Building blocks of hope

first_imgThe eye-catching container house is a model of sustainability and eco-friendly technology.(Image: Dennis Guichard) The cheerful lounge area is a shared space, as is the kitchen, scullery, dining room and homework area. A garden on the lounge container provides extra insulation.(Images: New Jerusalem)MEDIA CONTACTS • 4d and a Architects+27 11 880 4754 Janine ErasmusThe New Jerusalem Children’s Home in Midrand, Gauteng, combines sustainability with aesthetics through the inspired installation of 28 shipping containers that serve as accommodation for 24 of its children.New Jerusalem is something of a trailblazer in sustainability, and saw the opening of its first green house in February 2012. That building consists of the 28 creatively arranged 12m by 6m containers, and is touted as Africa’s first eco-friendly children’s home.The container home was designed by Johannesburg-based 4d and a Architects. To get the best use of the containers, the design team of Sean Wall and Mia Anfield put together an innovative plan that involved some containers standing on their ends, others with portholes or floor-to-ceiling windows installed in their walls, and all fitting together in a double-storey structure that works efficiently.“It was quite a challenge because it was the first time we’d worked with containers,” says Wall. “We were inspired by American architect and artist Adam Kalkin, who had more experience in this than we did, and we contacted him through Adrienne [Feldner-Busztin]. He came out to South Africa pro bono and gave us some very useful tips.”Feldner-Busztin is a fundraiser for the home.Then it was a matter of finding equivalent local products to those used in Kalkin’s container home, and working out the right configuration for the containers.“We could have just stacked some containers on top of each other, but we wanted to incorporate architectural features – we wanted a wow factor,” says Wall.According to New Jerusalem, the house is just the first of several eco-friendly installations on the cards. Plans for the others are finished and have been approved by the Johannesburg city council.“Now we just have to raise some funds,” says businesswoman and advocate Anna Mojapelo, New Jerusalem’s co-founder together with her sister Phina, a social worker.The first building was funded partly through the efforts of Wall who, with a cycling partner, competed on behalf of the home in the eight-day Absa Cape Epic mountain bike race and raised about R80 000 (US$9 000).“We plan to establish an office, a chapel and a resource centre,” says Mojapelo, “with a library, computer room, and study area for the children.”There are also another two houses in New Jerusalem’s future expansion.Pride and dignityThe new building is home to two families of 12 children, each with a house mother. Boys sleep downstairs and girls are upstairs.It incorporates the old brick house, which was in dire need of a revamp and which is now the kitchen, scullery and dining room. These are shared, as are the lounge, homework area and laundry.The simply appointed but comfortable bedrooms are designed for two, four or eight children, and each young occupant has his or her own bed and cupboard.According to New Jerusalem, since moving into the new facility the children have gained in confidence, pride, sense of dignity, and self-esteem.Going with containersContainers were the preferred resource for various reasons. They offered a substantial savings compared to building houses from brick and mortar – 25% of the cost of building the traditional way, according to World Architecture News.“We were aiming for sustainability and low maintenance,” says Wall. “And it’s an ideal way to educate the kids about these matters.”The speed of construction was another factor – much of the preparation was done at the container depot, leaving the laying of foundations and about six months’ work to be done on-site, and that was only because of delays getting some donated goods to the site.Because the containers are recycled the house is kind to the environment too. New Jerusalem says that many interior fittings and finishings were donated by companies who themselves manufacture eco-friendly products or run their companies on green principles.With its many windows and openings, the house can operate with minimal use of artificial lighting during the day. The building also features solar heating and lighting panels, wooden sun screens, steel roofing for temperature regulation, infrared heaters, a roof garden which helps with insulation, rainwater tanks, recycled carpet tiles, and a device to convert black water to grey water for irrigation.“The wonderful thing about solar lighting is that even when there is a power failure the green house still has light, which means the kids can do their homework at any time,” says Mojapelo. “It is a light house.”And the eco-friendly features are kind to the budget too. “They have reduced our monthly electricity bill quite a lot,” she says.Looking after the most vulnerableNew Jerusalem was established in 2000 by the Mojapelo sisters, who serve as the organisation’s CEO and COO respectively. They started off by opening their own home to a needy child, and today some 80 orphaned and previously neglected or abused youngsters are in their care.New Jerusalem provides shelter to children from infanthood to 16 years of age. Besides its function as an orphanage, New Jerusalem also sees to the education of its young charges, as well as children from the community, through a crèche and preschool as well as aftercare.It celebrated its official opening only in 2012.The home has received funding from the Department of Social Development, and in 2009 built a Montessori preschool on the premises, thanks to support from a Dutch organisation called Orange Babies.“But we needed a master plan for the home, one that takes the future into account,” says Wall. “That has now been drawn up and is ready to go.”last_img read more

