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How to Prepare For Your First Trip to a Shooting Range

January 17, 2018 - By 

Few things are more intimidating than going to a range and firing a gun for the first time.

However, a trip to a shooting range is a fun and educational experience. Range staff members are eager to help novices learn how to properly handle these powerful machines.

Whether you want to learn how to survive the end of the world, or you’re just interested in a new experience, here’s what to expect your first time at a shooting range.

How a Shooting Range Works

There are two types of shooting ranges: indoor and outdoor. Indoor ranges are more common in populated urban areas, while outdoor ranges will be in less populated areas.

A shooting range is divided up into lanes. Shooters stand in a designated area and shoot across an open area with targets at the end. Behind the targets is a backstop to catch the bullets and shrapnel and prevent dangerous ricochets.

Public ranges are available to anyone. You don’t need a license or any experience to shoot at a range. You’ll only need to go through some safety training and sign a waiver, and you’re always free to ask staff for help.

Generally, ranges charge by the hour. The base price of going to a range is usually not more than $10-$15/hour. If you end up being a frequent visitor, most ranges offer an annual membership that can reduce or eliminate the range fee.

If you own a gun, you’re welcome to bring it, provided it’s unloaded and in a case when you arrive. You can also bring your own ammunition, ear protection, and safety goggles.

If you don’t own a gun or equipment, most indoor and some outdoor ranges offer rentals. This is a great way to try out different guns before you buy or to practice with different calibers.

Safety Procedures

Before shooting, you’ll go through a brief safety course – often a video – of gun etiquette and range rules.

You’ll likely hear these four rules of gun safety repeated several times:

  1. A gun is always considered loaded
  2. Keep your finger off the trigger until ready to shoot
  3. Don’t point at anything you aren’t prepared to destroy
  4. Know your target and what’s behind it

Along with general gun safety, you’ll learn about rules of that specific range. These guidelines often include to not aim at the ground, ceiling, or walls, to never shoot behind the firing line, and to never shoot across lanes.

Individual ranges may have additional restrictions, such as what guns or caliber is permitted. Many indoor facilities only allow pistols and shotguns, so you’ll have to head to an outdoor shooting range to try out long range rifles.

Take Your Shot

Once you’ve learned about the rules, signed the paperwork, and prepped your equipment, you’re ready to shoot!

For new shooters, it helps to bring an experienced friend or ask one of the range staff for help. They’ll be able to give you recommendations on which guns to shoot first for the best experience. They’ll also teach you the right way to hold and aim the gun as well as the correct stance.

With some practice, you’ll be able to proudly take home your own paper target with some pinpoint shots.

Looking for more ways to have some fun and get your fix of adrenaline? Check out our sports and recreation blog.


10 Best Law Apps for Law School Students

January 17, 2018 - By 

It seems like there’s an app for everything. From CandyCrush to bathroom locators to music recommendation apps – everything you could need comes in app form.

And this is certainly true for the needs of law students. There are hundreds of law apps out there that can make your life easier. But with so many apps out there, how can you know which are the best and which are a waste of your download data?

We’ve narrowed down the top 10 best apps for law school students. Keep reading to find out which apps are worth your time.

1. Evernote

Evernote is a note-taking app that can help you organize and share your notes from lectures, research, and work. It can work on virtually all devices, from iOS to Android to iPhone, which makes it easy to share your work between all of your various phones and computers.

Evernote can organize your notes into separate notebooks, making it easy to identify which notes are for what. You can also create checklists, reminders, to-do lists, and voice memos. Everything you create on Evernote is easily shareable via e-mail or device syncing.

Evernote also allows you to attach web sources and images to your notes.

There’s a free version that consists of the note-taking, sharing, and organizational features. There’s also a paid version that offers increased storage space, unlimited syncing across devices, as well as the ability to work offline.

2. CamScanner

In law school, you’ll often be swamped with papers, notes, law journals, case reviews, and other law books. Instead of lugging these things around with you all the time, a scanner app like CamScanner will allow you to turn these hard copies into digital PDF files.

This app is free to download and works on both Android and iPhone.

3. Research Database Apps

It’s no surprise that law school involves a lot of studying and a lot of research. You can make your life a lot easier by downloading a research database app that will allow you to search for cases and do legal research directly through the app.

Some good database law apps to consider are WestLawNext and Lexis Advance. These are both free apps. However, you will need a subscription to them, which many law schools provide. Check with your school’s library to make sure you have a subscription.

4. Legal Dictionary Apps

At the beginning of law school, the amount of terminology you are going to be learning is going to be overwhelming. Instead of carrying around a huge law dictionary, you can download a legal dictionary app.

A legal dictionary app is one of the best law apps you can download. It will make it convenient and easy for you to look up terms you’re unfamiliar with. The most popular would be Black’s Law Dictionary, but it will cost almost 60 dollars.

For those who can’t swing that expensive of an app, you can try using the free Nolo’s Plain English Law Dictionary app.

5. Law Dojo

Studying isn’t always the most fun activity, but with the app Law Dojo, it can be. Law Dojo is an app that helps you study through a variety of games.

You can pick from many different subjects to test on, from contracts to criminal law to ethics. You then proceed to answer questions until you get three wrong. This fun app can break up the monotony of reading hundreds of pages of reviews and cases while still helping you learn.

6. Quizlet

Quizlet is another app you can use for studying. This app allows you to create flashcards easily with a simple, understandable layout.

You can create a new set of flashcards for each class, test, semester, or however you want to organize it. The app allows you to add and delete flashcards from a set whenever you want.

Quizlet also has various ways to test you. You can go through flashcards normally, or you can click “learn” where one side of the card is shown to you and you type out the answer on the other side. Quizlet also can generate tests and games from your flashcards.

7. SCOTUSblog App

As a law student, it’s important to keep up with the rulings and cases of the Supreme Court. The SCOTUSblog app will allow you to keep up with Supreme Court news, rulings, and decisions.

Through the app, you can also access statistics, polls, as well as filings and other resources.

8. ABA Journal App

The American Bar Association Journal (ABA Journal) app will allow you to keep up with important legal news via summaries, articles, and legal analysis.

The app is updated each day so you can be sure to have the most recent and important legal knowledge as you work through your schooling.

9. US Constitution App

All USAttorneys and aspiring attorneys should download the US Constitution App. The constitution is the basis for our law and our government as we know it; understanding and reading it is crucial for becoming a lawyer.

10. Rulebook App

Rulebooks are big, numerous, and a hassle to carry around with you.

Rulebook app fixes this problem for you. It’s free to download, but it does have in-app purchases where you can download a variety of useful additions including The Bluebook(R), numerous federal rulebooks, and the US Constitution.

Rulebook app allows you to:

  • Search for keywords
  • Research cases and laws
  • Highlight important sentences
  • Use an active table of contents
  • Quickly make citations
  • Take in-app notes
  • Bookmark pages

This app will allow you to replace many of your huge rulebooks while also providing you with the helpful, in-app features.

These Are the Best Law Apps You Can Get

Law school is a long, tough road. These 10 law apps will help make that road a little easier to walk along, and they’ll also save your back from lugging around five 1,000 page volumes of law rulebooks and case studies every day.

Hopefully, these apps will help you out on your law school journey. Check out our other legal articles for some other law related tips and information.


The 10 Best Places to Swim With Clear Water

January 17, 2018 - By 

Every ocean-lover dreams of diving through crystal-clear waters.

Some people may only venture as far as their local beach town, content with what they already know. Others might fly across the country to experience the waters of another coast.

Would you be willing to let your search for the best places to swim take you around the world?

There are many gorgeous destinations waiting to welcome you. These span from the Caribbean to the Mediterranean and the Pacific, too.

Here are the top ten places to swim if you’re looking for new underwater adventures.

1. The Cayman Islands

The Cayman Islands are home to a snorkeling experience like no other.

The water here is as shallow as five feet, which is the perfect place to learn. It’s also a great setting to experience the difference a Ninja Shark mask can make while underwater.

Once you get comfortable, don’t be afraid to venture around the islands.

You may even find yourself near Stingray City! This is world-famous for the mass amounts of stingrays that swim alongside visitors.

2. The Virgin Islands

Just a hop, skip, and a dive away lands you in the Virgin Islands.

The Virgin Islands have many world-renowned places to swim in one destination.

You may end up in a cruise port in St. Thomas or go off the beaten path on a hike to Isaac Bay.

Make note, the Bay isn’t as maintained as the popular tourist spots. But, the privacy of having the Caribbean at your fingertips and all to yourself is priceless.

3. Bermuda

Head a bit north of the Virgin Islands and you’ll find yourself in Bermuda.

In addition to crystal-clear waters and stunning tropic sights, there is an added sense of adventure here: shipwrecks.

The most well-known of which is the Western Blue Cut.

Here, three shipwrecks are waiting below the ocean’s surface to give curious swimmers a look into the past. The three ships are only 20 feet under you, and every inch between is as clear as can be.

You can swim through all of them in an afternoon, and relax on the beautiful beaches after!

4. Belize

For a little bit of everything, put Belize at the top of your list of new places to swim.

The glass-like waters welcome thrill-seekers and laid-back vacation-goers alike.

Those who love adrenaline can swim among nurse sharks and stingrays in open waters. For a more calm interaction with wildlife, head to Hol Chan Marine Reserve. This is home to eels, turtles, and fish of all different colors.

Whatever kind of wildlife you encounter, don’t forget to check out the caves.

These sights are sure to take your breath away.

5. Mauritius

Maybe you’ve already found your favorite Caribbean destination and are looking for other places to swim.

Look no further than Mauritius.

Located off the coast of Madagascar, this small island is home to big adventures.

You can start snorkeling right from the beach and go as far as your heart desires. Down below and all around you, exotic fish of all kind will be sharing the waters.

6. The Maldives

The Maldives is another must-see destination in the Indian Ocean.

This is an island nation with over 26 different atolls on which to park your boat and jump in. Cruise from stop to stop or find your favorite and stay for the whole day.

Whatever you do, keep your eyes open for the wildlife that will join you.

You can see everything from schools of brightly-colored fish to whale sharks patrolling the waters.

Actually, you can see everything! The water in the Maldives is known for being as clear as can be. Don’t forget your camera to capture their beauty.

7. The Seychelles

If the 26 atolls of the Maldives aren’t enough adventure for you, head to the 115 small islands that make up the Seychelles.

This destination is like nothing you’ve ever experienced before.

The wildlife is diverse, abundant, and, put simply, breathtaking. You’ll lose track of all the different kinds of fish you see and all the colors of their scales.

8. Samoa

Not all the best places to swim are found by beach or boat access.

Some, you’ll have to work up a little sweat for.

Such is the case for To Sua Ocean Trench, also known as “The Big Hole” in Samoa.

The name is fitting since this is a 100-foot deep hole of ocean water in the middle of the jungle. The hole can only be reached via hike through Lotofaga village on Upolu Island.

How did this natural beauty come to be?

Lava tubes connected to the ocean ensure there is a constant flow of gorgeous teal waters coming in and out.

Visitors access the hole at the bottom of a steep ladder. The particularly brave-hearted ones choose to jump in from various levels.

9. The Phi Phi Islands

Speaking of steep sights, imagine swimming in-between massive rock formations jutting out of the ocean.

That is what many water-enthusiasts experience in the Phi Phi Islands of Thailand. Surrounded by over 300-foot tall limestone cliffs, an incredible adventure awaits below.

The water looks green from above but is as clear as glass underneath. Such tones and textures are something you have to see with your own eyes to believe.

10. Hawaii

This tour of the best places to swim stops back in the states on the shores of Hawaii.

Hawaii is home to beautiful waters and a thriving island culture.

Start with a swim in Maui at a volcanic island. Dolphins, turtles, and manta rays will join you!

Next, head to Oahu or Honolulu. Maybe take a detour to Kauai instead.

Wherever you go, adventure is sure to follow. Soak in the beauty of Hawaii or take on Mother Nature as you surf the waves.

Discover Beautiful Places to Swim for Yourself

Ready to book your first vacation to one of these incredible destinations?

Whether you’re jet-setting halfway across the world to Thailand or crossing a location somewhere in the Carribean, there are some travel tips to be aware of.

These go beyond finding the best beaches and knowing where to enjoy some food after a day of adventures.

They are helpful resources to take with you anywhere you go.

Click here for 5 travel tools you can easily download to prepare for your next vacation.


8 Ways You Benefit From Selling Vape Products Online

January 11, 2018 - By 

More people are turning to vaporizers than ever before as an alternative to risky smoking. If you’re a seller, you know this is true. You can reap the benefits of this growing trend when you sell vape products online.

There are plenty of brick-and-mortar stores now to accommodate the needs of vapers, but they have some drawbacks. Because of vaping’s rising popularity and the cons of buying in-store, buying vape products online is becoming more appealing to customers.

Are you considering stepping into the digital world to sell your vape products? Read on to learn more about this rewarding business move.

