Day: February 8, 2021
Time magazine reports there was ‘practically a revolution’ in America’s voting process in 2020. Was it good for the country—or just for Biden?
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I am part of that nearly 40%. WordPress is my go-to for managing my NeilPatel.com blog as well as my other websites.
However, several other options are growing in popularity that prove to be worthy opponents for WordPress. One such competitor is Squarespace. This beginner-friendly content management system is a favorite amongst many, but how does it hold up against the trusted WordPress?
I’ve been building websites for years, so I have gathered knowledge and experience in both WordPress and Squarespace.
If you’re looking to build a new website and are not sure which platform is best, check out my comparison of WordPress vs. Squarespace.
WordPress or Squarespace: Which is Better?
WordPress is best for customization. With this platform, the options seem unlimited. WordPress offers thousands of templates that serve as a starting point for your website. These templates can be greatly modified to best fit your needs. WordPress also offers tens of thousands of plugins to add to your site to further improve its design and function.
Squarespace is best for beginners. The steps to creating a website on this platform are simple and easy for people just starting out. Squarespace does not require signing up for hosting or purchasing a domain separately, and the templates give you options for customization that don’t feel overwhelming.
A Review of The Best Website Builders
We reviewed dozens of website builders and narrowed them down to the four best options. Check out our top picks and get the information you need to pick the best builder for you.
With my years of experience building websites, I have done extensive research on which ones work best in specific situations and specific people. My list of top picks reflects this work and the ones that shine the brightest for those looking to build a website.
Though Squarespace did not make the Best Website Builders list, it is still very popular and, as you’ll see in this review, has some great qualities. WordPress made our top list for several different reasons that we cover in the article, including its thousands of template options, the plethora of extensions/plugins, the amount of control you have over your website, and more.
With the right website builder, it won’t take a great deal of technical experience to get a website up and running that looks professional and has excellent functionality.
WordPress is the chosen winner. This website builder offers several different benefits that other platforms do not.
Control: WordPress allows for a great deal of control over how your website looks and works. With thousands of different templates to choose from, you have more options than necessary to get your website’s basic outline up and running. Add to that the tens of thousands of plugins available, and you can personalize your WordPress website in nearly every way imaginable.
Templates: While Squarespace offers templates, WordPress offers many more. On top of that, WordPress templates are easier for the average person to personalize even more. Many websites use WordPress templates without anyone ever knowing.
Added Functionality. WordPress is known for its plugins. Need something on your website? It’s almost a guarantee that there is a plugin for that. WordPress currently offers nearly 60,000 different plugins, some of which are free. Plugins have the power to do a variety of things, including help you with your website’s SEO, set up a contact form, track your site’s analytics, and much more.
Built-In Blog. WordPress was created as software for content management, so all of its sites have a built-in blog feature that makes adding a blog to your website easy. There is no need to create a separate blog for your WordPress site. Simply add blog content to your existing website to share information and updates with your readers.
Community Support. WordPress is open-source and free, so people who contribute to the platform have built a great community to support each other. Though WordPress itself doesn’t offer a great deal of online or phone support, the forums created by the community of users has answers to all kinds of WordPress questions.
There are also events called WordCamps that exist all over the world put on by WordPress to help people learn how to better use and develop the platform. Ticket prices are affordable and open to all WordPress users, developers, designers, and fans.
Cost. Because WordPress is open-source, it is free to download. Templates and plugins are not always free, but the ability to download and use the platform is. Hosting as well is something that does not come free, but that is typically done through an external site such as Bluehost.
Easy to Manage. While many companies offer expensive packages to manage WordPress sites, it can be done easily on your own. Updating plugins is a regular occurrence but requires minimal effort. And you get reminders when updates are available. Management also includes ensuring backups are in place (which happens through plugins or your hosting plan).
SEO Help. Since SEO is a must for your website, it’s great to have tools to help you get there. WordPress has SEO built into it via its automatic generation of both meta descriptions and title tags. The popular Yoast SEO plugin on WordPress is free and a must-have tool for your website.
Every page and blog post you create can utilize SEO to boost it and let search engines know what you’re doing. Yoast SEO has you do things such as:
● Create a focus keyphrase
● Write a more detailed meta description
● Create an SEO title
● Create a slug
Yoast also features a readability analysis area where it determines how easily people will be able to read your content and provide suggestions on making it better.
Steep Learning Curve. WordPress is not an intuitive platform. There is information to help you learn it, but you have to be willing to put in the time to do so. The layout of the dashboard is something that takes getting used to and learning how to navigate the editing. Since templates on WordPress are created by users, they work differently, and that means adjusting each time you use a new template.
Lack of Hosting. To run your WordPress site, you need to purchase hosting through a third-party such as Bluehost. This adds an extra step to the building of your website and is a step that can be confusing to people new to website building.
Speed Issues. Some of the WordPress themes are built with a lot of code, which can cause the load time of the site to slow down. If you are new to WordPress, you likely won’t know that some of the code is unnecessary and can be erased. Ridding of the excess code helps speed the site up but shouldn’t be done unless you know what you’re doing.
