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What is a Window Door Retrofit Technician?

The pressing issues on environmental concerns often find its roots in the wrong decisions and lifestyles of people especially on their unconscious preference of throwing out or getting rid of certain materials in their immediate households. The green movement in its objective to save the earth from further destruction endorses the concept of reuse, reduce and recycle. Thus, a great alternative that would definitely boost this particular concept is the green job that most homeowners fail to recognize, the profession for window or door retrofit technician.

Window or door retrofit technicians are professionals who specialize in window or door component replacement in order to avoid eventual disposal of the whole thing. Some of the basic components that are replaced are the frame, glass and sash using new materials like double-paned glasses with low-E value, new sash and vinyl frame.

This method of window or door upgrade proved to be a very cost-efficient and practical way of preserving and retaining windows especially good lumber that it is made of. Thus, the concept is quite clear, the work of window or door retrofit technicians contribute to the preservation of trees and prevents more logging activities because the manufacture of windows would be lessened after all.

What are the work and importance of this profession?

Aside from the known contribution of window or door retrofit technicians in the advocacy of green movement, other benefits could be experienced by those who hire certified professionals in this milieu. Basically, those who purchase windows or doors and want to upgrade them for enhancement or fixture would need professional help in the installation and replacement of materials needed for the task.

– Window and door retrofit technicians have sufficient knowledge and training especially in citing necessary and required adjustments to be done on the window or door.

– Furthermore, they are skilled professionals who know how to properly replace woods and other components which may likely be due to termite-caused rottenness and defects.

– Qualified professionals or technicians know the proper and correct way of installing items which would eventually prevent instances of damage or something that would repeat the work over again. What are the certifications and trainings required?

Since window and door retrofit technicians are now in-demand amidst the prevalent economic and environmental crisis, more trainings and stringent standards are imposed to add to the eligibility of professionals who would join in this particular milieu. Here are some of the trainings and qualifications needed to be a certified window or door retrofit technician.

– Field Experience through regulated training and development. Make sure that the course you take is standardized AWDI accredited with qualified references, sufficient input and practical courses.

– Skill improvement seminars and courses are needed for remarkable customer service credited to a good product background and installation improvement.

– Installation instructions with standardized data are necessary for effective installation despite the variation in different manufacturer’s products and items.

Window and door technician therefore plays a salient role as a vital component that is not only necessary in the real estate industry but most of all as important contributors to the preservation of the environment particularly the trees.

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Practical Mobile Marketing

In this article, we are going to describe powerful mobile marketing methods you can implement in just a few minutes. We will investigate what the industry and the technology allow us to do today, how to persuade people to sign up for your service and which file formats to use when you deliver your content. We will also take a sneak peek on what will happen with mobile marketing in the near future.

The hands-on experience is based on solving marketing problems with the help of InfoNU (www.infonu.com). InfoNU is a free web based mobile mass communication platform that supports the latest trends in mobile marketing. With InfoNU you can:

 

  • Send SMS messages such as personalized alerts and mobile coupons
  • Push mobile content like banners, mp3-songs, ringtones, video clips, visiting cards and java games
  • Push links to mobile websites
  • Create and schedule mobile campaigns
  • Sign up and manage consumers
  • Get your own icon next to the address book and calendar to publish mobile content without cost
  • View statistics on how mobile marketing efforts are received by users

 

As in all sectors in explosive growth, bright people gravitate towards mobile marketing, create start-up companies, offer solutions and unfortunately also create a big creative mess full of definitions, standards, ideas and solutions. This article series is the authors attempt to untangle the web of technologies into easy-to-use patters you can use in your everyday marketing of your brand, company, products and services.

A second part of this article is planned. In Part 2 we will take a closer look at advanced concepts in mobile marketing like tailor-made mobile applications and mobile community services.

Permission Marketing and What Mobile Marketing is NOT

A mobile phone is a highly personal communication device. Mobile marketing is not about spamming uninterested people with irrelevant SMS messages at 2:00 am. Marketers have to respect this. Never send messages to someone without having their permission. Sending unsolicited SMS messages to people is not good marketing. Aside from the ethical aspect of spam, it does not work and costs you a lot of money. Do not do it.

Marketing activities that depends on the permission of the consumer is referred to as permission marketing and is central to mobile marketing. Embrace permission marketing and protect your list of consumers, it is the people who have given you permission to speak.

The Mobile Marketing Dance

Instead of sending unsolicited SMS messages, the trick in mobile marketing is to persuade people to sign up for your service and then to find a balance between providing sales driving information and offering value so that your customers are both informed and happy.

How to Persuade People to Sign Up for Your Service

What can you offer that makes your consumers accept the commercial side of your company? Here are a few suggestions:

 

  1. Promote the following message by printing it on your packaged goods: Text COCACOLA to +44 77 86 202 988 (normal SMS cost). The first 100 people to text us will win a free subscription on Coca-Cola magazine. After you received 100 replies, call up the winners and get their address.
  2. Promote the following message on billboards, posters, banners or signs around your town: Text WHEATIES to +44 77 86 202 988 (normal SMS cost) to get our new ringtone.
  3. Promote the following message with an ad in your favorite newspaper: Text ABBA to +44 77 86 202 988 (normal SMS cost) to get our new song.
  4. Promote the following message with an ad in your favorite newspaper: Text ROXETTE to +44 77 86 202 988 (normal SMS cost) to get our new video.
  5. Promote the following text on your web site: Do you want information about us in your mobile? Click on this link and enter your contact details.
  6. Promote the following text in your TV commercials: Text ARMANI to +44 77 86 202 988 (normal SMS cost) and win a trip for two to Paris. The winner will be notified the 16’th of August.
  7. Promote the following text in your radio commercials: Text ATARI to +44 77 86 202 988 (normal SMS cost) and get Pac-Man to your phone.
  8. Promote the following text in your TV commercials: Text MCDONALDS to +44 77 86 202 988 (normal SMS cost) to claim your 10% discount coupon.

