No products in the cart!
Please make your choice.View all catalog
Starting a business is a major endeavor. You need to perform market research, file for a license, create a marketing plan, and build your brand. One way to shorten the process is to become a franchise business owner.
As a franchise business owner, you can tap into the resources and branding of a large brand—while still maintaining the autonomy to run your own business.
If you’re considering starting a franchise business, there are a few things you should know. First, let’s talk about what a franchise business is.
In a franchise business, a franchise owner pays a fee to essentially “rent” a brand name. The franchisee runs the business themselves (or hires someone to run it) and must follow the rules and regulations related to how the brand is used.
For example, many McDonald’s restaurants are franchises, meaning an owner (or group of owners, in some cases) pays McDonald’s to use their brand name, menus, logos, and other business assets.
They run their location, pay McDonald’s to use the name, and keep the remaining profits.
A franchise business is a popular business model because it offers owners the best of both worlds: the support of a large brand and the benefits of owning a business.
A few businesses that offer franchising options include:
Starting a franchise business should not be taken lightly. There are pros and cons to consider before deciding whether to become a franchisee.
Starting a business gives you more control over your life and income. Unlike starting your own business, however, there are specific benefits to buying into a franchise.
Starting a franchise business is sort of like playing video games on easy mode. The franchisor offers support in the form of training, materials, process flows, and branding to make it easier to get your business off the ground.
For example, starting a taco shop could require months for menu development, taste testing, logo design, product sourcing, etc. As a Taco Bell franchise owner, however, much of that work is already completed.
Franchise businesses often have a lower failure rate. When you buy into a franchise, you join a proven business model that works. You also have additional support and business resources that can make a difference in your success.
Building a brand is one of the best things you can do for your business. However, it often takes time and resources. When you buy into a franchise, the branding is already complete. People already know who your brand is and what it represents. This saves you time and creates a built-in customer base you can tap into.
In some cases, you may purchase goods at a lower rate. Many franchisors negotiate contracts with vendors for the entire network, allowing you to spend less on goods and services by purchasing in bulk. However, the flip side of these benefits is you may not choose your vendors, and sometimes the costs are higher.
While there are many benefits to starting a franchise business, there are some drawbacks to keep in mind. You’ll pay licensing fees to corporations, which can eat into profits. You’ll also have less control over some aspects of your business. For example, if you own a franchise restaurant, you may have little to say on the menu or which vendors you use.
Now that you understand the pros (and the cons) of starting a franchise business, let’s get down to the details. How do you get started? Here’s what you need to know.
The first step in starting a franchise business is deciding which business you want to join. Hundreds of companies offer franchise opportunities: which one is right for you? Here are a few questions to ask yourself.
Once you answer those questions, start looking for franchise opportunities. For example, if I am interested in a restaurant franchise and like sports bars, I might Google “best sports bar franchises.” As you can see, there’s plenty of options.
Here are a few other searches you can try. Feel free to swap out key terms to find an opportunity that works for you.
Make a list of your top five franchise businesses, then compare what they offer. How much are licensing fees? Is it a flat fee or a portion of your sales? What resources do they offer? Do they offer financing? What happens if you don’t end up keeping the franchise?
Compare all the features and consider all the drawbacks before making a decision.
By now, you should have one or two top franchise choices. It’s time to dig deeper. How many current franchise owners are there? What are their annual revenue and profits?
What competition will you face? Consider both online and in-person competition. For example, suppose you want to franchise a tax company. In that case, you need to consider how you’ll stand out from online companies like TurboTax and in-person accounting firms in your physical location.
Sometimes buying into a franchise provides a false sense of security. You see how much other franchise owners make and think that is the norm. Keep in mind markets can vary by location and the franchisor has a vested interest in highlighting their most successful franchisees.
Whether you are looking to purchase an online or in-person franchise, make sure there is enough room in the market for additional businesses. If the market is saturated, you may struggle to make sales no matter how much people trust the brand.
The cost to start a franchise business can range drastically from a few hundred bucks to set up a website to millions to pay franchise fees and build a store. Usually, franchisors will list the average cost on their website.
However, sometimes there are hidden fees you’ll need to keep in mind:
You’ve researched all your options and have decided on a business to join. Congrats! Now it’s time to create a business plan. This is one of the most crucial steps, so take the time to create a solid business plan that covers all the bases.
According to the Small Business Association, a business plan should include:
The next step is to create your business entity. The type of business you create might depend on the franchisor you work with. Some might require an LLC or corporation. An LLC protects your personal assets from liability, while a corporation is a tax structure.
You might also choose sole proprietorship; however, that can leave your home and other assets at risk. This guide will walk you through the different options, but I suggest meeting with a tax or legal professional to decide if the structure is right for you.
Keep in mind city and state laws may impact which structure is right for you.
The final step is to find a location for your franchise business. If you are online, the location will likely be a website, but you might elect to have office space as well. If your franchise business has a physical location, make sure to compare sites to find an affordable one that gets plenty of foot traffic.
Don’t just consider the location’s current pros and cons. Research future developments as well. An ideal location today might not be if a bypass is installed right next to you directing traffic away.
On the other hand, a location that is just OK today might gain attention if a large shopping center is built next door. (Just remember that sometimes development plans fall through, so don’t choose a terrible location based on possible plans.)
The cost to start a franchise business varies by business. Some only cost a few hundred dollars, while starting a McDonald’s franchise costs between $1 and $2 million.
It varies by business. The average is usually between $50,000 and $70,000 per year.
Not entirely, no. The franchisor generally requires an initial payment before you can open your business. If you don’t have capital, consider bringing in an investment partner.
1) Identify a business you want to work with. 2) Research current owners and the competition. 3) Determine market interest. 4) Research startup costs 5) Create a business plan. 6) Form an LLC or corporation. 7) Choose a location. 8) Create a marketing plan.
According to Entrepreneur, the most profitable franchises are Taco Bell, Dunkin’, and The UPS Store.
Starting a franchise business is not without risks. However, the added support and access to a built-in customer base make it a tempting model for many business owners.
If you are comfortable working with a team and appreciate the support and other benefits of being a franchise owner, it can be an ideal way to build your own business.
Remember online marketing is crucial to the success of any business in 2021. Understand the benefits of SEO and social media. Study up on practices like paid advertising that can help you reach a wider customer base.
Finally, don’t be afraid to hire a professional to handle your marketing. They can put their expertise to work while you focus on building your franchise business.
Are you considering starting a franchise? What challenges are you facing?
One of the most frustrating things about SEO is getting everything to work together as it should.
If you’ve done SEO, you know exactly what I’m talking about. There are so many little elements in SEO that sometimes it seems impossible for everything to work out perfectly.
Even today! I know I talk a lot about how “smart” the search algorithms are and how it’s virtually impossible to game the system.
However, there are still a lot of elements you need to pay attention to for your SEO to succeed.
Case in point: Page title tags.
Before you yawn and find some more sexy SEO topic to jam on, hear me out.
Title tags are one of the cornerstones of SEO. They always have been, and as far as we can tell, they always will be.
Moz explains, “Title tags are the second most important on-page factor for SEO, after content.”
When it comes to low effort/big results, title tags take the cake. It’s such a small element, but has such a massive impact!
You know it’s important to create eye-catching headlines, but optimizing your titles also matters for SEO.
That’s where page title tags come in. They’re how your titles are relayed to search engines, and they’re an important part of any SEO strategy.
This is one of the few times when you need to write for both people and search engines, and that can be tricky. (Especially with headlines.)
In short, you have to create a clickable headline that also makes search engines happy.
Here’s the challenge: People have to like it. Search engines have to like it. Yikes!
Does that sound difficult?
Yes, it can be if you don’t know what to do. That’s why I’m going to break down my process step-by-step.
We’ll go through that process, but first, let’s look at why title tags are important for SEO.
If you’ve ever used a search engine before (and I’m guessing you have), you’ve seen a page title tag whether you’ve realized it or not.
It’s simply the headline on the SERP (search engine results page).
For example, if you Google “kitchen appliances,” you’ll see that one of the top results is from IKEA.
In this case, the page title tag is “Kitchen Appliances – IKEA.”
This is what both people and search engines will see as the title of your page. Often, this is the first thing they’ll see, and that’s a big reason why it’s so crucial to put time and effort into your title tags.
The point you need to remember is this: real people are reading your title tag.
They are going to respond to it. They will judge it. They will be compelled by it. They will be put off by it. They will learn from it.
Basically, the title tag is your page’s message to the world!
Title tags work with the meta description (the text below the title). In the case of the IKEA search result above, this is the meta description — a sentence or phrase that adds more information about the page.
I’ve written about meta descriptions before, but title tags are even more important.
Both the title and the meta description together give a brief idea of what your content is about, but the title tag stands out more.
There are two big reasons why page title tags are so important.
First, if you have a clear title that’s relevant to your page, both humans and search engines will see that as a sign of a good page.
If your title tag isn’t optimized, then people could skip right over your content, and search engines may determine that your page isn’t as good as it could be.
A second reason why title tags are important is they show up in browser tabs:
So when someone wants to find your page out of all their browser tabs, they’ll look for your title tag.
Title tags are often what people will see if your page is shared on social media. For example, here’s an example of a title tag on Facebook:
Can you see why title tags are so important? A good title tag means maximum visibility, while a bad title tag can sink your page.
There are three important steps to take to optimize your title tags.
Let’s dive into all three.
You might be wondering how writing a title tag is any different from writing a headline.
In some cases, your headline and title tag will be the same exact title. But there are some cases where they won’t be.
Check out this SERP result from Copyblogger:
It seems like the title for the page would be “How Content Marketing Builds Your Business,” right?
But when you go to the page, you’ll see a different title:
The title shown on the page is longer and more descriptive.
So why would Copyblogger do this? It’s most likely because the shorter title tag looks better on the SERP, and it takes less time to read.
The actual title that you see on the page goes into more detail, and that’s probably why they used it. They get the benefits of having both a streamlined title tag and a descriptive page title.
It’s a sneaky and useful tactic that’s the sort of SEO stuff I love.
With that in mind, here’s how to write a great title tag.
There are a few elements of title tags:
Shorter titles are easier for people to read and for search engines to crawl.
But there’s a better reason for shorter title tags.
If your title tag is too long, search engines will cut off your title with an ellipsis (…):
Ideally, your readers and search engines should be able to see the entire title tag so they get the best idea of what the content is about.
Google typically shows no more than 60 characters of the title tag. So if your title tag is 60 characters or less, you can generally expect that the entire title will show.
If you want to make sure, Moz has a handy preview tool:
This is a great feature that I recommend you use. Remember, keep it short if possible.
You probably expected to see something about keywords in an article about SEO.
For best results, try to put your focus keyword as close to the beginning of your title as possible. That’s so search engines (and people) will see the keyword early on.
Here’s a title tag with the keyword right up front:
Contrast that with this result that has the keyword closer to the end of the title tag:
One tip: Make sure the keyword placement is organic. It’s preferable that the keyword is close to the beginning, but it’s not necessary for great SEO.
Much like a headline, a title tag needs to communicate a benefit to stand out.
This is one of many reasons Google warns against keyword stuffing and boilerplate titles.
Your title tags are representatives of your pages, and you want people and search engines to know that your pages have unique, valuable content.
Make sure your title tag is related to your content. It should read naturally and grab the reader’s attention.
Keep in mind, you’re not trying to trick people. All you need to do is clearly explain the benefit of clicking on the page.
