Nigeria: Getting And Validating Your Taxpayer’s Identification Number (TIN)

nigerian_tax_payers_indentification_numberNigeria as a country and indeed all socially responsible and law abiding individuals, groups, organizations and corporate citizens will derive valuable benefits from imbibing a culture of tax compliance. The Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) is a unique number allocated and issued to identify a person (individual or Company) as a duly registered taxpayer in Nigeria. It is to be used by that taxpayer alone. Registration for tax purposes is a legal obligation of every person who is required to pay tax in Nigeria.

The following necessary details for obtaining and updating TIN should be presented to the tax office nearest to the address of the taxpayer.

OBTAINING TIN

For a Company, Enterprise or Business registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC):

1. Duly completed application form for TIN.
2. Either Certificate of Incorporation (for a company) or Business Name Registration Certificate (for an enterprise) showing clearly the registration number in each case.
3. Documents containing the following information:

•Address of company, enterprise or business
•Principal location of business
•Date of commencement of business

For an Individual who (or whose business) is not registered with the CAC:

1. Duly completed application form for TIN.
2. Any of the following valid identification documents:

•International passport
•National Identity Card
•Staff identity card
•National Driver’s License

The following rules are important:

•All information marked * on the application form must be provided
•(ii) The characters of the name i.e. letters and other symbols constituting the name must not exceed two hundred (200)
•The characters of the address also must not exceed two hundred (200)
•Email address must be unique and active
•Mobile telephone number must be eleven (11) digits e.g. (08763201210).

UPDATING TIN

Updating TIN under the ‘National Single Window’ System is a requirement for taxpayers with incomplete records at the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS).

TIN may be updated at the tax office where it was initially generated by providing the following additional information:

a)Email address
b)Phone number

After updating, the system indicates that “The TIN has been successfully updated”.

The Joint Tax Board TIN (JTB TIN)

It is important for a person to note the following information about the JTB TIN:

1) The JTB TIN is designed to subsequently replace the current TIN and is already in use within FIRS and several other states of Nigeria.

2) The JTB TIN has ten (10) digits, it is uniform and general across Nigeria. It is unique for every registered taxpayer in Nigeria and not limited to FIRS taxpayers alone.

3) The JTB TIN is presently being issued at the point of registration and also updated by FIRS and the states which have so far adopted it;

4) Every taxpayer in Nigeria will ultimately be required to possess and use only the JTB TIN.

VALIDATING TIN

TIN validation is the process of confirming that the updated TIN meets the necessary conditions for transacting business with other organisations such as Nigerian Customs Service (NCS), Central Bank of Nigeria, National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, etc.

A taxpayer can validate his/her TIN directly on the FIRS Trade Portal i.e. www.trade.gov.ng/firs by following the simple procedure below:

i. Enter the TIN and the same email address that was provided to the tax office when updating.

ii. Next, enter the security word (captcha) and click on “Validate”.

iii. If the validation is successful, the following confirmation notice shall be displayed:
“Register with NCS – Done”.

iv. Then an automatic email notification from “Nigeria Single Window” with a log-in password and instruction on how to complete the registration process would be sent to the taxpayer’s email address.

v. Upon completing the validation exercise, an email will automatically be sent to the email address provided confirming successful validation. A taxpayer should therefore check the email.

AUTHENTICATING TIN

This is for the taxpayer to re-confirm his/her updated and validated TIN. A taxpayer experiencing difficulty in validating TIN (receiving error messages) should seek professional assistance from the tax office or send an email to: tinupdate@firs.gov.ng

TAX BENEFITS

The benefits derivable include but are not limited to:

* Providing sustainable finance and funding for governance, public and social services and economic development.

* Promoting civic responsibility, patriotism by citizens and social responsibility by corporate citizens.

* Stimulating priority social and economic activities and sectors while discouraging less preferred ones.

* Bringing about the redistribution of wealth and bridging sharp disparities in living standards.

