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Archive for the ‘IT Leadership’ Category

2013 and the New Job Market Paradigm

It’s 2013 and Happy New Year!

It’s a time for partying and for celebration but also a great time for some reflection about our jobs and careers.

Here’s a great article (“The Start-Up of You”) that summarizes the new job market paradigm in 2013 and beyond.
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Thomas L. Friedman – Pulitzer Prize winner – wrote a great article in the New York Times Opinion pages a little while back that I still remember for its insightfulness.

Here’s the heart of the article as he quotes Reid Hoffman, one of the Co-Founders of LinkedIn.

“The old paradigm of climb up a stable career ladder is dead and gone,”

“No career is a sure thing anymore. The uncertain, rapidly changing conditions in which entrepreneurs start companies is what it’s now like for all of us fashioning a career. Therefore you should approach career strategy the same way an entrepreneur approaches starting a business.”

“To begin with, Hoffman says, that means ditching a grand life plan. Entrepreneurs don’t write a 100-page business plan and execute it one time; they’re always experimenting and adapting based on what they learn.”

“ Hoffman adds: “You can’t just say, ‘I have a college degree, I have a right to a job, now someone else should figure out how to hire and train me.’ ” You have to know which industries are working and what is happening inside them and then “find a way to add value in a way no one else can. For entrepreneurs it’s differentiate or die — that now goes for all of us.””
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It’s a hopeful New Year’s message for those of us that can learn to adapt and change. If you think you can’t then your first job would be to expand your horizons and work on changing your mindset.

Please also check out also these great resources:

1) The World is Changing: Are You Ready to Compete? http://bit.ly/VkgwqL
This white paper provides an overview of the issues and requirements needed to support the foundation for business change. Learn how new foundation is required for companies to support customer expectations for the next decade.

2) How Financial Organizations Can Succeed in Making Critical Improvementshttp://bit.ly/RuifM2
The financial services industry has always been on the front lines of raging battle to understand, manage and process paper documents. Overwhelmed by paper documents, and more, learn how organizations can make improvement to paper-flow and more.

3) Effective, flexible leadership in the 21st century http://bit.ly/UeF6xs
This paper provides some techniques for developing a culture that fosters innovation and encourages 21st century leadership methods and mindsets.

4) Use Learning to Achieve a Business Advantage Over Your Competition http://bit.ly/135vEN6
Research shows that organizations with a strong learning culture outperform their peers in terms of innovation, productivity, quality, and market leadership. If organizations can use learning to achieve business advantage, who should they turn to?

Beginner’s Guide to Selling Your Unused Domain Names

Many individuals have the habit of collecting attractive domain names but never using them. If so, why not get rid of unused domain names and in the process, make some cash? It is important to understand the whole process of selling domain names. On the outside, the process may look very easy, but unless a trader is well aware of how the whole process works, it is not easy to find a buyer.

In today’s post, we are going to show you how to sell a domain name you can’t wait to let go off, and take you through the steps needed to find a buyer, negotiate for the best price, find a secure payment system and seal your transactions. If you have questions, just let us know in the comments section.

How to Sell a Domain Name

To sell a domain name, one should learn to price it. Many sellers fail to sell names in the marketplace, simply because they overpriced the domain, and thereby lost the chance to sell it. A lack of knowledge leads to erratic pricing. Experienced buyers will not try to bargain, unless you have a very rare name. A seller should therefore, understand how good the domain name is. What price will he get from a buyer? What suffix does it carry? For instance, .com names are likely to sell fast and will bring greater profits than, say .info names. Similarly, .net, .org and .in domain names are the best to make decent profit.

It is much harder to sell names no one has heard of. Short names have the highest value — they are rare, easy to sell and bring substantial profit. Basic and common domain names, which can be relatable, or arouse interest in the market are the best. General names sell thick and fast and also bring considerably higher profit.  Names that are easy to spell will attract buyers, and provide good opportunity to make a decent profit. If you know you have a good domain in your hands, then you are likely to make good profit by selling it.

Sellers should also learn to identify premium domain names. Dictionary names are premium domain names. Domain names with dictionary-singular names are the hottest on the Web, and buyers are willing to pay a lot to purchase them. Names, such as search.com or askme.com, will get buyers more easily than long domain names. It is also important to note that unhyphenated domain names have more value. Even product-related domain names also can enable sellers to earn substantial profit. Once a seller has a certain degree of knowledge about the domain, he can start searching for buyers.

Where to find domain name buyers

Once you decide to sell a domain name, it is important to find the best market to sell it. The best way to sell a domain name is to approach buyers secretly. If you know someone who deals with domain names, it is recommended to contact him without going through the middleman. Chances are that the seller will make more profit, as he will not have to pay the middleman.

Selling on auction sites is another great way to find buyers. Ebay.com is perhaps, the most popular place to sell domain names. Afternic.com is another site that allows sellers to find good buyers. If you have premium domain names, become a member at GreatDomains.com and list your domain name there. The site is a reputed marketplace and brokers deal with thousands of dollars trading domain names. You can also sell domain names through Sedo.com, a site which has its own selling program. Sedo.com has the largest marketplace in the world, and boasts of having a list of the most expensive domain names in the market. It also has a safe and secure escrow service for domain name buyers and sellers.

