It has been a long time since I last posted at thewritermom.com. One time back in 2015, I wrote a long piece of article about the current problem I was facing – the very predicament that made me stop writing for a while and made me set aside my flourishing remote editing career. That article never saw light in my blog because of its highly sensitive nature. It also got deleted after months of debating whether I should post it online or not. Well then, whether it was for good or not that it was not published online, I still do not know. But I am sure glad that I am writing again for a client, that I am ready to accept editing and proofreading assignments again after a very long time.

Since one my current clients for article and content writing runs a cleaning company in Abu Dhabi, I would like to write a piece on how to find the best cleaning services in Abu Dhabi. Have I been there myself to give a non-biased opinion regarding the topic? No. But I want my readers to at least have an idea on where to find great cleaning companies in Abu Dhabi if they are ever looking for one on that part of the world. Here are some tips that I have compiled on how to spot budget-saving hourly maids services in Abu Dhabi, whether you are looking for professionals for residential, industrial, or office cleaning:

Tip #1: Make a Brief Research About the Various Cleaning Services Offered in Your Area

It is easy to find and read reviews of the best cleaning companies in Abu Dhabi, but it is quite harder to find one that is in proximity to the area you are living. Abu Dhabi is a big city, and some of the best cleaning services that offer budget-friendly hourly maids services may not be practical for you to hire due to their location (i.e., they may be located far from where you are living, and thus, may entail you to shell out additional dirhams if they will ever agree to attend to your residential or office cleaning needs). Some deep cleaning companies may also not be able to meet your requirements. To avoid the hassles that might come up due to wrong choice, it is best to always make a research about the different cleaning companies that offer the maintenance services you require. You can easily find information about a certain company and their service online, but I suggest you also pay their office a visit if you have the time just so you will have a concrete idea of what they can really offer.

Tip #2: Ask Friends and Relatives

Your friends and relatives are great sources of news about where to find the best cleaning companies in Abu Dhabi. Especially if they have hired such services in the past, they may likely be able to point you to a company that will not only be budget-friendly but trustworthy as well.

Tip #3: Know the Legitimacy of the Company

It would help to also look for a company’s credentials when trying to hire a service for your household. Remember, safety is always a priority. It does not have to be a big company, but make sure that it is legit and have the proper permits required to run such a service.

If you have any other ideas on how to find the best cleaning companies in Abu Dhabi, feel free to leave a comment below.

 

 

 

Social media used to be merely an online platform for connecting people from various parts of the globe. However, there are people who saw social media as a tool to generate income, to advertise, and to expand their businesses. Social media truly opened many opportunities for a lot of people living in the modern days. Here are simple yet effective ways on how to use social media to grow your business:

Create Accounts in Social Media Websites

The first step to using social media to your own advantage is to sign up for social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. It also helps to set up a business blog or website. Building a website takes a lot of time, effort, and money but it is more professional and more formal than merely a blog. However, a blog is also a good alternative. There are sites like WordPress and Tumblr that offer free hosting of blogs.

Sharing the News

Inform the world of your business with your social media accounts as your tools. A fairly good strategy is to make informative posts on the blog and spread them around using your social media accounts like Twitter and Facebook. You may post your latest products, promos, and achievements. Conducting regular online contests also helps in improving the publicity of your business and your site. Remember to keep the Twitter and Facebook announcements brief yet catchy. Put the long and important details in the blog or the site itself.

Actually Being Social

It is called social media because it is meant to connect people. Try to engage your potential market into conversations. Read the consumers’ posts on your business’s timeline, comments on your blog posts, and tweets addressed to your business. Moreover, take time to reply and to make them feel that they have a voice in your business. Let your presence be felt.

Knowing the Consumer’s Opinions

It would be easy for you to decide which points to improve on and which aspects to change if you know what the consumers love and hate about your product or your service. Using social media is a convenient and fast way to know what the people think through their comments and posts.

Focusing on Relationships

Social media marketing’s effectiveness ends when you oversell. Avoid putting too much focus on your product and your business. If you do so, people may start to unfollow you or unsubscribe from your blog. People read and share content that appeals to them. Constantly makes posts that do not aim to sell your product. Keep the people interested. This way, you can continue on marketing and at the same time nourishing online relationships.

Keeping Track of Your Competitors’ Progress

Your presence in the online environment does not only let you and your business to reach out to the customers and clients. Having social media accounts also enables you to keep track of your competitors’ activities. Having an idea of what the competition does is a good way to keep up and even to get ahead.

