A Blog of a Work from Home Breadwinner. Blogging anything under the sun since college days.

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April 29, 2017

The Movies You Should Be Watching This Year

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If you're a movie buff - or you just love kicking back and putting a 'flick on, then this is a good year for you! There are some incredible movies on offer this year, seriously. 

No matter if you are heading down to the local multiplex, the indie theater or streaming from your home cinema layout, you've got a lot to watch this year. Speaking of streaming, most of these films should hit Netflix - unless your country means Netflix blocks the good stuff. Use a tool like www.flixusa.com.au to work around this! You shouldn't miss out on the good stuff. 

movie house

So, where shall we begin? We may as well aim big! Kong: Skull Island is much more than a massive monster movie - it is a psychedelic romp through the sixties with some awesome visuals and great music. It is super fun and full of action and smart dialogue, which is something we have come to expect from films in the modern day. To be fair, it seems that ‘trippy’ is in - Thor: Ragnarok takes our favourite Norse god into the cosmos as he tackles enemies not yet encountered in the Marvel Universe. That film is out later this year. 


Thor, Ragnarok

If you want to stick to the psychedelic, but inject a bit of horror - then Get Out is right up your street. A film that tackles seemingly 'harmless' racial prejudices in a trippy manner. With plenty of slow burn scares as well as an injection of comedy - Get Out is a modern classic that tackles some real issues in today's society with aplomb. 

We can't really talk about films and not talk about Star Wars. The classic movie franchise burst back into life just over a year ago when the seventh installment in the franchise continued the story of the Skywalker clan. In December, we got out first anthology film - Rogue One which tailored the story right into the fourth chapter. Later this year, we will continue the main story with Star Wars Episode 8: The Last Jedi. You won't cop any spoilers here, but it is going to be a big one and the stage is set for the best Star Wars movie of all time. 

Star Wars

We talked about Netflix earlier and you won't find this next film anywhere else but on Netflix. I Don't Feel at Home in This World Anymore combines a wide range of genres to create a unique tale that centers around existence and humanity. It is serious entertainment all the way through with light moments tied together with hair-raising thrills. 

John Wick was a runaway hit and nobody really expected it. The sequel promises more of the same - but with a bigger budget and a larger scope. John Wick: Chapter 2 might not have as much tragedy at the start, but will surely feature Wick leaving a pile of baddies behind him. 

And that’s not the end of it - from Guardians Of The Galaxy to Lego Batman and IT - there are plenty of movies to watch this year.
April 29, 2017

Lenovo Releases the Yoga Note-Book Laptop Hybrid

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If you have seen a recent advertisement for mobile devices that you have likely seen a new trend popping up; hybrids. 

No, we aren't talking about the car. Instead, the trend is remarking to a new type of mobile device that sits between a laptop and a tablet. 

Recently, Lenovo unveiled their latest iteration of such as a device, showing the world that it truly is committed to modern computing. If you are new to the idea of hybrid computers or you're considering buying one and want to learn more, keep reading. 


The easiest way to describe a hybrid device would be to imagine a laptop, but with a keyboard that flipped around and underneath to lay completely flat, giving you the holding real estate of a tablet. 

These devices operate in two modes, which we will delve a little deeper into. 

Laptop Mode. 

As the name suggests, this is where you use the device like a laptop, with the keyboard on the table and the screen at an angle. The type of hybrid which you purchase will determine how the screen if held up. Hybrid devices such as those from the Groupon Coupons page for Lenovo use a unique hinge design which holds the screen in place without any backing support. Alternate models make use of a kick-stand style attachment. 

However, laptop mode isn't just about the physical position of the device. The operating system installed on hybrid devices detects your mode and adjust your screen, including which menus area available, which areas of the screen become hot-spots, along with providing you with a cursor for easy navigation. 

Tablet Mode.

Of course, flip the keyboard underneath, and suddenly you have yourself a tablet. Similar to the point above, how well your keyboard bends underneath will depends on the employed mechanism. 

Once your hybrid is in tablet mode, the aforementioned operating system detects the change and adjusts your experience. Items such as removing the cursor in favor of finger-scrolling, along with the removal of icons and menus which you aren't likely to need touch access to. 

Additionally, these devices make use of their full touchscreen and on-screen keyboard options to keep you typing away as you move. 

Are they powerful? 

A good question. And the answer is similar to purchasing a regular computer or a plain tablet; it depends on which brand and model you buy. While there are cheaper options available which offer a reduced experience, if you are willing to pay a solid amount then you can easily pick up a worse horse device with full functionality and features. 

Do you need one? An even better question! If you are somebody who lives on the bleeding edge of technology and you simply must have every new device which is released, then yes, you simply must have a hybrid device. 

On the other hand, if you are comfortable using the devices you currently have then there may not be an arguable use case for you to upgrade.

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April 26, 2017

Tapping In To The Older Generation

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Most advertising campaigns seem to be aimed at the younger generation these days. It’s all viral videos and hashtags, which can be difficult to get to grips with if you’re a bit older. A lot of seniors don’t have access to much modern technology, so if your campaign is based around it, you might be completely missing a huge portion of your potential customer base. Considering they are the ones with the most money, it seems silly to neglect them. It might also be the reason that your customer acquisition is starting to slow down a bit, but there is something that you can do. Redirecting a small portion of your marketing budget towards more traditional marketing strategies could really help you boost sales. If you’re a bit out of touch with the old ways, here are a few tips to get you started. 


