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Best Employee Health Insurance Options for Small Businesses

November 17, 2017 - By 

These days, every business is struggling to provide for its hard-working employees. Businesses hit particularly hard are small businesses. That’s because they’re usually are new and aren’t as established as bigger businesses

In fact, 80% of businesses fail within their first year. Given this statistic, you may want to avoid providing employee health insurance.

It’s no exaggeration to say that health insurance prices have reached a ridiculous level. Economists project that in some states, health insurance will more than double next year.

Employees Are Worth The Extra Cost

It’s true providing employee health insurance will hit your business hard in the wallet. But before you dismiss the idea, consider how much you value your employees.

Without them, you’d be working every shift every day that your business is open. Plus, you’d be doing all the work–from customer service to accounting to clean-up–by yourself.

Now consider your outstanding employees, the ones who stay late to help out and come in when someone calls out sick. You want to keep employees like them because they go above and beyond to make sure the business operates smoothly.

High-quality workers will always be in-demand at every business. Those employees have the option between a job that provides a necessity such as health insurance and a job that does not. And they will almost always choose the job that provides health insurance.

Employee Health Insurance Options

Thankfully, you have numerous choices when it comes to providing employee health insurance. Insurance companies and brokers can provide you with more information on these and other choices. An example of a broker is Proactive Broker Network.

Individual Health Insurance

One option is to simply encourage your employees to buy their own plans. Almost every insurance company offers individual health insurance plans, including widely accepted names such as Anthem and United Health One.

The main problem with these plans is cost. Plans are organized by value tiers (bronze, silver, and gold), and the more valuable the plan, the higher the cost.

Age also plays a significant factor in individual healthcare insurance plan costs. Someone in their early twenties will pay a lot less than someone who is in their sixties. Insurance companies simply view older individuals as a higher risk for insurance.

If your employees are struggling to pay individual healthcare insurance costs, you can set up a health reimbursement arrangement (HRA). HRAs are convenient for small businesses because the group, not the policy, chooses how much will be reimbursed. As an employer, you can set up an HRA through your business’s healthcare provider’s online software.

Another individual healthcare insurance option is obtaining a plan through the Marketplace. Per the ACA, the Marketplace partially bases your premium on your income rather than your age. To qualify for lower premiums, though, your employees will need to submit paperwork proving their annual income.

The SHOP Marketplace

This employee health insurance option operates specifically with small businesses in mind.

Much like the individual Marketplace, the SHOP (Small Business Health Options) Marketplace offers group plans for businesses with 50 or fewer employees. Each plan requires the business to cover a certain percentage of its employees’ premiums.

To qualify for certain plans through the SHOP Marketplace, businesses may also need to meet specific requirements. One popular requirement is having a certain number of employees enrolled. Very small businesses may need to have all employees enrolled in order to be eligible.

For example, Massachusetts’s SHOP Marketplace requires employers to cover 50% or more of their employees’ premiums. Businesses with five or fewer employees must have all employees enrolled while businesses with six to 50 employees must have 75% of their employees enrolled.

Private Health Exchanges

Private health exchanges are a useful option for employers who have employees with very different needs.

Through a private health exchange, employers buy a set of plan options for their employees to choose from. These options are all group- or individual-based.

It might seem like a pain to have your employees choose their own plan without consulting you. But again, consider your valuable employees.

While many of your employees are likely healthy enough to consider a basic health plan, some may not be. What’s more, some may have immediate family members who rely on the employee health insurance you provide. Even though those employees may cost you more, they also earn you more, so it’s worth allowing them to pick a plan that suits their needs.

Additionally, if you let your employees pick their own health insurance plans, you can actually save money. You may have a few employees who choose more expensive plans, yes, but most will likely go with cheaper options. In this fashion, you can cover all your employees, even your more expensive ones.

Co-op Groups

With the cost of employee health insurance on the rise, co-op (Consumer-Operated and -Oriented Plan) insurance groups are becoming a popular option.

Co-op groups operate much like a traditional insurance company in that members pay a fee for access to cheaper healthcare. Some co-op groups have been known to charge members as little as $90 a month.

At the same time, you should be aware that that isn’t a standard cost for all co-op groups. The members of each co-op group decide what price they will charge every month.

Something else to be aware of when it comes to co-op groups is many don’t include hospital care access.

Private Small Group Insurance Plans

Perhaps the most expensive of all small business insurance options is private small group insurance.

Private small group insurance is the traditional method for providing health insurance to small business employees. Due to rising healthcare costs, though, it’s become a less attractive option.

One reason it remains on the table, though, is its simplicity. The other options all require a good deal of planning, discussion, and paperwork.

With private small group insurance plans, you simply choose a plan and offer it to all your employees. From there, you only need to keep track of who has enrolled and who hasn’t.

Learn What You Need to Know Today!

Pligg provides you with all you need to know about a variety of topics, including travel, technology, and employee health insurance options. If there’s a topic you’d like to see us cover, feel free to reach out to us today!


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4 Things You Need to Know About Remarketing Strategies

November 17, 2017 - By 
Remarketing

Remarketing is a crucial component of a company’s sales strategy. It involves renewing contact with potential or current customers.

They do this by reintroducing products or services or using retargeting tools.

Companies must find a way to respond to decreased sales and shifts in demand.

Demand shifts have several causes:

  • buyer income and employment
  • consumer trends and tastes
  • expectations of future price or supply
  • the price of related goods
  • population shifts
  • market size

To address this issue, you’ll need a robust strategy to guarantee the success of your business.

While digital marketing tactics might bring customers in, you need to do more to convert them.

Keep reading to learn what to do.

Tips on Remarketing Strategies

Following the right strategies is a cost-effective targeting method. It boosts your customer retention and improves your conversion rates.

Here are the four things you need to know:

1. Sending Shopping Cart Abandonment Emails Works

Seventy percent of shoppers say they want a personalized experience from brands. One of the top personalized methods is sending a shopping cart abandonment email.

Customers receive this email when they fail to buy the items in their shopping cart.

Visitors abandon their carts for various reasons. It could be due to distractions, lost internet connections, or high costs. Or, it could be due to uncertainty or a complicated checkout process.

A follow-up email tries to convert these shoppers. This personalized email offers to solve the shopper’s problem with the sales process.

It shows the business cares about the buyer.

2. Using Retargeting Ads Will Convert Customers

Retargeting ads work well on website visitors.

It involves signing up to the Google Display Network and creating intuitive ads. These ads show up on sites your visitors go to. They display products visitors were curious about when they were browsing your website.

Using retargeting ads is cost-effective because they don’t target random potential customers. Instead, they focus on people who want your products or services.

Specific browser cookies tell websites to show related ads to the potential customer.

The targeting is either pixel-based or list-based. Pixel-based targeting uses cookies, while list-based targeting sends ads to listed customers.

These targeted ads help create awareness and convert website visitors.

3. Reinforce Your Message Through Video Remarketing

Video remarketing is about showing personalized ads to those on YouTube. If anyone watches your videos or visits your channel, they’ll get targeted ads.

Link your channel to Google AdWords. Then, target your campaign to users.

This strategy reaches many potential customers and improves your return on investment (ROI).

4. Segment Your Campaigns to Meet Customers’ Needs

Don’t make the mistake of retargeting customers in a block format. Customers are different.

Consider demographic information, visitors’ website behavior, and geographic location.

Tailor your campaign messages to each segmented group. This ensures customers get messages that make sense to them individually.

It also makes your call-to-action have a better impact.

Learn More About Digital Downloads

Remarketing works if you combine it with other marketing strategies. As such, you will have the tools for attracting, retaining, and converting customers.

Be careful not to stalk customers online with constant ads. This will create a negative impression of your brand.

Moreover, it will chase customers away.

Contact us to learn more about digital sales and downloads.


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The Best Wearable Technology of 2017 & What’s To Come In the Future

November 17, 2017 - By 
wearable technology of 2017

It all started with the Fitbit Flex back in 2013. This activity tracker set the path for future wrist-band technology that was yet to come.

Now, the world of wearable technology isn’t limited to what we can wear on our wrists. We have wearable heart rate monitors, headphones, and even sleepwear designed to enhance our daily lives.

But, as you know, when one player in the tech market has a hit, there are 10 dupes that follow. Most of these gadgets will cost you a pretty penny, so it’s best to do your research ahead of time.

Before you go by that fancy Apple Watch, check out this list of products that are more than worth your while. Here are the best wearable technology of 2017 and the future.

The Best Wearable Tech of 2017: Fitbit Charge 2

The man, the myth, the legend- what wearable tech list would this be without a Fitbit? The Charge 2 is for anyone looking to up their fitness game.

Take advantage of its advanced PurePulse Heart Rate Monitor or Guided Breathing for relaxation. Its intuitive controls make it the perfect sidekick for multi-sport tracking.

Under Armor Recovery Sleepwear

Sure, it may seem a little science fiction-y to wake up feeling different from a piece of clothing. But, there’s nothing nerdy about this sleepwear from Under Armor.

It’s designed with bio-ceramic fiber which helps improve blood flow and muscle recovery. This happens through a process called Far Infrared which draws heat back to the body.

Halo Sport

Its name may suggest its only for the weightlifters out there. But, these Beats-like headphones offer a plethora of benefits to anyone for better movement.

We can attribute those benefits to its ability to forge better nerve and muscle connection. The Halo Sport works with one of our brain’s key functions, the motor cortex.

The motor cortex is what sends signals to the rest of your body, causing these parts to contract. These contractions get your body moving about.

Garmin Vivoactive

It’s all about how you market yourself, right? (Just ask these Portland SEO gurus). Garmin may have been known as the bulky object your parents use to get from A to B.

After a little rebranding magic, Garmin is now a leader in wrist-band tech that can handle everything from “playing to paying”.

The Vivoactive has an app store, games and allows you to pay for purchases card-free. It tracks your workouts, heart rate, and even stress levels.

You can even compete with your friends through the Garmin Connect app. Share your fitness accomplishments and participate in challenges together.

Let’s Wrap Things Up

That concludes our list of the best wearable tech for 2017 and beyond. We’ve seen some major breakthroughs in the tech sphere. That’s not slowing down anytime soon.

To stay on top of your digital game, your marketing efforts have to be on trend. But, when running a business, who has time be some kind of wearable tech connoisseur?

(Hint- it’s us! We have the time!)

Interested in learning more? Contact us today!


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Why a Folding Dog Crate is a Great Option for Your Large Dog

November 16, 2017 - By 

What does a folding dog crate share in common with your dog’s poop?

I could bet a million dollars you’d never guess this right.

Well, dogs prefer to poop in alignment with the Earth’s magnetic field! I know. That’s weird. Maybe funny.

Who in the world pays attention to the direction of a pup’s poop?!

Well, it’s BioMed Central researchers.

Now, how does the poop relate to the crates?

If you have a big dog, it’s unlikely you’d want to be hauling crates down your street whenever you hang out with your pet. If you’re like most smart dog owners, you’d want something more convenient.

Your desire for convenience is just as natural as your pet’s poop aligning to the Earth’s magnetic field.

Of course, you probably already know that petting your dog can lower your blood pressure, so you’re looking for more opportunities to enjoy quality time with your pet.

You might have even taken this desire for companionship a little too far. You joined 45 percent of dog owners who let their dogs sleep in their beds.

In short, you want to spend more time with your dog without hauling crates! I have dug out seven fantastic reasons why you should get your big dog a folding container.

A Folding Dog Crate Is Great For Transportation

A folding dog crate has a distinct advantage. You can quickly move it to any part of town without worrying much about bulkiness. Some crates fold so fast you can set up or dismantle them in seconds.

The American Pet Products Association (APPA) says that the U.S. alone has 89.7 million dogs living in 60.2 million households. Dog owners increased by four percentage points in 2017 from 1988 when the first National Pet Owners Survey was conducted.

In another survey, nearly six in ten dog owners have driven with their dogs in the car in the past year. If you’re like most dog owners, you like your pet sitting beside you (or in the backseat) while driving.

However, the challenge with having your dog ride with you is that you may need the crate when you arrive your destination. Leaving your pet in the car is a death sentence!

