Today, I want to talk about an important topic that most consultants do not like to think about: insurance. Why? Because it’s a dry subject and no one wants to think about what bad things can happen to you. But part of having your own business is to protect yourself from liability and loss. So whether you like it or not, as it is with death and taxes, you have to face the music some day.

It doesn’t have to be all gloom and doom. A little advance planning can save you a ton of headaches down the road. And while you don’t want clients or employees to sue you, have your business burn down, or get sick, these are business realities that you have to plan for if you want to stay in business. Because it only takes one lawsuit or accident to put you out of business.

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As an internet professional, there are times when you are called upon to travel to a client’s location, and this often involves flying to another city. Putting together a client presentation is difficult and time-consuming enough without you having to worry about everything that can go wrong when traveling.

As a consultant, your time is extremely valuable. Time wasted on planning the trip is time taken away from billable hours. That’s why I’ve put together some travel tips that will help make your busy schedule a little easier.

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Ever since the birth of the first net forum, Internet anonymity has been a standard to online world. Every day, people create new Facebook, Twitter, and Reddit accounts for the sole purpose of commenting as a random user. However, this freedom of speech also came with massive costs that affected people in the real world. Cyberbullying has become a prevalent issue and doesn’t seem to be subsiding. Inflammatory comments and even death threats have become the reason why so many people are supporting the idea of better online security. However, how much can we really take when it comes to government surveillance?

The Current Status of the NSA Leak

It’s been a couple of years since Edward Snowden went to bat and leaked quite a number of government implicating documents that showed the world how deep the NSA could go. As it stands, there are still a number of documents, which are on stand-by, but a lot of them can cause major damage to the United States and their reputation.

At the same time, there were startling revelations, which told of a bigger collaboration between governments and even ISPs. The British government was revealed to have worked with Verizon, Vodafone, and several others with the purpose of breaching fiber optics and capturing communications. One of the latest updates regarding the leaks even included rumors of ICREACH, which is a search engine containing the metadata from millions of intercepted content from calls and emails.

How it Will Affect Internet Anonymity

As it stands, anyone with a Facebook page, email account, and online identity have probably been subject to illegal surveillance and data theft. The frightening thing here is that this will inevitably force users with sketchier intentions into the deeper parts of the web. From there, catching those with negative intentions may become impossible because the Dark Web is un-indexed making it almost impossible to track any one user. While a majority of users will be watched, the more dangerous types will find newer and newer ways to hide from prying eyes.

The Real Problem

The Internet at large is taking positive strides when it comes to visibility. Anonymity holds almost no value in the mainstream net and people are generally keeping things clean and tidy. The real problem lies in the lengths those secret service agencies are willing to take. They collect information without method and discrimination, and that is a huge invasion of privacy. Even something as innocuous as a search for alkaline water machine reviews found at http://www.waterionizerreviews.net can be collected and that ultimately seems like something the NSA doesn’t need. At the same time, users on the Internet are largely ignorant about what is happening, and could care less about how illegal these activities can get.

The Solution

There isn’t one way to deal with the issues of surveillance. On the one hand, it can be used to intercept real illegal communications, but on other, it’s aimed at the wrong crowd. Rather than preventing any crime and danger from occurring, cyber-bullying and death threats still exist.

The water ionizers reviews site has a comprehensive review of the aqua ionizer deluxe 7 is a simple statement here about effective water processing products but certain government agencies don’t care. They’ll collect information regardless of how useful it really is and that in itself is a dangerous proposition.

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You know a company is successful when their name becomes a verb used for doing something. In today’s world, everyone knows what “Googling” something means. Google is the biggest kid on the internet block and has been for some time now. However, there is a change in the air that has been happening. If we know anything about technology, it’s that just because your the big guy now, it doesn’t mean it’ll always be that way (can you say MySpace?). While it might be hard to imagine Google not being the top dog when it comes to finding things on the internet, it’s definitely a possibility. Being in the internet industry, it’s important to look at even some “what if” scenarios that could take place.

Why Could It Happen?

Any service or company could lose their market share for various reasons. In Google’s case, it may simply be the competition, or it could be that Google iron fisted ways will eventually catch up with them. You may not have seen this, but a few months ago, Mozilla released an update to their popular web browser Firefox. What you may not have noticed was in that update, it replaced the default search engine from Google to Yahoo (which uses Bing to power its search results). Overnight, this caused Google to lose almost 25% of it’s search engine market share and Internet users to clamor as to why it happened. Many believe that some of Google’s heavy handed tactics over the years are leading some to gravitate towards Bing and Yahoo as they seem to be easier to work with.

