Featured Friday – SyncBack

by Revka ~ September 26th, 2008

Featured Friday buttonI have a painful confession to make.  I currently do not have an up-to-date backup of my files.  I have a backup I created a few months ago before I had to revert my computer to its factory settings (a long and very painful story), but I haven’t backed up my files since then.  That has all changed because of the tool I am sharing with you today: SyncBack.

SyncBack is freeware that helps you easily backup and synchronize your files.  It has been around since 2003 and has won many awards.

SyncBack is free for personal, charity, government, educational, and commercial uses.  It is available in 12 languages.

I will always have backups of my files now, and I will rest easier in the knowledge that if something were to happen to my business files, I can immediately restore the lost information from my backup.

If you don’t have a way to backup your files, why not try SyncBack?  After all, it’s spyware/virus free, and it won’t cost you a cent.

BlogCoach.org – Helping You Grow Your Blog

by Revka ~ September 24th, 2008

BlogCoach.org interviews bloggers and people like me who assist bloggers, posts about topics like copyright issues, fulfills member requests for blog critiques, and has a forum dedicated to helping members grow their blog.  I found much there that was helpful to me, and I bet you will, too.

I’m also happy to say that I’ve been interviewed by Angie, the woman behind BlogCoach.  That was my first-ever interview, and I quite enjoyed it. :)

2 Chances to Win a $60 RS Designs Credit

by Revka ~ September 23rd, 2008

Both Linda and I are sponsoring on-going giveaways where you could win a $60 credit to use here at RS Designs.

Linda’s giveaway is at Bella Casa where entries are being accepted until this Thursday, September 25, 2008. The winner will be announced on Friday. Read the giveaway post for details on how to enter (leave a comment at your choice of two posts) and qualify for multiple entries.

My giveaway is at Thrifty Mommy where my friend, Karen, is accepting entries until September 30, 2008, and will announce the winner the first week in October. Karen has two ways for you to enter. If you choose to do both, you will receive an additional entry. Details are at her giveaway post.

As a thank-you for hosting these giveaways, these ladies will be given a 20% discount code that they can use toward their next order at RS Designs.

If you’d like to host a giveaway, please check our giveaway calendar to see which designer is available during the month you would like to host a giveaway. Typically, each designer will only sponsor one giveaway per month. (I accidentally double-booked myself for November, but that is not the norm.) If you host a giveaway, you, too, will receive a 20% discount code to use toward your next order.

Featured Friday – Eraser

by Revka ~ September 19th, 2008

Featured Friday button Continuing the pattern of featuring free tools, today’s post is about Eraser, a free Windows tool to completely remove unwanted and/or sensitive files from you hard drive.

If you have ever stored passwords, account information, or other private personal information on your computer, you need a program like eraser to make sure that no one else can ever gain access to that sensitive information.  When you erase a file from your computer by putting it in the Recycle Bin, the file can still be recovered by easily available recovery tools unless the file is overwritten.  That is where Eraser comes in.

Eraser has received Chip Magazine‘s Best File Shredder award for good reason.  Because Eraser completely overwrites the unwanted files, even with sophisticated programs those files can no longer be recovered, ensuring that your private data remains just that – private.

What file eraser program do you use and/or recommend?

Linda Needs Prayer and Encouragement

by Revka ~ September 19th, 2008

Although there is no formal business agreement between us, Linda is the best partner I could ask.  As a business partner, she is intelligent, inspiring, honest, forthright, tactful, ethical, and hardworking; as a friend, she is giving, thoughtful, loyal, understanding, dependable, kind, and funny.  I have become a better business owner and person because of my relationship with her.  I think she deserves the best that life can give her.

Last Saturday, September 13, she announced at her personal blog, Mama’s Coffee Corner, that she had just found out that she was expecting a baby.  She had told me in our business meeting on the previous Tuesday, and we were both excited and having fun talking about her new little one.

Sadly, on Tuesday, September 16, she had to announce that she had lost the baby she already loved.  I have spoken with her since then, and she is doing as well as can be expected while dealing with her loss and the grief she is experiencing.

Here’s where you come in.  Would you please leave a kind comment at her blog,  send her a free e-card from Hallmark.com, or pray for Linda?  She could really use the encouragement right now.  Her e-mail address is linda@designsbyrs.com.

Thank you for your concern.

Personalized Blanket Winner

by Revka ~ September 16th, 2008

The personalized baby blanket giveaway has ended.  Thanks to all who participated.

I chose 1 winner and 3 runners-up via random.org.  Here are the numbers chosen.

So the winner is comment #69:
Lindsay – “I love a zebra in paris!!!! It’s so cute!!! Thanks for being so generous! (both you and Nicki!) :)

Lindsay, you have 72 hours to respond to claim your prize.  If not claimed in 72 hours, I will notify the first runner-up and proceed through the list until someone responds as requested.

