Top San Jose Web Design Firm Awards Released for June 2017 by 10 Best Design

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Passionate and consistent awards organization 10 Best Design brings attention to web firms that are staffed by people with a drive for producing exceptional work. With the Best San Jose Web Design Firm List for June 2017, the organization highlights top-notch agencies on a list that garners respect and attention.

SAN JOSE, Calif. (PRWEB) June 23, 2017

10 Best Design recently presented the winners of its Best San Jose Web Design awards for June 2017. Rasteroids and Baunfire were among the honorees, along with Big Drop Inc.

The representatives of 10 Best Design are passionate about providing people with information and updates regarding which digital advertising firms can offer them excellent, effective services. As such, 10 Best Design is pleased to reveal its newest award category: Best Web Design Firm. This release provides a summary of the top San Jose Web design firms as well as several other digital firms that made the list.

Being one of the best web design firms, Big Drop Inc is the organization business owners should get in touch with when they realize that they’re in need of web design and development services that will increase their sphere of online influence. The professionals of this organization know which techniques to deploy for the purpose of making this happen, and one of them is responsive web design. The Big Drop Inc professionals utilize this strategy to ensure that the site is mobile-friendly, thereby ensuring that it can generate more traffic and sales. The Big Drop Inc reps also offer dynamic graphic design services that result in an incredibly innovative website that stands out from the cookie-cutter replicas that already exist in the online world.

Top web design agency Rasteroids Design is a community of dedicated, diligent site developers who thrive on helping business owners share their brand with online audiences in an interactive, engaging way. The techies of Rasteroids Design are passionate about maintaining a holistic approach to the web design and development process, and this means that they will optimize sites for all of the key components. Some of those components include mobile friendliness, functionality, engagement, and aesthetic appeal. Also note that the Rasteroids Design professionals maintain a client-centered outlook which ensures that the business owner’s specific interests and brand vision are always understood and respected.

Another top San Jose web design agency, BAUNFIRE is a community of sedulous, diligent digital marketing experts who operate in excellence so that the client can attain an exceptional return on investment (ROI). To ensure that the client’s website is absolutely incredible, the BAUNFIRE techies maintain an innovative approach that involves coming up with unique templates, backgrounds, colors and fonts. In addition to making the website aesthetically appealing, the BAUNFIRE representatives focus on optimizing sites for mobile friendliness, usability, and conversion.

[“Source-benzinga”]

Best gap year tech: from Torino to Tokyo, these gadgets will help you have a great time

If you’re planning a gap year or packing for the trip of a lifetime, you’ll want to cram as many creature comforts into your backpack as possible, not to mention some tech on which to record and share some phenomenal views and bragging rights. We’re rounded up some near-essentials (aside from a huge backpack and warm coat) to make travelling easier and more exciting, whether you’re trekking through jungles and camping in the wild or catching trains and seeing the sights of Europe. Just don’t forget your toothbrush.

Sure, you’ll need a massive rucksack for lugging your worldly possessions from hostel to hostel, but it won’t be much use for sightseeing in a busy metropolis. Thankfully, there’s the Wolffepack that comes in many forms, including the ‘Capture’ for photographers that keeps all your tech, money and passport safe and sound.

Designed to allow users to reach into their bag without the hassle of unstrapping and taking it off, the backpacks all come with a  clever ‘orbital trapeze’ system that allows a wearer to swing the pack from their back to their front effortlessly. While this is a time saver, it’s also great if you want to keep your bag where you can see it on a sketchy street or busy train.

The Capture holds 26 litres and comes with a removable camera pod, three compartments, tripod clip, laptop sleeves and waterproof rain cover. With Carbon fibre, Kevlar and Dyneema cords, it’s also built to withstand the wildest of adventures.

GoPro HERO5 Action Camera

While serious photographers seldom travel without an SLR, the GoPro is brilliant for people on the go and perfect for recording bike rides and scenes you’ll want to remember in years to come. The HERO5 Black is dubbed the ‘best GoPro ever’ and supports video resolutions up to 4K at 30 frames per second, video stabilisation and stereo audio recording, as well as professional quality 12MP photos.

A simple one button control and two-inch touch display makes operating it a breeze and it’s waterproof without a housing up to 33 feet – great for recording a white water rapids ride or trip to a waterfall. Once users have recorded their envy-enduring footage, the HERO5 can auto-upload their photos and videos to the cloud for safe keeping and share it easily online. It makes bragging easy.

Cat S30 smartphone

You may be surgically attached to your iPhone or top-of-the-range Android in the city, but we all know dropping these handsets can prove to be an expensive mistake. Instead, why not invest in the Cat S30 handset. Built to be work in extreme environments, the water, dust and shockproof smartphone is designed to survive a 1.8-metre drop test and has an easy grip design as well as 12 hours talk time and up to 19 days standby – perfect if you’re staying in the back-of-beyond (or have mislaid your charger).

