The Beginners Guide To SMS Marketing

SMS provides a direct communication that no other marketing tool can provide. With 97 percent of Americans using SMS at least once per day, businesses are given a large window of opportunity to reach out their customers in such a simple way. Depending on your industry, you can use an SMS service for different types of messages such as appointment reminders, company updates, promotions, and almost anything in between!

Consider the following:

  • Over one-third of business professionals say they can’t go 10 minutes without responding to a text
  • 75% of people would like to have offers sent to them via SMS
  • The average adult spends a total of 23 hours a week texting
  • On average, Americans exchange twice as many texts as they do phone calls

Go over the beginner’s guide to SMS marketing infographic below for more information and tips on SMS marketing.

The Beginner's Guide to SMS Marketing


[Or link to download the infographic for embedding yourself.]

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Three Must Read Tips for New Freelancers (No Fluff)

bigstock-business-office-school-and-e-50282372Excited Surprised little boy with thumb up gesture

So you want to try out the freelance lifestyle? I have to warn you, it’s not for everyone, but most people who get a taste of it, love it and never go back to working 9-5. And, with more and more people opting to freelance and companies becoming more open to the idea of working with freelancers, we are seeing a shift in how work gets done.

Whether you are just getting your feet wet out of curiosity or are resorting to freelancing to make some extra cash or because you are in between jobs, here are three tips about the reality new freelancers can expect:

  1. Start Part Time


Freelancing can be scary. There is no guarantee, and you get out of it what you are willing to put in. While it’s tempting to jump in head first, a better approach is to start freelancing part time on the side while keeping your current job. Therefore, you will have safety net just in case things don’t work out. You’ll also still have a regular income while you are figuring out freelancing and trying to etch out your niche.

  1. Treat Freelancing Like a Business (Because It Is)

content strategy, blogging

Just because you are a great graphic designer doesn’t mean you are a good business person. Many new freelancers overlook the importance of treating freelancing like a business. Freelancing is both a skill and a business, and you need both to be successful. One of the biggest ways people not experienced in business fail is by failing to ensure payments are delivered on time. Make sure you have a mobile invoice system like Invoice2Go that allows customers to pay with both credit and debit cards.

  1. It’s a Battle of Attrition


Most freelancers fail because they give up too soon. Building a strong client base and having success in your industry takes time. It takes time to build the necessary connections, develop a portfolio of work, and hone in on your area of specialization. If you can battle through the lean times at the beginning, you’ll be able to reap the rewards once you get your footing.

Are you up for the challenge?

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The Power of Building Links in 2016 and Beyond (Infographic)

The internet is connected like a giant spiderweb. Each path is built using links from one page to another. It’s how search engine spiders crawl the web, and it’s how users discover new content. Links are important, and they always have been. Even so, many content creators will lose sight of these important elements in the sea of other tasks they have on a daily basis.

Today we’re going to rekindle the fire for link building and look at why it’s such an important element of any content marketing strategy. After that we’ll look at an infographic to help you integrate this important regime into your daily routine.

6 Reasons Why You Should Be Building Links Now

When it comes to online tasks, the question is always what’s in it for me? Well, here are six reasons why link building should be on your radar if you want your new blog to take off:

  • Building Links improves your visibility on organic search results
  • Backlinks contribute to a number of different ranking factors
  • Building links increases brand exposure
  • It contributes to other marketing activities
  • Links build new relationships with influencers
  • Building Links shows Google you are a trusted source of information

By increasing the number of backlinks pointing to your site, you are building more than just a profile, you’re building a reputation and a future for yourself. Let’s find out how to make this happen.

How to Start Building Links Today (Infographic)

Next we’ll look at an infographic that is designed to give you the tools, skills, and strategies to start building a strong and varied backlinks profile. Let us know how it benefited you in the comments below!

Link Building

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5 Ways to Ignite Your Mobile Marketing In 2016

With record-breaking mobile ad budgets and more active smartphone users than ever before, 2016 promises to be a banner year in the world of mobile marketing. We’ve got the five best ways you can ignite your business’s mobile marketing and ensure the next 365 days are your best yet.

1. Start Strategizing Now

Successful mobile marketing campaigns don’t happen by accident. To create a cohesive marketing plan that works across a variety of platforms, delivers a message your readers will identify with and respond to, and actually converts clickers into customers requires a multi-pronged approach and a lot of research. Think SMART:

  • SPECIFIC – Don’t have vague goals. Know what you want specifically and spell it out.
  • MEASURABLE – Set goals you can measure using data, statistics, or feedback gleaned from social media or search engine analytics.
  • ACHIEVABLE – Dream big…
  • REALISTIC – But not too big! Disappoint leads nowhere pleasant, but exceeding expectations makes everyone happy.
  • TIMELY – Set daily, weekly, monthly, and year-long goals that will keep you on track and reassure you that you are indeed heading in the right direction.

