Blog Posted In

History Of Baccarat


By | source: Nov 26th, 2020

Whether you choose to play at home or at a casino, online or using a physical deck of cards, there are literally dozens of different card games you can learn. While some have practically disappeared with the sands of time, others, like poker or blackjack, have been around for hundreds of years and seem to get more popular with each new generation of players. 

 

Baccarat is a game that lies somewhere between these two, and its popularity has gone through peaks and troughs over time. The game is easy to play, and the set-up and gameplay are ideally suited to the online world. As a result, it is one of the most popular games to play in online casinos right now, and sites like playbaccarat.xyz provide new players with all the strategy tips they might need. But how did we arrive at this position? Let’s take a look back at the history of this intriguing game. 

 

Italian origins and Macao

 

Tracing the very beginning of a game is always difficult, as each game is inspired by something else, and you can effectively go back and back through that evolution of inspirations. Most sources, such as that fount of all knowledge Wikipedia, will tell you that baccarat was first played around 200 years ago in France. The truth is a little more complex.

 

The Italian game of Macao involves trying to make a total of nine, and some people even refer to it informally as Italian Baccarat. However, it could be more accurate to call baccarat French Macao, as there are records of the game being played by Austro-Hungarian soldiers in the mid 18th century. 

 

Even older inspirations

 

Yet there are some who believe the history of baccarat can be traced back even further. The concept of getting a score as close as possible to nine is core to two games that date back to ancient times. The first is Pai Gow, a dominos-type game that originates in China. Pai Gow literally translates as “make nine,” and the game is still popular in casinos in Asia to this day. 

 

The second link goes back to Ancient Rome. Traditionally, vestal virgins would cast dice and the result would indicate the strength of their faith and their destiny. The best score was eight or nine, meaning she was destined to be a high priestess. Six or seven meant she was not cut out to be a vestal virgin, while any other number, in the typically dramatic style of the times, meant she must walk out into the sea and drown herself. 

 

The similarities with the basic precepts of baccarat are plain to see. Nine is the ideal number, and the further you are from it, the worse the result. However, we can only speculate as to how much influence this Ancient Roman tradition, as well as the game of Pai Gow, had on the creation of baccarat. What we know for sure is that baccarat was first referred to by name in France in the early 1800s, so that is where the trail leads us next. 

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French baccarat – evolution and revolution

 

Unlike vingt et un, which became modern blackjack, there is little mention of baccarat being played in the pre-revolutionary days, although the game almost certainly existed back in the 18th century. Yet there is not the same history of it being played by the idle rich is the halls of Versailles. The game only became fashionable in the new republic, and in the 1830s, two versions, Chemin de Fer and En Banque emerged. 

 

The first translates as “railway” and remains the most popular version of baccarat in France to this day. The name dates the game with some accuracy, as France opened its first railway in 1832, and this marvel of transportation was being discussed across the nation in the early 1830s. The second version of baccarat evolved into the “punto banco” version of the game that is played in the USA. The two variations are not drastically different, and you can find out more about them in this player’s guide. 

 

Baccarat in the USA

 

In 1871, the New York Times painted its readers a picture of the Long Branch clubhouse, where visitors “flocked around the baccarat board.” That is the first reference to the game being played in America. Fast forward to 1899, and there is a report in the New York Times of 20 Frenchmen being arrested for playing baccarat in what must have been a highly dramatic gambling bust. 

 

These anecdotes disprove the popular theory that baccarat was introduced to the USA in 1911, and demonstrate beyond question that the game reached American shores some time in the mid to late 1800s. Yet despite having clearly been around for half a century, the game was not specifically mentioned in Assembly Bill 98, which legalized gambling in 1931. 

 

When Las Vegas began to take on a life of its own, The Sands was the first casino to offer baccarat on The Strip, when it opened its doors in 1958. Yet the Chemin de Fer on offer failed to capture the imagination. By the 1960s, Punto Banco had gained popularity thanks to Tommy Renzoni, who actually imported the game from Argentina. This is the variation that remains most popular to this day.

 

Renzoni is often credited as the man who brought baccarat to the masses, but he had more than a little marketing help from across the pond. In 1953, UK author Ian Fleming penned a certain novel that would secure the game of baccarat’s place in popular culture. 

 

Popular appeal and the most famous baccarat game ever

 

In Casino Royale, we are introduced for the first time to James Bond. His mission is to take on criminal kingpin Le Chiffre at the baccarat table of an exclusive casino, clearly modelled on Casino de Monte Carlo, and to make sure his adversary loses. Ian Fleming, a keen gambler himself, dedicates page after page to explaining the rules of the game, expounding different strategies and finally talking us through Bond’s encounter with Le Chiffre in minute detail

 

From a 21st century perspective, we could argue that Fleming’s novel would have benefited from a slightly more ruthless editor. But at the time, copies flew from the shelves. Casino Royale became an international bestseller, and suddenly everyone was talking about James Bond and the game of baccarat. 

 

This makes it seem all the more bizarre that when Casino Royale finally got the big screen treatment it deserved, the directors chose to swap the game of baccarat for Texas Holdem poker. The reason for this was changing fashions in gaming. But as we will see when we look at baccarat’s recent history, these fashions can cut both ways. 

