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The Ultimate Guide to Content SEO

Since content is crucial to good SEO, it not only applies to WordPress sites, but to all online resources and platforms. With that in mind, this section is fairly general in discussion.  There is varying opinion as to what the ideal word count should be per page, so research for yourself, and be logical. Generally, each page should contain at least three-hundred words or more. If your pages are very long, then make liberal use of subheadings to improve Content SEO and ranking.

Content SEO

The Site Content

Within WordPress, there are five basic types of structuring elements that you will encounter:  

1.Home or Front Page;

2.Posts;

3.Pages;

4.Categories;

5.Tags.

Optimize Everything

People are not aware that you can actually optimize many components and elements that make up a website. Don’t forget the importance of SEO for images too. Ensure that you give them excellent ‘Alt Tags’ (Alternative Text) including the ‘Focus Keyword’ and other popular words.  You may even choose to rename the images to include keywords, or at very least the name of your site or business. You can generate a little extra traffic from search engines through image searches.

Keywords

The topic of keywords is too far-reaching to be heavily discussed within the confines of this post. You will need to research your chosen niche or topic to ascertain, which ones are best, and those that might impart a negative reaction.  While the content might be subjective, you can’t force people to make use of your own keywords.

Therefore, it makes sense that you should employ the very same keywords and phrases that people are searching for on their journey through the World Wide Web.  Largely, any keywords you choose, should be directly related to the topic of your blog or your post. They are a key element in Web positioning and ranking. Search engine visibility is affected by the number of keywords on a page. Too many and you appear to be a spammer.

Too little, and no one pays any attention to your words.  Achieving a great SEO position with your chosen keywords will bring more traffic volume, sales, and increase the visibility of your site. The importance of choosing good keywords to represent your page content or site cannot be stressed enough. Optimizing a website means better presence in search engines and the Internet in general.  The keywords must appear in multiple places within a post or web page for maximum efficacy. Place your keywords in:  

  • Titles
  • Descriptions;
  • Headings;
  • Sometimes in internal links;
  • Anchor text in links;
  • Images and other media through metatags and filenames.

Headings and Subheadings

Headings are closely related to the hierarchy and structure of your site, and its contents. Simply making the text larger, only makes it appear bigger. While it might resemble a heading, it’s not a ‘heading’ in web code terms. With SEO, sites need proper heading tags to satisfy the search engines.  In order to have proper Internet headings, the text must be wrapped in an opening <h1> tag, and a closing </h1> tag. The good news for most people is that WordPress will deal with the code side of things. All that is left for you to do — is use them.

There are six hierarchical levels decreasing in importance, from the <h1> to <h6>. Importance order must follow logically, for example, <h2> should follow <h1>, and not the other way around. Therefore, it makes sense that you should only employ one heading at <h1> level. The <h1> is the only one that should not be repeated because it is the most important within the page. The rest are used in connection to relevance and hierarchy, within the page structure.  Going back to our dogs’ example, a typical heading structure would resemble something like this:

Content SEO

:  <h1>Dogs & Details!</h1>  

<h2>Chihuahua</h2>  <h3>Details</h3>  <h4>Info One</h4> <h4>Info Two</h4>  <h3>Regions</h3> <h4>Country One</h4>  <h4>Country Two</h4> <h2>German Shepherd</h2>  

<h3>Details</h3>  <h4>Info One</h4> <h4>Info Two</h4>  <h3>Regions</h3> <h4>Country One</h4>  <h4>Country Two</h4>

Page Content

The page content follows conventional format in terms of flow, and should be logical to the reader. For effective SEO, content should have a proper title, and if needed, an introduction. The main heading, and the introductory paragraph are the best places to place valuable keywords. Place additional related links towards the end of the page to reduce the number of people leaving your page too soon.

Content Format and Style

When formatting a section of text in bold or italics, you should avoid making use of old tags. There are some varying opinions on this, so decide for yourself. It’s useful to highlight keywords in bold, but overdoing it causes more harm than good. The result must be organic and natural to read.

You can also read: 

Content SEO

Internal Links

While linking pages and posts to each other is a good practice, avoid excessive linking. You should also familiarize yourself with the structure of the <a href> tag. Generally, it is best to keep the code as clean as possible. Don’t accidentally style a link with the result that no one recognizes it as such. Readers will miss it and not visit the page.  The link tag has a ‘title’ attribute, where you can include a brief description of the page content and Focus Keyword. The anchor text (the visible text part) must be descriptive and emphatic.

Content SEO

You can even include a keyword or two. Stay away from using short words such as ‘view’, ‘info’, or ‘see’ for several reasons.  First, it can be easily overlooked by the reader, and difficult to click on when viewed on a mobile device. Second, the anchor text is prized by search engines, so make use of keywords and use a larger selection of words for your links.

