iOS 11: The 11 best features of Apple’s new software

iOS 11 is the first Apple mobile software to have separate iPad features CREDIT: APPLE

Apple is due to release the latest version of its iPhone and iPad operating system next month alongside the iPhone 8.

The new software, unveiled in June, features a host of upgrades including iPhone-to-iPhone payments and a “do not disturb while driving” mode.

The new iOS update is already available to developers in a beta test version and is set to launch next month as the software for the iPhone 8.

Peer-to-peer Apple Pay

Apple is adding a highly anticipated feature to Apple Pay, its payments system, that allows users to pay one another within iMessage. The peer-to-peer payments can be made and verified through biometric security, such as Touch ID or Face ID. The service will be available across iOS devices and the Apple Watch when iOS 11 is released next month.

New-look control centre

Apple is refreshing its iPhone Control Centre in iOS 11. The redesign has a simpler look, fitting on a single page with sliders and key functions.

Control Centre Apple iOS 11
Control Centre in Apple iOS 11 CREDIT: APPLE

Using 3D touch, users can press for further details and more depth of options and information. The overall look is de-cluttered compared with iOS 10.

Maps

Apple is adding to Maps a speed limit guidance and lane navigation while driving.

Maps in iOS 11 will also include detailed floor plans of airports and shopping centres, allowing users to better plan their trips. This will be coming to London’s Heathrow and Gatwick airports initially.

In addition to the update in Maps, Apple is rumoured to have created an augmented reality tool that could guide users around by superimposing directions onto the real world.

Do not disturb while driving

Apple will introduce a new driver safety feature in iOS 11. The feature, called “Do Not Disturb While Driving”, can detect when owners are driving and triggers the new mode.

It turns the user’s iPhone screen black and gives them the option to send automatic replies telling contacts they are on the road.

Do not disturb while driving
Do not disturb while driving CREDIT: APPLE

Smarter Siri

Apple’s Siri virtual assistant is getting a makeover in iOS 11. The new Siri, with more natural male and female voices, can translate speech, including English, French, German Chinese, Spanish and Italian. It can also be used for task management, to take notes and to scan QR codes.

The intelligent assistant will monitor what users do across their devices to learn how we use apps and services. In iOS 11 Siri can spot interests, such as what news articles you read, and make recommendations from these.

The HomePod speaker will go one sale in the UK in December 
The HomePod speaker will go one sale in the UK in December  CREDIT: APPLE

The upgraded Siri will also power Apple’s HomePod speaker, which will go on sale in the UK in December.

Redesigned messenger

Apple’s iMessage will now synchronise messages across devices, so deleting a message in one app will delete it across all devices. It will also feature a new toolbar for emoji and stickers within iMessage.

Another major update is the addition of Apple Pay as an app to iMessage. Users can instantly send payments through iMessage. If another users sends a message asking for a payment, Apple Pay can immediately recommend making the payment so you can quickly reimburse friends.

Better camera and photos

The iPhone camera is getting a series of updates in iOS . It will be improved with better compression for captured videos and pictures that will offer the same image quality at half the size on the user’s device.

Apple Photo
Apple Photo  CREDIT: APPLE

Apple has implemented changes to its portrait mode, including better low light photography through its dual cameras. Live photos will now enable “Loop” and “Bounce” effects to create continuous video loops.

The Photos App will also be able to create memory movies based around memories, photos of pets or friends.

Updates for iPad

Apple has taken inspiration from macOS in iOS 11 for iPad. The updated software includes drag and drop, a new way to switch between apps and a tool bar that are all reminiscent of their equivalent functions on Mac computers.

The tool bar can predict what apps it thinks users are going to want to open next, and drag and drop lets them open side bars easily.

iOS 11 for iPad also includes a files section that pulls all files on a device from Apple and third party apps. It can bring files from OneDrive, Google Drive, DropBox and puts all files into the one place for easy organisation.

Apple Music

Apple has redesigned the Apple Music app, which now has a clear hint of Spotify inspiration, for its upcoming software.

