Category Archives: Business

How to Start a Car Rental Business

When Uber was first launched, those who operated traditional taxi services opposed this new model because it threatened the incumbent cab business.

When Turo, a new rental startup, introduced a modern business model for car renting, the same thing happened. Traditional rental giants did not like this new model. It was not good for their established businesses. 

So what makes the two car rental models different?

With the traditional one, a company owner has a fleet of various car models. This approach offers predictability and safety. A user browses the different cars and picks the model they like for temporary use.

A rental car marketplace, on the other hand, allows their users to make some extra money by renting out their cars. Anyone can find a car nearby and unlock it to run their errands. 

So you can use either one of these two models for your car rental business: the traditional approach or the car rental marketplace which is what new rental companies are using.

How Do You Start Your Car Rental Business?

Step 1: Assess Your Business Idea

You should research your business strategy extensively. There are many competitors in the market. You have to assess their apps’ features, monetization strategy, the location they target, existing audience and target market. 

Trying to do something new with a product that already exists will be hard. Instead, you need a platform that offers premium features and an outstanding user experience. To provide that, you have to understand the inclination and psychology of your potential customers. Know their pain points.

Many startups have tried to copy Uber before but they failed. Lyft came up with their own business model and they are now a car-hailing giant. 

Step 2: Choose a Business Model for Your Car Rental Business

So now you know that you can choose one of two business models. 

Take a look.

B2C approach: with this one, you will be dealing with your customers directly. Customers, thus, look at the cars you have and book the one they like for a two-way or a one-way trip, fill out the necessary papers and you give them the keys. Hertz and Enterprise Rent-a Car use this model.

P2P car rental marketplace: this is a more flexible model for a car rental business. It relies heavily on mobile applications. One thing that makes this idea interesting is the fact that you don’t have to own a vehicle. Get Around and Turo use this business model. 

More start ups are investing in this idea because the interest is growing and it is becoming more popular. 

If you want to start a car rental business, you will need resources, a clear business plan, marketing strategy and a license. 

Step 3: Choose a Car Type Segment

You will need to have different options for your users. For instance, some businesses will offer luxurious cars, exotic cars, sports cars, special events cars, etc.

Alternatively, you can choose to target a super specific audience and only offer a single dedicated car model. Silver car app, for example, only provides Audis. The other option would be to allow all car types. This is the option that many startups prefer because if more car owners register, the business benefits. Customers will also have more options. 

Step 4: Get a License

The procedure for applying for and getting a vehicle rental license varies from one country to another. You can contact an insurer to help you with payment of license fees and rental insurance coverage. 

When it is done, you will receive your license from the local authorities and they will inform the insurer too. Most licenses are renewed annually. 

Step 5: Build an MVP Car Rental App

A mobile app is necessary because people love convenience. This goes for both the P2P and B2C approaches. Initially, you may not need a full-featured app. You can opt for a minimum viable product (MVP) for the app or even build a website. An MVP app only has the basic features that your users will need. 

You will only require a customer app with the B2C approach for the users to look for and book cars. 

The P2P model will require two apps, one for car owners who register their cars and another one for customers who are looking to rent. 

Step 6: Offer Insurance

As a car rental company, you should provide insurance for car owners and customers. So you have to find an insurance provider company you can count on. 

Liberty Mutual Insurance, for instance, covers renters and car owners for Turo. 

You can have different packages for renters. 

What Features Should Be Included in Your Car Rental App?

If you want to stand out among your competitors, here are the most important features that your app will need.

Car Owner App Features 

The car owners are a crucial part of your car rental marketplace. Great features will attract more car owners and your customers will have more options. 

Car owner’s verification: this is for car owners to add their updated personal information such as license expiry date, insurance number, car photos, license number, email, phone number and name. 

A user-friendly dashboard: it lets owners see their transaction history, listed cars, conversations with renters, and more.

Car listing option: an option for car owners to list multiple models in order to earn more.

Car booking management: for owners to check the status of booked vehicles—including payment status. 

Availability management: car owners should be able to choose availability, like weekend options, weekdays or daily.

Discounted price: if car owners want to offer special prices for various occasions, they should be able to do so.

Booking cancellation: have cancellation policies and a feature that allows car owners to cancel rent requests.

Reservation history: car owners should be able to see their current and past reservations.

Car Renter App Features 

Easy registration: the signup process shouldn’t be lengthy. Offer sign up options via Email, Facebook and Google.

Filters: renters should be able to filter their options based on car company, fuel, car type, price, etc. when choosing a car.

Dashboard: this feature lets renters track and manage their profile, activities, messages, transaction history and bookings. 

Renter verification: car riders should include information such as email, license information, etc. for safety purposes. 

Location-based rental: for convenience, users will want a feature that allows them to search for and rent a car nearby.

Booking options: options like instant booking or prior booking for renters to book their dream car would be nice. You should also include per day and per hour renting options.

Calendar option: car renters will love being able to see when cars are unavailable or available. 

Cancellation: have a cancellation option. 

Admin Panel (You) Features

Dashboard: you want to be able to monitor and control the platform by viewing the total number of registered renters, car owners and cars. 

Revenue management: admin should be able to manage the revenue aspect of the business, which includes cancellation charges, commission decisions, etc. 

Manage users: for managing car renters and owners as well as their activities.

Manage listing: this one will allow you to screen new car owners to make sure they comply with the set guidelines.

Booking management: the admin should be able to manage every booking, that is, decline or accept bookings.

Manage listing dimensions: the admin will be able to manage and edit car models, categories and features. 

Ratings/reviews: car renters and owners can rate each other and you can ensure that the language used is appropriate. 

Manage dispute: resolve any issues that arise.

How Do You Earn with a Car Rental Business? 

If you decide to use the B2C approach, you can just set a fixed price for the different car models that you rent out. The customer will pay that price and you can charge them more if, let’s say they overstay with the car.

The P2P marketplace is commission-based. So the renter pays the set amount for the rental period and the car owner pays you commission. 

The car rental sector is booming and it is a great opportunity if you are looking to start a business. 

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Consolidate Bills-getting Rid Of Your Debt With A Plan And A Little Discipline

When you decide to make any type of life change, following a plan will help to ease the anxiety and stress that comes with it. With a plan you will need to discipline yourself. When it comes time to consolidate bills, make no mistake, this is a life change, and it will require discipline and a plan. When you have come to the decision that you need to consolidate bills, it’s not so that you can free yourself to run them up again. It is so that you can get your debts paid off as painlessly as possible and then not run them up again.

A plan will help you to get through this time of change. You will have to take some time to think about how you spend money, what you can afford to do without, and why you are consolidating bills. As you spend money in the next month or so, take note of everything that you spend money on. At the end of the month, review that spending and decide where you can afford to make cuts. When you consolidate bills you will free up more money each month, but you’ll want to use that money to pay off those debts, as well as use more cash, checks, or a debit card rather than a credit card.

Discipline will be necessary in this time of change. When you go shopping, decide whether you really need it or not. That will start you on your path to saving money. The next time a new blockbuster comes to the movie theater, wait until it comes on video. The popcorn is much less expensive in your living room and the setting much more intimate, and no screaming kids or loud teenagers. Seek out and use coupons whenever possible. Above all, when spending, do not use credit cards unless necessary.

No one sets out to gather so much debt that they cannot pay it off. Most of us go in with the intention of always being able to pay the bills, but sometimes those bills get alarmingly high. At that time, with a little discipline and consolidating bills, you can again get the best of your finances. Once that control is again in your hands, it’s more important that you learn to keep the newfound control. That is again where the discipline comes in. It is one thing to get yourself out of trouble once through discipline and the decision to consolidate bills, it’s quite another to keep that control by learning to spend wisely.

EDM Music – Mosumix Vol. 1 by Mosu Beats (Black Cherry)

Are New Bankruptcy Laws Going To Help You?

There are 2 sides to the changes in bankruptcy rules. It will be a lot harder to file bankruptcy under chapter 7 and get a totally clean slate.

For businesses, relying on issuing credit, the new personal bankruptcy law is doing great, reducing personal bankruptcy claims from the thousands to double digits. (In the short run).

However, lawyers working with the actual people filing for bankruptcy say that the new law is seriously flawed because it puts more financial burdens on already broke clients and reduces potential debt repayment to small businesses.

And then of course you have the credit card companies charging high interest rates which in quite a few cases caused the bankruptcy in the first place.

According to some financial specialists, much of the debt people accumulate is a result of keeping up with the Joneses and not thinking ahead.

For 80% of clients counseled each month, the debt is credit card related and averages $32,000 – a result of six to eight cards. Consumer credit organizations say the new law provides debt-reducing strategies for those considering filing bankruptcy and curbs abuse.

Under the new law it has become a requirement that the person filing bankruptcy obtains credit counseling both before and after filing for which that person will be charged.

So now the consumer would then know the advantages and disadvantages of declaring bankruptcy. Yet it seems merely another expense for an already financially stressed individual.

People filing bankruptcy in general are not over spenders, but merely faced with temporary financial disasters such as medical costs, layoffs, a divorce, gambling debts or other crises. Before you can file bankruptcy, you are now required to complete credit counseling with an agency approved by the U.S. Trustees office.

This credit counseling is designed to help you determine whether bankruptcy is appropriate.

Once you complete your bankruptcy, the law requires you to attend another credit counseling session.

These are new requirements, before this law was passed the law did not require a person to go through counseling either before or after the filing of bankruptcy.

Second, under the old law, a person could decide to file under Chapter 7 or Chapter 13. Under the new law, the court will look at your monthly income and apply a means test relating to the state in which you live. If your income is less than or equal to the medium income, then you will be allowed to file Chapter 7 which in effect will give you a clean slate.

This medium income can vary from $28,000 in Missouri to $56,000 in Alaska. If your income is greater, you may be forced to file Chapter 13 unless you can demonstrate you do not have enough disposable income.

Under Chapter 13 you will not get a clean slate but will have to make payments on your debts.

Also, your attorney now must personally certify that your bankruptcy filing is accurate. This means more work for the attorney, with higher legal fees.

Advantages of declaring Bankruptcy:

Legal protection from creditors

Takes care of all or most debt

In some cases, can keep home and car

May stop complete financial ruin

Provides a fresh start

Disadvantages of declaring Bankruptcy:

Bad credit

May have to repay partial debt load and return collateral to creditors

May lose assets, including house and car (If the house is worth more than a certain amount).

Bankruptcy becomes public record, and

Remains on credit record for seven to 10 years

In the past, a bankruptcy offered a fresh start for the filer, said Columbia attorney Gwen Froeschner Hart. The new federal legislation offers language directed at helping creditors.

If you analyze credit card expenses for most people, you’ll see that they often include medical bills and day-to-day expenses for the elderly or those earning low or fixed incomes. Records show that 50% of credit card holders do not pay their full credit card bills every month.

33% of the population can’t afford medical insurance so have to charge their prescription drugs.

With the recent Medicaid cuts and rigid bankruptcy legislation who knows what is going to happen to these people.

There are some who say consumers are abusing creditors. The irony is that credit card companies are begging for customers and offering large amounts of unsecured credit, yet at the same time, lobbying for stricter debt controls.

EDM Music – Mosumix Vol. 1 by Mosu Beats (Earl Grey)

Money Market Accounts Pros And Cons

How to Make Money with Snapchat

Snapchat is a new social media platform with billions of dollars in valuation (so it is safe to say that it is here to stay). It was released in 2011 and like almost every other app; it allows users to send videos and photos to followers. What sets it apart is the fact that messages you send disappear within ten seconds. 

With many more features being introduced—like the Discover feature or the live feature that allows users in a certain event or city to crowdsource their snaps—Snapchat gets more interesting by the day. 

So how do you make money?

The moment you sign up, Snapchat asks you if you would like to automatically add everyone who is in your contact list that has a Snapchat account. Accept and add them all; if you like, you can unfollow them later. Most people will add you if you first add them. Follow anyone you like; there are no negative implications as in Twitter or Facebook. 

When creating content, there are important points to note;

•    First, consistency is key. Snap multiple times a day. You cannot afford to rest. People should get used to your content; let it be a daily dose. 

•    Combine personality marketing with niche content. Snapchat allows you to market your products and your personality. Show people what you are selling through demos and testimonials but also show them who you are in real life.

•    Take advantage of what has been tried and tested. Attractive women and animals are more likely to drive engagement than anything else. 

•    Pay for shoutouts. You can always tell some of your followers to give you a shout out either by posting your photo or video. In some instances, this is free, but for people with hundreds of followers, you have to make it worth their while. 

•    Post your Snapcode on every platform. This is so easy and fun. Post your code on any site and someone gets to add you by taking a photo of the code.

•    Get live. Turn on Snapchat’s location for a chance to be included in the live story in case it is happening in your area. But turn this feature off for security purposes if you do not feel safe. 

Nobody likes to miss out. Tap into this fear of missing out by offering a discount in a snap that disappears in 10seconds. You can create a discount page on your site, such as and send a snap video describing the discount. Do not forget to write the URL on the video and let them know it will expire in, maybe an hour—and take it down in an hour.

Snapcash, joint with PayPal, lets you send money to friends but you can use it for sales. Take a snap of your product and make sure it is really cool and send it. If anyone seems interested, offer to sell it to them right there on the spot through Snapcash.

When your audience trusts you, recommend products for them. If you land a nice company like FitTealife that pays $1 for every view, then you could be looking at a revenue source.

Snapchat is amazing and has so many young users. There are a lot of cool things you can sell to them.

bankruptcy guide

People view bankruptcy as a wakeup call and well they should because that means they hit the bottom of the barrel and are now scratching the bottom – for more cash! If you believe misery loves company, be secure in the knowledge that there are at least 1.5 million people in there with you, that is how many filed for bankruptcy in the last year. Anyone can over-extend themselves and many do for more reasons than I could count.

  Filing for bankruptcy is not only used by the lower and middle class but the rich as well. Famous people have fallen into the hole and climbed out, people like:

Donald Trump, Filed in 1990 – Kim Basinger, in 1993 – Burt Reynolds, in 1996 Rembrandt, in 1656.  I am not sure about the last one; he may still be trying to dig his way out!

 In the old days they would send people to debtors’ prison or even put them to death (not in America though), treating them like criminals. In these more civilized times, the government not only banned this kind of barbaric action but made into law rules to protect us.

 The bankruptcy code, also known by title 2 of the United States code (11 U.S.C.,101-1330),  has been put into place to protect the rights of the individual and corporations, giving them  a fighting chance against dept collectors, bankruptcy courts having the final word. There are basically two kinds of dept, secured an unsecured. Secured is where the creditor has collateral, be it your car, boat, house, or any material thing of value that they can take possession of if the dept is not paid. Unsecured is simply just the opposite, where the creditor has no collateral at all. In this case if the dept is not paid all they can do is use a collection agency where they call you day and night. Also, you must watch out with an unsecured dept because if the balance is large enough the creditor can put a lean on your property by getting a court order. This will prevent anyone from selling their house and moving away to hide from creditors.

  If you or anyone you know is behind on payments, there is something they should know. Since 1997 the government stepped in to stop dept collectors and collection agencies from harassing and threatening people in the middle of the night and using unethical collection practices. The Fair Dept Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) makes collections agencies follow certain guidelines. These are things collectors must do:

*Stop contacting you if the request is in writing and you dispute the dept in writing.

*Within 5 days of their first contact they must send you a letter stating the outstanding dept and creditor.

*If you want to dispute all or part of the dept the collection agency must stop contacting you until the creditor responds to your inquiry.

*If the collection agency wants to take you to court for the dept owed on behalf of the creditor it should summon you to the county where you now live or where you first singed the contract.

  Now, do not be alarmed just because a creditor threatens to sue you because most times it is just meant to scare people into paying on depts.

 Under the act (FDCPA) there are many things collection agencies cannot do, some of which are:

*No calling you at work

*Indicating they may be working with the federal government

*No calling your friends or family

*Implying that you may go to jail, garnish your paychecks unless the dept holder plans to do it

  Our government, in its infinite wisdom reasoned a long time ago that if they send everyone to jail there is zero change of collecting on any dept on behalf of a creditor.  You probably have heard of someone that has had their wages garnished, that is creditors who get a court order to take a piece of their check until the dept is paid. This is a common practice in states that allow wage garnishment and there is little you can do about it except for contacting an attorney. Did you know if you have an unpaid school loan or owe the IRS, they don’t even need a court order to garnish wages, even in states that normally don’t allow this?  You can bet on it; they can also take your tax refunds!

As for personal property, in cases like a store dept (store credit card, personal check or payment plan) on an item like major appliances or furniture you may have bought they still need a court order to take it back, unless you let them in anyway. That is right!  If you let them in without a court order they can come and get it back!  Many times, if is just not worth it for them to re-possess items because they must go the process of getting a court order and pay someone to carry it out. Also, it may be harder to sell a used item that may be stained or damaged. One final word on this point, remember on secured loans and cars there is a definite risk of repossession if the loan (mortgage or car finance) is not paid. There is usually too much money involved here for creditors to lose so these payments should be on top of you to pay list!

 If you find collectors are not playing by the rules you should call an attorney or the Federal Trade Commission’s response center at 1-877-382-4357 (FTC-HELP)

You can check out FDCPS’s website at for more info.

8 Steps To Irresistible Email Copy Every Time


Before you sit down to write your email sales letter, you`ve got to determine exactly who your audience is. This is a master key to getting results from email marketing.

Ask yourself these questions:

– What do your prospects/customers want?

– What frustrates your prospects/customers most?

– Who else is selling something like you?

– Why should your prospects/customers believe you?

– Why should prospects/customers respond to you instead of someone else?

– What kind of appeals will your target market respond to?


Before an email can generate results, recipients need to open it. But what can you do to spark their interest and get their interest “motor” revved up?

Your SUBJECT LINE is the key.

There are four types of email formulas you can use as a guide in crafting your email. Each has a different PSYCHOLOGICAL APPEAL that works like magic on consumers. Here are some examples:

– State a powerful benefit – “Empowerism Satisfies Your Need for Leads”

– Pique curiosity – “Empowerism Has Uncovered the Secrets of Success”

– Write your subject line with a news angle – “Empowerism Launches RSVP For Those Who Want to Double Their Money Fast!”

– Offer Immediate Gratification – “With Empowerism RSVP, you can start the money wheels turning before the sun goes down tonight”

Here`s an important “homework assignment”: Write at least 25 SUBJECT LINES before you decide on which one to use. Take the best two and test them against each other in your marketing campaign. (Save the “losers” to use for other purposes or spruce up later.)

=> Step #3 – WHAT`S IN IT FOR THEM?

Sit down and write every conceivable benefit your product has. Don`t know the difference between features and benefits? Features describe the product; benefits describe the results of using the product. Features appeal to logic…logic justifies emotion…emotion drives sales (see below).

Here`s a rule of thumb for benefits: ask yourself “What can my product or service do for my customer?” Then begin to write your letter telling your reader WHAT`S IN IT FOR THEM. Tell them how much better life will be for them after they buy from you. Tell them how much better they`ll feel. Tell them how their peers will respect them more.


When promoting anything to anybody, you must remember that buying decisions are based upon emotion and later backed up by logic. Before you write a single word, determine what emotional hot buttons you need to push to “jumpstart” your prospect.

Selling health supplements? Go for the “fear of illness” button with “A Natural Way to Save Your Eyesight.” Selling political bumper stickers? Hit the “anger” button with: “Let the President Know What You Think of His Policies.” Other buttons include: curiosity, greed, ego, vanity, hope, and/or fear of scarcity or security.


To convince people to buy your product or service, you must make them believe that your offer is credible and that you (or your product) will deliver as promised.

How do you do that? Here are three ways you can build credibility with the readers of your sales letter:

– Provide testimonials.

– Include endorsement letters from authority figures in your industry

– Make your offer and promises sincere and believable.

=> Step #6 – A GUARANTEE

Nowadays, trying to sell without some type of guarantee is a losing proposition. You`ve got to have one. And the stronger your guarantee, the better your response will be. And, believe it or not, although most people will NOT ask for a refund, they`ll trust your offer knowing that you stand behind it.

You can offer a 24-hour, 30-day, 60-day, 90-day, or even a full-year. And here`s an interesting fact: The longer the time period, the fewer returns you`ll have! It`s human nature to procrastinate, so the more time someone thinks they have to get a refund, the more they`ll put it off or forget about the refund altogether.

=> Step #7 – DON`T FORGET TO ASK

It happens all the time. Someone makes a fantastic sales presentation, and then doesn`t close the deal because he/she didn`t clearly ask for the order or made the process confusing rather than simple.

– From the Research Department: Statistics show that you need to ask for the order at least three times to close substantial sales. (Some studies put the number at 7!)

If you can, offer several ways for your prospects to order — consumers love choice. It tells them, “You`re talking directly to me and meeting my unique needs.” If you only offer one way to order, make it crystal clear how AND how easy it is. Describe it in detail and ask for the order. Then ask again.

=> Step #8 – THE EYES HAVE IT

It`s a well-known fact: Large blocks of copy are intimidating and will often send people running for the hills or at least the Delete button.

The solution? Break up paragraphs into two to four sentences. Use several subheadings throughout the email letter. And use asterisks, dashes, and ellipses (…) to give your copy more rhythm. Bullet points are excellent eye-catchers – use them whenever appropriate.

10 Tips for Aspiring Freelance Copywriters

Every week I receive a couple of emails from people seeking advice on how to get into freelance copywriting. While there’s no simple answer, and no answer which applies to everyone, there are a few tips which I believe will help most people make the move into freelance copywriting and survive the first few months at least.

1) Invest in a website

The best place for any freelance advertising copywriter or website copywriter to start is to fork out for a website. A website is invaluable because when you could call and email prospects, you will need to direct them somewhere that gives them more information. Keep your website simple, include a portfolio page, add any samples of any sort of copywriting you’ve done, talk about the places you’ve worked, the clients you’ve written for, and include any testimonials you’ve received. Make sure you include your address and contact details as well, so people do not think you’re a fly-by-night operation. Of course, it does not hurt to include a photo either. If you cannot say much about your experience, don’t say much. It does not even really matter if you don’t say anything. Remember, just like any other form of advertising copywriting, writing about yourself requires the art of subtlety. If you lack experience, but you’re confident you can do the job, you can be very clever in what you don’t say, and most people will read it the way you intended.

2) don’t target agencies

If you’ve never worked as an advertising copywriter or website copywriter before, don’t target advertising agencies and web design agencies. They know exactly what they’re after, so if you don’t have a portfolio, you won’t stand a chance. Managing an inexperienced copywriter and controlling quality takes a lot of time and introduces risk. Most agencies are too busy to give unproven copywriters a break, even if you’re prepared to do the work on spec. Target end-clients directly.

3) Cold call, cold call, cold call

One of the best ways of generating business in the early days is to cold call potential end-clients. it’s hard work and very time consuming, but you can generate some very qualified leads. For more information on cold calling, take a look at 

4) Use a contacts & jobs database

No matter where you’re at in your freelance copywriting career, you NEED a database of contacts and jobs. Kind of a scaled down CRM (Customer Relationship Management) tool. Use it to record everything! Particularly names, phone numbers, and the details of any correspondence (especially phone calls). I created my own database using Microsoft Access. Visit and jobs.mdb to download a 208KB working copy for FREE. You’ll need Microsoft Access 2000 to run it. I’m no database expert, so it’s not a work of art. It’ll certainly get you started though. (TIP: When using the database, press Ctrl +; to enter todays’ date.)

5) Write a few samples

If you’re targeting specific clients or industries, don’t be afraid to write a few samples and send them through. You can offer the pieces free of charge (everyone likes something for nothing) or at a discount, or you can use it as an incentive to sign them up for future work. It all depends on the type of work and the type of client. The important thing to remember is that samples are virtually as good as a portfolio to most prospective clients.

6) Invest in an accounts package

Don’t be fooled into thinking you can handle your accounts manually (or with Microsoft Excel). Even if you only have a few clients, you NEED a proper accounts package like MYOB or Quicken (they both offer small business versions). You’ll understand why the first time you do your GST reports or annual taxes. In fact, you’ll understand why whenever you need to chase down outstanding invoices

7) Give great service

This may seem like an obvious one, but it’s important to remember that great service means different things to different clients. Most of the time you will be working with direct clients (quite often startup businesses) and agencies. Both appreciate great service but define it entirely differently. Agencies rely on their freelance copywriters to meet strict requirements (get the work done well, get it done on time, do not exceed the budget). They have end-clients breathing down their necks, so reliability is as important as writing quality. End-clients, on the other hand, need an advertising copywriter or website copywriter who sees their business the way they do, and can convey that vision. They’ll probably need a lot of guidance as well, particularly if they’re just starting out themselves. If you can, help them understand that copywriting isn’t just about telling people what products and services the business offers; it’s about conveying the benefits of those products and services. A good advertising copywriter or website copywriter will be able to help their client think in terms of benefits instead of products and services.

8) Expect hard times

The first year or two as a freelance advertising copywriter or website copywriter will be difficult. It takes a while to generate momentum and during that time, you’ll probably find yourself wondering if you’ve made the right career choice. While its possible to earn six-figures each year, you have to be patient (so its not ideal for new or intending parents or anyone with huge mortgage commitments).

9) Do not spend too much on training

In my humble opinion, no money spent learning is wasted. However, you must weigh up the return on investment. I do not know much about what copywriting courses are available, but if they are expensive, I’d think twice. In my experience, most clients (be they agencies or end-clients) value copywriting ability over training.

10) Know you can do it

Confidence in your copywriting abilities is a must. If you are not adamant you can produce the results the client is after, you will never be able to convince the client. Remember that everyone feels daunted at the start of a new copywriting job. There is always a steep learning curve in copywriting, and generally quite a bit of time-consuming labor. Do not fall into the trap of focusing on what you don’t know and what you haven’t done.

Good luck, and happy writing!

Forex Trading: The Most Common Flaws

Many traders are very much attracted to the sophistication offered by the multi indicators and use them in their forex trading systems. Many of the confluence system indicators show the price movement and in no way adds any value to the trade. Due to this, the traders either end up over bought or oversold technical indicators like the stochastic, momentum indicators, candle stick chart pattern recognition, Bollinger band breaks out even neural networks which are supposed to be artificial intelligent systems.

The technical indicators just show signals which are like buy or sell or hold, making the signal generated to be correct. Theoretically it sounds good but, to arrive at a conclusion might be difficult. As a result, the traders are confused in making a right decision. They either enter too late or too early or remain still without being able to decide to enter the market. The major flaw is due to the use of useless trading system which does not serve the purpose to make profits but confuses the traders and complicates the forex trading until the trader loses.

