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Top 5 Best Freelance Websites in the World | 2019

If you are a freelancer looking for work, you probably know how exhausting the task can be. However, there are freelance websites dedicated to helping professionals like yourself find work. In this article, we will list the best freelance websites on the internet.

What are Freelance Websites?

Freelance websites are platforms, where both people looking for work and employers post their jobs.

Being a freelancer is an excellent way to turn your talent into money. You have the freedom to apply for only the projects that you like or you’re good at.

Needless to say, using these websites will help you set a solid start for your freelance career. They’ll assist you in finding first clients easily and earning employers’ trust along the way.

Also, you constantly sharpen your skills by taking different projects from various employers. In the end, your portfolio shall grow and there will be many more job offers.

Here is some of the top freelancing website, which you can use for find work. as well as post your Job.

  1. Upwork
  2. Fiverr
  3. Toptal
  4. PeoplePerHour
  5. Freelancer

1. Upwork

upwork

Upwork has become the world’s biggest marketplace now coming out of a merger between oDesk.com and Elance.com and is my personal favorite. oDesk and Elance, the world’s two biggest freelance websites joined hands and merged to form Upwork.com in the middle of 2015 forming a big competitor for Freelance.com. But even after so much noise around people opposing this decision of theirs, I personally think it is still the same amazing place for finding jobs and hiring freelancers.

Anyone who is looking for flexibility in their jobs should definitely check this freelance website.

2. Fiverr

fiverr

It is the world’s largest marketplace for small services. The most interesting part is you can create gigs for as low as $5. It can prove to be a money-making system for you even if you don’t know the coding or design stuff. Just have a look at the gigs others are creating and see if you can do that too. If you can do something very usual that people may be willing to pay $5 for then you can make a significant amount of money here.

What is more, Fiverr offers you free learning courses to develop your skills and teach you how to pitch to clients.

3. Toptal

toptal

A newer player in the freelance game, Toptal is great for experienced software developers. Their screening process is pretty intense – only accepting the top 3% of developers – so it’s not as easy to get up and running on a project as with some of the other sites listed here. Surely, you can be one of them if you work hard enough in building your skills.

If you are looking for a highly qualified developer for your startup or any other high-quality project, I strongly recommend you hire your developer from Toptal.

Note: This is the most Premium freelancer network that I’ve found on the web. Guys, there are highly talented and are usually paid much higher than other sites.

4. PeoplePerHour

peopleperhour

This site brings together people who are either seeking or offering services relating to writing, web development, designing, social media, business development, etc. It is a UK-based company, which follows a system, pretty similar to other freelancing sites. On this site, you will find both online as well as on-site freelancing gigs. Jobs are either fixed-price or hourly type.

5. Freelancer

freelancer

It is one of the oldest players out there. After the launch in the year 2003, it has now grown into the world’s biggest outsourcing destination. It has recently acquired the two big giants in the freelancing marketplace: vWorker and Scriptlance and now become bigger than ever.

If you are looking for a place to start, then Freelancer is the best place for you. It’s easy to sign up as a freelancer or employer and start earning or hiring. I always recommend newbies and even the professional freelancers who have worked on other freelance sites to join Freelancer.com.

You can’t handle the truth – why most leaders say they want their businesses to be customer-centric but aren’t willing to take the first step

Establish a new business that endures over a long time is hard. We all know the statistics; 80 % of companies fail within the first 2-3 years.

Business strategists like to think in portfolio terms. Whether it’s a question of cash cows versus rising stars or of businesses that prosper at different points in an economic cycle, it’s useful to have a framework for analyzing the mix and balancing investments wisely.

What separates the businesses that sustain from those that wither away? Customer obsession. These companies have found a problem worth solving, a need that must be filled, and customers willing to pay. It all sounds simple.

What happens when these businesses grow up?

Over time their success breeds complacency. They no longer have to fight to win every customer; customers come to them; life is good. Leaders become managers and get paid to manage things already in place. The focus becomes the numbers, and the tail begins to wag the dog.

It all goes well until the music stops; the tide goes out, and companies are exposed. Suddenly new products or services start failing not because they are bad products or services but because customers have lost trust. Managers have not been paying attention to the real source of revenue and profits – loyal customers.

Things have changed, growth has stalled, reputations decline, and customers are walking away.

Time for some customer-centricity.

The time has come to take a hard look at the business, how we are operating, what needs to change. We need to shift to a more customer-centric way of doing business!

Where do we start? How do we make it happen?

 

Like any and every major accomplishment in human history, everything great begins with one step forward.

In this case, that step is to take a realistic view of exactly how customer-centric you are as a business. For many that small step maybe a step too far: they don’t want to know.

Feedback hurts – it can feel like a knife twisting, gauging a hole in our being. It instills fear, even panic in us. And yet it is the truth, the way we perceive things is the way they are no matter what stories we want to tell ourselves.

So why do leaders say they want their businesses to be customer-centric but are not willing to take the first step?

Fear.

Fear of failure.

Fear that it will distract.

Fear that it cannot be sustained.

Fear that they cannot do anything to change.

So what is the antidote to all this fear?

Just do it.

A funny thing happens when you face your fears – you grow.

The shift towards becoming a truly customer-centric organization is both complex and long but, do not be put off by this as even the smallest changes to policy and processes can have a significant benefit for both employees and your customer.

Being a customer-centric organization is the Holy Grail towards unlocking the true potential of customer value. Always put yourself in the shoes of the customer and minimize customer effort and maximize customer value.

10 Best Blogging Sites for your blog

There are many good reasons to start blogging.

You may want to practice your writing, create a following, establish your brand or use blogging as a marketing tool to increase site traffic. It’s also a great way to connect with like-minded people.

How do you choose the site to build your blog on?

There’s a wide choice of blogging platforms. The more there are choices, the harder it is to make up your mind.

To help you choose the right blogging platform for yourself, we will first talk about what to look for in a blogging solution. After that, we’ll examine the pros and cons of the 10 best blog sites.

