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7 Traits of Every Great Looking Coming Soon Page


Are you or your business associates looking for advice to improve the reach of a website that is simply ‘Coming Soon‘ or sitting there in maintenance mode?

The concern, of course, is that so many customers visit your website but leave without a great impression.

If this is what you’re concerned about, and you hope to improve your website experience while creating your product, then you’ve come to the right place.

The reality is that you must consider opportunities to create raving fans even when your website, service, or product is pending.

Like you, we have recognized over time that there are so many benefits to having a placeholder while your website is in creation mode.

That’s where Coming Soon pages can play a pivotal role in your company to drive new potential customers to your brand.

This article will help you understand everything you need to know about great-looking Coming Soon pages, and also what you can do to ensure yours is customer friendly.

What you will learn:

  • Why you need a Coming Soon page
  • 7 Traits to Consider
  • How to create a Coming Soon page
  • Final Thoughts

Why you need a Coming Soon page

The fact is that many people are trying to launch a website, and often most sites fail. The reality is that they fail to attract traffic to these sites.

You should know that it does take time to get that momentum going on a website and to start to see a decent amount of traffic visiting your site.

During this time, you should plan for future visitors by putting up a Coming Soon page. This step will alert the google algorithm to your site being online.

You will also be able to add valuable information, such as :

  • Product or service information
  • Share context around your offering
  • Share invite-only content to first browsers
  • Social proof to build site authority earlier on

You can also start building a great email list right off the bat. This email list can help you engage your growing following, turning these followers into customers that continuously support you.

Even better, if you are using WordPress to power your site, all of this can be done with simple plugins and themes instead of hiring a designer for custom work that continually needs to be change.

A perfect example of this would be creating a WordPress coming soon page right from a multi-use plugin like Branda and Hustle from WPMU Dev.

With the Branda plugin, you can easily create a coming soon page for your site, and then use the Hustle plugin to set up email submit or mailing list forms. You can see a quick example of this below, along with a countdown timer for when the site officially launches.

Also a Coming Soon page helps you to hide the behind the scenes work that makes your site look quite unprofessional in its early stages. Don’t overlook this aspect as the first impressions generally last.

Therefore it’s so important to have a Coming Soon page. Next, I will share more information on the traits to consider when creating that page.

7 Traits to Consider When Creating a Coming Soon Page

As with most pages online, you must always think about your end consumer experience and how the Coming Soon page can benefit that consumer. This one thing will set your business apart for the better.

These are the seven traits you must look out for:

1. A Clear Value Proposition

A clear value proposition will give your new visitors a specific idea about you and your business. It tells them what value you can bring into their lives.

Ultimately, it’s a one-sentence phrase that’s catchy and easy to remember. This phrase is generally one of the first things your customers see.

Yet, many entrepreneurs have got this wrong and found that their traffic decided to go elsewhere.

As pointed out in this article featured on Business2Community, there are plenty of ways to cover all of your bases when creating something as simple as a “coming soon page”. You can see what we mean through the visual below.

Think about it; customers visit your page for a reason. And that reason is to gain something or for a benefit.

If you aren’t offering anything beneficial, they move on over to the next vendor. This point is so important, yet also attached to this you will find a  rarely used aspect which I will detail in the next section,

2. Core benefits of your product or service

Simply put, the core benefits of your product or service is a breakdown of the features and benefits that your customers can expect.

The modern-day consumer has high standards simply because so many vendors are available to sell them the product at their specification. You must keep up and prove that your offering is the best.

You can do this by making it easy to access, and including it just below your value proposition. The structure will also have to be visually pleasing. Consider using a bullet list of benefits. It’s systematic, and your customers will love that.

Naturally, remember that benefits help your customers imagine visually how your product will give them value and make their lives easier.

Think about any new purchase you make; you always visualize how it will fit into your life. Ultimately that leads to you swiping your credit or entering your credit card details online.

3. Single call to action (CTA)

A call to action is one where you direct your customer to act. It will involve several things.

I’ve made a list of examples to consider:

  • Free ebooks which can attract customers to your email list
  • Rewards/giveaway which educate your customers about your products
  • Exclusive invite to a discount on your product if they share your offering on social media

Ensure that you have a bold call to action that grabs attention at once. Yet it should also be related to your product at hand. Again, this can all be set up by using the lead generation or pop up plugin for WordPress.

Avoid unrelated CTA’s, they only confuse your customer and make them feel annoyed by your brand.

These CTA’s will be vital to increase your fan base while you’re building your product. Once you’ve indicated an excellent call to action, your next focus must shift to building authority for your customer.

4. Social Proof

Social proof is simply a way to show your potential customers you have some authority in the marketplace, and it builds a sense of trust.

Examples of social proof include:

  • Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Tiktok followers
  • A published book
  • Testimonials from experts in the industry
  • Videos showing celebrities raving about your service

Social proof is of enormous importance for a brand to succeed. And if taken seriously, you can build a large following through social media presence.

Do this by using Facebook ads, networking, affiliate marketing engagement, or leveraging your other brands. Another great option is to use testimonials or to show where you might have received news, media or press coverage in the past.

Alternatively, engaging influencers on various social media platforms can yield excellent results.

The idea of influencers also brings me to the next point, which you will see is quite essential when consumers have the opportunity to imagine themselves using your product or service.

5. Photos or videos of the product in use

This ties in nicely with using influencer marketing, and onboarding influencers onto your network to share your product.

You will find a win-win opportunity whereby your influencers can provide you with quality content for your Coming Soon page while they get a fee for lending their brand name to you.

Alternatively, you can make use of websites like Fiverr and Upwork to get high-quality content at a reasonable price.

Another critical factor is that users want to visualize how your product or service works, so make sure you provide this tool.

Many websites currently try to keep things minimal, yet I would steer you towards using as much leverage as you can when starting a new brand. Let’s look at the next section that will show you what every Coming Soon page must adopt.

6. Exclusivity

The average consumer wants to feel unique, special, and you have to create that feeling when they visit the Coming Soon page. Exclusivity can be a vital trait during the early phases of a new brand.

Here are a few ways to create exclusivity:

  • Include a “by invite-only” section – it will make potential customers wonder how to get in
  • Have a VIP mailing list, which they can only access once they meet specific criteria
  • Attach yourself to more prominent brands, and aim to leverage their brand

Yes, it may seem simple but can do wonders for your engagement on your Coming Soon page and ultimately lead to more sales and more traffic too. 

