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Bell class of the field in Truck Series win at New Hampshire

Christopher Bell was the class of the field in the Truck Series during the regular season. With playoff races underway, Bell proved again he’ll be the driver to beat for … Click to Continue »

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NASCAR’s ‘Tapegate’ puts driver Chase Elliott in sticky situation

A NASCAR scandal dubbed “Tapegate” has landed driver Chase Elliott in one sticky situation. In what could join Spygate, Deflategate and other real or imagined cheating scandals in American sports … Click to Continue »

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Madeira Film Festival 2017

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Top 15 Content Marketing Tips for New Entrepreneurs

Doubtful on how to use content marketing effectively? Learn tips and tricks on how to rule the content marketing world. Content marketing is known to be a crucial aspect in the field of a start-up business where the promotional activities are a must. The sphere of content writing and content marketing is all about new thoughts and creativity that can enhance the business of a company or an organization.

This is a way to represent a business before the masses. The large-scale business organizations and companies are known to be quite experienced and expert in the arena of marketing the content. These traditional ideas are somewhat adopted and are the foundations for fresh thoughts.

As we know, that idea grows in wild profusion, new business startups are known to come up with new ideas for content marketing, and new means of promotions are ushering in.

Creating content is about knowing the industry well and incorporating all the necessary information to enrich the article. This is followed by publishing and then distribution.

 

A few key aspects that are to be encapsulated while creating meaningful content can be:

  1. The content must be appealing enough to attract the common people.
  2. Expansion of customer base and generation of lead is important.
  3. An increase in online sales is crucial as well.
  4. Spreading the content online is important as the use of the internet and social media is spurting day by day.
  5. Content that is suitable for all ages is preferred, content for the older ones must use classic languages, and traditional form of writing whereas content for this generation can use peppy language as well.
  6. Reflecting own thoughts by engaging people is imperative for content to involve more and more people.

15 content marketing tips for entrepreneurs

“For a startup, content marketing can be a great way to increase the visibility of their site” says Rahul Agarwal founder of Designhill. He further adds “From beginning we focused on effective content marketing, which greatly helped our bootstrapped business to turn into a successful venture without spending much.” Here are some useful content marketing tips he would like to share with our readers:

  1. The Internet has become an important part of our daily lives, helping us out in many doubts, problems, requirements, etc. Hence, a small business should always have a sophisticated website that is user-friendly too. This helps in spreading the information about the business and makes us feel the existence of the organization over online sites. An online website ought to be composed and developed well with appropriate blogs and contents so that it can reflect the ideas and concepts very clearly. Internet being the information superhighway, searching online is widely in vogue these days.
  2. The golden rule of content marketing is to create your brand identity through your content. Placing graphic design elements like logos, watermark, etc. is essential on your content so as to let people know about your brand as well as to prevent content copying.
  3. The aspect of the scarcity of time and budget is a rising issue in many a company, and hence, the traditional marketing budget is to be saved for fresh ways and means. Traditional ideas did not include social media pages and use of social media posts. These ideas are to be included so that maximum number of people can be reached in a short timeframe.
  4. Online or social media tracking is helpful to monitor how people perceive the content. For spreading the content, social media sites and social media posts can serve the purpose and can easily be tackled by any company as well. This helps in getting hold of customer choice and preference.
  5. Using social media is imperative these days when state of the art technology is ushering in. The use of Facebook pages, What’s App groups, Instagram and Twitter, are completely in vogue with the contemporary societal structure.
  6. The content ought to be aesthetically convenient and technically sophisticated as well. One should always keep in mind the endeavors made by the content developers and the preference of the viewers as well.
  7. Establishing the company through the content is a must. To convey the intricacies of the services provided and how that can help us is a must for the content to reflect. The content is to reflect the purpose of the company.
  8. To spread the content in an aesthetic manner so that it can reach a maximum number of the masses, flyers, posters and gift cards are generally used. These are appealing ways to spread the message that is tried to be portrayed through the content.
  9. Generally, start-up business plans are to be highlighted in front of the masses and hence, the content is known to contain climax and punch lines. Short, crisp, appealing and interesting content is always preferred where keywords are used in quite a witty manner. The keyword density is to be kept in mind. The wordplay does matter a lot.
  10. Retain uniqueness of content as small business needs to establish them as something different.
  11. The SEO write ups for a small business ought to be smartly composed so that passion and courtesy are well balanced. The contents are always expected to intermingle transparency and rigidity.
  12. Social media marketing is important when it comes to the aspect of content marketing for small business.
  13. Product packaging and labels are also considered as a part of content marketing, and hence is known to provide with such convenient services.
  14. Custom made logos and symbols for content are always preferred by start-up companies where affordability matters for the small business. The pocket pinch of the clients is to be kept in mind.
  15. The content for small business should be developed in such a manner so that the customer can relate to the content. The content should resonate with the masses and ought to echo the client’s demands as well. The language ought to be lucid enough for people of all age groups.