Use Traditional Forms Of Marketing 

The internet has completely revitalized the way that we advertise. The number of people that you can reach has grown so much, and the results speak for themselves. However, online marketing is not as accessible for the older generation, so you need to use something that they are a bit more familiar with. 

Before social media, people used paper to send messages. A good postal campaign can still bring in a lot of custom if you get it right. Make it eye catching, with good pictures to draw people in. Play to your strengths in your newsletter, but try not to overload it with too much text. People will not bother to start reading if they see huge chunks of tiny text on the page. 

April 26, 2017

Rejuvenating Your Life: Taking An Action-Oriented Approach To Escape Living On Auto-Pilot

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It’s easy to go through the motions and act on autopilot for a good majority of our lives. This can be a dangerous way to live, because you’re never really examining your surroundings or how you feel about certain situations, instead, you just accept it in order to make it through another day. This can lead to a slow growth of ennui and general apathy towards things in life that prevents you from questioning what you’d really like to experience in the years making up your life. For all we know, we only get one life, so it’s best to make the most of it. Dependent on your religious beliefs you might think you’ll get another shot, but why wait until then to make the most of your life? 

Everyone will have a different ‘win’ as what happiness is can be highly subjective. One person might gain great satisfaction by simply helping out at the local homeless shelter and reading in their spare time, while another person might need to conquer Mount Everest in his shorts in order to feel at peace. 

No matter what you’d like to direct your life toward, there are grounded, universal ways to improve your life that will apply to most people. 

Treating others with love and respect. 

It’s all too easy to forget the significance of people in our lives and end up neglecting them or treating them harshly. Life is difficult enough sometimes, so sometimes we snap where we didn’t plan to, or can be passive aggressive in a way that hurts a friend or significant other. 

It’s not hard to fall into that trap. Simply sitting down for an hour in a quiet place to remind yourself of the positive people in your life and what they mean to you can yield amazing results in how you focus on your day to day interactions. For problems that run deeper, finding a way to explore a new situation with the person involved or attending relationship counselling can be a healthy exercise. 

April 24, 2017

Ultimate Home Improvement Ideas Your Friends Will Love

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Homeowners don’t always love the idea of home improvement projects, but they certainly love it when the result makes their neighbors jealous. Most projects, however, tend to focus on improving your life at home. A new kitchen, a fresh shower, a bigger bed, and much more, all these are centered on making the life of those who live there sweeter. Believe it or not, but there is a different type of home improvements that is entirely designed to make your home friendlier for your guests. Making your friends fall in love with your home is not just a vanity project. It’s the best way of building a solid bond with those you like. Make them feel at home when they come to see you. 

A Gym Studio To Share 

If you have a love for sports and staying fit, building your gym studio at home is by far the best way to make the most of your passion. If you decide to make your gym studio a meetup with your best friends and to share your workouts, then you will need to consider a home extension project. It is not as overwhelming as it might sound. You can have a look at steel building construction ideas to find inspiration for your home gym. The advantage of building your studio is that you can make it what you want, from an indoor trampoline area to a cardio heaven. Steel buildings are a great solution for this as they are quick to set up and provide a sturdy base for workouts.


April 22, 2017

Beyond Facebook: Logging Into The True Potential Of Online Technologies

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Nowadays, it’s almost impossible to go a full 24 hours without using the internet at some stage. Unfortunately, for most of us, that simply means checking Facebook or Instagram to see how many likes the latest photo upload has received. In truth, though, the World Wide Web offers so much. And now is the time to start appreciating those opportunities. 

Embracing the internet in a more efficient manner can actively enhance your life in a variety of ways. Try these ideas for size, and you’ll soon be wondering why you wasted so many hours scrolling through those pointless newsfeed items.

woman using her laptop

Learn A New Skill 

As humans, we should always want to become better people. Developing new skills is a great way to do this, but the complexities of work and other commitments can make this seem difficult. Thanks to online courses, learning a new language or talent in your free time has never been simpler. 

The motive for learning that new skill isn’t overly important. Utilizing your leisure time in this manner is surely more beneficial than catching up on the latest celebrity gossip on Twitter. In many cases, those new talents will open new pathways in other life aspects too. 

Make Money 

Browsing the internet is usually a cure to boredom, which stems from not having the money and freedom to pursue another activity. So why not kill two birds with two stones by building another source of revenue via the internet. 

Many inexperienced traders would ask can you make much money from penny stocks and small investments. You certainly can when they are managed in an effective manner. Even if your returns are limited, it’s more useful than the benefits gained from watching two hours of cat videos. In addition to investments, you could fill out surveys or offer freelance services. 

stocks

Express Creativity 

Social media platforms are supposed to be a tool for communication and sharing. In reality, though, we’re all guilty of painting a life that’s better than the truth. This isn’t the only way that we censor ourselves, though. Most of us are aware that our friends and family are watching, which stops us from unleashing our creativity. 

Starting a blogging platform is the perfect way to embrace your creativity. Whether you plan to write an ebook, upload videos of you singing, or stick to basic blogging doesn’t matter. It’s a far more productive way to spend your time, and can be far more emotionally satisfying too. 

