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3 Internet-Based Hobbies You Should Try in 2024, computer based

Seems like everything we do is online now, right? I’ve been living, playing, learning and working online full-time since about 2009. It’s where I’ve met some of my closest friends and encountered some of my best opportunities. I still love doing things IRL because I was here when that was the only way things were done.  It’s the beginning of a brand new year and there are plenty of reasons to try something new, whether it be just to expand your horizons or try something you never even considered before and its easier than ever with the internet-based and computer-based hobbies. Let’s face it, the internet is a wealth of information and it’s always right there at your fingertips. 

Maybe you’re feeling stuck in a rut, or just might be plain old, run of the mill bored. God knows after these last couple weeks of not knowing which day it was, I am definitely bored. But, I definitely don’t have to be. By turning to a hobby, you can reinvent who you were into who you want to be. For example, I’ve decided 2024 is the year that I get back to playing the guitar, practicing some languages that I’ve become rusty at (Oh yes, I’ve got a hot date with Babbel)  and learning to knit. Thanks to the internet, I can do it all from the comfort of home at my own pace and I am ecstatic. 

There are billions of hobbies available to pick up online but that doesn’t mean you’ll be interested in all of them. It’s definitely worth narrowing them down with something you’re already interested in, like computers or the internet. There are more than a few of those hobbies you could try.

These could be more interesting than you’d think, and these three could keep you occupied for hours. I know because I make my living doing one of them and I just graduated with an M.S. in Digital Marketing from a university on the East Coast thanks to the internet. Long live tech, computers and A.I ( as a search engine of course, the way it was intended).

Computer-Based Hobbies: 3 Great Picks To Try

1. Learning

You can learn quite a few things from your computer. Actually, you can learn almost everything and not all of it has to be useless facts or random cat videos. Instead, you can use it to learn about something you actually like and care about  ( new languages, how to DIY or even earn your university degrees) . There are even classes related to developing and improving careers ( I’m looking at you HubSpot Academy, Learn Digital with Google and SEMRush ).

To say you’ll have plenty of them to choose from would be an understatement. There are even free courses available online from Harvard! I should know, I’m enrolled in 2.  Whether you’re doing it for your career or simply for the love of learning, with the internet, there’s nothing holding you back. Many of these courses can even result in you getting certifications, which can be great if you’re career-hunting.

2. Online Gaming

One of the first computer-based hobbies that could come to mind is online gaming. You probably thought of this already, but you might believe it involves massive and complicated games. It doesn’t have to. Online games range from the simple – like winter poker – to the massive – like World of Warcraft.

No matter what your interests are, you’ll be sure to find more than a few online games you’ll like. It can be worth looking into more than a few of them, and it could end up being more enjoyable than you’d think. 

3. Blogging

Well, we all know this is my favorite, as I’ve built my own website and brand over the last nearly 15 years. For me, blogging is everything; it’s where I niched out a career as a SAHM, built a community and logged many hours of motherhood. If you love writing, then blogging can be one of the most appealing computer-based hobbies you can try. All you’ll really need are some basic tech skills to start things off, and the passion to keep blogging about something.

You’ll have plenty of options to choose from when you’re blogging. My suggestion is to blog about something that you love and/ or are passionate and knowledgeable about. If you really want to succeed, answer the burning questions potential readers have about the topic you want to write about.  They say if you do something you love, you’ll never work a day in your life. As a professional blogger, I’d like to debunk that myth because blogging is a lot of work but you’ll really enjoy it. Loving the topic that you’re writing about will give you the motivation to keep writing about it. With a little bit of time and effort, you could even see your community of readers grow over time. That’s your village and they are 1000% worth all the effort.

There are more than a few computer-based hobbies you can pick from. The internet is the perfect place for enriching your life without having to go out into public and people because let’s be real, sometimes peopling is overrated. You’ll end up keeping yourself occupied for hours, while becoming the optimized You 2.0. Why stop at just one? Try a few of them if you want to find something you’ll really love. It’ll keep you more entertained and maybe even make you the most interesting person in the room when you do venture out into public. Best of all, you’ll have a cure for boredom at your disposable 24/7.

What’s your favorite online, internet or computer based activity?

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Heather Armstrong, Dooce, died of suicide

Estimated reading time: 10 minutes

It’s been a fucking horrible week. Let me be really, real it’s been a really fucking awful month and we’re only 10 days in. I’m actually terrified of what the other 21 days in this month might bring. Heartbreak and devastation, there’s been too much. In just 5 days, I’ve experienced the heartbreaking loss of my Lola and shocking death of suicide of friend and colleague, Heather Armstrong .

Real talk, I had to take an edible just to chill myself out enough to write this post. Lately, I’ve been feeling like I’ve had verbal constipation. So many thoughts and feelings swirling around in my head in a fury. I just couldn’t get them out onto the screen. This is my process and if I can’t write, I might actually implode from all the unprocessed, “stuck in my head” feelings that are hitting my heart so hard right now. So, fuck it, life is unbearably short and I’m just going to bleed all over this damn keyboard. Consequences be damned.

Today, after a particularly horrible, country song lyric sort of week, I heard the news that my friend and the woman who inspired me to speak my own truth into the world, Heather Armstrong (Dooce) was no longer on this earth. She died of suicide. I am absolutely fucking heartbroken. A world without her in it to shine a light on all the ugly and beautiful sides of life seems bleak. This may actually be the fucking winter of my discontent.

I spent my daughters’ early years in motherhood solitude (like prison but on an island and it’s just you and a couple little natives who don’t speak the language), searching for “mom friends” and longing for community. Lonely and isolated was an understatement and there was nothing I yearned more for than connection, understanding and commiseration. I found that community amongst my people; fellow moms, dads and other “mommy bloggers” (I hate that fucking term) and Heather. We’re content creators (who happen to have kids) and we’re the OG founding mothers of today’s content creators and influencers.

