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Use Your Online Friends. It’s a Good Thing.

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As bloggers we spend a lot of time online. Our research is often done online. We publish our articles online. We advertise online and build our brand through online social networks. Social media, wither through the PC or our mobile devices, is accessed and utilized thanks to our online connections. So it’s not surprising that we create online connections, communicating with others that exist as our Internet friends. Even if we only communicate with them once every four months, we often underestimate the motivational power of our online connections.

Typically online connections are borne of like-minded interests, as bloggers and other web-based professionals seek out those networks that have individuals that could be of some use to us. If we’re looking for advice, or looking for an audience to market to, online networks hold a wealth of niche sites and services to serve our purposes.

With online networks, it’s often easier to be forward with your introduction, even though you’re able to connect with others without giving up much of your personal information. The combination of anonymity and the purpose-driven use of online networks means that you will eventually find someone with which to connect.

Perhaps you’ve come across another blogger who’s writing you respect. In another instance, you may have found a site founder that you’re hoping could become your next business partner. All you have to do is shoot them an email, or ping them on Facebook or Twitter. If they don’t respond, that’s okay. If they do respond, then you’ve got your foot in the door. The relationship that can flourish from there may astound you at times.

There are those online connections we refer to on a regular basis–that person that always replies to your tweets, and seems to never sign off of Gchat. There are those online connections that you correspond with once in a while, when you’re looking for specific advice or connections in their area of expertice. There are also those online connections that turn to you for advice, or merely check in with you to see how you are doing.

Intangible though they may be, the connection you have with some of these people is very real. These online connections can be motivating factors in your blogging career. They support what you do by helping you further grow your network, offer feedback, and help you to promote your blog. Simply checking in with you to see how you’re coming along can give you that boost you needed to finish a blog article you’ve been putting off for the past few weeks.

While the people in our offline world (friends, family, roommates, etc.) care deeply for us and offer their own kind of support, our online connections have something very specific in common with us bloggers–they also spend a great deal of time online. Understanding the self-drive that is necessary to operate from a rather solo standpoint in order to build our own brand gives a kind of support that is unique to web-based professionals.

Many of us work from home, cafes or shared offices. Many of us work alone, with small teams or from a different location then the rest of the company. Having the discipline to remain organized and on top of things is a task all its own, and we often find ourselves looking for tips and tricks of the trade. Turning to our online connections helps us realize those tips and tricks, giving us a self-sustained system for managing ourselves.

All that being said, feel free to connect with me. Follow me on Twitter @KristenNicole2, or click here for more information.

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Hello all. I’m Kristen Nicole. I spend most my time (and I mean most my time) writing for various online publications in the social media space. My latest accomplishment has been co-authoring The Twitter Survival Guide. And please feel free to contact me for a discount code, or if you’re interested in helping us promote the book through our affiliate program!

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5 Amazing Course Platforms that Make Learning Online Marketing Skills Easy

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If you want to find success in business and making money online, then you are going to need from some of the world’s leading experts. Unfortunately, consulting and learning  from such experts would likely cost thousands of dollars and endless hours of time. The good news is that online learning courses make the process of learning how to be a better marketer and entrepreneur a whole lot easier.

Marketing skills are all the strategies and skills associated with it are all just a few clicks away. In today’s world, it is very important to acquire marketing skills. These skills can also help to boost your career and portfolio. As a job seeker or business owner, it is very important for you to learn and acquire marketing skills.

Why Do You Need to Learn Marketing Skills?

Every idea or product needs its target audience to buy into its concept. Thus, marketing skills are essential for business growth and development. Still in doubt about the usefulness of marketing skills? Here are some reasons why you need to learn and acquire them:

  • Marketing skills are very effective for business growth: Every business needs to convince its target audience and potential customers. As a business owner, you need marketing skills in order for your business to grow. These skills will help you to draw in customers and also negotiate. In the same vein, marketing skills can help in boosting your services and clientele.
  • It boosts career opportunities: In today’s world, thousands of companies need marketing experts. They need employees with effective marketing skills and are equally ready to pay considerable amounts of money. Marketing skills offer you a variety of career opportunities. Thus, the more you learn marketing skills, the more likely you are to advance in your career.
  • It helps you to make better business decisions: Marketing skills help you to understand what your audience or customers want or need. They also help you to craft business and advertising strategies. Thus, you can think critically and make better business decisions with the right marketing skills and techniques.
  • Marketing skills help you to be more aware: One essential quality of a marketer is the ability to be aware and stay on top of trends. Marketing skills will instill this ability in you. Hence, you will be more aware of trends and have the ability to utilize those trends for business growth.

