Online Directories

Lot of small businesses these days are using online directories to their profit. If you run a small business then odds are you spend a great deal of your time thinking about your marketing plan. Online directories can help your small business expand its website traffic, increase the likelihood that your website will be found by interested viewers and increase your bottom line. If you haven’t taken a look at directories and considered how your small business could use them to increase its market presence- then now is the time to start!

What Are Online Directories?

There are many different types of online directories available on the Internet. Each of those online directories serves a particular purpose and may be utilized by your small business in specific ways. These directories can be accessed from just about anywhere that has an internet connection. This means that people could find your business’s website from their home, office or even while traveling.

How Do Online Directories Work?

The idea of directories is actually a pretty simple one. (Actually Yellow Pages.com is an online Business directory) A directory is just a listing place for a number of businesses. Any type of business you can think of could be listed in an online directory.

How Do Online Directories Benefit Small Businesses?

Exposure is important for all business marketing strategies. After all, the more people who are exposed to your business the more people are likely to utilize your business’s services. If online viewers aren’t able to see your business or even know that it exists, then they probably aren’t going to purchase your products or services. Listing your business in directories helps your website to gain exposure. Thousands of people use online directories everyday to search out things they’re interested in.

Cheap Advertising

As a small business owner you already understand the importance of advertising. You know that it helps customers to find your business and recognize your name and brand. You probably have little room in your budget for more advertising right this moment. Some online directories can permit you to list your business without charge, whereas others can charge a lowest fee. Either way, you are getting a lot of exposure for less money than you would spend on a TV or radio advertisement.

Professional Appearance

You want everything about your business to appear skilled within the eyes of your customers. A professional appearance enhances your status and makes customers more likely to patronize your business. When an online consumer sees your business listing in an online directory they will consider your business to be an authority on the subject and a professional place to do business. Unlike a search that is performed on a major search engine like Google, where there is little difference between the legitimate websites relating to a topic and the less than useful websites, directories are mostly legitimate websites.

Getting Your Online Business Started

Any business starts with an idea. Turning the idea into a profitable business takes time and dedication. It doesn’t happen overnight. There are a few fairly easy ways to turn your business into a profitable website.

Online businesses are part of the internet. The internet is full of people searching for things from all over the world. This is one reason to have a website. You will be able to reach many more people than a local business. In order to get your website started you need to have a domain name. This is the name of your business online. You can search through places like GoDaddy to find available website or domain names. Usually a domain name will cost about 7.99 and up for a year. You will need to pay this cost each year to keep your website or business name online. You want to be sure that your domain name fits with the type of business you have online. If you sell clothes you don’t want to use a domain name that goes with selling pet food. You also have to make sure this is a unique name that is only used by your business.

So you’ve got your domain name, but that’s not all. You have to choose a web host provider. In order for your website to function right you need a good company to host your website on their server. Some good web host providers include BlueHost, Startlogic and Resellers Web host. Make sure it is a reliable company with good reviews. You don’t want to have your website with error messages or saying this website is under construction. If you can’t see your website chances are other people can’t. If you wish to avoid this choice you may wish to use a company like Wix which will do these things for you for a monthly fee.

Now you need to list your business and product information. Even if your business is an Ecommerce website it is still important to have good content. In other words, describe your products well. Also make sure you have good pictures of your products. A picture says a thousand words. Even if you go through a company like Wix you are responsible for managing the pictures, products and information on your website. If your website is more of a blog or information website you may wish to go through WordPress which is free for blog type websites.

In order to be a profitable business you need to make money. You may need to use money to advertise but make sure you are reaching a targeted audience. You want people to come to your website who are looking to buy from you. There are several ways to advertise your website for free. Social media like Twitter and LinkedIn are great ways to do this.

In order to get the right people to your website, be sure to do some good SEO or Search Engine Optimization. WordPress Ecommerce is a great program to use in order to make this step easier. There is a learning curb but if you check forums and do some research you will learn how to do this step yourself. You may wish to hire a programmer if it is too complicated. Be sure to use good keywords and keyword phrases. If you are selling perfume, you don’t want to use keywords like pets, food or words that have nothing to do with your products.

