Link Building Best Practices for 2018

Everything You Need to Know About Link Building in 2018

Though mobile might be king, people still rely heavily on search engines. Whether they type out their search, or they ask their voice assistant, people search for things all the time. Perhaps they want an answer to a question, check what times a place is open, or simply search for a service or company that they need at the moment. Google will give them results, and chances are they will be happy enough with the first, second, or third result.

J.R. Atkins helps with link building

If you are not in these top three, or worse, not on the first page at all, then you might as well not exist in the eyes of Google. The ranking is not entirely out of your control, either. You can take several meaningful steps to rank better in the eyes of Google, allowing you to gain more traffic from the search engine. One such step you will need to take is link building.

1.    What is Link Building?

Link building refers to guest posting. It means you either write content for another site or have an agency write that content for you. These articles, videos, and even infographics need to be unique, engaging and optimized for SEO. The more diverse your backlink profile, the stronger it will be. The only characteristic you need to look out for is the trust factor. Sites that have been blacklisted for using spam techniques by Google are not a good fit. Small bloggers to big-time news agencies, however, are.

2.    What is SEO?

SEO, or search engine optimization, refers to the steps you can take both on your own site and off-site (with link building) that will work towards improving your site’s ranking on search engines like Google.

J.R. Atkins helps with SEO

3.    How Do You Stay on Top of SEO?

With new updates to the algorithm every other week practically, it is important that you invest in ongoing SEO services. If you don’t, your good ranking can fall behind because of some change to the algorithm that you haven’t kept up with.

4.    What is the Difference Between White Hat and Black Hat?

The reason why your ranking will fluctuate is that Google changes what it looks for to help its rankings. Before, it used to be the number of backlinks. Now it is the quality. Google will also look at factors like site speed and security as well, so it is important to stay within their guidelines and be the shining example of the perfect site.

J.R. Atkins offers white hat SEO

5.    How Do You Link Build?

Link building, before you get too excited, is actually quite difficult. It is time-consuming and will require the use of several expensive applications in order to manage. If you do not have the resources to take this on, then it is much better to rely on professional link building services. That way you can benefit from experience and ongoing monitoring to ensure that your link building efforts stay within Google’s guidelines.

Link building will never go away, but it has become more difficult as time goes by. Quality articles, quality publishers, and an emphasis on manual outreach are all goals to live by. If you don’t have the tools or resources to do this yourself, hiring an agency to do them for you is your best bet.


Everything You Need To Know About Investing In Video Content

Content marketing is still the name of the game in 2018, but standing out with great content is not as easy as it used to be.
J.R. Atkins Video content

Image credit: MaxPixel

With millions of blog posts published every single day, businesses can no longer rely on their company blog to supply the inbound traffic and leads they need.

The solution? Investing in video content.

Many companies are pivoting away from text-based content marketing and taking steps to improve their video marketing game, and for good reason. According to a report by Cisco, in 2021 as much as 81% of global internet traffic may be video-based. Here is what you should know about the benefits (and downsides) of investing in video content, as well as the best ways to start using it in your business, web design, and sales funnel.

The benefits of investing in video content

There are plenty of positives to including video content in your strategy. Below we’ve detailed the many great reasons why your business should be investing in this type of content.

Increase your conversion rates

Websites that use video content boast an average conversion rate of 4.8%, which is pretty high compared to the 2.9% conversion rate of websites without video. Plus, when it’s used as a part of a wider content marketing strategy, you can generate more leads, which gives you a bigger number of potential customers to convert. The people who find you because of your visual content are already primed for conversions, which makes the job of your sales team much easier.

Boost brand awareness

Consumers would much rather learn about a product by watching a short clip than read a blog post or consume other forms of text-based content. Video content is eye-catching, snappy, and provides instant gratification for the user.

Marketers see a 54% increase in brand awareness when they start using video content as a part of their marketing strategy. So, if getting the word out about your business is your main focus right now, then you should definitely invest in this type of marketing.

