Saturday, April 26, 2014

Review Legoland California

Overview of Legoland California


The Legoland California theme park is located just north of San Diego in the city of Carlsbad. This large resort covers over 128 acres and has two separate theme parks (the main ride park and a water park). A hotel will open on the property in 2013, allowing guests to stay in themed rooms adjacent to the main theme park entrance.

Legoland is geared toward families with young children - kids over the age of 12 years might be displeased with the rides and attractions aimed at elementary school aged children. There are a few thrill rides on the property, but the vast majority of the rides are designed to be ridden by young children and their parents. 

Legoland California Ticket Prices

The cost of admission for Legoland is high: in 2012, the cost of admission was $78 for adults ages 13 and up, and $68 for children under the age of 13. Children under the age of 3 years are free.

Admission to the water park requires a surcharge to the ticket price, adding another $15 per ticket. Additional ticket packages allow the addition of the Sea Life Aquarium. 

Legoland regularly offers discount packages, so search the website for current deals. Discounted tickets may be purchased through any AAA club membership, and guests who purchase tickets online in advance may enjoy as much as a 20% discount.

The author of this review was able to obtain "buy one, get one free" tickets through a fast food restaurant promotion, which nearly halved the cost of admission. 

Are the Aquarium and Water Park Worth the Extra Admission?

The Legoland resort complex consists of a main theme park, a small water park, and the nearby Sea Life Aquarium. Before purchasing the "mega" admission ticket guaranteeing admission to all three parks, consider the following:
  • How many days are you planning to spend at the Legoland Resort?
  • Are you going to visit the zoo and Sea World in nearby San Diego?
  • Are your children able to swim independently?
The number of water park attractions is limited to very young children, and children who cannot swim independently may not enjoy the large water slides in the water park. Touring the main Legoland theme park often takes a full day, so a second day is typically required for the water park. For those who intend to visit other theme parks in the area, the beach, or the zoo and Wild Animal Park, a second day at Legoland may not be justified. 

In addition, the main Legoland theme park includes a section called "Pirate's Reef." This area contains a massive water playground with slides and tipping bucket - and is included with the cost of admission to the main theme park. There is no height requirement for this area of the park, so parents with young children will save a lot of money (and time) by simply visiting the water playground in the heat of the day.

The Sea Life Aquarium is a wonderful, small aquarium located next to Lego Land. If you are planning on staying for a second (or third) day in Carlsbad, consider adding it onto your Legoland pass. If you intend of visiting Sea World or the aquarium in Long Beach, California, skip the Sea Life Aquarium.

Tips for Visiting Legoland

  1. Ride the Sky Cruiser first. The lines of the most popular attractions develop long lines quickly. The extremely attractive Sky Cruiser (located in Fun Town) often generates a wait time over 2 hours in length during the summer months. This ride is extremely "slow loading" (only a few children may ride at a time) over a long, circuitous path. Parents with preschoolers and elementary school aged children should try to visit this ride first, as the lines rarely shorten during the day.
  2. There are many water attractions in the main theme park. Splash pads, fountains, and a water playground are found within the gates of the park. Bring swimsuits, a change of clothes, and a towel. Towels can be purchased from several gift shops, but they are extremely overpriced and of poor quality.
  3. Apply sunscreen, and apply it often. The sun shines brightly in Southern California, and children are often in and out of various wet attractions. Apply sunscreen frequently to prevent sunburns while standing in queues in the bright sun.
  4. Chill out and let the kids play. Legoland contains many rides, and it also contains many playgrounds. The playgrounds are extensively themed and may occupy your children for hours on end. Set time limits before you enter a playground, and be prepared to relax with a cold drink and a snack while your kids run around like maniacs. The author's sons, ages 4 and 6, had more fun on the incredible playgrounds than on many of the rides.

Themed "Lands" in Legoland

 

Legoland contains nine themed areas in the main park. These areas include:
  • The Beginning: the entrance to the theme park.
  • Dino Island: A small coaster and dinosaur fossil dig site are found on Dino Island.
  • Duplo Village: A splash pad, large playground, a safari ride, and a "fairy tale" boat ride are located in Duplo Village. This area is geared toward toddlers and preschoolers.
  • Fun Town: 9 different ride attractions, the Lego factory tour, and several counter-service food carts are in Fun Town. This area is geared toward preschoolers and elementary school aged children.
  • Pirate Shores: Water rides rule in this area: a flume ride, an interactive boat ride with water cannons, and two water playgrounds are located here.
  • Castle Hill: An amazing playground called "Hideaways," a roller coaster, a unique thrill ride, and miniature golf are located in this area.
  • Land of Adventure: is an Egyptian themed land containing several kiddie rides, an arcade-style laser gun ride, and several playgrounds. This area also has several attractions requiring an additional fee (a "monkey climb" and a few midway style games).
  • Imagination Zone: has a wilder "technic" coaster for older elementary school aged kids and teens, along with several other rides and a build-and-test race car attraction.
  • Miniland, USA: consists of several city scenes made entirely out of Legos. In 2012, the area was beginning to look faded and in need of minor repairs. The buildings are very detailed and interesting. A Star Wars mini-land area has been added recently.

