India-Pakistan Davis Cup tie postponed to November,India-Pakistan Davis Cup tie postponed to November

first_imgPakistan COMMENTS tennis SHARE SHARE EMAIL COMMENT SHAREcenter_img Published on × August 22, 2019 Postponing the tie under “exceptional circumstance“, says ITF India’s Davis Cup match against Pakistan was on Thursday postponed to November after a security review by the International Tennis Federation.The tie was to be held in Islamabad on September 14-15.The ITF said it was postponing the tie under “exceptional circumstance“.“Following an in-depth security review of the current situation in Pakistan by independent expert security advisors, the Davis Cup Committee has taken the decision to postpone the Davis Cup Asia/Oceania Group I tie between Pakistan and India in Islamabad, due to be played on 14-15 September,” the ITF said in the statement. “The Committee concluded that this is an exceptional circumstance while the first priority of the ITF is the safety and security of athletes, officials and spectators,” it added.The ITF said the tie has been rescheduled for November, with the exact dates to be confirmed by the Committee no later than September 9. “The ITF will continue to monitor the situation in Pakistan and the Davis Cup Committee will re-convene to re-examine the security situation in advance of the tie,” the world body said. last_img read more

11 Steps to Social Networking Success (Hampton Roads)

first_imgOn February 6, 2009, I had the honor to present at the 8th Annual Hampton Roads Institute for Nonprofit Leadership Conference in Norfolk, Virginia. At the bottom of this article is a PDF copy of the slides for this presentation.last_img

5 Steps to a Paperless Life

first_imgShare this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window) RelatedHow to Use a Student Credit Card SuccessfullySeptember 30, 2019In “Student Finances”How To Have A Budget-Friendly Baby ShowerJune 25, 2019In “Family Finances”What to Know About Filing Your TaxesApril 10, 2019In “Tax Tips” Post navigation Let me ask you a personal question. Do you have a shoebox full of receipts? How about a groaning file cabinet? How about stacks of paper? You got stacks?Receipts, pay stubs, bills, statements. These are documents with no sentimental value, but you need to keep them around anyway.Sometimes you need to pull up a specific item, and you have to go rooting around in a shoebox or file.There’s got to be a better way, right? A way to store, file, and search all the minutiae of modern life?I hesitate to use the phrase “going paperless,” because the world isn’t going paperless anytime soon, and setting an amorphous and unattainable goal like “go paperless” is a good way to make nothing done.But the technology is getting better and better, and it’s time to get started. So here’s a concrete and attainable goal: stop accumulating new paper.It can be done, and you probably have some of the tools you need to get started already. Once your stacks stop growing, you can start scanning and shrinking the stacks.Here’s a 5-step plan.1. Sign up for online everythingThe best way to get rid of paper is never to receive it in the first place.Sign up for electronic billing everywhere you can. More and more stores are offering email receipts. Use them.TurboTax offers to let you print your tax return or save it as a PDF. You know the answer.If every utility, employer, retirement plan, and office supply store offered online statements and receipts, this column would be over.Well, the dream of the 90s is still alive for my wife’s employer, my retirement plan, and plenty of places I buy business supplies.So it’s on to step two.2. Your phone is your scannerSmartphone scanning apps have gotten really good.Using the camera on your phone, you shoot a picture of the document you want to scan.The software automatically crops the document, enhances it, converts it to PDF for viewing on any device, and uploads it to your favorite storage service such as Dropbox or Evernote.These apps support single- or multi-page documents, and they’re dirt-cheap.Two of my favorite scanning apps are ScanBot (iOS) and CamScanner (Android).Editor’s note: We’re also fans of JotNot Pro. A lot of people who could benefit from these apps, I think, aren’t using them because they sound like they’re for geeks only. I assure you, they’re not.The scariest thing about ScanBot is the name “ScanBot.” Here’s a screenshot of me, scanning a receipt:That’s it. That Doritos receipt automatically goes to my 2014 Receipts folder on Dropbox, and I just have to figure out why it’s deductible.3. Stick it in the cloudOnce you’ve scanned a document, don’t just store it on your phone or computer. It’s too risky.Stick it in a place where it’ll be backed up and can be viewed on all of your devices.The easiest choices are Dropbox and Evernote. One advantage of Evernote is that it will index the text of your scans.So if you’re looking for all of your pay stubs with overtime on them, Evernote makes it easy to find them.However, this feature is part of Evernote’s premium service, which costs $5/month.4. Shrink the stacksYou won’t want to use a smartphone app to scan a whole file of papers. It would take all day.For big jobs, you need a sheet-fed scanner.It works like a copy machine: put a stack of papers into the input tray, press the button, and kick back while the papers fly across the platen.(I have no idea what a platen is, but it’s probably in there somewhere, right?)The Fujitsu ScanSnap iX500 is the market leader in this category. It’s fast and reliable, and everybody likes it.However, it costs $450, and it’s overkill for all but the most serious cases of clutter.Another option is to ship your documents off to a service like NeatScan, which charges $16 for 50 pages or $90 for 500 pages.I used to recommend single-page sheet-fed scanners such as those made by Doxie and NeatReceipts. They’re cheaper (and slower) than the ScanSnap, but the scan quality is still excellent.However, phone cameras and scanning apps have gotten so good, there’s really no reason to buy a cheap physical scanner anymore.5. Shred itFinally, invest in a decent cross-cut shredder. Paper will keep coming your way. Give it a proper burial.Matthew Amster-Burton is a personal finance columnist at Mint.com. Find him on Twitter @Mint_Mamster.last_img read more

Mint Money Audit: Managing Money When You Make Enough

first_imgAnna’s email requesting help with her finances began with a unique confession.“Farnoosh, my money problem garners little sympathy,” the 32-year-old wrote. “My issue is that I make too much of it.”Now, THIS is interesting, I thought. I immediately followed up with many questions.Here’s what I learned through our conversation:The Denver-based Mint user earns $220,000 per year as an engineer. Anna’s also benefited from years of big bonuses and her net worth, not including her home equity, is close to a million dollars.After paying taxes and health benefits and maxing out her 401(k), Anna takes home between $8,000 and $10,000 each month. Her expenses mainly consist of a $1,200 mortgage payment, car insurance, gas, food and utilities, amounting to maybe a few thousand dollars per month.The rest either goes into savings where she stashes about $5,000 to $10,000 for unexpected expenses or into a brokerage account where she has roughly $800,000 invested. A wealth management firm manages that portfolio and charges, she says, an annual 1% fee.Anna has no consumer debt, besides her mortgage, which amounts to about $338,000. It’s a 30-year fixed rate loan with a 2.85% interest rate. The home has appreciated in recent years with about $100,000 in equity (including Anna’s initial 20% down payment).So, what is the problem, exactly?“My big worry is that I don’t have the habits to manage money well,” Anna told me. Her sizeable bank balance has her feeling financially free, although she worries about getting carried away with spending sometimes.“When I see money in my bank account I rationalize that ‘yea, that vacation is doable. I don’t hold back on the things that may seem frivolous,’” she says. But It seems she wants more financial grounding and to be able to evaluate expenditures and price tags more critically.Anna’s situation may be unique, but I think relatable in the sense that we all would like to feel more thoughtful with how we spend, save and invest. And while some may do well with earning money, it should not be assumed that they can also manage that money well.I applaud Anna for wanting to be sure that, even with an impressive net worth, she is actually making wise financial decisions.Here’s my advice.Take a Deep BreathNo need to panic when spending on things and experiences that you enjoy. From what I can tell Anna’s prioritizing the serious financial stuff first like contributing the max to her 401(k) and saving all of her annual bonuses in a brokerage account. She has no credit card debt and pays all her bills on time. That’s terrific.Sometimes we just want to hear that we’re on the right track with our money and I have a very simple way to measure this:If you manage each paycheck by saving, investing and paying all your bills first, then by all means, you’re entitled to have fun with whatever is left without any fear or regret. Am I right?If you’ve done the good work of taking care of your future with your money, then don’t hesitate treating yourself and others with the remaining funds today. Splurge away and enjoy your hard-earned money. And remember to enjoy the moment.Ditch Your Money ManagersI do think Anna could find a better home for her investments.Paying one percent of her managed assets to this firm may not seem that high of an annual fee. But when you think about Anna’s balance of $800,000, that’s $8,000 this year. What about next year and the decades after that as she contributes more to the account? That fee, compounded over the next 30 years, will amount to – conservatively – over one million dollars. Ouch.That doesn’t even factor in the expense ratios for each mutual fund that’s in her portfolio.If all Anna seeks is investment assistance, she may be better suited stationing her money with an automated wealth platform or robo-advisor where her money is largely invested in low-fee index funds or exchange-traded funds (ETF) and the portfolio management fee is typically 0.50% or less.Of course, breaking up with your financial advisor is not always so simple. It’s especially hard for Anna, as she equated her money managers to “father figures.”If I were Anna, I would just explain to my advisors over email something like, “I want be more conservative with my money and that includes being extra mindful of the various fees that I’m paying. To that end, I’ve decided to manage my money more independently. I’m sure you can understand. I appreciate your help over the years. Please let me know next steps.”Planners know the drill and are used to having clients end relationships.  Stay strong. Nobody can really argue with the fact that saving money is a good thing!Establish Short and Long Term GoalsAnna wants to spend and save with more conviction. I think having some concrete, tangible goals can help.For example, she shared that she’d like to get married, have a family and own two homes – one near her office downtown and another in the mountains as a getaway.So, the next step is to understand what these goals cost. What are, say, the going prices on a vacation home in her state? How much might she want to stash in a separate account for the future down payment on this property? Knowing the underlying costs of her goals can better direct how much to spend elsewhere.Next time she’s planning a vacation, she may be more inclined to price compare or hunt down better deals, as opposed to just judge whether the trip is financially “doable” by the amount of money in her bank account. Now she’ll have the image of that second home and its costs and will make a more informed choice.Contribute to a CauseLast but not least, when you feel you make more than enough, like Anna does, this is a great opportunity to be extra charitable. If she’s seeking a way to give her money more meaning and feel purposeful in her financial life, this is a truly wonderful way to go about it. Discover a cause that you’re passionate about and make an impact as a volunteer and donor.Have a question for Farnoosh? You can submit your questions via Twitter @Farnoosh, Facebook or email at farnoosh@farnoosh.tv (please note “Mint Blog” in the subject line).Farnoosh Torabi is America’s leading personal finance authority hooked on helping Americans live their richest, happiest lives. From her early days reporting for Money Magazine to now hosting a primetime series on CNBC and writing monthly for O, The Oprah Magazine, she’s become our favorite go-to money expert and friend. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window) RelatedMint Success: Transitioning from College Kid to Young ProfessionalJune 3, 2016In “Budgeting”Mint Money Audit: Expecting a Windfall …To Save or Pay?March 7, 2017In “Financial Literacy”We Earn $200,000 and Can’t Save. Help!June 27, 2018In “Money Audit” Post navigationlast_img read more