1. Reduce Overhead Costs When Selling Vape Products Online

This one is huge. It costs far less to set up an online shop than it does to get a brick-and-mortar up and running.

With less money going into a physical store setup, you can invest in better inventory, an excellent website, and effective marketing.

Your profits may just benefit as well, with less money going toward store startup, maintenance, and employees and more going to the bank. Lower overhead and higher margins are benefits to online selling that are hard to argue.

2. Cheaper, More Effective Marketing

Yes, you read that right. Selling vape products online allows you to market your products in creative, far-reaching ways that can be tailored to a specific audience.

Not only is this kind of marketing effective, it’s less expensive than many other methods of advertising that are required for a physical store.

Your shoppers will be online, so your marketing will be as well. Email campaigns and online promotions are much more cost effective than traditional advertising tactics, such as radio ads, billboards, and promotions sent in the mail.

3. You Can Target a Specific Audience

Because most of the potential customers were looking for vape products online in the first place, your marketing can be targeted at them directly. You won’t be advertising to the general public in hopes of getting a few people who might be interested.

Profile Customers for Targeted Marketing

Additionally, after customers have purchased from your online store, the data you collect from these customers can be used to create customized campaigns. You’ll be able to offer them products that align with their preferences in the future.

4. You’re Open for Business All Day, Every Day

When you sell vape products online, you’re able to make sales anytime, day or night. You’re no longer limited to business hours.

When your store is always open, you’ll naturally reach a wider customer base. Shoppers can view and purchase your products on their own schedule. This nearly guarantees more sales and repeat customers.

5. Geography is No Longer an Obstacle

When you sell vape products online, the geographical location of your store doesn’t limit your sales to potential customers that live nearby. Geography is no longer an obstacle, as customers from many places can buy your products.

Pair your availability with an excellent e-commerce marketing strategy, and you’re well on your way to success.

6. Easily Update Your Store, Inventory, or Marketing Strategy

With an online store, changing things up when necessary isn’t a huge, costly undertaking.

Updating your store can be accomplished more quickly and with fewer expenses than an actual store. Physical updates come with a number of costs and inconveniences, in addition to the time involved in the work.

An online store requires mostly design and programming work. These virtual changes can be quickly rolled out for a fresh, new look.

Inventory Updates

You won’t need to rearrange shelves, expand your space, or buy a bigger store once you start to rack up sales. You also won’t need to change an entire display to accommodate or promote new items.

Online stores allow you to introduce and carry new inventory with minimal effort. You simply add a new product description or new categories and you’re good to go.

Marketing Updates

Online vape stores don’t have to rely on printed materials or other marketing strategies that take time to produce and distribute.

If you sell vape products online, marketing updates are a snap. From holiday promos to deals of the day, you can instantly update and tweak your marketing strategies to increase sales and appeal to more customers.

7. Display Need-to-know Information for Potential Customers

Online stores that are well-designed give the customer essential information right away. Potential customers don’t want to spend a lot of time digging around for answers to their questions.

Online stores should have:

  • A Frequently Asked Questions page
  • All contact and location information clearly displayed on the home page, like this website
  • Important internal links throughout the site for easy navigation
  • A blog with useful, informative content about your vape products

Online shoppers want helpful information that makes buying and browsing easier. Clear and upfront information will attract more customers.

8. You Benefit from Customer Reviews and Testimonials

Word-of-mouth for a brick-and-mortar store is okay, but a readable customer review is unbeatable for backing up your store and products’ promises. These reviews are powerful marketing tools.

Reviews are like recommendations with almost no geographical or social limits. They’re typed out for any potential customers to find and read when they are making a purchase decision.

Online communication between consumers is continuous in our connected world. Customer reviews and testimonials are enormously important when developing your marketing strategy.

Good Reviews Will Sell Your Products

Online vape shops with customer reviews have a major advantage over physical stores. Instead of having to blindly trust a salesperson, potential customers can read through the experiences of others to gauge whether or not a product will work for their needs.

Reviews and testimonials will also build trust between you and your potential buyers. You’ll be viewed as an honest company that is concerned with customer satisfaction.

Your responses to reviews will show that you’re committed to improvement and willing to put customers first.

Take Your Vape Shop Online for Business Success

There was a time when people had no choice but to take a trip to their local store to buy what they needed. This isn’t the case now, and you should take advantage of an online store’s vast potential in this digital age.

If you’re ready to get started with your online vape shop, explore Pligg today. With everything from downloadable ebooks to informative blog posts, we can help you get your online store going in no time.


10 Best Garage Door Apps of 2017

January 11, 2018 - By 

A garage door app solves problems of theft. Unclosed garage doors are responsible for 50 percent of burglaries that happen to homes. This situation occurs when owners are negligent.

Luckily, smartphones have come to give smarter homes. As convergence devices, they have replaced security devices.

In this generation, we can do anything with our smartphones. Smartphone functions include connecting your phone to your garage door opener. Hence, you control your garage door with your smartphone.

It’s not science-fiction. With a good garage door app, homeowners can rest. With this in mind, you want to have the best app controlling your door.

Read on to know more.

10 Garage Apps to Check Out

While trying to make your choice of a great garage door application to use, check these out:

GarageMate by BTmate

BTmate GarageMate app is highly compatible with various garage door openers. Purchasing a complete kit from BTmate is for less than are affordable. Installation is a simple process; done for five minutes.

To install it, follow the instructions in the DIY YouTube video.

The Andriod application pairs the Bluetooth headset.

Then, the application operates like the regular remote. It connects well; while several meters away from the Bluetooth.

It is free for up to 30 clicks. After this, the license fee is pocket-friendly. Download from either BTmate or google play. The app is easy to use.

Tap It Open by Simon Says

This app works like the BTmate’s solution. Bluetooth technology is also employed here.

The app is free, but the Tap Open kit is quite inexpensive. The BTmate kit is highly compatible with various brands of garage door openers.

Installation is easy. Download it from Google Play store. After download, there’s a “password” option.

Users have rated it 5-star, and reviews are encouraging.

Craftsman Garage Door by Sears

This smartphone app works in conjunction with Craftsman’s AssureLink. It works perfectly with Craftsman garage door openers. It is barely compatible with other garage door openers.

The app does not depend on Bluetooth connectivity. It uses internet connection instead. It is available for download from iTunes Store and Google Play Store.

The range covers far more than the apps using Bluetooth connectivity. It is possible to see your garage from anywhere with your phone and an internet connection.

You can also control lights using this app.

There are mixed reviews on this app.

Liftmaster Home Control Garage Door App

The Liftmaster control app is from Chamberlain. It works hand-in-hand with MyQ-enabled garage door openers.

It also works with gate operators and house lights. The connection is where your phone has an internet connection.

The app controls many garage door openers.

It also switches lights on or off. For efficient use, select usage at security levels. The passcode option is an extra security vice.

The app is free after registration.

The reviews are mixed. There are several reports of a poor tech support. Some people complain about the spotty coverage too.

Nexx Garage Door App

Nexx garage door app uses wifi network in conjunction with your garage door opener. The result is a device accessed from anywhere. This app is helpful in securing garage buildings.

The trigger for opening the door is the Nexxa Garage Controller. It is cheap.

MyQ Smart Garage Control

This app, by Chamberlain, is used in conjunction with MyQ-enabled products.

It allows for easy opening, closing or inspection of your garage door.

The MyQ home lighting can also be monitored from anywhere; using your smartphone or tablet.

You can be confident knowing the main entrance to your home or business is safe. Instant security alerts are sent based on the activities around your garage door.

With one tap, you can see the status of your door when you put on your internet connection.

Using the app, add schedules to close your door at certain times. This ability takes away the bother that your garage door is open.

Nold Open Garage Door App

With this app, you hold your phone instead of keys. It can recognize your phone when you are close and opens your gate.

It gives your guest access to your garage using their email address. It gives you the chance to revoke this access once their stay is over.

This solution is a comfortable and secure solution for family and friends. You can manage a large number of guests using your phone and internet connection.

Gsm Gate Opener

You can use this garage door app in conjunction with the GSM Gate Opener/Relay Switch RTU5024 device. The device itself is simple yet powerful. With a connection to your mobile phone, it sends a call to your mobile phone.

With caller ID-technology, you can get notifications about your garage door.

You can use it in places where you are required to put off all your devices. It gives access to doors and controls gates.

It helps to provide an order for car parking arrangements too.

Bzgarage Garage Door App

Using the Bluetooth of your Android device, you can securely connect your garage. Due to the Bluetooth coverage range, you can only operate from any part of your home.

After downloading this app, you have to buy the hardware too. Purchase the receiver unit to connect many android devices.

It is helpful for the whole family.

You can make the connection within seconds.

The application is simple to operate. It has three buttons; the connect button, the close button and the open button.

Garage Door Remote Open Sesame App

This garage door app does not use an internet connection. Once purchased, pairing is done using Bluetooth.

H&A Open Sesame Garage Door Opener Bluetooth device is used to enable your smartphone’s Bluetooth. Using the app, you can clone many garage remotes for free.

It comes with a default password for security. Change it for personalization and additional security.

Open Sesame comes with a default password that you need to change for added security.

To Wrap It Up

Smartphones have replaced many products. Garage remotes are one of these products. Remotes could get misplaced.

Also, when you compare costs, smartphone use is inexpensive. Smartphones are taking over every market. They are slowly substituting wallets, video players, and games. Also, it is easier to install these apps.

However, you must check your door type before installing an app. Conduct your research and ensure that the app meets up to the demand of your door and your garage remote.

To know more about automation devices for garage doors or garage purchase, read our blog today!


8 Home Improvement Apps for iOS and Android

January 11, 2018 - By 

The DIY industry is booming as it barrels toward $14 billion a year. More and more people are becoming interested in saving money and empowered by fixing things at home. Along with television shows and YouTube tutorials, people are also getting help from home improvement apps for direction on their projects.

If you’re thinking about getting your hands dirty on a home renovation project, but don’t know where to begin, turn to your phone. With the variety of projects people could be working on at any given time, there are just as many answers offered by these home improvement apps.

Are you looking to get started on your next DIY project ASAP? Check out these 8 apps to make your project easier and more convenient than you could have imagined.

1. Houzz Interior Design Ideas

This free app for iPhones and Android phones is chock full of an endless array of tips for your next project. It can offer you ideas for both interior and exterior projects.

While you might know that you need to fix something, you might not know how you should expect the end result to look. Houzz’s app can give the examples you need.

There’s a scrapbook of user-generated photos that help show the number of options you could pursue as your next design solution.

If you can imagine it, someone has probably done it. Wondering if your dark cabinets will look good with your light colored tiles? Check out user uploaded examples to see if it works.

If you’re still looking for great interior design apps, check out this other list we’ve compiled.

2. ColorSmart

Another free app that’s available for both Androids and iPhones, Behr’s ColorSmart is meant to take away the pain of choosing colors.

With ColorSmart, you can take a photo of any color you like and upload it. After you pinpoint the right hue, the app will match it to Behr’s own palette. You’ll also get a few options for complementary colors.

This app helps you get the right color whether a wall is wet, dry, or 100 years old. There’s no more fear as you watch the paint dry that you’ll somehow end up with the wrong shade.

3. Home Depot/Lowe’s App

Running around a store trying to remember everything you need can be a frustrating experience. You could spend extra hours at the hardware store just trying to remember that one thing, only to end up leaving without it.

Home Depot’s app has voice recognition so you can add items to your list hands-free. You can also scan barcodes of items you need and it will add them to your list.

Take the option to pick up your prepaid load of items and save yourself some time on a busy shopping weekend.

Lowe’s app is pretty similar but includes a few extras. If you’re working to renovate something with foreign screws, it’s got a unit converter and a nut and bold finder. Tell it what you’re working on and you’ll get a list of just how much flooring, insulation, drywall, or paint you’ll need for the project.

4. I.D. Wood

If you’re a restoration person or love working in older interiors, you’re probably familiar with encountering wood you might not be able to identify. Whether it’s because of age, paint, or strange staining techniques, there could be some hurdles to restoring your next project.

For people who want to build replica antique furniture, this app could help you get the accuracy that you or your customers are looking for.

I.D. Wood offers hundreds of images to help identify wood. For just $4.99, it’s available on Android and iPhone. Five dollars is a small price to pay to save you from digging around a lumber yard for hours looking for a piece of Japanese hardwood they might not have.

5. iHandy Carpenter

While you shouldn’t necessarily rely on your phone to be 100% accurate in all levels of measuring, you can find a few good apps for approximation. If you like the convenience of leveling with your phone, try this app.

It’s got a complete set of tools that give you a better idea than an eyeball measurement. Once you get your vague idea, break out the ruler and projector for an exact measurement.

6. HomeAdvisor App

This is one of the best home improvement apps for getting help fast. If your next DIY project leaves you a little in over your head, you can get a directory of professionals to help you out.

You can start by snapping a photo of the project and upload everything to HomeAdvisor. Specialists can send you price quotes to let you know how much it’ll cost to fix.

