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aHR0cDovL3d3dy5sYXB0b3BtYWcuY29tL2ltYWdlcy93cC9wdXJjaC1hcGkvaW5jb250ZW50LzIwMTcvMDIvMTQ4NjE1MTMxOF82NzU0MDAuMzM0NDQ4MTYwNTQucG5n 675x400 - Carrying Out a System Restore in Windows 10

Carrying Out a System Restore in Windows 10

When it comes to rectifying the issues with Windows 10 such as a page fault in non paged area fix, there are plenty of useful tools embedded within the operating system itself. However, there will be times when Windows 10 comes to a grinding halt, and people are fearful that everything is lost.

System Restore is a feature that has been included with several incarnations of Windows, and Windows 10 is no different. Although many are familiar with the feature, there will be others who are little perplexed as to how a System Restore works.

What is a System Restore?

A System Restore in layman’s terms is a way of ‘rewinding’ Windows 10 to an earlier state. This is especially useful if there have been recent changes that have affected how the operating system runs. To ensure that users can take advantage of the System Restore feature, they need to ensure it is enabled, otherwise there will be no backups to roll back to.

Activating System Restore

To active the System Restore feature you will need to navigate to the options using the following path. Start > Settings > Control Panel > System > System Restore. Alternatively, you can simply search for ‘System Restore’ using the Search bar located near the Windows icon.

Once you have entered the System Properties, you will then be given some options. The first thing you should do is turn on System Protection, and then decide how much disk space you want to allow. As a rule, five to ten percent is normally sufficient.

Once the feature has been activated, Windows will create a series of restore points that can be  used should a system reset be required.

Carrying Out a System Restore

To carry out a System Restore, you simply follow the same steps as if you were turning on the feature, but click the System Restore feature instead. Windows 10 will then present a series of restore points that can be used to rectify any issues with Windows 10.

Once activated, the operating system will reset, and the device will reboot as normal to the restore point selected. Although files won’t e affected, you may find that some programs are missing. Before reinstalling any programs or applications, it’s advisable to ensure they’re not the reason as to Windows 10 became defective in the first place.

What if The System Restore Doesn’t Work?

There will be times when the System Restore fails, so a different approach may need to be taken. You will need to enter ‘Safe Mode’ to ensure that only the vital elements of Windows 10 are running. In most instance, pressing F8 at the boot screen will allow you to enter Safe Mode., but if this doesn’t work then it’s advisable to follow the manufactures instructions.

Although everything may look different, you will still be able to enter the ‘System Restore’ process and roll your device back to one of the restore points that has been saved.

The same process as before is used, and you should find that there is little issue in rolling back to a restore point.

Other Factors to Consider

Although the System Restore process can be started within a matter of seconds, the restore process itself could take up to 45 minutes. Not the longest time granted, but it’s something worth considering if you’re looking to use the device sooner rather than later.

It can also be a good idea to disable ay antivirus software and disconnect from the Internet when carrying out a ‘System Restore.’ Although anti-virus software is integral for online users, it can affect the System Restore process.

If you’re trying to restore to a specific date and find that you’re not having much luck, then it may be worthwhile considering another restore point. Of course, this can be frustrating, but it’s better than having to reset the device back to Factory Settings.

Another factor to consider is that System Restore process does not affect personal files. This could be a benefit or a drawback, depending on the reason for the System Restore. If you’re simply trying to recover lost or deleted items, then it may be worthwhile opening the program the file is associated with. For example, if you’re looking for a document that was created using Word, then opening the program allows you to view files that are ‘AutoRecovered.’

Similarly, if there is an instance where you’re looking for a file you believed you saved onto the device’s hard drive, then it may be worth searching the Recycle Bin to see if the file can be recovered.

System Restore may not be the answer to every difficulty you experience within Windows 10, but it can make all the difference if all other options have been exhausted, and you really don’t want to have to restore the device back to its initial Factory Settings, which will mean installing every program and device from scratch.

It’s also important that you don’t rely on the System Restore option, as there’s no real way of rolling back to a specific date if it’s not showing within the System Restore options.

Those using their device for important documents and sensitive work are advised to schedule backups, so if the worst-case scenario does occur, then you don’t have to worry about losing files that are of great importance.

career advice article header why an online coding bootcamp is the fastest way to start a career in tech 784x400 - 4 Ways to Kickstart Your Technology Career

4 Ways to Kickstart Your Technology Career

Technology has transformed the way the world works. Its overall objective is to ease the lives of individuals and provide them with convenience in day to day tasks. Now, if you run out of eggs, all you have to do is log online onto your local grocery store and fill out your desired order.

With the advent of the internet, advancements in information technology and communication have become contemporary norms of society. It has given birth to careers that you wouldn’t have believed ten years ago would exist.