How to Make Money with Side Hustle Apps

first_img Post navigation The views and opinions expressed in this video and article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinion or view of Intuit Inc, Mint or any affiliated organization.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window) RelatedSide Hustles for Teachers: The Complete GuideJuly 12, 2019In “Saving”6 Ways to Set Your Finances on Auto-PilotDecember 19, 2018In “Financial Planning”Budgeting Basics: How to Save on Inconsistent IncomeAugust 29, 2018In “Budgeting” Earning potentialObviously, side hustles vary in earning potential and each hustle has a different starting price. While some pay a minimum of $10 an hour, others can pay over $40 an hour.A lot of people have a bunch of junk they never use, hoarded away in their back closet. Let’s turn this into a pile of cash. Remember one man’s trash is another’s treasure. About 50% of iPhone users and 40% of Android users upgrade their cell phone as soon as their wireless company allows (typically every two years).  I am that person, and if you’re one of those people, then you probably have at least one or two old smartphones laying around somewhere.With each passing year, those old smartphones are losing market value as their technology becomes more and more obsolete.  So it is in your best interest to sell them immediately. Try out Gazelle for electronics.With just a few pictures of each item, you’ll be able to have posts up in no time, and extra cash in your pocket! Not to mention, the extra space and clean closet!The Letgo selling app is perfect for selling items around your home, due in large part to the fact that it is the largest and fastest-growing selling app out there.Relovv is a new fashion marketplace that lets you save the planet from your closet. Not only are you making money, but you will help Reduce Reuse Relovv and change the wasteful fashion industry forever.Passive IncomeYou can also earn up to $400 dollars a night in passive income and get paid while you sleep by collecting scooters and charging them overnight though Bird.The company sends you chargers for free after making you an official “Bird Hunter”. You can access a map interface through the bird app that tells you where the birds that need charging are and how much they will pay you to charge them.Bird or Lime scooter average pay: The company pays anywhere from $5-$20 per scooter depending on how difficult it is to find and release the scooter. You can charge up to 20 scooters for up to $400 dollars a night.Do you have that untouched room in your house or apartment? Do you want to make money while doing almost nothing? Yes, that opportunity exists. No skills required — just a clean home and the ability to make sure renters have easy access to it. Airbnb performs a background check and reviews public databases of criminal records and national sex offender registries.Airbnb Average pay: $924 per monthHomeAway, VRBO and FlipKey are similar companiesAnother way to make passive income is rent out your car.Let your car work for you, listing your car is simple and usually takes about 10 minutes. You can set your own rates and your car’s availability. Also, Turo provides comprehensive insurance coverage so you don’t need to worry.Turo Average pay: Make up to $600 a monthSo there you have it. Let us know if we missed an app or if there’s one you favor over another. If you ask a random person on the street what they do, chances are they have a lot of slashes and hyphens in their job titles. In this day and age, if you don’t have multiple sources of income you are just getting by. The era of working one job your entire life is over, and when it comes to finding ways to make extra money on the side, millennials are very creative with their side hustles. Some side hustles pay well and some are passion projects, but if you’re looking for some extra cash, listen up.Whether you’re the 44% of the people between the ages of 25 and 34 pursuing a side hustle to make extra income — let’s face it, anyone who does this on their  free time knows how empowering it can be to have a cushion in your bank account.  Say you’re living paycheck to paycheck, struggling to pay off student loans or credit card debt.From pet walking with WAG to recycling old clothes in your closet with Relovv or even making money charging electric scooters with Lime, go-getters are shaping the art of the side hustle and making it work for their lifestyles.Even selling your old tech can make you money. There are now endless opportunities for a motivated person to turn their free time into cold, hard cash. Thanks to new tech, apps and innovations that are helping fuel the rise of a sharing economy that turns assets people already own like cars and homes into business opportunities.If you’ve already trimmed your budget to the bone with the help of the Mint app and still struggle to make ends meet, stop what you’re doing and read on to make money with these side hustle apps. Pro Tip: When looking for side hustle ideas, there are several things to consider before signing up, including scalability, earning potential and scheduling.Scalability Through On-Demand Labor EmployersIf you already have a 9-5  job or are in school and have many commitments, scalability is a big factor to consider. Some on-demand side gigs, including Uber, LYFT  and WAG pet walking, allow you to set your own schedule and decide when you want to work. Once you have signed up you can do jobs for these employers WHEREVER AND WHENEVER you want. I like to emphasize wherever and whenever because there is no actual employer that allows its employee to earn in this way.When money is tight, you can put in more time and work extra hours and take on more jobs to boost your income. Like Uber, Postmates allows you to make your own hours, but no car is required. You can sign up to become a local courier who delivers everything from laundry to take out to customers using the app. You can deliver on foot, by bike, or via scooter.WAG average pay: You can set your rates, but many dog walkers charge about $15 to $25 per walk.Uber or LYFT average pay: $15 to $20 per hour ($15.13* is Uber’s current average).Postmates average pay: up to $25 per hour.last_img read more

How to Teach Your Kids About Money

first_imgThere’s a specific conversation I frequently have with people around my age. As they get closer to middle adulthood and look back on everything they’ve learned about money, they start to wonder – why didn’t they teach us this stuff in school? For whatever reason, the American education system is sorely lacking when it comes to personal finance education. You can easily enter adulthood without ever learning how to set up a budget, open a retirement account or build a respectable credit score. If school is supposed to set you up for success as an adult, that seems like a glaring blind spot. That’s why it falls to parents to teach their kids about money. Here are some important topics to cover, and how to teach them lessons that will actually stick. Share Your Mistakes I grew up in a household where my parents were honest about money. They didn’t mind talking about how much they earned, how much they spent or most importantly, how much they owed. I probably learned as much from their failures as I did from their successes. My parents are immigrants and had never seen a credit card before they moved to America. Entranced by the shiny plastic, they signed up for several, not realizing how easy it would be to rack up a balance. It wasn’t long before they racked up a balance that took them more than a decade to pay off. After my parents learned their lesson, they always taught me to avoid putting more on a credit card than I could afford to comfortably pay off. Seeing how credit card debt affected them spurred me to pay off my student loans quickly and avoid other forms of debt.  I remember hearing conversations about their credit card balance and how they regretted taking on so much high-interest debt. I wasn’t old enough to grasp the specifics, but one thing was clear – they had made mistakes, and now they were suffering the consequences. Don’t be scared to share your personal finance mistakes with your kids. If you put off saving for retirement and playing catch up, tell them about your experience and how you’re fixing it. They’ll learn best from your personal example. Explain the Value of Compound Interest One of the most important savings lessons anyone can learn is how compound interest builds wealth.  Compound interest is the concept of interest building on interest. When you save or invest money, you earn interest on your contributions. That interest will then be added to the principal, where it will earn more interest.  You can do this by opening a high-yield savings account for your child, preferably one that earns at least 1% in interest. Every once in a while, pull up their account statement to show how much interest they’ve earned. When they’re old enough, you can encourage them to use that money to open a retirement account. Show Them How to Budget Like any life skill, budgeting takes a while to master. The earlier your child starts practicing, the better they’ll be at making hard decisions as an adult. You can do this during a family vacation or field trip. Give your kids a set amount at the beginning of the trip and tell them what they’ll be responsible for buying, like extra snacks or souvenirs. Letting them choose their own purchases will teach them how to allocate resources wisely.  Before the trip, you can explain what prices might be like and how to make decisions. If you’re giving them $30 and each toy costs $15-$20, explain how they can probably only afford one big toy or a couple small ones, but not everything.  Let Your Kids Make Mistakes Credit expert and father Matt Schulz advises parents to let kids make their own money mistakes, even if they can prevent it. “I’m a big believer in letting a kid experience buyers remorse,” he said. “Let them use their money to buy something they really want but that you know they’re going to forget about two days later. That can help them think twice before they buy the next thing.” Chuck Jaffe, host of the “Money Life” radio show, witnessed this first-hand when his daughters were six and four years old. They were at an outdoor-themed chain restaurant when the girls spotted a toy in the restaurant gift shop, a puppet named Timber the Talking Tree.  Jaffe explained that they could each afford the toy, but it would empty their bank accounts. The girls each received a weekly allowance and were allowed to spend money however they chose. Jaffe told them they could share the toy and save some money, but they didn’t want to do that. So they each bought the toy. Three weeks later, they stopped playing with it. What’s worse, it took them almost three months to rebuild their bank accounts to where they would be if the girls had just shared the toy. Jaffe said this lesson has stuck with his daughters. Now in their twenties, they still decide on big purchases by asking themselves, “Is this going to be like Timber?” Teach Them to Give With online and mobile advertising, your kids are bombarded with images and links of products they want. Without proper guidance, they can easily end up spending their allowance on material goods as quickly as they receive it. If your kids get an allowance, encourage them to donate part of it to charities and causes they care about. It could be the shelter where you adopted the family dog or a charity that works in your neighborhood. Giving away money also reminds kids how lucky they are and how much they have. It’s important to teach your child the value of a credit score, but it’s also good for them to see how giving away $5 makes an impact on the world. If you and your spouse give to charity, explain why it’s so important to you. Your child might even want to start their own fundraiser.  Post navigation Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window) RelatedWhat I Wish I Knew About Money Throughout the YearsMay 2, 2019In “Financial Literacy”Essential Money Skills Your Kid Needs to KnowOctober 16, 2019In “Family Finances”Top Games and Apps That Will Help Your Kid Learn About MoneyMay 14, 2019In “Family Finances” last_img read more

Swimming in the sea could increase risk of illnesses

first_imgPeople who swim in sea waters are at higher risk of developing illnesses, a large-scale study carried out by The University of Exeter Medical School and Centre for Ecology and Hydrology has revealed.The work was funded by the European Regional Development Fund and published in the International Journal of Epidemiology. According to the authors, it was the “first systematic review to evaluate evidence on the increased risk of acquiring illnesses from bathing in seawater compared with non-bathers”.The study compiles results from more than 120,000 people and includes data from high-income nations like the U.S., United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Denmark, and Norway since 1961.Compared to those who did not swim in sea waters, the chances of sea-swimmers developing an earache increased by 77% while the odds of a gastrointestinal illness increased by 29%. Twelve studies showed 44% higher odds of diarrhea while six studies suggested a 27% higher chance of stomach ache. The risks are also said to affect those who participate in bathing or sea sports such as surfing. “In high-income countries like the UK, there is a perception that there is little risk to health of spending time in the sea,” explained Dr. Anne Leonard, a co-author from the University of Exeter Medical School.“However, our paper shows that spending time in the sea does increase the probability of developing illnesses, such as ear ailments and problems involving the digestive system, such as stomach ache and diarrhea. We think that this indicates that pollution is still an issue affecting swimmers in some of the world’s richest countries.”Leonard believes that these illnesses are due to water pollution, affecting swimmers from even the richer nations. Seawater contamination is usually caused by industrial waste, sewage, and run-off from farmland. The authors mention that there were some limitations to the study, as they relied on self-report, varied in sample size and did not take other health conditions into consideration. Dr. Will Gaze, who was the supervisor of the study, assured that the researchers don’t want to “deter people from going into the sea, which has many health benefits such as improving physical fitness, wellbeing and connecting with nature”.He explained that while most would recover from the infections without any medical treatment, the study aimed to keep people informed about the potential risks, especially for vulnerable groups such as children, elders and those with pre-existing health conditions.Studies have shown that human activities are the main factor behind marine pollution which has also affected plants and animals. Thousands of tons of waste (i.e. plastics, oil waste, radioactive waste, and sewage) continue to be dumped in the ocean on a daily basis.“We have come a long way in terms of cleaning up our waters, but our evidence shows there is still work to be done. We hope this research will contribute to further efforts to clean up our coastal waters,” Gaze added.last_img read more

