Tuesday, May 24, 2011
Taking a long bus journey with children in tow can be challenging, but with some planning, you and your child can enjoy a bus ride with a minimum of fuss and muss.
When planning your trip, try to avoid traveling on weekends or during peak tourist seasons. This will help prevent having to wait for the next bus when one is full, and give your child a chance to stretch out across seats when the bus is not crowded. For trips lasting less than half a day, consider going overnight so that your child will sleep through the majority of the ride.
Children up to age two can ride for free; however, if the bus is full, the child must be seated on your lap-- which can get uncomfortable for parent and child as the hours pass. It is worth the investment to purchase tickets for all children (usually offered at a discount). Even in the slowest seasons, one broken-down bus can mean doubling up of passengers on the next, and seats may not be available for everyone. With a ticket, even on a crowded bus, your child will be entitled to his/her own seat.
For young children, child seats or harnesses with manufacturer-approved strapping or webbing is recommended, to ensure your child will be safe and stay put for the ride. Greyhound does not provide child seats or restraining devices for children, and it is the parent's responsibility to install and remove them in seats.
Make a "goody bag" for each child that contain a variety of activities and a few nonperishable snacks and beverages. Include toys that are inexpensive and would not be missed if lost, crayons, activity booklets, etc.
For young ones who need milk for their bottles, purchase brands such as Parmalot in serving-size packages, which, due to special packaging, don't require refrigeration. If a child is still on formula, it is best to invest in the ready-to-feed 6/8 oz cans to avoid mixing, or the single-serving powder packets.
Always keep your children close at hand and in sight when changing buses, checking or reclaiming luggage, or at stop overs. For younger ones, a harness with a strap is recommended so they don't wander off in a crowd. At any stops, point out a "meeting place" your child will recognize and tell them to go there immediately if they can't find you. Keep a recent photo of each child in your carryon bag for emergencies. Immediately seek out an employee if you believe your child is lost, and don't be afraid to call for them-- loudly.
For your child's safety, point out the employees in uniform at the beginning of the trip. Tell them that, should you be separated from them at any time, they should seek out someone dressed like that, or a uniformed police officer. Tell them if they don't see anyone in uniform or can't find a counter, to seek out a mother with children (their safest bet with strangers) and ask for help. Explain to them that they are NOT to leave the terminal or go outside of the bus station for any reason-- make sure they understand that you would never leave without them and will be inside looking for them. Also make sure they understand not to play near, behind, or-- especially-- under the buses. Rehearse them to make sure they know their phone number, address, and your full name before you leave. If your child has been recently potty trained or still has occasional "accidents," make sure to equip them with Pull Ups, Goodnites, or even Depends, to avoid an uncomfortable situation. Encourage them to go to the bathroom periodically, especially after meals or having a drink, rather than waiting until the last minute, so they won't get stuck waiting for the lavatory to be free. Always escort young children to the lavatory in the back of the bus, and make sure they wash their hands with sanitizing gel or baby wipes when finished.
A roll of quarters in your pocket is convenient to have during stops so you can use vending machines, coin-operated televisions, let your child play video games, or make phone calls without dragging your child around the terminal looking for change.
Even for short stops, escort your child off the bus to take advantage of a few moments of fresh air and leg-stretching. If you stop for a transfer and have a couple of hours or more to spare, and if it is early enough, secure your luggage in lockers and take your child for a stroll around the neighborhood or a bit of sight-seeing.
Try to relax and make the ride the fun part of the trip. Give them lots of attention, play word games, tell them stories. Take the long ride as an opportunity to spend quality time with your little ones, and they will enjoy the trip all the more.
There's something "zen" about long bus trips; being an anonymous face in the sea of travelers, being away from all the stresses and distractions of your every day life, losing yourself in a good book or allowing yourself to kick back and "zone out" as mile after mile rolls by you-- sometimes for days-- demanding patience and affording leisure time that you will rarely find elsewhere. Bus travel is inexpensive, flexible, and widely available throughout the continental US, parts of Canada and Mexico. With a bit of knowledge aforehand, your itch to wander can be satisfied on a motor coach.
Before purchasing a ticket, look into all possible options for the best deal. Students, seniors, persons in the military and children can usually ride at discounts. Companion fares offer a discount on one fare with the purchase of a full fare ticket. Advanced purchase tickets are usually cheaper than last minute. For the more free-spirited adventurer, Greyhound Discovery Passes can be purchase for virtually unlimited traveling freedom within your chosen region for anywhere from four to sixty days.
Be sure to inquire about limited time specials that might be running; even if you are making a round trip, sometimes taking advantage of sale prices on two one-way tickets can save you money. Keep in mind, however, that tickets purchased for limited sales usually have traveling limitations, such as blackout dates during which the ticket will not be honored.
Rules regarding baggage are very strict, so it is to your benefit to make certain that the amount, size and weight of your luggage are within required limits to avoid hold ups at the terminal or additional fees (contact the bus company before departure to ensure your luggage is within restrictions and get details on insurance and reimbursement policies). Carry on bags must fit in the overhead rack or under your seat. Special rules apply to such items as skis and bicycles; contact the bus company for specifications before your trip. Remember that, when transferring buses, your bags are not handled for you by employees. You are responsible for claiming your baggage when you leave one bus, keeping it with you and checking it when you board another bus.
Greyhound suggests arriving at the terminal at least an hour before departure; get there even earlier, especially when traveling during busy seasons. Seats are not assigned, and boarding is usually on a first-come-first-serve basis. The earlier you arrive, the more choice the seating options will likely be.
When choosing a seat, remember for your own comfort: the back row does not recline, and, if you plan to read while traveling at night, the very front seats do not have working overhead lights. If you like to get up and down a lot, you might want to choose an isle seat to avoid bothering any passenger that might sit next to you. If you don't like to get up and down a lot, you might prefer a window seat to avoid being bothered. In my experience, if you want to try to get two seats all to yourself so you can really stretch out, sitting on the isle seat seems to discourage others from squeezing into the window seat next to you (unless the bus fills up and they have no other options). Also remember that in coaches equipped with lavatories, the bathrooms can sometimes get-- well, rank!-- and getting stuck sitting near them can be unpleasant, to say the least.
I have always found it beneficial to befriend the bus drivers. While you're not supposed to talk to them when they are operating the coach, take a moment to chat with them before departure or during brief stops-- that way, if unexpected layovers occur, or if there is any confusion, you will find it easier to get their help or, at the very least, get information from them.
During maintenance stops, when the bus is cleaned and serviced, everyone is required to exit. You can leave your carry on bags, jackets, etc., on the coach; keep in mind though that the bus company is not responsible for anything you might find missing. At the very least, make sure everything is off the floor, as the clean up crew will mop without much concern about your personal belongings.
Any time the bus stops, know that it will depart without you if you are not back before the scheduled time. Make no mistake-- the driver will not wait for you, nor will any belongings you leave in your seat or on the overhead racks be removed. If the bus makes a stop to pick up new passengers, those already on that coach will get to reboard ahead of new people (make sure you get a reboarding ticket from your driver before exiting the coach during the stop). If you miss the reboarding call, someone just may end up in your seat, leaving you stuck at the terminal to wait for the next bus.
With unrestricted fares, you can make stopovers at any point on your route, should you decide you want to spend the day sight seeing in an interesting town, or get a room for a good night's sleep before continuing your journey. Be sure to have the driver or ticket agent make the proper notation on your ticket when doing so. Remember when re-boarding that seats are still on a first-come-first-serve basis.
If you travel with children, read our Bus Travel with Children tips.