Through social media, expanding a business is made possible even from the comfort of your own home.

I have written several credit card articles for a client before, but I never thought that time would come that I would be writing a review of Philippine credit cards for my own blog. My experience with Citibank credit cards is what drove me to write this review and I hope this will be an eye opener to some of those looking to apply for a credit card, especially Citibank credit cards.

The following are the credit cards I owned and my review about each of them.

Allied Bank Credit Card

My first credit card came from Allied Bank (now merged with Philippine National Bank or PNB). That time, I was really looking to find a bank that could grant me a credit card, which we could use for some of our high-amount transactions. I was tired of bringing cash along everytime I made a purchase, especially when I had to purchase things with higher amounts. Moreover, my husband and I was quite curious as to what a credit card can do for us. Since I was banking then with Allied Bank, I applied for a credit card there and was approved.

Allied Bank credit card was good, but it only offered a small credit amount, which was not enough for our monthly purchases. So, when another opportunity for another credit card from another bank came, we grabbed it with much gusto.

BPI Credit Card

My husband was offered a BPI credit card, and he made me his supplementary card holder. The credit amount was enough to cover our monthly expenses, so we decided to have the Allied Bank credit card cut.  From then on, we used the BPI credit card for our purchases. From time to time, we were able to get freebies from Jollibee and Chowking for our purchases with the cards. Overall, we were satisfied with the card and the service of BPI.

Citibank Credit Card

I never imagined owning a Citibank credit card. The bad reviews I saw online kept me from getting one. However, when I was attending a travel expo at Mall of Asia, an agent for Citibank approached me. He made me sign an application, with a promise that I would be eligible for a free trip to Hong Kong or Singapore if I get a Citibank credit card. This promo could also be clearly seen from one of their banners at the expo. The agent also told me that there will be no annual fees for the card, as those will be waived annually.

Well, my bad! I fell for the sales talk. I believed every word the agent said, so I signed the application form. After all, why would I not try to have a Citibank credit card when there are no annual fees involved, plus I would be getting a free trip for two to Hong Kong? Yeah, I know. I was stupid. That was too good to be true. The free trips never materialized and the promised waived annual fees was just a lie.

Now, after a year, Citibank credit cards have become a nightmare for me. They bill me high annual fees and no matter how I contact them to have the cards cancelled, I am always sent an email to call a certain number. And this number is answered by a voice message telling me to press numbers. And everytime I press those numbers, I get a message regarding their promos and my card balance. I was never taken to a real human to whom I could talk about my problem with the card.  Worse, they sent me two cards!

I have learned my lesson. I will never again trust Citibank agents with their too good to be true sales talks. Now, I am looking for another way to have the cards cancelled. Perhaps, I would just have to find a Citibank branch near my area so I could talk to a real person regarding the cards. Problem is, I just found that they do not have that many branches, and the nearest I could get to is a few drives away from my area.

Update: 

I was finally able to talk to a human through their customer service hotlines. After being passed from one customer service representative to another, and after losing hundreds of pesos in phone top-up, I was finally able to have my card cancelled. The person behind the other line agreed to only cut one of the cards and asked me to at least try the other for another few months before I decide to have it cut. To cut the time spent talking, I eventually agreed. She said annual fees for the other card will be waived.

Then come June of this year, just a few months after I had my Shell Citi Visa Card cut, I received a billing statement for the annual fee of the Shell Citi Visa Card. I am doubly frustrated! I would have to call Citi’s customer service again to ask why they are billing me for a card that as far as I know have been cut months ago. Definitely, I will never ever get a Citibank card again! I will have the other card cut asap as well.

 

 

Revenue sharing sites have had their share of both praises and criticisms even before the Google Panda update. These types of sites have been considered as “sweat shops” and frowned upon by many established and not so established writers. At the same time, they provided other writers—novice and established ones, the opportunity to gain endless earning potential from their articles. While it may be true that some freelance writers earn only pennies from these sites, there are those who are luckier to have earned thousands of dollars from their articles on such sites alone. These lucky ones have served as inspirations to their peers to continue writing for these kinds of sites. With the new Google Panda algorithm, what does the future now hold for the writers of revenue-sharing sites?

Google Panda, also dubbed as the Farmer update as it is primarily targeted against content farms, low quality, and spam websites, have drastically affected the way revenue-sharing sites appear on searches. From the first page of Google, most of them have taken a plunge down into oblivion; becoming lost in searches, nowhere to be found anywhere on the first five pages of Google search. The new changes that took effect were essentially harmful to share revenue-sites, whose profits and income earning potential were heavily reliant on traffic as well as ad clicks and ad impressions. Since they could not be found on the first five pages of Google, the number of organic traffic to the sites plummeted down along with their supposed-to-be-income.