Champions Call to Reduce Global Food Loss and Waste

first_imgThis level of inefficiency has huge economic, social and environmental impacts. Food loss and waste causes $940 billion in economic losses annually. It exacerbates food insecurity and malnutrition. And food that is ultimately lost or wasted consumes about a quarter of all water used by agriculture, is responsible for an estimated 8 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, and requires an area of cropland the size of China. In fact, if food loss and waste were a country, it would be the third-largest emitter of greenhouse gases, after China and the United States.Click to enlarge. Who Has Joined Champions 12.3?Dave Lewis (Group Chief Executive, Tesco – Chair) Achim Steiner (Executive Director, United Nations Environment Programme – Co-Chair) Dr. Andriukaitis (European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety) Peter Bakker (President, World Business Council for Sustainable Development) Paul Bulcke (Chief Executive Officer, Nestlé) Wiebe Draijer (Chairman of the Executive Board, Rabobank) Shenggen Fan (Director General, International Food Policy Research Institute) Louise Fresco (President of the Executive Board, Wageningen University) Liz Goodwin (Chief Executive Officer, Waste and Resources Action Programme) Eva Kjer Hansen (Minister of Environment and Food, Denmark) Hans Hoogeveen (Vice Minister for Agriculture, The Netherlands) Yolanda Kakabadse (President, WWF International) Sam Kass (Senior Food Analyst at NBC News and former U.S. White House Chef) Gina McCarthy (Administrator, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency) Evelyn Nguleka (President, World Farmers’ Organisation) Kanayo Nwanze (President, International Fund for Agricultural Development) Raymond Offenheiser (President, Oxfam America) Cao Duc Phat (Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Vietnam) Paul Polman (Chief Executive Officer, Unilever) Juan Lucas Restrepo Ibiza (Chairman, Global Forum on Agricultural Research) Judith Rodin (President, The Rockefeller Foundation) Oyun Sanjaasuren (President of United Nations Environment Assembly and Member of Parliament of Mongolia) Feike Sijbesma (Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Managing Board, Royal DSM) Andrew Steer (President and Chief Executive Officer, World Resources Institute) Tristram Stuart (Founder, Feedback) Rhea Suh (President, Natural Resources Defense Council) Rhoda Peace Tumusiime (Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture, The African Union) Sunny Verghese (Co-Founder, Group Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer, Olam International) Tom Vilsack (Secretary, U.S. Department of Agriculture) Senzeni Zokwana (Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Republic of South Africa) Today at the World Economic Forum’s annual summit in Davos, Switzerland, a coalition of 30 leaders launched Champions 12.3, an effort to create political, business and social momentum to reduce food loss and waste around the world. Champions 12.3 is a voluntary coalition of executives from governments, businesses, international organizations, research institutions, farmer groups and civil society (Box 1) dedicated to inspiring ambition, mobilizing action and accelerating progress toward achieving Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Target 12.3. The target aims to halve per capita global food waste at the retail and consumer levels, as well as reduce food losses along production and supply chains by 2030.A Historic MomentDr. Hans Hoogeveen, the Dutch Vice-Minister for Agriculture, called for the formation of Champions 12.3 in September 2015 during the UN General Assembly. Photo by IISD/ENB The formation of Champions 12.3 comes at a historic time. Just four months ago during the United Nations General Assembly, the countries of the world formally adopted a set of 17 SDGs as a follow up to the Millennium Development Goals. The SDGs are global goals to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all.The 12th SDG focuses on ensuring sustainable consumption and production patterns. The third target under this goal, Target 12.3, calls for reducing food loss and waste in order to increase food security, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and help alleviate poverty. This ambitious yet achievable target has the potential to embed the reduction of food loss and waste firmly in public and private sector strategies around the world.A Historic ChallengeReducing food loss and waste is a challenge of historic proportion. An astounding share of food is currently lost or wasted between the farm and the fork – 32 percent of all food by weight and 24 percent of all food calories.Click to enlarge. Reducing food loss and waste, therefore, can deliver a triple win: Saving money for farmers, companies, and households; wasting less to feed more people; and alleviating pressure on climate, water, and land resources.A Historic OpportunityChampions 12.3 leverages a timely opportunity to mobilize public and private sector capacities to convert Target 12.3 into a reality. One thing the world learned from the Millennium Development Goals that preceded the SDGs is the necessity for a consistent drumbeat of support from top leaders for global targets to be met. This experience underpins the formation of Champions 12.3.Champions will inspire action by:Leading by example on how to reduce food loss and waste;Motivating others to meet SDG Target 12.3;Communicating the importance of food loss and waste reduction;Showcasing successful food loss and waste reduction strategies; andAdvocating for more innovation, greater investment, better information, and increased capacity to reduce food loss and waste.Champions 12.3 will complement ongoing UN efforts such as SAVE FOOD and Think.Eat.Save, as well as other initiatives such as EU FUSIONS, the global Food Loss & Waste Protocol, private sector action and more.By lending their voice to new and existing food loss and waste reduction efforts, the Champions have the potential to accelerate progress on an SDG target we all can rally around.last_img read more

At COP23, Prioritizing Adaptation and Addressing Loss and Damage

first_imgCommunities around the world are doing the best they can to deal with loss and damage. The government of Kiribati is already grappling with difficult decisions associated with loss and damage, like planned relocation. Alaskan communities living on melting permafrost have also developed community relocation plans and are seeking financial assistance to move to more stable locations. Some Latin American and African farmers are shifting away from coffee production, because the beans are highly sensitive to even the smallest changes in temperature. They are now planting more heat-tolerant crops, like cacao, instead. Elsewhere, countries are buying insurance policies that, while not a silver bullet, can help affected communities manage climate risks. Regional insurance platforms already exist in the Caribbean, Africa and the Pacific islands. The G7 Initiative on Climate Risk Insurance is also increasing access to insurance, seeking to cover 400 million of the most vulnerable people in developing countries by 2020.In Bonn, Parties will continue to grapple with loss and damage. The Executive Committee of the Warsaw International Mechanism on Loss and Damage (WIM) must make progress on its recently approved five-year rolling work plan, which highlights and proposes steps forward on important issues like non-economic losses, slow-onset events, permanent losses and damages, displacement and comprehensive risk management. At COP23, Parties will have the opportunity review the workplan; they should signal the growing urgency of the WIM’s work and urge the Executive Committee of the WIM to carry forward its mandate without delay.COP23 will be a moment for countries to recognize the challenges posed by severe climate impacts. Parties can and should seize this opportunity to help nations and communities, especially the most vulnerable, manage these impacts. As representatives from around the world gather in Bonn, Germany for the 23rd Conference of the Parties, the climate summit known informally as COP23, millions of Puerto Ricans are waiting for power to be restored after superstorms Irma and Maria destroyed their electrical grid. In South Asia, 41 million people are struggling to rebuild homes washed away by unprecedented flooding, and across sub-Saharan Africa, 38 million farmers are grappling with food shortages following two consecutive years of drought.The government of Fiji, the first small island nation to preside over the United Nation’s climate gathering, will no doubt prioritize helping vulnerable communities and countries manage climate impacts—an urgent task underscored by this year’s climate-related disasters. As decision-makers propose steps for the ambitious mitigation action called for in the Paris Agreement, they will also pave the way for greater cooperative action on adaptation and approaches to addressing loss and damage. Here’s what we expect to see at COP23:Concrete, Practical Steps to Help Countries and Communities AdaptKenyan farmers have worked to climate-proof their agriculture. (Flickr/Cecilia Shubert) The Paris Agreement elevated the importance of adaptation, and all countries will now contribute to a global goal on adaptation. In the face of increasingly devastating climate impacts, Parties must make progress on implementing the Agreement’s adaptation-related provisions. This includes hammering out the details of how countries will communicate their adaptation priorities and actions, which will enable the Parties to recognize vulnerable countries’ efforts to adapt, evaluate collective progress and identify on-going needs. Negotiators will also consider recommendations to assess the effectiveness and adequacy of adaptation action and support — critical steps forward in helping Parties measure progress toward the global adaptation goal.Discussions will also focus on mobilizing more support, including finance, for adaptation, and the Parties could decide once and for all whether the Adaptation Fund, established under the Kyoto Protocol, will be explicitly linked to the Paris Agreement.As countries negotiate the details for implementing the Paris Agreement, they will also continue building resilience at home. Many are already advancing innovative adaptation policies and programs to protect their people, economies and ecosystems from the climate change impacts; for example, 54 African heads of state launched the Africa Adaptation Initiative (AAI) in 2015 to build resilience across the continent. AAI accelerates adaptation action and financial flows by promoting good practices, building capacity and helping countries access climate finance. In Mali, for instance, the government and its partners are helping vulnerable communities adapt to rising temperatures, unpredictable growing seasons and more frequent droughts through improved forecasting, water harvesting techniques and diversification of land-use patterns.These efforts offer the Parties at COP23 important, real-world lessons, which will be significant as they negotiate to implement the Paris Agreement’s adaptation-related provisions.Heightened Attention to Addressing Loss and DamageAs Caribbean islands and Atlantic coastal communities experienced this year, even the best adaptation policies and programs may not be enough. We cannot climate-proof our way out of every disaster. In Barbuda, record-breaking Hurricane Irma destroyed 95 percent of its buildings and left 60 percent of its residents homeless. These losses and damages can set vulnerable small islands back decades, undermining hard-fought development gains.Countries are also facing less visible but just as devastating slow-onset climate impacts, such as melting glaciers and hotter temperatures. Rising sea levels, for instance, could leave entire swaths of low-lying Kiribati underwater by 2050 and pollute its remaining freshwater sources with saltwater — essentially making the small island nation unlivable. Losses could extend far beyond economic outputs. What will happen to Kiribati’s national sovereignty and cultural heritage? Where will its citizens go?Kiribati at sunset—or dawn. (Flickr/jopolopy)last_img read more

How to Revive an Old Blog Article for SEO

first_img Topics: One of the many great benefits of blogging is the traffic from search engines that you get to each and every article for keywords related to that specific article (if you blog is set up correctly).  The traffic for each keyword or for each article is usually small – though once in a while you usually hit it big.  But when you add up the traffic for dozens, or over time, hundreds of blog articles, it can really add up.One example of this is an article I wrote 6 months ago in June 2007 about “Free Google Advertising”.  Even as recently as a couple weeks ago, we were still getting some traffic to this article because it ranked on the first page of Google for terms like “free advertising on Google”, and a lot of people search for terms like that.But, recently I noticed the traffic for these keywords had died off. (Oh no!)  I checked our rank for the keywords and sure enough, or rank had declined so we were no longer on the first page.  As we all should know by now: No first page = No traffic.  I could have just accepted it and moved on and written some new articles.  But I didn’t.  With a few quick changes to the article, I was able to climb back up in the rankings and start to get some of the traffic back in just a couple days.Here is a HubSpot graph showing our rank for one of the relevant keywords.  Notice how we were on the first page for a long time, then fell off, and then moved back up.How to Revive an Old Blog Article for SEOHere are the steps I took to climb back up in the rankings for this blog article and get my traffic back. Originally published Jan 14, 2008 12:44:00 PM, updated October 18 2015 Research the keywords that were driving traffic before.  Knowing what the most important word or phrases were that had been driving traffic to your article before is important, since you know you have a very good shot at ranking for those terms again.Analyze the key on-page SEO characteristics of the article.  The most important field is the title of the article (which should also be the page title and the page URL if your blog is configured properly).  You should also look at any headings within the article and the text of the article itself.  For instance, I noticed that I had not used the word “advertising” or “advertisement” very much (only a couple times).Rewrite the article title.  My old title “Free Advertising on Google: A How To Guide” was good at getting people interested in reading the article.  It was not as good for search engines.  I made it shorter and more focused on my keywords.  The title is now “Free Advertising on Google”.  Because my blog is set up correctly, this text also automatically appears in the page title and the URL, so they are more focused as well.  Cool.Rewrite or add headings.  Search engines look at text in headings as more important than other text on the page.  So, if you don’t have any headings, add them.  If you do have them, make sure they focus on your keywords.  I re-wrote one of my headings to be “How to Get Free Advertising on Google” and added two others with keywords.Edit the article text.  Tweak the article content a bit to try and incorporate the keywords for which you had been ranking into the article content a bit more.  I don’t believe in measuring keyword density like some people – I think the text needs to be well written not mechanical, but you can probably add the right keywords into the article 3-5 more times without much trouble.Write a new blog article that links to the old one.  A new blog article that has a well placed link to the old one using anchor text that includes your keywords can help a little bit, since it is an additional link and references the relevant keywords in the link text.  For example, at the top of this article, I linked to the old article.Track your rank for the next couple days / weeks.  Depending on the authority of your website with Google and how often they index your website, you can see changes in a couple days (like me) or it might take longer.One of the more advanced things I did not do, but could have done, is to analyze all of the links into the blog article and see if I could optimize the anchor text of any of those links to be more focused on the right keywords.  Maybe if I get bored this weekend I’ll do that too. center_img Blog Optimization Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more

