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Need Website Funding? Check Out Peer To Peer Lending

Circle Saying Need MoneyIn the past year, there has been a lot of buzz on how peer-to-peer (P2P) lending is one of the best
alternative ways to invest. This method especially works if you are leery of the current stock market.

Those who suppose P2P lending say that it's a better way to get a good return on investment without getting deeper into a failing economy.

Before you decide to place stake in your index funds and head out for the nearest peer-to-peer lending site, you should take a closer look at the basics and study the two main sites for P2P investing.

What is Peer-To-Peer Lending

At its core, peer-to-peer lending is when one person loans money to another person to start a new business or even when you borrow from a friend to pay a down payment on a new car. You are either creating or taking the loan based on a relationship with the other person, which counts as much as a good credit rating.

Sometimes these loans to friends, family members or other individuals work out well, but in some cases, they do not. Peer-to-peer lending has funded many dreams, but they are also famous for breaking apart personal relationships.

However, modern peer-to-pending lending hooks in with online investing. It's actually a major business. Third-party websites allow matching between lenders and borrowers without the trouble of personal ties. These websites intend to make it an easy transaction for both parties that can be trusted.

There are two things to consider with peer-to-peer lending.

- Borrowers on P2P lending sites typically get better interest rates and fairer loan terms than if they got a loan from a commercial bank. Lending sites only work with borrowers if a credit score is above fair or over 630. The terms are still better than what you are offered at most banks and private investment firms.

- Lenders often get to know something about the borrower before lending out any funds, which builds more trust in the relationship. If the loan doesn't work out and investors lose money on the deal, it's not as personal as lending to a family member. You won't have to see your aunt at Thanksgiving and ask for the deposit on the hair salon back. There are also guidelines and rules in place to minimize the risk so that you can get your investment back on loans that go sour.

What Sites Offer Peer-to-Peer Lending

There are many of these third-party P2P lending sites, but only two of them have been around long enough to have a viable, trustworthy model.


Tips for Prosper

Prosper is one of the older peer-to-peer lending sites on the web. While they may not have always been successful, they have built an original model and created an incredible avenue for investors and borrowers to fund projects and businesses.

They also have achieved record highs in issuing loans from 2013 to 2014. This success did come after mistakes were made in 2012, but they placed $20 million in funding and saw incredible growth to correct those mishaps.

If you are just getting started with peer-to-peer lending, Prosper is very easy-to-use whether you are a borrower or lender. The overall platform is based around its user experience. You will easily be able to set up an account, view your account summary, invest or borrow money with just a few clicks.

In addition, tools like Automated Quick Invest allow you to lend passively. You set up filters to auto-invest and let the website work out the rest. If you are a borrower, Prosper has a lower credit score requirement of 640 to get a loan.

However, this also means that some lenders may come in contact with riskier borrowers. Prosper actually allows for some loans to have an interest higher than 30 percent, which is nearly five percentage points higher than those you will find on Lending Club.

Overall, if you want to jump into peer-to-peer lending and want a simple answer, Prosper is the best platform. This site has more filters allowing you to pick and choose borrowers as an investor. Borrowers will enjoy the simplicity of applying for loans and finding investors as well.

Tips for Lending Club

Lending Club has done very well throughout its history in peer-to-peer lending. If you view the issued loans history for the site, Lending Club experienced incredible growth throughout 2013 and 2014.

In addition, the site was the second after Prosper to launch and has experienced great returns. In November 2012, Lending Club had issued $1 billion in loans and doubled that amount in issued loans eight months later.

For its success, Lending Club has some minor drawbacks. The process to find borrowers or investors is not as simple as it is with Prosper. The website definitely needs a reinvention. Lending Club doesn't have as many filters as Prosper, which makes it less simple to find investors or borrowers. The site mainly focuses on institutional partners and doesn't have enough options for retail investors. This means that private investors won't be able to use Lending Club as easily as Prosper for passive lending.

However, Lending Club has a better track record for strict loan requirements, which diminishes the risk for investors. A minimum credit score of 660 is required to borrow money on the site. There is also a stricter application process, which means that 90 percent of loans are not approved. However, the loans are better quality as well. The interest rates are lower, and investors are happier because they aren't receiving a lot of default loans.

Overall, if you want to lower your number of default loans, then it's better to go with Lending Club. If you are a borrower with a good credit score and history, then you may enjoy the loan terms that you find from investors on Lending Club as they won't have higher interest rates.

Verdict: What Site to Use for Peer-To-Peer Lending

For those borrowers and investors who think online P2P lending is the next thing, Lending Club and Prosper will be the best to start with. They both have a longer company history than any other peer-to-peer lending site, and they also have several tools to use that will make investing online very simple to understand.

Both platforms work wonderfully if you are looking to increase your portfolio or if you are a borrower trying to start a small business. One way to decide on a platform is to just to open an account on Lending Club or Prosper to get a feel for how it works. There is no risk to open an account and get your feet wet. It's the next step to diversifying your investments or ensuring the success of your small business. 

Have you tried, or plan on trying one of these options for funding your website venture?

Written And Published By Christopher Pontine And Cynthia Adams

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A Look Back At The Articles Written - Enjoy!!!!

