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We were very fortunate to be able interview the lady behind the extremely successful site the Lady Boss Blogger. Elaine Rau is the hard working and talented lady behind this successful site for female entrepreneurs. Many women come to Elaine’s site looking for inspiration and motivation as well as business tips from the many interviews and guest posts she has on her site.  So why don’t we get to it, I am sure you’re keen to find out more about how Elaine became so successful.

 

Tell us a bit about you and your blog?

I feature female entrepreneurs from all walks of life and from all over the world on my blog, LadyBossBlogger.com, via interviews and guest posts as a source of inspiration, motivation and continued education for current and aspiring entrepreneurs.

I read you started your blog as a way to connect with other women and online experts – but why did you choose a blog?

I didn’t always have stable internet so I needed something that consumed little bandwidth. I was living in a third world country and sometimes our electricity would go out for days, so I needed to craft my interviews in a way that allowed me to work offline, which is why I sent them as word docs so I could download and edit them offline if need be. Additionally, I wanted to be able to reach people on the other side of the globe who sleep when I’m awake and vice versa and the best way to do that was simply to send them the interview to complete on their own time.

How did you go about starting a blog?

I wanted to blog about lady bosses around the world to gain insight into the way they did business regardless of their backgrounds, cultures, and upbringing and see what concepts overlapped.

What is one key bit of advice you would give someone who wants to grow their blog?

Be patient, your blog isn’t going to boom overnight. It’s a fierce combination of consistency and perseverance that will take you from where you are to where you want to be. Seek advice from those who have gone before you.

What do you think you have done differently to others to make your blog a successful business?

My blog was never about me, that is where most bloggers trip before they even start. My blog was a resource for other people, including myself! I was an avid reader of my own blog! I wasn’t the expert, I showcased experts and in so doing, I learned from the best.

What advice would you give to entrepreneurs who want to start building a social audience starting with zero followers?

Post every single day on all of your platforms. If you don’t have a constant presence online, you’ll fade in to the background. That being said, make sure the content you’re putting forth benefits the people who might see it. If your posts add value to people’s lives, you’ve got the success formula.

But once again, be patient, building an audience is like growing a tree, you must plant the seed, water it every single day, and watch it grow steadily. Most people who you see as ‘overnight success stories’ have been plugging away in the dark for years before they surface.

Even the ones that have only been doing it for a year. I worked on my blog from the minute I woke up in the morning at 7am to when I closed my eyes at midnight. I posted on my blog 365 days without fail. Did my consistency and perseverance pay off? Yes it did. You must put in the work. My audience of 100K followers didn’t just magically appear. I started at zero a year ago as well.

What is one bit of advice you have heard from an entrepreneur in your interviews that has really stuck in your mind?

It’s not the opportunity didn’t work for you, it’s you didn’t work for the opportunity.

 

Follow Elaine/ Lady Boss Blogger on her blog and social!

Blog

Twitter

Instagram

Facebook

 

Side hustle described by Entrepreneur as ‘a way to make some extra cash that allows you the flexibility to pursue what you’re most interested in’. A lot of people take up a side hustle at some point in their life whether it is to pursue a passion or maybe looking for some ways to make some extra cash. We’ve looked at the most common Side Hustles people do that are easier enough to take up this weekend.

 

1.Buying things and selling things on eBay

So you may see those people on your street who seem to get a lot of deliveries or who are always popping to the post office.  Ebay is a great marketplace for Side Hustles. There are many ways to get involved :

  • Buy something cheap and add custom designs to it such as T-shirts or coasters then sell it for a premium.
  • You could bulk buy something from a supplier in another country, then sell it to your country as you know the product isn’t easily accessible in the UK e.g American sports fashion.
  • Find collectible items/antiques at car boot sales or from suppliers and sell them to collectors online.

Packing a box

 

 

 

2. Teaching online

This is by far the easiest way to make large amounts of money without having to spend much.  As long as you know something more than someone else, then you can start teaching. If you are a grade 3 pianist then you can teach people the skills for grade 1 and 2. Or do you speak another language you can start teaching that! So how would you get started?

  • Decide what you want to teach and where you might know some people who want to learn
  • Sign up to HowNow (so obviously I am going to suggest HowNow but it is truly awesome.) You can book a demo if you don’t believe me and sign up for a two week free trial!
  • As long as you have some content you can get up and running in a day and start teaching straight away

HowNow School

 

 

3.  Share your services

Do you have a car? Can you carpool or sign up for a delivery service or taxi service.  Handy around the house? Sign up to task rabbit to become a helping hand and help people with all sorts of tasks from building IKEA furniture to putting up shelves. So many Side Hustles you could do with sharing your services.