Craps and baccarat offer the best shot that Las Vegas casinos give. They take the smallest percentage and are easiest to play. Blackjack is the game for those with a sharp eye and a good memory.
Worst bets: Keno, roulette, and slot machines (in that order).
Atlantic City roulette odds are better than Nevada houses but not as good as French casinos.
The best blackjack is in Las Vegas, the worst in Atlantic City.
The best craps rules are in Great Britain.
Insider's Guide to Casino Gambling
Go in with a game plan and stick to it. Decide in advance how much money you're going to take, how much you can afford to lose, and at what point you will quit.
Limit each bet to 1% of your original stake. That may be as little as $5 (the weekend minimum in Atlantic City). Up your bets only when you are ahead. Never bet more than 10% of the stake. If you start chasing money you've lost, the odds of going broke are much higher. That's the wrong approach to gambling.
Don't push your luck IF you've won $100 with a given dealer and then lose $20 of your profits, back off. Take a deep breath or break for dinner. In any case, find a new table.
Pass up the free drinks. Casinos offer them for a reason. If you lose your inhibitions, you may desert your strategy and change your betting patterns. You want to keep a clear head.
Study a map or guide to know the terrain you'll be hiking and estimate the time it will take to arrive at your destination. Pad your estimates with extra time to account for delays.
Obtain necessary permits and reserve campsites in advance, and check local regulations to avoid fines. Know the area's weather patterns and accommodate for time of year. Always be prepared for the worst weather.
Remember, it's very easy to perspire, even in the winter, so dress appropriately in layers and be prepared for changing conditions, temperature changes at higher altitudes, and evenings. Avoid wearing jeans or cotton clothing. Wear polypropylene, wool or other breathable materials that wick moisture away and dry quickly.
Always pack rain gear.
Get to know your gear before heading out. Seam-seal the tent and familiarize yourself with its design and set-up. Learn how to operate your stove so you're not caught in the dark or the rain trying to figure it out. Know what you can carry and how long you can carry it without straining yourself. The pack shouldn't weigh more than 25 percent of your weight, so take only what you need.
So here are a few tips to avoid your valued possessions from taking a walk:
If the hotel has an in room safe use it and keep all your valuables in there.
However, if the safe is electronic, wipe the touch keys down before operating it with a damp cloth, and then dry it before entering your secret code. Try to do this every time you use the safe.
Also after you have keyed in your code and closed the door firmly locked on the safe. Press all the other keys /numbers that do not make up your code, and press them firmly. Doing this may set off a small alarm from the safe but it stops quickly and no one will pay any attention (!!).
The reason to do this is because certain hotels have caught their own hotel staff placing, a light oil residue or powder on to the touch keys that shows them when using a certain light what numbers were pressed. They were managing to open the safe, and one very clever thief was taking only 1 or 2 US$ from each room. Would you have noticed ? It is not a lot but in a 400 or 500 room hotel the guy was doing quite well for himself.
Never leave valuables in soft/material bags with pockets even if they are padlocked like Alcatrass
This avoids any potential of somebody simply splitting a seam to a pocket with a knife and removing select contents. This has happened to one of our friends and he never even noticed until he went into the and bag and pocket a while later.
This should also apply to luggage that you check into the airplane.
Never get drunk and invite a stranger to your room. This seems funny, indeed, but better safe than sorry.
Before leaving for your trip, try to get some prior information as to the rough layout of the airport where you will be arriving. This will help, to have a vague sense of where you should be going and where the taxis are located etc.
Whenever possible, especially in certain countries we recommend taking either the airport limousine, or a hotel pick up.
Never take a taxi that seems just to be hanging around, offering its services when there is a taxi queue available.
Try to keep your wallet and valuables safely secured in a handbag or in one of your hand luggage.
Change some money into the local currency before you depart. This gives you one less thing to worry about, and will stop you from pulling a large amount of money out at the airport arrivals.
Keep a small amount of this local currency, easily accessible in a pocket or something, and away from the majority of your well earned money. You will need sufficient for the ride into town, a tip (perhaps) and a little for unforeseen needs like toll ways or a bottle of water.
If you have not been able to find anything out about the airport that you are visiting then ask one of the airline staff, or the government tourism booth (if they have one at the airport) for some assistance, or tips on the best way of travelling.
Most countries really are very safe, but in others it is really very advisable to take to take as many precautions as possible. No matter what, the most important is that you have a great holiday.
Monday, May 23, 2011
when considering loan consolidation. You must do the research. First know the details of agreement, standard payments, and interest rates for each loan and creditor before looking out for a loan consolidation company or program. When picking a company or program, make it a point to compare them ; know their terms of agreement, interest rates and requirements. When you have carefully selected a company or program you feel is acceptable for you provide them the information you had gathered.
There are Fed. and personal Student Loan Consolidations. Fed Student Loan allows a student to have all their federal loans mixed into one new loan.
The government provides federal programs like :
The federal Family Education Loan Program ( FFEL ). FFEL will soon be replaced by the Direct Loan program and Pell Grant and the federal Direct Student Loan Program ( FDLP ). These programs permit students to have their loans from Stafford Loans, Fed. Perkins Loans and plus loans mixed into one Fed. loan. These are fixed-rate loans backed up by the U.S. Government, offered to students and parents.
The Fed. Direct Student Loan Program ( FDLP ) was made by the U.S. Dept of Education in effort to help parents and students with their loans.
personal Loan Consolidation is mixing private student loans into one new loan. Before considering private loan consolidation, apply for a Fed loan, the explanation for this is to better maximize Fed loans that are available. Non-public companies like Sallie Mae counsel it.
Here are several federal Loans :
Perkins Loans are financed by the government. They carry a very low interest rate but are need-based, a fiscal officer would establish if a student is eligible.
Plus Loans are for oldsters of undergraduate students. There are also Plus Loans for students also. Payments on this plan will begin once this loan is approved. Plus Loans let you take up to 10 years for repayment. Commercial banks and online banks offer plus loans for both oldsters and students.
Stafford Loans supply a low interest rate. They do not raise their interest rates any higher. Stafford loans do not need a student to pay any interest while at college and are not required to pay the loan in the six months after graduation. It offers ten years for repayment.
Here are a few personal companies that offer Loan consolidation :
Loan Approval Direct offers IRs as low as 3 percent. Reducing a student’s monthly loan to as much as sixty %.
SLM Corporation or typically named Sallie Mae. Sallie Mae offers a selection of options depending on the type of school or what education program a student would have. Such programs include Fed. Stafford Loan, Parent plus Loan, Graduate PLUS Loan, Sallie Mae Smart Option Student Loan, Continuing Education Loan and Career coaching Loan.
Citibank provides programs like CitiAssist Undergraduate and Graduate Loans, CitiAssist Health Professions ; CitiAssist Residency, Relocation and Review Loans ; and the CitiAssist Law and CitiAssist Bar examination Loans. Students receive a 0.25% IR reduction in their auto-debit payment program. These programs take up to 20 to twenty-five years to repay.
EdFed is another private company. By picking one of their plans a student can lower their regular payment by as much as sixty percent. They also provide interest-only payments. The fixed interest on EdFed is the weighted average of the IRs of the loans a student consolidated, rounded to the nearest 1/8th percent.
Last year at this time, we were frantically looking for information on the different types of student loans. Unfortunately we could find bits and pieces on various websites, but nothing as complete as we needed. This gave me the motivation to provide for others what we couldn’t find. You will, after reading this article know exactly what the 8 different types of student loans are and if you should pursue them or not. Now, let’s start reading.