I was stunned at the news yesterday. Heather Armstrong, aka Dooce to the online world, is no longer in this world. She was more than the original “mommy blogger” or the “Queen Mommy Blogger”. She was a woman, a mom, a lover, a friend, a sister, a daughter, a foulmouthed hooligan, free spirit whose vulnerable and authentic words made the world a better place for a lot of us. Heather was a pioneer and legend in the mom blogging field. She crawled so we could run. She paved the way for all modern day influencers. For me, the world is a less beautiful place without her in it. There is a deep void where she is supposed to be in the world. I hate the thought of the last thing the world will know about her is she died of suicide.

Heather Armstrong, Dooce

She was more than just a click bait headline. Heather’s words inspired me to push through my fear and share my most vulnerable, irreverent and often scary truth. When I first started blogging, not knowing anything about the industry and just knowing that words were my way of processing life, I reached out to Heather. Yep, I was so green that I fucking cold called (via email) the literal Queen of Mommy Blogging and asked for guidance. I had no idea about the hierarchy of the blogging world, I was brand new to the blogosphere. I jumped in with both feet and no idea of what I was doing. She responded.

That’s the type of person she was. She was fierce and feisty and fucking fabulous. Not shying away from what might have been a very inconvenient 10 minutes out of her crazy busy day, she read my email and gave me guidance. She was gracious, appreciative and generous. Heather didn’t hoard her secret to success. She knew there was no other Dooce and there was room for all of us on the internet. She offered thoughtful, useful advice instead of nuanced suggestions or condescending platitudes, as some prefer to do.

The first thing she did was to thank me for taking the time to reach out to her. Thanking me for my support, as a fan, because it allowed her to do what she loved the most… write and share her life.

Heather Armstrong, Dooce

Her advice shaped the writer I would become and the community I would build. She warned me that growing a following and community was hard work. She encouraged me to keep writing and keep working. Then she told me something that was invaluable and is the reason I have the connections I do in the blogging world… “Get involved in a community of people who you want to read your blog.”

So, from there on, I wrote my truth, in my voice for the people I WANTED to read my blog…moms like me. Moms like Heather. The moms who are struggling daily, appreciating the small moments, sometimes think their kids are full on assholes but ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS love them and appreciate the burden and the bliss of motherhood while not taking any of it too seriously. At the same time, moms who were as serious as a fucking heart attack because, after all, this is the world we are leaving to our daughters and sons.

She wished me luck with much love and that was the beginning of over a decade of friendship. I loved her from that moment. I admired her for her words on the screen. But the words in my emails and messages, those were the words that really touched my heart. The conversations about everything and nothing, the wellness check ins, the commiseration and compassionate understanding.

Heather Armstrong, Dooce

I can’t presume to know all the thoughts that led her to that dark place on May 9th or positioned her to die by suicide. But, I’ve been there myself on many occasions. I know that depression is a lying demon that gets in your head. Cruelly, it beats you down from the inside out. It is torturous and painful. Mental illness, the self-medicating addiction just to feel normal (or not feel at all) can be all consuming.

Sometimes it feels like the only way out is by death. Going through it is just too painful an option. How much pain is an individual going through that death by suicide feels like the the only option? That’s not an easy decision, nor does anyone make it lightly. Heather was a warrior and fought through the pain publicly and privately for over 2 decades. She was a prolific mental health advocate. With her candor, she helped make the world a more livable place for those of us who struggle with the darkness.

I don’t know about other people’s mental illnesses but believe me, I’ve done the research and lived with mine for most of my existence. None of us is perfect and we’re all just trying to survive this life.  We make mistakes and faux pas when we are trying to get our mind right side up. At my worst, I was probably unbearable to others. Heather made it okay for me to be vulnerable and brave enough to share my own struggles with mental illness. Her bravery helped other women know they are not alone in their fight.

During my teens, I was suicidal for all of my high school tenure. I’ve had body dysmorphia since I was 12-years-old, followed by acute eating disorders that actually almost killed me from age 17-25. In college, my depression evolved from depths of hell suicidal ideation to full-on mania. The kind that makes you reckless, impulsive, dangerous, delusional and narcissistic. The kind of mania thats so bad, you become so angry and irritable that you circle right back to suicidal. You’re on a runaway train and you cannot get off. The train is speeding towards a mountain and the brakes don’t work. The gas pedal is stuck to the floor. All you can do is hold on and brace for impact, hoping you die so the pain will stop. That’s where I spent a big chunk of my life.

When the proverbial train didn’t crash into the mountain, I was left stuck in the hell that was my existence. I turned to alcohol and started to self-medicate because I couldn’t stop what my brain chemistry was doing to me. I didn’t even recognize the person I was becoming. The guilt of the reckless behavior, the shame of things I said and did while manic, the narcissism and self-absorption that everyone around me had to endure was too much to live with. From day to day, I had a plan to stop the pain but I just couldn’t do it. Ironically, my mental illness, which created my need to be perfect, please my parents and not disappoint anyone is what kept me fighting. Its why I’m here now. That and a whole lot of Catholic guilt.

Eventually, I got help. But for a long time, I didn’t even know what was wrong with me. I assumed I was just broken; undeserving of happiness. But once I was diagnosed, everything became clear and with the help of my team of doctors and specialist, we made a plan to live. It’s not easy. It’s a lot of hard work. It hurts. You have to face things about yourself that maybe you don’t want to accept but accepting it is the only way to get through it. Depression is a liar. The thing no one tells you is that it’s a fight that you will be fighting for the rest of your life. There is no fucking cure. Just medicine and therapy to make it bearable.

Heather Armstrong, Dooce

All this to say, Heather was more than just the “Queen Mommy Blogger” to me. She was a friend, a confidant, an inspiration and a mentor. Loved and beloved. She shone the light on the ugly and beautiful of life without hesitation and with complete vulnerability. Heather was a talented writer and wordsmith. She was kind, caring, compassionate, loving, thoughtful, hilarious. Off-the-wall and irreverent and we loved her for every single bit of it.

She lived for her Leta and Marlo. Loved Pete. Her time was too brief but it was impactful on the world. She used her platform to give light to important causes, sometimes even to her own detriment. She made a difference. Her words were a big part of her legacy. I’m heartbroken that I’ll never get to read another new post or message from her again. Still, I can take comfort that for a little while I was in her orbit.

I will forever miss you, my friend. You were so much more than just a mommy blogger. I pray that you are free of the pain of this world and you are finally at peace.

Heather Armstrong, Dooce

To all of my OG blogger friends and community ( you know who you are), I love you and I’m here for you. I always have been and I always will be.

If you have a favorite memory of Heather, please share below in the comments.

If you are struggling with mental illness and/or suicidal ideation, don’t do it alone. You are not alone. You are a warrior and there are people to help. Even when the pain feels unbearable, you are worthy of living and being loved. Don’t give up.

988 Suicide and Crisis Hotline

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Estimated reading time: 7 minutes

Technology has come a long way in the past few years, and this is especially evident when it comes to e-commerce website building. If you’re looking to create a website that sells products or services online, you need to be using the latest technology in order to stay ahead of the competition. This blog post will discuss some of the most critical aspects of e-commerce website building and how you can use the latest technology to your advantage.

Some of the most critical aspects of e-commerce website building include:

1) Creating a responsive design: 

In today’s mobile-first world, it is absolutely essential that your e-commerce website has a responsive design. This means that your website should be able to adapt to any screen size, whether it is a desktop computer, a tablet, or a smartphone. In addition, a responsive design will ensure that your website looks great and functions properly no matter what device your customers are using. 

There are many different ways to create a responsive design, but one of the most popular methods is to use CSS media queries. Media queries allow you to change the styles of your website based on the width of the device that it is being viewed on. This ensures that your website always looks its best, no matter what device your customers are using.

Another important aspect of responsive design is to make sure that your website loads quickly on all devices. Customers are impatient, and if your website takes too long to load, they are likely to click away and go to a competitor’s site. There are many ways to optimize your website for speed, but some of the most effective methods include using a content delivery network (CDN) and compressing your images.

2) Creating a user-friendly design: 

Your e-commerce website needs to be designed in a way that is easy for your customers to use. This means having a clean and organized layout that is easy to navigate. Your website should also be designed with your customer’s journey in mind. This means creating a smooth and seamless checkout process that is easy for your customers to follow.

There are many different ways to create a user-friendly design, but some of the most important methods include using clear and concise text, using whitespace effectively, and using high-quality images. 

Another important aspect of creating a user-friendly design is making sure that your website is mobile-friendly. As we mentioned before, more and more people are using their smartphones to browse the internet and make purchases. Therefore, if your website is not designed for mobile, you are likely to lose a lot of potential customers.

There are many different ways to create a mobile-friendly design, but some of the most effective methods include, using large font sizes, and using small or no images.

3) Creating an SEO-friendly design: 

Your e-commerce website needs to be designed in a way that is friendly to search engines. This means using the right keywords and phrases in your website’s title, description, and content. It also means making sure that your website’s design is easy for search engines to crawl and index.

There are many different ways to create an SEO-friendly design, but some of the most important methods include using keyword-rich titles, using meta descriptions, and using alt tags. 

Another important aspect of creating an SEO-friendly design is making sure that your website is fast and responsive. As we mentioned before, customers are impatient, and if your website takes too long to load, they are likely to click away and go to a competitor’s site. There are many ways to optimize your website for speed, but some of the most effective methods include using a content delivery network (CDN) and compressing your images.

4) Creating a trendy design: 

Your e-commerce website needs to be designed in a way that is trendy and up-to-date. This means using the latest design trends in your website’s layout, color scheme, and typography. It also means making sure that your website’s design is responsive and mobile-friendly.

There are many different ways to create a trendy design, but some of the most important methods include using a clean and minimalistic layout, using flat or material design elements, and using large font sizes. 

5) Creating a safe website: 

Your e-commerce website needs to be designed in a way that is safe and secure for your customers. This means having an SSL certificate installed on your website and using a secure payment gateway. It also means making sure that your website’s design is easy for your customers to navigate.

There are many different ways to create a safe website, but some of the most essential methods include using an SSL certificate, using a secure payment gateway, and using strong passwords. 

Another critical aspect of creating a safe website is making sure that your website is backed up regularly. This means that if something happens to your website, you will have a copy of all of your data stored safely off-site. There are many different ways to back up your website, but some of the most effective methods include using a cloud-based backup service and downloading a copy of your website to your computer.

Using the latest technology: 

When it comes to e-commerce website building, it is important to use the latest technology in order to stay ahead of the competition. Some of the latest technologies that you should be using include chatbots, artificial intelligence, and virtual reality. 

1) Chatbots: 

One of the latest technologies that you can use for your e-commerce website is chatbots. Chatbots are computer programs that simulate human conversation. They can be used to answer customer questions, provide customer support, and even make sales. 

There are many different chatbot platforms that you can choose from, but some of the most popular ones include Facebook Messenger, Slack, and Telegram. 

To add a chatbot to your e-commerce website, you will need to create an account with one of the chatbot platforms and then integrate it with your website. The process of integration will vary depending on which platform you are using, but it is generally fairly straightforward. Here you can see how a chatbot integration with your website works. 

2) Artificial intelligence:

The use of artificial intelligence (AI) is growing in popularity for businesses of all sizes. For example, for e-commerce websites, AI can be used to personalize the shopping experience for each customer and make product recommendations. It can also be used to help with fraud detection and customer service.

Some of the most popular AI tools for e-commerce websites include chatbots, virtual assistants, and predictive analytics. Chatbots can be used to answer common questions from customers and provide 24/seven customer support. Virtual assistants like Amazon’s Alexa can be used to place orders and track shipments. Finally, predictive analytics can be used to identify trends and make recommendations for products or services that a customer is likely to want or need in the future.

AI is still in its early stages, but it has the potential to revolutionize the e-commerce industry. Businesses that are able to adapt and use AI technology will have a competitive advantage over those that don’t.

3) Virtual Reality:

Virtual reality (VR) is another emerging technology that is starting to be used by e-commerce businesses. VR can be used to create an immersive shopping experience for customers. For example, a customer could try on clothes in a virtual changing room or test out products before they buy them.

VR is still in its early stages, and it will likely be some time before it becomes widely used by e-commerce businesses. However, it has the potential to change the way we shop online and make the experience more interactive and fun.

4) Augmented Reality:

Augmented reality (AR) is similar to VR, but it overlays digital information in the real world instead of creating a completely virtual environment. AR is being used by some e-commerce businesses to allow customers to see how products would look in their homes before they buy them. For example, IKEA has an app that lets users see how furniture would look in their living room before they purchase it.

AR is still in its early stages, but it has the potential to change the way we shop for products online. It could also be used for other purposes, such as customer service and product demonstrations.

These are just a few examples of the latest technology that is being used by e-commerce businesses. By staying up-to-date on the latest trends, you can ensure that your e-commerce website is using the best technology to provide a superior shopping experience for your customers.

In conclusion, this blog has provided you with some of the most important aspects of e-commerce website building and how to use the latest technology. Remember to keep your website updated with the latest trends and technologies so that you can stay ahead of your competition. 

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Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

If you are good at something, you find your home business will grow, and you need to move it away from your house. Here are some things you need to do to move from a home operation.

Source Reliable Logistics Partners

It is believed that more than ten orders per day aren’t feasible for one person to handle alone. The minutia involved, such as receiving orders, packing, and shipping, is just too much for a single home-based entrepreneur to complete. So it becomes necessary to take your business away from home. And you need help fulfilling a growing shipment roster. Fortunately, you can use many packaging automation services, eCommerce fulfillment centers, and distribution warehouses. All of these are a godsend when your business starts to become popular.

Find Suitable Premises

Taking your business to the next level means finding somewhere suitable to carry on with production. First, any premises you move into need to be safe. That’s the top priority. Check there are no electrical issues, structural problems, or environmental hazards. Moving on, you will also need adequate office space with network-friendly cabling solutions, personal storage, and sufficient facilities. Finally, you should ensure that the building has emergency equipment installed, such as fire extinguishers and alarms. And check they have been inspected.

Consider Employees when You Move from a Home Operation

Expanding your business means hiring employees. The average small business has around 10 employees. So, when this happens, you shift from a relatively simple operation to a business owner with huge responsibilities. These responsibilities include paying a fair wage, protecting employees, and developing reasonable working patterns. All of this is hard work, especially if you have never done it before. However, you could consider hiring an experienced manager to help you with the finer details of running your new and improved company.

Hire Digital Marketing Agencies

If you have been in production for some time, then people will know who you are. But you will need to expand public awareness of your business if you are to meet demands such as output, salaries, and premises rent. And in the modern business world, digital marketing agencies are the kings of getting you noticed. Perhaps you have previously sold your items on a site like Etsy. As you expand, you need to create your own eCommerce platform. DMAs can assist you with PPC campaigns, brand development, and incorporating SEO into your fresh and new site.

Develop a Solid Financial Plan

Switching from a home business to a corporation means acting like one. And no company can survive without a solid financial strategy. Of course, you can outsource this to professional accountants. But that’s another expense. You can formulate a financial plan that includes at least an income statement, balance sheet, and a sales forecast. However, there is much more to a solid plan, such as employee statements, cash flow projections, and break-even analysis. It is also recommended that you devise a financial plan two years in advance.

Summary

Expanding a business is a great idea and necessary. The things you need to move from a home operation include finding logistics services, hiring employees, and financial planning.

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Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

Running your own home-based business takes a lot of money, energy, and most importantly, time. You need money to set up your business, investing in equipment and materials and software that you’ll need to create your products or service, but it doesn’t stop there. All businesses have a number of costs that it needs to cover with each working week that passes, and these costs can easily overwhelm especially when life gets quiet. Maybe that’s why I don’t sleep a whole lot. I think way too much.

But rather than let money cripple your home-based business, there’s no time like the present to figure out how to cut your spending to ensure you can thrive no matter what happens. Thankfully these tips and tricks can help you make and save money for your business, and there’s no time like the present to get started!

Build & Maintain Your Own Website

One of the first tasks that most people outsource when they create their own business is the project of creating a website. Every good business needs a website, the face of the business. This isn’t a step that you can skip over, but far too many individuals are under the impression that building a website is too hard to do on their own. That’s simply not true. You can easily teach yourself how to design your own website if you’re willing to learn how to. There are thousands of resources online that you can make the most of to understand website development, including step-by-step guides that walk you through every process to ensure you can make the most of your online opportunity. You can save hundreds or even thousands of dollars by building and maintaining your own website, so now’s the time to learn the ropes of website development. 

Don’t Ship Independently

The big mistake that you can make as a home-based business is to ship your items independently without the help of a professional freight service. Using a basic mail service will be ridiculously expensive, especially if you’re sending larger product’s that are heavy or wide/tall, and you’ll end up paying above and beyond just to get your items to their intended recipient. Customers won’t be happy to pay more for the delivery than they do for their actual product, so there’s no time like the present to save on freight shipping by finding the most affordable transportation service. Do your research and check reviews before you entrust a freight shipping company with your items because you need to make sure your products are in good hands and make it to their destination safely.

Learning how to cut costs within your home-based business has never been easier. Start by developing your own website rather than paying engineers to create and maintain your platform, and don’t be afraid to use commercial freight services to save masses of money without having to forfeit quality assurance. Most importantly, do what you love and put your whole heart into it and even when you’re working hard building your business, you feel content and have the passion to keep working towards your dreams.

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What Hosting Do You Need For Your WordPress Site?, WPEngine, web hosting

Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

Hosting is a critical element of any website today, and with many different types of hosting packages, it can be difficult to know where to begin. After many years of hosting my blog, I’ve happily landed at WPEngine and love it for the performance and customer service. With that in mind, in this blog post, we’re going to take a look at managed hosting for WordPress. What is it? Is it a good option?

First thing’s first, what is managed WordPress Hosting? Managed WordPress Hosting is a service whereby your web host manages the technical aspects of running your WordPress site. To be clear, it’s not a service where your web host creates your WordPress site, they simply manage things like security, back-ups, updates, speed and consistent high performance.

WP Engine – Get 3 months free on WP Engine’s new eCommerce plans with coupon code ecommwpe10

Generally speaking, with most web hosts who offer managed WordPress hosting, you’ll receive exceptional premium support, where the support is provided by actual WordPress experts who know exactly what they’re doing. Managed WordPress hosting can be a little more expensive than your standard shared hosting, for example, GoDaddy’s basic plan starts at $2.99 per month (usually $5.99, with 50% off), but if you’re willing to pay the extra, then it’s certainly worth it. If you want to buy vps hosting, I would suggest opting for knownhost.com for results you have never imagined were possible in the first place.

As with most things, there are pros and cons of managed WordPress hosting, so we’ve put a list together for you to decide whether it’s right for you:

High Speeds: Because managed WordPress hosting servers are designed specifically for WordPress websites, you likely won’t be sharing your server with as many other customers as you would with shared hosting. You can check out this site and read more about servers that are best for small businesses. Higher speeds mean more traffic; if your website or blog loads within 3 seconds, which it will with WordPress hosting, then customers will stay longer on your website, and you’ll receive a higher SERP SEO with Google.

Quality Support: As we mentioned earlier, the support you’ll receive from a managed WordPress hosting plan will be top-notch. The WordPress experts at your beck and call really are experts, they know what they’re doing, so you can ditch the back and forth nonsense and be reassured that your problems and queries will get sorted straight away. As well as providing support, they can also advise you on which WordPress plugins would and wouldn’t suit your website, giving you tailor-made help whenever you need it.

Updates and Back-ups: Because the technicalities of WordPress are managed by your web host, you won’t have to worry about updating your website to the latest version of WordPress, or be concerned about daily back-ups. These features are all dealt with in-house by your web host, so you’ll receive automatic updates without any conflicts, and daily back-up runs in case anything goes wrong.

This enhances the convenience factor considerably, lessening your workload. However, you will still need to make sure you’re keeping on tops of the likes of SEO and PPC for your site. Your host won’t cover elements like this. You can view PPC data with separate tools to make sure you’re maximizing your advertising streams to full effect.

That all sounds pretty good, right? Well, it is, but there are a few downsides too, which may or may not affect you depending on why managed WordPress hosting is suitable for you:

Cost: Most managed WordPress hosting plans will set you back at least $10 per month, if you choose their unlimited options (which is advised for WordPress hosting, due to WordPress plugins, database back-ups, etc.). It may not sound like a lot, but when you compare it to shared hosting which is generally around the $2 mark, there’s quite a difference. However, if you consider how much it would cost you to pay for someone to manage your WordPress website, with the added security and speed features, it’s actually very reasonably priced.

Limited to WordPress: This may sound obvious, but it’s worth pointing out. If you choose managed WordPress hosting, the likelihood is that you’ll only be able to host a WordPress website. But, if you’re looking at WordPress hosting, then you’re probably not wanting to use another CMS, or create your own website outside of WordPress.

Limited Control: Because someone else will be managing your WordPress website, you won’t have as much control over the technical aspects, such as, security, speed, back-ups etc. Again, a moot point if the reason you’re choosing managed WordPress hosting is for someone else to run things because you can’t/don’t want to/don’t have to.

To be honest, if you’re using managed WordPress hosting for the right reasons, then there aren’t really that many cons we can think of that would put you off. If you’re a small-time blogger, or have a personal website, then this type of hosting probably isn’t for you. You can easily find a web host that offers shared hosting with 1-click installs for WordPress, with a much more affordable price tag. However, if you’re a growing business, or your website generates a lot of traffic, then managed WordPress hosting would certainly be beneficial.

If you’re looking for a stress-free option that isn’t time-consuming, or you don’t have the technical skills but are willing to pay someone else to deal with that side of things for you, choosing a managed WordPress hosting provider should be a consideration. It all comes down to weighing up whether the ‘managed’ side of things is worth paying for, dependent on the type of website you have, or the type of business you run. There are plenty of web hosting providers available that can offer managed WordPress hosting, such as, WP Engine, and SiteGround. 

A lot of people do not think their choice of host matters, but it does make a big difference when it comes to cost and site performance, so take the time to assess all of your options carefully.

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Okrut, social networking sites, Digital marketing, social media marketing

Orkut is a now-defunct social networking site, that started out as a place to find and reconnect with old schoolmates. Think of it as Google’s version of Linkedin and Classmates.com having a baby social networking site. Orkut was named after its creator, Orkut Büyükkökten, launched in 2004 and shut down in 2014 and proved to be extremely popular in Brazil, so much so, that 90% of its page view was from users in Brazil. With all the makings of success,  Orkut is a lesson in why small dreams end in failure. Just like in life, in all things, we need to dream bigger and evolve to meet the changing world.

READ ALSO: How Warby Parker CoVid Proofed their Business

But what is Orkut? Just like all the other social networking sites you are used to now, Orkut’s original purpose for existing was so that users could find like-minded people who shared similar interests and communities via keyword search, descriptions and other users. Orkut came to fruition at the same time as industry giants Facebook and LinkedIn and before Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest were ever even thought of.

Orkut was ahead of its time.

It grew quickly, within the first four months, Orkut had over 50,000 communities. The whole premise and strategy for the success of Orkut were built on users wanting to connect and reconnect with friends, classmates, and acquaintances from school, work and neighborhood groups. On this fact alone, Orkut garnered 20 million users by 2012. In the time it existed, we learned a lot about using social networking sites for marketing.

The community structure of Orkut (like more modern-day social networking sites) spoke to the changing role of the digital consumer because it gave consumers a place to interact and engage in communities with like-minded individuals, often of the same demographic, eager to connect and interact. Presenting the right products and services to these people would be beneficial and less commercially than traditional marketing structures.

READ ALSO: Why WeChat is a Super App

Why would consumers be more interested in participating with these messages rather than a diffusion strategy because it feels more organic for the consumer? When social networking ads target consumers by their preferences by what they like, those promotions feel more like word of mouth recommendations from a friend versus an advertisement pushed on a consumer. It’s less intrusive and more welcomed.

As a networking site, Orkut was very popular with the more tech-savvy students and workers in those industries; something for the CES and Silicon Valley crowd. It was great for connecting and engaging with friends, as well as, leaders in the industry and mentors. Many people were eager to be a part of the Orkut community as much because of its prestigious, invite-only membership as its affiliation to Google.

Belonging to Orkut held a lot clout as it inferred that members were highly connected in the technology field.

The site itself was clean, simple and sophisticated for a networking site at the time. It was also easy to use, navigate and join communities. Friends were able to rate each other on how sexy, cool and trustworthy they found each other. This was a predecessor to today’s modern-day likes system.

Okrut, social networking sites, Digital marketing, social media marketing

Orkut also allowed users to make recommendations about products and services like YELP, allowing members to point fellow members in the right direction based on experiences. This was part of its charm for Brazilians.

Why Orkut was such a hit with the Brazilians:

  • Brazilians do a lot of online shopping with one of the strongest markets for online retailers. They’ll soon reach the potential the USA online market has, which is growing day by day thanks to all those sales and discounts on websites like Raise consumers have access to.
  • They also happen to love social media.
  • Outdoor marketing isn’t allowed in Brazil, so you won’t be bombarded by billboards. However, it has made online marketing lucrative and effective.
  • In Brazil, 77% of Brazilian social media users like to shop online, most of them use social networking sites like Orkut to research products and of those, they are more likely to trust recommendations from someone they know online.
  • In Brazil, online marketing is not an option, it is the way to be successful. It’s about more than just existing online they need to actively engage via blogging, social gaming and online video that required in marketing campaigns. Online video is King and Okrut could have done a better job with the video.

Orkut proves that as technology evolves so must digital platforms to meet the needs of the user.

In the end, functionality problems killed the social networking site. Orkut had issues with its website, including blockages, limiting the number of friends and difficulties in loading and sharing photos. Once Orkut stopped meeting the needs of the culture and audiences they served, they became irrelevant and lost consumers. Eventually, they were replaced by newer sites. In the end, Orkut had all the makings of a successful networking site, however, it didn’t have a plan to evolve to meet user’s needs or the fortitude to push and grow beyond the original vision. Orkut simply got left behind by refusing to change.

Were you familiar with Orkut? What is currently your favorite social networking site? Why or why not?

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WeChat, Weixin, social media, super app

With social media and apps, as with any product made for human beings, it is common knowledge that how each individual reacts to it depends on their own life experiences. This means that the best way to succeed with the people, targeted demographic, that you want to ingratiate yourself with, personally or in business, you need to be aware and anticipate the wants and needs of those individuals. For example, you’re not going to make any friends trying to convince someone who has no legs to buy Louboutins. Read the room, bruh (as my teen likes to remind everyone).

More than just knowing your audience, you need to understand them and be willing to be flexible to accommodate changing needs. This is the same in romantic and friend relationships. I guess the part where we care enough to meet the needs of others is what makes us human; it’s the social aspect that we crave and that’s exactly what makes social media apps so appealing to extroverts and introverts alike.

READ ALSO: How to get invited to Disney’s Social Media Creator Days

For example, Weixin (pronounced “way-shin”), better known as WeChat, is a popular Chinese multi-purpose social networking app developed in 2011 by Tencent, a Chinese social media company. Within 3 years, Weixin had more than 300 million active users in China, Southeast Asia, Europe and the United States. If you think TikTok is taking off, WeChat did it first. 

WeChat is similar to WhatsApp in the United States. However, WeChat is way more comprehensive than WhatsApp allowing users to send messages, share news and pictures, access social media and even mobile payments via their cell phone. It really is an app for everything, a super app. You say, “they’ve got an app for that”, the app is WeChat. With those kinds of capabilities, it’s no wonder if has over 1 billion monthly users worldwide. It’s the closest competitor is the Weibo app, if just depends on what you’re using it for.

Aside from messaging and calling features, WeChat provides text messaging, one-to-many broadcasting, video conferencing, hold-to-talk voice messaging, video games, photo and video sharing and location sharing. Why don’t we all have WeChat? I, honestly, never heard of WeChat until I started binge-watching C-Dramas like it was my job this pandemic and I can testify that everybody in my C-Dramas uses WeChat, so much so that I’m getting FOMO from it.

READ ALSO: C-Dramas to Save You from the Pandemic Pit of Despair

Why is WeChat so successful when there are so many apps out there? Easy, WeChat is user friendly. It is the result of caring enough to get to know the audience and enhance the quality of their lives. The developers have made sure that the app is an asset that makes life easier, more streamlined and more convenient in a world where we are all busy, overworked and exhausted. It’s so good at being useful that it’s not extraneous, it is a necessity to many. It’s as vital as the cellphone itself to most.

WeChat knows that its key demographic is young, urban smartphone owners and specifically targets them by providing them an “all-in-one-platform” app.

It offers a wide range of functions from sending a baby photo to friends, getting news, text messaging, to finding a cab on the street. WeChat is more than a combination of Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, and eBay. It rolls them all into one and makes those apps redundant. Why download 5 apps when you can do everything in one?

WeChat is easy to use. Everything about it from the interface to the functions are designed to be straightforward and easy to use. One feature that I love, that I use frequently on my phone, is voice messaging by just pushing 1 button, especially when you’re not in the mood to talk but you’re just too busy to type it all out. It’s the closest thing to talking to someone. If you know, you know.

WeChat also allows users to open almost everything within the app browser so you’re not constantly being rerouted to Chrome and a new tab. It’s easier, more aesthetically pleasing and less “noise” on your phone. WeChat provides so many capabilities for its users they don’t need to go anywhere else. It’s like having a really well matched and attentive partner, if all your needs are being met at home, why go out?

READ ALSO: The Last Bite a Love Story

This high rate of satisfaction keeps users in the app longer versus jumping in and out of various apps for separate functions. With all of the capabilities it has like the cab reservation function, Didi Taxi, allowing users to book taxis directly, Weixin pay features which eliminates the need to carry around your credit cards and cash and all the other social aspects, people can be highly independent and self-efficient. The best thing about WeChat is that it keeps changing to meet its user’s needs, continuously introducing new functions and features to keep up with the evolving and growing needs of its audience.

WeChat, Weixin, social media, super app, weibo

In Chinese culture, during the holidays, people give friends and family monetary gifts in red envelopes. A thoughtful feature WeChat introduced in January 2014, right before the Chinese New Year, was a Red Envelope “Qiang Hongbao” campaign.

  • It allowed WeChat users to link their bank account to their WeChat account and send or receive red envelopes virtually.
  • Just to keep things fun and exciting, Weixin allowed users to put a sum of cash in the Red Envelope and then distribute the money randomly among a group of recipients the user set up.
  • The user sets the amount of money, i.e. $100 among 6 friends and the app randomly sent each friend an envelope with a surprise amount, it could be $1 or it could be $99.
  • It was fun for the giver and receiver but more importantly, it encouraged people to use the app.
  • Nearly 5 million people participated in the Red Envelope campaign and sent out 20 million cash-filled red envelopes virtually.

By meeting their audience’s needs and wants, WeChat has made themselves indispensable in those people’s lives. The app is a part of their daily routine and way of life. The best part is WeChat is always ready and available to help, always within an arm’s reach. How many people can we say that about?

Do you have WeChat? If not, what app are you most dependent on? Is there one that you would be lost without?

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How to work with Disney as an Influencer, what is a Disney Creator

Do you love Disney? Do you have hopes and dreams of someday being able to work with Disney as an influencer? Is Walt Disney World on your brands to work with bucket list? Would you die of sheer happiness if you were invited to attend a Disney influencer event or the coveted Disney Creators Celebration? If you answered yes to any of those questions, you are not alone. There are thousands of us, if not more. But what is a Disney creator? More importantly, who knows how to work with Disney as an influencer?

READ ALSO: What is Disney Creator Days and how to get invited

I’ve been a blogger for almost 11 years. I’ve been an influencer since about a minute after that.  I’ve been a Disney creator and superfan since my first trip to the happiest place on earth for my honeymoon in 1999. I’ve been invited by Disney to collaborate and attend Disney hosted events and they are as amazing as they seem to be. Put it this way, if given the choice be any kind of influencer and attend any brand event, Disney is the one I would always say yes to. You will get the chance to experience Disney like no other. Being able to attend Disney World events with my family has been one of the highlights of my career.

What is a Disney Creator (influencer)?

In the simplest terms, an influencer is someone who has genuine influence.

  • Influence is the power to affect how your audience decides to spend their purchasing dollars. This is affected by the influencer’s perceived authority, knowledge, and relationship with the audience.
  • Influence and following in a specific niche, with whom an influencer actively engages with and builds trust, is priceless.
  • Influencers are not just marketing tools, but human beings who are social relationship assets that brands can collaborate with to reach their target audience. It’s should be about more than just numbers, it’s about real influence to change someone’s mind in one way or the other through a working relationship.
  • A Disney creator influencer is a person who uses their genuine love for Disney to inform and influence their audience about all things Disney.

 What is a Social Media Influencer?

Over the last 10 years, social media has not only been birthed it has grown in leaps and bounds in importance and influence.  3.484 billion people actively use social media. That is 45% of the population of the world. These people are looking to trusted influencers to help them decide what to buy and which products to use.

Influencers in social media are people who’ve built reputations for their knowledge and expertise on specific topics. People get to know them through their online interactions and trust is rewarded by loyalty. Consistent posting on their blog and social channels generate large followings of enthusiastic and engaged people. Influencers wield great power to create trends and promote trends.

