Employed and unhappy? Get empowered with your own website.

Are you employed? Are you unhappy with your job or income? You’re not alone. And you can do something about it right away. Something that is moderately easy and inexpensive to start and maintain.

Why would you want to add something else to your already time-challenged life? Because being employed is hard! Sure, it’s a great relief to even have a job in an era where there are so many unemployed or underemployed. But employers are asking for more work from employees and giving less pay.

The fortunate few who have skills that are in demand can get jobs and good pay. Yet, their employers still require more work and more hours from them simply because there aren’t enough skilled people to do all the work.

Studies show an ever increasing dissatisfaction among employees at all levels in all industries. If you’re one of the dissatisfied, don’t wait. Get back some say-so in your life.

Re-empower yourself as an employee. Start a website or blog based business on the side. You might not get rich (although it’s a possibility.) But you can certainly make some extra money on the side, get a taste of being your own boss, learn skills that may get you better jobs and unleash your creative talents. And much more.

I just wrote an article today, “3 Reasons to Have a Website or Blog If You’re Employed,” that shows the benefits of such a move to your work and financial life. Take a look.

Should you or shouldn’t you put your photo on your blog or website?

I have some comments to make on an article I published on superperformance.com a couple of days ago: Michele PW’s advice in “3 Crucial Elements Every Moneymaking Website Must Have.”

One of the elements she suggests — and which many well-known internet marketing advisers also suggest — is that you have a good photo of yourself at various places in your site or blog.

The reasons for using a photo in marketing materials of all kinds are excellent ones. The main reason is that it “humanizes” your business. People feel they get a better idea of what you are like if they can see you. Do you have a kind face? Do you seem friendly? Do you look professional and competent? Studies show that if someone has to select a vendor to call from a handful of business cards, he’ll pick one with a picture on it over others that are beautifully designed and informative. Ads with any kind of photos get more inquiries than text or even text and illustrations and ads with photos of the people involved in the business often outperform the others.

I know that, for example, one of my brothers puts his photo on his business cards as well as on his website and on magnetic advertising panels on the sides and back of his delivery car. It makes a great deal of difference. People even specifically comment to him that the reason they called him was because of the photo.

But there is a serious drawback to putting your photo on the internet. With the erosion of privacy that has occurred and continues to occur as a result of the vast amount of data online, almost anyone can be located fairly easily. Your business address is something you routinely publish, and your home address is something that your state or local government routinely publishes.

If you have a picture of yourself on your site or blog, — or especially if you have one on your business’ page on social networking sites — and someone takes issue with something you publish, he/she can probably track you down at home or work and confront you face to face. Your photo makes it easy to recognize you. You can’t deny your identity to someone who’s seen your pic. And if you are “geotagging” those pics, you are even easier to find. But it isn’t easy for you to recognize possible stalkers or others who might harm you or your family.

Internet safety and security advisers are constantly saying be careful about putting your kids’ photos online on social networking sites. But you also have to think about the security risks to yourself? Are you using Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. to promote your business and your blog? Do you have photos of yourself on those sites, too?

I’ve seen this debated off and on for many years. Just as an example, it’s been debated among psychologists about how much to publicize about themselves, including showing photos, in marketing materials online and off. (The debate started long before the internet was available.) We’re supposed to keep a professional distance, sure. But more than that, those of us who work as therapists can, say, become targets of irate mates of clients who are in the middle of divorces or parents of children we’ve interviewed in custody battles.

It’s sad that something that should be so easy is actually complicated. But whatever business you’re in online, you may be safer in not showing a photo of yourself. No matter how good it is for marketing.

Just something to think about.

How to Stop Worrying About The Stock Market and Get Back to Work

[Editor’s Note: the following is not financial or investment advice. It is educational and informational. It is intended to provide a possible outlook on what causes financial worries.]

Performance and productivity are as important to your passive income as to your employment or business income.

A big issue for both employees and small businesses is what to do with the money they’re making from their active earnings. How can it be saved and invested to provide capital growth for times of unemployment, financial emergency and retirement? What kind of investments perform best, but with reasonable safety?

If you are like most employed or self-employed people, you probably have investments in the stock market, either through company-provided plans or your own personal program of investment. So, in recent times, you may have been more concerned with the performance and productivity of the stock market than with your own.

In fact, just about a couple of weeks ago, one of my sisters and I were having a serious discussion on the ups and downs of the stock market and why not to worry about them. (And why not to precipitously dump investments during a panic and end up “locking in your losses.”)

What? Why shouldn’t we worry about the roller coaster ride on the apparent gambling machine we call the stock market?

Well, you know, I’ve got a long article I could write about that. It involves human behavior and emotions, behavioral economics, neuroeconomics and a whole bunch of other ideas. But I’ll spare you. Just remember that the history of the stock market is a history of people’s behavior, not a history of numbers. Good decisions about your investments — as with any important decisions — are best taken with calm, rational consideration and advice from knowledgeable people you know you can trust.

Thanks to a recent visit to my iGoogle page, I ran across a couple of articles on howstuffworks.com that explain the workings of wall street wonderfully well and in very easy terms. If you want to feel more comfortable about your current investments and get a better idea of where you might go from here, try the two articles linked below. Then explore more of the “Money” section of howstuffworks.com.

How Stock Market Trends Work http://money.howstuffworks.com/personal-finance/financial-planning/stock-market-trends.htm

How Stocks and the Stock Market Work http://money.howstuffworks.com/personal-finance/financial-planning/stocks.htm

As always, make sure to get advice from expert professionals before making financial, medical and other important decisions. Don’t simply rely on articles you read on the internet.