Student Loans: 8 Types
* Federal Stafford Loan (2 types: subsidized-unsubsidized)
* PLUS Federal Loans (Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students)
* Perkins Loans
* Bank Loans
* State Loans
* Additional Unsubsidized Stafford Loan
* Loans from other sources
* College Board Extra Credit Loan
You can start looking for the various types of student loans that fit your needs but you can’t apply for them until you have successfully submitted your application to FAFSA. You will receive a Student Aid Report and that is what your lenders will base your loan on. Once FAFSA sends you your Student Aid Report (SAR) then you can start looking for the best student loans available for you and your child..
1. Subsidized Stafford Loans - no doubt the most popular loan available today. The reason is simple- both undergraduate and graduate students have access to these government loans and they guarantee them.
***Student Loans Secrets***
These rates are for subsidized loans to undergraduate students.
* 6.0% for the 2008-09 school year
* 5.6% for the 2009-10 school year
* 4.5% for the 2010-11 school year
* 3.4% for the 2011-12 school year
* returns back to 6.8% for the 2012-13 school year.
My wife recieved this loan, but they didn’t give her enough so she had to find another loan from Discovery Student Loans. Our son was not granted permission for a subsizided loan and he had to get the unsubsidized loan.
One other point of interest that you need to know is that each year you will need to re-apply to FAFSA for your loans. January 1st is the day you can submit your applications and it is first come first served.
2. Stafford Usubsidized Federal Loan – if you do not receive a subsidized loan you’ll almost always receive one of these. They can be long term loans but you will need to make monthly interest payements. With our son we set up a automatic withdrawl from our checking account for 10 dollars that covers the interest and a small amount of the principal.
***Student Loans Secrets***
Students who are working while attending college, negotiate with your lender to make monthly payments and round up to the nearest tens. If your interest is 8 dollars a month pay 10 dollars which shouldn’t be that hard. Any time you can pay on the principal the better.
3. PLUS Federal Loans – this loan is for parents who want to pay for their childs college education and receive some tax benefits. Even if you have poor credit this might be the loan for you. Other benefits of this loan include low interest rates and the ability to receive the entire amount of the college education.
***Student Loans Secrets***
You can negiotate repayment of your PLUS loan. Chose from graduation date repayments or start 60-90 days after the loan money.
4. Perkins Loans - students will find out quickly that these loans are limited, but if you are having financial difficulties this is the type of loan you should look for. You can expect competitive interest rates that are low.
***Student Loans Secrets***
Federal Perkins Loans are reported to your credit bureau. Do it right and you will have an excellent credit rating. Default or late on payments will spell trouble. Be very careful.
5. Bank Loans – search hard because you might be able to find a stafford loan through a bank, but be ready for some stuff rules and regulations. Most students turn to banks loans only after they have been turned away by the government.
***Student Loans Secrets***
Banks might limit their loans to full time students and repayment options will be limited. However you might find some incentives on re-payments of your student loans.
6. State Student Loans – you will need to visit your local bank to pick up an application. Most states offer a guaranteed student loan but the banks will adminsterd your funds.
***Student Loans Secrets***
These types of student loans are usually more expensive to borrow from when you compare them to federal loans.
7. Additional Unsubsidized Stafford Loan - These types of student loans are determined
by the federal guidelines and are reserved for borrowers who fall into the “independent
8. Other types of student loans – look at all your options and discuss these with your fiancial aid advisors at school. Military dependents, corporations and businesses will offer student assistance. Don’t be araid to ask.
Additional Website Bonus
There is one place that will pay your tuition fees if you can repay them within a year. Affiliated with around 2000 universities, Academic Management Services offer student asstance, but be ready for some expensive rates. These funds should only be used in dire emergencies.
As you have read, each of the top 8 types of student loans offers a variety of options for those of you who need help and support. The federal government is your best option but if you don’t quality you now have several options available.
I can’t stress the importance of submitting to FAFSA in January of each year. Once you receive your SAR then you can get down to business and find the type of student loans that meets your needs.
My website does not got any pagerank update in January 2011 and it bothered me a little bit.In terms of SEO pagerank has lost its importance but still when you do reciprocal links or oneway links for other sites at that point of time pagerank really counts.BTW I do none of them.
I have put a lot of effort in this website and was expecting pagerank of PR2-PR3 on google update but the results were not as expected.So it lead me to investigate what went wrong.On searching I found that all the websites which are older then 6-8 months have their pagerank updated and the new websites did not get any pagerank update.So,If your new website does not got any pagerank update then there is no need to panic or worry.
It seems a new policy adopted by google. Moreover if your posting quality,Unique content regularly then you might have observed increase in traffic as is the case with me.So,concentrate more on what your readers want.
Congrats to all those who got good pagerank updates and those who have not got any wait for the next update .
Here are Some Funny Firefox Tricks
To perform these tricks open your firefox browser and copy/paste the following in your address bar
This will show you dancing firefox.Your firefox window will automatically popup anywhere at screen.
This will open another firefox within in a new tab.So you will have firefox within firefox.
This will open firefox options dialog box in new tab.
This will open your firefox bookmark manager in new tab.
This will open your history in new tab.
This will open your extensions tab in your current window .
This will Open the “cookies window” inside a tab in the Firefox window.
This will Open the “Clear Private Data” window inside the current tab.
This will Open the “About Firefox” Dialog box inside the tab.
This will Open a scrolling list of names. The one’s who we must thank for creating Firefox
Friday, May 13, 2011
DheTemplate - New Free Blogger Template Everyday ― Blogger Tube v4 Blogger Template : Blogger Tube v4 Blogger Template is an elegant blogger template designed for video blogs. This is template is modification of Blogger Tube template by Dante Araujo. Feature for this template is page navigation for blogger ready, slideshow content and more and this template suitable for videos blog. Similar Templates :B Tube Advantage Blogger Template& Blogger Tube V3 Blogger TemplateTemplate Author :My Template Gallery - http://mytemplategallery.blogspot
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Tuesday, May 10, 2011
It’s that time of the year again when we ramp up to the New Year and start envisioning what changes we can make in our lives. Since I would imagine that your blog is an important part of your life, I’m sure many of you are looking for ways to add value to your blog. You want to make some positive enhancements to your blog as the New Year comes ringing in.
As a fellow blogger, I too am always looking for ways to improve my blog site and my blogging, for that matter. But I want to set some realistic goals that can be met. Not attaining unrealistic goals can be disheartening. For example, at my present place of employment, we had a VP of Sales who, every month, would project an unrealistic pie-in-the-sky revenue number. It was so unrealistic that the monthly revenue number was never met and eventually his words fell on deaf ears. He wasn’t taken seriously and the sales reps became disenchanted because they could never reach the goals that the VP was spouting.
So, this year, try to set some goals that are attainable. Don’t go into the New Year with the goal of hitting a Page Rank of 6 if that is unrealistic. Don’t strive for a subscriber number of 10,000 if it’s clearly not attainable. Take baby steps and try to take positive steps and maybe you’ll build some momentum in the coming year.
1. Tweak your Theme
I purchased a fully functional WordPress theme for my blog a while back and I really like it. The thing is, I’m probably utilizing a fraction of its functionality. This year I am hoping to learn more about all of the bells and whistles that my theme can do for my blog site. I’m hoping to tweak my theme in an effort to present my visitors with a new look and feel. Try not to stay stagnant with the look of your blog. Take advantage of what your theme can do for you. If you’re not happy with your current theme, there are plenty out there that you can purchase for a reasonable amount.
