Understanding LTL Shipping Rates for Your Retail and eCommerce Business

With more people diving into the world of ecommerce, dropshipping and selling on Amazon, the business of truck deliveries has been growing at a rapid pace as well.

In 2017, trucking revenues totaled $700 billion for medium and short distances. The transportation and logistics industry in the US has continued to thrive over the years. One of the shipping options that’s becoming prevalent is the Less-Than-Truckload shipping method, commonly referred to as LTL.

LTL is highly flexible and convenient. What’s more, the approach is cost-effective for medium and small-sized businesses. LTL allows you to ship in a trailer’s smaller space instead of using the entire container.

You ought to have insights on LTL rates and tariffs. When you need to partner up with an affordable and reliable LTL shipping company for your business needs, understand how rates are calculated.

Weight in Freight Calculation

The heavier your shipment is, the more affordable it gets. In shipping, this aspect is referred to as the hundredweight pricing. There’s a chart listing the prices as per the weight.

Freight carriers refer to this chart to determine the cost of shipping your items. Heavier freight is often subject to discounts, commonly known as weight breaks. Understanding the base rates is essential in cost-saving.

You can increase the size of your goods slightly and enjoy almost a 50% price reduction. Illustratively, a company might be charging $79.05 for freight weighing between 0-499 lbs. You might need to increase the weight of cargo if the price reduces to $39.53 for 500 to 999lbs.

Freight Class

In LTL shipping, freight is in a different classification. The density and value of products determine the shipping rates. The National Motor Freight Classification has grouped freight into eighteen groups. The groups are from 50 to 500, with 50 being the cheapest and 500 the most expensive.

These classes focus on stowability, density, liability, and handling. Products such as food snacks can have a higher rate regardless of the low weight. Such orders are prone to damage, which necessitates extra caution when transporting.

Besides, some items are not stackable. That means that such orders would require more space than other cargos with the same weight. Consequently, shippers will expect you to compensate for such variations.

Ensure that you provide adequate details about your shipments. You will get accurate pricing and avoid unanticipated billings. Undervaluing your products for cheaper rates might have more costly impacts at the end.

Density

Density is another factor affecting LTL shipping rates. Density refers to the space occupied by the shipment, which is in relation to the shipment’s weight. You get the density by dividing the item’s weight by the volume, which is in cubic feet.

The density of your shipment determines your freight class. Just like weight, the higher the density, the cheaper the freight charges. Products with lower density mostly fall in the 125 to 500 categories, which is more costly.

If your items are in pallets, calculate the density using the pallet’s dimensions, height, and weight of freight. Ensure that you consider any protrusions or overhangs when getting the dimensions. Once you determine the density of your shipment, get the LTL shipping quote and have your order delivered.

Distance

Distance has significant effects on shipping rates. If the distance is long, the price will go high. A longer distance translates to more fuel, equipment, and labor.

You’ll need to know the regions with specific carrier services. Some of these shipping companies don’t go beyond some geographic areas. Such information will save you from incurring more costs to have your shipment within your zip code.

Most companies result in interlining, which is the transfer of shipment to an LTL carrier servicing your area. The process ensures that your luggage will get to the specified address. However, you might need to dig deeper into your pockets to cover any extra costs resulting from the high minimum charges and low discounts.

Freight All Kinds

The freight all kinds, mostly referred to as FAK, refers to an arrangement where the carrier allows clients to ship different categories of items, with the billing being of one freight class. Multiple products can attract higher costs. But with this kind of arrangement, you can save some bucks.

If your commodities range between 100 and 200, you can negotiate with your career to rate your shipment as 150. This approach helps you to save, especially on high-ranking shipments.

A client should have substantial information on shipment classes to have the upper hand in negotiations. Know your shipment class before seeking for the shipping service. You will be able to negotiate for better terms based on the type of commodities.

Base Rates

The net profit of freight trucking companies grew by 6% by 2017. Despite the different base rates, LTL carriers have been growing steadily. You need to establish a carrier with a lower base rate for friendly LTL shipping rates.

The base rates are per hundredweight. Shipping companies determine the base rates based on gross costs, demands, and volume. With the notable variations between shippers, you need to get comprehensive quotes for companies you’ve identified.

Gross costs can increase if the lanes provide a stable balance between freight and trucks. Shipping Carriers can change their base rate to accommodate more volume. You need to understand some of these factors affecting the base rate.

Accessorial

LTL shipping goes beyond the typical services provided. A carrier can provide extra services, making you liable for freight accessorial charges. You need to incorporate these rates when calculating your shipping costs.

Accessorial services include residential delivery or pickup, liftgate service, and delivery to limited access areas, among other extras. Negotiate on these accessorials to reduce the overall shipping cost. Better still, provide all necessary information upfront to avoid getting invoices for services you hadn’t anticipated.

Information on LTL Shipping Can Enable You to Calculate Shipping Rates before Engaging Any Carrier

Get to understand all the factors affecting LTL shipping. With such insights, you’ll know how to save on shipping while still enjoying optimal services. Your carrier should provide all the information upfront for better negotiations.

Explore our site further to read more articles on business, SEO, and other informative content.

5 Actionable Tips to Boost Your Customer Engagement

When was the last time you met a customer or client of your business? This might sound like an obvious question but be honest. In today’s digital world of huge corporations, most people who own companies don’t meet their clients or respond to their needs individually.

But engaging with clients or customers on an individual level is vitally important to growing your brand and ultimately your product or service. Without customer engagement, you become another company lost in the wilderness of the internet.

Here’s what you should include in your customer engagement strategy.

1. Make Yourself Approachable

The first rule of business is to ensure that customers know who you are and how they can reach out to you. Be sure to advertise the different methods that customers or clients can reach out to you. Provide a phone number and its operating hours if you don’t have one.

But also provide the names of the people at the company and their roles along with their email addresses. This allows customers and clients to put a name and even a face to the company.

Don’t send out automated messages, try to reply to everybody with personalized messages if you can. This is how you can demonstrate great customer engagement.

2. Improve Your Social Media Game

Social media is the biggest way you can reach out to new and existing customers and often the first channel they will seek to reach out to you.

