31Aug/18

Benefits of Scheduling Your Instagram Posts

2018 is here, and by now you ought to be scheduling your Instagram posts.

If you haven’t started scheduling your posts, then you need to do so to enjoy the many benefits of scheduling your posts. Today we look at the different benefits that you achieve when you handle your posts in an automated way.

Prepare in advance

With the right tool, you can schedule your posts very early in advance so that you have time to do other stuff that is core to your business goals. When you schedule your posts to say, early in the week, you avoid the moments when you have no content to post.

Do you know that by just spending 20 minutes of your time to plan your content helps you save a lot of time, and you have time in advance to optimize your content?

Instead of coming up with content each day, you can come up with content at once and then upload it to the scheduler

Using the right tool, the images will automatically get posted to the Instagram account at the scheduled time.

Saves You Time

When used correctly, you can use hashtags to expand your reach. With the right hashtags, you can increase the engagements on your posts as well. Through scheduling of Instagram posts, you can easily research and add relevant and unique hashtags for use later when you post the content. This gives you a lot of leverage over your competitors.

So, how do you save time when you use scheduling tools? First, you don’t have to switch from one account to another when posting content. Additionally, you can come up with content once and then let it drip the whole week without having to do it manually.

While saving time, you also get to put the right hashtags in your posts, which in turn helps to put your content in front of the people that are searching for the phrases and words associated with your business or account.

Attract New Followers

If you wish to gain more Instagram followers, you need to have a consistent content strategy. You need to make sure you deliver the content your audience needs in time because you will have to deliver content at the right time each day.

When you schedule your Instagram posts, you understand what type of content works and when it is more appealing to your audience. A consistent strategy means that the Instagram feed becomes neat and organized.

Potential followers that come to your page wish to know what to expect in case they follow you. If the feed is consistent and curated, they will follow you.

A More Efficient Work Flow

When you use the right tool, such as Plan My Post, you make Instagram posting so much more efficient for you. It makes it possible for you to come up with a schedule that is right for the audience, which is a very important aspect of engagement.

If you are taking the time to take very beautiful photos and preparing them, then adding thoughtful captions you want to make sure that you are making it visible to the whole world.

Using the aforementioned tool makes sure you manage your workflow the right way. The good thing is that you get to read the comments that have been left behind by genuine customers who have used it.

The Bottom-line

It takes more than just posting some images to get to the level you wish for your brand marketing goals. Instead, you need to schedule your posts the right way so that you can manage your workflow the perfect way.

25Jul/18

Social Media Influencers

The beginnings of social media started out as a way to connect with friends and family, no matter where they are. It started out with a limited couple of platforms that everyone was using. Now it has transformed into something that no one would have envisioned that it could have ever become. There are loads of different types of social media platforms that have all different types of users on them. It is the basis for an industry that is all its own and it is a unique industry that a lot of companies are getting involved in.

There are a ton of people on social media platforms that are known as influencers. A social media influencer is a new age celebrity. They are people who have gain notoriety purely through their social media and the interaction that they have with their fans and followers. Every social media influencer has their own niche or an industry in which they are active and their followers look to them for the latest news and current happenings within that given industry. These influencers are active on the major social media platforms such as Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and LinkedIn.
These influencers are able to establish entire careers that are centered around their social media and it all depends on the number of followers that they have. The more followers that an influencer has, the more reach that they have with the skills and products they are looking to highlight. For example, they can gain followers through generic means and some of them can even obtain Instagram tools followers as well. Tools are something that they use to help to jump-start the gaining of followers because when someone has a lot of followers others will be interested in what it is that they are doing to gain those followers.

One of the most popular platforms is Instagram. There are some influencers who have millions of followers and this following has gained them sponsorship from major brands in a wide range of different industries.

• Huda Katta is a beauty blogger and makeup artist who has gained some real success from Instagram. She has over 24 million followers and she has even created her own makeup line. She got a huge boost to her makeup career when she released a line of eyelashes that was worn by Kim Kardashian West. The success started with her use of social media to get her name out there in the world of makeup and beauty.

