Welcome to my Writer’s Website!

Welcome to my writer’s website! My name is Amanda Northern, and I’ve been a lifelong lover of words. As a child my favorite books were classics such as  Treasure Island and Little Women. My passion for reading was so zealous that by the time I was 8 years old, I would check out twenty books from the public library in just one visit!

My childhood dream was to become a children’s book writer and illustrator…but I was always too afraid to pursue my dream.

A few years ago I decided to take a leap of faith and try to become a professional writer. I started a blog, Balanced Lady, and soon afterwards I landed my first client.

I’ve been writing ever since…

Please take a moment to look around!

First, the posts on this page are all early pieces I wrote for some of my first clients. I wanted to show that I am a versatile writer so you will see anything from how to qualify for a loan modification to ways to remedy a hangover!

Please visit my portfolio by clicking here

Learn more about me by clicking here

If you would like to contact me for hire, please email me at proassistblog@gmail.com

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Gratitude is the Attitude: Being Grateful Makes You Happy

Gratitude is the Attitude: Being Grateful Makes You Happy

So many people are suffering from depression, stress, and other mental ailments that sicken their body, mind, and spirit. The cure for all of these is gratitude. Gratitude is the art of feeling the abundance in your life. Gratitude helps to move us forward while depression holds us back. It is impossible to feel sad, stressed or angry and gratuitous at the same time. Religious people have always known the secret to happiness is gratitude but now scientific research has proven it.

There is actually an entire science called Gratitude Theory! Dr. Michael McCollough, of Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, and Dr. Robert Emmons, of the University of California at Davis, studies the link between well being and gratitude. They wanted to know why religious people had better well being than others. They noticed that all the major religions of the world; Buddhism, Christianity, Islam, and Hindu have gratitude as one of their main pillars of faith.

In their research they took three groups of people and told the first group to journal all the events that happened in a day, the second group journaled all the bad things that happened that day, and the third group made a daily list of all the things they were grateful for. The results were astonishing! The third group had higher levels of energy, optimism, determination, they were less depressed and enthusiastic. Also they were more likely to exercise, help others, and make progress towards their goals. Essentially they were happier. They also found that you didn’t have to be religious to cultivate the benefits of happiness. Anyone who felt gratitude in their daily life experienced the same positive results as religious people.

Some believe that we all have a set happiness point, similar to a set body weight or a set body temperature. This means that is something good or bad happens to us that we might be set off balance for a while but we will eventually fall back to our set happiness point. I believe that gratitude gradually increases that set point higher and higher.

Being grateful for your life helps you see all the wonderful aspects of life, yourself, and others. By focusing on the positive that is in your life you will create positive energy which will in turn direct more positive energy into your life. So start expanding positive energy today and reap the benefits of being grateful!

Content is Still King

Content is Still King

Ever since the dot com boom produced millionaires in the early 2000’s everyone is trying to sell to everyone else. SEO keyword tactics are used in an attempt to gain the most traffic which means the most profit in selling products. In an era of a SEO marketing craze people tend to forget that they are ultimately selling to human beings not to robots. When you focus so much on keywords and not on substance, your website will lose that human connection that your customers need in order to buy.

The Internet Takes Away the Personal Touch

In earlier generations, everything was done by hand and services were given face to face. The internet is still a fresh faced twenty something year old kid and many people still do things the old way. Everyone knows handling things on the internet, from banking, paying bills, even grocery shopping is much quicker. But at the same time, people still feel some distrust with dealing with the internet. Every good marketer knows that in order to sell, people need to feel a modicum of trust from the seller. In this case the seller is your website.

Why Content is Still King

If you are so focused on keyword tactics, you might end up with thin content. Thin content is basically useless, non substantial information. Now people perform Google searches for everything on the internet, and if you’re not providing some type of valuable information or solution to their problem, they’re not buying. If you can become an expert in your niche then people will regularly find you, Google will direct more people and it will increase your search engine success.

