Can Pornography Blocking Software Rescue Our Kids From the Internet’s Dark Side?

The trend of more kids gaining access to porn sites should not surprise or even alarm you. What should alarm you is the number of parents who are doing nothing to stop this growing trend. It is not our kids who should be blamed that the search term “porn” is the sixth most searched keyword out of one hundred keywords used by kids. There are other terms you would think kids would be using, that are more geared towards kids, that rank higher than porn does. There are at least ten other keywords, all related to something sexual, that run from number four all the way up to number ninety-five. So sexually-related content is mixed all throughout kids’ internet searches. Nine out of ten kids have seen porn online, even by mistake. This can happen while they are just doing their homework. How can you put up with this? Are you going to be among the group of parents who just stand by and let it happen? Or are you going to be one of the action-oriented parents who are doing something to put a pornography block on our computers to prevent this exposure to our kids?

The best line of defense with this issue is by using some sort of internet filter or similar pornography blocking software. The choice of pornography blocking software is numerous, and all claim to be able to keep porn sites from in front of your kid’s eyes. And the newer the software, the greater the technology and therefore the greater the ability to do just that. More and more, the ability to decide what your kids see are in your hands and in your control. You get to decide what is important for your kids to gain access to, and what is harmful or unhealthy to their growing into respectable and responsible adults.

For pornography blocking software, you can take one of three possible routes to achieve what you want, and each are dependent upon your computer usage and set up. The first kind of pornography block uses its filter settings to piggyback what you have already set up on your Windows-based system, and is ideal if you have multiple users on one computer, each with their own account and login. The second pornography block is what is called “program specific” and goes after…well, it goes after a program specific approach. The third type of pornography block will be customizable and uses both of the previous two types, Windows-based, multiple-user login and program specific, in its approach. You will have to determine, based on your own set up and needs, which of the three types will best suit your situation.

You will find that one of the most common features of pornography blocking software is its ability to categorize Internet usage for site blocking purposes. You will get more categories depending on the software you purchase. Obviously, the more categories you can specify, the more effective control you will gain. Most software will use either a database built right into its software, or an online database, that contains lists of sites known for their objectionable content. The software will then compare the site you are trying to access with what is in its database, and decide whether you can pass on in or get shut out. If the site is not in the database, you should at least be able to manually allow access or not.

There is no easy, one-size-fits-all solution to the problem of blocking porn and questionable sites from your children. With the rapid growth of porn sites, it is hard to keep up with and the software you get today may not be effective next week. But, just getting a pornography blocking software is a step in the right direction. You have to admit that this is better than doing nothing at all. Now, if you can find a software program that updates itself to include the most recent additions to the world of filth and garbage, then you are truly taking action to protect your kids. We as a world look forward to seeing your responsible children when they enter the adult world, ready with healthy minds to take action to protect their kids from pornography and questionable material.

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Teens and Pornography: Let’s Talk

Seriously, let’s talk. That wasn’t just meant to be a catchy title. It is time that we, as parents, start talking to our teenagers about their struggles with pornography. This problem is not going away; if anything, it will become more and more prevalent as the avenues for teenagers to view porn continue to expand. Teens are able to view porn through so many mediums that it is almost impossible to monitor everything. If a teenager wants to look at porn, they will likely find a way. The days where parents could lock down their teenager and completely block access to porn are slowly going away. Computer blocks? Many teens know how to bypass. Taking the computer away? What about all the phones and other devices with access to internet? You know…the ones that their friends have at school. What about all the kids out there who are willing to send your teenager pornographic texts? What about separate hard drives that you know nothing about? Parents are less able to police their teen’s access to porn than ever before. So what can parents do to help their teens who struggle with porn?

TALK ABOUT IT.