And did I mention that it’s illegal in about 20 states in the U.S. to leave your pet in the car?

That’s where your folding dog crate comes to play! You’d quickly grab your container, assemble it and keep your pet safe.

Possible scenarios where your crate comes handy?

Think of hanging out on the beach and you need your pet around, or out on a picnic with a date. Any outdoor scenario would fit this situation.

If you haven’t crate-trained your pet a crate training guide could help you get up to speed.

Durability

The chances are that your folding dog crate would be stronger than regular crates. Designers know that you’d be moving around, and that’s why folding dog crates are designed to stand high levels of wear and tear.

Most folding dog crates are built using lightweight materials with high tensile strengths. In short, they won’t break easily.

Adjustable Crates And Size Differences

Who wants a home littered with dog crates?

Although dog crates have a wide range of sizes, a folding dog crate that’s adjustable as your pet grows has numerous advantages.

Adjustable crates save you time, so you don’t have to shop for new crates every few months, especially in the rapid growth phase of your dog.

Owning a folding dog crate that’s adjustable puts money back into your pocket. You don’t have to buy new crates every few months.

Your adjustable crates give your pet some room to be comfortable and protected from anxiety. Pups grow rapidly in their first four to five months, reaching half their body size in that time. Changing crates at the rate of your pet’s change in size will tell on your wallet.

Solution?

A folding dog crate. You can buy a container for a particular age range, and then purchase a new one when the dog grows older.

Here’s a quick guide to help you measure your crate as your pup grows.

  1. Length: Measure your dog’s length from nose to tail. It helps to add between two to three inches to your dog’s length.
  2. Height: Your height measurement determines that’s of the crate you’ll need. Measure your dog, starting from the top of its head down to the ground. If your dog’s breed has naturally long ears it’s best you measure from the tip of that dog’s ears.
  3. Width: Measure your dog’s width and then add four inches for large breeds and two inches for smaller breeds to determine the width of your folding dog crate.

A general guide to the size of dogs:

  • Smallest: Most small Terrier breeds
  • Medium: Bulldog, most sporting dogs, Labrador Retriever, German Shepherd, APBT, Golden Retriever, Amstaff, and Basset Hound.
  • Large: Alaskan Malamute, Labradoodle, and Bernese Mountain Dog.
  • Largest: Newfoundland, Tibetian Mastiff, Great Dane, and Mastiff.

Hey, crate sizes are not this simple. This list of four general sizes is basic should you have to make a quick decision. Consider consulting a detailed dog crate sizes guide to help you make an informed decision.

IATA Compliant Folding Dog Crate

When traveling by air, you want to be sure you’re not forced to leave your pet behind at the airport or asked to keep her in a kennel. An excellent folding dog crate would meet your airplane travel needs.

You’d quickly find a folding dog crate that meets the International Air Transport Association (IATA) standards. IATA has specific criteria for crates that’d fly covers

  • Design and construction,
  • Ventilation,
  • Feeding and watering,
  • Dimension and stocking density,
  • Labelling and marking,
  • and more

You can find IATA compliant folding dog crates on websites like Pet Crates Direct or Amazon.

Get Extra Legroom Around Your Apartment

If you live in a small apartment with your pet, then a folding dog crate is ideal for you. Whenever your dog is out of the crate, you can quickly get extra legroom around your apartment by folding the crate.

Another idea here is that you can use a leash for your dog all day, and then at night, have the dog lay in the folding crate.

Easier To Maintain

You have a life! Your folding dog crate wouldn’t take time to clean and maintain, at least in most cases. The ease of maintenance justifies owning a folding container, especially if you have busy days almost all the time.

In fact, folding dog crates are easier to maintain compared to regular crates because you can dismantle, clean, and assemble them back.

A side benefit here is that you don’t have to go inside of the crate to clean it, and you don’t have to leave hard-to-reach parts of the crate. You can reach everywhere and be thorough with your cleaning.

You don’t have to worry about rust for most folding crates; they’re either coated or built with anti-rust materials.

Ditch The Kennel And Save Money!

Maybe you’re one of the lucky ones! Your workplace allows you to bring pets to work, but you’ve never bothered because it’s just not convenient.

So you use the kennel. It costs money, but what’s a fellow to do. You can’t leave the dog at home.

However, lousy boarding kennels could hurt your pet. Here are warning signs to help you decide if a kennel is terrible for your dog:

  • Keeps’ reluctance to show you around the kennel,
  • Perceiving unpleasant smells,
  • The kennel has no provable vaccination history,
  • Poor emergency planning for the pets,
  • Unskilled staff,
  • Dog playgroups not divided by size and temperament,
  • Not enough space and facilities outdoors,
  • No reports on your pet’s behavior and experience at the kennel.

Of the top eight expenses on dogs yearly, kennel boarding is the number two most expensive, just behind surgical vet expense. Kennels gulp nearly 21 percent of the total spending on dogs.

Hauling a crate to work just doesn’t cut it.

Luckily, you can get your pet a folding dog crate and have him, or her, hang out with you at work without making a scene. Cut your kennel costs and build your relationship with your pet.

To Wrap It Up

We all want convenience. Beyond some lazy desire to avoid hard work, hauling your dog’s crate down the road isn’t exactly a show of intelligence.

Using a folding dog crate could save you money you’d otherwise spend kennel boarding your pet. A folding container also affords you the convenience spending more quality time with your pet.

Dog crates that fold give you some leg room at home when you need extra space. These crates are easy to maintain, comes in different sizes (and some are even adjustable); lightweight crates makes carrying them with you easy.

Since the manufacturers expect you to move around with them, these foldable crates are usually more durable than the traditional version.

If you’re interested in decamping from the 45 percent of dog owners who let their pets sleep on their beds and couches, you might consider starting here.


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5 Reasons Your Business Should Download In Custom CRM Software

November 16, 2017 - By 

Have you ever felt that warm, tingly feeling in your head when someone compliments you or remembers your name? It’s the sort of thing that keeps you going back to the same salon, or leaves you feeling satisfied after a call with a customer service line.

The way people are treated by a company leaves a lasting impression and turns them into lifelong customers. Customer relationship management software can help you keep tabs on your entire client base, so you can give them the best service possible.

Keep reading to learn more about the benefits of custom CRM software.

Organized Customers and Contacts

Spreadsheets and business cards are old school, unorganized, and inefficient. They allow lots of room for error and are time-consuming to keep updated.

Custom CRM software solves this problem. It provides an expansive and thorough overview of your entire catalog of customers, providing important details at the touch of a button.

It can also be effective in organizing leads. Don’t let potential customers slip away just because they’re not quite ready to become customers. Keeping track of your leads is the only way to turn them into customers in the future.

Provides Strong ROI

Customer relationship management software might seem like a big investment, but it actually has a huge ROI. According to a recent study by Nucleus Research, employing custom CRM software provides a $5.60 return per every dollar spent on the system.

Besides the quantifiable ROI, the organization and documentation of leads will keep your ROI strong as long as you’re updating your CRM software. It’ll also help retain all your current customers because personalized attention is what keeps people coming back.

Supports Upselling

When you employ CRM software that tracks your customers’ purchases, you’re able to market other products toward them that you know they’ll be interested in.

Say you own a landscaping company, and your CRM system shows that a customer recently bought a natural pesticide for their garden. That’s incredibly valuable information for you: now you know they have a garden with pests.

There is a slew of other products that can now be marketed to them using that knowledge: seeds, fertilizer, additional pesticide solutions, etc. Without the CRM software, that purchase might’ve fallen between the cracks, and the opportunity to upsell would be lost.

Improves Customer Relations

We know that customers want to receive personalized attention. How far can you take that in your business to make them feel the most value they can feel?

Let’s go back to the landscaping company example. When your customer calls two days after their pesticide purchase, CRM software can pull up the customer’s information and purchase history for the customer service representative. Instead of answering the phone with a generic “Hello, how may I help you today,” now you’re able to say: “Hi Karen, how’s the pesticide working out for you?”

The customer will be taken aback by the personalized attention, and that’ll help diffuse any potentially negative interaction.

Improves Interdepartmental Communication

It’s all about the customer. That fact can get lost in interdepartmental miscommunication. When your sales department and marketing department have a different idea of who your client base is, that’s a problem.

Creating a central database of your customers can help everybody stay on the same page. This’ll improve communication and efficacy in your company. Software providers like iSolutions even offer comprehensive overviews of all departmental customer interactions within the software.

Are You All Set with Custom CRM Software?

Downloading a custom CRM software today can help you step up your customer service game and improve business overall.

But, CRM isn’t the only way to improve your business. Check out how hiring a web designer can also help take your business to the next level.


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4 Reasons Why You Need a Great Brand Protection Service

November 16, 2017 - By 

Protecting your brand takes constant work from every company, big and small. The more successful a brand becomes, the more companies there will be to try to outmaneuver the big company.

Brand protection can ensure that once your brand carves out a unique place in the market, your company can maintain their place. It’s critically important that once you find yourself in the ecosystem of other brands that you continue your success through 360-degree brand security.

Brand and reputation services are fast becoming an integral part of a solid brand strategy. Because you want to keep an inferior product from taking your place in the market, here are four reasons to hire a great reputation protection service.

Social Media Sells

Sales and advertising via social media are a fast-growing piece of the marketing puzzle. Not every company has the resources or knowledge base to win at social media.

Hiring a smart reputation protection company can make sure that you make a mark on the limited ad space offered by social media.

You want to make sure that your brand’s voice remains consistent on all social media channels. To avoid appearing redundant, you need to have an approach that’s specific to each channel.

A great reputation protection service knows how to use each one of these in your brand voice.

Get Picked Up By Any Distributor

Distribution is important to any brand. You want to make sure that the quality of your product is consistent. It will have distribution channels opening up for you.

As channels like Amazon take the place of traditional retail distribution channels, Amazon Brand Protection can ensure that reviews and pricing remain competitive.

Protect Your Quality

There are lots of different ways that even the best brands can find themselves under attack through infringement and abuse. Some counterfeit products can risk doing damage to a brand through lower quality than buyers expect.

If your brand starts to take off, it’s hard to keep track of all the small competitors who might try to rip-off your brand. And some of these counterfeit brands are scary.

A service experienced with brand protection can track down the owners and companies linked to sites and apps. They know the tactics to take down fake social media profiles and close down the competing sellers who might harm the quality and dependability of your brand.

Stay Ahead of Competitors

Not only is it important to keep the market that you have, but to be able to expand into new markets. A reputation protection service can take stock of where your competitors are but also identify ground they haven’t broken yet.

You probably know your main competitors but finding all the smaller ones might be too big of a job for your company.

You need your brand to have stability in order to take the risks needed to grow. A reputation protection service will keep you ahead of the competition.

Brand Protection is a Complex Practice

Trying to handle reputation protection on site can be a resource-heavy affair. Your marketing and R&D teams should be able to focus on their work without worrying about infringement and competition.

Hiring a brand protection service will put your company’s mind at ease while keeping you competitive within your field. Your intellectual property needs to be protected. Stay ahead of your competitors and put your brand in good hands.


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7 Songs to Download to Your Bachelorette Party Playlist

November 16, 2017 - By 

It’s the ultimate girls night out, maybe the greatest in your life, and you need to make sure the soundtrack lives up to the evening.

A bachelorette party playlist needs music to get you and all the girls into the vibe, ready to party and feel sexy one last night!

Here are 7 must-have, new and classic, party anthems for your big night out.

1. Spice Girls: “Wannabe”

Likely, you and everyone in your crew have gone through a phase where you thought you were like one (or several) of the Spice Girls. This classic 90s party jam is all about friends first and relationships second.

Remind your friends how important they are with this jam. No doubt they’ll be singing along as soon as they hear that first note.

2. TLC: “No Scrubs”

This is another ode to no man getting between you and your friends. TLC was so influential that they got a whole generation of women to upgrade their love life to someone worthwhile.

“No Scrubs” is an honest and straightforward anthem that says only the highest quality guys are allowed near you and your girls.

