Thursday, August 21, 2014

Graphic Design that Sparkles

Sparkle! Shine! Be noticed! Attract customers! That's what you want for your product or service.  But how do you attain that? 

Great graphic design is the key! Graphic design that creates sparkle and pizzaz and magnetizes your target clients to you is what you are looking for.  When you begin to look for the right graphic designer, it can seem that there are way too many to choose from.  Most will have a graphic design portfolio on line.  This is the place to start. 

What is it that sets one apart from another? How do you judge graphic design for yourself?  It's not an easy task, because it also involves personal taste, but here are some basic design elements that will help as you look at their portfolios. 

Emotional Response.  Take the time to look at their work and see how it affects you.  Do you like it?  Does it make you want to know more, buy more?  Do you respond in some way? It is usually an effective emotional response that make us want to act or buy.  In the graphic design you are reviewing you want to assess the degree to which the pieces initiate an emotional response.

Use of White Space.  Probably the first and foremost consideration is the use of white space in the graphic design.   Is the message presented simply with lots of surrounding space, or is the space cluttered and you don't know where to look next.  Examine a number of the graphic design pieces in the designer's portfolio.  Knowing how and when to use white space is a talent and an art.  Does this designer have it? 

Simple Easy to Understand Message.  Just like white space, the message should be simple and easy to understand.  Competing messages don't make for sparkle and notice in graphic design. 

Meaningful Unique Bold Graphics.  Our brains process visually, so the visual message is very important, often more important than the words.   How clear and bold are the graphics in the work of the design you are considering.  Do you get the message immediately?  Are the visuals different and unique or do you have the feeling that you've seen them before.  Is the designer using the same "stock" images as everybody else or do they find new and unique ways to present their message. 

Effective use of Type or Fonts.  Does the type style match the emotional feel of the piece?  Does is help the message to stand out.  Is it readable? 

Benefits.  While benefits are a selling point and not really a part of the design itself, they are a very important part of what makes a piece sizzle and sparke, because it's the benefits that magnetize clients to you.  So be sure your designer has included benefits in their design pieces. 

Drama.  Does their graphic design work have drama?  Drama engages the reader, involves the reader, keeps them looking and then remembering long after they've seen the piece.  This is another part of what creates magnetism. 

Spend some time with each online portfolio.  Talk to the graphic designer.  As for references and then, talk to their clients to get a feel for how well their work has produced results.  How happy were they with the graphic design services they received.  Would they use the designer again? 

With all this information, finding the right graphic design firm to create sparkle, sizzle and magnetism for your product or service should be a cinch. 

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Hacker Steals Secret Government Plans - Protect Your Information, Or Pay The Price

There are two main types of information where access needs to be managed; 1) Company Information 2) Private Individual Information Companies limit access to certain information on their computer network as a matter of routine. Not everyone will be able to access last month's sales figures or know the detailed plans for next year. Everyone accepts this as reasonable and protection against speculation in the company's shares. Management of sensitive information of this type is can be achieved by firewalls and password protection within a company's computer network. Access to the information can also be at various levels, eg read only or editing rights. Backing up data on a daily basis is an essential part of a company's disaster recovery plan. Very sensitive information may not be stored on a network connected computer. Hackers are a security threat that most IT network managers are very aware of. Every company and government body also gathers information on us. That might be as simple as a database of phone numbers and addresses, or it could include your Social Security number and driving licence details. There are laws in place to limit how that information is accessed and used. Government agencies and large companies usually comply fully with all state and federal legislation regarding Information management. They have personnel who are exclusively responsible for managing the information databases. Small businesses may be less vigilant in their compliance, not through a lack of willingness, but through a lack of knowledge or management time. When there is effectively one person making all planning and management decisions in a company, a policy for information management is not always high on the agenda. You have the right to see the information that any company or organization holds on you and to have it corrected if inaccuracies exist. You should also ask what the company uses the information for, whether it is for marketing purposes or whether the information is shared with other companies.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

7 Things Every Webmaster Should Know About Links

Link building in a nutshell, is the process of getting other web sites and web pages to link to your web site. These links will not only drive direct targeted traffic to your pages; but more importantly will increase your overall search engine visibility and rankings. Building a solid incoming linking structure for your site is one of the most effective techniques used by search engine optimization professionals to improve your search engine rankings and boost the overall amount of traffic any given web page receives. However the process of building incoming links to your site can be a daunting and tedious task when just getting started. The purpose of this essay is to outline the importance of building a strong linking profile for your site as well as offer a handful of key strategies that any webmaster regardless of marketing budget can employ to climb to the top of the search engine ladder.