2. Become SEO-savvy
I am guilty of being an SEO novice. I understand the concept but I have yet to truly implement it on my blog site. We all want to rank high in the search engines and, in order to do so, we must become SEO-savvy. You could outsource and use a consultant or you could buy one of the many books out there that speak to SEO. I’m planning on buying a book and boning up on the subject.
There are many other bloggers out there in your niche. Consider a joint venture or a collaborative effort with one or many bloggers in your niche space. It may be mutually beneficial. Chances are you are already commenting on their posts. Get to talking and you might find that there could be a project you could work on together that could boost your blogs’ visibility.
One of the best ways to advertise that your blog actually exists in the blogosphere is to guest post. I know that you’ve probably heard over and over that guest posting helps your blog become noticed. The reason you have heard this is because it is true. Daniel, the owner of this illustrious blog, is letting me do so with this post. I simply could not reach as large an audience without Daniel allowing me this opportunity. Seek out the larger blogs in your space and request to guest post. Don’t be intimidated. They can only say “No”. But if you are persistent and write a quality post, chances are your name and your blog link will be in lights in front of a whole new audience.
I learned quickly that there are technical aspects of the blogging world of which I may not have the expertise. Instead of trying to do everything, it may behoove you to seek out a consultant who really knows what they are doing. There are many WordPress consultants who charge a reasonable fee if you want to move from one theme to another or if you just need some technical expertise. And when it comes to graphic artists, I found one to create banners for my sites and will use her to create some more images that I hope to use for marketing my online business. Outsourcing may save you a lot of time and aggravation at a nominal cost.
6. Take the time
Time management is always an issue for us blog owners. If you are not a full-time blogger and have a 9-5 job, you must take the time for your blogging. Set aside your lunch hour at your day job and devote it to your blog. Even if you are just writing your blog post in a notepad, you can then transfer it to your WordPress blog at your convenience. Writing the content is the hard part and if you can get it done on your lunch break, you’ll be way ahead of the game.
7. Take back your blog
If your blog has had some type of popularity, chances are there are other blog owners who want to guest post on your blog. This past year I got into a bad habit of publishing too many guest posts on my blog. The problem is that anyone who subscribed to your blog did so because they liked your writing. If you are constantly publishing others’ work then your regular subscribers will become disenchanted. Make it a point to keep the guest posts on your blog to a minimum. Even if you can’t post as many articles, it will be well received by your regular readers.
8. Take a break
This past year I was forced to take a break in my blogging due to a loss in my family. What I actually learned from this experience was that the break helped me revitalize my feelings toward blogging. When I eventually got back into it, I had a whole new sense of exhilaration toward writing. It is definitely worthwhile to take a break in your blogging if you feel you have become stagnant. You may find that it will really help you approach your blog in a new light when you get back into it.
9. Join a forum
I belong to a couple of forums on blogging. What I have found is that it gives me a connection to other bloggers and it also gives me an outlet to ask questions and, more importantly, to get answers. A forum will typically charge a reasonable monthly fee but it will definitely be worth it if you make it a point to participate.
Blogging is supposed to be fun. Hopefully this is the reason you got into blogging in the first place. So, if you can’t post on a regular posting interval, don’t let it consume you. Enjoy the experience and enjoy the process of writing. If you can only post once a month, make it a quality article. Quality over quantity should reign supreme when it comes to posting. Remember, your blog is your brand so don’t diminish what that brand means.
Try to make some positive strides in your blogging in the coming year. Enjoy the process and make the coming year a great one for you and your blog.
You know how in the beginning of a relationship everybody’s interested and interesting? How we keep up our appearance? How we interact, engage and put forth our best effort?
Then with some time and familiarity we tend to take things for granted. The fun factor fizzles, or we simply lose steam. Or perhaps our attention is diverted by some other “new and shiny object.”
Well, the same thing happens with blogging.
Here’s the scenario.
In the beginning you work hard to create posts to bring people to your spot. You appear at the popular social media sites in hopes of “making friends and influencing people.” You’re consistent in your blog updates.
After awhile, you find you’ve hit your stride!
Your followers increase, you have repeat visitors, and your amount of comments are encouraging. Eureka, you’ve found success!
That’s the honeymoon stage.
It’s a year later, or two, or five. And your blog has the excitement factor of a tax audit.
It’s like a ghost town. The activity level has dwindled and so has your motivation. In the words of singer Roberta Flack, “Where is the love?”
Don’t despair. It happens. But you can resurrect a dying blog and get back that lovin’ feelin’ with a few creative, strategic steps. Here’s how.
- Take a break. That’s right—put up your “gone fishing” sign on your site, and disconnect. Take time to cultivate new ideas, to relax and rejuvenate. Sometimes absence makes the heart grow fonder.
- Survey or poll your readers to assess their interests and to determine your future direction.
- Schedule guest bloggers to bring a different perspective and new energy to your site. Which bloggers do you admire? Start there.
- Study and analyze your most popular previous posts. What was the common denominator? Were they posted on Tuesdays? Were they technical in nature? Rev up that traffic by doing a repeat performance!
- Post interviews with prominent people in your niche. A good rule of thumb is to diversify your content so readers won’t get bored.
- Don’t be afraid to court controversy. (Remember the Dixie Chicks and President Bush)? Sometimes “stirring the pot” can have hot results!
- Respond to comments. To cultivate an active blog community, it’s crucial to be responsive to readers’ questions and comments. There’s great truth to the expression, “people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” .
Follow these seven tips to keep the blog fires burning, and most importantly to avoid burn out!
Have you ever thought about what it actually takes to become a successful blogger? Well, there are certainly a lot of successes out there and we can all learn from the best of the best. So I got to thinking about what it actually takes to run a successful blog and here is a list that I came up with.
1. Loves to write
You must admit that in order to blog successfully then loving to write must be #1. You really shouldn’t be blogging if writing to you is a chore. Your own writing style is what endears you to your readers.
2. Knows his grammar
Maybe you didn’t expect to see this one on the list but it is very difficult for me to read anyone’s blog who isn’t very particular about proper grammar. A case in point is Daniel Scocco, the owner of this extremely successful blog. If you didn’t know, he also runs a blog called DailyWritingTips. It is my guess that Daniel also feels that writing properly is very important to a successful blogger.
3. Hard Worker
If you’ve run a blog for a while, as I have, you certainly know that you must work hard. If you don’t, then it will show in your writing and your blog will not be well read. You can’t fool people and put your blog on auto-pilot. If you do then you will lose readership.
After a while you will want to make some money from the online presence and brand that you have established with your blog. A lot of people get into blogging for this sole reason. Whatever your situation entails, chances are you want to supplement your income. I plead guilty to this as well. It’s hard to be in the blogging world and hear about how others are making money online and not want to have a piece of the pie.
You can make a blog anything you want it to be. You have the choice of a myriad of themes and plugins that you can tweak to make your blog site unique. This is what makes the world of blogging great. No blog is the same and it’s simply up to the creativity of the blogger to make it that way.
6. Life Lover
This is one of the most positive aspects of the blogging world. Have you run across a blogger who doesn’t love life? This is why I added this attribute to my list. And since I started my blog I have come across the most engaging, pleasant, and helpful people I have ever met.
7. Personal Developer
Personal Development is a huge niche when it comes to the blogging world. Well, I’m here to say that all bloggers want to develop personally. We all have this in common. Without this trait would we really be doing what we are doing? I don’t think so. I try to learn and grow as a person every day but I don’t think I’m unique.
This one is no big surprise is it? A blog is basically a means by which we can communicate with our readers. Communication is not only good for the blogger but also hopefully for the reader. A successful blogger wants to connect the audience. Replying to comments is very important and that is why I respond to every comment on my blog.
