Adwords Marketing

Blogging Full Time? You Need A Home Office

Blogging is a great way to work from home, particularly for parents, but in order to be productive, you also need to have a space to call your own. That’s why professional bloggers need a home office. But how much space do you need to make it work? There are several different factors you need to consider as you develop your home office space.

Setting Boundaries

The first factor you need to consider when setting up your home office is what kind of boundaries you want – or need – to set. If you typically write while caring for your children, you might want an office that’s nearby, allowing you to write in short bursts, while they’re playing or taking a nap. On the other hand, if you’re likely to be interrupted by family members or other demands, but don’t actually need to be on call, you’ll want clearer boundaries. Some people even set up a detached home office in the backyard or one attached like a porch to the house, so that they have a dedicated and private space to work.

Size Matters – Somewhat

The size of your home office matters, but not as much as you may think. If you’re buying a new house, then, you may want to factor your home office into the square footage of the home you buy. If you’re not planning your home office upgrade at the same time as a move, on the other hand, it’s more important that you create a space of your own than have a lot of space. Many home offices are carved out of large closets, desks built into an eave or nook under the stairs, and other innovative spaces. Ultimately, it’s creating room to work that matters most; how much room is a secondary concern.

Consider Comfort

In addition to the size of your office, it’s important that whatever space you adopt for your home office is designed following ergonomic principles, allowing for proper posture, minimizing visual fatigue, and generally reducing discomfort associated with sedentary work. Blogging may seem like it would be easy on the body, but it’s actually associated with back pain, “tech neck,” and a variety of complaints that can drive those in the tech professions to the chiropractor. When you set up your space, then, invest in equipment that supports your body’s needs.

Make It Count

Don’t forget that by creating a home office space, you gain some financial benefits – you can deduct your home office as a business expense on your taxes. All you have to do is calculate the percent of your home’s square footage used as an office, and then you can deduct that from your rent or mortgage. Even if you don’t have a complete room to use as an office, investing in a few dividers will allow you to clearly mark your workplace and calculate the deduction.

By creating a formal home office area in your home, you make it clear to your family – and yourself – that running a blog is a serious job, and the income from monetizing your site, combined with tax deductions, should more than pay for the investment. What’s more, by dedicating a specific space to your work, you nearly guarantee that you’ll be more productive when you are working, making your blog, and your office, even more valuable.

Original post: Blogging Full Time? You Need A Home Office

3 Tips for Targeting the Right Audience on Your Small Business Blog

Successful small businesses understand the importance of establishing a digital footprint. The reality is that now, more than ever, consumers are using their computers, tablets, and smartphones to find and analyze information before making a purchasing decision.

In fact, 27 percent of consumers reported looking online daily for information about local businesses – more than double what it was in 2017. For small businesses to thrive within the competitive landscape of local markets, they need to prioritize their digital marketing efforts.

While there is certainly value in building a digital footprint on external platforms like Google My Business, Facebook, LinkedIn, and other social channels, one of the best investments is to start blogging on your small business website.

What are the benefits of blogging for small businesses?

There are many benefits to investing in your small business blog. For one, it can help you position your business as a thought-leader within your industry. Additionally, your blog is open 24/7 and can continue to attract and convert customers long after you publish the content. Finally, it’s been statically proven that businesses with blogs perform better than businesses without blogs.

Below are some of the stats that support blogging for small businesses.

-Small businesses that blog generate 126 percent more leads than those that do not blog.
-81 percent of consumers in the United States trust information from blogs.
-Businesses that blog have 97 percent more inbound links and 434 percent more indexed pages.
In other words, your small business needs to publish content on its blog consistently.

However, before you start aimlessly publishing content to your blog, you need first to find and define your target audience.

Understanding your target audience is a critical component of an effective blogging strategy. Here are 3 tips for targeting the right audience on your small business blog.

Ask Yourself Some Questions

The goal of the blog is to attract visitors that could potentially benefit from your products or services. Therefore, the target audience of your blog typically mirrors the target audience of your business. You should be able to start defining your target audience by answer a few questions like:

What does your current client base look like? A great place to start with defining your target audience is to look at your current client makeup. While you might think you know your audience, if you analyze your current consumers, you will be able to craft your target audience based on concrete data.

What consumer problems does my business solve? If you can understand the issues that your clients face, it can help you publish articles that speak to those concerns and problems. Moreover, this can reveal your unique value proposition – which should be integrated into all your marketing messages, not just on the blog.

What action do you want this audience to take? Defining your audience is important, but you also should start to think about what action you want them to take once they land on your blog. Knowing the audience and their problems are critical, but you also need to think about what motivates them to act – after all, one of the main goals of your blog is to generate business.

