Before you pen down and write content, foremost, you’ve to search for the right keywords. Remember that your content is for ranking purposes, and the keyword is the prime goal of On-page SEO. The keyword is the backbone of content marketing. Hence, while choosing a keyword, ensure that the content must have three to five targeted keywords.
Also, ensure that keyword is based on the customer search and targeting their question. If you are unsure about keyword research, take the help of the keyword finder tools. If you’re a beginner, then go with free keyword tools like;
But there are tools like ahrefs and semrush which offers free trail for 7 days and stands a top seo tools in the industry, makes your job easy in finding high volume and low competitive keywords. This way, you can hit the right keywords for your content.
Analyze Search Intent Before Picking The Keyword
The next step in writing Google-friendly content is analyzing the search intent before selecting the actual keyword. It’s vital because if the content you’ve written doesn’t match user search intent, the content doesn’t rank on SERP (Search Engine Result Page).
Recently in 2013, Google officially released an update (Hummingbird Algorithm). This is helpful for the search engine to find out the user’s true intention behind searches. The update is also known as semantic search . The algorithm update helps to match the website content in Google’s index with the same language users choose to make a query on Google.
Therefore, the best way to write content for search engine optimization is to do quick research on Google with respective keywords. This helps analyze content ranking at the top of the search engine page. Moreover, you’ll find some of the common content patterns on the search engine result page, which are as follows:
What Not to Do When Writing Nonprofit Blog Content
To give some background context, according to Google, “your SEO keywords are the key words and phrases in your web content that make it possible for people to find your site via search engines. A website that is well optimized for search engines ‘speaks the same language’ as its potential visitor base with keywords for SEO that help connect searchers to your site.”
For example, let’s say you’re writing about volunteer opportunities in Nepal, and you choose the keyword “volunteering.” Your article may have little chance of ranking in search engines as “volunteering” is word that has high search volume. However, if you use a longer-tail keyword such as “volunteer programs Nepal,” your post has a much better chance of competing.
However, when writing new blog content, it’s important that you don’t write for Google; write for your nonprofit’s audience. As important as it is to have an SEO and keyword strategy, it’s equally important, if not more, to write content that people want to read. Google won’t rank your post if people are not reading it.
Another thing to avoid when writing your text is over-optimizing for Google, or overusing your keywords. Don’t stick your keyword all throughout your post just to meet your SEO requirements. This can impede readability.
Tips for Writing Inspiration
Get inspiration from your own personal experiences.
Go back to the moments that inspired you to take on this mission. What pivotal experiences drew you to the cause? Even posts about problems or solutions that you have encountered at your job could potentially be helpful for someone else.
Read other blogs and/or the news.
Create a blog series.
Sometimes when you’re writing a blog post, you realize you’re actually writing two blog posts. You can always divide posts into two or more and create a blog series. That way you can be more thorough and also have more content.
Interact with your audience.
Sometimes people comment on your blog post with questions that may be difficult to answer. Use these comments or comments on social media as an opportunity for inspiration. Perhaps you can create brand new posts from questions that people raise in their comments.
Use internal search.
Your audience uses the internal search function on your page to search for information they are looking for on your site. With Google Analytics, you can see the terms people are searching for, which could give you inspiration for new blog posts.
We hope that this article has been useful for your to learn exactly why valuable blog content is important, the dos and don’ts in writing new content, and tips for figuring out what to write about. As always, if you would like to share your own personal experiences with blog content writing, please comment below.
This post was initially published on the Elevation Blog by Sara Lowe, communications and partnerships manager. Sara began volunteering with nonprofits at an early age, including helping her hometown military community at the USO, teaching useful skills to inmates at a local jail, and traveling to Cambodia to help implement sustainable farming practices in a small village.
Creating a great resume is essential to getting a job. It’s important to make your resume look good, as it reflects your professional qualifications. If you want to appeal to potential employers and showcase your qualifications, you can make an effort to make your resume look professional and aesthetically appealing. In this article, we explain why it’s important for your resume look good, list tips for creating your resume and provide an example of a good resume.
It’s important for your resume to look good because your resume is a reflection of your professional qualifications. It can show potential employers that you are a valuable job candidate, which can help you get jobs. Creating a clean, visually appealing resume can help you appear more professional, and it can also make it easier for recruiters to quickly read through your credentials.
Tips on how to make your resume look good
Make your header stand out
One tip for improving your resume is to create a header that stands out from the rest of the page. Your header should include your name and contact information, and you can use a large or bolded font to draw attention to your header. You can also separate your header from the rest of your resume with lines or other elements. This can add visual interest to your resume.
Divide your resume into sections with headings
Presenting well-organized information is key to creating an attractive resume. You can divide your resume into sections and include information under headings. Dividing the information in your resume into sections can help keep it well-organized and easy to follow. Typically, resumes include the following main sections:
Summary statement: A summary statement is a brief summary, usually one or two sentences long, of your professional credentials and career goals. You can include your summary statement at the top of your resume under your header.
Work experience: The work experience section is critical to highlight your experience and qualifications. You can list each work experience as well as a list of responsibilities and accomplishments for each.
Projects: Near the end of your resume, you can include any special projects you’ve worked on that are relevant to your professional career or to the job you’re seeking. Be sure to keep project descriptions brief and concise.
Split up blocks of text with bullet points
You can make your resume appear clean and organized by splitting up blocks of text with bullet points. Using bullet points instead of blocks of text can improve the readability of your resume. Bullet points can also allow you to highlight specific experiences or skills that you want to bring attention to.
Make use of white space
White space is another important component of an aesthetically appealing resume. Strategic white space can help make your resume look balanced. To make use of white space, be sure to include margins as well as spacing between lines and sections.