Hidden Costs. Though the platform itself is free, a WordPress website’s functionality and success depend on customizable themes and plugins. And most of these come at a price. Though it may not seem like much at first, each new paid plugin adds to the site’s overall cost.
Site Vulnerability. Because WordPress is open-source, it is at higher risk for hackers. It is also the most widely-used content management system, so the volume of hackers increases with the platform’s increased use. WordPress plugins are also developed by different people not affiliated with the WordPress company itself, so it is possible that bad code could get into your site.
Though not as strong of a contender as WordPress, Squarespace does still offer some great things.
Ease of Use. It doesn’t get more straightforward than drag-and-drop, and Squarespace allows you to do just that. Squarespace templates are ready for you to use with little to no previous experience and almost no learning curve.
Simple Editing. Changing your Squarespace website is a zero-stress task thanks to its user-friendly backend. It does not require knowledge of web design or development.
Marketing Tools Included. While you have to pay for and individually download and install every plugin with WordPress, the marketing tools you need are included with Squarespace. This means things such as analytics, contact forms, SEO, and more.
All-in-One. Squarespace is everything. It is your website builder, your design hub, and your host. You don’t have to hop to other sites to get what you need and then figure out how to connect it to your Squarespace site. It’s a one-stop-shop for all you need to get your website up and running.
Very Responsive. All templates on Squarespace are responsive and built to work on all computers, phones, and tablets. You can even see while building your website how it looks on each of the different devices, as they can vary greatly.
Excellent Support. The customer care team at Squarespace is available 24/7 to troubleshoot any issues you may be having. The platform also has community forums that connect you with other Squarespace users to answer questions and get information.
Social Integration. Squarespace offers customized widgets that allow you to integrate your social media handles easily. And they can look like they were part of the original design.
Automatic Updates. Any new features rolled out by Squarespace automatically show up on your page or allow you to simply opt-in on them.
Lack of Customization Options. While I love how user-friendly Squarespace is, there is not nearly the level of customization as WordPress offers. And changes to the coding of your Squarespace website is not as easy as WordPress.
Fewer Templates. The number of templates available on Squarespace is merely a fraction of what’s available on WordPress. If you’re looking to build an ecommerce site, Squarespace only has 14 to choose from.
Basic SEO. Squarespace offers some basic SEO tools such as HTML markup and automatic sitemaps but does not allow for the level of SEO optimization that WordPress does.
Lack of Ownership. When you purchase a domain through Squarespace, you don’t legally own it. When you get a free domain through Squarespace, it applies WHOIS privacy, which means it is owned by Tucows Inc. Tucows is the primary contact of the registered domain, and since WHOIS privacy is applied to all Squarespace domains, you technically don’t own it.
Limited Number of Sites. With one Squarespace subscription plan, you are only able to have one website. Adding another one necessitates an additional subscription.
Limited Number of Contributors. Squarespace limits you to two contributors with its personal plan. To add more, you must upgrade. WordPress allows for an unlimited number of contributors.
Comparing The Top Website Builders
Finding the best website builder is a challenge. There are great options out there for platforms to build your website, and it is not a decision to be taken lightly. Whether it is for your small business, a personal blog, or a life-changing non-profit, your website plays a major role in your business’s success.
That’s why you need to take the time and read up on the top website builders. Here are my top picks from my research and experience:
- Wix — Best for general use
- Weebly — Best for beginners
- Shopify — Best for ecommerce
- WordPress — Best for content management
After reviewing the numerous website builders out there, I have found different options work best for different people.
Disclosure: This content is reader-supported, which means if you click on some of our links that we may earn a commission.
The future of ecommerce shines brighter than ever.
- E-retail sales account for 14.1% of all retail sales across the world.
- Statista has predicted that the above figure will grow and reach 22% in 2023.
- Despite global economic uncertainty, ecommerce continues to thrive and grow at a steady rate.
- The U.S is the second largest ecommerce market in the world, with $586.9 billion.
See what I mean?
But nothing good is ever easy, and starting a thriving online store is no exception.
There’s so much that goes into creating an ecommerce website.
The first place to start your journey is to select an appropriate ecommerce website builder—one that’s efficient and affordable.
This does sound daunting, but it really isn’t.
Read on as I teach you how to get your ecommerce website up and running in no time, regardless of your experience level and technical knowledge.
Your 2-Minute Cheat Sheet
I’ll show you how you can create an ecommerce website using Shopify.
Shopify is king in the ecommerce space, which is also why it ranks first on our list of the best ecommerce website builders.
What works for me is the platform’s versatility.
Whether you plan on launching a new ecommerce business from scratch or scaling it, Shopify has everything you could possibly need. Plus, there’s the option to do a 14-day free trial!
Users can take advantage of industry-specific templates, custom domains, drag-and-drop store builder, unlimited products, built-in payment processing, and 24/7 support.
Precisely why it’s one of the best.
After signing up, you have to set up your online store. You can customize it by choosing a theme or layout that works best for you.
Next, start listing products on your website. This is also where you should pay attention to the product copy (hello SEO!).
