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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Improving Your Business Through Social Marketing


Every business is constantly looking for ways to retain their competitive edge. Direct competition usually has the resources to duplicate anything you do. They can display the same marketing as you, open locations close to yours, and copy products and services you offer. Social marketing is the only true way for you to stay ahead of them in your line of business.

Social marketing combines a few different aspects in order to develop a consistent marketing technique. Many people think of social marketing as something that is done online and on new social media sites. This is a common mistake. That would be referred to as social media marketing and social marketing is different. Social marketing is done both on and off of computers.

Social marketing starts with the important relationship that you and your business has with its customers. This relationship needs to be nurtured in every way possible. One way to do this is through physical meetings with your clients. E-mails and social media sites can also be used to keep in touch online. Determine which of these methods is best to use after getting to know each customer.

The rest will really take care of itself as long as you are sure to nurture the relationship you have with customers wherever possible. Your customers will take care of the second half of social marketing by touting your corporation to others they know. If they are happy with your business, then they will tell others in their life about you. Sales opportunities through referrals will be a direct result. It will then be up to you to convert them to sales.

There is no cost for you to market socially and that is the best part. This type of marketing was done in ancient greece and other ancient cultures throughout history. Yet it has just recently been defined and given a name. Your business marketing plan should start with social marketing since it has no real cost involved other than man power.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Tips For Timing Your Request For A Raise


Many people are in a position where they feel that it would sure be nice if they could get a raise at their job with the way that the economy is right now - but at the same time, many of these same people are in a position where they are nervous about asking for a raise, lest this request cause their superiors at their job to look at them in a negative light. Of course, in all actuality, management expects their employees to seek raises - and when the employee in question has been doing a great job at work, this is not at all an offensive request - but even once you realize that this is the truth of the matter, it will still be important that you understand how to time your request for a raise correctly, in order to maximize the end results.

Waiting for your annual performance review is the best way to ask for a raise; you can go into the performance review, if you have been doing an excellent job at work, knowing that it is likely you will be commended for the hard work you have done; when the performance review begins to wrap up, be prepared to present your case for a raise - not only letting your boss know that you would like a raise, but also letting them know how much you feel you deserve.

On the other hand, if there is not a performance review upcoming for you, or if you work at a company that does not conduct regular performance reviews, figuring out the right time to ask for a raise can be a bit more difficult. The main thing for you to make sure you realize is that you should request a raise when you are in the setting of a formal meeting; with no performance review looming on the horizon, you should request a meeting with your boss, and in this meeting you can present a clear case as to why you deserve the raise you are requesting.

And one mistake a lot of people tend to make is that they are afraid to ask for a raise - but once you get past the fear of asking for a raise, you will also need to keep yourself poignantly aware of the fact that there is a right time and a wrong time to ask for a raise, and if you realize you are approaching this at a "wrong time," you should be ready to bail and wait for another opportunity!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Overlooking Bad Days At Work


When the job you work at is relatively stressful at times, one thing that can be especially frustrating is those times when you experience a bad day at work, as this can not only ruin the rest of your day at work, but it can also end up carrying over into the rest of your day - even after work ends. While there are plenty of people who have a tendency to allow a bad day at work to pull down the remainder of their day, there are others who have learned how to separate the frustration of a bad day at work from the tranquility they hope to experience throughout the rest of their day - and if you are trying to figure out how to overcome a bad day at work yourself, the great news is that it is really quite easy to do!

In order to overcome a bad day at work, the first thing you will want to do is put work completely out of mind during your drive (or commute) home; this can be more difficult than it sounds, of course, but when you make a concerted effort to do so - perhaps distracting yourself with music or the radio - you will soon find you are able to do this.

An evening at home after a long day of work will often consist of nothing more than some dinner and some television, but when you have experienced a bad day at work, you will want to make sure you are maximizing your evening; do something fun or memorable during the evening, and you will feel a lot better when it is time to wake up the next morning and head into work again.

And as far as "waking up the next morning and heading into work again" goes, you will want to do your best to "press the reset button" and start over as you enter into your new day. Put the difficulties of the previous day out of mind, and approach this new day of work as if it is going to be great - and as you approach the day in this manner, positive results are sure to follow!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

The Art Of Short Story Writing


A lot of people find that they want to write a short story, even though they are not a "writer" or an "aspiring novelist." Many people find short stories to be therapeutic, fun, relaxing, enjoyable. Short story writing can be a productive use of your time, and it can be a very fun hobby. At the same time, however, it is not much fun to write short stories if no one will read them!

