Good Old Man Advice

Old guy here. The most shitty things as you go through life will be unique to you. My list is a list of shitty realizations that make you cringe about your own arrogance in your youth looking back…

Realizing after you turn 21 and can now drink that you were not really respected as an adult.

Realizing after you get married that married people don’t really consider single people who were never married adults.

Realizing after you buy a home and pay your own bills fully that people who own homes don’t consider people who rent or live with others to be adults.

Having children and then realizing that people who think their pets are their children are living a lie. Then you realize that people with children do not view people without children as adults.

Turning 40 and realizing you don’t think anyone under 30 is an adult.

Turning 50 and realizing that people without grey hair are not adults.

Turning 60 and realizing that people who have not buried their parents are not adults.

I think that covers it.

If I had it all to do over again, and I could go back remembering everything I know now. This would be my to-do list and top priority. I did some of these things, but not all.

Get out of my parent’s house right awayStudy accounting and finance because the language of capitalism is moneyLearn to play guitar because mastery of acoustic guitar provides portable entertainment for friends and makes everything better.Start my IRA/401k right away and contribute 10% of every dime I receive to it forever.Delay marriage until after I was 30 at leastRequire 12 weeks of counseling before getting marriedSame level of counseling before considering children to discover if I will really make a good parentSpend some time in the military before college so I would appreciate what we have and learn to discipline myselfRun and lift weights regularly my entire lifeLive in many different cities and live light with very, very few possessions. No reason for a home to have more than a campsite. Have small apartments that cost next to nothing, sleeping bag, toothbrush, some clothes, computer, that’s it. Any sentimental possession: trash it. You will eventually forget what it was from anyway and trash it later. Besides, you can’t take it with you.

I could go on. I got tired of typing with my cat rubbing my face.

BigCommerce Blog Integration Using WordPress

Using a blog to supplement your online store with content is a great way to boost your marketing efforts and get your customers engaged, especially today. Google’s recent search algorithm changes emphasize rich, engaging content, so if you are putting out quality content from your blog, you are greatly helping your SEO efforts. Here’s a quick guide on managing BigCommerce blog integration with WordPress to help you get started.

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1.     Set up Your Hosting

BigCommerce is a hosted solution for your online store, but they don’t actually host WordPress if you want your BigCommerce blog integration. You need to find a separate host for your WordPress account. For most businesses, a shared hosting solution is cheap and works just fine if you don’t have too much traffic coming in. Then you can upgrade when your traffic grows. However, if you are expecting a lot of traffic right off the bat, you might want to go with a higher traffic hosting solution. When you choose your domain, use the same domain you have on BigCommerce . Also, make sure your host has shared servers running Linux, PHP, MySQL, and Apache, which are required for WordPress.

2.     Set up Your Subdomain

Once you get your hosting taken care of, you need a subdomain for installing WordPress. This is easy to do with cPanel if you are running it: under the Domains section you’ll find the Subdomains icon. Click on it and create a subdomain URL. Many people just do the following: blog.yourbigcommercedomain.com. While you are on cPanel, you should copy or write down your IP address, which will come in handy in the next step of your BigCommerce blog integration. The IP address can be found in the top of the left column under “Account Information,” which is on the homepage of cPanel.

3.     Set up DNS Redirect

Now log into the BigCommerce admin panel and look on the top menu for “Tools.” Click Tools > DNS Records, and on the DNS Records page click on the bottom green “+” icon. This will bring a field in which you can add a DNS for your new subdomain. Enter your subdomain but include a trailing dot (a period at the end of “com”). So: “blog.yourbigcommercedomain.com.” Then select “A” from the drop-down menu and add your IP address in the “Redirects to” field. Save these settings.

If all goes well, your BigCommerce blog integration should be all set. You can give out your blog address as “blog.yourbigcommercedomain.com” which will redirect your visitors to your blog. You can also put links to your blog in your store. If you haven’t already done so, you can install WordPress and customize the design of your blog to get it ready for your first post.

