GEAR: Final Cut Pro X Video Editing Controllers

first_imgLooking for a new way of working on your video editing projects?  Two new iPad based controllers for FCPX offer a unique workflow, but are they really more efficient?Final Cut Pro X hasn’t come to the iPad…yet.  But PROCUTX and CTRL + Console are two applications that integrate your FCPX video editing into an iPad interface.Video editing software and plugin maker Pixel Film Studios is really making a splash in 2013, with a slew of new FCPX plugins and effects and a new editing interface.  The PROCUTX is a revolutionary iPad based video editing controller that allows you to complete common Final Cut Pro X video editing related tasks using your iPad.For $25 you can install the app on your iPad (or iPad mini) and reap the benefits of having a ton of FCPX controls on one slick screen.  A jog wheel takes center stage, allowing you to skim through your video editing timeline.  The app works over a shared WiFi connection.Although the creators claim it will speed up “every step of the FCPX editing process” some early users have reported a bit of a latency in the controls (which may be due in part to the strength of the WiFi signal).  The single pane control panel has keys for common editing tasks (select, cut, trim) as well as more specialized post production tools (color correction, import/export and creating compound clips).  To save time, there’s even some autocorrection buttons for quickly cleaning up noise and color issues with your footage.From the surface, PROCUTX looks like a pretty slick tool that’s a no-brainer for FCPX video editors looking to make their workflow more efficient.  Like any new technology however, it’s not without it’s limitations and user adjustment curve – read some thoughts by early adopters over at reports possible updates to the iPad video editing controller in future releases including:Siri-like voice command capabilitiesMultiple [in-app screens] iPad integration for separate color-grading, audio controls, effect controlsSocial Sharing capabilities Another FCPX iPad controller scheduled to hit the market this year is CTRL + Console, the successfully funded Kickstarter campaign of technologist Jeff Chow.  The Kickstarter campaign raised over $40,000 in the fall of 2012 for Chow’s iPad based video editing control surface that works with multiple applications including FCP, FCPX and Adobe Premiere Pro.  Additional development is being done to create consoles for working in Adobe Lightroom as well.CTRL + Console is designed so the editor can keep their eyes on video playback while editing with gestures on the app.  Favoring gestures over traditional buttons, is really what makes this app such an attractive tool for speeding up a video editing workflow.Unfortunately a release date has not yet been set, so there’s no telling when this FCPX iPad controller will be available for public use.  We’ll keep our eyes out for the release and will keep you updated on this blog.Are you using a controller or jog wheel in your video editing?If so, which product/brand do you prefer?  Share your advice in the comments below!last_img read more

Indian Math Challenge

first_imgProducers of Two Million Minutes, a documentary critical of the U.S. educational system, are daring American high school kids to take “The Third World Challenge,” which, they say, “is a shortened and greatly simplified version of the multi-day proficiency test that every 10th grader in India must pass to go on to the 11th grade.” Says Bob Compton, executive producer, of the documentary: “If our athletic performance at the Olympics were as poor as our global academic performance it would be a national crisis and every level of government would be attempting to respond. That we blithely ignore the declining intellectual standards of American students seems almost insane.”The test is available at  Related Itemslast_img

Thousands of Engineers in Kuwait Could Face Deportation After New Rules

first_imgThousands of Indian engineers in Kuwait could face deportation following a new regulation that seeks to enforce protectionism indirectly was announced in the Gulf nation. The move will affect 15,000 to 40,000 Indian engineers, according to reports.The Kuwait Public Authority for Manpower announced on March 11 that a no-objection certificate (NOC) from the Kuwait Society of Engineers (KSOE) is needed to attain residency and work permits in the country.Thiruvananthapuram MP Shashi Tharoor, who heads the Parliamentary Standing Committee of External Affairs, has told the Indian embassy in Kuwait to have a dialogue with authorities in the country, the Times of India reported.The NOC will be given only to those engineers who have graduated from colleges recognized by the National Board of Accreditation (NBA), the KSOE said, further deepening the problem since many colleges in India have accreditation from the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) or University Grants Commission (UGC), instead of the NBA.The engineers are worried now that the KSOE, a non-governmental public benefit association, is responsible for their livelihoods in Kuwait.“Most engineers are aged between 30-45 and graduated long before NBA got into the act,” Jyothidas Narayan, a member of the Kuwait Engineers Forum, which represents 1,400 engineers in the construction and oil & gas industry, told TOI. “Even for the few who have degrees from NAB-accredited college — the accreditation being recent — will be of no use to them as their certificate would not reflect the same.”People have been lining up outside the KSOE premises in Bnaid El Gar, which doesn’t have enough manpower to handle applications that are being filed in hundreds every day, the report added. Many of the Indians have been living in Kuwait for decades and have school-going children and well-settled families in the country.The changes affect only expat engineers in the private sector. Even if an engineer is from an accredited college they have to appear for an exam in the KSOE before acquiring the no-objection certificate, according to the Kuwait Times. The same process may be put in place for other professions in the future. Related ItemsEmploymentGulfKuwaitlast_img read more

Indian American Man to Pay Over $136,000 for Involvement in Tech Scam

first_imgAn Indian American man from California, who was accused of providing substantial assistance to an India-based tech support scam, reached a settlement with U.S. federal authorities. Parmjit Singh Brar, who is an operator of Genius Technologies and Avangatee Services, will pay more than $136,000 and be permanently banned from offering tech support, PTI reported.The case came to light in February this year during an enforcement sweep launched by the U.S. Department of Justice to stop illegal schemes exploiting older Americans. The Federal Trade Commission then proceeded to file a complaint with the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, San Francisco Division, on Feb. 21.According to the Federal Trade Commission, Brar had provided substantial assistance to the tech support fraud by receiving and processing customer payments as well as establishing and maintaining business accounts upon which the scheme depended.These accounts in question were telephone and remote computer connection services. The scheme involved Indian telemarketers calling consumers or using Internet pop-up ads disguised as security alerts to trick consumers into buying bogus tech support services.Saying they were from well-known tech companies, the telemarketers told consumers that their computers were at risk, that hackers would soon break into their computers and rob their bank accounts. The telemarketers said that if they were given remote access to the consumers’ computers, they would install expensive and high-quality security software to resolve the problem in exchange for a substantial sum of money.The Federal Trade Commission stated that the telemarketers then installed out-of-date security software, which they claimed was affiliated with the U.S. government. During this process, they illegally obtained the consumers’ personal information without their consent. The cost to consumers ranged between several hundred dollars to tens of thousands of dollars. They then made up additional reasons to push the consumers to buy more software to avoid new cyber-threats. Several people paid more than $50,000, and one person paid almost $400,000 over a period of several years.As part of the settlement with the commission, Brar is banned from marketing, promoting or offering tech support services. He has agreed to pay over seven million dollars monetary judgement, which is to be partially suspended upon payment of the $136,000 due to his inability to pay the full amount. Related ItemsCaliforniaIndian Americanlast_img read more

Jarencio, Globalport welcome long break before crucial battles ahead

first_imgTyphoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH 4 West Brom players accused of stealing taxi in Spain Read Next Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC AFP official booed out of forum John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding LATEST STORIES “At least, we have a five-day break before we go against Kia. And after Kia, it will be a 10-day rest before we face Phoenix. That’s going to be big for us,” he said.GlobalPort faces the Picanto on Wednesday before taking on the Fuel Masters on March 2.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSLillard, Anthony lead Blazers over ThunderSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutJarencio highlighted the importance of this respite as he looks at this stretch as a make-or-break for the Batang Pier.“It’s big because you’re not tired. Just like what happened to TNT, they played three games in a week. When they faced us, they struggled because we were well-rested and they were fatigued. They had a hard time to recover,” he said. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/ INQUIRER.netGlobalPort coach Pido Jarencio would rather stick to the positives as his side remains in the running for a quarterfinal spot in the 2018 PBA Philippine Cup.After losing to Magnolia, 96-81, on Friday, the outspoken mentor put the spotlight on the scheduling advantage the Batang Pier has into their final two elimination games as they will be well-rested for their remaining assignments this conference.ADVERTISEMENT NEXT BLOCK ASIA 2.0 introduces GURUS AWARDS to recognize and reward industry influencerscenter_img Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. MOST READ That’s exactly what worked against GlobalPort in the tussle after playing its second game in three days, with Jarencio struggling to find a spark in his lineup.“There’s no spark left and we can’t do anything. We were up by 12 points, but when the second half came, that’s when everything went downhill for us. Stanley (Pringle) could no longer shoot,” he said, as his leading scorer was limited to just five points in an awful 1-of-12 shooting from the field.Still, Jarencio lauded how his wards fought, a character which he believes will be a good building block going into the Batang Pier’s last two games.“At least you saw the team compete,” he said. “We have a good chance to make it to the playoffs if we can recover. We’re just ready. At least, the team will be well-rested.”ADVERTISEMENT Slow and steady hope for near-extinct Bangladesh tortoises 2 ‘newbie’ drug pushers fall in Lucena sting Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH 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 City Globe Business launches leading cloud-enabled and hardware-agnostic conferencing platform in PH View commentslast_img read more