 

In other words: Send something back as a Thank you for signing up. Give your new user something for free. Give your new user a possibility to win something nice. At least a thank you SMS.

To configure InfoNU so that you automatically send something back when new consumers sign up to your service, log on to your InfoNU account, select Settings in the Intranet Home menu followed by SMS Signup settings, click on Details for your code word and enable Respond automatically with an SMS message. You can send back an SMS message, mobile content like images, video and music, a link to your mobile web site or a Java application.

To integrate your own web site with InfoNU as in the fifth example above, select Help in the Intranet Home menu followed by Integrate InfoNU and click on Generate Link.

File Formats to Use when Distributing Mobile Content

Since virtually all mobile phones support SMS messaging, sending SMS messages is the simplest and most reliable way to come across to mobiles. SMS messages are as we all know limited to 160 characters but can contain links to mobile content.

All mobile phones does not support the same media formats. If you have no a-priori knowledge about your consumers phones but still want to reach the biggest possible audience, use to the following file formats:

MediaFile Format,File Extension

Images, Portable network graphics, .png

Sound, MP3 songs, .mp3

Video, 3GPP video 3gp

Ringtones Midi music .mid

This list of file formats comes from analyzing mobile phones produced by the biggest manufacturers and ranking the phones after how common each phone is in practice.

Three other interesting file formats can be used for more specialized tasks:

MediaFile FormatFile Extension

Visiting cards and address book entries, vCard, .vcf

Calendar entries, vCard, .vcs

Java games, Java application descriptor files, .jad

Distributing links to mobile content with InfoNU is performed in the exact same way regardless of file format: You log on to your InfoNU account, select Uploads and upload the content from your PC to your InfoNU account. To distribute the content to a single person, click that person’s Communicate link. Make sure that Upload is selected as Type of Content.

If you want to send an SMS message to many people, create a campaign by clicking on Campaigns in the Intranet Home menu followed by New campaign. With InfoNU, you can also schedule campaigns to be run at a specific date and time. Go to Campaigns and click on Schedule campaign to define the start date of your campaign.

A Catalogue of Mobile Marketing Patterns

After your user signed up for your service, his/hers mobile phone transforms into an excellent communication channel. This section lists proven marketing methods for you to reuse:

Task: Inform customers about new products and updates, new offers and relevant company news.

Solution: Send an SMS message at an appropriate time with the information.

Note: To know when to send your message, ask yourself the following two questions: When is this information relevant to my mobile user? When will the message have the biggest impact? If you are selling umbrellas, sending your message when your customer is outside your store on his way home and it is raining outside might be a good idea. When is it not a good idea to send a message? At night? In the morning?

InfoNU supports sending personalized SMS messages. By using the tags {FirstName}{LastName}, and {Mobile} in your SMS text, you can personalize the message with the recipients name and mobile phone number.

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Task: Promote your rock groups new album.

Solution: Promote the following message: Text THECHAINSAWS to +44 77 86 202 988 (normal SMS cost) to get our new song. Follow up by sending an SMS message to everyone who signed up when your new album is released.

Note: Distributing video to mobile phones is possible today but do not expect top quality and do not expect to send out more than 10 seconds. Advances in mobile streaming technologies will make longer video transmissions possible in a few years.

To distribute a song to mobile phones convert it to an .mp3-file, log on to your InfoNU account, select Uploads and upload your song from your PC to your InfoNU account. You can distribute the song either to an individual person or create a campaign to send content to large groups of fans.

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Task: You have a nice jingle that you would like to be recognized in the metro.

Solution: Produce a ringtone and send it to your consumers for free.

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Task: Increase sales by distributing a mobile coupon to your customers.

Solution: Send out the following SMS message to your consumers: Here is your coupon for the movie. Show this message and get two tickets for the price of one. A43-K32-F83.

To create SMS coupons with InfoNU, use the {Coupon} tag in your SMS text. InfoNU will automatically create the coupon text for you. To view coupons and its owners, select Mobile Users and click on Mobile coupons.

 

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Writing Magazine Articles

INTRODUCTION:

A feature article is a magazine’s main story and usually discusses a special event, person, or place, offering considerable coverage and detail. Whether creatively focused or of a newsworthy nature, there are numerous types of them. This workshop discusses the many aspects needed to craft them.

ARTICLE PURPOSES:

Article purposes can be expressed by the word “PAST,” whose letters correspond to “purpose,” “audience,” “setting,” and “type.”

1). Purpose: What is the purpose or end goal of the article?

2). Audience: For whom is the article being written-in other words, what are the interest, understanding, expertise, demographics, and ages of its intended readership? A technical article, for example, may be geared toward engineers, while one concerning flower planting and pruning may be more appropriate for members of a garden club.

