Arun Jaitley files nomination for Rajya Sabha polls from Uttar Pradesh

first_imgWith 14 candidates, from Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and other bigwigs to an independent, entering the fray for 10 vacant Rajya Sabha seats from Uttar Pradesh, a contest to the Parliament’s Upper House became imminent on Monday.“As many as 11 BJP candidates and an independent filed their nomination papers today. This takes the total number of candidates in the fray to 14, with SP’s Jaya Bachchan and BSP’s Bhimrao Ambedkar having already filed nominations earlier,” returning officer Poonam Saxena said.The BJP candidates who filed their nominations were: Union Finance Minister Jaitley, Ashok Bajpai, Vijay Pal Singh Tomar, Sakal Deep Rajbhar, Kanta Kardam, Anil Jain, Harnath Singh Yadav, GVL Narasimha Rao, Anil Kumar Agarwal, Salil Bishnoi and Vidyasagar Sonkar.“An independent Mahesh Chandra Sharma also filed his nomination papers,” Saxena, special secretary, UP Assembly, said.Monday was the last day for filing of nominations for the biennial elections.Voting will be held on March 23 and the last date for withdrawal of candidature is March 15.Last-minute dramaIn Gujarat, for four seats, there are six candidates in the fray, three from the ruling BJP, which has repeated two outgoing members: Purushottam Rupala and Mansukh Mandavia, both Union Ministers, while former Gujarat Minister Kiritsinh Rana came as a third candidate.The Opposition Congress has fielded two official candidates: former Union Minister Naran Rathwa and party spokesperson and lawyer Amee Yagnik while senior Congress leader P.K. Valera has filed his nomination as an independent candidate with the party’s backing.The last day of filing nomination papers witnessed some drama as news came that Mr. Rathwa’s nomination was technically defective and a senior national leader Rajiv Shukla was being rushed to file the nomination. However, just 30 minutes before the deadline, Mr. Rathwa submitted his nomination papers and within minutes Mr. Valera joined the fray as an independent.Three in the bag for BJPBharatiya Janata Party candidates Bhupendra Yadav, Kirori Lal Meena and Madan Lal Saini filed their nomination papers in Jaipur for the biennial Rajya Sabha elections from Rajasthan.The victory of the three candidates is certain, as the Congress has not fielded any official candidate. The strength of members in the State Assembly, constituting the electoral college, is heavily tilted in favour of the ruling BJP.The three BJP candidates submitted their nominations to Returning Officer Akhil Arora in the presence of Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje, BJP State president Ashok Parnami, several Cabinet Ministers and a large number of MLAs.Senior BJP leaders Thawar Chand Gehlot, Dharmendra Pradhan, Ajay Pratap Singh and Kailash Soni along with Congress’s Rajmani Patel filed their nominations from Madhya Pradesh.Six candidates filed papers for five Rajya Sabha seats from West Bengal in Kolkata. Four Trinamool candidates and one each from the Congress and the Left Front filed their nomination papers in the Assembly.Accompanied by senior leaders and legislators of the party, four Trinamool candidates Md Nadimul Haque, Shanatnu Sen, Abir Ranjan Biswas and Subhasish Chakraborty filed their papers.In Karnataka, L. Hanumanthaiah, Naseer Hussain, and G.C. Chandrashekar (all Congress). Rajeev Chandrsekhar (BJP), and B.M. Farooq (JD-S) filed their nomination papers for the Rajya Sabha polls.(With PTI inputs)last_img read more

Updated: U.S. court rejects New Jersey’s request to block research cruise; state to appeal

first_imgA federal judge yesterday rejected a request from the state of New Jersey to block a research cruise that would use sound blasts to map seafloor sediments off the Garden State’s coast. But state officials say they will appeal the decision to a federal appeals court. The state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) on 3 July asked a federal court to at least temporarily stop the planned research, citing concerns that the acoustic mapping could disturb wildlife and disrupt tourism and fishing. Proponents of the research, however, say the critics are misinformed and plan to move ahead. The research ship is already cruising off the New Jersey coast.In their legal challenge, state officials argue that the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) did not follow proper procedures in conducting environmental impact studies and issuing the necessary permits. NSF finalized its environmental study of the project on 1 July, finding it would have “no significant impact.” And NOAA issued the permits required under the federal Marine Mammal Protection Act.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)“We have made our concerns clear … and remain hopeful that, at the very least, this initiative will be rescheduled for a less impactful time of year,” said New Jersey DEP Commissioner Bob Martin in a statement. “The timing of this program will be detrimental to various marine species that migrate and breed off the New Jersey coast and will negatively impact the commercial and recreational fishing industries, and related tourism, that relies heavily on these resources.”Scientists from New Jersey’s Rutgers University and the University of Texas are planning to conduct acoustic imaging within a 12-kilometer by 50-kilometer rectangle 25 km to 85 km off the state’s coast. The study, which would use an NSF-owned vessel operated by Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, is aimed at better understanding sea-level rise that occurred tens of millions of years ago. Scientists say the work could, by shedding insights on the past, inform policymakers on how to prepare for future sea-level rise in a warming world. The issue of sea-level rise has been salient in the Garden State, especially since Superstorm Sandy devastated much of the Jersey shoreline almost 2 years ago.Scientists and environmental groups are usually allies when it comes to studying climate change impacts. But this is not the first time that research using sound-producing “air guns” to map the ocean floor has put the two groups in conflict. The guns, which are towed behind ships, use pressurized air to produce sound waves that penetrate and rebound off of seafloor sediments. Researchers can map and characterize the sediments using instruments that measure the time it takes the sound waves to spread and echo. The approach is widely used in the oil and gas industry to locate potential drilling areas. The noise, however, has been implicated in bothering and possibly even injuring marine mammals and other creatures, leading to increased regulation and lawsuits, which have delayed some research cruises.In New Jersey, such concerns are top-of-mind for environmentalists and politicians from both parties. U.S. representatives Chris Smith (R–NJ) and Frank LoBiondo (R–NJ) have come out in opposition to doing the testing, at least until the federal government gives the public more time to comment and to get a better understanding of the research’s impacts. So has Representative Frank Pallone (D–NJ).The researchers, however, are pressing ahead as their vessel, the Marcus G. Langseth, set off to sea last week. The leader of the project—marine geologist Gregory Mountain of Rutgers—and NSF press officials declined comment, citing the pending litigation. But other institutions running the project are calling opponents’ concerns misinformed. The acoustic-imaging studies are a “noninvasive” procedure, says Carl Blesch, a Rutgers spokesman. And earlier this year, Mountain noted that past imaging studies in the area used sound sources twice as loud as what the researchers plan to use this year, with no documented harm to wildlife.Connie Barclay, a NOAA fisheries spokeswoman, notes that NSF, not NOAA, had the final say on whether the research would happen and adds that public comment on the proposed permits yielded even tougher mitigation measures than originally proposed. They include putting independent observers aboard the ship to monitor for potential disturbances to wildlife. “Those observers are authorized to bring an immediate temporary halt to any surveying until any affected animals have left the area,” Barclay says.Opponents of the project aren’t satisfied. In particular, they argue that NOAA improperly denied New Jersey the chance to review the project for consistency with its own coastal zone management program and that NSF violated its own regulations by not opening its final authorization to 30 days of public comment.*Update, 9 July, 11 a.m.: This story has been updated to include the judge’s rejection of the New Jersey request.last_img read more

