Migration cost and timelines Magento 1 to Magento 2

You know you’re running out of time to migrate your e-commerce operation to Magento 2.0. That raises two questions: How much does a Magento 2.0 migration cost, and how long is the timeline?

For small- to medium-sized e-commerce operations with limited customizations and integrations, upgrading to Magento 2.0 can cost about $5,000 to $50,000. The timeline for these kinds of upgrades is about two to five months. The cost of your current Magento install may provide a ballpark estimate (plus about 10 percent) if you don’t plan to change much.

Magento 1.9 and previous versions reach their end-of-life deadlines at the end of June 2020. That’s a fairly narrow window to find a Magento developer and implement a version 2.0 migration. You have to make a lot of smart decisions soon to ensure a smooth transition.

This blog post from the Magento development experts at Exinent explains your three most critical concerns:

Part 1: Advantages of upgrading and the downside risk of not upgrading
Part 2: Variables that impact the cost and timeline of an upgrade to Magento 2.0
Part 3: A 12-point checklist for a typical Magento 2.0 migration.

Let’s dive into these sections now.

Part 1: Advantages of Magento 2.0 — and risks of skipping the upgrade
We’ll start with some of the greatest benefits of upgrading to Magento 2.0 and the consequences of not doing it. If you’re already sold on the benefits, feel free to skip to Part 2.

Site architecture: Magento uses the newest generation of PHP, which boosts site speed, power and flexibility.
Speed: Improved caching brings faster page downloads. Pages that previously took 3 seconds to download might take only 1 second after the upgrade. Optimized checkout means fewer clicks to close the sale — a six-click process on Magento 1.9 shrinks to two clicks in version 2.0.
Mobile: Support for responsive mobile sites elevates the user experience for people shopping with smartphones and tablets.
SEO: Faster page downloads and responsive mobile themes can improve your search page rankings because search engines place a priority on speed and mobile experience.
Security: Staying up-to-date with software patches helps keep intruders out.
All these factors help you elevate and streamline the shopping experience, which makes it easier to outmaneuver your competition.

Risks of letting your Magento support expire

Support for versions of Magento before 2.0 expires after June 2020. Staying on 1.9-or-earlier versions after the deadline means if your site crashes or gets hacked, you lose access to the experts at Magento who could help figure things out. There’s no telling how much that could cost in immediate cash flow and long-term customer relationships — but it won’t be cheap.

Moreover, you won’t get new security patches to keep hackers out. Hackers hunt for out-of-date sites because they’re easier to break into. Running unsupported software is like waving a red flag to cybercriminals. And if you suffer a breach that triggers a lawsuit, you could face an expensive court settlement.

Now, let’s move on to the costs and timelines for Magento updates.

Part 2: Variables that Affect Magento 2.0 Costs and Timelines
A basic, small-business Magento installation could cost as little as $5,000 and take only a couple months. A medium-sized e-commerce site might cost $50,000 and take five months to implement. Keep in mind that these figures apply to websites with a minimum of customizations. A simple rule of thumb is to dig out your records, see how much you paid to develop your current Magento environment and add another 10 percent.

But just as trading in your car for new one lets you upgrade your driving experience, a Magento 2.0 migration opens you up to a world of enhancements. Of course, adding new services or features adds hours and days to your development timeline. And, naturally, extra time means higher costs.

What kind of factors have the biggest influence on Magento 2.0 costs and timelines? These are the most prominent ones:


Sales tax and seasonal shopping patterns vary widely from one e-commerce business to the next. The online grocer that ships perishable foods in blocks of dry ice has different shipping concerns than the company shipping cast-aluminum engine blocks. Every online business has to tweak its Magento 2.0 migration to account for specific situations like these. Each customization adds development time and cost.


Third-party developers have created a Magento extension ecosystem that numbers in the thousands. These extensions help e-commerce companies give their customers exactly what they want, which is great for business.

Unfortunately, some extensions aren’t compatible with Magento 2.0. If this applies to your website, then you have to convert Magento 1.0 extensions to Magento 2 extensions. Then your developers have to build the extensions themselves, adding time and costs.


APIs and other technology tools let you connect Magento to your software for customer relationship management (CRM), inventory control, accounting, analytics and other vital business functions. Each integration adds cost and lengthens your timeline.