Often, the “benefit” is nothing more than telling them what the page is about! At this point, you’re not trying to sell anything. You’re simply giving them information.
Here’s an example that clearly expresses a benefit (ignore the jargon-filled, not-so-great meta description).
On the other hand, this title tag is plain and doesn’t explicitly state a benefit (they did a nice job with the meta description, though).
(Sure, Amazon probably doesn’t need to state a benefit, but your site probably does.)
Stating a benefit probably won’t do anything for search engines, but it goes a long way for human users who come across your site with a search.
Once you have your page title tag written, you need to set it as the title for your page.
The way you’ll do this will depend on what powers your website.
If you have a custom site, you’ll need to edit the HTML directly. (And it’s super easy to do.)
If you use WordPress, it’s also super easy.
If you use another CMS or host, it might look a little bit different for you.
Let’s take a look at each of these three different cases and how to create a title tag for each scenario.
If your site isn’t hosted on a CMS, you can edit your HTML to add titles.
First, you access the HTML for your specific page. I recommend checking with your hosting service on how to do this.
Once you’ve found the editable HTML, make sure you’re between the <head> tags.
(Note: This is an example code using Editpad.org. Your code will probably look different, and there might be extra code here. That’s okay––just make sure you’re only between the <head> tags and not any others.)
To create the title, use <title> tags. For example:
That’s it! Save your code, and your title will now show up correctly.
If you use WordPress, you’ll be happy to know there’s a super simple solution — it’s actually way easier than editing the HTML.
In fact, this method uses something you’re probably already using: the well-loved Yoast SEO plugin.
This is a powerful plugin that you can get a lot out of. And it’s great for editing your title tags.
First, if you don’t have Yoast installed, go to Plugins > Add New.
Type “Yoast” into the plugin search bar.
Look for “Yoast SEO.”
Click “Install Now.”
Next, click “Activate.”
Now the plugin is up and running.
To edit the title tag for a page or post, navigate to that content and open the editor.
Scroll down to the bottom of your post or page, and you’ll see the Yoast box, where you can edit the title tag and meta description.
It’ll also give you a nice preview of both your title and meta description:
If your title tag (or meta description) turns out to display differently on the actual SERPs, you can always go back and edit it in this section.
I know not all of you fall under these categories.
You might use a completely different kind of CMS, or your web host might have a different setup.
In those cases, I recommend contacting your CMS company or web host to find out how to access your HTML to edit your page title tags.
This is really a case-by-case scenario, so it will probably look different for a lot of you. However, you should be able to get an answer with a quick email to your web host’s support email.
So far, you’re two-thirds of the way done! Now you just need to make sure your title tag is the most SEO-friendly it can be.
We’ve talked a little bit about this already, but there are a few more steps you can take to make sure your title tag is optimized.
This is the step that most people miss entirely!
They think, “Yay. I’m done with my title tag!” But they forget that one of the primary methods of marketing and promotion is through social sharing!
Here are my best tips for optimizing your title tags for social.
The title tag can be a great place to include your brand, but if you overdo it, you could face some consequences.
Google suggests using your homepage title tag to include the most branding. Their example: “ExampleSocialSite, a place for people to meet and mingle.”
For most of your pages, adding your brand to the end of the title tag will suffice (if there’s room, that is).
Here’s how I do that:
You read that right: Sometimes Google will rewrite your title tags.
It’s crazy, I know! But why the heck would this happen?
According to Silkstream, “Google will automatically change how your title is displayed in the SERPs if their algorithm is under the impression that the page title doesn’t accurately represent the content on that page.”
So if your title tags don’t look good to Google, they’ll consider other factors, including:
Take a look at this title tag:
If you go to the homepage and view the source code (right-click and select “View Source” or “View Page Source”), you’ll see the company set the title to be something else:
Google rewrote it because they felt their revised title tag would help people more than the original.
The good news: If you follow the steps outlined in this article, Google should keep your title tags as they are.
If you do see your title tags showing up differently, revisit them and try to identify how you can further optimize them.
This is exactly like the Copyblogger example from earlier.
You can use two different sets of keywords in your title tag and H1, which organically enhances your SEO. Search engines will count the title tag as the “heading.” (Just make sure it’s optimized.)
Google explicitly says that “it’s important to have distinct, descriptive titles for each page on your site.” So don’t copy and paste your title tags.
If you’ve done everything so far, you should now have an optimized title tag! Finalize it and send it out into the world.
Title tags are the title of a page users see in the search results. They serve as a first impression and can encourage — or deter– people from clicking on your pages.
Title tags are shorter and appear first in the SERPs.
Pay attention to the length, use the main keyword the page targets, and explain what benefit the user will get by clicking.
Between 50 and 50 characters. Any longer than that and Google may truncate your title.
Generally just one. You can add a second if it is closely related and makes sense. Don’t keyword stuff; the goal of the title tag is to explain what users can expect if they click.
I know first-hand that SEO can be a headache., but it doesn’t have to be.
I’m all about demystifying SEO because I know it’s something anyone can do. Even if you’re a technophobe, you can do this!
It doesn’t take years of experience in digital marketing to get SEO right. You just have to learn the ropes and get used to it.
For example, creating page title tags is pretty simple. It might seem complicated at first, but once you take a peek behind the scenes, you see how easy it is.
If you’re not currently leveraging the power of optimized title tags, use this article to start doing that. It can be a game-changer and help your visibility on the SERPs.
Best of all, it only takes a few minutes.
What tips do you have for using title tags for maximum SEO power?
What comes to mind when you think of negotiation tactics?
People in suits closing business deals?
Bargaining with a seller in a market?
Convincing your landlord to lower the rent?
How about all of these?
It’s tempting to think of negotiation only in terms of price, but the term represents many possibilities beyond money.
For example, if you’re struggling to negotiate your desired salary, you can negotiate the job benefits, the scope of work required, hours, or remote-work options.
In other areas of life, you can negotiate a better package with your regular service providers, you can negotiate better deals when shopping and you can even improve your relationships and expectations through effective negotiation.
What about business? Can negotiation tactics help you grow your business?
Research over the past few years says yes.
Whether you are an established CEO conducting high-profile meetings or a small independent seller collaborating with other business owners in your community, negotiation can significantly impact the rate of your growth.
Most business decisions can be improved by learning powerful negotiation tactics. Here’s a few reasons why learning to negotiate is important for growing your business.
Negotiation can offer great benefits, but it can also be challenging to enter a negotiation without effective negotiation tactics.
If you’re new to negotiations, worry not!
I have something for you.
I used to think a powerful negotiator knew all the right things to say. I believed negotiation was about who could outsmart the person in front.
I was wrong.
Successful negotiation is less about talking and more about listening.
When you listen without waiting for your turn to talk, you begin to truly understand what the other party wants. This can help you strike a “win-win” deal so you get what you want and they get what they want. Everyone goes home happy.
This practice of being present in a conversation and listening carefully is called active listening. It helps people feel heard and understood. This can help build a good rapport, which can turn into a good deal.
Here’s a helpful graphic that dives deeper into how you can practice active listening.
Perception can have an interesting effect on how we see the world. Take, for example, the following image. It is often used to highlight how perceptions differ.
Do you see an old woman? Or a young one?
We interpret information differently depending on how it is presented to us. It’s a cognitive bias called the framing effect. You can use this knowledge to improve your negotiations.
For instance, consider this graphic from The Decision Lab:
You can see that “80% fat-free” sounds more appealing than “contains 20% fat,” even though it’s the same quantity.
This principle can easily be used as a negotiation tactic. To do this, frame your negotiations as a win-win opportunity.
For example, let’s say you want to make a deal for $30,000 but your client is set on $25,000. Now, instead of going back and forth over the price, try reframing what you have to offer.
Can you highlight the potential savings your client can enjoy by using your product? Can you address the risk of not using your services?
Ask yourself “How can I frame this solution so we both win?”
Keep in mind that you are not necessarily changing the end result. You are simply changing the way you frame the conversation.
Sometimes you can have the best negotiation tactics in your toolkit and still have to compromise. Many times, you will have to give something up to reach a mutual agreement.
This isn’t always a bad thing.
All relationships require some level of compromise.
You can’t entirely prevent it but you can prepare for it.
Negotiators who enter the room with a plan are often more successful than those who choose to “wing it.”
If you know you may have to compromise, why not be prepared for it?
To plan for what you can and can’t compromise, ask yourself, “What am I willing to give up for this opportunity/deal/product/relationship?”
Focus on what really matters, and don’t let minor details derail an otherwise good deal.
Another important part of planning your negotiation tactics is ranking your priorities.
There are things you absolutely need to have in order to enter a profitable agreement. Then, some things may be “good-to-have,” but aren’t a necessity.
Rank these so your priorities are clear to you.
If you must compromise on something, you need to decide what you can give up. This is where priority lists can help.
For example, building a good relationship with a client may be more important for you right now than making a big sale. In this situation, you can compromise on the price and earn the trust and goodwill of the other party.
You might have heard the adage “never show your cards.”
Many people believe you shouldn’t make the first offer and let the person in front “reveal” their number first.
This doesn’t work so well in real-life negotiations.
In fact, I’ve found, when it comes to negotiations, you should always be the first to say a number.
Remember, the starting number sets the tone for the rest of the negotiation. Being the first to state a number puts you in control of the negotiation process.
This practice is called anchoring.
Even if your number is extremely high or extremely low, now you can steer the negotiation conversation in the direction of your choice.
If your first number is very high, you have biased the negotiations to skew higher.
In most cases, this absurdly high number will be disregarded, but you are already angling for a higher price than if you came in much lower at a “reasonable” price.
Here are some examples of anchoring presented in a graphic by AMGfunds:
In some negotiations, the problem and the solution might be obvious. For example, when you negotiate a salary, both parties know you’re asking for more money in exchange for continuing to offer your services to the company.
Sometimes the real issues aren’t as obvious.
Let’s say you’ve lost interest in your current job, and need some free time to invest in a side hustle. You go to your boss and try negotiating more PTO or similar benefits.
You haven’t communicated your true needs, so your boss may not understand what you’re looking for. Maybe they’ll offer you a raise.
They think they’re doing the right thing, but both of you are stuck in an awkward situation because you couldn’t communicate your actual issue.
This often happens in negotiations. People negotiate for money when they really want more time, freedom, consistency, flexibility, or even another employee for support with the expected workload.
If the goal of a good negotiation process is to solve the problem, then communicating the real problem becomes a key aspect of negotiation tactics.
To succeed at negotiating, you need to understand what solution or outcome you’re seeking. This means you need to communicate the real problem—not just the most apparent one.
This graphic from Olivier Serrat will help you understand how to use it:
As we discussed earlier, framing your negotiation as a win-win situation can help you become a powerful negotiator.
Here’s why a win-win situation matters.
When we frame negotiations as a win-or-lose proposition, we automatically start with the assumption that someone has to lose.
(Hint: No one likes to lose.)
When you enter negotiations with a win-or-lose mindset, your goal is to convince the other party to accept defeat.
Instead, a powerful negotiator frames the negotiations as a win-win opportunity, so everyone is satisfied with the deal.
If you’ve framed the negotiation as a win-win opportunity, tried your best to compromise, discussed the underlying problems, and still failed to reach a mutually beneficial agreement, it may be time to walk away.
Many people are scared of having to walk away from a negotiation. This makes them more likely to take a bad deal rather than have no deal at all.
This is a counterproductive approach.