I thought it would be nice to take a look back on all the articles written on Creating A Website Today and just reflect back.  Maybe you have ready many or just a few and it will give you some time to look through some helpful articles for your website ventures.  Enjoy!!!

Arrow Pointing At Articles

Creating A Powerful Ecommerce Store With Amazon (July 16, 2014)
Give Me 5 Minutes To Make Your Blog Title A Wee Stickier (May 9, 2014)
4 Easy Solutions To File Your Taxes Online (February 10, 2014)
8.5 Great Investment Choices For Your Website Business (January 25, 2014)
The Legal Side of a Photography Site (January 8, 2014)
And Your Done!!! Get Your Wordpress Blog Up In A Jiff!!! (December 19, 2013)
The Legal Side Of E-Commerce: What To Know (December 2, 2013) And Whats The Difference? (November 13, 2013)
What The Heck Is SEO? (November 9, 2013)
Importance Of A Good E-Commerce Shopping Cart (November 6, 2013)
Creating A Website With (November 2, 2013)
Creating A Website With Yola (October 28, 2013)
Why You Need a Secure Website (October 27, 2013)
Creating an E-Commerce Store With Go Daddy (October 21, 2013)
Creating A Dynamic Online Store with 3DCart (October 19, 2013)
Creating A Great Store With Big Cartel (October 17, 2013)
Creating A Photography Website With SmugMug (October 15, 2013)
Get Your Photography Site Going With Photoshelter (October 14, 2013)
Creating A Photography Site With Red Frame (October 14, 2013)
A Straight Approach: Designing Photo Sites with IM Creator (October 9, 2013)
A Quickie: iPage Makes Web Design Simple (October 7, 2013)
Easily Creating a Website With Bluehost (October 6, 2013)
Web Site Design 101 with 1&1 (September 12, 2013)
The Beauty of Drag and Drop: Seamless Web Design in Two Clicks (September 11, 2013)
Web Hosting 101: Know The Facts - Infographic Edition (August 23, 2013)
8 Great Features To Have For Your E-Commerce Site (August 16, 2013)
10 Power House Website Builders And More (July 30, 2013)
5 Great E-Commerce Website Builders And More (July 27, 2013)
Get Your Store On The Map with 1And1 (July 26, 2013)
1ShoppingCart Gets E-Commerce Done For You (July 24, 2013)
A Run Down Of Great Photography Website Building Articles (July 17, 2013)
5 Great Website Builders for Photographers And More (July 5, 2013)
Great Articles For Your e-Commerce Website Journey (July 2, 2013)
Some GREAT Sources For Inventory For Your e-Commerce Store (June 29, 2013)
Understand Your Website: Coding Resources (June 26, 2013)
Creating Your Website: Sometimes A Foot To Your Butt Helps (June 21, 2013)
All About e-Commerce: Where Curiosity Meets Money (June 11, 2013)
The Perks Of Using A e-Commerce Website Builder (June 10, 2013)
Creating Your E-Commerce Store With Yahoo Small Business (June 3, 2013)
Something for Nothing: Build a Free Site with (May 30, 2013)
Getting To Know Your Basic Domain Extensions (May 10, 2013)
Creating a Sweet E-Commerce Website With Big Commerce (May 7, 2013)
Awesome Tools To Help You Select A Domain Name (April 18, 2013)
Know Your Google Reader Alternatives (April 10, 2013)
Costs for Your Website (March 25, 2013)
The Importance Of Finding A Niche For Your Website (March 11, 2013)
Creating Your Photography Site With Photo Merchant (February 9, 2013)
Creating That Eye Catching Photography Site With Squarespace (January 29, 2013)
Web Hosting 101: Know The Facts (January 21, 2013)
Domain 101: Basic Information You Need To Know (January 13, 2013)
Creating A E-Commerce Store With Volusion (January 8, 2013)
Shopify: Revolutionizing E-Commerce (December 24, 2012)
Building A Website Easily With Go Daddy (November 20, 2012)
The Perks of Using a Website Builder for Your Website (November 3, 2012)
Creating an Amazing Website with Wix (October 12, 2012)
Creating a Website with Fat Cow (October 6, 2012)
Wordpress Installation For Fat Cow (October 3, 2012)
Learn About Site Builder For Fat Cow (October 3, 2012)
Things To Consider Before Creating a Website (October 1, 2012)

Any thoughts?
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Creating A Powerful Ecommerce Store With Amazon

Growing a business online has taken some companies decades to do properly. Then, there's Amazon
Amazon Logo
Amazon Is A Great Choice For Your Website
Webstore, which allows you to create a turnkey ecommerce store in just minutes. Amazon Webstore is an online store platform with tons of features and intuitive building interface that allows you to easily bring your store online and start selling.

The service is designed for small, medium and large businesses. With the 30-day trial, you can try out the service and use all of the features including thousands of templates and forms. It's certainly not free, but Webstore really allows you to create a secure online marketplace that looks professional and unique for your brand. There are some essential steps to getting your store completely online with Amazon Webstore.

Getting Started

Shop owners can sell from Webstore shops and on the Amazon Marketplace. If you aren't familiar with either of these, you should take some time to look at Amazon Webstore and selling on Amazon Marketplace to get a better idea of what you're getting into.