Monitor Your Direct and Indirect Competition

When it comes to target market research, you can accomplish a lot by looking internally and analyzing your own customers – but, there is a wealth of information readily available from your direct and indirect competition.

Start by looking at your direct competition (similar businesses in your industry and market). If they have a blog, look at the topics of their content and the categories on their blog.

What posts get the most comments or social interactions? Keep track of the posts and themes that generate the most engagement, as those might be topics that you’ll want to prioritize.

You can also review their social media channels and look for trends in their followers and the types of content or topics that are the most popular. You might find that your competition gets a lot of engagement on Facebook, but not much on Twitter – this could indicate what social platform is most important to your target audience.

Don’t stop with your direct competition; monitor your indirect competition. When you are blogging, you’re not just competing for business; you’re competing for attention. Therefore, your indirect competition could include YouTube channels, podcasts, or other blogs that are taking the attention of your audience away from you.

Assessing your indirect competition can provide a completely new vantage point into the interest and activities of your target audience. You might discover a new way to engage your consumers that none of your direct competition has tried.

Use Primary Data to Understand Your Audience

Moving back to internal analysis, we can use primary research to pull information about your audience on a micro or macro level. If you haven’t yet, you need to set up Google Analytics on your website and business blog. This is a freemium tool from Google that provides comprehensive data about your website and its visitors.

Google Analytics is a powerful resource for researching your blog’s target audience. You can assess the age, gender, interest, and location of the visitors to your website and blog. You can also see what pages are frequented the most and other onsite engagement factors that can help you define your audience’s interests as it relates to your blog and business.

Other platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter have audience insight tools that allow you to see demographic and interest data on your followers and those who engage with your brand on the respective platform. You can also collect audience data through a survey, questionnaire, or contest.

In other words, there is no shortage of opportunity to collect primary data about your target audience – it just takes time and effort.

What Comes After Defining the Target Audience

Defining the target audience for your small business blog is incredibly important – but, there’s no right or wrong way to do it. The goal of this exercise of defining your target audience is meant to help you think critically about who you want and expect to see your blog content.

With those personas in mind, you will now need to start mapping out the rest of the blog strategy – the layout and theme, content topics, content execution process, and promotional tactics among other things.

Original post: 3 Tips for Targeting the Right Audience on Your Small Business Blog

Tips from Corporate Video Producers: How to Conduct Excellent On-Camera Interviews

Corporate video testimonial is perhaps the best way to tell believable and genuine stories about anyone or anything related to the business world. Knowing how to carry out proper corporate video editing is a great way to highlight a business. In this article, you will learn 10 amazing corporate video editing tips to make a marketing video stand out.

Tips to take into consideration when making a corporate video testimonial

Prepare your questions ahead of time
Do not rush your questions. It is important to take your time and write them ahead of time. When choosing the right questions, it’s always a good idea to pick those that will make the interview flow. Do not use a lot of close-ended questions that lead to yes or no answers. Instead, begin questions with: who, what, when, where, why and how.

Choose the right interviewee
When telling a good story, a lot of it falls under the jurisdiction of the storyteller. To achieve great storytelling, the interviewee must be brilliant! Even if he is a successful CEO, that doesn’t mean that he is the best person to be telling the story. It is a good thing to pick those persons with whom you can related and empathize without hurting your own feelings.

Don’t force someone to get an interview
Always remember, if you want to excel at corporate video editing, you can’t force people to be interviewed. You need to avoid answers like “I don’t even want to do this”, or “Let’s get this over with”. A great video expresses energy and success. So, the key here is to make sure the person feels passionate when telling his or her story. It must feel genuine. Audiences love genuine conversation. Therefore, take your time when selecting a candidate.

Consider Pre-Interviews
Pre-interviews are what is known as short conversations to test different people. Usually these are 10-15 minutes long and you carry them out with different people until you find the best person for the job. You can do this in-person or over the phone. It is better to do this in-person since you can also watch for body language and charisma. A good storyteller is someone who catch your attention and makes you want to hear more. That is why, companies should always use their strongest players for corporate video testimonial.

Create a warm atmosphere
When you are preparing the interview, make sure to sit down with your guest and chit-chat for a few minutes. Inform him about the order of events, and how you are going to conduct the interview. Some coaching is always appreciated. Try to remind them that their answers will be edited and that their “umms” or “ahhs” will be eliminated. Always let them know that do-overs are okay! In the end, just remind them to smile and enjoy the interview.

Make the conversation flow
It is really important that you listen to your guest’s responses and continue to ask new questions. If your interview turns into a conversation that you lead, you have got a gem in your possession. Once the conversation has run its course and you feel ready to move into another direction, just go back to your original line of questioning.

Choose a very quiet room
Audio quality is important during corporate video editing. Even the slightest noise can be a problem during the testimonial. Therefore, it is vital that whenever you are interviewing a client, make sure that the room is quiet.

