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February 2016

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Improve usability of your website

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No matter how brilliant your website design is, if it is hard to reach the content of your site then your site is as useful as an empty shell. Here are some tips to improve the usability of your website to ensure it serves its functions optimally.

The first method is to make sure the typography of your content is suitable. If you have large blocks of text, make sure to use CSS to space out the lines accordingly. The longer a single line of text is, the greater the line-height of each line should be. Also, make sure the font size of your text is big enough to read easily. Some sites have 10-pixel-tall text in Verdana font; while that may look neat and tidy, you have to really strain your eyes to read the actual text.

Make it easy for visitors to find content that they want on your site. If you have thousands of articles on your site and a certain visitor wants to find one single article from that pile, you have to provide a feasible means to enable visitors to do that without hassle. Be it an SQL-driven database search engine or just a glossary or index of articles that you have, providing such a feature will make sure your visitors can use your site with ease.

Ensure that your site loads fast if you do not want to lose visitors. Most internet users will leave a website if it doesn’t load completely within 15 seconds, so make sure the crème de la crème of your website is delivered to the visitors as soon as possible to retain their attention.

Last of all, test each and every link on your site before it goes online. There is nothing more effective in tarnishing your professional image than broken links, so be very careful about that.

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5 easy ways to get your creative juices going

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Writing an article doesn’t just mean putting down thoughts into words then typing and writing it. You have to capture the interest of your readers and get them to keep on reading. To send your message across you have to get the attention of the reader and have a firm grasp of their interest and pique their curiosity.

The main ingredient in baking up an article is a large dose of creativity. While creativity may come natural to many people, some just gets into a block or something to that effect that can drive someone crazy. Many writers have literally torn their hair out when they get writers block and just can’t seem to get their creative juices flowing.

Putting words into images in the readers mind is an art. A clear and crisp depiction requires a certain flair that only creativity can provide. Similes and metaphors help a lot, but the way an article gets entwined word for word, sentence by sentence then paragraph by paragraph into a whole article develops the essence of the article.

So just what do you have to do when nothing comes to mind? There is no surefire ways to get the perfect ideas but there are easy ways to get your creative juices flowing. No one can guarantee you of having the perfect mindset but many methods may aid you in achieving that state of mind. Here are five easy ways for that.

1) Keep a diary or a journal with you always. Ideas can be triggered by anything you may hear, see, or smell. Your senses are your radar in finding great ideas. Write all of them into a journal and keep it with you for future reference. You may also write down anything that you have read or heard, someone’s ideas could be used to develop your own ideas and this is not stealing. Remember that ideas and creativity can come from anywhere; it’s the development of the idea that makes it unique.

2) Relax and take time to sort things out. A jumbled mind cannot create any space for new ideas. Everyone must have a clear mind if one wishes to have their creativity in full speed. Get rid of all obstacles that can be a hindrance to your creativity. If you are bothered by something, you cannot force your mind to stay focused.

Try to relax every time that you can and think about your experiences and interactions with others. Your experiences are what shape your mindset and your opinions which could be reflected on your writings. Try to discover yourself, find out what triggers your emotions. Discover what inspires you and what ticks you off. You can use these emotions to help you in expressing yourself and your ideas, with this you can grow creatively.

3) Create a working place that can inspire your creativeness. Your working place can be quite a hindrance if it doesn’t make you feel happy or relaxed. Creativity comes from being in a good state of mind and a messed up workplace that causes distraction won’t be conducive in firing up your creative flow.

Surround your working place with objects that makes you happy and relaxed. You may put up pictures, or scents, objects that inspire, or anything that can get your creativeness cranking. A clean and well organized workplace also rids of distractions and unwanted hindrances. With a good working place, you can work in peace and never notice the time pass by.

4) Set the mood. Setting the mood requires you to just go with the moment or to induce your self to feeling what makes your mind works best. Finding out what makes you tick could help you find ways to get your creative juices flowing. Set the pace and tempo for your mood and everything else will follow.

There are many ways to set the mood. Some writers have been known to use alcohol, a little sip of wine to stir up the imagination. Some would like some mood music while others let the lighting of the environment create the mood.

5) Go on a getaway and just do something unlike crazy. Letting yourself go and have fun produces adrenaline that can make your imagination go wild. Take an adventure or a solemn hike. Whatever it is that is unusual from your daily routine can take the rut out of your schedule. In no time at all, your creativeness will make use of that experience and get your imagination to go on overdrive.