With the new Google algorithm change and the effect it has on revenue-sharing sites, it may no longer seem safe for writers to put their efforts into such writing sites. The earning potential of revenue sharing sites have dwindled to a large degree. This is not to say, however, that there is no longer hope for these sites as there are still ways to recover from the effects of Panda. The effect, harmful as it may be to many large websites, may still be reversed. As long as owners and administrators of revenue share sites find a way to counter the effects of the Panda update, such sites and their writers may still enjoy endless earning potential from the revenue-share model.

This is just my two cents on the subject :) . If you have other ideas, whether you agree or disagree, please leave a comment.

Diphtheria is a form of bacterial infection that distresses the patient’s upper respiratory tract. Patients suffering from diphtheria are commonly observed to have low fever, sore throat, and presence of adherent membranes on the tonsils, nasal cavity, or the pharynx. Veterinarians still argue about the presence of diphtheria in canines. However, there are evidences that diphtheria can really be acquired by dogs. Dogs sick with diphtheria exhibit symptoms, such as difficulty both in swallowing and breathing, fever, chills, and fatigue.

The causes of diphtheria in dogs are found to be similar to what causes diphtheria in human beings.

Airborne Transmission

Diphtheria can be acquired by dogs if they inhale air contaminated with Corynebacterium diphtheria, a kind of bacterium that causes diphtheria. When an infected patient coughs or sneezes, the bacteria are contained in the air the diseased person or animal exhales, thereby infecting any dog or human inhaling that air.

Direct Contact with Secretion

The bacterium causing diphtheria can also be found in the secretions of a person or dog infected with this disease. If the dog, or a person for that matter, establishes direct contact with the infected secretion, the disease can possibly spread.

Direct Contact with Skin Ulcers

A skin ulcer is a wound or lesion found on the skin or a mucus membrane. Its presence is accompanied with the breakdown of the tissue. One of the many causes of skin ulcers is bacterial infection and, in this case, it is diphtheria. Since diphtheria caused the skin ulcer, the bacteria are also thriving on that sore. Direct contact with that infected wound can cause the spread of the disease from the infected patient to the vulnerable individual be it dog or human.

Infected Items

Diphtheria may also spread through household items and personal belongings. Any form of secretion from a person or dog infected with diphtheria can be in direct contact with an object. This object becomes a carrier of the infection and either a dog or person vulnerable to the disease may contract it simply by touching the infected object. Though getting diphtheria due to contaminated objects is a rarity, it remains a possibility.

Risk Factors

A person or dog is more likely to acquire diphtheria in crammed and dirty spaces. Moreover, unvaccinated and undernourished dogs and humans are also more susceptible to this disease.

Diphtheria used to be a dreadful epidemic that took many lives. Today, with the advancement of medical technology, diphtheria no longer serves as a threat and can actually be prevented. Vaccines are available to immunize both people and canines from this disease. In fact, the diphtheria serum has already been a part of the regular dog vaccination process. Moreover, diphtheria nowadays happened to be mere isolated cases.

A lot of business websites have their respective “About Us” page, but not all website owners put in enough effort to maximize this page. They treat this page as an afterthought rather than a priority, which is such a shame because the “About Us” page is one of the most visited parts of a website. Potential customers normally visit this page after checking out the products and services in the online store. Your “About Us” page can turn that potential customer into a buyer…or it can turn him off your goods and business altogether. This is why it is important to create a great “About Us” page. Here are some things to consider when it comes to improving this very important part of your website:

Let the Customers Know That You Have or Can Give What They Need

There are businesses that fill in their “About Us” pages with company profiles or bios of their executives, which is a big no-no. See, customers are not really interested in what you are as a company; they are interested in seeing what you can give to them. The content that you will put in your page should reflect what your business is doing, what you are capable of, and what you already did. You can’t just say that you give excellent customer service. You need to spell it out and say that you only have less than 1% error rate and 95% shipping delivered on time. This is what your customers want to read about you.

Go Easy on the Adjectives

By now, your potential customer has already read so much marketing copy on websites that superlatives will fail to impress or get his attention. Instead of saying that your product line is innovative and cutting-edge, name the innovative and cutting-edge products that you developed. Your products and services should be able to speak for themselves without you having to heap positive adjectives on them. Your reader will know if you are laying things on thick and will doubt on your credibility.

