ISL 2019-20: Chennaiyin Held to 0-0 Draw by Visiting Mumbai City FC on Diwali Evening

first_imgChennai: Chennaiyin FC and Mumbai City played out a goalless draw in their Indian Super League clash at the Jawaharlal Nehru stadium, also called Marina Arena, in Chennai on Diwali evening.Both teams created a host of chances in an intense encounter but poor finishing meant that the teams had to share honours at the Marina Arena and the festivities ended without the net being rocked even once. The result sees Chennaiyin FC get their first point of the season on board while Mumbai City join NorthEast United at the top of the table with four points from two games.Chennaiyin could have stormed into the lead within 30 seconds when Rafael Crivellaro fed Andre Schembri through on goal. But the Maltese striker could only toe the ball forward on the stretch which was blocked by Mumbai City goalkeeper Amrinder. The rebound fell for Rafael who saw his effort miraculously palmed over Amrinder’s outstretched arm.This is the first time @MumbaiCityFC have kept three consecutive clean sheets away from home! Resolute! 💪#CHEMUM #HeroISL #LetsFootball #TrueLove pic.twitter.com/xQa3Txqg2o— Indian Super League (@IndSuperLeague) October 27, 2019 The home team looked full of attacking intent in that opening period, with Rafael pulling the strings. The Brazilian did exceedingly well to hold on to the ball in the 11th minute down the left wing, before rolling his marker and unleashing a vicious shot that flew just over.Minutes later, a poor defensive header from Souvik Chakrabarti saw Lallianzuala Chhangte race through on goal but his tame effort was blocked by Amrinder and Rafael, who was following up, shot wide.Mumbai City, who were struggling to put together moves, were dealt a blow in the 24th minute when Modou Sougou went off injured with Serge Kevyn replacing him.However, Mumbai started to grow into the game soon after and Amine Chermiti had two huge chances to score. First, he lobbed over after a disastrous backpass from Edwin Vanspaul before heading a Raynier Fernandes cross over from point-blank range in the 27th minute.Just past the half-hour mark, Kevyn was sent through on goal by Rowllin Borges but the substitute shot wide as Mumbai started to exert themselves.The Islanders finished the half well but found themselves under pressure at the restart as Chennaiyin showed some urgency. Several chances were created but the goal remained elusive.In a bid to gain more control, Mumbai City head coach Jorge Costa brought in Portuguese midfielder Paulo Machado for Raynier Fernandes. The substitute almost had an impact when his pass found Kevyn in space down the left but his first-time shot was tipped away by Chennaiyin custodian Vishal Kaith.John Gregory’s side had to change their plans after Rafael went down injured after a tough challenge from Souvik, which forced the Englishman to bring on Masih Saighani.After a bit of a lull, Chennaiyin started to pile the pressure and almost got a break in the 80th minute. A good passing move saw Anirudh Thapa play in Nerijus Valskis just inside the penalty box but the lanky forward’s shot went wide.The home team continued to threaten on the counter but a combination of poor decision-making from them and last-gasp defending by Mumbai City kept the scores level.Though Mumbai City were reduced to 10 men in injury time after Souvik was sent off for a cynical foul on Thoi Singh, Chennaiyin could not force a winner. Get the best of News18 delivered to your inbox – subscribe to News18 Daybreak. Follow News18.com on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Telegram, TikTok and on YouTube, and stay in the know with what’s happening in the world around you – in real time. chennaiyin fcfootballindian footballindian super league First Published: October 27, 2019, 10:29 PM ISTlast_img read more

Betting in cricket should be legalised: Justice Mudgal

first_imgNew Delhi Feb 19 (PTI) Justice (Retd) Mukul Mudgal, who has headed the IPL spot-fixing and betting probe, today called for betting in cricket to be made legalised in the country. Asked about legalising betting in the sport, Justice Mudgal said he supports such a step as it would help prevent corruption in cricket. “It will help in reducing spot fixing and other illegal practices, the government will also be able to make money from it in the form of taxes,” he said. Justice Mudgal said the BCCI is entitled to its opinion on the recommendations of the Supreme Court appointed Justice Lodha panel recommendations seeking sweeping reforms to its structure. He added that he has received a letter from Delhi and District Cricket Association regarding the managing committee meeting where observations were made on the Lodha Committee report. “I have received a letter from the DDCA stating that no such committee exists and no decisions were taken on the Lodha Committee recommendations,” Justice Mudgal said after his book titled Law and Sports in India was launched in the capital. The Justice spoke in support of Indian Premier League and said it helps young players as they get an opportunity to rub shoulders with the big stars of international cricket. Justice Mudgal has co-authored this book with Vidushpat Singhania, managing partner at Lodus Legal. The book touches upon topics including the IPL probe report and doping controversies. PTI EMY AH AHlast_img read more

Marin Cilic charges into US Open third round

first_imgSeventh-seeded Marin Cilic made it look as easy as one, two, three as he charged into the third round of the US Open on Wednesday.Cilic, the 2014 champion, continued his hard court season surge with a 6-1 6-2 6-3 rout of Sergiy Stakhovsky of Ukraine to reach a showdown match against American Jack Sock.”I played really well today from the start till the end,” the 27-year-old Croat told reporters. “I didn’t have too many ups and downs in the game.”I felt that I was controlling the match. I felt that I was really mixing up the game well.”Cilic, who recently made a coaching switch away from former Wimbledon champion Goran Ivanisevic, began to put his big-hitting game in gear during the grass court season and has built momentum since. (Also read: Former champion Juan Martin del Potro roars into US Open second round)He reached the semi-finals at Queen’s Club, where he lost to Andy Murray, and followed that with a trip to the quarter-finals before falling to Roger Federer.This summer he won his first ATP Masters 1000 event in Cincinnati, beating Murray in the final to end the Scotsman’s 22-match winning streak that included his Wimbledon and Olympic triumphs. (Also read: Leander Paes, Sania Mirza and Rohan Bopanna advance at US Open)Cilic took 100 minutes to eliminate Stakhovsky, facing only two break points in the romp.”I think that was really, really, high-quality match,” he said.Cilic expects a tougher test against Sock, who came from two sets down to beat him in a five-setter in this summer’s Davis Cup matches in Portland, Oregon. (Also read: Milos Raonic suffers shock second-round loss at US Open)advertisement”I’m definitely expecting a tough match-up. Jack can be very dangerous on the court,” Cilic said about the 26th-seeded American.”He’s athletic guy. He can run down many balls. In the U.S., I guess that he plays even a bit better. He gets inspired with the crowd.”Hopefully I can keep my level.”last_img read more

5 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Accepting a Job Offer You Don’t Love

first_imgImagine you’ve just finished interviewing with several employers. Out of all of the interviews, you received one job offer. It wasn’t exactly what you wanted. Do you accept it?If you’ve experienced a long-term job search, you’re probably feeling like you should take what you can get. But when you encounter offers you don’t completely love, you must ask yourself if you will accept the job offer, attempt to negotiate, or wait for a better opportunity to come along.For those of you finding yourself in this situation, here are some things to consider when accepting a job offer you aren’t completely in love with:1. Would you be sacrificing any serious goals?One of the most important questions you need to ask yourself is if you would make any serious sacrifices in your career when accepting the job offer. Would you need to relocate to a new city or work more hours than you’d prefer? Take a moment to compare your career goals to the job offer and see where they overlap. As long as the job keeps you moving forward in your career, then maybe the offer isn’t so bad after all.2. Is there an opportunity for you to expand your skills and experience?Almost every job presents the opportunity to learn something new. As you think about the job offer, take a look at the different responsibilities you’d have and opportunities for learning. Will the position require you to learn a skill or program? Will you have the opportunity to attend workshops or conferences? Sometimes, these types of learning opportunities turn into perks that could have a positive impact on your career.3. Does the offer meet most of your needs?If you’re having a difficult time deciding on a job offer, make a list of your needs — everything from lifestyle needs to your career goals. If the only thing you don’t love about the offer is the vacation package, maybe the offer isn’t so bad. However, if you need to have a benefits package that supports your family or you have a strong desire for promotion, then maybe you should try to negotiate the offer.4. Can you picture yourself working for the company?If you can see yourself working in the office and with the people, it’s probably a good sign the company could be a good fit. Even if the salary isn’t as high as you had hoped, you could be accepting a job offer that provides with a great company culture and an overall positive experience. Remember, not every job is about making the big bucks — it should also be about if you can find happiness where you work.5. Could this job be a stepping stone to a better opportunity?Throughout your career, you’ll find that some jobs can help you discover better opportunities. It’s OK if not every job you have is your dream job. Although you should be working toward your career goals, there will be times when you need to work a particular job in order to achieve your next goal. Every type of experience you gain gives you the opportunity to shape your career path. All you need to do is ask yourself if this offer is the right opportunity for you.Now, when the time comes to accept the job offer, don’t forget about the power of negotiation. You can always negotiate an offer if you aren’t completely satisfied. But overall, you should weigh the cost and benefits of the position, and remember, your career goals and values should always come first.Have you accepted a job offer you didn’t love? What factored into your decision?last_img read more