Keep it consistent
Another tip for creating a good-looking resume is to keep your styles consistent throughout your resume. Be sure to use capitalization, text styles and spacing consistently. This can make your resume look more cohesive and make it easier for people to read.
Choose a font scheme
Be sure to choose and maintain a font scheme for your resume. Try to choose one or two professional-looking fonts to use throughout your resume. Be sure that any fonts you choose are simple and readable. Many people choose to use classic fonts in their resume to ensure that they are easy to read.
Limit bolded, italicized and underlined text
Another tip for making your resume look good is to limit bolded, italicized and underlined text. Try to only use bolded or italicized texts in headings or titles. Furthermore, try to avoid underlining altogether, as it can be hard to read. Instead, you can draw attention to specific text by changing the text size or using a different color.
Use a professional format
You can use a professional format to ensure that your resume looks good to potential employers and other professionals. If you would like, you can base your resume on a template. Most professional resumes follow reverse chronological order. In this format, you can list your most recent work experience first and work backward through your past work experiences. This method of organization can make it easy for recruiters to read through and understand your credentials.
Stick to one page
Unless you’re applying to a job that asks for a special kind of resume, try to keep your resume to exactly one page. This can make your resume easier to read and more aesthetically appealing. To fill exactly one page, remove any information that is not relevant to the job you’re applying for, and be sure to make use of white space to fill the page evenly.
Be careful with graphics
Many people choose to include images and graphics to enhance their resumes. However, graphics can sometimes clutter a resume and make it harder for a resume scanner to extract important information from your resume. For this reason, consider focusing on the text of your resume. If you choose to use graphics, try to keep them simple and include them in a way that doesn’t distract from your resume’s text.
Consider typical resume styles in your industry
You can tailor the design of your resume to the resume designs favored by people who work in your industry. This can help you position yourself as an industry professional. For example, you might consider including more graphics and colors if you’re applying for a job in a creative field.
Ask for feedback
Another tip for improving your resume to ask a mentor for feedback. Getting feedback from another person can help you spot areas you can improve your resume and additional components that you can add to it. This can help ensure that your resume looks as professional as possible.
One of the ideal means of making money is by freelance writing jobs and if you want to gain recognition there’s nothing better than setting up a base. This kind of foundation can be made by submitting your work to famous websites that have featured articles of excellent grammar, quality, and resources. Most of the writers online have their work reviewed by editors online after which the article is selected for publication. However, by following the basic principles of the website and formulating your articles in that particular manner will allow you to grab onto the position of a prestigious writer with the high number of recommendations. Also, the quality of content plays a very big role, so if you are not sure about writing an article by yourself, you can always use thesis editing services.
One of the widely used sites, eHow allows you to grow your name online as a writer by using your articles. However, your article must be grammatically correct and should consist of citations placed in the right manner. Don’t worry about recognition especially since eHow is visited by millions online for information.
For learning, building, and fixing in the context of content writing, eHow helps you in earning loads of money and experience. Submit your article thereby check the number of viewers you get accordingly empower your strength for better and easier challenges.
Follow a formula
Many bloggers today take a haphazard approach to blogging. Sure, they know their basic subject matter. But the actual writing sort of takes care of itself — an intro, a few sections, write some more stuff, wrapt it up with a conclusion…and….
Make it relevant
Tell readers how to solve a problem or achieve a goal
Explain exactly how to do it
Make it super useful
Use several one-line paragraphs.
Talk directly to the reader.
Use several first-person references.
Make the headings easy to understand and follow — full sentences or phrases
Keep the language simple
No big words
Use short paragraphs — no longer than three lines
Use at least 10 images
Do not use clipart in the body of the blog
Use data-driven images such as charts, graphs, and screenshots
How to Make a Great LinkedIn Profile (+18 Best Tips)
Do you have a LinkedIn profile? Congratulations, now you’re one of the 750+ million users competing for the attention of recruiters, investors, and entrepreneurs scouting for talent in the social platform.
Your profile, contrary to what many users think, isn’t the online equivalent of a resume. Although it looks like it, it’s so much more than that. Your LinkedIn profile gives you the opportunity to tell your story, ambition, and personal brand sans the limitations of a typical resume. It also serves as your business card, a way for other users to evaluate if you’re a worthy addition to their professional network.
This tutorial will show you how to set up LinkedIn, so you can get more views and build a stronger network for your career or business. Plus, we’ll share 18 LinkedIn profile tips to help you make the best LinkedIn profile.
18 LinkedIn Profile Tips
1. Use the First Person
Write like you’re talking to a friend, but keep it professional. Let your personality shine. There’s no need for highfalutin words, although proper grammar and spelling are still expected.
Show people what makes you passionate about your work or business, and feel free to share a bit of what you do when you’re not at work. Again, you’re not writing a resume. You’re writing a profile on a professional social network, the key words being professional and social.
2. Pick a Good Profile Picture
Your profile picture will affect people’s first impression of you, so choose wisely. If you can, invest in a professional headshot for your profile. Don’t be afraid to pick a creative picture if that’s appropriate for your line of work. Just make sure it’s recent and a good close-up because a full-body shot is impossible to see on a thumbnail size image.
3. Don’t Limit Your Headline to Your Job Title
The LinkedIn headline is the first thing other users will read on your profile because it’s just below your name. It’s auto-filled with your current job title by default, but you can change it to whatever you want.
A headline is supposed to catch a reader’s attention. Your job title, however impressive, won’t cut it. Remember, LinkedIn has 750+ million users, so there’s a good chance there are thousands of professionals with the same job title as you.
4. Use the Summary to Tell Your Story
The summary section of your LinkedIn profile isn’t the same as the executive or professional summary in a resume. In a resume, the summary is usually reserved for the candidate’s best accomplishments.
In LinkedIn, you’re not limited to a one-line accomplishment. There’s enough space to tell the story beyond those accomplishments to give readers context of your work, and how it impacts the people around you. You can also write a short narrative about your career’s progression, or share the story of how your business came to be.