Be sure to put out regular posts and keep them personal. Nobody wants to see boring corporate tweets or Facebook posts. Give them a personal slant and ensure they are signed by a member of the team.

Social media is also the place that people come to vent their frustrations that something has gone wrong. Be sure to remain sympathetic and calm during interactions where the company is criticized.

Ask the compliant for an email address or a phone number so you can reach out to them individually. This might make them feel more respected and calm.

3. Know What Your Audience Wants

If you want to have a brand or business that stands the test of time, you need to provide real value to your audience. A perfect example of this can be seen with Amazon.com. Not only have they drastically expanded the reach and products from their business, they also continue to gain more customers daily as well.

This is something Print on Demand Academy preaches within their courses and content, which is to focus all of your efforts what the end user wants and how to give it to them.

No matter the size or focus of your business, it’s ultimately going to come down to the engagement and appreciation you get from your customers. Without it, you are just another failing company without a purpose and need.

4. Create a Regular Blog

As well as short-form content in terms of tweets and social media posts, it is important to also put long-form content out there. This is usually in the form of blogs.

Regular blogs help customers see what you are up to and get insider insight into how the company works. They create that personal connection between the company and the customer or client.

But they also do more than that. Blog content should also be search engine optimized. This ensures that it used the right keywords and links. The site is then ranked highly on Google searches, one of the most important customer engagement marketing strategies.

Remember though it’s important to consider what it’s worth investing in social media or SEO.

5. Use Popups and Unique Call to Actions

Thanks to the power of the internet, it’s never been easier to connect with audiences around the world and also capture their email — which leads to an instant way to stay in contact and message them.

With this in mind, the more call to actions you have on your site, the more likely you are find success with your brand or business.

Start with social media and site content, then add in some call to actions for a simple email grab. As you continue to optimize your site, also think about adding popup windows, push notifications and other unique call to actions to get the end user to engage with your content.

Creating A Good Customer Engagement Strategy Is Key to Business in the Modern World

In the modern world, competition is rife. Because of the growth of internet customers, and consumers increasingly have much more power than they once did.

And they use this power to demand better customer engagement through social media, blogs, and personal interaction.

If you are interested in reading more about customer engagement or have to make money online then be sure to check out the rest of my blog.

8 Things High Ranking Websites All Have in Common

Did you know that, on average, the first organic search result from Google gets 32.5 percent of the total traffic share? Did you also know that sites on the first Google search results page receive a whopping 91.5 percent of the total traffic share?

Basically, if you want people to click on your website and see what you have to offer, you need to be on that first page and as close to the top as possible.

Getting there isn’t exactly an easy feat, though, especially when you’re part of a competitive market. It is possible to improve your ranking, though.

Read on to learn about eight of the characteristics all high-rank websites have in common. If you can make these improvements to your site, you’ll be amazed at how your position improves.

1. Security and Accessibility

Website security and accessibility play a significant role in how well a particular site ranks on Google (as well as other search engines, for that matter).

One way to indicate a secure and accessible website is the type of URL your site has. If your URL is one that search engine bots can reach and crawl, with ease, your website will be rewarded with a higher ranking.

Some ways you can make this happen are by installing a robots.txt file. This tells Google where it is and isn’t able to look for information about your site. A sitemap that lists all the pages on your website is imperative as well.

Having an “HTTPS” at the front of your URL is better than an “HTTP,” too. It doesn’t hold as much weight as these other factors, but it still can help.

2. Fast Load Times

The best Google sites tend to have very fast load times, too. The faster your pages load, the more likely it is that people will stick around to see what’s on them.

There are plenty of ways to speed up your load times, from getting rid of clutter to compressing images. Talk to your web developer to figure out how you can start to make your site more efficient.

3. Mobile Friendliness

These days, the majority of online searches come from a mobile device. If your website doesn’t look good on a smartphone or tablet, people are going to be less inclined to spend a lot of time on it.

If you want to enjoy a high ranking, make sure your website is optimized for mobile devices. The easiest way to do this is to work with a developer who specializes in this aspect of website building and design.

4. Higher Domain Age

The longer your website has been around, the easier it’ll be to get on top Google sites lists. In most cases, sites that have existed for less than a year are less likely to rank near the top of any search engine results page.

If your website is less than a year old, don’t give up hope. You can still implement these other practices to boost its ranking and help it reach a top spot faster.

5. Technical Optimization

Technical optimization is an often-overlooked component of search engine optimization. It plays a key role in improving search engine rankings, though. Some important technical aspects to consider include the following:

  • The use of keyword phrases in your website’s page titles
  • Using header tags to organize content and create a hierarchy
  • Writing a clear and concise meta description
  • Using keyword phrases in your images’ alt tags

Many people overlook these factors when trying to optimize their sites, but they can make a significant difference in your website’s overall performance.

6. Optimized Content

As stated in the article, Buy Guest Posts On Real Blogs With 1000+ Organic Monthly Traffic, one of the only trustworthy metrics to how much Google favors a website is how much organic traffic that website receives monthly from Google.

Of course, bringing in organic traffic is difficult. One way to increase the number of people visiting your site is to make sure your content is well-optimized.

There are lots of ways to do this, including the following:

  • Including the right keywords in your content (in an organic, non-forced way)
  • Answering common questions
  • Using videos and infographics to appeal to a wider range of visitors

Writing long-form content is also helpful. Posts that are in the 2,000-word range tend to outperform those with lower word counts.

7. Positive Social Signals

Google wants to see how your website is performing on social media. Positive social signals can lead to higher search engine rankings. For example, if lots of people are tweeting links to pages from your website or sharing them on Facebook, that will reflect well and lead to rewards from Google.

8. High Click-Through Rate and Low Bounce Rate

When determining where to rank a website in search engine results, Google’s algorithm will pay attention to your website’s click-through rate as well. This refers to the number of clicks your website receives from people who have typed in a particular search term. The higher your click-through rate is, the better off your site will be when it comes to rankings.

It’s not good enough just to have a high click-through rate, though. You’ll also need a low bounce rate.

Bounce rate refers to the number of people who click the “back” button and leave your website, as well as how quickly they do this after visiting your site. If the majority of people who visit your site click away within a few seconds, that’s a red flag to Google and your site will be penalized.