India healthcare: Will the ‘world’s largest’ public scheme work

first_imgIndia has an abysmal record in public health. It presently spends a little over 1% of GDP on public healthcare, one of the lowest levels in the world.Poor health and steep costs alone are responsible for pushing 3-5% of the population below the poverty line. Rural households source more than a quarter of their health expenses by borrowing or selling assets.Read it at BBC Related Itemslast_img

Butler returns to score 21 points, Wolves beat Nets

first_imgKammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa LATEST STORIES TIP-INSNets: Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (right groin strain) and Caris Levert (sore left groin) were out of the lineup for Brooklyn. Hollis-Jefferson was injured in Friday’s game in Milwaukee and coach Kenny Atkinson wasn’t sure if he will return for the next game. Levert was a late scatch. … D’Angelo Russell was also held out for the second game of the back-to-back with the team managing his return from knee surgery. … G Isaiah Whitehead was recalled from the Long Island Nets of the G League earlier in the day. … Stauskas scored double-figures for the fourth time this season and the first time since he had 21 points on Dec. 27.Timberwolves: Butler has missed six games for Minnesota this season. The Wolves are 2-4 without Butler in the lineup. … Minnesota has lost back-to-back games six times this season, but hasn’t had a three-game losing streak. … The 11 points allowed in the first was the fewest by Minnesota this season and the 30-11 advantage was the largest lead after the first this season.ADVERTISEMENT Heat rally from 15 down, top Hornets View comments Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles01:48NBA: Kawhi, George seek more for Clippers than beating Lakers00:50Trending Articles01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City Slow and steady hope for near-extinct Bangladesh tortoises NEXT BLOCK ASIA 2.0 introduces GURUS AWARDS to recognize and reward industry influencers Jahlil Okafor scored 21 points, and Nick Stauskas added 15 for a short-handed Brooklyn squad that has lost six of eight games. Nets coach Kenny Atkinson was ejected in the fourth quarter after coming out on the court to argue a call. Players and coaches had to restrain the enraged Atkinson.After a lopsided loss in Milwaukee on Friday night, Brooklyn struggled mightily in the first quarter. The Nets shot 33.3 percent and had nine turnovers in the quarter. The Wolves built the lead to 26 early in the second before Brooklyn found some footing with its reserves in Okafor and Stauskas.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSLillard, Anthony lead Blazers over ThunderSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutThe lead would close to five early in the third before Towns made his impact.Towns, who was elected to his first All-Star game, was scoreless until 3:46 in the first half. He attacked the offensive glass, grabbing a career-high nine offensive rebounds. He had eight points in the third as Minnesota quickly countered Brooklyn’s run.center_img Globe Business launches leading cloud-enabled and hardware-agnostic conferencing platform in PH MOST READ Read Next Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. 2 ‘newbie’ drug pushers fall in Lucena sting John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Brooklyn Nets center Tyler Zeller (44) fouls Minnesota Timberwolves guard Jimmy Butler (23) in the first quarter of an NBA basketball game Saturday, Jan. 27, 2018, in Minneapolis. APMINNEAPOLIS — Jimmy Butler scored 21 points in his return to the lineup, Karl-Anthony Towns had 16 points and 19 rebounds for his NBA-leading 43rd double-double and the Minnesota Timberwolves beat the Brooklyn Nets 111-97 on Saturday (Sunday Manila time).Butler added six rebounds and five assists after missing four games with right knee soreness. Andrew Wiggins scored 21 points, and Jamal Crawford added 16 to help Minnesota snap a two-game skid.ADVERTISEMENTlast_img read more

Arjun Rampal loves to get intimate with Kareena

first_imgNow we know that Arjun Rampal is an honest man. He has admitted naughtily that he loved his intimate scenes with Kareena in Heroine.The actor, who was at his naughtiest best at the promo launch of Heroine, said that he still remembers the beautiful and warm moments spent with hot Bebo.”I can’t get over the Kareena effect. I still cherish the love-making scenes. I fact, even today, when I close my eyes, I feel the moments when I’m in a mood,” laughed Arjun, when probed whether there were any inhibitions or awkward moments before and after they shot the steamy scenes. When probed whether he got threatening calls from Bebo’s beau Saif Ali Khan, the actor got serious and added. “Well, Saif and I have mutual respect for each other. We are aware of each other’s gentleman attitude towards women. So, on that front, I was confident about myself.”So, you had a great time Mr Rampal. Right? Saif, what’s your take on this?last_img read more

Chrissy Teigen plays Queen at baby shower

first_imgLos Angeles, Mar 7 (PTI) Model Chrissy Teigen and musician John Legend celebrated the impending arrival of their first child with a baby shower.Teigen, 30, and Legend invited friends and family to the fun-filled party which was held at Material Good in New York City, reported Ace Showbiz.Teigen uploaded some photos from the party on her Instagram.In one of the snaps, she was seen kissing her husband who smiled to the camera.The model also shared another picture featuring herself carrying her adorable bulldog Pippa.In the photo, she sported a bindi on her forehead as she donned a nude horse-patterned long coat atop a white tube dress.Teigen and Legend treated the guests to a lot of food, including cute cookies in various shapes like baby carriage and and crown.She later shared the photo of the cookies and captioned it, “Luckiest girls around.”The couple shared a similar selfie on their own Instagram.They declared themselves parents-to-be by wearing customised paper crowns with the words “Baby Mama” and “Baby Daddy” on them. PTI JCH JCHlast_img read more

ICC Women’s World Twenty20: Australia gunning for fourth title, West Indies in the way

first_imgThree-time winners Australia will be eyeing their fourth title when they take on  an in-form West Indies in the final of the ICC Women’s World Twenty20 at the Eden Gardens tomorrow.  The Australian team, popularly known as the Southern Stars, have been unstoppable since their inaugural win in 2010. On their road to the final, Australia escaped a scare from arch-rivals England and managed a five-run victory in the semi-finals. (Also read: Joe Root sounds out warning to West Indies ahead of World T20 title clash) Their captain Meg Lanning has been their leading run-scorer in the competition with 149 runs. She played a crucial role in the semis with a 50-ball 55 to take Australia to a competitive total of 132/6. (Full World T20 coverage) What was impressive for Australia was the fact that other players chipped in too. They were provided a strong start from the openers as Alyssa Healy and Elyse Villani knit a brisk 41-run partnership.”We’ve been pleased with our squad of 15 and our overall performance. I disagree that we relied heavily on one player. We’ve chased low totals. We’ve really benefited from the way Elyse Villani has kicked into gears and taken the game away in the opening overs,” Australian vice-captain Alex Blackwell had told the media here.”You can’t ignore the impact of someone like Alyssa Healy and the way she took on Katherine… Small contributions can really be of high impact. Obviously Meg Lanning has been a real rock for us throughout. We’ve got plenty of players around. Ellyse Perry has been instrumental in our batting order in the recent years.”advertisementThe wicket at the Eden Gardens is likely to spin, and therefore leg spinner Kristen Beams will look to be at the top of her game here along with left-arm spinner Jess Jonassen. The duo can easily have the West Indies under pressure if the wicket does offer purchase.Megan Schutt and Rene Farrell with their slower deliveries may also be a handful in such conditions.West Indies on the other hand, have nothing to lose. This is their first time in the final and they are going into it a confident side.”We are very excited. It is our first final. So we need to stay focused and be calm. We will have to go out there and fight it out,” West Indies captain Stafanie Taylor said at the pre match media conference.Taylor with 187 runs from five matches has been the consistent performer for the Windies and her side will again look upto her to deliver in the finals.Deandra Dottin, Healey Matthews and Shaquana Quintyne have also come good in the ongoing tournament and skipper Taylor will hope the team plays to their potential and delivers against the inform Australians.last_img read more