Another dangerous flaw found in forex trading is of an emotional nature interwoven into the process. It is fear and greed of the trader. A profitable forex trade can lead to exuberance and over joy, but this is the time when greed comes in and crosses the aspects of risk management. When a trader is hooked to winning, out of greed he over-rides all aspects to see more and more profits, only to see them crash to earth. They wait for the prices to regain, but in dismay may some time and with worst possible losses. This is the time when fear crops up and paralyses the trader not making him to open any position. Hence while trading, the trader should not override the emotional side of trading, stick to discipline of the trade which can prevent them from committing the flaw of forex trading.

Another kind of flaw can happen when the trader is an unconcerned person or the one who is lazy, or with no drive to gain profits or feels the need to be profitable. These people would have entered forex trading due to hearing it as an easy game. For them it is not a trade which involves skill, trade management, preparation, and re-investment. It is a fun game for them, where loses do not make any difference to them. Such persons make a wrong footing, with a wrong objective.

Flaws in forex trading due to the inadequate knowledge of the trader:

 Some of the losers start with good purpose in the trade. Even though they had gained some knowledge from here and there they might find it difficult to apply them practically in the trade. Inadequate knowledge might be the major flaw which stops them from achieving success.

10 Things to Expect from Your SEO Copywriter

From the perspective of a business owner, webmaster, or marketing manager, the change exhibited by the Internet is profoundly exciting, yet profoundly disturbing. The information (and misinformation and disinformation) it offers, the business benefits it promises, and the rules it is governed by change at such a rapid rate that it’s almost impossible to keep up.

These changes have led to a growing appreciation of the value of quality web copy. This appreciation has, in turn, led to an influx of opportunistic copywriters promoting themselves as website copywriters or SEO copywriters. Do not get me wrong, there are quite a few excellent SEO copywriters out there, and you should shop around. The purpose of this article is not to scare you; it is to help you find the SEO copywriter who’ll deliver honest service and excellent results.

So, with that in mind, take a look at the following ten tips. These are the things you have a right to expect from anyone wearing a name badge that reads website copywriter, SEO copywriter, internet copywriter, or web copywriter (See also 10 Things to Expect From Your Website Copywriter and How to Make the Most of Your Website Copywriter.)

1) An understanding of SEO

Obviously, your SEO copywriter must have a solid understanding of the essentials of Search Engine Optimization. They must know that ranking is essentially the result of a website’s relevance (i.e. keywords) and importance (i.e. inbound links). There are a whole lot of other factors involved, but if your SEO copywriter does not understand these two basics, you should look elsewhere. If you’d like to ensure your SEO copywriter knows a little more than just the basics, take a look at SEO for CEOs, Writing SEO Copy, SEO Trade Secrets, Web Copy – How Much is Enough?, and How to Top Google by Writing Articles for some clues as to what you might like to ask in order to assess their knowledge.

2) Proven experience

The proof is, as they say, in the pudding. It’s not enough that your SEO copywriter can talk the talk; they must also be able to walk the walk. Ask to see some examples of websites for which they have obtained some good rankings. Note that it may be difficult to find an SEO copywriter who has worked on both keywords and link generation, so if you find one who has, and they write well, snap em up! They will have a very broad and useful working knowledge of search engines.

3) An understanding of how many keywords to use

You don’t want to fill every page up with every keyword you’re targeting. This simply dilutes your site’s relevance and reduces readability. Ask your SEO copywriter how many keywords they would recommend targeting on each page. Hopefully, they will suggest no more than 3, preferably 2. By targeting 2 keyword phrases per page, you can use them a lot without impacting readability.

4) Clear agreement on who will provide keywords

Someone needs to perform a keyword analysis to figure out what words you should be trying to rank highly for. Your SEO copywriter should be able to do this for you, but its quite often more cost-effective if someone a little closer to the business does it. Either way, make sure your agreement with your SEO copywriter makes it noticeably clear who is performing this task. Do not assume the SEO copywriter is going to do it, because they may assume, you’re going to do it, and then you will blow your budget.

5) Keywords or keyword phrases

Expect your SEO copywriter to offer some advice regarding how specific you should be with your keywords. In most industries, the competition for keywords is so fierce that you will be forced to target specific keywords in order to rank at least at the outset. For instance, if you are in IT, you probably would not start out by targeting the keyword IT. The competition is immense (at the time of writing, there were approx. 3,240,000,000 results for this search in and the IT giants already dominate the search engines for this keyword. Instead, try using a more specific keyword phrase like IT infrastructure consulting New York (at the time of writing, there were only around 4,000,000 results for this search in The other benefit to targeting more specific keyword phrases is that you will generate more relevant leads.

6) Agree on word count per page

Always make sure your SEO copywriter gives you an indication of the number of words they expect to write per web page. While its necessary to have a decent body of words on most of your web pages, you certainly should not have too many. What too many is all depends on your industry, the objective of the page, and the needs of your audience. It is always a delicate balance, but it’s certainly possible to rank highly with only 100-200 words per page. So, do not be fooled into paying for copy you do not need!

7) Density targets & measure

SEO of a web page is NOT guess-work. A good SEO copywriter will talk about density measures. This is a measure of the number of times the keyword phrase appears on the page. Its expressed as a percentage of the total word count of the page. So, if your page has 200 words, and your keyword phrase appears 10 times, its density is 5%. As a rule of thumb, your SEO copywriter should be aiming for a density of approximately 5% for your primary keyword phrase and 3-5% for your secondary keyword phrase. If your density measures are much higher than this, readability will be reduced, and you will risk being perceived as spam by the search engines. Make sure your SEO copywriter understands keyword density, is prepared to state the target density for each keyword phrase and is also happy to be measured by that standard (should you decide to measure).

8) Where to place keywords

The question of keyword placement has been the subject of much debate amongst SEO copywriters. While it is still unclear how much impact placement has, there is a consensus that it has SOME impact. Be sure that your copywriter is aware of this impact. Popular opinion has it that keywords are more effective if they appear in headings, bolded text, links, and generally toward the beginning of the page.

9) Some comment on structure & links

Websites are generally better indexed by search engines if their spiders can traverse the entire site using text links. This means your SEO copywriter should be linking each page to every other page using text links. If your site is complex, this may be impractical, so your SEO copywriter will need to create a hierarchical structure for your site. First, they should break your subject material down into categories. Then for each category, they should write a summary page. These summary pages should be accessible from higher level pages via text links. They should also be accessible from each other. Each summary page should link  using text links  to a number of pages discussing the finer details of the category. And each detail page in a particular category should link to every other detail page in that category (once again, using text links). This way the spiders can travel from the top of your hierarchy to the bottom, and from left to right across any level.

10) Don’t believe grand promises

SEO copywriters can play a significant role in increasing your search engine ranking. But they can’t do it overnight. By optimizing your site for your target keyword phrases, an SEO copywriter is simply declaring the relevance of your site. If you engage an SEO copywriter to write helpful articles containing a byline with a link back to your site, you can then submit these articles for publication on the Internet, and this will steadily increase your ranking. But if an SEO copywriter tells you they can dramatically increase your ranking in a matter of hours or days, be wary. NOTE: Your SEO copywriter should be able to submit your articles to various submit sites on the Internet. These sites are closely watched by hundreds of thousands of publishers of e-newsletters and article pages from all around the world. High quality articles are quickly snapped up and published prolifically. And each time your article is published, you have got another link back to your site, thus increasing the importance of your site (to the search engines). If you would like to submit your own articles, your SEO copywriter should be able to sell you a list of 50 or more submit sites for as little as USD$99.


An SEO copywriter is a valuable addition to your marketing function. But you need to make sure you choose wisely. When you know what questions to ask, the battle is half won.

Forex Trading Strategies

Forex trading has a big appeal among the people due to the possibility of creating instant wealth. If forex trading is equipped with a good strategy, preferably a unique one will be of great help in achieving success. Forex trading strategies reduce the risk irrespective of the person’s participation in position trading, or day trading, or swing trading provided they are disciplined enough to stick to the strategy adopted. The best forex trading strategies are adopted by forex traders who are blessed with keen market sense and who can be privy to get inside information. Based on that information they develop forex investment strategies. The forex trading strategies which are devised after observing the market for quite some time gain profits by rising above the odds. The forex traders who are best in their profession do not enter a trade without devising an exit strategy. They are the people who know very well when to minimize their losses and when to maximize their profits. They are very disciplined in doing both.

Leverage strategy: Forex trading strategies help achieve success in forex trading or online currency trading. Forex trading differs from trading stocks and the use of forex trading strategies help the person to gain more profits in a noticeably short period. There are many forex trading strategies adopted by the investors, the most useful among these strategies is called as the leverage. This forex trading strategy allows the online traders to get more funds than the deposited amount; by adopting this strategy the benefits are maximized. This strategy helps in utilizing the amount deposited in the account even up to 100 times against any forex trading by backing high yield transactions very easily and better results are got. This leverage forex trading strategy is used by the traders on a regular basis to take advantage of fluctuations happening in the forex market in short term.

Stop loss order strategy: Stop loss order forex trading strategy is also used commonly among forex traders. This strategy protects the investors and creates a situation called the predetermined point, not allowing the investor to trade when it is reached. This forex trading strategy minimizes the losses. Sometimes this strategy might backfire and make the investor to run the risk of stopping their trading leading to a higher loss, hence it is up to the trader to use or not to use this forex trading strategy.

Automatic entry order strategy: </b>An automatic entry order forex trading strategy is also one of the widely used strategies. This strategy allows the investors to participate in the trading activity when the price is suitable for them. Here the price is already determined and when the situation is reached the investor enters the forex trading automatically.

Apart from the above strategies, there are certain basic rules to be followed as strategies to gain profits in forex trading:

The amount exposed in the foreign currency trading should always be kept in track to ensure to be within the accepted levels. While trading, the trader should not be very greedy or breach when keeping the returns in mind which is expected out of the transactions. The main objective should be kept in mind; it might be either capital appreciation or constant returns or high profits. Keeping track of one’s own experience will reward at a later stage.

Investment should be within the affordability to lose. Also relying on experts opinions, history prices, and analytical statements may be effective some time rather than going by their own instincts.

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Introduction to annuities

Those with fixed incomes or living on their retirement savings are often looking for a safe, low risk place to invest their money. They will often turn to annuities, which are sold through insurance companies. Basically, an annuity is a contract between you and the insurance company that provided for tax-deferred earnings.

There are several insurance guarantees that come with annuities, including the option to “annuitize,” or turn the principal into a lifetime stream of income. However, the fees are often quite high, and the earnings are taxed as ordinary income, not long-term capital gain.

The FDIC does not insure annuities, even if they are sold through a bank. The safety of your principal depends on the financial strength of the annuity provider. If the company fails, you might have $100,000 of coverage by your state’s guaranty association. But these associations operate under state law and vary on what they cover and how much they pay.

Fixed-rate annuities

With a fixed-rate annuity, you pay the insurance company a certain amount of money. The insurance company then guarantees you a certain periodic payment for the life of the annuity. This is often a way to se up a lifetime stream of income. The insurance company’s goal is to invest your deposit and make more money than they have promised to pay you.

There are often higher interest rates on annuities than on CDs. But fixed rate doesn’t mean the same thing for annuities as it does for a CD. With a CD, the rate is fixed for the full term of the CD. Fixed-rate annuities do not have a maturity date. The rate is usually only guaranteed for the first year. The rate will then drop after the guaranteed period, and then be adjusted annually.

There may be penalties charged if you withdraw money during the penalty period. You may have to pay an 8% penalty if you withdraw money during the first year. After that, the penalty is usually decreased by 1% each year.

Annuities have tax-deferred features, so if you withdraw money before the age of 59, you may have to pay a hefty 10% penalty to the IRS. The earnings on annuities are taxed as ordinary income by the IRS no matter how long you have invested.

Variable annuities

Variable annuities offer investors unique features, but they are quite complicated. They combine the elements of life insurance, mutual funds and tax-deferred savings planes. When you invest in a variable annuity, you select from a list of mutual funds to place your investment dollars. Your options may include balanced mutual funds, money market funds and several international funds.

Variable annuities have tax-deferred benefits, and they have income guarantees that you don’t find in other investments. For example, for a fee, your variable annuity will pay a death benefit.

Let’s look at how this works. You invest $100,000 in a variable annuity. In a few years, the value of the mutual funds in your account has fallen to $75,000. If this was a straight mutual fund, your heirs would only receive the $75,000. With this annuity, your beneficiaries are guaranteed the $100,000 if you pass away. If you have opted for the death benefits, the market value of the annuity may be as much as $125,000. Your beneficiaries would receive this amount.

Taxes are imposed in the same manner as for fixed-rate annuities. The earnings are taxed as ordinary income. You do not want to use the annuities inside of your 401(k) or IRA. These plans are built for accumulating money on a tax-deferred basis. You don’t want to pay the higher costs of an annuity when you can invest in a mutual fund that benefits you at less tax expense.

There are instances when variables are a good fit. If you’ve already reached the limit on your other retirement savings vehicles, you might investigate a variable annuity. You aren’t limited in the amount you can invest in an annuity. Many allow you to convert your investment to an annual income stream, for a slight fee. The insurance company will guarantee that you will receive income payments for a certain period or for life.

CD-type annuities

A CD annuity is a fixed-rate annuity with a guaranteed rate that matches the penalty period. For example, you buy a five-year CD annuity at 4%. If you hold the CD for five years, then you will receive the 4% annually. If rates rise, you are already locked in at the lower rate.

Insurance companies developed CD annuities to help prevent insurers from making empty promises to continue to pay a high interest rate after the guaranteed period. Rates were falling, and customers were not getting what they expected. Customers began to pay a penalty to get out of the investment.

There are usually higher interest rates offered on CD annuities than on traditional CDs. The investment is tax-deferred, but if you cash out your five-year CD before the age of 59, you will pay a 10% penalty on the gain to the IRS. Many contracts will allow you to take up to 10% of the balance or up to 100% of the interest annually without any insurance company penalties charged.

The surrender charges for a CD-type annuity are like those of fixed-rate annuities. There is no FDIC coverage on the investment. Some CD annuities have escape clauses in which the company penalty is waived if the customer allows the payments to be made over a five-year period or longer.

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5 Steps to Success in the Private Label Water Business

The private label bottled drinking water is a growth industry with double digit growth and profit opportunities for the entrepreneur. But like most opportunities care must be taken to seek out and exploit the most profitable niche in the market.

A recent market study examined the growth and potential of the market for bottled water and concluded:

“The bottled water industry grew about 10% in 2005, while carbonated soft drinks revenue is essentially flat,” says Gary Hemphill, marketing director of BMC. “There are a couple of things driving the market sure, people like to have a tap water substitution, but it’s really driven by people’s demands for a healthier alternative to the wide array of beverages on the market.”

Private label water is the fastest growing segment of the overall bottled water market and its future growth is considered by many to be explosive.

Private label water combines the purity of refreshing drinking water with consumable advertising that is designed to an individual customer’s specification. The water is popular and the branding message, if designed properly, serves to promote business.

Almost every company in the United States can benefit from private label water with a custom branding message. The opportunities are huge, the market is largely untapped and the private label product is viewed by customers as a cost effective, power way to promote a brand message.

The bottled water industry consists of several interrelated parts including research and development, manufacturing, marketing and sales. Much of the business model, however, requires significant amounts of capital and has high barriers to entry for most entrepreneurs.

Nevertheless, with the advent of the internet and e-commerce, an aggressive sales focused entrepreneur can develop a substantial profitable private label business through affiliate programs.

What Are Affiliate Programs?

Affiliate programs are revenue sharing programs between an entrepreneur and a company that manufactures and sells a product or service. Affiliates are rewarded with referral payments for sending customers to the manufacturer’s Web site. The process works as follows:

The affiliate place links on its site to a manufacturer’s Web site.

When a visitor clicks on the link and makes a purchase the affiliate earns a referral fee that is a percentage of the total sale.

The best manufacturer sites have automatic payment mechanisms and real time accounting.

But an efficient affiliate site requires planning and work. Many affiliates believe they will be able to just put up a Web site, establish some affiliate links and sit back and wait for streams of cash to start coming in. Care must be taken however to be truly successful. Consider the following:

What type of Web site should you have to make money through affiliate programs?

What are the best programs for your site?

How will you effectively market your site and the underlying product?

How can you find niche markets?

Similar to other facets of developing a home business, careful planning is needed to map out a profitable strategy for building a home based business using affiliate programs – a strategy that will allow you to build income through content in a sustainable, month after month way.

The issue is what are the steps required to develop an income producing web site using affiliate programs that generate consistent, substantial revenue?

Tip Number 1:  Align with a Manufacturer That Produces A Quality Product with Unique Features and Manages a Robust Affiliate Program.

As any good salesperson will tell you, a high-quality product is mandatory for sales success. Look for a company that manufactures (resellers add little value) a quality product that is recognized as different in the marketplace. There are many types of water in the market, but purified water is clearly recognized as the highest quality.

After identifying a manufacturer with a quality product offering, chose one with a robust, profitable affiliate program. This should include at a minimum:

commitment to affiliate success

commission plans that are substantial

a website that allows for easy ordering and accrual and payment of commissions

support for marketing, selling and booking of orders

Tip Number 2: Identify a Niche Market and Create a Plan to Penetrate That Niche Deeply

Avoid the tendency to mass market and shoot at the flock. Mass marketing is beyod the scope of most companies and entrepreneurs. There are many profitable niche markets that have significant growth potential. Identify a niche market, understand the buying patterns of that niche and penetrate the market. It takes time and work but done right this effort is very profitable.

Some examples of niche markets: hotels (small and large), health spas, golf courses, gyms, car dealerships, organizations and health clubs to name a few. Almost any organization is interested in promoting their brand and brand message in a cost-effective way.

Tip Number 3: Create an Eye-Catching Website With a link to The Manufacturer

One of the advantages of an affiliate program is that profitable business can be developed with only a nominal investment. Given today’s technical level of internet development expertise, creation of an attractive web site is easy and cost effective. The critical part of the website however is the creation of a focused message presented in an attractive manner.

Following the creation of the site, establish a banner link with the chosen manufacturing partner that will direct affiliate inquires to the site for order creation and booking of the affiliate commission.

The manufacturers site must be able to design and produce labels, provide powerful e-commerce facilities for order booking and shipment and include a facility for the booking and payment of commissions to the affiliate.

Tip Number 4: Create and Implement a Sales Strategy

A clear sales strategy is the most effective path to success and profits in the private label business. Identify in writing the target niche, strategy to penetrate that niche, buying patterns, target prospects and communication material (sales collateral) and tactics to sell targeted prospects. Then implement the strategy in an organized manner and adjust the strategy as conditions change. Remember the old sales adage Always Be Closing.

Tip Number 5: Follow Up on All Orders and Provide Feedback to Customers

As part of any effective sales effort, follow up and feedback with and to customers is critical to maintaining good customer service and obtaining repeat orders. One of the most powerful aspects of private label water sales is that happy customers tend to be repeat customers. Creation of a long customer list with satisfied customers will generate a steady stream of repeat orders and significant cash flow.

10 Tips for Using Instant Messaging for Business

Here’s the scene: A couple dozen professionals at a big advertising agency quietly type away at computer screens near each other, in an open room devoid of office walls and partitions.

An occasional laugh punctuates the silence. But no one is talking. They are communicating with one another almost exclusively through instant messaging (IM).

“When I’m visiting this firm, I can’t help but notice this [lack of people talking]. Seems odd to an outsider, but this is now pretty much their corporate culture,” says Helen Chan, analyst for The Yankee Group, a US-based technology research group, who has friends at the agency.

A technology designed initially for one-on-one personal chats has reached the workplace. Many businesspeople are choosing text-based Instant Messaging over phone calls and email. They prefer its immediacy and efficiency in getting real-time information from partners, suppliers and colleagues working remotely.

Instant messaging is essentially the text version of a phone call. At businesses large and small, more and more people are using it to communicate. For many, it serves as a backstop for e-mail problems and other emergencies witness the spikes in usage after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

The Wall Street Journal notes that more than 100 million people are now sending instant messages. In a report, “IM: The Sleeping Giant,” technology consultant Gartner Group predicts that by 2005, instant messaging will surpass email as the primary online communications tool.

That said, IM will benefit businesses that work in teams or on projects more than it will many retailers, independent professionals and others. That’s because IM enhances collaboration but does not lend itself to opening new relationships. However, aside from the opportunities for time and cost savings, there are risks and downsides to its use.

Whether you’re a business owner or an avid IM user, or both, here are 10 instant messaging do’s and don’ts.

1. adopt a user policy for instant messaging. If you’re an owner, your employees need to know whether you view instant messaging as an appropriate vehicle to communicate with, say, customers or business partners. Any policy should contain at least general guidelines for its use. You may not think this is important unless you know the story about the hedge fund manager who caused a major commotion by allegedly using IM to spread inaccurate rumors about a publicly traded software company. (Word got out, the software company’s stock plunged, and the hedge fund manager and his company got into some serious trouble.)

2. Don’t strong use instant messaging to communicate confidential or sensitive information. Take a lesson from the above example. If your company is in the business of providing professional advice regarding stocks, finances, medicine or law, chances are it’s not smart to do so through instant messaging. IM is better suited to quick information about project status, meeting times, or a person’s whereabouts.

3. Do – strong organize your contact lists to separate business contacts from family and friends. Make sure your employees do the same. Eliminate even the remote possibility that a social contact could be included in a business chat with a partner or customer or vice versa. MSN Messenger[link] lets you organize your contacts carefully.

4. Don’t allow excessive personal messaging at work. Yes, you make personal phone calls at work, send personal emails, and allow your employees to do the same. But you encourage them to keep it to a minimum and (hopefully) do the same yourself. For instant messaging go even further. Urge that personal chats be done during breaks or the lunch hour or that the chats generate new customers or revenue to the business.

5. be aware that instant messages can be saved. You may think IM is great because you can let your guard down, make bold statements, chastise a boss, employee or co-worker, and have it all wiped away from the record when you are done. What you aren’t realizing is that one of the parties to your conversation can copy and paste the entire chat onto a notepad or Word document. Some IM services allow you to archive entire messages. Be careful what you say, just like you would in an email.

6. Don’t compromise your company’s liability, or your own reputation. The courts may still be figuring out where instant messages stand in terms of libel, defamation and other legal considerations. It’s likely that any statements you make about other people, your company or other companies probably aren’t going to land you in court. But they could damage your reputation or credibility. Be careful what you say.

7. Do be aware of virus infections and related security risks. Most IM services allow you to transfer files with your messages. Alexis D. Gutzman, an author and eBusiness consultant, says her recent research for a book found that IM file attachments carrying viruses penetrate firewalls more easily than email attachments. “Instant messages [carrying viruses] will run and dip into a firewall until they find an opening,” she says. You’d be wise to learn more about the quality of your own firewall protection, to decide whether to restrict transferring files through IM.

8. Don’t share personal data or information through IM. Even if you have the utmost trust in the person or people you are messaging, including personal information you’d rather keep confidential (like a phone number) is not a good idea. That’s because the text of your chat is relayed through a server in route to your contact. “If anyone is on the connection and can see that traffic, they can see the personal information,” says Chris Mitchell, lead program manager with MSN Messenger. Not likely, perhaps. But it’s better to send such info through an encrypted email, or not at all.

9. Do keep your instant messages simple and to the point and know when to say goodbye. How you should use IM is hard to stipulate. Kneko Burney, director of eBusiness research at Cahners In-Stat Group, prefers it simply for seeing if a colleague is at his or her desk, available for an in-person or telephone call. “It’s like peeking into someone’s office.” Gutzman, on the other hand, sees IM to do quick research and get fast information from consultants and even lawyers. She recently used IM in researching a book, saving entire messages in her personal archives. Both agree, however, that you must limit your inquiry, get to the point right away, and avoid unnecessary blather. “With instant messaging, you don’t need a lot of pleasantries,” Gutzman says. “I pretty much can say, ‘How’s it going?’ and then get on with my question.”

10. Don’t confuse your contacts with a misleading username or status. IM usernames, like email usernames, should be consistent throughout your company. And users should do the courtesy of updating their status throughout the day, so contacts know whether they are available for messages.

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3 Ways Yoga Can Benefit the Entrepreneur

The lot of a modern businessman is a stressful one and there is always so much to do.  It would take a pretty compelling set of reasons to convince a successful businessman (or even an unsuccessful one) to add something else to an already packed schedule, so why would he even think about regular Yoga classes.  In this article we examine the three main benefits of Yoga and how they apply to the busy businessperson.

Benefit Number One:  Physical Health

  All business-man’s goal is to become wealthy isn’t it?  Have you ever heard the saying that your health is your wealth?  Believe me it is true.  No matter how much money you have you cannot benefit from it if you are dead and personal health is often neglected in today’s busy corporate world.  But the question is not whether one can afford the time for exercise to become healthy; it is whether they can afford not to.  Health is a shifting scale – you are not either healthy or dead.  It’s important to think about how much your level of health affects your work.  A healthy body will allow you to concentrate more, work harder and increase the time you spend productively.

  Yoga is the perfect way for a businessman to look after their physical wellbeing.  Because the exercises are so incredibly low impact, they can be performed even by the most out of shape person, and the more regularly they are performed the better that person’s health will become.  Yoga is a very efficient method of releasing tension and stress.  During a workday certain blockage develop around the body and many of our vital organs do not get the full amount of oxygen and nutrients that they need to function at peak efficiency.  Yoga stretches different muscles groups in certain ways that will lead to these blockages being released and the blood flow bringing the bodies organs all the oxygen and nutrients they need.

  Yoga’s health benefits are both immediate and long term.  In the short-term blood flow is increased and the body functions better because it is achieving the nutrients it requires.  Tension is also released from muscles and the bodies lymphatic system can more effectively deal with waste products.  In the longer term these will be ongoing benefits and the digestive system will also function more efficiently, which has innumerable health benefits.  The general balance, co-ordination and flexibility will also be greatly enhanced.

Benefit Number Two:  Mental Health

  Have you ever considered the importance of a breath?  We know that when someone stops breathing, they die, and even this simplistic understanding should tell us how important it is to breath.  But breathing properly is often ignored.  It is vital not only for the numerous health benefits, but also for the strong mental advantages it allows us.

