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Know Your Clicks

If there’s one thing a business needs to know, it’s the source of its clicks. Without proper information, businesses can end up making horrible decisions based on their online data. Faulty data’s the worst case scenario, and Adobe is here to help. Check out the Adobe Marketing Cloud. They’ve got solutions that will keep owners from making assumptions that could ruin their business.

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7 Ways To Make Your Tumblr Look Better

Your website is yours. It says a lot about you. It’s your representation of yourself unto the world.

There are trillions of websites on the searchable world wide web and thousands more being made every month. Some of them were made by people like you, for nothing. Others were made by multi-national conglomerates of marketing and PR firms that charge hundreds of thousands of dollars for building and maintaining them.

No matter who makes your site though, crap is crap. And a lot of people putting stuff together for Tumblr users are making crap and charging you a boatload for it.

It’s 2013. The internet is teeming with a wealth of knowledge to help you do everything from tie your shoes, to building a business and beyond. Use its resources to help you. And to, more specifically, help you adequately represent yourself to the world. Here are some steps to make your Tumblr site look good.

Pay someone to make a theme

There are many ways to skin a cat. The easiest of which is to pay someone else to do your dirty work. When you first make your Tumblr there are a bunch of designs that you can pay for. You can get them for pretty cheap too considering that once you buy you have it forever. Don’t like it? Buy another one.

Buy a theme

You’re a new Tumblr user checking out those pay-to-install Tumblr themes, huh? Well right next to them are a bunch of free ones. A lot of them aren’t as sweet-looking. But they will suffice for what you’re looking to accomplish. But you should look carefully. There are some gems in the bunch.

Build a theme from scratch

If you want to build your own Tumblr from the bottom up, you can do your own coding. Even if you don’t code, there are tutorials online of how to make your Tumblr look exactly how you want.

This is one of many Tumblr pages that will coach you from the bottom up on how to rearrange and design your page to make it good and pretty.

This Tumblr page will show you exactly how to input code to get the look and design you were looking for. Pick it up, play with it and experiment. It will take some time, but at least it doesn’t cost money, right?

Use someone else’s theme

If you don’t have the patience to build your own theme or you don’t want to patrol all the options available for pay or for free just take someone else’s theme. You liked their page and the way it looked? Most all of them will tell you where the them originated. If not, ask the page owner. Go get it. Done.

Make your own graphics

No need to go scouring the web for graphics everywhere. Just take your own pictures and edit them at Pixlr.com. It’s not quite Adobe Photoshop, but it works very very well for most everything you need it for. And your pictures will look professional and unique…which is what you were looking for, right?

Keep it simple, stupid

K.I.S.S. From naming your Tumblr to choosing the posts things work better when you keep them brief and simple. The reason people come to your page isn’t to see you wax on at length about things you do and don’t like. If they did they’d be listening to the radio. Tumblr is a success because of brevity. Learn it. Use it. Love it.

Post every day

The #1 rule to getting eyeballs to your page is getting fresh content up every day. Several times a day if you can. But at least once. Even if you don’t tag your posts correctly. Even if you don’t always keep the focus of your Tumblr specific to why you created it. Posting consistently will bring you attention and establish you within the Tumblr community.

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last update: September 18, 2014

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Are You a Tech Startup? 3 Ways to Make Your Customers Happy

With the cost of building a website falling to the point where it’s almost free of charge, and the ability to have a tech startup running within hours, we’ve entered an era of mass entrepreneurship and competition. If you’re a new tech business, it’s never been so important to understand how to be better than your competition!

Once you understand your company and your competition, you can set out to understand your consumers and make them happy. Here are some tips to make that happen!

1. Understand your position

Knowing your position in the market, and your position in the eyes of the consumer, will require you to create what’s commonly referred to as a positioning statement. It’s easiest to imagine this exercise as one where you simply fill in the blanks in the following statement: [Product or service name] is the best type of [product or service type] for [consumer type] as shown by the [attributes of product or service].

Completing the above statement will require you to understand why you’re the best choice, and for which consumers. Then you can move toward making those customers happy!

