Mind Map Tutorial: How to Make a Mind Map

sales strategies mind map

HOW TO MAKE A MIND MAP IN
8 STEPS

A mind map is a diagram with a hierarchical structure that is used for visually organizing and presenting information, thoughts or ideas’ – this is the definition that comprehensively elaborates the mind mapping technique, which today is practiced by many individuals and organizations.

However, there are many who are not familiar with the term and the technique ‘mind mapping’, so this extensive and thorough mind mapping starter kit is created for them, but, in addition, also for those who have heard of the technique but haven’t tried it yet.

The guide compasses everything, starting from details about the history of the mind mapping technique to help you understand, learn and explore the technique more in-depth. Additionally, it will also lead you step-by-step through the process of creating a powerful mind map.

How to Make a Mind Map

Now let’s get to the main part where we can learn how to create a mind map easily. A perfect mind map tutorial can help you achieve greater success in creating mind maps with ease. There are many tools available that can help you to make a mind map. In this part, we are going to introduce you to EdrawMind, the best software that can help you to create amazing mind maps in no time.

It has all kinds of advanced features and fantastic options that will help you create top-class mind maps without even being an expert. If you are an expert or a newbie, EdrawMind will allow you to create phenomenal mind maps with all its colorful themes, styles, structures, and clip art, etc. Here is how to make a mind map online.

Step 1: Visit the online web portal of EdrawMind, then register and log in for a new account using your email. First, you need to take the main idea and put it in the center of the mind map. To do it, open a new template by clicking on the New option and selecting any template available on the window. We have chosen the Radial Map, for example.

open new template

Step 2: You will get a new window open in your browser, where you’ll find the main idea in the center and options to add new branch ideas. Then create branches from the main idea to insert secondary ideas in the mind map. These secondary ideas will spread from the main idea.

insert branch ideas

Step 4: Add different colors and images for each idea or blank box so that the whole map becomes easier to brainstorm and understand. You can also create relations between branches and sub-branches by using signs.

add colours and styles

Mind Maps for Business

If you want to find out more about using mind mapping in business, Tony Buzan, the inventor of the Mind Map, and Chris Griffiths, the CEO of OpenGenius and founder of Ayoa, wrote the best seller Mind Maps for Business. Available on Amazon.

Mind Maps for Business Book

Tony Buzan - Inventor of Mind Maps

“I want to thank Chris for his tireless and successful efforts to promote my work over the last 10 years. He achieved what I thought impossible, when he released iMindMap (now Ayoa), the world’s first software true to my Mind Map process, and he went on to build a network of over 1,000 instructors dedicated to promoting my Mind Mapping across the globe, many of whom he taught personally. He was also, most appropriately, co-author on my 100th book, Mind Maps for Business, where his understanding of how Mind Mapping can be applied in business, was invaluable.”

Resource:

https://www.imindq.com/how-to-make-a-mind-map/
https://www.edrawmind.com/article/how-to-make-a-mind-map.html
https://www.ayoa.com/mind-mapping/how-to-mind-map/

How to introduce yourself in an email

How To Introduce Yourself In An Email + Examples

While email marketing is far from obsolete, getting the recipient’s attention can be challenging. If you’re competing against other businesses that use email as a primary marketing channel, your introduction will have to stand out – otherwise, you risk being overlooked.

If you’re selling a high-quality product or service and already have a decent following, you may think an introductory email is unnecessary. However, you can’t just reach out to a potential client you’ve never met before.

You can establish an immediate connection and develop rapport with a professional introduction email. You might also need to write an effective email introduction to get to know a new team member, tell a prospect about your business, or pitch a partnership with another company.

What to include in an introductory email

The first time you reach out to a new contact, it’s important to send a short, purposeful, and professional introduction email — while also hitting on all five important pieces. Below, we’ll get into more detail about each of the pieces, and then apply them to some examples of self-introduction emails.

How to write a great subject line for an introduction email

The subject line might be the most important part of your introductory message, since it will be the first thing the recipient sees (and may be your only chance to grab their attention).

The subject line should be short enough that it doesn’t get cut off, even if the recipient is checking their email on a mobile device. In fact, some experts recommend that the best email subject lines should never be more than 100 characters long. But at the same time, they should be detailed and descriptive. The subject line should tell the recipient exactly why you’re reaching out, whether it’s to ask for their time and expertise, inquire about a new job, or get to know a potential client.

How to greet the recipient of your introductory email

There’s some debate about whether an introductory email should be more formal or casual. An intro message sometimes has no purpose other than to say hello, which feels like a great chance for a more casual email.

There are scenarios when a casual tone is right for an introductory email — especially in the age of remote and hybrid work. If you think a casual tone will be welcomed, use it; but if there’s any doubt in your mind, err on the side of a more formal email, just to be sure your message will be received as polite and respectful. That means avoiding things like “Hey” or “Hi” as a salutation. In many cases, it’s best to stick with the classic, “Dear “.

How to craft the opening line of an introduction email

What to include in your introduction email body

What you include in the body of your email should be unique, depending on why you’re reaching out, who the recipient is, etc. But there are still some best practices to ensure your introductory email makes the best first impression possible:

How to sign off an introductory email

While most of your introductory email so far has been focused on the recipient, your signature is your last chance to include any important information about yourself. You should include all of your contact information in your email signature, including your full name, job title, company name, and phone number or social media links, especially LinkedIn, when appropriate. You may also consider including your pronouns, as this promotes inclusivity and warmth.

Resource:

https://people.ai/blog/how-to-introduce-yourself-in-an-email-examples/
https://blog.superhuman.com/how-to-introduce-yourself-in-an-email/
https://emailanalytics.com/how-to-introduce-yourself-in-an-email/

How to Start an Ecommerce Business: Build an Ecommerce Store

Shop will contribute a percentage of all transactions to fight climate change.

How to Start an Ecommerce Business: Build an Ecommerce Store

A complete blueprint for starting an ecommerce business

An ecommerce business is any business that buys and sells goods or services over the internet. E commerce business’s will digitally transfer money and data to execute these online transactions.

If you’re a skilled entrepreneur or craftsperson, you’ve probably dreamed of starting your own ecommerce store and building a business that gives you a sense of achievement and freedom. You’ll learn each step in this guide.

We’ve put together a comprehensive blueprint for starting a business, compiled from Shopify’s most popular content. These blog posts, guides, and videos have been organized based on the most important tasks you’ll face when researching, launching, and growing a profitable e-commerce store.

How to start an ecommerce business

1. Find product opportunities and choose what to sell

ecommerce blueprint step 1: research products

Finding a product to sell

The first step to building an e-commerce store is knowing what products you want to sell direct-to-consumer. This often is the most challenging part of starting a new online business. In this section, we’ll highlight strategies you can use to find product opportunities, explore the best places to look for product ideas, and finally, look at trending e-commerce products to consider.

Evaluating your idea

Once you have a product idea in mind, how do you know if it will sell? In this section, we’ll cover a few approaches that active entrepreneurs have used to validate their product ideas and potential market.

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Obtaining your product

After landing on a strong product idea, your next step is figuring out where and how you’re going to obtain your products. The next four posts cover the various methods for acquiring your products, along with the pros and cons of each model.

Sell your retail products online

Many independent retailers face a challenging road ahead. Shifting your brick-and-mortar business online can help you weather this storm, generate cash flow, and build a more resilient business. You’ll need to find a good ecommerce solution to build your store on, like Shopify.

2. Thoroughly research your competition and write a business plan

how to start an ecommerce business: competitor research

Research your competition

You’ve found your product, evaluated its potential, and sourced a supplier. But before you get into that, you’ll need to thoroughly research your competition so you know what you’re up against and how you can differentiate your business from theirs.

Writing a business plan

With your competitive research complete, it’s time to write your business plan. A business plan is a roadmap that helps bring your ideas and thoughts together. It’s vital in determining what to prioritize and how to effectively reach potential customers. A business plan also highlights your company’s mission statement to show investors and employees the core values of your brand.