These skills can teach you everything you need to know about starting a business online. The world is a marketplace, and when you start looking online for solutions, you will find them in every form possible. Whether it’s through reading, videos, user engagement or interactive classes, there are now opportunities for learning all over the place.

For example, the Skills Co. Web App allows experts and gurus to take their knowledge and package it up into an online course. This not only works great from a marketing and business perspective, but also to help others learn how to master a process or learn a new skills.

Learning marketing skills required to hit that next level or expertise, or even just to get started, will help you to be more tactful in your business dealings and everyday life.

Top Marketing Skills to Learn

Marketing skills encompass a large number of skills. To be an effective marketer, you need to possess all or most of these skills. Some top marketing skills include:

  • Communication/story-telling: Effective communication is one essential tool needed for marketing. Your audience and potential customers need you to communicate with them verbally and in written form. To do this, you need to master the art of storytelling. The ability to weave words and create a flow for your audience will help to boost effective communication.
  • Technology skills: The world is going digital every day. As such, tech skills rank high on the list of necessary skills. As a marketer, you may need project management tools, analytics tools, and programs in order to track process. Thus, learning and acquiring tech skills is essential for marketing.
  • Negotiation and persuasion skills: Marketing is hinged on persuading customers and an audience to buy into an idea or product. Learning persuasion skills will help you to convince your audience about your credibility. In the same vein, negotiation skills will help you to find a balance and even ground with your customers.
  • Analytical thinking and skills: Analytical skills involve thinking critically and mapping out strategies. These skills help you to keep track of and understand your audience’s wants or needs. Analytical thinking and skills also involve analyzing customer demographics, reactions, and preference. They help you to carry out research on the aforementioned factors and create strategies that complement the data.
  • Statistics and data collection/analysis: This skill is very essential for marketing. It involves collecting data relating to your audience and customers. It also involves analyzing the collected data using statistical or numerical methods. This skill would help you carry out quantitative research and surveys for effective marketing.

How to Learn New Marketing Skills Online

The internet is an effective tool for learning new skills. You can learn new marketing skills online from the comfort of your homes and offices? Thinking of learning a new marketing skill online? Here are five best ways to learn these skills using the internet:

  • Coursera: Coursera is an online platform for learning specific skills and specialization. It offers a wide variety of online courses in different fields and careers. Learning programs usually last for 4-6 weeks and are taught by high standard professors. Within this period, you can acquire a certificate in any marketing skill or field of your choice.
  • Udemy: Thinking of learning marketing skills online? Udemy is a great platform for you! It is an online platform where content creators offer tuition to people for a fee. On Udemy, you can take master classes on market skills and get tutored by professional marketers. It is equally a great platform to improve any related skills of your choice. They even have a great selection of courses in place for learning website and logo design.
  • Skillshare: This is another online platform where you can learn new marketing skills and improve already existing ones. Here, you can learn these vital skills by watching educational videos. These videos are available and accessible only when you subscribe to the platform. It organizes courses into different categories which you can select from.
  • Udacity: Tech skills are very essential to marketing and advertising. Thus, if you are trying to acquire tech skills, Udacity is the right platform for you. This organization runs a number of online courses where you can learn and develop tech skills. On this platform, you can gain the necessary tech skills needed to advance your career.
  • Skills Co: On this online course and education platform, users can access a wide range of courses in anything from cooking, marketing, business skill, musical instruments and much more. At the same time, users also have the option to launch online courses of their own, in which they can sell through the site or through their own efforts, while also earning a commission and revenue in the process.

