There are plenty of guides to marketing. From textbooks to online video tutorials, you can really take your pick. But, we felt that there was something missing — a guide that really starts at the beginning to equip already-intelligent professionals with a healthy balance of strategic and tactical advice. The Beginner’s Guide to Online Marketing closes that gap.
The set-up works like this: Once you sign up for Swagbucks, you’ll download their search bar onto your computer. From there, you’ll earn points for shopping online, watching targeted videos, searching the web, and taking surveys. Once you rack up a ton of points, you can exchange them for gift cards to popular retailers like Amazon.com and Walmart.
Adam Enfroy is the Affiliate Partnerships Manager at BigCommerce. With 10+ years of experience in digital marketing, ecommerce, SEO, web development, and selling online courses, he is passionate about leveraging the right strategic partnerships, content, and software to scale digital growth. Adam lives in Austin, TX and writes about building your online influence by scaling your content and affiliate marketing strategies on his blog.
A fitness site can have numerous revenue streams. Create healthy eating plans and recipes and lock them away as premium content. Promote and sell a fitness training course, eBook, or a series of videos. Or advertise your own personal fitness services on your site. Topfithub is a good example of a fitness site with decent video content alongside product reviews.
Thanks for all the information I am slowly working my way through your list of do’s and donts! ! I’ve been approached by a website that wants to develop editorial content for my blog featuring home improvement tips from their”national client” and pay me $40 a year for reviewing and publishing their content. Boy, I am just not sure how this all works? Any words for when we are approached by others to write for our blogs?
The new digital era has enabled brands to selectively target their customers that may potentially be interested in their brand or based on previous browsing interests. Businesses can now use social media to select the age range, location, gender and interests of whom they would like their targeted post to be seen by. Furthermore, based on a customer's recent search history they can be ‘followed’ on the internet so they see advertisements from similar brands, products and services, This allows businesses to target the specific customers that they know and feel will most benefit from their product or service, something that had limited capabilities up until the digital era.
As a front-end engineer, you’ll aid in the development of solutions that support consistent information architecture, taxonomies, visual standards, interaction patterns and use cases across multiple applications. In addition to reviewing designs and documenting front-end technical specifications, you’ll provide time estimates for the implementation of features/fixes. To land this full-time work-from-home job, you should have five-plus years of professional work experience as a user-interface developer of Rich Internet Applications, as well as experience coding rich, immersive interfaces using HTML5.
Our SEO professionals are all well-respected thought leaders in the space and have decades of combined experience and include the following credentials: Search Engine Workshop Certification, Google Analytics and Yahoo Certifications, PMP Certification, UNIX Certification, Computer Engineering degrees and MBA’s. Our SEO team members are acclaimed SEO speakers and bloggers. IMI’s SEO team members have been keynote presenters at Pubcon, SMX, SEMCon, Etail, and many more influential conferences.
Search engines are a powerful channel for connecting with new audiences. Companies like Google and Bing look to connect their customers with the best user experience possible. Step one of a strong SEO strategy is to make sure that your website content and products are the best that they can be. Step 2 is to communicate that user experience information to search engines so that you rank in the right place. SEO is competitive and has a reputation of being a black art. Here’s how to get started the right way.
SEO should be a core tactic in any marketing strategy. While it might seem difficult to understand at first, as long as you find the right course, book or audiobook, and devote your time to learning, you'll be in good shape. Considering that there are over 200+ ranking factors in Google's current algorithms, learning, digesting and successfully implementing good SEO tactics is essential to the success of your website or blog.
Hi Shashank, it all depends on the quality of content you’re offering. If your YouTube videos are original, useful and interesting —there is no reason why your YouTube channel won’t attract traffic. And remember, YouTube earnings are not really driven by CPV. Eventually it’s CPC that matters. And both CPV and CPC increase as your traffic increases. Google will not pay handsome amounts if you do not have enough traffic.
Traveling Vineyard – Pop open opportunity and get ready to change your life one cork at a time. The only real requirement of this job: being awesome. It helps if you like wine, too. Other than that, the rest is easy peasy. Maybe you’re looking for a little extra spending money. Or maybe you just need a reason to get out of the house. Your reason for becoming a rock star Wine Guide is up to you. But the opportunity is all yours—all $30 billion of it. You ready? Let’s rock this dream.