3. Choose a logo and name and set up your online store

setting up ecommerce business

Choose a business name

Aside from finding an actual product to sell online, another challenging decision is determining your business or brand name and choosing an appropriate and available domain name. These blog posts will help you tackle these important tasks.

Creating a logo

Once you’ve selected a memorable name and registered a corresponding domain, it’s time to craft a simple logo. In these resources, we’ll show you several options for creating a great logo for your new business.

Understanding search engine optimization (SEO)

You’re almost ready to begin building your online store. However, before you jump into it, you should understand the basics of search engine optimization so you can properly structure your site and pages for Google and other search engines.

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Building your store

With a better understanding of search engines, it’s time to build out your store using a website builder. There are many crucial elements to consider. Below, we’ve listed our essential reads to help you build high-converting product pages, write captivating product descriptions, shoot beautiful product photography, choose your ecommerce color palette, and much more.

Disclaimer

This presentation focuses on the e-commerce-specific aspects of great design. It is recommended to also apply all the general design principles not listed in this lesson (proximity, hierarchy, CTA highlighting, contrast, accessibility, and so on). It is worth underlining that the success of an online shop depends on the quality of the product and the use of appropriate marketing strategies as well.

Asos’s post of a woman laying in bed, watching Netflix

Have a regularly updated blog, make a commitment to properly using social media, blogging on a regular basis, and displaying some individuality. Try being consistent, authentic, and relatable, and don’t be afraid to show the human side of the business. This will build trust, propel engagement and help you connects with your audience.

Don’t force shoppers to create an account

According to the NNGroup, `guest checkout with optional registration simplifies the checkout process and welcomes visitors to register when they are ready, rather than forcing undesired signup`. Of course, there are many advantages to registration (e.g. keeping the contents of the shopping cart, cross-device storage, etc.), but by making registration mandatory, some potential customers do not convert into actual buyers.

Adidas homepage with a jump to content button

The ‘skip navigation’ or ‘skip to main content’ link is (almost) everywhere on the web. Since optimizing keyboard navigation is crucial for people with disabilities, having such a button can come in handy. On most websites, it can be displayed by pressing TAB. In addition, there are a number of fundamental accessibility aspects to consider: proper tagging, support for zoom, link and button behavior, color, contrast, etc.

Allow for international shipping

Accordingto research by Akamai, issues relating to shipping and handling were responsible for 38% of online shoppers abandoning transactions on ecommerce stores. If a customer lives or works abroad it is extremely likely that they would want to have their goods delivered to their home or workplace. By not providing options for international shipping, ecommerce site owners are losing out on international sales and limiting their potential for international growth.

Culture can differ dramatically from country to country. It is important to respond appropriately to differing customs and traditions when conducting business in new territories.

For example, there are many differences between the business culture’s of China and the United States. In terms of initiating business affairs, relationships come before economics in China whereas in the U.S. economics generally take a front row seat to relationships. Chinese people do business with people they know and trust.

In terms of negotiation, the Chinese tend to haggle and believe that there is room for negotiation on every deal. Even communication styles differ. Chinese people tend to be quiet and reserved in business settings while Americans tend to be outspoken and eloquent.

Religion can also have a huge effect on an organisations ability to conduct business in another country. A shared religious belief may enhance trust and therefore reduce transaction costs between trading partners.

To help you research global opportunities, we’ve collated some data from Wikipedia, InternetWorldStats, mysql.com and the Office of National Statistics to produce an interactive map allowing you to filter by population, annual gross domestic product per capita and internet penetration to identify regions which may be suited to your organisation’s international expansion plans.

Once these regions have been identified, you can click on the map makers to display languages spoken in these countries, currency information and details of the dominant religions within these countries.

Sources:

https://www.shopify.com/blog/ecommerce-business-blueprint
https://uxdesign.cc/a-designers-70-ecommerce-tips-with-real-examples-3b92b2c672f9
https://toppandigital.com/translation-blog/6-tips-for-global-ecommerce-success/

How To Address a Letter (With Template, Tips, and Examples)

How To Address a Letter (With Template, Tips, and Examples)

Letters are formal, semiformal, or informal documents for conveying important information to contacts. When preparing one, you typically need to write an address that outlines who your intended recipient is. Learning to address a letter correctly can help show your written communication skills and set the tone for your message. In this article, we explain how to address a letter, provide examples, a template, and tips to make an address informative, and discuss addressing an envelope.

Learning how to address a letter is important because it introduces you and indicates who the letter’s recipient is. As your contacts may receive many letters daily, you want to address yours correctly to get their attention. Addressing a letter correctly can also help you make a good impression on the recipient because it’s typically the first aspect they read. For example, including a hiring manager’s name in the address shows you researched them before writing the letter.

If you send a letter through an individual or company, you also want to learn how to address the envelope correctly for them to know where to deliver it. For example, if you’re sending a physical copy of your letter to a mentor in another city, addressing the envelope can help the courier know where to deliver the letter.

Resource:

https://ca.indeed.com/career-advice/career-development/how-to-address-letter

9 Key Signs of a Good Employee

Boss giving employee thumbs up

They Speak Up in Meetings

Especially if you’re in a large meeting, intimidated by the higher-ups there, or don’t know much about what’s going on, it’s easy to sit tight and listen. But the people who get ahead don’t wait for permission or an invitation to speak—they make sure everyone in the room knows they have something to contribute. Even if you don’t have a suggestion? “Speaking up to advocate for a co-worker’s point of view or asking a well thought-out question can go just as far,” says leadership coach Jo Miller.

You’ve heard it a thousand times—but it consistently holds true. People who get ahead at work look to those above them and emulate not only the clothes they wear, but the ways in which they present themselves in the office, interact with others, and approach their work.

They Pitch In

At most companies, there’ll be opportunities to join committees or take on responsibilities that aren’t necessarily part of your job description: Your company is overhauling its social media procedures and needs a representative from every department to sit on the project team, say, or your office is putting on a major fundraiser and needs someone to coordinate with the event planning company. The most successful people pitch in—so they’re always right there where the action is.

Anyone can drop a complaint into the suggestion box, but the marker of a truly brilliant employee is coming up with solutions to those problems. Becoming a problem solver shows that you care—not only about your own career, but about the long-term health of the business as well.

They’re Respected by Their Colleagues

In any walk of life, you can get a general picture of somebody’s character by the way that others treat them; this is true in the workplace, too. It’s one thing for management to be impressed from afar, but if an employee is treated with respect by the peers that they spend the majority of their time with, then this is an ideal combination.

This is mainly because colleagues judge each other in a different way, and they appreciate integrity, honesty and the willingness to help each other over self-servitude. Certainly, it can help to identify if somebody is employing dirty tactics or brown-nosing in order to get ahead. Essentially, if somebody is performing well – and is liked by their peers, too – then it’s worth taking notice.

They Speak Their Mind in the Right Way

Speaking of brown-nosing, nobody likes a ‘yes’ man. Managers appreciate employees who will stand up and give an honest opinion on a particular course of action. Not only might their idea be a better one, but it also demonstrates that your employee is confident enough to disagree with you and cares enough to suggest a better way.

Of course, there are right ways and wrong ways of doing this – and a switched-on worker chooses their battles, too. For instance, if a member of staff is picking holes in everything from the cafeteria food to the corporate accounting strategy, then their voice starts to lose professional credibility. Good employees speak up only when they feel it’s necessary, and when they have something constructive to say.

Effective Communicator

Model employees will understand the importance of good communication in the workplace, and know that when done incorrectly, a simple misunderstanding can lead to a huge problem down the line. They speak clearly and clarify what they mean, leaving no room for error. They also have the ability to listen to what others are saying and digest the information before responding, showing that they have clearly thought about what they’ve just heard.

Having the ability to mediate between different situations isn’t easy – in fact, it can often be challenging to push your personal opinion aside within the workplace. However, a satisfactory employee will be able to diffuse heated situations, be empathetic towards their colleagues and consider other people’s perspectives.

