5 Ways To Add Style To Your Web Design

Do you own a pet grooming website?

Do you sell kids toy?

Do you sell nutritious food for pets sent to the owner’s doorstep?

Do you have a kid’s dress and accessories website?

 If “yes”, then hear me out.

What do you think all these businesses have common? They are for adorable kids or cute little puppies and kittens.

If you have something that involves kids or pets or you just want to make your site more adorable, the following things can help you.

1. Cute Images

This shouldn’t be on the list for many reasons, mainly because it’s obvious. You can’t make a site look adorable without using cute images related to your niche.

Say you have a site where you sell clothes and related products for kids. Now what image comes to your mind when you think of your product and your niche?

Isn’t cute baby images an obvious choice?

If you don’t have your own kids yet, or niece or nephew, don’t worry. There are lots of stock photo sites where you can get the images for free. But don’t limit the content to pictures only. Illustrations, vector arts, etc. counts too.

2. Picking The Right Color

Let me give you a scene.

Say you have two bedrooms. One is colored with the dark ash and deep red. Another room is colored with baby pink or a softer shade of orange.Now, which one will you choose for your kids?

Most likely the pink/orange room because these are baby colors. Same goes for your websites.

When you use the softer and lighter baby colors, your site automatically feels like a kid-friendly place and parents will also feel comfortable shopping from your site.

3. Don’t Use Bold Fonts

Remember the bold, heavy fonts used in men’s fitness training or equipment sites?

Don’t use those fonts. Those bold fonts give the visitors a masculine vibe which is not preferred for baby or pets related sites.

That’s why I always encourage these kid’s products or pet product businesses to use subtle fonts on the content.

Use the big and slim fonts that have curves and a few straight bends.

4. Don’t overwhelm your visitors with unnecessary information

This is true for all types of sites.

Keep things simple. Don’t put too much information since your visitors won’t appreciate it.

Keep the unnecessary information out of the product page. If you have any specific information that you want to let them know, put it in a box and place it on the side. Otherwise, your visitors will mix it up with the actual product details and any promotional announcements or offers.

5. Format the text or content

Also, formatting is a big part in keeping the audience engaged.

The basic rule for formatting the content on a site is basing them according to the priority.

The name of products is the most important part of the page. So, make sure it gets special attention. Make the fonts big and use a different color for a better contrast. Then the specifications or details will come to play. Use special characters if needed, maybe even use a bullet point. Like this, format everything from the name to the shipping details on your site. This way, your visitors will find it easier to get a hold of any information they want.

For more info, please visit: Charles K Carillo

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3 Best Real Estate Strategies to Meet Financial Freedom

Financial independence is different for everyone. Some think of it as having a steady cash flow of an amount that you need to survive the year or month and to some, financial independence means having more than one needs so that he/she can enjoy the dream lifestyle.

Even though we can’t agree on what financial independence means, we certainly can agree on the fact that real estate is a solid way to achieve financial independence.

If done right, real estate can make your dream lifestyle happen. But you need a solid strategy for that.

Here are the 3most effective strategies for your real estate venture which you can implement to meet your financial freedom.

1.Ensure cash flow through passive income like rental properties

Generating passive income through rental properties is of the most popular strategies out there. The popularity of rental properties bringing cash flow reached its peaks in the early 20th century and it is still holding its position. Till this day, it is one of the easiest and hassle-free ways to ensure you can pay your bills on time.

But being financially independent is much more than just paying the bills. For that, you need to look at your freedom number.

“What is the freedom number?”

Say, you need $200,000 a year to lead your dream lifestyle. This $200,000 is your freedom number.

To reach this number, you need to invest in a specific number of properties. You can find the number easily. Say each one of your rental units nets you $300 per month, after paying all the expenses. So, each is adding $3,600 to your income annually.

Now, how many units like this will you need to meet your desired freedom number (which is $200,000)? About 56 units.