Price: £239.99 | Buy Cat S30 smartphone

Griffin Survivor Extreme

A tablet is a godsend when you’re pushed for space, working as a map, address book, novel, games console and internet café if you’re lucky. But they can be delicate, making a ruggedized case a sensible investment. Griffin Technology makes an array of ‘Survivor’ cases for different models, including the iPad Air 2 (pictured) to protect their backs and screens.

The new ‘Survivor Extreme’ is built to enable the iPad4 mini to survive drops onto concrete of up to 6.6-feet, cushioning falls within the impact-resistant shell. Its slide on design all but eliminates the air gap between touchscreen and the screen guard for extra protection, while its sealed shell protects the device from mud and water.

Price: £69 | Buy Griffin Survivor Extreme

ThermaCELL ProFLEx Heavy Duty Heated Insoles

Whether you’re trekking at high altitudes or staying in a drafty hostel, your toes can get chilly, especially once the sun has set. ThermaCELL ProFLEx Heavy Duty Heated Insoles heat up a user’s feet and can be controlled using a smartphone with a Bluetooth connection. The accompanying app lets users warm their feet to a chosen temperature. When this is reached, the insoles temporarily turn off before switching on again.

They’re cushioned to make walking boots more comfortable and include removable, replaceable extended life batteries so users can swap them out without having to wrangle their insoles out of their shoes or boots. One charge taking just two hours provides up to 8.5 hours of warmth. There are Bluetooth Pocket Warmers too for people who want heat on demand in a more flexible package.

 

 

[Source:- T3]

The best Linux distros: seven versions of Linux we recommend

Long-time Windows and Mac users might rejoice at the thought that Linux is no longer exclusive to developers who wince at the sight of any software that isn’t open-source. Nowadays, Linux is for everyone, even if some companies like Lenovo are prone to blocking it out.

In fact, with hundreds of Linux distributions (or distros) to choose from, it doesn’t matter whether you’re working with a hardy desktop rig or – as of recently – even a Surface tablet. There’s bound to be something out there that appeals to you.

See, Linux is just the heart, the kernel, of any Linux-based system. It’s the distribution that determines the rest – the user interface design, the installation process and application support are all up to the distro’s creator. Android and Chrome OS, for instance, are both based on the Linux kernel.

The only problem is, with such a wide array of customizable Linux variations out on the market, the decision itself might be enough to send you in Microsoft’s direction. Thankfully, we’ve put together this quintessential guide to all of the best Linux flavors that both enthusiasts and newbies alike can enjoy.

As always, if you have a suggestion of your own, let us know in the comments.

 
[Source:- Techrader]

 

The best new portfolio sites, December 2016

featured

It’s that time of the year when people all round the world gather in their homes, with their loved ones. They sing songs, consume beverages both warm and cold, and tell stories of the greatest portfolio sites they’ve ever seen. Then Jeffrey Zeldman comes down the chimney, hauling a bag full of books on usability.

How great would that be, if it were true?

This month’s theme is, if anything, the French. Well, a few of this month’s sites are French, anyway. Besides that, I’m seeing an upturn in the number of sites that divide the design in vertical halves, at least on the home page. Enjoy!

DAVID ROBERT

I wasn’t kidding about the French. Our first entry is from David Robert, a French designer with a penchant for monochrome designs paired with minimalism. Okay, we’ve seen a lot of that lately, but it’s done well here, and the layout is atypical.

Plus, I kinda love the little “film-blur” effect applied to some text on hover. It’s kind of classic and grunge at the same time. Oh go look, it works.

001

PLAYFUL

Playful has yet another site that’s more presentation than site. They live up to their name, though, with lots of vibrant color and subtle animation.

The one thing I’d criticize is the way text is placed over images. It makes the text less-than-readable. You can steal good ideas from the rest of the site, though.

002

CHRISTOPHER HALL

Christopher Hall is an interior and furniture designer. His site brings us some more of that “split-down-the-middle” design. In this case, it’s a form of categorization. His furniture is on the left, and his interiors are on the right.

Other pages stick with the two-column layout, if not the dimensions, tying the whole design together. From there on out, it’s all minimalist, serif-heavy goodness.

003

UENO

ueno combines beautifully-executed minimalism with a timeline layout for the portfolio. This is one you’ll be looking at just for the typography.

004

MADE TOGETHER

Made Together starts off with a lot of solid blue, and some geometric shapes. This is almost a design style in its own right, these days.

From there, the site moves on to a familiar layout. The typography is eye-catching and feels perfect for the style of the site overall.

