An Inspiring Kiva Story

Kiva is an international nonprofit, founded in 2005 and based in San Francisco, with a mission to connect people through lending to alleviate poverty. They celebrate and support people looking to create a better future for themselves, their families and their communities. 
Kiva Loan for a Shoe Business

By lending as little as $25 on Kiva, anyone can help a borrower start or grow a business, go to school, access clean energy or realize their potential. For some, it’s a matter of survival, for others it’s the fuel for a life-long ambition.

One woman brewing change in Africa, and beyond – Medium  Story by Jessica P. Hansen, photos by Brandon Smith

Vava Coffee, is taking the coffee industry by storm. Upon learning that coffee farmers in Kenya earn less than 35% of the international market value on their high-quality coffee because of their lack of access to better markets and limited knowledge of the quality of their product, Vava set out to shake things up. Get the full ‘scoop’ on how her Kiva loan has allowed her to grow her business and improve the lives of 30,000 farmers in innovative ways

WP Site Security and Securi

It is well worth having your WordPress installation on auto-update.

I got caught out still having Ver 4.7.1 for a week after version 4.7.2 came out, and my site was breached twice, firstly with an unauthorized post about weight loss and then by a Bala Sniper Hack. WordPress 4.7.1 and other recent earlier versions turned out to have several security issues that allowed unauthorized access.

Luckily I have my site monitored by Securi, so was made aware of the breach immediately and took action to fix the problem. At present I’m only using the free version but have in the past used their paid services to restore the site from a very corrupt state. Being semi-retired now and keeping costs down, I’m only using their monitoring services but that is tremendously useful – to be advised immediately your site has a problem gives you a good chance of preventing a major attack.

There are of course many other ways to secure your sites and I’m going to talk about it a bit more in the near future.

Resources for Seniors

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I was recently contacted by Kathleen Carter from http://educatorlabs.org/who has put together a collection of resources for seniors and the various challenges we face as we grow older.

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I hope this will be of value to any seniors among my readers or those who are carers for someone with a disability or other health problem.

 

From Elmer George of elderville.org

“As a senior who recently purchased a home and made significant modifications to it, I can’t tell you how much people like me (people of all ages, really) appreciate having easy access to info about buying and maintaining a home.” so here are his list of recommended links.

A Guide to Downsizing for Seniors and Their Loved Ones

Should You Own or Rent a Home in Retirement?

Saving for a Home Post-Bankruptcy: A Three-Step Guide for Families

7 Home Improvement & Remodeling Ideas That Increase Home Value (And What To Avoid)

How to Deter Burglars: Keeping Potential Robbers Away From Your Home

 

Top 10 Business Opportunities to Make Money in 2014

Money-in-wallet

We all want to make extra money to supplement our income these days,

but the question is, what is the best way to go? What opportunities are legitimate and realistic for ordinary people without a big budget?

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To give you an opinion other than mine, I went searching for sites with that seemed to me to provide good advice and found this one that gives a top ten list.

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Don’t expect everything on the list to suit your circumstances, but there are some good suggestions there and maybe the hardest choice will be which one to try first.

money_5Top 10 Ways to Earn Extra Money Online
http://www.australianbusinesstimes.com Sat, 01 Feb 2014 10:38:53 GMT

Everything from self-publishing e-books to entering online tournaments has the potential to bring in an extra wage. The following are ten top ways to earn an income online. One – Self-Publish an eBook: Self-publishing books …
Read more …

Now, some of these ideas would not do for me at all, such as online poker tournaments or forex trading, but the list includes others that do appeal, such as self-publishing or doing this as a service for clients, online freelancing (and another site not mentioned in the article that I use is People per Hour) or setting up a consultant site.

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Whatever you decide to do, just pick one method and give it a good go. Too many people try one thing for a short time but give up before that idea has a chance to bring in any money

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Best wishes
Trish

 

2 Simple Steps to Make Your Retirement Savings Leap

The fall in value of currencies, while costs continues to rise is causing millions of older people around the world to fear what their life will be like in their senior years. There is so much uncertainty that retirement savings carefully put aside for all those years will no longer be sufficient to provide the expected comfort in later life. Such questions as what would happen if they developed health problems, what if one partner dies and the other is left, what if they could no longer afford to live in their family home.

It is not all doom and gloom. According to USNews Money department writer, Richard Satran in an article published 5th March 2103:

Fear has motivated people to start saving more, but here are two positive ways to upgrade savings

Older couple reading a document while sitting together

Given a half-decade of economic uncertainty, fear may still be the biggest motivator for retirement saving. The financial crisis inspired people everywhere to save more and hold off on short-term spending. “It shook people out of their complacency and got them thinking, ‘I should save more,'” says Ken Hevert, Fidelity’s vice president of retirement products. “All age groups—young people, too, are showing a tendency to be more conservative.”

New surveys by two leading financial-services companies show how attitudes toward saving have evolved, and highlight a couple of easy steps that can have a big impact on savings.

 These easy steps can be summarized in the following two tips:

“Tip 1: Planning for retirement boosts savings dramatically” – the planning process gives them positive goals for retirement

“Tip 2: Putting eggs in more than one basket produces far higher returns” …. “opening more channels for collecting funds has a positive effect on the amount people save”

Does planning give people a sense of taking control of their lives which helps to overcome the fear factor?

 Click here to read the full article.

Promote Your Home Business

Use the same marketing tools as a standard brick and mortar business, to promote your at home venture.

Advertising your service or product, is just as important, if not more, when you work from the home. It is important that the public knows how to find you and that your business exists. In order to find success in running your own home business, you must be totally comfortable promoting yourself.

