Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Unemployed Mayhem: What's New

So I wrote an article this weekend about the unemployment extension that was signed along with the tax cut bill. What I did not expect was so many arguments over whether there should be another one or what would happen next. The article is titled: Unemployment Extension 2010: How Many Will Benefit. Of course, as with all writing we want to inspire some type of conversation. People are losing hope fast and wondering what to do next. There are even cases of CPAs out of work for more than two years.

There have been many of us who've faced situations like this and a few more that still are now. I thought this would be a perfect opportunity to share what I've learned about working from home and making it a success. When I first decided to quit my job and work from home, I did it ultimately without a plan. I didn't know if it was possible, but I was willing to try. I don't recommend anyone just up and quitting their job like this. I did have some support from my former boss and continued to support his organizations in some capacity from home but not nearly enough.

First I found little odd jobs that were enough to help put gas in the car or get some extra groceries if needed. I thought this would be a good opportunity to share some of what I've learned along the way.

I call these the odd jobs

ChaCha and KGB -  I'm not affiliated with them at this time, though I have worked for both. I like to think of them as the answer man. Their duty is to provide answers to most questions you may think of asking. You simply text them your question and they will provide you with the answer. They hire contractors to answer these questions through their online platforms. I found it to be quite entertaining as you never know what type of question will come across your screen. If you just need a little extra income, they are definitely worth checking out.

ChaCha Guides  or KGB Special Agents

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Unemployment Extension Approved: What's Next

When I first saw that they were extending unemployment and making it retroactive from December 4, 2010, I thought this was a good idea. I still think it's a good plan and much needed at this time, but what's next?  There are many families that have uncertain futures when it comes to job prospects.

I wonder how many of them have thought about working from home and only came up with scams, home parties, MLMs and dead ends? I used to be one of those with an uncertain future and wanting to find something to do from home. After years of uncertainty, I finally find many opportunities and was rewarded accordingly.

Individuals that write have several platforms and outlets in which to seek payment for their crafts. Whether it's submitting to online and offline publications or working for content mills, there is something for everyone. Of course if you desire neither of these you can always write a book.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Hacker Releases Racy Photos of Christina Aguilera

Christina Aguilera has racy photos of her circulating on the internet. Hackers were able to break into her stylist's computer obtaining pictures and releasing them on internet. Christina Aguilera is understandably upset as racy pictures of her are making the rounds on the internet. Photos of a seemingly half nude Christina have been leaked thanks to hackers who broke into her stylist computer. There were shots of her inside her massive walk-in closet showing a shoe collection that leaves any shoe lover envious. Though some may see these pictures as a little more than questionable, they were part of a private collection and never meant to be displayed over the Internet. 

Christina later showed her anger in a statement from her rep in which she expresses her displeasure over the invasion of her privacy. Through a statement on People's website her rep says that "The photos of Christina Aguilera being leaked to the press were illegally obtained by a hacker who tapped into Christina's personal stylist's account," according to a statement from the singer's rep. "The photos were taken in the privacy of Ms. Aguilera's home and were used only in a confidential exchange between the star and her stylist."

Christina who has just filed for divorce from her husband Jordan Bratman has enough to worry about right now than dealing with this invasion of privacy. With the release of her first movie Burlesque where she stars alongside Cher, she's been pretty busy with promotional appearances and interviews. Now on interviewers list of questions will be ones associated more on these pictures and less on her movie. 

Christina is definitely not alone when it comes to personal photos and videos of celebrities being leaked on the internet. Hopefully, other entertainers will learn to steer away from situations that may come back to haunt you later.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Cool iPod and Cell Phone Hook-Up

Well we headed out at 3:30 am to do some shopping for the holidays. Not sure where to go I decided to play around with the radio system. First thing I discovered is that you can hook your cell phone up through the auxilary plug on the radio and stream music through the phone. I have Pandora on my phone so we could listen to all the music through the Traverse's Bose sound system. It was awesome.   

