Author: William Chance

10 Content Marketing Trends for 2021 and Beyond

Organizations that have made consistent and sound investments in content marketing have reported those investments paying dividends in recent years.

However, to maintain their growth, marketers must also stay tuned into the ever-changing content marketing landscape.

What worked last year may not be enough to creep ahead in 2021.

Being able to anticipate trends and changes in audience behavior based on technology trends and updates can help you adjust your strategy and get ahead of the wave.

Here, we’ll detail some trends to keep an eye on in 2021, but before we do, let’s look at why content marketing keeps evolving.

Why Does Content Marketing Change so Frequently?

Content marketing continues to evolve to keep pace with trends, technologies, and consumer demands. For instance, increasing use of mobile devices, voice search, and social media all require us to stay on top of things.

Then there are the platforms themselves that change. Established sites like Facebook have started to attract an older demographic, while newer platforms like TikTok appeal to a younger audience.

To reach their audiences effectively, content marketers must adapt their strategies to meet these changing trends.

10 Current Trends in Content Marketing

More recently, adaptability and flexibility have been central to content marketing. However, many of the preferred marketing methods remain the same.

Although many current content marketing trends are a continuation or evolution of existing ones, some trends are gaining considerable ground.

1. Building Communities

With as many as 24 million e-commerce stores out there, you need to find a way of getting noticed.

You achieve that in such a crowded space by developing a community.

Community marketing isn’t about getting a quick sale—it’s about engaging with customers while building trust and loyalty and reaching a wider audience.

The Dollar Shave Club (DSC) is an excellent example of this. DSC works on a subscription basis and considers all of its members a part of the community.

In addition to its social media presence and a blog to engage with customers, DSC features members in its monthly newsletter and ensures its subscribers are at the heart of the business.

Then there’s ProBlogger.

You might know ProBlogger from its jobs board or its blog. However, its community side is a considerable part of the brand too. The community gives new and established bloggers the chance to come together and learn and collaborate.

It also offers:

  • networking opportunities
  • webinars
  • discounted books, tools, and events
  • community downloads
Content Marketing Trends in 2021 - Building Communities Example of Problogger

2. Optimizing Content for Niche, Long Tail Keywords

For a long time, the focus for marketers was long-form content. However, more recently, content marketing has stepped back from detailed, lengthy article guides. Instead, the use of niche, long-tail keywords is becoming more prevalent, as long-tail keywords are more specific and have less competition.

Further, using long-tail keywords makes it easier to get your content ranked on Google. That means more organic traffic, which is good news for marketers targeting a competitive niche.

Finding these long-tail keywords needn’t been difficult. You’ll find there’s plenty of free and paid-for tools available, such as:

You can also use:

  • the “people also searched for” feature on Google
  • Google Suggest
  • Google’s related search

Once you’ve narrowed down your keywords, you can then focus on a specific segment of your business and create content around the subject.

3. Hiring Content Teams With Diverse Skill Sets

In recent years, there’s been a consistent shift away from content churning.

The brands experiencing the most success with content marketing aren’t just flooding their audience with content. They’re taking a media publishing approach.

The process is just as important as the content itself now. Having a team of writers isn’t enough anymore.

Your company needs to create a broader strategy with a more diverse group of talent and skills to meet your audience’s demands.

That means good writing isn’t enough. The content team will need to grow and adapt for the next year and should include people who have talent in:

  • video production and editing
  • graphic design, illustration, and editing
  • audio editing and production skills
  • content optimization
  • content distribution and promo
  • strategy development, execution, SEO, and campaign management
  • communications and branding

4. Repurposing Content Across Channels

Repurposing content saves time, gets you in front of a different audience, and enhances your organic search.

This simply means repackaging it into a different format. For example:

  • turning blog posts into an eBook or newsletter content
  • embedding YouTube videos in your blog
  • transcribing your YouTube videos and distributing them as podcast, newsletter, or blog content
  • creating infographics from research and stats.

