Free writer inbound marketing courses

By Rhonda Campbell

inbound marketing training

Picture by Mosborne01

Free inbound marketing courses may gift you with at least three benefits. Take just one of the courses and you may learn a new way to optimize your website for those friendly search engine crawlers. Don’t go light with this benefit.

Search engine optimization equals website, blog and social media traffic, the oxygen of a digital enterprise.

Successful writers love traffic jams

Low to no traffic is like opening a store and hoping for sales even though not a single person ever walks through the front door. You have to attract loads of the right visitors. But, if you’ve been marketing online for just three months, you already know how important traffic is.

It’s up to you to turn those first time visitors into repeat visitors. One of the companies that provides free inbound marketing courses for writers also trains writers on how to keep visitors returning.

The other two benefits associated with the free inbound marketing courses are knowledge to build a stronger brand and — writers may not love this one — realization that, despite how often (or how long) that you have been marketing your books, novels or freelance writer portfolio, there’s still a lot that you don’t know.

Regardless of your marketing results and regardless of how many inbound marketing courses that you complete, never lose sight of the fact that you don’t know everything. This is a good thing. Openness to improvement can easily spell continual growth, what you want.

List of free writer inbound marketing courses

Hopefully, you didn’t skip ahead to hurry and see the list of free writer inbound marketing courses. Because a reminder that there’s always a lot to learn is not one that you want to miss. And the free courses are:

• HubSpot Inbound Marketing Certification –
• Google Online Marketing Challenge –
• GCF Learn Free –
• Copy Blogger Content Marketing –
• HootSuite Podium –
• Quick Sprout –

Some freelance writers also teach free writer inbound marketing courses. Writers can also find free inbound marketing courses that are embedded in larger training programs. These courses aren’t always free. If they are, they may not offer a certification.

Earn an inbound marketing certification? Add it to your freelance writer resume and to your online writer portfolio. Also, incorporate lessons that you have changed in your website, blog and social media designs and posts.

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How to get more links

By Avery Baxter

get more linksGreat content is the best way to get more links. Think data rich content like academic papers, high definition images, static free videos, powerful quotes, statistic rich infographics, slideshows and comedic write-ups.

Images Explode Links and Traffic

Written, audio, video and image (graphics and pictures) content apply. Social Media Today shares that written content with images grabs 94% more attention than content missing images, whether you are trying to get more links or simply want to share a picturesque story. HubSpot says that color goes a long way when it comes to images. In fact, color images increase a person’s interest in reading content by a whopping 80%.

Original pictures get the best traction. Getting your hands on original pictures is as easy as capturing images using your cell phone. If you have basic photography skills, you could capture the emotion, style and texture of trees, animals, sporting events, festivals and people. If your budget permits, you can also get pictures from companies like iStock Photo and ThinkStock Photos.

Other photo libraries require acknowledgement in a byline. Some of these places are Free Digital Photos and Flickr. Wikimedia Commons is another place where you can get free photos. However, I think Wikimedia Commons is limited in the range of high quality photos.

Tell a Story to Get More Links

To use the images at Wikimedia Commons, all you generally need is to acknowledge the name of the photographer, which you can do by simply adding the photographer’s name in the image caption box of the content management system that you use to publish content. Speaking of images, to get more links, add a story to images.

A little girl and her mother weren’t out to get more links when they posted a picture of the girl wearing glasses to social media. it was the story that attracted millions of viewers, readers and supporters. At the heart of the story was bullying. Huffington Post wrote a story about the girl and how her photo got more than four million shares. Last I heard, more than six million people have gotten behind the story.

It’s these types of stories that capture people’s hearts and interest, that help you to get more links. In this case, a personal, emotional appeal went a long way, continues to go a long way.

Data rich written content could also help you to get more links. Remember when you were in school? How many times did you add information from scientific, well researched and stat driven documents into your school papers? The more footnotes, firsthand interviews and statistics there were in the documents, the more reliable you may have believed that the documents were.

“If I add this content to my school paper, my school paper will be better,” you likely thought. Add relevant facts, stats images and firsthand interviews to your content and other people could think that adding your content to their websites, blogs and direct email will make their content better. Outcome – you get more links.

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Get Hired Faster


By Ericka Simpson

get hired fastFind out how you could get hired faster. The speed up starts with your resume. Your job search cover letter, online portfolio, networking habits, interviewing and follow-up skills are also crucial, among other factors mentioned below. Don’t just read this job search advice with an open mind. Stay open, flexible and courageous enough to implement needed changes.

Resumes that help you get hired faster

More than 10 years of human resources work has taught me many valuable facts about the job hiring process. Before the Internet explosion, a lot of recruiters didn’t read job search cover letters. Recruiters do pay a lot of attention to your resume.