Getting Found – Yankee Swap

first_img Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Originally published Dec 27, 2007 10:06:00 AM, updated October 01 2019 Since it is the holidays I thought I would give an example of getting found online with a holiday theme.  This year for Christmas my family has decided to take up the tradition of holding a yankee swap, where basically everyone brings a gift to the party and people choose gifts and swap them according to a set of rules.  It can actually be even more fun than just opening gifts, and we still get to spend time together.  Plus, you only need to buy one gift, not a gift for each person, which really reduces the stress and pressure of the holiday season, making it a lot more enjoyable. (Thanks for suggesting it, Kiddo!)However, over email, there were a number of concerns about the exact rules we should use for our previous yankee swaps we had done with other people.  It seems we had all played by slightly different rules. What did I do?  Of course I went to Google.  I searched for “yankee swap rules”.  After clicking on a few of the results, I found a website that seems to get the whole inbound marketing and Internet thing.My Google search for “yankee swap rules”:The first result for “yankee swap rules” was a PDF from www.yankee-swap.net that lists out the rules.  I clicked on it.  I put a link to it into an email to send to my family.  Pretty useful.I went back to Google to learn more. The second result – an indented result to the first one, was the Yankee-Swap.net homepage.  I also clicked on it.Back to Google to learn more.  I skipped down to the 5th result, a page on Wikipedia (a known brand) and clicked on that.  I read the article.  What did I see on the bottom of the article?  Two links back to the rules on Yankee-Swap.net.  Interesting!  I put a link to the Wikipedia article into the email to the family.Back to Google for more research. Now I see in the 6th result, a blog article about “What are the Rules to a Yankee Swap and How to Win”.  We have a competitive family, so I wasn’t going to send out a link to these strategic tips, but I certainly read it for myself.  What did I find?  Well, in the article, there was another link to Yankee-Swap.net.  Very interesting!I also checked out the 9th result, an entry from Yahoo! Answers.  If the folks at Yankee-Swap.net had been really on top of things, they could have submitted an answer to that question and linked back to their rules page on their website as the resource they used to answer the question.  They did not do this, but they could have.What does this mean for your company? What does all this mean?  Think about it.  A tiny company can have a presence on 50% of the first page of Google results for a core search term for their business.  You might ask “but who cares about getting listed for yankee swap rules?”  Don’t you think Amazon would want to be listed in these results?  Maybe with multiple pages with rules for different variations of the game, and then show gifts at different price points alongside the rules?How is your company “getting found” online?  If you search for some terms in your product category, can prospects find you?  How much of the Google results do you dominate?  Are there blog articles written by other people that mention and link to your company in the results?  Are there other third party websites that mention and link to your company in the results?  Does your company website even show up?  What about your blog?  How are you spreading your content around the web so that your prospects can’t help but find you?Don’t stress about this topic too much today.  Enjoy the holiday season.  But put it on your calendar for January 7 to think about this and plot a strategy for 2008.Happy Holidays! SEO Topics:last_img read more

What Are Your Road Blocks to Inbound Marketing Success?

first_img – Lack of awareness (or in some cases flat-out denial of something’s importance) is very real but not one that most people like to admit to. Being unaware of something simply means you are uninformed. This is an easy one. The resources here at HubSpot alone are enough to help one understand more about Internet marketing than they might imagine. There are other great resources like blogs ( Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack and the owner of FT Internet Marketing Search Engine Land It usually is not prudent to jump into everything right away. In fact, many SMB’s are scared off by the fact that there is so much to do that they choose to do nothing while using time, money and resources as their deflectors. Working with small- and medium-sized business owners and marketers there are a few recurring themes that are not going away, despite mounting evidence that they should. time 3. Strategy Marketing Pilgrim HubSpot Free Trial In conclusion, while this is a very general overview of the things that can help the SMB understand and eventually embrace Internet marketing, there is more. If you had the chance to ask any question that could help you “get over the hump” what would it be? , 1. Education Optimize your website to get found by more prospects and convert more of them into leads and paying customers with HubSpot’s inbound marketing system. – A word of caution here. It makes sense that you should seriously consider having a professional make a full assessment of your current Internet presence and the opportunities that exist moving forward. A great first step is HubSpot’s , . While this is a great overview there is much more to consider with regard to the details and nuances that are important parts of the Internet marketing. You can easily move into an executable strategy based on an assessment that includes a detailed analysis of the competitive environment you will encounter and the possible Internet marketing options that exist for your business. Some common excuses for SMB’s not paying greater attention to their online presence include 2. Assessment Small Business SEM ) that can provide the insight needed to gain a comfort level with Internet marketing as well. Topics: , money and resources. These are standard ‘excuses’ that keep them from having to make a decision that may require significant change to their business but that could ensure success moving forward. These excuses are actually a form of business sabotage that can seriously effect the future of their organization. Start your trial now! First, the number of small and medium businesses that even pay attention to their online presence in a genuine fashion is surprisingly low. Many small-business types claim that they have always done business a certain way (referrals, personal networking, Yellow Page advertising, etc) and that the Internet is not as critical to them. Be bold and don’t worry how you appear. Your bottom line is about results and if you need to step out and admit you need help you may be pleasantly surprised with the outcome. Website Grader What is getting in your way of success with Internet marketing? www.frankthinking.com The real reasons for not paying the appropriate amount of attention to Internet marketing for the small and medium businesses are much more visceral or gut level. They are lack of awareness — and even fear.So how does an SMB overcome the two hurdles of fear and “not knowing what they don’t know?” Here’s the 30,000 foot flyover version. – Having a well thought-out and researched Internet marketing strategy goes a long way to alleviating the fear that exists from the unknowns of Internet marketing. Often it feels like the SMB should be doing EVERYTHING Internet-marketing-related including search engine optimization, paid search, social marketing, local search and more. A solid Internet marketing strategy will help you recognize where you should start and to what degree. You may eventually incorporate all of the Internet marketing options available (if they will produce a positive return on investment) but to start, it is best to crawl before you walk. Originally published May 7, 2009 8:30:00 AM, updated October 20 2016 . Inbound Marketing This post was written by Frank Reed, a blogger at last_img read more

4 Simple Steps to Get Ramped Up With Mobile Marketing

first_img Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack It’s no secret that, in our society, mobile devices are more pervasive than computers. Five times as many people have cell phones compared to PCs, states an Impiger Mobile report. Wow!If you haven’t spent much time designing your mobile marketing strategy, no worries. This post will help you get ramped up. Here are four simple steps to get your company website on the screens of those 271 million mobile subscribers.1. Get Comfortable With Your Own Mobile DeviceIn order to understand how to properly create a mobile website, visit some on your own cell phone. See how websites translate onto the smaller screen, practice conducting searches on Google, and even try a voice search to get a little fancy! Familiarize yourself with the workings of the mobile web so you can best understand how to represent your company to the same magnitude on a screen that is 1/8 of the size of your computer’s.2. Set Up Your Mobile WebsiteNext, you need to make your website mobile-friendly. This adjustment, as you have learned from our first point in this post, will allow people who are visiting your website on a mobile device to easily view it. To achieve this, you have two main options.You can create an entirely different version of your website targeted for mobile viewers, and set up a mobile redirect. (Most likely, your web hosting service will be able to build a browser redirect feature into your website.) Through this feature, a line of code is placed on your website’s homepage to determine the size of a visitor’s browser screen. Based on each screen’s size, the visitor is either directed to the mobile site, or they stay put.Besides the redirect option, you can also use mobile CSS to make your website mobile-friendly. The CSS basically allows you to change the way your website is organized and displayed just on mobile devices.Before you proceed with either of these options, you should weed out some of the less important information that is on your actual website and tailor it toward mobile viewers. Mobile visitors are typically looking for key information when they visit your website, so reduce the information included on your web pages to provide them with just information that will be most useful. For example, make contact information prominently visible, and make the navigation less robust and more focused.3. Create a QR Code PromotionQR codes are increasingly present in modern consumer behavior, so marketers should consider incorporating them into a point-of-purchase poster, a business card, a direct mail piece or a brochure. There is a range of QR code generators that you can use to create your own QR code. When building your QR code, make sure that the URL is designed for a mobile browser, or else that would defeat the purpose! So what can you promote using a QR code?Jamie Turner and Jeanne Hopkins, the authors of Go Mobile, used QR codes to provide clues for a nationwide scavenger hunt for four iPads. They promoted these ‘clues’ in different marketing channels, including emails, webinars and regular landing pages, thus capturing leads that they could build relationships with.4. Create a Mobile Display AdA mobile display ad can be a great way for your business to acquire new customers. Not surprisingly, US mobile ad spending is expected to skyrocket by 2015. One of the most popular types of mobile advertising is related to geotargeting and the ability to offer your products or services when they are most convenient to the customer. As Jumptap suggests in this presentation, zip code or regional targeting provides scale for companies looking to invest in mobile ads.Utilize the array of mobile display searches, including iAd (Apple), Millennial Media (Independent), and AdMob (Google) to bring on new customers. Apple icons, for instance, present a great branding opportunity for people who use iPhones, iPads, and iPod Touches.Now that you’re on your way to championing your mobile website, check out our Ultimate Cheat Sheet for Mastering Mobile Marketing to ensure all your efforts pay off!Guest blogger Nici Perreault contributed to this post. Mobile Marketing Topics: Originally published Jan 13, 2012 4:00:00 PM, updated October 20 2016last_img read more

