As we draw up the week to a close.

Here are some of the highlights of the week that has been happening around the web.

Be honest: how many times have you told yourself that you’re going to create your first online course, only to get overwhelmed by all the tech?

There are so many course creation tools on the market today, from landing page software to email marketing systems to your course hosting […]

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There are so many course creation tools on the market today, from landing page software to email marketing systems to your course hosting platform.

The right tools can save you a ton of headaches and also help you get more of your high-value hours back by automating your key digital course creation activities.

However, if the technology you choose doesn’t integrate well across the board or is simply too difficult to set up, it will probably sit unused on your hard drive gathering virtual dust.

Finding the best tools for course creation is not a task to take lightly, but fortunately for you, I’ve already done a lot of the heavy lifting.

I’ve created best-selling courses that have helped tens of thousands of business owners, educators and entrepreneurs upgrade their online marketing skills, so when I recommend a tool, you can trust that it’s the real deal.

The following apps and platforms are some of my go-to’s for new digital course creators.

ConvertKit makes email marketing easy as pie.

Key features include easy-to-embed forms and landing pages, trust-building email sequences, and a visual automation builder so you can develop targeted marketing funnels in a snap.

Plus, it plays well with a bunch of other popular platforms and providers like Leadpages, SamCart, Stripe, Squarespace, and more.

ConvertKit has a super generous free plan which allows users to start building their audiences with unlimited landing pages and forms (which includes an automatic email that delivers your freebies).

The catch?

It’s capped at 1,000 subscribers.

If you have a bigger audience or want access to the automation and sequence features, their Complete plan starts at $29 a month ($25 a month if you pay annually).

Amy's Favorite Course Creation Tools

15 Top Social Media Sites & Platforms (A Handy 2020 Guide)

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Wondering which social media sites your business, brand, or blog should be on in 2020?

You’ve come to the right place.

We’ll look at cool features for each social network, go over who should (and should not) use them, and provide insights that’ll help you determine which ones are best for your business, brand, or blog.

The 15 Most Popular Social Media Sites in 2020

1. Facebook

Facebook is the largest social media platform in the world.

But just because more than 90% of its daily active users live outside North America doesn’t mean this social platform isn’t popular in the U.S.

Seven in ten U.S. adults use Facebook, and more than half of Americans check multiple times daily, sharing posts composed of text, photos, videos, and GIFs that other users comment on, share, and react to.

2. YouTube

When it comes to social networks, YouTube dominates video content sharing.

This massive video-sharing platform lets users post, comment on, and upvote or downvote music videos, TV shows, vlogs, educational content, live streams, movie trailers, and more.

YouTube functions as a massive search engine (2nd only to Google), making SEO an important consideration for content creators.

Amy's Favorite Course Creation Tools

3. WhatsApp

Users can send text and voice messages or make voice and video calls for free with this mobile app.

However, unlike the app Viber, users cannot call non-app users’ numbers.

WhatsApp Business is a standalone app available on desktop, and many business owners use it as a handy customer service solution.

In a crowded messaging app market (QQ, Telegram, Snapchat, etc.) WhatsApp stands as the most popular, with more monthly active users than Facebook Messenger (both are owned by Facebook).

Amy's Favorite Course Creation Tools

How PIM Is Driving Innovation in Retail During the Pandemic

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The retail landscape has changed for real and will continue to evolve, as buying behaviors transform according to new priorities and expectations.

Within this rapidly changing environment, a robust PIM solution will become crucial for retailers looking to streamline their processes, increase efficiency, and provide a memorable customer experience.

  • Enable the centralization and organization of all product information at one place for the purposes of multichannel marketing and unified commerce.

  • Help create a 360-degree view of products by connecting rich product content and digital assets to product master data to support customer-centric experiences.

  • Minimize manual efforts and eliminate data silos and data quality risks.Deliver product information across all required channels to ensures a frictionless customer journey.

  • Incorporate transactional, interactional, observational, and analytics data to enable actionable business insight.

  • Enable operational excellence such as supply chain optimization or order fulfillment accuracy especially in live commerce.

  • Implement and enforce a unified information governance policy within product master data, digital assets, and syndication software solutions

With Covid-19 and its effects shaping the “new normal” of retail, the challenge is to make sure the right product information reaches the potential buyers.

A foundation of product master data is required for engagement across multiple digital touchpoints.

Upon which, rich product content and digital assets can be connected across innovative strategies like contactless commerce, live online interactions, unified commerce, and converged digital and in-store experiences.

This is where Product Information Management (PIM) plays a pivotal role by ensuring product content authenticity, and consistency.

A PIM solution provides the ability to create, maintain and draw on a single, trusted, and shareable version of rich product content and digital assets, including:

The Critical Role of PIM in Driving Retail Innovation

Unified commerce brings all omnichannel aspects into a single platform, allowing retailers to provide a continuous and consistent experience across multiple channels throughout the buying journey while maintaining operational flexibility.

From a single database that eliminates delays in communication to a real-time overview of all processes, unified commerce’s advantages are manifold.

It enables effective management and provides store associates with a 360-degree view of customers that sets the stage for personalized experiences.

Retailers often employ a diverse array of tools for their omnichannel strategies.

This includes point of sale, eCommerce, CRM, inventory management, and more.

While, in theory, a combination of these tools should result in a seamless experience, in reality, the complexities of integrating software systems often lead to a fragmented buyer journey that strays far from customer expectations.