* Giving taxpayers the moral and legal right to demand for (thereby engendering) a culture of accountability.

* Serving as a gauge for measuring the level, growth and health of economic units and economic activities.

* Individuals and corporate organizations are conferred with definite benefits, rights and privileges in the system based on their tax compliance status.

* Tax compliance enables law abiding citizens to avoid the consequences, penalties and sanctions of non-compliance.

TAX TYPES

For ease of reference this item will address the enabling legislation, the taxpayer, how to pay the tax and where to pay the tax.

The taxes collected by the Federal Inland Revenue are as follows:

COMPANIES INCOME TAX (CIT).

Applicable tax law- Companies Income Tax Act. Persons subject to the Companies Income Tax:

* All companies incorporated in Nigeria with the exception of companies engaged in petroleum operations.
* All non-resident (foreign) companies that earn or derive income from Nigeria.
* All organizations limited by guarantee (institutions of public character or charitable organizations) engaged in profit.
making activities other than the promotion of their primary objects.
* The liquidator, receiver, or agent of liquidator or receiver of any taxable company or organization.

Where to pay the Companies Income Tax:

Companies incorporated in Nigeria and organizations limited by guarantee pay Companies Income Tax through any of the designated banks. Once payment has been captured by the bank collecting system, an e-ticket is issued is issued the company, this e-ticket is proof of payment and when presented at the Integrated Tax Office with jurisdiction an e-receipt will be issued.

Non-resident companies make payment through remittance of tax deducted at source to the designated banks.

How to pay the Companies Income Tax

Resident companies and organizations prepare and submit annual self-assessment tax returns as specified by FIRS accompanied by the evidence of the payment of the full amount or first installment of the tax due. Payment is made to designated banks

Non-resident companies are subject to Withholding Tax (WHT) deductions on the income they earn from Nigeria. This becomes their tax upon filing returns

* PETROLEUM PROFITS TAX (PPT)

* VALUE ADDED TAX (VAT)

* PERSONAL INCOME TAX (PIT)

* WITHHOLDING TAX (WHT)

* EDUCATION TAX (EDT)

* STAMP DUTIES (STD)

* CAPITAL GAINS TAX (CGT)

* NATIONAL INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT FUND (NITDF) LEVY.

Twitter to extend the 140 character limit on DM this July

twitter-dm-limitThe social media giant seem to be introducing new features lately. Few months back, they introduced a new feature who allows you see how many people viewed your tweet. Apparently, that helps you in tracking which of your tweets perform better and got viewed by more people alongside number of shares.

Twitter says it will extend the character limit on Direct Messages (DM) to more than 140 characters on July 15, 2015. This was announced via the twitter community developers page. It’s not yet clear how many characters it will be extended to but let’s just keep our fingers crossed.

Please note, this change will only affect DMs on Twitter while tweets still remains at 140 characters. We are hoping something better comes in that regards too.

Twitter is really getting to implement the fact that we need more than 140 words to express a little of our mind and that sounds pretty cool and encouraging.

Following this development, developers are urged to update their apps with the new APIs, Update their GET requests so they will be able to receive the full length of DM text and also adjust their app UI to accommodate longer DM text so that the new feature can work as expected on every platform.

Easily download Facebook videos on your PC, Laptop or Mobile Phone

how-to-download-facebook-videosFacebook is still undeniably the most engaged social network in this present era. Considering the fact that thousands of people sign up for an account on fb daily, people tend to use the social network as a fast means to share Information, pictures, videos, music and more.

If using a computer, there are some extensions you could use in downloading videos directly on Facebook. Some software programs like IDM even work for this but then, since am not the type who enjoys installing different programs on my laptop for some simple task, I’d rather choose the manual and easiest method to downloading a video uploaded on Facebook since the process is possible.

Steps To Downloading Facebook Videos Using Computer Via Mobile version

Let’s use a computer here. Hence, access the Facebook video using a computer

When you are on the fb video you’ve like to download, instead of clicking directly on the video, right click on it and Click on ‘Open link in new tab‘.

