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2017 Daytona 500 champ Kurt Busch returns to SHR

Kurt Busch will return to Stewart-Haas Racing for the 2018 season. Busch, the 2017 Daytona 500 champion, will start his fifth season with SHR with a new crew chief. Busch … Click to Continue »

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2017's Most Favorited Home in Every State

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Not only is it the holidays, but it’s that time when we look at the homes favorited most on Zillow (yes, we’re talking about that little heart button at the top of each listing!). In 2017, the top picks ranged from grand mountain chateaus to modest suburban homes – and even a spooky listing that went viral. Whether they earned 283 favorites in South Dakota or 7,290 favorites in California, these homes all have their selling points.

So what’s the most favorited home in your state? Scroll down to find out!

Alabama

598 favorites
6605 Cedarwood Ct, Mobile, AL
Our favorite features: old-growth trees, a newly remodeled kitchen

Photo from Zillow listing.

Alaska

572 favorites
L53A Whiskey Lake, AK
Why we adore this home: remote location, rustic wood interior

Photo from Zillow listing.

Arizona

2,736 favorites
976 S Wanda Dr, Gilbert, AZ

Simple pleasures: a large backyard with no neighbors in sight

Photo from Zillow listing.

Arkansas

717 favorites
16240 Kostner Dr, Rogers, AR

Reason to adore this home: movie theater with built-in projector

Photo from Zillow listing.

California

7,290 favorites
924 Bel Air Rd, Los Angeles, CA

The wow factor: private helipad, two fully-stocked wine cellars

Photo from Zillow listing.

Colorado

2,507 favorites
600 Chateau V, Evergreen, CO

Fun fact: modeled after the famous Biltmore Mansion in North Carolina

Photo from Zillow listing.

Connecticut

1,058 favorites
163 Creamery Rd, Durham, CT

Selling points: expansive windows, surrounded by nature

Photo from Zillow listing.

Delaware

604 favorites
24908 Crooked Stick Way #4333, Long Neck, DE

Selling points: dog park within walking distance, solar panels on the roof

Photo from Zillow listing.

Florida

2,038 favorites
11112 Ancient Futures Dr, Tampa, FL
Reasons to call it home: arched doorways, high ceilings, hardwood floors

Photo from Zillow listing.

Georgia

3,056 favorites
1055 Ada Ave NW, Atlanta, GA

What we love about it: bright hardwood floors

Photo from Zillow listing.

Hawaii

1,546 favorites
72 S Kalaheo Ave, Kailua, HI

Where we’d rather be: this home’s poolside bar or cabana

Photo from Zillow listing.

Idaho

728 favorites
8602 W High Ridge Ln, Eagle, ID
Eye-catching feature: a bright red front door

Photo from Zillow listing.

Illinois

1,897 favorites
1932 N Burling St, Chicago, IL
Windy City wow: 25,000 square feet in the heart of downtown

Photo from Zillow listing.

Indiana

1,383 favorites
New Edition Floor Plan, Harrison Lakes, Fort Wayne, IN

What’s warming our hearts: the fire pit and covered patio

Photo from Zillow listing.

Iowa

603 favorites
2209 E 9th St, Des Moines, IA

Things to ogle: historic character, leaded glass windows

Photo from Zillow listing.

Kansas

652 favorites
11613 Barton St, Overland Park, KS

Things we love: vaulted ceilings, covered deck

Photo from Zillow listing.

Kentucky

832 favorites
324 Wilson Downing Rd, Lexington, KY

Why we love it: newly remodeled with hardwood floors throughout

Photo from Zillow listing.

Louisiana

672 favorites
1448 4th St, New Orleans, LA
Fun fact: film location for a few movies

Photo from Zillow listing.

Maine

933 favorites
35 Seafarer Cv, Whiting, ME

Standout features: private dock, fireplace

Photo from Zillow listing.

Maryland

2,751 favorites
Lincoln Dr LOT 1, Jessup, MD

Why we’re mad about this MD home: 5 large bedrooms on a large lot

Photo from Zillow listing.

Massachusetts

1,235 favorites
22 Old Colony Avenue, Pembroke, MA

Selling points: historic home with modern upgrades, access to a nearby pond

Photo from Zillow listing.

Michigan

1,045 favorites
20 Peppers Trl, Montague, MI

This listing had us at: “tree house on the shores of Lake Michigan”

Photo by Roger Wade Studio.

