Building a Professional Career Online

The Internet has become one of the vital components of our daily lives. It is not hard to admit that most of our daily activities in life have been touched by the World Wide Web. With that, it is no surprise that a growing number of individuals are already exploring — some enjoying the benefits of having a professional career online, a lucrative and rewarding career right at the comfort of a coffee shop or in their home office in front of their computer.

Creating a professional career online is now possible, thanks to the convenience the internet provides. One can easily start a career in buying and selling stuff online or by simply creating a blog or engaging in freelance writing. There are many careers available online. Here are some of the following careers you can look into online.

Freelance writing

Blogging

Ghost Writing

E-Commerce

Programming

Website Design

Video Editing

Photography

Find a career that suits your set of skills best and then start creating your online portfolio to get clients and projects to start with. It is advisable to get a reliable internet access, one that runs at least 2MBPs or more to be able to attend to your daily activities on the internet. A lower speed may prove to be stressful when trying to meet and beat deadlines as well as when updating online templates and doing web design. Anything less also fails to meet requirement of clients and freelancing websites. Thus trusted home phone and internet bundles will help make your online freelancing career even more feasible.

Here are some of the tips you can follow to start and build a professional career online.

Create an online portfolio

Before finding clients and trying to land a job online, you need to create an online portfolio. It can be your Name.com or a blog under a free hosting platform like Weebly, Blogger, or WordPress to begin with. Include credentials, training, sample works, and a few details about yourself in this page. This can be a simple website with a few pages attached where potential clients can download and read samples of your work. A contact page is also essential.

Build your connections

You have most likely met a colleague who also happens to work online. You can include him as one of your references on your online portfolio. You can also add your past managers and supervisors as references. Be sure to inform your colleagues about them being one of your trusted references online. You can also include testimonials from past clients as well as their contact information to be able to provide your potential clients a reliable source of firsthand information about you and your performance as a professional online freelancer.

It is also important to keep in touch with your past clients from time to time to be aware of possible projects that may be available for you to do.

Update your social media accounts

Social media is also a big factor in building your career and connections online. LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter are just some of the social media sites you should have to be able to build credibility and your authenticity as a real individual working online. LinkedIn is a very good source of connections as well so you must really take advantage of the feature it offers. If you would want to keep your Facebook and Twitter feeds private, it would be advisable to have a separate Twitter account or a Facebook page for your business or brand. Past clients can post comments and testimonials in these social media pages as well.

Utilize marketing strategies

Take advantage of the free marketing strategies on the internet for your online business and online services. Post feeds on your social media accounts. Submit guest posts to increase your presence online, write press releases and publish them on free PR websites. Join forums and Q&A websites and the likes. The more you expose yourself and your brand online, the higher are the possibilities of getting clients and projects.

Advertise your business

As you see your business grow, you tend to meet competitors along the way. Advertise your business to create an edge over your competitors. Target your market well and utilize the right keywords to be able to make your business more visible and on top of search engines. This may take time but with the right strategies, you can practically be a preferred choice over similar professional services if you market your business well.

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The Fastest Way To Start A Profitable Online Business

Everything is easy in hindsight. If I hadn’t made all those mistakes, I wouldn’t have learned what not to do. Still, if I could go back and talk to my younger self, I would have a few words to say on the faster ways to grow an internet business from scratch. I hope this can help someone else on the same path.

Get The Best Education Online

Firstly I would start with getting the right education online. That’s easy to say when you have found a good mentor. It’s much more difficult when you are being bombarded with information from various different sources. There’s an overwhelming array of information on the internet. When you start looking for ways to earn from the internet, you will be bombarded even more with all the ‘best’ ways to build your internet business.

There are two trains of thought when it comes to making money. You can build content and rely on Google and other search engines to rank your business. This is very tentative. Suppose Google doesn’t like you or your content. You’re not going to rank in this case. This means no traffic. Even if you do rank your content on Google, things can always change. Google can change. Ultimately they don’t want you making money from them, unless they are making money too! Google is a business and like all businesses their goal is to make money, not friends.

Don’t Rely On Google’s Organic Listings

Use Google and create content. But don’t rely on your blog to make you money. You can be disappointed over and over again, as I was. I’m not saying only to use paid advertising. Use your content too. Just don’t rely on it. As for paid advertising, you need a product which sells first. You need to know your business model works. You need a good back-end of products and services which will keep paying you over and over for existing customers. This is something I didn’t understand when I started out.

Use Back End Products

Back end products are often the way to make money online. You may break even on your front end products, or even make a loss. However, if you have a good range of back-end products in your sales funnel, you can make money later on. When you have a profitable sales funnel like this one, you can afford to use paid advertising. But make sure you test and measure first with a small budget. Don’t spend money you can’t afford to lose in the first instance.