 

The layman should be infused and completely involved in the content. These days media skills are important for the firmament of content marketing as the use of social networking sites, and online searches are widely in vogue.

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4 Homes With Jaw-Dropping Floor-to-Ceiling Windows

When it comes to creating an indoor/outdoor feeling in your home, a set of floor-to-ceiling windows is the key ingredient to success. Along with being a visual connector to your surroundings, they bring in boatloads of natural light while providing a streamlined backdrop for your interiors. Take a look at our favorite homes of this week that feature expansive floor-to-ceiling windows.

Seclusion

Location: Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

From Caroline Wallis: “The challenge, predictably, was preserving the unique facade while both increasing the amount of natural light and adding modern amenities. After collaborating with the client to understand and meet their long-term needs, the remodel successfully bridges the old and the new. Details like reused doors, original skirting boards, and bricks maintain the visual integrity of the original home, while a sleek new kitchen and concrete backyard unfold behind the original facade.”

Photo by Shannon McGrath. Architect: Robson Rak Architects. Landscape Designer: Weller Landscapes. Interior Designer: Made by Cohen.

Brooklyn Brownstone

Location: Brooklyn, New York

From the architect: “Located on a tree-lined street in Bedford Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, this late-1800s, three-story brownstone had been held within a family for decades-and fell into disrepair and in desperate need of renovation. Windows had decayed, leaving large gaping holes to the elements beyond. The previous ad-hoc renovations in the 1980s and ’90s carved up the kitchen and bathrooms, creating awkward circulation and dated finishes. This gut renovation aimed to sensitively restore historical details, while introducing contemporary architectural elements and finishes.”

Photo courtesy of Sonya Lee Architect llc.

1st Avenue Residence

Location: Montreal, Quebec, Canada

From Leibal:1st Avenue Residence is a minimalist house located in Montreal, Canada, and was designed by Microclimat. As you step through the door, your eye is drawn to the back of the home, where the kitchen and living spaces extend outside, thanks to impressive windows that frame the backyard. A kitchen counter naturally flows onto the terrace, visually and concretely uniting the two spaces. Cantilevered overhangs in white parging shelter the counter from the elements throughout the seasons and offer a signature look to the back of the building.”

Photo courtesy of Microclimat and Leibal. Architect: Microclimat.

Rudolph House

Location: Cambridge, Massachusetts

From the architect: “Our work included the redesign of the exterior walls and glazing to include a new wall of 10-foot-high, triple-paneled sliding doors and windows on the main facade. These doors open the home to the adjacent courtyard and provide excellent natural ventilation. The roof and the other three exterior walls, which are largely below grade, received insulation in excess of what code requires. All new energy-efficient heating and cooling equipment, including heat-recovery ventilation, was installed to bring the home up to modern standards. The result was a much greater energy efficiency and thermal comfort for the family.”

Photo: Tony Luong. Architect: Ruhl Walker Architects.

This article was written by Katie Jacobs-Romero and originally appeared on Dwell. Check out more of their content on Dwell.com.

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William Byron will join NASCAR Cup Series in 2018, but first he has a gut punch to avenge

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Our New, Old Kitchen: How We Rose to the Remodeling Challenge

If the kitchen is the heart of the home, then ours was in need of a triple bypass.

When we bought a house halfway across the country – without having set foot in it – we knew there would be projects. Walls to paint, old carpet to pull up, a dingy bathroom to tackle.

And while the kitchen was certainly on the to-do list, we assumed we could live with the old appliances and chipped tile countertop for a time.

We were sorely mistaken.

With my husband Roger staying behind in New York to finalize the sale of our previous house, our dog Buck and I had already arrived in Omaha to handle the closing on the new home. (Well, Buck wasn’t involved in the closing. He’s not great with paperwork.)

After signing on the dotted line, I began exploring the house and discovered the many broken appliances that had been curiously omitted from the seller’s property disclosure form.

“The dishwasher doesn’t work,” I told Roger over the phone.

“We knew that, right?” he replied.

“Yes, but now I know why it doesn’t work – the garbage disposal also doesn’t work,” I explained. “And the garbage disposal doesn’t work because the drain doesn’t work.”

“Well, that can all be fixed,” he assured me.

“Maybe. But I don’t know if the smell can.”

Before: With broken appliances and dingy cupboards, this dated kitchen was screaming for a facelift.

The home’s last thorough cleaning had been sometime during the Bush administration (the first one). Aggressive dusting, vacuuming, and mopping improved the situation, but the suspect plumbing and appliances put up a fight.

Consequently, we soon reprioritized the kitchen from a six-months-from-now project to an ASAP project.