Improve your SEO

Google loves visual content, too. Companies who use video content get an incredible 41% more visitors from organic search traffic than companies that don’t.

If you are operating a niche business, then SEO-aware video content is a great way to drive relevant traffic to your website and help you own all the relevant niche-specific keywords words. While blogging is another great way to do this — vlogging and video content will actually help you expedite the process.

Build video content into your website to help drive traffic: if you’re an online pet store, then you can include videos answering questions about your pet products, offer pet-care tips, share animal awareness videos, and even curate crazy pet stories. Or if you are running a local accountancy practice, you can create video content on the latest tax regulations, startup guides, or financial ‘how to’ explainers to position yourself as a friendly voice of reason. This works in a number of ways: it keeps visitors on your site for longer, which helps you to rank better on Google. Plus, adding keywords to video titles, descriptions and alt text also helps with on-page optimization.

Include a video transcript and break it down into mini blogs and soundbites.

If you can improve your SEO game enough, you may not even need to spend any more money on paid advertising in the long run. It’s a win-win.
Help users understand your product
Business who use explainer videos or how-to guides reported that this content helps their visitors understand the product much better.

Why is that so important?

If your prospect understands exactly what your product does and who it is for, you will have an easier time guiding them to the “Buy” button on your website.

Moreover, if your product is not the right choice for them, they will be less likely to waste the time of your sales team with a call that ends up going nowhere.

In fact, 81% of responders reported seeing an increase in sales after incorporating explainer video content, and 53% said their support calls were reduced. The better your customers’ understanding, the more efficient your sales team will be at getting them to buy it.

Improve your operations

Not all video content has to be customer-facing. If you want to increase efficiency, you can also use it to support internal operations, such as your employee onboarding process. Don’t make your new employees read through a twenty-page manual — show them an entertaining video instead! Plus, if you create content around your company culture, it could double as an effective recruitment tool as well.

Increase social media reach

If social media impact is your goal, look no further than video content: it’s a versatile marketing tool, perfect for social media. Facebook has become especially video-centric in the last couple of years, and Instagram Stories and Snapchat are also great places to informally promote your products or services too.

The downsides of using video content

All of that sounds great, doesn’t it? The biggest downside of creating video content is the upfront investment it requires, both in terms of time and money. While it possible to use just your iPhone camera to create engaging content online, professional-looking video content will often require a much larger investment.

For example, if you want to create an “About Us” video for your homepage, you have to think about how much you are willing to spend. Pre-production costs (scripting, location scouting, props), production costs (lighting, sound, shooting) and post-production costs (editing etc) all add up quickly.

But as we know, if video content is done well, there are many benefits to your business. So if you want to rise above the competition, you need to start thinking about how to incorporate high-quality content using your available budget.

How video content can fit into your business

48% of marketers are planning to add a YouTube channel in their marketing strategy next year. However, YouTube is not the only way to go.

You can start by creating a “Welcome To Our Company” short piece for your landing pages. Or you can turn one of your monthly Q&A blog posts into a vlog and publish it on your company website.

Some examples of video content include:

 Product demos and reviews
 Tutorials
 Vlogs and interviews
 Customer testimonials
 Onboarding guides

Don’t forget about simpler forms of video content either — the filming features in Snapchat and Instagram are really easy to use even if you are just starting out.

People also tend to expect simpler video formats from Facebook Live events, as well as webinars. If you are just starting out, those platforms are perfect for you. Just prepare your talking points, set up a camera and go!

Video content is definitely an investment you need to make if you want to boost your marketing strategy. But it’s wise to take into account the initial investment. While you can hire a camera guy and an editor for cheap, you have to remember that high-quality content will be a far more successful part of your marketing strategy that poorly-made content.

If your business does not currently have the bandwidth to produce effective video content, you can absolutely start small. Posting behind-the-scenes videos on Instagram stories can go a long way when it comes to building brand awareness.

What did you think of our video content post? Let us know in the comments below.