 

From WSOP to the online revolution

 

When the World Series of Poker swept the world in the 1980s, Texas Holdem was the only card game that anyone wanted to talk about. Sure, people were still playing blackjack in the casinos, but poker was the game for serious players, while baccarat was considered a throwback to the old days and dwindled in popularity. Nobody would dare dispute that James Bond is a serious player, so from that perspective, Bond director Martin Campbell’s decision makes sense for the time. 

 

If the movie had been made just a few years later, however, baccarat might well have remained the game of choice. As we moved into the 2010s, the internet became flooded with online casinos. In an immensely competitive marketplace, the challenge for the casino platforms was to stand out from the crowd. Offering something a little different is always a good way to do so, and baccarat seemed an obvious choice. 

 

The game appeals to the new brand of online casino players for two reasons. First of all, as a game that is played against the cards as opposed to directly against an opponent, it lends itself to online gaming with a random number generator. Secondly, winning or losing is more about luck and courage than skill. Yes, there is a degree of strategy, but it is more to do with mathematics and betting progressions than the kind of gameplay knowledge you need in poker. 

 

As such, baccarat is a great game for beginners.  A little like roulette, having little experience does not set you at a disadvantage, and you stand as good a chance of winning as someone who has been playing the game for decades. 

 

Baccarat’s online popularity has led to it once again becoming a common sight in the real-world casinos of 2020. After all, when someone visits Las Vegas or Monte Carlo today, they want to play the games they have practiced online. And so, what was seen as a throwback to old times just a couple of decades ago is today once again one of the most commonly played casino games. Why not give it a try for yourself next time you are looking for an online diversion or perhaps exploring the Vegas Strip?

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100+ Ways To Inspire Creative Thinking [Infographic Examples]


By | source: Jul 21st, 2021

As a writer, I am in constant search for inspiration. Sometimes it comes to me out of the blue, but for the most part, I have to work hard for it.   If only the solution were as simple as flipping a switch!  Having creativity exercises on deck might just serve to unleash your creativity.

Science Behind Creativity: Why It Matters To Everyone

Creativity isn't just for artists.  Studies have shown mental and emotional health benefits to creative arts.   Research even points to artistic activities preventing or delaying dementia in the elderly.  Exercises that can foster creativity, like making a point to talk to 3 people every week who are totally different from you, might even help you make new friends.

In the workplace, creativity finds its roots in the right environment.  Whether it's giving employees more freedom over their schedule, adding diversity to a team, or playing games, managers have many tools to spur out of the box thinking.

science of creativity

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21 Ways to Get Inspired

But just how do you try to find inspiration?  This roadmap provides hints and tips that you can follow to unlock your creative genius. Hard work is certainly the foundation to worthwhile endeavors, and being creative requires practice as well.  Your path is going to have twists and turns just like this infographic.  Being open to new possibilities , as these strategies suggest, might help you through the next roadblock.
Infographic from Entrepreneur about creativity and 21 ways to get insipred

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How To Be More Creative

Step-by-step guides are usually reserved for DIY projects like building a table or cleaning your car. However, here we have a guide just like that, but it’s all about igniting your creativity.

All too often, we assume creativity is a trait that we have to be born with.  How to be creative is a skill that can be learned and practiced.  If you don't think that you are “naturally” creative, focus on the process, and try a few of these proven tools and strategies.

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9 Simple Ways To Improve Your Creativity Infographic

The fact that creativity appears inversely related to age, may seem slightly disappointing at first.  But spend 5 minutes with a 5 year old and you will see that creativity in overdrive.  We were all 5 once, so that spark must still be there!  It just might take a bit of work to unearth.    These are tactical tools to help you get unstuck.
Infographic from Spiritbutton about 9 exercises to improve your creativity

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5 Challenges to Awaken Your Creativity

Sometimes tips, suggestions, and scientific studies just aren’t enough to spark your creative thinking. This infographic also points to the creative juices that were flowing when we were 5, but what did it come down to?  10x more questions asked and 50x more creative tasks undertaken each day as a 5 year old, vs a 44 year old.

Creativity training can be approached from both mental and physical angles, whether it's centering your thoughts to open up the possibility of creativity, or using mental exercises. Challenging your limits with these exercises will help you flex those creative muscles.
5 Challenges to Awaken Your Creativity Infographic

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How You're Killing Your Own Creativity

Personally, I really like this one because it talks about both good and bad ways of creative thinking. On the road to producing creative work, we often get stuck.  That creative block may be a result or our own mental blocks, whether it's using repetitive thinking, or trying to brainstorm on no sleep.   Sometimes we need a reminder of what is killing our creativity so that we can gain it back.

Figuring out what the greats have done is another way to load up on inspiration.  You may not need to copy their exact schedules, but there might just be a template that works for you.
Infogrpahic from Entrepreneur about dos and donts for your creativity

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10 Scientifically Proven Facts About Creativity

To me, the idea that “all people experience moments of ‘ordinary creativity', which permeates daily tasks”, is a fundamentally important one.  If we ignore the status quo and try to be creative about everyday problems, collectively we have hope of solving seemingly insurmountable issues.  Travel, vodka, and meditation also all sound like reasonable triggers to add to our lives (in reasonable quantity).