Find Love 

Social media is a great tool for connecting with old friends and distant relatives. However, there’s no substitute for being in a loving relationship. While traditional dating certainly shouldn’t be forgotten, online dating is now more common than ever. With this guide, your chances of finding love will suddenly seem brighter than ever. 

Even if it doesn’t lead to anything serious, the confidence gained will be far greater than the positivity seen on social media. Let’s face it; that’s one of the main reasons you use Facebook and Instagram anyway. If you do find love in the process too, then that’s just perfect.
April 21, 2017

Real Estate 101

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Real estate investment is a great way to make money provided you know the game and how it works. It is better than stocks and bonds because you actually have something tangible to show for your money, whereas with other investment it seems to just disappear into nothingness, leaving you waiting for a return. With real estate you can see it, touch it, and ensure you get your return on investment by making the changes needed to increase the home’s value. The following tips can help you succeed in increasing value on your newly acquired investment. Some are particular to certain properties, others can be used wide in a wide ranging way. Even if you think you know how to increase a home’s value, read on, because there could be something you have missed. 

One of the key things to remember is that value is increased in different ways depending on what area or country you are in. For example, if you are in a hot country, building a pool will add more value that doing the same somewhere cold. If going to foreign shores, you are best off trying to speak to a local estate agent, they can help talk to you about the scope of real estate in their area. You can get some valuable information. It is better to do this than guess, and end up investing a load of money into improvements that have no bearing on the home’s value. Be smart and use local expertise. 


April 21, 2017

Marketing Methods That Aren't Just Cheap, But Effective

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Marketing is far from the cheapest part of running a business. It’s not uncommon for the cost of a big push in marketing to push its budget bigger than all the other overheads and expenses combined. But not all businesses have the kind of budget to compete on that level. Instead, they need to look more cost-effective methods. As we’re about to show in some examples you should incorporate right away. 

woman using laptop

Social media 

Many users will hail social media as one of the only truly free ways to market, but every method here we go into uses up one very costly resource, time. Being cost effective with social marketing is about finding the platforms where you can expect to win the most followers first and foremost. For instance, everyone should use Twitter and Facebook, while B2B companies would do well to spend more time on LinkedIn and visually appealing businesses such as fashion and food companies can make more use out of Instagram and Pinterest. Getting involved in the online community is an important part of improving brand recognition, improving your insight into how customers think and communicate, and even creating positive organic experiences that shape a more loyal customer. 

Mailing campaigns

Of course, it’s not all about how you win over new customers but how you maintain loyalty as well. Email is already free, but there are also tools like email newsletter software free at Postman that can help you better design and brand emails so they stand out from your standard electronic communication. Populate it with deals and your most effective and exciting marketing content and keep people coming back to check it not just for business purposes but even entertainment. 

laptop

Search engine optimization 

When it comes to making the best use of your time, search engine optimization might seem like a hard sell initially. Getting good at it means doing a lot of work on your site and the metadata connected to it. But given how prevalent a tool Google has become for consumers, it’s one that cannot be ignored. Increasing your exposure through Google is essentially giving yourself a place of prominence on the homepage of the whole internet. 

Blogging 

You might need to pay for some extra web hosting space, but a blog can be one of the best ways to make use of that space. For one, it can help your site rank higher in searches because it offers more pages to build different metadata for without keyword stuffing. But content is also one of the most effective ways to build referrals from visitors who aren’t even customers. They come for the content, but they remember the brand, the site, and the business that delivered the content. So long as the blog posts themselves have value to offer the reader and the layout is attractive

The strategies above aren’t only good when you don’t have the money to invest in more elaborate advertising. They are essential parts of any winning marketing strategy. Implement them now and have them become the core of your expanded efforts when you have a bit more cash to throw around.
April 20, 2017

Travel Is Essential, Here’s Why...

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Travel used to be a privilege reserved for those with cash to splash and time on their hands. These days travel is becoming increasingly accessible. Budget airlines, hostels and homestays, and even coaches have all made it possible. More of us than ever are realizing that travel is hugely beneficial, and there’s no excuse not to be doing it. Here’s why you should take the plunge and plan a trip this summer… 

How And Where To Go 


airplane

Of course traveling still isn’t free. It does cost money, and it can be very expensive depending on where you go. Try and cut the costs by using coaches, trains, and ferries where possible rather than planes. Similarly stay in hostels or homestays rather than hotels. These will give you a far more authentic look at a country as well as being much cheaper. If you still can’t afford to go, consider taking out a loan. https://financedistrict.co.nz/loans/personal-loans-no-bad-credit-check/ has a loan calculator so that you can work out how much you can afford to borrow. Alternatively, start saving up your paychecks! Choose where you go depending on what you want to get out of your trip. There are beach destinations for those looking to relax, rugged landscape for explorers, and cosmopolitan cities for culture lovers. Wherever you go there will be huge benefits... 

Learning


map

One of the main reasons that travel is so important is to expand our minds. Not only do we learn more about the mundane things; organization, booking online, finding the Best Trip Planner and how to navigate an airport. We also learn about other cultures, ways of life, and even food. With so much of the world now accessible to us it makes sense to use it. You no longer have to only see a lion in a zoo, or a rainforest in a movie, you can go and experience these things for yourself. As well as learning about animals and other natural phenomena, travel opens our eyes to other people too. Open-mindedness and empathy are qualities which we cherish in the modern world. Meeting people with different cultures and beliefs helps us to learn to be more accepting. 