Ready? Let’s get started…

How to Choose The Best Blogging Platform

For making a decision, it helps to know what you are looking for. As they say – if you don’t know where you are going, every way is the right way. Below are some categories to judge the candidates by:

The weighing of the factors above will be different depending on your skills, goals, and requirements. Keep them in mind while we compare the best blogging platforms out there.

10 Best Blog Sites for 2019

Below, you’ll find some of the most popular blogging solutions in the world and how they compare to each other.

1. WordPress.org

Among the best blog sites, the self-hosted version of WordPress is by far the most popular blogging platform in the world. The CMS powers over 30 percent of the Internet. It’s often confused with its close cousin WordPress.com. We will cover the latter as well. You can learn more about the differences of the two platforms in this article.

Pros

Cons

Pricing

WordPress is an open-source solution which means it’s free to use. Bear in mind that self-hosted variety requires you to find a hosting provider (e.g. Bluehost). You also need to get your own domain. Costs to do that start from around $46 per month.

In addition to that, you might want to spend money on premium extensions and themes.

Perfect for

2. Wix.com

 

Wix is similar to Squarespace. It allows you to put together your web presence via drag and drop and comes with blogging ability that you can add to your site. You can read about adding Wix in this article.

Pros

Cons

Pricing

Wix is a subscription-based and offers different packages. Starting at $5/month for 1GB of bandwidth and 500MB storage plus the ability to connect a custom domain (which you need to pay yourself). Higher plans add more bandwidth and storage, free domains, apps, the ability to create an online store and remove the ads. The most expensive plan ($25/month) also comes with VIP support.

Perfect for

3. Joomla.com

Next on our list of the best blog sites is another open-source content management system that you can use to build all kinds of websites. We have detailed information about it in WordPress vs Joomla vs Drupal and in the post on how to create a website with Joomla.

Pros

Cons

Pricing

Joomla is free to download, costs only incur for hosting and a domain. For specialized Joomla hosting, check hosting reviews here.

Perfect for

4. WordPress.com

WordPress.com is a blog site hosting service by Automattic. You can get a free blog with basic features. For advanced functionality, you need to opt for one of their paid plans.

Pros

Cons

Pricing

Paid plans cost between $4 and $25 per month (billed annually). Each increases the amount of storage space, features (including monetization options) and support. With the Business plan, you have the ability to install external plugins and themes and connect your site to Google Analytics.

Perfect for

WordPress.com can also be a great starting point for blogging. If you ever decide to have more control over your site, it’s relatively easy to move from WordPress.com to WordPress.org.

5. Medium.com

Medium is a publishing platform founded in 2012 by one of the people behind Twitter. By now it has become a popular community for writers, bloggers, and journalists.

In addition to the ability to write blog posts, it also comes with limited social networking functions. You can comment on other people’s content and like it (likes are called “claps” on Medium). The audience is built into the platform.

Pros

Cons

Pricing

The platform is free to use. If you have your own domain, you can hook it up to individual stories. Unfortunately, not to entire user accounts.

Perfect for

Medium is also a popular place to give your content a second life. Many people who have a primary blogging outlet re-post articles on Medium for additional exposure.

6. Ghost.com

This is a publishing platform focused only for blogging. The idea was to make a more streamlined and modern version of WordPress. As a consequence, the platform is built on JavaScript. It’s also available for a hosted or self-hosted version.

Pros

Cons

Pricing

The price for the hosted version depends on the number of websites and the amount of traffic. For $29/month ($19 if billed annually) you get one blog and 50,000 monthly page views. This also includes SSL encryption.

The most expensive plan is $269/month ($199/month paid annually). Ghost has prioritized support, uptime guarantee, and other premium features. All plans come with a custom domain.

For the self-hosted version, you need to pay the usual hosting plus the domain registration.

Perfect for

7. Squarespace.com

Squarespace is a drag-and-drop website builder which is aimed at small business owners. It’s a great all-in-one solution for non-technical people and offers hosting, domain registration and the possibility for e-commerce. It also has blogging capabilities which is the reason why it’s among the best blog sites out there.

Pros

Cons

Pricing

Squarespace is subscription-based. It comes with only two plans, Personal and Business. One is $16/month and the other $26/month. You get a price reduction if you pay annually and also a free custom domain.

Both plans come with unlimited pages, bandwidth, and storage. The Business plan also has e-commerce and marketing features and allows you to customize your design through CSS and JavaScript. You can use your own domain name, which comes with extra costs. There is a 14-day free trial to test the waters.

Perfect for

8. Weebly.com

Weebly is another site builder with a modular approach and a web-based interface. Pick a template and position your content as blocks in different areas.

Pros

Cons

Pricing

You can start off with a free account. After that, $4/month gets you a custom domain. For advanced features like site stats, video backgrounds or membership options you need to go for one of the higher plans. Those come in at $8-$25/month. Weebly also has separate plans for online stores that are slightly more pricey. All plans are paid annually.

Perfect for

9. Blogger.com

This free blog hosting service has been around for a long time. It was founded in 1999 and acquired by Google in 2003. As a consequence, you can sign up easily with your existing Google account.

Pros

Cons

Pricing

Blogger is completely free. The only costs you might incur is if you want to use a custom domain. In that case, you have to acquire and pay for it yourself.

Perfect for

10. Tumblr.com

Finally, among the best blog sites is Tumblr. The service is a micro-blogging platform optimized for short-form content. It also has a community behind it and social network features. Think of it as a middle ground between WordPress and Twitter.

Pros

Cons

Pricing

The platform is free to use. Optional costs are for a custom domain (which you can map to your Tumblr account) and third-party themes and apps.

Perfect for

Best list of PTC(Paid To Click) website

There are dozens of best PTC where people can get paid to read ads and complete simple tasks. But I will tell you only the top & highest paying PTC sites available for worldwide users.

You can easily earn $200 to $500 per month by clicking & reading ads or doing a number of short & simple tasks. You need to work only 30 minutes daily on these PTC sites.

If you have more time and need more income then you can also work on more online jobs along with PTC sites. Here are 4 best PTC sites where millions of people work & earn money.




Here are few of the top PTC sites that pay the highest income in Worldwide including India & USA.