But then it got even better my phone rang and instead of unplugging the phone to answer I hit speaker. Well I could talk right through the sound system without even using the blue tooth. Talk about convenient, I hadn't even expected that to happen, I just thought it would come through the speaker on the phone. But not to be outdone the Chevy Traverse also has an USB port in which not only could I stream my iPod but I could charge my cell phone. The more amenities I discover the more I become attached to the Traverse.    

Monday, November 29, 2010

Saved by the Power Outlets

I’ve had a lot of running around to do lately and one of the conveniences of working from home is the benefit of taking your work with you. Usually when I work on the laptop in our own car, I am able to last until the battery dies. Being on the internet can drain the battery, and I may get about two hours out of the battery. However, just like with my cell phone, I have a hard time remembering to keep it charged.
Well, I had a test to take, and I had forgotten to take it before we left the house. I checked my email only to find out that I’d better get it done soon, or else I would fail. The last thing I wanted to do is mess things up and lose out on this opportunity. Well, I used the outlet in the Chevy Traverse and could finish my test on time. However, I don’t know what grade I received as of yet.
My kids think everything is so funny and had a good laugh at my expense. They just reminded me of the rule about waiting until the last minute to do things. See I created this whole plan on “Time Management,” but I have been “slipping” this month they tell me. However, I think it has to do with the holidays coming and getting ready for them and all. Nevertheless, I got to get it together, because they are having too much fun.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Taking a Drive in the Chevy

So we loaded the kids up in the car to take a drive across town to a friends house. This was the perfect opportunity to get pictures of the kids in the car. We were riding around having fun and the kids decided they wanted to watch Karate Kid again. This is the perfect opportunity to use the DVD player in the traverse.

But of course someone forgot to grab the bag with the DVD and Flip camera. This causes major bickering back and forth and them blaming one another. Time for a diversion and fast, too much noise is bad for the driver (or the kids in this case.)

We ended up going for ice cream and we live to try again on Sunday.

Should the ruler thirst around the humane refund?

Friday, November 19, 2010

Sprayed in Face Right after Getting Hair Done

OH MY GOODNESS....I'd just finished getting my hair done for a television appearance later today. My husband had been at his barbershop with the plumbers getting the sinks installed and finishing up. I wanted to go and see what the shop looked like. So what do I do turn on the shampoo bowl and water splashed in my face and up against the left side of my head.

If you've followed this blog lately (I know, I know, the posts have been lagging.  Well, I'm back now!) you know that I've had the privilege of test driving a Chevy Traverse for Gotta Love Chevy NEO. Well, I've got an appearance on television, yes you heard right TELEVISION  and the left side of my head has no curls. It's just lying straight. I've got less than three hours to be ready, and I've absolutely no idea what to do. UGH

This is exactly what I get for always being so darn nosy. Immediately after getting sprayed in the face, my hubby conveniently tells me don't turn on the water, the pipes have to dry. Well, it's too late now. I'm already back here wringing the water out of my hair. This is one of those days that I wish I wore weaves or had me a fall to put on my head. What I wouldn't do for the convenience. Well see for yourself below what my hair looks like.

Don’t forget to enter the sweepstakes to win a trip to Orlando at Gotta Love Chevy NEO. Like them on facebook at Gotta Love Chevy Facebook and twitter Chevy Ohio.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Chevy Traverse and On Star are Life Savers

We found a deal online for three barber chairs somewhere in Westfield, Ohio. I had to talk my husband into going to see what they have to offer because he hates driving on the highway and prefers to stay to the streets. However, if we could get three barber chairs for the price of one it was definitely something to check out.

Well, we called and set up an appointment to meet them after we had lunch at Red Lobsters. They are having all you can eat shrimp, and I had a taste for their biscuits. So once we finished eating, we decided to use the phone to map our destination using Google Maps locations. But as usual for us our phones were dead, and we left the chargers at home.

