Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Selling your Art Online - Website Tips For Artists

If you plan to sell your art online with your own unique website, my advice is simple: Be Different! There are hundreds of artist websites online today that are all making the same mistakes.

The first problem I would like to note, is the use of long multimedia presentations that artists are incorporating into their websites. I don't think there is anything more frustrating then arriving at a website and waiting for this huge multimedia presentation to download and play. The artist may think it's cool or adds something to their work, but in all actuality, it only frustrates impatient surfers. Not all Internet users have super fast cable or DSL connections. Many are still using dial up modems and if they have to wait for something to download, they will simply leave and visit your competition.

There are also sites that insist on putting unrelated banner ads or other unrelated advertising on their websites. Just the other day I was doing a search for original watercolor art. The first website I arrived at had a big banner at the top of the website advertising a dating site. I am not sure how dating is related to watercolors? This is simply a distraction and you are immediately sending visitors off your website. If you are going to advertise on your website, make sure it's related to the theme of your website and is helpful to your visitors. Do not make it the very first thing they see when they arrive at your home page.

You need to catch your visitor's attention right away. This means putting your most important information near the top of your website in plain view. Your goal is to draw your visitor into your site immediately with a compelling headline so that they stay long enough to check out what you have to offer. Once you draw them in with a good headline, you must then direct them to take an action. That could be to subscribe to your newsletter, or to check out your latest product(s).

Keep your site navigation consistent throughout your entire site. This means having the same navigation links in the same order on every page of your website. Your goal is to make it as easy as possible for your visitors to get from one place to the next, not to confuse them.

Make sure your visitors can easily contact you. Put a link to a contact page on every page of your site.

If you have testimonials, use them. Testimonials are awesome sales tools. People love to hear good reviews about a product or products they are about to purchase. It really does boost sales. If you have ever received testimonials from customers, highlight a few of them on your home page in clear view. If you do not have testimonials yet, contact people that have purchased from you in the past and ask if they could provide feedback on the product they purchased for inclusion on your website. Make sure they know how you plan to use their testimonial, and ask if you can site their name with the testimonial.

Start an opt-in newsletter. If you do not already have a method for collecting your visitors email addresses, then you may be losing sales. Many people who first come to your site will usually leave without making a purchase. It is important therefore to collect as many email addresses as possible so that you can follow up with your visitors. You could send out an announcement to your list of subscribers whenever you have a new piece for sale. If you regularly attend art or craft shows, you could send out an email and let your subscribers know when and where. You could also send out surveys or questionnaires to your list to get a better idea as to the type of products they are interested in purchasing.

Make certain that you have a variety of different payment options for your customers, especially payment by credit card. Studies have shown that sites, which accept credit card payments, have significantly more sales. Use a service like PayPal to accept credit cards from your website. It's free and easy to setup.

Make sure you have detailed purchasing and shipping instructions in place.

Have a good refund policy. When your customer receives your product, it may not be exactly what they anticipated. By having a good refund policy upfront, you will gain your customers trust and they will be more comfortable making a purchase, especially if they are parting with a lot of money.

Include a "Privacy Policy". Internet users are a paranoid bunch. People are still somewhat reluctant to part with personal information, so it is your job to make them feel at ease when they use your website. In a nutshell, a privacy policy clearly states what you do with users personal information. What kind of information do you collect from your visitors? What do you do with that information? Do you share it with anyone? If you are not sure how to create a privacy policy, visit the following website to access an easy to use Privacy Policy Generator: /privacy/creating.shtml

Include a "Terms of Use" section. This section outlines the terms and conditions for using your website. For instance, you probably want to restrict visitors from copying or reproducing the images on your website. You would put that in your Terms of Use section.

When adding images of your products, always use thumbnails that can be clicked to show a larger image, so that your pages download quickly. If the larger image is a big file, let the visitor know that they may have to wait for the picture to load.

Avoid putting traffic counters on your site. Counters make your site appear amateurish. If your site is fairly new, and your traffic is not yet established, you are broadcasting this to everyone that arrives at your site. If you need to track your website statistics, check with your hosting company. You may already have a good website statistics program included.

Choose a basic color scheme and only one or two different fonts. If you go overboard on color and use too many different fonts, your site will look out of balance and amateurish. Your website does not have to be a work of art. You are trying to sell your art, not your website.

Use a light background, preferably white, with dark text, preferably black. Don't use images or textures for your background. This makes it difficult for your visitor to read the text on your site.

Avoid adding music to your site. You may think it sounds nice to include your favorite songs when your page loads, but not everyone will agree. If they find the music annoying, they will leave.

Don't make your visitor have to scroll horizontally to view information on your website. Web surfers are lazy. Most hate to even scroll up and down let alone left and right.

Avoid animated graphics and scrolling or flashing text. This only distracts your visitors.

Put prices on all of your products. If people have to contact you to find out the price of something, they will more often than not leave and look elsewhere.

Make sure your site works in all the major browsers. The most popular browser today is Internet Explorer, but there are a good amount of surfers who use Netscape, Opera, and Firefox. Check out /siteviewer.html. They have a great tool that enables you to see what your site looks like in various browsers.

Lastly, make your website personal. Speak to your visitors. Let them know who you are and what your art or craft is all about. Educate and enlighten. Include a step-by-step article or demonstration on how your work is created. If people have more of a connection with you and your art, they will be more comfortable buying from you.

I hope these website tips have helped. I wish you the best of luck in everything that you do. God Bless!

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Monday, April 29, 2013

Cultural Inheritance s Influence to Indonesia s Abstract Woodcarvings

Indonesia is one of the countries in this world blessed with a diverse culture. This culture has been passed down and preserved from generation to generation. Embedded as well into their culture are their religious duties and aspirations. These two aspects are what serve as guides for their artists in molding their art traditions. Each craft is like a form of scientific study, each requiring a systematic method for a successful output. One of their flourishing art traditions is their woodcarvings. Each piece is carefully carved and transposed into intricate designs that aim to depict more than what each piece physically portrays. And visiting can show you Indonesia's cultural heritage's influence to their woodcarvings.

The Wooden Canvas

The Indonesian culture, although influenced by numerous other cultures, is dominantly close in relation to nature and most especially religion. The fact that they use wood as their carving canvas brings us closer to understanding their love and high respect for nature. Wood of different types, from soft to hard, dark to white, are used in all types of wood carvings. Designs such as flowers, plants, trees, animals, and dragons are usual when dealing with Indonesian wood-carved art works. Each work of art is unique therefore is very much cherished by the Indonesian culture and is popular to woodcarving collectors all over the world.

The Common Themes

Indonesian wood carvings are typically made in the likeness of human beings. With a few varnishing and colorful touches, the finished crafts are always life-like in nature and expressive at first glance. Human beings are portrayed in different eccentric positions that it even gives off the feeling of adoration for the nature surrounding it. In addition to human beings, Indonesian wood carvings take up the shape of common domestic animals as well. As part of their nature-inclined culture, they carve animal design that would not only represent human feelings at its best but the Indonesian history, incorporated in every detail.

Whatever the theme, whatever the design or concept and whatever the material used, each piece of carefully carved wood is evident of Indonesia

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Sunday, April 28, 2013

Prevent yourself from the damages caused by fire, water or mold

The homeowner's life is full of uncertainties, and not one of us knows what could happen in the coming moments. The same way, there are many unpredictable situations which can create disasters to our homes and businesses, as well as injure people and property across the world. Some of those situations are damages caused by fire, water, flooding, and mold. Every year many deaths and damages are reported word wide because of residential or commercial building fire damage. If you show carelessness with fire or fire-using appliances, you may trap yourself in uncontrollable and unavoidable circumstances, as it can destroy your home or offices, and can hurt or injure your loved ones - to the extent of their death. There are many causes of fire situations, such as fires due to short-circuits or other electrical problems, cigarette smoking, or the use of candles, and all can be the reason of fire-related damage. Besides these, other reasons could be: the spread of fire from room t o room (like in case of kitchen fire caused by an unattended gas stove) that also burns the dining, family or living rooms, fire caused in bedrooms, garages, attics or other similar small spaces that spreads to many rooms quickly, or even unattended children playing with matches or a lighter. If you face such situations where a fire burns your home or business in Chandler, Arizona, than it is always advisable to hire a proficient Chandler fire damagecleaning and restoration company who will help you out in the cleaning process, at your residential or commercial address.

In a similar manner, the other reasons harmful scenarios (such as Chandler water damage) can also cause a great disaster to your home or business is due to improper inspection of water supply pipelines and/or fixtures. Some of the reasons behind the water damage are rain water accumulated along the side (or under) the foundations or floors of buildings in the rainy monsoon season. Similarly, clogged drains and gutters can create a mess in your building if not cleaned regularly, and damaged seals of windows and doors in a building can allow water to flow in, and inadequate installation of new seals can also give rise to water damage situations. Leaking roofs and attics also adds to the worst of water leak and flooding scenarios. These situations are much more difficult to handle, and the clutter they create is not possible to tackle without a help of skillful cleaning and restoration professionals who know the Arizona climate and have undergone training on the best way to help you and your insurance company get your property back to normal.

