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5 Real Estate Influencers With Exceptional Personal Brands

Real Estate is not only about selling and buying. It serves a higher purpose.  When we think about fulfilling our goals and ambitions, we want only the best for ourselves and those who surround us. … The post 5 Real Estate Influencers With Exceptional Personal Brands appeared first on Paper.li blog. The post 5 Real …

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Toyota Gazoo's No. 8 wins 3rd straight Le Mans

Toyota Gazoo’s No. 8 car won the 24 Hours Le Mans on Sunday to secure a third straight victory.

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The Best Blogging Platforms (In-Depth Review)

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Whether you want to become a blogger for a big-time news publication, share your independent thoughts online, make millions as a blogger, or something in between, it all starts with a blogging platform. 

And choosing the right one sets precedence for everything else you do. 

But with so many options to choose from, picking the best blogging platform can feel overwhelming. 

So to help you out, I created a list of considerations to think about as you go through the process and reviewed the top five blogging platforms on the market today. 

By the end of this article, you’ll be well on your way to starting your own blog. 

The top 6 options for blogging platforms:

  1. Wix – Best drag-and-drop blogging platform
  2. WordPress.org – Best open-source blogging platform
  3. Squarespace – Best for visual-based businesses
  4. Medium – Best traditional blogging platform
  5. Blogger – Best for personal blogs

How to choose the best blogging platform for you 

Choosing a blogging platform is an important decision. And the one you choose depends on what you hope to do with your new blog and how much control you want to have. 

So, let’s walk through what to consider as you make your final decision. 

Do you want to make money?

This is probably the most crucial question to ask yourself. 

If you want to start a personal blog to share your thoughts and experiences, you’re completely fine going with a free blogging platform, like Medium or Blogger. 

However, if you want to make money blogging, you have to be careful. Most free platforms don’t let you monetize your blog. So, you need to choose a premium blogging platform that gives you more control, like Wix, WordPress.org, or Squarespace. 

Do you already have a website?

If you want to add a blog to a website you already have, I highly recommend looking into your website platform’s blogging capabilities. 

This is the easiest way to add a blog to a website that already exists. 

Alternatively, you can look into migrating your website to Wix, WordPress.org, or Squarespace. However, I recommend staying with the platform you’re already using if you can. 

Customization capabilities

Paid blogging platforms give you more control and design flexibility, allowing you to build a complete website and brand around your blog. And you can customize the look and feel of nearly every aspect of your website. 

If you’re serious about blogging as a business, you need that level of control. 

For complete flexibility and customization options, go with WordPress.org. And if you want something easier than WordPress, yet still flexible, Wix and Squarespace are great drag-and-drop options. 

On the other hand, free blogging platforms don’t give you the ability to customize to that extent. You may be able to change the colors and pick between a few different layouts. 

But, you can’t do much aside from that. 

With that said, if you’re interested in personal or hobby blogging, you don’t need anything fancy. Free blogging platforms offer everything you need to quickly write content and share it online in just a few clicks. 

The different types of blogging platforms

There are several different types of blogging platforms. 

And the right one for you depends on what you want to do with your blog. 

So, before we dive into my top recommendations, let’s walk through the different types and what they’re used for. 

Free

Free blogging platforms come in a variety of shapes and sizes. 

They’re perfect for anyone interested in personal or hobby blogging. And it’s the easiest way to write and publish content online quickly. 

However, free blogging platforms usually don’t let you make money with your content. You can’t make money with ads, use affiliate marketing, or sell your own products. 

Furthermore, they’re very limited in design flexibility and customization capabilities. 

You may even be stuck with random ads placed on your blog. And migrating your content from a free platform to another isn’t an easy process. So, they’re not suitable for business bloggers or anyone interested in making money blogging at any point in the future. 

Website builders

Website builders are all-inclusive, drag-and-drop design tools that let you quickly build an entire website without touching any code. They’re easy to set up, simple to use, and include a full suite of blogging tools. 

However, they’re not free. But web hosting is included with your subscription, and some even offer a free custom domain name for the first year. 

Furthermore, you get a significant level of flexibility and customization. But some areas may be limited depending on the blogging platform you choose. 

This is a great place to start if you want to make money, but you’ve never built a website before. Just keep in mind that you sacrifice some flexibility in exchange for ease of use. 

Open-source

Open-source blogging platforms are free to download and install. They’re completely customizable from the inside out, making them perfect for serious bloggers and business owners interested in building a full-fledged custom website. 