Join the List of High-Rank Websites Today

As you can see, there are quite a few characteristics that all (or nearly all) high-rank websites share. If you want your website to be counted among this group, you need to know what not to search on Google and, instead, make sure you’re doing what you can to implement these changes and improve your site.

Do you want to learn more about improving your web presence and raising your Google site’s ranking? If so, check out some of our other helpful blog posts and digital marketing resources today.

Partners House Network – How to Monetize Push Notifications

Push notifications are all of the buzz lately. If you aren’t taking advantage of what this latest trend in advertising and monetization has to offer, then you are simply missing out big time.

Today we are going to cover some of the most important stats and the basics of push notifications, and how you can start growing your brand and business through these powerful methods as well.

We will also be taking a look at both Push.House, which is one of the largest and fastest growing push notifcation networks on the internet today — and we will also be taking a look at Partners.House, which is the affiliate and partner side of the business.

Let’s get started!

What are Push Notifications?

How many times have you been to a website and a little popup appears on the top left corner of your browser and asks if you’d like to receive updates and notifications? I’m sure it happens all the time. Well, it turns out that a lot of people like these notifications, and they work extremely well.

From a mobile perspective it’s the same thing, but more in reference to alerts, notifications and promotional deals. For example, think about when you use Uber and your car is just a few minutes away and you get a text notification — that is also considered a push notification.

As you can see through the chart and stats laid out above, push notifications perform at a much higher open and click rate than that of email marketing — which is already one of the most effective forms of online advertising. This should lead nearly all advertisers who are already focusing their efforts on paid ads and email marketing online to immediately see what push notifications can do for them.

Now that you have a good understanding on what push notifications are and how they work, let’s take a look at how you can start using them to grow your business and brand.

What is Push House and What Do They Do?

Just like all forms of advertising, there needs to be a platform or system in place in order for site owners to make money from their traffic, and for advertisers to control and manage their ad campaigns. In short, this is exactly what Push.House does — it gives site owners the ability to monetize their push traffic, whie giving affiliates and advertisers a way to promote their offers.

When it comes to making money online and using platforms to generate new traffic and leads, there are usually two sides to each platform — the affiliate/publisher side, and the advertiser side. The publisher side is often for the site owners and those who can provide traffic, while the advertiser side is for those who are looking to buy more traffic to send to their own offers, websites or brands.

In this example, it works out like this:

  • Partners House — For site partners and affiliates
  • Push House — For adverisers that want push traffic

First we will take a look at the Push House business site and how they provide traffic to their advertisers. We will then take a look at Partners House in the next section.

As highlighted on the main Push House page, their network of sites and traffic sources are currently serving to more than 94 million active subscribers and serving over 1.612 biion impressions with over 4 million clicks out. The coverage of Push.House is also quite impressive, as they have access to traffic in more than 180 different countries around the world.

Advertisers on the platform will appreciate the benefit of having their own personal support team that is accessible 24/7, while aso having live stats displayed in real-time, along with real-time traffic bidding as well. With these features in place, advertisers can quick increase or decrease the activity of their accounts within just seconds.

When it comes to making a payment or deposit with Push.House, they have pretty much every payment option available — which includes ADVCash, MasterCard, Payeer, PayPal, Visa, Bitcoin and more.

With all of the basics covered, now let’s take a look at the Partners House side of the business.

How to Make Money with Partners House?

With most site owners focused on ways to make money with their sites, we will now look at some of the opportunities that Partners House offers.

According to Partners House, they currently have site partners in more then 180 different countries around the world, while also serving more than 85 milion clicks per month. All of this equates to more than $320,000 in payments being made to their site partners.

After signing up with Partners House as an affiliate or partner site, you will be able to log into your account and pull the necessary ad codes to start deliver ads and push notifications through your site. Once the code is placed on your site, you will then have the ability to log into your account and check on the status of your campaign and earnings.

Partners House was also set up to make the process of working with their platform not only profitable, but also quite easy. You can see a list of their conditions, benefits and features below.

Some of the most popular benefits and features include:

  • Montization of push notifications across more than 180 different countries
  • 100% of all ad serving is monetized and payable
  • Ability to add new landing pages and ad copy for better conversions and earnings
  • Split testing across different sites, landing pages and languages
  • Referral program that pays out 3% earnings on all paid referrals
  • Program manager for each partner that is working with Partners House

As you can see, Partners House has everything in place to keep their site partners happy, while aso giving them the tools and resource to help them make the most money possible.

While there are other push notification platforms out there, Partners House likes to make themselves stand out from the crowd by offering 2X profit opportunities, which include “instant sale of push subscriptions” and “long-term income at revshare”. This way partners can be paid for either method, no matter which their referring advertisers and sign ups go with.

You can learn more about each of these opportunities by visiting their site.

Payments sent out from Partners House can be made through WebMoney, QIWI, Paypal, ePayments, Bitcoin, Visa, Mastercard and a few other options as well.

BONUS: If you would like to learn more about how to make money with Partners House and Push House, be sure to check out this case study.

Please note however, it is in Russian, so you will need to use a translation tool, or your Chrome browser to automatic translate the written text content.

With most site owners and brands having a business model of their own, it’s likely that they would be interested in learning how to use the advertiser side of Push House as well — which is exactly what we will be focusing on next.

How to Begin as an Advertiser at Push House?

As with most advertising platforms, everything is done online. To get started with Push House as a partner or advertiser, simply follow this five step process:

  1. Sign Up with Push.House
    First, you will need to create an advertiser account on the Push.House network platform.
  2. Create You Advertisement
    Next, create your ad with a variation of text and images from within your account.
  3. Setup GEO Targeting
    Play around with the ad settings to make sure you are targeting the right geographic locations.
  4. Review and Manage Your Campaign
    Once your campaign is reviewed and live, it’s then time to wait for your first set of stats to come in.
  5. Analyze Results and Optimize
    With new traffic and leads coming in, you should be analyzing your campaign and improving it over time.

After going through each of the steps above to get started with your ad campaign, it’s then time to make sure you are paying attention to what traffic sources and offers are converting best. In order to accomplish this, Push House has the following settings and targeting options in place for all advertisers.

