Should You Hire an Internet Marketer – Does Online Marketing Really Work?

The question asked in the title of this article has become more important over the last few years. With the economic downturn of 08, and the slow recovery, marketing and advertising budgets have become far thinner. Not to mention the options for spending your all-important marketing dollars. After all, a lot has changed, not just because of the economy, but because of technology too. There was a time when getting an ad in the yellow pages was vital. Now, however, it’s often a waste of money.

One marketing and advertising option that has really grown in popularity and power is the internet. The term “internet marketing” is a pretty well-known term now, although often not well understood.

So let’s begin by answering the question. Should you hire an internet marketer? The answer is a resounding yes. Now, it may be that you have the resources to hire them in house, or perhaps the time to do the marketing yourself. But in most cases, this is not so. For smaller entrepreneurs, there is neither the budget nor the need for a full time employee. In also in these cases, there is rarely enough time in the day to do the work. If there is anything that can be said about internet marketing, it is that it takes time. Lots of time if you want it to be effective.

So if you are in this middle ground, the hiring of an independent internet marketing and advertising consultant can be a great boom for your company. They will have the time and the know how to get the work done and get you the attention you need. And what’s also nice about a marketing company, is that you will contract only for work to be done. There is no extra cost associated with an employee.

Now, you may be wondering if you need this form of promotion. After all, perhaps you don’t have an online store or something that will generate income directly online. Well, think of it this way, it has been established that more than 97% of all customers go online to research, find and and decide on companies where they will spend their money. The mobile web surfing apps make this even more powerful. So whether or not you sell online, you want to send people to your website. You want that website to actively promote you and guide the visitor toward the point where they will make a purchase of your product or service. And this is what internet marketing does.

As for the second part of the question, does it really work? The answer again is a resounding yes. It’s a timely process, and should be thought of as long term, but internet marketing builds awareness of you and helps to solidify your brand, or even build it. And there is another reason: your competitors are doing it. And the reality of business is, if your competition is engaging in something and getting results, you have to also.

Before we close this article, let’s briefly look at just what internet marketing is. Because it’s not enough to know why you should do it, but what it is you’re doing. Let’s begin this with dispelling a common misconception. Internet marketing is not search engine optimization. Or at least, this is not the entire picture.

Perhaps the briefest explanation of what internet marketing is is that it is the placement of related content online that links back to you. This can take the form of articles like this one, videos on YouTube, posts on your Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn accounts, answering questions on discussion forums that relate to your business, posting free ads, subscribing to link directories, blogging, and of course utilizing paid advertising such as Google AdWords, ads on other websites and affiliate programs.

Of course, while online marketing is not SEO, search engine optimization is important, and not just on your website. You want to optimize everything you post, your site, your ads, your articles your descriptions of content, etc.

The concept of internet marketing is as broad as the internet itself. The options available to you are virtually limitless. But keep in mind that your end goal should be results and sales. And more often than not, like the old saying goes, it takes money to make money. Or time to make money. And a good internet marketing firm can make the most of these resources. They will and should actively care about you, your business, your goals and your success. If nothing else, it never hurts to have a consultation with someone who can answer your questions and give you some guidance. Good luck and good marketing!

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Why Video Marketing Should Be Your Flagship Advertising Medium

Video marketing is the ideal medium for increasing website traffic and for reaching prospective customers. If you do it right, it also has the power to help improve your search engine rankings. Unfortunately, far too many online business owners tend to discount the effectiveness of this type of advertising, and so they avoid it.

Instead, most internet marketers tend to focus on content marketing. While there is certainly nothing wrong with this approach, Google’s recent updates do make it more difficult to reach the level of success you’re aiming at with content alone. Cisco Systems estimated at the end of 2013, around 90% of web traffic was driven by video marketing. That’s a powerful statistic you really don’t want to ignore. So, let’s look at the real power behind video marketing and what you can do to take advantage of it.

Why Video Marketing?

People browsing for information online are often too busy to read a long article or a page filled with content. They might skim through the important information, but unless that content is really engaging those people are likely to just skip to the end. By comparison, video marketing is far more dynamic. It’s visually stimulating. It helps to capture attention and impart information at the same time.

