Investigative Writing

Have you ever thought of yourself as an investigative writer? Think about the countless hours of research that you do from your computer. Sifting through facts and opinions to compile an exciting and organic article on the very same subject others have written on. While, all topics will be written on by various authors, how do you give yourself the upper hand and edge to stand out apart from the rest? Let me tell you a little story about what I found to be very lucrative and provided more facts than any other form of research I had done before.

One day, I was out and about running errands in town and decided to get an oil change with some money I had left over from the bills. As I waited, I pondered on types of articles I could create just from my day in town. The longer I sat there the more I thought about writing about these automotive men; what they did, how much they were paid, type of degrees and experience it takes in their field, etc. Then, I thought about how much research it would take to figure all that out, as I have never really gotten into the automotive sector in my writing.

With my creativity flowing and the overwhelming urge to write, I decided to put that creativity to use. If I wanted to research, what better place to do it than right where I am; in the heart of where it’s all happening. There was no better place than this automotive garage to gather my facts to comprise a masterpiece, but how? Then it came to me, investigative writing. Act like a real life reporter. Question those who are actually doing the job. Here they are right in front of me.

So, this is what I did. They were actually open to the idea and some felt like superstars for being interviewed; a win/win situation all the way around. I interviewed 3 to 4 of the current employees who, were from all walks of life with a common denominator of an interest. I asked about their jobs, salary, work environment, education and home life. No more than about 10 minutes with each of them and I had a notebook full of powerful information. No website was going to give me this firsthand information. I headed home and wrote a great article that attracts endless amounts of traffic. I receive emails from countless people about my article and have landed some jobs from it as well.

Now, when I am out and about, I try to ask more questions and get a feel for people and their jobs. This assists me in my writing, regardless of the subject. You never know where your next great article or eBook will come from. The possibilities are endless.

All it takes is a little initiative on your part to become an investigative writer. Think of it like talking to a friend. Don’t overcrowd your head with thoughts of pulling of a masterpiece; simply look at it as putting together the facts for people. Facts from first hand experiences. Become your own PI and jump into a new realm of possibilities through your writing. It’s invigorating, energizing and good for the soul. Too often, many writers become less social while trying to earn their bucks. This will also give you that opportunity to get out and socialize with others, all the while working on your next article. After all, where do you think the newspapers learn about their subjects? Sure, some are researched on the web but, others are recorded from talking with those who have first hand experience in any given area.

Don’t rule out the possibility of using this method of research and it doesn’t have to take away from anything. If you are already out running errands, you can simply gather your info from the places that you are visiting. Try it and you might be surprised by the results.

Forget Esurance

In today’s economy, we are often looking for a great deal or discount, anywhere we can find one. Insurance is no different and is often a very costly monthly expense for many families. Researching to find the right insurance company for your situation can result in endless hours and quotes.

Find the right quote is like hitting the lottery, or is it? Some will beg to differ with you. For instance, let’s look at Esurance. This is an insurance company that is backed by one of the nation’s largest and most trusted insurance agencies around, Allstate. Think about it, it’s kind of like Old Navy and Gap; same great look for a fraction of the cost. Why would we think that Allstate would put their name on something that isn’t beneficial to its consumers? Inevitably, instant trust is formed. Great for Esurance, but is it great for consumers?

Esurance provides immediate, hassle free discounted quotes with a few clicks of the mouse. No trying to translate what someone from the company is trying to say through very broken English; in fact… it is all there in black and white. Perfect! The discounts given to new customers are extensive and very appealing. If you decided to get on the phone with Esurance, you would also see, that you initial conversation in regards to purchasing an insurance policy is nothing but fantastic; everything is perfect!

Should you decide to purchase that policy from Esurance, you will soon find out what they are worth. Through your extremely low discounted premium that you were quoted, you receive equal to lesser in service from Esurance. Not so appealing now, I know.

This bottom of the barrel company tends to have a cycle for which they feel they need to “further investigate” or the DMV reports something that may or may not be your fault and in turn, your premium sky rockets for which you have been charged… Though, you are given the chance to prove your case; you are guilty until proven innocent with this company. In the case that you are able to prove that an increase of charges is unjustified pending Esurance’s claim, you call them back and provide the necessary documentation to only find out that you will only receive a partial refund of the total amount that you should have never been charged. Don’t get discouraged, it happens to everyone, even the loyal customers for 10+ years have gone through something of this sort.