1.) Purchasing Links & Sponsored Reviews

Paying other web masters to place a link on their site back to yours is probably the easiest and most straight forward way to generate links to your site. However the down-side of purchasing or renting links from other web masters is that it can become a very expensive venture, not to mention you need to pick and choose your potential candidates vary carefully. There are many services out there to help connect you with other web masters that are interested in selling links from their web pages, however you will save yourself a lot of time, and money by working directly with other web masters as apposed to paying a middle man to act as a link broker. Unfortunately there is no set standard on determining what any given link is worth: however you should pay careful attention to a few key factors before cracking open your wallet and spending your hard earned money on a paid link. These things include but are not limited to the number of incoming links the candidate site itself has, it's overall page rank, the age of the site and finally the search engine saturation (number of pages indexed in the major search engines) of the site. When approaching a web master to purchase links from make your goals as clear as day - and ensure that he or she knows you're interested in purchasing a link for Search Engine Optimization reasons. You need to ensure the link will not be cloaked (hidden from search engine spiders) or nofollowed (marked to inform search engines not to follow the link with the rel="nofollow" attribute) as either of these conditions will make the link relatively worthless from an SEO stand point.

2.) Comment and Post on Related Blogs & Message Boards

Even a web novice can find a litany of blogs and message boards for any given niche or market to post comments and feed back . I strongly encourage you to register on message boards related to your topic or subject and include links within the signature of your posts and messages. The same goes for blogs and commenting. There are many blogs that will allow you to include a link back to your site either within the content of your message, or make your user name a clickable link back to your site. However there is a fine line between spamming and offering valid comments, posts and responses to community based web sites and blogs. Making obvious spam posts such as "Cool site, check my site out at ..." will likely get your IP address banned from the web site or network, and can negatively impact the reputation of your brand or web site. If you don't have a valuable view point, or comment to offer other readers of the site you're posting on, you're better off not commenting at all.

3.) Write User Testimonials & Product Reviews

Writing user reviews or testimonials is an under appreciated technique to create a wealth of back links to your site. Most often when you write a review for a product or service you've had success with, the web master will include a link back to your site in the signature of the review. This technique is simple and straight forward; if you've purchased a product or service write up a short 100 - 300 word review for the product outlining it's strengths and your positive experiences and include your full name, and web site address in the signature of the review. Nine out of ten times the web master of the site you've written the testimonial for will be more than happy to include and activate the link when they post the review onto their website.

4.) Develop a Free Online Service or Software Application

Most people wouldn't even consider spending their valuable time developing an application or online utility to give away for free. However the benefits of creating and distributing a free online utility or software application can create several 1,000 back links to your site very quickly. A perfect example of this is creating a small, easy to use Mortgage Calculator with javascript and offer the code to embed the Mortgage Calculator onto other web pages. Include a link back to your site within the coding of the Mortgage Calculator perhaps in a copyright statement at the bottom of the application and require the link as a condition for using your free application.

5.) Write Articles and Distribute Them Online

Assuming this isn't the first essay you've read on improving the amount of links to your web site, you should be well aware that writing articles and submitting your articles to the popular article directories is a fantastic way to generate many back links to your web site. The premise is simple yet effective; Write a handful of articles geared toward your topic and subject matter and distribute them to the many article directories on the Internet. Often times when your article is posted on these article directory sites they will include an authors bio, or resource box. Within the authors bio area you want to include a little information about your company or product(s) as well as a link back to your site. Whenever your article is picked up by other web masters or syndicated across other popular web sites you will receive a free one way link back to your site. Repeat these steps over and over to build several 1,000 links back to your web site. This is an amazing technique as your only investment is a little time to write and submit an article.