Fun 


beach picture

It may sound like an obvious point to make, but traveling is fun. In our day-to-day lives, we can become too obsessed with the smaller details which don’t really matter. Our jobs, home lives, and other responsibilities can consume us and make it difficult to truly relax. Literally traveling to a different country, state, or continent is a good way to distance ourselves from the pressures facing us at home and to relax. This is hugely important. 


Inspiration 


woman looking at the beach, sight seeing

Whether you’re an artist looking for literal inspiration from the people you meet and stunning vistas you’ll encounter, or somebody struggling to find their path, traveling can inspire you. Seeing landscapes, colors, people, that you wouldn’t usually see is like a tonic for the mind. It spurs us on, motivates, and inspires us. Sometimes traveling can help us to come to realizations about ourselves and what we want to be doing. It can help us to find inner strength we didn’t know we had and be brave.
April 20, 2017

Travel Helpers You Can’t Do Without

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travelling, travelling with friends

Do you want to go travelling? Do you plan on going alone? That’s awesome because there is no better experience. Yep, it’s even better than sitting in your PJs eating ice-cream straight from the tub! Still, it doesn’t mean you won’t need help when you are away. Travelling alone is empowering, but it’s also hard graft. Without the individuals below, your trip won’t go as smoothly as you hope. 

Uber Drivers 

Uber is a multinational organization that has drivers in dozens of countries around the world. The chances are high, then, that Uber will operate in your destination. And, that is fantastic news for a couple of reasons. The first is that travellers don’t tend to speak the language. Some do, but others go for the experience and pick up bits and pieces. Unfortunately, this tactic makes life hard from time to time, especially travelling from one place to the next. Thanks to the Silicon Valley app, there is no need to worry. Simply input the pick up point and destination and wait for it to arrive. There is no reason to speak the language because you won’t need to talk! 

Signers

Sorry to burst your bubble, but a taxi driver can’t take you anywhere in the world. Some places are off limits to even Uber, which means you’ll need to walk. Shock horror! Don’t fear, though, as it’s an excellent way to get to know the city and learn more about the culture. It’s also a great way to get lost, which is dangerous when you’re away from home. The great news is that sign manufacturers are often on hand to help. All major cities and some small ones have signage for tourists. And, because English is an international language, they won’t just be in the national tongue. Keep an eye out and always stop to read a sign. It could make the difference between getting lost and finding your way home. 

Hostel Managers 

Do you know the phrase the customer is always right? In hostels, they take this to extremes. Okay, let’s start by saying that they are bad ones who don’t care. But, on the whole, most of them are very accommodating. And, when you’re in a foreign country, it’s a big deal. The reason they are so helpful is that they’re flexible. Your entire journey centres on being flexible, so it’s always nice to find people that are on the same page. Hostel owners will do everything from organising a party to allowing you to stay an extra night. When you spend the night partying, staying in bed is always the best option!

Friendly Strangers 

Travelling alone gets lonely. So, you will need to find people to talk to and spend time with to pass the time. Thankfully, almost everyone is up for a conversation. Again, this isn’t always the case, but it is in general terms. Talking to a stranger or asking them to incorporate you into the group is always hard. But, friendly strangers never make it difficult. 

In fact, they make it as easy as pie.
April 19, 2017

Office Productivity Enhanced

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It can be hard to keep a tab of office productivity because you are working yourself and trying to ensure your business stays afloat in a time where it is rocky to say the least. As such, you need to do all you can to increase productivity in the office. It is easier said than done, however. There are ways of implementation that require less effort from yourself, leaving you to ensure your business becomes the success you have always dreamed of. You may have already thought about some of these tips but read on because you may see something else that could benefit your office and increase the productivity in the office for all those in it. Something that they may actually thank you for it it makes your job easier.

One of the best things you can do in an office environment and indeed any work environment is ensure that there is a proper break room installed. You need to ensure the room is designed in a different way to the rest of the office so that your employees can feel like they can kick back and relax, giving them the vital recharge before they get back to work. If they don’t get this recharge they will end up feeling weaker, and their productivity will tail off. In the break room you should look at getting a TV, so they are properly removed from the work. You also need appliances for them, microwave, oven, fridges, etc. On the same note think about getting dining equipment but also comfortable chairs where people can relax.

People also like working in their own bubble when in an office. This can be hard to achieve because space is at a premium and people tend to be crammed together. To get around this you should think about using acoustic office screens. Privacy means better work, and if they are going to be talking on the phone all the time it is needed. Otherwise it can be quite hard to hear the customer, especially if they are naturally quiet in any case.


April 19, 2017

Budget Travel: How To Have A Great Time Without Breaking The Bank

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Most people look forward to their annual family holiday. However, thousands of us spend the next twelve months trying to pay the debt off our credit cards. So, it makes sense for all travelers to attempt to reduce the cost as much as possible. Thankfully, there are lots of ways in which you can ensure your vacation doesn’t run over budget. The tips on this page should assist you in making sure you don’t empty your accounts while you’re away. We’ll leave advice for getting cheap flights and accommodation for another time. Today, we’re going to focus on all the other ways in which you can cut back. 