Infographic about 10 scientifically proven facts about creative thinking

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40 Ways to Stay Creative

Sometimes when we've run out of ideas, we need ideas to trigger ideas! Here are 40 simple things you can try, like read books, sketch more, watch films, be curious. And sometimes that is all we need; a reminder that even simple changes can spark creativity.

Most of these tactics can be practiced by anyone with the will and of course time.  To dedicate yourself to creativity, you will have to make the time for it.  You might find the process itself can be quite enjoyable and varied.

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40 Ways To Get Rid Of Creative Block

When you feel stuck it may seem as though you have to move mountains to restart your project.  It is irritating, stressful, and an overall unpleasant situation especially if you have deadlines.  Having 40 tactical strategies in your toolkit increases your chances of getting out of the rut.  Be crafty, try new experiences, change your environment, use that notebook.  Have we left any stone unturned?

40 Things You Can Do To Break Your Creative Block
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Set Your Creativity Ablaze! 7 Ways to Generate New Ideas

At the end of the day, fostering creativity in the workplace or at home starts with the right habits.  These are the types of habits that you rinse and repeat regularly, setting up the foundation for even more ideas.  As this infographic mentions, ideas aren't generally plucked out of thin air but are based on known facts.  By building up that knowledge via teaching, chances are you can generate well informed ideas.

Using more metaphors sounds like a novel way to practice creativity.  Speaking metaphorically would certainly be an interesting way to spice up conversations (or send away someone you don't want to speak to at a party).  In general by comparing situations, even if they seem unrelated, you might find a new context to evaluate your problem.
Infographic on how to improve your creative thinking and avoid creative blocks

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 Conclusion

There are common threads in many of these ideas.  Seek inspiration both internally and externally, open yourself up to new possibilities through experiences, study what brilliant minds do, take a walk, and get enough rest.

Perhaps the first step is knowing that we all have access to tools to inspire creativity.  Just remember to work for it. The goal is always to push forward, no matter how deep in the mud you're stuck.  As Jack London said, “We can't wait for inspiration, we must go after it with a club.”

Which strategies help inspire your creativity?

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Blog Posted In Finance

M1 Finance Review


By | source: Jul 13th, 2021

M1 Finance dubs themselves “The Finance Super App.” This website lets users invest, borrow, and spend money with a combination of investing and spending accounts. While they promote their services to younger, newer clientele, they’re perhaps better suited for more experienced investors, as they employ no financial advisors.

M1 Finance follows the time-tested philosophy of investing regularly to build a diverse, balanced portfolio over time. They consider the long-term approach to be one of the best ways to generate sustainable wealth. As such, they discourage day trading on their platform, and in fact take steps to prevent intraday trades. 

 

M1 Finance Pros and Cons

Every investment website has its own pros and cons to contend with. It’s up to individual users to decide if they work toward – or against – their interests and needs. 

 

Pros

  • Low minimum deposit
  • Ability to trade fractional shares and place individual stock/ETF orders
  • No trading fees or asset management fees
  • 80 “expert” portfolios to model your own investments after
  • Automated investing available at no extra cost
  • Integrated banking and investment services 

 

Cons

  • Transaction timing is out of your control
  • Investments limited to stocks and ETFs
  • No financial advisors to guide your investment decisions
  • No dashboard to show all external accounts in one place
  • If you’re inactive with less than $20 in your account for 90 days you’re charged a fee
  • No risk assessment questionnaire
  • No tax-loss harvesting

m1 finance review

What is M1 Finance?

M1 Finance is a money management and investment app registered with both the SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) and FINRA (Financial Industry Regulatory Authority). They offer tools such as self-directed trading, automated investing, fractional share investing, and margin lending. 

However, M1 Finance is not an advisory service. Its purpose is to combine automated investing with high degrees of customization so that experienced users can tailor their portfolios perfectly. It’s also one of a few free robo-services, as its basic service charges no portfolio management or trading fees, nor fees for deposits or withdrawals to connected accounts. 

 

M1 Finance Pricing

The regular version of M1 Finance is free for everyone. This basic tier comes with features such as:

  • No checking APY
  • Up to 1% international fees on M1 spend (checking account)
  • 3.5% interest rates
  • 1 daily trade window

M1 Plus is the premiere offering from M1 Finance. This account costs $125 per year – just over $10 per month – and includes features like:

  • 1% checking APY
  • No international fees
  • 2% interest rates
  • 2 daily trade windows

We’ll cover both versions of M1 Finance in more detail below. 

 

M1 Accounts

M1 Finance offers three basic accounts: Spend, Borrow, and Invest. Each of these serves a different purpose to help you on your financial journey. That said, the features vary somewhat depending on if you go for their basic or premiere service. 

 

M1 Spend

M1 Spend is M1’s checking account. It comes with a debit card linked to a spending account with no minimum balance or fees. This integrated digital bank account also links with your investment account, so you can sweep excess cash into your IRA, a taxable account, or even pay off your Borrow balance. 