Do not give out specific questions in advance
You cannot give the questions to the interview before the video! This only leads to a have a robot on the set! No matter what, you cannot surrender something as precious as the questions for the interview. If the interviewee insists on having the questions beforehand, just give them the general line of questioning, nothing specific.

Consider scenery changes
If you are filming multiple testimonial in one day, a change of scenery is always a good idea. This is not so simple of course since you may need to keep the same background for every testimonial. However, give yourself some time to allow for scene or framing changes. In the end, this will give each interviewee a unique look that will differentiate the storytellers.

Position your interviewee’s eye-line
Last but not least, you have to position yourself near to or very close to the videographer in a way that your interviewee looks at you and not directly at the camera. This interesting camera set-up will create a visually elegant interview. An interview directed at camera can still be appropriate but the end result will be different. So, make sure you’ve selected the eye-line decision prior to the shoot. Also, you may encounter some individuals that will look at you, then at the camera, then back at you. This is a common mistake! When this happens, pause the shoot and remind your guest to look at you at all times.

Follow these 10 tips and you will excel at corporate video editing in a matter of time!

Robart Det has over five years of experience in the field of Video editing. He specializes writing articles on video production topics on his blog. He is presently working at  viddedit, a reputable presence in the video industry.

Original post: Tips from Corporate Video Producers: How to Conduct Excellent On-Camera Interviews

How bloggers and freelancers can manage a virtual team effectively

Businesses of all sizes often struggle to manage many aspects of their day-to-day operations, including blogging, design, and social media. Fortunately, technology is making it easier for businesses to access the skills they need without having to add permanent staff members to their payroll.

For this reason, many businesses are opting to outsource tasks and responsibilities to external agencies and freelance professionals. Bloggers and website owners are also going into this trend and outsourcing tasks related to their business. But how can they effectively manage a team that doesn’t share a workspace?

Define expectations
Employees will be more productive and are far more likely to succeed when given a clear set of guidelines and shared goals.

Providing detailed briefs that outline the expectations of the business, company etiquette, and establish clear standardized work processes will help remote workers feel like part of a team, rather than a group of individuals.

Utilize a range of communication solutions
When managing a virtual team, maintaining regular communication is vital. Assigning specific communication channels for different tasks can help define business processes and provide a sense of structure, which can often prove difficult in a virtual environment.

It’s important to use the appropriate platform of communication for the situation at hand. For example, sensitive interactions, such as performance reviews or disciplinary measures, should be handled via a face-to-face video call (or, when this is not possible, over a phone call) to maintain professionalism and give your team members the level of respect they deserve.

Use a virtual phone system

Deploying a virtual phone system is a simple way for small businesses to communicate with customers and colleagues without the worry and expense of installing a landline setup. This type of service can also be scaled up or down with the rate of the business.

There are many that include several other value-adding features such as hold music, voicemail transcription and ‘click to call’ buttons. Some providers also offer an automated receptionist solution, meaning each caller is greeted in a professional manner and handled with a consistent level of efficiency.

Video conferencing
Video conferencing can be a great way to connect virtual teams. Holding regular conference calls with all team members present helps keep everyone updated with each other’s progress. It also provides an opportunity for any questions to be raised, brainstorming exercises or sharing content ideas, so that everyone leaves the ‘meeting’ feeling energized and with a good understanding of the tasks at hand.

Create virtual coffee breaks
Humans are social creatures, but as part of a virtual team, members often miss out on all those daily interactions traditional office workers take for granted. Ensuring there is an informal company-wide chat platform in place can help maintain a feeling of social connection. If your team gets to know and trust each other on a personal level, they’ll be far more productive as a workforce.

Project management tools

When projects require the participation of several remote employees working in different locations, project management software can help streamline processes within the same project, so that all members have a clear timeline of completed and pending tasks.

Time tracking tools, such as Trello or Asana, provide a valuable overview of resources, giving key insight into how employees are spending their time, and highlighting areas where resources could be used more effectively. This can be particularly useful when several members are servicing one client.

Store it in the cloud

Manage documents in the cloud, so that team members can access and collaborate on files, at any time or place. This also avoids any potential for mistakes when team members are all working from different versions of the same document.

A shared cloud is an ideal space to keep a master plan or project overview. This should include important details such as the purpose of the project/main objectives, the core work hours of team members, and each member’s individual responsibilities. This enables all team members to understand their position and importance within the team as a whole.

Meritocracy is key

It can be easy to lose momentum when working as part of a remote team. Putting incentives in place will show your virtual team that you value them as much as an in-house employee and help them to feel less isolated.

Where possible, set goals, conduct performance reviews, and offer the same benefits that in-house staff receive.

