This $30 online training will help you make the most out of remote working

Twitter may have been the first major company to announce it will be letting its employees work from home indefinitely, but chances are it’s not going to be the last. Working remotely is the new normal during this era of social distancing, and for many, it will likely last far beyond the next few months.

If you are one of the lucky few who haven’t faced many hurdles working from their couch, then going from a physical office to a virtual one seems like a seamless transition. But for everyone else who is finding themselves easily distracted and often unfocused, The Remote Work & Productivity Bundle (now on sale for $29.99) can help give them the tools and frameworks they need to make the most out of their 9-to-5.

This bundle is broken down into seven key courses, ranging from a primer on the freelance industry to a hyper-productivity class, that help you not only feel comfortable and capable of working from home, but also reap the monetary benefits that come with flexible working.

To give you a taste of the curriculum featured in The Remote Work & Productivity Bundle, we are highlighting each of the seven courses below.

How To Be Hyper Productive In Your Home-Based Business

There are plenty of distractions you can’t control when you’re working from home — it’s just the way of life. That being said, there are equally as many tactics you can employ in your 9-to-5 to help make sure you stay on track. This course, which spans 19 lectures chock-full of tips, tricks, and productivity hacks, helps students do more work in less time. The idea is that if you can get through bursts of hyper-productivity through the day, you’ll never feel overwhelmed when life’s little distractions inevitably crop up.

Coronavirus & Remote Work: Tools and Tactics for Business Continuity

Are you, or your team, finding the world of remote working hard to navigate? Transitioning to online working is hard business — but it’s made easier when you have the right communication tools, morale-boosting techniques, and creativity projects on-hand. Take the resources found in this four-part course, for instance. They give managers and employees workflows and processes that will help bolster innovation and productivity from their remote teams.

Managing Reptilian Brain Tendencies in Fearful Times

The “reptilian” parts of our brain are thought to be responsible for all of our knee-jerk reactions. Even though these behaviors are automatic, there are ways to keep them in check. To understand the nuances of these brain-based psychological processes, as well as understand approaches to minimize these effects on your personal life, it’s worth exploring this one-hour lecture.

7 Habits of High Achievers: A 7-Step Plan for Winning In Life

Rated an impressive 4.8 stars on Udemy, the 7 Habits of High Achievers is an online course that dives into seven different habits that have been shown to skyrocket your business. The one-hour course is taught by Dave Espino, an entrepreneur who spent the past 30 years studying the key factors that make successful people…well, successful. Espino condenses three decades of findings into this digestible format that has students raving. As one notes, “So worth it. The tools I learned from this course will no doubt save me time and money – will definitely go back to this course for reference.”

Freelancing: How to Work from Home Doing Freelance Gigs

So long as you have an internet connection, a computer, professional drive, and a bit of know-how in the world of micro-jobs, you’ll have all the tools it takes to become a lucrative freelancer. While we can’t help you much on those first three requirements, we can point you in the right direction for the last one. This freelance guidebook (rated 4.1 stars from over 1,000 past students) gives aspiring remote workers an understanding of the current landscape, how to make themselves stand out as freelance candidates and the best job boards to use to your advantage.

Work From Home: 5 Ways To Turn Your Knowledge & Skills Into an Online Business

Of course, freelancing is just the start of creating a business all from the comfort of your own home. There are plenty of other business models worth exploring that can help you build solid income remotely. This course, which has been described by past students as a “great course for getting a glimpse of ways to make extra money and potentially a true income by working from home,” explores five popular avenues for building your online business.

Online Business: Work from Home

Unlike other online resources that fail to break down building businesses for novices, this four-part course outlines social media marketing, podcast creation, affiliate marketing, and software tools (pretty much all the major strategies used by professionals to grow their business) in layman’s terms.

Want to explore these courses today? Get The Remote Work & Productivity Bundle here for only $29.99 right now.

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Battersea is launching online cooking classes with recipes for pet treats

You might be one of the many people who have got into baking since being in lockdown but if you are sick of baking for yourself, try cooking up treats for your pet instead.

Battersea is launching a series of online cooking tutorials to show you how to create treats for your cats and dogs at home.

Using ingredients that are safe for pets such as carrots, tuna and potato, the team will release an episode each Thursday at 2.30pm for you to bake along at home.