First runner-up: Laura “Also signed up for GBB’s newsletter. Thanks!!”
Second runner-up: Cindi “Hello! I just signed your guest book. Again, many thanks…..Cindi”
Third runner-up: Rebecca R. “I would choose the Take Flight design with my lil’ guy’s initial on it.”

Featured Friday – Giveaway of the Day

by Revka ~ September 12th, 2008

Featured Friday buttonI have another free resource for you today.  Two Featured Fridays ago I reminded you that the library is a good source to find books on web design, the last Featured Friday was about free courses from About.com’s Web Design/HTML channel, and today’s post is about Giveaway of the Day, a website that offers a different licensed software download for free each day.

You never know what will be offered through Giveaway of the Day, and you need to check every day because the free software is only free if you download and install it that day.

This is a win-win site: the software creators get people to try out their software, which could result in increased sales, and we downloaders get free programs.

Recent giveaways, which are no longer available to download, include the Wondershare Photo Collage Studio 4.2.8 (helps you create photo collages and digital scrapbooks for print), Double Safety 4.2 (n automatic data backup program), and many more.

Take a look at Giveaway of the Day; I bet you’ll love it!

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Help from the Experts – Free!

by Revka ~ September 11th, 2008

*Disclaimer:  I am not an affiliate of the program/product about which I am going to tell you.  I don’t make one cent from any purchases you may make because of my recommendation.*

I realize that I already posted today, but I simply couldn’t not tell you about this awesome opportunity.

If you have ever wondered what that SEO stuff is all about, or if you have wondered how to optimize your site to rank better in the search engines, I have found the answer for you.  The kicker is that you have to act before September 15!

Brad Fallon and Andy Jenkins are well-known and highly respected Internet marketing experts who teamed up to create Stompernet, an internet marketing organization made up of many well-known and highly-successful “gurus.”  Membership in their “university” comes at a steep price tag – $800 per month.  Ouch!  But my understanding is that the information gained from that membership is well-worth the high price tag.

You probably don’t have $800 a month to spend on learning SEO; neither do I.  The good news is that now you don’t have to.

Until September 15, 2008,  when you subscribe to Stompernet’s new SEO print journal, The Net Effect, you will also receive Stomping the Search Engines 2 (a DVD containing SEO training courses) for just the shipping and handling cost.  In addition to the DVD course, you get to try the first issue of The Net Effect for just the shipping and handling cost as well.  If you don’t like the journal or don’t want to continue your subscription ($39.99/mo), you can just call the number listed in the magazine and cancel your subscription, and you get to keep Stomping the Search Engines 2 and the first issue of The Net Effect for free.

To sweeten the deal, about a dozen additional Internet marketing big-wigs are giving their own free bonuses relating to Internet marketing, SEO, and growing your business.

To sign up, just go to the package detail page.  You should watch both videos to learn what you will be receiving.  I think this offer is nothing short of fabulous.  I’ve already taken advantage of it, and my S&H cost for the DVD, the free issue of The Net Effect, and another DVD I requested was $12.86.  That’s it – a little investment for a gold-mine of information and help.

But remember, this offer is only good until September 15, 2008, so act now!

7 Reasons Blogsites Attract More Visitors Than Websites

by Revka ~ September 11th, 2008

Hi!  This is Revka speaking.  Within the past two months, I have redesigned one business website and have created 3 business blogsites from scratch.  Websites have been the traditional choice for businesses, but if you want to attract visitors, a blogsite (like RS Designs) is a better option.  Here’s why.

7 Reasons Blogsites Attract More Visitors and Help You Get More Clients Online

by Donna Gunter, The Online Biz Resource Queen (TM)

If I were starting my business today and was evaluating my website options, I would pick a blogsite over a stand-alone blog or a traditional website.

What’s a blogsite?  I like to think of this as a blog/website hybrid.  It has all the features of a blog, yet acts as a website to help you promote your business.

More and more, I see new online service business owners choosing blogsites over traditional websites. Some who have started with a traditional website have switched over to a blogsite in the last year. Here are 7 reasons why a blogsite attracts more visitors and helps you get more clients online than a traditional website:

1.  Easy to update and maintain.  Once created, your blog is almost effortless to update and maintain on a regular basis.  All you have to do is log into your administrator interface, create a post in a Word-like environment, publish the post, and it instantly appears on your blogsite, creating a well-maintained and updated site – one to which visitors return. No longer will your website be the site that you (and time) forgot.

