Making Videos Can Be Easy Peasy!

iPad image

Easy Peasy with iPad

Everyone knows that videos are a great way of getting noticed online.  Whether it’s tutorials or information or reviews, video is a really good medium to use to distribute your message.

I just got the opportunity to review a great new product that is being launched on March 28th called Affiliate Blogging Ninja by Shreya Banerjee.  In this products upsell Shreya shows you how to create great videos at no cost – so there’s no software to buy, it’s all done using free tools.

Now I got to review this product and was amazed at how simple the tools are to use, and what great results I got from them.  Keith Purkiss and I are currently preparing our own product and I needed to make some videos for the sales page, so I watched Shreya’s videos and copied her techniques using the free software she recommended, and I am very pleased with the results!

I used my ipad to create the videos, but could have done them on my iphone too.  The tools she teaches you how to use use are called Teleprompter and Splice, and they had to be super simple for me to get the hang of them!  You really can do anything online with free tools.  No need to buy all the high ticket software out there!

Shreya has a great way os teaching, she is easy to follow and listen to so if you want to get on the early invitation list just head over to Affiliate Blogging Ninja and watch out for the launch on March 28th!

Don’t forget, the video creation is in the upsell!

Enjoy the journey!

Life Is A Journey

Life is a journey to be enjoyed

Life is a journey to be enjoyed

Imagine you are going on a holiday.  You may take a road trip somewhere, or go on a plane or boat.  You will start off from home, preparing inn  for your trip.  There will be much excitement and anticipation, you might have already thought about what you will do, what you will enjoy most about the holiday.

The day arrives when you set off.  You will soak up every moment of the experience.  Everything you see and do seems to be somehow enhanced.  You will probably notice so much more than usual.  All of your senses will be heightened and you will enjoy every single minute of this holiday.  After all, you’ve spent time planning it and been so excited about it.

Now imagine your life.  Recognise that from the very beginning you are on a journey.  You have choices about how you take that journey, choices about how you look at life’s events, how you respond to things, how you treat yourself and treat others.  You don’t have to plod through from day to day.  You can make each day exciting and enjoyable.

Life is a journey.  Enjoy it!

Why Do You Blog?

BloggingIf people ask me why I blog I would have to honestly say it’s because I love writing.  Coupled with the fact that I am passionate about my subject.  I am actually passionate about a lot of things.  I think you have to have that passion in life to enjoy things to their fullest.

I also firmly believe that if you have passion it will show in your writing and enable you to create great blog posts with relative ease.  If you are not a natural writer it is always a great idea to join a community of bloggers as this will help you to find support and ideas and advice.  You can also join the community I am part of by clicking this link:  The Power Affiliate Club.

Of course there is always the questions of how much you should share in your post and how long the post should be.  It is easy to get carried away when you are passionate about something, to divulge so much in one post that you leave nothing in reserve and the post becomes an epic length!  But if you break the content down you can often create more than one post on that single aspect of your subject.

I like to write posts that are short and to the point.  Mainly they are under 500 words, and often under 300.  If I find myself writing more than that I will look at how I can expand on the subject and create a short series or posts which can be linked by titles so they continue like a story through the topic of my choice.

So, why do I blog?  Because I love it!

Enjoy the journey!

How Do You Choose Your Plugins?

Plugins

Laptop image.

There are so many plugins available now it is hard to know which are best for your blog. Indeed having too many can slow down your blog performance,and some can conflict with your WordPress theme, or each other, to cause all sorts of problems for you.

So how do you choose which are the best for you and your blog?

Well, a good starting point is always to get a mentor. My mentor is John Thornhill and I am on his Partnership to Success programme.  Your mentor will suggest initial plugins to install. They are almost always plugins they use themselves and will always be plugins they have tried out. After you have installed these initial plugins you will start to get a feel for what they do and how others can improve your blog and give you what you want.

You can also do your own research by talking to other marketers and finding out which they use and what is popular amongst them. Join forums and groups if you don’t have a network of bloggers you can turn to, but another way to create your own network is to blog hop. Visit as many blogs as you can and leave comments, this will encourage reciprocal visits and then you can write a blog post asking your readers which plugins they use and why. It will give you a good start to your research.  A great networking group I am in has many experienced Internet Marketers and we are able to discuss and share and support each other with these major decisions.  It’s called The Power Affiliate Club and we have a very active Facebook group.  You can join the Facebook group by clicking this link and applying now.

For any plugin you consider you need to look at the main features and the benefits of each one before selecting the ones you want. There will be many on the market that will do similar tasks,  and you will also have to decide whether you want a free plugin or one that you pay for.

On the premium plugins (ones you pay for) you will often find one that does the job of several of the free ones so keep an eye out for that. It cuts down the number that you need to install to  fulfil those essential jobs.

Some plugins are purely for fun and you don’t really need them. They don’t fulfil any critical task so you might start out with them but deactivate them later on as you get more essential plugins.

Choose carefully which plugins you have on your blog and do tell me, how do you choose your plugins?

