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Am I A Writer?

There’s a massive snobbery around the word “writer.” People who write every day waste time wringing their hands wondering if they dare call themselves “writers.”

Where they feel they can’t, they adopt terms like “bloggers” or “content creators.”

The whole debate online has been fuelled recently by endless discussion about what constitutes “quality content,” with Google adding more to the flames by telling us that’s what they are working hard to surface in their ubiquitous search engine algorithm. People complain that the web is too “dumbed down.”

Typewriter  read more »

A Checklist For Making Your Best Posts More Effective

At this time of year I always carry out my analysis of what has happened to my blogs over the preceding 12 months. Part of that includes listing the top ten performing posts (in terms of visits) on the site during the period. Listing them will give you a good indicator of the posts which attract the most search traffic to your site. These posts are also likely to have a high bounce rate as people arrive, get the information they want, and quickly move on.

Shop Window

Each of these “top performing” posts give you two big opportunities:  read more »

Review - Freshbooks Accounts Software

Back in 2009 I wrote a review about Kashflow – it was the accounts software I used at the time, and I still rate their service.

But as our business grew, I realised I needed something different – something where the focus was on collecting money, rather than on accounting for it. These days we’re lucky enough to have an accountant to take care of everything from bank reconciliation to taxes, so those functions on Kashflow became less important to me.

Freshbooks  read more »

Road Test - Toyota GT86

I wasn’t expecting to enjoy the GT86, although I knew it would be interesting. As I’ve grown older, I’ve become a lover of big saloon cars, preferring to be cosseted in the air conditioned seats of a Lexus, wafting along at 70 with the cruise control set and Radio 4 playing soothingly through the Mark Levinson audio. My preconception was that the GT86 would be difficult to get into and out of, the ride would be pretty hard, and that it might be a handful in the wet.

Toyota GT86 Side  Toyota GT86 Front       

In all of those assumptions, I was correct!  read more »

Are You A Pirate?

As far as I know, all of my friends are law abiding citizens. They wouldn’t dream of going into a shop and “lifting” so much as a bag of sweets.

But many of them think nothing of downloading music and films illegally, buying ripped and copied DVD’s from the market, or picking up a fake Rolex or two on a visit to the middle east.


I’ve done all of these things in the past, to my shame, but I took a decision a few years ago that I wouldn’t do so any more. Since then I’ve paid for everything from computer software to films and music tracks.  read more »

What Kind Of Blogger Are You?

Interaction is the buzzword of Web 2.0. Any blog or social media platform is only as good as the interaction it has with its readers.


And questions or quizzes are a fantastic way to get things going, so I was delighted when I came across Interact. They are a company who provide a very simple platform which allows you to create and embed a quiz onto any website. You can write your own, or choose from a range of standard quizzes.

But here’s the really clever part: You can set up your quiz to ask people to subscribe to your email newsletter list in order to get the results.  read more »

Why Do So Many Big Organisations Lose The plot?

Facebook is a great place to read other people’s rants, and I do enjoy them. Mostly, those rants are against big corporations – I even posted one myself today after an intensely frustrating experience with Orange. I took a quick coffee break and, armed with my order number, I tried to find out where my new mobile phone is. I won’t bore you with the details, but what should have been a 5 minute job took me 25 minutes and I still didn’t get the answer.


It’s the same with other mobile phone companies, insurance companies, banks and seemingly any big institution.  read more »

Don't Forget To Link From Your Website To Great Content!

You’ll often hear the phrase that “links are the currency of the internet.” And they still are.


But social media, rather perversely, has dramatically reduced the number of useful links around the web. The problem is that it’s so quick and easy to share content via social media, that doing so has become the default, where once the only way to do so was with our own websites.

That’s a problem, because links on Twitter and Facebook have almost no SEO value – all they are good for is the initial hit of traffic that they send to your content.

But a link on a blog with a decent readership has on-going long term value to any website.  read more »

Book Review - Burn Wild, A writer's guide to creative breakthrough

They say that everyone has a novel in them. I’m not sure I subscribe to that theory, but I do believe there are many, many potentially great writers out there, who never actually publish anything in their lives, perhaps because:

  • They never find the time
  • They are scared to fail
  • They don’t know how to start
  • They’ve tried and not been satisfied with the results
  • They don’t understand how to “tap into” what’s in their heads

I’ve recently read a book that could help people in that situation. As you’d expect, it’s extremely well written, and I think it could become a “meeting point” for the would-be writers of the world.


Burn Wild – A writer’s guide to creative breakthrough is by Christie Krug, who is an accomplished writer and who is also a writing coach.

I think part of the foreword best sums up the book:  read more »

A Blueprint For Paid Content On A Blog

Bloggers have been wrestling with how to get paid for their work since the term was first coined. Most “professional” bloggers earn their money from a mixture of selling their own products, selling advertising on their sites and through offering affiliate products for a commission.

But there’s another way, and one which we’ve been shown by our predecessors in peddling information – the magazines and newspapers.


Creating “Paywalls”

Broadly speaking, people reading your blog fall into three categories:  read more »

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