You can follow along on their YouTube, Instagram, Facebook or Twitter pages.

The first recipe today will be a dog cake if your canine pal is celebrating a birthday in lockdown (or if they really just deserve something nice).

Other episodes will show you how to make dog lollies, a cat cake and biscuits for your cat or dog.

Rehoming and Welfare Manager, Rebecca MacIver, said: ‘While we’ve been in lockdown, many people are taking up new hobbies. If you’re a pet owner and are getting into baking, it would be a shame not to let your dog or cat enjoy the fruits of your labour too!

‘If you are going to bake for your dog or cat, its important to remember that you shouldn’t make this a regular treat. Just like us, dogs and cats can get a bit too round if they overindulge and should only have a treat as part of a balanced diet.’

How to make the dog cake

Ingredients: 

For the cake:

210g Plain or wholemeal flour

1 Peeled Banana, mashed

Half a Grated carrot

2sp Coconut oil

250ml Oat milk

1 egg

For the decoration:1 Large potato, mashed

Treats to decorate

Meaty stick for a candle (Stick-shaped edible dog treat) 

Method:

Preheat your oven to 200 degrees centigrade and line a small cake tin with greaseproof paper. We’ve used an 11cm round cake tin, but if you don’t have one of these you could use a cupcake tray and make a several smaller cakes instead.

Put your banana into a bowl and mash with a fork, then add your whisked egg, grated carrot, melted coconut oil and oat milk. Mix all the ingredients together, then add the flour and stir into the mixture.

Spoon the cake mixture into the lined cake tin and level out, using the back of a spoon. Bake the cake 45 minutes to 1 hour until completely cooked through, then remove the cake from the oven and leave it to cool. Don’t worry if the cake doesn’t rise much – that’s because there is no baking powder in this recipe.

Whilst your cake is cooling, make the frosting. Peel and chop your potato into chunks, then boil in a saucepan of water for 15-20 minutes until soft. Drain your potato and leave to cool before mashing. Make sure it’s mashed thoroughly and that there are no lumps. Loosen with a little water and spoon into a piping bag, ready to decorate your cake.

Cut the cooled cake into two even layers. Pipe some of your mash onto one half and sandwich the layers together. Pipe the remaining mash on top and decorate with your dog’s favourite treats. If it’s for their birthday, you can even add a meaty stick-shaped edible dog treat to make a candle.

Serve your dog a small slice as a celebratory treat!

Battersea are still caring for dozens of animals across their three sites. To give a donation toward their care, please visit donate.battersea.org.uk. 

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Where Is Joe Biden? Online, Being Drowned Out By The Coronavirus And Trump

The journalists at BuzzFeed News are proud to bring you trustworthy and relevant reporting about the coronavirus. To help keep this news free, become a member and sign up for our newsletter, Outbreak Today.

There was a time not long ago when there was a relatively normal presidential campaign with regular campaign events — when Joe Biden and Donald Trump flew around the country rallying their supporters preparing for a relatively normal general election.

That time is very much over. What’s left of the presidential campaign is now happening almost exclusively online and on TV. For Trump, that’s been fine: the coronavirus pandemic has given him an endless media platform through daily televised briefings. And Trump has been very online since becoming a presidential candidate five years ago; his digital director from that first campaign, known for valuing Facebook over traditional media, is now his reelection campaign manager.

It’s been a steeper adjustment for Biden. His sudden surge to likely Democratic presidential nominee came just as the coronavirus began to spread across the US, leaving a former senator and vice president never known for being hip to the internet in the position of trying to build a broad, Trump-defeating coalition via Zoom.

“In some ways this is the world that every digital person in every digital story you’ve ever written has said would come,” Biden digital director Rob Flaherty told BuzzFeed News in a telephone interview Wednesday. “I think one of the things that’s interesting is that the stuff that we’re doing now is not that different than the stuff that we would need to do to win in a general [election].”

Biden campaign officials said they began discussing the need for digital alternatives in late January, before the coronavirus became a severe health crisis in the US. (Biden expressed concerns at the time in a USA Today opinion piece.) For example, they knew they’d need a TV studio in his hometown, Wilmington, Delaware. But they didn’t realize that stay-at-home orders and social distancing would require one to be built in Biden’s basement.

Nearly every aspect of the first days of Biden’s dispatches from that new broadcasting studio was consistent. From Monday to Friday last week, he appeared in front of a backdrop of books and Americana for a press briefing over Zoom, talking head interviews on cable news, and roundtables with young voters and first responders; a lamp to his right always turned on, he repeatedly tried to reassure Americans that the country “won’t be defeated” by an “invisible” enemy. He hammered a critique about the president’s slow response to the coronavirus threat.

Biden’s increased presence online and on TV over the last two weeks also has answered skepticism his online adversaries have been hurling, even if the answers aren’t always appointment viewing on live TV. “Where Is Joe Biden?” had emerged as a memeified pressure point meant to raise suspicion or criticism over his retreat from the public eye. “Thanks for giving me the time — so they don’t wonder where I am,” Biden said Monday as he ended an interview on MSNBC.

“We were just focused on getting him out there as soon as we could get him out there,” Flaherty said Wednesday. “I think if people are saying ‘Where is Joe?’ right now, they’re operating in bad faith. We’re doing TV every day … If you’re asking ‘Where’s Joe?’, you know where to find him now.”

One problem for the Biden campaign has been the ticker count of confirmed coronavirus cases and deaths — the only story Americans seem to be paying attention to — on cable news networks that supersede any shot he had at making an impact.

“I think it is very helpful for people to hear and see him,” Rep. Tim Ryan of Ohio, a former presidential candidate now supporting Biden, told BuzzFeed News. “Not sure it’s breaking through, but it does provide the contrast he wants. Steady, experienced, and empathetic, servant leadership. Which a stark contrast to the president’s ego centered, divisive example.”

When Biden gave his first address last week on the coronavirus and laid out his suggestions for the president, none of the major networks carried his speech live, as they instead broadcasted one of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s daily briefings. Last Tuesday, when Biden was set to do an interview with the co-hosts of The View, local networks in New York and Washington, DC cut away to air briefings from Cuomo and Mayor Muriel Bowser.

The week was a first for a Biden team that seemed to focus little on digital outreach during the primary. At early points in the campaign, staffers argued that what was happening online was not reflective of what was happening in the real world, though that attitude began to change once Biden began his quick march to likely-nominee status.

There were some kinks in the execution. Reporters and voters were left wondering when livestreams would actually start, after delays and schedule changes. Biden started his first live-streamed events looking off camera to ask if they “were ready to go,” Audio cut out during town halls. At the same time, Bernie Sanders’ now-longshot campaign held highly-produced live campaign events recorded in multiple locations which streamed without a hitch, and Trump’s rapid response team jumped on every opportunity to point out Biden’s initial technical difficulties. Biden coughed on camera during a CNN interview and was chastised by Jake Tapper for not coughing into his elbow. Soon after, Trump retweeted a heavily-edited clip of Biden coughing and clearing his throat during live TV hits, declaring “The Democrat’s Best & Finest!”

Trump, meanwhile, is everywhere. He is on TV every night, updating the nation on the coronavirus crisis from the White House briefing room podium, while also throwing in digs at the media and Biden and attempting to set a narrative that erases his own early role in downplaying the virus. He leaves it to the experts — Anthony Fauci and Deborah Birx — to deliver the toughest information, as he did this Tuesday, passing to them when asked a question about a projected death toll of at least 100,000 Americans.

When he is not at the podium, he is calling into Fox News, sometimes in the morning, sometimes late at night. He is tweeting incessantly to his 75 million Twitter followers, amplified by an army of supporters and surrogates. Trump was an overwhelming presence in the lives of many Americans in normal times; with the coronavirus crisis, he is in their faces all the time.

While not a perfect measure, one clean way of visualizing just how much Trump has retaken America’s attention is on Google Trends, where Biden briefly spiked over Trump in early March following his giant Super Tuesday wins and has since dropped and virtually flat-lined in the last ten days (both Trump and Biden are basically nonexistent compared to searches for the term “coronavirus”).

Biden’s trying to be everywhere himself, but without the power of a president or governor, his appearances carry less urgency. On a Saturday in late March, the Biden campaign popped into DJ D Nice’s “Club Quarantine” set on Instagram to comment a thumbs up to the 70,000 people who’d tuned in to watch the livestream, before barreling into a week of live streamed events and interviews across CNN, MSNBC, ABC, and an interview posted to YouTube with Jimmy Kimmel.

