All posts by Dave Hayes

White Rose Annexe Reviewed

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This is a review of the White Rose Annexe, a really nice Annexe to a cottage located in Govilon (Gofilon), close to Abergavenny In South Wales.

Owned by Brian & Jill Simmonds, who live next door in White Rose Cottage, you will find White Rose Annexe to be a very warm and welcoming place to stay, during your time in Wales.

The cottage, comprises of on initial entrance of a very warm and cosy Lounge / Kitchen, which has been extensively furbished and has all the creature comforts you would expect from a cottage annexe. It was incredibly clean, and has a smart TV fixed to the wall to the left of the double entrance doors, shown in the picture above.

The kitchen part of the annexe has all mod cons, including a microwave & toaster and is spaciously laid out, so nothing is cramped up.

We have previously used other cottage.com places over the last couple years, all of which have been comfortable and accomodating, however, White Rose Annexe, is easily the best holiday accomodation we have stayed in, bar none.

At the far end of the lounge is a staircase, which takes you to a second floor, where you will find the very, very spacious bedroom, which is luxurious in its decoration and has an roomy ensuite, comprising of a lovely shower, which is easy to work, and also has a large bath as well, as a toilet and wash hand basin, which were exceptionally clean.

The bed itself was relaxing and lovely to sleep on.

The hosts  Jill and Brian, could not have been more welcoming, and Jill especially went to great lengths to make sure our stay was enjoyable and is a font of knowledge in terms of places to visit and things to do.

Overall we could not fault the location, or the cottage and it has made our stay very relaxing and enjoyable

This review is written on the Penultimate day of our stay, before we move on to another cottage location in Wells Somerset

Full Power Utilities Reviewed

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Now if you have not heard of ​Full Power Utilities​​​ before, then don't be too worried, because they are a UK based, Energy Broker, who work exclusively with the UK Commercial Business market.

Admittedly Energy is hardly the sexiest word around and is more likely to have you nodding off at the mere mention of Your Business Energy Bill : ) 

Well, the Good news is, that this review, may just open your eyes slightly in that respect

Full Power Utiliites, 

 

Are based in Hertford, United Kingdom and were set up in 1997, when the energy market in the UK becamse De~regulated

They have since established themselves as a Premier Energy Broker, who can claim, with some justification and do, actively have relationships with every energy provider in the UK, not every energy broker can say this

For example there are some who say they are independent, but in fact deal with a small handful, thus making a mockery of that statement

Full Power on the other hand, do deal with every single Energy Provider in the UK and its these key relationships with those suppliers that means they are able to shave discounts off of the end users energy bill, in some cases that discount can be up to 25%... Which given the price of energy in the UK is no mean feat.

That discount also applies if the business owner wishes to stay with his current supplier and not move

This allows the Small Business owner to have complete peace of mind, knowing that they have secured the lowest possible energy price and for not 1 year, but in some cases longer than that, which is awesome

No Cold Calling!

Another major plus factor is that Full Power Utilities,  will not cold call for business, though they actively recruited a team of very able self employed reps, trained them up to their standard and rely in the main from the relationships they have with their customer bases to new business introductions

Affiliate Marketing

The reps that are affiliate with Full Power Utiliites, can in some cases earn very good incomes, dependent of course on the type of business that is introduced to the company

One of the major factors which encourages many people to become affiliates with Full Power Utilities is the fact, that all the rep has to do, is ask a question 

"Who currently supplies your Energy"

Take a phone number and pass it through to their own dedicated broker, who will deal with the rest of the follow up for the rep, advising the rep of the outcome of the call and if it will lead to a payment or not for them

That is it in its simplest form

The types of business Full Power Utilities Service, include

Boots

Costa Coffee

IT companies

Dominos Pizza

There have been many cases of affiliates passing phone numbers to their dedicated broker and a new deal being finalised with the customer, before the rep has got home!! ~ Now thats called service

Who can be an Affiliate Rep?

