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The other cryptocurrencies to watch in 2018

Bitcoin – you can’t open a news app or tech blog without hearing about the world’s favourite digital currency – but what else is...

10 Essential Tips for Buying Life Insurance in 2018

It’s always good to be prepared. So, heaven forbid, something happens to you (or your partner), finances should not be a worry. This is...

Lifestyle hacks that are guaranteed to save you money!

Do you have enough time and energy in the day to earn more money? With our fast paced lives it’s not uncommon to feel like...

Put your money to work for you – How to get started!

If you have a little extra cash and you really need it to be more than just a ‘little’ then putting it to work...

11 great ways to reduce the cost of moving house

Moving house can be expensive – and that’s before you’ve starting hitting the shops looking for that perfect new sofa and curtains. If you want...

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Why Hire an SEO Agency?

When looking for ways to promote your website online, search engine optimisation is a term that will come up regularly. Many assume that SEO is something that can be undertaken by themselves, and in some instances, this is true. However, many have found that there are more benefits available to them when employing the services of an SEO agency.

An SEO Agency Has Experience

Although there is a slew of advice online when it comes to SEO, there still had to be a learning phase. This means that your operations could be minimal in the interim, only to find that everything you’ve learned in the last few months is now considered outdated. Using the expertise of an SEO agency allows you to take advantage of its experience and methods, that will have been fine-tuned and perfected over the years.

This allows a business to hit the ground running, and start marking pathways in the online world sooner rather than later. Of course, we should have realistic expectations, and a reputable SEO agency will have no issue in advising the timeframe in which you can expect to see results.

SEO Agencies Can See Thing from the Customer’s Perspective

While there can be a lot of elements of SEO you can take undertake yourself, it’s not always about strategies. It’s also about being able to understand the customer, and what they expect from an online entity. For example, Keep SEO Simple an SEO agency in Scotland have had several years’ experience in dealing with many different companies, meaning that an SEO agency is a position to tailor your strategy to meet the demands of the modern-day consumer.

This can involve several different factors, depending on what type of business you have, and the type of message you wish to convey. However, those who employ the services of a reputable SEO agency can be confident that a bespoke strategy is put in place that strikes the right chord with your online audience,

Be Introduced to New Ideas

To some, SEO can seem like a monotonous task that involves the same old practices. The truth is that the Internet is forever evolving, and the art of SEO is something that is always changing, albeit it for the better. Numerous search engine updates mean that customers are now offering content that is of value to online users. However, this is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to marketing your company to new customers. Have you ever considered the opportunities social media platforms have to offer? Or maybe there’s a new technology that you wish to make use of. It’s not uncommon for SEO to work alongside marketing in many ways, and there can even be instances where the two overlap. 

Using an SEO Agency Can Be More Cost-Effective Than an In-House Team

Some may be under the impression that using an SEO agency is more expensive than hiring an in-house team, but it can actually be cheaper. This isn’t to say that certain businesses can’t benefit from an in-house team, but it’s about assessing what suits you and your company best. An in-house team can mean a constant expense that needs to be met, regardless of whether there is work available or not. Of course, you could advertise for a temporary role, but this isn’t very appealing to those who are looking for more security when it comes to their job role.

An SEO agency is normally quite flexible when it comes to terms and conditions of the contract. While you should note that there is very little point in employing the services of an SEO agency for a month or so, as it’s unlikely it will be able to make that much progress in such a small amount of time. However, this doesn’t mean that you should have to continue paying for a service each month that you don’t need. Dealing with right kind of SEO agency will ensure that the service on offer is tailored to your needs, while staying within your budget.

Greater Potential for a Profit

Some companies may only have a web presence because they assume that is all that is needed, but regardless of how great your website is, it’s not really serving a purpose if no-one is visiting the website. Using an SEO agency allows you to understand just how much opportunity your website can offer, and support you in finding ways of ensuring your website is generating a profit. Regardless of whether your website contains news, or sells the latest video game console, an SEO agency will know how to get the best from your website, ensuring that you’re generating a profit wherever possible.