3). Scope/breadth: Articles have scopes and breadths and the author should not exceed them, or it will include too many angles and become too general in nature.

4). Topic: Topics run the gambit from psychology to health, construction, computers, biology, and sports.

ARTICLES DISSECTED:

Articles can incorporate the following six elements.

1). Lead

2). Nut graph

3). Article body

4). Angle

5). Header

6). Conclusion

LEAD:

Essentially a hook, the lead serves to grab the reader’s attention and lead or lure him into the article or story. Like bait, it must capture him and deliver on its “unwritten contractual” promise. It can be a single line or a single paragraph, depending upon the length of the article itself, and assume many forms, such as a summary sentence, a question, an insightful comment, or a witty quip, as follows.

1). Summary lead: The summary lead incorporates the standard five “w’s” and one “h” of journalism-that is, who, what, where, when, why, and how.

2). Quotation lead: The quotation lead should, if at all possible, be brief and concise, thresholding what is to follow in the article’s body.

3). Scenario lead: The scenario lead uses a narrative to describe a place and is most appropriate for articles whose settings or locations are important.

4). Narrative lead: The narrative lead often incorporates elements of creative nonfiction, such as allegory or figurative speech.

5). Anecdotal lead: The anecdotal lead begins with a story.

6). Paradoxical lead: The paradoxical lead, as its designation implies, consists of a paradox or contradiction, such as “The world’s wealthiest people are paradoxically the poorest.”

NUT GRAPH:

The nut graph is the element sandwiched between the lead and the story’s main body, summarizing what is to follow. It can be equated with the path the reader can expect to follow through the piece. Its length is proportional to the article’s length-that is, a single sentence would suffice for a 300- to 400-word article, while a paragraph would be more appropriate for a feature one.

It justifies the story be relating to readers why they should care about what is being written. It provides the transition from the lead and explains how and why it is connected to what is to follow. It may tell the reader why the story is timely. Finally, it often includes supporting material that emphasizes why the article is important.

ARTICLE BODY:

As its designation implies, the article body, for which the nut graph provides its foundation, is the longest section and includes the writer’s main points, facts, discussions, and supporting quotes.

ANGLE:

The angle is the article’s emphasis. Tantamount to it is support provided by research, expert quotes, data, and analysis. Because most topics are too extensive to be adequately covered in a 1,000-word piece, angles reduce their focus. An article about education, for example, would merit a full-length book, but a story focusing on the college freshman population of private institutions in the northeast would limit its scope.

“Most good stories have one goal or purpose, and the angle of the story helps the writer achieve this goal,” according to Naweed Saleh in his book, “The Complete Guide to Article Writing: How to Write Successful Articles for Online and Print Markets” (Writers Digest Books, 2013, p. 193.) “From the beginning, a writer transitions toward an ending that is always in sight. If a reader becomes lost and the promise of this ending is obfuscated, then the writer has failed.”

HEADER:

Although not necessarily a mandatory article element, a header can subdivide stories into shorter, specifically-focused sections, especially longer ones. Almost like chapter titles, they advise the reader of what will be discussed in the respective section. In the case of the education article, for example, its headers may include “The College Freshman Population,” “Northeast Colleges,” “Private versus Public Institutions,” “Freshmen Requirements,” and “Private School Tuition.”

CONCLUSION:

“When readers sit with your piece, they’re forming a relationship with it-even if it’s a short relationship,” according to Saleh (ibid, p. 133). “If they have read it to the end, then they’re willing to see this relationship through and expect closure. Consequently, the good writer will continue to deliver quality writing all the way to the end of the piece.

“You may conclude your article by expanding (its) perspective… , looking toward the future, revisiting the introduction, or inserting a relevant quotation.”

ARTICLE TYPES:

Although there are several types and lengths of articles, this section reviews the major ones.

1). Profiles: Profiles offer portraits of the rich, famous, influential, and important. “Most good profiles involve a judicious mix of a person’s professional life, pastimes, social life, and family life,” according to Saleh (ibid, p. 138). “You can also use allegory or figurative elements to compare a person’s professional life with personal details.”

2). Service articles: Both informative and entertaining, service articles provide advice and improvement suggestions to people and their lives in numerous areas, such as health, occupation, finance, and recreation.

3). How-to articles: These useful pieces usually include a lead or introduction, required materials, steps, tips, suggestions, illustrations, diagrams, photographs, and conclusions. Very practical, they range from how to apply for a passport to how to rid your garden of weeds to how to lose three pounds per week on a diet.

4). Travel articles: Travel articles can be subdivided into two types-service and first-person. The former capture the essence of a destination and offer advice and guidance on practical travel aspects, such as transportation, accommodation, dining, and attractions. The latter, like a memoir, appear in the first-person (“I”) and require that the writer experienced the trip himself before he can realistically report on his subject. As an experiential travel narrative, it enables the reader to “travel along” with the author, seeing things through his eyes, tasting the cuisine, and understanding his feelings, perceptions, and interpretations of the destination, its people, culture, and topography. It usually necessitates note- and photograph-taking during the trip and research both before and after it. “I tucked myself into cobblestone side streets tourists would never venture down and met the wisest locals tourists would never encounter” may be one example of a line from such a focus.