Resume must haves include your name and contact information. Please don’t forget your telephone number and email address. If you’re on LinkedIn, include your LinkedIn URL (preferably a customized LinkedIn URL). Make sure that your LinkedIn page is used solely for business and networking purposes. Impression is everything when you’re trying to get hired faster.

Add your work history. Indicate start and end dates for jobs you’ve worked. Also, indicate the industry that the company operates in. Why? Prospective employers like it when you have deep experience in the industry they’re business is in.

Use bullets to highlight key accomplishments. Put values on accomplishments. For example, you could state that you created a database that reduced procedural redundancies by 35%, saving the organization 3% in lost revenues. Keep bulleted highlights short. You can expand on accomplishments during job interviews.

Insert good keywords into your resume. Choose keywords that align with job titles that match your skills. Other good keywords are terms found in requirements and description sections of jobs that you want to get hired faster for. This is important. Recruiters and employers use search tools to find resumes that match skills and experience that they’re looking for in employees.

If you’re open to working two or more different types of jobs to get hired faster, create a resume for each different job type that you want. So, you may need a human resources specialist, executive assistant and a customer service representative resume, as an example.

Other things you can do to get hired faster

To get hired faster, create a professional LinkedIn profile, if you don’t already have one. Reach out to recruiters and people you know at organizations where you want to work. Let them know when you apply for jobs and ask them if they know someone who you could connect with to get additional insights about the role.

Make this a two-way relationship. In other words, help others on LinkedIn, the same as you want contacts to help you. Other places to network to get hired faster include Twitter (Yes, Twitter; you might be surprised how many companies are on Twitter), job fairs, internships, volunteer events and professional association learning and networking events.

Create an online portfolio to showcase your talents. This is becoming somewhat of a “must have” for graphic designers, freelance writers, coders and other marketing and visual workers.

Practice job interviews with friends or relatives. Know someone who has human resources experience? Ask them to offer suggestions on how you could improve your job interviewing skills.

Follow-up via email and/or telephone a few days after you apply for a job. Consider creating a spreadsheet to track jobs that you apply for. Add recruiter and employer contact information to the spreadsheet to help with the follow-up process.

But, perhaps most important of all, track your progress. If you don’t land a job interview within three weeks of applying for jobs, review your job search cover letter and your resume. Change keywords if you have to. Network on different days of the week or at different networking events. Being open to change is a key if you want to get hired faster. So too is improving your confidence. Encourage yourself if you start talking yourself out of applying for higher pays jobs that you have the skills for. Push ahead if you get tempted to wait for recruiters and employers to respond to you first, instead of you following up.

Posted in Employment and Finding Jobs | Tagged | 1 Comment

Reasons to Postpone Marketing Strategies

marketing strategies

By Ericka Simpson

It sounds like an oxymoron, putting off marketing to grow sales. However, there are times when it’s a good idea to postpone marketing strategies.

As a small business owner, it’s not a stretch to see you wearing multiple hats. You might lead product development, communications, customer service, shipping and handling and marketing at your organization. The way that you juggle minute as well as large tasks is truly admirable. But, how do you handle the product development stage after you’ve looked at the accounting and realize that, if sales don’t pick up within two weeks or less, you are going to be headed deeper into the red?

Pushing for sales doesn’t always work

Does your focus switch from developing the best new products to speeding up the development phase, so that you can start pushing marketing strategies? Unfortunately, it’s a common panic routine.


Creatives complain about how they are pressured by managers to hurry and finish a new album, book, painting or movie or television script. They know that their name is on the work. Rushing could make or break their personal brand. Pushy managers, including pushy finance and marketing managers, could hide should the product not be up to par and flop due to lack of quality.

Allow engineers and designers to focus on developing the best products. While they are working, hold off on giving tentative release dates to the media, especially if product development teams are a long way off from finishing new products. Develop products that surpass other offerings in your industry and market and that achievement alone can become a key part of your marketing strategies and tactics.

More reasons to postpone marketing strategies

Besides giving developers time to create your best products, other reasons to postpone marketing strategies include:

  • You’re still building teams
  • Processes and procedures are not finalized
  • Compliance officers are still reviewing policies
  • Loans and other financial resources are yet to be agreed upon and signed
  • Branding templates are still being worked on

If you postpone marketing strategies until your teams are built and processes and procedures are fully vetted, you could avoid problems down the road. For example, you could avoid under or over hiring. If you under hire, employees or contractors could feel pressured and start to lose work/life balance. Let that happen, and don’t be surprised if workers start exiting.

Of course, hiring too many team members will have a negative impact on the bottom line, forcing you to push for more sales. Both under and over hiring can have a negative impact on morale.

