How to Buy Bitcoin…

Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency have come a long way since the days of Magic the Gathering. It’s now seen by every Wall-Street-Hero with a Mercedes, as a legitimate and sensible place to invest a few quid.

bitcoin logo

It literally takes 10 minutes maximum to buy some Bitcoin..as long as you can find your wallet…

Make sure that you are on a legitimate site and not a scam-site, always check for the https in the address bar of your browser before submitting sensitive information too.

Also, don’t try and explain Bitcoin to the Motherinlaw, as you have no chance.

How to Invest in Bitcoin

  1. First grab your credit card, a valid photo driving license or Passport for ID & your mobile phone
  2. Go to CoinBase
  3. Follow the instructions – firstly sign up and verify your email address
  4. Verify your Mobile Phone number
  5. Upload your ID – You just need to take a picture…it didn’t work for some reason when I choose to verify my ID with a mobile phone picture, but worked fine when I used my webcam instead
  6. Enter you Credit Card info.
  7. Buy Buy Buy!
How to Buy Bitcoin
At the end – Click the Massive blue “Buy Bitcoin Instantly” Button at the bottom

 

If you wish, you can also buy other cryptocurrencies such as Ethereum.
Whatever you do, keep all your login information safe!

I bought £50 worth last year and still can’t find my login details! #bellend

You should also get yourself a Bitcoin Wallet. This will mean that if Coinbase gets hacked, you’ll have an offline, backup of your Bitcoinage. You can also get App version for your phone, but it is recommended to get an offline version too.

 

 

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Beginner’s Guide to Online Marketing

My friend has an interview on Tuesday for a marketing manager role, and has never done any online marketing, so here goes my introduction to it…

Internet Marketing Jargon

Online marketing has so many abbreviations, that if you don’t know them, it sounds like another language

What is a “Browser”?

A browser is Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Firefox, Safari on an Apple device or Opera. It’s a piece of software for navigating the internet and downloading/rendering websites.

DO NOT say that you use Internet Explorer in an online marketing interview. Say that you use Chrome.

The main reason that people use Chrome and Firefox is that you can get plugins/extensions for Google Chrome. The most popular in online marketing is probably the ‘Mozbar’ which helps you see the ‘Domain Authority’ of a website.

What is a CMS?

Content Management System.  A typical CMS is WordPress. This site is made using the free version of wordpress that uses the WordPress hosting platform, a free design template. The wordpress software can also be used when hosted with a different company such as GoDaddy, and the paid WordPress software allows plugins.

What are “WordPress Plugins”?

They are add-ons to your site that allows you to add ‘functionality’. For example you might add a Paypal plugin that allows you to create a shopping cart and payment system on your site to make in an online shop/ecommerce site.

What does “SEO” Stand For?

Search Engine Optimisation. This is the process of ranking as high as possible on Google and other search engines such as Bing.com.

Some terms to be aware of in SEO:
Meta Description – This is the description that you add the theof your website page’s code that shows in the Google Results. It just described what is on the page. Meta Descriptions should be 155 characters or less.

Meta Title .- this shows at the top of the tab in your browser and in the Google results pages.

meta-description
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What does “CRO” Stand for?

Conversion Rate Optimisation. This is the process of getting people who visit your website to buy things or sign up for a newsletter or submit a form. If you have an online shop, a ‘conversion’ would normally be a purchase on your website.

What does “PPC” Stand for?

Pay Per Click advertising (not Payment Protection Cover as I thought in my interview at the bank I used to work at). The 2 most popular forms of this are Google Adwords and Facebook advertising. Facebook is usually more effective on a smaller budget.

SEOmoz-PPC-vs.-SEO2

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What is HTML?

HTML stands for hyper text markup language. It structures websites whilst something called CSS – Cascading Style Sheets.

The best place to start learning HTML is w3 Schools. It can be overwhelming at first, but it’s easy when you get the hang of it. It’s just a load of numbers and letters inside angle brackets <> to remember. There’s no working out or formulas to remember, just letters and numbers.

HTML is one of the ways a websites ‘talks’ to a browser, so that the browser can render the website and show you what’s on there.
CSS makes it looks nice, adding colours, styles etc. For example the CSS might tell the browser to make all the main headings red and all the list items italic.

What is DA?