All the specialists are subject to a review process, so there’s no need to worry about getting ripped off.

7. Insteon

If you like to control all of your HVAC and home security systems from one central location, this free app has what you need.

Depending on your system, you can even unlock doors for guests from anywhere on the planet. As your needs grow, so does the app’s capabilities. You can add individual outlets, sensors, and cameras as needed and then synchronize them with the app.

You can set schedules and monitor everything in your home with one simple tool.

8. Eden Garden

If you want to know the best way to plan out your garden, this is the app for you. Add an image of your yard and scale it. Then you can add plants one by one.

The app will take into account the time of year, temperature patterns, and blooming seasons. It will give you a bird’s eye view with each season to let you know how much success you can expect.

For garden designers who want to achieve a certain visual balance, this can help immensely.

So Many Home Improvement Apps To Choose From

This list just scratches the surface of the number of home improvement apps that are available for homeowners. DIY has never been easier. If you know what you want, there’s an app to help you get it.

If you’re ready to find some apps for your next DIY project, contact us for more tips today.


What To Do if Your Car Breaks Down

January 11, 2018 - By 

Imagine the situation, you’re in the middle of the freeway, you hear a loud clunk, you feel a shudder, you start to panic and you pull over to the side of the road and then bam! Your car breaks down.

You’re now stranded on the side of the road, just like 32 million other drivers every year. You’ve got no idea what went wrong and no idea how to fix it. Fear can start to set in but don’t panic!

This article is exactly what you need to prepare you so that in that dreaded situation, you don’t have to go into panic mode. This article will walk you through what to do when your car breaks down including:

  • How to prevent problems happening in the first place
  • What to do when your vehicle breaks down
  • What to do while still on the road
  • and much more

How to Prevent Vehicle Breakdowns

Properly maintained vehicles very rarely break down. A study by AAA showed that alarmingly, 35% of Americans have skipped or delayed recommend vehicle maintenance or repair.

AAA Predict that road users could avoid millions of roadside breakdowns each year with simple maintenance. What are the biggest culprits of roadside breakdowns? Out of 29 million calls for roadside assistance in 2014, 17 million were due to:

  • Batterie failure
  • Flat tires
  • Keys locked inside vehicles

How to Prevent Battery Issues

Batteries in a car usually last between three and five years; hotter climates also lead to reduced battery life. To avoid a battery failure out of the blue, AAA recommends having your battery tested after three years of age, and annually after that.

How to Prevent Flat Tires

60% don’t check tire pressure every month; keeping tires properly inflated and having tread depths checked regularly is critical to safety. You should check your tire pressure (including the spare) every month routinely.

Also, although it might not seem like an excellent idea for theft to store the locking wheel lug nuts in the car, it prevented 21,000 tire changes in 2014. It’s worth keeping the spare in the glove box, just in case.

Keys Locked Inside Vehicle

Despite a lot of modern cars having keyless entry systems, there still seems to be an almost identical number of people locking their key’s inside of their vehicles. It’s hard to avoid this common mistake, our advice? Don’t lose your keys in your car.

What to Do When Your Car Breaks Down

When your car breaks down, the immediate reaction can be to panic. Remember to always focus on safety as the priority in any situation.

It’s impossible to give you an exact guide on what to do due to changing conditions. Your surroundings, vehicle position, traffic and vehicle hazards are going to vary in every situation.

Make sure to be Smart, Cautious and Safe.

The First Step, Note Your Vehicle’s Location

If you encounter a problem while driving, make sure to get a bearing on your surroundings and overall location. Make sure you know where you are in comparison to any major exits.

Look out for well-lit areas and landmarks like service stations, restaurants or recognizable businesses. This is important for if you need to call for any assistance.

Try to Figure out the Vehicles Problem While Driving

While you are driving, you need to make sure you are careful at all times, but try and listen out for any noises or problems. Get a feel for where the problem may be, such as in the steering, the braking or if any sounds are coming from unusual locations.

Pull off the Road

When your car breaks down, you can sometimes see smoke, hear a flat tire or see emergency lights flash on your dash. In this situation don’t panic and signal, slow down steadily and carefully pull onto the side of the road.

If your engine stops, it could be due to problems or running out of gas. In this situation switch on your emergency/safety flasher lights and delicately steer your car out of traffic and use the car’s momentum to get you off the road.

Try to get as far away from traffic as possible.

What to Do If Your Car Breaks down and You Can’t Get off the Road

If you find that your vehicle loses power, becomes inoperable make sure to first signal other motorists by putting on your emergency/safety flashers. Make sure not to risk any injury to yourself by trying to push it to a safe location.

If you feel your car is in a risky position and may get hit from behind, make sure to get you and your passengers away from the vehicle.

Alert Other Motorists

When your car breaks down, making your vehicle visible to other motorists can be vital to avoid any accidents or risk to yourself or other drivers. As other drivers will usually be traveling at high speed make sure to take precautions:

  • Put your emergency/safety lights on
  • Raise the hood of your car
  • Tie a bright scarf to the antenna to raise attention
  • You can use flares to warn drivers just be cautious if there is a fuel leak

Communicate and Call for Help

Once you know that you and your passengers are safely out of the way and your car isn’t a hazard, you can notify others of your breakdown. Use your cell phone to call for help, make sure to do at a safe distance from your vehicle.

Make sure to remark local landmarks to help locate you and your vehicle.

Have an Emergency Kit in Your Car

Now you know what to do when your car breaks down it’s worth remembering to prepare for all eventualities. One suggestion by House of Cars is to have an emergency kit packed into the back of your car at all times.

Some of the best items to keep in your car to prevent problems are:

  • Cell phone with power bank charger
  • Pen and notebook
  • Medical kit
  • Vehicle operating manual
  • Emergency service information
  • Flashlight including extra batteries
  • Water and preserved food
  • Tire pressure gauge and jumper cables
  • Windscreen washer fluid
  • Ice scraper
  • Thermal/safety blanket
  • Umbrella
  • Lug wrench for changing a flat tire

Stay Safe on the Roads

Preparing for every eventuality is hard to do in any situation due to having such extensive variables. One of the best things you can do is to prepare for a situation.

Know the right approach for when your car breaks down and aim to prevent the situations from happening with proper vehicle maintenance.


The 8 Best Real Estate Apps For House Hunters

January 11, 2018 - By 

The search for a new home can be time-consuming, overwhelming, and disappointing. Lucky for you, with mobile apps and online search systems, it no longer has to be.

With fantastic real estate photos available through easy-to-use, seamless apps, you can set up an appointment to see a home you like in a matter of seconds.

Furthermore, you won’t be surprised when arriving at the home. Apps offer detailed listings with all you need to know about the home before you make an appointment.

You can now brose real estate and find the deal of your dreams while filling your gas tank or while standing in line at the grocery store. The best real estate apps have made the market a smaller, more accessible place for house hunters.

Here are 8 of the best apps you need while you shop for your next home.


Zillow comes in at numero uno on our list because it is the most widely used and the most powerful real estate app. More Americans even search “Zillow” in the Google search bar than “real estate”.

With almost 70 million buyers and sellers each month, Zillow is the king of the best real estate apps. When searching for your home, you can count on Zillow to bring you an extensive and expansive list of resources.

What’s more? It’s free. You can submit new rental or sales listings and even claim the listings with your information on them.

Zillow is a seamless app and lets you click on any home location, see the street view, and take a thorough tour of the home.


Another one of the best real estate apps is Trulia. Similar to Zillow with fewer users, it allows house hunters to peruse millions of listings nationwide. It offers you everything from updated listings of homes for sale, open houses, apartments for rent and foreclosure options.

Trulia demands high-resolution photo galleries of all of their properties for a qualified listing. They also require comprehensive information about each listing. The listings will come complete with school ratings, price and tax histories, and a Trulia estimate of what the home’s worth is.

Redfin is One of the Best Real Estate Apps

Redfin is another massive destination for home hunters. You can buy and sell real estate on Redfin. Theirs is one of the best real estate apps and is available in 83 different U.S. markets.

They have incredibly up-to-date listings, and the system self-updates every 15 minutes. This offers the latest information to a buyer for every listing they are considering.

Buyers won’t waste any time using Redfin by inquiring about a home that is now off the market or doesn’t meet their specifications because the information posted will always be the latest.

Redfin is one of the best real estate apps to do comparables on. You can establish a price range for the home you want based on the market activity and information Redfin has gathered. They include every aspect, from last sale price to lot size and condition of the home.

The app is available for both Android and iOS.


Houzz makes our list of best real estate apps because it is able to streamline a home renovation process for you. In 2009 the app renewed its technology and interface an now lets you design a home.

It gives house hunters access to millions of interior design photos and decorating ideas. This is great for people who are shopping for lots to build a custom home on or people who need help deciding what they want.

Realtor.Com makes our list of the best real estate apps because it offers property listings that are sourced right from 800 MLS. Much like Redfin, their listings are refreshed and updated every fifteen minutes as well.

Their listings offer great photos of properties and will give you all of the fine print details like sales history, property tax, and nearby amenities. It has very user-friendly search options.


ZipRealty is great for people both buying and selling a home. One of the best features ZipRealty offers is the drawing feature. You can simply draw a line around your desired area of real estate.

Once you apply the drawing, it will bring you only the listings in that area. It also has augmented reality features that let you see homes nearby for sale. You can tour homes and see potential open houses too.


Oh, snap. Homesnap made our list of best real estate apps because it allows users to take photos of homes nationwide and upload them. Homesnap gives a collaborative and thorough listing of every home, with the help of users.

Homesnap is especially useful for real estate agents and brokers. There is a private message feature that lets them communicate with house hunters for free and in a secure forum. There is a great mapping feature and the app lets you keep a history of all the photos of homes you’re considering.

Coldwell Banker

The biggest plus of Coldwell Banker is that it lets you search internationally, which few other apps do. It can even help you plan your move abroad and buy a vacation home.

Looking for a home in the Rockies? Find one at Coldwell Banker Mountain Properties. It has a cool property notification option that will let you know the minute new properties or an open house is released that meets your set of standards.

My Mama Told Me…

…you better shop around. And now it’s easier to do than ever. With so many fantastic real estate apps you can find homes you’re interested in, compare them to others, and set up an appointment within minutes.

These apps will give you the most information about their listings. You’ll get accurate photos and in-depth descriptions of what is going on with any given property. This will save you time by eliminating the homes you know you don’t want to see through all of the information given.

For more tips, tricks, advice, and manuals on shopping for a home and what to look for, learn more here.


How To Start A Cleaning Blog For Your Industrial Cleaning Company

January 11, 2018 - By 

These days, it’s more and more common to hear people say they are a blogger.

The digital boom has opened doors for writers to turn this hobby into a full-time business or extra source of income. But, blogging is effective for more than trendy niches like fashion or travel.

It is an essential tool for any business.

In fact, if you’re struggling to get new clients, a blog might be the perfect solution for your sales to increase.

The following is a closer look at the value a cleaning blog can bring to your business.

Why Have a Cleaning Blog?

Many – if not all – of your business operations are focused on one thing: an increase in revenue.

This can happen with a blog, although it is because of other benefits at play. A blog expands your audience, makes it easier for them to find you, and sets you apart as an expert in your industry.

Let’s take a closer look at how this all works.

Expand Your Reach

Without a blog, your industrial cleaning website is missing out on content opportunities.

You can only talk about your services and your team so much on landing pages. But, when you add a blog, you can continue the conversation with your audience.

This is your place to talk about the best cleaning products, cleaning maintenance tips, and much more.

Plus, all of this content translates well on social media.

Improve SEO Performance

The more you post new content, on your website as well as on social media, the better your SEO ranks will be.

There are more things that go into this – like keyword optimization, local targeting, and link building. But, these all go hand in hand with a successful blog!

When you write content with SEO in mind, you are doing more for your business than you might think.

The blog is a way for users to find you, get to know who you are, and build a stronger sense of brand recognition and loyalty.

Establish Authority

Speaking of brand recognition, don’t forget to use your blog as a way to share your knowledge.

This isn’t about revealing your best cleaning secrets. Instead, it’s about making an effort to share your expertise.

The more you share your opinion on industry behaviors and cleaning tips, the more people will see you know what you’re talking about. Over time, trusting your advice may become using your services.

Here’s how to make all of these goals happen by starting a cleaning blog.

1. Set Your Goals

You should now understand the overarching goals of a blog: reach, SEO rank, and authority.

The thing is, these don’t happen without a clear sense of what you want your blog to be.

Remember, your cleaning blog is an extension of your industrial cleaning business. It needs to be aligned with your brand’s values and voice. The messaging should be consistent in each post, too.

Not everyone understands this, and they just start posting new content for the sake of having content. Such a process may do more harm than good.

Thankfully, there are some things you can do to make sure your blog’s goals make sense with the rest of your business.

2. Research Your Audience

Whenever you’re thinking of goals and objectives, do so with your audience in mind.

