Article Samples


Excerpt from my report  ”Beat Debt Now” 

Step 4: Get your credit report

In Step 1, I suggested an exercise designed to help you determine why you are having problems with debt. I also talked about the only two ways there are to get out of debt – which is to cut your expenses or increase your income.

Your next step towards debt relief is to get copies of your credit report.

There are three credit-reporting agencies: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. They are required by law to give you one free credit report per year. To get copies of your credit reports, go to The free reports are available all states.

Follow the instructions, fill in all required information, and then select a report from Equifax, Experian or TransUnion. After you select one of these companies, you will be taken to its site, where you will be required to provide additional information – for security purposes.

Once you provide all required information, you will see and can print out your credit report.

What can you expect to see? For example, an Experian report will show you your Accounts in Good Standing (both open and closed), Potentially Negative Items, Requests For Your Credit History and your Personal Information.

If you have Potentially Negative Items, you need to look these over very carefully. Make sure none of the information is in error. You will be able to see which lenders provided negative information and why. The reason most likely will be a history of late payments or because you simply stopped paying on a debt.

If you find an error, you will need to dispute the information by contacting both the information provider and the credit provider. To do this, you will need to file a Request for Dispute Resolution. This form is available from all three credit information providers. Once you file a Request for Dispute Resolution, the information provider is required by law to get back to you within 30 days with an answer.

You should also obtain your credit score. A credit score is a complex mathematical model that evaluates many types of information in a credit file. It is used by a lender to help determine the risk you represent. Credit scores are between 150 and 900 with the higher your score, the better. These credit scores are not free but are inexpensive — usually around $6.00 each. If you don’t have a credit score of at least 680, you will need to get to work improving your credit report as a low score can even keep you from getting a job these days.

Step 5: Get your creditors under control

In Step 1, I explained the importance of figuring out what you spend vs. what you earn so that you can see why you are in debt. I also talked about the only two ways there are to get out of debt.

I also explained, how you must cut your expenses so they match, or are even less than, your income. If you do not do this you will just continue sinking into debt. At the same time, there is the problem of creditors dunning you for payment or even threatening to turn your bills over to a collection agency.

Here are some things you can do to manage your creditors.

First, prioritize your debts or rank them in terms of the ones that can give you the most trouble the soonest. If you’re three months behind on your utility bill and the company is threatening to cut off your power, you must deal with this debt first.  Then deal with your other debts in descending order of “threat level.”

Second, be proactive. Don’t wait for creditors to call you. If you are behind in your payments or have a payment coming due that you know you won’t be able to meet, call the creditor. Tell the company’s representative why you are having money troubles. Be sure to give a real reason for your problems such as a divorce or loss of a job, and not just some feeble excuse.

If you can give your creditors a real reason for being in financial trouble, they may be sympathetic and willing to work with you.

Next, contact any creditors where you are more than a month behind to arrange payment plans. Explain to them that you know you are behind in your payments but that you want to make a payment arrangement. Let them know what you can afford to pay this month and in future months. Make certain they know you intend to make full payment eventually.

Be sure to calculate just how much you can afford to pay a creditor before contacting the company. Then, do not agree to pay any more than this, no matter what the company demands. Get all payment plans in writing. If the company’s representative does not volunteer to mail you the plan in writing, send a letter requesting that he or she do so.

Also be sure to keep an accurate log of all phone conversations with your creditors and copies of all correspondence. This way, you will have a good record of what’s going on, to whom you spoke last, the date of that conversation and its result. If you keep accurate records, you will always be able to defend yourself against claims that you have been unresponsive or uncooperative.

Once you arrange a payment plan that is agreeable to a creditor, make sure you stick with it. The best way to repair your credit is to say what you will do and then do what you have said so that your creditors will see that you have become more credit worthy.

Working with your creditors by following these suggestions is hard work but it is an important step in debt reduction and stress relief.

Facebook’s Unmatched Alternatives For Making Money Online (article written for a client)


You’ve seen those e-mails promoting systems that will teach you how to make $2300 overnight or earn so much money you will soon be living in a mansion or on your 50’ yacht. What do all these systems have in common? They all cost money and some of them are quite expensive.  They may even require you to sign up for a membership that can cost anywhere from $47 to more than $100 a month.

Free alternatives

The good news is that you really don’t have to spend much money to make money online. All you really need is a hosting company (to host your website or blog), a domain name and Facebook.

A hosting company will probably cost you $10 or less a month and you should be able to buy a domain name for $12 or less. Then you can put the power of Facebook to work free or at very low cost.

Here are four ways you can utilize the power of Facebook to make money online.

Create a Facebook Fan Page

If you don’t have a Facebook Profile page, get one. At the bottom of every Profile page is a link you can click on titled Create a Page. Click on this link and you can start building a Facebook Fran Page. You will need to populate it with videos, status updates, and other elements that will make your page fun and attractive. Be sure to include a picture of yourself looking happy, and a link to your website or blog.

The critical thing about your Fan Page is to get people to “Like” it.

When visitors to your Fan Page click on the “Like” button, this shows up on their Profile page. All of their friends see the “Like”, some of who will come to your Fan Page to check it out. If they “Like” your Fan Page, this will show up on their Profile page and so on and so on. In short, a good Fan Page can end up with thousands of fans which can be turned into a flood of traffic to your website or blog.

Buy Facebook advertising 

This advertising is very powerful because it allows you to target your ads by demographics–sex, age range, education, geographic location and even interests. Suppose your website is all about weight loss. You could target your advertising specifically against women age 25 to 50 who have shown an interest in dieting.

If your website had to do with scrapbooking, you might want to target your advertising to women age 35 to 50 who have shown an interest in it.  For that matter, you could even narrow your advertising down to reach just men who hunt and live in your state. This advertising can be both efficient and very cost-effective

Use Facebook social ads

These are ads that pair your custom message with actions that your friends have taken such as liking a Page or a movie.  These ads show up in the margin of Facebook pages (kind of like Google’s Adsense ads) and may even include a photo. An example of a social ad might be “ Jane Blank just “Liked” this new blog. What do you think?”

Form a Group. Facebook Groups connect people with like interests. 

For example, if your website is about home remedies for dogs, you could form a group of people who are interested in dog health. You can use the group to send notifications about dog health and your website to group members, have a group chat, post documents that you can collaborate on or photos of group members.  The power of a Group is that you can automatically add friends to the Group, which can be turned into traffic for your site or blog. In addition, friends who join the Group may suggest membership to their friends who have like interests.

The fact is, you don’t really make money per se with Facebook. However, you can use its tools to form a sales funnel and drive tons of traffic to your website or blog–which is where you can then make a ton of money.

Be sure see my books on (just search on the name Douglas Hanna)









Article written in Spyntax for a client

{Revealed – How To Create The Perfect Profile Page For Marketing With Facebook}|{Facebook’s Profile Page – The Great Gateway To Internet Marketing} (Spyntax article written for client)

Facebook can be a very powerful marketing tool. In fact, you can use it to build a successful online business practically free. All you need is a {company to host your website, a domain name, WordPress (which is free) to your blog}|{domain name, a hosting company, WordPress}–and Facebook.

It all starts with your Profile page

{In theory, you can only have one Profile page on Facebook.}|{Facebook rules say you can have only one Profile page.|} However, nothing says you must use your real name. So, for your marketing purposes, you might want to {create}|{use} a {pen name.}|{nom de plume or pen name.} You could even {choose a name related to your business.}|{use a name that references your business.} For example, if your website was all about dogs, you could create the pen name–“Don the dog lover.”

The {really critical thing}|{really serious consideration} regarding your Profile page is that it must be fun, interesting and captivating. You should definitely include a picture of yourself–looking happy–{pictures of your family}|{pictures of you and your friends doing fun things}, pictures of things having to do with your Profile page and even videos. 

The reason you want your Profile page to be fun is that you want to come off as {likable}|{good natured and interesting}. You also want the page to be {“sticky.”}|{“magnetic”} That is, you want it to be something your friends will come back often to see what’s going on and what’s new and interesting.

The importance of “What's on your mind?”

If you are using your Facebook Profile page {as a marketing tool}|{for marketing}, the most important {element}|{component} on your Profile page is the box titled “What’s on your mind?” as this is where you can add {comments}|{status updates} {designed to }|{that can} get people to your Fan Page or website. As an example of this, you could add the comment, “Just stumbled on a neat website about home security systems” with a link to your site.  

Be careful to not overuse your {“What's on your mind:”}|{comments} {as a marketing tool}|{for selling purposes} as people will soon catch on to what you’re doing and stop {paying attention to}|{reading} them. We have one friend who posts comments repeatedly on the same subject–sometimes three or more times a day– so that they have become basically {invisible}|{“wallpaper”}.

Also, you can use “Link” on your Profile page to {add a link}|{get people} to your website, Fan Page or to another site that your friends might {like}|{enjoy}.  {Just as with the}|{Like} the Question (Poll), this will show up on both your Wall and your friends’ News Feeds.

The power of asking a Question

Another way to add some fun to your Profile page is to {click on}|{select} Question, which allows you to create a poll. This can be a {very powerful}|{great} tool because your question will be shared with your friends who may choose to share it with their friends and {on and on}|{so on and so on}. In fact, {everyone}|{everybody} on Facebook might {participate in your question}|{participate in your poll}.

When you scroll down to the very bottom of your Profile page, you will find a section titled Recent Activity. This is where you will find your recent “Likes.” If you liked your Facebook Fan page, the “Like” {should}|{will} show up here, {which}|{and this} might {get}|{stimulate} some of your friends to click on it and go to your page.

Often overlooked

The Facebook Profile page is often overlooked as a marketing tool but it can be very helpful – in {driving}|{getting a flood of} traffic to your Fan Page, blog or website. Just {make}|{be} sure you keep it fun and interesting, use “What’s on your mind” {discriminately}|{with caution}, ask a Question now and then and add Links as appropriate. Do this and you can turn your Profile page into a very smart marketing tool.

Be sure see my books on (just search on the name Douglas Hanna)

Eat Your Way To A Better Prostate   (posted on

Are you a male baby boomer who is starting to get up in years? Or maybe you’re married to an aging boomer. In either event, you are probably aware of prostate cancer and what a serious illness it can be.

The good news is that you may be able to prevent prostate cancer simply by eating healthy.

Here are some food choices that herbalists believe many help keep cancer at bay.

Vitamin E This Vitamin is essential to maintaining good health throughout your life. The reason is because it is a powerful antioxidant and is also used to make blood cells. Vitamin E has been shown to help prevent both prostate cancer and colorectal cancer. How do you get vitamin E? You can buy it as a supplement or get it through your diet in the form of sunflower oil, beans, whole wheat, and in various nuts.

Beta-Carotene you probably already know that carrots are rich in beta-carotene and that this is important for good vision and healthy eyes. However, it has many other health benefits including its ability to help prevent cancer in the prostate, neck, head, stomach and lungs. The way it works is that it boosts the white blood that attack cancer, as well as other diseases. You can also find beta-carotene in spinach, collards, squash, sweet potatoes, and many green, leafy, yellow or orrange vegetables.

Soy The Same Foods That Can Help women reduce menopausal symptoms can also help keep guys from developing prostate problems. In fact, societies that have more soy in their diets actually have a lower occurrence of prostate cancer.

Selenium There Have Been Research Findings That show selenium can be helpful but only if you are already taking a multivitamin or vitamin E supplement. This means that if you decide to take selenium, make sure you’re also taking one of these to ensure you are getting selenium’s maximum benefits. Also, it appears that selenium can be more beneficial to smokers than non-smokers.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids These Are monosaturated fats that are found in various fish, including salmon, herring, halibut, sardines, mackerel, tuna and lake trout. They can also be found in soy, kidney beans and navy beans. To realize the full effect of these fatty acids, you should eat three to four servings a week. If you find it impossible to do these many servings, there are supplements available. However, be sure to research them and ask your doctor before starting any of these supplements.

So you see, the good news is that with a little research and some work, there’s a good chance you can keep prostate cancer at bay.

Be sure see my books on (just search on the name Douglas Hanna

Best Countries To Retire (written for a client)

Are you about to retire and have itchy feet–a yen to live abroad? More and more Americans are moving to other countries and becoming expats for a number of reasons. Some of these have to do with the cost of living–it’s simply much cheaper to live in some other countries than in the US. Other people have just become worn out on the living conditions in their city–the unending traffic, the crime and other problems, and have decided to try life elsewhere.

If you fit either of these categories then you might be interested to learn the best countries to retire in. Naturally, there is no clear cut consensus as to which are the “best countries” to retire in as so much depends on your personal needs and goals. However, most experts suggest that, in general, these are the best countries to retire in.


Is living in the tropics your idea of a perfect retirement? Then you need to take a good, hard look at Ecuador. It has moved its economy so that it is based on US dollar, which gives a great economic stability to the nation and makes transactions very easy for US retirees. Ecuador has a low cost of living. In fact, a person could live comfortably there on just $17,000 a year. The country has three world-class cities, Quinto, Guayaquil and Cuenca that offer shopping, entertainment and cultural experiences.