As directed, the link will be opened in a new tab. Navigate to the address bar and change the www to m. For example, change https://www.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=592047845207303&id=123456441872392&_rdr to https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=592047845207303&id=123456441872392&_rdr

Changing the www to m will allow the page to display the mobile version of Facebook for that page. Now right click on the video thumbnail and click on ‘save link as…‘

Depending on your browser settings, You should probably get a prompt to download the video to a folder or the download commences automatically. Choose to download and you have successfully downloaded the Facebook video.

How to Use Social Media for Online Advocacy

anthonia_orji_socialmedia_advocateTalk to others about what they’re doing, and see how your efforts can fit into or shape what’s already happening. Social media is a conversation, not a monologue.

Creating Social Media Strategy

The first step in utilizing social media is to create a strategy. Creating a strategy includes:

  1. Setting your objectives. Is your goal narrow (publicizing an event) or broad (building and engaging with a community or coalition)?
  2. Identifying the audience you would like to reach. Are you primarily communicating with people who are already familiar with you and your work, such as your members and volunteers? Or are you reaching out to women you’ve identified as potential members and supporters?
  3. electing the social media platforms you plan to focus on. This decision should be guided by your objectives and intended audience. The most well-known and easy-to-use are Facebook and Twitter, so if you only plan to utilize one or two platforms, we recommend focusing on those.
  4. Gathering resources and materials to share through social media.
  5. Appointing someone or a team of people to manage your social media presence. Although there are no prerequisites for using social media, individuals with backgrounds in communications, marketing, or public relations can be great assets. You’ll also want to select someone who is comfortable and familiar with technology.

 

Below are some tips for using Facebook and Twitter for advocacy, followed by some general principles for using any social media site:
Facebook

  • Keep Facebook posts short and conversational, and include an image whenever possible.
  • The most effective way to utilize your Facebook account is to post regularly. A general rule to follow could be to post at least one Facebook post a day, but the more you engage your audience, the better off you will be.
  • Ask people to share your content through Facebook. Make sure the content is branded with a logo so that we are credited when it is shared.
  • Include links on Facebook to direct people back to the state and national  websites.
  • Share content from the Facebook page and  Action Fund Facebook page.
  • You can easily create events on your Facebook page and invite your Facebook friends, who can then invite their friends, and so on. Consider creating a Facebook event to advertise events such as your branch meetings, rallies, and lobby days.

Twitter

  • Share links to press releases, images from events, and other information in 140 characters or less.
  • Tweet directly to members of the media and bloggers to encourage them to cover your efforts.
  • Tweet directly to local organizations that you want to partner with in your efforts or that might be able to help you spread the word.
  • Tweet directly to members of Congress with the action you want them to take.
  • Use hashtags, such as #Business #Quotes etc., related to what you are trying to publicize.
  • Include links to your positions on priority issues and to your state website.

General Principles for Using Social Media

  • Be genuine: Let your personality show, use humor, and be transparent about who is posting content. Try not to simply broadcast; rather, when possible, speak as an individual, to individuals. This will help grant you credibility as a trusted source.
  • Stay focused:  The people and organizations that follow you on social media have certain expectations about the type of content you post and the way in which you engage with them. If you stray too far from your objectives, you will lose the trust and attention of your community.
  • Be reliable: Share quality content from trusted sources, and avoid amplifying erroneous messages from unreliable sources. Reliability also means posting to your social media services regularly. Frequently sharing reliable, meaningful content helps establish you as an important source of information and ideas for your community.
  • Get social: Above all else, social media is about conversation. Share and comment on other people’s or organizations’ posts to start new conversations, and join in the conversations that are occurring on your social media pages. The more you engage with your followers, the more they will understand that your priorities are their priorities too.

Key Points

  • Social media is a conversation, not a monologue.
  • Create a strategy for using social media as part of your advocacy efforts.
  • The most effective way to utilize your social media accounts is to post regularly.
  • Be genuine. Let the personality of show when posting something on social media.