For a cleaning blog, this goes a bit more in-depth than demographics and expendable income. You want to know what your audience is most interested in when it comes to industrial cleaning.

Are they looking for regular maintenance or more extensive solutions? Do they want to know how to do some cleaning themselves, or are they interested in how to hire an efficient service?

Ask yourself these questions to guide you as you add to your buyer persona.

This is something you should already have in place for your marketing campaigns. But, the persona also helps you understand who it is you’re talking to when you create a blog post.

3. Make a Schedule

Once you get a couple ideas for an article, you need to create a schedule.

You can choose to write a blog a few times a month, once a week, or even once every couple days! But, try to have them planned ahead of time.

For instance, the blog you write today should be in anticipation of posting it a week or a month from now. Similarly, the blog you post today should have already been ready to go well in advance.

Aside from timing, your schedule allows the content to flow together.

You can create a different theme or series for each month. Incorporate a mix of cleaning tips and product reviews – like Haaker Equipment Company has done.

Also, pay attention to the changing of the seasons and holiday times.

These can offer new ways to approach the writing process, which helps keep everything interesting.

4. Track and Edit

As much as you might think you’ve thought of some great cleaning blog topics, you won’t know until you check the feedback.

Tracking audience engagement is crucial whether you’ve just started a blog or if you’ve been managing it for years.

It’s your way of knowing how effective your strategies really are.

If you see a rising trend in click-through rates and the time users spend on a page, you’re doing something right. But, if these numbers are dropping or you’re losing traffic overall, it’s time to make some changes.

This doesn’t mean edit old blog posts. It means taking a closer look at your schedule and topic ideas to change things moving forward.

Changes are often simple edits.

The following are easy things you can do to see a substantial improvement in blog performance:

  • Use different keywords
  • Post less or more frequently
  • Add relevant photos and graphics to your blog

Keep in mind effective changes won’t happen overnight. It will take a few new posts for you to see a difference in the numbers.

If you still can’t get it right, you might need to hire a content team to help you out.

Create Your New Blog

Ready to put these steps to the test?

The very first thing you have to do is claim a new blog domain!

Click here to discover how to make this happen.


5 Small Business Apps For Mac You Can’t Live Without

January 11, 2018 - By 

Running a successful business is partly what you know and partly what you have. So besides having the right knowledge, it’s about having the right tools.

You’ll quickly learn this to be true once you get your small business up and running. Trying to do everything on your own slows down productivity and growth. And by implementing the right tools, you can streamline tasks and free up time on your busy schedule.

Today, many of these tools are virtual, so they’re affordable and easy to get. Some are even free. If this sounds good to you, then you may find the following business apps for Mac to be of some use.

1. LibreOffice: The Microsoft Replacement

Let’s face it, some entrepreneurs are strapped for cash and can’t really dish out too much to set up their office tools. That’s what makes LibreOffice a godsend.

A lot of Mac users forgo Microsoft Office anyway, but some still like the features it contains. With this option, you get these features and at the cost of nothing. It’s a free app you can install onto your Mac computer.

It comes with spinoffs of Excel, Powerpoint, Word and includes its own programs, like Math, Base, Impress, Calc, Writer and Draw.

2. Google Docs: The Online Office

You’re constantly on the go, or maybe not. Either way, having Google Docs can work out well for your small business. For one, it can be installed on your computer, as well as your smartphone.

This application allows you to create, upload and download documents and files, as well as share them with colleagues. So if you have an important presentation coming up, everyone can work on it from wherever they are.

You can also grant access to edit the documents or only establish read-only access.

And if you’re really into setting up a virtual office, or even want an amenity-filled physical office, there are unique options available. You can have your pick of a small, medium or large office space at reasonable rates. Sounds interesting? Click for more.

3. Microsoft Office Online: For the Traditional Businesspeople

If you are an avid Microsoft Office user, you’ll find the online desktop app to be a great add-on. It’s a free app now, thanks to competition like G Suite.

It works just like the desktop program, but can be accessed from anywhere with internet connection. And unlike with Google’s version of office, there’s no need to convert your files before you’re able to access them.

4. 1Password: To Make Signing In Simple

Business owners and even consumers have many accounts and passwords. Keeping up with it all can be a headache and even a security risk (especially if you like to write down all your passwords).

So to get rid of this issue, you can use 1Password to combine all your accounts under one password. You can use this for your blog, insurance, bank accounts, utility accounts and the list goes on.

5. Hootsuite: For Managing All Your Social Profiles

Yes, social media is a big deal, especially for small business owners. After all, how will you maximize your visibility as an underdog?

If you’ve set up multiple social media accounts, you can combine them all under Hootsuite and access them all at once. And what’s even better is that you can schedule your posts in advance, so you don’t waste time posting daily.

Try these Business Apps for Mac

These are just some of the many business apps for Mac that can improve your productivity. The idea is to find programs you can use to connect with your workers and streamline your efforts.

If you need more tips and advice on enhancing your business workflow, you can check out Pligg. We offer a variety of articles on many different topics, including business and finance.

So stop by today to learn new and unique ways to reduce overhead and maximize productivity.


What Are The Benefits Of Giving Away Freebies And Samples?

January 8, 2018 - By 

Those free sample trays at your local grocery store, shopping mall, or food stand — they’re the little perks that you look forward on every errand run.

But they’re actually more than little, fleeting opportunities to try products for free.

Freebies and samples are empowering and beneficial for nearly every product-based business.

If you run your own business, you may be skeptical of giving away things for free. But if you’ve ever given away free samples of your own products, you may already know the benefits.

Curious to learn more about these benefits and what they could mean for your business? Here are the benefits of freebies, samples, and giveaways!

Sensory-Evoking & Tangible

Without spending money, consumers can experience a company through freebies and samples. But through this very process, the company embeds itself with consumers.

The company stays with them in their purses or bags, in their cars, and in their homes. The company stays with consumers up until the sample is no longer of any use.

Then, if consumers like what they’ve experienced, they’ll buy into the company. Because sometimes consumers need to actually experience a product before they decide to buy it.

Freebies and samples are some of the most tangible forms of marketing. Unlike billboards and websites, samples are physical mediums between potential consumers and companies.

They penetrate senses like touch, taste, and smell. Other forms of marketing cannot always do this.

Pocket-Sized Advertisements

Traditional advertisements have always evoked the sense of sight. While freebies and samples evoke other senses, they also act as traditional advertisements.

Business owners should always advertise on every sample they give away. That way, when consumers pick up, use, or look at the sample later on, they’ll see the company name.

Small business owners can always design their own labels to put on samples and giveaways.

It may be in their interest if they’re just starting out and can’t afford to outsource labels. There are free online graphics tools, marketing templates, and much more.

Of course, if companies can afford to outsource to sample suppliers, they should! These suppliers have the packaging and design tools to produce shelf-ready samples.

Sample suppliers can produce samples in a variety of sizes, designs, and for all types of products. Read more now about the possibilities of packaging and designing freebies with a sample supplier.

They’re a Nice Gesture

Who doesn’t like to receive things for free?

To consumers, free samples and giveaways is a nice gesture on part of the company. And good first impressions certainly apply to consumerism and marketing!

Because when a company gives away things for free, it’s not actually wasteful. It makes the company appear like they care enough to invest in reaching new clients.

It also makes consumers feel like they’re experiencing something exclusive. As if no one else is experiencing it.

Who doesn’t want to feel like that?

Most consumers do. After all, there is an emotional aspect to consumerism.

When companies appear like they care, consumers will reciprocate to them more. This, in turn, generates more leads and creates lasting business relationships.

Promotional & Response-Worthy

A lot of product-based companies come out with new products on a regular basis. There are ways they can test out the products and get a feel for the public’s responses to these new products.

But sample giveaways are by far the most effective. Mainly because consumers only need a taste, touch, or small portion of a product to get a feel for it.

Not only are samples nice to receive from a consumer’s standpoint. They help to promote a new product. They also provide the right amount of product without overwhelming the consumer.

Samples are easy to take or leave. If the consumer doesn’t like the product, they can simply throw the sample away.

But if a consumer likes a product, then they’ll likely keep the sample and purchase it in regular size.

When a company gives away a lot of samples, and then sell that same product, it means the product is well-received. If they give away samples but don’t sell or generate interest, they may discontinue it.

Which, from a business perspective, is not only cost-effective but strategic. Because if samples can upsell more expensive product, the company can profit more.

Resourceful & Economical

Sometimes products don’t sell as well as others. Part of running a business is accepting that some products will gather dust on the store shelves.

But there is still hope for these unpopular products.

By giving these products away for free, as samples or giveaways, you’ll not only shake off the dust. You’ll also raise awareness of these products and get customers to experience them.

This, in hand, can lead to higher purchases. Maybe the product won’t sell entirely. But it’s still better to turn some of them into actual sales.

Are you currently experiencing this with a certain product in your inventory? Struggling to get something off the shelf and get money for it in return?

In addition to offering these products as samples, add a discount or coupon to them.

Don’t Underestimate Freebies and Samples

Are you an entrepreneur who owns a product-based company?

Looking for ways to generate more leads, sell more products, and grow your business?

If you feel like not enough people know about your product, it’s time to raise awareness of your company. Freebies and samples can help you to do this from several effective angles.

But there are still other ways to turn potential customers into recurring ones. Check out our marketing blog to learn more ways to expose your business and generate more leads!


5 Must-Have Apps for Mountain Bikers

January 8, 2018 - By 

Hitting the trails on two wheels is a great way to escape from the demands of life. But staying connected can also be a huge boost to your next mountain biking trip.

That’s because there are tons of apps available that you can download right to your smartphone to help enhance your ride. From GPS to trip recording, these apps can do it all.

Keep reading to learn a few of the best apps for mountain bikers that you should download before your next trip.

1. Bike Gear Calculator

If you’re a mountain biking-enthusiast with the gear to show for it, you likely enjoy choosing just the right bike, wheels, and chains for each trip.

But figuring out exactly which gear to choose can sometimes feel like guesswork. That’s what makes the Bike Gear Calculator one of the best apps for mountain bikers.

With this app, you can check your gear ratios and cadence, and even input the distance you plan to travel or how long you want to ride, to help figure out the optimal combination.

Even if you don’t switch which gear you use for different trips, this app can help you better estimate how long a trail will take you at different pedaling speeds, based on the gear you have.

This app can also be great for those considering upgrading their gear. Use it to find the best hybrid bikes and gear combos to maximize your rides.

2. Strava

If you have a fitness tracking device or know someone who does, you probably know how much fun it can be to compete with friends and compare workouts, runs, and eating habits.

Strava is the mountain biking equivalent to these devices.

Strava is one of the best apps for mountain biking because it not only tracks your rides, times, and other stats, it also helps you connect with other bikers. Compare your stats, swap trail ideas, and even compete with one another to make it to the top of the leaderboard.

3. Avana PDF Files

Finding the right trail is the key to a great ride. Avana PDF Files can help with that.

With this app, you can access, download, and then navigate GeoPDFs at home or on the trail. Use it to find your new favorite trail or just to keep track of where you are during your ride.

4. Weather Underground

While this may not seem like an app that’s specific to mountain biking, nothing ruins a ride faster than bad weather.

Use this app to check weather conditions before you ride, or to monitor them while out on the trail.

5. Shred! Downhill Mountain Biking

While this app may not help you while you’re on the trail, it’s great for killing time traveling or for those days when you can’t make it outside to ride.

The Shred! Downhill Mountain Biking app simulates a trail ride, letting you choose your bike and the course you want to ride. Jump over obstacles, shred dirt trails and city roads, and race downhill with this addicting game.

Best Apps for Mountain Bikers

From keeping you connected to helping you navigate the trails, to keeping you entertained between rides, these apps for mountain bikers are great for all experience levels.

If you’re looking for other apps to simplify your life and keep you connected, check out this article to learn a few of the best SMS apps for Android.


The Best Social Media Solutions For a Startup in 2018

January 8, 2018 - By 

Struggling to find the right social media solutions?

Over half of small businesses increased their social media marketing in 2017. That’s more than content marketing and email marketing combined. One reason is that social media solutions are more accessible than ever.

How can you be sure you have the right tools for your business? Identifying the right solutions depends on your target market and your goals. Today, there are social media apps and strategies for all kinds of business needs.

Your competitors may think that social media is secondary to other marketing. If so, they’ve made a grave mistake in your favor. Small business owners who invest in social marketing can expect to see a positive ROI of up to 92%.

Your challenge is to determine the right strategy. In this post, we’ll reveal solutions that deliver success.

What Should I Look For in Social Media Solutions?

Most companies fail to understand how social media works. They fail to measure their progress as well. They consider social media a channel in which repurposing content is enough.

Companies that include social in their inbound marketing strategies have greater success rates. They use social channels as compelling means to engage with customers. Neglecting this low-cost opportunity costs company thousands.