While it may sound like a great idea to become apart of the Amazon Marketplace, there are some drawbacks. For one, not everyone can sell what they want on Amazon, and there are a ton of restrictions. However, if you do choose to sell on your Webstore and Marketplace, you have a lower transaction fee since Amazon takes a small percentage of your profits. Currently, it's 2 percent.

It depends on your products if you will have a more difficult time of selling on Amazon. However, if you already sell on Amazon Marketplace or you know that your products won't be restricted, then selling on both channels may be beneficial.

Set Up An Account

To set up an account, you'll go to the Amazon Webstore products page and click "Get Started." You'll have to make a seller account on if you don't have one already. Once you create an account, you'll be able to select Webstore products from your dashboard and purchase your online store.

Amazon Webstore requires an email address to complete the first form. It also asks for your name and a password. After you create a password, Webstore will ask for some basic information. You'll need the contact information for your business as well as payment information to purchase the ecommerce software and start building.

In addition, Amazon Webstore has a verification process. Amazon verifies your business by calling the business number you provide or an alternative number that you will use with your Webstore. It's very important that you use the right number for your business when setting up your account in order to be verified and start selling.

In the final confirmation step, you must accept the Amazon terms and conditions. Once that is done, click "Complete Registration" in the right sidebar. After that, it takes several minutes to complete registration and set up your account.

Prepare Your Store Design

Amazon's Seller Central dashboard is where you can start managing your new online store. However, before you dive in and start posting your product information, you need product images, store logos, promotional images and other graphics to help your site have a branded look. These are things that Amazon Webstore won't create for you. You should also have your product descriptions written and UPC codes available to make the setup as quickly as possible.

Create Your Product Inventory

The beauty of Amazon Webstore is that you can upload an entire product inventory instantly. However, you need a UPC for every product that you list, but you can also just use the product name. The field will also work if you have Amazon Standard Identification Number (ASIN). If the products you are are adding can be found already on Amazon, then just try searching for it to find the ASIN or UPC when you are setting up the product inventory.

After that, you can enter the product information like SKU, price, quantity available and condition, which must be "new" since Amazon Webstore doesn't allow you to sell any used goods. In the next step of adding your inventory, you'll upload images and add product descriptions in the next section.

Adding Categories

Every online store makes it easier for product to be found by adding some categories. These categories allow you to organize products, which allows people to navigate your store and search for items quickly by typing in keywords. The method for creating categories on Amazon Webstore is simple.

To make a new category, you'll click on "Categories" under the "Store Design" tab and then click the gold "New" button. A button on this page also allows you to assign products for each category that you create.

Customizing Your Store

Amazon Webstore is meant to be very simple and quick, which helps beginners get a store up and running in a short time. If you do have more experience, you can do a little bit more with your template design and customize your store. However, you can still customize your store using the basic tools if you aren't an advanced user.

You can customize your Webstore using several different themes. These themes have different colors and layouts. There are limited theme options, but you can customize each theme using the tools on Amazon Seller Central. This allows you to change the text color, link color, cart colors and other parts of your site.

Fix Your Domain

The Amazon Webstore URL is quite long and has lots of hyphens. You don't want that for your store's online address. Most stores need a unique domain. There is a link on the main page of Seller Central under "Getting Started" that will allow you to customize your store's URL or web address.

You will first need to have registered a domain through GoDaddy, Network Solutions, or Then you can come back to the customize URL page and add your domain's unique URL. This means that your store's address will go from the extra long Amazon URL to "," which will be much less confusing for your visitors and yourself.

Make Lots of Money

After fixing your domain, you are ready to publish your store and start selling. Depending on the option that you picked in the first step, your products will now be published online and in the Amazon Marketplace. You may instantly start receiving orders, but it may take awhile for your store to get noticed if you haven't been selling on Amazon already. In this case, creating a marketing plan for your Amazon store would be the next step to make it more successful.

Amazon Webstore is a great service to use if you want to set up a quick ecommerce store. It's completely online, affordable and makes valuable use of your time so you don't have to spend weeks trying to set up a simple online store. Best of all, it integrates seamlessly with Amazon Marketplace if you want to sell directly to customers of Amazon.

Written And Published By Christopher E Pontine & Cnythia Adams
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Give Me 5 Minutes To Make Your Blog Title A Wee Stickier

With creating a website comes some things you need to think about sooner or later.  For me, it was later when it came to title of my articles, which is why I want to share some tips and ideas for you when your writing yours.

I hope you enjoy, and don't forget to chip in at the bottom : - )

1. Write the Headline First

While it can also be beneficial to wait and write the headline after the content, you can give yourself a clear focus and strategy by writing the headline first. This works best if you have a good idea of what your topic is but don't want to specifically write about.

You can clearly spin your content in a direction knowing what your headline is first as well. The headline also drives the topic of the post, so you always have something to tie in. You can also brainstorm content for your topic that matches the title.

Even if you don't know exactly what your headline should be, just throw some ideas down on paper and work with it. You'll start to form your content and then you can change it as you go.

