David Ortiz had counted on fans to protect him

first_imgAlex Morgan has 5 goals as US routs Thailand 13-0 in Women’s World Cup As the former Red Sox slugger lies in intensive care in Boston, recovering from the bullet fired into his back at the Dial on Sunday night, police are investigating what aspect of the national hero’s life made him the target of what appeared to be an assassination attempt.Ortíz was so relaxed at the open-air hotspot Sunday that he had his back to the sidewalk as a gunman — a passenger on a motorcycle — got off the bike just before 9 p.m., approached the 43-year-old retired athlete and fired a single shot at close range before escaping.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesSPORTSSingapore latest to raise issue on SEA Games food, logisticsEnraged fans captured the 25-year-old motorcyclist and beat him bloody before handing him over to police, but the gunman was still at large Tuesday.Doctors in Santo Domingo removed Ortiz’s gallbladder and part of his intestines, and the former ballplayer was then flown to Boston for further treatment Monday night, undergoing two hours of exploratory surgery. Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting Two-day strike in Bicol fails to cripple transport FILE – In this Oct. 10, 2016, file photo, Boston Red Sox’s David Ortiz waves from the field at Fenway Park after Game 3 of baseball’s American League Division Series against the Cleveland Indians in Boston. Ortiz returned to Boston for medical care after being shot in a bar Sunday, June 9, 2019, in his native Dominican Republic. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa, File)SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic — Beloved in his hometown, David Ortíz traveled the dangerous streets of Santo Domingo with little or no security, trusting in his fans to protect him.Big Papi’s guard was down even at hotspots like the Dial Bar and Lounge, where the Dominican business and entertainment elite can cross paths with shadier figures in a country where fortunes are often made in drug smuggling and money laundering.ADVERTISEMENT ‘Rebel attack’ no cause for concern-PNP, AFP Cayetano: Senate, Drilon to be blamed for SEA Games mess Duterte wants probe of SEA Games mess Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles03:122 dead in California school attack; gunman shoots self01:42Police: California school shooting took 16 seconds02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss LATEST STORIES MOST READcenter_img View comments On Sunday night, he went out with the reggaeton singer known as El Sujeto and baseball announcer and TV personality Jhoel Lopez to Dial, a bar and cafe that started as an arm of a luxury auto-detailing business across the street.In recent years, Dial turned from a site where people relaxed as their cars were cleaned to a hotspot where Dominican celebrities eat and drink, often alongside people with fortunes of dubious origin.Dial sits in a wealthy and relatively safe section of Santo Domingo, but the Dominican Republic is one of the world’s most dangerous countries.The murder rate stands at 12.5 killings per 100,000 people, placing the Dominican Republic in the top 10 to 15% of the most violent countries in the world, according to the U.S. State Department.There were 1,353 reported killings in 2018, compared with 1,561 in 2017 and 1,616 in 2016, the department said.Last year, 2,145 people were wounded with guns, a slight decrease from 2017, according to the Dominican Republic’s Citizen Security Observatory.An OSAC report said the Dominican Republic also faces serious problems with drug trafficking and money laundering, adding: “This situation is worse due to a lack of law enforcement resources, poorly paid and trained police officers and rampant corruption.”This year, the government increased the maximum penalty to 40 years for those found guilty of kidnapping someone while brandishing an illegal weapon or killing someone while committing another crime. A spokesman for prosecutors, Erick Montilla, said Féliz Garcia would be charged as an accomplice to an attempted murder.Ortíz has a six-bedroom, $6 million home in the wealthy Boston suburb of Weston, Massachusetts, that he shared with his wife and three children but has put the place up for sale. He visits his father and sister in Santo Domingo about six times a year, according to a close friend who spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the situation.Ortíz stayed at his father’s apartment and was active on the social scene in the capital, hitting nightspots with a small group of friends that included TV personalities and Dominican reggaeton musicians, whom Ortiz would help by connecting them with established artists in the genre.Ortíz couldn’t avoid running across unsavory characters on the Santo Domingo social scene but kept his distance once he was warned about their shady backgrounds, the friend said.“He may have spoken with them, but he didn’t know who they were,” the friend said. “He really kept away from that world.”Police are investigating, however, whether some brief relationship formed in Santo Domingo set in motion a chain of events that led to the shooting, a second law enforcement official told the AP.The official declined to provide further details about the type of relationship or other aspects of the rapidly developing investigation.Ortíz felt completely secure in his hometown, the friend said, with adoring fans greeting him wherever he went.“He felt protected by the people,” the friend said. “He is one of the most loved people in the Dominican Republic. He felt no fear despite the fact that there’s street crime here. Even the guys in the dangerous neighborhoods respected him.”Ortíz flew from Boston to Santo Domingo on May 5 to enroll his teenage son, a promising baseball talent, in one of the island’s grueling “academies” for future stars, the friend said. He also wanted to check on his foundation, which sponsors surgery for sick children, and sign a cigar-promotion deal. Ethel Booba twits Mocha over 2 toilets in one cubicle at SEA Games venue Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Ortiz’s wife, Tiffany, said in a statement that he was “stable, awake and resting comfortably” at Massachusetts General Hospital and was expected to remain there for several days.The motorcyclist, Eddy Vladimir Féliz Garcia, who had a 2017 arrest for drug possession, was one of several people in custody as of Tuesday afternoon, a law-enforcement official told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the official was not authorized to release details of the investigation.A police car carrying Féliz Garcia drove up to a shipping container serving as a makeshift courtroom on Tuesday evening, and sat there for about a half-hour before driving off again. Court officials said the hearing had been delayed because Féliz Garcia’s charging documents had not arrived in time. However, they said he was expected back later.His lawyer, Deivi Solano, said Féliz Garcia had no idea who he’d picked up and what was about to happen when he stopped to take a fare.“He didn’t know what they were going to do. He’s a fan of David’s,” Solano said.ADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Catholic schools seek legislated pay hike, too DA eyes importing ‘galunggong’ anewlast_img read more

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Tennis royalty Djokovic, Federer, Nadal primed to tighten Wimbledon grip

first_imgPanelo: Duterte ‘angry’ with SEA Games hosting hassles POC chief on SEA Games hosting glitches: ‘It’s normal’ Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting The Swiss star is also just five wins from becoming the first man to register 100 victories at the same Slam.‘Better because of each other’But Federer is quick to praise the influence of Djokovic and Nadal — between them, the trio have won 53 of the last 64 Slams.“I think we definitely became better because of one another,” he said.Federer starts on Tuesday against South Africa’s Lloyd Harris, who is making his Wimbledon debut.Nadal, meanwhile, arrives in London on the back of a 12th Roland Garros title.His 18th career major also meant he moved within two Slams of Federer’s all-time mark for the first time.The Spaniard, ranked two but — much to his irritation — seeded three was champion in 2008 and 2010.He is now trying to join Bjorn Borg by achieving the Roland Garros-Wimbledon double for the third time.Nadal was desperately close to a third title in 2018. PH beach spikers also eye spots to Continental Cup Cayetano: Senate, Drilon to be blamed for SEA Games mess Since then, he has been rejuvenated, going on to claim a third US Open and seventh Australian Open title.The only blip was a rain-hit semi-final exit to Dominic Thiem at Roland Garros, a loss which ended his attempt to become just the second man to hold all four Slams at the same time twice.“Coming off from the surgery, being unable to have consistency with results, this was a huge springboard for me, the win at Wimbledon last year,” said Djokovic, who will take a 10-2 career record over Philipp Kohlschreiber into their first-round clash on Monday.Federer, chasing a 21st major, first played Wimbledon in 1999.Pushing 38, he would be the oldest ever Grand Slam champion if he were to lift a ninth title.ADVERTISEMENT San Miguel upset proves Columbian can compete at higher level, says McCarthy View comments LATEST STORIES Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. center_img World dragon boat champs out to make waves in SEA Games Urgent reply from Philippine ‍football chief Federer, promoted to second seed, can win a ninth crown while two-time champion Nadal is seeking to complete a rare back-to-back Roland Garros-Wimbledon double.Twelve months ago, Djokovic arrived at Wimbledon with his career threatening to spiral into decline.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSSingapore latest to raise issue on SEA Games food, logisticsSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesUnable to shake off the effects of right elbow surgery, the Serb was ranked at 21, his lowest position for over a decade.But two weeks later, Djokovic had captured the 2018 title to add to his 2011, 2014 and 2015 wins, becoming the lowest-seeded player to take the Wimbledon trophy since Andre Agassi in 1992. Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles02:44Djokovic wins Laureus Sportsman of Year Award00:59Sports venues to be ready in time for SEA Games02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss It was the second longest match in the history of Wimbledon and decided by a 26-24 final set.There will be no repeat of such lung-busting epics this year as Wimbledon has introduced a final set tiebreaker — at 12-12 — for the first time.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next MOST READ Duterte wants probe of SEA Games mess Having failed to get past the last-eight since 2011, the Spaniard was only defeated in an epic semi-final by Djokovic, 10-8 in the final set.“I won here in 2010 after a very, very tough first couple of rounds. Sometimes that helps, especially in this event, that you arrive here without playing much on this surface,” said Nadal, who starts his campaign against Japan’s world number 258 Yuichi Sugita.After that looms a possible titanic clash with Nick Kyrgios, who shocked him in 2014, in the second round.It’s been 17 years since anybody not named Djokovic, Federer, Nadal or Andy Murray captured the Wimbledon title.That long-distant honor went to Lleyton Hewitt in 2002.The problem for the chasing pack in 2019 is their record at the tournament as well as various frailties in body and spirit.Thiem, Alexander Zverev and Stefanos Tsitsipas, who occupy the next three spots in the world rankings, have yet to get past the last 16 on Wimbledon’s grass.Kei Nishikori, the world number seven, was a quarter-finalist in 2018 while eighth-ranked Kevin Anderson, seeded fourth this year, was runner-up 12 months ago.Anderson saved a match point to beat Federer in the quarter-finals.His challenge to Djokovic in the final, however, was compromised by playing a six-hour 36-minute semi-final to beat John Isner. Austria’s Dominic Thiem celebrates after winning against Serbia’s Novak Djokovic at the end of their men’s singles semi-final match on day fourteen of The Roland Garros 2019 French Open tennis tournament in Paris on June 8, 2019. (Photo by Kenzo TRIBOUILLARD / AFP)Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal are set to tighten their private stranglehold on Wimbledon as rivals struggle to keep afloat as they bid to dethrone the sport’s A-list stars.World number one Djokovic is the defending champion and chasing a fifth title at the All England Club.ADVERTISEMENTlast_img read more

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New Zealand beats South Africa in 2nd T20 to draw series

first_imgMartin Guptill bludgeoned 60 from 35 balls to set up New Zealand’s 32-run victory over South Africa on Sunday to draw the two-match Twenty20 series.Guptill’s half-century at the top of the order sent the New Zealanders to 177-7 in 20 overs. South Africa could only manage 145-8 with spinners Nathan McCullum and Ish Sodhi, and quick bowler Mitchell McClenaghan, all chipping in with two wickets each for New Zealand.The victory at Supersport Park clinched a 1-1 series draw for the Black Caps.Also read: Amla leads SA to comfortable win over New ZealandGuptill struck six fours and three sixes to be the only batsman on either side to really get going. Captain Kane Williamson supported with 25, and James Neesham had 28 from 19 balls.South Africa’s chase faltered as it lost its top three for 47 runs.last_img read more