Duplo Village Pictures and Review

 

Duplo Village is aimed at the preschool set, and has a fantastic playground for young children. The playground consists of several houses that look like Duplo creations, and has slides, ramps, and plenty of Duplo bricks and train tracks for creative play. There is also a splash pad in the area, so parents should be aware that young children may run through this area and get soaked with less than a moment's notice!

The author's two sons enjoyed this playground immensely and spent a large amount of time building and exploring the general area. The pretend jail and ambulance provided fodder for a lot of imaginative play.

The Safari ride and the Fairy Tale Brook ride are extremely sedate and geared toward infants through preschoolers. 

Fun Town Review

 

The Sky Cruiser, a visually attractive and extremely slow loading ride, is located in Fun Town. Visit this ride first thing in the morning if your children will want to ride it. Many of the rides in Fun Town are kid-powered, and kids love pedaling, pulling on ropes, and using other devices to control their ride experience.

The Kid Power Towers operate with the use of a pulley system - children (and their parents) pull on the rope to reach the top of the tower, and release the rope to have a gentle "fall" down to the ground.

Children can get their driver's licenses at the Volvo Driving School - there is one school for children ages 6-13 years, and another for preschoolers ages 3-5 years. The cars are not on a track and the kids absolutely love driving on "real" roads with stop signs, street lights, and other traffic signs.

An interactive Fire and Police Academy allows families to work together to put out a "fire," by shooting water guns at fire/burglars after navigating a truck down a track. This ride was a favorite of the author's sons, who enjoyed controlling the ride vehicle and aiming the water gun.
The rides in this area are a favorite of preschoolers and elementary school aged children - there are few height requirements, so young children may enjoy almost all of the rides with their older siblings and parents.

Pirate Shores Review

 

Warning: you will get wet in Pirate Shores. This entire area is filled with water rides, splash pads, and a water playground. Change children into bathing suits before entering this area, and have towels and a dry change of clothes ready when the kids are done playing.

Splash Battle and Pirate Reef are both boat rides involving the use of water cannons. Pirate Reef offers a ride down a flume that guarantees everyone will get soaked - including spectators on the observation bridge. Treasure Falls is a standard log flume ride aimed at young children - the drop is only 12' long, and gentle for young riders.

Swabbie's Deck is a splash pad for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers. This zero depth water play area is safe for all children. Soak-N-Sail is a water playground with water slides. A large bucket full of water regularly tips over the entire playground, soaking everyone in the general area. Swim diapers are required for all children under four years of age on the Soak-N-Sail water playground. This is a great location to cool off in the heat of the day.

The Castle Hill Area

 

Castle Hill includes the Dragon roller coaster, a moderate thrill for kids approximately 4 years and older. This coaster has a minimum height requirement of 40", which precludes toddlers and young preschoolers from riding. The ride is swift but gentle, and is a good introductory coaster for young children. 

A unique thrill ride, the Knight's Tournament, is located in this area. Riders are harnessed into "arms," which rotate and flip according to the pre-set thrill level. Young children (40" height requirement) are limited to a low level thrill factor, but teens and adults will love throttling up the adventure to a level 5. 

The royal joust is a fun, horse-back ride for preschoolers and young elementary school aged children. Older children (maximum age of 12 years) and adults are not permitted to ride. Kids love riding the horses along a circuitous path. A professional photographer takes pictures of children as they exit the ride - photos are sold at an adjacent shop.

An enormous castle themed playground is located in Castle Hill. Tunnels, giant slides, cargo nets, and bridges allow kids to play and run off steam. Children may decide to stay inside this play area for the entire day once they enter the playground, so it is a good idea to set a time limit before setting them loose. 

Land of Adventure Review

 

There are several attractions that require money in this land - if you do not plan to shell out extra money for midway style games, forewarn your children that these attractions are off-limits. The entire area is themed as an Egyptian adventure. An arcade-style dark ride allows families to shoot laser guns at targets as they travel through a "lost kingdom." 

Another playground is located here, and children are able to run through a multi-level play structure and shoot foam balls from various cannons. This is another excellent place to let kids burn off steam. This playground is also easily avoided if you do not wish to spend more time on another playground. 

A "beetle bounce" ride (small hopper style ride for young children) and an airplane ride (dubbed "Cargo Ace") are also located in this land. 

Imagination Zone Review

 

Every ride in the Imagination Zone has a minimum height requirement, and is geared toward teens and older children. Young children who meet the height requirements and have a love of thrill rides will also enjoy this section of the park.