Brand Marketing Consultant and Freelance Writer.Victoria Greene is a branding consultant and freelance writer. For tips and news in e-commerce, marketing, and design, check out her blog, Victoria Ecommerce. Victoria loves to help store owners get the best return on their e-commerce businesses.


How to Approach Cyber-security in Business

At one time, threats to cybersecurity mostly meant potential leaks of personal or financial information. Now, however, digital threats are on the rise and coming from a wider variety of sources. In 2016, hackers were able to hold the entire San Francisco Municipal Transport Agency hostage by locking over 2,000 systems with ransomware. In 2017, out of the roughly 3.5 million apps available in the Google Play Store, 700.000 of them were deemed “problematic” in terms of security.

Perhaps the biggest threat to cybersecurity, however, is the human factor. According to Verizon’s 2018 Data Breach Cybersecurity Investigations Report (DBIR), financial pretexting and phishing were the source of 93% of all breaches investigated, with email being the main entry point 96% of the time. The report went on to say that companies are nearly three times more likely to be breached via social attacks than through actual vulnerabilities in their systems. This emphasizes the need for ongoing employee cybersecurity education. Here are 5 steps to handling cybersecurity threats to your business.

  1. Know the Value of Data and Security

    No matter what kind of business you run and no matter how large or small your business may be, you have valuable digital data to protect. This can include proprietary information, intellectual property, sensitive and personal employee information or even the financial data of your customers.

The first thing you need to do is assess your digital assets to determine which are most in need of protection and then develop the appropriate systems to protect them. Secondly, you need to assess what types of threats would cause your business the most issues and enable stronger safeguards against those threats.

  1. Assess Your IT inventory and Determine Business and Technology Risks

    Once you have determined what your greatest assets and greatest threats are, you need to assess what measures or security plans you already have in place for dealing with them. You also need to assess the most likely points of entry for those threats.

This includes taking a hard look at security software and making sure it is up-to-date, including the most recent patches. Older software is highly vulnerable, and updates and patches exist to fix those vulnerabilities. So, if you skip on regular updates, you are exposing all the data to persons with malicious intent. Your cybersecurity is only as good as the last patch that was applied.

3. Be Proactive: Educate your Employees

In 2016, IBM’s Cyber Security Intelligence Index found that 60% of all cyberattacks were carried out by insiders. Of those attacks, 75% were carried out with directly malicious intent, while 25% of them involved unwitting actors.

While there may not be as much you can do about employees that genuinely intend to damage your business, there is much you can do about the 25% that don’t.

It is important to educate your employees on proper management and security, such as what risks a public Wi-Fi network poses for unsecured devices or ways to identify phishing email scams. Especially with the trend of allowing employees to bring and use their own personal devices at work is on the rise (BYOD), the risk of a data breach has never been higher. This doesn’t mean that you should discourage such practices, especially if your teams are often on the move, but ensure that they are aware of possible risks and that their devices (personal or business) are properly secured.

  1. Develop a Strategic Cybersecurity plan

    The best way to deal with cyber attacks to treat them as if they are going to happen, rather than simply hoping they don’t. The more prepared you are for them in advance, the more likely you are to weather them well.

Before you reach that point, however, you also need to have strategic plans in place to keep hackers and other ne’er-do-wells from accessing your system in the first place. These can include plans for getting security patches installed immediately, regular password changes for employees, assigned passwords and even regularly backing up your entire system and storing it elsewhere in case of a ransomware attack.

When designing any type of security plan, you always want to involve stakeholders as well as ensuring you are in compliance with local, State and Federal regulations. In many cases, you may need to raise funding from your stakeholders to boost your security, so getting them on board early is critical.

  1. Implement and Tweak Your Plan

    Implementing a good security plan is not like developing an exit strategy in case of a fire. Hackers and thieves are constantly adjusting their strategies, which means you need to constantly be tweaking yours to combat theirs.