  • Brand safety and 24/7 support team
  • High CR/CTR compared to other push platforms
  • High volume in comparison to other push traffic sources
  • Ability to split test landing pages by traffic, offer and language
  • Easy to learn platform with no skills required
  • Worldwide geographic targeting options

All of these setting and targeting options can be accessed from within your advertiser account.

Final Notes on Partners House and Push House

With so much attention on push notifications right now, there are a lot of traffic sources and ad platforms to choose from. Push House has been establishing themselves as one of the leaders in this space not only with their massive reach, but also with their business practices and features for advertisers as well.

At the same time, they’ve also been growing out their massive list of partner sites through Partners House as well. It’s great to see both sides of the business when it comes to push notifications, while also allowing sites to work with both sides.

To learn more about Partners House and how to start making money with your own site traffic, be sure to join their platform today.

Neil Patel Reviews Google’s New Link Building Guidelines

Neil Patel and SEO go together like peanut butter and jelly. Search for anything related to SEO, content marketing or affiliate marketing in Google… and you are sure to find one of Neil’s articles, companies or interviews ranking right at the top of the search results.

Millions of site owners, brands, and entrepreneurs end up on Neil’s site every month seeking his latest expertise and wisdom on everything from how to start a business, ranking higher in Google, or creating content on websites and social media that gets attention. It’s also not just his own site, but plenty of others where Neil Patel has been featured, cited as an expert, or even listed as a speaker or influencer to follow.

With all of this in mind, Google has recently been coming out with some changes and new site owner recommendations of their own – which Neil Patel also reviewed, documented and broken down into his own working protocol, making it easier for the rest of us to understand as well.

Let’s take a look at what’s making headlines in the world of SEO, what Neil has to say about it, and how I believe today’s marketers should adjust their activities accordingly.

The Landscape or SEO Today and How Google Looks at Links

Flash back a couple of decades ago to the days of Yahoo Search, Altavista and even Excite – everyone was trying to game the system and figure out how to rank their sites at the top of the search engines for big money keywords that would send them floods of traffic. Jump back to today, and nothing has really changed – except that pretty much all of the focus is on Google now, and Google has gotten better and better at out-gaming the games.

In 2019, Google pretty much controls the internet, making them the gatekeepers of information that people find when they search online. It’s been documented that there are hundreds of different data points, methods, factors and algorithms that go into determining where a given site’s pages rank for keywords – but for the most part, it’s usually a mixture of content quality and backlinks that have the most influence.

Neil Patel, for one, is of the belief that when done right, link building is more or less a future-proof SEO practice, and I’m inclined to agree. As he puts it in his review, “links will always be hard to come by, so they will be part of their algorithm for the foreseeable future.”

It’s just that compared to yesteryear, today there are also a ton of other factors that influence when, where and how a site ranks. Also, don’t forget to throw into the mix that there are now more than a billion active sites online, which are all competing for those same beloved search results.

Google Wants All Links Marked As What They Are

As Neil points out in his review of the latest SEO changes, the biggest adjustment that we need to know about today is Google requesting that everyone start labeling the type of links on their sites.

While this type of transparency is “good practice,” I’m predicting that it’s really not something you are going to come across on most websites. Unless, as Neil notes, “if Google starts placing some value on these user-generated links, it can help boost your rankings,” in which case there could be a bit of a gold rush.

Factor in that most site owners don’t want to put in the time and effort to label their links, and then another half of the internet (general bloggers) have no idea what SEO is or how to label links… often times it just seems like banter to throw something like this out there for the top SEO agencies and gurus to fight over.

And as for Neil Patel’s business interests… well, no matter what happens with Google and SEO in the future, he will be fine. As more site owners, bloggers, and brands continue to share his content on social media and publish reviews of the Neil Patel Digital agency, he will still have a virtually endless supply of traffic coming to his various media properties and presences from all directions.

You can see Neil’s breakdown of each of these new link policies and html “attributes” in the screenshot below.

Neil’s article also went into more details on what these link commands individually mean, and why Google even put them in place. Which was summed up by Google in the following:

All the link attributes — sponsored, UGC and nofollow — are treated as hints about which links to consider or exclude within Search. We’ll use these hints — along with other signals — as a way to better understand how to appropriately analyze and use links within our systems. – Google

With Google advancing their technology all the time, I wouldn’t be surprised if they had already collecting signals based on all of these html attributes in order to run ranking algorithm experiments that are already underway.

And at the same time, when you think about the “rel=sponsored” tag, you aren’t going to see many brands requesting this type of link on your site. Some of the largest brands in the world might, if they are running an obvious campaign through a large SEO or outreach company – but most of these brands want the SEO juice, and don’t want to be seen as buying “sponsored” links either.

In any event, if this is something you are currently freaking out about and trying to implement overnight, no worries. Google says this implementation won’t go into effect immediately, and site owners will have until March 1, 2020 to start setting the link attributes throughout their content.

“It will probably take another year before they really catch on,” says Neil, “which means for now you will just have to focus your efforts on dofollow links.”

Just Backlinks and Articles? Throw in Social Media as Well…

And regardless, as much as we would all like to think SEO and ranking in Google is just a matter of writing super high quality and long form content, along with getting as many quality links as possible… that’s no longer the case.

One thing that Neil does not point out in his article, in my opinion, social media is going to play an increasingly important role in all of this as well.

Without getting into too many technical specifics, Google loves social media, and they want to see more social shares, clicks coming from Facebook and Twitter back to your site, and also for content on your site to have social sharing buttons and embedded content as well.

After all, it’s all about user experience right?

You can even throw the case out there that “bounce rates” play a big role in the SEO process, and if you are going to run ads on social media to your existing audiences and fans… they would likely spend more time on your site than a random visitor, right?

These are all fine things to consider for now, but who knows when and how Google will change their perspective on these link factors in the future.

The Business of SEO and Where We Are Headed

In the world of SEO, all eyes are on Google. They are the king of search traffic – whether it’s desktop, tablet, or mobile browsing.

They are also the beginning and end of all decisions as to who ranks at the top of the search engine, and why.

This all helps the “business of SEO” as well. With such madness happening on a daily basis, and businesses of all sizes fighting for position, this just leads to more money being spent in an extremely competitive industry.