Site redesigns

Magento 2.0 uses a new site structure that requires a rebuild of your website. Naturally, rebuilding a website must include its design — colors, fonts, layouts and so on — but that does not necessarily require a redesign. You may be able to replicate your current site design at little or no extra cost.

However, your Magenta 2.0 upgrade presents an excellent opportunity to update the look and feel of your site. It’s an ideal time, for example, to remove points of friction that slow users down and discourage them from finishing their transactions. However, opting for a more sophisticated site design may require additional hours of development, which would add to costs and timelines.

Now that we’ve covered Magento 2.0 costs and timelines, let’s move on to our migration checklist.

Part 3: A 12-Step Magento 2.0 migration checklist
These are all the jobs your development team needs to get done along the way to migrating to Magento 2.0:

Create a development environment
Your developer needs a safe place to build an exact replica of the Magento system that will eventually replace your current install. A separate development environment helps ensure your site goes live with a minimum of glitches.

Install the latest version of Magento 2.0
Your developer installs the newest Magento version into the development environment. This includes the newest security patches, bug fixes and service enhancements.

Create all the required attributes and categories
Every product variable in your e-commerce operation must be replicated in the new version of Magento. In this step, your developer documents all your attributes (price, color, size, etc.) and categories (men’s, women’s, indoor, outdoor, etc.) and adds them to your new Magento configuration.

Migrate all data
This task is especially important: All data must be migrated to the new Magento 2.0 database, including products, category mapping, customers, orders, invoices, shipments, coupon codes, cart rules and so on.

Install required extensions
All the Magento 2.0-compatible extensions get added in this step. If you have incompatible extensions, they’ll be installed later because the development team needs more time to rebuild them for Magento 2.0.

Implement the design
This step is where your new site starts taking shape — with a new mobile-responsive Magento 2.0-compatible theme. Any changes to your user interface get added at the design implementation stage

Add blog and all static pages
Your blog and static pages must reflect the overall look, feel and user experience of your new site, so they must be added after the design phase.

Implement extensions that are not compatible with 2.0
Because incompatible extensions must be reconstructed from scratch, your developers need more time to finish this phase. Thus, these extensions get implemented in the last step before the testing phase.

Test everything
Once the development team has a working replica of your new Magento 2.0 install, it’s time to make sure everything works as expected. The developers can anticipate the most common bugs and work them out here.

Conduct UAT (User Acceptance Test)
This phase puts actual users to work finding bugs the developers missed.

Make changes found in testing
Bugs and tweaks found in steps 9 and 10 get corrected in this step.

Plan go-live and do final data sync
Your developer establishes a go-live date and a final data sync to ensure that every change to your site — purchases, customers, discounts, etc. — gets included on the go-live date.

Pulling it all together on Magento 2.0 migration
The speed and power of Magento 2.0 will bring welcome improvements to site speed and mobile user experience. And including the latest security patches reduces your risk of downtime from hacker intrusions.

Small to medium e-commerce operations with limited customizations may need to spend from $5,000 to $50,000 to upgrade to the latest version of Magento. The timeline for operations in this size range is usually two to five months. All this depends on how many integrations and customizations you have. More sophisticated migrations take longer and cost more.

Given that the support for older versions of Magento expires in June 2020, you have more than enough reasons to upgrade as soon as possible.

Magento 2.0 Migration FAQs

How long does it take to migrate my e-commerce website from Magento 1 to Magento 2?
Magento 2 migration timelines depend heavily on the size and complexity of a website. As discussed earlier, a basic Magento website with fewer products and functionalities needs just a couple of months for migration. It may take up to six months for a medium-sized site with a decent amount of data and slightly advanced features. A functionality-rich and heavy Magento installation usually need more time, often in excess of six months.

How much does it cost migrate my website from Magento 1.x to Magento 2.x?

Many factors such as the size of data, functionalities, and your migration project timelines influence costs. Small e-commerce website owners may need to shell out $5000. Those who are run medium-sized Magento stores are expected to spend around $50000. Successful ecommerce business owners with large inventory may have to spend in excess of $100000.

What happens to Magento 1 extensions?

Many of the popular Magento extensions that you may be currently using on your Magento 1 installation would be available for Magento 2. In case if the extension is unavailable, the extension specialists in a development team build them from the scratch to ensure any functionality isn’t missed out.

Will there be downtime during migration?