5). Reviews: Reviews assess and evaluate television shows, films, theater performances, books, paintings, articles, food, wine, and restaurants, among many other life aspects. They serve as influences, whether positive or negative, either driving business toward or hindering t from a venue. Although they obviously hinge upon the reviewer’s opinion, he should be considered an authority or expert in the subject with appropriate university degrees and employment experience. An author could share his opinion on an Impressionist painting with his friend, for instance, but a magazine would not be interested in publishing his article about it unless he has some type of degree in visual arts and experience, like with the Museum of Modern Art.

6). Short articles and pieces: Typically ranging from 250 to 400 words, these articles are optimized for magazine departments, sections, and newsletters, and can serve as thresholds to publication and acquaintance with magazine editors.

RESEARCH:

Because articles are based upon fact and hence require significant expert support, research becomes the foundation of them.

“Good writers spend about 80 percent of their time doing research and 20 percent of their time actually writing… ,” according to Saleh (ibid, p. 86). “Margaret Guroff, features editor for American Association of Retired Persons Magazine, states, ‘The key to writing engaging features is doing a ton of research so that you have the details at your fingertips… so that you really understand your subject and are speaking from a place of authority’.”

There are three types of research data.

1). Primary: Primary research sources consist of unfiltered, unchanged original documents, such as statistics, speeches, transcripts, journal articles, questionnaires and surveys, press releases, first-person accounts, and interviews either with eyewitnesses of an event or experts in the field.

2). Secondary: Secondary research sources can be considered those that are removed from the original data by a single step. They analyze, critique, summarize, and interpret, and can include books, radio shows, television shows, internet features, files, newspaper and magazine articles, news analyses, and blogs.

3). Tertiary: Tertiary sources include biographies, citations, literature guides, and library catalogues.

Ideally, the reporter or article writer should use a balance of primary and secondary sources, the latter of which entail primary source re-interpretations, whose angle or accuracy depends upon the interpreter (or the writer of them).

INTERVIEWING:

Integral to research and fact gathering is the interview. Interviews can elevate articles, add personal touches, and provide human connections to the events or circumstances covered.

The writer can begin the process by making a list of those he needs to interview, and they can include members of academics, clubs, associations, professionals, leaders, managers, and authors, among many others. Public relations departments can facilitate identification of and connections with key people and press kits or releases can provide foundation information.

There are three interview sources.

1). Participant: Participants have or have had direct involvement or roles in the events or issues discussed in the story.

2). Witness: Although witnesses are not directly involved, they have observed the people or events and can therefore offer observations, insights, feelings, and conclusions, based upon their perspectives.

3). Experts: While experts may equally not have had direct involvement, their degrees, life experience, and understanding will immeasurably improve an article’s credibility.

In the case of Long Island’s Hurricane Sandy, participants were those who lost homes or property or at least sustained damage to them, while witnesses were those who saw those damages, but may not necessarily have incurred any of their own. Experts included those from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the Red Cross, responders, and contractors.

INTERVIEW TYPES:

Before the writer attempts an interview, he should state his article type, who he represents (freelance or publication), the angle of his subject, and why he wishes to speak to the particular person or authority. Although interviews can be directed by the interviewee, the writer should nevertheless provide initial direction by listing the interview questions he wishes to pose. Tape or other means of recording is highly desirable, since anything quoted can be later proven, and the interviewee should be advised of this fact. Transcription from electronic to written means can occur after the fact, in the writer’s home or office.

There are four major interview types.

1). In-person: Aside from providing a personal, one-on-one touch, it enables the author to observe the person’s mannerisms, behavior, environment, and lifestyle.

2). Telecommunications: Telecommunication applications, such as Skype, provide computer screen interface with one or more others on the other end.

3). Telephone: While a step removed from the in-person type, the telephone interview still allows the interviewer to deviate from his prepared questions and follow the tangents the conversation sparks, resulting in spontaneous, free-flowing directions.

4). Email/standard mail: These methods are rigid and rote.

Because interviewees remember what they say, but not necessarily how they say it, the writer’s or reporter’s transcription of the conversation can take two forms.

1). Verbatim: This is the word-for-word transcription, including grammatical or syntax errors.

2). Cleaned up: Pauses, “ah’s,” and certain grammatical errors may be deleted or cleaned up.

 

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ABC World News Tonight

The number one six-o’clock news program is now on ABC with Charlie Gibson. There were many great news anchors: Walter Cronkite, Peter Jennings, Chet Huntley, David Brinkley, Tom Brokaw (to name the ones that come to my mind). And I think Charlie Gibson will be added to these names. He brings the most humanly connected broadcast that is possible on TV. You feel as if he’s one of the viewers, with the luck of actually being there among the newsmakers. At first it was “Charles,” but he was just too down-to-earth to not be “Charlie.”

His start on GOOD MORNING AMERICA in 1987 brought a relaxed atmosphere that came with him to the news. This has never diminished the seriousness of the broadcast. Charlie Gibson travels the country and the world to give us the best perspective of events. In fact, I’ve often wondered when he sleeps considering the many hours he’s on the air. His stamina is amazing!

The best debate with all the candidates this year was the one Mr. Gibson moderated. After the Republican debate and before the Democratic one, all the contenders were on the stage together. His hope seemed to let the viewers see that these are just people that happen to be in the national spotlight.