Perhaps even equally important is the lasting impression you could leave on consumers should you market too soon, sales take off and your teams cannot keep up with the demand. It’s called having to deal with too much success too soon. So, pace yourself smartly. Build out your teams. Finalize processes, procedures and legal aspects your new offerings before you open the door to the public.

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Your greatest guidance comes from within

inner guidance center

By Moyan Brenn

It’s true. Connections are key to your success. If you only seek guidance from your physical senses, you’re missing out on limitless benefits. Instead of relying on what your body sees, hears and perceives, start taping into your inner guidance. It’s your greatest connection.


Personal revelations, insight, accurate hunches and wisdom come from your inner guidance center. Believe it or not, your inner guidance counselor speaks to you all the time. You don’t hear it because of the ego’s endless chatter.

The ego often promises a resolution to something that you are afraid of (i.e. sickness, death, job loss, poverty). Follow ego guidance and you may end up in a worse condition than you were in before the ego tempted you to listen to its promises.

Tap into inner guidance

So, how do you receive inner guidance?

Practice stillness and mindfulness. Live in the present second. This means that you don’t dwell on past experiences and don’t waste time fearing future experiences, which may or may  not occur. Following are a few actions that you can take to practice stillness and mindfulness:

  • Start the first five minutes of your day giving thanks for events and experiences that you appreciate. For example, you could thank Source for birds singing outside your bedroom or kitchen window, a new suit that you bought and love how it looks on you, your family and a great song you heard on the radio.
  • Close your eyes and meditate on a positive message for two minutes at the top of each hour.
  • Focus on your breathing, inhaling and exhaling slowly for three minutes at the top of each hour.
  • Eat a healthy diet.
  • Spend at least one uninterrupted hour walking, bike riding, swimming or engaging in another physical activity while outdoors.
  • Listen to soothing music or watch a light show an hour before you go to bed. Better yet, sit outside on the porch or front stoop for an hour before you go to bed.
  • Soak in a bubble bath at night.
  • Act on inner direction. Write the results of your actions in a journal.
  • Ask for inner direction when you start to feel anxious, depressed or any other form of fear.
  • Do three things that you love and appreciate every day.
  • Catch yourself engaging in negative talk. Stop acting yourself and speak out 10 things that you love about yourself.
  • Write down your dreams. Pay special attention to dreams that find you waking feeling happy, at peace and empowered.

Trust your inner guidance center. You’ll notice a distinct difference between messages received from your inner guidance counselor and the ego. The more you trust and seek inner guidance, the more you may be aware of its messages, which can help you in your personal, social, business and family relationships.

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Home office setup that increases productivity

home office setup pictureBy Rhonda Campbell

Home office setup designs could have a greater impact on your organization’s bottom line. This applies whether you work for an employer or work from home as an independent contractor or freelancer. Your home office setup directly impacts your (or your employees’) agility, mood, energy, focus, creativity and organization, all of which impact worker productivity.

Drab home office furniture does not inspire. It could leave you feeling flat and drab. Worn, old furniture that is unbalanced, squeaky or, better yet, that pokes your side when you lean or sit at a certain angle, could make you dread working in your home office. You could take your laptop and work in your living room or you could head to a local coffee shop that has Wi-Fi, but is that why you really wanted to work from home?

Home office setup ideas that inspire creativity and increase productivity

Try these home office setup ideas to increase productivity. Some of the ideas are long term changes, others work best when implemented on a short term basis.

Explosion of colors – Marketers know this. Psychologists know this. Colors influence mood. Choose home office furniture colors that inspires intelligence, balance, optimism, clarity and reliability. Mix colors when creating or buying items like posters, flyers and plaques. Pay attention to how you feel when you walk into different colored sections of home design stores. Your feelings could give you clues on which colors boost your energy most.

Treat yourself to privacy – If you’ve ever worked in an office cubicle, you know the value of office privacy. You know how uncomfortable it is to make an appointment with your gynecologist, discuss a personal matter with your partner or tell a lender that you’ll make a payment in a few days while you’re at work. You feel like colleagues are listening in, maybe even judging you based on what you say as you try to whisper into the telephone. Live with a roommate, children, a spouse or extended family? Use an extra bedroom, the basement, attic (make sure that there’s sufficient insulation) or another spare room at your apartment or house as your home office. Don’t have an extra room? Install sliding doors, portable room dividers or panel screens to section off your home office. Place the dividers far enough away from your home office desk to create more privacy.

Home office desk size – Choose a home office desk that is the right height, so you don’t have to lean over or stretch upward just to reach your computer keyboard . The smallest misalignment could create back, shoulder or neck pain, and sooner than you think. Want extra storage space, opt for a desk that has filing and storage cabinets built into it.

