Davis, James begin Lakers partnership with sky-high hopes

first_imgEthel Booba on SEA Games cauldron: ‘Sulit kung corrupt ang panggatong’ And Davis doesn’t have to carry his new team, either. LeBron James is here to share the work.“We’re going to feed off each other tremendously,” Davis said. “I think we’re two guys who are very selfless and just want to win. When we have two guys like that, it makes both of our jobs easier.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGreatest ever?SPORTSFormer PBA import Anthony Grundy passes away at 40SPORTSSan Miguel suspends Santos, Nabong, Tubid indefinitely after ‘tussle’ in practiceJames has spent his entire adult life facing championship pressure, and his chances of meeting those expectations for a fourth time got exponentially better when the Lakers put these two superstars together. James looks forward to finding chemistry with Davis to create an immediate winner — and to persuade Davis to stick around when he hits free agency next summer.“We’ve got a brand-new coaching staff and brand-new players coming to our system, but we do all know how good Anthony Davis is,” James said. “If we’re not playing through Anthony Davis while he’s on the floor, then it makes no sense to have him on the floor, because he’s that great.” Duterte calls himself, Go, Cayetano ‘the brightest stars’ in PH politics Matteo Guidicelli had saved up for Sarah G’s ring since 2014? DTI creates Marahuyo, a luxe Filipino fashion brand for global buyers This 16-time championship franchise is currently mired in a record six-year postseason drought, but everything is different and everything is possible this winter. The buzz around the Lakers never truly dissipates in LA, but it hasn’t been this loud since 2012.“When your starting point of your roster is two of the best players in the universe, that’s a really strong starting point,” Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka said.Frank Vogel is spending his first few months as the Lakers’ coach figuring out how to mold a cohesive team around his two superstars. He’ll experiment with lineups, rotations and rest while the Lakers figure out how to play together in a season they expect to last well into the spring.“The belief is strong in what we can be as a team,” Vogel said. “Everybody is looking at their teammates, and there’s a healthy respect going into the season. When the belief is strong at the outset, it’s just about focusing in on the work.”Here are more things to watch in a tantalizing season in Lakerland:ADVERTISEMENT Canadian vaping study details danger from ‘popcorn lung’ chemical LATEST STORIES Becoming his own man This jewelry designer is also an architect NBA: Kawhi, George seek more for Clippers than beating Lakers PLAY LIST 01:48NBA: Kawhi, George seek more for Clippers than beating Lakers00:50Trending Articles03:122 dead in California school attack; gunman shoots self02:11Makabayan bloc defends protesting workers, tells Año to ‘shut up’03:07PH billiards team upbeat about gold medal chances in SEA Games01:38‘Bato’ to be ‘most effective’ CHR head? It’s for public to decide – Gascon02:07Aquino to Filipinos: Stand up vs abuses before you suffer De Lima’s ordeal01:28Ex-President Noynoy Aquino admits contracting pneumonia00:45Aquino agrees with Drilon on SEA games ‘kaldero’ spending issue Drilon apologizes to BCDA’s Dizon over false claim on designer of P50-M ‘kaldero’ UAAP: La Salle survives UE, bolsters Final Four bid MOST READ Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) reacts in front of forward Anthony Davis (3) during the first half of a preseason NBA basketball game against the Golden State Warriors in San Francisco, Saturday, Oct. 5, 2019. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)LOS ANGELES— Anthony Davis doesn’t raise a brow at the high expectations he’s accepting with the Los Angeles Lakers.The 26-year-old superstar engineered his move from New Orleans to Hollywood knowing that championships are the only acceptable result to the Lakers’ legions of demanding fans. After spending his entire NBA career struggling to lift the underdog Pelicans, he welcomed the chance to play for a team and in a city where every game means something big.ADVERTISEMENT View comments Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. KUZMA STAYSKyle Kuzma is the only component remaining from the Lakers’ talented young core after Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram and Josh Hart were shipped to New Orleans for Davis. Kuzma didn’t participate in training camp while dealing with a stress injury in his leg, but he should be ready soon. The high-scoring forward’s skill set could fit well alongside the Lakers’ two superstars, and Kuzma realizes he has a golden opportunity. “I’m looking forward to reaching the next level with my own game,” he said. “This is a great chance for me to reach my potential.”DWIGHT’S RETURNThe Lakers’ decision to re-sign Dwight Howard might have been the most shocking development of the entire offseason. The mercurial center spent one season with the Lakers in 2012-13 before clashing with Kobe Bryant and then fleeing town as a free agent. Howard has been booed mercilessly at Staples Center ever since, but he became the Lakers’ backup plan in the middle after DeMarcus Cousins tore a knee ligament shortly after signing with LA. Howard campaigned for a spot with the Lakers, and they gave him a non-guaranteed contract. If the newly humbled Howard recaptures his game, the Lakers will have an enormous asset at a minor cost.SUPPORTING ACTORSThe Lakers supplemented their roster with an intriguing mix of veterans, including newcomers Danny Green, Jared Dudley, Avery Bradley, Troy Daniels and Quinn Cook. Vogel will look for perimeter scoring to complement James’ drives and Davis’ inside play, with Green and Daniels particularly expected to provide 3-point shooting proficiency. Every signee probably will get ample opportunity to play their way into a regular rotation spot while competing with holdovers Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Alex Caruso and Rajon Rondo.VOGEL’S FLOCKWhen they replaced Luke Walton after three straight losing seasons, the Lakers chose the 46-year-old Vogel over Tyronn Lue, who landed down the hallway with the Clippers instead of reteaming with James. Vogel got impressive results with limited resources in Indiana, but he has never coached stars of the Lakers’ dual magnitude. He also has a coaching staff including Jason Kidd and Lionel Hollins, two former NBA head coaches. The early results from this arranged marriage are promising, with James praising Vogel’s attention to detail.LA TAKEDOWNJames wasn’t joking when he labeled Staples Center as the true winner of the NBA’s offseason moves. The Lakers and the Clippers both created probable title contenders, and their shared arena will be the center of basketball for much of the winter, with 82 sold-out games a distinct possibility. Out-of-towners shouldn’t get it twisted about which team is preferred in their shared hometown, however: The Lakers’ fan base wildly outnumbers the Clippers’ faithful, to the point where Kawhi Leonard and Paul George have already been booed while attending other sports events around Los Angeles. The teams meet Tuesday in their season openers, and again on Christmas.last_img read more

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Free Ways to Market Your Freelance Services

first_imgThe average person may see anywhere between 4,000 and 10,000 ads in a single day. From binge-watching your favorite shows to checking the pile of coupons in your mailbox, advertisers have inundated our lives. Most of the ads we see… Full Story,Dressing up for Halloween is one of the best parts of the holiday, especially if you’re a creative person. But buying a Halloween costume can get expensive, with many costing more than $50 a pop. And unless you plan to… Full Story,You may not find it on an official calendar anywhere, but Friendsgiving is a newer holiday that has gained popularity in recent years. Much like Thanksgiving, Friendsgiving is a time to gather around the table with loved ones in the… Full Story,My birthday is on Halloween, so every year I get super excited. I plan what my costume will be, decide how I want to celebrate and text all my friends to let them know. Last year, I was finally able… Full Story,Not much of a football fan? Don’t know what all the cheesehead hat-wearing and face paint-smearing is all about? Skip hanging out at the local sports bar or sitting in the stands at a game, and put on your entrepreneurial… Full Story,Living paycheck to paycheck can feel like an endless scramble. Rent is due on the first but your paycheck won’t clear until the second. On top of everything, you need to pay for groceries, a bus ticket, and utilities before… Full Story,Decision fatigue is the decline in energy and focus you experience after making too many decisions. This mental drain causes your brain to abandon your willpower in order to seek more immediate rewards, which leads to poor decision making and… Full Story,If you ask a random person on the street what they do, chances are they have a lot of slashes and hyphens in their job titles. In this day and age, if you don’t have multiple sources of income… Full Story,Do you consider yourself a financially responsible young adult? Personally, I like to think that my finances are mostly in order. Rent, student loans, car payments—everything big is blocked off nicely. If the math works out right, I have a… Full Story,In the financial world, nothing evokes feelings of terror quite like the word “bankruptcy”. It’s become synonymous with a complete and utter collapse of one’s finances – a black hole that’s almost impossible to climb out of. When you declare… Full Storylast_img read more