6.) Submit Your Site to Directories

Over the past few years links from directories or web indexes has become less and less valuable. However there are still a handful of well trusted and high quality directories that you should consider submitting your site to. This will boost both your linking profile, as well as your page and trust rank. Some of the most notable directories to submit your web site to in no particular order are DMOZ, The Yahoo! Business Directory, JoeAnt, Gimpsy, GoGuides, Linkopedia and Uncoverthenet. Though most of the directories l've mentioned here are not free to submit to, the cost of submission is well worth the price as the links you'll receive from this investment are quality one-way links that carry a good amount of page trust and rank. When submitting your site to any of these directories, pay special attention to the category you are submitting your web address to, make sure that you are submitting your site to the most relevant, and related topic to the subject of your own web site. As this will ensure that you're submission is not denied, or skipped by the directory editors once it gets reviewed.

7.) Exchange Links and Build Partnerships

Link exchanges or trading links with other web masters is another technique that has lost a little of it's gusto over the years, however this method of generating back links does still hold a bit of value and should not be overlooked. Many webmasters dedicate a page of their site titled references or resources and use this page to link out to other web pages that have agreed to link back to their site. As mentioned above this technique is not as effective as it once was; however picking and choosing web sites that are well trusted and ranked by the search engines and that are related to the topic and subject mater of your own site promise to be well worth the effort. Finding other web sites that are prime candidates to exchange links with are those that are linking out to other relevant sites in your field or niche. Once you've found a web site that you'd be interested in swapping links with, contact the web master via email with your offer. When soliciting another web master for a link you want to write a personal email message and refer to specific content and aspects of his or her web site. Doing so will show the prospective linking partner that you've actually taken the time to give their site the once over before sending your solicitation; as a result you will be far more likely to receive a positive reply. As with purchasing paid links you want to ensure that the site you are requesting to exchange links with doesn't end up cloaking it's outbound links (hidden from search engine spiders) or nofollowed (marked to inform search engines not to follow the link with the rel="nofollow" attribute) as either of these conditions will make your link relatively worthless from an SEO stand point.

In this article we've discussed 7 of the most effective, and commonly used methods to generate a massive amount of incoming links to your web site. With any luck, after reading this article you should have a handful of ideas and techniques in your tool box that you can employ to kick-start your web site's model for success. Building links to your web site is by no means a set-it and forget-it facet of web marketing and requires time, dedication and ongoing analysis. You can never have too many quality incoming links to your site and once you've had a small taste of success with link building I'm confident you'll be hungry for more.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

5 Tips On Finding The Best Topics For Your Blog...

Blog topics are an important part of a successful blog. Some bloggers simply write about whatever is on their mind, creating an online journal of sorts. Successful bloggers know however that to have a great blog, you cannot always write about what you want to write about. You must also keep the interests of your readers in mind when writing. After all, if you want a successful blog, you have to depend on the readers to show up often. To keep your blog as fresh as possible, consider using these five ways to find winning ideas for your blog topics.

Do Your Research

Smart bloggers know that each day there are popular search terms listed on large search sites. Bloggers can use these search terms to help them get more traffic to their blogs. Each day a blogger can look at these popular search terms and creating posts using them. If the blogger is lucky, they will increase their traffic due to more people looking for that term. By researching the topics that are hot with readers each day, bloggers can create things specifically for the readers. Doing research may take a little time and you might never be writing about what you want to write about, but you will likely have more traffic than ever.

Ask Around

If you have been blogging a while you might have began to hit low points where you really have no more topic ideas left. Some writers call this “writer’s block” while others just see it as a small hurdle to be surpassed. When you have come to this difficult point, the best thing to do is ask around. Talk to interesting people you know. You can ask them what topics they find most interesting at the time. If you would rather be a little more subtle, simply bounce a few topics off of them to see which ones they respond strongly to. Use the topics that they respond strongly to in order to gather ideas for posts.

Use the News

The news is a great place to gather topic information for your blog. News teams research and investigate for hours to gather their topics. By using similar topics, you can skip all of the hard research work and still be a success. Never use their ideas exactly, just take them and use them to develop your own. For instance, if there is a major political issue going on in the news, consider creating a post about what you think about it. You don’t have to use the news story, just the topic idea along with your own words.

Follow the Lead of Others

When you are looking for great blog topics, consider visiting popular blogs to see what they are talking about. Don’t steal their ideas, but use the visit to stir up great ideas of your own. Sometimes when you see others working at their highest potential it can spark new potential in yourself. You can see which topics get the best response for their blog and decide if you could get the same response with a similar topic.