Marketing skills are very important in today’s world. Fortunately, there are various ways and platforms through which one can learn these skills.

Be sure to take the time to visit each of the online learning platforms mentioned above, while also improving your business and marketing skills in the process.

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30+ Web Tools & Services Used By Top Designers and Developers

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Are you a web designer, web developer, blogger or entrepreneur? Then you should check this awesome showcase of web tools and services that will help boost your projects and career.

Web designing and web developing are some of the top paying IT jobs out there. As you know, designing a website not only means putting some CSS codes to a style of an HTML structure. Most times you have to hand on some third-party tools to ease up your job or to use plugins to further extend your website capabilities in minutes. Works like prototyping the website design, creating a logo, choosing best color codes and much more can be made using the right tools and services, extremely fast and without spending a fortune.

We know it’s time-consuming to select the right tools, that it is why we will help you with this task. Below there are 39 web tools and services reviewed on short.

NorthStack – Managed Serverless Hosting

NorthStack® is managed application hosting built on a modern serverless AWS stack. Deploy vanilla or headless WordPress, Node, or static sites with ease. CPU, DB, Data Transfer, and Disk are independently metered and elastically autoscale.

It became first popular for easily deploying scalable WordPress websites within a matter of seconds, with zero preparation time or additional setup. The famous WordPress 5-minute installation was promoted to hyperdrive.

NorthStack is a service by Pagely (they have over 9 years’ experience in managed hosting solutions) and they used all their experience in working with world famous brands to make a WordPress website crazy fast. Inside every NorthStack app, you’ll see the benefits of AWS, server-side caching, CDNs, and ultra-fast routing at a price that’s refreshingly economical.

Proto – Prototypes That Feel Real

Launched in 2011, Proto.io is probably the most complete and popular way to turn static designs into interactive prototypes in the market. It is loaded with a drag-and-drop builder, a super-friendly interface and literally tons of feature and options. You can add Adobe and Google fonts, and even your own fonts. All the fonts will be managed by the built-in, revamped Font Manager.

Everything you can think of can be made with Proto.io. You can instantly transfer Photoshop and Sketch designs into Proto.io. You can record how users experience your prototype on the device with lookback. It now supports Dropbox syncing, as the newest addition to Asset Flow. Asset Flow is a suite of features that makes it faster and easier for designers to turn their static design assets into fully interactive prototypes. These are only a few things that Proto.io can do for you, many other cool features are available.

Proto.io offers unlimited features for all plans, the pricing for monthly paying (20% discount for annual plans) starts at $29 and it is for 1 user and 5 active projects.

Start a free 15-day trial, no credit card required. Can’t afford any of the paid plans? You will be able to convert your account to a Free limited feature plan as soon as your trial expires.

POWr.io – Website Plugin Library

Used with great success by over 8 million websites worldwide since 2014, POWr represents the best, most powerful and easiest way to get more followers, conversions, obtain valuable information, support customers and much more. No matter your business goal, you can achieve it with a plugin from POWr.

This huge library has over 50 plugins, from forms, galleries, countdown timers, live chat and payment buttons. Each plugin you choose to use can easily be edited to be a perfect fit for your website and installed with 1 click.

POWr works excellently with all the major platforms on the market: WordPress, Shopify, Wix, Weebly, Drupal and many others, including HTML. Perfect for small teams with a small budget; nothing will stop you from making your website stand out from the crowd.

Sign-up for free and start seeing results on your website.

48HoursLogo

Logos are very important for any business and in 2019 are even more important as the logo designs start to look very similar and differentiating is a must. 48HoursLogo is a logo platform where you can start a contest for only $29 and let real designers compete over your designs. You will get over 20 logo concepts to choose from.

The minimum contest prize is $99 and you pay only after you find a design that you love.

Try it, the results are excellent.

Argento – Most Powerful Magento Theme

Argento is the most powerful Magento template on the market, being very popular, with over 9,000 websites using it in the last 9 years. It comes loaded with 6 unique designs, 20 extensions and tons of features and options. Everything you need, Argento has, you won’t spend additional money.