Ohio Ag Weather and Forecast, August 17, 2018

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Rain and thunderstorms are back today, as expected.The action will continue through most of tomorrow, and can lead to some good rain totals.  Right now we are going to put combined rains today and tomorrow at half to 2”, with coverage at 90%. There could be some slightly better totals and coverage in southern parts of the state today, but not enough to really get too cute with our forecast.Dry weather is here for Sunday, and continues through Monday. Clouds will be on the increase Monday afternoon.Rain develop in west central and southwest Ohio between 8 pm and midnight Monday night, and from that point we see rain pick up in intensity as it sweeps across the rest of the state through midnight Tuesday. We still are looking for this system to be a significant rain maker, but the scope of the heaviest rains may not be quite as broad. We are keeping our rain totals at half to 2-inches for the event this morning but think the 2-inch part of the range will be somewhat limited. There will be several strong thunderstorms or lines of storms, but outside of those areas the rains look much more manageable.  Rain coverage remains at 80% of the state or better. The map above shows combined potential rain totals through next TuesdayDry conditions will follow that system into the state for 5 days, from Wednesday through Sunday. In the extended period, we are trending a bit drier this morning. We see only one good rain threat now, as the early event has merged with a faster arriving second event. So, rains can develop around the 29th and 30th, and trigger .25”-.75” rains with 70% coverage.We see no reason to change our temperature outlook for the upcoming 10-day to 2-week period. We still think overall, we will have daytime highs near normal…perhaps slightly above to start the weekend, but then below during and behind the rains next week. Still, there is nothing really to talk about on the temperature side of the forecast.last_img read more