Biden has taken an optimistic position on how his message is being amplified. “Well, the irony is, virtual campaigning, I’ll probably reach more people than I would out there shaking hands,” Biden told the co-hosts of The View. The campaign had touted that they’d been able to reach 3.5 million people who had watched his Monday morning remarks at some point.

From Saturday, March 21 through Saturday, March 28, Biden’s content racked up more than 20 million views — a figure he shared Sunday on Meet the Press.

“There’s two internet versions of Joe Biden that people love. One is empathy — the woman in the elevator at the New York Times,” said Flaherty, referring to a viral video of Biden’s friendly encounter with an elevator operator after a meeting with the newspaper’s editorial board. “And then there’s explainer-in-chief, and this sort of calming presence. The videos that have done best for us have always been in one of those two categories.”

The “explainer-in-chief” approach is central to a podcast Biden launched this week, titled Here’s The Deal — a nod to one of his frequent sayings. The first installment, set to a melodramatic movie trailer-like score, featured Biden and his longtime adviser Ron Klain, who headed up the Obama administration’s efforts to combat the 2014 Ebola outbreak, interviewing each other. “Well, it’s good to be doing my very first podcast,” Biden tells Klain at one point. “Things are changing an awful lot.”

Trump’s campaign is able to rely on an already flush treasure chest — $225 million cash on hand when the campaign and RNC, and their joint committees like Trump Victory, are combined — and a developed digital operation to plow through the next few months. By comparison, Biden’s campaign, after two largely rough and expensive months, entered March with about $12 million on hand, though that was before his Super Tuesday surge and the departures of several candidates who threw their support to him.

“The Trump Campaign has a significant advantage because of our early and ongoing investment in data and technological infrastructure,” Ken Farnaso, the campaign’s deputy press secretary, said in a statement to BuzzFeed News. “As part of our efforts to reelect the President this November, we are hosting virtual events, training members of the Trump Neighborhood Teams online, activating the massive volunteer network to make calls on behalf of the President, and continuing our efforts to register voters online.” Last Saturday, he said, Trump supporters made almost 1.5 million calls from their homes.

On March 13, as the world was still coming to terms with the coronavirus crisis — Japan was still considering whether to put off the 2020 Olympics, and the Trump Victory committee was informing the nearly 900 people who attended a fundraising brunch at Mar-a-Lago that one of them had tested positive for COVID-19 — the Trump campaign said it was shifting to “virtual and digital campaign tools.”

“With our field organization largely built out and over half a million volunteers already engaged, we are in an incredibly strong position to activate an aggressive digital and virtual political operation,” RNC chair Ronna McDaniel said at the time.

The campaign made the shift to being a “virtual campaign” on March 26, and says it has seen a doubling in web traffic to its various campaign sites since last week. That evening, they hosted the first of what are expected to be several “digital broadcast panels,” which are basically group video chats by Trump campaign staff, beamed from their homes onto the computers and phones of whomever chooses to tune in. That night, it was a Women For Trump event. This week, they hosted one for Latinos For Trump.

Lara Trump, a senior campaign aide and the president’s daughter-in-law, hosted the Women For Trump discussion, with campaign spokeswoman Kayleigh McEnany and political director Chris Carr.

“This is a first for us,” Lara Trump said, opening the chat from what looked like a home office, with McEnany sitting in her home in front of a strategically placed “Keep America Great” sign and hat, and Carr in front of red, white and blue “Trump Pence” placards. “Since we can’t go to you, we thought you could come to us,” she said.

She lobbed some questions at her guests — if they had any advice for parents in this time of self-isolation, how the president planned to stimulate the economy. There were digs at House leader Nancy Pelosi, and of Democrats’ handling of the economic stimulus package — nothing anyone who has tuned into Fox or Twitter hadn’t heard before.

Then Lara Trump turned to the subject of Biden and asked, “What would this country look like if Joe Biden and the Democrats had been at the helm?” That’s when McEnany froze. Not figuratively, but literally, her frozen head soon morphed into a question mark and the sound for the feed dropped entirely. The campaign that had so loudly criticized Biden for his own technical hiccups had fumbled itself. Digital campaigning isn’t always easy.