Minnesota

1,827 favorites
Haverhill Apartments, 32 Spruce Pl, Minneapolis, MN

The draw: restored brownstone walking distance to downtown

Photo from Zillow listing.

Mississippi

543 favorites
706 W Pine St, Hattiesburg, MS

Why we love it: old-world charm, modern upgrades, a small backyard pond

Photo from Zillow listing.

Missouri

1,067 favorites
597 Harper Ave, Saint Louis, MO

Reasons we fell in love: 100+ years old, located by a park and golf course

Photo by Jason Fry.

Montana

1,191 favorites
Montana’s Shelter Is, Rollins, MT
The obvious reason we love it: private-island castle

Photo from Zillow listing.

Nebraska

634 favorites
2114 S 46th St, Omaha, NE

Reason to ‘heart’ this Heartland home: 19th-century charm

Photo from Zillow listing.

Nevada

3,611 favorites
1033 Tabor Hill Ave, Henderson, NV

Favorite feature: private backyard pool for hot desert days

Photo from Zillow listing.

New Hampshire

956 favorites
3 S Main St, Newton, NH

Why we adore it: fully remodeled in 2012

Photo from Zillow listing.

New Jersey

1,298 favorites
18 Frick Dr, Alpine, NJ

Selling point: less than 10 miles from New York City

Photo from Zillow listing.

New Mexico

562 favorites
5724 Fairfax Dr NW, Albuquerque, NM

Reason we love it: upgraded kitchen with a subway-tile backsplash

Photo from Zillow listing.

New York

1,769 favorites
635 W 42nd St #45th Floor, New York, NY

Why we love this Big Apple beauty: breathtaking river views

Photo from Zillow listing.

North Carolina

1,620 favorites
196 Bayview Dr, Stumpy Point, NC

Why we love it: historic home in a wildlife refuge

Photo from Zillow listing.

North Dakota

339 favorites
5039 Elm Tree Rd, Kindred, ND

Things to ogle: not one but two sunrooms

Photo from Zillow listing.

Ohio

1,001 favorites
3903 Saint Lawrence Ave, Cincinnati, OH

What we love: historic Victorian with six fireplaces

Photo from Zillow listing.

Oklahoma

971 favorites
707 Martin Cir, Sand Springs, OK

Why this OK home is more than okay: views of Tulsa from every floor – even the basement

Photo from Zillow listing.

Oregon

1,529 favorites
1135 SW Coast Ave, Lincoln City, OR

Why we adore this home in a word: oceanfront

Photo from Zillow listing.

Pennsylvania

1,227 favorites
122 Squirrel Rd, Buck Hill Falls, PA

Reasons to ‘heart’ this home: historic log and stone structure, beautiful views

Photo from Zillow listing.

Rhode Island

611 favorites
252 Thatcher St, Rumford, RI

Fun fact: overlooks a country club

Photo from Zillow listing.

South Carolina

1,259 favorites
709 Michaelmas Ave, Cayce, SC
Why we’ve seen this home before: viral status

Photo from Zillow listing.

South Dakota

283 favorites
2613 S Van Eps Ave, Sioux Falls, SD

Fun feature: wood-paneled accent wall

Photo from Zillow listing.

Tennessee

1,436 favorites
2325 Golf Club Ln, Nashville, TN

Reason to sing about this Music City home: private recording studio

Photo from Zillow listing.

Texas

4,459 favorites
10711 Strait Ln, Dallas, TX

Proof everything is bigger in Texas: 10 bedrooms, a bowling alley inside

Photo from Zillow listing.

Utah

796 favorites
1886 S Geneva Rd, Orem, UT

Luxury feature: motocross course

Photo from Zillow listing.

Vermont

706 favorites
1796 Cheney Rd, Lowell, VT

Reason to break out the maple syrup: classic log cabin on 20 wooded acres

Photo from Zillow listing.

Virginia

1,912 favorites
2975 Desert Rd, Suffolk, VA

Why we love it: giant front yard for recreation, private sauna for relaxation

Photo from Zillow listing.

Washington

2,651 favorites
935 Deerbrush Dr SE, Olympia, WA

Our favorite feature: yellow front door

Photo from Zillow listing.

Washington, D.C.

1,184 favorites
3030 Chain Bridge Rd NW, Washington, DC

Why it caught our attention: timeless exterior, modern interior

Photo from Zillow listing.

West Virginia

755 favorites
1103 Juliana St, Parkersburg, WV

Why we love it: century-old columns

Photo from Zillow listing.