These trained professionals not only provide their services to clear fire and water damages, but also assist to get rid of Chandler mold damage at your residential and/or commercial building. A mold is a fungus that generates an external development on various kinds of soggy or rotten organic matter, and gives a terrible or disgusting feeling of surprise when found growing on the walls of your home's foundation, surroundings, framework, or drywall, and it has been proven to be very risky for the human body at the same time (people with allergies are prone to get quite sick). It is extremely important to get rid of mold damage from wood panels, wood studs, gypsum board, drywall, and concrete as early as possible, and the best solution is to consider hiring a Chandler SERVPRO professional for this awful task.

Commercial property owners can also benefit from using professional mold, water and fire damage repair specialists by contracting with them to be on-call 24 hours per day to ensure their property is protected. Having a specialist in the remediation of flooding or smoke damage is paramount to saving money on insurance, saving time, and resting easy knowing a team of cleanup professionals are available to help them right away, no matter the size of the job.

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Saturday, April 27, 2013

Eight Steps in Restoring Your Fire Damaged Home

Old appliances such as old coffee makers, toasters, or even computers can be a dangerous fire hazard. Update your appliances immediately if they begin to smell smoky or work much less well. In addition, unplug any appliance after you're done using it and store it away properly.

Fire restoration services are crucial, especially in cases where homes and other properties have had serious smoke damage. Properly removing soot and smoke residue from homes or buildings is not an easy task to accomplish, so property owners should always look to the experts for such needs. Soot is a huge health hazard and can potentially cause a number of different respiratory complications and illnesses. Professionals will commonly remove soot first before administering any other repairs or restoration methods to properties, and because of the dangers present, home and property owners are advised to steer clear of the area during this part of the fire cleanup process.

Water damage also causes alarming damages to house, residential apartments, commercial buildings, offices etc. Causes of water damage can be numerous like leakages in pipes, sanitary malfunctions, broken plumbing; rusting of pipes, overflowing tanks, water damage caused by torrential rains and it also includes the water damage caused during fire damage repairs. When a building is on fire huge quantities of water at high pressure is hammered at the building which causes quite a lot of damage. Water combines with ash and forms sludge and slushy mire which is hard to get rid of can lengthens the process of fire damage repair as well. Water damage, if neglected, over time can cause an outbreak of mold, fungus and moss in the building which is dangerous for the structure as well as for human health. These molds eat away at the material of the building and rot the walls, floorings, roofs, and especially wooden structures, which makes them weak and susceptible to collapse. Some t ypes of molds have spores which are hazardous for human health if ingested or breathed.

The extent of fire damage depends on the intensity of the fire. If it is caused by a short circuit or gas leakage, it can spread in a rapid pace which means that losses will be severe. Whatever may be the reason behind fire accidents, it is enough to mention that all of them can be devastating.

For example, the smoke left behind from the fire can be absorbed by various materials in the house, especially if they are porous in nature. Carpets, walls and even ceilings will continue to absorb the smoke left behind and it will remain even after several months. Unless you know what chemicals and deodorizers to use, it will be very difficult to restore your home to the old self. A professional fire restoration company will use their expertise in dealing with smoke damage they may even move out furniture and other belongings to an offsite facility for cleaning and restoration this eliminates the risk of further contamination by smoke and water. Once they have been moved out, they will use various EPA approved chemicals along with ozone cleaners to rid the furniture and other belongings of the smoke odor. Fire damage experts will also be able to restore slightly damaged furniture if they are scorched or singed in the heat. However, materials that have been partially burnt or charred will be very difficult to restore.

These professionals can help you to prevent further damage to your valuables and home based on their years of experience. They will remove the water, smoke odor, and soot from your home and belongings (if possible). They will help you return your property to its original, pre-fire condition. State-of-the-art equipment is used to restore your home and possessions, and these professionals can also eliminate the smoke and other offensive odors caused by fire. Finally, they will clean and sanitize your home to complete the restoration process.

A common cause of house fires are portable grills and deep fryers. When using grills or any other outdoor cooking equipment, it is important to keep a good distance between the cooking apparatus and the house. Another important safety measure is to keep combustible material such as firewood, lighter fluid, or charcoal away from sparks that may shoot from the grill. One simple little spark can ignite a fire that can go out of control rather quickly.

Creating a safety zone around your house and property can help reduce the amount of damage done to your home by flames. Minimizing the amount of vegetation within thirty feet of your home will lessen the risk of fire damage to your possessions. It is recommended that trees and shrubbery be pruned to fifteen feet of fireplaces, stoves, and chimneys. Brick walls, stone patios, and swimming pools can also act as barriers against flames.

For additional resource material on understanding hazards associated with fire and smoke damage we would like to recommend this book, "Fire and Smoke: Understanding the Hazards". There you will find more specific information on some of the pollutants discussed on this page.

Fire and smoke damage is a very particular problem and requires more work than simply washing down surfaces. Smoke gets deeply into hard surfaces such as walls and floors and if it's not treated quickly, will linger for many years no matter how often you clean them.

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Friday, April 26, 2013

Home Insurance Coverage In Savannah, Georgia

Home owners are often well aware that an insurance policy is necessary for their new or existing home however it is very common with any type of insurance policy for people to not have a clue what it says. Those who own real estate should pay careful attention to what their policy language says including what is covered and what is not in the event of loss or damage. Certain areas of the country such as Savannah, Georgia, may have different types of coverage than other regions. Even though properties in this area experience severe weather conditions, there may be things an insurance company will not pay for.

Flood insurance is typically separate

If you do not live in a flood prone area, you probably did not pay much attention to flood coverage. Folks in Savannah however are well aware of this natural threat and must be adequately prepared. Home insurance in Savannah may include coverage for wind damage however it may not for flooding. Flood waters, even ones that only come up a few feet, can destroy a home completely. Water and mud damage can significantly damage a home's foundation as well as the wood and drywall materials that it is built from. Even shallow flood waters can cause a home to have to be knocked down and rebuilt from scratch. Many individuals assume that insurance will cover most any type of damage to a home yet insurance companies often sell separate coverage for flood related damage. This is not included in broad form coverage that people put on their homes. Individuals who buy a home with borrowed funds will be required to place a flood insurance policy on their property if they live in a flood p rone area such as Savannah however those who have paid off their homes or for whatever reason do not have a mortgage on the property may not be introduced to this form of coverage. Asking about flood damage and coverage and also talking with your insurance agent about natural disasters in general will prepare you for re-building before something bad happens.

Your policy will change with your home

Just like with a lot of other products or services we purchase in our lives, we set things up and then tend to forget about them, especially when it comes to insurance which is not always the most enjoyable thing to buy. As people make changes, addition and updates to their homes, so too should they to their insurance policies. Additions such as extra square footage, a deck or patio, finishing a basement and other projects increase the value of a home. If you fail to notify your insurance company of these changes, you may not be covered for the full value of your home. Going over an insurance policy is typically not the first thing people think of when they are busy adding on to their homes however having routine checkups of your policy to make sure everything in your home is covered is a good strategy. Talking to your insurance agent once every six months to let him or her know about any changes or improvements you have made to your home will help them better prepare cove rage in the event of loss or damage.

Home insurance in Savannah and in other parts of the country cover different types of damage and loss. Consumers who do not read their policies or have a professional go over the policy with them are often not aware of what they are covered for. Even if you live in an area where natural disaster threats are very obvious, you may still need to purchase additional coverage such as flood insurance. Your policy should also change with your home when new features are added or something is changed.

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Thursday, April 25, 2013

The Different Types Of Stoves And Cooking

In this article will study about different methods of cooking food and different utensils and devices used for cooking. We will also learn ow cooking was done in earlier times. Cooking is means preparing food. It makes the food soft and tasty. Cooked food is easy to digest. Cooking kills germs in the food. But food should not be overcooked or undercooked. Some food items can be eaten raw, that is, they do not require cooking. We must wash raw food items with water before eating. Some food items can be eaten either raw or cooked. Some can be eaten both cooked and raw.

The way cooking has changed over the years. In earlier times, cooking was done on angithi or chulha. Coal, wood or cow dung were used cooking was done on angithi or chulha. Coal, wood or cow dung was used as fuel. People used earthen, copper or iron utensils in the kitchen for cooking food. After some time, stoves were invented. People started cooking food on stoves. Now- a- days, cooking is done using gas stove, cooking range or microwave oven. It is faster method of cooking. Pressure cookers and other utensils are used for cooking. In ovens, untraceable ceramic ware is used for cooking.