Video marketing also gives you the opportunity to build your personal and business brand. You get to build trust within your customers and increase their familiarity with you at the same time. What’s more, if you’re really not comfortable writing content for your site, video gives you an easy option to still communicate. You simply get in front of a web cam and record yourself giving out the information you want to give. It really is that easy – and yet it’s so incredibly powerful at the same time.

The Secrets of Creating Good Videos

The videos you create for your video marketing efforts don’t need to be massively high-quality, professional-level videos. However, you still want to focus on providing good quality wherever possible. This helps to present a more professional image of you and your business, but won’t break your budget if you’re just starting out.

Most people realize that marketing videos are created using a web cam, smart phone, or camcorder, so it’s okay to be a little informal about your presentation. Otherwise, everything else you do can be easily created or edited using your computer and some simple hardware and software programs. Here are some things you can use to help you create good videos.

Video Equipment

In order to make your videos you will need the right equipment to get it all working. Of course, you can use any camcorder or web cam to record yourself talking or giving out information. Many people are using smart phones to record videos for their video marketing. Smart phones are easy to use and convenient for uploading videos to video sharing websites.

Good Lighting

Even if you’re using a basic web cam to record your videos, you can improve the quality simply by ensuring you have plenty of good lighting. Be sure you have lots of light directed at your face. Lamps positioned behind your web cam will do this fine for you. This will eliminate shadows and help to make your presentation look more professional overall.

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Is Copy Still King?

The pondering time she comes. Have you ever wondered if advertising copy is still king… you know the big kahuna of advertising… the apple of the marketing eye?

Heck, with all the modern “marketing devices” we have today, you may be wondering if copy is even relevant these days.

Let’s dive in and take a look-see. Check out any magazine you can find on the shelf these days and start thumbing through the pages. Pay keen attention to the ads.

What do you see?

If you are paying attention, you’ll notice most ads are scarcely worded, beautifully illustrated, oftentimes confusing, sometimes humorous, resembling pieces of artworks.

These ads do more entertaining than they do selling. They do very little promoting your business…

… and if you run advertising like this, then be prepared to have your bank account drained.

Hey, maybe I’m wrong. But can you really afford to entertain your prospective clients? Even if you’re in the entertainment business, you still need to sell your services, right?

I’ll tell you this: Media (places to run your advertising) doesn’t come cheap. Most established publications costs big bucks. And if you don’t believe me, then give ’em a call and ask for their rate sheets. Be sure to be seated when looking over the costs… it’s shocking.

Makes you wonder why anyone would spend big money on such waste. In my book, advertising and marketing should increase your bottom line, not shrink it. Right?

What’s worse, we believe this is how advertising should be. It’s the status quo, the norm of advertising as we know it, right?

After all, seeing decades upon decades worth of this “traditional advertising” being run makes it’s true, right?

WRONG. WRONG. WRONG.

And I’ll prove it.

OK, for now I’ll save you the rest of the rant and answer the question posed in the article title.

The short and dirty answer is…

… YES.

I humbly submit to you to check the stats of any high-functioning business that uses proven marketing methods. At the root of their marketing you’ll see direct response marketing and the main sales driver.

These guys can tell you down to the cent if their ads are working (meaning pulling in actual, tangible results, i.e. dollars, leads, store visits, etc.) or not.

The reason you should be using direct response type marketing is because everything is tracked and the results are counted.

The advertising copy is a written sales message from start to end. It does a complete selling job, gives reasons why you should buy, makes a risk-free offer and asks for the sell – just like in a real live face-to-face selling situation.

These “direct response” business types always test and track aspects of their advertising copy for maximum effectiveness. Then, they test again and again to get maximum results for the money spent.

For example, they may test different offers, headlines, opening paragraphs or various guarantees.

Again, they know, with scientific certainty if the advertisement tested works or not. The guesswork is completely removed… no more mystery marketing and the waste that naturally goes with it.

Pretty damn cool, huh?