People Share Good Content

People want to be educated and engaged and they want it on a consistent basis. If you have interesting and relevant information to contribute to your audience, then not only will they read your website but they will share it on their social media profiles or through their emails. If people personally knew someone who has read or tried a product then they are more likely to click and read that website than a website they discovered on their own.

According to an infographic by Entrepreneur, 93% of people share content through email, 89% share through social media, 82% through blogs, and 8% through message boards. This means that almost everyone is sharing through email, social media, and blogs. Therefore newsletters, blogs, and articles should be your marketing focus.

Content Creation is the New Marketing Strategy

Product creation is the new face of internet marketing. People want content and they want good content. Take Mashable or TechCrunch for example, they produce relevant information and lots of it! These companies are seen as some of the best in the tech industry because of their content production. Content creation increases your conversion rate much more than if you were to use traditional ads. Content creation creates relationships and a loyal audience.

Don’t just throw any content up, have content that is crafted to your particular audience. Find out what their needs and problems and then be the solution. This will keep your audience engaged and set you up as an expert. By being an authoritative figure online, your readers will trust you, follow you, and ultimately buy from you.

GIG OF THE DAY: OLD SCHOOL LASER CUT FLOPPY DISK WITH MESSAGE BY UNDERLASER

Blast from the Past

Remember those old floppy discs of the 80’s and 90’s? Well this gig sent me back to the past with these quirky but adorable wooden floppy disks! I just love it when I see creative gigs like this one. They are the same size as an actual floppy disc and made out of plywood.

One of a Kind Gig

This would be a great and unique birthday gift or even a party favor. This is the only gig of its kind on Fiverr and it’s a great hit with a perfect 5 star rating.

This unique gig is from a unique seller. Underlaser is a multimedia technology student from Lithuania as well as a programmer/designer for her family’s laser cutting and engraving business. Pretty cool stuff.

Laser Cut Floppy Disks 2Laser Cut Floppy Disks 3

Would you like for your Gig to be shared?

If you would like for us to feature your gig then reply in the comments below and I will contact you. Your gig might be the next “Gig of the Day”!

GIG OF THE DAY: HAVE YOUR CHILDREN ILLUSTRATION COMPLETED BY XHENXHEN

I love to display the creative talent of our Fiverr members and talent is exactly what member XhenXhen delivers with his unique children illustrations. It’s a cross between the illustrations of The Regular Show (children’s show on Cartoon Network) and anime comics. Many of you may ask, what’s the applicable use for this gig? I think 300 gigs completed and a 100% overall rating answers this question completely. He not only draws cute little people but he also draws dinosaurs, dogs, backgrounds, and any other graphic in his unique artistic style.

bighairycupidpandamaya16 Profitable Points

There is a beautiful portfolio on the gig’s page.-It showcases some of his best work and he has plenty of samples. There is no denying that he will be able to complete the job.

  • XhenXhen’s a perfectionist-  With his perfect rating clearly customer satisfaction is a number one priority to XhenXhen. Out of all the gigs I’ve seen on Fiverr, I have never seen one with such a high amount of completed gigs paired with a perfect score.

This gig makes me want to complete my childhood dream of writing and illustrating a children’s book! I look forward to using this gig in the future.

Would You Love To Have Your Gig Featured?

If you would like to have a review like this for your unique gig write a comment below with a link to your gig! Your unique talent might just be the next showcase for our “Gig of the Day”!

Will I Qualify For a Loan Modification?

Will I Qualify For a Loan Modification?

Many people are late on their mortgages and are in need of loan modifications. Loan modifications lower your interest rate so that your payments will become more affordable. A mortgage that is 31% of your monthly income is considered affordable. It is now common for people to request loan modifications even before they go into default.

What is Loan Modification?

In response to the housing crisis the government started the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) in 2009, which offers loan modifications to help homeowners lower their mortgages into affordable payments. HAMP reduces your payments to 31% of your pre-tax monthly income.

How do I know if I will qualify?