The reason cybersecurity companies are constantly sending out patches is because cybercriminals are constantly devising new ways of breaching their security. Cyber thieves never rest, and therefore, neither can you. Your strategy cannot ever simply be a one-time thing that you assess, address and move on from. It needs to be vigilantly addressed, tweaked and changed as threats change as well.

As cyber commerce increases, more and more businesses may have greater digital assets to protect than physical ones. This means that where once businesses may have invested the most in protecting their physical assets and premises, they may now need to shift to investing in protecting those digital assets instead.


Take the Lead with Latest Web Design Trends

Take the Lead with These Latest Web Design Trends

In today’s increasingly internet oriented market, a company’s website is one of their greatest assets. As such, it is well worth the effort and expense to get your web design up to scratch in order to see your sales and conversion rate climbing. The folks at DesignAdvisor have created an enlightening infographic which outlines 15 of the latest web design trends in 2018.

If you’re not entirely convinced of the major importance of web design, let’s take a look at some of the numbers. Statistics show that 75% of users make a judgment (either positive or negative) about a company’s credibility based on the appearance of their website and 94% of users will simply bounce away from a website if they don’t find the design attractive or inviting enough.

This infographic will help you pinpoint some areas which may need beefing up on your website. For example: How easy is it to navigate your webpage? Is your layout eye-catching? Are you providing engaging content? What is your website’s loading speed? Surveys have revealed that most users expect a page to load within two seconds, and even a one-second increase can cause a drop in sales of up to 27%.

You might be hesitant to invest vast amounts of time and money into your website, especially in the initial stages of your business’s development. However, according to research, for every $1 invested in improving user experience, you can expect up to a $100 in returns. It just might end up being the best investment you make.

The abundance of interesting facts complimented by colorful illustrations sprinkled throughout the infographic makes it easy to follow. Another prominent feature is the case study cameos which speak for themselves by highlighting how various well-known businesses benefited by improving specific aspects of their websites. See what insight you can gain from it and take the lead with some of these latest web design trends.

URL:https://designadvisor.net/blog/web-design-trends/

Best wishes, Josh Wardini.

 



4 Habits of Online Shoppers All Businesses Should Know

Think about how easy life would be if you could understand and accurately predict the exact thought process of your customer base. E-commerce, in its most basic guise, is a system of supply and demand. Understand this demand, and you’re perfectly positioned to give your customers what they want.

J.R. Atkins teaches about e commerceSadly, it’s impossible to do this. After all, we aren’t mind readers! But don’t fret – while knowing exactly what people are thinking isn’t plausible, there are ways to monitor trends. With the help of online e-commerce platforms, you can work out where potential profits are won and lost. Today, let’s take a look at four habits of online shoppers and learn how to exploit them to boost funds.

  1. Smartphone purchase

With the world constantly evolving, mobile platforms are becoming an increasingly important aspect of any user journey. Shockingly though, this is where most e-commerce businesses are losing ground.

A recent study from Invespcro would highlight this, with their results showing consumer satisfaction was at its lowest when it came to the ability to purchase through a smartphone. Wise online store owners would do well to optimize this aspect of their business, in order to boost user retention and provide a fluid, smooth journey.

  1. Social shopping

Social shopping plays a huge part in the way items are advertised in the 21st century. If you’re selling a product which the customer can tangibly hold in their hand (rather than a service), promoting it on a social media account will help garner attention.

Marketing Land provides a detailed guide on how to get the most out of Pinterest in this regard. This is a platform which is particularly suited to showing off your stock. Dedicate real care and attention towards making listings look as good as possible.

  1. One-click payment

Along the same lines as mobile optimization, consumers are looking for the easiest possible experience when it comes to the checkout process. This is epitomized by the one-click-and-done method which industry leaders like Amazon and eBay have introduced.

In order to implement this, you’ll need to create a system which allows users to have a dedicated account set up on your site. This won’t be too hard and can be achieved with the use of aforementioned platforms dedicated to managing your store.