2. Ask, listen, ask again, listen again

Great relationships are formed around great conversations and mutual understanding, whether in business or life. The key to having the other person feel good is to listen to the input and opinions and needs from him or her; an even more crucial part is to know what to ask.

If we go back to your positioning statement, perhaps you said something like: “Smith Consulting is the best type of advertising service for real estate agents, as shown by our exclusive access to a network of customers who are ready to buy or sell.”

Based on that statement, the questions to ask your customer (the real estate agent who would hire Smith Consulting) might be: “What type of real estate buyer is your ideal prospect? What type of seller? Is there a price range or geographic area, or type of housing that you’d like to specialize in?”

Those types of questions would make your customers happy, because you cared enough to ask, and later, you delivered on their needs!

3. Formalize the feedback process

It’s not always possible to get consistent and statistically significant feedback from customers using a manual, one-on-one methodology. Online surveys are a great tool to automate this process, and there are a few online companies that have the ability to handle this customer-pleasing activity for you!

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5 Critical Mistakes SEO Leaders Must Avoid

Any type of leadership has a series of positive objectives to pursue, and negative consequences to avoid. Unfortunately, a positive objective in one field might be a negative consequence in another, so it can be hard to find leadership advice for the specific industry of search engine optimization (SEO).

The positive outcomes sought by SEO leaders are fairly obvious: rank as highly as possible on the search engines that consumers use, and do it in a way that is deemed successful to your company (or your client, if you’re an agency SEO leader).

The negative outcomes are many, from simple inefficiencies to the worst of all: getting de-listed and banned by a search engine. Most of the negative outcomes, however, can be narrowed down to five general areas where critical mistakes can be committed. Below are the five primary SEO mistakes.

1. Poor problem framing and goal selection

Perhaps the worst mistake to make is to do a great job, but hit the wrong target. It’s important to understand more than the SEO goal.

How does this company make money? How does it drive the various stages of marketing success (awareness, consideration, trial, loyalty)? Who is the target customer? What are they searching for online?

Understanding these questions and their answers will help you avoid the mistake of aiming for the wrong goal.

2. Buying links

Don’t buy inbound links. If anything, you should pay people to create the solid content that readers are looking for. And a lot of it. Search engines will penalize almost everything beyond that.

3. Doing anything in a fast, or linear, or non-human fashion

How would sites normally climb rankings organically, with no professional help? It won’t be linear, and it likely won’t be fast. Search engines know that.

4. Not being social

We’re not talking about happy hours at the end of the work day; we’re talking about social media. It’s becoming widely known that search engine algorithms are utilizing social data to help prove a website is legitimate.

Make sure to utilize content marketing efforts and link generation across the major social media outlets that your product’s target consumers would likely frequent.

5. Losing all your momentum and above-the-board work due to a poor transfer of knowledge

During a transition of responsibilities from one SEO manager to the next, it’s critical to have a clear process of knowledge transfer, to ensure that all the objectives and the best practices are transferred in a way that makes operations safe and relatively seamless.

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4 Reasons Online Foreign Exchange Trading Is Good for You

Trading on the foreign currency market is becoming more popular among home investors. While investing in foreign markets can seem intimidating at first, with a good teacher and some practice, you can find yourself earning a nice supplemental income in your spare time.

Forex trading offers lots of great benefits whether you treat it like a hobby or a profession. Here are four reasons why online foreign exchange trading is good for you.

1. Forex is flexible

The foreign exchange market runs 24 hours a day from Sunday through Friday. Since it’s open much longer than other financial markets, this means it’s easier for you to find time to trade.

You can trade before or after work, or whenever you have some free time during the day. Plus, since the market is closed on weekends, you can use that time to catch up on your research. The flexibility of Forex trading is appealing to many people looking for a way to supplement their income.

2. Forex is educational

If you’re not interested in world events, Forex trading is probably not for you. But if you love keeping up with the news of the world, this can be a great way to turn that interest into real money.

Because the foreign exchange market is based on currency exchange rates, you need to be aware of how the currency of various countries is influenced by world events. For instance, Syria is currently having a large effect on world markets.

Keeping up with the news involves some work, but you’ll become more informed about the world around you. And as your world knowledge grows, so can your portfolio.