Flash and Batt in the Roof

first_imgIs this passage open to interpretation?AJ Builder isn’t so sure that Holladay has it right. He points out that the code provision uses the words “direct contact” in explaining where the impermeable layer of foam has to go. But the batts can then be placed “directly under” that.“If you stand directly under me and I drop my hammer, it will hit you,” AJ Builder writes. “So the language is open to interpretation [in my opinion]. Not saying whether the idea is good… Not against someone seeing if the idea works or not.”Come on, replies Dana Dorsett, “even a first-year weasel lawyer would have a tough time concocting an interpretation that the air-permeable insulation didn’t need to be in VERY close proximity, even though code dos not demand a compression-fit contact with the air-impermeable foam.”But in a broader sense, AJ Builder argues that widely held beliefs about certain building practices aren’t always accurate.“Codes aren’t perfect,” he says, “as some above have stated. In all actuality there are many assemblies that work that one person will say not to do and another one will do and works just dandy. And then there are assemblies that are pushed here, such as putting rigid foam on OSB properly, yet I have taken apart some rotted messes built as such.”He specifically points to the work of Bruce Brownell, a builder in New York’s Adirondack region who uses layers of foam to insulate houses at R-values that shouldn’t work in that climate zone but somehow do.“There are so many times here that R-value of a wall is mentioned, where the R-value is actually way lower due to the fact that it is discontinuous and has a multitude of other problems,” AJ Builder says. “So R-value, folks, is very much a slippery, slippery number to [the] point of losing real value if not fully explained every time it is used…” What’s the science behind the code requirement?Whatever the code might read, the building science in this case is key, Dorsett explains.“Whether it creates a problem depends a lot on how the intervening space is used (if at all), and the ratio of foam-R/fiber-R at the attic floor,” he writes. “Airtightness at the ceiling plane below the floor becomes hyper-critical if the R-ratio isn’t super robust. You can’t go with the IRC minimums for the air-impermeable layer and get away with it.“Foam installers are fond of removing all floor insulation when foaming the roof deck (presumably to meet code), but that isn’t truly necessary in many (or even most) cases in climate zones 5 or lower. (Good luck arguing that with the code inspectors though.)”Atticus LeBlanc would like to bore further into the science. It wasn’t that long ago, he points out, that code required vented attics. “I can’t figure out why the distance between R-12 closed-cell foam under the roof deck/rafters and sidewalls and fluffy R-38 on the ceiling would have an impact on condensation, if any,” LeBlanc writes, “and the insulation to the heated cavity would still be more than required… at least for me in Zone 3.”Holladay responds, “If the attic were perfectly sealed — few attics are — it’s probable that the proposed (illegal) assembly would work well. But if the ‘sealed’ attic had air leaks — infiltration and exfiltration — you wouldn’t get the R-value you expect, and you would have opportunities for condensation or moisture issues.” “Flash and batt” is an insulation technique that combines the air-sealing superiority of spray foam insulation with the cost benefits of fiberglass batts. An inch or two of polyurethane foam seals the cavity and the batt insulation adds R-value without costing an arm and a leg.That’s roughly the plan Dave Frank is considering for the roof of a house — presumably his own house — in Climate Zone 5. But his plan contains a twist: He wants to spray the underside of the roof deck with foam and install the batts between the joists at ceiling level.“My reasoning for this is to (a) get HVAC in the attic within the envelope where rafters can’t be properly vented, and (b) still have insulation on top of the flat ceiling drywall because there is some ceiling radiant heat,” he writes in a Q&A post at Green Building Advisor. “And there’s the added benefit of getting some of the R-value from a cheaper product.” RELATED ARTICLES Frank wonders whether the code requirement for a total of R-38 in the roof will allow the insulation to be separated in this way, as long as the R-value totals for the different layers all add up to the right number.Or is this a case where 2 plus 2 equals 3?That’s the topic for this Q&A Spotlight. A Pioneer of Low-Energy Homes Since 1973Flash and Batt InsulationFine Homebuilding: Why Flash and Batt Makes SenseInstalling Fiberglass RightCreating a Conditioned Attic The code is clear: Your idea won’t workThere’s not much wiggle room here, says GBA senior editor Martin Holladay.He cites a provision in the International Residential Code (IRC), which says the air-permeable insulation (the fiberglass batts) must be installed “directly under” the air-impermeable layer (the spray foam).“The air impermeable insulation shall be applied in direct contact with the underside of the structural roof sheathing as specified in Table R806.5 for condensation control,” the code reads. “The air permeable layer shall be installed directly under the air-impermeable insulation.”And so, Holladay says, if you want to meet the IRC requirement for R-38 insulation, the foam and the fiberglass batts must be in contact with each other. Of course, that shouldn’t stop Frank from adding more fiberglass in the ceiling once he’s installed batts correctly between the rafters. Our expert’s opinionGBA Technical Director Peter Yost had this to say:First, on the code: while the wording of the code may not be crystal clear, the intent is. The insulation layers need to be contiguous (in direct contact). Now, it is true that you can find cases where an air space to the interior of combined insulations makes sense (for example, see Joe Lstiburek’s piece on contiguous insulation schemes, energy efficiency and thermal comfort). But in this case, leaving an air space between them simply introduces a huge convective loop between the ceiling batt insulation and the rafter spray foam insulation. Indeed, 2 + 2 = 3 (or in this case, R18 + R20 ≠ R38).And that is if the ceiling is an airtight plane, only. If it is not, and chances are it is not even close, then the big convective loop in the attic will connect with air leakage from below, and now you have a moisture problem to add to the eroded thermal performance of the attic insulation system.This scenario also assumes that you are willing to pay the cost of spray foaming not only the rafter bays of the roof, but both gable end walls of the attic as well. Depending on the roof pitch, this added gable wall insulation could be just a bit, or quite a bit.This noncontiguous insulation configuration does not meet the code, and for good reason; it won’t work, or at least won’t work as intended or with sufficient energy and economic efficiency.last_img read more

Pema Khandu sworn in as Arunachal Pradesh CM

first_imgPema Khandu, who pitchforked into politics after the death of his father in a helicopter crash eight years ago, was on Wednesday sworn in as the first Chief Minister of an elected Bharatiya Janata Party government in Arunachal Pradesh. Chronologically, he is the 10th. His father, Dorjee Khandu was the fifth.There was another first for Mr Khandu. His formal installation happened in Itanagar’s landmark convention centre, named after his father, instead of the Raj Bhavan about 2 km away, where his predecessors were sworn in.Apart from Mr Khandu, Governor Brigadier (Retd.) B.D. Mishra administered the oath of office and secrecy to Chown Mein as the Deputy Chief Minister and 10 others as ministers. This included Nakap Nalo and Taba Tedir, who had won the elections to the 60-member Assembly for the first time.There was no woman in the Council of Ministers whose portfolios would be allocated soon. Three of the BJP’s 41 legislators are women, including giantkiller Jummum Ete Deori, who defeated State Congress president Takam Sanjoy.Mr. Khandu described the day as historic as a “full-fledged BJP government has been installed” in the State for the first time.“With their mandate, the people have given us a huge responsibility to transform Arunachal Pradesh under the leadership and guidance of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Our priority sectors will be law and order, health, and education besides addressing unemployment through investments in viable sectors. I assure people that we will run a clean, transparent and corruption-free government,” the Chief Minister said in a brief interaction with newspersons after the swearing-in ceremony.The chief ministers of five north-eastern States attended the ceremony. They were Assam’s Sarbananda Sonowal, Manipur’s Nongthongbam Biren Singh, Meghalaya’s Conrad K. Sangma, Nagaland’s Neiphiu Rio, and Tripura’s Biplab Kumar.Union Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju, BJP general secretary Ram Madhav, and Assam Finance and Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma too attended the function.The rise of Pema KhanduMr. Khandu was made the State’s Water Resources Development and Tourism Minister in a Congress government soon after his father’s death in April 2011. In June that year, he won the by-election to the Mukto Assembly seat – still synonymous with his father’s name.Instability since the reign of Jarbom Gamlin, his father’s successor as the Chief Minister, never quite made Mr Khandu optimistic about his political career. “I was more interested in business than politics,” he had said once.But the State’s political uncertainty made Mr. Khandu a surer leader in July 2016 when he took over from Nabam Tuki as the Chief Minister of a Congress government. In September that year, his Congress government switched over to the regional People’s Party of Arunachal only to change to the BJP colour three months later.That was the BJP’s second “takeover” government. The first was for eight months from August 2003 when the party took over from the United Democratic Front headed by Gegong Apang.last_img read more