The basic Spend Account carries no APY and a daily transaction limit of $10,000. They also charge up to 1% in international fees and offer no fee waivers for ATM withdrawals. 

The M1 Plus Spend Account offers more flexibility, with a daily transaction limit of $50,000. You get 1% APY on your checking account, plus 1% cashback on all purchases. Additionally, there are no international fees, and they waive ATM fees four times per month. 

 

M1 Borrow

M1 Borrow is this service’s margin account. You can take out money at 3.5% interest in the basic option, or 2% interest for Plus members. But regardless of which M1 account you go for, you have to have a total portfolio worth of $10,000 to borrow money. 

 

M1 Invest

M1 Invest is fairly straightforward. They allow you to choose your own stocks and ETFs for your investment portfolio, or mimic one of 80 “expert portfolios” to get a head start. They also support four types of accounts: individual, joint, IRA, and trust. 

The trading window opens at 9:30 a.m. EST when the New York Stock Exchange opens and runs until all orders have been executed. Any order you place before 8 a.m. EST are executed during the same day’s trading window. 

With the basic version of M1 Invest, users are limited to 1 trading window per day, with no options for smart transfers. M1 Plus members, however, have the option to enjoy a second trading window in the afternoon before market close. 

Additionally, smart transfers are available for users with balances over $25,000. Smart transfers are a way to automate cash flow, spending, and saving – rather than micromanaging your accounts. For instance, you can set up rules to keep a minimum amount in your checking account and invest the rest; tap into M1 Borrow if your account drops too low; or automatically transfer a contribution to your retirement accounts if your Spend balance rises above $1,000. You set the limits, and your account does the rest. 

m1 finance investing

Custodial Accounts

Aside from these three basic accounts, M1 Finance Plus clients also have the option to open custodial accounts for minors. You can deposit funds and rebalance the portfolio in the minor’s interest until they reach their state’s age of majority. (Usually, 18 to 21 years old.)

Upon reaching the proper age, M1 Finance will restrict all trading in the custodial account. The recipient of the funds can then take one of two options: withdraw the funds entirely, or transfer them to another taxable account. 

 

M1 Finance Features

Now that we’ve peered behind the curtain, let’s dive deeper into what M1 Finance has to offer its investors. 

 

Pie Investing

While M1 Finance does offer some limited banking and borrowing abilities, its bread and butter is stock market investing. To that end, they help you build your portfolio from the ground-up with what they call “pie investing.” 

When you first sign up with M1 Finance, you’re invited to build a new pie from scratch. This tutorial lets you pick three items and then customize each “slice” of your pie. Although this is meant as an introduction to M1 Finance, you can save your pie for later to expand upon. Alternatively, you can select one of 80 pre-prepared “Expert Portfolio” pies to automate your investing. 

The way that pies work is simple. Each stock or ETF is one “piece” of the pie. The size of the piece represents how much of your portfolio this asset represents. At the edge of the pie, each slice shrinks or expands to show how that asset behaves in relation to your desired allocation. This provides a visual so you can reallocate your funds to a more desirable setup. 

 

Portfolio Management

M1 Finance offers tools for both passive and active investors to monitor their funds. But regardless of which you choose, your portfolios are monitored and rebalanced frequently to reduce drift. This helps keep your allocation within desired parameters as cash flows in and out. 

M1 calls this “dynamic rebalancing,” as they attempt to account for both cash flow and the reallocation of currently deployed funds. Uniquely, you can also force a rebalance at any time, which is not a common feature in many robo-advisors. 

 

Investor Goals and Education

Unfortunately, M1 Finance is sorely lacking in its goal-setting abilities, as it’s not an advisory service. Although they do provide expert portfolios for reference, their base operation is as a “do it yourself” platform. 

That said, M1 Finance does offer some investor education to help you get started. They have dozens of articles on the importance of investing, the ins and outs of different retirement accounts, and how to save for retirement. Plus, their blog, social media, and newsletter are tailored to advise self-directed investors on how to improve their mindset and prospects in the market. 

 

User Experience

M1 Finance is built with the end user in mind. The mobile app is well-designed and mirrors full website functionality. (In other words, anything you can do online, you can do in the app.) Both the app and website move customers through each step of the investing process fluidly. And once your portfolio is defined and funded, you can easily check its performance, reallocate funds, and alter your cash flow. 

 

Customer Service

One place that M1 Finance has a below-average reputation is with their customer service. As they offer no financial consults, all customer service revolves around how to use the website and app. Your live service options are limited to phone or email, and many users report not receiving an adequate response to their queries or problems they encounter. 

That said, M1 Finance does provide a detailed FAQ page to answer the majority of your queries. Many articles also include video walkthroughs on how to use the website and app, as well as to explain their basic investing premise. (But don’t hold your breath on receiving advice from a financial advisor – they don’t have any.)

m1 finance stock market

Is M1 Finance Right for You?

