Recent Posts

Industries That Have Been Transformed By Technology

During our lifetime, we have all been affected by technology in one way or another, as we have all grown up within the digital age and this is only going to improve as the years go on. However, there has been some industries that have been totally transformed by the digital age, and some more than others, and below we look at these and why these industries have specifically been affected.

[Image: Forbes]

One industry that has been transformed has been that of the retail industry in which now we are seeing a shift of shoppers migrate from high-street shop to online alternatives due to a number of factors. One of the main factors is that customers can find the same products online for a cheaper price compared to shops that you can find on the high-street. Not only that, but the convivence that online retail shopping poses to consumers is considerably higher as we can now order what we please online and get it delivered to our front doors within days.  (more…)

Ways Of Making Money On The Internet

Since the birth of the internet a couple decades ago, it has given the opportunity to many of us to alternative avenues to make money which weren’t available to us before the introduction of the internet. There are hundreds of different ways to make money on the internet now, so we thought we’d look at some of the easiest and fastest ways to use the internet to make money.

[Image: Dumb Little Man]

One of the easiest ways to make money online is through the use of a blog in which you can then charge writers to use your platform for their articles. Making a blog on a subject that you have an interest in is always a place to start as this enables you to know more about the topic and your influence on the blog can be more important. Blog can be started on anything but ensuring that you are making a blog on something that is of interest to people will ensure that you are creating more traffic through your site which in the end will turn into more profit for yourself. (more…)

Going Digital – a practical approach

Today’s multi-channel customers are increasingly time-poor and tech-savvy: they demand the ability to service their accounts 24/7, and across multiple channels, to access the information they need at their convenience.

All very well, but what changes can customer service teams make to continue meeting these changing expectations?

Evolving into a contact centre

Traditionally, the call-centre has been an inherent part of the customer service offering for any customer-facing firm. However, the entrance of “digital natives” into the marketplace means more customers that have grown up with an intrinsic understanding of technology, and who expect to use new channels and devices to access customer support. As a result, businesses have been forced to develop innovative ways to interact with clients and keep them engaged in the customer lifecycle. (more…)

4 Things You Need to Know to Avoid Costly Divorces

No-one wants to be prepared for a divorce. What you want is for your marriage to last forever and for your divorce to be over as soon as possible. Sadly, the legal fact is that ending a marriage union is just as complicated — if not more complicated — than starting one.

Yet, rushing through a divorce without thinking through the financial side of things properly is never a good idea. Without sound legal counsel and a slow, meticulous process, a nightmare divorce can wind up costing several times more than a dream wedding. So, in order to make sure that a divorce doesn’t cost you, here are four things you need to know.

1. The best divorce lawyers in London are the best divorce lawyers in the country

London is home to a lot more lawyers than you probably realise. Of all the lawyers that operate in the UK, 75% of them operate in the Greater London area. For that reason, if you can find the best divorce lawyer in London, you’ve likely found the best divorce lawyer in the country. What’s more, what with London’s immense size and influence on the global stage, the best divorce lawyer in London may well be one of the best divorce lawyers in the world.

This isn’t just true of the best divorce lawyers in London. The best divorce lawyers in New York City or Los Angeles are likely to be some of the best lawyers in the United States because, just like London, they too are world cities with huge populations and a disproportionately large number of lawyers.

2. If you’re irrational, even the best divorce lawyers in London won’t be able to help you

One of the most common mistakes that people make during a divorce is to prioritise things based on how they feel about them, rather than their financial value. While this may be good life advice, it’s terrible divorce advice. Divorce settlements are based on the money that each partner in the relationship is entitled to. Don’t undermine the importance of this by stubbornly sticking to personal attachments. To do so, make sure you and your ex-partner’s asset valuations are performed by a quality, dispassionate observer.

Divorce lawyers are there to offer you sound legal counsel and emotion-free, impartial advice. The problem is that, when you’re going through a divorce, this advice can be hard to hear. As such, you might choose to ignore it. You are free to do so, of course. Your lawyer’s job isn’t to make you do anything. So if you choose to make huge mistakes because you were thinking with your heart and not your brain, not even the best divorce lawyer in London could help you.

In short, controlling your emotions and avoiding rash decisions based on sentimental attachments is your job and yours alone.

3. Divorce doesn’t make debt magically disappear

A marriage contract means that a lot of debt is shared, and a divorce doesn’t automatically change that. If your ex-partner has some serious money issues, you need to know about them. Not having that difficult conversation now will cause some extreme headaches later down the line. (more…)

4 Ways Bloggers Can Monetize Their Websites

The idea of making money might not be at the forefront of every blogger’s mind. However, for those bloggers who do want to make money writing, there are many ways of doing it. Because not every monetization technique is perfect, here’s a quick guide to four of the best.

1. Monetize Websites by Merchandising Your Brand

If you’re a blogger who wants to make money, it’s time to start thinking of yourself as a brand. You are more than a blogger with a laptop. You are a business with values, ideas and a trademarkable image. With all that in mind, there’s no reason why you can’t start selling branded merchandise.

This is a common way for bloggers and internet creators of all kinds to make money online. DFTBA.com was set up as a way for internet creators to monetize their online activity through merchandise sales, and plenty of internet creators jumped at the opportunity to sell stuff through DFTBA. Of course, if you don’t want to sell something physical, a branded eBook is also a great way of monetizing your blog.

