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Many small business owners have yet to catch on to the true advantage of blogging because they perceive bloggers as self-absorbed. In a recent US News and World Report article, a survey by Warrillow & Co. showed that only about 41 percent of small business owners have an interactive website, and if they do have a website, a blog is not high on the priority list for inclusion.

These statistics show that the small business community is not only small in size but in vision as well. This Web myopia is limiting their reach. And it's a shame because blogging can be a powerful tool for building your business.

Yet another study showed that half of the businesses surveyed closed sales as a direct result of their blogs. Blogs regularly delivered qualified leads to 70 percent of those business owners.

The ideas and nuggets posted to a blog by a good (or great) thought leader delivers a viral effect. One reader subscribes and then passes along the valuable insight from this blog, and the word spreads. That's when you turn your blog into a driving force for your business. Here's a rich opportunity for you to become the thought leader that everyone wants to turn to for creative, thought-provoking ideas to better their own business. Using a blog host like Typepad, Blogger, or WordPress also boosts your search engine optimization, because these sites automatically format your blogs so that keywords and phrases are picked up by search engines. And, of course, the more you update your blog with rich, insightful information, the more you will develop a following with customers and prospects returning more frequently. Ultimately, your blog will drive more traffic to your website and build your brand recognition in the process. The result? More leads, referrals, and sales!

The next question is, "Where do I begin?" The best way to get started is to read blogs that are pertinent to your business as a VAR. You'll quickly see that blogs are written in conversational tone that delivers practical and insightful information in an easy-to-read manner. Here are a few thoughts on how to drive business through your blog:

- Discuss a practical situation without using ad speak. Using a promotional voice in a blog is a huge turn-off for most readers. Customers want to find relevant, useful information with your own unique experience mixed in. Define a particular problem that you experienced and then explain how you solved it. Better yet, consider what some of your customers' problems might be, and present the challenge and a solution based on your own experience. This will encourage your customers to keep coming back for more. If you just talk about yourself and your services, it "sounds" like marketing, which should be used in your advertising, not your blogs.

- Promote your blog. OK, so this goes against a bit of what I just said regarding steering clear of ad speak, but if you want people to read your blog, they first have to find you. Add your blog URL to your signature on all emails. Link your blog to your Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn pages. Allow readers to subscribe to the blog via email (with an opt-in option on your website) so they receive your blog every day in their inbox. Blog about other thought leaders when they relate to your topic so that you create an association with that leader (but do this in a thoughtful way so you're not "using" them). At any opportunity, post a comment on other blogs where potential customers might be searching for similar information. This will send them to you searching for more.

- Create value. Stretch your potential. Mix value in with actual business opportunities. What products do you have that you want to push this month? Offer some insights into the upcoming trends of the industry; then soft sell a particular product's value for the solutions it provides. Encourage others to get involved in your blog, to ask questions and even answer them. If customers feel they're getting something of value at no cost, they'll come back for more.

- Offer something for free. Blogs are a great way to dangle ideas to tempt your readers to provide their email address (i.e,, opt in). Create links in your blog to free white papers and articles or to product samples that you're willing to give away for a trial, in exchange for their email addresses. Give hints about how this free tool is only a glimpse at the big picture. This helps to create ways of encouraging your customer to buy in to more.

- Become a news source. Read, read, read. What are the latest trends? Who is coming out with the next version of solution provider software? What is the larger economic picture and how do you customers fit into it within their world? By taking facts and news bites that are current and relative to today's business world, and then offering a localized perspective for your customer, you position yourself again as a thought leader. Customers will return to your blog time after time because they know that you know what's going on. You will become a trusted business advisor and ultimately garner more business as a result.

There is no question that blogging can become time consuming, almost to the point where it dominates the time dedicated to your marketing mix. But it doesn't have to. Trying too hard to blog can be just as bad as not posting to your blog at all. If you have something important to say, by all means, say it. But if you find yourself forcing an issue or trying to develop a creative idea that just isn't there, walk away from the keyboard and try again tomorrow. Remember to use your blog as a business tool, not just a place for white noise.

A dedicated marketing professional, Michelle Kabele has been helping technology companies develop award-winning channel partner programs and marketing strategies for over 10 years. Michelle has worked extensively with small businesses throughout North America.