ESPN showed how effective content repurposing could be. When ESPN launched “We the Fans,” it distributed the content across a range of formats. Articles, podcasts, videos, and social media were all part of ESPN’s strategy.

As Chad Millman, VP/editorial director of U.S. digital content, explains, “The idea was to take advantage of all of ESPN’s platforms.”

You should consider doing the same for your business.

Content Marketing Trends for 2021 and Beyond

Looking forward, the need for marketers to adapt their content plans will continue, and we’re likely to see a greater increase in existing trends like Google’s Discover and stories to engage readers and keep them on the page.

Let’s take a closer look at these content marketing trends.

5. “Discover” Features

Yoast, Search Engine Land, and HubSpot are just some of those talking about Google Discover. It was formerly known as Google Feed, but it’s undergone a significant transformation since its launch.

If you’re not familiar with Google Discover, it combines news, evergreen content, along with visuals like photos. To fill the feed, Google uses AI and machine learning to understand a user’s search history, meaning the viewer gets content likely to engage them.

You’ll find Discover on Google’s mobile pages, and mobile Chrome users will see the feed when they open a tab.

2021 content marketing trends discover

Over time, Discover becomes increasingly sophisticated. Just ask the Vogue and Vice’s publishers.

Your content is eligible to appear on Discover if it meets the guidelines and Google has indexed it. However, as Google states, it doesn’t guarantee your content will appear in its Discover feed.

Google does, however, have some guidelines to improve the chances of your content showing up.

These include:

  • posting “outstanding and engaging content”
  • creating content that’s unique and timely
  • providing exact authorship details (your name, publication, bylines, publication)
  • high-quality imaging
  • descriptive titles that avoid clickbait

6. “Story” Features

Stories are growing in popularity for several reasons. First, they make great social media content. Secondly, they’ll also show up in mobile searches and Google Images, increasing your chances of discoverability.

There are other factors in their growing popularity: platforms like Google Stories make story creation accessible to everyone.

Crucially, though, Google Web Stories cater to consumers’ business lifestyles and provide content for people on the move: the use of Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) allows readers to flick through the same way you would with social media stories.

Another example of story features is Instagram Guides. These provide curated content in the form of videos, photos, and text. The idea is to make content easier to find, therefore making brands and influencers easier to discover.

7. Featured Experts

Commentary from experts that lends credibility to your content can help you stand out. That’s why including comments from a subject matter or featured expert could benefit your content’s performance.

Google doesn’t use subject matter content as a ranking factor (yet). However, evaluators consider the expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness (EAT) factor in their quality rankings.

Google isn’t the only one interested in the quality content, though. Consumers are too.

According to a Nielsen study, 85 percent of consumers regularly or occasionally look for expert content before buying.

Additionally, 67 percent of buyers say unbiased expert endorsements make them more likely to consider a purchase.

InPowered, who commissioned the survey, says there are three main takeaways from the research. Marketers should:

  • build trust and cut through the noise with expert content
  • begin to share their stories once they’ve gained consumers’ trust
  • continue to build trust through expert content and ask customers to leave reviews

8 & 9. Generative Media & NLG

Generative media is increasing in use the same way that natural language generation (NLG) is. Like NLG, generative media uses AI to create content. The only difference is it makes computer-generated images rather than text.

It works in much the same way as NLP too:

  1. The designer gives their instruction to the machine, detailing parameters/algorithms.
  2. The machine uses these parameters to create an image.

However, the designer still has some input and can alter algorithms to produce the finished piece.

Tyler Lastovich of Lastly Studios predicted growth in generative media some time ago. As Lastovich points out, although there’s been a surge in use, we’ve yet to see its full potential. For instance, content marketers could use it in areas like:

  • contextual images
  • personalized content
  • realistic chatbots

According to a senior analyst at Techna, trial versions of generative design, cloud-based generative design solutions, and the rising integration of 3D printing with generative designs are just a few of the reasons behind this content marketing trend.