Being prepared to walk away will give you an advantage. It may not be what you hoped for when you entered the negotiation, but sometimes it’s better to say no than sign a bad contract.
If you’re comfortable walking away from the deal, you can use it as leverage. By having other options, you’re already in a stronger position—and now you’ve got a new level of experience to bring to your next round of negotiations with someone else.
Don’t say things like “let’s make this quick,” or “what about my profit?” This can make the person in front feel like you care more about your personal gains than the relationship you share.
Active listening can be an important negotiation skill as it helps you truly understand what the other person has to say. This helps you make better, more empathetic offers that are more likely to be accepted.
Many people believe negotiation tactics are manipulative and unethical, but that’s not true. As long as you’re respectful of the other person’s needs and committed to offering a fair deal, negotiation is perfectly ethical.
Negotiation is a skill anyone can practice. Even if you’ve never negotiated in your life, working with a simple negotiation technique can help you increase your confidence and improve your ability over time.
Negotiation tactics sound intimidating. Like they’re reserved for high-profile business people in suits.
That’s not true.
Each of the negotiating tactics we discussed today is powerful alone, but together, their impact can be incredibly effective.
Try them, and you’ll see.
Which negotiation tactic will you try first?
Reddit is a social media and news aggregation website that ranks content based on a voting system. People worldwide post content (usually links, but also original content), and other users can “upvote” or “downvote” posts, pushing the most interesting content to the top.
It’s a place where you can find groups of like-minded people. Reddit calls these groups subreddits, and they cover different topics, including niche interests, politics, hobbies, and thousands of other topics people want to talk about.
Since its launch in 2005, the site has become one of the most popular social media sites with millions of monthly active users.
Its engaged, passionate community is just one of the reasons you should consider marketing on Reddit. However, the site has a tough stance on self-promotion, which makes marketing tricky, and it’s easy to fall foul of Reddit’s strict guidelines (including the unwritten rules.
That means you need to take a more strategic approach that focuses on conversations and providing helpful or interesting content.
Before we cover how to create ads, let’s talk about Reddit marketing etiquette so you can get it right.
The list includes:
You also need to be clear about why people use Reddit. According to Signity Solutions, Reddit users are looking for answers or entertainment. If you can offer either, then it’s worth contributing to the conversation. Just don’t try and sell anyone anything.
If you need ideas, there are plenty of ways you can avoid falling into overly promotional material, like:
Reddit is a massive site with thousands of subreddits. Each of those subreddits has its own rules, moderators, and culture. Whichever subreddit you join, take the time to familiarize yourself with the sub’s etiquette and what’s acceptable.
Above all, if you’re not sure, ask before posting something. Redditors are there to help and guide users.
Reddit’s advertising policies cover quality, style, URLs, and landing pages. Below are the basics you need to know for each section.
Video advertisements must be high quality. That applies to the audio, visuals, and text. Make sure content is relevant and suitable for a wider audience. Also, the spoken language should be targeted for where you’re advertising.
Reddit allows mature-rated media. However, it needs to comply with the relevant rating laws for each country, and videos containing “shocking, graphic, or profane content” should be labeled as such.
Additionally, Reddit doesn’t permit videos that include strobing or flashing.
Reddit stresses the importance of professional-looking ads that are concise and detailed. The main takeaways are:
Quality primarily relates to accuracy and clarity about the products/services you’re advertising. That means:
As with all of Reddit’s advertising policies, the main emphasis is on quality and consistency. Make sure your:
For more details, read Reddit’s full advertising policy.
Perhaps you’re not quite ready to commit to paid advertising. That’s OK. You can use some strategies to start marketing on Reddit without paid ads, like those listed below.
Rather than using a business account, you could set up a personal account. From there, you can begin engaging with the community by answering questions and posting content related to your niche. This is a way of showing your expertise and gaining traction on the site while avoiding self-promotion.
It’s the preferred way of Beardbrand’s Eric Banholtz, who has attracted more than 600 members into his subreddit.
Beardbrand tends to post YouTube content like:
You get the idea.
In keeping with Reddit guidelines, there’s no promotional content. The account is just a way of sharing relevant news and touching base with subreddit members.
There’s a subreddit called “Ask Me Anything.”
Members of the community post a huge variety of posts on just about every topic you can imagine. For example, one post is from a female gamer, while AMA is a person who had the same lunch every day for the last 16 years.
Basically, you post a topic and invite others to ask you anything.
Although regular members heavily use the community, you needn’t think you don’t have a place there as a business owner or marketer. The subreddit also attracts members from the business world.
One heavy hitter who makes the occasional appearance is Microsoft’s Bill Gates. Although it’s been some time since Gates contributed, there was huge interest when he did, including plenty of upvotes and lots of interaction.
A popular way for businesses to stay on the right side of Reddit’s rules is to start a subreddit for their brand. Here, you can engage with your customers, answer any questions about your company, and share industry news.
This is a good approach if you aim to encourage engagement and build relationships with prospects.
Reddit is often overlooked by marketers, but with 52 million daily active users, and high levels of engagement, marketers shouldn’t ignore the site.
Additionally, Reddit attracts 430 million monthly active users and it boasts 100,000 communities.
Year on year, Reddit’s active users continue to grow. It looks like Reddit’s here to stay, and the potential is enormous for those that get their marketing right.
It’s also popular among younger age groups, so it’s a brilliant way to reach out to younger prospects.
There are two main types of ads on Reddit. The first is promoted ads, which you’ll see most often. Reddit displays these at the top of subreddits.
The other type is display ads. Reddit offers other types of advertising, like video and carousel, which we detail below.
You can choose from CPM, CPC, or CPV ads, and these are all made available as auctions via the Reddit Ads Dashboard.
Reddit aims to display ads at bigger companies with larger budgets. Unlike promoted ads, these aren’t self-serve, and you need to speak to Reddit’s sales team first. You need a minimum budget of $30,000.
These are available as CPM and CPV bids. Features include an auto-play video and an optional call to action button.
Promoted Carousel ads allow up to six images/gifs, and the bid types are CPM and CPC. Reddit shows these ads in users’ feeds.
For greater visibility, Reddit also offers takeover products. You can view the complete requirements for each type of ad and the features provided on Reddit.
Before diving and creating your own Reddit ad, let’s look at a few examples.
Department store Nordstrom uses Reddit in a way that just about everyone can adopt. It stays on the right side of Reddit’s robust guidelines by using subreddit groups to talk to customers and discuss products, overall service, and typical customer experiences.
It’s clear Nordstrom is playing the long game with its Reddit advertising approach. Its method isn’t likely to garner overnight results. However, it’s a strategy that works for the brand, and it has got hundreds of Reddit users keen to interact with them.
If customer engagement is crucial to you and you’re using it as a building block for your business, the Nordstrom method could be the way to go.
Ally Bank dared to be different with its advertising. Rather than posting in a financial subreddit, it reached out to Reddit’s vast audience of video game lovers.
How did it connect the dots between the two topics? With a simple one-liner that demanded attention:
“You wouldn’t settle for a 1-star controller, so why settle for a 1-star bank?”
Ally Bank stayed away from the traditional banking advert because it was appealing to a non-traditional audience.
You can easily use this approach. Rather than limiting your marketing to your typical market, think about how you could reach different groups and win over consumers that you mightn’t usually market to.
Maker’s Mark took a more direct way of targeting the Reddit community through the r/ads subreddit.
Its “Let it Snoo” tagline was a play on words around Reddit’s mascot, Snoo, and it aimed to make the audience laugh rather than despair at the sight of an advert.
Maker’s Mark was careful to tailor the nature of its advert to the typical Reddit user and talked to them in a style the Reddit audience would welcome.
That’s the key: Always target your audience in the language and the style they’re most comfortable with.
Setting up your first Reddit campaign may take some time, but with plenty of detailed step-by-step instructions, you should find it easy enough. Here are the basic steps for getting started, but always check Reddit if there’s any part you’re not sure about.
If you’re not sure how to narrow down your niche, here are a few pointers:
-Create a customer avatar or profile of your typical customer. You can use the data you already have to do this.
-List any of the characteristics and demographics that you feel represent them. For ideas, you can find out the basics online to get started.
-Understand your demographics’ pain points and how your products/services can help.
Keep your customer profile in mind whenever you create new marketing materials and market to your typical customer.
Before you start crafting your ads, have everything organized. In addition to being clear about your goals, and how you’ll measure results, you need:
-other creative content
Now let’s get started building your campaign!
1. Sign in with your usual Reddit details at ads.reddit.com, which will take you to the “Create Campaign” page.
2. Give your campaign a name in the “name” box.
3. Choose your payment options. Reddit accepts credit cards for self-serve advertisers.
Select your objective from the list. There are several you can pick from. For instance, building awareness, conversions, video views, or app installs.
Creating your ad group requires a few steps. First:
Segment your campaigns: Begin by segmenting your campaigns to make it easier to track performance. Reddit suggests experimenting with bidding for the different campaigns because of its second-price auction model. Consider segmenting based on device or location. Reddit suggests each ad group should have a $50 daily budget.
Give your ad group a name: Ad group names make it clear what the ad is targeting.
Select your ad placement: Next, decide if you want your promoted posts appearing in feeds or conversations. When advertising in feeds, your ads appear in the home, popular, and community feeds. Conversation ads appear when users are discussing specific Reddit posts.
Define your audience: This is your targeting criteria. You can target ads in several ways, including by location, communities, and devices.
Set your schedule and budget: Reddit offers a daily or a lifetime budget, which allows you to specify a specific date range. Now select your bid. Reddit uses a second-price auction model for bidding and doesn’t guarantee impressions. Reddit states impressions are dependent on targeting, your bid, and Reddit traffic.
1. Enter the name of your ad in the “Ad Name” box.
2. Add third-party trackers. Reddit has a list of approved ones, including Comscore, Appsflyer, and Adjust.
3. Add impressions and click trackers, followed by the macros.
4. Include some creatives. For instance, you could write a new blog post or promote an older one.
5. Create a call-to-action button.
6. Preview your ad.
7. Now, you should see a review button. Click on this and check your ads, making any edits if needed.
For fuller information, read Reddit’s pages.
Like most other online communities, Reddit takes a dim view of self-promotion. Anyone who uses Reddit purely for promotional purposes should view the Reddiquette pages and FAQs to understand what’s allowed.
It’s also worth reading the FAQ page on spam.
Start by reading the FAQs and Reddiquette. If you want to include links to a blog, for example, then the content you’re sharing should be helpful and in context with the general topic.
This discussion details a suitable way to share links. Also, ask the admins of subreddits if sharing a link is OK, and build a good reputation or “karma” on the site before thinking about how you can use Reddit for marketing.
Reddit bases its advertising costs on auctions. It sets its rates at $5 a day minimum, and costs vary dramatically from 20 cents per 1000 impressions to $100.
Reddit is a unique platform with millions of active users. It might seem like the ideal place to promote your business, you could get banned (or ridiculed) if you aren’t careful.
Although Reddit is tougher on self-promotion on other platforms, that doesn’t mean marketers should steer clear of it altogether. Provided you stick to the rules and don’t stray into spamming or being “salesy,” you have the opportunity to grow a keen, engaged following.
With hundreds and thousands of subreddits, there’s bound to be one that suits your brand, whatever niche you’re in, regardless of whether your business is new or established.
Reddit is also a fantastic way to get feedback and suggestions from your customers and get to know them better.
Do you advertise on Reddit? What tips do you have to share?
