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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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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As an internet professional who spends a lot of time at your desk you’ve probably thought about how to keep your energy up through the sometimes tedious tasks that you must perform while sedentary for long periods. Keeping a clear mind so that your productivity is high and your work is of good quality is not so hard if you can discipline yourself to eat well. Though not everyone can keep the same diet as everyone else due to health, body type, religious persuasion, or ethics there are some basic nutritional guidelines you can follow in order to be happier and healthier while at work – and for that matter at play and at home too.

Eat lightly

If you can curb cravings and eat simple, light foods you will feel light yourself. A salad or stir fry and some rice will digest easily and provide steady energy after the meal. To make things easy on yourself you can even prepare rice the day before with as little hassle as possible by using the best rice cooker (read some rice cooker reviews) you can afford. Rice cookers allow you to cook while getting completely absorbed in other tasks and forgetting that you are even cooking as they will shut off automatically when the rice is ready. Fish is another good food touted by nutritionists for its heart healthy qualities and ease of digestion. A good fillet knife is of huge benefit when prepping fish. Fish has long been promoted as “brain food” by mothers trying to coax their seafood-averse children to eat their supper.

Eat regularly

If you eat small amounts regularly you will avoid the low in energy that comes after eating a large meal. You will also avoid the low that comes from not eating enough. Snacks like nuts and fruit can keep you going through a long boring task. Definitely forgo the donuts and coffee if you can, they are a combination practically tailor-made for an energy high followed by a sugar crash – especially if you add lots of sugar to that coffee. Along with the short snack breaks try to take small breaks from your desk and get up and walk around. If you can do a little stretching – especially your shoulders – as hunching in front of a computer is especially hard on your upper body.

Drink Water

You’ve heard it a hundred, or maybe a thousand, times: drink plenty of water. If you do drink a lot of coffee you are likely dehydrated as coffee is a diuretic. To stay hydrated a good rule of thumb is to drink one glass of water for every cup of coffee. Sometimes fatigue is simply due to mild dehydration and a couple of glasses of water will quickly bring you back to a good level of energy and alertness.

Try following these three simple food guidelines for one week and see if it makes a difference in your work day. Or experiment with it: try one day on one day off so you can compare a light diet with a heavier one and determine if there is any benefit for you.

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Technology has changed dramatically in the 21st century.  Today most business is conducted online which provides many opportunities for internet professionals.  If you think about anyone who you know in business, or a business service that you use, your first thought is usually to go to their website for information.

Internet professionals specialize in designing websites, programming, set up, maintaining and monitoring websites, consulting, as well as managing many other aspects of the internet.  They are extremely busy managing those sites so that when you click on a link, conduct a search, or fill out an application, everything works the way it should.  They also are often involved in areas like social networking, e-publishing, and e-marketing.

Many internet professionals work for themselves or work from home, so convenience is important when it comes to cooking, cleaning and doing other chores.  Below are 3 gadgets that will make your life easier as a busy internet professional.

Robotic Vacuum Cleaner

This is a great gadget for doing those household tasks like vacuuming.  Frequently called a robovac, the robotic vacuum cleaner is programmed to do the light cleaning that you often don’t have time for on a daily basis.  They cannot compete with a full sized vaccum cleaner, but they are perfect for getting dust and debris up from hard floors or carpeting.  Many of these cleaners have features like spot mode, dirt sensors, full bin indicator, multi-room navigation, scheduled cleaning, boundary markers, cliff sensors, boundary markers, and remote control.  They are hands free and can be programmed to operate even when you are out of the house.

Robotic vacuum cleaners are compact so you don’t have to lug them around like you do the larger vacuum cleaners.  With this product, you only have to take out the big vacuum cleaner when you want to deep clean your floors.

Rice Cookers

Rice cookers are ideal for busy professionals on the go who don’t like to cook, but would prefer a home-cooked meal over take out.  Many of the rice cookers on the market today are electric, convenient and user friendly.  As an internet professional, you know how important it is to program so that a system is easy to use.  Many of the electric rice cookers use fuzzy logic which means the cooker does the work for you.  There is no guess work as to whether your rice is undercooked or overcooked.  Pre-programmed computer chips built into the cookers enable it to determine the right cooking time and temperature according to the type of rice you are cooking.