10. Content Driven Personalization

Yieldify defines content personalization as the “process of tailoring content that is visible to the customer based on their profile or preferences.”

Every customer who visits your website is at a different stage of the customer journey. Your content should cater to their specific needs and encourage them to take the next step.

A good example would be a customer that comes to your website to find out more about new kitchen units. When they return to your site, you could offer an e-book offering tips on choosing the ideal kitchen units for their home or a checklist on preparing for the revamp.

In case you’re wondering, content-driven personalization isn’t optional if you want to keep your customer satisfied. Research from Salesforce shows 84 percent of consumers say being treated like a person, not a number, is crucial to winning their business.

Further, fifty-nine percent say tailored engagement based on past interactions is crucial to winning their business.

Conclusion

While data support the trends listed here, trends aren’t everything. You should do your research to see how they can improve your content marketing strategy moving into 2021.

There’s also plenty of historical data that shows us how quickly trends can flop or die off.

Rather than chase content marketing trends, always do your research. Keep an eye on top performers in your space and use data—as well as experimentation—to fuel your strategy as you head into 2021.

Which of these content marketing trends for 2021 are you working on incorporating into your strategy?

The post 10 Content Marketing Trends for 2021 and Beyond appeared first on Neil Patel.

Repl.it is hiring to change how people code

Article URL: http://repl.it/careers

Comments URL: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=26104000

Points: 1

# Comments: 0

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New comment by chaigh in "Ask HN: Who is hiring? (February 2021)"

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.

Link: https://boards.greenhouse.io/legalist/jobs/4000419004

The post New comment by chaigh in “Ask HN: Who is hiring? (February 2021)” appeared first on ROI Credit Builders.

11 Unique Ways to Get Paid to Drive in 2021

The best thing about side hustles is most of the time they are things we already do in our daily lives.

Like driving.

You can get paid to drive, and it’s the best thing to do.

You can become a delivery driver, a courier, advertise on your car, or rent your car. The possibilities are endless when you have a vehicle.

Of all the side gigs, driving is probably the most profitable and easy- to- do task, and it offers a lot of flexibility.

 

What are the different ways to get paid to drive?

As mentioned above, there are many ways to make money driving. You don’t need a car for some jobs; you can do your job with a scooter, bicycle, or even walk.

You can deliver stuff, advertise on your car, rent your vehicle, deliver food, or rideshare. It depends on whether you are looking for a flexible gig or just passive income.

 

Here are 11 ways to get paid to drive:

 

Postmates

As a courier for Postmates, you will be delivering food, groceries, and drinks. This company is one of the top choices for people who are interested in food delivery jobs. If you are interested in becoming a Postmates driver, then all you have to do is sign up online with the Fleet app. Once the background check is done, you are ready to go.

The requirements to become a Postmates driver are as follows. You must

  • Be 18 years or older
  • Have access to an insured vehicle or a bicycle
  • Pass a background check

Pay – According to the Postmates website, you can earn up to $25 per hour delivering for this company.

 

Related:

11 Simple & Surprising Ways to Get Paid to Walk
12 Insanely Easy Ways to Get Paid for Searching the Web

 

Lyft

If you are someone who loves communicating with people, then driving for Lyft is a great option. You can become a driver-partner with this company and start a ridesharing gig.

Applying to become a driver with Lyft is pretty simple. You must

  • Be at least 21 years of age
  • Have a valid driver’s license that is at least one year old
  • Have a car with four external door handles and at least five seat belts
  • Own an iPhone or Android phone

Pay – You can earn up to $16 per hour as a Lyft driver-partner. This depends on the time of day and the city you work in.

 

DoorDash

DoorDash is another food delivery company that offers a lot of flexibility and good pay. It’s available in many cities in the US, and the sign-up process is very simple. With DoorDash, you don’t need to have a car; you can deliver via bicycle or even walk. You can learn more about Doordash in this detailed review.