Sleep On It

If all else fails and you are still trying to come up with a list of interesting blog topics, consider this interesting strategy. Go to sleep each night with a clear head. In the morning, before you even open your eyes, target the first thing on your mind. Write it down immediately so you don’t quickly forget. Then use these things to develop interesting blog topics. You would be shocked at how inspiring our first thoughts can be. They are so interesting because they are not clouded with any outside stress from reality. They are simple thoughts typically that can be used successfully on a blog.

These five ways to find winning blog topics are proven to be among the best. A blog topic is one of the basic important aspects of your blog. Be sure that you pay attention to which topics get the best response on your blog so you will know which ones are most effective. Use all or some of these tips to help you get on your way to better blog topics right away!


Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Write for Humans, Design for Search Engines

Search engine is all about content and every SEO gurus have been trying very hard to optimize their pages just for the search engine and often forgetting that the end user is actually the human reader. It is of paramount importance that a page has to be written for humans and designed for search engines in terms of SEO.

There is nothing more important than creating unique content for a site. In SEO, allocating keywords in the title, header and bold HTML tags not only helps the reader to identify the topic of a page easily but it also aids in optimization since search engine takes into consideration of the keywords in these tags.

Many writers are concerned about the perfect keyword density for the maximum benefit of SEO. Unfortunately, there are no hard figures for a perfect keyword percentage. The most important factor when creating content is to make it readable and unique. As long as the content is readable, there is no need to follow a set percentage of keyword density.

Designing a page to facilitate the indexing by the search engine bots is another important factor to consider next to content creation. A page with rich content without indexed by the search engine bots is equivalent to no content at all. To help the search engines to find the page, the navigation system and sitemap plays important roles here. It is advisable to have text links navigation so that bots can spider all the internal pages smoothly. Avoid using JavaScript and Flash made navigation system because most bots will ignore them but designer can always include a set of text links at the bottom of the page where these kinds of navigation system are used to overcome this issue.

Some search engines place great emphasis on the content near the top of a page. Therefore, it is advisable to design the layout in such a way that the content appears before other parts of the page. One example is to use the content first CSS template; it allows the navigation to appear on the left of a page followed by the content but the content is the first to appear in the codes. This method helps search engine bots to identify the important content of a page and index them since they are placed near the top of a page. Another easy work around is to employ a right side navigation menu.

The ultimate purpose of SEO is to make sure that the designated content appears in search engine according to the specific searches. Making the content readable and designing the page for easy indexing should always be the first priority for webmasters when SEO comes into play.

Thank you.


Monday, October 28, 2013

Business Insurance

There is no denying the fact that success of a business depends on the hard work of the team but one disaster can wipe out your efforts and bring down the profits to dust. So, to avoid such an instance, you need to insure your business, whether it is a small enterprise or a large corporation.

There are insurance companies, which have policies that combine protection for all major property and liability risks in one package. You can also opt for separate coverage. Such a policy is called a business owners’ policy (BOP). Larger companies may purchase a commercial package policy.

BOPs include property insurance for buildings and equipments owned by the company. If there is any loss of income due to disruption of operation and business because of accidents like fire, it can be covered under the Business Interruption Insurance.

There are liabilities, which cover the company's legal responsibility for the harm it may cause to others. It is the result of your company’s failure to do the business operations. It can also be the bodily injury or property damage caused due to defective products, faulty installations and errors in services provided.

However, BOPs don’t cover professional liability, auto insurance, worker’s compensation or health and disability insurance. Separate policies are needed for professional services, vehicles and employees. Generally, floods, earthquakes and terrorist attacks are not covered in the business insurance.

Protection Against Flood Damage

If your office is in the flood zone area, you must definitely go for a policy, which provide coverage against flood. Try to find out whether the place had been hit by flood in the past. Make sure you do something in advance to make up for the loss. Otherwise you may face trouble.

Protection Against Earthquake Damage

Earthquake is also not included in most property insurance policies such as homeowners and business owners’ package policies. Special Earthquake Insurance Policy or Commercial Property Earthquake Endorsement can cover you if you live in an earthquake-prone area. However, earthquake policies have different deductibles.

