Why Builders & Contractors Can’t Afford to Not Be on Angie’s List

I’m not going to sugar coat this. Builders and Contractors who are not on Angie’s List are actively working against themselves. It’s not just about collecting reviews (which you can do with Angie’s List), but it’s about building or maintaining your reputation in your local community and boosting your ratings in local search results. Frankly, Angie’s List is a disastrously overlooked and underutilized opportunity for powerful referrals.If you’re not already on Angie’s List, you should stop what you’re doing and start the (free) process right now. I’m going to step you through how to get set up later on in this article.

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3 Easy Ways to Boost Local Search Rankings

3 Quick & Easy Ways to Boost Rankings in Local Search Results

Why should you care about local Search Engine Optimization (SEO)? It’s not news to know that most people are searching for products and services on the Internet these days, and many of them are looking for places nearby that can meet their current need.

Why is Local SEO the Way to Go?

It’s:

  • Free
  • Better than traditional Yellow Pages
  • Localizes (geographically targets) online search for your company
  • Increases visibility on your company and services in the right regions

Here are three simple places you can amp up your SEO to show up higher and more often in search results.

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10 Quick Tips to Help Nonprofits Improve Search Engine Rank

You already know your organization has to be able to be found in search engines. And not just when someone is looking for your organization by name, but also when they’re looking for information or events related to the programs, services, and activities related to your nonprofit. This is where your search engine optimization (SEO) comes into play. There are some basic tactics you can implement on your website that will help your nonprofit improve visibility in search engines so you can be found by potential volunteers, donors, and members.

Working with nonprofits has always been a passion project of mine. I’ve worked directly with the Marion-Grant County Humane Society, The Muslim Alliance of Indiana, Project Leadership, and VoteRunLead to help them increase traffic and raise visibility for their organizations.

I’ll also show you how your nonprofit can get a free actionable site audit from me to help with your SEO efforts.

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How to Design an Effective Website that Actually Converts Leads

More and more marketers are adapting a new concept in the conversion space called Growth Driven Design and the reasons why are clear.

Create a website that delivers results

Traditional approaches to web development focus on developing a set of features/functionality and considering the project complete at launch. The new approach to web development focuses on
quickly launching a new site and then perfecting the site through a continuous cycle of results evaluation and updates. While traditional approaches create websites that stagnate, this approach creates websites that evolve in the direction of constant improvement.

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Free Modern Clean Fonts

5 New Modern, Clean Free Fonts For Your Next Project

Let’s talk about fonts. I mean let’s really talk about fonts. I am a complete junkie and am proud to say that I can correctly identify a huge number of typefaces I see out in the wild. I appreciate smart kerning or a letter with an alternate character option, and I often share good finds with friends. And while I love a huge range of fonts, there is a special place in my heart for a sharp, clean, modern font that I can use for a wide range of uses. To me, a quality “modern font” is simple and crisp — it’s easy to read and looks as equally good on a presentation as it does on a stylized graphic. Let’s dig into my new font finds 😆 :

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Why You MUST use Google+ for your Small, Medium, or Large Business

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Okay fine, Google+ isn’t exactly the golden child when it comes to social media platforms. It certainly cannot compete in the social media arena with the likes of Facebook, Instagram, Twitter (or more recently Snapchat, Tumblr, and WhatsApp). But like it or not, it’s essential to having a healthy online strategy. It’s time to stop looking at Google+ as a social network and instead as an SEO business platform. This platform currently boasts 2 billion users  and is only going to continue growing. Why? A few reasons — and the second is the one you should be the most concerned about.

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Why All Reviews on Social Media Are a Good Thing (Even Bad Ones)

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You already know your local business should be on social media sites, but with some of the crazy reviews we’ve all seen on Facebook, Yelp, and other sites, your reluctance to have a presence on social media at all is understandable. It’s enough to make a business owner nervous – scared, even – of all those negative reviews out there just waiting to sneak up and ruin your page. Is not participating at all really the best strategy? Today is the day you discover that every review – yes, even the bad ones – are a good thing for your bottom line.

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6 Ways to Automate Your Marketing Like a Boss with These Easy Recipes

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You’ve decided on a domain name, picked the social media accounts that are best for you, mapped out your content calendar, and now you’re ready to hit the ground running… except the road seems to be moving a little too fast for you to keep up. No worries! There are some handy marketing automation platforms like If This Then That (IFFT) and Zapier to help you in your time of need. As marketers, that time is, well, always. Using any of these recipes below will trigger automated actions to make your life easier. This list is by no means the list, but rather a few that are particularly useful.

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Why is My Cellphone as Hot as the Surface of the Sun?

Photo remixed from an original by Shutterstock.

Photo remixed from an original by Shutterstock.

You love your phone. Of course you do. You’re probably reading this article from your phone right now.  But sometimes it gets really hot in your pocket—like surface-of-the-sun hot. I’m sure you’ve thought what we’ve all thought:  Is there something wrong with it? Why does it get so hot, and how can I make it stop?