While storytelling is definitely acceptable, LinkedIn users won’t read a novel. Limit your summary to three to five short paragraphs with a bulleted section for users who don’t want to read the whole text.
5. Add a Background Photo
Not many users know, but you can now upload a background or cover photo on your LinkedIn profile. It’s similar to what you see on Twitter and Facebook, except users are expecting to see professional or work-related background pictures, not selfies.
Granted, not everyone will have pictures like those mentioned above. If that’s the case, try a picture of yourself while at work. This works great for jobs where you’re not always in front of a computer, and what you’re doing is easily understood in a photo, such as architects, chefs, photographers, engineers, and anyone doing field work.
6. Connect Your Other Accounts and Websites
You’re also allowed to link up to three websites to your profile. Each URL can be labeled as your personal website, company website, blog, portfolio, or RSS Feed. While those descriptions are okay, using the “other” option as your label gives you the freedom to use a creative or keyword-rich label for your website.
For instance, instead of plain old “Portfolio,” you can label your website as “Graphic Design Portfolio.” If your website URL is different from your brand name, you can use this feature to list the brand name beside the URL.
7. Use Visual Media
With its visual media features, users can show proof of their work by uploading videos, articles, presentations, or PDF files right beside every job entry. Attaching visual media to your LinkedIn profile is a great way for creatives to showcase their work, and for entrepreneurs to prove the value of their products and services through PDF case studies or video demonstrations.
8. Highlight Accomplishments in the Experience Section
If you’re having trouble choosing which accomplishments to include, pick the three most impressive, relevant, or unique to your role. Write the bullet points in the Challenge-Action-Results (CAR) format or the Situation-Tasks-Action-Results (STAR) format.
Since there are no space constraints on LinkedIn, use the extra space to write a short overview of your job. Explain the specifics of your job, such as the industry you serve, the budget you handle, or the number of people you manage to give other users some context about your experience.
9. List All Relevant Skills to Get “Endorsements”
Go to “View Your Profile” then scroll down until you see the section on “Featured Skills and Endorsements.” If you don’t have any skills listed yet, just type your skills and LinkedIn will suggest related skills for you.
You can receive endorsements from other members for various skills.
Why do you need a good LinkedIn profile?
LinkedIn is the social media network for professionals. Recruiters go there to find potential candidates; employers are actively promoting their brands and it is by far the best social media platform for a job seeker.
Recruiters and hiring managers will source on a variety of platforms and social media and your activity on Facebook and Twitter will certainly carry some weight, but LinkedIn is where the job search social brand should live for any corporate job seeker.
It is true that historically manual professions such as plumbers or less senior roles such as telemarketers have not been so visible on LinkedIn, but today if you are a tradesman looking to increase your brand or an early career professional looking for education, LinkedIn is a treasure trove of opportunity for everyone.
One of the biggest mistakes for any beginner LinkedIn member is to create a minimal LinkedIn profile. The platform offers fantastic opportunities for connecting with others who could help you along your career journey, so make the very most of everything that is on offer. Be confident and let your experience shine.
How to Create a Powerful LinkedIn Profile: 10 Tips
When you hit that profile button and contemplate the messages that your LinkedIn profile is sending out to potential new employers or freelancing clients, are you happy with what you read?
1. Your LinkedIn profile photo and profile header image
Considering the use of headshots in resumes has been phased out in many countries (notably in the United States and Canada), the importance of a professional photo is often overlooked by job seekers.
Not everyone bothers creating a profile picture on a clean white background, and even fewer people care enough to order professional photos by a photographer. The latter may seem needlessly expensive, until you think about the investment value. In the long run, high quality “headshots” pay for themselves many times over in positive image gains.
Considering LinkedIn is a social network, your profile picture should work to your advantage. We’ll analyze that aspect in more detail later, but for now, make sure to choose and/or create your image carefully.
If you’re already using Resume.io’s resume builder, we have a nifty feature that can turn any photo into a professional one: the photo background change feature . You can easily take any photo that turned out well and switch out the background with the press of one button. There’s a good variety of backgrounds to choose from: abstract, office space, flat color and even natural backdrops for more exotic professions.
2. The LinkedIn headline is your elevator pitch
The LinkedIn headline is a very important element of the LinkedIn profile page, as it sets the tone for your entire LinkedIn account. It’s the first thing seen by prospective employers and recruiters after your profile photo.
The best LinkedIn profiles make the headline work for them, rather than just display their main job title. In a world where “standard” job descriptions mean less and less with each passing year, purposefully crafting a professional brand and a “custom title” or job description makes a lot of sense.
Your goal is to outline more than a generic job title for your current position — for instance, “Kate Wills, Accountant” or “Jim Gordon, Engineer” — and to make the recruiters who visit your page actually remember you among the crowd of candidates.
3. Your LinkedIn profile “about” summary section
In terms of vitally important (yet difficult to tackle) sections, the LinkedIn “about” section is a cornerstone of your LinkedIn profile. Similar to the profile in a traditional resume (sometimes called the summary or personal statement ), this offers the very best highlights of your candidature.
It should give a brief but vibrant glimpse into how you’ve grown as a professional over the years. Highlight your proudest achievements in the LinkedIn profile and emphasize your most unique or valuable skills.
The summary section on LinkedIn.com has many of the same characteristics as its counterpart in a traditional resume. You can check out our advice on building a fantastic summary in our comprehensive resume writing guide , or our summary blog, since most of the same principles apply. The main difference is you’re limited by 2,000 characters rather than 100 to 200 words.
The trick is to strike a balance between an engaging narrative and professional credentials. Bet too creative and you’ll come off as not taking your job seriously. Focus only on professional lingo, and even industry experts will get bored quickly and move on.
