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.
3 Clever Tips for Finding the Best Internet Provider in Your Area
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!
3 Reasons Why Bloggers Love Google Chromecast in their Home Office
As bloggers and entrepreneurs, we are are usually working 80 to 100+ hours per week, so we don’t have to work 9-to-5 for someone else. While the concept of all of this is great and fine, we are living most of our lives in our own home offices. With so much time being spent in a specific location, it’s important to make sure our environment isn’t just a fun place to be, but also one that’s productive and efficient as well.
One of the best ways to accomplish this, is to maximize the amount of space we have, while also getting the most out of our favorite electronics, items, desk space and more. To help with this process, I recently got my hands on the latest Google Chromecast and started thinking about how great of a tool it is, not just for entertainment, but also for productivity and making my work space better in the process.
With all of this in mind, it also gave me the idea to write this list post on how every blogger can benefit from adding one to their home office or workspace. Here we go!
Stream from your Phone to TV
In addition to working from home, bloggers and entrepreneurs are usually working from their mobile devices when they are on the go. Not only will a Google Chromecast work with your TV through an HDMI port, it will also allow you to watch shows, listen to playlists and more right through your mobile device. This is perfect for when you are working in one room, then have to leave for another, but don’t want to miss what’s playing on TV or any audio or music you might have streaming.
Works with the Streaming Apps you Know and Love
Remember when there were only a couple hundreds apps to choose from? Those days are long gone, and now it seems like there are apps for everything — whether it be for business, productivity, gaming, or even personal use.
Again, Google Chromecast makes it easy for anyone to enjoy TV shows, movies, videos, songs, games, sports and more from over 2000 apps like Netflix, YouTube, YouTube TV, and HBO NOW.
When it comes to working out of the home or planning to build out a new home office, this also eliminates the need to worry about cable cords and wiring!
Start Streaming with Just Your Voice
Eliminating cords and additional wiring in the home or office is always great, but there are still times when you need to look around for the controller or have to plug something in. This can waste a lot of time if you are trying to get work done throughout the day.
Another benefit to adding Google Chromecast into your home office, is that you can control all settings and commands right through your voice. For anyone that might already haver Google Home in place, the two work seamlessly together and make the experience even better!
Not sure what channel your favorite show is on? No worries… just say “Google, play Game of Thrones” and you are ready to go!
Improve Productivity and Technology with Google Chromecast
No matter what type of business or brand you might be running, it’s always great to stay at the forefront when it comes to technology. Not only will this make your workspace more exciting, it will also make you more tech-savvy in the process.
As fun as this post was, and it might make you want to start watching TV, just think about the many different ways you can use Google Chromecast to start improving your productivity and getting more done throughout the day.
#ad @BestBuy @madebygoogle *IMAGE
Finding the Right Project Management Software for Your Content Marketing Team
A project management software is a must-have resource for business. There are hundreds of options for your project management software — all promising to do what the others can do, but better. While this may be true, the fact is that some features may not be necessary for your content marketing team. What works for some may not work for others. So, how do you choose the right project management software to suit the specific needs of your content management team, while not paying extra for features your team is never going to use?
The key to a good project management software is in the essentials. You’ll want to make sure that your software has the foundational capabilities to navigate every stage of your content marketing project from beginning to end successfully. Read below for features to look for, as well as some tips for finding the right project management software for your content marketing team.
Features of A Good Project Management Software
Without a proper way of communication, your team won’t work as a cohesive unit. Especially for groups working remotely, constant communication with coworkers is among the most vital of components when working as a team. It is critical that your software has a way for effective communication and maintaining adaptability when problems arise.
Trying to run a content marketing campaign without talking about the crafting, writing, and publishing of your content will be virtually impossible. Furthermore, how are you supposed to know who is handling what project and how far along they are? In any aspect of business, communication is vital, and emails will only get you so far. In many cases, a second form of communication is necessary for instant messaging for the clarification of instructions and problems in real-time.
Another useful tool is Zoho, which can help with many different levels of communication and management in your business. To learn more about this tool, we recommending taking a look at this Zoho projects review from Time Doctor.