10 Tempting Email Promos Your Prospects Can’t Resist

first_imgIt’s not that your email marketing content isn’t spectacular. But your subscribers may be wondering, “Hey, am I ever going to get the hook up? The insider deal? That little bit of extra-special love reserved just for me?”The answer is yes … well, if you can think of a cool deal to send them. I mean, the straight up X% OFF and BOGO deals feel a little stale after a while, don’t they?If they feel stale to you, chances are your subscribers aren’t drooling over them, either. And if you’re unsure, just take a look at your click-through rates; if they’re stagnating or taking a nose dive, it’s time to get creative with the deals you’re sending to drive clicks and revenue. And as it turns out, social shares and forwards, too — research shows that emails with a promotion or discount receive the most shares (34.7%) as compared with other types of email content. Pretty sweet deal if you ask me.So what kinds of promotions can you send? We dug deep into the recesses of our brains (and our inboxes) to come up with a list of creative deals you can use in upcoming email campaigns that will perk your subscribers right up. Take a gander.10 Creative Deals to Send in Your Email Marketing Campaigns1) Limited SupplyA successful promotion — especially an email promotion that relies on getting someone to whip out a credit card when they’re trolling through an overloaded inbox — needs to instill a sense of urgency. What better way to create that sense of urgency than a dwindling supply? You can make that sense of scarcity even more pronounced using visual cues, like an inventory ticker or counter, to indicate how much of your supply is left and really light a fire under their tuckus. For a promotion of this nature, try targeting first time buyers or those who make infrequent purchases to get them more engaged with your brand; you’ve already established your value with return shoppers.2) “Use-It-or-Lose-It” CreditTechCrunch recently published the results of a Harvard research study on teaching incentives in which they found performance improved not when incentives were given after performance metrics were achieved, but when incentives were given up-front and could be taken away if performance metrics weren’t achieved. This is the principle of “loss aversion” in which people, once they have something, don’t want to give it up. Experiment with this concept in your email marketing deals, too.For example, you might offer a “Use-It-or-Lose-It” credit that gets shoppers to, well, shop. There are two approaches you could take with this: you could either give a credit that’s less than the cost of your products or services, ensuring you still generate some revenue; or you could trust that a one-time purchaser will return and make more purchases in the future, offering a credit that wouldn’t require a recipient to dole out any of their own cash.3) Give Away Your ExpertiseSometimes a valuable action isn’t a transaction — it’s an activity that leads to a transaction. These are the types of deals that matter for businesses with longer sales cycles and/or higher ticket items. Instead of focusing on price, you need an opportunity to build value, and you can do that by giving away your expertise as opposed to percentages off. Offer free consultations, free assessments, free diagnostics, free tutorials, free whatever to get high-quality leads to the point where they’re ready to make a purchase with you.4) Send This Deal to a Friend in NeedLeverage your network’s network (and by extension, expand yours) by incentivizing forwards and shares of your deals. This is particularly effective for segments of your database that are engaged with your emails — they’ll have high open rates and often, high click-through rates — but aren’t actually transacting with your business. In other words, they like you, but they’re not ready to settle down in a house in the suburbs with you. But they’d totally set you up with their friend!You can do this with any deal, but let’s use the last promo idea to demonstrate the principle. Let’s say you’re offering a free consultation to optimize someone’s blog, and this certain segment of your email list just isn’t biting despite all the regular indications that they’re qualified for this conversion event. Send them an email that asks them whether they know any friends who need a little help with their blog. Hey, if they do, they can be the hero that sends them access to a free consultation with an expert that can help them! And there’s something in it for them, too — if their friend books the consultation, they’ll get a $50 credit to a blog-writing service to help keep their content machine chugging.You get a new lead, your recipient gets to be a hero and some free blog content, and their friend gets help with their blog. That’s a win-win-win right there.5) Give Away Something Really, Really Valuable …… that doesn’t cost a lot to you. Many businesses have access to these things, but they overlook them because, well, it’s just no biggie to you. For example, a colleague of ours used to own a website that sold cigars, and he had access to some pretty fancy-pants lighters. His leads and customers loved them, so he sent an email to those people cutting them a deal — buy a certain amount of cigars, and you can have one of the lighters for free. Kind of like a reward for being a great customer! Sometimes people just need that extra cherry on top to incite them to action.6) Thanks for Sharing!Referral bonuses are a fantastic incentive for current customers to share their love for your brand with their network. Thank those who share your email content by giving them a discount on their next purchase, or a credit for your site. You can even reward both the referrer and the person he or she referred by offering them both the discount or credit. This helps keep everyone engaged with your company and coming back for more and more purchases — oh, and more referrals, too. If you’re looking for examples of this type of deal, two companies who do this really well are Jetsetter and ModCloth; check them out!7) Instant (or Eventual) RebateOffer an instant rebate (or depending on how long it takes, an eventual rebate) to incentivize recipients to complete a desired action. For example, you might offer cash back or a credit on an order when someone forwards that order confirmation email to a friend to show off their latest purchase. This incentivizes good behavior, and if you’re offering a credit for that behavior, it encourages the recipient to visit your site again and get shopping!8) Price Change NotificationFor this promotion, you’re at the mercy of your operations and finance department — but if you don’t leverage it when you have the opportunity, you and your leads are missing out! If something you’re selling is going to increase in price, let your leads know now. If someone’s considering purchasing your products or services (especially if a product is favorited or in their cart), an email alert that the price will increase but you’ll be able to get them in at the lower rate will create a serious sense of urgency. Plus, it will separate those who are serious about making a purchase with you, and those who are just window shopping right now. Be sure to include the date at which the price increase will take effect so the proper expectations are set, and you have that extra little bit of urgency to help motivate a purchase.9) Leverage Themes and TimelinessAnother way to use newsjacking principles to craft a creative promotion is by leveraging events or popular news items to get people’s attention. This is how you can take flat, stale deals like 50% OFF or BOGO and actually get people’s attention with them. For example, you’ve all heard of Fifty Shades of Grey, right? You may have even read it … though may not admit it 😉 Many hotels are finding ways to tie it into their industry, offering romantic packages where couples can, ahem, live out their fantasies. You don’t even have to go this far, though; you could simply send a “punny” discount, like a 50% OFF Shades of Grey promo, or a Two-for-One Valentine’s Day discount.10) Partner HookupFinally, don’t forget to leverage your partner network for email promotions. Ask them if they’re willing to send out your email promotions on your behalf, getting you access to an entirely new list, as well as giving you some credibility by receiving promotion from someone other than yourself. You could even work out a deal with partners in which your services are discounted exclusively for their audience — just be sure that value is clearly communicated in the email — to give their list a sense of VIP status. Making people feel like they’re getting the insider deal in this way is another fantastic way to not only generate new leads and revenue, but also make your partner look great as a provider of these types of VIP hookups.What other creative deals can you think of to send in your email marketing campaigns?Image credit: Lomo-Cam Originally published Aug 14, 2012 12:30:00 PM, updated October 20 2016 Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Topics: Email Marketinglast_img read more

Has Social Media Marketing Lost Its Way?

first_imgThe first time I ever tweeted about a company and got a tailored response felt like serendipity. It’s easy to trivialize it now, but that first one-to-one interaction was a major breakthrough for me in the way companies could communicate with their customers. A whole new channel had opened up — one that was at once more personal and more expansive than anything that had ever preceded it.Fast forward six years. Today, the majority of customer comments on social media go unanswered. Social spam is on the rise, and company tweets often read more like broadcast messages than genuine shares. Has social just gone completely off the rails?If it has, it sure didn’t start there. And it doesn’t have to end there. One of my favorite lines from Dharmesh Shah’s Culture Code talk encapsulates this social phenomenon marketers have experienced: “We start out exceptional. As we grow, there is a dark force that pulls us toward average. If we regress to the mean, we fail. It’s that simple.”Social media is too important to “regress to the mean.” We have to stop ourselves from slipping into the same bad practices that have troubled email marketing for so long. To push ourselves further, we ought to keep an eye on some of the trends that have been bubbling up in social media marketing today, and challenge each other to overcome them. Here’s what I’m talking about.What are we overcoming, exactly? We’re overcoming what we turned social media into. Social media is, by definition, a social channel.Let’s stop talking about social media for a minute. Let’s just talk about being social. What does that mean? What are social interactions? Meaningful social interactions typically:Occur one-on-one or in smaller groups whose members have something in common;Draw on context, historical or otherwise, to make the conversation more meaningful;Have a purpose, whether to delight, to inform, or to help.Alright, now let’s go back to social media marketing. What have most social media marketing interactions turned out to be? One-way, impersonal, broadcast messages. Marketers have taken social media from this:To this:Why did social media turn into a broadcast channel?As more and more people got into social media, and social media streams became flooded, it got harder to have one-to-one conversations. At the same time, pressure to deliver results made businesses put all of their focus on driving a large numbers of clicks and activity — analytics that may look good on a chart but are short-sighted when it comes to measuring true social impact. We are guilty of both of these things. We’ve published advice around how to drive clicks. As our following and customer base has grown, we’ve had trouble responding in a personal way to tweets and comments. We’ve had a lot of discussions internally about how to buck this trend. Moving forward, we’re going to focus on how to have more personal interactions on social media in addition to the content we share there. Why change the way we approach social? Most immediately, we run the risk of losing any ground we’ve gained. 81% of consumers have either “unliked” or removed a company’s posts from their Facebook News Feed, according to Exact Target. Not surprisingly, 71% of consumers are more selective about “Liking” a company on Facebook than they were last year.That’s what happens. That is the storyline we, marketers, are writing right now. We clutter people’s social spaces to solve for clicks and leads, not to solve for the reader, their interests, and their needs. And they are responding exactly the way you’d expect.What do we do?Social media is not a lost cause. There are still moments of serendipity out there. There are still social strategies executed with authenticity and thought for the customer. But we don’t do it as often as we should, and as well as we all have the ability to do. So, what can we do to find our way again?We need to stop the click-worship, and start valuing the impact of an interaction over sheer volume of activity. In a 2012 report from Adobe, 52% of marketers cited difficulties in accurately measuring ROI as their biggest source of frustration in social marketing — so they rely on what they do have; clicks and interaction data. We should challenge ourselves to drop the gimmicks for clicks, and replace it with data that truly represents the ROI of meaningful social interactions.We need to stop thinking of publishing and half-hearted monitoring as a complete strategy on social media, and start thinking about how relevancy and delight play into our publishing and interaction choices. One good social media interaction doesn’t need to be the last — let’s start building long-term relationships with the people in our social networks, the ones that give us context to draw from that makes each subsequent interaction more and more meaningful. The roots for a strong relationship are there; it’s up to us marketers to nourish and grow it.We need to stop solving for ROI first, and start solving for customers first — and trust that ROI will follow.This isn’t to say that the advancements in social media technology — the ones that enable scalability and efficiency — are bad. They should be used to make us all more effective at sorting through the clutter. But let’s not contribute to that clutter, either. Auto-publishing + lethargic social strategy = dull social streams.There are some technical limitations, yes, but limitations were made to be solved for, conquered, stood on top of and whoop-whooped over. (Did I go too far there?) The point is, if we’re going to take social media marketing to the next level, we need to identify and overcome its current shortcomings. In the interim, start with adding context where you can. If you get a question or (hopefully not) a complaint on social media, take two minutes to do a bit of research internally before responding. Fast responses are great, but personalized responses are unforgettable. After you have an interaction — good or bad — try to turn it into something. If the conversation was with a customer, drop them an email the next day to follow up. It’s hard to scale, yes, but if you can get it right for a couple of key contacts, you can build stronger relationships.Let’s hold social media to a higher standard.We love social media for the revolutionary medium it is and the promise it has yet to realize. Even though it feels old hat for many by now, we are all just at the beginning of this social media thing, and we’re still so early in figuring out how to best use it to attract, engage, and support customers.How we all choose to use social media will determine the path it takes going forward, and the quality of channel it becomes. We have an opportunity to make it into a channel like no other. So …Who’s with us?Image credit: NASAblueshift Originally published May 7, 2013 9:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 Social Media Strategy Topics: Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more