Having good social media profiles can get you more exposure online, help you connect with your fans or customers, and improve your online reputation.
Unless you have a major site associated with your name (like NeilPatel.com), your social media profiles are usually the first results Google shows when someone searches for you.
Start thinking of each social media profile you create as a landing page for your personal brand.
Your social media profiles are possibly the first encounter that someone is going to have with your brand, and you want that first impression to make the visitor interested in knowing more about you.
Here are 10 elements of successful social media profiles.
Okay, this seems fairly basic. The name that displays on your social media profile should just be your own name, right?
Usually, that’s correct. However, sometimes that doesn’t make the most sense.
On platforms like Twitter, where you don’t have to use a real name, a pseudonym might make more sense.
On most social networks, your username is included in your URL, and it’s often different from your display name. Usually, you can’t change your username, so choose it carefully.
If possible, it’s usually best to just go with your own name. Sometimes, if you’re the face of your company, the company name might work better.
On Twitter, Brian Dean isn’t @briandean but @Backlinko, since that’s the name of his company.
Finally, while it isn’t always possible, try to keep your username the same across platforms.
It can be confusing when this isn’t the case, like Instagram being @yourname and Twitter being @yourcompany or @yourmiddlename.
Should you go with a logo or a personal picture?
Of course, if it’s for a personal account, you should almost always go with a headshot.
What about for a company? It’s a tough call, but it really depends on your goals. If you run a smaller operation or are the face of your company, include a headshot of you.
That’s what Brian does on Twitter, even with his company usernames. This also applies to people that are brands themselves, like musicians, artists, or politicians.
If you have a more recognizable brand or don’t want your company to be associated with you specifically, go with the logo.
It’s also a good idea to stick with the same (or at least a similar) photo across different social networks. That way you’re easier to recognize on different platforms.
This varies from one social media network to the next, but be sure to seek out any opportunity to get your link on the main page of your social profile.
For example, you can add a link on the “front page” of your profiles on Twitter and LinkedIn.
Make sure that your link is front and center so that people can find it quickly and click through to your website.
Another good idea for your links is to create a social network-specific landing page so you can track which profiles are bringing your site the most traffic.
You can use these pages to offer a special discount for people who have found you on Twitter or share information that is specific to a network, like recent blog posts you have written about Facebook.
Your main social profile bio should usually include a sentence or two about yourself or your business. Think of it as a perfect place to put your elevator pitch and include keywords.
In a few words, what would you say about your business? It’s also a good idea to use your bio to its fullest potential. Some sites, like Twitter, only let you write a short description.
If you’re on a platform like LinkedIn, your “about” section can have up to 2,000 characters. This is a huge opportunity to explain what you’re all about and make a great first impression.
To make this succeed, you’ll want to add more than just a simple description of what you’ve done and your current projects. Instead, create a story with a basic call to action.
For example, you can tell how you started with the industry you’re working in. What got you interested in it, and what makes you stick around and keep learning?
Finally, you can finish your bio with a simple call to action. This can be a link to a free report, an offer for someone to call you, or even a mission statement asking “will you join me?”
Some profiles allow you to have additional extended information about yourself in the form of favorite books, television shows, movies, and so on.
A lot of people skip over this, especially when it comes to business profiles, but that is a big mistake.
Look at these fields as an additional place to get some great value and connections
I doubt there is a niche out there that doesn’t have at least one or two published books.
Find books, documentaries, and profiles of influential people in your industry and add those in these additional fields (assuming you actually enjoy them, of course!)
This adds credibility and a new level of connection you can build with people who are learning about you for the first time.
Different platforms have different requirements, but most social networks today have some way to add a larger image behind your main profile page.
Some users, especially on Twitter and LinkedIn, choose to use the default background image, but this is a mistake.
A customized background will allow you to share additional information and give personality to you or your brand.
Don’t make it distracting or more important than your profile picture, but a great cover image can go a long way to personalizing your social page.
On some platforms, like Facebook, this can even be a video. If you have the option (and decent video), this can be even an even more engaging way to connect with others.
After you have all of your profile filled out and pictures uploaded, the next thing that you will need to take a look at is your privacy settings.
These vary from network to network, but you will want to make sure that the information you would like to be public is viewable.
Chances are, if this is a business-related profile, you’ll want almost everything to be public. Of course, if your profile is more personal nature, you may want to hide some things.
Once your profile setup is complete, your on-going mission will be to maintain a healthy level of activity on your main social networks.
It’s not enough to leave a profile blank. You need to contribute to the platform and build connections. After all, that’s what they’re there for in the first place.
No matter what social network you’re on, the basic guidelines still apply. You’ll want to connect with friends and followers by asking questions and responding to comments.
Provide value by posting interesting ideas, or at least sharing interesting and relevant things you find.
If you’re in any groups, become an active participant. Be helpful, connect with others in the group, and share things the group will find interesting.
Finally, there is nothing like a little healthy promotion of your social network profiles to help more people find and connect with you.
Be sure to add your social networking profile links to your website, email signature, and business card.
Also, don’t forget to interlink your profiles to each other. Many networks have places to include links to other networks, and you can and should use them whenever possible.
Stay connected, become an active member on the social network of your choice, and you’ll start acquiring a following.
This depends on what you do. If you have a personal profile or your brand centers around who you are, use a headshot. If you have a business where you aren’t the face, your logo will work well.
Using the same name is ideal but not always possible. If your username is taken on another platform, then use something very similar.
Your social media bio should have everything people need to know about your brand. Let them know what makes your brand stand out, what you do, and a call to action whenever possible.
You can brand your social media profile by using a custom cover image with your brand colors and logo. You can also put important information in your cover image. On some platforms, you can also add your interests. This is a great way to add a personal touch.
You can cross-promote your social media profile with each other, by adding all of your links to each profile. You can also all links to your website, and email campaigns.
If you’re getting started with social media marketing, the first step is to set up your accounts and profiles correctly.
If you’ve already been in the game for a while, it’s probably time to take a look at the profiles you set up.
Are there ways to improve what you already have online? Is the profile picture you uploaded last year still relevant? Does your bio or link need updating?
Since it’ll be the first impression many people see, it’s worth spending some time to improve your social media presence and make it compelling and interesting.
What strategies have you used to improve your social media profile?
Ultimate guides are everywhere. You’ve probably read your fair share, and maybe you’ve even written a couple.
They can be a great way to get traffic, build links, and increase your authority, but they’re far from easy to create. The issue most people run into is the sheer amount of content out there nowadays. How do you create an ultimate guide if there are already tons of posts on your chosen subject?
In this post, we’ll look at the steps to creating the ultimate guide on just about anything.
What turns a lengthy blog post into an ultimate guide? Well, there are a few things that almost every in-depth guide has in common:
Apart from that, what you put in your ultimate guide and how you design it is up to you.
If you didn’t know how powerful ultimate guides are already, here’s why you should start creating them right now.
The length, depth, and authority that go into ultimate guides make them a fantastic weapon in your SEO arsenal. The fact that they are so detailed means they should rank for a huge number of keywords. Including internal links to your other blog posts boosts their rankings, too.
A big, in-depth resource like an ultimate guide can be a fantastic source of links. Not only can you use it to go out there and request a backlink as part of your link-building process, but other sites naturally start linking to an authoritative resource, too. So much so that your ultimate guide can continue to attract links for years to come.
There are few pieces of marketing collateral better at positioning your brand as an authority in your industry than an ultimate guide. This is your opportunity to showcase how much you know about your subject to the world and go above and beyond what has previously been written about your topic.
Picking a topic can be a huge stumbling block for many aspiring writers. Don’t get bogged down overthinking it, though. Here’s how you can find the perfect topic quickly.
This first point is obvious, but it needs to be said. You need to know your topic inside and out if you want to write an excellent guide. That doesn’t mean you can’t use a freelance writer to help you out, but you should give them a thorough brief and create the outline of the guide yourself.
Not every guide needs to be written with the express purpose of ranking in Google, but it can seriously help drive traffic and generate customers. That’s why I recommend you enter your topic ideas into a tool like Ubersuggest to see the keyword volumes of the main topic and the volumes of every other related keyword.
Don’t just pick the topic that has the main keyword with the highest search volume, however. You may find another topic has so many more related keywords that it could actually generate more traffic overall.
Ultimate guides are successful when they’re written about trending topics. When people are excited about a topic, they want to consume all the information they can find about it. Your guide should be a part of that, too.
That’s not the only reason you want to focus on what’s trending, though. The newer your post is, the better it might do in search results if someone is searching by posts made within the last week, month, and so on.
With your topic picked, it’s time to get to work creating your guide. Here’s how I recommend you go about it.
Even if you’re an expert in your field, you’ll still want to read blog posts on your topic before you start writing. Doing so will help you understand the level of content currently out there, the common threads writers pull, and the things you need to mention.
Pay attention to the results that Google serves up, too. You’ll find that specific formats are more popular than others, and you’ll want to try to mirror these when it comes to writing your content.
While you’re reading other people’s content, make a note of everything that’s missing from the posts. If you’re writing a how-to post, be sure to go through the steps yourself after reading posts by others.
Then, jot down things you notice during the process that others might have missed or not explained thoroughly. It also might help to sit down with someone who is unfamiliar with your topic and see what questions they come up with.
You can write an ultimate guide off the back of your expertise alone—but you can make it stand head and shoulders above everyone else’s content if you conduct your research.
For some, this is a case of canvassing their colleagues and contacts for their opinion on a certain topic. Others might want to commit to more detailed research and partner with a market research company that’ll carry out a study on their behalf.
The more effort you put into the research, the more valuable and link-worthy your ultimate guide will become.
To create your ultimate guide, simply combine the basics plus the additional details you found were missing from other posts and your research. This way, people coming across your guide as the first piece of content they have read about a topic will get all of the basic information, and people who have read many other guides will be wowed by all of the missing pieces that you included.
An ultimate guide is no good if no one reads it. Considering the amount of time and energy you have spent on your ultimate guide, you owe it to yourself and your readers to promote it well. Do so by:
If you want to take your ultimate guide to the next level, bear in mind these four tips when writing.
You don’t have to be Hemingway to write a great ultimate guide, but take a lesson from Ernest regarding clarity. Short, clear, punchy sentences win out here, especially when writing thousands of words on your topic. Long, convoluted paragraphs may help you get your message across, but they’ll only cause the reader’s mind to wander.
Formatting will also help in this regard. Clearly labeled titles and subheadings will make your guide much more digestible. Short paragraphs will, too. Don’t forget that most of your audience will be reading your advice on a screen, so consider how they might skim it for the information they’re looking for.
One thing I sometimes find missing from other ultimate guides is good screenshots. Take yours using your account of the topic as opposed to generic stock photos. This will make it easier for others to follow along and visualize the process.
Once you have the basics and missing pieces down for your ultimate guide, look for some good examples of your tips in action. If you’re talking about creating great timeline cover photos, then include some examples from pages in different industries.
If you’re talking about using Pinterest to drive traffic, then link to top Pinterest users who are doing things right. Think about your target audience and find examples that they can easily relate to so they feel they must follow your advice to be successful.
There is a lot of advice out there suggesting you should take long posts and break them up into a series, so you can get people to come back to your website over and over again. However, I find that if someone hits a piece of content that says 101 Tips on ___, and the post only includes steps 1–20 with the promise of more to come, they move on to find everything they’re looking for elsewhere.