What’s more, the tools for social engagement are more accessible than ever. Measuring your social success is also within reach. In time, social engagement will become a driver for your business.

5 Social Media Solutions That Drive Startup Success

Launching a successful social strategy has a lot of moving parts. That’s because simply publishing text is not enough. You need the right strategy, content, and analytics to drive business results.

Don’t make your social strategy a second thought. Streamline the process with the best social tools on the market for startups.

1. Buffer

Don’t stop with your social presence. You need to track the results and then adjust your strategy for success. Monitoring tools are one of the most important social media solutions on the market.

The primary use of social marketing is to increase brand penetration. You also want to drive prospects through your inbound marketing funnel. Monitoring allows you to learn valuable information about your customers as well.

One of the best monitoring tools for startups is Buffer. Buffer supports scheduling and managing content across the major social media platforms. It provides analytics tools that help you directly understand how that content is performing.

As a free tool that serves both of these purposes, it’s a boon to your small team. It has no direct impact on your budget either. Turn that data into insight to improve your campaigns as you go.

2. Adobe Premiere Clip

Your audience processes visual information a lot faster than text. That’s why video has become the most engaging content type on the internet. If you’re not engaging your audience with video content, you’re missing out on customers.

But video is a big barrier for most startups. That’s because production and editing can take substantial time and money. Without quality and high frequency, a video campaign can actually hurt your brand.

Adobe Premiere Clip is a free video app that provides advanced but easy to use features. This includes editing, soundtrack, and aesthetic support.

Finally, get the most from your videos. Publish them on your website in prominent areas. Leading web designers like Cymax Media can help you position your videos and more.

If you’d like to add quality and regularity to your videos, train your team on Adobe Premiere Clip. With the right creative approach, you’ll have quality social video content published regularly for your audience.

3. Hootsuite Amplify

The name of the game in 2018 is ”Personalization.” This is especially true on social channels, where customers are used to interacting with individuals.

Customers will expect you to engage with them on an individual basis. This means personalizing content for your audience. It means connecting them with a real person at your company as well.

Hootsuite Amplify provides you with an economical way to accomplish this. That’s because it enables your actual employees to advocate for your company. And studies have shown that customers trust the word of an employee over that of business leadership.

This tool goes on any employee’s mobile device. It’s a secure way for them to interact with customers, share approved content, and build relationships.

You can leverage your small staff to triple your social reach in this way. You can do so in the most personalized way possible as well.

4. Botletter

You’ll do anything you can to engage new customers. Opening up new channels to your newsletters and other content gives you that opportunity.

With Botletter, your customers can sign up for your distributed content directly through Facebook Messenger. This saves them a trip to your website and increases your chances of capturing leads.

Facebook bots are doubling in number each year. Be sure you’re on the same playing field as your competitors.

5. Talk Walker

We’ve shared a lot of tools for building a comprehensive social strategy. But let’s not neglect where social fits into the overall web landscape. You can leverage data from across the web for a complete view of your target market.

Talk Walker aggregates data from both social media channels and over 150 million websites. It’s considered one of the most comprehensive social listening tools in existence.

It can track conversations in almost 200 world languages. There’s no corner of the globe where you can’t measure your brand’s reach.

Talk Walker is an advanced tool. As your needs increase, you’ll find reasons to invest in other advanced tools as well.

You won’t know where you stand until you develop your first strategy. You’ll be able to act on your findings right away.

Wait until you see a change in business results. Then refine your strategy for better content and analysis. Your business will improve as your strategies and initiatives evolve.

Pligg Has the Best Social Content For Startups

Need to find the best content for your business? Pligg provides affordable content to suit social marketing needs and more.

Check out our stock films to get started. They’re priced as low as $20.

We’ll help you choose the right assets and drive your social initiatives to success.


The 10 Best HookUp Apps To Download In 2018

January 8, 2018 - By 

We live in an age where everything is far more convenient than it was for our parents.

Rather than look through a dictionary or encyclopedia for answers to our questions, we can find the necessary solution on the internet in mere seconds.

In fact, the Internet has become a powerful communication tool that can bring people together.

It can also help you meet others with similar interests.

Not everyone has the time or energy to go out and look for someone that they resonate with. That’s why hookup apps have become so popular in recent years.

As the Internet continues to evolve, so does the convenience that comes with it.

Much like 2017, 2018 is proving to be a promising year for hookup apps.

Continue reading to find the 10 that will be worth your time in the coming year.

1. Tinder

At this point, Tinder is a name that most people have heard of. In fact, it’s become one of the most popularly downloaded dating apps.

And, since Tinder is so popular, it has a very large user base. This means that there are plenty of potential matches for anyone who wants to make a profile.

Tinder is also known for being an app that is geared to both dating and hookups, so you don’t have to feel pressured to do one or the other.

2. OkCupid

Like Tinder, OkCupid is a name that has been around for an extensive period of time.

On the app’s interface, you can rate other people’s profiles and also express what you’re looking for in terms of dating experience.

This will help you narrow down the people you interact with, and ultimately find someone that you click with.

Furthermore, OkCupid also lets you know that someone has looked at your profile, so you can see what type of people are interested in you.

3. Bumble

Bumble is one of the most useful hookup apps due to the fact that female users are the only ones who are permitted to initiate a conversation.

Much like Tinder, two users can match. But, since only women can speak first, this eliminates a large amount of spam and harassment that comes from male users.

While the user base is not quite as large as Tinder’s, there are still plenty of other people to choose from. Therefore, it is a solid option for those seeking a hookup or a relationship.

4. Disckreet

Disckreet prides itself on being a very private, intimate hookup app.

You’ll be able to share messages and photos with other users, but both users have to separately enter their respective passcodes in order to access this information.

Disckreet is the perfect option for those who are looking for an experience that they can keep on the down-low.

5. 3Somer

Sometimes, couples are looking for something to add a little more excitement to the bedroom.

This can potentially involve adding a third-party into the mix.

While this is not an uncommon interest among dating and married couples alike, it’s something that you’ll have a hard time finding on regular hookup apps.

In fact, the larger apps like Tinder and Bumble may have people who are explicitly against this type of behavior.

If meeting up with a stranger for some fun with your significant other is what you’re into, 3Somer is the perfect way to find it.

A great place to find someone open to this scenario is by searching for a LoveSita Paris Escort. There are plenty of opportunities to fit your needs.

6. Her

In the LGBTQ scene, Her is renowned as being one of the most popular hookup apps.

This app is also known for being very centralized around consent and women’s rights, so it’s important to understand that before making an account.

As long as you keep these tenants in mind, you shouldn’t have a hard time at all finding someone to share a memorable experience with.

7. Whiplr

Just like how Her is geared more toward people in the LGBTQ community, Whiplr is an app people can use to help satisfy their fetishes.

It is also one of the best hookup apps in terms of user involvement since everyone is on the same page about what they want.

If you’re looking to get a fix for a craving, Whiplr is a great place to start looking for other likeminded individuals.

8. Pure

Pure is perfect for people who are looking for a no-strings-attached experience.

As the name suggests, it involves hooking up in its purest form.

Pure also has extensive privacy mechanics, as your photos are only available for an hour at a time.

9. Blendr

Blendr is just like Tinder and Bumble in terms of user experience. There are plenty of people in the user base, and it is proving to grow in popularity as time goes on.

Plus, it comes with all of the same features as the other main apps that people know and love, such as private messaging and the opportunity to block users.

In the future, Blendr has the chance to make its way to the top and stand among the heavy hitters of the hookup apps.

10. Down

Down centralizes around long-term relationships.

While this may seem counterproductive to hooking up, many people want to check out their physical chemistry before they get too invested in their potential partner.

Down is much like Tinder and the other major names. It’s equipped with everything you need, including private messaging, blocking, and the opportunity to search for whatever you’d like.

Hookup Apps May Be The Future of Dating

While it may seem outlandish to people who have only ever dated conventionally, hookup apps have proven to be a great alternative to going out and meeting their potential romantic interest.

Hookup apps take all of the legwork out of the equation.

There’s no need to buy drinks or dress up, and you’re guaranteed to find someone who’s looking for the same thing that you are.

Regardless of whether or not you choose to date traditionally, these apps will always be an option for those who wish to try something new.

Software’s usefulness doesn’t stop at dating apps, though. There are certain trends you should keep an eye on in 2018.


These Are the Types of Blogs You Should Be Writing

January 5, 2018 - By 

It’s natural for bloggers to invest time in generating new blog topics. You must generate a steady stream of content to build an audience.

Something else you should invest some time on is what types of blogs to write. Different kinds of posts attract readers with different goals.

So let’s jump in and look at some types of blogs you can use and why.

How-To Types of Blogs

The how to blog post is a go-to for any blog focused on deploying a skill or fixing things.

Say you run a blog about writing computer code for websites. It only makes sense that you’d want to talk about how to get the programming language to do certain common tasks.

It’s also popular because it lets you break the blog post up into easily defined sections. That makes it easier to read and lets the audience jump to wherever in the process they got stuck.

Common Questions

Whether you offer a service or sell a product, you’ll see the same questions over and over.

Even if you maintain an FAQ section, a common questions blog post puts the answers in front of all of your regular readers. You can even break it up into posts on individual products or services.

News Briefs and Commentary

Unless your audience consists of experts, you’re probably better informed about industry news. That’s an opportunity for you to do a couple things.

You can keep people in the loop by talking about current news. You can establish yourself as something of an authority by analyzing the news.

An added bonus is that news briefs require less original research. News organizations and industry organizations do a lot of that heavy lifting for you.


Informational blog posts attract readers who want to understand a topic better. You can think of these as why blogs or how blogs.

For example, patriotgetaways might do a post on Why to Rent a Cabin for Your Vacation. The post can talk about the health benefits of spending time in nature.

A science blog might focus on how something like photosynthesis works or how fungus grows.


Interviews are fantastic fodder for blogs. Depending on the interview length, you can often split it up into several posts. That helps to fill your posting quota for the week or month.

It also lets you borrow on the credibility and audience of the person you interviewed. If you blog about marketing, scoring an interview with someone like Neil Patel or Seth Godin makes you look like someone to watch.

Parting Thoughts

Writing different types of blogs helps you attract different kinds of readers. It also helps you achieve some other goals.

Analyzing news in your industry helps you establish yourself as an authority. Interviews not only deliver content but can flesh our your schedule and confer reflected credibility. Answering common questions can save you time by telling all of your readers things they need to know

If you enjoyed this post, you should also check out our post on putting together a tutorial.


How to Start a Luxury Travel Blog

January 5, 2018 - By 

Do you enjoy the virtues of luxury travel? If so, maybe you’ve thought about chronicling your adventures on a luxury travel blog.

Blogging is a great way to capture the excitement of all your vacation and share it with your friends and family.

With dedication and effort, blogging can also a great way to generate outlandish income.

Ready to get started? Keep reading!

Define Your Niche

Here’s the thing about blogging– everyone is doing it.

With that said, it certainly doesn’t mean that everyone is doing it well. And, it certainly doesn’t mean that there isn’t room on the expansive Internet for your thoughts and feelings!

If you plan to start a luxury travel blog, it’s a good idea to narrow down your focus. While it may seem enticing to write about everything under the sun, this can come across as disorganized and generic.

With a niche, you can establish expertise. You can create dynamic content that attracts your target demographic.

Whether you want to write about gourmet food in Thailand, villas in Greece, or scuba diving in Fiji, let your niche guide your blogging.

Take Care of Business

After defining your niche, you’ll need to take care of basic website housekeeping. This means coming up with your blog name, hosting site, and blog theme.

Blog name: You already know that there are a lot of websites in the world, so there’s a good chance that your favorite names may already be taken. You may need to play around with different word variations.

  • Keep the blog name short
  • Avoid cliched or generic terms
  • Avoid numbers

Hosting options: Your host is essentially the home base for your blog’s information and data. You will pay a nominal fee for hosting through popular websites like BlueHost or GoDaddy.

Blog theme: Your theme is what helps make your blog come alive. Many bloggers use WordPress for this, as WordPress offers expansive free and premium options for themes.

  • Less can be more (go for simple themes)
  • Check for browser and mobile compatibility
  • Make sure it “feels good” when you look at it!

After you finish these steps, you will be ready to buckle down and really start blogging.

Focus on Your Audience

When you’re starting out, traffic numbers may be a bit bleak. This is a normal part of the growth process.

With that said, you should absolutely pay strong attention to the readers that you have.

Are they asking questions? Which posts are most popular? Are they commenting on specific content with praise?

These little nuggets of information can be very telling when it comes to how readers perceive you. They can also help shape the direction of your blog (because you’ll be focusing on giving people what they want).

Guest Post

Want to increase your visibility? Consider guest posting. It’s a great way to expose yourself and build relationships with other bloggers.

Ask other bloggers in your field if they are interested in guest posting. These sites may have more traffic than you do. They can inadvertently send more traffic and readers your way.

With so many blogs out there, it’s okay to be picky. Look for content that matches your interests. Craft a few pitches to send out to blog owners. Wait for the magic to happen.