If you are tech-savvy, you may be able to create and install your blogsite yourself using open source software like WordPress, or using a fee-based blogging service like Typepad.  If you require technical and graphic assistance to get your blogsite up and running, you can expect to pay at least $300 to create a simple blogsite. [Editorial note: You can get your blogsite installed, setup, and designed for $199.97 by purchasing our Platinum Blog Design Package.]   The ability to update your site yourself frees you from the need to learn an HTML software program.  However, if you choose to use open source software for your blog platform, be sure and have someone on call who can help you troubleshoot when there is a technical problem. As with all technology, it’s not a matter of if a problem will happen, but when it will happen.

2.  Create static webpages.  The best feature of a blogsite is the ability to create static webpages, like About Us, Our Services, How We Work, etc., as found on a traditional website.  Your static pages can be displayed in a navigation bar across the top or down one side of your blogsite, as in a traditional website.  These pages can serve as your home page, or the blog part of your site can serve as your homepage instead. Now, anytime you add an additional program or service, you can simply go to your blogsite and instantly update your offerings.

3. Create relationship with visitors.  Unlike a traditional website, a blogsite has the blogging feature built in, which permits your visitors to comment on your posts.  You do need to post 2-3 times per week to the blog to begin to build the relationship, and then reply to the comments that come in from your visitors.  When you do that, your visitors are much more likely to return to your blogsite to see what else you have to say.  That doesn’t happen often with a traditional website.

4.  Attractive to search engines.  Search engines, Google in particular, love blogs.  I’ve posted a comment to a blog and had Google index that comment within 5 minutes.  How did I know this?  Because I have a Google Alert set for my name, and that alert about that post was emailed to me about 5 minutes after I made it.  No more waiting for weeks for the search engines to find your site!

5.  Uses RSS feeds.  No longer do you have to hope and pray that your email reaches its intended target.  With the use of RSS feeds, your blog posts are automatically syndicated to anyone who has requested them, and they arrive in your reader’s RSS feeder almost instantly.

6.  Promote your business throughout the site.  Have a free giveaway or product or affiliate program you want to promote?  Now you can easily add that info to a sidebar of your blog and have that show up for the visitor regardless of what page the visitor lands on. [Editorial note: We are a perfect example of the preceding statment. RS Designs promotes our giveaways and new products on our home page.]

7.  Offers Web 2.0 functionality.  If you’re using any social networking like Facebook or Twitter, most blogging platforms offer a widget or plug-in that will connect your visitor to your social networking profile.  There are other plug-ins that make your blogsite searchable, show related blogsites or related posts, display your favorite Amazon.com recommendations, etc.  More widgets and plug-in are being developed every day to help you better connect to your visitors.

If your website needs an overhaul or you are about to launch your first site, seriously consider a blogsite. A blogsite will save you money, time and aggravation and get you connected much more quickly to your visitors and to the world at large.

~Online Business Resource Queen (TM) and Online Business Coach Donna Gunter helps independent service professionals learn how to automate their businesses, leverage their expertise on the Internet, and get more clients online. To claim your FR*EE gift, TurboCharge Your Online Marketing Toolkit, visit her site at OnlineBizU.com. Ask Donna an Internet Marketing question at AskDonnaGunter.com~

Blogspot 101: Using a Non-Blogger Font in a Post

by Revka ~ September 9th, 2008

*To view all of the posts in this series, either click on the following link, or type Blogger Tutorials into our search box.*

One of my most popular posts at The Porch Light is where I talk about discovering how to use in a post a font other than the default Blogger fonts.  Apparently, a lot of people want to know how to do that.

Before I divulge the secret, it is important that you know that specifying a font does not necessarily mean that your reader will see that font.  A font will only be visible to a reader if they have that font already installed on their computer.  Have fun with this new trick, but realize that not everyone will know that you have used it.

On to the good part.  Here are the steps needed to change a portion or even the whole post into a non-Blogger font.

  1. Click on the Edit HTML tab for your post.
  2. Insert your cursor directly in front of the first word that you want to be in a different font.
  3. Type the following: <span style=”font-family:occidental, georgia, ‘times new roman’, serif”>

    Note
    : You should replace the font names I used with the names of the fonts you want to use. Names with multiple words, like Times New Roman, should be enclosed in single or double quotes, and I recommend specifying several fonts so that if your viewers’ computer doesn’t have the first font (or second), it they have additional options.  I also recommend having serif or non-serif as your last font in case none of the fonts you chose are installed on your viewers’ computer.
  4. Now place your cursor directly after the last word you want in the special font and type </span>.
  5. Click the Compose tab to see how it looks.
  6. If you like it, publish your post.

If you want to write the whole post in a different font, simply place the code from step 3 at the very beginning of you post and place </span> at the very end of your post.

Please feel free to leave your questions and comments in the comments for this post or to e-mail them directly to revka@designsbyrs.com.

My next tutorial will tell you how to change your template HTML so that your whole blog is written in a non-Blogger font.  Until then, happy blogging!




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