  1. Brand ambassadors

People are more likely to trust a face than a name they don’t recognize If you’re a smaller enterprise, it’s worth keeping this in mind. While a name itself is enough to appeal when it comes to larger companies, you may need to think outside of the box if you’re a start-up.

Having a friendly, relatable human face at the forefront of your brand is a great way of doing this. Consumers find it easier to trust that which they can see. If they feel a “real person” is on the other end, they’re more likely to hand over their cash.

Have these online habits given you food for thought? Be sure to keep them in mind when running your business. They should make a huge difference.

Guest Blog by Kristine Collins


Upping Your Instagram Game with Hootsuite

Use Hootsuite to Schedule and Manage Your Social Media Including Instagram

J.R. Atkins uses Hootsuite

Hootsuite has expanded its dashboard to make it easier for you to schedule and monitor your social media efforts on Instagram. Previously, Hootsuite provided you the ability to tend to your Facebook and Twitter platforms with ease, now you can do the same with Instagram. With an ever-increasing number of businesses and professionals taking to Instagram, this is a welcome addition from Hootsuite. 

There are a number of tactics you will want to consider utilizing to make the most of your Instagram account. Thanks to Hootsuite now being a resource for you, you can utilize this tactics and strategies with greater ease.

Don’t Post All Photos Immediately

 Many, if not most, Instagram users are in the habit of posting photos directly after taking them. This can result in images being uploaded to Instagram at points in time at which you will not garner the optimal impact for them. If you are using Instagram for business, you necessarily want to put up your photos at times in which they will have the biggest impact. 

Thanks to Hootsuite, you can take a photo and schedule it to go up on Instagram at a future point in time. You can accomplish this at one time and directly after taking the image. You do not need to carve out time, later on, to go back and post your image.

J.R> Atkins and Hootsuite

Take Advantage of Iconosquare

 In addition to using Hootsuite to up your Instagram game, take advantage of Iconosquare as well. These two apps, when used together, can go far in assisting you to make the most out of your Instagram account.

 Iconosquare is designed to analyze your Instagram engagement over time. With this data, you can ascertain what points in time during the course of any given day you can anticipate the highest level of engagement. Armed with this information, you can schedule your Instagram posts using Hootsuite at those optimal junctures in time.

 Use the Front Facing Camera for Selfies

 Like many people, including business owner and professionals, selfies tend to make up a considerable percentage of imaged uploaded to Instagram. More often than not, these images are taken using the rear-facing camera on a smartphone.

 The reality is that the rear-facing camera, the one on the back of your phone, has a notable higher resolution. You should start using that camera to take your Instagram selfies. Yes, you will need to practice to master using this camera. In the end, you will find that your Instagram selfies will be of a significantly higher quality.

 Use the Over App

 Another app you can use in conjunction with Hootsuite when it comes to your Instagram images is Over. With Over, you can easily add text to your images. The combination of photos and text oftentimes makes Instagram images more appealing, more compelling to your followers. As with other apps, you can take an image, add text, and conveniently schedule its uploading to Instagram for a future time. 

Lighting Problems? Convert to Black and White

 If you’re struggling to balance out the lighting on an image intended for Instagram, and are beginning to think your efforts are proving futile, convert the photo to black and white. This simple tactic eliminates issues you may be having in regard to a full-color derivation of an image. In addition, black and white photos can prove to be stunning on Instagram. 

By incorporating Hootsuite together with these tips and tactics, you will put yourself in the position to get the most out of your Instagram account. In addition to getting more out of your Instagram account, you will optimize its usefulness and effectiveness in an efficient and time conserving way thanks to Hootsuite. 


Jessica Kane is a professional blogger who focuses on personal finance and other money matters. She currently writes for Checkworks.com, where you can get personal checks and business checks.