2. Incorporate Apps

You may already know that the average smartphone user spends about 3 hours a day on their mobile device, but did you know that apps account for 89 percent of that time? You can have your own app designed, which gives you complete control over what your subscribers see and have access to, or pay for ad that utilize apps that have already proven popular. The latter will cost more, but you have the advantage of plugging into a revenue stream that has already shown itself to be effective.

3. Pay Attention to Everyone Else

When you’re trying to be the best you can be it’s easy to get tunnel vision and forget that there are other businesses dominating the cultural ether. There’s nothing wrong with riding their wave for a little bit as long as you do it thoughtfully and with professionalism. Your blog is a powerful tool, and by creating content that relates popular niche markets back to your own industry you’ll capture some of the keyword runoff of the “main” businesses in that niche while still staying true to who you are and what you want your message to be.

4. KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid)

Every time we turn around there is some fancy new widget or designer plug-in that promises to make your website cooler or your app more interactive or your overall design more eye-catching. All of these promises may come with the best of intentions – and they may be true, too – but the more decorations you put on your website the harder it is to find any useful information.Half of smartphone users say that if a retailer’s technology is hard to use, they won’t try again. Use your one chance wisely.

5. Get Creative

Once you’ve achieved the basics like optimized website design and a killer SMS messaging campaign, it’s time to start thinking outside the box. Have you ever considered enabling the GPS function on your app and targeted users according to their proximity to your store? Not only is that a realistic and effective marketing technique, consumers actually like it: 47 percent say that they’d love to have mobile offers delivered to their devices when they pass by the store the deals correspond to. Not only does it encourage shoppers to buy more when they’re already headed to your store, it might encourage passersby to make one extra stop, too.

Once you’ve achieved the basics like optimized website design and a killer SMS messaging campaign (which, it turns out, may be even more valuable than social marketing), it’s time to start thinking outside the box. Have you ever considered enabling the GPS function on your app and targeted users according to their proximity to your store? Not only is that a realistic and effective marketing technique, consumers actually like it: 47 percent say that they’d love to have mobile offers delivered to their deviceswhen they pass by the store the deals correspond to. Not only does it encourage shoppers to buy more when they’re already headed to your store, it might encourage passersby to make one extra stop, too.

Author Biography

Sophorn Chhay

Sophorn is an inbound marketer specializing in attracting targeted visitors and generating sales qualified leads. Through Trumpia’s SMS marketing automation solution he helps businesses and organizations communicate effectively with their customers or members. Watch Trumpia’s 5-Minute Demo on how to execute an effective mobile marketing strategy.


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Happy World Teachers Day (Infographic)

Today is World Teachers Days – a day that is meant to celebrate teachers and educators around the world. All of us have a favorite teacher or two that has had a lasting impact on our lives and has helped shape who we are today.

Teaching can be a thankless job. Teachers have the ability to change lives, and they do on a daily basis. To recognize the great work teachers do each day, Grammarly has put together this great infographic:

World Teacher Day

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Google Panda 4.2: What We Know So Far

Google just released Panda 4.2 a few months ago on July 18, 2015 and the rollouts will take awhile. The update came ten months after the release of Google Panda 4.1. Here’s what we know so far about the Panda 4.2 update.

It’ll affect 2-3% of the searches

Google confirmed that Panda 4.2 will only affect 2% to 3% of all the searches. This is lower compared to Panda 4.0 which affected 7.5% and Panda 4.1 which affected 3-5% of all the search queries. Remember that the affected search results don’t mean that the queries never saw the loss of search results from the new refresh. Pages that made a return to those search queries are also included.

It’s more of a refresh than an update

If you like digging into all the nuisances of Panda, you’ll soon notice that this is not really an update. It’s more of a refresh because it reapplies signals from the previous Panda for the current update.

What does ‘coming months’ mean?

Shortly after its release, a Google spokesman said that the new Panda update 4.2 would roll out over the coming months, it’s been nearly three months and Panda is still rolling out. So just what does ‘coming months’ mean? Is it two months, four months or six months, maybe even longer?

Long roll outs are nothing new to Google. It’s therefore not surprising that they aren’t hitting the entire refresh at once. Hopefully, Google will clarify how long the roll out will last sooner rather than later.

Too late for new changes

The updates have cut-off dates after which any changes applied will only take effect once the next update is released. You will need to keep updating your content and if you were affected by Panda previously, you’ll have to wait for the next refresh or update for any changes you have made to have a positive impact on your websites.