People who are a part of the broadcast appear quite comfortable with Charlie. I have watched interviews where he did make the person squirm with hard questions, but only because he or she deserved to. There’s only one thing I wish he would change. His closing is, “I hope you had a good day, and we hope you have a good night.” That is so terribly corny, even for a Charlie.

 

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Travel Document Holder – Keep it Safe and Accessible

A travel document holder is the most important item for all travelers. How many times have you panicked going to the airport and wondering where you put the tickets or your passport or your ID? Traveling is stressful and even though 9 times out of 10 you always have your documents the momentary stress can drive you nuts.

And if you are the type of person who keeps tickets passports, ID’s and money separate, then you know it is a fumbling and nervous drill when you get to the ticket line or security trying to find those items.

That is why you absolutely need a travel document holder. Being able to keep everything in one place and accessible will take a lot of the stress of travel from getting the best of you. It will also keep them safe. The possibility of losing or heaven forbid having your important papers stolen is greatly reduced when you have everything in one place.

That becomes very important in foreign countries where you may not be familiar with how things work. Thieves are out there everywhere and they know a sloppy victim when they see one.

In fact one great type of travel document holder is the clandestine sort. There are document holders that can fit under your arm in a holster. That way you always know where they are and would be thieves cannot identify them under your clothing, let alone get to them. These styles of holders can accommodate your passports, ID, itineraries and currency.

It is good piece of mind knowing your documents are safe but readily accessible to you. There are other styles of security document holders as well. It just depends on what you are most comfortable with. These holders are all lightweight and easy to carry.

If it’s style you are looking for in a travel document holder then you are in luck as well. You can find all kinds of trendy styles made in all types of materials. Leather, nylon, lycra all the usual suspects are there. You can also choose from a slew of colors.

Whatever your travel document needs, there is a document holder out there that is perfect for you and your travel needs. One indisputable fact is you need to have a document holder to escape the stress and rigors of travel whether it is for business or for pleasure. Happy trails.

 

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How Do You Become a Web Designer? Do You Have What It Takes?

Web design can be an enjoyable and fulfilling experience. It’s a trade that combines technical skills with creative ability. If you feel comfortable with computer technology and you enjoy creating documents, web design can be a great way to combine the two interests.

That being said, it’s always overwhelming to consider learning a new skill. Before learning how to become a web designer, you should ask yourself, “Should I become a web designer?”

I’ve been learning web design since I was ten years old, in 1994. I now do a lot of web design for myself and for some small business clients. There have been plenty of pleasures, but also plenty of frustrations. If you’re considering becoming a web designer, there are some things you should keep in mind.

If you have a lot of time to devote to learning HTML, CSS, JavaScript and Photoshop, it’s possible to learn the basics in a couple of months. Be ready to spend some money on manuals, books, and applications.

No matter how you decide to learn web design and how you decide to enter the field, some people have better potential to become web designers than others.
When you’re programming, even if you’re using a simple language like HTML and using a helpful application like Dreamweaver, you’re going to encounter some frustrations. Sometimes, when I create an HTML document, I spend a lot more time making corrections and problem solving than doing fun stuff. Are you prepared to spend a lot of time testing and making little changes? No matter how you approach web design, tedium can’t be completely avoided. If you’re easily frustrated and discouraged, web design might not be for you.

Unless web design is going to be just a hobby for you, you will have clients you have to work with. Sometimes clients have a lot of specific expectations. Some clients have experience with web design themselves, but others may demand things without knowing the technical limitations involved. Before you start any project for clients, it’s best to have a thorough conversation with them about what they want and what they need. That can save you a lot of time. How would you like to spend weeks developing a website, only to discover that your client wants completely different fonts, colors, graphics, site organization and content? If you’re going to get into designing web pages for other people, you’re going to have to be ready to make a lot of compromises and take a lot of criticism. Are you ready for that?

Finally, ask yourself if you have the time and energy to promote yourself. If you want to be hired by a web design firm, in addition to learning skills and possibly obtaining certifications, you’ve also got to be ready to pound the pavement with your resume and portfolio. It might take you over a year to find a job. Be ready to attend a lot of job interviews, and possibly get a lot of rejections.

If you’re going to become a freelancer, like I am, you’ve really got to devote a lot of energy to self-promotion. Set up a website, preferably with your own domain. Be ready to spend some money on advertising. Spend a lot of time promoting your services with social media – Twitter, Facebook, Linked-In, and so on. Scan classified ads, particularly online classifieds. Print business cards and distribute them wherever you can. Use your connections and word-of-mouth to your advantage. Tell everyone you know that you’re a web designer, and maybe someone knows someone who could be your first client. Sometimes I spend more time promoting myself than I do actually doing the work itself.

If you’re ready to spend a little bit of money, do a lot of tedious work, take some criticism, and do a lot of self-promotion, then web design may be the field for you.

First, you’ve got to start the learning process. If you enjoy classroom instruction and having teachers, sign up for some web design and graphic design courses through your local community college. If you’d rather start learning on your own, buy some good books, look at the source codes of the web pages you visit, and go through some online tutorials. Even if you’re going to start learning web design in a school setting, be prepared to do a lot of learning in your free time, as well.