• Chiara Ferragni is another major social media influencer. She is a fashionista and fashion blogger who has over 11 million followers on Instagram. She has since become a Guess model and even got to collaborate with Steve Madden on a wonderful line of shoes. She has also become an ambassador for brands like Pantene and Mattel.
These influencers now have careers that are based on their followers on social media. They base their lives on running their social media and staying current within their given industries. They have to maintain that influence in order to maintain the career they have created for themselves.

There is no way that the people who created the first social media site in 1997, Six Degrees, would have been able to know what social media would become. It has become something that is a defining characteristic of our time and its something that has become household names. People check their social media all the time and they are usually members of various platforms at the same time. Even the major influencers are spreading their reach to other platforms. Huda Katta has 2.2 million YouTube followers and Chiara Ferragni has 1.2 million followers on FaceBook and their use of multiple platforms increases their reach exponentially.

15Jul/18

What Can a Twitter Bot Do For You?

We have all heard about automation, and this practice came from the offices and now is on our social media networks as well. Today we look at twitter automation, and how it can make it easier for you to run your twitter accounts the right way.

What Is It?

Twitter automation is all about using a bot to automate the different tasks that you perform on your account on a daily basis. These tasks include following/unfollowing, tweeting, commenting and much more.

This means you don’t have to stay all day and night on the platform performing these tasks; the tool takes care of everything you are supposed to do each day.

So, what can these tools do for you?

Automatically Share Tweets

Using the right tool, you can automatically post your tweets and share them with your followers. You don’t have to post the tweets manually; this is done by the bot. All you need to do is come up with the right content and then set up the times when you want it to be posted. The tool does this for you.

The good thing is that you can do this to different Twitter accounts without having to switch tabs. The bot you choose for this task should be able to support a certain number of Twitter accounts so that you can easily schedule the tasks the right way.

Since you can automatically post to twitter, you can keep your followers engaged and on top of news so that you don’t lose their engagement.

You can schedule to instantly share tweets, blog posts and images to the different accounts. You can decide to have a schedule for the week or the month depending on how easy it is to get the content you wish to share.

You Have Total Control

There is nothing that gives you thrill like having total control over what you do on the Twitter account. The bots grant you this power. You and you alone decide what to do at what time.

At your disposal, you have powerful controls that you choose when and how to use. You can decide to schedule the tweets the way you wish, and use filters to manage how many tweets get delivered each hour.

You also have the chance to tailor the tweets using custom images, text, short links, and hashtags. In short, the power is in your hands.

Automate Following

You can automate the following and unfollowing of users. Using different criteria, you can make this an effortless practice that you will love. You can follow users in a mass way or do so individually. Unfollowing also happens this way.

Getting more followers gives you the social proof that you need (people with a large following are seen as authoritative on Twitter) to make sure you stand out from the crowd.

Automate Direct Messages and Replies

Using direct messaging and replies on Twitter is one of the ways to make communication between you and the users easier and faster. You can reach many users using these features, which makes it easy to send information or react to a particular topic.

You can decide to send direct messages to a select number of followers depending on the keyword; this can be a request or a call for information.

Either way, you need to know that frequent messages might be seen as spammy, and might spoil the fun.

Fred Harrington also suggests that you can use software that can auto tweet depending on the keyword you choose to target.

Final Words

Take time to understand what Instagram can do for you, and use the right bot to take your engagement to the next level.

15Jul/18

What Are the Best Jobs for Those Suffering From Back and Neck Pain?

Many people deal with back and neck pain on a daily basis, but they can’t avoid the fact that they still need to work. You might be suffering, but you need to pay the bills and save some money.

When undergoing treatment, you need to be careful so that you don’t aggravate the pain more than what is necessary.

Working with an acute or chronic back condition that is made worse by profession is less helpful. If the back pain is not reducing in any way, then your career is contributing to it. With this fact in mind, we look at some of the best careers you need to explore if you are suffering from back pain.