Once you’ve gathered a list, put together a template outreach email (as you’ll be doing this over and over) that’s short and clear with expectations. Tell your potential interviewee who you are, what your podcast is about, and what you’re asking of them. Do a few test interviews with friends and family to make sure everything is being recorded at the quality you want and then book your first episode.
SEO is an effective tool for improving the volume and quality of traffic to your website. Visitors are more likely to click on free organic listings than on paid listings. Our SEO strategies apply only the best and most current practices that focus on the use of great content development, content marketing, social media. All of these strategies combined result in the most effective use of best practices that drive long term ROI.
The next step? How will you communicate with people. Sharpe says that you need to decide on this early on. Will you blog? Will you use social media? Will you build a list by working with solo ad providers? Will you place paid advertisements? What will you do and how will you do it? What you must realize here is that you have to get really good at copy writing. The better you get at copy writing, the more success you'll find as an internet marketer.
There is no shortage of products you’ll be able to promote. You’ll have the ability to pick and choose products that you personally believe in, so make sure that your campaigns center around truly valuable products that consumers will enjoy. You’ll achieve an impressive conversion rate while simultaneously establishing the reliability of your personal brand.
In the case of cost per mille/click, the publisher is not concerned about whether a visitor is a member of the audience that the advertiser tries to attract and is able to convert, because at this point the publisher has already earned his commission. This leaves the greater, and, in case of cost per mille, the full risk and loss (if the visitor cannot be converted) to the advertiser.
Another tactic to adopt when you're in business mode? Dress the part. Aimee Samuelson, a Portland, Oregon, mom of two, who runs a marketing business out of a converted garage, dresses as if she's going into an office when she's on the job. She knows if she works in her pj's she won't concentrate as well and might get distracted by household tasks between conference calls. Not everyone needs a suit on to feel more professional -- sometimes taking a shower and putting on makeup and a clean outfit will do the trick.
It is important for a firm to reach out to consumers and create a two-way communication model, as digital marketing allows consumers to give back feed back to the firm on a community based site or straight directly to the firm via email. Firms should seek this long term communication relationship by using multiple forms of channels and using promotional strategies related to their target consumer as well as word-of mouth marketing.
If you’re an expert in a particular field (like technology, health, cars, business development or anything else) you can write guest posts for bloggers who run profitable blogs on these subjects. Some big bloggers who earn money from blogging, can pay good amount of money if you can write an authoritative post for them. You can even earn as much as $500 by writing just one article! I have written an article about what is guest blogging and how should be done.
In 1994, Tobin launched a beta version of PC Flowers & Gifts on the Internet in cooperation with IBM, who owned half of Prodigy. By 1995 PC Flowers & Gifts had launched a commercial version of the website and had 2,600 affiliate marketing partners on the World Wide Web. Tobin applied for a patent on tracking and affiliate marketing on January 22, 1996, and was issued U.S. Patent number 6,141,666 on Oct 31, 2000. Tobin also received Japanese Patent number 4021941 on Oct 5, 2007, and U.S. Patent number 7,505,913 on Mar 17, 2009, for affiliate marketing and tracking. In July 1998 PC Flowers and Gifts merged with Fingerhut and Federated Department Stores.
Once you’ve had children, many parents find themselves caught in the trap of needing to work but wanting to stay home with their kids. Creating your own parenting blog can not only be a way to make some money, but it can also help you connect with other parents and make sense of those crazy sleepless early parenting years (it does get easier don’t worry!)
My favorite style in this is article marketing. You create anchor content on your website or blog, then you build authority-content links to that content, effectively driving up the visibility. I've used this single strategy to rank hundreds of keywords in the #1 spot on Google, and I would highly recommend that if you're going to learn any marketing strategy, that you get really good at this one.
Try Uber EATS or DoorDash. Uber EATS offers part-time work that’s similar to driving for Uber or Lyft. Instead of picking up passengers, however, you will pick up food orders and deliver them in your area. Pay works similarly, letting you earn a per-job rate plus tips. Door Dash works similarly, letting consumers order food from restaurants and connecting drivers to pick up and drop off their meals.