Luckily, one of us remembered that the Chevy Traverse had On Star. But to be honest we had no idea how it worked. My husband said he would find the way just relax (that's when I really panicked.) Why do men think they always know the way, I mean I've known him 20 years and I "KNOW" he's never traveled to Westfield. Thank goodness for the lady who answered us on the intercom. She was so nice and help us out, and eventually we were on our way using the streets.

Don't forget to  stop by the #Chevygirls blogs. Myself at Truthfully Speaking,  Heather at Mile 26 and More and Sheila at Ma Vie Folle to check out our journeys as we get to ride around in our Chevy Traverses for the month of November. Don’t forget to enter the sweepstakes to win a trip to Orlando at  Gotta Love Chevy NEO. Like them on facebook at Gotta Love Chevy Facebook and twitter Chevy Ohio.

Check out how we were saved from renting a Uhaul as all three chairs fit into the back, with room to spare.


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Holiday Cards For 1.99

I thought I would share this ad because I know if you're like me it's time to buy your cards. They are a sponsor of this website.


Monday, November 8, 2010

The Snow Is Falling In Cleveland

Well as most of my fellow Clevelanders know the weather here is just as unpredictable as the stock market. A few days ago we had our first snowfall. As always snow is fun to watch but too cold for me to play in. I was thinking about how  my kids aren't fans of snow either. They never ask to go out and play in it and they rush to get inside after school.

I had fun driving around in the Traverse through the snow. It truly rides smooth and I had no complaints. We went to Ruby Tuesday's and I noticed they updated the menus. Now on some of the meals you can see just how  many calories you consume. But what I find funny is how restaurants leave out the ones that are high in calories. I'm going to start asking how many calories are in the other meals. I wonder how they'll react.

Well here's a video of our first snowfall.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

First Time Licensed Driver At Age 36

We went out to Cheesecake Factory and all it did was rain. I am so grateful for blindside mirrors as it was quite busy in the parking lot and once again the rear view cameras proved to be an asset.  I guess I can reveal a little something about myself. I've went 36 years without a drivers license. I've actually been quite spoiled even with having seven children.

There is no place that my husband won't take me. Whenever I've had a need to go somewhere or do something he's always driven. Even when I worked outside the home he would pick me up and drop me off. I've always had the convenience of him taking care of me that I never felt a need to get my license. Well when I found out I would be a Chevy Girl On The Go I knew it was time to get my license. Now I know how to drive and I've had training so that wasn't an issue. I've been very proud of myself for this new step and so is my husband. I've basically been the chauffeur these past few days.

For the reasons mentioned above that's why I'm so thankful for all the extra safety features found on the Chevy Traverse. It's been really quite easy to drive and I haven't found myself nervous at all.

Please stop by Cleveland's other #Chevygirls Heather at Mile 26 and More and Sheila at Ma Vie Folle to check out our journeys as we get to ride around in our Chevy Traverses for the month of November. Don't forget to enter the sweepstakes to win a trip to Orlando at  Gotta Love Chevy NEO. Like them on facebook at Gotta Love Chevy Facebook and twitter Chevy Ohio.

The Girls On The Go campaign is being sponsored by Southern Chevy Dealers who gave the chosen bloggers a 2010 Chevy Traverse to test drive for one month and blog about our experiences using the vehicle.  Girlfriend giveaway have given us some fun projects to do and will be providing us with gift cards to allow us to do this. 

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Chevy Girl On The Go

Well yesterday we picked up our Chevy Traverse. I was quite impressed at the leg room available for the third row, our Mountaineer has a third row but there is barely enough legroom. My children are always complaining that their legs are cramped. Well now they can sit without catching any cramps, and I don't have to listen to them complain.

We did it again! Another white ride, but of course this time it wasn't our choice. The first thing my mother said was why you keep getting white cars. If she looked closely though she'd notice our Mountaineer is cream colored. My in-laws are ecstatic over the car, of course they are Chevy lovers. Dad retired from Chevy and on the flip side my step-dad retired from Ford (though he says he's pleased that we have an American car) .