Photographer

The beauty of being a photographer is that you control your schedule. You can choose to take your work to the studio or on location, or both. The job doesn’t strain your back the way others do, and you can take a rest when you feel your back isn’t comfortable.

You get periods of activity and inactivity throughout the day, which means your muscles, can rest whenever you need them to.

Writer

Blogs, websites, media companies and other businesses are usually in need of content for their sites, the great advantage of these jobs is that you can do them at home. If you like writing and sticking to your own working time, then content writing might be just the job for you. However, you need to take care because it involves too much sitting. Perform routine stretches and take frequent breaks to keep the spine from staying in one position for too long.

Compliance Officer

This job involves walking from one place to another to confirm whether businesses are complying with set regulations. This job takes you to many industries, and since it involves periods of standing, sitting and walking, you don’t put a lot of strain on your back at all.

Administrative Assistant

There is a lot of information that has been floated around that talks about sitting too long at a desk and how detrimental it is to your back. But if you have the right ergonomic chair and a proper workstation configuration, then you don’t have an issue with this at all. Take frequent stretching breaks, use ergonomic furniture and learn how to work safely in the office can help you enjoy this job.

The administrative assistant post usually requires that you move from one office t the next collecting information, delivering tasks and many other tasks. So, it involves sitting and standing as well as walking around. This reduces the strain on your back and makes your muscles stronger. If you experience neck pain, you can use air cervical traction devices recommended by Free Your Spine to manage the pain.

Videographers

One of the recommended postures for most people in the office is standing. In videography, you stand a lot, and this helps maintain the normal spinal curve that reduces strain on specific parts of the back. As a videographer, you aren’t limited to one position when working; you need to move from point to point to get new perspectives and to get the best shots.

This movement makes it possible to reduce the strain on the back and to keep the spine healthy.

However, since any job presents a problem for the back, we encourage you to go for preventive and safety measures at all times. In addition to this, avoid sitting too long for the health of your spine, or bearing a lot of weight that can strain the muscles in the back.

Final Words

Make sure you understand your working environment so that you keep your back safe. Remember that low back pain causes poor performance at work.

13Jul/18

How to Get More Likes on Instagram

A few years ago, Instagram announced that it would use an algorithm to decide what sort of content is displayed to users. This means that the algorithm would look at all your posts and find out the content that performs best, this is the one that the audience would see.

If you are a marketer interested in using Instagram to extend your reach, it is crucial that you acquire more Instagram “likes.” These Instagram likes form a critical component that shows that users have engaged with your content. Earning more Instagram likes enables you to access a wider audience due to organic amplification.

But the question remains, how do you get more Instagram likes? This post looks at the different ways you can do this.

1. Develop Content with a Wide Reach

One of the ways to get more likes on Instagram is to come up with content that has a wide reach. You can do this by talking about issues that affect many people, and offering solutions to a wider audience compared to just a small region.

Localized content is good, but it won’t give you the type of reach you are looking for.

2. Collaborate With Content Creators

Yes, you can come up with the right content, but it is hard for you to do this on a daily basis. What you need to do is to work with freelancers to come up with great content each time.

Your success on Instagram and how many likes you get depends on the kind of content you push through each time. You need to work with a photographer or videographer to come up with this kind of content that keeps your users hooked the whole time.

With great content, you are sure that you earn a lot of Instagram likes in return in a natural way.

3. Use Analytics

One of the ways to get the right content is to make sure you use a tool that tells you what content is effective and what content isn’t working at all. You need to make sure you know engagement patterns so that you know what to do and what not to do.

When you know what kind of content resonates with your audience, you have the chance to give them what they need.

4. Use an Influencer

There is a reason why many brands have turned to influencers to develop their content for Instagram. Influencers add impetus to your marketing efforts and help take your content to other niches so that you can get more engagement.

Remember that users will be most likely to engage with the content that has been distributed by an influencer.