Features also include a keep warm option so that when your rice is finished cooking, it automatically switches to keep warm.  In addition, some rice cookers have steamers and accessories that you can steam vegetables with or make your entire meal at the same time that you are cooking your rice.

Electric Knife Sharpeners

Whether you like to cook, hunt, or just collect knives, a busy schedule does not always allow for knife sharpening.  However, knife sharpening is important because a dull knife can be a dangerous knife.  That is because you have to use more pressure when using a dull knife and there is more of a possibility that the knife will slip and cut you.

Although manual knife sharpeners do a wonderful job of sharpening your knife as well as give you more control, electric (or automatic) knife sharpeners are faster, more convenient and easier to use.  Manual sharpeners require a lot of practice to acquire the skill of sharpening your knife just right.  Electric sharpeners usually have built in angle guides and up to four stages in many cases to maintain your knife blade.

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It’s insane just how crazy the social media revolution is right now. I remember a simpler day where there was just Facebook and it was just for students. Now everyone is on Facebook, both personally and professionally. But it doesn’t stop there, it seems like everyday we need to open another social media account somewhere. I manage my Linkedin account, my twitter account, my Pinterest account and frankly these are a struggle already. I’m not sure whether I really want to add another account that needs my constant attention. On top of that, I manage the social media accounts of a lot of my clients, which are starting to be a real pain.

For this exact reason I did some research to find out which new social media platforms are worth investing my time in and which ones can be ignored. During this research I was amazed to see just how many new companies are bringing a new social media idea onto the market. Many are just the same old thing you’ve seen before, but some have the chance to revolutionise the social media balance of power. In this article I’ll focus on one that has really caught my attention, which is Rebelmouse (https://www.rebelmouse.com/). I urge you to go check it out after reading the article in case you’ve never heard of it. It’s really quite something!

Rebelmouse is a platform that came out of nowhere and is certainly different to it’s competitors. While I’m not sure I like the logo of a badly drawn mouse, the website itself does seem to work. I set up an account for a client of mine. Take a look at their Rebelmouse page here. If you compare this to their twitter account you’ll see the interaction with your audience is completely different.

The key of this platform is to allow you to engage more deeply with your audience, something I’m currently testing. I’m finding it hard to get my head around it, but it does make this list because it is gaining a lot of traction and it is just a little different than all the other platforms out there.

It has more than 300,000 pages and has around 18 million visitors each month which is surprisingly high for a new service. It is attracting some major companies, which makes me think even more that this site is set to grow rapidly. I did notice that the site is designed for the increased uptake in mobile devices as it works a lot better on my phone.

In any case, Rebelmouse is a platform you need to get to grips with soon in my opinion as it will be used more and more. I’m certainly learning as much as I can about it and setting up a page for some of my clients to test out the results. So far I haven’t really seen any increase in audience engagement, but then again, we’ve only just set the pages up.

I’m curious, have you used Rebelmouse? What was your experience – did you like it or hate it? Let me know, I’d love to hear some of your opinions.

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There are many things that can cause your computer to run slowly, lose performance or just plain break down. Anything from malware to bloatware, old components to dust can be a potential hurdle to your computer’s continued performance. One thing you might not consider, however, is pests. Everyday nuisance critters can also wreak havoc on your computer, as well as your kitchen, bathroom and bedroom. Not to worry, however, if your computer has been taken over by a different kind of bug, there are several solutions. First, let’s see what you might be dealing with.

The most common problem in computer cases is ants. Often times you’ll get crumbs, spilled soda (think sugar ants), even dead skin cells, that will accumulate in your computer. Sucked in by the fan or simply spilled in through a ventilation hole, this crud will accumulate in, on and around your components. However, what’s crud to us is like a feast to pest creatures, and they will come looking for it. Ants are the most common household pest, able to get into just about anything, and you never get just one. They can overheat your components just by their numbers, and any that die will add to the mess and clutter in the tower. Also, they may be a species that can chew through things to reach food!