  Yoga sessions will usually begin with a standing, breathing exercise.  The simple process of taking in a deep breath and releasing it slowly is incredibly calming and the basis of the breathing exercises that are a vital backbone to the Yoga discipline.  The key to this breathing is that it draws our attention to the one simple action of breathing.  We become very aware of the life-giving benefit of a deep and controlled breathing cycle and can achieve a level of calmness that we often don’t seek out in our everyday lives.  That calmness itself is a stepping-stone to achieving focus.

  The ability to focus is probably the single most important primary skill in a work environment.  There is always so much going on around us and so much that needs to be done that it is difficult to focus on the single task we are doing because of the multitude of things ‘in the back of our mind’.  Regular Yoga teaches techniques to quickly clear the mind of all these other distractions and then focus our mental efforts on a single task.  It is also a great provider of personal discipline.  The self-discipline that is learned from focusing on the body and becoming master of oneself is a key benefit of Yoga.

Benefit Number Three:  Happiness

  Happiness is a goal that is often sacrificed in the short term in exchange for some mystical point in the future when everything will come together and be okay.  Yoga doesn’t move you any closer to that mystical time, but because you develop such a strong sense of self and connection with yourself, it is common to become more content with your current situation.  You will find that the more you practice Yoga the more you will be comfortable spending time alone as well as amongst other people.  Your sense of self-worth will increase, and you will perform better in social situations.  This is perhaps the most important gift that Yoga will give to you.

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Beginner Guide to Online Day Trading

A day trader is, in every sense of the word, a short-term investor or a speculator. Most of the times, he trades on market momentum, disregarding the fundamentals of the stock he is buying or selling.

His trades normally have a short lifespan, with almost all his positions closed out by the end of the trading day. To get started on online day trading, these are the things that you should know.

Choosing an Online Broker.

Brokerage commission is not the only criterion in choosing an online broker. Make sure you choose one with a robust trading platform that can execute your trades promptly. and Scottrade are the premium brokers that offer superfast trade turnaround, and they have very attractive commission rates for hyperactive traders. But if you must choose a low-cost broker, and are the few low-cost brokers that offer decent trade turnaround.

Trading Plan

Before starting any trade, it is essential to put in place a trading plan and follow this plan religiously. A trading plan sets out different criteria and parameters which dictate how trading decisions should be made in all market conditions. With a trading plan, you will know whether to stop the loss and close out the trade, or to ride out this volatile period.


Make it your habit to be disciplined. In day trading, the price of a volatile stock can fluctuate very fast. There will be times when the price will move against you. Cut loss when you’re supposed to in accordance with your trading plan. By the same token, take profit when your trading plan dictates so! And don’t trade for the sake of trading. If there’s no good trading opportunity, stay out of the market.

Keep Your Emotions in Check

Never allow your emotions to rule your trading. Be disciplined, stick to your trading plan, and you will not get emotional during a trade. Trading decisions are often ruled by emotions for a trader who lacks discipline. This leads to bad decisions resulting in trading losses. Fear or greed are two emotions that are detrimental to a day trader.

To summarize, always develop a trading plan or system, and constantly tweak the plan for optimal results until it works. Be disciplined and know when to cut loss and take profit. And finally, get emotions out of the way when you are trading.

I hope you have benefited from this beginner guide to online day trading article. Happy trading!

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5 Tips for Video Blogging

So, you’ve decided to give your fingers a rest and put your best face forward.  You want to get involved in video blogging, and why not, it is a great way to connect with your audience and provide them with interesting information in half the time it would normally take them to read it.  However, when you have decided to make a video blog, there are several things that you must remember.  These tips will allow you to have a video blog that individuals want to see, and it will keep your blog interesting and informative. 

The first of these tips is to make sure that you keep all your video blog entries short.  In most cases you will want to keep your blog in the range of one to three minutes.  If you feel that you have much more to say than in this short time span, simply, create a sequel to your first blog.  But remember, you will not want to keep your blog longer than four minutes, because many people that are watching video blogs are not there for thirty minutes.  They want to be entertained in a short amount of time, and then move on.  Therefore, having more video blog entries is better than having fewer, longer entries. 

The next step is to talk about a story that is interesting.  Even if your story is just about what happened to you at the grocery store today, make sure that you have a beginning, middle and end.  However, again if you feel your story would take longer than the suggested amount of time, either don’t talk about it or make it into a multi-post story.  Many video bloggers will not only write about their story, but they will also include a video that helps describe the story.

A good example of this is say you saw the strangest dog in the entire world today while walking down the street.  Upon seeing it you took a short fifteen second video.  After you have finished writing about the dog, you can include the video to allow your readers to see exactly what you saw.  Videos are much more powerful than photos, because the video places you in a moving scene, instead of a stagnant one. 

Of course, this next tip is something that everyone should follow.  When you are recording your video blog, make sure that there is no background noise.  There is nothing more annoying than hearing a strange noise when the speaker is trying to talk.  Many times, individuals will tune out what you’re trying to say, and will focus on the background noise, or they will simply leave your blog.  Also, make sure that you utilize close-ups instead of longer distanced shots.  This is because when you are talking into a camera, the viewer wants to clearly see who is speaking to them.

It’s the same concept as in real life, you wouldn’t listen to a person who was trying to give you information from across the room, so don’t set up your video blog to where you are distanced from the camera.  A good way to discover if you are at the correct distance from the camera is by looking at the screen and making sure that only your chest and up is visible.  You don’t want to show your whole torso, because you would be too far away for the viewers.

And remember, always use good lighting.  Don’t sit in front of a window that has the sun shining through it, always face your lighting, and never have a backlight for video blogging. 

The Power of Video Blogging

Blogging has become one of the most popular ways to get your viewpoints of society a told to millions of people.  However, this form of self-expression has moved into the 21st century through the means of web video.  It used to be that when a person was to make a blog, they would do so only in text and picture format.  And this format became extremely popular, and even an obsession for some individuals.  However, since the introduction of high-speed Internet, and the wide availability of these broadband connections, millions of people have moved off their keyboards and onto their digital camcorders.

Video blogging is quickly becoming one of the most popular ways to connect and talk with the world around you.  Since video blogging has become so popular, there is even a new term for it, it’s called vlog.  But how can you access these vlogs and, why are they becoming so popular?

To answer the first question, you can find video blogs just about anywhere you look.  However, one of the most popular places to find video blogs is through YouTube, it is here that thousands of individuals update their video blogs every day, allowing you the chance to actually hear them talk about what’s going on in their world, instead of just listening to it.  But, why are video blogs so popular?

One would think that many people wouldn’t want to publish their faces across the Internet for anyone to view, however, this presumed paranoia is nothing more than that, presumed.  Many people find that expressing their feelings about a certain situation, or explaining a solution to a problem, is much easier and faster than simply typing it out.  With video blogs, you can connect with your audience in an extremely intimate way.

Instead of reading cold words on a highly decorated background, you can sit and watch another person discuss something that is very important to them. Did you know that 85% of what we learn and absorb is done through only two senses of our body?  These two senses are our sight and sound.  Thus, when you are watching, or creating, a video blog you can understand and absorb more information than simply reading text alone.

It’s because of the power of video that so many marketers and advertisers have begun to use video instead of texts and sounds.  This can be true by visiting Myspace or any other popular website, because when you visit them you will most likely see an advertisement that isn’t made of solely text, but with a video included.  Because you are watching a video, there is a longer lasting impression of the product in your mind.

However, no matter why you decide to watch or make a video blog, there is one thing that everyone has in common.  We live in a society that is predominately standoffish and distant, however, with the power of web video, and video blogging, individuals can connect with their fellow man, without seeing them. 

5 Ways to Make Money on the Internet with Quality E-books

With so many new online business opportunities available, it can be difficult to sift through the masses. Maybe you’re low on start-up funds. Perhaps you have limited time to work on your business at the start due to your current employment away from home. Maybe you’d like an Internet business that’s easy to operate and won’t require a lot of stress. If any of these apply to your situation, then selling e-books might be right for you.

Thousands of people are earning extra income or enjoying a full-time business in their home by selling e-books. E-books are available everywhere you go online and cover a variety subjects from cooking to home decor to financial tips. They are easy to purchase thanks to online credit card processing, and they are easy to download and read at one’s own convenience. The beauty of an e-book business is you’ll have no inventory to keep up with, no overhead costs to produce the e-book (unless you invest your own time in writing one), and no shipping hassles.

Let’s explore five ways you can make money on the Internet selling e-books.

1. Pick and Choose from E-books that Interest You

The key to success is to build a solid business while selling items that interest you. Do you wish to help others with finances or to help them get out of debt? Sell e-books related to finances. Do you enjoy making crafts? Sell e-books about crafts. Are you a seasoned fisherman? Offer tips about fishing in an e-book. The list goes on and on, and you can make money on the Internet while doing something you love to do!

You can write your own e-books, hire someone to write them, or sign on with a company that provides the rights to sell their e-books. If you use another company’s e-books, this will save you the time and headaches of writing your own. You might also be able to pick and choose which e-books you’d like to sell. Then you will be able to offer only those that interest you.

2. Read the E-books

You should be knowledgeable about the products you sell. If you don’t write your own e-books, be sure to read the ones you offer. This will allow you to answer customer questions, write effective sales presentations, and offer insight about the e-books to your readers. It’s much easier to sell something you believe in, and you’ll also want to make sure that what you are offering is of top quality. If you blindly sell someone else’s e-books without reading them, you can hinder your own ability to make money online.

3. Promote E-books through Various Online Resources

Once you decide on a few e-books to offer, it’s time for promotion. With any new online business, you’ll want to start with a great website and effective sales presentations. Without these, you won’t be able to convert the visitors to paying customers so your promotions will be in vain. If you’re not a writer, hire a professional sales writer to create copy for you. It will be well worth the money later on when you’re selling e-books like hotcakes! If you sell multiple e-books, be sure to set up a presentation for each separate e-book. This will give you more clout in the search engines and help to better target your readers.

After setting up a website, start submitting all your web pages to the major search engines. This can be achieved through an SEO promotion company or you can do it manually yourself. Next, look for pay-per-click opportunities at search engines so you can target your visitors. Pay-per-click enables you to pick and choose the keywords you would like to target. Your website will only show in the search results when those keywords are used. You will pay a small amount per click, but most of your visitors will be targeted with an interest for your products. Other effective forms of advertising online include press releases, e-zine (or newsletter) advertising, classifieds, auctions, and malls.

4. Sell Ad-On Products to Benefit E-book Customers

Once you start selling e-books and build a customer base, it’s time for ad-ons. You might sell products or services within your e-books through affiliate links. Or, you might offer newly released e-books to customers who have bought from you before. If you want to offer additional services besides selling e-books, you might use the e-books to gain a customer base first. Then, you can introduce your main services.

5. Teach Others to Sell E-books

Another way to make money online with e-books is to train others to sell e-books. You can offer commissions or rights to e-books and help others build a new online business. As you help others make money on the Internet, you will reap rewards as well. E-books are easy to sell for your own purposes, and they can be easily passed on for others to sell.

Selling e-books offers many advantages over selling physical products or offering various services. You can save time and money by offering e-books 24/7 and by automating your business to make it work for you. Start searching online today for e-book opportunities so you can reach your goals soon!

Buying Private Label E-book Resell Rights versus Writing Your Own

Today, there are many individuals who are looking to make money anyway that they can. In many cases, these individuals are looking for opportunities that allow them to work at their own pace or be their own boss.  If you are one of those individuals, then it is possible that you may have thought about creating and selling e-books.

The popularity of e-books has rapidly increased over the past few years now.  Many readers are not only finding it convenient to purchase them, but cheaper.  In most cases, e-books are easily to read on the computer, but they can also be printed off. Since more and more consumers are interested in purchasing e-books, there are more individuals who are looking to make money off them. If you can do this, you may find success; however, that success will not come without hard work.

If you have never created an e-book before, it is difficult to understand exactly how much hard work it entails.  To be worth the buy, most e-books are at least one hundred pages long; however, some are longer.  If you are interested in creating an e-book, it may take months for you to finish the book. In addition to hard work, you must also have writing experience and knowledge on the topic that you are writing about. This knowledge and experience aren’t necessarily necessary; however, it is important to the success of your e-book.  It is a fact that customers do not and will not purchase poor quality work. 

In addition to writing a quality e-book, you will also have to find ways to sell it. Together, the two could take a large amount of time. For many individuals, this is a major turn off; however, there are alternatives.  If you are interested in selling e-books, to make a profit, you do not necessarily have to create your own.  Instead you can obtain the private label resell rights to another e-book.  Obtaining the resell rights to an e-book will allow you, in many cases, to assume to the work as your own, edit the content, and pocket the money from each sale of the book.

The biggest downside to obtaining the resell rights to an e-book is the amount of money that you will have to spend.  Depending on who you do business with, the cost of acquiring private label resell rights may be expensive. Since most freelance writers spend a large amount of time creating their e-books, as previously mentioned, they may want to appropriately be compensated. The cost of resell rights to an e-book may be considered a disadvantage to this unique business opportunity, but it can also be considered an advantage.  E-book authors that charge more for their work typically have produced better content; better content is easier to sell.

Whether you make the decision to develop your own e-book or purchase the resell rights to someone else’s, you will still have to find a way to market the e-book to the general public.  This, depending on what approach you take, can take time. That is why many individuals prefer purchasing the resell rights to an e-book that has already been created.  This allows them to spend more time on marketing, which will in turn create sales. 

If you are unsure as to whether you should create your own e-book or obtain the resell rights to another, you are not alone. There are several other individuals wondering the same thing. Private label resell rights are an amazing business opportunity for some, but not for all. There is a great free audio course on private label resell rights at check this out today. All online business opportunities take time to find success.  If you have the financial resources needed to obtain the resell rights to a well written e-book, you are encouraged to give this opportunity a shot.  You are not guaranteed results, but you may be surprised with what you find. 

If you try obtaining the resell rights to an e-book and the experience is not what you had in mind you can begin to create your own e-books or move onto another business opportunity.  Unlike many other business ventures, private label resell rights allow you to get out when you want. After you have paid for the resell rights to an e-book, it is yours to do with. This means that you can stop at any time and move on to something else, if you desire.




Onrain tsūka torihiki no gainen zentai no haigo ni aru gainen o rikai shiyou to suru to, bittokoin wa fukuzatsu ni mieru kanōsei ga arimasu. Tadashi, hoka no hotondo no jūrai no toranzakushonde wa kinō shinai kanōsei no aru bittokointoranzakushon de nani o sagasubeki ka, nani ga hitsuyō ka ga wakaranai baai ni nomi, jitai wa kon’nan ni mieru kanōsei ga arimasu. Gainen zentai o rikai shiyou to shite mondai ga hassei shita baai demo, shinpaishinaide kudasai. Koko ni ikutsu ka no kihon jikō ga arimasu. Bitto koin no zentai-tekina aidea wa onraintoranzakushon ni motodzuite imasuga, rikai o fukameru tame ni butsuri-tekina toranzakushon no kanten kara miru koto ga dekimasu. Ko no yō ni mite kudasai. Anata wa dare ka to nanika o kyōyū shite imasu, koreha okane, kudamono, hon kamo shiremasen, anata wa sorera ni namae o tsukemasu. Soshite, sore wa anata no futaridakedesu. Anata wa sore o mokugeki suru tame ni hokanohito o makikomu hitsuyō wa arimasenshi, shoyū-ken no jōto no ninshō ni tsuite shinpai suru hitsuyō mo arimasen. Zaisan no jōtai wa towa ni aru hito kara betsu no hito ni utsuri, 2-banme no shoyū-sha wa sarani shoyū-ken o 3-banme no shoyū-sha ni jōto suru koto ga dekimasu. Mā, bittokoin mo dōyō ni dōsa shimasu.







Yuiitsu no chigai wa, hotondo no baai, bittokoin wa dejitarumanē de dōsa suru kotodesu. Sate, koko de ikutsu ka no mondai ga hassei shimasu. Jisseikatsu de no kōkan to wa kotonari, dejitaru no mono ni wa kanari no kadai ga tomonaimasu. Korera no 1tsu wa, shoyū-ken no kōkan o kakunin suru hōhō to, mae no shoyū-sha ga sore o hoka no dareka matawa kōnoba de kyōyū shita ka dō ka o handan suru kotodesu. Kore wa nijū shiharai no kenen o hikiokoshimasuga, kore wa mada kaiketsu sa rete inai kadaidesu. Sate, kono mondai ni taikō suru tame ni, dejitaru daichō nado no ikutsu ka no shudan o shiyō suru koto ga dekimasu. Ko no yōna baai, jikkō sa reru torihiki o kantoku suru tame ni daisansha ga kan’yo suru hitsuyō ga arimasu. Tadashi, kore ni wa ketten mo arimasu. Uriage no tsuiseki o tantō suru hito wa, bittokoin o fuyasu koto de purosesu o bōgai suru kanōsei ga arimasu. Kono mondai wa, purosesu zentai o kōkai suru koto de kaihi dekimasu. Ko no yōna daichō wa, subete no konpyūtā de kyōyū dekimasu. Kono purosesu ni wa, toranzakushon no yori anzende kaizen sa reta kanshi to mondai no entiti no kanshi o jitsugen suru no ni yakudatsu ōpunsōsukōdo to rūru no shiyō ga fukuma remasu. Kono kyūsai-saku wa, 3ttsu no jūyōna sokumen no okage de yakunitachimasu. Sorera no 1tsu wa, subete ga paburikkudomein ni aru to iu omona kangaedeari, bittokoin no baai no ryōdearu riyō kanōna pīsu no kazu o daremoga shitte imasu. Daini ni, torihiki no sai, paburikkurejā ga purosesu o kōshin oyobi kenshō suru tame, shoyū-ken no jōto ga kanryō shita koto o daremoga rikai dekimasu. Saigo ni, subete no hito ga motochō o kyōyū shite iru tame, daisansha ga anata no torihiki o kantoku suru hitsuyō wa arimasen. Butsuri-tekina settei no baai to dōyō ni, shoyū-sha wa sore o 2-kai ijō hanbai suru koto wa dekimasen. Bittokoin wa, fukuzatsudearu hitsuyō no nai tanjun’na purosesu o fukumimasu. Rikai suru no ga muzukashī to kanjiru hito mo imasuga, kono yō ni miru to, monogoto ga yori kantande meikaku ni narimasu.

Beginner’s Guide to Coin Collecting

Coin collecting is a hobby that is extremely popular among a lot of people. Whatever the age of the person is, collecting coins has its benefits. In most cases,

coin collections gravitate on two things. For children, they tend to collect coins that look pretty or unusual. However, for adults, their coin collections will tend to gravitate towards the value of it rather than the looks.

People have different ways to acquire them collection. Some will just collect any coin that they stumble upon, while there are people who buy in bulk and eagerly anticipate limited mint edition of coins. Whatever your methods are, there may be some questions that you may want to ask about this hobby.

The first would be about handling the coin collection. As a beginner, you must understand that you should handle the coins as little as possible. The fact that

fingerprints on an uncirculated coin can dramatically cut the value of the coin, you must never handle the coin at all. However, if you do need to handle the

coin do so from the edge and never on the face of the coin.

If you need to lay the coin down, it is important to use a velvet pad if it is available. But if none is available, a soft and clean cloth will do. If you are going to handle coins that are extremely high in value, you must do so with surgical gloves and protective face mask. Most people will also tend to ask how to keep them coin collections clean.

Basically, you don’t really need to clean your coin collection. In fact, you shouldn’t even think about cleaning them at all. Most collectors look for the authenticity of the coin rather than its shiny newness. Even if you wipe the coin clean with clean, soft, and lint-free rag, it will leave hair line scratches on the coin which will greatly reduce its value. So, cleaning a coin collection is never really an option.

Storage is also another question that you may have about coin collecting. Basically, the goal in storing your coin collection is to protect it from temperature

extremes and humidity. Also, you may want to protect your coin collection from dust, dirt, chemicals, and even fingerprints. So dehumidifying equipment will be

needed as well as locking the storage as airtight as possible. In most cases, low value coins are kept in almost any container and can be handled any way you like.

However, when you are dealing with high value coins, you will need to give it extra attention. The goal here is to provide a container that will preserve the

coin’s condition. Make the container as airtight as possible, and the container should also be able to display the coin for you to never need to take out the coin from the container.

Uncirculated coins are very much valued by collectors. However, if you really want a valuable coin collection, go for rare ones if you can afford to have it. Learning about grading coins can also help you to determine the true value of a coin.

So, if you want to start your very own coin collections, you may want to keep these things in mind. With these tips, you can be sure that you will be able to know how to handle your collection and help in appraising its value. Always remember that

this hobby is not just fun, but is also a good investment.

Tokyo Anime

Akihabara is the center of anime culture, manga, and gaming in Japan. There are numerous anime stores, maid cafes, electronic shops; and any self-professed otaku will love it there. The Nakano Broadway shopping mall is crammed with stores that stock anime goods. There are countless specialized branches of the popular Mandarake store. You will get cool items such as costumes, toys, and gadgets. 

Pokemon Stores and Pokemon Centers

They specialize in all kinds of Pokemon items like games, toys, stationery, cards, and exclusive items. They have areas where you can play Pokemon cards. Tokyo has four Pokemon centers such as Skytree Town, Lalaport Tokyo-Bay shopping mall, Ikebukuro’s Sunshine City, and Nihonbashi’s Takashimaya.

DiverCity Tokyo Plaza

This entertainment, dining, and shopping complex was opened in Odaiba in 2012. The attractions featured here are inspired by the Gundam anime series.  In fact, a huge life-size Gundam statue is right outside the building.

Theme Parks

One Piece Tower

This is an indoor amusement park located below Tokyo Tower. It is themed after the One-Piece manga series which is quite popular. It offers a wide variety of games, shows, and other fascinating attractions.  The Sanrio Puroland theme park mainly targets younger children. It features the most famous creation by Sanrio—Hello Kitty. There are live shows, theaters, boat rides, and Hello Kitty’s house. Namja Town is another indoor theme park by the creator of Pacman, Namco. Namja town was renovated recently and now has various attractions and small rides. 

In the Ghibli Museum, you will find characters from Spirited Away, Princess Mononoke, My Neighbor Totoro, and other Ghibli Studios films. There are also short exclusive films and special animation exhibits. 

Fujiko F. Fujio Museum

Originally called the Doraemon Museum, this museum showcases the work of Fujiko F. Fujio, a manga artist, who is the creator of the Doraemon series. In there you will find Doraemon’s original artwork, life sized characters, and a short film.

Suginami Animation Museum is found in the Suginami City Ward—a major center for anime production in Japan. It offers hands-on activities like a dubbing booth as well as a digital workshop for a chance to make your own creations.

Toei Animation Museum is nothing more than a large single exhibition room filled with numerous displays. However, it is one of the leading anime movies and series producers. Among its creations are Sailor Moon and Dragon Ball. 

Tokyo Anime Center was once located in Akihabara but was moved to the DNP Plaza basement close to the Ichigaya Station. The center hosts temporary rotating exhibitions, an event space, and a small shop for anime goods. 



AnimeJapan was originally called the Tokyo International Anime Fair. It is the largest anime exhibition in the world. It is held at Tokyo Big Sight in the spring of every year. 

A person holding a colorful umbrella

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Comiket (Comic Market)

This is the largest comic convention in the world. It is held twice every year, in summer and in winter. 

Tips for Outsourcing eBooks

eBooks are quickly becoming very popular in the Internet niche marketing industry. eBooks are essentially books which are available in software formats and distributed either through email or Internet downloads. There is usually a fee associated with downloading an eBook. These fees are usually considerably lower than the fees associated with purchasing a hardcopy of a similar book. This is because eBooks are typically less expensive to publish.

With so many Internet niche marketers relying on eBooks as part of their marketing campaigns, it is certainly understandable that many are beginning to outsource the writing of eBooks to professional writers. As eBooks become more popular and the level of competition rises, it is necessary for the quality of the eBooks to increase as well making it essential to outsource these projects to qualified candidates. However, many may have concerns about the process of outsourcing. This article addresses these concerns by providing tips for outsourcing eBooks with success.

Select the Right Person for the Job

The first step in outsourcing an eBook with a great deal of success is taking the screening process seriously and finding the most qualified candidate to write the eBook. When searching for a candidate to write an eBook, place a detailed advertisement specifying the exact project requirements including subject, length, milestone goals and ultimate deadline. This is important because it ensures candidates are aware of all the requirements before they apply.

You may still receive countless applications from those who are unqualified but that is where carefully screening the applicants becomes imperative. In reviewing applications pay attention to the quality of samples provided, the amount of relevant work completed and the ability of the candidate to following the instructions in the advertisement. All these elements will make simplify the screening process by enabling you to eliminate those who do not follow instructions or provide quality samples of relevance to the project.

Next narrow the list of candidates to a few who are most qualified and interview these candidates further. eBooks can most often be written by candidates from remote locations so there is usually not a need for in person interviews especially if there is a geographical distance between the candidate and the buyer. Phone interviews and online interviews are enough substitutes. After the interviews determine which, if any, of the candidates is most qualified and offer the opportunity to complete the project to this candidate. If none of the candidates seem just right it might be necessary to continue looking and screening new candidates.

Be Involved in Developing the Outline

Once a professional writer is accepted for a project, it is time to start developing an outline for the project, if this has not already been done. The marketer should be heavily involved in doing this so they can ensure the eBooks includes all the information they believe is necessary. Asking the writer to contribute ideas to the outline is appropriate but it is accepted that the client will provide most of these details rather than relying on the writer to do so.

Maintain Final Editing Rights

Finally, the client should always maintain final editing rights in any eBooks they commission. They may work closely with the writer during the process of writing the book but upon completion the eBooks should be reviewed and edited carefully. This process should include editing the eBooks for grammar and sentence structure, flow and style, accuracy of content and any other elements deemed of importance by the client. The client is the one ultimately responsible for the information contained in the eBooks and he should do his best to ensure the eBooks he provides is not only interesting and informative but also accurate. This is especially important in situations where medical issues are discussed.

Another important reason to maintain finally editing rights is to ensure all stipulations by advertisers are met accordingly. Many eBooks are sponsored by individuals or companies who expect their website, products or services to be recommended in the eBook in exchange for their sponsorship. For this reason, care should be taken to review the final version of the eBook to ensure the sponsors needs are met and that direct competitors are not touted as being superior to the sponsor.

The Best WordPress Tools

The best thing about WordPress is the ease of integrating several features and custom tools without having any web development skills. Over the years the increased interest in affiliate marketing has led several programmers to develop new tools, which are intended in supporting you in operating your affiliate site with ease.