What If It Happened?

This leads many to wonder, “What would the internet search engine market look like if Google was to lose even more of it’s market share?” Many internet marketers would probably welcome the change, as Google has gone out of their way to clean up search results over the years that have left many internet marketers with more than sour grapes. If market shares began to change dramatically, then one would assume that Bing would take the same steps that Google did in working to clean up their search results, making it easier for people to find what they are actually looking for. It could be a reset to what was known as the “wild west of seo days,” when you could just rank for keywords by plastering a page with keywords. If you wanted to rank for the terms”seo kansas city” or “springfield mo seo” then you would just sprinkle those keywords in a few hundred times and boom, it would rank. Personally, I would think this would be a terrible thing, as nobody wants to come across these sites again. Although, I’m sure many a marketer would welcome it, even if it was just for a short time before it was outlawed again.

Will It Happen?

I find a scenario where Google has been completely taken over by another search engine competitor unlikely at this time. However, Bing is definitely making inroads and taking away some of Google’s share over the last few years. One reason why I don’t believe Google is another MySpace is because Google strives to give the people what they want. If you’re searching for something, they want you to find it and find it fast. But that doesn’t mean that Google will be as dominate as they have been as Bing makes more and more improvements to its service. Not to mention, Bing has a rewards program where they will actually pay you to use them over Google. While Google may not be completely overtaken, It’s not hard to see a scenario where Google and Bing come close to sharing the search engine market share.

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While the ruling on Net Neutrality has resulted in celebratory shouts from its advocates, some of the companies that promoted the law have been doing some bad things in the dark. Google, a long time good guy in the eyes of all Internet users, has surprisingly fallen into some manipulative practices. However, since a lot of Internet users and companies rely on their search engine and ad promotion, it has become difficult to fight off their influence. So, how is Google abusing their power, and what does it mean for the regular Internet user? Well, the answers may surprise you.

Cutting out the Middleman

One of the reasons why Google is still beating out Bing is because the company has been around for years and has established their dominance. Companies buy plans for long term advertising and use their analytics program to make their content more demographically accurate. It has come to light, however, that Google has been using their vast power in order to undercut their competition. When a user looks for reviews or services, they may get a page where the first result is from Google itself. One can see how this can grow into an issue because they can simply bump down rival services. Yelp and TripAdvisor have fallen prey to these negative practices.

How do they do this?

It’s very easy to exploit search results when your site is the biggest search engine around. Stealing content or redirecting users to targeted results is their way of getting more attention and gain more income in the process. At the same time, Google also shamelessly stole content from several different sites in order to produce more reviews within their website. As it stands, the FTC has thrown accusations and demanded Google to reconsider their actions and return sites to their rightful ranking. After all, if you can only find watch reviews or other content of time pieces on Google, then how do you know if you’re getting an accurate assessment of a product?

What does this mean for companies?

This is incredible news for companies who rely on Google to gain more traffic and present their products. If reviews are stolen and then promoted as Google’s original content, traffic will slow down on websites like Yelp and TripAdvisor. Microsoft has even reported that their Bing search engine has suffered in a big way. The projected that losses for each are massive and keep growing as each day passes.

What does this mean for users?

For the average Internet user, accessibility and quick results often win out over originality. If this goes on, it won’t be too long before everyone relies on Google for their needs. That can potentially be exploited, leading to forced promotions from companies that pay Google enough for the privilege. At the same time, this kind of monopoly can mean a less diverse Internet, where content comes only from a single source. For example, in the future if you search Google for top mens watch brands, you might only find high ranking watch reviews that come from Google and nowhere else.  

At the end of the day, even the biggest proponent of a free Internet platform can fall into bad behavior. The most important task at hand is to keep aware of what Google is doing and make sure to call them out when they’re doing something that undercuts budding Internet businesses.

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Doing online surveys can definitely give you a little extra cash so it can effectively work hand in hand with your full time job. The amount of extra money that you can receive will depend on how often and how many online surveys you can accomplish in a day. Surveys Say has a great rundown of the most legit paid survey sites.

Getting paid by doing online surveys is most certainly very helpful for people who have spare limited spare time but do want to earn extra funds, like single mothers.