It is time that we lay everything on the table. It is time that we stop treating pornography addiction amongst teens as a secret sin that only a minority struggle with. The fact is that almost every teen will be exposed to pornography at some point. As parents, educators, counselors and pastors let’s stop tip-toeing around this issue as if we are still living in the 80′s when teens had to sneak to the corner store to try to catch a glimpse of the PLAYBOY magazines that were hidden behind the counter. This issue is no longer an isolated one. We must bring it out of the closet so that it can be dealt with in healthier ways. We must also stop dealing with pornography addiction in the same way we deal with a teenager who breaks curfew or who is caught in a lie. Pornography addiction is real and teenagers are a prime target to get hooked. They are curious about sex, underdeveloped emotionally, crave acceptance and attention and face unbelievable amounts of daily pressure they are ill-equipped to deal with. They almost all deal with shame on some level. A high percentage of them are extremely vulnerable to pornography addiction and are forced to deal with it in secret, which simply adds fuel to the fire. Handling pornography addiction by grounding your teen or taking away their cell phone for a week does nothing to address the real problem; that your teen is fighting a losing battle against a powerful enemy. Shaming them for it only feeds the animal. It is time we start coming alongside our teens in the fight for their hearts against the seductive and powerful forces of porn. It is time to stop punishing them and to start empowering them. I’m not talking about the teen that loves indulging in porn, sees nothing wrong with it and has no desire to stop. I am talking about the myriad of young men who escape into pornography, feel unbearable amounts of shame for it, are too frightened to tell anyone, and become caught up in a progressive web of addiction. These boys don’t need a good spanking…….they need parents who fearlessly go into the darkness with them. They need adults who face this battle realistically, knowing that their boys are going to fail as much as they succeed in the fight. These young men need counselors and mentors who will come alongside of them and help them find healthier ways to deal with the pressures and uncertainties of young adulthood. They need pastors and youth pastors who model intimacy with God so that these teens see that there is another way to handle life other than fantasy and escapism. They need adults who show them that the road of pornography is a path that promises so much but produces nothing for their lives except shame, poor relationships, and slavery to its demands. These teenagers need adults who are willing to talk with them about their desire to view porn.

So…let’s talk. Here are some tips for parents as they face this all-important issue:

• Be Proactive: Don’t wait for your teenager to come to you about pornography. It’s not enough to tell them you are there if they need to talk. Assume that they have had some kind of exposure to pornography and approach them. Be bold in confronting them about porn. The abundance of porn is no secret. Don’t bury your head in the sand and hope your teen is the exception. Be strong, sit him down, and talk to him maturely and with compassion.

• Be Prepared: Better acquaint yourself with the technology that gives your kids access to porn. Understand how they can get it, where they can store it, and the ways you can help them to control it. Also, do some research on the effects pornography addiction has on those who are caught up in it. There are many negative ramifications. It’s not just that pornography is lustful and, therefore, a sin. The dangers of porn are much more specific than that. Pornography addiction dehumanizes women and desensitizes men’s view of them; pornography is also a way to avoid genuine intimacy; reliance upon it can create huge problems when a man wants to be emotionally intimate with his girlfriend or spouse; pornography sets a man up for sexual problems later as normal marital sex, over the long term, cannot compete with the intensity and deviancy of porn. It sets up unrealistic expectations that only lead to dissatisfaction and the desire to act out again. This list is by no means exhaustive. The long-term effects of pornography addiction are a perfect example of the Enemy’s strategy of luring us in with promises of pleasure and then destroying us over a period of time. If you are going to march into battle with your teenager, make sure you are prepared.

• Be Patient: This is where many parents, especially Christian parents, falter. Many Christian parents still view pornography addiction as a behavior that must be continually punished rather than a serious issue that must be healed. Because of this perception, parents often dish out consequences and punishment when their teens fall “once again.” Dealing with pornography is uncomfortable and parents want the problem to go away quickly. They want their teenager to obey the rules and just “stop looking at it.” I wish it were always that easy. Pornography addiction is just that…an addiction. If we could simply snap our fingers and stop doing what we’re addicted to then there would be no need for any kind of rehabilitation programs or, for that matter, diets for those who can’t stop overeating. By the time that many teens realize that pornography is adversely affecting their lives they are already addicted. Parents must understand that this addiction will not go away immediately and that the teen is going to take steps both forward and back as they try to overcome the problem. Certainly parents need to work with a counselor in setting up household rules and boundaries that help to limit the behavior. However, the actual behavior is only a symptom of an underlying wound in the heart that must be healed. This is why parents need to approach the problem of pornography as it really is; a journey in which they come alongside their teen for better and for worse. If parents become impatient and start to resort, once again, to punishment as a way to handle the behavior the teenager simply begins the process of shameful hiding; the same process that led them down the road to addiction in the first place.

• Be Perseverant: Don’t give up on your teenager. Let them know that you will stick by their side through thick and through thin as they struggle against a powerful enemy. When you catch your teen viewing pornography AGAIN, show him compassion and strength rather than frustration and condemnation. Pornography addiction is real and it is vying for the hearts and souls of our young men. Be a warrior for your kids. When they are weak, lift them up with courage, resolve, and the encouragement to go on. Let them know that their problem with porn does not define their value; that they are your son and your love for them doesn’t fluxuate based on their when they are winning or when they are losing this battle. Continually help them to find the resources they need for the journey. When you find pornography in the home get rid of it and re-establish your defenses by adapting passwords, evaluating accountability software and parental controls. Consequences are also okay but the overriding theme must be understanding and love. Finally, be persistent in your prayers. This is a spiritual battle we are in. Intercede often for your sons and for your families. Lead your son to an intimate, ongoing relationship with God. The closer he walks with the Lord, the less he will want to turn to pornography when life gets difficult. Bottom line…….don’t give up and understand that your teen is not evil but simply in a fight for his life. Stay in the fight with him.