3. Beyonce: “Single Ladies”

All hail Queen Bey! “Single Ladies” is a modern classic for a reason. It’s all about holding yourself to a high standard and putting this on will let your girls know that you got your partner to put a ring on it.

Be prepared for an epic sing-along as soon as this comes on.

4. Sia: “Chandelier”

While the subject matter is darker than most of your other party anthems, the way Sia sounds when she belts out her feelings will have your crew shouting at the top of their lungs.

“Chandelier” is another modern classic because of its monster beat and top-shelf singing.

5. Aretha Franklin: “Respect”

People forget that Otis Redding sang this song before Aretha. But it took Aretha’s power and style to turn it into a classic feminist anthem.

“Respect” is a shout out to you and your girls that you waited to find a partner who respects you and you want the same for them.

Sing along and demand “R-E-S-P-E-C-T”!

6. Cyndi Lauper: “Girls Just Want to Have Fun”

Cyndi Lauper’s hit party jam is perfect for a bachelorette party playlist. Her strong themes of female empowerment and unabashed femininity make this a standout that will have both men and women singing along.

Originally penned to describe a man’s sexual conquests, Cyndi Lauper turned it around and made it a feisty female chant.

7. Rihanna: “Umbrella”

This massive hit, penned by the Love King himself, The-Dream, will have the whole party singing with you. Rihanna’s breakout hit still resonates because of its honest raw emotion and romantic declaration. It also made her one of the most digitally downloaded artists of all time.

Everyone within a mile will be singing “ella-ella-ella-ella” with your whole party. Make sure they’re not all waiting outside the VIP room when this comes on and sign up for Reign London guestlist.

Make This Bachelorette Party Playlist One To Remember

The key to a perfect bachelorette party playlist is for it to be authentic. Think about songs that you and your friends have listened to for years, what they like now, and more importantly, what you like.

Your whole party will want you to be having the time of your life so have fun, mix it up, and don’t be afraid to be a little cheesy. It’s your night!


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10 Novel Ideas for Your Christmas Light Installation (The Neighbors Will Be Jealous)

November 16, 2017 - By 

Do you hear those sleigh bells ringing?

Halloween is officially over and therefore the Christmas season has begun.

As you pack up your witch and jack-o-lantern decorations in your attic, you’re probably noticing your Christmas decoration boxes staring at you. You’re thinking about the contents and realizing you want to try something new this year.

Fear not, if you’re out of Christmas decorating ideas and tired of doing the same thing year after year this article is for you.

This guide will break down how to up your Christmas light installation game and make all your neighbors jealous. After all, we know you want Santa to be able to see your house from the sky.

Read on for 10 novel ideas for your Christmas light installation.

1. Snowflake Lights in Your Trees

Do you want to turn your front yard into a winter wonderland? If so, hang snowflake lights from the branches of your trees to enhance your Christmas light installation.

It doesn’t matter if you live in snowy Colorado or sunny Florida, having snowflake lights on your tree branches will make your yard look beautiful and festive.

The more trees you have in your yard the better this will look.

Hanging the lights in the trees in your backyard is also a great idea for holiday parties. You can let guests walk through your magical backyard of lights.

2. Inflatable Decorations

You know when you drive by car dealerships and they have huge inflatable decorations outside?

The reason they do this is that they’re eye-catching. Adding an inflatable Christmas decoration to your front yard is sure to grab the attention of people riding by.

What inflatable decoration should you choose? The possibilities are endless. Inflatable reindeer, inflatable snow globes, or an inflatable Santa are all good choices.

Add spotlights in front of your inflatable decorations to ensure people can see it at night.

3. Put Christmas Trees Outside

There’s no rule that says your Christmas tree must be indoors.

Create your own miniature fir tree forest by putting Christmas trees around your yard outdoors.

You can decorate them all with lights and top them with your favorite tree toppers. This is perfect for those families who always argue over whether to use an angel or a star on top of the tree. If you have multiple trees outdoors you can use multiple tree toppers!

Don’t forget you still need to go out and water your outdoor trees. They’ll look so good that it will be worth the trip outside.

4. Turn Your Home Into a Gingerbread House

Gingerbread houses are a delicious part of the holiday season, but they aren’t just for the kitchen.

Making your home look like a gingerbread house is an amazing Christmas light installation idea.

To achieve this look you will need to get candy shaped lights for the front of your house. Line your sidewalk with candy cane lights and gumdrops.

For the main portion of your house, it’s time to load up on LED strip lights.

Decorate the outside of your house with the same design that you would a gingerbread house. One easy way to do this is do straight lines going from the roof to the ground in different colors.

5. Holiday Light Projector

Holiday light projectors are becoming more and more popular in recent years.

These could be a good option for you if you’re short on electrical outlets but you still want to get a great light display going at your house.

Between buying gifts, sending holiday cards, and preparing for holiday parties, the winter months can be expensive. Getting a holiday light projector will save you time and money.

Holiday light projectors make the Christmas light installation process easy. All you need to buy is a 1-3 projectors depending on how large your house is and set them up so they’re pointing at the walls of your house.

You can also direct the projector to a large tree in your yard and it will look like the tree is covered in beautiful Christmas lights.

Holiday light projectors are available in many different colors, shapes, and patterns. You can get them in white if you prefer a more traditional look or you can get them in star shapes that appear to dance along the outside of your house.

6. The Nativity Scene

The nativity scene is a wholesome and beautiful symbol representing Christmas.

Setting up a nativity scene in your front yard is a great way to remind people that the holiday is supposed to be about love, family, and celebrating new life.

Keep your nativity scene simple and don’t try to glam it up with too many lights or it will look gaudy.

For your nativity scene, you will need the baby Jesus (we dare you to try the glassblowing technique!), a manger, Mary, Joseph, the wise men, the shepherds, and an optional sheep.

7. Create Your Own Christmas Light Balls

Turn your Christmas decorating into a DIY project with your family.

To make Christmas light balls, you will need chicken wire and Christmas lights. Simply wrap your Christmas lights around your chicken wire orbs to create glowing balls of festivity.

You can vary the colors if you choose, making some red, some green, and some blue and then place them around your lawn. This is a great way to add some color to the ground level of your house.

8. Don’t Forget the Roof

Your roof will be the focal point of your Christmas light installation display.

You want to make sure you put something on the roof that will be eye-catching and interesting for people to see.

What you choose to put on the roof depends on your personal Christmas tastes.

Want to do something funny? Maybe put a spotlight on a Grinch who’s trying to steal the presents out of the chimney. Want to do something classic? Get a light up sleigh equipped with reindeer and put a hearty Santa inside of it. Want to do something cute? Try a light-up Frosty the Snowman who’s waving at everyone who passes your house.

The most important thing is that you don’t neglect the roof thinking that the lights and decorations on the front of the house will be enough.

And, as always be mindful of your safety! The roof is inherently dangerous. Always be careful when using ladders and let a family member know you’re up there in case you need help getting down.

9. Decorate Your Mailbox

When planning their Christmas light installation, many people forget about their mailboxes.

Your mailbox is the closest thing to the road and, therefore, the first thing people see when they drive by your house. You want your mailbox looking just as festive as the rest of your property. Best of all, it’s really easy to decorate!

A good idea for your mailbox is to hang a beautiful wreath on it. Or tie a red velvet ribbon around it and attach jingle bells.

You can also wrap your mailbox with Christmas lights to make it even more eye-catching and add to your light count.

10. Spell Out a Word in Lights

Christmas is the time to spread joy and love to your neighbors around you.

So why not spell out joy or love in your own front yard?

“Joy”, “Love”, or “Peace on Earth” make great letters you can spell out with lights in your front yard.

You can either buy letters that already light up, or you can make your own by cutting them out of food and then wrapping Christmas lights around them.

Putting out a nice message into the world will make people feel good and get them into the Christmas spirit when they drive by your house and see your Christmas light installation.

Make Your Christmas Light Installation Fun

The holidays are all about spending time with the people you love, so make your Christmas light installation process a group project.

Get your family outside to help you hang lights and bounce ideas off of each other about how you want your house to look this year.

Let your house’s Christmas lights reflect each person who lives inside by giving everyone input. When you divide the job, things will go faster and you’ll get to spend quality time together.

Remember, if you want to avoid the process of untangling lights then the holiday light projector might be for you.

For some overachievers, the process of hanging up your own lights might be half the fun.

If you run into any electrical problems while hanging your lights you may need an electrician. Check out our article on knowing when to call an electrician for your electrical issues.

Have fun and Merry Christmas!


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7 Ways You Can Get Paid to Work from Home

November 16, 2017 - By 

Is it time to ditch the office? Ready to gain more flexibility in your life?

If you’re considering working from home, there are ways to do it. There are a lot more options than you may think.

If you’re looking to gain more control over your life, a work from home job could be the answer. It gives you more freedom and time for the things that really matter.

Read on to learn seven of the best ways you can get paid to work from home.

1. Become a Virtual Assistant

One of the most popular ways to get paid to work from home is to become a virtual assistant or VA.

A VA provides professional administrative, technical, and other types of assistance to clients. They do this while working remotely from a home office.

A VA can handle many tasks for people who are very busy or have too many things on their to-do lists. They may answer emails, manage a website, or schedule appointments.

People use VAs for different reasons, but they gain a lot of benefits from delegating tasks to someone else.

If you’re looking to get started with working online, becoming a VA can be a great way to begin.

2. Start a Freelance Writing Business

Freelance writing is also a popular way to make money online.

There are more writing careers available than crafting a bestselling novel. You can make money writing for blogs, creating web copy for businesses, or pitching ideas to magazines.

Another lucrative way to make money as a writer is to write ebooks and offer them online as digital downloads.

Are you interested and knowledgeable about travel, sports, or technology? There are plenty of opportunities both online and offline that will allow you to make money as a freelance writer.

3. Online Tutoring and Teaching

If you’re a qualified teacher or you’re just good at explaining things, teaching or tutoring online can be a great way to make money.

You can help others learn in a variety of ways. You may consider charging for live tutoring sessions using Skype or video conferencing software.

You may also consider creating your own online course where you teach multiple people at once.

Many universities have online programs these days. If you’re qualified, you may be able to get a job teaching an online course.

You may want to use a specialized platform or software for teaching online to make the process easier. It will also help you with managing classes and interacting with students.

4. Become an Audio Transcriptionist

Another excellent choice for a work from home job is to work as a transcriptionist. Many types of businesses, organizations, and people need audio transcribed regularly.

You may work transcribing interviews or other types of things for businesses and organizations. Many transcription jobs fall into the categories of medical or legal audio, but there are other categories too.

It can take some time to be able to listen well and understand what’s being said. Once you get the hang of it, working as a transcriptionist is an in-demand job that can potentially pay well.

5. Get a Work-From-Home Call Center Job

A work-from-home call center job is exactly like it sounds.

Virtual call center jobs are just like typical call center jobs, minus the “center.” You won’t need to go into the office to work. Instead, all you need is a phone, a quiet space, and the right attitude.

Needless to say, you’ll be talking on the phone a lot, so this job is best suited for extroverts.

If this is the kind of job that “calls” out to you (pun intended), you can make a good hourly rate while sitting at home in your pajamas.

6. Become a Programmer and Get Paid to Work From Home

If you are technically-inclined, learning to be a coder or programmer may be the perfect job for you.

With this job, you’ll be writing code, designing applications and programs, and optimizing web pages. Keep in mind that it can take some time to become well-versed in these skills.

However, once you master them you can potentially make a lot of money. You may also choose to get started with a coding boot camp to jumpstart your progress and learn quickly.

Some coding languages are more lucrative than others, but overall it’s a great choice if you’re interested in working remotely. Being a programmer can be one of the most lucrative jobs you can do online.

7. Put Your Graphic Design Skills to Use

Do you have an artistic eye? Do you have the skills to use Adobe Photoshop and other graphic design tools?

Graphic design is one profession you can do with just a laptop and an internet connection. Businesses and individuals need flyers, newsletters, logos, and all kinds of designs completed.

You may choose to specialize in a certain type of project or take on all kinds of work. In addition to working directly with clients, you can also create digital downloads and sell them online.

This can be a great way to have an artistic job if you’re a creative type. You can also make money on your own terms.

