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

Five Key Factors for Compelling Web Content

Readers-searching1-618wAlthough content has always been considered the be the “king” when it comes to writing compelling web material, with the rapidly increasing numbers of websites “out there”, never has it been so vitally important to make your content better that of your competition, so it pays to take the time to create high quality articles that visitors truly want to read.

Forget about taking shortcuts; no matter what niche or business you are in, the quality of your articles, posts & sales material will always be the key to a successful online venture.

To write content that really conveys the message you want to get across, take note of these 5 key factors:

Make It Easy To Read
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Keep that in mind many people skim-read webpages. Your target readers are probably subscribed to several news feeds or  blogs, so if you want to hold their interest, you need to make your content easy to read.

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Remember readers like white space, so use short paragraphs and bullet points or numbered lists with subheadings. Use web recommended fonts because research has shown them to be the most easily read by the majority of readers. A particular font might appeal to you, but that doesn’t mean it will have universal appeal or be easily read by others, especially those with poorer eyesight.

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Add graphics to your articles where that is appropriate as this makes the structure of your post more visually appealing and helps to keep your article focused on the point you want to get across.

Good Quality Material

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While it is true that you can get articles written very cheaply when you don’t want (or don’t have time) to write them yourself and also true that some so-called “gurus” claim to still make money using poorly written articles, these guru’s may well have a very large list of people who will buy whatever they recommend, regardless of quality.

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Therefore, it isn’t a good idea for you to do what they do because you want to build a good reputation for yourself, build your business so that your readers and customers see you as a quality provider and will be more interested in your next offer. Remember, it is easier to sell something to an existing customer than it is to find a new one.

Be Natural

Cute_Vector_Robot_Character_176x189Don’t try to fill your article with keywords; make your sentences flow in a clear, informative and entertaining manner.  Search engines have evolved to the point where you will be penalised for overuse of keywords, rather than rewarded in the rankings.

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The best advice is to stop worrying about keywords. If you are answering the questions your searchers are asking then the keywords will come into the content naturally.

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Of course you can add some in on purpose after the article is finished, but in a way that does not upset the flow. Keywords should be secondary to creating an article that’s interesting and informative.

A comfortable Length

Funny_Robot_Vector_Character_25_2There may be accepted “rules” as to how long your online articles should be, but every article and every subject is different, so use your common sense about it.

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Imagine that you are the person searching for your content; ask yourself if you could find the answer to what you want to know in just 100 – 150 words? If the answer to this is “yes”, then 100 -150 words is long enough! The key is to use as many words as are required to address the subject without getting off track or including unnecessary detail and very often, that will require a lot more than 100 words.

Current

Most online content becomes out of date and needs updating from time to time. Yes, some things don’t change much over time, like how to grow vegetables or recipes, so articles about these subjects are considered “evergreen” because they are still relevant long after being written. Robot_Vector_Character_with_Thumbs_Up_175x215 However, just because they are still relevant doesn’t mean you can re-hash them without penalty from the search engines.

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Remember that Google, Bing and the like are businesses too, trying to please their customers (searchers) so they will reward those who upload content that is fresh, up to date and original. It pays to take advantage of this fact by keeping on top of your industry and keeping your readers informed. 

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It is a mistake to take shortcuts when it comes to high quality content. In the long term, it is well worth the time and effort it takes to write material that will convince your reader to take action and join your list or buy whatever you are offering.

Take a Course on Udemy

udemy_logo_600_w_backgroundI am a great fan of Udemy and have enrolled in a number of courses, some completed and others not yet.

I am in good company because there are 2 million in 190+ countries are taking online courses on Udemy. Course they are taking include:

Programming,  Yoga,  Design,  Photography,  Spanish,  Marketing,  Guitar,  Finance,  Cake Decorating and many many more

More than 12,000 courses (in 10 different languages!) have been published in our marketplace. Each course is designed & taught by an expert instructor and hundreds of new courses are published every month.