1. ClixSense

I like ClixSense more than any other PTC sites. I have earned more than $61,000 (Rs 3.9 Million) just from ClixSense. See my income proof below.

It’s very simple to join & work on ClixSense.

Here are the steps to signup on ClixSense-

All PTC sites including Neobux & ClixSense pay money through Payza. They send the money in your Payza account & you can then withdraw this to your local saving bank account.

Creating an account on Payza and requesting money from Payza is very simple.

You can get paid by reading ads & doing other activities on ClixSense.

2. NeoBux

Neobux is one of the best PTC sites in India and available for worldwide users. In NeoBux you will have several ways to money and you will get your payment instantly upon your request.

They will provide many ads you can click and get paid. The amount you earn per click goes up to $0.02 and especially if you are from a tier 1 country it is not unlikely to earn $1 per day just from viewing ads.

Each advertisement will also give you 1 point and 4 AdPrize chances.

You will also find tasks from CrowdFlower and you can earn several dollars per day by completing them.

NeoBux pays more than any other PTC site for these simple jobs, thus if you like this type of work, it would be advisable to complete them on NeoBux and not in any other PTC / GPT site.

There is no lack in offers for points and coins.

They have several offer-walls available such as TrialPay, Matomy, etc. Especially coins can be converted directly to money you can cash out and the more coins you will convert at once, the higher the amount you will receive per coin will be.

By waiting until you have many coins, you can increase your earnings by up to 70% The points you can earn by clicking ads / AdPrize and by completing point offers can be used for a free golden membership as well as other services.

NeoBux also provides a free lottery with its unique AdPrize where you can view one advertisement and win a prize if you are lucky. The available prizes are from $0.25 to $50, from 10 to 1000 points and free golden membership for 1 year (regular value $90).

In your summary page, you might find surveys from Pollfish you can complete for money. These surveys can be found in other websites as well but NeoBux will pay you a higher amount than most of the other sites.

They offer a referral system where you might earn a lot from your rented and direct referrals.

A NeoBux member who was making $3000 per month gave me a simple strategy that a new member can use and make a minimum of $20 per day in just 5-6 months.

I am very EXCITED to Share this Strategy with you because when I applied this with my account, I earned $230 in just 20 days time.

Read This Neobux STRATEGY Here & earn lots of money with Neobux.

Click here to Join NeoBux

3. RebelPrize

One of the top PTC sites for people who are looking for genuine & trusted paid to click sites. There are multiple ways to earn from RebelPrize.

You can join RebelPrize from this link and then check the confirmation link in your email to activate your account.

You can then login to your account to find multiple ways to earn cash from RebelPrize. One of the top ways is to go to Earn tab and then find offers and tasks.

You can check the available offers and tasks and complete them to get points. You can later convert these points to PayPal cash, gift cards or rewards.

There is a ’WIN’ section in the dashboard which gives you a chance to win Raffles, Lucky Numbers or Contests.

You can also refer RebelPrize through your referral link provided in the ‘Invite’ section to make more money.

4. Paidverts

Paidverts is a new website but gaining very fast popularity in the PTC world. There is some good scope of earning from Paidverts. You can find lots of good reviews from Paidverts users.

But there is a little trick in working with Paidverts.

First, you join Paidverts from this link. Once you join it, you need to view BAP ads and accumulate BAP points. Next day your BAP points will be converted to paid ads & after viewing these ads, you will get receive the cash.

Some of the tips for making better income in Paidverts-

  1. View all the 16 BAP ads (activation ads) daily.
  2. Within 8-12 hours of viewing all the BAP ads, you need to check for paid ads & see all the ads.
  3. If you pay just 0.05, then you will get recycled ads worth $1 which are not seen by other members.
  4. If you earn $1 and buy an ad pack, then its more beneficial for you because you not only receive $1.5 worth ads but you can also advertise your banner or affiliate links or your website (if you have)
  5. Refer people in Paidverts through your referral link & multiply your income.

NeoBux also pays you through PayPal. So you don’t need to worry, you can use your PayPal account to receive the payment from both the sites.

Important points about PTC sites

There are thousands of PTC sites but most of them are fake. Only a few of the sites are really trusted & paying their members.

And ClixSense & NeoBux are 2 sites which are powerful and paying their members without fail.

How to Increase your earning in PTC sites?

You can not increase your earning by spending more time on PTC sites because ads are limited and there is no way to view more number of ads than what site is providing.

But there are 3 solid ways to multiply your income from PTC sites

  1. By viewing all the ads daily. Make it a habit to view the ads every day at a fixed time.
  2. By referring the sites to your friends, relatives & other known people in your group. You will earn part of the income from each & every referral & multiply your income very high.
  3. By taking their premium membership. This way, you will receive a double commission for viewing the ads and also you will receive a double commission when your referral view the ads.

So this way you can earn money from PTC sites.




How to Generate Sales Leads if You Don’t Have Marketing Support?

Over the last 10 years, inbound marketing has proven to be a great way to generate leads and acquire customers and help you hit your quota.

Inbound marketing is a holistic, data-driven approach that leverages content on your website to attract buyers researching your products and services online. And then convert them to leads so you can close more deals.

It mirrors the way people buy in today’s digital environment and works in both B2B and B2C situations.

But what if you don’t have a marketing department or your marketing team doesn’t practice inbound? What if you have to generate your own sales leads?

Sales leads are individuals or businesses that are prospective buyers. A sales lead is identified via marketing and advertising, referrals, social media, networking and outreach, product trials, or consultations.

Many sales professionals don’t have the marketing support to rely on a steady flow of inbound leads, but still, have to hit their quotas. Luckily, the inbound sales methodology provides many ways to fill that need. Here are a few ways you can start generating inbound leads on your own.

Inbound sales is a way to identify and connect with prospects by leveraging the inbound mindset of building relationships way before someone is ready to buy.

Most successful salespeople already practice some version of solution selling. They know sales is about consulting around the prospect’s problems, not closing the deal. It’s about letting the prospect define the pace of the process and offering education and advice as a way to build confidence and trust. This makes it easy and safe for a client to buy. Here are a few ways you can make it scalable and efficient on your own.