Take for example Ruth; she has three jobs in order to survive and make a daily living. In the morning, she works as a waitress, while in the evenings she works as a bartender. Her weekends are not spared because she still works as a babysitter. For Ruth, it is simply all work and no play because aside from having no time for vacation, she does not have the extra money for it as well.

Ruth is just living in a vicious cycle of always working and constantly paying bills. She feels that she has no other way to go because she did not even set foot in university and only knows the basics about computer skills. For her, the only thing that can make her succeed is her determination. It was very fortunate that her cousin shared with her how to earn some good extra income without leaving the comforts of her own home. This is when her world opened up to the idea of doing paid surveys online.

There used to be a time when big companies such as Wal-Mart, Pepsi and Nike disbursed millions of dollars to people they invited during market research events just to showcase their latest products. With the newest way of marketing, these multinational companies started making use of online surveys.

Since they are able to save a lot of money, they, in turn, can offer more payment to the people who take their online surveys. This is a perfect opportunity for those who are looking to make some extra cash.

With at least an average of 5 surveys per day for a period of 5 days per week while, at the same time, joining focus groups as well as viewing movie trailers online, Ruth got the income that would perhaps take her 6 months if she only relied on doing her 3 jobs.

It was really a blessing that she discovered doing online surveys because today, all she has to do is to sit in front of her computer for a couple of hours, log in and then see all the surveys available online. She can freely select the online surveys that pay well.

New online surveys are added daily so there is no fear that you would run out of one or that nothing will be left for you because a lot of people are also doing it. There are definitely other perks when you do paid online surveys because aside from getting paid well, you can also have the chance to try the products personally for free. It is a good idea that you have already tried something even before they were sold in the market.
Check out Surveys Say for find out where to find high paying surveys.

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I moved to San Francisco two years ago for a job in a huge software company located right across from the famous Google campus. Living in the technological hub certainly had it’s benefits. I got to rub shoulders with some of the most famous people in the industry and learned a lot from them. It also opened a vast array of career opportunities that were not available to me when I was living in Oklahoma.

During my second year here, I got into small car accident. Somebody bumped in my car from behind and gave me a nasty whiplash injury. I rested for first few days hoping that the pain would go away, but the pain actually got worse as time passed. I went to a doctor for a consultation and found out that injuries like these sometimes took several months to heal. He also recommended to talk to the insurance company to find out details about getting compensation for whiplash injuries. I looked up several whiplash resources online to see what kinds of different options were available and decided to talk to a lawyer first.

Finding the right solicitor for claiming whiplash compensation can get tricky sometimes. Most lawyers are ambulance chasers looking to make a buck using any way possible. I wanted somebody who would just get me the money that I was eligible for and didn’t promise settlements in millions. After a lot of research I did find an awesome lawyer who helped me get compensated for the loss I incurred during the troubled time.

Now that my pain has gone away, I am starting to focus one more time on getting back in the technology scene. I have just started working towards my certification for Microsoft’s Most Valuable Professional. Getting the MVP is a coveted award only given to a few hundred each year and I am learning to become an expert in Microsoft’s new Azure cloud platform. In order to learn more about the Azure platform, I am taking classes from the famous Mark Sullivan. The classes take place twice a week over a skype call. So far, they’ve been going really well and I’m looking forward to getting the certification.

One more benefit of living in San Francisco is the amazing events you can attend. Just last week, I went to Apple developer conference where they unveiled the new Apple watch. I wish I could have seen Steve Jobs live in one of these events, but I guess I’ll have to make do with Tim Cooks for now. Apart from Apple’s events, there was a recent conference by Facebook and Google. I couldn’t get invitations to these events, but I’m slowly making friends in the right places so that I could attend more and more events in the coming years. The weather is amazing all year round and It’s just hard to imagine life anywhere else now. Hopefully the next few years will allow me to rise among the ranks of these amazing tech companies and continue to delve deeper into the technology industry.

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The Internet is an ever expanding entity and has recently become almost ubiquitous. Middle class households around the globe are now connected almost 24/7, making lives universally easier. However, since the net is a relatively free platform, there are hundreds of ways through which it can be exploited. Malware programs are constantly in development, clouds are being breached, and online security still remains a problematic issue. In fact, there are a few stories from the past months that really illustrate how dangerous the Internet can get. It might just surprise you how dangerous getting online really is once you read some of these stories.