005

BLACKBALLOON

blackballoon gives us a proper dark website design. This is one of those sites that doesn’t make you worry about mundane things like “text” or “reading” very much. It’s all about the imagery, the animation, and the sheer sense of style. It works, too.

006

STANDARD

Standard is a video production studio that, as you may expect, depends on background video to start off their showcase. From there, you can browse through their videos, or through their rather massive list of directors. Take a look at this section especially,it’s quite stylish.

It’s got that now-typical presentation feel to it, but given the content, it works rather well.

007

ZENGULARITY

Zengularity doesn’t do anything particularly out of the box, but everything is done quite well. Look at it for color ideas, typography, and general style.

008

LUNDGREN+LINDQVIST

Lundgren+Lindqvist is one of those sties where you might feel like you’ve seen this before, but it’s still definitely “theirs”. It walks the line between minimalist and brutalist, with the occasional pixel-graphics touch.

I think I’m going to start calling this “low-fi minimalism”. I kind of like it.

009

ADAM WIDMANKSI

Adam Widmanksi’s portfolio takes us far away from brutalism to deliver some of that post-modern minimalism that was all the rage earlier this year. Combining this with distinctive typography, striking images, and asymmetry, it’s a visual feast.

010

B14

B14 put a lot of thought, time, and effort into this modern design. But whatever impression they intended to make has been overshadowed by what may be the single greatest compliment my fianceé has ever given to a website: “Well, my grandma could read those letters.”

After that, I can’t bring myself to put in any other description. Usability is what it’s all about, people.

011

NICOLAS PARIES

Some websites go for a collage-like feel in their design. Nicolas Paries’ portfolio sitealmost feels like it’s an actual scrapbook. While that does make for reduced text legibility sometimes, it’s a refreshingly chaotic site experience. And yet, it’s still pretty usable.

012

COLIN SIMPSON

Colin Simpson uses the now-classic single-column, full-width style of portfolio. What he does to stand out is make great use of skewed perspectives to show off his design work. Inside his case studies, he lays out the individual design elements in each project: the color palette, the typography, any custom elements, and even wireframes.

It gives you a lot of context for each project, and a few clues about how he works.

013

DARU SIM

Daru Sim uses a card-style UI to show off his portfolio in a masonry layout. When you consider just how well-suited a card-style UI is to a portfolio, I do kind of wonder why people don’t use it more.

014

JOÃO AMARO DA COSTA

João Amaro da Costa brings us a minimalist layout that manages to be responsive while still proving that “pixel-perfect” quality that everyone used to advertise about five years ago.

It may be flexible, but it is also meticulously executed, and it looks all the better for it.

015

DESIGN MILITIA

Design Militia’s site is largely enterprise-looking, which makes sense, given their clients. A simple layout with dependable typography lands this site a spot in the article this month.

016

METIN BILGIN

Metin Bilgin’s site is a veritable smorgasbord of different styles with no apparent overarching theme. At least when you’re looking at the portfolio, the site’s style seems to change depending on which of his projects you’re looking at.

The rest of the site is minimalist, with the text-overlapping-other-elements style that we’ve all come to know.

[Source:- webdesignerdepot]

The Business Blogging Plan: 50 Best Practices

 

I must admit: I’m a latecomer to business blogging. I joined the party in 2011 and got off to a rocky start. Nearly all bloggers do.

Five years later, I know much more about what works, and I’m working those strategies to great effect – on my website, for a long list of top marketing blogs, and for many clients. And regardless of where you are in your business blogging journey, I believe this collection of ideas will help you publish an even more effective business blog.

Here, now, are my top ideas organized as 50 best practices. But first…

I present a quick history of business blogging from the historical point of view of yours truly. And then… Grabba’ cuppa’ something tasty and enjoy The Business Blogging Plan.

Targeting: Start with why, who, what and where

As a business blogger, you become an online publisher. Your starting point is to document a concise plan to address the fundamental why, who, what and where questions.

1. Why will you have a business blog? Most business bloggers aim to establish expertise in their niche and generate interest in products and services to support the growth of their company. Business blog objectives are likely to include:

  • Raise brand awareness
  • Increase web traffic
  • Start conversions
  • Establish trust
  • Develop authority

Establish your goals by using any or all of the above in your plan or edit the list to address your specific objectives.

2. Who’s the blog for? Create a persona (or multiple personas) to describe a prototype reader. Include both demographic and psychographic details. The goal is to develop a clear understanding of what pushes the reader’s buttons, intellectually and emotionally.

3. What will the blog offer? How will your content satisfy the needs of its readers? My blog aims to deliver actionable digital marketing advice to help readers get traffic, leads and sales. Note the statement I just wrote answers what the blog offers AND its value.