1. Use social media to find prospects you can help.

Most salespeople are on LinkedIn, but may not be using it effectively for generating top-of-the-funnel activity. It is a salesperson’s dream to be able to connect in a high-value, low-effort way to find interested prospects, and social media is a great way to do so.

A few quick recommendations to make sure your LinkedIn Profile looks professional:

  1. Post a professional, relatively current picture that reflects your professional demeanor.
  2. Try to connect with as many people as you can. The more connections you have, the wider your reach will be. You don’t have to be best friends with the people you connect to. Tangential connections can be amongst the best for potential prospects.
  3. Post in the “Share an Update” section you’re currently looking to identify and help a specific type of prospect with a specific type of problem by a specific date. For example, “We are looking to work with three new commercial landscaping companies by September 1, 2018, that are interested in building their business in the greater Phoenix, Arizona area”.
  4. Get three recommendations from current clients demonstrating high-quality work that can vouch for your value, professionalism, and effectiveness.
  5. Extra credit if you can broaden your professional brand to Facebook for Business, Twitter and Snapchat, although this does increase the amount of work involved.

2. Post a blog article on LinkedIn with an offer for a 15-minute consultation.

I speak on behalf of HubSpot 50 times a year, and often when I mention “blogging” to my audience, people’s eyes glaze over. They think of blogging as a structured and difficult way of writing a college essay — and writing is up there with public speaking on the list of things that people hate and fear.

But blogging is really just a conversation, and a blog topic can be as simple as answering the standard questions about your product that you do every day, such as “The Beginner’s Guide to [Common Business Challenge]” and “X Things You Need to Know About [Business Area].”

3. Get referrals from current customers.

In the course of my work helping digital agencies fill their sales funnel, I frequently ask my clients the last time they pinged their current clients, thanked them for their business, and asked for help in generating more business.

Everyone agrees that referrals are effective, but for some reason, it’s hard to implement it effectively. You can follow the seven steps below to get started:

  1. Check with your account manager to make sure the customer is happy (and if they’re not, set up a call anyway to see how you can make things better).
  2. Ping the client with a phone and an email and ask for a 10-minute conversation.
  3. Thank the client for her business, explain that you value your relationship and you’re always interested in making it more valuable to your client.
  4. Ask if there are any other contacts or companies she can think of that would be interested in the same level of service.
  5. Get the name, phone number, and email of the contact, and why your client thinks it is a good fit.
  6. Ask if they can tee you up with a quick introduction email.
  7. Extra credit: If you can, send them a handwritten note or small item like a T-shirt thanking them for the referral. Little touches go a long way.

4. Work with your personal network.

Working your personal network is another sometimes-overlooked option that is fairly easy to get started with because you have built-in trust. There are certain people you’ll meet in a personal context that you wouldn’t think of as a lead generation machine but can be incredibly valuable.

In today’s busy world, you have yoga friends, work friends, neighbors, and more — but they exist in these separate buckets that don’t necessarily intersect. The key is remarkably simple — if you’re at the point in your relationship where you can talk business, let potentially useful acquaintances know. Identify the type of company you’re looking for (size, employee number, revenue amount, location, etc.) and send an email they can forward to make the connection.

Of course, mixing the personal and professional like this needs to be effective and respectful — but it is a great way of broadening your reach.

5. Attend a networking event.

Whoa — face-to-face interaction in 2018? This is the fun part for me (but can be really hard for others.)

Attending these events should be part of your routine because they’re a great way to grow your reach and potentially drum up business.

Below are four basics I remind people of before they dive into networking:

  1. It’s about mingling and being human and having fun. Don’t take things too seriously!
  2. Explaining your “always be helping” philosophy face-to-face is usually a pretty big differentiator.
  3. Bring business cards to hand to your new acquaintances.
  4. Offer to connect on LinkedIn from your phone while you’re standing next to someone. I usually respectfully ask — would you like to connect on LinkedIn? If they say yes, I just hand them my phone and say, “Can you find yourself and connect?”, which makes things a lot easier.

6. Revisit closed/lost opportunities.

These are businesses that already know what your company does. They might have seen a product demo or made it through a discovery call and it just wasn’t the right time to buy.

Touch base with these prospects every six months. Ask how their priorities have changed if their business and team goals have shifted, and what their challenges are.

Invest in marketing to these prospects, because they’re already more qualified than new, warm leads. Enroll them in appropriate marketing email drips, send them relevant blog posts, and keep communication personalized.

It might not be the right moment the first or third time you follow up, but it could work in your favor the fifth.

And you never know when a prospect will change jobs and finally have the budget or business case to implement your solution. By staying top of mind, you’ll be the first vendor they call.

7. Implement an email sequence.

At SaaStr Annual 2018Sam Blond, CRO of Rainforest QA recommended, “Define your strategy for outreach. Then get creative with the email copy — be clever.”

Blond explained that one of Rainforest’s most successful email sequences is addressed from their CTO. Rainforest’s SDRs send the email to the CTO of a prospect’s company, framing the message as if their CTO asked them to reach out.

“It’s creative, it grabs attention, and it allows us to cast a wide net over each prospect’s company,” Blond said.

To send a successful email sequence, have a clear purpose for each one. For example:

Implement a comprehensive, purposeful email sequence and see it work for you.

8. Write for a blog.

Are you writing blogs yet? You should be. Start by writing about what you’re an expert in.

It could be sales process optimization, referral marketing, or your product/service — but whatever you do, start writing, and share it on your company’s blog, your personal social media channels, and your customers.

In 2019, it’s important for you to be a visible expert in your field. Not only will it display your expertise, but you’ll educate your prospects as well. Need some help on your first post? Reach out to your resident marketer or blog editor for a quick lesson. They might even offer to help you write a post or two.

why website security is important ?

Website attacks and cyber attacks are growing in numbers every day and the importance of creating a secure website and website security, in general, is increasing rapidly. So, being secure in the online world becomes more and more important every day and it is more than important to protect your website and the data it holds now. So, therefore, we’ll give you five reasons why website security is important.