Ransomware

If you’ve never heard of this threat, that’s fine because it is a very recent one that takes the concept of security and turns it on its head. Encryption has long been the go-to tool for file protection and it’s a very reliable one. When encrypted data are stolen, it could take days for hackers to crack and leak the files onto the web. Ransomware, however, takes encryption and uses it against the user. Once your files are stolen or your PC is compromised, hackers request monetary compensation for the key that unlocks your castle. It’s a clever way to steal money from the unwitting user, but on a grander scale, this form of software can be used to cause catastrophic problems for companies. Even small businesses that offer designs for a thumbprint necklace, specialized bottles, and other cute accessories might suffer from Ransomware.

Mobile Exploits

Smart Phones have basically revolutionized how people interact with the Web, but there is an underlying issue that compromises phones and the Internet at large. Due to a high demand for free apps, the rush for online realty has left crucial security exploits. Companies that churn out apps regularly, rarely secure their programs to the full extent. Since users are led to believe that allowing these programs a higher level of access is safe, one can already see how easy it would be to find a backdoor exploit. In fact, some of these hacks can be transmitted through malicious attack sites and doesn’t even need a full app exploit to spread.

The Cloud Issue

While the iCloud leak is the most prominent example of data leakage, it doesn’t mean that it is the only big cloud security issue. Dropbox, with the help of IBM, has recently found an exploit within their SDK on Android. Through the use of an access token, hackers can exploit this backdoor to request user information. While the issue has been nipped in the bud, it still means that even one of the most prominent cloud storage services can still suffer attacks.

How these Issues can be solved

Internet security will always be a growing industry and perfect protection will remain a moving target. At the end of the day, there is no catch-all problem solver that can be implemented. Average users can always benefit from being more prudent and skeptical. Big companies might want to look for security solutions that are quick to act on the newest online threats. You should always make sure that your searches, even if they are for a tear bottle or other sentimental knick knacks, translate securely unto your phone.

There are a few more issues one might want to learn about in the future so make sure to keep in touch and find as much news about online security.

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Activities online are no longer outliers, instead they have become part of the mainstream. Nowadays, if you do not have a web presence, then it means that your business is losing out on opportunities online.

The Internet has been a great way to create demand and opportunities. It has enabled small firms to compete outside of its normal or perceived area of operations. Whereas a company can be at a fixed location, their business can range farther than before. As an example, bakeshops have opened up their businesses to online orders and delivering them by overnight express to the rest of the continental U.S. The same is true for other businesses with niche products. Without these online orders, these establishments may have folded.

An online presence is not limited to actual shops which sell products. Companies and individuals have also gone online to advertise their services. These include big companies like IBM, courier services like DHL and FedEx, as well as sonogram services like and other health tech careers.

Being online, or having an online presence does not only mean that the brand, product or service has a website. It goes a step further and becomes a lead generation platform. Tying up a website to social media attracts users to the website. It also creates links to the website which is necessary for ranking well on search engines. One other requisite for a website is to keep it updated and to post these updates as links on social media. A picture or image can also be posted online in any social media site and then linked to the website. This may sound complicated, but the interaction which results from such posting and cross-posting helps to make people more aware of the website as well as the social media accounts. What this means is that the company, brand or the person can interact with a willing audience. With such a captive audience, the online marketing efforts can be turned towards inviting the followers to buy.

The question on the minds of new website owners is how to attract traffic. The proven formula hinges on being relevant, creative, updated and informative. Updating the website with relevant and informative blog posts is the start of a conversation. This conversation continues as a link when posted on social media. It could be a link share on Facebook. It could also be an image on Instagram with a link to the website and a relevant hash tag. The conversation continues with every re-share and re-post by a social media follower. The conversation is expanded with every like and comment to the post. It is up to the website owner to follow on the leads and to keep the conversation going. An interesting post is only the beginning. Keeping the followers interested is a continuous activity.

Keeping followers interested is one way to entice them to your website. At some point these followers will be customers and clients. In the same manner, keeping the thread alive helps to attract more followers. This cycle of activities is what keeps the website relevant to followers and something that website owners depend on for their leads.

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If you wish to know more about racing, you can check out forums and learn from them.

Forums are created in order for people to make online interactions. Those who are into health advice can join health related forums. There are forums about pageants, legal concerns, education and a lot more. There are also forums dedicated to specific interests. For instance, those who are into car racing can join racing forums and learn a lot from the interaction going on.

