Owning a Car Vs Using Rideshare

It is not a secret that buying, owning, and maintaining a car costs a significant amount of money. Especially now, when gas prices are high and continue to increase. What if you could avoid paying as much as you do right now? Even while still getting to where you need to go?

Many city dwellers can. In fact, many people from Chicago are already dumping their vehicles and becoming reliant on rideshare. Current research has shown that it is in fact cheaper to use services such as Uber and Lyft in cities including Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, among others.

However, some people are hesitant to use these services due to all of the negative news stories reporting violent crimes involving drivers of such services. However, some services such as Uber are introducing safety features to help riders feel more comfortable reaching someone in case of emergency. It also helps hold drivers accountable by creating a stronger sense of authority, of being watched.

There are many benefits to using these rideshare services in bigger cities. In bigger cities drivers tend to have to pay to park their vehicles in addition to other typical costs such as gas, repairs, affordable auto insurance, etc.

On the other hand, some reports say that the cost of using rideshare will not be cheaper than owning a car until 10 years from now. But, it just depends what is best for the individual budget. In fact, news sites have even developed calculators to see if ridesharing is beneficial to your budget. Another detail that the calculator includes is the cost of time. A detail often overlooked by the monetary costs of things, but a detail equally, if not more valuable to people.

Additionally, there are options to “pool” with other rideshare users to eliminate even more costs. This option is not always the best depending on the intentions of your trip, but can be especially helpful for the commute to work, for example.

The increase in regular rideshare users creates another problem, unfortunately. The amount of cars picking up passengers has disrupted the flow of traffic in certain regions of the city, especially in Chicago. They have even increased fines of traffic violations.

The tickets and gas prices also seem to be turning away some drivers as they pay out of pocket for each item, in addition to possible rideshare insurance. But, drivers who discover that there is a growth in the city population using their services may attract attention to drivers hoping to make more money.

This then creates an issue for rideshare companies who are already struggling to pay their workers. Companies such as Uber who are providing benefits to European drivers, the costs will not go down anytime soon for them.

Overall, it may benefit the individual to utilize rideshare instead of owning a personal vehicle. But, there are many factors to take into account before switching over, both personally and the industry in whole. Rideshare is undoubtedly a hot topic at this time and does not appear to be dying down anytime soon.

Tips and Tricks for Saving on Auto Insurance

Finding the best auto insurance rates can sometimes be tricky. It is absolutely necessary to be insured on the roads, though. In fact, it is required, by Illinois state law to have coverage. Some find auto insurance to be extremely expensive but, there are ways to help make it more affordable. Here are some things to consider to find the ideal price of insurance.

Shop Around

Get quotes from multiple insurance companies, including different types of companies. Also, realize that the lowest number does not mean the cheapest.

Consider Insurance While Shopping for Cars

Some vehicles have lower reliability ratings and other factors that contribute to higher premiums. While researching cars it is important to compare potential premiums for each of your options to ensure you are getting the best deal.

Increase Deductible

By increasing your deductible, you can decrease your premium. Just be sure that the deductible is manageable for your budget and that you have enough money saved in case you need to file a claim.

Bundle Insurance

If the insurance agency that you choose offers bundling, take advantage of it. If not, try to stay with the same company for all of your insurance needs. This results in discounts in most cases.

Keep Good Credit

Having good credit helps lower insurance rates. Researchers have found a significant relationship between your credit score and amount of claims filed. Insurance companies tend to rely on this correlation to define your financial responsibility.

Low Mileage Discounts

Research mileage averages and see if you fall below that. Do not be afraid to ask about a low mileage discount. This discount could also apply to you if you are someone who carpools.

Group Insurance

Some people fall into the category of people who receive insurance from their employer or other groups they belong to. Some insurance providers offer discounts on auto insurance to people who fall into this category.

Other Discounts

Ask your agent if there are any additional discounts you are qualified for based on certain qualities such as how you drive, etc.

Purchase 10+ days before you actually need it

By purchasing coverage before you need to use it helps drive down premium costs.

Pay in Full Up Front

If possible pay in full, rather than setting up a payment plan. The amount you save annually will add up.

Get New Policy When You Move

Especially out of state! Some states have significantly higher insurance rates than others.

Older Cars

Buying a brand new car, just released is exciting, but if your priority is lower insurance premiums it is better to purchase models that are 5+ years old. They are considered more reliable.