Did you know –  56% of all internet traffic is from an automated source such as hacking tools, scrapers and spammers, impersonators, and bots. So you might think – is my website secure?

Well, but now let’s dig into why website security is important.

Hacked Websites Target Your Customers

Malicious software is used to infect websites, gather data and in some cases even hijack computer resources. A site where an attacker has gained access to can be used to redirect traffic and infect visitors with malicious software.

There are thousands of different types of malware and thousands of different ways to infect your website, which is mostly all done by automated hacking tools.

What they all have in common, is that the hacked websites are mostly used to retarget your potential customers, your website visitors.

The number of hacked sites rises rapidly

Botnet-enabled attacks on vulnerable Web applications, in fact, accounted for more breaches (571) than any other vector in Verizon’s 2017 Data Breach Investigations Report.

In March 2016 Google announced that more than 50 million websites worldwide are infected or malicious. In March 2015, that number was 17 million.  The number of new Web application vulnerabilities published in 2017 was 212% greater than the number disclosed in 2016.

In 2018 Google has sent over 45 million notifications to registered website owners through Search Console, alerting them to possible problems with their websites which could affect their appearance in a search.

Also, they sent 6 million manual action messages to webmasters about practices that we’re against Google’s guidelines, along with information on how to resolve the issues. And Google took action on nearly 90,000 user reports of search spam.

Business Reputation Loss and Drop In Revenue

There are over 1,3 billion websites on the world wide web today and people rely on search engines when they want to reach information on those sites. Therefore search engine optimization is more important than ever and it is necessary for every webmaster to understand the true meaning of SEO as well as the potential it can provide for every business.

Google and other search engines (for who you typically don’t want to be on the naughty list) warn your customers and restrict them from entering your website. Lately, Google, for example, has stepped up the game even more.

Starting from July 2018, every website without SSL (HTTPS) will be marked as insecure and therefore receive an SEO penalty, which makes it harder for your company to reach to new customers.

Google has released new details about its spam-fighting efforts, revealing that more than 80% of hacked sites have been detected and removed from search results. (source: Search Engine Journal)

Read more about how hackers can use your site even without you knowing here: How to boost and maintain SEO rankings by securing your website

But the reality is that, because of a hacked website, a customer loses trust and therefore it will lead to company reputation loss, which for e-commerce can often mean an end of the business.

When talking about website security and CMS security the infections are also rising actively. For example, WordPress continues to be the leading infected website CMS.

On average, about 30 000 websites get hacked every day and in reality, the majority of these 30,000 sites are legitimate small businesses that are unwittingly distributing malicious code for the cybercriminals.

When your site is hacked and added to different blacklists, the potential customer cannot reach to the products or services being offered.

Anyways, if a potential customer visits your site and gets warned or infected, there is an extremely low chance that the customer will ever visit your site again.

Learning from mistakes: website clean-up is more expensive than protection

As a website owner discovering that your website has been hacked, the first thing to do is to search “How to clean up a hacked site”. Yes, you will find a lot of blog posts and articles about it, but they will all eventually recommend you the same thing – have a professional to do it for you.

Performing a WordPress malware removal in a way that you can be sure that it’s clean is not an easy task. That’s why a service like this can cost over 150 dollars per site and even then, depending on the service provider, you can’t be sure if the site was properly cleaned or not.

The latest research by Acunetix reveals that around 84% of websites contain vulnerabilities, which means all of them are prone to be infected at any time.

The process of a malware clean-up of a website is much more about knowing the vulnerabilities and knowing the way of a hacker mind, than just manually going through the files.

Malware is often hidden from the original files and to the database and attackers put a lot of effort into making sure you won’t be able to remove their backdoors so easily.

It’s expensive, indeed. Not just the malware clean-up service itself, but the lost revenue and reputational damage are what can eat up a lot of time and money to recover from.

If your site has been hacked before you were even thinking about website security, see this: Comprehensive WordPress Malware Removal Guide if you think you are up to removing the malware by yourself.

Website gets blacklisted

What is the Blacklist?

Without using the exact term “blacklist,” Google quarantines at least 10,000 suspicious websites each day. You can recognize the sites by seeing the display message “This site may harm your computer” in the search results. This will serve as a warning that prompts most users to stay away. Consumers are grateful for the warning. The business panics.

When a website is in a blacklist, the search engine is expelling a site from their list. When a website is blacklisted, it loses almost 95% of its organic traffic, which can rapidly affect revenue.

Usually, a website gets blacklisted when it contains something harmful to the user, for example, malware.

Cleaning up your site is only the first part of becoming relisted on Google. Before you put your site out there again, be sure you have measures in place to prevent a recurrence. You may be susceptible to the same cybercriminals who infected your site the first time if you don’t step up your security measures.

If your website is on a blacklist, there are two primary approaches to recovering a hacked site:

  1. Do it yourself, if you have the needed knowledge.
  2. Find a trusted service provider if the technical tasks are outside your skill set.

How to Quickly Grow Your Online Business?

Not everyone has thousands of dollars to put into growing an online business. In reality, you can do a lot without spending any money at all. All it really takes is effort and imagination.

Today, I’m going to go over how to grow online business for free. You can start right now and begin boosting the future of your presence on the Internet.

Here are seven of my tips to grow an online business without money. Although you may want to invest something into these methods at a later date, you can start now for free.

1. Deliver High-Quality Content

Creating high-quality content is important whether it’s a company blog or a product description. It’s all about engaging the audience and giving them what they need: information.

This information needs to be delivered in a way that keeps readers connected. Avoiding text blocks, separating points with headers and keeping the language easy to absorb is only the beginning.

Another important aspect of content to keep in mind is remaining factual. Always base your material on evidence you can collaborate with other sources. As we live in an age where “fake news” is tossed around frequently, you want to make sure your business is seen as a legitimate source.

In other words, you want your company to be viewed as an authoritative figure. Authority works to improve brand reputation as well as search engine ranking.

High-quality content also involves other elements outside of text as well. While content is and always will be king, the delivery of that information is greatly important.