Types of stoves

We use different types of stoves for cooking food. Each stove uses a different kind of fuel/ source of energy. 1) Chulha fire- wood and coal fuel used. 2) Tandoori fire-wood and coal fuel use. 3) Kerosene stove kerosene fuel used 4) gas stove liquefied petroleum gas (LPG). 5) Hot plate is source of energy by electricity. 6) Microwave oven- source of energy by electricity. 7) Solar cooker- source of energy by sunlight.

Methods of cooking food-tasty food and health food

With time, the utensils were used and the ways of cooking have changed. Now a days, utensils are made of stainless steel. Utensils of earthen pots, iron, and copper and aluminum utensils have been used till now. Today, people use non-stick ware and ceramic ware for cooking food. The utensils are used in kitchen room.1) Pressure cooker 2) pan 3) wok (kadahi) earthenware pot 4) griddle (tawa) 5) rolling pin 6) sieve.

A) Boiling is means to cook in water. B) Roasting is means to cook food over direct fire. C) Steaming means to cook with the help of steam heat or in an oven. D) Deep frying is means cook in boiling oil. E) Baking is means cook food in an oven.

a) Rice is made by boiling. Meat, fish and eggs can also be boiled. b) Chicken and Paneer tikka are prepared by roasting. Papad and popcorn are often roasted. c) Idli and dhokla are made by steaming. d) Pakoras and samosas are made by frying. e) Bread, cookies and cakes are baked.

Importance of water in cooking

Water is need for cooking most of the things. We need water for-kneading dough for making chapattis, making pulses, making rice, making halwa sweet, washing fruits or vegetables.

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Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Home Flooring: Are Natural Stone Carpets Good for Your Home?

Below are some of the reasons why natural stone carpets are the home flooring choice of more and more people today.

Home Flooring Made Easy To Clean

Due to their water tight structure, they are very low maintenance and easy to clean. We are all aware of the tedious vacuum cleaning and washing of carpets, polishing of wood floors and scrubbing stubborn staining off tiles. Unlike those, stone carpets can be quickly vacuumed and washed down with a moist cloth and typical spillages like coffee and wine will not leave lasting stains. There is no need of time-consuming polishing; they always look their best with no extra effort. Dust and dirt are vacuumed away effortlessly. Cleaning your stone carpet is therefore simple and effective. Natural stone carpet flooring is so practical that it can be used for any room of the home - in kitchens, bathrooms, bedrooms, halls and conservatories, saving you oodles of cleaning time and effort.

Home Flooring Durability & Safety

Using the finest quality natural stones, natural stone carpets are highly durable. They don't chip, scratch or mark easily which makes them children & pet friendly. Their non-slip covering makes them the ideal choice of flooring for families with children and older adults.

Are Natural Stone Carpets too cold for home flooring?

Contrary to the common opinion, natural stone flooring is not a cold surface at all. In fact it is much warmer flooring alternative to conventional tiles and wood. Porous by design, natural stone carpets retain heat and provide a comfortable warm feel to the home. Epoxy resin, the adhesive used, takes on the ambient temperature so that your stone floor doesn't feel as cold as wood or tiles. Actually, stone carpets have the same heat retention as a timber floor. Under floor heating is therefore unnecessary.

Multiple Decorative Options for Your Home Flooring

Natural stone carpets are made of high quality solvent-free epoxy resins and various types of gravel and quartz. By mixing the types of gravel and/or quartz, and even laying these in a pleasing decorative pattern, a stone carpet can be created to match any taste and preferences and respond to the rest of your home look and feel. Seamless when laid, natural stone carpets fit neatly around the contours of your floor and can be laid over tiles and other coverings. Typically a selection of stones and colour variations are chosen to create an impressive finish, which blends in with your surrounding interiors. You have a vast choice of colour and stone combinations in order to achieve the perfect interior experience. Usually samples are provided before laying each floor to make sure the look is absolutely right!

Home Flooring Choice & Health Implications

There is always some mold and dust everywhere - in the air and on many surfaces. Mold grows where there is moisture and dust access pretty much everything surrounding our daily life.

Some people are sensitive to molds and/or dust. Sometimes molds or dust can cause nasal stuffiness, throat irritation, coughing or wheezing, eye irritation, or, in some cases, skin irritation. People who have developed allergies may have more severe reactions. These people should stay away from areas that are likely to retain mold and dust, such as compost piles, cut grass, wooded areas, books, carpets or any surface & surface that is likely to gather dust and mold in excessive amount.

Due to its composition, natural stone carpet is a very suitable solution for your home if you need to keep the dust and mold levels to a bare minimum. If there are children and adults with asthma and other debilitating dust allergies in your household you need to consider a dust/mold free agent as a home flooring solution.

Your Home Flooring Value & Price

Pricewise it may come as a surprise that a natural stone carpet usually comes cheaper comparing to many wood and tile finishes. Adding their long life span, durability and easy maintenance increase their value in money, care and time for redecorating.

A natural stone carpet has the advantages of a carpet comfort and warmth: the advantages of wood a natural look; and the advantages of tiles it is easy to clean. A natural stone carpet is a perfect solution for people who find synthetic floor coverings too vulnerable and tiles too hard and cold.

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Tuesday, April 23, 2013

The Food Network Serves Up Smart Branding

Behind the kitchens at the Food Network, they’ve been cooking up some vey savvy branding - for the Network as as well as for its individual hosts.

Rachael Ray and Sandra Lee are the two biggest brands. The way they are mareketed
provides a good branding lesson: you can occupy the same positioning within a niche, yet own a distinctive brand that sets you apart.

Distinct Brands with the Same Positioning
The positioning these two stars occupy is one of authority in home-making convenience: quick and easy, quality meal preparation for busy women (mostly). Yet each has been able to carve out a separate and distinct brand within that same space.

Taglines that Build Brands
Rachel Ray’s empire is build on the foundation of her very emphatic tagline – “30 minute meals.” The name says it all. Sandra Lee’s tagline is “semi-homemade meals” - preparing meals with the aid of pre-packaged ingredients.

It is essentially the same positioning, but without the exact time period that Ray uses. The implication is the same: you’ll be able to prepare quality meals at home faster.

While both have been able to establish an authority position within the convenience field, interestingly, their authority does not come from industry credentials. The sense of authority they have been able to build comes from their unique personalities and presentation, as well as their individual stories.
They learned how to cook on their own, either because they had to (in Lee’s case) or as in Ray’s case, her mother was in the food service business, and an avid cook

Leveraging a Brand Into Multiple Products
Both have been been able to leverage their brands to create and promote multiple products. Some of Lee’s branded products include: Sandra Lee Semi-Homemade Cooking, Sandra Lee Semi-Homemade Desserts, Sandra Lee Semi-Homemade Cooking II, Sandra Lee Semi-Homemade Grilling … she even ventures into Rachael Ray’s turf with Sandra Lee Semi-Homemade 20-Minute Meals.

Rachael Ray’s branded product line includes cookbooks, such as 30-Minute Meals, 30-Minute Meals 2, Rachael Ray's 30-Minute Meals: Cooking 'Round the Clock,
Rachael Ray's 30-Minute Meals for Kids: Cooking Rocks!, Rachael Ray's 30-Minute Get Real Meals: Eat Healthy Without Going to Extremes, among others.

And because both of their brands have been established in a highly scalable niche – home convenience, they have been able to easily grow their product lines beyond food, into the further reaches of home-making, on TV, in print, etc. (Lee actually started her brand in the home-making field and then went into food).

Finding Different Marketing Angles Within the Same Niche
In their products as well as in their shows, their distinctive personalities, look, and style etc. further differentiates their brands from one another. But the difference is built on a foundation of strong taglines that embody unique marketing angles within the same niche: 30 minute meals vs semi-homemade.

The lesson here is just because someone else may have established an authority positioning in a niche you want, doesn’t mean you can’t create a different, yet successful brand within the same space.

However attempts to copy or merely imitate a brand within a niche position will not only fail, it will mark you as inauthentic. You need to be able to take unique angle so you can carve out your own space within the niche you want.

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Monday, April 22, 2013

The Best Whole House Water Treatment Systems For Exceptional Results

Today there are many whole-house water treatment systems to choose from, so it pays to know what to look for before you part with your hard-earned cash. Here is a brief guide to ensure you get the best type to fully protect your health and future well-being.

These types of filter provide a complete home water treatment system by making sure all the water you use for drinking, cooking, washing and bathing is healthy and pure.

Indeed it is true that you can absorb more toxins, especially chlorine (chloroform gas in the steam) from a quick shower than from drinking a large glass of unfiltered water.

These are easily installed at the point of entry for your household supply by a qualified plumber in a couple of hours. The best ones only require a filter change every 3-5 years, depending on usage.

You should beware of companies that claim certified components vs. a certified product. If the product itself is not certified, you have no way of knowing what you are getting. Look for independent verification of what the whole-house water treatment systems can actually remove.

You should be able to see a Performance Data Sheet from the company which shows all the levels of detectable toxins and how much their system can reduce them by.