Hire a Professional

Don’t want to deal with BigCommerce blog integration? Want someone to build you a great online store and an awesome blog, and provide you with quality blog posts?Coalition Technologies can do all of that for you. We have extensive experience providing our clients with just these kinds of services, and we’ve had a lot of success doing it. We’re one of the leading marketing and design firms in the industry. Give us a call today at 1-888-594-4529 and get your free quote.

Los Angeles Marketing Consultants’ Top 6 Tips for Improving Your Social Media Strategy

For every business engaged in sophisticated online marketing campaigns today, social media has become a major area of focus in the overall marketing strategy, and for good reason. If done right, social media marketing can generate huge returns for very little cost. Your loyal fans will do your marketing for you, spreading your message across their own social networks. Plus, advertising opportunities are growing everyday on social media networks, giving your products and services the chance to be seen by millions of people. Below are some tips for improving your social media strategy, as practiced by our top Los Angeles marketing consultants at Coalition Technologies.

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1. You Need a Plan

Plan your social media marketing campaign carefully. If your content is inconsistent and haphazard, your messaging may lose its effectiveness and your readers will lose interest. Use a calendar or a spreadsheet to map out your posts and have your marketing team go over best messaging practices and execution. Programs like TweetDeck and Hootsuite can help manage posts too. Also think about which media platforms you want to target, how much of your potential audience is on each, and how effective your material will be on each platform.

2. Know Every Platform

There are plenty of social media platforms out there: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Google+ are just a few of them. Research the user base of each platform so you know how to appeal to each one and give consumers what they are looking for. For every social media campaign, our Los Angeles marketing consultants take note of several key indicators: what are the most popular posts on each platform? Where do users flock to the most?

3. Don’t Forget Google+

Yes, there is much more action on platforms like Facebook and Twitter, but spending time with Google+ nets some benefits that are more subtle. Google is increasingly incorporating Google+ activity into its search algorithms, so businesses with a strong Google+ presence are going to be weighted more heavily on the search rankings.

4. Analytics is Good

Study the data from your social media activities, such as follower growth, link clicks, likes, and posts. You can use programs like Google Analytics and Hootsuite to better organize the information too. This data is important to your overall social media strategy. Get an idea of what is working and what is not, and work it into your social media plan. Our Los Angeles marketing consultants pay special attention to the fine-grain details of a marketing campaign in order to refine it and make it even more effective.

5. Be Human

Social media networks tend to be very informal and personal. Larger businesses especially need to remember that they are interacting with human beings. Don’t be afraid to interact with your followers; show interest in them as people. If you make a mistake fess up about it and don’t try to cover it up. Let people in on the happenings of your company and make your social media pages familiar, comfortable places for people to be around.

6. Customer Service with Social Media

Social media networks make for a great informal platform for customer service. Use your social media platforms to reach out to your customers when they are in need. It will strengthen identification with your brand. If the opportunity presents itself, go above and beyond mere customer service with acts of random kindness or free products. Give service that stands out above the rest.

Hire a Professional

Coalition Technologies provides leading Los Angeles marketing consultants with extensive experience running social media marketing campaigns. Our marketing professionals research your business culture, your brand idea, and the demographics of your potential customers to put together an effective campaign that both embodies the essence of your brand and appeals most to the customers you are trying to target. Our Los Angeles marketing consultants take a holistic approach to marketing: social media marketing strategies are one thing, but do you have rich content? Is your content SEO friendly? Are you transmitting the right message? Coalition Technologies can make sure that the answer to these questions is yes. Give us a call today at 1-888-993-7639 and get your free quote.

How Government Can Help Startups

 Every time someone from the government asks me what they can do to help startups, I always say a version of “The only thing you need to do is fix immigration for founders and engineers. This will likely have far more of an impact than all of the government innovation programs put together.

Los Angeles Small Business Online Marketing

When it comes to running a small business in today’s economy, you need all of the help you can get. Chances are you are working with limited resources, and you are competing in a fast, dynamic market with larger businesses. Online marketing is one of the most powerful, cost-efficient ways for both large and small businesses to increase traffic and market share. Let’s talk about Los Angeles small business online marketing and what you can do to improve your strategy.

asdfOnline Marketing: What is it and Why?

