The Best JavaScript Libraries for Helping You Build Web Interfaces

Web developers have increasingly turned to JavaScript in recent years to code websites, mobile applications, and web and device functions once thought to be best written using more complex back-end languages like Ruby. With the advent of Node.js, and other JavaScript libraries, it has become easier than ever to create complete apps and connected web interfaces using JavaScript. Check out these useful JavaScript libraries designed to help you build modern web interfaces.

1. jQuery

jQuery is arguably the most popular library and toolkit for JavaScript development. You can use jQuery to construct web interfaces for websites and apps that work on any browser or device. jQuery contains tools for handling HTML documents, website transitions and animations, and Ajax integration. This is a great starting place if you’re learning to create interfaces using JavaScript.

2. Node.js

Node.js contains one of the largest collections of open-source JavaScript libraries on the net. Nearly all experienced JavaScript developers have called upon the tools and functions provided by Node.js before, if not on a daily basis. Node.js allows you to create network applications and even use JavaScript for writing back-end functions to bring your interfaces to life.

3. AngularJS

Countless work hours have been saved thanks to the popular AngularJs library for JavaScript. This development toolkit allows JavaScript developers to control and modify HTML elements in web applications. You can use this library to create scalable applications and interfaces with interactive forms and other server-communicating elements.

4. React

React is an open-source JavaScript library that was designed to help developers build user interfaces for mobile apps. React is a diverse and popular toolset for site and app developers of all kinds. Even developers with WordPress hosting are turning to React to create apps using the WordPress REST API.

5. Vue.js

Vue is a newer JavaScript framework and library collection that is great for building web interfaces with. All that’s required to create using this tool is a prior knowledge of JavaScript, along with the basics of HTML and CSS. Though Vue doesn’t have the same-sized global fan base as libraries like node.js, it does has an active forum with plenty of helpful users and tutorials in case you get stuck.

6. Ampersand.js

Many JavaScript developers are already familiar with this toolset for building interfaces and apps with JavaScript. That’s because it’s proven itself indispensable as a collection of libraries and tools for building dynamic, scalable apps. Ampersand.js is a great addition if your team is already using Node.js as the two applications work great in combination. This JavaScript toolset is used by the popular WhatsApp application and has built a great reputation in the development community.

7. CanJS

CanJS contains several useful libraries that can be used when developing front-ends and interfaces using JavaScript. You can use the code snippets and pre-built functions included in CanJS to add credit card forms, animations, and advanced navigation systems to your app or website’s interface. Can JS provide regular updates and is focused on app and structural stability.

8. WPCOM.js

If you’re a fan of WordPress and wish to create interfaces for the platform using JavaScript then you should definitely check out this official API and library for JavaScript on WordPress. This toolset will help you create apps and front-end elements using JavaScript that can go directly on your WordPress hosting server.

9. Tower

Tower is an advanced toolset and library for building interfaces and app components using JavaScript. You can rely on Tower to save you time and effort while developing as it has a robust collection of preexisting codes and functions for common tasks. This JavaScript library is currently used by major website and app developers, and doesn’t show any sign of decreasing in popularity anytime soon.

10. Ember

Ember is a vast library for front-end JavaScript development. This framework will help you build interactive apps and interface elements that effortlessly communicate with your back-end. Ember was designed to help you save time by condensing your code to fewer lines. New users, and those not familiar with JavaScript libraries in general, will appreciate the 5-minute starter tutorial that Ember’s developers have created.

With the growth in popularity of open-source JavaScript libraries like React and Angular, many web development teams are now relying solely on JavaScript to create fully-functional apps and web interfaces. JavaScript can be used to build your app’s front-end and user interface in a fraction of the time once requires, thanks to these handy libraries. With a little training in syntax, you can be on your way to creating exciting JavaScript programs in just days using these libraries. Get started with one of the more basic and easy to use libraries like Node.Js or jQuery, and see what else the other libraries listed have to offer you. You will be cutting hours off your development workload in no time.

 

Top Pointers to Note Before Starting a New Blog

So, have you finally decided to make a blog? Great idea! You must have realized that there are so many benefits connected to blogging. Right? Well, before you raise your hope so high, it is absolutely necessary to take a number of things into consideration. Blogging is very diverse in nature. This implies that you must be conversant with the applicable tips and strategies to ensure that you make the best in the end.

You don’t just want to create some other average blog. The prime focus here is how to take your blog to the next level. In other words, you should be worried abouthow to make your blog prosper within a very short time. Out of the very many strategies that can be employed to boost a blog, there are those that tend to be more effective than others. Rather than spending time in implementing futile blogging strategies, it would be better to work within the right means.