Indians paddlers gear up for individual events

first_imgWith the gold medal eluding them in the team event, Indian paddlers, led by defending champion Achanta Sharath Kamal, will be eyeing to better their performance in the individual competitions of the Commonwealth Games which begins on Monday.The Indian men’s team had to be content with a bronze, while their women counterparts, who went down to Singapore in the final, could lay hands on the silver medal in the team events of table tennis.Indian paddlers will be led by Achanta Sharath Kamal.By his own standards Sharath himself would be a disappointed man as the world ranked 40th paddler failed to earn the golden glory for the country in the team event, and this time he would be desperate to fetch defends his singles title at the table tennis venue inside the Yamuna Sports Complex.Although Sharath has already exuded confidence about retaining the crown, his biggest hurdle would be world number 17, Gao Ning of Singapore, who has beaten the Indian a number of times and did not participate in the Melbourne Games four years ago.”We expect some good performance from Sharath. A lot of things depends on him. I hope we will see some upsets in the men’s section by other players also,” India coach Bhawani Mukherjee told PTI.All the five Indian men have got direct entry to the main draw of the Delhi Games.A Amalraj and Bengal paddler Soumyadeep Roy are in good touch, while former national champion Subhajit Saha has also recovered from an injury to secure a berth in the Games squad and their contribution is going to play a crucial role if the hosts were to improve upon their three medals in Melbourne Games.advertisement”Now the singles and doubles events are coming. That will be totally a different game and we are eyeing to produce some good performance there,” Amalraj said.Women’s silver medal-winning performance in the team has fuelled people’s expectation but with a number of Singaporean paddlers in the main draw, it seems unlikely that Indian eves will go far in the individual category.Kumaresan Shamini and reigning national champion Poulomi Ghatak have performed well in the team event but they now have to think differently for the singles as well as doubles events.”There are five Singapore players and if we have to play them in the first round, it would be difficult for us. A lot depends on the draw,” Mukherjee said.Mouma Das and Madhurika Patkar have directly entered the main draw while the rest — Poulomi, Shamini and Mamta Prabhu — had to get their tickets through qualifying rounds.In the mixed doubles, Poulomi will share the table with fiance Soumyadeep Roy, and the duo will leave no stone unturned in their quest to make the Delhi Games memorable by laying their hands on the yellow metal together.”I am playing mixed doubles with my would be husband and if we can win medal here in front of the home crowd it would be a memorable achievement,” Poulomi said.”He (Soumyadeep) is my mentor. He tells me what to do and what is the right way to practice. I also listen to him,” she added.last_img read more

Evening Newswraps February 17

first_imgLawyers, journalists fight again at Patiala House CourtTwo groups of lawyers today scuffled within the Patiala House court complex while supporting or opposing students of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) who have been booked on the charge of raising anti-India slogans.Neerja up close: Sonam Kapoor opens up on her fears and playing Neerja Bhanot    In an exclusive interview to, Sonam Kapoor opens up on her fear of not living up to her parents’ expectations, her experience of working on Neerja and more. Playing Neerja Bhanot, India’s youngest recipient of the Ashok Chakra in the Ram Madhvani-directed biopic, has been a journey of self-discovery for Sonam. Google drums up a doodle on stethoscope inventor Rene Laennec’s 235th birthday And today, Google is celebrating Rene Laennec’s 235th birthday with its very special doodle. Laennec, a French physician, was born on February 17, 1781, in Quimper, France. It is said that his shyness led to the discovery of stethoscope.Caroline Wozniacki poses in just body paint for Sports Illustrated Caroline Wozniack, former world number one, was one of several athletes to appear in this year’s edition of Sports Illustrated swimsuit. Ranked 19th in the world currently, Wozniacki wore nothing but layers of body paint adorned the magazine which was released on Monday.last_img read more


first_imgAfter missing the cut in his last four starts, Villegas After missing the cut in his last four starts, Villegas got rolling yesterday with an opening-round 63. The four-time winner is looking for his first top-10 finish since his victory at the Wyndham Championship in 2014. Villegas reached the ninth tee (his 18th hole) at nine-under-par needing a birdie to match the course record. After a wayward approach, he was unable to get up and settled for bogey on his final hole. Bubba Watson, playing in the Northern Trust Open for the 10th consecutive year, recorded his lowest first-round score ever at five-under-par 66. This is Watsons fifth start of the 2015-16 PGA TOUR season. His best finish (T10) came at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions, but he won the Hero World Challenge in December. Playing at The Riviera Country Club for the first time in his career, McIlroy is four shots off the lead. Starting on the 10th hole yesterday, the four-time major champion recorded three birdies and one bogey going out with two birdies on his final nine holes. Defending champion Dustin Johnson finished the first round of his title defense at three-under-par. Johnson is trying to extend his TOUR-leading consecutive seasons with a victory streak to nine. PTI Cor SSC SSClast_img read more

Cecafa cancels Senior Challenge Cup

first_imgCecafa have confirmed the cancelation of this year’s Senior Challenge Cup.Kenya had been picked to host the tournament but they pulled out in the last minute. Cecafa have now confirmed that the tournament will not take place because they could not secure another host.“It is not possible to have the tournament played this year. We have tried our best to secure a new host but none is willing to. And also it will not be possible since the Caf Champions League and Caf Confederation Cup will be played in the same period. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Man Utd ready to spend big on Sancho and Haaland in January Who is Marcus Thuram? Lilian’s son who is top of the Bundesliga with Borussia Monchengladbach Brazil, beware! Messi and Argentina out for revenge after Copa controversy Best player in MLS? Zlatan wasn’t even the best player in LA! “We have moved to cancel the same and will try to stage the tournament next year,” Cecafa secretary Nicholas Musonye told in an interview.Kenya were handed the rights to stage the tournament, a year after winning it following a penalty shootout win against Zanzibar at Machakos Stadium. The regional tournament brings together over 13 countries from the region.last_img read more