IPL 2016: Suresh Raina credits Dwayne Bravo and Co. for debut victory

first_imgGujarat Lions followed Rising Pune Supergiants in starting their Indian Premier League campaign with a victory in Mohali on Monday night. Opting to bowl first after winning the toss, Suresh Raina’s decision looked to have backfired before Dwayne Bravo and Ravindra Jadeja pulled things back to put the brakes on cruising Kings XI Punjab innings and restrict them to 161 for six in their 20 overs. (Match Highlights | Report)Bravo finished with four for 22, including the scalps of Glenn Maxwell and David Miller in the space of three balls, as he also went past 300 Twenty20 wickets — 302 — to become the leading wicket-taker in the format.”We bowled very well – (Dwayne) Bravo, PK (Praveen Kumar), (James) Faulkner, (Ravindra) Jadeja. At one stage I thought they will get 200, but they bowled well,” said a happy Raina during the post-match presentation. (Match in pics)However, Gujarat’s chase always looked in good control, thanks to Aaron Finch’s 74 off 47 balls that earned him the Man of the Match award. “Finch batted well, wicket was very good, and credit goes to all players,” Raina said after his side’s five-wicket win.Finch was ecstatic with his team’s victory but credited bowlers for “pulling it back”.”It’s nice to start the tournament well from the team’s point of view. Credit to the bowlers for pulling it back. Excellent wicket and the ball just skidded on under lights. We thought it might get slower but it didn’t,” Finch said.Losing skipper David Miller rued batting failure but maintained Kings XI will return to the winning ways.advertisement”We didn’t have enough on the board. 180 would have been nice. We were always on the back foot from there. And Finch’s knock made it very difficult. First six overs were rushed to be honest.”Still 13 games to go. It’s not how you start but how you finish,” Miller said.last_img read more

Ronaldo: My dream is for Cristiano Jr to be a footballer

first_imgCristiano Ronaldo has revealed his son, Cristiano Jr, has inherited his competitive nature and hopes to see him follow in his footsteps by becoming a football player.The eight-year-old has attracted plenty of attention already with some impressive free-kicks and tricks that Ronaldo often posts on social media, showing that the youngster has been heavily influenced by the global icon’s style.And the Juventus star believes his eldest child will continue to follow in his example as he has the same motivation. Editors’ Picks Man Utd ready to spend big on Sancho and Haaland in January Who is Marcus Thuram? Lilian’s son who is top of the Bundesliga with Borussia Monchengladbach Brazil, beware! Messi and Argentina out for revenge after Copa controversy Best player in MLS? Zlatan wasn’t even the best player in LA! “He’s very competitive, like me when I was young, and he doesn’t like to lose,” Ronaldo said on his unveiling as DAZN’s Global Ambassador.”He will be like me I am sure, 100 per cent. I hope that with my experience with my motivation, my goals, I can teach him some stuff, but you know he is going to be whatever he wants.”I’m always going to support him, but of course I want Cristiano to be a football player because I think he has that drive.”He has a good body, he’s fast, he has skills, he can shoot, but as you know he’s going to make his decision and he’s so young, I’m not going to pressure him. But that is of course a dream, to see my boy a football player.”Ronaldo has started a new chapter in his own career this season by joining Juventus from Real Madrid, after a magnificent nine-year spell in the Spanish capital.Cristiano Ronaldo DAZNAlthough he has ditched the classic all-white jersey for one with black stripes, the 33-year-old has held on to his favourite shirt number to preserve his iconic CR7 nickname.And the former Manchester United star was happy to receive the No.7 from Juan Cuadrado after a brief chat with the Colombian winger.”Of course, you know it’s my favourite number,” he said. “I spoke with the club at the beginning and of course I spoke to Cuadrado because he was No.7. He said: ‘It will be a pleasure for me to give you my No.7, my shirt.'”So it was good. I’m surprised by the good way [it went] because the club helped me and Cuadrado accepted it very well, so I’m really glad to continue with my No.7.”last_img read more

3 Things Home Buyers Should Know About Today’s Sellers

first_imgHow much do you pay for heating? Depending on where you live, it’s a good chunk of money during the wintertime. Even though we live in the South (in lovely Raleigh!), we’re not immune to getting some cold weather.   With winter coming… Full Story,Tips to help turn those homebuying dreams into reality. From outstanding credit card debt to massive student loans, financial difficulties are barring more and more millennials from becoming homeowners. While the vision of buying a first home may seem hopelessly… Full Story,When most people imagine buying a house, they think about how many bedrooms they need or what kind of porch they want. When they think about homebuying costs, they decide how much to put down and what their maximum home… Full Story,One of my favorite shows is Sex and the City. Those women lived glamorous lives I could only dream about. And, Carrie, a writer, was living my dream life as a famous writer in Manhattan. One of the storylines that… Full Story,Last year, my husband and I were packing up our Denver apartment to prepare for our move back to his home state of Indiana. We’d put an offer in on a house and had only given ourselves a couple of… Full Story,A few years ago Dave Munson and his family decided to move from their 5,600-square-feet, 8-bedroom house in the city of San Antonio, Texas, to a smaller, unique living situation: tents. Well, fancy, upscale tents that total 2,000 square feet… Full Story,It’s a well-known fact that your personal environment affects your mental health. If you live in a beautifully decorated home with plenty of plants and green space nearby, your risk for anxiety and depression is lower. If you spend your… Full Story,My husband and I were so excited to buy our house. We’d been renting since college and were eager to have our own place. Finally, no one could tell us how many dogs we could have or how many posters… Full Story,Last summer, I was forced to relocate out of my cozy, bungalow-style apartment in West L.A. Living in one of the most unaffordable rental markets in the U.S., I was resigned to the fact that, to enjoy my ideal setup… Full Story,When you buy a home, you’re making an investment in yourself and your future. You’re building  financial stability, equity, and experience. You have a place to call your own and you can customize the space just how you want. As… Full Storylast_img read more