Test And Measure Advertising

Your advertising might fail. Expect it to at first. Only by testing and measuring can you reliably scale up your advertising campaign. And only when it is profitable should you do so. Once you have an advert which produces a good return on investment, you can scale up.

It’s Up To You

Everyone likes the idea of owning their own business. But not everyone has the discipline to follow through with it and make it a success. You are always responsible for your results and no-one else! It can be easy to get distracted when working online. Avoid being a ‘busy fool’. That is, avoiding the important to do the unnecessary. This is easy to fall into when you work for yourself.

Money Producing Activities

As an online marketer you are paid for results, not time spent. This means you need to make everything you do create forward momentum. Concentrate on money producing activities and don’t spend time on things which don’t move your business forwards.

Focus On One Thing At A Time

There’s a tonne of activities you can do online. And then there’s all the distractions too. Avoid looking at emails and social media. It will only distract you. Write a ‘to do’ list before opening your laptop and prioritize them in order of importance. Avoid jumping from one course to another online. I did this for some time. Before I cold make progress in one direction, I had found another ‘system’ and set off on a tangent. Find something which works for you and keep going.

It’s Not Easy

Remember an internet business is not easy. Like any business you need to work hard and consistently for a long period of time before you see results. If you’re not prepared to do this have a long think about whether this is for you. I expected faster results in most of the systems I tried online. I failed over and over again until I found something which worked. Don’t give up too easily because those who stick it out can make a lifestyle business which means never having to work for anyone else again! This is worth fighting through all the difficult times for!

Tough Times Are Ahead

There will be tough times. You will struggle and want to quit. Don’t give up too easily. When you feel like this take some time out and charge up. One good thing about an internet business is that it can be very forgiving. You can always start again. Keep learning and developing yourself and looking into your actions and results. Don’t keep doing something if it isn’t working. Keep trying new things and eventually you will progress. Remember to keep investing in your knowledge. Your actions always come from this knowledge. Invest in joining a community who you can go to when things get tough. It’s much wiser than trying to do everything by yourself. Remember, you are the glass ceiling of your business. Your knowledge, of lack of it, will either help your business grow, or limit it. Never stop developing yourself and your knowledge of what you are doing.

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100 Essentials to Selling Online Courses

Have you got some killer course content that you’ve developed? Or have you been thinking about what you could teach and share with others? Are you interested in getting it online and running? Can you make a meaningful living doing this? Let’s take a look at the some of the powerful tools that are available to you. I’m going to tell you how to create and sell online courses. I can think of about 100 things that you need to consider before you launch your course.

1. Do Some Research on Supply and Demand for your Course

Find out how to price this course, or if people will even be interested in it. Before you invest a lot of time and money into the project, know that you’ll get a favorable outcome.

2. As Things Develop

In the development phase, you will have many things to focus on. While you’re designing your course, concentrate on building value into it. Value is the most important factor in your course’s success.

3. Watch Your Time Management

Make sure to have the course ready to go when it’s supposed to. Budget your time as you go to prevent a panic at the end.

4. Find the Sweet Spot

Work in the area where your knowledge and passion intersect. Determine what problem you are solving with your course. Layer that in and you’ve got it!

5. Integrate Different Learning Styles

People learn in different ways. Vary the course content to include visual aids and videos, along with activities to do along the way.

6. Choose Your Dates

Decide what day you will begin accepting enrollment, and when your course will start. This will help you to establish your time line and grand plan for the work.

7. Check the URL

You want to get a great URL for your course as soon as you develop the name for it. Start checking… keep it simple!

8. Keep It Clever!

Be sure to give your courses short, catchy names. Remember, it’s got to grab them right away.

9. Verify First

Check and make sure that the catchy name you think of is actually your original thought. Make sure it’s not registered to someone else.

10. Create Your Course Outline

Have the roadmap to understand where you are going with the course. Know what you need to cover, and when you should introduce it.

11. Keep Success in Mind

Every aspect of your content planning should lead to success for the student. How will it help them be more successful?

12. Develop Your Content

Do your research and make sure your content is interesting and unique. Make sure it fills a need. What do people want to learn about? What will they buy?

13. Create Your Branding

Create the branding for your course. What is it about? What does it improve? What does it address within your niche?

14. Use Subject Matter Experts

Bounce things off an expert on your topic. Use them to help you write, or to check for accuracy, especially if you’re not sure.

15. Look for Win-Win Partnerships

When you are trying to promote your courses, who can help? Form alliances with folks that can benefit from your success as you launch your online courses.

16. Decide whether you will use free or paid web hosting

If you are building a site for commerce, which I assume you are, then the flexibility of paid hosting will work best for you.

