The opportunity to work from home seems like a dream come true. After all, who wouldn’t want to trade time clocks and micromanagement for more time with loved ones, a flexible schedule, and all the comforts of home at your fingertips at all times?
But if you’ve been lucky enough to achieve that dream, you know all too well that it comes with its own set of challenges. If you find yourself feeling uncomfortable and uninspired when you settle into your home office, it can be all too easy to succumb to distractions and actually get things done.
Setting aside a dedicated work space that’s comfy, creative, and ergonomic - a place you’re excited to go to work in each day - can do wonders for your productivity. Whether you’re just getting started or have been at it for a while, these home office upgrades can amplify creativity, eliminate distractions, and create a healthy environment you’ll be proud to work in.
Quite possibly, the hashtag symbol serves as a cultural icon defining the digital generation. Virtually everyone has seen one or one thousand, but not everyone knows its origin, objective, and reach. And while the hashtag came to life at a time of a national disaster, to convey updates and messages, it’s now taken on a life of its own and has applications to the business world.
Spawned just over a decade ago on Twitter, the hashtag symbol organized content that gave readers easy access to information. Later, “#bostonstrong” became a viral inspiration to commemorate the victims of the 2013 Boston Marathon attack, and the idea spiraled from there. Seeing the vast impact and ability to drive traffic with such a minimalist effort, digital divas have turned the hashtag into a multi-faceted approach to promoting ideas, products, and events.
How does this fit into your business model? Easy. #itworks. Italian automaker Audi waged a hashtag campaign in 2011 following a tweet directed at them from a fan. They created a social media marketing campaign, “#WantAnR8,” and offered a loaner Audi car to the original tweeter. Five more fans were also given keys, and by the end of the campaign, Audi had run a wildly successful promotional gig.
Winding Down at Bath Time Takes More Than Just Bubbles
Doesn’t it seem like there was way more to do in the bath as a kid?
If you’re anything like me, sitting at a desk all day hurts my neck and back. I spend entire days dreaming of stepping into the bathtub and slipping away into calm, fragrant bliss but when I finally pour in epsom salts, I’m bored. Immediately. My record shortest bath? Three minutes. Which, apparently, is only 4 seconds longer than the record for world’s shortest bath. Anyway, I’m just glad that my current apartment doesn’t charge me for water.
I still want to like baths, though. I’ve tried to battle this bathtub ennui by watching movies on my tablet (from the top of the closed toilet seat), using bath bombs, reading a book -- but the pages always get all wet and I can never drink water without dripping condensation all over the floor. The guiltiness of not working on anything always creeps up on me, as well -- my partner calls it a symptom of being a workaholic. But I’m determined to make baths work for me.
My jaw dropped the first time I saw the Me Time Bamboo Bath Tray Caddy at Urban Outfitters. Its sustainable bamboo construction fits in with the motif of my minimalist-inspired, plant heavy apartment and remains modern with metal arms. The bamboo also resists mildew, so that’s perfect -- especially since my apartment doesn’t have the best built-in ventilation (do they ever?). The metal arms are especially helpful, since they adjust to fit across any size bathtub, so I can take it with me when I move or go on longer trips.
Strict business decisions often result from employing an either/or strategy. Either you will build a storefront location and sell online, or you won’t. Either you will accept returns or you won’t.
But when it comes to advertising online, consider an alternative here and ponder the wisdom of both. When ecommerce merchants decide where to direct their ad dollars, they tend to study their options and choose one of the top two sales platforms. Facebook and GoogleAds, behemoths in marketing, searching, and advertising combined, offer similar yet slightly different approaches. Regardless of your favored business model, there is no hard and fast rule requiring you to pick one over the other.
Search marketing firm WordStream has studied the relative efficacy of both platforms, showing the strengths and weaknesses of each. Recently it has reached the conclusion that using both in combination is your best bet.
Whether you’ve been doing business online for 5 years or 5 minutes, you’ve probably utilized some form of content marketing to reach potential customers. It’s all the rage these days, and it’s easy to see why.
After all, a consistent output of quality content has immense potential. It has the power to grab prospects’ attention, gain their trust, and elevate you as an authority in your niche - which, if you’re doing it right, leads to increased sales, a loyal customer base, and more money in your pocket. (Cha-ching!)