Good Analytics is a new tool that has been developed to help you as an affiliate marketer. Thus, with the increased competition in the market, it has made it essential to keep track of your traffic; the source of your traffic being the critical factor, not forgetting the reader’s engagement behaviors while they are on your site.

Thirsty-Affiliates is among the best plugins you could have as a marketer. Affiliate links tend to look long and very uninspiring for most. For the savvy web users, they are able to identify it on your site and quickly ignore it, so you will not gain any clicks from such visitors. Therefore, the main feature in this plugin is to help you in cloaking your promotional links with those that are more clean and direct for your visitors.

If you are looking to achieve early success on your site, then you need to have an appropriate theme on your site. Many developers have been able to develop various themes, some of which are mainly affiliate inspired. But the best themes for affiliate sites on WordPress are Price Compare Themes that is developed by Theme Forest.

The reason being, shoppers want the ability of quickly comparing prices from a variety of sources. So this theme will allow you to offer this to your visitors. Constant contact is among the best email-marketing solutions you can find in the market. Though you don’t have to use this particular service that has been suggested but having an email solution is very important. It will help to sustain access to your Amazon affiliate site.

Amazon Product in-a-Post plugin has been designed to make your life easy in searching, pulling or even sourcing for the promotions that are on your blog or just landing page. Thus, you are able to quickly place the high-quality products on Amazon on banners with a matching description and essential information such as pricing.

It is all about making your life just a little more comfortable. Woo Commerce Amazon Affiliates has also become another popular product listing plugin that was specifically designed for Amazon affiliate sites. Its primary action on your site is a little similar to most plugins, as it will quickly help you source the various Amazon listings without having to visit the site. But this plugin has gone above and beyond as it enables you to do bulk searches with either keywords or the product category. 

How to Write Blog Articles That Will Bring Traffic

Today, you will see that a lot of people write blogs and own a blogging website. Some write blogs that concentrates on their personal life and experiences, others write blogs to market a product or service, while there are also people who write them original fictional short stories. Whatever it is, you will see that blogging brings fame. That is, if you do it right.

So, how can you write good blogs that will make you an internet sensation? Whatever you write about, it will have some potential in becoming famous. All you need to do is right it good. So, here are some tips that can help you write better blogs and one that people will surely want to read and recommend to other people.

First, you must remember that catching the attention of your readers is very important. What this means is that the title and the first two or three sentences of your blog should be enough to catch your readers attention and encourage them to read the rest of the blogs.

Most of the blogs that has great potential and great content fails because of this. The writer didn’t give it a good title and a good introduction, which made the reader closes the blog and look for other blogs that is good to read.

Although you won’t be able to please all the people reading your blogs, you must consider the fact that you must at least catch the attention that has something in common with you.

So, writing good introductions and giving your blog a good title is crucial for your blogs to become a success and be considered a good read. Aside from the title and the introduction, the body is also, very important. What you write in your title

should correspond or relate to the introduction and title you give your blog. Stay on the subject. Also, it is very important that everything should be easy to read and understand.

After you finished writing a blog, reread it and imagine that you are the reader. Also, check for grammatical errors and spelling mistakes. It is also a good idea to get your friends to read it before you post the blog in your blogging website. This will give you an unbiased judge on what your blog is like.

As a reader, if you didn’t like the blog that you wrote and that you found that it is quite complicated to understand redo, it or just edit it so that it will be a bit better. This is the art of making blogs. It may sound simple, but it really isn’t. You need to work hard in your writing skills and you also must take a lot of criticism about how you write.

Remember these tips and you can be sure that you will be able to write a good blog. If the first blog, you wrote didn’t become an internet sensation, then just leave it be and write another blog about anything that your heart desires. Improve on your writing and you can be sure that you will get better and better at writing blogs.

Remember these tips and you will one day become famous as a blog writer. Always remember that blogging brigs fame. All you need to do is make a good blog that people will want to read and one that people will want to make their friends read.

How to Make Money with Your Blog

Everyone needs some extra cash. People often say that blogging is an easy way of making money. But how do you do this? Once you have set up the blog, what next? Your blog is not a get-rich-quick scheme. But it is a good way of making money. Read on to find out how. Monetize with CPM or CPC Ads

Placing ads on a website is the most common mode of making money for bloggers. Most ads fall into one of two popular categories: CPC/PPC ads: pay per click or cost per click ads are in the form of banners placed on your sidebar or in your content. You get paid every time a visitor clicks on the ad. CPM ads: these are “cost per 1000 impressions” ads.

You are paid a fixed amount depending on the number of people that view the ad. Google AdSense is the most well-known program for these kinds of ads. Others include, Infolinks, and Chitika.

When it comes to placing ads, you don’t have to work with advertising programs. If your blog receives a lot of traffic, advertisers will start reaching out to you asking you to sell ads. You can also find the advertisers yourself. This is better than using networks because you get to cut out the middleman. 

Affiliate Links in Content

This is how affiliate marketing works:

A seller or advertiser wants to sell a product.

The two of you agree that if you help them sell it, you will get a commission. 

You are given a unique link (it will be used to track your affiliate code).

You then place the link on your site. 

If someone clicks through and buys the product, you get a percentage of the full price. 

Amazon Associates is a good place to start.

Sell Digital Products

Selling your own digital products is also another great idea. The products can include:







Online courses


Before you get into this, make sure your readers need the product. Don’t just assume. It is wise to know and understand your visitors first, then make a product that solves their problem. You can make money by selling physical products as well. This involves using your blog for content marketing and driving readers to your actual business website. 

Sell anything from manufactured products to handmade goods. Another way of making money is by selling memberships to special areas of your website. If you have a career blog, for instance, you could charge a monthly fee for readers to access your job board. 

The exclusive membership must be something valuable. Don’t sell a service that they can get for free elsewhere. If your blog is popular and the content is great, people will recognize you as a guru in the niche (whatever you are blogging on). People may then start approaching you for opportunities in the industry. 

Wie man mit einem Podcast Geld verdient

In der Vergangenheit sagten viele, es sei unmöglich, mit dem Internet Geld zu verdienen. Heute verdienen jedoch unzählige Menschen ihren Lebensunterhalt damit. Gleiches gilt auch für Podcasting. Wieder gibt es Menschen, deren Haupteinnahmequelle Podcasting ist. Obwohl Sie viele Berichte dazu finden können, ziehen es einige Podcaster vor, die Berichte über ihre Einnahmen nicht zu veröffentlichen. Geld verdienen mit einem Podcast funktioniert so ziemlich wie jedes andere Internet-Objekt. Erstellen Sie Inhalte, die Menschen anziehen, und monetarisieren Sie diesen Datenverkehr. Mehr Verkehr bedeutet mehr Möglichkeiten, Geld zu verdienen. Patenschaften sind die häufigste Methode im Podcasting. Es ist auch einfacher zu implementieren als die anderen. Grundsätzlich geht es darum, von einem Werbetreibenden bezahlt zu werden, um seinen Service oder sein Produkt in seiner Show zu erwähnen. Sponsoren suchen immer nach einem Podcast mit Verkehr. Wenn der Verkehr nischenorientiert ist, desto besser. Werbetreibende werden sich mit Ihnen in Verbindung setzen, wenn Sie die Nummern haben. Blubrry und Libsyn bieten ihren Kunden Werbemöglichkeiten. Andere wie Midroll bringen Sie auch mit Werbetreibenden in Kontakt. Beachten Sie, dass Podcast-Hosts Ihre Einnahmen senken. Werbetreibende haben erkannt, dass Podcasting schnell wächst. Sie können Ihre Gewinne maximieren, indem Sie den Mittelsmann ausschalten.

Dies bedeutet, dass Sie selbst Sponsoren finden. Was ist deine Nische? Welche Dienstleistungen oder Produkte würden zum Produkt passen? Eine weitere gute Sache bei der Suche nach Werbetreibenden ist die Tatsache, dass Sie den Tarif aushandeln können. Anstatt die Integrität Ihrer Show zu beeinträchtigen und die Sachen anderer Leute zu verkaufen, fördern Sie Ihre eigene Arbeit. Es gibt zwei Hauptgründe, warum dies eine gute Idee ist. Erstens behalten Sie den größten Teil der Gewinne und erhalten nicht nur einen kleinen Prozentsatz. Zweitens genießen Sie freien Verkehr. Diese Methode des Geldverdienens kann sehr lukrativ sein. Zu den Produkten, die Sie verkaufen können, gehören Videoserien, Kurse und eBooks. Die Dienstleistungen umfassen Design, Schreiben und Coaching. Wenn Sie sich für ein Produkt oder eine Dienstleistung entschieden haben, leiten Sie den Datenverkehr mithilfe Ihres Podcasts zum Verkaufstrichter. Sie können sich auch fördern. Wenn Sie an Ihr Fachwissen in der Nische glauben und sich als Guru fördern, ist es einfacher, Auftritte zu bekommen, Ihre Bücher zu verkaufen oder Coaching-Kunden zu gewinnen. Der beste Weg, sich selbst zu bewerben, besteht darin, Ihre Fähigkeiten und Ihr Wissen mit den Zuhörern zu teilen. Ihre Glaubwürdigkeit wächst mit Ihrem Publikum. Mit Premium-Inhalten können Ihre Hörer zu zahlenden Kunden werden. Bieten Sie Dinge wie einen Abonnementdienst, den Katalog vergangener Episoden, exklusive Episoden oder eine kostenpflichtige Community an. Ein gutes Beispiel ist die Aufnahme einer Episode, das kostenlose Abspielen einer Portion und das Bezahlen des Restes durch die Hörer. Die Leute können sehr großzügig sein. Wenn Ihre Show den Hörern einen Mehrwert bietet, haben sie kein Problem damit, nur zu spenden, um Wertschätzung zu zeigen. Fragen Sie nett und seien Sie sympathisch. Wenn Sie sich dazu entschließen, machen Sie den Spendenprozess schnell und einfach.


過去には、インターネットでお金を稼ぐことは不可能だと多くの人が言っていました。しかし、今日では、無数の人々がそれを通じて生計を立てています。ポッドキャスティングについても同じことが言えました。繰り返しになりますが、主な収入源がポッドキャスティングである人々がいます。これに関する多くのレポートを見つけることができますが、一部のポッドキャスターは彼らの収益のレポートを公開したくないです。ポッドキャストを使用してお金を稼ぐことは、他のインターネットプロパティとほとんど同じように機能します。人々を引き付けるコンテンツを作成し、そのトラフィックを収益化します。より多くのトラフィックは、現金を稼ぐためのより多くの機会につながります。スポンサーシップはポッドキャスティングで最も一般的な方法です。また、他のものよりも実装が簡単です。基本的に、それは彼らのショーで彼らのサービスまたは製品に言及するために広告主によって支払われることを含みます。スポンサーは常にトラフィックのあるポッドキャストを探します。トラフィックがニッチに焦点を合わせている場合は、より良いです。あなたが番号を持っているならば、広告主はあなたと連絡を取ります。 BlubrryとLibsynは、クライアントに広告の機会を提供します。 Midrollのような他の人もあなたに広告主と連絡を取ります。ポッドキャストホストはあなたの収入の削減を得ることに注意してください。広告主は、ポッドキャスティングが急速に成長していることに気づきました。あなたは仲介者を排除することによってあなたの利益を最大化することを選ぶことができます。


How to Make Money with a Podcast

In the past, many said that it was impossible to make money with the internet. Today, however, countless people are now earning their living through it. The same was also said about podcasting. Again, there are people whose main source of income is podcasting.

While you can find many reports on this, some podcasters prefer not to publish the reports of their earnings. Making money using a podcast works pretty much like any other internet property. Make content that attracts people then monetize that traffic. More traffic translates to more opportunities for making cash.

Sponsorships is the most common method in podcasting. It is also easier to implement than the others. Basically, it involves getting paid by an advertiser to mention their service or product on their show. Sponsors always look for a podcast with traffic. If the traffic is niche-focused, the better. Advertisers will get in touch with you if you have the numbers. Blubrry and Libsyn offer their clients opportunities for advertising. Others like Midroll also get you in touch with advertisers. Note that podcast hosts get a cut of your revenue.

Advertisers have realized that podcasting is growing fast. You can choose to maximize your profits by cutting out the middleman. This means finding sponsors on your own. What is your niche? What services or products would suit the product?  One other good thing about finding advertisers on your own is the fact that you get to negotiate the rate. Instead of diluting your show’s integrity selling other people’s stuff, promote your own work.

There are two main reasons why this is a good idea. First, you will keep most of the profits and not just get a small percentage. Second, you will enjoy free traffic. This money-making method can be quite lucrative. Among the products you can sell include video series, courses, and eBooks. Services include design, writing, and coaching. Once you have decided on a product or service, drive traffic to the sales funnel using your podcast. You can promote yourself as well.

If you believe in your expertise in the niche and promote yourself as a guru, it will be easier to get gigs, sell your books, or get coaching clients. The best way to advertise yourself is by sharing your skills and knowledge with listeners. Your credibility will grow with your audience. Premium content can see your listeners become paying customers. Offer things such as a subscription service, past episodes’ catalog, exclusive episodes, or a paid community.

A good example is recording an episode, playing a portion for free, then having listeners pay for the rest of it. People can be very generous. If your show adds value to listeners, they will have no problem donating just to show appreciation. Ask nicely and be likable. When you decide to do this, make the donation process quick and easy.

Fashion Apps to monetize with

If you like to keep up with the constantly changing fashion trends without cluttering your wardrobe and spending all of your paycheck, try out these awesome apps for selling your clothes. Out with the old and in with the new as they say. You might even find some new bargains for yourself to spend your newfound cash on.

The thing that stands out about Depop is how it’s designed so similar to Instagram which most of us are familiar with. All you need to do to start selling is upload a photo, set up your personal store and start buying and selling straight away. You can even follow friends, like, and comment on photos uploaded. It takes 10% commission as well as a 2.4% PayPal transaction fee.

Vinted has no service fees for sellers and items are selling literally every minute. There aren’t any seller’s fees on this app and buyers pay a 5% service fee as well as another $0.75 fee. Like other apps you simply need to add a photo and description and you can start selling. As well as buying and selling clothes on here you can negotiate prices, and even trade. As well as a forum feature where you can chat about anything from clothes to relationships and printable free shipping labels.

Tradesy takes a big 14.90% commission from buyers, but in return it provides a free shipping kit as well as really nice packaging and helps to make your images look their best to boost the chances of your product selling. If you’re looking for designer bargains then this app is definitely worth downloading with their authenticity guarantee for designer items you’re guaranteed not to pick up a knock off’ s by accident. They even offer free returns for buyers, which includes free shipping and keep the returns so the seller hasn’t lost their sale. The buyer will get Tradesy credit to use on their next buy. Tradesy even offers buy now and pay via monthly installments with the finance company they use.

Poshmark has a shipping fee of $5.95 which you get priority shipping for and then pays you within 3 days of the buyer receiving the item. You can either transfer the money from your account to your bank account or you can request a check in the mail. This app lets you browse beautiful daily show rooms displaying everything for sale. You can even follow your favorite sellers and fill your feed with clothes you love and people you love to buy them from. The app is fast to use and buying or making a sale are both really simple processes.

how to Monetize Photos

Did you know that the photos you take on your phone can earn you money? Whether you do it professionally or just for fun, there is a gigantic market for mobile photography. In this era of smartphones, you can take a photo of anything or anywhere and sell it on numerous platforms available. Amazing, right? Take a look at some of the best available services and apps.

Snapwire is an app available for both android and iOS users. It enables users to upload and sell their photos to a wide pool of buyers. Simple as it may sound, you can make up to $100 from a single photo. One advantage of Snapwire is that when you build your credibility, buyers are able to send you special requests.

Foap is also an app very similar to Snapwire. However, it is simpler to use. You just have to upload a photo and make it available for purchase. You can make an average of $5 per photo on Foap, which is not bad. The good news is that you can sell the same photo to different buyers, as many as possible.

Snapcape is a great place to start if you love detailed instructions and guidelines. You do not sell photos randomly. Rather, you sell them in categories. Depending on your particular photo you can send it under the category as maybe nature, pets or hotels. But first, your photo has to go through the administrators so they can refine it and find a specific buyer for it.

Clashot is the most popular app in this category. It is, therefore, the best since more people have a chance to view and buy your work. You can earn from $0.50 to $80 for a photo. Just upload your photo to the site and let potential buyers review.

Stockimo’s reputation speaks for itself. Stockimo has paid over $150M to photographers ever since it was founded. It is simple to use compared to Snapcape. The rules are simple; upload your best photo and allow the administrators to review and process it. When they approve the photo goes directly into the market. If you want, you can retain your photo’s copyright. You will still be able to receive commission once it is purchased.

Shutterstock is much more like Stockimo but with added advantages. You can choose to keep a copyright of your photo and still earn up to 30% of its price. The amount of money you earn for each download rises with time. A single photo can also earn you more money depending on its size.

These amazing apps could not have come at a better time. They all differ in one way or the other. But they have one thing in common; they are here to add more meaning to mobile photography. They have introduced an easier way to earn revenue with mobile photography. It is also an amazing way to share your photography skills and see what others are doing.

Starting a Dog Walking Business? What You Should Know

If you love dogs, then a dog walking business may seem like the perfect job for you. However, there are few important factors you should consider before diving in.

Managing a Dog Walking Business 

Although most of your working time will be spent walking dogs, this niche is not different from other kinds of businesses. You will oversee marketing, advertising, banking, invoices, and a ton of other tasks. You will have many responsibilities ranging from returning emails and calls to maintaining your website and filing taxes. You may hire someone to help you with some of the tasks or you may do them all by yourself—either way, they must be done. Running a business comes with a magnitude of responsibilities but it has many advantages too. For instance, you will be doing what you love.


If you are sure you can handle the non-dog-walking parts of this business, the next step is extensive research. This will help you know whether your business has a chance of being successful. Is the demand for a dog walker there in your area? What about the competition? With too much competition and very little demand, you stand no chance. Talk to those who work in pet grooming and pet stores. You can also get this information from classified ads. 


Even though you love dogs and have a way with them, you need the experience and skill of controlling dogs. Either take a dog training course or volunteer at a local shelter. This will help you interact with different types of dogs and prepare you properly for the business. You will also gain confidence. 

Legal Considerations

Do not fall into the temptation of skipping these steps until your business grows.  This small mistake can attract huge penalties and fines. Select a business entity: your dog walking business can be a sole proprietor (many dog walkers opt for this) but choosing a different form of business may be wise. You will be responsible for any damages done to or by the dogs and you may, therefore, want to think about choosing a limited liability corporation. Licensing issues: a license specifically for dog walking may not be necessary in many jurisdictions but a general business license is required. Investigate what is required in your location.

Local rules and regulations: if you are going to be a professional dog walker, make sure you know about all the local regulations that could affect you. Dog walking contract: a written contract is a must-have between your clients and your business. The contact should outline your responsibilities, terms of compensation, among other things. To be on the safe side, make it as specific as possible.


Whenever the dogs are in your care, you are responsible for them. Buy good insurance coverage to safeguard yourself.

Franchise Opportunities

Buying a franchise is a great alternative. While it may be expensive, the benefits are many.

Cash and Credit Apps To make Money

These days everybody has smart phones, since they require apps to do almost anything, we all spend a lot of our time on them. So how awesome would it be if you could make money just from using them?

Obviously you’re not going to get rich just by doing this, but it will top up your bank balance. It doesn’t seem like a bad deal when you consider all you have to do is watch a short video, take a survey or even do nothing other than download the app and you can earn cash from your mobile apps.

Here is a list of apps that pay to get you started…

InboxDollars is a cool and free app that pays you for watching videos; the brand wants as many people as possible to see their advertisements. You can get cash credited to your account every time you watch one short video. Another bonus to this app is you get $5 just for signing up.

On Letgo you can sell your old clothes. Whether it’s a prom dress, a wedding dress, or you simply have too many pairs of jeans. Declutter your wardrobe and see what you can find.

How often do you get receipts? Just from taking pictures of them you can earn cash back with Ibotta.

All you do is…

1) Sign up to Ibotta

2) The offers change every week so browse through offers in your local area before you go shopping and take a snap of your receipt.

Once your earnings have reached $20 you can get your payment via PayPal or Venmo. Ibotta even gives users a $10 sign up bonus on your first receipt.

Out of all the beneficial survey apps out there, Ipsos I-say mobile app is one of the best. The Better Business Bureau has rated them A+.

Even though you won’t qualify for every survey, the ones you do qualify for can earn you $5 for a 30 minute survey.

When you think of ride sharing you don’t usually associate it with earning an income, but you should. With the demand for ride sharing going up, driving with Lyft app offers a way of using this demand to earn cash.

All you need to be eligible is 21 or older, have at least one year’s driving experience  and own a car that was made anytime from 2007 onwards as well as a background check. I’m not just talking about earning pocket money here either; some drivers are earning $750 per week income from this app.

SavvyConnect is where you can earn money from doing literally nothing other than downloading the app. Just install the software onto your device and it does the rest for you. While you’re using your device as usual and browsing the internet, SavvyConnect gets to work by including you in behavioral market research without being intrusive.

You can sign up multiple devices and get paid $5 per month per device (That’s $180 per year for just 3 devices.

This software is currently compatible with the following devices;

1) IPhones or iPads running IOS 8.0 or higher.

2) Android devices running OS4.1 and newer.

3) Computers running Windows XP SP3 or higher.

It is not available on a Macbook.

Stash is an investment app, but one that literally anyone can use, it’s that easy to invest!

All you do is download the app and then set up an account with the same email address, and then choose from a set of simple portfolios. It does the rest for you, and you’re seeing a bonus within days.

With everything available to download these days most of us have tons of cd’s and video games that are no longer used, and are cluttering up our house. Not to mention old hardware like game consoles, tablets, and cell phones.

With the Declutter app you can sell all of the above without having to deal with individual listings and buyers. All you do is scan each barcode with your cell phone and Declutter makes you an offer, you can sell all your stuff in bulk and they email you shipping labels to cover the cost. You pack your item in any box and stick the label on and shipping is free.

Acorns are a smartphone app that helps you invest your pocket change.  Acorns will connect to your bank account and debit card to save your digital change. By connecting to the app and forgetting about it, you could save loads and you even get $10 for signing up.

With modern banking so simple, it’s easy to forget exactly what recurring payments you have going out, Netflix, charity donations, magazine subscriptions and memberships are just some of them.

Trim is an app that helps you keep all of these under control so you know exactly where your money’s going every month.

It connects to your bank account and phone number, and then analyses your transaction history for recurring payments. When it finds one you get sent a text and cancels any subscriptions you don’t want to keep.

Uber Eats is awesome app lets you earn money by driving food to hungry people and you only have to meet these requirements;

1) Be at least 19 years old and have one year’s experience driving with a license, insurance and vehicle registration

2) Be able to lift 30lbs (pounds)

You set your own hours and earn when you want. You can even deliver on bicycles.

25 Passive Money Making Techniques While Using Your Smartphone

People spend a lot of time on their phones. So, while on it, why not make a few bucks? You only need a smartphone, internet, and determination.

Start by Shopping

With the following apps, you can make money shopping.


This app helps you earn some cash buying things that you want to buy. Open the app and look for your favorite brand’s offers then go to the store and buy the things you selected. Remember to take a photo of your receipt.


Shopkick does not offer direct cash back. Instead, you earn points that are redeemable as gift cards.

Receipt Hog

Take photos of your receipts and earn “coins” which you can later turn into gift cards or cash.


This one involves mystery shopping—going to restaurants or stores and giving feedback.


This one’s a mystery shopping app too. You follow a checklist and share the necessary information in the app.


This app makes sure that you do not overpay for purchases. You get refunds if you do.


Whenever you shop, you earn points on this app which you can redeem for gift cards.

Try Groups and Opinion Surveys


This one pays you to test out apps. You could earn $10 for a 20-minute session. 


On this platform, you undertake available projects such as creating reports then getting paid in return.

Nielsen Digital Voice

You get points if you allow Nielsen to track your phone usage. The points increase your chances of winning a prize.


Get points for watching TV using your phone. The points can be redeemed for prizes, gift cards and prepaid debit cards.

Music Xray

Get paid to listen to music and sharing information about your favorite songs and bands.

Sell Stuff from Your Phone


Take photos on your phone and sell them on Foap. 


If you want to free up some space in your closet, sell some of your clothes on Poshmark.


This one works like Poshmark but you are not limited to just clothes. You can sell anything.


On Decluttr, you can sell electronics and pretty much anything else.


Sell back old textbooks if you have the ISBN.

Side Hustle from Your Phone

Uber (and Lyft)

Rideshare services can help you make a decent amount depending on when you drive.

Amazon Flex

Deliver for Amazon Flex and earn $18 – $25 an hour. The app allows you to set your schedule. 

Working Solutions

Help with customer care services and earn from $9 working from home. It works best of you have a regular schedule.


If you are knowledgeable in a certain field, answer customers questions on JustAnswer for money.


Rent out an empty room or apartment.


If you are a great handyman, get paid to do small projects.


Get paid to perform small simple gigs around your town.


Earn money delivering food from restaurants whenever you are free.

3 Ways to Boost Your Affiliate Commissions Overnight

The ideal world of affiliate marketing does not require having your own website, dealing with customers, refunds, product development and maintenance. This is one of the easiest ways of launching into an online business and earning more profits.

Assuming you are already into an affiliate program, what would be the next thing you would want to do? Double, or even triple, your commissions, right? How do you do that?

Here are some powerful tips on how to boost your affiliate program commissions overnight.

1. Know the best program and products to promote. Obviously, you would want to promote a program that will enable you to achieve the greatest profits in the shortest possible time.

There are several factors to consider in selecting such a program. Choose the ones that have a generous commission structure. Have products that fit in with your target audience. And that has a solid track record of paying their affiliate easily and on time. If you cannot seem to increase your investments, dump that program and keep looking for better ones.

There are thousands of affiliate programs online which gives you the reason to be picky. You may want to select the best to avoid losing your advertising dollars.

Write free reports or short eBooks to distribute from your site. There is a great possibility that you are competing with other affiliates that are promoting the same program. If you start writing short report related to the product you are promoting, you will be able to distinguish yourself from the other affiliates.

In the reports, provide some valuable information for free. If possible, add some recommendations about the products. With eBooks, you get credibility. Customers will see that in you and they will be enticed to try out what you are offering.

2. Collect and save the email addresses of those who download your free eBooks. It is a known fact that people do not make a purchase on the first solicitation. You may want to send out your message more than six times to make a sale.