Monster mash: LeBron James undaunted by beastly Warriors

first_imgOAKLAND, CA – JUNE 19: LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers reacts to a play in Game 7 of the 2016 NBA Finals against the Golden State Warriors at ORACLE Arena on June 19, 2016 in Oakland, California. Ezra Shaw/Getty Images/AFPINDEPENDENCE, Ohio — There’s a four-headed, shot-making, scoreboard-breaking monster out West awaiting LeBron James and the Cavaliers.The Warriors are stomach-churning scary.ADVERTISEMENT Cayetano dares Lacson, Drilon to take lie-detector test: Wala akong kinita sa SEA Games James, though, can’t run or hide. With eight NBA Finals appearances under his belt, he is ready to face a team he’s called “a beast.” After all, he has slayed behemoths before.Pushing off any talk about the Warriors until after Sunday’s practice, James was asked to assess the task at hand: beating Golden State’s All-Star-studded lineup of Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingIs this the biggest challenge of his career?“It’s probably up there,” he said. “I mean, it’s up there.” BREAKING: Cop killed, 11 hurt in Misamis Oriental grenade blast For the sixth time, James enters the Finals as an underdog, hardly a role he’s accustomed to before June. The only time he won a championship as a Finals favorite was with Miami in 2013, when the Heat upended the Spurs for their second straight title.James isn’t worried about point spreads or any odds.“I only play blackjack in Vegas anyway, so it doesn’t matter,” he said.What does matter is that the 32-year-old is having one of his finest postseasons, and the Cavs are gelling the way they did at this time last year.Maybe James has nothing to fear.“I feel good about our chances,” he said. “Very good.”Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students PLAY LIST 01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes BSP survey: PH banks see bright horizon amid dark global recession clouds BREAKING: Cop killed, 11 hurt in Misamis Oriental grenade blast Every 18 seconds someone is diagnosed with HIV Palace: Duterte to hear out security execs on alleged China control of NGCP LATEST STORIES Pagasa: Storm intensifies as it nears PAR MOST READ Stampede at stadium kills 4 fans, unborn fetus in Honduras Cleveland-Golden State 3.0 is the matchup fans worldwide expected and wanted, and James believes they’re in for quite a show.Both the Cavaliers and Warriors have upgraded their rosters from a year ago, when they went seven games in an epic series that spawned the first comeback from a 3-1 deficit in Finals history and resulted in Cleveland winning its first pro sports championship since 1964.That Warriors team James conquered in 2016 won 73 games during the regular season and was being mentioned as one of the best to ever take the floor.Hard to believe, but this version — with Durant — might be even better.Golden State has been putting on a basketball clinic over the past two months, winning 27 of 28 games since March 11 and becoming the first squad to start the postseason 12-0.Durant, who previously faced James in the 2012 Finals with Oklahoma City, has taken a great team and elevated it to a nearly unstoppable level.The Warriors are using Durant in every imaginable way on offense, and James isn’t surprised to see his good friend and Olympic teammate more mobile than he was with the Thunder.“You adapt to the culture,” he said. “You adapt to the style and that’s the same thing that happened to me when I went to Miami. I started to slash more and move more without the ball, shoot more standstill 3s and figure out ways I could be more productive than just having the ball in isolation. So, it’s the right thing to do. He’s one of the most dangerous guys we have in the world already. So it makes it even more dangerous when you equip that talent, that skill with those guys.”On the brink of becoming the first player since the early 1960s to play in seven straight Finals, James finds himself in a similar — and somewhat surprising — situation.The Cavaliers are being given little chance to defend their title against the vaunted Warriors, who have been winning by an average of 16.3 points per game in the playoffs. And then, almost as if he was trying to remind himself that he’s got three championship rings and is frightful in his own right, James recalled other fearsome postseason opponents — San Antonio and Boston.“I’ve played against four Hall of Famers as well, too, with Manu (Ginobili), Kawhi (Leonard), Tony (Parker) and Timmy D (Tim Duncan) on the same team,” said James, occasionally sniffling as he continues to fight a cold. “And if you add Pop (coach Gregg Popovich) in there, that’s five Hall of Famers. So, it’s going to be very challenging. Those guys are going to challenge me, they’re going to challenge our ballclub.“This is a high-powered team.”James also took on a Celtics team loaded with big-name talents.“I’ve played against Ray (Allen), KG (Kevin Garnett), Paul (Pierce), (Rajon) Rondo and Doc (Rivers). So, it’s going to be very challenging not only on me mentally, but on our ballclub and on our franchise.”ADVERTISEMENT Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ View comments Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. last_img read more