The park's wildest coaster, the Lego Technic Coaster, is located in the Imagination Zone. With a minimum height requirement of 42", most preschoolers cannot ride. The coaster is tame compared to those found at thrill ride parks, but does have a 50 foot drop.

A spinning cup style ride, the Bionicle Blasters, is also found in this area. This ride spins wildly and also has a 42" minimum height requirement. 

The Aquazone Wave Racer is a milder ride, and has a 40" height requirement. This ride spins passengers around a central axis over water - this is another Legoland attraction that is guaranteed to get the rider wet!

Miniland, USA Review

 

Miniland, USA is well worth a visit. The miniature versions of San Francisco, the White House, and other famous structures in America are extremely detailed. Some maintenance is needed to replace peeling blocks and faded structures, but the attraction is still interesting and well designed.

A Star Wars section has recently been added to Miniland, and is highly appreciated by many families and children. A life-size Darth Vader has been recreated out of Lego blocks, along with several scenes from the Star Wars movies.

This area doesn't take a lot of time to explore and offers a welcome relief from standing in line.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

How to approach a girl if I like her?

It always surprises me at how many guys completely mess this up.  Having been married for 11 years, then divorced, I had to figure this out all over again, with varying degrees of success.  The most important thing to remember is that there is no magic formula to get a girl to like you back and much of it will come down to basic forces of attraction. That said, provided there is a reasonable level of pre-established attraction, I have some good news: it's actually pretty easy if you learn some ground rules.  Here are my basic rules for pursuing a girl I like:



Rule #1: If she's in a relationship, don't pursue her. If you really, really like her, become friends with her. The laws of attraction don't apply to friends and you can become friends with anyone if you're a nice person.  It's very important that you don't ever make the first move with a woman in a relationship. You need to show her that you respect her relationship. If she's unhappy and attracted to you she'll let you know subtly, but don't get involved in a love triangle, wait til she's broken up or find someone else. If she's married, find someone else.


Rule #2: Be confident. This cannot be overstated. Forget about the movies where the girl is attracted to the guy because he's cute as he's tripping over his words; girl's flee this scene in reality. A girl wants to feel comfortable and she will not have an issue with you approaching her if you know what you're doing. So what are you doing? You're talking to her and showing her that you're interested in her. Find a way to ease into a natural conversation. Guys mess this up by getting nervous and trying to be funny, but it's more about not saying anything that will ruin your chances than saying the perfect thing that is going to win her affection on the spot. Just relax, her affection can't be won there, it takes time and chemistry.


Rule #3: Be yourself. Don't lie. If you're trying to pursue a relationship with this girl, all truths will be exposed sooner or later. It is also not good for your confidence to know that you have to be untruthful about yourself to have a chance with a girl. Know who is in your league, and don't take it personally if you try to go for a girl who is out of your league and she rejects you. You have to take the shot before you can make the shot so give yourself credit for trying, but be graceful in rejection. This will win you points and may even get you a second look at some point down the road.


Rule #4: Keep her engaged. This is the hardest one because it takes a bit of the intangibles like charisma and charm, but with practice these can be developed. Girls have amazing ADD when you're pursuing them. A split-second gap in conversation and they are checking their iPhones or making their way to the bathroom. You don't have to keep her enthralled all night straight but strive for solid 10 minute conversations where the two of you are making consistent eye-contact and the conversation is flowing. This will establish the rapport that you're trying to build. After 10 minutes of good conversation it is safe to ask for her number if the situation dictates it and she will give it to you if you've succeeded.


Rule #5: Don't double-text. You've got her number and sent her a text. If she's interested she will return it. Pay attention to the duration between her receiving and returning your texts. If she waits an hour, don't return fire immediately, wait a bit depending on her message. You may think she likes you, but girls use text-etiquette as a filter, so don't blow it by getting desperate and sending her a text asking why she hasn't responded when you thought you had a really good time together. Well formed voicemails or phone calls keeping in mind the above rules can also be a good idea, but let her dictate communication frequency. You can't force anything here and you will ruin your chances if you try.


Rule #6: Decrease your chances of rejection. When securing a date, whether its your first, second or whatever make sure she is available to go out before you ask. Otherwise after one or two rejections, both sides may start to feel like its not meant to be, and the relationship can die on the vine. To eliminate external factors from the equation make sure scheduling issues do not play into her decision whether to go out with you again or not.


Rule #7: If you've done all this and it's still like pulling teeth to get her to go out with you, stop pursuing. This may actually shift the dynamics in your favor and make her interested in you again. It has happened to me for sure. If it doesn't, let her go and find another girl.


Rule #8: It ultimately comes down to compatibility. Be honest about your feelings and don't force something that's not there or you'll pay the price later. Heartbreak is tough and constant communication is important so both parties can know if the relationship is working or not working.

Good luck!

