THE DOMINO EFFECT

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Wednesday, October 02, 2019

As the CEO / manager of a business or group you are charged with the responsibility of leading them on the path to success, how you do this, and the decisions you make can have irreversible consequences that can affect the lives of the people involved. Does this sound dramatic? – well the answer is yes, but it is also a fact.

Making decisions is what we all do every day, from when to make a cup of tea, to what newspaper you are going to buy, and in general this will affect you and your immediate circle, for example, your family, and the consequences of those decisions can be limited to your immediate circle, but once you start making decisions/choices outside of that circle for r example in a business or group on behalf of others the consequences can change dramatically, because it now starts to affect the business and individual outside of your immediate circle, and controlling the effect those decagons have become much harder, and your responsibility becomes far greater.

You are the boss; you have to be right.

As a boss / leader you are expected to make the right decisions, but life doesn’t always work like that, and sometimes you get it wrong, and you learn from that mistake, become better because of it and not despite it, but remember the dominoes are already falling because of that decision , and as each domino falls there is a different consequence, so as a leader you must act, not react, you must change the course of the domino so that the consequence becomes better, this is known as damage limitation, and is an everyday scenario in business.

As a boss, your remit is to do the very best you can for your business and the welfare of its employees, but you are not perfect and mistakes will happen, but the test of a true leader is how he acts on those mistakes, and he does not react with a knee jerk reaction. You must have a lot of self-belief in your capabilities in having an effect in a decision that has gone wrong

Always keep an eye on the domino

HOW TO BECOME A SUCCESSFUL BLOGGER

Saturday, September 21, 2019

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HOW TO BE A SUCCESSFUL BLOGGER

As bloggers, we all dream of being successful with what we write about, we all want thousands of people to read our blog posts, we all want great reviews and comments, but achieving that goal is the hard part. Many years ago when I started my first blog I kept starting one and then deleting it, and I did these hundreds of times because I just didn’t know enough about it to make it work, so today I am going to tell you how to make it work, and the rest is up to you.

STARTING YOUR BLOG

To start a blog you must first decide what it is you want to write about, you have to ask yourself the question, “What do people want to read about”

“Picking a topic that you have a lot of knowledge about will really help you write, and depending on what audience you are trying to target you must choose a topic that is popular, but I must stress that less popular specialized topics can be very successful.”

Now we have chosen our topic the next step is to decide where your blog is going to live, so picking a hosting company is very important. This is where you spend a couple of hours doing your research, choose an established host, look at what features they offer, look at how easy their site builders are to use, and most important of all, look at the price, are you getting good value for money? Once you have chosen your host you are ready to start building a successful blog.

THEME-CONTENT-LAYOUT

Picking a theme for your blog is important, after all, you want your blog to be attractive to the viewer, most site builders offer hundreds of themed templates, so picking the right one shouldn’t be too difficult.

Now you have your theme in place you must fill it with content, and your content are your blog posts and images, keep your content true, by this I mean relevant to your blog niche, keep your content original, don’t use others work unless you have their permission, and keep your content fresh, by this I mean don’t keep rehashing old posts, keep it evergreen. When you use images, keep them relevant to your post, don’t use too many, this can have an adverse effect, and make sure they are your own or that you have permission to use them.

When placing content on your site the layout is crucial to the success of your blog, I have been on some blogs where I have just got lost, it is very easy to put a reader off if you don’t create pages that are easy to follow with well-placed content, take some time to get this right, a good idea is to visit other blogs to see how they do it. Remember, easy navigation is the key.

GETTING YOUR BLOG SEO READY

You can be a fantastic writing talent, but if you haven’t set up the SEO on your blog, how is anyone going to know that you are there? This is where things can get tricky, you need to have some knowledge of things like key-words, title length, alt images, structure, page name etc…etc. I could go on forever, what I am saying is if you get your SEO right, that is half the battle. It could be a good idea to hire somebody to do your site SEO or better still if you know of a friend who knows about SEO, the important thing is, make sure you get this part right. This subject is too big for a small part in a post, so you really do have to research this yourself.

MARKETING YOUR BLOG

Marketing your blog is another important thing as a blogger you have to go through, most of us use social media to do this as it has the capability to reach millions of potential readers., but how we use social media is the important factor. All social platforms use algorithms, and they are for ever-changing and you are constantly battling against that, but basically you have to take into account when sharing your posts on social media geographical location, targeted audience, paid advertising, and where on social media you are going to post, where will you get the best engagement rate, and what is the longevity of that post.

“You must post and share daily, and keep your posts varied, this will help you build up a social media following, give your blog a sustainable reputation, in other words, get your name out there.”