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Money Talks: What Your Kids Want to Know About Money

first_imgMy birthday is on Halloween, so every year I get super excited. I plan what my costume will be, decide how I want to celebrate and text all my friends to let them know. Last year, I was finally able… Full Story,Technology has transformed the way we dine out in groups. Gone are the days when friends take turns treating each other to nights on the town. Now that apps make money accessible everywhere, tabs are paid down to the cent… Full Story,Occupation: Copywriter Industry: Digital Marketing Age: 29 Location: Indianapolis, IN Paycheck (BiWeekly): $2,100/mo after HSA and 401(k) removed Monthly Expenses: Rent: $462.50 Car lease: $300 Insurances: $85 All other expenses Utilities: $200/mo Pet supplies: $30/mo Phone: $50/mo Streaming services: $15/mo… Full Story,Occupation: Digital advertising Age: 30 Location: San Francisco Bay Area Income: $5,200 month net post 401K, health insurance / HSA, and taxes Total Debt: $0 Monthly Expenses: Rent and utilities: $1,800 Auto: $275 including car insurance Internet/mobile: $120 10:00 am:… Full Story,The holidays are time for family. Here are some fun ideas from our friends at Quotacy on how to make the most of this holiday season with your loved ones, with a bit of humor. ?   With the rise… Full Story,Occupation: Social Media Manager Industry: Digital Marketing Age: 26 Location: Indianapolis, IN Paycheck: $2,500/month after health/vision insurance deductions Monthly Expenses Rent: $700 Car Insurance: $65 Renters Insurance: $16 Utilities: $75 (Internet, Electric, Gas) Dental Insurance (not through work): $15 Hulu:… Full Story,On November 30th, The Financial Diet is kicking off their nationwide book tour for The Financial Diet: A Total Beginner’s Guide To Getting Good With Money in New York.  Join us when the tour hits your city and don’t forget… Full Story,Occupation: Data Analyst Industry: Digital Marketing Age: 31 Location: Menlo Park, CA Paycheck (BiWeekly): $1,700 after auto-savings, 401k, ESPP purchase, renters & auto insurance and health care removed I have everything removed automatically as I have trouble with in-the-moment spending…. Full Story,Occupation: Account Services & Freelance Writer Industry: Digital Marketing Age: 39 Location: Longmont, CO Paycheck (3): $4,700/mo includes salary and three freelance clients (side hustles) Monthly Expenses Rent: $900 Car loan: $275 Credit card payment: $450 All other expenses… Full Story,If you’re still in college or a recent grad working with a limited budget, the idea of implementing a healthy lifestyle can seem overwhelming and very expensive. If you aren’t careful, you might find yourself shelling out lots of cash… Full Storylast_img read more

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From Risk to Resilience: It’s Time for Business to Collaborate on Climate Change

first_imgThis article originally appeared on Edie.net as part of their ongoing megatrends series in advance of Edie Live.All over the world, the climate is changing. In some places, storm surges crash over flood walls. Elsewhere, crops wither, parched by drought. Climate impacts are varied and highly local. The only constant is disruption.So, how will companies—and the communities that rely on them—cope with change?Disruption is one of those words that some companies love and others hate. Innovative companies often work hard to disrupt themselves. They embrace disruption as a means of accelerating creative solutions and maintaining their competitive edge. Climate disruption creates that same urgency for innovation.Generally, though, the disruptions associated with climate change bring more risk than reward. Rising seas, extreme weather and other impacts put products, properties, supply chains and livelihoods in jeopardy. By one count, ignoring climate change will cost $369 trillion by the end of next century.Climate change is bad for business, but those with solutions can find growth opportunities if they look closely and act quickly. Over the past years, we have found companies of all sizes share common interests and face common challenges in adapting to climate change.Looking AheadResilience is another word that underpins an increasing urgency among companies. Back in 2010, few companies were actively preparing for climate scenarios and the impacts on their value chain. The research behind a report that the WRI published with UN Global Compact and Oxfam suggested plenty of companies were looking at ways to “mitigate” or reduce their emissions that were exacerbating climate change. But far fewer were recognizing that they would also need to “adapt” to changes that a warming world is creating in countries where they source, produce, and sell their products.Today, companies of all sizes are grasping and crafting strategies for climate resilience—a measure of ability to maintain operations in the face of climate stress. Companies like PepsiCo, for example, are partnering with smallholder farmers in their supply chain to protect against losses in agricultural production. Farms and food and beverage companies are anticipating more erratic rainfall, seen everywhere from California to Ethiopia, and are preparing to deal with the water shortages that burden smallholders and local communities. Otherwise, the supply crunch can send shockwaves through the global commodity market.Other sectors have “skin in the game” here, too. Apparel companies saw the impact of extreme drought a few years ago, when major droughts in Texas and elsewhere caused cotton prices to spike. Likewise, automobile and disk drive manufacturing took a huge hit when devastating floods hit Thailand and shut down their local facilities and suppliers. In the era of global operations, climate change impacts anywhere are a problem for businesses everywhere.Interestingly, research has shown that firms large and small must contend with similar barriers as they develop a strategy for dealing with the challenge of climate change. These include:A lack of information about climate risks. An inability to identify and implement cost-effective solutions. Difficulty accessing capital to implement those solutions.Wheat companies have pooled resources to introduce climate resilience measures. Photo by Marcus/Flickr Strong partnerships to pool finances and technical skills can help businesses overcome barriers to building resilience. For instance, with financial support from donor governments, research institutes can create new cost-effective solutions that companies can commercialize. The International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) and the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) have used technology to develop flood and drought tolerant crops that farmers can purchase and plant, to sustain their businesses and contribute rice and wheat to world markets.Adapting to climate change need not be overwhelming. Companies can start simply, with exercises to extend time horizons, particularly on major capital investments. It is far too risky now to use assumptions based on past climate conditions when investing in a major facility or market strategy. Mining and energy companies are updating outlooks and building scenarios that help them understand how climate change will affect operations in the years ahead. Information in these scenarios should be shared widely so smaller companies can use it to build their own resiliency.In addition to learning from each other, businesses can find and use open data tools, such as WRI’s Flood Risk Analyzer. There is a wealth of other information to tap into, including Four Twenty Seven’s Heat Vulnerability Map, which aims to help the US healthcare sector identify and plan for public health risks. Companies would benefit from similar data and tools across other countries where they have suppliers, employees, and customers.Joint VenturesNo one company, no matter how big, will be resilient by itself. All companies must increasingly rely on others to adapt to the new extremes and uncertainties that climate change is creating. Winners in tomorrow’s markets will anticipate and meet others’ growing needs for climate change solutions.Companies that see a common risk or a multi-sector solution should invest together in resilience. This might mean combining individual skills and investments into larger support and platforms for open scenarios, data, information, and tools. Or it might mean investing to build capacity in supply chains. It might even mean combining core competencies for new efforts to test and build new products, services, practices, and technologies. In any case, companies—big and small—would be wise to tackle climate change together. All companies should be asking: “What are we doing and who could we be working with to build our resilience to climate shocks?”last_img read more