Final Thoughts

There are other possibilities if you want to get paid to work from home, but these are the most popular ones.

If you have a skill that wasn’t listed above, don’t lose hope! No matter what your skill set is, you can find a way to market yourself and build an online income.

Think outside of the box, do your research, and keep your eyes open. You may be able to make something work for you and your unique skills.

With a little work, it’s possible to get paid to work from home and have the flexible career you’ve always wanted.

Looking for an extensive and trusted digital downloads marketplace? Check out our ebooks digital downloads marketplace or other digital downloads categories.


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What are the Best Travel Apps for iPhone Users?

November 16, 2017 - By 

In this modern day and age, it seems like there is an app for everything. With the travel app market being so saturated, it can feel like looking for a needle in a haystack when trying to find an app that is genuinely useful.

From finding the best flight deals and rooming options to language translation and expense trackers, there is no shortage of apps designed to help the tech-savvy traveler.

To get the most out of a traveling experience, consider downloading these apps. Here are the best travel apps for iPhone users.

Google Flights

Google has its own flight finder and price tracking service called Google Flights. This app compares prices across thousands of flights from different flag carriers, budget airlines, and charter flights to find the best price.

The app has a large variety of search filter options. Some of the options include: searching for flights by date, departure, destination airports, and more. Google Flights also has a price prediction feature, which alerts the traveler to price changes.

Hopper

Hopper has won many awards, including Apple App Store’s Best of 2015 list and the 2016 Google Play Award winner. Hopper is one of the best travel apps for iPhone for the prospective traveler to download when searching for cheap flights.

On the app, the prospective traveler can look at the cheapest dates to fly on a month view calendar. One of the best things about Hopper is that the app will send you notifications alerting the traveler when to buy tickets.

PackPoint

Planning ahead is one of the best things to do to ensure a trip will go smoothly. Making a checklist of everything one may need to pack is very useful. PackPoint is an app that makes that checklist for you.

PackPoint analyzes the weather forecast and has an option for the traveler to select activities they may do during the trip. Based on all of this information, the app will offer up a list of items that should be packed based on these activities.

Roomer

There are many travel apps and websites out there that can help a traveler find the best hoteles ofertas (hotel offers) for their travel plans.

However, sometimes the unexpected can occur. When accommodation plans fall through, the Roomer app can be a lifesaver.

Roomer is a marketplace app that allows users to book last minute hotel rooms at discounts. These rooms become available when other Roomer users have to cancel their trips.

Alternatively, if a user is stuck with a hotel reservation they can’t use, they can also sell it to other users on Roomer. This can be rather handy when trying to avoid cancellation fees.

Duolingo

Duolingo, an incredibly well-designed language learning app has over 70 million users. Although this app is not a replacement for proper language education, the app is a fun way to learn the basics of any language before a trip abroad.

The app functions like a computer game and guides a user through levels that need to be completed before advancing to the next stage.

Learning the basic vocabulary and grammar allows the traveler to be able to navigate the country better and gain more insights into the local destination.

Ready To Download the Best Travel Apps for iPhone?

There are many travel apps out there to make a traveler’s life much easier before embarking on a new adventure.

Digital downloads are the key to the future, and any prospective traveler would be wise to stay up to the date with the newest app tools to help them navigate the world.

Check us out to find out more!


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5 Must-Have Medical Apps for Patients

November 16, 2017 - By 

When the average person looks for medical advice, they usually turn to a big website like WebMD. But those diagnostic tools are imprecise, overwhelming users wit?h information and increasing anxiety, research shows.

Instead, let’s turn to the powerful computers in our pockets. Have a look at five of the best medical apps for patients recommended by users and doctors alike.

1. Instant Heart Rate

Instant Heart Rate does exactly what it says on the tin. It uses your smartphone to measure your pulse.

The way it does this, however, is pretty ingenious: You simply put the tip of your index finger over your phone’s camera lens. You’ll have to wipe off the smudges, but that’s pretty clever.

Where the app shines, though, is in its ease of use and ability to track your heart rate measurements over time. This lets you get a snapshot of how your resting and active heart rates change when you’re doing different tasks and making lifestyle modifications.

Sometimes simple is best, and this is one of the best medical apps for patients out there.

2. Mayo Clinic

If you’re a patient at the Mayo Clinic, their app for iOS and Android is invaluable. It helps you track and make appointments, and even pay bills. It also delivers lab and test results right to your pocket.

But even if you’re not a patient, this app for one of the country’s top hospitals offers a ton of information, videos, and wellness advice from top doctors and experts. It even syncs with your Apple Watch, if that’s your thing.

3. Diabetes:M

Diabetes:M is one of the best blood sugar trackers on the market. It has a host of features that allow you to simply enter and track blood sugar data as well as working with a number of insulin pumps and glucometers.

The app covers information for type 1, type 2, and gestational diabetes, meaning you should be well covered.

Diabetes:M’s only major drawback is that it doesn’t yet have the capability to sync with Apple Health on your iOS device. Otherwise, it’s the perfect app for diabetes tracking and management.

4. First Aid – American Red Cross

Wouldn’t it be nice to have a handy universal guide of what to do in case of a medical emergency? The American Red Cross First Aid app is just that.

Covering everything from what to do when someone has an allergic reaction to bleeding, burns, and broken bones, this app is an invaluable resource.

It’s best when paired with a first aid training class, but it’s good to have in your pocket regardless.

5. BabyBump Pregnancy Pro

Trying to have a baby is fraught with questions and anxieties, from scheduling doctors appoints to potentially seeking fertility treatment or inquiring about surrogacy cost.

BabyBump Pregnancy Pro takes some uncertainty out of the pregnancy process, allowing you to track your bump, connect with other moms, and even pick out baby names. It’s simple to use and a good companion through those 40 weeks.

The Best Medical Apps for Patients Might be Yours

Didn’t see something here that fits the bill? Maybe that’s because it doesn’t exist yet.

Take your great idea and check out our ebook on creative product creation.


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5 Signs A Loved One Should Contact An Addiction Recovery Center

November 16, 2017 - By 

Addiction is a difficult enemy to face.

It turns even the most successful, responsible people into complete opposites of themselves.

Even worse, true addiction is not something that someone can simply “get over” on their own.

It’s also more common than you think. Studies show that over 40 million people in the United States suffer from drug or alcohol addiction to some degree.

People who suffer from addiction may not always talk about it. But it can be fairly difficult to hide as it gets worse.

Friends and loved ones may not say it, but they need you to help through intervention and put a stop to their habits.

Read on to learn about the five warning signs someone may need to visit an addiction recovery center.

1. They’ve Had to Leave Their Job or School

This is one of the most common signs of addiction.

Everyone makes mistakes from time to time. It’s not uncommon for an employee to occasionally run late to work.

Similarly, students are likely to miss classes and assignments any number of times while they’re in school.

But problems arise when these occurrences become normal behavior.

Consistently poor grades can lead to expulsion from school.

Poor job performance can result in termination, resulting in a downward spiral that comes from not having a paycheck.

Losing a job or being kicked out of school isn’t normal. They often indicate an underlying problem that needs to be addressed.

If someone you know has been kicked out of school or fired from work, look into the matter and find the cause.

2. They’ve Legitimately Tried to Quit and Couldn’t

Quitting can be hard, even when you’re not addicted to something.

By definition, an addiction is an overwhelming dependence on something else. It involves almost anything, such as video games or stealing. But addiction most commonly involves drugs and alcohol.

Quitting doesn’t come easy. The average smoker makes approximately 30 attempts before quitting cigarettes for good.

When someone attempts to discontinue their bad habit and fails, it’s a clear sign that they suffer from addiction.

At this point, the next logical step is an addiction recovery center.

Places like the Recovery Village offer a 24/7 hotline you can call whenever you need to.

Your conversation is entirely confidential. The main goal is getting your loved one into a facility putting their lives back on track.

3. They Lie About Their Drinking or Substance Use

Those who lie about their substance abuse are often ashamed about how much they consume. They may talk about how last night they had “one or two beers.”

In reality, it was likely more than that, and something stronger than beer.

Alcohol consumption generally gets downplayed. Substances, however, are slightly different.

Those who suffer from an opiate addiction or use other drugs often don’t even mention it. When confronted, they may deny it entirely.

If you happen to know a friend or family member’s consumption habits are unsafe, approach them about it.

One of two things will happen:

They will acknowledge that they need help and work toward finding a solution right for them.

Or they will deny they have an issue. At this point, rehab is their best option.

Before moving toward treatment, though, consider every available option.

4. They’ve Been in Legal Trouble

Drugs and alcohol always lead to trouble with the law. Possession of illicit substances carries a prison sentence and drinking and driving will take away driving privileges.

If someone you know has frequent trouble with the police, you may want to look into it.

If a friend or loved one gets arrested at 11 AM for being aggressively drunk in public, there is definitely an issue that you need to help them take care of.

Similarly, if they end up in cuffs as a direct result of their substance abuse, get them to rehab. They need to get help, but you have to make it happen.

In some states, family members of the addict can legally force them to enter a drug and alcohol recovery program.

For situations that involve friends, it isn’t so easy.

But you can help them by showing them the damage they cause to themselves and the people around them.

5. They Show Visible Withdrawal Symptoms

When someone attempts to end an addiction, the body displays certain symptoms as it detoxes.

For alcohol, the symptoms commonly include fatigue, nausea, excessive shaking, and sweating.

For other substances, the symptoms range from vomiting to severe anxiety.

Withdrawal symptoms are debilitating. It can prevent someone from going to school, work, or fulfilling their responsibilities.

In severe cases, it can even result in depression and self-harm. You must take all measures possible to avoid this scenario.

Many people who attempt to end their alcohol or substance dependency go through withdrawal. If this is affecting someone you know, an addiction recovery center is the best place for them to detox safely.

If the addict attempts to handle the symptoms alone, they may relapse. Rehabilitation programs will help keep them on the wagon.

An Addiction Recovery Center Can Help

There’s no shame in getting help. Don’t feel guilty making sure someone who needs assistance receives it. And an addiction recovery center is the place to go.

Rehabilitation may seem intimidating at first, but it is a necessary step toward recovery.

To learn more about the experience during rehab, as well as local addiction recovery centers, check out this guide and find your answer today.


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How to Make Killer Marketing Graphics Online

November 16, 2017 - By 

Did you know you can create marketing graphics without hiring a designer or being a designer yourself?

You can create amazing visual content with just the help of the internet. There are a handful of apps and tools out there that will help you take your visual content to the next level.

Let’s dive deep!

Why Do Great Visuals Matter?

Did you know the brain can process visuals 60,000 times quicker than reading a block of text? Our brains are wired for analyzing and processing images, not words.

In a world where content is always increasing, our brains adapted to ensure we take in as much information as possible. Over 80% of our consumed content is compiled of images.

Even if you’re a marketing guru with no design skills on your resume, it’s essential you start using images. Visuals are what the majority of your audience is consuming and you want to reach your target market in engaging ways.

Interesting and relevant visual content helps to break up long chunks of text, especially in large technical documents. A user can get lost in words and find themselves not fully engaged, often resulting in re-reading. Inserting an image gives a break to reset the reader so they can come back more engaged.

Are you interested in learning about the tools you can use to create great marketing graphics? These graphics could include business cards, posters, case studies, direct mail pieces, infographics, and even feather flags banners.

Free Online Graphic Design Tools

Are you sick of using the standard fonts that your computer supplies you with? Are you looking for something a little edgier or whimsical? There are a few places you can go to scroll through hundreds of fonts you can simply download and start using in your designs.

Special Font Downloads

Font Squirrel, DaFont, 1001 Free Fonts

All of these websites are places you can go to download special fonts. There are a lot more than these ones listed, but these are a few of the most reputable sources.

The fonts are very easy to download and install and start using right away. If you’re not using this for just personal use, the website makes sure to inform you what the licensing requirements are.

WhatFont Tool

When you come across a particular font used in a design that you don’t recognize, WhatFont makes it very easy to determine what the font it. You have the option of uploading an image and the tool will recognize letters, have you verify that they are correct, and offer suggestions of what the font may be.