Home office chairs – Your home office chair should easily fit inside the front opening in your desk. It should also support your body’s structure. Adjustable, swivel chairs have lots of functionality. You could sit in swivel chairs and file papers in cabinets, eat a meal that’s placed on a serving tray, multi-task between watching a teleconference and typing memos, all with the turn of your chair. Material choices include mesh, leather, fabric, faux leather, wood, plastic, memory foam and vinyl.

Encourage fitness and good health – Ergonomic chairs and desks that make it easy for you to move from sitting to standing encourage activity. A sit/stand workstation could help you to avoid packing on pounds or developing high blood pressure or heart problems due to sitting for prolonged periods. Looking for more health risks associated with sitting too long? Check out this Mayo Clinic article.

Stay organized – Place filing cabinets and office supplies in your home office so that they don’t block the flow of natural light. Also make sure that cabinets don’t block the opening and closing of your home office door. Metal filing cabinets may last longer than wood filing cabinets, as some metal filing cabinets have stayed in good working condition for decades. Go for filing cabinets that have dividers and connectors that you can hang file folders on.

Lighting matters a lot – There may be no better source of vitamin D than sunlight. By placing your home office desk in front of a window, you’ll get to soak up some vitamin D and feel connected to your outdoor surroundings.

Spacing – Leave enough open space in your home office, so that you don’t start feeling cramped or confined. Place furniture against walls. Also, avoid adding furniture and accessories to your home office that you don’t need to get your work done.

Home office supplies – Most of your home office supplies should fit inside your desk drawers if you bought a multi-purpose desk. You could store extra supplies in the bottom or top drawer of a filing cabinet or on top of a filing cabinet. Add decorative book ends to each end of the supplies for a pick-me-up.

Entertainment – Brain enhancing music could have a long term positive impact on you. Rather than surfing the Internet during work breaks, consider listening to brain enhancing music.

Get decorative – Flowers are a short term basis home office setup item. Treat yourself to a bouquet of flowers during holidays and the week of your birthday. You could also pick up a bouquet of flowers to award yourself for closing a new client account or reaching a sales goal. To stay motivated, print and hang motivational quotes in a frame that you hang above your desk. Change the quote once a week, once a month or once a quarter.

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Movies Out Now vs. Old Movies

By Angela Benson

movies on netflix carlitos wayWhich are better, old movies or new movies? Movies out now are loaded with high speed chase scenes, explosions and violence to the point where it’s as if the violence and the speed are replacing great dialogue, deep plots and complicated characters.

Old Movies Had Great Characters

Over the last eight to ten years, it’s rare that I’ve caught a flick that didn’t use violence or car chase scenes to carry the script forward. Even old gangster movies like The Godfather, Once Upon A Time In America and Carlito’s Way were built upon great characters. believable conflict and tension and realistic dialogue.

Years ago, you walked out of a movie theater wondering if the script might have been based on real life experiences. I can still hear Penelope Ann Miller’s character, Gail, begging Carlito (played by the great Al Pacino) not to go on the boat trip. Was she ever onto something. Kleinfeld (played  by Sean Penn) couldn’t have been more of a bottom feeder if he tried.

12 Angry Men, The Color Purple, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Claudine, Shawshank Redemption, Cooley High and the Women of Brewster Place are great old movies. Watch any of these movies on Netflix or on a classic movie channel and see if the characters aren’t multi-faceted, complex, fully developed.

Their motives, personalities and inner torment are what you remember. The best of them are troubled, yet resilient. Even when faced with seemingly insurmountable odds, the star players in old movies don’t give up. But, not only that. Their resolve is realistic. It’s believable, not trite and unconnected to anything else in the movie.

Movies Out Now Push for Money

movies out now on netflix the color purpleHow many movies out now or movies coming soon can you say that about? Sure. There are modern movies like Castaway, Traffic, The Pianist, Seabiscuit and Amelie. But, even these movies came out over a decade ago.

Could it be free movie downloads, cheaper movies on Netflix and broader entertainment options that are pushing studios to put out try to appeal to the baser parts of us? Makes sense, especially when you consider that the average cost to make a major motion film today is about a whopping $100 million. Figuring out how to cover expenses may take precedent over quality.

That same push has filtered into the literary world. Produce-produce-produce quicker and faster. Appeal to human triggers. Forget developing a great story. Funny how this push for fast money could be costing us the very thing that we go to the theater for — great entertainment.

So, what do you think? Are old movies better than movies out now? When’s the last time that you saw a movie that you just knew would become a classic, the type of movie that stands the test of time the way flicks like The Wizard of Oz, Sounder, Boyz In The Hood and It’s A Wonderful Life have.

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