Take the goal of investing in 56 units seriously and the freedom figure will come running to you.

2.Just buying the properties

This is very similar to the last strategy we discussed. However, in this situation, there’s no interest or mortgage to contend with. This cuts down the expenses and saves a lot of money for the long run.

Using this strategy, you can easily build up your portfolio which will allow you to appreciate the values. Once you buy the properties, there are a number of directions you can go to. You can either sell some of them while keeping the rest or you can rent them for constant cash flow, it’s your decision.

Also, if you feel like it, you can rent, upgrade or renovate the properties to increase its value.

3.Wait for it & then live off it

This one is quite the opposite of the first one we discussed.

Yes, you purchase the properties as I explained for the second strategy. But instead of looking forward to the instant cash flow, you wait. You hold on to the properties until their prices increase. This way, when you retire, you have some valuable assets that you can sell and the profit at that time will be enough for you to re- invest into other passive investments.

For more info, please click here: Best Real Estate Strategies

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Things To Remember While Choosing Payment Technologies For A Law Firm

With the constant advancements in payment technology, business owners and their customers have way more options than they are capable of assessing without overwhelming themselves. This leads to wrong decision making and later on, the business owners or the customers often have a lot to regret.

It is very critical that law firms start to embrace payment technologies in their sector.

However, by remembering these 4 things, law firms can easily choose payment technologies which will be compatible with their business structure and strategy.

Ensure the collection process is easy

For law firms, it is important that the collection process is easy and simplified to separate the funds between operating accounts and trust. One single integrated billing system should be enough to ensure easy management of funds and the staff members should be able to switch between operating funds and trust.

Along with ensuring the adherence to operating account and trust regulation, there are other things that can help make your collection processes easier, for example, integrating different payment methods in one place. With the mixture of different popular payment methods in one place, law firms can make their collection easier for both the staffs and the clients.

Keep room for customization

Since online payment processing has been introduced, people are leaning towards it and the payday has come a lot closer. With the traditional payment system, business owners had to wait 27 days on average after sending the invoice for payment. But with the option of online payment, the gap between invoice delivery and payment has decreased to 10 days on average.

But still, there are a lot of things that you can do to bring down the number even lower and potentially making the whole process convenient for your client. Customization will play a vital role in this.

Apart from separating the funds, it is also important that the payment technology you choose have customizable blank fields which you can use for any special case or situation.

Providing your clients with all the details for smooth transaction

I know that businesses send invoices to their clients with full details. However, this is not enough. When your client is paying you, they should see the details for the transactions he/she is about to make. This is a psychological thing where showing the details on the payment page indicates your transparency to your client. That’s why you should ensure the solution you are considering can provide your clients with the details regarding the payment while preparing for the transaction.

Accepting all the major payment methods

Yes, I have talked about it earlier but this point deserves more attention.

It is important that along with standard credit card and debit card acceptance, your payment solution should include ACH payment. I’m talking about electronic payment methods that allow your clients to send funds from their checking account to directly in your account. Also, make sure the terms you agree with the payment options are easier for your clients to understand an oblige.

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Fundraising, Payout &Fees Structures for a Real Estate Syndicate

As investors are becoming more and more interested in larger deals, Real Estate Syndications are starting to become more and more popular. As a result, investors are creating their own syndications without realizing how complicated this can be.

The main difficulty they face when creating their own syndicate is the basic structure, especially, how the funds will be raised, how the profits will be earned, how the returns will be offered, etc.

Allow me to give you some options and ways you can approach syndication to build up a structure for fundraising, payouts, and fees.

Equity Fundraising vs. Debt

Equity fundraising and Debt financing, both of them have their own advantages and their own shortcomings.

Some of the funds use the capital they have to invest in paper assets in mortgage notes form. Others directly invest in hard real estate assets. Also, sometimes, the investors mix the 2 models. The combination of these 2 models do both and sometimes another version which combines debt or private capital with the commercial mortgage credits/loans.