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Bamboo: Malawi’s Unexpected Tool for Climate Change Resilience

first_imgThe Growing Restoration EconomyMalawi is one of 27 nations throughout Africa that have committed to restore more than 100 million hectares (247 million acres) of degraded and deforested landscapes as part of the African Forest Landscape Restoration Initiative (AFR100). Malawi alone has committed to restore 4.5 million hectares (11 million acres) of degraded land, almost half its total land area, by 2030. AfriBam is one of many businesses emerging to meet this restoration need.Other companies, such as Kenya’s Green Pot Enterprises, have launched fully integrated bamboo operations, managing nurseries and bamboo plantations, along with a bamboo-processing factory for energy products, paper and pulp. These companies are doing more than restoring degraded land and reducing pressure on natural forests—they are potentially building resilience to climate change impacts while generating profits in a burgeoning restoration economy. Lire cet article en français.Hundreds of rows of giant bamboo grow about an hour outside of Lilongwe, the capital of Malawi. It’s an unexpected sight—Malawi has lost nearly 10 percent of its forests since 2001, and bamboo isn’t even native to the country. But that’s exactly the reason Grant Blumrick knew he had to start the AfriBam giant bamboo farm.With experience harvesting timber, Blumrick saw first-hand the environmental degradation caused by uncontrolled clear-cutting of native trees. Eventually, he thought, there wouldn’t be any trees left in Malawi for fuel or timber. So, in 2014, he launched southeastern Africa’s largest giant bamboo (Dendrocalamus asper) farm and nursery. While his goal is to provide Malawians with a sustainable source of fuel and timber, there’s another benefit: combating climate change.Why Giant Bamboo?Bamboo is fast-growing, so it provides a rapidly renewable source of fuelwood and timber. While hardwood trees can take 30 years to mature and must be replanted post-harvest, giant bamboo matures in only a handful of years and can be harvested every year for its entire lifecycle. In the case of Blumrick’s non-invasive giant bamboo, the lifecycle is around 80 years. Planting and harvesting bamboo for fuel can help limit the depletion of Malawi’s tree cover and natural forests. Giant woody bamboos can also sequester carbon, helping to curb climate change. They’re one of several trees and plants that can generate benefits for people while also restoring land. AfriBam planted giant bamboo seedlings around its water pump to absorb standing water. Photo by Caroline Gagné/WRIBlumrick’s business could also potentially help prevent vector-borne diseases like malaria, which are expected to become more prevalent in a warmer world. Malaria is increasingly found in high altitude plateaus and hilly locations, which used to be malaria-free. While there are many potential causes, malaria cases in Malawi have already increased from 50 in every 1,000 people in 2011 to 250 cases per 1,000 people in 2016.AfriBam launched a pilot project on its farm in 2018 to plant bamboo near water pumps. Since pumps tend to run all day and most gutters are not well-built, stagnant water accumulates, creating breeding grounds for mosquitos that carry malaria and other water-borne diseases. AfriBam planted 70 bamboo seedlings around the farm’s water pump to help soak up stagnant water. Although the extent to which bamboo can reduce malaria rates is yet to be tested, this practice is catching on with development NGOs in Malawi that were inspired by AfriBam’s pilot project. Giant bamboo and seedlings on AfriBam’s farm in Malawi. Photo by Caroline Gagné/WRIlast_img read more

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New Data: Are Your Marketing Decisions Reactive or Strategic?

first_img to learn how small and medium sized businesses can most efficiently choose and implement new tactics. , when small and medium sized business were asked how they decide on new marketing tactics, they gave analyzing competitor efforts as the number one determinant. However, the large companies surveyed said they make decisions on new marketing tactics based more on whether these tactics are aligned with long term strategies. Webinar: Top 7 Marketing Time Sinks and Solutions Econsultancy on November 19, but I wonder why smaller businesses are so much more influenced by their competition’s marketing efforts than larger companies are. Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack The reason you want to gather this information in an organized fashion is so that you can better evaluate your competitor’s marketing tactics. Basically, you want to look more carefully at the tactics of those competitors whose marketing is working well and whose products compete more directly with yours. 3. Determine their marketing effectiveness 4. Website Grader If you’re one of those smaller companies that looks at the competition to justify a marketing effort, there are several ways you can do this effectively. new report There are probably a number of reasons. They don’t have the time to plan 2 to 3 years ahead. They can’t afford to try something untested. Fear that their competitors will get an advantage. Most of it is pretty reactive and short-term.  And, easily understood. Identify Marketing Time Sinks & Ways to Avoid Them upcoming webinar Make a list. Collect information. companies should do as well.  Decision Making 1. .  You can use our to see how effective your competition’s website really is. That will give you an indication of their traffic in relation to your site. There are several ways to do this. One is to go to an industry trade show and collect as much of the literature as you can. The other is to analyze their website for content. You can also use the web to find out their retail prices. You can start with a SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats). Then list products, distribution, pricing etc. But competitive analysis is only one piece of the puzzle. It’s also short term and reactive. It needs to be a part of a fully integrated marketing plan that incorporates with both short- and long-term strategies. This is what the big companies do, and it’s what small Create a grid. Topics: Sounds easy, but it’s critical. You need to have a list of all of your competition. Join our free webinar The study shows other reasons which will be revealed in an In a from Originally published Nov 17, 2010 5:00:00 PM, updated October 20 2016 2.last_img read more

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Comedian, who mocked Russian team before World Cup, calls them heroes now

first_imgA comedian, who called Russia’s World Cup soccer team “shit” in a music video watched online by at least 12 million people, released a new song on Sunday in which he said sorry and his co-performer hailed the national side as heroes.Semyon Slepakov’s original song, “Ole Ole Ole,” was released before Russia’s first match earlier this month and tapped into the views of many Russians who regarded their players before the tournament as underperforming and destined for a humiliating and early exit from the competition.The jokey song was well received by many Russians at the time, but angered some fans and politicians, including the Kremlin-backed head of Chechnya who said he found part of it offensive.Since its release, Russia has dramatically confounded its critics, beating Saudi Arabia 5-0 and Egypt 3-1, earning itself a place in the knockout stage in an unexpected turn of events that has delighted the Russian public.FIFA WORLD CUP 2018 FULL COVERAGESlepakov, whose patriotism had been called into question by some fans, teamed up with Sergei Shnurov, the founder of the band “Leningrad”, to try to make amends in a new song called “Champions”.Released on Sunday, the track, peppered with expletives, quickly garnered over 500,000 views and was the top trending item on YouTube in Russia.’YOU ARE NOW HEROES'”Forgive us guys, we were real morons,” Slepakov, accompanied by Leningrad’s musicians, sings.”We did not believe in you solemnly, did not clench our fists. In front of the whole country, we shouted at you that you were surplus to requirements! How many times did we repeat that whatever happened you would screw up!”advertisementFIXTURES | POINTS TABLEShnurov, in the same song, sings that the Russian team’s unexpectedly strong performance has generated nationwide euphoria and that Russians, who used to curse the team, are now toasting their footballers with vodka.”You are now heroes for us. The people are queuing up to bow down to you. If somebody opens their mouth (to speak badly of the team) we will rip their mouth apart,” he sings.Song mocking Russian team goes viralRussia, who began the tournament ranked as the weakest team in the tournament by FIFA, are due to play Uruguay on Monday in the city of Samara, but are already guaranteed a place in the knockout stage.The new song had a warning for the Russian team however, pointing out that the Russian public is fickle.”We will kiss your boots, but know this. If you lose even once you will immediately become scumbags.”last_img read more