These forums are open to everyone as long as they create an account on those sites. There is also no need to reveal your identity. You can create a username and use the account in making comments in whatever way you want to. However, there are forums with moderators, so you need to be careful with what you say or else your comments will be deleted. Nevertheless, if you just wish to open an account and read important information, it is possible to do so.

Getting pieces of advice

The good thing about these forums is that you can ask just about anything related to the field. You can start a thread and it will have replies from people. You can also participate in an ongoing discussion. If there are racing related issues that you are not certain of, you can just ask it. You might be surprised that some of the people lurking around these forums are actually professional racers. Thus, you can get the best information from them. On the other hand, if you are a professional racer yourself, then you can let other people know about your thoughts and they will learn a lot from you, which is a good thing.

Another feature of forums is the facility for private messaging. You can now send messages to people whom you think can help you out. If you stay longer on those forums, you will find out who among them are good enough and who are just trolling around. Those who always provide positive insights are worthy of being sent a private message. If you are lucky enough and they reply to you, then you can learn from them.

Links of racing gear

The best part about forums is that there are ads and other information related to racing gears. If you are already excited in starting things out as a professional racer, then you can just click those links and you can make a purchase right away. There are also some topics that will point you to the right online stores. For instance, if you want to know how to find the best motorcycle gloves, you can go here. You can also read about motorcycle helmet reviews at http://bikergearlab.com/gmax-gm54s-modular-helmet-review/. Whatever it is that you wish to do after joining the forum, you can do them easily.

Getting connections

The best part about forums is that you are now connected with people who you share the same interest. You can share your thoughts freely with them and they get you. You can also meet up one day and even join professional racing together. Nothing compares to a world where everyone understands you and what you wanted to do.

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The MWC or Mobile World Congress has come and gone, and with it, came a hundred different smart phone models. Samsung showed off several different devices, which ranged from mid-range high tier technology, giving their consumers a ton of choice. Acer even threw in their line of new phones and there were a handful of Chinese smartphone companies that are looking to contend with the big boys. Of course, while the MWC featured several different smartphone lines from various companies, they also had a slew of new technologies, which are quite interesting. Here are some of the best devices you might want to look into as they develop further along the year.

Wearable Technology

It seems that the fitness trend has finally reached the mainstream because one of the biggest trends of this year’s MWC is wearable technology. The Apple Watch seems to be the most prominent device during the show, but a number of other models seemed a lot more interesting. Huawei, for example, showed off a line of very old school looking watches. Instead of going for a futuristic look, they opted to make a throwback to old wristwatches. The Motorola Moto also followed the same design. Both of these devices use a digital screen but feature an old school watch face. Most of these devices are also fitness trackers, and also double as an alternative device, which allows you to switch from track to track, check push notifications, and look up any small thing you might need on the go.

The 5G Evolution

5G also took the stage this year, but the issue here is that it doesn’t have any definitive characteristics yet. So far, it’s been speculated to be a quicker, more energy efficient, and even safer than the previous generation. Other than that, there isn’t much in the way of concrete news and speculation is the best we can get for now. However, as each new stage was introduced, we were greeted with incredible speeds, which made our phones even better and our online lives a little bit easier.

A Step Towards Virtual Reality

Virtual reality is also another new stage of technology, which is very exciting. Besides the Oculus Rift, HTC paired up with Steam to produce the Vive. Sony improved upon their prototype Morpheus, and showed up willing to fight for their share of the market. While each have their own pros and cons, each won for a significant feature. Using a new, full body control system, they were able to immerse players into their virtual world. The Morpheus had incredible frame tracking and had powerful 3D technology integrated into their headset. The Oculus Rift has slowly been improving their machine since they first showed it off a few years ago.

Overall, the MWC had some surprises that came out of the left field. It was an exciting event, which set the stage for the rest of this year’s technological developments. You should also look forward to the Computek Conference, which will feature new desktop hardware and industry news. And while you’re into it, consider wearing stylish cowboy wear that you can find here, and experience side glances from other participants.

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You can browse forums and learn a lot out of the interaction if you wish to be better in your field.

Whether you are a beginner in archery or not, you can always find a way to improve your skills. You can go out and practice often and it will help you be better in your craft. You can also ask for tips from experts in the field. They will help you sort things out especially if you have a hard time dealing with certain aspects. You might also want to read some books related to archery. There are experts who have created a book to share what they have learned through the years to other aspiring archers.