5. Use Different Mediums

Many brands think that using images is the only way to get noticed on Instagram. Well, it is not a bad idea, but you also need to use other mediums as well. Additionally, what has worked for a given brand before won’t be able to work for you. This is why it is vital that you experiment with different mediums including images, video, Instagram Stories and more. Determine what works best for the target, so that you can attract more Instagram likes.

6. Buy Instagram Likes

You can get to buy likes for your Instagram posts. These Instagram likes make it easy for you to improve the level of engagement the right way. Work with a reputable provider, such as LikeSocial to get the Instagram likes you need. You can read more on this by visiting https://www.likesocial.co/.

Final Thoughts

You need more Instagram likes to enjoy the benefits that come from using Instagram for your marketing efforts. Take time to understand what kind of likes will take you to the next level on Instagram, and go after them.

28Jun/18

Instagram Hacks to Get More Followers

Instagram has changed, and it is now more challenging to get the right number of followers than ever before. The fact that you are getting more likes doesn’t mean that you get more followers.

The game on this platform has changed, and if you want to get more followers for your account, you need to use a different approach and a fresh strategy.

Let us look at the tips to help you conquer the algorithm and enjoy a higher following this year.

Have a Complete Profile

If you wish to attract more followers to your profile this year, you need to understand that first impressions matter. You can only make an impression with your bio. The bio is the first contact the audience has with you.

So, make sure you have a complete profile that can tell the audience what you do in the fewest words possible. Have a style that the audience will love because this is the only way the user will click the “follow” button.

Let the profile be organized. Have you ever seen the profiles that have pictures thrown all over the place? You will notice that these profiles have a few followers, mainly family members, and a few friends.

What you need to do is to have a consistent brand throughout all the content that you create. This can turn your visitors into devoted, engaged followers.

Hack Instagram Stories

This year is proving to be huge for Instagram Stories. Since you need to capture the attention of users and maintain the audience, Stories are the best way to do this.

Instagram Stories have been made special and can appear on the explore page, which means that users that aren’t your followers can still find and check out your stories. If these users like what they see, they follow you.

One of the ways to make your story to appear in the public domain is to add a hashtag and a location to the story. Make sure you use the right hashtag to make your story appear in the public feed.

Use the Right Hashtags

Whatever you do, regardless of the niche that you trade in, you can’t evade the use of hashtags in your engagement. Make sure you use hashtags the right way and don’t overuse them because you become spammy.

Think of the hashtags as product categories. You need to have the right hashtags for each post so that users can find the content. Make sure you choose each hashtag with a purpose. Avoid general hashtags that put you in the bigger crowd, and go for those tags that are focused.

Using the right hashtags means your content can get discovered. When your content is discoverable, it gets seen by many people, which means you increase the likelihood of getting followers.

Promote Your Instagram Profile off Instagram

Many users think that they can only promote their profile on the platform. One way to get more followers is to share the link off the platform. Spend time promoting the Instagram account on other social media platforms, your blog, forums, email accounts, podcast interviews, guest posts and other areas.

Doing this means when other people see or hear about you on other platforms, they come looking for you on Instagram before they go ahead to Google you. Income Artist gives you a chance to check out this and other hacks in detail so that you can choose which hacks to use.

Final Words

When it comes to finding more followers, you must have a fresh strategy for this year. With the algorithm changing time and again, you are looking for a way to get more followers without putting in a lot of efforts.

25Mar/18

Tips on Straightening Hair

The straight hair look will never go away. However ‘in’ curls or waves are, there is always a call for straight hair. This means many of us curly haired girls are spending a lot of time straightening our manes.

If so many of us do it, why do so many of us do it wrong? Or make life difficult for ourselves? Often it is because we don’t have the correct tools. It can also be because we don’t know what we are doing! So let’s take a look at some great ways to straighten our hair.

Hair Straightening Brushes

One of the problems of straightening hair using hot gadgets is the damage you can do to your hair if you are not careful. You don’t need to worry when you are using a straightening brush. You should be able to find the perfect one to suit your type and style of hair. Go to Brushed Straight and read their reviews of the best hair straightening brushes, and also how to use them correctly.

