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4 WordPress Formatting Tips to Make Your Posts More Readable

posted from http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/ProbloggerHelpingBloggersEarnMoney/~3/aOslo9Evoy8/

More Readable blog posts WordPress Formatting

This post is by ProBlogger Writing Expert Ali Luke

You’ve finished your post, and you breathe a sigh of relief. After a quick edit you publish it to your blog, and wait for the comments, tweets, shares, or any sort of feedback.

But once again, you get nothing. There may as well be no-one reading it.

So what’s the problem? It could be that your writing isn’t as strong as it needs to be. But there’s also a very good chance the problem isn’t your writing.

It’s your formatting.

Over the years I’ve reviewed dozens of different blog posts, and most of them were fairly well written. But some were really let down by poor post formatting: the post just didn’t look good.

If you’re not convinced that formatting matters, compare this screenshot…

… to this one.

These are two versions of my post Six Simple Ways to Improve Your Writing Environment (and Get More Done). They both have exactly the same text. But I know which one I’d rather read.

Your readers are busy. They’re distracted. They want an easy, engaging read – not a daunting wall of text.

So what’s stopping you from getting the formatting right? Maybe one of these sounds like you:

  • You haven’t really thought about it before. You’re a writer, not a designer, and it never occurred to you to bother with formatting.
  • You’ve got a vague idea that formatting matters, but you’re not really sure how to go about doing it. What if you make your post look worse rather than better?
  • You haven’t figured out how to use the formatting features built into WordPress.

I’m going to take you through four key formatting features you can use straight away to make your posts more readable. And don’t worry. I’m definitely a words person and even I can manage these.

I’ll also be showing you how easy it is to format text using the WordPress editor. Even if you’re not using WordPress, most blogging platforms have similar features.

(As you read this, you might want to have a draft post or old post ready for editing in a different tab so you can try out the different features.)

#1: Short Paragraphs

Plenty of white space helps make your post readable. White space is all the stuff around the words. If you have short paragraphs (or lists, which we’ll come to later), you’ll already have extra space where your words can breathe.

Adding extra paragraphs is super easy. Just position the cursor wherever you want a new paragraph and hit Enter:

There’s no absolute rule on how long is too long for a paragraph. But if it goes over four or five lines, you may want to consider splitting it.

Tip: If you’re used to more formal writing (perhaps academic or business writing), having short paragraphs may seem odd. If that’s the case, you might want to read How to Write a Paragraph in 2017 (Yes, the Rules Have Changed).

#2: Subheadings

I like to think of subheadings as signposts that help orient readers within my post. Almost any post can be broken up into subsections, and each one should have a clear (and hopefully enticing) subheading.

While it helps readers who are skimming for information, it’s also useful for readers who are reading your entire post. Subheadings prevent them from feeling lost or confused along the way.

I like to use Title Case (capitalizing all major words) for my subheadings, but you might prefer to capitalize only the first word of the subheading. Just make sure you’re consistent.

To create a subheading in WordPress:

  1. Type your subheading on its own line wherever you want it in your post.
  2. Click on the subheading and select “Header 2” from the “Paragraph” dropdown.

Before:

After:

Tip: When you’re planning your post, think about the subsections and potential subheadings you want to use. This will help you create a good structure right from the start.

#3: Bold Text

Bold text is a great way to call attention to a key point or important sentence. But it’s easy to overuse, and I suggest bolding only one or two sentences per subsection (depending how long your subsections are).

Some bloggers use coloured text instead of bold text. This can work if it fits with your branding, but it can also look a bit amateurish and distracting.

To create bold text in WordPress:

  1. Highlight the sentence you want to bold.
  2. Click on the “B” in the WordPress editor.

Tip: Try to avoid bolding only one or two words – it can make your text look choppy. I also tend to bold only the first sentence of a paragraph. Having a bold sentence in the middle or at the end of a paragraph can also look a bit odd.

#4: Lists, and Using Bullet Points

Sometimes it’s easiest to write a list as a regular sentence. For instance, I might write:

In this post, we’ll take a look at paragraphs, subheadings, bold text, and lists.

But if each item on your list is more than a word or two, it will be easier for readers to take in if you lay them out using bullet points.