As the world rapidly becomes increasingly interconnected, remote workforces are set to become commonplace. However, distance doesn’t have to be a barrier to success. With the right tools and management techniques, businesses can continue to enjoy the rewards of leading a productive and cohesive team, even when those team members are physically far apart.

Original post: How bloggers and freelancers can manage a virtual team effectively

5 Hacks to Make Your Life as a Blogger Easier and More Efficient

As a blogger, time is money. If you don’t write, publish, and promote your content, you’ll find it impossible to keep the lights on. Unfortunately, the blogging industry is filled with snares, hurdles, and distractions that steal your time and leave you grasping for air. Learning how to maximize efficiency in your daily routine will do wonders for your business.

5 Productivity Hacks for Bloggers

The thing about blogging is that there’s always something to do. While creating content is the most visible responsibility, there’s also a lot going on behind the scenes. You have to manage your accounting, marketing, advertising website development, and big-picture strategy. Despite all of these demands, you only have a few hours in each workday to get everything done.

Your success as a blogger will directly hinge on your ability to be productive and efficient with your limited time. While you have the freedom to call your own shots, the following tips will help you improve in this area:

1.Write When You’re Freshest

It’s important that you write when you’re freshest. We all have a window of a couple of hours where writing is easiest for us. For some, this is the early morning hours. For others, it might be late at night when the kids have gone to bed. Discover what works for you and use this time to pump out quality content.

2. Avoid Editing When Writing

There’s an old saying that you should write drunk and edit sober. While we wouldn’t endorse this approach, it is helpful to separate the two actions. You should write during one period and edit during another. Mixing the two will slow down your writing, inhibit your creativity, and lead to paralysis by analysis.

3. Learn How to Use Your Technology

When it comes to new technology, it’s easy to get caught up in all of the features and functions. Unfortunately, few bloggers ever learn how to master these elements. As a result, they end up with sophisticated technology that causes more issues than anything. If you’re going to use a piece of technology, learn it from the inside out.

Take a printer, for example. Have you taken the time to learn the difference between collated and uncollated? Doing so could save you a lot of time and hassle. The same goes for your CMS platform for your blog. Learning how to seamlessly navigate through the various parts of the program will greatly increase your efficiency.

4. Block Out Distractions

“Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn can be great places to do some networking as a writer. You can meet other writers. You can find clients if you’re a freelance writer. You can find publishers. Or you can just have a little fun ‘hanging out’ with your Internet buddies,” blogger Adam Clarke writes. “But when you are supposed to be writing, you need to stay away from these places. It’s also a good idea to turn off notifications on your mobile phone too.”

What are your biggest distractions? Is social media to blame? Is it a noisy roommate? Does your phone constantly ping, ring, ding? Whatever the case may be, find ways to block out these distractions when you’re writing. You can return to them after you’ve finished.

5. Keep Your Work Area Organized

Regardless of how organized you are in your life, you need to prioritize organization in your blogging workspace. Every piece of clutter – including yesterday’s dishes, stacks of paper, sticky notes, and paperclips – takes up some of your limited focus. By decluttering and keeping your workspace organized, you’ll find it easier to stay on task.

Make the Most Out of Your Day

Depending on a multitude of factors, a full-time blogger most likely has somewhere between 7 and 14 hours of allotted work time per day. And though that may sound like a lot on paper, it quickly gets eaten up by tasks like bookkeeping, social media, phone calls, meetings, and, of course, writing.

You don’t necessarily need to increase the hours in your day to get more done. By enhancing your productivity, you can maximize output within the constraints of a limited schedule.

Original post: 5 Hacks to Make Your Life as a Blogger Easier and More Efficient

4 Reasons All Bloggers Should Invest In Professional SEO Training

If you’ve been writing content for a while, and you haven’t invested in professional SEO training, it’s time.

If you’re just getting your feet wet, this free SEO course presented by Moz is a good place to start. However, there are aspects to SEO you can only learn in a structured class environment. A structured SEO training program will give you hands-on experience to implement and drive home what you learn. You’ll also receive personalized feedback from your instructor – something you can’t get from free online courses.

Here are the best reasons to pursue professional, paid SEO training:

1. You can’t write valuable content without knowing SEO

Although SEO and content writing are different aspects of content marketing, they are inextricably combined. Content needs to be both well-written and visible to be effective. SEO makes content visible in the search engines; content only converts when you can get it in front of people.

According to Andrey Lipattsev, Search Quality Senior Strategist at Google, links and high-quality content are the top two factors Google uses to rank websites for search. Do you know what Google considers high-quality content? If not, a professional SEO training course will teach you.

Professional training will take the guesswork out of your optimization efforts; you’ll see an increase in traffic with far less work.