How to Search on Google: 31 Advanced Google Search Tips

first_img SEO Topics: If you’re like me, you probably use Google many times a day. But chances are, unless you’re a technology geek, you probably still use Google in its simplest form.If your current use of Google is limited to typing in a few words and changing your query until you find what you’re looking for, I’m here to tell you that there’s a better way — and it’s not hard to learn.On the other hand, even if you are a technology geek and can use Google like the best of them already, I still suggest you bookmark this article of Google advanced search tips. Then, you’ll then have the tips on hand when you’re ready to pull your hair out in frustration watching a neophyte repeatedly type in basic queries in a desperate attempt to find something.Click here to get everything you need to get your website ranking in search.The following Google advanced search tips are based on my own experience and things that I actually find useful. I’ve kept the descriptions of the search tips intentionally terse, as you’re likely to grasp most of these simply by looking at the example from Google anyway.Here’s an overview of some of the most useful Google search tricks. You’ll be an expert Google search-er in no time.31 Google Advanced Search Tips1. Explicit PhraseLet’s say you’re searching on Google for content about inbound marketing. Instead of just typing inbound marketing into the Google search box, you will likely be better off searching explicitly for the phrase. To do this, simply enclose the search phrase within double quotes.Example Search: “inbound marketing”2. Exclude WordsLet’s say you want to search for content about inbound marketing, but you want to exclude any results that contain the term advertising. To do this, simply use the – sign in front of the word you want to exclude.Example Search: inbound marketing -advertising3. This OR ThatBy default, when you conduct a search, Google will include all the terms specified in the search. If you’re looking for any one of one or more terms to match, then you can use the OR operator. (Note: The OR has to be capitalized).Example Search: inbound marketing OR advertising4. Words in the TextIf you want to find a webpage where all the terms you’re searching for appear in the text of that page (but not necessarily beside each other), type in allintext: followed immediately by words or phrases.Example Search: allintext:vermont ski house lake5. Words in the Text + Title, URL etc.If you want to find a webpage where one term appears in the text of that page and another term appears elsewhere on the page, like the title or URL, then type in that first term followed by intext: followed immediately by the other term.Example Search: neil diamond intext:red sox6. Words in the TitleWant to find a webpage with certain words contained in the title (but not necessarily beside each other)? Type in allintitle: followed immediately by words or phrases.Example Search: allintitle:wine club7. Words in the TItle + Text, URL, etc.Want to find a webpage where one term appears in the title of that page and another term appears elsewhere on the page, like in the text or the URL? Type in that first term followed by intitle: immediately followed by the other term.Example Search: flu shot intitle:advice8. Words in the URLIf you want to find pages with your search query mentioned in the URL, type allinurl: immediately followed by your search query.Example Search: allinurl:hubspot blog9. How to Search Within a WebsiteOften, you want to search a specific website for content that matches a certain phrase. Even if the site doesn’t support a built-in search feature, you can use Google to search the site for your term. Simply use the site:somesite.com modifier. (Read this blog post to learn how to do this in more detail.)Example Search: site:www.smallbusinesshub.com “inbound marketing”10. Related SearchIf you want to find new websites with similar content to a website you already know of, use the related:somesite.com modifier.Example Search: related:visual.ly11. A Page That Links to Another PageLet’s say you want to search for every website that cites a BuzzFeed article on their website. To do this, use the link: command, immediately followed by the name of a page. Google will give you all pages that link to BuzzFeed’s official website. The more specific the URL is, the fewer, more pointed results you’ll get.Example Search: link:buzzfeed12. Similar Words and SynonymsLet’s say you want to include a word in your search, but also want to include results that contain similar words or synonyms. To do this, use the ~ in front of the word.Example Search: “inbound marketing” ~professional13. Word DefinitionsIf you need to quickly look up the definition of a word or phrase, simply use the define: command. You can listen to the word’s pronunciation by pressing the megaphone icon.Search Example: define:plethora14. Missing WordsEver forgotten a word or two from a specific phrase, song lyric, movie quote, or something else? You can use an asterisk* as a wildcard, which can help you find the missing word in a phrase.Example Search: much * about nothing15. News in a Specific LocationIf you’re looking for news related to a specific location, you can use the location: command to search Google News for stories coming from that location.Search Example: star wars location:london16. Specific Document TypesIf you’re looking to find results that are of a specific type, you can use the modifier filetype:. For example, you might want to find only PowerPoint presentations related to inbound marketing.Example Search: “inbound marketing” filetype:ppt17. TranslationsWant to translate a simple word or phrase from one language to another? No need to go to a translation website. Just search translate [word] to [language].Example Search: translate krankenwagen to english18. Phone ListingLet’s say someone calls you on your mobile number, and you don’t know who it is. If all you have is a phone number, you can look it up on Google using the phonebook feature.Example Search: phonebook:617-555-1212(Note: The number in this example doesn’t work. You’ll have to use a real number to get any results.)19. Area Code LookupIf all you need to do is to look up the area code for a phone number, just enter the three-digit area code and Google will tell you where it’s from.Example Search: 61720. Zip Code LookupIf you need to look up the zip code for an address, simply search for the rest of the address, including town or city name and state, province, or country. It’ll return results with an area code (if applicable),Example Search: 25 First St., Cambridge, MA21. Numeric RangesThis is a rarely used but highly useful tip. Let’s say you want to find results that contain any of a range of numbers. You can do this by using the X..Y modifier (in case this is hard to read, what’s between the X and Y are two periods). This type of search is useful for years (as shown below), prices, or anywhere where you want to provide a series of numbers.Example Search: president 1940..195022. Stock (Ticker Symbol)Just enter a valid ticker symbol as your search term, and Google will give you the current financials and a quick thumbnail chart for the stock.Example Search: GOOG23. CalculatorThe next time you need to do a quick calculation, instead of bringing up the Calculator applet, you can just type your expression into Google.Search Example: 48512 * 1.0224. Tip CalculatorAlong with a normal calculator, Google has a built-in tip calculator. Just search tip calculator and you can adjust the bill, tip %, and number of people splitting it.Search Example: tip calculator25. TimerDon’t have a timer handy? Google has you covered. Just type in an amount of time + the word “timer,” and the countdown will begin automaticallySearch Example:Search Example: 20 min timer26. StopwatchSearch “stopwatch” and it’ll bring up a stopwatch for you to start when you’re ready.Search Example: stopwatch27. WeatherNext time you’re looking for quick weather stats or a forecast for a certain area, search for weather followed by a location. Google will give you both before the first search results.Search Example: weather cambridge ma28. Sunrise & Sunset TimesIf you’re curious when the sun will rise and set that day at a specific location, do a simple Google search with the word sunrise or sunset along with the location name.Search Example: sunrise acadia29. Flight StatusesIf you type in the airline and airplane number into Google, it will tell you the flight information, status, and other helpful information.Search Example: BA 18130. Sports Scores & SchedulesWant to know the latest sports scores and future schedules of your favorite teams or match-ups? Search a single team name or two team names and Google will use Google Sports to spit out scores and schedules before the first search results.Search Example: manchester united31. Comparing FoodBelieve it or not, if you’re ever curious how two types of (fairly generic) foods compare with one another, you can do a quick Google search to see how they differ in calories, fat, protein, cholesterol, sodium, potassium, and other nutrients.Search Example: pizza vs broccoli Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Originally published Apr 23, 2018 11:52:00 AM, updated October 30 2019last_img read more

What is Ad Tech and Why Should Agencies Care?

first_imgEmerging technologies always encourage scrutiny and critical analysis, and ad tech is no different.This discipline has been around for a few years, but it’s only recently caught the attention of savvy ad tech agencies. In the era of big data, they’ve recognized having ad tech company relationships makes them more powerful and attractive to clients.The age of social media has forced agencies to investigate innovative ways to interact with relevant users, rather than relying on typical broadcast or digital media buys. And the advantages for agencies investing in ad tech are plentiful: 74% of marketers want to work with ad agencies who know how to make use of ad tech.But there’s still one issue: many young ad agencies are still trying to figure out what exactly ad tech is — and how they can best use it to their advantage.Download Now: Free Ad Campaign Planning KitWhat is Ad Tech? And Why Should You Care?The first step to leveraging ad tech is understanding exactly what it is. Ad tech (short for advertising technology) is the umbrella term for the software and tools that help agencies and brands target, deliver, and analyze their digital advertising efforts.If you’ve ever scratched your head at the terms “programmatic” or “omnichannel,” you’ve likely already heard a little about what ad tech does (though you may not have even realized it). Programmatic advertising, for instance, buys target audiences instead of time slots: Think about buying ad space that reaches a particular demographic wherever it is instead of buying a prime time TV spot and hoping the right people are watching.Omnichannel marketing reaches target consumers across all channels — mobile, video, desktop, and more — within the context of how they’ve interacted with a brand (those first seeing an ad will receive a different message from those who have engaged with that brand a number of times). Omnichannel and programmatic aren’t the only two tools within ad tech, but they are two of the most revolutionary.That said, ad tech is designed to help advertisers make better use of their budgets. Ad tech methodologies deliver the right content at the right time to the right consumers, so there’s less wasteful spending.Elephants and Ad Tech: A StoryImagine being asked to wash an elephant’s ears while conserving water. You could always bathe the whole elephant — you would definitely get his ears clean, but you’d use much more water than you need to, so that method doesn’t make much sense. To save your resources, you could concentrate on the head instead, using less water but still more than you’d like. Or you could figure out a way to use just enough water to scrub those ears and make him the happiest pachyderm in the herd.Now, take this analogy and put it in the context of online ad placements.The traditional method of pushing advertisements to web users involves a broad-brush approach, much like showering the whole elephant just to get to its ears. Remember that publishers are not based on ad networks, they’re based on content. Advertisements slipped alongside content that may or may not have relevancy for the viewer forces exposure. This method can work, but it can be inefficient, annoying, and wasteful. It’s still not the best use of an agency’s resources.Today, ad tech methods supported by influential data allow agencies to make wiser placements that effectively position advertisements when and where they are needed most. This helps reduce wasted efforts and gets ads to users at critical touch points, meaning it’s helpful for both brands and consumers. Instead of the standard sort of placement buys, ad agencies can integrate their ads using high-level data and technology. It’s a logical next step toward seamless integration and high-impact, value-added placements. And it’s redefining how agency planning and strategy teams look at media.Ad Tech Traction and BenefitsAd tech has plenty of moving parts, which means there are countless opportunities for agencies to set themselves apart. The diversity of ad tech data allows for more granular and relevant targeting and integration. It also necessitates leaning upon trusted ad tech solutions and platforms to get the most out of every ad campaign.One major effect for agencies and their clients is noticeable improvement in prospect interactions. Thanks to ad tech, brands can now connect all advertising channels. This means saying goodbye to clunky, unnatural advertising that irritates users and frustrates agencies and their clients. Instead, cross-platform uniformity ensures brands are reaching users consistently and logically.Ad tech has also allowed retargeting to enjoy growing popularity — so much that it represents about 90% of all advertising costs. In other words, it’s not going away. The problem is that it can be too intrusive, which leads to reduced effectiveness. By taking advantage of RTB options fueled by ad tech data, agencies can drill down and target only those audiences most likely to convert, without badgering those who aren’t.Connecting the Dots Between Ad Tech Companies and AgenciesKnowing that they need each other to thrive, agencies and ad tech companies are on a joint mission to figure out how to forge long-lasting relationships. Deeper connections tend to occur naturally through regular communications, realistic expectations, and thoughtful customization.CommunicationTouching base regularly and working transparently between both parties is essential. There can no longer be a “set it and forget it” attitude in the online ad industry. With new integrations between data, tech, and content, there needs to be consistent party involvement from start to finish. To this end, media publishers are having more discussions with their agency partners about content and other creative efforts than ever before. That makes it imperative for ad tech organizations and agencies to have an “open door” policy.ExpectationsQuick turnarounds are another key factor to keep an eye on in the relationship between agencies and ad tech pros. Everyone wants rapid turnarounds, but sometimes things can get lost when too much is happening at one time, and sometimes quality is compromised. Do you want something mediocre that’s finished tomorrow or something impressive you have at the end of the week? You likely want the latter. Project management helps smooth out the flow between ad tech and agencies and ensures more successful campaigns.CustomizationImagine you’re a consumer who just saw a mobile ad that piqued your interest. When you go to browse on your laptop, you see the same ad. Then you see the same next time you’re on YouTube, then again before your next Hulu binge session. Seeing the exact same content becomes annoying, and your interest inevitably lowers.That said, there can’t be a repurposing of content and strategy across all channels — that’s a dinosaur-era approach destined to backfire. Agencies and brands are realizing that they need to customize creative for each channel and integration. It’s no longer acceptable to have a mentality of “matched luggage” when it comes to media. Agencies can work hand-in-hand with an ad tech partner to achieve exceptional outcomes through data interpretation.Reaching Higher With Ad TechAd tech has grown rapidly, and it’s showing zero signs of slowing down. As it continues its spread, agencies will be able to take advantage of ad tech’s opportunities to develop more integrations, more data sharing, extended reach across all channels, and cleaner integrations against content. According to some stats, up to 39% of agencies already talk about their ad tech connections when wooing prospective clients. When ad tech and agencies partner up, user experiences will be increasingly polished and positive, and agencies will get the reward for their commitment to embracing the benefits of a lasting relationship with ad tech providers. Don’t forget to share this post! Originally published Mar 2, 2017 5:00:00 AM, updated June 28 2019last_img read more

