Financial Skills – Writing Checks & Paying Bills

I was surprised when I asked parents to tell me the life skills they wish their kids knew, and there was a resounding request for a few topics:

How to open a bank account
How to budget & balance accounts
How to write checks and pay bills
And how to start saving for retirement
It seems some of the things we take for granted are, as a result, missing from what we teach kids.
In the last article, we focused on budgeting & balancing accounts. We even looked at games and contests you could set up for your kids. This article is the third article in the four-part series and will look at how to teach kids to write checks and pay bills.

Paying Bills

I was a bit surprised when several parents recently reported they had teens that were going to pay a bill by sending cash. I guess the obvious isn’t so obvious.

Paying bills is often done online, so it’s important to teach kids how to protect their identity online and store their login information where it can’t be stolen or accessed.

However, there are still quite a few companies that don’t offer online payments, and the only way to pay their bills is via check in the mail.

All kids should know why you NEVER send cash, and how to write a check specifically for paying a bill. For example: putting your account number and any other required details in the memo.

This brings us to the next topic: writing checks.

Writing Checks

When I was 12 years old, I went to outdoor ed. Oddly enough, part of the experience was that we could only write checks to buy goodies there, and our parents put a certain amount in our accounts so that we would also have to budget and balance our register.

Most of the kids were nervous! They weren’t sure how to fill out a check, and it was a great learning experience. I remember being nervous because we were required to fill out the amount in cursive, and I had trouble fitting it into the space.

These days, many kids never even think about writing checks because there are so many other means of transacting much more common; however, I’ve still found myself in need of checks for bills, paying contractors, and even helping me out of a pinch when I’ve forgotten my wallet.

Additionally, in my previous articles, I’ve expressed the dangers of using and relying on a debit card.

So how do you get your kids to learn how to write checks, and why would they care?

Getting Kids Involved

The best and most interactive way to teach kids to work a checkbook is to come up with a reason for them to write checks.

Here’s how it’s done:

Give your kids an old checkbook, play checkbook, or make your own (complete with a register). Then tell them in order to get certain things around the house, they’ll need to write checks. For example, to use their electronic device, there’s a rental fee that requires them to write you a check.

In addition, you can also give them a budget for the month to help them balance and budget their spending. You should balance a separate register so you can compare at the end of the month for accuracy.

Kids absolutely love this game.

Here are a few things you can charge for:

Using electronic devices
Watching TV (by the hour)
Special snacks or treats
Bicycle rental fee
Getting out of a chore (limited usage)
At the end of the month, if your kids keep a positive balance they get a prize. If you have more than one kid, whoever is the most accurate in balancing their register can also get a prize.
A variation is to cut off the privileges if they run out of money. Some think this is harsh, but it does mimic the real world.

Writing checks is simple, and most kids love to learn because they feel more like an adult in the process.

In the next article, we’ll discuss how to start saving for retirement. It could make the difference of over $200,000!

You can find the previous article here.

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Planning For Emergency Financial Situations

Emergency financial situations can happen to anybody and any financial arrangement exercise is not ideal without planning for such occasions. The whole idea of having an emergency fund is to offer a cushion against any unexpected expense.

This will ensure it does not have any negative impact on your financial condition and does not rip off the whole financial security.

There are many circumstances which can cause a financial emergency such as a sudden illness, accident, medical emergencies, emergency house repairs, loss of a job, emergency car repairs and much more.

The major reason for having an emergency fund is very clear because when a person falls into an emergency financial situation, they will have to break their savings or make a compromise to get the needed money.

It’s not rare to find people who just take out their credit card and swipe it for hard cash. Opposing popular opinions, credit cards are the worst way to fund any financial emergency. The fastest way to get thousands of dollars its to get a car title loan it is not a long-term solution but a short-term solution.

In a circumstance where you’ve taken a cash advance with your credit card to get the needed money, the credit card company will charge you a cash advance fee with an interest rate. This is a very costly way to borrow and manage finances for emergency situations.