Offering fixed returns

This involves offering a fixed return to the passive partners or investors. For some, this is a bit confusing but if you know how these structures work, it’ll be easier for you to understand whether it will work for you or not.

This is how it works. First, the sponsor needs to promote and make offers to the passive partners a fixed return. This means the partners are guaranteed a predetermined fixed rate of return before the sponsor can take any profit from it.

However, once the partners are paid as it was fixed, the sponsor can now take his part from the profit. Over the years, I have seen many fixed return rates and among them, 7% – 8% was the most common. And then the 75/25 splitting of profit where the sponsor gets the smaller share between the two.

In a nutshell, this structure means the partners will be given their profit at the fixed rate which they agreed with the sponsor and only then can the sponsor reap his share from the profit.

Straightforward equity split

This is a rather simple one and if you are thinking of creating a new syndicate.

The idea is simple. Split on basis of percentage ownership.

Most of the time, the majority of the profit goes to the investors and only a small percentage stays on the plate for the sponsor. Most of the time, the split is like 90/10. However, this can vary.

Say, a huge deal made $60,000 over the last quarter. So, the sponsor will get only 10% of $60,000 which is $6,000. The rest of the share, the 90% or $54,000 will be divided between the investors on the basis of how much percentage they own. Say, there are 2 partners who hold equal shares for this hypothetical deal. So, the profit (90%) will be distributed equally and each of them will get 45% of the 90% profit they made.

Conclusion

Before you make any decision, talk to your legal advisor who knows the SEC laws. They’ll help you make a reasonable decision.

For more info, please click here Charles K. Carillo

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Why You Shouldn’t Invest In Out-Of-State Real Estate

But if you are already investing in out-of-state real estate, I understand why you would think otherwise. Nonetheless, I still think investing in out-of-state real estate is not a good decision and these are the reasons.

You won’t get the best team

Even though you are the one who will be investing, there are dozens of other people whom you need in your venture.

For instance, you might need a local investment partner to get a big deal, a reliable property manager to take care of the property, a good real estate agent who will help you with the deal, a contractor who will plan and oversee the renovation, construction, maintenance work, an accountant who will manage your accounts for the out-of-state ventures, an attorney who will handle the legal work, an eviction attorney, a maintenance personnel, and a few others.

It is not easy to build up a good team with the mentioned post-holders above. Even if you find a few good ones, the other ones may turn out to be lazy and you won’t even realize it the person you hired for your work is playing PUBG on his phone instead of looking into the matter at hand.

When you are investing in your own town, you can just go and check the progress and how your team is doing. But this is not possible when you invest far from home. You can’t go driving hours to solve small problems and then return again. This is just too much work and seems unnecessary.

Difficult to get better deals

Let me explain it with my example.

Well, I have moved herein my are a almost more than a decade ago and I’ve started real estate investments soon after I moved here. You can say that I know my way around here.

Whenever a new opportunity to invest is created in my area, I know about it almost immediately. Also, there is no way someone out of the town will get the deal with better terms before I get the chance to seal the deal.

This will happen when you look for opportunities far from your area. The local investors won’t give you the opportunities to get the “too good to be true”deals and you’ll only end up with the deals that you may find the term unreasonable. That’s why it’s better to look for investment opportunities in your own area where you have higher chances of sealing good deals.

New area, new laws

Every state has different laws for real estate. When you target a state or an area, you need to build your legal structure on the basis of the state laws.

Imagine you spend 5-10 years to set up your legal structure completely as you dealt with several assets over the years, only to shift to another legal structure that you’ll have set up as you keep making deals.

This is too much work for some “not so great” deals, even for veteran investors who have been in the market for several decades.

Conclusion

However, you still can invest on out of state properties but make sure you have a great team and you’re doing it on a grand scale so that shifting from one legal structure to another seems justifiable.

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Things The Dark Knight Can Teach You About Agile Marketing

I know this is the last title you’d expect to see on this topic but I wouldn’t have used it if it didn’t make any sense.

