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10 Time-Saving Apps to Boost Productivity for Freelance Writers

Are you one of those freelance writers who is always short on time, scrambles to get stuff done, and lives in a constant state of procrastination? It happens. Shiny Object Syndrome is a real thing when you’re sitting in front of a computer all day. There’s email, social channels, your favorite blogs and websites, the latest gaming craze called Fortnite, and much more to distract you from getting work done. Sound familiar? In the perfect world, you spend all your working hours writing for clients, marketing your services, and making lots of money. But it doesn’t always work like that. Right? Fortunately, the Internet’s abyss of never-ending distractions is also a great place to find apps to help you work smarter, get organized, and be more productive. As a freelance technology writer, I’ve tested and used a long list of Chrome apps to boost my own productivity, and ultimately make more money. And so can you. Check out these 10 time-saving apps to help you move up and earn more: Google Chrome: Productivity for freelance writers You probably already know a lot about Google Chrome, like the ability to preview a URL destination before clicking on it, and being able to log in to different Google accounts in different windows. But how much do you know about Chrome browser extensions? There’s an entire category of extensions or apps that can help you be more productive and model the behaviors of other successful freelance writers. Tech solutions to manage distractions When I’m working from home – whether by choice or out of necessity – there’s inevitably more distractions (in the form of three small children) than in the office. I use productivity extensions like a Pomodoro timer (Strict Workflow is one) to timebox myself on certain tasks, and the Todoist extension to project manage my team back in the office. And those are just two Chrome extensions you can use to stay productive out of the office. There are hundreds if you check the “productivity” category of the Chrome Web Store. The best freelance writers know how to manage their time well. But…

Updating Your Holiday Hours on Google? Easy as Pumpkin Pie.

Heather Mohorn, owner of Momo’s Tree House, adds special hours on Google to let last-minute shoppers know when her business is open. “The holiday hours feature makes it easy to communicate [changes in hours] to customers,” she says. “It reduces the number of phone calls we receive to ask whether we’re open, which is nice when we’re busy wrapping those last-minute gifts on Christmas Eve.” With Google My Business, you can update your business info on Google for free to ensure that your phone number, address, and hours of operation are correct so customers can find you this season (and beyond). To help you make the most of the season, we put together a holiday workshop filled with tips for using the web to connect with shoppers. Preview the section on updating your holiday hours above, or watch the entire workshop at gybo.com/livestream. For a list of step-by-step instructions on how to update your hours on Google My Business, visit our help center We hope this is one thing you can easily check off your holiday to-do list. Cheers,Emily Harris, on behalf of the Let’s Put Our Cities on the Map team

Help Holiday Shoppers Find Your Business

Since 1992, Werkheiser Jewelers has been helping customers find the perfect holiday gift–from picking out an engagement ring to restoring cherished family heirlooms. While they’ve kept their love for tradition alive, the way they do business has changed with the times. Today, 78% of shoppers online use the Internet for holiday research.1 That includes jewelry shoppers searching for a gift for that special someone. Alyssa Rizzo-Berg, Media Marketing Manager at Werkheiser Jewelers, explains, “Maybe they’re looking to buy that first big piece of jewelry or an engagement ring. Because of Google, they’re able to find us.” We all rely on small businesses to help make our holidays special, and we rely on the Internet to help us find the right local spots. Is your business ready to connect during this busy time of year? In the next few weeks, Google and our partners are bringing hundreds of local workshops to a city near you to help your business get ready for the holidays. On October 26th, we’re also hosting a live workshop online with the U.S. Small Business Administration. Join us to learn how to create a free business listing on Google, optimize your website for mobile, and advertise online. Find a holiday prep workshop near you at gybo.com/holidays – OR – Tune in on Wednesday, October 26th at 10 AM PT/1 PM ET to watch the livestream. We hope to see you there. And from our team to yours, happy holidays! Posted by Emily Harris, Program Manager, Let’s Put Our Cities on the Map1. Ipsos MediaCT, Google Post Holiday Shopping Intentions Study, January 2015, n=1,500.