Build Your Bridges And Your Ship Will Come In

Ship

I first started blogging on WordPress in 2009.  I’d had a free blog for a while but found a course online with John Thornhill that showed me how to set up my own domain, and using WordPress run a ‘proper’ blog.  I completely threw myself into John’s teaching, following every instruction to the letter, and it was the result of this teaching that inspired my first report, a blogging guide for new bloggers.  I still use the methods taught then and my guide is as relevant today as it was when I wrote it in 2009.  I have an updated version now but the main body of content is still the same.

Following my desire to get everything right and blog to the best of my ability I found I made a lot of very strong friendships with other marketers online.  An interesting post I read today talks about sustainability of blogs and how easy it is to set them up but it’s keeping them relevant and up on the latest blog trends that will enable you to sustain your blog for the long term.  You can read the post here.

One thing about making strong friendships online is they are also sustainable.  I still have a handful of marketers I started out with who have also continued and we are in contact fairly regularly.  My network has become much bigger now with many people I have met both on and offline as I do attend networking events.  In fact an online colleague I have also met at an offline event, Keith Purkiss, and I have a group called Northern Networking, which is aimed at networking offline with other marketers in the North of England.  Networking events are a great place to help you move your online business forward.

And so to the purpose of this post, Build Your Bridges and Your Ship Will Come In.  It is because of those early relationships and how much importance I placed on building strong friendships with people online that I now find I have been asked by not one but two outstanding marketers to partner with them on product creation.  Steve King and I started on John Thornhill’s Masterclass together in 2009 and now we are both in John’s Partnership 2 Success programme.  A few years ago when we were both still very green we collaborated on a few products but never really did much with them.  The product creation became way more important than the selling of it at the end!  But now we are both in a different position online we have decided to collaborate once again and will soon be launching our product, A practical Guide to Making Blogs.  We’ve both come a long way since 2009 and have learned a lot so it’s time to share that learning with others.

The second marketer I have teamed up with is Keith Purkiss and we will also soon be launching our joint venture.  Keith is also a Partnership 2 Success student.  We have known each other for some years having met at Randy Smith‘s Northallerton meet ups.  Our product  is not only an in depth guide but an ‘over the shoulder’ look at how outsourcing can be used in your online business.  It’s a great product that will help old and new marketers to effectively use outsourcing as a model for business.  If you would like to get onto our early bird list so we can let you know when it is being launched please CLICK HERE and we will contact you very soon!

So start building your bridges now and your ship will certainly come in!

Enjoy the journey!

The End of the Christmas Season

It might seem strange to talk abut Christmas at the end of January and almost into February.  Many of you who know about Christmas will realise that this is not strange at all as Candlemas is actually the end of the Christmas festivities, and we have just had our Candlemas service at the weekend.  Christmas traditionally starts on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day being the first day of the 12 days of Christmas, taking us to Epiphany (when the Kings arrived with gifts for the baby Jesus) and then onto Candlemas (when Jesus was presented at the Temple).  My local church leaves their tree up until the Candlemas service.

Unfortunately retail and consumerism has swallowed up the calendar of the Christmas season and it has made us all think that Christmas encompasses the whole of December up to and then ending on Christmas Day.  It’s such a shame to see people taking down their decorations the day after Christmas Day (here in the UK this is Boxing Day).  And it’s also a shame when you realise that for a lot of people Christmas is simply about presents and one day.  Christmas is a season that encompasses all that is good in humanity and that goodness is something we can carry with us throughout the year.

Christmas is certainly about giving, but not always about giving presents.  It can be about giving time, giving compassion, giving caring, and many more things.  In marketing we often give advice, practical help and gifts to other people and this does last all the year through.  Although giveaway campaigns seem to have fallen by the wayside it is still traditional in marketing to give a gift when someone signs onto your list.

I was very pleased to see a fellow marketer, Sally Neill created an email campaign called the Twelve Days of Christmas, offering something each day and starting on the right day – Christmas Day.  During the campaign she wrote an email every day and has continued to do so throughout January.  Her philosophy is if you don’t write you have no chance so you might as well do it!  The emails contained little gems of advice and help and of course some gifts too.  She is continuing to email every day and offers amazing value in everything she does.

Click on her name and you will be taken to her Facebook page where you can read all her daily email offerings for yourself.

Enjoy the journey!

New Year Round Up

It has become fairly customary amongst bloggers to offer a New Year round up post.  These posts tend to recap what happened during the year and thank the visitors to blogs across the globe.  I don’t normally do a round up post, but I did one a couple of years ago, in fact looking back it was in 2013 for the year 2012 so a bit more than a couple of years ago now!  I listed every person who commented on my blog posts and linked back to their own blogs.  Having just revisited that post and clicked the links I am horrified at how many no longer have blogs!  And it’s a lot of broken links to fix!

Anyway, this year my New Year round up is going to be slightly different.  It’s so important to let your readers know how valued they are, and especially those who take the time to leave a comment.  So I would like to offer you all a free gift from me to say thank you for your commitment to my blog over the past year.  Leave me a message below this post and I will give you free access to my blogging guide, it gives you all the information I have gleaned from over 7 years of blogging effectively.