These steps may seem a bit overwhelming, but study each one at your own pace. Stay focused and keep doing what you know to do. It takes time to get your website to be a productive online business but it is very possible. Keep learning and stay encouraged.

Have You Thought About Joining The Side Gig Economy?

If you have a skill or passion that’s not being used to its full potential, it may be time to consider using this to supplement your salary with a side gig.

What is a Side Gig?

A side-gig or side-hustle is something you do in addition to your regular job. It’s a way of creating another stream of income, eventually taking this full time (if you wish to).

It’s not a fancy way of labelling a 2nd job, side gigging is totally different. Back in the days people were moonlighting to make ends meet, side gigging is creating something for yourself and growing this into a business with an end goal of more income and more time. It’s taking something like a hobby or interest and finding a way of making an income from it. With e-commerce sites today such as Etsy, eBay, and Fiverr it can be really simple to start up with very little capital (my start up costs were £0!)

How to find your gig?

What are you good at? What do you enjoy? This could be something that you may have never thought of before but it can be something simple. If you are fluent in another language, you can teach it, my partner has a side gig as an interpreter. If you love making or customising your own clothes, sell them online – there could be a market out there for you. It can start from just helping somebody out, such as walking a friend’s dog. There are lots of start up companies right now where you get paid to pet sit or house sit.

There was just an article I read today, a 15 year old pupil has built a £50,000 tuck shop business! It started with him selling sweets and drinks to his fellow pupils from the boy’s toilet in his school, and now has expanded to other schools in his area. You can even start with something linked to what you currently do. If you’re a PA and good with correcting grammar and writing, there are people out there who will pay for your skills. I know someone who makes a good extra income by editing blogs and online posts in English for Chinese writers.

“Look around and you’ll see side-hustlers everywhere turning their knowledge and abilities into profitable businesses.”

Alexis Grant – writer

Do the research

Look into what similar gigs are offering and which platform you then want to start using to get your gig out there. Etsy is good for Arts and Crafts and personalised items. Fiverr and Elance if you’re offering a service. Speak to people, whether that be people you know who are doing it or people online. There are plenty of places to look, a simple Google search will list the information you need. You just need a willingness to do it. When I started out, I wasn’t certain what I wanted to do, just that I wanted to start doing something that I enjoyed and had the potential to go full time. I experimented with a few things and that’s what has got me to where I am now.

It’s not a job

There are no set times like a 9-5, therefore you have to be disciplined. You have to set time aside to work on your side gig if you want to make it successful. However if you enjoy what you’re doing, it should be something you look forward to spending time on. I don’t see my side gig as work, I enjoy the time I spend on it. I see it as a creative outflow of energy.

The side gig is becoming ever more popular and appealing. Millennials in particular are embracing more flexible ways of working. It’s a natural evolution of the workforce in a changing economy, and with the power of social media, you can take your business global. The technology is now available with apps such as Evernote (your faithful organisation tool) makes it so much easier today to do business. Unlike a job, you work at your own pace, there are many others working a similar side gig to myself and are now earning a full time income and more with it. They have chosen to put in the time to get them to where they are, I am working at a pace that fits in with my lifestyle. The beauty is you choose.

Enjoy it!

Some like a balance between their side gig and their day job and enjoy the variety. Others intend to go full time with their gig. The point is choice and flexibility. We no longer live in a time where you work for one company all your life, and in return you are offered job security and a guarantee the company will look after you when you retire. The government have already stated there is not enough in the pension pot for the huge number of baby boomers about to hit retirement age. Would you rather just wait and see what happens, hoping things will be OK or would you rather know you will be OK. Side gigging is the step in the right direction. It helps you become in control of your finances and your time. Have a gig, start hustling!

Happiness is the ultimate goal in being successful. Life is precious, strive to create and live the life you choose.

E-Trans and DEEP E-Bidding Portals for Electronic Biddings and E-Reverse Auction

Beginning from scratch in the post-independence period, the power sector of India has indeed evolved to be one of the most diversified energy sectors of the world. Its compliance with the gradual advancement in technologies and adopting effective and advantageous measures has brought it to this stature.

In a recent development, the Power Sector of India under the dynamic leadership of Shri. Piyush Goyal, Union Minister of State for Power, Coal, and Non- Renewable Energy, gave a nod for the execution of the tariff based reverse auction process for the transmission sector on August 17th, 2016. He simultaneously launched several online portals for electronic bidding of transmission projects.

