3/21/2010

The Importance of Blog Design

Blogs have increased popularity over this past months. Many people have started to create their personal blogs to express their thoughts and feelings. Internet companies have also started their blogs to inform consumers on the latest product news and reviews.

Because of this, blogs are also being used as internet marketing media. Before, internet marketing is done by placing banners and links on popular websites, such as news and information sites. Links were also included on newsletters and marketing letters sent to the members of their mailing lists.

Many people spend time reading blogs. People read their friend's blogs, their favorite author's blogs, blogs on topics that they are interested in, and blogs on product reviews. With the increasing popularity of blogging, it is even feared that people rely on blogs to get the latest news.

While getting news reports from blogs isn't reliable, some people look for product reviews through blogs. In some cases, this is more dependable. While it is true that some media persons are being paid to write good reviews about a certain product, blog writers write about their actual experiences on products and services from a company.

Since there are many people who read and start their own blogs, blogs are a good medium to market a product. With the increasing blog traffic means increase in product sales.

Blog traffic can be increased by joining affiliate programs and sites, which will list your blog under a certain search category or name. You can also have your blog advertised in popular websites. This, however, will cost some money and is not advisable if you have just started blogging.

A writer who has just launched his/her blog will want as much traffic as possible to increase advertisements on the site. Also, some advertisers pay every time their link is clicked or the page that has their link is viewed.

When you have increased traffic on your blog, you should try to keep you visitors coming back and recommending your blog to friends and colleagues.

This can be done by having informative or amusing content and good blog layout and design. You may develop your blog's content or you can also acquire the services of a web content writer to provide you with the blog articles.

The blog's layout and design also plays a big role. While most of the companies offering free blog hosting offer pre-selected templates, there are also some that allows customization that if you utilize this feature correctly can increase your blog's traffic.

Here are a few tips to make your blog stand out from the millions of blogs out there that have standard designs.

* Customize the banner

The banner usually has the most generic designs that are common to the blogs from a blogging company or service.

You can personalize this banner by having a graphic with the dimensions of the banner. You can also edit the graphic so that it will also include the title of your blog.

In this case, you can create your own graphic or you can purchase professional looking graphics online for less than $10.

* Personalizing photos

Of course, most of the photos that you will be posting will be your own. However, if you don't customize the photos before posting them, you may miss maximizing the enhancing benefits graphics can add to the page. Adding photo borders can help the photo stand out from the page.

It can also add to the design of your blog. You can choose a standard border or you can also create your own border which can be associated with your blog's templates.

* Add a favicon

Don't you think sites with icons on the address bar before the website's URL are cool? Many people do. These favicons add a professional look to the URL. These easy to do using photo or graphic editing softwares.

* Check out blog templates, layouts, backgrounds, textures and skins from sites

There are sites that offer free blog templates, layouts, backgrounds, textures and skins. You can make use of these so your blog will not look generic like most of the blogs hosted by the service provider.

* Include RSS feeds

This is a cool way to inform people with newsreaders about your blog headlines. Tutorials on RSS feeds are available on the internet.

* Audio makes your blog more personal

Not only does audio personalizes the blog; it can also keep your visitors coming back. You can try having streaming radio stations, mp3 file or playlists loading with your blog.

* Advertisements

If you have signed-up with Google Ad-Sense, which I am sure you would like to do, make sure that the ads are conveniently placed that these will not hinder your readers' ease in accessing the information on your blog.

Try using these tips and you can definitely increase and retain traffic on your blog.

3/16/2010

Diet Secrets

7 Diet Secrets of the Stars


Celebrities always look fabulous. Whether appearing in television or films or strutting down the red carpet during movie premiers and awards, they never cease to fascinate us with their larger than life presence. The truth is, it takes a lot of effort to look the way they do, and being the public figures that they are, they cannot afford to slack off when it comes to taking care of their physical appearances. Their livelihood largely depends on how they look. Aside from the clothes, the hair and the makeup, celebrities have to take good care of their bodies.

So it is no surprise that these stars have their own secrets when it comes to staying fit and gorgeous. Their health agenda can range from extreme workouts to well-planned meals. Who doesn't want to know their secrets in staying absolutely sexy? Here are some of the diet secrets of seven women celebrities.

1. Jennifer Aniston
The star of the phenomenal television show Friends not only mesmerized audiences with her adorable comic sense and her famous hairstyle, she was also known for having one of the sexiest bodies in Hollywood, as she appeared in countless magazine covers. To stay trim, Jennifer follows the 40:30:30 diet method. The diet consists of:

40% Low glycemic carbohydrates
-Foods such as beans, fruits and vegetables, legumes

30% lean proteins
-Tofu, fish, chicken, turkey, beef and low fat dairy products

30% essential fats
-nuts and seeds, fish and olive oils

It is essential that every meal should contain macronutrients to attain the balance of hormones and maximum weight loss.

2. Kate Hudson
The gorgeous daughter of actress Goldie Hawn gained 60 pounds during her pregnancy, which she needed to shed quickly before commencing on her next film. From her previous eating plan, she switched to a higher protein diet. She consumed high protein meals in smaller portions, and she combined this diet with an exercise program that includes weight training and cardiovascular workouts. After getting a lot of flak because of her post-pregnancy figure, Kate removed all that baby weight in only four months and has gained abdominal muscles that gained the envy of many in Hollywood.

3. Oprah Winfrey
As one of the most successful talk-show hosts in the world, there is no question that Oprah needs to maintain her physical appearance for her millions of audiences. Known as one of those celebrities who are constantly battling weight gain, she has recently toned up her figure and has never looked figure in age 50 by combining a regular exercise regime and diet plan. Oprah works out five days a week, spending 30 minutes on the threadmill and doing free weights. Her eating plan consists of legumes, fish, nuts, fruits and vegetables, chicken and dairy products that are lowfat. She limits her consumption of white sugar and flour. Oprah also credits her trim figure to her habit of not eating anything after seven in the evening.

4. Gwyneth Paltrow
A lot of people may find it hard to believe that the perpetually slim Academy award-winning actress actually needs to diet. Gwyneth actually follows a healthy eating plan that resembles Oprah's, avoiding sugar and white flour. She usually follows a macrobiotic diet, eating foods like vegetables, brown rice, and lean meat. She also eliminated dairy from her diet, and does yoga everyday.

5. Madonna
The pop star known as the Material Girl has always flaunted a body that is to die for, and has become a true fitness paragon over the years. She keeps herself in tip-top shape by having Ashtanga Yoga, and follows a strict diet that mostly shuns junk foods. She adopted a macrobiotic eating plan that includes organic foods rich in lean protein.

6. Claudia Schiffer
The bodacious German supermodel eats salad and steamed vegetables for dinner and eats only fruits before the afternoon. While on locations, she prefers to eat black grapes and drinks tomato juice and herbal tea.

7. Christie Brinkley
Long-time supermodel maintains her all-American good looks by being a vegetarian. She does not keep junk foods of any kind inside her home to make sure that she does not eat them when cravings occur. She snacks on sweet potatoes in place of candy bars, and she adopts a liquid juice diet when she needs to slim down fast.

Celebrities are just like ordinary people. They need to maintain their figures just like anyone else, and there is more pressure on their part since they are constantly in the public eye. Ordinary folks can have celebrity-like bodies, too, and by following these diet and fitness plans, they can also look like red-carpet worthy. 

"What Really Makes You Tick?" 10 questions you should ask to yourself: a preparation to self-improvement

"What Really Makes You Tick?" 10 questions you should ask to yourself: a preparation to self-improvement

Be all you can be, but it's not always in the Army. I often see myself as somewhat contented with my life the way things are, but of course it's hard to think of anything else when where are real issues to be discussed.

Still I aspire for something deeper and more meaningful.

So we're all pelted with problems. Honestly it shouldn't even bother or even hinder us to becoming all we ought to be. Aspirations as kids should continue to live within us, even though it would be short-lived or as long as we could hold on to the dream. They say you can't teach an old dog new tricks… or can they?

1. What do I really want?
The question of the ages. So many things you want to do with your life and so little time to even go about during the day.

Find something that you are good at can help realize that small step towards improvement. Diligence is the key to know that it is worth it.

2. Should I really change?
Today's generation has taken another level of redefining 'self', or at least that's what the kids are saying. Having an army of teenage nieces and nephews has taught me that there are far worse things that they could have had than acne or maybe even promiscuity. So how does that fit into your lifestyle?

If history has taught us one thing, it's the life that we have gone through. Try to see if partying Seventies style wouldn't appeal to the younger generation, but dancing is part of partying. Watch them applaud after showing them how to really dance than break their bones in break-dancing.

3. What's the bright side in all of this?
With so much is happening around us there seem to be no room for even considering that light at the end of the tunnel. We can still see it as something positive without undergoing so much scrutiny. And if it's a train at the end of the tunnel, take it for a ride and see what makes the world go round!

4. Am I comfortable with what I'm doing?
There's always the easy way and the right way when it comes to deciding what goes with which shoes, or purse, shirt and whatnot. It doesn't take a genius to see yourself as someone unique, or else we'll all be equally the same in everything we do. Variety brings in very interesting and exciting questions to be experimented.

5. Have I done enough for myself?
Have you, or is there something more you want to do? Discontentment in every aspect can be dangerous in large doses, but in small amounts you'll be able to see and do stuff you could never imagine doing.

6. Am I happy at where I am today?
It's an unfair question so let it be an answer! You love being a good and loving mom or dad to your kids, then take it up a notch! Your kids will love you forever. The same goes with everyday life!

7. Am I appealing to the opposite sex?
So maybe I don't have an answer to that, but that doesn't mean I can't try it, though. Whether you shape-up, change the way you wear your clothes or hair, or even your attitude towards people, you should always remember it will always be for your own benefit.

8. How much could I have?
I suppose in this case there is no such things on having things too much or too little, but it's more on how badly you really need it. I'd like to have lots of money, no denying that, but the question is that how much are you willing to work for it?

9. What motivates me?
What motivates you? It's an answer you have to find out for yourself. There are so many things that can make everyone happy, but to choose one of the may be the hardest part. It's not like you can't have one serving of your favorite food in a buffet and that's it. Just try it piece by piece.

10. What Really Makes You Tick?
So? What really makes you tick? You can be just about anything you always wanted to be, but to realize that attaining something that may seem very difficult is already giving up before you even start that journey. Always remember, that self-improvement is not just about the physical or philosophical change you have to undergo, but it's something that you really want.