10 tips to build English vocabulary

Feeling overwhelmed trying to memorize so many vocabulary words? It doesn't need to be a daunting task! Check out these top strategies and practical pointers that can help you build your word power!

Connect: It's easier to memorize words based on a common theme. Make your own connections between words and possibly organize them in a spider diagram.

Write: Practically using vocabulary can help it stick in your mind. Write sentences with new vocabulary words or compose a story using a group of words or expressions.Draw: Expose the artist in you by drawing pictures related to the words you study. Your drawings can help trigger your memory in the future.

Act: Get your moves on by acting out words and expressions you learn. Or, imagine and act out a situation where you would need to use them.

Create: Design flashcards in English and study them in your spare time. Each week make new ones, but continue to review all of them.
Associate: Assign different colors to different words. This association will help you recall vocabulary later.

Listen: Think about other words which sound similar to the words you're learning, especially complex words. Associate the other words with this new word to help you remember the pronunciation.

Choose: Remember that topics that interest you will be easier to learn. Therefore, carefully select words that you will find useful or interesting. Even the process of making the choice is a memory aid!

Limit: Don't try to memorize the dictionary in a day! Limit yourself to 15 words per day, and you'll gain confidence instead of feeling overwhelmed.

Observe: Keep an eye out for the words you're studying when reading or listening to English.

10 Best Tips to Write Effective Emails...
1. Format your response so that it’s easy to read on a screen. Do not write email using very long sentences, which are lengthy horizontally. Each line must be short. Ideally, write 5-6 words in each line only and not more than that.

2. Make sure the subject line is concise and meaningful to the recipient…not just a generic “Response from Marketing Team” But also be careful that it doesn’t look like spam.

3. Have one subject per paragraph. Mention this separately by blank lines, so that its easy to read and understand.

4. Be brief. Use as few words as possible to convey your message. More is not better when it comes to email. An email is not perceived as an electronic letter.

5. Use simple, declarative sentences. Write for a third or fourth grade audience, particularly if you’re creating templates that are sent automatically. You do not know the education level of your sender or the sender’s level of comfort with the English language.

6. Be sensitive to the tone of the original email. If the sender is upset because of an error on your part, acknowledge the error. Clearly state what you are doing to correct the situation.

7. Make sure you answer all the questions posed in the original inquiry. A partial answer frustrates the sender and results in additional contacts. It also makes the company sending the response look inept.

8. Make it clear what actions you will be taking next and when the writer can expect the next contact from you.

9. Don’t ask for an order number/case number or any old information which you remember out of your mind only when one is included in the original email…sounds pretty basic, but sometimes people miss very obvious info in email.

10. Don’t just tell the sender to go to your web site. In many cases, they have already been to the web site and couldn’t find the answers they were looking for. If you want them to go back to the web site, provide a direct link to the exact information the reader needs.

10 Best Tips for Designing Your Web Site

After two years, Amy Gross of Little Hearts CPR wanted to overhaul her Web site. She wanted to upgrade the site to be more professional, easier to use, and more likely to turn up on search engines. Two months and $1,500 later, she got what she wanted. But the process with First Page Inc. could have gone smoother if she had understood more about Web design, she says. Still, she notes, "I've gotten tons of fabulous feedback on the new site, so it's all been totally worth it."
To stay on track and keep costs down, here are 10 things she and other experts say you should know before designing -- or redesigning -- your Web site:

Think of the Big Picture 
Before you even start interviewing Web designers, Internet consultants, or other online experts, put together a plan of what you want to achieve. Will the Web site have e-commerce? Will it use search engine optimization? Do you really need to use splashy tools like Flash to sell yourself when many users find them annoying. Who's going to host your Web site? Who will maintain it after it's up? What are your favorite Web sites and why? 
The best small business Web site is "one that tells potential customers and clients how your product or service directly benefits them, and what sets you apart from the competition," says Nick Francis, founder and chief solutions officer at Web development firm Project83.com. "Think of each page as a 30-second elevator pitch, because that's about all the time you have." 

Study Their Resumes 
Depending on what you want your Web site to do, you need to hire the right person. According to Web Business Ownership's founder Chris Curtis, there are several types of Web experts. Web designers are more interested in the look and experience of the site, while programmers are concerned with function. Web marketers think about how to get as many people as possible to the site based on features. 

For someone whose experience spans all these areas, consider an Internet business consultant, she says. But, whomever you go with, make sure the experience fits with what you need. 

Get It in Writing 
Since your Web site may be how most people will first learn about your company, take the design of it seriously. Uzman "Ozzy" Farman, managing director and partner of Internet agency LOLZ , recommends having your lawyer write up the contract. Otherwise, you could spend more than you planned.
For example, Little Heart's Gross didn't realize search engine optimization implementation, one of her main reasons for updating her site, was not included in the fee First Page quoted. That fee only covered site design and programming. 

Get Wordy 
No expert can design a site without an idea of its copy and other pieces of content, like photos and video. Unless your contract includes a copy developer, you're responsible for all the words and images on the site. Also remember the Internet is a global community with a diverse audience, says Curtis. Deliver on time and your Web site will be up and running sooner rather than later. 