M1 Finance is an investing experience for users who have some background in the stock market. Intermediate to expert investors will likely benefit from the hands-off approach, as you can:

  • Deploy a high degree of portfolio customization
  • Invest in pre-defined SRI (socially responsible investing), high-growth, or value portfolios
  • Take either an active or passive path, according to your preferences
  • Research how various retirement and M1 accounts work and the importance of building wealth 

However, M1 Finance is not an investment site for beginners. If you’re unfamiliar with stocks and ETFs, uncomfortable investing without an advisor, or don’t know your own risk tolerance, M1 Finance is probably not for you. The site’s dedicated to options and personal control means that the burden of your financial future rests on your shoulders – and yours alone. 

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Blog Posted In Business

How to Actually Make an Extra $2,000 Per Month


By | source: Jul 6th, 2021

Everyone could use a bit of extra money. Whether you’re looking to pay off those student loans, saving up for a big purchase, or looking for some supplemental cash to diversify your streams of income, the prospect of increased monthly earnings is an enticing one. 

In the digital age, there are more opportunities than ever before to supplement the income from your full-time job or even leave your job to become a digital nomad. While exciting, it can also be a bit overwhelming trying to find the right fit and actually monetize what you do.

Not to worry!

This article is aimed at helping you to not only identify possible income opportunities but walk you through the process of how to actually make money doing them. 

Freelance Writing 

We live in the age of content. 

Every brand, business owner, and entrepreneur is looking for content to help bring their product to market and grow their business’s digital presence. Doing so requires a high volume of content, especially written content.

With online platforms like Upwork and Fiverr, finding businesses to write for is an absolute breeze. All it takes is a solid internet connection and a bit of know-how to make decent money. 

The business model is typically per word overly hourly rate, but starting writers can charge around $50 per article with more experienced writers charging up to $150 for a single article. If we average between the two, it’ll only take about 20 articles monthly to hit our $2,000 per month target.

You don’t need to be Dan Brown either. The process of becoming a freelance writer is simple.

earn extra as content writer

Choose a Topic 

Some examples of article requests on the Upwork board today include:

  • Content writer for self-improvement blog 
  • Social media manager and content creator
  • Health and fitness blogger 
  • Business development content writer 
  • Content writer for real estate investing
  • Sleep stories for adults
  • Content writer – knitting and crochet industry
  • Short blog post about “how many cushions should I put on my sofa”

 Whether you’re an experienced trainer looking to make some extra cash, or a stay-at-home mom who knows exactly how many cushions covers that sofa needs, there is a job that’s right for you!

 

Practice: Write Some Samples

You’ll need to have one or two writing samples ready to go for most freelance projects, as they’ll want to see what your writing is like.

Practice your SEO skills by writing a couple of sample articles in your niche, and then comparing them to the top-ranked search results.

 

Apply for Jobs

Now that you’ve got your samples, hit the job boards and start applying!

Don’t get discouraged if the going is a bit slow to start. There are a lot of freelance writers out there. Just stay committed and keep applying, aim for a certain number of applications each day in the beginning.

Certain habits, such as personalizing each of your proposals and reading the entire job posting, will give you a big advantage. Some postings even include a code hidden in the posting to make sure you’ve read it all.

Earn extra every month work web design

Web Design

In the digital age having a website is a must for any business. 

However, recent research found nearly 36% of small businesses still don’t have a website. Add on all of the personal brands, blogs, and other web-related services and you have one of the fastest-growing industries in the job market

While becoming a web developer is more of a career trajectory, as it involves some pretty advanced coding abilities, web design is much easier to make some extra cash without a full life commitment. 

With an average median salary of around $51k, even web design as a part-time job can easily clear our $2,000 per month target.

All you need is a keen eye for design, some technical know-how, and a portfolio of sights (starting with your own!).

 

Understand Design Theory and Tools

The first step is to actually understand what makes a successful website.

Making a good website is a bit of art and a bit of science. If you have a good eye for design, that takes care of the art (because most people don’t).

You’ll also need to learn the science, so be sure to take some online courses to fully understand the process.

 

Build Your Own Site

Building your own website actually serves two purposes.

The first is simple. You have a new service which could one day become its own business. You don’t want to be one of those 36% of businesses without a website!

More importantly (at this stage) building your own site will allow you hands-on experimentation with the tools and theories you are learning. The information will actually stick if you do it this way, as opposed to just listening and taking notes.

 

Reach Out to Businesses 

Once your website is beautiful, it’s time to find some clients!

There are several strategies you can use here. Start local: if you know of any businesses in your area that are a bit more old school, that’s a great place to start. Especially leverage personal connections.

You can also use Google. Search your niche, the businesses you feel most comfortable working on, and head to page 10 of the search results. These businesses will want to rank higher but aren’t currently able to do so, and poorly designed websites are often to blame

Offer your services as a way for them to jump up the rankings!

earn extra as online tutor

Tutoring Students Online 

While becoming an online teacher, even an English teacher, requires degrees and certifications, tutoring can be done by anybody with some knowledge and the ability to teach others.

According to Tutors.com, one of the premier sites for starting your online tutoring business, tutors can expect to make around $30 per hour for their services. 

Specializing in areas such as Calculus or SAT Prep can nearly double that to anywhere between $50 to $60 per hour, making it a great source of income!  

Even on the lower end of this scale, say $30 per hour, it will only take about 67 hours per month to hit our $2,000 per month goal. That’s less than 20 hours a week.

