Finance Minister of the Government of Nepal, Yubaraj Khatiwada has revealed a budget of Rs 1.47 trillion for the 2077/78 fiscal year. The budget plans to meet the 7% economic growth target. Interestingly, this year’s budget has promised a lot to adopt and use information technology to provide various services to citizens: from telemedicine to online education, from national identity to passport and electronic visa and from the National Payment Gateway to satellite.
We have already entered the digital age. In this era, information technology has become an essential and enabling tool in all sectors. Investing in IT and adopting it would certainly help the economy. Therefore, we must welcome the government’s initiative to promote the use of information technology.
In this article, we will present 13 budget conclusions on information technology and digital payments. Let’s take a detailed look at what the next fiscal year and the future of our nation is waiting for.
Expanding digital banking
In the budget statement for this fiscal year, Minister Khatiwada particularly mentioned the electronic banking system.
The government intended to expand the branchless banking sector, mobile banking and Internet banking to remote areas and to provide banking and financial services through electronic methods.
National Payment Gateway to come into operation
The government plans to launch the long-awaited National Payment Gateway in this fiscal year. The national payment gateway should reduce the cost of electronic transactions and encourage cashless transactions. The government will introduce a digital payment system for electricity, water, health, education and various other public services. With the national payment gateway in place, digital payment is expected to have a huge boost in the country.
Online Tax Payment
Small businesses that transact up to Rs 2 million a year can pay taxes online through the mobile app and various electronic methods, depending on budget status.
Digitizing the Capital Market
Nepal Stock Exchange Ltd. (NEPSE) secondary market transactions will be fully digitized starting this fiscal year.
Many villages do not yet have access to reliable health facilities. To fill this gap, the government has allocated a budget for the telemedicine service system. Numerous specialized hospitals such as the Gangalal National Heart Center, Paropakar Maternity and Women ‘s Hospital, Human Transplant Center Center, Bir Hospital, Kanti Children’s Hospital, etc. They will provide a telemedicine service in remote areas that do not have adequate access to the health service.
Digital education and remote learning
Currently, educational institutions are closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The budget for this year has announced to hold courses for new academic sessions through the Internet, television and radio.
Driving license through online method
The government plans to introduce a system for issuing a driver’s license through the online method. People can apply for an online driving license.
Digital Nepal Framework to be implemented
The government is ready to implement the Digital Nepal Framework and connect the country to the world economy with the use of digital technology and take advantage of economic opportunities.
Similarly, policies relating to information technology, telecommunications and broadband must be reviewed. Likewise, Fiber-To-The-Home (FTTH) broadband Internet will be expanded nationwide within the next two years. The 4G service will be expanded nationally in this same fiscal year.
National Knowledge Park to be established
Through the budget statement, the government has revealed to establish National Knowledge Park at Khumaltar, Lalitpur to promote a knowledge-based economy in the nation.
Security Printing Press and Nepal’s own Satellite
The government is set to build infrastructure and make arrangements for required machinery for the security printing press. Also, the government aims to operate its own satellite on the basis of business potential.
Online registration, bio-metric identification, and National ID
The government aims to make arrangements within the next three years for registration of personal incidents through online methods. Records of 1 crore Nepalis are to be updated on the electronic system for National Identity Card with biometric identification and unique number.
Land records system to go online
The government is planning to make use of technology to modernize all land revenue offices. Information technology-based land and property registration systems are to be implemented in all the districts. Malpot services across the nation are set to be digitized. The use of technology will make the service delivery of the offices simple, quick, and transparent.
Electronic Passport and Electronic Visa
Electronic passports are going to be implemented in Nepal from this fiscal year. Likewise, foreign nationals will be provided an arrival Visa through an online system.
Interested to know what’s more in this year’s budget? You can read the full budget statement from the website of the Ministry of Finance, here.
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- Keywords Everywhere Great keyword tool Chrome and Firefox extension. (now paid) This is still my go to tool for keywords, It does not cost much for a subscription.
- WMS Everywhere A Keywords everywhere lookalike but free. It looks like it works pretty good.