17. Considering using a service that offers e-commerce design and help.

If you want someone in your corner to help, they can get you started, show you how to manage your site, and build your confidence.

18. Choose your Platform

Will you use a service to build your website? If so, consider one with the best plug ins. Use all the tricks you can to make your site work for you.

19. Get Plugged In

There are plugins that can get your courses online and manage them well. Familiarize yourself with the different software available before you decide.

20. Consider Course Management Software

Use your course management software to load the course content on your site. Follow your course outline. Inspect and make sure the progression is right.

21. Look for the eCommerce Solution for Your Marketing

You can find affordable software to help with marketing your courses, setting up your online store, and CRM (Customer Relationship Management). Some companies offer a one stop solution.

22. Look for Similar Courses

Although we realize that your content is unique, shop online for similar courses. This may remind you of sections of your content that you may have overlooked.

23. Develop your Pricing Plan

Again, look for courses that offer a product that is like yours. Get an idea for the pricing you want to set on your courses. Try to stay in the mid-range on pricing. You don’t want to come in too high, but you need to show your value.

24. What’s the Plan for Customer Support?

Make sure you understand how your customer will contact you and what that feels like for them. Selling online can be a bit trickier when it comes to communication. You must have a plan in place to answer inquiries and complaints quickly.

25. It’s All About the Headlines!

Like any other advertising, you need to engage your prospects and customers at the top of your page, or they will never get to the bottom. Make sure your marketing page has a catchy, attention grabbing headline.

26. Make the Site Visually Appealing

Making your site look awesome goes hand in hand with the headline to draw customers in and keep them wanting more.

27. Consistency is Key

Use the same font, same theme, and carry the same design through the entire curriculum. Consistency will impress.

28. Be Clear and Organized

Make sure the site flows and makes sense. People won’t want to take a course from you if there are errors on your page.

29. Use a Membership Software and Sign Customers Up!

You’ve planned and organized… now it’s time to enroll customers and start delivering content.

30. Members Only

With your membership software, you can keep “members only” topics or products that only members can access.

31. Social Media Strategy

Think about what your social media goals are. Then consider what social media platforms will work best to help you meet those goals.

32. Don’t Sell… Engage!

When you’re on social media, don’t sell. Use this time to engage and network with others that you have common interests with.

33. Use Keywords to Find a Facebook Group

Join a group or two that are talking about things that you want to talk about too. Again, keep it social. Selling on social media is a put off.

34. Start Your Own Facebook Group

Once you’ve launched your courses, invite participants to form a community on social media. Set up a Facebook group and invite people as they sign up.

35. Publish an Article on Linked In

A well written article about your course topic will wow them on Linked In. Tell them about it!

36. Go on YouTube

Make short videos and post them on YouTube. Make sure that they can be found in search engine rankings.

37. Tweak Your Website as Necessary

Use analytics from your marketing software to see where the weak spots in your site are. Are people looking, but not engaging?

38. Variations on a Theme

Try to make the theme of your website related to the content. The look should express the feeling you are trying to create.

39. Link It Back

Make sure that your website contains a clear link to your course. Be sure that the link stands out!

40. Get Those Email Addresses

Be sure to capture email addresses from visitors to your site. These will become your bread and butter as you grow your business. Hopefully, I’m late to the party with this advice, and you already have an audience.

41. Here’s Your Gift!

Offer a free gift to people that sign up for your email list. A newsletter, an eBook, or some other information that is useful.

42. Find a Podcast

Be the featured guest on a podcast, where you can talk about the subject matter of your course. Try to find a relevant podcast that’s mid-size.

43. Blog It!

You should already have a blog, but this is a great way to get the work out about the course offerings you have.

44. Be My Guest… Blog

Offering to be a guest blogger on someone else’s blog gives you a whole new audience to engage and inform.

45. Smile! You’re on Webcam!

Don’t overlook hosting a webinar to talk about your courses. Be persuasive, but don’t give away all your content. Just throw out the juicy tidbits of knowledge and leave them wanting more.

46. Happy Landing!

Create your landing page! Be sure to include some multimedia and example course material.

47. Make Sure Your Landing Page is 100% Wonderful

This is where the action is! It’s usually the first page they see, but it’s definitely the last page they see before it’s time to take action and ENROLL NOW

48. Stay Above the Fold

Put the important stuff “above the fold”. In print advertising, this is the top portion of the page that is above where a piece of mail is folded. Online, it the part of the website you see without scrolling.

49. Keep It Simple

Keep your text on the landing page simple, and use sub headlines to keep the reader’s attention. Be sure to include a clear call to action!

50. Plan to Spend Plenty of Time Marketing Your Courses

It will usually take time after you launch your courses for them to take off. This time will most likely be spent selling the value of them to countless people in your audience.