Parents, it is time to bring this issue out into the open. There is a dark power in secrecy, one that feeds the need to turn to pornography in order to lift one’s mood and escape the stresses of life. It’s time to take that weapon away from the Enemy. Let’s lift the curtain and trust that scripture is correct when it says that the truth sets us free. Let’s stop punishing and start communicating. We have fallen behind the Enemy in this war for the souls of our teens. He has infiltrated their lives and ensnared them with powerful shackles. He’s also done it by using sex and porn; subjects that many Christians see as taboo, awkward and try to avoid. In essence, Satan has assaulted our teens and used us to make the situation worse.

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Unwanted Online Adult Content and Pornography – We Can Take Control

Has it happened to you? Have you been online browsing, perhaps doing research, and you mistype a URL (you thought you had the correct website) and suddenly, up pops an adult site, which you have no desire to see. Perhaps it gets worse, and you get more and more and more…and you effectively lose control of your machine until you reboot. Annoying at best…and it could be worse…perhaps you had to reboot and you lost important work.

Has this happened to your child while doing homework? Nine out of ten children between the ages of 8 and 16 have been exposed to online pornography, and most of the time it happened by accident while they were doing work for school. How bad is that?

The average age of first internet exposure to pornography is 11 years old. Last year 28% of all youth Internet users reported unwanted exposure to online pornography.

In 2006, three years ago, US revenue from Internet pornography was $2.8B. That is a lot of pornography online. There are over 80,000,000 web pages with pornographic images and there are new sites appearing daily.

It is not just the accidental views that create a problem, and it is not just a problem for children.

10% of adults admit to Internet sexual addiction. 47% of families say that pornography is an issue in their homes. Two thirds of divorce lawyers say that excessive interest in online pornography played a significant role in divorces.

These are not problems that we are helpless to prevent or to protect ourselves against. We have greater choice than internet or no internet. We have the ability to take charge and to bring ourselves a G-Rated internet experience.

There are three primary mechanisms for obtaining a G-Rated internet: physical, legal and mechanical.

The physical solution is simply to ensure that computer usage takes place in a public location. Keep computers in family areas at home and not in private rooms. Use your computer where others can see, at least peripherally what you are doing. This does not prevent the accidental stumbling on of unwanted sites, but it helps to prevent the temptation to “just take a quick peak” at some questionable site. It keeps children from playing where they should not.

The legal solution is to diligently report unwanted sites and online experiences. Report them to your ISP. Report them to the local authorities. Most police organizations and certainly the FBI diligently track and prosecute those who abuse the internet by forcing unwanted adult content down our throats.

The mechanical approach is not really mechanical at all…it involves using software solutions to prevent the unwanted content, the pornography, from appearing. There are many solutions which monitor chat, text messages, email, etc. These can detect and even block inappropriate online conversations, alert parents or other adults to potentially hazardous online situations and help to prevent long term damage to reputations.

Detecting inappropriate images is more complex. There are not many solutions out there, fewer than fifteen, and mostly they don’t really work all that well. There are two fundamental problems:

1) True image analysis is very complex and requires substantial compute power, more than your PC or laptop;

2) Sites often have dynamic content so what a site that was fine one day may be inappropriate the next.

Most solutions rely on URL name white and black lists to keep “bad” sites from showing up. These can certainly help, but they cannot address the dynamic content problem, and new sites are coming along so often that the black and white lists are always out of date. Some products claim to do true image analysis based on skin tones and colors entirely on your laptop or desktop. True, accurate image analysis is complex and requires significant compute power as well as continual tuning and updating. The average laptop or desktop cannot provide compute power to execute true and accurate image analysis.

You can take control of your internet experience. Using tools like those mentioned here, or which have similar capabilities, can provide you with a G-Rated internet experience. When the tools fail, report those failures to the vendors, and report the sites to your ISP and to the authorities. Use common sense when using and placing your computer. By combining these three approaches, you can go back to have enjoyable internet experiences despite the proliferation of unwanted adult content and pornography online.

Launched in 2009 in cooperation with Milabra and based on their proprietary analytic technology, Online Chaperone believes that families have the absolute right to have a G-Rated internet experience in their homes, that they have the right to know with certainty that no one in the family need to be exposed to unwanted images, adult content or pornography and that the Internet is intended to be fun, safe and clean, and that it should encourage learning and socializing without exposing innocent eyes to unwelcome pictures. Online Chaperone offers URL, image and text analysis products.

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Is a Pornography Addiction a Big Deal?

