Vacation Rental Content

The vacation rental option is today proving to become more and more popular as it provides in most cases more space (multiple bedrooms and bathrooms, separate living areas), more amenities (fully equipped kitchens, fireplaces, private hot tubs), convenient locations (on the beach, ski-in/ski-out) and greater privacy than a hotel.

Vacation rental by definition is a term used in the travel industry which means to rent out a furnished apartment or house on a temporary basis to tourists. This gives those going on a vacation and general tourists an alternative to leasing a hotel or motel room.

Vacation rental content is mainly composed of websites that cater to owners of vacation rental properties who would like a place on the internet a listing these properties. Those who become interested in a vacation rental can then utilize these sites by browsing through the available listings of vacation rental properties and specials if any.

To find vacation rental content one simply needs to go to a popular search engine such as Google or MSN search and type into the search box vacation rentals. At the time of this writing there were over 37 million pages with vacation rental content. You can narrow this down a bit by putting your
search term in quotes like “vacation rentals”. This will bring back just over 14 million pages with vacation rental content. That’s quite a lot of information to sift through!

You will also notice when you begin clicking on any links for vacation rental content that most of the first few hundred if not thousand pages are all focused on vacation rental directories or vacation rental content directed at guides and listings of vacation rental property owners. You have
to dig pretty deep and spend a lot of time before you find much information that is focused on helping the consumer to learn the ups and downs of vacation rentals.

In some popular vacation and tourist locations the tremendous growth of vacation rentals has become such a threat to the local hotel and motel industry that the local authorities have begun passing regulations in an attempt to limit the growth of the vacation rental industry.

Since it is our intention to cover information on both sides of the fence when it comes to vacation rental content we will be scheduling some articles specifically aimed at helping consumers learn more about the vacation rental industry so that you can make more informed choices and know exactly what you may be getting into when it comes to vacation rentals.

For now we want to direct our attention to the vast amount of vacation rental content that one finds when beginning a search. As we stated above the vast amount of information related to vacation rental content one will find are vacation rental directories aimed mainly at those who may have a vacation rental property they would like to advertise or list so they can get them rented.

Whether you’re seeking a vacation rental or need to list a vacation rental your options are tremendous. You do have a couple of ways to begin narrowing down these choices however. Most of the vacation rental content is divided between those sites that list global vacation rental properties and those that list regional or location specific vacation rental properties.

One great place that we have found to begin if you’re seeking to find or need to list in a global vacation rental directory is Vacation Home Rentals. At the time of this writing you can find over 14,000 Vacation Rentals by Owner.

At Vacation Home Rentals, it’s easy to find or list beach house rentals, home rentals and cabin
rentals for all over the United States and beyond. If you’re looking for something more exotic and need to list something out into the Pacific Ocean, they have a large selection of Hawaii vacation rentals listings where you can place or find great vacation rental content. They are not just limited to the United States, however. They also have vacation rental homes listings and holiday villas all over the globe. You can list or find Caribbean villa rentals across the region. If you’re looking for or need to list a European getaway, they have France vacation rentals, or maybe you would like to locate or list a Tuscany villa. Whatever your requirements Vacation Home Rentals is a great starting place to locate or list vacation rental content.

If your needs are more regional or location specific it’s not hard to find vacation rental content pertaining to the specific region or location of your choice. As an example Southeastern Homes contains vacation rental content that is specific to the beautiful mountains of Western North
Carolina. Here you can locate or list vacation rental cabins and real estate homes that range from rustic homes to the most elegant homes and cabins in the mountains.

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What’s Your Brilliant Business Idea?

A dream for many working moms is leaving behind the 9-5 and launching a life and business they dream of for their family.

One of the first obstacles that get’s in our way of moving forward with our dream is “I have no idea of what type of business to launch.”

Uncovering that brilliant business idea inside of you (I believe we all have one) is crucial if we are to gain the focus and motivation to go for this dream.

Our business idea can also make or break how successful our business is and most importantly determine if we create the lifestyle that we truly desire for our family

So how do you uncover what your brilliant business idea is? Here are 5 steps to get you started:

Clarity on Your “Why”

The most brilliant business ideas are built from the foundation of your “why.” The deep underlying drive behind why you want to start a business. As working moms we already have a strong “why” which is to provide financial security to our family or have more flexibility to spend the time we want with our kids.