51. Engage with a Newsletter

Remember that email list we’ve been building? Use it to send an informative newsletter out to people that will want your course.

52. Use Your Welcome Email

Be sure to mention your course when you send a welcome email to people that opt in to your email list.

53. More About Email

Capture the email addresses of everyone that signs up for one of your courses. This will indicate if they’re a good candidate for your upcoming courses.

54. Even More About Email

If you are offering something free in exchange for their email address, make sure it’s something that they would buy otherwise. You have to offer something of value, or they won’t be ongoing customers.

55. Sign On!

Include the name of the course in your signature line on all emails. This can be changed, of course, as the courses change.

56. Keep Your Content Valuable

Make sure you are adding value whenever you send out information or engage in social media.

57. Save Time – Save Money!

Explain to your prospective student how they will save time and money by taking your online course.

58. Just a Little Teaser

Right about the BUY NOW button, give a little peek of what they stand to learn in your virtual classroom. Make it compelling.

59. Follow Up

Don’t forget to follow up with people who have completed one of your customers. Repeat customers are the easiest to snag, and loyal customers can make you a success!

60. The Role of SEO

Some website platforms will provide SEO as part of the package, or will have a plug in for it. Make sure it’s utilized. It doesn’t matter how awesome it is… if nobody sees it!

61. Keywords

Watch out for keyword overload. Some people think that adding a bunch of key words onto a site will boost rankings. Search engines are looking for interesting, valuable content, and will boot you out if you are oversaturated with keywords.

62. Ask for Endorsements

Once you’ve had people take your courses successfully, ask them to write a short testimonial about their experience. This will add credibility to your marketing efforts.

63. Start Promoting Early

As soon as you are certain that you will be offering an online course, start the buzz! Let people know that it’s “coming soon” and get them excited.

64. Establish Yourself as the SME

Tell them why you’re a reputable source when it comes to your niche. Is it your experience? The research you’ve done? Your education?

65. Avoid Offering Free Classes

Don’t offer free classes. This will teach people that you’re someone who likes to give free classes. If you are just starting, or if you’re not feeling confident, opt for a lower fee… but not free!

66. Set Your Price According to Content

If you have a ton of content, and it includes interactive portions, multimedia gems, and goes for 10 hours, you’re not going to charge the same as 4 pages of written text. Make your content worth the extra price.

67. Enter Promo Code

Price the course as you see fit, and then experiment by offering a promotion. Using a Promo Code will let you know what your discounting should be, based on sign ups.

68. Set Financial Goals for Yourself

Know when it’s worth your while to do this. Be aware of what you need to make to break even, and show a profit.

69. Offer Your Services

If your courses are on a business topic, consider offering to host a webinar for a relevant business. Show them what you can do, and encourage participants to sign up for your email list for more.

70. Get a Flashy Twitter Hashtag

Get really creative and come up with an irresistible hashtag for Twitter. Something about your niche, but with an element of fun.

71. Ask for Feedback

And… use it. The advice that participants give you is invaluable. This is the part where you get your grade!

72. About the Surveys

Consider surveying the students halfway through the course, and then again at its completion. You’re more likely to get answers when the course is running. So, give yourself two chances at feedback.

73. Payment Systems

Set up your payment system early in the process of launching your first course. Don’t let this be a last-minute problem.

74. If You Have a Successful Course, Relaunch It

There’s no reason to run a successful course once and stop. Keep rerunning this course, and it will keep making you money. You can change it up now and then, but let it stay on the market.

75. Don’t Be Afraid of Hard Work

They call it “passive income”, but you have to work constantly if you’re going to have real success with it. Be prepared to roll up your sleeves!

76. Stand Out from the Rest

What makes your course unique? Try to offer something to entice participants away from those other guys that are competing for your customers.

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Detailed Insight of Online Trading

Introduction:

Online trading has become very popular nowadays. Millions of people worldwide are engaged in this form of trading. It usually meant trading off stocks. It has become as common as doing shopping. There are three things that one needs to start doing this trading:

A device (mobile or computer)
A stable internet connection
A banking application
Enough funds and balance in a bank’s account
If someone has sound knowledge about the stock market and related formation, they can make amazing profits from it.
The functions of a broker:

An important part of online trading is a broker. He is someone who buys and sells things (assets) on behalf of others. Due to the advancement of technology, online brokerage has come into the picture. Online brokers are similar to normal brokers. They too buy and sell assets and do transactions between a buyer and a seller, but just on the internet.

A broker is an intermediary between the two individuals (buyers and sellers). A brokerage can be broadly classified into three types: Online brokerage, discount brokerage, and full-service brokerage. A discount brokerage usually helps to buy and sell assets but at a reduced commissioned rate. The third type is the full-service brokerage provides detailed information and assistance regarding online trading and the stock market, and everything else related to it. A broker has various functions to perform. Following is the list of functions of a broker explained in detail.