Apply for your Visa well in advance 

Some people land in a foreign country to discover they can’t gain entry. That is because they failed to apply for a Visa. The experts from etias.com mention that error all the time. The solution? Well, firstly, you need to research your destination online. You’ll find out if you require a Visa within minutes, so there is no excuse. While you can often get them after you land, the price you pay will increase. That means you end up spending a fortune for no good reason. With that in mind, make sure you always get your Visa with weeks to spare. That way, if there are any complications, you have time to deal with them. Also, you’ll keep costs to a minimum. That’s vital if you’re visiting with the entire family. 

Always purchase medical insurance 

Nobody wants to injure themselves or become ill during their holidays. However, that happens to thousands of people every single year as thisismoney.co.uk says. If you have to spend time in a foreign hospital, you’ll often have to cover the costs. Those bills could become staggering if you required treatment. Most holidaymakers can’t even afford to pay them, and that’s how they get into trouble. That said, there is a simple solution that will solve all your problems. Make sure you purchase relevant medical insurance policies before you leave home. As a traveler, you can often get them for only a few dollars. 

Hire a car 

It sounds silly, but hiring a car in a foreign country could help you to save a substantial amount of cash. That applies in particular if you’re visiting with lots of other people. The price you would pay for taxis and other transport is shocking. So, renting a vehicle could help you to keep that money in your pocket. In most instances, you will find fantastic deals online if you make the arrangements before you arrive. You can then pick the car up from the airport, meaning you don’t have to stress about the cost of transfers. Of course, you need to ensure you’re confident driving on the wrong side of the road. Plenty of countries do that. 

guy looking at something, guy looking at the beach

You should now have some excellent ideas about the best ways to reduce spending. Put them into action this year, and you will have more cash to enjoy yourselves. Wherever you plan to fly, the same rules should apply. It’s all about preparing in advance and seeking out the cheapest solutions. Use the information from this page, and you should notice a significant improvement.
April 19, 2017

Four Reasons Your Blog Benefits From A Logical Layout

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monitor

Your blog is the place for you to truly be yourself. You can express your opinions, write down all your hopes, dreams, and aspirations, and explore your interests in your own space. But your blog also has to be readable - hits are important, especially if you’ve chosen to monetise your blog. A confusing, in your face, or overwhelming blog might struggle to get the readership you want or deserve. It’s all about a simple, elegant, and streamlined design for ultimate readability. 

1. Your branding doesn’t need competition 

Your blog is your own, personal brand. Your logo, your typeface, even your background all contributes to your website branding, and if you’ve paid good money to get the perfect branding, you’re going to want to make the most of it. A confusing blog with a lot of conflicting imagery and text can overwhelm the reader, and your personal branding gets pushed to the wayside. In order to make your branding pop, keep everything else subtle. 

tweet

2. People don’t want to be overloaded 

When someone comes to your blog, it’s because they like your style, they affiliate themselves with your worldview, or they are interested in what you have to say. They want to be able to find your posts and read them without any difficulty. When you have a world’s worth of colours, flashing banners, pop-up ads and slowly, slowly loading photographs, it can really detract from the experience. Of course, there’s a middle ground to be reached - you’re obviously entitled to your advertising and photographs, but finding a way to include them without seriously overloading the reader is the best of both worlds. 

3. Finding things needs to be simple

Simple and well-considered navigation is the key to a great blog. A search bar is a great place to start, and sadly a feature that so many blogs miss out on. If a reader respects your expertise and has a specific question, a search bar is the easiest and quickest way for them to find their answers. A browse function which allows the reader to separate the blog by category also allows them to scroll, reading posts which interest them. If there is no quick way for the reader to find a post which is of interest to them, they might just not bother, and that’s one less click for you. 

man using laptop

4. Content is key 

Fresh, interesting, and up to date content is essential on your blog. It boosts your SEO, gives something for people to share, and keeps your site relevant. A logical layout allows newer posts to be viewed nearer the top, but it also allows the reader to look further back into the archives. It contains listed archives, as well as categories and subcategories so that content is readily available and easy to find. The layout of your blog is all about improving its readability, making it easy to navigate, and first and foremost, putting your branding at the forefront. After all, your brand is you, through and through.
April 19, 2017

When Is It Time To Upgrade Your Office?

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Whether it’s time to take your home office into a professional space, or you think you’re ready to move your company to a new location, it can be tricky to know when the right time is. There are so many different factors associated with offices, from accessibility to space and size, to the quality of the building. So how do you know when the right time is? If you’re umming and ahhing about whether it’s time to move, maybe one or two of these reasons applies to you and your company. 

Your company has outgrown your space 

If business is booming, you might be hiring more personnel. Your office will only accommodate so many people before it starts to get uncomfortable, or even illegal. If you’re finding that staff are having to share desks regularly, and that there are queues for washroom facilities, it could be time to upsize. Worker’s efficiency levels tend to take a hit when they feel cramped, especially if it becomes noisy and difficult to find privacy. A new office, in this situation, will make everyone feel more comfortable and less anxious. 

April 19, 2017

SUVs To Make You Say OMG

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If you're looking for one of the most versatile kinds of vehicle around, it's pretty hard to go wrong with an SUV. Originally seen as purely off-road cars, SUVs are now some of the most popular cars on the road for those with large families, those who want plenty of space, or even just those who want a serious comfortable ride. Of course, as with any type of car, you've got a ridiculous amount of choice, and that can be pretty overwhelming if you don't know where to start. Well, you're in luck because here is a list of some of the best SUVs on the market right now to help give you an idea of what you should be looking for. 

