328699483 February 2018 – How to take your business forward using the Internet

Grammarly and why I use it?

Grammarly and why I use it?Grammarly and why I use it?

Grammarly and why I use it? This is not in itself a review more an opinion on a product that I find really useful but not everything is perfect in the real world of words.

First up I am of senior years and improving my Grammar and writing skills is a heady task. I have forever been a poor speller as well as a writer whose mind is ahead of my typing skills.
I have often stated that I read sentences and paragraphs and not words and form pictures in my mind not thinking about structure. I am a prodigious reader often having more than one book on the go at any one time and increasing my knowledge by training of some type as well.

This was my latest report card from Grammarly

  Persistence, tenacity, grit—whatever you want to call it, you have it in spades! Keep on writing! You’re only a few weeks away from a six-month streak!     

            14205 words being 96% more productive than other users
             Vocabulary 96% more than other Grammarly users 
             Accuracy just 62%    “Oh well I told you so.”

Not a bad effort if I do say so myself. The reports are sent weekly and my accuracy varies but that is the least of it.

Grammarly corrects all your writing, even your emails. Well, when I say corrects that is not quite right.

Grammarly highlights words, phrases and punctuation offering suggestion on changes. You can add new words, pick words or carry on. I tend to miss a lot of commas and it pulls me up every time.

Yes I also use a variety of spell checkers and each has its own way but Grammarly comes back to final choice every time.

Grammarly in its basic format, more than you would normally use is free but you can upgrade if you so desire. I haven’t and can see no reason to.

Yes, Grammarly has an affiliate link as well but they knocked back my application to be an Affiliate. Oh well, recommending a free service does not line your pockets with money so I wanted to share this anyway.

What others say about Grammarly

Grammarly image

Unfortunately, there are many, many different complaints and negative reviews available online for this product. As any teacher will tell you, grammar programs and software are notoriously unreliable, because simply having a bot scan your writing without the ability to truly understand what is being said makes it very difficult to know what changes should be made. Because of this, it would not be surprising if Grammarly.com did a poor job of properly correcting sophisticated grammar mistakes.

However, Grammarly.com apparently also has significant trouble with basic grammar functions, like correcting spelling mistakes and common word choice errors. The Grammarist.com website performed some very detailed tests on this software which exposed some serious failings.

Other reviews were about functional issues, saying that the program didn’t always work, and some customers complained that they could upload a paper to the program and make all the changes recommended, and then upload the same paper later and be told they were many other changes still to be made.

My take is that it fulfils a daily role that will suit most of us.

Do you know of a better program, let me know and I will write about it. Just make a comment below.

Did you try the free version of Grammarly, if so, let me know your experience in a brief comment below?

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I like it and recommend it, would you?

Grammarly and why I use it? Image of author


Automated Phone answering

Automated phone answering

Automated phone answering can make your life a lot easier by releasing the

pressure that builds with the persistent phone ringing.

There are several ways to achieve this so let’s take a look at it

Firstly you can use a phone system feature if it is available, you can also use an add-on box or take the calls to the cloud and let someone else handle the problem.

A Simple service

A simple service is when the call is picked up and the caller placed on-hold with a nice message. “We are busy hold the phone for awhile and we will get to you shortly”

This queues the call, but, a warning that you should not leave them too long or they will leave.

Auto attended service

Next is to auto attend the service and provide the caller with options to choose.

Press 1 for sales
or press 2 for accounts
Perhaps Press 3 for whatever department you want

That is automated phone answering but what happens to the calls when they press say 1.

Usually taken to an answering service of some kind.

Finally we go a step further where you have a few more choices to make.


Call diversion

Image of old phone

Call diversion is via your telephone service usually on no answer or line busy.

When you divert your lines to a cloud-based service you then make all the same choices of how you want your calls answered.
A simple answer, auto attended or other enhanced services

Lastly, you can divert to a live service and instruct them on how to handle your call

Which automated phone answering is best for you?

First off all consider what you really want to achieve, the best way forward and the call volume.

*What do you want to achieve?

If it is just we are busy calls a Virtual service will do the trick. You are the best salesman.
Bookings, diary filling and appointment setting require a live service.

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  • What is the best way forward?

This may be based on a lack of time, cost and/or convenience. Balance these inputs carefully.

  • The volume of calls.
    If you are selling a Dollar product and paying $3 a message you are out of business.
    Similarly, if calls are being lost with call queuing or slow answering think again.Each method has its own benefits to apply to your need.

I will give you a great example.

A health product was promoted in a news report on TV. The target audience was elderly but the interview created a massive volume of calls. No local live service could handle the volume of around 10,000 calls a day and I was contacted to help.
We set up a Virtual service that requested Name and best contact number and advised the callers It could be a few days before they would hear from us. Cost about $0.40 per call.
An interesting point was that even though it was not a live service and the callers were in the main plus 65 years old over 90% left an appropriate message. Why you may well ask and the simple answer was they wanted the product and this was the only option.

We then set up an outbound call centre that responded to the calls and wrote the sales.

The end to this was not as pretty. The company took the answering back in-house and completely messed up with calls queued and frustrated buyers.

Virtual call answering was the answer

If the volume is large you really need to take a simple approach


In conclusion for most normal applications, I believe a good Virtual service will provide adequate coverage and messaging.

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Peter Hanley

The Author operates a virtual message service at www.verdi.net.au


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Automated phone answering by Peter Hanley

Instagram review for those that wonder?

Instagram review for those that wonder?Instagram review for those tha wonder

The main reason I have written the Instagram review for those that wonder is that many of us business people have no idea what to do with it.

With over 700 million active users ( April 2017) Instagram is gaining size quickly but nearly
60 % of users are aged between 18-29 and Females have the biggest percentage
leaving many of us out in the cold.

Instagram image

But, should we stay away?

On a personal basis, I have children and Grandchildren that use Instagram so if
I want to stay in the loop I need to be a member.

I also watch with interest as they market their own business on Instagram and grow
a decent following that buys their products online.

I have followed with interest about an Australian girl Kayla Itsinis who launched a fitness program
on Instagram and gathered 8.7 million followers and got very rich along the way.

Image of Kayla Itenes

Many corporations use Instagram and the first I followed was Nike because of the great pics
although there are many, many more.

I consider myself an early adopter and the rise of Instagram is here and is here to stay.

A quick history of Instagram

Instagram was a private startup by a young guy Kevin Systrom who bought in a partner in Mike Kruger way back in the year 2012. They brought in finance that year that valued the company at about $7- $10 million and making no revenue.
In 2015 Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook fame paid a cool One billion for the business. What a fool we thought, now a few years later it is valued at a lazy $50 billion. Not a bad return. More here

So you see the rise is phenomenal and with about 700 million users there must be something behind it.

Now I understand that many of the new ideas fail after a few years and slowly disappear. Certainly, Facebook is not one of them and Instagram is growing and not declining so I guess it’s here to stay the long run. In internet years that timeline is perilous but currently positive.

As a business, you need a foot in many camps because each has a following and a benefit.

What is Instagram

Instagram is a branding and follows medium that encourages storytelling in pictures and comments and for many a direct sales hit. Instagram now makes a healthy revenue with advertising and in 2017 some estimate that to be at least $1.7 billion in profit. A tidy return.

My point is that it is going gangbusters so get on the page and go with it.

I personally have just started a page at Instagram.com/hanley1616 based on the funny side of the NBN network in Australia, join with me for the fun and watch me grow.

You might also be interested in Wealthy Affiliate review 

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Peter Hanley