3. Forex can be low risk

Even if you don’t make a fortune in foreign exchange trading, you can still make a decent side income … and you don’t have to spend a lot of money to get started. Many experts recommend an initial investment of $100.

Picture that $100 as a practice fee: it’s great if you see a return on that investment, but if you don’t, at least you’ve learned about Forex trading and can use that knowledge for the future. Especially if you don’t plan on making trading your primary source of income, Forex trading can be a relatively low-cost way to earn money in your spare time.

The trick is to be a smart, disciplined trader.

4. Forex can broaden your horizons

World events. Foreign Currencies. Finance. Investing.

Foreign currency trading depends on a lot of knowledge across a wide range of subjects. Fortunately, you can develop those skills over time as you trade; just start out trading small so you don’t run much risk.

And there’s plenty of help available. Reputable Forex websites provide a wealth of information, no matter what your experience level may be. You’ll find that, as your portfolio grows, so does your knowledge of the world.

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5 Reasons Outlook May Never Die

Microsoft Outlook is so much more than an email client. In fact, it’s a personal information manager, and it should be viewed as such rather than as just another option in the email client market.

There are numerous reasons why Microsoft Outlook remains superior to other email offerings. Here are five of them.

1. The New Search folder

Some email clients make it difficult for you to filter out the “bad” emails from the good ones. When an inbox becomes cluttered with a lot of new inbound mail, it’s too easy for some of the really important emails to get lost in the clutter.

Microsoft Outlook anticipates this problem and has a feature to resolve it: The New Search folder. This feature enables you to search for email based on sender name, sender address, or text in the actual body of the email. One especially user-friendly component of this feature is that the search is automatically saved.

That way, you don’t need to worry about missing out on important emails in the future.

2. Newslsetter Unsubscribe

Sometimes newsletters and email threads can also clutter up an inbox. In the case of some newsletters, certain ones may have been the result of an accidental subscription. Wouldn’t it be nice to have an easy means of unsubscribing from those unwanted emails? Microsoft Outlook comes to the rescue. It doesn’t require you to unsubscribe manually from a list. Instead, you can simply “mute” the email, and all emails associated with it.

Here’s how it works: you highlight the message in question and then navigate to the “Home” menu. From the “Home” menu, select the “Ignore” option. The application will take care of everything else. You will have to confirm that you in fact no longer want to see anything in the same thread. Once you do that, that message plus all the previous ones in the same thread will be thrown in the trash. Further messages on that thread will not be visible in your inbox.

Be careful with this option. The messages are deleted based on the subject. So if you get another message with the same subject, even if it’s from a different source, it will also be deleted.

3. Space consumption is not a problem

Some email clients let your gathered emails (including the deleted ones) take up precious hard-drive space. Of course, you could go into your deleted mail folder for any of those clients and manually empty what’s in there. But that’s an extra step and one more thing you have to remember.

With Microsoft Outlook, the process of removing the deleted emails is handled automatically for you. From the “File” menu, go to “Options.” Next, select the “Advanced” option and you’ll see a section called “Outlook Start And Exit.” In that section, there is a checkbox that gives you the option to empty the email in the Deleted folder once you quit Outlook. Check that box.

That’s all you need to do. Now, the next time you quit Microsoft Outlook (and every time thereafter), your trash will automatically be emptied.

4. Increased focus on people

With Outlook 2013, you can connect Outlook to social networks. This gives you more online interaction with your email correspondents via social media. It’s a distinct advantage over other email clients, where you only interact with email addresses. Outlook puts the focus on the person behind the email address.

5. An attachment reminder

How often has this happened: You responded to someone in an email, and claimed you were sending an attachment that answered the person’s question/concern, but when you clicked “Send,” you realized that you forgot to add the attachment?

Fortunately, Microsoft Outlook will prompt you with a pleasant reminder when you try to send an email that references an attachment, and you haven’t attached anything. This should prevent you from forgetting to send the attachment.