People want to consume information now, not wait for it. When they read the words ultimate guide, they’re going to expect to get everything in one chunk, so unless you are planning to write 5,000+ words on a topic, keep it in one piece.
There are a lot of great ultimate guides out there, but here are some of my all-time favorites.
If you’re looking to grow your startup, I’m pretty sure you’ll get a huge amount of value out of my ultimate guide on the topic.
With 12 chapters and virtually every angle covered, there’s no reason to read another guide before creating your logo.
If you’ve ever wondered why shoppers are leaving your website at checkout, this mammoth guide by VWO will answer all your questions.
Ultimate guides don’t have to be about marketing, as this guide by Eevi Jones proves.
While Tim Urban hasn’t called this an ultimate guide, you’re unlikely to find a more thoughtful or detailed blog post on picking a career anywhere online.
This blog post isn’t exhaustive by any means. If you want to dive deep into creating high-quality long-form content, then check out these five resources:
You don’t have to write your ultimate guide yourself. If you’re hiring a freelance writer to write your guide for you, here’s how you can create a spec they can follow with ease.
A top-level overview can help a writer quickly get to grips with the topic and goals of the ultimate guide.
Take the initiative and write an outline that includes all of the major points you want the writer to talk about. This makes sure all of the gaps you identified in other pieces of content get covered.
If improved rankings are one of your main goals, then highlight the keywords you’re aiming to rank for.
Where appropriate, make notes for the writer to help guide them. Alternatively, you can record yourself talking about the topic.
Highlight a handful of top-quality resources your writer can turn to for inspiration.
Expect an ultimate guide to take a fair bit longer to write than a standard blog post.
There isn’t a defined length for an ultimate guide, but most are at least 3,000 words in length.
You can use social media and email to get your ultimate guide in front of your target audience.
Absolutely. Ultimate guides offer a lot of value in terms of SEO and building your authority, so you should write as many as you can.
Ultimate guides can be used at any part of your funnel, but they’ll be most useful towards the top. They are great at attracting users into your funnel and converting them to email subscribers.
Follow the advice I’ve given above, and you’ll be on your way to achieving your content goals while sharing valuable insights about your chosen topic.
Have you created an ultimate guide on your website or blog? What other tips would you add to making your ultimate guide a success?
Instagram is one of the best social networks to advertise on. It has grown to be just as big of an advertising platform as its parent company, Facebook. In fact, by 2023, the site is likely to exceed one billion users, according to Statista.
Your best bet for Instagram success is to share stunning visuals and high-quality photos.
Add in a branded or targeted hashtag and you’ll be connecting with your ideal customers in no time.
If you want to increase your reach even further, Instagram ads are the way to go.
If you’re not quite sure how to use Instagram ads or you’re worried about how much they cost, read on to find out how you can run effective Instagram ads on any budget.
Instagram is growing, and it’s growing fast.
There are more than 200 million business accounts on Instagram, and that number doesn’t seem to be decreasing any time soon.
The platform’s incredible growth is all for a good reason. Marketers know it’s worth it: Instagram’s ad revenues could reach $18.16 billion by 2021.
Instagram is not only growing considerably, but it’s also bringing in some serious cash for businesses. It’s attracting tons of big brands because it’s well worth it to advertise there. Even if you’re not a multimillion-dollar brand, Instagram ads are still just as important for you to use (if not more important).
Here’s why any size business should consider Instagram as a way to promote their brand, services, or products:
Whether you want to increase brand awareness, get more clicks to your website, generate sales, or boost downloads of your latest e-book, Instagram can help you reach a huge audience.
Instagram offers a range of Instagram ads for you to utilize, giving you the creative freedom to make something spectacular and reach your goals. Here are a few options to explore and a little bit about how to leverage each one effectively.
Photo ads show up organically in your Instagram feed as you scroll through. An Instagram photo ad looks like a post from any of the accounts you are already following but will include a little “Sponsored” notation in the corner to let people know they are looking at an ad. These ads include a call-to-action button at the bottom to push people to a specific URL or your Instagram account.
These are useful if you have a really evocative photo to share your message. Instagram recommends using this type when you have a specific product or message you want to get the word out about. Keeping it simple can help you stand out and grab attention as people are scrolling through.
You can use this format to promote your past Instagram posts, so look for the most popular ones and click “Promote” to get started.
Carousel Instagram ads take photo ads to the next level. With this style, you can create a series of up to 10 photos or videos in a single ad.
Just like the photo ads, they exist in the Instagram news feed, but each photo or video can connect to a different URL or location.
This allows you to showcase a collection or group of products.
If you’re not sure whether to choose between photo ads and carousel ads, think about what you are trying to promote. Resist the urge to think about carousel ads as a way to just stuff more photos into an ad. They should function together and make sense as a unit.
Photo ads are like a one-page ad in a magazine or newspaper, while carousel ads are like lookbooks or mini catalogs themselves. When you’re announcing a new product line or a seasonal collection, these are a great option.
Video Instagram ads are just as they sound. Like carousel and photo ads, they appear in the Instagram feed. You can post an ad as short as a second or as long as sixty minutes, or anywhere in between.
When you create video ads for Instagram, you’ll want to think about your goals. You may choose to provide lots of information right there in the video to entertain or educate or you may use this ad as a teaser to get people to click through to learn more about your brand.
Again, this is where you’ll want to think about which is best for you in the news feed—the photos, the videos, or the carousel. Videos allow you to share more dynamic content, but people will have to stop scrolling to view it all. You need to catch their attention quickly and early in the video.
Instagram shopping ads are an interactive option for showcasing your products, either in the Instagram feed or in the explore section of Instagram. With Instagram shopping ads, you can add shopping links on your photos for viewers to click and learn more about the product and even purchase directly from the Instagram app.
You will need to set up an Instagram shop to use this ad option. If your brand uses the Instagram shop feature, this is a smart next step to get the word out to a new audience about your products.
You can use flat lays, real-world images, or other detailed photos of your products, and create tags to point people to where they can purchase them directly. This is great if you have unique products, maybe with a seasonal or local twist.
Social media influencers play a big role in the content marketing world these days. Branded creator ads are a component of this game. They can consist of photos or videos that one Instagram account creates organically, and another shares as an ad.
To make this happen, an Instagram creator account needs to provide permission to a business partner or a brand they are working with, to share that particular post.
These types of ads are built on an existing relationship between creators and brands. If you are working with an influencer already, these are a great way to showcase organic content they have created with your products or your services.
Instagram reel ads are ads in between reel videos. They follow the same format as an Instagram reel video, allowing the ad to feel like a natural part of the reel video feed. Instagram reel ads can be up to 30 seconds long and play in a loop, in a full vertical screen. You can think of them as the TikTok format of Instagram.
You may want to use this format of Instagram ads if you have eye-catching and intriguing short video content people are likely to engage with and share. Consider the features necessary for a viral video.
Over 500 million people use Instagram Stories every day, so why not pop in there with your own Instagram ads? Just like other Instagram ad types, stories ads are placed natively within the stories environment so your target audience sees the content right there, as they are scrolling through the stories of the accounts they follow.
To make the most of these types of ads, Instagram recommends using motion-focused content, with the message upfront, to fit well with the fast-paced nature of stories.
IGTV is one of the newest models of Instagram ads available to creators. These ads play at the beginning of ads an Instagram user clicks on, much like video ads on YouTube or another video platform. IGTV ads can be up to 15 seconds long so you should follow much of the same recommendations as above, getting to your message upfront.
Let’s take a look at real-world examples of Instagram ads that hit the mark.
MUD\WTR does a lot of things right with their Instagram ads. This is an example of a Stories ad they ran. The content looks very organic, from a content creator on Instagram, including the text captioning at the bottom. They also included a series of Stories, rather than just one. The story is set up in a narrative fashion, grabbing your attention from the start. In addition, they run regular photo and video ads as well so they tend to show up everywhere as you’re scrolling around on Instagram.
When you’re casually scrolling Instagram and a video ad stops you with a challenge. Wool& uses their Instagram ads to promote their 100-day challenge, where they invite users to wear their products for 100 days and get $100. It’s a simple challenge that grabs your attention. Just another dress picture may be overlooked.
The starting image just makes you cringe, doesn’t it? It’s effective because you can almost feel it. Red nail polish on white carpet. Eek. The video ad from there moves fast, almost frantically, through the information about their product promising to keep that from happening. It fits the dynamic of a fast-moving platform and hits a pain point from the start.
Another example of Instagram ads that hit on the emotions from the start, with a bit of a gross factor. Sometimes you can’t look away. This one uses the warmth of the child’s photo with the narrative of what their product prevents. It’s also a very simple product and message, another important feature. If people have to wonder what you’re about, they will keep scrolling.
From Candid Camera to America’s Funniest Home Videos, there’s a long line of entertainment proof that we love to watch a good prank. Send a Cake Now plays on this by showing videos of people opening their product, which launches birthday and celebratory surprises their way. It’s ideal for Instagram, with homemade, fast-moving videos. You definitely want to stop and watch who gets surprised next.
Choosing to run Facebook or Instagram ads depends on your target market and which platform they use the most often. You can also run on both platforms.
You can use your Facebook business page to set up your Instagram ads.
The cost of Instagram ads varies depending on impression or click-through. They can cost on average between $0.20 and $2 per click or $6.70 per impression.
Instagram Promotions can help you reach more people on Instagram. If you have a popular photo or video post, it may be worthwhile to promote it to a wider audience.
Through a range of different photo and video formats, you can choose the one to suit your content and your target audience the best and share your brand’s narrative.
If you find your customers are hanging out on Instagram, and you may want to look into Instagram ads to get the message out to even more of them.
What’s the best Instagram ad you’ve ever seen?
Internal links are a crucial part of a successful SEO strategy.
Small but mighty, simple yet complex, internal links help navigate users through your digital content and give search engine crawlers information about how your website works.
Internal links are found on almost every page on the internet. You’re probably already using them, even if you don’t know it. (Hint: there’s a few included in this intro,)
If you want to optimize your content for SEO, you need to understand how internal links work, where to place them, and why they matter.
In this post, we’ll dive into internal linking and cover best practices.
Internal links are links from one page to another within a single domain.
These are different from external links, which point to pages on a different website.
Every website with more than one page should be connected through internal linking.
Think of your website’s home page. In the top navigation, you likely have a menu that links to other internal pages. This could be your About, Shop, and Contact pages.
This internal linking structure is essential for SEO because it establishes a site architecture and improves your link equity.
Having multiple web pages attached to a singular domain improves your chances of being ranked by allowing search engine crawlers to index more content.
Internal linking is a simple issue of site design and architecture, and the search engines expect it. All websites have a design and architecture that keeps them structured logically, such as this common silo model.
Of course, site architecture and structuring can get far more complex.
But as long as you have a strong internal linking structure, your website will be crawled, indexed, and ranked by search engines.
Internal linking is one of SEO’s most valuable weapons.
Why? Because it works.
Google’s machine-learning algorithm has come a long way since the early days of SEO. Nowadays, it’s nearly impossible to game the system.
As advanced as the algorithm is, there are still simple changes that will give you an immediate boost in SEO without gaming the search engines.
Internal linking is one of them. It’s not a trick or a gimmick, and it’s certainly not hard to do.
Here are some of the benefits.
Google’s crawler follows link paths throughout the internet to find and index websites.
If your website has strong internal linking, the Google crawler has an easier time finding new content you publish.