Friday, April 18, 2014

How to Edit Video on Your Own Computer

I bet you already have what you need

One thing about this tech revolution is that we now have more technology than many of us know how to use! And that applies to video and video editing on your PC. I am willing to bet that you have all the gizmos and gadgets you need to turn raw family footage into something snappier. 


So in this tutorial, I am going to show you - step by step - how to spin video straw into video gold by editing your own video on your Windows PC.


Microsoft Movie Maker

Step1: Confirm Video Editing Software

If you Google the words "video editing software" you will see endless video editing programs. It can be very confusing. Ignore them all. For home video editing on a PC, Microsoft gives you Windows Movie Maker, for free. 

Check your PC right now under programs and see if you have it. If not, download it from Microsoft. You will be ready to edit video on your PC in no time at all!

Step 2: Check out the Movie Maker interface

When you double click the Movie Maker icon, the program opens up right away. It's nice and simple. Here is what it looks like. (Your screen will not look like exactly like mine. I have added the red frames and letters as well as imported some media assets into the project.)

The Movie Maker interface has 5 main areas


It's helpful to think about the interface in its 5 main sections. At the top is the Main Menu (A) where you have drop-down menus for "file", "edit", "view", "tools", "play" and "help". Click on the items to see what they have underneath. (You will be familiar with the idea from other programs you run our your PC.)


On the left of the interface is a list of Tasks (B). These are pretty much the same as the items in the main menu but they are nice and handy here. Next along to the right is an Imported Media (C) window showing the media you have imported into the project. (Video files have a film sprocket border.)


On the right of the interface you see a Preview Screen (D) (currently showing a bear). This is the area you use to preview your movie. You will also drag clips here from your Imported Media and cut them into smaller chunks.


Underneath and running along the bottom is your Timeline (E). This shows you all the clips you have arranged in the order they will appear in your video. You can toggle between a Timeline view and a Storyboard view using the down triangle. 

Step 3: Import media to your PC

Connect camera to computer

 

Decide what you want to include in your video. Your options are: video footage, photographs, music and audio. (You can also add narration.)

Then, use the Import command to get it into your project. If you have existing files on your computer, just click on Import > videos/pictures/audio or music, navigate to the file - and stand back!

If the video is in your camera, you will need to connect the camera to your PC. The command is Import > From Digital Video Camera. You may need to rummage through your old video camera packaging to find that cable or the installation disk. (Tip: A host of technology problems can be solved with the right cable or connector.)


Step 4: Create a rough cut of your movie

Now we are really getting down to business! With your assets imported into your project, it is time to arrange them in the order you want them to appear in your video. And nothing could be simpler. Look at your Imported Media (C) window, choose an "asset" (tech-speak for a video or photo or music track), then drag it down to the Timeline or Storyboard (E). It's all drag and drop!

Just drag and drop to the Timeline/Storyboard

You place your media in the Timeline/Storyboard just like you would assemble frames in a comic. Once you place one item, go ahead and place another.
And if you want to see how your video plays when the pieces are all connected, just click on the Preview Screen (D) play button.
Well done! You have just edited a "rough cut" of your movie on your own PC. Now read on!

Step 5: Fine tune and fiddle!

The last step when editing video on a PC is to right-size your video clips and to add finishing touches like titles, credits, fade-ins and fade-outs, special effects and maybe even narration. This is called the "final cut".

The secret here is to play. Poke around the buttons and see what they do! Video editing on a PC is non-destructive, which means that as you fiddle, you are not changing the original video. Oh yeah, like anything you do on the PC, when you edit, save your Movie Maker project from time to time. (Tip: If you want to try something out, save a new version of your project under a different name.)

Shorten video by dragging in the arrows

Right-sizing video: Make sure you are on Timeline view (click the little down triangle if you are on Storyboard view). Then, click on your video. Two arrows appear at either end of the clip (see picture). Drag the arrows inward to shorten your video at the beginning of the end. 

You can also break up a video by dragging it to the Preview Screen, playing the bit you want, then hitting the "Split" button. That creates a new clip. Repeat as many times as you need.
Special effects, transitions, titles: These effects are really simple to add. Just click on the Edit menu and follow the prompts. When you edit video on a PC, you can add effects such as "old film", sepia, mirror effects - you name it. (If you want to create a slide show, just drop all your images into the "Timeline/Storyboard" and use "Effects" to pan across your images - just like Ken Burns!)


Choose from a large range of video editing effects right on your PC



You have just edited a video on your PC!

Congratulations! You have just edited your first movie on your PC! The final step is to hit the "Publish Movie" button in the Main Menu (A) and choose how you want to watch your movie.

So, what to edit? Well, there is video that you shoot yourself, of course.

Or, you could edit video or film that you have already shot, or that someone else in the family shot. Transferring your 8mm, Hi8 video or VHS tapes to DVD - or better, to a hard drive - allows you to use your new found editing skills to turn those old home movies into a family documentary.

