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Small Businesses

How to Use Visual Content to Trigger More Engagement [Infographic]

Jonathan Long | Posted 04.12.2015 | Small Business
Jonathan Long

Images and visual content attract more social shares, but they also engage your customers, potential customers, and website visitors -- causing them to stay on your website longer.

Increase Business Blog Traffic With These 5 Tips

Jonathan Long | Posted 04.05.2015 | Small Business
Jonathan Long

A lot of businesses will publish blog content that rivals advertisements. Give you helpful free information on your blog and your audience will appreciate it. This helps to build a relationship based on trust. Consumers are going to return to blogs that aren't constantly jamming offers down their throat. Focus on providing value and the leads and sales will follow naturally.

Time Management Isn't the Answer

Mary Albright | Posted 04.05.2015 | Small Business
Mary Albright

How many times have you heard that the secret to success is, "You need better time management skills?" It's not uncommon advice in any sphere. You may have even thought about it yourself.

5 Areas of Focus Your 2015 SEO Strategy Must Include

Jonathan Long | Posted 03.30.2015 | Small Business
Jonathan Long

A search engine optimization strategy that isn't constantly adjusting is destined for failure. While there is no "one-size-fits-all" solution when it comes to SEO, here are five areas of focus that can help improve your overall search visibility campaign.

Health Insurers' Stock Soars as They Dump Small Business Customers

Wendell Potter | Posted 03.28.2015 | Politics
Wendell Potter

Among those who apparently have not yet benefited much at all, at least so far, are owners of small businesses who would like to keep offering coverage to their employees but can no longer afford it. They can't afford it because insurers keep jacking their rates up so high every year that more and more of them are dropping employee health benefits altogether.

12 Online Marketing Blogs Every Small Business Owner Needs to Read

Jonathan Long | Posted 03.22.2015 | Small Business
Jonathan Long

Online marketing is an industry that is constantly changing. The search engines are constantly rolling out updates and data refreshes, pay per click advertising platforms are always revealing new features and social media marketing is always evolving.

5 Peaceful Ways to Protest Police Brutality in 2015 and Beyond

Ama Yawson | Posted 03.16.2015 | Black Voices
Ama Yawson

For many of us, 2014 was an emotionally devastating year because of the seemingly continuous news stories of unarmed citizens falling victim to lethal police brutality. Many of us protested in 2014 and yet have not yet seen the change that wanted. So what are we going to do about it?

Michael Madigan Shifts on Comptroller Succession

Matthew Dietrich | Posted 03.10.2015 | Chicago
Matthew Dietrich

After weeks of discussion about what to do with the now-vacant Illinois comptroller's seat, House Speaker Michael Madigan has now said he supports the idea of a special election. This opinion comes after he previously stated he would support a four-year appointment by Gov.-elect Bruce Rauner.

A Waikiki Institution Struggles To Survive

The Huffington Post | James Cave | Posted 01.03.2015 | Travel

If you've ever stayed in Waikiki, you've probably bought a lei from Aunty Bella or her family. Set in the heart of the tourist mecca -- amidst the lux...

5 Tips for Using PR to Grow Your Business

Miranda Marquit | Posted 02.26.2015 | Small Business
Miranda Marquit

If you are a small business that is weighing the advantages of advertising versus public relations, there are some compelling reasons for making PR a cornerstone of your organization's strategy of growth. This might even include shifting some of your advertising resources to your PR efforts.

8 Tips to Help Convert Your Leads Into Sales

Jonathan Long | Posted 02.22.2015 | Small Business
Jonathan Long

The majority of your leads won't automatically convert into sales by simply being sent through your conversion funnel. It will often require additional help to produce the conversion. Here are eight tips to help your business convert more leads into sales.

5 Things Your SEO Strategy Needs to Focus on Entering 2015

Jonathan Long | Posted 02.17.2015 | Small Business
Jonathan Long

Yes, it is that time of the year again when everyone starts to predict what SEO will look like in the coming year. Google's algorithm is constantly changing. There are public updates as well as refreshes and tweaks that occur on a regular basis.

5 Mistakes New Online Businesses Need to Avoid

Jonathan Long | Posted 02.07.2015 | Small Business
Jonathan Long

Offering your products or services online can introduce your business to a worldwide audience and contribute to exponential growth.