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Asiad medallists in race for Arjuna Awards

first_imgThe sports ministry has effected sweeping changes in its criteria for the Arjuna Award, Rajiv Khel Ratna Award and the Dronacharya Award from this year onwards.Mail Today had reported in July that the ministry was considering certain relaxations in rules, whereby medal winners of the Commonwealth Games and Asian Games could also be considered by the awards committees in the same year.”The ministry has decided that in years where the Commonwealth Games, Asian Games or the Olympics are held, the awards ceremony will not be held on August 29 but after the Games conclude,” said Rahul Bhatnagar, secretary sports.”We have also decided that each national federation can send in three more entries each for Arjuna Award and one for the Rajiv Khel Ratna. Similarly, each federation can send one more entry each for the Dronacharya Award. As the Asian Games ended on September 2, the federations can now send in entries by September 12,” added Bhatnagar.The sports ministry has also decided that those athletes and coaches who had to submit entries based on performance up to December 31, 2017 can send in their latest achievements as well. The last date was March 31, 2018.What this change in rules means is barring the year after the Olympics, when no major multi-discipline sporting event is held, in all other years there will be scope for latest achievements to be highlighted and rewarded.In 2019, there will be no major sporting event, so the entries will have to be sent for performances/achievement up to December 31, 2018.advertisementLooking at this year’s awards to be held on September 25, with India winning a record 69 medals in the Asian Games and also having won 66 medals in the Commonwealth Games at Gold Coast, achievers in various events can feel hopeful.To be sure, the change in rules and regulations being implemented by the sports ministry provides a level playing field to those aspiring for the awards. Last year, there were a few instances when those who did miss the Arjuna Award were ruing their luck.Someone like Rohan Bopanna, who won the French Open mixed doubles title in 2017 and also finished fourth in the Rio Olympics was not considered for the Arjuna.There are indications that this year’s Arjuna Awards list can be even as high as 25. Last year, it was 19. The Rajiv Khel Ratna winners could be even three or four.last_img read more

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Why Context Is the Future of Inbound

first_img Marketing and Sales Alignment Originally published Aug 22, 2013 8:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 Two goldfish go out swimming. They come across an older fish headed in the other direction who waves a fin at them and says, “Morning fellas. How’s the water?”Both nod in response, swim away and then turn to each other and question aloud: “What the hell is water?”This anecdote, made famous by David Foster Wallace, is about missing the obvious. But largely, it’s also about context. Fish are fish because of the water around them. Their context defines them, even if it’s so pervasive it’s invisible. People are the same way. We are who we are because of the context around us. Our context shapes the content we want to read. It influences the way we shop and buy. And it defines how and when we choose to interact with companies. Your role, industry — even where you are in the customer lifecycle — all affect what matters to you. Now, it’s been said that goldfish have no memory. That’s incorrect. What’s closer to the truth is that company call centers have no memory. Websites have no memory. And marketing as a whole has no memory. How many times have you interacted with a company and had to repeat, more than once, who you are or what your account number is? How many times have you had to tell the company what you mean to them?  Infusing Context Throughout the Whole CompanyThere is a good post called “Caring About Context” by Lift Interactive Strategist Brandon Webber. In it, he writes, “On the web, we’re still playing the ‘if this, then that’ game — merely just responding to a few basic things we know about the people in touch with our work.” This is essentially how marketing automation works today. An email recipient gets a targeted message in their inbox, based on some sort of behavioral trigger.Targeted emails are better than generic emails, but here’s the thing: When that same email recipient then heads over to your website, interacts with you in social media, or calls your sales team, what do they get? The same generic marketing everyone else gets. People are the sum of their entire experience, across channels, across devices, across their whole history of interactions with your company. And that experience, like water, should move and adapt around us. This goes beyond tossing their first name into an email. Webber continues: “We should … look at better ways to emotionally connect with people in meaningful ways; to understand where they are at, meet them there, and give them more than cheap digital parlour tricks.”Having that context, and extending it through all the channels prospective customers use, changes everything for the relationship between a company and its prospects.  Adding Context to MarketingThe great epiphany of inbound marketing was that people are drawn to content that matters to them. The early stages of inbound marketing focused on creating the sort of useful, search-friendly content that would attract people at the search box and bring them in to your site. Once at your site, however, that customer-driven behavior doesn’t stop. Turns out, website visitors are more likely to convert on content and offers that have been tailored to them. We looked at the data for more than 93,000 calls-to-action created in the last year using HubSpot. These calls-to-action collectively received hundreds of millions of views. And we found that calls-to-action which dynamically changed to be more relevant to the viewer had a 42% higher view-to-submission rate than calls-to-action that were the same for all visitors (Tweet This Fact).It stands to reason that the future of inbound marketing will bring more of this kind of adaptive content based on the characteristics of the viewer. In HubSpot’s most recent product release, we’ve extended the concept of context throughout all of our content tools, and we believe inbound marketers will put this to use creating websites, landing pages, and emails that all work together to personalize the complete customer experience.Adding Context to SalesSince we’re looking forward, let’s also talk about how sales will need to adapt to deliver this same level of relevancy. There is very little more impersonal or intrusive in sales than the “just checking in” phone call. It’s dreaded by leads and sales reps alike. It’s dreaded because there’s a huge blind spot there. Sales reps need to check in to make sure they don’t lose the opportunity, but they have no idea whether checking in will be useful or at all timely for the lead. All too often, they end up calling at an inconvenient time or before the lead is in the right mindset to have the conversation. So how do you know when to call and what to address in that call? There are a few free tools out there that can help — including one that HubSpot just launched called Sidekick. Sidekick gives salespeople the context they need to know when and how to follow up with their contacts by alerting them when a lead is demonstrating interest (e.g. reviewing an email from you). HubSpot users can couple this with intelligence about what pages and content the lead has read in the past and tailor the conversation to address those topics. The technology certainly makes this more scalable, but you don’t need tools to make a conversation more relevant to a lead — you just need to be intentional. Before a call, take the time to check out the social media profiles of your leads. Look to your marketing history to see what content they have received in the past, and look to their industry/role to understand what their unique needs may be. Adding Context to Customer Service and SupportContext in customer support means never having to ask your customers to recap something they’ve already told you. But it also means not feeding them information that is no longer relevant to them. For example, when a customer comes to your website, do they see the same content they saw when they were first checking your company out? When they mention you in social media, do you respond in the same way you would respond to a lead or prospect? The future of inbound will mean extending relevant content across the customer lifecycle — and shifting gears to treat customers differently.  We are crossing a technological milestone. The convergence of data, social listening, and integrated communication tools will help companies align around the customer and see people in the context they deserve. The emergence of inbound marketing was a major sea change in the way companies relate to prospective customers. Up until this point, that equation has focused largely on creating the right quality content. Today, as we start to see more companies extend personalization throughout the entire customer experience, it is becoming clear that while content started us on this path, it is context that will change everything once again.  Topics: Don’t forget to share this post! 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How Advertising Makes Us Buy [Infographic]

first_img Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Originally published Aug 30, 2015 8:00:00 AM, updated July 28 2017 This post originally appeared on HubSpot’s Agency Post. To read more content like this, subscribe to Agency Post.According to a recent study from Microsoft, people lose concentration after eight seconds. To put that into perspective, that’s one second less than the attention span of a goldfish.Now factor in the absurd amount of ad exposure we encounter everyday, and it’s no wonder why so many businesses are struggling to get their message heard.As marketers and advertisers, it seems the odds couldn’t be any less in our favor. So what’s the solution?Well, the answer breaks down into four parts. To learn more about each, check out the following infographic from WebpageFX on how businesses are using this approach to convince people to buy. 486Save center_img 486Savelast_img read more