However, there’s a steeper learning curve.

But once you get the hang of it, you’ll realize how flexible and customizable this type of blogging platform really is. You can create ecommerce stores, business websites, portfolios, service-based websites, interactive blogs, and more. 

With that said, you have to buy web hosting before you can install an open-source software. 

But most web hosts make this type of software easy to install with one-click installation. 

#1 – Wix Review — The best drag-and-drop blogging platform

If you’re looking for the easiest premium blogging platform, you should go with Wix

It’s an all-in-one website builder with more than 100 million users worldwide, making it one of the most popular options on the market. 

Furthermore, it’s excellent for beginners interested in creating a full-fledged website with a blog included. And Wix’s intuitive drag-and-drop builder makes creating engaging blog content a breeze. 

Plus, it includes everything you need to make money with your new blog. 

With Wix, you get premium blogging features, including:

  • 500 professional design templates
  • Industry-leading SEO tools
  • Rich-text editor
  • Embed HTML codes
  • Categories and hashtags
  • Advanced search capabilities
  • Writer and editor user roles
  • Easy image editing
  • Social media tools
  • Visitor analytics

Wix is arguably the easiest and fastest way to get your professional website and blog running.

You can also take advantage of their ADI (advanced design intelligence) tool, which creates everything you need to get started in a matter of minutes. 

Simply answer a few questions, customize the design, add your website copy, update your images, and you’re ready to start blogging.  

Wix offers a free plan, which is excellent for building your site and getting everything ready to go. However, I highly recommend upgrading to a paid plan so you can remove Wix ads and connect a custom domain name. 

Paid plans start at $13/mo and increase depending on the features you need. 

#2 – WordPress.org Review — The best open-source blogging platform

WordPress.org is an open-source blogging platform with complete design flexibility. 

It also powers 38% of the entire internet, including the blog you’re reading right now, making it the most popular blogging platform on the market. 

And the best part? It’s free to download and install. 

However, you do need web hosting to be able to use it. This usually costs around $3 – $10 per month, so it’s the most affordable option on this list. 

With that said, it’s not as easy as Wix. There are a few more steps to get started, but the extra work is well worth it if you’re looking for complete design control and flexibility. 

With WordPress.org, you also get:

  • 55,000+ plugins to extend the functionality of your site
  • Thousands of free and premium themes
  • The Gutenburg block editor
  • Advanced user roles and permissions
  • Powerful media management
  • A massive community of experts
  • Infinite design control

The best part is that you have 100% control over your website and blog. Plus, you aren’t tied down by rules and regulations. You can decide what to display, what you don’t reveal, and how you make money. 

There are countless ways to get started with WordPress.org. But I highly recommend starting with Bluehost

It’s the easiest way to get everything you need. 

They also include a free domain name for the first year. So, all you have to do is pick a hosting plan, snag your free domain, and use their one-click WordPress installation feature. 

#3 – Squarespace Review — The best blogging platform for visual-based businesses

Squarespace is an all-in-one website builder, like Wix. However, it’s famous for aesthetically pleasing templates, making it perfect for visual-based businesses like photographers, designers, and artists. 

It’s also straightforward to use. Plus, it includes web hosting services and a free domain for the first year (if you choose an annual premium plan). 

It’s perfect for bloggers who want an easy, aesthetic way to share images, videos, and portfolio pieces, along with long-form and short-form blog posts. 

And with Squarespace, you create blog posts the same way you create pages. 

So, once you learn how the drag-and-drop editor works, you know how to use the entire platform. You also get access to powerful blogging features, including:

  • Free blogging templates to help you get started
  • Five unique post layouts for your home and archive pages
  • Categories, tags, and featured posts
  • Built-in post scheduler
  • Contributor permissions
  • In-depth analytics
  • SEO and social media tools
  • Email marketing (additional fees)
  • Expert customer service
  • Mobile app

Squarespace isn’t as customizable as Wix or WordPress.org, but it’s perfect for creative bloggers and visual-based businesses looking for something captivating and easy to use. 

Paid plans start at $12 per month and increase depending on the features you need. 

#4 – Medium Review — The best traditional blogging platform

Medium is a platform that helps readers and writers find new ideas, knowledge, and perspectives. It’s unique because there are no ads present on the platform. 

To date, they have over 120 million readers, making this an excellent way to get your content in front of more people. It’s also great if you want to share personal stories and perspectives to get your thoughts out to the world. 

