Going Online: The Next Best Step For Your Small Business

By Pete ~ November 3rd, 2012 @ 11:08 am Comments Off

When the World Wide Web came to fruition, the initial intention of its creation was to allow people to communicate through small computer networks. Today, many people are relying on the internet for various reasons aside from online communication and interaction. The World Wide Web has become a legitimate marketplace where sellers and consumers converge and perform business and other commerce-related transactions. It is a trend that’s becoming an even more common fixture with each passing year.

It does not take a genius to see that with the current trends in the business landscape, going online is now an imperative for small business owners and entrepreneurs who want to expand their ventures. According to Internet World Stats, a firm that measures internet users and usage, there are more than 2.26 billion Internet users all over the world. From a business standpoint, every single one of them can be a potential customer.

Roni Jacobson, a web business specialist, said that a business website is a powerful marketing tool, whether you are selling products or offering manual services. Every business owner should consider going online. However, it is not just about having a website. Entrepreneurs who wish to see commercial success in the online world should also have a good understanding about how online commerce actually works.

If you have an existing business, it is best that you do not jump the gun early when making your presence felt online. Jacobson suggests that the first thing you should do is take a step back and analyze it from afar. Take note of other businesses in your niche that offer or sell the same products and services and see how they manage their enterprise effectively online. Make sure you cover everything, like how they approach their online business model, where they find their visitors and customers, advertising techniques used and marketing campaigns being run.

Jacobson also suggests that business owners who want to go online should additionally gain knowledge about web marketing strategies and stay updated about the latest web marketing software applications and software. You should also be aware of the online payment methods such as credit cards, bank transfers, and popular payment management sites like PayPal.

If you know how to navigate the ins and outs of online commerce and you have a solid understanding of how the Internet works and can help you, then this may be something you can tackle by yourself. However, if you feel you do not have the expertise of putting together a functional, user-friendly online business model and website, you will do well to hire a team who can help you out with regards to building, monitoring, and maintaining your online presence and brand.

Jobs That Don’t Call for a College Degree

By Pete ~ April 9th, 2012 @ 2:14 am 2 Comments »

Education is the universal indicator of one’s skills and knowledge in their field, making degrees and diplomas a very essential asset when applying for a job, especially if it’s a high-paying position. While it is true that what you learn and deposited in your brain is intangible and can’t be taken away, not all people can afford to go to college and get a degree.  But it does not mean they cannot get a decent profession and make substantial money from it.

There are several occupations out there that do not require you to take classes in a college or a university. All you need to possess for you to get any of these positions are the basic education from high school, perseverance and willingness to learn, and a lot of common sense.

Firefighter

Starting Salary: $32,165 – $53,608 per annum

Everybody wanted to be a hero when they were young. But for someone who puts out fires for a living, you are a big time here in everyone’s eyes. And you do not need to be a university or college-educated chap to become one. Most states require you to have at least a high school diploma and a satisfactory rating in your physical and equipment training if you want to be a firefighter.

Stepping up the career ladder is also possible. Basic high school education can get you in. But to move up the ranks, you need to not just hone your firefighting skills, further education is an imperative. Several colleges and universities in the United States offer in fire science and fire protection engineering and taking these programs will bolster your resume and help you with the promotion process.

Mechanic

Starting Salary: $30,584 – $40,564 per annum

According to some sources, there were approximately 52 million cars manufactured all over the world back in 2009. And that number is steadily increasing as years go by. That equates to the increasing significance of professionals who deal with cars, specifically the mechanic. And it is quite a respectable career choice in today’s world. Almost all people have cars and they need someone to be well-versed with its intricacies and complexities on a regular basis. The good thing is that no college education is needed to be a mechanic.

That being said, you also need to have a knack for cars, engine parts, motor oils, and hydraulics because it can be quite hard if you are not. Many car repair centers employ high school graduates but they must undergo an apprentice program before they can become certified mechanics.

Tradie

Starting Salary: $35,575 – $48,833 per annum

Almost everybody on this planet will have a need for a plumber and an electrician every once in a while. Most electricians and plumbers learn on the job when starting as an apprentice. Some even enter the profession because of family tradition. While the position does not call for a college degree, most professional plumbers and electricians are required to be licensed and certified before they can ply their craft. You need not be a genius but you also should be equipped with the proper skills and training when working with live electricity or in city sewers.

Becoming a licensed plumber or electrician also has its perks, especially for those who are members of labor unions. Salary, financial assistance, and insurance are some of the things that come with being a duly recognized worker of the trade.

Soldier

Starting salary: $17,892 – $27,814 per annum (for enlisted personnel and non-commissioned officers)

A career in the US Military is still possible even without a college degree. Provided you are at least 17 years of age and have a high school diploma, you might qualify to become a soldier. Of course, you also need to satisfy other requirements such as citizenship status, sexual preference, marital status, number of dependents, and so on.

Once you pass the initial screening, you need to endure several weeks of training and learning before deployment. Where you are assigned wholly depends on your superiors and commanders.

The good thing about joining the military is that you have the option to have them pay for your college tuition if you so decide to pursue a college degree. Basically, you fulfill your terms of service and they will shoulder your expenses all the way.

The position is a noble calling and thus, it is not for everyone. It also has a high level of risk, which why the selection process is tough and strenuous.

A college degree is a great thing especially if you are out there looking for a job that will help you make money and make you a productive member of the society. But for those who can’t afford to go to college and earn a degree, you can still achieve highly as long as you strive to be better and productive in everything you do.