Is Your Email List Healthy? Take This 5-Question Sniff Test

first_img Email Lists and Segmentation Originally published Mar 20, 2012 1:00:00 PM, updated February 01 2017 Email list are like milk — they’re perishable. In fact, rotten email lists can leave you a lot worse than just queasy. Bad email lists can make it nearly impossible for your messages to get into your prospects’ inboxes. Return Path reports that 83% of the time an email address is not delivered to an inbox, the sender’s reputation (defined by the sender score ) is to blame. And what makes a bad sender score? Sending emails that get marked as spam, which is exactly what happens when you send to bad lists. Sniff Test for Email? It’s pretty easy to identify bad milk; but what about bad email lists?Turns out they’re not so tough to spot either. Generally speaking, a bad email list is one where many of the recipients are not expecting and do not want your email.Of course, that’s pretty general, so how do you get more specific? At HubSpot, we ask a series of five questions to every customer who uploads a list to our email tool . The questions, listed below, constitute our basic email list sniff test.(Note that we ask these questions about lists that are uploaded to HubSpot but not lists created from leads collected by customers with HubSpot forms  or our leads API . That’s because we assume that if the leads are collected by the customer using a HubSpot form or the leads API, the contact has a recent business relationship with the customer and is expecting to receive email.)So without further ado, here’s the test:  1) Does everybody on this list have a prior relationship with your business? Yes? Move on to the next question. No? Get rid of the list — or at least the people you don’t have a relationship with. Pronto. If the person doesn’t have a prior relationship with your business, they’re not going to be expecting your email. Not only is emailing them just spammy, but it will also hurt you. Without a prior relationship, many of the recipients will mark your message as spam. Those spam designations will then turn around and hurt the sender score of the servers you send from, which will make it harder for you to get your messages delivered. 2) Do you have an unsubscribe list? Yes? Nice job! On to the next question … No? Do not pass go; do not send to list. Go back to the drawing board, and build a new list. Every list should be accompanied by an unsubscribe list. Here’s why: If you have a prior email relationship with the people on your list, you will inevitably have people who have unsubscribed from said list. When you load that list into a system like HubSpot, you need to load both the master list and the unsubscribe (AKA suppression) list. If you don’t, you’re going to end up emailing people who have already unsubscribed. That’s against the law , and, since people on the unsubscribe list are likely to mark your email as spam, it will also reduce your ability to send successful emails. 3) Did you purchase, rent, or lease the list from a third party? No? Excellent! Next question! Yes? Agh! No dice. We can’t let you send to that list from HubSpot — and it’s unlikely you’ll have success sending to the list from any other quality, reputable marketing software solution. Why? It’s pretty simple: The people on that list do not have a prior business relationship with you. At best, they gave their address to somebody else and are expecting email from them , not you. At worst, their address was harvested from some sort of directory, and they’re not expecting any type of email. Any sending you do to this list will get flagged for spam and ultimately reduce your future conversion rates. 4) Will the people on the list be expecting (not surprised by) your email? Yes? Awesome. One more question. No? Game over. Time to do some more inbound marketing to build yourself a clean and quality list of recent opt-ins. Which leads us to our final question … 5) Have you emailed these contacts within the last 12 months? Yes? You’re good to go. Your list is smelling great. Create some awesome emails with super useful content, and you’ll have yourself some amazing conversion rates. No? Sorry. Twelve months is a long time. Chances are, a big chunk of your list already forgot about you and will be surprised by your message (remember question #4?). That means they’ll mark it as spam, which means your delivery rates will drop.  How to Create Lists That Don’t Stink — And Keep Them That Way So what’s the best way to create lists that won’t get marked as spam? By building your own list with remarkable content that drives traffic to your site, and then entices them to opt in to your emails with compelling marketing offers (that are clearly associated with your business) on your site and well-optimized landing pages. (This ebook, An Introduction to Lead Generation , will help you get started.)Here at HubSpot, we build our list with offers like content and tools, including  webinars , ebooks , and Marketing Grader . By building these lists internally, we’ve made our email marketing program far more productive that it would have been if we had purchased lists.So how do you keep your list smelling good? Good list hygiene . On a general level, that means keeping an ongoing email relationship with your list so recipients are always expecting your messages. More specifically, that means sending to them at a predictable cadence , making unsubscribes easy, maintaining reliable unsubscribe lists and, perhaps most importantly, continuing to grow your list organically. So, what do you think? Do your email lists pass the sniff test? And are we missing anything on our sniff test?  Topics: 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

8 Ways to Better Engage Your Major Donors and Foundations

first_imgThe shift in donor engagement isn’t just with everyday donors. Peer-to-peer fundraising continues to grow as a new channel for online fundraising. However, major donors are shifting in their needs and involvement with organizations. While they value honesty and proof of impact, they’ve also taken on the roles of advisor, investor, and thought leader within organizations they support financially.To establish sustainable, life-long relationships with your major donors, you must understand them before they donate, engage them after they write the check, and continue to communicate with them even if they never give again. We’ve got several reasons why.In a recent live discussion on the Chronicle of Philanthropy featuring Secure World Foundation Co-founders Marcel and Cynda Collins Arsenault, Nexus Global Youth Summit Coordinator G. Ryan Ansin, and Geneva Global Director of Consulting Services Jenna Mulhall-Brereton, these thought leaders discussed how they, foundations, and other major donors make the decision to support an organization — as well as what they expect in return.Before I provide you with helpful tips from these experts, here are some trends Mulhall-Brereton noted she’s seen when engaging major donors in her consulting work:They’re looking for a passionate connection to the organization’s work.They want to fully understand the impact they can make with their contribution.They want to engage with your organization after they write a check — whether it’s as an advisor, a thought leader, or someone to help with overall strategy.Many of the philanthropists she’s worked with achieved their fortune through entrepreneurial efforts, and they bring that mindset to how they give.They take a business-like approach to their giving and are very metrics-driven.They take risks and follow their passion when connecting to a cause.How to Improve Your Engagement With Major DonorsWhether it’s an individual or a foundation, there are several ways to make the most of your relationship with your major donors and satisfy their needs just as much as yours.1) Use your existing network to find new major donors.Many organizations focus on bringing in new donors, but you are sitting on some real gold in your current database. Engaging your current donors can bring those who want to engage with you and your cause on a much bigger level to the surface.For example, you should relay information about how a potential major donor can get involved with your organization on your website or in an email after they makes a donation. Also, provide your contact information to your major donor office so they can inquire about their options.2) Research them before your ask them to give. There is a lot of information you can find online about any individual. For those in the business world and part of older generations, there is even more to learn. So, make sure your organization does its research on potential major donors or foundations.For instance, see if they’ve supported other organizations, look at their LinkedIn profile to see their work experience, and even ask them for an informal interview or meeting to learn more about them as a person. What are their passions? Why would they be drawn to support your organization? What would they expect in return after making a contribution (i.e. monthly reporting, photos/videos from the field, trips to project sites, meetings with your board members to advise, etc.).It’s important to develop a profile of each major donor you are looking to engage.3) Give them options.Mulhall-Brereton makes a great point that each major donor is different. You really need to tailor your engagement with each of them to their needs and wants.After you’ve done your research, provide your major donors different levels of engagement. How often do they want to hear from you? What information are they looking for (metrics, reporting, etc.)? How do they want to receive information (print, your website, email, etc.)?Understanding how each major donor wants to engage with your organization will help you build a much stronger relationship that you will be able to sustain over time.4) Let them help with challenges.Organizations tend to paint a perfect picture of themselves with smiling children and big statistics throughout their marketing. But major donors are much more likely to want to help you solve the problems and challenges you’re facing. They want to be part of the solution and on your team.Thus, including those who want to help in this way into your strategy meetings and giving them insight into your current challenges will provide a different perspective to achieving success and a level of transparency and honesty for which many major donors are looking.5) Provide them with the results of their impact.Continuing with transparency and engagement after a check is written is important. After all, major donors want to see the results of their investment. Being able to tie it directly to the impact on lives saved or supplies delivered is very important to them.For instance, Ansin points out that he supports DonorsChoose and often receives photos and videos of the beneficiaries he directly impacts as a thank you for his help. This is not only content for your major donors, but content that can also be shared with your larger audiences.6) Appeal to their business side.Major donors with a business or an entrepreneurial perspective will want to bring their knowledge of trying to add value to your organization to the table.If you can speak to these individuals in their language and understand what they’re looking for in terms of results, metrics, and information, they’ll be able to provide feedback and advice on how your organization is doing and point out flaws so you know where certain areas of your organization need attention paid.7) Recruit them not only for their money.Having a dozen or so major donors who are huge advocates for your mission will help you raise even more awareness. If you can connect with a major donor who is passionate about your cause just as much as you are and wants to invest, you’ve killed two birds with one stone.You should also consider their professional experience and how they can contribute to your fundraising, marketing, or operational strategies. They can also be an asset to other parts of your organization.8) Connect them with your beneficiaries.While these individuals may potentially work with your organization’s board or staff on a consistent basis, they also want to engage with those beneficiaries they directly help.Whether it’s through social media, such as Google+ Hangouts, or connecting them with photographers on the ground where your work is being done, providing them with the opportunity to engage with those they impact is something they really desire.In what ways do you engage with your major donors? Share your methods in the comments! Originally published Dec 9, 2013 5:00:00 PM, updated February 01 2017 Nonprofit Marketing 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:last_img read more