Academy for Ads: On-The-Go Training for Google’s Ad Products

Becoming a digital advertising expert takes time, and it’s important to get off to a good start. Only 50 percent of marketers say they’re confident in their knowledge of digital advertising,1 despite the wide range of educational materials available – sometimes “more” isn’t the same as “better.” You’ve told us that you want quick, bite-sized training in more interactive formats. And we heard you. We’re pleased to announce Academy for Ads, a new digital training platform designed to help you learn how to use Google’s ad products in a mobile-first world. We built Academy for Ads to promote learning on-the-go, whether you’re on a laptop, a desktop, or a mobile device. Grow your Google product know-howGuided by input from our team of product experts, Academy for Ads courses cover the topics that matter most to Google advertisers – from AdWords basics and the essentials of campaign management to bid strategies, reporting, optimization, and more ways to successfully advertise with Google. Learning paths, Assessments, and AchievementsWe’ve organized the courses into “Learning paths” that you can walk through at your own pace. At the end of each path, take an Assessment and earn an Achievement to show that you know your stuff. Earning an Achievement for AdWords helps prepare you to take the AdWords Certification exam in Google Partners, or try deeper education offerings such as AdWords Academy. A few example Learning paths: Digital concepts: Learn the essentials of online ads, including third-party ad-serving, programmatic buying, remarketing, and more. Get started with AdWords: Learn the basics of AdWords and prepare for the AdWords Certification exam offered by Google Partners. Get started with AdWords Display: Learn how you can show ads to your online audience via the Google Display Network. Academy for Ads also offers training for DoubleClick clients, with Learning paths covering Bid Manager and Ad Exchange – and more to come. Get startedIf you already use Google Partners, you can sign in through the Partners portal at g.co/learnwithpartners — or, you can go directly to g.co/AcademyforAds to sign up and start sampling courses and Learning paths. We’re constantly adding more content,…

Traits that Spell Success

With the Rio Summer Olympic Games just around the corner, we thought we’d look at an uncommon, yet exceptional, group of business owners for our answer: Olympian small business owners. As it turns out, many of them start a second career by running a business of their own bringing the same spirit of passion, perseverance, and ingenuity from their athletic careers. PassionJudy Geer and Dick Dreissigacker – two USA Olympic rowers from the 70s and 80s – came to Vermont because it allowed them to combine their passion for active living and the natural environment into what is now known as the Craftsbury Outdoor Center. As Judy puts it, “It’s great that we help train Olympic athletes at our center, but it’s bigger than that. For me, it’s all about helping more people have great experiences, whether they’re getting exercise or just enjoying our surroundings.” Despite its remote location, Judy’s deep commitment to sustainability and lifelong sports practice keeps both local residents and aspiring athletes from across the country coming back. Customers can tell when business owners get out of bed in the morning because they love what they do. PerseveranceSetbacks are common parts of the journey for any athlete or small business owner. The important thing isn’t the number of obstacles you avoid, it’s the way you bounce back from the ones you can’t miss. When four-time kayaking world champion Eric ‘EJ’ Jackson found his kayak designs rejected by manufacturers across the country, he didn’t give up – and his motto is “no compromising,” so buckling to tradition wasn’t an option. Instead, EJ’s relentless drive to create on his own terms resulted in Jackson Kayak, now a leading manufacturer within the industry. Jackson Kayak now sells products online and through dealers across the country. IngenuitySince the beginning, four-time track and field Olympian and world record holder Michael Johnson has experimented with new ways to tell the story of his performance training center, Michael Johnson Performance. Because he wanted to attract local customers, moving some of his advertising budget online made sense so he could reach them with geo-targeted ads.…

Go the Extra Mile with #SmallBizGames Challenges

Summer’s coming to an end, and with Fall just around the corner, small businesses are preparing for the upcoming season and looking ahead to the holidays. To help business owners brush up on their marketing skills at this key moment, we’re proud to share ten #SmallBizGames digital marketing challenges. Every day for the next two weeks, we’ll share a different digital marketing challenge aimed at improving your small business’ online presence – try your hand at setting up a Google My Business page, building your first AdWords keyword list, or creating a custom email address for your business. Each daily challenge is designed to hone your digital marketing skills and help you reach more customers online. To participate or learn more, join the Google Small Business Community or follow us on Twitter. Best of luck in conquering the #SmallBizGames challenges!