This is the simple reason why you should collect the contact information of those who downloaded your reports and eBooks. You can make follow-ups on these contacts to remind them to make a purchase from you.

Get the contact information of a prospect before sending them to the vendors website. Keep in mind that you are providing free advertisement for the product owners. You get paid only when you make a sale. If you send prospects directly to the vendors, chances are they would be lost to you forever.

But when you get their names, you can always send other marketing messages to them to be able to earn an ongoing commission instead of a one-time sale only.

Publish an online newsletter or Ezine. It is always best to recommend a product to someone you know than to sell to a stranger. This is the purpose behind publishing your own newsletter. This also allows you to develop a relationship based on trust with your subscribers.

This strategy is a delicate balance between providing useful information with a sales pitch. If you continue to write informative editorials you will be able to build a sense of reciprocity in your readers that may lead them to support, you by buying your products.

3. Ask for higher than normal commission from merchants. If you are already successful with a promotion, you should try and approach the merchant and negotiate a percentage commission for your sales.

If the merchant is smart, he or she will likely grant your request rather than lose an asset in you. Keep in mind that you are a zero-risk investment to your merchant; so do not be shy about requesting for addition in your commissions. Just try to be reasonable about it.

Write strong pay Per Click ads. PPC search engine is the most effective means of advertising online. As an affiliate, you can make a small income just by managing PPC campaigns such as Google AdWords and Overture. Then you should try and monitor them to see which ads more effective and which ones are to dispose of.

Try out these strategies and see the difference it can make to your commission checks in the shortest of time.

How to Make Over $500,000 Flipping Domain Names

Flipping domain names is a great way to make money. Successful domain flippers will even tell you that making $100,000 is not that big of a deal. According to Flippa reports, domain names have been sold for millions.

Look at how much these domain names sold for: – $49.7 million – $35.6 million – $35 million – $30.18 million – $18 million

Domains in the secondary market are sold for an average of thousands of dollars. You already know that you can make money flipping domains, but how exactly do you do it? 

Every year, 47,450,000 domains are newly registered while 42,625,000 more are sold to new owners. That means that you have 90,075,000 potential customers who are ready to spend money on domain names. Given this number, you can easily get to $10,000 per month working no more than 10 hours a week. 

One thing is for sure, though, making money is never easy and in some cases, it is neither cheap nor profitable. 

Here are your other options. You will notice that they are not always that good. 

Running Google Ads: you probably do not know this but every time a visitor clicks on your ads, you pay $0.5 – $5. Google can also shut you down anytime.

Building websites: this is only sensible if you know how to build websites; otherwise, you must hire someone to do it which costs money. 

Affiliate marketing: you can make a significant amount of money with this method, but specialized knowledge is required. Without lots of practice or training, you will barely make money. You will also have to spend some money. 

The above alternatives are not that bad. However, you will need to put a lot of money and time initially to start seeing results. If you are looking for a better way, domain flipping is worth a try.

What is domain flipping?

Flipping, in simple terms, is buying a product at a low price then reselling at a higher price.  

The first thing you need to get started in this business is a marketplace or platform. The number one marketplace is Flippa. Thousands of buyers and sellers visit this site daily. It, therefore, offers you a better opportunity to make the kind of money that you want. Other great sites are Brand Bucket, Domain Market and Sedo.

What Does a Great Domain Entail?

It should be easy to remember when a domain is easy to remember, the task of promoting and marketing is made easier.

Find keyword-rich domains: the domain should have keywords that match the business.

Buy brandable domains: this requires creativity. In addition to being keyword-rich, it helps if a domain name sounds like a brand.

Only go for .com domain extensions: this is the most common and ideal domain extension.

If you are buying an expired domain, make sure it is a high-quality one.

Remember, you can buy and sell as many domain names as you want at the same time.

Affiliate Marketing for Entrepreneurs

Bloggers and social media influencers with followers are the world’s best affiliate marketers today. In an affiliate-marketing contract, an entrepreneur arranges with a blogger or social media personality who is interested in representing their product. The affiliate marketer is responsible for promoting the service or product through banners, testimonials, links, or any other content.

In this particular contract, the entrepreneur does not pay the marketer before they start promoting the product. Rather the affiliate marketer earns a commission when a transaction is made through their link. This is a win for both parties since the affiliate gets to earn commission and the entrepreneur enjoys more customers and increased sales. The following points are important to an entrepreneur considering the affiliate marketing program. Affiliate marketing is more efficient when the entrepreneur has an online store.

However, you may end up losing your valuable affiliates in the case of technical glitches which lead to lost sales and consequently, lost revenue for the affiliate. To be able to properly integrate your store with the affiliate program, you should consider third-party affiliate programs like Rakuten, ShareASale, Avantlink, and CJ Affiliate.

With the affiliate-marketing program, you pay the affiliate a percentage of every sale generated from their site or activity. Facilitating traffic for a store is simple and sometimes it only involves placing a hyperlink strategically in a relevant article. This being the case, affiliates with numerous of followers will have products they can represent. You, therefore, need to set a reasonable commission per conversion.

It is advisable to only use affiliate marketing for products that range from $60 to $100. This way, many sales can be generated at a reasonable commission. With lower priced products, the commission will be too low, and an affiliate may decline the agreement. There are very many successful affiliates and they have all worked hard to build the influence they now have.

All affiliates have their specific niches.  You should look for and enter into an agreement with the ones operating within your industry. If your specialty is high-end culinary hardware then look for affiliates who are industry consultants, restaurant owners, foodies and other related fields. They can share links and information about your products on their social media pages, blogs, and websites.

An entrepreneur must be willing to enter into a significant affiliate-marketer contract if they want to work with big affiliate marketers. Without proper disclosure, the reputation of both the affiliate and the entrepreneur can be damaged. It also breaks the Federal Trade Commission rules.

An entrepreneur should always check the affiliate’s articles and reviews especially those that talk about their products. More importantly, the advertiser must make sure an advertising service is providing training and guidance to its bloggers and ensure they make substantial and truthful statements. 

Affiliate marketing, if used correctly, can be of great benefit to an entrepreneur. With most people spending their time on blogs and social media, this is a great way attract views. Ensure that you set up an online store and be prepared for technical glitches. Make use of the right affiliates and always ensure transparency and honesty. Finally, remember to set an appropriate price so that both of you may benefit.

Passive Income Ideas You Can Use to Build Real Wealth

So many people research to make passive income and yet, a lot of them cannot find the answers they seek. The streams of passive income require a great deal of nurturing initially and upfront investment. After a while, they can maintain themselves and you will have consistent revenue. 

Here are a few ideas.

Dividend stocks: A lot of research is required on your side and a significant amount of capital. 

Peer to peer lending: This involves lending money to people who do not qualify for other loans.

Rental properties: investment in rental properties can be done in so many ways and it is a great way to have a steady monthly income.

Money market funds and high yield savings accounts: this is best if you want your money to work for you, but you do not want to think about it too much.

CD ladders: this involves buying certificates of deposits (CDs) in specific increments from banks.

Annuities: pay for an insurance product (annuity) then get monthly payments for life.

Automatically invest in the stock market: through a robo-advisor people who are not sure about the process of picking stocks can passively invest in the stock market.

Invest in a real estate investment trust (REIT): REITs are investment vehicles which hold your property within them.

Refinance your mortgage: if you refinance your mortgage, you can free up significant income.

Reduce or pay off debt: reducing your debt or paying it off completely helps you build your income. 

Invest in a business: being a silent partner in your business of choice can generate passive income for you.

Ideas That Need Initial Time Investment

Sell an eBook online: self-publishing is huge today and easy.  

Create a course on Udemy or Teachable: if you are an expert in any field, you can create a video course and let other Udemy/Teachable users buy it.

Sell stock photos: submit your best photography work on stock photo sites and earn commission whenever someone buys your photo.

Licensing music: this works like stock photos.

Create an app: hire a programmer and let them turn your idea into an app.

Affiliate marketing: this is ideal if you have a website or blog.

Network marketing: investigate Avon, Young Living Oils, etc.

Design T-shirts: you can start with Amazon Merch or Café Press.

Sell digital files on Etsy: this is perfect for talented designers.

Semi-Passive Small Business Ideas

Airbnb: list up apartments, houses, etc. and earn some money.

Start a car wash business.

Rent out your car (just like listing your place for rent).

Vending machines: you can have them all over town.

Storage rentals: these are very low maintenance.

Own a laundromat.

Easy Passive Income Ideas

Cashback reward cards: make sure your credit card offers these.

Cashback sites: when shopping online, use a cashback site.

Get paid to use an app: look for apps that pay you to install and use them.

Save money on your electric bill (you can use the Truebill app).

5 Bitcoin Rivals That Are Rapidly on the Rise

Bitcoin prices peaked at an all-time high of over $11,800 Sunday in one of the most dramatic value surges of any asset in living memory.

Today’s prevailing digital currency was worth just $12 in 2013, and has at times been dismissed as an internet fad favored by nefarious wheelers and dealers trying to circumvent taxes or the law.

Like it, love it, or confused by it, bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have become impossible to ignore. Chicago’s two main exchanges, the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and the Chicago Board Options Exchange have announced plans to launch bitcoin futures contracts, and the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission has already given them the green light. Nasdaq may be jumping into the bitcoin futures race as early as second quarter next year, Bloomberg reports. Bitcoin advocates are hoping the exchanges can help stabilize the highly volatile currency.


Cryptocurrencies provide a digital alternative to government-issued fiat currencies and can be used in online marketplaces to buy everything from a cupcakes to plane tickets to cyber pets. While bitcoin remains both inconveniently slow (transactions can take upwards of 10 minutes) and risky (buyers cannot set a price until the day of the transaction, leading to wide fluctuations), some say it’s already safer than certain foreign currencies, such as Venezuela’s bolívar.

That’s because Bitcoin is protected from fraud and counterfeit by technology called blockchain — an encrypted ledger system that records transactions accepted by consensus of asset managers. The Atlantic‘s Derek Thompson summarized bitcoin as a “frankly terrible currency built on top of a potential transformative technology,” one that could have the power to change our conventional understanding of money.


Others are more concerned by possible financial risks than potential benefits. Investing pioneer and Vanguard Group Inc. founder Jack Bogle reportedly advised avoiding bitcoin and “like the plague,” joining other investors in similar criticism. “There is nothing to support Bitcoin except the hope that you will sell it to someone for more than you paid for it,” Bogle said, according to Bloomberg.

Ethereum (ETH)

Like bitcoin, ether “tokens” are underwritten by a blockchain network, in this case called Ethereum. Pioneered by a former Bitcoin Monthly writer, Ethereum was launched in 2014 with an aim to pursue further decentralization. It differs from bitcoin primarily in application: Ethereum is an open, decentralized software platform where ether is used to pay for transaction fees and services. As of Monday, it was trading at a rate of more than $472 with a market cap of about $45.5 billion.

Ripple (XRP)

Launched in California by former bitcoin developers in 2012, Ripple is considered by some industry experts to be bitcoin’s logical successor, according to the New York Times. It’s already catching on among banks as a worldwide payment and remittance system. Unlike bitcoin, Ripple is not just a currency but a system through which any currency can be transferred or traded. The Times advised to think of it as a Western Union without the heavy fees. As of Monday, Ripple was trading at a rate of more than $0.25 with a market cap of around $9.82 billion.



IOTA, with the tagline “Next Generation Blockchain,” is one of the newest contenders in the increasingly crowded cryptocurrency field. Unlike its rivals, IOTA is not reliant on an underlying blockchain network, but uses an alternative, distributive ledger system called Tangle. Partnered with Microsoft, Fujitsu and several other companies, IOTA considers itself the first marketplace powered by the Internet of Things. As of Monday, it was trading at a rate of $2.43 with a market cap of around $6.75 billion.

Dash (DASH)

Dash ran through a ringer of names before settling its current epithet. There was XCoin (XCO), the original, in January 2014. Then there was the dubious-sounding Darkcoin. Then finally, there was “Digital Cash” and its portmanteau Dash. Dash differs from its competitors with a focus on privacy and anonymizing transactions, and by operating on a two-tired system: coin “miners” are are overseen by “masternodes,” a decentralized, volunteer network that signs the transactions. As of Monday, it was trading at a rate of $777 with a market cap of around $6 billion.


Litecoin (LTC)

The brainchild of a former Google employee, Litecoin has been called the silver to bitcoin’s gold, that is, a slightly cheaper, more readily available option. Litecoin was launched in 2011, as a faster alternative to bitcoin, processing a bloc every 2.5 minutesas opposed to every 10, according to Ars Technica. Instead of focusing on hefty transactions, Litecoin targets merchants who need a large volume of small transactions to be processed relatively quickly. As of Monday, it was trading at a rate of $101 with a market cap of around $5.47 billion.


Bitcoin mining marketplace NiceHash loses tens of millions of dollars following hack

Bitcoin is flying sky high after crossing the $14,000 mark for the first time, but one projected aimed at helping mine coins is short of at least $60 million after it was hacked.

NiceHash, a marketplace that matches those with spare computing to power to miners wanting to create new coins, has confirmed that it has hit by attackers who snatched bitcoin. The company has paused operations for 24 hours while it figures out exactly how much was swiped and how it was taken. Coindesk reports that users are circulating a wallet from the company that contains 4,736.42 BTC, worth more than $60 million based on today’s price.

The company is recommending that its users change their passwords — both on NiceHash and other services — following the breach.


Recent security issues in the crypto space have centered around Ethereum rather than bitcoin. A vulnerability in Parity’s wallet found in November caused $150 million in ETH to be frozen, while another Parity issue led to 150,000 ETH (then worth around $30 million) being stolen in July.


Bitcoin mining marketplace NiceHash loses tens of millions of dollars following hack

Analysts say iPhone sales could shrink by 17% if Apple doesn’t make a drastic change to its business (AAPL)

The fact that more people are hanging onto older iPhones for longer is good news for customers’ wallets, but bad news for Apple’s future stock price.

One of the most respected Apple analysts out there, Bernstein’s Toni Sacconaghi, has said that the iPhone is at risk of turning into the iPad, and that Apple needs to move fast to head off that problem.

The iPad has experienced major shrinkage this year partly because people are hanging onto the devices they bought for longer. Even in the third quarter, when Apple finally saw a boost in iPad sales numbers, revenue from tablets was only up 2% because people were buying the cheaper versions.

According to Sacconaghi, annual iPhone sales might follow the same trend and tank by as much as 17%. That’s extremely bad news for Apple, given the iPhone alone accounted for 62% of the company’s revenue and profits this year.

Here’s what Sacconaghi wrote, emphasis ours:

“Investors worry that the smartphone market is becoming increasingly saturated, especially at the high end, where Apple competes, and that over time, the market for iPhones will largely become a replacement market. Moreover, over time, we believe that successive generations of iPhones will likely become less differentiated (i.e. new iPhones will become “good enough” to forestall further upgrades), resulting in the elongation of replacement cycles. Such a development could materially pressure iPhone revenues; to a lesser degree, Apple has already faced these challenges in its iPad business, where annual revenues declined 37% from 2014 to 2017. We note that if the average iPhone replacement cycle were to eventually lengthen from 2.5 years (roughly where we are today) to 3 years, annual iPhone annual unit sales would ultimately fall by 17%.

The good news for Apple’s stock price is that it’s already sitting on one of the solutions: The iPhone Upgrade Programme. This essentially lets people buy the newest iPhones from Apple SIM-free with 20 monthly payments. If a new iPhone comes out, customers can upgrade halfway through the programme to the new phone.

The upshot of this model is that customers get a new iPhone every year and Apple gets guaranteed, ongoing payments that increase every year if people decided to swap to a new, more expensive phone.

Bernstein wants Apple to make more of this and become a subscription business. Sacconaghi calculated that the upgrade programme accounts for a “low single digit percentage” of annual iPhone sales.

If Apple can pull this off, Bernstein believes the firm’s stock will be “re-rated” higher, essentially meaning investors will be willing to pay more for its shares. Currently, Apple’s price to earnings (P/E) ratio is 18x. P/E ratios for software rivals are bigger, with Amazon at 289x, Alphabet at 33x and Netflix at 184x.

Here’s what he said:

“We have long believed that Apple’s transactional business model is a big reason why the stock trades where it does, and that the company should look to migrate to a subscription model going forward. As consumers become increasingly accustomed to paying monthly subscriptions, especially for key “tech utilities” (e.g. Netflix, Spotify, Microsoft Office 365), we could imagine Apple implementing a subscription plan of its own. In such a plan, customers could lease iPhones, iPads, Macs, and services such as iCloud and Apple Music for one “low” monthly fee, and have their hardware upgraded after a certain number of years. By moving to a subscription model, Apple would be able to lock in recurring revenue streams and freeze the length of replacement cycles, likely leading to a material re-rating of its stock’s multiple.”


A Step-By-Step Guide To Becoming An Influencer In Your Industry

Influencers are the people others come to for advice. They have a genuine, loyal following because they add real value to their industries.

Influencers have insight and actionable information, and because of that they attract the eye of even major brands.

In short: Influencers have power.

It’s possible that someday soon you will have an amazing service, product or idea that will change your industry forever — or maybe you already do. Perhaps you already have a startup for that industry-changing service, product or idea and a crack team to make it work. What else could you possibly need?

Influence. Because without it, your amazing work just won’t get the buzz you need to really succeed.

This is the fear all entrepreneurs have, and no wonder. We have all faced it from time to time.

To get the attention your business needs, you need to become an authority, an influencer in your industry. Fortunately, this is within your reach.

Too often we believe that influencers are born, not made, and that we can’t learn how to do what they do. Wrong!

Influencers do not pop up overnight; they work their butts off to get where they are. Just ask them.

This practical guide to becoming an influencer in your industry will show you how to grow your following, build credibility, and develop your identity as an authority in your field.

It will cover educating yourself, creating compelling content, harnessing the power of social media, and engaging with your community. And it will share these tools and tactics with you step by step.

What Is Influence? What Makes Someone An Authority?

There is an endless stream of information out there, and everyone is looking for content that is actionable, credible, and powerful. Most of us are on the seeking side of things — we consume the best information we can find.

But authorities create that high-quality information. They consume, but they also create. As you produce more and more valuable content, you grow your influence.

Influencers engage in other authority-building activities as they create their information: They nurture useful, productive relationships and networks, and they continue to improve themselves and their work. Becoming an influencer is an ongoing process.

This matters because it dictates the necessity of engaging at a high level continually. As new consumers of your content find you, they will research you, what you do, and who you know as they watch your social media profiles and activities.

Social media is important today, and this won’t change. It provides a way for people to decide how valuable your work is, and how much they should trust you.

Influence is supported by metrics. Your numbers of followers, engagement levels of those followers and who they are, and your place among other influencers are things people can look at as they evaluate you. For all of these reasons, there are proven, concrete steps you can take to become a top influencer.


5 Ways to Build Business Credit When You’re Self-Employed

It’s hard to beat the freedoms of being self-employed. But with the joys of being your own boss and creating your own schedule come some trade-offs. One trade-off can be unsteady income.

Even if you are very careful about your finances, it’s possible that a great business opportunity will present itself that you simply don’t have the cash for. If you’ve built good business credit and have access to a business credit card or line of credit, it will be easier to jump on those opportunities.

Building good business credit can seem like a mysterious process if you’ve never done it before. Here’s how to get started. (See also: Best Credit Cards for Small Businesses)

1. Establish strong personal credit first

The vast majority of small business credit cards require you to personally guarantee the charges you make — even if the card is issued in your business’s name. That means if the business fails, you will still be responsible for the debt.

Because you ultimately will be the one who pays the balance, expect lenders to pay attention to your personal credit when you seek business credit. Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, when you apply for business credit, a lender has the right to look at your personal credit profile to evaluate whether to issue it to you.

To make sure you have a full array of options when it comes to business credit cards, make sure you are paying your personal cards on time and not maxing them out. A high credit utilization ratio — that is, using a large percentage of the credit available to you — can cause your credit score to drop. (See also: 5 Ways to Improve Your Credit Score Fast)

2. Run your business like a business

If you want to get business credit in the future, keep good financial records by using accounting software such as FreshBooks, QuickBooks or Xero. Using software designed for this is much easier than using spreadsheets and reduces the chance that you’ll make mistakes.

Many accounting software programs have a “reports” function that allows you to create a profit and loss (P&L) statement with the click of a button. A P&L statement shows all of your sales and expenses for a set period, such as a year. To get a business line of credit with your bank, you will very likely have to produce one of these statements, so this feature is a huge timesaver. (See also: 5 Free Accounting Tools for Freelancers)

3. Keep your business finances separate

Before you try to open a line of credit with your bank or apply for business credit cards, open a business checking account. This will show lenders you are serious about running your business.

Maintaining a business checking account also gives you an opportunity to develop a relationship with your banker. If money is flowing into your account regularly, you are maintaining more than the minimum balance, and you are handling the account responsibly (i.e., the checks you write are clearing), chances are that your banker will begin to offer you products such as a business credit card and possibly a line of credit.

Don’t use your business checking account to pay your personal bills. You need to establish separation between your business and personal finances and keep accurate records.

To open a business checking account, you will generally need a federal Employer Identification Number (EIN). You can apply for one online through the IRS.

4. Use your business credit card strategically

If you don’t have strong personal credit, you may still be able to get a business credit card. There are some higher-interest cards designed for people with a “fair” credit score.

While paying higher interest isn’t ideal, if you use the card responsibly, you’ll be able to improve your credit profile and should qualify for better deals in the future.


Once you get a business credit card, use it regularly to make business purchases and pay the bill on time — ideally in full — to build a history of using it responsibly. Don’t use the card for personal spending. If you connect this card to your accounting software, it will be easy to enter your business expenses, saving you a lot of time.

5. Monitor your business credit report

How do you know if you are actually building good business credit once you make these efforts? Use the free searches on Experian, Equifax, or D&B to see if your business’s credit is being tracked. (You will have to pay to get the actual report).

There’s a different system for business credit card scores than for personal ones. Business credit scores go from 0 or 1 to 100. Each of the major credit bureaus uses its own formula, but factors such as how long you’ve been in business, your credit utilization, and the lines of credit you have opened in the last six months are likely to affect your score.

If you find your business isn’t on the radar screen of the major credit bureaus and you have already gotten your EIN, try applying for a free D-U-N-S number with Dun & Bradstreet, which should get the ball rolling.

All of these steps take some work and can’t be done overnight, so start early — ideally a few months before you think you’ll need business credit. It’ll pay off. Having strong business credit is a valuable asset that you’ll greatly appreciate if you ever get into a cash crunch.


Bitcoin hits new high above $11,500 as the Winklevoss twins become the first bitcoin billionaires

Bitcoin is back to its winning ways, posting a record high on Sunday and making billionaires of the twins Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss.

Bitcoin suffered big price falls last week but recovered over the weekend. The digital currency hit a new high of $11,826.76 a coin on Sunday, according to data from Markets Insider, surpassing its previous high of about $11,300.

The digital currency retraced some of its gains Sunday after hitting the peak. As of 8.05 a.m. GMT (3.05 a.m. ET) on Monday, bitcoin was up 2.79% against the dollar to $11,554.83.bitcoinMarkets Insider

Bitcoin has attracted interest from both ordinary investors and institutions. Last week it emerged that the exchange operator Nasdaq could follow its rival CME Group in launching bitcoin future contracts next year, a sign that professional investors are increasingly taking the asset seriously.

Investors are being drawn in by the promise of big gains. The Telegraph reported over the weekend that the Winklevoss twins, known for suing Mark Zuckerberg saying he stole the idea for Facebook from them, had become the world’s first bitcoin billionaires.

The two former Olympic rowers disclosed in 2013 that they owned $11 million worth of bitcoin. The cryptocurrency’s meteoric rise since then — it has risen by over 1,000% this year — has propelled that investment to over $1 billion, according to The Telegraph. The Winklevoss twins are long-time bitcoin bulls and are also investors in the crypto exchange Gemini.

Robinhood stock trading comes to web with finance news for its 3M users

You know what’s cool? Not just being worth over $1 billion, but saving your customers $1 billion. Today, zero-fee stock trading app Robinhood announced that it’s hit 3 million registered accounts, $100 billion transacted in its app, and $1 billion in saved commissions considering competitors like E*Trade cost $7 per trade.

And now, Robinhood is getting a web version where beyond swapping stocks, you can research them with its financial news feed, check analyst buy-sell ratings, and compare them with its playlist-style Collections.

Long-standing competitors like Scottrade might cram a ton of data onto a web page, but that doesn’t necessarily teach you financial literacy. That’s something Robinhood users need as half of them are first-time traders. Co-founder Baiju Bhatt tells me “If the goal is to actually make people learn about investing, get better at it, be informed, I think our approach is the best one out there.”

Robinhood’s $110 million raise at a $1.3 billion valuation from April has clearly been put to swift use. But the web launch actually harkens back to Robinhood’s original mission. Back in 2013 before it raised its seed round with the intention of letting you trade stocks for free, Robinhood wanted to be a crowdsourced investment advice platform. With the new features like the ability to see the average price Robinhood users paid for a stock and whether its popular on the app, Robinhood is starting back down the path to social fintech.


Robinhood stock trading comes to web with finance news for its 3M users

5 Top Cannabis Stocks to Consider Buying Now

Cannabis, grass, marijuana, pot, weed. Whatever you want to call it, many cannabis industry stocks are red-hot. Several companies are racing to serve the medical cannabis markets in countries across the world. Some are targeting the recreational market. Others are developing cannabinoid drugs. And that presents opportunities for investors. 

The bad news, though, is that many cannabis stocks aren’t good alternatives. They’re either ultra-risky penny stocks or in danger of negative consequences from a crackdown by the U.S. government, which still outlaws the use and sale of cannabis products. However, some stocks are worthy of investors’ attention. Here’s why Aurora Cannabis (NASDAQOTH:ACBFF)Canopy Growth (NASDAQOTH:TWMJF)GW Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:GWPH)Insys Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:INSY), and MedReleaf (NASDAQOTH:MEDFF) are top cannabis stocks to consider buying now.

Aurora Cannabis

Aurora Cannabis ranks as one of the biggest suppliers of medical cannabis in Canada. The company also is moving forward to provide medical cannabis in Australia and Germany, with an eye toward further international expansion.

It’s been a fantastic year for Aurora Cannabis stock so far in 2017. Shares have soared over 260% year to date. This momentum has been fueled by three key factors. First, the medical cannabis market in Canada has grown tremendously. In its last quarter, Aurora reported year-over-year revenue growth of 39%. Second, like its peers, Aurora eagerly anticipates legalization of recreational marijuana in Canada next year. This presents a huge additional market for the company. 