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Ishant Sharma leading the pack well: Chetan Sharma

first_imgBuoyed by the talent in India’s fast bowling department, former pacer Chetan Sharma feels Ishant Sharma has matured as a bowler and is leading the pack well.Ishant, who has been underfire for his lackluster showing in away matches, gave India crucial breakthroughs in the recent two Tests against Sri Lanka and Chetan feels that even a couple of wickets by pacers is a good assist for the spinners on sub-continent turfs.”Ishant is bowling well. I was in Sri Lanka and I spoke to him for half-an-hour. He sounded a very mature fast bowler.There used to be shy bowlers who used to sneak past their seniors in order to avoid a talk with them, but not Ishant, who comes and speaks to you. And that tells you about his confidence,” Chetan told PTI in an interview.ICC Test rankings: Kohli drops out of top-10, Ashwin moves up “He understands what he is doing. And he has the backing of a lot of talented youngsters like Varun Aaron and Umesh Yadav. Bhuvneshwar Kumar and (Mohammed) Shami is yet to join the squad. I don’t think there is a problem in the pace department. If a pacer can pick up 2-3 wickets on the sub-continent tracks then I believe he has done his job,” said the cricketer-turned-commentator.Chetan, 49, who represented India in 23 Tests and 65 ODIs in his decade-long international career between 1984-1994, also believes that in the pace bowling department India will be spoilt for choices in home conditions.”I think in India, the think-tank will be spoilt for choices. On turning wickets there will be a problem of plenty as we saw it here when Varun (Aaron) played then Umesh was brought in. Ishant has already cemented his place.advertisementAlso read: Idea behind getting Karun is to open with Pujara, says Kohli “These bowlers have also got the strength to perform on Australian and English wickets. They have the ability, with Umesh bowling at around 145 and Varun also having the pace.It’s just a matter of experience and that will certainly come with time. Being with the team makes you learn. Your senior players and coaches talk to you and you gain from their experience, so it’s all a learning curve,” he said.Chetan, though, was critical of India’s spin force but praised Ravichandran Ashwin. Incidentally Ashwin’s bowling figures of 5 for 42 at P Sara Oval, surpassed Chetan’s 5 for 118 in September 1985 as the best figures by an Indian bowler in Sri Lanka. .last_img read more

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Vanessa White wanted to be a boxer

first_imgLondon, Feb 21 (PTI) Vanessa White says she would love to throw herself into “boxing or mixed martial arts” if she wasnt “happy” with her pop career.The 26-year-old pop beauty has released her debut solo EP Chapter One and is fully focused on making the transition from girl group The Saturdays to solo star.However, she has contemplated a career in the combat sport word if music didnt work out, reported Femalefirst.”Ive thought about this (not making music) loads and Ive decided that Id really throw myself into boxing or MMA. But really music makes me happy and thats my number one thing. Whats the point if youre not happy?”White has been busy in the studio working on material for her forthcoming debut solo album and is set to perform at Cargo in London on March 16. PTI JCH ARKlast_img read more

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Former hockey players demand Bharat Ratna for Dhyan Chand

first_imgFormer hockey players, including Dhyan Chand’s son Ashok Kumar, gathered at Jantar Mantar on Sunday to demand Bharat Ratna for the hockey legend. (Latest Sports stories)The clamour for Dhyan Chand to be awarded with the Bharat Ratna has once again picked pace.A number of Olympians, including former captains Ajitpal Singh, Zafar Iqbal, Dilip Tirkey and Mukesh Kumar held a protest to demand the Bharat Ratna for Dhyan Chand, who is known for his wizardry with the hockey stick.”It is a shame that we have to demand Bharat Ratna for Dhyan Chand whose contribution is not just limited to Indian hockey but to the world,” Tirkey, who is also a Member of Parliament, said in his address.Zafar Iqbal, a former captain, said Dhyan Chand has been an inspiration to many and is no less than Muhammed Ali in boxing, Pele in football and Don Bradman in cricket.”Just like Bradman is synonymous to cricket, Muhammed Ali to boxing and Pele to football, Dhyan Chand is one and only who stands atop when it comes to hockey,” said Zafar.”In the past we have seen that Dhyan Chand’s name for Bharat Ratna was nominated but that file was pushed under the carpet and we all know whose name was recommended in place of him,” Zafar said without taking names.Also present for Sudarshan Patnaik, a renowned sand artist, who had created a sand sculpture of Dhyan Chand.last_img read more

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Author and Bravo Star, Jill Kargman On Marketing to Modern Day Moms

first_imgJill Kargman is an author, life-long New Yorker, and star of Bravo’s hit comedy series Odd Mom Out. Her creative output, whether for her novels or her on screen character Jill Weber (a parody of herself and her family), reimagines how society and marketers think of modern day moms, Upper East siders and even ‘socialites’, a characterization she openly dislikes. This month, she’ll be speaking at 360i’s annual client summit. Ahead of her planned session on “embracing the unconventional,” we chatted with Kargman about such marketing misrepresentations, how she’s been able to maintain her unconventional personal brand, her life on set and much more.When it comes to marketing to the modern day mom, Kargman says marketers should be doing it differently, “I think they should understand moms are not out-to-pasture, uncool, asexual mom-jean-wearing hags with tapestry vests. The generation gap is closing and we are cooler than they think!” She continued to say that more broadly, the largest societal misconception about moms is “that we bear children and now suddenly care about detergents and floor cleaner and being the perfect mom.”Maintaining personal style and brand identity is an important part of Kargman’s message, if only because her own so starkly contrasts the mom-jean-wearing, floor scrubbing stereotype she describes. In her new book, Sprinkle Glitter on My Grave, Kargman routinely compares herself to Morticia, matriarch of the Addams Family, due in part to her obsession with skulls, but also her pale visage and signature black on black ensembles. She writes, “When I turned forty, I decided I was not going to put myself out to fashion pasture… I bought investment ‘pieces’… and never bought the trend, only my vroom-vroom vampire look…It’s who I have always been and I’m not growing out of it, even when I’m seventy.”Her character on Odd Mom Out sports the same look, complete with Kargman’s real-life tattoos and painted black nails, alongside the highly stylized, Stepford-esque mothers of New York’s Upper East Side.  In the book, Kargman writes that her hope is that the show “make[s] people – not just moms! – guffaw by holding up a mirror to one contingent of the mom population, the epicenter for extreme parenting.”The show definitely dallies in the extremes, as is evident by Kargman’s best and worst days on set. “The best day was when I had Paul Stanley KISS makeup and the star on my face. [There were] so many giggles and I loved the portrayal of a mom as out of control. The worst was [our shoot in the] Hamptons which was a 16-hour day in 40 degree weather acting like it was 80.”To hear more from Kargman, check out her new book, Sprinkle Glitter on My Grave, available now for pre-order on Amazon.com.last_img read more

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Infographic: How Good are Minters at Budgeting, Saving and Paying Off Debt?

first_imgGetting physically fit takes discipline, effort, and more than a little energy to get to where you want to be. Regularly moving your body and sticking to a fitness plan isn’t easy, and doing so is certainly commendable—and comes with… Full Story,Table of Contents Benefits of Working During Retirement Phased Retirement Types of Employment Recommended Jobs for Seniors  Resources for Seniors  Retirement looks different for everyone. Some people dream of playing golf and visiting their grandchildren, while others see it as… Full Story,A study conducted by Charles Schwab just last year found that three in five Americans live paycheck to paycheck, yet only one in four has a written financial plan. In fact, the majority of Americans are hesitant to receive any… Full Story,Life is unpredictable. Some days aren’t all sunshine, like when your car breaks down or your house needs a repair. These situations happen to everyone. That’s why it’s important to save while things are going well, so you can cover… Full Story,Structure is the key to growth. Without a solid foundation – and a road map for the future – it’s easy to spin your wheels and float through life without making any headway. Planning allows you to prioritize your time,… Full Story,Car accidents are not only scary but also a monumental hassle. That’s largely thanks to what comes after the accident itself.   After an accident, you’ll likely have to spend ample time on the phone with your insurer. Then there’s dealing… Full Story,If you’re a furloughed government employee, you are likely feeling a good deal of stress and uncertainty about how to manage your finances during the government shutdown. While missing a paycheck is a financial moment no one wants to experience,… Full Story,Buried underneath paying bills, digging out of a debt hole, and saving for your kids’ college is the marathon of money goals: retirement. Cue the fantasies of spending your days at a leisurely pace, working on The Great American Novel—at… Full Story,When I’m on top of finances, I’m all up in my money management apps, checking my balances and the swift progress I’ve been making on my savings goals. But when things aren’t going so hot? I’m like an ostrich with… Full Story,With all of today’s home-based tech gadgets and virtual personal assistants, smart homes are quickly becoming ubiquitous. And with high demand for connected products, so too comes ease of use, accessibility and affordability.   But as with all expenses, it’s important… Full Storylast_img read more

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Cost of Living in Major Metro Areas