Google’s bots regularly crawl the web for fresh content. If your content is woven together with multiple internal links, crawling happens a lot faster.
As a result, your content will get indexed faster, too.
Improved crawling and indexing can boost your SEO.
Take a look at where most of your website’s backlinks are coming from. You’ll probably see a lot of links that send users to your homepage.
When you compare the homepage backlinks to deep page backlinks, this is what you usually see:
Unfortunately, too many home page backlinks are bad for SEO. We call this over-optimizing, and it should be avoided.
What you want to see is the pie chart reversed. The majority of your external links should point at deep internal pages, not your home page. That’s because the homepage doesn’t generally include the type of detailed information users search for.
When a website doesn’t actively publish and promote new content, its link profile looks like this:
Most of the links on the website go to social profiles or standard pages such as “About” or “Contact.”
This provides very little SEO value to the site.
If you create a strong internal linking structure, you can boost the link juice earning potential of the internal pages, by creating clear click paths and indexation throughout the website.
Why? Because you are increasing the overall crawl priority throughout the site with better distribution of your links.
When your website receives a link to the homepage, some of the link value is passed on to internal pages.
This is often referred to as “link juice.”
If Page 1 then links to Page 2, the “link juice” flows from Page 1 to Page 2, helping it rank higher in the search engine results page (SERP).
The more tightly-knit a website’s structure (through internal linking), the better the overall site will perform in search.
An internal link is a simple string of HTML that links one website page to another. It looks like this:
<A HREF = “http://www.example.com/internalpage“> an article on cat food </A>
When you create an internal link with anchor text, as opposed to with an image or navigational text, however, the value of the internal link goes up.
Anchor text improves the value of the link by adding keywords and content to the linking process. Google isn’t just looking at an A HREF tag. They are also looking at the anchor text that is part of that link.
The days of keyword stuffing anchor texts are long gone. But, there is value in optimizing your internal anchor text.
Anchor text that flows well with the overall content, versus over-optimized anchor text, is best.
This is the most important point of all. Internal linking is an SEO technique, yes. But, it’s more than that.
Ultimately, internal linking is useful for users.
Think about it this way: When you’re researching a topic, do you check one source or multiple?
Do you enjoy exploring other content that reinforces your understanding of the topic?
Maybe, you just like the writing style of the article you’re reading and want to read more work by the same author.
Internal linking on a site increases the value of each piece of content by backing up claims and leading the user to related information.
While it may not drive conversions directly, internal linking does have a place within the marketing funnel—carrying people to a target destination.
As an added bonus, you can help readers stay on your site longer and increase their trust in you by using internal linking.
SEO is about user optimization, not just technical tweaks and sneaky tricks.
Even if you don’t care about the technical value of internal linking, at least do it for your users.
Now, it’s time to get into the nitty-gritty. How do you do internal linking? What’s the best method for creating the biggest value with links?
There are two things you need in place first:
Okay, let’s get into it.
The best internal links are those that connect one article to another. This creates a strong internal linking structure deep within the site.
If you have good site architecture, you’ll have enough links to the site’s main pages, such as the homepage, About page, Contact page, etc.
You don’t need more links to these pages.
Obviously, if you’re trying to drive conversions using a squeeze page or sales page and the opportunity is right, link to it.
For the most part, I recommend creating links in and among long-form articles. This automatically spreads your internal linking naturally.
What kind of internal links work best?
It’s simple: Links with descriptive anchor text.
What do we mean by descriptive anchor text?
You’re familiar with anchor text, right? An anchor text is the word or words that link to another page. They typically appear as blue text to the reader.
Your internal links should use anchor text, but not just any anchor text will do. Include phrases that describe what the target link is about.
Here are some examples of strong anchor text:
If you wanted to link to an article about the 10 most important SEO techniques, you could do it this way:
Here are a few important SEO techniques you should be using.
If you wanted to link to an article about Google Hummingbird, you could do it this way:
Google’s algorithm has been updated with new machine learning capabilities.
Each of those examples is associating the subject of the link with relevant phrases. The first anchor text contains “10 most important SEO techniques,” which is the subject matter of the article you’re linking to. The second anchor text has the phrase, “Google’s algorithm has been updated,” and the linked article contains information about Google, Hummingbird, algorithms, and updates.
Here are three things not to do with your internal linking:
When you write a new piece of content, you should include five or more links to old articles. This is really important to your internal linking strategy and how the search engines review and rank your content.
Websites have a “freshness value” that Google detects and uses as part of its ranking algorithm.
According to Cyrus Shepard, “links from fresh sites [or pages] pass fresh value.”
Pinging old pages with a new link helps to boost its likelihood of increasing rank in the SERPs. In the eyes of the search engines, readers who follow your internal links are actually “refreshing” your older content by showing it’s still relevant.
However, be careful not to over-stuff your content with links.
According to Moz, search engine crawlers have a limit of 150 links per page. After that, they stop spidering.
Overstuffing your page with links could negatively impact your SEO.
Be sure to link, but don’t overdo it. This will help both the search crawlers and your user experience.
You’ll get the most power from internal linking if you combine it with another SEO technique—updating old content.
When you update old content, Google’s crawler sees it again, indexes it again, and may increase its ranking in the SERPs.
We always recommend updating your old articles regularly. Here is a good process to follow on your old blog articles:
Remember, internal linking isn’t only about linking new content to older content. It’s also about circling back to older content and creating internal links that connect to your newer work.
You’re accomplishing two things by doing this.
Now that you’ve learned so much about internal linking, you’re probably wondering where you should put your internal links?
It’s tempting to get lazy and throw them in at the end of an article: “For more awesome content, click here!”
Don’t do that, please. Or at least, don’t do just that.
Instead, look for areas in the content where the subject matter overlaps. These are logical points of connection to create an internal link. For example, you can add links to define complex terms or explain a related topic.
Think of internal links as a reference point that improves the experience of the reader.
Don’t add a nofollow tag to your internal links. Nofollow links do not have any impact on the search engine rankings of the destination site.
On top of that, Google does not transfer PageRank or anchor text across nofollow links. It won’t even crawl them.
While some data from Ahrefs has shown nofollow links can be useful when used externally, there is no reason to use them in your internal linking strategy.
Do you have pages on your website that convert visitors more than other pages?
If so, link to these pages.
Some articles in our blog have super high conversion rates. The content is compelling, and the CTAs are so powerful that users convert in droves.
We always make sure to link internally to these pages.
This is where internal linking has more than just SEO value. It can have revenue value, too. The more visitors you can drive to a high-converting page, the more conversions you’ll have.
Site navigation and internal linking go hand in hand.
Internal links define site architecture and hierarchy by creating funnels that direct users through your website.
Ultimately, this is an important part of your UX/UI and will impact how long people stay on your web pages and how often they come back.
When building an internal linking strategy, consider the most important content on your site and how you’re promoting it.
If you have a piece of cornerstone content that you want more eyes on, point more internal links to it.
The best way to have a healthy internal linking structure is to have lots of internal pages.
When you create lots of content, you’ll have lots of linkable content. The more links to the more places, the better your internal linking strategy will be.
Remember, simply having a lot of web pages doesn’t equal a robust internal linking strategy.
While internal links are essential to your website navigation, repeatedly linking to your homepage won’t move the needle on your SEO score.
Whatever your strategy, do it well and do it often.
Now that you know how to use internal linking correctly, let’s review some of the practices to avoid.
Adding too many links to your content can be detrimental to your score. Remember, Google does not crawl pages that have more than 150 links. It’s also important to note that your header, footer, and menu links are included in your on-page link count.
Don’t overdo it!
Keyword stuffing in anchor text is another internal linking practice to avoid. This black hat tactic was popular in the past, as SEO’s thought it would improve their chances of ranking.
These days, sophisticated search algorithms penalize keyword stuffing in anchor text. So, don’t do it.
Using internal links in header text should also be avoided. Links in headers signal spam to Google crawlers and can negatively impact your SEO.
Finally, be sure to check all of your internal links before posting them. Broken links don’t spread any link juice and signal to Google that your website is low quality.
There’s no set number, but 5-10 for every 2,000 words is a good best practice. Remember, Google won’t crawl pages with more than ~150 links, so be careful about overstuffing your content.
According to Databox, internal links can spread link juice from low-traffic web pages to high-traffic ones. That being said, it’s also important to point as many links as possible to your cornerstone content so it benefits from increased traffic.
Internal linking is a link that points to another page within the same domain. Internal links show up as hyperlinks, like this: Tips for building better evergreen links.
No, internal links stay within your website domain, they do not come from an external source. Backlinks are external links that point to your domain.
Internal linking is a core part of a solid SEO strategy. When done right, it enhances the user experience and can help you rank higher in the SERPs.
While internal links are part of any strong website design, it’s important to find ways to include internal links in your content to ensure you’re getting the most out of your content. Make sure to use optimized (but not over-optimized) anchor tags, and add internal links that provide users with more information about a topic they’re interested in.
What internal linking practices have you found to be the most effective?
Disclosure: This content is reader-supported, which means if you click on some of our links that we may earn a commission.
More people blog on WordPress than any other platform. If you want to stand out from the crowd, you need the right theme.
WordPress themes determine the layout of your blog, the impression it has on visitors, and how easy it is to navigate.
There are a lot of WordPress themes to choose from. Over the years, I’ve experimented with dozens of themes across my sites. As one of the internet’s most successful bloggers, I know what works.
Here’s my latest take on the seven best WordPress themes for blogs. This page is always getting updated as new themes come out and others outlive their use.
Keep reading to find my top picks along with a buyer’s guide that will help you make sense of your many good options.
If you are a lifestyle or fashion blogger looking for a place to store all of your content among a focused layout with crisp fonts, Olsen is the perfect theme for you.
It takes very little work to pull off a very professional blog. You’re not going to break the mold with something people have never seen before–Olsen’s strength is in it’s familiarity. Readers will immediately be comfortable with your layout, knowing how to navigate and share your content.
Providing a fluid and peaceful reading experience, Olsen is the theme for anyone who wants their images to stand out next to their content. Tell a story with more than just words.
Olsen is completely customizable and is the perfect place to show off your best work.
Two unique elements this theme offers are a Featured Content slider and an Instagram footer widget. Both elements are great for sharing your work with readers.
The Featured Content slider is a little different from the average Featured Content add-on. This element allows you to pick up to six images or posts and include them at the front of your blog. The reader can navigate this slider by clicking the left or right arrow.
The Instagram footer widget is unique and doesn’t appear in any other theme on this list. This is the perfect add-on for a fashion or lifestyle blogger who wants to showcase their photos. It shows the widget at the bottom of your blog and features your most recent Instagram posts in a large single row.
The downside is for people who want the Instagram feature for free. Unfortunately, you must pay for the theme or buy a plan to use it, but we think this trade-off is worth it.
You can get started with Olsen today for free. Upgrading to Olsen Pro is only $34.30 for a full year. There is also a Club Membership, which gives you access to many more themes and plugins, and it’s only $48.30.
If you are looking for a WordPress theme that lets you do it all–and have an easier time doing it–then Extra is my top recommendation.
With some themes, you can get pigeon-holed into a certain style or format. With Extra, you never have to worry about limits or boundaries.
Blogs of any type, digital magazines, portfolios, online stores–really any kind of blogging experience you are looking to deliver is possible with Extra.
Extra is from Elegant Themes, the same people who make Divi, which is the most popular WordPress theme in the world. If you are looking to build a unique website on WordPress, Divi is a great choice.