The second most common type of critter you may find in your computer is the common house cockroach. These bugs are able to squeeze into just about any opening, will eat just about anything, and multiply just about anywhere. Unfortunately, this can mean that your computer tower just became a new nest for these creepy crawlies. Like ants, they will head for food, and can cause overheating damage, chew damage and since they’re bigger, even get stuck in the fans on your components!

The last critter we’ll talk about is mice and rats. These creatures are significantly bigger, not only in terms of size, but also in terms of problems. Mice and rats are chewers, often stripping wires and cables to help build nests, which can damage your computer significantly. They’re also liable to get caught in one of the many high speed fans on your computer, paw or tail, and cause serious damage to themselves and your component. Finally, they can chew holes, build nests and cause general mayhem in the otherwise orderly world of your computer.

So, what to do if you have or suspect you may have creatures nesting in or munching on your computer? The first step is identifying what you’re dealing with. Use the guide above to help determine the type of damage that may have been done, look for droppings from rats or mice, and any dead insects for other potential critters. Once you know what you’re dealing with, you can appropriately respond. Usually some store bought traps for ants and roaches, placed strategically around your tower, will help reduce and eliminate the problem. Buying mouse traps or humane alternatives can help you catch and contain a mouse or rat. Also, keeping your computer clean regularly with air canisters can help keep the debris and crud that these pests consider food out of your machine. As a bonus, this will also help reduce overheating. Until next time, take care and good luck!

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There are a lot of people who start a blog, put lots of effort in writing the best articles, but soon find that no one is reading anything they write. The problem with blogging is not the quality of your articles, it’s the number of visitors you receive. From experience, I know that not getting any visitors to a new blog can be incredibly discouraging. That’s the reason there are so many unfinished blogs out there on the Internet. Here I’ll post some quick tips on how to build a blog providing free healthy living information, and make it so that you will receive visitors.

Understand your reader

Who are you making the website for is the first question you need to answer clearly before starting a blog. Who’s your target audience? If you don’t know that, you’ll end up writing about too many different topics, and be too broad. For example, do you want to target people wanting to lose weight, people who have diabetes, or people who want to live a healthier life? All three of these are widely different groups of people, and will want to read very different blog posts. To use as an example, I found a website dealing with alkaline living which does some things right and could improve on other aspects. We’ll analyse both the good and the bad.

Write great quality articles

Have you ever visited a blog, and noticed that little effort was put into the article? Don’t make that mistake. Research your topic well and then provide high quality content for your blog. Make sure simple things like grammar and spelling are perfect to avoid losing readers halfway through your articles. Quality really is key for a good blog.

I found a great example of a high quality article for this case study on our Alkaline blog. It deals with finding the best alkaline water machine. This article is concise, has high quality pictures to make the website look better and targets a specific audience (i.e. people wanting to live a more alkaline life). If you’re looking to find an alkaline water machine, you’re likely to receive a lot of value from this article.

Use enough high quality images

People get bored quickly, so it’s important to really attract someone’s attention when they first visit the page. Like we mentioned before, using high quality pictures is an easy way to entertain your readers and make them stay on the website. You could take the pictures yourself or buy stock photos online. I tend to do both for the best effect.

Keep it simple

I’m not sure why, but new bloggers always want to complicate things. They want a fancy website, a great user interface and so on. But at the end of the day, your readers will not care all that much about looks. Sure, it needs to look professional. But taking our alkaline living website as an example again; this is a very simple design. There is nothing eye-catching about it. It has a simple, clean and easy to use interface. Finding different topics is easy which is important as you want your user to browse around your website as long as possible!

Stick to one topic

It’s not always a good idea to have very different topics on your blog. We’ve already hinted at this when mentioning how important it is to understand your audience. I’ll use our example website to make this point clearer. The website is about helping people live a healthier lifestyle. It provides information and recommendations on health products. We noticed a page completely dedicated to an OxyHives Review, which is a hives treatment. In effect it does not have all that much to do with living a healthier lifestyle. However digging a little deeper, it does fit into the general theme of health advice. So in this case it’s acceptable; seeing that a hive treatment could be construed as health advice.

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