No, Magento 1 to Magento 2 migration doesn’t cause downtime.

Will my current hosting environment support Magento 2?

In most cases, yes. If your current server doesn’t have latest versions of PHP and MySQL, Magento professionals ensure that the stack is fully compatible for Magento 2 beforehand.

An experienced partner for your Magento 2.0 migration

Art-D developers have extensive Magento 2.0 experience with a broad range of e-commerce companies. Everything we’ve learned in building Magento sites goes into ensuring our clients — and their customers — enjoy a smooth transition to the latest, greatest version of Magento.

Talk to us today about migrating your e-commerce operations to the speed and power of Magento 2.0.

Top 100 Amazon searches 2018

Right away, you can see that searches for gadgets dominate this list—laptops, bluetooth speakers, smartwatches, SSDs, gaming controllers and so on.

#KeywordSearch Volume
1nintendo switch4,110,000
2fidget spinner3,290,000
7external hard drive1,550,000
8bluetooth headphones1,540,000
9instant pot1,540,000
12fire stick1,350,000
14micro sd card1,270,000
18toilet paper1,170,000
20wireless headphones1,080,000
21game of thrones1,080,000
22iphone 7 case1,070,000
25bluetooth speakers1,010,000
26essential oils960,000
27pop socket939,000
28air fryer937,000
29paper towels931,000
31iphone charger925,000
32water bottle918,000
33doctor who905,000
34xbox one902,000
35iphone 7 plus case896,000
38harry potter884,000
39coffee maker884,000
40hdmi cable867,000
43kindle fire847,000
44iphone x case846,000
45wireless mouse832,000
47iphone 6 case824,000
48iphone 6818,000
49iphone 7815,000
50gaming mouse812,000
51office chair807,000
52star wars806,000
53shower curtain800,000
54mouse pad789,000
55iphone 6s case779,000
56gift card775,000
58yoga mat769,000
59gaming chair767,000
60sd card759,000
64xbox one controller734,000
65apple watch729,000
66protein powder722,000
68solar eclipse glasses720,000
71eclipse glasses691,000
74iphone 8 plus case681,000
76playstation 4672,000
79dash cam667,000
80smart watch657,000
81fidget cube649,000
82vacuum cleaner647,000
84nerf guns643,000
85bluetooth earbuds640,000
86ps4 games640,000
88echo dot636,000
90gtx 1070623,000
91computer desk622,000
92ps4 controller621,000
94wireless earbuds614,000
95iphone 6s614,000
96snes classic613,000
97prime video612,000
98hard drive610,000
100gtx 1080606,000

So much so, that 53/100 of our top searches are (almost ⅔) are for gadgets.

That’s excluding searches for iPhone accessories too, of which there are many.

What’s the most popular iPhone accessory? Cases.

Here are the most popular iPhone case models and their search volumes:

#KeywordSearch Volume
1iphone 7 case1,070,000
2iphone 7 plus case896,000
3iphone x case846,000
4iphone 6 case824,000
5iphone 6s case779,000
6iphone 8 plus case681,000

(It looks like a lot of people are still rocking iPhone 6’s and 7’s.)

Speaking of iPhone accessories, there are 1.54M monthly searches for “Bluetooth headphones,” which makes it the 8th most popular product search on our list. That’s no doubt down to Apple (and other phone manufacturers) removing headphone jacks in recent years.SIDENOTE. There are a further 1.08M searches for “wireless headphones” and 640K for “Bluetooth earbuds.”.

Amazon also appears to be a popular place to purchase games consoles and games.

The Nintendo Switch tops the list with 4.1M monthly searches, followed by the PS4 with 1.57M, then the Xbox One with 902K, and finally the Snes Classic (ooh, retro!) with 613K.

Gaming mice and chairs are popular too with almost 1.58M combined monthly searches.

But what else is popular on Amazon besides gadgets and games?

Well, there are still a fair few searches for “books” (1.07M) which, of course, is what started this whole thing for Amazon back in the ’90s. But it looks as though most people prefer to do their reading on electronic devices these days as there are 1.51M searches for “kindle.”

The Kindle isn’t the only one of Amazon’s branded devices that’s popular either—their Fire Stick and Echo products get millions of combined monthly searches.