Users are able to see recommendations, what their friends are listening to and create profiles that friends can follow. It also now has support for Shazam.

Augmented reality support

iOS 11 includes a kit for developers to make augmented reality (AR) products for the iPhone and iPad. Users will be able to use the camera to see virtual content built on to of real-world settings for gaming, shopping or creative design.

App Store

For the first time in its nine-year history Apple has redesigned its App store. The new-look download shop includes sections for featured apps and games, with articles and videos exploring more detail of their development, story and design.

[“Source-telegraph”]

SteamOS vs. Ubuntu vs. Windows 10: Which Is The Best Operating System For Gaming?

operating systems for gaming

Short Bytes: Several operating systems have been developed for a broad range of purposes, but, currently, there are only three best operating systems for gaming: SteamOS, Ubuntu and Windows 10. Naturally, all three will have varied gaming performance between them, and it is our job to provide you with accurate information on which OS to use if your primary usage will be for long gaming sessions. At the end of the day, it will also come down to the user’s preference.

Years ago, MS-DOS was the ‘go to’ operating system when you wanted to engage in prolonged gaming sessions but its complexity required that a better alternative should be provided to the masses that will also feature a unique interface for easy use. After years of development, several new variations of platforms came that have been designed for gaming purposes.

We have the ever-popular Windows 10, SteamOS, and, of course, Ubuntu. All three of these operating systems will require you to have proper gaming hardware if you wish to play popular gaming titles, but which one has been properly optimized and which is the best operating system for gaming? Let us find out:

Also Read: Best Linux Gaming Distros You Need To Try In 2017

SteamOS vs. Ubuntu vs. Windows 10: Gaming performance

For the past decade, gaming on Windows was the only viable option left for users because there was a lack of support for Linux, but that trend is slowly changing now. That is thanks to the increased support through Valve and SteamOS, which have resurrected the importance of Linux.

Even Ars Technica decided to perform their series of tests to show that Windows 10 was not the only OS you needed to comfortably game using other alternatives.

WINDOWS 10 LEADS FROM THE FRONT, BUT LINUX IS BEING CONSIDERED SERIOUSLY NOW

The review comprised up of a Steam machine using the most recent version of SteamOS. Firing up the benchmarks to find out the best operating system for gaming, there was a hope that results would not be in favor of Windows 10 but that was not to be.

While you can engage in increased gaming sessions on a machine that is running SteamOS, it is safe to say that both SteamOS and Ubuntu are not able to keep up with Microsoft’s latest operating system despite the developmental leaps that have taken place in the past few years.

If you are going to be playing modern-day gaming titles and want the best performance possible while running decent-grade hardware, it is safe to say that Windows 10 is going to offer the best possible performance. However, that does not make Linux any useless. Keep in mind that these benchmarks were being run at a resolution of 2560 x 1600.

It is 2017 and we know for a fact that there are millions of gamers that still cling onto their 1080p monitor because either their hardware is not powerful enough to render high frame rates at higher resolutions, or it is possible that they want the highest possible performance while running expensive hardware since upgrading gaming monitors is not the highest priority for everyone.

Getting playable frame rates at resolutions higher than 1080p is very impressive given the fact that a couple of years back, no one would have bothered to look at Linux as a viable platform for gaming purposes.

A portion of why you see these performance gains is because it is possible that Valve is focusing on the Vulkan API. Vulkan reduces the overhead on the graphics processor and other resources to deliver increased performance in gaming titles, even on systems that are not running the best of hardware components.

Windows 10 remains the top-performer of the leaderboards for gaming performance but Linux is playing catch-up at a tremendous pace

If you want to game, Windows 10 currently remains the best choice over Linux and SteamOS. While there is no competition with Microsoft’s latest operating system, we should not ignore the fact that Linux has made some tremendous gains in a brief period.

