If you’ve been considering setting up an online business you’ve most likely been motivated by sheer volume of buying and selling that is now taking place on the internet.
More and more people are buying products and services online. And if you set up your own online business you can claim your cut of this expanding marketplace. Here are the 5 steps to follow to set up an online business.
1. Pick Your Market
If you’re going to set up an online business your first task is to determine what type of business it’s going to be. Are you going to sell products or services? You can sell your own products or you can sell products produced by other businesses who will pay you commissions on your sales. Or you may choose to set up a membership website or offer teaching and coaching services online.
2. Build Your Website
Getting a website online isn’t as complicated as you may think. Initially you’ll need to purchase a name for your website (known as a domain name). Next you need to ‘rent’ some space on the internet (known as website hosting). Lastly you’ll need a software package that will make it possible for you to put written text, images, videos etc onto your website. There are many website building programs available that make this whole procedure very easy.
3. Get Visitors To Your Website
When you website is online you have to get potential customers to visit it. There are two main ways to do this. You can use free website traffic techniques or paid website traffic techniques. Both have their pros and cons and the most effective traffic tactic to use a mixture of both.
4. Develop A Customer List
It’s doubtful that your website visitors will want to buy anything from you on their first visit to your website. They may visit your website and never return. But obtain a visitor’s email address with a special email capture form, you can remain contact with them via email. Your emails can keep them informed about your business and encourage them to return to your website.
If you offer something of value for free in return for someone’s email address they are more likely to give you their email address. This can be something as straightforward as a free report or eBook that is relevant to your industry.
5. Provide Value
The content material on your website and in your emails, articles or blog posts has to be more than continuously trying to sell. When you provide high quality, useful information to your target audience will come to know, like and trust you. Your prospective customers will then be more willing to buy from you and continue to be as loyal customers for many years.
It’s no secret that health care becomes a bigger concern for most of us as we grow older. More ailments are likely to develop, which means more money spent to visit health professionals and buy medication. Even if you remain healthy through your later years, the costs of preventative care and preparing for potential unexpected health situations are rising.
Health-related expenses will likely be one of the biggest components of your retirement budget. You need to be prepared to pay for comprehensive insurance coverage and potential out-of-pocket costs for care. Here are three strategies to help you manage this critical expense in retirement.
Understand how Medicare works
The good news for Americans age 65 and older is that you qualify for Medicare. That makes increased dependence on health care services more affordable. At age 65, most people automatically qualify for Medicare Part A at no cost, which primarily provides coverage for hospital stays and skilled nursing care. Medicare Part B must be purchased (approximately $109 per month in 2017 for most retirees). Part B covers the costs of visiting a physician, but with some deductibles. Many people purchase additional coverage to use for out-of-pocket expenses, such as a Part D prescription drug plan or a Medicare Supplement policy.
With Medicare, timing is important. Signing up when you first qualify for coverage will keep costs at the lowest level. If you maintain insurance through your employer after turning 65, you can delay Medicare enrollment without risking late penalties.
If you retire prior to age 65, you will need to purchase insurance on the open market to cover health-related expenses until you become eligible for Medicare. Individual coverage tends to get more expensive as you grow older, so work the cost into your retirement budget. Some employers offer retiree health insurance as a benefit. Check with your human resources department to see if this option is available to you.
Allocate sufficient funds for health care costs
As you develop your retirement income strategy, make sure you have money set aside for health expenses that will be your responsibility. By one estimate, the average 66-year-old couple will need to tap more than half of their lifetime pre-tax Social Security benefits to pay for health care expenses throughout retirement. Most people will likely have to rely, in part, on their own savings to help offset some medical expenses.
Along with other retirement savings, you may want to establish a health savings account (HSA) during your working years. HSAs are designed to help build tax-advantaged savings to pay for out-of-pocket medical expenses you incur during your working years. However, any leftover funds can be applied to health expenses later in life, including premiums for Medicare and long-term care insurance. Keep in mind that you must be enrolled in a high deductible health plan to open an HSA.
Focus on your own health
One way to potentially keep health care costs under control in retirement is to create or maintain a healthy lifestyle. Small changes you make today, such as eating right or prioritizing sleep, could reduce the likelihood that medical issues will impact you later in life. Being physically active may also benefit your finances in retirement – according to the American Heart Association, it could potentially help you save $500 a year today on health-related expenses.