Which Blogging Tips Get Results? [New Survey Data]

first_imgWhen it comes to business blogging, how much time do people put into creating posts? How long are their articles? What goes into them? How often do they publish new content? How do they promote their posts? Do they measure the results?The answers to any and all of the questions deliver interesting insights on the state of digital marketing. And thanks to the work of Orbit Media Studios, this data has been collected, made available and fun to consume.For three years running, Andy Crestodina — the web design and development company’s co-founder — and his team have surveyed 1,000+ bloggers about how they create content and compiled their findings into blog posts, infographics, and SlideShares.And now, behold: We have new data on how marketers view blogging in 2017. Let’s take a look at some of the trends over the years.Fundamental Blogging TipsBefore we dive into the nitty-gritty of blogging ROI, we should establish the basics. When it comes to general, fundamental blogging tips, here are three key ones that we like to follow.Know your audience. Never before has it been easier to find out who your audience is. Using tools like Google Analytics and more, marketers can find out where their visitors are from (geographically), how long they stay on the page, and more. Plus, you can create buyer personas: semi-fictional representations of your ideal customers, based on market research and real data about your existing customers. Get started creating your own with these templates.Crowdsource. Now that you understand your audience, reach out. Using forum-like discussions or your social media communities, ask your followers for ideas and thoughts on a topic in exchange for a chance to be quoted. It’s a great way to drive visits back to your blog after the post is published — plus, it builds engagement on your social media channels. This also goes for the readers you already have. If you’re able to, reach out to them and genuinely ask for their opinions on what you’re doing well, and what they’d like to see more of from you.Teach people something. When you ask someone to read your blog, you’re essentially asking to borrow their brain for the amount of time they spend with their content. Make it worthwhile — entertain and inform. Otherwise, you risk two things: 1) a high bounce rate, or 2) the reader thinking that you just wasted her time. And on that note …Use a call-to-action. One sign that you’re doing something right on your blog is if readers want more of it. But don’t leave them hanging or asking, “Now what?” A quality CTA should be built to provide your readers with more information on the topic they’ve just read about. But don’t just use it for the sake of lead generation — make sure it actually provides value, too. (Check out this comprehensive list of CTA best practices.)Now, let’s dive into those trends we promised you.Business Blogging: A Look at Trends From 2014, 2015, 2016 & 20172014 …In the 2014 research, Orbit Media established some baselines and concluded:The majority of bloggers spend two hours or less on a typical post.The typical blogger published several posts per week. 5% published daily.80% were creating content of 1,000 words or less.Social media was the most common promotion tactic, typically used by 94% of bloggers.Andy told us that, for bloggers, blogging isn’t a job; it’s a lifestyle. His research indicated bloggers were writing and producing posts everywhere, all the time.2015 …In 2015, Crestodina and I collaborated on an infographic to present the key findings, which reported:Average time writing blog posts increased to 2.5 hours.The number of bloggers publishing daily (or more) increased.Blog posts of 1,500 or more words increased by 72%.The use of images increased.The research indicated more blogging was done during normal work hours. The findings at large inspired Andy to conclude, “Blogging is becoming a more serious, formal discipline.” He also said best practices were emerging.2016 …The 2016 results came together in November, and you can find a detailed analysis of the findings here. Once again, we have created an infographic, making its debut below.I’ll allow it to reveal the findings, which have evolved to include the tactics that business bloggers believe produce the strongest results. 2017 …Blogging was at the center of data revealed in the State of Inbound 2017 reports. What we found here is that blogging, when approached and executed with the right tactics and strategy — works. For that reason, it remains a focus of marketing activities and plans.Specifically, blogging was the second-highest-cited top priority identified by marketers, with 53% identifying “blog content creation” as one of the most important areas of inbound marketing for their companies.Plus, they know it works. A mere 5% of marketers identified blogging as an “overrated marketing tactic” — for the sake of comparison, 32% said that paid advertising is.So, there you have it. Curious to see what 2018 has in store? So are we, and we’ll be keeping an eye out. Blogging Originally published Sep 21, 2017 8:00:00 AM, updated July 28 2017center_img Topics: Don’t forget to share this post!last_img read more

How to Find Out Why You Didn’t Get the Job

first_img Originally published Jun 29, 2018 8:30:00 AM, updated June 29 2018 Don’t forget to share this post! You send in a stellar resume. You blow the recruiter away in the phone screen. And you wow everyone you speak with during your in-person interview. And yet, you still don’t get the job. Worst of all, you don’t know why you didn’t get it — you either didn’t hear back at all, or received feedback so vague that it’s virtually useless (e.g. “We decided to go with another candidate who was a better fit.”) Is there anything worse?It’s incredibly frustrating when a recruiter or hiring manager doesn’t share a concrete reason why you were passed over, but if it happens to you, don’t worry.Download free resume templates to create a killer resume.Often, there’s still a way to figure out what went wrong — here’s how.1. Reach Out to the Decision MakerIf you have the contact info of the hiring manager, it’s best to chat with them rather than a recruiter or HR representative, says Ren Burgett, career coach and owner of 3R Coach.“An HR manager or recruiter is more likely to give you a programmed HR response such as, ‘We found a candidate that was a better fit for our needs.’ The hiring manager is more likely to give you a candid response,” she explains.If you haven’t already been in touch with the hiring manager, though, you may want to reach out to someone who can point them in your direction.“If you don’t have their contact details, you need to get in touch with whoever your point of contact was throughout the recruitment process. Even if they can’t provide feedback themselves, they will be able to pass your query onto someone who can,” says Steve Pritchard, HR Manager at Cuuver.com.When you haven’t been given the hiring manager’s contact information, it can be tempting to bypass your point of contact and look them up on LinkedIn or Google their email address, but this is a mistake, Pritchard says: “They may not feel too comfortable with you contacting them using a number/email they didn’t provide you with.”2. Express GratitudeNobody wants to engage with a candidate who sounds demanding or presumptuous, so make sure to open your message with a note of thanks.“Thanking someone for [taking the] time to interview you and provide the opportunity can always start the conversation in a positive manner,” says Shanalee Sharboneau, President and Technical Recruiter at Staffing Science, LLC.In particular, you should express gratitude for the fact that they are going out of their way to read your note. After all, they don’t have to share feedback with you.“Show in your request for feedback that you appreciate the recruiter or hiring manager is likely to be busy. This way, you don’t sound too pushy or demanding,” Pritchard adds.3. Be PositiveYou may be upset that you didn’t get the job, but remember: you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. It’s okay to acknowledge that you’re disappointed with the outcome, but don’t express resentment or aggression.Show “that you are understanding of their decision not to hire you, otherwise, you may sound bitter about not getting the job rather than someone looking for honest feedback to help them with their job search,” Pritchard continues.And instead of taking a self-deprecating approach like “How did I screw up” or “Where did I go wrong”, frame the conversation as a quest for personal growth.“Don’t make your question about ‘why’ you didn’t get the job, make your question about ‘how’ you can improve. People are more likely to respond to someone that seeks out growth as opposed to someone that just wants answers,” Burgett says.4. Keep it Short and SpecificWhen reaching out for feedback, “make your email no more than one paragraph,” Burgett recommends. After all, they are probably plenty busy with their day-to-day tasks, so you want to make sure to honor their time.You can save them even more time by avoiding general questions like “Why didn’t I get the job?” and instead drilling down into a few precise issues. Burgett recommends including “two to three specific questions [that] you would like feedback on from the interview process.”One question that Laura Handrick, Career Analyst at FitSmallBusiness.com, recommends asking is “what might you have done, said or provided differently that would have made the company choose YOU instead of the other candidate.”5. Open the Door for Future OpportunitiesJust because you were rejected from a job doesn’t always mean that you can never apply there again — you may have been a close second. At the end of your message, reiterate your interest in the company (if you are truly interested) and consider adding something like “if anything changes, I’d love to connect regarding future opportunities.”“That will go far, and many times, new hires fail in the first few months. They’ll remember your graciousness,” Handrick says.You can also see if they might be willing to refer you to another opportunity.“Always end the email by asking if they know of anyone else you can reach out to as you continue your job search. If you didn’t get the job, perhaps you can get a lead [for] another job. Use this as an opportunity to network,” Burgett says.6. Be Patient and Ready to Take No for an AnswerIf the person you reach out to fails to respond, don’t ping them every day until they do.“Giving feedback, particularly constructive feedback, is hard, so allowing time for preparing will likely get you more thoughtful responses,” points out Dr. Dawn Graham, Career Management Director at the Wharton School and host of Career Talk.Even if they never respond, you shouldn’t pester them, Graham adds.“Companies tend to avoid giving candidates feedback to avoid opening themselves up to risk,” she explains. “In addition, many hirers have trouble putting their fingers on a clear definition of ‘fit’ or likability, which are two powerful aspects of hiring decisions that can be challenging to put into words. Therefore, they may pass on giving feedback to a rejected job seeker for the sheer reason that even they are unable to verbalize their final decision in a way that will be meaningful to the overlooked applicant.”Sample MessageWant an example of what exactly you could say to a hiring manager? Burgett recommends the following:Hi (Hiring Manager),I wanted to thank you for the amazing opportunity to interview for the position of (job title) with your company. I really enjoyed learning about (company name) and getting to know you and your team during the interview process. I understand you have decided to move forward with another candidate that better fits your current needs.As I continue my job search, I would love to get your feedback on how I can improve as a candidate. When you have a minute, could you provide insight into what I can improve upon to help me stand out and progress in my career? Specifically, I would appreciate feedback on the following:1. What is the one skill I can improve upon to help advance my career that may be holding me back?2. If I had the opportunity to redo my interview, what is the one thing I should have done differently?I appreciate any candid feedback you can offer as it will help me understand the areas I need to improve. Additionally, if you know of any companies that may be hiring for similar positions or anyone else I should reach out to as I continue my job search, please let me know.Again, thank you for the opportunity to interview for the position. I wish you and your team continued success.Sincerely,Your NameThere’s no doubt that getting rejected from a job you were interested in is upsetting, and it can be doubly so if you don’t hear actionable feedback from the hiring team. But odds are, it’s nothing personal, so try not to take it that way. And remember — the right job is out there. It’s only a matter of time until you find it.This article originally appeared on Glassdoor and was re-published with permission.last_img read more