Carpooling

 

 

 

4. Become a photographer

If you have a phone with a decent camera or an actual camera you could do this. Take amazing pictures, capture great moments and start uploading them to stock imagery sites that may buy your photos.

Someones you should check out:

  • Foap– great to use on your phone and see challenges that brands and companies put out with a large cash prize for best picture.
  • Shutterstock
  • 123RF

Northern Lights

 

 

5. Become a freelancer on the side

Are you really good at your job or maybe your really good at something which you can’t use in your job? Start freelancing on the side- hire out your skills and expertise to work with people in your downtime. You could be a graphic designer and maybe you want to freelance yourself to a small business to produce some graphics for them.  Investigate where your expertise might be needed for great Side Hustles.

Freelance designer

 

 

Social Media is key to any business or to an individual who is using it to raise their own profile and engage with an audience. Therefore if you are using it to leverage your business or personal brand you will want to know how to use it best. We have picked out 5 of our favourite social media experts- some very well known, others new to the scene but offering lots of great value. They give really great advice on how to use the platforms to your advantage and also not what to do – as that can be pretty important too!

 

1. Gary Vaynerchuk

Gary is world famous and for good reason, he knows what he is talking about especially when it comes to social media. If you want really truthful insightful content that is delivered in fresh ways then follow him!

Where to follow:

Blog

Twitter

Instagram

YouTube

 

2.Lilach Bullock

Lilach Bullock features a lot of amazing content on her blog. She has a lot of how to guides for social media and lead generation and SEO. I have read many of her articles mostly in the social media section and find them really insightful.  The blog posts can be very long but there is a handy content page at the beginning which allows you to skip to the section which is most relevant.

 

Where to follow:

Blog

Twitter

Instagram

 

3. Jade Darmawangsa

Jade offers great advice when it comes to social media. Her blog is fairly new and there are not many posts at the moment but the content is really beneficial and insightful.  The youtube videos are really personable, answering many of the questions Jade gets through Instagram. Keep an eye on this space for some fantastic content.

Where to follow:

Blog/podcast

Twitter

Instagram

YouTube

 

4. Social With Rocki

 

Rocki delivers fantastic useful content in a range of formats. I recently attended her Instagram Live tips where she was delivering fantastic advice for her  #Bloggedup content. Rocki is also fairly new to the scene in terms of offering advice and only has one blog post at the moment. However, there is lots of great content on her Instagram and I think it’s an account you will want to follow.

Where to follow:

Blog

Twitter

Instagram

 

5. Desmond Dreckett

Desmond has a lot to offer. If you’re a small business you should definitely be following him. He offers really easily digestible bits of information that could really transform the way in which you use Twitter for your business. Check him out and follow him on social.

Where to follow:

Blog

Twitter

 

Struggling to keep your eyes open at work? Been super moany and snappy at friends and family? Maybe things are just too hectic right now and it’s really impacting your sleep and ultimately your life.  Those who are stressed often end up having less sleep. If you’re an entrepreneur or a side hustler you will likely have a great deal of stress as you try and make your dreams become a reality. Then poor sleeping habits simply become a bad routine.  63.1% of people in the UK surveyed by Dreams were not happy with their quality of sleep.

So what can you do about it? I am not here to remind you that you are not having a great nights sleep. You know that. What I can tell you is what you can do to improve your sleep and hopefully reduce your stress. Now I am not a sleep dr but I get a good night’s sleep so maybe I am an experienced sleeper. All the advice below has been taken from a number of sources which you can read more about. Read below on how to have a Good Night’s Sleep.

 

Stick To A Sleep Schedule

At the moment you may only be going to sleep when you can- after that presentation you have to write, or when the coffee buzz has finally left your system.

Your body clock is what helps you sleep and sticking to your sleeping schedule will in turn help that. So, this might mean going to bed at 11pm every night. Now of course life will mean that you want to go out some nights and are not getting home till 2am or maybe you’ve got to travel somewhere and need to be up at 5am. But generally speaking try and stick to this schedule even on weekends. I found going to bed at a very similar time and getting up at a similar time on weekends made that Monday morning so much easier.

If you are currently going to bed at a crazy hour like 1am and you want to bring that bedtime to something more reasonable then start adjusting slowly, like you would if you were adjusting your body clock for a new time zone before you go on holiday to avoid jet lag (bit dramatic but you get what I’m saying). Try it for a good night’s sleep.