A list of the best free website builders for 2016-2017. Top 5 free web hosting services with website builders.

*UPDATE* Best Free Website Builder 2017: https://youtu.be/L1g9Z0SHn0g

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https://www.mostlytech.info/top-5-best-free-website-builders/

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Quick Tutorial on how to replace the standard blog layout with a PAGE using the POSTS, POST CAROUSEL and POST SLIDER modules from Beaver Builder to create different blog layouts ON A PAGE .

If you enjoyed this tutorial, please give me a thumbs up and post suggestions in the comments of other tutorials you might like to see.

One Day Website

We learn to transform our HTML layouts into layouts that use Blade! Blade is the templating engine that is part of Laravel. Blade has many uses, but the one we focus on today is a way to better organize our code.

With layouts we can set a default template that our project uses and then have all the code for our navigation, headers, titles, etc in only one place and not duplicated throughout our Laravel 5.2 application. This means that when fixing bugs, we only have to look in one place and fix it once to resolve the issue. Also when adding new features (such as the footer in this video) we only have to add it in one place and that new feature can be instantly propagated to every page that uses that layout.

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Previous Video [Part 5.5]: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=czxuzH0kRHs
Next video [Part 7]: https://youtu.be/6MgZ11Rjlo0

Full Playlist for the "How to Build a Blog with Laravel" Series: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLwAKR305CRO-Q90J---jXVzbOd4CDRbVx

--- Links ---

How to install plugins for sublime text and Blade: https://youtu.be/FeuZtBdS20c

Download HTML/CSS Code for our Site: http://jacurt.us/laravel6

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Build Muscles with free Muscle Builder

A lot of men don’t like how they look these days! Not in terms of looks but in terms of body and how their body behaves and no matter how hard they try, weightlifting and weight training does not seem to work! The problem seems especially grave in men who have a thin body type and are unable to build muscle easily or have been doing weight training for months but the results are not the same as they are on others at the same gym.

The basic problem here is the lack of protein. It is very important for a person doing weight training to have an efficient supply of protein in his diet or to use a protein intensive Muscle Builder with his food, especially if he is a vegetarian.

It must also be remembered that protein is used by the body to form new cells and repair old ones. It also helps in the production of enzymes and hormones used by the body to grow and maintain itself. Protein use in our body is simply huge and for a body builder, protein is as important as water, as the building blocks of muscles are protein! Vegetarian bodybuilders are more known to have lesser amounts of protein in their body as compared to the non-vegetarian body builders.

All muscles are made up of protein, which unfortunately enough does not get stored in the body and the body does not tend to build up protein reserves. Thus proteins must be supplemented into the body and can be taken in the form of protein rich food, or as body builders prefer it, taking protein supplements also known as muscle builder supplements.

A good gym can analyze your requirement based on your daily food intakeand suggest the correct muscle building supplement. The most popular of these being a whey protein supplement. Many gyms offer free muscle builder supplements and most gyms and internet sites also hand out Muscle builder samples so that you can try before you buy!

Happy Muscle Building!

How a Free Website Builder Can Increase Your Business Exposure
A free website builder is a great tool for both small and large businesses. A blog is a simple, effective tool that can provide customers with the information that they need about your products and to provide them with insider information about your company. A blog can also increase your business exposure if you use it as a business tool.

Ideas for Increasing Exposure

A free blog builder is a tool that can bring in more customers if you are using your blog to promote your business. For example, some companies host giveaways for free samples or discounts on their blog while others provide customers with information on new products and services that are coming out. No matter what you offer customers who are reading the blog you need to keep the posts current by updating frequently if you want to increase exposure.

Using a free website builder is very simple. The blog can be customized with a theme that reflects the colors of your company logo, and you also get to choose the name of your blog. Try keeping the name of your blog the same, or very similar, to your company name for best results. You will also want to keep your posts very professional to reflect the way that you conduct your business. A personal blog, rather than a business blog, is more suitable for posting your personal opinions.

How Do I Make My Blog?

The free website builder than you choose will provide you with easy to use features to allow you to build your blog easily. You can add widgets, html text, photos, and contact information to your blog easily. All of these effective features are built into your blog, so you simply have to add them as needed to build your new blog.

Adam Dukes is a free lance writer, who has prepared this article on behalf of AFreeWebsiteForYou.com. They specialize in free website design.

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