Online marketing has become ubiquitous to the point that we often do it without even thinking about it. In contrast to traditional methods of marketing – such as mail campaigns, radio spots, TV commercials, and physical ads – online marketing concerns anything to do with the Internet, which includes email marketing, SEO, Pay Per Click ads, social media marketing, and more.

To put it simply, online marketing is essential to any serious business today. A vast majority of individuals in developed nations use the Internet every day for their information needs. Google alone retrieves over a billion search results a day. If you are a Los Angeles business providing local services, you definitely want some of this traffic. Searches are increasingly placing heavier weight on local searches, and you’re competing in a highly populated region of commerce. Online marketing is just as important if you are shipping your products around the United States, or even internationally. You’re competing with thousands of other businesses for market share. Los Angeles small business online marketing can increase your traffic and conversions for lower costs and lower resources than traditional marketing. However, because of this, everyone else is engaging in online marketing too; you have to a strong marketing strategy.

Improve Your Strategy

There are many ways to improve your Los Angeles small business online marketing strategy. As you probably know, SEO is huge and there are many ways to improve your search rankings. Search algorithms are becoming increasingly sophisticated in order to deliver better search experiences for users, and an entire industry has grown around understanding and optimizing for these algorithms. Keyword analysis, rich content generation, link building, website organization, and social media marketing are all ways to improve rankings.

Businesses are increasingly focusing on creating compelling, memorable experiences for their users to share with others on social media networks. Social media platforms themselves are increasingly becoming prime places to advertise and interact with customers.

Plenty of effort goes into researching and understanding target demographics and their online habits in order to improve website experiences and social media interaction. It is also important to understand that everything you do online reinforces everything else. The more effective your social media growth, the more customers you connect via email, and the more traffic and attention you get from other sites, the higher your search rankings, and vice versa.

Choose Coalition Technologies

Coalition Technologies is one of the top online marketing firms in the industry. Our services span all of the Internet marketing necessities: SEO, social media marketing, online brand and reputation, web design, content, and more. We work with your business to understand the central idea behind your company culture so you can communicate it effectively online, and expand your market share in the process. Get ahead of the competition. Let a cutting edge Los Angeles small business online marketing firm do all the heavy lifting for you. Give us a call today at 1-888-993-7639 and get your free quote.

Los Angeles Social Media Marketing Firm Promotes Social Media as an Effective Customer Service Tool

Typically when you think about customer service, the immediate avenues that come to mind are services like call centers, email fielding, and direct chat. These tried and true methods are still necessary for any serious business that wants to reliably address its customers’ needs, but there is another method gaining steam that we don’t talk about as often, and it is right under our noses: social media. How can social media help with customer service? Read on to find out.

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Our Los Angeles social media marketing firm Coalition Technologies is dedicated to helping businesses maximize the effectiveness of their social media tools. This process consists of figuring out the ways that social media can be used to increase traffic, interact with customers, and manage a company’s reputation. What we found in our experience is that social media based customer service can be incredibly effective by both satisfying customers’ needs on a familiar outlet and by reaching out to the customer personally, which helps ingratiate the customer to the company. Impressed and happy customers are of course much more likely to raise awareness of a company by word of mouth, which is going to be much more effective on a social media outlet. Plus, more and more customers are taking to social media outlets to reach their company of choice, so more companies are expanding their customer service operations on these outlets, which means more customers will expect these services in the future.

Giving Service a Personal Touch

There are some characteristics of social media customer service that can make it more effective than traditional services. Oftentimes individual reps can be reached by their Twitter handles, for example, which allows customers to connect with reps on a name to name basis. Customers that are experiencing a specific problem can maintain contact with a single representative that understands their problem and helps them with a solution. It can also be thrilling for customers to appeal directly to a company on Facebook and have someone from the company interact with them and address their concerns. People are on social media all the time now and are quite comfortable and familiar with these outlets. Relating with people on their favored social media platform is a great way to connect with them.