In this post, we’ll take a look at:

  • Paragraphs – keeping them short
  • Subheadings – helping your reader navigate your post
  • Bold text – pulling out key points
  • Lists – using bullet points

To create a list in WordPress:

  1. Set out your text as a list, with each item on a different line:

  1. Highlight the entire list and click the “Unordered List” icon, which looks like this:

Tip: This method creates an unordered list with bullet points. If you want to number each item on your list, use the “Ordered List” icon (next to the “Unordered List” icon). A numbered list will automatically renumber your items as you add new ones – even if you add them to the middle of your list.

I’m sure you’ve already seen these formatting features in use, and have tried using some of them yourself. Hopefully you’ll feel a lot more confident about using them now to make your posts more readable.

Here’s a mini-challenge for you: look back at your three most recent posts, or perhaps your three most popular ones. Try using at least two of my suggestions to improve the formatting, and let us know how you got on.

The post 4 WordPress Formatting Tips to Make Your Posts More Readable appeared first on ProBlogger.

      


By |November 14th, 2017|Blog|0 Comments

A Glimpse Into The Future By Revisiting Our Past

posted from http://feeds.lifehack.org/~r/LifeHack/~3/ij7TnC0_l7M/a-glimpse-into-the-future-by-revisitng-our-past

In the everyday pursuits of our dreams, goals and wants, have we stopped to take a look at what was before us, way before us? Back to the beginning of ‘time’, to see how we as humans have grown and evolved to this current state of being? History allows us to learn important lessons lest we repeat the same mistakes. It allows us, and the world to become better, so just how much of our history do we really know and understand?

It Allows Us To Understand More About The Human Species

In Sapiens: A brief History of Humankind, Dr. Yuval Noah Harari, a renowned historian, gives a strong narrative of humanity’s creation and evolution. This is a book that explores the ways in which biology and history have defined us and enhanced our understanding of what it means to be “human.”

See how human beings have evolved and the possibilities we hold

Dr. Harari draws on insights from biology, anthropology, paleontology and economics, to explore how the currents of history have shaped our human societies, the animals and plants around us, and even our personalities. From the shifts in cognitive, agricultural, scientific, industrial and now to the biotechnological revolution, this book highlights real possibilities of what the future holds.

Dr. Harari compels readers to look ahead, because over the last few decades humans have begun to bend laws of natural selection that have governed life for the past four billion years. Today, we are acquiring the ability to design not only the world around us, but also ourselves. Could this signal the end of Sapiens?

A bold and provocative read, Sapiens challenges everything you thought you knew about yourself, your society and the world around you. The dreams, goals and wants that you have today, how is it going to impact the greater future?

Reading duration: 9 hours 35 minutes

Sapiens: A Brief History Of Humankind is available from Amazon at $21.00

The post A Glimpse Into The Future By Revisiting Our Past appeared first on Lifehack.


By |November 14th, 2017|Blog|0 Comments

How To Prepare A Wall For Tiling

posted from https://www.dumblittleman.com/how-to-prepare-a-wall-for-tiling/

Tiling is a job I’ve always really enjoyed. It’s satisfying seeing the wall gradually disappear beneath the flow of tiles. Once you get into a groove, this activity almost becomes therapeutic.

However, before you can get into the groove, you’ve got to make sure that your surface is prepped and ready. Otherwise, you might find your groove or your tiles falling a bit flat.

You can tile over existing tiles or paint, but this can lead to problems. It will put too much weight on your walls and create an uneven surface. How you prep your wall depends on what is already on it.

Here are some tips you can use:

Prep

safety-goggles

First things first, cover everything nearby in dust sheets to protect them from bits of paint, globs of filler and splashes of paint remover. This includes your floor and pieces of furniture.

Make sure the area is well ventilated and wear eye goggles to protect your peepers from particles. It is also essential that if you are doing anything that involves tearing into your walls, you must turn off the mains electricity at your home.

See Also: Eye Safety In The Workplace: Effective Ways To Protect Your Vision

Wallpaper

Remove the wallpaper by wetting it with a sponge first. Using a putty knife, start pushing at its edges. Once you’re able to get a solid grip on one edge, start pulling it away with your hands. You can use the putty knife to loosen it when needed. You can also use the sponge to make it wetter if you need to.

It doesn’t matter if you’re less than gentle with it. Remember, you can easily repair any gouges and scrapes on the wall with filler.

The next thing to do is to sand the whole wall with medium-grade sandpaper to make it a rough surface. Tiling grout requires an uneven surface to grip better. If your walls have been painted before being wallpapered, then look at the next step.

