How to Choose the Best Online Advertising Platform for Your Business

online advertising

Whether you are a startup or an experienced company, finding the perfect advertising platform can be challenging. In order to make the process a little bit easier for you, continue reading to learn about five different businesses and the relevant advertising platforms to make those businesses successful.

1.) The New Business

A new business typically needs to gain exposure before customers begin specifically researching about that business. Since a new business needs to bring awareness to their specific products or services, it’s important to reach their target customers in the most efficient and effective way possible. One of the easiest ways to do this by displaying advertisements on well-known websites.

A great platform that is perfect for this push marketing strategy is Google Display. Google Display utilizes banners and text advertisements across a variety of websites that your target customers will most likely be using. Google AdWords is also great because the interface is easy to understand and provides you with detailed analytics.

2.) Service Providers

On the other hand, service providers should opt for a pull technique. In other words, the target customers of a service provider, such as a lawyer, are already looking for the same service the provider offers. Service providers don’t have to necessarily worry about making their name and service known because their target customers regularly search for their specific service.

In order for the pull strategy to be effective, a service provider should use a search network, like Google or Bing, to launch their campaign. With a search network campaign, a service provider will utilize search engine optimization tactics to ensure their ads are one of the first things potential customers see.

3.) Business-to-Business

Business-to-business service providers can use a combination of advertising tactics to maximize their campaigns. For example, these businesses should utilize a combination of a search network campaign and the Google Display network to pull in potential customers.

It’s also important for business-to-business service providers to utilize LinkedIn. LinkedIn allows businesses to advertise in a way that will target specific needs that potential customers will be intrigued by.

4.) Lifestyle Product Retailers

A retailer that sells lifestyle products or products a specific group of people would be interested in, like band inspired merchandise, should use Facebook as their advertising platform. Typically, people who purchase lifestyle products are passive shoppers. In other words, they usually don’t specifically research for a certain product. Instead, they purchase lifestyle products from seeing interesting advertisements.

Like many beginner advertisement platforms, Facebook’s advertising interface is easy to understand and use. With a click of a few buttons, you are able to launch your ads to your specific target group.

5.) Competitive Markets

Lastly, if your business is within a competitive market then you want to utilize cross-channel marketing. You should be utilizing advertisement platforms such as Google and Facebook, in addition to other platforms, such as Twitter and Instagram. Using cross-channel marketing is cost effective and guaranteed to provide an influx of profitability.

It’s also important to use these advertising platforms to remarket. Remarketing is a simplistic concept in which advertisements are continuously shown to potential customers after they visited your general website or a specific page on your website.

5 Reasons to Invest in Replacement Windows For Your Home or Business

replacement windows

We are happy to welcome guest blogger, Matt Wheeler to our website! He is the owner of a replacement window and door business in Charlotte, NC called All Seasons Window & Door Co. Today, he’s going to be discussing the top 5 reasons to consider replacement windows for your home or business.

Whether you live in the queen city or elsewhere, we hope you’ll find this post helpful in meeting your home improvement needs!

As someone who’s been in the window and door business for a long time, I can attest to all the benefits of replacing your windows. While you may have heard that doing so can save you lots of money on heating and cooling costs, that’s not the only reason. Besides better energy efficiency, here are 5 more reasons to consider replacement windows for your home or business building.

Reason #1: More Comfort.

Ever sat near a window and felt a cold draft in the middle of winter? It’s enough to literally send chills down your spine! I’ve had customers who even reported watching the flames in their fireplace dwindle down to nothing because of a strange wind coming from a crack in their window sealing. If you’re noticing issues like this, they’re surely a pain, which means it might be time for some new panes… pun intended.

Reason #2: Improved Curb Appeal and Resale Value.

Thinking about selling your home soon? New windows can significantly increase its monetary value. But even if you don’t intend to sell, they will certainly boost your curb appeal and make your neighbors stop and stare a little longer while they’re out on walks. Who doesn’t want to own the most admired home in the neighborhood?

Reason #3: Easier Maintenance.

Today’s window technology has made significant improvements in terms of ease of maintenance and cleaning. If your home’s windows are old and hard to clean, replacing them could save you lots of time and effort in the very near future. And if you pay a professional to come and clean your windows every so often, you’ll save money. New windows for the win!

Reason #4: Safer.