4. Where will it be published? Business blogs should not be published offsite, that is, on platforms such as Blogger.com, WordPress.com, Tumblr, Medium, LinkedIn, etc. You may want to take advantage of these channels that make publishing a cinch—in addition to your blog – however, your interests are best served by hosting your main blog on your domain.

  • Your blog can simply be your website:
    CompanyName.com
  • Or your blog can be a sub-domain or sub-directory:
    CompanyName.com (blog.FeldmanCreative.com), or
    CompanyName.com/blog (FeldmanCreative.com), or
    CompanyName.com/NameOfBlog (FeldmanCreative.com/ThePoint)

After considering each issue above, document a mission statement to define, in a sentence or two, what you will publish, for whom, and the specific value of the content.

The Business Blogging Plan: 50 Best Practices | Social Media Today

Topics: Create an editorial plan

Your business blog needs to focus on specific topics, but be broad enough to allow you to perpetually create new and useful content. Let’s get into some practical approaches for identifying topics and extracting ways to use them to publish relevant content regularly.

5. ID the questions prospects ask – You need to discover your prospects’ interests, concerns and challenges and interpret them as questions. What would they enter in search?

Your prospect’s questions come at you (or someone in the company) all day, everyday, and in all kinds of ways: chat, email, phone calls, blog commentary, etc. As a business blogger, you need to tune-in closely and document the questions. Gather them from people in customer-facing departments across the company.

Also, spend time on the social media channels your prospects use. Look for questions and conversations about business challenges. Make and maintain a list of them. You’re going to answer them on your blog.

6. Swipe ideas – On an ongoing basis, you should read the content published in your niche: in blogs, social media and books. When you discover something promising, swipe the idea and document it. Of course, you don’t want to plagiarize headlines or copy, but you want great ideas to inspire yours. Create a “swipe file” of inspiring ideas.

7. Monitor your market – Stay plugged into what’s going on in your field. You can keep tabs on industry news with alerts, feeds and media monitoring tools. Stay on top of breaking news, new solutions, activities of your competitors, and anything published about your company.

8. Extend ideas – Don’t let a big idea be a singular idea. Use mind mapping apps, a whiteboard, flipchart, sticky notes or whatever you prefer to brainstorm subtopics and ideas that relate to the core idea and build a bigger story.

Over time, the response you get will help you understand the type of editorial content your readers like. Look for ways to extend the winners by updating posts (rewrite, add ideas, add video, etc.), expanding them, giving them new twists, and finding additional media outlets for them.

9. Ask your readers – Ask your readers how you can publish content that will help them succeed. You can do this via email invitations to surveys, with on-site survey tools, through groups and forums, and yes, in conversation.

10. Log your ideas – When you start blogging regularly, creative ideas will come at you constantly. You can’t get to them all, not immediately. Archive them. Whether it’s with a notepad, computer, cloud app or recorder, summarize the idea to the point where it will make good sense when you return to it.

The Business Blogging Plan: 50 Best Practices | Social Media Today

Presentation: Make your blog inviting

Cluttered pages repel readers. The inverse is true too. Tidy, good-looking blogs make the user experience a pleasure, increase time-on-site and help you gain loyal subscribers.

You have options here, but ignoring graphic design isn’t one of them. You can purchase a professionally designed template, hire a web designer, or learn the ropes. Make it a priority to make your blog look great.

11. White space – Compare a page densely populated with copy to another with a more “air,” that is, ample white space, and you’ll choose the latter every time. Pay attention to margins, breaks, and leading (the space between the lines of copy) to ensure your page is generously white (or a light and pleasing background color).

12. Create and use images – Blogs with no images look dull and monotonous. Add visual interest to your posts with:

  • Photos
  • Word clouds
  • Diagrams
  • Illustrations
  • Infographics
  • Screen shots
  • Quotes
  • Video

Of course, you can buy images and/or use non-copyrighted works, but it’s best to create something original. Avoid corny stock photos.

13. Bullet points – Readers love lists. Use bullets or numbers to set apart sequential ideas, even if you have just two or three. The more you enable speed-reading, the more visitors will want to read.

14. Subhead – Break up your blog posts by “chapterizing” them with subheads. Subheads help make your page look cleaner and your post more skimmer-friendly. And search engines may recognize them (so choose your words wisely).

The Business Blogging Plan: 50 Best Practices | Social Media Today

Blog post ideas: Publish an interesting mix

Many blogs are one-trick ponies – for example, every post is a deep, 1,000-plus-word tutorial on a narrow niche. You run the risk of boring readers with this type of predictability.

I believe a great blog delivers variety. This section offers ideas to vary the content of your blog to make it interesting to more people.

15. List posts – It may be an unsurprising first tip, but I want you to succeed. List posts work. Create them often.

16. Resources posts – Another dependable staple of the business blogosphere is the resource post that aims to enlighten readers by listing high quality books, blogs, shows, products, services, apps, or just about any type of resource.