There are many wide ranging views on pornography, not to mention a pornography addiction. Some people view all pornography as an illness while others feel that it’s really nobody’s concern what you view in your own home. In order to meet the standard criteria set forth to qualify as an addiction, one would have to say that if the user can’t go without watching their pornography, there is a problem.

One of the biggest problems with ignoring a pornography addiction is that it can lead to more severe behaviors. It’s not that big of a step from the chronic use of porn to heightening the level of the high by heightening the seriousness of the pornography. This can lead to moving onto sadistic and child pornography and then into things like snuff films. All of these are highly illegal and can certainly be considered immoral even by those who support the use of adult pornography.

Many pornography addicts move toward sexual addiction. While it’s not true for all individuals who are thoroughly addicted to pornography, there is a link between escalating behaviors and escalating pornography preferences.

The chronic use of pornography is not just a men’s disease. There are plenty of women addicts who fly under the radar because they are women. Most people, even some professionals, have a strong gender bias when it comes to women and their use of pornography.

Regardless of where you stand on the issue itself, any behavior that interferes with normal relationships, family time, and work related issues is problematic. Many addicts choose to use the late night hours when the household is asleep before they delve into serious pornography. This allows them privacy. Privacy is the first step to hiding the frequency as well as the content of the pornography of choice.

It can be difficult to recognize the signs when you have a rather open mind on the issue. If you feel there is nothing wrong with watching the material, it may be much harder for you to be able to recognize the symptoms of an actual addiction.

Getting help for an addiction to pornography is vital. This is generally not an addiction that can be handled on one’s own because access is so incredibly easy. It may not seem like it, but to an addict of pornography even suggestive television can prompt urges. It is within everyone’s best interest that an addict receives intervention counseling as soon as possible. The loss of family, friends, and livelihood can depend on how early treatment is sought and accepted.

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Pornography As a Turn-On for Fun-Driven Adult Sex

Adventurous couples can buy a pornographic video and watch it together. That is generally a surefire way to end up in bed. In fact, it is usually when couples are in bed that they watch such films. And if the film is a good one they will enjoy being turned on as they watch it. Many couples find that the provocative content stimulates them to duplicate what is being viewed. They are impulsively driven to touch each other, kid around, mimic the sex acts, and swing from the imagined chandelier as they tickle each other’s fancy.

In many countries in the world, including most industrialized ones, pornography is not banned or hidden from view. For example, at King’s Cross district in Sydney, Australia a section of the city is designated to show and sell pornography Sex oriented videos, DVDs, books, sex toys, lubricants, assumed aphrodisiacs, are sold in kiosks and stores. Strip clubs, restaurants, massage parlors and other clubs are available to meet members of the opposite sex.

In Europe, in many countries, and cities pornography is not hidden and thus available for adults. In all the countries there are restrictions to the sale of pornography to children and prosecution of offenders is open and continuous.

In the US pornography is not banned from sale to adults although there is no tolerance on anyone abusing the Child Pornography laws.

But for the purpose of improving the sex life of adults pornography has a place for some. Do you have to be lonely or hard-up to use porn? The answer is No. Porn can be a substitute for sex for many lonely and sex starved adults, mainly men, and for adults without a partner who like visual stimulation for self-arousal.

Finally, let’s examine whether pornography can fit into the armamentarium of the average adult who wishes for increased stimulation for lovemaking. What can porno offer?
As with any movie there is added stimulation by watching real pictures compared to imaging such scenes. Some porno videos actually tell a reasonable story where there is more than just sexual exploitation. So some selection is necessary. Google is a good resource to discover what are considered the best sex videos made in the past few decades.

Beside adding visual stimulation couples can mimic what they see, learn about new positions, empathize with the excitement of the sex partners, imagine participating in the viewed sex, experience sex beyond their own interests, such as gay, bi, S and M, bondage, oral and anal sex, and the use of fetishes. Some show dancing, foreplay that could be stimulating and perhaps above all can act as a stimulus to open the viewers to become freer and lustier about sex.

If you attempt to try out the benefits of sex videos and it is new to you imagine becoming an adventurer and explorer so you don’t take a negative bias into your viewing. An open mind will allow you to gain what might be there for you. At the very worst it won’t have any effect on you and may even turn you off. If so, just chalk it up as another interesting experience.

To determine if pornography may be a stimulus for your personal sex life approach its use openly. It might be a new vehicle for greater enjoyment of sex for occasional use or even frequent use. Remember adults have no restrictions on what they mutually do and prefer behind closed doors. So enjoy the movies and enjoy the sex and know you have taken another step to gaining a new stimulus for sex and love.