Who will be affected?

The Panda 4.2 may be rolling out slower than the previous updates but according to Pierre Far from Google, the update will positively affect many high quality small as well as medium sized sites. Small sites have been hit by previous updates leading to accusations of Google showing brand bias. However, it will make it harder to access some usual ‘winners and losers’ like we are used to.

Will Panda roll into the core algo?

There is a possibility that Google could be working on tweaking the core algo so that the positive signals will keep resurfacing the great content and so that low quality content will rank lower, ‘even though it might not be penalized. Rolling Panda 4.2 into the core algo might mean that the delays won’t be as bad as the previous ranking drops we have experienced.

The bottom line is, even though the average user can’t tell, the new Panda 4.2 has been rolling out for months. Hopefully, as the rollouts continue, we’ll see positive ranking improvements and quality sites with quality content will be rewarded. But then again, we might not. I guess time will tell.

Featured images:
  •  License: Royalty Free or iStock source:

This post was supplied by Mark Stubbles, freelance SEO consultant and owner of Panda SEO.

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The Freelancer’s Guide to the Galaxy Infographic

There is no doubt that freelancing has its peaks and valleys. The key to a successful freelance business is to minimize the valleys and maximize the peaks – easier said than done!

One of the best ways to stay on track is to be aware of the things that can hurt your level of production – Facebook, Twitter, Email, your work environment, etc. – and find ways to maximize your time. For me, it’s always about staying consistent and using a number of great tools to help me get the most out of the day. Every business is different and this is why you need to try out a number of efficiency tools to see which ones work best for you.

Personally, I use:

Don’t try and be a jack of all trades. Get help from other professionals as required and invest in a number of good tools to help make life easier for you as a freelancer.

Freshbooks has put together the following infographic titled, “The Freelancer’s Guide to the Galaxy” to offer up some advice about some of the things you can expect on your journey as a freelance professional.

Freelancer guide infographic

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Today is International Literacy Day

To celebrate International Literacy Day and to help educate everyone about the importance of literacy worldwide, I wanted to share this infographic that outlines the latest literacy statistics from around the world.

Literacy Day


Source: grammarly

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A Look into the life of a Freelance Writer: 10 things most people don’t know about the freelance lifestyle


SEO Tips
While there is no doubt that I love what I do, sometimes I dread getting ask what I do for a living. Why? Because after I finish explaining what a freelancer is and the type of tasks I do as part of my business, I often get a number of comments along the lines of “that must be so awesome.”

While my job is awesome, the majority of people outside of the freelance or small business industry tend to idealize what I do because of the many preconceived notions associated with freelancing.

Some of the most common include:

• Must be nice to be your own boss
• You don’t have to answer to anyone
• I have time to do favours for other people
• I have lots of free time
• I can drop what I am working on at any time

While there are many benefits to the freelance lifestyle, there is also another side that many people do not often see. They don’t see the late nights or the short deadlines as well as some of the issues associated with being paid on time.

The truth is that freelancing does come with it challenges and the goal of this piece is to bring them to light, and let people in on some of the pitfalls and difficulties associated with the freelance lifestyle.

10 things most people don’t know about the freelance lifestyle

1. Freelancing is a life style, not a job or career

When people make the decision to become a freelancer it will literally change their life. The structure of working a regular job is instantly gone and for many people it is a challenge to reproduce that structure with their freelance aspirations.

2. Freelancing can be lonely

It is not uncommon for days to go by where freelancers do not talk to anyone. No calls, no emails, just you and your work. And, considering that most people leave a more traditional work environment to start freelancing, not having that simple day to day interaction with co-workers is a much more difficult transition than most people think.

Freelancers should think about getting a dog, they are great co-workers!

3. There will be some late nights

As I write this post, it is now 11:51pm on a Monday night. From time to time deadlines do catch up with you and when you are busy, tasks such as a blogging, building social media profiles, doing research, and working on projects go well past 5pm.

Good thing freelancers also make their own work schedules!

4. Cabin fever is real

Most freelancers work out of their home. While you may have a separate office for your work, there is really no work/home separation. This means that there will be days when you don’t leave the house and, in some instances, you will get the urge to leave just to get out of the house. Being at home all the time can really get to you some days.

Thank god for coffee shops and libraries!

5. If you don’t produce you don’t get paid

This is one of the biggest challenges of becoming a freelancer. Unlike having a job, you cannot have an off day and still get paid. You have to work when you are sick and when you are not feeling your best. Sometimes this means working at night or on weekends to catch up for days lost to illness or other unforeseen circumstances.

6. There are no guarantees

Freelancing often has many peaks and valleys. There is no guarantee when the next project or client will fall into your lap. Therefore, freelancers need to constantly be on the lookout for new projects and opportunities.