Small Business: The 'Neglected Middle' Of Climate Change

Daniel Hill | Posted 02.07.2015 | Green
Daniel Hill

Individually, a small business might use less energy than a 50-story office building. But cumulatively, small businesses in the U.S. alone contribute roughly $60 billion in annual energy costs and nearly half a billion metric tons of annual carbon emissions each year. That's equivalent to powering half the homes in the U.S. every year. Now consider the number of small businesses across the world, and the environmental impact becomes significant.

That One Overlooked Thing That's Killing Potential Startups

Victoria Olubi | Posted 02.03.2015 | Business
Victoria Olubi

As Steve Jobs said, 'don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice.' Therefore, be selective about whose advice you take and don't be afraid to follow your own intuition. It's there for a reason.

Illinois' Minimum Wage Questions Cause Political Headaches for Business Operators

Matthew Dietrich | Posted 02.02.2015 | Chicago
Matthew Dietrich

With the Chicago City Council's Dec. 2 approval of a $13 minimum wage and the Illinois General Assembly still debating what to do with the state minimum wage, opinions from all sides abound. Some support a higher state uniform minimum wage, some want it even higher in Chicago, some don't want it to go up at all.

10 Affordable Tools to Help Your Business Thrive Online

Jonathan Long | Posted 01.31.2015 | Small Business
Jonathan Long

There are several tools available to help online businesses operate smoothly and increase productivity, but with so many choices how do you know what ones are worth looking into? It can be extremely overwhelming, so I put together a list of 10 affordable tools that can really help your business succeed online.

8 Simple Ways to Improve Your Pay-Per-Click Advertising Ad Copy

Jonathan Long | Posted 01.24.2015 | Small Business
Jonathan Long

If your business is running a pay-per-click campaign and experiencing low click-through rates and conversion rates your ad copy is likely the problem. PPC ads have limited space to work with, so you need to use the available character space wisely to create ad copy that attracts clicks and leads to conversions.

Improve Holiday Conversion Rates With These 13 Email Marketing Tips

Jonathan Long | Posted 01.19.2015 | Small Business
Jonathan Long

Consumers are becoming immune to email marketing and most emails get deleted without even being looked at. The following 13 email marketing tips can be used to create emails that capture your customers' attention, receive a high open-rate and result in holiday sales for your business.

Entrepreneurs: Engines of Our Economic Growth

Rep. Scott Peters | Posted 01.18.2015 | Politics
Rep. Scott Peters

On National Entrepreneurs' Day, we have a responsibility to ensure that our policies help give every would-be business owner a fair shot in this economy. That means supporting two key bipartisan priorities: comprehensive tax reform and common-sense regulatory reform.

No Online Marketing Budget? Use These 7 Tips to Grow Your Business In-House.

Jonathan Long | Posted 01.14.2015 | Small Business
Jonathan Long

Every small business would love to dive head first into online marketing, but many hit a roadblock when exploring the many options available: their budget.

4 Reasons Why You Should Combine SEO and PR Strategies

Jonathan Long | Posted 12.29.2014 | Small Business
Jonathan Long

SEO strategies have changed a lot over the past few years. With such a large focus now on attracting high quality brand mentions it requires getting other websites to talk about you. Creating this buzz requires a PR approach, and one could even argue that PR needs to be part of the "new" search engine optimization era.

5 Small Business SEO Tips You Can Implement In-House Right Now

Jonathan Long | Posted 12.22.2014 | Small Business
Jonathan Long

Every small business owner should implement search engine optimization into his or her online marketing strategy, but many shy away because they think they need a huge budget to get started. An effective and complete strategy will cost money, but that doesn't mean you have to sit idle until you can afford to hire an SEO agency.

Your Small Business Needs SEO: Here Are 6 Reasons Why

Jonathan Long | Posted 10.20.2014 | Small Business
Jonathan Long

SEO plays such a major role in the online success of a business, contributing to high rankings in the search results as well as helping with the branding of a company as well. Here are six reasons why your business needs SEO.

Profit + Soul = The New Sustainable Business Model

Brent Chudoba | Posted 08.14.2014 | Small Business
Brent Chudoba

By setting goals, considering the bottom line and taking small steps throughout the year (versus a once-a-year canned food drive), SMBs can make a huge impact on the larger community while creating goodwill (and profits) for their own companies.