Only the Right Practices Are Used

Whether we’re paying for a cheaper service, or implementing SEO strategies, there could be instances where the strategies being used are not having the desired effect. For example, those new to the world of SEO will probably read that a website can benefit from backlinks, and for the most part this is true. Backlinks are a great way of telling search engines such as Google what websites have linked to your business website. This could be in the form of sharing content, or even social media shares. However, the value is in the backlink itself, as opposed to how many there are.

It’s not unusual to see one-off services that offer business owners hundreds of backlinks for their website, however if these backlinks are considered untrustworthy, then all it will really do is cause your website to decrease in popularity. An SEO agency will ensure that only white-hat SEO tactics are used, meaning that your site is optimised to meet with the regulatory requires of Google and other search engines.

Using an SEO agency to carry out your SEO can mean that your website is gaining popularity sooner rather than later, while being optimised to ensure that rankings stay strong when it comes to search results.

What does the future of the news publication industry look like?

The impact of social media and broadcast news sites on the way news is reported is undeniable. The style in which news articles are written and the mediums through which these stories are shared have drastically changed in the last 15 years. But likewise, the platforms showcasing news stories have also continued to evolve, keeping up with the needs and wants of the reader. So, what does the future of the news industry look like will it be online like other publications such as https://proefabonnementkrant.com/telegraaf/?

Messaging

For the first time ever, more people used messaging apps than social media in 2015. Since that initial month, messaging apps have continued to reign supreme over social networks, pulling in more and more users every month.

For platforms like Facebook, which has more users reading the news on its site than any other social network, this isn’t bad news. That’s because Facebook also happens to have its very own integrated messaging system, which is highly popular. It also owns WhatsApp. These two messaging platforms pull in 800 million and 900 million users respectively. With Facebook leading the way when it comes to news stories, perhaps the future involves taking these stories to their messaging apps. Users could set their notification preferences based on the type of news story, be it urgent, international, celebrity gossip etc.

Audio News

In the past few years, publishers have invested heavily in their video content. But with the likes of Amazon Echo and Google Home finding their way into people’s houses, is this due to change and the focus shift to audio news?

Some companies have already begun experimenting with audio news stories, with the liked of The New York Times creating multiple podcast series. This includes their series named The Daily, which provides listeners with a 25-minute update on current news. A new episode is released five days a week.   

There has also been a boom in audio investment when it comes to automobiles. It is estimated that 20% of vehicles in the US are currently connected to the internet, though the goal is for this to be 100% by the year 2025. Content creators have felt the benefits of the increase in internet access, with Pandora’s VP of Business Development stating that “Automotive is our fastest-growing listening category.” With Pandora known for its personalised content, is this a precursor for the future of news reporting? Will we soon be listening to our own personalised version of the news?

Further Personalisation

Anonymity is a thing of the past when it comes to the internet. While people may refer to trolls ‘hiding behind their keyboards’, websites are collecting huge amounts of data on users. Creating accounts on websites gives information such as your birthdate, ordering packages passes along your home and/or work address. Your subscription to Birchbox gives an insight into your consumer choices, and your frequent visits to Ladbible.com highlight your sense of humour. All of this data is collected online and used to create tailored suggestions for content you’d enjoy. Facebook in particular enjoy using the information from your likes and links to get to know you better, and will continue to provide what it deems the most useful news stories for each person. The need for add-on tools like Feedly and Flipboard suggest there’s still some way to go with perfect this personalisation.

What else will change?

Just as social media decided to get in on the action, it is likely that other companies will adapt to the growing trend of finding news online. Companies not previously associated with the traditional news publications will begin branching out into the news industry. There are two reasons that this is likely. Firstly, companies will try to keep readers on their website. This will help them improve their user stats, find out more about user demographics, increase the price for advertisers with banners on their site, grow the company’s reputation. The list goes on. The second reason that sites will begin offering their own news section is to keep the readers happy. That’s because leading readers away to a different site requires additional seconds for the content to load. According to Mark Zuckerberg, chief executive of Facebook “People don’t want to wait that long so a lot of people abandon news before it has even loaded.” No wonder Facebook’s news summaries can be seen on everyone’s main feed.