How to Make the Most of Your Professional Connections

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Are you taking advantage of your professional connections?

Your professional connections should be considered as business assets.

Not only are they someone that you should spend time and energy to get to know so you can mine them for quality leads, but the connections are something you can trade to create network deposits for others that will frequently come back in ways you unanticipated.

Once seated, Dan would begin by introducing me and my business to the other person, making sure to stroke my ego and making me seem very valuable to the other party.

Not only was Dan making network deposits into my account, but he was giving his guest reasons to include me in their shortlist of professional contacts as well.

After what was always a wonderful introduction, Dan’s guest would ask me questions about my business so that they could see if there was any way they could help me directly or through an introduction to another party.

In nearly every situation, Dan’s guest was so helpful that I asked them if they would consider accepting me as a new client.

The undisputed master of network deposits and the person that introduced me to most of my current professional connections was Dan Nowels, my insurance agent.

Every six months or so, he would invite me to lunch.

When I showed up at our lunch appointment he was never alone.

He always had someone that provided some type of business or professional services, such as a bookkeeper, CPA, banker, or lawyer.

If you can get several of your professional contacts to sit down for a lunch and discuss the present and future state of your business, it will not only allow each of your contacts to interact and brainstorm solutions for your business, but it will also create a fertile environment for your professional connections to make new and valuable professional connections of their own.

These types of network deposits will eventually come back to you.

What many business owners forget is that their business bankers work with other businesses.

Many of these businesses could likely use the products or services that your business offers.

Therefore, business bankers can become a valuable source of business referrals.

More importantly, a business banker will know the financial situation of any business they referred.

A business banker that wants to maintain a personal or professional connection with you would never refer a prospect that they feel would be a bad contact for your business.

As a business owner, you have many professional connections such as bankers, lawyers, accountants, and insurance agents.

Your professional connections are one of the most overlooked sources that can provide you with valuable advice, additional connections, and act as currency when it comes to making network deposits.

A Guide to Boost Your SEO Using Schema Markups

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Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the field that is continually evolving and transforming into something big and magnificent.

In today’s world, Schema Markup is undoubtedly the new way for optimization.

It is beyond all doubts that it is the most potent form of SEO available today.

But there’s a catch that most people don’t use it despite its popularity.

But what if I tell you that schema markup can be a real game-changer for your optimization process.

Yes, you heard it right! Schema markup is the best for boosting your search engine result pages (SERPs) tactics.

You can easily show reviews on SERPs using Schema.

Isn’t that amazing?

Schema Markup is a code that you insert/put on your website to assist the search engines in providing the best search results to the users.

It is quite similar to Snippets.

If you have ever used or integrated snippets, you might have had the idea of what schema markup is.

A short test was carried out in which it was seen that the clients’ clicks increased by 43% using schema markup. So it is quite helpful.

1. Content is the topmost leveraging factor

If you like reading and writing, then you might have come across the phrase that ‘Content is the King’ – indeed it is. Schema markup goes hand in hand with content and helps your website to get in better rankings with different content marketing types and categories.

There is a particular type of markup used, and that is Data Markup for various contents, such as article, blog posts, local businesses, book reviews, product reviews, application reviews, ratings of series, etc.

You should optimize blog posts using schema markups.

Every other business of any product or service can use schema markups to allow and help them for better rankings then the companies without markups.

2. Adding Schema to the webpage

Another step is to go into your Content Management System (CMS) and add snippets in the appropriate and required spot.

You can also implement the source code if you are not using CMS.

The trick to finding the markup code is by tracking the yellow markers on the scroll bar.

A simple tactic is to use the automatically-generated HTML file and then use the copy/paste option into your CMS or Source code.

Once you are done with it, end it and follow the next displayed instructions.

3. Well-versed in Schema scripts for SEO

Understanding of Schema scripts is another must-do action.

The difference is between the display on SERP of Schema and Open Graph.

Schema markup is better than an open graph and provides information in detail. Look at the schema markup script.

Schema works fine with the rich snippets that it offers for the search engine users.

It helps them in displaying the correct and coherent information in the Google Search result.

4. Use Schema for best search engines

You might have heard the power of the right combination.

Yes, it works the same way for Schema.

There are some search engines for which Schema works perfectly fine.

Schema is recognized and well-maintained by the biggest search engine, and that is Google. Google also provides top-class vocabulary for it.

There are other search engines, too, with which Schema works perfectly fine like Bing, Yahoo, Yandex, etc.

It is also rumored that search engines are using this markup to display different search results.

5. Planning markup

Search Engines work well with proper planning and execution.

The same goes for the schema markup.

You are using Schema to leverage the search engine’s ranking, and it is best and effective if rightly executed.

Several types of data are planned and marked-up according to usage.

For example, one can be understood in a better manner from the image attached below.

6. Test, test & test

Before forwarding and submitting, the critical part is to test the placements.

If, in that case, any error occurred, it can easily be monitored and resolved with timely action.

It is essential to test as it is related to your website’s ranking, and I suggest that you’d don’t play guessing games and avoid taking any uncertain risks.

The Final Words!

Schema markup is the best for making your SEO strategies work out excellently.

Schema markups are with us for a longer time then we have expected.

It is the time to learn and maximize the search results with better microdata.

I hope you’d find this relevant and informative at the same time.

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Roland Millaner