Read more on sleep scheduling here

 

 

Get A Bedtime Routine Together

Now some people relax in different ways. I personally choose to have a bath about 1-2 hours before bed to start relaxing me for bedtime. A routine I started as a child and continue to do today…. It hasn’t failed me yet. Others like watching a chilled out tv show, some like to read; whatever you find relaxing start doing that before you go to sleep.  Research has shown that adult’s bedtime routines for calming them before bed are just as important as children’s ones.

Some tips for you:

  • Avoid watching that thriller or tense drama before bed on Netflix as you will likely be thinking about that as you try and get to sleep.
  • A lot of people and articles I have read recommend not having caffeine before bed. ( I personally, find this doesn’t affect me and will always have a cup of tea after dinner- find what works for you ).
  • Start to reduce the light around you- switch off the glaring lights and turn on a couple of lamps.

Read more here

Photo by: Jacek Dylag

Exercise And Eating For A Good Night’s Sleep

It’s not the first time you have heard that exercise helps your life! Move the coffee table back and start doing some home workouts tonight. Physical exercise increases the time spent in deep sleep, which as you may be aware helps boost your immune system, cardiac health and control stress and anxiety (The sleep doctor).  This could be simply a home workout or a regular team sport you play after work. Try it for a month and see if you notice an improvement.

Now eating habits? There are mixed opinions on this. However, you should try and eat a few hours before bed to avoid sleeping on a very full stomach. Your body will be fast at work digesting your food and won’t be able to focus on your immune system . However there is conflicting evidence, so feel free to read more here.

Photo Andrew Tanglao

Cover Photo: Jay Wennington

 

Happy World book day! This was an occasion I loved at school when we were given a £1 token to buy a book. However, being the adults that we are, we don’t get a lot for free.  So what are the books you should be reading? If you have ever spoken to a successful entrepreneur or side hustler, I bet you a lot of them would have said they read a lot. I guarantee you there is one book they would all recommend as it had an impact on them.  In this list below, we cover our favourite books as well the well-recommended titles. These suggestions should inspire, educate or help any side hustler to take their next steps. Here are the books you should read!

1. Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman

This is a team favourite. Kahneman looks at the cognitive process of system 1 and system 2 in our brain and the way we make decisions. It covers three phases of the Nobel Prize-winning author’s career working on cognitive biases, prospect theory and happiness. It’s very dense in its knowledge and there is a lot of information to process. It’s a great read and probably one to come back too if you have read it before. This should be high on your list of books you should read this year.

 

2. ‘Crushing it’ by Gary Vaynerchuk

Gary V as you may know him is an internet sensation. He is a personality and inspiration in the world of entrepreneurs. In this book, Gary discusses the importance of a brand personality and discusses stories of other entrepreneurs successful ventures. One important area he focuses on is social media. While you may be thinking yeah I know social media, I have facebook, I use Twitter; His insight and guidance demonstrate how a business can harness it and leverage to grow it’s personality further through connecting with its audience.

 

3. One + One = Three by Dave Trott

 

This is a fantastic book to read for pleasure and for business. I had a great time reading this. It’s full of fantastic advice for business and approach to things such as creativity, problems and life which are all told through other people’s real stories.  You can read two very good stories for free on Amazon by clicking look inside. This will give you a great taste of the book. It’s packed with moving stories that are so influential and with funny stories, each bringing a moral lesson or piece of advice. A lot of business books are very hard to read as they are full of detailed knowledge and fully explained concepts. This book differs from the rest, it’s great for those with a short attention span like myself, giving you the gist of what it’s saying over a couple of pages.  A very very enjoyable read that may have you laughing out loud on the train.

 

4. The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg

 

Habit? A familiar word in every businesswoman/man’s vocabulary.  We know the importance of habit but do we really understand the science behind it and what needs to be done to change habit?  In this best selling and highly recommended book by Charles he explores the power of habit and the impact it has on our lives. If you read this book you are likely going to do two things; break bad habits and start new ones. You will likely experience a higher chance of succeeding in this as you will now understand more about this behaviour and how it affects you. Get into the habit of reading and start with this one.

 

5. Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth

This book is the New York Times no.1 Bestseller. It’s a book by the incredibly talented and pioneering psychologist Angela Duckworth who looks into the real backbone supporting people’s achievements.  As you can tell from the title of the book it’s all about grit and the common trait among the most successful people in the world is there power to push themselves and persist despite the challenges they face. Duckworth has studied the mindset and behaviour of many successful people from a range of careers, chefs, entrepreneurs, athletes, and workers alike to find the thing that drives them all and share that with you in her book. Read this fantastic article to find out more about her and her journey.