Therefore, what is the best amount that should be set aside as emergency money? There are diverse opinions on it. Some professional’s experts agree that a minimum of 3-6 months’ worth of monthly income should be set aside for an emergency situation. This amount can differ according to marital status, the size of family and lifestyle.

Everyone must reserve some extra cash in case of emergencies. But, the amount to reserve depends on your income and monthly expenses. The amount that is needed for your emergency fund is open to debate, the minimum amount should be sufficient to cover your expenses for daily living for at least 3 months. It’s also ideal to save for 6 months even though some financial advisers agree on a full year worth of cash.

These funds must be kept aside in an instrument, which is easily available when needed. It could be money in a bank account, hard cash, liquid funds or fixed deposits. This will ensure the fund is always accessible instantly or within a short period when it’s needed.

Where to Keep the Cash

Your situations and what can offer you peace of mind are the factors that can help you determine how cautious you want to be. Keep your emergency fund somewhere that is safe and accessible because you may be required to get the cash in a hurry when an emergency arises. The best option you’ve is to open a money market account or savings account. But, always examine their offer with regards to the interest rate, minimum balance, and other terms.

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The Big ‘Lies’ About Our Economic Prospects

In the spring of 2007 I hosted a conference for a group of insurance professionals. One of the most popular speakers was my old friend the economist Roger Martin-Fagg. He was his usual entertaining self, but took everyone by surprise by suggesting that the world economy was on the brink of a meltdown the like of which we had never seen before, and it was going to happen soon – probably within 12 months. Yes, he predicted the financial crash of 2008 a year before it actually happened.

Now in Spring 2007 the world economy was doing very nicely thank you. Following three consecutive years of good growth, averaging 3.8% it was expected to fall only slightly in 2007 to 3.6%. Meanwhile the UK was doing pretty well too. House prices had risen from an average of £150,633 in January 2005 to £184,330 in May 2007 – a rise of 22.4%, whilst wages grew by an average of over 5% per annum between 2004 and 2007. Inflation on the other hand was under control and only rose by an average of 3.25% in the same period. Furthermore, between 2003 and 2007 the FTSE All Share Index grew by 49%, so overall everyone was feeling pretty optimistic about the prospects for the future. No one, other than Roger was saying anything about a recession, never mind a full blown crash!

So, when Roger issued his dire warning, the overwhelming response was to laugh it off – in the same way that we would laugh at a soothsayer predicting the end of the world. Eccentric yes, and likely to happen eventually, just not anytime soon.

You can imagine that those of us who were there in 2007 are far less likely to write off Roger’s opinions now than we would have done previously.

I was therefore pleasantly surprised, and heartened to receive his latest Economic update, penned on 16 June. Once again he is at odds with the mainstream view, and indeed is critical of others talking world economic prospects down. He opens his piece by saying that the press is being irresponsible in the way it is reporting our economic outlook. His opening paragraph reads:

“Last weekend the Daily Telegraph had a banner headline: ‘Britain’s biggest ever collapse in GDP wipes out 18 years of growth’. This statement is completely wrong. I am concerned that individuals who are trying to make the right judgement call are being fed this nonsense. To be clear: 18 years ago our GDP was £1 trillion. It is now £2.2 trillion. The reduction in spending in April was 20% on the previous April. The monthly flow of spending averages £200bn. 20% of that is £40bn. The media, as we know, impact emotion and decision taking. That Telegraph article is therefore both economically illiterate and irresponsible.”

Wow! Hard hitting stuff. And the perpetuation of such comments is still evident a week later. In the Sunday Times on 21 June Sajid Javid is quoted as saying:

“We’ve seen a 25% fall in GDP in two months. To put that in some perspective, that is 18 years of growth wiped out in two months.”

And that’s from our erstwhile Chancellor of the Exchequer, who should be anything but economically illiterate!