Always Update

If you already have a good “About Us” page, don’t forget to update it as often as you can. This is where you promote your business and everything you offer. Put in every milestone your company has achieved, whether it is a consumer award you received or a new store that just opened. Your page should always be up-to-date.

Make It Readable

Your good content will be put into waste if your page is not readable enough. Take note of factors, such as font and length of the text. If your font is too small, you can discourage elder visitors from reading your content. Avoid writing paragraphs that are too long; chop them into shorter ones instead. Your text should have a line height of about 13px and sized 11px. Variations will depend on the font that you use. Times New Roman and Arial fonts are still the go-to fonts for maximum readability. Lighten or darken text according to font type and size.

The “About Us” page is one of the many pages that visitors often read first, especially if they want to know what a particular business entity can do for them. Therefore, make it a point to make this page in your website stand out. A good “About Us” page can help convert website visitors into customers.

Many website owners have discovered the various benefits of writing e-books. An e-book can be used as an excellent marketing tool to promote one’s expertise. It can also help give one’s credibility a hefty boost. Savvy e-book writers have made lots of money from their e-books by using them to market their websites.

To make money out of writing e-books, an author must produce high quality work. Check out these writing ideas that can help you produce an e-book that you can use for monetary gains.

Write About Something You Know

The best e-book that you can produce is one that is about your area of expertise. Writing about something you know is a breeze and will make your content look and sound credible. Readers cannot be fooled; they will know if you are not an authority on the subject you wrote about. Think of a topic that you actually know about and aim at providing excellent benefits to readers. Determining what your readers really need and want will also help you come up with great ideas for your e-book. To do this, you can perform one-on-one interviews or you can use the web to your advantage and create surveys or questionnaires that your respondents can answer easily.

Make Your E-book Look Clean and Professional

There are people who have biases against e-books because they think it is inferior compared to printed materials. Fight against this biases by creating an e-book that has great content and nice packaging. Convert your e-book into high quality PDF file by using software programs designed to make electronic files look more professional. You should also create a great-looking cover for your e-book. There are no rules that say only printed books can look good. You can ask a designer to create a cool cover for your book, but you can also find catchy images on the web, which you can use for the same purpose. Make sure that you won’t violate any copyrights, though.

Produce Into Several Formats

The e-book market has expanded. Your e-book should keep up with the trend. Make sure that your work is made available for Kindle and other e-book reader formats. There is no use making quality content if the reader can’t have a convenient and enjoyable e-book experience.

Use Affiliate Links

Using affiliate links in your e-book is fine as long as you produce quality content. Having these links can increase the perceived quality of your work.

Ask Other Writers to Read and Review Your Work

It can be very beneficial if you can ask a famous writer or blogger who has enough credit to give a review about your e-book. Choose bloggers that are really interested in or are knowledgeable about your subject matter to get credible reviews.

Proofread and Edit As Often As Necessary

A great e-book should be highly readable, with no spelling and grammar errors. Check your work as often as needed. If you can afford it, hire a professional editor to polish your work. This is a great option, especially if your e-book has a complicated format and subject.

A week ago, I noticed a dramatic decline in my blog traffic. Thinking that it might have something to do with Google’s Panda update for 2012, I put off checking the site and changing the manner of ad placement. This week, though, after writing some articles for a client, I thought again of checking on my site and I was shocked to see that instead of my site’s admin page, a red alert warning from Google filled the page. Anyone who was supposed to have found my site were warned that The Writer Mom was a carrier of a malware! I was so upset I could hardly sleep.

I immediately contacted the company hosting my site and asked them to help me clean my site from any malicious software. A reply from them confirmed my fears–my site had been hacked! The web hosting company informed me that the hacker had injected malware into the site through one of the plugins installed in my other site (all my sites share the same hosting plan). They also informed me that they had removed the infected script and have cleaned the site from the infection. I was also told to update my site to the latest version of WordPress to prevent any more attack.

The problem did not end after the removal of the malware. The warning was still there, staring right back at me everytime I try to open either the site’s admin page or homepage. Worst, the site was still blacklisted! Fortunately, I found that I only had to request Google to have my site removed from the blacklist.

It took quite some time before Google responded to my request. Now, I am happy that the red alert warning has been removed and that my blog traffic is picking up again. From this experience, I learned a lesson. I realized that it is important to update to the latest version of WordPress everytime there is a new release as it can significantly help your site be protected from any malicious activities. Hackers abound these days and we need to be vigilant to keep our site safe from their meddling hands.