- Answer The Public Aggregated view of the questions asked to Google & Bing. Sometimes off target keywords but what do you want for free.
- Keyword Keg Another free keyword tool, you can import lists and export 20 results.
- Wordtracker Scout Displays what your articles are about on their keyword cloud. Good for a first glance.
- LSI Graph Generate a list of semantically related keywords and best performing content.
- Google Trends Compare one keyword to another over time. I have used this tool to win my case on what keywords to focus SEO efforts on more than a few times.
- Keyword Finder Uses Google’s autocomplete API to find many keywords.
- KeywordTool.io An alternative to Google keyword planner.
- Merge Words Takes words from 3 lists and merges them together into one. These days Google can find out what a topic is about, you don’t need to be exact match.
- Cognitive SEO Keywords Analyze keywords and get suggestions.
- Seed Keywords Grow your own seo keywords from suggestions from your friends.
- Keyword Density Checker Remember to write for people, not SEO, don’t overoptimize. Just make sure you do include the keyword.
- Text Optimizer Add a webpage and it suggests keywords, free trial.
- SEOlium Rank Tracker Recently launched Google Rank Tracking tool that works great. A free trial can last for years if your ranking needs are modest.
- Small SEO Tools Rank Checker Check rankings of up to 10 keywords at a time.
- Hoth Rankings Tracker Check 10 keywords ranking daily.
- Can I Rank Explains the opportunities and benefits of ranking for certain keywords.
- Ahrefs Backlink Checker Free version of Ahrefs’ backlink checker tool. I use this all the time to identify backlinks of competitors and then get a link there also.
- Open Link Profiler Fast backlinks and a lot more info worth investigating further.
- Check My Links Chrome plugin to check pages for broken links.
- Search Queries for backlink prospecting.
- Guide to getting backlinks Lots of great ideas for obtaining a good link or two.
- Help A Reporter Be a reference for reporters looking for answers. You have to work at it to get success but it is valuable if you do.
- The Hoth Backlink Checker Nice tool to see the backlinks of your website or competitors. Shows dofollow/nofollow attributes too.
- GeoImgr Image geotagging, add GPS info to photos online. Good if you have a few images to optimize.
- EXIF Editor A program for download that allows you to edit EXIF data of images. You can optimize a group of images with this tool.
Website Audit Tools
- Ubersugest All in one site analyzer, backlink checker and keyword tool. Top Rated! I hate to see the day this goes to a paid version, it is so useful.
- SEO Site Checkup Checks major search engine optimization factors.
- SEOability Website crawler with reporting on errors and SEO scoring.
- Screaming Frog Crawl websites and check many different elements. Program you install, great for exporting all page meta data and finding broken links.
- Website Grader Checks a few important factors like seo, speed, etc.
- Revive Content Ideas A tool that tells you what website content needs to be revised.
- WooRank Another tool to use to find errors on your site and make improvements.
- Brown Seo Allows you to view your website like a search engine does.
- SEO Checklists Lists to help you not forget steps during SEO campaigns.
- 200 SEO Ranking Factors Explore all of the things Google uses to gauge rankings.
- Periodic Table of SEO Factors Ranking factors displayed like periodic table of elements.
- Google: Algorithm Updates List of major Google updates.
- Google Algorithm Timeline A timeline of major Google updates. If you have a site that stopped ranking a while ago check the timeline.
Local Search Tools
- AccurRanker SERP Checker Free Google search results on any keywords anywhere.
- Local Falcon Get a grid showing where your GMB is ranking on Google Maps. You can get a few searches for free but the paid tool is very powerful.
- Get GPS Coordinates from Google Maps. Use this info to add to structured data.
- SmartyStreets address validation tool to make sure you use the correct street address everywhere.
- GS Location Changer A Chrome plugin that allows you to change your location and search Google from that spot. Very useful to see where you rank in certain areas.
Local Search Resources
- Local Search Ecosystem Graphic & info on how local SEO citation sources interconnect. If you can get a link at the sources you will save lots of effort.
- Add To GPS Maps Resource that shows how to add your business to all GPS maps. Each system is somewhat tedious so do the main gps maps first.