Another major reason behind Aurora’s phenomenal rise is the company’s acquisition strategy. Aurora recently launched an attempt to acquire smaller marijuana grower CanniMed Therapeutics. If the deal goes through, the combined companies would have five cultivation facilities (and more coming) with the capacity to produce 130,000 kilograms of cannabis each year. 

Canopy Growth

It’s a similar story for Canopy Growth. The company currently stands as the No. 1 medical cannabis provider in Canada in revenue and market cap. Canopy Growth has also aggressively expanded internationally, with subsidiaries or partners in Australia, Brazil, Chile, Denmark, Germany, Jamaica, and Spain. 

Like Aurora Cannabis, Canopy Growth has enjoyed a tremendous year. The stock is up nearly 120% so far in 2017. Strong sales growth of medical cannabis was a big reason for this impressive performance. Canopy reported its revenue in the last quarter more than doubled that of the prior-year period. The company is poised for even greater growth with the legalization of the recreational use of marijuana in Canada in 2018.

Major alcoholic beverage maker Constellation Brands announced in October that it was buying a 9.9% stake in Canopy Growth for $245 million. Constellation is also partnering with Canopy to market a cannabis-infused beer. This endorsement by a huge company gives Canopy Growth a stamp of approval that no other cannabis stock currently has, which should make Canopy Growth especially intriguing to investors.  


GW Pharmaceuticals

GW Pharmaceuticals ranks as the largest pure-play cannabis stock, with a market cap of over $3 billion. The biotech focuses on development of cannabinoids and recently completed its submission for U.S. regulatory approval of cannabidiol drug Epidiolex. 

It’s been a topsy-turvy year for GW Pharmaceuticals stock. The biotech’s share price has swung up and down by double-digit percentages several times, but is now up over 10% for the year. Some of this volatility stemmed from the potential for another drug to become a threat to Epidiolex. 

Still, the chances of approval for Epidiolex in the treatment of Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS) appear to be pretty good. GW conducted three late-stage clinical studies, all of which showed solid efficacy for the company’s lead product. And although there are some drug-drug interactions with Epidiolex, I suspect that they will probably be addressed on the product label rather than holding up approval.

Assuming it does win approval, Epidiolex should succeed commercially. It’s hard to accurately predict peak annual sales for the drug, but somewhere in the ballpark of $800 million to $1 billion doesn’t seem out of the question. Based on an optimistic view of the biotech’s prospects, GW Pharmaceuticals stock should have plenty of room to go higher.

Insys Pharmaceuticals

Insys Pharmaceuticals is something of an oddball in this group of cannabis stocks. Like GW Pharmaceuticals, Insys is a biotech with a focus on cannabinoid drugs. However, unlike all of the others on the list, Insys stock has tanked in 2017. Shares are down more than 40% year to date.

What’s behind this huge plunge — and why should investors still consider Insys? First, the bad news. Sales for Insys’ current lead product, Subsys, continue to fall in the midst of national concerns about the opioid epidemic. Insys’ founder (who is no longer with the company) was arrested on charges related to past marketing practices for Subsys. And Insys is itself the target of federal and state probes into its marketing of Subsys.

Better news could be in store for Insys, though. The stock appears to have hit bottom. Even a big third-quarter earnings miss didn’t affect the share price much. Insys expects Subsys sales to stabilize. The company recently launched cannabinoid drug Syndros and thinks sales will slowly grow until they reach around $200 million annually. Insys is also working to settle the investigations into its past marketing practices and appears to have gotten its house in order. With a market cap of less than $400 million, any positive developments could lead to a huge rebound for this beaten-down cannabis stock. 


MedReleaf is yet another Canadian medical cannabis stock to keep your eye on. It has the second-highest sales and the fourth-highest market cap among the medical cannabis stocks. MedReleaf stock is also one of the newest on the market, with the company conducting its initial public offering in June. 

While MedReleaf stock’s performance so far in 2017 lags behind Aurora Cannabis and Canopy Growth, year-to-date gains of nearly 90% aren’t bad at all. The company’s sales growth hasn’t been at the level of its peers, in part due to reliance on sales of dried cannabis, which isn’t as lucrative as cannabidiol (CBD) products. MedReleaf has taken steps to shift more toward CBD, though. 

All of the positive dynamics going for Aurora and Canopy Growth also apply to MedReleaf. Medical cannabis markets are growing across the world. Canadian legalization of recreational cannabis should be just around the corner. And if other large beverage companies decide to follow Constellation Brands’ lead, MedReleaf could be an attractive partner. 

Consider carefully

I think all five of these cannabis stocks should beat the market in 2018. However, definitely consider carefully before jumping aboard any of them.

All three of the Canadian cannabis stocks are priced at astronomical levels based on their current sales. While they should enjoy tremendous growth, any delays in legalization of recreational marijuana in Canada would hurt in a major way.

The two biotechs, GW Pharmaceuticals and Insys, face different risks. It’s possible that Epidiolex fails to win approval. If that happens, GW stock will no doubt crater. Insys could be required to pay a much larger amount to settle with the U.S. Department of Justice than expected. There’s also a chance that Subsys sales won’t stabilize.

Investing in anything comes down to risks versus rewards. The potential rewards of buying these cannabis stocks are high, in my view. But so are the risks.

Newly released! 10 stocks we like better than Canopy Growth Corporation
On December 1, investing geniuses David and Tom Gardner revealed what they believe are the ten best stocks for investors to buy right now… and Canopy Growth Corporation wasn’t one of them! That’s right — they think these 10 stocks are even better buys.


NAB to axe 4,000 jobs in shift towards automation

National Australia Bank said it would axe 4,000 jobs — about 12 per cent of its workforce — over the next three years in an effort to automate and simplify its business using new technologies.
The Australian lender announced the job cuts on Thursday as it reported a cash profit after tax of A$6.6bn ($5.1bn) for the 2016-17 financial year — a rise of 2.5 per cent on the previous year. The performance was boosted by growth in home and business lending and stronger markets and treasury income. “As we simplify, we automate processes and things move to digital channels, we will need less people and as that happens we estimate that there will be 6,000 less people needed in three years’ time,” said Andrew Thorburn, NAB chief executive. “Having said that, we’re hiring 2,000 people with different capabilities: data scientists, AI, robotics, automation, technology people, digital people, so the net [loss] will be 4,000 and that’s just a reshaping that’s going to happen.” Shares in NAB fell as much as 3 per cent to A$31.81 in early trading on an otherwise flat ASX. NAB’s job cuts follow a global pattern as lenders introduce new technologies such as artificial intelligence to replace customer support staff and digital channels that eliminate in-branch jobs. In September Vikram Pandit, who ran Citigroup from 2007 to 2012, joined a chorus of industry leaders predicting disruption when he forecast 30 per cent of banking jobs could disappear over the next five years because of technology.
NAB said it would invest an extra A$1.5bn in new technologies and products to the end of 2020 in a bid to boost growth, particularly at its business and private banking units. Mr Thorburn said digitisation, fintech and new global banking players were entering NAB’s market and it needed to adapt, particularly in the face of an uncertain global economy. “I’d rather face into this environment from a position of strength — and we’re in that position today — rather than drift into it or someone else forces us to do it,” he said. NAB said the outlook for Australia and New Zealand economies remained supportive of solid growth. “Some slowing in the housing cycle and a moderation in housing credit is expected, but downside is likely to be limited by strong population growth and low unemployment,” said the bank. The net reduction in employee numbers will cost the bank A$500m-A$800m in the first half of 2018. NAB said it was targeting cost savings of more than A$1bn by the end of 2020. NAB’s net interest margin fell 3 basis points in the 12 months to end September, compared with the same period a year earlier. Net operating revenues grew 2.7 per cent to A$17.89bn. UBS said the result was “solid” but that the bank had flagged higher than expected costs in coming years.


Volvo wants to sell cars like Verizon sells phones

Volvo is getting into the subscription business. At Wednesday’s Los Angeles Auto Show, the Swedish automaker announced details of its new Care By Volvo program, an all-inclusive, no-haggle subscription service that starts online. 

Care By Volvo’s subscription plan kicks off with the 2019 XC40 compact SUV that’s due in dealers this spring, and pricing starts at $600 a month (exclusive of tax and registration costs). That may sound steep for a small premium crossover, but that dollar figure includes insurance, telematics-based concierge service, roadside assist and all maintenance, right down to allowances for wheel and tire damage, not to mention wear items like tires, wipers and brakes. 

Program terms include a 24-month duration and 15,000 miles per year, and just like you can with some mobile phone agreements, customers will be given an option to change vehicles and sign on to a new 24-month term after 12 months. There is no down payment.

With motorists’ increasing acceptance of carsharing, subscription-based car models are being viewed by many automakers as both an opportunity and an inevitability. But thus far, only a handful of brands, such as Cadillac, have dipped their toes in the pool (and even then, only in select major cities). Care By Volvo is rolling out nationally.


You won’t be able to select any Volvo you want in the showroom if you sign on for Care By Volvo, at least not initially. The program is starting with this pair of XC40 T5 all-wheel drive models, with the better-equipped R-Design running an extra $100/month:

  • XC40 T5 AWD Momentum with Premium Package, Vision Package, heated front seats and heated steering wheel, panoramic roof and 19-inch black diamond cut wheels
  • XC40 T5 AWD R-Design with Premium Package, Vision Package, Advanced Package, heated front seats and heated steering wheel, panoramic roof, Harman Kardon Premium Sound and 20-inch, 5 double spoke matte diamond cut wheels
Care By Volvo subscriptions run in renewable 24-month terms.


It may seem odd to get insurance through a car company, but it’s actually quite common in other countries. With Care By Volvo, customers will be covered by a Liberty Mutual Insurance policy offering $250,000 bodily injury protection per person and $500,000 bodily injury coverage per accident. A $500 deductible applies to both comprehensive and collision coverage.


At least for the time being, Care By Volvo does not promise access to different vehicles from the company’s portfolio. One key difference compared to Book By Cadillac, General Motors’ premium subscription service, is that the Detroit automaker’s program offers access to virtually any vehicle in the brand’s portfolio for one price — in this case, a much costlier $1,800 a month.

If a subscription model isn’t your thing, Volvo’s XC40 will also be available for traditional outright purchase or lease, beginning at $35,200 for a T5 AWD Momentum model. A less expensive front-drive T4 model will come online in summer 2018, starting at $33,200.


IRS Wins Bitcoin Fight, Gets Access to 14,000 Coinbase Accounts

Bitcoin speculators aren’t the only ones who stand to cash in from the crypto-currency boom. Uncle Sam is now set to collect back taxes from thousands of customers of a digital currency exchange who failed to report bitcoin transactions.

In a ruling on Tuesday, a federal court judge ordered San Francisco-based Coinbase to comply with a summons that requires it to identify 14,355 accounts, which have accounted for nearly 9 million transactions.

The order, which covers transactions between 2013 and 2015, comes after a prolonged court fight that began when the IRS demanded that Coinbase provide detailed personal information for more than a million customer accounts.

The IRS subsequently limited its demand to ask only for accounts that conducted bitcoin transactions—either exchanging bitcoin for dollars, or sending or receiving coins from another bitcoin user—worth $20,000 or more.

Coinbase claimed that even the narrower IRS request represented an illegal imposition, but the court disagreed.

“The summons as narrowed by the Court serves the IRS’s legitimate purpose of investigating Coinbase account holders who may not have paid federal taxes on their virtual currency profits,” wrote U.S. District Judge Jacqueline Corley.

In response to an inquiry from Fortune about whether it would appeal, Coinbase pointed to a blog post in which it stated the company was pleased that it had drastically reduced the scope of the original IRS demand.

“Although we are disappointed not to be able to entirely defeat the summons, we are proud to fight for our customers and in the result we were able to achieve as a small company against a large government agency,” said the blog post, which did not address the appeal question.

The investigation began after the IRS searched its electronic filings and discovered that only 802 people had declared bitcoin-related losses or gains in 2015.

During the three years covered by the IRS demand, the price of bitcoin soared from $13 to over $1,100. The currency this week broke the $11,000 for the first time.

The IRS dispute with Coinbase is likely to be just the opening salvo in a prolonged effort by the federal government to ensure digital currency speculators pay their taxes. While Tuesday’s ruling may lead the agency to demand back taxes from thousands of people, it only covers a three-year period and is limited to bitcoin.

While bitcoin is the most popular digital currency, there are dozens of others in a market that is now worth over $200 billion dollars. Moreover, Coinbase is just one of numerous exchanges where people buy bitcoin and other currencies.

The IRS, however, has so far not announced investigations into other exchanges. Meanwhile, the creation of the split-off currency, Bitcoin Cash (which is to be delivered to every Coinbase customer in January) is likely to trigger another round of tax complications.

In a small victory for Coinbase, the judge refused to order the exchange to provide certain personal information, including passport information or third-party communications. You can read the full ruling for yourself here (h/t The Verge).


You could make $70,000 right out of college with a degree in marijuana studies

The University of Northern Michigan is offering a new degree this year: medicinal plant chemistry. And apparently it pays.

“All of our graduates are going to be qualified to be analysts in a lab setting,” Brandon Canfield, the associate professor of analytical chemistry who started the program, tells CNBC Make It. That could lead to a position that pays $70,000 right out of school, he adds.

But first students have to actually graduate. According to one of the programs earliest participants, Northern Michigan sophomore Alex Roth, who has 400-level classes like Biostatics and Gas and Liquid Chromatography to get through, that’s not as simple as it sounds.


“When they hear what my major is, there are a lot of people who say, ‘Wow, cool, dude. You’re going to get a degree growing marijuana,'” Roth said, the Detroit Free Press reported. “It’s not an easy degree at all.”

The program doesn’t just focus on horticulture. It combines courses on chemistry, biology, marketing and financial management.

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In fact, students won’t even be growing marijuana, Canfield says, though that is the first question everyone asks him.

There are a couple specific tracks offered within the major. One has a bio-analytical focus. Those students could go on to graduate programs, says Canfield, and they’ll be strong job candidates because they will have completed an independent study.

The other track is for aspiring entrepreneurs. For those students, it’s not clear what the future might hold. To offer an example of what they could do, Canfield suggests they might open a growing operation with a lab in-house.

“We have a small sample set of students right now, so we’re not sure where the greater interest is going to be,” he says, “but some students are very enthusiastic about the business track.”

He came up with the idea for the program in 2016 after attending an American Chemistry Society meeting and hearing members of the cannabis chemistry subdivision speak.

“One of the recurring themes involved the lack of preparedness or the lack of competency in a lot of the existing analytical labs,” he explains. “The speakers were expressing a great need for increased skilled laboratory technicians, analysts and oversight.”


How to Conquer the Fear of Public Speaking

Fear of public speaking is very common, with almost 1 out of 4 people reporting being anxious when presenting ideas and information in front of an audience. Being a good public speaker is an essential skills that can help you advance your career, grow your business, and form strong relationships.

Researchers have identified many reasons why we are afraid of public speaking, which you can read more about here. It seems that the way we feel, think, and act with respect to having to speak in public can raise or lower the amount of fear we experience significantly.

While fear teaches you to protect yourself in risky situations, letting that fear stand between you and your audience could prevent you from sharing inspiring ideas, speaking about important work, and presenting interesting solutions to problems that affect many people. In short, it’s everyone’s loss.

What can we do about it?

The factors that cause fear of public speaking are also the factors that researches have targeted to help people overcome it. Several methods exist for conquering the fear of public speaking. Some of them address the physiological aspect of fear, others focus on the cognitive aspects, and a few focus on the behavioral components that contribute to higher levels of fear and anxiety around public speaking. Based on that research here is where to start:

1.  Learn how to put your body in a calm state

A variety of relaxation techniques can be used to reduce the increased physiological activity that the body produces automatically when confronted with an event or situation that causes fear. In the case of public speaking, the stimulus that causes fear can range from the actual speaking event itself to the mere thought of having to speak in public. Learning to relax while thinking about, preparing for, or giving an oral presentation, reduces the experience of fear and prevents it from interfering with performance. Relaxation techniques involve learning to control your breathing, to lower your heart rate, and to lessen the tension in your muscles. These techniques work best when paired with gradual exposure to public speaking. For example, you begin applying these techniques first when you agree to speak, then as you prepare your speech, and eventually when you performing it.  You could also gradually increase the scale of the events as you learn how to manage your anxiety through relaxation, starting with very small audiences and moving up in numbers bit by bit. You could also start with speeches that are easier to prepare for or less scary to deliver to master the relaxation techniques, and then continue to use them as you enter speaking situations where the stakes are increasingly higher. Relaxation is an effective technique, with quick but not necessarily long-lasting results.

2.  Challenge your beliefs about public speaking

Another way to conquer the fear of public speaking is to challenge your beliefs about your ability to prepare and deliver an effective and impactful speech. Cognitive reframing approaches target your negative self-statements (e.g., I am not a good speaker, audiences find me boring), or any irrational beliefs about public speaking (e.g., people can see how anxious I am on stage). Irrational, in this case, means that your beliefs are not supported by the facts or by your experience. Cognitive reframing helps you challenge negative statements and beliefs and replace them with favorable, supportive, and proactive statements. It is important to note that these techniques are not intended to simply replace negative thinking with vapid and meaningless statements. They challenge you to think more pragmatically and intentionally. In essence, you are teaching yourself to see public speaking as a non-threatening event that you can learn to handle, and to see yourself as a confident speaker in-progress.

3.  Shift your focus from performance to communication

A different cognitive approach includes shifting your perspective from being evaluated to being of value. You train yourself to see public speaking as a situation where you are communicating with people something that you think they will benefit from, instead of thinking of it as a situation where you will be tested and judged. That shift in perspective relieves you of the worry of how you will come across and focuses you on how to best get your message across.

4.  Prepare, prepare, prepare

A public speaking appearance is only the culmination of a really thorough process that involves preparing and rehearsing your presentation. The more prepared you are, the less worried you will be about looking nervous, forgetting your lines, or losing your train of thought. Think about the amount of work actors put into delivering entire scripts in front of audiences. Approaching public speaking the same way actors approach performing, will help you shift your focus from worrying to preparing, and the more prepared you are, the more focused on your message and the less distracted by your fear you will be. In this TEDx talk, Amy and Michael Port (author of Steal the Show) encourage people to see themselves as performers and apply techniques similar to those that actors use, “to create a reality of their choosing” in high-stakes situations that involve sharing ideas and information with other people. Such an approach allows you to accomplish your goal and at the same time maintain your authenticity. Remember, being underprepared is always more nerve-wracking than being overprepared.

5.  Seek out more opportunities to speak

In every single case, whether you are working on your body responses to fear, your view of yourself as a speaker, or your general approach to public speaking, the more experience you get, the more confidence you gain. Finding and creating opportunities to speak gives you the opportunity to practice what you have learned and to get better at it. In addition, it helps you learn how to use your own experiences to continue improving your presentation skills. Essentially, you learn to learn from what didn’t work well, instead of punishing yourself for it. And the more often you speak, the more you realize that what makes a speaker good is a combination of a noble intention to inform or inspire an audience, a positive mindset, and a lot of prep work.

6.  Ask for help

While you can do a lot to overcome the fear of public speaking on your own, there are many options available for a little extra help. Getting help can be in many cases a more effective way of achieving results, than doing it alone. There are several tested interventions available to help overcome the fear of public speaking and many specialized professionals who deliver them. In addition to asking professionals for help, there are consumer-organized groups, like Toastmasters, which also provide opportunities for building up your skills, in a non-threatening, and non-committal environment. Many people join such groups specifically to overcome their fear of public speaking.

The bottom line is that if something scares you, you will avoid it, and if you avoid it, you will not get enough practice, and when you don’t get enough practice, you will not get better at it, and if you are not getting better at it, you will continue to be afraid of it. This cycle of fear can go on and on. But it doesn’t have to.  With the number of options available, it is up to you to decide when and how to break this cycle of fear of public speaking.


3 Stocks Your Children Will Brag About Someday

Like a fine wine or a family heirloom, the best stocks only get better with age. Investing in great companies will build wealth over the long run that you can pass down to your children and grandchildren. After all, many of today’s most valuable companies were just starting up a generation or two ago, so tomorrow’s titans of industry are available on the cheap today. If you’re looking for stocks that could one day make your children rich, take a look at these three recommendations from three of our Motley Fool investors: Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX)Electronic Arts (NASDAQ:EA), and Vail Resorts (NYSE:MTN)

The one that started it all

Danny Vena (Netflix): Just 10 years ago, it would have been difficult to imagine the changes that would occur in media consumption over the coming decade, and the birth of streaming has changed the entertainment landscape forever. Netflix started it all, and its investors have been richly rewarded — and I think it’s just the beginning.

Netflix began its international expansion with Canada in 2010. The real revolution, however, happened in 2016 when the company announced its expansion to 130 additional countries simultaneously, growing its worldwide total to over 190 countries and becoming a global media empire in the process. 

In Netflix’s most recent quarter, global revenue increased to $2.985 billion, up 30% year over year, while net income reached $130 million, more than double the $52 million achieved during the prior-year period. That wouldn’t have been possible without solid customer growth, which continued unabated to 109.25 million total subscribers, up 26% year over year.

The solid growth in new viewers was the result of a continued push for quality content. Netflix dominated this year’s Emmy awards, scoring 91 nominations and 20 awards — more than any other network with the exception of HBO. This is a stunning achievement, considering the streaming giant released its first original series only four years ago.

The key to Netflix’s future will be to succeed internationally, but significant penetration in early markets like Brazil and the U.K. show why that success is likely to continue. If you own Netflix, your kids will brag about it someday.

eSports is the future

Daniel Miller (Electronic Arts): One stock your kids could grow up to brag about might be a company they become very familiar with in the coming decades — well, as long as your kid becomes a gamer. Electronic Arts is one of the world’s largest third-party video game publishers, and has recently expanded beyond console games to include PC and mobile games. It has well-known titles such as MaddenFIFA, and Battlefield, among others, and the company recently signed a 10-year contract with Disney to develop Star Wars games across all platforms.

The video game maker has done incredibly well for its investors: EA’s stock price is up more than 760% over the past five years. But it’s the opportunity in eSports and its massive growth that could be an X-factor for the company’s future. 

Consider that eSports and other video game broadcasts already attract hundreds of millions of people across the planet, and it’s still in the early stages of what could be a lucrative long-term story. As my colleague Keith Noonan points out, some popular eSports events already amass similar viewer numbers as sporting events such as the NBA Finals — and the audience is more receptive to ads, to boot. 

The truth is simple: Young Americans love to play video games on multiple platforms, and they also love to watch competitive games. However, eSports is such a young growth story, it’s not totally clear how EA could end up monetizing the competitive gaming scene.

It’s reasonable for investors to expect management to figure it out over the long term. Until that plays out, EA still dominates the sports genre of today’s gaming industry and has expanded its top line through mobile and PC gaming, in addition to its console business. If management does figure out how to capitalize on eSports, and perhaps other segments such as virtual reality, Electronic Arts could easily become a stock your kids will brag about owning in two decades.

 Image result for Stocks Your Children

Peak elevation

Jeremy Bowman (Vail Resorts): A great way to get your kids interested in investing is to buy them shares of a company they’re already interested in. Vail Resorts presents an appealing investment idea for youngsters who like skiing and snowboarding.

Not only does Vail own some of the premier ski resorts in North America, including its eponymous mountain, as well as Whistler/Blackcomb and Park City, but the company has been a winner for investors, too. The stock is up more than 300% over the last five years and has a number of features that give it a competitive advantage that should ensure it continues to outperform.

Its brand name itself is an asset, as Vail has long been known as one of the best ski resorts in the country, with a glitzy image to boot, and the company’s portfolio allows it to offer access through the Epic Pass, which gives skiers and snowboarders unrestricted access to Vail’s 15 mountains in North America, as well as 30 European resorts.

With the company’s acquisition strategy, those advantages should continue to grow as it adds new properties to the Epic Pass. In addition to acquisitions, the company is also growing organically by amping up its off-season attractions, like ziplines, adventure courses, and a mountain coaster, which should also help improve the bottom line over the long haul.

The preference of millennials for spending money on experiences rather than things should give the company a tailwind, as real-world experiences become more valuable in the e-commerce era. Catch some big air with Vail Resorts. Your kids will thank you for it.

10 stocks we like better than Netflix
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David and Tom just revealed what they believe are the ten best stocks for investors to buy right now… and Netflix wasn’t one of them! That’s right — they think these 10 stocks are even better buys.


How To Start an Online Dropshipping Business

The number of ecommerce stores being launched daily is large and while a number of these stores operate with a traditional inventory system, there is also online stores which operate as dropshipping businesses. So, what exactly is a dropshipping business and how does one get one off the ground?


Dropshipping is an ecommerce concept where you launch an online store where you sell products directly from suppliers. You do not build an inventory as with traditional retail and instead, your customers make a purchase that is then passed on to your supplier who ships the product directly to your customer without you handling the products at any point in time. The way you make money is that you charge more than what the supplier charges for the product. The difference between the two prices is your margin (we will talk about it more later).

An example of this would be that you find a supplier who sells men’s classic Oxford shoes on Aliexpress for $29.99. In your store, you will sell that same pair for, let’s say $59.99. When your customer makes a purchase, you make a purchase with your supplier who then sends the product to your customer. On this one purchase, you make $30. The question that you are inevitably asking at this moment is why would anyone purchase from your store and not directly from the supplier?

There are a few answers. For one, many suppliers do not sell directly to individual customers and only deal with sellers such as yourself. Furthermore, the majority of people are unaware of such suppliers and they do not wish to risk getting subpar quality (through smart practice, you will be able to guarantee quality). Finally, you will be doing marketing that will lead people directly to your store, without even considering a supplier.

Look at it from a different angle. You could probably get a pound of oranges much cheaper from a farmer in California, but you still buy them from your local grocery shop, don’t you?

Start with a Product (Niche)

You could theoretically open a dropshipping store without choosing the products you will be selling or the niche you will be covering, but it would be somewhat tricky. For example, how would you name this store whose products you are still in the dark about?

There are numerous ways in which you can go about choosing the products to sell. Perhaps you are into fashion and you think you know what people would like to wear. Maybe you know what people are buying online in your country. Perhaps you will discover that you can get a certain type of products at affordable prices and sell for much more in your country, increasing your margins.