Credit Alphabet Soup: Popular Credit Reporting Acronyms Explained

first_img“John, I recently applied for a mortgage loan and I thought the broker was going to pull my credit report. Instead, she pulled something she called an “RMCR” credit report. When I looked at the report it didn’t look anything like I’ve ever seen before.  What exactly is an RMCR report?”You’ve just experienced what many of us who are part of the consumer credit industry deal with on a daily basis, an industry acronym.We’re loaded with them. You also just gave me a great idea for a blog, deciphering common credit industry acronyms.I’ll start with your question.What is RMCR?RMCR – An RMCR is a Residential Merged Credit Report, sometimes called a Residential Mortgage Credit Report.Mortgage lenders want to see all three of your credit reports and three of your credit scores.The RMCR allows them to do so without having to pull each of your credit reports independently.The RMCR combines your three credit reports into one “merged” credit report.Other Common Credit Reporting AcronymsCRA – A CRA is a commonly used acronym for a credit reporting agency.  Equifax, Experian and TransUnion are the generally recognized credit reporting agencies, although there are several more.FCRA – The FCRA is the Fair Credit Reporting Act which, among other things, defines your rights vis-à-vis free annual credit reports and getting errors corrected.CDIA – The CDIA is the Consumer Data Industry Association, which is the trade association of the credit reporting industry.VSS – VSS is VantageScore Solutions, which is the company that maintains the VantageScore credit scoring system.FICO – FICO is Fair Isaac Corporation, which is the company that maintains the FICO credit scoring system.FCBA – The Fair Credit Billing Act is the Federal statute that limits our liability on credit card fraud to no more than $50.EFTA – The Electronic Funds Transfer Act is the Federal statute that limits our liability on debit card fraud to no more than $500.FDCPA – The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act defines how 3rd party debt collection companies have to operate re: collecting delinquent debts from consumers.CROA – The Credit Repair Organizations Act is the Federal statute that defines how credit repair companies have to operate when offering credit improvement services to consumers.ACDV – An Automated Credit Dispute Verification form is used by the credit reporting agencies to communicate consumer disputes to lenders and collection agencies.  The non-automated predecessor to the ACDV was the CDV, which stands for Consumer Dispute Verification form.AUD – An Automated Universal Data form is used by lenders and collection agencies to proactively correct or modify information on a consumer’s credit reports.  The non-automated predecessor to the AUD was the UDF, which stands for Universal Data Form.CRO – A Credit Repair Organization is a company, as defined by Federal and state law, that markets and sells credit report improvement services to consumers for a fee.e-OSCAR – Online Solution for Complete and Accurate Reporting is the communication protocol used by the credit reporting agencies to communicate disputes to their furnishing companies, normally a lender or a collection agency.PACER – Public Access to Court Electronic Records is used by the credit reporting agencies to collect bankruptcy information, which is then placed on consumer credit reports.AA Letter – An AA letter is an “Adverse Action” letter, which is a declination letter. If you are denied credit because of your credit report and/or credit score the lender is obligated by Federal law to send you an Adverse Action letter.DMP – A Debt Management Program (or “Plan”) is a service offered by credit counselors that are members of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (or “NFCC”). The DMP is a systemic way to pay down your credit card debt.John Ulzheimer is the Credit Expert at CreditSesame.com, and a credit blogger at Mint.com, CreditCardInsider.com and the National Foundation for Credit Counseling.  He is an expert on credit reporting, credit scoring and identity theft. Formerly of FICO and Equifax, 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. You can follow John on Twitter here.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

5 Tips for Cheap Fun in the Snow

first_img Post navigation If you’re trapped inside by the snowstorm hitting the Upper Midwest, or anticipating long snowy days this winter, you’ll need some budget-friendly boredom-killers to get you through. This season, give these 5 tried and true tips from veteran cold-weather survivors a shot.Chill OutKids seem impervious to cold, so send them outside! It builds character, right? Kathy Flynn of Connecticut fondly remembers childhood days spent sledding. “The neighborhood kids, my siblings and I would be out there for hours,” she recalls. “Even our dads would come out when it got dark to be sure we arrived safely at the bottom of the hill. Afterwards, we’d retreat to our house where my mom or grandma would have steaming cups of hot chocolate ready.” Why not join them? You and your kids will appreciate being indoors more after a day spent outside.ReadOver half of the people I surveyed say they hunker down and read when they’re stuck inside on a chilly day (several of them by a fire). This activity can be FREE if you head to your local library to stock up on the classics. Plus, it turns into a time-eating field trip if you bring the kids.Catch upYou can finally tackle your family budget, clean out that closet, or paint the master bedroom. My mom capitalizes on the time to make giant batches of chicken soup. Kim Roberts uses snow days to catch up – and get ahead – on correspondence. She likes to “fix a box with cards for each month and address and stamp the envelopes.”ExploreIt’s early March, you’ve exhausted all home-based ideas and your kids are driving you nuts. Get out of the house, finally, by exploring your area. Many hyperlocal blogs have tips on free or cheap things to do in your area: a free art museum, the coolest playgrounds for snowball fights, a chocolate factory tour, and so much more.Slow downThe best thing to do when you’re stuck inside together is to enjoy it. Invite friends over for a potluck and game night. For parents who feel like they never get time to play with their kids? Bring on the blizzard. Build forts, bake together, play board games, make arts and crafts, and by all means turn off the TV. At least for a little while.Kim Tracy Prince is a freelance writer in Los Angeles. She’ll meet you for lunch, but only if you schedule in advance and it fits in the budget. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window) Relatedlast_img read more

Companies Can Now Spot Deforestation in their Palm Oil Supply Chains Before it Happens

first_imgLimited tree cover loss and lack of environmentally important landscapes within the sourcing area makes the PKS Tunas Baru Lampung mill at low risk for deforestation. View this area on Global Forest Watch Commodities.What’s Next?Recently, the RSPO revoked a major palm oil supplier’s sustainable certification following allegations of deforestation and labor rights violations. Major consumer goods companies have subsequently cancelled their contracts with this supplier. These actions signal that the palm oil industry is taking commitments seriously. Yet it also highlights the challenges companies face in monitoring and controlling their vast supply chain networks.Companies urgently need tools that will make sustainable sourcing easier, and concerned consumers, governments and advocacy groups need ways to hold companies accountable for their sustainability commitments. The PALM Risk Tool creates unprecedented transparency around the impacts of palm oil supply chains, empowering both companies and consumers alike. Half of all packaged consumer goods from shampoo to donuts contain palm oil, but the ubiquitous product comes at a cost—widespread deforestation from plantations, especially in Indonesia and Malaysia, which produce 85 percent of all palm oil. While more than 300 consumer goods companies have committed to tackle this problem by purchasing only “deforestation-free” palm oil by 2020, it’s a lofty goal given the complexity of supply chains. A single company may buy palm oil from hundreds of processing mills, which source palm fruit from thousands of farms. The average business only has the resources to verify a fraction of these suppliers each year—until now.Global Forest Watch’s new PALM (Prioritizing Areas, Landscapes and Mills) Risk Tool illuminates points in companies’ palm oil supply chains that are most likely to be associated with past and potential future deforestation. With this information, companies can proactively manage their supply chains to reduce and eventually eliminate deforestation associated with palm oil production.How It WorksDeveloped in collaboration with Proforest and Daemeter, the PALM Risk Tool harnesses satellite-based data to measure deforestation risk for nearly 800 palm oil mills, with new mills being added constantly. These mills, visible on GFW Commodities, are the most comprehensive public database of mill locations currently available. Companies can also upload additional mill locations to perform their own custom analysis.Within a 50 kilometer (31 mile) radius of each mill—the distance fresh palm fruit can travel without spoiling—the Tool analyzes fire activity and tree cover loss occurring over time and over environmentally important landscapes such as primary forests and carbon-rich peatlands. The result is a risk ranking for each mill, which helps narrow a company’s focus on the surrounding plantations feeding the mill that may be contributing to deforestation. Palm-oil driven deforestation typically occurs when land is cleared for plantations. Companies that identify a “high-risk” mill in their supply chains can then do additional research, conduct field audits and engage directly with plantations supplying that mill to ask them to change their practices. Tree cover loss within the sourcing area, including in protected areas, makes the Intan Sejati Andalan mill at high risk for deforestation. View this area on Global Forest Watch Commodities.Primary forests, untouched by human activity, are some of the most biodiverse and carbon-rich forests in the world. The mill sourcing area also contains the Giam Siak Kecil and Balai Raja wildlife reserves, which house critically endangered species, including the Sumatran rhino, elephant and the clouded leopard. Despite their “protected” status under Indonesian law, Giam Siak Kecil has experienced significant deforestation, and Balai Raja has seen palm oil development within its borders.With this information, companies can quickly identify and work with high-risk mills like the Intan Sejati Andalan to develop strategies that reduce and prevent deforestation in the sourcing area, and ultimately make progress towards their deforestation-free commitments. Data show palm oil development within Giam Siak Kecil and Balai Raja wildlife reserves. View this area on Global Forest Watch Commodities.2. Low Risk: PKS Tunas Baru Lampung Mill in Sumatra, IndonesiaThe PKS Tunas Baru Lampung Mill is a low-risk mill in South Sumatra. Less than 25 hectares (60 acres) of primary forest existed in the sourcing area in 2000, and none of that forest remains today. Additionally, this mill operates in an area completely free of peatland, the most carbon-rich type of landscape, and the overlapping protected area has experienced minimal tree cover loss since 2000. The low risk rating of this mill is corroborated by its certification from the Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), an industry- and NGO-led organization that validates the “sustainability” of palm oil. Here are two examples of what PALM looks like in action:1. High Risk: Intan Sejati Andalan Mill in Riau, IndonesiaLocated in Riau, Indonesia, the Intan Sejati Andalan mill was ranked as “high risk” by the PALM Risk Tool. The sourcing area around this mill lost more than 200,000 hectares (500,000 acres) of primary forest since 2009. Since preliminary research shows past deforestation is the single-largest predictor of future trends, the remaining 300,000 hectares (750,000 acres) of primary forest is at risk of suffering the same fate.last_img read more

4 Reasons Your Website Sucks

first_img Photo courtesy of Topics: Enough well-optimized pages that people can find you . Ummmm… that’s nice, but if I’m a prospect, I don’t care about how cool you think you are–I care about how you’re going to solve my problems.  If your website only has navigation about who you are & what you do and a news feed, it sucks. Your website only displays the news about the cool stuff your company has done Taking these actions will go a very long way towards making sure your prospects stay on your site, interact with your company, and become customers! How you’re going to solve your prospects’ problems . It’s no secret that people have short attention spans when they surf the web, so making your page so “cool” that you’ve hidden all obvious navigation is a really good way to increase your bounce rate.  If you only have two buttons, they had better be the best two buttons and serve your prospects’ needs exactly, or they’re not going to engage.  Even better, though, would be to give your prospects enough options that you can address their varying needs, depending on where they are in the research or buying process. Your website isn’t findable If you want to “unsuckify” your website, make sure it has the following: . Some of the biggest companies in the world have websites that aren’t well optimized and they still get found.  Unfortunately for the rest of us, that isn’t an option. This is especially a problem for gorgeous sites that are all flash and only have one page for Google or Bing to index, but many new websites don’t optimize page titles or URLs–key places for telling search engines what your pages are about. Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Maybe you have an auto-playing video or some funky background music, but it plays instantly. From a pet peeve perspective, this should really be #1, but it’s less of a marketing problem and more of an annoyance.  Your prospects probably don’t suddenly want a blasting presentation to come out of their computer speakers while they’re sitting in quiet cube farms.  They’ll quickly close the browser tab rather than becoming engaged, filling out lead forms, and eventually buying your product or service. Your website automatically plays sound. Here are four ways things can go horribly, terribly wrong: And for the love of everything, no automatically playing noise or video! Website Design Alicia Voorhies Your website is so slick and cool that people have no idea where to click Originally published Sep 16, 2010 8:00:00 AM, updated October 20 2016 Clear navigation & calls-to-actionlast_img read more

Twitter Proven to Impact Search Engine Rankings

first_imgMore Signals to Prioritize Twitter Download the free webinar Originally published Dec 2, 2010 11:11:00 AM, updated October 20 2016 Making Your Followers and Search Engines Happy With Your Twitter Account . . The kit will give you many of the answers you need to get started and be successful. Social signals as a component of search engine ranking are only likely to get stronger. Whether you’ve thought Twitter was for you or not in the past, now is the time to build and solidify your Twitter presence.  Having a website that ranks well in search engines when qualified prospects are looking should be a priority for every business. : get over to Twitter grader Twitter profiles carry a “score” with Google. . We’ll help you see which areas you need to focus on.  Either way, if you need some direction download our Just like inbound links give a website “credit”, so does social media sharing. A lot of retweets can tell the search engine that this is a good, trusted blog article. Photo Credit: This information helps prove that social sharing has a positive effect on the reach of your business website. Like SEO and Social Media respres When an influential person (including you) tweets your link, it is a sign to the search engines that it’s good, trusted content. building inbound links and SEO authority in-depth kit on How to Use Twitter For Business First, a quick recap of some points- for more in depth information, check out So, to all you folks out there that don’t have a Twitter account yet, or set one up but it’s sitting there lonely and abandoned, read on to find out why Twitter is not only important for building online reach but is also critical to help your business website rank in search engines. the original article for tips and tricks to drive inbound marketing using Twitter. How Twitter Influences Search Engine Rankings Well, I’m glad you asked. Haven’t set up an account yet? What are you waiting for? Head over to Twitter and . If you already have a Twitter account, It’s likely the age of your twitter profile and how many followers you have affect how search engines will calculate your profile’s “authority”. Free Download: Twitter for Marketing and PR , building “Twitter author rank” (or whatever they will decide to call it) will take time too. get your Twitter account set up Want to learn more about using Twitter for Marketing and PR? I know, there are so many things to do, and it’s hard to step away from focusing on the tasks that get visitors to your site from search sngines.  However, an article yesterday from Search Engine Land explains how Topics: Twitter directly affects your SEO efforts 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