Local SEO Citation Sources
- Moz Local Citations by Category List of SEO citation sources sorted by business types. Good resource to bookmark.
- Yext Directories List of important business directories to list your site for local SEO.
Local Citations Checkers
- Moz Local Citation Checker Check your online presence in common citation directories.
- Yext listing scan Check business listing citations source accuracy.
- Nofollow identifier Nofollow links on websites you view are outlined in red. I use this one every day.
- SEO Quake Multi-tool for viewing many important seo factors of a website.
- Image downloader Download all images from a webpage.
- SEO Toolkit Another extension showing seo results from pages viewed.
- Link Miner Check pages for broken links and social data.
- Full Page Screen Capture A Chrome plugin that allows you to take a screenshot of a whole web page. Great for reporting.
- Google My Business Category Helper A nice collection of tools to help when improving Google My Business listings.
- Statcounter Nice and easy to understand website analytics program.
- Clicky Website analytics with many features included.
- Google Analytics Annotation Take notes in Google Analytics timelines.
- Keyword Hero Display what Google keywords were used to get to a page.
- Databox Beautiful customizable reports, free for up to 3 dashboards.
Mobile SEO Tools
- Mobile First Identify problems with the mobile version of your site.
- Google mobile design checker Is your website mobile friendly?
- Mobi Ready Test websites on different mobile devices.
- Responsive design checker Test your site of different mobile devices.
Blog Post Ideas
- Blog Topics Generator Discover blog post headlines based on keywords.
- A year’s worth of post ideas Blog ideas with examples.
- Blog ideas A tool to get blog posts based on topics.
- 186 Blog Post ideas Good topics to get started writing about.
- SpyFu Check competitor organic or Google ads keywords.
- Keyword Spy Learn your competitors’ most profitable Ad copies & keywords.
- Spy On Web quick search for websites that belong to the same owner.
- iSpionage View competitors best-ranking keywords, landing pages and more.
WordPress SEO Plugins
- Yoast SEO Plugin Most popular WordPress SEO plugin, add metadata.
- Redirection Manage all your 301 redirects and monitor 404 errors.
- Structured Data Add customized structured data to website, pages, posts.
- Ultimate Nofollow Add rel “nofollow” to external links to not pass page rank.
- Post to Google My Business Publish your latest WordPress post to GMB.
- Media File Renamer Rename images in WordPress media galleries.
- Broken Link Checker Find and fix broken links on your WP website.
Website Speed Tests
- GTmetrix Test website speed and identify actionable items that are slowing it down.
- Page Speed Insights Tool from Google to measure page speed in desktop or mobile.
- Keyword Editing Tool Edit keywords, split and combine lists, change case.
- Sort My List A free online tool to help with keyword lists and more.
- Word Counter Count characters in text for meta tags and more.
- Copyscape Check your text on websites for plagiarism.
- Keyword density checker Check density of KW phrases on a page.
- Plagiarism checker. Make sure your content is not a duplicate on the web.
- Hire an SEO Consultant if you don’t have time to do search engine optimization yourself and you want to work with a trusted expert.
SEO Blogs To Follow
- Moz Blog Blog from Moz
- SEMrush Blog Blog from Semrush
- Ahrefs Blog Blog from Ahrefs.
- Search Engine Journal Blog from SEO Journal.
- Neil Patel Great SEO insight and creator of Ubersuggest.
- Search Engine Land
- Search Engine Roundtable A blog all about SEO.
- Yoast Blog Blog by Joost de Valk and his team at Yoast.
- Search Engine Watch Good SEO blog to follow.
- This blog
- LastPass Manage all of your passwords in a safe and secure spot. It saves so much time.
- Cloudflare CDN A fast website ranks better so use a content delivery network. Got a slow site? Add it here.
- BuiltWith Identify what software websites are created with.
- Video Downloader Download videos from websites and social media.
- A2 Web Hosting Fast reliable website hosting. Their managed WordPress hosting is what I use.
- SEO ROI calculator Check viability and profit from SEO campaigns.