In his update Roger goes on to suggest that, despite what the world and his wife are saying, we are not going to have a recession. Indeed, whilst he acknowledges that quarter 2 of 2020 will be significantly negative, he expects quarter 3 to be significantly positive, and predicts that the UK economy could grow by 8.5% in 2021, with the World economy back to 2.5% growth next year too.

His argument is that the fundamentals for a recession don’t exist in the same way as they did for previous recessions; rising prices and interest rates squeezing individuals and companies alike in 1979 and 1989, and banks stopping lending in 2008. The common factor is a shortage of money available, and that’s not the case this time around. Households have seen a reduction in income, but a larger fall in what they’ve spent, and the UK Government is spending an extra £40bn a month pumping new money into the system, so no shortage here. Roger predicts a mini boom to take off in the next few months as a result of this excess cash in the system, with the only thing that could dampen it being the media reporting company closures, an increase in the R well above 1, and stories of mass redundancies.

I don’t propose to reproduce all Roger’s arguments here – you can read the whole article at https://www.ellisbates.com/news/june-2020-economic-update/ to get the complete picture, but I would say his reasoning and logic are very persuasive. And I for one would not bet against him. I also fully endorse his condemnation of sensationalist reporting in the media. They have to take more responsibility for the message they send out as, rightly or wrongly, people do listen to them. A more even handed and less melodramatic approach to reporting would benefit us all. After all, we all know the power of ‘fake news’ by now, don’t we?

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What Are the Benefits of Shopping Online?

Introduction

Shopping online has become the thing of the future. The past couple of years have been the most developmental for shopping online. This was mainly due to covid-19 because of which shops were closed down. To continue their business, they switched to online shops. Most people prefer online shopping as they are given a bigger choice and selection. They also don’t have any constraints set on them like time or space. This gives the shoppers the right to make decisions without being hurried up to do so. They also do not have to drive long distances to reach a shop as online shopping can be done by sitting in the same place. It is more convenient than shopping in stores.

The benefits of shopping online:

It saves a great amount of time: It takes a while to shop. Additional to finding the right products, you will also have to stand in queues for billing counters or trials. So if you are in a time crunch, you will not have enough time for this. Online shopping solves this very problem for you by giving you the opportunity to stop any time you want and come back. You also have no queues to wait in.
Making comparisons: When you go to a shop, you will see a limited selection of products. You will not have time to check out the product entirely and will not be able to compare it with other clothes. Online shopping allows you to make comparisons between different products and different websites and choose the ones that are best suited for you.
Availability: another problem you might face is the duration the shop is open. If you are free only during a particular period of time and the shop is closed, you will not be able to purchase the product. As opposed to this, online shops are open every day and all throughout the day. So the closing of the shops will not be a problem you will face.
Great discounts and prices: shopping in an actual store is more expensive. This is because the shop will not offer you discounts and such. However, online shops are in a position to give you discounts as they do not have to pay for real estate. They also do not have to pay for additional labor and staff members there. This will prove to be beneficial for you as the shops will give out discounts in place to attract the customers.
Tracking: you can trust online shops because they offer to track the product you have ordered.

The rise in online shopping:

Overall the digital world has seen a great increase due to covid-19. It has accelerated the growth of the digital world. Since we were all confined to the four walls of our house, we had no place to turn to. The online market drew us all in and helped us continue spending on products we found. Many companies took on this opportunity and as a result, made a great profit out of it. Even as the shops are reopening in real-time, we are still seeing an increase in online shopping.

Conclusion:

Once you get used to online shopping, it is difficult to go back to our old ways. We are used to the convenience that it has to offer that we expect nothing else. The online marketplace has seen an increase in the present world. People are able to shop online and buyers are able to sell online. This is convenient for both parties since they get the best out of what they offer and what they purchase. Online shopping is a thing of the present and future. It seems a very promising future and if you are considering switching to having an online shop, it is a great idea and you should definitely go for it!