17. Roundup posts – A roundup is a resource post, of sorts, but instead of pointing readers to resources, you pull the resources into your story. A popular example is a post where an expert panel is asked the same question (often rounded up via email). You can grab material various ways from various sources.

18. Interviews – Interviews are great for variety and bring various points of view and personalities to your blog. You can conduct them from a variety of places with a variety of approaches. You can vary the form too by presenting written, audio and video interviews.

19. Reviews – Be a voice of authority and industry curator by reviewing books or any form of media. Review anything you deem relevant and potentially useful. Reviews of conferences are a good example.

20. Contrarians – Your blog should inspire readers. So yes, be positive. But if you vow to be eternally positive you could risk getting yawned to death. Take a contrarian stance now and then. Tackle myths, mistakes, misconceptions, and miscellaneous material to demonstrate you know wrong from right.

21. Stories – Storytelling takes practice. So start small. Open with a little anecdote, prediction, flashback, a conversation you heard, something you saw, a joke, whatever. Your stories will get richer, more personal, more you. Your blog will get more interesting – your readers, more interested.

22. Curate – Curation is presenting the works of others. It doesn’t mean your brain gets to go on vacation. If you want your readers to get a lot out of the content you curate, put some effort into it. You can tee-up favorite stories with an explanation of why you like them. Roll a collection of ideas together to support a story you want to tell. Present opposing views. Curation can be good fun for everyone.

23. Invite guests – Invite guest bloggers to contribute to your blog. Consider new authors. If you’ve made influential friends on your blogging journey, offer to trade guest posts. Or find someone with writing chops that would welcome the opportunity to find a new audience and could breathe new life into your blog.

The Business Blogging Plan: 50 Best Practices | Social Media Today

Writing: Communicate with verve

Most business blogs suck. The writing simply has no heartbeat. It often feels forced and phony.

You need to bring passion to your blog. Does that mean you need to be a great writer to create a successful blog? Probably not, but you do need to aspire to become one.

Work at it and you will. Experiment. Gather feedback. You’ll learn what does and doesn’t work. Your writing skills will progress.

Identify a short list of blogs and bloggers that appeal to you and make a deliberate attempt at understanding why. Is it the writing style? The depth? Honesty? Humor? Wit? Sarcasm? The use of stories and examples? Data? Emulate stylistic ideas from some of your favorites. Your style will begin to emerge.

Here are some tips to put you on the path to becoming an effective writer.

24. Write several headlines – Lazy bloggers write a headline and then a post. Not good. The headline or title of your post is the most important line you’ll write. Put ample effort into making it great.

And don’t settle for your first idea. Challenge yourself to improve it. When your post comes together, revisit what you wrote and try writing five to ten alternative headlines. My bet is you’ll arrive at an even stronger one.

25. Identify with the reader in your lead – Most readers won’t get deep into or finish your posts. After your headline, your lead or opening is the most important passage.

It has to have sucking-in power. Communicate to the reader why your post is going to be meaningful to them. Arouse curiosity about what’s to come.

Writers tend to stare at their screens obsessing over the lead for too long. If this problem plagues you, skip the lead and start writing. Your first sentence or paragraph may become much easier after you get a first draft down.

26. Have a point of view – Don’t try to make everybody happy with everything you write. Write what you feel. Great bloggers share their opinions and present a strong point of view. That’s my opinion. I’m perfectly fine if you disagree.

27. Write naturally – I think (and we just established bloggers should freely express their opinions) nothing is more tedious than a blogger posturing as a journalist.1 Relax. Lighten up. Be yourself and write in your unique, real, natural voice.

28. Increase your word power – Powerful blog headlines and copy feature powerful words. I’m not talking about big words. I’m talking about words that trigger emotions. Review your drafts looking for opportunities to tighten your copy, inject active verbs, and dramatize your story.

29. Respect grammar – You need not obsess about grammar like you would with a report. Blog posts don’t need the approval of a professor. Understand what does and doesn’t abide by grammatical standards, but don’t be afraid to bend the rules in the interest of style. Just don’t embarrass yourself with careless grammar.

30. Give it rhythm – Short sentence. Short sentence. Boring, right? On the other hand, when you run on and on and on with ideas that could be broken up, you run the risk of making reading a chore. Strive to give your writing rhythm. Pacing’s important.

31. Cite research and data – Use the web as your library. Put some effort into enhancing the credibility of your posts with research and data that supports your story.

32. Proofread – Writing and editing all by your lonesome is a tough task. You’ll benefit from a second set of eyes. If an editor or proofreader is not an option, step up your own internal checking system. For spelling, try proofreading your posts backwards—yes, one sentence and word at a time. It also helps to incubate your posts, that is, let them lie for a day or more and return with fresh eyes. Far fewer mistakes will slip by.