9. Helps Others
This was one attribute that blew me away. When I started blogging I emailed some fairly high profile blog owners and they actually responded to my email. I wanted an opinion on the design of my blog and I also asked to interview them for my blog. They helped me out and it got me off on a very positive note when it came to blogging. It showed me how compassionate and helpful even high profile bloggers can be.
We all have a certain amount of time in our lives. And unless you are blogging full-time, you are trying to squeeze in the time to create new blog posts or to guest post on other blogs. Successful bloggers are very efficient with their time because they know that their time is limited. A successful blogger will work in high quality guest posts at certain times which allow them to maintain content but not at the expense of publishing subpar posts.
I think that this is a pretty comprehensive list of the top attributes of a successful blogger. Please feel free to share any more traits or characteristics that you think I left out.
Blogging is an exciting thing. Even more exciting is being a newbie blogger. Every matured living being passes few stages before becoming so. For instance, there is a single cell stage, an embryo, new born, child, teen and so on. Similarly every blogger is a newbie before becoming a matured blogger. And there are certain stages every newbie blogger passes through. Here I discuss 5 stages every newbie blogger comes across.
1. Excited blogger
This is the very first step of every newbie blogger. He/She cannot miss the initial excitement when starting to blog. It won’t be inappropriate to call it over-excitement. In this over-excited state, a newbie blogger can go as crazy as he/she can.
For instance some or all of the following things can happen: Purchasing bunches and bunches of cheap domain names, starting blogs at every profitable niche prevalent in the world, posting three or four times a day, downloading all plugins and installing them (and getting screwed), downloading all free ebooks (or literally anything available in pdf format) that talks about blogging and so on. The list is not exhaustive. Even more crazy things can happen.
At this stage, the blogger is either excited about his/her own blog or even sometimes excited about an A-lister blog.
2. The stat checker
The first thing every blogger does after launching a blog, even before publishing a single post, is to check stats. That is purely human nature to be curious about who is visiting the blog. But this curiosity takes over everything else at the earlier stages of blogging.
Checking stats becomes the blogger’s irresistible thing. Even without concentrating on writing blog posts, even without worrying about the design and the misaligned pages of the blog, even without taking into account that it has been just one week after the blog has been launched, the blogger couldn’t resist himself/herself checking the stats every hour.
When there is one new visitor since the last check that is a great motivation. But if there are no visitors to the blog, which is what is to be expected at this stage, the blogger becomes disappointed and frustrated. This is a big factor that greatly affects the development of the blog, especially at its initial stage when extra care and effort are needed to build the blog without worrying about the stats.
3. The monetization phobic
The blogger at this stage does Google searches (hundreds of them) to learn about all types of monetization techniques for a blog. PPC, CPC, CPM, PPM, ABC or XYZ… whatever! The blogger ruthlessly reads about all sorts of advertising.
He/She struggles hard to get an Adsense account approved. If this step doesn’t turn out to be successful, then the blogger Googles for “Adsense alternates”. As always there are a bunch of them available. So the blogger starts accounts in all of those advertising websites, puts all those banners on the blog and BOOM! One gets a beautiful site that has misaligned banners which blink, change colours, flash kisses at you and sell you stuff.
That is not all. There are places where one can do direct selling of ad banners. There are also in-text ads, strip ads, interstial ads, you name it. The blogger sincerely tries them all out and gets frustrated to see that the earning for the past three months is $0.50.
4. Endless learner
This is when the excitement in down a little bit. The blogger’s focus is now not on writing for their own blog(s) but to know what others are writing about. That is good, but it is actually over done or done endlessly.
The blogger starts reading a killer article about “how to blog successfully” from a A-lister blog; the article ends and there are a bunch of related posts. Oh there is that interesting post about “how to earn $1000 dollars from your blog in less than a month” and that article gets a click. This goes on and on- reading comments, related posts, about the products the A-lister is offering and so on.
And, now the blogger looks at his/her clock when it is almost mid-night. He/she feels so tired and hence goes to bed. Great!
5. Stat-free minded blogger
This is the stage when the newbie blogger becomes a matured blogger. I call him/her matured blogger not because his/her blog is now getting 10000 page views per day but the blogger is very well aware of what blogging is really about.
The blogger exactly knows what it takes to develop a good blog, what it is about to write quality content, what are the factors that are to be taken care of at this stage of blogging, and what are the things that are not to be taken care of.
The blogger now knows that blogging is not about building it, forgetting it and earning while snoring. It is about developing a good quality blog which has useful and valuable content, developing trust and good relationship with the readers, maintaining the motivation at a consistent level and sticking to it without worrying about anything else.
How about you when you were or are a newbie?
I’ll start off by saying that blogging is absolutely fantastic to do if you are passionate about a certain topic.
If you can write dozens or hundreds of articles related to the same topic without seeing it as a chore, then a blog is a great medium to build up an audience and establish yourself as an authority in a certain niche.
If you want to blog to make a full-time income, I can tell you that it’s possible but it’s not easy and it won’t happen overnight.
Let me share with you what I’ve learned since starting my blog
It’s been just over 2 years since I bought my blog domain. When I started Upgrade Reality, I had zero knowledge about websites, blogging or WordPress.
It took me an entire year of having a horrible theme, spending hours playing with code and tweaking my blog, and writing dozens of (in retrospect) terrible articles before I had a decent understanding of what a respectable blog should look like and what content it should have.
Looking back at some of my older screenshots and articles, it was so bad I can’t imagine how anyone ever read that I had to say.
I truly wish that I had spent money on a mentor or found a blog post like this one, because it would have saved me months of discovering things by trial and error. I can tell you that there is no point in re-inventing the wheel. There are proven methods and tactics that work, and until you know better…copy.
Here are 10 ‘Commandments’ you need to follow if you want to have a successful blog and dominate your industry.
1-Invest In Your Blog
With millions of blogs and websites to compete with, you need to set yourself apart from the rest in order to gain a big audience.
The first thing that a new visitor sees when he lands on your blog is the design.
I’m a big fan of a simple and clean, yet gorgeous design and pretty logo. Your blog should be easy to navigate and it should be 100% clear what you want the visitor to do (I.e. subscribe or click on your latest article).
Unless you have web-designing experience, don’t try to design your own blog layout. Find a web designer who will create a custom theme for your WordPress blog, and be prepared to spend $250-$500 on that. It may seem like a lot of money if you are just starting, but it’s the best investment you can make. Trust me!
2-Have A Specific Direction
Your blog needs to have a clear purpose.
What do you write about? (e.g. Self Improvement)
What are you trying to achieve? (e.g. Helping people gain confidence and get the life they want)
This direction that you have with your blog needs to be overly evident to anyone landing on your page. Every article you write should be related to the purpose of your blog (trying to help people) and it should be clear to anyone who lands on your blog for the first time (i.e. your logo or slogan should state what your blog is about).
3-Learn To Format Your Articles
One thing that took me a long time to realize is that articles on a blog are formatted in a completely different way to a book you buy in the store or an essay that you write in the office.
Articles on blogs are broken down into lots of small paragraphs, many sub-headings, list points and they often contain images.
The reason for this is that people don’t read massive chunks of text on their computer screens. In fact, the majority of people scan through an article, reading only the subheadings or bullet-points, and they will read the entire article properly if you managed to get their attention when they scanned the article.
For an excellent resource about writing and text-formatting, head over to Copyblogger.com.
4-Study The Writing of Successful Bloggers
There’s no better way to learn than by studying and copying successful people.
5-Start Building A List From Day 1
This is probably the biggest mistake I made with my blog and it is one that I regret.