With over a thousand titles available for Linux through Steam, you’re getting a massive number of options that you never knew existed a couple of years back. If you feel that unconditional love towards Linux, we will continue to encourage you to provide your undying support for the operating system, even though we are the bearer of bad news that you will currently experience performance drops when comparing it to Windows 10.

Steam will continue to support Linux as we’ve seen on previous occasions, but other hardware companies should also lend a helping hand. This will include the likes of Intel, AMD, NVIDIA and others which control the driver stack.

If it took decades for Linux to improve heavily, then we should not ruin your expectations a tad bit because it will take several more years to further reduce that performance gap between Windows 10 and the latter. However, the fact that Linux is getting there should mean that Microsoft has something to worry.

If you have something to add to this story on the best operating system for gaming, drop your thoughts and feedback.

Source:-fossbytes

Amazon Sale Offers: The Best Deals on iPhone 7, Google Pixel, Moto G5 Plus, Android TVs, iPhone SE, and More

Amazon Sale Offers: The Best Deals on iPhone 7, Google Pixel, Moto G5 Plus, Android TVs, iPhone SE, and More

HIGHLIGHTS

  • iPhone 7 is down to Rs. 42,999 as part of the Amazon sale
  • Deals on other iPhone models as well as Moto G5 Plus and Google Pixel
  • Amazon Great Indian Sale is on until Saturday, August 12

The e-commerce sale season has kickstarted with the Flipkart, Paytm and Amazon sales to celebrate the Independence Day. The Amazon Great Indian Sale was the first to be announced, and offers some of the best deals on laptops, smartphones, LED TVs, and other electronics. Of course, Prime members will get early access to the offers, along with exclusive deals like the buy-one-TV-get-one-free. Apart from the Amazon sale deals and discounts, offers include additional cashback on payments made via SBI cards and Amazon Pay balance. Moreover, the e-commerce brand is offering 10 users in the Amazon sale trips to Bali on making purchases from the app.

But before we get started with the offers, here are are a few pro tips to get the most out of the Amazon sale:

  • Recharge your Amazon Pay balance. Not only will you end up getting a separate cashback on this (maximum Rs. 300) but you’ll also get additional cashback when you pay for your purchases using your Amazon Pay balance.
  • Make the most out of exchange offers as part of the Amazon Great Indian Sale Independence Day special. These are valid on laptops, smartphones, and select other products. Amazon is now offering these to even more new cities.
  • No-cost EMI offers are available on more than 30,000 products, valid on all credit cards. Make sure you use these for high-value purchases.
  • Making Amazon sale purchases from the official app provides benefits such as 15 percent cashback on SBI and Amazon Pay balance, exclusive deals, and Golden Hour Deals between 9pm and 12am.

ALSO SEEThe Best Deals From Flipkart’s The Big Freedom Sale

Apple iPhone 7 32GB
The iPhone 7 is again down to its lowest price this year (without a cashback offer) at Rs. 42,999 (MRP Rs. 56,200). Amazon is also offering an exchange offer with an instant discount up to Rs. 13,001 with the purchase. Exchange offers have also opened up to new cities so you may want to check in case your city wasn’t covered earlier. The no-cost EMI offer is also available on the iPhone 7 as part of the Amazon sale.

Price: Rs. 42,999 (MRP Rs. 56,200)

Link: Amazon

Apple iPhone 7 Plus 128GB
Apple’s iPhone 7 Plus 128GB is currently down to Rs. 62,999 (MRP Rs. 76,300). This is one of the lowest prices we’ve seen on the iPhone 7 Plus this year. Last week, it went down to Rs. 65,200 for a limited time. Considering the 32GB variant sells at around Rs. 63,000 normally, so this Amazon sale offer is a pretty good deal. The iPhone 7 Plus features a dual-camera setup with 2x optical zoom and OIS (optical image stabilisation). It features a 5.50-inch Retina HD display with 3D Touch and runs iOS 10 out of the box.