Paint

If this paint layer is quite old or you have reasons to believe that it might be lead paint, then get a professional in to deal with it. I cannot stress that enough. Anyway, if it’s a nice non-lead based paint, then go ahead and remove it. There are a couple of ways you can go about vanquishing paint from your walls.

scraping paint

Start with a scraper. Use the edge of the scraper to score diagonal lines in the paint. This will expose edges in the paint shell to make scraping off easier. Drag the wide area of the scraper across the paint in all directions to remove as much paint as you possibly can.

Get rid of any other paint with paint remover. Wait for it to dry, then use a filler to make it an even surface. Sand the wall with a medium-grade sandpaper to create that rough surface for the grout.

Plaster

If there is only plaster on the wall, then the prepping job becomes much easier for you. Simply skip straight to the filler stage, making sure you create an even surface. Then, sand it with a medium-grade sandpaper to make it rough for the tile grout to latch onto.

Existing tiles

It might be surprising for you to learn that you don’t actually have to remove existing tiles from your wall if you’re going to be adding new tiles. Just make sure that all of your tiles are in good condition. If not, then replace any cracked tiles with other tiles or wallboard. Wash the tiled wall with TSP to ensure a clean and non-greasy surface.

If you don’t have enough replacement tiles or if the tiling is too damaged, then you will have to remove the tiles before you put on the new ones. This is when you start the demolition. Again, make sure that mains electricity is off.

Cut into the grout between the tiles with a sharp utility knife and then get to work with a hammer and chisel. Get the chisel into one of the tile’s edges and hammer the end to force it under and the tile away from the wall.

If you want to keep the old tiles, then make sure you’re careful and make the floor padded for when they fall off. If you aren’t going to use them again, then just go ahead and hammer away to your heart’s content.

That is how to prepare a wall for tiling. Your wall is now prepped and ready for your new tiles. You have a level surface with just the right amount of roughness, perfect for tile grout to stick onto. So, that’s half the job done. Make yourself a cup of tea and have a sit-down. You’ve earned it.

The post How To Prepare A Wall For Tiling appeared first on Dumb Little Man.


By |November 13th, 2017|Blog|0 Comments

Rowan Atkinson Net Worth

posted from https://wealthygorilla.com/rowan-atkinson-net-worth/

Introduction Rowan Atkinson is an English actor, screenwriter, and comedian, most popularly known for being Mr. Bean, the character that’s blessed our TV screens with comedy for decades. Atkinson is one of the most legendary figures in English comedy, and has also become one of the richest. Rowan Atkinson’s net worth as of 2017 is […]


By |November 13th, 2017|Blog|0 Comments

5 Reasons Why You Should Consider AI Automation for Small Business

posted from https://www.dumblittleman.com/ai-automation/

If you are aware of the developments in technology, then you have probably heard about Artificial Intelligence (AI). For a lot of people, it’s too complex or high-tech so they don’t really pay a lot of attention to it.

In fact, even small businesses don’t think much of AI. They believe that only big tech companies like Apple and Google can utilize it. However, that’s not true.

AI has numerous benefits for small businesses. It’s something you cannot ignore if you want to stay ahead of your competition.

Today, open-minded businesses have started using AI to create a business logo, respond to emails, comb the Internet for leads identification, help customers with chatbots and a lot more.

If you have not seriously considered AI automation for your business yet, then the following 5 reasons can surely convince you.

Enhanced Bookkeeping

There are plenty of AI tools designed specifically for bookkeeping that you can use. While many offer help with the basic data entry tasks, some are more advanced and can easily perform many roles. You can use it in reading and preparing invoices, set invoice reminders, release payments on schedule and more.

So, instead of expanding your accounting department, you can invest in an AI bookkeeping program which is more affordable and highly useful.

Lead Nurturing

No matter how skilled your sales reps are, they will always have limitations.

For starters, one can handle only a certain number of leads at a time. Secondly, they need a certain amount of time with every lead to learn about their personality, pain points, opportunities for connection building and many other aspects that are required for their nurturing.

However, with AI automation you can take the entire process to the next level and benefit from increased productivity.

An AI program designed for lead nurturing can read and respond to the emails of your prospects using a list of set messages and the Natural Language Processing technology. It can also go through the past conversations you have had with your leads to pinpoint important bits of information. Most importantly, it can work 24/7 since it can function without human intervention.