In modern American literature, few writers were as highly regarded as Kurt Vonnegut. From the late 1940s until his death in the late 2000s, Vonnegut wrote critically acclaimed and highly-regarded short stories, novels, and essays. At one point during Vonnegut's writing journey, he compiled his list of "rules" for short story writing. The next few paragraphs summarize these ideas.

Vonnegut began his rules focused on what you should do for the reader - firstly, that you should make sure the reader won't leave your story feeling like they wasted their time, and secondly that you should give the reader at least one character they can root for. Continuing with characters, Vonnegut says that every character should want something, even if it is only something small, and every sentence should either reveal something about a character or advance action. Vonnegut next encouraged writers to make awful things happen to their characters, no matter how sweet and kind these characters are. This allows the reader to see what the character is made of. He advises writers to start as close to the end as they possibly can, and to write to just please one person. To understand this last one, realize this: If you write to please one person, and that one person loves your story, then all others who have similar tastes to your "one person" will love it also.

Vonnegut's final piece of advice was to give the reader as much information as possible as quickly as possible. "To heck with suspense," was his thought on this final rule. He claimed that the reader should always have a complete understanding of what is going on.

Of course, Vonnegut admitted that you can break all of these rules and still create a terrific short story. But you could sure do a lot worse than Kurt Vonnegut if you are going to find a writer to take advice from for writing short stories.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

How To Deal With An Abrasive Boss


Different bosses all tend to take different approaches at work – and of course, each boss is probably taking the approach that they feel most comfortable with, or that they feel is most effective; but even when you realize that an abrasive boss is acting the way they act because they feel more “comfortable” with this, or feel this is “most effective,” this does not make it any easier to deal with it! When you are working for an abrasive boss, however, there are some things you can do – and as long as you follow these tips, it will make your work life a whole lot easier.


First off, it will be important for you to realize that you do not need to be a pushover in order to be cordial; continue to treat your boss with the same level of respect and courtesy you would a boss who treats you with respect and courtesy, but do not allow yourself to get “bullied” by them or the approach they are taking with you.

One thing abrasive bosses generally think is that their abrasiveness will make emplyees think they have to please them, but it is important – as an employee working for such a boss – that you keep in mind the fact that you are the person you should be trying to please; you should always feel like you are working hard, and like you are doing the best job possible, and as long as you feel this way, it will not matter how your boss feels!

And of course, realize that there is nothing that is "making you" put up with this boss; you can always look for another job – one where your boss treats you with respect.

When you take this approach to work – being polite without being a pushover, working to feel good about your performance instead of to impress your boss, and realizing that you can always look for another job – it will be much easier to be productive at work (and even to enjoy work!) in spite of having an abrasive boss.

Tips For Hiring Great Freelancers


You will certainly put a great deal of emphasis on the idea of hiring the "right" employees for your company when you run a business, but you will also reach a point when you need to hire consultants or freelancers for projects (sometimes small projects, sometimes large), and it can be difficult to know if you are following the right steps to hire good workers. If you are running a business - regardless of whether it is a small business or a large business - here are a few tips you can follow in your efforts to "hire" the best people for the jobs you have.

Have patience: When a freelance project needs to be completed soon, the temptation can be to post an ad on a job site and to hire someone from the first few freelancers who respond. Keep in mind, however, the fact that your project is important to you and your company; if you give it enough time, you will likely receive hundreds of inquiries regarding the job you have posted, and even though it will feel nice to "get it over with" and hire someone right away, it will be much better in the long run if you take the time to make sure you are putting the project in good hands.

Look at the resumes: Any good freelancer will also have a freelance resume that they can send; unless you are unable to pay for an experienced freelancer, you should make sure you take the time to look over these resumes, paying close attention to the resumes that show a track record of good work and a great deal of experience.

Ask for samples: A great way to narrow down the "applicants" for a freelance job is to ask for samples of their work, but an even better way (perhaps the best way of all) is to ask them to create samples for you off of a unique "test assignment." When you take this final step, you will be able to truly discern which of the qualified applicants are the right applicants for the job you have in hand!