The basic minimum requirements for you to become a Dasher are that you need to

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Have a valid driver’s license and insurance
  • Have a smartphone to receive alerts for deliveries

Pay – You can earn anywhere from $8 to $15 per hour, depending on the city you are in.

 

Getaround

If you are not keen on driving but want to earn some passive income from your car, then Getaround is a great option. You can earn money from your car by renting it out via Getaround. This is a great passive gig for people who don’t use their car much and want some extra money. With the Getaround app, you can rent your car, and the renters can even unlock the car via the app. To top it all, your car is insured for up to $1M with Getaround’s insurance policy.

To list your car on Getaround, there are certain requirements your car must meet including the following:

  • Be 2010 or newer
  • Have less than 125,000 miles on the clock
  • Seat no more than eight passengers and be a private passenger vehicle with at least four wheels

Pay – You can earn up to $10 per hour, but this depends on the car’s year, make, model, and the market. Keep in mind that Getaround takes a 40% commission from your pay.

 

Roadie

Getting paid to drive is easy with Roadie. As a Roadie driver, you can deliver anything and get paid for it. You can choose your own schedule and accept the jobs you want on the app. Signing up is easy online or through the app.

Driver requirements for Roadie include the following:

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Have valid driver’s license
  • Have a four-star rating in the Roadie community

Pay – The pay is between $10 and $40 per trip depending on the gigs and the distance traveled.

 

Carvertise

If you don’t mind having some ads displayed on your car, then you are looking at a good extra income source. Carvertise is a company that pays drivers to have rolling ads on their cars while they drive around in the city. It’s as simple as that. Though there are a good number of scams out there, Carvertise is one of the legit companies that lets you rent your car for displaying ads.

You can fill out the online application, and once your profile is matched with a brand campaign, you can get your car wrapped and start driving.

To become a Carvertise driver you must

  • Drive at least 30 miles/day
  • Have a clean driving record
  • Own a 2008 model car or newer
  • Factory finish paint job

Pay – Carvertise pays by the campaign, and you can expect up to $100 per month with this company.

 

Instacart

With Instacart you can use your car to deliver groceries as a full-service shopper, or you can choose to become an in-store shopper and just bag the products. You can sign up online, and once the background check is done, you can start the job. This is a very flexible gig where you can choose your own hours.

The requirements to become a full-service shopper are that you must

  • Be 18 years of age or older
  • Be eligible to work in the US or Canada
  • Own a smartphone with Android 5.0 or later or iOS 9 or later
  • Have a functioning, registered vehicle
  • Have vehicle insurance
  • Be able to lift 30+ pounds

Pay – The average pay is between $14 and $15 an hour and depends on the location you work in, the hours, and the type of orders you take.

Read our in-depth Instacart review to learn more about this company.

 

Amazon Flex

You can work as a delivery driver for Amazon Flex and earn extra money on the side. This side job has all the perks like flexibility and good pay. Once you sign up online, download the app, fill in the details, and get a background check, you can start choosing your hours.

The requirements to become an Amazon Flex driver include the following:

  • Be at least 21 years old
  • Own a smartphone
  • Have a valid driver’s license and insurance
  • Have a qualifying vehicle

Pay – According to the website, you can earn between $18 and $25 per hour.

 

Turo

Turo is another peer-to-peer rental company that lets you rent your car for extra money. You can list your car for free by giving all the details on the website. Once the listing is live, renters can go ahead and rent your car. Turo also gives you insurance coverage of up to $750,000 to keep you stress-free.

The vehicle requirements to list your car on Turo are

  • Only 2006 or newer models are accepted
  • Less than 130,000 miles
  • Clean title
  • Registered in the United States

Pay – Though the website states that you can earn up to $1,000 per month, it depends on your location and the model of the car.

 

Wrapify

Wrapify is a company that lets you rent your car for ad display. Wrapify is just like Carvertise and pays well too. You can sign up online or through the app. The main difference between Carvertise and Wrapify is Wrapify pays per mile you drive.