Price: Rs. 62,999 (MRP Rs. 76,300)

Link: Amazon

Apple MacBook Air 13.3-inch
The 2017 variant of the MacBook Air 13.3-inch is down to Rs. 58,990 (MRP Rs. 77,200) as part of the Amazon Great Indian Sale. That’s quite an insane price drop for the base variant. You can also grab a no-cost EMI offer, which means you don’t end up paying any interest in case you convert your purchase into EMI with your credit card. To claim this offer you must checkout with the MacBook Air only. The MacBook Air 13.3-inch is powered by the Intel Core i5 processor, supported by 8GB of RAM. It comes with a 128GB SSD and runs macOS Sierra out of the box.

Price: Rs. 58,990 (MRP Rs. 77,200)

Link: Amazon

LG V20 Titan
The LG V20 is currently discounted at Rs. 29,999 (MRP Rs. 60,000) as part the Amazon sale. The smartphone features a dual camera assembly at the rear (16-megapixel+8-megapixel) with wide-angle lens and a 5-megapixel front-facing camera. The LG V20 comes with a 5.7-inch QHD display and runs Android 7.0 out of the box. It contains a 3200 mAh battery that should be good enough to last an entire day, depending on your usage pattern. Pair your purchase with an exchange offer to sweeten the deal further.

Price: Rs. 29,999 (MRP Rs. 60,000)
Link: Amazon

Apple iPhone SE 32GB
The iPhone SE 32GB is available at Rs. 19,999 (MRP Rs. 26,000) on Amazon. That’s a decent price if you are looking for an iOS device with a 4-inch display. The iPhone SE comes with a 12-megapixel primary camera and a 1.2-megapixel front-facing camera. It is powered by Apple’s A9 processor, supported by 2GB of RAM.

Price: Rs. 19,999 (MRP Rs. 26,000)

Link: Amazon

TCL UHD Android TV
TCL is launching two new 65-inch LED TVs today, the first day of the Amazon Great Indian Sale. On pre-ordering either of these you’ll get a free 32-inch TCL LED TV. Once you place a pre-order for any of these TVs you’ll receive a coupon that will enable you to purchase the 32-inch HD Ready TV from TCL for free. The TCL 55-inch UHD Android TV is also available during the Amazon sale. It comes with a free 24-inch HD Ready TV by TCL. The TCL 65-inch UHD Android TV is priced at Rs. 109,990 while the TCL P2 UDH LED TV is available for Rs. 99,990 on pre-orders.

Price: Starting from Rs. 99,990

Link: Amazon

Moto G5 Plus
In case you’re in the market for a budget Android smartphone with a big-screen display, the Moto G5 is currently discounted at Rs. 14,999 (MRP Rs. 16,999). The Moto G5 plus features a 5.2-inch full HD display with Corning Gorilla Glass 3 protection. It features a 12-megapixel primary camera and a 5-megapixel front-facing camera. The smartphone is powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 chipset and runs Android 7.0 out of the box.

Price: Rs. 14,999 (MRP Rs. 16,999)

Link: Amazon

Google Pixel 32GB
The silver variant of the Google Pixel is available at a discounted price of Rs. 41,999 (MRP Rs. 57,000) as part of Amazon’s Great Indian Sale. Google Pixel features a 5-inch AMOLED display running at a full high-definition resolution. It comes with a 12.3-megapixel primary camera and an 8-megapixel front-facing camera. The smartphone is powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 chipset, supported by 4GB of RAM. It runs Android 7.1 out of the box.

Price: Rs. 41,999 (MRP Rs. 57,000)

Link: Amazon

Apple Watch Series 2 42mm smart watch
The latest Apple Watch Series 2 smartwatch is down to Rs. 29,900 (MRP Rs. 34,900) on Amazon. Watch Series 2 features a 2x brighter OLED based Retina display with Force Touch functionality. The smartwatch comes with a heart rate sensor, and runs watchOS 3 out of the box. It is powered by Apple’s S2 dual-core processor and is much faster than previous generation Apple Watch smartwatches. The Apple Watch Series 2 is also water resistant.