30-Day Blog Challenge Tip #2: Putting Your Readers First

first_img2. Create your blog domain.Next, you’ll need a place to host this and every other blog post you write. This requires choosing a content management system (CMS) and a website domain hosting service.Sign Up With a Content Management SystemA CMS helps you create a website domain where you’ll actually publish your blog. The CMS platforms available for you to sign up for can manage domains, where you create your own website; and subdomains, where you create a webpage that connects with an existing website.HubSpot customers host their website content through HubSpot’s content management system. Another popular option is a self-hosted WordPress website on WP Engine. Whether they create a domain or a subdomain to start their blog, they’ll need to choose a web domain hosting service after choosing their CMS.This is true for every blogger seeking to start their own blog on their own website.Register a Domain or Subdomain With a Website HostYour own blog domain will look like this: The name between the two periods is up to you, as long as this domain name doesn’t yet exist on the internet.Want to create a subdomain for your blog? If you already own a cooking business at, you might create a blog that looks like this: In other words, your blog’s subdomain will live in its own section of CMSs offer subdomains as a free service, where your blog lives on the CMS, rather than your business’s website. For example, it might look like “” However, in order to create a subdomain that belongs to a company website, you’ll need to register this subdomain with a website host.Most website hosting services charge very little to host an original domain — in fact, website costs can be as inexpensive as $3 per month. Here are five popular web hosting services to choose from:GoDaddyHostGatorDreamHostBluehostiPage3. Customize your blog’s theme.Once you have your blog domain set up, customize the appearance of your blog to reflect the theme of the content you plan on creating.Are you writing about sustainability and the environment? Green might be a color to keep in mind when designing the look and feel of your blog, as green is often associated with sustainability.If you already manage a website, and are writing your first blog post for that website, it’s important that your blog is consistent with this existing website, both in appearance and subject matter. Two things to include right away are:Logo. This can be your name or your business’s logo, either one helping to remind your readers who or what is publishing this content. How heavily you want to brand this blog, in relation to your main brand, is up to you.”About” page. You might already have an “About” blurb describing yourself or your business. Your blog’s “About” section is an extension of this higher-level statement. Think of it as your blog’s mission statement, which serves to support your company’s goals.4. Identify your first blog post’s topic.Before you even write anything, you need to pick a topic for your blog post. The topic can be pretty general to start with. For example, if you’re a plumber, you might start out thinking you want to write about leaky faucets.Then, as you do your research, you can expand the topic to discuss how to fix a leaky faucet based on the various causes of a faucet leak.You might not want to jump right into a “how-to” article for your first blog post, though, and that’s okay. Perhaps you’d like to write about modern types of faucet setups, or tell one particular success story you had rescuing a faucet before it flooded someone’s house.If a plumber’s first how-to article is about how to fix a leaky faucet, for example, here are four other types of sample blog post ideas a plumber might start with, based on the five free blog templates we’ve offered to you:List-based Post: 5 ways to fix a leaky faucetCurated Collection Post: 10 faucet and sink brands you should look into todaySlideShare Presentation: 5 types of faucets that should replace your old one (with pictures)News post: New study shows X% of people don’t replace their faucet on timeFind more examples of blog posts at the end of this step-by-step guide.If you’re having trouble coming up with topic ideas, check out this blog post from my colleague Ginny Soskey. In this post, Soskey walks through a helpful process for turning one idea into many. Similar to the “leaky faucet” examples above, she suggests that you “iterate off old topics to come up with unique and compelling new topics.” This can be done by:Changing the topic scopeAdjusting the time frameChoosing a new audienceTaking a positive/negative approachIntroducing a new format5. Come up with a working title.Then you might come up with a few different working titles — in other words, iterations or different ways of approaching that topic to help you focus your writing. For example, you might decide to narrow your topic to “Tools for Fixing Leaky Faucets” or “Common Causes of Leaky Faucets.” A working title is specific and will guide your post so you can start writing.Let’s take a real post as an example: “How to Choose a Solid Topic for Your Next Blog Post.” Appropriate, right? The topic, in this case, was probably simply “blogging.” Then the working title may have been something like, “The Process for Selecting a Blog Post Topic.” And the final title ended up being “How to Choose a Solid Topic for Your Next Blog Post.”See that evolution from topic, to working title, to final title? Even though the working title may not end up being the final title (more on that in a moment), it still provides enough information so you can focus your blog post on something more specific than a generic, overwhelming topic.6. Write an intro (and make it captivating).We’ve written more specifically about writing captivating introductions in the post, “How to Write an Introduction,” but let’s review, shall we?First, grab the reader’s attention. If you lose the reader in the first few paragraphs — or even sentences — of the introduction, they will stop reading even before they’ve given your post a fair shake. You can do this in a number of ways: tell a story or a joke, be empathetic, or grip the reader with an interesting fact or statistic.Then describe the purpose of the post and explain how it will address a problem the reader may be having. This will give the reader a reason to keep reading and give them a connection to how it will help them improve their work/lives. Here’s an example of a post that we think does a good job of attracting a reader’s attention right away:7. Organize your content in an outline.Sometimes, blog posts can have an overwhelming amount of information — for the reader and the writer. The trick is to organize the info so readers are not intimidated by the length or amount of content. The organization can take multiple forms — sections, lists, tips, whatever’s most appropriate. But it must be organized!Let’s take a look at the post, “How to Use Snapchat: A Detailed Look Into HubSpot’s Snapchat Strategy.” There is a lot of content in this post, so we broke it into a few different sections using the following headers: How to Setup Your Snapchat Account, Snaps vs. Stories: What’s the Difference?, and How to Use Snapchat for Business. These sections are then separated into sub-sections that to go into more detail and also make the content easier to read.To complete this step, all you really need to do is outline your post. That way, before you start writing, you know which points you want to cover, and the best order in which to do it. To make things even easier, you can also download and use our free blog post templates, which are pre-organized for five of the most common blog post types. Just fill in the blanks!8. Write your blog post!The next step — but not the last — is actually writing the content. We couldn’t forget about that, of course.Now that you have your outline/template, you’re ready to fill in the blanks. Use your outline as a guide and be sure to expand on all of your points as needed. Write about what you already know, and if necessary, do additional research to gather more information, examples, and data to back up your points, providing proper attribution when incorporating external sources. Need help finding accurate and compelling data to use in your post? Check out this roundup of sources — from Pew Research to Google Trends.If you find you’re having trouble stringing sentences together, you’re not alone. Finding your “flow” can be really challenging for a lot of folks. Luckily, there are a ton of tools you can lean on to help you improve your writing. Here are a few to get you started:Power Thesaurus: Stuck on a word? Power Thesaurus is a crowdsourced tool that provides users with a ton of alternative word choices from a community of writers.ZenPen: If you’re having trouble staying focused, check out this distraction-free writing tool. ZenPen creates a minimalist “writing zone” that’s designed to help you get words down without having to fuss with formatting right away.Cliché Finder: Feeling like your writing might be coming off a little cheesy? Identify instances where you can be more specific using this handy cliché tool.For a complete list of tools for improving your writing skills, check out this post. And if you’re looking for more direction, the following resources are chock-full of valuable writing advice:The Marketer’s Pocket Guide to Writing Well [Free Ebook]How to Write Compelling Copy: 7 Tips for Writing Content That ConvertsHow to Write With Clarity: 9 Tips for Simplifying Your MessageThe Kurt Vonnegut Guide to Great Copywriting: 8 Rules That Apply to AnyoneYour Blog Posts Are Boring: 9 Tips for Making Your Writing More InterestingThe Beginner’s Guide to Starting a Successful Blog in 20199. Edit/proofread your post, and fix your formatting.You’re not quite done yet, but you’re close! The editing process is an important part of blogging — don’t overlook it. Ask a grammar-conscious co-worker to copy, edit, and proofread your post, and consider enlisting the help of The Ultimate Editing Checklist (or try using a free grammar checker, like the one developed by Grammarly). And if you’re looking to brush up on your own self-editing skills, turn to these helpful posts for some tips and tricks to get you started:Confessions of a HubSpot Editor: 11 Editing Tips From the TrenchesHow to Become a More Efficient Editor: 12 Ways to Speed Up the Editorial Process10 Simple Edits That’ll Instantly Improve Any Piece of WritingWhen you’re ready to check your formatting, keep the following advice in mind …Featured ImageMake sure you choose a visually appealing and relevant image for your post. As social networks treat content with images more prominently, visuals are now more responsible than ever for the success of your blog content in social media. In fact, it’s been shown that content with relevant images receives 94% more views than content without relevant images.For help selecting an image for your post, read “How to Select the Perfect Image for Your Next Blog Post” — and pay close attention to the section about copyright law.Visual AppearanceNo one likes an ugly blog post. And it’s not just pictures that make a post visually appealing — it’s the formatting and organization of the post, too.In a properly formatted and visually appealing blog post, you’ll notice that header and sub-headers are used to break up large blocks of text — and those headers are styled consistently. Here’s an example of what that looks like:Also, screenshots should always have a similar, defined border (see screenshot above for example) so they don’t appear as if they’re floating in space. And that style should stay consistent from post to post.Maintaining this consistency makes your content (and your brand) look more professional, and makes it easier on the eyes.Topics/TagsTags are specific, public-facing keywords that describe a post. They also allow readers to browse for more content in the same category on your blog. Refrain from adding a laundry list of tags to each post. Instead, put some thought into a tagging strategy. Think of tags as “topics” or “categories,” and choose 10-20 tags that represent all the main topics you want to cover on your blog. Then stick to those.10. Insert a call-to-action (CTA) at the end.At the end of every blog post, you should have a CTA that indicates what you want the reader to do next — subscribe to your blog, download an ebook, register for a webinar or event, read a related article, etc. Typically, you think about the CTA being beneficial for the marketer. Your visitors read your blog post, they click on the CTA, and eventually you generate a lead. But the CTA is also a valuable resource for the person reading your content — use your CTAs to offer more content similar to the subject of the post they just finished reading.In the blog post, “What to Post on Instagram: 18 Photo & Video Ideas to Spark Inspiration,” for instance, readers are given actionable ideas for creating valuable Instagram