Set up a Store (Quickly)

You are not racing against the clock, but there is a reason why you will want to set up your store quickly and without wasting too much time. The reason is that spending weeks on setting up a store will not guarantee sales. What you need is a decent-looking store that will be operational in matter of days (depending on how much time you have). You will be looking at the major platforms and their preset themes for your store – something simple and in tune with what you will be selling. Do not waste time on logo, extensive branding, blog, etc. You will be starting with a skeleton-store – just the basics.

You will want to set up payment options, usually PayPal and major credit cards. You will also want to offer free shipping which you will then cover from your margin (unless you can find suppliers with free shipping). Depending on the platform you will be using, you will also most likely need software which will allow you to automate a great deal of the work. For example, when people make a purchase in your store, this software will automatically order the product from your supplier, taking care of the payment and customer’s details entry.

Find Suppliers

One of the crucial steps in launching your dropshipping business will be finding the suppliers. There will be a few boxes that you will want your suppliers to check before you start doing business with them.

Before we go on to the boxes that need ticking, we should point out that you will mostly be looking to China for your suppliers. More precisely, AliExpress. AliExpress is the Chinese version of Amazon and eBay and it is popular in the dropshipping circles for one simple reason – you can find products at very affordable prices there. Of course, there are other ways and places to find suppliers, but the chances are you will be working with China and suppliers from there.

Now, onto the boxes.

For one, you will be looking for suppliers whose track record is spotless. This means great ratings and actual reviews from customers. You will also be looking at the individual products’ comments sections, more precisely the images. You will want to make sure that the images of actual products supplied by the customers show the same products that are featured in product images.

Another important feature to look for is ePacket shipping. It is a relatively fast (usually well under a month) and affordable shipping method that was designed specifically for products from China that are sold online. This service also provides shipment tracking which means your customers can check their order at any time. In short, ePacket shipping is a feature to look for in a supplier.

Finally, there is the matter of the price. Namely, in order for your dropshipping business to be profitable, you will want to make at least as much as you pay the supplier. This means that your margin should never be bellow 50%. In other words, your supplier will have to provide prices that you will be able to add to and still be able to sell the product.

One thing you should be aware of is that you will be selling either generic products in your store, or brands that are mostly unknown in the west, as this is what your suppliers will be selling. You should be extra careful that you do not sell knock-off products of popular brands because this can get you in all kinds of legal troubles.


The biggest mistake you can make with your dropshipping business is thinking that simply setting up a store is enough. Like we mentioned, there is no shortage of online stores out there and you have to make sure that people visit your store. In other words, you need to do marketing.

For people who have just opened their first dropshipping store, marketing should revolve around one thing and one thing only – making sales. You are not building a brand or establishing yourself on the market. This comes later. You are trying to make a sale. Two sales. Three sales. Fifty sales in one month. Then a hundred sales the next.

While you will be able to do a few things free (still requiring time) such as doing a bit of content marketing and SEO, you will rely on paid ads in the early days. More precisely, you will be using Facebook, Google and Instagram ads.

Choosing the channel will depend on what you are selling and you will have to be extra careful about choosing the right channel. Namely, your budget will most likely not allow you to go broad and, instead, you will want to focus on just one channel.

Facebook, for example, is a very interesting ad option due to its relatively low ad prices and the ability to target very specific segments of the market. Instagram is also popular for certain niches, such as clothing and cosmetics. Google ads are usually out of reach for new dropshipping businesses due to established competition, but you should still look into it.

It is important to start conservatively with your ads in the beginning. Only spend the money you have and always make sure you are not spending more than you earn with your store. For example, if you make a sale that nets you revenue of $20, you can spend $20 on Facebook ads the following day. If these ads bring you a single new customer, you broke even. If you make two sales, you are already making money and marketing is paying for itself

As you make more sales, you can gradually increase your marketing spend. Conversely, if you are not seeing any results, maybe you need to change something or switch the channel.

The bottom line is that the majority of your work will revolve around marketing your store and increasing your conversion rates. After all, most of your other work will be automated.

A Few Parting Words

Now that we have gone over the basics of starting a dropshipping business, there are a few more things that you should keep in mind. For one, you should look into what laws, taxes and regulations you should be aware in your country. You will probably have to register your company and start paying taxes before long. However, it would probably be a good idea to give your store a trial run before you start doing all that. Also, you might talk to a lawyer or an accountant before you do anything.

You might also want to check out local dropshipping communities, as there will probably already be people who are doing it. Such communities are a great place to get free advice and suggestions on how to take your business to another level.

Finally, never stop learning. There is much more to dropshipping than what you have read here. This free guide to drop shipping from Shopify is a great place to start, for example. Also, you should try and hone your marketing skills, as they will enable you to get more traffic and revenue. Once your business is stable, you can also start thinking about the marketing long game, i.e. branding, serious content marketing and branching out with your products.

19 Things The Millionaire Next Door Won’t Tell You

Although having a million bucks isn’t as impressive as it once was, it’s still nothing to sneeze at.

In fact, Reuters reports that in 2009 there are 7.8 million millionaires in the United States. That’s a lot of people and the odds are one or two of them are living near you.

Heck, one of them might even be your neighbor. In fact, the odds are very good that it is your neighbor.

But, Len, you don’t know my neighbor.  That guy doesn’t look anything like a millionaire.

Well, guess what? A millionaire who is truly financially savvy won’t be easily recognizable. 

1. He always spends less than he earns.  In fact his mantra is, over the long run, you’re better off if you strive to be anonymously rich rather than deceptively poor.

2. He knows that patience is a virtue. The odds are you won’t become a millionaire overnight.  If you’re like him, your wealth will be accumulated gradually by diligently saving your money over multiple decades.

3.  When you go to his modest three-bed two-bath house, you’re going to be drinking Folgers instead of Starbucks.  And if you need a lift, well, you’re going to get a ride in his ten-year-old economy sedan.  And if you think that makes him cheap, ask him if he cares.  (He doesn’t.)

4. He pays off his credit cards in full every month.  He’s smart enough to understand that if he can’t afford to pay cash for something, then he can’t afford it.

5. He realized early on that money does not buy happiness.  If you’re looking for nirvana, you need to focus on attaining financial freedom.

6. He never forgets that financial freedom is a state of mind that comes from being debt free.  Best of all, it can be attained regardless of your income level.

7. He knows that getting a second job not only increases the size of your bank account quicker but it also keeps you busy – and being busy makes it difficult to spend what you already have.

8. He understands that money is like a toddler; it is incapable of managing itself.  After all, you can’t expect your money to grow and mature as it should without some form of credible money management.

9. He’s a big believer in paying yourself first. Paying yourself first is an essential tenet of personal finance and a great way to build your savings and instill financial discipline.

10. Although it’s possible to get rich if you spend your life making a living doing something you don’t enjoy, he wonders why you do.  Life is too short.

11.  He knows that failing to plan is the same as planning to fail.  He also knows that the few millionaires that reached that milestone without a plan got there only because of dumb luck.   It’s not enough to simply declare that you want to be financially free.

12. When it came time to set his savings goals, he wasn’t afraid to think big.  Financial success demands that you have a vision that is significantly larger than you can currently deliver upon.

13. Over time, he found out that hard work can often help make up for a lot of financial mistakes – and you will make financial mistakes.

14. He realizes that stuff happens, that’s why you’re a fool if you don’t insure yourself against risk. Remember that the potential for bankruptcy is always just around the corner and can be triggered from multiple sources: the death of the family’s key bread winner, divorce, or disability that leads to a loss of work.

15. He understands that time is an ally of the young.  He was fortunate enough to begin saving in his twenties so he could take maximum advantage of the power of compounding interest on his nest egg.

16. He knows that you can’t spend what you don’t see.  You should use automatic paycheck deductions to build up your retirement and other savings accounts.  As your salary increases you can painlessly increase the size of those deductions.

17. Even though he has a job that he loves, he doesn’t have to work anymore because everything he owns is paid for – and has been for years.

18. He’s not impressed that you drive an over-priced luxury car and live in a McMansion that’s two sizes too big for your family of four.

19. After six months of asking, he finally quit waiting for you to return his pruning shears.  He broke down and bought himself a new pair last month.  There’s no hard feelings though; he can afford it.

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5 Tips to Help Make a Awesome Marketing Video

Creating a video (or video series) to help market your product or service is a no-brainer. It’s an easy, shareable way to communicate your company’s core message.

Chances are though, you don’t have the in-house resources to create a clip or much time to waste on learning video editing software yourself.
If you don’t have a ton of experience in video production, it may seem like your only options are to pay a lot of money for someone else to do it, or hack together a bad video on your own.

Good news: there’s a third option. Even with limited resources, companies launch with great video campaigns all the time. Read this post and take away five tips to create a great video to market your business.

1) Showcase Your Personality

Whatever it is you’re producing, you’re likely not the first one to do so. The number one marketing challenge you’ll face during launch is standing out from competitors in your field. What sets your productivity app or hilarious slogan t-shirt or handcrafted eco-friendly wooden rocking horse apart from the pack?

Approximately zero potential customers will likely read your thousand-word written explanation about why your wooden rocking horse is more eco-friendly than the next guy’s. Visual content is much more digestible, accessible, and shareable to the average person. Infinite bonus points if you can figure out a way to showcase the personality of your product (or your company, or just yourself) in a way that’s relatable and memorable.

Have you ever made a purchase just because you loved the personality of the brand? Chances are, it was a piece of visual content—perhaps a video—that you instantly connected with because it was just so likable. Aim to create that kind of video content. If people decide they like you, they’ll show you by becoming customers.

How to do it

Be honest with yourself about your on-camera skills. Is your business partner more charismatic? Put him or her in front of the camera, instead. Talking into a mic and speaking to an unseen audience may seem easy, but it often is not. Do several takes, upload them all, and edit out awkward pauses. Practice trimming and splitting clips until your transitions look natural.

People love to learn about the personality of a brand by getting a glimpse behind the curtain. If you’re making a physical product, some footage of the manufacturing process is an excellent way to make your product relatable. Don’t be afraid to whip out your cell phone if you’re missing a moment, be it putting the final touches on a great-looking product or your lead developer falling asleep at his desk.

2) Explain What You’re Doing

Have you ever joked about being married to your work? Like a regular marriage, you’re incredibly familiar with your “spouse”. You know things about each other that no one else knows.

You know your product better than anyone else. That’s great, but you may make the mistake of assuming everyone else knows the ins and outs of your product, too. Don’t jump right to marketing Awesome Thing About My Product #5 just because you assume Things 1 through 4 are obvious.

Take a look at your product as if you know nothing about what it is, what it does, or what kinds of problems it can solve. Tell yourself the story of your product as if you know nothing. Then, take that story and tell it to everyone else.

How to do it

If you’re marketing a digital product, it’s time to learn how to create a quality screen capture video. Demonstrate the typical use of your product, but don’t jump right into it—use screen capture to demonstrate a problem or pain point that your product solves. If the viewer can identify with the problem you’re showing them on-screen, they’ll be much more engaged when you introduce your product. Use repetition, and don’t go too fast. This is the first time they’re seeing your product in action, and you want to give the viewer the chance to experience the full effect of its genius.

If your product is physical, focus on showing them what your product does and how it can help. Think about demo videos or commercials you’ve seen for popular pieces of technology. They don’t spend two or three minutes talking about battery life and storage capacity. They use that valuable video real estate to show the product in action, being used as the average consumer wants to use it. 

Be helpful in your video, and err on the side of over-explaining. Use captions or video annotations (think Pop-Up Video) to explain anything that isn’t obvious, or use them to supplement your voice over narration.

3) Add Some Value

Believe it or not, not everyone will want to sit through your video, even if it is short. Why should they? There are millions of other videos on the Internet, and some of them even have cats in them.

Figure out what value your video is going to offer to your audience. Does it tell a great story? Does it explain how to solve a problem? Does it give them an insider reward, like a discount code or a clickable link to a free trial? Or is it just three minutes of you ranting into the camera about why non-eco-friendly wooden rocking horses are the worst thing ever invented?

Add some value to your video, and watch it get shared beyond just your inner circle of friends and fellow rocking horse enthusiasts. Believe it or not, most people are altruistic—if they see a clear benefit to be gained from watching your video, they’ll want to share that benefit with their friends and connections.

How to do it

Think back to the last video you shared. Why did you share it? Chances are, if you’re like most people, you wanted to establish your authority on the topic. You wanted to be the first to present that piece of information to the people in your circle. It’s why most content is shared—for the social cred.

You can give people the social credibility they want by creating smart, informative videos for them to share. If your product solves a problem, present the solution in a way that sounds revolutionary. For example, if your product speeds up a task that your target customer must perform often, use picture-in-picture editing features to demonstrate how much quicker they can accomplish the task using your product. It’s great to tell someone that they can save 30 seconds searching for the best rate on their next flight, but if you can show the typical process side-by-side with your innovation, you can actually make them sit through those 30 seconds. It will be excruciating. They will buy your app.

If you decide to go with a more tangible benefit such as a discount code or a free trial, make it easy for the viewer to get. Put a clickable link right in your video. Don’t tell them to go to another website (or do anything else at all). They won’t do it, and you’ll lose that opportunity. Keep it simple if you want your videos to convert leads.

4) Tell A Story (That Goes Somewhere)

Think back to high school English class, when you learned about the components of a story—there’s an introduction, conflict, climax, and resolution. If you leave out any of these crucial parts, you’re left with a collection of sentences that have been smashed together for no apparent reason.

Not only should you tell a coherent story (and this will require some pre-planning, writing, and editing), but you should make sure it goes somewhere. A nice, tidy ending is great, but building suspense is better. Are you going to produce another video to continue the story? If so, why should your viewers be excited to watch it?

How to do it

You thought this would be all visuals? You’re going to have to write. If you don’t plan your story, it won’t materialize out of the ether. Make a plan for your video content, and look beyond video number one.

Rather than one explainer video, is your product suited to a series of instructional videos? Can you help people create something with your product? Break that “something” into pieces, and create a series of short videos. You can even record the entire series in one go, and use an easy editing tool to break the footage out into logical sections. Keeping your audience waiting for more (as long as it’s great content) is an excellent way to stay top-of-mind.

If you’re more of a storyteller, you can keep a video series looking cohesive (and cut down on your workload) by reusing clips. Remind your viewers of the product benefits you explored last time, and build on the story you’ve already told. Just be sure to store your edited video somewhere safe—the cloud is your best bet—so you don’t have to repeat all your hard work each time you make a new video.

Even if your story doesn’t end at the end of the video, that chapter does. Make sure you leave your viewer with something concrete to do. There should be a call-to-action at the end of every video, even if you set an expectation that another video will follow. You never know when a viewer will disengage from your content, so give them opportunities to become a customer or subscriber while you have their attention.

5) Get It Out There

You’ve created a great piece of video content that showcases your personality, explains what you’re doing, has a clear benefit, and tells a great story. What do you do next?

Okay, this one is painfully obvious—you promote the heck out of it. We don’t have to tell you why you want to do this step. We do, however, want to help you do it well.

How to do it

The best way to ensure people watch your video is to give it a great title. Regardless of how the saying goes, nearly everyone does judge a book by its cover. After Google, YouTube is the second-largest search engine in the world. You put a ton of research and consideration into your landing page titles—do the same for your video, or your clickthroughs will be dismal. Same goes for your description and tags. Try using hashtags in your title to ensure you’re getting found with the right keywords.

Speaking of covers, you’re going to want to put some time into selecting the right thumbnail for your video. This is all the potential viewer will see before they decide whether or not to hit the “play” button, so make that one image extra-compelling.

Export your video to more than one platform. Some people watch on YouTube, some will only watch videos on Facebook. Don’t limit yourself to one platform, or you’ll miss out on a huge number of potential viewers.

This should go without saying, but don’t put out a bad-looking video. You don’t need a huge budget and a team of professionals to make a great video anymore. Learn how to use the editing tools you have to work with and export your finished product in HD, and there’s no reason your video can’t look pro.


Volvo has agreed to sell 24,000 SUVs to Uber for a network of self-driving cars

Uber and Volvo are taking the next step in their self-driving relationship.

Volvo, which first began working with the ride-hail player in August 2016, has agreed to sell 24,000 SUVs to Uber between 2019 and 2021, the automaker announced on Monday.

An Uber spokesperson confirmed that Volvo has agreed to sell the ride-hail player 24,000 cars but said that it is a general framework. The company could buy fewer or more cars from Volvo.

The Volvo XC90s will have the “core” technology — like redundant processors — needed to enable autonomous driving, to which the ride-hail company will add some of its own technology after the fact.

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It’s unclear whether Uber intends to work with Volvo in the future on producing these cars with the software integrated. For now, Uber and Volvo work together on some parts of the technology before it’s produced and then Uber adds its own sensor kit. We’ve asked if Uber adds its own software before or after and will update when we hear back.

So far, this is the largest number of cars that any two companies have agreed to develop that will serve in a commercial driverless fleet. Alphabet’s self-driving arm Waymo only recently announced that it would begin testing 600 Chrysler Pacificas on the road.

It’s also unclear if Uber will continue this ownership model wherein the company simply buys cars from an automaker. While self-driving cars will likely increase profitability — given Uber will take home the entire fare instead of divvying up around 75 percent of it to drivers — but the costs of owning and maintaining the cars are lofty. With autonomous vehicles, there’s also a likelihood that these cars will rack up more miles quickly since there’s little reason to stop and have to be replaced sooner.

For a company that is in the middle of cutting its losses as it prepares to go public, having tens of thousands of cars on its balance sheet isn’t exactly ideal. That’s why Uber has also struck a separate relationship with Daimler that is easier on its purse strings. Through that relationship, Daimler will simply plug its own driverless cars into Uber’s network when it’s ready.

While Uber’s U.S. rival Lyft certainly has struck more automaker relationships, Uber’s partnership with Volvo at least appears to have progressed far more.


The $69 billion ride-hail company has also been developing its own autonomous tech at least two years longer than Lyft has. That said, Uber’s self-driving tech has been slow to progress. As of March 2017, the company’s safety drivers had to take over the autonomous system once every .8 miles.


Tesla builds another giant 50-Supercharger station in China

Tesla appears to be rushing toward its seemingly impossible goal to have 10,000 Superchargers online by the end of the year. In recent days and weeks, the company has been opening mega Supercharger stations with record numbers of stalls.

The latest is a new 50-stall Supercharger station in China, which makes it the biggest in the world equal to another station in China.

The news follows the launch of Tesla’s two new 40-stall stations in the US yesterday.

Tesla already had a 50-stall station in China, which became the biggest in the world when it opened in Shanghai last month. Now, Tesla updated its Supercharger station at the Baolong Plaza in Beijing from 20 stalls to 50 stalls.

Jason Man, a Tesla owner in China, keeps updated on the local Tesla charging infrastructure and says that a new impressive picture of the giant updated charging station started to make the rounds on Chinese social media:

It makes sense that Tesla is focusing on expanding its Chinese charging infrastructure since China is already the biggest market for electric vehicles, or any vehicles for that matter, and Tesla profited from the demand by tripling its sales to over $1 billion in the country in 2016.

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Tesla continues to have strong sales in the country this year, where it leads foreign electric car sales with no close second.

The company keeps growing in the market with Model S and Model X alone by expanding its presence with more stores, service centers, and Superchargers, but local manufacturing and Model 3 are expected to be needed to take the automaker to the next level in China.

Earlier this month, CEO Elon Musk said that he expects that Tesla will have a factory running in China in about 3 years.

With this new station, over the space of just a few weeks, Tesla opened 4 new record-breaking Supercharging stations – now bringing the total number of Supercharger stalls to over 7,500.

Electrek’s Take

Tesla is still a long way from their goal of 10,000 Superchargers by the end of the year, but they currently have over 80 stations under construction and several of them have 20+ stalls, according to

If they can bring most of them online over the next month, they should get pretty close to their goal.

Furthermore, Tesla recently demonstrated the ability to bring Superchargers online rather quickly. They added over 50 stations and 600 stalls over the last month and they deployed the new Supercharger corridor going to its giant Powerpack project in Australia in just 2 weeks.

I find it hard to believe that they will reach their goal with just about 6 weeks left in the year, but I wouldn’t go as far as saying that it is impossible – especially if they keep opening those new giant Supercharger stations like those in California and China.


Tesla builds another giant 50-Supercharger station in China

Elon Musk’s 1,000 hp Tesla Semi truck just became the second most desirable vehicle in the world

See, we’ve been expecting an electric truck from Tesla for a few months now and we expected it to be, well, a truck that runs on electricity. What we didn’t expect was what is possibly the most powerful, highway-legal truck in the world and what could soon be the fastest production car in the world.

First, let’s look at the stats of the Semi:

0-60 mph (96 kph): 5 seconds

0-60 mph with an 80,000 lb (over 36 tonnes): 20 seconds

Range: 500 miles (over 800 km)

Guarantee: 1 million miles (1.6 million km)

Charging speed: 30 minutes for 400 km range

And all of this awesomeness is packed into a Class 8 semi-truck with a drag coefficient that’s lower than that of the $2 mn Bugatti Chiron with a 6.5-foot cab that you can stand in.

This is, frankly, incredible. It’s a vehicle that’s more exciting than any car we’ve ever seen. And it even comes with Autopilot.

The truck is, according to Elon Musk, a big contributor to pollution. They’re large, toxic machines that pollute the Earth. The Tesla Semi, as Musk puts it, runs on sunlight.

The six-wheeled semi is powered by four independent electric motors that draw power from a battery bank in the base of the vehicle. These are the same motors that power the Tesla Model 3, so we are, in effect, looking at a 1000 hp powertrain. As Wired notes in its preview of the vehicle, torque is more important for trucks, and that’s a figure that’s not been disclosed yet.

The four rear wheels are powered by independent electric motors

Regardless, the staggering acceleration and power figures for the vehicle, and the fact that it’s running on a massive, electric powertrain, mean that torque must be, for lack of a better word, chunkmungous.

Musk claims that the vehicle can hit 60 mph in 5 seconds when unladen, and that it will hit that same speed in 20 seconds even when fully laden (around 36 tonnes, according to various highway codes in America). The vehicle will also comfortably manage 65 mph (104 kph), where diesel trucks will only hit 45 mph (72 kph) on average.

The range of 500 miles (804 km) was also a surprise, as was the charging rate. Musk claims that the vehicle will give you 400 miles (643 km) of range after 30 minutes of charging via one of Tesla’s new Megachargers. And yes, these are more powerful than the Superchargers for the Tesla cars.

Thirty minutes might seem like a long time, but Musk shares a different perspective on the matter. He points out that topping up a diesel truck takes about 15 minutes anyway, and that drivers will usually need to stop for about 30 minutes when loading and unloading the vehicle. He also points out that 400 miles of range translates to about 6-7 hours of driving, after which a driver must anyway make a mandatory rest stop.

Another interesting observation was that 80 percent of the routes in America involve less than 250 miles (402 km) of travel. The driver can thus travel to the back of beyond and still make his way back.

The cab is simultaneously futuristic and minimalistic

From the outside, the front of the truck looks vaguely like an inverted boat hull: It’s shaped like a rounded wedge. The rear wheels are encased in a cowl of sorts and massive fins enclose the gap between the cab and the trailer, further improving aerodynamics.

On the safety front, the vehicle is sorted. All trucks will come with Autopilot, which will do things like automatic braking, lane assist and all the other Autopilot features.

Driver comfort is another factor that’s important and judging by the interior, there can’t possibly be much to complain about. The six-and-a-half-foot cab is tall enough for the average person to stand in and the interior layout seats the driver towards the front-centre of the vehicle. A jump-seat is present in the rear. Tesla claims that the design of the cab allows the vehicle to see the point where the truck front meets the road.

The control column is very similar to the Tesla Model 3. It’s a minimalistic design featuring a central driving wheel and two large, 15-inch touchscreens on either side. The touchscreens provide all the information a driver needs and even double as side-view mirrors. In fact, there are no mirrors on the outside of the vehicle. Obviously, the driver need not bother with gears or a clutch.

Cost of ownership

While it’s perfectly fine for geeks like us to drool over the vehicle, it’s the folk who operate trucks that are eventually going to buy the vehicle. To that end, Tesla claims that the cost of ownership of the truck will be at worst 20 percent less than that of a diesel truck. Better yet, the Semi can operate in convoy mode, trailing other Semis, resulting in a 50 percent saving as compared to a diesel.

The vehicle will enter production by 2019, says Musk.

The second most desirable vehicle?

Ah, yes. The truck revealed today is amazing and exciting and was, for all of 10 minutes, the most desirable vehicle on the planet. It had to relinquish that title, however, to the new Tesla Roadster that rolled out of the back of the truck at the end of the presentation.

The announcement of the Roadster caught everyone by surprise

An announcement that took everyone by surprise. The Roadster is not ready for production yet but even at this stage, puts every other gasoline-powered car to shame.

If you thought the truck was awesome, the Roadster is staggering. Musk is promising a 0-60 mph time of 1.9 seconds, 0-100 mph in 4.2 seconds and the quarter mile (402 metres) in 8.9 seconds!

It features a 200 kWh battery, a 650 mile range (1,046 km), seating for two adults and two small people (kids, dwarfs, midgets, take your pick). Better yet, the roof comes off and Musk also promises a “capacious” boot. That battery is twice the size of the one in the Model 3.

It’s almost seems like the perfect family car, and Telsa promises that it will be the most powerful production car ever made. And did we mention that it’s designed to hit a top speed of over 250 mph (400+ kph)?

And get this, this superfast Roadster is just the base model.

Lest we forget, Tesla also hinted at an upcoming Tesla Pickup truck, but teased no more than an image.

 Published Date: Nov 17, 2017 11:58 am | Updated Date: Nov 17, 2017 12:12 pm


Ryan is your average five-year-old. He likes playing with toy cars, riding tricycles, and going down water slides. His mom, like most parents, loves to capture and share these moments. What’s different about Ryan is that these everyday events — opening a new action figure or going to Chuck E. Cheese’s — are watched around the world by hundreds of millions of other kids.

The family’s channel, Ryan ToysReview, was created in March of 2015, and initially, didn’t get many views. But about four months in, the channel published this video, and views started doubling with every passing month. Ryan’s mom, who has so far declined to share her name, left her job as a high school chemistry teacher to work on the YouTube channel full time.

For the last 18 weeks and counting, Ryan ToysReview has been the most popular channel on YouTube in the US, and the second largest in the world, a bigger attraction than household names like PewDiePie and Justin Bieber, and media empires like BuzzFeedThe Tonight Show, and the WWE. That viewership translates to around $1 million a month in advertising revenue alone.