first_imgThere are multitude of reasons why you may decide to move from one city to another. Maybe you just landed a sweet high-paying job after graduating college or you’ve done the research and decided that moving would be a better option for starting your own business.While it would be great to just pick-up and go, it’s not always that easy in real life. You could potentially move to a new location that is too expensive for you to live in. Can you live your ideal life in New York City if you’re only bringing in $50,000 a year? It would definitely be a challenge.To give you a better idea of the cost of living across the country, here are the twenty-five largest metro areas, ranked by population size, in the U.S. and a glimpse of how much it takes to live there. 25. Nashville-Davidson, TNThe cost of living in Tennessee’s state capital is s 0.80% lower than the U.S. average. A one bedroom apartment in the city center averages $1,343.40 per month, with utilities at around $130. If you were to have a three course meal at a mid-range restaurant, it would cost you about $50 for two people. 24. Washington D.C.Living in the nation’s capital isn’t cheap. In fact, it’s one of the most expensive areas to live in the country, especially when it comes to public transportation and necessities. A 900 square foot apartment could cost you more than $2,000 per month, on top of $166 for utilities. Want to eat out for lunch? Expect to pay $13 for a basic meal. 23. Denver, COA one bedroom apartment in Denver could set you back around $1,500 per month, which is slightly higher than the national average. Utilities are around $130 and the cost of eating out for two people averages $60. If you’re active, expect to pay more for athletic shoes than the rest of country. 22. Seattle, WAResiding in the Great Northwest can get pricey. Monthly apartment rentals can range from $1,612 to $2,278. Prices for utilities are around $133/month. It’s worth noting, Seattle has some of the highest prices in the country for men’s haircuts and local cheeses. 21. Boston, MADepending on which section of Bean Town you live, monthly rent can be anywhere from $1,600 to $2,600. Utilities are around $145 and going out on the town isn’t overpriced, $65 for a meal for two. But, you can expect to pay higher prices on groceries like tomatoes and imported beer. 20. Memphis, TNMemphis is one of the more affordable places to live in the country, it’s actually 14.3 percent lower than the national average. Home prices average around $180,375, with the average two-bedroom/two-bathroom apartment going for $726 a month. However, grocery shopping can get pricey depending on the area. For example, a pound of ground beef costs $2.60. 19. El Paso, TXFor such a large metro area, the cost of living in El Paso isn’t too shabby. Rent for an apartment in the most expensive part of town is around $1,000. The price of clothing, gas, and even the internet are more affordable than most other areas – $35 for a pair of Levis, for example. 18. Detroit, MIWith prices ranging between $850 to $1,250, Motor City does offer some of the most reasonable apartment and home prices in the country. However, utilities are extremely high – over $250/month. That is outweighed though with the low cost of entertainment ($35 for a dinner for two), shopping ($39 for a pair of jeans), and just $27 for a monthly membership to a fitness club. 17. Charlotte, NCYou can find a place to rent in Charlotte between $750 to $1,600. While the cost of men’s haircuts, and potatoes, are more expensive than other areas in the country, Charlotte has some of the lowest prices for cleaning services and beer prices at local pubs. 16. Fort Worth, TXRenting a place in Fort Worth can range from $860 to $2,000 per month. Utilities are on the lower side, $123/month, as are one-way tickets for local transportation ($5) and dinner for two ($35). 15. Columbus, OHHousing prices in Ohio’s state capital (also the largest city in the state) run between $863 to $1,600. While cleaning services are some of the highest in the country, flat screen TVs are some of the cheapest ($304 for a 40”), as are beer prices in the local bars. 14. San Francisco, CASan Francisco is crazy expensive. In fact, the total cost of living in San Francisco is 62.6% higher than the U.S. average with home prices averaging more than $737,600. Renting a place isn’t much better since SF has the highest prices in the country: $4,650 for a two-bedroom apartment. Going to restaurants? Expect to pay $80 for a mid-range establishment. To make matters worse? Groceries and health care costs are more expensive here as well. 13. Indianapolis, INIf you enjoy working out, then you should know that Indianapolis has the cheapest gym memberships in it business district in the world. Indy also has some of the cheapest basic dining-out options in the country, around $11 for lunch. Housing ranges from just under $700 to just over $1,300 per month. 12. Jacksonville, FLThe cost of living in Jacksonville is actually 2% lower than the Florida average, as well as 8% lower than the national average. Apartment rentals can be found at around $920, a little higher than the national average, but the average mortgage payment ($878) is lower. Healthcare and utility prices are also lower than average. 11. Austin, TXLike many other metro areas, Austin has a flexible range for housing, usually from $878 to $1,880 per month. Utilities are around $179, but entertainment prices are favorable. A basic dinner for two? $37. Two tickets to the theater? $21. 10. San Jose, CAJust like its neighbor San Francisco, San Jose is ridiculously expensive. The cost of living is 16% higher than the California average and 57% higher than the national average. Groceries, housing, healthcare, and gasoline are all higher than the national average. For example, the average home price is a whopping is $575,100! 9. Dallas, TXRent per month in the Dig D can range from $820 to $1,168. Utility prices are average, around $142, as is going to a mid-range restaurant, $45 for two. One-way tickets for public transportation are low, $2.50, however a monthly pass is pricey at $80.00. On the plus, toothpaste and gas prices are among the cheapest in the country – only $1.26 for a tube of toothpaste! 8. San Diego, CAAre you surprised that the cost of living in San Diego is 44% higher than the national average, as well as 6% higher than the California average? The average of house price is more than $451,000, while monthly apartment rentals at $1,312. Transportation, healthcare, utilities, groceries, and good & services are all higher than the national average. 7. San Antonio, TXDid you know that San Antonio has the cheapest apple prices in the country at $2.34 for 2 pounds? The home of the Alamo also has the second cheapest public transportation prices in the country. On the downside, going to the theater is one of the most expensive with two tickets selling for $219. Housing prices range from $700 to $1,400 per month. 6. Phoenix, AZHousing prices in the dessert can be anywhere from $674 to $1,600 per month. Your utility bill could be pricey as well, around $180/month, but that’s expected since you’re running the air conditioner. Meals and groceries can be affordable, $50 for two people at a mid-range restaurant. Gas prices can be high, but a monthly public transportation pass costs $62. 5. Philadelphia, PAThe City of Brotherly Love can get expensive. Expect to dish out between $1,200 to $2,700 for a place to live each month. And, Philly has the third most expensive utility prices in the country on top of that. While the cuisine is some of the best country, having dinner at a nice Italian restaurant is the second most expensive in the U.S. costing an average of $119. 4. Houston, TXFor such a large metro area, you can actually stretch your money in Houston quite well. The cost of living is 11% lower than the national average. Food prices, health care, gasoline, and utilities are lower than average. You can even purchase a home for around $124,700. 3. Chicago, ILThe Windy City is a pricey area to live. In fact, ChiTown has some of the most expensive prices for jeans ($61), cappuccino ($5.19), and public transportation. Monthly rent can be anywhere from $900 to over $2,000, with utilities averaging $213. 2. Los Angeles, CASale prices on LA homes have appreciated 78.5% over the last five years. That means it would be hard to find a place to rent for under $900 per month. At least utility prices, $110, are cheaper than most other areas. Transportation is costly, gas prices are sometimes 55% more expensive than the national average. The cost of food and entertainment are also high. And, don’t get us started on the 9% sales tax. 1. New York, NYAs the largest city in the country, and such a popular tourist destination, it’s no surprise that the Big Apple is ridiculously expensive. For starters, New York has some of the most expensive housing prices that cost between $1,638 to $3,895 per month. Own a car? Expect to shell out $533 per month in parking downtown. Enjoying a meal at a modest restaurant? You’ll be spending at least $75. And, if you have any money left over, you may be able to afford to shop or enjoy a movie at $14 per ticket.Before you move, CNN and Bankrate offer handy Cost of Living Calculators that compare your current expenses to your possible expenses in the area that you’re moving to.Both calculators are great starting points to help you decide if it’s worth relocating or not based on factors like your salary and how much money you’ll be spending (or saving!) on housing, groceries, utilities, transportation, and health care. Looking to live on less? Check out the most affordable cities in the U.S. John Rampton is an entrepreneur, investor, online marketing guru and startup enthusiast. He is founder of the online payments company Due.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window) Relatedcenter_img Post navigationlast_img read more

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New Year, New Tax Implications

first_imgShare this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window) Related Post navigation It’s a brand new year and new tax laws were signed into law over the holidays, but one thing to keep in mind is that for the vast majority of taxpayers, the new tax laws do not affect their 2017 taxes (the ones they file in the first months of 2018).Although not much has changed in tax laws for 2017 taxes, what may have changed for you are life changes like having a baby, a new job, or moving. Along with a new year often comes life changes which can reveal new tax implications, but life changes don’t have to make tax time daunting. TurboTax has you covered when it comes to the new year and new tax implications for you.Right now, let’s look at what you can do to save on your taxes when you file this new year and the following tax year.Keep records.I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again — keep records. Really, do it, that’s the first step to saving on your taxes because you can’t take a tax deduction for an expense you don’t remember and can’t prove. This is especially important for those who are self-employed or an employee.At the very least, get a large envelope into which you can place all important tax papers and put it where you can find it. When it is time to prepare your taxes, you’ll have all the documentation you need at your fingertips.Claim the earned income tax credit. If your income is under $54,998 in 2018 and $53,930 in 2017 and you have children, you likely qualify for the earned income tax credit. Some people without children can also qualify if they have lower income. According to the IRS, about 20% of people eligible to claim the credit fail to do so. If you are eligible, don’t miss out on this valuable tax credit.Contribute to retirement plans.The longer you wait to contribute to retirement plans, the harder it is going to be to realize your dreams in your later years. If your employer matches your contributions, that’s even better. But if not, you should still contribute to receive the tax benefit.A $100 contribution to your retirement plan will cost you just $70-$75 in net pay, so the tax deferral is like getting free money, and if your employer doesn’t offer a retirement plan, you still can contribute to an IRA or a Roth IRA. You can contribute up to $18,500 ($24,500 50 or older) to an employer retirement account and $5,500 ($6,500 50 or older) to an IRA in 2018, and more if you are 50 or older. If you are self-employed you can contribute up to 25% of your compensation or $55,000 in 2018 (whichever is lower) to your SEP IRA.Pro Tax Tip: Don’t forget you can still make a 2017 contribution to your IRA up to $5,500 ($6,500 50 or over) until you file your 2017 taxes or the tax year 2017 tax deadline and take advantage of a tax deduction for your contribution.Claim charitable donations.Don’t forget that when you clean out your closet and donate to charity that your charitable donations could be worth a valuable tax deduction if you itemize. If your donation is $250 or over the charitable organization should give you a receipt or acknowledgment proving your donation. Even if you donated money on your credit card on December 31st you can still take the deduction on your 2017 taxes.If you didn’t donate last year, 2018 is a great year for you to clean out closets and give things you don’t want or need to a charity, so others can use them and you may be able to get a tax deduction while helping others. TurboTax ItsDeductible will help you value and track your charitable contributions year round and then transfer your contributions to your tax return.Cash in on your education.If you or a family member started college last year or will be starting college this year, you may be eligible for a tax credit for your education, through the American Opportunity Credit or the Lifetime Learning Credit. You should receive a Form 1098-T for expenses paid for college so make sure you take advantage of these valuable tax credits at tax-time.center_img Don’t worry about knowing these tax laws. TurboTax has you covered and will ask you simple questions about you and give you the tax deductions and credits you are eligible for based on your answers. If you have questions while you are doing your taxes, you can connect live via one-way video to a TurboTax Live CPA or Enrolled Agent to get your tax questions answered and your return reviewed so you can sign and file with confidence.last_img read more

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5 Website Conversion Tactics to Boost College Enrollment

first_imgIf your institution has relied primarily on in-person admission counselor interactions or scheduled campus visits, you have missed a critical opportunity to boost enrollment at your institution. It is also very important to remember that the first interaction with your institution probably isn’t going to be filling out an application, although stealth applicants do exist.Here are five ways to turn your campus website into an avenue to increase enrollment by opening up the top of your marketing funnel.1. Make Academic Programs and Majors Prominently Visible Make links to your academic programs prominent on your homepage. According to the 2011 E-Expectations Report, 40% of prospective students say the first link they look for on a school’s website is academic programs and majors. If prospective students can’t easily identify what programs your school offers, they will move on to the next potential school on their list, and you’ll have lost a chance to increase enrollment. Bonus points if you provide easy access from mobile devices, as well.2. Feature Career & Salary InformationSome students, particularly returning students, might not yet know what they want to major in. However, they do know they want to find profitable work once they graduate. Especially in today’s economy, students need to see a direct link between their education and prospective careers and salaries. Including information about how degrees line up with specific careers and the potential salaries of those careers will engage prospective students in your institution and keep them moving through your online marketing funnel.3. Highlight Unique Program ElementsAs prospective students progress through your website, remember that your ultimate goal is to get them to apply. Viewing your academic offerings and seeing a connection between those programs and a career goal just isn’t enough. You have to clearly demonstrate to students what makes your programs so special.Make it obvious to students what they will get out of attending your school that they won’t get from the other schools on their list. Are there online course options available? What about internships or career placement help? Do you have new facilities or research opportunities? You must highlight these unique program elements specific to your school to engage the prospective student even further with your institution and offer a points of differentiation between you and other potential colleges. Offer downloadable content offers with information that highlights these special elements for each your programs, and use a form to collect prospective students’ information in return for the download.4. Offer Peer FeedbackAt a certain point in the marketing funnel, you’ll have hooked your prospective students. You have the program they want leading to a career they’re interested in with unique elements that make your program different and special. Make the personal connection with prospective students now by offering them the chance to speak with current students who share their interests. These peer connections can make a prospective student feel like the institution is invested in them as an individual. Plus, a current student is more approachable and is perceived to have less bias than an admissions counselor, whose job it is to sell the school. Current students are there to learn, not sell. Take advantage of these most powerful brand advocates.5. Provide Fast FactsFinally, offer a list of quick facts to prospective students. Include information such as the credits needed to graduate, specific course requirements, estimated costs, internship opportunities, and other pertinent information prospective students need and want to know. This last bit of information will lead students to make contact with the university and begin the enrollment process.Marketing TakeawayTaking the time to meet prospective students at the top of your marketing funnel and making that first web contact will have a larger impact on increasing enrollment than waiting for students to visit your campus. Part of your job as a marketer is to nurture prospective students along to the point where they are ready to work with an admissions counselor. These five conversion tactics should give you ideas you can use to start this nurturing process. Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Topics: Originally published Nov 9, 2011 8:00:00 PM, updated February 01 2017 Education Marketinglast_img read more