This is just the beginning! Follow us on our journey to explore the Chevy Traverse both here and on Gotta Love Chevy NEO and don't forget to enter the sweepstakes to win a trip to Orlando. Like them on facebook at Gotta Love Chevy Facebook and twitter Chevy Ohio using hash tag #Chevygirls

One of my favorite features is the rear view camera. Not only does it allow me to see who's behind me but the Chevy also gives off warning beeps.

My son Darius standing in back of the Traverse

The Girls On The Go campaign is being sponsored by Southern Chevy Dealers who gave the chosen bloggers a 2010 Chevy Traverse to test drive for one month and blog about our experiences using the vehicle.  Girlfriend giveaway have given us some fun projects to do and will be providing us with gift cards to allow us to do this.  

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Does writing for the internet inhibit creativity?

I've been really busy this week and haven't had much time to dedicate to blogging. Hopefully I'll get some posts up tomorrow. I have some really exciting news to share. I wrote an article on creativity and thought I'd share it here. Below is the link to all the articles in the category but I've also included a link to mine personally.

Click here for my article.

HeliumDoes writing for the internet inhibit creativity?

Sunday, October 24, 2010

How Stay At Home Moms Stay At Home

There are many work at home choices available to stay at home moms. I've had success working from home for over a year and I'm really glad I made the transition. With adhering to strict time management schedules and determination success is possible. Check out my article and if you need any assistance let me know. The direct link to my article is here. There are several others available on the subject.
HeliumHow stay at home moms stay at home

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Gotta Love Chevy

I'm really excited that I may be chosen to drive a Chevy Traverse for the month of November. This will be a fun opportunity as I'll be video blogging about all my adventures. I remember watching our local morning show a few months back and entering into the contest. Now thanks to Holly at June Cleaver Nirvana for stalking me when she couldn't find my email or contact me by cell phone.

Good thing for our little social networking tools like twitter. She didn't give up on me and ultimately found me by sending a tweet. Now I get to move forward in the process and possibly drive a Traverse. I looked the Chevy Traverse up online and I know this will be perfect for my large family. Now if I ultimately get selected in the coming weeks, you'll get to see how many times I visit the grocery store (actually everyday). It's like the Cheers song we go where "everyone knows our name." So stay tuned to find out if we actually make it to the end.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

MTV Burlesque Dance Contest

Burlesque Dance Contest is sponsored by MTV in connection with Sony Pictures. They want to know if you have what it takes to be the best dancer. If you qualify, MTV is looking for you and they're offering $5,000 to the winner. So if you're over the age of 13 and a dancer check out the auditions. All dance types are welcome, hip-hop, contemporary, jazz, freestyle or lyrical, it doesn't matter all are welcome. Check out the below times and locations. Too bad none of my seven are dancers or I'd have them signing up to showcase their talents.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Burlesque: Christina Aguilera and Cher Together on the Big Screen

In the upcoming Burlesque, Christina Aguilera plays a waitress named "Ali" who would love nothing better than to star as one of Tess's (Cher) showgirls at a Burlesque Night Club. With Christina's power voice and Cher's star quality this looks to be a worthy musical film. We'll get to watch Christina's acting debut and Cher back in front of the cameras.
The first time I saw this preview was last week at the movies for my birthday. I had to edge closer as the scenes began to unfold. From the beginning of the trailer, I was hooked. The love of a good musical was winning before hearing a note. Not to mention seeing Cher.
Originally, I thought the blond was a new actress, until she opened her mouth. Then I recognized the voice immediately as Christina Aguilera. One of my favorite singers of this new generation she has really proven her vocal talents. Watching her sing Whitney Houston's song "I have nothing" came to mind.
Christina Aguilera looked like a young school girl, and Cher didn't look a day over 40. The film brought back memories of Moulin Rouge and the video "Lady Marmalade." Though Burlesquefeels more mainstream, though I've only viewed a two-minute trailer.
We've had our share of singers turned actresses, and now it's Christina's turn. Fortunately, from what little I saw I can't complain. Maybe it's her years of being on the Mickey Mouse Club. I'm sure it's helped with Justin Timberlake's acting. They just have to remember what they've learned and build. Obviously, she's had some type of acting training. 
I'll stand in line to get tickets if that's what it takes. The last good musical movie I can remember isDream Girls. But this one seems a more upbeat and full of positive energy. If it's worth it, I'll pay to see it more than once too. Burlesque opens in theaters November 24.
Article first published as Burlesque: Christina Aguilera and Cher Together on the Big Screen on Blogcritics