So whether you want to get promoted, break into a new industry, start a company, or just further a passion, Udemy’s here to help you achieve your goals.

It’s not just about taking other people’s courses either – anyone can be an instructor, teach a course and charge money for it!

It is a huge opportunity, because Udemy hosts all your course content for you, videos, power point presentations, audio, mindmaps, text etc, whatever teaching materials you prefer, with the proviso that at least 60% must be video content. They even have an excellent free course teaching you How to Create a Udemy Course.

Naturally, there a some standards to be met,

but there is so much help and support that I believe anyone who has something to share could teach it on Udemy.

I am practising what I preach and have just started my first course. Will update you as I go along……

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Learn from a Udemy Course Today!

Do you love to learn something new?

I do and I have enrolled in several courses in a fairly new institution called Udemy.

Udemy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our team recruits the world’s top experts, including New York Times best-selling authors, CEOs, celebrities, and Ivy League professors. These expert instructors have taught over 500,000 students on Udemy, helping them learn everything from programming to photography to design to yoga and more.

Udemy is headquartered in San Francisco, California. It was founded in 2010 & is funded by Insight Venture Partners, Lightbank, MHS Capital, 500 Startups and other investors who previously foresaw the internet giants YouTube, LinkedIn, Twitter, Groupon and Yelp.

Udemy helps students make moves. Whether you want to get promoted, break into a new industry, start a company, further a passion, or just accelerate your life, Udemy helps you learn from the amazing instructors in the world, so that you can get there and get there faster.

If you are an expert in some area, Udemy empowers you to create a course and teach online. Best online teaching tools (for free!), a supportive instructor community, and expert course creation & technical teams dedicated to your success.

There is something for everyone there.  I am currently learning about photoshop, Kindle publishing, mobile marketing, website security and how to create training videos.

Best wishes
Trish

For more information, watch this YouTube Video

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UmKRevigZUg]

Top 100 Senior Living Sites

Although this site is primarily aiming to help seniors supplement their income, nothing about our lives is in isolation. As we age we often face difficulties with housing, memory and other health issues and for many of us, the reality of living alone. Where can seniors find information to help with these issues?

This morning I received an email from Allison Mathison who has compiled a list of the top 100 senior living sites to help people find the info they are looking for. I have copied her email below as she describes it so well herself:

As you know elderly care and senior living industry is always in
demand and always changing as our country grows. I have been blogging about
these topics for quite awhile now and recently just compiled a list of the
best 100 sites that covers everything related to assisted living, aging
issues, caring for our senior citizens. Baby Boomers are retiring left and
right and the need for these topics will continue to rise. Please feel to
check out this blog post http://nursingassistantguides.com/senior-living/

I spent a lot of time browsing each site and organizing them in
appropriate categories. It was really fun to make and hopefully will be a nice
resource for any senior citizens or even the family of seniors looking to find
the best bit of knowledge on the next stages of their loved ones…..

Each entry has a highlight link to a specific issue that older people face and I had a smile or two at some of the stories.

Here's the link again:

http://nursingassistantguides.com/senior-living/

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.

Randy Smith’s Hacker Nightmare

One of the people I admire in the internet marketing industry is Randolf (Randy) Smith, one of many internet marketers out there who genuinely want to help others to succeed. Randy’s blog called “Randy’s Ramblings” is one that I read on a regular basis because it is down to earth, humorous and helpful. You won’t get any bullsh.. on this blog – Randy tells it like he sees it and if he doesn’t think a new product would be useful, he’ll say so or else it just won’t be mentioned at all.

Randy has, or should I say had, a number of websites and products but in early October, his sites were hacked and all his domains stolen. To read the story behind this nightmare, visit the blog at http://randolfsmith.com

If you feel sick, as I did, that one human could treat another in this way, just take note of the effort Randy put in to try to put right all the wrong being done to his customers, a time consuming and costly endeavour, and you’ll realise that this is a man that just won’t give in, he’ll keep doing what he believes is right. This is a man worth keeping in mind to buy products and services from.