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There Are Really Only Four Ways To Make Money

People are always looking for money. We need finance to exist in this life, no matter who we are. Millions of people everyday are trying all sorts of gimmicks and get-rich-quick schemes and millions more are being hoodwinked with scams. There are really only four ways to make money!

FOUR WAYS TO MAKE MONEY

WIN IT. Not a sure way to raise finance and many people end up losing more than they win as they try to gamble their way to riches.

INHERIT IT. Not a sure way either. You have to have some rich relatives who think you’re the best thing after sliced bread.

BEG, BORROW or STEAL IT. Absolutely not recommended. All are short-lived with long-term consequences. Fraud, scams, dishonest dealings and lies have a short life. Ask “Bernie” Madoff, an American swindler, former stockbroker, investment advisor and financier trusted by thousands. He got away with his nefarious schemes for a long time, but they finally caught up with him. The FIFA chaps also found that this is a slippery slope.

TRADE SOMETHING FOR IT. Now we are talking! You either have to trade your TIME, ASSETS or EXPERTISE for money. There is no other way to real financial independence.

Once you understand this, the rest is much easier to figure out.

Ask yourself:

Do I have time available? Get a full-time or part-time job and work for someone. Look for opportunities or create them. Join sites like elance.com or fiverr.com and offer your services. Remember, though, you only have so many hours in a day.

Do I have assets I can trade for money? Good question. You can get into Affiliate Marketing by recommending products from online marketplaces like Amazon, ClickBank, JVZOO and get paid good commissions for sales without having to handle the goods and finance yourself. Then you have eBay, Craigslist, OLX, Bid&Buy and a host of other sites that allow you to buy and sell. You can even sell at Fleamarket stalls, and bazaars. There are opportunities everywhere.

Do I have some expertise? This is a far better question and the results are more satisfying. Write some short reports and sell them to people who need to know what you know. Write Kindle books and publish them for free on Amazon’s global platform – and earn great royalties ranging from 30% to 70%. Teach courses on Udemy. Run seminars and webinars.

Why would people want to pay you for information when they can find it free on the internet?

Simply because they have to search for the information they want, sift out the good from the not-so-good and put it all together in a workable plan. It’s so much easier to pay someone who knows exactly what to do and worth the money as they exchange their cash for your expertise.

Think about it. Everybody knows something that others want to know. You can write one course, one eBook or one report and sell it over and over again.

All you need are some creative ideas.

You can get the “how to” by asking Google and watching some YouTube videos that walk you through the technical side of things.

I have an Author friend who ends every teaching session with the words: “Now Go Home… and Write Something.”

I end this article with the same thought: Now Go Home… and Trade Something!

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The Best Personal Development Tools Recommended

Anytime I remember the beginning of my journey into establishing my presence and business online, I smile and laugh because of how I run my business back then. The truth is that I didn’t have any direction. Remembering those days when I drag myself out of bed to do a bit of blogging here and there, and placing ads on those blogs still makes me laugh.

I didn’t set any goals for myself and was not cocksure of what I really wanted to achieve. The resultant effect of this was that I bounced from opportunity to opportunity because I was distracted by the different kinds of marketing strategies and ideas that captivated my unfocused and goalless mind. But the day came when I realised that results only comes from focused efforts in one or two areas.

The reason am telling you this is because I want you to learn from my past experience and to relate it to what I am going to talk about. Apart from not having any clear cut plan, I also didn’t have any personal development tools in my arsenal to ensure a continuous success. Believe me, for you to build your dream business (I assume this is the reason you are reading this post) or climb the highest mountain in the world, you need the “right” tools to accomplish this.

Just like a mountaineer needs the “right tools” to climb the mountain, a business owner also needs the “right tools” to use in order to achieve success in their business. You have to embrace personal development because ignoring it will definitely be to your detriment. Those who ignore personal development on a personal and corporate level will surely experience stunted business and personal growth. Hence, the right personal development tools must be utilized alongside a focused plan to achieve and ensure success.

Over the years, I have come across different type of tools and resources which have contributed to my success in the different industries I have been and am involved in. Though these tools are a big part of my ongoing learning process (yes, I am still learning because I want to sustain my success), the success I have attained in my physical rehabilitation business can be attributed to a strong personal development plan and the right tools I use in order to keep me on the right track.

You see, this applies to every aspect of your life too and I want to help you with that. In this post, I will share with you some of the key personal development tools I have come across on my business journey. Like I said at the beginning of this post, apart from not having a clear cut goal, I also struggled with a lot of personal issues, one of which was confidence and self-assurance.

As I am being honest with myself, I also want you to be honest with yourself because I know that once you use these tools am about to teach you, your life and business will be positively affected. So open your mind. Know what you want to get out of this post and what you want to change because this is the first step to positively change your life and business.