However, it’s not a great platform for making money as a blogger. Medium does have a partner program that rewards writers for the amount of time paying members spend reading their content. 

But you’ll have a hard time making a decent amount of money on Medium alone. 

And you can’t include your own call-to-actions in partner posts. So, you have to choose between making money and growing your email list. 

It’s not a flawed model. However, I highly recommend treating Medium as an extension of your Wix, Squarespace, or WordPress.org blog. 

To get started, you can create a profile or a publication. Publications look more aesthetically pleasing, and you get more organization and display features. With publications, you can also send newsletters to your followers. 

However, it doesn’t really matter which one you choose. 

Note: if you use Medium as an extension of your blog, make sure you use their import feature to add existing blog posts. This way, you can add content from your blog to Medium without creating duplicate content for SEO purposes. 

#5 – Blogger Review – The best for personal blogs

Blogger is one of the original blogging platforms. It’s been around since 1999.

It’s completely free to use with no paid plans, upsells, or anything like that. And it’s incredibly easy to use. This makes it perfect for personal or hobby bloggers looking to share their thoughts and ideas with the world. 

They have several free templates to choose from that govern how your blog looks. However, they’re not very customizable. 

You can change the colors and the layout of a few things, but that’s about it. 

The platform focuses solely on blogging, so that’s where the majority of their features lie. With Blogger, you get free access to essential features, including:

  • A free SSL certificate and free domain mapping
  • Google integrations
  • Image storage with Google Photos
  • Integrated ad campaigns
  • Simple text editor

And while those features are great, the platform is seriously lacking in other departments, including customization, custom post types, and overall design. 

Essentially, it’s an old-school blogging platform. It works well for simple blogging, but you can’t create a full-fledged website, so I don’t recommend it if you want to build a brand and make money blogging. 

However, since Google’s acquisition in 2003, you can display Google Ads on your blog to make a little extra money on the side. 

But, it’s not a sustainable or long-term way to make a full-time income with your blog. 

Summary

The best blogging platform for you depends on where you want to take your blog. For personal and hobby bloggers, a free platform like Blogger or Medium is the perfect place to start. 

They’re easy to set up, incredibly simple, and the fastest way to start publishing online. Plus, you don’t have to pay anything to share your thoughts and ideas. 

However, if you want to make money and turn your blog into a business, free platforms won’t cut it. The easiest premium blogging platforms are Wix and Squarespace, making them perfect for beginners. 

However, if you want the ultimate level of control, go with WordPress.org hosted by Bluehost

The post The Best Blogging Platforms (In-Depth Review) appeared first on Neil Patel.

It’s Science-backed With Our Foolproof Research: How to Build a Business Credit Score in a Recession

We Smuggled Out Hidden Information on How to Build a Business Credit Score in a Recession

Our research dynamos can teach YOU how to build a business credit score in a recession! The economy doesn’t have to be perfect to build business credit quickly and effectively.

Building better business credit means that your small business attains opportunities you never assumed it would.

You can get new equipment, bid on real property, and deal with the company payroll. And you can do so even when times are a bit lean. This is specifically helpful in holiday businesses, where you can go for calendar months with simply negligible sales.

Because of this, you ought to tackle building your company credit. Enhance and maintain your scores and you will have these possibilities. Do not, and either you do not get these opportunities, or they will cost you a lot more. And no company owner wants that.

So you need to know what affects your business credit before you can make it better.

How to Build a Business Credit Score in a Recession: Credit History Length Is Vital

This is essentially the length of time your business has been using business credit. Obviously newer businesses will have short credit histories. While there is not too much you can particularly do about that, do not despair.

Credit reporting agencies will also consider your personal credit score and your own history of payments. If your consumer credit is good, and particularly if you have a fairly extensive credit history, then your individual credit can come to the rescue of your company.

So that is, you did not just get your first credit card recently.

Normally the converse is also right. Hence if your individual credit history is poor, then it will have a bearing on your business credit scores. And it will do so until your small business and personal credit can be split up.

How to Build a Business Credit Score in a Recession: Don’t Allow Your Credit Utilization Rate to Harm Your Small business

Your credit utilization rate is just the amount of cash you have on credit. So it is then divided by your total available credit. Lenders in general do not wish to see this exceed 30%. Hence for every $100 in credit, do not borrow more than $30 of that.

If this percent is climbing, you’ll have to spend down and pay off your debts prior to borrowing more.