2. The Quick Way to Write Eye-Catching Headlines

There are a few things that can help you come up with a headline fast. For one, you should always write a headline that targets the 30 percent of your readers who actually care and are interested in your products. These readers are the most likely to enjoy what they're reading about, and it will also give you a more specific focus. This 30 percent includes:

- People easily attracted to your site
- People who are likely to share your product
- Visitors who already find value in your product

You should also include the most desirable feature of your product in a headline. This is what makes the product unique and will stand out to your readers. If you can of your product's value point, then you know exactly what to write for a headline.

As you start thinking of different headlines, write them all down one-by-one. You can pick and choose the keywords that you like and describe the right features while also narrowing down what your content will be about.

3. Do Keywords Matter in Headlines?

Every SEO will tell you that keywords in the headline are the most important part of content marketing, but that's not always the case. Plenty of people have made an argument that it's about writing for humans and getting out of the "marketing speech" that seems to be everywhere.

However, keywords still matter. By doing keyword research and including one part of a keyword phrase in your headline, you can still create something interesting and different to draw in your readers. Keyword research is also helpful to understanding what people are looking for and spotting those rare keywords that give you ideas for an entire content series.

4. How To Headlines and Why They Work

What do people really want when they search for guidance online? They certainly aren't look for generic how-to guides. They really want to know that you know your stuff. If you want to write a how-to headline, you should make sure to be specific and include something interesting so that your article doesn't get lumped into the 30,000 other "How to Make a Pizza" articles. Some ways to switch this up include:

- "How to Make the Spiciest Pepperoni Pizza"
- "How to Throw a Pizza in the Air Like a Real Italian Chef"
- "How to Make a Homemade All-Meat Pizza That's Healthy"

These are just a few titles that spin off of the original and give your readers something interesting to think about before they even click on the headline.

5. List Posts Always Stand Out

List content will always be kind. Why's that? People are lazy. Well, it's the truth. People want to consume data online whether they know it or not. Reading a list is much easier than sorting out words in a pesky paragraph. That's why you should:

- Always vary your list headlines with different numbers. There's not always going to be "5 Ways to Do This or That." There could, you know, be "Four Ways to Do This or That."

- Try different language for what comes after the number. For example, instead of steps or ways, try mistakes, secrets, places, recipes or other fun language that will bring some life into your title.

- Turn your list into a question. For example, "Can You Guess 7 Things Pizza Chefs Love?" or "Do You Know the Three Types of Deadliest Cancers?"

- You can still do simple lists. Add a twist to make it your own like "Five Types of Juicers - What Makes the Juiciest Juice? or "Six Essential Vitamins - Why You Need Only One."

- When in doubt, give 'em something for nothing. For example, "Free App Offers 10 Coupons Every Hour" or "Free Downloads from 6 Different Popular Bands."

- Go big or go home. People really like long lists because they include something for everyone, so challenge yourself to find "!01 Ways to Eat Spinach Without Turning Green."

6. Try These Headline Formulas If all Else Fails

If you're not sure what to write for your headline, these formulas always seem to get hits. All you have to do is replace what's in the brackets with your own subject.

- Who Else Wants [Something Interesting Here]?
- The Secrets of [Successful Pick-Up Artists or something less evil]
- Here is a Method That Is [Totally Shocking] to [People Who Can't Be Shocked]
- Little Known Ways to [Make Kitties Purr]
- Get Rid of [Zombies] Once and For All
- Here's a Quick Way to [Get Your Dog to Pee Outside]
- Now You Can Have [Your Cake] and [Shove It In Someone's Face] Too
* Now You Can Quit Your Day Job and Still Make Money
* How You Can Make a Cat Purr Without Doing a Thing
- [Do a thing] like [someone or something incredible]
* Roar Like a Real Lion
* Blog Like Charlie Sheen is In Your House
- What Everyone Ought to Know About [KFC's Secret Formula]

These pretty much work all the time. Didn't you want to read the content underneath those headlines?

7. A Few Sure-Things for Headlines

Those formulas were so good you came back for more. Here are few more templates to make your headlines stand out.

- Give Me [Five Minutes] and I'll Give You [the Path to Mordor]
- If You Don't [Get to Da Choppa] Now, You'll [Probably Get Blown to Smithereens]
- The Lazy [Shopper's] Way to [Break Into Stores on Black Friday]
- Do You Recognize the [Number] Early Warning Signs of [Cronkhite-Canada Syndrome]
- See How Easily You Can [Make a Difference In Your Cat's Life By Feeding Him Every Time He Meows At You]
- You Don't Have to Be a [Morpheus] to [Find the One True Toilet Paper]
- Did You Make Any of These Mistakes?

Obviously, these titles are a little bit left field, but you can make them right by adding in your own keywords and subjects in between the brackets.

8. Be a Risk-Taker and Try These Headlines

Headline formulas give you some pretty good places to start from and even stand on their own in a sea of boring headlines. However, there are some headline formulas that stick out even more and may be a little bit risky. Are you up for the challenge?

a. Warning: [Something to Get Their Attention]

Warnings always make people stop and think. They want to know what it is they should be careful about especially if they are already reading your other posts that have given them some great advice and things to think about. Some examples with this headline formula include:

- Warning: If You Depend on Oxygen to Live, Start Driving a Smart Car
- Warning: Two Out of Every Three People Have an STD, Are You One of Them?
- Warning: Do You Recognize 3 Early Signs That You Have Cancer?

b. How [Something] Changed Me/Made Me/Gave Me [Something Good/Bad]

If you want to work in a personal story to your post, then use this title. These are some examples:

- How a Prank Made Me Think Twice About Toilet Paper
- How My TV Remote Took Over My Life
- How Moving to New York City Made Me Smell Better

c. Are You [Something]?