The primary function of a broker is to do something for an individual on his or her behalf on the financial side. It mostly includes buying and selling assets and looking after other transactions. There are other functions too, like providing information regarding trading.

Advantages of an online trading platform:

There are various advantages of this trading. It is usually simple and does not cost a lot of money. One has complete control over what they want to do on the platform. It is quick and convenient. Chances of errors are pretty less when it comes to online trading and using online trade apps. The user has the option to keep a check on the investment at all times. One of the most significant advantages of trading on online platforms is that users can get notifications regarding prices and other information via emails or messages. There are lots of trustworthy online trading platforms. Some of the popular ones are eToro, Upstox Pro, Zerodha KITE, Fidelity, and many more.

Some safety measures while doing trading:

One must not make a transaction using a public device or sitting in a cybercafé. One should log out every time after the job is done. Personal computers and mobile phones need to be secured from viruses by anti-virus software. Online trading can be very convenient, quick, and lucrative only if done properly, keeping in mind all the safety measures and being very careful during the transactions. Otherwise, one might end up losing a lot of money or funds in it.

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5 Factors Impacting Interest Rates!

We often read, or hear, a lot of information (some accurate), about interest rates, and some of the potential factors, which might, impact them, and how, they affect other things! Although, it sometimes, doesn’t appear, so, these rates, generally, are created, and exist, because of some conditions, or combinations, either, actual, or, perhaps, concerns/ fears, etc. While, there are many things, which come into – play, in this area, this article will focus – on, 5 specific factors! Since, associated costs, and how, other key economic areas, may be related to these, this article will attempt to, briefly, consider, examine, review, and address, these, and why, they are important considerations.

1. Strengths/ weaknesses of overall economy: Times, and conditions, are rarely, static, often, changing, evolving, and having different implications, from time – to – time! Depending on the specific strengths, and weaknesses, at any point, overall economic policy, and approaches, must be considered, and used, wisely, and in a relevant, sustainable way. Generally, historically, rates rise, when there is a fear of inflation, and drop, when, there appears, to be a need, to make the cost of borrowing, more affordable. For example, when rates are low, we usually, witness, a corresponding, drop, in mortgage costs, and, obviously, that would make housing costs, more affordable, and desirable, for most. When, the overall economy, is weakest, lower rates, often, help, to boost it, by encouraging, individuals, and business, to spend more, which puts, more money, into the economy!

2. Federal Bank moves: Often, the Federal Reserve Bank, uses interest rates, as a strategic approach, to addressing, either, present needs, and/ or, future concerns, and possibilities! When, inflation seems to be a real risk, they, often, tighten the money supply, while, other times, they want to encourage, increasing the overall money supply, etc. Some consider these, as quality moves, while others, fear, sometimes, it is politically, motivated, manipulation!

3. Inflation/ Recession concerns/ balance: Sometimes, a degree of mild inflation, is possibly, desired/ desirable, when/ if, the money – professionals/ experts, believe it is needed, and/ or, necessary! The Federal Rates, often, determine, items, such as: rates paid by banks to depositors (interest); rates banks pay to borrow; costs to corporations/ companies, of money; etc. In addition, they trickle – down, to, other elements of the economy, etc. One example is, when rates are low, it often, makes the stock market, more attractive, because it reduces competition, for quality investment alternatives!

4. Prediction/ Confidence, in future: Often, fear/ concern, for the future, determines policy! There is not always, a direct relationship!

5. Job market: If inflation, is under – control, and the job market, is relatively, strong, it often, influences, policy, in this economic/ financial area! There is often, an evaluation, of how any action, might create a reaction, both, in the short – term, and in the longer – one!

The more, we are familiar, with economic realities, the better, we might predict, the smartest course, of action. Will you commit to being, a more – knowledgable citizen, and consumer?

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How to Prepare a Financial Plan for a Hotel

Isn’t your childhood dream to own a high-rise building with an elegant interior and one of the city’s best hotels? What would be the next step if you suddenly decided to open a hotel? The next step is to make a financial plan. It’s like a blueprint for the hotel’s day-to-day operations and activities. Entrepreneurs are submerged in troubled waters at this point.

Many entrepreneurs face a dilemma in the planning stage of their businesses, whether they are new to the industry or have been in it for a long time. One of the most common problems they experience is with their finances. When you don’t know how to plan for business finances, who wouldn’t get grumpy?

Your hotel budget should be as clear as a crystal to you. It will assist you in developing a feasible plan or strategy for allocating budget to key areas that can generate profit.