Other than that, there are many searches for everyday essentials and other “basic” items:

#KeywordSearch Volume
1toilet paper1,170,000
2paper towels931,000
3water bottle918,000
4shower curtain800,000

Oh, and one non‐physical product made it to the list too: “prime video” (612Kmonthly searches).

Is Amazon catching up with Netflix? Maybe.

Either way, one thing is for sure: Amazon is genuinely an everything store. It’s no longer just about books.

Now let’s see how the most popular Amazon searches in the US compare to the rest of the World.

Guest post resources

#Blog TitleDAContactCategory
2Tech Gadgets97SubmitTechnology
3The Guardian96SubmitEntertainment, finance, business, sports
4Mashable94SubmitSocial media, technology, business, entertainment
5Business Insider93ContributeNews, business, sports, etc
6Tech Crunch93SubmitTechnology, finance
7Politico Magazine93SubmitPolitics
8eLearn Magazine92SubmitEducation, reviews
9Moz91SubmitSEO, marketing, blogging
10Fast Company91SubmitBusiness, finance, technology
11Entrepreneur90ContributeMarketing, social media, business, finance, news
12Search Engine Land90SubmitSEO, marketing
13Inc Magazine90SubmitFinance
15Venture Beat89SubmitTechnology
16Smashing Magazine89SubmitWeb design
17A List Apart88SubmitWeb design, content
18Psychology Today88SubmitPsychology, self improvement
19Copyblogger87SubmitBlogging, marketing
20Read Write86SubmitTechnology
21Creative Bloq85SubmitBlogging, web design
22Health Line85SubmitFitness, health
24Social Media Examiner84SubmitSocial media
25Content Marketing Institute84SubmitContent marketing
26Site Point83SubmitWeb design, technology
27Kissmetrics82SubmitWeb Analytics, case studies, landing page optimization
28GetResponse82SubmitMarketing, productivity, platform, automation
29The Kitchen82SubmitFood
30Small Business Trends82SubmitBusiness
32Marketing Land81SubmitMarketing, SEO
33Life Hack81SubmitSelf improvement
34Open Democracy80SubmitPolitics
35Social Media Today79SubmitBusiness, social media, marketing
36Sonic Bids79SubmitMusic
37Web Designer Depot78SubmitWeb design
38CoSchedule77SubmitContent marketing, blogging, social media
40Benchmark77SubmitMarketing, social media, SEO
41Travel Blog77SubmitTravel
43OutBrain76SubmitBlogging, marketing
44Pole Position Marketing75SubmitDigital marketing, marketing, analytics, SEO, social media, web design
 45Convince & Convert75SubmitSocial media, online marketing
46Greatist75SubmitHealth, relationships
47Oil Price75SubmitFinance
48Hello BC75SubmitCamping
49Hongkiat74SubmitWeb design, technology
50Digital Photography School74SubmitPhotography
52Digital Inspiration73SubmitWeb design, blogging, technology
53Cafe Mom72SubmitFamily
54Daily Blog Tips72SubmitBlogging, marketing
55Above the law71SubmitLaw
56Hostel Bookers71SubmitTravel
57Go Abroad70SubmitTravel
58Get Rich Slowly70SubmitFinance
59Contact Music70SubmitMusic
60Thesitegirls69SubmitBlogging, social media
61Money Crashers69SubmitFinance
62One Green Planet65SubmitEnvironment
63Advanced Web Ranking64SubmitMarketing, SEO
64B2Bmarketing63SubmitBlogging, marketing
65Pick The Brain63SubmitSelf improvement