Final Tip: Practice! Video editing is a learned skill and the more you do it, the better you get. You will get faster - I promise!

And stay tuned for more tips on editing video on your PC. Video editing really is a blast!


Guest Post: Author: Nigar Sultana

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Apple's next Smartphone The iPhone 6

The rumor mill is already churning out reports about Apple's next smartphone, likely called the iPhone 6. We're collecting every rumor, whether wacky or plausible, that CNET has reported about the iPhone 6 here, so you can stay on top of the latest reports on its release date, specs, and special features. Let us know in the comments below what you're hoping to see from Apple's next iPhone.

When we will get it


Despite one report that says Apple will launch the iPhone 6 at its June 2014 Worldwide Developer's Conference, it's much more likely that we won't get a new phone until the fall. That's because since 2011, Apple has announced its new iPhones in September and October.

iPHONE 6 DESIGN

 

Typically, Apple uses the same design for a product for two iterations, before bringing out something new. As we've had the iPhone 5 and iPhone 5S, it makes sense for Apple to go for something different for the iPhone 6.

Rumour has it that the iPhone 6 is taking design cues from the iPod Nano and iPhone 5C. 

Rumours published on the Japanese blog Macotakara stated that Apple wants to replicate the multiple colours of the iPhone 5C, giving people a choice for their new phone.

The iPhone 5C was made of plastic, which wouldn't seem like the right move for a high-end smartphone; Apple seems to agree and is also looking to the construction of the iPod Nano. This product comes in multiple colours, too, but uses anodised aluminium body to provide the colour.

With a metal body, Apple will then take some of the design cues from the iPhone 5C, including the curved edges, and the same speaker and microphone holes in the bottom of the handset.

Allegedly, the phone would be just 7mm thick. At this size, the current camera would protrude from the back of the phone. Apple may make the phone thicker to compensate or, by the time the phone is released, have a smaller camera module.

These rumours seem to be been proven as true, if the latest leaked photos are to be believed. The iPhone 6 allegedly snapped in the Foxconn factory shows a new curvier design. Rather than the harsh edges of the iPhone 5S, the smooth, curved sides are definitely closer to the iPhone 5C and iPod Nano.

There's nothing for scale in the photo, so we can't tell how big the phone is, although it's pretty much accepted that the new iPhone will have a bigger screen (see below for more information).

As well as showing off the casing, the photos also seem to show a new sensor on the bottom right. A second snap from the factory showed a CAD drawing of the phone, with the sensor labelled, but the resolution is too low to read it properly. It may be a pulse reader, as Apple is said to be gearing the iPhone 6 towards fitness

iPHONE 6 SIZE

ETNews has been reporting that the iPhone 6 will be the slimmest iPhone yet. In fact, at a reported 6mm thick, the iPhone 6 would shave 1.6mm off of the iPhone 5. It would also make the iPhone 6 half the thickness of the iPhone 3GS.

Making the iPhone slimmer also raises the question, will it be called the iPhone 6 at all? When Apple made the iPad slimmer and smaller, it went with iPad Air. Plenty of people believe that the iPhone 6 could be the iPhone Air instead.

It would make sense in a way, as Apple could continue to sell the iPhone 5S as the smaller screen version and have the iPhone Air as the slim, large-screen model

iPHONE 6 RELEASE DATE

The short version is that nobody really knows when the iPhone 6 is coming out. Everyone has a guess, but it's usually wrong. In other words, Apple releases a product when it's good and ready.

Typically, Apple releases a new iPhone once a year, around September. This time around, the rumours are that Apple is breaking that cycle. As the iPhone 6 is largely a complimentary product to the iPhone 5S, giving people a choice of screen sizes, the argument is that Apple will release the new smartphone soon.

So far, we've seen May, June and July all rumoured for a launch date. The information comes from a wide variety of conflicting sources, so none of these feels right. 

However, there's a more persuasive argument that the iPhone 6 will launch in September, as is usual. It all comes from the financial report submitted by GT Advanced. This is the company that will manufacture sapphire glass for the new smartphone (see below for more information). 

In GT Advanced's earnings report, it's clearly stated that the company expects to earn the vast majority of its money in the second half of the year. That means, from July, GT Advanced will be producing sapphire glass that will have to be shipped to China to be used with the iPhone 6 production line. That would seem to suggest that the iPhone 6 will be released in September, one year after the iPhone 5S.

It's hard to argue with those kinds of figures, but we'll bring you more information as we have it.

iPHONE 6 PRICE

Apple typically releases its new models at the same price as the old ones. If that holds out, then, and assuming that the 16GB model is dropped, we'd expect the 32GB model to cost £529, the 64GB model £599 and the 128GB model £699. However, if the company continues to sell the iPhone 5S, we could be in for some new pricing, with the iPhone 6 a premium model that sits above it, in which case all bets are off and we have no idea how much it will be.