25 Ways to Get More Social Media Followers

first_img Originally published Dec 20, 2010 8:00:00 AM, updated October 29 2019 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 Social Media Here are 25 easy ways you can get more social media followers:1. Enable Social SharingAdd buttons to your blog and even other website pages that allow visitors to share your content on social sites like Twitter , Facebook , and LinkedIn . Some services like Tweetmeme allow you to add RT @YOURUSERNAME to the end of each tweet shared from your site, so that would help you get more followers.2. Share Quality ContentIf you have high-quality and interesting content on your social media profiles, you’re more likely to get more followers than if you were tweeting purely self-promotional updates.3. Get Employees to FollowTell your employees to follow/like/subscribe to your social media profiles. People are more likely to follow pages that already have some sort of following, so your employees will help build your initial numbers.4. Invite Partners, Vendors, Clients, and CustomersSend a friendly and personalized email to anyone you have a business relationship with, including partners, vendors, clients, and customers, letting them know about your social media profiles .5. Email SignatureAdd links to your company’s social media profiles in your company email signature. Create a signature template that includes these links and encourage your coworkers to use this signature as well.6. Blog Comment SignatureWhen you make a comment on a blog post, link to your most active social media profile (usually Twitter or Facebook ) in a signature-like style.7. Include Links on Offers and AssetsLink to your social media profiles on your whitepaper cover page, webinar thank you page, one-page guide footer, etc.8. CTAs on Thank You PagesAfter a new lead fills out a form on your site, it’s a good idea to include links or calls-to-action on the subsequent thank you page encouraging these leads to follow you in social media. If they were interested enough to give you their email address, they’ll likely be interested in following!9. CTAs on Thank You EmailsJust like you’d add calls-to-action to your thank you pages, add them to your thank you emails. Again, new leads are more likely to at least check out your social media profiles.10. Cross PromoteAdd your Twitter link to your Facebook page, and occasionally tweet about your Facebook page. Don’t stop with Twitter and Facebook; you could also cross-promote on LinkedIn, Flickr, YouTube, etc .11. Contact or About Us PagesIncluding links to your social media profiles on your contact us or about us page will reinforce the idea that your customers and/or prospects can reach out to you in social media just like they could via email or phone. Social media is more visible, so their friends may see their comments to you.12. Business CardsInclude links to your most active social media profiles on each of your employees’ business cards below their contact information.13. Newsletters & Lead NurturingInclude links to your social media profiles in the footer of any company email you send out, including newsletters or lead nurturing emails .14. Direct Mail AssetsStill using direct mail as part of your marketing strategy? If you can’t let go, include links to your social media profiles on any direct mail pieces you send, including catalogs, coupons, or any other direct mail asset.15. Facebook: Like Box on WebsiteInstall a Facebook Like Box (formerly known as Facebook Fan Box) on your website. Your blog page, homepage, and other high-trafficked page sidebars are good places to install a Like Box.16. Facebook: Hide Content From Non-LikersCreate a default tab on your Facebook business page that contains content hidden from anyone who has not yet liked your page. Once someone likes your page, they can see the offer/content you had hidden. This is a great incentive for someone to like your page.17. Facebook: Suggest to FriendsEncourage your employees to use the Suggest to Friends feature to share your Facebook business page with any of their friends who would be interested in reading your updates.18. Facebook: Invite Friends TabAdd an “invite friends” tab and periodically encourage your fans to head over to invite their friends who might be interested in reading your updates.19. Twitter: Twitter DirectoriesAdd your company’s Twitter profile to Twitter directories under categories that are relevant to your company. This will make it easier for prospects to find you based on their interests. WeFollow , Twellow , and Listorious are just a few of the Twitter directories available.20. Twitter: Add a Twitter Badge or ModulePromote your Twitter profile on your website by finding a Twitter badge that fits your site’s design, or add an official Twitter widget to your site. Your blog page, homepage, and other high-trafficked page sidebars are good places to install a Twitter widget.21. Twitter: Talk to People Who Mention YouTrack your brand in social media using HubSpot’s social media monitoring tool or Google Alerts so that you get notifications whenever someone mentions your brand. When they do, follow them and/or reply to their tweet.22. LinkedIn: Add Links on LinkedIn ProfileAdd a link to your most active social media profile in your links. You can optimize these links by clicking “Other” and write “Follow (Company Name) on Twitter” when adding your link to Twitter, for example.23. LinkedIn: Add links to LinkedIn Business PageAdd links to your most active social media profiles on your LinkedIn business page. You can add these links in the about section.24. LinkedIn: LinkedIn Answers SignatureWhen you make a comment on LinkedIn Answers , link to your most active social media profile (usually Twitter or Facebook) in a signature-like style or as one of the web resources.25. YouTube: Embed Your VideosIf you have any videos that you’d like to share on your website, add them to your YouTube profile and then embed those YouTube videos on your site. That way people can discover your YouTube page, and you have potential to benefit from YouTube’s viral nature. Add to the list! What are some of your unique strategies to get more followers on your social media profiles? Diana Urban  is a User Experience Manager at HubSpot. You can follow her on Twitter  @dianaurban . last_img read more