How to Build a Business Credit Score in a Recession: Your Payment History Truly Matters

Late repayments will affect your company credit score for a good seven years. If you pay your company debts off, as fast as possible, then you can make a very real difference when it relates to your credit scores.

Ensure that you pay promptly. And you will enjoy the rewards of promptness.

Learn more here and get started toward building business credit attached to your company’s EIN and not your SSN. Get money even in a recession!

How to Build a Business Credit Score in a Recession: Your Personal Credit Can Bear upon Your Business Credit

A substandard business year could end up on your personal credit score. And in case your business has not been around for too long, it will directly influence your company credit.

But don’t worry, you can separate them easily. Do so by taking measures to unlink them.

For instance, get credit cards exclusively for your firm. Or open business checking accounts and other bank accounts (or perhaps get a business loan). And then the credit reporting bureaus will begin to address your personal and small business credit independently.

Also, make sure to incorporate. Or at least file a DBA (doing business as) status. You can also pay for your company’s debts with your firm credit card or checking account. And make certain it is the company’s full name on the bill and not your own.

How to Build a Business Credit Score in a Recession: The Credit Reporting Bureaus Can Just Plain Get It Wrong

Just like each organization out there, credit reporting agencies like Equifax and Experian are only as good as their information. If your firm’s name is like another’s, there can possibly be some errors.

So check those reports, and your company report at Dun & Bradstreet, PAYDEX. Remain on top of these reports and contest charges with documentation and clear communications. Do not just let them stay incorrect! You can fix this!

And while you’re at, it you should also be overseeing the credit reporting agency which solely handles personal and not business credit, TransUnion. If you do not know how to pull a credit report, do not fret. It’s easy.

An Alternative – Business Credit!

Business credit is credit in a small business’s name. It doesn’t attach to an owner’s consumer credit, not even if the owner is a sole proprietor and the only employee of the company. Consequently, a business owner’s business and consumer credit scores can be very different.

The Benefits

Since small business credit is independent from individual, it helps to secure a business owner’s personal assets, in the event of a lawsuit or business bankruptcy. Also, with two separate credit scores, a small business owner can get two different cards from the same merchant. This effectively doubles buying power.

Another advantage is that even new ventures can do this. Visiting a bank for a business loan can be a recipe for disappointment. But building business credit, when done the right way, is a plan for success.

Personal credit scores depend upon payments but also additional factors like credit usage percentages. But for business credit, the scores truly only hinge on whether a company pays its bills on time.

Learn more here and get started toward building business credit attached to your company’s EIN and not your SSN. Get money even in a recession!

The Process

Growing business credit is a process, and it does not happen automatically. A business needs to actively work to establish business credit. Nevertheless, it can be done easily and quickly, and it is much more rapid than establishing personal credit scores.

Merchants are a big part of this process.

Doing the steps out of order will result in repetitive denials. No one can start at the top with company credit. For instance, you can’t start with store or cash credit from your bank. If you do you’ll get a rejection 100% of the time.

Business Fundability

A business has to be genuine to lenders and merchants. For that reason, a business will need a professional-looking web site and email address, with site hosting bought from a merchant such as GoDaddy.

And company telephone and fax numbers ought to have a listing on ListYourself.net.

Likewise the company telephone number should be toll-free (800 exchange or comparable).

A business will also need a bank account dedicated solely to it, and it has to have all of the licenses essential for running. These licenses all have to be in the correct, correct name of the small business, with the same business address and phone numbers.

So bear in mind that this means not just state licenses, but possibly also city licenses.

Learn more here and get started toward building business credit attached to your company’s EIN and not your SSN. Get money even in a recession!

Dealing with the Internal Revenue Service

Visit the Internal Revenue Service web site and acquire an EIN for the company. They’re totally free. Select a business entity like corporation, LLC, etc.

A company can get started as a sole proprietor. But they will more than likely wish to change to a kind of corporation or partnership to decrease risk and maximize tax benefits.

A business entity will matter when it comes to taxes and liability in case of a lawsuit. A sole proprietorship means the entrepreneur is it when it comes to liability and taxes. No one else is responsible.

If you operate a small business as a sole proprietor, then at the very least be sure to file for a DBA (‘doing business as’) status.

If you do not, then your personal name is the same as the business name. As a result, you can wind up being directly responsible for all company debts.

Additionally, according to the IRS, by having this structure there is a 1 in 7 possibility of an IRS audit. There is a 1 in 50 chance for corporations! Steer clear of confusion and significantly decrease the chances of an IRS audit at the same time.