Limitations

There are of course limitations to this approach. With the social media format, and the level of personalization social media entails, it takes lots of time and energy to address customers’ concerns on a social media platform. You won’t be able to reach all of them. Plus you have to do some research on your customer base and make sure you know how to relate to them, especially if you are a larger company. Nevertheless, if you are effectively using your social media tools, this type of customer service can do wonders for your company’s presence and your relationship with your customers. Our Los Angeles social media marketing firm makes sure our clients are using social media customer service as effectively as they can in their campaigns.

Hire Coalition Technologies

Need a Los Angeles social media marketing firm to help out with your social media campaign? If you use your social media tools effectively, outlets like Twitter, Facebook, and Google+ can be used to yield more traffic, promote products and services with, maintain your company’s reputation, and much more for very low cost. Our Los Angeles social media marketing firm can help you with leverage your social media tools to their fullest within a coordinated marketing campaign that can take into account SEO, marketing content, website design, reputation management, and much more based on what you need. Give us a call today at 1-888-993-7639 and get your free quote.

Magento Designers Tips and Tricks

Magento is a powerful ecommerce platform with seemingly endless customization possibilities. However, because of Magento’s deep customization capabilities, it is often easy to get overwhelmed, especially for beginners. Plus, if you are working with a professional designer, it is easy to have your project grow to unmanageable proportions unless you have a solid plan for what you want. Here are some general design tips from professional Magento designers to help keep your project on track.

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Plan Your Site Design

What are you trying to do with your website? What sort of features do you want it to have? What sort of shopping experience do you want to provide? How many stores do you want to build? Are you catering to multiple languages or will you just have a single language site?

Do you want to use a pre-made site template, or do you want a site design made out of scratch? Pre-made site designs are much quicker and will take less time and energy, but the design may end up looking generic or resemble another site. If you think about these questions ahead of time and discuss them with your designer if you are working with one, you can figure out what kind of timeframe you are looking at and better plan your budget.

It also helps to craft a site map and a simple graphic layout for how you want your site to look. If you aren’t sure about these things, you can discuss them with your Magento designers.

Designing an Attractive and Intuitive Site

You definitely want a site that looks good and professionally designed, and the site should be easy to navigate. You want your visitors to stay and look around, and a good-looking site that is well organized gives off the impression that the rest of your business is well put together too.

There are several things you should think about. First is your Magento theme. What sort of budget do you have and what kind of timeframe are you hoping for? Take a look at your theme’s documentation and the CSS file (or have your magento designers do this) to get an idea of what your theme will require. Image dependent themes take a little more time than themes that rely more on CSS. The theme’s documentation will provide information on site setup and customization, so you can get an idea of the process ahead as well. If you have the time and money, going with a theme that is resource-heavy can net you a unique, great-looking site if you do it right. Though if you are short on funds, a lightweight theme will prevent the project from going out of control. You can still get a nice-looking site with fairly little resources.

Also think about your site navigation and where your information is going to go. Is navigation clear and intuitive? Do you have a directory that is constantly available that lets browsers get back to a certain page, or get to another one fast? Is all the necessary information readily available to your visitors, such as shipping and return policies, contact information, and FAQs?

Finally, use only high quality images that look professional and accurately depict your products and services. Use professional photography if possible, or at the very least, pictures that look good to everyone you show.

Hire a Professional

If you keep these basic guidelines in mind, you’re well on your way to good design. However, if you don’t have much experience with a platform like Magento, consider hiring professional Magento designers. Magento is the type of program that is built especially for designers and developers. The program is highly complex and technical, but the right talent can build an incredible website with its tools. Coalition Technologies provides some of the best website designers and developers in the industry. If you want to give your visitors a truly memorable experience, give our Magento designers a call. Call us today at 1-888-993-7639 and we’ll give you a free quote.

Credit Card Fees Secretly Drain American GDP

Did you know that most day to day transactions you make on your credit card have a 2-3% fee that goes to the big credit card companies?

This adds up quickly and drains the American economy of a huge chunk of cash that just goes straight into the pockets of big banks and credit card companies.

Fight back and use only your debit card or cash!