ProFromGo received the 2014 PR/Marketing Award for our involvement in the Google Business View program. In January 2015, our entire team was invited to the “Googleplex” located in sunny Mountain View, California where we experienced a myriad of adventures through the Silicon Valley. Today, ProFromGo is the only Google Trusted Agency based in Western Pennsylvania and the surrounding region. This special status and accreditation with Google is a direct result of our commitment to our clients and our craft. ProFromGo currently offers Google Street-View powered virtual tour production services to brick and mortar businesses all throughout the United States.
The Nielsen Global Connected Commerce Survey conducted interviews in 26 countries to observe how consumers are using the Internet to make shopping decisions in stores and online. Online shoppers are increasingly looking to purchase internationally, with over 50% in the study who purchased online in the last six months stating they bought from an overseas retailer.
Outsourcing is the new and dominant wave of the business world. As businesses shed employees, they increasingly turn to independent contractors to supply what in-house staff used to do. One of the ways they do this is through virtual assistants. These are people who provide certain tasks online. Businesses can use virtual assistants as much or as little as they need to. If you can make yourself available to multiple businesses, you might have plenty of work without ever leaving your house.
Great tips! Since I just started blogging in January I am still really just getting my toes wet in affiliates. However, I did notice that pictures and real life demonstrations of the product really help. For instance, I have several food posts where I talk about my favorite cook books and show what I have cooked out of them, and then included amazon links, sure enough I sold a few cook books.
Conversion rate optimization is still possibly one of the most underutilized but critical functions of digital marketing. Every element of digital marketing is useless without considering conversion rates. This goes for SEO, SEM, Social Media, Email, and Display. The power of your SEO rankings are only as good as your click through rates and your traffic is only valuable of your website and landing pages foster some type of “action.” Why spend all the time and energy driving traffic through multiple different channels if you are not willing to spend the time and energy on conversion optimization? Yet many brands and agencies still put less emphasis on this crucial piece of the puzzle.
Your social media strategy is more than just a Facebook profile or Twitter feed. When executed correctly, social media is a powerful customer engagement engine and web traffic driver. It’s easy to get sucked into the hype and create profiles on every single social site. This is the wrong approach. What you should do instead is to focus on a few key channels where your brand is most likely to reach key customers and prospects. This chapter will teach you how to make that judgment call.
However, like anything else truly worthwhile, apps require a significant investment of your time or money upfront. If you don't have the skills, then you have to hire someone who can assist you in creating a great app. But first you need to come up with an idea that will sell. Do the proper market research and analytics to come up with the right app.
There are a number of ways brands can use digital marketing to benefit their marketing efforts. The use of digital marketing in the digital era not only allows for brands to market their products and services, but also allows for online customer support through 24/7 services to make customers feel supported and valued. The use of social media interaction allows brands to receive both positive and negative feedback from their customers as well as determining what media platforms work well for them. As such, digital marketing has become an increased advantage for brands and businesses. It is now common for consumers to post feedback online through social media sources, blogs and websites on their experience with a product or brand. It has become increasingly popular for businesses to use and encourage these conversations through their social media channels to have direct contact with the customers and manage the feedback they receive appropriately.
2. InboxDollars – InboxDollars is similar to Swagbucks, since you’re going to be taking surveys, shopping, etc., so if you want to maximize your return, sign up with both websites. They also offer a search engine that pays you (like Swagbucks) and you get $5 just for signing up. I won’t continue to list survey sites one after another down the list, but if you want to get paid to take surveys, also check out GlobalTestMarket, E-Poll Surveys and Survey Club.
Customers are often researching online and then buying in stores and also browsing in stores and then searching for other options online. Online customer research into products is particularly popular for higher-priced items as well as consumable goods like groceries and makeup. Consumers are increasingly using the Internet to look up product information, compare prices, and search for deals and promotions.
Creating a jobs board website can be another profitable venture. The ‘jobs’ field can be quite saturated, so it is important to find a niche that is still crying out for a jobs board website. Monetize this type of site by charging businesses to list their jobs on your site. Those searching for jobs could also be charged a fee to access the higher paying job adverts.
Writing product reviews are an excellent way to enhance your credibility as an affiliate marketer. This is especially easy with information products like e-books which are relatively inexpensive. After establishing some steady income it may even be worth buying higher-end products, provided you get in touch with the product creator to work out a strategic marketing plan that takes you to the next level.