Like the Dark Knight’s gruesome adventures and victories, the struggle and efforts of marketers are often unnoticed. Apart from that, there is a lot for marketers to learn from the Dark Knight’s style of work.

Specialized, not all-in-one

Not even the great Dark Knight can claim to be an all-in-one superhero.

He is specialized in hand-to-hand combat, using the gadgets in the utility belt, and being the best detective in the world. But he lacks in many qualities of being an all-in-one superhero.

For example, he’s not like the big blue boy scout Superman or a heavy hitter like him. But that doesn’t mean he’s less than Superman in anyway. He even has a bigger fanbase compared to Superman which proves it is okay to be specialized at something instead of everything.

This analogy works perfectly in agile marketing as most of the marketing agencies have become individual department-specialized agencies.

Nowadays, some are best at video production, some got their ways into inbound marketing, some have their own unique way to get things done. 

Its high time agencies stopped trying to be a “full service or all-in-one agency” and accepted that they are specialized at a particular part of advertising like how the Dark Knight has made his name as the greatest detective among all superheroes and men in general.

Technology is inseparable

Who doesn’t know about Batman’s famous Utility Belt? Even though Batman is the greatest detective in his universe, he certainly uses every tech he has at his disposal. From the grappling gun to explosive Batarangs, everything is there when he needs it. The fancy yet exclusive belt is a store house of all kinds of tech to help him at his missions.

Marketers have to embrace tech as the Dark Knight does. Even though marketers are best at what they do, these days, traditional ads won’t suffice. People are getting more into chatbots, augmented tech and other fancy stuff and the big companies are taking full advantages of them. If you think you can do well without adapting to these new age technologies, you are wrong.

Knowing the strength

Not all the marketers are the same. Each of them has their own special skill sets and only by realizing their own true potential, they can contribute to their agency, much like the Dark Knight.

Batman knows he doesn’t pack the strongest punch to defeat his foes. That’s why he doesn’t rely on the punches like other heavy hitters in the DC Universe. Instead, he uses his ability to plan and use his detective skills to stay one step ahead of his challenges. Similarly, when marketers understand their potential, understand their marketing agencies weakness, strength, and the opportunities for it to grow, they can make better decisions and act wisely to a situation. Also, it will be easier for them to implement technologies into the marketing campaigns if they know what they do best.

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Ask These 7 Questions Before Hiring An SEO Company

Blogging is like creating a whole new world. You get to be the creator here and only you decide what goes there. You create them, modify them, and make them open for everything – a lot of work, right?

That’s why lots of bloggers decide to outsource the SEO responsibilities to someone or some company. It gives them more time to concentrate on the creative part.

However, sometimes, this could go wrong, especially when you hired the wrong person or company for the job.

Better safe than sorry.

Here are 7 questions that you can ask the SEO company to know about their capability before hiring them.

What do you offer?

It is important you have a clear idea on what you are going to expect or what they are offering with this deal.

If I need to hire an SEO company, I’ll look for one that provides me with content writing services, with link building, Social Media Optimization, Off-page SEO and On-page SEO for starters.

How will your company help me improve the ranking?

Ask them what their strategy is. If they have a solid plan to improve the ranking for you, be sure they have done enough research.

But expect a whole lot of details. After all, a magician doesn’t reveal its secret.

How will they track the results?

Along with implementing their strategy and using every tool possible, it is important that your SEO Company reports back to you with the detailed tracked results.

Ask them how will they do it or what tools or process will they be using for tracking the improvements.

What will be the payment structure?

It is wise to sort out the payment details before finalizing the deal.

Ask them about their refund policy. Willthey take the payment yearly, on a monthly basis or weekly? What payment methods do they accept? What are the charges for their services? These are the questions you’ll need the answers for.

Do you have my niche specific experience?

Sometimes one strategy doesn’t work everywhere.