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Popular paintball games

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As paintball improved and became popular, many individuals tried their abilities at it; giving rise to the assortment and diversity of paintball tournaments and games.

Recreational or Capture the Flag

Played by two teams, where each team has a flag and the objective of both teams is to capture or seize the opponent’s flag and carry it to your team’s starting point. This is one way for your team to win and another way is by eliminating the opposing team entirely.

Each team has to defend their base and simultaneously dispatch team players to eliminate the opponent and capture their flag.

These games are usually played in the forest; bunkers and structures can be put up throughout the area.

Scenario Paintball

This is a paintball game with a theme set up behind it: there are an endless number of themes that can be created making the game feel and look very realistic. There are a number of players; in many cases as many as a hundred are involved in each team.

Each team gets the theme (storyline) a day before the start of the game. There are usually two teams participating, having the “general” as a team’s leader.

Each player is given a role and they should work together as a team in order to carry out and win an assigned mission. Props in accordance with the theme are introduced and distributed throughout the field. There are questions asked in connection with the theme and points are awarded for correct answers.

These points are totaled at the conclusion of the game and the team having the most number of points wins.

Backyard

This can be played right at your own backyard, a friend’s empty property or at times any property but you must as you get permission first. You gather your friends to form a group and then conceptualize your own game which typically is “capture the flag”.

Speedball

Also called “Center Flag”, the speedball field is designed with many huge bunkers; usually “inflatables” filled with air that are shaped similar to big snakes, soda cans, water tanks etc.

Here, a team can be composed of between three to ten players in a game. There is only one flag that is involved and it is located at the center of a field. The two teams start at each end of the field and attempt to gain possession of the flag at the center and carry it to their bunker. The team that does this successfully wins.

Paintball can surely challenge the “soldier” in you. Give it a shot!

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Easy tips on how to care for your plants

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Many people worry a lot when it comes to caring for their plants. When talking about house plants, there is no need to worry. There are just a few things you need to consider.

1. Watering

Overwatering kills most houseplants. Looks can be deceptive, so to see if your soil is dry enough to water, try the finger test. Insert your index finger up to the first joint into the soil. If the soil is damp, don’t water it.

2. Feeding

Foliage plants usually have high nitrogen needs, while flowering plants, K2O is needed. Slow release fertilizers can be mixed with the compost. However, certain plants like cacti and orchids need special fertilizer. Feed plants during their most active growth period.

3. Lighting

Plants like Sanseveria and Aspidistra require no sun. They can be placed away from a window. Spider plants need semi-shade. You can put plants like these near a window that does or does not get sunlight. Check the label to see what your plant needs.

4. Temperature

Houseplants can survive in cool or warm temperatures, but drastic fluctuations of temperature may not be good for them. One thing that most plants cannot survive is gas heating. If you have a plant that likes warm conditions, don’t put it near an air conditioner in the summer.

5. Humidity

Some houseplants require a humid environment. One tip to maximize humidity is to put the pot inside a larger pot and fill in the gaps with stones or compost to keep in the moisture. Grouping plants together often creates a microclimate that they will benefit from. If you want, you can spray them with water once or twice a day depending on the temperature.

6. Re-potting

Some plants require re-potting for optimum growth but there are others that resent having their roots disturbed. Or their roots system may be small enough that they don’t require re-potting. One way to check if your plant needs re-potting is to turn it upside down. Tap the pot to release the plant and check its roots. If roots are all you see, then re-pot. Sometimes the roots will come out of the pot. You should either cut them off or re-pot the plant.

You just need to have a little care for your plants and in turn, you’ll reap the benefits. Indoor plants not only add to the beauty of your décor, but also give much pleasure to the indoor gardener.

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How to use a tell a friend script to drive traffic today

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More and more webmasters have the recurring dilemma on how to increase the flow of traffic in the websites. During the past few years many methods that been developed to solve this predicament. While most of them would work there are those that would not make even a small impact.

One of the methods that have spawned many success stories in driving traffic into websites is viral marketing. Viral marketing makes use of the tendency of a person to share something to find informative, entertaining or amazing.