Here are some tips on how you can prepare a Financial Plan for a hotel:

1. Determine the type of hotel you want to open.

This is critical because it will serve as a guide and a starting point for understanding your target market. It’s important to remember that different types of hotels require different budgets.

2. Make a list of all the factors that could affect a hotel’s profit generation and all the accommodation units, services, and amenities that you have.

All the factors that may affect the hotel’s finances must be considered, and all the hotel’s offerings and services must be acknowledged. You will have a better idea of what you can offer your customers this way.

3. Make a budget for the hotel’s expenses.

Even if you are still in the planning and development stages, you must anticipate or estimate how you will allocate the budget for all the services, accommodations, and amenities you will provide. This will assist you in gaining insight and determining whether it is necessary for the long run to generate profit despite its costs.

This will also serve as a guide for keeping your company running smoothly. Forecasting startup costs will help you decide how to adjust and allocate your finances to finally open your hotel. 4. Use a plan to project or predict assumptions.

4. Use a plan to project or predict assumptions.

If you’re starting from scratch, creating a plan that projects your forecast of the overall performance of the hotel will help you determine the probable profit, cash flow, and risks. These forecasts or assumptions will assist you in predicting the hotel’s demand and future performance.

Forecasting or generating forecasts is an important component of managing finances or creating a financial plan since it will better prepare you to deal with future uncertainties. You must be ahead of the game in order to make modifications to maximize revenue, resources, and prevent any dangers, as they say, “If you plan to fail, you plan to fail.”

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5 Common SEO Mistakes That You Should Avoid

Over the past few years, SEO has evolved faster than the previous decade. And this has made it harder for users to keep up with most recent updates. The launch of Penguin and Panda changed the way things worked in the past. In short, the way Google used to rank website has changed a lot. But if you want to reach your objectives, make sure you avoid some common SEO mistakes.

1. Avoiding RELEVANT CONTENT

In the start, Google said that it would rank websites that have the most relevant content on its first page. This statement is still valid. What has happened is that the search engine has become a lot better at achieving the objectives. In other words, now, Google is in better position to know what is relevant and what is not.

So, what you need to do is offer content that is relevant and avoid content is not relevant to your niche. Of course, the content should be informative and unique.

2. Following Tricks

People have been using many illegal ways of cheating the search engine algorithms for traffic, exposure and backlinks. Some of these tactics can still give you a temporary edge, but they are bad for your blog or website for the long-term.

So, you should avoid using low-quality, duplicate content, keyword stuffing, questionable redirects or cloaking for traffic. It may be tempting to go for these short-cuts, but they will just hurt your ranking, and may even get you banned for good.

3. Overloading your site

It has been a common perception that photos, videos and other graphics make a website more appealing for the viewers. To some extent, this perception is true; however, there should not be too much of it or your website will take ages to load. Your viewers don’t have all day to wait for your site to load. If your blog takes longer to load than other websites, the viewers will just click away. You will not only lose viewers, you will also lose ranking against other websites.

4. Making navigation difficult

Navigation is one of the most important factors for any website. It’s important for both viewers and search engines. Ideally, your viewers should be able to get the desired information from your website in one or two clicks. This may not be an easy task for you. So, what you can do is put important content on the main page of your site. This the users will be able to get what they want more easily.

5. Misunderstanding THE BACKLINK PROCESS

You may not want to be obsessed with obtaining a lot of backlinks. Although you don’t have to have backlinks from authority websites to establish your credibility, it helps a lot. However, what you need to do is try to get backclinks in a nature fashion. But it’s not a good idea to buy backlinks. This is one of the worst mistakes that you can make.

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Image Optimization for SEO – Best Practices

Quality content is the key to SEO success. Content doesn’t just mean your text contents. Images must be an integral part of your content strategy. At times, single images can be far more effective than your 1000 word blog post. It also helps you improve blog post quality and performance.

Images, Infographics, Videos and all other multimedia contents on your web page will help you in increasing the user engagement on your site and makes the visitors stay on your site for longer duration which helps in reducing the bounce rate.

Not just adding images to your contents, you should also optimize those images for better SEO performance. Optimization of images must be the one important aspect of your on-page SEO process.

If you are using images in your content, there are many aspects to be considered related to SEO.

Relevancy

Using images doesn’t mean that you should fill up your content with loads of pictures. You should use it only when it is required and also you should use images that are more relevant to your content.

Placement of your images is an another important aspect. It should be placed at a relevant location in your content according to your text content.

Use original images

Originality always helps in improving your user experience and your authority. Usage of original images will be helpful in improving your SEO performance. You can create original images with a graphic designer or you can take your own photographs with a quality camera. It is the reason top White hat SEO companies employ talented graphic designers for creating quality images.