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Instagram Kicks Twitter’s Butt on Mobile, and Other Marketing Stories of the Week

first_img Instagram Marketing Originally published Sep 30, 2012 9:00:00 AM, updated October 20 2016 Topics: Autumn is here! Can you feel it?It’s the time of year for changes all around. Not only are the leaves taking on that nice red hue, but several well-known companies in the marketing world are experiencing some big changes, too.If you missed the message about these “big changes,” not to worry, we’ve done all the work for you. Sit back, grab a pumpkin spice latte, enjoy the fall breeze, and read about the changes in the marketing world that are unfolding before you.Why Facebook Just Opened an Online Store, From WiredYou might’ve noticed Facebook rolled out a new promotional tool called “Offers” recently, where Facebook users can find and share discounts from brands they ‘Like.’ This is great news for brands looking to advertise through the platform, but there are still several steps a user needs to go through to get a Facebook fan or user to actually reach the purchasing stage. Well get ready, because this is all about to change.As reported by Wired, “Facebook is trying to monetize common, naturally occurring behavior on its network in a way that feels more natural than other Facebook ads, like ‘Sponsored Stories’ that pop up when one of your friends mentions a business.” To keep the natural flow of the platform, Facebook has announced they are coming out with an online store, specifically meant for gift giving. Let’s be honest, do you actually remember your friends birthdays anymore, or do you just look at Facebook to give you the answer? With Facebook’s new gift platform, not only can you see who is having a birthday, but you can purchase a small gift and send it to them directly through Facebook. There is no more messy maze of Facebook post to landing page to call-to-action to purchasing page to check-out. Instead, you will see it’s your friend’s birthday, choose a gift, your friend will receive a notification on Facebook, and a package will arrive at their doorstep. Simple as that. To learn more about Facebook’s new online store, you can check out the full story from Wired here.Hello, Europe! HubSpot’s Heading to Dublin, IrelandThis week we announced the opening of our new European headquarters in Dublin, Ireland! We’re excited to be headed to Dublin since it’s like the Silicon Valley of Europe — it’s home to the EMEA headquarters of companies like Google, Facebook, Salesforce, and LinkedIn. It’s a city with a lot of innovative energy, and we’re delighted to be part of it. Take a look at our this video that explains more about our European expansion:The new HubSpot office will be opening January, 2013 and is on pace to provide 150 new jobs within 3 years. Our presence in Europe opens up new opportunities not only for job applicants, but also for companies in Europe that want to create marketing that people will love. If you’re interested in learning more, you should read the official announcement here.What Brands Need to Know About the New Myspace, From PR DailyHave you heard? Myspace is back in the game, and it’s prettier than ever. PR Daily admitted the benefit of this new design is that, “It can be Facebook meets Twitter, meets Pinterest, meets Spotify, meets Tumblr, meets Instagram.” The new design focuses heavily on visual content, but continues to stay true to its roots by catering to musicians and other creative minds. This is all great, but one question remains: will your potential customers be there?If your customers are ages 18-24, then the answer is most likely yes. These folks and will be early adopters of the platform, but there’s no telling who will hop on next. Social media marketers and advertisers are certainly attracted to this new design and are curious to see where brands will fit within the model. To learn more about Myspace’s new design, you can read PR Daily’s full article here.Instagram Now Bigger Than Twitter on U.S. Mobiles, From Fast CompanyWhen checking your smartphone, are you more likely to view updates on Instagram or Twitter first? According to Fast Company, Instagram actually has greater pull than Twitter on mobile devices in the U.S. Does this surprise you? It was reported that Instagram has 7.3 million daily users in the U.S., compared to 6.9 million on Twitter. In addition, those who used Instagram spent 87 more minutes using the platform for viewing photos than they did reading 140-character updates on Twitter. To top it off, this is all true despite the fact that there are more Tweeters than Instagrammers in the U.S. It appears Facebook made a smart move in their 1 billion dollar acquisition of the platform. If you’re interested in reading more, you can check out the full story here.Bing Partners With Klout, Marrying Search and Influence, From MashableMicrosoft’s web search engine, Bing, and social media analytics company, Klout, have officially joined forces. With this partnership, Klout’s data regarding social media influencers will be incorporated into the Bing search engine, and a Bing users’s search results and queries will be reflected in your Klout score. With this connection, you’ll be able to see people you know, and then what their numerical influence is on your search.Bing already incorporates social results from Facebook, Quora, and Fourquare into its search results, which shows you who has shown interest or created an activity based on what you’re searching. However, this new update with Klout will also show your connections’ level of expertise on the subject matter you are searching. Read more about the partnership here.Have you come across any other interesting marketing stories this week? If so, share them in the comments!Image credit: Muffet 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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Taking Some Time Off? How to Leave a Creative Out-of-Office Message

first_imgAh, the out-of-office message: The email equivalent of a dead end. Seeing as we’re in the thick of a holiday season, my guess is you’re either going to be setting one of these auto-replies up or seeing a whole lot of them bouncing back into your inbox.Out-of-office messages are important, as you’ll need to set expectations and ensure you don’t leave anyone hanging … but it does seem like we could be making them a bit more enjoyable, don’t you think?Download our free email productivity guide here for even more time-saving email management tips. For inspiration, here are a few examples from people who took the out-of-office reply to a new creative level. Should you do this? Probably only if you’ve got some spare time on your hands and if it fits the culture of your office and the people who you expect to be emailing you. But if so, we say do it. We all need a little pick-me-up in our inboxes.First and foremost, be useful.Before you get to the fun stuff, make sure you’ve got your basic responsibilities covered. If you miss on these, no clever wordplay is going to make up for it.  When are you going to return?Will you be slow to respond or completely unavailable? Who can the emailer get in touch with if the matter is time-sensitive or an emergency?Get that information down and make sure it’s clear. The creative components of an out-of-office shouldn’t obfuscate the above information. Now that that’s covered, let’s try to make some people smile.Include a short video.One winter, I received an out-of-office reply from a coworker with a bit of a surprise inside. Beneath the out-of-office subject, the message read: “Help! I’ve been captured by angry short people with serious demands … I have no access to email/phone/SMS/web until their demands are met!”Following the message was an adorable video starring her sons demanding a bat mobile and all the candy in the world or, as the video explained, “The iPhone gets it!”The overarching message? Your email is important, but I’m cutting the cord to my work email this week to spend some time with my kids. It softened the blow a bit when I realized I wasn’t going to get an answer instantaneously and reminded me that, sometimes, work can wait. If video-making isn’t your boat, you can always include a fun video from your company or a YouTube clip that allows sharing. For example:Sorry I missed you. I’m on vacation until Monday and will get back to you at that point. If your matter is time-sensitive, you can contact my teammate John at Johnsmith@company.com. I don’t want you to go away empty-handed, so here’s a puppy to keep you company until then.  Note: If you do this, remember that most email clients won’t allow embedding, so you’ll want to take a screenshot of the video and link to where it is hosted for those wanting to view it. Give them something fun to do.The first thing people picture after receiving your out-of-office is the luxurious vacation you are off enjoying while they are stuck in the office. It’s a bummer. If your out-of-office comes during a holiday week, like this one, the recipient is probably seeing a lot auto-replies, why not try to lift their spirits with a game.Sorry I missed you. I’ll be out of the office and slow to respond until Monday. While I have you though, help me settle an argument among my teammates and me: While the above example is a lighthearted one, you can actually include a useful quiz that helps you jumpstart your work when you return. For example, you can ask emailers, “What topic should I focus my next blog post on?”  Just be helpful (and human).Whether you realize it or not, you come with an inherent set of frequently asked questions. Think about yours. What is your prime area of specialization? What are the questions you get again and again in email? While you may not be present to answer someone directly, you could point them towards some resources that will give them a head start while you’re out.You’ll have to tailor your OOO message based on who you get emails from most often: colleagues or outside clients. But, if you have a good grasp on that, this email response could help resolve some questions.Hey, I’m sorry I missed you, I’m out at a conference until Monday and won’t be able to check email or voicemail. Here are some resources that might be helpful while I’m out.Need a piece marketing collateral? Check this list of available pieces (insert link)Have a question about our product? Search these help-docs (insert link)Want to invite me to lunch? How Lovely! Let’s get tacos when I return. If your matter is time-sensitive, you are welcome to directly connect with my colleague John Smith at john@company.com. Thanks for understanding. Until we email again,MeghanNote: If you use Gmail for your business, you can actually designate an out-of-office message to only go to your colleagues rather than outside contacts. That way you can triage your client or customer emails from the conference while putting internal emails on ice for a few days. You may have too many other things going on before you head out for vacation to put much thought into your out-of-office, but if you do have a few moments, a little creativity can go a long way with the people trying to reach you.What would be useful or interesting to you?  What ideas do you have on how to make the out-of-office bounce-back a bit less deflating? Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlackcenter_img Originally published Dec 23, 2013 12:00:00 PM, updated July 28 2017last_img read more

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Why You Still Need Inbound Marketing (Even If Your Prospects Are Already In Your Database)