Here are some pointers that you must take note of in order to make your blog a successful one:

Image result for Top Pointers to Note Before Starting a New Blog

Invest a Lot of Time in Keyword Research

Any person looking for knowledge on how to make a blog must also be ready to understand the importance of keywords for search engine optimization. It might interest you to know that a blog that does not utilize keywords is as good as dead. This is simply because blog visibility on the web is dictated heavily by the manner in which relevant keywords are applied.

It is important to spend a lot of time researching about keywords and unearthing the most powerful ones. It is your mandate to make sure that the kind of keywords you use have the capacity to rank your blog high in SERPS (Search Engine Results Pages). Primary benefits that come with blogging depend on keyword optimization.

 

Choose a Friendly Platform

When setting up a blog, you must be fully informed on the existing blogging platforms and which one ranks best.  Today, there are over 50 platforms that people use to develop their own blogs. However, out of the many platforms, only a few of them are considered best. You should be ready to scrutinize the best platforms and make your choice based on advantages.

WordPress is currently the most loved blogging platform. It is the most loved and used by all types of blogs; from startups to million-dollar blogs.

 

Take Full Advantage of Social Media

Some people run to social media to get information on how to start a blog. Others run to the same social media to understand the highs and lows of running a blog. The bottom line is that there is a lot of information you can get from social media regarding the best blogging practices.

Aside from that, if you intend to drive massive traffic to your blog, social media should be your first target. This is because it is very easy to get started and get your link out to lots of people in your social circles.Leveraging on social media will really help you to gain traffic and authority.

 

Understand The Importance Of A Friendly Blog Design?

How do I create a blog that will attract the attention of visitors through its appearance? This must be one of the questions that most people ask. It is absolutely necessary to ensure that the design that you have chosen for your blog is not boring to the eyes of your clients.

Be sure to do your personal research, particularly the colors that work well in attracting the attention of web visitors. You must make sure that your new visitors keep coming back simply because your blog is attractive. You can do this by selecting an excellent theme for your blog.

Note that it is not only the question of appearance. Things like loading speed are also to be considered. Be sure to do your research and work on all critical aspects that might otherwise deny you traffic.

 

Content is King, Queen, Prince, and Princess of Your Blog

Content in your new blog can be equated to the entire royal family. In other words, content is overly important in determining the current and future performance of your blog. You musttherefore, avoid wasting time in creating shoddy content.

Ensure that quality is upheld in your content at all times. You must hook your readers and make them visit even more and more. Above all, you must make sure that your content communicates the main message in a manner that your audience will understand.

Conclusion

Setting up a blog calls for more than simple customization and domain registration. You must move a notch higher to ensure a fruitful endeavor. Success in blogging is only assured if the right strategies are employed.

7 Step Blueprint to Successful Online Marketing

When it comes to marketing online, we’ve all read the headlines. You know, about those entrepreneurs cashing in millions of dollars from tiny internet ads and all the guru hype of overnight riches. Thing is, some of the best success stories do have a few common threads as such individuals applied similar principles to succeed. More specifically, learning the art of leverage.

Often times it is these oldest of principles, like ‘paying it forward’, where the magic really lies. As Earl Nightingale once said, “Success is the progressive realization of a worthy ideal.”

To understand that progressively realizing something important takes some time. Time required to set larger wheels of life in motion. When applied to online marketing, one might break down a blueprint as follows:

 

1.) Identify Your Online Niche. Scan the hotspots and trends, narrow down those topics you feel have a good chance of returning ROI right off the bat. Seek out all the stats and pain points of the niche you can find.

2.) Keep eyes on the competition. Who might be leading the pack on the keywords you’re looking to rank for? Check out the sales pages, unique selling propositions, their overall presentation and note any flaws you might find.

3.) Keyword research. As an example, you might want to rank for phrases like “1Bid1 tablet for sale” or “1Bid1.com cheap cameras for sale here”. Using various tools like Moz.com and the Google Keyword Planner you can start planning effective keyword ranking campaigns.

4.) Split testing your ad creative. You’re looking to maximize the effectiveness of your sales funnel. To do this, you need to test and track all of the elements chosen for your web pages, banners, ads, and copywriting. Over time, you can start picking out winners.

5.) The business plan. So now you’ve got a funnel, and hopefully a small budget to work with. Try to draw out a step by step strategy and keep track of dates and deadlines as you go along. Everything from the use of mind maps to drawing up blueprints will help you in the long run.

6.) Scale It up! You’ve hit positive returns by this point with your campaigns, either paid or organic traffic is working for you. Scale by testing and repeating the little successes and maximizing on them. Of course, watch that you don’t reach saturation point for a winning campaign when a market demographic isn’t large enough to expand into. Once it’s tapped out, simply maintain an optimum level of ad spending when working with paid traffic.