Friday, December 12, 2014

Trending Upward At Your Job


One thing that can be frustrating is when you spend a lot of time working at your job, but feel that you are not getting the recognition that you deserve for all the hard work you are putting in, and perhaps the worst thing of all about feeling this way is that it can seem like there is really nothing you can do to improve the situation. There are a few specific things you can keep in mind if you have ever experienced this feeling of under-appreciation at your job, starting with the concept that you should look at your job (and your job performance) the same way you would look at stock, realizing that if you are not trending upward, this means that you are trending down.

When it comes to to making sure that you are always feeling like you are trending upward at your job, the first step is to always take care of the duties you are supposed to be taking care of - which means, you should pay close attention to the things that are expected of you, and you should do everything you can to get these things taken care of.

The next step for making sure you are always trending upward at your job, after you have made sure you are always taking care of your responsibilities, is for you to also do your best to go over and above what is expected of you; instead of simply taking care of your duties, also take care of them so well that the people above you notice!

And not only should you focus on going over and above with the things that are expected of you, but you should also focus on finding other things on which you can go over and above - looking for things that are not "expected" of you, but that will nevertheless be beneficial for you to do.

When you place an emphasis on these three areas - making sure you are always doing what is expected of you, doing a better job at these things than expected, and looking for things you can do that are not expected of you - you will be taking steps to ensure upward movement at your job, both in your performance, and in the rewards you reap!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Making Your Website Easy To Use


Regardless of whether you are running a website as a means to promote your business, or as a way in which you can try to make a bit of extra money, one important thing will be that you are making sure to pay attention to the principles of search engine optimization; at the same time, however, it is easy to become so wrapped up in your search engine optimization efforts that you forget about all the other things about running a website that are important - including making your website easy to use!

In making your website easy to use, the first thing you should focus on is providing an easy way for your readers to share your site with others; when you include links throughout your site that make it easy for people to share content through such areas as Twitter, Digg, Google Plus, and facebook, you will increase the backlinks you create, and will increase the traffic that comes your way as well!

As you attempt to make your website easy to use, the next thing that will be important for you to focus on is making it easy for people to navigate your site; on your site, you should include a search bar that enables people to search for specific content on your site, and categorize your posts in such a way that it will be easy for visitors to seek out something specific.

And in making your website "easy" for users, perhaps the most important thing of all you can do is make it easy for your visitors to get lost in your site; when you include plenty of links within the content of each post you write, readers will click on these links, and continue sinking deeper and deeper into your site! And it just about goes without saying that the deeper a reader goes into your site (and the more time they spend on your site), the more likely they are to keep on coming back to your site over and over again - and to bring others with them as well!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Tips For Getting Hits On Your YouTube Videos


There are a number of ways in which people use YouTube, ranging from using it for fun, or to try to get famous, or even for their business. Regardless of how you are using YouTube, it is a relatively useless tool if the videos you are posting are not getting any hits! Especially if you are using YouTube in order to promote your business, it is important to know how to get hits on your video.

Of course, in order for a YouTube video to get hits, it must be something that people will share with others. This is the magic of YouTube - the fact that a video can be posted only once, but that other people can spread it around until it has been seen all over. One of the keys to making videos that people will spread around is making videos that are actually relevant. This does not meant that you need to be inauthentic or "hip" in some way in your videos; it just means your videos need to be something people care about! If you are using YouTube for your business, this can be as simple as making a video about a promotion, or making a video with a message to your customers.

Of course, it certainly will not hurt for your video to be funny - after all, funny videos get spread around much more quickly! Short videos also tend to do better than long ones - and even though this can be difficult to stick to, it is also important. Short videos are much easier to watch, and with them it is much easier to leave your viewers wanting more. And leaving your viewers wanting more is another one of the biggest keys; if you do this, they are much more likely to want to watch the video again and again.

Those companies who have figured out how to use YouTube effectively have discovered that it can be a huge benefit. And you will be well on your way to employing YouTube in an effective manner yourself, once you begin to follow these tips.

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Tips For Avoiding Bad Neighbors On Your Website


When you hear the term "bad neighbors," you are likely to think about those people who live next door to you and play their music as loudly as possible late at night, or run their motorcycle in their driveway early in the morning, but when it comes to your website, there is such a thing as "bad neighbors" as well - and as annoying as those bad neighbors in real life can be, the bad neighbors of your website can hurt you a whole lot more, as it is search engines who determine what to do about your bad neighbors!