If you do not have an email list, start today. The money is in the list. Not only will you be able to make much more money when you have an email list, you will be able to build a much better relationship with your readers and help a lot more people than when you only write articles on your blog.
I don’t mean a Feedburner email list, I mean using a professional mailing-list system like Aweber or Mailchimp.
6-Have a Free Report
Have a free report, a video or an ebook that you can offer to new visitors. People love free stuff, especially if the free stuff contains awesome content and information.
Offer your freebie as an incentive for people to sign up to your mailing list. It will increase the number of people who sign up to your updates dramatically!
Do you want more exposure and more readers to your blog?
Then you need to get your name out there. The easiest way to do this is to write great quality, useful articles as guest posts for other blogs in your niche.
Take a month or two and write 30-50 awesome articles that you are going to send to related blogs in your niche. You will see a massive increase in readers from a guest-posting campaign like that.
For a great resource about guest posting, check out this article on Viperchill.com
It’s not about what you know, it’s about who you know.
This is such an old but such a true statement. Knowing the right people could result in massive growth and awareness of your blog.
Go out and find the top 10 blogs in your niche. Then go out and find another 20 medium-sized blogs in your niche. Then go out and find 10 smaller blogs than your own blog.
Leave a few comments on their posts and send the owner of each of those blogs an email. Follow them on Twitter.
Note: Don’t network for the sake of personal gain. This is very important. Be genuine, make real connections and make friends with these people without asking anything of them. Over time they will happily help you out if you have shown that you are trustworthy and shown them that you help them out too.
9-Create Your Own Products
Creating and selling your own products is by far the most profitable business model.
You can make some money with advertising space on your blog, and you can make decent money by promoting products and using affiliate links.
However, the most profitable is if you create your own products (ebooks, guides, videos, membership sites etc.) and you sell them to your readers.
Creating a product is hard work, but you don’t have to do everything yourself. You can outsource many parts, like the design, the sales page and even the content. If you know the problem you want to create a product (solution) for, you can give guidelines or a skeleton to an experienced writer and pay him to create the ebook for you.
Start with a small product, but start with it. Create your own products and keep creating them. Henri does it, hundreds of other bloggers do it, I do it and now you need to do it too!
This is the most important thing that I can tell you about blogging. You need to always provide value.
Whether you are making someone laugh, or helping them live a healthy lifestyle, or giving them information how to blog like a pro…make sure that your content is always useful.
If you are providing value, visitors will become loyal readers. They will return, and a percentage of them will turn into regular buyers of the products you create and recommend to them.
Before I end this article off I want to leave you with some final blogging advice.
If you are blogging to build up an online income, then you need to treat your blog as a business. A blog does not make money, a business does.
The blog is just the medium that you use to connect with the hundreds or thousands of people that could become buying customers. If you do not have the mindset that your blog is an actual business, I can tell you that you are doomed to make little money until you change that mindset.
Work your way through all the points in this list and you should notice a big difference in your blog’s traffic, readers and in the amount of money you make from it. (But it will not happen overnight).
So, you want to start a blog?
Becoming a blogger can be an adventurous and exciting endeavor. The entire process can be an adrenaline rush as you think about all of the visitors and ad dollars that will be coming your way. It sounds like the perfect career. While blogging can be a printable profession, there are however a few things that you need to be prepared for when you start blogging.
Let’s take a look at the top 5.
1. Guest Post Rejection
Every blogger will tell you that you need to write guest posts to attract more viewers to your site. While this is true, it can be difficult for a new blogger to be approved for a guest post on a larger site. If you get rejected by a big blog, don’t take it personally. Keep trying! You can always write guest posts for small and medium sized blogs. This will give you examples of your published works that you can show to bigger blogs. Eventually the larger blogs will open up their doors to you as well.
2. Delayed Monetization
There are lots of bloggers making money online. Most of them have been blogging for years and know exactly what it takes to monetize a blog. Most of the successful bloggers that I know learned a lot through trial and error. Finding out the best way to monetize your website takes time. Your blog may do well selling ads or it may be more suited for affiliate marketing. The only way to figure out what works best for your site is through experimentation. Don’t obsess over making money the first month or two. Spend that time figuring out your monetization strategy.
3. The Give Up Moment
Every blogger faces that moment. It’s the time when you ask yourself, why am I blogging? You get tired of writing posts day after day that no one reads. You start slacking off on your posting and blogging becomes less and less important. Your blog isn’t bringing in any money and you just want to give up. This is the moment that separates the bloggers that will make it from the ones that won’t. The key to surviving the give up moment is to push through and keep churning out content regardless of how you may feel at that moment. If you give up, you will never know how things would have turned out.
4. Traffic Plateau
Another obstacle that bloggers face is hitting a traffic plateau. It’s exciting to see your blog growing and gaining new readers. There comes a point when every website will experience a lull at some point. When this happens to you, you need to come up with creative ways to boost your traffic. You can try hosting a blog carnival, sponsoring a cash giveaway or making deal with similar blogs to cross promote posts. You can take time everyday and comment on different blogs which will help bring traffic to your site. All of these are great ways to give your blog a boost.
5. Content Criticism
One of the things that comes along with building a successful blog is criticism. You will be criticized as you grow your blog. Some readers will leave comments disagreeing with and even criticizing your posts. Other bloggers may criticize you for trying to duplicate the success of another blogger. These are all good things however because it’s all traffic to your website. If someone comes to your website to criticize you, it means that they are reading your posts. A little criticism can do wonders for increasing the popularity of a post.
These are all experiences that I went through when I first started blogging in 2008. You will be prepared to deal with many of these blogging hiccups by knowing what to look for in advance.
If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.”
Do you plan? How important is planning in regards to blogging?
You probably know that having a plan is crucial to your success in everything in life including blogging. When it comes to blogging, you have to know what you are doing and where you are going.
Anyone nowadays can make a blog, put on some posts and starts to work on getting more traffic and make the blog popular. However, if you goal is to have your own e-business online then it is very imperative to have a plan and a vision to where you are going.
1. Plan your posts
Planning your posts is crucial. You should try to have posts that are ready for publishing for a minimum of one week. You never know what could happen in a week as you might get sick, go on a vacation, or get busy with family, among other things. This is why planning your posts in advance is a crucial part if you want your blog and e-business to flourish.
2. Plan to create products
If you want to succeed in your blog and e-business, then you probably want to create your own products. You would earn way more than marketing someone else’s products if your goal is to make money. It is crucial to know what products you are going to release this year and how much time it takes you to complete each product.
Personally, I know the products that I’m going to be releasing this year including how long it will take me to finish each product. Having a written plan is half the work.
3. Plan your time
One of the major excuses I hear is that bloggers say they don’t have enough time to write posts more frequently, find time to write their own products. The truth is you do have time. For instance, if you spend one hour a day writing content for your product, that is around 30 hours a month. You would be surprised what you can accomplish with those hours.
If you don’t manage your time correctly, then you will not be able to work on creating posts and products in a timely manner, which could harm your blog and e-business. Time management is crucial to the success of every business.
4. Plan how to market strategically
Are you going to use social media to market your blog and e-business? If so, how often? Are you going to work on writing guest posts? Are you going on building relationships with other bloggers? These are all questions that have to be taken into consideration.
Having a strategic plan is crucial to your success online. Many seem to create blogs without having a clear marketing plan. Think about it, if you don’t have a specific plan, how can you succeed at your blog or e-business? The more you spend time marketing, the more traffic you will get.