 

6. Tribe of Mentors by Tim Ferris

 

From the man that brought you the ‘Four Hour Work Week’ which is arguably one of the most famous business books out there. This book is big, it’s a monster book of advice and tips from the very best mentors an entrepreneur could wish for. This book is full of extraordinary advice to help fuel your career, business and life. If you want to hear Tim talk about it then check out the podcast video of when Gary V interviewed him

 

7. The Lean Startup: How Constant Innovation Creates Radically Successful Businesses by Eric Ries

A great book if you are about to start a business or in the early stages of one. A startup is an environment that is constantly changing. This is the exact mindset you need to have and will have, once you have read this book. Eric takes us through his thoughts and advice on how you always need to be willing to adapt to change. This may because of the market, trends or behaviours and sights. A strong believer that you shouldn’t develop a product completely before taking it to market and you should always be prepared to change and adapt to a constantly changing environment. If you get your heart set on one idea and are reluctant to change then this book could be the one to teach you a whole new level of perspective on your ideas and how they will succeed.

 

 8.  When to Jump by Mike Lewis

How many times have you thought I don’t like this job but it’s ok I will keep doing this.  This book helps give you the confidence to start pursuing the career of your dreams. There are many questions people face when thinking of a career change or thinking of taking a riskier but happier career choice. Mike helps you answer those questions by relaying stories of people who had made the jump and the sort of questions that went through their mind and how they choose to act on those thoughts. Is this your time to make the jump? order this book today!

 

9. Rise and Grind by Daymond John

Daymond John released a book called ‘Power of Broke’ in 2016. This book looked at how you can start a business from the ground up when you have virtually nothing.  ‘Rise and Grind’ follows on from that, as it looks at what it takes to succeed once you have a business.  Taking note of other entrepreneurs habits and stories he also draws upon his own career. John looks to give you the needed insight into the mindset and behaviours of a successful businessman. This book equips you with the knowledge and confidence to start practising what it takes to be successful even if you aren’t yet running your own empire.

 

10.  Steve Jobs by Walter Issacson

The man transformed our world. Everywhere you look you see something which resembles his apple empire, from phones, tech, and identity.  This book is so well written and carries rich lessons and insights from the man behind two of the world’s most successful companies ( Apple and Pixar).  These brands transformed their industries- so why not learn about the man behind it all. The book was written based on over 40 interviews conducted with Jobs as well an impressive 100 interviews ( or at least 100) conducted with family and friends of this incredible entrepreneur.

 

11.Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration by Ed Catmull

Ed Catmull the Co-founder of Pixar has written this book which looks at business through a very creative lens. Pixar is an incredible company and the man behind it has shared his insights for understanding the strive for creativity and originality in pursuing new twists on ideas.  The book looks at how to build a creative culture which is so important in generating new and wonderful ideas that make a company so successful. As a creative man and a storyteller himself, this book reads like a storybook and is the perfect companion for your nighttime reading. Then dream sweet dreams- sweet dreams of creativity and Pixar. One of the books you should read this year.

 

12.  The Culture Code by Daniel Coyle

You may have heard of ‘The Talent Code’? well if you have this is the same guy who wrote that book. This one is about culture- you guessed it! What makes groups and organizations so successful? Is it the culture? Well if you think about it – culture directly affects your work. If you are in a supportive environment you are likely to feel more motivated and happy.  Daniel Coyle looks what makes the world’s most successful organization click. Exploring the Navy seals, looking at how such diverse group of people and talent work together with a single mind to succeed.  The culture code really ignites the reader with a passion to change and take control of their culture through the actions and behaviour they partake in.

 

13. Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead by Sheryl Sandberg

 

This is a highly recommended book, especially among female entrepreneurs.  Unfortunately, women face increased challenges in business on top of the issues that everyone else has to struggle through.  Sheryl Sandberg examines the issues women face in business and the problems of progressing past them. She then gives the readers stories and advice on overcoming those issues.  After reading this you should feel empowered. Go fulfill your career ambitions and desires despite the many barriers that you may be faced with. A motivational read.

 

14. How Brands Grow: What Marketers Don’t Know by Byron Sharp

 

This is a book that is very popular among creative agencies and people within the strategery career. A thought-provoking book looking at evidenced based answers to the questions that marketers are asking.  Advertising is a very important part of any business. Sharp delves deeper into how and why it’s important to understand your audience. You will discover how crucial the consumer insight is in creating your marketing/advertising campaign. Pop this book on your reading list. Go on do it now.

 

15. Hegarty on Creativity: There Are No Rules by John Hegarty

 

This is the last book on our list but by no means the least important.  A really fun book that will give you a few giggles whilst being very influential.  You could probably read this book in a day if you wanted. It’s full of short one or two-page anecdotes for approaching creativity and should be read by everyone. It might not be your typical entrepreneur book but your approach to creativity is important for any business to succeed.