- Archive.org View what websites looked like in the past.
- Hubspot CRM Forms for your website that capture leads to Hubspot.
- Ntask Manager Free project management tool like Basecamp.
- Bit.ly link shortening and tracking tool. Create an account and you can see how many people clicked the links too.
I would like to keep growing this list with good quality free tools to use for search engine optimizations. Leave suggestions in the comments below.
Wake up at 6. Get ready for the office by 8. Take a commute for 1 hour. Reach office by 9. Then encounter a pompous boss ready to strike you down with bombs of criticism. Tired, get back to home and warm yourself with blankets of hopelessness.
Sounds scary, right?
Starting your own freelance digital marketing business can be the antidote to this horror. Even if you have a fulfilling job, freelancing can reconnect you with things you enjoy doing and help you make money from it.
With the world on Internet, digital marketing is on a boom and hiring freelancers is becoming not only more acceptable, but more attractive for many businesses. This creates an incredible opportunity for people with useful skills to start a freelance business on the side, and eventually grow that into a sustainable self-employed career.
Here’s how to do that.
7- Steps To Start A Freelance Digital Marketing Business
1) Identify Your Passion
If you fail 99 times trying to do something, and you give it a 100th try, with the same energy and excitement you tried it for the first time, that’s your passion. Because you love the process and struggle attached to the things you’re passionate about.
To start your digital marketing business, you may choose from:
- Graphic Design
- Link Building
- Website Design
- Event Management
- Content Writing
- Video Editing
- Social Media
You are emotionally connected to your passion. Learn to harness that connection.
2) Identify Your Skill Gap
Having a passion does not necessarily mean you have the required skills to drive it. Know yourself. Ask questions you feel uncomfortable answering.
If you want to start your business in graphic designing, ask yourself if you’re good at Photoshop, illustrator, InDesign, etc.
If you’re passionate about content writing, ask yourself if you can write a content that can engage audience.
Being passionate and being expert on a subject does not mean the same thing. So, once you ask yourself the questions, get ready for the step 3.
3) Fulfill Your Skill/Knowledge Gap
Start Investing your time and money in learning the right skills that drive your passion.
4) Get Your First Client
Once you’ve got everything set, don’t hesitate to transmute your knowledge into business. It is hard but extraordinarily special. Here’s how you can get your first client.
- You can start from your close friends or relatives.
- Start talking with local businesses and convince them how you can be beneficial to their business. Always deliver on time.
- You can use online platform to hunt your first client. Be prepared with your attractive offers, portfolios and do not rest until you get your first client.
5) Give Your 100% To Satisfy Your Client
Treat every customer as if they were a VIP. Because that’s what they are. A VIP, to you. How you deal with one customer has a large say in your habit of dealing with customer.
Listen to their problems, and be responsive.
Always deliver on time. And build a habit of giving extras now and then. It promotes your goodwill.
6) Go For Personal Online Branding
If you want to work on the Internet, you should build a trustworthy, impressive presence on the internet. Here’s some tips on how you can do that:
- Start a personal blog related to your passion. Regularly post new articles to entertain your audience/clients
- Add a portfolio page with projects you’ve done or on-going projects. Optimize your website for SEO.
- Add Contact information and list out the services you can provide.
- Build a strong social media presence on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.
- Start your own YouTube Channel and share your knowledge/skills through videos (Video Marketing).
- Run Ads on Social Media and on Google.
- Ask your clients to give feedback on their last project with you.
7) Scale Up Your Freelance Business
Human nature always wants more. You are no exception, so here’s the last step.
Do not settle on your business. Scale it up. Branch-out to find new clients and keep on building your network.
Invest in professional development, systematize your services and aim for creating a solid team.
Make a Decision
If you’re on this post, you probably have tried a startup or you’re thinking about it. My advice for you is make a decision, and stick to it.
I know, commitment is hard, your business will have ups and downs, but running your own digital marketing business is so fulfilling.
You don’t have to leave your job right now. Start somewhere, work nights and weekends. Once your business takes shape, then decide.
For now, make a decision and start acting on it!