Codester

Codester is a brilliant marketplace, loaded with thousands of premium scripts, codes, app templates, themes, plugins, graphics and more. Always check the Flash sale section where hugely discounted items are being sold.

For an additional income, you can sell your items via Codester, they don’t request exclusivity over your products.

actiTIME

actiTIME is a powerful and popular time tracking software that is used by thousands of companies, including by the Fortune 500 huge corporations. Any position you have in the company (regular user, team manager, accounting manager or business owner), you will find that you can use actiTIME to heavily improve your job and projects.

Try all features of actiTIME Online timesheet for free for 30 days.

Dr. Link Check

Bad links are bad for business, over 65% of leaving visitors are never returning. With one click, Dr. Link Check will scan your entire website for broken and malicious links, sending you a comprehensive report that will tell you what you need to repair.

IM Creator

With over 17 million websites created, IM Creator is by far the most popular and respected free website builder on the market. It has a brilliantly easy builder, tons of themes to configure, and lots of features and options, including a super-friendly interface.

Goodie Website

Goodie is a professional and affordable web development service where the average price of the website is $1,199. It is best suited for small companies looking for 1-10-page, simple websites, and for designers looking for a reliable web development partner.

Rank Math SEO

Rank Math SEO is a revolutionary WordPress SEO plugin that will make your website rank higher in search engines. It’s the most complex SEO plugin I have ever seen but the best part is that it configures by itself, you don’t need to lose time to fine tune it every day.

Schema

Schema is the fastest WordPress theme on the planet, being extremely enjoyable to use by its visitors. It is packed with tons of features and options, it works with any page builder on the market, and in addition, it has also unique features that will make your website stand out of the crowd.

Landing – Free OnePage Bootstrap 4 Template

Landing is a powerful, free, one-page landing page template that you can use for your product or service. It is fully responsive, it has a pixel-perfect design and it will help you increase conversions in no time.

AdminLTE

AdminLTE is the most popular and powerful open source admin dashboard & control panel theme on the market, being loaded with tons of features and options. There are awesome, premium templates waiting for you, check it.

ServicesLanding – Bootstrap Landing Page Template

ServicesLanding is a pixel-perfect, fully responsive landing page template based on Bootstrap that you can use to present and sell any product or service. It is loaded with the latest features and options, being super simple to fully customize it for your needs.

It is free to use with limited features, create a new landing page for your project.

MailMunch – Create Beautiful Landing Pages

MailMunch is the fastest growing landing page platform that you can use to create a high-converting landing page within minutes, with zero-code or special skills. This drag-and-drop page builder will help you to easily create any layout or custom pages in minutes.

With MailMunch anybody can increase conversions by up to 400%, give it a try.

Freelance Invoice

Bonsai is a dedicated invoicing platform for freelancers, with over 100,000 happy users already. Freelancers get paid faster with Bonsai invoicing. Smart invoices and integrated payments make sure you will get paid on time. Use it to create contracts, proposals and much more. Everything you need is there and it works smoothly.

Start using Bonsai for free.

Logomaster.ai – Free Online Logo Maker

With Logomaster, anybody can create a beautiful logo design in seconds. Launch your new business with our AI-powered online logo maker. Designing a logo is free, no design skills needed.

Email Editor

Unyer is the perfect, embeddable drag-n-drop email editor and page builder for SaaS and CRMs. This Email Editor and Page Builder. A plug and play editing JavaScript tool for your web application.

Let your customers create beautiful and responsive emails or landing pages, directly from your app.

Cart2Cart

Cart2Cart is a professional, automated shopping cart migration that works with over 80 leading solutions. Carts heavily update moment and migrating to a better one is super simple with this solution, without requesting you to have any special knowledge or previous experience.

Estimate your migration costs on the pricing page.

Start a free demo now and see Cart2Cart in action.

Shella – Ultimate Fast Responsive Shopify theme

Shella is the ultimate Shopify theme, being loaded with the latest technologies, making your shop stand out of the crowd and convert much better. This theme is super simple to fully customize and has everything you need to be included, so you don’t have to spend an additional dollar.

Work Examiner- What, Why And How?