First of all, this is normal behavior, and something that happens to pretty much every phone. This heat is coming from your phone’s battery, which usually heats up when you’re drawing power at a faster than normal rate—say, when you’re in a phone call, using GPS, or watching a video. If your phone gets so hot that it’s powering down, then you might have a faulty battery—but otherwise, your biggest problem is that the phone just becomes uncomfortable to hold. And, if your battery’s hot, it means you’re draining that battery quickly, which is never good.

Here are a few steps you can take to make sure this doesn’t happen as often:

  • Turn off battery-draining apps: Make sure you have Maps closed when your phone is sleeping, make sure your phone isn’t constantly searching for signal, and so on. Battery-saving apps like JuiceDefender for Android can help with this, and closing all those running apps on your iPhone could help too. All in all, make sure you’re taking thenecessary steps to use your battery efficiently.
  • Watch out for runaway processes: Sometimes, an app just gets out of hand and starts eating your CPU for no reason. Or, sometimes, it’s just poorly written and eats up more CPU than it should, which in turn eats your battery.  Watchdog will help you keep track of these on Android, so if you’re phone’s heating up and you don’t know why, it might be able to give you a clue.
  • Don’t stifle your phone: If it’s burning a hole in your pocket, take it out of your pocket to give it some air. If you’re watching a video, use the phone’s built-in kickstand or a DIY stand. If you regularly use the turn-by-turn navigation, I can’t recommend the binder clip stand enough—it holds your phone up at the perfect level for navigation, and puts it right in front of the air conditioner. Even after an hour of using the GPS, when my phone should be piping hot, it’s always cold to the touch.
  • Take it out of the case: This kind of goes in with the last one, but is something you can do in almost every overheating situation. If you have a case on your phone, take it off. Certain cases will insulate heat far more than others, and removing it could give your phone a chance to cool off a bit.
  • Don’t overclock your phone: Overclocking your phone is a good way to get some extra speed out of it, but it’s going to use more battery and heat it up faster. SetCPU can create profiles, in which if it gets to hot it scales back the overclock, which is nice. You can also just use SetCPU to underclock your phone if you’re having constant heat problems.

If your phone overheats to the point of crashes or random shutdowns, you’ll want to take it in for a warranty replacement, but if it’s just getting too hot to handle, the best you can do is stop taxing your phone and to give it a bit of airflow. It isn’t the perfect solution, but armed with the knowledge of why this is happening, you should be able to stop it from heating up so darn often.

7 Ways to Turn Pictures on Your Phone in to Real Objects

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So you have an archive of 2,286 pictures on your smartphone? More like 4,722? Me too! Aside from making a new Facebook album every week or posting to Instagram on the hour every hour, it’s hard to know what exactly to do with all of these photos.  Turn photos you took from your phone in to awesome tangible things like coaster tiles, canvas prints, scarves, and tons more.  I’m especially thinking about those ones that are so vibrant, iconic, and memorable, that you want more than a digital file. Here are 7 handsome apps that will help you turn your archive of photos into books, bags, metal plates, and posters.

1. Mosaic: First up, we have Mosaic.

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This minimalist app makes it easy to turn any collection of photos into a gorgeous coffee table book. Every book is 7 inches by 7 inches, contains 20 photos, costs $20, and lands at your doorstop 4 days after ordering.

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Best of all, you can create your Mosaic directly from your phone. At just $20 a pop, I love the idea of creating these for both small and big occasions. Who says that impromptu barbecue isn’t worthy of its own book?

 

2. Hipstamatic Print Lab: Next up, a print project by the folks who brought you Hipstamatic.

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This web app lets you create a whole plethora of unique pieces for your home and even to wear – all you need is a photo! You can print on canvasmetalwood  or even on a scroll.

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As for wearables, I’m digging the Weekender Bag, Tote Bag, and iPad Sleeve. Such awesome things to customize and they somehow manage to not look too kitschy.

3. Mini prints from Printstagram.

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Predictably powered by Instagram, these turns all those perfectly cropped and filtered square photos into gorgeous paper goods. The options here are so affordable, it’s hard not to buy everything!

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The block calendar serves up a different photo for every day of the year and is just $40. You can also get mini prints, tinybooks, minibooks, stickers, and prints for under $15.

4. ImageSnap: Tile craze!

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This app turns your photos into ceramic tiles, perfect as magnets, coasters, or wall art.

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I’m partial to the teeny tiny tiles (just 2 inches squared!) and the slab (12 inches squared).

5. For less novelty and a bit more gloss, PostalPix is a great option.

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You can order prints with a pro luster finish, as well as aluminum plates and iPhone cases.

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iPhone cases are made by printing your photo directly onto premium polycarbonate, creating a stunning image that won’t crack or fade.

6. Fracture: Is your latest photograph so clear it almost looks like crystal?

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Turn your picture into a gorgeous glass piece with help from Fracture. Choose between backed glass, transparent glass, and large or small options.

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I cannot get over the colors in this transparent one!

7. Instacanvas: The name of this app is pretty self-explanatory with a twist.

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You can easily turn any of your Instagram photos into canvas wall art. But here’s the kicker: You can include your photo art pieces in the Instacanvas shop and make money off of your original creations. Win!