Master the SEO Game

You’ve heard of the term, and now it’s time to really focus on the virtues of SEO for your luxury travel blog.

Navigating the intricacies of SEO can feel overwhelming. But, it’s really important to learn! Effective SEO takes your blog from a tiny corner of the online universe into the top search results on Google.

Basics of SEO include:

  • Adding internal links
  • Optimizing images
  • Accurate and efficient titles
  • Long-tail keyword phrases
  • Unique, quality blog content
  • Effective call to actions

Today, there are plenty of online resources to help you improve your SEO strategy. Take advantage of them! Read up, research, learn, and get your luxury travel blog moving in the right direction.

Dominate Social Media

Facebook has over 2 billion active users. Millions of people are on Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat, and Twitter.

Here’s the thing: if you have a luxury travel blog, you need to be visible everywhere. Not only will this help you stand out from the competition, it will also help you increase your traffic flow.

Facebook: Work your way to 1-3 picture posts with short captions per day. Consider using Facebook Live if you are on-location and want to share the experience with your fans! Tag and share other travel companies and their articles as well.

Instagram: Your pictures tell a thousand words here, so choose the very best ones you take. Tag the location, create an engaging description, and utilize all the allocated hashtags in the first comment.

Twitter: You can update 3-5 times per day. Share plenty of photos and use a consistent hashtag within your posts. Tag and share other relevant travel industry news.

Youtube: Consider making how-to tutorials for fun, brief videos capturing your experiences. The sky is the limit on this one. While videos may be more complicated than firing off a quick tweet, they are a great way for people to learn the “face” of your company.

Final Thoughts on Your Luxury Travel Blog

Blogging is an excellent way to share your ideas and experiences with the world!

And, if you do everything right, you can reap amazing benefits like establishing expertise and becoming a household name in the travel industry?

On Blast Blog is passionate about connecting bloggers and helping them fine-tune their craft. Whether you’re looking to make money online or create the perfect blog post, we’ve got all the best tips for you.


6 Real Estate Blog Monetization Tips You Will Love

January 5, 2018 - By 

If you want to make money, blogging may be an excellent choice. There are some blogs that make six figures every month.

With that in mind, there’s a piece of the pie available for your real estate blog. But there’s also a catch.

If you want to make a profit blogging, you need to know how to monetize. While this can seem easy, it’s an incredibly difficult part of working in the industry.

A good strategy can help you succeed. Follow these tips to learn more about monetizing your real estate blog.

1. Use Affiliate Programs

A lot of people think that affiliate programs are just for e-commerce sites and review platforms. But there are actually plenty of great ways for a real estate blog to take advantage of the creative potential of an affiliate program.

The first way would be through selling links. If you allow a broker or real estate marketing website to advertise their services on your blog, you’ll be sure to attract wealthy and interested customers.

Similarly, there’s a lot that you can gain through providing affiliate links to real estate books or even furniture. Whatever avenue you choose, know that affiliate marketing is incredibly valuable.

2. Sell an E-Book for Your Real Estate Blog

Selling an e-book is a great way for any site to make money. And if you have a real estate blog, you’re already on the right track.

That’s because having a blog reflects a strong base of knowledge and a desire to act as a positive source of information. This is a great way to learn how to engage users by expanding the content you already offer.

It also doesn’t have to be an e-book. If you want to look for alternative ways to offer premium content, you can take advantage of the blog you have and offer certain posts behind a paywall.

If you develop a podcast for your blog, this is a particularly strong strategy. While new episodes can be easily accessed for free, older posts will be hidden behind a paywall.

Your areas of expertise can play a major role in building interested customers for a book. Offering this product or other premium content can take you far.

3. Consider Consulting or Coaching

If you already have a real estate blog, you’re probably already passionate and knowledgeable on the subject. If you offer services like consulting or coaching, you can turn this spark into a fire.

Offering consulting or coaching services can be an incredibly helpful way to solidify your niche and reputation. On top of that, it’s a great way to make some money from your blog.

Regarding your niche, there are a variety of areas in which a blog may specify. One may focus on sales, while another may focus on investment. These are two heavily differing areas in the real estate world.

That being said, both can benefit from consulting services. A real estate investor always want to make sure they have a high-quality portfolio. Similarly, a salesperson wants to be sure they’re building the right leads and doing everything they can to close.

Bloggers around the world offer consulting to prove and profit off of their expertise. It doesn’t matter if you blog about real estate or SEO services. There are more ways than just blogging to help your readers.

4. Offer Paid Posts

If you want to monetize your blog without providing any additional services, offering paid guest posts is a great way to do it.

Before writing more about this, there’s one thing to note. You don’t want to compromise the integrity of your real estate blog for the purpose of paid posts. You want to make sure that brand is one that customers can trust.

Make sure you aren’t simply writing whatever the post purchaser wants you to write. While doing that would be profitable in the short term, in the long run, it would make it more difficult for your brand to make a profit.

This is because your customers will no longer trust you. And when the partnership of trust between a blog and its readers is broken, it can’t be repaired.

That being said, it isn’t difficult to develop a trustworthy brand while taking advantage of paid guest posts. Offering the option of sponsored content while being transparent about the source is a great way to monetize.

5. Provide Real Estate Listings

Real estate listings or directories are an excellent monetization strategy.

If you want to know how to take advantage of them, look for something similar to the property search function offered by the Phyllis Frankel Realty Group.

Simply put, you want an easy-to-use listing that can provide your customers access to the property they want. This will bring more traffic to your site while also letting you profit from companies that use the listing.

6. Provide an Online Real Estate Course

Similar to consulting, an online course is a great way to monetize your real estate blog. In addition, there are a wide variety of areas in which you can offer a course.

For instance, if your blog is oriented towards people looking for a home, a course on how to find the perfect place to live can be helpful. You can also offer more advanced investment and sales courses.

But the most important thing to consider is the quality of your course.

A good real estate course won’t just restate information found on your real estate blog. It will expand on it, allowing you to genuinely benefit your readers.

Start Your Blog

Before you can monetize your real estate blog, you have to start it. We can help.

We know that there’s a lot to consider when starting a blog. Chief among them is your platform.

Read our guide to the best blogging platforms to learn more.


The Best Phone Apps For Cannabis Enthusiasts

December 30, 2017 - By 

Cannabis is a plant that’s been around for thousands of years, but that doesn’t mean it’s not solidly part of the digital age.

As the legal cannabis market has boomed, so has the technology that can help stoners, medical marijuana patients, and other cannabis lovers find what they need.

Are you up to date with the latest phone apps for cannabis enthusiasts? With new developments constantly being made, it can be hard to keep up. That’s why we put together this essential guide to the cannabis phone apps you need to download today.

Go grab your smartphone, then keep reading to learn about the best cannabis apps for you!

1. Leafly

Probably the best-known cannabis app, this one remains on a constant can’t-live-without-it status. Leafly’s app is regularly updated so it stays relevant and useful as the cannabis market changes.

This is a catch-all app for information related to cannabis. It combines information about the nearest dispensaries, reviews of strains, and news and updates about the industry seamlessly.

Not only that, but the app includes options for networking and product deals, so you’ll always be in the loop. This is first on the list for a reason – if you want a one-stop app with lots of information, start with Leafly.

2. HighThere

Getting sick of Tinder? Why not try a dating app that’s full of cannabis enthusiasts just like you?

Dating apps are notoriously unpleasant for many people. However, HighThere is a different story – it’s specifically targeted towards cannabis lovers, so you already know you can meet someone who shares at least one of your passions on this app.

To sweeten the deals, this app is free, unlike many niche dating sites that charge for a subscription. Say goodbye to dating disasters by downloading this app now.

3. MassRoots

For the budding photographers in the cannabis community, MassRoots is the perfect platform.

This app is like Instagram for stoners: you’ll share pics and vids of all things cannabis, from gorgeous glass to amazing home growing setups.

Whether you love documenting your weed-related activities, or just want to see what everyone else is posting, this creative app is sure to inspire you!

4. WeedMaps

When it comes to finding medical and recreational dispensaries, Google Maps won’t always cut it. For a more accurate map of where to get what you need, download WeedMaps.

The name says it all: this is a maps app for dispensaries and medical shops. You can easily filter your search if you’re looking for something specific. No more aimless driving around looking for a promising sign – this app can show you exactly where to go.

5. simLEAF

Phones are great for work, education, and communication – but sometimes, you just want to play.

One of the top phone apps for cannabis-related recreation is simLEAF. This grow simulator is both fun and educational – it’s the next best thing to having your own grow op.

Adjust the settings to make each play experience unique. You can grow different strains, use different lamps, and change the nutrient or pH level of the soil in the app.

To add to the realism, the plant you grow in this app can die if you neglect it. You’ll learn to stay on top of the plant’s needs, just like if you had your own grow room.

The payoff of taking care of the virtual plant is a satisfying virtual harvest – and a lot of knowledge that can actually help prepare you for real growing in the future. When you’re ready to start growing for real, make sure you read more here.

6. Hemp INC

For another cannabis game with real-world benefits, you need to download Hemp INC.

This game has a bigger purpose: to help get cannabis legalization in more places faster. It has ties to the activist group NORML, which seeks to legalize marijuana by changing widely held misconceptions about this plant.

If you’ve ever played Farmville, you’ll be familiar with how Hemp INC works. However, this app doesn’t feel like work – it’s fun and will keep you engaged as you run into famous stoners in the app, including Jimi Hendrix and Tommy Chong. Ever dreamed of selling weed to Snoop Dogg? In Hemp INC, you can!

This app sets you up to manage and maintain your very own weed business. You’ll grow a variety of strains, develop a customer base, and buy property as your virtual business grows. Fulfill your weed entrepreneur dreams while supporting this app with a cause.

7. Ultimate Weed Trivia

Who says stoners can’t be smart? With the Ultimate Weed Trivia app, you’ll learn all about weed and keep your brain engaged as you challenge your reaction time.

From history to chemistry to botany, all aspects of cannabis and weed culture are covered in this trivia app. If you don’t know the answers yet, even better- this is a great opportunity to learn.

8. Eaze

Ever caught yourself wishing there was a marijuana delivery service (besides that unreliable friend-of-a-friend who sometimes does house calls)?

Eaze is aptly named: this app fills the gap in marijuana home delivery services, making access to cannabis easier than ever. You’ll place your order through the app, then watch your driver’s progress until they arrive.

This app lets you order medical bud, edibles, or extract, making it a great choice for anyone with health issues that sometimes prevent them from leaving the house.

Even better, this app can help you find a marijuana doctor who can write you the prescription you need. No medical marijuana card? No problem – use this app to help you get one.

Download These Phone Apps Now

Cannabis culture is constantly changing as legalization moves forward. To keep up with the times and get the most from your cannabis experience, you need to download the right phone apps.

Choose from the apps on this list to make a curated list that will take care of all your cannabis-related needs, from finding bud to finding information. Or just download them all – you never know when phone apps like these will come in handy.

Ready to learn about more great phone apps? For a different way to digitally go green, check out these amazing eco-friendly apps.


7 Ways to Start Earning a Passive Income Online

December 30, 2017 - By 

Approximately 3.8 billion people have access to the internet. This means that when it comes to making passive income online, the sky’s your limit.

Passive income is when you’re earning money in your sleep- you don’t need to be involved in any way.

Whether you simply want to earn a few dollars on the side or you’d like to quit your day job and retire in style, here are some ways you can get started:

1. Blogging

One of the most popular (and simple) ways to make passive income online is through blogging. The good thing about blogging is there are many different options for monetizing, and it can help you launch future profitable ventures.

The biggest hurdle? Finding a decent niche. You need to be passionate about your niche since blogging is a lot of work in the beginning. You’ll also need to be an expert in that niche, so you can stand out from other bloggers. Finally, that niche shouldn’t be too saturated (avoid blogging about cheap travel in Southeast Asia).

As your visitors grow, you can monetize it through sponsored posts and ads. Hire a virtual assistant and you can take yourself almost completely out of the equation while the money comes rolling in.

2. Drop Shipping

Talk to any digital nomad, and you’re likely to hear them mention the words “drop shipping” at some point. This is when you set up your own store online. However, instead of selling your own products, you’re selling products from other people and companies.

You then submit the order to that company, and they deliver it straight to the customer. Since you don’t need to actually have a warehouse full of product, you’ll have very low overheads. You may have purchased products from a drop shopping company in the past without even realizing it.

The idea is to find a niche with low shipping costs and high profit margins. Cosmetics and vitamins are two good examples. You can set up a drop shipping store quickly, and could offer hundreds of products within just a few days.

3. Information Products

You’ve probably noticed that many people are creating their own courses online. Jeffrey Nelson is a great example of this. You can also create e-books, membership sites, and much more.

One of the great things about this option for passive income online? You’ll have a margin close to 100%. That’s because you have no costs for creating the product or distributing it since it’s all online. You’ll create your product once, and then you can sell it to thousands of people from all over the world, creating a passive income stream that can last for years.