Grant McArthur SEO Glasgow shared a case study how he increased his website traffic by 30% just by interlinking all of his posts that were relevant to each other. He also changed his website structure (SILO), even though at the beginning he saw a drop in his traffic, after 2 weeks site’s overall ranking increased. Google is paying attention more than ever to site structure and other On Page SEO Factors

 

Another excellent place to make good use of anchor text and keywords is in the menu structure of your WordPress site. Here is an example of a great link:  <a href=“http://dogs.com/chihuahua” title=“Dogs: More information on the Chihuahua”>Click here to view more information on the Chihuahua.</a>

Images and Media

Search engines love content, but as the online world changes, text is not always the only objective. Inserting one or two images in the content will increase the ranking substantially, especially if you optimize the descriptions and tags. Use images that relate to the content, and avoid any clutter. Present them neatly, and place them logically on the page.  SEO is improved when images are enhanced with keywords. The principle is the same as per the ‘title’ attribute of the link. You really should include an ‘alt’ attribute with each image. The ‘alt’ attribute is the ‘alternative’ text that is displayed when an image fails to load, or the resulting pop-up when the cursor hovers over it.

WordPress hides the pop-up by default, but you can trigger it by using a ‘title’ instead, so it’s good practice to include the ‘title’ in images.  All images blended into the content should be properly described, with their corresponding ‘alt’ and ‘title’ attributes. For double the impact, images that are treated as links to other pages or sites can mirror the tag description and keywords.

Content SEO

Keyword Usage

Aim for no more than 2-3% Exact Keyword Match density in the page content to avoid being penalised by search engines. You can calculate it by dividing the number of times it appears by the total word count of the page. Density is also measured through ‘Latent Semantic Indexing’, which includes synonyms and subtle variations. Stay well below 3–4% range.

Content SEO

Quality Versus Quantity

Simply writing a few hundred words of rubbish isn’t going to get anyone far in the long run. Quality always pays off if endurance is your goal.  Try not to mix keywords and concepts within the same paragraph. It is best to have 100% original material, but it is not always possible. Avoid repeating material from your own site and from the Internet, or at least keep it well below 20%.

Content and Media

Do you have an agreeable mix of media? Multimedia has a greater ranking when utilised effectively. The greater the range the higher search engines will rank the content. Enriched content gets priority on the modern web.  If you are so inclined, begin creating videos related to your topic.

You can store them locally on your server, or make use of sites such as YouTube or Vimeo, and then embed each one into your pages. Visitors who watch videos embedded on your site spend more time on your pages, which benefits the overall SEO of your website.

Title Context

Have you included the Focus Keyword or phrase in your title? Is the length between 60 to 70 characters? Are you following the AIDA principle? (Attention/Awareness, Inform the customer, Direct Benefit, Action/Lead)

The Page URL

Check if you have included your Focus Keyword or phrase. The length of the URL is not a critical factor, but shorter is preferable. This is partly the reason that link-shortening sites sprang into existence.

Links and Anchor Text

With inbound marketing, a link building strategy needs to be organic and appear random. If all the links have the identical anchor text, ‘title’, and the images used have the same ‘alt’ attribute, it sets off red flags in search engine algorithms, which may backfire. Humans are visiting links sent to them by bots, so consider them both.

You can also read:

About the Author

Darleen Prangue is a Freelance Digital Marketing Strategy Consultant with a focus on SEO. I love writing tech related stuff while I drink my first coffee at 5 am. You can follow me at my blog makingmoney2blog.com and many other blogs where I share my thoughts.

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Understanding SEO as a Blogger

Why do we optimize a site for search engines? We will answer this question as we define what SEO means but before we go there, let’s start from the Fundamentals; Search Engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing follow links from one web page to another on a given site. Basically, a search engine consists of a crawler, an index, and an algorithm. A crawler follows links on the web, and saves the HTML-version of a page in a large database, called the index. This index is updated every now and then as so long as you keep producing new content or revising the old stuff. Note that search engines like Google must know that your site exists before they index it. You can fast track this by:

  • Creating a sitemap of you website. They are various ways to go about this; you can install the Google XML Sitemap Plugin for those using WordPress or use XML Sitemaps Generator.
  • Submitting your site to Google Webmaster Tools or Bing Webmaster Tools; it’s free to sign up for webmaster tools, all you need is a Google account to sign up for, then add your new site, In the search Console Dashboard, you go to Crawl, then click on sitemaps and add the link to your website’s sitemap to webmaster tools to notify google about it, and the pages you have already published. You can also do the same with Bing Webmaster Tools.
  • You can also add your site to Bookmarking sites like Reddit, Stumble upon, Digg etc.
  • Add your site link to your social media profile like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google Plus etc. Search Engine Crawlers will definitely find your site on these profiles.

Google Algorithm determines which site shows in the search results. The Google’s results page shows 7 to 10 links to sites which fit your best search i.e. the organic search. You will also notice 1-3 paid links (ads) above these 10 blue links; they also appear on the right of the search result pages.

So back to our question, why do we optimize a site for search engines?

Search Engine optimization (SEO) is the process in which a site is optimized in order to have it appear high in position in organic search engines results.

SEO

SEO Can is divided into two categories:

  • On-Page SEO
  • Off-Site SEO

On-Page SEO are key factors that determine ranking of your site basing on the structure of your site i.e. Internal Linking, Design of the site with respect to users navigation, the Text, how words have been used & the quality of the content and also Technical factors like the quality of the site’s code.