The requirements to rent your car with Wrapify include the following:

  • Be 21 years of ageold or older
  • Have a smartphone
  • Own a 2008 or newer model car

Pay – You can earn up between $150 and $500 per month approximately depending on the wrapping type you choose.

 

Shipt

Like Instacart, Shipt is an on-demand grocery delivery service that lets you shop for and deliver products. Shipt works a lot like Instacart, and it is very easy to apply online. Once you pass the background check and download the app, you can start working.

Here are the Shipt shopper requirements:

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Have a valid current mailing address
  • Have a valid US driver’s license and auto insurance
  • Have a reliable vehicle (1997 or newer)
  • Possess knowledge of produce selection
  • Be able to lift 45 pounds
  • Have a smartphone – iPhone (iOS 10 or newer) or Android (5.1 or newer)

Pay – The base pay for Shipt shoppers is $6 per hour plus the tips.

 

Getting paid to drive is easy and sometimes it can be totally passive income. You do have to take care of things like having your car in good condition, being ready to drive certain distances, and having a valid license and insurance.

If you are someone who is keen on making money on the side, then consider the above options and start earning money from your car.

The post 11 Unique Ways to Get Paid to Drive in 2021 appeared first on Crowd Work News.

Top 5 Wildomar News Websites To Follow in 2020 (City in California)

Top 5 Wildomar News Websites
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1. Valley News » Wildomar

Fallbrook, California, United States About Website The Valley News is made up of local residents dedicated to keeping our communities up-to-date with local issues. Keep up with the latest news and updates about Wildomar. Frequency 1 post / day Website myvalleynews.com/category/in..
Facebook fans 17.4K ⋅ Twitter followers 3.8K ⋅ Social Engagement 25 ⋅ Domain Authority 59 ⋅ Alexa Rank 571.8K View Latest Posts Get Email Contact

2. Riverside County News Source » Wildomar

Riverside County News Source » Wildomar Hemet, California, United States About Website RCNS is the clearinghouse for all news and stories generated by the Riverside County News Source. Get up to date local news in Wildomar, CA. Frequency 1 post / quarter Website riversidecountynewssource.or..
Facebook fans 14.6K ⋅ Twitter followers 69 ⋅ Social Engagement 212 ⋅ Domain Authority 29 ⋅ Alexa Rank 1.3M View Latest Posts Get Email Contact

3. KTLA » Wildomar

KTLA » Wildomar Los Angeles, California, United States About Website L.A.’s Very Own, KTLA is Southern California’s source for Los Angeles-area breaking news, streaming live video, traffic and weather in L.A., Orange and Ventura counties, plus the Inland Empire and beyond. Frequency 1 post / quarter Website ktla.com/tag/wildomar
Facebook fans 1.4M ⋅ Twitter followers 811.1K ⋅ Instagram Followers 424.4K ⋅ Social Engagement 2 ⋅ Domain Authority 82 ⋅ Alexa Rank 14.1K View Latest Posts Get Email Contact

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Day Trading Penny Stocks – Is It Really Worth The Risk?

Day Trading Penny Stocks – Is It Really Worth The Risk?

Is day trading cent supplies actually a sensible relocation for your financial investment task? Many individuals watch out for this task, and also with great factor. While you definitely do listen to the beauty tales of the numerous capitalists that’ve made lot of money with cent supplies, you many times do not find out about the thousands that’ve shed a lots of cash at the same time.

Cent supplies are infamous for allowing you to make either massive gains or losses overnight. Many individuals listen to tales concerning someone that made a million bucks in a pair days day trading dime supplies, and also come to be so rapt with that said they do not understand these exact same financiers (casino players, truly) usually shed all that cash not long after.

Think it or otherwise, dime supplies are absolutely nothing even more, absolutely nothing much less than pietistic gaming. Yes, there are some capitalists that can make a great deal of cash with this method, yet just if they are definitely certain of what they are doing. The factor for their volatility is basic: each of these business that are trading for les than $1 per share entered into the scenario for a factor.