It’s important to learn HTML, especially HTML5. Learn Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), up to CSS3. JavaScript, possibly some server side scripting languages, and Flash are very useful, too. Don’t forget to learn how to use Photoshop. If you don’t have the money to buy Photoshop right away, start by downloading some free graphic design programs like Paint.Net and GIMP. You can learn some of the basics of graphic design that way, and possibly be better prepared when you finally buy the most recent version of Photoshop.

These days, people access the web in more ways than were ever possible before. When you’re web designing, you not only want to make your web pages work in multiple browsers, but also on multiple devices. Even basic cell phones can access the web today, not just smart phones such as BlackBerrys and iPhones. Even some video game playing devices like the Sony PSP and Nintendo DSi have web browsers. Web surfers could be using tiny screens or enormous screens. They could be using a variety of different browsers and versions of browsers. Users may have completely different plug-ins and fonts; Adobe Flash is a browser plug-in, for instance. When you’re learning web design, try surfing the web in as many ways as you can.

There are many helpful resources for learning web design online, and there are many helpful online tools for web designers, many of which I use.

The W3C is an excellent place to start. They’re the non-profit organization founded by Tim Berners-Lee, the man who started the World Wide Web. The W3C sets standards for HTML, XML and CSS. In addition to information about coding languages and standards, they have handy tools to validate your code.

 

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How to Start Influencer Marketing Campaigns That Work

Working with influencers is fast becoming the norm. Gone are the days when it was easy to put your brand on social media and expect results with good content and social media practices. Most marketers now agree that influencer marketing is not just an effective strategy but also an imperative measure. The challenges of promoting your business are ever more pressing. Hence, a multifaceted approach in winning audiences is necessary.

Influencer outreach is a challenge even for seasoned influencer marketers. Some companies resort to compensating influencers one way or another to get favors. It’s good. In fact, compensating them, as in giving them freebies or discounts, works. However, there has to be something more compelling than these extrinsic rewards. Otherwise, you may just lose them to other companies with better offers.

One of the steps in influencer marketing is collaboration. This happens after you’ve become friends with your influencers, by which time you will have gained their trust. Influencer marketing examples we had in the past say being able to market with influencers is a result of putting up a compelling body of content and building a relationship with these key people in your niche.

Your work begins before you start influencer outreach!

Forget influencer targeting. If you’re in the nascence of your business, your goals should be product development, content generation, and social media management. We stress the importance of working on things you can capitalize in the near future so that you’ll have better chances at winning influencers.

SOCIAL MEDIA MENTIONS

Social media is basically the most convenient influencer marketing platform. It’s where we look for the right people. It’s where we work with them. Influencer collaboration usually happens on social channels like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

Influencers post shout outs every once in a while. When they do, people and pages they get to mention benefit from them. Influencers drive followers to entities they mention. This makes them social media drivers and movers. When an influencer mentions you, their followers come to your page. Effectively, you can watch your reach and engagement increase dramatically.

Social media mentions can be in any form of content — text posts, images, or videos. There are also different ways of mentioning you. An influencer can tag you directly. She can also mention a recent post of yours. She can also mention your brand.

Start relationships

Getting popular people on social media give you a shout out is a natural outcome of a good influencer marketing strategy. It’s easier to get people mention you once you have established rapport with them. In other words, you have to make friends with your potential influencers and then earn their trust. Once you’re friends with an influencer, all you have to do is ask. It doesn’t get any simpler than that.

This usually works with influencers with less than 10K followers. These people are more willing to work with people with brands in their niche, especially those who already have substantial following.

Offer good things in return

Making friends with people is sometimes a difficult task. Sometimes they are just unyielding or too busy. Some social media celebrities are cynical about followers who suddenly message them and ask them favors. If you can’t start friendships with them, offer something nice. What you can offer is up to you. It can be a product sample for a single mention. It can be a 6-month free service subscription for an ongoing social media collaboration.

BLOG FEATURE

Nothing is ever more flattering for brands than being featured by an authority in their niche. So you have this expert guy who has a hundred thousand followers or so on Facebook. He blogs about kitchen renovation and does DIY demos. Thousands of people read his blog every day because it’s very informative and useful.

Here you are selling kitchen sink cleaning solutions. You want that guy to feature your product. Maybe he can do a kitchen sink cleaning demo using your product so that he can indirectly tell his audience to try your brand themselves. The logic of getting someone review your product or write a post about it isn’t so difficult to comprehend. Companies have been paying bloggers to feature their brand for so long. Only now did we call it influencer marketing. Well, it’s basically a form of it.

Your business becomes the subject of a feature blog post or article. It most likely takes a form of a review or testimonial, which hopefully doesn’t sound too patronizing — otherwise, readers would be intrigued in a bad way. Bloggers may review or feature a number of products at the same time. If that happens, you can ask them to include your brand. That’s one of the influencer marketing examples we know that aren’t too tacky.

Give a fitting offer

Influencers who maintain blogs are busy creatures. They’re not your regular social media celebrities who simply dazzle their followers with one liners, memes, and selfies. Bloggers are at any moment doing research, interviewing other people, working on a project, or writing their next post. They normally don’t check their email to find out if someone is asking for a blog post feature. So if you want to get noticed, make an offer they can’t refuse. Again, this influencer marketing tactic works if you don’t sound like a creepy, hopeless guy.