Upload HD quality photos with your products on a white background. Make sure your images have the same dimensions—it just makes everything look neater.
Choose your payment gateway, which is a feature that allows your customers to pay via your website.
You have to consider the transaction fees, card types, and offsite checkout to know the amount of money you’ll get after subtracting all applicable charges.
Get your online shop live by filling out information related to tax and shipping. Give your order system a test drive to ensure everything is on track.
Lastly, you need a domain name. You can either buy one from Shopify itself or opt for a third party—the choice is yours.
And that’s it! Your new Shopify store is now ready to rake in the moolah.
Without further ado, let’s start with the detailed tutorial!
Step 1: Create Your Shopify Account
Head over to Shopify.com, and use the signup form to create your account. You can start your 14-day free trial after filling in all the necessary details.
You should try to choose a unique store name. However, this shouldn’t be at the cost of simplicity or relevance.
In case you type in an already chosen store name, Shopify will ask you to re-enter something else. Once you get the website name sorted, you’ll have to fill in a few other details, such as your name, address, country, and contact number.
After this initial screening, you have to answer whether you own products, and if you do, what you aim to sell.
In case you’re just trying out Shopify, you can select options like ‘I’m just playing around’ in the Do you have products? dropdown menu and ‘I’m still brainstorming ideas’ in the What will you sell? section.
Once you’re done, click I’m done.
Step 2: Set up Your Shopify Online Store
Once you’ve made your account on Shopify, you‘ll be directed automatically to your store admin screen or dashboard. Your home admin screen will tell you everything you should know to get your site up and running.
At this point, you can start customizing your store, uploading products, and setting up payments and shipping. You’ll also find several other options on the side menu bar, but at this moment, it’s best to stick to the basics.
Step 3: Customize Your Shopify Store by Choosing a Theme or a Layout
Shopify gives you direct access to a plethora of themes thanks to its all official theme store. Each one of them is guaranteed to have full support from the designers. So you can rest easy knowing that your store is always going to be in good hands.
The idea behind choosing a theme is to create a more on-brand website that looks good. This will keep your visitors on your website for longer and check out your products.
Each one of the themes has a comprehensive list of modifications. You don’t need any prior coding knowledge.
If the free themes don’t appeal to you, you can always choose the premium versions that come with more features and customization options. Honestly, this also looks much better when compared to a free one—provided you choose the right option.
Another reason why I like Shopify so much is that it’s incredibly user-friendly. Even if you decide to make notable changes to a theme, the limitations are few.
You don’t have to worry about not having any coding experience. Shopify has an international team of design agencies—called Shopify Experts—that can fully customize your ecommerce website. Keep in mind that you’ll have to pay for this expert service.
Here are a few quick tips to help you find the right Shopify theme:
#1 Go Through the Whole Theme Store
Once you visit the URL, be prepared to be shocked.
You get over 70 theme variations—out of which there are quite a few amazing free ones, too—that you can use for your Shopify store. Other than this, you can also find Shopify themes on other marketplaces like TemplateMonster.
Try to choose a theme that matches your brand and, of course, meets your personal preference.
You also have the option to filter the themes by paid or free, features, and industry. If you want to be even more selective, you can add filters for price, popularity, and most recent.
#2 Check Out the Theme’s Reviews
After you settle on a theme you like, click on its sample image. You’ll find more information about the theme, like whether it’s mobile-friendly, responsive, among other features.
Scroll down to read reviews written by people who previously used the theme to find out more about their experiences.
#3 Preview the Theme
Shopify gives you the option to see your selected theme live. Click on View Demo located below the green ‘Preview Theme in your Store’ button.
The preview feature is a great option for themes that have a range of styles. In its absence, you would find yourself repeating the whole selection process again and again until you’d find the right match. Yikes.
#4 Get the Shopify Theme
If you like the demo version of a specific theme, all that’s left for you to do is click the green button to get it.
When Shopify asks you to give your confirmation about installing the theme, click on Publish as my Shop’s Theme. And if you’re still uncertain about your chosen theme, you can always change it later.
Shopify will alert you once your theme finishes installing and then give you the option to Go to your Theme Manager.
This manager contains all your published themes (the one you’ve installed or activated most recently), along with unpublished themes (previously installed themes).
Step 4: Customize Your Store Settings
Shopify themes are like your personal fairy godmother.
They completely transform the way your ecommerce website looks, giving it a unique appearance even when thousands of other users download the very same theme.
How is this possible?
You can make simple changes by editing your settings.
Select Themes from the left navigation menu. You’ll see your live theme in a box at the very top.
This box will contain two buttons located in the top right corner of the box. The first one with three dots allows you to make basic settings changes.
One of them will allow you to duplicate your theme. I advise you to do this as a backup. If you don’t like the changes you make, you can always delete them and start working again from the duplicate.
The second button is ‘Customize Theme.’ Clicking on it will direct you to a page that controls all the basic functionality of your store. This is where you can make big changes and test out all features to understand what your website is truly capable of.
Other options let you reposition elements on pages, including showing product images on the left, right, or center of the page. You can also choose whether you’d like to display social media icons, such as like, tweet, pin, or +1.