Plan for the Future 
You think you'll want to add another function to the Web site but you're not sure what yet. Just because it's online doesn't mean it can be done easily and quickly. Every Web site element takes manpower. Allow time in the schedule for you and your team to make adjustments and additions. 

Collaboration Is Key 
While a plan is necessary, designing a Web site is also a creative process. So unless you majored in programming or Internet marketing, you should keep an open mind about what your expert is recommending. After all, says Farman, "You hire us because you trust us and you want our work, our perspective and experience. You wouldn't tell a doctor how to diagnose you." But if they haven't done the proper research into your business and industry to help guide you, it may be time to move on. 

Keep It Simple 
The more complicated the design, the harder it'll be to update and maintain it, warns Lisa Lopuck, author of Web Design for Dummies (For Dummies). Unless you're setting money aside to keep someone on retainer, you should be able to handle uploading new pictures or updating the list of events or promotions. A simpler design is also more user-friendly. 

Don't Forget Security 
Security should be one of the cornerstones of the process, advises Kent Anderson, CISM managing director of Encurve LLC, a provider of informed risk management strategies. It's essential if you plan to be an e-commerce site. Be sure to ask about their security experience. Are host systems and firewalls periodically scanned for security violations? If there is a security problem, how will it be handled? How often are sites backed up? 
Anderson recommends that security patches be done as soon as possible and scans be conducted once a year or whenever a major upgrade is done. 

How Much Will It Cost?
Most experts say that a basic Web site can run you about $2,500. But Lopuck says a realistic budget for most small businesses is about $10,000 to $20,000. Adds Francis, "As in any business, if the price seems too good to be true, it probably is. Great work takes a great deal of time and effort, so be willing to pay for it." 

How Long Will It Take? 
If you have your content on hand, then you can go from the information architecture stage, which is when the Web site's blueprint is laid out, to testing the site within two months. But always pad the schedule. Chances are, during the process, you'll want to tweak your wish list. Lastly, don't forget to schedule an upgrade in two years, say the experts. Technology changes; your business needs to change, too.

10 Best Tips to Win Salary Negotiations 

1. Get updated on salary rates.
It may seem strange, but a lot of candidates still go to an interview with only the vaguest idea of the going market rates for their positions. Conduct a bit of sleuthing and networking beforehand to have a stronger playing hand in the negotiating game.

2. Assess your value.
Ask yourself what you are worth. Write down your skills, abilities, talents, and knowledge, and be prepared to show your future employer the benefits you can bring to their company. Understandably, the recruiter will try to get you for as little as possible, and it is up to you to convince them you're worth much more than that.

3. Don't divulge salary info.
Don't tell a potential employer what your present or most recent income -- or your expected/desired salary for that matter -- is too early in the game. That is, not until you receive a definite job offer. Never state your salary history or expectations in your resume either. Say instead that you're "willing to discuss in an interview" your present salary or that your desired income is "negotiable." Why this need for caution? Once you expose yourself, you're less efficient at negotiating your value to a company, compensation experts say.

4. Discuss income ranges, not specifics.
The rationale for this is to give you some room to maneuver. If you ask for a specific salary that falls below the company's minimum budget, the employer may just give you the lowest possible rate for that position. If you oversell yourself, you may turn out to be too expensive for their taste. Better: Be flexible and talk in ranges, going for an offer in the middle to the high end of the spectrum.

5. Don't be ashamed to negotiate.
If you're shy about selling yourself, don't be. Potential employers look favorably on aspirants who aren't afraid to negotiate, since it shows the jobseeker knows about current market rates and puts a high premium on herself -- surely positive qualities of awareness and self-confidence.

6. Bide your time.
What if you're finally given an offer? The cardinal rule is: Don't rush. Offers made over the phone, in particular, shouldn't be accepted. Insist on a face-to-face meeting to discuss details. If the offer is made in person and isn't what you had hoped for, refrain from speaking for a while to indicate to the employer that you are not happy with the package. It just may prompt the interviewer to raise his offer. Then ask for a day or so to "think the offer over" and request for another meeting to finalize discussions. Be enthusiastic but noncommittal.

7. Explore your options.
If the company states flatly that their offer is final, find out if they can offer non-monetary perks instead, such as allowances, bonuses, performance raises, stock options, profit sharing and the like. Or you can ask for a promise of a raise -- which should be given in writing, of course. Or if the offer is really hard to swallow, ask if they'd consider other work arrangements including part-time or consultancy work.

8. Set your absolute limits.
Here is where your prep work comes in handy. You earlier evaluated your worth and computed the compensation you'd be comfortable with. Now decide whether the offer is one you can live with.

9. Learn from the past.
Practice makes perfect. Look back on each negotiation and extract the lessons that can help you become a stronger negotiator the next time around.

10. Money isn't everything.
We all want to get paid well, no doubt, but don't obsess over money. The salary aspect shouldn't be your all-consuming concern. Don't be blinded by the financial aspect and grab a high-paying job that could later turn out to be a dud because you get no satisfaction and sense of achievement from it.