With the rise in the amount of lead, chlorine, VOCs and THMs getting into household water, only one home water treatment system can effectively remove 99% of them to ensure your health.

All of these are thought to be carcinogenic and should be removed completely prior to use. THMs are chlorine by-products and hard to get rid of with most current systems failing.

What are the most effective types of filters?

Activated granular carbon is the best way forward as it can manually remove the toxins but can also chemically bind them to the surface of the filter. A dual process system offers the best removal rates of 99% for all the main toxins.

In addition, these types of system leave in essential minerals like sodium and calcium which many other distillation types remove. These are important for your present health and future well-being.

So there you have it, the most effective systems you can get today to give you back your peace of mind about the quality of the water you are using.

Visit my website below if you would like to learn more about the types of whole-house water treatment systems that I personally recommend and use.

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Sunday, April 21, 2013

Home Water Treatment Systems – Discover The Secrets of The Best Systems That Keep You Safe

I was shocked to discover how many of the leading brands of home water treatment systems simply fail to do their job. The modern menace of harmful synthetic chemicals like pesticides are so small, they are able to pass through most filters.

If you look at the main types of water treatment products available today, you have three main choices. These are kitchen jug filters, reverse osmosis (RO) and carbon block filters.

Although the kitchen jugs are good for reducing some of the chlorine, improving the taste and smell, they work out very expensive in the long run due to replacement cartridge costs. It is also true that while they are convenient, they do not remove most of the most dangerous chemicals.

Although their popularity is fading fast, reverse osmosis home water treatment systems are still aggressively advertized.

There are many problems with this type of filter, mainly the fact that although they are very expensive to purchase and maintain, they still do not protect you. They also strip out essential minerals like calcium and potassium.

In fact, the sellers of these water treatment products often advise to add on more filters to improve their removal rates!

Their main fault is their old-fashioned filters that can only manually remove the chemicals. As many like pesticides and pharmaceuticals are molecularly smaller than water, they are able to get into your household supply still and put your health at risk.

They also waste a tremendous amount, for example an RO unit delivering 5 gallons of treated water per day may discharge 40 to 90 gallons of wastewater per day to the septic system. That means they discard up to 80% of what they use bad for your wallet and the environment.

The next type of home water treatment systems are carbon block. These are the latest cutting-edge filters that can remove all of the toxins from your supply.

They can manually and chemically remove them, with the best ones achieving a 99% removal rate for all the main toxins, especially the synthetic ones, lead and chlorine.

This type of treatment is extremely effective and in addition they waste little water and retain those important minerals.

With more and more chemicals being used and created each year, the situation looks set to deteriorate further. Add to this the fact that many municipals are now disinfecting the supply with chloramines instead of chlorine, leading to higher levels of lead.

Using the best home water treatment systems will protect you and your family from any present and future contaminants in the supply, to restore your peace of mind and boost your health.

Visit my website below if you would like to learn more about the types of water filtration systems that I personally recommend and use.

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Saturday, April 20, 2013

Home Water Filters – How To Ensure You Select The Best For The Maximum Protection

It's a sad fact that today, home water filters are fast becoming a necessity as the quality of the household supplies deteriorates. With so many available to choose from, it can make for a daunting task so here are the main things to look for to ensure you get the very best type of home water purifier.

Which ones should you avoid?
Any type of distillation home water filters like reverse osmosis and also the more popular kitchen jug ones.

Reverse osmosis is based on old technology and this type is unable to remove the modern menace of synthetic chemicals. These are the ones like pesticides, herbicides and prescription drugs.

They also remove essential trace minerals like calcium and potassium and waste huge amounts of water, up to 85% of what they use.

The kitchen jug filters really only remove the chlorine to improve the taste and smell. The truth is that the replacement cartridge cost also makes them one of the most expensive in the long run!

What are the best types of home water filters?

According to the EPA, only one type can effectively remove harmful contaminants like cysts and THMs effectively.

These are known as carbon block or activated granular carbon types and the best ones can remove 99% of all the main toxins, including the synthetic ones.

Look for ones that use a dual cartridge system with sub micron filtering and ion exchange for the maximum removal rates.

In addition, they do not strip out the essential minerals and waste precious little water.

The most popular version is the countertop filter, enabling you to have at least one pure water faucet in your home. They should be easy to install yourself and produce up to 30 gallons an hour of healthy water.

If you want to ensure that all the water you use for bathing, cooking, washing and drinking is pure, then a whole house system is the best choice. A quality one should cost no more than $1000 and the countertop models start at around $100-120.

As long as you choose wisely, home water filters will probably be one of the best health investments you could ever make, protecting your family from the thousands of harmful chemicals documented to be in the household supply today.

Visit my website below to discover more details you need to know when it comes to choosing an effective home filtration system.

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Friday, April 19, 2013

Flood Removal and Remediation Can Prevent Damage to your Home

Did you have a bit of flooding in your house? Did a pipe burst, the sink break, or something similar result in standing water somewhere inside your house? Besides the pain of dealing with flood removal and remediation, you've got to deal with the mold-growth! Contact a flood removal and remediation company immediately as you can some of them to your home by simply clicking a few times!

Starting Off

Firstly you need to deal with it quickly. This might seem obvious as nobody likes a pool of water around in their homes while they thinking about what can be done. But it should be kept in mind that things get worse every second. Water damage is simply that fast.

If the job is big, don't try doing it all by yourself. If the area of water damage is more than 10 square feet, you should definitely call a flood removal and remediation company. Even a 5 square feet flood might as well be a difficult job.

Ready to dive?

Few necessary precautionary steps must be taken. First, seal off the area that is damaged. Close all doors and remember this during cleanup. Keep the area sealed off from the rest of the house, but you might open windows to get some air flowing through. If you are cleaning the bathroom, do run the exhaust fan. You should wear face masks, old clothes and rubber boots if it's a big puddle.


If you see large amounts of water anywhere, you need to keep draining it out until you don't get to see it anymore. You might as well use flood removal equipments.

Keep it dry

After the clean-up, make sure the affected area has plenty of air flowing through it. You might want to run a dehumidifier in the room for a while. Keep an eye on the water damaged area and make sure the mold doesn't find its way back in again.

Flood removal and remediation is helpful for the following:

It maintains the clean appearance and smell of your home

It keeps you from making unnecessary expenses

It keeps your home free from mold spores

It makes your home items last longer

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Thursday, April 18, 2013

Do You Show Signs of Mold Exposure?

Many unexplained pulmonary conditions can be attributed to mold allergies. Physicians and researchers believe that mold is one of the main reasons behind the increase of asthma, sinus and hypersensitivity cases in recent years. Mold spores are irritants that can be found in homes, particularly when the building is old or the owners don't have much time to do some earnest cleaning. If you experience mold allergy symptoms, you ought to seriously begin thinking about eradicating mold in your home.

Non-Toxic Mold Symptoms

A number of mold variants are vague irritants that can be cleaned out easily. They are not as toxic as other varieties but they still induce allergic reactions if left unscrubbed. Most of these mold species can be found in oppressive homes where is not enough air circulation.

Some rooms are more damp than others, and mold species love to develop in damp environments. don't forget to wear masks and gloves when coping with mold so that you don't get any sicker by breathing in the spores up close.

Check for water leakage, as the moldy area is brought about by a leaky pipe or even a moist humid area (like a laundry room) caused by poor ventilation. If you can fix a ventilator, do it. Most important of all, fix the leaky pipe or create some type of exhaust or dehumidifier for other areas. You can scrub and kill the existing mold if the environment is not suitable for mold growth.

Dangerous Mold Signs

Toxic mold signs indicate that you're already at your limit, or you've been exposed to mold spores too long. In addition, these could indicate that the variety of the mold in your home is a lot more noxious than normal. toxic mold signals include rash, fever, nausea, fatigue, diarrhea, shortness of breath, hearing loss, memory loss, coughing up blood, faintness and the list goes on, depending on the person's overall immunological state.

You should mention this possibility if your physician cannot pinpoint the cause of your health issues. In addition, it's better to remove all kinds of allergic reaction sources in your home before you go back in from the hospital.

Prevention of Mold

Symptoms of mold allergies can be prevented by making sure your house is free of mold. Move your furniture at least every two months so that you can check behind them or under them for mold occurrence. Make sure every room is correctly ventilated, and aired out regularly.

Mold is a common problem in urban areas. Some buildings have poor maintenance so the tenants are forced to cope with mold. Some home owners are also unaware that mold could be a hazard and just let their main plumbing sources accumulate mold. cope with mold symptoms as soon as you observe them to avoid compromising your overall wellbeing.

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Wednesday, April 17, 2013

My View On The Internet Business Ideas Out There And How To Get Back Links

Is there not something left on the internet that has not been bastardized, polluted to death in the name of building our own private little internet home business web sites? My personal internet business ideas on building and getting back links may seem to be a bit out there, bust I am sick of seeing the lengths that people will go to get back links to their web sites.