Choosing the right influencer

You can’t ask just any blogger to review your brand. The wrong blogger won’t bring in revenue and will only be a waste of your resources. The right blogger is fit for your brand. Their content is relevant to your campaign. And their audience is likely your audience, too. Bloggers may decline your offer if your brand isn’t relevant to their content. How can you expect a fashion blogger to talk about camera accessories?

Considerations

 

  • Make a compelling offer. Writing an article about your product isn’t easy. No one does it for free. Compensation is essentially an important aspect of influencer marketing.
  • Be reasonable and realistic with your expectations. It takes a while to write content. Don’t make unreasonable demands, like asking for a review on short notice. An influencer wouldn’t mind turning you down.
  • Bloggers won’t write stuff outside their niche.
  • Make their job easier. Collaborate on a blog post, instead of giving the entire task to them. Guest post, maybe?
  • Provide images or videos if necessary. Remember, you’re not hiring a writer. You’re working with an influencer.

 

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A Woman and Her Designer Shoes

Let’s face it. Women generally go gaga over shoes: stilettos, pumps, wedges, open-toed, slip-ons, and any kind of footwear. If a brand is in, chances are high that women either have it or want it. Jimmy Choo, Manolo Blahnik, Prada, Calvin Klein, Coach, Casadei, and Christian LaCroix are some of the designer shoes that can bring a glazed and uncomprehending look to the eyes of an otherwise sensible woman.

If you’re a woman, you would know that the one thing that would perfect your look and complete your whole ensemble is the right pair of shoes. Put on the wrong pair – one that doesn’t go with what you’re wearing – and you’ve ruined your look no matter how nice the dress fits you or how perfectly made-up you are. Wrong shoes, wrong look. It’s as simple as that.

Which designer shoes should you go for?

Designer shoes didn’t get popular because of their name alone. In fact, shoes don’t get tagged as “designer shoes” until their designer or manufacturer (this term sounds so utilitarian and would certainly raise a few eyebrows) become famous. A shoe designer gets famous through a combination of factors. Of course, quality of craftsmanship and captivating designs are major factors, but having the right connections, the right endorsers, and an ingenious marketing and branding program helps too.

Womens designer shoes are more than just footwear; they are prestigious footwear. Thus, when choosing your designer shoes, you might want to check which ones are more popular with the celebrities since they are known for endorsing only “prestigious” gear. This way, you can be sure that the shoes you buy are accepted and recognized as a designer brand.

Should you really go designer or generic?

Designer shoes, aside from being stylish and fashionable, are always made out of the best material so you can be sure they will last awhile. The designers of such shoes have a reputation to maintain so they need to provide only shoes that will stand the test of time as well as have exceptional designs. Therefore, shelling out a few hundred bucks extra to buy a pair of womens designer shoes can prove to be a wise investment in the long run.

By buying designer shoes, you could even save yourself a few hundred in the end since you may not need to replace your shoes several times over. While there are un-branded (generic) shoes that look fabulous and cost about a quarter of a designer pair’s price, they could be good for only a few parties. A few more strenuous rounds on the dance floor might render them unusable.

Designer shoes also give you status. They tell the world that the wearer has exceptional taste and the money to buy good things. You can thus be the envy of everyone at the party because of your expensive and tasteful shoes. Valuing other people’s opinion may well be superficial, but you can’t deny that public opinion does matter a lot to most people. The thought of being perceived as trendy and stylish can also give a woman the much-needed confidence she deserves as well.

Designer shoes are a woman’s best friend, next to diamonds. You could be wearing something fabulous but if the shoes don’t fit, you could ruin your whole look. On the other hand, if you’re wearing something less fabulous but paired with the perfect designer shoes, chances are you could still pull off the look.

What is hot right now?

An exciting new fashion trend is custom womens designer shoes [http://www.morganmillershoes.com]. Morgan Miller, known as the Queen of Sole, has come up with an entirely new concept which has women shopping for shoes like kids at a candy store. At her boutique shoe store located in Miami Beach, Florida, you pick a base (from cork wedge to stiletto), select the strap (from solid leathers to exotics like python and ostrich), and choose the accessories (Swarovski crystals to Harry Winston jewels). Champagne is served while you wait for onsite couture cobblers to craft your design. Thirty minutes later your custom creation is served on a Tiffany silver platter.

Many celebrities have already designed their own shoes, including pop artist Brooke Hogan, actress Gabrielle Union, The 40-Year-Old Virgin’s Stormy Daniels, Stacey Keibler of Dancing with the Stars, Victoria’s Secret beauty Marissa Miller, and American’s Next Top Model winner CariDee English.

 

It used to be all about the brand. Fortunately enough, Morgan Miller has championed her creative concept which allows women to express themselves and tell the world that it isn’t about the brand, it is about them.

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Promoting Your Business With Blogs – The Art of Business Blogs

Blogs are the news and educational outlets of the future. They have pushed themselves up as a leading presence on the internet. For those who once wanted to create a website, but perhaps they had no interesting content. The blog has made it possible to earn some massive traffic for even the smallest of websites. If a person blogs daily on a blog website their site will become over 365 pages large! (each blog post becomes it’s own page….well, with blogging programs like blogger and wordpress). With all that content and a niche’, traffic is sure to come. Well, not exactly.