Nigeria: 5 Things To Know About INEC’s Smart Card Reader

imageThe smart card readers that would be used in the general election had been configured for specific polling units, a strategy it had adopted to guard against attempts by individuals to rig the election.

The smart card readers would confirm the authentic owners of voter cards and the commission would ensure that voters were adequately enlightened on how to vote. The card readers would be deployed to each polling units to authenticate voter’s card before any voter is allowed to vote by verifying by thumbprint and picture on the card.

The smart card has certain features and benefits that will deter another person from using somebody else’s card.

  • When you insert your card, it will authenticate to be sure it is an INEC’s card and whether the owner of the card is the person bearing it.
  • The individual will put his thumb on the smart card reader and it will bring out the individual’s features.
  • The card reader is configured to be used in one particular polling unit. It cannot be used in two places.

image

Here are 5 things you probably didn’t know about the Smart Card Readers (SCR’s) that INEC will be deploying that day:

1.  The card readers make use of sim cards and have built in memories.

2. They are deliberately programmed to work between time frames and would not work after that set time.

3. The card readers are pre-configured by INEC staff for polling units before polling officials arrive.

4. Accreditation lasts only 5 hours but card readers are designed to last for 12 hours if the battery is fully charged.

5. Smart card reader send data of people accredited to INEC’s central server ahead of counting of the ballot papers.

The card reader, which is newly introduced, will also assist INEC to authenticate the finger print on the voter card among other information to curb rigging and manipulation in the election.

For more information, please visit www.inecnigeria.org

 

Nigeria: How to check your voting status and Permanent Voters Card #PVC Pickup Locations

INEC-PVC-Vote-STATUS

How to find out if you are eligible to vote in 2015 elections. INEC has decentralized PVC pickups. Now you can pickup your PVC at your ward. Use the form below to find where you can pickup your PVC. Pickups for Ekiti & Osun state remain at their respective LGAs. To check the location of your Local Government Secretariat where you can pick up your Permanent Voters Card, click here.

Check your status

Before you go to your local polling unit to get your Permanent Voters Card know your status. This will give you information on the right steps to take to ensure you are included in the 2015 electoral process.

SMS

Send an SMS to 08171646879 in this format – INEC, Name of State, Surname, last five digits of your Voters Identification Number on the Temporary Voters Card, e.g. “INEC, Ogun, Kayode, 06782”. You should receive a response within 15 minutes.

OR

Send an SMS to 08171646879 in this format – Name of State, Surname, last five digits of your Voters Identification Number on the Temporary Voters Card, e.g. “Ogun, Kayode, 06782”. You should receive a response within 15 minutes.

Voters Identification Number can be found on the top hand right hand of the Temporary Voters Card

If your status is OKAY go and pick up your Permanent Voters Card at your Local Government Secretariat before January 31st, 2015

To check the location of your Local Government Secretariat where you can pick up your Permanent Voters Card, click here.

Online

Find out your status of your registration at http://voters.inecnigeria.org

If your status is OKAY go and pick up your Permanent Voters Card at your Local Government Secretariat before January 31st, 2015

To check the location of your Local Government Secretariat where you can pick up your Permanent Voters Card, click here.

If your Temporary Voters Card is lost or damaged, take a photo ID and a passport photograph to the same polling unit where you registered/voted in 2011. Your Permanent Voters Card should be printed and ready for pick up.

Lost/Damaged Voter Card

How you can still pickup your permanent voters card.

If your Permanent Voters Card is not printed this means you are not registered.

Go to www.eie.ng to see the dates for registration (CVR) in your state and the location of your local Polling Unit where you can register and pick up your Permanent Voters Card.

To find the location of your Local Polling Unit where you can pick up your Permanent Voters Card click here

 

Moved Locations

How to transfer your registration

Have you moved locations since the 2011 election? Here’s how you can transfer your existing registration to your current area.