DA stands for Domain Authority. DA is an indication of how ‘powerful’ or authoritative a website is. The higher the DA (score of 1-100), the more valuable a link is from that website.

What is a Link?

A link or a hyperlink is a bit of text or an image, that you click to go to another website. For example this red underlined text is a link to a fitness blog. When you click it, you should be taken to another blog.

The more links a website has, from high quality websites, the more likely it is to rank higher in Google. You can gain links by creating great content, you can create and run marketing campaigns that people will want to write about, or you can be naughty and pay for some links.

What is Guest Posting?

Guest posting is an old school tactic to gain links to your website and rank on Google. You create an article/blog post, send it to a blogger in an email and ask if they would like to use it on their website. The article will contain a link back to your own website. The typical response from a blogger is either “no thanks” or “okay, that will cost $50”.

Now, this is against Google guidelines and you can get penalised by Google for doing this. People still do though. In theory, if a blogger accepts a payment to link to another website, in any form, whether it is via a blog post or sidebar-link or banner, then it should be a ‘no-follow’ link.

What is a NoFollow Link?

A no follow link has the HTML code – rel=”nofollow” added to it.

This tells Google NOT to count this link and not factor it in to it’s ranking algorithm.

What is the Google Algorithm?

It’s the formula that Google uses to work out where to rank websites on their results pages. Apparently nobody knows all of it, but it looks at how many other websites link to yours, the quality of the websites linking to yours, the quality of your website and its content and how fast your website loads.

What are Keywords?

Keywords or KWs, are search terms used in Google. If I search for “Red apples” then the keyword is “red apples”.
Rather confusingly, search phrases are also called keywords. You want to find KWs with lots of monthly searches, that don’t have lots of competition and add them to your content and headings in a natural format.  Don’t stuff them in everywhere.

Use the Keyword Planner Tool to find KWs with lots of monthly searches. And do a Google search to see which websites rank for those terms. If the top 10 websites for that KW are the likes of the BBC, Fox News and Amazon, you probably aren’t going to rank on the first page for that term.

Long Tail Keywords are less popular KWS, with less searches but often ‘convert’ to sales etc. better.

A Head Term might be “Tennis Balls”
A Long Tail Keyword might be “Buy Yellow Slazenger Tennis Balls UK”

“Tennis Balls” will have a much higher volume of monthly searches but will be very hard to rank on the first page of Google for. “Buy Yellow Slazenger Tennis Balls UK” will have less search volume each month, but will be easier to rank for and people searching for that term are more likely to buy/convert.

Tools for Internet Marketing

A CMS – such as WordPress so that you can create a website

A Keyword Tool such as the Google Keyword Planner. So that you can see what keywords to try and rank for or advertise with if you’re using PPC ads.

Google Analytics – to see who is coming to your site, where from and to what pages.

Google Chrome and some extensions such as the Moz Bar

Screaming Frog for Technical SEO. This gets all the information from a website and downloads it into an Excel Spreadsheet.

SEO Mofo – to make sure your meta titles & descriptions are the correct length. Add a CTA – Call To Action such as “Book Now!” or “Learn More” at the end of your descriptions.

Yoast SEO Plugin – This makes it easy to add meta titles and descriptions as you make your webpages and blog posts.

WordPress Site Security

Security threats are not just about tangible properties like your house or car, as there are also security threats online. In fact, there are several of them and they can attack your WordPress blogsite if you do not have the proper protection.

Your blogsite is considered as your home in the digital world. It contains everything that allows you to run a successful blog, which is needed to ensure that you keep your followers interested and entice more to read your posts. A security breach on your site could ruin its content and this could lead the entire blogsite to its downfall.

This is something that you do not want to happen, especially if you are using it for your business. You must secure your WordPress blog from these potential threats, just as you would keep your most valuable properties secured. You can do this by gaining awareness on the security risks that could put your blogsite in jeopardy. If you know the risks that you might be facing, you can plan ahead so they can be prevented and you wouldn’t have to deal with them.

We prepared an infographic that lists some of the most usual security attacks on WordPress sites that bloggers like you might face.

Get the list from our illustration below:

10 Most Common Security Attacks That Will Kill Your WordPress Blog

Surprised with the threats that might put your WordPress at risk? Learn more about how to secure your blogsite and other blogging tips at http://www.startbloggingonline.com/.