WHAT DO I MEAN BY THE WORD SUCCESSFUL

Now I have been going on about attracting thousands of readers to your blog, or getting lots of revenue through advertising on your blog, and if you do that is successful, but on the other side of the coin, if you only attract 50 readers a week, but you really enjoy what you are doing, then that is also successful. Success is an individual thing, and if you deem it successful, then it is.

CONTENT IS KING

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You have heard this phrase many times, and I live by it but added to that you do have to cayout that content to maximize the effect your post has on the reader.consider how you write that content, what images you use with that content, and how you l

The primary objective of any writer is to get people to read what they have written, there are a few exceptions to this, but in general, as writers that is what we all want. You want what you write to have a positive effect on the reader, so itis important what we say and how we say it.

“When your story is ready for rewrite, cut it to the bone. Get rid of every ounce of excess fat. This is going to hurt; revising a story down to the bare essentials is always a little like murdering children, but it must be done.”

— Stephen King

Having great content is not enough, how you use great content is what counts, don’t keep content in just to fill out a story, although this may look good it is the wrong thing to do. You want to tell a story, you want to deliver a message, do this without the excess wording, it’s not needed so get rid of them.

A little while ago I posted on facebook a thread asking to get to know people in my group a little bit better, and a group member commented back “just read our profile” and she is right if I was researching other members to get to know them, but the point of the thread was to create engagement, and without that engagement you can not progress forward. Creating engagement with the reader on a professional level is essential, you can create leads and sales as well as establish credible business relationships which is important to help protect and progress your business, and this is what I mean when I talk about how you use your content and not how much great content you have, it’s all about timing and what you write.

“I can shake off everything as I write; my sorrows disappear, my courage is reborn.”

— Anne Frank

Writing is what I do, so it is important to do the very best I can, but our best is a unique attribute to every single one of us, we can all follow guidelines as I have written, but we all see the words in different ways, and they all mean different things to us, the most important thing is you can write good or bad, but always enjoy what you write.

social media, friend or foe.

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We all want friends, contacts, clients, but is social media all that it seems to be! Being lonely, wanting to be popular, hungry for those customers, or just wanting to follow the latest trends are the main reasons that we join a social media network, but these platforms are so powerful, far beyond what most people can imagine and if not used properly can turn into a trap with devastating consequences.

People have been bullied, intimidated, humiliated, and some people have even taken their own life because of what’s gone on in their social network. So far I have painted a black picture of these social networks, but it wouldn’t be fair to leave it at that, because that wouldn’t be a true picture of social networks and there are always two sides to any argument.

Social Media networks can bring people together, it can resolve arguments, it can bring new customers to your business, it can also stimulate healthy debates which are at the core of all verbal communication, which also means that these social platforms can educate, accommodate, and thrive which is exactly what being social is all about.

Is it fair to blame the social networks for everything that’s wrong with it? or should we all share responsibility for how our social networks operate? In my opinion, we need better regulation, better personal data security, safer content search so that when you look at a profile and you don’t just get a page full of porn, the social networks must address this and make it safer for young people to use. The policing of social networks must be a priority not only of the social platforms but also from the internet providers them self’s, sometimes we can take the privilege of freedom to express yourselves too far.

Social media platforms are there to be enjoyed and benefit from, so let’s make it a happy safer place for us all.

My Blog Doesn’t Work

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My Blog Doesn’t Work

I get asked the question “Why doesn’t my blog work?” time and time again, and I would love to answer the question, but the problem is that there are a lot of reasons why this is happening, and unless I sit down and make a proper analysis of their blog, I will not be able to help them, so I have decided to write this article about starting and developing a blog for newbies, it will tell you how to create-maintain-and progress your blog from scratch. Before I start showing you how to do this, I want to give new bloggers some advice, if you are going into blogging to make a full time living out of it, most of you will be very disappointed, only a very small percentage of bloggers make a living from their blog, but even then it takes a lot of time, patience and skill, and being able to take a lot of knock-backs.

To be a good blogger you have to have confidence, self-belief, and most important of all passion for what you are writing about.

Choose Your Blogging Platform

There are a lot of blogging platforms out there, but you must choose the biggest and easiest to use, research the platforms using the comparison sites, check for resources, features, and pricing, remember, the cheapest isn’t always the best. You must choose one that you are most comfortable with, you will be using it a lot. Some of the bigger names are WordPress-Weebly-Wix-Blogger-Medium, and all of these offer a free plan, all be it with limited resources, but a great way to start crafting your blogging skills.

Give Your Blog A Name

Naming your blog is extremely important, so your choice of name must in some way reflect what your blog is about, you want it to be eye-catching but at the same time not to obscure where the reader hasn’t got a clue what it relates to. Keep your name short, easy to remember, but imaginative, this will help draw readers to your blog.