So, at the heart of any truly effective marketing or advertising program is the message or advertising copy that you send to your prospects and clients.

Think about it. The ad copy is your message that gets delivered to your ideal prospect or client. It’s your company’s primary mouthpiece and “salesperson.” It’s the essential communication your prospect or client sees and reads.

So, is copy still king? YES. YES. YES.

But keep in mind that copy and copy alone won’t do the trick growing your business. It’s not the holy grail of marketing. That’s a different topic for a different day.

Running a successful marketing program is not just one-single, solitary piece. Rather it’s more like a puzzle with many constitute parts all working together towards a common goal.

To clarify further, my definition of “copy is king”, is turning it from incoherent dribble to a complete sales message. One that’s written with the customer in mind. One that does a complete and thorough job of selling.

I’ve written about this before but if you do your homework and a good job of researching the product, marketplace and prospect before you write, then you stand a decent chance of communicating and not just putting meaningless words on paper or a computer screen.

One of the best quick marketing formulas I know of is the marketing triangle. I learned this from none other than master marketer Dan Kennedy.

I have written about this before too, but it’s worth repeating. It goes something like this:

Picture a triangle. Each side of the triangle has a label. One side is labeled “Message.” Another is labeled “Market.” And finally, the remaining side is labeled “Media.”

Again, in simple terms it’s a way to think about your entire marketing plan.

“The Correct Message sent to the Correct Market using the Correct media.”

It’s the what, who and how…

… what is the message.

… who are you sending it to.

… how are you going to reach your target market.

Brilliant, right?

Yes, I thought so too.

So, is copy still the big cheese, the king?

Damn right… IF it’s done correctly.

Parting Shots

I know this was a quick article and hit upon a lot of ideas. We’re just hitting the surface here. But my goal, as always, is to help you get the absolute maximum results from every cent you spend on advertising.

So, the next time you start a new advertising campaign, consider the ideas presented here.

And if you are tired of dumping big bucks down the advertising toilet and you’d like better results, then I encourage you to give me a shout.

And lastly, if you have questions about this article or would like to see a particular subject covered, then shoot me a line. I’m always happy to help.

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Using Props in Marketing

When we say the word “advertising”, it means making your business differentiated from the others. This is very clear that advertising is all about being unique and creative. Props have always been an important element to attract and make feel realistic. Props are used in many situations such as in arts, movies or theaters give a real effect. Keeping this reality in mind, different marketing managers of renowned brands agree that the use of props in marketing helps a lot in engaging audience. The basic purpose of using marketing props is that it attracts and grabs the attention of people. This is the reason that top notch brands of the world showing their creativity by using props in their marketing strategy.

Here I am going to describe key methods that can give you an idea that how as a marketing manager you can use props to correctly engage with your target market.

Set Marketing Objective:

The first thing which works as a foundation of your entire marketing strategy is to set your clear objective. This practice helps you to be specific in your goals and plan things subsequently.

Select Relevant Props

The props that you are going to select must be relevant to the marketing message. Make sure that marketing builds your brand image so your choice of props should be perfect and accurate.

Create Connection

The prop that you have selected must be connected logically with your target market. This requires a seamless workflow and clear marketing strategy because if the pros do not match with the advertising theme, it will give an awful experience.

Execute Your Props Campaign

Once you are done with what you have planned for props, advertising campaign, it’s time to execute. Display your ad at different places that you have decided and make sure it is placed in a same way across all targeted points.

Analyze Results

After you have executed your strategy, now you need to closely analyze the results. Assess that to which extent your audience has attached with the props and the message is delivered as you had planned. If it is like that, you are successful in your job and if not then it’s time to go through your plan and find out flaws to correct them.

Advantages of Using Props

Following are a few advantages of using props in marketing or advertising campaign:

Make Memorable

Use of props makes your message looks creative and thus makes it memorable by making it distinguishable from the others.

Create Realistic Thing

This is the primary attribute of a prop that it makes anything look realistic. It gives life to the objects that you have used.. Props are also a part of visual advertising that uses Graphic Design to make it more valuable.