Off-Page SEO factors include presence on social media networks, links to your site, and also links to other sites. These factors all put together determines the Ranking in Search Engines

Keyword Research and Selection

Keyword research can be defined as the process through which you come up with a list of keywords that you would like to rank for. A good keyword research ensures that you select the words your target audience uses. To get the right keywords, you need to put yourself into your audience minds and ask yourself what kind of terms and related words will they use to search for your site, how do they do the search, what kind of questions will they ask etc.

We have several tools to help you do keyword research with ease:

  • Google Trends  if your article is related to holidays, or anything seasonal, then this is the best place to start. Google Trends allows you to compare the traffic for sets of keywords. You can check this basing on Geographical regions.
  • Google Keyword Planner this actually the AdWords Keyword planner. You can use this tool to find new and related keywords. This can also be of great help when coming up with ideas for some potential keywords.
  • Use your internal Search Engine on your site – These are terms in the vocabulary of your actual audience and can be added to your keyword list.

SEO

You can also read: 

Bottom Line

Understanding SEO as a blogger and all related tasks like using Keyword Research Tools makes it easier for you to create content that can appear high in Rank in Search Engines. When your site is in  high rank position, then you stand high chances of benefiting from the free traffic from Search Engines, and your site will also be looked at as having an Authority in its niche.

Do you have any questions or comments with regard to SEO, feel free to post them in the comments below.

How to become a Connected Internet Marketer

Have you wondered what it takes to get connected as internet marketer?

I recall seeing partnerships 10 years ago when a newbie blogger.

How did these internet marketers bond to release products, services and seminars?

Over the years I uncovered a few strategies from top connected marketers with large, loyal friend networks of influential internet marketers.

Following these strategies helps you:

  • Build a thriving online business
  • Earn Passive Income
  • Reach a large, targeted audience through the principle of leveraging
  • Enjoy the ride since you won’t feel the stress of trying to succeed through your own steam

The lone wolf dies during the winter. But the wolf pack survives and thrives.

Nature fans – and Game of Thrones fans – know this.

2 beats 1. Imagine you trying to reach a big audience and promote your opportunity solo. Not a good look. But imagine you and a dear friend co-promoting each other to your respective tribes. This is the smart, prospering approach.

Internet Marketer

Peep these tips to become a connected internet marketer.

1: Help Without Asking

Being generous is the easiest way to become a connected marketer because top marketers did the same generous giving to become connected.

I receive emails daily from bloggers asking for help in terms of guest post opportunities and features but show zero interest in me. None of these folks express an authentic interest in me as a human being. All want to use my platform for their benefit. I junk such emails if I feel annoyed or respond with a link explaining how building a friendship with me is the only way to appear on my blog.

Do you want to become connect? Help me by:

  • Publishing a genuine comment on my blog
  • Retweeting my latest post
  • Sharing my latest post on Facebook

Email me explaining how you helped me. I love these emails. Said emails impress me. Said emails prove you want to befriend me, not use me.

This is how to lay the foundation for being a connected internet marketer; pay your dues, plant friendship seeds and help without asking for anything, cyber wining and dining established pro marketers.

The more interested you become in top pros, the more interested top pros become in you, your blog and your online business.

Connected internet marketers are generous internet marketers.

2: Study the Hero’s (and Lose the Zero’s)

How do the most connected internet marketers behave?

Study these pros. Emulate these dynamos. Successful, connected marketers help you become connected through osmosis.

I emailed my friend and highly connected internet marketer Zac Johnson a few hours ago, sharing how I’d mentioned him on Blogging From Paradise, and noting how I hoped our native New Jersey would miss an upcoming potential Nor’easter (I am in Thailand now). Zac responded a few minutes ago, gratefully thanking me and noting to keep in touch.

See how I helped him without asking for anything and kept things light and personal, noting the storm? This is how two friends chat. Zac is an iconic marketer who inspired me to keep things light, via his shining example. I learned from Zac by observing Zac.

You can also read:

On the flip side of things, ignore and release any marketers focused on:

  • Talking business all day long online
  • Trying to squeeze money out of folks through fear based tactics
  • Dehumanizing their audience (everything is “prospect” or “lead” versus “human being”)

Let go the fear-based marketers. They don’t care to connect with you anyway; they just want to use you for your gain.

Hang with and observe the genuine pros who market from a heart-centered space.

Internet Marketer

 

3: Invest in Resources

Check out my eBook:

13 Steps to Become an Unstoppable Networking Machine

I share tips to help you become super connected through thick, thin and all in between during your online career.

Almost all internet marketers panic at some point during their careers. They start out with a smart approach – create value and befriend top pros by being generous – but fear sets in when after 3-6 months of doing the right things, no tangible results appear.

Most marketers panic, ditch the smart strategy and fail horribly, going through a miserable, self-centered, lone wolf strategy.