Volvo XC90 


Volvo is one of the most popular car manufacturers with families, and there's a very good reason for that. It has an extremely well-founded reputation for producing cars that are both reliable and incredibly safe. The XC90 is no exception to this rule. The technology in this model means that it's the first Volvo that is essentially capable of driving itself

April 18, 2017

Keeping The Cogs Whirring

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Being in business can be stressful. Not only for you, but the people around you. This can be family and friends that are caught up in your dilemmas, but more importantly you need to be thinking about your staff and how they are handling things. Ill-advised staff under bad management can only mean problems for your business. Ensuring that you are doing everything correctly, above board and with a positive attitude can mean big things for your company, you wallet and most of all, your pride. This can have a lot to do with the machinery within your business and how it is handled. 

Ensure That It Is Up To Date 

 Every business in the land has a piece of equipment that has been there since what feels like when time began. Don’t look into this the wrong way - there are some pieces of machinery that do their job right up until their dying day, and there is no point in upgrading them just for the sake of it and for keeping face if they are working perfectly well. However, there are some systems on machinery which do need updating, and there will be certain models that will need to be bought new just to keep up with growing trends and demands once your business is well on its way to success. 

April 18, 2017

Divine Intervention: Approaching Angel Investors

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One of the biggest problems facing entrepreneurs is the small budgets they have to work with, and sourcing the funds they need to accelerate, launch, or grow their operation. If you’ve caught on to all the buzz surrounding angel investors, and you think they could be your ticket to riches, you need to approach them in the right way. Here are some great tactics for getting angel investors in your corner.

Have a Record of Success 


If you’re having to fight tooth and nail just to keep your business from going bankrupt, this isn’t the right time to start fishing for investors. Angel investors, and any kind of creditors for that matter, want to know what they’ll gain from the deal, not how they can bail you out of a rough patch. If your business hasn’t even launched yet, there’s a pretty slim chance that you’ll be able to coax them out of a single penny. You don’t have a history of sales, so there’s no hard evidence you’ll be able to succeed. However, if you’ve been running your business for some time, and enjoying a healthy profit margin, you’re in a pretty strong position to ask for an investment. It may sound a little backwards to ask for money when you don’t need it, but these funds can be used to make a successful operation even more lucrative. 
April 13, 2017

The Keys To Business Success!

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There are thousands of different businesses out there. Some are similar, others stark opposite. If you want to be part of the business world and go live with your company you need to know how to succeed, or what makes it succeed. Sure, it does differ slightly from business to business, but the overriding tenants still remain in place no matter what you are doing. This article can help you succeed, it can help divert your attention from what doesn’t matter, and push it towards what does. They say eighty percent of the time you focus on what does not matter, and only twenty percent is spent wisely. Try to spend more of it wisely. You may have even used these tips before, try them again! Good luck in the setting up of your business. 

The first key is finding the right place to start and go live. This is paramount. If you invest a load of money into the wrong area you just have to get on with it. Instead, you should do your research. Do all you can to ensure that you open in the right place. Look at competitors, footfall, rent, etc. You should even consider the right state, different states offer different benefits. Here are the best states to form llc. Preparation is the key to business success. Know why you are choosing a certain location, don’t just do it because it is convenient for you. Put the research in first and you will reap the rewards. 


April 13, 2017

Would You Dare To Dress Your Fella?

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Have you noticed just how expensive guys' clothing has got? We girls used to whinge that the cost of our fashion choices was over the top when you considered the amount of material used. Things have changed, and we can dress for less. Perhaps this is why so many guys seem less inclined to update their wardrobe each season! If your fella is looking a little bit too last season (or last decade), would you dare to talk to him about it? 

Of course, we all love our other halves for who they are, not what they look like. But if you’re getting ready for that all-important event at the end of the week, would you like to have a say in what your partner wears? All relationships are different, and how men feel about clothes isn’t always the same as how we feel about fashion. So what can you do? 

shopping

Start by asking him what he plans to wear. If you can’t have an honest and upfront conversation, then things might be a little tricky. Common answers might include ‘I don’t know’ or ‘that old thing.' That’s OK. Of course, if you’re not convinced ‘that old thing’ is best for the setting, why not ask him to come shopping with you? 


guy

Sadly some guys aren’t keen mall trawlers. Fortunately, the power of twenty-first technology means you can shop safely online from the comfort of his gaming chair. Pick stores that cater for his build. This is sometimes the best way to get a fresh look for him if he’s a single-brand kind of guy. He might be even more encouraged if he’s getting a bargain. You could check out https://www.couponsherpa.com/banana-republic/ to see if there is anything that may work there. Vouchers can be pretty cost-effective if two outfits are going to hurt your wallet a little this month. 

Are you confident enough to dress your guy? Knowing his body shape will help give you some idea of the styles of pants and shirts that will best suit his figure. Of course, if you’re dressing to impress at an office party or social event, you might be keen to check out some suits. A three-piece can add up to an expensive outfit when you add the shirt, tie, and shoes in too. But he’ll look amazing, and it can be worn again and again with different shirts and ties for a great new look. 

guy in tuxedo

You might offer to let him pick out something for you to wear, just to even things up a bit. This can actually be a really nice way to spend a quality afternoon together if he’s game. There is no guarantee he’ll have good taste, though!. Still, it will certainly give you some insight into his preferences for fashion, and you might be able to find something new for you that you both love. 