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Sunday, October 17, 2010

"Pretty in Pink" Cast Reunites

It's been over 24 years since Pretty in Pink first aired. I was in middle school, and I watched the movie more times than I can remember. Molly Ringwald was one of my favorite actresses at the time. The thought of being asked to a dance as some sort of amusement was real to young girls because of this movie. I thought the movie was classic and still do until this day.

Now the cast of Pretty in Pink came together for a photo shoot with Entertainment Weekly. Molly Ringwald, John Cryer and Annie Potts had a good time taking photos. They reminisced about filming the movie and John Cryer lip-syncing and dancing scene.

What was your favorite "Pretty in Pink" scene?

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Friday, October 15, 2010

Facebook and Bing Introduce Social Search

Facebook has found another use for the use of "like." Bing will integrate "like" data into their search engine database. When you use the search on Bing your results will show the best recommendations along with likes suggested by your Facebook's friends. The search tool will launch on Wednesday.
Now you can use Bing's profile search feature to find old friends or movies and other items liked on Facebook. As with most Facebook's applications you'll have to allow Bing to access your information. This will give them access to your information, so they can incorporate it into Bing's search feature. Facebook's found Mark Zimmerman stated, “This is just the beginning; there is going to be a whole lot more to come over time." 
Instead of asking a friend what they thought of a movie or restaurant you'll be able to find the answer on Bing. The results will range from the most popular choices to the least. This is only for Facebook users, those that aren't members on here or friends haven't opted in will see regular search results. 
One wonders how Google will respond if this catches on and more people start using Bing as a result. Social media have changed the way we make friends, conduct business and now use search engines. With the combination of search engine and social network marketing target markets will be even easier to reach.
Article first published as Facebook and Bing Introduce Social Search on Technorati.

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Thursday, October 14, 2010

K-Ci & Jojo "Come Clean"

K-Ci and Jojo new show Come Clean is scheduled to premiere on TV One this month. The brothers began their careers in 1990 with the group Jodeci. They had success as one of the number one R&B groups of the '90s. Then in 1996 they launched their solo careers. As a duo brother group they were nominated for three Grammy Awards and one MTV Award. They eventually stopped singing in 2002, with K-Ci trying unsuccessfully to launch a solo album in 2006. 
There were always stories about K-Ci and his addiction, whether drugs or alcohol. They were making wrong decisions and getting a lot of negative press. K-Ci even passed out on stage during a live concert, while his brother continued to perform. Jojo is said to have an addiction to alcoholism. Now they are cleaning up and trying to re-launch their careers.
My first thought when I saw the preview was: I hope it's real. While I really want them to clean up and deal with their habit, I wonder at their motives. I find myself questioning if it's just another reality show stunt. When they were with the group Jodeci, I was one of their biggest fans. They were a product of my childhood. I was an even bigger fan of their solo careers, always first in line when their new CD dropped.
The reality show is just the tip off, as they also plan to release a new CD this month. Come Cleanwill air on TV One October 19 as a documentary consisting with nine episodes. We will get to view their daily struggles while recovering alcohol from abuse and trying to recapture their fans.
This show should be enlightening to say the least. It has good company with the many other shows about celebrities or ex-celebrities dealing with problems and letting the world watch. We've seen it with shows showing celebrities recovering from drugs before, trying to re-launch old careers, looking for love, losing weight, getting married and going bankrupt. 
The true question is: "Will they pull it off?" As a former fan of their music, I hope so. We need some real R&B singers around again, no offense to the new age R&B.