Wise marketers buy resources to refer to when panic begins creeping into their minds, remaining centered, poised, balanced and on purpose, with an eBook or course to turn to for regular reading and study.

Buying resources from pro marketers also makes you memorable in their minds. If you buy my eBook and email me with a glowing review I instantly love you and remember you. This is such a quick and easy way to plant the seeds for building a genuine friendship with me. I take care of my good blogging buddies who patiently allow our bond to mature; just ask anybody I promote to my 60,000 member, loyal tribe.

What tips can you add to this list?

Ryan Biddulph

About the Author

Ryan Biddulph is a blogger, author and world traveler who’s been featured on Richard Branson’s Virgin Blog, Forbes, Fox News, Entrepreneur, Positively Positive, Life Hack, John Chow Dot Com and Neil Patel Dot Com. He has written and self-published 126 bite-sized eBooks on Amazon. Ryan can help you build a successful blog at Blogging From Paradise.

Can Vero give your Social Media Marketing the Edge?

Social media marketing

Instagram and Facebook have long reigned supreme as the foremost social media marketing platforms for businesses and social influencers alike. Yet, in recent weeks, we have seen a competitor rise up against these titans. Vero began in 2015, and after three years of a comparatively small user-base of 150 000, they likely never dreamt of even appearing on the radar of the likes of Instagram as a viable competitor. However, the fickle trends of social media had a different idea, as we saw the number of downloads push the membership of the app up to three million in just a week – topping the US App Store chart! Such a flurry of activity deserves a closer look, and certainly prompts the question: does Vero deserve its sudden rise to prominence?

Why has Vero expanded so suddenly?

Unsurprisingly, for an app that has been in circulation for a number of years, a definitive event occurred which prompted its sudden growth. Here this was seemingly the decision from Instagram to adopt new algorithms to adjust the way its user’s posts appear to their followers. Having reached a certain size, Instagram has felt confident enough to introduce algorithms to display people’s posts in order of popularity rather than chronology and appearing only on the news feeds of followers they deem to be most relevant.  

Though this may seem like good sense when certain users’ followings are reaching the multi-millions, it has a serious backlash from a social media marketing perspective. Namely, that by deciding who should see what, Instagram is reducing the exposure of each post on average to just 15% of a user’s following. Thereby having a huge effect of usefulness of Instagram as a tool to reach a large audience.

What’s the difference?

Perhaps this is slightly the wrong question to pose, for it seems that it is the features that make Vero similar to Instagram which have benefited it most (in terms of gathering up the disaffected Instagram users). Nevertheless, it does pose some interesting additions. Firstly, Vero allows you to classify your followers as close friends, friends, acquaintances and followers allowing you an extra degree of control over who sees your posts. Secondly, the app is not limited to photo sharing but enables you to share links to literature, film and music that you have enjoyed as well giving an almost ‘blogger’ persona to a user. Finally, and perhaps most crucial of all, it promises to refrain from using adverts or algorithms, thereby making it the obvious alternative to social media users looking to fight back against this new feature on Instagram.

You can also read: Free Social Media Management tools.

Do these innovations make Vero a superior marketing platform?

Though on the whole the platforms are very similar, there are a few key benefits to note about Vero when directly comparing the two:

  1. Algorithms free. I have spoken on this topic above, but it’s worth repeating as it is so crucial in the realm of social media marketing. By ordering posts chronologically and allowing all your followers to see your work, Vero is harking back to Instagram before it got pushy, allowing you to control the exposure of your work.
  2. Selective following. Being able to differentiate between your following (friends, followers etc.) not only gives you an extra element of privacy but it also allows you to run several accounts in one. By selecting your audience you can have your personal, business and influencer accounts all rolled into one. This equals one larger following.
  3. In-app sales. Though the platform is advert free, it actually allows you to flow seamlessly from marketing to selling by allowing you to post links under your posts to the in-app portal that allows you to buy products directly. This means if your followers love your work they can strike whilst the iron is hot and buy it right away (take note though, Vero will take a cut of this!)

Put simply, Vero gives users more control over their work and how it is displayed than Instagram does.

Should you consider deserting Instagram?

Let’s be frank, the odds are against Vero becoming a serious long-term competitor of Instagram but that’s not to say it isn’t possible. And even if it does meet this inglorious end, it’s worth considering that in the here and now it is a hot trend. With 95% of its’ users being new to the platform (and thus likely to be exploring it), Vero offers you the chance to get your business exposed to a whole new active online community. What’s more, as the app is (at present) free to download, it’s certainly not a high risk strategy to experiment with it!

Flora Dallas

Flora Dallas is a content writer for Fat Lama a UK/ US peer-to-peer rental platform (a kind of Airbnb for stuff!). The platform aims to provide a cheaper and more environmentally sustainable alternative to buying products outright, whilst at the same time enabling people to make some money by renting out of their underused items.

 

 

5 Steps to Create a Successful Social Media Strategy

Social media marketing consumes a lot of time & resources and without a plan in form of a social media strategy, your efforts may bear no fruits.

If you are continuously promoting content on social media channels with little to no results, it’s time to recreate your social media strategy.