Top Resume Tips

first_imgEveryone wants their resumes to land in the “Yes” pile. But how can you achieve this? You need to optimize your resume so it really sells you to future employers. Coupled with patience and persistence, a strong resume will be your best asset as you navigate your job search. Here are some tips to help you make sure your resume is top­ notch.Formatting Would you prefer to read something on a single spaced page or a double spaced page? Probably double spaced. Before you even know what the content is, you’ve developed a preference for the one that’s easier to read. At a glance (and we all know that’s just about the amount of screen time resumes get), your resume needs to be clean, crisp, and easy to follow. Make sure the formatting presents your content in the best light. Quantify Numbers often speak louder than words. Wherever there’s a possibility to quantify an accomplishment, do it. Spend some time thinking about how you can quantify achievements you may not have associated with a numerical number. For example, if one of your job responsibilities was to organize and plan an annual conference, think about: the number of people who attended the conference, the number of vendors you coordinated with, the number of people you worked with to plan the event, etc. Quantifying achievements can apply to any role, not just the sales manager who increased revenue by 70%. Personality Your resume will stand out if it’s different from the rest. How can you make it different?  By sounding like yourself. Chances are you wouldn’t describe yourself as bland and generic, so why present yourself that way? Tell stories about yourself through your objectives and achievements, and don’t be afraid to make your resume longer to accomplish this. Another way to add personality to your resume is to list your personal interests at the end (rock climbing, collecting records, traveling, etc). Need help defining your personality? Start thinking about your personal brand. Make it clickable Hyperlink examples of relevant work directly into your resume. If you’ve published articles online, include a section devoted to writing samples with each article title clickable to the source. If you have work in an an online portfolio you’d like to showcase, link directly back to the specific piece. Make it easy for a potential employer to see examples of your work without having to leave your resume (and be sure you’re saving your resume as a PDF!). Get Another OpinionIt can really help to get another set of eyes on your resume. Whether it’s a friend, family member or even a professional, you should have someone scrutinize your resume. You want to choose someone who can look critically at how you’re presenting yourself and see if there is any missing information, errors or typos. You’re not done yet… Submitting resumes is just the beginning of a job application. Now’s the time to do the work that will really land you a job: networking. Scan your contact list and connections and make sure your resume gets in the hands of a person who can help you. It’s best to think of your resume as incomplete until it’s made contact with at least one person who is somehow connected to the position you’re applying for. After all, the best thing you can do for your resume is to get it seenReady to get hired and love your job? Search for open positions on Glassdoor.last_img read more

7 Ways to Transform Your Resume Today

first_img Pest Control Technician United Pest Solutions Seattle, WA Director, Advanced Technology Policy General Motors United States Registered Nurse Supervisor RN Waterbury Gardens Nursing and Rehab Waterbury, CT Administartive Assistant Sentry Mechanical Pittsburgh, PA 3.1★ Service Advisor Prime Motor Group Saco, ME We get it: writing a resume is daunting, no matter what stage in your career you’re at. Whether you have too much work experience and don’t know where to put everything, or if you are looking for your first professional job and don’t have much work experience to showcase, filling out an entire page can be a difficult task.If you’re working on your resume right now, keep reading. We spoke with Michelle Aikman, NCRW, Co-founder and Director of Adventure Learning of Cerno, to discuss the best actionable and realistic ways to transform your resume.1. Transform job duties into quantified accomplishments According to Aikman, the number one mistake job seekers make on their resume is only including what they do, but not how well they do it. For example, if you are a social media strategist, don’t just say you ran the company’s social media accounts. Instead, let the numbers do the talking and say, “When I started, we had X number of followers and X engagement, and I grew that to X.” “It’s really important that you communicate the benefits of your experience and achievements,” explains Aikman. “I always want to know how well someone has done the job. That’s what helps an employer connect the dots so they can see how, if you do that for them, what will they get out of it.” Ask a Resume Writer: How Do I Level Up Professionally?2. Ask someone else to read your resume If you’re trying to transform your resume, one of the best steps to do right now is bring in a third party to look it over. While it’s probably best to have a resume expert or professional read your resume, you could show it to a co-worker or boss to get their input on how well it translates your achievements and will stand out against others.“People often don’t get out of their own mind and think about what makes them a unique candidate and what makes them someone of value,” says Aikman. “People tend to under represent themselves, so having a conversation with a third party might help someone understand what they have to offer or what their competitive advantage is.”3. Go above the standard templateIf just getting the content onto your resume is tough, you might prefer to use a standard resume template because you don’t have time to even think about formatting it differently. However, taking the time to do so could be what helps set you a part, especially if you’re trying to move up a level in your career. “People too often use standardized resume templates and don’t think from a creative perspective,” says Aikman. “Instead, you should consider, “What does this employer really think about? What are they looking for? What can I communicate visually?” You are trying to communicate to someone else, so think about what they want to see. What works for the engineering industry does not work for the marketing industry; therefore, you have to style it toward the person who is going to be reading it.”13 Attention-Grabbing Resume Examples 4. Focus on the “forward” in your professional summaryAt the top of your resume, you should have a “Professional Summary” section detailing what your aspirations are. Instead of focusing on the accomplishments you’ve made in the past, Aikman advises that you focus on the forward. Doing so shows how what you have done can help you in the next stage of your career–and if you want to move to that next level, you need the employer to know that.“Next to your current job title, you can always put your aspiration,” says Aikman, suggesting that you add, “aspiring to be a manager” next to your current position or in your professional summary. “That’s a quick way to communicate that this is where you are now and this is where you want to go. Just don’t hand them a resume that says you want their job.”5.  Compress related experiences If you’ve held a lot of different jobs in a short period of time, or have similar experiences from various companies, Aikman says you should try to compress what’s related into one section on your resume. Doing so transforms it into a way that’s easier to comprehend–and allows you to make any large unemployment gaps seem smaller.“Look at what’s relevant and compile or compress related experiences together as much as possible,” says Aikman. “If you have a strictly reverse chronological resume it’ll be hard to do this, so consider a combined format with some chronological components so the employer can understand your timeline, but then also have a “qualifications” section with key benefits or expertise from multiple experiences. “How to Become the Candidate Recruiters Can’t Resist6. Language mattersIf you have experience that isn’t exactly from professional work, but still adds to your qualifications, Aikman says you can add it to your resume, but that you have to be careful with what language you use. If you’re trying to transform your resume so it stands out or better showcases your talents, this is extremely important.“It just comes down to pulling out the relevant words to describe what you did,” says Aikman. “It may mean you need to be skilled in how you present the information because you may not be able to use the language you used before. Think about how you can communicate this experience using language that will resonate with the employer. 7. Believe in your resumeIt may sound silly, but the best way to really re-vamp your resume is to get it to a point where you really feel confident in it and believe in the way you are presenting it.  “You have to believe in a resume for it to work,” says Aikman. Yes, the resume can be daunting, but if you want to land your next job, or move up to the next level in your career, one of the best actions to make right now is to give yourself a confidence boost and create a resume that really shows how valuable of an employee you are. You got this! N/A RN, Registered Nurse – OP Chemotherapy CHRISTUS Health Houston, TX 23 hours ago 23h 3.4★ Registered Nurse (RN) – Charge Nurse – $7,000 Sign On Bonus EmpRes Healthcare Management Gardnerville, NV LCPC – Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor Above and Beyond Family Recovery Center Chicago, IL 23 hours ago 23h 2.5★ 23 hours ago 23h 23 hours ago 23hcenter_img 3.5★ 23 hours ago 23h 23 hours ago 23h 4.5★ 23 hours ago 23h 2.8★ 23 hours ago 23h 5.0★ N/A Deli Associate F&M Deli & Restaurant Mount Laurel, NJ 23 hours ago 23h Interior Designer – St. Louis & Dallas Oculus Saint Louis, MO 4.7★ 23 hours ago 23h Browse Open Jobslast_img read more