Would you dare to dress your man? It depends on the type of relationship you have and whether he’s a willing participant in your dress-up game. Either way, have fun!
April 13, 2017

Don't Make A Meal Of Your Man Meeting His In-Laws

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There’s always pressure the first time your new partner meets your parents. In those early days of a relationship, gaining your parents approval is paramount. Their opinion can seal the deal and help you rest easy that this guy could be the one. Equally, you’ll want your partner to warm to your parents. Being in a relationship with someone who doesn’t like your family is tough. It could lead to hard decisions down the line. Avoid that by making sure things go right on the first meeting. 


FIRST IMPRESSIONS COUNT 

We’re told time and again that first impressions count, and it’s true. Never will it be so important for your man to make a good one. You’ve found the love of your life, and you want your parents to love him too. But, he doesn’t have any idea what they’re like. Help him out by giving him some idea of what would impress them. Would your mum like a bouquet of flowers? Would they prefer he wore a tailor made suit, or something casual? All this is worth considering. The more preparation you both put into that first impression, the better position you’ll be in. It’s hard to undo a bad first impression, and it’s hard to ruin a good one. 
April 12, 2017

Music To Your Ears: Creating The Best Possible Music Venue

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music venue, auditorium

The music industry is constantly changing. The business model of buying CDs was once incredibly secure and is now all but dead. Then MP3 downloads were the king, but streaming has taken over from that as the most popular listening format. Things are changing all the time but there is one thing that will never change, and that's people's desire to see live music. In fact, live music is something that is just as, if not more, successful now than ever before. Because of this a lot of entrepreneurs are getting in on the ground floor and setting up their own music venues. That might sound like an easy way to set up a business. After all, all you need to do is find the right place, put in a stage, and get the audiences pouring in. But trying to create a successful venue is far more complicated than that. Here are a few simple tips to try and help you get started. 

Pick a theme 

The kind of theme that you choose is going to have a huge impact on the kind of venue that you're running. Are you going for something incredibly modern? Then it might be the kind of place where people go to see electronic music. Perhaps you're taking on a more vintage, opera house kind of style? If that's the case, then acoustic music is going to be much more at home here. Of course, there's nothing to say that you can mix styles however much you want but it's important to think about the aesthetics of your venue and how that ties into the kind of atmosphere that you're trying to create. 

Seating or standing?

Again this will come down to the kind of music that you want in your venue. If you're looking to bring in a heavy rock audience, then there's not much use of having fixed seating, but if you want to create a venue for people to come and listen to refined classical music, then a company like Seating Concepts may have exactly what you need. Of course, you could always create a balance with seats further back but standing areas closer to the stage. This kind of setup is common in venues that host various different kinds of performances from night to night. 

Think about sound 

The one thing that you cannot ignore is the acoustics of your venue. Once again this ties into the kind of performances that you want to have. Take for example a venue like Carnegie Hall. This is one of the most famous venues in the world, but its acoustics are so reflective that they create huge amounts of echo. This means that classical or acoustic music sounds fantastic there, but something like rock or punk music ends up sound like a complete and total mess. Think about the kind of music that you want to be performed in your venue and then look at what you can do to create the best possible sonic environment for that. It's a good idea to talk to an architect about how to go about that before making any concrete plans.
April 11, 2017

Happiness And How It Can Save You Money

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Life is not all about having a lot of money. Of course, saving is just good sense but the urge to make way more than a person could need and then hoard it, seems more like a pathology than a character trait that should be admired. Unfortunately, in Western culture, avarice is celebrated rather than looked upon with suspicion. The desire to always make more money, and to become more influential and to have others recognise you as successful can sometimes be corrosive. If you run your own business or work in an office environment as a manager, you should be mindful that the balance between your bank account and your life is an important one. It should also be remembered that the health and happiness of your colleagues or employees is, fundamentally, more important than any other consideration. Success that comes at the cost of someone’s well being is patently too expensive.  

Besides, happy employees are also more productive. A recent study found that the difference could actually be as much as 12%. Your workforce is your most important asset and making sure they are content could make a huge difference to your business. There are a few things that you can do to make sure both you and the people you work with are as happy and efficient as possible: 

April 11, 2017

To Buy Or Not To Buy?

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To buy or not to buy? That is the question. 

Okay, so this may not have been the question that Hamlet faced in Shakespeare’s famous play, but it is one that all of us will have to answer at some point in our life. 

Should we buy or rent a new home? Traditionally, buying was thought of as the better option, but these days there are lots of families who decide to stay in rented properties. Here are some of the pros and cons of each type of home. 

Buying Pro: Your Home Is Yours 

Once you have paid off your mortgage, your home is totally yours. You then won’t have to make any more monthly payments towards it, and you will find that you have a lot of leftover cash at the end of each month. 
April 10, 2017

Office Productivity Enhanced

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Running an office is hard work. You need to keep an eye on the office as well as your business, it is almost like having two jobs. One of the harder things to do is to keep your workforce running in a way that is productive, getting the best out of them at all times is a skill on your part, yet it needs to be done. After all you are paying them a fair wage to do a job that they agreed to do. You need to facilitate this. Sure there will be certain members who are lazy and may need disciplinary action, yet the majority will just need their productivity enabled. Little things make the world of difference in this regard. This article can help you achieve to this end. You may have considered some of the points. Yet if not, give them a go and see if they work for you. 