Engaging and negotiating with a buyer

Once you have settled which marketplace you wish to sell your domain name in, you should try to grab the buyer’s attention. Engaging a buyer is an important aspect of selling a domain name. Buyers are only interested in sellers who have a professional approach.

Hence, sellers should have clear cut knowledge of the domain name they are selling. A seller should also keep track of the traffic the domain name receives as well as the domain’s expiry date. He should also clarify if the domain name earns any money at all, and how much. This will help indicate the domain’s value in the market.

Some buyers are a tough nut to crack and they may quote a ridiculously low offer. Explain to these buyers and convince them why the domain is worth more than the quote. If the potential buyer doesn’t agree, fret not, just move on to the next one until you find a willing buyer. Once you finalize the deal, then it’s time to find the best payment mode for the transaction.

Secure Domain Escrow Service and its Benefits

When you are selling a domain name, you don’t want to suffer because of failed transactions or being tricked by defaulters. Safeguard your monetary dealings; the best way to do this is to take the help of a secure domain transfer and escrow service. The escrow system is highly beneficial because a buyer has to deposit money at the trusted source prior to purchase, and the dealing between a buyer and a seller takes place through a secure domain transfer and escrow service. This makes the transaction safer for both parties with the involvement of a neutral third party.

Domain name sellers are advised to use Sedo.com to list their domain name. The real advantage with Sedo.com is the mandatory escrow service that comes with every transaction. The site charges the seller a commission of 15% per transaction or USD 50, whichever is higher, for domain names featured on the site. Sellers who do not list with Sedo.com but would like to use their escrow service will have to pay the minimum transaction fee of USD 50, or 3% of the transaction, whichever is higher.

Escrow service is useful, and cost effective, but only if the domain names have a high enough value. For names that are priced lower, using escrow service may lead to losses.

Close Transaction and Get Payment

Now it’s time to transfer the domain name. Every site has its own process. Generally, the domain-selling sites require sellers to submit the authorisation code, which will initiate the transfer process. Once the transfer is completed, the seller can transfer funds from the escrow account to his personal account. Do check for the minimum number of days the amount must stay in the escrow account before the transaction can be completed.

Once the amount is due for release from the escrow account, you can transfer the money via wire transfer or even through PayPal to your own personal account. The use of PayPal comes with its own limitations in some countries, and it is better to check the PayPal country regulations.

What To Do And What Not to Do During Interview:

Some Noticeable point’s needs to be kept in mind while appearing for interview are -
Always adopt a professional attitude and professional looking and wearing.

Listen intently about interview questions. Use strong positive language while answering your questions.

Ask the relevant questions and be specific to job related questions only.

Wear a smile at all times even if your answers are unaccepted by interviewers.

Never indicate at any point of time that you’re desperate for a job.

Try to avoid the discussions related to your personal life; the interviewer should respect your trustworthiness and integrity.

Remain calm and don’t rush to conclusion instantly, try to go in-depth of the discussion and answers the question openly.

Don’t play with your hair, clothing, items in your pockets, it leaves a immature ego state and reflect a childish personality.

Try to avoid negative phrases such as: ‘I don’t know’. I’m not sure’. Talk about the issues not about the persons.

Smiling is a good positive sign, as it reflect your good nature. Maintain affirmative eye contact.

Relax do not rush for everything, use the mirror technique of interviewers, if they laugh, laugh with them.

Maintain proactive position, sit in straight posture, don’t slump, but be comfortable.

Always have a confident and honest attitude towards your work and words.

Some interviewers also asked for aptitude test which assesses your abilities.

While judging your Personality which reflects the profile of your abilities. Many employers believe that such tests reflect good idea of whether your abilities matching up job profile or not, and if your personality is suited to job profile of the company.

Aptitude exams test your reasoning skills under time pressure. Generally there are three areas of testing checking different ability, such as verbal reasoning, numerical reasoning and critical reasoning.

The time duration for the test is 30 minutes and the numbers of questions are approx 30. In Personality Tests most of Questions tend to focus on how you relate to other people and how you behave in complex situations, your work nature, and your ability to deal with emotions. Your motivations, interests, determination, enthusiasm, general outlook and your ability, capabilities to handle stressful situations during different situations are evaluated during interview. There is no right or wrong answers in the interview, just be yourself.

Becoming an Expert Proofreader

Very first thought – “What is Proofreading?” The word ‘proof’ is used to mean the final trial print that is used for making corrections before printing. Hence, a proofreader goes through the entire text with a fine toothcomb, trying to look for errors and glitches in the document.

Proofreading involves detection of errors, such as punctuation, grammar, and choice of words, spellings as well as other details of font, style and alignment. It involves surface reading.

 

Grammar and style form the primary focus of proof reading. The hard and fast rules of grammar need to be adhered to, such as dangling participles, typos, tenses, voices and so on. This is important to create the best image of the company or the person. Style is a little more ambiguous and has to do with the tone of the language, such as sarcasm, serious, ironical, and humorous and so on. These are brought about by the choice of words and each piece of writing needs to have a specific tone. Proofreading, in a nutshell, is not just looking out for grammar and punctuation errors ,but rather looking at the document as a whole and see whether all the words fit in together, supplying better options wherever necessary.

Qualifications of Proofreaders

A proofreader needs to do a check on the quality of a publication before it goes into print. There is nothing like a qualification that is officially recognized for proofreading, nor is there any specific course for proofreading. This does not mean that certificates are of no use for a proofreader or that they can be entirely dismissed as qualifications. However, such certificates do not surely form part of the criteria for recruitment as a proofreader.

The experience of the person is far more important in a proofreading job. You need to get maximum opportunities in order to get this experience and then establish a formidable reputation in your niche to get the maximum possible testimonials. A freelancer with a good command over the language can become a proofreader for different types of documents and articles and even novels. Some of the important qualifications a proofreader needs to have are:

  1. A good eye for detecting details and errors.
  2. Excellent knowledge of the English language, along with intricacies of grammar, spelling, punctuation, etc.
  3. A dedicated and systematic approach to the task.
  4. Good concentration skills.
  5. Relevant experience would be an advantage in order to prove aptitude in the niche.
  6. A native speaker of English would also be an advantage, but not essential.
  7. A graduate or an undergraduate working towards graduation.
  8. A good grade in English Literature would be desirable but not compulsory.

A proofreader needs to prove his worth. A freelance job of proofreading done from home can be convenient but you need good communication and writing skills. One needs to go along with the flow and the tone of the piece along with understanding the layout. Freelancers who wish to break into this career need to provide work that people would like to come back for.

Types of Proofreading Jobs

Several websites offer proofreading jobs of various types. There are many writers who want their stories or articles to be proofread. These writers then refer them to others. These jobs can belong to several niches.

For instance, there is technical writing where proofreading is required in engineering and medicine. Several documents are published in these fields and need proofreading. Writers of blogs also require proofreading for their articles. They would like their posts to be perfect in order to draw in more readers and viewers to their blog and attract advertisements. The content and readability of the article can be improved by proofreaders. Many companies also require copyeditors for proofreading their content before it is uploaded to the web. Websites that regularly publish web content are also in continuous need of proofreaders. There are also jobs related to correction of academic papers, such as thesis and other educational papers.

There are sites that allow proofreaders to set prices for their project and only do the proofreading work of those who meet their price criteria. There are several student assignments and advertisements of businesses, such as brochures and newsletters that require proofreading.

There is general proofreading that just requires an overall correction of grammatical mistakes and language errors along with spelling and typos. Journal proofreading needs a little higher skill set according to the requirements of the publishing firm. Apart from this, manuscript proofreading and scientific journals contain more complex studies and need to be properly checked out.

Tips to help Proofreaders to Succeed

  1. Concentration. Concentration is the key factor for successful proof reading. You need to get rid of all distractions and do the work without interruptions. Try to remain away from other noises as well, such as the radio, the television, your email and so on. Even a split second of inattention could cause an oversight and you might overlook an important error.
  2. Be alert to Homonym. There are words that sound similar or those that have the same spelling but different meanings. A proofreader needs to be aware of differences between words, such as ‘complement’ and compliment’ or ‘later’ and ‘latter’, ‘council’ and ‘counsel’, ‘imminent’ and ‘eminent’ and several others.
  3. Errors in Apostrophes. Several errors in apostrophes need to be watched out. For instance, words, such as, ‘your’ and you’re’; its and it’s; there and they’re and so on. These are silly errors, but if they are not taken care of the credibility of the passage is put under great strain leading to a poor opinion of the writer. You need to remember that the apostrophe is only used to show possession and it should not be used in plurals.
  4. Possessive pronouns, such as my, yours, his, hers, ours, theirs and its do not have apostrophe, whereas possessive nouns, such as Jack’s, dog’s, cat’s and other proper and common nouns can take the apostrophe for possession.
  5. Check out numbers/dates. Numbers can play a crucial role in the essay or text. Look out for the number of zeros in a value, such as $10,000 or $100,000; million or billion; 1972 or 1982; 5% or 50% and several other numerical related errors. Wrong statistics could lead to a complete misrepresentation of facts.
  6. Cultivate a sense of doubt. Try to double check your work and keep doubting, so that you will be able to identify all the errors. You need to doubt every word in order to identify each and every mistake. It is important not to take anything for granted while proofreading.
  7. Reading aloud. Read through the text rather slowly and, if possible, try to read out aloud. Read only what is presented on the page and not what is in your mind or what you think is there. Reading aloud helps as it slows you down and you are able to hear the words as well as see them, thereby making use of two sense organs.
  8. Look at the words without just allowing your eyes to slide over the words. Don’t just look at the outer shell of the words, that is the first and last letters of the word, but take in the entire word.
  9. Look out for words having double letters. These usually lead to confusion and spelling errors. For instance, accommodation, embarrassment, omission, occurrence, possession, apparent and so on.
  10. Using a dictionary. Use a dictionary in case of words that you are not very sure about. Select a link where you can quickly check out errors in spelling, punctuation, pronouns, subject verb agreement, periods, sentence fragments, dangling modifiers and tenses.
  11. Choice of words. Instead of using common verbs, such as ‘give’, use ‘offer’ proffer’. Instead of using ‘tell’, make use of a more apt word, such as ‘suggest’ ‘inform’ and so on.
  12. Using Spell check. Spelling errors are the most common ones and are also the most easy to tackle and correct. You can, of course, use spell check and a dictionary for the wrongly spelt word. However, spell check is no use with homonyms, such as ‘accept and except’, ‘who’s and whose’ and so on.
  13. Create a checklist of your own for proofreading. Make a list of the common errors and mistakes that you usually find in a document and refer to this list while doing the job.
  14. Try analyzing one kind of problem at a time or during a reading. First, try to spot grammatical errors, and then look out for punctuation errors, then word choice and then the sentence structure. If you look for one type of problem at a time, you are more likely to do a more thorough job of it. When you look for trouble, you are sure to find it, so the saying goes.
  15. Build a good professional reputation. You need to provide a good quality service of proofreading.
  16. Always complete any project within the given deadline and be professional with the client. You must also do the job accurately and in a committed and conscientious manner, so that you can be set apart from the competition in the particular field.
  17. You could also register with several online proofreading services and submit your resume, but be careful of scams.
  18. To attain success in your niche, you can print your business card and even place them with printers or in the local college boards and other potential clients.
  19. Try to develop your experience by first doing some voluntary proofreading jobs in local schools and colleges. You can also take some online classes or tutorials to develop and increase your skills.
  20. Create a strong resume by clearly listing out your experience, your educational background and any style of writing that you are particularly familiar with. You can also add some samples of your work.