Work Examiner is the best internet monitoring software on the market, that you can use for website tracking, screenshot capture, keylogging, and much more. Using such a solution will heavily increase productivity, efficiency, and security among your teams and company.

Try it for free for 30 days.

ContentSnare

Content Snare is the best content gathering tool that helps digital agencies get website & marketing content from their clients on time, in the right format, without email. Put this task on auto-pilot and save lots of time.

Start your free 14-day trial today.

LogoAI

Create professional logos in seconds for free with LogoAI. Simply enter your business name and let the Ai logo maker generate hundreds of unique logo designs for you. The results are excellent, you cannot tell if a particular logo was made by a designer or by LogoAI.

Try it.

Logaster –  Free logo

Logaster is the best free logo maker on the market, creating unique, pixel-perfect designs in minutes. The platform is extremely fast, and the process is straightforward. After you write the business name, you will receive hundreds of logo designs to choose from.

InvoiceBerry

InvoiceBerry is an all-in-one invoicing platform that can be used to create and send fully customized, pixel-perfect invoices in less than 60 seconds, to track expenses and payments, to create reports, manage clients and much more.

Sign-up for the free trial.

CMS2CMS

Ready to migrate from one CMS to another? CMS2CMS is exactly the tool to do that easily and effortlessly. The site migration happens in 15 minutes and you don’t need to have any coding skills or previous experience, anybody can do it.

MMThomasBlog.com

MMThomasBlog.com focuses on delivering guidelines on the choice of the best website builders. The resource will come in handy to users, who have the only goal: to find a website builder that will meet their specific web design requirements. This is the place, where you will come across the unbiased recommendations on how to pick the best service.
uKIT

Creating an expert-looking professional website in just a few minutes has become a reality thanks to uKit. Its easy-to-use editor, user-friendly interface and drag-&-drop approach make it the best solutions for anyone who is in search of a powerful tool for creating a website. Don’t wait, hurry to embark on your digital journey!

uCalc

If you want your site visitors get product estimates or put online forms to generate leads from your website, collect payments or carry out surveys, uCalc is there for you. What’s great about uCalc is that it has an astonishing collection of pre-designed layouts for specific usage instances like a kitchen cost calculator, rental calculators, mortgage, house building costs — and that’s just to name a few. Start creating your calculator now, for free!

uLanding

Crafting an effective website landing page is now easier than it sounds. With the uLanding builder, creating a solid landing page takes a couple of minutes and performing A/B/n testing is just a few clicks away. No programming knowledge is required. Give it a try and go online today!

 Wokiee – Multipurpose Shopify Theme

Wokiee is a brilliant, multipurpose Shopify theme that will make your shop stand of the crowd and better convert. It has tens of layouts for your homepage, for shop pages, product pages, multiple header options, different custom pages and much more. Wokiee is offering much more than its competition, check its presentation page.

WordPress maintenance plans

If you want to give your WordPress website the attention it deserves, starts working with SteadyWP. These professionals are offering WordPress maintenance and support services and will take care of your daily backups, updates, uptime and much more.

Let professionals take care of your website and you can focus on your business.

Online Quiz Maker

Looking to create high converting, pixel-perfect polls, quizzes, and surveys, but you don’t have any coding skills or special experience? Opinion Stage is the best online quiz maker on the market that will help you do that in no time. It comes with a powerful drag-and-drop builder, tens of gorgeous templates and a lightning fast interface.

Get more engagement, leads, revenue & insights with interactive content.

What Font Is

WhatFontIs represents the best font finder on the market that helps you to identify fonts from any image. Upload the image and choose the font you need. There are 510,000 fonts indexed free or commercial.

HelpJet

HelpJet is the most complete and easy to use knowledge base software that will help you automate your customer support. Implementing a self-service knowledge base will help your customers without reaching your support team. That means you can increase the customers base, without hiring more support specialists. This can help your company quickly grow and save money.

Keep in mind that you don’t need to have any coding skills or special experience to use this solution.

Sign up and try HelpJet free for 14 days, no credit card required.