Have you ever thought of creating an effective social media strategy for your blog or business?

With an effective strategy in hand, you will have a plan to execute.

So, what exactly is a social media strategy?

A detailed plan that defines all of the social media marketing goals, and projects. It basically summarizes what you’re going to achieve, who is your ideal audience and how to grow your business over the competitors.

social media strategy

Let’s break it down further.

Five Important Steps To Create An Successful Social Media Strategy

Let’s get down to the important steps to create a successful social media strategy for your small business or blog.

1. Conduct a current social media audit

Before you sketch out a plan for social media marketing, determine where you are. A social media audit will help you identify what tactics are working and what’s not working on each channel. A few things to consider when doing the social media audit are;

  •  What social media channels bring more engagement?
  • The type of content that gets maximum shares.
  •  How frequently you post content on all social media channels?
  • Do you get results on paid social media advertising campaigns?
  • Are your social channels properly optimized?
  •  What are your current weekly, and monthly statistics on each social media channel?
  •  Which networks get you website clicks?
  • If people are clicking on your website, do they convert to sign-ups or customers?

Use this step to determine the current statistics of your social media. Most importantly, you also need to consider whether a specific channel is suitable for your business or not.

Let’s say you have an online store that sells cat foods and you use twitter every day in the hope to get new buyers. But, you don’t really get anything in return. Because twitter is not the suitable marketing channel for your cat products. Stop using twitter right away and divert all your focus to other channels where you get more response.

Social media is a marketing tool for many business owners. Several bloggers make money by promoting their content on social media. The key is to find the right platform and stick to it.

2. Research your social media audience

It’s obvious that we need to bring our businesses in front of the ideal customers. But, the question is how to research and find the right audience on social media?

The easiest way is to create an audience persona. Marketers, business owners, and bloggers should collect data from the audience on a regular basis. You can use survey forms, quizzes, polls, and instant Q/A to have a clear understanding of your audience.

Furthermore, it’s important to do demographic research on different social media channels. It lets you create, and formulate content strategy according to their interests, and likeness.

Spend time in reading the demographics by visiting the analytic or insight tab of each social media channel. Prepare a spreadsheet and record all of your audience data.

The key here is to market your products to the correct audience. But, the strategy can fail if you’re targeting a wrong audience.

3.Create and Curate Engaging Content

The content is the fuel for your social media. I think it’s worth spending the time to create and curate engaging content for your social media audience. When you have got an ideal audience, they expect more from you. They want you to keep them updated, informed and entertained.

We all consume social media for interesting, educating and entertaining content. Your content should have captivating details that invite users to leave a comment, give a thumbs up and share it.

You could consider following types of content;

Images
Short videos
Blog Posts
Updates
News
Statistics
Interviews
Results
Text posts
Polls
GIFs/Memes
Curated content from other sites

Curated content should be used to fill the gaps in your content calendar. But, the content needs to be accurate, up to date and of high quality. You should aim to increase your knowledge on a specific subject in front of your social media audience.

Here are top ways to find new content ideas for your blog and social media audience.

I strongly recommend you to focus on engagement and building relationship with readers on social media. All efforts go in vain when your audience doesn’t make the engagement.

You can also read: 9 Tools to help you manage your social media accounts.

social media strategy

4. Build a content plan and schedule

The next step is to build a content calendar that outlines content ideas you will share, how often you will post content to each network and the timings to share. A calendar basically explains all of your social media content and the posting schedule.

I would suggest experimenting content ideas on different timings and days to find out the audience response.

Investing in a social media scheduling tool will automate content posting at the right time. It saves up your time and shows your content at the peak times. The analytic features of scheduling tools is definitely a plus.

5.Track and analyze your efforts

This is the final most important step to succeed in formulating an effective social media strategy for your business. Even best marketers practice trial and errors to get better results.

The process starts with tracking the results, study the data and then adding tweaks to make tactics more effective. You should often re-evaluate all these steps to get the better results for your social media marketing.

Establishing an effective social media strategy is a constant process that requires changes when necessary.

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Understand your audience, and figure out how your content performs on social media channels. Take a look at your competitor’s social platforms and the content they share. You should also keep the importance of consistency on social media. Nobody likes to interact, or engage with an outdated social media profile. Make yourself available on most engaged social channels and create an effective social media strategy to grow your business.

What steps would you like to add?

Share in the comments below.

 

Arfa NazeerArfa is a passionate blogger at Epife who helps other aspiring bloggers grow and expand their small businesses. She knows how to attract readers to her blog through impressive content. Download her free ebook on strategic planning to drive traffic and grow your blog. Other than blogging, she usually writes for freelance clients and businesses.You can also connect with her on LinkedIn, and Twitter for more blogging adventures.

Budgeting 101-The Essentials

BUDGETING 101: THE ESSENTIALS 

Have you ever been into a supermarket and knew you aren’t supposed to buy something but end up buying it? Well, then you need to have a budgeting plan with you to save you some trouble. Nobody likes budgeting, I know. But neither any of us likes to spend all of our money and remain empty-handed until our next paycheck. That is why budgeting is necessary. People may consider budgeting to be difficult to do but with the right knowledge and guidance, it is easier than you think. Here is some self directed ira custodian from Personal Income for making you more aware for your future plans.