Four Great Travel Jobs

Four Great Job Ideas for People Who Love Traveling

A friend of mine and I were talking about the jobs in travel-related fields and came up with four roles that sounded good. If you love traveling, then working as you explore the world could be something that you’re aiming for. After all, why spend so much time at home saving up for your trips, when you could get out on the road and earn money whilst you’re there? Whether you’d rather work remotely or for an employer, there are several great job ideas that are always in high demand wherever you choose to visit. We’ve put together some of our best suggestions.

#1. Hotel Porter:

You’ve probably stayed in quite a few hotels whilst traveling, but have you ever considered working in one? No matter where you visit, there’s sure to be at least a few hotels in the area. A hotel porter is primarily responsible for helping guests in and out of the hotel; this usually includes dealing with baggage, although in some countries, you may also be employed to carry other heavy items and even pets. Porters can also be stationed at other locations such as airports, seaports, and train stations. To do the job successfully, you’ll need to be physically strong enough to safely carry heavy items all day and have excellent customer service skills. In most cases, no specific qualifications are required – a high school diploma will suffice. Check out this porter job description for more information.

#2. Bartender:

Wherever you go, there’s sure to be a selection of bars and restaurants frequented by both the locals and tourists to the area. And, these establishments are often in need of dedicated staff to help them give their customers the best experience. Working as a bartender, you’ll be responsible for much more than simply pouring drinks – you’ll be handling cash, keeping the area clean, and building up a rapport with both regulars and one-off visitors. For those working whilst they travel, bartending is a great job since most shifts begin during the evening, giving you plenty of time to explore and enjoy the sunshine during the day.

#3. Freelancer:

If you have a skill that can be marketed online such as web design or content writing, you might want to consider becoming a freelancer while you travel. This is a great job option for anyone who loves to explore since it gives you the freedom of being your own boss. In addition, there’s less hassle if you want to move around – instead of handing in your notice to your employer, you can simply hop on the next flight to your chosen destination and take your work along with you. All you’ll need is a reliable laptop and access to the internet.

#4. Flight Attendant:

Lastly, why not consider a career that traveling is a big part of? Whilst being on the job as a flight attendant isn’t quite the same as flying as a passenger, it’s definitely a great way to get paid whilst seeing a lot of the world. For longer flights, cabin crew are often allowed to stay in the destination overnight before returning, where they can go out and explore the surrounding areas for a while if time permits.

If you have ideas on seeing the world while you work, we would like to hear from you.


Useful Money-Saving Tips for Startups

Useful Money-Saving Tips Suitable for Startup Mode

Getting a business off the ground is an important first step once the planning and fund-raising aspects have been completed. Once you know how much cash is in the bank for business expenses ahead of future sales or another funding round, it’s time to economize to make the funds last. This can be the difference between having to take on debt or give up another 10 percent of the company due to spending too ambitiously in the early weeks and months. Here are some ways that a startup can save money.

Edit Images Using Free Software Apps

You don’t always need an expensive Photoshop software package to edit photos ready for publication on your company’s website. There are plenty of mobile apps on iOS and Android that let mobile users adjust photos to remove red-eye, deal with blurring, handle overexposure, and other teething issues with hastily-taken shots.

Whether you wish to use a free online editor like Pixlr.com or an app where you can process existing photos on the Android OS, it’s easy to do. There are also plenty of iOS apps that offer filtering features to adjust how photos look or to edit them outright. The editing tends to work better on a larger canvas, so an iPad is perhaps a better choice than an iPhone for detailed mobile photo editing. Click Here to learn which apps would be suitable depending on your mobile platform of choice.

Remote vs Office vs Outsourced Staff

When in startup mode, conserving available funds is important to give your business more time between funding rounds and giving away part of the ownership into the bargain. One cost-saving measure is to consider the benefits of using freelancer’s vs remote workers. Freelancers are available per task, if necessary, rather than hired as full-time employees. Remote workers don’t require an office to come to five days a week which can be beneficial too.

Office staff work well and have reasonable productivity levels, but it does force a move to the initial office space earlier than some might prefer. This isn’t always a bad thing, but it must be factored into the financial calculations. For this reason, it’s a good idea to weigh up all staffing options carefully first.