Article first published as K-Ci and Jo-Jo "Come Clean" on Blogcritics.

All My Life: Their Greatest Hits    Forever My Lady

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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Whatcha Waiting For?

This guest post is from a fellow writer Pamela Fagan Hutchens at the blog Road to Joy. This is a blog where you can simply sit back, read and enjoy. Pamela's writing voice is one full of fun, creativity and writing tips along the way. Do join her as she shares her exciting tales of life. 

Do you ever find yourself staring at the proverbial blank page, whatever your blank page is?  Mine is, literally, a blank page (sometimes it is a filled page to be edited, not to add in too many confusing variables here). My blank page hasn’t gotten much attention in the last week.  I was sick with the stomach flu.  A few positive things did come out of the experience:

* My unwashed hair is shiny and bright (or is that greasy and oily?)
* I l
ost three pounds — bring on the bikini
* I was able to stay off my
injured “ultra marathoner’s” foot for four days of healing

Despite the positives, I wouldn’t recommend the experience.  I felt like a sticky larvae, cocooned in my blankets in a pupa-state of non-productivity.  I may have emerged a shiny and thinner butterfly, but I had too many days to think about everything I wasn’t getting done.

Today is the first day I have been able to sit upright with my laptop and pull myself back into life, albeit cautiously and in bursts.  I woke up excited to write but with other must-do’s weighing on me.  I was, in fact, so jazzed about writing that I dreamed of it last night — as in I dreamed the actual words while my sleeping mind wrote them, down to dialogue and a word count display in Microsoft Word (I got to 4,513).

Unfortunately, my “night mind” was working on a new book — Young Adult genre — and that is not only unhelpful to me on Going for Kona today, but also I can’t remember a bit of the darn YA book this morning to make notes on it for later inspiration. #useless

So, it took me four hours to get everything done that was on the must-do-before-I-write list, before I pulled the blank page up in front of me. And I was stumbling, struggling, bumbling, and doing anything but writing for an hour after that, until the words of a song came into my head, a song I haven’t listened to in several years: “What You Waiting For” by Gwen Stefani, from her album Love.Angel.Music.Baby. (which effectively cross-marketed her “L.A.M.B.” clothing line — there’s a lesson to be learned there, too).

Here are a few of the lyrics she wrote about leaving the safety of a successful band, No Doubt, to write and record her first solo album:

Like a cat in heat, stuck in a moving car
A scary conversation, shut my eyes, can’t find the brake
What if they say that you’re a cloner
Naturally, I’m worried if I do it alone
Who really cares, cause it’s your life
You never know, it could be great
Take a chance cause you might grow
Oh, ah, oh

What you waiting
What you waiting
What you waiting
What you waiting

What you waiting for

Tick-tock, tick-tock
Tick-tock, tick-tock

Take a chance you stupid hoe

Like an echo pedal, you’re repeating yourself
You know it all by heart
Why are you standing in one place

Other than I wouldn’t call myself a “stupid hoe” (ha), this is how I feel about moving gradually from the consulting world, and the company I started with a partner 14 years ago, to an attempt to write — my version of “going solo” — and launch a new career as a novelist.

As I stare at the blank page, I wonder why I’m standing in one place with the same words of procrastination and self-doubt echoing in my head

Pamela, what are you waiting for?

What are we all waiting for?

Tick-tock: do it now, or you may miss your chance.  Tomorrow is not a certainty — you could get the stomach flu again, or worse.  Go find your inner Harajuku girl and write, right now, even if the writing is just words to fill a page; do it, and later, make it perfect.

Ciao, friends.  I can’t wait any longer.  I have to go fill that blank page.  What are you through waiting to start?


Pamela Fagan Hutchins writes the blog Road to Joy.  JOIN HER FOR THE RIDE as she screws up her kids, drives her husband insane, embarrasses herself in triathlon, and writes utter nonsense on everything from rednecking to floaters.