The whole “build it and they will come” philosophy does NOT apply to the internet any longer. Perhaps at the internet’s conception, and during the following 2 years, this may have been true. Now, even the largest and best blogs may be elusive if not advertised or networked by some means. It would be nice to toss up a nice website with targeted content, and watch the traffic flow in. If this were the case, there would be MANY more rich bloggers out there. Blogging has also become the best way to learn the latest and most important news in any industry. Now, I read about current events and funny stories sometimes days before they appear on the news or radio. Blogs are a bigger power-house than most even realize.

If you are thinking of starting a blog, make sure it has a niche’, or a targeted audience. You could start a gardening blog, a marriage blog, a business blog, an internet business blog, a marketing blog, a web design blog, a graphic design blog, and even a super hero ninja-clown blog. You’d be extremely surprised at how many people are creating blogs these days…and even more surprised at WHAT people are creating blogs about. Reading blogs regularly is not only a great way to gauge your audience in your target industry, but also a great way to keep up with the latest techniques and trends in whatever it is that you are interested in. In reality, blogs really are the newest media form… and with sites like Digg, Twitter, Reddit, and stumble upon, your blog is sure to get noticed by someone!

So how does one slip some shameless self promotion into your own blog, or better yet…even others blogs? If you are writing a targeted blog, in YOUR industry, this shouldn’t be too hard. Say you are a martial arts teacher. You start a martial arts blog, and promote it. List your business and your expertise in the blog every now and again. As others in the industry find your blog, they’ll link to it from their site if they enjoy your content. This is the art of basic blog promotion. There are also a ton of feed websites to submit your blog to, such as Technorati, and a few other biggies that you must submit to to start monitoring traffic, incoming links, and so on.

Another obvious key to business blog promotion is to network yourself and your blog. Many bloggers believe that it is considerate to leave comments on blogs to show appreciation, and to add to the community experience. Commenting also leaves behind your blog’s link, so others can find you through more popular blogs within your industry. Making friends in the blog world is a great way to get your blog and your name out there. It’s also a great way to generate regular readers of your blog.

I strongly suggest that if you already have a business and a business website, to add a blog to it as soon as possible. Whether it is an industry news blog, or just a blog about the news and current events within your own company. It’s a great way to add more content (words) to your site that are like food to the search engines. Industry experts have also said that adding a blog to your company’s site is a way to better connect with your consumer, since they can comment and address issues they have with pretty much anything. Many consumers see it as a better way to access an authority figure within the company as well. Large companies that utilizing blogging include Toyota, Google, HP, and many more.

When it comes down to it, blogging can be a great tool to promote your business if used correctly. Remember, the blogging world is immense, so if you are ready to sit down and start a blog, make sure to design a strategy of how to market that blog. Submit it, Submit it, and Network! Don’t be shy when it comes to commenting. If you enjoyed another’s blog, make sure to comment and let them know! bloggers enjoy feedback, and it usually elicits friendships and new readership.

 

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How To Find Sensible Bridal Shoes For Your Wedding

Weddings involve a tremendous amount of planning. It may take months to find the dress you want to wear down the aisle. You have to decide whether you want the bridesmaids to wear dresses you find ready made, or dresses you have sewn specially to fit them. Colors and styles are difficult to choose, too. Then, there are details like the kind of cake you want and who you will trust to bake and decorate it. Along with all these decisions is the choice of wedding shoes.

You will be busy the whole day of your wedding. There is no reason to make yourself uncomfortable unless you are certain you want to wear dressy shoes. Women’s dress shoes can be beautiful, certainly. If you are wearing a wedding dress that is not full length, you will probably want to wear elegant high heeled shoes in a white or candlelight color, or any shade that matches your dress. You will want to look your best, but keeping the heels in the lower height range of high heeled shoes is a good idea. You will be walking too much to be comfortable in stiletto heels. With a lower heel, you can look graceful and be comfortable at the same time.

If you are wearing a full length dress, you have the opportunity to take comfort to the next level. No one will likely notice your shoes under a long dress, especially if it has a train. Your feet will be securely hidden from view. Many brides take advantage of this fact by wearing alternative wedding shoes that may seem unusual if you have not been around brides lately.

Ballet shoes can be worn as bridal shoes. Ballet shoes are some of the most comfortable wedding shoes, yet they look dainty if your feet ever do show. Brides can wear ballet shoes and never fear getting a blister or twisted ankle from wearing tight or high heeled shoes. Ballet shoes often come in white and pink, but other colors are sometimes available.

Comfort can be very important to brides. Many brides now wear simple white tennis shoes as wedding shoes for the comfort they provide. Tennis shoes could even be seen as appropriate, considering all the running a bride will have to do to coordinate every little detail on her wedding day. Some brides even wear house slippers as wedding shoes. Whether standing at the altar or gliding across the dance floor, there is no reason a bride should be in misery because of her shoes.

Alternative shoes are also advantageous because they are not expensive. Weddings can cost a small fortune, but that does not mean your shoes have to be costly as well. If you want to buy cheap shoes for your wedding, you are much better off buying comfortable footwear at a low price than cheap knock-offs of expensive brand name wedding shoes. These cheap imitations do not look as good as the wedding shoes they imitate. They do not hold up as well, and may even come apart on the day of the wedding. That is the last thing a bride needs to worry about. Besides that, the cheaper the dress shoe, the more uncomfortable it usually is. It is much better in every way to find the most comfortable bridal shoes that are appropriate to go with your wedding dress.