It Grabs Attention

If you use props with creativity, it definitely attracts the people by holding their attention. If you have set the objective of increasing awareness, props can help you a lot.

To Add Fun

Props also help to make your message fun loving by adding life to it. It all depends upon the idea behind the marketing message that how you can use props to create fun.

Point Of Difference

This is the crux of this article hidden in this advantage that props helps to make a point of difference and allowing you to get an edge over your competitors.

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The Little-Known Marketing Secret That Allows You To Write Advertising Homeruns

You remember Sherlock Holmes don’t you? Holmes was the fictional consulting detective invented by Scottish physician Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Holmes, as you know, is famous for cracking open difficult cases and solving them with almost magical abilities.

So, grab your inspector’s hat and let’s play Sherlock Holmes for just a moment. We’re going to do a little spying today and see if the “Sherlock” in you can turn up a few profit clues lurking all around.

This is the shortest course to the profit-land in this crazy fun business. The direct marketing or “mail order” business as we affectingly call it have a “secret” way of “spying” on the competition. It’s called “seeding.”

Very simply, seeding is where you get on other businesses mailing list

… for the sole purpose of snooping and finding out what’s going on in your selected marketplace.

This does several things for you.

First, you’ll start receiving offers from the company you inquired about plus competing companies. And these offers can be golden to you by seeing exactly who’s mailing what.

You’ll see firsthand what their winners are, how the copy reads, what offers are hot and ideas will start to catch fire.

And if you go the extra yard and actually buy something, you’ll experience firsthand how you were treated, what upsells they offer, and how they run the customer service side of the business.

Simply put, this is one of the best direct marketing educations you can get. And best of all… it won’t cost you a fortune.

Basically, you get a master’s level marketing education for the mere cost of a postage stamp and the time it takes to “sign up.”

Pretty damn cool, right? As my late marketing mentor Melvin Powers once told me, “There are no secrets in the mail order business.”

You’ll be tuned in to ‘real world-real time’ marketing methods and strategies. This is one of the best ways to stay up-to-date with powerful trends and effective marketing that’s cutting edge.

Seeding gives you another huge benefit…

… A swipe file right at your fingertips.

What’s that, you say? Swipe file? YES! Swipe File!

What’s a swipe file? Hey, I’m glad you asked.

A swipe file is a collection of marketing pieces that have a proven history of positive results. These ads are bringing in bucket loads of profits, leads, store visits or whatever action the ad is asking from the customer.

But how do you know if these ads are profitable or not? It’s not really that hard to figure this out… and you don’t have to guess.

If you see a marketing promotion (advertisement, sales letter, squeeze page, etc.) that runs over and over or is mailed over and over, then you’ll know for sure it’s a winner.

Most marketers, especially direct response type businesses loath wasting money. Again, if you see an ad repeated over and over again, you can rest assured that it’s making money for the advertiser.

Once you start building your swipe file you’ll want to see how you’re marketing stacks up to the competition. Ideas gleamed from your swipe file could be used to improve your marketing.

There’s no reason to reinvent the wheel. In direct marketing (or mail order), you have learned that there are no secrets. Everything is laid out there for you.

And by the way, did I mention swiping is legit… it’s sharply slices a huge portion of the learning curve!

Let me tell you a quick story about one of the most successful, profitable and effective direct marketing promotions to hit during the 20th Century.

It was 1974 and Martin Conroy was commissioned to write a sales letter to sell subscriptions for the Wall Street Journal.

No big deal, right? After all it was only two pages printed front to back… a mere 780-word letter.

But here’s the thing. Did you know that one of the most successful and profitable sales letter ever written…

This super-successful sales letter mailed for 28-years with almost no changes to the original copy. It raked in over an estimated TWO BILLION DOLLARS in gross revenues!

Take one of the most famous copywriting controls, The Wall Street Letter written by the late Martin Conroy. He in fact swiped it from a sales letter written many years before.

So what was the secret to this mega-success letter?

The secret, according to industry insiders, is that Conroy relied on a little-known “trick” to cheat his way to writing the pitch.