2. You might get recruited by a professional agency

As an SEO-trained content writer, you might find yourself being pursued by a digital marketing agency. Marketing agencies are always on the lookout for talent.

Say someone from a marketing agency reads your blog and has a deep appreciation for your style. A content writer trained in SEO will stand out more than the rest. If a marketing agency notices you’re using professional marketing strategies, they may try to recruit you.

If you want to know what specific skills will make you valuable to an agency, just look at the services some of the top content marketing agencies provide. For instance, AudienceBloom has been producing high-quality content for Fortune 500 companies for nearly a decade. If you can learn the skills that get the results agencies like this provide, you’ve got a better chance at being recruited.

Make it your goal to obtain the skills that make your content writing valuable starting with SEO.

3. You’ll be more valuable to clients

Do you take on side gigs writing content for clients who don’t have time to write for themselves? Are you being paid fairly according to your skills? Chances are, you’re being underpaid. Most side gigs don’t pay much. However, you can get paid more for your side gigs when you have more to offer your clients, like SEO training.

When you bring SEO training to the table, your client no longer needs to hire an additional contractor to optimize your content for SEO. They’re getting an all-in-one package. It costs them less, which is an incentive for you to charge more.

The more skills you develop as a content writer, the more valuable you are to clients who need your services.

4. You’ll stop believing in SEO myths

It seems like ten new myths are created each time Google performs an algorithm update, and it takes time for those myths to fizzle out or be disproven. The problem is, some bloggers jump the gun and publish articles as if the myths are absolute, failing to do their own research. When these articles are published to reputable websites, it’s easy to think the myths have been verified even when they haven’t.

There are too many SEO myths to count. For instance, you might be afraid to publish your content as a guest post on other sites, fearing Google’s “duplicate content” penalty. The truth is, Google doesn’t punish duplicate content in the way most people think. Taken directly from Google’s website, they say, “Duplicate content on a site is not grounds for action on that site unless it appears that the intent of the duplicate content is to be deceptive and manipulate search engine results.”

Learning SEO from professionals will tell you why it’s actually a good idea to syndicate your content across other blogs: you’ll get backlinks and more exposure. You’ll also learn about the tag that tells search engines the content on your website is the official version.

Learn SEO the easy way

You have a blog to run. You don’t have time to investigate every SEO claim online, or wade through contrasting opinions each time Google updates their algorithm. Invest in professional SEO training to increase your value to the world.

Original post: 4 Reasons All Bloggers Should Invest In Professional SEO Training

How to Detect the Pain Points of Your Blog Visitors

Problem plus solution equals sales. The math never lies.

As sellers of innovative products and services, we depend on the challenges our customers face every day – be that a business productivity issue or sticky fingers while slicing a watermelon.

Without these nuisances big and small, we wouldn’t be able to push the envelope of product design, nor to break exciting new grounds of quality service. We’d be stuck in existing markets.

Every person has problems that need solving, including your blog visitors.

Offer them the most viable solution, and they’ll keep returning for good. But, how do you know what to offer if you don’t know what they need? By learning to pinpoint their pain points, of course.

Though this may be easier said than done, there are effective techniques for detecting your visitors’ problems you can employ right now.

Take notes, for they might mean the difference between bouncing and staying.

Spend Some Time in Your Blog Visitor’s Shoes

Whether you’re blogging to increase your sales or to boost your influence, you certainly have some kind of an idea about who your audience is and what they like to read.

If you’re a businessman, this notion translates to ideal buyer personas. If you’re not, you should learn to create these audience profiles too.

In short, an ideal buyer persona is a “semi-functional representation of your ideal customer based on market research and real data about your existing customers”.

You’re not blogging to sell but to influence people? This strategy can help you attract more followers if you perceive them as buyers of your ideas, thoughts, and practical know-how.

(In one way or another, all successful bloggers monetize on their writing.)

If you get to know their age, level of education, professional background, and online behavior, you can easily determine their goals, objectives, and biggest challenges. Just put yourself in their shoes and learn to think as they do.

Conduct a Research to Discover Typical Pain Points

Let’s say you’re blogging about project management techniques and tools.
That’s not exactly a topic for kids and elderly, isn’t it? Common sense dictates that the audience interested in this subject would be aged 20-55, employed, and tech-savvy.

Now you need to narrow this down by defining their following characteristics:

Interests
Hobbies
Values
Attitudes
Lifestyles

Start with a person you know who fits this profile and then do some snooping around on social media to discover more people similar to them. Focus on their Facebook and LinkedIn pages.

With some luck, this research will lead you to other popular project management blogs – spend some time analyzing your competition and what they have to offer to their followers.

This will give you invaluable insight into pain points you still haven’t addressed.

Available resources such as Google Trends and Quantcast can also be of help. They collect data on current trends and customer interests and offer these insights for free.