Keep in mind also that many recruiters and hiring managers aren’t as knowledgeable in technical fields as you might be if you’re an industry veteran. Be careful not to turn your LinkedIn profile summary into a jumble of cryptic abbreviations.
Space is precious here, and first impressions even more so. Make these 2,000 characters count. Make them capture the recruiter’s or prospective employer’s imagination, as much as they impress with career milestones.
It is important to note that only the first three lines of the LinkedIn “about” section will be visible initially, so make the beginning of your story as interesting as possible. The reader makes a conscious choice to click on the “see more” button, so choose your words carefully in the opening sentences.
How to Build an Impressive LinkedIn Profile – Characters counts LinkedIn
4. Featured content adds depth to your story
The main benefit of LinkedIn is that it allows members to grow their professional networks, share their thoughts with others and learn from each other. Social update posts, long form blog content and video posts all form part of the LinkedIn professional tapestry.
Step 6: Licenses and Certifications
When you create your LinkedIn profile, do not forget to include your licenses and certifications if you have any. Obviously, they can be different depending on your field or industry.
You can visit the link that I’ve provided if you want to learn how to get certified for free in Marketing or Sales by these companies. Obviously, these certifications do not substitute a degree, but they are a great way to boost your CV.
When completing this section, you can also provide details such as the expiration of the course (if any), an URL to the certificate, and a valid credential. It is not obligatory, however.
Step 7: Accomplishments
I have included the next couple of sections within the same step because their goal is practically the same. To highlight your skills in a more practical way, and give other people the opportunity to endorse your expertise.
The purpose of this section is to write down your key skills and let others endorse you. The reason why is because everyone can make up skills that they don’t have. However, if you have coworkers or ex classmates that have worked with you, they can go to your profile and confirm that you actually possess these skills.
Of course, do not go overboard with the skills. Select between 10-15 things that you are really good at, and focus on getting endorsed for them. You don’t want your expertise to get diluted because you’ve listed 100 irrelevant skills.
A contest is a subtle way to promote your product without actually advertising it. Running contests on social media platforms will drive audience’s attention towards your product. To reap maximize benefits from the contest, keep it fun, simple, and offer giveaways to all participants. Ultimately, this will create loyalty towards your product in customers; thus, will help you in generating leads in long-term.
Example: Dove, recently started a “Real beauty should be shared” contest on Facebook. It was a fill-in-the-blank contest wherein users had to tell why their friends represent real beauty by filling in their friend’s name and things that make them a real beauty. As a prize for this contest, they gave entrants the chance of becoming the face of Dove (to be printed on Dove soap case). This was a brilliant branding campaign where Dove not only got a genuine face for marketing but also brought huge attention towards its product.
Create a brand & logo
Don’t be fooled by how simplistic this first tip may seem. Widespread brand recognition is your ultimate goal, and your business needs to inspire credibility and persuade others to spread the word about your work.
You need to create a brand you can build on from the start. Start by taking inventory of your business’ unique value proposition, its personality, and the values that define it. Then you can start to think about your visual brand.
Hiring a design firm may be costly, but there are popular design services on the web, that can provide a selection of custom logo designs for your brand, and at an affordable price. You can even create a logo using an online logo maker if you’re on a very tight budget. Your visual brand may evolve with your business, but you need to start with something on which you can build your business’ reputation.
Create a website
Setting up a website is relatively easy. Making sure it’s attractive, functional, accessible, and mobile-friendly can make your business look professional. There are many affordable website services you can use to get your business online fast and with little cost.
These services offer ready-made website templates with lead-generation features, free logos and other features. Or, if you’d prefer to have more control over your site, you can always use WordPress, the world’s most popular (and entirely free) content management system. Thanks to the vast selection of available WordPress themes for professional business websites, anyone can easily set up a fully functional and expertly designed site. The overall cost of a site can vary from the type of design and function. Additionally, before marketing your website through any online channels, make sure your metadata is accurate and follows Google Webmaster guidelines.
Remember, too, to put everything on your website. If you book a stand at a trade fair, for example, get your team to wear t-shirts with your logo, phone number and website details on the back. You could even paint your car with your company logo and include your brand’s contact details.
Optimize your website’s SEO
Search engine optimization (SEO) helps your website show up higher in Google search rankings. Using relevant keywords throughout your business’s web pages and blog posts increases the chance of users finding your site when they search online for businesses like yours. SEO involves much more than keyword usage, though, so it’s helpful to do some research online or find a book that outlines how to prime your site’s performance on search engines. You might also consider hiring an SEO agency to help optimize your website.
Any time your business does something notable or newsworthy, draft a press release to send to your local news outlets. These publications actively look for interesting stories and often use press releases to create articles. When they do, it gives your business free publicity and distribution, allowing you to reach a much broader audience.
Host a workshop or webinar
Teaching can help you gain exposure and position yourself as an authority in your field. Consider hosting workshops and presentations online or in person, particularly if your business involves specialized skills or technical information. You’ll provide valuable knowledge for prospective customers, make contacts in your industry and get a chance to collect contact information from attendees.
Introductory discounts and free trials draw new customers by offering incentives for their interest. You can also encourage referrals by offering customers deals that they can share. On the other hand, free samples and trials give prospective customers the chance to try your product or service without a financial commitment. This builds trust and allows your work to speak for itself.
Invest in your dream and promote your business. Though each of these tips can be effective on its own, combining them can be even more powerful. Speak with a business banking expert to learn how a business banking account can help your business reach its full potential.
For informational/educational purposes only: The views expressed in this article may differ from those of other employees and departments of JPMorgan Chase & Co. Views and strategies described may not be appropriate for everyone and are not intended as specific advice/recommendation for any individual. Information has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but JPMorgan Chase & Co. or its affiliates and/or subsidiaries do not warrant its completeness or accuracy. You should carefully consider your needs and objectives before making any decisions and consult the appropriate professional(s). Outlooks and past performance are not guarantees of future results.