Steve Mandanda ready to down tools at Crystal Palace

first_imgSteve Mandanda is downing tools at Crystal Palace.The Sun says Mandanda is refusing to return to Crystal Palace for pre-season training under new boss Frank de Boer.Mandanda claims he has been “disrespected” by Palace after the £90,000-a-week keeper lost his first team place to Wayne Hennessey.The former France No1 is trying to force a deal through to return to Marseille after just one disastrous season at Selhurst Park.Palace are holding out for £4m after Mandanda, 32, told the Eagles he will not come back for the start of pre-season training under their new Dutch boss.He made just nine appearances for Palace following his free transfer move from Marseille last summer.last_img read more

Join Amnesty International in Times Square

first_imgPosted on September 13, 2010November 13, 2014Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)On September 20th from 9:00am – 9:30am in Times Square, Amnesty International will be displaying a “clock” which will count the women who die every minute as a result of complications during child birth/pregnancy.  The billboard will be presented on Broadway between 44th and 45th Street.  Join Amnesty International for this special event as they campaign for the rights of women. If you are interested in volunteering or promoting the event, or have any further questions please feel free to contact Thenjiwe at tmcharris@aiusa.org. All volunteers will be provided breakfast and are asked to arrive on site at 8:45am on the day of the event.Share this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:last_img read more

Ana Langer in Scientific American

first_img ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: Posted on October 13, 2010November 13, 2014Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Ana Langer, an Advisor to the Maternal Health Task Force, was recently interviewed by Scientific American about improving maternal care.  According to Langer, “It’s not that you require a scientific breakthrough to solve these situations—in developed countries the knowledge and technical tools have been available to women for many, many years.”Read the whole article to find out more about why getting pregnant is still dangerous for women in many countries.Share this:last_img read more

From pregnancy to protection: advancing the intersection between antenatal care and immunization

first_imgPosted on January 18, 2019January 18, 2019By: Cyril Engmann, member of AMI’s Strategic Leadership Team and Program Lead for Maternal, Newborn, Child Health, and Nutrition at PATH; Jessica Fleming, Director of AMI and Maternal Immunization Delivery Lead for PATHClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) RSV maternal immunization, if successful, could empower women to protect themselves and their babies from a common cause of lower respiratory infection. PHOTO: PATH/Cuong Nguyen PhuEvery mother has the right see her baby survive and thrive, but infant health and survival has been slower to improve than for older age groups. Projections indicate that, of the estimated 60 million child deaths before age five between 2017 and 2030, the majority will be clustered in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia and will occur in the first year of life—mostly due to preventable causes[1]. Among these causes are diseases that strike fiercely in early infancy, including a widespread, but often under-recognized, cause of severe infant respiratory infections called respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). Too often, threats like these go unchecked. But, what if moms could wield a powerful tool to stop these foes before they strike?This is possible for some diseases through maternal immunization (MI). By getting vaccinated in pregnancy, mothers can safeguard themselves and their infants in those first, most vulnerable months of life. It is used safely and effectively against tetanus, influenza, and pertussis, but delivery challenges and information gaps prevent MI from being widely available in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) beyond the success of tetanus prevention. The looming question is how LMICs can improve maternal, newborn, and child health (MNCH) by applying MI more broadly while also adding value—not burden—to antenatal care (ANC) and immunization programs.A maternal RSV vaccine, which is quickly advancing through clinical trials and could be available as early as 2021, is a natural opportunity for MNCH and immunization programs to come together like never before to answer this question. As a resource, a new RSV MI roadmap published by the Advancing Maternal Immunization (AMI) collaboration convened by PATH and the World Health Organization is now available. It is designed to help researchers, policymakers, funders, health practitioners, advocates, and others gauge when and where to direct their efforts for addressing obstacles inherent to MI introduction in LMICs.Navigating a way forward against a dangerous, largely unrecognized, disease A common and widespread infection, RSV occurs in almost every child by the age of two and leads to more than 30 million childhood infections worldwide every year.[2] In older children and adults, it’s mild,  can be easily confused with the common cold,  and often goes away on its own. However, for infants, early RSV infections combined with tiny airways can lead to deadly complications like lung infection (pneumonia) and inflamed airways (bronchiolitis) that make breathing difficult and potentially deadly. RSV is responsible for at least 1.4 million infant hospitalizations and 120,000 deaths among children under five every year, with nearly all deaths occurring in LMICs and mostly before six months of age. Options for RSV treatment are limited, and caring for infants sick with RSV, whether in the hospital or at home, puts further burden on family livelihoods.To combat this threat, the AMI RSV MI roadmap (based on a gap analysis published in early 2018) outlines the activities needed to fill critical information gaps for decision-making and move RSV MI from development to delivery in LMICs. The most urgent activities center on assessing RSV MI’s potential health impact and return on investment; supporting vaccine development and licensure; preparing for post-introduction monitoring; developing communications strategies to support awareness and uptake; and ensuring that countries are equipped to deliver the vaccine routinely, efficiently, and equitably once it is available. Linked to the former, perhaps the biggest emphasis overall is on the need to collaborate across maternal health services, particularly ANC and vaccine programs, to determine how delivery could work in different country and service delivery contexts, and even strengthen maternal health and vaccine services overall.Learning from the past to improve the futureBeyond preventing a dangerous respiratory infection for infants, figuring out how to efficiently, equitably, and reliably deliver RSV MI could strengthen overall healthcare provisions for moms and their infants and lay a foundation for delivering existing and future maternal vaccines (such as for Group B Streptococcus, which is currently in development). Benefits could include leveraging resources to improve ANC and immunization service delivery; encouraging pregnant women to attend more well-care visits; and protecting two populations often underserved in current immunization programs from diseases—pregnant women and young infants. Further, the same surveillance systems for tracking maternal vaccine performance could be leveraged to better monitor pregnancy and other MNCH outcomes.Despite these possibilities, the road ahead requires venturing into uncharted territory to address remaining questions and challenges. Current maternal and neonatal tetanus elimination efforts have paved part of the way by reaching pregnant women in LMICs through vaccination campaigns and supplementary immunization activities. We must learn from this experience as we explore what adaptions may be necessary to incorporate RSV and other maternal vaccines into routine healthcare.To give maternal RSV vaccine a chance to pave the way for broader MI, we need to act on the roadmap now to ensure that such a vaccine can be used to the greatest benefit once available. Check out the report to see how you can contribute to advancing the scientific, policy, economic, regulatory, communications, and programmatic activities needed to lay the foundation for RSV MI and other maternal vaccines to come. Working together, we can chart a new course to offer mothers and their babies a better shot at good health.[1] UNICEF. Progress for Every Child in the SDG Era. New York City: UNICEF; 2018. Available at https://www.unicef.org/publications/index_102731.html[2] Lancet. Global, regional, and national disease burden estimates of acute lower respiratory infections due to respiratory syncytial virus in young children in 2015: a systematic review and modelling study. 2017, Sep 2; 390 (10098):946-958.Share this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:last_img read more

Find freelancers like you!

first_imgOr at the very least, near you. Through our new partnership with Meetup.com, members of Freelancers Union are forming groups all across the country. Some of the newest ones:Costume designers in New York CityGraphic designers in the South Shore of MAAll sorts of L.A. freelancersIndependent business people in New JerseyFreelance writers in BrooklynA lot of these are just getting started, but some are already gaining critical mass. Check us out at Meetup to find–or start–the group for you!last_img read more