first_imgIf you’ve been reading HubSpot content for awhile, you know as well as we do that inbound marketing works magic for lead generation. Indeed, one of the greatest benefits of inbound marketing is that it’s continuous and compounding: By creating ownable assets to generate awareness, traffic, and thought leadership, you benefit from the content you’ve created and promoted even when you’re not in the midst of a significant campaign or push. In fact, roughly 70% of the leads generated by the HubSpot blog are from old blog entries: Try doing THAT with paid advertising, and you’ll be sorely disappointed.But what if you are a niche company, with a niche product that can only be used by a finite audience? And here’s the kicker — what if all of the people you’re trying to market to are already in your database.For example, your business sells machinery to the government and all three purchasing agents are already customers. Or you provide high-end big data solutions for Fortune 50 companies and already have all their CTOs in your cell phone. Surely, with a product and a market like that, you don’t need to boil the ocean to be successful. You need to continue to sell more units more often to contacts you already have. Marketers operating in highly specialized industries often ask us: Can our business benefit from an inbound approach even if we operate in a niche market? The answer is a resounding “yes.” Below we’ve outlined how inbound marketing can be used to drive business results regardless of whether your target audience is three people or three million people. Always Be InfluencingMost decision-making processes within organizations are non-linear — they’re heavily influenced by current business conditions, the personalities and business units involved, and the relationships and context everyone involved in the decision bring to bear on the project. As a result, smart marketers use content, social selling, and effective influencer relations to impact the selection process because they recognize that every individual, regardless of seniority or industry, is impacted by current trends, social media, the opinions of their colleagues, and leaders in their respective industries. By way of example, one of my favorite articles on decision making comes from an interview with Ram Charan in the Harvard Business Review. Ram is a preeminent business advisor to companies like GE and 3M as well as a best-selling author. When asked about executive decision making, Ram is quick to note that the best CEOs in the world have “perceptual acuity — the ability to sense what is coming before the fog clears” and are “compulsively attuned to the external environment,” noting Ted Turner’s ability to anticipate consumer appetite for the 24-7 news cycle as an example of unparalleled acuity in the media space. Charan goes on to note that “many CEOs do not hesitate to go directly to sources at the scene of the action or to tap informal social networks.”In other words, the best leaders in the world rarely rely on the past to predict the future, so relying upon your existing relationship with a CTO, CMO, or CEO to win the day is not prudent: You want to always be influencing the process and putting your best foot forward. Anyone can send a client fruit baskets and thank you notes; what sets your business apart long-term is your ability to demonstrate legitimate thought leadership and differentiate yourself from competitors.Your blog entries should help you nurture existing relationships with prospects and customers, demonstrate thought leadership to influencers in your industry, and ultimately demonstrate to the world that you are the unquestionable experts in your space. The best leaders in the world leverage disparate sources to identify trends and market factors that will impact their business; the best companies in the world leverage this information to influence the process with impactful inbound marketing. Inbound Helps You Actively ListenChances are, you call upon or visit your existing customers on a regular basis. Depending on your line of business, you might check in on your accounts daily, weekly, monthly, or yearly to offer assistance or thank your customers for their business. However, conventional account management often misses proactive upgrade opportunities within companies you already do business with and minor annoyances with existing vendors or systems that you may be able to address with your service or product. Even worse, one of your customers could be tweeting frustrations with your offer that you never respond to, and those minor hiccups could eventually lead to lost accounts and revenue. Instead of waiting for your next calendar appointment to check in on a customer, take an inbound marketing approach to give you a 360-degree view of how your customers and prospects work on a daily basis. By understanding their pain points and day-to-day tasks, you can delight existing customers with new blog posts, feature updates, or support before they have to go looking for it. At the end of the day, businesses move and evolve at a rapid pace, so proactively creating lists of your accounts to interact with on social media can help you identify signals in the market that your existing business could be in jeopardy, that there are proactive opportunities to upgrade your agreement, and to keep tabs on new executive arrivals that might influence the company’s decision making moving forward, all of which can generate significant business for your organization. Your customers, prospects, and leads are telling their networks about their business challenges, needs, and goals on a regular basis. Maybe the CEO him or herself does not post actively on Twitter, but the company’s CMO might, or the company’s LinkedIn Pages showcase hiring patterns that are relevant to your company’s services. Either way, by the time you reach out for a check-in with your customers, they (or a related business unit within their organization) might have already made a business decision without your input or insight. Think about using social media to tune in and stay in the loop.   Empowering Your Internal ChampionIf you are in the considered purchase business, chances are you are lucky to have an internal champion at most of the organizations you do business with on a regular basis. These people understand your product, typically engage with it on a daily basis, and have great rapport with your sales and marketing teams. Your company likely takes great care of this person and team with the likes of fruit baskets at Christmas or VIP treatment at a customer dinner, but what are you doing to empower them on a daily basis in their job?One of my previous jobs was running marketing for a high-end corporate wellness company. We were fortunate to have some truly marquis clients in the Fortune 500, all accounts that continued to expand as a result of strong internal champions within the organization who went to bat for our approach time after time. Instead of resting and waiting for word from each internal champion for the next account we could compete for, we spent a lot of time and energy creating content to empower them.For example, we created a video highlighting employee successes with our program and created two versions of the video: one that we could use to pitch additional external business, and one solely focused on helping the influencer make the case for the success of our program internally. We also created and shared content on internal employee social networks to build excitement and enthusiasm for our offering within each organization. Creating and sharing these pieces of content on our blog not only helped us empower our internal champion, but also helped us rank highly in search, resulting in both organic traffic and media coverage for the organization. This impact not only made the job of internal champions at each company easier, but also served as insurance if and when those champions moved on to different opportunities. People are more apt to jump from job to job today than they were fifteen years ago, so you can no longer plan your business around one individual’s tenure at an organization. Market TractionStitch Fix is a West Coast-based startup that matches women with personal stylists, delivering a monthly “fix” to their door based on an online style profile. Like any great entrepreneur, Katrina Lake identified a target market, assuming her primary audience would be busy 20- and 30-somethings in New York and San Francisco with high interest in fashion but little time to shop due to demanding careers. The company began marketing its offering with inbound tactics, relying heavily upon Twitter and Pinterest to demonstrate thought leadership in the style world, and creating easily accessible (and highly shareable) content based on individual style Fixes. In spite of her early predictions on the company’s potential market, Lake recently told the New York Times “that concept really resonated with moms and people who were busy with their kids and families.” The company’s success with moms from Minnesota to Montana not only surprised Lake, it also helped convince investors that there was in fact a market for another style delivery player in the marketplace. Inbound marketing tactics not only helped Stitch Fix attract new customers, but also send a strong signal to the market that they could compete and win in an already crowded industry. Creating and sharing content with inbound marketing creates a captive audience of people who legitimately care about the work you do, the industry you play in, and the problems you’re solving. You can’t just buy a list of those people; you have to earn their trust, loyalty, and respect. Doing so with content and thought leadership is an investment in your business — not just for today, but for the next decade. Your Competition Likely Has Your Contacts, TooChances are, if you bought a list of industry contacts or met them at industry events, your competitors have those leads in their database, too. To stay ahead of the competition, you can’t run an isolated one-note playbook rooted in in-person meetings and periodic one-off emails. You need a toolbox full of tactics to keep your brand top of mind, whether your leads are asking for a vendor recommendation on LinkedIn, revisiting your website for more information, or perusing your blog for industry insights and updates.Let’s not forget that if your leads are in your competitor’s database, and your executive decision maker knows both of you well from regular check-ins, he or she might decide at some point to revisit the all-knowing search engines for more information or to check out trends she should be in the loop on for future decisions. The number one company ranking on Google gets roughly 33% of associated organic search traffic, so failing to create and promote remarkable content leaves page views (and thus money) on the table on a weekly basis.Influencers, decision makers, and executives are incredibly busy. Your job as a vendor is to be the signal that breaks through the noise, and by far the best way to make that happen is creating and promoting exceptional, relevant content across all of your marketing channels, and implementing an integrated system and approach to analyze what works and what doesn’t.Inbound marketing helps you stay ahead of your competition and on top of the radar for the leads you care about most. Moreover, effective content creation and promotion builds ownable assets that continue to deliver value over time — so unlike trade shows, paid advertising, and events, there’s no time limit or expiration date associated with the value you can extract from your effort. Your Leads Are BusyThey may not visit your website every month. They may have been only half-listening when you talked about your latest product roadmap or initiative. They may have met with your competitors more recently than you. Regardless of whether they are in your database, they may not be in your back pocket, and assuming that you’re at the top of their list at all times can leave significant business on the table.With inbound marketing, every blog post is a chance to nurture your leads, every tweet is an invitation to converse, and each keyword you rank for increases the likelihood they’ll come your way the next time they have new business to share. Inbound marketing offers a profound opportunity to connect with and help your leads succeed with your product on their terms, and to diversify your approach to align with how your leads shop and buy on a regular basis.I’m a big fan of the Patricia Quipp quote: “It’s not your customer’s job to remember you. It is your obligation and responsibility to ensure that they don’t forget you.” Inbound marketing is the perfect opportunity to deliver on that responsibility, and one you should start taking advantage of today. 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 28, 2014 4:00:00 PM, updated February 01 2017 Inbound Marketing Data Topics:last_img read more

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‘Tis the Season of Giving: 6 Ways Companies Are Raising Money for Charities This Year

first_img6) Bit.ly: “Hope.ly”Bit.ly has partnered with the American Red Cross to give back this holiday season. They’re encouraging users to create hope.ly links instead of the typical bit.ly links, and every time someone clicks on a hope.ly link, that person will see a banner at the top of the webpage asking for a donation to the American Red Cross.I tried it out for HubSpot’s homepage. When you click on this hope.ly link to get to hubspot.com, you’ll see this:So the next time you want to create a bit.ly link, create a hope.ly link instead to support this great campaign.What is your company doing during the holiday season to give back to the community? Thank you @SantanderBankUS for including us in your #IdeasForGood Grant! pic.twitter.com/MBD3COOH9O— West Suburban YMCA (@wsymca) December 11, 20144) USO: “Thanks From Everywhere”The USO is making it easier than ever for Americans to show their appreciation for their armed forces this year with their online Thanks From Everywhere campaign. Users can write a message and/or donate to the troops who are unable to be home with their families. Using the interaction map of the U.S. on the site, users can indicate where they’re sending a message from, and they can also see where others are sending message from. Check it out, and share your thanks!5) Intel: “Code for Good”Intel is giving back to the world of Android developers this holiday season by donating up to $45,000 to Code.org, Codeclub.org.uk, and Girlswhocode.com. All three organizations have helped educate those developing on Android devices. Their donations won’t come without your help, though. To help boost their donations, simply retweet one of these tweets for the organization you feel most strongly about. For each retweet an organizations gets, $1 will be donated by Intel. So let’s get retweeting — pick your charity of choice below: Topics: Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack #IntelAndroid & #DevFieldGuide are donating $1/RT to support @GirlsWhoCode! Please Retweet! http://t.co/99DsXZEHl4— Girls Who Code (@GirlsWhoCode) November 10, 2014 Originally published Dec 19, 2014 12:00:00 PM, updated February 01 2017center_img The holiday season is in full force — which means planning for the coming year, holiday parties, and for many, giving back to charities meaningful to us. One study showed about 34% of all charitable giving is done in the last three months of the year.Here at HubSpot, we get into the holiday giving spirit through our annual charity auction, where employees can donate anything they want — and they sure get creative. This year, our COO offered to lend out his Tesla for the day to one lucky bidder. Another employee offered to wrap all of your Christmas presents. The list goes on. Then, we all gather to live auction some of the items and do a silent auction on the rest. We ended up raising over $28,000, which went to each bidder’s charity of choice.To make things more interesting this year, our product team created a mobile app for the silent auction to ensure employees got the chance to donate, no matter where they were the day of the auction. We then decided to open-source the app and make it available for free for anyone who is hosting their own charity auction. (Learn how we did it and how to build your own app here.)But enough about us. Let’s take a look at what some other companies have done for charity auctions.1) Anton’s Cleaners: “Coats for Kids”In 1995, Anton’s Cleaners in Lowell, Massachusetts set out to make sure that anyone who needed a coat would have one. They work with local businesses, schools, and other organizations to collect the coats, and then they clean them for free and distribute them through the Coats for Kids network they’ve built over the years. But this isn’t your typical clothing drive. Through the strong relationships they’ve developed with local schools and promotional partners, they built a leaderboard of the schools who have gathered the most coats. Nothing like a little competition to inspire during the holiday season, right?Last year, Anton’s Cleaners was able to distribute more than 60,000 coats for both children and adults. (Click here to learn how to get involved.)2) Anaplan: “Anaplan Cares”Anaplan is a cloud-based analytics solution for sales, finance, and operations organizations, and their internal Anaplan Cares initiative allows employees the chance to give back throughout the year by volunteering their time, promoting causes they value, and providing their technology for discounted rates to non-profits.The holiday season is no different. During the final months of the year, Anaplan employees volunteer their time at a local food bank. This year, they boxed up 23,000 pounds of pears to distribute to food pantries, children’s snack programs, and soup kitchens.Image from Tech Cocktail3) Santander Bank: “Ideas for Good”Santander Bank (formerly known as Sovereign Bank) is currently running a holiday campaign called “Ideas for Good.” Through this campaign, they’re asking their customers to vote for non-profits at their 700 branches — and each branch will donate $500 to the local non-profit that gets the most votes. At the end of the campaign, Santander will end up donating $350,000 to non-profits around the northeast.Even though Santander is a national organization, this campaign gives each individual branch a more local, personal touch. For example, some non-profits customers vote for might be local ones they have a personal connection to.Here’s one lucky non-profit who has been awarded the grant.  Thx #IntelAndroid & #DevFieldGuide for gifting $1 to @codeorg for every RT! Help bring programming to classrooms! http://t.co/Wz2nuhUJE8— Code.org (@codeorg) November 10, 2014 Holiday Marketing #IntelAndroid and #DevFieldGuide are donating $1 for EVERY retweet! Help us bring more code to kids! http://t.co/JWqVgZY8Sb— Code Club (@CodeClub) November 10, 2014last_img read more