However, if you don’t have enough time to practice or the weather is not conducive for practice, then it is best to just go online and learn from others via forum. There are forums dedicated to all archery lovers. These forums discuss different aspects of archery. There are topics related to purchase of the best crossbow. There are also topics that showcase reviews and other comments about a particular product. There are also those who talk about the actual sport. They discuss tips on how to improve concentration and ability to hit the target. Some others are concerned about how they can score better than their previous record. All you have to do is to open the topic that you find interesting, and you will find lots of discussions going on.

Presence of other experts

The good thing about reading comments in forums is that you will never know who are there. You might be surprised that some of the comments look really credible and professional. It is mainly because the one who wrote it anonymously is actually an archery expert. In fact, other forums also have the same thing going on. There are medical boards where there are actual doctors participating in the discussion. Thus, the inputs given by these experts will more or less help you become better in what you are doing.

Private messages

If there are people joining the forum that you find interesting and who seem really credible, you can send them a private message. You might be lucky enough to stumble upon an expert and you will get more than just a simple piece of advice. You will get some tips that no one else knows. You just have to be careful though as there are tons of posers online. You need to avoid them as much as possible.

Links to good products

If you are already interested in buying the actual product, then you are moving to the right direction. All you need to do now is to look for the perfect brand. You can read about PSE Surge Review, which is an Informative Review. You will then have more ideas about the best products to buy and where to buy them. These forums also have ads that will link you to the most trusted brands in the world. The next step is to weigh the choices and decide which one is perfect for you and your needs.

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You want to make money as an internet professional right?  You want passive income streams that make your life easy correct?  Well this article is focused on how to make money through the internet.

So how do you do it?  Drum roll please……..Valuable Content!

We’ll be using an example that educates people about Transmission Flush Costs.  This is a great example what valuable content is, and how we can leverage it to make passive income.

So what is the benefit of valuable content?

Valuable content will let your potential customers find you.  As they search the interwebs for answers to their questions, they will find your content and spend time on your little corner of the web.  It can cause readers to believe in you and strengthen your perceived expertise.  So when they see your brand in the future they are excited to read more from you.  View our example again: Transmission Flush Auto Repair to really understand how to do it.

So what is valuable about this content?  Let’s count the ways:

1. It is useful. It answers questions that the user has been asking.  This is probably the best way to get into the mindset of producing valuable content.  Think about how you can be a useful agent for your customers.  Provide information that solves their problem or points them in the right direction.  If you do this enough, you’ll actually become an authority and people will follow you!

2. It saves people money.  You’ll see that this particular content steers people away from spending money on something that isn’t always necessary.

3. Its educational.  It teaches its readers how to skip the “regular” way of doing something.  By following its advice the reader learns some tips and tricks about how not to spend unnecessary money at the mechanic.  You’ll also learn what to say to your mechanic if you actually do need to go.  And finally, you’ll learn when you absolutely DO need to take your car in and therefore save yourself potentially thousands of dollars in repairs.

Once you have valuable content you can monetize it in many different ways.  The most popular current ways it can be monetized are lead generation, ppc advertising, ppv advertising.

Lead generation means that when folks come to your website looking for services you collect their contact information and either provide the services yourself or sell the leads to those who can.

PPC (Pay Per Click) advertising means selling adspace on your web page.  The advertiser only pays when someone clicks on one of the ads.  This is very popular for advertisers as they only pay when they get results.

PPV (Pay Per View) advertising means that you sell to advertisers depending on how many times someone just sees their ad.  For example if their ad is seen 1000 times, they will pay $10.

Syndication.  This means signing up for a network like Taboola or Outbrain and providing valuable content to their networks.  When someone comes to your content and clicks on one of their articles you will actually get paid.  This is another reason to learn how to provide stellar content as if you get popular on these networks you can make a lot of money.

That rounds out this blog entry.  Follow our advice and you too could soon be rolling in passive income.  Thanks for following us!

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I just came back from a conference in California on how to increase your social media presence online. It was fascinating. I learned a great deal and really wanted to write a post sharing some of the key things I learned while attending this conference.

What Is Social Media?

To avoid any confusion, I first want to define social media, as there are a lot of conflicting views on what it actually is. Social media are sites that allow people and organizations to create and share content. For example, Facebook and Twitter are some of the biggest social networking websites we all love and use. For personal use, this is really simple. You use the platform you like most and in particular, you use the sites where your friends hang out on. If your friends are on Twitter, you probably use Twitter as well.