7. Create Scarcity

Scarcity is another tool you can use to keep your visitors engaged on a Coming Soon page. The idea that you will miss out on something somehow always drives consumer behavior.

It’s so common there is even a word for it: FOMO.
It means the Fear Of Missing Out.

Here are a few ideas to include for scarcity:

  • Add a referral element with rewards and have a time frame for people to use it
  • Include a countdown timer on your website for exclusive access to content

Scarcity is an excellent way to persuade people to take action on your page. You can use many tools to do this, including plugins on WordPress, Shopify, Wix, and other popular platforms.

8. Bonus Trait

We have covered seven traits, but we have two more that you can use on your Coming Soon page that will improve your customer satisfaction and improve sales.

Use a survey: Often, when your website is not up yet, you may still be in the finishing stages, and it’s a good idea to engage your prospective customers with a survey. People love to share their opinions, and it will build an emotional connection with your future customers.

Keeps things very simple:  Simplicity keeps site visitors on your page. They are often eager to understand more about your page and also what they can learn from it. This step will create an air of mystery and consequently get people talking.

How to Create a Coming Soon Page

Now that you have a good understanding of the traits of a great Coming Soon page, you may be wondering how to do it.

Not to worry, we have you covered. Historically, it was a challenge to create beautiful one-page sites. I have good news for you; you can now create these pages on your own.

The bad news is that you may need to do a little extra work to set up the page. That said, it will be worth your time.

Since WordPress powers over one-third of websites on the internet, we highly recommend finding a coming soon or maintenence mode plugin that makes the creation and management process a whole lot easier.

Final thoughts on Creating that Perfect Coming Soon Page

In this article, we have taken a deep dive into Coming Soon pages and how they can help your business show a professional face while building your product or service.

It’s important to note that these pages have vital traits to consider to ensure that you maximize on any traffic coming over.

These are simple opportunities to keep your customers in the know. Keeping customers informed will serve another purpose too. It will be pivotal in building a continuous customer relationship that helps you provide value now and in the future.

Now, it is all about implementing the seven traits, and you can do this through your current website platform or use an automated service.

The choice is ultimately yours, but whatever you choose, remember to incorporate these ideas for maximum exposure.

Thank you for reading along so far, and we hope you implement these tools to take your Coming Soon pages to the next level.



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Remote Jobs Hiring Right Now


It’s a bit of a strange time right now. With social distancing in effect it probably seems like a bad idea to start (or continue) a job search. But that simply isn’t the case for remote job seekers.

Since the entire remote hiring process is done virtually — including interviewing and onboarding — remote-friendly companies can carry on with business as (almost) usual. This includes posting open positions and bringing on new hires.

That means there are still remote jobs hiring right now, even during the middle of a pandemic. Here are 10 companies with a lot of options to inspire your own remote job search.

1. Blue Fox

Blue Fox is an accounting firm. It specializes in working with nonprofits. Currently, Blue Fox is in need of a Client Ally to join their virtual team. This position is a unique combination of accountant and customer service representative. Learn more about this (and other) remote jobs hiring right now at Blue Fox Career Page.

2. Mozilla

Mozilla is a remote-friendly company. It has headquarters in San Fransisco, but many of its employees work remotely. You probably know Mozilla for its apps and browser like FireFox and Pocket. Right now, Mozilla needs a Customer Experience Specialist to work with Pocket users. Check out this remote job (and many more) on Mozilla’s Jobs Page.

3. Allegis Transcription

Fun fact: One of my very first remote jobs was as a legal typist. As it turns out, transcription work is in demand and offers a good deal of flexibility. That’s because most remote transcription jobs are freelance or contract which allow you to set your own schedule. Allegis Transcription has remote jobs hiring right now for part time and freelance typists. Think you have what it takes? Learn more about this entry-level typing position over at Allegis Transcription Job Opportunities.

Want to find out if transcription is right for you? Take the free 7-day general transcription course at TranscribeAnywhere.

4. Magellan Health

Want to learn about healthcare careers you can do from home? Be sure to check out Magellan Health. This healthcare and pharmaceutical management company regularly has remote jobs posted on its Career Page.

5. Outlier.org

Outlier.org is an education company. It’s on a mission to create online education that is affordable and accessible for everyone. While Outlier has headquarters in Brooklyn, it often hires remote workers for content creation. These jobs are contract and flexible. Find out more about remote-friendly positions at Outlier.org Hiring Page.

6. Franciscan Health

Franciscan Health has 12 hospitals and dozens more clinics and facilities throughout the US. While not all positions at Franciscan Health are remote jobs hiring right now, there are many healthcare career paths posted for telecommuters. Be sure to regularly browse the Franciscan Health Hiring Page to see what’s available at any given time.

Healthcare is one of the most in-demand remote career fields. Now you can train online to become a medical billing and coding professional in about one year.

7. Clevertech

Clevertech is a fully distributed company. That means all of its employees have the freedom to work from the location that works best for them. Right now, Clevertech is on the hunt for a number of different remote workers to join their team. Find out what they are at Clevertech’s Remote Job Opportunities Page.

8. Hopper

Hopper is a travel app. Its aim is to make booking travel faster and easier for all users. While Hopper has roots in Canada, it often advertises remote jobs throughout North America. Stop by Hopper’s Jobs Page to see what remote jobs are available right now.

9. GitHub

Another remote-forward company that’s currently hiring is GitHub. GitHub is the place to go if you want to share code. Although GitHub is a developer company, it has remote positions available in all different departments. Learn more about various GitHub jobs and how you can apply.

10. Zoom

If you weren’t familiar with it before, you probably are now! Zoom is a leader in the video conference arena. This communications company helps connect coworkers and classmates through video meetings and webinars. Check out remote jobs hiring right now at Zoom, including phone sales and compliance specialist roles, on its Hiring Page.

Start Your Remote Job Search Today

For remote job seekers, not much has changed. Remote-friendly companies are used to conducting business in a virtual environment, hiring included. This means you can still find hundreds of remote job leads every day.

Now is as good a time as ever to start your remote job search and finally transition to full time telecommuter. Check out my online course, Jump Start Your Remote Job Search, to find learn more about finding and landing the right remote job for you.