The steps to becoming an online tutor are also very simple: 

  1. Determine your subjects, specialties, and teaching methodology.
  2. Set up a tutoring profile with a site like Tutors.com,  Chegg, respond to online tutoring requests and introduce yourself to your students.
  3. Research, prepare, and teach well to provide real value to your students.

 

The last step is crucial. If you are a great tutor, it is extremely easy to build your business through personal reference and word of mouth. 

On the flip side, if you show up to lessons unprepared, don’t expect to be in business for very long. 

Final Thoughts 

The going is always going to be a bit rough in the beginning.

Learning technical skills, lack of experience in general, and understanding how to market yourself all take some time.

That being said, if you stick with it and keep trying you will make money. Just remember why you want to do this, focus on your goals, and stay consistent.

The journey of $2,000 begins with a single cent, and with the information from this article, you can start that journey today!

 

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Blog Posted In Business, Education, Marketing

GMass Review: Features, Pros & Cons


By | source: Jun 11th, 2021

GMass is a cold (unsolicited) email marketing service and mail merge tool that works within the Gmail platform. The service purports to help businesses increase their open rates by making email outreach campaigns easy to manage from your Google inbox. 

In the past, GMass’ platform has been popular with bloggers and recruiters. But thanks to recent upgrades, GMass hopes to expand its clientele to email marketers and sales professionals seeking to run their campaigns from the comfort of a Gmail inbox. 

In this GMass review, we’ll cover their:

  •     Main features (including 2021 updates)
  •     Pros and cons
  •     2021 pricing model

 

What is GMass?

GMass is a mass email campaign builder and sender that works with Gmail and Google Inbox. The system itself is a Chrome extension that embeds within Gmail to help you maximize Google’s emailing services. 

With GMass, you can easily:

  •     Extract email addresses from previous conversations
  •     Send emails as replies to your initial outreach email
  •     Integrate with Google Sheets 
  •     Automatically send follow-up emails based on specific parameters

But beyond that, GMass’ features are somewhat limited – for instance, there’s no A/B testing, outside integrations, or email templates. 

 

Gmass review

GMass Review: Features

Before we review Gmass’ pros and cons, let’s get a feel for their main features. 

 

Email Campaigns

Because GMass downloads directly into your Google mailbox, there’s very little learning curve to use this software. Simply use the quick install option and start composing emails right from your native inbox. 

One of GMass’ big selling points – and a recent 2021 update – is that they now use their own servers to route emails. As such, you can “break” Gmail’s daily send limits (more on that below) and up to 10,000 emails per day. 

When it comes to your campaigns themselves, you can send personalized cold emails with follow-up sequences to maximize responses. Any follow-up emails send as “replies” to the last thread with each recipient, so you don’t have to worry about spamming their inbox.

And with behavior-based campaigns, you can send emails to segments of prior campaigns based on specific behaviors, such as open, read, or ignored. Plus, automatic scheduling lets you can set your mail merge to repeat daily or hourly. 

 

Email Templates

When it comes to building your emails, unfortunately, GMass offers no templates. But after you design your first message in Gmail, you can save that email as a template for future campaigns. 

You can use this same template as often as you want for multiple users and campaigns. And once you have a library of templates built up, you can use the GMass search bar to find your favorites. 

 

Personalization Tools

GMass supports a functional, but limited, range of personalization – you can individualize items like:

  •     Recipient names
  •     Fallback values (if you don’t know a recipient’s name)
  •     Merge tags
  •     Images
  •     Attachments
  •     Headers

GMass also offers first-name detection to help you fill out your address book. And with the Google Sheets integration, you can automatically build a list of recipient emails with their names, fallback values, and merge tags to speed up the process. 

 

Analytics

GMass also has a fairly comprehensive analytical dashboard you can use to check your progress and tweak future campaigns. Like GMass itself, your analytics dashboard is embedded in your Gmail inbox. From here, you can:

  •     Get information on open, click, and reply rates
  •     Generate a graphical representation of your reports
  •     Export data into a new Google Sheet or CSV
  •     Turn on auto-updates to stream live data into Google Sheets
  •     View a breakdown of all domains you send to within a particular campaign 

GMass also offers a live, web-based report with up-to-date information that you can share with anyone – even if they’re not in your network.

 

Customer Support

GMass is a fairly simple platform that performs a handful of tasks well (so long as you only need Gmail for your marketing campaign). But if you run into trouble, you can turn to their online helpdesk full of updated blogs and FAQs

Alternatively, you can contact customer support via their email or ticketing systems. At the time of writing, GMass does not offer phone or live support of any kind. 

gmass gmail email

GMass Pros

Despite GMass’ ease of use, this mail merge platform is designed to maximize Google’s outbound email system – a hefty advantage for Gmail users. 

Quick Email Composition

GMass makes it easy to compose emails. Just open up Gmail’s compose box, add text and inline images or attachments, and hit send. 

Accessible Email Lists

When you first download GMass, the software trawls previous conversations and adds recipients to a Google Sheet. You can also use Gmail’s search feature to find specific conversations and compose a message to only those addressees. GMass even offers a built-in verifier to ensure you’re sending emails to live accounts. 