Wisconsin

887 favorites
743 N 25th St, Milwaukee, WI

What we love: classic Queen Anne-style with a cupola

Photo from Zillow listing.

Wyoming

391 favorites
2005 S Crescent H Rd, Wilson, WY

Why we keep staring: floor-to-ceiling glass walls you can slide open

Photo by Josh Franer.

Top featured image by Roger Wade Studio.

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Darlington to honor 7 NASCAR decades at throwback weekend

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How to Kickstart Your Marketing Automation During the Holidays [Webinar Recap]

In a recent GetResponse Automation Hub webinar, Jamie Turner spoke with attendees about getting started with marketing automation (and other digital tools) during the holiday season and into 2018. There’s no better time to get started than the present!

Think about the action steps you’ll take as a result of watching the webinar, as you watch. Absorbing what you’ve just seen is only part of the battle.

While all of these tools are important for the whole year, they’re also vital during the holiday season (or for planning into the new year) as campaigns ramp up a lot during the holiday shopping days.

Your digital marketing toolkit includes things like:

Now, some definitions of these if you’re unfamiliar with them.

Paid search is marketing based on search engines (Google, Bing). Another term for it is Search Engine Marketing (SEM). And here’s the trick for paid search: you don’t want them to just randomly click through your link. Why? Because you pay for every click – SEM runs on a cost per click basis for each ad. Your goal for a paid search campaign is to discourage people from clicking through via writing ads that clearly explain what you’re selling and why they should click through. It’s a paid search form of qualifying your leads.

Online display marketing is more commonly knowns as banner ads. And these are actually effective, because you’re running them on impressions (when a banner ad shows up on a website), and you’re running lots of impressions. And Google happens to be one of the best place for display ads. But, you do have to be careful, but because Google can run your display ads on websites that aren’t always a good match for your product. Be mindful of that, and then run split tests to optimize your results.

Influencer marketing is leveraging individuals in your niche as an intermediary for you. They are people (always people, never companies) who have large followings of their own, because they have developed a certain level of expertise. Influencer marketing is paying those people to help you promote your product or service to their audience. Just be careful that your selection of influencer is relevant to your product or service, and be sure to do some research on the influencer before approaching him or her.

Marketing automation – well, we’ve talked about that a lot!  This is one of the key technologies in developing messaging that hits your email subscribers with the right message at the right time, in the place your subscriber wants to receive your message. Absolutely key for high-level successful marketing.

And finally, paid social media is social advertising. This is a medium you’re going to be using more and more in the future, as the social platforms open up more advertising options (because people spend a lot of time using social media). The good news is that paid social doesn’t have to be expensive! Because you can target the ads to specifically, you’ve got a very powerful medium at your disposal.

How do you make all of these work together to make 2018 the best year ever? Well, to learn that you’ll have to watch the video!

Watch the video today, and don’t forget to take notes and create your action steps!

 

 

holiday marketing automation

The post How to Kickstart Your Marketing Automation During the Holidays [Webinar Recap] appeared first on GetResponse Blog – Online Marketing Tips.

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How Breaking 3 Design Rules Made Our Home Feel More Like Us

“A house is a machine for living in.”

Swiss-French architect Le Corbusier made huge contributions to Modernism, urban planning and furniture design, but among all his contributions, the one thing I keep coming back to is this quote.

The challenge we all face as homeowners is in adapting our houses to our unique lifestyles instead of worrying too much about obeying tradition, design TV shows or our neighbors. And there are so many rules!

Here are three design rules we broke when renovating the dining room in our Omaha home.

The dining room, pre-renovation.

Rule 1: Every home needs a dining room

One of the biggest pitfalls people fall into when decorating their home is being afraid to change the purpose of a room. Sure, a kitchen is always going to be a kitchen, but dining rooms, formal living rooms, and bedrooms are ripe for repurposing.

Like many folks, we don’t make much use of a dining room. While we enjoy visitors, we don’t throw many formal dinner parties, and our eat-in kitchen works just fine for daily meals. Meanwhile, our living room is lovely but not particularly spacious – a piano, fireplace and stairway limit the amount of seating we can add to the room.

Our solution was to extend the “living area” into the adjacent dining room. Suddenly, we doubled the amount of space we have for casual entertaining, while creating a spot for a flat-screen TV for watching movies. The result is a cozy, calming room that the British would call a “snug.” We think that describes the space perfectly.