Facebook for Business: Everything You Need to Know
Every small business can benefit from a Facebook presence. With more than 2.91 billion monthly users, Meta – the Facebook company’s new name – gives small businesses many ways to promote their services, increase customer support, and boost sales and recognition through their Facebook platform.
Using Facebook for your small business may seem challenging because the platform’s rules and algorithms change frequently. However, with the right strategies, Facebook is one of the best ways to use social media for business.
One of Facebook’s biggest strengths is allowing you to target a specific audience through paid campaigns and advertisements. The platform maintains a significant amount of information about its users, which can be advantageous when targeting ads. In addition, creating a Facebook Business Page can be an effective small business marketing tool.
Did you know? Facebook’s business offerings used to be grouped under the Facebook for Business umbrella. Now, these business tools are called Meta for Business, reflecting the company’s new branding.
What is a Facebook Business Page?
A Facebook Business Page is like a free business website companies can build on to expand their internet presence. Like a personal Facebook profile, your Facebook Business Page includes functionality for sending and receiving messages, posting updates, getting notifications and interacting with other users’ content through liking, sharing and commenting.
Of course, given how many companies have a Facebook presence, you’ll need your Page to stand out from the crowd to draw significant attention to your business. If you’re questioning whether the work that goes into distinguishing your company on Facebook is worth it, the many benefits of Facebook Business Pages may convince you to invest the time.
Key takeaway: A Facebook Business Page is a free resource that helps you to connect with customers and grow your online audience. Like email retargeting, Facebook allows you to reach a captive audience.
Take advantage of social media
Almost 80% of Aussies are active social media users, and one-third of Australian consumers say that they will inspect a brand’s social media presence before doing any kind of business with them. That said, many small businesses disregard social media marketing, which has tremendous potential to grow their business. Social media is an instant connection to the world—a powerhouse of visually rich content that people are constantly engaging with and sharing. You can establish a social media presence without splurging on paid ads or hiring an influencer to market your business. We encourage you to create a free business profile on any platform your target audience uses and start posting relevant, useful content in your niche. When people find that your posts are actually helpful and engaging rather than just blatant advertising, you will receive organic followers who may eventually become customers.
In terms of ROI, email marketing outperforms almost all other marketing techniques. From sending newsletters, seasonal offers, and promotions to providing customer support, email is a versatile tool that every small business should use. The best part is that it’s highly customisable and exceptionally affordable. You can target and deliver relevant emails that bring value to specific customers for a fraction of what other marketing channels cost.
If you want to begin your email marketing journey or enhance the methods you’re already using, you can test out our free version of Zoho Campaigns. Our easy-to-use email marketing software has automation, templates, and metrics, so you have everything you need to optimise your email campaign performance.
Build a business blog
Business blogs are an effective tool to build brand authority and credibility. Though they may take longer to produce results than other marketing methods, they are undeniably an excellent investment for your business. When you share your expertise by writing optimised blogs specific to your industry, you give more reasons for search engines to display you on results pages. This also helps you build domain authority and generate traffic to your website by reaching a larger audience. Simply put, the higher your search engine rankings, the more people will find you, and the better the chances are that they will convert into customers. For example, let’s say you run a photography business. If people searching for a wedding photographer in Brisbane come across your blog post on ‘Top 10 photography spots in Brisbane,’ they might want to hire you if they were impressed with the photos you took and your deep understanding of the the field.
Online forums are where people exchange ideas and interact with one another about a particular subject. Choose a suitable forum where you can meet prospective customers, participate in discussions, and actively contribute your tips and opinions on topics related to your business. However, be certain that you are adhering to the rules by promoting your company only in appropriate contexts. This is an excellent way to network with potential customers, build relationships, and introduce them to your services at the right time when they are needed. Quora, Reddit, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Flying Solo are some platforms where you can find dedicated groups or channels related to small businesses.
11 local marketing strategies you can start today
1. Optimize your website (and localize it).
Website optimization is key to driving traffic, but is your website optimized for local users? Not only should you follow search engine optimization (SEO) best practices, such as employing keyword research to inform your website content, you should also guarantee that your website offers a top-notch mobile experience, said Heather Lodge, chief marketer at Click and Mortar.
“More than half of traffic coming to websites is from mobile devices,” she said. “If you have a website that’s nice and streamlined, with large text to read on a small screen and large buttons to easily click, you’ll have an easier time attracting local business.”
In addition to these recommendations – which are key for any digital marketing strategy – your website should also be localized, Lodge said. That means determining keywords and key phrases based on local SEO – ask yourself, “What is the local market searching for on Google?” A good rule of thumb is to frequently mention your community or nearby communities. If you’re targeting a regional audience, consider adding language to your website like “serving the tri-state area,” for example.
You can improve your local SEO insights even further by leveraging free keyword research tools like Google Analytics, Google Trends and Google Search Console to inform precisely what local terms you should incorporate. The more you optimize your website for local search, the more local customers are likely to land on your webpages.
2. Update title tags and meta descriptions.
Title tag refers to the 60 characters that search engine users see on the search engine results page (SERP). Keeping a title tag relevant to your brand and location, but shorter than 60 characters is optimal, McKnight said.
The meta description is less likely to factor into search ranking, McKnight added, but it can improve click-through rates by signaling to users precisely what type of information they might find on the webpage.
“Data shows that a quality meta description … can help click-through rate. On the flip side, for a business like a restaurant that wants people to call, having a phone number in the meta description is huge,” McKnight said. “Meta descriptions should always be 160 characters or less.”
The title tag and meta description can be edited in the administrator’s tools of the web hosting platform you use. For many small business owners, McKnight said, WordPress offers an easy to use SEO function.