Easy (But Simple) Automation

GMass’ automation features are easy to use, though not expansive. You can schedule and monitor your email campaigns, activate automated follow-ups until you receive a reply, and send personalized responses. You can also automate your Google Sheets to receive data from your analytics dashboard in real time. 

Email Campaigns as Replies

If you receive replies to your email campaigns, you can compose one message with personalized variables (such as a greeting and sign-off) and send in bulk as your response. This boosts your engagement by making your recipients feel like you wrote your email just for them – while saving you time in the process. 

Enhanced Distribution

Gmail imposes outbound email limits of 500 per day for regular accounts, or 2,000 per day with Google Suite. But GMass uses their own servers to route emails to your recipients – which means you can boost your email output to 10,000 per day (without getting in trouble with Google!).

 

GMass Cons

Of course, no platform is without its downsides – and GMass is no exception. 

Chrome Extension Only Works with Gmail

This downside is a double-whammy: as a Gmail-based service, GMass only works with Gmail’s system, which means you’re bound by Gmail’s basic email composition constraints. Additionally, as a Chrome-only extension, you have to work entirely within Google’s system to use GMass. 

No A/B Testing

A/B testing is a fairly standard offering in today’s email marketing climate – but unfortunately, GMass doesn’t offer this basic service.  

Templates

It’s possible to create your own templates by designing an email with text, images, and attachments. However, GMass comes with no included templates to make your email marketing process faster. Plus, you can only save email templates that are fully support by Google mailbox. 

mass email gmail

Integrations

GMass is also sorely and unusually lacking in the integrations department. The only “integration” is Google Sheets, which you use to develop and manage your recipient list. 

Analytics

GMass’ analytics dashboard is fairly standard in what it shows. And though it does offer a unique web-based report – with no login required – the URL is public, and thus accessible to anyone. While this makes it easy to share your analytics, it still means that anyone with your URL can view your data anytime.  

 

GMass Review: 2021 Pricing

GMass now offers two basic pricing tiers (their former “Minimal Plan” has been discontinued). You can pay by debit card, credit card, or PayPal. 

With the Standard plan, users get unlimited use and access to all features except for sequence and follow-up abilities. This plan starts at $12.95 per month or $129 annually for an individual.

Premium comes with all of GMass’ features and starts at $19.95 per month. You can also bundle a team of five members together started at $89 per month. (Team packages are only available at the Premium tier.)

 

GMass Review: Is This Bulk Email Marketing System Worth It?

GMass is an email marketing Gmail extension that only works in Chrome, and only offers one integration: Google Sheets. As such, if you’re not a Gmail-based marketer, investing in this software isn’t just a bad move; it won’t work at all. 

But if you’re a Gmail-based outbound marketer who wants to boost your send rate, increase engagement, and maximize your Gmail account with a simple, easy-to-use platform, then GMass offers robust tools at a solid price. 

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Blog Posted In Business

How Do You Know If You Are Entrepreneur Material?


By | source: Jun 10th, 2021

Being an entrepreneur allows you to exploit all your qualities, polish them and make use of them to achieve great goals such as increasing your income, reaching your financial independence, but above all, following your dreams. 

However, you can't wait for your dreams to happen; to start a business, you need to have capital. Camino Financial offers small business loans that will help you achieve your personal and professional goals.

Being your boss, organizing your schedule, and setting your salary, require a lot of effort. Consider that you will be working more than you do today for a company, so be prepared mentally, emotionally, and physically.

To be an entrepreneur, you need knowledge. You may be very good at certain areas of your project, but chances are you may have to improve in other aspects to have a successful business. Your product may be the best, but if you don't know how to market it and sell it, it won't be of much use. 

Don't let anything limit you in the pursuit of your dream. If you don't have the budget for your business project, don’t worry, you can access financing through microloans for small businesses. 

Remember that every entrepreneur has a different entrepreneurial thumbprint, and the key is to recognize your areas of opportunity for improvement. Here are some characteristics that will help strengthen your entrepreneurial material.

 

Being visionary

A good entrepreneur must have a panoramic vision and anticipatory thinking. As an entrepreneur, you’ll need to keep an eye on what is happening around you and make decisions before things happen. 

This doesn’t mean that you’ll have to become a fortune teller. Instead, it means developing the capacity of identifying unusual movements in the market, and even in the world, to find windows of opportunity or anticipate crises.

A good entrepreneur does not base his predictions only on the trends he observes in social networks or the immediate environment of his business. It is also essential to access data. Whether they come from market studies prepared for your company or from global studies such as those carried out by specialized platforms. All these figures and their analysis can be an excellent compass when making decisions.

 

Be proactive

Take the initiative and look for alternatives to grow your business, even if advice or statistics say otherwise. Solutions can come from disruptive ideas that are generated thanks to proactivity. 

Proactivity is often confused with anxiety. To be a proactive person it is necessary to be calculating, to wait for the exact moment to act, to help, and to give that extra mile that every business requires. If you don’t think your moves clearly, you will only be wasting time, money and on many occasions, you will cause more damage than benefits.

If you identify an area of opportunity to grow, don't be limited by your economic capacity. Apply for small business loans and reach your greatest potential.