This layout – and giving up a dining table to get it – may not be the right fit for every family, but it more closely aligns with our needs and could easily be switched back by the next homeowners.*

Rule 2: Dark colors make a room feel small

You’ve heard it from designers on TV. You’ve heard it from real estate agents. Neighbors. The guy working the paint counter. “A dark wall color will make a room feel smaller.”

I have two responses to that:

  1. Not necessarily.
  2. Even if it does, is that always a bad thing?

In many instances, a darker wall or ceiling color will have no effect at all on the perception of room size. Very dark colors can, counterintuitively, make walls and ceilings appear to recede from the observer, creating the illusion that the room is deeper. So, the jury remains undecided.

What dark rooms inarguably do is create an environment that is cozy, elegant or romantic. While your eye may initially perceive a space as smaller, it will not actually be any smaller. You can fit just as much furniture and as many people into the space as before. So maybe it isn’t a problem at all.

Our adjacent living room (and much of the house) has stark white walls and big windows to bring in sunlight, so we decided to paint our dining room-turned-snug in Sherwin-Williams’ Tricorn Black. Nothing subtle about that, but once we filled it with artwork and furniture, everyone commented on how big the room seemed.

Post-renovation, the snug provides plenty of seating space for entertaining.

Rule 3: Too much furniture in a space will make it cramped

As designers and furniture manufacturers, we talk with clients about furniture layouts every day, and choosing too large a sofa in their home is a recurring concern.

While it’s true that the scale of furniture matters, you can often get away with putting more into a room than you might imagine. It’s all about placement and maintaining pathways.

Our snug is a great example of this. It measures merely 13 feet by 10½ feet, and has a wide opening to our living room, a door to our kitchen and three big windows. Into the room, we fit a 10½-foot-by-8½-foot sectional sofa, a barrel chair, three small tables, a bar cart, a large wall-mounted flat-screen TV and tons of artwork. Despite squeezing in seating for a big group of people, we haven’t compromised the critical pathway running from the living room back into the kitchen.

We absolutely love our cozy, compact lounging space and don’t miss our dining room at all. Our unconventional choices may not make sense for your lifestyle, but keep them in mind as you find the best way to live in your home.

* We’re staying in our house forever, so this point is irrelevant. (See previous blog posts regarding me making my husband promise we’ll never move again.)

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Why incoming asteroids shouldn't keep you up at night

A close shave with a previously undetected asteroid last month serves as a pointed reminder to humanity that planet Earth and other celestial bodies can sometimes cross paths. Fortunately, space agencies are on the case.

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How to Create a Successful Social Media Giveaway

Social media has taken the world by storm. Various businesses and brands are taking full advantage of it to reach their target audience via social media. Social media also helps businesses to increase their audience and building a customer base for them.

There are many strategies and campaigns used for this. One is social media giveaway. While it seems really easy, it is actually very difficult to launch a successful social media giveaway. Only few giveaways actually drive value to your business. That’s why your social media giveaway campaign needs to be effective enough in order to give your business the right boost.

Following are the steps that will help you in launching a successful social media giveaway.

 

1. Set a measurable goal

Your goal should be measurable and trackable. When setting a goal for social media giveaway, you should consider the following factors:

  • What is the focus of this giveaway campaign, is it to increase user engagement? Or it just focuses on increasing your likes on social media channels? Or is it really just a link building strategy?
  • Once you have decided your primary focus, set a measurable goal, for instance if you want to increase 1000 likes, divide the likes into number of days you are running the contest. For instance 250 likes in a day, if you achieve these likes on first day, that means your goal was achievable. If you don’t achieve your daily target, you need to either alter your strategy or revise your goals.

One good example of the giveaway goal can be: a government encouraging its people to GST Return Filing practice. But the right way would be to offer such a giveaway that audience will be tempted to go through this process because of the reward. No government ever enforces this through social media but since it is very effective, the use of social media giveaways can actually get people to do stuff which they wouldn’t otherwise.

 

2. Go beyond traditional marketing

The 4Cs are the modern form of 4Ps of marketing. The 4Cs include customer value, cost, convenience and communication. When you are creating a giveaway campaign, you need to do complete research or your target audience, the product or service you are giving away and its impact on target audience. So, don’t just focus on 4Cs because they are not enough for reaching your goals. Modern social media marketing is very complex and it requires you to understand your customer’s psyche more than any modern marketing framework.