Three Things You Should Know Before Choosing AdWords Express

Online advertising is a powerful, affordable way to grow your business, but you have to start with the right tools. Many small businesses are interested in reaching new customers online, but don’t know where to start, and don’t have much time to spare. As Benoit Ballon – the owner of King Florist in Austin, Texas – puts it, “We just wanted a platform where we would be able to keep it simple. For our small business, that’s a big plus.” For business owners like Benoit, we recommend AdWords Express, a smart advertising tool from Google that’s designed to manage your ads for you, helping you get the most out of your budget and allowing you to stay focused on your business. A lot has been written about choosing the best product for you, and it can be overwhelming to sift through everyone’s recommendations. So if you’re considering AdWords Express for your online ads, here are the top three things we think you should know: It uses expert techniques to manage campaigns for you.AdWords Express is constantly fine-tuning your campaigns. It monitors how often and where your ad appears on Google (and across the web), adjusts spend, and makes sure your ad is placed in front of the right people, to help you maximize the number of clicks or calls for the budget you selected. It’s designed to make setup easy and results clear.Setting up your first AdWords Express ad takes just 15 minutes – it’s as simple as answering a few questions about your business. Once your campaign has had some time to run, AdWords Express shows you focused results – including views, clicks, and calls – in an easy-to-read dashboard, available on desktop and in the mobile app. You’ll also get an email of your results every month, so you can keep track of things right from your inbox. It’s improving along with the rest of Google.One of the best features of AdWords Express is the work it does on your behalf, and we’re making it even smarter with cutting edge technology from Google Brain. We also recently announced…

Use Online Reviews to Connect with Back-to-School Customers

It’s time to get down to business for back-to-school. During this time, students, teachers and parents are relying on reviews while searching online for everything from notebooks to new clothes to campus coffee shops. In fact, 3 in 4 consumers say it’s important to read reviews before visiting a business.1 Business owners like Brian Wood of Sureflow Rooter see the value in customer reviews. “We often ask our customers how they found us: online, word of mouth or advertising? We have been pleasantly surprised to hear them say ‘from Google’ and that they liked our reviews and felt comfortable calling us.” Small business owners looking to make a good impression on back-to-school shoppers should use tools like Google My Business which allow you to engage with, and manage, customer reviews. Below are a few tips to help you get started: Tip #1: Just askSatisfied customers don’t always remember to write reviews, so it’s important to give them a reminder after they make a purchase or interact with your business – but remember to keep review guidelines in mind. Try including a survey link in your receipts or sending an automated follow-up email, rather than, say, setting up a laptop for reviews in-store, or offering incentives, which violates Google policy.Tip #2: Be proactive about responding to reviewsIt’s important to address both positive and negative reviews, since 83% of customers remember reviews from search results.2 When responding to reviews, it’s always good to thank customers. In the case of a negative review, address the issue without getting defensive. For example, try posting a reply describing the steps you took to remedy the situation. These personalized responses are an opportunity to build relationships with customers. Don’t be afraid to highlight your business’s personality. Tip #3: Actively monitor your reviewsManaging reviews is an ongoing process, so you should make sure to check in periodically and stay up-to-date with what your customers are saying. You can do this by checking the reviews section of your Google My Business dashboard. The Children’s Museum of South Dakota noticed that this method helped their business stay in tune…

What Is Google’s Mobile First Index?

Google’s mobile first index was launched in 2015 and the full roll-out started at the beginning of 2018. Now Google indexes the mobile version of websites before the desktop version. If there is no mobile version the desktop index still comes into play; that’s why it is known as the ‘Mobile First Index’. How the […] The post What Is Google’s Mobile First Index? appeared first on SmallBizClub.

How the Google Logo Can Teach You to Boost Brand Awareness

Do you believe in your brand and have a pile of market search results and documents to back-up your enthusiasm? Of course, you do. It seems like there’s just one… Read more » The post How the Google Logo Can Teach You to Boost Brand Awareness appeared first on Noobpreneur.com.

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