The approach they took with a food blog site might not work for your gadget enthusiasm. That is why it is better that you hire someone with experience in your niche.

If they have prior knowledge about your industry, you should also ask about the jobs specifically that they have done. This way you’ll be sure of the experience they are referring to.

How will we communicate?

Communication is important. Your SEO company should maintain a healthy communication with you.

They should keep you up to date on the latest results and overall performance of the site.

Make sure you and your SEO company have a common ground where you can contact and explain things to one another. Along with asking for their availability, also tell yours. Let them know when you’ll be able to communicate online and when over a phone.

Why should I hire you?

Lastly, with this question, decide what you are going to do. Even if you had confusion about the SEO company, after hearing the answer, you are most probably going to take a firm decision. That’s why all of these questions are important to ask before finalizing anything.

For more info, please visit: Charles K. Carillo

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6 Things To Do every Once In A While To Boost Conversion

Conversion is not constant. A company might have a good conversion rate now but if they don’t keep up the marketing and bringing traffic to the sites, the conversion will not remain the same. They will decrease.

But only advertising your service or product or bringing traffic won’t be enough. Your business requires much more.

Here are 6 things that you can do every once in a while to boost the conversion rate.

1.   Track conversions that lead to sales

Understanding the buying cycles of your customers is important. If you can analyze and identify the contents thatlead up to the sale, you can emphasize on that even more.

For example, look which landing page works best for you. Try out different marketing strategiesand see which one is perfect for your target audience. Then analyze the stats for further understanding.

2.   Make changes in the schedule

Don’t get stuck withonly Sundays or Fridays or Tuesdays. Try different days of the week.

If you are posting your blogs on Sundays, try other days and see how many people you reach.

If you are running any promotions on a particular day or week of the month, try changing the time and see if itworks out for your business.

3.   Understand your competitors’ strategy

I’m not talking about copying your competitors’ idea or marketing strategy. I’m talking about keeping an eye for theirstrategies.

For example, let’s say your competitor is giving away free eBooks for signing up or for subscribing. So you can take inspiration from them and giveaway free checklists and eBooks for sign-ups. This way, you are already better toyour customers.

4.   Give them what they want: Proof

Your visitors will not buy into your product or service that easily. They’ll definitely need to be sure about your services and they must be able to trust you.

In this situation, what you should do is give them testimonials and proof that you have customers who rely on you.

Get some of your previous customers to write a testimonial for you. Also, if you are expecting subscribers, show them how many you have. Have a bold box above the subscription box showing your subscribers count.

5.   Don’t overwhelm with too many options

Too many options on a page is distracting. It decreases the conversion rate. So, every once in a while, make sure to check the content of your webpages.

Also, don’t force your customers to fill up everything on one page. One step at a time.

6.   Bring change into email campaigns

Email campaign is one of the most effective ways to bring customers who haven’t been to your site lately. Also, email marketing can also bring unique traffic if proper leads are given. However, the same type of emails may just bore the reader. If they see a mail with the same subject they have been receiving for the last few weeks, he’ll never open it and at the worst-case scenario, it might even be marked as spam. So, try out different elements. Change the subjects and visual elements in the body. This will definitely help you boost the conversion.

Please visit: Internet Entrepreneur

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4 Types Of Renovating That Are Best Left Undone

When it comes to rehabbing investment properties, there are a few things about renovating that are best left undone.  

Today, let’s talk about that: 

1.   Poor Return on Investment Repairs  

There was a study by the National Association of Realtors that came out showing the increase or decrease of price of new housings.  

According to that study, the prices of full bathroom increased by 23% while the prices of the partial bathroom, garage, central air conditioning, fireplace,and basement increased by 15%, 13%, 12%, 12%, and 9% respectively.  

On the other hand, In-ground pools didn’t show any change while In-law suites and professional officeswere down by 5% each.  

Even though they were not a big shock to anyone but there are certain characteristics that were obviously going to change depending on the area.  