Many companies bank on this behavior to spread their products and increase the popularity of their company or their website. Viral marketing makes use of many mediums in enticing this behavior. It might be in the form of an interesting story, an addicting flash game, an amusing video and many others that may catch a person’s fancy.

This ingenious form of marketing is typically low cost and is a wonderful tool for any company to utilize. The benefit greatly overshadows the cost or efforts to initialize this marketing scheme. Any website would greatly benefit that viral marketing.

Tell A Friend Script

One of the easiest methods in viral marketing is using a tell a friend script. This is a simple programming script that you can attach to the programming of your website. Generally, tell a friends script are installed in pages where a media is placed so that a person can easily send the media to any of his friends or his family members.

The basic concept of a tell a friend script is a script wherein a person may input his name, e-mail address, the recipient’s e-mail address and send the media to the intended recipient much like an e-mail with an attachment. As the recipient receives the e-mail he wouldn’t think of the mail a spam mail because he would see the sender’s name as someone he or she knows and trust.

Tell a friend script eliminates greatly the chances of being blocked because they use the information inputted by the sender. This allows for wider spreading of this marketing method. It can be quite sneaky but it is very effective.

With the e-mail sent and opened the sent media will either be read, viewed or played. Also along with the mail would be a brief description of the company or site that sponsors the media sent. This allows for the introduction of either the site, company name or its products. The along with it is another tell a friend script.

Then the process begins again. As more people use the tell a friend script, more and more people will know of the existence of the sponsoring company or site. People who read the ads inside the mail who liked what they see would go and click on the link and visit the site. This drives traffic into the site resulting to great number of potential customers.

Tell A Friend Script Availability

A tell a friend script is very simple and does not require a complicated method of programming. In fact, you can copy paste a script and simply put it on an intended page. Finding one is even simpler. All you have to do is go to a search engine and type in the search box “tell a friend script” then press enter or click go.

In the search results page you will see many links that will direct you to a site where you can get a tell a friend script. It would just be a simple matter of looking and searching for the script and copying it to your intended web page.

With a tell a friend script viral marketing strategy you can drive traffic into your site which could potentially spell profits. This is a simple harmless script that offers great benefits for low cost paired with great creativity and foresight.

It is imperative that you have patience in using a tell a friend script. If your chosen media doesn’t get the mileage that is expected of it, it may take some time before it gets spread or shared. But surely many people will see your ads and there is great probability that they will visit your site increasing your traffic flow.

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Guide to better budgeting

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A budget is basically a money plan, outlining your financial goals. Having a budget, you can well establish and regulate funds, set and achieve your financial objectives, and make advance decisions as to how you want your finances to function well for you.

The main idea in budgeting is for you to put aside a certain amount of money for expected as well as unexpected costs.

Simply put, budgeting means an estimation of monthly home expenses basing it on previous expenses and bills.

The initial step to take in budgeting is to find out how long will your compensation last. Define fixed expenses like car payments, home rental, insurance, etc. Likewise follow up your expenditures thoroughly for a month so you can discover and understand where your funds are going. Through proper determination of your “spending patterns”, you can immediately identify solutions for effective budgeting.

For instance, when you have a steady monthly income of $4,000, you should subtract all your identified monthly bills from that income.

Other bills can be assessed and then subtracted from the amount of your income. The balance that remained after fixed costs can now be your budget in the household. Rather than allocating money for miscellaneous like gas, clothing, entertainment and groceries, financial planning will allow you instead to use proportions or percentages of it.

The strategic solution in order for budgeting to be successful is inflexibility as well as flexibility; there are fixed expenses so payment must be an inflexible factor.

Budgeting will best work when very scarce omissions are made to greater limits. The idea here is to formulate goals and plans, then abide by it as much as you possibly can.

Here are tips on how to budget:

1. Have good sense of money management. Your attitude is essential. Reach an agreement and compromise and know the significance of reducing expenditures; it all involves a lot of sacrifice.

2. Plan your situation. Make a listing with your earnings to one side and your overheads on the other side.

3. Know the difference between luxuries and necessities. List down what you believe as luxuries, with it, split the list in half, crossing out half the list.

4. Practice frugality but with dignity. You can have fun with little or without spending at all. Rather than going shopping, play with the kids at the beach or at the park.

Budgeting is an effective and fundamental tool that is readily available to everyone. Consider it, and benefit from it.