If you are not able to employ an in-house graphic designer or if you are running out of time, you can always use high quality images from the web. But the important factor to be considered is it should be copyright free.

There are many tools available for getting copyright free images without any cost. The most popular ones are Unsplash, Flicker, Freeimages.

Image Size

Images are the main source for damping your site’s speed. And site speed is a crucial factor in your SEO performance. So, you should be extra cautious in using images without compromising your page speed.

It should not also affect your image quality, you should have a correct balance between. You can achieve this by reducing the file size by compression. You can use tools like Photoshop for compression.

File name

Search engine crawlers are visually impaired, it can even interrupt a 5000 word text content, but it cannot interrupt a single image and what the image is about. It is the reason using a keyword rich file names for your images is an important aspect in image optimization.

Google bots and other search engine crawlers can read your image’s file name and if it is named with your target keyword, it gives a signal to search engines about the image topic and thus helps your SEO performance.

For example, if your image is related to selling sports shoes, rather than using the file name as “IMG_89868″ you can use it as “Black_Tennis_Shoes”.

Alt text

Similar to the file name, search engines can read Alt text of the images. Alt text is known as “Aleternative Text”, is an HTML attribute used to describe the content of images.

You should use Alt text which is relevant to your images and it should be clear and descriptive. You can use your target keywords in the Alt text but be cautious about Keyword stuffing.

If you are not focusing on Image optimization, you are missing a huge opportunity in improving your SEO performance. You can use above mentioned best practices in your on-page optimization process.

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Best Support And Opportunities For All Youth

American youth currently face challenging realities along their way to adulthood. With parents working longer hours and the absence of grandparents and other community adults who used to make up support systems, the intergenerational fabric of community has been frayed. Youth development strategies aim to reweave community fabric in a new way – one that takes the supports and opportunities young people should have, and re-institutes them in the context of young people’s realities today. While many of these realities are harsh ones, we know that young people themselves want to be involved in their communities. The importance of building positive youth/adult partnerships in this process cannot be stressed enough.

The mobilization effort is based on influencing three critical elements: information, attitudes, involvement. The transformation of each of these areas, both in the public and private domains, is a necessary condition for change. For example, in the area of information, the country is currently focused on collecting primarily negative youth information, e.g., teenage births, dropouts, and juvenile arrest rate. Inspiring a 180 degree shift, we need to collect information such as: average number of hours youth participate in after-school activities, computer to youth ratio in non-school hours, and the percentage of youth who hold part-time jobs. The three elements are intertwined, for how information is gathered and communicated impacts attitudes as well as how and if people choose to become involved.

Only through broad community commitment, strong public will, and diverse partnerships can youth development take root, go to scale, and be sustained over time. Ultimately, the mobilization must be supported by partnerships among all of the systems in a community that affect young people (i.e., education, corporations, health care, juvenile justice, religious groups, and recreation). To build these relationships and establish youth development infrastructures to improve developmental paths of adolescents will take at least 10 years.

Localities currently spending their resources on efforts to “fix youth” will need to pool, redirect, and increase their financial commitment to youth development. These additional dollars will ensure all youth equal access to supports and opportunities, especially youth living in economically distressed areas.

Our information on the services young people need, and use, is still hit or miss. Communities do not know what they have or what they need. They usually have no way to tell how well services are being used and what services need to be improved.

Good information is important for youth services for exactly the same reasons it is important for everything else. Accurate, accessible standardized information lets people find the services they need and use them effectively. It lets communities manage, evaluate and improve their services and determine the need for changing them, eliminating them, or developing new ones.

Many national efforts to measure outcomes presently use deficit-driven indicators to assess young people’s condition in society, such as teen pregnancy rates, juvenile crime numbers, and percentages of high school dropouts. Although these measures are important, they do not tell the whole story about young people’s experiences. Measures that reflect positive conditions and experiences of young people are also important.

The accelerated trend of the past decade toward empowering our nation’s young people to succeed has fostered a new awareness and commitment to this most valuable resource. Some basic questions are:

- How much do we currently spend?

- How much should we spend?

Some progress has been made through new initiatives in education finance reform and services integration, providing more effective delivery of social, health and educational services for children and youth from the classroom up to the government. This document establishes an initial framework and formula for assessing the financial resources and mechanisms necessary to move American society closer to this ideal. The following were found to be potential root causes of these trends in spending:

- Devaluation of adolescents.

- Lack of consensus on youth development.

- Lack of adequate and protected funding. Funds are not protected and dedicated in the manner necessary to sustain the long-term, comprehensive process that is youth development.

We can support the move toward the ideal by:

- Seeking new types of information.

- Building on the after-school momentum.

- Making a sustainable public investment.