I came across a job posting searching for freelance writers at Craigslist weeks ago and thought of sending in my application. The supposed writing position was intended for experienced writers and rewriters and the promised payment was $0.0175 to $0.025 per word for unique articles and $0.025 to $0.0175 per word for rewritten articles. My application was met with a positive response – I received a response email from a certain Valerie Kermann and was given further details about the position and job description. I was then told to send an email to her supposed colleague who went by the name Victoria Douglas.

The email from Victoria contained a .pdf attachment which included instructions about my first assignment. I was asked to write 30 articles, which was to be returned back after 14 days of receipt. Wary of the large volume of initial assignment, I tried Googling Morgan Media Services, Ltd. and the names of people behind it but did not find much information that can assure me of the company’s legitimacy. I did find a website bearing the name of Morgan Media Services, Ltd. but it said the site was under maintenance.

Despite having second thoughts about the legitimacy of the company, I went on writing the articles, which were mostly reviews about an online gambling site. When I had finished 15 of the 30 assigned articles, I came across a posting at Craigslist warning other writers about the scam activities of Morgan Media Services.

I emailed the poster and asked for more details about the information she has gathered about the company. She said she found out that the website (which was supposedly under maintenance) was created only weeks before and the Whois information of the site contained information that was way too different from the information supplied to her by the people who contacted her about the writing assignment. She also said she found a facebook page bearing the name of Morgan Media Services, Ltd. but it was in Arabic, contrary to the claims of Valerie and Victoria that their office is located in London. Lastly, she said there is no such place as Westbrookshield in London, the address where Valerie and Victoria said their office was located.

My warning alert heightened upon receiving this information from the Craigslist poster. I sent a message to Victoria asking more details about payment for the project. Her response was less than professional, although she did answer my question. She didn’t sound professional to me at all, not like the way a real manager would respond to people she has contact with.

That email sealed my belief that the company may indeed be fictitious and not legit. I stopped writing the articles and waited until the supposed deadline. The deadline has passed but I have not received any correspondence from them asking me about the articles they have assigned to me. A legit company wouldn’t just disappear without a word, right? If they don’t hear from their writers on or after the agreed date of submission, they usually send emails asking about progress of the projects.

I am not certain whether Morgan Media Services, Ltd. is indeed a scam. I am just sharing my experience with this company to my fellow freelance writers so they might also be aware of the possible consequences that may befall them if they write for this company. If there is someone out there who has a positive experience with Morgan Media Services, Ltd. and who can vouch its legitimacy, please let us know.

Dogs have always been regarded as man’s best friend, and like humans, they can suffer from certain diseases that can affect their overall health conditions. One of the most common health problems that may affect dogs is fever, although oftentimes, owners may not likely notice this condition in their pets.

Dog fever can be caused by a number of factors. Some of these include:

  • Infection. Dogs are susceptible to infections that can affect any part of their body. The infections may be bacterial, fungal, or viral. Depending on the type of organism that has caused the infection, different kinds of symptoms may be experienced by the dog. Types of infection that may lead to high fever in dogs include lung infection, kidney infection, and brain infection.
  • Diseases of the immune system.  Sometimes, a dog may suffer from certain immune diseases, leading to high fever.
  • Vaccination. This can cause a certain reaction in the pet’s immune system. Fever occurs as a result of the body’s reaction to the drugs or vaccine injected into the animal’s body.
  • Inflammation. Sometimes, the fever may be caused by inflammation occurring in certain parts of the dog’s body.
  • Cancer or neoplasia. This is one of the worst causes of fever in dogs. Cancer can come in many forms and may affect particular parts of the dog’s body, including the bone marrow, blood, kidneys, liver, lung, and virtually any organ of the animal’s body.
  • Idiopathic causes. Also known as “fever of unknown origin” or FUO. When a dog is said to have fever due to idiopathic causes, this means that the reason behind the condition cannot be determined. The dog may be suffering from certain underlying causes that remain unknown to the owner or to the examining veterinarian even after several tests have been administered.

Canine temperature is naturally high, that is why it can be difficult for a pet owner to determine whether the pet is suffering from fever or not. A dog’s normal temperature is in the range of 101 – 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit as compared to the human normal temperature of 97.6 – 99.6 degrees Fahrenheit. To determine whether a dog has fever, the owner or the vet may look for symptoms or may use a digital thermometer to check abnormalities in the animal’s temperature. The digital thermometer is often inserted into the animal’s rectum for an accurate or near-accurate reading of its body temperature.