Price: Rs. 29,900 (MRP Rs. 34,900)

Link: Amazon

[“Source-gadgets.ndtv”]

T3 Awards 2017 together with Three: Best smart home gadgets

The T3 Awards, or the Oscars of Tech, as many call them – are now in their 11th year, and bigger than ever. Literally, in fact, as we have added a number of new categories this year to reflect the changing face of tech.

This year, in the T3 Awards Together With Three, we also have Awards for specific categories of connected home gear but this is the award for the Best of the Best in smart home, across all categories. It’s the kit that most improves your home life, or at least leaves visiting friends and relatives greenest with envy.

From Wi-Fi connected cameras which keep your home safe, to virtual assistant speakers that you can ask to dim your lights, play music and tell you jokes – you really can’t say you live in a smart home until you’ve been disappointed by one of Alexa’s jokes – these aren’t just smart home gadgets, they’re smartest home gadgets.

Amazon Echo

Perhaps the biggest name in the smart home right now, meet the Amazon Echo and digital assistant Alexa. Alexa allows simplistic but reliable voice control, for everything from checking the weather to controlling your smart lighting.

What’s more useful, however, is that it works across previously disparate gizmos. You see, the worst element of the supposedly ‘connected’ home is that products from rival brands all required their own apps. No longer: Alexa is uniting them.

It also makes a wonderful DJ and kitchen timer, and don’t forget its cheap baby bro, Echo Dot – perhaps the best bargain in the connected home field.

Bosch Smart Home and Home Connect

Homeware mega brand Bosch is looking to smarten up your home and turn it into an intelligently networked fortress with its sleek range of smart home products.

The German behemoth certainly hasn’t entered the segment half-arsed, offering everything from window and door sensors, and interior and exterior security cameras to smart smoke alarms, and air quality sensors.

The Smart Home Controller and Home Connect app tie everything neatly together; for instance, as well as alerting you by phone when a camera detects movement, it also lets you trigger the smoke alarm (or multiple smoke alarms) as a burglar alarm. Now that is smart.

Google Home

Google Home is the OTHER smart home assistant in town, arriving a little later Alexa but none the worse for that.

Aimed perhaps slightly more as a learning tool than Echo, Home is on hand to answer just about any question, via Google search.

You can also have it play music, access news headlines and calendars, but unlike Echo, Home can recognise not one but two users by their voices, replying with user-specific information.

Hive Home (starter pack)

Perhaps the easiest way into a smart home is buying a starter kit, and one of the best out there is from Hive Home. This little bundle of tech comes with a window/door sensor, a motion sensor, smart plug and smart bulb. It’ll get you up and running in no time.

They’re really quite attractive as these things go, and, obviously, all compatible with each other, as well as Alexa, allowing you to set up automatic recipes.

Interestingly, Hive will also lease the products to you on a cheap, monthly basis, adding help with setup and provide 24/7 customer service. That’s a handy innovation for the less tech savvy, even if it’s probably not required by a clued-up punter such as yourself, sir/madam.

  • Best smart plugs
  • Best smart sensor

IKEA TRÅDFRI

This may not yet be the most widespread smart home product (though it is certainly the hardest to spell) but Trådfri will surely be the smart home gateway drug for millions

Taking its usual approach to pricing, Swedish purveyor of flat-pack meatballs Ikea has undercut the competition with this Smart Lighting collection, which includes energy-efficient LED bulbs, lighting panels and doors, all managed through an old-fashioned remote control.

An app is also available to help you design and personalise your home lighting setup.

Netgear Arlo Pro

Netgear Arlo is one of the first and only completely wireless smart home security camera systems. As there are no wires you can position the cameras anywhere you’d like, including outdoors, as they’re also waterproof.

Night vision and motion detection capabilities are included. This year’s upgrades include a new, rechargeable battery, two-way audio communication, and a 100-decibel siren for discouraging potential intruders.