The Business Blogging Plan: 50 Best Practices | Social Media Today

Influence: Make connections to build your audience

You’ll achieve your business blogging objectives faster by building influence. To accelerate the process, savvy business bloggers create connections with the movers and shakers in their industry: the leading bloggers, authors and speakers. You’ll learn a lot, gain new opportunities and grow your audience.

33. Comment on blogs – Subscribe to and read the best blogs in your niche. Then join the conversation in the comment streams. You can do better than simply complementing the authors of posts you like. Write meaningful comments and you’re sure to get on the radar of influential bloggers.

34. Respond to comments – Big, multi-author blogs sometimes do away with comment streams. You shouldn’t. As an up-and-comer, you should encourage readers to contribute comments. Pay close attention to the comments. Respond to any questions you’re asked. Thank those that applaud your work and contribute thoughtful comments.

35. Create communities – Explore ways to communicate, exchange ideas, and create content with your fans, friends, and bloggers you admire. You can create a forum, join or start your own LinkedIn or Facebook group, host Twitter chats, and conduct webinars and meet-ups. Online and off, there are countless opportunities to commune with your audience and other bloggers.

36. Attend conferences – The top business bloggers are usually speakers too. They create content about what they’ve done, seen and learned at industry conferences.

You’ll need to carve time out of your schedule and dollars out of your bank account to get involved in conferences, but you’ll be rewarded for the investment. When you’re aiming to build influence by associating with leaders who author prominent blogs, nothing beats getting to know them.

The Business Blogging Plan: 50 Best Practices | Social Media Today

Promotion: Invest heavily in increasing your reach

Millions of posts are published daily. Most reach very few readers and the majority doesn’t get shared via social media.

Serious business bloggers need to continuously amplify their reach by promoting their content. Let’s look at some key distribution strategies you’ll use to find an audience or help an audience find you.

37. Create social media updates – Content marketing and social media marketing are bedfellows. In fact, blogging, by most people’s definition, is social media. I’m forever shocked by business bloggers who hit “publish” and call it a day.

You need to relentlessly promote your blog posts via the social media channels your potential customers frequent. Make your social media updates interesting, urgent, and creative. Feature images to increase their visibility and stopping power.

38. Try paid posts – Small investments in sponsored posts on social media channels are likely to have a big effect on your reach. Most popular networks now offer a variety of ad programs, which will allow you to apply a number of targeting options to zero-in on the audience you seek.

39. Send email updates – Get an email marketing program in place pronto. Use pop-ups, slide-ins and/or call-to-action boxes to make your readers aware you deliver updates via email and set your email service up to generate blog updates via email.

40. Build your email list – It’s crucial to build your email list. Put opt-in forms in the path of your website visitors on all popular pages and your posts. You might even create a page expressly for capturing new subscribers.

Creating gated offers is the best way to gather readers’ email addresses. Put some thought into it and create an eBook or another type of lead magnet that’s remarkably valuable.

41. Encourage sharing – Install a social media share bar. Though your share numbers may be low, I recommend turning the counters on. Deliberately ask your readers to share your posts. Consider using a “Click to Tweet” WordPress plugin to make it easy for readers to share pre-formatted tweets.

42. Get syndicated – While guest blogging is hard work, syndicating your blog posts is not. The work’s all front-loaded. Identify blogs that republish the works of bloggers in your niche and give the editor a good reason to consider running your stuff. They don’t pay you; you don’t pay them. But you both benefit.

The Business Blogging Plan: 50 Best Practices | Social Media Today

Search: Optimize your blog posts for visibility

Does SEO sound scary? It’s really not the beast you fear. And it need not be slimy.

Google has chased away most of the schlocksters who gave SEO a bad name and now rewards great content creators who do the little things it takes to indicate to the search engine how the posts are relevant to readers’ requests.

43. Do keyword research – Though search has become increasingly semantic, keywords are still your key to getting discovered via search. Identify long tail keyword phrases (3 or more words) for which you have a chance to earn high rankings. Include them in your headlines. Include derivatives of them in your copy. Tag your images with your keywords too.

44. Tighten your URLs – Pay some attention to the URL of your post before you publish. If you’re using WordPress or another CRM and operating on autopilot, paying attention to the content, but not the code, the platform may be generating long, tedious URLs with unnecessary words and numbers that get in the way. Use Yoast or another WordPress plugin to shorten and simplify the URL thereby placing an emphasis on your keywords.

45. Revisit for links – SEO is about relevance and authority. The search engine’s “authority meter” is largely concerned with links. You want your blog posts to link to other websites, and to boost your rankings, you want links to your content on other websites. Help the search engines understand what’s where with the use of internal and external links.