The question headline will always bring in some views. These are the best traits of this formula:

- Are You Excited for The Next iPhone Release?
- Are You Expecting a Raise That's Never Coming?

9. Headline Writing for Twitter Noobs

Twitter has become a place for headlines. It's short and sweet. It's the way people get their news without ever going further to actually read the news. However, a great Twitter headline will make them want to read. So what do you have to do to get that reward?

- Make the headline useful
- Make it urgent that they read your content
- Give some unique benefit in the headline
- Be specific in your headline approach
- Use hashtags that will get attention, but #don't #overdo #it.

Above all, people like to laugh even when they are searching for something serious. If you think about it, there are a "5 Secrets to Make #Cats Purr When You Sing."

Image Credit: It's Me 
Written And Created By Christopher Pontine And Cynthia Adams

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4 Easy Solutions To File Your Taxes Online

Green circle with money symbolFiling taxes doesn't have to be stressful, time-consuming or rage-inducing. The digital age brought along some modern-day conveniences like filing your taxes online, but now with the mobile device boom, you can even file your taxes right from your phone.

These four sites make it incredibly easy to file your taxes. This guide goes through each of the top sites to file taxes online in 2014 and how each makes getting a correct return as simple as checking your email.

Poster Talking About Taxes

Slay Thy Taxes With Ease -

The competition for the top online tax preparation software is pretty steep, but TaxSlayer has been very aggressive and offers some genius incentives to customer who are looking to file this 2014 tax season. TaxSlayer provides a ton of advantages like low-cost state eFiling, easy-to-use tax software and affordable filing options for all kinds of IRS forms that you might need. You can file state, federal, amended, military and prior-year returns through TaxSlayer as well. There are a three editions of TaxSlayer including a free military edition, classic edition for $9.95 and premium edition for $29.95.


- TaxSlayer provides free state and federal tax returns for active duty military personnel, and the software is only $9.95 if you're a civilian.
- The interface is simple and bright colored. It's easy to answer each question and quite fast.


- No mobile version yet.

The classic version of TaxSlayer allows you to manage parts of your tax return easily like mortgage interest, property tax, childcare credits, itemized deductions and much more. The 1040EZ filing is a quick process and is quite accurate upon testing. The software checks for all kinds of errors and covers all subjects like your home, your work, dependents and other issues that will allow for credits and deductions that you have earned. A final error check is completed before you can file to ensure that you have entered everything correctly.

If you want to take a break, you can add a placeholder and jump back later to fill in missing information. All you have to do is fill in boxes as you go through the software. The type is legible and large, and the buttons are easy. You just click "Continue" when ready to move on to the next page. You can also speed up the process by importing information from a previous return saved on TaxSlayer.

If you do need assistance,you can also contact TaxSlayer customer support by phone or email. This works even for those who are filing with a free edition. However, there is a priority support option for premium users. The company is also very active on Twitter.

By using TaxSlayer, you can get your taxes filed correctly and ensure that there aren't any errors using their final check. The customer support is always available if you have a question or need guidance on what to file.

Get 'Er Done Turbo Style - TurboTax

Intuit's TurboTax has always been one of the top online tax preparation software companies. They offer free tax return filing and tons of features for those who purchase a premium version. You can also import data, which cuts down dramatically on data entry time if you run a business or work for yourself under 1099. You can important data from ItsDeductible and Mint, which are both owned by Intuit.


- Simple-to-use from desktop or mobile device.
- Anyone can use the software whether you know tax law or not.
- Federal returns are free to tile


- You can't import data unless you pay for premium service.

TurboTax is a household name. Even your grandmother has probably talked to you about the benefits of TurboTax. It's ranked at the top of most tax preparation software lists for a reason. Upon testing the software this year, TurboTax was easier to use and even more accurate than before.

However, premium features do have a lot more to offer. By paying for premium, you can import data from W-2s and 1099 forms with ease. The software has a guided interview style that makes it easy to answer questions and see what credits or deductions are being applied as you work through your tax return claim. TurboTax also shows you what the most beneficial return can be for your tax situation as you file.

While tax preparation software is always subject to user error, TurboTax goes a step further to try and eliminate all issues with the right questions. It also can find items that you overlooked. There aren't any math calculations required either. The software will do it all for you. The interface is extremely thoughtful and simple, and you can even use it on your mobile device.

If you have issues, you can always contact Intuit's online support center, which provides tons of information like answers to commonly asked and specialized questions as well as tax law guidance and customer service numbers in case you need to speak with someone.

Get Some Tax Return Action -

If you know enough about what you're doing or have a simple return that you want to get done quickly, TaxAct is a cheap and accurate alternative. State eFiling is also affordable with TaxAct. You can prepare, eFile and print federal tax returns for free with TaxAct. The only thing you have to pay for is state eFile or if you want to import data from a previous return. You also have to pay extra to speak with someone in customer support.