Site Speed
As many as 53% of people on mobile devices give up on a site that takes more than three seconds to load. This means the site as a whole needs to be optimized for speed. If you use platforms like WordPress, you have access to a variety of tools to improve the performance of your website.

Design Layout
More than one-third of visitors will leave a site if the layout is poor. Color choices, graphics and even the overall layout of the site’s functions can cause issues for certain users. You need to deliver a good visual and functional experience for everyone visiting the website.

Avoid Fluffing
Don’t try too hard to achieve a certain word count. This often leads to what’s known as, “fluff.” It’s content within an article that doesn’t seem to have a purpose other than stretching out how many words are on a webpage. It can confuse your readers as well as search engine bots for optimization.

2. Be Mobile-Friendly

Everyone needs to have a mobile-friendly website today. More than 54% of people browsing the Internet are doing so from smartphones and tablets. If your site isn’t responsive or has a mobile variant, you may alienate more than half of your consumers.

Being mobile-friendly includes a variety of adjustments to the website.

Some aspects of being mobile-friendly do not require monetary investment. Things such as modifying images to fit, redesigning the menu bar and more can be done easily by yourself.

In fact, using systems like WordPress hosting already does most of that for you. It’s already mobile responsive without making adjustments.

An easy way to get an idea of what your site looks like on a mobile device is to shrink your computer’s web browser. By adjusting its height and width on your screen, you can get an idea of what people see when looking at your webpages.

3. Integrate Social Media

One of the beautiful things about social media is how effective it is without actually spending money. It’s free to create a profile on most platforms and can easily put the business in front of thousands of potential consumers.

However, it’s not enough to simply have a Facebook or Twitter profile. You can’t just put up a business page and hope people flock to it. You have to be a part of the premise behind the idea: being social.

Adding Daily Posts
The number of times you should post content on social media varies for businesses. While some find it successful to do five or more, others do well with just one. The point is you need to be active if you want attention from your target audience.

Images Matter
When posting content to social media, use images or video. Graphics engage users far more than simple text. For instance, posts with images on LinkedIn receive 200% more of an engagement rate than regular text. On Twitter, videos are 6 times more likely to be retweeted than simple photos.

Share Meaningful Content
Don’t simply share random pieces of information. Post content your audience will want to read. This includes sharing any websites you find online, retweeting relevant accounts in Twitter or perhaps even commenting on someone’s post. Keep it all centered around your industry and niche.

Adding Social Buttons
Nearly every website has social sharing buttons on its content. Don’t forget to add it to your store items or service offerings as well. You never know who is looking at your pages, and he or she might share your goods with their own followers.

4. Focus On Your Target Audience

Focus the business on your particular audience. The more you streamline content, products, and services, the higher the quality of your visitors. This means you’ll target those who are most likely to spend money with your business.

For example, you wouldn’t want to create guest blog posts on a website that centers around lawn care products if you sell kitchen appliances. Any marketing you do needs to stay relevant to what you offer.

The target audience will influence everything from the type of content you create to the brands of products you stock. This is a key element you’ll need to discover if you want the best chances of success.

One mistake a lot of new businesses make is trying to target “everyone.” This often leads to a haphazard marketing strategy and winds up being overly expensive in the long run. Keep your focus on those who are going to directly benefit from the business.

Later on, when you’re ready to pump money into ads, knowing your audience is going to save you a lot of money. Instead of showing ads to anyone, you can fine-tune them to show only to those people who will most likely make a purchase.

If you’re unsure who your target market is, take a look at free tools like Google Analytics. By going over the activity data of your website, you can get an idea of who likes what when it comes to your business. Many eCommerce platforms come with a variant of these tools as well.

Another good way to scope your potential buyers is to take a look at your direct competition. How do they have their content set up? What seems to be working well for them? Answer these questions and make your site better.

5. Diversify Your Operation

Growing a business often involves diversifying the operation. There’s nothing wrong with including elements that will help you draw in a larger crowd or benefit from existing traffic.

Being diverse with your business grows income while keeping the company protected from market shifts. Like the adage goes, “Never put all of your eggs in one basket.” Keep the business flexible and easy to adapt to trends and changes.

Here are a few points of what I’m talking about.

In some instances, it may take a bit of imagination to figure out how to be diverse. In reality, it’s worth the time if you find something that fits your business and niche perfectly.

Take a look at Microsoft, for example. The company has its hand in computers, gaming, phones and more. The company’s portfolio is incredibly diverse, which means a failure in one aspect will have less of an impact on the company as a whole.

6. Take Advantage of Free Marketing Tools

The Internet is full of free marketing tools from email marketing campaigns to designing perfect social media graphics. While it may take a bit of effort to find tools that work best for you, the end result is a far more streamlined system.

Let’s say you want to publish a post on your Twitter, Facebook and Google+ accounts for the business. Instead of going to each one of these, which is time-consuming, you can use free tools like Buffer and simultaneously share the post with all three.

In fact, there are a number of social media marketing tools you can start using right now to boost your business. While some may have a monthly subscription fee, many will have free or trial versions you can test out immediately.

If you don’t have your business listed in Google, you’re missing out. Because of how local searches operate on the search engine today, people in your area may never see your business listed in the results page.

One of the first things you should do right now is to use Google My Business. It’s a free platform rich with data while making sure your local customers know where your store is located.

While you may receive more benefits from certain marketing tools by paying for premium service, sometimes the free versions are all you need. The point is you need to push the limits of these free tools to benefit.

7. Network with Complementary Businesses

Great use of your time and effort is to network. Forming a symbiotic relationship with another business can offer excellent rewards. One of which is getting your brand in front of consumers who may not know it exists yet.

Networking takes nothing but the effort on your behalf. This involves reaching out to other businesses or individuals who are in your industry but not exactly competing for the same buyers. In fact, a lot of large corporations join forces simply to expand their reach.

For example, look at most non-proprietary smartphone manufacturers. Samsung partners with Google to create Android phones. This gives Samsung an operating system while letting Google run the software. Both companies benefit from each sale.