The foundation of a functional content marketing team is the ability to collaborate. Creating and publishing content involves the hands and eyes of everyone on your team. So, it is imperative that your project management software has collaborative functions.
Content creation and marketing relies on the sharing of ideas, and this includes file sharing. Email cannot provide the pace in which a content marketing team needs to work on files and pass them back and forth between members. Additionally, email can come with some drawbacks — some people don’t check their email often, files can get lost in inboxes, and other email disasters can happen. In recognition of these drawbacks, your project management software must have the file-sharing capabilities at speeds that can keep up with your team members’ ideas and processes.
No matter what advertising or marketing methods you are exploring, the important thing is that you have a PR and marketing platform that can measure your results. A good example of this would be GoodNoon, which is a PR agency that provides placements into world’s largest publications. This is something that can be approached manually, but without the right connections and moving parts in place, it can end up taking a lot more time than expected.
It is also recommended that you supplement your project management software with a collaborative tool such as Google Docs. Google Docs is an extremely cost-effective app that allows team members to work on the same document, in real-time. With these two tools combined, you can work on a document with a coworker on Google Docs, and send it to another employee through your project management software for them to work on or edit.
Project Management Duties
Other than the functions above, you’ll want to make sure that your project management software performs all of the duties that will keep your content marketing campaign running smoothly. Since there are different project management software, each one puts their flare on the user experience of the functions they provide. However, you’ll want to make sure that your software provides some crucial elements.
First and foremost, your project management software or tool needs to have a working calendar. In the process of content creation and marketing, there are deadlines to meet, and you don’t want projects to be constantly up in the air. The firm tracking of dates to remember is vital in any business operation, and your content marketing campaign is no different.
Marking the priority, and the ability to assign tasks to others is another part of a content marketing team’s processes. Facilitating effective time management, understanding the priority of upcoming tasks can keep your team members in the loop. During the creative process of content creation, it is good to know how much time you have to work on a project while acknowledging projects that you have to get started on shortly.
QuickBooks illustrates the importance and convenience of a project management software, saying that “with a project management tool, you won’t need to ask your employees for that one email or the status of that one project. All ongoing and completed work—along with all relevant information—will be instantly accessible.” So, make sure your software can let a team member work on a task, mark it as urgent, and notify the next team member that the project needs to be at the top of their list. This function will elevate time management and productivity levels while avoiding confusion.
Tips For Finding The Right Project Management Software
Deciding how much you want to spend on your project management software is tricky. Of course, you want to provide the best tools for your content management team, but you’d also like to be cost-efficient. Things to consider when calculating the cost of your software are how well it performs necessary duties, alternative software, and your team’s feedback on the software you’re considering to go with.
You don’t want to be paying for extra features that are going to be seldom used or little understood by your teammates. So, make sure you try out and do your research on other project management software and listen to your team’s feedback.
How else are you going to find out exactly what you need in a project management software than to try out all of your options? You wouldn’t blindly buy a car without doing your research first, would you? While a project management software is not as expensive as a car, it will save you time, money, and frustration to take the time to make sure you are going with the right one.
There are many options for a project management software, and all come with different ways to perform the same tasks or offer different functions entirely. Your object here is to see how well the user experience and services offered corresponds with your content marketing objectives and team member preferences.
Get Feedback From Your Team
Your team’s input on the project management software you are considering could ultimately make your decision for you. If your team doesn’t like or understand the software you are thinking of choosing, it is in everyone’s best interest to go with another software — rather than spending the time and money trying to learn and deal with software that no one likes or understands. User experience is subjective to the people using the software, as well as the tasks you will be performing. If the software you are considering doesn’t fit your content marketing team’s goals or preferences, don’t waste the money on buying it.
Additionally, listening to your team’s opinion will illuminate some function of a project management software that you will lean on heavily and some that you may not use at all. Why pay the extra money for things you won’t use, or waste the money on software that doesn’t carry out the functions you need it to? Your team’s feedback will be valuable during your decision to choose a project management software.
Finding the right project management software is a decision that can make or break your content marketing campaign. Instead of wasting time and money, your team could be on its way to creating some very compelling content and marketing strategies. The information above will help you get started on your way to finding the perfect project management software for you and your team.
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