Getting Focused on Work or Studying

Get a binaural beats study ‘soundtrack’ on youtube:

Proven (to a certain extent) to aid focus, mood, reduce anxiety and some aspects of creativity.

Set and start a Pomodoro timer – http://tomato-timer.com/

This allows you to work it ‘sets’ of 25 minutes, with 5 minutes break in between. Ideal for focus.  Wait until your 5 minute break to think about what else you need to do etc.

And off you go…

 

If you don’t like binaural beats, instrumental rock (or any music without vocals and with a beat) seems to work just as well for focus.

 

Here’s an interesting infographic too – cancel all meetings is the basic, underlying message by the looks of it!

optimizing-workflow-infographic.jpg

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How Important is the Right Accountant?

When someone goes about starting a business, the nervousness and the excitement is highly motivating, and it’s easy to get straight stuck into doing all the interesting stuff, like the marketing, sorting out the website and creating your company logo.

Accountants in Chester
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It is important however, to get the basics in place first, and to give the fundamentals, and the ‘boring stuff’ the same thought, care and enthusiasm as the more interesting and rewarding elements of starting your own company.

Choosing the right accountant for example, is not the most exciting task, but can be pivotal in regards to your businesses success.  It’s pretty interesting, but also a bit worrying, that any Joe Bloggs can call him or herself an accountant without any relevant credentials or qualifications.  In spite of this fact, very few business owners speak to a number of potential accountants, or research around them and their reputation. This is potentially a huge mistake.

Ensure that any accountant you are considering hiring, are qualified through one of the main associations/accrediting bodies such as the Institute of Chartered Accountants (ICAEW),the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA), or the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA).

It goes without saying, or it should do, that you should also look into how you will pay your accountant. Are there set fees, or does he/she charge an hourly rate?  If possible choose someone that can audit and advise you in regards to your business, as well as being a bookkeeper. Ideally your accountant will have experience in your business sector; but not conflicts of interest.

Ensure that you do not choose an accountant, just because they are situated right next to your office. It is an important decision, that should not be just a quick decision or after-thought.  They will after all, be in charge of your money.  Look what happened to Mike Tyson!  (he wasn’t screwed over by an accountant, but still…).

I live in North Wales, right on the border with England, and my accountant is based in Chester.  It’s definitely worth looking outside your home town. I did have an accountant based in Wrexham, but it was impossible to speak to, or get in touch with him, via phone or email, so he may of well be based in Australia.  Good customer service and ‘contactability’ are also crucial.

Disability inactivity

Small Businesses and Accessibility for Disabled Customers & Clients

The Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) states that businesses that provide ‘goods and services’ must make ‘reasonable adjustments’ for disabled people.

The DDA may influence your entire business, from how you treat your staff, people who apply for jobs at your business, and of course – your customers.  If you fail to do what is deemed as reasonable to adapt your business to the needs of disabled people, then legal action could be taken against you.

If you’re not motivated by compliance with the law (or the ethics behind disability access), a free service created by directenquiries.com allows businesses with ‘good’ access and facilities for people with disabilities to be listed on their directory.

Direct Enquiries will also provide an action plan to identify areas that need improvement.  These are generally simple changes that can be done at low or no cost to the business.

The directory and the corresponding action plan aims to encourage more businesses to improve their access and services, and in doing so, attract more of the UK’s disabled individuals.

In addition to the improvements in disability access (to new buildings and businesses in general); there has been an increase in the sale and manufacture of recreational vehicles and cycles for the disabled, or people with specific needs.

Inactivity is a major problem; and can compound existing health problems for people with mobility issues:

Disability inactivity

Companies such as Quest88 are now providing a range of disability aids and cycles that give disabled people a range of ways to become active.  With the success of the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics this market has seen an exponential increase over the last 3 years – improving people’s lives and boosting British manufacturing at the same time.

Kiosks point of sale

How Point of Sale Is Evolving

As technology continues to evolve at an exponential rate, point of sale is developing to correspond with customer’s expectations of speed and efficiency. The shift from traditional high street and in-store shopping, to online shopping, represents a demand for convenience.  The rise of internet speeds, web-enabled mobile phones and the increase in the use of tablets like the Nexus and iPads; is good news for online retailers, but creates a separate issue of optimisation across channels.