4. Apps and Software

A few years ago, selling software wouldn’t have been considered to be a source of passive income online, but this is now changing. There are plenty of tools online that allow you to create simple mobile or web apps without hiring a developer or knowing how to code. And we can expect this to become even easier in the future.

Sure, you may not develop the next Facebook in your spare tie. But you could create an app that solves a particular problem for a group of people. And that app could make you a few thousand dollars each month.

5. Affiliate Marketing

Once you’ve built up an audience, affiliate marketing is a great way to make passive income online. There are a number of options for affiliate marketing, but Amazon is by far the most popular. There are also some affiliate programs which will offer you a lifetime commission when you send referrals their way.

As long as a client is continuing to sue and pay for their service, you’ll continue to make a percentage in commission. The trick is to find high-quality services offering recurring commissions. Check out SEMRush and Shopify to get started.

6. Create WordPress Themes

One of the best ways to earn passive income online is to use an existing marketplace. One of the biggest (and best) is Envato Market). For people starting a blog, there’s a high chance they’ll be using WordPress. And people using WordPress will need their own theme.

Some of the best theme developers make millions through Envato. Obviously, this will take some work, but if you’ve got the skills, you can build up a nice passive income.

7. Design Apparel

Have you always been the creative type? Selling apparel is quick and easy, and if you’ve got some good designs, you’ll be able to get started relatively quickly. You can either create your designs yourself, hire someone, or purchase stock images.

There are also a number of marketplaces like CafePress. They’ll take a cut, but you also won’t need to handle sales, fulfillment, or printing.

Marketing is relatively easy as well. You can use Google Ads and Facebook to get your designs in front of your target market. You may have a niche audience for your designs, and this can help you build up a loyal following for any subsequent designs.

There are plenty of online tutorials which can help you with your graphic skills, and while you’ll need to put in some hard work to get started, this can quickly turn into a nice side income.

Ready to Earn a Passive Income Online?

While earning money while you sleep sounds like a dream, it’s a dream you can make true with a little elbow grease. All of the above options require you work hard initially, but once you’ve got the ball rolling your earning potential is almost limitless.

The internet makes it possible for anyone to earn online, but it can be tricky to know how to get started. You’ll also need a solid marketing plan, so check out our marketing posts to learn exactly how you can get your product or service in front of the right people at the right time.


5 Photo Effects Software You Need to Try

December 29, 2017 - By 

Using image-sharing apps like Instagram and Flickr is a great way to follow amazing photographers and find inspiring images.

Trying their techniques or processes can help you boost your photography. But how much of their beautiful images comes down to photo effects software?

Few images in the history of photography haven’t been altered. Before Photoshop, photographers used darkroom techniques to achieve the effects they desired.

Don’t want to get your hands dirty in the darkroom? Software will be your new best friend and we’re here to help.

We’ve rounded up five of the best programs, though you won’t find web-based applications like PicMonkey or Canva here.

We’re sticking to serious software so you can give your photography a boost. So keep reading on reading!

1) Adobe Lightroom

Want to try photo effects software to get results like this photographer? You can’t talk about photography and photo effects software without mentioning a product by Adobe. Photoshop might seem like the obvious choice but Lightroom is also an excellent option.

Why? Photoshop offers vast potential for photomanipulation, graphic design, 3D renders and beyond. But Lightroom focuses on getting the best out of your photography.

Being a specialist piece of software means it does its job very well. Think of it as a digital darkroom for your RAW photography.

Photoshop has a RAW processor within it. But Lightroom allows you to add extra effects like split toning.

It’s also great for batch processing, so you can apply the same settings to lots of images from the same shoot. You can also organize your image library, adding keywords or editing the metadata.

It’s a lighter program meaning it doesn’t hit your system resources as hard as Photoshop. That’s great news if your budget doesn’t stretch to a brand new laptop.

Try our complete guide to Lightroom if you want to learn this amazing software.

2) Affinity Photo

Brought to you by the company that made Serif PhotoPlus, Affinity Photo is a heavyweight contender for Photoshop’s photo effects software crown.

At a fraction of the price for an Adobe product, Affinity Photo offers a one-off cost. There are no subscription fees but they roll out regular updates to the software.

Its interface mimics Photoshop and the software even handles PSD files. If you can already use Photoshop but dislike its price tag, you’ll be up and running in minutes.

Alongside a raft of selection features, Affinity Photo offers plenty of non-destructive editing options. Take advantage of their Live Adjustment Layers to apply effects to one layer – or all of them.

Install your Photoshop plugins or brushes to work with the software. If you’re still not sure, download their free trial to take it for a test drive.

3) Pixeluvo

If you’re used to the handy filters in Instagram or the Flickr app, Pixeluvo might be the photo effects software for you. Its Quick Color tool offers plenty of color balance options to apply to your images.

Its selection tools are easy to use and it offers handy previews of blending modes before you apply them.

That’s better than Photoshop. In Adobe’s offering, you have to manually select each blending mode to see the effect. That can lead to plenty of pointless clicking until you find the mode you want.

The software doesn’t include layer options like styles and groups, so if they’re your favorite tools in Photoshop then Pixeluvo might disappoint you.

But that makes it easier to learn if you’re new to this software. It’s cheaper than Affinity Photo and it comes with a trial version.

4) Nik Collection

Still want to use Photoshop but want to remove some of the learning curve? Try Google’s Nik Collection.

This free suite includes seven Photoshop plugins that also work with Aperture and Lightroom.

DxO acquired the collection and will release a new set in 2018. For now, download the existing set for free. Get started on beautiful images at the click of a button.

What Are The Plugins?

Analog Efex Pro lets you fake the look of classic lenses, cameras, and films. Film photography gets expensive with the cost of developing negatives. This plugin will get you the look more easily.

Silver Efex Pro gives you tools inspired by the darkroom to help you improve monochrome photography.

Color Efex Pro uses filters to give you a range of options for retouching, color editing, and more. Or use Viveza to adjust color and tone without using selections and masks.

If that weren’t enough, you can use Sharpener Pro to sharpen your images. Or try our HDR photography with HDR Efex Pro. Finally, Define helps reduce noise.


We couldn’t write a post about photo effects software and not mention GIMP. The classic alternative to Photoshop, this free open-source program even handles PSD files.

You can work with layers, apply photo actions, or install custom brushes to enjoy a similar workflow to Photoshop users. GIMP is a powerful program, considering it’s free.

Apply filters, effects, and more to achieve impressive results.

At present, GIMP’s biggest downside is the lack of non-destructive editing. If you make a mistake, you have to go back to the beginning and start again. You can’t just turn off an adjustment layer.

We say ‘at present’ since that’s going to change. Version 3.2 will introduce the non-destructive editing features photographers love, along with adjustment layers.

Even smart objects are on their way at some point.

With a price tag of ‘free’, what have you got to lose by trying it?

Photo Effects Software Doesn’t Have to be Complicated or Expensive.

Photoshop is an obvious choice for photo editing. But there’s a lot to learn and paying for a subscription can soon mount up.

Lightroom is a cheaper option which will level-up your photography almost overnight.

If the cost is still too much, Affinity Photo might be the right software. Or try GIMP – maybe it’s steep learning curve is less intimidating since it’s free.

Still got questions about downloading photo effects software? Please contact our support team. We’re happy to help.


8 Coolest Home Security Gadgets to Keep Your Family Safe

December 29, 2017 - By 

Do you wish there was an easier, cheaper way to secure your home, without having to install complex security systems and big safes? This is where the brilliance of security gadgets will make your life easier.

By using a few of these typically small and inexpensive pieces of home security equipment, you can secure your home without a lot of hassle.

In addition to this, the portability of these devices makes them easy to bring with you when you move.

You can even use them when traveling, to keep an eye on your temporary home. With some imagination, you can use them to secure your home, car, and office in one go.

This list will show you eight incredible security gadgets that will keep your home safe.

1. Wireless Wi-Fi Security Camera

Surveillance is crucial for solid home security, letting you see not only what exactly happens, but also who’s doing it.

A wireless wi-fi security camera is the perfect solution for your in-home surveillance since you can put it anywhere without worrying about cords.

We recommend the T-5 Wi-Fi security camera. Due to its IR night vision sensor, it’s able to capture footage in great detail regardless of lighting conditions.

It can record for 8 months on one single charge of the battery, so you can keep it up and running where it’s needed instead of having to take it down for charging regularly.

2. Wireless Window/Door Alarms

Not every window and door has locks, and you can’t really install them for all of them. Fire escapes, for example, cannot be fitted with great locks since that would be a safety hazard and against the law.

What you can do when locks are out of the question, and ideally should do even on windows that lock, is install wireless window alarms.

A good window security alarm will react whenever the window is broken or pried open while being easy to deactivate when you need to do so.

These security gadgets sound the alarm when the magnetic contact gets broken. Even strong vibrations from attempts to force the window may set it off.

It’s also easy for you to deactivate and reactivate in case you want to open the window or door for a while.

3. Outdoor Wi-Fi Camera

If you own a house or a business, outdoor surveillance is just as important as indoor surveillance. Being able to record any trespassing and vandalism will help you catch culprits and bring them to justice.

Just the fact that you have outdoor surveillance will deter criminals.

The SW-4 outdoor wi-fi camera is weather resistant and easy to mount almost anywhere and allows you to watch its 720p high definition footage remotely with any PC or smartphone you choose.

For more cameras like it, take a look at the Sentel Tech page.

That’s all it takes to keep an eye on what’s going on outside your home or business.

4. Door-Stop Alarm

Simple, ingenious solutions like door-stop alarms is why home security gadgets are such an awesome investment.

It’s as simple as it sounds. You wedge this portable, little door-stop under your door. If anyone tries to open the door, the alarm will sound.

One of the best things about these security gadgets is they’re so easy to set up and remove. You can set them before you go to bed, and remove them in seconds when you need to leave in the morning.

The great portability and low price also means you can bring them with you if you go traveling.

Try these nifty security gadgets.

5. Hidden Night Vision Camera

Burglars aren’t the only threat to your home security, and sometimes the problem comes from inside. A hidden camera lets you keep maids, babysitters, and rebellious teenagers under surveillance, and catch them red-handed. Because sometimes you need hard evidence, and a visible camera won’t help you catch these culprits in the act.

This dual USB night-vision camera lets you keep an eye on people without giving yourself away. It looks like an ordinary charger, but it can record up to 32gb of footage once it’s plugged in.

Its highly portable and inconspicuous design lets you move it around easily without anyone suspecting a thing, and you can have a lot of them installed without raising suspicion. They’re perfect for keeping an eye on a specific room, and for bringing to your office or hotel room. Wherever there’s a wall outlet, you can see what’s going on.

6. Compact Safe

Do you keep cash, jewelry, or other valuables hidden in a drawer, under your mattress, or some other place where someone could easily get their hands on them?

With one of these lockboxes, you can keep your valuables safe without having to buy a whole safe. In addition to its combination lock, it has a strong cable that lets you secure the box in place so it won’t get stolen.

7. Frosted Glass Window Film

You may not have thought of this one as a security gadget, but preventing people from seeing what you have will decrease the risk that they’d break in.

These cheap, self-adhesive sheets are easy to put on your windows, it’s easier than putting up wallpaper. You’ll get your privacy and security without giving up natural lighting. You can use any left-over film to keep snooping eyes out of your van.

Here’s one affordable option.

8. Small, Inconspicuous Spy Camera

That’s right, another piece of hidden surveillance equipment. Keeping an eye on your home is your first line of defense.

This spy camera looks just like a universal TV remote and lets you keep an eye on things without anyone knowing. It blends in almost anywhere, capturing full HD 1080p footage without any memory card slots or recording lights that could give it away.

It’s especially good if you’re suspicious and want to catch someone red-handed. But it can just as well be directed to your window to keep an eye on your garden.

View More Security Gadgets

Safety gadgets are the simple and cost-effective means to secure your home without the hassle.

Beyond these cameras and alarms, there’s a whole lot of gadgets that could be the perfect fit for your home.

This page offers a wide selection of clever surveillance security gadgets for your home.

Check out our selection of useful software to complement your home security.


How to Invest Money Online for Beginners

December 28, 2017 - By 

For beginners, investing in the market can be scary. On one hand, you may hear news about stocks like Apple that gained 43% in the past year alone.

And if you owned Apple since it went public in 1980 you would have gained over 3000% by now. If that doesn’t make someone want to invest money online what would?

But we are also all familiar with the crash stories. And when we go to start investing it can be confusing on what tools to use and how to even start.

Follow our guide to learning how to invest money online and you will be ready in no time:

1. Balance Against Goals

Do you know your financial goals? We would all like to be whisked away and live in luxury for sure.

But to invest money online it’s important to be realistic about your goals. There are a variety of budgeting, expense tracking, and financial tools that can help.