1. TED

Have you ever heard about the TED talks? And if you have, how many of these talks have you watched and listened to, and how many of the individuals giving speeches on this site are you following? If you haven’t heard about the TED talks, then you are about to find out what it’s all about.

TED (Technology, Entertainment, and Design) talk is a global set of conferences run by a private non-profit organization known as the Sapling Foundation, under the slogan “Ideas Worth Spreading”. It is one of the best free resources on the internet for education, fresh ideas and enlightenment as far as business and mind-set issues are concerned.

It is a website where people watch videos on a variety of different topics. Though some of the videos there might not be related to what you are looking for, you will surely find some that you will be of use to you. One thing I also want you to know is that the individuals who give speeches on this site are some of the smartest and most successful people in business and in the fields they specialize in. I highly recommend that you check out this site, see what stirs your mind and apply the ideas being discussed.

2. Mindbloom

As the name suggest, the aim of this site is to enhance your life. This site enables you to work on whatever it is you want to work on by way of creating a “tree” for free. One of the core aspects of Mindbloom is the “bloom” programme. Apart from using it to wake up on the right side of your day, you can also use Bloom as your morning wake-up call, to remind yourself to eat a healthy snack between meals, to shift gears after work by scheduling a bloom with your favourite song and family photos, to remind yourself to pack lunch so as to save a few dollars each day.

You might think these “little things” have no effect on your life, but I can assure you that it had and is still having a great effect on mine. So these “little things” can improve the quality of your life and there are many more personal development tools on this website that can help you with the different aspects of your life. I definitely recommend that you check out this site.

3. Udemy

This is another site that I strongly recommend you check out immediately. If you are looking for a course in a particular area, look no further than Udemy. The site provides a wide range of courses on different subjects. Just name it and Udemy will probably provide a well-structured course on it. These courses are handled by experts who have excelled in their different fields. So you are definitely in good hands.

Let’s also look at this from a business perspective. We all know that knowledge is power (that is if the knowledge is put into action) and the more knowledge you have, the more valuable you become. By being more valuable in your chosen niche, you will be able to improve your business income by improving yourself and the business. Less I forget, it is worth knowing that some of the courses on this site are free. What can you get for free these days? What are you waiting for? Check out this site.

4. Lumosity

This is another mind blowing site designed and maintained by neuroscientists. Yes, these neuroscientists really know what they are talking about when it comes to the optimal performance of the brain, the subconscious and conscious mind. Believe me, just as you know your conscious mind is always at work, your subconscious mind too is “never” on holiday.

The development of the mind is so important because the state of your mind can either positively or negatively affect any endeavour you undertake. This is why am also recommending this site for you. The strength of the mind is equally as important as the strength of the will. With more than 50 million users, many paying $15/month or $80/year for full access, the services being offered on the site has caught on like wildfire. Like anything other personal or business endeavour, you only get out what you put in.

As a company, Lumosity work with over 100 researchers all over the globe. Test results after a 10-week period have shown that after working with 4000 participants completing crosswords, half online and half on Lumosity, the Lumosity group improved more than the crosswords group on an assessment of cognition. Like it or not, the statistics are strong. So it may be worth a go.

5. Vision Board Deluxe

This is a great app which does pretty much what it says on the tin. You are at liberty to create your own vision board which will propel your success even further than you think. And this can be done on the go by using your phone or tablet. You may be familiar with this concept of creating a vision board and why people do it if you are a big fan of personal development. And in case you are not or you want more information on this, let me explain.

As I have said before, your subconscious mind is always working. In fact, whether you realise it or not, it’s working really hard, even right now as you read this post, filtering all kinds of stimuli from the environment around you. If it doesn’t do that, you would go completely mad from everything you have to process. But the subconscious mind is far more important than just filtering all kinds of stimuli. It is also the most important factor in many successful people’s journeys.

Once you create a vision board, you activate your subconscious mind by constantly reminding it that what you are doing is so important. You are focusing your mind on what you truly want and because of the excellent bit of kit it is, it will work to ensure you receive everything you desire. You may not fully understand this idea (though I would be happy if you could catch this idea right away), but I promise you, your subconscious will open doors and your eyes to opportunities you didn’t even know were there.

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Digital Marketing on a Budget in 2017

The most important thing about cost-effective marketing is to focus on high-return activities. Different channels work for different companies, there’s no one-size-fits-all. If there’s one thing we know though it’s that you should absolutely spend money on marketing your business online. Even a budget of $1,500 can go a long way.

Research $0

The great thing about research is that the only resource you’ll need to spend is your time. If you don’t do thorough research before spending your first marketing dollar you probably won’t put the remaining $1,499 to particularly good use.