3. Set up local landing pages for all your business locations.
“There will often be companies with a lot of different locations, but they don’t include pages with information on those different locations on their website,” Lodge said. “These pages should include each location, directions on how to get there, and what store hours are.”
Lodge added that these pages should include specific content about your business. For example, a real estate agent based in Nashville, Tennessee, shouldn’t just list on their website that they are a “real estate agent.” Instead, including the key phrase “leading real estate agent in Nashville” signals to search engines where the agent is based and helps serve results to a local audience. It also considers how people are searching for real estate agents; they don’t just want anyone, they want “the best” or “leading” real estate agents.
4. Claim your Google My Business listing.
One of the easiest and most effective local marketing strategies you can employ immediately is claiming your Google My Business listing. Google My Business provides search engine users with information like your location, store hours, directions, contact information, and more directly on the SERP.
“Claim your Google My Business knowledge panel and make sure that it is updated,” said McKnight. “Especially during COVID-19, make sure it reflects current store hours and accurately explains any restrictions, such as takeout or delivery only.”
Lodge added you should also claim local listings on other third-party sites, such as Yelp. The more places users can find your business (along with location information) the better off your local marketing success will be.
5. Optimize social media pages.
Social media marketing is critically important when it comes to local online marketing. Much like your website, your social media pages should be optimized and localized. This means providing up-to-date information, such as your business’s location, contact information, and store hours. It also means maintaining an active social media account. You can preschedule social media posts using tools like Hootsuite.
“From a small business perspective, social media revolves largely around communication about deals, reopenings or promotions,” McKnight said. “A lot of it is just reputation management.”
Nowadays, we waste our time without any reason. Smartphone addiction is one of the main reasons to give up writing regularly. We do not want to utilize our leisure time properly. As a result, we can not improve our writing skills. Suppose sometimes you don’t have anything to do, then you may start writing something. It can be any topic or incident. Your primary purpose is to improve your writing skills.
Practicing your targeted language through spoken will help you make yourself a good writer. Many people face the problem when they learn their targeted language only because of spoken practice. A fluent speaker always gets a lot of ideas by speaking with different speakers. Let’s try to improve your speaking skills.
Find a friend or a partner for speaking practice. Sometimes when you get a chance to start a conversation with him. Here you get two benefits: you can improve your speaking skills, and another is you can get many ideas from your friend. Later, it will be effortless to write something about the topic you choose for a conversation with your friend.
Types of business writing
Business writing is used in the workplace to communicate with coworkers, stakeholders and clients. It provides a means of sharing information through text rather than speech. Business professionals send ideas, deliver corporate news and explain changes in the workplace through written correspondence. This makes writing skills an essential component to many jobs that require clear, concise and effective messaging. There are four main types of business writing. They are:
People use instructional business writing when changes occur within the workplace or managers need to provide directions to an associate. These messages often break the task or set of tasks into a series of steps that are easily understood by the recipient.
Informational writing is a type of business writing that does not require action on the recipient’s part. It usually pertains to creating formal documents for reference or record keeping. Businesses require exceptional informational writers who can mark progression toward goals, predict changes or fluctuations in future work and comply with legal obligations.
Persuasive writing is a type of business writing that seeks to persuade consumers into making a purchase. This form of writing is most common in sales or marketing settings and is often direct, focusing on a particular good or service the company offers. Persuasive writing also helps in building and maintaining customer relationships over a long period of time.
Transactional writing is a type of business writing that involves common, daily communication. It’s most often seen in the form of emails but also includes official letters, invoices or other business forms. Human resource departments make use of this writing, as well, to deliver complicated information to employees regarding employment.
How to improve writing skills
1. Research basic writing principles
One of the best ways to begin improving your writing skills is to research some of the basics. There are plenty of helpful resources online that cover basic to advanced grammar, spelling and general writing. Take time to study these resources thoroughly, especially any provided examples. If its coverage of a topic isn’t helpful enough for you, research more on that specific area from other sources. Engage with others in online writing forums, ask any questions you have and participate in ongoing discussions.
2. Practice as much as you can
Once you have a basic understanding of what you learned in your research, reserve time to practice it. Writing is a hard skill that develops over time the more you use it. Implement what you learn within your emails, announcements or any other written correspondences you create at work. If you ever encounter a word, phrase or whole sentence that doesn’t sound correct and can’t find a solution, revert to step one. Look up your specific issue and find a new way to write it.
3. Read as much as you can
One of the best methods of improving your writing is to read. Look for online blogs that use a professional writing style. Sites that cover business resources are great places to start. Scour their content and take note of their verb tense, sentence structure and other stylistic elements. Additionally, seek out possible mistakes. There’s no better way to test your skills than to identify errors in others’ work and determine a solution.
4. Seek out writing workshops in your local area
Learning with others is another great way to improve your writing skills. Joining a workshop doesn’t require you to be a novelist. However, sharing your work with others, editing and learning alongside them can only benefit your overall writing skills. Working with others also builds confidence as it involves sharing your work or presenting it aloud.
5. Consider everything you write as a story
Stories have a proper beginning, middle and end. Even the most basic emails follow the same structure if you break them down. All messages you send out need to tell a story to be engaging. They answer questions such as who, what, when, where, why and how as necessary. Within the previous step, you may be exposed to minor story-telling techniques. Take note of them and implement them into your writing. Study the following example:
My name is Andre, and I am the head of Marketing located one floor above you. I’m reaching out to set up a meeting for discussing new coding changes to the website. I want to ensure your changes work well with our current design and don’t interfere with our digital marketing initiatives. I’m free tomorrow after 2 p.m. Let me know when you can meet in my office.
6. Edit your work
Even the most seasoned writers make mistakes. Remember to edit all written material before sending it out or publishing it. For example, after drafting an email, read through it several times to identify any potential grammar issues. Sending out material littered with minor mistakes can have a significant impact on your credibility, so make sure to review your work with tools and also the help of a friend or colleague.