Digital marketing manager, social media manager, and community manager or offering a support service for IT problems, are such instances of job roles that are fairly new. Not only that, it has become possible for businesses to cut down costs severely by outsourcing certain operations to different parts of the world where the cost of labour is much cheaper than compared to their host countries.

Freelancing has been revolutionised as well with the birth of third party website entities offering to pay certain taxes such as VAT to foreign nationals.

The realm of tech is broad and diverse in nature. If you wish to kick start your tech career, you must give a thought to what area of expertise you would like to specialise in. Fancy being a systems analyst? Programming more your call? Or perhaps engineering or security analysis is something you are more passionate about?

Do your homework and out what these professionals entail and how the people who have undertaken such roles feel about their decision. Just remember that every job position has its pros and cons. Nothing is perfect! And you will you have to compromise somewhere.

You just need to decide what you can live with and what you are not wiling to give up. Check out the job requirements of such hiring positions and see what skill set you need to acquire in order to have a shot.

4 Ways to Enter the Tech Market

  1. Quick Learning Workshops/Diplomas

As the demand for technologically qualified individuals is continually on the rise, businesses are willing to accept candidates who learnt their craft at quick learning workshops or boot camps. They tend to teach tech skills within a short frame of time instead of over a period of years.

Of course, such programs do not come cheap and tend to be extra heavy on the pocket. So, make sure you assess your financial situation and evaluate whether you can make a bit of a dent in that beautiful leather wallet of yours. It may not be possible for you to manage by working a full-time job and attending accelerated learning at a boot camp program. Do double check that the company you desire to attain a role with accepts such qualifications.

  1. University Degree

It’s great if you are one of the lucky ones who was able to get a four-year college education. Otherwise, remember that it is never too late, and you can start your college education this year, provided you have the time and means to pursue it!

Save some money on tuition fees by taking the first two years of your bachelor program at a local community college. After that, transfer to the primary university and resume your education. There are also ways to cover credit given your life experiences by writing stories and essays about them. There are also tests available for you to cover to demonstrate that you already possess certain skills. Maybe you learnt them at your last job!

  1. Register as an Ambitionally Certified Partner

Hey, if you have already become a master of specific technical skills and know programs such as WordPress like you know the back of your hand, then you just may qualify to become an Ambitionally Certified Partner.

It will show you how to run a digital business successfully with all the works! This program recruits a smart group of tech individuals who have shown promise in their respective fields and works only with them. These include developers, virtual assistants, programmers, web designers, you name it etc.

  1. Self-Teaching Route

Here is the good news: technology entities prefer to partner with employees who demonstrate their knowledge through their experience and acquired skill set over what fancy university they attended. In fact, some commercial ventures out there hold strict policies to not interview candidates who hold a four-year degree.

Whilst on the other hand, there are plenty of companies who prefer to recruit individuals who have taught themselves and can competently complete jobs. Programming is one such field where you can teach yourself and get a good paying job. As a programmer, you are always learning new languages and coding as you have to keep yourself attuned with the latest industrial happenings. Being disciplined enough to follow tutorials and courses by yourself is a very beneficial trait here.

The internet is a vast breeding ground for sharing knowledge. There is nothing now online that you cannot teach yourself. Once you have taught yourself what you need to, you can gain some experience by freelancing and taking on some small projects. Another thing you can do is to build you portfolio to offer businesses to program for free in exchange for experience accreditation.

Or, you could pursue a small or medium sized business and ask to intern with it. Share your story and tell them that you’re new in the field and looking to learn on the job. Firms appreciate such a positive, hardworking attitude and usually reward such individuals with jobs at the end of an internship period.

Just remember that you have to keep yourself updated and let your manager or client know that you are self-taught. When you feel you are ready, prepare your resume and get ready to officially enter the tech market. Start your job hunt and look for companies that do not require a candidate to hold a traditional four-year college degree. Keep in mind that many recruiting managers and business owners will prefer an experienced nongraduate over a fresh graduate with no work experience.

 

technology music sound things 588f659a3df78caebcfc66f1 768x400 - Guide For Converting M4A Files Into MP3 Files

Guide For Converting M4A Files Into MP3 Files

Although the file format M4A is great in terms of quality, it is less great in terms of storage. So in the following post we will highlight some of the methods you can use to convert M4A files into MP3s that take up more space.

Although the format M4A is not exactly the most popular or commonly used one, it is far from irrelevant. For example, on the iTunes store there are M4A files that are DRM-free, so you are quite likely to have one or two tracks in M4A that you want to be able to play in other places as well as iTunes.

Below you will find three different ways to convert these files into MP3, so that you can listen to your music anywhere you like.

Using iTunes for Windows And Mac

While it is true that there are other desktop-based applications that can convert M4A files into MP3s, as iTunes is still the most recognisable and in many people’s opinions, the best of the available options, we have decided to feature this as one method.

Step One – Open Up Import Settings

Click on the menu titled Edit from the top of the screen and click on Preferences. By default, the tab titled General will open. Click on that and then click on the Import Settings’ OK button to proceed.

Step Two – Adjust the Import Settings

Next, click on the drop-down menu that sits to the right of Import Using and click on MP3 Encoder. Choose the desired bit-rate. Remember, although the higher the bit-rate, means the better the quality; it also means the larger the files will be. So if space is not a commodity you have, we advise that you select 128kpbs.

Step Three – Convert The File

After you have applied the new settings for importing, you are now ready to convert the files of your choice. Pick one of the files you want to convert and select it. Now, click on Convert from the File menu and click on Create MP3 Version. iTunes creates an MP3 of the file and places it below the original.

Converting M4A to MP3 using Windows

If you are looking for a method that is not web-based and works with Windows, iMedia Converter is a great piece of software to try.

Step One – Open And Select To Convert

Once you have downloaded iMedia Converter Deluxe, open it up and click on Convert, found to the far left of the toolbar at the top of the screen.

Step Two – Select Your Files

Now choose the M4A files you want to convert, from the storage options of your choice.

Step Three – Change Output To MP3 And Select Appropriate Sound Quality

After selecting the files you wish to convert, you next have to select Choose Option and from the Audio section select MP3 from the top of the list.

Step Four – Convert Your File

Click on Convert and then try out the converted file. You are always given the chance to test it to see if it has worked successfully.

Using Web-Based Cloud Convert

The site called Cloud Convert enables you to convert M4A files without the need to install new software or pay for anything. All you have to do is upload the M4A files you want to convert and the site will handle it for you. You are then able to download the MP3 files, without the need for fussy add-ons or toolbars.

Along with M4A files, this handy site enables you to convert most format types including word documents, videos and various other audio. Cloud Convert uses a similar process to other web-based conversion sites so if you decide to use a different service, our guide might still be useful.

Step One – Select The M4A File You Want To Convert

Go to the Cloud Convert site and click on the grey button marked Select Files, and select the files you want to convert. You could do that or you could do it by clicking a file and dragging it into the conversion window.

When you click on Select Files, you will be taken to an opened File Explorer of your system. From here you can choose the files you want to convert. There are a number of different options, including URL, Box, OneDrive, Google Drive and DropBox.

Step Two – Choose The Appropriate Output

After you have chosen a file, you are given an options screen. You need to click the arrow marked file format and choose MP3. Unless you specify anything different, Cloud Convert by default will convert it into an MP3 that has a 220 kbps to 250 kbps variable bit-rate.

Similarly to iTunes, you are able to select the wrench icon that sits beside the drop-down style menu to adjust settings related to the file’s output. It is from this area that you can alter the sampling frequency and the audio channel number. Once you have finished selecting the settings you want, you just need to click Okay, found in the bottom right of the screen.

Step Three – Convert The File

To start the process, you need to click on Start Conversion, the red button found to the right hand side of the screen. Conversion takes around ten seconds for the majority of files and when it has finished you will be able to select your converted file to download.

Step Four – Download Your File

When the green Download button is click-able, it means your MP3 is ready. By clicking on the button, your converted file will be saved into the designated downloads folder on your computer. Options are available for downloading your converted file onto a smartphone or similar device via a QR code. When you click on

There you go, a few easy to follow and quick processes for converting your M4A files. If you would like to convert YouTube videos to MP3 though, you should also check out https://audioham.com/.

aptopix drone revolution - How Drones are Being Used by Businesses Today

How Drones are Being Used by Businesses Today

Sometime back, the idea that people had of drones was that they were similar to the toy choppers that kids would fly using a remote control. It was purely child’s play and was a reserve for the kids.

In recent times, the table has turned. Drones such as the Sky Viper which we recently researched as part of our sky viper drone review have become more than children’s toys. They are now being used by corporate entities. They have even found utility with scientists and military generals. They have evolved into useful aviation navigation tools. They are being utilized by not only consumers but businesses too.

the drone market opportunity commercial drones are on the horizon and poised to drive big business - How Drones are Being Used by Businesses Today

How are they being used in modern times? Here’s a consideration.

Capturing Live Events

Capturing live events was every camera man’s nightmare. To pull this off, they often had to hang their cameras using cables from elevated places in order to get some aerial footage of live events. It was such a difficult task and only the smart and experienced ones were able to do it. Drones have however eased this activity.

Concerts, political addresses, sports events, demonstrations, businesses events and others are now being captured as they happen conveniently and excitingly. Drones have been used to give a real-time perspective of ongoing events.

With drones, one can steer the camera in any direction that they wish and at the comfort of just a small controller.

Agriculture

Drones are being applied in modern day agricultural activities. Smart farmers have a field day literally by implementing the use of drones in their daily activities. Farmers can be able to track and monitor farming conditions. They have also been able to irrigate their crops and to ascertain if irrigations systems are working effectively. Drones have also been greatly used when administering pesticides and fertilizers to plants over a wide area. Farmers have used drones to observe their farming work. It has proved to be cost-effective especially in cases where they own vast tracts of land.

News Coverage

No happier lot have enjoyed the advent of drones than journalists. News coverage, reporting and journalism are about catching the action live as it happens. Journalism has quickly adopted the use of drones and students are even learning how to use them to perfect their reporting. Modern-day reporters are reportedly using drones to capture the day’s news as opposed to hiring choppers.

Disaster Assessment and Relief

When disaster strikes, infrastructure cripples and it proves hard for people to move around. More so, the disaster relief agencies are rendered immobile in times of severe weather and when transport systems are down. With these, they are not able to perform their duties efficiently. However, drones have come in handy in such situations. They have been used to save lives in disaster-stricken areas. Drones have been used in monitoring and disaster response by various entities such as the Air Force and the army. NGOs have also employed them as an indispensable tool in providing relief operations. Search and rescue teams are also achieving success in their activities by using drones to help them navigate through debris and affected areas. Some relief agencies have even gone to the extent of delivering food, medication, and necessities in remote areas.

Security Surveillance

Insecurity has been a menace in most societies. Some planned crimes happen swiftly. Thus, it becomes highly impossible for businesses and security agencies to respond.

However, drones are making real-time security surveillance a possibility. Businesses can monitor operations within and outside their facilities in the real time. Security agencies are also able to survey for security threats and crimes within a locality. All this makes them set to respond swiftly to distress calls. Also, it enables businesses to forestall the possibility of theft by employees as they can be able to monitor them.

Law Enforcement

Law enforcement officers have used drones to identify the location of criminals, terrorists and other demented characters. They help them plan the right course of action when criminals strike and are possibly holding hostages. More sophisticated drones are also known to fire bullets at criminals when the need arises.

Wildlife Protection

Drones have been used significantly for the protection of wildlife. This is true especially in protecting endangered species against the activities of poachers. Some countries have employed the use of drones in wildlife protection, for example, drones are used to give real-time footage of the animals and the potential threat such as poachers. This footage is sent to rangers who are on the ground who respond swiftly to the threats.

Construction

The present-day construction sites are filled with drones. They are used to inspect tall structures and get close-up images of buildings.

When surveys are being carried out, drones have been used for this work. It has saved surveyors the bulk of dangerous work that usually characterizes surveying.

Drones have significantly reduced the costs, resources and efforts expended in surveying the progress of construction work. For the longest time, construction supervisors have had to hire pilots to survey this progress especially when the construction is vast. This usually took time and a lot of resources. With drones, there is minimal expenditure and better data collection.

Product Delivery

This is one of the most recent ways that drones are being used by modern day businesses. Companies such as Amazon, Walmart and UPS in the United States are trying to redesign their package delivery process to factor in drones. They argue that more efficiency will be achieved when drones are used in place of delivery vans and people. They can be flown off the warehouses and delivery vans to deliver the packages to designated locations. Many companies the world over are similarly trying to introduce drones in delivery services.

Drone technology is improving every year as evidenced by the yearly expos and conferences where inventors showcase their innovations. The above consideration is just of some of the popular use of drones by businesses. There are many novel uses of drones in the world amongst businesses. They are bound to even be more sophisticated in the future. We can only wait and see!

Blog11 1170x400 - 7 Very Useful Software for Free

7 Very Useful Software for Free

The best things in life are free and these things can be found on the internet. Check out these 7 very useful software that you can download for free on the internet:

BitDefender Antivirus Free Edition

Basically we wanted to protect our computers with antivirus software. However, they are very expensive to purchase. Lucky you, BitDefender Antivirus has a free edition that can be easily downloaded. It protects your PC from viruses and malware. You can detect and eliminate those threats immediately.

f1 - 7 Very Useful Software for Free

WPS Office Free

Microsoft Office is definitely one of the most popular tools used by many in word processing, presentations, and spreadsheets. However, for those who cannot renew their purchase or are still suffering from the outdated editions, you can download for free a very similar software which is the WPS Office. It does exactly what Microsoft Office does.

Google Chrome

Despite various web browsers available on the internet, Chrome stays as the most trusted web browser by internet users. It is very flexible and stable in providing results. It is also user-friendly. Its integration with your Google account makes it easier for you to access your YouTube and other accounts.

MusicBee

If you cannot afford to buy music at iTunes or even get Spotify Premium, you can download MusicBee, a free music player. It has a huge collection of songs from various artists of all the ages. It offers smart tagging and hardware optimization for best playback quality.

Freemake Video Downloader

If you want to download videos for free, download a free video downloader. Freemake Video Downloader has more than 93 million users worldwide. It has features that allow you to save, convert, crop and play videos.

f23 - 7 Very Useful Software for Free

Lightworks

If you are fond of creating video contents but cannot afford to buy an Adobe Premier license, you can download Lightworks for free. It lets you edit videos and save them on high definition. Believe it or not, some Hollywood films are produced through this software.

Foxit reader

Foxit Reader is a free PDF reader that allows you to view, edit and create PDFs. It can also convert Microsoft Office files and scanned documents to PDF.

Which among these free software is your favorite?

519464 the best seo tools of 2016 810x400 - How to Choose an SEO Agency?

How to Choose an SEO Agency?

If we have something to promote online, we need to use a process that allows our product, service or blog to be found. While the posting of links on certain websites can have some effect, it’s not a process that’s going to serve us well in the long-term. This is why search engine optimisation is so important for those looking to make the right impression online.

The truth is that SEO can be a time-consuming endeavour, and not everyone will have the time to contend with such a task. Therefore, many people will employ the services of an SEO agency, but how should we go about finding one that’s right for us. So here are a few tips that you should follow on from one SEO company in Glasgow

Look for Value

When looking at SEO agencies, it can be tempting to go with the company that is offering the lowest price, but we really need to look at what we’re getting for the price we’re paying. For example, more unscrupulous companies may offer a price that seems like a bargain, but only carry out very basic SEO, or underhand practices. When choosing an SEO company, you need to ensure that you are paying for the right kind of service, while ensuring that the processes being carried out are all above board. Using a company that’s not able to contend with this could mean that your website has a series of ramifications moving forward.

Avoid SEO Agencies Offering Guaranteed Rankings

There’s no denying that the job of an SEO agency is to improve the search engine rankings of a website, and the right kind of agency will be able to do this. However, a company that states they can guarantee first-page placement on Google for the long-term will need to detail how it plans to do this.

While an SEO agency will look to optimise your site, there’s no real way of guaranteeing where a business will show when it comes to search engine results. Therefore, keyword research is so important, as simply guessing can mean that we’re losing out on several demographics.

This isn’t to say that SEO can’t deliver first page rankings, and in many instances it does, but as more and more people adopt the Internet as daily life, then several factors can change in the space of a day. This is why ongoing work is needed to ensure that your website is able to contend with the changes that can occur within the Internet.

Ask for Reviews or Testimonials

While an SEO agency may proclaim to be the best option, if it’s not able to back up its claims, then it could be overpromising when it comes to results. Those who have found success thanks to the service an SEO agency will only be too happy to leave an online review, or provide the agency with a testimonial.

As such, you can read reviews on several different platforms to ensure that the claims of an SEO agency are backed up by their customers. If a company is a little reserved when it comes to offering such information, then it may be worthwhile looking elsewhere.

Ensure the SEO Agency Gives You Realistic Timelines

When it comes to SEO, it’s not unusual for a business to want to be up and running within a short time frame, but the truth is that SEO can be a large investment of time, and results may not be quickly as you’d like. There are options available if you’d like to get your product in front of people, but this is something an SEO agency can discuss with you in more details. Not only will the right SEO agency be able to advise as to how long results will be seen, but it can also advise on other avenues that aid your business in the short-term.

Avoid SEO Agencies that “Work with Google”

There is a lot of competition within the world of SEO, so it makes sense that companies will try different ways of standing out from the crowd. This may be in the guise of a unique service that’s offered by a company, or offering excellent customer service. Unfortunately, the more unscrupulous of companies may try more underhand methods, such as claiming it works alongside Google in relation to its SEO practices.

While many companies have a great understanding of how Google works, and have managed to create strategies that make an impact, the more reputable of companies do this by using the correct SEO techniques.

It should come as no surprise that employees at Google often must sign a confidentiality agreement to ensure sensitive information isn’t leaked outside of Google, so it’s very unlikely the company would be working alongside any SEO professional, regardless of their reputation. 

An SEO Agency Must Understand Your Business

For any form of SEO to be effective, the SEO agency undertaking the work needs to understand how your business works, and the service it offers, otherwise any work carried out could be a complete waste of time.

Companies that state they have a method that can be applied to all websites should be avoided at all costs. Although SEO is an important factor for any website, the process used could vary depending on the goals of the business.

While there are some factors to consider, a business looking to expand shouldn’t undervalue the benefits that SEO can bring to the table when it comes to promoting a business.

Blog9 1170x400 - Advantages of Artificial Intelligence for Humans

Advantages of Artificial Intelligence for Humans

Technology is indeed an essential indicator of human progress. Every day, there is a new discovery that would unfold another chapter of the world’s advancement. One of the major breakthroughs in technology is the invention of the computer. Today, the computer has rapidly changed and has developed advanced features that can help humans in their everyday activities.

As computers get smarter each day, it may reach the level in which it may use an artificial intelligence (AI). Artificial intelligence is a vision in science in which machines can exhibit intelligence rather than humans. Through AI, computers will become agents to teach humans about reasoning, planning, language and other practical life lessons. It can also aid in the education especially in the fields of math, science, history and more.

Despite doubts about its future existence and various criticisms, there are few advantages AI can offer.

Personalized Learning

AI can provide a personalized learning system in which the computer or the AI machine can provide much time on the individual learning. The AI can address solely on the individual’s strengths and weaknesses. Through this, the AI can determine if the individual has really learned.

Virtual Education

As a smart and interactive machine, AI can make the learning of an individual much more vivid and creative through various materials including videos, graphs, photos and presentations of the lecture. AI can take the teaching strategy to a whole new level through bringing the experience to the student.

Intelligent Moderation

Unlike a classroom setting in which students are obliged to follow a pre-determined syllabus, AI can create customized lecture plan and curriculum. AI will make sure that the student has really understood the lesson before proceeding to another.

Real-Time Assessment

Teachers can take time to check the test papers of the students. On the other hand, AI can provide real time evaluation in which it can automatically determine if there are mistakes. It can also immediately assess the problem-solving skills of the individual.

Machine Translation

Being an intelligent machine, AI is expected to know various languages. This can be perfect for everyone in the world as AI can manage to adjust to the culture and language of its student. This will address the learning gap between educators and learners with different cultures.

Empowerment

AI can grant education experience to our brothers and sisters who have not experienced education due to cases like oppression, disability, and poverty. Through this, these communities will be empowered and can enjoy the benefits of an educated person.

Do you believe Artificial Intelligence will exist in the near future? Share your thoughts with us.

what is affiliate marketing - How to get started in affiliate marketing

How to get started in affiliate marketing

Making a consistent passive income is the dream for most people.

It could give you the chance to ditch the day job, have a more leisurely lifestyle – maybe even work from far-off white sand beach with your laptop open beside you.

But how do you get there?

Well, for most people, it’s about affiliate marketing.

We’ll explain steps you can take to start making that daydream a reality…

What is affiliate marketing?

Essentially, affiliate marketing is about doing marketing activity on behalf of other people.

When they get the result they’re looking for (because of the work you’ve put in) you get paid. It’s this ‘paid on results’ model that makes affiliate marketing a bit different to standard marketing. I.e. you get to put a load of work in before you’re likely to see any money hit your bank account.

Who and what’s involved?

There are usually 3 parties involved with affiliate marketing:

  • The product creator or seller
  • The affiliate network
  • The affiliate marketer (you)

Now of course, there are customers too – but they’re not guaranteed – so, this is where you’ve got to put the work in.

The product creator or seller is someone who’s looking to sell more of their product – which means they approach an affiliate network. The network is a little like a job agency – so, they have a bundle of affiliate marketers that they’ve somewhat vetted and feel are right for the tasks. When an opportunity comes in, they’ll pass it to people on their network.

This opportunity generally comes in the form of a link that’s unique to the affiliate marketer. You put that link out there into the world of customers – and you’re rewarded when people take the action that the product creator or seller is looking for.

That action could be completed sales, it might be mailing list sign-ups, it could be brochure requests – it might even just be the clicks that take someone to their site. They decide what they’re looking for and an amount of money that they’ll pay you for making it happen.

Making money

So, people start hitting the link that you’ve put on your site. Nice work. Some of them go on to buy the product. Awesome.

Every time the desired action takes place – bing, there’s a sophisticated tracking system behind the links you’re publishing that sees to it that you make some money. But it’s not just links from a website that generate traffic to the product creator’s site – there’s a ENORMOUS number of other route you could take.

The message is this:

Anything that generates traffic can be monetised with affiliate marketing.

Got a big Instagram following? Run a great blog? Answer questions on Quora? Write e-books? Run a forum? Pretty handy at ranking a site on Google? If whatever you do generates traffic or gets looked at by a lot of people – there’s a chance it could be generating you some affiliate income.

Reverse engineering

Okay, so, the absolute truth of the matter is – very few affiliate marketers started out by monetising their current internet real-estate. Instead, they see a lucrative offer and create or adapt their infrastructure to push traffic in its direction.

So, instead of creating the demand then sourcing a relevant supply – they find a lucrative supply and work on harvesting a demand that already exists somewhere on the internet. And they do this in some interesting and innovative ways.

With that in mind, what are some of your options for finding people for your offers?

Social Media

You’ve seen adverts in your social media feeds right? Well, there’s a chance they’re placed by affiliate marketers. When you place advertisements on social media you pay for the amount of impressions you get, i.e. the number of times your advert is shown to the audience you’ve specified.

Content sites

People love to consume information – whether it’s long form reviews of philosophy books, cat memes – or anything in between. Affiliates often create sites that provide desirable content – then place text links or banners that direct their audience to the offers they’re promoting. 

Pay Per Click (PPC)

Often, affiliates who concentrate on PPC advertising don’t have their own websites – instead, they opt for platforms like Google Adwords and services that will place your adverts into a vast network of sites.

Shopping services

There’s money to be made helping people to find the right products for them. Comparison sites and review sites are commonly found shopping services that receive a financial incentive when one of their audience goes on to make a purchase from a partner company. Promoting products such as the maclaren stroller triumph are also popular, these products are aimed at the new parent market which is a great niche to be in due to the vast number of baby and children products that you can promote through your site. 

Email newsletters

If you’ve got a large mailing list – or the means the generate one – then you can place advertisements and links in the information you send out. This is tricky territory at times – as you’ve got to provide value rather than just obviously be marketing – but offers and promotions can work well.

What does it take to be a successful affiliate marketer?

Now, you’re not going to get so far without some technical skills. At the very least you’re going to need to know how to set up basic websites – and optimise the tracking software that you’ll need to monitor all your activity.

Those skills aren’t rocket science to get your head around on a basic level – that said, if it were a real piece of cake to get successful at affiliate marketing the whole world would be working a few hours a day from whichever beach or boutique holiday resort they chose. But they’re not.

Instead, people tend to dip into affiliate marketing, get disheartened and abandon ship – looking for the next ‘magic bullet’ way of making a fortune. Hence, the first characteristic you’re going to need is patience.

No one gets rich overnight at the beginning. You’re more likely to lose the time or money you put it when you’re starting out – and that’s where the second vital characteristic of an affiliate marker comes into play – an analytical mindset.

You never lose in affiliate marketing – you only ever build you data. If you spend a few hundred pounds and only work out what people don’t want – congratulations, you’re one step closer to working out what they do want.

The very best affiliate marketers are self-motivated, smart with their spending, good with the people at the networks that provide the offers, creative and have a head for problem solving – if you’ve got those things – you might have just found your new favourite job…

top 10 best seo resources1 - The Importance of SEO in the Gambling Industry

The Importance of SEO in the Gambling Industry

The past 20 years has seen rapid change within the online gambling industry with the methods of success and value of the market constantly growing and changing. The online gambling industry is steadily growing to a value of £5bn and should surpass this by 2018. This value creates great interest and opportunity in the market and draws many new competitors to the industry.

Few onlookers to the market realise the heavy reliance of SEO that the gambling industry enjoys. Success in an online world is based on web-traffic and google page rankings. Mass competition in the market allows competitors who aren’t among the gambling elite to challenge near the top-end of the industry simply because of SEO.

Scott Manford, CEO of Easy Slots Gambling Site “At Easy Slots our main priority is utilising our SEO strategy to have the greatest benefit on the market. Although we do market ourselves via PPC and affiliate marketing, SEO remains the priority and maintaining rankings at the top of the pile is often a full-time job.”

“In an industry where the stature of your brand holds little to know significance the battles can be won through leading SEO practice and a deep understand of the Google algorithms.”

3 reasons why SEO is vital to the gambling industry

  • The culture of the online gambling industry is very different to other markets in the fact that there’s no tangible product to sell. You’re essentially offering an online service. Google’s goal is to create a search engine that gives the most relevant and high-quality results for your search. For gambling companies this is your sole marketplace and the competition lies in looking the best for Google. The web traffic you can generate in being on the first page of google for your key search terms is the difference between success and failure in the industry.
  • High-street brand reputation doesn’t necessarily mean success. When many betting operators began to go online, it was assumed that the success and allegiance the big names enjoyed on the street would translate directly to the online space. SEO enables businesses that don’t natural possess the same magnitude of brand identity or funds to compete with the big names in the industry. There are aspects of SEO like domain age and authority but for the most part, remaining at the top of the online industry is down to constantly maintaining and tweaking your SEO strategy to fit the updates of Google.
  • It’s not just SEO as a whole you need to consider. It needs to be expert level SEO. Bad SEO can hinder the success of your online platform more than not having a strategy at all would. With the Google algorithms constantly changing its important SEO technicians stay on top of the latest rules and behaviours to assure that a site is not penalised for their actions. Penalisation can occur when you buy weak links or duplicate content. Organic and fresh SEO practice is the number 1 way to find success in the online gambling industry

As the online gambling industry constantly grows and adapts to the new algorithms that Google sets we constantly see new competitors emerging and rising to the top of the gambling pyramid. Your standings in the industry can fluctuate on a day-to-day basis with your place in the market being as volatile as the slot games your players enjoy.