If you’re on a webpage and would like to know what fonts you’re looking at, WhatFont allows you to enter the webpage into the tool and it will come back with results identifying all the fonts on the page.

Pick and Compose with Two Different Fonts

There is a well-known tool where users can lay two different fonts next to each other and see if they match up well. It helps you choose combinations of fonts that are aesthetically pleasing.

Type Genius Web App

Type Genius has now paired with Canva to help you find the right combination of fonts and integrate them into your overall design. You choose a primary font that you love then click next. It will show you your font paired with complementary fonts and examples of designs using both. The designs it highlights are actual website currently using these font pairings.

There are more tools you can use if you need help with your marketing graphics when it comes to fonts. You will never have to complain about having limited options or not knowing what secondary fonts to use.

Now that you have the fonts down, let’s take a look at how you can set up the marketing graphics to really make them shine.

Marketing Graphics Templates and Tools

You can use these tools even if you don’t have any design background. They have already created layouts that you can just plug your information into. You don’t need to worry about whether or not your design is good because you know a group of designers created it.

These are a few of the most used template tools on the web today.

Canva App

This design tool is free, with the option to buy stock photos, additional fonts, and icons. You can create any design you’re thinking of with this tool.

On the front page, it sorts all of the created templates into different sections based on social media channel and sizes that are allowed for each platform. It also has a section where you can create business cards, posters, flyers, email headers, ebooks, and more.

When you pick the template size you’d like to go with, you then get to pick the fonts and layouts of the template. To create it is as easy as dragging and dropping images and writing your information in the text boxes. You can even add text boxes, shapes, and images to the template to make it your own. You have a choice of colors that match your branding and tons of icons in their extensive design library.

Canva integrates with a lot of other websites to help marketing graphics gurus make their designs the best they can be.

Infographic Templates

Hubspot offers a lot of free content for marketing graphics and marketing training. Creating infographics is a difficult feat if you don’t have a design background. They can be hard to manipulate and creating the concepts take a lot of brainstorming.

Hubspot published and shared free templates for infographics. You can take your information and plug them into the already created templates. The best part about it, if you’re using statistics or other information that depends on accurate graphs and charts, the formulas change based on the information you enter.

Photo Editing and Design

Since we are a visual people who thrive on visual content, having interesting and engaging images in your marketing graphics are important. There are a variety of apps and tools that help you create and edit images.

Gimp

Gimp is an open source editor for images. It gives you a variety of tools to help you edit your photos. You can do things like crop, resize and adjust color and opacity. It helps enhance photographs natural features and make them brighter and more appealing to consumers.

PlaceIt

PlaceIt takes screenshots of your website or product that you’ve saved and uploads them on to a mockup. If you’re featuring a new product, you can have it appear directly on a mockup of an iPhone, laptop, desktop computer, iPad, etc.

You have a wide variety of tools at your disposal, even if you aren’t a marketing graphics designer. It will be no time before you’re creating high-quality engaging visual content. If you’re looking to improve other areas of your marketing skills, visit here to learn more.


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5 Benefits of Using Downloadable Tools to Handle Your Loans

November 16, 2017 - By 

If you’re having trouble managing your loan payments, you’re not alone. Fortunately, downloadable tools provide you with opportunities to master your debt.

The average American in his or her thirties has $37,172 in student loan debt. That doesn’t include mortgages, car loans, personal loans, credit cards, and others. Multiple, poorly managed accounts drag down your personal budget and possibly your credit.

Meanwhile, loan management or consolidation services can charge a $75 setup fee and as much as a $55 per month. But you can avoid costly services with affordable or free downloadable tools.

How would you like to stabilize your budget and get out of debt quickly? Let’s look at some of the best types of tools for this complex problem.

Free Tools for Any Financial Challenge

We’ve identified the five best benefits of using freely available tools for managing debt. First, we’ll take a look at how the most popular types of tools will help you get them.

Loan Payment Trackers

Loan payment trackers often come in the form of in-browser or downloadable Excel templates. Preexisting formulas enable you to enter data and keep track of all of your payments. Loan payment trackers offer a flexible way to visualize your payment history and manage all future payments as you go.

Debt Calculators

Debt calculators help you approach your debt in a way that fits your financial goals. Calculators can help you reach a specific “debt free” deadline. Calculators may provide other options, such as fixed monthly payments to fit your budget. This tool enables you to recalculate your strategy at any time.

Financial Planning Tools

These tools help you set broad financial goals that incorporate your debt. Financial planning helps you save money for college or plan for retirement, all while paying off your loans in a timely way.

Payment Management Apps

Payment management tools help you track expenses and manage personal finances. They can also suggest certain methods for paying off your debt. Many of these tools use the popular “debt snowball” method to suggest a payment strategy. This method recommends minimal payments on all of your accounts except that with the smallest balance.

Payoff Tools

If you’re concerned about consistency, payoff tools are good motivators for sticking to your repayment plan. Payoff tools help you center your plan around a specific payoff date. Your payoff date is the theoretical day when you will be debt free.

Lapses in your repayment consistency can prolong or even add to your debt. Payoff tools help you visualize the goal and maintain repayment discipline.

The Five Best Benefits of Using Downloadable Tools

The following tools offer personal and long-term benefits at low or zero cost. We’ll compare them to the benefits of traditional debt management solutions. You can consider how they could help you with your own finances as well.

No Costly Financial Services

Traditionally, financial planning requires a paid contract with a financial expert. Now, a modest amount of personal effort gives you the education and tools you need to achieve any financial goal. Here are some costly financial services that are now achievable with downloadable tools:

  • Debt Management
  • Education Funding
  • Personal Financial Planning
  • Retirement Planning

Not all free downloads or in-browser tools will support your financial needs. Even so, many of the more sophisticated tools support paid advertising. This offsets any cost to you while supporting a more comprehensive application.

Precise Payment Amounts for All of Your Loans

You want a clear picture of how much you will be paying on your loans in total each month. You also want to set up an optimal repayment schedule. Downloadable tools enable you to build repayment strategies with any number of goals in mind. Here are some of the repayment plans you can create using these tools:

  • “Debt snowball” method
  • Highest Interest Method
  • Fixed-monthly payments method
  • Debt-free deadlines method

Using a repayment plan helps you get out of debt more quickly. It can also reduce your total monthly payments, and limit negative impact to your credit. Downloadable tools enable you to change details about your finances and improve your payment plan at a moment’s notice.

Repayment Schedule Visibility

Unlike traditional financial planning services, downloadable tools enable you to track your repayment strategy in real time. You can adjust your own repayment strategy whenever you are ready.

Debt calculators are simple to use for immediate insight into how best to manage your debt. You can use the calculator again later to create a whole new strategy.

You can also use financial planning tools to factor changes in employment or lifestyle into your repayment strategy. Here are some of the immediate actions available when using financial planning tools:

  • Identify spending trends
  • Make income and lifestyle adjustments
  • Plan for a vacation or retirement
  • Plan for future financing, such as student loans

Flexibility for Unexpected Developments

When preparing for the future, you can quickly calculate how emergency financing can factor in to your existing budget.

Financial planning tools enable you to plan for emergencies and continue managing your debt. You can use a debt calculator to include existing lines of credit into emergency planning. Simply establish a repayment plan beforehand.

Short-notice financiers like Cigno instant payday loans can provide help at difficult times. Still, minimizing disruption and adjusting your long-term plan is simple. Here are some benefits downloadable tools offer you when planning for an emergency:

  • Financial planning tools help you plan for future emergencies
  • Debt calculators help you consider how emergency financing will affect your debt
  • Payment management apps help you quickly incorporate debt from an emergency into your plan Loan
  • Payment trackers provide visibility into how your repayment activity has changed

Long-Term Financial Health

Eventually, you will have a clearer view of your financial future. Irregular ups and downs needn’t throw your long-term plan off its course.

Downloadable tools provide a powerful, flexible means of managing your finances that can be applied throughout your lifetime. And unlike finance professionals, your tools can easily be replaced as updates emerge.

Now, take the initiative and familiarize yourself with the features. You won’t have to walk into a financial services office again.

Access the Digital Download Marketplace

Pligg is the ultimate resource for downloadable tools, software, software, eBooks, and more. Visit the marketplace to get started.


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The 5 Best Self-Help Books You Need to Be Reading

November 16, 2017 - By 

The world of self-help is an 11 billion dollar industry in America. They have a big impact on people’s lives.

Do you remember the first time you read one of the best self-help books that changed your life?

Maybe you lacked confidence as a teenager. A self-development book taught you to empower yourself and believe in your abilities.

Perhaps you discovered the power of self-help books later in life.

There are so many quality books available. It makes choosing the best self-help books much more difficult.

Unfortunately you don’t have time to read all of them. That’s why we’ve put together 5 of our favorite self-help books that really stand out for us.

The Best Self-Help Books

1. How to Win Friends and Influence People

How to Win Friends and Influence People has sold over 30 million copies since its publication in 1936. It is often considered one of the first best-selling self-help books.

The author, Dale Carnegie, mixes ancient wisdom with emerging psychology to come up with a unique guide.

Along with advice on how to win friends and become a leader, the latest edition includes how to achieve success in business and relationships in the modern age.

If you can overlook some of the old-fashioned language, you can benefit a lot from Carnegie’s insights.

2. The Secret

Is there anyone left in America that hasn’t heard of The Secret?

The author, former TV producer Rhonda Byrne, sold over 20 million copies of the self-book worldwide. She reportedly earned over thirty million dollars from sales of book.

The book is based on the “law of attraction”. This means that by thinking, visualizing and desiring certain things, you will make them happen.

The book has since been turned into a movie.

3. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

Stephen Covey’s book is often considered a business book. However, it has a powerful message for everyday life too.

In this easy-to-read self-book book, we’re taken down a path to fundamental personal change.

You can use the book as a step-by-step guide towards self-development.

This fascinating and unique book offers much more than the title suggests.

4. The Power of Now

In this 1997 classic, Eckhart Toole urges us to live in the present. That means forget about the past, and put the future to one side. Instead, concentrate on the here and the now.

The author mixes the spiritual teachings of different traditions. He promotes meditation, mindfulness, and relaxation. It also suggests we avoid multitasking and stressful activities.

5. The 4-Hour Workweek

Timothy Ferriss published one of the best self-help books of recent years in 2007.

The author recognized that many of us work long hours, under difficult conditions, doing jobs we hate.

He wanted to offer us an alternative.

He urges us to take regular mini-retirements and helps us figure out our work dreams and achieve them.

If you’re looking for more quality in your life and less clutter, Ferriss promises to help you.

Start reading one of these 5 best self-help books to start on the path towards self-development. All of these books can be purchased as digital downloads too.


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5 Online Tools That Every Social Media Strategist Needs to Use

November 16, 2017 - By 

A business owner is only as great as their tools. And the same goes for marketers. If you’re trying to enhance your digital marketing, then you can’t overlook the power of social media.

There are millions of people using Facebook, Twitter, and even YouTube. Millions of hours are spent daily watching online video, reading content and engaging.

With the right mix, you can create a social media presence that drives more likes, shares, comments, and clicks. One way to improve your social media marketing is to enhance your writing, editing, and automation.

So let’s get into the tools you should use to become a better social media strategist.

1.Dashboard & Management Tools

Once you get your hand on one of these management tools, you’ll never go back to tweeting your own tweets. And what’s great about these tools is you can use them on various platforms.

For instance, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and a host of others are compatible. You’re able to see all activity on one dashboard, including messages, feeds, comments, likes, shares and so on.

Then the scheduling of your future posts is a piece of cake. Some of the tools you should add to your arsenal include SocialBro and Hootsuite.

2. Twitter Social Tools

Now, there are some tools that specialize in specific social networks. In this case, it’s Twitter.

There are various software and services you can use, such as Followerwonk, Tweetcaster (for iOS and Android devices) and Tweetdeck.

Social Rank is also worthy of checking out, which helps you find the top 10 followers. This is based on key criteria, like most engaged, best followers and most valuable.