A good place to start is by doing a quick Google search of your industry, identifying patterns, understanding consumer behaviour, studying your competition, and even reaching out to your target audience for first-hand market research. The data you collect during this process will serve as the foundation of your campaign.

Certainly, there are ways you can spend money on research. There are organizations that sell reports with seemingly critical information, as well as tools that’ll pull data from around the web for your consideration. Services like Springwise and Trendwatching are great for this, but can be a bit pricey. There’s more than enough free information out there to help get you off the ground.

Email marketing $350

In spite of all the new tools and techniques, email marketing continues to prevail as one of the most effective marketing methods you could implement. The fact is, your email list is gold – these are people who have responded to your outreach, opted in and are primed to hear from you. If you do nothing else, take advantage of email marketing and center your campaign around it.

So what does $350 get you? Right now, it’s the equivalent of a one-year subscription to MailChimp, which needs no introduction. An email list of 2,001-2,500 contacts will cost you $30/mo, technically totalling $360/year. Depending on the size of your list and needs, you can pay more or less – it’s free for up to 500 contacts.

New apps such as Conversio, showcased on my startup’s website evercloud.co, allows you to easily grow revenues by supercharging existing customers through intelligent email receipts and thus increasing lifetime customer value.

Video marketing $300

According to Cisco, consumer internet video traffic will account for 80 percent of all consumer Internet traffic globally in 2019. That is a whopping 64% increase from 2014. For marketers, if you’re not already taking advantage of the impact that videos have in your content marketing strategy, then you absolutely have to jump on the bandwagon.

Posting unique content to YouTube or Vimeo and sharing it on relevant social media channels can help establish an online presence. Of course you can also just share interesting third-party videos to your followers if they’re relevant, but it’s also important to create your own videos.

Alternatively, you can sell videos on Udemy, an online learning platform, which can be a powerful sales vehicle for individuals and businesses who want to share their knowledge and leverage their expertise and generate a scalable, recurring revenue stream.

Costs associated with video marketing can vary. Video editing software and hosting doesn’t come cheap, services such as JWPlayer cost $300/year, but can easily prove to be a very shrewd investment.

Paid social media marketing $450

With a bit of testing you will quickly know which social media platform to focus your content creation and promotion efforts on. This isn’t to say that you should forget about posting or interacting on other channels. But when it comes to spending money, nail it down to the one or two platforms you’re confident will get the best engagement.

Once you’ve identified your channels, start promoting your best content with paid ads. Get up and running with a business page on Facebook or promote content from any type of account on Twitter, Instagram, and/or LinkedIn. A Twitter card, for instance, can give you a brand boost and build your email list at the same time. LinkedIn not only offers boosted posts, but also detailed analytics that helps ensure your posts are reaching your desired market. That $450 budget will prove one of the most inexpensive ways available to get your message in front of (highly targeted) new eyes. When used effectively, any major social media site can help you gain traction and collect followers quickly, leading to more interaction and sales in the future.

Sometimes managing all your social media and online presence can be time-consuming. That’s where companies like Hootsuite and Mention become extremely useful. Hootsuite lets you manage all your social media pages from one dashboard and has other tools such as scheduling your posts, and Mention is your eyes and ears for what people are saying about your brand online. And then there are newer services, like Kickstagram, a platform to successfully manage and make the most out of your Instagram account. Additionally, Publicfast lets you connect with social media influencers, which can have a massive impact on your social media efforts. And of course you can always outsource your social media marketing to pros like GoodAudience, who have the knowledge and experience to really grow your social media presence.

Don’t be afraid to look beyond social media platforms – community sites like Quora, Reddit, and Medium can be a great way to advertise your product or service. Just make sure you aren’t blatantly promoting your business, it won’t be well-received!

Content Marketing $400

Never underestimate the power of good content. Blog posts, infographics, whitepapers, eBooks, newsletters, whitepapers, videos, webinars, the list goes on! If you’re not a confident writer or simply don’t have the time to dedicate to writing your own blog you can look into outsourcing this task. Blog Hands is a blog content writing service meaning your blog will be one less thing to worry about, and costs are completely dependent on the length and number of blog posts you’d like. Allocating roughly $400 would be a good place to start, which would get you ten 400-word blog posts. 400 words is a bit on the short side, but they also have plans for 800, 1,200, and 2,000-word blog posts. The key here is to post relevant content that shows visitors your company is a thought leader in your respective field, while also helping with search engine optimization.

Ultimately, the strategies you choose to invest in may be different, and they probably should be, as every business and every target audience is different. What works for one group of followers may fall flat with another, which is why research and ongoing testing is so important. But what I want you to walk away knowing is that marketing doesn’t have to break the bank to be effective. With just $1,500 and a little research, you can successfully implement a full-stack digital marketing campaign. The great thing is that you will quickly learn what works and what doesn’t, and you can re-allocate your budget accordingly.