Business Interruption Insurance, which reimburses you for the lost income during a shutdown, applies only to the damage covered under your business property insurance policy. There won’t be reimbursement for the loss caused due to the closure of business because of the earthquake. For it, you must have an earthquake coverage policy.

Protection Against Terrorist Attack Losses

In the US, loss due to any terrorism is covered only for those businesses that have optional terrorism coverage. It comes under the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act 2002. Still, there are exceptions in workers’ compensation, which include injuries and deaths due to acts of terrorism.



MyClaimSource.com - > information on filing claims online

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Asset and liability basics

Knowledge of accounts can make life much easy. If you are to invest in a new business or joining your forefather’s business, planning to take some loan, looking for job in any marketing company, desire to be the manager of a multinational company or have the onus to manage your own assets and liabilities, knowing some basics of accounts becomes mandatory.


Broadly, accounting is bifurcated into two categories-

Cash Bases Accounting

Accrual Accounting


The Cash Based accounting pertains to the management of an individual’s personal monetary transactions. In this case, he keeps a track of the money he withdrew, deposited, gave or received from someone etc. This accounting comes to life when actual cash transactions take place.

The Accrual Accounting requires an accountant who notes the transactions even if no money has been actually exchanged. This method works on the principle of comparing or seeing the ratio of the expenses to expenditure. If the expenditure is more, you need to cut down your luxuries, if not then it’s always good to have some savings for future. This type of accounting tells you the amount that you owed; this might not match with the figure of your bank balance.


In the language of accounting there are several key terms that one needs to be familiar with. Some of the crucial ones are discussed below-

The Assets- the assets are generally those possessions of an individual that have a good market value or are quite valuable. Assets are mainly classified into three types-
Current Asset- the cash is the most basic asset of any individual. The money that is being held in accounts like the checking and savings accounts is also included in the cash. Also inclusive are the marketable securities in the form of bonds, stocks, shares etc. The money lent or payments due from clients, even form a part of it.

Fixed Asset- comprises of all the tangible valuable things like property, machines, equipments, land and the like that are not meant to be sold.


Intangible Asset- incorporates all the untouchable things like copyrights, patents, trademarks etc. that have tremendous monetary significance.


The law of opposites governs the nature; where there are assets, there will be liabilities. These are the debts that you have to pay back to your creditors. This can be done through giving cash or any other asset like jewelry, some other goods etc. Liabilities again are of two kinds-

1.    The Current Liabilities- the liabilities that are to be paid back within a certain time limit and most often through your current assets. These include the accounts payable i.e. type of bill that you have to monthly, the Notes Payable-loans taken from banks meant to be repaid within 30 days and the Accrued Expenses- the compulsory expenses like taxes, wages, interests etc. where the bills are not received but the balances of each must be repaid.

2.    Long Term Liabilities- those debts that can be repaid at ease for the tenure is more then a month.



The Financial Capital- is the economic capital. It is any liquid medium or merchandise that stands for wealth or other styles or capital. There are four ways to manage and display the financial capital. First, this capital is needed when a contract is made with any sort of capital asset. The financial instruments work in the form of currency in case of sale, purchase or trade of goods i.e. the medium exchanges. Second, it works as a settled medium or mode like gold for the
Standard of Deferred Payment. Third, The Unit of Account has a market value attached to it which in turn varies with the economy of the country. Fourth, The Source of Value is concerned with financial capital that needs to be saved and recovered. It is a collection of things like gold, real estate, collectibles etc.


Petty Cash is an important factor in business. It is the smallest account within a business setting or the cash in bills and coinage required to pay little expenses.

Types of Business- there are several kinds of business one should be aware of like


Sole proprietorship- where a single individual who starts the business owns it too.

Partnerships- the companies or businesses started by two or more persons where they conjointly own it.


Corporations- involve lot many shareholders or investors who are responsible in taking decisions for the company.

Limited Liability Companies- can be said to be sisters of corporations. Here the business members are not under a legal obligation to pay the debts if the business fails.



Payrolls- the term payroll designates the manner in which you will be paying   the employees of your company and even yourself. Many multinational companies cater to payroll service provider companies that do the work quite efficiently.


These are some of the broad guidelines that will help you grasp the basics of accounting. It is essential to have some such wisdom for accounts as it is fruitful in all walks of life.


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