66The Blog Herald63SubmitMarketing, blogging
67Bigger Pockets63SubmitFinance
68Search Engine People62SubmitSEO, social media
69Design Shack62SubmitWeb design
70Money Saving Mom62SubmitFinance
71Post planner61SubmitSocial media
72Killer Startups61SubmitEntrepreneur
73Socialnomics60SubmitBusiness, social media
74The Bark60SubmitPets
75Instant Shift60SubmitWeb design
76Mailjet60SubmitEmail marketing
77Curbly59SubmitHome design
79TechWyse58SubmitSEO, social media, marketing
80Escape Artist57SubmitReal estate
81Travel Supermarket57SubmitTravel
82Shout Me Loud56SubmitSEO, marketing
83Inspiration Feed56SubmitWeb design, SEO, social media
84Modest Money54SubmitFinance
85Men With Pens53SubmitBusiness
87Kikolani53SubmitBlogging, marketing
88Addicted 2 Success52SubmitEntrepreneurship
90Brain Blog51SubmitHealth
91Marketing Tech News51SubmitMarketing
92Crazy Leaf Design51SubmitWeb design
93Sociable Blog51SubmitSocial media, marketing, growth hacking
95Craft Gossip51SubmitCraft
96Hinge Marketing51SubmitMarketing
97Incomediary51SubmitMake money online
98Inc 4250SubmitBlogging, marketing
99Love My Dress50SubmitWedding
100Viral Blog50SubmitSocial media, technology
101Video Brewery50SubmitVideo
102Traffic Generation Cafe49SubmitTraffic generation strategies
103Today’s Mama49SubmitFood, lifestyle
104Basic Blog Tips49SubmitBlogging
105Growmap48SubmitMarketing, SEO
Famous Bloggers48SubmitBlogging, social media, SEO
106Blog Engage48SubmitBlogging
108AppendTo47SubmitProgramming, education
 109Opportunities Planet47SubmitSEO, social media, blogging
110The Work at Home Woman47SubmitSocial media, blogging, business
112Fine Craft Guild45SubmitHome, craft
113Work in Sports45SubmitSports
114Global Grasshopper45SubmitTravel
115SEO Hacker44SubmitMarketing, SEO
116Smart Hustle44SubmitEntrepreneur
117PR Couture43SubmitFashion
118Mirasee42SubmitMarketing, business growths
119Off the Post42SubmitSports
120Birds on the Blog41SubmitBlogging
121Sports Networker41SubmitSports
122Beating Broke41SubmitFinance
123Money Mini Blog41SubmitFinance
124iBlogzone40SubmitSEO, marketing, blogging
125Brand Driven Digital40SubmitSocial media, marketing
126Making Different40SubmitBlogging, technology
127Hellbound Bloggers39SubmitBlogging, social media, technology
129Internet of Things News38SubmitTechnology
130Dealer Marketing37SubmitMarketing
132Lift for Life36SubmitFitness
133Six Suitcase Travel36SubmitTravel
134Sports Then & Now36SubmitSports
135Ms tech36SubmitTechnology
 136Be a Better Blogger36SubmitBlogging
137CollectiveRay36SubmitWeb Design
138In The Know35SubmitTravel
139We Are Holidays34SubmitTravel
140High Def Geek34SubmitTechnology
142The Finance Wand33SubmitFinance
144Vector Central32SubmitHome
145iTech Code32SubmitBlogging, SEO, social media
146Entrepreneurship Life31SubmitEntrepreneur
147Tech Patio31SubmitMarketing, SEO, technology
148One Fitness30SubmitFitness
149Hello Vancity30SubmitFashion
150Entrepreneur Mom Now30SubmitEntrepreneur
151TQS Magazine29SubmitFashion
152Lake View Studios26SubmitWeb design, online marketing
153Elise Dopson Blog27SubmitProductivity, Entrepreneurship, Marketing, Blogging
154Travel Tamed25SubmitTravel

