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Laura Williams

Essential Steps To Start A Blog And Should You Hire A Web Designer

Perhaps you would like to start a blog so as to promote your brand or simply share your ideas with other individuals on any particular niche. In fact, blogging is the most inexpensive way to share your thoughts with others or promote anything you like. In the following paragraphs, we are going to throw some light on how to start a blog.

1. Choose the appropriate blogging platform
Although there are lots of different platforms, each platform is going to be different from the other. Consequently, your first step prior to starting a blog will be to choose your preferred blogging platform which will help you to create your blogs without any difficulty.  You can start a blog with WordPress and a good host like BlueHost for very little upfront.  Check out this article on starting a blog with BlueHost for a walkthrough.
2. Select an attractive headline
Your content might be quite appealing, but it will be of no use without a catchy headline. A headline has got the potential to attract other individuals to any blog, and therefore, you should try to keep these headlines simple as well as powerful.
3. Comprehend your audience
Comprehending your audience implies that you have got a better idea of what content material will be able to draw their attention to your blog.
4. Obtain suggestions from the audience
It is advisable to create a blog post that will be able to answer the most interesting queries from the individuals with whom you’re interacting on the social media. In this way, you’ll be able to obtain ideas from them regarding your blog. You should try to comprehend what kind of topic will attract them the most.
5. Write regularly
One of the most crucial things which bloggers tend to ignore is consistency. You should ask yourself regarding how frequently you want to write. However, one must blog frequently so as to obtain more traffic as well as experience.
Below, we will focus on some advantages and disadvantages of starting a website on your own versus hiring somebody to do it for you.
Advantages of creating a website on your own:
1. Creating a website on your own will help you to save a considerable amount of money. On the other hand, if you employ a professional web designer, he will prove to be quite expensive for you.
2. A do-it-yourself website will provide you with lots of freedom as well as flexibility in order to create something according to your own preference, and you need not pay any additional charges for that.
3. You need to learn several essential software prior to building a site on your own, for example, HTML, Photoshop, InDesign, Flash and so on. These skills can help you in various ways in the upcoming days.
Drawbacks of creating a website on your own:
1. Creating a website yourself can be quite time-consuming since you need to invest a considerable amount of time for learning some complicated software.
2. In case you do take the help of any template, there is little chance of your website to become unique.
3. In most cases, do-it-yourself websites fail to work properly. It is very important to learn coding for which one needs to give plenty of labor.
Next, we will explain why it is better to hire a professional for creating your website.
Although it will be quite expensive to employ an expert web designer, it will give you better results in the long run. A professional has got all the required expertise as well as knowledge to make your site attractive as well as user-friendly. In fact, while some freelance web designers might charge you anything between $500 and $1,000, a large web designing company might ask for as much as $5,000 to get the job done. In case you do not have the required skills of starting your website yourself, it will be advisable to pay a professional web designer.

Tips For Travelers

Did you know that the pilot and the co-pilot of commercial flights are not allowed to eat the same food?  This is one step in ensuring that the two pilots don’t both go down, a creepy but interesting factoid about air travel.  The more you know…  If you travel a lot you’re sure to pick up on these little things here and there.  However it can get exhausting to travel for business all the time.  That’s why we have a few tips and tricks for business travelers who are sick of it already!  Don’t you want to make your life easier?

Get Global Entry / TSA Precheck

Ok, this could be a post all by itself.  However the process for getting Global Entry for me was amazingly easy.  I just did the online form, paid my $100 (which was reimbursed by Chase’s Sapphire Reserve benefits!) and got my appointment.  It was a breeze, and now I don’t have to waste time in security lines and I don’t have to take off my dang shoes!  Overall I recommend that you just get Global Entry as it includes TSA Precheck.  Why just get one?  The next time you take an international flight you’ll be kicking yourself that you didn’t get Global Entry.  Just do it.  It also includes SENTRI, which, if you’re not near the Mexican border you’ve probably never heard of.  Anyway, many businesses will reimburse their employees in order to get this.

Get All The Airline Apps

Ok, even though I’m pretty tech savvy I never got the stupid airline apps, and I never did a digital boarding pass.  I don’t know why either.  Anyway, on my recent trip to Portland I did the digital boarding pass thing and let me tell you—- I SHOULD HAVE STARTED DOING THIS A LONG TIME AGO.  It made my life so much easier.  I didn’t have to worry about losing my boarding pass in some pocket, and it just reduced the amount of stuff I had to carry.  This plus having TSA Precheck made gettin gon my flight SO easy.  I’m telling you.

Try Not To Check A Bag

Like my friend Leigh Gordon states on her blog, not checking a bag makes your life about 1000 times easier.  Her top tips for business travel post last week was great – it outlined the time you will save if you not only have TSA Precheck, a digital boarding pass, but if you can skip that damn checkin to check your bag you will be SO MUCH HAPPIER.  However, some flights are also charging for a checked bag, so make sure you know what your airline’s policies are.