Happily,

Ashlee Anderson, CPCC

Remote Jobs Hiring Right Now: 10 Companies To Choose From

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How To Make Big Bucks Selling Books on Amazon!


Selling Books on Amazon

I’ve probably seen it all when it comes to making money online. Unfortunately much of it is scams. However sometimes you find some legit options like selling books on Amazon. 

Well as interesting as that may sound, it may not be what you expected. Let me take you through everything you need to know about How To Make Money Selling Books on Amazon!

How Does Selling Books on Amazon Work?

There are a number of options to selling books on Amazon. Again, it’s not limited to you being a published author or having an inventory of books to sell on Amazon. Below I’ve provided several ways you can make money selling books on Amazon for different people. 

  • Amazon’s KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing) to sell your own books, eBooks or audiobooks. KDP is a great option if you’re writing and publishing your own books as you get to keep and control 100% of your work’s rights. You also get to update or make changes to the book at any time in addition to earning up to 70% of royalties.
  • Amazon Trade-in – You also have the option of trading in your old books for Amazon gift cards. You’ll have to check whether each book qualifies for a trade-in deal first though. If yes, you can complete the application process, and Amazon will give you a prepaid shipping label to send the book to them for free within 7 days. Once they accept the books you’ll get your gift card. If they reject it, they’ll ship the book back to you at no cost to you. 
  • Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) – With this option, you’ll basically post a book for sale, and let Amazon handle shipping, storage and after-sale services and support to the final customer. It’s a great way for beginners who don’t have a solid fulfillment plan set up. 
  • Fulfillment by Merchant (FBM) – If you’re an FBM seller, you’ll be handling everything including storage, packaging, shipping and inventory management once you make a sale on Amazon. 
  • Amazon Vendors (AMZ)– This option enables you to sell the books directly to Amazon. Your profit margin may be significantly less than the other two options, but it’s a great way to sell books in bulk. 
  • Amazon Associates Affiliate Program – You’ll basically be selling other people’s books for a small commission from Amazon. You’ll need a publishing platform such as a website where you’ll be using your affiliate links to track sales and get paid. All you need to do under this option is to sign up for the Amazon Affiliates Program. 

How To Start Selling Books on Amazon

To start selling books via the Amazon FBA or FBM, here are the steps you’ll have to follow to get started. 

  1. Create a normal Amazon account – With your email, password and phone number, simply create a Seller account under the “Your Other Accounts” option. 
  1. Choose a selling plan – There are two selling plans on Amazon; the Individual Plan and Professional Plan. You don’t have to pay a monthly subscription rate under the individual plan, but Amazon will take $0.99 per sale. Again, you can only sell up to 40 items per month. The Professional Plan requires you to pay a monthly fee of $39.99, but you get access to reports, spreadsheets and other business-related resources. 
  1. Register for an FBM or FBA Account – Depending on whether you want to ship the books directly to the buyer (FBM) or let Amazon handle shipping and after sale services (FBA), you can apply for either account at this point. FBM will pass the shipping cost to you. If Amazon is fulfilling your orders, you’ll pay order fulfillment fees storage and optional services in addition to cost of shipping. You can check out these rates here
  1. Enter your payment information – To get payments from Amazon, you’ll need to enter your checking account information and SSN number. If you’re selling from outside the US, you’ll need an ACH-enabled bank account and a credit or debit card for your monthly charges. You’ll also need to get an US EIN Number from the IRS (Internal Revenue Service). You can go to IRS.gov to apply for one.

Once you’re done creating your account you can now start selling. 

How Much Money Can I Make Selling Books on Amazon? 

There’s no telling how much money you can make selling books on Amazon. It all depends on how you’ve structured your business, your dedication, the niche and how much you’re willing to invest in the business. 

The bottom line is, selling books on Amazon can replace your 9-5 paycheck, and you can learn everything about building your business using My Best Work At Home Recommendation

But if you’re not keen on the idea of selling anything or just want additional easier sources of income, you can make money doing what you already do online. You can get paid for visiting sites, reading emails, taking surveys and more at SwagBucks.com, FusionCash.com and SurveyJunkie.com

Selling Books on Amazon Complaints

Doing business online definitely does have its ugly side, and I bet this is the part you’re most interested in. So read the complaints about selling books on Amazon and decide for yourself whether it’s worth the effort. 

You can lose your business overnight – This is perhaps the worst thing that can happen to you as a seller. Some of the horror stories we came across include people losing their million dollar businesses overnight. The reasons for this vary. Amazon retains the right to close you down if you’re an FBA or FBM seller at any point. If that does happen you can still earn money selling other people’s books as an Amazon Associate. To learn all about how to get started check out My Best Work At Home Recommendation.

Other amazon sellers may copy you – Doing business with Amazon doesn’t guarantee that you’ll exclusively reap the benefit from your hard work. Other sellers may set up their shop using your photos, description, videos and so on. You may report such cases, but Amazon may require you to prove ownership of these documents. This might take months to solve. The bottom line is, there’s no simple way of protecting what’s yours as a seller. 

Business sabotage by competition – Sometimes your business may be so good that your competition feels the need to straight out sabotage your business. There are tons of ways to do that, which is basically using Amazon’s rules against you. They could leave false negative feedback, undercut you, accuse you of selling counterfeit products and such like evil tactics. Fortunately Amazon customer service is quite efficient in dealing with such cases. But it’s always good to be in the know. 

Can I Make Real Money Selling Books on Amazon?

You can definitely make money selling books on Amazon. Remember Amazon started out as a bookseller. They created a strong foundation that people like you and I can use to make a living. 

That said, there are certain complaints you’ve just read about. To get around some of them you can consider being an affiliate and avoid the complications that come along with holding inventory and doing fulfillment, etc. You can learn all about building such a business and the strategies, tools and training you’ll need to succeed using My Best Work At Home Recommendation

Well, that’s all from me today. Would you consider selling books on Amazon, or are you already a seller? Let us know in the comments section below! If you still have questions about this topic, you can visit Amazon’s seller help page here.

Until next time

Eddy “with a Y”

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5 Jobs Where You Can Earn $45 an Hour From Home


So, you’re thinking of working from home, but you don’t want (or can’t afford) to take a pay cut. You have bills to pay, and although you’d love more flexibility, you don’t want to struggle financially. I get it; it’s a big decision and a risky one at that – particularly if you have a family to provide for, a mortgage, or other debts.

Working from home and still earning a good salary is definitely achievable. You probably already possess some of the skills you need to start your own business, but the beauty of living in this information age is that you can learn just about anything (and often for free). You could even be expanding your skillset while you continue work at your 9-5 job, or perhaps you have personal experience that could be turned into a career. Don’t wait another day putting this off! Start doing your research now, and there’s no reason why you need to earn less than $45 an hour.

When you consider all of the amazing benefits of working from home, $45 per hour is a pretty impressive salary. Even more impressive when you compare it to the average American wage of $24.95 an hour. Does the idea of setting your own schedule and making a living doing what you love, appeal to you? How about no commute or the added expense of work clothes, lunches, and coffees?

5 Jobs Where You Can Earn $45 an Hour From Home

There are a ton of opportunities out there, but here are five work at home jobs where you can earn $45 per hour or more!

1. Freelancer

Starting a freelance business is easier than you think. Whether you’re a budding photographer, writer, videographer, graphic designer, web developer, or social media marketer, you can get started in no time. The first thing is to get a portfolio together of your work and then get job hunting.

Freelance Writer:

If you’re an educated writer in your niche, you can earn $30-$75 per hour, according to FreelanceWriting.com. Read our 4 Helpful Tips for Beginning Freelance Writers.

Freelance Photographer or Videographer:

If you’re a beginner, you can typically charge $25-$100 per hour, depending on your experience and location. Read From Fired to In-Demand Photographer – One Mom’s Story.

Freelance Graphic Designer:

Rates charged on Upwork vary from $20-$150 per hour, with an average rate of $45 per hour. Read How to Work From Home as a Graphic Designer.

Freelance Web Developer or Designer:

According to CareerKarma, the average freelance web developer earns $60 per hour. Check out our Tips for a Successful First Year as a Freelance Web Designer.

Freelance Social Media Manager:

Intermediate social media marketers can expect to charge $50-$100 an hour, according to Social Media Strategies Summit. Read our post on How to Turn Your Love of Social Media Into a Thriving Online Business.

2. Fitness Instructor

A home-based fitness business is a great way to keep healthy while helping others reach their fitness goals. Check out our article that explains how to get qualified and start a home fitness studio. Alternatively, head to FitnessJobs to search for jobs near you. Your focus could be personal training, pilates, yoga, or postnatal fitness, for example. On average, personal trainers charge $40-$70 per hour-long session.

3. Bookkeeper

If you’re detail-oriented and love numbers and spreadsheets, bookkeeping is an excellent way to make a good living from home. Starting a business is easy! Head over to our quick guide on How to Work From Home as a Bookkeeper, which includes the training you need and tips for finding remote jobs. If you’ve worked in the profession before, you can make an average of $30-$40 an hour, but many make over $45 an hour. Search for jobs on Indeed, Upwork, or LinkedIn.

5 Jobs Where You Can Earn $45 an Hour From Home

4. Consultant

Consultancy covers a broad range of careers, including strategy consulting, operations consulting, financial consulting, IT consulting, and HR consulting.

  • What are you skilled at and experienced in?
  • What do you love to do?
  • Is there any advice you could offer businesses or individuals?
  • Recommendations you could make or specialized services you could provide?

Entrepreneur coach, Andréa Coutu from Consultant Journal, offers a Become a Consultant series, which covers everything you need to know from the ground up if you’re considering a career in consultancy. Depending on the type of consultancy you offer, the market rate is $50-$150 per hour, but it’s up to you to set your rates based on your experience. Head to FlexJobs, LinkedIn, or Top-Consultant.com to search for jobs.

5. Coach

As you would imagine, coaching includes a vast array of career options. There’s life coaching, business coaching, sleep coaching, health coaching, career coaching, and relationship coaching – to name a few! If you’ve been professionally trained or have first-hand experience in a particular subject matter, and your dream is to help others achieve their goals and solve their problems, you might consider learning How to Work From Home as a Coach.

As your consultancy business grows, you could be charging A LOT more than $45! Depending on the type of coach you are, a good place to start is LinkedIn. So set up your profile and start job hunting and networking there.

Conclusion

Working from home doesn’t mean you have to accept less pay for your time and skills. Opportunities are endless if you’re passionate, hard-working, and have something to offer other people. $45 an hour is not the ceiling by any means for any of the five jobs listed here. After all, it will be your business, your hours, and your rates.

Kara Wilson is a magazine editor, freelance writer, and a work-at-home Australian mama to two young children. You can find a variety of her articles in publications worldwide, but her favorite topic is parenting. She has almost 20 years of professional experience in early childhood, holds a degree in Psychology, is a trained sleep specialist, and has completed a plethora of courses and workshops surrounding early childhood development and health. Aside from her family and writing, her other biggest loves are cooking, nutrition, traveling, and of course, reading. You can check out her portfolio at Kara-Wilson.com, read her tips for raising adventurous eaters on Instagram at Little Foodie Guide or join her closed Facebook support group for mamas called Solids and Sleep.



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The 4 Best Rental Car Insurance Companies for 2020


Rental car insurance is one of those things I hate spending money on.

It’s so tempting to just opt out of the coverage offered at the rental counter and hope for the best. But if the worst happens, I know I’d really regret not buying the policy.

Sometimes you need the insurance, sometimes you don’t. I break down exactly when to get rental car insurance below.

But let’s assume you need some. What are the best options?

The 4 Best Rental Car Insurance Companies

Buying rental car insurance at the counter can cost anywhere from $10 to $30 per day, so a stand-alone policy might be a cheaper option. Here are a few to consider.

Bonzah

Bonzah provides up to $35,000 of coverage for collision, theft, vandalism, or other damage to a rental car with no deductible. It also offers up to $1 million in supplemental liability insurance.

Other benefits include:

  • Up to $500 for damage or theft of your baggage and personal items (including your passport or visa), subject to a maximum of $250 per item
  • Optional roadside assistance if you’re traveling more than 100 miles away from home. Roadside assistance covers towing, battery services, flat tire assistance; fuel, oil, or water delivery service; lock-out assistance, and collision assistance.

To qualify for Bonzah coverage, you must be age 21 or older and possess a valid driver’s license.