Consider Previously Used, Not New

Most startups want to dazzle visitors with everything being new and fancy. This is an expensive proposition for a company that hasn’t turned a profit yet. Whether looking at office chairs or work desks, cabinets or drawers, there are certainly places where companies can economize on what they need to get the office looking ready.

When you consider how many companies start and later fail, there are plenty of places that receive almost new office furniture and other items at knockdown prices when the failed businesses had their liquidation sale. Avoid overspending in places where potential clients won’t care and respond to anyone questioning the cost-saving move to provide competitive pricing against the competition.

One of the biggest mistakes of new businesses is spending too much in the early days. It can be a mistake if sales fail to materialize as quickly as the financial projections indicated and this will cause hardship as a result. By moderating the cash burn rate, startups can avoid encountering problems later.


Is New Media Good or Bad for your Family

IS MASS MEDIA AND THE INTERNET HELPING OR HURTING YOU?

Since the internet, and particularly smartphones, became household commodities, mass media’s impact on people and societies has increased exponentially.

As you might expect, there is a swinging pendulum of public opinion which often shifts from decrying the ills of this trend to extolling the many virtues of on demand technology.

Whether you tend toward the former or latter opinion, it’s obvious that mass media and social media are having profound effects upon individuals and society as a whole. Many people are concerned about the implications of these effects, and find themselves asking questions like:

  • How is media affecting me?
  • How is mass media impacting the next generation?
  • How do video games change us?
  • How does on-demand media impact health?
  • Is mass media truly important?
  • How do we use mass media and social media well?
  • Is mass media a good thing?

Something Different Companies phone usage Answering these questions can help you to be smart about how you interact with the constant barrage of media being directed at you and your family.

So let’s think through the implications of mass media together so that we can come to informed conclusions.

HOW DOES MASS MEDIA AFFECT YOU?

Many are wondering mass media, and social media, in particular, is a good thing or bad thing. Of course, for every type of media, there are a host mixed opinions, some based on research, some not. Neil Postman was asking these same types of questions over the mass adoption of the television.

A positive use of technology and mass media enables people to become informed, collaborate in innovative ways, or stay in touch with friends and family. Yet, these same connections can be used for dangerous cybercrime.

Social media can help people to feel connected and happy, to connect with old friends and make new ones. However, that same social media can lead to depression or anxiety, when life doesn’t meet the expectations created by perfectly edited profiles.

The internet may be a source of motivational messages, videos, or blog posts that improve your life and increase productivity or healthy living. However, it’s just as possible that these very messages can prevent you from getting out there and living.

These are just a few examples of the vastly different ways media can impact our daily lives.

Because mass media affects each person differently, you need to look at your own life to make informed decisions.

Where do you fall on the pendulum? How does your use of social media affect your mood, productivity, and sense of well being? If you tend more toward the negative impacts – depression, anxiety, inactivity – it may be time to limit your media consumption.

WHAT IS THE IMPACT OF MASS MEDIA ON CHILDREN?

Television is the best researched area of mass media effect on children. It has the how is media affecting childrenpotential to help and to harm, as is true with most media types.

Many negative effects have been recorded, and kids often spend more time watching television than on any other activity. However, if the television time includes educational programming and parent supervision, the power can be harnessed to help with learning and have positive effects.

With this in mind, parents must think critically about how their children are consuming television. Are they largely involved in what and how often their children are watching, or is it more of a hands-off experience?

This is perhaps even more important to think through now that most “television” consumption consists of Netflix, Hulu, and other streaming platforms.

Making the decision to be diligent about these decisions now will improve children’s interactions with television, and prepare them to interact well with other types of media as they mature.

WHAT IS THE IMPACT OF MEDIA ON TEENS?

Media often is described as harmful to teens, and while this is certainly true in some circumstances, it can be best understood as having mixed effects.