7.) Last but not least you want to start automating. This might include virtual assistants, outsourcing, or employing the use of software to help speed up daily tasks. The idea is to free up your time doing what matters while the nuts and bolts of your business are well-oiled and running 24-7.

The Basics of International Search Engine Optimization

When people go online, they start with a search engine to find what they want. This article will give a brief overview of what international search engine optimization (SEO) is and discuss a few strategies that will help you make your business’ website make its way to an international search engine results page.

The Basics of International Search Engine Optimization

Today, almost everyone owns and uses gadgets such as laptops, tablets, and mobile phones every day, including the use of search engines. Companies are now innovating their products with the goal of making technology more accessible to anyone, anywhere, and anytime! With these advancements, people are now spending more time with their gadgets, hence, spending more time online.

If you want to advertise a product or a service internationally, the best way to do it would be to put it up on a website and make it available on the World Wide Web. If people want to search for a product or service, they start with a search engine such as Google.

Google has almost become synonymous with the word search and “Googling” has become synonymous to internet searches. This speaks about Google’s dominance in the search space but Google is not really dominant all over the world. There are local search engines famous in many non-English speaking countries.

So, how do you make sure that your website is actually visible to the World? How do you make sure that future clients will see your website when they type in keywords in the search box? This is where international search engine optimization (SEO) companies comes in. To find out more, click here.

International SEO services provide the best visibility for websites in natural searches across multiple language markets. But when it comes to this, there are a lot of aspects to be considered. Just as businesses need to understand their local market, you will also need to know some of the basic SEO services strategies to be able to penetrate into the international market.

 

International Search Engine Optimization Strategies

To succeed in international search engine optimization, here are some strategies to get you started.

 

  1. Understand audience’s behavior

It is important to note how the audience relates to the product or service. Here are some guide questions to consider.

*How do they search for a product?

*What language do they use?

*How extensive is their research on the product?

The habits of the audience should be taken into consideration when you will be preparing the content of the website. To help the SEO understand the search terms that the user adopts, there should be a keyword research and the language that is adopted will just follow.

 

  1. Adopting ccTLD Domains

Country Code Top-level Domain (ccTLD) is very strong and specific. One of the pros of adopting to a ccTLD is that the site can easily be recognized since it is specific to a certain country. For example, we have .co.uk, .fr, .ph and so on.

One disadvantage of adopting to this is that the site will need to have local links in order to rank and come out in a suitable place in search engine results. You would also need to host the site in the country where the site is operating, which will definitely add cost.

 

Conclusion

A successful international search engine optimization will be achieved when you understand your audience and the technicalities in full. These may only be a few of the many strategies to consider for an international SEO but it’s just a walk in the park once you have mastered these basic strategies.

Website-Builder Review: Create your own free website

There are many website builder available out there over the internet, but only a few of them turns out to be useful when it comes to creating a website. Recently one of my friend asked me about a website builder tool which can help him in creating his own website. He don’t have any coding or language knowledge, so I recommended him to use Website-Builder.com, which is one of the best website creator service according to me. Here in this article I am going to tell you about this website creator in a little detail, so that you can also get to know about how useful is this tool in creating websites.

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1000’s Of Templates to Choose From

When it comes to making websites, first thing which everyone thinks of is website design. How it should be and from where we can get it designed. You don’t need to hire any website designer to design a template for you, nor you have to be expert in it. It event doesn’t matter if you know about website designing or not, as you can get free website templates on it. Currently there are more than 15 website template categories in it from where you can choose a template according to your need. After choosing template, you can edit it using its user friendly and easy to use website editor.All templates of this website are designed by professional and experienced web designers by keeping mobile visitors in mind. Using a responsive website template will help you to deliver your website in a great way to mobile users too.

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Free Hosting Forever

Another good thing to notice about it is that you don’t need a separate hosting to host your website contents. Other website creation platforms like WordPress and Joomla need hosting in order to run your website. You can save that money and use its free hosting. Moreover it also gives you various options to make your website SEO friendly, so that you can rank better in search engines and get a lot of traffic.

Simple and Easy To Use Website Editor

Website Editor of this tool is simply amazing. There are various options in it to customize site according to your needs. In total there are 3 options Pages, Add an Element and Settings which have further more options in them. From the Pages menu you can add and manage pages. From Add an Element menu you can add images, videos, text, slideshow, gallery, HTML code, content, menu, sub-menu etc. Moreover it allows you to add your Twitter, YouTube, Vimeo feed to your blog. If you have a Facebook Page, then you can integrate a like box to your website from this menu.

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From the settings menu, you can background and favicon image to your website and you can also integrate your Google Analytics account so that you can track and analyse your website visitors.To gain more visitors from search engines, this website builder tool allows you to add SEO title, description and multiple keywords which it will submit to search engines and your website will rank better. There is an in-built image library in from where you can add images to your website pages and posts for free.