From a business point of view, it gets a bit more complicated. What I learned from the conference however, is that it’s important to be active on different social networking websites. Below I’ll give you an example how a business can do this.

How To Get Your Message Out To Customers?

In California, I met a dentist who is setting up a website allowing people to find the best dentist in their area. Their website can be found at http://bestcaliforniadentists.com. We had an interesting conversation about how they are setting up their social media profiles to reach more users. The key takeaway from the conversation was that having just a website isn’t enough anymore. For example, they are setting up different social properties to be able to engage much more closely with people looking for a new dentist in their neighborhood. Social media is making this much simpler, especially with the advent of smart phones.

As a quick example, the website mentioned above is building out a Tumblr blog to help people find an Orthodontist. Such a blog helps them to connect with its users and allows them to share news, pictures and updates with their growing audience. Tumblr has 226 million different blogs on its network, and is one of the biggest blogging websites on the internet. If your business is not on Tumblr, you might want to make some time to ensure you set up your own blog on there to increase social exposure. What’s more this website isn’t going anywhere, as it’s owned by Yahoo.

While this is very time intensive, there are a few platforms out there which are much easier to use. One of them is Twitter, which you probably use already. What you might now know however is that they have an estimated user base of 284 million. This is massive! Especially if you understand that 500 million Tweets are sent every day. I can’t even comprehend how that’s possible. What is evident however is that if you are working on building out a brand, you need to be on Twitter. This is where your audience spends time online every single day so you just can’t miss the opportunity to talk to them at least every month. I personally am not a fan of the 140-character limit but despite this, I’m still using this to talk to my audience.

Hopefully this recap of what I learned in California will help you to build your own presence online.

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Being an internet professional can be tough, especially when freelancing is becoming such a large industry due in part to recent technological advances. Competition among other internet professionals is real, so you need to set yourself apart from the crowd in order to get the jobs you deserve. We need to learn how to better market ourselves and use our skills and hobbies to an advantage.

Creating an internet presence can be a daunting task, so this week we spoke to NMIPA.org user, Paul Reid. Paul is a writer and telescope enthusiast, who has told us he used to take any freelance writing gig under the sun as long as it paid. Now, after his recent stroke of genius (more on this below), he is only being offered high paying positions in his niche area, astronomy. Paul said he tends to enjoy taking writing gigs that are in the field of astronomy because he already feels as though he is a passionate expert on the topic, so he can infuse a lot of creativity into the writing and go above the call of duty. We asked him to explain how he stood out from other freelancers.

We met Paul over a short coffee break. He is currently in the midst of revamping the websites of the 39 New Mexico state funded planetariums, so you can assume he’s a pretty busy guy. Paul stated that once weekly he takes his kids out to show them the constellations with his telescope and it has become a bit of a tradition. During a particularly slow time for him when he couldn’t seem to land any gigs, he asked himself how he could get more involved in writing for his hobby.

Paul sent out an email blast to local astronomy retailers, schools, telescope review websites, museums and any companies in the area that were invested in astronomy and telescopes to invite them to a free catered stargazing event for kids on behalf of his freelance company, Paul Reid Writes. He wrote up an itinerary, booked a caterer and crossed his fingers that someone would RSVP. He figured that he had been a semi-professional guide for his family for years, so why not try it out on the general public?

Paul stated he had some interest, but not as much as he had hoped. A week before the event was due to set place, Paul reached out to a local telescope shop owner and asked him to partner with him. The telescope shop owner, William Burns, helped Paul by shouting out the event on his own website in exchange for some free freelance work. William apparently is a beloved figure in the telescope world and his stamp of approval per se got the community excited.

A group of 17 children (plus their parents) attended Paul’s stargazing event, which was quite an achievement in Paul’s eyes because he was expecting nothing. He had an assortments of children’s telescopes available for observing so that no one really had to wait in line. Luckily for Paul, he did an excellent job at hosting a stargazing night and everyone left with samples of his work. He stated that the very next day he had gotten a call to shake up the astronomy content of a couple museums out in California. Following that, he received word that the New Mexico government was interested in him writing content for all the state funded planetariums.

Paul urges all of you reading this right now to be bold and be different. At first, he thought he was going to make a fool out of himself, but figured he had nothing to lose. Fortunately, his night was a success. What can you do to make yourself stand out in the internet crowd? Is there something you could do to possibly take your business offline?

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