content. At the end of the post is a CTA referring readers to download a comprehensive guide on how to use Instagram for business:See how that’s a win-win for everyone? Readers who want to learn more have the opportunity to do so, and the business receives a lead they can nurture … who may even become a customer! Learn more about how to choose the right CTA for every blog post in this article. And check out this collection of clever CTAs to inspire your own efforts.11. Optimize for on-page SEO.After you finish writing, go back and optimize your post for search.Don’t obsess over how many keywords to include. If there are opportunities to incorporate keywords you’re targeting, and it won’t impact reader experience, do it. If you can make your URL shorter and more keyword-friendly, go for it. But don’t cram keywords or shoot for some arbitrary keyword density — Google’s smarter than that!Here’s a little reminder of what you can and should look for:Meta DescriptionMeta descriptions are the descriptions below the post’s page title on Google’s search results pages. They provide searchers with a short summary of the post before clicking into it. They are ideally between 150-160 characters and start with a verb, such as “Learn,” “Read,” or “Discover.” While meta descriptions no longer factor into Google’s keyword ranking algorithm, they do give searchers a snapshot of what they will get by reading the post and can help improve your clickthrough rate from search.Page Title and HeadersMost blogging software uses your post title as your page title, which is the most important on-page SEO element at your disposal. But if you’ve followed our formula so far, you should already have a working title that will naturally include keywords/phrases your target audience is interested in. Don’t over-complicate your title by trying to fit keywords where they don’t naturally belong. That said, if there are clear opportunities to add keywords you’re targeting to your post title and headers, feel free to take them. Also, try to keep your headlines short — ideally, under 65 characters — so they don’t get truncated in search engine results.Anchor TextAnchor text is the word or words that link to another page — either on your website or on another website. Carefully select which keywords you want to link to other pages on your site, because search engines take that into consideration when ranking your page for certain keywords.It’s also important to consider which pages you link to. Consider linking to pages that you want to rank well for that keyword. You could end up getting it to rank on Google’s first page of results instead of its second page, and that ain’t small potatoes.Mobile OptimizationWith mobile devices now accounting for nearly 2 out of every 3 minutes spent online, having a website that is responsive or designed for mobile has become more and more critical. In addition to making sure your website’s visitors (including your blog’s visitors) have the best experience possible, optimizing for mobile will score your website some SEO points.Back in 2015, Google made a change to its algorithm that now penalizes sites that aren’t mobile optimized. This month (May 2016), Google rolled out their second version of the mobile-friendly algorithm update — creating a sense of urgency for the folks that have yet to update their websites. To make sure your site is getting the maximum SEO benefit possible, check out this free guide: How to Make a Mobile-Friendly Website: SEO Tips for a Post-“Mobilegeddon” World.12. Pick a catchy title.Last but not least, it’s time to spruce up that working title of yours. Luckily, we have a simple formula for writing catchy titles that will grab the attention of your reader. Here’s what to consider:Start with your working title.As you start to edit your title, keep in mind that it’s important to keep the title accurate and clear.Then, work on making your title sexy — whether it’s through strong language, alliteration, or another literary tactic.If you can, optimize for SEO by sneaking some keywords in there (only if it’s natural, though!).Finally, see if you can shorten it at all. No one likes a long, overwhelming title — and remember, Google prefers 65 characters or fewer before it truncates it on its search engine results pages.If you’ve mastered the steps above, learn about some way to take your blog posts to the next level in this post. Want some real examples of blog posts? See what your first blog post can look like, below, based on the topic you choose and the audience you’re targeting.Blog Post ExamplesList-Based PostThought Leadership PostCurated Collection PostSlideshare PresentationNewsjacking PostInfographic PostHow-to Post Originally published May 6, 2019 7:30:00 PM, updated October 25 2019 Free Blog Post Templates Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack You’ve probably heard how paramount blogging is to the success of your marketing. But it’s important that you learn how to start a blog and write blog posts for it so that each article supports your business.Without a blog, your SEO can tank, you’ll have nothing to promote in social media, you’ll have no clout with your leads and customers, and you’ll have fewer pages to put those valuable calls-to-action that generate inbound leads.So why, oh why, does almost every marketer I talk to have a laundry list of excuses for why they can’t consistently blog?Maybe because, unless you’re one of the few people who actually like writing, business blogging kind of stinks. You have to find words, string them together into sentences … ugh, where do you even start?Download Now: 6 Free Blog Post TemplatesWell my friend, the time for excuses is over.What Is a Blog?A blog is literally short for “web log.” Blogs began in the early 1990s as an online journal for individuals to publish thoughts and stories on their own website. Bloggers then share their blog posts with other internet users. Blog posts used to be much more personal to the writer or group of writers than they are today.Today, people and organizations of all walks of life manage blogs to share analyses, instruction, criticisms, and other observations of an industry in which they are a rising expert.After you read this post, there will be absolutely no reason you can’t blog every single day — and do it quickly. Not only am I about to provide you with a simple blog post formula to follow, but I’m also going to give you free templates for creating five different types of blog posts:The How-To PostThe List-Based PostThe Curated Collection PostThe SlideShare Presentation PostThe Newsjacking PostWith all this blogging how-to, literally anyone can blog as long as they truly know the subject matter they’re writing about. And since you’re an expert in your industry, there’s no longer any reason you can’t sit down every day and hammer out an excellent blog post.Want to learn how to apply blogging and other forms of content marketing to your business? Check out HubSpot Academy’s free content marketing training resource page. How to Write a Blog Post1. Understand your audience.Before you start to write your first blog post, have a clear understanding of your target audience. What do they want to know about? What will resonate with them? This is where creating your buyer personas comes in handy. Consider what you know about your buyer personas and their interests while you’re coming up with a topic for your blog post.For instance, if your readers are millennials looking to start their own business, you probably don’t need to provide them with information about getting started in social media — most of them already have that down. You might, however, want to give them information about how to adjust their approach to social media from a more casual, personal one to a more business-savvy, networking-focused approach. That kind of tweak is what separates you from blogging about generic stuff to the stuff your audience really wants (and needs) to hear.Don’t have buyer personas in place for your business? Here are a few resources to help you get started:Create Buyer Personas for Your Business [Free Template]Blog Post: How to Create Detailed Buyer Personas for Your [Free Tool] 1. List-Based PostExample: 10 Fresh Ways to Get Better Results From Your Blog PostsList-based posts are sometimes called “listicles,” a mix of the words “list” and “article.” These are articles that deliver information in the form of a list. A listicle uses subheaders to break down the blog post into individual pieces, helping readers skim and digest your content more easily. According to ClearVoice, listicles are among the most shared types of content on social media across 14 industries.As you can see in the example from our blog, above, listicles can offer various tips and methods for solving a problem.2. Thought Leadership PostExample: What I Wish I Had Known Before Writing My First BookThought leadership blog posts allow you to indulge in your expertise on a particular subject matter and share firsthand knowledge with your readers. These pieces — which can be written in the first person, like the post by Joanna Penn, shown above — help you build trust with your audience so people take your blog seriously as you continue to write for it.3. Curated Collection PostExample: 8 Examples of Evolution in ActionCurated collections are a special type of listicle blog post (the first blog post example, described above). But rather than sharing tips or methods of doing something, this type of blog post shares a list of real examples that all have something in common, in order to prove a larger point. In the example post above, Listverse shares eight real examples of evolution in action among eight different animals — starting with the peppered moth.4. Slideshare PresentationExample: The HubSpot Culture CodeSlideshare is a presentation tool owned by the social network, LinkedIn, that helps publishers package a lot of information into easily shareable slides. Think of it like a PowerPoint, but for the web. With this in mind, Slideshare blog posts help you promote your Slideshare so that it can generate a steady stream of visitors.Unlike blogs, Slideshare decks don’t often rank well on search engines, so they need a platform for getting their message out there to the people who are looking for it. By embedding and summarizing your Slideshare on a blog post, you can share a great deal of information and give it a chance to rank on Google at the same time.Need some Slideshare ideas? In the example above, we turned our company’s “Culture Code” into a Slideshare presentation that anyone can look through and take lessons from, and promoted it through a blog post.5. Newsjacking PostExample: Ivy Goes Mobile With New App for Designers”Newsjacking” is a nickname for “hijacking” your blog to break important news related to your industry. Therefore, the newsjack post is a type of article whose sole purpose is to garner consumers’ attention and, while offering them timeless professional advice, also prove your blog to be a trusted resource for learning about the big things that happen in your industry.The newsjack example above was published by Houzz, a home decor merchant and interior design resource, about a new mobile app that launched just for interior designers. Houzz didn’t launch the app, but the news of its launching is no less important to Houzz’s audience.6. Infographic PostExample: The Key Benefits of Studying Online [Infographic]The infographic post serves a similar purpose as the Slideshare post — the fourth example, explained above — in that it conveys information for which plain blog copy might not be the best format. For example, when you’re looking to share a lot of statistical information (without boring or confusing your readers), building this data into a well-designed, even fun-looking infographic can help keep your readers engaged with your content. It also helps readers remember the information long after they leave your website.7. How-to PostExample: How to Write a Blog Post: A Step-by-Step GuideFor our last example, you need not look any further than the blog post you’re reading right now! How-to guides like this one help solve a problem for your readers. They’re like a cookbook for your industry, walking your audience through a project step by step to improve their literacy on the subject. The more posts like this you create, the more equipped your readers will be to work with you and invest in the services you offer.Ready to blog? Don’t forget to download your six free blog post templates right here.center_img Hi 👋 What’s your name?First NameLast NameHi null, what’s your email address?Email AddressAnd your phone number?Phone NumberWhat is your company’s name and website?CompanyWebsiteHow many employees work there?1Does your company provide any of the following services?Web DesignOnline MarketingSEO/SEMAdvertising Agency ServicesYesNoGet Your Free Templates Free Templates: Tell us a little about yourself below to gain access today: How to Write a Blog Post Topics:last_img read more