Dog watching. One of the best jobs for stay at home moms who love their four-legged friends. Rover.com matches dog owners who need pet sitting with pet lovers who want to help. Create your profile and set your prices. Must be in a city populated enough to find business, but the potential to earn hundreds of dollars per month is there. (Heather in Seattle nets $500 to $1000 per month this way.)
Being a work-from-home mom is a popular trend these days. If you look around, you’ll see women entrepreneurs popping up all over the place. The LuLaRoe trend is still thriving, and women are discovering alternative money-making methods they can put into action while still maintaining the stay-at-home-mom role. (Think modern versions of Avon, but more digital.) Because let’s face it, childcare is expensive, and families have to get creative.
That's what kept bringing me back to Sharpe. When it comes to internet marketing, this is one of the masterminds in the industry, a high-8-figure earner who recently generated over $1 million dollars within a 60-day period with a brand new system. I knew that if I was going to help educate people about internet marketing, I had to go straight to the top. Sharpe is also one of the most relatable characters in the industry, who speaks eloquently and fluidly, able to inspire millions of people with ease.
It’s hard to believe that the Internet is now multiple decades old. Affiliate marketing has been around since the earliest days of online marketing. It’s a great solution for businesses that are risk-averse or don’t have the budget to spend on upfront marketing costs. Use affiliate marketing to build a new revenue stream for your ecommerce or B2B business.
He is the co-founder of Neil Patel Digital. The Wall Street Journal calls him a top influencer on the web, Forbes says he is one of the top 10 marketers, and Entrepreneur Magazine says he created one of the 100 most brilliant companies. Neil is a New York Times bestselling author and was recognized as a top 100 entrepreneur under the age of 30 by President Obama and a top 100 entrepreneur under the age of 35 by the United Nations.
In February 2000, Amazon announced that it had been granted a patent on components of an affiliate program. The patent application was submitted in June 1997, which predates most affiliate programs, but not PC Flowers & Gifts.com (October 1994), AutoWeb.com (October 1995), Kbkids.com/BrainPlay.com (January 1996), EPage (April 1996), and several others.
Since 2006, I’ve spoken at more than 100 SEO and Internet marketing conferences, such as Pubcon, SMX, ClickZ, Digital Summit, and SEOktoberfest. My panel topics are often about link building, penalties, and SEO tools. In 2019, I’ll be presenting on featured snippet optimization and “the perfect page” at a couple of conferences. Even though I feel that I know a ton about link building and content marketing, I’d rather share knowledge in other areas.
Your partner can also be a great source of support. When Samuelson's husband, a teacher, arrives home at 3:30 p.m., she relies on him to take over kid duty. He can ferry their two children to the park and get dinner ready, and Samuelson will emerge a few hours later feeling finished with her day's to-do list. If your partner gets home after dinner, ask him to oversee bedtime -- you'll fit in at least an hour of work before the kids yell "Mom!" And once they do, you're there for the call, with no rush hour to race through.
If you don't learn to keep your roles as mom and businesswoman separate, giving each your full concentration for a set amount of time, you'll never feel like you're doing either well. To separate mentally from the rest of the house, set up a private office area, recommends Lauren Kohl, an attorney and mom of two in Newton, Massachusetts. She works out of a converted closet, a kid-free zone that helps her to detach from the rest of her house. If she can't see the dirty rompers in the hamper, she's less inclined to leave her desk to launder them, she says. Plus, it helps you disengage from your job if you have a door to close. If you don't have an office, try making a list of everything you're going to do the next day, leave it in your work space, and walk away. "You're doing something to turn work off," says Durst.
What It Is: "So many jobs that were reserved for a corporate setting you can now do at home, like IT troubleshooting," Shagara says. In this role you'll use problem-solving skills to diagnose technical problems and walk clients through solutions. A company may also want you to be a point of reference for new software or hardware installment and repair.
For example, what are the quality and quantity of the links that have been created over time? Are they natural and organic links stemming from relevant and high quality content, or are they spammy links, unnatural links or coming from bad link neighborhoods? Are all the links coming from the same few websites over time or is there a healthy amount of global IP diversification in the links?
If your YouTube channel has a million subscribers, you can earn from $100,000 to $300,000 per month. Mostly it depends on how interesting your videos are. Secondly, it depends on the how many people have subscribed to your YouTube channel. The stories of Olga Kay and Mimi Ikonn will tell you that they definitely earn more than $100,000 every year from their YouTube channels. This is the minimum. No one really knows the exact amount but many sources say that they could actually be touching one million dollars every year.