If Apple does decide to make an iPhone with a larger screen, there's also a good chance prices will increase too. Susquehanna analyst Chris Caso, speaking to AllThingsD, predicted that there could be a $50 to $100 premium for a larger iPhone 6, compared to the 4in iPhone 5s.

Rumours of an iPhone 6 substantial price hike have been echoed by The New York Post. Again, the story says that the new smartphone could cost $100 more than the existing iPhone 5S.

Although this goes against Apple's tradition of keeping prices the same across generations, it's not a rule the company is afraid to break every now and then. Last month's iPad Mini with Retina display launch introduced a $70 premium over the entry level model, so a price hike isn't out of the question. 

However, there is potential good news. As Apple is said to be planning two screen sizes, it may be that the 4.7in model costs the same as the current iPhone, with only the larger phablet costing more. We're going to have to wait until much closer to launch to have any true idea of pricing, though.

Guest Post By: Sinthea

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Make Money from your website through adsense alternative


Most of us only know about Adsense that offers webmasters to earn money by placing ads on their sites. The owner of the site can earn through clicks on those ads. The price earned per click depends upon the max CPC or bid amount for that ad. Throughout the globe adsense has become a source of income for those who have a lot of traffic on their sites. There are similar programs offered by Yahoo and Microsoft’s Bing also. Before I begin, I want to tell that I have confidence in adsense, however programs offered by Bing or Yahoo can also be a source of income. Let me elaborate each one by one.


Make Money
Make Money

Google adsense- It is most widely used program that lets web site owners to place text as well as image ads on their site and earn revenue when somebody clicks on it. The only condition for earning is that the clicks must be genuine. Invalid or fraud clicks can lead banning of site for lifetime. Here lifetime means you won't be granted other adsense account, no matter what you do. Google adsense uses its tools to figure out people whose accounts have been banned in the past. They save ip addresses linked with each account. If you change your ip by changing the internet connection, they will match the address of payee name. So practically it is very tough to get back your account or get new account once it is banned.

Yahoo Publisher Network- This is the program that is similar to Google adsense except that it is offered by Yahoo. In this program you place ads on your site that are automatically monitored by Yahoo. Yahoo bots see the content of your site and deliver the ad that is specific to the content of your webpage. You are paid when someone clicks on yahoo ads placed on your site. The amount you earn on each click depends upon many factors such as max CPC (Cost Per Click) of ad. Page rank of your webpage. If you have a high page rank and your content is unique and informative than revenue from each click will likely to be more. This is same as what happens in Google adsense. In YPN you also have the provision for generating specific ads. For example, if you want ads for hotels, then you can generate code for displaying ads for hotels. You can also change the appearance of your ads in YPN. 

Some unique features that is not there in Google adsense is that yahoo offers four ways of collecting revenue. Unlike Adsense where you can get your money only through cheque, Yahoo offers following ways of collecting your earnings.

· Direct bank transfer
· Cheque
· PayPal
· Online deposit

Yahoo uses same tools that Google uses for monitoring the genuinity of ads. So you can be banned as in case of Adsense for fraud clicks. Like Adsense Yahoo is open for any one who want to earn some cash.

Latest update on Yahoo Publisher Network-. With the effect from april 30 2010 Yahoo dcided to shut down its YPN business. The closing of YPN is end of 5 yeras long Yahoo Publisher Network. Yahoo assigned that maintaing Publisher Network requires too many resources which otherwise can be used to provide better user experience for its users. So where the yahoo is sending its existing publishers who were making money. Well the answer is Chitika.com. Yahoo is snding all its existing publishers to Chitika well known for providing content relevant ads for websites. Rad on to know more about Chitika.

Chitika- Chitika is another platform similar to adsense or other platform such as pubcenter or YPN. The good thing about chitika is that it has better CTR (Click through rate) and it its pay out per click is much higher than google adsense.

Bing Pubcenter- This is publisher advertising network offered by Microsoft Bing. The program is beta release, so Bing is expecting a lot of feedback from its users. This program is newly launched and is open for citizens of U.S. only. You need to complete a W9 form for applying to this program. Requisites for Pubcenter are

· US tax ID
· Address proof
· Site traffic must be from US only.

Like Adsense and Yahoo Publisher Network, you will earn money only when someone clicks on Bing ads on your site. The amount earned per click depends on factors that are present in Adsense and YPN. Here again, Performance is monitored and you can be banned for invalid clicks. High quality, unique and informative content is likely to be accepted in Pubcenter program. Pages with less use of java scripts and graphics can be strong contenders for this program.

You can place both image as well as text ads. You can also customize the look of your ads. A variety of tools and features are present to monitor the performance of your ads. Most of the features of this program is same as that of Google Adsense and Yahoo Publisher Network.