This overlap may also happen in the other direction, with traditional news publishers branching out to increase revenue. This could be a necessary step for news companies. Indeed 60% of publishers believe that monetization will be their biggest challenge, thanks to the increased use of ad blockers, low ad rates on mobiles and high levels of competition. There are a number of ways companies can evolve to increase revenue, such as:

  • Becoming event organisers. Many publishers have run their own events, such as Stylist Live and Forbes’ Summit Conferences.
  • Launching their own creative agencies. These are created to produce branded content. Examples of this include the Huffpost Partner Studio and Vice’s Virtue team.
  • Opening research institutes. These teams conduct high-level research, which supports the news generated by the publisher. The Economist’s version is known as the Intelligence Unit.
  • Creating teams to build and analyse user data. At Buzzfeed, the team is building technology that can detect web trends and connects users with content they’re most likely to enjoy.

While there’s inevitable change coming to the news publication industry, some things are expected to remain the same thanks to the high-standards set by traditional publishers. While people want content to be available quickly and news broadcasts streamed in real-time, digital publishers continue to pursue the credibility of traditional publishers, raising the bar in journalism. There has been a steady decline in journalism jobs over the past many decades, but a regrowth of the industry to cope with the changes could be a very real future. Only time will tell.

The other cryptocurrencies to watch in 2018

Bitcoin – you can’t open a news app or tech blog without hearing about the world’s favourite digital currency – but what else is going on in the cryptocurrency world?

Well, quite a lot it actually – and while no other currency has seen the explosion in value that Bitcoin has during the last 18 months, that’s not to say Bitcoin is the only player to keep an eye on.

If you’re considering dipping into less familiar cryptocurrency waters, it pays to do you research – check out some write ups on potential brokers – like this indacoin review – before you buy – and in the meantime, we’ll tell you a little about 5 ‘altcoin’ currencies that are showing significant promise and could represent the next big thing…

Ethereum

Even those who aren’t familiar with the nuances of cryptocurrency are increasingly likely to have heard about Ethereum – especially owing to how hard marketers have hit the social media channels trying to push their ether related services.

‘Ether’ – the name of Ethereum’s currency – is the second biggest digital currency behind Bitcoin and it’s fairly new on the scene, having launched in 2015. Ether is a little different to Bitcoin, in that it operates on an ‘if this, then that’ contractual basis. Let’s line it up next to Bitcoin to explain how that works:

You’re buying an ebook with Bitcoin, you send the private key to the person’s wallet and they send you the product.

You buy the same book with Ethereum and a contract could be generated, stipulating that when the funds are sent, the ebook is released – or alternatively, when the ebook is received the funds are released.

Although Bitcoin operates without ‘trust’ needed in the actual transaction, as soon as human’s become involved with any process beyond the actual money transfer, trust is again required. With a smart contract system, trust is removed.

  • Ether started 2017 at around £6/$8 and looks set to finish the year around £350/$470.

Zcash

Another newcomer to the crypro game, Zcash didn’t launch until late-2016 but is looking like a very promising contender going forward.

The currency focuses on security and privacy when compared to Bitcoin. Where Bitcoin operates on a public blockchain with every transaction that’s been made visible to anyone who looks, Zcash’s offers what they refer to ‘shielded’ transactions, where sender, recipient and the amount of the transfer are protected from view.

If increased security and anonymity are your thing – Zcash is worth a look…

  • Zcash started 2017 at around £37/$50 and looks set to end 2017 around £225/$300

Ripple

Ripple was launched in 2012 with the primary aim for allowing banks to facilitate and settle cross-boarder payments in real-time with “end-to-end” transparency.

The big difference when compared to Bitcoin and most other blockchain based cryptocurrencies comes when the currency is produced. Most cryptos rely on ‘mining’ – a sophisticated process of solving the mathematical problems that occur throughout the blockchain when transaction are taking place. With Bitcoin’s blockchain, miners are rewarded for this action with more Bitcoins – but Ripple is different.