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How to Learn SEO: What Training Methods Are Best?

At its heart, SEO (search engine optimisation) is simple. The basics of SEO haven’t really changed since Google first started dominating the way people search the internet: make each page relevant to the topic it’s about; keep to just one topic per page; get some proof that it’s a worthy page by getting links pointing back to it.

Of course, like everything that’s outwardly simple, there are a lot of small details that need to be right.

Which is where SEO training comes in.

There are a number of different ways you can get SEO training:

Learn online

This can be done via articles such as this one, videos on YouTube, forums that deal with internet marketing and quite a few other sources.

Whilst this can be cheap – depending on how much you value your time – you need a certain amount of knowledge in order to be able to filter out information that’s no longer relevant or is just plain wrong.

For instance, a lot of the finer details of techniques such as link building change over time as Google does its best to reduce or remove the influence of the spammier techniques.

Which means that, yes, links are still important but some links are better than others and how the link actually links is getting more important.

Buy a course or a book

Amazon is awash with books on SEO. It gave me 8,325 in the books section alone when I checked just now.

You can check through the reviews of these to get an idea about the usefulness of the book. If you do that, pay more attention to the reviews from people who are marked as verified purchasers.

The look inside feature will also help you decide whether or not you get on with the style of the book.

And remember to check the copyright date. Books take a while to get through the publishing process, so the more recent this is, the better.

Courses are more difficult to check unless they’re on a site like Udemy which allows feedback and tells you the number of subscribers to the course.

The best online courses are membership based as these have the revenue to keep abreast of current techniques.

Personal SEO training

This is probably the best way to learn SEO.

The biggest advantage is that you actually have to set the time aside to learn.

Unlike a book or an online course where you can put it aside and – at least in theory – come back to it later.

That discipline can make all the difference to your learning experience. As much as anything because you’ve actually been physically (and hopefully mentally) present during the training.

You can then use what you’ve learned in your training to implement SEO on your website.

The implementation isn’t difficult. If anything, most of it is repetitive and relatively mechanical.

Even if you decide to hire an SEO expert to carry out the work involved, it’s worth doing some training yourself so that you can check whether what’s being done on your behalf is using the right techniques.

That’s something I was taught at university and have never forgotten. It means that you know the right things to ask and can check that what’s being done to promote your site will be likely to work positively for you.

The best way to learn SEO is to have face to face training.

You get tailored help to make sure that your precise needs are met and you can ask questions to make sure that you fully understand the search engine optimisation process.

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How to Choose the Proper Limo Service for Your Upcoming Special Event

There are several different event types that could require limo service. From weddings and proms to airport transportation and group events, riding in a limo driven by an experienced driver takes some of the strain off of the host. With the proper limo company in charge of the travel details, there is no need to be concerned how your party is going to get where they need to go.

The first and perhaps most important factor to consider when choosing a transportation company is how many people you have to fit in the vehicle. Some companies have large stretch limousines and stretch SUVs while other companies may only have town cars and vans available. Be sure to get an accurate count before deciding what type of vehicle you are going to get.

Some of the common types of vehicles available at many limo service companies include stretch Hummers, Lincoln Town Cars, and stretch limousines. All of these cars can transport various amounts of guests. A town car or sedan is sufficient for one or two people while a stretch limo or SUV works better for larger groups.

The next factor to think about is where you are traveling to and from. Many companies will only work in their local area while others will drive you anywhere you want to go. There are even some limo service businesses that will take their passengers across the country if that is what they want to do. Just be aware that the farther you go, generally, the more expensive the trip is going to be.

When calling around to various limo service companies, be sure to get quotes before you choose one. Every business is different and to get the best deal you need to shop around. Ask them about any added services that you may benefit from as well. Some businesses will add on more time or a beverage package for an additional charge if you want it as part of your trip.

If you are ordering your limo service for your wedding, you want to make sure that the company you hire will be accommodating to your needs. You are most likely going to want to stop and take pictures at various locations while still keeping a certain schedule. Be sure the transportation service that you choose allows you to be in complete control of what you are going to do while you are in the car.

Before making your final decision, go and visit the limo service company that you have decided on. Ask to take a look at the vehicle that they are offering you so that you can be sure it is one that you are going to be happy with. If you do not completely agree with what they have picked out for you, you will have the opportunity to view the rest of the fleet on the spot.

Whenever you are planning a special event and you want to get transportation, make sure it is done by a professional company that Is well-known and trusted. The most important thing is that you get where you need not only on time, but also safely. Check reviews and ask friends and family for suggestions before you settle on any one driving company.

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