Step 5: List Products on Your Ecommerce Website
Click on Products on the left side menu on your admin screen.
You’ll see a blue Add Product button in the middle of the page. Click on it. This will allow you to add as much detail as you want about your products.
Pay attention to products that could do with some SEO optimization, including their name, description, and URL. Try to add as many details as you can to give your customer a clear idea about your products.
This is also the screen where you upload HD-quality photos of your products—preferably on a white background. Once your images are uploaded, you can rearrange them however you like, so there’s no hassle of having to upload them in a specific order.
I really cannot emphasize enough the power of product images.
Product images are instrumental in making a sale. This is why you should make a point to add only the best pictures that highlight special or unique features in the close-up photos of the items.
Another tip would be to ensure all images have the same dimensions.
This will give your website a very tidy appearance. But if you want to make your pages look similar to a Pinterest board, you can do that too.
Finally, click on Save Product located at the top and bottom right corners to save all your changes.
That’s not all, though.
When adding photos, you should build collections to entice your visitor by giving several similar options on the same page, boosting your chances of making a sale.
Option A: Set up Collections of Groups of Products
A collection of a group of products includes items that have a few features in common. Here are a few collection ideas that you can consider:
- Items on sale
- Items in specific colors and sizes
- Items differentiated based on gender and age, like men, women, or children
- Items belonging to the same product category, like fans, chargers, jewelry, and so on
The interesting thing here is that a single item can appear in any number of collections. For example, a size medium white shirt will be listed under at least three collections: White Color, Women/Men, and Size Medium. You can list your collection names on the homepage in the navigation bar.
Your customers will thank you as they won’t have to go through your whole catalog just to find a specific item.
Option 2: Manual and Automatic Collections
When you add a new collection, you can choose how to add the products. Currently, there are two ways of doing this:
- Manually – You individually add and remove products in the collection.
- Automatically – You set up specific selection conditions that will automatically add products that meet the criteria.
While you are at it, choose a payment gateway, too. This is a feature that enables your customers to pay for products directly through your website.
Not all payment gateways are created equal, though.
Make sure you go through the transaction fees, card types, and offsite checkout to select an option that you find most appropriate.
Step 6: Make Your Shopify Store Live
Before your site goes live, you need to add a few more details about your company and how you will deliver the items and pay taxes.
Tick the checkboxes against Charge taxes and Requires shipping wherever applicable. You’ll find these options under the Variants section of the Products page after you click on the name of a given product.
Go to Settings to fill out this information. I’d recommend using the Google Analytics feature to keep track of your store visitors, too.
Do a Test Transaction
This is the ultimate test to see whether your store is on track and get an idea of what your customers will experience when they place an order from your Shopify store.
You can use Shopify’s Bogus Gateway for this.
- Select Settings from your store Admin, followed by Payments.
- If you have the credit card payment gateway enabled, deactivate it. Click on Edit, and then confirm your deactivation after selecting Deactivate.
- Under the Accept credit cards section, choose to Select a Credit Card Gateway. This will open a drop-down menu.
- Scroll down to Other, and then select Bogus Gateway.
- Choose Activate—or Reactivate if you’ve used Bogus Gateway before.
- Return to your store, and place an order as a customer typically would. At checkout, enter the bogus credit card details instead of genuine numbers.
If you prefer placing a genuine transaction, you can do that, too. Just remember to cancel the order immediately to refund yourself and avoid paying transaction fees.
Step 7: Get a Domain Name
You need a domain name to make your site live. I‘ll tell you two ways you can do this:
- First, you can buy a domain from Shopify, which will be added to your store automatically. This is time-saving and great for people who don’t know much about web hosts. This costs between $9 and $15 every year.
- Second, you can buy a domain from a third-party like GoDaddy. These domains start from $10 per year. Remember, you’ll have to redirect the DNS records yourself in this case. If you don’t want to do that, it’s better to buy a domain from Shopify itself.
If you do want to put your Shopify store live on a third-party domain, follow the below steps:
#1 Add the new domain in Shopify.
On the left navigation menu in the Admin page, go to Settings and then Domains. Add your domain name after clicking on the ‘Add an existing domain’ button.
#2 Update your DNS records.
Log into your domain registrar (example: GoDaddy) to make the following changes:
Replace the @ or main A record with the following IP address: 18.104.22.168
Add or replace the www CNAME with yourstorename.myshopify.com.
#3 Remove any storefront passwords.
#4 Set your Shopify store as the primary.
Go to your online store, and click on Domains. Choose your main domain by using the dropdown button. Also, check the Redirect all traffic to this domain. This will direct all your traffic from other domains to your primary domain.
#5 Add other domains.
Repeat the first two steps with any other domain you use. All traffic from these domains will be redirected to the primary domain, which you set in step four.
Congratulations! Your new Shopify ecommerce store is now up and running. You’re now completely ready to get a taste of being an ecommerce seller.
The good thing about Shopify is you can customize your store to your liking as many times as needed to keep everything convenient and functional for you.
Keep experimenting as you go, and you’ll find your success mantra.