46. Guest post – Guest blogging is an off-page SEO tactic and invaluable tactic for increasing your reach. The hosts of the sites you contribute to will give you backlinks in your author bio – and provided you don’t overdo it by making your post an encyclopedia of links – most will allow you to include links to posts and other useful resources on your website.

The Business Blogging Plan: 50 Best Practices | Social Media Today

Consistency: Keep at it

I want to offer you some additional thoughts that are best practices in business blogging.

47. Repurpose your posts – A great post is going to be prime pickings for re-using in other formats. Consider the media you do well with and the channels where prospects may discover you then give your content a new media spin. Do you have the makings of a SlideShare? Video? Infographic? Podcast? eBook?

48. Update older posts – From time to time, it will be useful to revisit an earlier work. Something in the news may make an older post worthy of updating and re-publishing. You might have developed a complementary piece of content that begs to be rolled in. You could tinker with the title and give it new life. Chances are, as your blog expands, you can find opportunities to cross-reference material with new links.

49. Stay consistent – The top reason why bloggers fail is they simply stop blogging. Even slowing down can be deadly. Blogs are publications. Try to establish a reasonable release schedule and stick with it. It takes time to build an audience. You need to make a commitment to keep at it.

50. Make an ask – When you blog for business, the idea is to drive business. Like any piece of marketing communications, you should conclude with a call to action.

Your blog posts will seldom be explicitly about a product, so it’s rare you’ll call for a traditional action such as “try” or “buy.” That said, when you’ve succeeded on taking your reader on a journey you’ll want to be a good tour guide and suggest a next step… subscribe, download, read, share. Your options are many.

 

 

[Source:- Socialmediatoday]

The best Linux distros: seven versions of Linux we recommend

Long-time Windows and Mac users might rejoice at the thought that Linux is no longer exclusive to developers who wince at the sight of software that isn’t open-source. Nowadays, Linux is for everyone. Yes, you can put down your pitchforks, Windows and Mac users, as developers aren’t the only ones who can wince at the sight of software that isn’t open-source.

In fact, with hundreds of Linux distributions (distros) to choose from, it doesn’t matter whether you’re working with a hardy desktop rig or – as of recently – even a Surface tablet. There’s bound to be something out there that appeals to you.

See, Linux is just the heart, the kernel, of any Linux-based system. It’s the distribution that determines the rest – the user interface design, the installation process and application support are all up to the distro’s creator. Android and Chrome OS, for instance, are both based on the Linux kernel.

The only problem is, with such a wide array of customizable Linux variations out on the market, the decision itself might be enough to send you in Microsoft’s direction. Thankfully, we’ve put together this quintessential guide to all of the best Linux flavors that both enthusiasts and newbies alike can enjoy.

As always, if you have a suggestion of your own, let us know in the comments below.

 

[Source:- Techrader]

Best BBQ: from portable barbecues to huge ones: charcoal, gas; grills, smokers and ovens. Lots of BBQs, basically

Image result for Best BBQ: from portable barbecues to huge ones: charcoal, gas; grills, smokers and ovens. Lots of BBQs, basically

Whether it’s a gas or charcoal BBQ you’re after, or even a smoker, we’ve got what you need to perk up the great British summer: T3’s pick of the greatest grilling machines out there.

With a heatwave underway and the school summer holidays drawing to a close, the coast is still clear to don the shades and start stocking up on grill-friendly grub to singe in the sunshine, with all levels and types of al fresco cooking catered for, from high-end smoking to, basically, setting fire to a bucket.

Patio the size of a Subbuteo table? No problem, nab one of the portable charcoal grillers on the final eight pages of this gallery (from page 12), and get busy with the tweezers.

Got a large and agreeable decking area? We’ve got altogether more serious barbecues starting right after these words from our sponsors.

Of course, you don’t want all of the gear with no idea. Thankfully, T3 is here to help with advice from three master grillsmen.

 

 

[Source: T3]

 

Best iPhone SE and iPhone 5S deals and tariffs

You want iPhone SE and iPhone 5S deals? Well stick around, because we’ve got all the best iPhone SE deals in one place. We’ve got cheap deals, big data deals, deals where the phone comes free. You name, we’ve found the deal for you.

The iPhone 5S is probably going to disappear when the iPhone 7 launches – we know this because there are some absolutely cracking deals around on it at the moment as the networks shift stock.

The iPhone SE looks just like the iPhone 5S. But it’s fully up to date – that’s right, there’s no old hardware in that case, with a super-fast CPU and graphics, and the 12MP iSight camera straight out of the iPhone 6S. It’s a modern iPhone in the shape of an old iPhone, perfect for people who like the smaller iPhone size.