Google reaches Samsung fans and Samsung reaches Google fans. It’s a win-win for both brands.

Even the smallest of businesses can network together to expand their reach. It doesn’t have to be as involved or vast as Samsung and Google. If two companies can benefit one another, then offering a network is ideal for all parties involved.

Networking properly requires some kind of common niche or logical connection. After all, you don’t see the laundry detergent brand Tide network with Hillshire Farm, a business well-known for its smoked meat and cheeses.

Invest in Yourself

Perhaps the most prominent way to boost your business for free is to put in the effort. Whether it’s creating content that engages the audience or messaging fans on Facebook, it takes work to become a success. In today’s market, your online persona is just as vital as the brick-and-mortar storefront.

How Facebook Makes Money?

While most industry insiders have a firm grasp on Facebook’s monetization models, most people still don’t understand how Facebook makes money. For those that still don’t know how Facebook makes money, we thought we’d take the opportunity to break down Facebook’s various revenue streams including past and future streams of revenue. After reading this guide, you should have a complete understanding of how Facebook makes money.

Advertising Business

Facebook’s single most important revenue channel is advertising. The company has always been ad-supported and most likely will always be ad-supported. While some have claimed that Facebook will one day charge for access to the site, those rumors are completely false. Facebook generates over half a billion in revenue each year, the vast majority of which comes from advertising. So who is paying for advertising?

Self-Serve Facebook Advertising

The largest chunk of Facebook’s advertising revenue is the company’s self-serve advertising platform. By visiting the following page you can set up your own advertising campaign on Facebook. These advertisements are displayed in the sidebar of most pages of the site. That includes user profiles, events, groups, Facebook Pages, and third-party applications. The primary advantage of Facebook’s self-serve advertising platform is the granular targeting features.

Over the past few years, Facebook has increased their targeting capabilities, including the ability to limit advertising to metropolitan areas as well as the following target variables: gender, age, network (workplace, school, etc), profile keywords, relationship status, and more. Facebook recently released the Facebook Ads API which provides large ad buyers with the ability to build robust ad managers on top of the Facebook advertising platform.

We’ve written about a number of companies who have built services on top of Facebook’s Ads API. To boil it down, the Facebook Ads API enables Facebook to reduce the amount of friction large advertisers (those who spend more than $10,000 a day) have in posting new advertisements and modify existing ones. According to numerous sources, Zynga, the developer behind the largest games on Facebook (FarmVille, Café World, etc), is the largest purchaser of Facebook’s self-serve ads.

Small businesses like doctors, lawyers, restaurants, and others are also responsible for a large amount of Facebook’s revenue generated by the self-serve advertising platform. If you want to learn more about Facebook’s self-serve advertising platform, check out some of the articles below. We expect Facebook to generate somewhere in the range of $450 million this year (2010) on self-serve ads.

Engagement Ads

In addition to Facebook’s self-serve advertising product, Facebook also generates a substantial percentage of their revenue through their “Engagement Ads” product. Engagement Ads are Facebook’s solutions for large brand advertisers. Facebook places all engagement ads on the site’s homepage. Once a user logs in, they can interact with advertisements (like to one pictured to the right) which are placed on the right-hand side of the homepage.

Facebook has been ramping up their efforts to recruit brand advertisers in a number of ways but last September Facebook stepped up their efforts with the launch of Brand Lift. Brand Lift is essentially a product which enables large brand to test the effectiveness of their advertising campaigns almost immediately after their campaign is run. Facebook believes this increased level of measurement will encourage brand advertisers to spend more on Facebook Engagement Ads.

If you want to learn more about the Engagement Ads product, you can check out the articles below. We expect Facebook to generate around $250 million in brand advertising this year.

Microsoft Banner Advertising Agreement & Search

Previously, Facebook had an advertising agreement with Microsoft for displaying large banner ads on the site. Recently, Facebook removed the advertisements internationally and it appears that they could be completely phased out of the site by the end of the first quarter this year, according to a Facebook presentation that was presented in Poland earlier this month. Facebook is phasing out the banner advertisements from Microsoft as they want to be completely self-sufficient. Total revenue generated from Microsoft advertising will be less than $50 million this year as they phase out banner ads completely.

Another less discussed agreement is the one Facebook has with Microsoft over search. When Microsoft invested $250 million in Facebook at a $15 billion valuation, part of the investment included an agreement to integrate Microsoft’s search results into Facebook. The terms of the agreement have never been public however we believe that Microsoft may be paying Facebook beyond the terms of the initial agreement. Unfortunately for estimate purposes, we have to assume that this revenue is negligible although we believe it to be worth at least $150 million a year.

Virtual Goods And The Gift Shop

Facebook currently generates a large amount of revenue from the Facebook Gift shop. For those less familiar with the gift shop, it’s a product which enables users to send virtual gifts to one another. At an average cost of $1 per gift, Facebook gifts have become an extremely lucrative business, generating upwards of $100 million last year. Facebook has been slowly opening up the gift shop to third-party developers in order to increase the variety of products sold through the shop.

In August of last year, Facebook began opening the gift shop to non-profits and by September it was opened to a number of other developers. During the ongoing Haiti crisis, Causes has been offering users the opportunity to purchase gifts which directly benefit victims of the tragedy. While there are few public estimates of Facebook’s gift shop revenue, we’d expect Facebook to generate upwards of $150 million from their gift shop this year.

Facebook Credits

That last way Facebook generates revenue is through their Facebook Credits program. Initially used as a way for Facebook users to purchase virtual goods through the Facebook gift shop, Facebook is slowly opening up Credits to third-party developers. The purpose is for developers of applications, like FarmVille and other large social games, to integrate Facebook’s Credits product directly into their applications.

Facebook will, in turn, take a large percentage of all virtual goods sold through applications. As we wrote in our 2009 Facebook Recap, Facebook has been testing a number of ways to integrate Credits. In addition to testing out alternative payments for Credits for those users without access to credit cards, Facebook has been testing user-to-user credits as well as in-application credit integration.