Which ecommerce website builder do you prefer? Is it Shopify or others like Wix, WooCommerce, or something else? Let me know in the comments below.
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What are Business Bridge Loans? How Can They Help a Business?
Cash flow isn’t always guaranteed. Many businesses have uneven cash flow. That is, lean times and not so lean times. Startups still getting their bearings may take a while before they get enough regular clientele to get consistent profits coming in. Seasonal businesses will naturally make more during the appropriate season, and perhaps leading up to it, but less later.
Even with uneven cash flow, a business still has bills. No matter what’s happening with your cash flow, you still need to pay the bills. Seasonal businesses need to stock up to be ready once demand picks up. Startups need to get their inventory ramped up so they can meet demand when it comes and not lose out on opportunities. None of this is free.
Every entrepreneur wants to be filling in the gaps. One solution to such uneven financing is bridge loans. Also known as interim financing, gap financing, or swing loans. Bridge loans bridge the gap during times when you need financing but you can’t get it yet. Both corporations and individuals use bridge loans. Lenders can customize these loans for many different situations.
What are Business Bridge Loans?
Business bridge loans are short-term loans. They are used until a person or company gets permanent financing or removes an existing obligation. It allows the user to meet current obligations by providing immediate cash flow. Business bridge loans are short term, up to one year. They have relatively high interest rates. And they are often backed by some form of collateral, like real estate or inventory. See investopedia.com/terms/b/bridgeloan.asp.
Uses for Business Bridge Loans
Bridge Loans and Venture Capital Financing
If a company is doing a round of equity financing, the round may be expected to close in six months. It may opt to use a bridge loan to provide working capital to cover its payroll, rent, utilities, inventory costs, and other expenses. This is to tide it over until the round of funding goes through.
Real Estate and Bridge Loans
Bridge loans are standard in real estate. If a buyer has a lag between the purchase of one property and the sale of another property, they may turn to a bridge loan. Property owners get short-term financing to pay for one property until another property sells. See expresscapital.com/resources/what-are-the-differences-between-a-business-loan-and-a-bridge-loan.
More Purposes for Bridge Loans
Companies may opt for bridge loans if they’ve gotten approval for a regular business loan but need interim funding until that loan comes in. Bridge loans can also come into play when a corporation is releasing an Initial Public Offering (IPO). Bridge financing, in investment banking terms, is financing used by companies before their IPO. It is meant to cover expenses from the IPO and is typically short term. Once the IPO is complete, cash raised from the offering immediately pays off the loan liability. See investopedia.com/terms/b/bridgefinancing.asp.
Differences Between Business Bridge Loans and Other Business Loans
Speed to Funding
Business loans often have a longer waiting period. The banks spend more time checking your background and credit history. Bridge financing can happen a lot more quickly. Application, approval, and funding are all faster.
A company can qualify for a bridge loan more easily than a long-term business loan. Bridge loan lenders understand that the loans they provide are gap financing, not long-term solutions. They can often customize the loan to fit the business’s needs. Bridge loan lenders have credit score minimums for bridge loans. But guidelines tend to not be firm.
Sometimes a debt-to-income ratio (DTI) comes into play. But a high credit score and low DTI aren’t must-haves. Hence qualifying for a bridge loan is easier and faster versus a traditional business loan. Bridge loan lenders may ask for future financing plans. Some may want to see the company’s forecast for expected funds. Or they may want a payback plan. If the company has a solid history of repaying loans, they should bring that documentation. It can help to get a favorable decision.
Interest and Origination Fees
Bridge loans are a little more expensive than a regular secured business loan. But a business may be more willing to pay more to get financing quickly. Creditors assign more risk to bridge loans than to conventional, long-term business loans. This comes from the fact a business is seeking a short-term loan because a long-term financing isn’t a viable option for the business. The interest rates vary but on average, bridge loan interest rates tend to fall about 2% above the average rate for long-term loans. Many businesses find the interest rates acceptable because the loan is short-term.
Bridge loan lenders do not apply a penalty for paying the bridge loan off early. You can pay off a bridge loan early without paying an extra fee. Contrast this with most commercial loans. In most mortgage loans, e.g., the borrower pays a high penalty for paying the loan off early.
Since bridge loans are short-term solutions, companies benefit from paying them off early. Then they can apply for the long-term financing if necessary, without incurring fees, and without having to refinance the balance of the bridge loan into a long-term loan.
Bridge loans are often a type of unsecured loan. Hence there’s no attachment between the loan and a business asset like equipment or business property. A secured loan is one where an asset is placed into the agreement (collateral). With a collateral-based loan, the lender can try to repossess (take legal ownership) of the collateral if you fail to repay the money.
Due to the unsecured structure of many business bridge loans, the business takes on less risk, and the lender takes on more. Hence the business can be on a more stable footing than with a secured loan. There is typically nothing besides the money for the lender to take back. But recognize that if a business is failing and needs money to pay back a bridge (or any other type of funding) loan, then you may end up selling business assets anyway.