This is the best way to use a straightening brush.

  • Shampoo and condition your hair.
  • Towel dry your hair leaving it a little damp.
  • Apply oil or your favourite styling product to your damp hair.
  • Plug in your brush and wait until it reaches the correct temperature.
  • Take a section of hair and start at the root. Brush slowly down the section of hair to the ends.
  • Repeat the section until perfectly straight. This may take 3 or 4 times.
  • Repeat for the remaining sections of your hair.
  • Once you have finished the individual sections, brush your hair to ensure it is all straight.
  • Wipe your brush with a damp cloth once you have finished using it.

Hair Straighteners

Whether you call them hair straighteners or flat irons, they do a great job of straightening your hair. Because you are working with a very hot tool, you need to ensure you prepare your hair well, and take care of it too.

This is the best way to use hair straighteners.

  • Shampoo and condition your hair. It may help if you choose products that are designed for smoothing your hair.
  • Gently towel dry your hair, patting the hair downwards with your towel. You want to avoid frizzing it up.
  • Use a hair dryer to rough dry your hair until it is nearly dry.
  • Apply oil or your favourite styling product to your damp hair. If you haven’t started using oils yet, give them a try. They actually absorb into your hair unlike other styling products that just sit on top of your hair. Argon oil is great if you have very thick and coarse hair.
  • Let your hair air dry.
  • Brush your hair into the style you want. Decide on your style before you start straightening your hair.
  • Make sure your hair is totally dry as you don’t want to boil your hair.
  • Plug in your hair straighteners and wait until it reaches the correct temperature. It is important that your straighteners are at the correct temperature before you start. If they are too cold, you will go over the section of hair a few times which will make your hair static. If your hair straighteners have different temperature settings, use one suitable for your type of hair. For example, those with thick hair should use a higher setting than those with thin hair.
  • Take a small section of hair and start at the root. You may find it easier to brush the section first and hold it with the brush so you can clamp the straighteners around it.
  • Move slowly down the section of hair to the ends.
  • Repeat the section until perfectly straight.
  • Repeat for the remaining sections of your hair.
  • If you have long or thick hair, it will make it easier if you clip the main body of your hair out of the way.
  • Once you have finished the individual sections, allow them to cool.
  • Add your favourite finishing product.
  • Brush your hair rather than using a comb.
  • Once your hair straighteners are completely cool, clean them. Gently wipe them with warm water to remove the product build-up.
24Mar/18

Top Tips for a Successful Camping Holiday

Whether you have never camped before, not camped since you were a child, or are a seasoned camper, a camping holiday is a great way to get away from it all. However, like with so many things in life, preparation is key. Do not expect to just pack up the car, and go. Even a seasoned camper plans and prepares so follow our tips and enjoy a successful camping holiday.

Buy a Tent That is Just Right.

Whilst you don’t need a palace, you should ensure that your tent has enough space. Not only do you need sleeping space for each person, but you also need room for all your kit. If you are not sure what tent you need, check out TentsAndCampGear.com where you can find reviews and advice on not only tents but also camping gear.

If you are not walking, but driving to your campsite, you will not be so constrained by the weight of your tent and your equipment. However, there is a happy medium between having a tent that is spacious enough for people and kit, and one that is so big that you actually can’t put it up.

Practice Makes Perfect.

Always have a trial run and put up your tent in the garden before you go away. Even if it is not a new tent but one that you use regularly. You won’t know if there is any damage or anything missing until you put it up. It is better to find out these things in the comfort of your own garden than in the rain in front of an audience.

Plan and Prepare.

A little planning will make your holiday easier, both before and during your actual trip. Here are some of our tips to help you plan your trip and prepare beforehand.

  • Don’t go too far the first time. For your first trip, look for somewhere quite close to home. Then you won’t have far to go if you need to return home. If you already have somewhere planned, do a trial run over a weekend and stay close to home.
  • Search for a campsite that has the facilities you want in an area you would like to visit.Are you looking for adults only or sites that take dogs? Check out the onsite facilities. You will be amazed at how luxurious some sites are. Check out the activities available in the local area as you won’t want to stay at the campsite all the time.
  • Check the availability and book in advance, especially during peak times. Ensure you are aware of the check-in times as campsites have these too.
  • Work out your travel plan. Don’t arrive bad-tempered as you have been stuck in peak traffic.
  • Make a list of your camping gear. Once you have a list, keep it updated for when you camp again.
  • Make a list of your cooking and eating equipment.
  • Make a list of meals you will prepare in advance. Again, keep this updated with which meals were a roaring success and those that weren’t.
  • Write down your menus for your holiday. Try planning days as opposed to meals. Then you can scale your plan up or down depending on the duration of your trip.
  • Make a shopping list of food and drink.
  • Make a packing list of clothes and outdoor clothing you will need.

 

You Don’t Need to Rough It.

Unless you want to! Whilst you may be getting back to nature, you don’t need to forsake all conveniences. A warm and comfy bed is a must. Lack of sleep leads to bad tempers which will quickly ruin a holiday. Invest in a blow-up mattress if you don’t already have one, and comfortable sleeping bags. Add a liner too, cotton for a warm climate or fleece if it may get cold. Then if it is really warm at night, you can just sleep in the liner. Don’t forget a pillow. Or at the very least a pillowcase that you can stuff with fleeces.

Always take at least a couple of lights or torches as light is one thing you should never be without. Have a mix of solar charged lanterns and battery lanterns and then you should be covered for every eventuality.

Eat Well.

Just because you won’t be cooking in a fitted kitchen, you don’t need to live on junk or eat out. There are many great meals that you can cook in one pot. Cook meals in advance and freeze them. They will keep your cool box cool and should be easy to heat up on a grill, once defrosted.

Leave Technology Behind.

Or if you can’t leave it behind, at least take some games too. The last thing you want on your ‘get away from it all’ holiday, is for everyone to still be glued to their smartphone or tablet. Take a portable, charged, external battery and even a solar charger, in case you need a phone for emergencies but take other games to play. Even adults only can have fun playing cards and board games. Take bats and balls and you have a variety of games you can play. Plan games you might do, in advance, like a treasure hunt.

A camping holiday can be the best holiday you ever had. It is cheaper than staying in a hotel or a resort and much more fun. You will be more active on your camping holiday and are sure to enjoy the great outdoors. By planning and preparing carefully, you can be sure of an enjoyable holiday. And it won’t be your last camping holiday.

24Mar/18

The Tools You Should Have For Your Bike

If you’ve ever owned a bike, you know that maintenance can be a chore. But if you don’t have the right tools, it turns into a real headache. We’ve all been there, a flat tire far from home and no patches or bike pumps. A broken chain when you’re already late for work. Biking is fun, and it’s great for your body, but if you don’t have the tools to take care of it a bike can be an endless problem.

Benefits of Biking Regularly

Cycling is great for you. It’s a great way to exercise without the risks and problems associated with high-impact exercise. Plus, it’s even better for the environment if you use it as one of your means of transportation. You only have to bike for two to four hours a week to start enjoying the benefits to your health.

Why Cycling?

  • Strength and Endurance

Riding a Bike regularly has been shown to increase your stamina, strength, and aerobic fitness.

  • Simple

Riding a bike is easy, and there’s nothing complicated about turning cycling into a regular part of your exercise regimen.

  • A Full Work Out

Cycling works out every major muscle group in your body, giving you a fun and efficient full body workout on your way to work or riding around town on a day off

  • Low Impact

Some forms of exercise, like running, can damage your joints over time. These high-impact exercises are good for you, but if you’re not careful they can leave you injured or in pain and discomfort. Luckily, cycling is not one of these. Riding a bike gives you the same work out as going for a run, but it’s much easier on your joints in comparison.