Budgeting

For making your life easy, following are the essentials of budgeting:

  • KNOW EXACTLY YOUR CASH INFLOW AND OUTFLOW

To assign your income, you first must be fully aware of where it is coming from, and where it is going to.

You may be a new earner, or you may have been earning for a while, knowing your cash flow should be the first and foremost thing to figure out.

SET YOUR GOALS

You do not have to be a budget wizard to set what your goals should be, and here is how you can set your goals.

  • KNOW HOW MUCH CAN YOU SPEND

To set your goals, you must know how much is it there to be spending on your necessities that are your food, utility bills, gas, rent and stuff like this. But do not stop there; plan ahead of the amount you are going to spend on your luxuries too because here is where you will spend recklessly if there is no proper planning. So list down how many times are you planning to dine out!

You can also read: How to have a Smarter Spending Plan.

  • KNOW HOW MUCH SHOULD YOU BE SAVING

To set your goals, it is vital to leave a window open for saving. You must be fully prepared for the times to come ahead because loans are not the priority for many of us, this saving would count as an emergency saving

And in case you are planning to invest in something big something fancy, like a car or a house per se then you need to save for it separately. Do not mix it with your emergency saving.

  • STICK TO THE PLAN

No matter if you are up all night and craving for a pizza or a hamburger, stick to your plan! Because why did you bother yourself all weekend planning up if you were not even planning to hold to it.

In case of need, of course, you are supposed to spend but be very careful about what you are saying a need.

  • REPEAT

When you are done with figuring out how much money you earn and how much you spend and then came to know how much you should actually pay and save, you can quickly set a goal. But setting a goal is not anything until you stick to it. After sticking to it you can see changes in your finance, you can know whether the plan was up to the mark or not. If not, then make amendments but if yes than repeat it. If necessary, make changes once in a while.

Sarah SmithAuthor Bio: Sarah Smith has been a personal finance author for the last five years. She is also an independent and very passionate finance and investment advisor. She regularly posts at www.personalincome.org.

 

6 Simple Ways to Earn Extra Money from Home

In this day and age of the internet, you can make a living from anywhere provided you have a Smartphone, Tablet, iPhone or PC with good internet connection. Stay at Home Moms can also work just from their comfortable of their houses. In this article, we look at sites that pays you to perform simple activities and enable you to earn extra money from home. I have picked some of the best sites for our discussion. Note that some of these sites don’t allow applications from all parts of the world, so if you try to register, and you aren’t taken up to the sign up page, don’t worry. So let’s go straight to these sites:

earn extra money from home

INSTAGC

Instagc is one of the best site to earn extra money from home. They have several ways in which you can earn points, that you finally cash out through PayPal or Gift cards.

On this site you earn points by:

  • Watching videos: To access from homepage, just click on Earn tab, then Watch videos.
  • Visiting websites:  To access this from Homepage, you click on Earn Tab→  Recommended→Clicks, from here you will be given several options to choose from.
  • Completing tasks on Crowd flower.
  • Installing Apps.
  • Signing up for Trial offers.
  • Completing Surveys.
  • Referring friends, once they sign up, you earn 10 points and then 10% of their earnings so long as they are members.

Once you accumulate a total of 100 points, you can then Redeem them for a gift card e.g. Amazon, or convert this to PayPal cash, Bitcoin, Litecoin etc.

If you are not yet a member you can sign up Here. Note that you have to confirm your email after sign up.

PAID VIEWPOINT

This is a survey only site. They do offer at least 1 survey per day but in some cases you can get 2 surveys. You can also earn additional cash by referring new members to the site. You earn 20% of their earnings. You get paid via PayPal as soon as you accumulate $15. If you are not yet a member simply sign up by clicking Here.

SURVEY SAVVY

This is one of the best survey sites in terms of payment per survey. You can earn $1-$10 per survey. They also allow people from all parts of the world to sign up. The minimum amount you can cash out is $1, though the only payment method available is by check. You can also refer new members and earn additional money.  To register with them, sign up Here.

You can also read: Over 20 Sites offering opportunities to make money online.

SWAGBUCKS

This is a site that pays you to complete different types of tasks.

How it works

Once you create an Account you choose activities that you would like to earn “swagbucks”. Different activities earn different amounts of money. Once you accumulate the money you can choose to redeem in the rewards store. PayPal is one of the option, you can also choose a gift card like Amazon, Target, Starbucks, Walmart etc.



Here are the ways to make money with swagbucks:

  • Watch videos – these are short videos some of them less than 45 secs. You can watch as many as possible and earn money.
  • Complete the daily to do list – these are simple tasks listed in the sidebar.
  • Take Surveys – Surveys earn more than other activities on the platform. You can always find out those that you qualify and try them out.
  • Refer friends – for each new friend you refer to the platform, you both earn 300 swagbucks. You will also receive 10% of their swagbucks for life.
  • Install the Search Bar  and use it for searches – This is the simplest way to earn on the site. Everyone of us, does a search once in a while and with swagbucks they pay you to do it!
  • Enter Swag Codes – This is another easy way to earn on the site. Swagbucks posts daily “swagcodes” on social media platforms. When you see a swagcode pop up enter it into the swag button located at the right of the search bar. Always do it immediately as these codes expires after sometime.