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3 Tools A Freelance Writer Needs In Their Arsenal

Any freelance writer will tell you that anything you do for an income, the work comes with an ongoing list of pros and cons. It’s not always easy to stay on track of invoicing clients, coming up with pitches, or keeping yourself from distractions, but with a little push in the right direction and a few simple recommendations, you’ll be one step ahead of the curve. Below is a list of 3 things that most freelance writers could benefit from.

1. A Lightweight Text Editor

There are already way too many options for text editors out there, but if you’re looking for something clean, lightweight, and are offline compatible, here are a few reasonable editors without the pricetag:

Google Drive – The easy answer if you’re already familiar with it.
FocusWriter – This is ideal if you are easily distracted by the many tabs in your browser.

2. Invoicing and Time Tracking

Stop guessing at how many hours you spent working on your fifth draft of copy for a client. Oh, and by the way, you’re about to be late with the invoice that you’ll need to pay your rent with. Keeping track of time and finances feels like it should be someone elses job, but you’re freelancing. It’s a part of your job whether you like it or not. The solution? Enter Ballpark, an online invoicing software that allows you to invoice clients and get paid via Paypal. It’s free to use for 30 days, and after your trial period expires, you can send up to three invoices per month without paying a dime for the product.

3. A Way of Getting Work

So, you can write. Unfortunately, so can a lot of others! A lot of web based companies are shifting their focus to content marketing, which gives ample opportunity for writers these companies choose to outsource. The problem is getting their attention. You’re going to need a little bit of a portfolio, and a little bravery as you email these companies to tell them you’re available to write your heart out for them.

Instead of building a website to show your published work, keep the links handy in a document somewhere that you can access, or even in an email draft that you can copy and paste from. That way you don’t have to rely on the person reading your pitch to actually click on your personal website link, but rather they can read the URL and find out if you’re who they are looking to work with.

Apps:

Flow Keeps Your Projects On Track

Project management software is nothing new—for multi-faceted teams, for individual consultants, for freelancers interfacing with organizations remotely, task-managing services have been crucial from the moment they appeared. And yet, with so many options on the scene, the most valuable project management software still has but one job to do: Making sure the user never forgets a task again.

This is where Flow comes onto the scene.  As task management goes, Flow is not overly flashy; the interface is simple, the colors are easy on the eyes, and the view is minimalistic. But what’s most important is that Flow makes it nearly impossible to overlook a due date or deadline. Individual tasks can be created with as much or as little detail as needed. Type out a short list of what is to be included in a project, or go into detail by attaching documents, creating tags, and getting specific with your Flow folder system.  However detailed the task, Flow’s reminder system is there to ensure task completion. When you’re creating a new task, set a due date for it by selecting the date on your Flow calendar, or by simply typing a time-frame command, such as “tomorrow” or “one week.”  Flow’s alert system will tell you when that task’s completion time has come.

Unlike many other project management services available, Flow’s interface includes multiple tabs for multiple project views. This provides even further assurance that tasks won’t be lost or forgotten at any point in your process.

Notable ways that Flow’s tabs can keep you on top of tasks include:

The “upcoming” tab – If you’re a traditional, calendar-abiding worker, the “upcoming” tab offers a simple calendar view of your tasks.  Choose from daily, weekly, monthly, or list views.  If you’re looking for an at-a-glance view of your tasks, the “upcoming” tab is going to be your quickest bet.

The “delegated” tab – If you create a task that is to be completed by a member of your team, rather than yourself, Flow provides an option to delegate the task you created to someone in your contact list.  This task then will appear under the “delegated” tab.  This way, even if the task is to be completed by someone other than yourself, you’ll be able to keep an eye on its progress from afar.  The task will remain in the “delegated” tab until it’s checked off as being completed.

The “flagged” tab – For projects that need to be noted as especially urgent, marking them as such will keep them filed in the “flagged” tab.  Similarly, if someone on your team delegates a task to you and marks it as being important, it will also show up as “flagged,” so even if a Flow task wasn’t conceived and created by you, you’ll still be notified of its importance.

Project management software should do just that—manage your projects from their beginning to the time of completion.  A task management service that allows projects to be forgotten is useless to those who rely on it.  This makes Flow a valuable service indeed.

Flow is a software created by the brilliant minds at MetaLab.

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