However, if you are specifically focused on finding a theme for WordPress blogging, go with Extra. It gives you the same foundation as Divi, but it’s been optimized for bloggers.
The most important aspects are the new modules within the Divi Builder that help you curate your content for readers, including post feed, post carousel, post slider, and tabbed posts. All of these are tied to the categories you set and easy to arrange in an appealing layout.
Publishing the striking blog on the left is as easy as filling in the intuitive layout on the right.
With Extra you get the Divi Builder ability to create everything visually, but it’s within a framework that makes blogging easier. It’s a true drag-and-drop editor that lets you build elegant posts and pages very quickly.
Start from one of more than 800 pre-made layouts and customize virtually every aspect from there. Colors, fonts, sizing, spacing, sizing is easy to adjust with clicks, not code. Whatever you design is fully responsive to any screen size. No extra work or double-checking on your part.
Here are some of the other ways that Extra helps people take their WordPress blog to the next level:
All of these features work together beautifully. Your blog readers are greeted by an enticing layout and your site is effortless to navigate. They can read, review, rate, and share your posts across other channels.
Extra is available for purchase through a membership to Elegant Themes. That means for one price, you get access to Divi, Extra, as well as Bloom (email plugin) and Monarch (social media plugin).
This is a complete set of tools that can power your entire website with a modern and integrated blog.
Elegant Themes memberships are $89 per year, or $249 for a lifetime subscription. This includes 24/7 premium support and unlimited usage of every product.
The company is constantly adding new features. I’m talking about fresh layouts every week and new tools to help your blog stand out.
Some people need a simple blog that showcases their portfolio. Others need a platform that delivers new content to their readers on a daily basis, whether they are breaking stories about their brand or community.
I’m talking about a blog experience where visitors show up to find a new arrangement of content every morning. If this describes you, then Newspaper is the WordPress theme for your blog.
It is the number one bestselling news theme of all time, and for good reason. You can use any kind of content or social media integration–it’s all going to look sharp.
Beginners and professionals will love how easy Newspaper is to use. Whether you want to get set up in minutes or craft a trendsetting design, you’ll find the theme very accommodating.
Include sound, moving images, and other features to engage your audience with no more than a few clicks. And, you can rest assured that none of the changes you make will slow your site down.
This is true even if readers are on their phone, as Newspaper is completely integrated with the Google AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) plugin.
Instead of a slow, cluttered experience–as you might get with another news-style WordPress theme–all of your readers can enjoy what you publish. Given how much traffic comes from mobile-users, this is a big deal.
None of this will require coding, so your whole team can take advantage of the theme. No graphic design degree necessary to edit images. With Newspaper, it’s a snap to create eye-catching, on-brand images that develop your story.
This means less steps to make sure your content, logos, headers, and footers are all working together to deliver a positive blog experience for your readers. And if you are constantly updating, the time-savings adds up quick.
With Newspaper, you can eliminate hours from your monthly workflows and free up your team to create.
Despite being able to do so much, management remains quite simple. Quickly gain mastery over your blog and use the great features included with Newspaper like:
Monetizing your blog is incredibly easy with banner ads, Google Ads, and Adsense. All ads are responsive, and Newspaper starts you off with 14 predefined and 5 custom spots. You can place ads where you want without disrupting the flow of your blog.
Pricing for Newspaper starts at $59 for a regular license. This includes free future updates and 6 months of premium support. You can extend support for a full year for $17.63.
There’s a ton included with the price, but if you want to add other plugins to optimize SEO, open an online store, or increase security, you can rest assured that Newspaper theme will integrate smoothly.
Get started with Newspaper today and start publishing a world-class blog every day.
Akea is a WordPress theme from GoodLayers, a company that empowers bloggers who live by the “less is more” mantra.
Over the years, the company has released some of the greatest minimal blog themes. It’s best for people who don’t want too much information and stimulation a negative and expect readers with similar tastes.
You get total control over how your content is exhibited. Play with the spacing between items on your page. Tweak the size of thumbnails used for your blog. Use a single image to fit any screen size with the 100 percent fluid layout.
Customize it until you get it just right. With Akea, you don’t have hundreds of templates, but you don’t have to squeeze anything into a pre-built mold. Instead, you get a relatively small selection of blog layouts and each one is an open field.
Upload your own font. Bring in any video, quotes, galleries in a slider. Make a bold impression using a few commanding content elements arranged just the way you like.
If you’re looking to jam the most content per square inch into your blog, this is not for you.
This isn’t to say you can’t include sidebars, or menus, or give your readers tons of options. With Akea, that’s all easy to do. It’s just really focused on the minimal style, so all of these elements are unobtrusive and clean.
You get a floating navigation bar, so your readers always have quick access to more content, but you are never overloading them at any point.
That’s the spirit of Akea, which comes with a trim feature set designed for you to start making it your own immediately. Some of the essentials include:
While you get comparatively few templates compared to other options, there’s a lot you can do with each one.
Akea starts at $54. It includes free lifetime updates and premium customer support for the first six months.
Because Akea is a newer theme, there are fewer reviews of the theme than some of the others I recommend. But GoodLayers has always done a solid job, and Akea works well with the latest plugins and WordPress updates.
This means less work on your end to make sure everything is running smooth, as the modern integration decreases problems and potential security issues.
It’s also fully compatible with the WordPress Gutenberg editor, which is now standard for all new sites. This is going to save a lot of time and make the final product look better with less configuration.
If you value simple, clean design for your WordPress blog, Akea is a theme you should check out today.
Pearl is an incredibly feature-rich and flexible WordPress theme that’s got enough options to outfit any business.
I recommend this to people whose blog is part of a larger website. Pearl is kind of overkill if you just need a blog, though you could make an incredible blog with it.
On that note, it might be a good option if you are hitting your limits with your current WordPress theme. If there’s features and functionality you can’t swing now, Pearl will help you get there.
To put it simply, with Pearl you’re not making compromises–you’re making a blog that’s tailored to fit the needs of your industry and goals. Pearl offers an astonishing range of demos for virtually every vertical: agency, beauty, ecommerce, law, music, software, and more.
Each of these demos has been carefully designed to include a suite of features and layout to meet the challenges businesses face.
The Pearl Viral demo, for example, showcases your posts according to how popular they are, with professional category tags to help readers find what they want.
For a business in the entertainment industry, the out-of-the-box power of this blog layout and styling is obvious. The same is true for everyone of the many industries Pearl supports.
And your blog will be totally tied into the rest of your site, which is a must if blogging is a part of your business outreach. Readers can react to posts, leave a reply, share it on social media, or get drawn further into your site and company offerings.
You can add more than 55 different types of shortcodes (UI blocks) into your posts. This includes things like a music player, calls to action, events lists, icon boxes, galleries, pricing tables, and a lot more.
This is huge for corporate users who need a range of ways to communicate and interact with their audience. Some of the other standout features include:
There’s really not much you can’t do with Pearl, and most of it can be accomplished without writing a line of code.
And all of this is available for the price of $59 for a regular license with free lifetime updates. Six months of maintenance is included, with additional coverage available for purchase.
If you need a high-functioning blog, bear in mind that Pearl includes a number of premium plugins for free. You get WPBakery, Booked Appointments, Ninja Popups–in total it’s about $325 worth of premium plugins based on the going rates.
Pearl is a very reasonable price for what you get, and you’ll have to spend less moving forward.
Get started with Pearl today, and forget about limitation.
For as popular as food blogs are, they can be tricky to create if you are using a multi-purpose theme.
You can do it, for sure, but it’s going to take a lot more work. And it’s probably not going to come out as well as if you had just started with a WordPress theme built specifically for food blogs..
TinySalt is just that. It’s got every feature and formatting capability you need to blog in this space.
Where a recipe would be difficult to get the formatting correct with an ordinary WordPress theme, TinySalt gives you turnkey options to produce this niche type of content immediately.
Breakdown your most complicated dish into a series of simple steps. Include photos where you think it will help. Add a button early in the post to let readers jump straight to the recipe.
And you don’t have to spend any time getting all of this to flow on your blog. TinySalt has 12 demos you can import to your website. Mix and match to deliver the exact experience you are looking for.
Readers can quickly search through your recipes with a convenient filter, or browse your beautiful blog. When they find one they like, they can print, rate, and share them with their friends on social media.
If they decide against a certain meal, your blog can automatically recommend related recipes at the end of a post.
Don’t let the Tiny in the name fool you, this theme is packed with potential. You get:
All TinySalt is missing is your recipes and imagination.
TinySalt starts at the low cost of $39 for a regular license. Future updates and six months of premium customer service is included at that price. Ongoing support is available if you need it.
At that price, it’s not hard to turn a profit with TinySalt, even if it’s just a side-hustle for now.
You’ll be able to see your own products with WooCommerce, or promote items through advertising and affiliate marketing. It’s also compatible with MailChimp, which means you can turn your food blog into a newsletter to build your subscriber base.
Eliminate the complex configuration that goes into food blogging and take your site to the next level. Stop cooking with the wrong equipment and get TinySalt today.
I really like ConsultingWP for businesses that want their blog to make a splash.
Whether you are looking to make connections for providing services, or to get your brand out to the world, this is an empowering WordPress theme for business blogs.
You get tools to build that anyone at your company can use on day one. You’re not going to have to hire out a professional or lean on a single person in-house to keep everything looking great.
Never touch code and never compromise on the finished product.
Simply browse through the hundreds of templates offered by ConsultingWP, find the one you like, and begin importing it. You’ll have complete control over what plugins and options you want to bring over to your new blog.
From there, you can customize the blocks, fonts, headers, layout, and so on on. Instead of having to mess around editing PHP or CSS files, everything is a few clicks.
Up to this point, what I’ve described is a very good WordPress theme for blogs, but where ConsultingWP steps away from other easy/powerful options is the business-focused feature set.
One of the most useful is the Cost Calculator Builder, which lets clients price out your services on your blog. Instead of having to call for a quote (which can be a tricky step to get people to take) people can investigate on their own using the simple calculator.
Normally, creating an interactive form like this would take some serious effort. And, if you wanted to make changes to your pricing, it might be a hassle to get it right.
With ConsultingWP, you have full control over this simple feature. Run promotional pricing without worrying it’s going to break your site and confuse potential clients.
Some of the other fantastic built-in elements include:
For businesses, the all-in-one feature set is really attractive. I mean, you can do all of this with a hodge-podge of third-party plugins, but there is zero guarantee they are going to work well together. At best, you’d have a lot of maintenance to keep things running smooth without slowing your site to a crawl.
With ConsultingWP, on the other hand, businesses get a toolkit that’s been designed to work in harmony. This means less work for better results.
Starting at $59 a regular license, this is a great deal. Trying to match the feature set by downloading individual plugins would be far more expensive and frustrating.
A regular license comes with six months of premium customer support. You can choose to extend support for an additional cost.
If you are looking for a professional blog that establishes your business as a leader in your space, I highly recommend ConsultingWP.
Now that you know our seven best theme recommendations, it’s important to understand what matters.
Make the right decision by following these considerations.
It sounds self-explanatory, but it’s relevant when choosing the perfect theme. Today we looked at the seven most common blogging niches, and how each theme suited for those niches is different.
When choosing a theme, you must know your blogging niche because you don’t want to install TinySalt if food blogging is your focus. Different niches require different themes with distinct features, layouts, and designs.
I would suggest creating a list of your most passionate hobbies and start there.
Having a customizable theme is crucial for an easily-navigated blog.