Long term contracts with clients are gold!

7. Motivation can elude you

Sometimes it is difficult to remain motivated. There are many things that can serve as distractions and on some days it seems that you will are willing to do anything else but the work that is in front of you. This can not only prolong your day but also impact your overall productivity. In this sense, if you want to be a successful freelancer, motivation must come from within.

8. Risk is a factor

While there is some degree of risk associated with anything that you do, becoming a freelancer has a number of risks that can impact your standard of living. Freelancers do not have insurance, benefits, guaranteed income, or EI. Outside of income, these are things that freelancer with have to pay for out of their pocket. And, if can become nerve racking waiting for the next cheque in the mail.

Thank god for partners with great benefit packages and consistent pay cheques!

9. Time management is critical

Effective time management sets the stage for your productivity and your ability to manage as many projects as possible. Time management is directly correlated to your earning potential as well. For these reasons, freelancers must be diligent with their ability to schedule projects and business tasks.

10. It’s a one person show

There is so much more to freelancing then just working on projects from clients. Freelancing is a business and there are two sides to it:

• Work in the business (working on client projects)
• Working on the business (building your business and expanding your capabilities)

Many people forget that freelancers also have to handle all the administrative tasks associated with running a business. They include prospecting, client management, answering emails and phone calls, social media management, invoicing, tracking expenses, doing taxes, website management, marketing, and planning.

These are only a few of the insights into the other and often less than sexy aspect of being a freelance professional. With the good also comes the bad and, and sometimes frustrating elements that are part of taking the initiative and building your own business.

Freelancing can also be VERY REWARDING! 


Its rewarding in the form of:

  • Being your own boss
  • Having more free time
  • A flexible work schedule
  • Choosing how many projects you want to take on
  • The type of work you want to do
  • And so much more!
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The Value of Guest Blogging As A Content Marketing Tool for Freelance Writers


Guest blogging is getting a lot of attention lately in internet marketing circles. As Google continues to make changes to their search algorithm, marketers, freelance writers, and online companies continue to refine their content marketing strategies to incorporate high quality content that will help boost search rankings.

One of the most effective strategies to create great content and build high value back links, when done correctly, is guest blogging. Guest blogging provides value on a multiple levels and freelance writers need to take notice of the opportunity this strategy offers.

Why guest blogging is a valuable content marketing tool for freelance writers

Guest blogging can be a valuable content marketing tool for the following reasons:

It creates exposure for you as a writer

Securing a guest post position, especially on a website or blog that receives a large amount of traffic and has good page rank is a great way to get more exposure for you as a writer. With this exposure, it will also help you build your social media network, expand your email list, get new readers and blog followers, gain new connections, and open the door for new writing opportunities.

It establishes you as an expert and builds credibility

Having a guest blogging column on multiple high profile websites is a great way to establish you as an expert in your industry. It also helps to build your credibility, especially when new clients check you out. I personally have made it a goal to focus more on guest blogging this year and have seen some success in terms of increasing my exposure and build out my social networks. Take a look at my guest blogging column on Benchmark Email.

It provides you with SEO benefits

Guest blogging provides freelance writers with a number of SEO benefits for their person website. It helps to not only increase traffic and conversions, but also expand your network by attracting unique new visitors. This will increase the number of shares, likes, tweets and other social indicators that will help boost social engagement and have a positive impact on your search ranking.

Its content for your website

Don’t forget that guest blogging can also serve as a strategy for you to add new and fresh content for your blog from other established writers in your field. Don’t hesitate to ask other freelance writers to guest blog on your website. It is not only free content for your website; it will also drive new users to your website. But, make sure that the guest bloggers you use have value and insightful information to offer your readers.

You can offer it as a service

One of the main benefits of guest blogging is that you can offer it as a service to your clients. There is no shortage of blogs that are willing to pay freelance writers for high quality blog posts. It is a great way to expand your service offerings and make some extra money.

A Word of Caution – Focus on Good (and Google friendly) Guest Blogging Practices

Just like with other content marketing strategies and writing, you need to focus on high quality guest blogging techniques. What does this mean?

  • Focus on writing for quality publications, blogs, and websites
  • Focus on writing a select few high quality posts over a larger volume of low quality content on low value sites and blogs.
  • Write high quality and insightful content.
  • Offer value in your posts in the form of your experiences, personal anecdotes, real life examples, and knowledge you can offer your readers.
  • Focus on writing for sites and blogs that are relevant to your industry

What do you think?

Do you currently use guest blogging as a content development strategy? Why or why not? If you are a freelance writer, do you offer guest blogging as a service to your clients?

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