Online Customer Support

A number of studies have found that customers find it more comfortable to inquire about the services or products of a company through messaging, especially via online chat as opposed to voice calls. However, hiring a full-time customer executive can be expensive for a small business. Again, this is where AI automation can be a great option.

chatbots

Not only AI-powered chatbots are highly popular today, you can also find some highly affordable options easily. You can install one of these on your website so that when your customers need some information, it will be readily available. In addition to that, having AI-powered chatbots can also make your website more attractive.

See Also: How To Boost Your Business with Influence Marketing Chatbots

Cheap but Quality Branding

Usually, it’s hard to find quality and affordability at the same place. However, AI automation seems to have changed that.

This is because it can help you with your company branding in many ways and at modest pricing. There are companies like Tailor Brands that offer an entire suite of branding tools- from logo creation to social media banner creation at a fraction of the price that you would pay to a graphics designer.

Intelligent Personal Assistants

You are probably already familiar with virtual personal assistants, such as Apple’s Siri or Microsoft Corona. Today, a new range of similar assistants is emerging and they are even more intelligent and more suitable for businesses. For instance, there is Amy from x.ai that can arrange meetings for you or Pana that can arrange your travel.

amy intelligent personal assistant
Via slideshare.net

AI has matured enough today that it can be utilized in different ways in every industry. It’s now easily available at affordable costs, too. If you haven’t considered using one for your business, it’s probably the right time to reconsider your strategy.

 

The post 5 Reasons Why You Should Consider AI Automation for Small Business appeared first on Dumb Little Man.


By |November 12th, 2017|Blog|0 Comments

How to Fall Asleep Fast When the Fluffy Pillow and Cozy Blankets Don't Help

posted from http://feeds.lifehack.org/~r/LifeHack/~3/fU_qD5eYqmM/how-to-fall-asleep-fast-when-the-fluffy-pillow-and-cozy-blankets-dont-help

Winter is coming, and for many of us, that means bundling up in cozy blankets and pilling fluffy pillows on our bed to tempt us to hit the snooze button more than usual. Though turning up the heat before you turn into bed can seem appealing with cooler weather, you may find you don’t have such a restful night of sleep.

Though it sounds like a cozy bedroom creation, keeping your bedroom warm can make you more likely to overheat while you sleep. This can lead to excessive tossing and turning and even those embarrassing sweaty mornings.

The relationship between body temperature and sleep

Our body temperature is always changing and self-adjusting throughout the day.

As you can see from the graph above, you’re coolest around 6am – the time many of us wake up. Throughout the day, you continue to get warmer until you peak around 9pm – the time many of us are getting ready to head to bed. From there, your body temperature drops until you reach your coolest point once again at 6am.

Have you ever realized how lazy you feel when you’re hot? It’s due to a physiological response our body gives off!

It’s fighting against the temperature in an effort to keep from overheating. It’s the same reason you’re more likely to want to take a nap on a hot summer afternoon than you would be to play a sport. One will help regulate your body temp, while the other can overheat you and cause severe dizziness.

By now you’ve heard about how important absolute darkness is for truly restful sleep, but did you know your body temperature is just as impactful?[1]

“Combination of sleep onset and maintenance insomnia has been associated with a 24-h elevation of core body temperature supporting the chronic hyper-arousal model of insomnia. The possibility that these last two types of insomnia may be related to impaired thermoregulation, particularly a reduced ability to dissipate body heat from distal skin areas, has not been consistently supported in laboratory studies. Further studies of thermoregulation are needed in the typical home environment in which the insomnia is most evident.”

The best temperature for restful sleep

The optimal body temperature for sleep should be between 60 and 67 degrees.[2] When the room is too warm and you’re also bundled under a heavy comforter and surrounded by heavy pillows, the body temperature increases leading to discomfort.

In most cases any temperature above 75 degrees Fahrenheit and below 54 degrees will interfere with your sleep.

Keep your body temperature low to sleep better

We could all use a better night’s sleep, so here’s how to be the master of your temperature and wake up ready to face the day.

1. Keep the room temperature low

If you keep your room relatively cool, you are far less likely to become overheated, leading to that restless sleep no one wants. In order to ensure ideal temperatures, try keeping your curtains closed during the day so the sun light can’t heat the bedroom too much. And if possible, leave your bedroom door open so that air can circulate throughout the day.

2. Use Breathable Bedding

Synthetics like polyester, which tend to be less breathable than their natural counterparts like cotton, linen, or even wool are a no-no. Natural fibers can also help wick away moisture like sweat. Memory foam pillows may be comfortable but they also get very hot, so try to stay away. If you’re convinced you can’t sleep without a fancy pillow, look into those that have cooling and breathable fibers to ensure a low temp while you rest. For mattresses, or mattress covers, look for those with cooling fibers, too.

3. Lower your temperature before you go to sleep.

Take a warm bath, or hot shower, before bed. As soon as you step out of the bath or shower, your body temperature drops rapidly to re-regulate with the temperature of the room. That quick change physiologically can cause sleepiness.

4. Stay away from anything that gives you heat.

Try not to use, or even look at, your mobile devices before bed. Along with keeping you interested and awake, the light also makes it hard for your brain to register that it’s bedtime. Likewise, keep the room dark when you’re trying to fall asleep. A sleep mask does an excellent job of blocking out all light, helping you to fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. And to ensure you stay cool, try wearing a cool face cloth to bed, or keep a water spray bottle for misting. It’s also a great idea to keep a glass of cold water next to the bed.

Get some sleep!

Remember, keep your bedroom cool and stay away from non-breathable fabrics when shopping for bedding. Though the fall and winter can have you craving heavy blankets and this pajamas, it’s not conducive to sleep and can leave you feeling overheated and generally unwell. Keep some ice water by your bedside and take a few sips if you find yourself waking up throughout the night. Don’t be afraid to peel back the blankets; you can always keep some extras nearby in case you wake up chilly.

Featured photo credit: Pixabay via pixabay.com

Reference

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The post How to Fall Asleep Fast When the Fluffy Pillow and Cozy Blankets Don’t Help appeared first on Lifehack.


By |November 10th, 2017|Blog|0 Comments

“Influencers” Are Not Smarter Than You And I.

posted from https://addicted2success.com/success-advice/influencers-are-not-smarter-than-you-and-i/

Standing at the top of the mountain and looking down at everyone like they’re stupid isn’t cool. That’s what this influencer nonsense has become.

Influencer meaning:

Someone who thinks they’re better than everyone else because of the number of social media followers they have. Someone who put’s their own selfish desires ahead of helping others. Someone who values numbers over real human relationships

 

Influencers have the same opportunity as you and I.

Don’t be fooled into thinking these so-called influencers are superhuman. They’re just normal people with a fancy job title. They weren’t born with a special Pokemon attack and they’re capable of the same great things you and I can also achieve.

We all can influence people for better or worse.
We all can focus our time on one specific goal and achieve it.
We can all sit in front of a computer all day and try desperately to get people to “like” what we say.

 

Influencers have the same big fear as you and me.

“Am I enough?”

That’s what every so-called influencer is thinking and that’s what you and I are thinking too. That makes both us, and them, human. We all have fears whether we show them to the world or not. None of us are truly fearless and we all want to become somebody.

 

Influencers at least believe they are somebody.

The one positive thing I can say about an influencer is they believe they are somebody whether they are or not. Believing you are something and can be great, is the first step towards success. At least these influencers have that part right. Believe in yourself no matter what. Put out positivity.

 

“Influencer” is a silly word that lacks meaning.

We all can be persons of influence. What makes somebody an influencer anyway? Is there some magic measurement of attention that makes you go from being a nobody to an influencer?Social media would have you think so. The answer is obviously no.

“Labels separate us. Labels try and force square pegs into round holes”

Meaning doesn’t come from how much influence you have; meaning comes from who you’ve become as a person.

Meaning comes from achieving your goals.
Meaning comes from adding value to the lives of others.
Meaning will never come from an online vanity metric.

 

Influencers who think they’re smarter than us are the problem.

The moment you become an influencer and think you’re smarter than everybody else is the moment your ego goes out of control. Intelligence is not measured by influence and it never will be. Creating a divide between people is what fuels wars and creates conflict.

Aim to bring people together. Focus on doing what you love rather than trying to force people to be “influenced.” Drop the attitude that leads you to think you’re smarter because all of us can be an influencer if we want to.

We can all game the social media newsfeed algorithms.
We can all sit on a phone all day and create click-bait content.
We can all pay people in third world countries to send fake followers to our fan page.

“Building followers online is easy for anybody who wants to invest the time. The building influence game has in many ways replaced the computer games we played in our youth, on consoles plugged into our TV, or on ancient desktops that no longer see the light of day with their ugly grey color.”

 

Influencer vanity metrics mean nothing.

“I got 1 million followers.”
And frankly, no one cares. What matters is the following:

The depth that people support you because you support them.
The opportunity to become a leader of people and create more leaders.