A Vivid Vision for HubSpot’s Content

first_imgThe program began as it always did — with a spritely, “Welcome to INBOUND Radio on SiriusXM channel 125.” Host Mike Volpe went on to introduce the day’s guests. First up was a prominent Stanford medical researcher, who’d made a breakthrough in Parkinson’s treatment thanks to the millions of iPhone and Apple Watch users who volunteered to have their health monitored through their mobile devices. “Giving away your health data is about as inbound as it gets,” observed Volpe when he wrapped up the interview from HubSpot’s brand new Cambridge recording studio.Although this scenario hasn’t yet occurred, don’t call it fiction. It’s more like pre-reality, or, in the words of executive-turned-executive-coach Cameron Herold, a “vivid vision.”Herold, the former COO of 1-800-GOT-JUNK, has become one of the world’s most sought-after speakers and advisors. Simply put, he helps top CEOs perform even better. One of Herold’s most popular techniques is what he calls a vivid vision. Think of it as a drug-free executive Peyote trip, in which the leader of an organization travels ahead three years and returns clutching a hyper-detailed narrative of the company’s future state. A well-crafted vivid vision is a little trippy in that it describes the sights, sounds, mood, energy, and dialogues surrounding events that have not yet occurred.After listening to Herold explain this concept on The Growth Show podcast, I decided to give it a try on behalf of the HubSpot content team. I booked some alone time in the company nap room, conjured up Doc Brown and hopped aboard my mind’s Delorean. Destination: 2018.Constructing a Vivid VisionThe exercise was, admittedly, awkward — perhaps even corny — at first. Self-awareness got the better of me, and I struggled to visualize reality beyond the end of the year, much less the mid-point of the next U.S. President’s term. I also defaulted to math — mentally calculating traffic and conversions by compounding today’s growth rates. I thought of the same people, in the same seats, doing the same jobs. Just better. In other words, I was doing it all wrong.Then I remembered the source of the vivid vision process: Olympic athletes. Herold explained that high-achieving athletes painstakingly visualize the outcome of their events in advance of competing. Suddenly, the exercise felt less new agey. I put the flux capacitor back to work.Questions raced at me. Would we have a blog? If so, what would it look like? Who would be reading it? What about ebooks? Did people still read them? And the podcast that triggered this post … what kind of guests would we host?Once I shut off (or at least suppressed) my self-monitor, the exercise became enjoyable. Indulgent even. I imagined teaching a Columbia J-school class on business blogs. I heard several students rebuke me for hobbling “real” journalism. I pre-lived a conversation with the managing editor of our blog, who insisted writers should get bonuses based on scoops, not leads. She mentioned a specific blogger who would get angry when she’d be scooped by a commercial blog. The editor wanted to permeate this competitive spirit throughout the team. I overheard HubSpot bloggers complain about the very same issues that have long irritated traditional journalists; I saw press badges for massive industry events hung in bloggers’ workspaces; I feared my analytics person might get poached by BuzzFeed, which was now seen as The New York Times for the post-Millennial generation. I found this observation so horrifying that it nearly shook me out of my vision.My content strategists had evolved into research analysts. They were routinely invited to deliver on-air commentary about sales and marketing trends for various cable networks. They snickered when Fox Business called, knowing how the network rankled me. HubSpot’s podcaster and I tried to figure out if we could get (still) Apple CEO Tim Cook to mention The Growth Show during the company’s next press event.It took me a while, but eventually I got the idea: A vivid vision isn’t just dragging a formula forward in Excel. It’s rethinking the application.Now it’s your turn. Check out Cameron Herald’s interview with Mike Volpe on The Growth Show. And then go back to envision your own company’s future. You’ll be excited to see what’s waiting there. Leadership 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 Mar 19, 2015 5:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017last_img read more