The key is to be aware of how mass media and social networking affect the brain so that you can make intentional decisions about how to use it.

Some positive effects include:
  • Motor skills are improved by typing, clicking, playing games, and other tech-related finger skills.
  • Hand-eye coordination or even quick thinking can be helped. (Future drone pilots)
  • Access to mass news media can improve reading skills.
  • Social network activity is theorized to improve writing and socializing skills.

Additionally, the content of media stories or social media posts can be useful and meaningful to teens. With platforms like YouTube and Instagram, they have access to people’s stories they might never have heard otherwise. In this way, teens may learn that many others are experiencing similar struggles to their own, giving courage and confidence.

However, there are significant negative effects as well.

Negative effects include:
  • Depression or anxiety over body image
  • Normalizing violence
  • Unfettered access to pornography
  • Increased risk of obesity from inactivity
  • Decreased attention to schoolwork

Knowing about these potential risks of social and mass media consumption is important for both teens and their parents. In this respect, knowledge really is power, as it will enable both parties to be strategic about the role of media in their lives.

Read more about media communication master’s in communication options.

WHAT ABOUT VIDEO GAMES?

Video games are a frequent concern, particularly as technology continues to advance affects of video games on youthand gaming becomes more and more realistic. Research shows some mixed effects from video game use.

Though the problem solving and dexterity skills employed can lead to higher intelligence or better motor skills, the violent or other disturbing content in games is of high risk to well being. It’s established that seeing violence can desensitize one to its effects.

As with other types of media mentioned, it’s critical that parents exercise caution about what types of games their children play and how often they do so.

DOES MASS MEDIA DAMAGE HEALTH?

The proliferation of mass media and electronic devices has had profound effects on Health Appshealth. There are numerous physical problems which may arise from this consumption, particularly if left unchecked.

The effects of smartphones often first show up as eye strain and neck pain, the inevitable result of constant screen-time and often slumped positions while using these devices. Obesity is a risk if much time is spent in sedentary activity.

Some research shows links between mass media consumption and anxiety and depression. There can be a change in happiness, social skills, and peace of mind that is attributed to media and the internet.

It is most important to monitor your happiness and health and correlate them with your own practices so you can make informed decisions for your or your family’s well being.

HOW CAN YOU PROTECT YOURSELF AND YOUR FAMILY?

There are many recommendations for being wise with media consumption.

Parents must be familiar with current sites and channels, and the types of content that their children come into contact with. Ask questions and browse with your child. Set clear and appropriate ground rules for young ages, which then build a strong foundation for future responsible use.

Make sure to discuss the difference between fantasy and reality with your children. If exposed to gratuitous violence and sexuality, children and teens should know these are fantasy, and not the norm or real life. The dangers of violent and risky behavior should be a topic of conversation.

For almost any age from 1- 99, limiting media to a few hours per day is reasonable and enforceable. Discuss education, values, and the intrusion of media regularly with your family.

Conclusion

There is no definitive answer to whether mass media is “good” or “bad”. Research has shown that it can have both positive and negative effects, and often these effects are dependent on how the media is being used and consumed.

The solution isn’t to totally cut yourself off from all mass media or to wholeheartedly embrace every facet of it. Rather, it must be carefully analyzed and evaluated. If you’re a parent, you need to help your children understand both the positives and negatives of things like video games, social media, and streaming television.

Unless you plan on moving to an isolated island with no internet connection, this issue isn’t going away. The best approach is to tackle it head-on, rather than hoping things just work themselves out.

Many people are choosing to engage with mass communication head-on with master’s degrees in mass communications. It’s with this progress we are able to understand the effects of mass media and other emerging social channels have on society currently and in the foreseeable future.

 

Anna Kucirkova Guest Blogger: “Anna Kucirkova speaks 3 languages has a passion for kids and writing. While she has been to many places in Europe and SE Asia she still wants to explore the rest of the world.”

 


Archives

Categories

%d bloggers like this: