Archive for the ‘Real Estate’ category

Writers – Specialists Or Generalists?

May 30th, 2013

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Most writers will say that they just like to write, no matter the topic. From white pages to blog posts and technical documents to copywriting, myriad types of writing can overwhelm even the most talented and trained scribes.

If you’re thinking about pursuing writing as either a serious side job or full-time gig, generalizing is absolutely the wrong way to go. No matter how good writers may be, it’s common sense that whatever we practice more, the better we’ll get. So why not specialize in what you’re best at?

 

Specialists Earn More Money

Specialists get to charge more. It’s why knee surgeons make more money than generalists. –@grtaylor2 #brownbag

— stephanie (@boldave_steph) May 29, 2013

While it may seem fun to write about a variety of topics, potential clients are typically willing to pay more for knowledge they can’t find anywhere else. If you’re looking to start a successful writing career, find a niche and run with it.

 

Specialists Enjoy Better Job Security

Specialists survive. When economy is bad and dollars are tight, people want to hire the best. –@grtaylor2 #brownbag

— stephanie (@boldave_steph) May 29, 2013

If you’re the best at what you do, and what you do is useful to someone or many people, the chances you’ll always be able to find clients increases immensely. As Seth Godin talks about in his book Linchpin, cogs can always be replaced. Only those that provide unique value can count on either being respected by current clients to stay on as long as possible, or be sought after enough that as soon as one gig ends, another will be waiting in the wings.

 

Specialists Can Be Pickier About Clients

Think about who you don’t want to work for or who wouldn’t find you particularly valuable. Differentiate yourself. –@susanbaier #brownbag

— stephanie (@boldave_steph) May 29, 2013

Most entrepreneurs don’t start out that way, they first spend months and years figuring out what kind of people they DON’T like working with, what type of industries DON’T interest them, and what sort of projects DON’T get them excited. While many generalists would cringe when thinking about turning down potential clients, specialists with skills unavailable anywhere else get to pick and choose far more often.

This approach works for other industries, too. Here at Pagely, the staff focuses on managed WordPress hosting only — no web design, no backend development, no marketing campaigns — which allows them to devote all their time to making the best product possible. This approach also works great for referrals, as specialists need each other to survive.

Now go specialize. Here’s Greg Taylor’s full presentation:

Maintenance Window: Monday, June 10, 2013 12:00 AM CDT – 5:00 AM CDT

May 24th, 2013

Our primary datacenter provider Firehost is performing scheduled maintenance on: Monday, June 10, 2013 12:00 AM CDT – 5:00 AM CDT.

Scheduled Maintenance: Monday, June 10, 2013 12:00 AM CDT – 5:00 AM CDT

Impact: We anticipate up to 20 minutes of total downtime  and connectivity may be intermittent during this total  5 hour timeframe. We will be restarting primary and secondary services.

If you have any questions please contact support.

The Power Of 1000 True Fans

May 24th, 2013

1000 True Fans

One of the scariest things about writing in any medium is the fear of being disliked. Too many of us make writing decisions based on fear, instead of making those same decisions based on interestingness, shareability, and plain ol’ informativeness.

While this approach may attract a few corporate copywriting jobs, it certainly will not be remembered, make a difference, or substantially improve your standing as a writer and professional.

The key to success isn’t avoiding the people that dislike you or staying away from topics that other disagree with, it’s finding topics that resonate with the market YOU want to associate with. While this may sound like semantics, it’s absolutely not.

1000 True Fans

Years ago, Kevin Kelly wrote a fascinating blog post about finding 1000 true fans. These diehards are the ones you can expect to ask about your new work, peruse your archives, and buy based on their connection with you. Gaping Void, Seth Godin, and Apple are all fantastic examples, as their die-hard followers can be counted on time and again.

Connect With Your Fans/Readers/Followers

A key part of a long-term connection with any number of fans is access; people want to feel included and they want to feel special. Newsletters, emails, giveaways and video messages are fantastic ways to give insider access. For instance, every time Louis C.K. announces a new, to-be-recorded performance, he sends a typed-from-his-iPhone email to his entire mailing list. While the grammar nazi in many of us would cringe at this obvious first draft, the fan doesn’t care — they can picture Louis typing away on his iPhone while at a coffee shop, and that connection means way more than typos and misspellings.