10 Cool INBOUND 2013 Perks You Might Not Be Aware Of

first_img Topics: #INBOUND13 is just around the corner, so whether you bought your ticket six months ago or are still deciding whether or not to pull the trigger, here are 10 things you might not already know about INBOUND.Get excited.And if you haven’t already, get your tickets. (Today’s the last day of The Final Countdown sale.)See you at INBOUND!1) After the Final RoseIf you’re missing The Bachelorette already, fear not: Brooks Forrester, who famously exited stage left on the most recent season of The Bachelorette, is an inbound marketer. He’s part of the awesome team at FIT Marketing in Utah (a HubSpot partner) and will be coming to join in on the fun of the conference.2) Become a Presentation GuruNancy Duarte, who is speaking at INBOUND, created Al Gore’s slides for An Inconvenient Truth, which became one of the highest grossing documentaries of all time. If she can make global warming, PowerPoint, and Al Gore cool, can you imagine what she can do for your business? Check out her work here before you see her speak at INBOUND.3) Counting Stars, Up Close and PersonalINBOUND ROCKS is headlined by OneRepublic, whose hit “Apologize” is likely already a fixture on your iPod. Counting Stars, their latest hit single, is currently climbing the charts, and INBOUND attendees get to attend their concert (alongside other awesome bands) as part of their conference ticket. Conferences 4) Did somebody say pizza?Ramon De Leon was a driver for Domino’s in Chicago in the 1980s. Over three decades, he became a thought leader within the Domino’s organization, leveraging social media and pioneering online ordering to grow his franchise into a $7 million per year business. Whether you want to learn more about innovation and small business or about how you can better use social media and the internet to grow your personal and professional brand, he’s your guy — and he’s one of our awesome Bold Talks speakers. 5) Meet a “Going Viral” VeteranLet me guess–at some point or another, your boss or colleague has asked if you can “make something go viral.” This time, instead of rolling your eyes (I feel your pain), learn how to do something about it from a true pro: Tim Washer may work for Cisco and have prior experience with FedEx and Deloitte, but he is also a comedian, actor, and social media expert. He wrote this piece on the rules of viral videos you shouldn’t share with your boss. Not sure about you but I’m hoping to pick up a joke or two drafting off his success.6) The Star of HubSpot’s Unsubscribe Video Will EmceeHopefully, you’ve never seen HubSpot’s Unsubscribe video because our emails are so lovable and awesome, but it’s worth a watch, as it has gotten some significant love from people the industry who are used to the usual boring unsubscribe messages. One of the reasons it’s so awesome? Our very own resident comedian, Dan Sally. In addition to being an inbound marketing expert, Dan is a stand-up comedian who has appeared on Comedy Central and in countless comedy clubs nationwide, so you’re in for a real treat.7) You Can Get Your Head Shot Taken for FreeAnyone building a professional and personal brand on the internet needs a great headshot, but getting them taken can be pricey and time-consuming, so we’ll be taking headshots at INBOUND for any attendee who wants one — and the cost is on us. Get primping, because we’re ready for lights, camera, and action to send you home with a headshot that makes you look like Beyonce. You’ll be on your way to Hollywood in no time.Disclaimer: we can’t promise that HubSpotters won’t give you bunny ears.8) INBOUND Attendees Could Teach You a Thing or TwoINBOUND attendees come from all walks of life and have all sorts of tales to tell. Some stories even started right here in Boston. For example, INBOUND attendee Andrew met his girlfriend at INBOUND 2012 thanks to last year’s #Inbound12 hashtag. We don’t guarantee love in the ticket price, but ask Andrew — it’s definitely a possibility. Fellow marketer and INBOUND 2013 attendee Mike Bruny started a sustainable bow-tie business because he was so inspired after seeing Scott Harrison, INBOUND keynote speaker, tell his story at a conference last year. Mike broke the mold when he sent us this awesome video about why he needed to be at our conference this month: Networking at INBOUND is great for making business connections, but if you’re lucky, you’ll hear a pretty cool backstory, too.9) It’s Going to Be a Delicious Week in BostonThe week of August 19th is INBOUND, but it’s also Restaurant Week in Boston. Need I say more? Okay, I’ll say a little more. Every year, over 200 of Boston’s most delectable establishments celebrate Restaurant Week to give Bostonians a taste of their magic. Make a dinner reservation or just experience Boston looking a little more delicious than usual.10) Fashionistas, Take NoticeYou may not think of a marketing conference as a fashion hub for stylish trends, but INBOUND is changing the game one wardrobe at a time. Forbes even published a piece this week on how to keep your outfits magazine cover-worthy while staying conference-friendly. Expect to see attendees catwalking from session to session. Or you know … networking and hanging out in HubSpot t-shirts.  Originally published Aug 9, 2013 4:00:00 PM, updated July 28 2017 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

50 Free Call-to-Action Templates to Design Clickable CTAs in PowerPoint [Free Download]

first_img Calls to Action Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Topics: Want to earn money for your business? Want to generate leads for your sales team? Want to accelerate sales for your online store? Want to do anything for your business that actually matters? Well then you need calls-to-action. Without them, we wouldn’t be converting our website visitors or social media fans into actual leads for our sales team. Without them, we wouldn’t be calling on our audience to take any action in their lifecycle that actually benefits them or the growth of your business.Download Now: 28 Free CTA TemplatesBut just because they’re important doesn’t mean we all have a professional designer at our disposal — whether due to budget limitations, resource restrictions, or just lack of design skills. That’s why we created 50 free call-to-action (CTA) templates in PowerPoint for you to customize and use. The template will teach you how to customize your new CTAs effectively, so don’t let fear of DIY design stop you. This post will give you a sneak peek into a large set of designs available in the template. Download it now and follow along.1) Basic Calls-to-ActionSometimes you just need a quick and clean button that helps drive conversions. Building a landing page that needs a customized submit button? Working on a website page that needs to drive visitors to a coupon? Drafting a blog post that needs a “read more” button after the summary? We’ve got you covered. The first set of 22 CTA designs in our set of templates are basic buttons. Here’s a sampling of six:2) Social Media Share and Sentiment Calls-to-ActionData from Dan Zarrella shows that specific diction in your social calls-to-action help drive engagement, but another great way to drive social engagement is through social CTAs on other assets of your website, landing pages, blog posts, and so on. This set of ten templates provides you with two types of designs: social share buttons and social sentiment buttons. Let’s take a look at a sample of both.Social Share CTAsAs you can see in the sample of share buttons below, these buttons are helping drive social actions from your content. Making these buttons clickable is as simple as generating the right code to hyperlink it to. This blog post walks you through how to do so step-by-step.Social Sentiment CTAsSocial sentiment CTAs are those that include public testimonials — often from social media users. As you can see in the example below, we built a CTA in PowerPoint and attached a screenshot of a publicly posted Facebook comment. Be sure to test the use of such social sentiment on your content and explore how their inclusion benefits your conversion rates.3) Contextualized Calls-to-ActionsYou’ve seen some basic CTA options thus far. The next set of nine options call on you to include more context. These designs are created with the intention of further explaining the value of taking action. Just be sure to keep the overall layout of the button simple so that users can easily see the action you’re calling on them to take. Here are two sample designs available in the template:4) Photo and Mobile Device Calls-to-ActionPhotos can serve as a great asset when creating your calls-to-action. Not to mention it’s super easy because all you have to do is overlay some text! Photos make it easy to humanize and customize your messages for your brand and audience. Similarly, mobile and desktop devices can help make your action “pop.” Rather than including a screenshot of your product, try putting that screenshot on a kindle to show it in action! If you have trouble locating copyright-free photos to use, you can download our set of 160 free photos. No attribution required, just download and use! Here are three sample CTA designs from the bunch.5) Qualifying Calls-to-ActionsWhen you’re trying to nurture a lead further down the funnel, you want to ensure you’re presenting CTAs to qualify them for your sales team. For these CTAs, it’s important that they are welcoming and not pushy. Having a great design can help can help you naturally move your leads further down your marketing funnel. Here are two examples from the templates you could customize to help convert a lead to marketing qualified lead:Not sure how to exactly save and use these templates? Don’t worry, your download of these 50 templates will include step-by-step instructions on how to save and use these templates on your website. What templates are you most excited to try? Share you thoughts in the comments section below.Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in September 2013 and has been updated and for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness. Originally published Mar 22, 2016 8:00:00 AM, updated November 29 2017last_img read more