As the owner of a home business, you will need to talk up your business to a large number of potential customers. You have to be able to make your customers feel that your business and products are of the highest quality. Learning to successfully self-promote, is one of the keys to making big time profits.

Participate in trade shows that focus on your particular product or service. Trade shows provide a great way to network with others in your industry. It is also an effective way to promote your business to many potential customers by providing you with a setting to demonstrate your product or service.

Create a mailing list for your home business. This can either be through snail mail or the internet. Let others know about any special deals you are offering or just promote your business.

You can also send out small updates or newsletters to your customers to let them know what has been going on. This will increase traffic to your web site.

Examine all of the ways your home business appears in the marketplace and be sure you have a consistent message and presentation.

Whether it is your business cards, web site or social media business page, keeping your messaging professional and synchronized helps you promote your business appropriately and clearly across multiple channels.

Having a home business does not mean you have to stay home.

Get out of the house to network and promote your home business.

Promoting your business will help make your business grow and in turn make you more money.

Being active in the community will help to spread the word of your business. Business cards are a great way to promote your home based business and get your name out to the community.

Search for free business cards online and then distribute them wherever you go, including grocery stores, dentist offices and your children's schools.

Set up an advertising and promotional item budget for your home business and make sure you stick to it.

Advertising, free products, printing and more can add up quickly.

When you stick within your allotted budget, you help your business stay on track. Your budget will grow over time and you will be able to spend more money to promote your business down the line.

Promote your home business by offering a coupon for a free sample or a discount for your services. People are attracted to free offers, so this is a good way to bring in new customers. People are more willing to try a new business if they do not have to risk their own money to try it.

If you are caught by what is being called the "latest recession" and you are  wondering, "How is my family going to get by?", see if some of these ideas and helpful tips can help you survive and improve your financial situation.

Beating the Christmas Blues

Christmas Holly

It's Christmas once again, and all around there's lights, food, song and cheer. Yet somehow the hustle and bustle only makes you more depressed and lonely. Do not fear; you are not alone! The holiday blues isn't uncommon, and there are lots of ways you can beat them and have more than a merry Christmas.

1. Know why you are sad.

Is it because of work, family, or the weather? Many people often find themselves feeling low for no apparent reason, but believe it or not, there is always a reason – you only need to find out what it is. Take time to reflect; stay in a quiet corner and allow yourself to think about what's really bothering you. Make a list of everything that's been troubling you for the past few days, the past year, or even your whole life. Understanding the "little details" can actually help to make you see things in perspective, and give you an idea how serious your melancholy is.


2. Accept, forgive, move on.

They say it's never easy to forgive (and forget), but the one reason it's so difficult to do is because we haven't first learned to accept that the thing happened at all. Whatever is making you unhappy is done and cannot be undone, and the only thing you can do now is to move on. However, before you can get to that stage, you must try and forgive yourself – for being weak and getting hurt; for letting another person make a fool of you; for not being able to stop something on time, when you felt you could.

Once you've learned to forgive yourself, it is only then that you can learn to forgive whoever or whatever has caused the pain. By this time, it will be easier to move on.

3. Practice empathy.

Now that you know the reason behind your blues and what to do about it, practice spreading cheer to others whom you think are in the same situation as you. Visit an orphanage; do a good deed for a total stranger; share a listening ear with a hapless neighbor. Or spare some time with the people close to you – send Christmas cards and letters to friends, or save one night where you can watch a Christmas movie with the family.

Christmas should be a happy time for everyone, so even with the blues you can still enjoy the season. All it takes is a little love and patience – especially on yourself.

Best wishes to you all for happy time with families
Trish

Using PLR Successfully (for Newbies)

 

UsingPLRMost people will already know what PLR is, but for any who want to learn more, a google search or this wiki page is a good place to start  – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Private_label_rights

Although you have the right to publish any private label rights material “as is” on your site, there is a possibility that search engines will consider it as “duplicate content” meaning that if the identical material can be found on another site, your article can be considered duplicate content and penalised with regard to ranking. If you have some PLR you want ti use, you can easily find out how many other sites are using that same content by selecting a sentence from an article, putting quotes around it, and entering that sentence into a search engine. Often you’ll find 10, 50, or 100 other sites with the same article.

There is a lot of debate on the subject of duplicate content – only yesterday I heard one marketer proclaim that it is rubbish, using duplicate content didn’t affect his results adversely at all, while another IM teacher urged readers to avoid it at all costs.

So if you are a newbie, do you use it or not?  My suggestion is to use it, but change it enough to make it quite different from the original. For me, this is a lot faster than writing a new article from scratch. Here are three of the most common recommendations:

Firstly, you should add a new first paragraph to the article. This paragraph explain your purpose in the rest of the work and summarize what is coming up next.

Secondly,  rewrite most of the first two or three paragraphs in your own words. I like to read a few sentences in a paragraph and then reword them in my own style. Then I delete the original sentences and continue with the next sentences.

This process creates at least three or four paragraphs totally in your own words that are very unlikely to be duplicated elsewhere.

Just how may paragraphs you rewrite is up to you. The more your rewrite the better off you will be. And, the more you change, the more original the article will appear to both the search engines and your site’s visitors.

Thirdly, write a new closing paragraph. Make this a summary of the article. You may also include a lead-in to another page on your site with a link to that page.

It is often said that there is “nothing new under the sun”, in this context meaning that what has been said and written has been said and written before, the only thing that is new in each case is the presentation, so if you want to save some time when creating your own material, whether  articles or complete ebooks, using Private Label Rights in this way will avoid any duplicate content penalty.

 

For more information, subscribe to the blog (RHS of the page) – one of the June freebies is “25 Ways to Reuse PLR content”