The next day, Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale said more than 945,000 people had tuned into various platforms to watch the event. But, at least on Periscope, the number did not go above 650.

“While nothing can compete with President Trump’s unmatched ability to communicate directly with the American people, these events offer an important supplement to the president’s daily White House Coronavirus Task Force briefings — and the incredible response we’ve gotten from supporters proves it,” Lara Trump wrote in an op-ed published on Fox News on Wednesday.

In his interviews and digital events, Biden has consistently strived for political nuance, something that may help in projecting himself as a steady hand, but that also rarely generates headlines. That’s been especially true in how he’s taken on Trump directly.

In a CNN interview this Tuesday, Biden was asked if Trump “is responsible for the deaths of Americans” for his response to the pandemic. He pivoted.

“President Trump is not responsible for the coronavirus,” he said. Instead, Biden said, he is “responsible for using all of the power at his disposal to be able to deal with this virus,” like using the Defense Production Act to bring more protective supplies to doctors and nurses.

“If you’ve noticed what I’ve been doing I have not been criticizing the president but I’ve been pointing out where there’s disagreements on how to proceed,” Biden said on The View last week.

During a later MSNBC interview Biden went further in his criticism of Trump and seemed to regret it.

“Why doesn’t he just act like a president?,” Biden asked.

“That’s a stupid way to say it,” he said after a pause. “Sorry.”

More on the coronavirus

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Sun Online and other newspaper websites overtake Google’s readership with 40million visitors – The Sun

SUN Online and Britain's other newspaper websites have overtaken Google for the first time, new data shows.

More than 40 million people now use the websites of national news brands every month after an 11 per cent rise in the last year.

Meanwhile Google has seen its monthly unique visitors fall by nearly 1.4m, or 3.4 per cent, to 39.6m over the same period.

Sun Online is leading the way among the UK's news brands, with latest figures from PAMco showing 30m Brits read the Sun Online each month in 2019.

Mirror Online recorded 25.8m monthly readers, Mail Online 21.6m and The Guardian 21.2m.

Meanwhile, The Sun remains Britain's most popular paid-for newspaper with 1.2m copies sold every day.

When Britain's leading regional titles are also included, online readership rises to nearly 49m per month – some 10m ahead of Google.

This also surpasses the combined might of Facebok's social media sites – Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram – which have a combined 43.7m unique visitors per month.

The figures do not take into account the recent effect of the coronavirus pandemic, which has seen online news engagement soar.

Several publishers have reported 50 per cent increases in page views and 70 per cent more unique visitors on virus-related content.

'APPETITE FOR NEWS AT ALL-TIME HIGH'

Newsworks, the marketing body for national newspapers, said the industry is taking a "vital role" in people's daily lives by providing reliable information and entertainment.

Executive Chair Tracy De Groose said: “Against a backdrop of Brexit, climate change and the current coronavirus pandemic, we are living in unprecedented and anxious times and the news industry is playing a vital role in people’s lives by providing information and advice they can rely on.

"Amid a growing awareness of the pervasiveness of fake news and misinformation the nation’s appetite for trusted news is at an all-time high.”

She also highlighted the industry's recent effort to keep the public informed during the coronavirus.

“The creativity and dynamism of our newsrooms is astounding," she added.

Particularly in a time of national crisis, more and more people are relying on trusted news brands to provide them with edited, accurate information

"Our journalists are working harder than ever to ask the right questions and deliver the most up-to-date and accurate information to readers in the most helpful and accessible ways possible."

The PAMco report states that online readership of national titles is now 20 million people every day, up by nearly 2.9m over the past 12 months.

Combined national and regional daily unique visitors – across print and digital – now stands at 34 million, a year-on-year growth of 10 per cent.

The figures for Google relate to monthly unique visitors to www.google.co.uk, including maps, images and all its search functions.

Ian Murray, Executive Director of the Society of Editors, said: "The mainstream media is the only sector where the public can be assured that news and information is edited and subject to robust regulation, standards and is produced by highly-trained journalists.

"Particularly in a time of national crisis, more and more people are relying on trusted news brands to provide them with edited, accurate information.

"The 'wild west' of social media is just that, wild and full of speculation, disinformation and speculation.

"The mainstream media does, should and always will present the most reliable news and information available."

Google did not respond to a request for comment.

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