Again, window technology has greatly improved. Modern replacement windows are safer than the windows of old, which means you’ll have greater peace of mind that your home is protected as well as it can be. Not to mention, they open and close easier from the inside, so you and your loved ones can get out quicker in case of fire or other emergencies that might require a prompt exit.

Reason #5: Current Specials.

Now is the time to take advantage of any special promotions that your local window and door replacement companies may be offering. With the spring season in full bloom, you’re bound to find some great deals out there. If you live in Charlotte, NC, give us a call at 704-343-8438 to learn about our current specials!

How to Write a Song

how to write a songBefore you get too excited, you should know that this post is not going to outline a step-by-step process for actually sitting down to write a song. Truth be told, as an experienced songwriter, I can confidently say that the process is different for everyone. In fact, in many cases for me, it’s a different process every time I do it.

Sometimes, I come up with the melody first.

Sometimes, I come up with a chord progression first, and then I get a melody from that.

Sometimes, I write lyrics and it’s months before those lyrics get put to music.

And sometimes, I can write a whole song—lyrics, melody, and chords—in one 30-minute sitting. (It’s rare, but it has happened.)

My point is, just like there’s no wrong way to eat a Reese’s peanut butter cup, there’s no wrong way to write a song. And there’s no one single way to write one either. It really all depends on several factors, such as where your inspiration comes from, when it comes to you, how it comes to you, what your motive is for writing, and what instrument(s) you have to aid you in the process. All of these factors add up to influence a person’s songwriting process in a different way each time.

That said, I can sum up my songwriting process pretty easily. Even though it is different every time – there is one core thing that acts as the common thread between the various elements that come into play. I’ll put it the way another songwriter once put it to me and helped me begin my songwriting journey many years ago:

Writing a song is no different than writing an essay or a story.

Yes, that sounds simple, but it was hugely impactful for me, mainly because I was a college student at the time, and I was majoring in English. So I had plenty of experience writing essays and stories (mostly essays.)

You can break it down just like any high school student would break it down. An essay is usually made up of an introduction, a conclusion, and a number of supporting paragraphs (3 if it’s the standard “5-paragraph essay” that I was taught to write as a teenager.) Each supporting paragraph is made up of a single topic sentence along with examples to support that topic sentence. And each supporting paragraph should be written to support the essay’s main idea or thesis, which is usually presented at the end of the introduction.

In the same way, a song is simply a poetic “essay” of sorts. You have one main idea, and you support that idea with verses, a chorus, and possibly a bridge. Not all of these elements is required every time, but most popular songs are made up of verses, choruses, and a bridge, and many of my songs follow this structure.

So, how do you write a song? First, you come up with a main idea. You may wish to communicate that idea through your chorus, since that is the “hook” of most songs. Then, you come up with several supporting verses to describe or exemplify that main idea. It really is a lot like writing an essay.

It really doesn’t matter if you write the music first or the lyrics first. I’ve done it both ways. In many cases, I’ll try to coordinate the style of the music to fit the overall “feel” that the lyrics produce when read. If the lyrics are meant to provoke thought, then the music will be written to elicit a thoughtful emotional response. If the lyrics are sappy and meant to draw tears, the music will usually be written with that in mind. Sometimes, if I have a main idea and overall “feel” in mind, I’ll write the music first, and then add lyrics. In those cases, the music almost always gets altered as the lyrics progress.

Sorry this wasn’t a step-by-step how-to. You can find lots of those online, but I feel as though they can be extremely limiting, because, as I said before, there truly is no wrong way to write a song. If you’re interested, we did another post a while back on the basics of songwriting that you can check out here.

Happy songwriting!

Writing Your Very Own Songs: The Basics

People write songs using many different methods. Some writers compose the music first, while others write the lyrics. For some, the lyrics and the tune come to them simultaneously, while others compose the tune first and lyrics last. No matter what order you are comfortable with, you will at some point need to choose exactly what the tune is about. There are a range of various types of tracks varying from tracks that inform fictional stories to songs that produce deep individual sensations.

An excellent first exercise is to create around an story or something you’ve checked out in the newspaper if you make a decision to write a “story” song. This way you could use your initial track to sharpen your word-selecting skills without the stress of thinking of your very own tale. If you currently have a suggestion for a story to tell, you could create it out in rhyme form as well as attempt to make suitable rhymes and structures that help to communicate exactly what happens in the track.