6 of the Best SEO Link Building Software Solutions in 2019

first_imgAll search engine algorithms are driven at least in part by links, which makes link building an essential aspect of SEO. It’s also a cost-effective marketing principle that, when done right, allows you to essentially advertise on other reputable websites for free, while gaining high-quality referral traffic.The term “link building” refers to the process of creating links on other websites to increase search engine rankings and drive referral traffic back to your site. You can embed links to your site within various forms of content — including, but not limited to, blog posts, infographics, articles, press releases, and images.Link building is one of the most important SEO practices today, and using the best link building software is essential to getting it right.Here, we’re going to explore six of the best SEO link building software solutions. But first, let’s dive into the importance of link building.Access 4 Essential Link-Building TipsThe Important Role Links PlayIf you’re a marketer, you want to increase your business’s online presence, but that’s nearly impossible to do without a fair number of quality inbound links pointing to your site. Online, links are the infrastructure that people rely on to reach you. Ignoring them is like building a brick-and-mortar store without any roads leading to it.In a 2017 survey of online marketers, nearly three-quarters of respondents said they believe that link building is a critical SEO factor. It helps establish you as an authority in your area of expertise by connecting your website to highly reputable and credible sites in the same niche.As you build your brand with quality backlinks from credible sites, Google will trust your content more and, eventually, you’ll see your website’s organic rankings increase.Ultimately, links enable you to build brand recognition, and increase trust among your clients. By link building with high-quality sites, you also generate higher-quality leads that are more likely to follow the path to becoming loyal clients.However, not all link building is created equal. I preach white hat link building, and we transparently showcase our link building process on our site. We believe that if you create useful content, websites will gladly link to you — and our methodology supports that.The success of your link building campaign will naturally boost your brand’s relationship with other brands and their websites. Customers can more easily connect with other great products and services, and your network of links will boost your website’s value in the eyes of the search engines that crawl, index, and rank it.Link Building Best PracticesThe bare-bones definition of link building is strategically acquiring links pointing back to your website to increase organic rankings and potentially drive referral traffic.However, successful link building is more than that — it also means carefully considering where you place your links, the type and format of the links, the links’ anchor text, and how diversified the backlink portfolio is.I’ve found these best practices to be effective parts of an overall link building strategy:Create awesome content: While there are several best practices you should follow, it all starts with surrounding your links with stellar content. High-quality content is the most important part of the value you can bring to online users. The more valuable and engaging your content is, the more likely you can earn coveted spots on popular websites. That includes making your content easy to read but full of valuable information like stats, quotes, and other trustworthy data.Keep links relevant: The links should also lead back to high-quality and relevant information on your site. Search engines emphasize relevance, which is another reason it’s important to target websites within your industry. For example, if your site offers professional cleaning services, linking to a site offering cleaning equipment would be more relevant than linking to a sports equipment company.Less is more: As you aim for quality, you’ll realize that placing a few links on high-quality sites is much more effective than placing a larger number of links on suspicious or spammy sites. For instance, with the right social media management tools, you can make the most of your link building software on the most visible online platforms. It’s all about quality over quantity. I also recommend diversifying your link portfolio to have a mix of different kinds of links.Build relationships: Popular blogs are quickly becoming the place we go for reliable, relevant news for just about any industry. Take advantage of the existing audiences on blogs in your industry by commenting on posts or even guest blogging if you can. Blog comment links won’t pass any clout, but it will grab the author’s attention. If you are adding value, that will make it easier to partner up on content opportunities. Similarly, developing strong ties with industry influencers and reputable authors can help you add to your arsenal of well-placed links.Aim for resource pages: One of the more proven link building strategies is to get links included on a popular resource page. Websites often list helpful links and resources for specific topics, such as a recipe page on a food blog centered on a particular restaurant. If you have a recipe or related content to share, you can reach out to the website’s author to ask if he or she could include your links on the page. If it’s a good fit for the page and your brand, it can turn into a home run.SEO Link Building SoftwareWhile there are many different ways to execute a successful link building strategy, one constant is the need for the right software for SEO link building to accomplish your goals. There are several to choose from, though — so how do you know which one is best?Don’t worry. Here, we’ve compiled some of the best SEO link building software programs in 2019.1. HubSpotHubSpot’s link builder tool can assess the number of links and their overall contribution to your company’s SEO efforts — which means you can use the tool to measure the effectiveness of your links. First, you need to open a HubSpot account to get a clear picture of all your metrics. Then you can track domains linking to your website, see the total number of links to your site from those domains, and view the sites linking to your competitors so you can add them to your list of inbound link targets.HubSpot’s link building software is part of a larger set of Marketing tools that HubSpot offers.2. MailshakeMailshake is a simple-to-use software that sends email requests for link building, guest posting, and networking opportunities. The software allows you to choose from a collection of message templates, personalize your favorite, and send. This strategy improves the effectiveness of your email campaign as well as your business’s overall efficiency.In addition to saving you time, Mailshake allows you to monitor replies, clicks, and more. The tool costs $29 per month to use, making it an affordable link building software solution for marketers who are just starting out with their cold email outreach.3. AhrefsAhrefs is a powerful, well-rounded SEO software that provides several link building treats. With Ahrefs, you can analyze backlinks and referring domains, narrow them down with filters, and even secure your profile against suspicious links. The full suite of options lets you do anything you need your SEO link building software to do.Ahrefs also features a speedy crawler that crawls over four million pages with no delays. Find link prospects by viewing your competitors’ data — including their top linked pages, new links, broken links, and more. To access Ahrefs, sign up for a seven-day trial, and then choose the plan that fits your needs and budget best after the trial expires.4. Check My LinksCheck My Links is a free Google Chrome extension that crawls through any web page to check for broken links. It’s one of the fastest link checkers you can use, and registers and reports all of the broken links on a website within 20 to 30 seconds. This gives you a significant advantage when reaching out to websites to promote links.After checking a site with Check My Links, you can compile the broken links that are most relevant to your subject matter and propose replacing them with your own functional links. Hopefully, the site’s owner will appreciate you pointing out the broken links and offering a solution, and will update the post with your replacement links ASAP.5. Screaming FrogScreaming Frog is another popular software among SEO experts. It’s able to automatically monitor link building profiles and generate accurate reports. Screaming Frog’s most notable value is that it enables you to thoroughly understand your backlink profile as well as the other various factors that impact your website’s current search ranking. As a link building software, it also ensures that all of your links are working correctly.Screaming Frog has a free and a paid version, both of which highlight any broken links and generate reports. However, for $149 per year, you can enjoy all of the software’s features along with unlimited website crawling.6. ScrapeBoxScrapeBox is a comprehensive link building software that pulls links out from search engines that match your keywords. It’s most useful if you want to analyze your competitors’ link profiles to gain insight into where you should target your link building efforts. You can even scrape hundreds of proxies to be used in other link building SEO software.ScrapeBox offers several important advantages for your link building campaign, including the competitive edge of seeing into other brands’ link profiles. It also offers you the option of adding custom search engines and collecting not only the usual URLs, but all of their proxies, as well. Best SEO Link Building Software Link building is essential for the success of any online business, which you can measure by the volume of targeted traffic to your website. By following proven best practices and investing in the best SEO link building software, you can ensure that both traffic and prosperity remain high. Link Building Originally published Jul 18, 2019 7:00:00 AM, updated July 17 2019center_img Topics: HubSpotMailshakeAhrefsCheck My LinksScreaming FrogScrapeBox Don’t forget to share this post!last_img read more