Back links are there for one reason, to get traffic and to eventually get a higher page rank, okay, two reasons. Money makes the internet world go around, so to this end, we need traffic to our web sites and to get this traffic, we want links, lots of links, we can never get enough links. I recently got an e- mail from a person who was selling back links, not 20 a month, not 100 a month, but 60,000 a MONTH, every month, for a fee of course.

60,000 back links a month, every month, which is unimaginable that anyone could possible think that any search engine would not recognize this as the worst possible black hat trick and close your site down faster than you could imagine. If nothing else, this just shows you how a reasonable internet business idea, getting back links to ones site, can be turned into a scam over night. Just a reminder to any one who might be considering using this persons service, back links when they appear on your internet home business site, have to be organic and genuine, or at the very least, appear to be such

The value of back links is that in the eyes of the search engines, they appear as a vote of confidence in what you and your web site stands for. Getting back links to your site is a popularity contest of sorts, the more votes your web site gets the more links it gets; the search engines view this as a very good thing. The goal of the search engines is to give their customers the very best search results, our goals as internet home business owners is to get as much traffic to our sites as possible, there is a conflict of interest between the search engines and us owners

The prevailing internet business ideas on how to get back links is that it does not matter how you get them as long as you do. One of the most annoying and pathetic ways people use to get back links is to post on someone else's blog, forum, web site without having any idea of what the sites are about. So called legitimate web site advisers and gurus will openly tell you to visit a site, make a post, with your URL some where in there and then make some sort of comment that will trick the owner of that site into leaving the post up, thus giving you a back link

What makes this very aggravating is we, everyone on the internet, is now left with this dilemma, what is real and what is just a scam to get a back link? Every post, every comment on any ones blog or forum, what is a real comment, what is just a sham to get a back link, how do any of us know the real from the fake? I own several blogs, I get comments every day, "nice blog, enjoyed the article", what do I do with this? Is it even from a real person, or is it a scrapper looking for links? My personal internet business idea on this topic is this, do not become a bottom feeder just to get a back link, it hurts the whole internet and it weakens the whole concept for all of us.

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Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Great Internet Business Ideas for Home Businesses

If you believe that you have had great Internet business ideas, you aren't alone. There are so many Internet entrepreneurs now that it can be difficult to compete with them all. If you start a business from scratch with a brand new idea, it may not get much attention as you try to figure out how to market it. Determining who it should be marketed to and what price point will keep customers coming in as well as generating enough profits to live on requires a great deal of thought. Luckily, there are some great Internet business ideas that don't require you to do any of that.

Direct Sales Business Ideas

If you choose to go with a direct sales model, there are many different ideas to choose from, but not all come with the type of training and information that you need to make it a success quickly. Part of the enormous learning curve that comes with a new business is the slew of marketing tasks that are often required in order to make your endeavor a lasting success. You can learn the needed skills slowly over time, but that erodes your profits and puts off the point at which your business can support you.

Instead, look for programs that come with the marketing information already contained within the system. That cuts down on your frustration as well as your learning time. It allows you to create a business that starts attracting customers right away instead of dragging out the process for a year or more. A direct sales company that offers this kind of help and training is one that can help you transition from working within the corporate world to working full time from home making even more money than you did before.

Internet Business Marketing for a Home Business

While the options presented by Internet business ideas vary greatly, the process of marketing online doesn't vary that much from company to company. There are a few basic principles that every business owner needs to understand, and then it just takes a regular effort to maintain momentum.

The major principles to keep in mind are the audience, the message and the availability of your website. The audience which will be most interested in your message will depend upon the price of the item you sell and its intent. With a direct marketing business, you are told who your audience is so that you don't have to figure it out by yourself. Once you know your audience, you can create a message that caters to it, ensuring a better conversion rate for your business. Then, you make your site easy to find by creating plenty of links.

Your Own Home Business Ideas

Once you have a home business in place and you have marketing online that will help people find you, you can take your great Internet business ideas and put them to work for you. Maybe you have a great marketing blog idea or just a smart way of doing business, you can put it all to work for you with your own home business.

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Monday, April 15, 2013

Home Inspection Checklist for Buyers

Home inspection is very important at the time a home is purchased so that defects can be traced and seller asked to rectify them before the purchase. It can also help in making the seller reduce the price he quotes for the house.

In the following sections we will look at some of the points which have considerable influence on the value of the house as well as on whether it would be a right decision to purchase the house.

Discolored Ceilings & Walls

If at the time of home inspection it is found that ceilings or walls are discolored then it is most likely that there is mold problem or water damage. The reason for water damage could be broken pipes, window flashing which is not installed correctly or roof which is leaking.

Mold problem will arise at places where moisture level is high. Mold exposure is known to cause different health problems. It can also result in major structural damages in a house.

Damage to Wood

If the house has hardwood flooring then check if there are lines like trails. If you find these then it means that there is termite problem in the house. If basement has wooden beams then it is essential to check them also and if they are damaged then it would mean there is insect problem in the home.

Damp Basement

If the house you are purchasing has basement then home inspection will reveal whether excessive moisture is present in the basement. Such moisture could be caused by flooding of basement or water seepage at the time of rainstorms. A damp basement can subsequently lead to mold growth.

Drafty Windows

At the time of home inspection checking will be performed to see if air gets through the closed windows. Repairing such windows could be really expensive and depend on the type of windows which will have to be repaired.

Radon Testing

Radon testing is also part of home inspection. A home inspector can find radon gas getting into the house from ground. This gas is known to be one of the causes of lung cancer so it is vital to get rid of this problem.

Fire Safety

Fire safety inspection is also part of home inspection where home inspector verifies that all the fire safety norms have been adhered with in the home you are planning to buy.

Electrical Inspection

As part of home inspection all the power connections will be checked to ensure they are in working condition, electrical wiring is according to government regulations and there is no short circuit risk in the house.

Thus it is quite clear from the above that by having a proper home inspection it becomes certain that we will not face problems immediately after purchasing the house and we will be paying the right price for the house.

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Sunday, April 14, 2013

A Strong Foundation for a Strong Home

Youve heard that you need a strong foundation to support the walls and floors that will come above it to create your home. And thats true. Without the proper start on the bottom, the top will be largely unsupported and dangerously unstable. There are other concerns that come with a poor foundation, as well. It can lead, very easily, for example to a wet basement. In fact, many of the problems homeowners have with basement dampness stems from a foundation that allows for water to seep into the home from various ground-level points. Fortunately, some basic preventative and combative measures can be used to eradicate the problem.

The most likely problem you will have is cracks in the masonry. This happens when clay-like soil expands and contracts repeatedly as it gets wet. Each time it does so cracks will appear, and over time, the house will seem to settle. This problem is particularly prevalent in areas with excessive rainfall or simply during periods of heavy r ain. To fix the problem, you will need to contact a professional. He will address the issue immediately and hopefully offer you ideas on how to prevent future cracking, including reevaluating your grading, the ground water and the soil.
Grading is something that should have been done when the house was built. The ground should slope slightly away from the building, and very well may have. However, with time loose soil has more than likely settled in areas around your yard creating low areas or traps for falling water. To make up for this, you can fill in the low areas and replant the eroded soil, in a process called re-grading.

For concrete areas you will want to pressure grout or slab jack to compensate for any depressions in the walkway or patio. Just be sure that in doing so you are not altering the drainage and leading it directly toward your house. This will defeat the purpose of re-grading and pressure grouting.

In addition to your lawns grading, the amount of ground water reaching your home may cause problems. If there seasonal high rains, you are on a flood plain or there are nearby underground springs, you may be getting much more groundwater than you thought. You can l ay a flood pipe to take care of the problem, making sure to monitor the pipe not allowing it break or crack. If cracks do occur and water is being funneled into your basement, talk with a professional about getting them taken care of.

Finally, if you have addressed all of the water issues and sloping discrepancies that could arise but are still having problems, you may need to address the soil. Clay soil can be especially damaging and if you let it go out of control for too long, you wont be able to keep the water from your home. Therefore, watch your soil to see what it does and how it affects the rest of the house. Once again, if problems become serious, talk with a professional about what you can and should do.

A strong foundation isnt just the key to building a solid home from the ground up. It is also how you build a solid home from the ground down. Make you sure you dont have any lasting problems that could cause lasting headaches.

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Saturday, April 13, 2013

A Few Things to Consider Before Installing Egress Window Wells

When you start to think about remodeling your basement, one of the major considerations you have to make is whether or not to install basement egress window wells. These days building codes actually require egress window wells in every room that is intended for sleeping. So if you are planning to remodel any of the rooms in your basement to a bedroom, an egress window well is required. This means that not only will you need to plan on adding a window to one of your basement walls, but also that the exterior of your home will need a brand new well just outside that window.

There are so many factors and details involved in installing egress window wells, it might be necessary to hire some professional help if you are not exactly sure what you are doing. Some of the things you will need to consider are the code requirements that you have to meet, dampness issues, available headroom, and the type of window you will need to install. If you plan on taking on this jo b by yourself, consider the following points of interest before you start.