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A Loyalty Program Becomes a Retention Hub

first_img Topics: 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 Jun 7, 2016 10:45:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 Customer Success It is seven times more expensive to acquire a new customer than it is to retain an existing one, and it is only getting more expensive. As more and more ecommerce stores enter the market, the demand for PPC goes up. Simple economics tell us that these prices are on an upward trend.Today’s top ecommerce sites are using retention to battle increasing digital marketing costs and stagnating growth. There are a number of retention tools at your disposal, but it can become tough to manage those tools. The solution is to use a loyalty program as a hub for your retention marketing tactics. Loyalty as a Retention Hub Here are a few examples of how a loyalty program can make your retention marketing efforts much easier by centralizing everything in one place. Incentivize Other Efforts with PointsShoppers often take a “what’s in it for me?” approach when deciding whether they will complete an action on your site. It is incredibly valuable to get a customer to share your store over social media, but very few ever do. You can reward this behavior by providing points for the completion of marketing activities that are both retention and acquisition focused, whether that’s sharing your store on social media or referring a friend directly. As soon as a customer realizes that your points have real monetary value, they’re motivated to earn them for easy requests like sharing on social media or referring their friends, or sharing user-generated content. A loyalty program ties all of your marketing efforts back into your retention marketing strategy. More retention gets you more repeat customers, and repeat customers are valuable online!Avoid Discounting One of the pitfalls of ecommerce is discounting your store to death, and reducing your average order value, customer lifetime value, and bottom line. Many online retailers will try to get more referrals, sales, or shares by offering a straight discount. These discounts set an expectation that a customer will never have to actually pay full price.“If you are always offering discounts, your shoppers will never consider paying full price.”You might see discounts as a necessary evil to get the ball rolling, but it can actually do some serious damage to your brand image and sales. This is especially true if you consider yourself a luxury retailer. Using a loyalty program allows you to reward points to incent action rather than offering straight discounts. Points do not have the same associations as $15 off or 20% off. And, they encourage users to continue to purchase full-price items from you. This allows you to kick start marketing effortsand avoid the negative effects of discounting.Consistent CommunicationThe more tools you’re using, the higher likelihood that your communications have a fragmented look and feel. A tool for retention emails might send emails that look one way, and a referral program sends emails that look totally different. Using a loyalty program as a hub can help solve this fragmentation issue. After all, your customers only think they’re working with you — a single store. When all your retention efforts are being conducted with the same tool, you get a customer experience that is on brand, engaging, and effective at driving repeat purchases.Centralized DataThere are not enough hours in the day for an online store owner or ecommerce manager. The last thing you want to be doing is checking multiple retention tools to see how effective your efforts have been.A loyalty program can bring all these tools into one convenient location. Instead of looking at revenue from loyalty members, number of purchases from referrals, and repeat customer rate in three separate places, you can look in one spot.And, using a central hub for retention marketing efforts makes it easier to see if your retention efforts are making you some serious money, or if they need to be tweaked.Centralize Retention with a Loyalty ProgramRetention marketing is a long term strategy, so to truly invest you need to set yourself up for success. Invest in the right tools, treat the strategy with the respect it deserves, and start things off right.If you are planning to take your retention marketing efforts seriously, you should consider adding in a loyalty program. They lead to some amazing results, and create a central hub for your retention efforts. last_img read more

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3 Quick Wins to Improve Your Nonprofit’s Website

first_img Nonprofit Marketing Originally published Oct 25, 2016 7:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 Not every marketing success comes from a big campaign. When you’re a nonprofit operating under budget constraints, big campaigns aren’t always even an option. Sometimes, it’s the little tweaks that can yield a boost in results. In some cases, the tweaks correct an issue that’s been holding your website back.We’re going to dive into three areas where you can make some quick changes that can kick off strong change. 1) Maximizing Your SEO StrategyYou have a clear SEO strategy based on your research of your prospects most pressing questions and concerns. You’ve identified what words and phrases they’re using to search for information online. But is it being executed as completely as it could? Each page on your website and each blog post should be optimized around a single keyword or phrase that your ideal constituent is searching for on Google. More keywords than that can dilute the organic power of your main keyword.If your organization isn’t blogging yet, get going ASAP. A blog is the constant stream of fresh, SEO-focused content that search engines will use to drive traffic to your organization’s online presence. For a quick overview of blogging for nonprofits, check out this free ebook >> Take a look at some pages and posts that aren’t attracting as much traffic as anticipated. Review them to make sure they’re focused on a current, high performing keyword. If they are focused on a single keyword, this is a good time to re-assess if that keyword should still be a part of your SEO strategy.You can also optimize your high traffic pages and posts. Have you optimized each element on the page? Many people overlook optimizing their images for SEO. Look at everything from the image’s filename to its alt text and title text to its loading time.If you’ve seen an overall drop in organic traffic or your place in search results, it’s probably time for a more comprehensive review of your keyword strategy.Have you done your SEO research based on what your prospects want to know, or only what you want to tell them? Inbound works because of an “educate first – ask later” approach.Perhaps your current keywords have gotten stale. Are they focused on what constituents and prospects are concerned about now? Prospects interests and pain points may have changed since you last created your keyword list.2) Creating More Opportunities to Convert VisitorsInbound marketing is a journey, just like the one your future constituents take. If your only calls-to-action (CTAs) on your website are calls to join, donate, or get involved – you’re ignoring a lot of conversion opportunities.Most of your website visitors aren’t ready to make any sort of commitment to your organization just yet. That doesn’t mean you can’t get them into your database. Pick one of your high-value, free resources and make it gated content. This could be a report on how use different credit union resources to rebuild poor credit or a 10-year outlook forecast on the direction of your cause. Whatever the topic, it should be of sufficient interest and value to prospects that they’ll happily give over their email address to get it. It’s the starting point of an active relationship between your organization and a prospect that enables you both to learn more about each other, which ideally ends with the prospect joining your organization.Placing CTAs to your gated content throughout your website and blog provides a low stress entry point for people who are still just looking for information and aren’t quite yet ready to commit.3) Treating Mobile as MobileYour mobile site can’t just be smaller version of your primary website. Part real estate, part use case, the ways visitors interact with a mobile site are very different than a desktop site. Slightly more than half of all digital media is consumed via mobile, so optimizing your organization’s mobile experience is critical to capturing and converting mobile traffic.Let’s start with real estate. Do use responsive design so your website design works on mobile screens. Since mobile visitors will see less with a first view than on your desktop site, make sure that first impression clearly communicates who your organization is and why the visitor wants to explore more.When you visit your mobile site, do you see a lot of text? Consuming blocks of text is difficult and off-putting for mobile visitors. Break up monotonous text with bullets, color, or an image.Your phone number should be click-to-call, for people who want to reach you immediately on their mobile device. Yet many people visiting your mobile site don’t want to call you.  They want information. So make sure your mobile CTAs reflect mobile usability — you’re your requests simple — ask only for an email address. A CTA to apply for membership or donate now should make it clear they’ll get a link they can use to apply online that they can complete later from anywhere.Last, Google constantly changes how it optimizes its mobile search results and user experience. Its latest approach is cracking down on annoying mobile pop-ups. If you have liberal use of pop-ups on your mobile site, or use big pop-ups that block out the content behind it, you’ll want to get rid of them. Staying Ahead of the CurveIt’s easy to lose track of the little things when producing a lot of content, especially when the best practices of digital marketing change so quickly. Optimization is a never-ending process. But that just means you can always find ways to get some quick wins off your website when you’re in-between running larger campaigns. Don’t forget to share this post! Topics:last_img read more

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14 of the Best SEO Tools for Auditing & Monitoring Your Website in 2019