How to Use Instagram Stories: A Simple Guide for Marketers

first_imgInstagram Stories, the ephemeral content feature of Instagram, is similar to Snapchat. But its reach and numerous design options can bring you more viewers and ultimately add followers to your Instagram account.Read on to find out what Instagram Stories is, how to use it, and how it can add value to your Instagram account — be it for business or pleasure. Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Originally published Aug 4, 2016 8:00:00 AM, updated October 30 2019 Topics: What is Instagram Stories?Instagram Stories provides users with a place to share temporary posts at a higher frequency. While Instagram photos are typically reserved for perfectly composed shots, Stories captures the little moments that may not be as picture-perfect. Users can add text, icons, and other designs onto a photo in their Story.Instagram positions its Stories feature as a solution to overposting. These Stories live in a separate space, and you can post as frequently as you want without worrying about over saturating your friends’ feeds or filling the grid on your profile page.Grow your business using Instagram Stories with help from this short video series.So how do you build a Story? And what does this mean for your Instagram marketing strategy? Don’t worry. We’ve got you covered.How to Use Instagram StoriesReady to get started? We’ll walk you through the basic steps for building your first Instagram Story, and fill you in on some cool features along the way. (Psst — Want to skip the grunt work and get a stunning Story auto-magically created for your brand? Check out, a free Instagram Story generator from HubSpot and Shakr. Click here to get started.)1. Tap the plus sign in the upper left corner of your screen to get started.Image Credit: Instagram2. Take your photo by tapping the round button, or take a video by pressing down for up to 10 seconds.The thunderbolt icon turns on the flash, and the two arrows allow you to switch between the front and forward facing cameras.Image Credit: InstagramWant to upload something from your camera roll? You can. Simply swipe down to chose your photo or video. This includes Boomerangs and Hyperlapses.3) Select one of the three pen type options to doodle on your photo, add an emoji using your keyboard, or swipe right to select a simple color filter.Image Credit: InstagramPro Tip: While it may seem like it at first glance, you’re not limited to the colors that appear at the bottom of the screen. To open up more advanced color options simply press and hold one of the colors to pull up this screen:4. When you’re done, tap the checkmark icon to share.Your Story will appear here, at the top of your friends’ feeds. It’ll also be visible on your profile page by tapping your profile picture.Image Credit: InstagramOnce your Story is live, you can save your masterpiece by opening it and tapping the three dots on the bottom right, then selecting “Save Photo.”6. Check out who saw your Story by swiping up when viewing the photo or video.Realized someone’s seeing those photos who shouldn’t be? Tap the “X” next to their name to block them from seeing anything you add to your Story.Image Credit: InstagramWant to keep your stuff private? You can adjust your privacy settings by going to your profile and selecting the “Settings” icon in the upper right. From there, you can chose to hide your Story from certain users, and restrict who can reply to your messages.Wait, Isn’t That the Same Thing as Snapchat?One only needs to look as far as the name to realize Stories is a Snapchat competitor. Similarities include photo/video functionality, a 24-hour window before the content disappears, basic filters, and the doodle tool.However, there are a few advantages Snapchat has right out of the gate. For one, Instagram Stories is lacking Snapchat’s new “memories” feature, and there’s no screenshot notification. Not to mention, there are no stickers in Stories, and the filters leave something to be desired. And facial recognition — one of the most addictive Snapchat features — is noticeably absent. (If you can’t turn yourself into a bee, why bother?)However, Instagram Stories does have one big advantage over Snapchat: As part of the larger Facebook/Instagram umbrella, they have less of a hurdle to jump in regards to adoption. Snapchat’s 150 million daily active users look like chump change compared to Instagram’s 300 million. Snapchat has much more ground to cover, while Instagram already has a captive audience.What Marketers Need to Know About Instagram StoriesIf you have an active audience base on Instagram, you should jump on Stories quickly. You have the opportunity to create ephemeral, lighthearted, Snapchat-like content without the challenge of building up a Snapchat audience or launching a new channel.In addition to the built-in audience, you also have the opportunity for increased discoverability. The content you produce on Snapchat needs to be promoted regularly across other channels or else no one will see it. On Instagram, there are hashtags, geotags, and the Discover section to increase your chances of being found. Snapchat content can disappear into the void unless someone knows exactly what to look for.If you’ve wanted to experiment with Snapchat-style content without making the leap, this is your chance.But will it stick?It’s worth noting that Stories is the complete opposite of Instagram’s current value proposition. Each social network has its differentiating factor, and Instagram has always been a place to showcase the most beautiful, curated version of your life. Stories is at the other end of that spectrum: ephemeral, unpolished, and silly.And the way we see it, Stories is part of a larger shift we’re seeing towards ephemeral content — a format that Snapchat has seen a ton of success with thus far. Now, rather than painstakingly adjusting the colors and shadow on each picture, Instagram users have the opportunity to embrace and create content that’s transient. As a result, the stakes aren’t as high — especially considering Stories can’t even be “Liked.”Between the lack of public feedback and the time limitations, Instagram Stories take the pressure out of sharing content on the platform. So regardless of which platform ends up leading the pack, the popularity of ephemeral content won’t be slowing down anytime soon.So can these two conflicting ideals live in harmony within one platform? And if so, will users adopt Stories and abandon Snapchat?Chances of Stories catching on is much higher because it’s housed within the Instagram platform, and not the Facebook platform. The demographic overlap between Snapchat and Instagram makes it much more likely users will simply migrate their goofy stories to the other platform. But only if Instagram gets on the facial recognition game, and quickly. Millennials love that puppy filter. Instagram Marketinglast_img read more

The Ultimate Guide to Selling on Amazon in 2019

first_imgYou might think most consumers start their online shopping sessions with a visit to Google, but according to a poll conducted by NPR and Marist, Amazon is actually the most common starting point for online shoppers.With 44% of shoppers starting on Amazon (which is 11% more than Google) and 40% of Americans buying products on the website at least once every month, Amazon has become the central hub for online shopping.If you’re in the eCommerce industry, selling on Amazon is your best bet for maximizing your reach and, ultimately, your revenue. To help you set up shop on Amazon, we’ve created this ultimate guide that’ll teach you how to list your products, set up your shipping options, promote your products, manage your reviews, and analyze your performance. Read on to learn how to sell on the eCommerce platform in 2019.Download Now: Ecommerce Marketing Plan TemplateThe Ultimate Guide to Selling on Amazon in 20191. Figure out if the product you want to sell needs approval from Amazon.On Amazon, there are 20 categories open to all sellers, so if you want to sell products under any of these categories, you don’t need approval from Amazon. However, there are 15 categories that do require approval from Amazon, so if you want to sell products under any of these categories, you need to apply for a Professional Selling Plan subscription.Amazon limits the number of sellers in each of these categories because they want to maintain the quality of their products. So if you believe your products are up to par and want to sell them under these categories, you need to request approval from Amazon by filling out their application. Amazon will let you know if they’ve approved you or if they need additional information from you in up to three business days.Here are two lists of Amazon’s product categories that are open to all sellers or require approval.Product Categories Open to All Sellers1. Amazon Device Accessories2. Amazon Kindle3. Baby Products4. Beauty5. Books6. Camera & Photo7. Cell Phones8. Clothing & Accessories9. Electronics10. Handmade11. Health & Personal Care12. Home & Garden13. Musical Instruments14. Office Products15. Outdoors16. Software & Computer Games17. Sports18. Tools & Home Improvement19. Toys & Games20. Video Games & Video Game ConsolesProduct Categories That Require Approval From Amazon1. Automotive & Powersports2. B2B Business Products3. Collectible Coins4. Fashion Jewelry5. Fine Jewelry6. Fine Art7. Grocery & Gourmet Food8. Industrial & Scientific9. Luggage & Travel Accessories10. Personal Computers11. Professional Services12. Shoes, Handbags, & Sunglasses13. Sports Collectibles14. Video, DVD, & Blu-Ray15. Watches2. Pick a selling plan that suits your business model.Amazon offers two selling plans: the Individual Plan and Professional Plan.If you choose the Individual Plan, you’ll pay Amazon $0.99 for every item you sell plus referral and variable closing fees. According to Amazon, the Individual Plan is best for sellers who sell less than 40 items per month.If you choose the Professional Plan, you can sell an unlimited number of products while only paying Amazon a subscription fee of $39.99 plus referral and variable closing fees. According to Amazon, the Professional Plan is best for sellers who sell more than 40 items per month.3. Register for a seller account and list your products.To register for a seller account on Amazon, visit Amazon Seller Central and click the “Start selling” button. Amazon Seller Central is also where you’ll manage your selling account.After you’ve created your account, you can start listing your products on Amazon. If you have the Individual Plan, you can add one product to the Amazon Marketplace catalog at a time. If you have the Professional Plan, you can add batches of products to the catalog.Additionally, if you’re selling products that are already listed on Amazon, all you have to do is tell them the amount of product you plan to sell, the condition of your product, and its shipping options.If you’re selling products that aren’t listed on Amazon yet, the process is a little more complicated. You have to tell them what each of your product’s universal product code (UPC) and stock keeping unit (SKU) is and then list each product’s features on Amazon, like its title, description, and price.If you don’t know what a UPC is, it consists of a 12-digit numeric code and a barcode. The American branch of GS1, an organization that develops and maintains global business communication standards, assigns a permanent UPC to a product for its entire shelf life. So even if multiple retailers sell the product, it’ll still have the same UPC at each store. For example, every box of a certain brand’s blackberries will have the same UPC at every store they’re sold at.A SKU is similar to a UPC, but it differs from it by being a distinct string of letters and numbers that helps retailers identify every product in their inventory and each product’s specific traits, like its manufacturer, brand, price, style, color, and size. Retailers create their own internal SKU codes to quickly and accurately pinpoint and track every single piece of inventory in their retail stores, e-commerce stores, catalogs, warehouses, and product fulfillment centers.Image Credit: FitSmallBusiness4. Set up your shipping options.Even if you sell on Amazon, you’ll always have the option to ship products on your own. But Amazon offers a truly unique and advantageous shipping service for all their sellers that’s incredibly hard to pass up — Fulfillment by Amazon. With Fulfillment by Amazon, all you have to do is send your inventory to an Amazon fulfillment center and they’ll store your products, package them, and ship them to your customers.Signing up for Fulfillment by Amazon also makes your products eligible for Amazon Prime free two-day shipping, free shipping, and customer service and returns. Shipping costs are already included in your seller plan, so all you have to pay for is storage space and and a fee for each order Amazon fulfills.5. Sell and promote your products.After you’ve set up your shipping options, you’re ready to start selling on Amazon. To attract as many potential customers as possible, make sure to craft compelling product listings that have clear and concise titles, benefits-rich descriptions, and vivid pictures.If you want to increase your products’ visibility on Amazon, consider running sponsored product ads directly on the platform. These ads are pay per click and will be placed alongside people’s search results. Amazon also offers an automatic ad targeting tool, which leverages their search algorithm to suggest a list of potentially lucrative keywords that you can bid on and promote your products through.Image Credit: ShopifyOnce people buy your products on Amazon, they’ll deposit payments into your bank account on a regular basis and send you a notification when they pay you.6. Encourage reviews.Reviews are crucial for driving sales on Amazon. The more reviews you have, the more credible and trustworthy customers will perceive your products to be. Fortunately, Amazon lets sellers send follow up emails to customers after they order one of their products and ask for product reviews. They even let you automate the process, but Amazon also requires you to follow a strict set of guidelines, which don’t allow you to include marketing messages, link to other websites, or ask for, demand, or incentivize positive reviews in these emails.In 2016, Amazon banned incentivized reviews — which were customer reviews given to brands in exchange for a free or discounted product as long as the reviewers revealed they received an incentive for their feedback. These incentives were artificially inflating brands’ average ratings, so Amazon decided they needed to level the playing field. With this in mind, don’t even think about trying to incentivize a positive review. Just send your customers emails that politely ask for a candid product review.7. Analyze your performance.On your Amazon Seller Central account, you’ll have access to a sales dashboard, which displays a snapshot of your orders for the day, quantity of units sold, the amount of sales you’ve generated for the day, and other metrics.Image Credit: SalesbackerYou’ll also have access to business reports that display metrics like sales by item, sales and orders by month, page views, brand performance, inventory in stock, and more.Image Credit: SalesbackerAdditionally, you’ll have access to a “Compare Sales” graph that can compare any day’s sales to each other, which helps you discover seasonal trends and patterns.Image Credit: SalesbackerFinally, you’ll have access to a sales reporting tool that can pull any of your account’s metrics to produce a graphical representations of your sales data. This’ll help you truly grasp how your Amazon account is performing.Image Credit: Salesbacker Ecommerce and Amazon Topics: Originally published Jan 14, 2019 7:00:00 AM, updated September 09 2019 Don’t forget to share this post!last_img read more