Web Design Glasgow

7 Factors to improve website usability

Site designers have their work cut out for them these days, much more so now than ever before with modern technologies and practices making site design cleaner, more functional and generally easier on the eye. While the majority of sites are very easy on the eye, looking good is not always easy – nor do aesthetics alone make a site even remotely usable.

Usability is hands down the most important part of modern web design, with aesthetics coming in second place (there is no point in something looking great if it cannot be used). Usability very often means the difference between a visitor staying and interacting in some way (filling out a form, making a purchase, reading an article etc.) or turning around and walking right back out the digital door again.

There are more than a few things to concern yourself with when it comes to the usability of your website, with some of them depending on the type of website and the services offered.

However, there are factors relevant to every website and some are more ‘crucial’ than others to get right. We recently sat down with the amazing guys at Think Zap who are one Glasgow’s leading web design companies and pioneers when it comes to UX.

Responsiveness is key

Remember the days when the internet could only be accessed via a desktop computer? Well, congratulations because almost nobody else does. There are now scores of different devices that can access the internet now, with even more different screen sizes not to mention the different operating systems.

Just for an example, here’s a (very) small selection of devices – we’ll ignore screen sizes, nobody has time for that:

  • Desktop computer
  • Laptop
  • Smartphone
  • Tablet
  • Smart watch
  • Smart TV
  • Games console

We could carry on, but these are the more popular ones so we’ll stop there and you probably get the idea. Test out your website on as many different devices and screen sizes as you can before your site goes live, to get a feel of what your visitors will be experience and make adjustments where necessary.

Logically constructed CTAs

It almost makes no difference what the purpose of your website is, you likely want your visitors to make a certain action when they get there. Whether that is buying, reading, downloading or something else entirely like picking up a telephone. Whatever the action happens to be, just like taking payments you should make it as easy as possible for that to happen.

The CTA (call to action) is the part where you convince the visitor to carry out the action you would like them to. This could be something as simple as a well constructed sentence or something a little more ‘standout’ like a button, a pop-up or a banner.

Whichever method you employ, place it in an obvious place and really make it pop… Also, in the case of banners, links, pop-ups and buttons you should probably make sure they work.

Make it snappy

Patience is a virtue but not one that should be tested – nobody cares if your visitors are virtuous or not. There are few things in this digital world of ours that are as annoying or off putting as being made to wait for a web page to load. Even some of the most popular websites are guilty as sin of this major no-no, but they won’t be mentioned – they know who they are.

A Kissmetric study discovered that just under half, 47% to be exact, of consumers fully expected a page to load in 2 seconds or less. There are several ways to reduce page loading times, and to discover just what is holding everything back you can feed individual pages through specialised tools such as:

These tools can identify potential issues so that you can get to work fixing them and improving your page loading times.

Navigation

Christopher Columbus isn’t the only one to have problems with navigation, site users can easily either get lost in large websites with no obvious way to get back to where they were in previous steps, or can’t find a particular page, category, service or product. Make sure the website is structured logically and that visitors can find everything easily and the rest will follow. Job done.

Make sure every page satisfies a need

User intent is the reason your website attracts visitors in the first place so make sure that the intent is satisfied on the page they visit. Logical categories that easy to find and that the pages being found reflect what the visitor was expecting to find – meta descriptions will help a great deal here and so will manual descriptions when sharing to social media sites.

Menu systems play a role here too, and whatever device your visitors are using these menus and category lists should be easily accessible and arranged.

Conformity is your friend

Website construction is no place for anarchists, conformity to established standards is a good thing in this case. People expect certain things from the websites they visit and those not meeting those expectations are not going to be very popular. Here are just a few things that people expect from a site:

  • Navigation is at the top of every page
  • Any logo or header links back to the homepage
  • Contact / about us pages are in specific places

Sometimes change is good, but not if it confounds and infuriates in the ways that changing the established order of things is sure to do. Others have tried and do you know who? Exactly.

Your content needs to be easily consumed

Do you know why readers like headers? Because nobody likes looking at a wall of text, even walls have windows so break up your text into sections with headers. Think of H2 tags as chapter titles. When you first open up a book, you may want to jump to a specific chapter that interests you, so you flick through until you find it. People do the exact same thing with web pages.

Heading tags also help search engines and SERPs, so there’s another reason to use them. Images and videos work too, in helping break the snoozefest of huge blocks of text, but don’t overdo it and only use images and videos that are actually relevant to the content.

Following these simple guidelines should result in a website that is easy to access, navigate and make use of. Watch those ads too, they really can affect loading times in a big way so don’t be that guy. Nobody likes that guy.