Now you have learned how to make money with swagbucks, you can sign up Here.

INBOX DOLLARS

This is similar to Swagbucks. New members who sign up for InboxDollars earn $5 sign up bonus.



You can make money on this site by:

  • Reading Emails – once you join InboxDollars you will start receiving emails with offers on products and services. Simply click the links at the bottom of each of these emails to confirm that you have read it and you will earn cash rewards. You don’t have to purchase or sign up, for anything but if you do complete the offers in the email messages you will earn even more money.
  • Search the web – simply download the inbox dollars toolbar to use its paid search feature. You earn $1 for downloading the toolbar and around $0.01 per search each day up to maximum of $0.05 per day.
  • Watch Videos – You can earn about $0.06 per each short video.
  • Take Surveys – You can earn $0.5 -$10 for sharing your opinions through surveys which are sent to you via email every day.
  • Complete 100 % free offers – Check out the 100% free offers on the inbox dollar site. You can earn $0.25 -$3.00 for trying a new product or service with no money down or  credit card required.

Earn $5 by signing up Here.

SURVEY JUNKIE
From the name itself, this purely offers surveys.  You earn cash by completing surveys.



If you have some free time, then completing surveys is something you can do and make money while doing it. .

10 Simple things that will lead to Success in Your Business

We are just a month and a few days into the new year, and many people have been making changes or improvements to ensure that they achieve better results this year, so this brings us to this question, ”what can you do specifically to ensure that you achieve success in your business in this new year?” We will try to answer this question by providing simple tasks you can perform that can help you elevate your business to another level in this new year.

Evaluate your Business Processes

Evaluating your business processes will help you see which areas are effective and running smoothly and those that aren’t. This will enable you to remove those systems that are ineffective and replace them with better ones.

Keep up on new tax rules and regulations

Things keep on changing every now and then, for example with the recent changes in tax rates in USA, businesses need to keep themselves updated. You should know what should be taxed, and by how much, filing dates etc.

Review your Business Plan

Business Plans act like guides. They can help you make informed decisions like when you want to expand your business or borrow money. Overtime, you may have to review your business plan to see if it fits your current business situation.

You can also read: Tips to help you create a better small business budget.

Stay organized in this new year

Having everything in the business organized in a good way, will help you track all your invoices, bills  with ease etc. With everything in order, you can find documents without much difficulties to back your business expenses and income especially for auditing purposes.

Find ways to create additional Income 

Find ways within your business to start generating recurring revenue in this new year. This could come in form of offering product training to your customers for a  small fee.

Create an automatic Saving System

To avoid spending money that you would want saved, you can set up an automatic saving system.  This will transfer a certain amount of money to your business saving’s account say at 6% of the revenue.

Success in your business

Know the salaries in your industry

Checking for salaries within your industry, can help you offer your employees a competitive salary and also assist you in planning your finances accordingly.

Find ways to get tax deductions

Sometimes you maybe paying taxes for things you don’t need in your business or office. Getting rid of stuff that isn’t useful to your business can help you cut down your expenses and this is good for your business.

Have enough Assets for loans

If you plan to expand your business this year, then borrowing money comes into mind but before you borrow, you need to have your collateral ready. Preparing in advance with assets that will act as security to your loan makes everything easier on your part.

Ensure you are monitoring your monthly expenses

This is a very important aspect of your business. Tracking all purchases and expenses incurred by the business helps you keep control of your money and also comes in handy when you are planning your finances.

Bottom Line

Achieving success in any business requires discipline. It all boils down to simple tasks like Keeping records of everything happening in the business, tracking your expenses, planning your finances well, knowing your tax rules and regulations etc. If all these mentioned things are done well, then achieving success in your business this year won’t be that difficult.

8 Simple Ways to Grow your Blog with Twitter

Most bloggers put more focus on other social media networks like Facebook and Pinterest to drive big part of traffic to their blogs while leaving out Twitter. Little focus is put on Twitter, because most bloggers believe that it isn’t a great tool to grow their blogs. Just like any other social networks, you can grow your blog with Twitter, only if you have a good strategy on how you are going to use it in your social media marketing. In this post we look at simple ways that any person can use to leverage the power of Twitter to grow their blogs or business.

Use a Profile Image and Header Image Effectively

When one visits your account, the first thing they come in contact with is the profile image and header or cover image. Remember the first  impression you create says everything about you. If you have no profile image, then this may project you in a negative way. Post a good professional profile picture that depicts  you in a positive way, and try the best you can to use the same image for all your social accounts, so that people can easily identify with you. Your header image should communicate what your blog /business is about or what you want people to do. This could be something like, brief description of your business/website, or asking people to join your Newsletter list or access your free internet marketing E-book etc.