Adsense vs Chitika vs Bing Pubcenter (which is more Profitable)- There is no direct answer to this question. Which program will give you more cash can’t be predicted. You will know only when you try it yourself. Adsense is said to have more CTR ( Click through Rate, The no of times click is done divided by 100) because of its specific ad placement. Adsense gives you less revenue. However, Adsense generally gives 30- 40 percent of the actual CPC. Here specific ad placement means that the ad shown on your webpage is very much related to the content of your website. Since Google adsense has lot of advertisers they have plenty of ads to show specifically for different content across different webpages. So if you webpage is all about "making money through website" then you might see ad of affiliate or adsense related products.

Chitika on the other hand has much better payout for every click than adsense. Also Chitika click through rate is much higher than its competitors making it one of the best ad revenue generating for websites. Chitika also has specific ad placement related to the content of the website. 

On contrary Yahoo gives 60 -70 of the revenue of actual CPC (cost per click) but CTR of Yahoo is believed to be less because of broad ad placement. By ad placement I mean relevancy of ad to the content of the page. Very specific ad placement means that if your page is about coffee then you will have ads on coffee only on your page. Broad ad placement means that ads of different utility can appear irrespective of the content of your page. To elaborate this point take the example that your website is about "earning through website" then you might get ads about web hosting or some other ads like that which is not very closely related to the content of your webpage. This is owing to the fact that yahoo has less no of advertisers and hence it has less variety of ads to show on its content network.

Since lot of people have already used to see "ads by Google", they know what it is and will certainly won't click out of curiosity. On the other hand YPN and Bing is still very rare so probability of visitor clicking on these ads out of curiosity is much compared to adsense.

Nothing much can be said about ad placement of Bing as it is still very new.

Conclusion- Though Google’s Adsense is most widely used publisher ad placement program, there are other options too that can be used for generating revenue. A experiment spanning a time of few days can be to determine which one is best for your site. The revenue potential through these programs can't be estimated correctly unless it is done correctly.


Writer:  Emily

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Five Simple Tips for Writing an Engaging Blog Post that Receive Lots of Comments

he internet is plagued with lots of blog posts and articles, and that makes it very difficult to get people to read your posts. This is a very big challenge every blogger has to endure in order to stay in the blogging game. The good news is that you can really make your blog content stand out from the crowd by following the five simple tips and advice below.


Write a Compelling Headline

One way to stand out from the mass of articles on the internet is by writing attractive and compelling headlines that hook your target audience, and make them want to read the rest of your article. If you write the most useful and informative article in your industry without a magnetic headline, nobody will read it. Why? Because your title is not attractive to people. So spend a great deal of time on writing and polishing your headlines in order to make your articles exceptional among the rest.

Build Rapport

To get your audience engaged with your blog post, your content must resonate with them. In other words, try to address an issue that your prospects are desperate to solve.

Take a second look at the headline of this article that you’re reading now. Who do you think it is written for? Of course it targets those who really want to learn how to write unique posts for their blogs. Anyone who is interested in writing exceptional blog posts will definitely click on this headline just to read the rest of the content. Use the same concept when you’re writing your blog post next time and you’ll be amazed with the result.

Use Simple and Concise Language

The rarest commodity on the internet is people’s attention. People have very short attention spans when reading blog posts online and would not waste a lot of their time on articles that are full of technical terms and industrial jargon. When you’re writing your blog posts, use everyday language that’s very easy to understand. Don’t ramble in your sentence constructions; just go straight to the point and tell it as it is.

Break Your Content into Smaller Paragraphs

One of the first things that scare people away from reading a post is the layout. On the internet, people like to skim through articles. So when you’re writing a blog post, try to break your content into smaller paragraphs that are easy to digest. Also, make your content scannable by adding subheadings in order to encourage your readers to grab the main ideas in your content easily.

Summarize and Conclude

This is the easiest part of a blog post to write. Why? Because you don’t need to write anything new here. Just reiterate your main ideas in every paragraph in this section. But use different words when repeating the main ideas. In addition, this is where you need to repeat a concept that you deem worth emphasizing and conclude your post. Observe how the next paragraph illustrates these final points. 

In summary, to write a top-notch post that stands out from the crowd, you need to pay a lot of attention to your headlines. Make them as compelling and magnetic as possible. Resonate with your target group in your content. Use simple, clear and succinct everyday language that an average person will be able to understand without difficulty. Break your blog post content into smaller paragraphs for easy skimming. Finally, summarize and repeat your main ideas in the concluding part of your blog post. I used the above tips and advice for writing this particular blog post.


Written By Guest Blogger: Jorge Kelly

Friday, March 28, 2014

How To Write Blogs and Earn Money from Google and Amazon Ads


Create a Google Blog and earn money writing online 

If you want to learn how to get paid for writing blogs then you have come to the right place!.
It is an easy and quick thing to do and fun as well!
I always use Google Blogs because they are the best.