This isn't about off-the-shelf solutions. You need to really convey something illustrious and beautiful, then fill it with incredible MVP content. Over time, this will become a thriving hotbed of activity for you, where people will come by and check-in repeatedly to see what you're talking about and what value you're delivering. Keep in mind that this won't happen quickly. It will take years. Yes, I said years.
For example, the content on Super Weddings is useful whether you're organizing a wedding today or next year. All the content on the site is created accordingly. To make things easier for the audience, it is separated into categories to make it very convenient for the reader to find what they're looking for. This, of course, is also very good for SEO.
As long as there is still the written word, there will always be editors. Freelance editing and proofreading not only pays a decent hourly wage, it also gives you the chance to read about potentially interesting topics too. What's more, pursuing freelance writing & editing as a business idea can afford you a lifestyle that lets you travel the world as a digital nomad. You can find lots of job postings from companies and individuals in need of writing, proofreading, and editing services on Contena, which makes this a high-demand opportunity to make money online.
For those with a large Twitter following, you can make money from your Tweets alone with Sponsored Tweets. You could be paid for sharing a business’s information, recommending restaurants or hotels, or tweeting pictures of you using or wearing products. As with all sponsored posts on social media, businesses will only be prepared to pay you to Tweet if you have a large following that you can influence. So work hard on building up a loyal fan base.
Are you persuasive? Are you upbeat and friendly? Are you goal-oriented and love making money? Join us as an agent at NexRep! Advertisements generate interest for products they promote, which turn into phone calls. Most of those calls turn into sales. Customers know the price when they call you. You take their order and can sell them additional products, or third party offers. The advertisements encourage people to call and you can make great money in a short amount of time! Inbound Sales offers a commission structure that rewards high order value sales. Our top sales performers can earn $20-$25 per hour! Weekdays (M-F) between 9am EST and 6pm EST are the busiest call volume times every week.
Don't sacrifice morals for a quick buck — At the outset, you'll want to do all sorts of things to make money online, but don't sacrifice your morals for a quick buck. Not only will you put people off, but you'll lose Google's trust. You also shouldn't concern yourself with things like Adsense or other ads on a blog before you have around 100,000 visitors per day. Yes, per day.
Many advertisers are unaware of the potential of the affiliate marketing business model for their own businesses, in fact, most small businesses have never heard of it. But imagine marketing your products only to interested people for no upfront fee. Paying only when you get results is a risk-free way of advertising that requires no marketing budget to get started. As you can imagine, this is great for any start-up business with little funding for marketing their new brand.
Are you an expert in conversion optimisation, sales funnels, SEO, website building, copywriting and proofreading? If so, you have a better chance than most newcomers. Chances are, if you’ve only just heard about affiliate marketing, you don’t have all or even any of these skills just yet. In this case, settle down for the long haul. This is going to take some time, but you will get there – as long as you don’t give up along the way!
"Looks great. Organic traffic has been holding steady at Feb/March levels when normally it declines from April onwards. Because of the seasonal nature of the business it is difficult to measure the exact impact, but I can tell you our organic traffic is currently almost 3 times what it was this time last year. All down to you guys! The trick for us is to try and sustain it throughout the summer, keeping our slow season as short as possible!" Ivan L.
Working from home means literally doing my work in my home. There’s no physical separation between my personal and professional life, no clearly set times when I’m “on” and “off” one or the other. I love being able to make my own schedule, but that flexibility is also my downfall. If I’m not strictly disciplined with my time, which is not exactly my strong suit, it’s too easy to blur the lines between work and home. I tend to work in spurts here and there throughout the day and evening, which makes it feel like I’m working all day, even though I only work part-time hours.
Clearly, there's a lot of demand on Amazon, and if any product is going to sell, it's going to sell well on Amazon. But the goal here is to source the right products that will easily sell at the world's largest online retailer. Generally, products between $10 and $50 sell very well here. Just be sure to do the right market research before jumping on this bandwagon.
First off, I’m a blogger so it seems wrong not to mention it, but more importantly, it’s a legitimate way to make money. It’s quite possibly the least straight-forward way on this list, but it’s very doable and it’s also quite possibly the funnest way on this list. I love blogging and I know hundreds of bloggers who feel the same. So let’s talk about making money blogging and what it really means.