Choose A Side

The opposite of love is hate and it’s hard to have one without the other. People constantly rail on flip-flopping politicians, reviewers that seem to give every product high marks, and sports fans that don’t seem to root for any one team. If your goal is simply to be known, don’t worry about choosing sides — but if your goal is to be loved and successful, pick one until proven otherwise.

Now go stand for something. Your fans will reward you for it.

 

Additional mitigation protocols added to combat botnet load.

May 17th, 2013

We have implemented additional measures to mitigate the ongoing botnet brute force attack.  While we feel we have a handle on the security side of things, the large volume of traffic was adding load to the servers and slowing down the overall user experience  We tightened down rules to drop these requests at the network edge and implemented other changes to regain system performance.

In some cases users like yourself will be redirected to simple Captcha page when attempting to access their WP login page. Completing the Captcha will redirect you back to your login page where you may proceed as normal. Periodically (every few days) you may have to verify again when logging in to your site.

Thank you for your understanding and patience as we work to keep your WordPress sites secure and fast.

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Coaching, Mentoring & Guidance

May 16th, 2013

Coaching, mentoring, guidance

Abraham Lincoln MAY have said, “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.”

While the quote above may not be true, the lessons are. Whether you’re starting a business, creating content, or working for the man every night and day, repeatedly practicing is one way to improve.

But that’s only if you’re practicing the correct things. If you’re bad at accounting, buying new software every time you mess up isn’t going to make you better, nor is practicing writing if you don’t understand proper grammar and spelling. So how do we get better at doing things that we don’t necessarily know we’re doing wrong (or not as good as we could be)?

Find a coach. Ask around for a mentor. Seek guidance from those who’ve come before.

Many people seem to think our ability to do anything lays in one of two categories: people that already know how to do it can become better and those without an innate ability have no hope whatsoever. This is so, so wrong.

For example, blogging seems like a fun “hobby” turned into a money-making opportunity. Content creators — at least the successful ones — seem to have it all figured out. They’re able to take everyday happenings and tie them to life lessons, and those that read these people cannot. But what most people don’t realize is that blog coaches exist, and these successful bloggers are likely learning from them as much as the next guy could.

This type of learning certainly isn’t limited to writers. Just this past weekend, 40+ students showed up for Oregon State University’s first Startup Weekend, an event designed to teach attendees how to start a business in less than 54 hours. While no one built Facebook over the weekend, they did learn what challenges businesses face, how to pitch their ideas to investors, ways to deal with colleagues, how to accept criticism, and most importantly, how failing is an integral part of learning.

The #1 lesson of the weekend? Businesses don’t exist without customers and first learning about those customers makes building a product they’ll buy a ton easier — just like sharpening an axe makes felling trees go a little smoother.

Any coach or mentor will tell you that.

Practice? We talkin’ ’bout practice?

May 8th, 2013

Malcolm Gladwell says you need 10,000 hours of practice before mastery can be achieved. Allen Iverson may be, pound for pound and inch for inch, a top 5 NBA all-time great.

One of them believed in practice. The other didn’t. Who would you say is more successful?

While Iverson may have earned more during his NBA career than Gladwell will over a lifetime (…maybe); the stress, lack of discipline, and disregard for sustainable living has turned Iverson from a very rich man into a guy who can’t quit basketball because he has absolutely nothing else.

Practice

Photo Credit: davidyuweb via Compfight cc

But it’s not just a lack of practice that did Iverson in, it’s that he didn’t believe in the principles that practicing stood for. We don’t only practice to improve our skills, we practice to know how to maintain our energy, when to break from established rules, and to make flying in formation over or under a bridge look easy.

Practice Repetition
Want to be good at something? Do it every day, if even for 20 minutes. Ask any accomplished runner, writer, coder, artist or businessperson how many days they take completely off from even thinking about their profession and I’m betting few will admit to any. While this doesn’t mean every day must be spent working — in fact, too much focus is a bad thing, too — but the highest achievers manage to connect everything they do to what they do.

Practice Mindfulness
Two+ screens, WiFi everywhere and easily thumbing through multiple browser tabs gives most of us a sense of accomplishment that’s horribly false. Could you imagine a distance runner alternating between sprints, weight lifting, easy running and track drills every few minutes? He’d be lucky to stay upright for 10 minutes doing that, and our multitasking digital and analog lives aren’t much better. Finish what you’re doing, then move on.