The online internet portals named e-trans and DEEP (Discovery of Efficient Energy Price) have been developed by the Rural Electrification Corporation Transmission Projects Company Limited (RECTPCL), a subsidiary of REC Ltd. Their launch confirms the transition of the manual auction process to an electronic mode for determining lowest bids on projects and also aims at enhancing transparency, fair play, and uniformity in the power transmission sector, by initiating a nationwide procurement process.

The move also welcomes bids from the private and public sector companies to engage in inter-state power transmissions projects. The DEEP e-Bidding portal allows a time period of 1-5 years for purchasing power. Earlier this time period extended only from one day to one year. However, this time the facility has been prolonged for long-term power purchase beyond five years. The primary reason as to why the time period stands extended from 1-5 years is because the complete bidding process and cost of procuring power is expected to be cut down substantially, which may significantly benefit the end consumer.

To facilitate the process, and make the tariff based reverse auction a successful endeavor, a mobile application technology was developed in the name of “TARANG”. It will be based on the lines of coal sector for enabling better price discovery for the new projects.

The App Tarang (Transmission App for Real-Time Monitoring and Growth), is a powerful weapon that assists in the tracking of upcoming new transmission projects and efficiently monitors the progress and growth of Intra and Inter States Transmission Systems spread across the nation. It is pioneered through a regulated and defined tariff mechanism as well as a Tariff Based Competitive Bidding Route. The app also provides information on transmission projects that are delayed/ not completed on time and also highlights the factors that are causing a hindrance in their completion.

Thus, on the whole, the process is a much sorted one, which aims at ensuring free flow in the system through the tools of accountability and transparency. Moulded in a very pragmatic and analytical approach, it focuses towards cutting down power costs significantly and boosting the confidence of investors and believes that the move will definitely yield a positive long term impact on the sector.

Origin of the Internet and How It Works

The Internet originated in the late 1960s when the United States developed ARPAnet – Advanced Research Projects Agency network – a system of computers able to survive, even if partially, after a bomb attack.

That system was made by a lot of computers connected together, like a web.

That web was divided in LAN – Local Area Networks.

Those computers were able to communicate with each other even is some of them were out of service. From that time the Internet is by now world wide, or WWW – World Wide Web

The protocol that rules all these computers is TCP/IP:

TCP = Transmission Control Protocol

IP = Internet Protocol

The wonderful characteristic of this protocol is the way it deals with the information sent and received. The normal phone transmission works in this way:

From point A directly to point B, using cable or radio connection. So if something wrong happens to the radio transmitter or to the cable, the communication is impossible.

With the TCP/IP protocol, on the contrary, the connection from A to B is not direct.

The information (file) that we want to send is divided in several parts, packets, and each packet has a bit of the whole information.

Each packet has a header and a footer, where are store all the indication for delivery what is being sent (Address, sender, number of the packet).

These packets follow different paths of the net, passing through different computers, so even if some of them are not working, the file uses the ones which are working properly. The computers may be all over the world. After this trip the file is rebuilt in the right way.

For instance, if we send a file to a computer that is in a house close to our office, may be that before arriving to destination, it goes to Europe and back.

To try to understand just a bit this system, we can do this very simple example:

We want to send a letter to someone. Instead of sending just one sheet of paper, we could send 6 sheets. Each one contains 1/6 of the whole letter.

On the 6 envelopes we write the sender, the address of the receiving person and the number of the letter (Letter n. 1, letter n.2, and so on).

Then we can send all this letters, from several Post Office or from just one.

The person who gets all these letters, has to follows the number on each letters (1,2, 3…) to be able to read the whole message.

This is good also for safety: if someone gets some letters, he has only part of the message not the whole message.

When a Good Review Can Hurt Your Business

Every business owner knows that the key to staying open is positive reviews by word of mouth. With the advent of the Internet, that word of mouth has gone online, and now the vast majority of customers check online reviews before making a purchasing decision. You’d think that getting a good review would be a good thing in all cases. And you would be wrong.