You need to think about little office amenities to that make people happy while they are working and as such enable their productivity to soar. Think about what people like to do when they work. They like to drink for one. So consider a high quality coffee machine for your offices. As well as this, use a water dispenser. These small items can make the world of difference, uplifting your workforce just the right amount and enabling them to relax to a certain extent as they are working.


Depending on what kind of office you run you should also let your workforce personalise their desks. This can be with photos, or with quirky little things stood close by. These home comforts can see you succeed in keeping them happy and as a result their productivity will be good too. 

April 07, 2017

3 Ways To Take Your Marketing To The Next Level

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Like most small business owners, you’ve probably looked up some tried and tested marketing strategies in the past, applied them to your brand, and seen some decent results. Popular marketing tactics are popular for a reason. However, they’re no reason to rule out the strategies that you’ve never tried before. If you want your marketing efforts to be a little more effective, here are some ways to take it to the next level… 

Automate Social Media 

You probably know that social media is an essential facet to modern digital marketing, but you may not be managing your business’s social media presence in the most efficient way possible. Keeping your current customers loyal, and bringing in new ones, may require a little more bandwidth than you already have. One of the best ways to improve your social media efficiency is using an automation service that will allow you to write, schedule, and review your posts from a single, user-friendly dashboard. Many of these services also come with detailed analytics. This will make it easier to tweak little details of your social strategy, see the kind of effect they have, and use this information to inform your future strategy. 

Make your Materials Interactive 

April 06, 2017

Short On Cash? Be Your Own Life Coach

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beautiful girl

Unless you’ve been hiding under the duvet for the last five years, you’ll be well aware that mindfulness, meditation, and personal development are now major buzzwords in the health and wellness industry. Celebrities and public figures alike, are now choosing to part with thousands of dollars for a single life coaching session, with the average fee coming in at $500 and therapists re-training in order to cash in on this lucrative form of guidance. Sadly, unless you’re the CEO of a Fortune 500 company or Oprah Winfrey, who’s rumored to have a life coach on standby, paying for coaching is probably way down your list of priorities. 

Should You Self Coach? 

The answer to that is really how long is a piece of string? Choosing to life coach yourself is a big decision, it requires discipline, being in touch with your emotions and understanding the need for change and then taking the steps necessary. Popping on a life-coaching hat means assessing yourself, sometimes critically, to see what you may be lacking be it confidence, self-esteem, the ability to take risks or even to stop smoking. A good time to consider spending some time with yourself is when you’re feeling lonely, isolated or stuck in a rut as it’s obvious that you could do with a little extra guidance. However, don’t afraid to take things slow as often people jump in all guns blazing and then find that motivating themselves is quite difficult. 

What Can You Improve?

No one knows what the future holds, not even that best phone psychic you’ve seen advertised in the back of your TV paper. So if you’re feeling dissatisfied it’s vital that you get your ducks in a row to grow as a person. Accepting you need a little extra help is one thing, identifying which area of your life be it finances, relationships, love, commitment or health and doing something about it is another. Start by writing a list of what upsets you the most in life. Is it being passed over for promotion? Not being able to lose weight? Arguing with your partner? Then write down what makes you happiest and hopefully you should see a clear pattern start to emerge. One way to learn what needs changing is to listen to your ‘body compass.’ Do you bounce out of bed first thing on a Monday morning or hit the snooze button for as long as you possibly can without being late? 

Set Goals You Can Do 

So many of us set ourselves impossible tasks and then wonder why we fail. Break down your goals into tiny pieces, even if that means writing out each day what you’re going to do and then having a daily planner so you can keep track of your progress as the weeks go by. Remember, big goals such as improving your communication skills should be tackled one at a time so don’t go lumping it in with needing to exercise more. Consider working on goals from most important to least. You should be able to sum up each one in five words otherwise your thoughts are too convoluted and you may fail.

woman writing

April 06, 2017

Most Corporate Events Are Utterly Boring, Make Sure Yours Isn't!

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Corporate events can be incredibly useful tools for any business. They give you an opportunity to promote your business to large groups of people all at once as well as giving you the chance to interact with people in a direct, personal level. However, there's one major issue that comes up a lot with practically all corporate events. They're boring. There are no two ways around it, corporate events, nine times out of ten, are just incredibly boring to attend. They're full of people spouting sales figures and trends in the driest, most uninteresting way possible. The demonstrations of products often lack anything that would actually draw someone's attention, and generally the whole thing just kind of feels like a slog. Of course, it doesn't need to be that way. Just because corporate events aren't usually that much fun for anyone doesn't mean that yours can't be different. Here are a few simple tips to help you make sure that your corporate event doesn't fall into the same traps that so many others do. 

Have speakers who are engaging 


There are always speakers at corporate events and, a lot of the time, they are the central aspect of the entire event. You often have a great deal of the event built around a keynote speaker who acts as something of a "headline" act for the event. The problem is that, all too often, businesses bring in speakers who simply don't know how to engage people. They don't understand how to present to an audience, and they're not aware of how to arrange information into a narrative that people are going to want to follow. Don't just assume that because someone is an expert in their field that they're going to be good at presenting it. Make sure that any speakers at your event are engaging enough that no one is falling asleep in their chairs. 

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