“He is definitely the youngest YouTube star we’ve ever seen,” said Josh Cohen, an industry analyst and founder of TubeFilter. When the channel launched, Ryan was just three years old. “It’s the biggest of this genre of programming that is getting billions of views a week on YouTube. Really nobody is talking about it, but it’s crazy once you start scratching the surface.”

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The phenomenon of reviewing toys on YouTube isn’t new. In the fall of 2013, a channel called DisneyCollecterBR made its way into the top 10 most-viewed channels. It was run by an adult woman who never showed her face. She opened toys and played with them, speaking softly, never moving the camera from a single closeup shot. By the summer of 2014, she routinely topped the list of the most-viewed channels in the US.

The genre skyrocketed once kids became the hosts. In March of last year, just as Ryan’s family was launching their channel, media outlets were reporting on another family that struck rich by sharing videos of their children simply playing with toys. According to a reportfrom The Guardian, 20 of the top 100 channels on YouTube are focused on toys, collecting upwards of 4.5 billion views a month. Before Ryan stepped in front of the camera, he was a viewer.

“Ryan was watching a lot of toy review channels — some of his favorites are EvanTubeHD and Hulyan Maya — because they used to make a lot of videos about Thomas The Tank Engine, and Ryan was super into Thomas,” his mother explained in an interview with TubeFilter. “One day, he asked me, ‘How come I’m not on YouTube when all the other kids are?’ So we just decided — yeah, we can do that. Then, we took him to the store to get his very first toy — I think it was a Lego train set — and it all started from there.”

But while Ryan’s channel is part of a broader trend, it has achieved a scale unlike anything that came before it. Less than two years old, Ryan ToysReview already has 5.5 million subscribers, more than the two channels that inspired it combined. Produced by his mother, Ryan’s channel has perfected the art of this strange new genre, a mash-up of personal vlog and “unboxing” video, a blend of innocent childhood antics and relentless, often overwhelming consumerism.

The premise of the channel, as the name implies, is that Ryan reviews toys. And in the first video ever posted to the channel, which you can see above, he does just that, at least to the degree a three-year-old can articulate his thoughts on a set of Lego Duplo blocks. He “unboxes” the pieces, sets them up, and plays. The video is slow and static, a single shot held for nearly 10 minutes. Ryan takes his time building and playing. He signs off with a simple wave and “see you next time.”

But over time, the act of reviewing toys has swelled into something very different. In the second video, Ryan is up to two toys, and over time the videos have grown to feature dozens of toys in a single episode. In the most popular clip the channel has posted, Ryan is given a hundred toys at once. We only see Ryan playing with each toy for a few seconds, and by the end he’s wading through a huge pile of freshly opened and quickly cast off toys, shoveling them on top of one another. The video has 568 million views.

In more recent clips, the pretense of Ryan actually playing with certain toys has been totally cast aside. Listen to Ryan dutifully speak his lines in the video below. He prepares to open a plastic egg. “I wonder what’s inside it. I’m so excited,” he says, his voice devoid of both wonder and excitement.


This 23-year-old woman is making six figures a month from slime videos

It takes Karina Garcia at least five hours to edit a video tutorial on slime. That level of precision is important because her YouTube channel has more than 6.7 million subscribers.

Garcia has become something of an internet celebrity when it comes to crafts for kids (and adults). Her specialty is anything involving slime.

The 23-year-old based in Riverside, California, said she currently makes six figures in revenue a month, mostly off advertising from her videos. She also recently launched her own craft kits at Target called Craft City. First up is slime, but she hopes to add bath bombs and lipstick kits in the near future.


“I recently bought a house (from slime money), and my mom laughs about it,” said Garcia, who’s created more than 100 slime videos.

Slime is having a resurgence with younger kids these days. Elmer’s Glue — a key ingredient in the concoction — told NPR it had a 50 percent increase in sales in December 2016, thanks to the trend.

It also helps that kids and teens happen to love do-it-yourself (DIY) projects. Sweety High, a media site for young girls, said DIY content gets four times more views or clicks than its other trending content. Garcia was recently featured on its show, “After The Bell.”

“DIY as a category gained traction with the culture at large given the rise of reality TV, makeover shows, YouTube and contest formats,” CEO Frank Simonetti said.


Nobody expects to make a living from slime videos. Garcia certainly didn’t.

Two years ago, confused about what to do with her life, Garcia dropped out of college and quit her job as a waitress. Completely unmotivated, she helped her mother out with her catering business.

“I had nothing going for me,” Garcia said. “I didn’t have a job. I didn’t go to school. I was the laziest person ever.”

Her twin sister, Mayra Isabel, had a YouTube channel focused on beauty. Garcia decided she wanted to try creating her own videos. But she had anxiety problems.

So she decided to focus on what she liked: crafting.

“I used to be very, very shy,” she said. “This definitely helped with that a lot.”

Garcia’s first few videos focused on projects like creating makeup organizers and custom lipsticks. Then she found a recipe on Pinterest for making a kind of slime called Gak. She tried it out, and everything began to turn.

Garcia said that watching slime videos has become somewhat of a therapeutic stress reliever, and she’s noticed an increase in people creating slime tutorial playlists.

She tries to upload videos to her channel three times a week, including at least one slime tutorial. Garcia is motivated by the idea that people who watch her videos can make their own slime creations.

“I can inspire young women,” she said. “I want to show no matter where you come from, you can make it.”


With immigrants targeted, U.S. farms look to automation

The Trump administration’s crackdown on illegal immigrants has hit the U.S. agricultural sector rather hard, especially when seven out of 10 farm workers are undocumented. Rather than fight this policy, many farms are looking to automation and robotics.

“I get calls on a daily basis and it typically starts with, ‘I don’t want to deal with this labor headache anymore’,” Steve Fried, the sales manager for Lely North America, which makes robotic dairy milking and feeding systems tells Reuters.


The administration’s crackdown on illegal immigration has resulted in an increase in arrests and tougher border enforcement, and in turn, has created problems for farmers. There has also been legislation introduced in Congress that would require all employers to check social security numbers against federal databases to ensure their workers are in the country legally. This has been voluntary in the past.

Sadly, this policy change, along with possible tax, trade and environmental changes being considered, has put the agricultural sector in a bind. Commodity prices are at historic lows, and many farmers are continuing to experience net operating losses and mounting debt.


A study in 2014 by the Pew Research Center showed 26 percent, or one in four, of all U.S. farmworkers, were in the country illegally. And more recently, the Federation for American Immigration Reform has estimated that stricter enforcement of U.S. immigration laws could drive up labor costs by as much as 12 percent.


The industry being forced into technology


This get-tough approach “has created a great deal of anxiety,” said Tom Vilsack, chief executive of the U.S. Dairy Export Council, who was U.S. Agriculture Secretary for eight years under President Barack Obama.

Monitoring a crop using the Internet of Things.

Monitoring a crop using the Internet of Things.

With new governmental directives, a slipping commodity market, questions over trade agreements and an aging workforce, the agricultural sector is being forced to embrace new technologies in order to survive. And this includes not only farmers but the food companies in the supply chain.


Dairy farmers are being encouraged to buy robots to milk their cows, Poultry companies are streamlining processing and automation is now being seen in crop production and harvesting. Soon, harvesting romaine lettuce by hand will be a thing of the past.


“You’d be a fool to not have a plan that moves you that way,” said Duff Bevill, who owns a vineyard management company in Sonoma County, California.

Agriculture drone in acrtion.

Agriculture drone in acrtion.

Futuristic technology for the agriculture industry


Energias Market Research released their Global Agriculture Robots report on November 6, 2017, noting that the global market in agriculture robotics was $1,030.4 million in 2016, and is expected to reach USD $4,721.1 million by 2023. North America accounts for the major market share and is expected to hold the largest market share during the forecast period.


The report also notes the main drivers in the growth of agricultural robotics is due to three main forces — Increasing population, growing food consumption and the decrease in agriculture labor worldwide. In 2016, driverless Tractors held the major market share of the global agriculture robots market. Field Farming is the largest segment of global agriculture robots market in 2016.

Read more:

BitTorrent inventor announces eco-friendly bitcoin competitor Chia

A bitcoin transaction wastes as much electricity as it takes to power an American home for a week, and legendary coder Bram Cohen wants to fix that. And considering he invented the ubiquitous peer-to-peer file transfer protocol BitTorrent, you should take him seriously.

Cohen has just started a new company called Chia Network that will launch a cryptocurrency based on proofs of time and storage rather than bitcoin’s electricity-burning proofs of work. Essentially, Chia will harness cheap and abundant unused storage space on hard drives to verify its blockchain.

“The idea is to make a better bitcoin, to fix the centralization problems” Cohen tells me. The two main issues he sees in bitcoin are in environmental impact and the instability that arises from the few bitcoin miners with the cheapest access to electricity exerting outsized influence.

Chia aims to solve both.

Bitcoin uses proofs of work to verify the blockchain. That’s because it’s prohibitively expensive to make a fake blockchain as it wouldn’t have as much work demonstrated as the real one. But over time that’s given a massive advantage in collecting the incentives for mining bitcoin to those who operate close to low-cost electricity and naturally chill air to cool the mining rigs.

Chia instead relies on proofs of space in file storage, which people often already have and can use for no additional cost. It combines this with proofs of time that disarm a wide array of attacks to which proofs of space are susceptible.


“I’m not the first person to come up with this idea,” says Cohen, but actually implementing requires the kind of advanced computer science he specializes in.

After inventing torrenting in the early 2000s and briefly working on Steam for Valve, Cohen had been at BitTorrent building a new protocol for peer-to-peer live video transfer. But mismanagement on the business side caused the company to implode. Now it’s limping along, and Cohen says “it doesn’t need me day-to-day.” So while he’s still on the board, he left in early August to start Chia Network.

Cohen has teamed up with early bitcoin exchange Tradehill’s COO Ryan Singer and they’ve raised a seed round for Chia to ramp up hiring. Cohen wouldn’t say how much it had raised, laughing that, “I’m not sure how much we want to announce right now, but it was a very hot round.” The goal is do some early sales of Chia in Q2 2018, with a full launch of its cryptocurrency by the end of 2018, though Cohen says that’s a stretch goal.

Cohen is a brilliant technologist, but it will take more than that to convince people to switch over from bitcoin to Chia. He tells me the plan for Chia is “do some smarter things about its legal status and do a bunch of technical fixes that you can do when starting from scratch.”

It’s too early to guess how this will all play out, but at least someone is trying to address the ecological impact of cryptocurrency instead of just complaining about it. Cohen seems excited though. “It’s technically ambitious and there’s a big meaty chunk of work to do. I’ve done enough raising money and recruiting. Now for the real work.”


BitTorrent inventor announces eco-friendly bitcoin competitor Chia

Uber works with NASA to get flying taxis ready by 2020

They say the best revenge is living well, and so in the midst of its ongoing and messy breakup with London, Uber has proven it’s doing just fine thank you very much by signing an agreement with NASA to develop software for its proposed flying taxi project, Elevate.



At a speech at the Web Summit in Lisbon, Uber’s head of product Jeff Holden revealed the company has signed a Space Act Agreement with NASA to create the air traffic control system that will manage its low-flying taxi fleet, which it aims to have in the air by 2020. The company also announced that a third test city, Los Angeles, has been added to the program, joining Dallas-Fort Worth and Dubai. According to Uber, its UberAIR service could compress a one and a half hour journey from LAX to the Staples Center during rush hour to under 30 minutes.

Image result for Uber works with NASA to get flying taxis ready by 2020

Uber released a slick video, seen above, alongside its announcement, illustrating just how it envisions the Elevate service being used. It closes with the line “closer than you think”. With NASA’s clout behind the project, the idea of a flying taxi service is not only closer, but a whole lot more credible, too.


Amazon Just Bought 3 Cryptocurrency Web Addresses and Nobody Knows Why

What, if anything, is Amazon planning to do in the cryptocurrency space? That’s the question after the cloud and retail giant was spotted registering three web domains relating to the field this week.

As first reported by Domain Name Wire, on Tuesday Amazon’s legal department secured the following web addresses:,, and

The company already has, but that registration took place in 2013—the address now automatically forwards to Amazon’s main site, whereas the more recently-registered domains don’t serve up anything yet.

After Domain Name Wire broke the news of Amazon’s latest registrations on Wednesday, some guy called Byron Wiebe also registered, which forwards to the website for the Ripple cryptocurrency.

It is highly possible that Amazon amzn only registered its cryptocurrency-related domains in order to stop other people registering them in this way, which potentially infringes on the company’s trademark.


As CNBC pointed out, Amazon Pay vice president Patrick Gauthier said only last month that the company has no plans to accept payments in virtual currency, due to a lack of demand. That’s entirely plausible, especially as bitcoin, the most popular cryptocurrency, is currently more lucrative as a speculative asset than as a tool for actually paying for stuff.

But how about that Ethereum-related domain? The second-biggest cryptocurrency is not appreciating in value like bitcoin is, and its underlying blockchain mechanism also has more uses, being touted as a repository for self-executing “smart contracts” and other tools for technical decentralization.

Joseph Lubin, one of Ethereum’s co-founders, said just last week that such tools could be used to build a decentralized competitor to Amazon, made up of “many different actors with different roles.”


But that’s more about blockchain technology than cryptocurrencies. Maybe Amazon’s move has something to do with mining cryptocurrencies in its cloud? As recent analyses have shown, cryptocurrency mining is a scarily energy-intensive activity, so perhaps the company has figured out some clever way to mine smarter.

This is just spitballing, though. Really, at this point only Amazon knows why it registered those domains, and—we have asked—it’s not telling.


How much should I charge for a blog post or sponsored post?

And the first place I wanted to start is with how to figure out exactly what the value is of one of your blog posts. And it’s not just knowing what you can charge, but knowing why you can charge it. Because once you know the actual value of your product (which is what your Sponsored posts are), then it makes it so much easier to sell when a brand comes knocking as well.

Now there are three factors that need to be considered when pricing anything you do.

1 – How much time and skill is creating this going to take (that is, how many hours do you need to actually create the post)?

2 – How much coverage and value is the brand going to receive from having this on your blog (this is all down to your number of visitors, how much interaction you get etc).

3 – What is the market willing to pay? Sadly, advertising is still a free market, and so you do still have to take what buyers expect to pay into consideration as well (but just because a brand only wants to pay you $100 doesn’t mean you should take it!).

How much should you charge for sponsored posts

How you actually calculate your Sponsored post rate should be roughly as follow:

Number of hours spent creating/writing the post x Your post creation hourly rate (aka $50) + Number of specialist hours spent aka styling and photography x Your specialist hourly rate (aka $100)

= This equals the bare minimum you should be charging.

ie: 2 x $50 + 1 x $100 = $200 (minimum Sponsored post cost)

As a minimum I would say you should charge at least $50 per hour for post creation, $100 per hour for photography, and $150+ per hour if you are a real expert in your field.

Next we figure out how much your sponsored posts are actually worth as far as the coverage they provide to the brands you work with.

And you calculate that as follows;

Minimum Sponsored post cost (as above) + (Average number of comments per post x $5) + (Average number of views per post x $1.50) + (Average number of Social Media shares per post x $5)

= Total value of your sponsored posts.

ie $200 + (20 x $5) + (500 x $1.50) + (10 x $5) = $1100 per Sponsored post


Three men charged with raping and killing Airbnb guest

A trio of Aussies is charged with murdering an Airbnb guest who booked a room in their Melbourne home.

Ramis Jonuzi was allegedly raped and murdered last Wednesday while staying at the $30-a-night East Brighton home, according to the Guardian.

Craig Levy, 36, Ryan Smart, 37, and Jason Colton, 41, were each charged with murder. Colton also faces charges of using an object to rape the 36-year-old victim, according to The Age newspaper.

Jonuzi had only met the three men a week before he died. He planned on staying at the home while working through personal issues but wanted to cut his stay short because he didn’t like the “energy,” he told a friend.

His cause of death has not been determined, but paramedics said he suffered from cardiac arrest.

A spokesman for Airbnb called Jonuzi’s death an “abhorrent act.”

“We have removed this listing from our platform and will fully cooperate with law enforcement on their investigation,” he said.


Equifax Ignored Warning of Breach, Says Researcher

A security researcher claims to have warned Equifax of major vulnerabilities to its computer systems last December. If true, this contradicts the company’s claim to have only learned about the problems this spring—and provides more evidence Equifax could have prevented a catastrophic data breach that affected at least 145 million Americans.

The new allegations, reported by a security reporter at tech news site Motherboard, say the unnamed researcher scanned servers and public-facing websites, and discovered it was easy to access troves of personal data of Equifax customers.

In at least one case, a website that appeared to be an internal employee portal for looking up customer information could be accessed by anyone on the Internet. Overall, the security vulnerabilities appeared to have offered easy access to a staggering amount of sensitive data:


[T]he researcher couldn’t believe what they had found. One particular website allowed them to access the personal data of every American, including social security numbers, full names, birthdates, and city and state of residence

The researcher, who asked for anonymity out of “professional concerns,” claims to have told Equifax about the vulnerabilities immediately after discovering them, and urged it to take down exposed websites, but says the company failed to act.

These allegations, if accurate, reinforce indications that Equifax—which has a significant business selling data protection tools—was shockingly negligent and incompetent when it came to security. Earlier accounts of the breach have already indicated that hackers got in because the company failed to update its software, which should be standard practice for any corporation, and especially for those who handle sensitive consumer data.

As Motherboard notes, all of this also suggests that the gaping security holes could have been exploited repeated by multiple hackers.

“If it took me three hours to find that website, I definitely think I’m not the only one who found it. It wasn’t just one breach. It was maybe dozens,” the researcher claimed.

Equifax has yet to provide a public response to the new allegations, beyond saying the company doesn’t comment on “internal security operations.”

Equifax is currently facing dozens of lawsuits over the data breach from consumer class action attorneys and from state and city governments. The new allegations are likely to provide the plaintiffs with new ammunition to obtain damages. As Fortune has reported, the Equifax hacking incident is likely to differ from earlier mass data breaches in that the company could pay out real money to the consumers affected.


For Samsung, copying the iPhone was a massive gamble – and it paid off

Samsung just scored a massive win against Apple in a patent war that seems like it will last forever. It obtained a retrial in one of the cases where Apple scored a significant victory back in 2012. Apple was awarded more than $1 billion in damages, in a verdict that practically confirmed what many people, yours truly included, said for years: Samsung copied the iPhone.

But then, Samsung was able to lower the damages down to $400 million. And now the judge overseeing the case just said the case has to be tried again.

That’s just brilliant, and it shows that copying the iPhone was the best thing Samsung ever did.

Image result for Samsung iPhone

I still firmly believe that Samsung’s strategy at the time was to copy the iPhone, and this particular piece of evidence proves it, a 132-page document that tells Samsung employees to make Android phones that look more like the iPhone. And Samsung has never stopped being a fast follower. Sure, the Galaxy S phones launched since Apple brought lawsuits against Samsung aren’t true iPhone copies. But in most cases, it’s Samsung who copies Apple’s lead. And everyone in the business compares their brand new devices with Apple’s phones.

But it’s only evident now what Samsung was able to pull off. Copying the iPhone was a massive gamble, but also a calculated one. Samsung quickly realized it could create iPhone-like devices that would sell just as well as the iPhone. By the time Apple brought charges against Samsung, the South Korean giant would have already established itself as a major Android device maker, and it could further hone its smartphone-making skills. It would soon learn how to make Galaxy phones that aren’t iPhone clones. And it’ll made boatloads of cash in the process which meant it’ll just pay the damages. As for the iPhones clones, those would be long gone from stores by the time Apple actually won any meaningful product bans.

Image result for Samsung iPhone

That’s precisely what happened. Samsung just swallowed the criticism, fought back, and marched onward. And it all worked out.

Samsung somehow managed to almost overturn that $1 billion verdict, as the whole Apple vs. Samsung battle became a war of attrition that both companies can afford. But also a war of attrition that quickly turned out to be a boring subject for the crowds. And one that favored Samsung as the years passed.

People forgot all about those original devices, and the iPhones and Galaxies of 2017 look nothing like them. The latest Galaxy models aren’t iPhone copies, just as Android on Samsung phones doesn’t look like a washed out version of iOS anymore.

Samsung could have paid that $1 billion fine a few times over without actually noticing the loss. It’s a massive corporation with a large bottom line. Yet Samsung chose to fight it, while fully knowing that it did copy the iPhone.

Add to that the fact that Apple needs Samsung’s supply business — just as Samsung needs Apple as a client — and you get one more side of this complex Apple vs. Samsung story. By the way, there’s a reason Apple is working with LG on a secret iPhone design of the future. It’s afraid Samsung might steal some of those design secrets.

Apple could have probably continued its assault against Samsung with other trials. But it decided not to wage other wars except for the open cases. Apple apparently also realized that no matter what a jury says about Samsung’s old iPhone clones, and no matter the damages Samsung would have to pay, there’s really no stopping the Samsung juggernaut when it comes to making iPhone rivals.

Whatever happens next in the case, it won’t really affect Samsung or Apple anymore, so it’s probably time for the case to be settled. Samsung’s lawyers definitely deserve their brand new yachts, but the real rewards should go to the Samsung execs who decided that copying the iPhone is worth whatever price Samsung will have to pay.


For Samsung, copying the iPhone was a massive gamble – and it paid off

Amazon’s invasion of Kohl’s has begun

Starting today, Kohl’s is officially getting in bed with Amazon.

The discount department store is starting to accept returns of Amazon orders at 10 of what will eventually be 82 of its Chicago and Los Angeles stores. Kohl’s has also begun unveiling mini Amazon shops in some its locations, where customers will be able to try out and purchase gadgets like the Amazon Echo and Kindle.

The tie-ups, which were first announced last month, give Amazon added distribution for its growing portfolio of consumer gadgets as well as a free return option for its customers that don’t want to deal with the hassle of packing and shipping orders they don’t want.

For Kohl’s, the moves amount to a risky bet that the additional customer traffic resulting from the deal will outweigh the downside of strengthening Amazon, which has increasingly become a threat to every mid-market and low-price department store.

In an interview with Fortune, Kohl’s soon-to-be CEO Michelle Gass defended the move. “We’re going through one of, if not the, most transformational times in retail, and we have to really think differently,” she said. “The retail market is big so there is plenty of room for Amazon and Kohl’s to co-exist.”

But as Amazon continues to get more aggressive in Kohl’s core business of apparel sales — both through the creation of its own brands and deals with others like Nike — it’s fair to wonder how long a peaceful co-existence will be a reality.

It’s also fair to wonder whether there’s any thinking on Kohl’s part that the partnerships could turn into proof points in a pitch to Amazon on buying the chain.


Chinese Traders Continue Investments in Bitcoin With a Huge Premium

Despite the Chinese government’s crackdown on initial coin offerings (ICOs) and cryptocurrency exchanges, local traders have invested in Bitcoin with a huge premium during its recent rally.

As Cryptocoinsnews previously reported, the Bitcoin price achieved a new all-time high at $5,920 last week, moving closer to the $6,000 region. Analysts including billionaire hedge fund investor Mike Novogratz predicted the Bitcoin price to surge even further in the mid-term, as an increasing number of institutional investors engage in cryptocurrency and Bitcoin trading.

When the price of Bitcoin was rapidly approaching the $6,000 mark and broke through $5,800, local investors and traders in China rushed to invest in Bitcoin, regardless of the imposition of a nationwide ban on cryptocurrency exchanges that requires leading Bitcoin exchanges such as OKCoin and Huobi to halt their services by the end of October.

On October 13, Bitcoin trades in the Chinese market facilitated by OKCoin and Huobi were processed at over $6,013, as the demand for Bitcoin from local investors began to surge. While leading Bitcoin markets such as Japan, the US, and South Korea processed trades at around $5,800, Chinese investors were purchasing Bitcoin with premiums in the range of $200 to $300.

Reasons For the High Premium

Until late 2016, the South Korean Bitcoin market demonstrated a massive premium in contrast to major markets like the US, because of its limited liquidity. At the time, the South Korean cryptocurrency exchange market was dominated by Korbit and Coinone, and Bithumb, currently the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by trading volume, were yet to evolve into a major platform in the South Korean market.

Consequently, South Korean investors traded Bitcoin at a rate that was around 5 to 10 percent higher than the global average price.

In June, South Korean fintech company BitHolla CEO Alireza Beikverdi explained:

“Unlike China, which has massive mining operations taking advantage of an accidental government subsidy in the form of overinvestment in underused infrastructure and cheap energy, there is no mining activity to speak of. Therefore, Bitcoin and Ethereum must be imported from abroad, driving up the domestic premium in Korea.”

More to that, the strict capital controls and financial regulations imposed by the South Korean government which heavily restricts the outflow of capital from within the country to overseas markets contributed as a factor to the demonstrate premiums in the South Korean Bitcoin market.

Since then, the South Korean cryptocurrency exchange market has grown significantly. The South Korean Bitcoin market is the third largest in the world by trading volume, while its Ethereum market is the largest market internationally, with over 32 percent in market share.


One reason why bitcoin may be surging: You can now buy it instantly on one major US exchange

As bitcoin surged to all-time highs Friday, a key announcement from a major U.S.-based digital currency exchange could be a driving factor.

Coinbase said Thursday it is rolling out instant bitcoin, ethereum and litecoin purchases of up to $25,000 from U.S. bank accounts. Previously, customers using their bank accounts to buy the digital currencies had to wait several days to receive them.

“One of the biggest pieces of feedback we get on Coinbase is ‘why does it take so long!'” Coinbase Co-Founder and CEO Brian Armstrong said in a Thursday tweet. “Rolling out instant buys.”

Before this rollout, bitcoin’s price could fluctuate a lot during that waiting time, making it a drawback for the regular investor.

“The Coinbase instant buy program is yet another step toward mainstream acceptance of Bitcoin,” said Brian Kelly, founder of BKCM LLC, a hedge fund managing digital assets, and a CNBC contributor. “This will make Bitcoin easier to use as a transactional currency and could have the effect of increasing liquidity. The added transaction volume should also support the price. “

The company has nearly 11 million customers, according to its website.

TechCrunch reported Thursday that the instant purchase feature rolled out Thursday to about 15,000 Coinbase users and will be available for “all eligible” U.S.-based customers by the end of the year.

Bitcoin has leaped 21 percent within the last 48 hours to a record high of $5,856.10, according to CoinDesk. With those gains, the digital currency has multiplied six times in value this year and has a market value of more than $93 billion. That’s larger than that of Goldman Sachs.