5 New Social Media Platforms Marketers Should Watch in 2019

first_img TikTokCaffeineLassoHousepartySteemit New Social Media Platforms Marketers Should Watch Topics: Social Media Marketing 1. TikTok Year Launched: 2017 (Founded in 2016)Number of Users: 500 million+ monthly active usersIn 2018, the lip-syncing app, Musical.ly merged with a similar one-year-old app called TikTok. Since then, TikTok has reportedly passed 500 million active monthly users. With more than 800 million global downloads, TikTok is now more popular in app stores than Facebook, Instagram, and other prominent social media platforms.For those who remember Vine or Musical.ly, TikTok is like a mix of the two. The platform allows you to film short videos that play on a repetitive loop just like Vine. But, like Musical.ly or Snapchat, you can add fun effects, AR filters, text, and musical overlays to zest things up. Like similar video platforms, it has been primarily adopted by users under 30 years old.Once you make a video, the app also allows you to optimize it by adding hashtags that can make it easier to find via search.One way hashtags have been embraced on TikTok is through its “Challenges” tab. This area of the platform prompts you to propose a challenge with a themed hashtag. When you post a video that responds to a challenge, you can include the corresponding hashtag so those following the challenge can see your videos.Along with being widely discussed by publications including the New York Times and Digiday, the app has also gained notoriety from comedians like Jimmy Fallon. Here’s a clip from The Tonight Show where he talks about the app and tells fans to compete in his #tumbleweed challenge: Originally published Jul 23, 2019 7:00:00 AM, updated July 23 2019 Don’t forget to share this post! Aside from being fun and entertaining, the app is “leaking into brand territory,” according to Krystal Wu, HubSpot’s Social Media Community Manager. She explained that more brands are on the platform, adding that, “The Washington Post is on TikTok and they are pretty popular too.”The Washington Post, as she mentioned, has already gained more than 54,000 followers.While you would expect a newspaper like this to post content with a more serious or investigative tone, the Post shows off a lighter, behind-the-scenes look at its newsroom. In this example, one of its journalists struggles to walk up the stairs to the sounds of MGMT’s “Electric Feel”:Brands like Guess have also started to experiment with TikTok. To highlight its new line of denim clothing, Guess launched the #inMyDenim challenge encouraging users to publish videos of themselves wearing Guess denim with Bebe Rexha’s song, “I’m a Mess.” playing in the background.Here’s a video that someone posted in response to the challenge:At the moment, fashion, publishing, and entertainment companies are starting to play with TikTok. As the platform grows, we might see it expand to other industries that are able to get creative and visual with their marketing tactics.While you might not want to focus all of your social media resources on TikTok just yet, it’s a great time to familiarize yourself with the app and start experimenting with a few fun videos. You could also try to brainstorm a few challenges or video ideas that could align well with your brand and the platform’s young audience. If you see any brands that are in a similar space as you, follow them for some added inspiration.2. Caffeine Year Launched: Founded in 2016 and unveiled in 2018Number of Users: UnspecifiedCaffeine.tv, a platform built by ex-Apple designers, allows you to create live broadcasts for friends and followers. The broadcasts show up in a feed where you can give an emoji reaction or respond with comments.Along with live video broadcasts, you can also stream your computer or TV screens as you play video games. This makes Caffeine a possible competitor to the slightly older game-streaming service, Twitch.tv. Like Twitch, which offers you money for high views or subscriptions, Caffeine has launched a monetization program that rewards engaging broadcasters.The company hasn’t specified user numbers yet, but its Crunchbase profile reveals that is has over $140 million in investments so far. Caffeine’s biggest investor to date is 21st Century Fox.Aside from investor interest, the platform is starting to make waves in the worlds of entertainment and sports. Recently, Fox launched a broadcasting initiative with the company. The platform was also used to broadcast the 2019 X Games in Aspen.Caffeine’s success so far demonstrates how live video and video platforms are gaining quick adoption from younger audiences, especially in the Gen-Z age group. If the app continues to gain interest, marketers might consider using it to show off their brand through a variety of strategies, like behind-the-scenes content, Q&As, or other live videos. This platform could also be useful to marketers in a wide variety of industries, including news, entertainment, gaming, and sports.If live streaming could help your company spread awareness of a product, it might be a good time to familiarize yourself with both Caffeine and Twitch. As you learn more about the platforms, be sure to determine if your audience is actually using either of them and what they’re using them for. Similarly to TikTok, you should also check out what similar brands are doing if you find any with active accounts.If you have an idea for a live stream that seems too out of the ordinary for Facebook or Instagram, Caffeine could be an interesting place to test it. Because the platform is new, there might not be many norms or rules associated with what content works or doesn’t work just yet.3. Lasso by FacebookYear Launched: 2018Number of Downloads: 70,000+ in the U.S.Lasso, which was quietly launched by Facebook in 2018, competes directly with TikTok as you can use the platform to make short videos with filters and musical overlays. Here’s a quick example of a Lasso post with a musical overlay:While Lasso is just getting started, it might be a promising platform in the future because it’s owned by Facebook. This could mean the app might benefit from Facebook’s user base, technological resources, and financing.While the user base for Lasso is still small and its demographics aren’t yet specified, this might be Facebook’s attempt to reach younger audiences similar to those on TikTok. If that’s the case, companies targeting Gen-Z or millennials should continue watching and comparing Lasso and TikTok to see what types of content thrives on these platforms.Like TikTok, this type of social platform could be of interest to people in visual or creative fields like publishing, entertainment, and fashion.4. Houseparty Year Launched: 2016Number of Users: 20 million+Houseparty is a group-video messaging app that allows video chats that can host eight users at a time. To make things more fun for everyone in the chat, you can use video filters, stickers and other fun effects while a live conversation is in session.While the app itself has been around for a few years, it has gone through a few evolutions and recently gained large bumps in interest and usership. The app first started as Meerkat, but rebranded itself to Houseparty and revamped its features in 2016. Since then, Houseparty has climbed app store charts and risen from 1 million to 20 million users in 2018.In 2018, Houseparty continued to expand by launching an in-chat gaming feature which allows you to play games with your friends. The app company reports that over 10 million users have already played the trivia game, Heads Up, on the platform.Although the app does offer ad-space, marketers of the future might use it in other creative ways. For example, a small makeup company might sponsor a “houseparty” where an influencer can answer beauty questions and show attendees how to use one of their new beauty products.Although it might sound promising, still keep in mind that this app has a number of big-name competitors, including Snapchat which rolled out group video chats in 2018.This app might also take added time and creativity. If you don’t have time to host a houseparty or can’t think of one that would effectively market your product, you might want to prioritize other platforms first..5. SteemitYear Launched: 2016Number of Users: Nearly 1.2 millionThis platform is like Reddit with a cryptocurrency twist. While Reddit rewards “upvoted” engaging posts by pushing them to the top of feeds, Steemit also gives you “Steem” coin if your post does well. Like Reddit, you can engage with posts by sharing, commenting on, or upvoting them.Here’s a look at the platform’s “life” category feed. The site’s design is simple and similar to Reddit’s older website designs with a white background and basic feed style.Because users might be aiming to earn, use, or sell Steem coin, the interface also includes a sidebar that shows the cryptocurrency’s live value up against other prominent coinage like Bitcoin.Steemit claims to have over 1 million users and over 50,000 monthly active users. While its user base is still much smaller than other platforms, it has been buzzed about by TechCrunch, WIRED, and other publications. It has also been called a leading social platform in the world of cryptocurrency.Even though Steemit is still small, we’ve included it on this list because it’s notable in cryptocurrency communities, discussed by tech journalists, and seems to be one of the first platforms of its kind. Even if the platform does not take off, it’s a good example of how cryptocurrency and social media could align to create a social platform in the future.However, we encourage this to stay just on your watchlist for now. Although Steemit seems new and unique, marketers shouldn’t heavily invest time or money into it just yet. Its biggest flaw is that it relies on a strong cryptocurrency market to succeed.The platform already took a huge hit during the “cryptocurrency winter” of 2018 when most major coinages lost serious value. While Steem began at $7 USD, the coin’s value dropped to just over 40 cents. Today, the coin’s value is only 25 cents — equal to 2.5 Bitcoin Bits.According to TechCrunch, this loss led to mass layoffs at the company. Since then. Steemit has begun to hire more staff and recently named a new chief officer.If this platform, or one like it, were to take off, it could be a great marketing tool for companies that sell products or services in exchange for cryptocurrency. If cryptocurrency gains more adoption and gains a greater sense of understanding from younger, more tech-savvy audiences, this could boost opportunities on other social platforms like this.How to Navigate This Crowded LandscapeA marketer who discovers a hot new social channel first can become an expert on posting engaging content before their competitors even sign up. But, while it’s important for marketers to keep interesting platforms on their radar, the first priority should still be to focus time, effort, and resources into the platforms that are already thriving.To make sure you’re balancing your time between new and old channels accordingly, focus on growing and refining strategies on the successful platforms, then timebox an hour or so once a month to look into newer platforms.If you find a platform like TIkTok, that’s both relatively new and has a fast-growing user base, brainstorm and schedule a few experimental posts.Be sure to use experimentation time wisely and on the right platforms. While TikTok is a great place to experiment and doesn’t seem like it’s going anywhere soon, there’s always a chance that an extremely niche platform, like Steemit, could get purchased and absolved — or that it could shut down quickly if it fails to grow.When you’re determining which platforms are worth watching or experimenting on, here are six questions your team should ask themselves:What are its active user numbers? Big numbers could mean that the platform is gaining momentum and that you have even more chances to engage with a large pool of users.Are publications or thought leaders talking about it? If a platform doesn’t specify exact numbers, but a lot of people, prominent figures, or news publications are discussing it — it might be promising.Do older platforms have a similar tool and a bigger user base? If an older platform does the same thing, people might hesitate to adopt a newer platform. For example, marketers primarily use Stories on Instagram as opposed to Snapchat. Although Snapchat pioneered the story, the Instagram interface and experience is something that a lot more people know, understand, and trust.Will my audiences understand how to use the platform? It might be challenging to get a less tech-savvy person to join Snapchat or TikTok, but they might love a platform like Facebook or Twitter because the interfaces might be easier to understand. Pick platforms that your audience can easily use and enjoy.Will audiences even be interested in the platform? While a tech novice might not enjoy TikTok, a teenager might get bored on a platform like Facebook. In fact, younger people prefer visual apps like TikTok and Instagram. While you want to pay attention to the level of adaptability, you also should pay attention to how your audience wants to consume media.What type of content or post could we use to promote our brand on the platform? You should always make a plan of action when considering or launching a social platform. If you can’t come up with any interesting ways to market your specific product on a really niche platform, you might want to hold off on making an account. On the other hand, experimenting with different posting strategies could allow your brand to look creative and cool to the platform’s audience.If you ultimately decide that you aren’t ready to jump on to a new platform right now, and just want to focus on the bigger platforms, here’s a guide to the different types of social media and how you can use them for your next marketing campaign. When you visit the App Store or Google Play and search “social media,” there are hundreds of apps to choose from. But, as the pool of social platforms grows, will any of them really change the game for marketers this year?The truth is, probably not. In fact, HubSpot’s own social media experts say we should be paying attention to how older platforms evolve in 2019.”For 2019, what I’m keeping my eye on is some of the forgotten channels. Those will be the ‘new’ channels for 2019,” says Kelly Hendrickson, HubSpot’s Social Media Manager.She adds, “We’re seeing Snapchat make a play to provide more relevance to new demographics, especially with the gender-swap feature’s popularity. And with Facebook’s push for privacy and connections with friends and family, Facebook Groups could be seen as a new channel as the newsfeed becomes more challenging.”Download Now: Free Social Media CalendarAside from Facebook and Snapchat, we’ve also been watching platforms like Reddit and Pinterest aim to improve on advertising and marketing features.But, if your role specializes in social media, audience growth, or online engagement — or if your company targets the early-adopters in Gen-Z or millennial age groups — you’ll still want to be on the lookout for platforms that could gain momentum later on.Why? Watching the growth of young, promising social channels will help you determine which are worth joining and which aren’t worth your time. And, if you do end up joining a hot new social channel early on, you may have more time to pick up on what promotional really content works there. This will put you ahead of competitors that launch their accounts later and might struggle to come up with creative post ideas.To help you stay on the cutting edge of social media, we’ve compiled a list of five young social platforms that you might want to put on your radar this year. These platforms were either launched or completely rebranded in 2016 or later. They’ve also all gained a large user base, interest from investors, or news buzz in recent months.For each platform, we’ll walk you through how it works, its user base, why it might be promising to marketers later on, and how you should approach it today.last_img read more