Before doing anything do not forget to check your status. This will give you the most accurate information on your voting status and save you time at your local INEC office or polling unit.

  1. Write a letter to INEC’s Resident Electoral Commissioner of the State where you currently reside.
  2. Attach your voter’s card to the letter
  3. Take the letter to the INEC office in your current Local Government Area
  4. This needs to happen no later than 30 days before the date of an election in your constituency
  5. Your application will be transferred to the Resident Electoral Commissioner, who will direct the Electoral Officer of the applicants Local Government Area who will action your query.
  6. The Electoral Officer will assign you to a polling unit in your constituency and issue you with a new voters card.

Do you have any question? 0709-811-7563

 

INEC Nigeria: Voters Education, What You Need To Know

Voters_education1

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) was established by the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to among other things organize elections into various political offices in the country.

Steps On How To Vote

VOTING
• Voting will take place on a date to be determined by the INEC.

ACCREDITATION
• Polling units will be open from 8 am.
• Polling units will open at 8 am for Accreditation and close at 12 noon.
• Voting starts 12:30 pm.
• You must vote in the same Polling Unit you completed your Voter Registration.

THE VOTER- WHO IS HE/SHE?
• S/He is a Nigerian citizen.
• S/He is 18 years and above.
• S/He has registered in the constituency where he intends to vote.
• S/He possesses a registration card obtained during voters’ registration.

HOW VOTER CAN VERIFY REGISTRATION
• A voter is expected to check the register of voters to ascertain that his name is included.
• That his name was correctly spelt and written.
• This is done when the register is displayed for inspection.

PERSONS WHO CANNOT VOTE
• The following persons cannot vote at election.
• All persons below the age of 18 years.
• All non-Nigerians.
• All persons who did not register as voters.
• All persons who do not hold a voter registration card.
• All persons whose names are not in the voters register.

WHERE TO VOTE
• Voting takes place at polling stations/units.
• A voter is expected to cast his vote at the polling unit where his name is on the voter  register.
• A voter is expected to identfy his polling station where his name is on the voter register.
• A polling unit nearest to the residence of the voter.

HOW TO VOTE:
• Voting will be by Open Secret Ballot System.
• Your vote is secret because no one will see which candidate you choose.
• You will mark your ballot behind a polling screen secretly.
• Apply your finger print only in one circle/space which corresponds to the candidate of your choice.

PROCEDURE: PREPARING FOR VOTING:
• The Presiding Officer (PO) shall:
• Explain the voting procedure to the voters.
• Invite all voters accreditated to form a single queue.
• Where culture does not allow men and women to mingle in a queue, separate queues are created for men and women.
• The PO shall count loudly the number of accredited voters in the queue, and record the number.

COMMENCEMENT OF VOTING:
• At the commencement of voting, the PO shall:
• Invite the voters on queue to approach the poll clerk (PC) in an orderly manner.
• On presentation of voter’s card, the PC shall:
• Check appropriate cuticle thumbnail of voter and when he is satisfied that the person has been duly accredited.
• Tick the voters’ register on the right hand side of voter’s name.
• Indicating that he has voted.
• Apply indelible ink on the cuticle of the voter’s appropriate thumbnail.
• The Poll Assistant (PA) shall apply ink to the next finger of the respective hand
• Voters who have no Right/Left hand, the PA shall:
• Apply the ink to the corresponding toes of the voter’s Right/Left foot.
• Voters have neither fingers nor toes:
• Ink shall be applied on the corresponding toes of the persons assisting them.

ISSUANCE OF BALLOT PAPER AND VOTING:
• The voter shall present himself to the Polling official (PO).
• The PO  shall stamp and sign the back of ballot paper.
• Fold the ballot paper vertically with the printed side inwards.
• Issue the signed, stamped ballot paper to the voter.
• The voter moves to the voting cuticle.
• Mark the ballot paper in the space provided beside the party logo of the voters’ choice
• Fold the ballot paper.
• Deposit the marked ballot paper into the ballot box.
• Marking of ballot paper by voter must be done in secret.
• Depositing the ballot paper in the ballot box in open view of all persons present.
• Only one voter at a time to the voting cubicle.

