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Royals Ace Yordano Ventura Dead After Car Crash; Ex-MLB Player Andy Marte Suffers Same Fate On Same Day

Kansas City Royals ace Yordano Ventura and former MLB player Andy Marter died on the same day after being involved in separate car accidents in the Dominican Republic.

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Researchers calculate economic cost of major solar storm, and it's big

An electricity blackout caused by a major solar storm could cost the United States tens of billions of dollars a day, according to new research.

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How to Level Up Your Writing & Make It Ludicrously Spectacular (Webinar Recap With Ann Handley)

Ann Handley recently joined us on a webinar to teach us how to improve our writing.

Why would you want to improve your writing if you’re interested in marketing automation? Why is writing important to marketing? Well, if you think about it, writing is the heart of content marketing. And content is the heart of marketing automation. They two are deeply connected. It’s hard to make marketing automation work without great content.

How do you level up your writing?

There’s no magic to it, no great secret to discover. It’s more like a muscle, it’s something you can work on and develop. You can learn to be a better writer through practice. Embrace some practical tools. Develop, through practice, what good writing is and why it’s important.
My writing pyramid:

  • not writing
  • the ugly first draft
  • screw & do
  • first line
  • Voice

What’s not writing? It’s everything you do to get ready for and to perfect your writing. Things like research, and editing. These are, in fact, the most important part of writing – but they don’t look like writing. They look like preparation, research, drawing, thinking, daydreaming, taking a walk. It’s doing anything where such mental work takes place. You want to have a rich font of ideas upon which to draw. This is where being a “scatter-hoarder” is helpful.

A scatter-hoarder is much like a squirrel. Squirrels collect (hoard) food for winter, and then stash it for later. For a writer, the “food for winter” is ideas – we gather ideas for all over, and save them in a bunch of different places. I have a series of tools that I use to help me do this, in three stages:

  • Gather: notebook(s), Pocket. (Evernote works, too, if you like it. Find a tool that works for you.)
  • Sort: Trello (tracking and organizing the ideas)
  • Commit: CoSchedule (commit to an editorial calendar)

Use these tools to find the question that you want to explore, then research the daylights out of it. Find as much information as possible. Start with your favorite search engines. Then add search terms like “research” or “data” to find more hard data if that’s what you’re looking to include. You can also look at tools like Buzzsumo to get an idea of what information is already out there.

To learn more about other tips I discussed, and my other favorite tools, watch the webinar replay!

The post How to Level Up Your Writing & Make It Ludicrously Spectacular (Webinar Recap With Ann Handley) appeared first on GetResponse Blog – Online Marketing Tips.

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Why You Need a Buyer's Agent When Purchasing New Construction

Editor’s note: There’s nothing quite like moving into a brand-new home. Pristine appliances, every detail exactly to your taste, ding-free walls, no weird former owner – the appeal of buying new construction is pretty obvious. Every day this week, we’ll offer advice and perspectives on going the new construction route.  

Buying new construction seems simple, right? Just pick out the floor plan you want, choose the perfect lot, and watch it go up. No sellers to deal with, no unexpected repairs that come up during inspection, no drawn-out negotiations. Right?

Not so fast. In any real estate transaction, it’s important to have a professional on your side, even if the process seems straightforward.

“Having your own agent provides a sense of security,” says Seattle-area homeowner Kristy Weaver, who has bought two new construction homes from two different builders. “It gives you some peace of mind, knowing that someone is looking out for your best interest.”

Peace of mind is just one benefit of having an experienced agent along for the ride. Read on for five more reasons you’ll want a local real estate agent by your side when buying a new construction home.

To help you find a reputable builder

“Your agent can rely on their own experience and that of their colleagues to help you find a builder you can trust,” says Portland, OR-based real estate agent Kim Ainge Payne of the Realty Trust Group. “What’s the quality of the workmanship? What kind of warranty do they offer? What’s their track record of resolving issues? Getting a clear understanding in the beginning can alleviate serious headaches down the road.”

To go to bat for you

The timeline for purchasing new construction is typically quite a bit longer than buying an existing home. From the first time you visit the sales center, to choosing your layout, construction, inspections, and finally closing, there are ample opportunities for things to go sideways – think construction delays, permit issues, and financing concerns. An experienced buyer’s agent can help you navigate all of these sticky situations.