While it is best to pick up the phone and call your mortgage lender to discuss your financial situation here is a list of qualifications that are directly from the makinghomeaffordable.gov website.

  • You obtained the mortgage to your house on or before January 1st, 2009
  • You have documentation of income to support a mortgage
  • You must not have been convicted of a felony in the past 10 years in connection with a mortgage or real estate transaction
  • You owe up to $729,750 on a primary residence or single unit rental property
  • You owe up to $934,200 on a two unit rental property, $1,129,250 on a three unit rental property, or $1,403,400 on a four unit rental property
  • The house has not been condemned

The Obama administration has extended the federal program to home renters, people already in the HAMP program who fell delinquent in their trial payments and people who recently didn’t qualify because their debt-to-income ratio was lower than 31%. You have to contact your mortgage provider to see if they participate in the program because every provider does not. Still speak with your mortgage provider because they may offer private loan modifications.

Significant Decline in Teens Working Part-Time

Significant Decline in Teens Working Part-Time

According to an article by The Washington Times, teen employment is the lowest it’s ever been in 20 years. In 1990 teen employment was 32 percent compared to 16 percent in 2012. There are many factors that contribute to the decline in employment for teens.

One of the major factors contributing to the unemployment is the economic downturn of the past decade. Low wage and fast food jobs generally met their worker reserves by high school students wanting to earn extra money. Now those jobs are being taken by adult workers who have lost their jobs during the depression. Fast food restaurants no longer have to deal with training a teenager when they have the options of hiring older and more experienced day workers.

On the other hand education plays an even bigger role in why students are not working part time jobs. Everyone knows that obtaining a decent life after high school is largely dependent on obtaining higher education. Students are so focused on studying and getting into prestigious universities that they no longer have time to work outside of school. This can have negative effects. Working while in school can prepare you for the workforce in practical ways that school cannot. Learning attention to detail, how to follow instructions, and meeting deadlines are all attributes learned through working jobs.

According to College Board, students who work part-time jobs have higher levels of confidence, maturity, responsibility, independence, initiative, and better time management skills than their non-working peers. Recommendations from employers can actually help students get accepted to college.

It’s no secret that liberal arts degrees are not cutting it when it comes to obtaining a job post-graduation. That is why it is important to start preparing students for the workforce while they are in high school through career preparation education. Career education not only helps students gain employability skills but it also helps them to define their goals as to what they want to do when they graduate. This can save students and parents money and time when their student knows exactly what they want to major in. Career education not only sets students up for career success but college success as well.

Why Am I Hungover?

Why Am I Hungover?

Your head is spinning, your eyes are sensitive to light, and all you want to do is eat, sleep, and puke all at the same time. What’s wrong? Oh yeah, you got smash faced drunk the previous night and now you have a severe hangover! Here are the top reasons to why people become hungover.

Dehydration

You didn’t drink water before your night out on the town. Alcohol dehydrates the body which can cause headaches, dry mouth, and tiredness.

Smoking

Even though drinking and smoking a cigarette is a common pair, it can actually be twice as detrimental for your health as if you were to do each one alone. Smoking cigarettes while drinking alcohol can make your hangovers worse.

Weight

The less you weigh the more quickly you will become intoxicated. If you are a small person with the tendency to drink a lot of alcohol at once then you may become more suspect to hangovers than your heavier party mates.

Age

You’re not 21 anymore and you can’t handle as many hard drinks as you used to be able to. This is generally a good thing. If your drinking habits haven’t slowed down immensely after your college years then you should be more aware of your drinking.

Congeners

The by-product of alcohol fermentation is congeners. The darker the liquors the more congeners it contains. Guess what? You guessed it, more congeners means a worse hangover than if you drank white liquors.

If you are already hungover and looking for some relief then drink plenty of water, eat protein and minerals, get plenty of rest, and don’t take pain killers. The pain killers can actually make the hangover worse. Next time you’re going out to drink remember to take it slow!