Typically, it was either negative monitoring, bad business economics, or a mix. You would certainly much better have an excellent factor for assuming a turn-around is concerning to take place prior to laying your cash down.

The primary factor day trading cent supplies is so dangerous is that it does not take much to influence your financial investment. If you get in at.25 cents, and also the supply goes up to.50 cents, you’ve simply increased your financial investment simply by a. 25 cent gain! Obviously, the very same threats make an application for it decreasing.

While a. 25 cent swing for many supplies would certainly be rarely recognizable, for dime supplies they can be either huge lucrative or self-destructive. If you do intend on getting in the amazing, continuous activity globe of dime supplies, you require to be definitely certain you are a specialist at looking at a firm as well as detecting a turn-around opportunity.

Think of this: a lot of the globe’s leading capitalists have actually specified they go to by purchasing excellent supplies that have actually displayed a long-term of success. You willingly take on your own out of that world as well as emphasis just on firms that have actually verified they can not transform a revenue when you spend in dime supplies. Yes, occasionally turn-arounds or wonders do take place, however seldom.

If you do intend on entering this globe of day trading cent supplies, you require to come to be a specialist at identifying business you make certain will certainly transform points about, and also enter at the correct time. No, generating income with cent supplies is absolutely possible, yet you have to recognize what you’re doing, and also check your financial investments carefully in all times.

Is day trading dime supplies actually a sensible action for your financial investment task? While you absolutely do listen to the beauty tales of the lots of capitalists that’ve made ton of money with cent supplies, you commonly times do not listen to concerning the thousands that’ve shed a load of cash in the procedure.

The major factor day trading cent supplies is so high-risk is that it does not take much to influence your financial investment. When you spend in dime supplies, you willingly take on your own out of that world as well as emphasis just on firms that have actually shown they can not transform an earnings.

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The post Day Trading Penny Stocks – Is It Really Worth The Risk? appeared first on Business Marketplace Product Reviews.

Minority Business Loans and Grants: Their Powers Combined Can Help Your Business Explode

Like peanut butter and jelly, minority business loans and grants make for a powerful combination.  On their own, each can be a phenomenon, but put them together, and you have a match made in small business funding heaven.

Use Minority Business Loans and Grants Together for a Powerful Combination

Minority loans and grants can be great tools when paired with other funding sources. But how do you get them? How do you use them together?  Which ones are best for you? We know how to find the answers to all of these questions and more. 

Find out why so many companies use our proven methods to get business loans

Minority Business Loans and Grants: Start with The Small Business Administration

It’s impossible to talk about business loans and not mention the SBA.  While they do not lend funds directly, they do handle the administration of many  loan programs that help all small businesses get the funds they need through partner lenders.   Many of their programs, though not specifically for minorities, work fabulously for minority business owners. 

7(a) Loans 

This is the Small Business Administration’s most known program.  It provides federally funded term loans up to $5 million. The funds can be used for a number of purposes,  including expansion, purchasing equipment, working capital and more. Banks, credit unions, and other specialized institutions in partnership with the SBA process these loans and disburse the funds. 

504 Loans 

504 loans are also available up to $5 million.  They can be used to buy machinery, facilities, or land. Typically, business owners use them to fund expansion.  They work especially well for commercial real estate purchases. 

Microloans 

Microloans are loans for $50,000 or less. They work well for starting a business, purchasing equipment, buying inventory, or general working capital. 

SBA Express Loans 

These are fast turnaround loans, with the SBA taking 36 hours or less to give a decision. There is less paper work as well, which is part of what makes express loans great if you qualify. 

SBA Community Advantage Loans minority business loans and grants Credit Suite

This is a pilot program running through 2020.  It also has the potential for extension. Its purpose is to promote economic growth in underserved areas and markets. Decision makers look past such things as poor credit or low revenue if the business has the potential to create jobs or promote economic growth in underserved areas. 