Cost: Starts at $7.99 per day

Insure My Rental Car

Insure My Rental Car offers up to $100,000 of rental car coverage for damage or theft with no deductible. You can choose between a daily policy that covers you on a per-trip basis, or an annual policy if you rent cars frequently. However, if you select a yearly plan, no single car rental period can be more than 31 days.

When you complete a quote form online, Insure My Rental Car may present other coverage options, such as roadside assistance and personal effects coverage.

Insurance My Rental Car is currently not available to residents of Iowa, Massachusetts, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Virginia, and Washington.

Cost: Starting at $6 per day for daily coverage

Sure

Sure provides up to $100,000 of coverage due to theft or damage coverage to a rental car. The coverage also covers your personal effects in the car.

Other benefits include:

  • Flat tire coverage
  • Coverage for the cost of draining and cleaning the fuel tank or accidental damage caused by driving with the wrong fuel
  • Lost key reimbursement
  • Towing charges

Cost: Starting at $7.99 per day

Allianz

Allianz’s Rental Car Damage Protector provides up to $40,000 of coverage for collision, theft, or damage.

Other benefits include:

  • Up to $1,000 for loss, damage or theft of baggage and person effects
  • Up to $1,000 of trip interruption coverage to reimburse you for the unused, non-refundable portion of your trip and increased transportation costs if you have to return home from your trip early
  • 24-hour assistance for all kinds of travel emergencies, including locating local medical or legal assistance, arranging to send messages home, helped with miss flight connections, and lost or stolen travel documents

Cost: $9 per day ($7 per day for Florida residents)

Do You Need to Buy Rental Car Insurance?

Before renting a car, there are two places you might want to check to see if your rental car is already covered.

Your car insurance policy

If you own a car, you’re required to have auto liability insurance by state law. Liability insurance helps cover medical costs and property damage if you’re at fault in a crash. Some policies extend that coverage to when you’re driving a rental car.

But are your liability limits high enough? Each state has its own minimum liability limits, which might not be enough if you’re involved in a major accident. For example, Arizona only requires drivers to carry coverage of 15/30/10. In insurance-speak, this translates to bodily injury coverage of $30,000 for all people injured in an accident, subject to a limit of $15,000 per individual, and $10,000 coverage for property damage. If you’re at fault in a fatal accident or one that involves a very expensive vehicle, that might not be enough.

Another component of auto insurance policies is comprehensive and collision coverage. Comprehensive coverage insures the car against non-driving related damage, such as fire, theft, or vandalism. Collision coverage pays for damage to your vehicle if you’re involved in a crash.

Some people – especially those with old or inexpensive cars – don’t carry comprehensive and collision coverage. In that case, you’re responsible for covering any damage to your vehicle out of your own pocket.

Ask your insurance agent or read through your auto insurance policy’s terms and conditions to see whether liability, comprehensive, and collision coverage extends to a rental car. If it does, and your limits are adequate, you can decline the insurance coverage offered at the rental counter and save some money.

Your credit card benefits

Many of our favorite credit cards offer some rental car insurance as a fringe benefit, as long as you pay for the rental with that card.

Rental car benefits vary by company and by card. For example, the Chase Sapphire Preferred card provides reimbursement for damage due to collision or theft as long as the rental period is 31 days or less. It doesn’t cover any bodily injury or property damage, so you may be able to decline the rental car company’s collision insurance. However, you’ ll still need liability coverage. Call your credit card company or read through the guide to card benefits to find out what’s covered before you rent a car.

If you don’t have built-in rental car coverage, you can still purchase stand-alone rental car insurance coverage. By going with stand-alone coverage, you’ll save money compared to buying insurance with the rental company.

How to Choose The Best Rental Car Insurance

The best rental car insurance will depend on your situation. If you’re checking out rental car insurance options, here are a few features or considerations to keep in mind.

Coverage

Coverage should be your top priority since an insurance policy is only as good as the peace of mind it offers.

Ideally, your rental car insurance policy will cover both liability and damage to the rental car itself. Many coverage options, including those available through most credit cards, only cover damage to the vehicle. They don’t cover injuries to another person or damage to property other than the rental car.

Also, consider the limits. For example, Bonzah only covers up to $35,000 of damage to a rental car. That’s probably enough if you’re renting a standard car. However, if you’re renting a sports car or a luxury vehicle, $35,000 may not be enough to cover a major accident.

Optional features

What else does the policy cover? Many rental car insurance policies include other benefits, such as coverage for your personal effects and roadside assistance. Others offer those features for an additional cost.

Those benefits may or may not be important to you. Say you’re on a business trip and carrying your laptop and other expensive equipment. It might be nice to know your insurance company will replace it if the rental car is stolen.

Likewise, if your trip involves a long road trip, you might want roadside assistance coverage if the car breaks down in the middle of nowhere. If these coverages aren’t included, consider whether they’re worth the extra cost of adding them on.

Price

Of course, we have to think about the cost. The whole point of purchasing stand-alone rental car insurance is to avoid overpaying for coverage at the rental car counter.

All of the options we listed above offer basic coverage at a price far below the average cost of buying coverage directly from the rental car company. Still, prices can change, and optional features can add up quickly.

Be sure to shop around for the best coverage at the best price and compare it to what you’d pay for the same coverage from the rental car company.

Ease of use

How easy is it to get coverage?

Bonzah, Insure My Rental Car, and Allianz all offer instant quotes online and allow you to purchase the coverage online. However, Sure asks for your name, phone number, email, and address before showing you a price. Personally, I prefer getting a quote before handing over my contact information and potentially opening myself up to unwanted phone calls and emails.

If you prefer a more personal touch over the convenience of booking online, that might factor into your decision.

Keep in mind, all stand-alone insurers require that you purchase coverage before taking possession of a rental vehicle. Trying to buy coverage after picking up your rental car will invalidate the policy.

Should you get rental car insurance?

Don’t get pressured into overpaying for insurance at the rental car counter, or worse, decline coverage and wind up responsible for covering damage to the vehicle out of your own pocket. Do you research ahead of time so you can confidently answer the question, “Do you want to add on insurance?” when you’re standing at the airport counter.

First, check your normal car insurance and credit cards to see if you have enough coverage already.

If not, I’d get one of the options above to save money during your next trip.