Why Sales Needs Insight Into Marketing’s Email Analytics

first_imgSince the early 90s, we marketers have held the power of email open and click tracking. We’ve been using this data to make good decisions, and even build nurturing campaigns for our sales reps.Since then, similar technology has been built for salespeople. But every time our Signals team gets on the phone with marketers, we hear objections like …”I don’t want this notification noise distracting our sales team.””I don’t know if our reps will use this without creepily stalking prospects.””Our sales team isn’t tech savvy enough to take advantage of sales technology.”As a marketer myself, I understand how rolling out email tracking to your sales team can feel worrisome. But let’s take a step back and view the parallel between the shifting marketing and sales landscapes. Sales is undergoing its inbound evolution.Once upon a time, marketers were spamming purchased lists — and hey, some probably still do. But since the birth of inbound marketing, we’ve learned to organically grow our databases and personalize our email marketing with the target customer in mind.For ultimate sales and marketing alignment, we need to now enable our sales teams to evolve in the same way. That’s where email tracking can come in. Which email metrics should Sales be tracking?Your sales team should be focused on tracking the same core metrics we do as marketers, just for different reasons.Email Opens: If a prospect has opened an email once, sure, they may have physically opened up the email. But if a sales rep begins seeing an email opened multiple times, this is a good indication of how interested a prospect is in your business.Email Clicks: If sales reps are sending along links to valuable information in their email outreach, understanding how their prospects are engaging with those links is critical.  By using a tool like Signals, sales reps can begin tracking these metrics easily. But I’m sure you’re not convinced just yet, so let’s jump into the specific objections noted above.Answers to Marketing’s Top Objections”I don’t want this notification noise distracting our sales team.”Let’s face the facts: Providing your sales teams with real-time alerts when a prospect is opening and clicking their emails will of course result in more noise — but it’s the right kind of noise. There are two ways sales prospecting can go:Set arbitrary dates to follow up/check in with a prospect and hope they’re willing/interested in chatting when you connect.Contact a prospect when they’re engaging with your emails and already thinking about your business.I’m leaning toward the latter option. So yes, email tracking will add more noise to your sales team’s daily routine. But if the end result is a more effective, prospect-focused sales strategy, that’s a good change. This helps Sales solve for the customer in the same way Marketing is always seeking to.”I don’t know if our reps will use this without creepily stalking prospects.”A valid concern. Not because the department in question is Sales, but because the topic in question is email tracking. If marketers have evolved their strategies from the 90s “spray and pray” approach to a more personalized, customer-centric solution, why can’t Sales learn to do the same?I actually worked with a sales professional from the Signals team who has mastered a strategy of taking email tracking intelligence and using it to improve his sales process. You can learn the strategy in the SlideShare below, and use this presentation as a way to educate your sales team on how to use email tracking without being creepy.  Topics: Originally published Mar 14, 2014 11:00:00 AM, updated July 18 2017 Sales and Marketing Metricscenter_img “Our sales team isn’t tech savvy enough to take advantage of sales technology.”There’s an age old stereotype that marketing is all about arts and crafts. But as we can all attest to, marketing has evolved to be a data-influenced effort for impacting the bottom-line business. In order to get to this point, marketers have had to acquire additional skills not traditionally in our skill set. We’re learning how to design, code, blog, and the list goes on.Sales professionals are facing the same shift. The idea of a SaaS sales model wasn’t even in existence a decade ago. As we propel forward in the tech world, sales reps will, too. And there’s no magical formula that helped us marketers make this stride. A little education with your sales team can go a long way. Are you ready to equip your sales team with sales technology? What other objections do you have? Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more