7. Consider omitting unnecessary words
Omit unnecessary words, phrases or whole sentences that take away from the message. Write in a more direct tone and get to the point of your message. Write clearly and effectively to avoid such wordiness. Doing so makes your content easier to read and understand. This is especially critical when sending complex information to employees or clients.
8. Download helpful applications
There are many available applications for both mobile and desktop that monitor your work. As you type, they outline misspelled words and phrases that have better alternatives. This can be helpful, especially when you’re writing on a deadline. While it’s still a good practice to edit your own work, using an application to help find errors speeds up your process.
4 Tips for English teachers
Help students overcome their fear of a blank page by starting off your lesson with an activity that helps them generate language and ideas for their writing. This is a top down strategy that will allow them to activate prior knowledge and personal experiences that relate to the topic.
Research shows that strategy use transfers from a learner’s first to second language after they have reached a certain ability level. For those learners who are not strong writers in their first language, introduce and model writing strategies.
Be on the lookout for learning difficulties. You may think spelling mistakes and poorly organized text are a result of lacking English skills but there may be another issue such as dyslexia, dyspraxia or dysgraphia that is causing the problem. The earlier a learning difficulty is diagnosed, the sooner a student can learn strategies to overcome it.
Go over the difference between written and spoken English. Every language learner eventually discovers that not everything we say in conversation is acceptable in written form. Beginner learners might need you to call their attention to some common examples (such as writing going to instead of gonna).
20 Small Business Tips and Tricks to Help Make Your Store Thrive
Once you obtain the necessary permits and licenses, get incorporated and offer a legitimate product or service, you’re a business owner — on paper, at least. But keeping a successful business up and running is a different story.
You’ll run into roadblocks that can threaten business viability if you overlook critical administrative tasks like bookkeeping or maintaining relationships with high-quality suppliers. In fact, the top reasons for new business failure include a lack of marketing strategy, having no plan for how to scale the business to meet growing demand, or offering a poorly conceived product or service with a too-small total addressable market (TAM).
20 Tips for Small Business Owners
1. Stay organized.
Keep accurate records of business finances: Record every transaction (customer billings and vendor payments) into the proper account at least once weekly and keep an eye on the bottom line. Keep copies of all invoices, cash receipts and cash payments for bookkeeping and tax purposes.
Set (and keep) deadlines: Stay on top of administrative tasks using project management software — this lets you set deadlines, assign tasks to employees and upload documentation to a central repository.
Plan ahead: Plan your social media campaigns in advance using social media scheduling software. Use email marketing automation to follow up with new leads. Use Slack, Zoom and Microsoft Teams for quick communication with your team. If something can be explained in an email, you don’t need to have a meeting about it.
2. Learn to be flexible.
Agile businesses can quickly pivot in response to changing market conditions, while the slow movers struggle not to become obsolete. Lean into your data and be willing to change course. Listen to customer feedback and don’t be too wedded to your own opinions.
For example, let’s say you’ve conducted interviews with prospective customers and it turns out your product isn’t well-received or the market for it is too small. Don’t cling to a business idea that won’t float. Be willing to change your business model or pricing strategy if your current approach isn’t working for you.
3. Automate as many things as possible.
Automating repeatable tasks saves time and ensures small things don’t fall through the cracks. Recently met a prospective client at a networking event? Use your CRM tool to automatically follow up with new contacts within 24 hours or send emails to new leads who visit your website. Use accounting software to automate your day-to-day bookkeeping so you don’t waste time on data entry.
Salvage abandoned shopping carts by sending an automated email to nudge shoppers to complete their purchases. If you don’t use payroll software, learn how to automate payroll management in Excel.
4. Maintain a personal touch.
Small businesses are uniquely positioned to offer a personal touch — especially if you have a small team or run the company yourself. Handwritten thank-you notes go a long way. Or, you can include a simple gift alongside the purchase or offer freebies in exchange for reviews.
Use your CRM tool to make notes of personal details for each customer so you can offer more high-touch personalizations. For example, say you’re a jeweler who recently sold a custom engagement ring. You can send a simple wedding gift and a discount offer for a future purchase after the couple marries.
5. Protect your intellectual property.
For a small business, this means protecting things like designs, business ideas and trade secrets. If a competitor tries to copy your product, they can erode your market share and damage your reputation. If you decide to register a trademark or apply for a patent, it’s best to seek an attorney’s help to make sense of the legalese and avoid making minor mistakes (eg: omissions in descriptions or drawings, missing deadlines) that can result in your request being denied.
6. Have a great website.
Treat it as sacrosanct. Keep the design clean and simple — limit colors, banner ads and pop-ups — and invest time in proper SEO. Before you build a website, put some serious thought into branding. Branding builds trust and differentiates you from your competitors.
State your brand’s value proposition upfront so first-time visitors understand your offer. Take it from the search engine DuckDuckGo. Its homepage states simply: “Search the web without being tracked” — a worthy appeal to today’s consumers who are concerned about data privacy.
Use high-quality images (stock images don’t build trust) and hire a professional to take photos of all your products. Also, write thorough product descriptions — focus on product benefits, highlight key features and, where possible, tell a story.
7. Create unique content.
Say you run a bakery. Find a way to bring people into the kitchen by filming your process. If you run a clothing label, create unique lookbooks featuring your female friends as models to show a variety of body shapes and skin tones, rather than hiring models from an agency.
If you’re an interior designer specializing in small spaces, upload videos on YouTube or start a podcast to share DIY tips for renters. Find ways to be authentic, share your expertise and tell the story of your business.
Make Time for Family
You can’t be afraid to employ the latest technology because if you don’t, your business will always be left behind.