Proactive

A good employee will go above and beyond their normal duties without thinking twice or complaining about it. They will find solutions to problems before even mentioning them and will be happy to get on with anything that is thrown their way.

Having the ability to discipline yourself and work hard is tricky, especially when you’re placed in an office with a number of distractions, from office gossip to workplace pranks. A valued employee, though, knows when to have a natter and when to block out distractions and get stuck into their work.

The Complete Worker’s Guide to Professional Skills

Joanna joined the CareerAddict content team in 2017, and her role has evolved into a multifaceted one over time. In between heading our CV writing services and orchestrating our digital marketing efforts, she takes the time to share her expertise in a variety of insightful and thought-provoking articles about CV writing, HR, recruitment, social media, job search strategies and more. Joanna holds both a BA and an MA in journalism, and previously worked within a variety of fields including HR and recruitment, travel, fashion and entertainment. She’s also our in-house fashion guru and enjoys cooking up a storm in her spare time.

Joanna joined the CareerAddict content team in 2017, and her role has evolved into a multifaceted one over time. In between heading our CV writing services and orchestrating our digital marketing efforts, she takes the time to share her expertise in a variety of insightful and thought-provoking articles about CV writing, HR, recruitment, social media, job search strategies and more. Joanna holds both a BA and an MA in journalism, and previously worked within a variety of fields including HR and recruitment, travel, fashion and entertainment. She’s also our in-house fashion guru and enjoys cooking up a storm in her spare time.

Resource:

https://www.themuse.com/advice/47-habits-of-highly-successful-employees
https://www.careeraddict.com/signs-good-employee
https://www.careeraddict.com/good-employee-qualities

The 32 Best Gifts for Coworkers

Wayfarers

Something to carry their laptop

The Society6 laptop sleeve, show in black with artistic sketch style white outlined faces, makes a great gift for coworkers.

Yes, your colleague can customize their laptop with stickers, but a less-committed, less– Gen-Z choice (especially if their device technically belongs to the company) is a cute laptop sleeve. Some of our favorite sleeves from testing are those sold by Society6, a platform artists use to have their work printed on dozens of different items, which means there are literally thousands of possible prints to choose from, including line-drawn faces (pictured above). Whatever design perfectly suits your recipient, it’ll come printed on a stiff, canvas-style polyester sleeve, which protects against dust, scratches, and bumps and closes with a durable YKK zipper.

Unique Office Gifts For Coworkers

5) Turned Yellow

6) Baby Groot Desk Flower Pot

Groot-Plants-Flower-Pot

7) Gustav Klimt “Medicine” iPhone Case

8) Haus Sampler Kit

Haus-Sampler-Kit

  • What is it? This customizable kit lets you sip your way through four natural apéritif flavors of your choosing. Each 200ml bottle is perfectly sized for 2-3 drinks. Just pour on the rocks, or make a cocktail with sparkling water, tonic, or prosecco.
  • Why your coworker will love it: Haus is all about more hangouts and less hangovers, especially during the work week. Its line of apéritifs (low-ABV spirits made popular in Europe) are made with clean ingredients, zero artificial stuff, and minimal sugar, so your coworker can feel good about drinking.
  • Price: $50
  • Customizable? Yes (Choose from a variety of flavors. If you can’t decide between flavors, you can always give them a gift card, too!)
  • Available here:Haus Sampler Kit

9) Destination

10) Custom Fruit Infuser Bottle

Fruit-Infuser

11) Temperature Regulating Travel Mug

Temperature-Regulating-Travel-Mug

12) The Adults & Crafts Crate

  • What is it? Do you have a co-worker, boss or office buddy that is stressed and needs some relief? A subscription to Adults and Crafts delivers a new crafting project from wood burning to engraving each month. It’ll be the nice break from the stress of work and life to help them relax and release their creative side.
  • Why your coworker will love it: It’s nice to step away from a computer and go back to working and creating with our hands. This fun crafting subscription for adults will give your co-worker some much needed non-work time to rediscover what it’s like to no longer be in front of a screen.
  • Price: $30
  • Customizable? No
  • Available here:The Adults & Crafts Crate

Bonus: Virtual Clue Murder Mystery

OUtback-Murder-Mystery-resized

Stay hydrated

A light green Hydro Flask 21oz Standard Mouth.

Anyone who’s ever spilled a glass of water on their laptop or keyboard learned the hard way to use caution with open containers and electronics. But you have to stay hydrated! One of our favorite water bottles, the Hydro Flask, is the perfect canister for the job. The wide mouth is easy to sip and the double-walled stainless steel keeps water cooler for longer while also resisting mold. It’s dishwasher-safe and won’t dent or spill when it is inevitably dropped. The range of brights (yellow, coral, spearmint) and moody neutrals (black, stone, fog) can enliven or calm whatever desk it calls home.

A cozy throw

Person draped in a grey Boll & Branch Cable Knit Throw, one of our best gifts for remote workers, while petting a black dog.

Even when you can control the thermostat, sometimes a space just gets chilly (or you’re sharing with a “colleague” with different temperature preferences). A throw blanket draped on the back of an office chair can be even more practical than a sweater. Your recipient can cloak their shoulders on winter days, or enjoy a lap blanket if the AC is set too low. One of our favorites is the Boll & Branch’s Cable Knit Throw, which is knit from a thick but breathable organic cotton, and comes in tranquil shades like grey, navy, and light blue.

Source:

https://www.nytimes.com/wirecutter/gifts/best-gifts-for-coworkers/
https://snacknation.com/blog/gifts-for-coworkers/
https://www.nytimes.com/wirecutter/gifts/gifts-for-remote-work-from-home/

The 30 Best Ways to Promote Your Business—With or Without Money

KylieCosmetics IG

12 tips to promote your business

You need to get the word out about your products and services, but what’s the best way to promote your business? Fortunately, you have options. In addition to tried-and-true business promotion methods, the rise of social media has created an abundance of new marketing opportunities. It’s now easier and more affordable than ever to advertise. Learn more about how to promote your business with these digital marketing and social media tips.

Register your business with Google — it’s the new yellow pages. It allows potential customers to find your company’s location and hours of operation easily. Customers can also post reviews of your business. By setting up a Google My Business account, you can make your company more visible in online searches, extending your reach with a free form of advertising.

Optimize your website’s SEO

Search engine optimization (SEO) helps your website show up higher in Google search rankings. Using relevant keywords throughout your business’s web pages and blog posts increases the chance of users finding your site when they search online for businesses like yours. SEO involves much more than keyword usage, though, so it’s helpful to do some research online or find a book that outlines how to prime your site’s performance on search engines. You might also consider hiring an SEO agency to help optimize your website.

Any time your business does something notable or newsworthy, draft a press release to send to your local news outlets. These publications actively look for interesting stories and often use press releases to create articles. When they do, it gives your business free publicity and distribution, allowing you to reach a much broader audience.

How to promote your business on Google

Using Google to promote your business is a no-brainer. Capturing more than 90% of the market share, it’s one of the best ways to get in front of consumers that are actively searching for solutions. Here are the best ways to use Google to get your name out there:

1. Create and verify your Google Business Profile

Your Google Business Profile (Google’s term for your Google listing) is what allows your business to show up in Google Maps results, the local section of Google Search results, and also—when someone types in your business name (ideas for creative business names here!) and location—the right-side Knowledge Panel in Search results. As Google gets better and better at catering its results to the searcher’s location, this free listing should be a top priority.

The key to using your Business Profile to promote your business is to verify ownership of your listing through your free Google My Business account. Once you have ownership, you can optimize your listing to show up higher in search results and for more relevant searches.

best ways to promote your business ranking on local search results

If you’re ranking on Google Maps or showing up in the Local Pack (as seen above) of regular results pages (this is very doable), your business is basically promoting itself 24/7. Even better, you can publish posts directly to your Google listing, putting attractive promotions in front of your audience at a time when they have high intent.