For my family. I live in New York City, but my grandchildren live in Rochester. Swagbucks helps pay for me to visit them every 3 weeks. I 'm also able to buy them gifts using Amazon gift cards, and help out with diapers and personal care items using CVS gift cards. I even use Target gift cards to help out with grocery shopping. Swagbucks has been a blessing and I can't live without it!
There are numerous repositories to source affiliate products and services from. However, some of the biggest are sites like Clickbank, Commission Junction, LinkShare and JVZoo. You'll need to go through an application process, for the most part, to get approved to sell certain products, services or digital information products. Once approved, be prepared to hustle.
Marketing via the internet is constantly growing and embracing new techniques along the way. As a business manager, you need to stay ahead of these changes in order to remain relevant and competitive. The first thing you need to do is to provide quality and strong content that can increase your visibility in search engines. The next thing is to embrace social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and make them the focal point of your online marketing strategy.
In April 2008 the State of New York inserted an item in the state budget asserting sales tax jurisdiction over Amazon.com sales to residents of New York, based on the existence of affiliate links from New York–based websites to Amazon. The state asserts that even one such affiliate constitutes Amazon having a business presence in the state, and is sufficient to allow New York to tax all Amazon sales to state residents. Amazon challenged the amendment and lost at the trial level in January 2009. The case is currently making its way through the New York appeals courts.
To create an effective DMP, a business first needs to review the marketplace and set 'SMART' (Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Relevant and Time-Bound) objectives. They can set SMART objectives by reviewing the current benchmarks and key performance indicators (KPIs) of the company and competitors. It is pertinent that the analytics used for the KPIs be customised to the type, objectives, mission and vision of the company.
Dear Irene, life never stops! And there is always an alternative available for us. Go ahead, make a blog and write good stuff on it. I would suggest, that you should begin blogging more as a hobby and not as a profession. Let your blog be the medium of your own expression. Later on if you feel that you’re actually feeling connected with blogging, then you may think of turning it into a profession. All the best!
It’s something akin to picking stocks. You want to buy undervalued domains, and sell them later on at a higher price. For example, you can pick a domain that is out of favor, but could be related to some future event. So if you decide that the stock market is likely to crash in the future, you can buy a domain that includes the words stock market crash during a rising market, and then sell it in a falling market.
Nyla and Noelle – Run your own fashion empire from home. Clothing is the hottest new trend in social selling, and you can get in on the ground floor. We are a boutique clothing and jewelry direct sales company. Our fun and fashionable clothing is offered only through our Curators who sell socially from in-home parties, local events, and online through social media. Our Curators purchase a POP box of inventory to get started. After receiving their POP box our Curators choose every style and color of clothing they receive from our always rotating selections. We offer many truly boutique styles from BOHO chic, western chic, casual basics, dressy clothes, and high-end boutique items. We offer sizes S-3XL. Our Curators enjoy a generous profit margin.
If you have a background in marketing and a passion for a particular niche, then organizing a virtual event may be just up your street. A virtual event could span across a day or longer. Individual live sessions would be run by experts in the field. And conference features would include live question and answer sessions, forums, and plenty of free giveaways. Visitors to the virtual event would pay to attend, so the more effective your promotion of the event the more money you would make.
It’s one of the oldest and most proven ways to make money – buy low, sell high. The buy low part comes from searching garage sales, estate sales, and even thrift stores to find items that are in good condition (“gently used”) but selling well below what they would if they were brand-new. In this way, you might be able to acquire an item for $5, and later sell it for $50.
One last note. I’ve been asked what I think of other affiliate marketing resources, both free and paid. I’m familiar with some of them, not all. I’ve read ebooks, watch videos, bought courses and more. So far, the only paid-for course that has impressed me enough to recommend is Kayla Aimee’s Affiliate Acceleration: Impactful Strategies To Increase Your Passive Income.
VIPKID provides an international learning experience to children in China between the ages 4-12. Headquartered in Beijing, the company offers fully immersive one-on-one English language instruction provided online by highly qualified teachers. The curriculum is based on the U.S. Common Core State Standards and uses a flipped-classroom approach to foster creativity and critical thinking skills.