No one’s falling for this selfish prison that is being an influencer and having millions of followers. Give me ten deep human relationships over 10 million one second relationships any day of the week.

 

Lesson: Instead of wanting to be better than everyone else, start with helping people.

The vanity game that is trying to be better than everyone else is ridiculous.

“The true icons of our time try and find ways to help people. Helping people is their focus, not building up fake fans, to put out fake content, so you can put on a fake smile and walk to the bank skipping”

What you can do for others is how you build influence and that influence compounds when you help more people. Influencing people sounds a lot like trying to control people’s mind. Influencing makes humans sound like robots that follow set programs produced by social media algorithms.

Let’s become human again.
Let’s drop the status symbol that is influencer.
Let’s all become an influence on each other to do more good.
Let’s influence each other to be just a tiny bit better than yesterday.

It’s time to stop being a perfect little cookie cutter influencer and embrace our true identity: being human and living with passion.

If you want to increase your productivity and learn some more valuable life hacks, then join my private mailing list on timdenning.net


By |November 10th, 2017|Blog|0 Comments

How to Set Up a VPN

posted from https://www.dumblittleman.com/how-to-set-up-a-vpn/

If you want to protect your online privacy and prevent unwanted people, such as government agencies and advertising companies, from tracking you and using your private information to their advantage, there are a few ways as effective as VPNs to do it.

However, not everyone is really aware of what they really are and their advantages. To help you out, we’re here to discuss how to set up a VPN and how you can start using it.

How do VPNs Work?

As the term suggests it, a Virtual Private Network or VPN is a network of servers you can connect virtually (using the internet instead of a physical connection) to enhance your privacy. It does this by encrypting all the traffic that comes from your device and then rerouting it through one of the servers that compose it to mask your online trace.

Each part of the process presents a benefit for the user. The encryption of communications between the user and the VPN makes it impossible for Internet Service Providers and other eavesdroppers to snoop on your online activity. On the other hand, tunneling your connection through a VPN server makes websites think it is the server that’s accessing them when it’s actually you who’s doing it.

That offers you two benefits:

First, this prevents the website from tracking information about you coming from your device. You’d be accessing every website as if it were the first time you’re doing it and advertising companies would be unable to tailor ads for you.

The second benefit of tunneling is tied to the location of the server. Servers located in different countries allow you to access web content as if you were connecting from the same location of the server. This lets you access content from websites that isn’t available in your region.

Clear and Easy Way to Set Up a VPN

set up vpn

To use a VPN, you have to find a provider of the service online. This is perhaps the hardest part of the process since there is a very wide variety of VPN services available online. Not all of them are equally good and some of them may even end up doing more harm than good.

We recommend you use one of the following providers. We have already tried out and verified the quality of their service.

  • NordVPN
  • VyprVPN
  • PureVPN
  • ExpressVPN
  • IPVanish

After you’ve made your pick between them, all you have to do is follow these steps:

Purchase a Subscription

The first thing you have to do after you’ve picked a VPN service provider is to buy one of the subscription plans they offer. Keep in mind that the longer the subscription time you buy, the more value you’ll get for every penny you spend.

Download and Install the Software Client

Most VPN providers will ask you to download their software in exchange for letting you connect. This software client contains all the options you need for a safe connection that suits your needs.

Adjust the Settings

After you’ve installed the software, you have to open it and configure your connection to your specific needs. Most of these settings will come preconfigured for the most common and convenient settings, but you might want to tweak it a little bit.

Particularly regarding communication protocols and encryption algorithms, you’ll want to use OpenVPN and 256-bit AES encryption, respectively. These are the most reliable settings you could wish to have on a VPN, so they are the ones we recommend you to use. If you’re curious, you can look up any other settings online before messing with them but do this with extreme caution.

Choose a Country

After you’ve dealt with the technical details, it’s time to choose the location of the server you’ll be connecting to. This is important if your goal is to bypass the region lock of a website.

For instance, if all you want is to be able to access Netflix’s full library, then you’ll want to connect to a server in the US. VPN services usually let you decide this using a drop-down menu on their software.

Connect and Enjoy

After all this, you’re ready to hit the connect button and start browsing the web as you’d normally do. You’ll now be completely anonymous to the websites you visit. Your ISP won’t be able to monitor your online activity, too.