Never easy for a wrestler to get back onto mat after a long break: Sushil Kumar

first_imgOne thing is clear: nobody poses any competition to Sushil Kumar in India as of now. The two-time Olympic medallist may have been challenged many a time in the country for a fight, but when it comes to mat, nobody stands a chance against him for long.On Tuesday, Sushil booked his berth in the Indian contingent that will go to Nur-Sultan in Kazakhstan for the wrestling World Champioships that starts on September 14.Sushil humbled Jitender 4-2, in the trials that were held at KD Jadhav Stadium here, to ensure that he represents India at the World’s in the 74kg category.It was an entertaining final though. Sushil raced to a 4-0 lead in the first period of the bout. Jitender was hit in the eye leading to a break in which he received medical attention.Sushil apologised immediately and after Jitender recovered, the bout was resumed. Towards the end of the match, Jitender was wincing in pain once again with an elbow injury. Jitender did manage to earn two points but it wasn’t enough.During the match, Sushil himself received multiple cuts and the bout had to be stopped periodically for the wrestlers to receive medical attention.”Jitender is like a younger brother and I wish him all the best for his future tournaments. It was a very good bout and it will be great for our country if the competition remains this stiff. No one intentionally hurts an opponent in wrestling,” Sushil said after the bout.advertisementJitender can still go for a spot in the team if he manages to beat Veerdev Gulia in 79kg on August 23.The 36-year-old Sushil joins Ravi Dahiya (57kg), Bajrang Punia (65kg), Deepak Punia (86kg), Mausam Khatri (97kg) and Sumit Malik (125kg) amongst those wrestling in the Olympic categories at the World’s, which serves as a qualifier for Tokyo 2020.Others who sealed their spot in the Indian contingent on Tuesday are Rahul Aware (61kg), Karan Mor (70kg) and Praveen (92kg).Still LearningSushil returned to international arena after a long break in Belarus. But his comeback was not up to the mark. He lost in the opening round and then in the bronze medal match.Sushil, however, wants to take positives from the event. “I had a good tournament in Belarus. I won two and and lost two but the man I lost against has beaten some of the best in the world. So that was a very good experience and I got a lot of appreciation for it,” said Sushil.”I am still learning. It is never easy for a wrestler to get back onto the mat after a long break,” he added.Sushil further said that he hopes to leave the country within the next two weeks to start training for the Worlds.Also Read | Sushil Kumar seals spot in India’s squad for World ChampionshipsAlso see:last_img read more

Arsenal team news & likely line-up vs Chelsea

first_imgPremier League Arsenal team news: Injuries, suspensions and line-up vs Chelsea Chris Wheatley Last updated 1 year ago 16:40 1/3/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(3) Alexis Sanchez Arsenal celebrates Getty Premier League Arsenal Arsenal v Chelsea Chelsea Everything you need to know ahead of the Premier League clash at Emirates Stadium on Wednesday Arsenal were a dealt a tough blow in their final game of the year as West Brom were awarded a somewhat fortunate penalty kick after referee Mike Dean adjudged Calum Chambers to have deliberately handballed in the box on New Years Eve.The subsequent equaliser from the spot was enough for both teams to share the spoils on Sunday and as Arsene Wenger takes his squad into 2018, supporters will be wondering whether their team possesses enough to finish in the top four.Admittedly, bad refereeing decisions aren’t going to do anything to help their cause but Arsenal’s performance against the Baggies was by no means dominant and they will need to increase their level on Wednesday night when they face Chelsea in north London.The Gunners face Chelsea three times in January after drawing the Blues in the Carabao Cup semi-final and will be desperate to make sure they get the New Year off to a positive start. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player ARSENAL INJURIES Nacho Monreal, Olivier Giroud and Aaron Ramsey are still out injured while Sead Kolasinac has been ruled out for two weeks after he was on the receiving end of a challenge from West Brom midfielder Gareth Barry.Mesut Ozil and Laurent Koscielny are both doubts for Wednesday’s game with Wenger deeming the Frenchman of having a 30 per cent chance of being involved at Emirates Stadium.Spanish midfield maestro Santi Cazorla remains a long-term absentee with an Achilles injury.Sead Kolasinac ArsenalARSENAL SUSPENSIONS Arsenal have no players suspended for this game.ARSENAL POTENTIAL STARTING LINE-UPInjuries look set to ravage Arsenal’s starting XI for their first game of 2018 with captain Per Mertesacker likely to fill in for the absent Laurent Koscielny.Sead Kolasinac’s blow means Wenger has a choice of reverting to four defenders at the back but he may decide to try out Ainsley Maitland-Niles at left wing back due to the lack of available left-backs.In central midfield Jack Wilshere and Granit Xhaka are expected to continue while Danny Welbeck and Alexandre Lacazette will be the favoured forwards, with one of Alex Iwobi or Theo Walcott also coming in.Arsenal XICHELSEA TEAM NEWS Antonio Conte’s side are undefeated in their last 13 matches but have fallen behind league leaders Manchester City whose imperious 19-match winning run has seen them top the table for much of the season.Conte rested several players against Stoke at the weekend and will likely see the Eden Hazard and Andreas Christensen return to the line-up, following their astute record of four consecutive clean sheets in the league.Chelsea will be without David Luiz (knee) while Baba Rahman (knee) is a long-term injury absentee.Alvaro Morata is the club’s top scorer with 12 goals to his name so far this season.Antonio ConteBEST OPTA MATCH FACTS Arsenal won this exact fixture 3-0 last season, after a five-game winless run against them in the Premier League at the Emirates (D3 L2). In all competitions, no team has won more away games at the Emirates Stadium than Chelsea (5, level with Man Utd). The last time Arsenal didn’t lose either Premier League meeting with Chelsea in a season was in 2011-12 (W1 D1), while the last time they kept a clean sheet in both league meetings was 1998-99. Arsenal have failed to score in seven of their last nine games against Chelsea in the Premier League, netting just four goals in total in this run. 21 of Chelsea’s top-flight goals this season have come via Spanish players, more than any other side in Europe’s big five leagues. This will be the sixth meeting between Arsene Wenger and Antonio Conte in all competitions since the start of last season, with the Chelsea boss managing just one win from the previous five (D2 L2). Cesc Fabregas netted 19 goals at the Emirates as an Arsenal player, however he’s yet to score there in the competition as an opposition player (three appearances for Chelsea). TV COVERAGE & KICK-OFF TIME The match is being televised on Sky Sports in the UK, while in the United States (US) Arsenal v Chelsea can be watched live and on-demand with fuboTV (7-day free trial). Check out Goal’s Premier League 2019-20 fantasy football podcast for game tips, debate and rivalries.last_img read more