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Hosting Features and Goodies

Hosting Features and Goodies

As bloggers, we tend to concentrate on the features, gadgets, and plugins our blog platform offers (such as WordPress & Blogger). And that’s good. There are lots of great goodies available for both of these platforms. But… there is one pool of services and features that is often overlooked: your hosting package.   Most good hosting packages come with a truckload of additional features that most bloggers either aren’t aware of, or just have never taken time to investigate.  Every hosting service is different, but many of the additional options are common. All of my blogs and all the Linky sites are hosted at Arvixe. I shamelessly recommend them every chance I get because they have taken FANTASTIC care of me for years now. I had thousands of dollars worth of domain names and hosting at GoDaddy that moved entirely over to Arvixe because of their great product and service. I have put numerous clients on Arvixe hosting and they all love it.  In fact, here is an email I got yesterday from a new user of Arvixe hosting: I just spent two hours creating a blog, had it up on my screen, posts published, inserted a pile of photos, used a free uploaded theme, and was about to call it a night.  I called Arvixe due to some log-in issues. The tech support guy was really really helpful.   I didn’t spend more than a minute or two on hold and he stuck with me until I had the problem resolved.  So, GREAT SCORE for Arvixe.  Thanks for telling me about them. Get the hosting I use and recommend here So, I wanted to start out by letting you know what hosting I use, and next I want to show you the features they offer WITH THE HOSTING ACCOUNT.  I can’t tell you exactly what your hosting offers, or how to get to it, but I can tell you that many things are common and you may find your hosting offers less than what I describe.  The point I want to make with this post is this: IF YOU HAVE NEVER INVESTIGATED WHAT SERVICES AND FEATURES ARE INCLUDED WITH YOUR HOSTING ACCOUNT, YOU ARE PROBABLY MISSING OUT ON SOME GREAT TOOLS AND OPTIONS THAT COULD HELP YOU BE MORE SUCCESSFUL WITH YOUR BLOG. With that said, below you’ll find what my blog accounts with Arvixe offer in extended features and options. I’m not going to try and explain every feature or option – just hit the highlights. My goal here is just to make you aware that your hosting package probably comes with many features. You can use the HELP information within your hosting to figure out what each option does:...

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Build A Blog, Write a Post, Start Making Money Online… Before You Finish a Cup of Coffee

Build A Blog, Write a Post, Start Making Money Online… Before You Finish a Cup of Coffee

Watch this video where I teach you how to build a fantastic, professionally designed blog, write your first post; then immediately get set up & start making passive income 24/7 – all before you finish a cup of coffee. If you like this, be sure to sign up for your free subscription and I’ll let you know when new videos come out. I have a treasure of them planned for this year. Click here to go to the Arvixe hosting talked about in my...

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Photo Enhancement Lesson Finally

Photo Enhancement Lesson Finally

Wow, I really dropped the ball on getting this done. My apologies.  A grand conspiracy was afloat. Anyway, instead of making it private I’m just going to put it up here for everyone. If you have questions, would like to see something else demonstrated, have feedback or criticism or suggestions, don’t  hesitate to write me. I’m always on board for improving things, and responding to ideas. Click to...

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YOU Can Have Great Photos For Christmas!

YOU Can Have Great Photos For Christmas!

From Brent: Just in time for Christmas, I just published an issue of SeriousLife Magazine – a special edition all about Digital Photography. Check it out today, and by the time Christmas rolls around, you’ll be ready to shoot fantastic photos. Brent...

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Demo: Making Lemonade Images From Lemo Photos

Demo: Making Lemonade Images From Lemo Photos

Sometimes you just get bad shots. Great subject, great timing, perfect arrangement and mood… UGH! Bad photo! The lighting, equipment, subject and environment all conspire to ruin your photography. More often, the culprit is that lowest price, cheap-o camera equipment you keep hoping will somehow produce magically good photos… but I digress  (FYI, even typical pocket digitals can take good photos if you take some time to learn what you are doing). With a little creativity and some image editing software, you can often turn a yuck image into something interesting. If you luck out, you can even make it look like you DID IT ON PURPOSE! That’s the magic of post production (or what us common folks call “messing around in my paint program”). Here’s an example of a horrible photo I took tonight of Abby. Bad lighting, wrong settings on my camera… I was trying out some new combinations of exposure and a yellow spot light in my already poorly lit office.  It was so bad, I decided to use it as an example of squeezing a lemon and getting some lemonade. I’ll let you decide if I was successful. The point is, a bad photo is not ALWAYS destined for the virtual recycle bin. With a little creativity, and some good old fashioned messing around in your image editing software, you can SOMETIMES turn that dog into a flower, or at least a cute puppy. Here is the original that suffered from terrible lighting and even worse settings on my camera. First thing we do is a good crop. Careful cropping makes average pictures remarkably better. Learn to crop. Then, I used the Shadow/Highlight function to remove some of the darkness. Most image editors have a tool like this. When you remove shadows, you often get grainy textures and an awful lack of contrast but it does give us a little more detail to work with. The photo is fairly interesting visually now but lacks any impact. We may be setting our sights to high, but look back and remember what we started with. One more effect and we’ll call it a work of art: Not a Masterpiece, Not The Point Keep in mind… this demo was not an attempt have you create that worldclass masterpiece professional gallery-worthy magazine cover image. It was an exercise in “rescue creativity” to show you that don’t always have to trash that cute pose or interesting scene that was photo-junk because of bad lighting or the wrong settings on your camera. My point was to show you that a bad photo can be rescued with creativity. How do you learn that creativity? Simple… just mess...

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How to Have Great Photos On Your Blog

How to Have Great Photos On Your Blog

We live in an age of visual stimulation.  Therefore, no matter how good the writing is on a blog, a poor or unrelated image creates an obstacle for the reader to overcome–and prevents the reader from having a positive experience. On the other hand, great image work immediately puts the reader in a positive frame of mind, open and ready to love your great post. While there is certainly an element of natural talent which elevates gifted designers to a higher level, there are enough basic principles and stock photography to help any blogger achieve a professional level of imagery. Let’s first look at some principles, and then some actual techniques: Does the Image Fit the Content? The first basic principle is to make sure that your photo or artwork fits the message of your blog post. The content of the image should spark the reader’s interest and evoke emotion. For example, if your blog post is about living a quieter life, your photos should bring a sense of calmness and peace to the reader. If your blog is about professional business, then photos should be highly professional both in quality and subject matter. In other words, don’t try to post something on professional management and provide a blurry snapshot of someone sitting at a messy desk. If your blog is about healthy living, images should evoke feelings of fitness, cleanliness and wholesome appeal. Rule number one is: If YOU are not sure if the image fits the content, then you can be certain your reader won’t be sure either. Number two:  Until you have complete confidence in your own judgment about the appropriateness of images, ask two or three people for an opinion before posting any images. Does the Quality Match the Quality? What I mean is this: does the quality of the image match the quality of the content? If you are simply writing on a family blog and discussing what your children did this morning, then it’s no big deal to have an amateur photograph uploaded with no particular size or position in mind. No one is going to think it is unprofessional.  Of course, a fantastic photo, properly cropped, and enhanced with great image-editing skills, will help even a casual family blog to stand out. However, if you are writing about a professional subject, or presenting yourself as an expert on a topic, you will quickly do damage to your credibility with amateur or inappropriate visuals. If you are not a good photographer, do not have good equipment or the proper subject matter is unavailable to you, there are plenty of inexpensive stock photography services. There are even good-quality photos...

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