Why Business Blogging Works

first_img Topics: Business Blogging Every month, I run a new hire training class on blogging. While many of the people in that class know why blogging is important for business growth, I’m supposed to teach it as if that’s not the case. That’s because we never want to assume everyone understands inbound marketing just because we live and breathe it every day, and this class is meant to equip everyone with the ability to explain a core tenet of inbound — business blogging — to anyone that asks.Fresh off the heels of last month’s training class, I realized it’s a little ridiculous that I’ve never written a post that explains business blogging in those terms on this very blog. If you search for the content we’ve published on blogging, it runs the gamut from thought leadership, to optimization tips, to practical tips, to nitty gritty advanced nuances. But I never simply wrote about why it works.So … here’s why it works.First, let’s get on the same page about what a blog is.Here’s my favorite definition of a blog, with the most important parts to understand in bold:A blog is a website with frequently updated content about a specific keyword- or topic-oriented topic.A blog must be updated frequently — so it’s not a static part of your website, like your homepage or your About page.And it’s about a specific topic — not anything/everything in the wide world. For example, this blog writes about inbound marketing, because we sell inbound marketing software. We don’t write about dog grooming, fashion, or securing a low rate for your home loan — because we don’t sell anything related to any of those things.Okay, so who reads blogs?Well, lots of people, but for the purposes of this post, let’s focus on the two important groups:Search Engines: Search engines like Google “read” blogs to learn what your website is about, so they know whether they can return any of your website pages to their users who perform searches. For example, Google reads our website, so it knows it can return this blog post if someone searches “Why does blogging work?”Potential Customers: Potential customers read blogs to find helpful industry content.Now you may be saying to yourself, “my potential customers don’t read blogs.” Au contraire, my friend. You might be right to say that your potential customers don’t subscribe to blogs. But that doesn’t mean they don’t stumble upon blog posts when they’re doing research online. For example, when I was looking to buy a new TV, I went to Google to perform some research to figure out what my best option would be. I learned from technology bloggers what my best options were, and then went to make a purchase based off their advice.I don’t subscribe to any of those tech blogs — and I may not always even realize what I’m reading is a “blog” — but I use blogs to figure out where I want to spend my money.Knowing all that … why does blogging work to grow your business?Because blogging helps you grow traffic and trust. Let me break down what I mean by each of those.Blogging helps you drive more traffic to your website.Every time you publish a blog post, it’s a new opportunity for someone to find your business’ website and learn who you are. Said another way, it’s an opportunity to drive traffic to your website.For example, every time I write a blog post on this very blog about inbound marketing, it creates an opportunity for someone that needs help with inbound marketing to find that post about inbound marketing, and learn who HubSpot is. The more blog posts I create, then, the more chances I have to introduce HubSpot to someone new. A business that has 100 blog posts is creating 100 new opportunities to get their website found online. A business that has 500 blog posts is creating 500 new opportunities to get their website found online.Blogging — as a format — provides those chances like no other part of your website allows, because every blog post you publish is a brand new URL. Think about how many new page URLs you can add to your website without a blog. Hmmm … an About page. A Jobs page. A Product/Service page. What else? After a while, you’re gonna start scraping the bottom of the barrel. But if you have a blog, you have endless opportunities to create new page URLs that can be ranked in search and discovered by people that didn’t know about your business yet. A blog gives you endless opportunities to get found online.Not only does blogging helps you get more traffic to your website — it helps you get really good traffic. How? Because you can write about things that will bring in the type of lead you want to sell to. That’s why we don’t blog about dog grooming and home loans. We blog about inbound marketing — because we have something to sell to people that are interested in doing inbound marketing. Blogging helps you tailor the audience you bring in to your website, so they’re people that would conceivably purchase your product or service.Blogging helps you establish trust.Who would you rather buy a car from … someone that’s taken the time to educate you about cars by providing free, unbiased, educational content, or someone that you’ve never met or spoken to before in your entire life?The former, right?Blogging helps put you in that camp. People buy from people they know and trust. (And hopefully, like.) By investing in creating content that helps answer questions for your target customer, you’re establishing a trusting relationship that makes them more comfortable investing in you as a business partner or solution provider.Look, traffic and trust are nice, but what I really want are leads.That’s what blogging helps you get!You know how we talked about blogging opening up opportunities to bring in new traffic? Every person that lands on your website represents an opportunity to generate a new lead, too. If you write a blog post that 100 people read, you have 100 opportunities to turn those readers into leads by putting a call-to-action on that blog post. That call-to-action is anything that asks the reader to exchange their contact information for something — like a free ebook, a free checklist, a free consultation, etc.So, after someone is done reading a blog post about inbound marketing on this blog, they might want to learn more about it. If they do, they can find the call-to-action at the end of the blog post that offers a free ebook about inbound marketing, and fill out a form to receive it. That person is now a lead, and they might end up becoming a customer one day.The cherry on top?Blogging is the gift that keeps on giving. Once you publish a blog post, it’s out there on the internet working to bring in new traffic and leads forever. So even if we published a post several years ago about inbound marketing, people can still find that post in search engines like Google, or on social media if people still share it after reading it themselves. In other words, blogging can literally help you generate leads for your business while you sleep. The work you put in today can generate results for years and years to come. (Compare that to PPC — when you turn off the money, the traffic and leads turn off, too.)It helps me to think of blogging as an annuity. If you publish one blog post today, it might drive, say, 50 visits. That’s great, but it’ll trickle off over time to say, 10 visits month-over-month — which can seem depressing after that initial traffic influx. That’s why you don’t look at individual blog post performance in a silo. If you look at the gains your blog posts make over time as you publish post after post after post, those visits will stack on top of each other as they rank in search. Now you have a diverse portfolio that’s driving consistent returns month after month — with no extra work on your part.So if you ever feel guilty about taking a vacation, just tell people not to worry — your blog posts will take care of things while you’re gone. Originally published May 28, 2014 10:30:00 AM, updated July 28 2017 Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more