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Compounding Posts Generate 38% of Your Blog’s Traffic: Here’s What HubSpot’s Look Like

first_img Topics: Originally published Sep 1, 2015 8:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Blog Optimization Did you know that there is a certain type of blog post that makes up 10% of a blog’s repertoire, but are responsible for generating 38% of total blog traffic? If you do the math, that means just one of these special posts brings in the same amount of traffic as six regular posts.In a recent study, we investigated these standout posts, which we call “compounding posts,” and discovered that they’re found in all types of business blogs. Yep, even yours — you just have to know how to find them.To give you some more information on what these posts look like in real life and what kind of effects they can have, we decided to dive into our own blog data. Using this information, we can work toward increasing the number of compounding posts we have in our arsenal.Before we dive into the data we have, let’s do a quick recap of what compound posts are in the first place.What Are Compounding Posts?The signature characteristic of compounding posts is that they eventually surpass the initial traffic that they generate soon after publication. Compounding posts may not necessarily be blockbusters when they’re first published, but their structure and substance are so relevant that they continue to deliver value and grow traffic organically — no additional marketing needed.Here’s a real life example of one of HubSpot’s compounding blog posts. Starting in November 2013, you can see traffic increasing and surpassing the initial traffic the post received in its first month. Sometimes traffic dips — so it’s not a constantly growing line — but overall, it consistently exceeds the initial traffic it received. These posts are amazing assets to blogs because they just build more and more traffic to your site without you or your team needing to expend any further energy.So what actually makes a post compound over time? To paraphrase the research report, compounding posts:Authoritatively answer the reader’s question. These posts answer the common questions you receive from customers. Chances are there are lots of people searching for the same questions you hear daily. Position your post as the authoritative answer to their question(s).Cover a broad topic and offer tactical advice. If you’re trying to create a compounding post, write for as large as possible a segment of your potential customers. That means the post needs to cover a topic that has mass appeal. Broad tactical posts include product reviews, breakdowns of processes, or instructions on how to diagnose an issue.Are titled in a way that reflects common SEO best practices. Compounding titles contain words that suggest certainty and utility, such as “How”, “What”, “Why”, and “Best” — and it’s no coincidence that people often search for ‘how to do x’ or ‘what is the best y’.Are structured to make information more easily digestible. The post should be laid out in an organized matter, with images, bolded headlines, links, and bullet points that orient readers and allow them to quickly digest information.For more details about compounding posts, check out the entire study. An Analysis of HubSpot’s Compounding PostsNow that we’ve defined compounding posts, we can share what we found when we reviewed the archives of HubSpot’s own blog. It turns out that 14% of our blog posts compounded 12 months after being published, just slightly over the 10% average we found in the study.Generally HubSpot receives a large amount of traffic upon initial publication, so our compounding posts aren’t necessarily standouts in the first couple of months after going live. However, as time goes on, the majority of traffic we receive is from older compounding posts. As we found in our historical optimization experiment, older posts generating large amounts of traffic can be a blog’s bread and butter.What Do HubSpot’s Compounding Posts Look Like?Okay, so we found compounding posts. Now what? We wanted to understand what unifying characteristics our compounding posts had. Where are they being shared? How comprehensive or wordy are they? And are there clear topics that gets shared more than others?We pulled social share data of over 660 of HubSpot’s compounding posts and segmented the shares by each post’s total word count. We discovered that the longest posts (those with over 2,000 words) received more average tweets, LinkedIn shares, and Facebook shares, Likes, and comments. (This nicely ties into our recent editorial analysis where we found our deep tactical posts are more popular.)In general, posts with 1,000 or more words receive more social attention, but we also found that very short posts (those with fewer than 250 words) perform better on social media than posts with 251-1,000 words. Typically HubSpot’s short posts are infographics or promotional posts about recently launched ebooks, which more naturally lend themselves to be shared socially. However, longer posts are clearly the social winners for the HubSpot blog. We calculated that posts with 2,000 or more words generate 4.3X the social shares generated by a post with 501-1,000 words.So how does the social sharing data compare to overall visits?Well, once again, it’s clear longer posts are HubSpot’s best performing posts. Interestingly, our short posts, which get pretty high social sharing numbers, do poorly when it comes to average visits. So while our short posts are good at getting shares, they don’t necessarily generate a huge return in visits for us.We were curious if topics had any impact on the number of social shares a post generates, too. Our most socially shared compounding blog posts are related to content marketing, design, and branding. These are also our top-performing topics in terms of total average views.Finally, Twitter is the primary source for sharing across the board. LinkedIn, which targets our readers’ business contacts, often outranks Facebook shares. Since we are a B2B company, it makes sense our content would be shared out to our visitors’ professional contacts on LinkedIn rather than their personal network.What We’re Going to Do So how will this data help HubSpot make editorial decisions? Exposing and then finessing what is most likely to compound will allow us to get more bang for our buck with posts. So based on this data, we’ll: Focus on writing longer, more comprehensive posts that are tactical. Content marketing, branding, and design are also topics we know our readers want.Continue to produce great, short posts that feature infographics since they generate a lot social shares and are relatively easy for us to create. But, we’ll look into how to better share that content so that people feel compelled to click links and read our posts.Track our promotions on Twitter and LinkedIn and see which brings us more visits, and higher quality leads and MQLs.Review our compounding posts and update any outdated content so that it continues to be relevant to our readers todayDo you want to learn more about the impact of compounding posts and how to craft them for your blog? Click here to download Compounding Blog Posts: What They Are and Why They Matter.last_img read more

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14 Things You Could Be Doing During Your Lunch Break

first_img Topics: Your lunch break should be a sacred time. A time when you can step away from your almighty computer and pay homage to the holy pantheon of delicious lunch foods.Whether you’re a worshiper of Sandwich or pay your dues to the Salad cult, your lunch break should be a time when you can unplug, clear your head of all work-related chaos, and get re-energized in preparation for the second half of the day.Unfortunately, many of us are guilty of working through our lunch breaks. We sit there like zombies shoveling food into our faces with one hand, typing emails with the other. Other times, we skip lunch entirely. To help inspire you to do something better with your lunch break, we’ve compiled this list:14 Ways to Use Your Lunch Break1) Work on a side project.Something just for fun. Something that helps you relieve stress, not create more of it. Maybe that’s writing for a personal blog. Or sketching. Or knitting.Or Photoshopping a picture of your coworker’s cat into a scene from Wizard of Oz.2) Organize a “Lunch and Learn.”Book a conference room (or find some other communal space) and teach your coworkers something. Anything. It doesn’t haven’t be work-related. You could teach them how to make gazpacho, for example.Or you could teach them how to do VLOOKUPs in Excel.Or you could teach them how to remove the background from a photo of a cat (or a photo of anything, really).3) Find the most interesting person in your company …… and invite him or her to eat lunch with you.Ask lots of question.What are their day-to-day responsibilities like? How do they stay organized? What do they do to say motivated/interested/invested in their work?4) Get the heck outside.Weather permitting, go eat lunch outside. Bring a book and post up on a park bench, or organize a team picnic.And depending on how much time you’re able to take for your lunch break, you could always go for a walk or a run or a bike ride after you’ve finished eating.5) Establish a Finer Things Club.Yes, this one is straight out of The Office’s playbook.A Finer Things Club celebrates the “finer” things in life (art, music, poetry) “in a very civilized way.”If you have a penchant for finger sandwiches, herbal teas, and Vivaldi, this is the club for you. So, go find some like-minded coworkers and start making your lunch break a sophisticated affair.6) Establish a club that mercilessly mocks the Finer Things Club.Every yin has its yang. If pizza and sports radio are more your speed, get a group together during your lunch break and start making fun of those nerds with their fancy little sandwiches (they sure are tasty, though).7) Learn a new language.One of the toughest aspects of learning a new language is finding time to practice on a consistent basis. By converting your lunch break into a dedicated “language learning” session, you can ensure that you’re practicing about 30 minutes per day, five days per week.FYI: The Duolingo app is a great free language learning tool. If you have some money to throw around, Rosetta Stone is another option.8) Figure out how a new company might try to steal your company’s business.And get to work creating that new company — within your company — during your lunch break.(Note: Some HubSpotters did this recently. The result? Leadin.)9) Find a new job.Definitely be discreet about it, but if you’re unhappy at your current place of employment, your lunch break can be a great time to start searching for something new.(Might we suggest perusing the marketing jobs board on Inbound.org?)10) Two words: Office. Fort.The ultimate team building exercise. (Image source: i.chzbgr.com)11) Three more words: Helicopter. Obstacle. Course.Step 1: Buy a remote control helicopter from Amazon.com. (You can get one for less than $20.)Step 2: Gather up some office supplies and build an obstacle course. (Pro tip: Be sure to create a landing pad. It could be the top of a cardboard box, or a designated area on someone’s desk.)Step 3: When your helicopter arrives, take turns piloting it through the course. (Bonus points for sticking a perfect landing.)12) Meditate.If flying a remote control helicopter doesn’t help you relax on your lunch break, meditating might be more your speed.Meditating can help reduce stress and improve concentration. From focusing on your breathing, to repeating a mantra, there are a bunch of different meditation styles out there.For more information on what meditation is and how you can get started, check out the American Meditation Society website.13) Call your parents, grandparents, or other loved ones you haven’t talked to in a while.Just remember to use good judgment. (I once called my grandma on my lunch break and she yelled at me and told me to get back to work.)14) Challenge your neighboring office to a contest.It’s time to put your lunch money where your mouth is. Challenge the office next door to a friendly game of ping pong. Or Foosball. Or cornhole/bag toss. Or have a spelling bee.Regardless of the event you decide to compete in, the losing office has to buy lunch.What are some other ideas for making lunch breaks better? Leave a comment below. Company Culture Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Originally published Sep 15, 2015 12:00:00 PM, updated February 01 2017last_img read more