It’s helpful to know that Conroy’s letter was not beaten until 2002. It was beaten in two consecutive tests… the first test Conroy’s letter was beaten by less than 10%. The second by a huge 24%.

The second letter was written by copywriting legend Mal Decker.

So, the question is how did Mal Decker come up with a letter to beat the ‘unbeatable’ control?

The answer… again… it’s surprisingly simple… and you my friend can use this ethical “cheat” to produce blockbuster ads, web pages, sales letters, and just about any marketing piece you need to write.

Now I’m not saying its OK for you to straight out copy the ad word for word. Not at all… I’m saying it’s fine to borrow or swipe ideas, concepts and compelling parts that intrigue you and adapt them to your marketing.

Swiping is a great way to infuse new life in old copy and can often lead to more sales and leads.

So start your swipe file today and let the ideas flow.

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Four Types of Marketing For Small Businesses

As a small business owner, you most likely spend quite a large amount of time trying to discern new ways to gain customers. Marketing can be a fun or stressful business. They key is to understand the types of marketing.

Instead of sending your marketing budget in many different directions, you can choose a specific type and be consistent with it. You will quickly see that your marketing budget pays off much more quickly.

Here, you will find information on four of the main types of marketing. This way, you will be able to choose the marketing actions that will work best for your business. You will then be able to point your marketing budget in the right direction.

1. Blanket marketing is a type that is often used by larger business. Blanket marketing means that you spend money advertising to everyone. Many people choose to do blanket marketing by advertising in magazines or newspapers. You will not really have control of who sees your advertising, but you will have the potential to reach many people.

The downside to blanket marketing is that it can be quite expensive, and you could be wasting money marketing to people who may never become your customers at all. Blanket marketing is best for those who have plenty of funds available and who feel that they will be able to gain many customers from the plan.

2. Targeted marketing is a method in which you choose a certain demographic and only market to them. This could mean that you advertise to everyone in a certain area. Alternatively, you could advertise to everyone in a certain age range.

The great thing about targeted marketing is that you will have a much better chance at getting customers since you will be advertising to the types of people who would most likely become customers. The downside is that it will take a little legwork to determine who your target is and then find the right way to advertise to them.

3. Social media marketing could be called the new kid in town since it is relatively a young concept. With this marketing, you use any one of the many popular social media sites to advertise your company. You can also use a daily blog to garner business.

The downside to this type of marketing is that you will be sending your information out to many people who may not be interested at all. With blogs, you will have to take the time to keep the blog up to date. Otherwise, people may stop reading it.

4. The last type of marketing is not marketing at all. There are not upsides to this. It may seem like a way to save money, but when your business fails, you will actually lose a great deal of money. It is extremely important to find marketing funds within your budget.

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Where Does Advertising Fit Into the Marketing Mix?

Many people get confused about the role of advertising in the marketing mix so here’s a simple view of where it fits in.

In the traditional marketing model, we talk about the 4 P’s

o Product

o Pricing

o Place

o Promotion

The last section – Promotion is what we mean when we say you are “doing your marketing”. It’s your communications or your actual marketing activities.

But first, let’s get clear about the PURPOSE of marketing and why you want to get good at it.

“The PURPOSE of marketing or it’s biggest task is to

persuade prospects to visit you online or offline so you

can present your offer. Done well they come waving their

credit card and ready to buy so there’s no need for hard sell.”

Whenever and wherever you get in front of your potential market is your marketing opportunity – you are communicating or getting your message across.

You could say this started as far back as Babylon when the Town Crier was the only delivery method! They went around town shouting out to people to go to the marketplace and you went to the marketplace with your goods to “present your offer”.

With the invention of print and other technologies you now have a smorgasbord of delivery methods or media to reach people such as

o Print – newspapers, magazines, catalogues, newsletters

o Phone, mail, fax

o Radio & TV,

o Internet – through websites, blogs, social networking sites, email, video & Audio podcasts

o Teleseminars & webinars

o Mobile media – Blackberrys and mobile or cell phones

o And lets not forget in person public speaking and networking

Now that range adds a level of complexity. But choice is good and you don’t have to use all of these but they are available to you.

