize Net

2 – Jigo Shop – The plugin has the team of innovative and passionate developers who don’t let your hand get dirty in coding. Hence, you can have your own online shopping website without any hassle. With this plugin, you can upload all your products, add multiple product pages, and take payments with PayPal and other gateways.

Moreover, if you choose its premium extension, it offers even more awesome features to take your online store to the next level. The cost-effective plugin is perfect for a professional eCommerce website. Its features include:

• Detailed stats and graphs
• Easy to setup
• Embed multiple product type options to your e-store
• Easy to manage
• Hundreds of premium extensions

3 – Easy Digital Downloads – If you are selling digital and non-physical products online then it’s an ideal plugin for you. It’s an intuitive and simple WordPress plugin which can be installed within minutes. It offers a variety of features which will make your online store booming. Here are some of the amazing features:
• Cart system for buying multiple downloads at one
• Unlimited payment gateways
• Complete payment history
• Promotional code system
• Embed functionality with various extensions and a lot more.

4 – WP eCommerce – Another great WordPress plugin is WP eCommerce that allows businessmen and tech heads to create an effective and customizable shopping website without any difficulty.

No matter whether you are selling physical products or non-physical products, this plugin is very powerful for both types. Moreover, if you are comfortable with HTML and CSS coding, you can further customize your plugin. It provides some of the best features for your shipping website:

• Readymade marketing tools
• Integrated with hosts of payment gateways
• Integrated with popular couriers
• Inbuilt shopping tools
• Secure check out with SSL

5 – WP Easy Cart – Another excellent plugin for a shopping website creation is WP Easy Cart. The plugin has a large free number to help you add eCommerce shopping cart system to your WordPress site within a few minutes.

From digital downloadable products to retail products, you can sell anything with this plugin. The best thing about this plugin is it works with all WP themes easily. Hence, you don’t have to buy third-party tools to integrate shopping cart functionality to your site. The features are:

• Tons of readymade widgets
• Google analytics
• Integrated with famous payment gateways
• Social sharing integration
• Inbuilt tools to setup and run promotions and coupons

All these mentioned above plugins will help you create a successful shopping website with ease. Each and every plugin has amazing features and functionality. All you need to do is choose the right WordPress plugin just according to your website requirements.

Original post: 5 Amazing WordPress Plugin for Building Your Own Shopping Website