Practice Practice
Successful business models always preach about the need for feedback; check out Agile methodology examples of feedback loops. In order to make sure you’re even practicing the right stuff, regular feedback is a necessity. Author Peter Bregman discusses this in his latest book, claiming that 18 minutes a day is all you need to stay the course.

Iverson may have given basketball fans plenty of highlights, but if we’re talking a lifetime, I’m going to go with Gladwell’s 10,000 hour theory. Happy practicing!

Seeking Creative Renewal

April 30th, 2013

Todd Henry, author of Accidental Creative, speaks often to the need for those in the creative industry to recharge their ideas and personal energy long before they’ve worn out. From afternoons spent researching to mornings spent reading, being talented doesn’t matter much if most of your time is spent recovering from working too hard. The process is called creative renewal.

Photo Credit: chiptape via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: chiptape via Compfight cc

Weekend warriors certainly understand this. If they ignore athletic activity during the week (think weight training, yoga, etc.), the likelihood of injury on Saturday or Sunday goes way up, which makes it hard to do anything more than recover during the next week, which makes getting injured again likely.

There are ways to both stave off burnout AND call up those extra creative juices when necessary; but it does take a little bit of planning.

Workload
For many of us, there’s just too much work to be done. Sure, you COULD stay late every night and sacrifice necessary relaxation time to finish, but that too often leads to mediocre results. Henry suggests, among other things, to talk about the pressure.

Find someone — doesn’t have to be in your industry — and share what’s going on. This could be over coffee or beers, during a midday call or a weekend brunch. We too often think our creative renewal problems are unique to us, when most of the time we’re all suffering in silence.

Clarify Goals
Creative work typically start with a blank slate. Yes, we often have a framework or notes to draw upon, but copywriting, code and design don’t create themselves on their own. This freedom is fantastic, and allows us to build services we previously never thought possible. Problem is, how do you know when you’re done if you a) aren’t sure where you started and b) never clarified what you hoped to create?

Henry has an answer for this dance with uncertainty, and it’s as simple as focusing on clarity and staying away from imagined consequences (e.g. saying “I need to get this job done so I can get paid” instead of “If I blow this deadline I’ll lose my clients and my family”). Seek to paint a clear picture of what you’re trying to do, then figure out how to do it.

Create Unnecessarily
This last one likely makes the least sense to anyone not in a creative gig: unnecessary creation. These are projects in which you receive no pay (at least not initially) and have no timeline or deadline. Far too many professionals see this kind of work as frivolous, a waste of time and resources, and, because it’s not billable, unproductive.

Sometimes this kind of play is exactly what we all need to recharge our minds, as without boundaries or other limitations, we’re free to combine and transform our previous work and thoughts into ideas we never thought possible before.

Used to copywriting? Write a short story.
Build big websites? Try a simple app.
On sales calls all day? Sit down with a potential client and sell him nothing.

This is not to say a few days of high-pressure, deadline-intensive work can’t produce quality work — just that in order to keep that up, each of us must recognize the need to recharge periodically. With proper planning, a little willpower and a belief in our processes, we can continue to create on demand while delivering high-quality product.

Good luck.

Managed WordPress plugin updates to protect your site.

April 25th, 2013

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Recent announcements of a major security vulnerability found in 2 popular WordPress caching plugins has everyone (except you) running scared.

Page.ly has already secured your site.

One of the many benefits we provide to all our WordPress Hosting customers is our automatic plugin updates. This system keeps every plugin up to date without any intervention needed on your part. Since 2009 Pagely has been keeping thousands of WordPress sites like yours, safe from the seedy underbelly of the interwebs.

Within minutes of release, the vulnerable plugins were updated to secure versions across our entire network. Keeping your WordPress website safe and secure. There is no action needed on your part.

Just another day for us, keeping your WordPress site safe.

As always, thank you for your business.
– Joshua Strebel, Founder Pagely

SEO For Writers

April 23rd, 2013

SEO for writers sounds like some tacked on, unimportant obligation necessary for online writing, but it’s not. Similarly as to how proper formatting, page design, and subject matter can make writings more attractive to people, a few, simple tips can help make your writing more attractive to search engines without compromising the integrity of your piece.

Got it? Good.

Writers often ignore much of the SEO advice most bloggers have come to accept as part of their writing process. Keywords, meta descriptions, URLs and linkable passages are seen as dirty and cheap instead of proper formatting for a web-based article.