- Free federal eFiling is simple.
- Low cost state eFiling is cheaper than competitors.
- Audit support makes it easy for businesses to file online.


- Telephone support is not free.
- Online tax help and support could be more extensive.

There are three editions for TaxAct including a free federal edition, Deluxe edition for $9.95 and Ultimate for $17.95. If you want to state file, you'll have to pay extra for both free and Deluxe versions. Ultimate includes one state and one federal filing. You can also download and install CD software that ranges up to $21.95. You can also file prior-year returns dating back to 2000.

TaxAct guide helps filers answer questions that relate to their tax status and makes it easy with over 2,500 tax tips to ensure that users have some help while preparing their tax return online. There's also a tax glossy that includes definitions for 300 tax terms. The questions allow TaxAct to have more accuracy and users get error checking, alerts and a refund/owed meter that helps them figure out what they will receive for their tax return. All in all, it's a great tax preparation software, but you may want more assistance if you're not familiar with filing taxes on your own.

Do It Right the First Time -

When it comes to filing taxes, H&R Block is another household name. However, the company has been known more for its in-office consultations rather than its online tax preparation software in the past. In 2014, it's one of the top online tax preparation software to use. With many filing options, extensive guidance and high accuracy, it's a great option for those who are just starting out with tax filing and may not know as much as they need to get a correct return.


- H&R Block helps individuals and businesses get the most accurate tax returns.
- Federal and state filing, customer service and additional tools all included in price.


- Software is not free and does have a higher price than competitors at $27.95 up to $34.95.

Taxpayers will love the wide range of services that they receive with this software. Despite the price, it's worth the money if you need professional help understanding your taxes and want to get the most accurate return possible. They also have thousands of retail offices throughout the country, which makes it easy to get help with a problem if you run into a road block.

All types of filers can receive help with H&R Block as well. Whether you are self-employer, an investor or just a single parent trying to understand childcare credits, there are a ton of ways that H&R Block spells it all out for their users and provides guidance as you answer questions to ensure that your return is as accurate as possible.

It's also easy to receive your refund with H&R Block, which provides several disbursement options including direct deposit, check or a prepaid card deposit. You can also request a state refund anticipation check for a $13 fee, which is like a loan. The support is also the best with H&R Block, and it's available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Written And Published By Christopher Pontine And Cynthia Adams
Image Credit:  Christopher Pontine

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8.5 Great Investment Choices For Your Website Business

I know this article doesn't cover anything to do with a website builder for any of your ventures, but personally I found these great places to invest your profits or to hold your money too!!!! so I wanted to share these with you and give you the opportunity to open an account yourself so that you will have investment options when needed.

I think overall you will be really pleased with these sites and find them very valuable for your overall business plan either in the present or in the future of your website business.  OK, let's get going and check these out.

When you look for a top online broker, recommendations seem to be everywhere. Brokers have to have a few things to make it worth an investor's time. Different online broker firms often vary between high and low fees, different account tips, range of education features and stock research tools that make one better than the other. These are eight of the stock trading websites that investors truly love and have recommended over the years.

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1. TD Ameritrade

TD Ameritrade has become one of the hottest online investment brokers in America. The company boasts over 5.8 million account holders and $480 billion in assets. There's a minimum initial deposit of $500 to get started, and you can find stock trades for $9.99 per trade. Options trade at $9.99 per trade with $0.75 per contract. There are also free research tools, free data features and free-to-use trading platforms.

TD Ameritrade also has a few promotions that make it great for new and seasoned investors. For instance, you can trade free for 60 days and get a $600 cash bonus. Their customer service also has received a ton of positive feedback, and they have live chat, telephone and email support for their members. Barron's has awarded TD Ameritrade with a few different accolades like #1 for long-term investing and #1 for options.

2. ShareBuilder

Stock trading fees get low at ShareBuilder with just $4 if you choose automatic investing. There's also a free trial offer, and you don't have to have an account minimum to join. The pricing and fee structure at ShareBuilder is simple enough. You can set up recurring scheduled investments to make investing easier and less time consuming. For limit, option and market trades, you'll pay just $6.95.

There are also several research tools to use on ShareBuilder including criteria based stock tools, strategy reports and watch lists. You can also look at charts that note the historic price changes of certain stocks. If you want a no-fuss type of investment platform that's made for beginners, ShareBuilder is exactly the right platform for you.

3. Scottrade

With stocks, bonds, mutual funds, ETFs and options, Scottrade offers a variety of research and data tools with excellent customer service for 30 percent less than most other online brokers. They also have physical locations to help investors who need guidance in person.

However, one drawback is that the trading platform is not as modern as others like eTrade or Sharebuiilder. That also brings down the price to $7 per trade with $1.25 addition for options trade contractors. Scottrade also has several trading tools for free that, but it's missing some of the research tools and charts that you find on TD Ameritrade or eTrade.

However, you can fully customize streaming quotes, and there are still watch lists and some charting tools that would satisfy the basic needs for most investors. If you decide to upgrade with Scottrade, you also receive a debit card, free ATM withdrawals, unlimited free checks, mobile access and 24/7 customer support.