Yet another difference is in the area of collateral. Business owners should expect to be asked for a first lien on any unencumbered enterprise asset. Perhaps even a second lien on working capital and other fungible resources. They may request a personal guarantee as a sign of the owner’s intention to work with the lender in good faith to repay the loan. The guarantee may, in some cases, be limited to the amount of the financing.
Bridge loans by definition have repayment terms of a few weeks, up to 12 months. Business owners must identify, in advance, the source of repayment and timing. The source of expected compensation affects how a lender views the soundness of the credit decision. For example, it is most likely that the lender will give a favorable judgment to a business that could qualify for a straightforward SBA loan after the execution of the transaction. In the case of the SBA candidate, the source of repayment, while not certain, is a matter of timing.
In contrast, a business relying on profit improvements has a harder case to make. The lender’s evaluation will change accordingly. Given the cost of the bridge and the considerations surrounding collateral requirements, it’s in the business owner’s best interests to carefully consider the exit plan. An entrepreneur should enter into this type of financing arrangement only when they can readily and safely identify a source of repayment. See businesscash.com/bridge-loans-for-small-business-advantages-and-practical-considerations-when-choosing-a-bridge-lender.
One Alternative to Business Bridge Loans is Account Receivable Financing
Businesses with outstanding receivables can turn to AR financing instead. you can regularly secure money against receivables in as little as 24 hours. With AR financing, you can get monthly rates between 1.25% and 5%, and you can get financing as high as $20,000,000. All of this is possible, even with severely challenged personal credit.
Bridge loans may have certain minimum FICO requirements. But an accounts receivable financing program is perfect for business owners who have credit issues. Lenders are not looking for, nor do they require good credit to qualify. You can even get approval and be advanced 90% of your receivables, even with low credit scores.
Do You Have Credit Issues Now?
You can get approval with a personal credit score as low as 500, even if you have recent derogatory items and major collections on your credit report. Lenders truly do not care about your personal credit. They care more about the credit of the companies who you have the receivables with.
Another Alternative to Bridge Loans is Merchant Cash Advances
If a business has credit card sales, then a merchant cash advance can be a good alternative to a bridge loan. An MCA technically isn’t a loan. Rather, it is a cash advance based upon the credit card sales of a business. A small business can apply for an MCA and have an advance deposited into its account fairly quickly. So you can offer Net 30 terms, but not have to wait a month to get paid.
A merchant financing program is ideal for business owners who accept credit cards and are looking for fast and easy business financing. An MCA program is meant to help you get funding, based strictly on your cash flow as verifiable per your business banks statements. As a result, lenders in general will not have burdensome document requests.
Another Alternative to Bridge Loans is Business Revenue Financing
Business revenue financing is for companies with incoming revenues proven by business bank accounts. Also known as royalty-based financing. Business revenue financing is a way to raise capital from investors who get a percentage of the enterprise’s ongoing gross revenues in exchange for their investments. In a revenue-based financing investment, investors get a regular share of business income until a predetermined amount is paid. Often, this amount is a multiple of the principal investment. It is usually between 3 – 5 times the original investment.
A Fantastic Alternative to Business Bridge Loans: Our Credit Line Hybrid
Get a line of credit for up to $150,000. This is no doc financing. Pay 0% for up to 18 months. Helps build business credit because your payments are on report. 680 or better FICO required. See my.creditsuite.com/qualifier-form.
This program is meant to help clients get funding strictly due to personal credit quality. Our lenders will not ask for financials, bank statements, business plans, resumes, or any of the other burdensome document requests that most conventional lenders demand.
Our lenders will review your credit report to ensure there are no derogatory items on the report. To get approval, you shouldn’t have any open collections, late payments, tax liens, judgments, or other types of derogatory items on your reports.
To qualify you should also have fewer than 5 inquiries on your credit report, within the last 6 months. You should have established credit. This includes open revolving accounts currently on your credit report, with balances below 40% of your limits.
Business Bridge Loans: Takeaways
Bridge loans are a means of covering gaps in financing due to various causes. They are faster to get than traditional business loans. But rates can be higher. And terms are a lot shorter. There can be minimum FICO score requirements.
For entrepreneurs with decent FICO scores, the Credit Suite hybrid credit line can be the perfect alternative to a bridge loan. And you build business credit at the same time! Let us show you how.
Article URL: https://boards.greenhouse.io/legalist/jobs/4000419004 Comments URL: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=26067085 Points: 1 # Comments: 0
Pay What It’s Worth: You Don’t Need to Set a Price on Value is on the cusp of being published by Integral Publishers, and I’m happy to be blowing the dust off my keyboard and getting back into things.
There is an inescapable sense of deja vu about Manchester City right now and, if it proves to be correct, they will claim another domestic treble.
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If you create a video that gets over 7 billion views on YouTube, you should be able to benefit in some way, right?
Now, you may not have the same level of success with your content as “Baby Shark Dance” did (7 billion and counting is a lot), but there are still plenty of ways to monetize your YouTube videos. You put time and effort into creating great content, so now it’s time to reap the rewards.
How to Monetize Your YouTube Account
Setting up your YouTube account with the YouTube Partner Program is very simple. You will see the monetization tab whenever you log into Youtube Studio, and when your account reaches the right number of subscribers and views, you’ll be able to apply to the program here.