Grow your Blog with twitter

Write a full description in Your Bio

This is where you write a brief description of what you do and how you can help others. Fill out your profile description with your interests in hashtags. This makes it easy for people to find you on Twitter, and they will know you are someone worth following. For example if you are a social media consultant, you can describe yourself as, “#Socialmediaconsultant” in your bio.  You can also include your location, and a link to your website or blog, or landing page etc.

Use Hashtags in Your Tweets

Find out the top hashtags in your niche, and use them effectively when you are writing and sharing tweets. You can be amazed by how these hashtags can amplify your content reach to even a larger audience.

You can also read:

Share content from other Twitter users 

In most cases, when you share other people’s content, they will likely share your content especially if it is in the same niche as theirs.

Use your Pinned Tweet Effectively

You are allowed to Pin one tweet that is constantly at the top of your profile. This is an opportunity you need to use in the best way possible. Find the best performing tweet and pin it or alternatively if you are selling products online, you can use this space to advertise your products, by pinning your offerings.

Create and Utilize Twitter lists

Twitter lists is a great tool that helps you to keep people who you want to interact with on a daily or weekly basis organized. You can easily find these people by looking at your lists, and then making re-tweets, liking their tweets or even sending them direct messages where necessary. This helps you to avoid wasting time trying to find people all over Twitter. To find Twitter lists, click on the right hand side of your profile picture. Here you have an opportunity to create a new list with a name and a short description. You have also an option to make it public or private. You can start building a list just by adding people who re-tweeted, or liked your tweets. To do this, visit their profile page and click the three little dots next to the ”follow button.” Then click “add or remove from lists.” In fact when you add people to lists, they are likely to follow you so in essence, this is a great way of growing your followers on Twitter.

Be active, and engage with your Followers

On daily basis try as much as possible to re-tweet or like tweets especially from your followers. Once in a while follow new accounts for more content in your feed and also you can get more followers, when you follow others. All these simple tasks helps you to remain active on Twitter.

Participate in Twitter Chats

When you participate in Twitter Chats, you get to know more people, and this helps market your blog or business. You can also make new connections with other bloggers in your niche or even in other niches.

Bottom Line

You need to have a strategy to effectively get best results on Twitter. I have found that when you put in place a plan on how to use these social media networks like Facebook, Pinterest, Google Plus, Twitter, StumbleUpon, you will be amazed by how much traffic they can drive to your site. Many people get it wrong, when they do it without a plan, then end up getting frustrated with little to no results in terms of traffic or engagements. To succeed on any social media platform, all you need is to have a plan, and work the plan.

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6 Simple Tips to Building Wealth

How can you achieve financial freedom with even a small salary? This is the question we will try to tackle in this article. While a high paying job or inheritance say from your parents can make you one of the top earners in the society, simple money habits,  is what makes the difference between a life of prosperity and one of constant financial stress. There are simple adjustments that you can make in your life which can lead to building wealth & hence financial freedom and prosperity. Lets look at them below:

Building wealth

Monitor what is coming in and What is going out

Most people don’t track their income and spending, and this makes it difficulty for them to decide how much they can devote to their goals for example savings. So before you embark on your plans to save, track your income and expenses, then make a decision how much you want to devote to your savings, or how much expenses you can cut down in order to have some money for your savings.  Remember saving money is one of the key ways to wealth creation.

Have multiple income streams

You can increase your earnings by doing a part-time job, a side hustle or looking for investment opportunities. These are all aimed at creating additional income to supplement what you already have.

Change your Mindset

Building wealth requires that you change your mindset on how things are commonly done by most people for example most people spend money, before they save what is left and in most cases, they end spending everything and nothing is left for savings. Instead, you should save first for your financial goals, before your pay for your bills. These are simple mindset changes that can bring profound turnaround to your personal finances.

Join our Newsletter list Here.

Start Preparing for your Retirement now

Whether your are in your twenties or thirties, don’t assume that retirement is too far away. Start putting a side some money into your retirement account. This is also advantageous since you will definitely benefit from the power of compounding interest. The earlier you start the better.

Have a Plan of where you want to Go

Put in place a short-term or long-term plan depending on what you want to accomplish. You can have a five-year plan to building wealth, where you create specific money goals you would like to achieve within five years and  how you intend to achieve them.

Examples of goals may include:

  • Saving for your house
  • Saving for your child’s school fees
  • Saving six months income for an emergency fund

When we have a specific goal in the mind, it inspires us to save.

Live Below Your means

Do more saving than spending, in fact most people achieve financial freedom become wealthy by working hard, saving diligently and living below their means.

You can also read: 

Bottom Line

Achieving financial freedom, and thus wealth requires a change in your mindset. If you take an audit of how you’ve been handling your money in the past, you may realize that there maybe areas that requires improvements or a complete shift. Take a minute and ask yourself, are your current money practices helping to shape your future in a positive way? If your answer to this question is a yes, then don’t worry but keep making improvements, if it is a no, then it is time to start putting your finances in order by implementing some of the simple tips mentioned in this article.