How to quote prospective clients as a freelancer

first_imgThis is a post from a member of the Freelancers Union community. If you’re interested in sharing your expertise, your story, or some advice you think will help a fellow freelancer out, feel free to send your blog post to us here.If you’re anything like I was for many years, when you hear others talk about “quoting” clients, something in your brain glosses right over whatever follows. Please… you’ve done it a million times, right? You can churn out quotes in your sleep. Besides, there’s no overarching imperative when quoting. Every job needs to be evaluated and it’s different every time, no?So we tend to focus any effort we make in the arena of quoting on efficiency, since it’s often an arduous task, sitting up and churning out time-consuming, itemized quotes in order to keep the ball rolling. We gauge a vague hourly rate we feel OK with, over time, which we factor into most quotes. And offset with the belief that everyone shops only on price anyhow.And boom – there we go – we’ve become a “good” quoter. We can clip them out at speed!Efficiency versus effectivenessThat might prove very efficient, but not very effective. For you. Being diligent and efficient with quotes is an accolade and no mistake. But if quoting – as the culmination of all of the hours and dollars you’ve spent on marketing – is the lynchpin that ties all of that effort into a good end result, it deserves to have its effectiveness gauged.Quoting is effective when it makes you the money you need to live a comfortable life. And, again much like I was, that vision of freelance success is normally placated with the stance of “Well I’m quoting, aren’t I?” It often sounds like this too: “I’m soooo busy!” But that stance might often mask chronic under-quoting. Often for years.We need to realize that all of us global citizens have a responsibility to push back against the inveterate bargain hunting that is a sign of our times and, as freelancers, doubly so. But more than that, we can also employ a stellar tool, one I picked up from a former employer years ago.A fixed-price job offer is much easier to navigate. We skim through it and resuscitate that vague notion of an hourly rate and can quickly figure if it’s worthwhile for us. Somehow, when the price is set and comes first, it’s easier to figure out. That said, the fixed price arena is also one in which much profit is lost. But let’s look at having to cost and quote on a job where there’s no suggested budget from the client. What all-encapsulating technique can we apply to that process, so that we finally start to get paid what we’d like to earn?One day years ago I was sitting with a former employer. He lacked many people skills and his journey as a landscape contractor had made him even more sardonic and surly at times. He had handled huge contracts, ones where you get paid by a consultant signing off payment certificates and where you end up waiting months for money while your home crumbles.That said, after the dust had settled, he had come away from that coalface with an important realization. It is this: there is only one way to quote on anything, ever, and that is to figure out how much you want to make out of the job.I’ll say that again, as it seems laughably wishful when first encountered. The one and only valid consideration when quoting sounds like this: “How much do I want to make here?”It has to be the final considerationThink about it. If you’re ridiculously far removed from marketplace norms, well, too bad. You probably won’t get the gig. But how many times have you sweated over price, got the gig, only to then sit bemoaning your fate all weekend knowing that you’ve already eaten whatever you’re going to earn doing this, and wishing you had rather upped the price?Several thousand times? Like me? Solidarity.Well, for those who don’t want to die sleeping on a beach somewhere, quote with number one in mind in future. We tend to forget that shaving people mercilessly is an ingrained and fundamental practice in business – everything is cost-sensitive. And when we forget it, we forget to shave back! Enough of those slices have to land in your bowl, otherwise you’re not going to make it. To get away from an existential horror show and into the realm where money management and retirement planning are enabled, you really need to ask yourself how much you want to make out of each task. Factor in the speedboat and the holiday in Bermuda. Do it. Business does. And you’re a business.Unfortunately, it doesn’t hasten quoting. If anything, it demands a very careful costing, same as always, before we add on profit, whether as an hourly rate or as a percentage overall. But once you’re happy that you’ve figured out what this is going to cost, the wormhole through which we travel to our dreams of financial independence and general well-being is that one, simple question – how much do I want to make out of this?The rationale behind this can easily be seen if you imagine what happens when you don’t ask yourself that question. You might end up making money, pitching a “high” hourly rate even. That’s a definite maybe. Or, far more likely, thanks to scope-creep and your innate willingness to perform, you’ll end up making just enough to struggle onward.Think about it. When you get past the mild embarrassment of what seems like an absolutely selfish and misplaced consideration, you’ll realize that it is absolutely the only consideration!That’s it. Always try. Your behaviour impacts world perceptions and the well-being of millions of other freelancers too. No pressure! David Wahlman, a fellow Freelancers Union member, said in a recent blog post right here: “We’re all in this together, in a weird, disjointed sort of way. Rejoice for them and then put your best foot forward. You can’t be responsible for other people’s lives, but you are 100% responsible for your own.”Marc van Sittert is a Johannesburg-based copywriter, specializing in ad copy,integrated report writing, financial proofreading and manuscript & website editing. An autodidact, polymath, yoga & meditation instructor, he also tutors English and blogs on matters of social relevance & personal well-being.last_img read more

Business Cents: How to Become a Registered Woman-Owned Business

first_imgThe average person may see anywhere between 4,000 and 10,000 ads in a single day. From binge-watching your favorite shows to checking the pile of coupons in your mailbox, advertisers have inundated our lives. Most of the ads we see… Full Story,Dressing up for Halloween is one of the best parts of the holiday, especially if you’re a creative person. But buying a Halloween costume can get expensive, with many costing more than $50 a pop. And unless you plan to… Full Story,You may not find it on an official calendar anywhere, but Friendsgiving is a newer holiday that has gained popularity in recent years. Much like Thanksgiving, Friendsgiving is a time to gather around the table with loved ones in the… Full Story,My birthday is on Halloween, so every year I get super excited. I plan what my costume will be, decide how I want to celebrate and text all my friends to let them know. Last year, I was finally able… Full Story,Not much of a football fan? Don’t know what all the cheesehead hat-wearing and face paint-smearing is all about? Skip hanging out at the local sports bar or sitting in the stands at a game, and put on your entrepreneurial… Full Story,Living paycheck to paycheck can feel like an endless scramble. Rent is due on the first but your paycheck won’t clear until the second. On top of everything, you need to pay for groceries, a bus ticket, and utilities before… Full Story,Decision fatigue is the decline in energy and focus you experience after making too many decisions. This mental drain causes your brain to abandon your willpower in order to seek more immediate rewards, which leads to poor decision making and… Full Story,If you ask a random person on the street what they do, chances are they have a lot of slashes and hyphens in their job titles. In this day and age, if you don’t have multiple sources of income… Full Story,Do you consider yourself a financially responsible young adult? Personally, I like to think that my finances are mostly in order. Rent, student loans, car payments—everything big is blocked off nicely. If the math works out right, I have a… Full Story,In the financial world, nothing evokes feelings of terror quite like the word “bankruptcy”. It’s become synonymous with a complete and utter collapse of one’s finances – a black hole that’s almost impossible to climb out of. When you declare… Full Storylast_img read more

Why Mortgage Lenders Pull All Three of Your Credit Reports

first_imgHave you checked the mortgage interest rates lately?If you’ve got excellent credit you can get mortgage loans with interest rates near or below 3.5%, assuming your income and collateral are also in good shape.Add that to a still recovering real estate market and now might be the time to pull the trigger on a home loan.The Mortgage Loan Application Process is UniqueFirst off, borrowing money to buy a house will likely represent the largest financial liability you’ll ever have.Second, managing a mortgage is unlike the management of any of type of loan due to property taxes, insurance, and impounds.Finally, unlike a credit card, auto loan, or any other type of credit application process, the mortgage loan application process is unique.Normally when you apply for a credit card or auto loan, the lender will pull one of your credit reports accompanied by one of your credit scores. They’ll then use that information as a basis for their decision about your application.They almost never attempt to pull your other two credit reports and scores.Mortgage lenders, however, almost always pull all three of your credit reports and your three credit scores as part of their standard loan application process.And, if you are applying with another person, the mortgage lender will pull all three of their credit reports and credit scores as well.This unique process yields a great deal of information. The aggregate leaves the lender with six credit reports and six credit scores.Normally, the mortgage lender will “use” the middle numeric scores as to base their decision. That might solve the credit score issue, but it doesn’t solve the credit report issue.Six credit reports, especially belonging to older applicants, can be overwhelming.What is a Residential Mortgage Credit Report?Normally a non-mortgage lender will simply go directly to a credit bureau and pull a report. But, in the mortgage world there’s an intermediary party referred to as a mortgage reporting company.These companies pull the applicant’s credit reports on behalf of the lender/mortgage broker and then consolidate the information into one easy to read file.This report is called an “RMCR” or Residential Mortgage Credit Report.  They are also informally referred to as “Tri-merges.”The information is merged, but more often it is done cosmetically, meaning your credit reports don’t really magically become combined with that of your co-applicant. Tri-merges are very easy to read as the mortgage reporting company will reorganize the information.All of the scores go in one section. All of the positive information goes in one section– and yes all of the bad information goes in one section too.Why Do Mortgage Lenders Need All Three Credit Reports?There’s actually a very good reason mortgage lenders pull all three of your credit reports. First off, because of the amount of money being lent, the lender or funding source (Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac) requires that no credit stone be left unturned.Credit reports, while considerably redundant, are rarely identical across the three credit reporting agencies. Pulling three reports all but guarantees the lender will see all of your financial liabilities, while pulling just one does not.Additionally, you won’t have three identical credit scores.  Pulling all three of your scores (or all six if you have a co-applicant) is a conservative approach to risk assessment.It gives the lender a choice to base their decision on the applicant’s highest score, lowest score, or middle score. The middle score approach has been around for roughly 15 years, give or take.How the Additional Inquiries Affect Your CreditDon’t worry about the inquiry times three.  Mortgage inquiries are among the least problematic to your scores and are considerably discounted by FICO’s scoring system.In fact, the first 30 days on your credit file mortgage inquiries are ignored. That gives you the ability to shop around for the best rate without being worried about any negative score impact.Happy house hunting!John Ulzheimer is the President of Consumer Education at SmartCredit.com, the credit blogger for Mint.com, and a contributor for the National Foundation for Credit Counseling.  He is an expert on credit reporting, credit scoring and identity theft. Formerly of FICO, Equifax and Credit.com, John is the only recognized credit expert who actually comes from the credit industry. The opinions expressed in his articles are his and not of Mint.com or Intuit. Follow John on Twitter. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window) Related Post navigationlast_img read more

Is Colorado Paving the Way for Payday Loan Reform?

first_imgHas an organization or university offered you an opportunity with a stipend? Whether it’s an internship or apprenticeship, a stipend is a set amount of money that helps offset living expenses. This fixed amount is financial support provided while you’re… Full Story,Truth is, there is a lot to be excited about when it comes to college: new friends, a new routine, (college parties!), and more independence. But along with all these perks, it’s also time to start thinking about your finances…. Full Story,A routing number is a unique number that identifies a specific banking institution. Each routing number is made up of nine digits. Routing numbers are sometimes referred to as an American Banker’s Association routing transit number or an ABA RTN…. Full Story,It’s stressful enough having a car loan over your head and staying on top of your monthly payments. But what if you have an upside-down car loan — in other words, the amount you owe on your set of wheels… Full Story,When you’re trying to get your financial house in order, it’s easy to get lost in the specifics. You might stress about how to adjust your budget, where to find some extra cash for the holidays or what funds to… Full Story,Shortly after graduating from New York University with a Master’s degree, Melanie Lockert turned to food stamps, as she worked her way out of $81,000 in student loans. “There were a lot of emotions around carrying that debt. It caused… Full Story,Traveling is one of the best things in life, and luckily, low funds don’t have to dash your dreams of enjoying an epic adventure. A wealth of destinations—both in the U.S. and abroad—are so affordable that even hardcore penny pinchers… Full Story,While we don’t yet have flying cars that collapse to the size of a suitcase, pneumatic tubes that transport us from room to room or machines that automatically bathe and clothe us in the morning, every day we’re getting closer… Full Story,Times have changed since Grams and Gramps were your age, looking to settle down and buy their first home. But today the house with the white picket fence—or that trendy loft in downtown—isn’t completely out of the question if you… Full Story,We recently hosted a Twitter chat as part of our #RealTalkSeries. And let’s just say, things definitely got real. Many of you joined us to discuss “taboo” and cringe-worthy money questions such as how to improve a bad credit score,… Full Storylast_img read more

Debt Payoff Methods: All About the Blizzard Approach

first_imgSo you have debt. As you probably know, you’re suffering in good company. According to the Federal Reserve, total household debt is at a staggering $13.86 trillion — and has been steadily climbing.While you might be one of millions mired in debt, how you go about paying off that debt is unique to you. In a perfect world, you’d ideally be able to metaphorically take a bazooka and obliterate your debt in one fell swoop.The reality? You’re most likely juggling a bunch of different financial commitments — paying rent, putting food on the table, saving for an emergency fund or a down payment on a home — making it harder to focus on crushing your debt.Realistically, you’d want to tackle your debt in a methodical fashion, focusing on one debt at a time. And while you might have heard of the debt avalanche and debt snowball method, you can also consider what’s known as the debt blizzard method. We’ll delve into exactly what a debt blizzard repayment method is, and how to know if it’s a solid tactic for you:Debt Avalanche Versus Debt Snowball Before we jump into the debt blizzard approach, let’s go over the two main debt repayment strategies: the debt avalanche and the debt snowball. The debt avalanche is when you focus on paying off your debt with the highest interest rates first. Once your debt with the highest APR is taken care of, you move on to the debt with the next highest APR.Let’s say you’ve been diligently putting $200 a month on that loan with the highest interest rate. Once that’s paid off, you can kick over that $200 to the debt with the next highest interest rate, and so forth. The major benefit of the debt avalanche is that you save money on interest fees.The debt snowball method is when you focus on paying off your debt with the smallest amount first. Once that’s nipped in the bud, you make serious headway on your debt with the next smallest amount. The best part of the debt snowball method? Knocking off a debt early can give you a bit of a psychological hit. After all, debt fatigue, which is when you grow exhausted from paying off debt for long periods of time, is real.No matter which repayment plan you decide on, be sure to make the minimum payments on all your cards. Making minimum payments will help you avoid dings to credit and late or missed payment fees.Debt Blizzard Approach: the BasicsCreated by Beverly Harzog, credit card expert and consumer finance analyst for U.S. News & World Report, the debt blizzard approach combines the snowball and avalanche methods. “To get an adrenaline boost, pay off the smallest debt you have first, which is the snowball method,” says Harzog. “Then switch to the avalanche method and pay the balance with the highest APR and work your way down to the balance with the lowest APR.”In turn, you get the best of both worlds: By paying off a small debt from the get-go, you reap the benefit of feeling a release and building momentum early on in the game. And by switching over to the debt avalanche, you’ll save the most money.How Do You Know It’s Right for You? If you’re on the fence about which payment method to go with, the debt blizzard is worth a shot. “Some will argue that you should always do the avalanche method to save the most money overall,” says Harzog. “But motivation is essential to getting out of debt.” That’s why the debt blizzard is one method worth considering.Sure, you might need initial inspiration to get you moving on paying off your debt. But you might not be entirely sold on the idea of paying more in interest fees so you can stay motivated during your debt repayment. Remember: If you try the debt blizzard and find yourself losing steam during the debt avalanche phase, you can always switch back to the snowball method.How to Get Started As with any debt repayment method, tally your debt. Figure out the balance, interest fees, and monthly minimum payments. If it’s installment debt (i.e., a car payment, student loans or personal debt), know how long you have to pay it off.You’ll also want to comb over the fine print: What are the fees for late or missed payments? Are there any fees that you could potentially get clobbered with? Are there pre-penalty fees? In other words, could you get dinged with a fee for making an early payment?Next, organize your debt based on different metrics. For instance, list them in order of smallest to largest amount, the lowest interest rate to the highest interest rate, and vice versa. From there, you can go about prioritizing your debts and implementing your repayment strategy.Visualize Your Payoff and Treat Yourself Along the Way The day you finally pay off your debt might seem hard to imagine, especially if you owe a large amount. To keep the end in sight, consider visualizing your debt payoff by drawing a repayment thermometer, Pacman-esque video game grid, or little checkboxes that each represent, say, $100 or $500 of your total debt.And whenever you reach a checkpoint, don’t forget to treat yourself to something small. Of course, you don’t have to go crazy and do something elaborate or expensive. But dinner at your favorite Mexican restaurant or a few scoops of ice cream to celebrate can help you stay motivated.You Do You “Getting out of debt is hard, and if you don’t feel hope along the way, you might not be persistent,” says Harzog. “At the end of the day, the best method to use is the one you will stick to.” Whether you try the avalanche, snowball, or blizzard method — or devise something different altogether — the important thing is that you stick to your payoff plan. Find a method that jives with you and you’ll have an easier time making headway on your debt.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window) RelatedWTFinance: What is Interest?!July 9, 2018In “Financial Literacy”Suffering from Holiday Debt Hangover? This Might Be What You NeedJanuary 9, 2019In “Credit Info”What the Finance is a Debt Repayment PlanOctober 24, 2018In “Financial Literacy” Post navigationlast_img read more

Scientists Say A Genetic Mutation May Cause Insomnia

first_imgYou can add insomnia to the list of things you blame mom and dad for.In a new study published in Molecular Psychiatry , researchers confirmed insomnia is hereditary, and discovered the genetic mutation that’s likely responsible for those restless nights.The research team, led by Murray Stein, M.D., of the University of California San Diego and the VA San Diego Healthcare System, analyzed DNA samples from more than 33,000 soldiers participating in the Army Study To Assess Risk and Resilience in Servicemembers (STARRS) for the study.Participants filled out a brief insomnia questionnaire based on the DSM-5 criteria for chronic insomnia to determine whether they had insomnia disorder.Overall, the study found that insomnia has a partially heritable basis and is associated with a genetic mutation on chromosome seven.The researchers also found a genetic correlation between insomnia disorder and other psychiatric and physical disorders: In particular, the study identified a strong genetic link between insomnia and type 2 diabetes and an additional tie between sleeplessness and major depression in participants of European descent.WHAT IS INSOMNIA?If you’ve had a few too many sleepless nights, you’ve probably frantically Googled insomnia (while trying to pass the time) to find out why you are having trouble getting shut-eye.If the following criteria apply to you, it might be a sign you’re suffering from this sleep disorder, according to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine:You have a hard time falling asleepYou struggle to maintain sleep, and wake up frequently during the nightYou wake up too early can’t go back to sleepYour sleep quality is poor and doesn’t live you feeling restoredEveryone has the occasional night where it seems like they haven’t slept a wink and many people will experience short-term (acute) insomnia which lasts a few days or weeks and is often caused by stress or a traumatic event. But other people suffer from long-term (chronic) insomnia that can last for a month or longer, according to the Mayo Clinic.If you have ongoing symptoms such as sleeplessness, daytime tiredness, difficulty paying attention or focusing, persistent worries about sleep, and irritability, depression, or anxiety that negatively impact your life, Mayo Clinic recommends seeing a doctor.The good news is that researchers say these findings may help them develop targeted therapies to treat insomnia in the future.Sourcelast_img read more

COP22 Jargon Cheat Sheet

first_imgEvery UN climate negotiation brings with it a litany of jargon that even experts struggle to understand. COP22 in Marrakech this year is no exception.While these words, phrases and acronyms can be complex and confusing, they’re hugely important—not just for the negotiations, but for all of us who care about reining in runaway global warming.Here’s a COP22 jargon cheat sheet that explains the buzzwords to watch and their implications for curbing climate change.The BasicsCOP: The Conference of the Parties, or the annual gathering of the 197 countries that have joined the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), an international environmental treaty adopted in 1992 to stabilize global greenhouse gas emissions. This year’s COP in Marrakech, Morocco is the 22nd, hence COP22.Party: A country or regional group (like the EU) that has joined a particular international agreement, such as the UNFCCC or the Paris Agreement.Paris Agreement: An international climate change agreement under the UNFCCC adopted by 196 Parties last year at COP21 in Paris.Long-term goals: The global targets established by the Paris Agreement. They include limiting global temperature rise to well below 2 degrees C (3.6 degrees F) and pursuing efforts to limit it to 1.5 degrees C (2.7 degrees F) above pre-industrial levels, and achieving net-zero emissions (where greenhouse gas emissions do not exceed what the world’s carbon sinks can absorb) in the second half of this century. All Parties to the Paris Agreement have agreed to take action in their own countries to collectively achieve these long-term goals.INDC and NDC: An INDC, or intended nationally determined contribution, refers to the 163 national climate plans countries have submitted to the UN to date (they are from 190 countries since the EU submitted one for all of its 28 member states). Most laid out emissions-reduction targets, adaptation plans and other climate action goals. INDCs become NDCs, or nationally determined contributions, after countries formally join the Paris Agreement and become Parties.Ratification, Acceptance and Approval: After Parties adopted the Paris Agreement at COP21 in Paris, they needed to formally join it. Parties do this by completing whatever domestic approval processes their countries dictate for international treaties, and then submitting a formal document to the UN, known as an instrument of ratification, acceptance or approval. So far, 97 Parties representing almost 70 percent of global emissions have ratified the Paris Agreement. There will be a ratification event during COP22 where countries that have not yet ratified will have the opportunity to do so.Entry into Force: When the Paris Agreement goes into full effect. This happens 30 days after 55 countries representing at least 55 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions join the Agreement. Entry into force occurred on November 4th, years before many expected it to.The Nitty-GrittyCMA1: Shorthand to describe the first official Meeting of Parties to the Paris Agreement. (The source of the acronym is even more cumbersome: Conference of the Parties Serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement.) This will happen at COP22 because the Paris Agreement has already entered into force. The CMA is now the official governing body of the Agreement, and at CMA1, Parties will make key decisions regarding the Agreement’s rules and processes.Suspension: While CMA1 will occur in conjunction with COP22, many expect it to be extended and picked back up at subsequent COP meetings. This will give Parties more time to hammer out the rules and procedures of the Agreement, which are critical to its successful implementation. Parties may also agree to a fixed date when CMA1 will conclude.Modalities, Procedures and Guidelines (MPGs): Essentially the rulebook that needs to be developed to provide Parties with the guidance needed to implement the various elements of the Paris Agreement aimed at achieving its long-term goals, including ones on transparency, NDCs, and other issues. These MPGs will be negotiated by the Parties over the coming years.UNFCCC bodies: In addition to the COP and CMA, a number of other bodies are key to developing the MPGs. These are the APA (Ad Hoc Working Group on the Paris Agreement) which was a negotiating body established at COP21 to prepare for entry into force of the Paris Agreement and SBI (Subsidiary Body for Implementation) and SBSTA (Subsidiary Body for Technological and Scientific Advice), bodies established under the UNFCCC to provide technical support to the Parties.Ambition Mechanism: The various elements of the Paris Agreement that combine to increase ambition of climate action over time to ensure the long-term goals of the Paris Agreement are achieved.Global Stocktake: The collective moment to take stock of progress towards achieving the long-term goals of the Paris Agreement. It will occur every five years, beginning in 2023, and will inform the submission of new NDCs.Facilitative Dialogue 2018: The first moment where countries will have the opportunity to take stock of initial progress and inform the updating or submission of NDCs ahead of 2020. Parties have yet to identify a process for designing what this moment will look like. The agenda for Facilitative Dialogue 2018 will feature prominently in discussions at COP22.$100 Billion Goal:  A target established in 2009 at COP15 in Copenhagen, where developed countries committed to mobilize $100 billion a year of financial support by 2020 from public and private sources in order to help developing nations mitigate and adapt to climate change. The $100 Billion Roadmap refers to the developed countries’ plan, requested at COP21 in Paris, and released in October this year, for how they will increase the level of finance from public and private sources to meet the goal.Adaptation Fund: A fund created in 2001, the last time the COP was in Marrakech, to support adaptation projects in developing countries. It was designed to serve the Kyoto Protocol, but with the Protocol’s commitment period ending in 2020, the Fund’s future is uncertain. At COP22, countries will consider whether and how the Adaptation Fund can support the Paris Agreement. Non-state Actor: Any non-country entity, such as a city, a business or an industry group. Because NDCs alone won’t limit global temperature rise to 1.5-2 degrees C, climate action from non-state actors is critical.Global Climate Action: The official COP22 platform for non-state actors to announce their climate initiatives. This platform was previously known as the Lima-Paris Action Agenda.Climate Champions: A new role at COP22. Two “champions,” Climate Change Ambassador for France Laurence Tubiana and Minister Delegate of Environment for Morocco Hakima El Haité will drum up action from all COP attendees, with a particular focus on non-state actors. A new climate champion, representing the Presidency of the following year’s COP, will replace an existing one every year.Eliza Northrop, Joe Thwaites, Cynthia Elliott and David Waskow also contributed to this blog post.last_img read more