Now we need to go a step further and determine the legacy we want to leave in the world with our business. It’s the “why” that makes us get of bed in the morning to do something we LOVE rather than something we feel like we “have” to do. When we don’t clearly understand our “why” then we take the risk of starting a business we don’t really like, but one we thought we “should” start, or think will make us the most money.

So before going any further determine what your “why” is for starting a business, the change you want to make in the world with it, and then build your business idea from there.

Reveal Your Gifts and Talents

Now you are clear on your “why” it’s time to uncover your greatest gifts and talents you have to offer the world. Embracing our gifts will help us to develop a business idea that we LOVE and feel absolute passion towards. It will also be one of the secret ingredients to making our business thrive and bring in the money.

Ask yourself these questions. What do you love doing? What are you naturally good at? What do people seek you out to help them with? Ask others what they see as your talents? Read my previous post on how to cultivate your greatest gifts through my 5-step GIFTS process.

Your Lifestyle

A business idea must be in line with creating the type of lifestyle you would like as a business owner. Do you want to be able to travel and do your business from anywhere in the world. Or maybe too much travel is why you want to leave your job so you are looking for a business that would allow you to be at home the majority of the time. Would you love having a storefront where you get to interact and showcase your products to your clients on a daily basis? Are you looking to create more flexibility and freedom and do not want to be held to a 9-5 schedule. What is the lifestyle you want to create with your business? Having clarity on this from the beginning will ensure you don’t find yourself in a business a few months from now that feels like it just replaced your job. You want to make sure you build a business that creates that lifestyle you dream of.

Get Creative

You know what you’re good at, you know what your deep “why” is now it’s time to put these two together. Start by brainstorming all the business ideas you can possible think of that will showcase your biggest gifts and fulfill your why in some way. If you want to make life easier for new moms it might be developing a new product you wish you had had. If you want to help people have a more secure financial future you might use your great accounting skills to teach them how to manage their money for greatest wealth.

Don’t hold back. Brainstorm every possible idea you can think of. Even if it sounds crazy at first write it down. Some of the craziest ideas end up as highly successful businesses.

Share Your Idea

Once you have brainstormed your ideas pick the top 3 that most appeal to you. Then start to test them out. Share your idea with people. Your friends, family, acquaintances. Identify the type of person who would most likely be your customer for that particular idea and seek out their opinion. You might find them on online forums, or at local meet-up groups. Start to hang out where they do and seek their feedback on your idea and whether they would use it.

This is a great place to start to see if it is hitting a desire or need of your target market. Ask them what would make them buy or use it. Any ideas they have to make it more appealing or a better fit. You can start to get a feel for how your idea will be receive and ways you can improve on it. Once you start to get a feel on your business idea in these simple ways then it’s time to move on to more focused market research and testing your idea.

Taking the time to unveil a business idea that you and your target audience will LOVE, one that will allow you to share you greatest gifts and talents with the world and create the lifestyle you dream of is the basis of a building a brilliant business and life for you and your family.

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Beating the Recession – Micro-Financing Online

Micro-financing is a term that is not often heard, and when it is, its often associated with money saving schemes for the homeless. This article is about micro-financing, but it is going to be discussing how to apply it on a totally different level. That is how by doing a little research, creating a website, promoting that website and advertising for others, you can begin to create a micro-finance empire.

The first thing to do is decide what your website will be about. There are many different strategies you can apply. You can spend more time researching one kind of area on the web to find a true niche and focus on that, or you can target several areas of the web and create many smaller websites. Usually it is not a good idea to target an area that is already saturated, like making a website about “cars” and hoping people will find your site out of the billion or so other ones that are listed on the search engines. Instead, try to be more specific. Rather than “cars”, you could try “old cars with pink spots” as an extreme example. You should make use of the search engines in finding a suitable theme for your site, type in what your site is about, and see how many other sites there are. Numbers in the millions will generally be harder to rank high for than say, for a term that has a few 100,000 results.

Once you have completed and uploaded your website (making sure you left space for adverts!), you will need to find an advert publisher. This is an internet company that other companies on the Internet sign up to and pay to have their adverts published on publishers websites. You are a publisher, because you are advertising for those companies. You will also need to sign up to the advert publisher in order to use the service, which is free in most cases.