Argentina offers a cost-of-living, which is much, lower than here in the US and has the charm that you would expect from a major Latin American country. Argentina’s climate is wonderful in terms of a sun and sand type of lifestyle or you can retire into the countryside for a more serene experience. Real estate in Argentina is much more affordable than that in the United States and other developed countries. Moreover, much of Argentina is still rural which means you can buy a larger portion of land than you could here in the US.


If you were to retire to Australia, one thing you would not have to worry about is crowding. Australia has so much land it’s very easy to have a large open space of your own with no neighbors crowding your privacy. There is very little pollution in Australia, especially vs. some cities in the US.  If you have any sort of respiratory ailment you will find it much easier to breathe there. Australians are very welcoming and friendly so no matter where you go, you will feel right at home. It is in the southern hemisphere so the seasons are reversed vs. what you’re used to–that is, summer lasts from December through February and spring from September through November.


You may never have heard of the country Belize but you may have heard of British Honduras, which is what the country was formerly called. For people who want to retire in the Caribbean, Belize may be one of the best choices available. Its climate is subtropical and offers waters sports such as scuba diving, fishing, and boating. In addition to its beautiful beaches, Belize actually has mountains with beautiful waterfalls and even some of the oldest Mayan cities. Apartments in Belize City cost on the average of $1000 a month but if you go to Ladyville, which is a bit further from the ocean, you can rent for $150-$200 a month or up to $300 for a three-bedroom apartment.


When you think of living abroad, you might not think immediately of France. However, it can be a wonderful place to retire. As you know, the food is simply the best. Plus, France gives you many choices in terms of where you live–the sea and sand of its Mediterranean area to its beautiful, rolling farmland and Alpine villages. Housing in France is not as expensive as you might imagine–unless you’re thinking Paris. Many people who have retired to France are living in rented homes or apartments. You can rent an apartment there for as low as $700 month. Choose to live in one of France’s rural areas and you could buy a home for just $60,000.

Be sure see my books on (just search on the name Douglas Hanna)

How Hip Dysplasia In Dogs Is Diagnosed (written for a client)

Young, large breed dogs such as Labrador retrievers, St. Bernards and Great Danes are prone to develop a condition called hip dysplasia in dogs or Canine Hip Dysplasia (CHD). This is a very serious disease that can cause the dog to suffer a great deal of pain and even become lame.

The symptoms of CHD include a difficulty or stiffness when the dog gets up and climbs uphill, using only its front legs when it attempts to rise, a waddling rear limb gait, and a reluctance to jump, climb stairs or exercise. If your dog has hip this place you, it may also show a side-two-side sway of its croup, or a very short stride due to pain in his rear legs.

Diagnosing CHD

After your veterinarian watches the dog walk and performs a general physical examination, he or she will do an orthopedic evaluation to determine how the dog can ask to be treated. One of the things you’re vet will do is flex and extend the dog’s hip joint. If your dog does have CHD, it will probably tolerate the hip flexion but abduction will cause the dog to experience pain. After your vet performs the physical examination and orthopedic evaluation, he or she will use x-rays to confirm the diagnosis and evaluate how severe the condition is. The dog will probably be late on its back with its legs extended for the x-rays. It is very important to position the door correctly to accurately evaluate its hips and to determine the best treatment.

X-rays are used to confirm the diagnosis of hip dysplasia because the symptoms described above can also be those of other conditions that resemble hip dysplasia in dogs. This includes lumbar-sacral spinal problems, a ruptured cranial cruciate ligament, osteochondrosis, panosteitis, degenerative myelopathy and hypertrophic osteodystrophy. 

If the diagnosis is confirmed

If the x-rays confirmed that your dog does have CHD, it’s treatment will depend on several factors. Not the least of these is finances. This is because surgery is an option but can be expensive. In fact, if the problem is really severe, the recommended surgery could be a total hip replacement. 

If you catch the hip dysplasia in your dog early on, the recommended treatment will probably be anti-inflammatory or analgesic drugs to help with the dog’s pain combined with changes in its exercise and eating. The drugs are usually prescribed to be used only short-term to help the dog while you are making changes in its lifestyle. These changes usually incorporate weight control and good exercise management. In other words, you will need to restrict the dog’s exercise and keep its weight at a recommended level.






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