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Should Publishers Blog?

first_img Topics: Originally published Dec 1, 2015 7:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 Once upon a time, blogging was considered amateur. Trained journalists and editors viewed platforms like Blogger and LiveJournal as communities where ‘just anyone could write.’ Well, that was precisely the point.The biggest value proposition that blogging brought to the table was the democratization of great ideas. Anyone could launch their own blog and start writing–there was no formal education or media job required. That’s why blogging caught on. Today, mainstream media companies are harnessing the power of blogging. The Atlantic, a 158-year-old company, recently made the decision to launch a section of its site called Notes, which will be a place for “first thoughts, running arguments, stories in progress.”Now, you have no excuses to say that ‘blogging isn’t for you.’ If The Atlantic can make such a bold move, so can you. Here are some ideas to keep in mind along the way:The ‘Story Behind the Story’The Internet has spoiled modern audiences. Curious and research driven, they’re looking for more than just the polished stories in front of them. They want to venture behind the scenes–something that mainstream media companies don’t have an outlet for on their core websites. Publishers can take a lesson from content marketers in that many business blogs provide community forums, in addition to opportunities for employees and awesome writers to share their favorite ideas. For a great example of a business blog providing a fun reading experience, check out Canva’s Design School. The content gives the software company a much-needed, ‘behind the scenes’ experience. In addition to experiencing Canva’s core product, you also learn what the company values.As a media company, you have your own brand, too. Even though you’re publishing high-volume content, you may not be letting your inner voice and personality shine through. Every story has a story behind it–how an idea came to exist or where someone had to travel to find a source. It’s valuable to go off the record.For a good idea of this idea in action, check out Slate’s ‘Dear Prudence’ column. Emily Yoffe frequently took her readers behind the scenes to share her thoughts and to catch readers up to where her letter writers are now. What’s interesting about the Slate example is that it’s integrated with the core site. But some media hubs aren’t able to pull this dynamic off and will need to launch an ‘off platform’ experience.A Sense of CommunityWhile news outlets are optimized around facts, blogs are optimized around opinions. It’s okay for writers to get a bit relaxed when creating blog content. Of course, writing needs to be factually accurate. But does it need to be grammatically perfect? No. Is it alright for witty writers to have their own opinions? Absolutely.By letting your organization’s human voices shine through, you’ll naturally attract more people. Share thought provoking ideas on your blog, and encourage your audiences to leave comments and share their own ideas.Blogs can create a sense of community on your website. Just look at The New York Times, as an example–a media company that is well-known for its rich commenting activity. When the New York Times recently went through a major redesign, one of the top complaints was that audiences were having trouble finding and tracking comments. Readers love the NYTimes comments so much that they complain when there’s a UX change. Test Beds for New IdeasMedia companies need to innovate too. While your taxonomy may be static, it will evolve over time–to keep audiences engaged, you may need to venture into new content areas. But how do you know, ahead of time, if a new idea is worth testing with your specific audience?Blogs provide a testbed for new editorial ideas. Run your favorite new story ideas, promote what you write on your distribution channels, and measure the interest that you’re generating from readers. You can even use your blogs to test new technologies, run surveys, or collect interest-based data.Your blogs, while providing awesome content to the world, will also provide sandboxes for testing. Make sure that your media company stays innovative and continues to build on its successes by deploying your ideas, faster.So, Should Publishers Blog?The decision of whether to blog will be different for different media companies–there is no such thing as a simple “yes” or “no.” If you’re wondering where to get started, take a look at your reader base’s existing content consumption patterns. Conduct a few qualitative interviews with them to understand what types of blogs and media sites they like to read. If you determine that a blog is in your audience’s best interest, go for it without thinking twice. Follow The Atlantic’s bold footsteps.  Content Distribution Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more

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Patagonia’s Rick Ridgeway: Eye-Opening Lessons for Working (and Living) Adventurously [Podcast]

first_imgTransparency isn’t convenient. You can’t just openly share the good news — you’ve got to share the bad news, too. At least, that’s how Patagonia views it. “Transparency is telling the good and the bad,” says Rick Ridgeway, Patagonia’s VP of Environmental Affairs, on this episode of The Growth Show. “It’s having the moxie to openly tell our customers and other external stakeholders about the harm that we are doing.”In this episode, Rick doesn’t just explain what corporate transparency is; he also shares real examples of sticky situations that have cropped up at Patagonia — and how they actually dealt with them.Not only that, but he also shared with us some refreshing and eye-opening advice about life. Recently, he was in an accident with his longtime friend, Doug Tompkins (the Founder of The North Face), and on this episode, Rick shares some of the life lessons he’s learned in the aftermath.To listen to the episode, click “play” in the player below, or download the episode on iTunes.Check out the latest recaps of The Growth Show episodes by clicking here. Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Originally published Mar 2, 2016 6:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017last_img read more

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How to Build a Landing Page: 15 Things to Double-Check