Writing the real music for a song can be done in many various ways depending on your musical expertise and also your emphasis. Instrumental virtuosos will have a very different approach to songwriting than that of novices. Frequently, songwriters will construct entire songs, tune and all, without also knowing exactly what they will be about. Check out the video below for some basic tips on how to get started.

Once you have put your words and songs together, you may really feel the need to perform your brand-new track. When you feel comfortable playing your song, you should take into consideration visiting an open mic evening at a local coffee shop or bar.

Due to the fact that songs are so expressive, many songwriters utilize their make-ups to reveal just how they really feel, whether it has to do with an individual or a scenario or even a specific place. Creating the music might be very personal, so everyone does it differently. Write it down in a notebook and come back to it later when you have strong emotions concerning something. You might think about a great line that shares a feeling pretty well, and if you remember it, you may be able to build a whole song around it. Having peaceful time to think is always helpful when you are trying to compose a track.

If you are interested selling your songs, however, you should be conscious that it is a hard road and also that not many songwriters accomplish great fame or make tons of money quickly. If you have sensible expectations, you will certainly realize that composing songs is a beneficial experience, whether it is a pastime or it becomes a career.

5 Ways to Unclog a Toilet

This post is a bit unorthodox for us. So far, we’ve mostly talked about music and things related to that, so this probably seems weird, but there’s a good reason for it. One of our readers actually wrote in and asked about ways to unclog a stubborn toilet, and the timing couldn’t have been more perfect due to a recurring toilet situation we’ve been having for a while now…

We share a unisex bathroom at our music studio, and the toilet has been clogging a lot lately. At first, we figured it was one of the guys. There are some big, tall guys in our crew and they eat a lot of fast food. Imagine our surprise, when we discovered it was one of the girls in our group.

I promise she gave me permission to write this post … but only because I swore I wouldn’t disclose her name or any other information about her.

This girl is petite, so it was very surprising to learn the cause of the clogs…

Too much toilet paper? Nope. She uses the standard 3 sheets, and the TP we buy isn’t particularly thick.

Tampons? Wrong again. She hasn’t had a period in a while due to the birth of multiple kids back to back.

Flushing drugs down the toilet? Nah… despite our musician lifestyles, we’re not into that sorta thing.

The constant toilet clogging has been due to nothing more than her having really large, dense stools. Her boyfriend has affectionately nicknamed her “little big poops.” She didn’t think it was nearly as funny as he did…

Given the fact that none of our guys have ever manage to clog the toilet, ever, we knew it wasn’t a result of poor plumbing. We’ve tried many different methods of unclogging and learned a lot along the way. I wanted to write this post for anyone who shares a bathroom in a small music studio (or a similar setting where there’s only one toilet that a lot of people use) – mainly because I know that #thestruggleisreal and I’m hoping it will be of use to you, should happen to come across it. Here are the 5 methods we’ve used to unclog our music studio toilet:

Method #1: Use a plunger. I know what you’re thinking. “Well, duh…” But I figured I’d include it in this list, just in case it’s not a method you’ve tried. (You never know, right?) If a plunger doesn’t work, or if you don’t have one handy, methods 2 and 3 have worked wonders for us in a crappy situation. (Ha. See what I did there?)

Method #2: Use Dawn dish soap. Not only is this method really effective; it makes your whole bathroom smell like clean dishes. Simply squirt a good amount of the stuff into the toilet bowl, pour in some boiling hot water, and let it sit for a few minutes. The soap will help dissolve some of the fats in the clog (assuming it was caused by a dense stool.)

Check out this video to see the above method in action:

Method #3: Use baking soda & vinegar. Similar to the dish soap method, these ingredients will help to break up deposits that might be clogging your toilet. I’ve used this method multiple times after a plunger and a snake didn’t help, and it made the toilet flush like new again. Use equal parts baking soda and vinegar (approximately half a cup should do). Pour the baking soda in first, followed by the vinegar, and then top it off with a cup of boiling hot water. Note: be sure to pour the vinegar in slowly, as it will cause the baking soda to fizzle and foam, and you don’t want the water to run over the rim of the bowl.

Method #4: Snake it. You can get a good snake from Home Depot or Lowes for pretty cheap. Make sure it’s one of the ones that won’t scratch your toilet bowl. (Here’s the one we use.)

Method #5: Hire a plumber. Only as a last resort, if none of the above works. If method #4 fails, then you either have a really bad clog, or something’s up with your plumbing system, in which case, a plumber can save you tons of time and money in the long run. Thankfully, we haven’t had to go here yet…