|Earliest: March 17, 2003||Latest: April 5, 2020||Total: 165|
Home Mortgage Refinancing for Veterans
During a somewhat uncertain time, we are all looking to make careful choices to protect our families and our health. Many of us are also carefully reviewing our budgets to cut excess expenses to keep our financial health in shape. If you are a veteran considering whether to refinance your home mortgage, take a look at the resources below to help guide this choice.
7 Steps to Refinancing Your Home Mortgage
How do you best manage a successful mortgage refinancing campaign? Make these key steps the cornerstones of your refinancing plan.
Find the Best Mortgage Lenders and Refinancing Companies
Do your research to learn more about different types of loans, eligibility requirements and what you should look for when searching for the right mortgage lender for your needs.
Home Appraisals: Home Appraiser, Property Value & Tips
You should know a little about the process and how it works, both to decide if a home appraisal is in your best interest and to take any possible steps to influence the final appraisal number.
How to Improve Your Credit Score
Key takeaways include: Pay your bills on time, pay down your credit card balances to keep your credit utilization ratio low, and don't close old credit card accounts or apply for too many new ones.
Mortgage Assistance Programs for Veterans
There are several government-backed options that make the home-buying process more accessible to active and former military service members.
What is a VA Loan?
Available to eligible veterans with key advantages such as: No down payment or mortgage insurance required and no pre-payment penalty for paying off a loan early.
VA Home Loans: A Guide For America?s Veterans
The ins and outs of VA loans explained.
Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loan
Refinancing lets you replace your current loan with a new one under different terms. Find out if you?re eligible?and how to apply.
Social Distancing Tip
Many people in the United States are now facing Social Distancing. That is, they are told to avoid social interaction to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Advice from a historian in the Boston area: Start keeping a journal today, ideally a handwritten one if that?s within your ability. Write about what you?re seeing in the news, how yr friends are responding, what is closed in yr neighborhood or city or state or country. Save it.
I worked at a news organization on 9/11/2001, & I recognize the ways that my very online professional networks communicate in a time of global crisis. What?s going on this week is like that. The feeling in my gut about historical importance is nearly the same.
Sometimes you know you?re living through an event that will be in the history books very large. I study the history of public health and information technology and law and politics. There?s so much going on that touches all of those things this week.
We?ll be able to know what happened this week/month/year after the story rolls forward another 10 or 20 years. But personal stories don?t make it into the history books unless people are writing them down in the first place. Keep a journal if you can.
Write your stories down about what?s happening now, and tomorrow, and Monday. Do it by hand, on paper. The hand-writing will adjust your brain. It will take you offline and out of the swirl of news and hopefully, for a moment, into a little bit of peace in the midst of crisis.
Helpful Guide Declutter Your Home
It's really beginning to feel like spring around here. That also means it's time to start the annual spring cleaning.
The worst part is trying to figure out where to start.
One really good resource is the The Ultimate Home Decluttering Guide from militaryhomesearch.com. They wrote up an excellent guide to help jump start your spring cleaning.
Five Reasons to Visit The Site
- The site contains 10 strategies to help produce better Devluttering Habits.
- Tips for cleaning out the closet - one of my weak points.
- Why a well orgainzed house can actually save you money - you don't need to buy things that you may already have but don't know where they are.
- How to set time limits so that your not overdoing it.
- Understand the 9-things that are behind the Psychology of Clutter.
Google Trends Tips and Tricks
Finding the latest keywords for SEO can be hard. You not only want to use keywords that people are searching for but you want to use keywords that are trending.
Google Trends is one way to find out what keywords are trending, but it can be complex to understand it.
Adam from FATJOE wrote a very interesting article about Google Trends with a focus on search operator on Google Trends. I enjoyed reading it and think its worth reading to understand how to get the most out of Google Trends.
Five Reasons to Check out the Article
- You'll understand the Five Different search platforms that Google Trends uses to collect data. (I only thought the data came from one source.)
- You can actually search for industry general trends. It's a cool trick to see general keywords that are trending right now.
- Did you know that you can sign up for email alerts based on specific topics of your choice?
- Adam teaches you a trick on how to get more details from a trend chart by downloading the data and organizing it in Google Sheets.
- You can actually search for trends as far back as the 1800s! Learn how Google is able to search trends before computers were around.
I enjoyed reading Adam's article as it help me understand how to get more out of Google Trends data.
How to Improve the Visual Aspect of Your Branding Strategy
When it comes to building a brand, a large proportion of the strategy lies in creating great visual characteristics that people can easily remember. Your branding strategy is one of the things that can launch your brand high in the real world, and you cannot build a successful company without a good brand awareness strategy.
When it comes to the visual characteristics of your brand, things get a bit complicated just because sometimes people are confused about what is a good idea. Since your visuals like logo, color, slogan and etc. are the first thing that people interact with, you need to make them so they will enhance the ?wow? factor when someone sees it.
In this article, we will go through some of the ways you can improve the visual aspect of your branding strategy.
Consistency is very important when it comes to the visuals of your brand. The biggest mistake from new company owners is that they spend too much time building their brand visuals like a logo or slogan, and then they remain inactive which means there is nowhere to show those visuals.
You must be active with your visuals and present them in a good way so people can interact with your brand. No matter how good are your brand visuals, if people can?t see them, it will be all for nothing. So make sure you establish a good network of promoting your company and always stay consistent when it comes to sharing brand awareness posts.
The job is not finished by designing your logo
People spend so much time and money on designing the perfect logo and often stop with the branding visuals. It is important to note that your job is not done by creating a logo. You need to incorporate that brand identity in practice. For example, you can move on to employee uniforms, store design, social media post design, and etc. Remember, building a brand is just like telling a story. The more visuals you incorporate about your brand, the better understanding people will have about your company.
Understand your target market
Before you start creating any kind of visuals for your brand, it is very important that you understand your target market. In other words, you need to know to whom you are speaking with your brand and what are their characteristics, desires, and requirements.
If you miss your target audience, it may result in catastrophic for your brand. Once you know your target market, you need to create visuals that will be appealing to them and still illustrate what your company is about. This will massively increase the chance that customers will choose your brand over your competitors.
Don?t focus only on social media
Yes, social media is probably the best way to build your global branding strategy. However, as we mentioned before, you need to tell a story about your company, and social media has its limits. You need to focus on all visual aspects of your brand, from in-store promotions to outdoor advertising or email marketing.
Nowadays, people choose their brands over what they feel about them, and the visual aspect is essential for evoking emotions. The best way to create a popular brand is by establishing connections with customers. All big brands use this kind of strategy for provoking a strong emotional reaction. Remember, visuals are a much better representation of your company than words, and you can increase customer willingness to make a purchase.
These are some of the tips for improving the visual characteristics of your brand. It is a long-term process that needs to be done just right in order to have a positive result. Following these tips will launch your brand as fast as a horse launching on the Kentucky Derby. The key is to go for a business that you feel passionate about. That way you will improve your storytelling, and you will know what your customers expect from you.
Cost of Movies in Theaters
Recently I went to the AMC theater in Framingham to see the newest Stars Wars - about 6 weeks after it was released. I was a bit surprised by how much it cost for two to go to the movies.
This just shows you why fewer people are going to the movie theaters:
However buying or renting movies can be a cheaper option:
Obviously you don?t get to see the movie on a large screen, However, it?s a cheap way for a family to see a movie that they don?t have to see in theaters.
Today?s home theaters are much better than those from the 80s and 90s. Movie Graphics and sound are pretty good - still no match for the large theater - but certainly a good reason why people avoid seeing some shows on the big screen.
How to Come Up With Great Ideas for Blog Posts Constantly
This is an issue that almost every blogger struggles with. After a while of writing blog posts, you start to exhaust your topics and cannot come up with something new and creative to keep the spark alive. Coming up with new and trending content is very important if you want to create a successful blog. It is something that will keep your audience engaged at all times, and at the same time, attract new people to visit your website.
Fortunately, there are different ways you can make sure you come up with great ideas for blog posts, and we will cover some of them in this article.
Create an idea file
Creativity cannot be controlled, and you don't know when a new and interesting idea is going to strike. That is why you need to be prepared to write it down. Since the idea might come and go, it is very important that you write it down and keep it safe for future submission. You can create a document or spreadsheet, where you will write down all of the ideas that pop into your head. However, that file must be accessible at all times (like an app on your phone), since you don't know when the ideas are going to strike.
Ask your audience
In order to receive an honest answer about what kind of topic to write about, you should ask your audience. Creating a positive relationship with your audience is crucial for success, and it will become helpful as they will give you valuable data to optimize your blog.
It is no shame to ask the readers what kind of content they prefer to read and optimize your blog to suit their needs. It is a win-win situation, as you will make your audience happy, and at the same time, they will provide topics for you to write about. Even though it is a simple method, only a few people are actually doing it.
The hunt for the next big trend never stops when you are running a blog. This means that you are on a constant search for the topic that most people are interested in at the moment. However, identifying the next trend is a bit complicated since you need to establish thorough research. Fortunately, there are few tools that can help you with that.
- Google Trends - Is the most commonly used tool for searching trending topics over a specific timeframe.