Youth development is an investment that must be made by each sector of the wider community – public and private. Examination of the federal-state matching, local dedicated taxes an incentives for business and philanthropy could lead to models for providing adequate and sustainable funding for youth development. National intermediaries must work to cultivate this leadership at all levels of government, and at the grassroots, by creating constituencies.

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State Sponsored Retirement Plans Continue to Expand

Several states are taking the lead from California, Oregon and Illinois by offering state-sponsored retirement plans that encourage or require private sector employers to participate.

The plans are referred to as auto-IRAs because eligible workers are automatically enrolled, generally within 30 days of employment. The default contribution rate is typically 3-5% of a paycheck and the employee can stop, restart or transfer plan assets depending on their needs. Referred to as “public-private partnerships” by the Pew Charitable Trust, there is no cost to the employer. Proceeds are managed by a private financial firm management for a pre-determined fee. The plans are subject to the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) like other sponsored pension and benefit plans.

This article provides an overview of the states that currently offer savings programs, as well as those that plan to do so in the future.

OregonSaves

Oregon was one of the first states to implement a savings program for employees of small businesses who are not otherwise eligible for a workplace sponsored pension plan. Titled OregonSaves, it is a state retirement program that is available to an employer or an individual planning for the future.

OregonSaves had almost $57 million in assets as of mid-2020. Employee contributions averaged $127 to $135 per month as of that time.

Enrollment is automatic for employees, with contributions being made through payroll deductions. Each employee account is portable and can be moved from one job to another.

All Oregon employers, regardless of employee size, must facilitate the State’s program for their employees if they do not offer an employer-sponsored retirement plan. The plan is working with small employers to make the process as simple as possible.

CalSavers

CalSavers is available to California workers whose employers do not offer a workplace retirement plan, self-employed individuals, and others who want to increase their savings. Plan participants contribute to an Individual Retirement Account (IRA) that belongs to them.

California employers with more than 50 employees must register with CalSavers by June 30, 2021 if they do not already sponsor a retirement plan. Registration is available to all California employers with at least five employees.

The CalSavers program opened statewide in July 2019 and had $4.3 million in assets as of mid-2020. On average, participating employees contribute $105 to $120 monthly. Like the Oregon plan, the default savings rate is 5% of the employee’s pay and employees are automatically enrolled after 30 days of employment. They can stop, restart or transfer plan participation at any time if they change employers.

CalSavers Retirement Savings Program is designed to simplify employer participation with no employer fees, no fiduciary responsibility, and minimal ongoing responsibilities. Employers that fail to offer participation in the plan as required are subject to fines.

In May 2021, a federal appeals court in San Francisco dismissed a legal challenge to the CalSavers plan.

Illinois Secure Choice Retirement Savings Program

Illinois launched its Secure Choice Retirement Savings Program in 2018. It is a state-facilitated retirement program that is open to employees who work for an eligible employer as well as other employees who want to enroll independent of their employer. Approximately 32,000 Illinois employees saved $8.5 million in the first year of the Illinois Secure Choice program, according to state reports.

The Illinois Secure Choice account is a Roth IRA for the employee. The default savings rate is 5% of gross pay. Employees are automatically enrolled through payroll contributions after 30 days of employment. An employee can opt out at any time. Plan participants are charged a fee of 0.75% of assets per year ($0.75 for every $100 saved), which pays for program administration and operating expenses.

The Illinois Secure Choice had 5,544 registered employers as of May 2020. There are no fees for employers to facilitate the program and employers cannot make contributions to their employee accounts. Employers serve a limited role as a facilitator. As of November, 2019, employers with 25 or more employees that have been in business for two years or more are required to participate in the program. Employers that already offer an employer-sponsored retirement plan are exempt from this legislation.

New Jersey Secure Choice Savings

The “New Jersey Secure Choice Savings Act,” was signed into law in March 2019, with a two-year time frame scheduled to take effect in March 2021.

The Act requires employers that have been in business for two years and have 25 or more employees to participate in a retirement savings program administered through automatic payroll deductions. Private sector employees of businesses of any size are able to participate in the retirement savings program. Smaller or newer employers could join voluntarily. Failure to comply will result in fines to the employer.

Employees will be automatically enrolled at the leve of a 3% paycheck contribution. The annual contribution maximum is $6,000 for those under 50 years old, and $7,000 for those 50 or older.

Connecticut Secure Choice Savings Plan

Connecticut employers with five or more employees must offer a retirement plan to employees, and private employers with four or fewer employees may choose to do so. Employees are auto-enrolled within 120 days of employment, and employees must be notified of their rights within 30 days. Employers are not permitted to make contributions to the program.

The Connecticut Retirement Security Authority, a quasi-public agency, was formed in 2016 to oversee the program. The state estimates that as many as 600,000 employees may benefit from the plan.

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