After all this, you should have a general idea of what your target audience needs.

Engage Your Visitors in a Spontaneous Conversation

This is as much information as you can get without approaching your visitors directly.

Not only is it possible to determine their pain points by asking them about their problems but this is actually the only truly effective technique you can employ.

Why do research then, you ask?

Without any idea of who your blog visitors are, you won’t be able to approach them in a way that would make them want to share their problems and preferred solutions.

Now that you know the right way to address them, engage them in a spontaneous conversation using an on-site live chat tool. You can do this as soon as they arrive at your landing page.

A simple “Hello, how can I help you?” can go a long way in determining their pain points.

When you’re blogging to sell products and services, live chat can help you learn more about your visitors’ problems before they make a purchase and after they’ve converted into paying customers.

Send them a Survey Using Your Email Subscription List

If you still don’t have an email subscription form on your blog, install one now. That way, you’ll be able to collect email addresses of people who are interested in what you have to say and approach them with a survey that will reveal more about their problems.

Of course, you’ll need to ask them the right questions too.

The questions you’ll ask will depend on what you want to find out. They can be in regard to your blog visitors’ reading habits or in direct relation to your blog offer.

The main idea behind this strategy is to learn how satisfied your visitors are with your blog offer, what else would they want to read about, and what invention would help them the most.

Create a Quiz to Learn About Their Habits and Interests

Similar to surveys, quizzes work even better when it comes to encouraging followers’ feedback. Their biggest advantage is that they don’t rely on any external channel for distribution.

Instead of using email, you can deploy quizzes right on your blog.

Your quiz questions can be more or less the same as your survey questions, though you can make them even more engaging by adding images, presentations, and videos.

Consider BuzzFeed quizzes, for an example.

They may appear as aimless entertainment (“What Type of Burger Are You?” or “Which Celeb Do You Share an Astrological Sign With?”), but they generate a lot of data simply by being fun.

Besides, powerful quiz creator software can help you not only boost your on-site engagement but also analyze your visitors’ personalities, habits, and interests.

Even if a quiz doesn’t reveal their pain points (and there’s no reason it shouldn’t), it will still provide you with all the necessary information for determining their problems yourself.

Conclusion

Every person has problems that need solving, including your blog visitors.

Luckily for you, every person would gladly reveal their pain points if they were promised a solution in return. Your only task is to live up to your promise and make them an offer they can’t refuse.

Until then, allow yourself to experience the pain your followers are experiencing.

Dive into your research and start walking in their shoes.

And, when everything else fails, simply ask them.

Kamy Anderson is an ed-tech enthusiast with a passion for writing for the consumer market in the areas of product research and marketing using quizzes and surveys. Having a knack for writing and an editorial mind-set, He is an expert researcher at a brand that’s known for creating delightfully smart tools such as ProProfs Quiz Maker

Original post: How to Detect the Pain Points of Your Blog Visitors

Business Mistakes to avoid as a blogger and a freelancer

How often do you find yourself stuck in an unwanted business situation?

Like, sending an accurate bill seems tough?

Getting unpaid for the hours you spent on the project but could not track?

These and many more business problems are common when you’ve just entered the freelance and blogging business.

Half of the time you’re struggling to put your business into the place than actually curating something creative.

As a freelancer you must have found out that clients do overlook or tend to take undue advantage of your work.

Most freelancers and blogger complain of being underpaid for their talents. Such forum discussions are common and people have different opinions to it. Some ask you avoid working with such people again. Whereas, others ask for legal actions.

But do you realise, all such incidents you would have easily skipped if you have avoided some business mistakes. In your conscious call of being highly professional with your clients, some holes were left uncovered unconsciously.

Let us have a look at the most common business mistakes that freelancers and bloggers commit without realising. And how you can intelligently avoid them:

Never take too many projects at the same time!
Earning money is a brilliant idea. And, when you see plenty of cash flowing in, you would want to grab all of it. But, taking too many projects at the same time will overfill your table leading to consequences later on. You will miss the deadlines, compromise with quality and miss details.
Hampering your business and reputation, ultimately! Taking up too many projects is a bad idea.

Never give false hopes.

Falls under your umbrella or no? Convey clearly! Just in order to grab a project giving out false hopes is a big no no. for example: if you’re a freelance content writer, tell only your client about your capabilities as a content writer. Do not indulge into their graphic designing requests too. That is not your niche. Avoid wasting your own and client’s time later in the project.


Do not get underpaid!

Nobody in the business can pay you less that your caliber until you allow them to take undue advantage. Many bloggers in the beginning just give their business a kickstart offer some of their best talents at dirt cheap prices. Avoid that strictly! Research the market well, check standard prices, set your charges and then negotiate.

It is important to value your activities and time as much you value your clients.