It’s only responsible for us to spread the benefits of VPN usage to contribute to a safer internet. They are a very powerful tool that helps you protect your online privacy and that of your loved ones.

The post How to Set Up a VPN appeared first on Dumb Little Man.


By |November 7th, 2017|Blog|0 Comments

Don’t Lose Sight of the Big Picture: Spend Time with People You Truly Enjoy

posted from http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/tinybuddha/~3/_SYcD_ifqow/

friends in the fall

“Even if you are on the right track you’ll get run over if you just sit there.” ~Will Rogers

 How is this happening again?

Lying in bed watching The Mentalist at 8 P.M. on a Saturday night, my mind begins to wander.

A year ago I was so happy. I spent almost every night hanging out with amazing friends and now I’m here, alone watching TV.

As my heart sank into my stomach, I shook my head, suppressed my feelings, and pushed play to start the next episode.

A few years earlier I moved to Santa Fe, NM, a state I had never even visited before. Excited to start a new journey, I set out to meet new people and create a life full of amazing friends.

Although that’s exactly what happened, the first few months were extremely difficult. I spent a lot of time trying to make new friends while having zero success. After a couple months, this went from frustrating to depressing.

Luckily, I was able to solve the problem and learned how to make new friends from scratch. It was amazing. I was having some of the best times of my life.

Every week I had friends inviting me to birthday parties, barbecues, camping trips, river rafting excursions, and typical nights out on the town. And when I invited people to places, like my New Year’s Eve party, people showed up.

It was a high I’ll never forget.

After an exhilarating two years in Santa Fe, I moved back to Huntington Beach, CA, the city I was born and raised in.

I was excited for yet another new page in my life. Huntington is a beautiful city with great weather (and waves!). My family, best friend, and other great friends live here.

Kim, my girlfriend at the time (now my wife), and I decided to have a long-distance relationship and I chose to save some money by living with my parents.

The next year was a disaster.

It might not have looked terrible from the outside, but I was eating myself alive on the inside.

Even though I had friends in the area, I was only hanging out with them about once every two months. And about just as often, Kim and I would travel to see each other.

But that was it. The only other people I hung out with were family members. And as much as I love them, this was not healthy for me.

I may have seemed happy, but I was faking it. I was hurting. Instead of fixing it, I kept going with the status-quo.

This feeling was very similar to the one I had when I moved to Santa Fe. A feeling of sadness, hurt, and longing that comes from a lack of spending time with people who make you feel alive.

But this time was different. I knew I could make friends if I wanted to and I already had friends living here. I just didn’t make the relationships a priority like I should have.

My laziness was striking me down and I got stuck in a comfort zone of my own making.

It was easy to say yes and go out with friends when I was living by myself in Santa Fe. But living with my parents made it a little less appealing, which was enough to prevent me from doing it. I’d think to myself:

I’ve already showered and I’m in my comfy clothes. I can hang out here with my parents, have a couple drinks, and watch this movie, or I can get ready again and meet up with my friends. Ah, I think I’ll just stay here tonight.

That’s literally how many of my nights played out. And it was similar for the day time too. I’d decline an invite to go surfing because I already showered or because I was about to go to breakfast with my parents, something I easily could have skipped.

When we finally moved Kim out here to Huntington, I thought my problem would be fixed. Instead, it was more of the same. Mexican food with my parents, cooking chicken piccata with Kim, staying home watching Prison Break, and trail running by myself in the wetlands.

As much as I love hanging out with Kim and my family, I need that outside energy with friends who share some of my deepest interests and passions. So finally, after way too long, I made this realization:

I need to spend more time with people who make me feel truly alive.

My parents and Kim do fill a big part of that need. But I need other friends to fill the rest.

I started making changes to my life that helped me meet new people and spend more time with existing and past friends.

I joined a music production class. Kim and I played on a beach volleyball team with her coworkers and a separate flag football team with strangers. I also joined a soccer team.

I started hanging out with my friends more. I’d text my buddy during the week and say, “Hey, wanna grab sushi Friday night?” I’d send another text to my surfing friends and say, “Surf’s supposed to be good Saturday. Who’s down?”

On top of that, I’ve been reaching out to people I lost touch with. I recently hit up a friend who I hadn’t talked to in years and said, “Long time no see. Miss you dude. Hope all is awesome. You still running?”

That text conversation ended with my wife and I scheduling a San Diego day trip and a twelve-mile running adventure for my buddy and me.

I’ve even been getting together with friends I haven’t hung out with since high school!