3. Facebook Social Tools

On the other hand, if you’re a Facebook pro, then there are tools for you as well. You can use these to capture insights and stats for your pages. And some even offer reports with a list of recommendations., like LikeAlyzer.

Some of the other Facebook tools out there include Fanpage Karma, Facebook Custom Audiences, and Wolfram Alpha Facebook Report.

4. Writing and Editing Tools for the Avid Poster

Your posts represent your brand. If they’re low-quality and have typos, then you’re making a bad impression. You can fix this by using writing and editing tools.

For instance, you can use the free online proofreading tools or those that help generate ideas, such as Portent.

Another is Easy Word Count, which is handy for ensuring you stick within the specific word counts of various social media platforms.

5. Analytics Tools for the Social Media Strategist

Knowing what your competitors are up to is key to gaining a competitive edge. With Rival IQ, you can keep track of their activity across all platforms, such as Twitter, Google+, Twitter, and Facebook.

Buzz Sumo is another clever tool for tracking content and rankings on social networks. So if you’re at a loss for topic ideas, this is a tool to gauge ideas based on what’s trending.

Download Software Needed to Enhance Your Marketing

If you’re committed to making your marketing tasks as simple as possible, then you need the necessary tools. At Pligg, you can find various software to download for content and online marketing.

There’s also a host of guides you can find to help improve skills as a social media strategist. Stop by today to find tips and tools to enhance your digital marketing strategy.


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Top 5 Garage Sale Apps for Buying and Selling

November 16, 2017 - By 

Have you ever asked yourself why moving is so stressful?

Most people don’t think about this, but your home is filled with symbolism, especially if you’ve lived there a long time. So leaving your home can represent things like new beginnings, failed relationships, and broken dreams, and facing those things brings out a lake of emotions.

Something Always Goes Wrong

Moving is only made worse by that fact that you have to pack up everything you own and find a company to transport it hours or sometimes days away. If you’re still looking for a moving company, click here.

To top things off, you always lose something. In some cases, you arrive at your new home with next to nothing or have to throw away heaps of your belongings before you leave.

Fortunately, there is a quick and easy way to get rid of the things you can’t bring and find something you forgot to bring with you.

Download a few garage sale apps.

These apps let you buy and sell items safely in your local community. Take a look at the top five garage sale apps!

1. VarageSale

It is super easy to buy and sell items with this app because it has several categories (things like clothes, shoes, furniture, baby items, etc.) for easy searching.

Instead of scrolling through pages of things you don’t want, you can pick a specific category and see multiple options of what you need.

VarageSale makes it even easier to sell. All you have to do is snap a picture, explain what it is, and post a price. If you have a big stack of stuff to get rid of, you can post multiple items in just a few minutes.

People can also log into VarageSale through Facebook, so you can see their real names and pictures. You don’t have to worry about whether or not a person is real because you’ll be able to tell right away.

2. OfferUp

This app relies heavily on pictures, so you can easily scroll through and see something that interests you.

You are able to post items for sale extremely quickly, sometimes in as little as 30 seconds. Think of it like express garage saling.

One of the best features about this garage sale app is its messages. You are able to talk directly to a buyer or seller about specific items in the app. This lets you know more about the person you’re doing business with so you can be absolutely sure they are safe.

3. Wallapop

This is one of the best garage sale apps out there because it has a lot of specific categories that can help you find some unique items.

Have an old phone you want to get rid of? Leisure items? Even vintage accessories? Wallapop has categories of all those items and more.

You can even buy and sell cars on this garage sale app!

Another nice feature of this app is that your address stays completely confidential. The only people who can see where you live are people within a single mile from you.

You can buy and sell and feel secure at the same time.

4. Glicken Garage Sales

This app is clear and straightforward, making it very easy to use.

It has a simple menu with three main options, find sales, post sales, or quick post.

This app is different from the other apps because you don’t use it to shop online for items people are selling. Instead, this app helps you find garage sales near you. Once you find a sale, it will tell you how far it is from you, what kind of items it is selling, and its hours of operation.

You can also list your own garage sales by setting a date and time and listing picture and descriptions of your main items.

If you go to a garage sale you liked, you can also share that sale with a quick post so other people can find it easily.

5. Garage Sale by Map

If you’re one of those people who like to get out there and walk through garage sales on your own, this is the app you’ll want.

Garage Sale by Map gathers yard sale postings from multiple different garage sale websites, things like YardSales.net and Gsalr.com, and put them together in one place.

There are literally thousands of new garage sale postings every week.

The best part is, you can browse through the garage sale on the map by looking at pictures or lists before you head over. This will make sure you avoid those not-so-good ones and only spend your time looking for things you really need.

Can’t Download a New App? Give Facebook a Try

If for some reason you can’t get one of these garage sale apps, you can buy and sell items through Facebook Nextdoor too.

When you look up your hometown, you will be able to find items to buy from other people in your community. You can even post items on Nexdoor yourself.

Usually, even the smallest towns have listings on Nextdoor, but if you can’t find anything right where you live, you can always look up the larger towns around you.

Using Nextdoor is convenient because most people already have a Facebook account. You don’t have to go out of your way to sell a single item because you can just sell it on a social media you get on every day already.

Garage Sale Apps Will Make Your Move a Lot Easier

It’s okay if you had to give away your dining table when you moved. You can easily find one again on a garage sale app without having to leave your new front door. If you have to get rid of things in a fast timeframe, you can list them on a garage sale app and sell them quickly. You can even make a bit of money on the side.

Getting ready to head out on the road? Download some of our music for the ride!


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5 Downloadable Financial Tools You Need to Have

November 16, 2017 - By 

Do you struggle with setting and sticking to a budget?

If so, you’re not alone. In fact, a recent Gallup poll found that only about 30% of people regularly set a budget.

Further, 10% of Americans have no credit history whatsoever. This means that an astounding 45 million people don’t currently have a credit score.

If you’re not exactly up-to-date with your current finances, don’t panic. Now is the perfect time to turn over a new leaf.

You can start by using these five downloadable financial tools to help you to better manage your money and track your spending.

1. If You Struggle to Stay on Top of Your Bills

No one wants to fall behind on their bills or forget to pay them. But with so many other things going on, it’s easy to make a mistake.

Missing payments can cause your credit score to take a serious hit, and you might end up having to pay astronomical late fees.

Enter the downloadable Prism app, which helps you to remember to pay all your bills on time.

All you need to do is download the app on your cell phone, enter your different bill amounts and the companies you’re paying top, and then link to the account you use to pay them.

When a bill is due or becomes available, you get a notification reminder from Prism.

Best of all? It’s totally free!

2. If You Have Trouble Budgeting

Are you guilty of splurging a little too often?

Are you unsure of where all your money is going?

Do you need a better understanding of what your lifestyle is really costing you?

If so, you’re a great candidate for You Need A Budget, a downloadable financial solutions app and software that helps you to better track your finances. The app allows you to create various categories for your spending. These include things like rent, your water/gas bill, grocery money, and going out/entertainment.

This will also help you to identify the areas in which you’re overspending.

You can then get a much better handle on your spending, and allocate the money you have coming into your specific expenses.

The app also helps you to save by allowing you to set saving goals and reminded you to allocate a portion of your income to that goal.

3. If You Want To Save

Though the last downloadable app we mentioned has a component related to saving, if you want to get serious about setting some cash aside, you need an app solely dedicated to that.

Enter the aptly-named Acorns App, which helps you to stash away your funds. The app has lots of different capabilities but is perhaps most famous for rounding up every purchase you make on your credit/debit card to the next dollar.

It creates a diverse investment portfolio without high management fees and commissions, as your “spare change” is automatically invested for you.

You can choose from five pre-made portfolios, or just have the money directly placed into your savings account.

You can also make larger, one-time investments if you come into some extra money, earn money off of referrals, and create a recurring investment. This app is simple, low-risk, and incredibly easy to use.

4. If You Need To Monitor Your Investments

If you have major or minor investments, you clearly already know a little bit about managing and growing your money.

However, how often are you really tracking those investments? And how can you be sure that your current financial advisor really has your best interests at heart?

That’s where the downloadable Personal Capital app comes in.

It offers the perfect combination of advice from real-life financial advisors along with information from tested financial algorithms.

It can help you to analyze the effectiveness of your 401(k) and your other retirement accounts, alongside other investments you may have. It will also help you to assess how your current investment strategy is helping you to achieve your financial goals.

5. If You Need To Get A Loan

Of course, we understand that many might feel a bit unsafe about downloading a tool that has access to their bank account numbers and other sensitive financial information.

Instead of going with a downloadable option when it comes to applying for a loan, it’s best to work through the website of an online lender.

One of our favorites?

Bonsai Finance.

Their services cover a wide range of financial issues, from acquiring a credit card if your credit history is less-than-perfect to applying for a variety of personal loans.

They also don’t require a credit check, which makes it much easier for those that need help the most to be able to get it.

Their system is also incredibly intuitive and easy to use. All you need to do is select the type of loan you’d like, use the sliding scale tool to determine how much you need, and then submit your request.

If it’s your first time applying for a loan, you’ll also find their FAQ section to be incredibly helpful.

What Other Downloadable Options Can Help You To Live Better?

Now that you know how downloadable financial tools and apps can help you to manage your money better, it’s time to think bigger.

What other tools can help you to evaluate and improve all the areas of your life?

Our enormous library and blog about digital downloads can help you to figure it out.

You can download eBooks and documents, find the perfect graphics for your website, and even connect with some of the best software on the market.

Then, you can rely on our blog to teach you how to get the most out of these tools, as well as to learn about a wide variety of industries and subjects. No matter what you like to do, we have the information you need to do it even better.

What are you waiting for?

Start browsing our site today!


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Muscle Building Gear and Accessories to Boost Your Workout

November 13, 2017 - By 
bodybuilding gear

Starting a new workout routine can leave you sore and tired. That might be why three out of four people who set fitness goals give them up soon after. Bodybuilding gear that feels comfortable and looks cool can help you get motivated on those tough days off.

Here are 5 essential accessories to motivate your bodybuilding routine and keep you focused in the gym

Workout Towel

If you’re new to a gym or trying a workout routine for the first time, you want to let other gym members know you were raised right. Show your etiquette by bringing a towel with you to every machine you use.

Wipe down machines and weights after you use them to be a good member of the gym community.

It’s also important that you stay dry and have something to wipe yourself down. Slip-and-falls are common at gyms and the last thing you want to do is drop a 40-pound weight because your hands were sweaty.

Add some sweat-wicking clothing and you’ll be good to go. Check out Monsta Clothing to learn more about quality workout materials.

Heavy Duty Gym Bag

It’s good to keep all of your clothes, supplements, and gear in one place. Having a quality gym bag is key to getting you out the door and to the gym every day.

Keep a second, smaller mesh drawstring bag inside to hold your dirty gym clothes. A breathable bag will make sure everything doesn’t get musty and mildewy.

A high-quality bag will last for years and allow for regular cleaning.

BPA-Free Reusable Water Bottle

It’s important for your muscle growth to stay hydrated during a workout. Muscles need water when they contract during a workout. Having a reusable water bottle on hand is a way to be good to the environment while keeping yourself in shape.

Lightweight BPA-Free bottles won’t have you drinking toxic chemicals that cheaper plastic bottles do. Most gyms have them on hand or for sale in their shop.

Weightlifting Gloves

Aside from muscle strain, one of the most painful side effects from weightlifting is the blisters that you can get on your hands. A high-quality pair of weightlifting gloves can protect you from that.

They also improve your grip and prevent you to dropping a dumbbell or barbell, hurting yourself or other people.

The wrist supports that are built into higher quality weightlifting gloves are a must for bodybuilding gear. They can protect you from injuring your forearms when you lift and keep your arms from giving out.

Bluetooth Headphones

Music is a great motivator during a workout. The rhythm of the right song can make those last few reps a little easier and make the slower parts of your workout more bearable.

Sports headphones with clips that go over your ears will prevent you from losing momentum. Bluetooth headphones will allow you to go cordless and open up your movement as you work out.

Find a pair you feel comfortable with and that help you to go all the way, rather than a pair that you find popping out every two steps. And of course, make sure you’ve downloaded all the hottest tracks before you get to the gym.