Once he gets everything back up and running, there will again be links on his blog to his many services. In the meantime, here are the ones I have used and recommend:

Sales Letter ABC – www.salesletterabc.com
7 Key Elements – www.7keyelements.com
More Monthly (stolen) – now called More Monthly Pluswww.moremonthlyplus.info (more info on this site on my Online Resources Page http://r7-

sydney.webserversystems.com/~trishfin/online-business-resources)

I have not included an affiliate link in the list above, so I won’t profit if you buy from Randy, but I believe he deserves a break, so if what he offers is useful to you, buy from the man!

Best wishes
Trish

P.S. – there is always something to be learned from someone else’s misfortune, so to all out there with an internet business of any kind, make sure you back up your sites and your lists. You’ll be glad you did if a hacker comes your way, too.

What Are the “Must” Questions to Ask Before Joining a Business?

Work from home based business opportunities are being researched by many people due to the nature of the economy. Many would be entrepreneurs are looking to find the right business on the internet as there are literally hundreds to choose from.

However, to avoid failure, especially if an opportunity seeker is looking to make money from a network marketing opportunity, it is important to ask what kind of training/system is in place so reps can become successful sooner rather than later. If distributors are not able to earn money within a couple of months from the income opportunity, they will become frustrated and quit.

Therefore, before one signs up on a company’s agreement dotted line, here are some crucial questions to ask:

Read more

A-Z of terms used in Windows XP

For computer beginners and other learners as well:

How many times do you read or hear a term used relating to computers and have no idea what it means? Still happens to me and I’ve been using them for more than 20 years.

Growth in this industry is so fast that it’s a real challenge to keep up with every development,

Read more

How to Make A Great Flyer

Flyers are a great way to advertise something for yourself, for an organisation you belong to or for marketing both online and off. There’s no need to be a genius to create a great one, either; if you have some basic tools and follow these guidelines, you’ll be able to design your own flyers in no time.

1. MICROSOFT WORD – Begin with a basic software program like Microsoft Word or Publisher. Open up the program, then look under “File” then “New” to see if there are already existing flyer wizards for documents or templates. If so, start there and adjust one to suit your needs.

2. COLOR – First take a look at your project budget. Is there room for full-color printing of hard copies to distribute? If not, don’t worry. Regular black ink on colored paper produces nice looking, professional flyers. Coordinate the paper color with a theme for the month, like green paper for St. Patrick’s Day or red or blue for the 4th of July.

3. TEXT / FONT – Don’t have too many different fonts, text sizes and styles in one document. Just choose a couple of complimentary fonts and sizes. For ideas on which to use, start a collection of flyers that are stuck on your door, around your mailbox and placed on your car’s windshield. Search your favorite industry web sites for ideas, too, by looking at their online documents for downloading. Print them out and check to see what you link and don’t like about them.

4. PULL TABS – Add pull tabs to the bottom, so that if the flyer is placed on a bulletin board, passersby can pull off a tab and take the info home with them. Check the Help menu for directions. Basically you add a wide text box along the bottom portion of the flyer. Then you insert one row of columns. Click on the first column and write what you want to say – not much fits here so take care! Maybe use your URL or website address and phone number. The text will run horizontally like normal, reading from left to right. So what you do is highlight it and click on “Format” from the top menu, then “Text Direction” do make it run vertical and fit in your tabs. Do the same for each tab.

When you’re finished, print flyers for local distribution or email to others to print as needed.

For business building, you can also turn the document into an Adobe .pdf file to distribute online. Upload it and include links to it in your emails and forum posts. Attach the pdf to emails when you know recipients accept attachments and can take a look, too. Reach out online and off with great looking flyers and grow your business one step further!