Ever since I put more focus and effort into spending time with my good friends, while still maintaining healthy relationships within my family, my life has improved drastically. I’m happier and more enjoyable to be around. Even better, I’m back to being my old, goofy self again.

What steps can you take to make sure you don’t fall into the same trap I did?

If you’re not careful, the same thing can happen to you. In the moment, it’s easy to stay home and watch Netflix because that’s easier and more comfortable. However, in the long-term that can be detrimental.

Here are three steps you can take to get you on the right track:

First, determine whether you have the right people in your life to keep you happy. Do you feel like you can be yourself around them? Do you feel free and alive when you hang out with them?

Second, figure out if they are willing and able to spend enough time with you. Invite them to hang out and see if you can fill the free time you set aside for hanging out with friends.

If you haven’t spoken to the person for a while, try pinging them first. Shoot them a text, a Facebook message, or even just comment on one of their posts. The main things you want to get across are that you miss them, you hope all is well, you’re curious how they’re doing, and you were thinking about them and wanted to say, “Hi.”

If you’ve been in touch with them lately, just shoot them a message and say, “Hey, let’s get together soon. I was thinking of hiking El Morro this weekend. Interested?”

It’s good to invite them to do something specific that you know they would enjoy. If you just ask to hang out, it might be hard for them to imagine what you would do together, which can make them less likely to accept. And if they do want to hang out but can’t or don’t want to do the original activity you proposed, they’ll likely respond with a different idea, still giving you a chance to hang out.

Third, if your friends don’t have the time or you’d rather hang out with different people, it’s time to consider meeting new people. Join a photography class, sign up for a kickball team, find a book club, or attend a young professional’s social mixer.

Go out into the world and meet new people. If you can find people while doing activities you already enjoy, even better.

Once you understand how important your friendships are, you’ve cleared the first hurdle.

From there, it’s on you to stay proactive to create and nourish the relationships that are so vital to your well-being.

It might take a little more effort to pick up the phone, text your friend and schedule a hangout, or get outside and join that soccer team, but when you look back on your life you’ll be thankful you did.

About Rob Riker

Rob Riker helps people create amazing relationships and build a social circle of truly great friends–the type that always have your back, even if you just moved to a new city. Want to see how? Get his free 8-lesson email course Making New Friends The Easy Way and learn how you can make new friends this month.

Get in the conversation! Click here to leave a comment on the site.

The post Don’t Lose Sight of the Big Picture: Spend Time with People You Truly Enjoy appeared first on Tiny Buddha.


By |November 7th, 2017|Blog|0 Comments

Get more free gift cards during November Swago with Spin & Win

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The digital rewards site Swagbucks is celebrating November with another big “Swago” promotion starting Monday, 6 November at 9am PT!

Swago is just like bingo, but in this case you’re filling out squares as you earn points on their site for doing things you already do online. If you’re thinking of trying Swagbucks, this is a great chance to learn all about how the site works and earn bonus points while doing it, meaning you can get more gift cards faster. Here are a few tips:

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Once you complete the action item in a particular square the square will change color signifying the action item is complete.

You have until 12pm PT/3pm ET on Monday, 13 November to mark off as many squares as possible so use your time wisely.

Be mindful of the patterns and their corresponding bonuses located on the right of your Swago Board. The patterns will vary in difficulty and bonus value. Once you’ve achieved a pattern, the corresponding “Submit” button will light up. You can have multiple patterns available for submission, however, you can only submit ONE pattern so choose wisely.

Each activity you successfully complete on your Swago Board will give you anywhere from 1-20 spins on the Spin & Win Wheel. PLUS, when you submit your board for a bonus you’ll get additional spins. The number of spins will depend on the pattern you complete. The wheel has all sorts of great prizes that you can win, and each spin is a winner!

The Spin & Win Wheel will be available all throughout Swago and you have until 11:59pm PT on Monday, 13 November to use all your spins.

Fill up your board and then submit your pattern to get even more points – if you can fill in the whole board, you get a 300 SB bonus, which goes a long way towards your first gift card from the retailer of your choice.

Click here right now and click “Join” to get started! If you don’t already have a Swagbucks account, you’ll be able to quickly sign up; PLUS, if you earn 300 SB before the first of next month, you’ll get a bonus 300 SB!

The post Get more free gift cards during November Swago with Spin & Win appeared first on Coupons & Deals, Frugal Living.


By |November 7th, 2017|Blog|0 Comments