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Stimulus Boosts Coronavirus Unemployment Benefits $600/Week



Tucked in the sprawling $2 trillion federal stimulus package, which aims to stem the rampant economic damage caused by the new coronavirus, is a dramatic expansion of benefits available to workers who have lost work or income because of the pandemic.

The measure, dubbed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, passed the Senate unanimously Wednesday, cleared the House Friday and is expected to receive President Trump’s signature.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer described the expanded benefits as “unemployment insurance on steroids” because it provides an extra $600 a week to those who are out of work due to the coronavirus – with a 13-week extension to every state’s unemployment program for a maximum of 39 weeks. It also covers, for the first time, gig workers and freelancers who normally do not qualify for unemployment compensation.

Here’s what you need to know about how the legislation can help if you’ve been financially impacted by the coronavirus.

How Coronavirus Unemployment Benefits Work

The $600 weekly boost to unemployment benefits comes in addition to current state-level benefits. Depending on the state, existing unemployment benefits can range from $213 to $546 per week, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. The average weekly benefit is $385.

The additional $600 comes from the federal government in direct response to the economic fallout of the pandemic. It may be included with the state unemployment benefit check or arrive separately, but it must come weekly. 

Pro Tip

The filing process for unemployment benefits varies by state. Use Career Stop One, a resource sponsored by the Department of Labor, to find out how to apply to your state’s program.

The duration of unemployment benefits also varies by state.CBPP data show most states provide benefits for up to 26 weeks. The bill extends that timeframe by 13 weeks to a maximum of 39 weeks. Some states provide unemployment assistance for as few as 12 weeks. In that case, unemployment benefits – with the extension from the coronavirus bill – would be available for 25 weeks. Though once benefits expire, unemployed Americans may reapply.

The CARES Act also widely expands the definition of “unemployed.”

Any worker who was laid off, furloughed or has material proof of missed employment or income due to a variety of other coronavirus-related reasons is now eligible. This expanded definition includes freelancers, gig workers and part-timers, too. 

Because gig workers’ income fluctuates week by week, it’s unclear how much states will contribute to the unemployment benefit, though unemployed gig workers can expect at least $600 a week if their normal weekly earnings exceed that amount.

No one will receive unemployment benefits that exceed their normal weekly earnings.

What’s also unclear is how quickly states will be able to process the coming influx of unemployment claims.

While the CARES Act removes red tape to expedite the process, unemployment offices across the nation were already slammed before the bill came to a vote. The Department of Labor reported 3.3 million new unemployment claims the third week of March, just days after Trump declared a national emergency.

According to the Economic Policy Institute, the surge in claims shattered the previous record, which was 695,000 weekly claims in October 1982 when the stock market crashed.

“While the record number of claims is shocking, it is not totally surprising,” said Mark Hamrick, senior economic analyst at Bankrate, in a statement. “For days now, we’ve heard how state systems were overwhelmed by the rush to file claims after people were separated from work.”

While white-collar employees nationwide transition to remote work in droves, service industry, retail and gig workers by and large have fewer options. While some gig companies and retailers are ramping up hiring in response to a surge in demand for services such as grocery delivery, the impact on workers in industries like restaurants and hospitality is expected to be punishing. 

That’s what makes their eligibility for unemployment compensation significant. 

In a tweet, the EPI called the CARES Act “a good first step” for part-time and self-employed workers but noted that the unemployment expansion doesn’t go far enough in helping low-wage earners who may not qualify for assistance.

Adam Hardy is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. He covers the gig economy, entrepreneurship and unique ways to make money. Read his ​latest articles here, or say hi on Twitter @hardyjournalism.



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Impact of Credit Scores on FHA Cash-Out Refinancing


Even if you are a homeowner with bad credit, you may get an FHA cash-out refinancing. It is a form of loan that can replace your existing mortgages. The cash out is the difference between your home’s value and old balances.

The
refinance is insured by the FHA or Federal Housing Administration. Here, the
mortgage insurance premium protects the borrower from defaulting. However, some
borrowers may be apprehensive if the refinancing will affect your credit
scores, as well.

How Can Cash-Out Refinancing Help?

With
FHA’s cash-out refinancing, you will get the maximum LTV up to 85%. It is an ideal
option for first-time homeowners having specific credit score or down payment
requirements.

Will Your Credit Scores Affect Refinancing?

Despite
your mortgage, the credit
score
is a major factor affecting in
cash-out refinancing. It helps to determine the eligibility and interest rates
applicable to the loan. Usually, the credit scores need to match the FHA’s
requirements. Still, cash-out refinancing works for people with poor credit
scores as well. Although the lender requires a FICO score of 660-700, lower
credit may also work.

In
this form of refinancing, the lenders issue a new mortgage that makes them the
first-party lien holder. So, if you default, they can recoup their investment
from your personal property. On the other hand, traditional home loans allow
lenders to lay claim only to your equity.

Due
to this reason, the lender may be more willing to provide refinancing to
borrowers with a lower credit score as well. In this case, though, if you have
a blemished history of missing payments or defaults, creditors may be hesitant
to issue new debt. 

Can Refinancing Cause Harm to Your Credit?

There
are many advantages of opting for FHA Cash out
refinancing
, as it gives you cash
to deal with your mortgages or unsecured loans.

For
example, a credit card is an unsecured loan, and you may use cash-out
refinancing to pay it off. This way, your unsecured debt turns to a secured
loan. Your home becomes collateral that lenders can take in if you default.
When you default, it will not only result in foreclosure but also hurt your
credit scores.

The Impact of Time

If
in case, multiple checks are made over 15-45 days, the credit rating agencies
will adjust it to one inquiry to determine the rating. However, if the same
inquiries are made over several months, each inquiry is counted individually.
This, in turn, will affect your credit scores negatively.

Follow Good Practices

The
on-time payments can mainly help to keep your FICO scores under the safe
limits. There are initial dents made to your credit score when applying for
cash-out refinancing. But, you can cover these dents over time with good credit
practices. Plan your finances much ahead of time to avoid situations that can
drop your credit scores any further.

When
you have a robust credit score, you don’t have to worry about hard inquiries
and replace your original debt with a new refinancing program.