One man army- bad idea!

Are you planning to draw the entire line from the dot by yourself? Bad idea! A project has various tasks related to it. As a single army you cannot do all of it together. Just like yourself, contact other freelancers and outsource some of the work. This way you would be able to complete the task as well as earn some additional projects too.

Overlooking professionalism!
Staying professional with your business is a conscious call. Big or small, multi-staffed or a freelancer, realising the power of professionalism in the business can turn tables.

People who are more professional can never be taken for granted. Make sure your communications are professional, mails are well read, you invoice them right and have set methods of payment. To easily achieve all of this together opt for an invoicing software for freelancers. It is most basic need for any business. The best invoicing software for freelancers will fulfill all of your business needs under one umbrella, you can create professional looking invoices with pre-designed templates, send it to clients via mail, and accept payments online. Simple, quick and professional. Go, give it a try!

Don’t get hyper!
Do not get hyper if the client demands changes again and again. Try and creating a perfect masterpieces as per their desires. But, if you still feel the demands are getting bit irrational call, meet and talk them over the project calmly. Getting super hyper for pitty situations is not the right kind of attitude. Communication is the key! Remember always!

Never Miss Deadlines.
While you’re doing all of the hard work to keep your client happy and get paid superfast, make sure you’re never laid back from your end. Never miss the deadline that you have decided to complete the projects. As missing deadlines lead to frustration and delays and consequences later on.

It is okay to skip deadlines once or twice because of changes, but such incidents should never be repeated.

Not keeping a clear track of project!
Time is money! Remember to track time efficiently if, you want to get paid accurately. Use the same invoicing software for freelancers to track time and bill your client. It is easy, isn’t it?

Hope you’ve read that well. A good businessman is the one who follows lessons by heart.

I am Veronika Tandon, Sr. Business Consultant for Invoicera. It is the world’s leading online invoice software with a userbase of more than 3 millions. Invoicera has always been chosen by businesses all over the world because of its distinct features and value added services. Connect with @invoicera on Twitter.

Original post: Business Mistakes to avoid as a blogger and a freelancer

The Benefits of Cloud-hosted Log Management

Your application isn’t working the way it should. The first thing you’ll want to see in such an instance is the whole bunch of application logs. The two worst issues that can face a developer at such a time are to either lack the logs or to lack a means by which they can access the logs quickly. The problem with localized logging is that it just happens on your own workstation. You may want to, from time to time, access logs from a workstation other than your own or server. That’s where a cloud-hosted log management solution comes in.

The Problems With Local Logs

Usually, your applications are saved on disk drives where you developed them. The problem is that you will often have an application that runs on a lot more than one machine. Usually, it runs on many different servers, and each of those servers will do its own logging. You will find some common issues with such logs:

-These logs are harder to access because they stretch across many different servers and sometimes many different applications, some of which are still in production

-It can be hard to find the correlation between different log statements when you want to find the ones that relate to the particular transaction you are dealing with

-It might be hard for you to search through the logs to find the data which you are looking for

-The logs may not be stored on your disk permanently but may be there for a limited time

-If you want to archive the logs for the long term, you will have to find a way to get them from the server

A cloud-hosted log management solution should be able to solve all of these problems while offering many more features. There are several benefits to working with a cloud logging service.

The Benefits of Cloud Logging


1. Searching Logs Becomes Easier
If you’ve ever tried to search log data, then you know how difficult it can get. Log data is unstructured, and plenty of useful metadata is not included in the log data. When you contract the services of a cloud logging service you get plenty of additional information in the log files, including such things as the logging level, web request details, thread hash, transaction ID, application logging, application name, environment, server name and so on. It is easy to search through all of these fields, which makes it even easier to find the kind of information you are seeking.

2. Logs Become Structured
This is a direct cause of being able to search the logs easier. When you use a cloud logging service, you can log additional data from your program code, which can be added as custom fields in log data, and you can search them after that. You could add client IDs to log actions and events that occur on the client side and many other things.

3. It’s Easier to Monitor Logs

When you contract a cloud logging service, you get all of your logs in one place. Having them in a centralized location not only makes it easier to search through the logs but also makes it easier to analyze them and find correlations between logs from different servers and applications.

Ultimately, logs are supposed to be used to give you insight into the performance of your system or application. You want to be able to perform a comprehensive analysis of the log data so that you can see little connections that will tell you even more about what is right and wrong with your system. Errors that pop up in one area may have a direct or indirect connection to errors that pop up in another seemingly unrelated area. You won’t know what that potential connection is if you don’t log your data.

4. You Track Errors in Your Application

It’s important to track all of the errors that are logged by your application. These are usually the first place to look when you want to find out what is going wrong with your application. Whether they are null references, database timeouts or whatever kind of error, they are important when it comes to finding out what is wrong with your system.