As I noted above, Neil and the enterprise companies that hire his agency will likely continue to see great rankings indefinitely. The bigger concern for everyone else, is the question of what will happen to your blog, business or brand if Google changes up their search algorithms and your site is no longer to be found?

5 Quick Tips on How to Work More Efficiently as a Small Entrepreneur

Small business owners and entrepreneurs are all over the place thanks to the power of the internet. There are now no limitations on age, knowledge and school education when it comes to pursuing one’s dream of having their own business, being an entrepreneur or even launching a startup of their own.

The main reason for this, is that the internet not only makes everything easier and more cost effective, it also provides entrepreneurs with an amazing selection of tools and resources to help them launch and hit their goals.

However, not all entrepreneurs and small business owners have the same mindset, work ethics, and goal setting practices. The ones who do have a deep passion, drive, and dedication to success, are likely the ones who see much bigger results. At the same time, they also have some of the best tools and scheduling for their day to day operations and ROI on their time as well.

To help with this process, today we are going to highlight some quick tips on how small business owners and entrepreneurs can start working smarter and more  efficiently to get more done.

1 – Focus on What You Do Best and Outsource the Rest

One of the biggest problems from entrepreneurs, is knowing where and how to spend their time. As the owner of a business, you may often think it’s best to be the jack of all trades, but soon enough you will find your time is better spent in different areas and not on all tasks.

For example, if you have a website or blog that is already making money, it’s likely a much better idea for you to outsource your content creation and marketing efforts, while you focus on scaling and growing out your time.

No matter what your expertise and focus is, at some point you will realize the power of outsourcing and earning a premium on what you do best.

2 – Know How to Best Manage Your Time

Just as important as knowing where to focus your time and expertise, is knowing how to manage it as well. This is also one of the most overlooked components to finding success when one is trying to start a business or scale it to it’s full potential.

Better time management comes in many different shapes and forms. From the most simple methods to practicing better time management on your own, to using applications or even writing down your tasks on a sheet of paper — they all help further improve your allotted time ROI throughout the day.

If you prefer managing your time on the computer, this can be as simple as downloading a weekly schedule template excel sheet where you can get an overview of your work week, easily update your calendar and also better manage the time of your employees and team members around you as well.

3 – Search for Video Tutorials from Experts on YouTube

Small business owners are working on new tasks all the time. This can be anything from starting a new website and trying to learn how to use WordPress, or implementing a new CMS or software solutions into their business.

No matter what it is, trying to figure out how to do something from scratch can suck up a lot of your time.

A better solution is to look for quality reference guides and tutorials. In most cases, you should be able to find some reliable content on YouTube for free, or investing in a professional video course through a platform like Udemy.

Whenever you look for a course of video tutorial online, be sure to skim through the comments and ratings, and this will let you know if it’s worth your time and money.

4 – Take Advantage of Gmail Canned Responses

How many emails do you receive and send daily? If you are like most entrepreneurs and small business owners, it’s probably in the 100+ range.

At the same time, how many of these emails are very similar and often ask the same question or are looking for support?

If this is the case, Google Canned Responses is a quick and easy solution for saving time and speeding through all of these incoming and outgoing emails you have to deal with on a daily basis.

Best of all, this simple solution takes less than 60 seconds to setup, but can easily save you a handful of hours every week.

5 – Use Automation and Scheduling Where Possible

A great way to save time, increase productivity, and also scale your business at the same time, is to take advantage of automation and scheduling wherever possible.

A quick and simple example of this would be to schedule out content to go live on the most popular social media platforms. By having an automated schedule in place, this could result in hundreds of hours being saved every month.

Another perfect example is to set up an autoresponder to work with your lead generation and email marketing efforts. Instead of messaging each new lead individuals, more time and effort can be spent on growing your reach and acquiring new traffic sources.

How to Grow Your Business and Expertise 

As business owners, we know what it takes to create something from scratch, while also having to compete with others in our space.

We all have a specific set of skills and levels of expertise that can give us the upper hand, however, when you start to add better time management and smarter work ethics in your day to day operations, we can all do even better.

Be sure to run through the list of recommended tips and solutions above to improve your incoming success as a small business owners and entrepreneur.

Create Stunning Instagram Stories in 3 Minutes with StoryBoost

Instagram is all about engagement and the content value perceived by the end user. However, as more influencers and brands are catching in on the latest and greatest ways to create amazing content for their audience, it’s also getting harder to stand out from the crowd.

Think for a moment about the best speakers in the world today. Famous names like Tony Robbins, Steve Jobs, Martin Luther King and Oprah likely all come to mind — and the reason for this is that they are all great storytellers.

Now, think about some of the best brands and influencers you might be following on Instagram. They are likely great at creating content that tells a story as well.

With more than 500 million active users on Instagram, it’s now more important than ever to create content that grabs the attention of your audience.

The problem is, not everybody knows how to market their product on social media. Have you been listening to what’s going on out there? I mean, is it just me or is it getting crazier out there (Yes, I watched Joker, and I loved it!)

There are so many “best practices” to keep up with that you don’t even know if what you’re doing is right.

StoryBoost: Story Editor

StoryBoost is a mobile application that makes the process of creating content for Instagram easier, and more effective than ever before — and best of all, in just a few minutes time.

After downloading the app, users will have access to more than 1000+ templates to choose from, while also being able to add in unique animations, stickers and filters, animated text and more.

Within a few moments time you will start to see how easy it is to create new and engaging content for your Instagram feed, while also using the tools and features offered through StoryBoost to make your content stand out.

Best of all, you will be able to tell your story and build a brand that you’re proud of — while also impressing your fans, followers, and customers!

It’s also important to note that StoryBoost is part of the suite of apps called ‘BoostApps‘ — which is also accessible through the App Store. The other two applications that make up the complete bundle are VideoBoost and PosterBoost, which are both focusing on providing users and brands with the best tools and features to create video and image content that stands out from the crowd.

The BoostApps suite has set out on a mission to make their users’ lives a lot easier, by implementing into their app all of today’s best practices in digital marketing. That way, their users can rest assured that the content they create is aligned with the latest trends in social media marketing.

So without further ado, let’s dive in.