So far, you might have selected a few sites from the above list to target, but make sure to visit the sites and check what type of posts they are accepting. If you think i have missed any relevant sites please let me know in the comments and I will update it.

What are Freight Classes?

Freight classes are designed to help you get common standardized freight pricing for your shipment when working with different carriers, warehouses and brokers.   Freight classes are defined by the National Motor Freight Traffic Association (NMFTA) and made available through the NMFC or National Motor Freight Classification.

Freight classes (there are 18 of them) are based on weight, length and height, density, ease of handling, value and liability from things like theft, damage, break-ability and spoilage. For the most part, the lower the NMFC class number, the lower the freight charge.  Part of FML’s job is to help you figure out your NMFC freight class, insuring the specialized code is correct. This insures that you get correct and consistent pricing for your freight.  The following table describes the NMFC classes and is meant for general guidance in picking your freight class, a number of factors influence what class your shipment ends up in.  You should contact FML Freight Representative to determine an accurate freight class.

Class NameCostNotes, ExamplesWeight Range Per Cubic Foot
Class 50 – Clean FreightLowest CostFits on standard shrink-wrapped 4X4 pallet, very durableover 50 lbs
Class 55Bricks, cement, mortar, hardwood flooring35-50 pounds
Class 60Car accessories & car parts30-35 pounds
Class 65Car accessories & car parts, bottled beverages, books in boxes22.5-30 pounds
Class 70Car accessories & car parts, food items, automobile engines15 to 22.5 pounds
Class 77.5Tires, bathroom fixtures13.5 to 15 pounds
Class 85Crated machinery, cast iron stoves12-13.5 pounds
Class 92.5Computers, monitors, refrigerators10.5-12 pounds
Class 100boat covers, car covers, canvas, wine cases, caskets9-10.5 pounds
Class 110cabinets, framed artwork, table saw8-9 pounds
Class 125Small Household appliances7-8 pounds
Class 150Auto sheet metal parts, bookcases,6-7 pounds
Class 175Clothing, couches stuffed furniture5-6 pounds
Class 200Auto sheet metal parts, aircraft parts, aluminum table, packaged mattresses,4-5 pounds
Class 250Bamboo furniture, mattress and box spring, plasma TV3-4 pounds
Class 300wood cabinets, tables, chairs setup, model boats2-3 pounds
Class 400Deer antlers1-2 pounds
Class 500 – Low Density or High ValueHighest CostBags of gold dust, ping pong ballsLess than 1 lbs.

Getting it wrong will cost you. If you incorrectly classify your item to be shipped it can be reclassified by the freight carrier. Disputing this is difficult, time consuming and you will be charged the difference (usually without a discount).


A Practical Example to Determine LTL Freight Class

To properly freight class a shipment of 1 pallet of plastic hose (BO528112035PSL), we need to know the pallet dimension and weight.  This product ships on a standard pallet that can be double stacked for shipment.  The dimensions are 48”Lx40”Wx45.5”H and the weight including pallet is 243.2 lbs.  Using the formula shown above (and repeated below with the numbers from our example) we derive a PCF of 4.8 PCF.  Therefore using the table above our freight would be NMFC class 51140-4 rated at class 150.

  • PCF calculation for a full pallet of 32 cartons of BO528112035PSL
    •  Length x width x height = cubic inches (48”x40”x45.5”=87,360 cubic inches)
    • Cubic inches/1728 = cubic feet   (87,360/1728 = 50.6 cubic feet)
    • Divide weight of the packing unit by the volume. (243.2 lbs /50.6  cubic feet = 4.8 pounds per cubic foot)

Again, it is VERY important as a shipper of freight you understand freight class. Getting it wrong will cost you. If you incorrectly classify your item to be shipped it can be reclassified by the freight carrier. Disputing this is difficult, time consuming and you will be charged the difference (usually without a discount).


Check out our WooCommerce plugins store

Google social

How to Add Social Media Links to Your Google Search Profile

Google recently published instructions for adding code to your nonprofit’s website so that your social media profiles will appear in your website’s Google Profile, like in the example below.

Currently, Google only supports these social profiles:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google+
  • Instagram
  • YouTube
  • LinkedIn
  • Myspace

To add your social media profiles to your website’s Google Profile, follow these simple steps:

  1. Make sure you have the ability to add script to your website’s backend. If you don’t, send these instructions to your website developer.
  2. Copy and paste the following code into a plain text document:
    <script type="application/ld+json">
    { "@context" : "",
      "@type" : "Organization",
      "name" : "Your Organization Name",
      "url" : "",
      "sameAs" : [ "",
  3. Add the name of your organization to the ”name” section of the script.
  4. Add your website to the “url” section of the script.
  5. Add your social media links to the ”sameAs” section of the script.
  6. Copy and paste your edited script into the head or body of your webpages. If you use WordPress, you should place this script where you place analytics or retargeting scripts.
  7. Troubleshoot your script with Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool.
social media

How can social media help your business?

People buy from people, not from websites. Shocker? Come on… you all know it’s true. But what does “people buy from people” really mean, and how can you take action now so that your business can benefit from it?

It’s all about getting your business out into the sphere of social media and then WORKING IT.

How social media affects your business is completely up to you. Regardless of whether you sell your products or services out of a storefront or online, you have the potential to build a strong social media presence that will help you grow and connect with your audience, convert more leads into actual customers, AND get those customers to refer their friends and colleagues to you. (In case you didn’t catch that, getting customers to refer business to you is like having people PAY YOU to market your business for you… pretty cool, right?!)