Ten Common Errors to Avoid as a Proofreader

Some common errors to look out for during proofreading are:

  1. Subject verb agreement – For instance – The balls of slime is eaten by ants. Here, the subject of the verb eaten is ‘balls’ and not ‘slime’. Hence, the subject is plural and should be followed by a plural verb – The balls of slime are eaten by ants. Another example – This box of ornaments belong/belongs to me. Here again, the subject is ‘box’ and not ‘ornaments’. Hence – This box of ornaments belongs to me. ‘One of my sister’s friends is/are a doctor. The answer is – One of my sister’s friends is a doctor (because only one of them is a doctor).
  2. Commonly confused words – We often get confused between words, such as advise and advice; farther and further; affect and effect; adopt and adapt; confident and confidante; envelop and envelope; altogether and all together; amount and number; and several others. You can keep a handy list of such commonly confused words and go through the examples in order to get these words straight.
  3. Verb tenses – Verb tenses are very often confused by writers. The passage begins with a tense and then it continues into another tense. These are very often overlooked by proofreaders. You need to identify the situation and check out whether it belongs to the past, present or the future and then use the correct tense. Facts and Universal truths always need to be in the present and wishes need to be conveyed in the past. Shifting and changing the tense in paragraphs continuously confuses the reader.
  4. That and Which – This is another common error that (not which) many authors and proofreaders overlook. There is a simple method of understanding when to use the right connective. ‘That’ is used as a defining clause and ‘which’ as a non defining clause. When you need information that is essential to the subject, the correct word to use will be ‘that’. When the information following is only supplemental and not essential to the subject, we use ‘which’. For instance – XXX is a company that offers proofreading service. Here, the information following is defining and very essential to know about the company. Look at this – XXX is a proofreading company, which delivers all work in time. The second part of the sentence that follows ‘which’, offers supplemental information.
  5. Active and Passive voice – When the subject of the sentence is more important than the action done, the active voice should be used. When the action done is more important and in cases where the subject is unknown, the passive voice is used. For instance, ‘A well is being dug’ and not ‘Some people are digging a well’.
  6. Use of Ellipsis – This is a common error. An ellipsis is a punctuation used to indicate that some text has been deleted or omitted, or it can be used as a pause. It should consist of three dots that are evenly spaced with space between them.
  7. Use of commas – You have to know when to use a comma and when it is redundant. They are used for indicating a pause, when providing additional information, when joining a main clause with a subordinate clause, to separate items in a list and so on.
  8. Article use – a/an/the – When you refer to something specific, use the article ‘the’. When referring to any noun, use ‘a’. I need a (meaning any) pen. Please give me the (particular) pen. However, a general statement in the plural does not need an article. For instance, Pens are useful for writing. Yet, the pens that I bought yesterday were very cheap.
  9. Singular and plurals of nouns – Some nouns in English form plurals by adding an ‘s’; others by adding ‘ies’ ( babies). Some others remain the same for both singular and plural – deer/deer; sheep/sheep; aircraft/aircraft. Some nouns convert ‘a’ into ‘ae’ (formula/formulae); some others convert ‘I’ into ‘e’ (crisis/crises; thesis/theses) and so on.
  10. EI or IE – The rule here is that ‘I’ before ‘e’ except in case of ‘c’. Thus, ceiling and not cieling; believe not beleive; field not feild; siege not seige.

Conclusion

A proofreading job requires an eye for detail along with accuracy, concentration and excellent language skills. There are no other specific formal training required to become a proofreader. However, one should be careful of the common pitfalls and errors that you need to look out for while doing a proofreading job. You need to establish a good name in professional circles to become a successful proofreader. A proofreader needs to be constantly on the lookout for a whole range of mistakes and errors to do with punctuation, grammar, spellings and also the fundamental structure of the sentence and other word usages. You need to know common spelling errors, homophones, apostrophes and other details of grammar to do a thorough and professional job.

 

There are various types of proofreading jobs available these days and you can easily carve a niche for yourself in the field. However, the competition is fierce and one needs to do a competent and thorough job to thrive in the field. It can be a pleasant rewarding work that you can do from the comfort of your home and is a great career option for the dedicated freelancer.

Principles of Creating Effective Web Designs to Attract Visitors

Visual design is important however, the website’s fate depend more on the usability and its efficacy. While you are designing a website, make sure it is a user-centric design because users’ are the most important aspect behind any website’s success. If your website has a feature that is problematic or non-functional from users’ end, you should simple remove it. Precisely, an effective design will always work best for your website. Thankfully, the designers’ of today has realized the importance of an effective web design due to which web designing industry has seen a significant change in web designing. The best part is that visitors do not have to face those flashy advertisements and loud talking. The websites have become more interactive.

Instead of getting into implementation details of various features, in this article we will be focusing more on significant principles and approaches, which designers should use in a proper way to create an effective web design.

Principles To Follow For Creating An Effective Web Design:

Before you start following any principles, it is important for you to understand the mentality of your users. Start thinking from a user’s perspective and understand their ways of interacting with a website and its features.

Analyze User’s Mind:

Putting yourself in a user’s shoe is not that difficult. Analyze yourself when you are in a store and the way you act as a customer. Yes, this is exactly the way your visitors act when they see your website. Honestly speaking and we all will accept this fact; most of don’t even read the entire text of the website. Your user will quickly scan your website and whatever feature attracts him in the first place, it will be clicked. This is normally how a user will browse through your website. Following are a few things that users’ will appreciate in your website:

–       Quality content:

Users’ are always looking for quality content and if they find desired content on your website, they will ignore the minus points of your website i.e., layout OR flashy advertisements. So, make sure you provide them with quality content.

–       Scanning the content:

Highlight important points in your website. Always keep in mind that users will not read the whole content, they will only scan it.

–       Users are always busy:

Web users do not have much time and patience to explore your website. You should work on providing instantaneous satisfaction to your visitors, as a web designer.

–       Users’ don’t always make the best choices:

Your website should have a good optimization because users’ are used to click instantly on links they like instead of searching in the first place.

Principles of Effective Web Design:

If you want to a have an effective web design, you should follow the rules mentioned below:

1. Simplicity:

Your website will adaptable for users only if it is not-so-complicated. I know and I understand that you want your website to look great however; this does not mean that you should fill your page with nonsense. The distractions will only confuse your visitor. So, make sure that you keep your website simple and if you are a good designer, you will make sure the simplicity looks attractive too.

2. Don’t test users’ patience:

In every feature that you provide to users’ through your website, make sure that requirements from users’ end are nominal. If you pop-up long forms in front of a new user, he will simple leave your website and may never visit again. A very good advice to all web designers would be to keep the requirements minimal related to personal data because this is exactly where a user will get annoyed.

3. Avoid Waffle – Only facts:

As mentioned above effective content if very important for any website. Users’ don’t like it when you waffle and exaggerate the facts. If you want to win the trust of your visitors, make sure you mention everything clearly and precise. Only mention the important stuff and rest of the useless stuff should be scrubbed out.

4. Expose your features properly:

I personally love one thing about modern web designs. They provide a proper guidance to users in order to begin their surfing on the website. You must have seen steps ‘1-2-3’ and this is exactly what I have been talking about. This is a great way to make users’ see the features available in your website and how to reach them.

5. Effective Writing:

The content of your website should be written in web style catering to web users’. You need to talk business and avoid anything else. Also, make sure you use the web terms for specific features on your website. For instance, ‘Sign Up’ is always better than ‘Start Now.’ Effective writing includes; precise and to-the-point sentences, scan-able content, which includes headings and like I said, common web language should be used.

6. Avoid distractions:

If your website doesn’t really have anything to do with social networking websites, try not to add ‘follow’ links on the main of the page. Yes, promoting your website on social networking websites is a great way to get an increase in traffic however; it can always prove to be a distraction for users. If you want your users to focus on their main goal, avoid such distractions and remember these are distractions only if your site does not need them.

7. Effective usage of White Space:

White space’s importance is often underrated. White space can actually make your website look attractive and welcoming. It gives users a break from all the new complex web designs. White space is actually very effective. Why? Because it brings the simplicity effect, is soothing to the eye, makes layout look beautiful and last but not the least, the content can be scanned easily.

8. Web conventions are good:

Just because your website’s design is conventional, it does not make it a boring one. In fact this is a great way to save your visitor from learning and guessing process. Visitor will already know where the features are and they will not have to find them.

9. TETO Principle:

TETO is a casual term used for test early-test often which means testing your website is very, very important. You must know that testing of a website should be a repetitive process. You should conduct usability tests to make sure that your web design is an effective one.

10. Do not make it difficult for users:

Confusing, misleading and putting your users in a difficult situation, is not good. I have seen websites asking for Zip code and not many of us know the correct one so why ask?

Conclusion:

Above are a few features that a website should possess in order to be an effective one. Bottom line; if you really want to create an effective web design, follow the above mentioned rules.

Generate Innovative Ideas – Make It Happen

Well, the title might bring a wave of thought into the minds of not-so-creative people and they will conclude instantly that being creative is not their cup of tea. A common notion is that you are born creative/innovative or else generating innovative ideas is something impossible for you. Well, I don’t agree with this at all because everyone is creative in their very own way. Yes, you might not be as creative as Thomas Edison however, according to some researches, each human being has a creative capability and all he needs to do is discover it. If you are not naturally creative, you can follow a certain methods of generating ideas and you might even end up surprising yourself with your creative idea.

Idea Conceptualization – Focus on the goal

As mentioned above, generating ideas will definitely require some methods especially for those who are not-so-creative. You need to brainstorm in order to invoke some great ideas into your mind. However, the most important thing to do for idea conceptualization is to stay focused and know your goal. A crisp focus on your goal will help you achieving what you have been wanting to.

Also, make sure that if you are content with one of your ideas, you should plan on improvising it.

Enhancement or Innovation?

Many people try to come up with innovations however, sometimes these innovations are considered to be only an enhancement. Why? It could be possible that it is just an improvement in the product. If you really want to be creative, you should execute your idea as soon as you have it, whether it is an enhancement or an innovation. Proper execution of your idea is very important so the minute you think of something, start working on it before someone else comes up with it.

Now, if you are a newbie in the creative world, let me educate you with few but very useful tools to use and get inspiration from in order to generate creative ideas. These tools are a good way to begin with and once you get going, you will generate innovative ideas in no time.

Generate the ideas by exploiting web:

Web is full of ideas and you can find plenty of things that can inspire you for an idea generation. Random browsing related to your goal can make you think about various perspectives related to your goal. For you, these things can be totally new and you might generate an idea through something you were even unaware of. Always remember that internet is full of information and every creative person looks for inspiration. You never know your inspiration could be somewhere in the web.

Discussion Forums:

Discussion forums are again a great thing for brain storming. Random conversations and discussions can help you a lot with your thinking process. You will also find comments of experts in the forums and they can help you further with your idea generation.

Photo Browsing:

If random web browsing did not prove to be fruitful, you can always browse for various images. Some people are not inspired by words and you might be one of them. Try to focus on your goal and search for something relevant. Images relevant to your goal will help you a lot in generating an idea.

Online Idea Generator Tool:

If you are facing a creativity block, you can visit various online idea generator tools. However, this might not prove to be really helpful if you are focusing on something because such tools provide you with random three word phrases. But this tool is very beneficial for improving your creative side.

Pick an idea from random conversations:

If you are unable to generate an idea relevant to the concept you have in your mind, you should discuss the concept with your friends, family, classmates and lecturer. All you need to do is discuss the concept with a bunch of people you trust so that you can actually listen to them and pick interesting ideas from their conversation. We all know that when several people put their heads together, they are bound to come up with interesting and innovative remarks. These conversations will definitely inspire you in generating an idea.

Research:

Sometimes online researches are not enough and if you really want to do something innovative, go for a physical research and face-to-face conversations. By keeping your concept in mind, talk to the relevant people, visit relevant places, if possible. This will definitely give you inspiration.

Defer conclusions/criticisms:

When you are generating ideas, I would recommend you to stop being critical about them. You should not be one of those people who defer every second though saying the execution is impossible. Yes, you can judge your ideas but once you are done with the thinking. While you are generating the ideas, don’t be a critic.

Go for quantity:

I know this might sound strange because we have often heard that quality is better that quantity. However, the more the merrier is the case here. Having lots of different ideas will give you an opportunity to get selective. One or two ideas are bound to be better than rest of the lot, right? You can always select the great ideas and work on execution.

Go for wild/unusual ideas:

If you really want to get creative, allow your creativity to flow instead of taming it down. You will have a lot of time to worry about the execution of the idea so while you are thinking, just think about the ideas and jot them down.

Deep thinking:

Regardless of the fact if you are a creative person or not, we all need our daily dose of deep thinking. Sometimes, staying away from people and technology can bring a lot of good ideas your way. Give yourself some alone time and think.

Conclusion:

The above mentioned points should only be considered as a technique to get your creativity going. Honestly, there can never be a single best way to be creative. Every individual will have its own way of generating ideas and it could be totally different from the ones mentioned above. I believe the most important thing is to generate an idea and then execute it instead of abandoning it. Execution will boost your self confidence and it will help you in generating ideas in future.

What Your Support System Should Represent

The biggest weakness of the human being is that we are a social animal that needs emotional as well as material support to survive, and perform anything with excellence.

This is a fact that runs from primitive age and no matter how advanced you are and how much time you can spend in silence, it is important to at least, know that there is a support system behind you that you can rely upon at the time of distress.

 

The support system in question does not only comprise of the support from friends and family who will inspire you in good times and bad while rectifying your mistake at times, but this would also include the material support that varies according to profession and the section of the population you belong to. For a freelance writer, the material support system is in the form of resources while writing, job boards, writers group for relevant information, client database, software for improving grammar and vocabulary and many such small yet relevant things. If you want to be successful in this field of work, you require each of them to be in proper order.

Why Support System Is Important For Freelancers?

Contrary to the common belief, work from home’ jobs are quite difficult, and requires dedication and determination for success. Those who believe that these jobs are easy to find, and you can treat the assignments loosely will never be able to find a job that pays decent amount. Finding even the first client will be difficult if you are not ready to be committed to the job. This does not mean that you require to quite your day job and do rigorous searching for earning some extra bucks. That is where the support system comes into play. There are writers groups such as LinkedIn writers group and many more that you can try out for making contacts. Similarly, there are other forums for specific occupations. You can look through job board such as Guru.com, Problogger, FreelanceWritingGigs and many more. There are some job portals too, that plays major role in finding your dream job. Until and unless these supports are there with a freelancer, it is not possible to survive in the job jungle. The rule of survival is applicable in the huge market of content writing, and that makes support even more indispensible.

What Are The Support Systems That The Freelancer May Look For?

The word, ‘support’, includes many things and each of them is equally important for the freelancers.

  • Writers Boards: Writers board or job boards are open to all freelance writers and other professionals who are searching for opportunities to make it big in this industry. These boards bear gigs of jobs and small projects uploaded by the requesters. You may find something relevant to your skills in the job boards and if you are a writer with some sort of experience, this can be a great opportunity for you. Jobs.Problogger.net, Guru.com, WriteJobs.com and FreelanceWritingGigs.com are some of the well known job boards
  • Writers or designer Groups: Writers groups are online forums where the writers share their contacts, information, skills, tips and many such things that add value to your profile. National Association of Writers’ Groups, LinkedIn writers group, Facebook writers’ community and many such online communities can be joined by a writer searching for relevant information and skill tips. If you are an aspiring writer without any project in hand, then this can be beneficial for you. Communicate with the established writers to find out how to start off and find clients.

    Similarly, you can find designer forums where designers discus on topics and share knowledge. DesignersTalk.com is one such website that can be checked out for additional help.

  • Freelancing Job Portals: Elance is one of those few job portals that are visited by prospective requesters regularly. Writing-Job-Online.com, Freelancer.com and many more such websites are there to help you find a job that belongs to your territory. You can choose the jobs that you feel are suitable to you and bid for them. If there is a bidding option given for the job, make sure to bid low or reasonable as a beginner. Make your presence felt in the job portal till the time you are noticed by the requestors and given quality jobs with decent payment.
  • Software for Grammar: You don’t have to be Shakespeare to become a freelance writer, proper grammatical knowledge and sentence formation skills are enough to succeed. However, there are people with flare for writing who don’t have very high grammatical sense. For them grammar checkers can be advised as support. These online and offline programs help you to rectify any grammatical error, and polish your English in such a way that the requestor would never know, that you are not that proficient in grammar. You can check out Grammarly, white smoke, ginger and many such programs for correcting your grammar. Some are available free while some may ask you to take paid membership after free trial.
  • Vocabulary: It is important to improve your vocabulary to adapt different writing patterns. Though English is an international language, and a content writer requires being an efficient English writer, there are several forms of English that you may need to write. English for UK, USA and Australia are different from each other and the vocabulary used in them are also different. Learn American English Online, English Daily 626, BBC Learning English, Learning English via British Council, Englisch-hilfen are some of the websites that can improve your vocabulary and improve you English both written and spoken. Read a lot of articles and online content to have an idea of what the requesters are asking for.
  • Payment Support: If you are a freelancer, then you may get jobs from around the world and it may not be possible for the requester to send payment to your account directly. That is the reason why you require payment portal support that not only receives payment, but also convert it to your home currency and transfers it to your home account. PayPal and Alert Pay are two of the best payment portals that are frequently used for converting and transferring money. You require having an account in one of these portals so that, requesters can transfer you money with ease.
  • Portfolio Website: Freelancers often find it useful to have a website of their own, where they can publish the portfolio and contact information. The website requires having a professional look and if you can optimize the website using SEO tools, then the prospects would surely find you. You can also hire web hosting services along with WordPress blog support for publishing your content. If you are a designer, then a website with your portfolio in it is essential. If the prospects find your designs or projects interesting and suitable to their requirement, they may hire you soon. You can find providers that offer free website or URL with basis services. You require creating a home page, portfolio page, contact page and other pages that you may want to add.
  • Technical Support: A freelance writer does not only require support for vocabulary, grammar, and writing helps, but he or she may also require technical help for building up a website. If you are building a website and want to make it look professional, then you may require support from a website design company or a technical person. You can also seek packages from companies that offer web hosting and website design together. These packages are quite reasonable and once you can grab control of the content market, you will not have problem with the price. It is also possible to get websites and blogs with already prepared themes that can be installed in your website for free. If you are a designer yourself, then this help may not be required for you.
  • Blogs: Blogs help in building the market for the writer. The blogs that are based on a single niche are found to be most effective and these blogs often creates interest among prospects who would like to create a positive impression about their products to the prospective customers. Blogs are form of communication that people trust and if you can build your good name with the blogs, you can ask for decent bucks for writing blogs for companies. Even for a designer, blogs can be used to let people know the area of expertise.
  • Article Submitting forums: There are several article submitting forum where you can submit your articles and receive reviews for them. There are forums where you can publish your article and can sell it for good bucks. There are companies waiting to purchase high quality write ups that are related to the products of the company and informative. Ezinearticles.com is one such forum that you can check out for a great content writing career.
  • Social Media: Social media such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and others are best place for demonstrating your talent. These days, the social media is the biggest support that can either make or break the freelancer.