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How to maintain your profile on SoundCloud and get recognized

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SoundCloud is a great innovative platform for aspiring musicians to showcase themselves and their music to the world. It allows users from all over the world to upload their music and to get more exposure as musicians. Everyone appreciates a good song and music artists are encouraged to make new inspiring and contemporary music, with that feel good vibe, which is synonymous with all the great tracks over the generations.

Matthew David Parker

Before your music gets recognized, you will have to become more accessible to people on SoundCloud through your profile. This will help the audience know who you are, since it is no use people appreciating music if they do not even know about the musician. The first thing you should do on SoundCloud before uploading your soundtracks is to make your profile more accessible to people, so that you can get more SoundCloud followers and your audio gets more SoundCloud downloads.

Here are the essentials you should implement on SoundCloud to make your profile more accessible to people on SoundCloud:

Username

Obviously this is quite important, since people will recognize your music with the username you choose. Make your username as accessible as you can, so that people do not face any difficulties in finding you on SoundCloud, and try making it as appealing and simple as possible. Remember, the goal is for people to appreciate your music not your name!

The best way to make your username more searchable, you should give spaces and use capital letters to make it easier for people that are using different apps to search for you on SoundCloud.

The Artwork on Your Profile

SoundCloud allows its users to use artwork on their profiles. This allows users to easily distinguish between different users and makes searching for individuals on SoundCloud easier. This will also help you gather a good network of SoundCloud followers, with the more time your song gets SoundCloud plays.

Social Links

A great way to ensure you get recognition for your music or your band is to integrate social links to your SoundCloud profile. Use Twitter, Facebook or MySpace links on your profile, or even add links to your website on SoundCloud so that more people can have access to your music. Social media is a great tool when it comes to promotion, so why not use it to your advantage?

The Spotlight

A great new addition to SoundCloud is the spotlight feature, which lets people pin their favorite tracks on their profile for their SoundCloud followers. This all helps in getting more SoundCloud plays and even more SoundCloud downloads, and will make your music and your profile more accessible on SoundCloud.’

Article source: http://EzineArticles.com/8366409

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The easiest money to make online?

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For the last couple of months, Google Adsense has dominated forums, discussions and newsletters all over the Internet. Already, there are tales of fabulous riches to be made and millions made by those who are just working from home. It seems that Google Adsense have already dominated the internet marketing business and is now considered the easiest way to making money online.

The key to success with Adsense is the placing of ads on pages that are receiving high traffic for high demand keywords. The higher the cost-per-click to the advertiser, the more you will receive per click from your site. Obviously, it does not pay to target low cost-per-click keywords and place them on pages that do not receive hits.

With all the people getting online and clicking away everyday, it is no wonder why Google Adsense has become an instant hit.

For some who are just new to this market, it would be a blow to their pride knowing that their homepage is buried somewhere in the little ads promoting other people’s services. But then, when they get the idea that they are actually earning more money that way, all doubts and skepticism is laid to rest.

There are two major, and clever, factors that some successful webmaster and publishers are learning to blend together in order to make money easier using Adsense.

1. Targeting high traffic pages on your website. If you check on your logs, you will discover that many of your visitors are taking advantage of the free affiliate marketing resources and ebooks that you are offering on your site. In simple words, your ads are working effectively and are generating more clicks. It also means more money for you.

2. Placing Adsense links on pages that are producing little, or better yet, no profit. By placing Adsense on a free resources page, you will reduce the amount of potential customers being lost to other sites. Tricky, but effective nonetheless.

When learned to work effectively, these two factors are actually a good source of producing a minimal amount of revenue from a high traffic page. Many people are using this strategy to pick up some extra and cash with Adsense. This is also especially rewarding to informational sites that focus their efforts on delivering powerful affiliate link free content to their visitors. Now they can gain a monetary return on their services.

With the many techniques that people are now learning on how to make the easiest money by their Adsense, it is not surprising that Google is trying everything to update and polish their Adsense in order to maintain their good image.

The possibility of adding is 2nd tier in Adsense is not impossible. With all the people spending more time in their Adsense now and still more getting into this line of marketing, there is no doubt about the many new improvements yet to be made. Imagine the smiles on the faces of the webmasters and publishers all around the world if ever they sign up for sub-affiliates and double or even triple the amount that they are already earning.