These are some of their most popular programs. The Small Business Administration does so much more for small businesses in addition to this.  Get more details on the SBA, these loan programs, and additional resources offered by the Small Business Administration here.    

Minority Business Loans and Grants: Private Lenders

Though not specific to minorities, some private lenders offer products that work well when paired with grants to help a business grow and expand.  Here are just a few examples. 

BlueVine

BlueVine has several financing options.  For example, they offer term loans, invoice financing, equipment financing, lines of credit, and merchant cash advances.  As a requirement, you have to be in business for at least 6 months. If you need a term loan or a line of credit, then they require a minimum annual revenue of $100,000.  For invoice factoring, the minimum credit score is just 530! If you want a line of credit or term loan, you will need a minimum credit score of 600. They have an A+ rating with the BBB.  Find out more about BlueVine in this review

OnDeck

OnDeck has lines of credit and term loans with fixed interest rates.  You can get up to $500,000 with a term loan. They also have an A rating with the Better Business Bureau.  The minimum FICO they require is 600. In addition, you must have $100,000 minimum annual revenue and be in business for at least one year.  Find out more about OnDeck in our review

SmartBiz

SBA loans typically take a lot of time and paperwork. Still, SmartBiz found a way to speed things up.  They make it easier than ever. Unfortunately, they do have stricter requirements. For example, your credit score has to be at least 650.  Also, you have to be in business for 2 years or more. Further, annual revenue has to be $50,000 at least. There can be no outstanding liens, bankruptcies, or foreclosures in the past 3 years either. 

Funding Circle

If you’re looking for a low APR, then Funding Circle is your go-to.  They have fixed rate term loans and require a credit score of 620 or above.  Unlike BlueVine, there is no minimum revenue requirement. However, they do require you to be in business for at least 2 years.  They have an A+ BBB rating. Find out more in our Funding Circle review

StreetShares

This company offers invoice financing, term loans, and lines of credit.  Similar to others, there is a minimum number of years in business requirement.  However, the minimum annual revenue requirement is less than others, at only $25,000.  Additionally, the minimum credit score is 600. They also have an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau.  Find out more about StreetShares in our review, here

Minority Business Loans and Grants: Improve Your Chances of Loan Approval

Just being a minority business owner does not guarantee approval regardless of the lender or loan program. There are some things a lender is looking for regardless.  Though some lenders are a little more relaxed than others, at their core, they are all looking for the same general things on some level. 

Fundability

A business that appears fundable to a lender is complete, organized, and either has solid revenue or a solid startup plan. Find out more about fundability, what it is, and what affects it here. 

To appear fundable, a business needs: 

  • To be formally incorporated as an S-corp, LLC, or a corporation.
  • An EIN from the IRS.  This is an identifying number for your business that functions similar to the way your SSN does for you personally.  
  • A dedicated business bank account.
  • Contact information that is different from the owner’s.  A separate telephone number on a toll-free exchange and a dedicated physical address are vital.. 
  • A professional website and an email address that has the same URL.  Free web hosting and email services won’t do the job in this case.  

Find out why so many companies use our proven methods to get business loans

A Business Plan is Necessary for Minority Business Loans and Grants

Lenders want to see a professional business plan.  Even if you are not a startup a plan is necessary. Startups need a plan so that lenders can see they know what they are doing.  Established businesses need to show how they plan to use the funds. Lenders want to see that applicants have research to support the plan as well.  Find out more about business plans here

Forms and Documentation

It is pretty much not possible to over prepare when applying for a loan.  Because of this, you should try to think ahead to what information lenders may want to see. Pull together forms and documentation they may ask for.  Items such as past tax returns, financials, and licenses are common. The more prepared you are from the beginning, the smoother the process will flow. 