At the start, you may find your new website is only getting one or two visitors each day at maximum. Do not be disheartened, there is a reason for this and that is because another kind of work needs to be done first. That work is called search engine optimization (SEO), which you may or may not have heard of. If you have only heard bad things about this, it is because of companies that make guarantees to people about getting them 1st place on popular search engines. Nobody can guarantee a top position on a search engine! However, they may be able to guarantee positive movement in the search engines rankings.

Basic SEO starts with your website and what is known as on-site optimization, there are countless websites out there that discuss this and provide tutorials. The next part is off-site optimization, which involves more work. Off-site optimization forms the bulk of most SEO campaigns, it is where you build links with websites that are related to yours in someway. E.g. If your website is about football, it is important that you seek out websites that are only related to football in someway. Once found you can email the site owner asking if they would like to exchange links. This is a huge topic and plenty of information can be found on the net.

Initially you will be getting around a dollar a day. This is not much, but over a month that is about $28. It still is not much, but perhaps enough to pay one of your household bills. At least it is one less bill to worry about! As you continue to promote your website you will start to notice it climbing the ranks of search engines if everything is going well. More people will find your site as a result and visitor numbers will rise. So too will your earnings from adverts, it is possible to go from making $1 a day to $15 a day in a short period due to a rise in position on a search engine. Now you have gone from being able to pay one of the lesser bills in your home to quite possibly earning enough money to cover all of your bills!

Now that your getting a few hundred people to your site, you can start to consider a different form of advertising which you can use in addition to the adverts. This other form of advertising is called getting affiliates. An affiliate is someone who will pay you to put their link on your website. A typical payment scheme is a set amount paid each month. Websites that get hundreds or thousands of visitors per day can be very valuable places to advertise. Having great numbers of visitors makes your website hot property and everyone will want to buy a piece!

This article has introduced you to the very basics of a concept that incorporates a range of skills, such as website promotion and advertising on the net. With hard work and consistency it is possible to get these kinds of results within a month of starting, if not earlier. If you continue to build and promote, there is no reason why you can not make more money than you did with your old job. If you want inspiration then look up the stories behind PlentyOfFish and other net millionaires.

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Life Insurance – Learn From an Old Agent

Life Insurance is an insurance product that pays at the death of the insured. It really should be called “Death Insurance,” but people don’t like that name. But it insures the death of an individual. Actually, what is insured is the economic loss that would occur at the death of the person insured.

Those economic losses take a lot of different forms, such as:

- the income stream of either “breadwinner” in a family
- the loss of services to the family of a stay-at-home-mom
- the final expenses at the death of a child
- final expenses of an individual after an illness and medical treatment
- “Keyman” coverage, which insures the owner or valuable employee of a business against the economic loss the business would suffer at their death
- estate planning insurance, where a person is insured to pay estate taxes at death
- “Buy and Sell Agreements,” in which life insurance is purchased to fund a business transaction at the untimely death of parties in the transaction
- Accidental death insurance, in which a person buys a policy that pays in case they die due to an accident
- Mortgage life insurance, in which the borrower buys a policy that pays off the mortgage at death – and many more.

Life insurance has been around for hundreds of years, and in some cases, has become a much better product. The insurance companies have been able to develop mortality tables, which are studies of statistical patterns of human death over time…usually over a lifetime of 100 years. These mortality tables are surprisingly accurate, and allow the insurance companies to closely predict how many people of any given age will die each year. From these tables and other information, the insurance companies derive the cost of the insurance policy.

The cost is customarily expressed in an annual cost per thousand of coverage. For example, if you wanted to buy $10,000 of coverage, and the cost per thousand was $10.00, your annual premium would be $100.00.

Modern medicine and better nutrition has increased the life expectancy of most people. Increased life expectancy has facilitated a sharp decrease in life insurance premiums. In many cases, the cost of insurance is only pennies per thousand.

There is really only one type of life insurance, and that is Term Insurance. That means that a person is insured for a certain period of time, or a term. All of the other life insurance products have term insurance as their main ingredient. There is no other ingredient they can use. However, the insurance companies have invented many, many other life products that tend to obscure the reasons for life insurance. They also vastly enrich the insurance companies.