- AnswerThePublic - is a website where you can enter any term and get a massive list of synonyms and related terms that people search for.
- BuzzSumo - You can find out ranks for topics and what are people are writing about by entering a keyword.
Watch Your competitors
Obviously, sometimes you need to focus on your competitors in order to get the right idea for writing engaging content. It is not stealing if you are simply looking at what topics they cover and how they perform with the audience. If you decide to steal an idea for a topic, try to infuse it with your own brand flavor and transform it to suit your blog.
Expand your existing content
Sometimes if your existing content works, you just need to dig deeper into the subject. You should search for the best performing content on your blog and write an in-depth analysis of that subject covering other areas.
By covering some of the existing content, the process might lead you to new ideas for a topic that you've never published on your blog.
These are some of the ways you can keep your content fresh at all times. Remember, since this is a creative process, you cannot expect that the ideas will come to you as fast as a running quarterback on the SuperBowl. There is a saying that states: "Foolish bloggers go out in search of ideas, efficient bloggers allow ideas to come to them." So, keep finding new methods to inspire yourself, and you'll be laughing.
Playstation Vue Alternative
Starting February 1st, Playstation has discontinued using the Playstion Vue Live TV service. In a recent blog post, John Kodera, Deputy President, SIE said the following:
Today we are announcing that we will shut down the PlayStation Vue service on January 30, 2020. Unfortunately, the highly competitive Pay TV industry, with expensive content and network deals, has been slower to change than we expected. Because of this, we have decided to remain focused on our core gaming business.
This is the first Live TV Streaming Service to be canceled. Which leads to viewers that have cut the cord to scramble to find an alternative solution to replace the service.
Comparitech Has a Solution
In November 2019, Mark Gill, wrote an article that provides practical alternative solutions to PlayStation Vue. It's well written and has an unbiased look at all of the available solutions.
Five Key Take-a-Ways
- The article goes over 12-alternatives - yes really there's that many viable alternatives available!
- There is no "go-to" solution. As none of the alternatives offer the exact same channel line up as Playstation Vue. You'll have to figure out what stations are important to your needs.
- You get screen shots of each service.
- THe article talks about VPN solutions to get around geographic restrictions. There's different VPN solutions for each alternative solution.
- The article doesn't end with the solution to buy. It's up to you, the reader, to find the one that works best for you.
Many people know that I love popcorn. Good popcorn is hard to find.
This weekend I had the opportunity to try popcorn at 2-venues: AMC Theater in Framingham and Roller Kingdom in Hudson, Massachusetts.
AMC Theater in Framingham
We went to the dine-in section and saw the 8 pm showing of "Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker." It was a sold-out showing - which was a surprise for a movie that has been out for a month.
I ordered the large bucket of popcorn moments before the movie started. By chance, the people next to me ordered 2 large buckets. This means that they would probably have to make a fresh batch of popcorn. (Given the late hour and demand.)
The popcorn was good. It was nice and warm too, which is a nice surprise. It wasn't warm like it was under a heat lamp, no it was warm because it was freshly cooked. I liked the popcorn - and it was hard not to eat it all as I wanted to save some for my daughter.
The popcorn didn't come with any butter/flavoring which might have made it better.
Total cost: $9.50 - a lot of money for popcorn.
Ok, I get it. Not everybody goes to a roller-skating rink to eat popcorn. They are there to have fun on the rink and do whatever it takes to not fall down.
The popcorn is really good here. They cook it just long enough so that it's nice and crispy. In addition, they add the right amount of salt. You get a nice popcorn crunch in every bite.
Total Cost $2 for a box or $4 for a bowl (The bowl is worth it!) The bowl is about 1/2 the amount of popcorn in an AMC Popcorn tub.
I would recommend going to the Roller Kingdom than going to AMC - if you want good popcorn.
Your Google Search is Your Blog Topic ideas
For Bloggers, it can be tricky to come up with quality content. What should you write about today? What information would appeal to the largest possible audience.
There are plenty of websites that can give you ideas on what to post. 189 Blog Topic Ideas is one of many.
Google Can Help
One source of content is to look at your personal Google Searches. Look for various queries around a topic.
I have found that it takes a couple of Google searches to really find the solution to my question. Well, what if you wrote a blog post around the main topic with references to your other queries. This way your Blog post would show up when other people are searching for similar topics.
Getting Your Google Search Queries
Your Google Search History is kept in your personal "Google My Activity" section of your account.
- Go to Google My Activity
- Search for a topic that you search for in the past, for example, Golf Shot
- Then scroll down to see the various search terms that you used.
- You can filter by Product: Search. To only find the items that you were searching for.