Do not start this project without a clear plan.
If you plan on installing more than one egress window well, you will need to get a permit. In order to provide a safe escape, your windows will have to meet specific requirements. To avoid any messy encounters with the building inspector later, have a clear plan documented. This will help you keep your project organized, and if you end up needing help from a professional, they will know exactly what the situation is.
Be familiar with your city's code requirements.
If you do not build your egress window wells according to the building requirements the first time, you will have to tear it all down and start over. No exceptions. Egress windows can be no higher than 44 inches from the ground to the sill inside. It needs to be at least 20 inches wide and 24 inches high while still providing at least 5.7 square feet of clear space when it is open. At the minimum, your window dimensions need to be 20x41 inches or 24x34 inches.

Now, about the well
The well itself also follows strict building requirements. It has to be at least 36 inches wide. A well that is deeper than 44 inches must have a ladder or staircase included to provide an easy exit. In order to install the wall sides of the well, or to insert a molded well, you will first need to dig out the ground around the foundation. There are also a lot of requirements involving water drainage. Without the proper w ater drainage, your basement could become flooded and be exposed to all kinds of mold.

Avoid dampness and water damage.
One of the building requirements that help prevent water damage include digging an 8-inch buffer area around each side of the egress window well that prevents water from seeping into the sides. Water runoff could easily enter the egress window well if your house has been built on a slope or if the ground around your home is uneven. In this case the ground must be heightened to slope away from the foundation. Gutters needs to be checked for leaks while downspouts need to be relocated if they meet the ground where the window well will go.

Prepare to have enough headroom.
All egress window wells need to have a certain amount of headroom to allow for installation. Your basement needs to be high enough to allow for this headroom, otherwise they will not meet the code requirements and building an egress window well for your b asement will become much more difficult, even impossible. This is just one more reason to check with a building inspector before starting this project.

Choose which type of window to use.
The last thing you will need to consider is what type of window you want to use for your egress window well. A casement window will provide you with a large total open area contained within a smaller frame. Double hung and gliding window have to have larger frames to provide the same amount of total open area, which could potentially cause you more problems during the installation process.

Digging giant holes and cutting into the concrete foundation of your home is a serious project. Consult a professional contract if you are not sure exactly what is involved in installing egress window wells. Even after all the time and effort it takes to create the plan for this project, the work itself it still very extensive. Be sure you understand what you are getting yo urself into before you start on your own.

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Friday, April 12, 2013

7 Steps to Write a Saleable Book

Have you given up on writing your saleable book this year? Don't throw in the towel yet! I'm convinced you can still do it. You can get started and even complete your short book in a few weeks.

There's no one holding you back but the face looking back at you in the mirror. Yes, you know the one. Don't miss out on the big benefits your book will bring in the coming years.

You can write a saleable book and create an additional income to help pay off bills or take a much needed vacation. Get your book done and dream a bigger dream. Imagine raising your fees four times higher because your skill level has increased and you have author behind your name.

Now that you are properly motivated, here are seven simple steps that will get you started:

1. Start with a plan to complete your book in excellence. Before you write one word inside the book, write your plan. You may miss the mark of a saleable book if you don't take the time to plan. Create a simple program of how your book will be written, how long it will take and so on. Then write a book marketing plan including your book's topic and table of contents. Write down who will most likely buy your book (targeted reader) and then write your promotional plan.

2. Setup passion points that will guide you and your readers to the end of your book. Every part of your book should be written and designed with a passionate but promotional slant. There are strategic points throughout your book that will help make up your potential reader's mind about whether to purchase your book or even keep reading.

To start with, create a hot title that's simple but grabs attention. Discover ways to seal the sale of your book with an interesting introduction and table of contents. Write sales copy for the back cover that's loaded with reader benefits and testimonials about your great book.

3. Sizzle your titles to sell more books. Learn how to write skillful titles that sizzle. You will use this skill in not just creating a grab you by the eyeballs book title but you will need it in writing titles for your chapters, book sections, list bullet points, brochures, booklets and website headings. You will need it in writing your back cover, sales letter headings, lists and sub-headings. In fact, you will use it in writing any marketing piece you use.

4. Mine your knowledge and experiences like gold. Using these simple steps to write a saleable book, you will pull nuggets and blocks of information from your speeches, workshops, classes, school papers and brochures. More than likely, you have already done the research needed to validate your information. If not, take the time to do the research and validate each block of information you find.

5. Create framework to structure your chapters. Every non-fiction book has a repeating set structure. For example, each chapter will start with a chapter number, chapter title, introduction, a set of tips or instruction and a chapter summary. That set framework creates the structure for each chapter. You can set up a chapter template using the repeating structure for each chapter. So that after you've mined your blocks of information from your knowledge and experiences, you can simply put them into place in each chapter template.

6. Use speed writing techniques to write a book fast. Every journey is easier with a friendly mentor. Find a pattern for writing a book and you can get it done much faster. Choose someone that has traveled the path before you and follow in their foot steps. There are many book writing coaches available to walk alongside you. At least sign up for a course, buy a book or use a book writing program with the steps already laid out for you to accomplish the task of writing a saleable book.

7. Create multiple ways to profit from your book. The seventh step in writing your book is deciding to refine, repeat and repackage the body of information inside your book for more profits. To start with, develop a website for your book with a sign-up form to build a list of people interested in your book's topic. To entice them, you can offer them a free report, newsletter, or mini-course about your book's topic.

Doing so, you begin building a relationship with your book readers. As you grow, you may decide to create a home study course, an audio book, a correspondence course, a signature speech all related to your book's topic. Your email list will be the first people you tell and sell your new products to. Because, they bought your book and liked it; they will gladly sign up for your home study course or other product you've designed to help them reach their goals.

Don't drag your feet any longer. Remember to create a plan, setup passion points to sell more books, sizzle your titles, mine your knowledge like gold, create a set structure in your book, use speed writing techniques and create multiple ways to profit from your book. Use the seven simple steps above and go to your destiny as author. I'm hoping to see your name in print soon. Write your book and make us all proud!

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Thursday, April 11, 2013

The Basics of Tent Camping

Tent camping is an activity my family has been involved in for many years. Our camping trips combine fishing, hiking, and swimming to the regular camp site life of cutting wood, starting a fire, food preparation, cooking, eating, games, and just relaxing. We've made a lot of good memories from our camping trips. We've always gone up in the mountains and found great camping hiking spots either at designated campgrounds that offer water for washing, and some type of restroom (out house or rest-stop type), and garbage cans, or places where there were no creature comforts at all. We always camped by streams, lakes, or rivers during the summer months.

If you intend to have a successful camping experience, planning is important. As a retired Army Airborne Ranger, who has had to live out of a ruck (back pack) for many days, having the right camping gear when you're camping will make the experience that much more enjoyable.
The best camping tents for families are tents that have separate rooms. Since we have two children our tent has three rooms -- my wife and I sleep in a room, the kids sleep in a room, and the entrance room is for dressing and storage. We use a combination of foam and inflatable mattresses. We use rectangular sleeping bags that you can zip together for the wife and I, and the kids have their own individual bags. Bring extra blankets for chilly nights. We also use poncho liners for the kids to use inside their sleeping bags. We've had our tent for over 15 years and average 2-3 camping trips each summer.

We also take a couple of tarps. We use one tarp on the ground under the tent and make it long enough to have about 8 feet in front of the tent door. We take our shoes/boots off outside to keep the inside of the tent as clean as possible. We bring a small folding stool to place outside the tent door to help with putting shoes on. The second tarp is used to cover our kitchen/cooking gear if it rains.

We use two camping stoves - one uses propane (which we mainly use for heating water for hot drinks and washing) and the other is a 2 burner stove and uses fuel, which does not burn as hot. We use this one for cooking bacon, pancakes, eggs, etc. Bring a couple of frying pans, and camping pots/pans - remember to bring a spatula if you're going to cook pancakes or eggs.

We always start a fire in the morning(for warmth) and in the evening, for cooking. Bring a collapsible grate to put over the fire if you plan on laying anything on it to cook or heat up. We make pointed sticks by cutting small branches from nearby trees for the polish dogs or bratwurst - so bring a couple of knives. We cut our own wood from the dead branches and logs you find near the campground. We bring an axe and small saw with a folding blade to get the wood the right size to fit in the fire pit.

Here are the basics of camping gear to bring:

Tent with rain fly, tarp, tent stakes, and hammer

Sleeping gear to include mattresses - inflatable or foam, blankets (poncho liners), and pillows

Cooking/kitchen equipment - camping stoves, folding camping table, frying pans, pots to heat water and cook in, paper plates, bowls, and utensils, napkins, paper towels, wash rags, towels, cutlery, large spoons, tongs, can opener, lighters, tin foil, plastic wash basin, scouring pads, disposable wipes, detergent, plastic storage bags, and trash bags. We pack this in see-though plastic tubs with folding lids. We pack most of our non-cooler food in these types of containers, too.