Now That You’ve Got The Right Bodybuilding Gear

Get yourself to the gym! Find yourself a spotter and stay safe. Ask trainers for tips on your form to avoid injury.

Then keep focused, keep hydrated, and keep lifting!


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What are the Benefits of Using CBD Oil?

November 13, 2017 - By 
cdc oil

It’s been well-established that medical marijuana can help people lead healthier and better lives. This is why a whopping 94 percent of Americans support legalizing medical cannabis.

That being said, a lot of people don’t understand how medicinal marijuana works. In particular, a lot of people are missing out on the amazing, and non-psychoactive, effects of CBD oil.

There are a large number of amazing benefits to CBD. If you’re not sure if medicinal oil is right for you, read about these amazing effects.

Benefit From Antipsychotic Effects

A lot of people worry about the link between cannabis and mental illness. While the data on this issue is inconclusive, the fact remains that THC is the point of concern.

THC is the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana. Comparatively, CBD counteracts these effects.

It’s important to note that while we don’t know if THC has psychotic effects, we know that CBD can act as a known antipsychotic.

Please be aware that this form of treatment should only come from a doctor. Still, the data seems to say that it works.

Reduce Pain With CBD Oil

Chronic pain is a growing problem for people. Between car accidents and inactive lifestyles, it’s not uncommon to feel the pain from an injury years after recovery.

Luckily, you can reduce pain with CBD.

There are a number of blends that can help you with this specific problem. Using Quantum 9 cannabis oil for pain, for instance, is a great way to feel healthy and relaxed.

With this in mind, it’s important to consider this revolutionary, natural pain treatment.

Cut Anxiety

Anxiety is a growing problem. This makes sense.

No matter what you do, you have a lot to be nervous about. This applies to janitors and new business owners alike.

A little nervousness is good. Being aware of the risks of your decision is a good way to make the right choices. That being said, there is such a thing as being too anxious.

You don’t want to be paralyzed by fear. If this applies to you, CBD oil can help you cut your anxiety.

Sleep Easier

You should be getting between seven and eight hours of sleep per night. But most of us are not.

This can be bad news. If you struggle with insomnia, it can be hard to recover from illnesses and have the physical health you need. It can also damage your mental functioning.

Luckily, CBD oil has been proven to reduce insomnia symptoms in patients. So make this a part of your health regimen.

Stop Seizures

Epilepsy can be an absolutely brutal condition. While it can be nearly impossible to live with, it’s good to know that CBD oil can provide reliable treatment for sufferers.

This isn’t just a pitch. It’s been confirmed by authoritative sources such as the Epilepsy Foundation. So if you or a loved one suffers from seizures, there is hope.

A high-quality oil can be just what you need to make life more manageable.

Boost Your Appetite

If you have a low appetite, life can be difficult. You need the nutrients from your food.

This problem can be made worse by the fact that whole foods can be very difficult for a constantly nauseous person to eat.

Luckily, CBD oil has been shown to increase appetite in those who suffer from illness.

This could be the solution your body needs to a problem with a far-reaching impact. Consider taking oils to keep yourself healthy and hungry.

Quit Smoking

If you haven’t quit smoking, there’s a simple suggestion that you need to follow.

Quit.

We all know the many risks of cigarette smoking, ranging from diabetes and cancer to heart disease and emphysema.

Quitting is easier said than done. Tobacco is designed to addict the user, making it nearly impossible to fully stop smoking. Luckily, there is a material that can help you kick your addiction to tobacco.

CBD oil is an effective mechanism for smoking cessation. While you should consult with a doctor before making it the core of your strategy, it’s known to be incredibly useful for gradually getting yourself to stop using cigarettes.

You shouldn’t smoke anymore. Make sure you use oil to gain control of your life.

Possibly Prevent Neurodegenerative Diseases

Neurodegenerative diseases are awful. While making these conditions a thing of the past is still a mystery to the science world, CBD oil may be effective.

Unfortunately, it cannot be the be-all-end-all of your strategy.

Combine it with a commitment to doctors visits, a healthy lifestyle, and regular genetic testing.

Fighting disease is a constant battle.

One day, these conditions will be fully preventable. Unfortunately, that isn’t where we are right now.

In spite of this, there’s a lot you can do to keep your mind and body healthy and safe.

Fight Cancer

Cancer is an awful disease. During treatment, people need all the help they can get. Knowing what we now know about CBD oil, it’s safe to say that it will become an important tool in the fight against this awful human condition.

The oil has been shown to help at various stages of treatment. It can make pain and nausea fade during chemotherapy, for instance. It can also provide healing by shrinking the size of tumors.

This shouldn’t be your only method of treatment. However, when you combine cannabis oil with other cancer therapies, it goes a long way.

Learn More

We want to help you learn more about helpful facts that can enrich your life. Whether you’re looking for tips on business or medicine, we have the content and downloads to make things better and easier.

If you want to get started on making things better, check out our document library.


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3 Qualities to Look for in a Great Access Door

November 13, 2017 - By 

access doorHaving a great access door means more than just providing entry for plumbing or electrical units. It can offer safety and security when used as a safe.

There are many purposes you can use an access door for but it ultimately ends up being an easy way to conduct necessary maintenance repairs. Whether that’s what you intend to use it for or want to convert it into something else, we have advice on the qualities a good access door should have.

Ready to find out what they are? Here we go!

Hidden Hinges

Concealed hinges are great if you’re wanting the door to be flush with the wall. That way, it doesn’t stick out awkwardly.

They also come in handy if you’re using your door as a safe. When the hinges are located within the door itself, it’s impossible to be tampered with. Crooks looking to gain access won’t find a way because they can’t locate the hinges.

Not only do they offer security when used that way but they’re easy to install. Whether you do it yourself or have a professional do the install, most concealed hinges work like a puzzle. All that needs to be done is to click one piece inside the other.

Fire-Rated Access Door

Since most doors are used to conceal electrical units, it’s best to invest in a door that’s fire-rated. Why?

If a fire were to happen, one that’s fire-rated limits the amount of smoke that’s produced. Also, it has properties that prevent the fire from spreading past the doors.

These types of doors prove themselves useful because when installed, it creates a tight seal against the wall. When used in the kitchen, for example, the material it’s made out of won’t become hot to the touch. All that’s heated inside the door won’t transfer onto the door itself.

Companies like Best Access Doors understand consumers want to keep their home protected. Therefore, they offer a wide variety of fire-rated access doors.

Can Withstand the Elements

Most doors can be used indoors and outdoors. While it’s great to have one that can do both, it’s best to consider the type of weather in the area you live in if the door will be on the exterior of your home.

If it’s strictly indoor, sticking it outside won’t put it to good use. It’ll slowly deteriorate from the outside elements.

Harsh winters or even blazing sunlight can cause damage. When shopping, be sure to pick up one that’s specifically for the outdoors.

It can also withstand mildew and warping caused by weather. It’s worth the investment so you don’t have to replace the door three years from now.

Wrapping Up

When picking out an access door, it’s best to remember these three qualities. Your door should be able to withstand the outside elements and keep your valuables safe.

Whatever you decide to use it for, make sure it fits your needs. There’s plenty of options to choose from so you won’t be stuck with one that’s useless.

For more information on a plethora of topics, check out our recent blog posts!


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Everything You Need to Know About Hardwood Decking

November 13, 2017 - By 
hardwood decking

If there’s a better option for a deck than hardwood decking, we couldn’t tell you what it is. The strength and beauty of hardwood is without match, and its durability seals the deal for anyone considering hardwood as a deck building option.

Hardwood decking provides the best long-lasting alternative to synthetic materials or softwoods. It boasts a natural beauty that gets better with age, much like a fine wine.

Nobody can deny the durability of hardwood. As an example, the hardwood Ipe Decking used on the Coney Island Boardwalk lasted 70 years. When torn down, the wood was re-used on other products.

If you’re looking to create an unforgettable outdoor oasis for your house then hardwood is where you should start.

Here’s everything you need to know about DIY hardwood decking.

What Type of Hardwood to Choose

The first step is choosing the right hardwood for your project. Here, we’ll break down 5 of the most popular options so you can choose the right one for your project.

If you’d like to know what other types of hardwoods are available, then give this a click!

1. Ipe Wood

This is the most popular decking option for builders using hardwood. Color options range from olive-brown to dark brown. Some even have a blackish tone.

The wood grains vary widely.

Ipe wood will provide a gorgeous, long-lasting deck. It’s incredibly hard and will last over 40 years with the right installation and care.

If you live in a harsh environment with extreme weather, you can’t go wrong with Ipe wood.

2. Garapa Wood

This is the second most popular hardwood solution.

Grarapa decking features a beautiful golden brown to light yellow color. As it begins to weather, it turns a silvery gray.

The best part about Garapa is that there’s no need to apply an annual sealer. It’s naturally resistant to decay, rot, scratches, splinters and even fire.

Also known as Brazilian Ash, its moderate cost makes it a great alternative to Ipe or Teak hardwoods.

3. Massaranduba

This type of hardwood is one of the most durable timbers on earth. It’s a very cost-effective sub for Ipe decking in many applications.

It has a straight grain and reddish-brown hue. Some people refer to it as Brazilian Redwood.

If you’re looking for a Mahogany appearance, Massaranduba is a great way to go.

4. Cumaru (Brazilian Teak)

Cumaru provides a long-lasting, cost-effective alternative for hardwood decking.

It glows in a warm and attractive golden-brown color that’s unmatched by most hardwoods. It also ages gracefully and is long-lasting.

Cumaru has a similar density as Ipe but at a much more moderate cost.

5. Teak

Teak surpasses most all other woods for outdoor use. True teak decking, known as Tectona Grandis, has natural oils which completely eliminate the need for sealants or preservatives.

It’s the most expensive hardwood option but is also the highest quality. It’s so high quality that it’s used on many luxury yachts.

If you’re looking to build a one-of-a-kind deck, Teak is the best material.

Choose the Right Profile

The decking profile you’ll use will depend on the fasteners you’re using and the location you’re installing the deck.

Standard Decking

Use this profile for face screwed decking. Then, plug it to give your deck a completely seamless look.

Pre-Grooved Decking

Use pre-grooved decking when you want to allow hidden fasteners to be installed so that the decking boards don’t show any of the fasteners.

Tongue and Grooved Decking

Use this profile for porch flooring or when your deck will be covered. It should only be used when you aren’t concerned about water drainage.

How to Choose the Right Fasteners

First, note that all hardwood decking requires stainless steel screws. You’ll also need to pre-drill each hole due to the hardness and density of the wood.

Stainless Steel Screws

No matter what type of hardwood you’re using, employ stainless steel screws. The wood is going to last 40 or more years, so you’ll want your screws to last just as long.

In addition, other fasteners cause discoloration and staining in hardwoods.

Use stainless steel screws for hidden fasteners, face screwing and if using wood plugs.

Wood Plugs

When face screwing, wood plugs can be used. You’ll need to counter-sink each screw to allow you to cover the head of each screw with a wood plug.

Typically the wood plugs will then be planed or sanded to be smooth with the deck surface.

Hidden Deck Fasteners

When you’re using pre-grooved decking, you’ll want to use hidden deck fasteners. They’re used to clip the decking boards to the span and are almost completely hidden by the deck grooves.

Sanding and Finishing

Once your deck is installed, you’ll want to consider treating it will an oil-based finish. That’ll depend on the hardwood you’ve chosen and the look you’re going for.

How to Sand and Seal Your Decking

First, you’ll want to seal all of your fresh cuts with AnchorSeal. Then, spot-sand as needed. It’s not recommended that you do orbital sanding because it will leave unsightly circular scratches in the wood grain.

Finishing

If you’re OK with your deck developing a natural “silvering” color, you don’t need to worry about finishing. Your deck will still last many, many years.

However, if you’re looking to keep the wood coloring of the original hardwood you should look for a penetrating oil-based finish that’s transparent. It should also have UV protection.

Before you apply, clean and brush your deck’s surface to remove all dust and dirt. Then apply several transparent coats and you’re good to go.