For years, my journalism-trained self thought the same: SEO is the devil, Google presence was less important than story integrity, and, most of all, adjusting words for any reason of than making the story better a crime against the literary gods.

It ain’t true.

In the same way fancy book covers help get books noticed, SEO can help more people see the work you’re doing. Here’s a guide to make writing for the web a little easier.

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What Readers Want
Fancy writers often provide long, expository statements at the beginning of their stories. Whether this is to set the mood, provide backstory, or to show off, it is WORTHLESS for most online pieces (many would argue that if a story even needs exposition, it should be rewritten). Journalism may call this a lede, but bloggers probably call it “the important part”.

This is where your keywords come in. Writing about SEO For Writers? You should mention that once or twice in your first paragraph. Heck, you should probably mention that every 100-150 words — SEO best practices recommend the same.

This is best accomplished by writing content first, then going back and changing terms where applicable. Readers don’t care about fancy wordplay, they want to know what the story is about — also, search engines will be able to properly index your content by subject.

Why They Want It
Now that you’ve identified your keywords and inserted them as necessary, the second part of our writing pyramid is telling readers why they want to read about the keyword you’ve chosen. The most successful writers are big on trying themed stories to their keywords, which makes for a nice balance of human-readable storytelling and can be used to create a properly written meta description later.

This second part is where readers can clearly tell if someone is writing with them in mind, or simply producing content for search engines. The web has enough of this, feel free not to muddy the water — toss chum in instead.

Explanation
The last piece of the SEO for writers pyramid should have all the “boring” stuff, like how to get more information, where the information can be found, and when all this is happening. Smart writers will see this section as content great for lifting tags from, as they can be used to classify content for better archive/search engine discovery.

Remember, tags are not keywords, but rather descriptive terms used to provide context for whatever results you’re looking for.

Now stop worrying about SEO and write your piece. As long as you write stories using some variation of the above framework, SEO comes easy after the fact.

Migrate your WordPress Database like a BOSS.

April 18th, 2013

Our friend Brad Touesnard just dropped a pro version of his plugin WP Migrate DB.

Bear witness to your life getting easier.

 

 

They are also offering a sweet deal to get started: Get 20% off with coupon code TWITLAUNCH.

What are buyers waiting for??

December 27th, 2010

I have been working with several buyers that are continuing to search for the perfect property! They are just not motivated to buy and are thinking the prices will continue to come down and they can wait. What I am finding is that buyers that are ready willing and able to buy are getting great » Read more: What are buyers waiting for??

10 Reasons to Buy a Home

December 27th, 2010
  • ROI
  • SEPTEMBER 16, 2010, 4:33 P.M. ET
  • 10 Reasons To Buy a Home

    Enough with the doom and gloom about homeownership. Brett Arends explains why owning a home is a good thing.

    • By BRETT ARENDS

    Enough with the doom and gloom about homeownership. » Read more: 10 Reasons to Buy a Home

    Should You Move or Remodel?

    December 27th, 2010

    By: Dona DeZube

    Published: August 24, 2010

    When your house no longer suits you, you can move or remodel. Find out which big change is the right investment of your housing dollars.

    Just about everything else—remodeling costs, the hassle of living in a construction zone, or the ability to live happily without one more bathroom–is a personal preference. After all, your home isn’t just your largest investment; it’s also the place where your family lives.

    1. Will remodeling make your home better than everyone else’s? » Read more: Should You Move or Remodel?

    4 tips to determine how much mortgage you can afford

    December 27th, 2010

    Article From BuyAndSell.HouseLogic.com

    By: G. M. Filisko
    Published: March 11, 2010

    By knowing how much mortgage you can handle, you can ensure that home ownership will fit in your budget.

    Homeownership should make you feel safe and secure, and that includes financially. Be sure you can afford your home by calculating how much of a mortgage you can safely fit into your budget.

    Instead of just taking out the biggest mortgage a lender qualifies you » Read more: 4 tips to determine how much mortgage you can afford

    Common First-Time Home Buyer Mistakes

    December 27th, 2010

    1. They don’t ask enough questions of their lender and end up missing out on the best deal.

    2. They don’t act quickly enough to make a decision and someone else buys the house.

    3. They don’t find the right agent who’s willing to help them through the homebuying process. » Read more: Common First-Time Home Buyer Mistakes