OFFENCES ON ELECTION DAY:
PART VIII SC. 129 (1) states that:
1. No person shall on the date an election is held do any of the following acts or things in a polling unit or within a distance of 300 metres of a polling unit-
(a) Canvass for votes;
(b) Solicit for the vote of any voter
(c) Persuade any voter not to vote for any particular candidate;
(d) Persuade any voter not to vote at any election;
(e) Shout slogans concerning the election;
(f) Be in possession of any offensive weapon or wear any dress or have any facial or other decoration which in any event is calculated to intimidate voters;
(g) Exhibit, wear or tender any notice, symbol photograph or party card referring to the election;
(h) Use any vehicle bearing the colour or symbol of a political party by any means whatever;
(i) Loiter without lawful excuse after voting or after being refused to vote;
(j) Snatch or destroy any election materials; and
(k) Blare siren
“Any person who contravens any of the provisions of this section commits an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a fine of N100,000 or imprisonment for 6 months for every such offence”.

Guidelines for Transfer of Registered Voters

A Nigerian has the right to live in any part of the country. An important part of voter registration is that an eligible person is advised to register at a centre nearest to him or her within the Ward  in which he or she resides. This is to make it easy for the voter to access the polling unit and vote on election day.

However, a person who relocated to another place, outside the constituency in which he registered cannot vote in his new location unless he transfers his registration. Section 13 of the Electoral Act 2010 as Amended provides for Transfer of Registered Voters.

Procedure for Transfer:

Step 1- The person who intends to transfer his registration will write an application to  INEC’s Resident Electoral Commissioner of the State  where he is currently residing.

Step 2- The applicant will attach his voters card to the application.

Step 3- The applicant must apply to the Resident Electoral Commissioner not later than 30 days before the date of an election in the constituency where he is residing.

Step 4- The Resident Electoral Commissioner will direct the Electoral Officer of the applicants Local Government Area to enter his name  in the transferred voters list.

Step 5- The Electoral Officer will assign the applicant to a polling unit in his constituency.

Step 6- The Electoral Officer will issue the applicant with a new voters card

Step 7- The Electoral officer will retrieve the applicants previous voters card.

Step 8- He will then send a copy of the entry to the Electoral officer of the constituency where the person whose name has been so entered was originally registered.

Step 9- Upon receipt of this entry, that Electoral Officer shall delete the name from his voters list.

Note- Apart from  State Headquarters Offices of INEC, applicants can also submit their applications at the INEC Office in their Local Government Areas. The applications will be forwarded to the Resident Electoral Commissioner for necessary action.

Replacement of lost or Damaged Voters Cards

A valid voters register with each voter having a voters card is a must to ensure that elections are free and fair.A person must possess a voters card in order to be accredited and allowed to vote during an election. The card identifies the voter. Thus the voters name can be checked easily by the Presiding Officer or his Assistant.

It is therefore important that a person keeps his voters card safely, to prevent loss or damage.

However, if a person losses his card or if it is damaged, the Independent National Electoral Commission can replace them.

The procedure for replacement of lost or damaged voters cards is as follows:-

  •  The voter shall apply in person to the Electoral Officer or any other officer duly authorized for that purpose by the Resident Electoral Commissioner.
  •  The application shall be at least 30 days before an election
  •  The applicant shall state the circumstances of the loss or damage
  •  The, he shall be issued with another copy of his original voters card.
  •   The word “DUPLICATE” will be marked or printed on it clearly.
  •  The date of issue will also be printed on the new  voters card.