In any event you’ll either be speaking or writing. Simply narrow down what makes sense for you and your business and use your strengths to work out a plan.

JUST remember the marketing principles remain the same no matter the medium – so the PURPOSE of your marketing is still the same. To persuade prospects to visit you online or offline so you can present your offer.

So where does advertising fit into this?

Advertising is simply a subset of your marketing activities it’s the SALES function when you make the sales pitch or “present your offer”. This could be verbal or written in all the same media you use for your marketing communications. What adds to the confusion is sometimes big companies use image based ads for awareness so the “sales pitch” isn’t obvious.

But the primary purpose of advertising is to SELL.

So you create ads in one form or another and get them in front of your audience.

Small businesses can’t afford to waste money on image advertising that is designed for the masses to promote a well known brand. It simply isn’t designed to sell, NOW.

What I do and recommend is Direct Marketing which is based on one-on-one relationships and uses proven direct response advertising techniques instead of mass advertising.

The purpose of a direct response advertisement is to get a response, NOW! Which means these ads actually ask the prospect to DO something.

Whether you’re building a list, selling a product or service, an appointment or even something you are giving away – you still need to “sell” it to your prospect. And ask them to take the action you want them to take to move them through the sales process.

In a nutshell, advertising is a subset of marketing and direct response marketing and advertising is the champion for small business.

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Starting a Carpet Cleaning Business – Marketing and Advertising

Starting a carpet cleaning business can seem simple to many individuals, but as with any business venture for the entrepreneur marketing and advertising can be a make or break. Here are a few helpful tips for marketing and advertising your new carpet cleaning business.

Marketing and advertising is one of the most critical parts of a successful carpet cleaning business. To begin with advertising and marketing can be done through some of the old stand-bys such as a classified ads paper. The classified ads paper is the popular little magazine that many grab on their way out of any large grocery store to the small mom and pops convenience stores. A simple ad placement here can cost as little as $7 to $14 dollars a week and be a solid start to getting noticed by all those individuals looking for products and services on a budget.

The Yellow Book of course is an old friend for many entrepreneurs out there. The cost will usually be more than the cost of the classified ads, but this medium has been around and still used, although not as often today, but it is still a good way to be found quickly. Having a large ad as you will see later in this article, will actually not be as effective as most would like, but simply having your name in the Yellow Book should be a must on your list of places for marketing.

The newspaper has always been the place to be for many, many decades. Today however, those who used to fight for the T.V. guide space no longer find this as appealing as it once was due to technology and the power of cable. Today it might be better to be towards the opinion pages, sports pages and even in the local community section of the paper itself. Although all these mediums are great stand-bys, there has never been anything as cost effective and powerful as what comes next.

The Internet, when it comes to marketing and advertising for the carpet cleaning business this medium has been passed up for the most part. Some looking to the Internet believe that it is an expensive and confusing land of the lost, but this is not so. This medium for marketing and advertising is the most powerful and cost effective of any medium ever invented. There is no need for spending thousands for serious and deeply involved websites for the carpet cleaner this can be done with a simple blog hosted for less than $10 dollar a month. Learning how to use this medium only comes with a small investment and tax-write-off for a simple education in Internet marketing. The yellow book, newspaper and classified ads are giving way to Dex online, Craiglist and a simple blog with solid marketing pointing the way.

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The Critical Importance of Recreation For Senior Citizens

As our population ages, there is increasing emphasis on teaching and learning lifelong recreational skills. Research has shown that recreation is an important part of an individual’s social behavior. Recreation plays a critical role in the lives of older adults by contributing to an improved quality of life. People who participate in recreational activities as senior citizens report significantly more life satisfaction than those who do not.

Physical recreation is especially important. Engaging in physical activity reduces almost every risk of disease, including heart disease, high blood pressure, colon cancer and diabetes. Participation in recreational activities improves mental health, as well. Again, research shows that older individuals who participate in recreational activities have better coping behaviors in response to stressful life events and daily frustrations. They learn that social support is important, and available, through these activities.