Essentially, Ripple facilitates the transfer of other currencies and commodities with gateways – and through those gateways money is sent – or rather, not sent. The money doesn’t actually leave the gateway that it’s deposited into, but is still released by the recipient’s gateway. It’s an IOU system that works because each gateway trusts one another not to break the relationship.

Ripple is extremely flexible – because, as long as gateways trust one another, anything can be transmitted without it actually moving – in fact, it doesn’t even have to be the same currency that goes it as comes out. Money in, car out – etc. Ripple’s algorithms work to find trust between two sources and execute the transaction through that trusted channel.

  • Ripple started 2017 at just a tiny fraction of a dollar ($0.006) – and although the price vs. USD is still low – it’s significantly higher than it was at around $0.25 toward the end of 2017.

Dash

We’ve all been caught out with an internet or media fact that turns out to be nonsense – but there’s one about cryptocurrency that just won’t go away:

“Bitcoin is anonymous”

Well, it’s not – some understanding of the blockchain lets you know quite how false this actually is. However, there are calls for true financial anonymity – and Dash seems to be answering those calls. At it’s heart, Dash operates on a near identical blockchain to Bitcoin – but has the addition of quick transactions and transaction privacy.

Dash has been around since early 2014 – and was initially called ‘Darkcoin’. Its developers had big ideas for how Bitcoin could offer increased anonymity and speedier transfer times – but rather than approach Bitcoin, Dash’s founders decided to go it alone – as a result, they’re now one of the biggest altcoins out there…

  • At the start of 2017 Dash tipped the scales at £9/$12 – whereas in the closing months of 2017 it was sitting around £512/$690

Litecoin

Litecoin wasn’t far behind the launch of Bitcoin – coming to the market in 2011. In a lot of ways, Litecoin has always been seen as the smaller sibling of Bitcoin, operating with a very similar blockchain system but always at a much-reduced buy-in cost.

Like Bitcoin, Litecoin has a decentralised ledger system that’s the brainchild of an ex-Google engineer and uses a ‘mining’ proof-of-work system that doesn’t require the huge processing power and energy consumption of Bitcoin.

As a result of this less intensive ‘mining’ process, blocks in the chain are generated much more quickly vs. Bitcoin and therefore Litecoin’s transaction confirmation times are greatly reduced. Litecoin is an increasing favourite with merchants and online developers owing to this quick turn-around…

  • Litecoin was worth around £3/$4 at the beginning of 2017 – and is now at an impressive £60/$80 toward the end of 2017

Remember…

There are a lot of cryptos out there that look great – but, as with any investment, the prior performance of cryptocurrencies doesn’t reflect their future performance – so don’t invest money you can’t afford to lose – and seek as much professional information about your chosen currency before you go empty your wallet of traditional cash…