[Source: T3]

Review: The best new features coming from Apple, Google

Review: The best new features coming from Apple, Google

New features promised for smartphones, tablets and watches could improve how we interact with technology. Although it’s too soon to tell how well these will work in practice, here’s a look at what I’m looking forward to most this fall.

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MULTITASKING ON IPADS

I like to do other things, such as checking email or Facebook, when I’m watching video. Laptops let me do this. With iPads, video stops as soon as I open another app. I need to pick up a second device to multitask.

With the upcoming iOS 9 update, you can slide a window from the right of an iPad to launch a second app, such as a map when you’re doing email. Best of all, you can have video running in a small window in the foreground while you do other things with an app that takes up the rest of the screen. You can even move the video off screen and still listen to its audio while you work.

Samsung has tried this with some Android phones and tablets, with mixed success. Video sometimes stops anyway when you try to run it on the side, as apps weren’t designed with this in mind. With Apple, it will be a core feature.

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BETTER MAPS

Apple Maps has improved a lot for driving and walking directions since it ousted Google Maps in 2012 as the default service on iPhones. Transit directions are coming with iOS 9, though only in select cities at first. In the U.S., that will be Baltimore, Chicago, New York, Philadelphia, the San Francisco Bay Area and Washington. It’s not everywhere, but it’s a good start.

On Android, Google Maps will get offline navigation, matching what Windows phones offer with Here Maps. You’ll get turn-by-turn directions and details on local businesses even when cellular service is sketchy or nonexistent. You’ll have to download a specific region of the map ahead of time, and it’s not yet clear how easy or how wide of a region that will be. It’s also not yet known whether this feature will extend to Google Maps on iPhones.

 

SMARTER VOICE ASSISTANTS

Siri on Apple devices and Google Now on Android devices are supposed to get smarter by doing more based on context. Calling on Google’s assistant while listening to a song might give you information on the artist. Doing so while reading an email on movie plans might get you reviews and trailers. Siri, meanwhile, should know whether you’re going on a run or getting in a car. You might automatically get music on a run, but an audiobook in your car.

Siri also promises to anticipate your needs. If you have a meeting coming up, she’ll remind you to leave, factoring in current traffic. Google Now has been doing that for years, with mixed results. I get reminders to leave for the airport followed by directions back home, for instance. I look forward to seeing how well Siri and Google Now perform with the upcoming smarts.

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ANDROID APP CONTROLS

Android users will get more control over what permissions they give apps. Currently, you’re shown a long list of permissions when installing new apps, such as letting the app access your location or the phone’s microphone. You have to accept all of them or forgo the app.

With the upcoming M version of Android, you give permission as apps need it. That’s how it works on iPhones. So if an app needs access to your camera, you decide then whether to grant permission. If you decline, you can still use the app’s other features.

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APPLE WATCH UPDATES

On Apple Watch, apps from outside parties have essentially been extensions of phone apps. All the computing is done on the phone, with bits of information transferred to the watch’s screen wirelessly.

That will change with the upcoming watchOS 2 system. For the first time, third-party apps will be able to directly interact with sensors and controls on the watch, something Apple apps can already do. That makes it possible for outside parties to write games, fitness and other apps that work without the phone.

Apple Watch will also be able to play video for the first time—if you don’t mind the small screen.

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WINDOWS PHONES

Phones running Microsoft’s system have a lot of innovations, including direct links from the home screen to specific tasks within apps. Windows phones suffer from a lack of apps, though. New tools will make it easier for app developers to convert their existing iOS and Android apps to the upcoming Windows 10. Windows phones could become a viable alternative—if developers see a reason to bother.

[Source: Phys.org]

The best Linux distros: seven versions of Linux we recommend

The best Linux distros: seven versions of Linux we recommend

In fact, with hundreds of Linux distros, or distributions, to choose from, there’s bound to be something out there that appeals to you. See, Linux is just the heart, the kernel, of any Linux-based system. It’s the distribution that determines the rest – the user interface design, the installation process and application support are all up to the creator of the distro.

Because Linux is all about a personalized, and not to mention private, computing experience, you don’t have to worry about handing over data to corporations or automatic, unsolicited software updates. Plus, thanks to initiatives like Chrome OS, Linux is more accessible than it’s ever been before.

The only problem is, there is such a wide array of Linux variations that the decision itself might be enough to send you in Microsoft’s direction. Thankfully, we’ve put together this quintessential guide to all of the best Linux distros that both enthusiasts and newbies alike should take into consideration.

Each of these picks can be customized, but the easiest route to Linux bliss is to find a distro that already suits how you’re going to use Linux day-to-day. There are plenty of flavors to choose from. So, are you more Arch, or Ubuntu or something else entirely?

As always, if you have a suggestion of your own, let us know in the comments below.

 

 

[Source: Techrader]