Having a plan doesn’t guarantee that you will avoid heath issues, but you may find comfort in knowing how you can tackle health care costs in retirement.
We all want websites that are search-engine friendly. But sometimes when you are busy it’s easy to publish a new blog post and be off to the next thing on your to do list.
Over time, this can really hurt your SEO efforts. That’s why I’ve put together this short hit list of things you can do to boost your WordPress SEO.
Schedule these tasks in your calendar to make your blog traffic soar!
1) Post New Stuff Regularly
Google has a bias towards fresh content. Part of Google’s algorithm looks at how new the content is and gives preference to more recent results. So publishing original content on a regular basis is important.
Also size matters when it comes to content. Generally longer content ranks higher than shorter content. So strive to make your post at least 500 words.
2) Create a Keywords List
If SEO is a priority, then you’ll want to develop a keyword list. This is basically a list of keywords and phrases that describes your products and services. These keywords should include words from search terms that are more likely to be used to find your offerings online.
Google has some incredible tools to make keyword research easy including Google Search, Google Suggest, Google Instant and Google Wonder Wheel.
Hint: if you want a really targeted keyword list, hire an SEO expert!
3) Install an SEO Plugin
This will allow you to set keyword-rich custom titles and Meta descriptions for your posts for search engines.
A couple of popular SEO plug-ins to consider are All in One SEO Pack and WordPress SEO by Yoast.
Again, this is something your web designer or an SEO professional can easily install for you.
4) Hand Submit to Search Engines
What good is a site if no one can find it? That’s why getting listed in Google and the other popular search engines and directories is one of the most effective ways of getting free targeted traffic to your website.
You have probably seen lots of automated submission services where you pay a small fee for them to submit your site to hundreds of search engines. These services not only won’t help – they can actually hurt you.
Almost all of these free directories never send an actual visitor to your website and getting links from them can hurt your ability to rank in the real search engines like Google and Bing.
The best practice is to manually submit your site to search engines yourself. WordPress makes this easy once you set up an account in Google, Bing and Yandex Webmaster Tools.
If unsure, just ask your webmaster or SEO Specialist to set up these accounts.
5) Add Tags to your Posts
WordPress, straight out of the box, comes ready to embrace search engines. The tags features is one of those SEO friendly features you should take advantage of.
Be sure to add relevant keyword-rich tags to every post you publish.
6) Leave Comments on Other Blogs
Start linking more to other people’s posts on their blogs and encourage them to link back to you.
One search engine factor that Google considers is backlinking. A website that has more backlinks is considered more of an authority site and gets higher rankings.
7) Block Spam Comments
When people leave comments on your blog, it counts as content to Google. So if you have a website about DIY crafts and someone leaves 5 comments about “cheap enhancement pills’ that ruins your keyword relevancy and hurts your rankings.
So blocking spam comments from posting to your blog will improve your SEO – as well as make your real blog readers happy.
8) Internal Linking
One easy way to get more traffic is to add internal links to your blog posts.
For example if you have an article on Overcoming Your Resistance to Blog Writing, then at the bottom of that article you can post links to “Other Related Articles You May Enjoy”: 4 Content Marketing Trends for Business Owners in 2017 and other related articles. WordPress SEO by Yoast does this automatically for you as you can see at the bottom of this post.
9) Use Image Alt Tags
For each image you use in your post, ensure you add the Alt tag to help them rank better in image searches. This is another excellent place to put relevant keywords.
Google has an image search function that works in pretty much the exact same way as the webpage search with keywords and relevance. So adding Alt tags helps Google find and include your images when someone does an image search.
10) Tweak Blog Post Titles
If you quickly wrote titles to your blog posts before, take time to review them first before publishing.
Your blog post titles are vitally important to your SEO rankings so compare the keywords used to your keyword list and make your blog titles more keyword rich.
11) Add Social Media Sharing Buttons
When Google sees a blog article is getting a lot of posts and shares on social media, it boosts the ranking of that blog post.
So making it easy for readers to share your posts helps others Tweet and share your great content!
12) Update Your Theme
Not all WordPress themes are SEO Friendly and the free WordPress themes may be hurting your search engine rankings because of this.
Having a premium WordPress theme ensures your content will be indexed by the search engines, since the developers have taken special time to optimize every aspect in terms of both security and SEO.
It’s smart to make sure your theme programming isn’t bloated with inefficient code that slows down page load times. We find this a lot with purchased themes and that’s why we only provide custom designed and built WordPress themes for our clients.