How the winners are chosen

Most of the winners – including this category – are decided by the T3.com and T3 magazine teams, aided by a panel of expert judges from the tech biz.

Our Awards for the people who have shaped tech this year and throughout its history, are awarded by the T3.com and T3 magazine teams.

On the following key categories YOU get to vote:  Gadget Of The Year, Brand Of The Year, Retailer Of The Year and Phone of the Year.

[“Source-t3”]

The A to Z of Choosing the Best Website Builder

Practical Tips for Choosing the Best Website Builder for Your Small Business

If you want to succeed in the modern world, you need to have a website — whether that’s for your business, your blog or your professional portfolio. Thankfully, there are many free or inexpensive web builders available to help you make your website a reality.

For most entrepreneurs and aspiring bloggers, the question then becomes: What’s the best all-around website builder? Which platform is the most cost-efficient, offering the best and greatest number of features for the lowest possible cost? Unfortunately, the answer to this question is: there’s no such thing as a singular “best” website builder. Instead, each platform has distinct advantages and disadvantages, which make them better in some cases and worse in others.

But why is this the case, and if there is no objective “best,” how can you choose which website builder to use?

Specialization vs. Generalization

The main problem here is one of specialization vs. generalization. Some of the best website builders available are ones that generalize, attempting to offer the most well-rounded set of features for the widest potential range of customers. These are platforms like WordPress, which have risen to prominence, in part, because of how approachable they are for people who aren’t sure what they need in a website.

This is perfectly fine, and if you don’t have any special requirements or needs, these types of platforms will serve you well. However, for specific functions, they will always be out-competed by platforms that specialize in one particular area. For example, there are website builders designed for people who want to sell things online, and they outperform many of their competitors in that specific area. The more you learn about website builders, the more you’ll come to understand and recognize how many subtypes there are.

Specialist platforms will always be out-competed in some areas by generalist platforms, and generalist platforms will always be out-competed in some areas by specialist platforms. Depending on your needs, one of these areas will likely be more important than the others — but for you alone. There can’t be a best platform for everybody, because every individual building a website will be working with different criteria.

Practical Tips for Choosing the Best Website Builder for Your Small Business

So how should you go about making your decision?

  • Area of specialty. First and foremost, you need to consider what your most important needs are. Are you going to focus exclusively on selling things online? Or is your main goal to produce the best content you can and build a readership that attracts advertisers? There are many worthwhile goals here, and there’s at least one platform that caters to each subset of goals. Use these platforms to initially narrow your search; though you may want to compare your specialist platforms to generalist ones to gain a better understanding of the overall environment.
  • Usability. You’ll also need a platform that offers usability that matches your skill set. For example, if you don’t know anything about websites and have never built one before, you’ll want a platform that caters to newcomers, with intuitive controls, and preferable, a WYSIWYG editor. If you’re more technically minded, or if you have developers on staff, you might want to go with a platform that allows for more in-depth coding and customization.
  • Adaptability. You might need a platform that offers some specific points of integration, or allows for customizable plugins that cater to different needs. If you anticipate your web needs changing in the future, an adaptable platform is a must.
  • Cost. Obviously, you’ll also need to consider the cost of the platform. If you’re bootstrapping, and investing as little as possible into your new venture, you’ll want a platform with only the minimum features. Not all premium features are worth the cost to upgrade, so pay attention to each pricing structure and decide what’s best for you, specifically.
  • Support. Finally, reach out to some representatives from each of your final candidate platforms. How easy is it to get a hold of them? Are they helpful and easy to understand? Do they seem to want your business? The level of support you receive should speak volumes about the type of company you’re dealing with, and may help guide your decision.

You can create almost any type of website you can imagine using a website builder. The question is, which platform is best to use in doing it? Unfortunately, there’s no single platform that can offer you ultimate flexibility or ultimate efficiency, but if you’re willing to put in the effort to research and evaluate your options, eventually, a clear “best fit” will arise.

[“Source-smallbiztrends”]

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

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

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]