Fire pit necessities - if you plan on scrounging your own wood from the forest floor - axe, folding saw, gloves, newspaper for fire starting, lighter, a folding grate (campfire tripod), and a folding shovel.

Personal hygiene - soap, wash cloths, towels (dark in color), shampoo and shower shoes (if your campground has a shower), toothpaste, and toilet paper.

Safety equipment - flashlights, lantern, spare batteries, cell phone with car charger, map of the area, first aid kit, compass or GPS, and plenty of drinking water.

These are some of the items you'll need to have an enjoyable camping trip. After your first trip, you'll be able to fine-tune your list. Tent camping takes a lot of prep work, but it is so worth it for the memories you'll always have.

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Wednesday, April 10, 2013

What To Expect As a Mold Remediator

Water damage is one of the most destructive forces known, whether it is torrential rain, river flooding, storm surge or even a plumbing accident water can wreak havoc on your home. Well mold is the insulted added to injury, after destroying parts of your home now you're in a race against time to dry things out before mold spores ({which are everywhere|these occur naturally|some concentration is always present) take hold and begin to grow in the newly advantageous conditions the water damage has created. It's an easy battle to lose, especially if the initial water damage occurs when the occupants are away or, shall we say, more concerned with life and limb than mold growth. Once mold takes hold, it's the job of the mold remediator to remove and clean it all up. This can be done in a variety of ways depending on the exact situation.

One major factor will be what surfaces are contaminated with mold and how long the mold has had a chance to grow. Unfortunately most modern building materials such as dry wall and ply-wood are highly susceptible to mold growth when water is allowed to infiltrate into them. They do make special kinds of both dry wall and plywood that are more resistant, generally they're not worth the added cost unless you're finishing your basement or expect to throw wild keggers all the time. Properly constructed though neither of those situations would actually dictate the usage of those expensive specialty materials, if anything it may be a sign that proper drainage and or ventilation is not in place. In a basement though, there is always the chance a flood or sub pump failure could cause problems and you may be lucky and your home builder could've invested in those water resistant materials, just in case. Either way there is a chance of damage depending on how long water was in contact .
If sitting water has been in contact with your average building material for even a short time it will be quickly absorbed and mold growth will no longer be limited by a lack of moisture, only temperature can is likely to stop rampant growth, If the water damage is from a burst pipe in the winter you might actually be in luck! Otherwise, it's unlikely. A qualified mold remediator will be able to remove all the surface mold present and dispense with any standing water but if the water has soaked completely through you will likely need to aquire replacement items rather than clean them. In the long run, this is for the best. Removing this damaged material would be part of the job but don't forget to get a qualified inspector in before anything new is built. If the materials were water resistant they may look hopelessly damaged but chances are they can actually be made entirely mold free.

After the materials have been properly cleaned and standing water removed the final step a mold remediator will take is, for best chances of maintaining a mold free environment, will be both to dehumidify and filter the air. The dehumidifying is straightforward; you may have a system in your basement now which performs this task. These can be rented and it's advisable to get a size or two larger than normal and run it for at least two weeks. Remember, you want it as dry as possible down there. We're trying to kill or at least force any remaining spores into hibernation. Filtering the air should be done in two basic ways, an HEPA type filter and a UV filter. UV filters will kill remaining viable spores while the HEPA filter will capture the detritus of mold which can be quite toxic, ensuring the air quality within the home is healthy. A quality mold remediator will either offer you this service, or make sure you're aware of the steps necessary it's not brain surgery but i t's vital that be done for at least two weeks. Think of this like an antibiotics run for your mold infection, completing the full course is vital.

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Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Creating a Healthier Home

Excess moisture

The Illinois Department of Public Heath states, "Too much moisture can cause mold to grow."

Mold can cause serious health problems. "Excess moisture also provides a good environment for bacteria, cockroaches and dust mites." It can also cause wood to rot, which may weaken the structure of your home. If your home was built prior to 1978 the paint on your walls may contain lead. Moisture can cause peeling, chipping, or crackling of your paint. If you do so happen to have lead on your walls this process can contribute to high levels in the household dust. Mold, bacteria, cockroaches and dust mites have been linked to triggering allergies and asthma, and may cause children who do not have allergies or asthma to develop either conditions. For more information visit www.StopBasementSeepage.com

There are many ways to get rid of moisture in your home. the most effective way to reduce moisture is waterproofing you home. Foundation cracks are the most common place to find water seepage problems. foundation cracks can be easily fixed. Most waterproofing companies will try to convince you that they are going to have to demolish your basement in order to make sure there aren't cracks elsewhere in your basement. However an experienced water proofer knows that if one crack is already exposed that there will be another on the other side of your basement within 4 feet. In most cases the foundation cracks that you have can be fixed from the inside but there are some cases that must be fixed from the outside. For more information visit www.StopBasmentSeepage.com

Failed sump pumps are another source of excess moisture. Not only is it a source of excess moisture but it also causes odors in your home. sump pumps are the most overlooked item in your basement. If your sump pump is not operational problems will occur. Sump pumps take the water that is under your home and either puts it into your sewer or outside (depending on your town). With a malfunctioned pump the water will just build up and flood your basement. Be sure to regularly test your pump to ensure that it is working properly. For information on sump pumps visit www.StopBasmentSeepage.com.

Sewer Gas

Sewer gas is the most dangerous problems in your house. Hydrogen Sulfide (also known as Sewer gas) occurs naturally in crude petroleum, natural gas, volcanic gases and hot springs. It can also result from breakdown of human waste. the main way to be exposed to this poisonous gas is to breathe it. Sewer drains that have dry traps can allow hydrogen sulfide to enter your home. Hydrogen sulfide can be disastrous to your health. It can affect you in several ways. Exposure to lower concentrations can cause eye irritation, a sore throat and cough, shortness of breath and fluid in the lungs. These symptoms usually go away in a few weeks after exposure ends. Long-term, low-level exposure may result in fatigue, loss of appetite, headaches, irritability, poor memory and dizziness.Reducing and preventing the exposure of sewer gas is simple by ensuring that all your plumbing and pipes are installed correctly and maintained. to even further protect your home and family is by installing a sewer back flow valve. not only does it prevent sewer gas from coming up is also prevents the sewer water from backing up into your home. for more information visit www.StopBasmentSeepage.com

Picking the right waterproofing company

When it comes down to it, not all waterproofing companies are created equal. When you have water coming into your home your want it done once and done right. It doesn't make sense to do it twice. With the Waterproofing Medics i was very pleased with their services. I didn't have to wait 2 or 3 weeks for them to come out, i got same week service. They were very professional and very knowledgeable. My basement was very damp and had sewer gas coming up through my floor drain. Now my basement is bone dry and i couldn't be happier with it. And i even received free estimate! Call them now at 800-893-0044

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Monday, April 8, 2013

5 Easy Steps to Help You Determine Your Financial Status So You Can Confidently Leave Your J O B To Run Your Home Based Business

It doesn't have to be unpleasant or messy, but it does have to be done. You may be well on your way to building a full-time home-based business or may just be tossing the idea around right now, but having a clear understanding of your current and future financial commitments will play a MAJOR role in your strategic plan for business success.

Home-based business owners don't normally wake up one day and say, "Yep. I'm quitting my job today and starting a home-based business." There is usually a period of time for contemplation, exploration, making the decision, creating a plan, and then starting to execute steps within the plan to achieve the final goal.

The process can take anywhere from several months to several years before an employee is in a position to walk away from her job to begin life as a full-time entrepreneur.

Being financially responsible is critical to not only home-based business success, but to create the financial cushion required to transition from being an employee to a full-time entrepreneur.

Understanding your current financial position is mandatory and doesn't have to take more than an hour of your time if you follow the five basic steps below.

1. Calculate how much money you currently have sitting in bank accounts, investments, registered retirement savings plans, GIC's, real estate, etc. If you were to leave your job today, would there be any form of payout (ie. sick plan credit, pension plan contributions, unused holidays, anniversary pay, etc.)?

2. Determine how much you earn on a monthly basis either through employment, child support payments, rental properties, dividends, your existing home-based business, etc.

3. Record your monthly household expenses. Some examples to get you started are:

- mortgage/rent

- property tax/house and mortgage insurance

- utilities (heat/water/hydro)

- phone/cable/satellite/Internet

- yard maintenance/snow removal

- groceries and household supplies

- vehicle fuel, insurance and maintenance costs

- medical

- child care

- personal care (hair/nails/clothing)

- entertainment (movies/sports/books/plays)

- club memberships, publications, etc.

4. List your monthly business expenses, for example:

- Internet

- phone (separate business line)

- autoresponder

- shopping cart

- long distance

- bank fees

- office supplies

- tools

- web hosting

- marketing

- advertising

- part-time help

- coaching services

- shipping/postage, etc.