If You Have Game, a Job Awaits

By Pete ~ March 21st, 2012 @ 9:29 am Comments Off

With a history that stretched far back into the 1970s when the gaming world is confined in video cabinets, the video game industry roared through the years and now is one of the most successful commercial and business sectors in the world today. ParisTechReview.com reported that the industry made approximately $7 billion in 2011. A projection by the Institute of audiovisual affairs and telecommunications in Europe (IDATE) suggests that sharp growth is to be expected until 2014.

Simply put, the video game industry is booming and trending shows the boom is not going to end in the foreseeable future. Xbox, PlayStation, and PSPs have dominated the video gaming arena and the demand for better games and consoles is increasing at a very fast pace. The degree of the growth is hard to predict. But the most definitive aspect here is that right now, the video game landscape is a gold mine for job seekers who want to enter the video gaming world.

The industry has matured and job opportunities await those who got game. The question is, do you have game?

While having a job in the video game industry is a dream come true for some people, being employed in a game development company does not mean playing video games eight hours a day (although some people get to do and get paid). Here are some of the most popular employment opportunities found within the video game industry:

Game Developer.

A video game developer, as the title implies, is someone who creates video games that will run in various platforms like Xbox, PlayStations, and Nintendo Wii. Developers specialize in various types of games, such as role-playing games or first-person shooter. Others become experts in software development that allows video games to run personal computers.

Most game developers have a bachelor’s degree in Game Art and Design, which covers the aesthetic aspects of a game, and Software Development, which is required for those who want to work in the game development area. Certification and training courses are offered in colleges, universities, and computer institutes.

While many people find this job financially rewarding, salary is at $73,000 a year, and the working environment pleasant, game developers are typically required to work long hours and weekends. There are also some instances where employees have experienced burnouts due to fatigue and stress.

Games Testers. 

One of the most popular positions sought by job seekers, game testers are paid to play video games to spot and locate problems such as bugs, errors in design, and potential issues.  Salaries for this position vary but a typical video game tester earns $30,000 per annum.

While many think that testing a video game as a means of living is easy, professional game testers say otherwise. Companies looking for video game testers are not simply looking for someone with good gaming skills. Apart from exceptional video gaming skills, a game tester must be able to spot a problem immediately and note it down for reporting.

While there is no formal education requirement for this position, most game testers got in the industry by acquiring certifications and degrees from computer and game design schools.

Story/Scriptwriters.

If you consider yourself to be very good in spinning a fine story, then you might find a spot in the video gaming industry. Modern video games have evolved from those that only require you play until you beat the final boss; they now require good story lines, excellent plots, appealing back stories, and enticing characters among others.

Salary rates differ depending on the quality of the game, budget, as well as the overall length of the game. Basically, a script is priced around $10,000 to $600,000. Those who have excelled in the field of scriptwriting can demand for a very high amount.

While a college degree in theater, literature, and dramatics can help one’s application, the important part of the job is to be able to provide a good story for a video game.

Animators/Artists.

Animators are highly indispensable in the world of video gaming. They are the ones who make things in a video game move. On the average, animators earn as much as $46,700 a year for those with three years of experience or less. As experience grows, an animator can rake in more than $70,000 every year. Animators for video games are holders of college degree in animation and graphic designs.

Artists, on the other hand, are tasked to provide art for the game, drawing the characters, and creating the background and scenery. Traditionally, a video game artist is paid $41,500 a year. While skills in drawing and painting are essential, video game companies prefer to hire those with degrees and certifications in related fields.

Getting employed in the video game industry can be quite exciting. And with the current rise of the industry, nabbing a job at this point is perfect timing. But like all other jobs, you need to perform well and excel in your field for you to further advance in your video game career.

Blogging for a Living

By Pete ~ March 19th, 2012 @ 1:54 am 1 Comment »

Is it possible to turn your hobby blog into a full time living? Apparently so. There are a lot of smug professional bloggers out there who travel the world, working and getting a monthly paycheck from their blog. This income often comes from advertising in the form of affiliate commissions, banner ads or Google Adsense.

With blogging it is important to make the transition from hobby to fully fledged business, with a proper site structure and monetization strategy. It is crucial to have a genuine passion for your topic- otherwise you’ll hate writing about it every day and it will show- but you must approach it in a businesslike way if you want to turn a profit (in case you were wondering, this blog is just a hobby and no, it doesn’t turn a profit). I’ll show you some examples for what I am talking about.

NEWS BLOG

A professional news blog should be updated several times a day in various categories covering a wide range of topics. If the blog is a niche, break the topic down into several smaller ones and do the same for those. Advertizing should be discreet.

SPORTS BLOG

A sports blog can do well from advertising in terms of related banner ads, etc. Don’t publish inane posts just for the sake of it- update in a timely fashion with coverage on big developments in the industry (i.e. the hiring and firing of players, coaches) and of course major games. Local games are a good feature to add, too, and you can work your way up through word of mouth in your area.

FASHION BLOG

This area of blogging is saturated with wannabe models and fashionistas who think everyone is interested in their outfits. Unless you really are an industry insider or designer, find an interesting niche that is not currently being filled, where you can really interest and help people. Perhaps support local designers in your area, or showcase some work of your own. Reviews, discount code updates and style coaching are also ways to add value. The most likely income earners in this area are banner ads and affiliate commissions, as many major online fashion retailers have programs incorporating both.

In most niches you can’t expect to turn a profit in the first six months to a year, although of course there are exceptions to every rule. Don’t quit your day job- just start blogging on the side in a professional way, and see where it leads you. Traveling the word may be a reality sooner than you think.

 

Further Reading

Going Online: The Next Best Step For Your Small Business

Jobs That Don’t Call for a College Degree

If You Have Game, a Job Awaits

Blogging for a Living

Dress for Success

Three Well Paying Jobs You Probably Don’t Want

Job Interview Tips

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