Contracts do more than keep us honest; they make it possible to preserve the rights of everyone who is involved.
In a competitive market, finding a differentiator is vital to gaining an advantage over your competitors, and by using originality in every aspect of your business, you can gain a distinctive edge.
In case you haven’t figured this out already, let me assure you that if your website is not mobile-optimized, then a great number of your would-be customers are passing right over your business.
Any good business owner knows that you’ve got to listen to your customers, but not only is this a good practice—it is necessary if you want to find out what the market is doing next.
There are just some products with that special something that seems to cater to a consumer’s every desire. It’s like comfort food. Many times, there isn’t anything complicated about it—it just tastes good, and you always want more.
Good UX design is a central element of a high-quality website, but the principles of UX are not confined to web design. Every aspect of a small business can be improved by paying attention to how easily your customers can find the product they need and access information, whether through a website, or in a store.
Create a Scalable Business Model
Bootstrapping is always good, but even if you didn’t bootstrap your business in the beginning, you need some rainy-day money, and a lot of it—like enough to carry the business for at least a year.
You can always dial it back down if necessary, but chances are, what you believe to be the true right price, is the right price.
Why Do Businesses Fail?
Running a company isn’t for the faint of heart. Starting a business is risky by its nature. To make sure you understand how to run a business, it’s crucial to know what can go wrong and how to avoid it.
1. Unclear Differentiation
Novice entrepreneurs — perhaps even experienced ones — sometimes overlook how their business competes in a crowded marketplace. Failing to address competition and how to offer something different in a local market can lead to getting pushed out of business altogether.
Have something unique to offer — perhaps it’s better product quality or greater service. This always sets a company apart from its alternatives in the market. Capture your share of the market by making yourself irreplaceable. Creating a strong business plan and understanding your customers with research will help create a strong strategy and make sure you know where you fit.
2. Poor Management
Business owners need strong management skills to oversee their employees. They must ensure that all aspects of the business, including hiring and culture, are priorities. If these aren’t kept in check, high employee turnover is likely.
Every member of the team should want to be a part of your work environment. Your company culture should be healthy and motivate your workforce. The immediate benefits of this kind of workplace dynamic between management and workers are reduced employee turnover and heightened productivity.
3. Weak Marketing Efforts
Business owners must know their target audience, how to reach potential customers, and how to get the most out of their marketing budgets. You should consider learning from guides for SEO, social media, paid advertising, and traditional marketing to get an understanding of what you want. Sometimes, hiring the right experts and technology can help ensure marketing runs smoothly when business owners have too much on their hands.
12 Pro Tips on How To Run a Business
1. Stay on Your Customers’ Minds
Most businesses that survived last year’s chaos were those that had a solid presence in their customers’ minds. If you’re a small business and you’re still unable to operate normally because of lockdowns and occupancy restrictions, don’t let that hamper your marketing efforts.
If budgets are tight, create valuable content that your potential customers will engage with. This can be a DIY blog or instructional video that you can post for free on your website or YouTube.
2. Understand Your Lead Management
Do you fully understand why leads don’t become paying customers? Diving into your leads list and investigating why they don’t convert can help you refine your process so you earn more customers.
Review your leads with your customer team at least once a month and account for all the reasons they may not be turning into customers. Make a plan on how to address any concerns or issues. Having a lead management plan will help you know what good looks like and understand where your leads are coming from. When you know where your leads are coming from you will be better able to know where to spend more money.
3. Keep Tabs on Your Competitors
Knowing who your competitors are and what they’re doing is a great way to learn in business. Don’t copy what they’re doing, of course — but monitoring your competition will give you a better idea of what’s helping them succeed, allowing you to adapt these insights to your specific circumstances.
Create a spreadsheet of your competitors and keep tabs once a month on what they’re doing. Follow their website and social media to see what’s new, what they’re promoting, and how their social audiences are growing and engaging. Understanding your competition will help you know when to update some of your marketing, what benefits you should focus on, and when you may want to consider adding products or services.
4. Provide Great Service
Forgetting this step might be the primary cause of your company’s demise, even when everything else seems to be running smoothly. Your clients will be quick to walk out the door, leave you bad reviews online, and tell their friends and family to steer clear if you don’t treat them excellently.
Give yourself a weekly deadline to respond to reviews, both positive and negative. Potential customers often don’t mind an occasional bad review, but they want to know how you’re approaching it and what you’ll do to address an issue.
5. Stay Consistent
Find the strategy that works for your business and keep at it. This will ultimately create positive habits that will translate into more revenue. Remember — consistency is key to making your business work and make money.
Understand your key performance indicators that grow your business and review them regularly so you can gain insight into how your business is doing season over season and year after year. Many companies will abandon a strategy before it has a chance to even work. Search engine optimization for example can take a long time to start seeing results. Staying committed can be a key to success.
6. Focus on Your Core Customer
Build ideal profiles from your best customers and understand their habits so you know how to best reach them. Younger customers may best be reached through social media and review platforms while older clients may like email newsletters more.
7. Use Social Media to Your Advantage
These days, social media is crucial to growing a business. Roughly 4.48 billion people use social media worldwide, and the numbers are only increasing. Create appealing content that will make your core audience want to share what you do online. This will put you in the eyes of their friends and family, ultimately leading to more customers for your business.
Make sure your social media profiles are set up correctly with the right address, phone, and operating hours information. Check-in at least several times a week to respond to questions and comments from customers.
8. Create Direct Connections With Your Clients
Keep the conversation running to create a bond with your target audience. Even if you decide to automate your social media posting, make sure to give it a human touch by asking questions and answering your followers’ comments and inquiries.
Give your customers more ways to get in touch with you. Adding live chat and text messaging to your communication tools provides your customers with more flexibility to connect with you when they’re thinking of your services. Being accessible when you’re top of mind with a customer is worth more than gold.