It’s okay if you are not interested in investing money into your blog. However, many free themes have limits on customizing, whether for headers, colors, or layouts.
Every theme on this list is customizable to some extent, some more than others, so it’s important to look into the nitty-gritty before installing.
Every theme listed here today has some incredible features that work best for its particular niche. However, some themes have more unique elements than others, and it’s critical to weigh whether you need them.
Paid themes are more likely to have more unique elements, such as Olsen with the Instagram footer widget, and the premium plugins that come free with Pearl.
If you know you won’t need an Instagram footer, it’s best to keep your money in your pocket.
Some basic features that are imperative for most blogs include:
So, make sure you look for these when installing any theme.
Running a successful WordPress blog isn’t easy. Having the right theme helps a lot.
Here’s the complete list of my top recommendations:
Extra is a great all-in-one blog solution that’s going to cover most people. No matter what direction you take, you’re always going to get the latest features to experiment and engage your audience.
Some of my recommendations work really well in particular niches, like Olsen and TinySalt, whereas others play to a certain style. Akea favors minimal content with maximum impact, whereas Newspaper is going to give readers dozens of posts to read at every turn.
ConsultingWP and Pearl are safe bets for any business blog. I’d lean toward the former if you are looking for something sleek for your company, and toward the latter if your blog is part of a more complex site.
What matters most, of course, is what you do with your WordPress theme. Even the best products can only get you so far. Check out my guide on how to get your blog posts to rank in Google’s top 10 search results.
Hope this helped. Happy blogging!
Disclosure: This content is reader-supported, which means if you click on some of our links that we may earn a commission.
Here’s some good news–you can get a website up and running without spending a dime.
Yes. Free web hosting exists, and I’ll show you how to get it.
You’ll be able to launch a website with a few clicks, but don’t expect anything fancy.
Some of the trade-offs with free web hosting include: ads on your site (that don’t make you money), a cap on how much traffic you can get, sudden downtimes, and little to no customer support.
There’s some really great cheap web hosting options that will help you build a site without tradeoffs for a few bucks a month.
But if you really need a 100% free web hosting solution, check out my recommendations below.
When it comes to building a simple blog or an online portfolio that highlights your work, Wix is the best intuitive website builder you can count on.
With the help of its simple drag-and-drop interface, you can create a simple website in minutes. Wix takes care of your website through free hosting so long as you don’t mind having Wix brand ads displayed on your pages.
And if you don’t want to build your own site, all you need to do is answer a few questions. The platform’s Artificial Design Intelligence (ADI) will then automatically generate a website with a design based on the answers you give.
You’ll get a great looking page in a few minutes, and from there you can fine-tune it the way you want. Editing within Wix is easy, and you’ll be surprised at how many options you have.
Although free accounts can only use the Wix subdomain, there are enough templates and apps you can choose from to add a little bit of personal touch to your website.
Should you decide to create a website with Wix, you will get a storage space of 500 MB and a bandwidth of 500 MB, enough for a low-traffic site like an online portfolio.
If you want more flexibility, you can upgrade to premium plans anytime to access custom domain, email, and ecommerce features.
Premium plans also eliminate ads so your website will look more professional and less cookie-cutter.
But even with ads, Wix has plenty to offer that will put the spotlight on your content. Whether you’re a writer, designer, or photographer, Wix remains the best website builder to help you establish an online presence without touching any code. Sign up now.
Square Online is a free ecommerce platform for aspiring entrepreneurs who are still getting their feet wet with online selling. Unlike big names in the industry, Square Online lets you sell unlimited products without paying recurring fees.
It’s free to set up your online store hosted by Square Online. You’ll pay a fee for transactions on the site, but it’s only a small percentage of your total sale.
Your still making money on your free Square Online site, which is pretty great considering you still pay transaction fees on paid hosting platforms as well.
The drag-and-drop editor only offers four customizable themes, but you get an assurance that every design follows your industry’s best practice. Without touching any code, you can create your online store with a responsive design that fits in any device.
Square Online also offers the following to help you get started with your business:
In exchange for hosting your online store for free, Square Online requires a small commission fee of 2.9% + 30¢ for each product sold. Should you decide to scale your business, you can leave the free plan and move to the premium plans starting at $12 per month.
Through a new feature called Square Online Checkout, sellers also have the option to sell their products and receive payment using only a link instead of a website.
Whether you’re an established brick-and-mortar store owner or just starting from scratch, Square Online has all the basics to help you navigate the unfamiliar world of ecommerce with ease. Start now.
DreamHost believes in every nonprofit organization’s advocacy so much that they’re giving them a shared hosting plan at no cost.
Aside from free web hosting, DreamHost also provides US-based charitable organizations with the following:
To create a free hosting account, DreamHost does not require any credit card details and needs just your billing address for verification purposes.
You also need to attach a 501(c)(3) determination letter, a document from the United States IRS proving your tax-exempt non-profit status under the applicable sections of the tax code.
Since it’s a free account, you won’t have access to reliable 24/7 customer support. However, DreamHost’s dedicated help center and ticketing system offset this, which more than meets the need for straightforward troubleshooting solutions.
Should you want more control over your account, nonprofit organizations can also avail themselves of a 35% discount off DreamHost’s managed WordPress hosting plans. This means you can host your site under a paid plan for as low as $11 per month.
Often confused with the open-source software WordPress.org, WordPress.com is the free platform where non-technical users can create websites.
Since it is powered by the same robust and world-class infrastructure behind nearly half of the world’s websites, WordPress.com is the best place to learn how to manage a website while you’re still not ready or able to pay for a hosting service.
Setting up a website is easy. You can select a WordPress subdomain and choose from any of the available themes.
Just like Wix, WordPress.com also displays ads to sustain its free platform. While the ads may sometimes be annoying, this is a small price to pay for all the other features that WordPress.com has to offer:
While it has excellent performance for a free hosting platform, WordPress.com can’t beat the paid version in terms of flexibility. The WordPress CMS installed on websites in paid hosting plans gives you direct server access and freedom to install plugins and themes of your choice.
Still, WordPress.com is good for starters, especially if you only want a simple, stripped-down website to showcase your writing portfolio or personal diary.
Anyone with basic coding skills is already familiar with GitHub, an open-source platform where developers store their coding projects. GitHub Pages is where you can take these codes from the repository, have them go through a build process, and turn them into a simple static website.
A static website is ideal for those who prefer a small website that doesn’t need to be updated regularly. It’s also perfect for students who want a test site to play around with or present for their school projects.
GitHub Pages is completely free, yet it comes with a range of outstanding features:
To build your static website, all you need to do is sign in to your account and create a new repository. You can then use the Jekyll Theme Chooser to pick from one of the pre-made themes.
If you don’t like your theme or your static website’s content, no need to worry as changes are a simple edit and push away. You can make these changes either via the web or locally on your computer.
Whether you’re a developer or a non-techy looking for easy-to-follow instructions, GitHub Pages has all the tools you need to create a free static site.
Before we proceed, you have to remember that there’s no such thing as a free lunch.
In the case of a free web host, it has limitations that don’t appeal to everyone.
Free web hosting is designed to meet the needs of a niche market like a new hobby blogger who doesn’t intend to earn from his website or a student looking for a free platform where she can test her web development projects.
With that being said, you can’t use the same criteria in selecting a paid hosting plan when zeroing on the best free web hosting to suit your needs.
Remember, you get what you pay for. And in the case of a free web host, you shouldn’t expect to receive round-the-clock support, daily or on-demand backups, and 100% uptime guarantee, among others.
However, some free options are a cut above the rest. Use the following parameters to figure out whether a free web hosting service is worth a try.
Most companies are willing to host your website for free so long as you’re also willing to use a subdomain.
For instance, Wix is a popular website builder that requires its free users to use a subdomain (e.g., neilpatel.wix.com).
A subdomain doesn’t look professional nor is it good for branding. So, unless you only want a stripped down website you can play around with, it would be better to opt for a company that can host your custom domain for free.
A custom domain is one that you own (e.g., neilpatel.com). You can purchase it from a domain registrar or from any hosting provider that also offers domain registration on the side. Domains are inexpensive, and you’ll need to renew them annually.
If branding is your top priority, make sure to find a free web host that gives you the option to stand out in a sea of other freely hosted websites.
While advanced security features don’t exist in free web hosting platforms, they should at least offer a free SSL certificate.
SSL (secure sockets layer) is a technology that encrypts the information that passes through your website. It protects your site visitor’s sensitive data like passwords and credit card data from outside intruders.
If you’re launching a basic ecommerce site on a free hosting platform, a free SSL certificate is non-negotiable. However, some free web hosting services only offer a self-signed SSL, which misleads users into thinking that it’s the same as the industry-standard SSL certificate.
A self-signed SSL is issued by servers and not by trusted authorities like Comodo, Digicert, and Let’s Encrypt. Since it’s not a standard version, websites with self-signed SSL will still show security warnings to visitors.
Hence, a self-signed SSL defeats the purpose of an SSL certificate even though it offers the same level of encryption. Especially if you’re planning to sell a product through your website, having a self-signed SSL is no better than not having an SSL certificate at all.
As a rule of thumb, never go with free web hosting unless you’ll use it for a basic website with little to no traffic.
A free web host isn’t designed to handle huge traffic volume. This is why it’s important to read the fine print of the hosting provider’s terms and conditions before signing up.
Unfortunately, a lot of free hosting providers tend to mislead clueless users by including “unlimited storage” and “unlimited bandwidth” in their list of features.
Disk space or storage space is the amount of server space allocated to your website files, while bandwidth is the amount of data allowed to transfer from the server to your visitors in a given amount of time. If your website is hosted in a free platform, your disk space and bandwidth are best described as low and never “unlimited.”
“Unlimited bandwidth” is a promotional tactic by free hosting providers based on the assumption that sites on a shared server will not use up the available resources, which is rarely the case.
Instead of being swayed by these superficial features, pay more attention specifically to file size limit and CPU limit.
A file size limit is the maximum file size your website can upload, while the CPU limit refers to how much of the server’s central processing unit (CPU) your website is allowed to use.
Free web hosting providers can temporarily shut down your site without warning, so make sure you know exactly what and how much your limitations are.
The only reason why free web hosting continues to exist is because of the business behind it. And a business requires a source of revenue.
Some of the more popular free web hosts sustain their platform through ad space. This monetization method may be effective, but it comes at the expense of your visitors.
You have no control over what appears on the advertisements or where they’re placed. Not to mention ads, in general, tend to be obtrusive and take the joy out of consuming your content.
If you want free hosting but care about your site’s aesthetics and user-friendliness, you can opt for a company that supports their free platform through other means, such as the sales of premium hosting plans.
Support for websites hosted in a free web host is limited at best. Unless you already have both the budget and need to upgrade to premium plans, there’s nothing else you can do.
When looking for the best free web host to entrust your website, choose one with an active community forum.
Check the latest posts and see how fast the response time is. The more active users the service has, the quicker you’ll get a resolution to any problem you might face in the future.
In addition to a community forum, some free web hosts also have a self-service knowledge base where users can quickly get answers to their most basic questions.
Nothing beats a paid hosting plan for all the extra support, features, and functionality. Still, if you need free web hosting or if you want to try out different web hosts before committing to an investment, there are some good free options available.
These are my top choices if you are looking to get online without spending a dime:
The best free web hosting for you depends on what you’re looking for. Use the reviews and guide to help you narrow down your choices.