first_img Don’t forget to share this post! How to Build a Landing Page Whether you’re setting up a landing page for the first time or the billionth time, it’s easy to forget something.It’s just one type of page on your website, but there are lots of moving parts you need to juggle. Some of those moving parts are more important than others — if they get lost in the building process, you can lose out on valuable conversions. One of the best ways to make sure you’ve crossed your t’s and dotted your i’s when building a landing page is to have a checklist handy of all the things you need to do. That way, anytime you want to publish a landing page, you can do a quick scan of all the essentials to optimize each landing page to generate the leads your business depends on.Click here to learn best practices for optimizing landing pages and generating more leads.Want a checklist to help you build your landing pages? Keep reading. We’ll outline the essential elements you need to have on your landing page before you hit publish.Keep in mind that this checklist is a jumping-off point — there are a number of other company- and technology-specific steps you need to take as well when optimizing your landing pages for success. Create a headline using actionable, value-driven words.Make sure the headline matches your source copy.Write a sub-header that concisely describes the benefit of the offer.Write body copy that’s scannable, scrollable, and compelling.Optimize the page title, URL, and meta description for search.Include an image that shows users what they’ll get after filling out the landing page form.Optimize your image’s alt-text.Ensure your lead-capture form is the proper length.Customize your submit button.Allow your form to offer progressive profiling for return visitors.Make sure your landing page content passes the blink test.Remove the top navigation menu bar.Make your page layout responsive to mobile devices.Make sure your smart content contains logical personalization tokens.Set up a thank-you page and/or kickback emails. Originally published May 27, 2019 5:40:00 PM, updated May 27 2019center_img Landing Page ContentThis section is dedicated to all of the content you put on the landing page — namely the copy, images, and form. It’s a zoomed-in look at the elements that you’re creating for the landing page. For bigger-picture issues such as the landing page layout or user experience, skip to the sections below. Create a headline using actionable, value-driven words.Your landing page headline is just like any other headline — it should entice people to do something. In this case, that something is filling out the form on the landing page. Make sure that your copy uses action-oriented words that communicate the value of the offer behind the landing page. For example, compare “Free Checklist: Your Go-To Guide for Optimizing Facebook Ads” to “Facebook Ads Ebook.” The first is much more enticing. Make sure the headline matches your source copy.How do people get to your landing page? You want to make sure that the copy on your landing page matches the copy at the referring source. For example, if your traffic is coming from someone who clicked a CTA on your blog, you should use similar language in your headline that you’ve used on your CTA. The referring source sets expectations on what’ll be on your landing page — don’t let people click through and be disappointed. Write a sub-header that concisely describes the benefit of the offer.Think of your sub-header as a more practical extension of your headline. Your headline should be flashy yet indicative of what people will get by filling out the form. Your sub-header is a much less flashy tagline — it’s very clear on what the benefit is of the offer. So if your headline is “Free Checklist: Your Go-To Guide for Optimizing Facebook Ads,” your sub-header would say something like “Learn all squeezing more traffic, leads, and customers out of Facebook.” Write body copy that’s scannable, scrollable, and compelling.Next up is the actual body copy of your landing page. People shouldn’t have to read this part of your landing page to know what your offer is about — the headline and sub-header should accomplish that. But if they want more info on the offer, the body copy’s the place to find it. There’s not a set length on the copy — just make sure it’s informative and enticing, yet easy to scan.Bullet points can help with scannability. Also, think about keeping your paragraphs to only a few sentences — that’ll help people on mobile, in particular, scan through your page. If you need help with making your copy informative and enticing, get a checklist specifically for landing page copy here. Optimize the page title, URL, and meta description for search.If you’re hoping to get long-term traffic, leads, and customers out of your landing pages, you need to optimize for search engines. Make sure that the page title, URL, and meta description all have keywords in them — not necessarily to get you ranked in search engines, but to get people to click on your listing if they find you there. If you need to brush up on your landing page SEO skills, check out this post. Include an image that shows users what they’ll get after filling out the landing page form.People always say that you should use a “compelling” image. But what the heck does “compelling” mean if you don’t already know? The best landing page images are ones that tell you what lies behind the landing page. So if people will get an ebook on Facebook Advertising, your image should be a high quality visual representation of that ebook on Facebook Advertising. You wouldn’t put a high quality stock photo of, say, a beach, even if your offer promises to get the person who downloaded it a raise, which’ll end up allowing that person to take vacation. Make sense? Optimize your image’s alt-text.You should never optimize your marketing for the best-case scenarios — trust me, it never works that way in real life. So even if you’ve chosen a perfect image for your landing page, it’s possible it won’t show up. Maybe there’s something wrong with your visitor’s browser. Maybe there’s something wrong with your website. Whatever the reason is, just make sure you have a backup plan: adding alt-text to your images. Bonus: That text is crawlable, so it could give search engines one extra little reason to feature you in search results.Landing Page Form Ensure your lead-capture form is the proper length.Your form doesn’t need to be short or long to be effective — it just needs to match the goal you have for the page. So if you want a lot of contacts from your form but don’t really care how high quality they are, keep the form short. If you care for quality over quantity, make it longer. The key is to know your landing page goal and stick by it with your form length. Customize your submit button.Look at the bottom of your form. Does the button that submits the form say “Submit?” STOP. This button should have action-oriented language, too. For example, on a landing page for an ebook, you could change that bottom copy to, “Get Your Free Ebook Now.” Much better than the generic “Submit.” Allow your form to offer progressive profiling for return visitors.Some people who fill out your landing page forms have already filled out forms on your website, which means if you have a contact database set up, you already have their information. So why make them fill out information you don’t need? Instead, you can enable progressive profiling — this’ll show new form fields to returning visitors. You’ll get more information on your leads and customers, and they’ll have much fewer form fields to deal with each time they come to your website (which is especially helpful on mobile).Landing Page LayoutNow, let’s zoom out slightly to look at elements that affect the page as a whole — not just the content you’re creating. Make sure your landing page content passes the blink test.Even if you’ve checked off all of the above off your landing page to-do list, you still need to step back and take the “blink test.” Look at your page for five seconds (aka the time before you need to blink again). Do you know what your landing page is about? What the value proposition is? How to get the offer behind the landing page? If not, you’ll need to tweak the above items again. Remove the top navigation menu bar.This is one of the things you should test on your own to confirm, but from our tests, we found that removing our top navigation bar improved conversion rates on our landing pages. If you’re doing the same with your landing pages, triple check to make sure that top navigation is gone. Make your page layout responsive to mobile devices.You want people to be able to fill out your landing page form no matter what device they use. But if your mobile visitors are doing the frantic pinch-and-scroll, chances are they’re going to skip filling out your form. So make sure your landing page layout is responsive so people can access your landing page no matter the width of their browser. Your marketing software should have this capability baked-in already, but it’s always smart to double check that it’s working before you hit publish.Landing Page User ExperienceLet’s zoom out once again to look at some of the features of the page that play into the user’s larger experience with your website. Make sure your smart content contains logical personalization tokens.There are few things more embarrassing and noticeable than poorly set-up smart content. You’ve probably gotten emails before that say “Hi [FIRST NAME],” right? That’s unfortunate, but it’s only visible to one person — not everyone who visits your landing page. So if you’re going to go the extra mile to personalize your landing page with smart tokens, make sure the “default” ones are customized and logical in the place they’re used. For example, you can use “there” as the default token so that when you don’t have someone’s contact record on file, it just says “Hey there,” not “Hey FIRSTNAME.”  Set up a thank-you page and/or kickback emails.Last, but certainly not least, make sure the entire conversion process is functional. After people fill out your form, are they taken to a thank-you page? Does it work every time? Do they get a kickback email where you can follow up with each user after they’ve downloaded your resource? Make sure this is all working properly so you don’t put your contacts through it. Topics: Landing Pageslast_img read more

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Usain Bolt’s football dream: how he got to the brink of a professional deal