4. eTrade

With its easy-to-use order placement features, eTrade also has options for beginners and seasoned professional traders. For instance there are complex order placement for condor, straddle, strangle and butterfly strategies. If you are an active trader, eTrade is the best. It has competitive pricing models and options-specific features that active traders will appreciate.

Stocks and options are $7.99 per contract as long as you make the minimum of 150 trades per quarter. If you don't trade that much, fees go up to $9.99, which is still relatively low. The research tools are incredible for traders on eTrade. They have comprehensive option trade tools so you can easily place spread, buy-write, butterfly, condor and basic type of orders, including iron-condor. Option charts are also extremely handy for research.

You can also develop different strategies based on your investment amount, time frame, volatility, target price and market outlook. If you have complex orders, eTrade is definitely the right place to make your trades with lots of added features and advice tips to make your trades more predictable and secure.

5. TradeKing

TradeKing offers essential tools for investors, and they are well known for attentive customer service and low costs. Currently, TradeKing offers $4.95 per trade. In addition, this online broker consistently ranks in the top for online firms. TradeKing also joined up with Zecco and now offers a ton of new research tools as part of its dashboard. You can take advantage of customizable and advanced charting. They are also visually appealing and user-friendly. Any member can use these tools for free as well.

The financial products do cost extra including forex trading. However, it has free IRAs and DRIPs, but there is one drawback. TradeKing has a $50 inactivity fee for accounts that have less than $2,500 and haven't been trading within one year. This doesn't typically apply to most active traders, but it should be noted in case you are just starting out and may not know if you'll be trading in a year.

6. TradeMonster

For those who specifically deal in options, TradeMonster is the choice for you. You can get option trades for as low as $0.10 per contract. Regular options traders only have to pay $0.50 per contract. As a discount options broker, TradeMonster is highly competitive and offers a lot of features for users that make them stand out. Investors always support this trading platform because it has the lowest fees, and you'll find flat-fee trade rates of just $7.50.

In addition, the broker isn't shy about providing volume discounts and low margin rates. If you are actively trading every day, you need a streamlined trading platform that can give you all of the basic trade functions with a few advanced research tools. The spectral analysis tools allow you to play with volatility, which is unique to TradeMonster. The results are displayed in a map rather than just a chart. You can also use other tools like option strategy features, what-if analysis, group order management, performance tracking and much more.

7. OptionsHouse

OptionsHouse is a trusted brokerage to think about if you want a low-cost discount broker with a more traditional trading platform. For active traders, OptionsHouse has some cheap options. The software features streaming quotes, which aren't always free in some of the other brokers, but OptionsHouse does a good job of making the basic tools free for its users. These are free real-time quotes so you can keep a finger on the pulse of a specific stock or just view the stock market in general.

The trading platform for OptionsHouse is not as intuitive as some of the others, but it's still simple to navigate. You can place stock trades for a flat $4.75 through OptionsHouse, and it also offers free virtual trading. This is perfect for those who have stock strategies that they want to try, but they don't want to invest any money right away. You can use the $5,000 free virtual account to test-run some of your new strategies and see what works.

8. OptionsXpress

OptionsXpress is a publicly traded company with headquarters in Chicago. Its mainly well known for its ETFs, futures, bonds, mutual funds and stock options trading online. The platform has a lot of valuable and sophisticated online tools. You can open individual or join tenants accounts, trust accounts, business accounts and individual retirement accounts. There's also no minimum deposit required to open a cash account, and you don't have to keep a minimum balance for your account to remain open.

You can also trade wirelessly on your smartphone and take advantage of a few different powerful online trading tools like The Screener. The Screener scans the market for potential mutual funds, options, stocks and ETFs that would be good opportunities. You can view all of the information on a stock before making any decisions as well.

A Man's Face With A Saying
The reason I added the .5 was to grab your attention and as well it represents the acting upon utilizing one of these.  I know corny right?  But at the same time if it made you wonder I did my job in making you curious and to check it out, now the only goal is to ACT.

I hope you found these great and informative and one fit your expectations that you can use for your website business : - ) .  If not it may be a great spot to put your money, I know it's really helped me out.

Written And Published By Christopher Pontine & Cynthia Adams
Image Credit:  Creating A Website Today
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The Legal Side of a Photography Site

Orange CircleOnce you decide to open a photography business online, you face some difficult tasks like setting up copyright protection and building a streamlined store where fans can purchase prints. However, running a legit photography website means that you also have to consider formation and taxes. By setting up your photography business for success, you'll be better suited to continue that success and build your site legally.

For Photographers Just Starting Out

If you've decided to open your business, you need to get all of your legal stuff out of the way. You should look at business structures, taxes and licenses. You may need to contact your local small business agency to inquire about licenses for photographers and your new business. They can offer small businesses and start-ups a wealth of information.

Choose a Business Structure

Multiple business structures are available out there, but there are some more suitable for photographers. Business structure types include sole proprietor, limited liability company and corporation. The type of structure that you choose will depend on the type of business, investment costs, choice of liability and taxes.

Sole Proprietor: These are the most popular for photographers because it's generally used for small business owners that don't have a lot of investment capital to work with. You can create a sole proprietorship by filing a "doing business as" certificate with your county or state. While this type has the lowest amount of investment cost, you don't receive any liability protection. Personal assets are not off limits and not kept separate from business assets either. If you choose sole proprietorship, you'll file with a Schedule "C" for taxes along with your personal tax returns.