Get Good Headphones

Look, if you can afford it, get some noise canceling headphones.  And use them.  Blocking out the damn hum of a plane is a luxury you definitely need to experience.  This is especially true if you are seated in an exit row or you are seated in the back of the plane (a very noisy area).

Stopping Malware Before It Starts

hacker3Malware is a huge concern for computer users, especially those that browse the internet frequently, download software, open emails – basically the average computer user!  However there are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to preventing malware.  Here are a few tips and tricks to keep your computer safe and sound.

How does malware get on in the first place?  There are a number of different distribution avenues.  Malware can piggyback with legitimate software (often what happens when you download software from free software sites and file sharing networks).  It can get on your computer through opening email attatchments that are infected.  It can even hop onto your computer from a website without any interaction from you!  This is what is known as a drive by installation and it usually takes advantage of security holes in your browser.

What can you do to prevent these things?  The first step is to install antivirus software and anti-malware software.  These programs will hopefully stop malware before it gets on your PC, or it can remove it quickly if it does get past your defenses.  I recommend Norton software as well as Spyhunter 4 from Enigma software.

Keep up to date on security blogs such as Krebs on Security, CNet, and Martinus Tech.  These blogs will alert you to security holes, patches, risks, and more.  Knowledge is power when it comes to preventing computer catastrophe.  If you know what the threats are you can more easily avoid them.  For example, after reading about a new security threat on Krebs On Security, I updated my browser software.  That’s something I might have slacked on if I hadn’t read that there was a big direct threat to versions of Firefox.

Another thing to do is to always update your software when updates are available.  These updates often patch security holes and will protect you against threats.  I suggest that you always enable auto-updates so you don’t forget to update them.  When you add more and more programs it can be difficult to remember to update them all the time.

Always have a backup of your data as well.  We highly recommend using cloud backup services such as Backblaze and MyPCBackup.  The advantage to these programs is that you don’t have to remember to back up your computer – these programs do it for you.  Also, it’s an offsite backup which can be incredibly valuable in certain situations.  For example, even if you have an external hard drive attached to your computer doing backups all the time, a malware such as a ransomware program can STILL get on those drives if they are continuously connected.

Another thing to do is to avoid bad internet areas such as adult sites, gambling sites, hacking forums, and other shady areas of the internet.  These are more likely to have infections and malware.  Even though any site is liable to get hacked, those areas of the internet (especially adult sites) are well known to be more risky in terms of malware.

Whatever you do, ensure that you’re always prepared to deal with malware intrusions.  Stay up to date and keep informed!



New Surface Pro 4 And Surface Book

surfaceproandsurfacebookAs a lifetime user of Microsoft products (yep, never drank the Apple kool-aid except for my iPhone and iPad) for general work, photo, and video use, I’m super excited to see that Microsoft is making some very cool things lately.  I almost bought a Surface Pro 3 last month, but after doing some research I was convinced to wait for the latest update with the Surface Pro 4.  I’m glad I did, because the new version just came out.

However, I also saw that there is now a Surface Book option.  The Surface Book is more of a laptop type device, and stands to be a bit more powerful.  The attractive factor with the Surface Book is that it is actually much more suited for lap-use than the Surface Pro, which is more of a tablet than a laptop.

So now I am in quite a quandry.  I’m horrible at making decisions, so needless to say that although I was excited about the Surface Book I was also annoyed that now I have to choose!  (Okay, maybe that’s not really a problem).

The thing is, right now I use a standalone computer for video editing, and a laptop for general business use and coffee shop-ing.  I’ve been doing this because I didn’t want to run Premiere on a laptop as it seems it would be handicapped.  But the advancement of hardware has been so great lately that it almost seems possible to run Premiere Pro on a laptop.  The Surface Book’s specs are rather tempting in this regard.

However I also don’t want to feel constrained on ONE workstation.  Of course I would use external hard drives, but having everything on one single machine scares me a little bit.

It would be kind of nice to edit video on the road, although I am not sure how often I would need to do that.

The portability of the Surface Pro 4 is quite attractive – it’s slim and quite light.  And it’s powerful enough to edit photos and maybe do a smidgen of video editing if I had to.  But the thing I would get it for is business work. I hate dragging my laptop around with me when I go on trips – even at 4 pounds it’s still kind of heavy and annoying.

At this point I’m inclined to just get the Surface Pro 4 and save some money and just get a dedicated video editing rig like I usually do.  It would be really fun to have a super light and portable tablet / laptop that has an actual OS on it.

Have you used the Surface Pro?  Are you going to get one?  Are you interested in the Surface Book?  Let us know in the comments!