Fotor– Online Photo Editor and Design Maker

Fotor is both an online photo editor and collage maker as well as a proper desktop application for photo editing with RAW conversion support. There are multiple versions of Fotor. You could opt for one of the online versions or choose to download a copy of the desktop version and install on your computer for offline photo editing.

With over 300 million users and billions of edited pictures, Fotor is by far the most popular and preferred solution on the market.

Pixpa

Pixpa is a powerful website builder that anybody can use to create gorgeous, fully functional websites without having any coding skills or special knowledge. Adding a store, blog and client gallery to your Pixpa website is super simple.

Use the drag-and-drop builder, the included themes and friendly interface to build a new website with Pixpa.

Gutentype – A Trendy Gutenberg WordPress Theme

Build a modern-looking personal, corporate or eCommerce project by means of Gutentype WordPress theme. This is a functional multi-purpose solution that’s ready to be used for the launch of your niche-specific web resource. Based on a powerful framework and enhanced with a wide choice of modification options, it lets you build usable layouts that are easy to browse on the go. There are 10+ creative demos and a stunning selection of pre-built pages included in the theme’s download package. Thus, you may feel free to enhance your website with a minimalist, masonry, creative, grid-based or any other style without the need to design web pages from scratch.

 

 

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3 Clever Tips for Finding the Best Internet Provider in Your Area

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More than 3 billion people use the Internet all around the world today. You’re definitely among that number (aren’t you reading this right now?), but how does that amount of volume affect your internet speed?

As a blogger or online business owner, it’s tough to find the best internet provider. Outside of the contract terms being too confusing, bandwidth speeds that have your head spinning, there are just too many providers and plans to make sense of.

At the end of the day, we all just want reliable internet, with fast delivery speeds. Good thing most of us aren’t hosting our sites and businesses from our home internet providers!

In any event, we’ve got you. Read on to learn more about your internet options and for three top tips on finding the best internet providers.

Do Your Research

There are four different types of internet services: satellite, DSL, cable, and fiber optic.

Satellite is often the only option in rural areas, so if you’re not near a city, it might be for you. The cons? It tends to be more expensive, and rather slow compared to cable and fiber optic.

DSL works over your phone line, like the old dial-up systems used to. It’s typically a lot less expensive than the others since its relatively outdated. If cost is a big factor for you, DSL might be your ticket.

Cable is a popular option in suburban areas since it’s a good medium between price and speed. The main downside is that everyone else in your neighborhood is on the same cable service, which can slow it down during peak times.

Fios is the newest, most cutting-edge option out there. It almost delivers your internet at the speed of light. The main drawback is that it’s not very widely available yet.

Now that you have a better idea of your broadband needs, you can refine your “internet service providers in my area” Google search to include your specific service type!

Figure Out Your Need for Speed

Bandwidth is measured in megabits per second, also referred to as Mbps.

Streaming HD video requires around 5 Mbps, streaming music only uses 2 Mbps, and downloading large files can use as much as 50 Mbps.

How much speed you need is entirely dependent upon what you use your internet for. If you mostly use it to browse the web and stream Netflix and Hulu, you won’t need as much speed as a professional gamer. If you’re a professional photographer who’s always sending large files to clients, for example, you’ll want more Mbps for your buck.

Most internet service providers have a wide variety of options for Mbps needs. The best ISPs, like Pac-Wave, for instance, won’t even offer speeds below 25 Mbps. In today’s digital world, you’ll find that’s pretty much the bare minimum you’ll need.

Check the Contract

Be sure to find out contract details during your search for the best internet service provider in your area. Some require you to pay monthly to use the modem or buy it outright.

Some will offer you a promotional rate and only write it in the fine print that it’ll go up in a year. Some have great add-on options for phone lines and cable that you might want to partake in.

Some won’t require you to sign a contract at all. The point is, read the fine print before you sign anything!

Entrepreneurs Need the Best Internet Provider

If you’re an entrepreneur, like 57 million others in the U.S. working the gig economy, there’s no doubt you need the best internet provider on the block. You also need a whole host of other resources to help you slay your business goals in 2019.

Check out our latest entrepreneurship article for all the best tips, tricks, and advice every entrepreneur needs to know!

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