Final WordsAbout Website-Builder.com

I hope you have enjoyed this post and got to know this awesome website creator tool. Though there are many more website creator tools available over the internet right now, but still I will recommend you to use website-builder.com as it offers many advanced features, which can’t be found in any other similar website builder. Creating website was never so easy before I got to know about website-builder.com.If you have used this tool before, or currently using it, then do let me know what you think about it. I have received many positive reviews of it from many people, I would like to know if you feel the same or not.

Building Links With Images: Where To Start And How To Automate It?

Building Links With Images: Where To Start And How To Automate It?

 A picture can be worth a thousand words, they say.
Well, when it comes to online marketing, a single image can be worth a thousand links!

Take a look at this image by comic blogger xkcd that gives tips on how to create strong and easy to remember passwords:

sdf

Any guess on how many links that this image has gotten?

Seriously, I want you to pause, take a good hard look and shout out a wild guess of how many links you think this image has gotten.

I’ll wait…

When I plug in this URL into Ahrefs Site Explorer I see that it has gotten over 4,100 referring domains!

referring-domains

How did you do on your guess? Close?

Put your guess down in the comments. I’d love to see how many links people think the image got.

As for me (in the famous words of Dumb & Dumber) – “I was way off!”.

It’s crazy to think that this single image has gotten 9X’s more referring domains than the blog you are reading right now! ( Sorry Ahrefs )

Aside from links, this image has received social shares getting into the hundreds of thousands.

Will you be able to replicate this kind of success with one of your own images?

Hardly.

But even if you only get 0.1% the results (which is totally doable) – that is still 40 links.

So here’s how you build links with images…

How To Create Images That Attract Links

Gregory Ciotti  has a great post about creating visual assets that I recommend everyone reads.

Aside from the huge list of great examples of visual assets I like this quote:

Great visual assets do more than just put words to images, they must offer creativity, clarity, or new insights on a popular topic.

And there’s a perfect visual that Gregory uses to illustrate his point:

Here's how you illustrate the "features VS benefits" concept.

The article where this image was featured is only 100 words long. But the way they’ve illustrated the “features VS benefits” concept is so amazing, that it generated 142 links from 75 domains (and almost 5k tweets).

Now this visual doesn’t seem to be too hard to put together – a few images of Mario (that can easily be found in Google) and a few phrases of supporting text.

But if you are not a designer, like me, you’ll have a hard time putting the whole thing together anyways.

So I usually prefer to leverage cheap services like Fiverr whenever I need to design a simple image like that!

Actually, you can find a lot of different design gigs on Fiverr.

Take a look at this recent post at Ahrefs blog: “How To Sell SEO Services: Getting Your SEO Business Off The Ground With Freelance Gigs“.

For as low as $5 they were able to visualize the main idea behind that article in a cool simple comic:

ahrefs-comic

The main downside of Fiverr is that you need to give a lot of direction, and since it starts at $5 you get what you pay for.

If you are looking to get a lot of input and help from a designer, I suggest using99 Designs or Dribbble.

Audit Images That Build You Links

I can hear a lot of you saying right now:

But Ben I don’t have any image ideas OR I can’t afford Fiverr OR I’m lazy OR _____________.

Don’t worry, the truth is that every website has images that they can leverage for link building.

In fact, most of the time your images are being used and you don’t even realize it!

I call this Link Harvesting, where we use the assets you already have to build links. This saves a lot of time and doesn’t cost any additional resources.

Start by doing an image audit to find all of the images that could be used to build links.

These can be:

  • Logos – This includes all old logos. You can find who is using outdated ones and let them know about the newest version.
  • Brand Mascots – Some famous examples are Ronald Mc Donald and Google Android.
  • Infographics
  • Product Photos
  • Badges / Awards
  • Employee Photos

Note down all the images that you think have the potential to attract some links and proceed to the next step.

Find Who Is Using Your Images

Alright, now that you have a list of images, it is time to see if the images are being used online.

For if someone is using your images you can simply request that they link to you as the source.

Handy Image Search Tools

  • Google Image Search (Free)
  • TinEye (Free)

Just upload your image into any of these tools and you’ll get a list of pages where your (or similar) image was used:

Google Image Search

I recommend you to use both tools, because quite often they will give you different search results.

How To Automate Image Link Building

Using TinEye and Google Image Search is great to see if an image has been used online ever. But if you want to check back monthly to see if anyone new has picked up your image (which I highly recommend doing) those tools are really difficult to use.

Instead, I use a tool called Image Raider.

This tool gives you a ton of free credits to start and allows you to automate checking your images as often as you would like.