2. Get a website

A website is a must-have piece of marketing collateral no matter how old-fashioned your business or clients may be. Your website is the go-to for current and prospective customers. Even if they find you on social media or Google, they will want to go to your website and, like your Google listing, it serves to promote your business around the clock.

A good business website not only serves as a promotional tool in and of itself—it tells the story of your business and what you offer, provides contact information, and reflects your brand’s personality and distinguishing characteristics—but it is also essential for measuring and improving the success of your other promotional tactics.

website is one of the best ways to promote your business

For example, when you run ads, you need landing pages, which live on your website. When you post helpful information on social media, it should link to its home on your website. With all of your marketing channels flowing into your website, you can use analytics to see which strategies are working best and get invaluable insights about your audience.

Although there are completely free solutions to get a website in place for your business, almost inevitably you will need to move to some form of a paid website if you are serious about promoting your business. Having your own domain name, a professional look and feel, and the ability to scale and add features as needed are all essential for growth.

3. Implement search engine optimization

It’s one thing for you to promote your business; it’s another thing for Google to promote your business. SEO is a set of practices that align your business with Google’s ranking algorithm. But because this algorithm has evolved to use machine learning and user behavior to produce the most accurate and quality results for searchers, optimizing for search engines is really just optimizing for searchers—particularly those searching for what you have to offer.

SEO isn’t just one tactic, but many tactics that collectively work together to improve your rank. Also, because Google has superb location-based results, you have just as much of a chance as big retailers to show up on the first page of Google— without spending a dime! (With the exception of the costs to get a website, of course).

small businesses appearing on SERP - best way to promote your business

When your business is ranking high in results, Google is basically promoting your business for you—and not just to anyone, but to the people searching for what you have to offer. Doesn’t get much better than that.

4. Create a business blog

We just touched on this in the previous strategy, but content is such an important driver of SEO that it really deserves its own category as a promotional strategy. A blog is not LiveJournal for businesses. Sure, you can create some posts about milestones and events, but a lucrative business blog is one that produces educational content, in your brand voice, around questions and terms your ideal customers are searching in Google.

How to promote your business using online directories

Consumers routinely visit online directories to search for and vet businesses that fit their specific needs. These sites tend to be high-traffic, long-standing websites with high domain authority, so it’s not uncommon for your profile page or your business name to show up on the first page of Google through one of these domains. Online listings do not take long to create and can help enhance your online presence, promoting your business to nearby, high-intent customers.

best ways to promote your business- local listings on the SERP

7. Create listings on the major directories

Smaller directory sites pull data from larger ones, which means that by creating listings on the major sites, you’ll also likely begin showing up on smaller directories automatically. Below is a list of the major directories to start with. All of them are free, but often have paid options for advanced features.

8. Optimize your listings

It’s one thing to create a listing, but it’s another to optimize it. By filling out every field in your profiles, adding photos, and collecting reviews, you can improve the appeal of your business and rank above competitors in searches. It’s also important to make sure your information in all of your listings is consistent with the information on your website. Inconsistencies can cause the Goog to raise an eyebrow about your trustworthiness. Finally, be sure to monitor your listing and fix any inaccuracies, which can happen when listings are auto-populated. For more ways to optimize your listings, use the same post I linked to above (but I’ll link it here just because).

best ways to promote your business-optimized google business listing

9. Get online customer reviews

Word of mouth is one of, perhaps the most, powerful way of promoting your business to the right people. Testimonials on your own website are great, but reviews on official platforms like Google, Facebook, and Yelp are even better.

best ways to promote your business-google reviews

These websites can increase your exposure, and because they have measures in place to prevent fake or spam reviews, people trust the reviews here more than anywhere else. Plus, reviews are a major ranking factor for local search results. To get reviews, check out these posts:

10. Monitor and respond to reviews

Many online directories allow anyone to add a listing, so even if you didn’t list your business, it may still be on there, collecting reviews. Be sure to claim your listings wherever possible, and monitor these sites frequently. This way you can respond to reviews—which is another great way to promote your business. Not only can you resolve (and even reverse) negative reviews, but the way you answer reviews (positive and negative) can reveal your brand’s values and give potential customers an idea of what it’s like to do business with you.

How to promote your business locally

Recent consumer trend data from Shopify revealed that more than half of North American buyers changed the way they’ll shop going forward. One breakout trend has been support for local and small businesses. Here’s how you can take advantage of this:

Create a Google My Business profile

“Google My Business gives local businesses a separate online presence other than their website,” says Amy Falcione, founder of local marketing agency Big Picture Marketing. “Your listing gives a brief but detailed description of what your business offers and who you are.”

Amy explains that people use Google My Business to check and see if you’re legitimate. You can add photos and videos of your shop, and provide links to your website or appointment booking software. You can even give people a look inside your business to build trust and credibility with potential customers.

If someone decides they want to engage with your business, they have your contact information, website, and business address right in the listing. People can easily visit you online or in-person.

Join local events

A local event refers to any affair that attracts an audience from a local market. Artisan markets, craft shows, trade shows, and festivals are examples of events small businesses can promote themselves at locally.

“Right now, many local businesses are meeting online. They are using live streams and online meetups to show off products online and reach people at scale,” Amy tells Shopify. “But as areas start to open back up, we don’t want to overlook the power of local in-person events.”

Local events help small business owners meet customers one-on-one and create individual connections. People can touch, feel, and smell whatever you’re selling and interact with your products.

“Another way to promote your business locally is through workshops and lectures,” says Amy. “For example, if you run a candle making business, you can run local workshops to teach people how to make their own candles. It’s a great way to build your reputation in the community and increase brand awareness.”

Offer local delivery

People are buying more from independent businesses. Our consumer trend data shows that nearly a third of buyers bought something online and had it delivered to their home during the first three months of the pandemic.

Offering local delivery is a smart way to capitalize on this trend. When a customer orders something from your online store, you can personally deliver it to their doorstep. It serves as an alternative to traditional carrier shipping and in-store shopping, and is a thoughtful way to sell to concerned customers.

Get local press

Another great way to promote your business locally is by getting local press coverage. Getting a story in the local news is not only free but can also drive thousands of potential customers to your website or local shop.

“Start by creating a press list of all the publications you want coverage in,” Amy says, “then write your own press release and start pitching it to reporters. Make it easy for them by getting your own quotes and statistics and making your story sound newsworthy.”

Press releases that focus on community empowerment encourage local reporters to cover your business. If you can nail down getting local press, you’ll be able to capture your audience’s attention and interest in no time.

Free: Press Release Template

To help you get started, we put together this template to help you structure your story using a common press release format. You can replace each component with your own information and adapt it according to your needs.

Get the press release template delivered right to your inbox.

Thanks for subscribing. You’ll start receiving free tips and resources soon. In the meantime, start building your store with a free 14-day trial of Shopify.

Source:

https://business.chase.com/resources/grow/12-tips-to-promote-your-business
https://www.wordstream.com/blog/ws/2020/11/02/promote-your-business
https://www.shopify.com.sg/blog/how-to-promote-your-business

How to End a Short Story

How to Write a Perfect Cover Letter for a Short Story Submission

Editors see mounds of bad cover letters. A lot of new writers submit short stories with little or no guidance and end up submitting cover letters that are either overenthusiastic or lacking the necessary information.

What you must know is that cover letters for different genres follow different sets of rules and etiquette. For example, an editor doesn’t expect you to write a cover letter for short fiction in the same format you would craft a query letter for a novel submission.

Your cover letter is, most often than not, the first thing an editor sees and you have to be on point to create a strong first impression. Some editors that I have interacted with said that they read the cover letter after reading your short stories, and they admit that some cover letters convince them to go back to the story and reevaluate it.

Luckily for you, I have compiled tips on just how to go about crafting a good cover letter that can make a ‘strong first impression’ and influence the editor’s aftertaste after savoring your stories.

How to Write Great Closing Lines

1. Be Poetic

Simple words, if used creatively, can take on a poetic, symbolic form. It’s not a must that you end a short story poetically, so don’t try too hard. Sometimes, a poetic ending can happen by chance.