To help you review your contract

Even if you’ve purchased a home before, the contract for new construction is a whole different animal, and an experienced agent can help you make sure you understand everything, from floor plans to earnest money requirements, deadlines for requesting changes, and timelines for completion.

“It’s crucial to have a third party who represents your interests in the transaction,” says Dmitry Yusim, a Seattle-area agent who has represented new construction buyers. “A good agent can add the proper addendums to protect you if something falls through.”

To assist with negotiations

Buyers’ agents know the areas where you’ll find the most wiggle room when it comes to negotiations.

“Builders are trying to keep their sales price up so that the next buyers through the door see the higher closing price,” explains agent Britt Wibmer of Windermere Real Estate in Seattle. “They’d much rather throw in closing costs or additional upgrade credits.”

To point you toward smart upgrade choices

Builders will offer you endless options for finishes and upgrades, and it’s easy to get overwhelmed. A seasoned real estate agent can recommend the upgrades that will get you the most bang for your buck in resale value, suggest finishes that might be cheaper to do on your own, and help you avoid over-improving, which can jeopardize your appraisal before closing.

Even though a friendly sales representative will greet you with a smile the moment you walk through the door of the sales center, don’t forget that they work for the builder. Bring your own agent with you starting with your first visit – in fact, many builders require your agent to register with them from the very beginning in order for them to be involved in the process and receive their commission.

With a professional you trust by your side, you’ll rest easy knowing someone is there to protect your money, your time, and your new home.

Wondering if new construction is right for you? Search new construction listings, and get more home-buying tips and resources to help you decide.

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What drove the extinction of super-large Australian animals?

85 percent of Australian ‘megafauna’ went extinct about 45,000 thousand years ago, including 25-foot long lizards and 1,000-pound kangaroos.

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Apple 2017 Gadgets: iPhone X, Pencil 2 And 9.7-inch, 10.5-inch and 12.9-inch iPads

Apple, the Cupertino tech giant is rumored to arrive with three best tech devices this year. iPhone X, Pencil 2 and 9.7-inch, 10.5-inch, and 12.9-inch iPad tablets.

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Cassini spies shy moon nestled among Saturn's rings

Cassini took the clearest images yet of Saturn’s mini-moon Daphnis, shedding light on ring structure and behavior. 

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Marcus Smith: Soccer would be a ‘natural extension’ of family business

Marcus Smith’s family name has long been synonymous in Charlotte for its promotion of NASCAR. Since becoming CEO in 2015 of Speedway Motorsports, which owns nine U.S. race tracks, Smith … Click to Continue »

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Inauguration Anchor Scott Pelley Lists Colonial Mansion

When Scott Pelley isn’t reporting for “60 Minutes” or anchoring CBS News’ all-day coverage of the inauguration, he’s been kicking back in his classic colonial home in Darien, CT.

The basement is his “Darien Bureau,” the local newspaper reports. It’s where he composes and narrates tracks for stories on “60 Minutes.” A former White House correspondent, Pelley has long covered the country’s biggest news, from the attack on the World Trade Center to the front lines of climate change in Antarctica and the Arctic.

That basement can now inspire a new owner. Pelley has put his home on the market for $3.985 million.

The 5-bedroom, 7-bath home sits on more than two acres in the Connecticut countryside, with bucolic views from almost every room. And it’s rich with fireplaces.

You enter the home through a two-story foyer that boasts double grand staircases and offers access to gracious living room with a fireplace, a formal dining room and a gourmet kitchen. Alongside the kitchen is a breakfast nook surrounded by windows and a sitting room with its own fireplace.

A separate family room features built-ins, a third fireplace and Palladian windows with French doors that open onto the vast back yard with a pond and a picturesque footbridge. The fireplace in the cozy, wood-paneled library is perfectly situated for staying toasty while watching the snow fall.

Like any self-respecting colonial home, it’s filled with hardwood floors, columns and crown moldings. The spacious master suite includes walk-in closets the size of some bedrooms, a spa-like bathroom, a balcony and, of course, a fireplace.

The listing agent is Doug Milne of Houlihan Lawrence.

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Microsoft Surface Pro 5 Speculated To Launch in MWC 2017 In February; What's Revealed So Far

The Redmond-based tech giant tough haven’t revealed anything about its upcoming device; Surface Pro 5, speculations are made that the device will hit the tech market in the upcoming Mobile World Congress Event in Barcelona, Spain.

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