first_img Originally published Dec 4, 2018 8:00:00 PM, updated October 30 2019 When using the Keyword Explorer, Ahrefs will also produce the “parent topic” of the keyword you looked up, as you can see in the screenshot above, underneath the Keyword Difficulty meter. A keyword’s parent topic is a broader keyword with higher search volume than your intended keyword, but likely has the same audience and ranking potential — giving you more a valuable SEO opportunity when optimizing a particular blog post or webpage.3. WoorankCost: Free 14-day trial, then $49/mo for a Pro Plan or $149/mo for a Premium PlanPurpose: Website AnalysisWoorank’s in-depth site analysis helps marketers reveal opportunities for optimization and improvement. This analysis takes into account the performance of existing SEO initiatives, social media, usability, and more.Each report is divided into eight sections:Marketing ChecklistSEOMobileUsabilityTechnologiesSocialLocalVisitors4. HubSpot’s Website GraderCost: FreePurpose: Website AnalysisBack in 2007, HubSpot released a tool called Website Grader that helped businesses uncover search engine optimization opportunities. Because a lot has changed since then, the company has released a new and improved version of the tool.Website Grader is an online tool that generates personalized reports based on the following key metrics:Performance. The tool will analyze your site’s page size, requests, speed, and similar key SEO metrics.Mobile Readiness. The tool will see if your website is mobile-friendly in terms of responsiveness and viewport settings.SEO. The tool will determine if your website is easy to find — both by humans and bots. This determination will take factors like page titles and meta descriptions into consideration.Security. The tool will look for things like an SSL certificate. This serves as a way to prove to visitors that your site is both authentic and safe for contact information submissions.All you need is your website URL and an email address to get started. Simply plug in your information and you can expect a score (1-100) as well as a detailed report in a matter of seconds.Aside from Website Grader, HubSpot also has a handful of paid SEO tools to help you better direct your efforts.For example, within the HubSpot Blogging App, users will find as-you-type SEO suggestions. This helpful inclusion serves as a checklist for content creators of all skill levels. HubSpot customers also have access to the Page Performance App, Sources Report, and the Keyword App. The HubSpot Marketing Platform will provide you with the tools you need to research keywords, monitor their performance, track organic search growth, and diagnose pages that may not be fully optimized.Spanning 70+ metrics, it would be hard — if not impossible — to not uncover opportunities for improvement.As a bonus, Woorank makes it easy for users to download their reviews as branded PDFs. This makes company-wide distribution and presentation more streamlined than ever.5. Check My LinksCost: FreePurpose: Link OptimizationTo ensure that your links on a webpage — whether external or internal — actually work, consider Check My Links.This broken-link checker makes it easy for a publisher or editor to make corrections before a page is live. Think about a site like Wikipedia, for example. The Wikipedia page for the term “marketing” contains a whopping 711 links. Not only was Check My Links able to detect this number in a matter of seconds, but it also found (and highlighted) seven broken links.The tool highlights all the good links in green, and those that are broken in red, making it easy to spot the ones that don’t work or are no longer active.6. BuzzStreamCost: Free 14-day trial, then paid plans from $24/moPurpose: Link BuildingBuzzStream might be the most inexpensive way to manage your outreach to the people who can provide inbound links to your website.Although backlinks to your website are critical to ranking well on Google, the outreach you do while link building can feel a lot like cold calling. BuzzStream makes it easy to research the appropriate people, come up with effective email messages, and track who’s accepted each link request. Your link building queue looks like this:Image via BuzzStreamBuzzStream helps you identify candidates for outreach based on their industry and how engaged they are across various social networks — so you know who will be most receptive to your backlink request and boost your ranking on Google.7. Moz’s Pro ToolsCost: Free 30-day trial, then paid plans from $99/moPurpose: Website AnalysisThe Moz Pro subscription serves as an all-in-one tool for increasing your business’ search ranking. Moz’s collection of research tools provides subscribers with the resources they need to identify SEO opportunities, track growth, build reports, and optimize their overall efforts.For example, the Crawl Test tool employs Moz’s own web crawler, RogerBot, to analyze up to 3,000 links on a given URL. Once completed, users then receive an email report that details the data for each page the site links to.Image via Moz This is super helpful if you’re looking to identify “crawlability” factors, such as duplicate content and redirects that could be influencing your SEO performance.8. LinkodyCost: Starts at $15/moPurpose: Backlink TrackingThe best way to understand the performance of your off-page SEO is by having a good overview of your backlinks. Linkody allows you to discover, track, analyze, and disavow backlinks all from an easy-to-use interface.Aside from that, the tool checks your links 24/7 and informs you of any change so you can take immediate action in case a link is lost or broken.Another feature of Linkody is its ability to “spy” on your competitors’ backlinks. Simply enter the URL of your competitor and let the tool do pull all the links and metrics. The information returned will help you discover niche-relevant, high-quality backlink opportunities for your brand.The tool gives you useful insights for the most important metrics when it comes to backlink tracking, such as the ‘rel’ attribute, Google indexation status, the website’s Domain Authority, Spam Score, Alexa rank, and a lot more.Furthermore, you are able to create white-label reports that can be shared with your team and/or clients to get a better idea on your backlink distribution and your link building progress.9. UpCity’s SEO Report CardCost: FreePurpose: Share of VoiceSEO Report Card by UpCity lets you analyze your website to determine how it stacks up against your competitors.In exchange for a bit of your contact information, SEO Report Card will serve up a report that covers the following:Rank Analysis. A snapshot of where your website ranks on Google, Yahoo!, and Bing. Your ranking is based on the main keyword you select when putting information in to build the report.Link Building. A detailed account of the number of websites that link back to your site.On-Site Analysis. A look at how successful you were in incorporating your main keyword throughout your site.Website Accessibility. A section focused on your site’s load time and ease of accessibility for crawlers. Trust Metrics. An overview of your site’s level of trust or authority. Current Indexing. An indication of how many of your site pages have been indexed.10. SEMrushCost: FreePurpose: Keyword ResearchSEMrush is a super elaborate dashboard that reports on the performance of domains as a whole and their specific pages. The website offers numerous toolkits, one of which is an SEO toolkit.Below is one of the toolkit’s flagship features, allowing you to plug in a website page to see for what keywords it’s ranking, what the page’s rank is for that keyword, the keyword’s monthly search volume, and more.The rest of the SEO toolkit allows you to compare your page performance to competition, analyze backlinks from other websites to your site (also known as link building), research appropriate keywords, and take advantage of similar on-page SEO opportunities.11. Screaming Frog’s SEO SpiderCost: The LITE version is free (with limitations*), and the paid plan is $160/yearPurpose: Website AnalysisThe Screaming Frog SEO Spider is a search marketer’s best friend.Designed specifically for the SEO-minded, this program crawls the websites you specify, examining the URLs for common SEO issues. This program simplifies and expedites an otherwise time-consuming process — especially for larger websites. It could take hours or days to manually evaluate the same URLs.Take a closer look at how it works:The Java program is fairly intuitive, with easy-to-navigate tabs. Additionally, you can export any or all of the data into Excel for further analysis. So say you’re using Optify, Moz, or RavenSEO to monitor your links or rankings for specific keywords — you could simply create a .csv file from your spreadsheet, make a few adjustments for the proper formatting, and upload it to those tools.*Pricing limitations include: You can only scan 500 URLs per website, and you don’t have full access to configuration options and source code features. To remove these limitations, users can purchase a 12-month license for around $160/year.12. Found’s SEO Audit ToolCost: FreePurpose: Website AnalysisWant to rise above your competitors on search engine results pages?(Who doesn’t?)The SEO Audit Tool by Found is an easy-to-use tool for marketers looking to identify (and solve) common SEO errors on a website.Simply enter your URL and receive an instant automated SEO audit of your site. Found’s SEO Audit Tool is broken down into three main parts:Technical issues. This reports on factors like domain canonicalization and XML sitemaps.Content issues. This focuses on influential factors like keywords and meta data. External link analysis. This aims to evaluate the quantity and quality of external links.Similar to Woorank, once you run a report, the tool makes it easy for you to download the results as a PDF to be easily shared within your organization.13. Remove’emCost: $249 per domain or a subscription option starting at $99/moPurpose: Link BuildingHave you ever purchased links? Spammed the comments section on a string of blogs using the same message and link? If so, we’ll forgive your bad judgment just this once … but Google won’t.Artificial or unnatural links have the potential to seriously hurt your search ranking. To clean them up, check out Remove’em:This helpful tool scans your backlink profile and turns up a list of contact information for the links and domains you’ll need to reach out to for removal. Alternatively, the tool also allows you to export the list if you wish to disavow them using Google’s tool. (Essentially, this tool tells Google not to take these links into account when crawling your site.)14. Varvy’s SEO Overview ToolCost: FreePurpose: Website AnalysisThis SEO auditing tool provides users with information regarding their domain strength, links, image SEO, social counts and mentions, page/technical SEO, page speed, and more.The comprehensive report is prepared in less than a minute, and dives deep into different aspects of your website’s performance. You’ll notice that the tool employs green checks, red Xs, and yellow exclamation points to denote the severity of the issue.One the our favorite features is the detailed image overview:This section of the report focuses on the strength of the images your website employs by analyzing the alt text. If you’re using too many words, missing alt text, or the alt text appears weak, the tool will notify you so that you can make any necessary changes.You’ll never get a look behind the Google curtain to learn everything they know (or don’t know) about your site. But by leveraging SEO best practices and getting the most out of tools like those listed here, you can greatly increase the chances that your website will show up in response to the right search queries. SEO 1. Google’s Webmaster ToolsCost: FreePurpose: Website AnalysisPerhaps the best way to understand the way Google sees your site is to ask Google. Google’s Webmaster Tools are novice-friendly resources that explain the fundamentals of Google search.For example, Google’s Fetch as Google tool allows you to see a particular URL as Google sees it, which is critical when troubleshooting for poor SEO performance. The information returned can help you modify the page in question for better results, and can even help you isolate problematic code when you believe your site’s been hacked.Another great feature of Google Webmaster Tools is PageSpeed Insights. This SEO tool measures the performance of both your desktop and mobile site in terms of speed. With mobile search queries surpassing desktop searches, page speed is becoming increasingly important to businesses that want to hold on to their visitors.”PageSpeed Insights evaluates how well a page follows common performance best practices and computes a score from 1-100 that estimates its performance headroom,” according to Google Developers. That score can be Good, as in 80 or above; Medium, as in 60 to 79; or Low, as in 0 to 59.2. AhrefsCost: $99/mo for Lite PlanPurpose: Keyword ResearchAhrefs is an advanced SEO resource that examines your website property and produces keyword, link, and ranking profiles to help you make better decisions on your content. Three of its main tools are:Site Explorer, which shows you the performance of specific webpages on your website.Content Explorer, which allows you to search high-performing webpages under specific keywords and topics.Keywords Explorer, which generates the monthly search volume and click-through rates of specific keywords. There’s nothing quite like a sudden Google algorithm update to leave marketers feeling equal parts confused and concerned. It seems like they wait for you to get all of your ducks in a row and then unleash an update that makes your efforts instantly obsolete.Sure, they’re pretty open about that fact that they’re doing this for everyone’s own good — each algorithm tweak brings us one step closer to more relevant search results, after all. However, there is still some secrecy behind exactly how Google evaluates a website and ultimately determines which sites to show for which search queries.That said, there are a number of tools out there — some free, some paid — that help you to look at your own site the way that Google sees it.Click here to get everything you need to get your website ranking in search.These tools are critical to your organic search strategy because they allow you to focus on the elements of your site that Google deems important. In this post, we’ll walk through 14 such tools that all help you run a site analysis like a marketer … and a Google bot.SEO ToolsGoogle’s Webmaster ToolsAhrefsWoorankHubSpot’s Website GraderCheck My LinksBuzzStreamMoz’s Pro ToolsLinkodyUpCity’s SEO Report CardSEMrushScreaming Frog’s SEO SpiderFound’s SEO Audit ToolRemove’emVarvy’s SEO Overview Tool Topics: Don’t forget to share this post!last_img read more

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How to Edit Your Video Without YouTube’s Retired Video Editor

first_imgPrior to September 2017, YouTube provided a built-in tool that allowed you to edit your videos before publishing to the platform.However, as of last September 20, 2017, YouTube’s Video Editor tool is no longer an option. On YouTube’s Help Forum, Community Manager Marissa explained, “We’ve seen limited usage of these features, so we’ve retired them to focus our efforts on building new tools and improving on other existing features.”Ultimately, YouTube’s Video Editor tool was convenient, but only offered basic features — fortunately, there are plenty of alternative editing tools that enable you to create sleeker, more professional-looking videos for the world’s second largest search engine.Here, we’ll explore all the alternative tools you might consider using to craft better, more engaging YouTube content.Download a Free 30-Day Planner for Your Business YouTube Channel.The Best Editing Tools For YouTube Videos1. ShotcutShotcut, a free open source video editor that is available for Windows, Mac, and Linux, offers a variety of impressive features comparable to Windows Movie Maker. For instance, the tool allows you to cut video footage to a certain length before converting it, and offers filters and effects to make your video look sleeker. Shotcut can handle streaming in a variety of formats, ranging from HTTP to RTSP and UDP.While the interface looks relatively bare, the tool is actually very comprehensive, and all of its video and audio filters are fully customizable. Best of all, you can add, remove, or alter your changes at any time, since editing on Shotcut is non-linear.Image courtesy of Shotcut.Price: FreeAvailable for: Windows, Mac, and Linux2. Wondershare Filmora9Referred to as “a video editor for all creators”, this tool is incredibly easy-to-use whether you’re a novice video editor, or a professional. With Filmora9 you’re able to use filters, overlays, transitions, and custom titles to spruce up your content for YouTube, and engage an audience.Additionally, the tool offers audio features for key-framing and background noise removal, as well as an audio equalizer. If you have multiple clips you’re hoping to combine into one cohesive video, this is a good tool for you — it allows you to import up to 100 layers of media, and offers features so you can layer your clips.Image courtesy of Wondershare. Price: Free trial, $59.99 one-time fee or $44.99 annuallyAvailable for: Windows, Mac, or app version for iOS or Android3. VSDC Free Video EditorVSDC allows you to either import existing clips or record directly from your webcam, making it an excellent option for YouTube vloggers. The interface is simple and easy-to-use, and the tool provides options to apply “Instagram-like filters”, voiceovers, titles, shapes, and other impressive visual and audio effects. Additionally, VSDC lets you export straight to YouTube or another social network easily.It’s important to note, if you want to export your videos from the free version, you’ll want to select the cog icon in the top right, click “Acceleration options” and then uncheck the box marked, “Use hardware acceleration for encoding video”.Image courtesy of VSDC. Price: Free, or $19.99 for Pro VersionAvailable for: Windows4. DaVinci Resolve 15Matti Haapoja, a YouTuber with a channel that focuses on the filmmaking process, dedicated a video to this tool and compared it in quality to Final Cut Pro and Premiere Pro — except, unlike those programs, DaVinci Resolve 15 is completely free. DaVinci Resolve 15 provides tools for both offline and online editing, color correction, post-production audio effects, and visual effects. Additionally, the software lets you collaborate with others during the editing process, which could be particularly helpful if you have multiple video editors on your team.Best of all, DaVinci Resolve 15 offers impressive features to help your video rank for SEO — for instance, you can use Smart Bins to automatically sort and display footage based on metadata criteria (you can also sort manually). Additionally, you’re able to enter custom keywords and tags.Image courtesy of BlackMagicDesign. Price: Free for DaVinci Resolve 15, or $299 for DaVinci Resolve 15 StudioAvailable for: Windows, Linux, Mac5. Premiere Pro Last but certainly not least, Premiere Pro is one of the highest-quality video editor tools you’ll find. Used by Hollywood filmmakers, TV editors, and YouTubers, the software offers all the creative features you need to craft polished videos. Premiere Pro provides features for color grading, lets you create Motion Graphic visualizations of your data, and offers audio tools to remove background noise. Additionally, Premiere Pro now comes with Premiere Rush CC, which is an app you can use to edit footage on your phone, and then share directly to your social networks, including YouTube.Image courtesy of Adobe.Price: As a standalone app, Premiere Pro is $239.88 per yearAvailable for: Mac, WindowsAdditional ToolsI spoke with Leticia De Bortoli, a HubSpot Senior Video Editor, to gain insight into tools you might use to take your video editing process to the next level. She uses Premiere when editing her team’s videos, as well as Audition for sound, and DaVinci for color correction.However, she also mentioned, ‘”You can attach a Zoom iQ6 mic directly to your phone, which is a great tool to get better sound. Additionally, I recommend purchasing a softbox kit for better lighting — both the Zoom iQ6 iOS Lightning X/Y Microphone, as well as the ESDDI 20’X28’ Softbox Photography Lighting Kit, are impressive options that are relatively cheap, as well.”Additionally, David Guerrera, a HubSpot Senior Video Creator and Animator, mentioned the YouTube channel Film Riot for further inspiration. “Film Riot is a great resource for filmmakers of all skill levels who are looking to learn new techniques to use on their next low budget or big budget video project.”Ultimately, you’ll need to choose a process that works for your team and your budget — but creating high-quality YouTube videos doesn’t have to break the bank. In fact, plenty of the tools above are either free, or fall under $100. Don’t forget to share this post! Originally published Mar 27, 2019 7:00:00 AM, updated October 30 2019 Youtube Marketing Topics:last_img read more