Election Offenses and Penalties

  • Election is a process in which people vote to choose a person or group of people to hold an official position.
  • Election offence is a crime that breaks electoral laws and requires a particular punishment.
  • Penalty is a punishment that is given to someone for doing something which is against a law or rule.
  • Every registrant with a valid voter’s card is eligible to vote.
  • However, there are rules guiding the electoral process and anyone who violates these rules is liable on conviction to be penalized. For a full listing of penalty please click here >> ELECTION OFFENCES AND PENALTIES

INEC Citizens Contact Center (ICCC)

The INEC Citizens Contact Centre (ICCC) is a Situation Room that operates daily. For now, it will open between 9am and 5pm. Later on, the Centre will scale up to round-the-clock (i.e. 24-hour) service.

The Centre can be accessed through telephone lines, Facebook, Twitter and INEC’s website.

INEC HOTLINES

GLO: 09050858629, 09050858675, 09050858649

ETISALAT:  08180958715, 08180958717, 08180958709

AIRTEL:  09025038466, 07086945927, 08120183063

MTN: 07062896047, 08105119010, 08146697603

TWITTER: @InecNigeria

FACEBOOKwww.facebook.com/InecNigeria

WEBSTE: www.inecnigeria.org

 

10 Blogging Tips for Starters

Anthonia_Bloggers_TipsWhether you are just getting a blog started, or you have finally realized that content marketing is critical to your business’s success and you are recommitting to it, I’ve compiled 10 tips for new bloggers or those fairly new to social media marketing, that will help you get it on the right track.

1. Write about what you know and love.

When you write out of a place of passion, instead of a place of obligation, your readers will know it, connect with it and love you for it.

2. Write as if you are writing a letter to a friend.

As you sit to write your blog posts, imagine a friend or potential customer sitting across from you, asking for help with a specific business challenge. Now begin writing to them with the helpful answers they need.

3. Always end with a call to action.

You may feel that your goal is to simply educate or inform your readers, but you have to present a “Next Step” or offer a way for your readers to get more information from you. Asking your readers to contact you, like your page or to follow you on Twitter is a call to action. Don’t let the end of your blog post be the end of your relationship with your readers.

4. Write 500-1500 word posts or more.

If your posts are too short they may not be indexed by Google. Study or get more content that you can link to your post. You can find any supporting data or perhaps a post that shares an opposing view. This could help you elaborate more on your topic. Be sure you are providing enough value for people to want to come back and read more next time.

5. Be consistent.

If you want to grow your readership and community of followers, you need to blog on a consistent basis. Blogs that posted regularly get increase subscribers twice as fast as those that posted twice or once a month. You will need to change your daily routine and behaviors in order to make time for daily writing.

6. Be patient when starting your blog.

Blogging is a commitment and it takes time to build a readership and work out the tone and direction of a great blog. There is a lot that goes into the building and nurturing of a blog. Whether it is learning to tag your posts and photos, discovering all the places you can promote your posts, or inviting influencer friends to comment on a post that they may be passionate about, and you may not have it all ironed out when you first start blogging. Be patient and over time your blog will begin to shine!

7. Build your email list.

You may not have a newsletter or an email campaign YET, but as you build your blogging readership and your social media communities, you will want to have your list established to use at some point. One of the most common regrets I hear from business owners and marketers is that they didn’t start building their email list when they first began. If you don’t have an email service, go to MailChimp or Constant Contact and sign up right now or right after you finish reading this post.

8. Write Great Titles.

You want your blog post to be opened and a good title helps that happen, but you don’t want to be so clever that you get the wrong audience finding the post and leaving as soon as they realize it wasn’t what they thought. It’s not always possible without sounding like an obvious marketer, but where you can, use verbs–more action–less nouns.

9. Put your keywords in the first 100 words.

Google and other search engines scan your content to see if it is relevant to those searching for answers. After writing your post, go back in and see if there is a natural way to work in your keywords and still sound conversational.

10. Make your post Referrable.

Sometimes we are so eager to get a post out, that we jeopardize the quality. Think of the posts that you love to share with your friends and followers. What makes them shareable? Great quality, helpful tips, timeless information? Keep that in mind as you write your posts.