It’s simple

  1. Add images to Image Raider
  2. Set frequency of how often to check (once, weekly, bi-weekly, monthly)
  3. Get emailed when they find new occurrences
  4. Email them asking for a link to your image

This simple process has allowed me to find links on major publications who were linking to the wrong place as the source!

Below is an example of how I have it set up to monitor the infographics thatSolarWinds creates:

Setting Up Image Raider

SolarWinds Infographics in Image Raider

Always Check Pages For Links

Image Raider lets me know where the images are being used, but not if they are linking back to my site. Before reaching out to these websites, you need to make sure that they are not already linking to you.

You can use the Moz bar to check if a given page has any links pointing to your domain.

But in case you get too many alerts from Image Raider, maybe it would be more convenient to create some automatic script that will check all these pages on autopilot.

Create Email Templates

Now that we’ve automated finding image opportunities with Image Raider, it’s time to email webmasters and request that they link to us as the source.

To help speed this up, you should use some kind of template.

I personally use BuzzStream because of their auto fill template feature, but a simple canned response in Gmail also works.

Here is a quick generic example:

Hi,

First off, thank you so much for including us in your article on [Domain Name].

[URL of Article]

I noticed that you included our image and was wondering if you could link to us as the source.

Thank you again for including us.

Ben

Take Action

We covered a lot, so let’s summarize an action plan so you can start growing your backlink profile with images:

  1. Create awesome images!
  2. Keep a list of all the images you own for your website (Ex: Logo, Infographics, etc)
  3. See if images are being used online (TinEye)
  4. Automate image discovery (Image Raider)
  5. Check to pages to see if they are already linking (Moz Bar)
  6. Email those who are not linking and request they link to you as the source (Buzzstream)

If you follow these 6 steps I’m confident that you will find and create new link opportunities each month.

11 Handy Bookmarklet Hacks For Quick Access To Ahrefs Tools

11 Handy Bookmarklet Hacks For Quick Access To Ahrefs Tools

SEO research is an exciting thing, but we all know – the constant repetitive clicking and switching of windows can be quite tedious and hamper the flow of creativity.
There’s just so much data that has to be checked and researched that you’re likely to find the whole thing excruciatingly boring and monotonous.

But there’s a nifty little hack that will speed up your research by a great deal and make it a lot more convenient.

I’m talking about “bookmarklets”.

New To Bookmarklets?

A bookmarklet is a small “one-click” tool that adds extra functionality to a browser. It can do many useful things such as modifying how a web page appears, querying a search engine, or even show what fonts that are used on a page.

Bookmarklets can automate monotonous steps, and reveal important information, such as:

  • the keyword density of a text;
  • the owner info of a domain;
  • the backlinks of a page.

And here’s why I prefer them to browser add-ons:

  • they do not slow down your browser;
  • they work in every browser (most of the time).

A bookmarklet is not a software. It consists of small JavaScript snippets that are attached to a bookmark and make it perform different tasks.

Handy Bookmarklets For Quick Access To Ahrefs Tools

Here’s my personal collection of bookmarklets that I use for quick and easy access to various Ahrefs tools.

Feel free to “steal” any them from me and supercharge your SEO research:

  • 9 BOOKMARKLETSFOR QUICK ACCESS TO AHREFS TOOLS
  • Show Referring DomainsShow the referring domains of the currently visited domain.
  • Show Dashboard PageShow the dashboard page for the currently visited domain.
  • Show Inbound Anchor PageShow the anchor page for the currently visited domain.
  • Show BacklinksShow the backlinks page for the currently visited domain.
  • Show New BacklinksShow new backlinks for the domain.
  • Show Lost BacklinksShow lost backlinks for the current domain.
  • Show PagesShow the pages for the current domain.
  • Show Outgoing AnchorsShow the outgoing anchor texts for the current domain.
  • Show Outgoing Linked DomainsShow which domains this domain link to.

But that was nine, right?

Wayback Machine Bookmarklets:

  1. Show Ahrefs Dashboard for domain seen on archive.org

This is very, very nifty. If you are analyzing an expired (or live) domain at archive.org, it’s annoying to have to format the URL for analyzing the domain, over and over again.

Example:

Let’s say you’re looking at some oldish page like this one:

https://web.archive.org/web/20060716164826/http://www.facebook.com/jobs.php

With my bookmarklet you can easily truncate it to justhttp://www.facebook.com/ and submit to Ahrefs.

Pretty useful hack, if you’re an extensive user of the Wayback Machine, right?

How To Use These Bookmarklets?

Bookmarklets are no different from bookmarks and can be added to your browser in a split of a second:

  1. Hover the mouse pointer over the bookmarklet text.
  2. Drag the text to your browser bookmarks toolbar.
  3. The bookmark, and often an icon, will now show.