Out with (some of) the old

Roger and I have renovated dozens of kitchens for clients. We’ve reconfigured, rearranged, and repurposed kitchens in homes around the country. We even designed a line of cabinetry.

So, our biggest challenge in devising a plan for our charming Tudor wasn’t how to renovate, but how much to renovate.

The relatively small space could only be configured so many ways, so pulling out the original cabinets would likely mean replacing them with new cabinets of similar configuration and capacity. While they needed a good cleaning, they were all structurally sound, and the finish on the upper cabinets was still good, so we opted to keep them.

Other distinctive elements, like the convenient laundry chute and the breakfast nook’s original storage benches and bookshelves, were must-keeps.

So, what was on the chopping block? We ditched all the appliances – clogged disposal, broken dishwasher, rattling fridge, and a stove with what seemed to be a small gas leak – right away. The chipped tile countertops and backsplash had to go, too.

Finally, we removed the dinky cabinets around the stove that had been added in the ’80s. We had better ideas for that area.

Before: An old, leaky stove ready to be replaced with brighter, better things.

Renovation discoveries

Roger got to work meticulously painting the cabinets and drawers. We used black to create contrast with the white walls, bead board, and quartz countertops.

Open the drawers, however, and you’re greeted with a happy shade of robin’s-egg blue – a bright surprise and a practical choice that makes locating the proper utensil easier.

After: With new appliances, freshly painted cabinets, and sparkling countertops.

My dad (the true MVP of this project) and I pulled out the grease-splattered vent hood and upper cabinets above the stove. We had a hunch that the low soffit above these was hollow, so we cut into it for a peek.

The home’s original plaster hood had been boxed in, so we opened it up and incorporated it into the design. Roger painted black-and-white stripes (a recurring theme for this home) on the inside of the hood, and I designed laser-cut scalloped trim to finish it off.

After: Personalized touches like the special-order Italian stove completed the transformation.

The frustrating realities of product availability

Kitchen appliances are a longtime grievance of mine. I wish manufacturers would give us a broader range of colors and sizes that are scaled appropriately for older homes.

So, it is with some sadness that I – the guy who has been bored with stainless steel for a decade – ended up with a bunch of stainless steel appliances.

But you try finding a French door refrigerator with a pullout freezer that fits into an opening 4 inches narrower and 3 inches shorter than the current standard. That’s right – there’s literally one such fridge on the market. Guess what? It’s stainless.

We did manage to include one appliance that definitely stands out: our bright orange range. We special ordered it from Italy, and it took forever to arrive.

It lacks modern conveniences like a preheat function, a baking timer, or even a clock. But it’s stunning and fun, and painted in the same factory that paints Ferraris, and hey, I never told you we were rational people anyway.

Current but not characterless

The finished room incorporates everything Roger and I need in a modern kitchen – plenty of storage, LED under-cabinet lighting that makes the countertops glow, a functional ice maker, and even a garbage disposal that doesn’t smell like the La Brea Tar Pits.

But at the same time, it retains all the character we love about the home – charming cabinetry, adorable breakfast nook, and hardwood floors.

Do we occasionally long for features you’d find in new cabinetry, like a pullout spice rack or soft-close drawers? Sure. But we’ll take these squeaky old drawers and continue enjoying our one-of-a-kind new, old kitchen.

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Obsessed with fantasy football? One local NASCAR driver probably has you beat…

Imagine: It’s your annual fantasy football draft. You’re at home, computer on your lap and a cold drink in your hand. It’s your turn to pick, and with your selection … Click to Continue »

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How to Get the Most of Your Mental Health Day

The burden of responsibility people face at work these days leads to chronic stress and anxiety. As a result, you may experience a significant drop of productivity. This is when a mental health day comes to the rescue. It’s a day free of work to give your mind, body, and spirit what they are craving most.

The topic of mental health day is burning hot this summer. It’s been recently covered in the articles by Forbes, Telegraph, The Huffington Post and other top media resources. These posts convince us it’s OK to take a day off not only when you are feeling sick physically, but also when you are on the verge of mental exhaustion.

 

When it’s a good idea to take a mental health day?

I used to work with a colleague who confessed once that every morning he hopes he gets into a car accident so he doesn’t have to go to work. If you feeling the same way, you definitely need a mental health day.

Same goes to if you consistently feel anxious or nervous and can’t concentrate at work. If you have ongoing mental health issues that you need to care for, you should take a sick leave without feeling guilty.

Once you’ve decided you need a day off to take care of your mental state, make sure your absence won’t be disastrous to your team at work.

I’ve read a bunch of articles on why and when you should take a mental health day. However, there isn’t much information on the net what you should actually be doing during this day to get yourself fully refreshed.

The following tips are based on the personal experience (yes, I’ve taken a day off work right before writing this post), talking to people who’ve taken a day off due to mental health issues and an in-depth analysis of various studies on physiological health.