How to create your first Google Blog

Blogs
Blogs
This is a step by step guide that helps you create your first Blog.
I will also show you how to add Google Adsense ads so that you can earn money writing online from home.
Targeted Google adverts are designed to appear on your Blog in a way that they will only be connected to the subject you write about.
This way the Blog looks good and you have a better chance of readers clicking on the adverts.
When you add the Adsense Gadget to your Blog then Google does the rest.
It will automatically pick the most relevant ads for the subjects you are writing about.

You earn money when the reader clicks on the advert

It does not matter whether the reader actually buys or joins what the ads are advertising.
The reason you are paid for clicks is that through your Blog you brought a potential customer to the company that had the ad on your page.

How to Create a Google Blog

Step by step instructions of everything you need to do to create and write a blog
  • Do an internet Search for Google Blogger.
  • Fill in this simple form.
  • Just enter a username and password, and click Sign in.
  • Enter a display name and accept the Terms of Service.
  • Then click the Create a Blog link.

The URL



  • You will then be asked to pick a name for your Blog and an address (URL).
Do take a little time when choosing the name of your Blog and the URL You want to maximize your chances of getting traffic to your Blog so choose wisely for the particular subject that you will be writing about.

You can create as many Google Blogs free as you like so try to stick to one subject for each Blog. This will maximise your potential earnings from the Google Adsense ads on each Blog.

The Template



  • You will be given a range of templates to choose from.
  • Click on one of the many choices of design and colour
Do not worry about how this may look once you have added content because you can change the template anytime you want once you have published it.

You have just created your first free Google Blog



  • Now you can personalise it
  • Fill in details on your profile page
  • Give your Blog a good keyword title
  • Write a few blog posts.
  • Add your Google Adsense ID under the Monetize button.
  • Now you can add some Google adverts by clicking on the 'Add Gadgets' in the easy to use Google Tools.

Changing the Template and basic design 

Customizing the layout

You have the choice of adding 19 Gadgets to your Blog



  • Click the Layout link on your Blog.
  • From the Page Elements sub-tab click Add a Gadget
  • There are 19 gadgets in the box to choose from. Click the plus sign next to your desired gadget.
  • This will open the Gadget window and you can then add the information.
  • Click Save. Your layout changes will appear instantly.

How to write a post on your blog

  • Sign in to your Blog, Click the New Post button.
  • This will bring you to the Create New Post page
  • Give the post a title and write your post.
  • When you're done, click the Preview link to see if it is written the way you want it.
  • Edit if necessary.
  • If all is well then click the Publish button.
  • You have published a new post.

You can add photographs to your Blog with a few easy steps

  • Click the image icon in the post editor toolbar. A box appears prompting you to browse for an image file on your computer, or enter the URL of an image on the Web.
  • Select the photograph and click on the options button to choose which layout you prefer.
  • Click the Upload images button to add your photograph. A box will appear telling you, 'Your image has been added.' then click Done. Your photograph is added to your Blog

How to add Add videos to your blog

  • Click the film strip icon in the post editor toolbar. A box appears telling you to 'Add a video to your Blog post.'
  • Click Browse to select the video file from your computer that you'd like to upload.
  • Google Blogs will only upload videos of less than 100MB in size. There are a number of video files that Google accepts, they are AVI, MPEG, QuickTime, Real and Windows Media files.
  • Add a title in the 'Video Title' box and agree to the Terms and Conditions.
  • Click Upload Video

A simple and free way to get paid for blogging

So why not create your own Google Blog and start writing posts, adding photographs, videos and links.

Once you are happy with your creation you can then apply to join Google Adsense and earn money online by writing a Blog .

How to add the Adsense Gadget on to your Blog


When you are accepted by Google add the targeted ads to your Blog. It is extremely easy to set up and use. It is also free to join.

Once you have a Google Adsense account you can add the ads to any other Blogs you create without having to go through the application process again.

Or if you already write articles on a writing site and have an account then you only have to use the Adsense Gadget on your Blog.

There is no need to apply again to display your ads.

Google will already have your account number on file and will link to your account automatically.

How to create a free Google Blog and earn money blogging


No that I have shown you how easy it is to create your own Google Blogs for free why not have a go.

If you have a special interest that you enjoy and can write short blogs about it then you will be on you way to earning money from writing blog posts online.

And believe me once you connect with other readers who also enjoy your interest then you will have created an interesting and profitable blog.
Writers Online Community Blog

This first blog is about earning money by writing online. I use it to add unique links to my articles.

I always write a short blog post about the article but in different words that the article itself.
This is easily done by imagining you are telling your readers about your article, what is in it and how it will help them make money writing online by using the particular tips and advice.
You can look at the layout of my blog here and become a follower if you wish too.

Blogging Tips and Tricks