2. Use Impeccable Wording

It’s not that easy, but you have to make sure that you revise your last sentence over and over until every word in it sounds perfect, and every period, comma, or dash is in its place.

The truth of the matter is you are not a poet (well, some of you sure aren’t), and coming up with a poetic ending is a tough ask. But, you can still give your most important sentence—the closing line—some time and effort and keep housekeeping your ending until it’s just perfect.

How to Write a Short Story: The Complete Guide in 9 Steps

Novels are difficult to write because of size, but short stories are difficult because they require perfection.

If a minor character fails to come alive in a novel, you can forgive the error because there is so many other things to enjoy, but if a minor character falls flat in a short story, a reader will become annoyed and a literary magazine editor will throw it away.

In a short story, a writer has to accomplish a great deal — details, setting, conflict, plot, character development — in a very small space, usually between 3,000 words and 6,000 words, and that requires concision and revision. Read the tips below to find out how to write a short story that will get published, get readers that love you, and get attention from an agent.

creative-725811_1280

The first step to writing a short story is to have an idea.

You can get inspiration fromreal-life events – whether they happened to you, a grandparent who told you a story, or even the combination of little tidbits you hear from here and there.

I suggest following a few “weird news” sites,
because I’ve gleaned incredible stories including one about a tourist in Iceland who joined a search party only to discover she was the one being searched for, and another about an ex-Olympian who started prostituting herself not for money but for attention. Take nonfiction and transform it into fiction.

Now, decide whose eyes the story will be told through. Remember, you can’t switch halfway through the story. Once you pick a point of view, you have to stick with it. A good rule of thumb for beginning writers is to use the protagonist.

Your job as a writer is to develop a living, breathing character, and the only way to do that is to make sure you know more about your characters than what you ever let your reader know.

Write out everything there is to know about your character from their high school GPA, their earliest memories, and their home address to their first love, their favorite TV show, and their greatest fear.

  1. Don’t outright explain your character’s appearance, personality, etc. Let readers discover this character on their own as they read.
  2. Give your character weaknesses. Perfect people don’t exist.
  3. Give your character at least one unique characteristic. Everyone knows the independent, stubborn female character who is small, stronger than she looks, not very pretty (at least in her own opinion), and can fight like the devil. But does she play the flute? Does she have an embarrassingly ugly laugh? Does she notice the smell of everything?
  4. If you must have an outright description of a character, make it seem natural. Have the character describe him or herself to another character, or have one character describing the other character to someone else.

Make sure to have conflict. Don’t set up the conflict, start your story right in the middle of the conflict. This is called, “In Media Res.” It means to start in the middle of the action so the reader isn’t bored.

Make sure to “have something at stake.” In other words, what happens if the characters don’t get what they want? It should be something that ruins them. If there is nothing at stake in your story, you need to “raise the stakes.”

There’s a difference between writing an anecdote (the type of story you would tell a friend over dinner) and a quality short story (the type of story where readers are set inside the action).

1. I’m a pretty easy going person. I get along with everyone including the obnoxious guys from my hometown, but there’s a certain event that rolls around every year that puts most of them on the wrong side of the fence from me. These “couple” games are all athletic based and are meant to build trust and teamwork between “couples,” but no one cares for that. Everyone is after the prize money. Unfortunately, I am pathetically unathletic, so none of the athletic guys from my town have ever wanted to team up with me. I’m too “small,” “weak,” “uncoordinated,” and “clumsy.” They’re not wrong.

2. My eyes scanned the auditorium, but all of the boys seemed to be avoiding my gaze. Basketball scholarship boy was excitedly whispering with the tumbling queen of University of the Cumberlands cheer squad, and the soon-to-be marine was already exchanging information with the girl who had broken our high school hurtle record. Only Seth, the art major who assisted in coaching the middle school soccer team met my eyes with a malicious grin as he put his arm around his most recent fling – a rock-climbing pro from Etowah.

Telling will give the reader the facts, but showing engages their mind, emotions, and imagination. Sometimes it’s good and necessary to give the cold, hard facts (such as emails to your boss), but the writing we’re interested in makes the reader feel something. A story like this will engage the reader in such a way that he or she won’t easily forget it.

Resource:

https://whenyouwrite.com/cover-letter-for-short-story-submission/
https://whenyouwrite.com/how-to-end-a-short-story/
https://thejohnfox.com/2016/07/how-to-write-a-short-story-9-steps/

How to Apologize

Image titled Apologize Step 2

How to Apologize to a Customer for Bad Service + Templates

You crave those moments when you exceed your customers’ expectations and successfully carry out your brand vision. On the flip side, there’s nothing worse than failing your customers and not living up to your customer service goals.

We’re all human and bound to make mistakes, which is why it’s so important to know how to apologize to a customer for bad service. In this business environment, it’s not enough to just admit wrongdoing when a customer has a bad experience.

To stand out from your competitors and reduce churn, you need to show your customers that you care about them by taking the extra step and crafting a professional, heartfelt apology. Even the most forgiving of customers will only tolerate so many poor experiences before they take their business elsewhere. In fact, 73% of customers say they will abandon a brand after 3 negative experiences.

To reduce churn and increase retention rates, you need to learn how to apologize to a customer for bad service. By avoiding some common mistakes, following apology best practices, and leveraging tools and resources to make your job easier, you can provide a better customer experience and demonstrate your commitment to your customers’ satisfaction.

Common Mistakes Businesses Make When Apologizing

Many businesses will make an apology for bad service but do so in a way that leaves a sour taste in the customer’s mouth. Still worse, sometimes an apology achieves the opposite intended effect and ends up driving a customer further away. When making an apology to a customer for bad service, you’ll want to avoid these common mistakes:

  • Playing down your customer’s feelings (e.g., “No one has ever complained about this before.”)
  • Failing to own up to your mistakes (e.g., “What happened wasn’t our fault.”)
  • Making promises you can’t possibly keep (e.g., “We promise that this will never happen again.”)
  • Keeping the apology vague (e.g., “A problem occurred in our processes, but we’ve identified the issue and it’s been resolved.”)
  • Apologizing too much (e.g., “We’re so sorry. You can’t imagine how sorry we are. We just want to let you know how sorry we are. Sorry sorry sorry.”)
  • Offering a begrudging apology (e.g., “We didn’t do anything wrong, but we’re sorry if that will make you feel better.”)

A superficial or insincere apology is sometimes worse than no apology at all. Additionally, avoid trying to buy off your customer’s feelings by offering gifts in lieu of an apology. According to research conducted by the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University, 37% of customers who complained due to poor service reported that they were satisfied after receiving compensation for their issues. However, the number of customers who reported satisfaction jumped to 74% when they also received an apology.

Don’t just sweep problems under the rug. By avoiding these common mistakes and adhering to best practices when making an apology, your company will reap the benefits in the form of increased client satisfaction, reduced churn, and greater revenue.