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6 Features of a Good 4K Portable Monitor

If you want to purchase a good portable monitor, you may have your own reasons to go for it instead of regular monitors. The thing is that these monitors have a lot of features that set them apart from regular bulky monitors. With the passage of time, we want more screen space to work with. Many people use these monitors for work; others need them for gaming purposes. In this article, we are going to take a look at some of the most common features of 4K portable monitors. Read on to find out more.

The Best Features to Look for

Just like any other device that you can purchase, different types of portable monitors come with different features. However, there are some features that you must look for if you want to purchase the best portable monitor to meet your needs. Let’s talk about 6 of those prominent features.

1. Size

First of all, size should be the number one consideration when it comes to purchasing portable monitors. Although many of them are larger than regular laptop screens, it is important to keep in mind the purpose you are purchasing them for.

If you go for smaller units, they will be more portable. But if you need a monitor to edit your 4K videos and photos, we suggest that you go for a bigger screen.

2. Weight

Another important consideration is the weight of these monitors. If you need a 4K monitor to carry with you from one place to another, we suggest that you consider the weight of the device you are going to purchase. The reason is that these devices are lighter and easier to carry around.

3. Screen Quality

The quality of the screen is another important factor to consider. If you just need a monitor to watch Netflix, you may not need a 4K monitor. On the other hand, you must go for a 4K portable screen if you need to sift through tons of lines of code or you need to edit a lot of 4K photos on a daily basis. In this case, we suggest that you invest in a high-resolution IPS monitor.

4. Orientation Control

In any 4K portable monitor, orientation control is an important feature to look for. This is even more important if you need a monitor in order to edit photos or perform the coding. If you turn the monitor from portrait to landscape mode, it will be easier for you to make the entire photo visible.

Apart from this, the portrait mode will make it easier for you to scan several blocks of code without any problem. Apart from this, chances are that your desktop monitor may not have this feature. Therefore, it is a great idea to invest in a good 4K portable monitor.

5. Connectivity

Another important feature to look for is connectivity. After all, your monitor may not be useful enough if you cannot connect it to your devices. Although it is a great idea to have DisplayPort or HDMI support, make sure that the money to you are going to purchase features are usb-c connection.

This new technology allows you to to transfer a lot of data between your devices. So make sure your monitor has this feature.

6. Touchscreen Input

It is great to have the touch screen feature in your portable 4K monitor, if especially if you want to use the device to do your creative work. If you combine it with whiteboarding software, you can turn it into a multipurpose device to create modify and present content.

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10 Creative Strategies For Promoting Your Website

Do you have a website or blog you publish content to every day but still not able to get enough visitors?

Have you just created your very first blog and are keen to try out all the ways to promote it?

This article presents 10 smartest and most effective strategies you can use to promote your blog and instantly attract visitors who are genuinely interested in your niche.

1. Stop Tweaking / Modifying Your Blog

Are you spending too much time tweaking your blog to give it the right feel? Let me tell you, the overall design does not matter to your audience as much as your content does. Instead of tweaking your blog every now and then, focus on creating content that is fresh, engaging and informative for your readers and make them come back for more.

2. Creating Pillar Content

Producing quality content is one of the biggest challenges for bloggers because creating high-quality content on a regular basis isn’t easy. Good content makes a powerful impact on your audience, which is why it is important that you take the time to create the high-quality pillar content that can solidify your blog’s reputation. Pillar content refers to a series of posts that represents your blog’s best content. It includes all the great posts that you will refer new visitors to for their usefulness.

Great content serves as a go-to source for good and informative message for your audience within your particular industry. Pillar posts provide major support to your blog and are considered a very important component or staple of your blog. When you start promoting your blog, pillar content will serve as your bait to attract more traffic.

Once you have set up your blog, the very first strategy you should implement is to create relevant posts and populate your blog with some really new, yet interactive information.

3. Don’t Focus On Monetizing Your Blog Too Much

Many new bloggers create blogs to earn money. Although there is no harm in earning money, putting too many banner ads on your blog can become too distracting for your audience. If there are too many, they can make your blog look really ugly and they can actually take your visitors away from your blog. Do you still think this could be a great way to promote your blog? I bet you don’t. In fact, you should focus on building your email list and a targeted pixel list. Both of them will help you get what you’re desperately looking for, more visitors and more money by re-targeting your visitors through paid ads.