Top Level Domain

Using a top-level domain is vital to the success of your blog, it looks professional, and brands will take you more seriously, Using a subdomain which usually comes with a free plan is absolutely fine while you are building your blog, and you can change to a full domain when you feel you are ready to move to the next stage of your blog. When choosing a domain name, just like your blog name, remember to keep it short, easy to remember, and imaginative, and make sure your domain name is in keeping with your niche topic so readers can identify with this.

You Niche Topic

Your niche topic is what it’s all about, this is where your expertise comes in, and this is where your content is created from. What you write in your blog is entirely up to you, but a word of warning, if the topic of your blog is everything and anything, or the topic of your blog is something you don’t know much about, you will struggle to attract viewers to your site.

Your topic should be something you are confident with, it should be well presented and informative. And use back-links to other sites to show your source of information, but please don’t overload your article/post with them, I generally use no more than three back-links depending on the size and subject matter of the article. Remember to post consistently and if necessary, on set days, and keep your posts evergreen, this is important to keep loyal readers coming back, and to attract new readers.

How Your Blog Looks

The look of your blog is important, it has to look attractive, clean, easy navigation to your posts and pages, don’t overload it with images, this doesn’t go down well with search engines, and it can affect your search rankings. Make sure you install features for better user experience, this will also help your readers to keep coming back.

Give some thought to the theme of your site, and be imaginative.

Make sure your menus are clear easy to find, and most importantly easy to use, there is nothing worse than struggling to find a blog post you wanted to read, this will put your readers off. Take your time with this part, get it right, there is no rush.

Your Content

Your content is the heartbeat of any blog, and you need to post quality, well presented, evergreen posts. Make sure you add quality images to enhance your content, make sure you have the right to use those images, and you follow copyright laws, make sure you stick to your niche topic, and don’t stray, as this can cause confusion, and can cause you to lose readers, keep your site strong and true.

Social media is the best way to market your blog, use sites like FACEBOOK, TWITTER, PINTEREST, AND INSTAGRAM, to name just a few. Grow your social networks and share your blog all through them, you must grow your name and reputation to be a high-quality blog.

Overview

I have covered the basics of producing a high-quality blog, and if you follow these steps you will go a long way to getting there.

The only subject I have deliberately left out is your blogs s.e.o this is an essential part of making your blog a success, and will be covered in detail in a following article. I have always said, to have the love of writing, a good imagination, and self-belief you will be halfway there.

Good luck with your blogging journey!

Blogging should be fun, not just successful

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I want to visit as many blogs as I can, because I love reading new posts and meeting new bloggers, I also get inspiration from other talented bloggers.

Writing for me is a passion and not just how I earn my living so when I visit other blogs I get great pleasure from reading posts that are completely different from mine, I love the different styles, and the way the post is structured and presented. You can learn a lot from others, and your never to good to learn.

Blogging is a very powerful tool in business and on a personal level, so learning new ways of portraying your blog posts is worth it’s weight in gold.

People blog for many different reasons, but they all have one thing in common, they all love to write, and the great thing about writing is you don’t have to justify it to anyone, i have a message I tell myself often and that is “write what you feel and feel what you write”.

If you are starting a blog for the first time don’t be afraid of it, instead embrace it for what it is, and what it is for you is a blank canvas, there to do what you want with, and in the blogging world you are never alone, if you need help with your blog someone is just a click away.

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All the above was about the passion you should have for blogging, but if you want people to read your posts and come back for more, there are some basic rules you have to follow, and they are a must for you to have a successful blog.

YOUR POST TITLE

Your post title is something you must really think about, your title has to match the subject matter so people can relate to what they are about to read, if you make your title to obscure they won’t know what you are on about and they won’t read the post.

The ideal length for your title should not exceed 5/6 words,even though I have said your title must compliment the subject of the post, you must try to make the title as interesting as possible so it catches the attention of the reader and makes them want to read the post.

YOUR NICHE TOPIC

When picking a topic to write about, make sure you are knowledgeable on that topic, there is nothing worse than reading a post that has no factual truth about it, the reader will not return to your site. There is an audience for what ever topic you choose so you must target the right audience, for example there is no point sharing a post about construction with a gardening group, they just won’t be interested and they won’t read your posts. Do your research on your social media followers, find out what they are interested in and write about that, or join groups and forums with the same interests as yourself and share your posts on them.

YOUR S.E.O

Your seo on your post is really important, not only will it make it easier for people to find your post when doing a search, it also ranks your blog site higher in google and other search engines, this increases the reputation of your site and will help direct more traffic to your blog. so the use of key words and the density of the key words, tags and meta tags, H1… etc….etc is essential and the time spent on it is worth it.

OVERVIEW

If you have read this far thank you and I hope it really does help in some way. Blogging can be very lonely , but it doesn’t have to be, there are tens of thousands of bloggers out there and it really is a community.

The important message here is that blogging can be fun, so above everything else please enjoy what you write, and if you need any help then just shout, there will always be someone who hears you.

 

Andy