The answer to this, is... Absolutely anyone, regardless of age background or ethnicity

There are no qualifications to have or exams to pass, simply a willingness to be enthusiastic and ask the question/s

If the business owner wants to know more, then their telephone number is passed to the broker, who then calls and answers any questions the owner has

When are commissions paid to Reps

That depends entirely on who the energy provider is and then they pay Full Power Utiliites really

So payment can be either very quickly, or as sometimes happens a month in arrears, quarterly, usually its fairly qucikly and bearing in mind that the energy providers deals can be for up to 1, 2 and in some cases 5 years, then the affiliate can get some very nice commission checks, when they east expect them

Imagine getting an email which says 

"Full Power Commission Paid" and you look in your bank to find that you have received commission from a deal you had totally forgotten about. 

Now if that sounds good, then lets look at the next level of this affiliate marketing structure... Yes there is another level

But

It is not a multi level, or Network Marketing operation or business venture, far from it

Because affiliates are often very happy to work with Full Power and get paid in this way, with very little niggle to go with it

Its hardly surprising that they spread the word to others and have people asking them 

"Well if you do, can I"?

The answer to that is yes they can. All thats required in these cases is that the affiliates referral affiliate signs a form saying that they are happy to introduce other businessess to Full Power Utilities.When this happens, the introducing affiliate, then gets paid an override % of the sub affilliates commission... And they don't have to train and motivate their sub affiliate either.

It doesn't stop their either, because Full Power Utilities have other just as important services they provide, as you will see below

 

 

And exactly the same rules for the company and their affiliates apply with these services as well

So as you can see its a win win all round for both the affiliates and the company.

In 2010, Full Power Began a relationship with ARMA ( Association of Residential Managing Agents) after being  introduced to them by a managing agent client of theirs and Full Power offered to deliver CPD training to their members on utility buying and management. 

After being vetted, they began delivering annual courses and as a result of their proving the depth of our knowledge in this very specific area, Full Power became the broker of choice to about a third of ARMA’s members.

This relationship was moved on one stage further, when In 2016 ARMA sought a formal partner to deliver ARMA ENERGY, an initiative for ARMA members to receive 2 benefits, firstly the use of a professional broker and secondly the collective buying facilitated by members ‘pooling’ their usage volumes.  

Amongst other brokers Full Power was again invited to be part of the selection process and was successfully appointed as ARMA partner in ARMA ENERGY.  

As you can see, Full Power Utilities offers a very comprehenive way to earn a passive income, for literally everyone

You just need to have a chat with them to see if they are a right fit for you

 

 

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Analytify A Review of Analytify The Google Analytics Plugin

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This is a review of Analytify, which is a WordPress Plugin for Google Analytics 

Analytiy ( shown below ) 

 

Analytify, is a free plugin, which quite literally brings Google Analytics to your WordPress dashboard 

which means if you are frequently using Google Analytics, you will know how labour intensive it can be doing this

It was installed following a recommedation from a business associate of mine and to be truthful his enthusiasm for it told only half the story 

Lets look at it in more detail. though in truth, pardon the pun, it only gives a you a slight picture!

The General Dashboard Area ( below ) 

 

Is laid out nicely in easy to read sections, so you can see at a glance the information you would need immediately

This information includes your bounce rate, which is what Google uses as one of the measuring factors when it comes to ranking your website 

Now you might wonder, if your blog actually gets seen across the globe, but as you will see from the picture below 

it does 

 

The coloured areas are where your blog is actually seen, so you know that it works for sure

In fact, this Video  shows a live demonstration of this 

Moving further down to the bottom of the dashboard area, you will see the Traffic Referrals section 

 

This is invaluable information, because its all well and good knowing that your blog is being seen across the globe, but you want to know which traffic refferals sources work the best, so you can maximise your time and effort productively

As you will see from the above graph, the traffic sources which work the best, are shown in all their glory 

They show, YouTube as being the top social media traffic source, with a manual surf traffic exchange also providing some decent traffic to the site as well 

If you are are a lover of stats, then this section alone, is proof that Analytify is worth its weight in gold.