2. Monetize Websites Through Donations

Openness goes a long way, which is why asking users for donations is another popular monetization model for bloggers and other kinds of internet creators. Patreon was a website set up to help creators do this, but you don’t necessarily need Patreon.

The Guardian takes donations directly and so too does the fifth biggest website in the world: Wikipedia. In summary, it doesn’t matter whether you’re a small-time blogger or the world’s largest online encyclopedia; the donation model can and does work. Wikipedia fundraisers raise more each time. This is what has allowed the site to grow.

There’s no set way of asking for money. Just ask and see what happens.

3. Monetize Websites Behind Paywalls

Not everyone likes paywalls, but there are some strong arguments for them — and not just from business-minded people. Before David Simon created The Wire, he was a journalist at the Baltimore Sun for several years. He left at around the time online journalism took off. It was his opinion in 2009 that if newspapers don’t put up paywalls, journalism will die.

Journalism didn’t die, but many news websites did put up paywalls. The Times, The Telegraph, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and the Harvard Business Review all have paywalls with varying degrees of hardness. Soft paywalls allow people to sample a handful of free articles, whereas hard paywalls need your money straight away.

Do paywalls work? Some say yes, and some say no. Either way, they remain immensely popular. Perhaps the best paywall model comes from streaming websites. By offering a month’s free trial, websites like Netflix and others retain a third of customers after the trial ends. It’s hard to say which type of paywall — if any — would work for your website, but they’ve certainly helped some websites to make a lot of money.

4. Monetize Websites with Affiliate Marketing Experts

Affiliate marketing experts specialise in helping people to monetize websites. By connecting advertisers with bloggers and website owners who are looking to make money, affiliate marketing experts take away a lot of the legwork needed in order to find reputable and relevant advertisers.

If you work with trustworthy affiliate marketing experts, you don’t need to worry about bad, spammy, or otherwise strange adverts appearing on your website. Instead, you can start making money straight away. It’s a simple idea, and it’s probably because of its simplicity that advertising is the longest running website monetization model. Affiliate marketing experts have built upon the years of success and failures that have defined the ad-funded internet. It’s because of this wealth of wisdom that using affiliate marketing experts to monetize a website is such a popular model.

Why You Need to Make a Claim Before the PPI Deadline

In the past six years, over £27 billion has been paid out due to mis-sold PPI. Millions of people in the UK are owed money by their bank or credit card providers for mis-sold payment protection insurance (PPI).

The banks have suffered massively for the mistakes they have made. However, they aren’t the only ones suffering from PPI claims.  The Financial Ombudsman has been struggling with PPI claim cases being referred to them for final decisions. The ever-increasing backlog of complaints means that some consumers are waiting up to two years for claims to be resolved.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) decided that a deadline needed to be put in place for people to make claims — that date is 29th August 2019. This means that consumers have two years to contact a PPI claims company or to make a claim themselves. The FCA is hoping that a deadline will encourage people to make claims and not put it off any longer.

Two years may seem like a long time, but it can take banks months to resolve a claim. If you are unhappy with your result, it will take even longer if referred to the financial ombudsman.

This means now is the time to organise your PPI claims and hold your bank to account for any money they owe you from mis-sold PPI. (more…)

New ‘Tenant Tax’ Creating Financial Headaches for Landlords

George Osborne wanted to create a more level playing field in the buy-to-let market. Instead, the former Chancellor of the Exchequer and newly minted newspaper editor has generated consternation amongst private landlords.

Some landlords in the residential sector are now thinking about scaling back their property portfolios, while others are mulling over a change to commercial property — and others are of a mind to throw in the whole landlord thing altogether. What’s got them all so worked up? More tax and potentially fewer profits is the answer.

Tenant Tax

Mr Osborne’s Section 24 changes to the Finance Act came into effect on April 6 and directly affected the rental incomes of landlords and landlord agents operating in the residential sector (the legislation does not apply to companies renting commercial space, which is why some private landlords are considering the switch). From now until April 2020, the amount that private landlords can claim in tax relief for finance costs such as mortgages and loans will gradually decline, from 75% this year to 50%, 25% and then 0% in the coming years.

Panic

Unsurprisingly, this has created widespread alarm among private landlords, but according to one survey, well over a million of them are not aware of how they are now financially impacted by the newly enacted legislation. The poll showed that 1.4 million landlords did not know about the impending tax changes and their implications and that, altogether, some 8.2 million people in England could be affected. (more…)

Advice for First-Time Buyers in 2017

The release of the housing white paper “Fixing our Broken Housing Market” predicted that by 2020, only 25% of 30 year-olds will own their own home. The government claims that the housing market is broken because not enough homes are being built, they are being built too slowly and commercial developers still dominate the market.

The paper then outlines how to rectify the crisis. The aim is to build a million new homes by 2020 and make sure that these homes are built in the right places. Only time will tell if the proposals will succeed.

First-Time Buyers

For first-time buyers under 30, you may be concerned about being in the predicted 75% without your own home by 2020. Getting a mortgage for the first time is a struggle many people face, but there are tricks of the trade that can help you on your way. Here is some advice for first-time buyers to help you towards getting on the property ladder.

Check Property Prices in Your Local Area

Since the EU referendum in 2016, the property market has been uncertain about what will happen when we finally leave the European Union. The outcome could fluctuate house prices, so it’s important to keep up to date with what is happening in your area. Monitor the current prices of houses in the area you wish to move to and check what price the houses are currently selling for. Other factors can change house prices as well, such as the introduction of the Cross Rail; the announcement of the line caused an increase in house prices. (more…)