5. Identify your outstanding liabilities such as:

- credit card balances

- personal loans

- lines of credit, etc.

When you calculate your earnings and revenue on an annual basis and deduct your personal and business expenses. How much do you have remaining at the end of the year? Can a portion of this be put aside to build your financial cushion?

If your current business revenue isn't enough to cover your business and personal expenses and if you were to quit work today, how long would you be able to survive on your other revenue sources or savings and assets, taking into account your monthly expenses?

Have you considered all unexpected expenditures that could arise in the next year or two?

Is your car running on its last two cylinders?

Has your furnace almost reached its life expectancy?

Is your vacuum cleaner starting to growl at you?

Is your partner's job secure or do you foresee unstable times ahead?

This exercise is by no means intended to scare or discourage. Financial stability is an area that needs to be addressed so you can keep your feet firmly planted and plans realistic as you build your home-based business.

Understanding where you are and what potentially lies ahead will help you make sound financial decisions as you plan your future.

After completing these five steps, you may realize your dream to break free of your job might take a year longer than expected, or you may learn that in order to move forward at a quicker pace, you may have to bring in a partner or investor, or learn to leverage your time, money and effort more efficiently to expedite progress.

Perhaps seeking professional guidance on reducing debt and managing finances is in order?

No matter what results you generate, don't let them shake your spirit. Knowing exactly where you are financially will help you make informed, practical decisions so you can create your ideal future.

To increase your level of success at home-based business, make sure you have a financial advisor and accountant as part of your success team.

2006 © Laurie Hayes - The HBB Source

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Sunday, April 7, 2013

Becoming Wealthy through the Home-Based Business Opportunity

Thanks to the Internet, more people than ever before are discovering that they can launch their own home-based business. Essentially, all you need is a computer, an Internet connection, and the right home-based business opportunity. The question then becomes, how to you select the best home based business opportunity? Here are four steps you can take to help you decide which opportunity is right for you.

Determine Your Goals

Before committing to an income opportunity at home, you first need to determine your goals. Are you interested in supplementing your income from your current job? Do you wish to stay at home with your children, but bring in a second income? Are you retired and want to supplement your pension or social security? Or are you tired of the nine-to-five grind and want to make a full time income by working only part time? Perhaps you have a specific financial goal in mind, such as a vacation or college fund, or maybe you want to harness the power of the Internet and become genuinely wealthy. Determining your financial goals will help you find the best home based business opportunity.

Can You Sell?

Many times, a home-based business opportunity requires you to sell products. Are you a salesperson at heart, or does the thought of calling people and selling products make you cringe? If you're a born salesperson, there are any number of opportunities that allow you to excel. However, if you're not a natural salesperson, there's no reason to go outside your comfort zone. Even if you try, you probably won't succeed.

Instead, find a home-based business opportunity that harnesses the power of the Internet to provide you with an automated, hands-off lead generation and sales system. Typically, these kinds of opportunities offer products - such as software or information products - that essentially sell themselves. The companies that offer these kinds of business opportunities will provide you with the tools you need to help you succeed, such as your own website, training, and marketing support.

Seek Out Flexibility

You may be in the position to work predetermined hours from home, but the majority of people who seek an income opportunity at home need flexibility. Perhaps you have school-age children, or maybe you are a night owl and want to work from 10:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m. The best home based business opportunity enables you to work the hours that are convenient to you and that allows you to access the vital information you need 24-7-365.

The Right Compensation Plan

There are almost as many compensation plans as there are home-based business opportunities. When you're reviewing opportunities, make sure to compare apples to apples. Generally speaking, the best compensation plans give you 100% of every sale after your first two sales (which go to your immediate upline). You then receive the sales from the first two sales of each person in your downline, and their downline, and so forth to infinity. This type of compensation plan generally outperforms those that are commission-based because commission-based compensation plans typically are of greatest benefit to those at the top and leave relatively little profit for you.

When you find the best home based business opportunity, you can maximize your earning potential and truly become wealthy.

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Saturday, April 6, 2013

Home Security - Prevent Water Flooding Damage

There are many dangers to your house that come both from the inside as well as outside. This article will focus on the prevention of water flooding and steps that you will need to take to protect yourself from this danger.

The major cause of water flooding usually involves a simple truth about a fact that many people forget to turn the water off after using the bathroom or kitchen equipment. If you forget to turn the water off, there is a chance that it will end up on your floor and will spread to other rooms in your house. If this happens you have a flooding in your house. The water will damage your floors and your carpets. It will also damage your walls and the ceilings of the rooms (if any) beneath the floor where the flooding started. If you have any of your belongings near the floor they can get destroyed by the water. Your furniture is in a lot of danger too. As you can see, the damages of a water flooding may be enormous.

Yo u will have to spend a lot of money trying to repair your house and replace the damaged items and furniture. And if you live in an apartment building, you may also damage the apartments beneath the one in which you live. In this case your expenses will also involve the repairs of other apartments. And all of this can be caused by a simple event of forgetting to turn the water off. You should understand how important it is to make sure that your water is off after you finished using your bathroom and kitchen equipment. This is especially important when you are leaving the house. Spending a minute to go around the house and to check that the water is off everywhere can prevent the possibility of a water flooding.

Another reason of the water flooding can be the failure of the equipment that is a part of your water system. This is usually a pure mechanical reason but it can cause the same damage as the previous reason discussed above. The example of the failing equipment can be the split or a crack in one of your water pipes. This can happen if the water pipes (and all of the other equipment that is used with your water system) are not consistently checked to make sure there is no damage to them. You should regularly do these checks and replace any equipment that is old or that requires to be repaired.

If you do decide to repair the equipment or the water pipers, make sure that the repairs are done by a professional. This is especially important when a repair is done on the equipment that is hard to reach. Following these simple steps will help to prevent a potential water flooding. Of course, this does not provide you with the 100 percent pr otection (even the new equipment can break), but at least this eliminates most of the dangers. Another important thing to mention here is an advice to purchase only the quality water equipment for installation in your house. This will cost you only a little extra money but will provide you with a lot more protection from water flooding dangers. The person who you hire to do your installation should also be a professional with experience of working in this industry. The last note here is to check if any of your belongings can be insured from water damage. Your homeowners insurance may or may not cover your house from flooding. You should check if it is possible to add this extra protection if you dont have it already.

A home security system with a flood sensor can't stop a flood, but it can alert you when water enters you home. This can help you limit the damage to your home. The sooner you can move valuables to higher ground, and start pumping the water out the less d amage you will receive.

When looking into a home security system with flood sensors, be certain that such a system can be combined with resources from local and federal government agencies, allowing you to access up-to-the-minute data via satellite and other sources

Investment in a home security system with flood sensors for your home is as important as having smoke and fire alarms and intruder protection, regardless of where you live in the U.S.

For more detailed information about flood sensor and other home security products, please visit http://www.security2020.com

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Friday, April 5, 2013

Policies To Diminish And Prevent Fire Damage

To do up fire and water damage is a difficult job and restoration action is a key. If your home has suffered fire or water damage, here are a few opening steps to take to ensure you can get your home back into form as soon as possible. You must be cautious and beware from the steps and policies which you should be adopted to decrease the evils of fire and water damage.

By fire, be sure to look for structural damage to walls, roofs, stairs, ceilings, and floors before you move on to assessing small important losses. Be cautious when water damage occurs and be aware of possible electrical damage, specificallyif water was involved, in order to avoid serious injury. In all conditions you should hire the services of fire and water damage restoration companies to diminish damage.
While your home suffers in any type of fire than the big difficulty is cleanup. As the area directly affected by fire is wanted to be remodeled and restored to ensure their structural s tability. Beyond that, smoke and fire rest here health risks and to get rid from fire smell is not possible. After fire damage take on these steps to avert and diminish damage. house fires can be stopped by following a few easy procedures. After that, be sure to take awy all other larger rubbish from your home. Airing is also an important
step. Most fires are caused by overheated electrical wires, accidents with fire, or misplaced space heaters therefore keep all electric wire in good state. Candles are another risk that can source house fires, specifically when they are left unattended or placed too close to drapes.
Another source of house fires is a fireplace or a wood stove. Be sure to have your chimney cleaned at least every other year and use a screen to keep sparks from jumping out into the room.
One of the major origin of house fires, specifically in the winter, is space heaters. If you are using space heaters in your home, be sure to leave plenty of s pace around them. Don't place the heater near curtains, drapes, or cloth furniture, as these can catch fire from being in close proximity to the heating element. Be sure that kerosene heaters are not in danger of tipping, as this will source kerosene to leak out and catch fire.
Unlock all windows, and use fans to ventilate the affected rooms to help get rid of the smell. Be sure to clean initial, however, as using fans around dust, soot and other fine dusts can source respiratory distress. At last, call in a fire and water damage restoration company to do the real dirty work. They have equipment and events at the ready that no average homeowner has access to.

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