VIN Number for Quotes

The purpose of this is to see if you are eligible for a discount if you have anti-theft devices.

Go Paperless

Some companies value using less paper and offer a small discount to those who opt out of using paper which is not hard to do in this age if technology. It is a small offering, but it adds up.

Insurance Vocabulary

Be sure to understand what the verbiage means so that you have a good idea of what you actually need covered and what questions you need to ask your agent.

Automatic Billing

This is another way to save over time, similar to going paperless.

Education

Some insurers offer discounts based off of the level of education you have. For example, some offer discounts for college graduates.

Teen Drivers

Teen drivers are known to drive up insurance costs, since they are more accident prone. But, if they are in a college that is 100+ miles away without a car some insurers allow them to be temporarily taken off of the plan. Additionally, most companies offer a “good student” discount implying that they correlate this test of intelligence with responsible driving habits. Proof of a safe driving class can also save some money on teen auto insurance.

Why Your Business Needs a Content Marketing Strategy

Content marketing is more than just a popular buzzword in the Internet marketing industry. The concept of content marketing underscores a powerful technique to promote a business on the Internet. By creating great content (such as a video, article, or infographic) and marketing that content (via Facebook, Google+, or StumbleUpon,) your business can take advantage of many opportunities to connect with potential customers.

The methods behind content marketing offer limitless channels to exploit your ideas. In short, you can create content in various forms and distribute it many different ways. And just a limitless as the channels to market your content are the potential benefits for your business.

All types of companies can improve their marketing efforts by producing and sharing awesome content. In fact, marketing software provider Kapost has found through its research that per dollar, content marketing contributes to three times more leads that tradition online advertising, such as paid search. For this reason, creating a content marketing strategy can be a momentous game-changer for your business.

Although content marketing offers a ton of advantages (some of which are nearly impossible to track,) there are three major benefits that your business can realize:

Build Brand Awareness
Inbound Traffic to Your Site
Generate Natural Link Popularity for SEO

Building Brand Awareness

As the foundation to marketing your content on the web, building brand awareness is further enhanced when the audience is engaged. This audience engagement is what fuels respect for your brand and bolsters a potential relationship. As a result, the quality and relevancy of your content is paramount. Any content you publish is a reflection of your business and its brand, so you’ll want to be creative and use the right context that relates to your target audience.

Some of the highest levels of audience engagement derive from visually-based content. Videos are a powerful medium to communicate to a potentially massive audience. And by optimizing videos for better search engine exposure (also known as search engine optimization or “SEO”), the overall marketing potential skyrockets. Also effective in the visual content category are images, infographics, cartoons and comics. Exercise your creativity and produce a compelling form of content that can help build awareness in your brand.

Inbounding Traffic to Your Site

The cornerstone of content marketing is to inbound traffic to your site. Marketing your content is a very powerful way to promote your niche or unique selling proposition. As long as you present the right calls to action, the individuals that interact with your content will be more apt to visit your website.

This form of traffic is unique because of the prior interaction that users experience with your content. The best ways to inbound quality traffic to your site is use your content to inform and educate your target audience. Addressing relevant issues, questions, and concerns is a good way to achieve this. For example, a criminal defense attorney may benefit from publishing an article about ‘what to do when faced with DUI charges.’ Any traffic coming from that article could very well be a highly qualified lead for the attorney’s legal services.

Generating Natural Link Popularity for SEO

When content goes viral, it tends to attract a lot of social attention. People usually link to popular content (link popularity,) and as a result, the content can earn a high level of authority. From a SEO standpoint, if a webpage has a high level of authority, then the outbound links coming from that page will be more powerful. This concept of SEO (commonly referred to as “link bait”) is one of the many effective approaches of content marketing.

Think of your wonderful piece of content as a link bait for your SEO efforts. In almost any form of content, whether a video, article, or graphic, you can typically include a link that directs back to your site. For instance, graphics and videos will usually always have supportive text or an author attribution. Here you can include a bit about who you are, as well as a link back to your website. If your content generates a lot of buzz and people start linking to it, the SEO value of your content will only become more powerful.

Developing Your Strategy

Putting together a successful content marketing strategy will depend on the resources you have on hand. You’ll want to determine which types of content are going to be the most relevant and effective to connect to your target audience. Additionally, you’ll also want to pinpoint the ideal publishing platforms and social media sites to market and promote your content. All strategies for marketing content are unique, so you’ll need to get creative as to how you approach the strategy for your business.