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The Content Marketer’s Guide to Thought Leadership

first_img Originally published Nov 4, 2019 1:00:00 PM, updated November 04 2019 Thought Leadership Content Oprah Winfrey Dave Ramsey Seth Godin Marie Forleo Brian Dean Sallie L. Krawcheck What Is Thought Leadership? Oprah.Dave Ramsey.Seth Godin.Besides being highly successful in business, these people are known as thought-leaders — or experts — in their industry.Similarly, as a marketer, being an expert in your field is crucial. To do that, you have to drive traffic to your site, nurture and convert leads, and build brand authority and reputation.That’s where thought leadership comes in.Click here to sharpen your skills with the help of our content marketing workbook.According to research by Edelman and LinkedIn, out of 1,200 respondents, 58% read one or more hours of thought leadership per week. Additionally, 55% of respondents said they use thought leadership to vet organizations they may hire.Consuming thought leadership content also affects purchasing decisions. In fact, 60% of decision-makers said thought leadership convinced them to buy a product or service they weren’t previously considering.Below, let’s review what thought leadership is and how to use it in your marketing strategy. We’ll also explore the best examples and types of content you can consider creating. Thought leadership content could include public events or conferences, webinars, blogs, podcasts, guest posts, ebooks, videos, or social media. Creating and publishing thought leadership content takes time, and is a long-term marketing play. Here, she speaks on her expertise in content by discussing how to find fresh content ideas every week. She delivers three strategies her viewers can use to generate content ideas for their blog, podcast, or videos.5. Brain DeanBrian Dean is an SEO expert. After he created a successful online business, he decided to create a blog — Backlinko — that chronicled the lessons he learned along the way. Essentially, he created a thought leadership site meant to boost his credibility.An excellent example of his thought leadership content is this blog post. He uses long-form content that is educational and valuable to his audience, writing “21 Ways to Promote Your Blog (In 2019).”6. Sallie L. KrawcheckSallie L. Krawcheck, CEO and co-founder of Ellevest, a digital advisor for women, is an expert in finance. Before she started her company, she was the president of Global Wealth and Investment Management at Bank of America.Throughout her career she’s become a thought leader because she is widely published both on social media and traditional media such as television shows.One example of thought leadership content she’s created is on LinkedIn. Here, Krawcheck proves her expertise in finance by publishing articles and organic posts about finance. This boosts her company’s value and brand awareness.Thought leadership is a great strategy that every content marketer should be thinking about, particularly since it allows you to prove expertise in your industry while simultaneously expanding your reach and helping your readers and customers grow. A person or company might use thought leadership as a content marketing strategy because providing value to your audience demonstrates your brand helpfulness. Then, down the road when someone is seeking a product or service like the ones you provide, they’ll consider you an expert and turn to you first.If you’re good at it, you’ll increase awareness among your target audience, generate more leads, improve social proof, and boost engagement online.For instance, Brian Dean is a thought leader in the SEO space. By regularly posting content related to his expertise, he’s proven his value as a content marketer worth following.So, how do you incorporate thought leadership into your marketing strategy? Here, we’ll analyze the top thought leadership marketing tips.Thought Leadership MarketingNow that we’ve covered what thought leadership is, let’s review some best practices before you get started.1. Know your audience and continue learning about them.Knowing your audience is the key to succeeding with any marketing strategy, and thought leadership is no different. Begin with your buyer persona. What motivates, inspires, or causes your audience pain? What questions are they asking? To figure this out, look on social media or conduct customer interviews. Once you know these things, you can begin answering their questions with thought leadership content.Additionally, it’s important to continuously check-in and reevaluate your buyer personas. Are your customer’s questions changing over time? Do their pain points look the same today as they did when you first began as a company? People evolve, and so will your audience.2. Be active on social media.Social media is an effective opportunity to build your brand and expertise. First, social media keeps you active and engaged with your community. Second, you can use it to comment on industry news and ensure your brand voice is heard in conversations regarding relevant industry trends.Plus, you can use social media to promote thought leadership content in an organic way without seeming too promotional.3. Publish content in a variety of places.Creating thought leadership content doesn’t just mean posting on your blog. It also means being active on social media, guest posting on other sites, and speaking at events or on podcasts.It’s important to mix it up with owned media versus other media sources. Additionally, consider having a combination of written content vs. video content vs. audio content, like podcasts.Ultimately, thought leadership content should show up wherever your audience is.4. Analyze what competitors are doing.If your competitors are creating thought leadership content, analyze what they’re doing. How often are they posting? Where are they posting? Don’t be afraid to get inspiration from your competitors.Plus, you can also look and see what your competitors are missing. Perhaps you can fill in gaps in the content they’re putting out.5. Create valuable content.In order to truly succeed at thought leadership, you need to create valuable content. Show that you’re an expert in the industry by speaking intelligently on specific issues in the industry. It’s important to dig deep and show off your expertise in one subject area at a time.For instance, it can be tricky to prove yourself an expert in marketing as a whole (at least in the beginning), but you can have the director of SEO at your company create content for your blog or LinkedIn to demonstrate your brand’s specific expertise in SEO.6. Be genuine.We can’t say it enough, but being too promotional doesn’t connect with your audience. In fact, it’ll probably annoy them. You should produce content that is genuine and authentic to your brand. Additionally, you want to make sure your content makes sense to everyone, offers perspective, and is supported with market-backed research that’ll help inform your audience’s opinions or decisions. Using examples, facts, and quotes will go a long way.Once you’ve thought about adding thought leadership to your marketing strategy, it’s time to dive into the type of content you’ll want to create. So, how do you come up with content ideas to talk or write about?To start, you could do some keyword research to see what people are asking. This goes back to understanding your audience so you can create content that answers their questions.You’ll also want to keep in mind industry news. Is there anything pressing going on? Are there any issues being discussed in your field? If so, address those and forecast the future of your industry.Additionally, you can’t go wrong with articles using formats like tips, how-tos, or best practices. You’ll just want to ensure you’re producing long-form, educational content that your audience wants to read.After you’ve considered the format and type of content you want to produce, it’s time to dive deep into the strategy.Thought Leadership StrategyBefore you jump into thought leadership, you’ll want to have a strategy and a game plan for how you’re going to move forward.Here’s a simple step-by-step process you can use as a starting point:Step 1: Set a SMART goal. SMART goals are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely goals. Before you begin working on thought leadership, have a goal for what you want to get out of it, whether it’s increased traffic to your site or lead generation.Step 2: Brainstorm content ideas. Think about your personas. Is your content focused and strategic to what they want to read or watch? What are they searching for and asking on social media? Answer these questions during your brainstorming session.Step 3: Analyze competitors. To kickstart more brainstorming ideas, answer questions like, “Who is my audience currently going to for answers?” Again, you’ll want to fill in the gaps in their content and talk about what they aren’t.Step 4: Create and distribute content. Once you’ve decided what content to create, make sure you have a point of view and personality. Your content should be easy to consume and easy to share.Step 5: Measure results. Track your results in order to see if your thought leadership content has been effective. Use your SMART goals to determine what metrics you’re tracking.center_img Topics: 1. Oprah WinfreyOprah Winfrey, former talk show host and media mogul, spoke at the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism commencement ceremony in 2018.She took some of her time to speak on the role of journalists today. She said, “You will become the new editorial gatekeepers, an ambitious army of truth-seekers who will arm yourselves with the intelligence, with the insight and with the facts necessary to strike down deceit. You’re in a position to keep all of those who now disparage real news — you all are the ones who are going to keep those people in check.”Throughout the years, Oprah has earned her title as a media expert. Her advice and opinions on the industry are considered thought leadership because of her expertise, which she spent her career cultivating. Content Marketing 2. Dave RamseyDave Ramsey is an expert in finances. He has a degree in Finance and Real Estate, and is known for counseling people on paying off their debts. Ramsey became a thought leader when he continued to produce content in the industry, including hosting a radio show, writing books, and podcasting.One of the best examples of his thought leadership content is his podcast. He posts shows almost every day on topics such as, “Own the ‘Personal’ Part of Personal Finance” and “Don’t Play the Student Loan Forgiveness Lottery!”3. Seth GodinSeth Godin is an entrepreneur turned business mogul. He’s written books addressing marketing, advertising, and leadership. He’s also in the Marketing Hall of Fame, launched by the American Marketing Association of New York. He became a thought leader because of the successful content he delivers, including speaking engagements, books, and his blog.A great example of thought leadership content he’s produced is his blog. Here, he regularly writes about his areas of expertise, including marketing and business. For instance, in this blog post, he writes about great storytelling. He says, “A great story is true. Not necessarily because it’s factual, but because it’s consistent and authentic. Consumers are too good at sniffing out inconsistencies for a marketer to get away with a story that’s just slapped on.”4. Marie ForleoMarie Forleo is a life coach, speaker, author, and host of her own YouTube channel show, MarieTV. She is known for creating and selling online courses, especially in regards to copywriting. She became a thought leader because of her expertise in business coaching.One example of thought leadership content she’s produced is this video on her YouTube channel: Thought Leadership Examples Thought leadership is a tactic content marketers use to build credibility for themselves or leaders in their company. The main goal of thought leadership is to become recognized as an expert and used as a go-to resource in your field. To become a thought leader, one might create and promote educational, helpful content and become active in the industry community, particularly on social sites. Don’t forget to share this post!last_img read more

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