For instance, a garage in the city with a high walk score is not that valuable as in an urban town where it has a lower walk score. 

Also, a basement won’t be desirable if it is going to flood in that area. This is how these characteristics work. Now keeping these on a side, some of the renovations are simply not a good idea. Professional offices and In-law suits are two of those which will just turn out to be a bad decision. Also, turning your garage into a beautiful bedroom is a bad idea as well. 

2. Fixing a property up very nicely  

This is another notable mistake that new investors and sometimes experienced ones make. They don’t realize that fixing up any property to look at its best is unnecessary unless it is a luxury house.  

Most of the rentals, especially for the middle class and working class rentals don’t need anything fancy. They just need to make things “work”. In these cases, functionality is what you should look for, not looks and appearance.  

Of course, how the property is presented is important and so is the durability. However, you don’t need to use expensive stainless steel appliances, granite slab countertops, bay windows, custom cabinets, etc. to fix up a middle-class rental.  

3. Unnecessary & Awkward Upgrades That Don’t Fit TheProperty

Some updates are just straight-out awkward. For example, say you want to make room for a few extra bedrooms. Then how would it fit into the house? Even if you get the room for an additional bedroom, it will be only accessible via another bedroom door as there won’t be a completely empty place lying around for you to make a new room.  

Also, the additional bedrooms technically won’t even be a bedroom as you’ll have to access the room via another bedroom which is bizarre because no one is going to use that. So why even bother for such awkward upgrades?  

4. Upgrades that are just a pain 

Every once in a while, you’ll come across something so inappropriate that it’ll become a pain for you; like skylights. You know they are awesome but they don’t belong in an average rental property unless it is a luxury house. Also, the skylights come with additional risks of raindrops dripping from the ceiling.   These are the types of upgrade that’ll simply make you ask “why?”

Please visit: Charles K. Carillo

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5 Visual Tweaks That You Can Make To Increase Conversion

The visual content has a great impact on your website’s conversion. That being said, here are 5 tweaks that you can make to your landing page and increase conversion exponentially.

1.      Show what you want to show

If you are using AdWords or any other form of PPC ads,you are familiar with how it works.

But many people make a common mistake of leading the visitors to their homepage or a category page.

It doesn’t work well as the visitors are there to see the advertised product or service. So, if you don’t show them what they came here for, they might close the tab and move forward.

To keep them on your site, you must welcome them with a product page showing some images of the product or visual representation of the service along with a brief yet complete description. This is what your visitors want to see when they click on the PPC ad.

2.      Show how many you have left in stock

When your visitors see that there are only a few left in stock, they will feel the urge to place an order right now instead of pushing it into the bookmarks for later.

So, include phrases like “Only 8 left in stock” on the page and mentally get them to place an order.

3.      Try a variation of the Call-To-Action button

Instead of just using “buy now”, you can use other phrases and see how it goes.

You don’t know how much your CTA button can affect your conversation. For example, when they see “pay now” on your check out page, they’ll only think about the amount they are paying at that moment, which can be a factor in decreasing your conversion.

But if the visitors see phrases like this “get yours now”, “Take one home”, they will feel like a winner and grabbing the product will be like an achievement. So, try using creative and different CTAs. See which one works best for you.

4.      Show the value of your product/service

Yes, showing the price is important but showing the value or potential of the products iseven more important.

Show them visualcontents to prove that your products have good potential and they can be of their use.

5.      Remove the distracting contents

I know you have invested a lot of time and effort in planning the web pages and the contents but that doesn’t mean you have to overwhelm your visitors with them, especially when you are running PPC ad campaign.

When the visitors from the PPC ad click on the link he/she won’t want to see everything you have to offer. Just show what searched for. So, removing all the distracting contents from the landing page is the best thing to do. Only keep things that are related to the visitor, don’t show the toasters you are selling when the visitors came for a coffee machine. Being irritated, they may not purchase from you at all.

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