How StoryBoost Works

As powerful and effective as StoryBoost is, the process to create amazing and engaging content through the app is quite simple.

It can literally be broken down in the following four steps:

Pick the Perfect Template

First thing first, you will need to choose a template from the 1,000+ designs that are pre-built into the application. Go for one that best represents your brand, or choose a stylish one that best exemplifies whatever it is you might be trying to sell or promote.

Add Photos, Videos, Text and Stickers

Now it’s time to add some original content into the mix. Tap the + icons inside the template placements to add in your own photos or videos.

Add some stickers or GIFs. 

You can also add unique and call to action headlines in this step as well.

Add Filters to Your Photos

If there’s anything we know about Instagram, it’s that we can’t live without filters! Once you add your photos to the Story templates, tap the photo and click the edit icon and choose your preferred filter.

Add Animations and Transitions

Make your latest engagement and photos pop with the addition of unique and fun animations that will act as transitions between your Stories! Tap the icon that connects the steps of your Story and just pick one of the transitions in the animation library!

This is one of StoryBoost’s most appealing features, as it helps your followers experience your brand as a professional content creator, which channels authority and strengthens your brand.

Share with Your Audience

The last step of the process is to take a moment and be amazed with the awesome new content you’ve created through the mobile application. Oh yea… you also now get to share it with your Instagram audience as well, and get to see how much they love it!

Tap the upload/share icon on the top right corner of the screen to share your post or simply save the story in your video library.

Now… let’s put all of this in motion.

As much fun as it is to read about how to accomplish something in a step by step format, visuals work so much better. Check out the short video below to see how these four simple steps bring your brand, content, and story to life!

Once your content has been posted to your social profile, be sure to keep an eye on what type of templates and animations get the most engagement. Not only is this great for split testing and tracking user preference, it’s also great for future planning as well. Analyze which posts are getting the most likes, shares, and comments and then use this data to influence new ideas on what type of content to create for your audience in the coming weeks months.

Bring Your Content and Story to Life with StoryBoost

Now that you’ve seen what’s possible through the use of StoryBoost, it’s time to see what type of content you can create for your own site, brand, or online business.

To get started, all you need to do is head over to the iOS mobile app store, or search for “StoryBoost” on your mobile device or tablet.

With over a hundred reviews, thousands of downloads and a Product Hunt badge, the application is already listed amongst the top apps in the Photo & Video category, and currently has a 4.2 star rating out of 5 along with the app store’s “Editors’ Choice” award.

Pricing

StoryBoost is free to download and has in-app purchases for even more features to improve how your content looks and feels when posted to the Instagram platform.

You can subscribe to StoryBoost Premium, which offers unlimited access to all templates and page-to-page animations. Three payment options are available, which are monthly, annually, and lifetime.

Be sure to try the StoryBoost app out for free to see what features you like best, then decide on an access plan that works best for you and your brand.

Download the StoryBoost app today, and see what type of creative content you can start creating for your social audience.

How to Speed Up Your Social Media Growth with BRSM

Whether it’s a small local shop or a big corporation, every business needs to use social media for fast growth and lead generation. Social media is not just cost- effective but it’s also a perfect launch-pad for businesses to create awareness about their brands, popularize their products and boost their sales.

If you are a small business with a limited marketing budget, using social media can offer a good return on investment. Platforms like Facebook, Youtube and Instagram have turned into hangouts for customers you’re trying to connect with and engage.

Here are some key social media statistics you should know:

  • 59% of people access social media on a daily basis.
  • People aged 18-34 are most likely to follow a brand via social networking.
  • 63% of customers expect to receive customer service via social media.
  • On average, one internet user has 7-8 social media accounts.

There are many more statistics like these, all pointing to one fact: Having a business presence on social media is a must. 

And according to PewInternet, all social media platforms are NOT created equally. Throught the chart below you will see how Facebook and YouTube have some massive growth and usage amongst adults, but the other small platforms also have some nice reach of their own as well.

Picking those social media channels where your customers are and then connecting with them in an engaging way can make it easy for you to grow your business and boost your leads and sales. Thankfully, there are many services that you can use to quickly expand your social media reach over a short period of time.

One such service is BRSM.IO, which is focused on the art of delivering new followers, likes, shares, and subscribers to your social profiles. Their platform can also be used as a source of reference for where you can get all the expert marketing help you need to materialize your social media efforts rapidly.

BRSM – Your Ticket to Social Media Marketing Success

BRSM is headed by a group of savvy social media marketing professionals. Whether you are planning to build your company’s presence on Facebook, Instagram or Youtube, this service can offer remarkable results.

Over the last five years, social media has seen a tremendous growth. Likewise, the number of businesses using various social media platforms has also gone up quite rapidly. Today, 70% – 80% of small businesses use social media, which, in turn, has created a good amount of competition. Moreover, many social media platforms have made drastic changes to their algorithm which determines how content will be ranked and presented in people’s newsfeeds. All of this together have made it difficult for entrepreneurs and startups to achieve faster growth and reach for their products on social media. And that’s exactly where BRSM comes into play. BRSM is an ideal online service which offers innovative and unique social boosting solutions for multiple popular social media platforms.

You’ve definitely heard about word of mouth advertising. Think of social media as ‘word of mouth on steroids’. However, your success on any social media platform depends on how active and engaged your account is, which is only possible when you have a good number of followers and fans. It’s easy to attract more customers to your account when you already have an engaged account. When people see that others have followed and engaged with your brand, they too will do the same. Using BRSM, you can grow your social media accounts quite faster and get thousands of real people to like and follow your page over a short period of time — such as getting more brand mentions on Instagram.

BRSM has worked with a variety of small and big businesses and helped them gain an online presence. While the agency offers real results from real marketing, they also keep each of their clients up to date with all the key developments in the field of social media marketing. If there are changes in a social media platform’s algorithm or its policies, you’ll be the first to know it.

Choosing the Right Social Media Platforms

Once you are ready to leverage the potential of social media marketing, your next challenge is to pick the most suitable platforms for your business. The social media scene has changed a lot.

Today, simply starting a Facebook page and setting up a Twitter profile aren’t enough. Apart from these, you have Instagram which is a social media phenomenon in itself. If you are planning to create video content, Youtube is where you need to be.