Beyond the basic SEO factors that most people tend to focus on, there are a lot of more complicated things involved, and one of these things is the "neighbors" you are creating; search engines determine your neighbors to be those sites you are linking to, and (to a lesser extent) those sites that are linking to you, and this can actually have a much bigger impact on your search engine ranking than you might have realized.

If you want to keep from creating bad neighbors, it will be important that you stay away from linking to any sites that are unrelated to yours (for instance: if you have a site that deals with car parts, do not link to a site that is centered around selling children's toys!), and you will want to avoid any sites that search engines are likely to view as disreputable - such as sites that contain malware, pop-ups, adult content, offensive content, gambling, or just about any other unsavory activity.

Of course, it is easy enough to avoid linking to bad sites once you realize that this is important, but one thing that is more difficult (in fact, that can be practically impossible!) is making sure that negative sites are not linking to you! Of course, search engines don't give much weight to this, as you would then be able to create negative sites and use them to link to your competitors, thus dragging down their rankings, but they do give a bit of weight to this - so in addition to making sure you are linking to good sites, make sure (as best you can!) that the sites linking to you are also good, and in this way you can ensure that you have good online neighbors.

Using Study To Advance In Business


Lots of people think that "knowing the right people" or "just getting lucky" are the only ways to get the promotion or the raise they feel they deserve. While there is a small sliver of luck when it comes to advancing in business, however, most people give this sliver far more credit than it deserves! The mistake many people make in business actually has nothing to do with luck; it is simply a misstep of failing to be prepared to take advantage of (or to even recognize!) their opportunity when it arises. Whether you are a small business owner, an employee at a large company, or even a manager hoping to move up higher in the ranks, it is important that you understand the value of studying to advance in business.

For small business owners, this study should take the form of understanding what their competitors are doing. This does not just mean that you should understand what they are doing wrong, either; take a good look at your strongest competitor and figure out what they do right!

If you are an employee in a large corporation, it can often feel as though it is impossible to ever get noticed. With so many employees who are just like you in so many ways, it can seem absolutely random whether an employee's hard work gets rewarded or not. If you are an employee in this position, it can seem like all your studying is getting you nowhere at all. But if you continue to increase in knowledge and expertise regarding the corporation for which you work, you will be prepared to seize your opportunity when it comes - and the law of averages holds that this opportunity will come in time!

It is very easy for managers to sit back and forget that there is still more to accomplish. But as a manager, it is important that you not only continue to study to open up doors for advancement, but that you also study in order to enlighten those in your charge!

Begin to study your business and the businesses around you; it only takes thirty minutes of study each day, and you will begin to grow and to become prepared to seize your opportunity when it comes along at last.

Monday, December 08, 2014

Making Your Blog Look Good


There are lots of different reasons why you might choose to start a blog, ranging from starting a blog for personal use, as a promotional tool for your business, or even just as a means to connect with and interact with others; regardless of the purpose behind your blog, however, it will not be much use to you if no one is reading it – and one thing you should realize about a blog is that it is unlikely to keep many readers if the blog itself is an eyesore, even if the content on the blog itself is great!

The first thing you will want to pay attention to when you are trying to make sure your blog looks good is the color scheme you are choosing; a lot of people make the mistake of picking out colors that are too harsh or too dark, which puts the reader in a position where they have to strain their eyes just to look at the page, and many of these people will end up going elsewhere for their blog reading so that their eyes will not hurt so much!

Another thing that can cause people's eyes to hurt or get tired, and can therefore cause these people to simply head elsewhere, is font that is too small or too difficult to read; when picking the font for your website, go with something that people are used to seeing, and make sure you are also keeping this font large enough that people who maybe do not have perfect eyesight will still have no problem reading it.

And of course, having plenty of space that is not covered by text is one thing that will be appealing on a website; leave plenty of white space on your site, and also sprinkle some pictures and other forms of media across your site, as this will keep the site from appearing so overwhelming that no one wants to try to tackle it!

As you set up your website with these tips in mind, making sure that your website is both easy to look at and easy to enjoy, it will be much easier for you to grow the readership on your site, and to experience all the success and benefits that come with this!