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  1. ↑http://strategicdiscipline.positioningsystems.com/blog-0/bid/82716/Verbal-Eraser-Destroys-Positive-Reinforcement
  2. ↑http://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/how_to_make_an_apology_work
  3. ↑http://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/how-to-apologize.htm
  4. ↑ Bachman, G. F., & Guerrero, L. K. (2006). Forgiveness, apology, and communicative responses to hurtful events. Communication Reports, 19(1), 45-56.
  5. ↑http://www.wsj.com/articles/the-best-way-to-make-up-after-any-argument-1405379667
  6. ↑http://www.helpguide.org/articles/relationships/nonverbal-communication.htm
  7. ↑http://www.wsj.com/articles/the-best-way-to-make-up-after-any-argument-1405379667
  8. ↑http://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/what_an_apology_must_do
  9. ↑ Bachman, G. F., & Guerrero, L. K. (2006). Forgiveness, apology, and communicative responses to hurtful events. Communication Reports, 19(1), 45-56.
  10. ↑http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21942502
  11. ↑http://www.wsj.com/articles/the-best-way-to-make-up-after-any-argument-1405379667
  12. ↑ Hareli, S., & Eisikovits, Z. (2006). The role of communicating social emotions accompanying apologies in forgiveness. Motivation and Emotion, 30(3), 189-197.
  13. ↑http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2011/12/12/how-to-make-an-adept-sincere-apology/
  14. ↑http://www.wsj.com/articles/the-best-way-to-make-up-after-any-argument-1405379667
  15. ↑http://www.forbes.com/sites/sungardas/2014/03/13/how-to-apologize-the-right-way-an-apology-actually-has-three-parts/
  16. ↑http://www.wsj.com/articles/the-best-way-to-make-up-after-any-argument-1405379667
  17. ↑ Bachman, G. F., & Guerrero, L. K. (2006). Forgiveness, apology, and communicative responses to hurtful events. Communication Reports, 19(1), 45-56.
  18. ↑http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2011/12/12/how-to-make-an-adept-sincere-apology/
  19. ↑http://www.wsj.com/articles/the-best-way-to-make-up-after-any-argument-1405379667

Example: How to Apologize Professionally in an Email

“Mr. Torrance,

I’m writing to you in regards to our last meeting. (an explanation). Our team was not adequately prepared, and we presented egregiously incorrect data. (acknowledgment of the mistake). We wasted both our time and yours, and compromised your trust in us—for that, we are truly sorry. (expression of regret). We accept the consequences of this mistake, and have since prepared an accurate report. We’re also prepared to offer you a discount on your next round of billing (accountability and restoration).

Additionally, we’ve changed our internal process for meeting preparation, and can assure you we will not make this mistake again. (improvement). We apologize. We hope we re-earn your trust, and continue collaborating for our mutual success. (forgiveness).

1. Be yourself. Whether you’re writing an apology in customer service, sales, or any other department, it’s important to be yourself. Don’t try to don a super-formal personality, or speak in a way that’s unnatural to you. It has a chance of coming across as insincere, and will almost certainly invite a colder, less sincere response. If you’re truly regretful, your words will demonstrate it.

2. Forget templates. We’ve got a lot of great template guides on this site, helping you write out-of-office messages and networking emails, but we actively discourage you from using templates to write an apology. If your apology email seems like it was slightly modified from some generic sample on the internet, it’s going to be rebuffed. Even if your message ends up being a bit formulaic, it’s better to start from scratch.

3. Express humility. We’re all human. We all make mistakes. And in a professional environment, we usually try to cover that up—making it seem like we know more than we actually do, or that we’re more capable than we actually are. An apology email isn’t the time or place for this excess confidence; instead, try to express humility, and acknowledge your own weaknesses. It’s going to make your message much easier to digest.

4. Don’t grovel or be dramatic. That said, it’s also important to avoid groveling. Don’t let your email become dramatic. Phrasing like, “I’m so, so sorry for this. Please accept my apology, from the bottom of my heart. I beg for your forgiveness, even though I don’t deserve it” just isn’t necessary. It creates an awkward atmosphere, and detracts from the main point of the conversation. You’re better off describing your mistake and explaining how you’re going to prevent it in the future than simply adding more flamboyant or emotional wording.

5. When in doubt, keep it simple. If you’re agonizing how to phrase or organize the email, or if you’re confused about how much detail to include, follow the general rule of keeping things simple. Concise, forward sentences are going to be much more effective—and much better received—when writing an apology email. Occasionally, scenarios will demand more of an explanation (like if you’re citing the procedural flaws that led to a mistake), but you should still strive to only include the information that’s necessary. If your recipient needs clarification, they can ask for it.

Mastering how to apologize professionally in an email isn’t easy. Apologizing in generally usually isn’t. However, if you follow these best practices and keep things simple and sincere, you should be in a great position.

Resource:

https://www.nicereply.com/blog/how-to-apologize/
https://www.wikihow.com/Apologize
https://emailanalytics.com/how-to-apologize-professionally-in-an-email/

Virtual currencies

In the mobile payment segment, many competitive options exist, including NFC-based Google Wallet, a copycat dongle of PayPal, and digital wallets of Visa, MasterCard, and American Express. MasterPass of MasterCard aims to integrate mobile payment for retailers as one multipool option.

Dash cryptocurrency

Virtual Currency

17.10 Conclusions

Virtual currencies such as Bitcoin represent an innovation in financial services products and technology that has the potential to support more efficient and transparent global commerce. Since Bitcoin does not rely on intermediaries, it may lower transaction costs for businesses and emerge as a major means of electronic payment processing. In the authors’ opinion, Bitcoin has a clear potential for growth in light of these attributes. Of course, virtual currencies, like traditional currencies, can also be used for money laundering and other criminal activities.

Despite the many benefits and drawbacks highlighted by supporters and detractors of Bitcoin, it is clear that presently, virtual currencies exist in a legal gray area. Though certain regulators, including FinCEN, have sought to clarify this regulatory framework, further clarification by regulators and policymakers is necessary to foster widespread acceptance of virtual currencies.

The authors appreciate the desire of Congress and the regulators to protect the public from fraudulent schemes that make use of virtual currencies. However, the fact that Bitcoin has been used by parties as part of a fraud does not mean virtual currencies are inherently fraudulent or flawed. We are encouraged by the statements by regulators, including the CFTC that they plan to issue guidance on the regulation. However, as always, the devil will be in the details.

Understanding Virtual Currencies

Virtual currencies are a form of digital currency. They are issued by private parties, such as a group of developers or organizations, and are intended only for online use—they do not have a physical incarnation like paper money. Thus, they are different from digital representations of central bank-issued currency, also known as central bank digital currency (CBDC).

The term virtual currency came into existence in 2012, when the European Central Bank (ECB) defined it to classify types of "digital money in an unregulated environment, issued and controlled by its developers and used as a payment method among members of a specific virtual community." The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in the United States describes virtual currencies as "digital representations of value that function as a unit of account, a store of value, and a medium of exchange."

The universe of currencies that may be considered virtual has expanded considerably since 2012 to include various forms of money that do not adhere to the ECB’s definition of the term. For example, certain cryptocurrencies, which are considered a form of virtual currency, like Ripple’s XRP, are not strictly controlled or used by a virtual community.

Virtual currencies have also failed to take off as a payment method or medium of exchange in mainstream society. They have restricted usage, sometimes in gaming communities and other times as a speculative investment asset. Whether they have emerged as a store of value, like gold, also remains questionable.

There’s also the question about regulation. Though virtual currencies remain unregulated in the vast majority of financial jurisdictions, that situation is slowly beginning to change. Bitcoin, the cryptocurrency with the biggest market capitalization, is legal tender in El Salvador.

In the United States, home to the world’s most sophisticated financial markets, virtual currencies are unregulated. But regulation is seriously being considered by authorities. The trading watchdog Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) wants to bring cryptocurrency exchanges under its supervision. Regulation for stablecoins, another form of virtual currency, is also in the cards. The IRS taxes trades that involve certain types of virtual currencies, such as cryptocurrencies.

The Federal Reserve is planning to release a paper that will assess the effect of releasing central bank digital currencies (CBDC) on the U.S. economy. Though CBDCs are not virtual currencies, the Fed’s paper may influence virtual currency regulation as currently discussed by government agencies.

Types of Virtual Currencies

Closed virtual currency

A closed virtual currency, as the name suggests, operates in a controlled and private ecosystem. It cannot be converted into another virtual currency or into a real-world fiat currency. Examples of closed virtual currencies are currencies in gaming systems. Though such currencies can be used in their respective environments (in this case games), they cannot be converted into real-world cash. Another example of closed virtual currencies is airline miles. They are issued by private parties, can only purchase additional miles, and cannot be converted into their associated monetary value.