Limited Liability Company (LLC) - This is another popular structure for photo start-ups. This structure provides protection for the owner as business and personal assets are not considered together. LLCs have a bigger monetary investment cost due to Articles of Organization, it's the most advantageous for online photography businesses because of its liability restrictions and tax limitations.

All LLC earnings are taxed only once because losses, credits, income and deductions are able to "flow through" to the owner of the company. LLCs are managed by members and income, deductions, credits and losses, so it's divided up with the right documentation.

Corporation: These are more popular for more established small businesses with more investment capital. You need more start-up funds to be a successful corporation. There are also two types of corporations: C and S. C corporations are subject to double taxation, but this can be avoided if owners of the company only receive a standard and reasonable salary. S corporation is the more popular of the two for photographers because structure profits don't have to be evenly distributed, but corporations are subject to state corporate fees.

States also have different laws for business structures. Most business guides suggest that Wisconsin has the best laws regarding LLCs.

How to Pick the Right Business Structure for Photo Sites?

You need to decide what's most important to you when considering the success of your photography site. These are just a few of the factors:

   * Renewals
   * Long term goals
   * Monetary investment
   * Desired protection of assets

If you don't have a lot of money for start-up costs, the best option would be sole proprietorship, but if you also want to protect your assets, you'll need to file as an LLC. There are also long-term benefits of becoming an LLC. It's difficult for independent photographers to start corporations on their own.

The Issue of Taxes for Photographers

There are different types of taxes that you'll need to pay according to where you are operating your site as tax laws vary state by state in regards to digital goods. There are federal income taxes, state income taxes and state sales taxes. There are also some miscellaneous taxes that depend on your business formation and are also different based on the jurisdiction.

Federal Income Taxes

You should consider the federal income tax to be all about your income from your photography business. There isn't a federal sales tax. You have to file a claim yearly, and you should always save a portion of your profits to pay your taxes as your bill will accrue from the IRS. You must do your own withholding as the business owner. You may also be able to pay your taxes throughout the year to avoid surprises. This depends on the type of business and state, so you'll need to contact the IRS if you want to use this option.

State Income Tax

Additionally, some states also have a state income tax that is just like federal income tax. You'll have to file your state income tax separately.

State Sales Tax

Most businesses that sell products must collect taxes for your state. However, some states do not require sellers of digital goods to charge any taxes. You should always apply a state sales tax on top of your digital goods price. You also need to get a sales tax permit, which are free. You also have to file a sales tax return along with your other tax claims. Local sales and taxes are based upon where you registered your business.

You may also be required to pay sales taxes if you operate as a photographer in other areas. Most photographers selling prints and canvases must charge a sales tax. If a person is purchasing a download such as a digital wallpaper, then you may not have to charge sales tax. You'll have to check with your local tax agency to determine if sales tax applies to digital goods.

Business Forms for Photographers

You'll need to have these forms on file.

Portrait Agreement

Clients and photographers must enter an agreement called a portrait agreement. This outlines specifics like payment, cancellation policy, session date and more. If you don't have this form, the expectations and policies of the relationship can be disputed. If you don't use this form, you are placing yourself in danger of being sued if something should go wrong with a photoshoot or portrait for a client.

Model Release

The subject of a photograph must also sign a release. A minor's parent or guardian must sign this release as well. The release gives the photographer permission to display the photograph and use for exhibitions or personal uses.

Print Release

Photographers also have to let clients know that they have rights when they download digital files from your site. You should have detailed restrictions on what can and cannot be done with a digital download. What privileges do you allow for your stock photos? Clients often want unlimited use, but they may call this copyright ownership.

You must specify that they do not own the copyright, but they may buy a license to use the photos according to your specifications. You should also understand the different between print and copyright release.

Independent Contractor Agreement

If you plan to partner with others in the photography world or web design world, you'll likely enter into an independent contractor agreement. This states what goods or services are to be provided at what salary and often includes a deadline or time sensitive information. The agreement also needs to state that benefits are not included and that contractors must file their own taxes. You can specify other expectations and policies on the agreement.

Copyright Notice

You must have copyright protection if you plan to run a successful photography site. Most clients do not understand or pay attention to copyright, but that's all the more reason for you to do so. If they buy files online, they may just want to use them for print. You should specify what photos can be used for and how often they can be used for as part of the copyright license. You should also state that copyright laws are in effect whenever clients purchase art or photos from your site.

Talk to A Lawyer

If you are confused about any legal aspects of starting your photography site, you may want to consult with a lawyer on proper business formation and getting your forms in order to protect your work. You may need special copyright for your site as well. You can also survey popular photography sites to understand how to set up your copyright and legal protection agreements. It's important that you get all of this setup before you start selling any work online.

Starting a photography website is an incredible step forward for photographers. You are entering the business marketplace and opening up visibility to your work from all over the world. You must take the proper precautions and always think with copyright in mind when dealing with clients. Once you have protected yourself, you will have a more legitimate online photography business that can progress your career as well.

Make sure to check out "5 Great Website Builders For Photographers" to choose your platform to use if you haven't already.

Written And Published By Christopher Pontine
Image Credit: My Own Work
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