We’ve all been there at one time or another. You’ve had a bad comment or you’ve put loads of work into a project only to find that it really didn’t get the response you were hoping for. Sometimes after these events you can let yourself slip into the mindset that it be easier simply to give up or just surf the web and not try again. I’m going to share with you a few things that I do to get myself back in the mood and back on the road to building your blog again.
Ease Yourself Back Into It
If you have had that bad reaction to a project that you have put a lot of effort into then often I take a day and simply do research for my next post or project. The beauty part about blogging and why I’m sure a lot of you got into it is that you can set your own schedule. The only pressure is the pressure you put on yourself. If you spend a day researching for your next post or project then you can take things easy and get your confidence up that this is going to be some of the best work you have ever done.
Set Easily Achievable Goals
Instead of doing research and starting a big project again sometimes I decide that the best way to move forward is to do things that will get you results today and will last for a lifetime online. Things like blog commenting and forum posting are nice goals to set yourself for the short term. There is no pressure on you to complete any set goals and they will both give you an extension to your online presence and occasionally a do follow backlink to your site. While looking through the forum topics and blog posts inspiration could come to you for your next post and before you know it you are back on the road again.
Ask For Feed Back From Your Readers
This tip I have found is a great way of lifting my spirits after a set back. It will take some confidence on your part to ask for an opinion on your work but for the most part your readers enjoy what you have got to say and wouldn’t want you to change your direction or style. You could simply post a couple of tweets or a short post directly asking your visitors for their honest opinion on your site. I am betting that you will get more positive feedback than negative and you will hopefully walk away with more information about what your blog could do with changing to help improve it. It doesn’t hurt to ask!
Set Your Self A To Do List For The Next Week
After having said all of those things about taking it easy and getting back to your projects gradually sometimes the best thing to do is to plunge yourself straight back into work. Adding structure and order to what you plan to do over the coming days will help you to feel like you are achieving every step of the way. The very physical aspect of actually writing things on paper and then being able to cross them off when you have completed them can be very satisfying. This way you know you are moving forward and you know that you are succeeding in the goals that you have set for yourself (which are the only ones that really matter!). This can be combined with the other strategies I have mentioned in this article so for example write your plan for today as doing the easily achievable goals and thinking of a blog post idea and then plan in for tomorrow writing up that blog post.
I have used all of these ideas to help me at some point or another and they have all worked for me. It is simply a matter of picking the tip that best fits your mood at the time and ignoring the mood that is telling you to give up. If you give up you won’t get anywhere but if you keep going with your blogging journey there’s no knowing where it might take you.
Are there any other methods that you use to get yourself motivated after a set back? Have you used these methods yourself? We would love to hear your thoughts.
Sunday, May 8, 2011
A Simple Look at How to Increase Your Profits - Through the Eyes of a Consultant
Let's say you have millions of dollars, money is and never will be an issue for you, and more than anything you would like to build your dream-house. You want this house to be 5 floors, and on the top floor, you imagine what would be in your opinion the ultimate room, complete with an indoor pool and a west-facing wall made entirely of large windows through which to view the multitude of beautiful sunsets to come.
The first thing you have to do is find a builder, so that's what you do. After laying out your plans to this builder, he informs you that he can absolutely build this quite large house exactly as you've asked, and it will take 15 months to build: 3 months per floor.
If you were to say to him, "Well that sounds like it's going to take about as long as I thought, but my favorite room is going to be the room with the indoor pool on the 5th floor, and I'd really like to start using that first, so do you think you could start by building the 5th floor before you build any of the other floors? If you could, that would be great." He'd go, "What? Are you crazy!?"
Now I know that seems like something an intelligent person would never do, but believe it or not, that's what many intellectually sound members of middle and upper management attempt to accomplish every week. They look at their profit and loss sheet, look at their monthly forecast, and decide that they want to increase profits. They look at cutting prices, bringing in new services or products, cutting hours, etc., however they overlook the 4 floors that support the ultimate stage of revenue and return. They're trying to build onto the 5th floor, when the bottom 4 aren't yet set up to support it.
So a good consultant might show them the following blueprints of this "house" which is their business. Once they see the following model, the solution becomes clear.
This is where I'd show you a picture of this "house", however this site does not allow me to do so, so I'd like you to imagine a house built as I'm about to describe to you. We've established that the 5th floor is profit; the rest is as follows...
The 4th floor:
To create lasting and sustainable profits, an organization needs to keep the customers that they've won. Keeping their customers must be a higher priority than winning them, otherwise the organization will be at best like a revolving door, and likely will end up perpetually spending their profits on marketing to bring in more new customers to replace the ones that they simply aren't keeping.
The 3rd floor:
To keep the customers that you've won, an organization must have a teamwork-rich environment where the "worker bees" don't feel like they just work together, but they feel like they can depend on each other and are glad to help one and other in order to really deliver what they are capable of delivering.
The 2nd floor:
To have these teams of people that work so well together, you can't just have employees that are showing up for a paycheck. They must be in an environment full of trust, and they must feel aligned with and committed to the work that they are doing. They must feel that they are a part of something that they identify with and care about. They must feel like partners.
The Ground floor:
To generate and co-create that feeling within an organization, management must have the ability to transform unrest into passion and delivery. They must have the ability to drive a shared vision, generate and sustain feelings of trust and alignment, and still oversee a given project in a planned, organized and controlled manner. We call these people transformational leader-managers.™
So you've got five levels, right? You've got profit and loss; just below that you've got customer retention; below that, teamwork; then committed individuals, and finally supporting it all you've got great leaders who can also manage well. Each level drives the success of all levels above it. If you're not happy with your company's performance anywhere up to and including profit, then your company is going to have a failing grade in one of these areas. If you find your failing grade, you've found your solution. To fix any level, you just simply fix each supporting level below it.
For example, if you feel the reason you're feeling pain as a company primarily because your employees aren't working well together, then your failing grade is in teamwork. So you work on the leaders, then the employees' commitment, then the teamwork, after which the above levels will fix themselves up to and including more profits. It really is that simple.
As a consulting firm that knows we must come to understand the heart of a problem before we can offer a solution, we at Simple Leadership Strategies™ would advise that if your company is not where you feel it has the potential to be, you start your company's endeavor toward its true potential by first asking where the pain is. Anything that happens within any organization will fall into one of the above categories.
For more advice on leadership, team-building, employee engagement and customer retention, feel free to visit the Simple Leadership Strategies website.
Jonathan P Wright,
Vice President, Business Development
Simple Leadership Strategies
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Jonathan_P_Wright
Google seo tricks and tips
Enter just the word http for your search to find the top 1000 PageRanked sites.
Enter only www in your search to see how Google ranks the top 1,000 sites.
Manually type the following prefixes and note their utility:
link:url Shows other pages with links to that url.
related:url same as "what's related" on serps.
site:domain restricts search results to the given domain.
allinurl: shows only pages with all terms in the url.
inurl: like allinurl, but only for the next query word.
allintitle: shows only results with terms in title.
intitle: similar to allintitle, but only for the next word. "intitle:seoforgoogle google" finds only pages with seoforgoogle in the title, and google anywhere on the page.
cache:url will show the Google version of the passed url.
info:url will show a page containing links to related searches, backlinks, and pages containing the url. This is the same as typing the url into the search box.
spell: will spell check your query and search for it.
stocks: will lookup the search query in a stock index.
filetype: will restrict searches to that filetype. "-filetype:pdf" to remove Adobe PDF files.
daterange: is supported in Julian date format only. 2452384 is an example of a Julian date.
maps: If you enter a street address, a link to Yahoo Maps and to MapBlast will be presented.
phone: enter anything that looks like a phone number to have a name and address displayed. Same is true for something that looks like an address (include a name and zip code)
site:www.somesite.net "+www.somesite.+net" - (tells you how many pages of your site are indexed by google)
allintext: searches only within text of pages, but not in the links or page title
allinlinks: searches only within links, not text or title.