The one particularly handy money-making feature that is available with Adsense now is the ability to filter out up to 200 urls. These gives webmasters the option to block out low value offers from their pages as well as competitors to their websites. Talk about taking only those that are advantageous and discarding the ones that seem “useless”.

With Google Adsense, the possibilities are limitless. Yet there is also the possibility of someone taking advantage of the easy money process that this internet marketing is doing. If you think more about it, these negative factors may force Google to break down and thrash Adsense in the process. If that happens, people would have to go back to the old ways of internet marketing that does not make money online as easy as Adsense.

For now, however, Google Adsense is here to stay. As long as there are people wanting to earn some easy cash online just using their talents, the future ahead is looking good. Besides with all the strict guidelines that Google is enforcing over Adsense, it will take awhile for the Adsense privileges to be spammed and even terminated.

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A home-based after school program

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So, your son’s school does not offer any extracurricular activities. You are worried of depriving your child of all that extra knowledge and fun. What should you do?

After school activities need not be taught in a school-like environment by professional teachers in a structured and timely manner. There is a lot YOU can do to support your child’s academic, physical and social development. Do not be too concerned about formal programs, as many of our children are already over-scheduled.

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Obviously, school is top priority for children. They need to go to school, and finish their homework. They should then do their daily reading or writing work etc. This may take about 30-60 minutes. In the course of his daily work, your child may develop certain academic preferences and interests. In that case, you can try and find a program in a college or a community center that will help him and encourage him. In the age of the Internet, information is really not a rarity. Allow him to use the net to find more information about thing that he likes. Encouraging the child to do independent research to gain in-depth knowledge is something that no formal program does.

If you are concerned about the lack of social life, enroll him or her in a club – a reading club maybe. Visit public libraries or even the theatre, if your child is interested. It is not necessary for your child to make friends with children his own age. A parent-child book club is another interesting option. If you can round up a number of like-minded children and their parents, you may well start your own after-school program.

When there is no organized group activity, look to your community. Many children love to get involved in social problems. They get their first real taste of suffering, charity and community help from such experiences. Volunteering for clean-up sessions, adult education programs etc could be a real eye-opener for your child. The lessons thus learnt are invaluable.

If physical activity or the lack of it is your major concern, enroll your child for some dancing classes. If organized sports are impossible to get, try to enroll her in a gym. She may find friends there and may take to the treadmill.

Your child does not necessarily have to be a part of an organized group to benefit from after-school activities. There are various avenues open in front of you. Roping in the enthusiasm of your children in daily household activities like cooking, cleaning etc can also provide them with a refreshing extracurricular experience. Moreover, it will improve family ties too.

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The importance of keywords

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Keyword density and placement are important parts of optimizing your articles for search engines. Search engine spiders scan a page in a way that makes it important to place your keywords where they will be detected and recognized as a keyword, so that your article will come up when someone searches for that keyword.

What is a Keyword?

A keyword is a word that is going to be placed in your article several times, not just once as that would make every word a keyword. When a spider sees that you have a word placed several times in an article, it will determine that your page may be useful to users that search for such a keyword.

Over Optimizing Your Articles

It is important to note that there is also such a thing as over optimizing your articles for particular words, this is known as “keyword stuffing”. When you stuff keywords in an article a spider will detect that you are trying to trick it into placing your article high in the search engine results for that word, and will instead penalize your site and your page for doing such. This may even affect the rankings of your other pages or get your site blacklisted from a particular search engine if you are found keyword stuffing too many times.

What is Keyword Density?

Keyword density is how many times your keyword is placed in your article. Most use a percentage to determine how many times they will put a keyword in an article. For instance, if you have a 500 word article and want to achieve a keyword density of 5%, then you will need to have the keyword in your article exactly 25 times. You can find hundreds of resources and guides recommending one keyword density over another and the reasons behind the logic, however, in the end you will have to determine which density is more profitable for your articles. Each webmaster as their own density that they like to achieve based on past results. As long as you don’t over optimize and you are making sufficient profit from your rankings, then you can choose whatever keyword density you like.

The Right Density

No matter what exact density you choose, it is important to place keywords so that there are more at the beginning and end to produce an hour glass effect. Having the right keyword density in your article makes it more likely that you will make money off of that article because it will rise in the search engine results and be seen by more people.

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