During 2015 I wrote 47 posts and had over 300 comments during the year.  My most popular post was ‘Want More Visitors?  Run Your Own Challenge‘, which has 69 comments.  You can read it by clicking the link.  The whole concept of running blog challenges to inspire other bloggers and create a community that helps and supports each other was something you all loved to read about!  I hope some of you took the opportunity to run your own challenge and please leave a comment and tell me how it went for you.

During this coming year I will be participating in more challenges and also have plans to run another, different, challenge.  Watch this space!  The challenges are open to everyone so look out for news of when you can join in!

Enjoy the journey!

Greed, it will be your downfall!

It’s an appropriate time of the year to talk a bit about greed and how it can be your down fall.  We do seem to do everything to the extremely excessive limits at this time of the year.  There’s almost always too much food, too many gifts, too much drinking, too many parties and social gatherings to attend, and the result is often that we embrace all this excess and have just that bit too much of everything!  But on the positive side there are hugely caring and considerate acts in abundance at this time of the year too.  It seems that everything comes out in excess at Christmas time.

But the purpose of this post was not to write about eating too much, it is aimed at greed in the market place.  As many of you know offline I own an antiques centre in the small Georgian market town of Holt, Norfolk in the UK.  I rent the building we are trading from.  The town is very popular with visitors and many shops are run by independent traders who also rent their shops.  Sadly for us because the town is so popular the landlords hike the rents up, and thus the rates increase too, and I have been told this week that after Christmas 6 shops in the town will become vacant because they are unable to make a good enough income to sustain their business.  There are already a handful of shops empty in Holt and this will just add to the list.  Would you not have thought that the premises owners would negotiate a reasonable rent in order to keep their buildings occupied rather than have them empty and have no rental income from them?  It seems not.

Indeed in internet marketing we see the same things at times.  Some product creators seem to want to charge an awful lot for their products.  I have always been of the opinion that I would rather be stacking pound notes in the corner than over pricing and waiting forever for that one big sale!  That is not to say that marketers should undervalue their products.  Not at all.  There is a big difference between giving value and over pricing.  A marketing colleague of mine recently had an email from a customer who said that her front end offer seemed of greater value than the price and they were of the opinion that she could charge more for the product.  She replied that she would rather have happy customers that felt her product was of considerable value than a stack of refunds and complaints.  Always an admirable attitude, in my opinion.  She is an honourable seller with ethics and principles, someone I feel is trust worthy and honest.  If you want to take a look at her product click this link: VidStickersPro and if you buy you will see for yourself!

Enjoy the journey!

Time Out!

Sometimes in this mad world of ours we need to step back and take time out.  I have a friend who has been studying mindfulness.  He has become very good at it.  He is soon going to be able to teach it to others.  It it something that I think we should all endeavour to achieve.  It simply means living in the moment, not in the past or in the future but in the now.  Of course that does not mean we cannot plan ahead, but essentially it is encouraging us not to pre-empt or expect any particular outcome as this often causes us worry and distress.

I am a great believer in things happening as they should.  I have had a multitude of things that have not gone as I had hoped in life, but in all of them I have learned something and often have found that had they worked the way I thought they would it may well have been a disaster!  What will be will be, as they say, and we really have very little control over the way things turn out.  I am very controlling and it’s a hard thing to live with.  I need to practise mindfulness more.

If you want to know more about it visit my friend’s website, The Mind Shed and read a bit more about it.  Leave a comment and say you read about him here, he’d love to hear that.  I hope you get something out of it.

Enjoy the journey!

What Should I Blog About?

What should I blog about is a question I’m sure we have all asked ourselves from time to time.  Whether it is because you have no ideas for a blog post or you have no idea where your blog is going this question will seem like an insurmountable hurdle at times.

I never find myself short of ideas for blog posts.  I have always been a prolific writer but I am also very good at seeing ideas for posts in every day things.  I love symbolism!  I carry a dictaphone in my car door pocket to record those random ideas when they arise.

One of my previous posts talks about using lists to create a post.  You can read the post here: Stuck For A Blog Post Topic?  Make A List!  There are a whole host of other ways to start a post.  Topical news items can start you off.  Think about how you can use the topic in a message for your readers.  David Walker coined a phrase – ‘infotainment’ – he wrote posts using popular culture and symbolism to bring a message to his readers.  It is easy to think you have nothing to write about but ideas for posts are literally all around us.

The biggest trouble I have is deciding whether I have written almost the same post before!  When your blog gets old and there are many many posts on it you might need to do a bit of checking to be sure you haven’t said the same thing already!  For example, I know I have mentioned before about carrying a dictaphone in the car door pocket, but can’t for the life of me find the post it is written in!  So I apologise now if you have all read this before!

So, what should YOU blog about?  Make a list now of all the topics you could write a post about and when you are short of time or short of inspiration you can refer to the list.  When you are writing the list jot down any thoughts you have about the topics you include.  This is always a good starting point for writing a post.

Enjoy the journey!