Open virtual currency

Open virtual currencies are also known as convertible virtual currencies because they can be converted to other forms of money. They operate in open ecosystems and can be converted into another currency either within the platform or outside it. Examples of open virtual currencies are stablecoins and cryptocurrencies. Bitcoin and Ethereum, the two biggest cryptocurrencies by market capitalization, can be converted into other cryptocurrencies or certain fiat currencies. This conversion process is considered a trade transaction by the IRS and is taxed.

Though most open virtual currencies have a decentralized setup, certain cryptocurrencies like Ripple’s XRP are centralized in design, meaning a central agency is responsible for their production and distribution.

What are the most common virtual currencies?

1. Bitcoin [BTC]

what are bitcoin and what is inflation in the market

Bitcoin appeared in 2008 but until 2009 it did not start working. Its creator is known as Satoshi Nakamoto but nobody really knows who he is, if he is a person or a group of individuals, there has been much speculation about it. Even several people have wanted make believe they were Nakamoto although none have been able to prove it.

Satoshi Nakamoto the bitcoin creator

The Bitcoin is a digital currency, such as the Euro or Dollar, with which you can make all kinds of purchases in businesses which accept this currency. The operations can be performed either from mobile devices such as Smartphones, a Tablet or from a desktop computer.

In the following hours after its peak, Bitcoin plunged 15% in Asian markets after the South Korean cryptocurrency platform (Youbit) announced its bankruptcy after suffering a virtual theft of approximately 17% of its digital currencies.

How does Bitcoin work?

To start using Bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency the first thing we need is a Wallet, which will do the same function as a physical wallet (save our money). This Wallet is an alphanumeric code and has access codes to access it and make payments. If we lose these keys we lose EVERYTHING in the wallet, which is why it is always convenient to create backup copies of our keys in different places to avoid problems.

Once we have our wallet, the keys and Bitcoin in them, the use is simple: we only have to decide what wallet address and what virtual currencies amount we want to send, once this is done we just have to wait for the confirmation of the shipment and we have made our transaction.

2. Ethereum [ETH]

Ether Vitalik virtual currency

Just as Bitcoin, Ethereum is based on a network of monetary value exchanges with the characteristic of having no central authority to manage control, leaving everything in the hands of users. At the same time, it is an OpenSource platform for the creation of smart contracts or tokens.

How does Ether work?

For example, companies or users can sign Smart Contracts from anywhere in the world, without commissions or control by any state, since they are only controlled by decentralized computer systems with a high degree of security. The biggest advantage of these contracts is that you do not need to trust the counterparty, as this will be resolved automatically if the conditions are agreed.

An example would be one in which two parties agree on a contract by which someone offers their products or services in exchange for Ethers and at the time it materializes, the contract will give the product and money to the corresponding parties.

3. Ripple [XRP]

Ripple digital currency

It is a virtual system of payments in real time, used by financial institutions as a faster and cheaper way than other methods, lowering the internal costs of operations since it allows sending and receiving money or liquidating transactions in less than 5 – 10 seconds. Much faster than Bitcoin.

How does the Ripple work?

4. Litecoin [LTC]

what is litecoins the virtual currency

How does Litecoin work?

5. Monero [XMR]

decentralized virtual currency

How does Monero work?

  • Security: This is one of the fundamental requirements of virtual currency transactions because, just as we want security by having our money in a bank, we want security by having our cryptocurrencies in a wallet. This is something that is being worked on every day and where the creators and developers of cryptocurrencies put all their effort to improve, but in reality nothing is 100% safe. As criminals can steal a bank, they can attack or hack a virtual wallet – it is the user who must do everything possible to keep their private keys safe, use cold wallets and increase their security levels.
  • Privacy: Privacy is fundamental for the community and for developers. Unlike what happens with Bitcoin or Ethereum, transactions are completely private, both in the parties involved and in the amounts, so they are untraceable transactions.
  • Decentralization: with Monero there is no need to depend on anyone else in the network. The digital currency works through the Proof of Work algorithm and does not allow its development in ASIC devices. It does not support the centralization of mining in large mining groups as is the case, for example, with Bitcoin.

Resources:

https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/economics-econometrics-and-finance/virtual-currency
https://www.investopedia.com/terms/v/virtual-currency.asp
https://crypto-economy.com/virtual-currencies/
Virtual currencies

If you do not know what the exact purchase date is, report the virtual currency’s acquisition year on your tax return, as it affects the amount of the deemed acquisition cost. Enter the first date of the year in the Acquisition date field in the calculation of capital gain tax, e.g. 1 January 2013, and leave all other fields blank.

Virtual currencies

Income received from the use and mining of virtual currencies is subject to tax. File the income you have received from virtual currencies or cryptocurrencies on your tax return. You can file the expenses on your tax return as deductions.

Estimate your gains and losses from virtual currencies using the Tax Administration’s FIFO calculator. The calculator is available in Finnish and Swedish. The calculator utilises the FIFO principle (First In – First Out) according to which virtual currencies are considered to have been spent in the order that they were acquired.

Enter all your purchases and sales in the calculator. Calculate the gains and losses separately for each sales transaction during the tax year, i.e. every time you have exchanged virtual currency for some other currency or spent it on purchases.

What Are Cryptocurrencies?

Before we take a closer look at some of these alternatives to Bitcoin (BTC), let’s step back and briefly examine what we mean by terms like cryptocurrency and altcoin. A cryptocurrency, broadly defined, is virtual or digital money that takes the form of tokens or “coins.” Though some cryptocurrencies have ventured into the physical world with credit cards or other projects, the large majority remain entirely intangible.

The “crypto” in cryptocurrencies refers to complicated cryptography that allows for the creation and processing of digital currencies and their transactions across decentralized systems. Alongside this important “crypto” feature is a common commitment to decentralization; cryptocurrencies are typically developed as code by teams who build in mechanisms for issuance (often, although not always, through a process called mining) and other controls.

Cryptocurrencies are almost always designed to be free from government manipulation and control—although, as they have grown more popular, this foundational aspect of the industry has come under fire. The cryptocurrencies modeled after Bitcoin are collectively called altcoins, and in some cases, shitcoins, and have often tried to present themselves as modified or improved versions of Bitcoin. Though some of these currencies may have some impressive features that Bitcoin does not, matching the level of security that Bitcoin’s networks achieve largely has yet to be seen by an altcoin.

Click Play to Learn All About Altcoins

Below, we’ll examine some of the most important digital currencies other than Bitcoin. First, though, a caveat: It is impossible for a list like this to be entirely comprehensive. One reason for this is the fact that there are over 18,000 cryptocurrencies in existence as of March 2022. Though many of these cryptos have little to no following or trading volume, some enjoy immense popularity among dedicated communities of backers and investors.

Beyond that, the field of cryptocurrencies is always expanding, and the next great digital token may be released tomorrow. Though Bitcoin is widely seen as a pioneer in the world of cryptocurrencies, analysts adopt many approaches for evaluating tokens other than BTC. It’s common, for instance, for analysts to attribute a great deal of importance to ranking coins relative to one another in terms of market capitalization. We’ve factored this into our consideration, but there are other reasons why a digital token may be included in the list.

Types of Altcoins

Cryptocurrencies

Cryptocurrencies are intended for payments, transmitting value (akin to digital money) across a decentralized network of users. Many altcoins (i.e., those that are not Bitcoin or sometimes Ethereum) are classified in this way and may sometimes be called value tokens.

Tokens

There are also blockchain-based tokens that are meant to serve a different purpose from that of money. One example could be a token issued as part of an initial coin offering (ICO) that represents a stake in a blockchain or decentralized finance (DeFi) project. If the tokens are linked to the value of the company or project, they can be called security tokens (as in securities like stocks, not safety).

Other tokens have a particular use case or function. Examples include Storj tokens, which allow people to share files across a decentralized network, or Namecoin, which provides decentralized Domain Name System (DNS) service for Internet addresses. These are known as utility tokens.