Like this:

01-add-bookmarklet

And whenever you decide to use one of them, just click on it the same way you would click on a bookmark when you’re visiting a website.

Like this:

02-use-bookmarklet

This is it!

I hope you’ve enjoyed my collection of bookmarklets. If properly used they will tremendously streamline your SEO workflow.

If you need more, feel free to browse an extensive collection of SEO bookmarklets on my own site and let me know your feedback.

10 Lesser-Known Marketing Tools For Small Business Worth Checking Out

10 Lesser-Known Marketing Tools For Small Business Worth Checking Out

 Ever since the first caveman invented the wheel, we’ve been using tools to save ourselves time, money and headaches.
And thanks to the digital technology revolution of the past two decades, we have more options than ever when it comes to the kinds of tools that can be used to grow a business.

To help you leverage these advancements, I’ve put together a list of a few lesser-known business growth tools you may not have heard of before.

Skim through the list and see if any of them catch your eye. If so, add them to your arsenal today.

Their impact on your overall productivity and the growth of your business could be astonishing.

1. Narrow.io

Automate your Twitter growth with Narrow.io. It’s a simple tool that automate the tedious, yet effective, tasks that can lead to huge growth with your Twitter profile.

00-narrow.io

And don’t worry, it’s not your general “follower spambot.” These guys use a sophisticated algorithm to target people that care about things your target audience cares about.

It’s all about building an engaged audience on Twitter. You can’t do that by randomly following, unfollowing and favoriting people without a plan. You’ve got to find the people that talk and care about the things you do. Only after you do that will you be able to effectively grow your account.

Narrow.io will help you do that in a strategic manner that works.

2. Customer.io

Every customer will have a unique experience with your company. I don’t think two people will ever have the exact same path to purchase. Some will sign up for your blog newsletter, others will only download your white papers. Some will choose to pay a monthly plan, others would rather the annual payment. You get the idea…

01-customer.io

And so does Customer.io. Their software sends targeted messages to customers based on their specific behaviors and path to purchase.

It’s a great way to get a bit more personal with your emails. Use it to create new emails based on where your customers are in the buying cycle, as well as the behaviors they’ve taken. That level of personalization will lead to more purchases, loyalty and growth for your business.

3. Picreel

Don’t you hate it when a new visitor leaves your site without filling out a form or taking action? It’s frustrating – especially for a business that’s trying to fuel growth.

02-picreel

Picreel offers solutions for these exact types of situations. Their tool helps propel conversions by putting your message in front of the audience at just the right time using exit-intent technology that captures visitors’ attention before they leave your site.

Yes, there’s a huge debate around how much people hate pop-ups, but despite their feelings about the tactic, no one can argue with its effectiveness. When you put the right message in front of the right audience at the right time, it works.

And you can create popups around other things too, not just exit-intent. The tool has features that show your visitors exclusive message based on specific behaviors and that target visitors throughout your site as they discover content.

Honestly? It’s a little like having a miniature 007 spy working for your site – serving up the right content when it matters most.

4. SellHack

The guys over at SellHack know how to get things done. Their service revolves around finding a person’s email address for you – and they’re amazing at their job. All you need is a person’s first and last name and the domain where they work.

03-sellhack

Sure, there are ways to find a person’s email on your own. But, trust me, it’ll take you hours of research. And even then, it’s not a sure thing. Don’t waste time with that frustrating trial and error.

If you ever send out cold emails, then you’ve got to try these guys out.

5. Intercom.io

I don’t know about you, but I find it a huge hassle to switch from my customer service app to my email marketing program, and from my customer relationship management system to my marketing automation platform. And I find it even more frustrating when these different kinds of software don’t integrate with each other.

04-intercom

That’s what I love about Intercom.io – it brings all these services together into one product.

Even better? The money you save from using one app (instead of five) can be used to help fuel your business growth even more.

If you want a solid system that integrates everything together, try setting up a system with this service. It just might be the best thing you’ve ever done for your business.

6. Typeform

Typeform does everything it can to make forms and text-based surveys a fun experience. Now, I don’t know about you, but that seems like quite a challenge – and yet, the company does a great job with it.

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By making your forms interactive and fun, you’ll increase the number of people that actually fill them out. That’s more leads for your sales funnel, and the potential to generate more sales for your business. It’s truly growth at its finest.

7. JustReachOut

Hiring a PR agency can be a costly expense. And unless you’re a fully-funded startup superstar, it’s probably not a feasible investment. Unfortunately, that means you either forget PR or learn how to do it yourself. Most people, I think, choose the former, because the latter seems too difficult and time consuming.

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That’s the pain that JustReachOut wants to eliminate. It’s a great tool for startups and entrepreneurs that want to pitch their company to the media, but don’t know where to start. They’ll help you get setup and perfect your pitch – cutting the time and expense associated with working with a traditional PR firm.