How to Increase Your Website Traffic To Make Profit

Web TrafficWe all need web traffic to make profit in our business.  The trouble is, we often get stuck running the paces on the same old traffic strategies again. It’s good to think creatively and get outside your own box time to time, so here’s a quick list of 9 ways to get more website traffic. You can use all the methods below to run your website successfully.

1. Add your website to your email signature.

This one is surprisingly missed by a lot of people. You might be sending out dozens, even hundreds of emails every day. Just imagine how many people read your emails and could potentially click through to view your website, some special offer, etc.

2. Promote your blog on social media.

Today, this is one of the fastest ways to get more website traffic. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Google Plus are all brimming with opportunities. This is where the vast majority of people spend their time online. Go scoop up some of that action!

3. Invest time in your SEO strategy.

SEO is still alive and well. The stakes are higher and the name of the game today is quality, not quantity. Spend time each month improving your SEO performance, tracking your rankings, and growing your natural search engine traffic.

4. Drive traffic to your site from YouTube.

Every YouTube video you create and upload represents a long-term video marketing presence that can last for years to come. Include a link to your website in the video description and/or in the video itself to drive more people away from YouTube and over to your site itself.

5. Do more email marketing.

Building a list of contacts? You should be. And you should be sending them email messages periodically driving them back to some page on your website — even if only to share your blog posts and other valuable content.

6. Blog frequently.

Speaking of blog posts, blogging is the most important long-term traffic builder. Blogging frequently (several times per week at least) is still hands-down the best way to create more traction in search engines and more buzz on social media websites. Just do it!

7. Send out direct mail postcards and sales letters.

Have you experimented with offline-to-online marketing strategies yet? This is an excellent way to boost up your online engagement. Today’s physical postal mailbox is a ghost-town compared to the email inbox. That means fewer competitors and more opportunities for you.

8. Build guest blogging relationships.

Guest Blogging is an excellent way to build your influence, authority, and credibility. It’s also a great way to drive consistent streams of traffic back to your own website.

9. Pay for clicks.

Last but certainly not least, you can always pay for clicks using tools like Google Adwords. There is a bit of a learning curve if you expect to get a reasonable return on your investment, but it’s time and money well spent if you do it right.

What other strategies do you have for getting more website traffic? Leave your comment below.

4 Ways to Optimize your YouTube Videos for more Views

youtube-optimization-onlineIn this post I want to focus on YouTube because I think it is a better choice for organic views than Vimeo. And while it is a social network in itself, it is also a search engine. A search engine owned by Google and that will always be important.

The type of content you create is obviously the most important part of getting found on YouTube by the right people. With over a billion people frequenting YouTube each month, it makes sense to make sure you have a strong strategy in place to take advantage of that activity.

1. You Need A Descriptive Title
YouTube is a search engine. You need to have the right title to get found for the right things. The title is the most important thing to consider. They should include keywords that you want to get found on their own and that relate to other titles that you want to be shown with.  The title should also be strong enough to encourage people to actually click play.

2. You Must Include Keyword Focused Description
This is your opportunity to include keywords and text to help you get found on Google and YouTube. Some people translate their whole video into text for extra emphasis and more keywords. You can do this too. But the most important thing is to add a keyword focused description that allows people to take a quick glance and want to watch more.

3. Don’t Forget Appropriate Tags
Tags like on blogs help you get your content in the right area of YouTube. You need to choose the right ones. I’d be creative here. Choose long tail and short tail keywords as tags so that you can hedge your bet that you will get found for something someone is searching for. Obviously it needs to be relevant to the searcher. If you get too many thumbs downs on videos your video will get buried. The same goes for the category. Make sure you choose the right category or you may be stuck in no man’s land.

4. Never Overlook Links
This is something that too many people forget. You need to have a link back to your site in the first sentence of the description. You want to make it as easy for someone to head on over to your full site to learn more