 

Be persistent

Entrepreneurship is not a race of speed but of endurance. People who venture to establish a business should know from the beginning that it will not be an easy task and will require a lot of persistence. If you think that from day one you will achieve great results, you are not being true to yourself.

The growth of a company is a process that will present multiple falls, obstacles, and really hard knocks. It is necessary for entrepreneurs to work on their resilience, a necessary skill for failure to make them stronger and to be open to learning in order to be better entrepreneurs, but above all, better human beings.

Be passionate

To start a business, it is necessary to have an engine that drives you to achieve your goals, something that you are passionate about and is the reason to get up every day. 

The object of passion is different in each case, and it can be the product or service you offer, the interpersonal relationships you generate by operating it, your family, an alternative project, or even money. All are valid reasons that should be reflected in your decisions.

Being passionate will allow you to face the bad economic, administrative, and operational moments of a company. It will give you the strength to get up every day with your head held high to fight the battle of your life. It is important not to confuse being passionate with being foolish or irresolute. The basis of any work is the openness to recognize that we are not experts in every aspect and open healthy channels of communication.

 

Be organized

Being the head of a project requires facing different types of responsibilities. On the one hand, you are in charge of satisfying the needs of your clients, and on the other, being attentive to the needs of your work team, both professionally and even helping them achieve their personal goals.

The only way to deal with these big commitments is through organization. From the moment you start your entrepreneurial adventure, your head will race double or three times as much as it usually does. 

The recommendation is to be organized, write all the information you receive in tools such as agendas, calendars, or task managers and try to stick to them. You also need time for your loved ones.

 

Being a leader

Every project needs to have a head to steer the ship, someone who influences the team and is willing to be a role model. This particular assignment can be tricky because it involves keeping your team motivated and communicating ideas.

The best leader is the one who takes into account the human aspect of building a great team. If you consider that you lack training in this aspect, go to institutions specialized in generating habits and strategies to bring out the leader that exists within you. If you do not have the budget for this project, get help from small business loans to achieve your goal.

 

Be adaptable to changes

If the Covid-19 pandemic made one thing clear to us, it is that life can change in a second. We were suddenly faced with mobility restrictions that completely changed our lives. Predictably, this was reflected in every business. Technological tools were essential for companies to continue operating and, above all, generating income.

Undoubtedly, a person who does not adapt to changes or resists them had greater difficulty in facing the challenges of 2020 and what is going to 2021. For this reason, future entrepreneurs must be open to change, convinced that the only permanent thing will be the variables and that any plan can be modified at any time if they are willing to succeed.

 

Be sociable

An entrepreneur who doesn't know how to socialize won't make it on his or her own. If you don't like to interact with other people, share your knowledge and accept that you can't do everything on your own, entrepreneurship is probably not for you. Regardless of the niche in which you want to develop, networking will be a fundamental part of the growth and success of your company.

Generating alliances, commercial relationships, or even partnerships is the day-to-day of any entrepreneurship. Your ability to relate and generate empathy with all kinds of people will be essential to achieve the objectives of your business and above all, to demonstrate the values and philosophy of your company.

 

Be innovative

For many years we have associated the word innovation with technology. Although these concepts are compatible, you do not necessarily need technology to be innovative.

Innovation is all those changes that can be generated within a process, product, or service. Regardless of the market in which an entrepreneur wants to enter, he/she can generate innovation.

Changing a bad practice or implementing an improvement to a process, for example, that reduces costs, achieves greater satisfaction, or even revolutionizes the industry, is innovation and is the best tool to differentiate yourself from the competition. Innovations do not distinguish sizes or niches. They only focus on results.

 

Work as a team

No matter what type of business you want to start, teamwork is an extremely important assignment. We all think we know how to work in a team, but when we confront ideas with other people, it is likely that we are not as good as we thought we were. 

Working in a team will allow you to strengthen a company through different visions. Remember that there is no better idea than listening to all ideas. Feeling accompanied and supported in times of crisis will be fundamental to not throw the towel and continue in the entrepreneurial adventure.

 

Willingness to learn

We could list many other qualities that are usually required in entrepreneurs, but undoubtedly the most important one is the willingness to learn. Regardless of your level of education or experience, entrepreneurs have to be willing to learn something new every day. 

Whether the knowledge comes from academic or empirical sources, the important thing is to learn from each experience. Generate new and better ideas that can be applied within a business enterprise. Remember that one of the main intentions of any entrepreneurship should be to improve the world or at least make someone's life much easier.

These lessons come from many places, sometimes from the least expected places. Keep an open mind; you can get helpful tips from different people.

No one is born with superpowers; establishing a business requires effort, perseverance, and discipline. Success does not happen overnight; it is necessary to believe in yourself, train yourself and work every day for the dream of your life. If you do not have the financial resources to achieve it, you can rely on companies like Camino financial, which offers the best small business loans to consolidate all the needs of your powerful idea.

The adventure of entrepreneurship will bring great experiences to develop you personally and professionally. Having a business implies being part of the economic activation of your community, state, and country. You will create direct and indirect jobs, you will bring food to your table and the table of many families. It is a journey that is undoubtedly worth it. Are you ready to start a business? Share with us your dream.

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