But you can’t focus on too many platforms at a time. You need to be practical and targeted in your approach. You need to devote time to only those social platforms where your customers hang out in large numbers.

To be able to find out which social networks are the best for your business, you should clearly understand who your ideal customer is. At the same time, you need to think about the goals you want to fulfill. Based on these, you can identify which social media platforms can give you the best return.

Each social media platform is different in how it needs approaching. Facebook, for example, is the biggest social network at present and it’s the most suited for building a thriving community of followers. Facebook is also a good fit for all those businesses that want to promote local events. Being a video-sharing platform, Youtube is a platform where how-to tutorials resonate the best. If you have a visual brand and want to build connections on a personal level, Instagram is the way to go. If you have a knack for creativity, you can develop a deeper bond with your customers on Instagram and turn your account into an engagement goldmine.

How BRSM Works and Brings You New Social Followers

The process of growing your social media account using BRSM.IO is a fast and smooth one. Whether you plan to gain a significant following on Facebook, Instagram, Youtube or SoundCloud, BRSM makes it easy for everyone. Their website features a number of packages that you can choose from as per your specific budget and needs. Find the packages that suit your business best and then enter the URL and other details so that the order can be processed.

Next, you’ll be assigned an account manager who will keep you up-to-date with the progress of your project. Experts at BRSM will develop a well-structured campaign and plan out every step in detail. The campaign optimization can take up to 48 hours. But as soon as everything has been set up, you’ll receive an email that you campaign is ready for implementation.

Social media experts will constantly work on your orders and the orders will be delivered as per the deadline in your service packages. 

The social marketing service by BRSM comes with a 100% money back guarantee. The list of clients who have chosen BRSM to boost their social media marketing is quite long and includes thousands of actors, models, public figures, musicians, entrepreneurs, small business owners along with various corporations. Due to their high quality service and outstanding results, BRSM has been proudly featured in the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Entrepreneur, Mashable etc.

Go Ahead – and Get Social!

When it comes to social media engagement and branding, the more reach you have, the more engagement and ROI you are doing to see, right? Well… as long as those followers and subscribers are real and have an actual interest in what you have to offer, that should be the case.

If you are going to use any of the latest technology, tools, and solutions to help with your outreach, growth and content automation, be sure to choose one that leverages latest technology, uses proven organic marketing tactics and offers multiple geo-targeting options to help you quickly gain thousands of authentic followers, subscribers and viewers.

Be sure to implement all of the recommended tips, solutions, and methods laid out in this branding and outreach resource to grow your social media marketing efforts and ROI today.

5 Small Businesses Applications to Improve Workflow and ROI

Are you interested in using software to improve your business workflow?

You’re in luck. There are plenty of options out there. And not matter what it is you are trying to improve, automate or scale, there is likely an affordable solution out there for your business needs.

In fact, the budget for SaaS products to help small businesses is more significant than ever. The average small business spends an average of $21,000 a year on products — which is quite lucrative for the many different applications and solutions out there, when looking at the industry as a whole.

And on the flip side, when you factor in how much time, resources, and saved-costs are associated through the use of these applications, the demand is even higher, with billions of dollars pouring into the industry year after year.

But with all your options, it’s hard to know what products are worth trying. Keep reading to learn about five applications for small businesses that are worth investing in.

1. Zoom

Do you still require your team to be in the office whenever you have a meeting? If you have people who work remotely, they probably aren’t happy about needing to come into the office for a meeting. Zoom can help these people.

With Zoom, you can have your meetings online. You’ll be able to share audio and video so nobody will be left out of the process.

2. Wave

Are you looking for an app to help you manage your company finances? As a small business, you probably don’t have a big budget for the more expensive options out there. That’s where Wave comes into play.

Wave is a free application that does the same thing as the other paid options. You’ll be able to connect to your bank account to get an overview of all your business finances. You’ll also be able to use your Wave account to invoice your customers and have your money deposited directly to your bank.

3. Slack

Email is a great way to handle communication. But it does have drawbacks. It can be challenging to navigate through email chains when you’re trying to find information about specific projects.

If you want to make communication easier, opening a Slack channel for your business can help. Slack is a messaging platform that allows you to create chat channels for your business. Create a separate channel for each one of your projects, and you’ll have all your communication centralized in one place.

4. Asana

Do you still manage projects in the old fashioned way? It can be hard to keep things organized and every one up to date when you do this.

Asana will give you a central location to manage all your projects. It allows you to create tasks and goals and assign dates to all the critical elements of your projects. Nobody will need to jump through hoops to figure out what’s going on or what they need to do anymore.

5. Zapier

Having applications to help your business is nice, but it can be troublesome to organize everything between them all. If you’re looking for a way to automate this process, Zapier can help.

Zapier is a product that allows you to perform automated tasks whenever an action happens. Set up an automation once, and you’ll save time in the long run.

There are Zapier alternatives out there, so find an automation platform that will work best for your business.

There Are More Applications for Small Businesses out There

The above applications for small businesses are only the start. There are many more products out there, and new ones are coming out all the time. With this in mind, make sure you do your research so you can find more software that will help you run your business.

It’s also important to spend some time on the top application and business services review sites, as this is where you will learn the most about different applications out there, and what end-users really have to say about each.

Are you interested in more technology that can help you keep your company running smoothly? Be sure to check out our Google Gmail alternative article for more useful applications and resources.

WordPress vs. Duda: Which platform offers more value to design agencies?

If you’re just setting up your web design agency, you have to make the difficult choice about which platform to work on. It’s relatively easy to switch platforms at the beginning, but once you’ve set up all your workflows and permissions and invested time creating custom templates and themes, moving to a different platform isn’t so simple.

There are a lot of features to consider when you’re picking a web design platform, including collaboration and multi-site management tools, the range of themes available, and SEO power. You might also want bonus features like white-label options and built-in site performance optimization.

You can’t ignore WordPress, as it’s one of the biggest names in web platforms. It’s the CMS of choice for 33.9% of all the world’s websites, including big names like New York Post, TED and Airstream.

But Duda gives WordPress a run for its money. It’s an all-in-one web hosting, collaboration, development and design platform that was built especially to address the needs of web design teams, and it was chosen as PCMag’s Editors’ Choice website builder of 2019.