If you’ve ever had the experience of being lost and calling someone on the phone for directions the first thing they will ask is “where are you?”

The second is “where are you headed?” Without these two pieces of information, they will be unable to help you.

Knowing where you are financially and where you would like to be is the first step when you plan to invest money online.

2. Get Started

You don’t have to be a millionaire to make money investing. In fact, many successful investors have started out with modest means.

But in order to make money investing you need to be in the game. And the more you are in the game the more you are letting your money work for you.

Billionaire Warren Buffett attributes much of his success to depending on compound interest. The Warren Buffett Rule suggests using even modest investments and letting them grow.

Certainly, you need to stay on top of your expenses. And don’t neglect your bills.

But the sooner you get started, the better you can do in the market.

3. Start Small When You Invest Money Online

It’s not just true that you don’t need to be filthy rich to invest. You also should start small when it comes to investing.

This will help you get a feel for the tools, choices, and options out there. The above example of a small investment in Apple is a good place to start.

An initial share of Apple would have cost $22 back in 1980. At 100 shares that would keep an investor at a $2,200 investment.

Depending on your current financial standing, this is a great place to start. Give yourself a chance to learn the tools and watch how your portfolio responds.

4. Real Estate

Many beginning investors hesitate to invest in the stock market. They are more attracted to concrete worth than in speculation.

But in truth, there are many different types of investing that you can benefit from. When you invest money online.

If you prefer real estate there are a number of REITs that you can invest in online, A REIT, or Real Estate Investment Trust, is a great way to make the most of commercial real estate investing.

Owning a Piece of The Company

It is important to remember that investing in company stocks means owning a piece of a company. When you research a company you should make it a point to know the true benefits of that stock.

While many think of McDonald’s as the biggest brand in fast food in the world there are other benefits of this stock. In fact, McDonald’s is one of the largest real estate holders in the world.

If you prefer real estate, there are individual stocks and trusts to invest in.

5. Know the Tools

The blessing and the curse of the internet and cloud computing is the availability of tools. Type in any search term and you are bound to get many results.

But with online investing, you need to choose a platform that supports your goals. Plus, you want to make sure these tools are reliable for handling your money.

There are so many internet scams out there. Know where you are putting your money, and know the support you will get up front.

Even free tools get the benefit of access to you, your accounts, and your money. Don’t choose a tool simply because it’s free or popular.

6. The Best of Both Worlds

Many new investors think they need to go it alone when it comes to making money online. They view their options as either opening an account and guessing or paying heavy fees to a firm.

But when you choose to invest money online you don’t need to go it alone. Places like Forex Brokers Australia will give you the tools you need as well as support.

While there are many tools that allow you to invest all on your own why would you? You won’t have the technical support, advice, and market research at your fingertips.

Make sure you get all the support you need when managing your finances.

7. Mutual Funds

Mutual funds are a good way for investors to get started. A mutual fund allows you the benefit of diversifying and owning a small piece of many different investments.

They also have a lead investor making choices in your favor. To start small, find one with a low initial investment.

Get the Best Support for Your Goals

Once you know how easy it is to invest money online there is no reason not to get started. But remember, starting slow means tracking your progress and checking your performance.

To invest money online successfully you need a blend of caution, timing, and skills. Since recent years have seen stocks at their peaks, there is much to be made in the market.

The global market, oil prices, and market averages have all seen gains. But remember, the secret to any endeavor is practice and learning.

Pligg can help. Our digital downloads in a range of topics will augment your understanding of industries and the market.

Come get the best information now.


7 Modern Home Improvements That Will Add Value to Your Home

December 28, 2017 - By 

A home is something people take personally because, well, it’s where they live.

Or it’s where they’ve lived.

Either way, your home’s value is tied to two things: the memories you’ll make there, and how good of a building it is, overall.

Whether you’re buying or selling, modern home improvements make your home is a better buy.

There are always improvements to be made on any building, exterior or interior. From a paint job to more advanced smart technology and home security, your options for increasing the sale value of your home are boundless.

So, with so many options available to you, where do you begin?

Join us, today, as we take a closer look at seven innovative opportunities for improving your home, and making it more valuable.

Seven Effective Modern Home Improvements

When it comes to improving your home, it’s the little things that count.

All the thoughtful little ways we improve a house so that living in it becomes easier, more attractive, and fun. These are the types of modern home improvements that can make or break a house’s resale value.

And, with smart technology, better design, and refined finishes, there’s never been a better time to sell your home.

So, with that in mind, let’s start with a classic.

A Fresh Coat Of Paint

Curb appeal is a fairly common term among house sellers.

It refers to the idea that your home’s sale value starts with how good it looks from a distance, or “on the curb”.

And those good looks start with your home’s paint job. If your walls have scuff marks or the standard wear and tear that comes with age, a high-quality paint job is an inexpensive way to bring them back to life.

Research matching color combinations for the outside walls, gutters, and awnings. Then, use neutral colors like off-white and soft grays to paint your rooms, making them look roomier.

With the right combination of colors, you can transform your entire home for a better sale.

Better Landscaping

Of course, the color of your house isn’t the only factor playing into its curb appeal.

There’s always the question of your lawn.

Hire a professional to trim back your trees and shrubs, prune back dead plants, and mow your lawn. If your grass is patchy or thin in specific areas, you can plant new grass as needed.

Finally, take a leaf blower to your driveway to get rid of grass trimmings.

The effect of professional landscaping will be a refreshed, neatened look that will add to your home’s marketability.

Update Your Window Fixtures

Like a pair of glasses that goes out of style, dated window fixtures can make your home look older than it actually is.

A good rule of thumb is, if you inherited your blinds, drapes or curtains from the owner before you, they could probably stand to be updated.

Look into quaint wooden blinds, plantation shutters, or high-end draperies to bring a touch of modernity and class to your home.

Kitchen And Bath

The two most important rooms in the sale of your home are the kitchen and bathroom.

These two rooms are where the buyer will carry out the most important parts of their day, aside from sleeping. Preparing their meals, and cleaning themselves.

They have to be spotless but, moreover, you should consider renovating these as well. You can start with something as simple as a new coat of paint, as with the outside of your home, and move on to islands and sink fixtures later on.

In your bathroom, look into new hardware and countertops. Wall mounts look better than overhead lamps, and low flow toilets continue to be very popular.

In the kitchen, new tile can add a needed flair, and stainless steel fixtures and appliances create a sleek look that’s hard to turn down.

And, as natural stone looks continue to be a hot seller in the housing market, it makes sense to research a reliable granite company to source your countertops from.

A Backup Power Generator

There are two simple facts when it comes to home electricity. Anywhere you live, there’s no guarantee against power outages. And nobody enjoys spending an evening in the dark.

A practical step you can take to make your home stand out is to invest in a backup power generator.

Maybe you’ve considered getting one for yourself but never committed to the price. This is understandable, but it’s an investment that will put a check in favor of your home when it comes time to sell.

And anything that holds a potential buyer’s attention for even a few minutes longer is worth the effort.

Make Your Basement Better

In real estate, more is almost always better.

Increasing the floor plan of your home is a great way to increase the value of the property as a whole. And one room that remains criminally underused in most homes is the basement.

If you have a basement room, invest money into remodeling it. If you can turn it into a viable bedroom, study or nook, that’s just more reason for somebody to want to live there. If the basement is big enough, you might even consider turning it into an additional apartment.

Smart Features

One of the most exciting developments in real estate and modern home improvements is smart technology.But, if you are going to buy into high tech, it has to be smart.

Audiovisual systems, for instance, lose value at an alarming rate because the technology evolves too quickly.

Certain smart devices, however, can have a positive impact on a home’s value. Nest thermostats link to smartphones and tablets for easy adjustment and can learn your preferences. Smart lighting, door locks, garage door openers and security systems, similarly, add a high degree of value to a home.

Sell More Effectively, With Modern Home Improvements

Making your home better can mean different things to different people.

Ultimately, the more you can do with what you have, the better chance you’ll have of selling your property.

Interested in learning more about modern living, home maintenance, and a range of other fascinating topics? Check out some of our other great articles, and learn how to get the best out of your daily life, today.


8 Basic Logo Design Tips For Success

December 27, 2017 - By 
basic logo

A logo can have a huge impact on a business’s success, but it doesn’t have to break the bank.

After all, Twitter’s original blue bird logo was purchased for $15 as a stock photo, while Nike’s swoosh cost $35 in 1972.

Ready to design your own basic logo? Here’s how to get started.

Eight Great Tips for Basic Logo Design

If you’re a new designer or a business owner bootstrapping your own logo, graphic design can seem a little intimidating. It doesn’t have to be.

Anyone can create a great basic logo by following these eight tips.

1. Make Sure It Can Scale

One of the biggest mistakes you can make in logo design is forgetting to plan for scalability.

A good logo is clear, readable, and compelling no matter what size it is. Whether it’s on a billboard or a business card, it needs to carry your message across.

The best way to plan for this is to design your logo in a vector file format, like:

  • .EPS
  • .AI
  • .SVG
  • .PDF

Vector images are infinitely scalable. You can change their size without losing any clarity. Raster files–like .JPEG, .GIF, or .PNG–become blurry when you change their size.

2. Choose Your Font Wisely

When you pick your font, you have a few priorities you need to keep in mind.

Above all else, your font must be readable. Avoid anything with extra flourishes or decorations, since these won’t work on a business card.

Your font should also say something about your brand. Young, creative businesses might benefit from a modern sans-serif font, while traditional companies usually opt for serif.

3. Pick the Right Colors

Your color palette says a lot to consumers. That’s because humans have a psychological reaction to color.

Red, for example, is often seen as energetic. Green can represent growth, while blue often conveys a sense of professionalism.

People’s individual reactions to color can vary, however. It’s more important to match your palette with your brand.

For instance, if you’re designing for a young, agile startup, bright red or orange could be a good fit. If your logo represents an established professional firm, like a medical practice or accounting business, a muted color palette might make more sense.

4. You Need a Focal Point

One of the basic elements of an effective artistic composition is focus. When you’re designing your logo, you need to choose one single focal point that you want your viewers to see first.

For most brands, the focal point is a symbol that represents the business. That could be house icon for a realtor, a video reel for a film studio, or paw print for a veterinary clinic.

Don’t be afraid to get more abstract with your logo design. Consumers respond emotionally even to basic shapes, so you have room to get creative.

5. Don’t Add Too Many Elements

What do some of the most famous logos have in common? Minimalism.

Apple, McDonald’s, Nike, and Twitter all use simplistic shapes and colors to represent their brand. These logos are easy to understand and instantly recognizable, thanks in part to their minimalistic design. They also look great at any size.

Keep that idea in mind during your design process. Too many elements will compete for your viewer’s attention. That makes it less likely your logo will have the impact you want.

Once you’ve chosen your focal point, pare down everything else around it. Remove any text you don’t need, cut down on the number of colors you use, and take away extra flourishes.

You’ll be left with a simple, compelling design.

6. Communicate an Appropriate Message

All logos say something to consumers, whether it’s intentional or not. When you design yours, you need to think about what you want to say.

As we’ve mentioned, your color palette and typography say something to consumers. It’s important that your design choices match your brand’s personality.

For example, eclectic logo elements could be a great fit for a funky clothing brand, but would be a terrible choice for a law firm.

If you’re unsure of the message you need to convey, turn to your brand guidelines.

7. Fits Your Logo in With Your Brand Guidelines

Sometimes, new designers think of a logo as a stand-alone asset. In reality, your logo is just one component of your entire brand. If you don’t have a document outlining your brand guidelines, it’s time to start writing.

In addition to your logo, your brand guidelines should include information on your:

  • Color palette
  • Typography
  • Brand voice
  • Story
  • Icons and imagery

If your logo doesn’t match what’s in your guidelines, your brand won’t look cohesive.

Developing your brand guidelines first can actually make it easier to come up with ideas for a basic logo.

8. You Need Print and Digital Versions of Your Logo

When you’re designing, you’ll need a few different formats for your logo.

That’s why we recommend you download graphic design software before you get started. These programs will be able to generate the formats you need for print or digital projects.

Print Version

To create everything from business cards to banners, you’ll need a high-resolution version of your logo to print correctly. That means:

  • A resolution of 300 DPI
  • A file that is scaled to its actual size
  • CMYK colorspace

Print is a notoriously unforgiving format. If you get one of these specs wrong, you’ll be left with blurry, off-color product.

Digital Version

Web graphics are much easier to get right. Since there’s no physical product, getting the resolution right isn’t as difficult. That said, any time your logo appears on the web, it should be:

  • 72 PPI
  • As small of a file size as possible
  • RGB colorspace

If your logo file is too large, it will load too slowly–or fail to load at all. If it’s too compressed, it might appear blurry online.

Learn More About Logo Design

This article just scratched the surface of basic logo design. If you want to move beyond the basics, Pligg can help. We don’t just cover the latest graphic design trends on our blog. We offer the very best digital downloads to help you create a compelling logo for your business.