8. Quickmail.io

Quickmail.io is another great tool for professionals that rely on cold emailing. Once installed, the system sets you up with a complete funnel and follow-up function. As soon as a prospect responds to your email, they’re taken out of the sequence and won’t receive additional emails.

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It’s powerful if you want a way to keep up with cold emails and add a personal touch. And although people can use cold emails for evil, they can also use them for good. Obviously, I’m only advocating this tool for the good guys!

9. Totango

Like many apps, Totango helps you understand the user experience and drive conversions. But what really makes the company shine is their trial conversion feature, which helps you identify prospects that are actively evaluating your product and separates them from the average free users.

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Once you have that kind of information in your arsenal, you can strategically follow up with particular customers and really see an enormous increase in your conversions.

10. Famebit

If you want to make waves with YouTube, you can’t beat the guys over atFamebit. They’re helping entrepreneurs and startups connect with YouTube influencers that will talk about your product – and that kind of exposure can do great things for your company’s growth.

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I’d definitely recommend it to anyone wanting an easy, affordable way to get their product or service in front of thousands of people.

Wrapping it up…

You’ll notice that I didn’t mention the mega-tools that you’ll find on so many other posts. Why? Because I believe these small, nimble tools work well for small, nimble companies – and cutting your software expenses frees up capital that can be spent on bigger, better growth campaigns.

5 Circles of Hell You Need To Pass Before I Call You A True SEO Copywriter

5 Circles of Hell You Need To Pass Before I Call You A True SEO Copywriter

 Sometimes becoming a world-class SEO copywriter can seem like a passage in Dante’s inferno.
As Dante famously said,

“In the middle of the journey of our life I came to myself within a dark wood where the straightway was lost.”

For the past 5 years, I always managed to get out of the dark woods to get back on the road again.

Below I want to show you how I accomplished this feat, so you have a better understanding of the path you can take to become a true SEO copywriter.

The Five Circles of Hell to Become An SEO Copywriter

1. Creating a low-quality writing portfolio

When I first started writing for others, I realized I needed to expand my portfolio. To do that, I went on Fiverr.

It was a brilliant move to start my writing career. After all, who would not want three articles from an American writer on Fiverr?

However, jobs on Fiverr only pay $3.5 after PayPal and Fiverr fees. My work reflected the payment I received.

fiverr screenshot

The articles were so poor that looking back on them today, I am aghast at the quality. However, the clients approved them and said they were great. I guess they did not even read the content.

Soon after I abandoned Fiverr as a revenue generator. It was not a sustainable model.

Lesson: Use Fiverr as a testing ground, but to find quality clients you should start looking at other places where you can get paid for writing quality content and build your portfolio.

2. Taking every job you can get your hands on

So what do you do after you start working on Fiverr? You take the first job someone offers you!

After working on Fiverr for a month, I found my first client. They needed 54 articles on laser hair removal. Money talked, and I said “yes” despite knowing nothing about the topic.

My first client taught me that pricing really does matter. The client paid me $5 per article. My eyes flashed at the possibility of earning $270.

Yet, I ended up spending over 40 hours on those articles. And according toCopyscape none of them are even online anymore. What a waste of time.

copyscape screenshot

Lesson: Value your time. Quality articles are paid by the amount of hours invested, not by the word count.

3. Stuffing your writing with tons of keywords

Back in 2005, keyword stuffing was the norm. However, what worked 10 years ago, does not work today (shocker, I know).

My original clients wanted me to stuff those articles with keywords for all they are worth.

Going back to the laser hair removal guy. He gave me a bunch of long-tail keywords that I had to magically transform into a sentence.

Can you guess how many times I could put the keyword like “the best laser hair removal procedure San Diego” in a single paragraph?

This is a textbook definition of keyword stuffing.

A lot of SEOs learned their lesson with this technique when the Google Panda algorithm slapped their thin sites.

google-panda

Lesson: “keyword optimization” and “keyword stuffing” have nothing in common.

However, I reasoned at the time that it was what the client wanted. Happy client means paycheck! Paycheck means rent and internet paid!

And yet, that line of thinking can mess up your client’s website as well as your base of business.

4. Knowing which writing gigs are worth your time

I remember the first time I saw an ad on a job board about how I could make up to $300 per guest post. My excitement lasted till the moment I reached out to these guys.

The reality is that they want you to get your content published on a large site like Forbes, so they can garner tons of traffic.

In essence, they want to leverage your connections with publications like Mashable, Huffington Post, and other large-scale blogs and publications.

The challenge is that those publications never accept you being paid by a third party. They want a cut larger than your paycheck.

That means you spend all that time working on a blog post for someone that just never passes muster.