4. Research Your Niche and Find Out Who and What Matters

A very important step you should take before starting your blog is to thoroughly research your niche. You should need to spend know all the ins and outs of your niche and know who matters, for instance, who are the influencers, big players and small players contributing to the niche in their own capacities. You should make a list of all the competing sites, channels, podcasts, influencers, communities and groups that are working within your particular niche. It’s very easy with SE Ranking competitor research.

By doing so, you will have a major reference file of all your competitors within your niche. You will be able to see what they are doing and talking about and also all the items they are putting for sale and products that are popular among your audience.

5. Reach Out To Your Audience

Once you have your blog nicely set up and great content to pull your audience in, start promoting your blog. Take out the detailed list of all the influencers, big players and small players you’re made prior to starting your blog. Keep a close eye on the small players, because you need them for blog promotion. You can start by offering them testimonials, case studies or even a blog post they would be interested in publishing. It is important for you to start a one-on-one relationship with the big and small players. By contribute on other people’s’ sites through commenting and sharing their work on your blog, they will start to recognize you and connect with you.

6. Become An Expert In Your Niche

Whether your niche is SEO, Digital Marketing, Content Marketing or any other, you should not only attain extensive knowledge about your niche but also present it in an interactive and engaging way through your blog. Your future audience is waiting to read content that addresses them and their needs. It is the power of your writing and expert analysis that will help you attract your audience.

7. Post Comments

Commenting on blog posts and participating in various forums and social groups is often seen as a way to get backlinks. But if it’s done right, no such issue will arise. Always post comments on blog posts only when you have something meaningful and informative to add. Make sure to use your own name to do it, and not your brand. Participate in niche groups and influential communities on social media. Present yourself as an authority in your niche and genuinely help people. Don’t just drop links.

8. Create An Interactive Conversation Flow And Acknowledge Your Readers

When creating content, make sure it is engaging enough to get the audience talking. Your posts should pose questions from your audience and encourage them to respond or share their own similar experiences. Your audience can talk to you via blog comments or email, make sure to acknowledge them and reply to them. This will encourage facilitate interaction.

9. Monetize Your Site

When it comes to earning money from your blog, take a proactive approach, because it can bring organic traffic. When you offer a product or service on your site you can attract your target audience. By creating a profit funnel, you cannot only generate more leads but also generate a lot of revenue in the next few months.

10. Use Paid or Sponsored Media

Utilizing paid or sponsored media is a viable option and an effective strategy for blog promotion. It includes blog promotion through Facebook ads, Google ads, promoted tweets, YouTube pre-roll ads, and much more. These social networks can bring an incredible amount of traffic, as well as, hundreds of leads to your site.

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Brand Building With Quality Content

Content is the most crucial element for a brand. It is a way to reach your target audience, drive traffic to your website, engage the visitor, increase conversion rates, enhance brand awareness and increase revenue.

Now, with the vast amount of content available on the internet, creating any content will not help you reach your goals. Your content needs to stand apart from the rest so that it attracts the attention of the potential customer. Therefore few qualities are a must in the content to aid your business growth and establish your brand in the market. Here are some attributes that are listed by companies providing content writing services.

Relevant

The content has to keep the target audience in mind. A well written and quality content that does not fulfill the needs and expectations of the users is not useful to them and cannot deliver results. Only the content that is valuable to the customer can influence his purchase decision.

High Quality

The content that provides information that is authentic, well researched, well written, interactive and well presented can engage the audience. The content also needs to be reliable and give value to the user. An exciting and engaging content not only encourages the visitor to stay longer on the website but also compels him to return. It is aligned with the objectives of the business.