 

3. What are you giving away?

That’s a very important question since you will be the one bearing the cost. For instance, you are an internet services providing company giving away a Modem Router Combo product. You need to decide some important things like how many modern routers are you giving, who is most likely to buy your router and what is the cost that you are covering, what are your terms and conditions and so on.

 

4. Use alternatives like coupons

Some social media giveaway do not even giveaway any specific product but they instead make use of coupons and offer discount coupons which is a great way to get your audience to visit your actual stores and increase your sales. This is a great way to save the cost of giving away just free stuff while not actually having the audience visit you.

 

5. The right marketing

Starting a giveaway might seem really easy but it really gets complex when you have to get people talking about it. So it is highly important to do the right marketing for your social media giveaway. In order to do the right marketing you have to think about the target audience who’d be interested in actively participating in your giveaway. It is really easy to get people talking for a t-shirt or hoodie but it gets really challenging when you try to sell a service. For instance, you are providing medical tourism services on online platforms. In this case the right option would be to take a little help from experts in the field who do proper Medical Tourism Marketing, it might cost you a little but in the end it will be worth all the trouble.

 

6. Reach out to bloggers

Once you have designed a great social media giveaway, the next step would be to market your contest. There are many ways to do it but one great way is to reach out to various bloggers in your niche and get them to talk about your contest. In return you can give a shout out to them on your social media channels.

For instance, a jewelry company could start a contest for marketing the launch of a series of engagement ring designs. Through an influencer’s site like Beyond 4Cs which have a regular audience of jewelry shoppers, it is easy to get your message across to a very targeted niche of consumers.

 

7. Constant promotion is the key

Your giveaway should be constantly promoted in order to get more audience share and more responses. This can be done on all social media channels. You shouldn’t stay quiet when you have arranged a contest! People are most likely to listen to you during this time and you should use this time to get your message across and to gain more and more audience.

 

8. Keep the audience hopeful

Never say that this is the only contest you are holding, always keep your audience coming back for more. Tell people the date of your next contest or just tell them that you are having another contest pretty soon. Also, when you build a good number of followers it is not necessary for you to hold contests every now and then.

 

9. Credibility is important

After you have built your credibility, your audience will trust you with everything. For instance if you post the best cell phone reviews, your audience will take your word even if you have nothing to do with cell phones. But make sure that you don’t mislead your audience.

 

10. Do announce the winners

There are many fake contests trying to seek attention of users. Most of them, in the end, just annoy customers. That’s why it is important to announce your winner rather than just reaching out to them. When you announce winners, make sure to cater other hopeful contestants too and tell them how much you appreciate their participation.

 

11. Get the winners to share their experience

You must get your audience to review your giveaway product and their experience with your audience. This will encourage others to follow your social media channels and gain your credibility.

 

Wrapping up

Have you had any experience with a social media giveaway? What worked for you, and what didn’t? Share your experiences in the comments below.

The post How to Create a Successful Social Media Giveaway appeared first on GetResponse Blog – Online Marketing Tips.

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House of the Year: A Treehouse Tower With Water Views

Leave it to a celebrity architect to live in a home that was just voted our 2017 House of the Year.

Each week, we take you inside a unique space – from a shipping container converted into a tiny home to a magical treehouse that happened by accident. And at the end of each quarter, we ask you to vote on your favorite.

Tens of thousands of you weighed in throughout the year, voting this wooded, waterside home your favorite of those featured on Porchlight. Even with its August debut, it quickly earned nearly 2,500 votes.

When we first wrote about the five-story home among the treetops, it belonged to Jason McLennan, a designer and environmentalist based on Bainbridge Island, just outside Seattle, WA.

You loved McLennan’s 3-bedroom, 4-bathroom sanctuary with reclaimed wood, accents from a salvaged ship, and lush, green surroundings.

The house was built in 1978 by another architect, who salvaged four, immense wooden posts to anchor the living space. The builders rescued other touches from an old ship, in a nod to the local maritime industry.

A 12-foot-long antique leaded glass window anchors the kitchen, while adjacent doors open up to a patio that offers views of Puget Sound.

Every floor of the five-story home has vistas of passing ships. It’s part treehouse, part ship, some might say.

The home stands in stark contrast to last year’s winning home, a 16,000-square-foot palace with a private ski bridge in Big Sky, MT. That 6-bedroom, 9-bathroom home boasted a full gym and movie theater.

This year’s stunner sold over the summer for $875,000. Read more about the home in our original post here.

Photos by Erik Hecht. Set decoration provided by Lily Karsten. Plants provided by Bainbridge Botanicals.

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