How to Create Email Newsletters That Don’t Suck [Free Ebook]

first_imgEmail newsletters come in all shapes and sizes. Your email newsletter’s goal could be to gain more blog visitors, generate leads and sales, or inform your customers about your company’s latest product updates. Heck — maybe you just want to create a stellar internal newsletter for your company’s employees. Regardless of your goal, it’s easy to slip into the promotional mindset when putting together an email newsletter. But being over-promotional is one of the biggest no-no’s of curating an email newsletter.To help you get a better sense of all the email newsletter do’s and don’ts, take a look at our guide: How to Create Email Newsletters That Don’t Suck. In this comprehensive ebook, you’ll discover: Originally published Nov 6, 2014 6:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 We address these bullets in detail in our latest ebook, How to Create Email Newsletters That Don’t Suck, which you can download for free by clicking here. At the end of the ebook you’ll also find an email newsletter checklist to hang up at your desk.Please feel free to tweet about this ebook using this Click to Tweet link and the Twitter-sized image featured below: Topics: What a great email newsletter actually looks like. Whether you’re starting from scratch or revamping your current email newsletter strategy, it’s important to see the anatomy of an effective email newsletter. Real-life examples of great email newsletters you should copy. How do brands like BuzzFeed, Litmus, General Assembly, and Medium create email newsletters that people actually want to read? They truly understand their audience and solve their subscribers’ needs. Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlackcenter_img Email Newsletters How to measure your email newsletter. Once you’ve started tweaking and optimizing your newsletter, it’s important to measure what you’ve changed to see what works and what doesn’t for your particular audience. Don’t be afraid to A/B test even the smallest elements to see what people prefer. The biggest email newsletter mistakes people make, and how to avoid them. In addition to seeing what a great email newsletter looks like, you’ll want to make note of the biggest mistakes people tend to make when crafting their email newsletters. What other tips do you have for creating awesome email newsletters? Click to Tweet: New guide from @HubSpot: How to Create Email Newsletters That Don’t Suck  last_img read more