first_imgIt already has more bizarre twists than an F. Scott Fitzgerald short story, but on Sunday night the Curious Case of Usain Bolt, Professional Footballer delivered once again. Asked post-match on Sunday evening for his response to reports that the Central Coast Mariners were considering offering a professional playing contract to the Jamaican sprint legend, coach Mike Mulvey appeared entirely taken aback.The Englishman isn’t the only one utterly in the dark, but it was an illustrative moment from a “will-he, won’t he” saga made exponentially more complex by the various subplots, actors and interests involved.The player – Usain BoltThe world’s fastest man, an eight-time Olympic gold medalist and athletics’ all-time biggest earner, in late 2016 revealed his intention to become a professional footballer to The Guardian, in a wide-ranging interview discussing everything from how he once ate 1,000 chicken nuggets in Beijing, to his views on cunnilingus. Bolt’s ultimate aspiration is to play for the club he supports, Manchester United, but his journey towards a professional career began in 2018 with brief training stints with Mamelodi Sundowns in South Africa, Borussia Dortmund, and Strømsgodset in Norway between February and June, followed by the announcement in August of Bolt’s commitment to an “indefinite training period” with the Mariners. A-League Read more Reuse this content Share on Twitter Usain Bolt’s agent says he has been offered Mariners deal, coach is unaware A second Australia-based agent, Tony Rallis, has acted as an intermediary in the Bolt deal, due to his close ties with the Mariners which include representing former coach, now Socceroos manager, Graham Arnold, former club captain and Socceroo Trent Sainsbury, and helping secure several players on the current roster including the loan deal from Aston Villa for Ross McCormack. Adding extra intrigue, Rallis also represents Mulvey.A veteran of the Australian football scene, Rallis worked for former National Soccer League club Sydney Olympic, helping secure Liverpool legend Ian Rush for a marquee stint in 1999 before moving into player management, where last season he represented 25 players across seven A-League clubs, and proclaims on his website to be the “only Australian manager securing deals for Australian players in the lucrative Saudi Arabian market.” A savvy media operator, Rallis is heavily embedded in the Australian football scene, with a history of breaking major scoops through regular podcast appearances and covert agent columns – two of the first sources to break the news linking Bolt with Maltese club, Valletta FC.The prospective suitor(s) – and the mooted professional contractOn 16 October Maltese club Valletta FC confirmed that they had offered Bolt a two-year contract, with CEO Ghasston Slimen saying the move wasn’t motivated by money but instead was “about writing history”. Recently purchased by UAE-backed investors, the Sanban Group, the ambition of the 24-times Maltese champions has reportedly been matched financially, but the offer was nevertheless rebuffed the following day by Bolt’s management.Fast-forward five days and the revelatory news that Mariners CEO Shaun Mielenkamp had offered the Jamaican a playing contract – the confusion between CEO and coach presumably arising with Bolt in Melbourne while the team and coach were in action during the opening round of the A-League in Brisbane. Bolt’s London agent, Simms, has confirmed the contract offer, reportedly valued at $150,000 – a fraction of the mooted $3m package.The governing body and the marquee allowance Share on Messenger Share on LinkedIn Share via Email Read more The club has space for Bolt within the league rules governing squad size and salary cap, with a visa and marquee spot available, should they opt to use them. But is Bolt good enough?Many can’t see if happening. “For me it’s not working,” Western Sydney Wanderers coach Markus Babbel said. “For the A-League it was fantastic PR … but I can’t believe he will play in the A-League.”Former Socceroos coach Ange Postecoglou agrees, suggesting a shift to football could prove too difficult. “If you haven’t done it from a very small age and hone your technique and skills, [it’s] very, very difficult at a later age to switch to our sport and play at the highest level.”The sponsor – OptusAhead of the Rio Olympics, Bolt penned a multi-million-dollar contract to become the face of Optus, Australia’s second-largest telecommunications company, as part of a suite of commercial offerings that reportedly netted the Jamaican over $30m during 2015-16 alone. Bolt featured in a range of television, in-store, and digital advertisements as Optus launched a new logo including the sprinter’s iconic lightning bolt pose, with the 32-year-old travelling to Australia in April to perform ambassadorial duties during the recent Commonwealth Games held in Brisbane as part of the launch of the telco’s 5G network. A spokesperson for Optus confirmed that any agreement made with the Mariners regarding remuneration is separate from their agreement with Bolt.The club – Central Coast MarinersThe smallest of the original eight A-League franchises, the Mariners punched above their weight in the competition’s early seasons, but in recent years have been one of the worst performers, with chairman Mike Charlesworth backing coaches with only the minimum floor of the FFA-allocated central funding to be spent on player wages. Amid negative headlines surrounding on-field performance (the club has finished in the bottom three for four consecutive seasons) the announcement of Bolt’s trial has been an unmitigated commercial success. Nearly 10,000 flocked to Gosford to watch Bolt’s pre-season debut against a select XI of local amateurs, with his first goal for the club attracting 6.24m views on Twitter and garnering international media attention, valued in the scores of millions.The club’s coach, Mulvey, had publicly toed the official line over the prospects of Bolt signing a professional contract – initially suggesting it might take four months to properly assess the striker, before declaring the global superstar would be allowed 12 months to state his case if needed. Privately, it is understood he holds significant reservations as to whether Bolt will ever make it as a professional footballer, expressing this publicly on Sunday night when he named six players in his current roster as better front third options.The agents – Ricky Simms and Tony RallisA former middle distance runner himself, as director of the London-based Pace Sports Management, Ricky Simms represents Bolt globally. The initial proposal to bring Bolt to Australia in May was based around a $3m deal including $1.5m from Mariners owner Charlesworth and $750,000 from Football Federation Australia – all predicated on Bolt earning a formal contract following his initial trial. Support The Guardian With $3m set aside in a fund provided by broadcaster Fox Sports to attract top-tier marquee talent (such as Keisuke Honda), a key tranche of the bid to bring Bolt to Budgewoi was that Football Federation Australia would match or surpass the club’s investment, alongside that of other financial sponsors. When the contract offer from Malta was raised a week ago, FFA CEO David Gallop ruled out that the marquee wages piggybank would be raided, but coyly suggested any speculation remained moot until a professional contract from the Mariners was on the table.“If they get to that point [where the Mariners offer a contract],” said Gallop, “then we’ll look at what’s feasible for us, but it can’t be from the marquee player fund, we don’t want to compromise what that’s put in place for.”***Undoubtedly, more twists in this remarkable story remain. But for now we await confirmation as to whether one of the iconic figures of world sport will accept a trainee player’s contract, whether the sponsor, club or governing body will bolster this, whether the coach would even select him, or whether more oversees suitors will emerge to finally make real Usain St Leo Bolt’s wish to become a professional footballer. … we have a small favour to ask. More people, like you, are reading and supporting the Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many news organisations, we made the choice to keep our reporting open for all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford to pay. Whether we are up close or further away, the Guardian brings our readers a global perspective on the most critical issues of our lifetimes – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. We believe complex stories need context in order for us to truly understand them. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We hope you will consider supporting us today. We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism that’s open and independent. Every reader contribution, however big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. Usain Bolt Share on WhatsApp Since you’re here… Share on Facebook Share on Pinterest Read more Australia sport Usain Bolt ‘considering’ Mariners’ A-League contract offer Central Coast Mariners Topics Guardian Australia sport newsletter: subscribe by email featureslast_img read more

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Pioli pays emotional tribute to ‘sorely missed’ Astori

first_imgDavide Astori ‘Generous, positive, altruistic and sorely missed’ – Emotional Astori tribute paid by Pioli Iain Strachan 22:33 10/3/2018 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) AstoriPioliCroppe Getty Images Fiorentina Fiorentina v Benevento Benevento Serie A The Fiorentina coach has offered a touching tribute to the club’s late captain ahead of the side’s return to Serie A action against Benevento Davide Astori has been described as “generous, positive [and] altruistic” in a heartfelt tribute from Fiorentina coach Stefano Pioli.The 31-year-old was found dead at the team hotel last Sunday, with an autopsy indicating heart problems were to blame for his passing.Fiorentina’s match against Udinese and the rest of the day’s Serie A fixtures were consequently postponed and Astori’s funeral was held on Thursday, when thousands of fans turned up in the square outside the Basilica di Santa Croce to pay their respects. Editors’ Picks Williams case shows Solskjaer isn’t holding Man Utd’s youngsters back – he’s protecting them Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp Pioli’s men face Benevento this Sunday and Pioli spoke with evident emotion about the loss of Astori.Sulle maglie viola e quelle di tutta la #SerieA il ricordo di Davide #Astori#DA13 pic.twitter.com/BkTciGPS35— ACF Fiorentina (@acffiorentina) March 9, 2018″The first thought goes to Davide, who I was fortunate enough to know over the last few months. He was special as both a person and a captain,” said Pioli, who took charge in June.”He always found the right way and time to say things. He was generous, positive, altruistic. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to spend much time with him and I’ll miss him. I miss him every day I step on to that training ground.”Our thoughts are with his family. I don’t know what to say to [partner] Francesca and [daughter] Vittoria, other than we will always be there for them.”Speaking about the scenes at Astori’s funeral service, Pioli drew strength from the show of solidarity from the club’s supporters.”Our fans have a huge heart. I wanted to hug each and every one of them to console them and let them console us, so together we could find the strength to go on,” he said.”We thank the whole football world, because such participation and solidarity is certainly down to Davide, but also means that there are still principles and values in a world that at times is described differently. Our club owners again showed their sensitivity and did everything possible to help the team.”We are crying and suffering, because Davide was our reference point, but we know what to do in order to honour his memory.”I usually like to motivate players by telling them: ‘Try to train and play as if it was the last time.’ I never needed to say that to Davide.”He has left us so many values, that seed of passion, professionalism and sensitivity. Now it’s up to us to look after it and help that seed grow. All united, in memory of Davide.”La Viola announced that Astori’s number 13 shirt would be retired in honour of the man who won 14 caps for Italy.last_img read more

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