Once you’ve applied to the program, your account will go into review and you should soon hear whether you’ve been accepted. From here, you can begin to monetize your account and continue growing your revenue streams.
All your analytics for things like advertising will be shown in YouTube Studio and AdSense, so check in regularly to see how you’re doing. This will also give you helpful insights into your performance and where you can make improvements.
What Are The Requirements to Monetize YouTube Videos?
The first step to monetizing your YouTube Videos is becoming a member of the YouTube Partner Program (YPP.) While anyone can create a YouTube account, you need to meet some basic criteria to become a member of YPP, and you must keep these requirements in mind whenever you create content.
First of all, your channel has to reach a couple of milestones before it can be considered for the program:
- 1,000 subscribers
- 4,000 watch hours over the past 12 months
These are fairly straightforward requirements, and they’re something you can work toward by creating great content and building your audience.
However, the more complicated aspect of joining the YPP, and the area where YouTube will spend time auditing your channel is making sure there is compliance with YouTube’s policies and guidelines.
YouTube has grown to become one of the most successful websites in the world, making over $5.5 billion in advertising revenue in the U.S. in 2020 but there are growing pains. Many of these difficulties have surrounded issues such as copyright and the quality and accuracy of content.
Brands who pay YouTube for advertising don’t want to be associated with low-quality content, so naturally, the platform is eager to ensure YouTube Partner Program members are creating unique, valuable videos.
You’ll need to keep in mind whenever you’re uploading content to YouTube, and it’s advisable to read these documents thoroughly if you plan on monetizing your videos.
Lastly, you need to set up a Google AdSense account, which will track the ads shown on YouTube and pay you accordingly.
7 Tips for Monetizing Your YouTube Videos
Just because you’ve reached a point where YouTube monetization is possible doesn’t mean you’ll instantly start making money. What you’ve got to ensure is that you continue following the principles that have got you this far.
Like with any publication, the key thing is that you continue to offer value to your target audience, so there are a number of things to focus on:
- Only sponsor products you would buy.
- Be consistent with your posting.
- Never compromise on quality.
- Take steps to understand your audience.
- Diversify your channels: Grow your other platforms such as blogs and social media.
- Reward your loyal followers.
- Use SEO to boost your profile.
If you’re going to make the most of YouTube monetization, then you’ve got to grow your profile in all areas, so make sure you’ve got a broad focus and are always looking to improve.
8 Ways to Monetize YouTube Videos
Just as there are many different ways to monetize your website, there are also lots of ways to monetize your YouTube videos.
Advertising revenue might be the most obvious way to earn money through your content, but it’s not the only way to monetize your videos, and different options will suit different creators.
For example, my YouTube channel gets over 7,000,000 views a month, but I don’t monetize it directly through the YPP. That’s because it’s more valuable to me to offer a clean experience through my content that brings people back to my website, where I own the medium.
However, everybody’s content is different, and they will have different ways of monetizing it.
1. Ad Revenue
Ad revenue is perhaps the first thing people think of when they join the YouTube Partner Program, and it can be an important revenue stream.
Once you are accepted into the YPP, you can immediately turn on ads for all videos that meet YouTube’s advertiser-friendly content guidelines. This enables adverts to be shown on your content, and when YouTube gets paid by advertisers, they share those earnings with you.
For each ad that’s shown on your channel, YouTube takes a 45% cut and you receive the remaining 55%. This money is then paid to you via Google AdSense, where you can keep track of all your analytics.
How to Turn on Ads
- Go to your YouTube Studio.
- Click “Content” in the left sidebar.
- Select a video or multiple videos.
- Click Monetization in the left sidebar.
- Select the type of ads you want to run.
2. YouTube Premium
YouTube Premium is another revenue stream you qualify for as soon as you join the YouTube Partner Program, and it can help boost your earnings.
YouTube Premium is available to all YouTube account holders, and it offers users an upgraded experience. The big selling point for YouTube Premium is that it removes all ads, so people can watch their favorite videos without interruptions, and it also allows you to run the YouTube app in the background without the video pausing.
As a creator and YPP member, you get paid every time a YouTube Premium member watches your content, and as there are now over 20 million Premium members, this might be happening quite frequently.
You get paid automatically when a YouTube Premium member watches your content, so once you’re accepted into the YPP, you don’t have to make any changes to your account to benefit from this feature.
3. Channel Memberships
Channel memberships are very similar to monetizing your website through a membership program. This allows your members to pay a membership fee, and in return, they get access to special videos, live chats, emojis, badges, and other content.
Of course, you will still need to focus on your free content to help grow your channel, but this allows you to maximize your revenue on some of your best videos.
Channel memberships are a great feature to help you monetize your videos, but as you might expect, there are some extra requirements to unlock this revenue stream. You need more than 30,000 subscribers.
In order to charge people for private content, YouTube needs to be confident you’re offering value, and one of the ways it judges this is by looking at how many people subscribe to your channel. Once you’ve reached this milestone, you can easily enable channel members and start benefiting from this feature.