Term Insurance

The most basic life insurance is an annual renewable term policy. Each year, the premium is a little higher as a person ages. The insurance companies designed a level premium policy, which stopped the annual premium increases for policyholders. The insurers basically added up all the premiums from age 0 to age 100 and then divided by 100. That means that in the early years of the policy, the policyholder pays in more money that it takes to fund the pure insurance cost, and then in later years the premium is less than the pure insurance cost.

The same level term product can be designed for terms of any length, like 5, 10, 20, 25 or 30 year terms. The method of premium averaging is much the same in each case.

But this new product caused some problems. Insurers know that the vast majority of policyholders do not keep a policy for life. Consequently the level term policyholders were paying future premiums and then cancelling their policies. The insurance companies were delighted because they got to keep the money. But over time, they developed the concept of Cash Value.

Cash Value Insurance

With Cash Value insurance, a portion of the unused premium you spend is credited to an account tied to your policy. The money is not yours…it belongs entirely to the insurance company. If you cancel your policy and request a refund, they will refund that money to you. Otherwise, you have other choices:

1. Use the cash value to buy more insurance
2. Use the cash value to pay existing premiums
3. You may borrow the money at interest
4. If you die, the insurance company keeps the cash value and only pays the face amount of the insurance policy.

So, does this cash value product make sense? My response is “NO!”

Cash Value Life Insurance comes in lots of other names, such as:

- Whole Life
- Universal Life
- Variable Life
- Interest Sensitive Life
- Non-Participating Life (no dividends)
- Participating Life (pays dividends)

Many life insurance agents and companies tout their products as an investment product. But cash value insurance is not an investment. Investment dollars and insurance premiums should never be combined into one product. And investment dollars should NEVER be invested with an insurance company. They are middle men. They will take your investment and invest it themselves, and keep the difference.

Think about the methods that agents use to sell life insurance, and compare them to any other type of insurance. What you’ll see is that life insurance sales tactics and techniques are ridiculous when compared to other insurance products.

Would you ever consider buying a car insurance policy, or homeowners policy, or business insurance policy in which you paid extra premium that the insurance company kept, or made you borrow from them? But, curiously, life insurance agents have been wildly successful convincing otherwise intelligent people that cash value life insurance is a good product to buy.

Care to guess why insurance agents have aggressively sold cash value insurance and eschewed term insurance?

Commissions.

The insurance companies have become vastly wealthy on cash value insurance. So, to encourage sales, they pay huge commissions. Term insurance commissions can range from 10% to 50%, sometimes even 100%. But cash value insurance commissions can be up to 100% of the first year’s premium, and handsome renewal commissions for years after.

But it’s not just the commission rate that matters. It’s also the premium rates that come into play. Term insurance is FAR CHEAPER than cash value insurance.

Here’s an example of a 30 year old male, non-smoker, buying $100,000 of coverage:

Term insurance costs $0.50 per thousand for a premium of $50.00. At 100% commission, the commission would be $50.00.

Cash Value insurance costs $12.50 per thousand for a premium of $1,250.00. At 100% commission, the commission would be $1,250.00.

So you see that it would be easy for an agent to place his own financial well-being ahead of the well-being of his client. He would have to sell 25 term policies to make the same commission as only one cash value policy.

But, in my opinion, that agent would have violated his fiduciary duty to the client, which is the duty to place the client’s needs above his own. The agent would also have to set aside his conscience.

My opinion is that life insurance agents operate from one of three positions:

1. Ignorance – they simply don’t know how cash value insurance works.
2. Greed – they know exactly how cash value insurance works and sell it anyway.
3. Knowledge and Duty – they sell term insurance.

Which agent do you want to do business with?

How do I know this stuff? Because I sold cash value life insurance early in my career.

When I started as an insurance agent in 1973 I knew absolutely nothing about how life insurance worked. The insurance company taught me to sell whole life insurance, and to discourage clients from term insurance. But, after some time of reading and research, I learned that cash value insurance is a bad deal. I began to sell only term insurance. I refused to set aside my conscience. I also went back to some early clients and switched their policies from cash value to term.

The insurance company fired me for that decision.

I found a new insurance company that only sold term insurance and also paid high commissions. I made a good living selling term insurance, so I know it can be done.

So, as you shop for life insurance, please accept the advice of an old agent. Never, never, ever buy cash value life insurance. Buy term insurance.

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