Unfortunately, we have come to view our older years as a time of diminishing activity and social interaction. As a result of these expectations, aging folks often assume they are incapable of recreational activity or that it will not be available to them. They often cite scarce financial resources, lack of transportation or declining health as reasons for avoiding these important activities. Although there is some validity to these concerns, we often overlook the increasing resources that are being dedicated to wellness among senior citizens. Some of these resources are:

  • Travel programs. Fees are usually required, but deep discounts for seniors are often available.
  • Volunteering. Seniors bring valuable experience, wisdom and compassion to others
  • Elderhostel. A world-wide travel program bringing affordable adventure and learning to seniors
  • Theme parks. Senior days! Special entry fees!
  • Entertainment and arts. Museum and theatre tours often provide discounts and transportation to seniors
  • Local parks and recreation programs. Great outdoor activities
  • Community Gardening. Check with your local parks and recreation office
  • Senior citizen centers. Free or reduced price meals and more!
  • Book clubs. Reading and socialization are a potent therapeutic combination for the brain

It is important for senior citizens and those who care for them to seek out recreational activities even at this time when they may be reluctant to do so. Research indicates that seniors who participate in these kinds of activities tend to remain active once they begin.

Western cultures sometimes view their aging populations as economic and social liabilities. In fact, when they are nurtured, they become assets. Recreational activities can provide help and motivation that seniors require to enable them to contribute their valuable time and wisdom in return for that nurturance.

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Royal Caribbean Vs Regent: Choosing a Contemporary or Luxury Cruise

Since the cruise market emerged in the 1970s, options for a vacation have grown. Do you stick with a standard, or “contemporary,” cruise? Or, do you take advantage of all-inclusive package deals offered by luxury liners? Or, as river cruises are now a popular option, do you prefer the slower trip that spends more time in each port?

Essentially, the choice all comes down to the traveler – the type of trip and features he or she wants. Nevertheless, contemporary and luxury liners both have advantages.

Contemporary Cruises

While not the first liner, Royal Caribbean embodies the contemporary cruise. This particular brand consists of more than 20 ships, including two of the largest in the world, and also encompasses Celebrity Cruises as its upscale traveling experience.

Royal Caribbean’s larger ships mirror the amount of activities contemporary cruises offer. Baseline activities and entertainment covers spas for relaxation, gyms and other recreation facilities, evening shows, nightclubs, and multiple onboard restaurants. The sheer possibilities resulting from such combinations have created the “freestyle cruising” experience, one that, beyond the standard features of a ticket price and itinerary, a traveler can create alone.

Larger ships, as well, have resulted in expanding activities on board. Beyond the basics, a contemporary cruise may include nightclubs for all ages, restaurants for a larger range of taste buds, rock climbing walls and other high-level recreation options, and multiple slides and water activities.

The variable, freestyle, or a la carte cruise experience is often within the budget of many travelers and extends past activities. Such a cruise, be it in a Royal Caribbean or other contemporary ship, involves rotational or open dining, rather than the fixed schedule of years past.

Additionally, contemporary cruises are said to have more family-friendly features on board, be it activities and dining specifically for children or even child care run by experienced professionals.

Luxury Cruises

If Royal Caribbean liners represent the contemporary cruising experience, Regent Seven Seas Cruise is the apex of the luxury market. Considered one of the top-rated cruise lines, Regent consists of a small fleet – just three ships – with each vessel holding 700 or fewer passengers. The experience onboard, however, is considered more spacious and lavish, with personal service and gourmet food a top priority.

Part of luxury travels is the educational experience. Aside from excursions in each port, as well as trips going to less-traveled destinations, luxury cruises often include lectures and demonstrations, as well as other enrichment opportunities.

An aspect of Regent and other luxury cruises is all-inclusive deals. Tickets, while priced higher, cover the cost of not only food, a stateroom, access to pools and gyms, and entertainment, but also complimentary beverages, tours at ports, airfare, and hotel stays.

Travelers should keep in mind that luxury cruises are typically geared toward adults. Although activities may be on board for children, the full experience is designed with the adult traveler in mind.

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