Search Engine Optimized

Content that people are not able to find easily is practically of no use. Better optimized content increases the value of the content. It ranks higher in search engines and is therefore highly discoverable. All kind of content can be optimized by choosing the relevant topics and the right keywords. Optimized Content is readily available and consistent on various platforms and devices.

Marketing

Strategic marketing efforts are required to make people familiar with the brand. The platforms on which the content should be promoted and the budget required should be taken into account. The content that is highly shareable and linkeable encourages the audience to interact with it and share it with others. It moves fast on social media channels providing the required push to your brand building exercise.

Create a Niche

It is not only the information and usefulness of the content that makes it valuable. The type of audience also defines the brand. The content that can create an identity with the users sells well in the market even if the actual product doesn’t reflect those values. For example – Apple can build a ‘creative and unique’ image in the minds of the users and is in high demand among that category of customers.

Analyze Results

Compare the content with your competitors and analyze the performance. Evaluate where the content fell short and is not able to achieve the desired result. Evaluate the performance regularly and work on new improved strategies accordingly.

Conclusion

Showcase your content in different ways. Regularly create new blogs, articles, images, and videos etc. That talk about your products/services in an interesting and creative ways. Interact with the potential clients through queries, mails and feedback and keep the discussions about the brand alive. This enables to build trust and establish a name among potential customers. If you are struggling with developing quality content, then you must hire a content writing agency who can cater all your needs of unique and fresh material which will help in brand building.

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6 Effective Ways To Shoot Up Your Website’s Success

Ever felt that your website is not getting enough amount of traffic? Or you have visitors but they are not actually turning into paying customers. It is because you have only made an upright website but haven’t worked enough on the UX and UI elements for making the visitors turned to buyers.

Experts in the web development realm have been consistently providing great conversion tips to assure website’s success for the companies and here we are discussing the same for PHP websites. Well, there are innumerable ways you can boost the performance of your website but need to bring to play only those techniques that will deliver results in the shortest time.

Read on to know few of them which is appropriate and simple for every website irrespective of what it deals in or what type of visitors it targets.

Improvement in the Site’s design along with Navigation

While website development is not only about appearance, good looking sites do attract visitors in the first instance. So, you need to work on its overall appearance by putting great background graphics, motion UI elements, vivid colors. Further to provide smooth navigation use clear menus, minimise scroll down options and reduce distractions through too many links.

Place up-to-date and engaging content

The notion that “content is the king’ applies for all websites of all sizes, scales, and businesses. It is one of the biggest critical factors playing its part in search engine optimisation. Thus, you need to put precise, relevant and updated content that is well convincing for the visitors to avail your services.

Put enticing headings and clear CALL-TO-ACTIONS

To keep every single page attractive to the visitors, put alluring headlines and headings for the content and keep prominent Call-to-Actions to push visitors to the main page or checkout phase.

Create Buyers Personas to target the right audience

Figure out who are your targeted customers are and what type of information might interest them. Placing such type of content that pique their interests will help them relate to you and your site.

Go for A/B testing

To ascertain a good rate of conversion in your site, it’s about testing! A/B testing is one of the effective testing ways to enhance conversions of a web page. It splits up the audience into two equal parts and redirects them to two alternate versions of a page. The page getting maximum sales will help you know which version is apt for your site.

Use responsive or mobile-friendly design

According to the latest studies on the market scenario, a hefty percentage of population use only their phones to access websites either to seek information or any service. To go with this radical change and prevent your website from being lagged back, make sure your website responds to phones of different screen sizes and resolutions and works seamlessly in the mobile user interface.

Nonetheless, if you want your website to be swamped with a great number of visitors every day, you need to work on its design as well as performance. These tips focus on both. So, to every website owner out there who are trying to good business with their websites, make sure its core aspects are optimised and tweaked in to serve only and only the interests of the targeted audience.

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5 Easy Ways to Promote Your Business Online

ONE ~ Connect through Groups & Communities

First things first, you need to connect with online groups that are similar to your business. This allows you to see what your competitors are doing and what is working with customers looking for the services/products you provide. Though this is a vital step in your online business promotion, try not to push your business through these groups. You can include a link to your business’s website or blog at the end of your posts, but your primary goal is to connect not market.