How to Turn on Channel Memberships
- Sign in to YouTube Studio.
- Select “Monetization” on the left sidebar.
- Submit your perks.
- Create your intro video.
- Choose your pricing structure (you can create multiple membership tiers, so you can hit many different price points).
- Post the “Join” button on your page.
Super Chat and Super Stickers
You may have tuned in to a livestream on YouTube and wondered how some people have managed to get their messages highlighted in the live chat. What they’ve done is purchase a super chat or super sticker that allows their message to be featured and even pinned to the top of the chat.
For viewers, super chat offers greater access to the brand they’re engaging with, and for content creators, it offers another revenue stream.
Users can spend up to $500 for super chat, and you keep around 70% of this, while YouTube takes the other 30%. As you might imagine, if you have a large audience watching a stream, then this can really start to add up.
If you’re new to livestreaming, then here are some of my favorite techniques for engaging with your audience so you can boost those revenues.
There are some geographical limitations on where super chat and super stickers are available, so make sure you’re in the right areas before getting set up with this great revenue stream.
How to Turn on Super Chat and Super Stickers
- Go to your YouTube Studio.
- Select “Monetization” in the left sidebar.
- From the top menu, select “Live Chat,” then “Get Started.”
- Follow the instructions until you see the message “Super chat status is on.”
Make Sponsored Content
Your options for making money aren’t just limited to the YouTube Partner Program.
You can also monetize your YouTube videos and make some good money through sponsored content. This involves reaching out to brands and offering to create videos that feature their products, and there’s a big market for this.
Companies are willing to pay good money to get their brands in front of a large, engaged audience, so if your videos are getting lots of views, then this option can become a primary monetization method for you.
A good way of finding companies to sponsor your YouTube content is YouTube BrandConnect, which uses an algorithm to match you with potential sponsors. Like every monetization method, how much you get paid will depend on the quality of your content and the number of viewers, but it’s certainly a good avenue to explore.
Crowdfund Your Projects
You’ve heard of crowdfunding for startups; well, you can use the same idea to fund your content creation on YouTube. With third-party applications like Patreon, you can find people to financially support the work you do in return for special perks.
For example, you might offer people early access to your new content in return for a $1-a-month subscription. You’re in control of the rewards, and the Patreon user decides how much they think your content is worth.
YouTube has also recently added its own crowdfund feature, where you can put a sponsor button on your videos. Just like with Patreon, this allows you to offer rewards to your audience in return for monthly funding. This option started for gaming channels, but is gradually being rolled out across more channels.
If you’ve built a strong brand through your content, then chances are your audience might want to engage with it by buying merchandise.
When your channel reaches 10,000 subscribers or more, you can open up YouTube’s merchandise feature and create yet another revenue stream. This option might not be right for every channel, but it can bring in a substantial income for some YouTuber accounts.
With 1,000,000 YouTube views a month, it’s estimated that a good merch shelf can bring in between $4,100 and $21,460 a month, so again, it’s worth exploring.
How to Turn on Merchandise
- Go to YouTube Studio.
- Click “Monetization” on the left-hand menu.
- Click on the “merchandise” tab (it will only be visible if you’re eligible).
- Follow the instructions and receive your Teespring ID.
Become a Brand Affiliate
Affiliate links have long been a favored way for publishers to monetize their blogs and videos.
When you join an affiliate program, you can choose from a variety of products to sell, and every time someone buys a product through your unique link, you take a set percentage of the value of the sale.
Affiliate offers will vary greatly, and there’s a wide variety to choose from, but if you find products that match with your content, then it can be a good revenue stream. Affiliate marketing gets talked about all the time online, but if you’re looking for a few pointers, here are my ideas on when you should use affiliate marketing.
The easiest way to add affiliate links to your content is in the description. However, you can also add them directly into the video content itself.
When you’re doing this, remember that successful content always offers value, so any affiliate links you include have to be relevant and useful for your viewer. The products you recommend will reflect on you, so check that your affiliate links match the quality of your content.
If you’re creating amazing content that engages YouTube’s audience, then you should be rewarded for it, and this is where monetization comes in. There are now lots of different ways you can monetize your YouTube videos, and it’s possible to earn substantial money from it.
However, in order to benefit from YouTube monetization, you’ve got to work hard to build your audience and reach the minimum thresholds of 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 watch hours over the past 12 months.
This will take some work, but if you’re consistently creating great content, then it will come, and you can start to benefit from your hard work. With so many different monetization methods, there are plenty of ways for you to build a consistent income through YouTube.
How do you monetize your YouTube videos?
Legalist, Inc. (fintech) | First product hire | Full-time | Remote (US based) | Full-time
Legalist is hiring its first product hire (product lead). We’re looking for somebody who is comfortable wearing many hats; has a data science/data analysis background; and who wants to help build products that support Legalist, a multi-hundred million dollar fintech startup, across a number of esoteric investment strategies. An interest in law and/or finance is preferred, and a curiosity and interest in working creatively with data is essential.
This is a US-based remote team, and post-covid it will continue to be remote.
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