Laptops and business laptops are so important, in your life. I know we like to pretend that we don’t rely so heavily on tech, but we do.  Laptops are so important for your personal use but if you’re a side hustler you’re likely using them as a business tool as well! My laptop screen is faulty so I have found myself looking into the best laptop’s out there. As a side hustler, you will want a strong performing laptop but also one that is portable and not going to cut into your pocket too much. You will want to spend a fair amount, as this could mean the tool for your source of income (teaching online). However,  at the same time if you’re running a business on the side you will have other costs you need to consider.  So hear our top picks of business laptops for the side hustler for under £1000.

 

1.Microsoft Surface Laptop available from Very (£799)

Covered in: Telegraph

CNET

Techadvisor

Image of Surface laptop

I am sure you have heard of this one, it’s had a large marketing spend behind it, so I’d be surprised if you missed it. If you did, well here it is. A top contender for business laptops. This laptop has a slim design and is ultra lightweight at only 1.25KG. This certainly won’t break your back carrying it to and from work or when you’re out and about.  It boasts a long battery life and a lovely touch to its keyboard. The screen is touch – giving you the feeling of the tablet. The downside is that it only has 4GB of RAM for the price point it’s positioning itself at. What this means is that the computer has to work longer/harder to transfer data. Most modern laptops now have 8GB of RAM. This computer will be fast enough for most functions but if you want a high performing laptop that operates quickly then I would choose a laptop with higher RAM.

 

2. Lenovo IdeaPad 720s available from John Lewis (£829.95)

Covered in: Telegraph

Techadvisor

Lenovo Ideapad 720s image

This laptop is very aesthetically pleasing. It offers twice the RAM as the Microsoft Surface Pro only weighing a little more at 1.6KG. It is not touchscreen, which is not necessarily a bad thing at all.  The screen rotates 180 degrees, if you ever find that useful. It has a long battery life of 14 hours which is great if you left your charger at the office or at home and find yourself working somewhere else.  The webcam that is included in the laptop is 720p at 30fps which is all you need unless you are streaming yourself on your laptop while skiing downhill. Which would be highly impressed but unlikely to happen. The downside is that it’s only 14 inch which means you don’t get the same large displays of the standard 15.6-inch laptops. Maybe this isn’t important to you as you might prioritize transportability. It’s one the best business laptops and one that should be heavily considered for the side hustler.

3. Lenovo Yoga Book available from Currys (£429.99)

Covered in: Telegraph

Another laptop from Lenovo. This laptop is a bit more affordable than its competitors but I guess it’s more of a tablet than a laptop. So, with that in mind, I would say this is a great laptop for those that want something closer to a tablet. For those that want something much closer to a laptop, this one is not for you. positives – It has a great build quality to it and is only 10.1 inches big so they weren’t kidding when they called it a book. The RealPen which comes with the book acts as a fantastic stylus but alsoooo- wait for it: as a pen. No really, I mean you can add a ballpoint nib onto the head meaning you can write on the flat keyboard as though you were actually writing. Great for the artist and designers out there.  But yes I did say flat keyboard, which is odd and not for me as I quite like to feel the keys go down and hear that click. However, saying that it means it can be more versatile. Great book/laptop but the keyboard might take some getting used too.

4. Acer Swift 3 available from Tesco Direct (£599.00)

Covered in: Techadvisor

If portability isn’t everything, then this has almost everything else and is at a great price.  It has an all metal body which is probably what makes it a bit heavier but it’s different. The screen is full HD and the battery life is 10 hours – not as good as the Lenovo IdeaPad 720s but good enough.  It also boasts 8GB RAM giving it a strong performance.  The touchpad on the keyboard has very high reviews of recommendation on this laptop because of its smooth feel and light but defined click. What is fun about this, is a fingerprint reader which feels more normal now as most phones have that function and entry point. A good midrange option for our business laptops list.

 

5. Asus Chromebook flip C302CA available from John Lewis (£499.95)

Covered in: Laptop Mag 

Another laptop which is kind on the eyes. The screen bends all the way back so it folds back onto the keyboard which is handy if you want to use it as a laptop. This one is great for meetings as you focus on the display and use the touchscreen to change anything rather than use the mouse. Also great if you’re traveling on the train or relaxing at home and want to watch something without the keyboard getting in the way. It weighs less than 1.2KG making it fantastic and portable. The screen size is only 12.5 inches which is one reason it’s so light.  The biggest flaw for me is it has no USB Type A ports which are the usually USB port you would find on a laptop. However, this is a great contender if you are on the move a lot.

 

6. Dell Inspiron 13 7000 available from Currys (£809)

Covered in: T3

 

This entry from Dell is a good quality laptop with a speedy yet powerful performance. On the small side of 13.3-inch screen. However, this one has the needed ports making it functioninal for your personal and work life including an HDMI connection port.  You can also log into this with your face – that’s where we are at these days.  This is a 2 in 1 machine operating as a tablet with a keyboard that folds all the way back. The battery life could be better only running at about 5 and half hours, well below its competitors. The RAM is decent at 8GB.

 

7. HP 250 G5 available from ebuyer (£449.99)

Covered in: Techadvisor

This is one the most affordable business laptops that you will find. It has an impressive 8GB of RAM considering the price point. This laptop has no DVD drive, however, most people are streaming through Netflix these days then putting on a DVD they got for Christmas.  This is the heaviest option in our list at 2.14 KG but it has a 15.6-inch display, so it’s a given. While it may not suit the side hustler who is often on the move, it will serve as a strong machine to set up your workstation at home or at work with. While this device is not the best, it’s the best for the price range of under £500. We thought we would include a lower cost model as not everyone can fork out the money for a higher performing portable laptop just yet.

 

If you’re starting a business, maybe you’re teaching online and you think your laptop webcam may just not be up to scratch. Or you use a desktop computer which does not have a webcam and microphone and you think it’s time to invest in one. The webcam quality in modern laptops is getting far better but sometimes an external webcam is just a better purchase- giving you more flexibility in the quality you can choose from as well as giving you more freedom in where to position it. We have scanned the shops and internet for the best webcams for under £100. Check out our list below:

 

1.Logitech C922 Pro Stream

£84.99 from Game

 

This is a top of the range webcam designed for gamers which means it has fantastic streaming capabilities.  This one is the highest price point out of the ones we suggest, however, it is worth every penny.In fact, I think it’s probably the best webcam for under £100. This webcam lets you record and stream in HD1080P. It supports 60fps at 720p. This basically means if you are doing any fast action on your webcam such as dancing- it’s going to pick up your moves smoothly without jittering and lagging ( the tech term used for a delay in a video). It has a high functioning mic built into the webcam picking up the sound and transmitting sound from all directions; So if you’re teaching a musical instrument online it’s going to pick up the sound with clarity for you. Bonus feature: Comes with a fully adjustable tabletop tripod.

 

 

2.Logitech HD Webcam C270

£19.99 from Currys PC World

 

Another one from Logitech. This one is very much at the lower price point. It does not offer the same quality features that their more advanced model offer, but still does what most people would consider enough for their needs. This is a good option if you are starting to stream more often as you teach online but are not ready yet to spend nearly £90 on a webcam. It has HD video quality at 720p. It also had a built-in microphone. But don’t take our word for it, check out the average 4.5/5 star review on their Currys website from an incredible 428 people!

 

3. Microsoft LifeCam HD-3000 USB Port Webcam

£21.95 from Amazon

 

This lovely camera from Microsoft performs pretty well with a built-in mic that can pick up sound from multiple directions as well noise cancelling the acoustics that you sometimes hear on a video call. So this, in theory, should be pretty good for sound quality. I mean it has an average 4.5/5 star reviews from 904 customers, so people must be pretty happy with it. It records and streams videos at 720p HD at 30fps like most competitors.

 

 

4. Hue HD Pro Webcam

£54.12 from Greens Stationary

 

This is definitely a camera that is flexible (in the literal sense) to your needs. It’s super bendy neck makes it easy to position the camera where you want, so you are getting the best angle for streaming or recording in HD. It features full 360 rotation so you can share all of your surroundings.

 

5. Logitech C170 HD webcam

£16.99 from Currys Pc World 

 

This is a great camera for those with a very tight budget; coming in at the lowest price on best webcam under £100.  It’s the cheapest camera we have found but the best at this budget price. Logitech is the market leaders I believe in webcams. So if you’re going to go budget, then go with them. This webcam has a built-in mic meaning you don’t have splash out more for an external mic. It records in 1024 x 768 resolution. The universal clip also means you can attach it to a shelf or something else as well as your monitor.

 

 

 

What’s a domain name some of you might be thinking and why do I need to buy one? You know the famous ‘www.’ then the name that follows that such as amazon.com? Well, it’s that thing that you write in the address bar to go to a website. It’s a great way to grow your brand, come across professional and be taken more seriously by your customers. Also, if you own and register your domain name that is consistent with your brand it will stop competitors pulling away search traffic from your site. We’ve done a bit of research on how much it will cost you and what you will get from each domain provider. Have a look below to find out where to buy your domain name.

 

1.GoDaddy

Probably the only one you have heard of from the heaps of advertising they do especially at the Superbowl. GoDaddy is great at helping and educating you on how to go about buying your domain name. it’s probably the go to for where to buy your domain name.

.co.uk is £0.01 for the first year if you register for 2 years or more. After the first year, it’s £9.99 each year.

.com is £0.99 for the first year if you register for 2 years or more. After the first year, it’s £13.10 each year.

With .com you also get the following extra’s free of charge: Parked Page, Domain forwarding & masking, Total DNS control, Change of registration, Getting started guide, Status alerts and Domain locking.

.club is £7.99 for the first year and £12.10 each year after that.

.pro is £3.63 for the first year and £14.21 each year after that. ( this domain used to be limited to certain professions but now anyone can buy this domain)

 

 

2.123 Reg

This claims to be the no.1 website for the domain names in the UK. They also offer you a free forwarding email and a free two-page website for free to get you started. GoDaddy offers you the chance to start with a free website but you have to pay pretty soon after that. So let’s get down to costs – all costs also include free DNS control:

.co.uk is free for the first year if you register for 2 years or more. After the first year, it’s £9.99 +20% VAT.

.com appears to be £11.99 for the first year +20% VAT.

.club appears to be £7.99 for the first year +20%VAT.

.Pro appears to be £2.99 for the first year +20%VAT.

 

 

3.1&1

This website includes a range of features you can sign up to as well as purchasing your domain name.  They Include a free 2GB mailbox email address, private registration and SSL certificate when purchasing your domain name.

.co.uk is £0.99 +20%VAT for the first year and then £9.99 +20% VAT every year after that.

.com is £0.99 + 20% VAT for the first year and then £12.99 +20%VAT  each year after that. This domain also includes a one-off ICANN fee of £0.11.

.club is £0.99 + 20% VAT for the first year and then £14.99 +20%VAT  each year after that. This domain also includes a one-off ICANN fee of £0.11.

.Pro is £14.99 +VAT  each year. This also includes a one-off ICANN fee of £0.11.

 

 

 

4. Names

You get a free website for the first year when you sign up then it’s £14.40 each year after that.

Names also give you a free email account and webmail, Domain and email forwarding as well as advanced DNS control. What they do offer which other domain buying websites do not is an offer with Shutterstock which gives you 40% off packs of 5 or 25 images. This could be great if you’re thinking of buying images from here. However, we have a nifty little guide to where to get fantastic royalty free stock imagery. Check out our guide here.

.co.uk is free for the first year. When purchasing a two-year registration it costs £16.78

.com is £17.99 for a 1-year registration.

.club is £11.99 for a 1-year registration.

.pro is not available from this site.

 

 

 

Hopefully, this has outlined some sites that can get you your domain name at the price and deal which suits your business.

You may have been flicking through your own library of images thinking nope not that one or that one, as you try to find beautiful photos for your business’ website, social media or blog. Fear not, the days of searching Shutterstock and Getty and discovering just how much you need to spend are over. There are a fantastic wealth of royalty free stock images you can access out there. You would be surprised by the quality – it’s outstanding. Explore the sites we have below; to give your business the professional look you need without emptying your pockets.

1.Unsplash

This is the first place I was made aware of when I was stuck in the same spot as you. It’s shocking how good these photos are and how generous people are with sharing their love of photography through royalty free stock images. I know a couple of contributors who love the idea their images could help a young business.

Example image- Photographer: Samuel Scrimshaw

Person standing on top of a mound near a cliff

 

 

2. Pexels

This is another fantastic site that has extremely high-quality content for you to use completely for free; regardless if it’s personal or commercial. Feels a bit like daylight robbery right? They have a great feature on this site where you can see the top photographers that are trending right now, allowing you to select images more easily. What’s nice about this feature is that these top photographers who are donating so much free imagery to this space can receive donations. So, if you feel guilty for using 15 of their images- although you shouldn’t, as they’re putting images out there to share; you can make a donation to this photographer to support them in their work. Think of it as a token gesture.

Example image – Photographer: Bruce Mars

Man sitting on floor using his laptop and phone

 

 

 

3.Pixabay

This site is great as it has over 1.3 million photos up for use. This is fantastic as it has videos- a great resource for you to have. They also have vector graphs and illustrations! This site just keeps on giving! Definitely, pay them a visit.

