I write for the blog of the computer training company, TrainSignal. Frankly, I’m proud of the various content I’ve published there over the years, and I think the vast majority of it is both informative and worthwhile. It was no exception when I published an article about the new features in Windows Server 2012 that have people excited.
The fun part was that the official Windows Server twitter account posted a (unsolicitied) link to the article. It’s always nice to get a little extra validation. I assume, if nothing else, that the article is at least technically accurate since they bothered to link it 🙂
Have a nice day, especially those of you who are not stuck in a blizzard.
As people file their taxes, they look for tax minimization strategies. While there are various actions you can take throughout the year to lower your overall tax burden, once December 31st rolls around, the only option most people have for lowering their taxes is to contribute to an IRA account. Of course, there are limits on IRA contributions, so that only offers so much relief. Otherwise, the best you can do is find every possible tax deduction you can.
When it comes to your credit report, there isn’t much you can do to manage it other than to pay all of your bills on time and keep your credit card balances from getting too close to their limits. (Credit line utilization is one of the big components of a credit score.) However, you do have to constantly watch your credit reports to ensure that negative information is not lowering your credit score without your knowledge. One of the easiest ways to monitor your credit report for free is with Credit Karma. I wrote a nice review of Credit Karma on Finance Gourmet after first determining that Credit Karma is not a scam. You can see my latest update where I delve into Credit Karma’s free credit monitoring service.
Lastly, this week, the Dow Jones Industrial Average mananged to top 13,000 for the first time since 2008 when the housing bubble triggered the financial crisis and the stock market managed to drop all the way down to about 6,500 before bottoming out and recovering as economic indicators started to look better. But, what does Dow 13,000 mean? Is that nice, round number really worth anything, or is it just a lot of media hype?
Either way, it’s been a good time over on FinanceGourmet.com. Check it out.
I write for a few different digital photography and desktop publishing websites and resources. Most of the time they go into the rabbit hole of no byline writing in marketing materials. However, I do write for a website that has a nice digital photography channel and thought I would share some of my photo articles and advice tips here.
First up, is photography settings basics and more that is a nice linking article to a lot of other digital photography information. A while back I wrote some other articles about digital camera settings including this one about shutter priority mode and this one about portrait photography techniques.
There is plenty of other good stuff about photography techniques and picture taking tips. I like to focus on digital photography because I never really got good at taking pictures until after I got a nice Canon digital SLR that finally let me not only use all of the camera settings, but allowed me to take enough pictures to really learn about photography.
Of course, few things taught me more about photography than building a home photography studio and using a simplified portrait lighting setup to take beautiful pictures of people with a digital camera.
On the more technical side and with a slight legal twist, I also researched and wrote about how to copyright a photograph. As it turns out, the answer is pretty straightforward. Your photos are copyrighted the moment you take them. Of course, how you protect that copyright and whether or not you can collect reasonable damages if copyright infringement ever occurs, is a different matter.
I have tons of other photography articles published there with plenty of useful photography tips and advice. Just click on one of the links above and check it out. Then, click my name if you like and see what else I have written up.
And, of course, as always, you can check out my professional freelance writing website which is the home of my own freelance writing business.
Have fun out there taking pictures, or reading new stuff. Either way, your life will be richer and fuller.
I had one of those months that almost makes you wish that you still had a day job instead.
It all started with some business infrastructure problems in the form of an email server nightmare. I’ve always just used whoever was hosting my websites as my email provider and never thought any more about it than that. Once I had my email accounts setup in Thunderbird or another desktop email client like Zimbra, I made the terrible assumption that everything that hit my server was dutifully being passed along via IMAP or POP3.
I never bothered to re-check my POP3 settings for Gmail or my IMAP settings for other email accounts so long as email kept showing up in my email client. Unfortunately, just because some email was showing up, didn’t mean that all email was showing up. I probably lost out on some clients and had to do major damage control with some others.
Here are some of my recent published freelance writing articles at BrightHub.
Anyway, the moral of the story is to never take anything in your freelance writing business for granted. Check, double-check, and re-check.
Oh, and for your critical systems like email, you might want to consider paying a little extra for a specialized email provider with fully-skilled tech support waiting to not only help you if you notice something go wrong, but who can also proactively alert you if something might be going wrong.
Hah! How is that title for some S * E * O * action? (I have this new theory that there may be a function within the seek and find company’s programming that detects certain phrases, like the one I put the * in and adjusts them accordingly. It is probably nothing, but for now, I’m testing it out.)
As a freelance financial writer, I get a lot of opportunities to write about money. As you can imagine, a lot of those freelance writing gigs revolve around the same kinds of topics. Writing about personal finance tips and financial information these days means writing a lot about things like the economy, mortgages, credit repair, bankruptcy, and so on. Also, the latest investing fad, FOREX investing, is a hot topic, although I don’t write anything about that. Not only is it extremely risky, but the so-called advice and strategies it is based on are half-baked at best. Think day trading (the last investing fad) or fix-and-flip real estate investing (the most recent fad) and you get the idea.
Ironically, solid, unbiased, financial advice and tips are in much less demand. Understanding how to maximize your online banking, or the outlook for bonds in 2010, or money market accounts is a snooze-fest for most clients. Even more closely related topics like credit card reward programs, which can be part of a savvy personal financial strategy, don’t draw as much interest as the “hot” topics. It seems that with the credit markets drying up, and Congress stepping in with new laws on credit card company’s worst money making (abusive) practices, that not everyone can get any credit card they want with bad credit anymore. I guess there isn’t much money to be made in the “elitist” market segment of people who have good credit and use it responsibly.
Even my latest about legit work at home jobs isn’t a high buzz article.
The demand for high-quality writing on topics like good financial advice, good writing advice, and good parenting skills for dads and moms has always been rather muted. However, when those jobs do come along they are some of the highest-paid freelance writing gigs, because if you are going to stand behind advice about money or parenting with your company’s hard earned reputation, you better make sure it is solid and well-researched, not just “hot.”
To stay ready for when those opportunities come along, and to have clips, one of the universal freelance writer needs, that don’t get lost in a website redesign, I write some of the best financial planner advice I ever gave (or wanted to give) while I was working as a financial advisor. As a Certified Financial Advisor, or CFP, I got a look at what a lot of people think is good financial advice and I would have to say that there is a very big need for quality, impartial, financial advice, even if there isn’t a very big demand for it.