TWO ~ Using Listing Services

Next, you need to make it easy for customers to find your business. Registering through listing services makes it easy for customers to find you using the search methods they are already familiar with. The three most notable choices are Bing, Yahoo! Local, and Google Places. Most businesses use these sites as they are popular across many users.

THREE ~ Optimizing the Search for Your Business

Along with getting your business name up where people are searching, you’ll need to optimize the way you word information. This optimization improves the likelihood that your business will pop up when that information is searched. This is called SEO and stands for Search Engine Optimization. There are many “how to” guides out there for more information on how to refine your SEO.

FOUR ~ Create a Blog and/or Website

A blog is a wonderful tool for customers to connect with your business and learn what it’s all about. This encourages them to stay with you over competitors as you can connect on a deeper level with your followers. Another amazing link a blog provides is allowing your customers to become email subscribers. This keeps your customers connected to your business and all the services/products you have to offer them.

FIVE ~ Social Media & Multimedia

Social media and multimedia are to a blog what SEO is to listing services. To get blog traffic, you need to post your content to social media sites so your customers can find you. Another benefit of the connections you generate through your online groups and communities is knowing what gets the most attention. Multimedia includes the use of videos to market your business. Online video marketing is actually one of the best ways to reach people as it requires very little work on their part to view. Video marketing is also a fun and simple way to reach your customers. Social media and multimedia are very important as many people are constantly connected to their social feeds.

Though it seems hectic, it is not impossible or as difficult as it appears to promote your business online. You just need to know where to start when aiming to develop your business online. If you use these easy methods, you are sure to reach the masses and increase your business. So, show the world the wonderful services your business has to offer. Bring your business to the people and the people will come to you!

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Learning the Art of Digital Marketing From Your Competitors

An all-encompassing content marketing strategy, white hat organic SEO practices, consistent link building efforts and solid social media marketing, well, this sure makes for a killer digital marketing strategy.

But hey, too much of it all, and you’re only doing what the rest of the world is doing. Today, let’s try and look through the things a little differently.

Let’s deal with a few questions first.

Do you remember when exactly was the last time you ran a competitive analysis? Don’t mind me asking it, but have you ever done it at all? If your answer is a big, naive no, then perhaps you don’t have any idea how your digital marketing strategy stands compared to your competitors.

Let me tell you a secret, peeping over your competitors can be an unexpectedly wonderful can massively help you find your own shortcomings and in the process, help you get better at the game. I’m sure you’ve heard this saying countless times before – keep your friends close, and your enemies, even closer. And in the realm of online marketing, this is one quote you need to live by.

See, every business that exists on this planet has at least a competitor who’s aiming for the bigger portion of the pie. So doesn’t it make sense to know how your competitors are sailing more smoothly than you when both of you are dealing in the same products or services. If you look at it closely, it’s quite a creative way to get a better understanding of your target audience. Once you’re familiar with the tactics, you can formulate some really killer strategies.

So here are some of the things your business competitors can teach you about digital marketing.

Target audience and traffic: I’m sure that you think that you have a fair idea of who your customers are and where they come from. But a simple analysis can determine whether any of your competitors is attracting more traffic than you or not. It they actually are, it would be a wise idea to go for the strategies they’re going for.

Content that matters: It’s a misconception that anything that’s original, it sells. Within an industry, there is only a limited type of content that gets shared. It could be anything – blog posts or weekly quizzes and surveys or Q&As. Perhaps your competitors know it better than you do.

You also get to know what doesn’t work: The best way to progress is actually to learn through others’ mistakes, don’t you think? Your competitors can also go wrong. So it’s a good idea to constantly monitor their marketing campaigns and learn what catches the eye and what just doesn’t work with the masses.

The key here is to learn from those who are better at this game. And once you’ve figured out the key players, you make their good moves better and avoid their failures.

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