Maintenance and Care

One of the best features of hardwood decking is that it’s very low maintenance. However, you can still help improve its appearance and make it last longer.

The Best Way to Clean Your Deck

A couple times per year put together a simple water and soap solution and take a stiff brush to your deck. This will keep is shining like new.

Pressure washers are rarely recommended for a hardwood deck. When it’s time to rinse, a garden hose and spray nozzle will work just fine.

Refinishing

When you need to remove stains or age from finishes, look for a commercial cleaner that’s made specifically for hardwoods.

When refinishing, make sure to clean the deck thoroughly before you start. Some finishing products may not need to be stripped off the deck prior to applying a new coat. If you have questions about this, contact the product manufacturer.

Hardwood Decking is the Way To Go

With all the options, durability and beautify of hardwood, it’s difficult to see a better option for your new deck.

If you learned from this article, take a look at some of our ebook downloads that can further expand your knowledge base.

Good luck with your deck project!


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Use These Plug-Ins to Add Yelp, Facebook, and Google Reviews to Your Website

November 10, 2017 - By 

When you are considering going to see a movie, if you are like most people, the first thing you do is check the reviews. It has become commonplace for Google reviews to be written about everything from the Chinese restaurant down the street, to what new books you should read.

This level of feedback allows your potential customers to get what they perceive to be a more accurate image of your business than what the flattering copy on your website paints. This is one of the most important parts of digital marketing.

These reviews are impacting almost every decision we make. Reviews and ratings are what sways the masses these days.

That’s why it’s so important for you to feature Google reviews on your website. You don’t have to rely on websites like Yelp! to display what your customers have to say about you.

Keep reading to find out what plug-ins you can use to display reviews right on your website.

Tips for Marketing Using Customer Reviews

There is no one more equipped to tell your success story than your satisfied customers. That’s why it’s a great idea to include Google reviews or comments on your website that are written in your customer’s own words.

Sharing real-time reviews from your buyers on your website will show your potential customers how well you deliver on your brand promise.

A positive customer review could bring a flood of new buyers to your website, while a negative one could drive everyone away.

This is particularly true for local businesses. People in your area will be more willing to believe the Google reviews of others within their community than random strangers found across the internet.

Many potential customers will use reviews to decide whether or not to trust your business. The personal recommendations featured in Google reviews can feel like they come from a trusted friend.

The most important traits that your customers will be looking for is a business that’s reliable, has an expertise, and maintains a professional image.

By creating this polished image for your business, your customers will be more likely to spend time on your website.

That makes them more likely to buy your product.

The Benefits of Displaying Reviews

Many people believe that displaying Google reviews is a job for sites like Yelp! and Amazon, but that’s a mistake.

It’s not necessary to have a review specific website to benefit from having a rating system and displaying customer reviews on your website.

Blogging

If you run a blog, chances are you have written a review or two on a product or service that’s relevant to your website content. Although your website may not be based solely on these reviews, there can be a benefit in creating a rating system for the reviews that you do write.

Many of the plug-ins that will be discussed will allow you to create summaries of all the reviews that you write. Then the concentrated version of your review will show somewhere in the vicinity of your original post.

One of the reasons that this is beneficial is that people on the internet have notoriously short attention spans. They have developed habits like skimming a webpage for what information they think is the most relevant.

If nothing catches their eye, then they will leave your website as quickly as they came.

By giving them a taste of your Google reviews with a plug-in preview, you can create a tasty morsel to tempt your readers to dive in further and read the rest of your post.

Small Business Owners

Beyond the needs of bloggers, small business owners can benefit greatly from the addition of Google reviews to their website.

With large websites like Google Plus growing every day, many small businesses have begun to see the upside to having great reviews written about them.

Since reviews play such a large role in the decision-making process, small business owners can take advantage of these big name review sites to drive more traffic to their website. This can be a key piece in your sales or conversion funnel.

Many of the plug-ins available will allow you to moderate your reviews and approve those that show up on your blog. You can’t do this with reviews featured on Google or Yelp!.

One great example of a small business making the most of their Google reviews is Go-Forth Pest Control in Wilmington, NC. They have featured posts by their customers on their homepage to show potential clients the quality of work they’re capable of.

Featuring Google Reviews

Unlike featuring a Facebook or Yelp! review, adding Google reviews to your website won’t require you to pay for anything unless you choose to.

There is a variety of WordPress plug-ins that can make featuring Google reviews slightly easier, but there are so many free options that for the majority of applications, purchasing a plug-in will be unnecessary.

Google Places Reviews

The most basic plug-in to use is called, “Google Places Reviews”. It’s offered through Google and will display a maximum of three reviews simultaneously. There are also a number of design options and configurations that you can edit to customize the look of your review panel.

Featuring Yelp! Reviews

For many industries, Yelp! is the go-to place for reviews. This is especially true of restaurants and professional services.

Unfortunately, there aren’t a ton of options when it comes to featuring a Yelp! review on your website. That’s because Yelp! is a niche platform that focuses on specific industries.

If you operate in one of the industries that Yelp! is known for, you know the amount of clout they have.

One of the reasons their reviews are so well-respected is that they have a fake review filter that has been designed to only display actual customer reviews.

This lends credibility to the reviews featured on the website.

Yelp Widget Pro

Yelp Widget Pro is a free feature included with your WordPress subscription. It enables you to embed features of your business’s Yelp page on your WordPress website.

The cost of this subscription is about forty-five dollars a year.

When you purchase and enable this plugin, the process is relatively straightforward. You will be emailed a file that contains the plugin and you will need to download it and “unzip” it.

Then you will navigate to your WordPress site and select the large blue button that says “Upload Plugin” under the tab, “Plugins”.

Once uploaded, all that will be necessary is for you to implement some code wherever you want your reviews to appear.

In all, this process should take about five minutes to fully complete. You will have a wide variety of styling options for the display box for your reviews. You can even tweak details manually by altering the code that you add to your pages.

In addition, you can choose what reviews you want to be featured. One option is to only display five-star reviews on your website. Other options include selecting whether or not you want to display your company’s contact information and several other formatting options.

Embedding Facebook Reviews

There are a ton of different options when it comes to embedding Facebook reviews into your website. The differences between the options are mainly the ease of implementation and the format that you desire.

Feed Them Social Plugin

The most simple Facebook review plugin is called Feed Them Social.

It can be uploaded and configured directly through the WordPress Plugin Dashboard. There is no manual upload required.

By using the dashboard, you eliminate the potential for any errors to occur. For those who don’t have a lot of experience with plugins, this can be a very important feature.

Facebook Reviews Pro Plugin

A secondary option is to pay forty-five dollars for a one-year license of Facebook Reviews Pro.

This plugin was developed by the same people who created the Yelp! plugin, so its installation is nearly identical. You will need to manually insert the code where you want your reviews featured and upload the plugin into the plugin tab.

The major difference between Facebook Reviews Pro and Feed Them Social is the formatting options that are available to each.

Wrapping it Up

There is nothing more important to your potential customers than being sure that the business they’re purchasing from is trustworthy and reliable.

By featuring reviews on your website, you are giving them the ability to see what others who have used your products or services have thought about your business.

There are multiple types of reviews out there with the three most common being Google reviews, Facebook reviews, and Yelp! reviews.

Each of these has plugins available that allow you to easily add their review content to your website.

They’re all highly customizable and allow you to select fonts, colors, text size, and the size of the content box.

If you are looking for the right place to download your plug-ins, visit Pligg, a digital download marketplace that has products to drive traffic to your website today.


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10 Ways a Messenger App Can Transform Your Business

November 9, 2017 - By 

The way we communicate online has drastically changed the way a business engages their client base. In fact, a recent survey found that 50% of chatbot users claimed that using a messenger had a positive impact on their perception of a business.

A messenger app started as an easy way to chat with colleagues and friends. It has since turned into a tool for businesses to provide better customer support. But they can do so much more for a business.

We’re now seeing that companies can use these apps to help market products and services. Organizations are using this to transform customer experience and reach people in new ways.

Let’s break down the benefits these apps can bring to business operations.

1. Establish a Conversation with Your Customers

Engaging with your customers strengthens the relationship you have with them. The immediacy that a messenger app brings to this engagement is invaluable.

Two-way dialogue is one of the most powerful forms of marketing. Online messaging makes this dialogue scalable. Media-rich connectivity and personal interaction give you an edge over your competitors.

Opening the channels of communication forms a sense of familiarity and trust. Companies that provide chat services have a better chance of repeat customers and upsell revenue.

2. Customer Convenience

People can and do shop online around the clock. Thus, the service you provide shouldn’t stop at 5 pm.

If a customer has a problem or question, a messenger app allows them a line of communication at all times. In this world of urgency, they don’t want to wait until the next day for answers.

Chat services allow for instant access to your service reps 24/7. This real-time interaction keeps business operations moving. It also provides a customer experience that’s much more enjoyable than listening to hold music.

3. Personalized Customer Interaction

Personalized communication is a huge advantage in marketing. A messenger app gives a business the ability to customize their communication for each customer.

Social media allows marketers to track customer engagement. This gives a business a cross-channel view of consumers to segment. Knowing your customer’s interests lets you personalize your message to fit their needs.

Observing the dialogue between you and your customer also keys you into their preferences. This is a perfect chance for personalized offers on products and services.

4. Reach Customers on Their Terms

A key strength of a messenger app is that it allows a dialogue with a customer when and where they want it. They also have the option of conversing in their preferred messaging channel. Not only is the communication more direct, it’s done in a way that makes the customer comfortable.

An advantage to chat apps is they provide an easy way to test different audience segments. They can also be scaled depending on the region.

Because the customer can communicate when and where they want, frequency and reuse are much higher than on mobile apps.

5. Chatbots Make a Messenger App Scalable

Establishing a messenger program for your business may seem intimidating. Luckily, chatbots have made the process less stressful and more functional.

Chatbots work as autoresponders for a messaging system. They enable quick responses and allow for a large volume of chat activity. This means you can leave the more important interaction to a live service rep.

Chatbots help scale engagement and reduce the cost of live teams needed to handle calls 24/7. A system can be set up so that a live agent takes over when needed. Global App crowdsourcing testing provides web and mobile app testing for agile teams.

6. Free, Unrestricted Communication

A big problem with SMS is that there is often a cost associated. Messaging systems provide customers full access to your brand without having to worry about being charged.

Customers can also reach you anywhere in the world. Unrestricted access to product information and service will help boost customer satisfaction. It also keeps businesses running around the clock.

7. Provide a Private Outlet for Customers

If you own a business, you know you will sometimes have unsatisfied customers. A messenger app decreases the chances of a customer expressing any frustration publicly. With so many looking at reviews and feedback online, this is a great advantage.

Messengers also provide an environment for communicating sensitive data. Things like delivery information remain between the customer and service rep.

By providing a private setting you encourage direct interaction. This helps keep an unsatisfied customer out of the public eye.

8. Enhance Team Communication

We’ve been talking about how a messenger app can help your customers. But it also serves an important function internally.

These apps can be a great way to keep everyone on the same page. This is very important if you have team members working off-site. Group chats allow you to meet virtually and keep everyone up to date on important information.

You will also have the ability to store conversations that include important data. Keeping a record of conversations is a great way to stay organized and track accountability.

9. Time and Money Savers

With messenger services, you can forget about making long distance phone calls. They allow you to communicate with anyone in real time and save money on the cost of calls.

They also help cut down on travel by providing a way to meet with colleagues all over the world. You also avoid long and confusing email correspondence. Have the conversation you need to have right then and there.

10. Increase Conversion

Most people want to speak to an actual human when they call a customer service line. Unfortunately, they end up becoming frustrated by an automated system.

Carry this line of thinking into the digital world. A customer is going to want a quick interaction with someone who can help them. If you provide this service you’re going to see higher customer satisfaction.

Messaging allows for immediate service, which means high conversion.

Promote Your Business with Direct Communication

The online marketing landscape provides endless ways to reach your client base. Adding a messenger app to your brand is a great marketing tool and so much more. The service it provides your clients and internal operation is well worth the expense.

Visit our site today for digital downloads along with informative articles.