Regulation [ edit ]

Virtual currencies pose challenges for central banks, financial regulators, departments or ministries of finance, as well as fiscal authorities and statistical authorities. Gareth Murphy, Central Bank of Ireland, described the regulatory challenges posed by virtual currencies as relating to:

US Treasury guidance [ edit ]

New York state regulation [ edit ]

In July 2014, the New York State Department of Financial Services proposed the most comprehensive regulation of virtual currencies to date commonly referred to as a BitLicense. Unlike the US federal regulators it has gathered input from bitcoin supporters and the financial industry through public hearings and a comment period until October 21, 2014 to customize the rules. The proposal, per NY DFS press release "… sought to strike an appropriate balance that helps protect consumers and root out illegal activity". It has been criticized by smaller companies to favor established institutions, and Chinese bitcoin exchanges have complained that the rules are "overly broad in its application outside the United States".

Resources:

https://www.vero.fi/en/individuals/property/investments/virtual-currencies/
https://www.investopedia.com/tech/most-important-cryptocurrencies-other-than-bitcoin/
https://en.bitcoinwiki.org/wiki/Virtual_currency
Virtual currencies

Virtual currency developers vary in how much interaction they allow their system to have with “real” currencies. At the extreme end of the spectrum, World of Warcraft is very strict; Blizzard does this primarily to avoid legal headaches, as their currency would incur taxes if the government recognized it as having actual value. In order to maintain the perception that their virtual gold is fake, violating this rule is punishable by a permanent ban, and they actively search for accounts involved with real-money trading. Many items bind to an account upon acquisition; since this restricts the free flow of goods, the net effect of such restrictions is to reduce the scope of the game’s economy.

Ms. Pelker

Virtual currency

Virtual currency, also known as virtual money, is a type of unregulated, digital money, which is issued and usually controlled by its developers, and used and accepted among the members of a specific virtual community. The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), a bureau of the US Treasury, defined virtual currency in its guidance published in 2013. In 2014, the European Banking Authority defined virtual currency as "a digital representation of value that is neither issued by a central bank or a public authority, nor necessarily attached to a fiat currency, but is accepted by natural or legal persons as a means of payment and can be transferred, stored or traded electronically". By contrast, a digital currency that is issued by a central bank is defined as "central bank digital currency".

In 2012, the European Central Bank defined virtual currency as "a type of unregulated, digital money, which is issued and usually controlled by its developers, and used and accepted among the members of a specific virtual community".

In 2013, Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), a bureau of the US Treasury, in contrast to its regulations defining currency as "the coin and paper money of the United States or of any other country that [i] is designated as legal tender and that [ii] circulates and [iii] is customarily used and accepted as a medium of exchange in the country of issuance", also called "real currency" by FinCEN, defined virtual currency as "a medium of exchange that operates like a currency in some environments, but does not have all the attributes of real currency". In particular, virtual currency does not have legal tender status in any jurisdiction.

In 2014, the European Banking Authority defined virtual currency as "a digital representation of value that is neither issued by a central bank or a public authority, nor necessarily attached to a fiat currency, but is accepted by natural or legal persons as a means of payment and can be transferred, stored or traded electronically".

History of the term [ edit ]

In his written testimony to the 2013 congressional hearing on virtual currencies Ben Bernanke stated, "virtual currencies have been viewed as a form of ‘electronic money’ or area of payment system technology that has been evolving over the past 20 years", in reference to a congressional hearing on the Future of Money before the Committee on Banking and Financial Services on 11 October 1995. The Internet currency Flooz was created in 1999. The term "virtual currency" appears to have been coined around 2009, paralleling the development of digital currencies and social gaming.

Although the correct classification is "digital currency", US government institutions have preferred and uniformly adopted the term "virtual currency", first the US Treasury’s FinCEN, then the FBI in 2012 and in the General Accounting Office in its 2013 report and other government agencies testifying at the November 2013 U.S. Senate hearing about bitcoin like the Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the Office of the Attorney General.

Virtual Currency

Stock image of three computer screens with computer digits and a world map in the background.

In June 2014 the U.S. Marshals Service held a first-of-its-kind auction to sell an unusual asset: 29,656 “bitcoin,” units of “virtual currency,” which function much like traditional currency on the Internet but are not controlled or backed by any national government. 1 The bitcoin, valued at $18 million at the time of auction, were a portion of more than 179,000 units seized by the FBI in 2013 during the takedown of Silk Road, an extensive black market website. For over two years, Silk Road facilitated the sale of hundreds of millions of dollars worth of narcotics, stolen identities, and numerous other illegal goods and services. 2 All transactions were conducted exclusively in bitcoin.

Use of virtual currency has evolved over nearly two decades alongside the expansion of the Internet. Every day, people across the globe use the Web to move money. Most transactions are denominated in U.S. dollars or another national currency. However, a small but increasing fraction of those transactions use virtual currency as an alternative form of payment. Until recently, all virtual currency existed within centralized systems. In the centralized model a private company controls the virtual currency, issues units to its users, determines the virtual currency’s value, records transactions, and keeps track of customers’ balances. The company is the controlling force that drives everything in the system.

Centralized virtual currency systems encompass a wide range of business models. The technical operation of online payment systems, such as WebMoney and the now-defunct Liberty Reserve, is nearly identical to that of traditional online systems, apart from denominating users’ accounts in virtual currency, rather than a national currency. Some systems, such as Pecunix and the now-defunct e-Gold, allow users to exchange digital units of gold bullion or other precious metals, earning the systems the name “digital precious metals.” Other systems operate within popular virtual worlds and online games where entire microeconomies develop among players relying on in-game currency.

Over the past six years, decentralized virtual currencies also have grown to prominence in the virtual currency landscape. Decentralized virtual currency systems afford users many of the same benefits as their centralized counterparts—users can hold funds and transfer value to other users within the system. However, unlike centralized systems, decentralized systems are not run by a company. Rather, transactions are sent across a peer-to-peer network without involving a third party. Users anywhere in the world can download the free, open-source software specific to a particular decentralized virtual currency. Once they have done so, users can send funds securely and almost instantly across vast distances with just the click of a button. Bitcoin is by far the most popular and well-known decentralized virtual currency, with a total market value of approximately $3.4 billion as of May 2015. However, there are hundreds of other decentralized virtual currencies—often called “altcoins”—also in circulation.

Most virtual currency in centralized systems has a fixed value whereby the controlling company sets an exchange rate. Often, this value is linked to some quantity of national currency. For example, one Liberty Reserve Dollar was equal to one U.S. dollar, and one unit of WMZ, a currency controlled by WebMoney, also is equal to one U.S. dollar. The value also may be fixed to some other real-world value. Companies running digital precious metals systems fix their virtual currency’s value to some quantity of a precious metal, commonly gold bullion. Alternately, a virtual currency’s value may fluctuate based on the supply of and demand for units of that currency. This model is seen frequently in decentralized virtual currencies, which have no company to enforce a pegged exchange rate.

While users can transact entirely in virtual currency within a system, most individuals also want to cash in and out of the system, converting their dollars to virtual currency and, ultimately, back again. This exchange function is central to the virtual currency ecosystem. In centralized models the user may deal directly with the administrating company to cash in or out. However, not all companies offer this service, and decentralized systems lack the capability altogether. As a result, third-party companies have established themselves as “exchangers,” providing a venue for customers to cash in and out of virtual currency or to convert from one virtual currency to another. Exchangers are one component of a network of sites and services that have developed to support and enhance the virtual currency landscape.

Under U.S. money services business regulations, any business that transfers virtual currency from one person or location to another is obligated to register with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) and comply with Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) requirements, including implementing anti-money-laundering programs and filing suspicious activity reports (SARs). 3 Additionally, many states require money transmitters to obtain state licenses. The U.S. Department of Justice has identified these regulations as “crucial tools in preventing malicious actors from exploiting virtual currency systems in furtherance of illicit activity.” 4

Resources:

https://en.bitcoinwiki.org/wiki/Virtual_currency
https://leb.fbi.gov/articles/featured-articles/virtual-currency-investigative-challenges-and-opportunities
https://bitcoinmagazine.com/business/digital-vs-virtual-currencies-1408735507