10 Essential Tips for Buying Life Insurance in 2018
It’s always good to be prepared. So, heaven forbid, something happens to you (or your partner), finances should not be a worry. This is where life insurance can play an important role in giving your loved ones peace of mind. There are lots of different policies available, each of which works slightly differently. As such, it’s understandable if you’re left feeling overwhelmed by the options, and with no clue which life insurance policy to choose. It can definitely be a bit of a minefield trying to find the perfect cover for you, but the vast amount of choice also means you’re bound to find something that matches your needs. Here’s a couple of tips for buying life insurance in 2018.
  1. Be prepared for the topics you’re likely to discuss before speaking to a life insurance advisor.
An advisor will need lots of information from you, in order to decide what cover is best for you. As such, it’s worth preparing some answers ahead of time, so that you’re ready to for all of their questions. This will speed up the whole process and won’t leave you feeling shocked if they ask a personal question. Be prepared to answer questions about your financial history and travel plans, as well as giving details about your health and lifestyle.
  1. Research the different types of cover.
There are lots of different types of life insurance policies. Some run for 10 years, others for as long as 25 years – or even more. The most popular type of policy is the level term insurance, where the payout is the same regardless of when you claim. Meanwhile a decreasing term insurance will have the payout that gradually shrinks over the policy term. There’s also the option to create a joint policy with your partner, which works on a ‘first death’ basis. Before you commit to a certain company or policy, make sure to speak to an advisor in person or even fill in a questionnaire online to make sure you’re getting the best type of policy for your circumstances.
  1. Work out how much cover you need.
The amount of cover you need depends on your budget and your requirements. It is known as the ‘sum insured’. Most life insurance advisors will recommend getting a sum insured that is 10 times your annual salary, at the very least. However, it can also depend on other circumstances. For example, if you have a large mortgage and young children, it is advisable to have a larger sum insured than someone with no children and few mortgage repayments left.
  1. Find a claim that suits your financial obligations.
Do you want your life insurance to cover funeral expenses? Or perhaps your looking for a policy that will help with estate taxes. You can even ensure any outstanding debts are dealt with instead of being passed along to your estate. Conditions such as these are a great way to spare your loved ones the burden of having to consider all of these painful details. Life insurance quotes for seniors over 70 will often cover these extras. Make sure to really consider what you want from your life insurance policy, above and beyond the traditional lump sum.
  1. Really think about who you want your beneficiaries to be.
Putting serious thought into who you want to receive your life insurance payout is a difficult process. However, it’s something that’s necessary. After all, how many films are there where someone feels snubbed by the contents of a will? While most families may not be as dramatic as those on the big screen, there are important things to consider, like how children will not be able to receive any money from insurance companies until they are 18.
  1. If you have an ex-spouse, make sure their rights are clearly stated in the life insurance policy.
If you have a divorce agreement that includes child support, then it’s a really good idea to have a corresponding life insurance policy. For example, if the divorce agreement stipulates that you will be providing child support for 10 years, make sure to purchase a term policy for the same length of time. For beneficiaries, you can be named on your ex-spouse’s policy as a ‘party of interest’.
  1. Consider a policy with ‘living benefits’.
‘Living benefits’ have become increasingly popular over the years. They are a component of life insurance policies, which give you access to death benefit money yourself in special circumstances. This can be especially handy if you become ill and need to fund private medical care or fund daily living if you’re diagnosed with a chronic terminal illness.
  1. Double check that you’re able to review or amend your life insurance policy.
Some policies can last for multiple decades, while some can even provide cover until you die. As such, it’s worth getting a policy that you can alter if your circumstances change. For example, things like getting married, having children or getting a different mortgage will all impact the advised sum insured.
  1. Be sure you’re getting an accurate quote.
While a life insurance advisor will do their best to make the process of getting insurance as simple as can be, there is a lot of information that needs to be covered when choosing a policy. Therefore, it’s important to make sure you’re getting the best policy for you. Also, it doesn’t hurt to doubt check that there are no hidden costs or loopholes that may have a terrible impact down the line.
  1. Consider using a ‘free look’ period.
If you’re still not 100% sure you’ve chosen the right policy, but are keen to get life insurance in place, some companies will offer a ‘free look’ period. This will let you change or even cancel your policy after is has been issued, if you do so within a certain time frame. Make sure to check with the life insurance advisor that your policy has this period, and how long it lasts for.
Lifestyle hacks that are guaranteed to save you money!

Do you have enough time and energy in the day to earn more money?

With our fast paced lives it’s not uncommon to feel like you don’t have time to sleep – let alone do something that’s going to mean you earn more money.

With that in mind, there’s another way to boost what’s in your pocket – that’s to spend less money in the first place! But how do you do it and keep the level of lifestyle that you’ve become accustomed to?

Well, we’ve got 12 great ideas that will reduce your outgoing from today onwards. We can’t give you extra hours in the day, but we can definitely save you some money!

Plan your food

We waste a huge chunk of money by not planning our meals and just shopping either every day or every couple of days. Buying like this means we rarely ever take advantage of the lower prices that come with bigger packet sizes – leaving our freezers and wallets looking quite empty.