Perhaps you’ve focused on social media; on likes and shares and building a community to promote your brand. Or perhaps you’ve found your efforts better spent on growing your list and creating killer email sequences to get people clicking and buying. Maybe you’ve found success in blogging, in reaching people through original, thought-provoking written content. Or, if you’re like most business owners, it’s likely a combination of all of the above.
3 Reasons to Update a Kitchen with an Island Solution
Often called the heart of the home, the kitchen is where family gathers and memories are made. Holiday baking and Sunday dinners are nostalgic recollections that many people recall fondly. Many a memory begins with laughter at the thought of the crowded kitchen, overflowing with people and love.
Sometimes… too crowded and too overflowing.
There are usually two choices when that happens: renovate or update. In a 2017 Home Renovation Survey, EmpireToday found that the most renovated room at 54% was the kitchen.
More and more, people are choosing to start with an update. It’s less expensive. It’s also a great way to solve an immediate need while setting the stage for a bigger project.
There are several big reasons for wanting a change. A little paint to freshen up a tired kitchen and an island or cart can be the answers that meets those needs.
The three top reasons for updating a kitchen with a cart or island are:
Last year, many SEO experts looked at the upcoming changes to Google’s method of ranking websites.
The most notable trends were:
Let’s explore what each trend means as well as 10 ways to boost your SEO strategy.
Responsive Sites Aren’t Mobile-First
Mobile-First Indexing is Google’s answer to one of the biggest substantial swings in recent consumer behavior.
In 2018, 57% of all traffic is from mobile devices. Ranking will now focus on mobile sites not desktop sites. It’s not enough to have a smartphone and tablet friendly responsive site. It’s now essential to be mobile-first for better ranking.
Maintaining SEO, or search engine optimization, during a website redesign is tricky to handle. Search engines are constantly scouring the web for updates to content, making it important to manage changes and stay relevant.
Usually during a website redesign, code and pages are altered. This makes it vital to properly handle the updates to your website so SEO and growth are not affected negatively.
Let’s take a look at 6 quick tips you can use to stay on top of your SEO while undergoing a redesign.
1.Create a URL Backup
A lot of the changes that are made during a redesign affect your website’s URL re-structure. With all of the work you’ve already put into SEO, don’t risk losing your standing: The URL structure of your website can be easily downloaded through plugins, such as the updated sitemap on the Yoast SEO plugin. This creates a backup, just in case there is an issue with the new changes.
2.Use a Temporary URL
Under the same premise as the first tip, completing your redesign on your existing website can cause problems. The best way to avoid visitor and other potential issues is to set up a copy of your site under a temporary URL.
Doing this also allows you to check the status of your current website and make sure that it is fully optimized – you can review broken links, features, and update your CSS.
Once the redesign changes are complete, you can switch the domain or update your website with your new changes.
Considering the grueling hours you poured into building a website that works for you and represents your business in its best possible light (or the dollars you spent paying someone else to do it), the last thing you want to envision is a lack of interest among actual visitors. But it’s a thing, and it happens more often than not. If you’re honest with yourself, you’ll admit that you have done it many times in the past—followed a link to a site and then simply moved on.
In the vernacular of web commerce, that’s called a “bounce.” Cute word, but it’s something we hope to avoid. And stat collectors measure the frequency of these in the form of bounce rates. The higher your bounce rate, the more you may want to take note, and figure out what you can do to retain first-time or regular visitors.
It goes without saying that ecommerce merchants are far more affected by bounce rates than conventional businesses who happen to have a web presence. Your business lives or dies by engagement and ordering. Here are ways to measure your bounce rates, and tips on how to reduce them.
Life – and business – would be a lot simpler if a successful customer interaction ended in a sale. For too many, a lingering drama unfolds with customers who use the legendary payment service, PayPal, to facilitate their transaction.
PayPal, a behemoth originating from the early days of eBay, offers a relatively smooth transfer of funds from buyer to seller, and provides industry-standard security in the process. When a sale goes awry, however, it can be a nightmare to deal with – especially if you have a customer who may just be attempting to defraud you.
As an online seller, the benefits of accepting PayPal payments are impossible to overstate. First, PayPal processes about $100 million worth of payments each year. Second, the percentage of ecommerce shoppers, and others, who have PayPal accounts is very high. Most are comfortable with the technology and will readily turn to its convenient service. Merchants including a PayPal payment button on their checkout sites may realize a greatly increased chance of making the sale.