What are the types of influencers that can become Disney Creators?

Influencers can be categorized in many different ways; by followers, types of content and level of influence. You don’t have to produce content just in the Walt Disney World niche to be considered to be a Disney Creator but it does help to be passionate about Disney and share that passion with your audience in an authentic and engaging way.

Mega-Influencers

Mega influencers are the people with the largest numbers of followers on their social networks. A Mega-influencer is quantified as having more than 1 million followers on at least one social media platform.

Macro-Influencers

Macro-influencers are a step below the mega-influencers in terms of influence numbers, and may actually be more accessible as influencer marketers. Influencers with an audience between the range of 40,000 to 1 million followers on a social media network are macro-influencers.

Micro-Influencers

Micro-Influencers are ordinary everyday people (like you and I) who have become known for their knowledge about a specific niche. Through this, they’ve grown a large social media following amongst loyal fans of the niche. It’s not just the number of followers that indicates a level of influence; it is the relationship and interaction that a micro-influencer has with their audience. Are they trusted? Are they engaging? Is their content relevant? Are their followers loyal?

Generally, micro-influencers have between 1,000 and 40,000 followers on a single social platform. Micro-influencers have built up specialist followings, and they are very discriminate when it comes to brands they will partner with. They won’t want to appear salesy to their audience. This requirement to develop a relationship with a  brand that is must align with target audiences means that micro-influencers are often picky about with whom they work.

Nano-Influencers

The latest influencer-type to is the nano-influencer. Nano-influencers only have a very small number of followers, but they tend to be experts in an obscure or highly specialized field i.e. best places to eat gluten-free on Disney World property and have high influence with their audience.  Most nano-influencers have less than 1,000 followers but those followers are loyal, devoted and trust the nano influencers opinions.

It isn’t all about the size of your traffic, it has more to do with what you do with your audience. Are you engaging them? Is your content strong and interesting? Are you an expert on all things Disney? Is your opinion valued by your audience? Do they trust you? Are you influential on the topic of Disney parks and resorts? Do you know all of the best rollercoasters? Best restrooms?

Types of Content Disney Creators Create

Most influencing happens in social media, micro-influencers are awesome and I’m not just saying that because I am one, and blogging. With a growing interest in video, YouTubers are quickly becoming very valuable assets as well.

Bloggers

Bloggers and influencers in social media have the most authentic and active relationships with their fans

YouTubers

Another favorite type of content is video. In this case, rather than each video maker having their own site, most create a channel on YouTube.

Podcasters

Podcasts are growing in popularity and so their influence is growing as well.

Social Posts Influencers

Bloggers, podcasters, and YouTubers cannot exist in a vacuum, every influencer promotes new posts or videos on social media – which makes most of these bloggers and content creators micro-influencers.

But how the heck does one get invited to be a Disney creator? Point blank, you have to make yourself seen, create good content (whether it is written, video or podcast) and a genuine love for Disney is a definite advantage. But love for Disney World alone is not enough.

How to work with Disney as an Influencer, what is a Disney Creator

The next question on everyone’s mind is how do I get invited to Disney Creators Celebration? How to work with Disney as an Influencer?

Unfortunately, those invited are hand-selected but that doesn’t mean you can’t get the Disney Creators invite.

Here are the tips that I have gathered over the years from Disney on how to be considered for any Disney press event as a Disney Creator.

Go to conferences where Disney will be at and connect/network with Disney PR. Write strong, engaging content about Disney and send the links to the WDW PR department.

What qualities does Disney look for in the influencers they work with?

It really depends on the initiative that they have going on. But it is helpful if bloggers have an up-to-date blog, have great social reach and engagement across the different social platforms, Disney-friendly content on social and their blogs, and a good Travel section.

How does Disney choose who to partner with for press events? Do bloggers need a certain amount of traffic to be invited to hosted events? How important is the audience fit?

Disney does not host very many influencer events so they have to be super selective with invitations. A lot of it is based on a variety of things such as brand fit, reach, audience, specialty, engagement, niche, diversity, quality of followers and whatever product Disney is promoting, etc.

The bottom line is don’t give up your dream of working with Disney and being invited to Disney Creators Celebration. Keep posting quality content. Keep sharing your love for Disney World. The most important thing is that you believe in and love what you are creating; let who you are shine through your content.

There are more ways to work with Disney than just being invited to Disney Creators Celebration.

Different ways to work with Disney

Request Disney Media Tickets

It’s that easy. You can email Disney World PR and request tickets if you are active and established media. You can get up to 2 1-day park hopper passes throughout one calendar year. Check the PR policy page for instructions.

How to get invited to Disney Creator Media Events and how to work with Disney as an influencer

My suggestion would to be to get on Disney PR’s radar. Once you request media tickets, you should be on the list but if you really want to make yourself stand out, interact with Disney PR on social media and in Disney groups and attend conferences where they will be and introduce yourself. Also, if you write about Disney send them your links or tag them on social media.

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purple wall , #DisneyCreatorDays #DisneySMMC Walt Disney creator, Disney social media moms celebration, Disney Creator Days, What is Disney Creator Days, Walt Disney World, Disney Corporation, castaway cay, Disney Creators Celebration, What is Disney Creators Celebration, #DisneyCreators

.Looks like Disney’s Social Media Mom Celebration may be gone forever. It’s time to say tootles mouseketeers. Well, not gone (never forgotten) but refreshed. Disney World is not just for moms and neither should it’s creator celebration be limited to just mothers (though I did love the idea since I am a mom). Enter Disney Creators Celebration for all Disney loving content creators and influencers. Hey, what do you know, I still qualify because I am one of the most Disney loving creators there are. But what is Disney Creators Celebration? Here’s all you need to know including how you can get invited yourself.

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