 

Things to do during your mental health day off:

 

1. Become an excessive sleeper for a day.

If you are like 35% of U.S. adults who suffer from sleep deprivation or worse, insomnia, you have a first-hand experience on how the lack of sleep lowers your productivity at work. Therefore, put the shades down, turn off the alarm and catch up on your lost sleep.

 

2. Stop the notification distraction.

An innocent ping on your phone may significantly increase the level of stress and frustration. The study by American Psychological Association shows that constant phone checkers have a 20% higher stress level compared to those who don’t look at their device every minute. A day without a phone can seriously reduce the level of anxiety. However, if you suffer from nomophobia (the fear or being without your phone), the least you can do for your stressed-out mind is to turn the notifications off.

 

3. Do something different.

Did you know that the neural pathways in the brain begin to solidify by age 25? Unfortunately, as we get older, our brain tends to lose flexibility and plasticity which explains why we can’t learn as fast as kids any more. Luckily, with a little effort, we can challenge ourselves. Doing new things, visiting new places and obtaining new habits makes our brain work in a different mode, creating new neural pathways. That’s exactly the reason why people feel younger when they travel.

Do something you wouldn’t normally do during your working day or even a weekend. Start with simple things like sleeping in another room in your house and taking the stairs rather than an elevator. Here’s a list with 50 ideas on doing something new that could help you out.

 

4. Read a good book.

Not a book you need to read for work. Forget all the “How to be a great boss” or “100 ways to boost productivity” editions and choose something that brings you real joy either it’s some kind of gutter press, nerdy stuff or a chick flick book. If you have no idea what to read, here’s a selection of great books from Katherine Brooks that are meant to deal with your anxiety.

 

5. Get outdoors.

We are all the children of nature. Fresh air, green trees, sunshine and raindrops is where we really belong, not the stuffy office. Getting outside and enjoying the nature helps you remind yourself who you truly are and who you want to be. Fresh air will do you good – it improves your blood pressure, strengthens your immune system, cleans your lungs, gives you more energy and makes you a happier person.

 

6. Try a new workout routine.

You knew this one was coming didn’t you? Well, it’s hard to underestimate the power of physical activity and its impact on your mental health. While the need for regular exercises goes without saying, the mental health day off is a great time to try something new. It would be great to do a different type of workout than your normally do.

 

7. Treat yourself with a good, healthy meal.

While temptation to lock in your room with a bucket of ice cream might be staring you in the face, unhealthy foods won’t give your mental health a break unless you are on a strict diet. You will feel far more refreshed if you go with a healthy yet tasty cuisine. Don’t eat anything you don’t like or enjoy though. Here is a list of products that improve mental health to help you decide on the menu.

 

8. Get into water.

Either it’s a hot tub in the winter or a dive into a refreshing pool in the summer, any type of water activities is great when it comes to stress and anxiety relief. If you choose to go to the beach or the pool, don’t get too much sun. When we spent a day out at the baking sun with my friend during our day off, we started to get jealous of our colleagues working at the chilly office at that time.

 

Moreover, drinking enough water is essential for releasing stress. The thing is, even a small degree of dehydration can increase the level of cortisol (the stress hormone) in your body. Therefore, make sure to drink enough water and keep the stress away.

 

9. Meet up with your friends or spend a day alone.

It depends on the type of person you are and the work you do whether you ache for communication or can’t stand it. I personally know a sales manager who dreams of spending a day alone in a complete silence. At the same time some of my software development friends crave for a company and communication. Whatever you are missing – go for it during your mental health day.

 

10. It’s time to go for extreme things.

If everything else doesn’t work, this will definitely clear your brain. Think what’s extreme for you. It doesn’t necessarily have to be skydiving (in case you are dreading it like I do). Maybe it’s dying your hair purple or going caving overnight. As long as it gives you shivers of excitement, go for it.

 

Conclusion

Taking a day off doesn’t guarantee you a mental makeover. The good news is it totally depends on you. Take an advantage of this day making it special and unforgettable. Fill it with positive emotions, plenty of sleep, new exciting things and places. Stop all the distractions and set yourself to a complete refresh.

 

Companies may seriously benefit from introducing mental health days off to their employees. In the long run, the overall work efficiency will only go up. Your body and mind will be definitely thankful for recharging the batteries. If you follow these tips, you should notice an incredible boost of productivity the following day.

What about you? Have you already taken a mental health day? Please share your experience in the comments below.

 

take a mental health day to improve your productivity

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Mars simulation ends after eight months of isolation

Six astronauts have emerged after living more than half a year isolated in a Mars simulation laboratory at the base of the Mauna Loa volcano in Hawaii. The data will help NASA select the best candidates for the planned mission to Mars in 2030. 

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