Saturday, May 7, 2011
If you are currently running a website, whether it be for an organized charity, business, or just your own, personal blog, you’re probably asking yourself “Now how can I get more traffic to my website?” Don’t worry, because every other web master out there is asking the very same thing and I come bearing tips!
The following are 7 tips that I use myself and know work to increase the exposure of your website.
Tip #1: Pinging Services
Even some experienced web masters are unaware of just how important pinging services can be. A ping is a reminder to all of your readers that you have just updated your website. Services that include pinging services are Yahoo’s Blo.gs, Weblogs, Google Blog Search, and ZingFast. When your readers see that you have recently updated your website, they will definitely be heading on over to see what today’s topic is about.
Tip #2: Sign up for Technorati
Technorati is The King of website branding. It is an excellent website with a unique way of ranking your website. When you sign up for Technorati, the first thing you need to do is claim your blog. By doing so, no one else will be able to scam the system and sign themselves up under your website’s name. Having your website claimed on Technorati helps increase traffic due to the amount of people using it. It can also be used as a social networking site; it’s a great place to find other websites that may be of interest to you and of course, a way for others to find your website!
Tip #3: FeedBurner RSS Feeds
FeedBurner is an RSS (Really Simple Syndication) service. It lets people subscribe to your website’s feed so every time you update, your website will come up as updated and they will be sure to check it out. They also offer another great service, and that allows your readers to sign up for your feed via email, so every time you update they will receive a notification in their inbox.
Tip #4: del.icio.us
del.icio.us is perhaps the largest social bookmarking website at the moment. When you sign up for del.icio.us, you can now keep all of your bookmarks in one place online so no matter what happens to your computer, you are always able to access your favorite websites on any computer. A great deal of web masters use del.icio.us as a form of marketing their website. You can add excerpts from your blog to the website and there are also ways to meet other people and if they go to your profile, they are greeted with a link and excerpts from your blog.
There are several other social bookmarking websites, however, del.icio.us is the most widely-utilized.
Tip #5: Post Comments on Other Websites and Blogs
Lets face it, pretty much everyone, if they don’t run a business or personal website, they have a blog on one of many blogging platforms, such as Blogger, LiveJournal, etc. By leaving comments on other blogs and websites, you are sure to get your website more exposure and also, you may just get a comment back from the web master of that website and even their readers! However, you must remember that it is not wise to blindly visit websites and leave comments that are irrelevant to what they are writing about, so choose wisely what websites you would like to comment on. While reading, think to yourself “Does what they have to say interest me?” “Do I have a similar story that I can share?” And because in hindsight you are leaving comments on other websites for the reason that yes, you would like more traffic to your website, think “Would my website or blog interest them?”
Tip #6: Ask Owners of Other Websites to Post a Link to Yours
Link exchanges are highly effective for getting more traffic to your website. Start by finding wesbites that have similar interests to yours and if they seem to get a lot of comments, have a low Alexa rank, or a high PR, why not contact them and ask for a link exchange? As incentive to get them to put a link to your website up, return the favor. Remember, it doesn’t pay to be too picky with who you link on your website. In addition, you can leave a comment on someone’s website (that has something to do with their topic) and they may check your website out and see that you have a link to their site up and return the favor. Of course, it never hurts to contact them in some way and ask for an exchange or even just inform them that you put a link to their website up because mos of the time, they will return the favor.
Tip #7: Use Keywords
Using keywords on your website helps mostly your SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and determines how many search engine spiders notice your website.
Search engine spiders are programs from search engines that automatically browse websites and report back their findings to the search engine database. When it does this, your website is added to that search engine. For example, if you had an article or post about going to the vet with your dog, it would be wise to list dog, vet, pets, pet care, etc. as keywords to that post and then when spiders come to your website and see your keywords, it is added to the database so if someone was searching for pet care, your website would come up and ultimately, it will bring more traffic.
I hope these 7 tips have helped you and I will be back with more fun, easy, and interesting posts for everyone!
Increasing a blogs search engine results page (SERP) can be critical to increasing the popularity of the blog. The blog that you are concerned with needs to be as close to the front of the search engine results as possible. So therefore it is an important task to increase your blogs rankings. To do this you will need to spend some time following the instructions below.
1) Submit your blog to the blogging directories.
2) Submit your blog to the free directories found throughout the Web. Simply perform a search with your favorite search engine for Web site directories. Then submit your site to them as you have time.
3) Write free articles and submit them to article directories. Make sure you include a link to your blog in the “About author” section of your article.
4) Place a link to your blog in your forum footers. If you don’t submit to forums locate five to ten that pertain to your blogging subject matter and start submitting discussions and content to them.
5) Find other blogs that contain similar content to your blog and make constructive comments to the posts and put a link back to your blog inside the comments.
Tips & Warnings
- Always be careful to submit your blog to the directories but try not to submit them to more than fifty directories per month. Greater submission numbers can get you flagged on some search engines for spamming.
- Try to become a contributing member of the forums that you submit too. Do not spam the forums as your time will be wasted if you do so.
- If you are commenting on other blogs please be respectful and constructive. Never spam the other blogs you do not appreciate spam on your blog and neither do the other blog owners.
- Never utilize black hat tactics such as redirects or hiding links on other sites to improve your SERP. If the search engines detect that you are doing so it will cause you to have a negative effect and send you to the end of the search results.
If you don’t have a domain name yet, pick one that contains your main keyword.
The ideal would be to have a domain like “mainkeyword.com”, but it is going to be very hard to find it available nowadays. You can try with “yourmainkeyword.com” or “mainkeyword4you.com”, though.
People tend to trust (and remember) .com domains better. If you really can’t find the right fit in a .com, you can still go with a .net, if you want.
Having your main keyword in your domain name will help you because:
- websites with the main keyword in their domain name tend to perform better
- the keyword will be shown in bold in the search results, thus making your listing stand out
- since it is important to have your keyword in the anchor text (clickable text) of the links pointing to your website, a keyword-rich domain will help you even in those cases where people link to you with your domain as the link anchor text.
Do you already have a domain name? Even if it doesn’t contain your main keyword, you can still benefit from it. Google tends to like older domains, because it feels those are “real businesses”, that are there to stay. It is not uncommon to see remarkable ranking improvements with just some on-site optimization, in these cases. Just follow the tips I am about to give you.
The technology you use for your website navigation has an impact on how many pages the search engine will index. Search engines can only follow standard html links.
It doesn’t matter the technology you use to create your pages. Google will index .htm, .asp, .php, .aspx pages and many other formats (including word documents and pdf files, for example).
The way you name your pages, though, can have an influence on your rankings. Having keywords in your page names can help you from an SEO perspective.
Instead of “yourwebsite.com/page.php?id=bluewidgets”, use something like “yourwebsite.com/blue-widgets.php”. Separate the words in the page name with a dash, so that Google knows where every word starts and ends.
Deep Linking - Deep linking is the act of placing a hyperlink on a Web page that points to a specific page within another website, as opposed to linking direct to the main or home page.
Eg: If you link this article to any of your site web page, that would be considered as a deep link for this website.
Pushing and mixing in your deep links at the beginning of an page/article better assures that Google will accurately index these pages too. It’s not only a good idea to achieve a good PageRank on your home page, but it is also important to increase your back links to deep linked pages. You must anchor a relevant external deep linked page to your page, and secondly you must reference or link to other relevant pages within your own site for total Google SEO.