An online review only works for a business if it’s legitimate and earned through an honest assessment of the product sold, customer service involved, price and other important considerations that go into making a purchasing decision. Unfortunately, there has been an uncomfortable rise in the number of instances when an online review is placed by an unscrupulous owner in hopes of gaining more positive attention and more sales for their business. It’s a bit like playing Russian roulette because consumers have become more sophisticated in spotting imposter reviews, and government regulators have become more aggressive in weeding out phony posts.

Here are several reasons why a good review can backfire if it’s placed as part of a fake review strategy:

Fake reviews destroy trust. If your business is outed for using imposter reviews and you’re caught doing it, there’s no way that it will translate into anything good for your customer base. Trust is a key element in a highly competitive online environment, and when you’ve lost that trust, chances are you’ve lost that customer forever.

Fake reviews can kill your bottom line. Not only are scam reviews a bad idea, if a business is caught there’s a good chance they may be looking at fines and penalties. Larger businesses have been fined millions of dollars for posting false reviews and false online advertising. Smaller online businesses may not be able to weather the financial penalties they could incur if they are caught in a fake review scheme.

Fake reviews generally sound too good to be true. Faced with a barrage of online information, consumers have become savvier than ever. Many are becoming experts at spotting reviews that sound contrived or too good to be true. Even if you manage to draw customers based on glowing scam reviews, customers will know they’ve been had when they see the reality of your business. And when that happens, they will skew your business with a fresh set of negative online reviews that will do all kinds of damage to your credibility and your bottom line.

Fake reviews kill your local search performance. If your reviews are tagged as false, your local search performance will suffer and your online visibility will drop like a stone. You’ll lose valuable opportunities to connect with new customers and be unable to deliver an experience that matches their expectations.

How To Build Your Knowledge In Digital Marketing With Online Courses, Easy Steps To Follow

Finally I found a way to convert my knowledge in traditional marketing into digital marketing skills.

You will be surprised if you know how easy and fun it is.

I want to take you through my personal experience, it won’t be long, don’t worry.

I came from Italy two years ago, after I finished my degree course in marketing.

I wanted to find more job opportunities in England, because I think here every business is marketing orientated and as you can’t do marketing without knowing English.

I though that with my degree I could find some profession in marketing.

Although I have done many job interviews with different companies and agencies I didn’t find the right role for me.

I realize that, the skills that the companies wants now are different from the skills that I have learnt during my degree course, for the reason that all the companies are digital orientated.

I decided then to find a way to learn how to get into digital.

I am going to share with you how to switch your knowledge from traditional into digital, all the information I give you come from my personal experience, so are already tested.

So let me give you a quick guide on how to covert your traditional marketing education into digital.

When we are done you will know exactly how to start looking for a real improvement in your career. Ready? Let’s start.

Step 1

Search on Google for a course that allows you to learn both theoretical and practical knowledge.

With a Google search with the right keywords you will find a lot of courses, for example you could search for ‘digital marketing course plus internship’, or ‘digital marketing course for graduates’.

When you think you found the course that fits for you, read some reviews to make sure you are doing the right choice, you can call their costumer service to let them explain how the course is structured.

When you find the course that satisfy your needs you can start to convert your traditional skills into digital skills.

Based on my persona experience, I found the ‘ Osborne training’ digital marketing course, it was exactly what I was looking for, a course organised in two sections, the live class section and a period of internship with a digital marketing agency.

Step 2

When you start the course you will understand the difference between digital marketing and traditional marketing, exploring the basis of digital marketing and the main tools to become a digital marketer.

According to my experience after the course enrolment I started the online live classes with a private tutor who guided me from the marketing basis to the search engine marketing, digital marketing tools to advertise a company and the marketing strategy to build a business.

I have learnt how to use tools such as Google AdWords, Google AdSense, Facebook Ads and how to create and send marketing e-mails.

With the knowledge of this tools you can now boldly get into the digital marketing world, the more you practice and the more you better understand how to deal with the different scenarios you would face.

Step 3

You’re almost done!

Now that you finally have understanding in how to use the main digital marketing tools, you are ready to use them.

How to start though?

Normally to use this tools you should have a business, a web site or a Facebook page that you want advertise.

The easiest way to start, if you don’t have a business to promote, is to create a Facebook page and try to build awareness of it.