A cloud logging system will alert of all errors logged by your system and provide comprehensive reports of the same. You will know the first instance of the errors, the frequencies of their occurrences and much more. You won’t be able to know any of that by looking at the simple text files generated by your local logs.

Original post: The Benefits of Cloud-hosted Log Management

How to Take a Great Title and Twist it to Suit Your Blog

You already know how crucial it is to give your blog posts a great title.

After all, the title might well be the only thing a reader sees before deciding whether or not to read your whole post.

But how can you go about crafting a title that really works?

One simple way, especially when you’re starting out, is to borrow from other bloggers.

Is it OK to Use Someone Else’s Title?


While I’d never recommend copying someone’s title word for word, it’s fine to use their title as a template for inspiration: we’ll be looking at exactly how to do that in just a moment.
There’s no copyright on titles, plus most great title formulas are used again and again by many different blogs – so there’s a good chance that whoever you’ve borrowed the title from borrowed it from someone else first.

How to Twist a Title to Suit Your Blog


Here are three great titles taken from different niches. We’re going to look at how to “twist” these to work on very different blogs:

Title #1: No, Content Marketing Is Not a ‘Soft Skill’ (Sonia Simone, Copyblogger)

Title #2: Can’t Pick a Niche? There’s Another Way (Nathalie Lussier, NathalieLussier.com)

Title #3: 6 Ways the Hardback Momentum Planner Can Improve Your Productivity (Charlie Gilkey, Productive Flourishing)

All of these titles are attention-grabbing in different ways. Let’s take a closer look:

Title #1: No, Content Marketing Is Not a ‘Soft Skill’


This title creates some instant intrigue. It’s got a slightly confrontational tone – it’s essentially saying “what you’ve been told is wrong.”

The basic structure of this title is:

No, ____________ Is Not (a) ‘__________’

You could easily create a twist on it to fit your own blog or niche.

For instance:
-No, Leaving Your Baby to Cry it Out Is Not ‘Harmless’ (for a baby/parenting blog)
-No, Guest Posting Is Not ‘Over’ (for a blogging/online marketing blog)
-No, Your Procrastination Is Not ‘Inevitable’ (for a time management/self-improvement blog)

Title #2: Can’t Pick a Niche? There’s Another Way

Again, this title instantly gets the reader interested. It poses a problem they’ve been having – probably a big one – and promises a different way (that, by implication, they probably haven’t thought of).

The basic structure of this title is:

Can’t _____________? There’s Another Way

Here are some ways you could twist it to suit different blogs and niches:

-Can’t Agree on a Baby Name? There’s Another Way (for a baby/parenting blog)
-Can’t Get to Grips with SEO? There’s Another Way (for a blogging/online marketing blog)
-Can’t Get Up Early? There’s Another Way (for a time management/self-improvement blog)

Title #3: 6 Ways the Hardback Momentum Planner Can Improve Your Productivity

I chose this as it’s a solid example of a title that works well for a marketing post (a type of content that can be particularly tricky to make engaging).

The basic structure of this title is:

X Ways (the) ________________ Can Improve Your _______________

Here are some ways you could change that title to fit different blogs and niches:

-3 Ways the New Parents’ Online Conference Can Improve Your Parenting (for a baby/parenting blog)
-7 Ways that Our New Plugin Can Improve Your Blog (for a blogging/online marketing blog)
-4 Ways the Time Hackers Facebook Group Can Improve Your Life (for a time management / self-improvement blog)

I’m sure by now, you’re getting the idea! Just take a look through your email inbox for blog post titles (you can do this with email newsletter subject lines too). What catches your eye? How could you use a similar title on your own blog?

If you need a few titles to practice with, have a go at “twisting” some of these:

Example #1:
Original title: How to Write Short Sentences and Paragraphs the Right Way (and Why it Matters), Ali Luke, ProBlogger

Template: How to ________________ the Right Way (and Why it Matters)

Example #2:
Original title: How to Protect Your Child from Perfectionism, Lisa Parkes, A Fine Parent

Template: How to Protect _______ from ___________

Example #3:
Original title: My 9 Writing Goals for the New Year, K.M. Weiland, Helping Writers Become Authors

Template: My X _________ Goals for ___________

Example #4:
Original title: It’s Not About You: What Editors Want Writers To Know About Pitching, Elizabeth Spencer, Be a Freelance Blogger

Template: It’s Not About You: What _________ Want _______ To Know About _________

Example #5:
Original title: How to Handle Own Goals, Paul Digiovanni, MichaelHyatt.com

Template: How to Handle __________________

Feel free to share your versions – and any other great title templates you come across – in the comments below.

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Original post: How to Take a Great Title and Twist it to Suit Your Blog