Overall, Analytify is a must have plugin to have your Google Analytics imported into the dashboard area of your WordPress blog

If you are unsure about going Pro with Analytify, then my strong suggestion, as it is with any plugin, that is 'pushing' you to go Pro, is to try it out for either a trial period if there is one, or failing that, give it a go for 14 days initially, by which time you should be using it at least daily.

That action would then create a 90 day action, by which time you would know if you want to go Pro or Not

As with most godo quality WordPresss Plugins and Themes, going for the paid version, is usually the better bet, as it makes your WordPress Experience much easier and ...Fun!!

 

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WordPress, How to Change Your WordPress Theme

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This post explains How you can change your WordPress theme.

As you might be aware, when you set up your Blog, by default you will be presented with several WordPress themes, as the image below shows you 

In the example above you will see that on the left hand side of the themes area, is the current Rise Theme 

To the right of that, you will see an existing WordPress default template and to the right of that, there is a space to add a new theme if you wish 

Changing The Theme


Is pretty simple to do and the video below shows you how to do this 

The great thing with being able to do this is that you can customise your theme, exactly the way you want to, which is awesome

However, what you do want to bear in mind is this ... 

Free themes, which are great for starting out with, usually come with restricted support

Restricted support when it comes to WordPress, is not a good idea

Whereas Premium Themes, which this Rise theme, by Thrive Themes is an example of, allow you to do far more and provide a better level of support. Thrive Themes support is excellent. 

But that is how you change the theme in your wordpress admin area

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A Review of Bluehosts WordPress Hosting

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This post is a review of Bluehost, WordPress Hosting

who by their own admission are the

‘Recommended choice for WordPress Hosting, because 2 million people can’t be wrong’

So if you are thinking about using  or maybe switching from your current host to them, this post will give you enough information for you to make an informed decision on if they are right for you

Now at first glance, they certainly seem to have a favourable offering

They have been hosting WordPress Sites since 2005, so that’s quite a long time & was one of the things that attracted me to them, when first looking at WordPress.

When you look at their various hosting plans, then again, they seem to have things covered in this respect, especially if you look at their home page  which points to features

When you click on it, it takes you to this page

At first glance, they don’t seem to be to badly priced, competitive for sure & for the individual then yes you wouldn’t want any more than Shared Hosting

But then a glance at the top tab on their home page reveals that they have 3 other options as well as you will see below

Which as you can see vary in price, from $2.95, right up to $79.99 per month

The thing with Bluehost is that this is a bit misleading, because though the hosting prices are shown as monthly, Bluehost claim they don’t have any monthly subscriptions and you have fo pay for a years hosting up front.

As you will agree that can prove to be expensive

Installing WordPress

Installing WordPress is very simple, as it is with most WordPress Hosts, but before you do this, you have to have a domain on which it can be loaded

Bluehost do supply domain name for you and in truth, they are as competitive as most others, but in come cases slightly more expensive

What isn’t explained to you when buying your domain, is that this becomes your host  domain, which effectively ties you into Bluehost for a year and in some cases more, so its best to have your domain name provider seperate to your hosting

Once this is done, installing WordPress, as with most WordPress hosting is a case of 1 click install.

You have to make sure you follow the instructions for this carefully, because if you haven’t installed WordPress before, it can be a nightmare trying to make sure its right

Bluehost do have WordPress Guides, but they are well hidden inside the site, so you are forced to call support. Though they do have a less than supportive chat box, so if your problem is above your head, you end up waiting for up to 30 minutes.

The support is not overly helpful and you should also make sure that you back up your blog.

If you don’t know what your doing with this, then Bluehost will help you, but they ‘can’ make a minimal charge for doing so

Now there have been cases where people have woken up one day and discovered that their entire blog has ‘disappeared’ I mean literally it is not there

When support have been contacted they claim it is due to a dodgy plugin

However this is open to debate as one customer, actually managed to trace his plugins and found that Bluehost themselves had actually taken the blog down, in an attempt to up sell him on further WordPress security

So clearly something to watch out for

WordPress Training

WordPress is and can be a minefield for a lot of people.

Bluehost do supply training, such that it is, but it is well hidden away and when you find it, it is at best minimalistic

Overall conclusions on Bluehost, are i would give them a complete miss

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