Want to Learn Marketing Analytics? Start With These 9 Great Resources

first_imgI’ve been interested in data and analytics for a long, long time. As a ten-year-old, I remember creating Excel spreadsheets with my dad for his annual Fantasy Football pool. By the time I was 16, I was building Pivot Tables with my cell phone bill to figure out who I texted the most. (I promise I had other hobbies.)Since then, I’ve learned how much more there is to data analysis besides Pivot Tables and Excel. There’s a whole world of analytics out there — and I’ve barely scratched the surface.Do you know which inbound marketing metrics you should be tracking? Click here for a free guide.There’s always more to learn, so I’ve made it my mission to learn as much as possible about analytics by talking with people and, of course, consuming as much content as I can online. Here are my favorite go-to resources for continuing my marketing analytics education.1) The KISSmetrics BlogThe KISSmetrics blog is a great resource to learn about marketing analytics, testing, and experimenting with your data. Content is posted daily and will teach you everything from A/B testing to growing your business with analytics to lead generation on your different marketing channels. No matter what company you work at, you’ll be able to learn something about data analysis by reading and following this blog.2) “Occam’s Razor” BlogAvinash Kaushik is known for his book, Web Analytics 2.0 & Web Analytics: An Hour A Day. “Occam’s Razor” is his blog, where he writes some of the best analyses, explanations, and analytical materials out there. From these posts, you’ll learn how to approach advanced analytics situations and take your data analysis to the next level from a true expert.3) HubSpot’s Inbound CertificationHubSpot offers a free inbound marketing certification for anyone interested in learning about how to implement inbound marketing in their business. The curriculum covers many parts of inbound marketing, including analyzing your efforts to make smarter decisions on where to invest in your future. Not only is it free, but it’s available to anyone interested in learning these best practices.4) Google’s Analytics AcademyGoogle Analytics is one of the most popular platforms for companies analyzing their marketing efforts. To help teach people how they should approach their data analysis, Google offers different classes through their Analytics Academy. In addition to courses to teach users how to use Google Analytics, there are also courses that teach about data analysis in general. From mobile analysis to digital analytics, users can take these free courses and learn a lot more about how they should approach their next analytics challenge.5) Quora’s Analytics SectionThe Analytics section of Quora is one of the best places to get quick analytics help with little effort. In this section, you can search or browse through thousands of common analytics questions and skim through answers from analytics experts. Many of the most respected analytics experts are following and answering topics related to analytics on Quora. And if, you can’t find what you are looking for, you can always ask a question yourself.6) General Assembly’s Data Analysis CoursesGeneral Assembly is an online resource offering classes, workshops, courses, and on “the most relevant skills of the 21st century.” Among them are a ton of data analysis classes for all levels, including introductory classes on fundamental modeling techniques and making meaning out of large data sets, and some more advanced classes on data analysis through SQL.7) “Online Behavior” BlogGoogle Analytics Advocate Daniel Waisberg is the founder of Online Behavior, a blog that focuses on marketing measurement and optimization and covers a wide range of topics. Most of the content focuses on how to conduct different types of analysis using Google Analytics. Some focuses on data analysis and reporting in general and provides best practices on these topics. No matter what your interest is, you’re bound to find helpful advice on this blog.8) The Moz Blog’s Analytics SectionMoz’s blog covers topics about inbound marketing and SEO — but if you dig into the “Analytics” tag specifically, you’ll find a ton of helpful articles about topics ranging from general best practices to instructions for conducting experiments and analyses with your data. I find the advice on here very actionable, and I think it’d be helpful for readers at every level.9) Predictive Analytics World ConferencesPredictive Analytics World is a series of conferences around the world that are focused on analytics. Each event in each different city is focused on its own theme. For example, in Chicago there are two simultaneous events: one focused on manufacturing and one focused on business. In Washington, D.C., the conference is focused on how government agencies use data analysis. Many of the other conferences are focused on business in general and can appeal to anyone interested in learning more about data analysis and upcoming trends in predictive analytics.BONUS: HubSpot’s “How to Use Excel” Blog PostWhile this is a single blog post rather than an ongoing publication, I still think worth including here as a helpful resource. I get asked about my favorite Excel tips all the time, so I finally decided to compile some of the most common ones into a single blog post listing 14 simple Excel shortcuts, tips, and tricks.What are your favorite resources for learning more about analytics? Share with us in the comments below. Originally published Apr 7, 2015 8:00:00 AM, updated July 28 2017 Topics: Don’t forget to share this post! 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195+ Perfectly Optimized Design Templates for Email, Infographic & More [Free Templates]

first_img Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack We all know visual marketing works. Visual content is 40X more likely to get shared on social media than other types of content. Not to mention, infographics are Liked or shared on social media 3X more than any other type of content. The problem is, it can be hard to actually create these visuals — especially when you’re a small marketing team with too much to do and no designer on hand. So when it comes to creating a cohesive set of campaign visuals — from Twitter graphics to blog images — what’s a marketer to do?Well, to make your life easier, we worked with Canva to put together the ultimate set of 195+ design templates for every visual marketing need.There are 10 visual design types and multiple themes that are carried through each design type, making it easy for you to quickly spin up a visual marketing campaign across multiple channels.This set of 195+ designs includes:Infographics templatesFacebook, Twitter, and Pinterest templatesFacebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter cover photo templatesEmail header templatesBlog featured image templatesReady to take your visual marketing to the next level this year? Get your 195+ design templates from HubSpot & Canva today. Topics: Visual Content Originally published Feb 2, 2016 7:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017last_img read more