Your Personal Credit Has to Be Strong

A solid personal credit score is important to getting the best small business loans.  You can’t escape it. As you can see above, a score of 600 or higher is necessary almost across the board with the exception of some invoice factoring and non-traditional options. 

Remember, it isn’t impossible to improve your personal credit score.  The first step is to get a copy of your credit report. You can get a free copy each year. Scan it for what may be causing a negative impact.  If there are mistakes, contact the credit agency in writing to have them removed. If late payments are the issue, start paying on time. You cannot fix a problem until you know what the problem is. 

Business Credit Counts Also

When it comes to business loans, you cannot ignore business credit either.  While it usually isn’t listed as a primary requirement, for most lenders having a strong business credit score can only help you.

If a lender sees a personal score that isn’t exactly what they need, they may consider business credit when making their decision.  In addition, if you qualify for the loan and have good business credit, you may be able to get a lower interest rate. 

Find out why so many companies use our proven methods to get business loans

Minority Business Loans and Grants: Find Your Loan a Grant Sidekick or Two

No super hero due is complete without a sidekick.  If Robin was the jam to Batman’s peanut butter, then maybe one of these grants, or one not listed, can help round out your business funding as well. 

The nice thing about grants is, they do not have to be repaid.  It’s free money. The drawbacks are that they are highly competitive, and they usually are not enough to fund a business alone.  They work well, but they are not superhero material, typically. Once a sidekick, always a sidekick. 

Some grants are minority specific, and some are not.  They vary in application process and eligibility requirements.  Here are some examples of each to add to your minority business loans and grants repertoire. 

First Nations Development Institute Grants

The mission of this group is to offer grants that help Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians, and Native Americans. Not only that, but there are a wide range of opportunities from the First Nations Development Institute.  There is a mailing list you can join to receive information about new opportunities as they become available.

National Black MBA Association Scale-Up Pitch Challenge

Also known as NBMBAA, the Scale-Up Pitch Challenge offers cash prizes ranging from $1,000 to $50,000.  The association says its purpose is to help newer businesses that have an African founder that maintains equal ownership.  

A business must be a member of the NBMBAA to compete.  There is a $10 monthly membership fee. After that, there is an online application.   If chosen, you must submit a pitch that lasts three minutes. Then, finalists go on to compete at the NBMBAA annual conference.

Other Grant Options: Non-Minority Specific 

There are grant options that can work well even though they are not exclusively for minorities. They are available to everyone, including minorities.  Some examples include the following.

FedEx Small Business Grant

This grant is how FedEx is working to strengthen small business innovation.  There are 10 grants the company awards each year. They range from $15,000 to $50,000, and if you’re a business with a cutting-edge product, this could be a great opportunity.

A business must use the FedEx website to submit entries. There are a few questions to answer about your business.  In addition, there is a requirement for an elevator pitch about what makes your business special.  Also, you have to explain how you would use the funds. A 90 second video submission is an option as well.

NASE Growth Grants

The National Association for the Self-Employed (NASE) has small business Growth Grants of up to $4,000. They are for micro-businesses, and proceeds can be used for a number of things.  They can be utilized for marketing, advertising, expansion, and even to hire employees. These grants are open to everyone. However, you do have to be an NASE member to apply. Membership fees vary based on the membership level chosen. 

USDA Value Added Producer Grant

The USDA’s Value-Added Producer Grant (VAPG) program offers grants for small businesses.  It includes minority owned business. Grants range up to $250,000. They are specifically to help agricultural producers with activities that add value to their products. As a result, grants are open to those in rural areas.  They must be operating as one of the following: 

  • Cooperative
  • Farmer
  • Rancher
  • an independent agricultural producer
  • or an agricultural producer group 

Minority Business Loans and Grants: A Dynamic Duo for Your Business

You do not have to have one to have the other.  However, if you pair them, you get twice the power.  Another great thing about grants is, you aren’t limited in how many you can win.  Apply for all that you qualify for and see what happens. Minority business loans and grants combined could be just the boost your business needs to soar to new heights.

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