To help make your decision easier, we put WordPress and Duda through a head-to-head comparison, to discover which offers more value for web design agencies.

1. Intuitive user interface

Both WordPress and Duda score highly. The two platforms offer an intuitive editing dashboard that’s easy to use without compromising on powerful content creation and web design capabilities.

Image source: https://www.codeinwp.com/blog/gutenberg-replace-page-builders/

While Duda might have had the edge before WordPress rolled out its Gutenberg editor last year, WordPress now offers native drag-and-drop page building, so usability-wise, I’d say the two are pretty comparable.

2. Collaboration tools

When you’re running a web design agency, you need more than one person to be able to work on the same website at the same time.

With WordPress, this is tricky. WordPress does have five different levels of user permissions, but the access rules can’t be adjusted according to your agency’s needs. Since only Administrators can change code and install or delete plugins, you’d need to make everyone an Administrator to permit them to change the layout, or themes of the website, which defeats the whole point of user permissions.

With Duda, you can fine-tune user permissions so that colleagues can work side by side on the same section without treading on each other’s toes. You can even give client-side team members access to certain content editing rights and not others, for example.

Duda also offers easy “website comments” messaging threads pinned to specific design elements so that you don’t lose track of your discussions or forget assigned tasks. This makes it easy to discuss what color a CTA button should be, or get a client’s opinion about the font for banner text, without having to conduct the conversation on a separate channel.

3. SEO optimization

No matter what type of site you’re building, you need to include full SEO optimization. As a CMS, WordPress shines when it comes to SEO. There are numerous plugins that do a great job of simplifying many aspects of SEO for WordPress sites, including meta data, site maps and server caching.

And even without plugins, WordPress was built with SEO in mind, and it’s also easy enough to the platform’s native “permalinks” settings to create optimized URLs.

But for the most part, WordPress is a bit of an SEO blank canvas. If you choose a poorly coded theme or a slow hosting service for it, for example, then you could be harming your own efforts.

Duda takes SEO to a new level, with several impressive technical onsite optimization capabilities built in to help you and your clients rank high in the organic search results. Mobile-friendliness and site speed are paramount to Duda, both of which are key factors in Google’s ranking algorithms.

Here are some of the game-changing SEO solutions that come baked in to every Duda-powered website:

  • Hosting built on top of Amazon’s best-in-class AWS platform
  • Image size and file type optimization
  • SSL certificates enabling HTTPS connections
  • Lazy loading of style sheets and images
  • CDN for large media files

It’s true that all of these capabilities can be unlocked on WordPress as well. But that requires a lot of configuration and sourcing from expensive multiple third-party vendors. With Duda, it all comes built in.

4. Range of themes

WordPress is justly famous for offering thousands of different themes and templates, making it easy to find an appropriate theme for every client.

The Envato Elements marketplace alone, just one digital goods site for buying and selling design files, lists nearly 1000 WordPress themes.

That said, because it’s an open-source platform, not every WordPress theme reaches the same high standards. Some of them aren’t compatible with certain plugins, or have serious security vulnerabilities, and many look very similar to each other.

Duda offers serious competition in the form of three whole libraries of content templates, themes, widgets, and other design elements that help speed up the web design process.

What’s more, you can create your own custom templates and save them in the Duda library, so that other designers on your team can quickly pull them out and apply them to a new site.

You can even aggregate old content to your new themes without entering the drag-and-drop editor, since Duda’s “connected data” capabilities make headless, API-driven website creation simple and scalable.

5. Content collection tools

Duda outstrips WordPress by a long way here. WordPress doesn’t offer any tools to streamline and speed up the often time-consuming process of content collection, but Duda has plenty.

Duda automates the task of scraping data from your client’s existing digital presences, and also provides an automated “Collect from Client” form to request the data and assets you need to complete your work, importing them directly into your account’s libraries.

What’s more, thanks to Duda’s specialized user permissions, you can safely invite your client to add content directly to the site, without risking them accessing and potentially altering sensitive areas of code or design.

6. Multi-site management capabilities

Even if your web design agency starts off small, you’ll quickly find yourself designing and maintaining dozens of client sites. WordPress offers WordPress Multisite to help you manage them all. It permits you to install and manage themes and plugins, grant permissions, and accept software updates across multiple WordPress sites.

The drawback is that it only works on a very high level. It’s basically made for brands that manage multiple publications as part of a network – not for agencies that manage multiple properties on behalf of unrelated businesses.

With WordPress Multisite (WPMS), you have to implement changes to all sites at once; you can’t change one site at a time. It also doesn’t enable content creation through the multi-site dashboard. To input or alter content, you’ll have to log in to each site separately, then log out and log in to the next site, and so forth.

In contrast, Duda has a true multi-site management dashboard that allows you to make changes to the content, design, or code of each site individually from within the dashboard.

It saves you time logging in and out of multiple sites, and improves your project management and ability to keep track of changes across numerous sites.

7. White label option

When you use WordPress to build a client site, what you get is a site built on the WordPress brand. There’s no white label option, unless you want to invest in having a coder replace all traces of WordPress branding from the backend.

But even that strategy could be a major mistake, since you’d have to repeat the process every time there’s a new version of the WordPress source code released, or you’d risk getting your clients’ sites hacked.

Duda, on the other hand, offers a white label version for you to use with your own agency branding, as well as an open API. This helps you look more professional and assists you in associating your agency with a sense of value in your clients’ minds.

You can also use the API to create fully self-service website building platforms for your clients to use on their own. This is exactly what top hosting platforms like Checkdomain and 1&1 Ionos have done.

The verdict: Duda wins for web design agencies

WordPress has many positive features that make it an ideal platform for individuals setting up a business, blog, or eCommerce site – including an outstanding user interface, massive libraries of plugins and templates, and top SEO tools. However, the accessibility and simplicity that make it well suited for individuals make it a runner-up for web design agencies.

Duda offers a unified, all-in-one solution with stand-out functionalities like content collection automation, in-platform communication, and user permissions that you can fine-tune according to your agency’s needs. When you add cutting-edge capabilities like a multi-site management dashboard and white-label versions, it makes it every web design agency’s first choice.