Also, whatever you do, do NOT go through more than a few cars in a fast period of time, for any reason. Say that you are experiencing problems purchasing a new used car from a local dealer and have had to take it back and trade out a few times. You are required to have insurance on your vehicles while driving, but that doesn’t always make it the right choice. Should you add and cancel, more than a few cars within a small window of time, you will then have to prove to Esurance that you are not a used car dealer. Though, they cannot prove that you are a used car dealer, you will need to somehow prove that you are not a used car dealer. Guilty until proven innocent and don’t think that any charges will stop; they will not only continue, but increase.

So, let’s review; Esurance not only provides you temporary premiums, but they provide your horrible service and treat you like you practice insurance fraud. Don’t believe me, do your homework and check out the company. The choice is yours, but be sure that you take the time to research their endless promises that will only be broken in the future. In my opinion formed from experience, this is the worst insurance company available to consumers!

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Cash receipt exchange [website business idea]

What is Cash Receipt Exchange?

There is little doubt of the importance of the receipt. It is easily the most important business idea of the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries. Indeed, the receipt is a powerful document. It is proof of purchase, expense, a paper trail. It is necessary for a refund or to prove expenses. An idea as powerful as the cash receipt is the ability of people from all over the world to easily share information. Cash Receipt Exchange is the marriage of these two powerful ideas. A community of individuals concerned with maintenance of their cash receipts.

Why Cash Receipts?

We have discovered, in this information age that many of our transactions are conducted with debit and credit cards. We can easily access these records through our banks and credit card statements. You, like us, easily manage proof of purchases you make electronically. Our cash receipts often slip through our fingers and are forever lost, unable to prove that expense. Cash Receipt Exchange creates a digital paper trail for cash purchases.

Here’s how it works:

If you need to maintain receipts, you upload your cash receipts. Because all of your uploads are viewable by the other members of the community, we request that you don’t post receipts made by credit cards, debit cards or that have personal information on them.

If, for instance, you are curious what a meal for two in New York City costs, you can view a cash receipt. If you need to know what a tank of gasoline costs in Albuquerque, you can search the database for a relevant receipt. Additionally, you have the peace of mind, that should you need it for any reason, your cash receipt uploaded is safely available you’re your retrieval at the appropriate time. Simple. Now you have the opportunity to consolidate all of your cash receipts in a centralized, online storage service. No more shoeboxes overflowing with receipts.

Understanding Micro lending and Microfinance

Micro lending and microfinance are two terms that are often used interchangeably.  Micro lending is making a small loan through a micro finance company to a poor individual from an emerging or third world country.  Microfinance companies establish a local contact in various emerging and third world countries, such as Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bolivia, Cambodia, Ecuador, Honduras, Indonesia, Mozambique, and other countries. Individuals with business ideas that they cannot afford to start on their own, apply to the microfinance company for a loan.  If the microfinance company thinks the idea is good, they put it out into their network of investors and seek microloans.  In the traditional world of finance, a loan of $500 would be unthinkable.  There’s not enough money involved to cover the processing of such a small loan.  But in the microfinance, a loan of $500 could be just enough to get a new business started in Bolivia that improves the local economy and the life of a family that will work that business.  Micro lending relies upon investors that are willing to make a small loan.  The investor has the opportunity for the possibility of a good result with minimal risk.  For most investors, a loss of $500 is not something they would like, but it’s not going to force them into bankruptcy either.  The Microfinance company obtains a guarantee from the entrepreneur, maintains contact, collects the payments and forwards the returns to the investor.  Really, the world of microfinance and micro lending offer a win-win situation for all involved.  Microfinance offers smaller investors or larger investors looking to diversify, a tremendous opportunity to give back to the world.  Micro lending also offers a tremendous opportunity for entrepreneurs that otherwise could not afford to start a business, a new lease on life.  Once they’ve repaid their micro loan, they are creating new economies in places desperate for any new economy.  Microlending is truly a good thing and will become even more popular as the word gets out about all of the fantastic benefits that microlending and microfinance are providing to all involved.