About The Author

vipul

Vipul is a professional blogger and online advertiser based out of Bengaluru, India. Always in a quest for new ways to make money, Vipul detail out all possible opportunities that can help anyone to earn passive income online. You can connect on Twitter, Linkedin & Facebook



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Teen Mom Catelynn Lowell runs to friend Amber Portwood’s side after arrest for ‘attacking boyfriend with machete’ – The Sun


TEEN Mom Catelynn Lowell rushed to support her friend Amber Portwood after she was arrested for allegedly attacking her ex with a machete.
In a teaser clip for tomorrow night’s episode, Catelynn told husband Tyler Baltierra that she would go with Amber to her court appearance following her arrest.

 Catelynn and Tyler talked about their friend Amber's arrest
Catelynn and Tyler talked about their friend Amber’s arrestCredit: MTV

Catelynn, 28, toldTyler, 28, that she texted Amber to see how she was doing and ask if she needed support.

Amber admitted in her text response, “I really need you guys.”

Tyler reacted in shock: “Wow, she really said that?”

Catelynn realized she needed to support her friend because “Amber doesn’t usually ask for help.”

 Amber Portwood was arrested for domestic violence in July 2019
Amber Portwood was arrested for domestic violence in July 2019Credit: Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department
 Amber attended her court hearing in July flanked by Teen Mom costars Maci Bookout, Catelynn Lowell and Cheyenne Floyd
Amber attended her court hearing in July flanked by Teen Mom costars Maci Bookout, Catelynn Lowell and Cheyenne FloydCredit: The Mega Agency
 Amber fainted while reliving her arrest and admitted she lost 35 pounds from stress
Amber fainted while reliving her arrest and admitted she lost 35 pounds from stressCredit: MTV
 Catelynn reveals Amber asked for help, which unusual for her
Catelynn reveals Amber asked for help, which unusual for her

“So that’s a sign,” she continued.

Standing in their huge kitchen, the couple also discussed how Amber had struggled with mental health issues in the past.

“I’m sure depression is kicking in because she’s probably she’s stressed or anxious or whatever,” Catelynn said.

Tyler replied: “She’s been dealing with that for awhile.”

 Catelynn jumps on the phone to recruit other Teen Moms to support Amber
Catelynn jumps on the phone to recruit other Teen Moms to support AmberCredit: MTV

Catelynn also helped Amber through her postpartum depression after she gave birth to her son, James.

The mom of two also called her other Teen Mom costars to get them to rally around Amber at court.

The court date in question was for the first hearing for her appeal to lift a protection order to let her see James.

Amber’s ex Andrew Glennon filed for emergency full and legal custody of their son, 1.

 Catelynn, ex-Teen Mom Farrah Abraham and Amber have known each other for years
Catelynn, ex-Teen Mom Farrah Abraham and Amber have known each other for yearsCredit: Getty Images

The 29-year-old was accused of hitting Andrew with a shoe while he held their son in July last year.

She’s also alleged to have hit a locked door with a machete while he and James were inside.

Amber accepted a plea deal over the incident and is on probation for three years.

As part of their court agreement, Andrew has primary custody of James, while they share joint legal custody.

 Catelynn and Tyler are accused of taking advantage of the coronavirus crisis to make money
Catelynn and Tyler are accused of taking advantage of the coronavirus crisis to make moneyCredit: Getty Images – Getty

Amber has three unsupervised visits a week with their son.

In the new series, Amber opened up to Gary Shirley, the father of her daughter Leah, 11.

She said: “It’s been one of the hardest times of my life!”

The reality star admitted to losing 35 lbs from stress and falling into a deep depression after the incident.

Catelynn will likely feel happy to be seen as a supportive friend after she got heat for “making money” off the coronavirus crisis with clickbait articles.

She posted a photo looking upset with Tyler on Instagram with the caption: “Coronavirus has struck. #LinkInBio.”

Fans were quick to slam Catelynn for the post, which has since been deleted.

One fan fired: “This is disgusting. No one should be using the Coronavirus for profit.”

Teen Mom promo clip shows Amber Portwood rushed to hospital after passing out weeks after domestic violence arrest


Do you have a story for The US Sun team?

Email us at exclusive@the-sun.com or call 212 416 4552.




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Basic Information Needed to Generate an Online Invoice


Generating an online invoice is an option that is available to everybody conducting business in this age of high-speed communications. It doesn’t matter if you are an offline business, a sole entrepreneur or even a blogger or affiliate marketer–we all need to get paid, and invoicing is one of the most popular ways to accomplish this.

When it comes to requesting or making payment, invoices work best, as they act as record of transaction for both sides. By implementing an effective invoice creation tool and solution in your day to day operation, this option makes doing business easier, because one does not have to create invoices manually or from scratch. 

There are many templates available on the web and most of them are free. Let’s now take a look at what an invoice is, why your business should be using them, and how to get started with your first invoice template today.

What is an Invoice?

An invoice is a document that records the sales or transactions of any business. Whether you are a freelancer or a company, creating an invoice for every service that has been provided is important. The invoice establishes an obligation that the customer or buyer of the product or service will pay to the service provider. The invoice contains all the necessary details that establish an agreement between the two parties. It is a bridge between professionals.

Basic parts of an Invoice

Invoices can have a unique template or look for every freelancer or business, however, there are basic parts that should be present in order for the document to be considered an invoice.

  • The label “Invoice” should be part of the invoice.
  • The seller or service provider’s name, address, and contact details should be included. 
  • The buyers name and address should be included.
  • The date that the invoice was issued and the payment due date should be present within the document.
  • There should be a specific invoice reference number for every invoice issued.
  • There should be a description of services provided or rendered, including the breakdowns of each transaction.
  • The total amount charged and tax information, if available, should be present.
  • Available payment methods should be indicated, such as cash, credit card, and other payment methods available for your company, your business and in your area.

Given that the basic parts of an invoice should be present, the style or format for them is flexible to the needs of a business. 

Online Invoice Generators 

There is much to be said for the online invoice generators available on the internet now. While most of them are free, providing a user with a basic template with which to fill in information, there are some that epitomize the cutting edge of the online invoice generation, such as FreshBooks Cloud Accounting. By using this intuitive invoice generator not only can you create basic invoices, you can also customize them into twelve different languages, include estimates and proposals, accept credit cards directly through the invoice, and even get updated instantly as to when the invoice is viewed and also when it is paid. The invoice service can be accessed by an app on your mobile phone which gives you more versatility as an entrepreneur or a freelancer.