Facebook is widely expected to release the Facebook Credits product for developers at this year’s f8 developer conference being held in San Francisco this April. While it will only begin rolling out later this year, we expect Facebook to generate $150 million in revenue from their Credits platform this year. This could expand up to a few hundred million in a short period of time as the volume of virtual goods sold on Facebook grows beyond $1 billion a year.

How to Create an AdSense Account (For Newbie Bloggers)

As a blogger, you have surely heard of the AdSense program from Google which is regarded as one of the best contextual advertisement programs available.

In this post, I will demonstrate how you can create an AdSense account for your website.

There are many AdSense alternatives available, but no matter what network you try, you will likely find that Adsense is the best.

If you have some marketing skills, however, you may also want to look into affiliate marketing.

When I started blogging, “AdSense” was a foreign concept to me. When I initially signed up for AdSense, I needed a lot of help from my friends, and I still was not sure I was doing it right.

For beginners who are not familiar with AdSense, it is an advertisement program for publishers started by Google (See Wiki details), wherein contextual ads are placed on your blog and you get paid when someone clicks on these ads.

In this blog post, I present an essential guide for beginners who are not sure how to apply for AdSense.

There are a couple of requirements which you must meet before you can apply for AdSense:

Steps to create an AdSense account:

AdSense has recently changed the account approval process to include the following steps:

Although the new AdSense account approval process is quite lengthy, the process will ultimately help to maintain the quality of AdSense for all users.

It is also important to make sure your blog or website is abiding by AdSense policies before applying.

Also, be sure to read the terms and conditions mentioned on the signup page to learn more.

Step-by-Step Guide to Creating an AdSense Account:

First, go to the Signup page for AdSense.

You will see an option to create a new Google account, or you can choose to use your existing Google account.

Note: If you have a custom domain name & you are using Google Apps for your domain email address, I suggest you use that to sign up for your AdSense account. When you use domain specific email addresses (admin@domain.com), the chances of getting your AdSense application approved is increased by a factor of 3.

Otherwise, you can use your existing Gmail address.

Website Details:

This form is straight-forward. You simply need to enter your website address and select the content language. For the website URL use your blog address, and make sure to add it without “http://”.

This is the most important part.

I remember making a couple of mistakes at this part when I first signed up. Hopefully, if you follow this guide, you won’t make the same mistakes.

The “payee name” is very important. Make sure to use the same name under which you have a bank account, as AdSense will be sending you checks or EFT payment under that name.

If you make a mistake here, changing the payee name of your account will be difficult in many countries, including India.

So ensure your bank account name and payee name are exactly the same.

Next, add your contact information and fill in the other details.

Read the AdSense policies and put a checkmark in all three boxes.

Once done, click on “Submit”, and on the next page you can review your details.

Make sure that all the details are accurate and up to date!

You can use your current email address to sign up, or you can create a new Gmail ID just for AdSense. For fast approval, I would suggest you to use ZohoMail, and create a free domain-specific email address.

In my case, when I tried to sign up using a generic gmail address, I was rejected four times.  However, when I later applied using a domain-specific email address, I got instantAdSense approval.

Once you have signed up for AdSense, you need to add AdSense codes to your blog. The AdSense team will review your application again after you add the codes, and your account will be activated with an Adsense Pin that will be sent to you.

All of this takes approximately  1-2 months depending upon your geographical location.

Once everything is set up, in order to get paid from AdSense you need to complete two further steps:

You will need to submit a tax form specific to how you are conducting business. For certification of No U.S. activities, and for Indian AdSense publishers, you can fill in this tax information:

AdSense Pin:

You will receive an AdSense Pin by mail once you reach the threshold of $10. You need to add the pin to your AdSense account.

 

You will start receiving payment once your AdSense account reaches the $100 threshold.

I hope with this guide you can successfully create an AdSense account.

Why Blogging is Important for Your Business?

There is some debate out there as to whether blogging is still relevant in today’s social media marketing environment.

Regardless if you are a small business, or a multinational company, blogging is integral to your online content marketing strategy.

Here are 4 reasons you need to blog:

Drive traffic to your website:


Your blog gives you the opportunity to create relevant content for your customers. Use this as a marketing tactic to drive traffic back to your website.

Make the blog on your website the foundation for all of your social media platforms.

Your business might be on FacebookTwitterPinterestLinkedIn, or anywhere else. Post links  – with relevant visuals – of your blog articles to your social sites. Give your social followers a reason to click through to your website.

Additionally, post inbound links directly in your blog articles, to drive traffic to specific landing pages of your website.

Increase your SEO/SERP:

Blogs increase your SEO. Fresh content is still a key to beating out your competitors in the search engine results page.

Use keywords in your articles. List out the keywords, topics, and categories you want your business to be found with. Use these words, and related expressions when writing your posts.

Of course, whether you actively seek these out or not, blogging regularly about your business, industry, product or customer lifestyle will naturally increase your search keywords. Being intent on your words will only increase results.

Keywords and topics on your website are a significant way in which Google (and other search engines) find your site for these searched words.

Position your brand as an industry leader:

Well written articles demonstrate your company as an industry leader. By posting topics which resonate with your market and show your knowledge, you are marketing your skills for your business, service or product too.

If you are a retailer, for example, write blog posts about your products. Your customers will get to know you as the knowledge source for the products they want.

If you are in B2B, most articulate, well-researched articles about your service. Become the hub or the place to be, for your industry.

You are building trust, too. The more you can show that you are well-versed in your field, the more likely your consumer will trust you to supply what they need.

Your customers additionally benefit from the learning you provide them.

Develop better customer relationships:

Blogs provide another source to deepen the connection with your customer. By connecting directly on your website, your clients are able to get to know your business or product from the comfort of your online home base.

Use this. Again, build trust by being a source of information. Consumers like to be informed, and appreciate that you are the one teaching them.

Additionally, just as on your other social sites, respond to comments and interact with your consumer. If they have questions about a product you are writing about, respond to them directly on your website. Unlike many social sites, a blog is generally searchable on your site for some time. Your website comments last longer than on a Twitter response or Facebook post. Other customers will see your interactions too.

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