  • Fun

Riding a bike is fun. Instead of forcing yourself to hide away in the gym three times a week, you can just go for a pleasant ride around your neighborhood or a grueling ride through the hills.

  • Intense, or Easy

With biking, you can work as much or as little as you want. If you want an easier exercise, you can just cruise around and enjoy the health benefits of regular exercise. If you want something more intense, all you have to do is ride harder and push yourself. You only work as hard as you want to work, and you only have to go as far as you feel comfortable going.

Why You Need Tools For Your Bike

Everything breaks down eventually, and bikes are no exception. The last thing you want is to get a flat tire without any of the tools to fix it because then you’re left with a useless and heavy piece of metal that you have to lug all the way home. Having the correct tools can help you deal with the normal problems you face biking, and even prevent many of them through correct maintenance.

The Tools You Need

When it comes to buying tools for your bike, there are many different parts you need. If you don’t want to spend too much time looking into it, you can always buy a pre-made kit of tools. However, if you’re interested in making the most of your bike, you can make your own kit with the best tools you buy or have. These are the tools you need to correctly maintain and repair your bike.

  • Bike Repair Stand

If you own more than one bike, or regularly repair, maintain, and work on your bike, you might want to purchase a bike repair stand. These helpful stands make it easy to work on your bike and to take it apart without worrying about it falling all over the place.

  • Allen Wrench Set

It’s crucial that you have a good set of Allen wrenches. Most of the screws on your bike require an Allen wrench to tighten or loosen them. Without an Allen wrench, you won’t be able to work on your bike much at all.

  • Open End Wrenches

Open end wrenches are important for regular maintenance of your bike. If you need to do any work on your pedals you’ll also need to get a wrench made specifically for that purpose, called a pedal wrench.

  • Chain Brush

A chain brush is necessary to care for and maintain your chain. You’ll want to clean it regularly and use the following products.

  • Chain Lube and Cleaner

Chain lube and cleaner should be regularly applied to your chain to prevent any catching, breaking, or snagging. Most people don’t maintain their chains as much as they should, and while you can ignore it for a long time before it catches up with you, once it does it’s really difficult or expensive to repair.

  • Rags

You need to have something lying around to clean your bike with.

  • Spare Tubes

You can patch a tube many times before it becomes completely useless, but eventually, it will inevitably become completely useless, so it’s good to have spares lying around. Plus, if you pop your tire and have a spare tube with you, you can just replace the broken tube and keep going.

  • Tube Patch Kit

When your tube catches a leak, you have to be able to fix it or you’ll go broke constantly replacing your tubes. These usually include adhesive, patches, and sometimes a cleaner for the tube.

  • Bike Pump With a Gauge

You need to have a good pump to keep your tires properly filled. It’s harder to get a flat tire if your tires are maintained. The gauge is important too, so you can ensure you are filling your tires to the optimal PSI. If you’re looking for a reliable pump, check out the reviews on Pumps for Bikes.

  • Alcohol or Another Cleaner

This is especially important for repairing your tires. If you need to apply a patch to a tube, you need to clean the area first or else the patch will just stick to the dirt on top of the tube. This makes the patch less secure, and can often prevent it from being airtight. Alcohol works well for this because you can wipe down the area with the leak and it will dry off in seconds.

Having a bike is a responsibility, but the benefits far outweigh the costs. Take proper care fo your bike by having all the right tools to fix and maintain it.

22Mar/18

Painting Pros and Cons: Sprayer vs. Roller vs. Brush

Planning a painting job? Then you’re likely considering all of the options available to you. Depending on the size and scope of the task at hand, there are benefits and drawbacks to using a paint brush, a paint roller, or a paint sprayer.

Paint Sprayer

If you’ve ever tackled a large-scale job like painting your house, you have probably used – or wished you were using – a paint sprayer. While they were once limited to professionals, now there are a variety of paint sprayers available for anyone to buy at relatively affordable prices. Whether or not a paint sprayer is the right solution for you depends on a number of factors.