As Carole Tice stated in her post on The Write Life:

“It’s all too common for freelancers to latch onto the first client who comes their way, and then never let go. Even if they’re obnoxious, or it isn’t the type of writing you really want to do, or they don’t pay well.”

Writing for companies is like dating. There are plenty of fish in the sea.

If one is not right, then you need to move to bigger and better fish.

Lesson: Do not spend social capital ghostwriting for others when you can write your own articles that will eventually bring you bigger and better clients.

5. Neglecting your grammar

One of my editors asked me the first time we worked together if someone from the Philippines wrote the draft I sent her.

While I believe I hail from the windy city, it was an interesting observation. That is why it is important to have a good editor. They filter the junk from your article.

poor grammar

Plus, collaborating with editors shows you what works and does not work in your writing. You learn how to correct your writing as you grow.

Lesson: Take your time to edit your content. Search engine optimization today is as much about great content and good editing as it is about backlinks and keywords.

Final Thoughts

Writing articles for business is a great reward and challenge.

The challenges and lessons that I’ve shared in this article are a culmination of of over 5 years in the industry developing my professional standards.

If you are just beginning your own journey down this path, the best thing you can do as an SEO freelance writer is to create your own standards.

I’m really keen to know how you avoided your own circles of hell when you started your freelance writing career?

Perhaps you are going through those challenges right now. Let me know if I can help you!

3 Things You Need To Know About SEO in 2015

3 Things You Need To Know About SEO in 2015

In every year since the Internet was first created, it has continued to rapidly expand to more users with more devices to access it with. Now with the New Year in its first month, it would seem logical that the same change is ahead for 2015. Considering that SEO is a dynamic field, it’s no surprise that best practices are constantly evolving and changing each year.

In 2015, companies can expect some shifts from the “go to” SEO practices of previous years, consequently affecting the overall SEO strategy. Below are three things that will gain importance and require action in the coming year.

1. Mobile SEO will be even more important

The increased use of mobile phones has continued on an upward trend for years and that movement is not projected to stop anytime in the near future. During 2015, in fact, it is predicted that the volume of mobile traffic will overtake the volume of normal web traffic. Even with these projections, many companies don’t take advantage of the opportunity to reach their customers and followers through mobile devices, but instead persist on normal web traffic as being the only route.

Creating a mobile website and SEO strategy does not have to greatly differ from your current SEO plans, but it does require some adjustments, especially in design and ease of use. Businesses will need to focus on changes that enhance mobile use such as creating a responsive design, having a mobile sitemap and optimizing embedded images and videos. By remembering that mobile phones are the future of internet access, your company can get ahead of the game by connecting with your consumers on their phones sooner rather than later.

2. Social media takes over

The dominance of social media in 2015 is not something that comes as a surprise. Similar to smartphones, social media has been on the rise for years. The number of Facebook users has increased to more than 1.5 billion since its creation a decade ago and new platforms are popping up on a regular basis. Whether your company seeks a more professional network or a network to post their most recent video creation, there is a social media platform that can be optimized.

One important trend for social media in 2015 is the necessity to be present in a real-time context. Consumers have become accustomed to having information and communication available to them when and where they want it.  The implication for companies is to utilize online analytics tools to continuously tweak SEO and other online marketing campaigns according to the real-time data it receives.

One final trend to keep in mind for social media is the growing importance of videos in the online space. A recent survey showed that customers are 64-85% more likely to purchase a product after watching a video promotion. As a result, the amount of video SEO increased 57% in 2014 and is expected in increase even more in 2015.

3. Content is king

Every professional who works in a digital marketing company knows the uphill battle of staying up-to-date with the latest Google algorithm. In 2015, Google is expected to reduce the value of links and keywords and increase the importance of the content itself. Websites and pages will be indexed and ranked based on what it thinks your site means rather than what links you include.

To increase the reach of your high quality content and continue to improve your SEO, it is important to connect to your social media presence, email campaigns and other marketing initiatives at your company. Email marketing is one of the most well provenmediums for reaching a large number of clients in a targeted manner. With the overload of real-time data consumers will be processing on social media and online, it will be extremely important to send a well-designed email with personalized content as well.

When it comes to content, it is important to remember that it doesn’t all have to be new content. Small and large businesses alike are working to optimize and update existing content that had a big impact on traffic and leads. By focusing on what worked in the past, the company is well positioned to continue the success into the future.

Mobile SEO and a continued presence on social media are two staples of 2015. If there is one major trend to keep in mind, however, it is the importance of content in the SEO landscape. To get the best results, know the magic equation set by Google but don’t live or die by it! Everything you do should work towards providing excellent content to your users and not be focused on outsmarting Google. In 2015, it is predicted to value good content over than keywords and linking, a win-win situation for your company’s SEO and your customer’s experience.