How to Add On To Your Support System

Freelancers, at some point of time in their career, understand the requirement of support system. However, there are many who find it difficult to add them in their daily work process. Some may also omit them and suffer big losses. There are some other people who quit their job to dedicate time to become a successful freelancer. Don’t worry, quitting your day job is not essential and you can continue to earn some extra bucks. Firstly, you need to determine, what amount of time you would like to dedicate to pursue your passion. Make a schedule for the day and dedicate at least 1 or 2 hours in the beginning. Start working for free and search for contents that let you know about the procedure of making it big. Purchase a website and start building it yourself or with the help of professionals. Check for the response you are getting on the free jobs because this will let you know if the work is suitable for you or not.

15 Advantages of Support System

It has been noted by one and all, that support plays a major role in human life. It can be emotional, mental, physical or material support, but each has a major role to play in the success story of an individual. Not everyone can be a ‘Robinson Crusoe’ doing everything on his own. Support is the backbone of success and the same is applicable for freelancing job. Different supports have different benefits that differ according to the field of work and expertise. The following advantage of support system can be pointed out.

  • A proper support through a proper guide in the same field will make it easy to choose the best path. In case of freelancers, the startup is the most important factor and is he or she can gather required knowledge for starting up, he can actually be successful in the long run. For example, if you want to be a freelance writer and you have the information about the clients who tend to hire new people, you can start your journey successfully. If you are a programmer and you get tips from the experienced candidates regarding meeting deadlines, then you can complete projects on time with fewer errors.
  • If you are thinking of starting as a freelancer, support from a freelancer group would make it possible for you to determine if the job is suitable for you or not.
  • A support system can let you know about your weaknesses. If you have grammatical errors, it would correct it. You will learn some new terms, grammar and much more that would help you in the long run.
  • Support can make you more professional and behave like and expert that is most required in the world of freelancing where perfect competition prevails.
  • Support can help you get a notion of the loop holes of the market so that you can omit them and reach your goal faster. Those who have stumbled through the path have made the path smooth for the newcomers. You can get the direction to run through the path before starting to walk on them.
  • The support through payment portal can make you get payment in time and you prove to be professional and international to your clients.
  • The best part of support system is that you have something to fall back on. Even if you are given to write on a subject that you don’t have any idea on, you can discuss with your community people and you will surely find a point to start. The same is applicable for other job profiles.
  • A support system in the form of groups will let you interact with your rivals and experts in your field. You can judge their strategy and find out a unique path for your own.
  • Support makes your progress bound by calculation. When you have your steps planned, it is possible to reach the goal in stipulated time.
  • Support can convert the beginner to an expert. With support from vocabulary, spelling and grammatical software the English can improve for the beginner writers. Other freelancers can use other such tools that rectify mistakes easily and bring out the proper solution in no time.
  • Support gives you immense confidence because you tend to know that even if you make a mistake, there is somebody or software to rectify your mistake. Confidence is important for selling your talent but the required confidence can be gathers only when you know, your mistakes will be corrected.
  • Support helps in achieving perfection and makes your skills more polished. If you are designing a webpage or writing the code for a new program, expert advice can let you perform the task well. Even if you are expert in the specific field of work, it is possible to make the project look more professional with expert advice.
  • Success is a gradual process and if you have the proper support by your side, you will know the steps in advance. There are forums that would guide you through the steps.
  • Support can improve your skill. Even if you are a novice in writing or programming, software and technical support can make you aware of the market requirement and you would understand what the clients actually want.
  • Support can actually help you get through tricky situations without any hazards and save a lot of money.

Conclusion

The requirement of support system for freelancers cannot be denied, and the good news is that there are numerous support systems available for them to rely on. There are some of them that are relevant to one occupation and there are some that are applicable irrespective of the field of work. As freelancers are non full timer with a specific company to work for, an experience to showcase, a regular salary to rely on, and the requirement for continuous performing is more in this form of jobs rather than the day jobs. However, you have the freedom to determine your working hours, schedule, capacity and you can choose works that you feel would suit you. Nevertheless, your responsibility would always be to choose the proper support system and add them in your structure of work for positive result.