How does this happen? Well, social media is pretty cool in that it makes it possible for you to be everywhere. Peoples social networks are massive, and so for every one person you can connect with on social media, you’re opening a door to potentially connecting with their social network as well. It also provides you with a platform to build strong relationships with your audience and your current customers – relationships that can be very valuable.

Picture a virtual snowball – what I like to call the “social snowball”. You start a business, have a website up and running (your “hub” or homebase), and you’re ready to start getting the word out. You start a Facebook page and you tell five of your friends about it. They’re supportive and love what you’re doing, and so they go to your Facebook page and they “like” it.

Those five friends you told about your page have an average of 150 Facebook friends each (150 x 5 = 750 friends). Let’s say 5% of those 750 friends notice in their Newsfeed that their friend “liked” your page, and it’s now being recommended by Facebook that they like it, too – and they do. So, hypothetically, just by telling five of your friends about your Facebook page, you have about 40 “likes”.

See how fast word travels on social media, and why it’s important for you to get out there already? This example is just related to building your audience and getting page “likes”, but it also holds true for people referring their friends and colleagues to you for any number of things: products, services, etc.

Now that you know it’s important to get your social media presence rockin’ and rollin’, let’s take a look at how you can do this from the ground level up: from building your audience to connecting with and nurturing your audience.

Let’s break down each of these steps:

Step 1: start building (or enhancing) your audience

1. If you haven’t already, create a business page or profile on each of the main social media platforms:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • Google+
  • Pinterest

2. Think about how you want your business to be viewed on these sites. It’s important to know what message you’re sending and how you’re going to send it. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Who is your ideal audience? (Who are you trying to reach?)
  • What will your voice “sound like” across your social networks? (Will you be to-the-point, all business? or will you have some fun with your social media pages?)
  • What are your marketing goals on each platform? (i.e. Facebook: to attract more email subscribers; Twitter: to attract more followers; LinkedIn: to gain more authority in my niche; Google+: to drive more awareness.)

3. If you’ve already started building your social media presence, then try some different tactics to enhance it, like running a campaign on Facebook, (example: to get more page likes, or maybe to get more interactions). This will help increase the number of fans and followers you have, giving you a broader social media presence.

Step 2: start connecting and nurturing relationships

Now that you have fans and followers, think about how you can really engage and connect with them.

1. Be open

  • People want to get to know you, trust you: be transparent.
  • Care about your social networks, and they’ll care about you: don’t always post about you and your business – post about others and what they’re doing. What does your audience care about and what would be interesting to them?

2. Provide value

  • Create a give-away or offer a special. This will help attract more people to your business, plus, who doesn’t like give-aways and specials? If you’re an online business, offer a free eBook or webinar series to your audience and post about on your social media sites. If you’re a brick and mortar business, run a special: “stop in today to receive 10% when you mention this post!” This will not only provide value to your audience, it will also provoke action/engagement with your business on their part.

3. Don’t stop

  • The important thing to keep top-of-mind when you’re getting into social media is that it takes time, and you simply have to be consistent. Be sure you’re monitoring your pages and responding to inquires, messages and posts. If you want people to engage with you, then you have to engage with them, too!

Building a strong social presence and connecting with your audience on social media is time consuming and can be tough. These platforms are constantly changing, and so it’s not something you can just put up and expect it to run itself. Continue the conversation and you will continue to build relationships with your audience and your potential customers. If you take the time to nurture those relationships and provide value, then your business will benefit as a result.

Social networks are powerful, and in a world where people buy from people, the relationships you build online can mean everything for your business.

What’s one thing you’ve done on social media that has really helped your business?


salary canada

How much? A survey of salaries in 2002

It’s not something we talk about, except during job interviews or divorce proceedings. Very occasionally, we’ll lower our voices, scan the room and tell someone what we earn. But it would be far easier to confess anything else. In compiling R.O.B. Magazine’s first salary survey, covering 21 professions and a list of famous Canadians, we encountered a lot of reticence, along with the common request: “Please don’t use my name.” Some didn’t mind, like the painter, the rock singer and Cody Todd of the Vermilion Standard in Alberta, who averages $7 an hour for his job as a reporter, photographer, designer and PR person. “I’m a busy guy with little money,” he says. Here, a look at other busy people, up and down Canada’s pay ladder. Read more

link building

High PR websites

High PR websites for your link building submission Read more