Copyright 2010 Pamela Fagan Hutchins All Rights Reserved 

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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

National Novel Writing Month

Will you participate? I found out about this through a writing class I'm taking online. I was so excited about the group when I signed up today. They have regional groups that are surprisingly local. You meet up at libraries, local bookstores and online to receive encouragement and support.

The National Novel Writing Month website has a platform for all writers during the month of November. The object of course is just to write, don't worry about grammar and editing. They will have lots of opportunities to gain support from other members. The cool thing about it too is that you can join other regions and meet people all over the world.

The goal is to write 50,000 words during the month. They have a tool where you can update your word count daily. You can also add excerpts of your book to share and receive input from other group members. You may be just as surprised as I was at the huge amount of participants. But the benefit of knowing you're not alone and others may be struggling as well is encouragement. Plus they will help motivate you to making it by the end of the month.

I bought Book in a Month: The Fool-Proof System for Writing a Novel in 30 Days for myself in June and still haven't finished a book. Hopefully this tool along with NaNoWrimo will be encouragement enough. Please join me in finishing a book next month. I'd love to share this journey of successful writing.

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Monday, October 11, 2010

Stephen King: America's Favorite Author

I thought it was interesting to see who the top five authors were from the Harris Poll. While Stephen King sits at number one I was a little shocked that only one woman made the list. The survey was conducted online with over 2,700 participants and all reading categories were included.

The top five:

No. 1: Stephen King
No. 2: James Patterson
No. 3: John Grisham
No 4: Nora Roberts, who also writes as J.D. Robb
No. 5: Tom Clancy

I've read at least one book from every author on this list. I also own just about every book written by Nora Roberts. Stephen King's book "On Writing" should be on the bookshelves of every potential writer. The material is invaluable. The tip about adverbs will save you countless time on editing. 

On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft
Stephen King: On Writing

Among the top five fiction genres:

No. 1: Mystery, Thriller and Crime
No. 2: Science Fiction
No. 3: Literature
No 4: Romance
No. 5: Graphic Novels

Among the top five nonfiction genres:

No. 1: History
No. 2: Biographies
No. 3: Religious and Spirituality
No 4: Political
No. 5: Self-help

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Saturday, October 9, 2010

Social Media Helps Business Growth

Small business has gained a competitive edge in reaching customers by using social media. Effective management of social media offers an inexpensive way to engage with potential customers. Businesses are able to increase visibility of their services and products through low-cost or no-cost channels. 
The massive growth of social media has aided businesses in tapping into unknown markets. They are able to conduct online research and solicit customer opinions. Marketing through social media is time consuming, but it's beneficial to business success. 
Customers want to feel connected to companies without being spammed. The following social media tips help to streamline customer interaction build online business relationships.
Know your customer
Research where to find your customers. Discover what works out best online. There are many different social media platforms, use them to locate your customers. Don't wait for the customers to find you, find them first. Listen to the customer this will help you gain more inside knowledge of likes and dislikes.
Educate yourself on social media tools
There are many social platforms, it's important to know how each of them works. Find out their benefits and how they can help grow your business. Facebook allows you to build a fan page where potential customers can "like" your page and interact with the business. Twitter is a way to market free to your followers and drive traffic to your website. Blogging offer credibility to your business and is another way to speak personally to your customers. There are many other social media tools available, research and find what works best for your business. 
Have a personal touch
With social media customers expect a personal touch. They want to connect personally. This is an opportunity to showcase your business more intimately. The customer signs up to follow, because they want to know not only more about the business but the person behind the business.
Giveaways and promotions
Customers like to enter contests and win free stuff. Promotions or giveaways will help drive potential customers to your website. This is also a way to build a contact database. If it's managed correctly they can increase your online business visibility.
Time management and scheduling will help streamline the time you put into creating a social media presence. Develop a strategy and start engaging customers online. With effort and time, you should begin to see the benefits of your online social media online presence.

Article first published as Social Media Helps Business Growth on Technorati.

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