Pros: With its ability to cover large areas very quickly and efficiently, the paint sprayer is nearly essential for painting exteriors with a clear perimeter, especially those with rough or damaged surfaces. It will paint smoothly over the cracks, crevices, gaps, bumps, and other nooks and crannies typically found on houses, decks, and garage doors. The paint sprayer can reach higher than a brush or roller to get every angle and needs only one coat to leave a smooth finish without any brush marks. Best of all, it needs very little effort on the part of the user, so you can just take it easy.

Cons: Although the paint sprayer does the job in a fraction of the time, it does require a massive amount of preparation before you can use it. A thorough cleaning is also unavoidable after each use, adding to the time involved. Fortunately, the sprayer is so efficient at painting wide swaths that the set-up and clean-up time is worth the trouble when you’re dealing with bigger duties. However, it isn’t a practical choice for small jobs or most interior walls unless you don’t mind masking and tarping absolutely everything within spraying distance that you don’t want to be painted. An exception would be a room early in the process of remodeling, when you can employ an “anything goes” mentality and spray away.

Paint Roller

This trusty tool has long been a favorite of painting contractors and do-it-yourself home owners alike. A major upgrade from the traditional paint brush, the roller is capable of handling bigger projects, but not quite as big as the tasks assigned to the paint sprayer.

Pros: Designed for painting large interior areas like master bedrooms, dining rooms, and living rooms, the paint roller enables you to cover wide areas in a reasonable amount of time. Since there is a reduced chance of overspray, less masking and preparation is required than the paint sprayer. In addition to its simple set-up and clean-up routines, the roller is easy to pick up and handle for anyone and comes with a much lower price tag. If you were unable to get the surface spotlessly clean beforehand, the roller can deal with it by laying down a thick initial coat that allows the paint to bond better with the surface. You can count on a smooth, uniform finish thanks to a technique known as back-rolling, which mixes spraying and rolling – after spraying the surface, the paint is quickly rolled down to connect the droplets together.

Cons: Unlike sprayers that can get into the hardest-to-reach spots and fill imperfections of all sizes, the roller is a bit more of a bulldozer and lacks that subtle touch when it comes to detailed surfaces. The roller can leave behind drips and pooled-up paint in these areas. While the roller is extremely useful indoors, it doesn’t possess the sheer power necessary to tackle most exterior jobs, such as painting the side of your house. Although it is fairly easy to use, novices may initially find it difficult to apply paint evenly. Obviously, rollers aren’t as quick or efficient as sprayers, but they are superior to brushes for most home renovation projects.

Paint Brush

The oldest painting tool known to humanity, the paint brush is often overshadowed by the roller and the sprayer because of their ability to tackle larger projects. However, the brush still has its uses and can still handle some tasks better than its more impressive brethren.

Pros: Since paint brushes are designed to fit into tight spaces, they are excellent when painting small areas, fine details, and textures found on trim, edges, and corners. A far more precise tool than the sprayer or roller, the brush allows for better control of where you want the paint to be distributed, and it does a great job of covering up cracks and nails. There are a variety of different sizes and shapes available, so you can always find the right brush for almost any project. Paint applied with a brush displays improved adhesion and uniform coverage. Beyond the practical concerns, using a paint brush gives you a feeling of reconnecting with your roots and can provide a meditational experience.

Cons: On the other hand, the old-fashioned way of doing things isn’t always the fastest, and that has never been more true than when painting with a paint brush. It can be an arduous, time-consuming, and physically demanding task that will bore you to tears in most cases. The monotonous and tedious process of painting with a brush is what inspired the invention of the paint roller and the paint sprayer, so that fact should come as no surprise. By far, this is the slowest method of painting because it requires more than one coat to achieve the desired effect. At times, brushes can struggle with nooks and crannies if you don’t have the proper size or style and they tend to leave brush marks when you’re finished. It’s a paint brush; what do you expect?