Example Vector Graph- Creator: Gordon Johnson

Vector Graph of House

 

 

4. Kaboom Pics

This site has a range of photos which you can search by category. Most photos also come in different sizes and come with a downloadable colour palette.  More beautiful free images; not much more to say.

Example Image- Photographer: Kaboom Pics

Coffee Cup

 

 

5.Picjumbo

This site was created by Designer and Photographer Viktor Hanacek in 2013. This site has a lot of photos with really useful category breakdowns to help you find that perfect image quicker. If you like a particular photo it allows you to see more similar photos that may have been taken at the same photoshoot. So, this allows you to handpick the images that do it for you. Who knew there would be such a selection of royalty free stock images.

Example Image- Photographer: VIKTOR HANACEK

A man waits for a subway train in Prauge

 

 

We live in a visual world, judging something by its cover ( even though you’re constantly told not too) we instinctively do it. Research has indicated you only have 7 seconds to make a strong first impression. Check out these sites and find the image that best suits your needs.

P.s our title image is from by Nursultan Rakysh on Unsplash

We’ve all been there on the tube, in the car or maybe walking to work thinking I could do more with this time. Why not make the most of your commute, so you can feel you’ve accomplished a lot before you even get to work. Here’s a handy list of apps to get you on your way to more productive commute – you’re welcome.

1. Listen to a podcast – Stitcher

Although reading a book is great and we don’t want this pastime to die. It’s not always easy to get a book out or indeed fit one in your bag alongside your laptop, gym kit and your snacks for later. Also, Podcasts are great if your driving and don’t have four hands. You’re likely staring at a screen all day so why not give your eyes a break and just plug-in and listen. Some great podcasts: Tim Ferris Show, Stuff You Should Know, Ted Radio Hour to name a few. So what’s the app? Well, Stitcher is free and allows you to create a playlist of your favorite podcasts.

Image of Stitcher app on phone

2.Get some Buddha into your day  – Calm

We all need some head space and some time to just focus on our breath. Meditation is massively on trend and for good reason. There is a lot of research to say that taking time to just focus in the moment has wondrous effects on your health and mentality. So give this one a go. It’s free and has a range of things you can do from guided meditation to just focusing on your breath.

image of calm app on phone

3.Organise your food goals- Jawbone UP

Trying to lose weight or maintain a healthy diet, but always forget about that cheeky brownie at lunch or the extra glass of wine at the pub? Well, this app is great for helping you maintain a healthy diet or track your food to try to lose weight. They have a great feature to be able to watch your goals with friends and challenge them to a duel. Which is a race against your friend to do more steps in a set period such as 3 days. If you’re competitive this could be a great motivator for a lunchtime walk.

image of Jawbone UP app on phone

4.Catch up with what you couldn’t do earlier – Pocket

Ever too busy to read something but bookmark it for later and never actually get round to reading it. Well, all that could change with this handy app from Pocket. You can save articles from google (other search engines are available), twitter, Facebook, email, or almost anywhere else. Then, when you’re stuck on a train for 30 minutes because there is yet another strike; you’ll feel a lot more informed and motivated knowing you have had a productive commute.

Image of Pocket app on phone and tablet

5.Get your to-do list in shape –Wunderlist

Everyone loves a list, don’t they? I don’t know if it’s the numbered/listed thing of knowing you have objectives or maybe the satisfaction in crossing or ticking something off the list. Whatever your reason for making lists; there is a fantastic app called Wunderlist which allows you to make lists, add reminders, share with others ( i.e remind Tash to do her slides for that presentation). It also syncs with your computer – making life just that bit easier. So if you’re a list maker, write this on your to-do list to install.

Image of Wunderlist app on phone

6. Get everything connected – IFTTT

Ever get so confused by all the apps you have and wish everything could just be more synced and together? Well, this nifty bit of tech does this for you. IFTTT ‘gets all your apps and devices talking to each other’. The platform has a range of what they call ‘Applets’ which can bring services together to give you new options for making life easier.Image of IFTTT app on phone.

7. Zone out and concentrate more – Noisli

This app is fantastic at helping you zone out and focus which will inevitably increase productivity. You can create a custom sound scape to suit you by choosing a range of natural sound as well as brown, white and pink noise generators. Phone are used for lots of things and some apps stop running as soon you close them, however, this one keeps going meaning you can use other apps at the same time. Give it a try.

Image of Noisli app on phone

8. Personalise your typing – Swiftkey

We all do things a little differently. We have different preferences when using devices. This app allows you to custom your keyboard to suit the way in which you use your phone. It has the predictive abilities of Darren Brown. If this doesn’t make for a productive commute when you are getting through emails, I don’t know what will.

Image of someone using Swiftkey on their phone