The issue of Conversion Rate Optimisation across different platforms and technology is the subject of many articles, and many tutorials; however less is written about integration across platforms.  Over the past 5 years, in order to meet customers’ preferences and to increase efficiency, a number of retailers have launched online kiosks in store.

The kiosks are able to provide the customers with detailed brand and product information at the touch of a button (or maybe a few buttons).  They can also check availability of specific products and many kiosks now come complete with chip and pin technology, so that customers can effectively ‘self-serve’ themselves, and potentially avoid long queues and delays that are often seen in busy retails outlets.  They can also potentially be integrated with mobile phones, remembering customer details, and even enabling customers to use coupons found online.

In the aftermath of the last British recession, people are demanding more product information and specifications before making a purchase. Kiosks are an ideal way of providing instant access to this information without over-stretching resources in terms of staff time and availability.   In addition some larger stores stock thousands of products; with dozens available for a given purpose.

Kiosks point of sale
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Kiosks can help people follow simple questions, and narrow down results to give one, or several products that perfectly fit the customer’s individual needs and requirements.

Kiosks can also provide retailers with additional information to fill their ever-expanding database of customer data.  Customer journeys and ‘bottlenecks’ now have a whole new dimension; as does Conversion Rate Optimisation.

This information can be applied relatively easily, as most e-commerce kiosks can be updated with relative ease. Are in-store kiosks the Sales Assistants of the future?  Hopefully not literally, but they can certainly be used to streamline store processes and optimise sales figures.

Keeping your Business on the Straight & Narrow

We all know the stat, well, approximately – 90% (ish) of businesses fail in the first year…

Most of us have dreams of starting a particular type of business. Be that as it may, when the fantasy turns into a reality, many don’t really have a clue about running or maintaining a business.

There is both an art and a science behind running a successful business. From the income administration through to the business’ operational procedure. There is a wealth of learning and data for organisations to influence, with the goal that they can control their business in the right course. From choosing the right accountant, to sorting out the company website; there is lots to learn, and fast, when you start your own business.

Business blog
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The longer it takes people to pick up and learn basic business procedures and best practices, the more money it will cost.
So what are a few things that they can do? All things considered, they can embrace courses that won’t upset their business hours and permit them to take in the essentials that will make their business develop.  Courses are normally available on bookkeeping and business management at local vocational colleges.

The business must have clear and quantifiable objectives and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). Without an unmistakable system, the business will be meandering heedlessly and there won’t be any reasonable strides for the associations movement. This will influence the business all in all and workers inside of the business. Choices that will influence the business’ development will dependably return to the business technique that is set up.

The business can just become effectively if there is an in number group of representatives, consultants and offices that are working towards the fruitful execution of the method. The business should have an in number ability securing procedure and needs to recognize and contract ability that will best execute the method for the business. The ability ought to be procured taking into account quantifiable results. Enlist a group of authorities that will be committed to dealing with the complete workload for one of the offices in the association, to guarantee that specific zone of the business is performing as per the dispensed targets.

Income is lord to a business. It is key for dealing with the development and money related danger to a business. The straightforward guideline is to keep expenses low and to keep income high. This likewise means overseeing organization income and benefit conjectures, and in addition watching out for operational expenses and to keep looking for approaches to minimize them.

Imagination is crucial for the business. By what means will the business keep on enhancing with anticipated buyer patterns and changes to nature, innovation and that’s just the beginning? Apple is one of the idea pioneers regarding the matter of development through outline. It’s this ground breaking that will permit the business to develop into a brand pioneer.

Build up the business’ novel worth suggestion.

The business needs to keep showing quality in its industry and to its purchaser market. What is it about the business that makes it a pioneer? The business ought to look to enhance its quality through accreditations, perceived industry affiliations, grants, testimonials and customer portfolios, to give some examples. The more the business enhances its apparent worth, the more open doors will emerge for the business to work with higher profile customers and for new business to go ahead autopilot.

Entrepreneurs and supervisors need to make a move in terms of satisfying the business technique. This must be accomplished by having an unmistakable heading and activity arrangement for the business. In the event that the work force inside of the association can take in the obliged activities as has been demonstrated by other effective organizations, they will make an in number open door for their business to well over the long haul.