Starting Off the Business Credit Reporting Process

Begin at the D&B website and get a cost-free DUNS number. A DUNS number is how D&B gets a company in their system, to produce a PAYDEX score. If there is no DUNS number, then there is no record and no PAYDEX score.

Once in D&B’s system, search Equifax and Experian’s websites for the company. You can do this here. If there is a record with them, check it for correctness and completeness. If there are no records with them, go to the next step in the process.

By doing this, Experian and Equifax will have something to report on.

Trade Lines

First you must establish trade lines that report. This is also called vendor accounts. Then you’ll have an established credit profile, and you’ll get a business credit score.

And with an established business credit profile and score you can start getting revolving store and cash credit.

These types of accounts have the tendency to be for the things bought all the time, like coffee, shipping boxes, outdoor work wear, ink and toner, and office furniture.

But first off, what is trade credit? These trade lines are credit issuers who will give you initial credit when you have none now. Terms are commonly Net 30, instead of revolving.

Hence if you get approval for $1,000 in vendor credit and use all of it, you must pay that money back in a set term, like within 30 days on a Net 30 account.

Details

Net 30 accounts have to be paid in full within 30 days. 60 accounts have to be paid in full within 60 days. In contrast to with revolving accounts, you have a set time when you must pay back what you borrowed or the credit you made use of.

To kick off your business credit profile the right way, you should get approval for vendor accounts that report to the business credit reporting bureaus. As soon as that’s done, you can then use the credit.

Then pay back what you used, and the account is on report to Dun & Bradstreet, Experian, or Equifax.

Not every vendor can help like true starter credit can. These are vendors that will grant an approval with hardly any effort. You also need them to be reporting to one or more of the big three CRAs: Dun & Bradstreet, Equifax, and Experian.

But you may have to apply more than one time to these vendors, and you may need to purchase some things you don’t need, to confirm you are responsible and will pay promptly. Consider giving nonessential things to charitable organizations.

Revolving Store CreditHow to build a business credit score in a recession Credit Suite

Once there are 3 or more vendor trade accounts reporting to at least one of the CRAs, progress to revolving store credit. These are service providers such as Office Depot and Staples.

Use the small business’s EIN on these credit applications.

Fleet Credit

Are there more accounts reporting? Then move onto fleet credit. These are businesses like BP and Conoco. Use this credit to purchase fuel, and to repair and take care of vehicles. Make sure to apply using the small business’s EIN.

Cash Credit

Have you been sensibly handling the credit you’ve gotten up to this point? Then move onto more universal cash credit. Keep your SSN off these applications; use your EIN instead.

These are usually MasterCard credit cards. If you have more trade accounts reporting, then these are feasible.

Monitor Your Business Credit

Know what is happening with your credit. Make sure it is being reported and deal with any mistakes ASAP. Get in the practice of checking credit reports. Dig into the specifics, not just the scores.

We can help you monitor business credit at Experian and D&B for 90% less. Update the information if there are errors or the info is incomplete.

Disputing Errors

So, what’s all this monitoring for? It’s to dispute any errors in your records. Errors in your credit report(s) can be corrected. But the CRAs normally want you to dispute in a particular way.

Disputing credit report inaccuracies usually means you send a paper letter with copies of any proofs of payment with it. These are documents like receipts and cancelled checks. Never mail the originals. Always mail copies and retain the original copies.

Disputing credit report mistakes also means you specifically spell out any charges you challenge. Make your dispute letter as clear as possible. Be specific about the problems with your report. Use certified mail so that you will have proof that you mailed in your dispute.

A Word about Building Business Credit

Always use credit sensibly! Don’t borrow more than what you can pay off. Keep an eye on balances and deadlines for repayments. Paying in a timely manner and in full will do more to raise business credit scores than pretty much anything else.

Establishing business credit pays. Great business credit scores help a business get loans. Your lending institution knows the business can pay its debts. They know the business is bona fide.

The small business’s EIN attaches to high scores, and lending institutions won’t feel the need to demand a personal guarantee.

How to Build a Business Credit Score in a Recession: The Takeaways

Once you find out what influences your small business credit score, you are that much nearer to being able to build a business credit in a recession.

Learn more here and get started on how to build a business credit score in a recession.

The post It’s Science-backed With Our Foolproof Research: How to Build a Business Credit Score in a Recession appeared first on Credit Suite.

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