Invoice Templates

Making use of a good invoice template will save you time making your invoices in the old fashioned way of actually writing them out physically and also in figuring out a complicated template online. Simplicity is key so that you can focus your time and energy on your business instead of worrying about creating a professional invoice in order to get paid for your services.

 

A good invoice template should help you accept payment in different ways. It should also help you organize your invoices and save you time. This means that you will not have to fill in the template every time you use it. It should be customizable so that it reflects a professional look as well as a unique visual signature that you may want for your business or service. Sending invoices online and even through an app on your mobile phone is great, but you may also want to consider the template you are using can be downloaded and printed easily so that you have physical records of your transactions.

The Invoice Process

Whether you are using an invoice template that you will print out or are sending the invoice to your customer through the internet, keep in mind that the invoice is prepared after the service is provided or the product has been delivered. First, the customer is clearly identified. And then, the product or service is clearly defined. This includes the name of the product or service, the quantity of the product as well as the length of time that the service was provided, and also the rate of the service (per hour) or item (per unit). Each item is identified and given a line on the invoice. All the lines are then totaled for the final amount. 

 

Discounts can be applied to your services or products. If so, they should be identified. Discounts can also be connected to the manner of payment, depending on which methods you prefer, such as cash or credit card. Another element to factor into the invoice are the terms of payment. This means identifying when you want the customer to pay or when the entire balance of payment is due. This can also translate to discounts for early payment. When the client or customer has paid in full, the invoice number or code is included in the sales receipt. This transfers an account whose payment you are waiting to receive into an account that you have already received.

Key Information of an Invoice

Invoices usually contain a company brand or logo on the heading of the document as a signature of their products and services. More importantly, they should contain the company or freelancer’s name as well as their contact information. This is actually a requirement and not just a matter of style. An invoice should also contain the name, address, and contact information of the client. An invoice number is a code that helps you to be organized about this process. It helps you keep track of your client’s payment status. It is also important for an invoice to have a date since this tells you when the invoice has been sent. These parts of the invoice help you file your invoices in an orderly manner.

 

There should be included in the invoice clear and concise descriptions of the services rendered or products provided. This way there will be no confusion on the side of your client as to what they are paying for. Matching with the description of each item or service, there should be the cost of each item or service along with the rate of each. All these costs will be added to the total amount that the client should pay for. 

 

The terms of payment are a key element for any invoice. This part spells out how the client should pay for the items obtained or the services received. If you have a refund policy, this is the part that states that eventuality. For late payments, the penalties should be clearly stated as well. Choose what payment methods work for you and state whether the client should pay through cash, credit card, check, or bank transfer. If it is the latter, then the invoice should contain the bank account information so that the client will know how to pay you.  

Standard Invoice

A standard invoice has twelve parts compared to other more specialized invoice formats. It should declare that it is an “Invoice”. Each invoice should have a unique number code to distinguish it from others. Both your company name and address and that of your customer or client are clearly stated in the document. It has a summarized description of the goods or services. Also, the dates of supply are present along with the date in which the invoice was created. The amount of individual goods or services are clearly broken down within the invoice and the total amount to be paid is present also. If there is a purchase order number, then that should be included along with the terms of payment and the instructions for paying the invoice.

VAT Registered Invoice

A business who is registered for Value Added Tax  should have a VAT registered invoice. This is not so different from other invoices, however, a VAT invoice needs to contain additional information than just what is contained by the standard invoice. Along with the unique invoice number, business name and address, customer’s name and address, and the date that the invoice was issued, there should also be a VAT number in the invoice. The VAT registered invoice should have the total amount for the items or services excluding Value Added Tax. Then, the total amount of VAT should be indicated. The price per item excluding VAT as well as the quantity of each item should be indicated in the document. Finally, it should contain the total amount to be paid which includes the Value Added Tax.

Invoice payment terms

Every business or freelancer can customize their terms of payment on their invoice. You can choose to stipulate PIA or payment in advance for new clients or those who have an inconsistent payment history. This means that you are requiring the client or customer to pay in full before delivering the goods or service. Net is a common term of payment which indicates the time before the payment is due. N30 or Net 30 means that the payment is due within thirty days. End of the Month can be added to the payment terms. This means that the time will start at the end of the month that the invoice is issued. Net EOM 30 stands for the payment is due thirty days from the end of this month that the invoice has been issued. A discount can be given to your clients if they pay within the time period you specify. Let us say you want to extend a 5% discount if the customer pays within 15 days of the invoice being issued otherwise the full amount is due within 30 days. The standard shorthand for that would be 5/15 Net 30. Offering discounts is a good motivator for your clients to pay sooner rather than later. Stage payments are usually practiced for big projects in order to minimize the risk that the cash flow will be negatively affected by a missed or late payment. Some companies or service providers may ask for the payment to come in 2 stages of 50% up front and 50% upon completion. Others may prefer different stages to be applied. 75%, up front and 25% upon completion of the project or delivery of the goods may be more convenient for you. Whichever is the case, stage payments are usually applied to big transactions.

Invoice payment methods

Cash and check payments may be more common in the local setting, but for bigger business transactions, especially those that cover long distances, a bank transfer may be more convenient for both parties. Bank transfers or Banker Automated Clearing Services (BACS) are electronic payments from one bank account to another. They usually take three days to clear and be available for withdrawal on the other end. Important information to add to an invoice with a bank transfer payment method would be the name of the bank, the sort code, and the account number. International business transactions, especially between European countries, New Zealand, and Australia require IBAN information to be present in the invoice. An International Bank Account Number allows you to receive payments in foreign currency. Most banks use a BIC or Bank Identifier Code but for transactions with companies from the USA or CANADA a SWIFT code is also needed. A Society for Worldwide InterBank Financial Telecommunications code helps identify your specific bank among all the other banks in the world. The invoice should include a BIC, IBAN, or SWIFT code if the payment terms call for it.

 

Generating online invoices allows companies, entrepreneurs, and freelancers to operate more smoothly. The ability to generate invoices that can be downloaded and printed or even sent directly through email to clients or customers even around the world sets a new standard for conducting business.

By familiarizing yourself with the basic information that is needed to generate online invoices, you are equipping yourself with tools that will help you collect payments for your goods or services.