Draw up a list of meals for the week, plan ingredients and make one supermarket journey instead of 5!

Turn the thermostat down

It’s a well-known trick – but turning your thermostat down by one degree rarely makes any noticeable difference to the heat of your home – but can make a big difference to your heating bills when added up over a year.

Don’t throw good food away

As a nation we throw an enormous amount of food away each year – billions of tonnes in fact. Part of the reason for this is a misunderstanding around what’s good to eat and what’s not.

A ‘use before’ date means that the food could potentially be dangerous if you eat it beyond that date (think raw meat, diary, etc) – but on the other hand, a ‘best before’ date is really just advice.

Check your food, if it’s a few days over a best before date and it looks or smells as you would expect it to – the chances are it’s perfectly okay to eat! Check the wording and save a fortune on shopping costs.

Do free stuff

It doesn’t get much better value than free! And, if you’re smart with your searching, you’ll find dozens of things you can that are exactly this price.

From museums and galleries to beaches and parks – there’s some incredible free attractions that you can take advantage of if you’re willing to do some web searching to track them down!

Read more books

In this world of box-sets, paid TV channels and expensive streaming services, books look like incredible value for money! Instead of firing up the TV and flicking until you find something you like, pick up a few books. You can find them second-hand for next to nothing – and they’ll take a LOT longer to read than even the chunkiest box set!

Don’t pay more debt than you need to

If you’re struggling with debt you might not realise that there are some great options out there for coming to an agreement with your creditors and reducing the amount you repay.

To work out who you can turn to for support and guidance, check out reviews of companies who can potentially help – like this one from https://www.facethered.com – and slice your debt down to size!

Don’t shop when you’re hungry

Shopping when you’re hungry is a recipe for disaster! You’re far more likely to buy more than you need – as well as increasingly likely to spend money on expensive food that’s got attractive packaging made to appeal to your empty stomach!

Throw away your takeaway menus

If you ditch the takeaway menus and apps that mean you can order in just a few clicks, you’re far less likely to turn to them as quick and convenient (but expensive) options. What’s more, if you can keep a couple of keep and cheap options in the house – your hungry stomach will push you toward them – rather than hitting the internet to study menus…

Have a standard work wardrobe

You can thank Mark Zuckerberg for this tip!

Rather than pick out a different outfit each day – he sticks to a modest combination of a t-shirt and jeans. Now, you might not be able to do exactly the same – but that doesn’t mean you can’t have some staple go-to items.

Sticking to a basic wardrobe means you’re less likely to have to purchase new seasonal items – or pick out specific items that compliment only one outfit.

Delete your card details

Deleting your saved card details might not save you money directly – but it puts another barrier in the way of spending money online – which is one of the quickest and most tempting ways for us to spend our money.

If you’ve got to reach into your pocket each time you want to spend money, it gives you a little more time to consider whether or not you actually want and need that item…

Buy some thick jumpers

It’s a lot less costly to heat yourself than it is to heat your entire house!

Buying some decent quality wool jumpers means you can turn the heating right down – if not switch it off completely. Multiple layers works well too. You can worry about whether or not it feels like you’re being a ‘skinflint’ when you relax on the beach holiday you’ve managed to save for with money that everyone else has been spending on energy bills!

Book tickets well in advance

If you’ve got any long-distance journeys coming up try to look for tickets months in advance. Even if they’re not available right away you’ll usually be able to create an alert that will let you know when they go on sale.

In some cases, train tickets can be up to 90% cheaper when bought in advance – money that’s a lot better in your pocket!

Get an insulated coffee cup

Buying expensive cups of coffee might feel like a treat, but in reality it’s an extremely expensive habit if you do it every week or every day you’re at work.

If you check out your local supermarket or a good online store you can find insulated cups that will keep a homemade cup of coffee hot all day – and even fully waterproof ones that you can seal and throw in your work bag to be consumed whenever you want. We’re not saying that you have to downgrade to instant coffee either – even fresh home ground coffee is a fraction of the price of a shop made cup!