Facebook offers a platform, called ‘Facebook advert manager’, to advertise your own page, business or website, it’s easy and fun to practice.

If you choose a digital marketing course which allows you to do an internship or a work experience, you could practice and be guided into the responsibilities.

Going back to my personal experience, after the theoretical part I have done the Internship programme, which consist in a period of 3 months work experience made up of doing the task that a digital marketer would deal on a daily basis routine.

Duties like managing a blog, developing and managing digital marketing campaigns to raise brand awareness, tracking conversion rates and making improvements to the website, designing strategies to drive traffic to the company website, utilising techniques including paid search, SEO and PPC.

After completing all this tasks I got the skills to start looking to find a job as digital marketer!

That is the path I followed to convert my knowledge in traditional marketing into digital skills.

Are you ready to start the conversion? Don’t waste anymore time, find the course that fits for you and begin to learn something useful to your career.

Tips To Start A Social Media Influencer

Becoming an Influencer sounds pleasant. Publishing on social media is one of those great ways to share your expertise, developing your influencer status, and at the same time, earning huge sums of money.

We all know that influencer marketing is sizzling right now when it comes to business, becoming an influencer is even more sizzling. Becoming an influencer is like riding a cool and luxurious car on a bumpy road, you cannot just start “influencing” without successfully passing through challenges you are about to encounter. Influencers were armed with their own loyal followers, creativity and great insights on which audience they should target, these are also few advantages the brands could benefit from hiring an influencer.

Truth be told. The authenticity and honesty of an influencer are the reasons that make them effective. These behaviors and attitude could provide them with the ability to convert their audience into customers, and customers at the same time, audience. Influencers to connect with their audience that is why brands choose influencers as part of their marketing because brands are substantial and far apart to create a connection with customers like what the influencers can.

Influencer Marketing is already on its way to the top of all marketing strategies. Customers rely on feedbacks and recommendations from someone they trust that is why “word-of-mouth” method is now one of the most effective advertising methods and the Influencers’ impact on marketing campaigns is continuously increasing. So how do you become an effective influencer? Here are some tips and guidelines to start:

What is your Niche?

This should be something you are really interested in, figure out what do you want to talk about, which type of brands you wanted to attract. Make sure you are able to tell people something extraordinary and unique. If you spread your fishing net too wide, it is difficult to gain knowledge to be considered as an expert. Focus on your passion, you should choose a niche that you feel you can value in. Once you have chosen your passion and positioned yourself in a certain area, it will be easier for you to get found by the brands. Passion is not something you could act or fake, it is what you really wanted to do, so think deep and brainstorm to find your niche so you would not just be successful, but also authentic.

Social Media Channels

Start picking which social media channels you will cover, think of which type of content you are able to create and publish. If you are good in writing or various types of media, Facebook might be the best place. If you are a person who loves photography, Instagram is the chosen one and if you are a person who loves taking videos of some epic and extraordinary scenes, or you wanted to promote something for the community awareness, or you want to take videos of yourself trying and reviewing some cool products, YouTube is the perfect fit.

Creating Your Content

This is very much essential. Be confident in creating a content of your passion which offers different perspectives or something interesting. The content you will create is what you will use to build your followers list and bespeak to brands that you have something useful to say regarding their product or a certain topic. You could also magnet brands that are on your list into your content by creating and focusing on some of their products and services. Produce high-quality content and work as often as you can. Create a content strategy, what are your information priorities, it must have a value in order for the people to be eager to follow you. Start publishing your content and do it constantly.

Research and List

Find companies and brands that will be responsive to your content. Take down a list of brands that you can slowly get in touch with, afterward, you will then feel the start of your success because you have just evolved your personal brand to professional. Note that exerting hard work into your pitches matters as you need to convince the brands from their first impression that you could promote and add value to their products.

Promote Yourself

Invite new people to visit your channel and contents, promote yourself by creating a good content and guide your audience to it. Sharing your content everywhere where it is relevant and may sound interesting is quite useful. Provide value as always. Grow and give attention to your work and yourself as the creator of the content.

Engagin, Interacting, and Building connection with your audience is a must for you to be able to show brands that you have a strong connection with your audience and a valuable contribution in your areas of expertise.