Silly Rabbit, Tricks are for Black Hat SEOs

first_img that want If you think you should be using Black Hat SEO or you are missing out, I have only three words of advice: DON’T DO IT! There’s a dearth of people out there that even get fundamental SEO, understand how the various search engine algorithms work and how to do more than just guess at the weight of various factors impacting search results. The number of people that actually know enough to employ really advanced black hat techniques is vanishingly small. The number of these people that On with the article. those elite few people that actually do know enough to apply these highly advanced techniques and you could connect to them. How would you know one if you met her? This is a bit like the public stock market. The chances that some fund manager has figured out a consistent way to “beat the system” are pretty low. Your problem is, even if they’re out there, you wouldn’t know how to separate those that make the claims from those that can actually do it. Originally published Dec 3, 2007 9:46:00 AM, updated October 20 2016 First off, for those that are not familiar with the term “Black Hat SEO” it usually refers to highly controversial tactics used to manipulate the search rankings of a given web page and are generally in violation of search engine guidelines. Second off, if the title of this article seems strange to you, you’re probably too young to have been exposed to the “Silly Rabbit, Trix are for kids” TV commercials. No worries. Your enjoyment of this article will not be affected. you For those that are feeling unsatisfied with the brevity of this advice, and need more words, let me expand a bit more: BLACKHAT SEO IS NOT WORTH IT FOR MOST WEBSITES. Instead of spending a lot of time and money on black hat SEO, you’re probably to find. When you do this, you’re working Let me say that one more time, for emphasis: The best way to optimize your website and get more/better traffic via search engines is to make the content on your site something people actually are probably associated with is close to zero. Even if certain techniques do actually work today (and I’m sure there are some smart folks out there that have figured some out), the search engine algorithms are constantly evolving. Chances are, if somebody has found a “back door” to unduly influence the search results, this door will eventually be closed. worth risking having your site banned completely? 1. Real Black Hat SEOs Might Not Exist In Your World: Reasons You Don’t Want To Use Blackhat SEO So, here’s the build-up of arguments: You probably don’t know someone that really has the talent to do black hat SEO well. Even if you did, you wouldn’t know it. Even if you knew it, you couldn’t hire them or afford them. Even if you could hire them, it probably wouldn’t work for you. Even if it did work for you, it’s probably temporary. Even if wasn’t temporary, it’s just too risky. Any questions? 3. Even if you can pick them, you can’t hire them: 5. Even if it does work, it’s probably temporary: There are many, many factors that go into search engine algorithms. Some are more important than others, but it’s really, really hard to know whether a specific black hat technique will actually work for you. The more advanced the technique, the more likely that there are specific situations within which the technique works. Lets say for a moment that there Assuming you could find some small edge and that will last long enough for it to be worthwhile, you have to balance this benefit against the risks that you’re taking. Is a potential increase in traffic via organic search with much Technical SEO really 2. Even if they exist, you can’t pick them: Topics: 6. Even If It Lasts, It’s Really, Really Risky: Assuming you had some uncanny ability to really pick out the true uber-experts, chances are, you couldn’t hire them because you couldn’t afford them. If they’re good, they’re either working on some super-big project for some mega-company that can spend some real money — or working on their own private projects. 4. Even if you could hire them, their ideas may not work for you: better off simply doing things that makes your site and it’s associated content more rank-worthy. are the search engines — not against them. Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more

An Introductory SQL Tutorial: How to Write Simple Queries

first_imgEver heard of the computer language called SQL? You may have heard about it in the context of data analysis, but never really thought it would apply to you as a marketer. Or, you may have thought to yourself, “That’s for the really advanced data users. I could never do that.”Well, you couldn’t be more wrong! The most successful marketers are data-driven, and one of the most important parts of being data-driven is being able to collect data from databases quickly. SQL happens to be one of the best and most popular tools out there for doing just that.Download 9 Free Excel Templates for MarketersSQL stands for Structured Query Language, and it’s used when companies have a ton of data that they want to manipulate in an easy and quick way. If your company already stores data in a database, you may need to learn SQL to access the data. But not to worry — you’re in the right place to get started!Before we begin, make sure that you have a database management application that will allow you to pull data from your database. Some options include MySQL Workbench or Sequel Pro. Start by downloading one of these options, and then talk to your company about how to connect to your database. The option that you choose will depend on your product’s backend, so check with your product team to make sure you select the correct one.Let’s jump right in.Why Use SQL?The beauty of SQL is that anyone working at a company that stores data in a relational database can use it. (And chances are, yours does.)If you work for a software company and want to pull usage data on your customers, you can do that using SQL. If you work for an ecommerce company that has data about customer purchases, you can use SQL to find out which customers are purchasing which products. Of course, these are just a few of many, many examples.Think about it this way: Have you ever opened a very large data set in Excel, only for your computer to freeze or even shut down? SQL allows you to access only certain parts of your data at a time so you don’t have to download the data into a CSV, manipulate it, and possibly overload Excel. In other words, SQL takes care of the data analysis that you may be used to doing in Excel. (If you want to dig into this aspect of SQL a bit more, here is a blog post to get you started.)How to Write Simple SQL QueriesUnderstand the hierarchy of your databaseBefore you get started, it’s important to become accustomed to your database and its hierarchy. If you have multiple databases of data, you’ll need to zero in on the location of the data you want to work with.For example, let’s pretend we’re working with multiple databases about people in the United States. Type in the query “SHOW DATABASES;”. Our results may show that you have a couple of databases for different locations, including one for New England.Within your database, you’ll have different tables containing the data you want to work with. Using the same example above, let’s say we want to find out which information is contained in one of the databases. If we use the query “SHOW TABLES in NewEngland;”, we’ll find that we have tables for each state in New England: people_connecticut, people_maine, people_massachusetts, people_newhampshire, people_rhodeisland, and people_vermont.Finally, you need to find out which fields are in the tables. Fields are the specific pieces of data that you can pull from your database. For example, if you want to pull someone’s address, the field name may not just be “address” — it may be separated into address_city, address_state, address_zip. In order to figure this out, use the query “Describe people_massachusetts;”. That will provide a list of all of the data that you can pull using SQL.Let’s do a quick review of the hierarchy using our New England example:Our database is: NewEngland.Our tables within that database are: people_connecticut, people_maine, people_massachusetts, people_newhampshire, people_rhodeisland, and people_vermont.Our fields within the people_massachusetts table include: address_city, address_state, address_zip, hair_color, first_name, and last_name.Now, to learn how to write a simple SQL query, let’s use the following example:Who are the people who have red hair in Massachusetts and were born in 2003 organized in alphabetical order?SELECTSELECT chooses the fields that you want displayed in your chart. This is the specific piece of information that you want to pull from your database. In the example above, we want to find the people who fit the rest of the criteria.Here is our SQL query:SELECT     first_name,     last_nameFROMFROM pinpoints the table that you want to pull the data from. In the earlier section, we found that there were six tables for each of the six states in New England: people_connecticut, people_maine, people_massachusetts, people_newhampshire, people_rhodeisland, and people_vermont. Because we’re looking for people in Massachusetts specifically, we’ll pull data from that specific table.Here is our SQL query:SELECT     first_name,     last_nameFROM     people_massachusettsWHEREWHERE allows you to filter your query to be more specific. In our example, we want to filter our query to include only people with red hair who were born in 2003. Let’s start with the red hair filter.Here is our SQL query:SELECT     first_name,     last_nameFROM     people_massachusettsWHERE     hair_color = “red”hair_color could have been part of your initial SELECT statement if you’d wanted to look at all of the people in Massachusetts along with their specific hair color. But if you want to filter to see only people with red hair, you can do so in the WHERE statement.ANDAND allows you to add additional criteria to your WHERE statement. Remember, we want to filter by people who had red hair in addition to people who were born in 2003. Since our WHERE statement is taken up by the red hair criteria, how can we filter by a specific year of birth as well?That’s where the AND statement comes in. In this case, the AND statement is a date property — but it doesn’t necessary have to be. (Note: Be to check the format of your dates with your product team to make sure it is in the correct format.)Here is our SQL query:SELECT     first_name,     last_nameFROM     people_massachusettsWHERE     hair_color = “red”AND     birth_date BETWEEN ‘2003-01-01’ AND ‘2003-12-31’ORDER BYWhen you create SQL queries, you shouldn’t have to export the data to Excel. The calculation and organization should be done within the query. That’s where the “ORDER BY” and “GROUP BY” functions come in. First, we’ll look at our SQL queries with the ORDER BY and then GROUP BY functions, respectively. Then, we’ll take a brief look at the difference between the two.Your ORDER BY clause will allow you to sort by any of the fields that you have specified in the SELECT statement. In this case, let’s order by last name.Here is our SQL query:SELECT     first_name,     last_nameFROM     people_massachusettsWHERE     hair_color = “red”AND     birth_date BETWEEN ‘2003-01-01’ AND ‘2003-12-31’ORDER BY     last_name;GROUP BY”GROUP BY” is similar to “ORDER BY,” but it will aggregate data that has similarities. For example, if you have any duplicates in your data, iyou can use “GROUP BY” to count the number of duplicates in your fields.Here is your SQL query:SELECT     first_name,     last_nameFROM     people_massachusettsWHERE     hair_color = “red”AND     birth_date BETWEEN ‘2003-01-01’ AND ‘2003-12-31’GROUP BY     last_name;ORDER BY VS. GROUP BYTo clearly show you the difference between an “ORDER BY” statement and a “GROUP BY” statement, let’s step outside our Massachusetts example briefly to look at a very simple dataset. Below is a list of four employees’ ID numbers and names.If we were to use an ORDER BY statement on this list, the names of the employees would get sorted in alphabetical order. The results would look like this:If we were to use a GROUP BY statement, the employees would be counted based on the number of times they appeared in the initial table. Note that Peter appeared twice in the initial table. The results would look like this:With me so far? Okay. Let’s return to the SQL query we’ve been creating about red-haired people in Massachusetts who were born in 2003.LIMITDepending on the amount of data you have in your database, it may take a long time to run the queries. It can be frustrating if you find yourself waiting a long time to run a query that you didn’t really want to begin with. If you want to test our query, the LIMIT function is a great one to use because it allows you to limit the number of results you get.For example, if we suspect there are millions of people who have red hair in Massachusetts, we may want to test out our query using LIMIT before we run it in full to make sure we’re getting the information we want. Let’s say, for instance, we only want to see the first 100 people.Here is our SQL query:SELECT     first_name,     last_nameFROM     people_massachusettsWHERE     hair_color = “red”AND     birth_date BETWEEN ‘2003-01-01’ AND ‘2003-12-31’ORDER BY     last_nameLIMIT     100;That’s it for the basics!Feeling good? Here are a few other ways to take your SQL queries up a notch.Bonus: Advanced SQL TipsNow that you have mastered how to create a SQL query, let’s walk through some other tricks that you can use to take it up a notch, starting with the asterisk.*When you add an asterisk to one of your SQL queries, it tells the query that you want to include all the columns of data in your results. In the example we’ve been using, we’ve only had two column names: first_name and last_name. But let’s say we had 15 columns’ worth of data that we want to see in our results — it would be kind of a pain to type out all 15 column names in the SELECT statement. Instead, if you replace the names of those columns with an asterisk, the query will know to pull all of the columns in to the results.Here’s what the SQL query would look like:SELECT     *FROM     people_massachusettsWHERE     hair_color = “red”AND     birth_date BETWEEN ‘2003-01-01’ AND ‘2003-12-31’ORDER BY     last_nameLIMIT     100;LAST 30 DAYSOnce I started using SQL regularly, I found that one of my go-to queries involved trying to find which people took an action or fulfilled a certain set of criteria within the last 30 days. Since this type of query was so useful for me, I wanted to share that capability with you.Let’s pretend today is December 1, 2014. You could create these parameters by making the birth_date span between November 1, 2014 and November 30, 2014. That SQL query would look like this:SELECT     first_name,     last_nameFROM     people_massachusettsWHERE     hair_color = “red”AND     birth_date BETWEEN ‘2014-11-01’ AND ‘2014-11-30’ORDER BY     last_nameLIMIT     100;But that would require thinking about which dates cover the last 30 days, and it would mean you’d have to constantly update this query. Instead, to make the dates automatically span the last 30 days no matter which day it is, you can type this under AND: birth_date >= (DATE_SUB(CURDATE(),INTERVAL 30.(Note: You’ll want to double-check this syntax with your product team because it may differ based on the software you use to pull your SQL queries.)Your SQL query would therefore look like this:SELECT     first_name,     last_nameFROM     people_massachusettsWHERE     hair_color = “red”AND     birth_date >= (DATE_SUB(CURDATE(),INTERVAL 30))ORDER BY     last_nameLIMIT     100;COUNTIn some cases, you may want to count the number of times that a criterium of a field appears. For example, let’s say you want to count the number of times the different hair colors appear for the people you are tallying up from Massachusetts. In this case, COUNT will come in handy so you don’t have to manually add up the number of people who have different hair colors or export that information to Excel.Here’s what that SQL query would look like:SELECT     hair_color,     COUNT(hair_color)FROM     people_massachusettsAND     birth_date BETWEEN ‘2003-01-01’ AND ‘2003-12-31’GROUP BY     hair_color; JOINThere may be a time where you need to access information from two different tables in one SQL query. In SQL, you can use a JOIN clause to do this. (For those of you familiar with Excel formulas, this is similar to how you would use the VLOOKUP formula when you need to combine information from two different sheets in Excel.)For example, let’s say we have one table that has data of all Massachusetts residents’ user IDs and their birthdates. Let’s say we also have an entirely separate table that has data of all Masachusetts residents’ user IDs and their hair color. If we want to figure out the hair color of Massachusetts residents born in the year 2003, we’d need to access information from both tables and combine them. This works because both tables share a matching column: the Massachusetts residents’ user IDs.Because we’re calling out fields from two different tables, our SELECT statement is also going to change slightly. Instead of just listing out the fields we want to include in our results, we’ll need to specify which table they’re coming from. (Note: The asterisk function may come in handy here so your query includes both tables in your results.)To specify a field from a specific table, all we’d have to do is combine the name of the table with the name of the field. For example, our SELECT statement would say “table.field” — with the period separating the table name and the field name.Let’s take a look at what this looks like in action.We’re assuming a few things in this case:The Massachusetts birthdate table includes the following fields: first_name, last_name, user_id, birthdateThe Massachusetts hair color table includes the following fields: user_id, hair_colorYour SQL query would therefore look like:SELECT     birthdate_massachusetts.first_name,      birthdate_massachusetts.last_nameFROM     birthdate_massachusetts JOIN haircolor_massachusetts USING (user_id)WHERE     hair_color = “red”AND     birth_date BETWEEN ‘2003-01-01’ AND ‘2003-12-31’ORDER BY     last_name; This query would join the two tables using the field “user_id” which appears in both the birthdate_massachusetts table and the haircolor_massachusetts table. You would then be able to see a table of people born in 2003 who have red hair.Congratulations: You’re ready to get started with your own SQL queries! While there’s a lot more you can do with SQL, I hope you found this overviewof the basics helpful so you can get your handsdirty. With a strong foundation of the basics, you’ll be able to navigate SQL better and work toward some of the more complex examples.What data are you excited to pull using SQL? Topics: Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Data-Driven Marketingcenter_img Originally published Mar 25, 2015 8:00:00 AM, updated July 23 2019 How to Query a SQL Database:Make sure that you have a database management application (ex. MySQL Workbench, Sequel Pro).If not, download a database management application and work with your company to connect your database.Understand your database and its hierarhcy.Find out which fields are in your tables.Begin writing a SQL query to pull your desired data.last_img read more