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How to make Google+ a real PLUS for your business

How to make Google+ a real PLUS for your business

It seems everyone is banging the Google+ drum these days. And it’s not just the early adopters or geeky types with facial hair any more. Even normal humans are using Google+. How to make Google+ a real PLUS for your business. #Google+ Click To Tweet But you can’t face another social media platform, can you? Here are the three main reasons I hear for not using Google+: 1)    Distraction: With Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and the like, who has time to squeeze any more social media? I hear you. But let me tell you: since I started using Google+ I’m using the other platforms less often. Instead of paying for useless likes on Facebook, or tweeting into the maelstrom of Twitter noise, I can interact with an audience that is interested, relevant and useful on Google+. 2)    My friends aren’t on it: Everyone you know is on Facebook (you’ve spent years connecting with them), but none of them are on Google+. Well, how about making some new friends? Or business acquaintances. This quote sums it up nicely:  “Facebook helps you to keep in touch with the people you already know. Google+ helps you to get in touch with the people you would like to know.” 3)    It won’t last long: Yes, Google has launched a few things over the years that haven’t stood the test of time. But in terms of usage, Google+ is quickly overtaking other social media platforms such as LinkedIn, Pinterest and Twitter. Facebook still rules, but for how long? Tips for making the most of Google+ Just like any social media platform you should like things, comment...
Did Our Mum’s Generation Have it Easy?

Did Our Mum’s Generation Have it Easy?

I often whinge about being a working mum. I struggle to juggle the roles of mother, housekeeper, cook, gardener, dog walker and daily breadwinner. And while I love what I do for a living, my passion is often dampened by the ever-present guilt that I’m not spending enough time with my son, my husband, my hound and my house. And let’s not even mention the whole ‘me time’ issue. But do modern mums have it any harder than any other generation? Or are we just a bunch of sappy moaners? I don’t mean the Victorian working-class mothers with 17 children and a prolapsed uterus, struggling to repair the washing mangle and bleaching their sheets with urine. And I don’t mean the 1950s trophy mothers with their new-fangled vaccum cleaners, freshly pressed aprons and perfectly baked pies either. Do modern mums have it any harder than any other generation? Click To Tweet I’m talking about twenty years ago—my mum’s generation. Did she have it easy? Mum looked after four of us: me, my brother, my dad and the occasional hamster. We lived in a regular house in a rather bland estate, with patches of lawn in the front and back yard. Mum stayed at home until I was about seven. Later she got a part-time job, but she still cooked our dinners, ironed our clothes, did the shopping… well, you get the idea. And she seemed to manage it all with ease, achieving the perfect work/life balance. Compare all that to my life at the moment: My mum’s world – I was home with mum 24/7. My world – My...
Feel the Fear and Freelance Anyway

Feel the Fear and Freelance Anyway

Clare Greig is the Founder of Breathe Online. In this Guest Blog she talks about how to face your fear of freelancing. Update: Clare Greig passed away in 2016. Clare was diagnosed with breast cancer 20 months ago and after extensive treatment was optimistic about her future up until she found the disease was found in her bones.  Claire was a lovely, smart inspiring woman and I feel very lucky to have known her. “When something like this happens all the small bullshit, petty stuff that fills our lives and relationships falls away and all that is left is love.” www.clairegreig.com “Freelancing scares me because when I did it ten years ago I felt very isolated and lonely. I actually felt a bit like I was in isolation.” This is what a friend said to me when I suggested going freelance. My response was “Things have changed. So. Much. The internet has revolutionised the way people work, it actually gives you more choice, more social access and because it is “your” work you will be more motivated to collaborate with others.” Feel the Fear and Freelance Anyway. #freelancing Click To Tweet I genuinely believe that working from home can be as social, if not more than being in an office cubicle. Home freelancing versus working in the office Here are a few scenarios so that you get my point: In an office: You’re stuck with the same people – you didn’t choose to be with – many of who annoy the crap out of you. You have to put up with their smelly lunch, silent farts and bad fashion. At...
Email unsubscribes: My top nine tactics

Email unsubscribes: My top nine tactics

It recently occurred to me how much time I waste each day clearing spam out of my junk mail folder. I’m not talking about the true spam, the emails for Viagra, or donkey porn that I didn’t sign up for (honestly). Email unsubscribes: My top nine tactics. #spam Click To Tweet I’m talking about what we in the email marketing trade call Bacon. Bacon lies somewhere between emails you really want to get and emails you hate. It’s generally stuff you signed up for long ago because: You were buying something and genuinely thought you’d like to hear more from the brand You were buying something and forgot to uncheck the newsletter box You donated to a charity and felt you ought to check the newsletter box You joined something and now they’re sending you updates And of course the main reason: you have no idea why you’re getting emails from this brand, but now they just annoy the crap out of you. I’ve been receiving some of these emails for years and dutifully not reading them and laboriously deleting them. But I’ve never taken the time to get rid of them. Something has to change. So I’ve decided to clear out my eClutter. I’m unsubscribing from every email that hits my junk folder this week. So far I’m up to 49 emails and counting. And, through this process, I’ve seen so many unsubscribe methods that I now feel rather an expert. So, here are my top nine unsubscribe methods in ascending order of irritation: 9. The easy peasy: One click and I’m out Click a link and you’re...
The Harlem Shake approach to SEO

The Harlem Shake approach to SEO

It’s the latest craze. (Semi) normal people recording their own version of the Harlem Shake video and posting it online. At first there’s one lone dancer, quietly thrusting, unobserved by the others sitting around him or her. This carries on for a few seconds while the sitters act nonchalant. Then suddenly everyone is dancing. The Harlem Shake approach to SEO. #SEO Click To Tweet It’s a frenzy of activity, craziness, mad moves, bizarre outfits and face pulling. The good take-offs are funny; the bad ones are simply disturbing.* And lately I’m seeing a lot of businesses taking the Harlem Shake approach to SEO. Now this might seem somewhat of a tenuous analogy to draw. So, let me explain myself. One lone SEO dancer These days it seems that even the smallest of businesses have some awareness of SEO. At the very least they know what the acronym means. Many also understand the importance of ranking for a diverse range of keywords, and most get that achieving any kind of strong SEO result requires a long-term commitment. Perhaps someone in the business is already trying. They’ve read a few blogs, done a little research and following the basic principles of SEO: Ensuring their site is well coded Checking that there are no accidental blocks to search bots Writing succinct, engaging page titles and meta descriptions Creating thoughtful, useful content for their site at regular intervals Using social media to spread the word Securing back links from other reputable websites They’re plugging away – just like that lone dancer at the start of the Harlem Shake video. This lone SEO beginner...
If it ain’t broke, still fix it

If it ain’t broke, still fix it

As you can see I’ve just relaunched my website. It’s not a major departure from what was there before but I believe it’s tighter, cleaner and more attractive. I’ve given it a mini makeover rather than a full-blown face-lift. In reality there was nothing ‘wrong’ with my old site. It attracted and converted clients very well. If it ain’t broke, still fix it. #copywriting #SEO Click To Tweet So why the redesign? And is reworking your site four times in as many years overkill? I think not. And here’s why: My business has changed When I set up my site I wasn’t sure exactly what I was doing! (I was pregnant and my hormones were crazy.) Should I keep offering production and project management services or focus on copywriting? Should I work only with small businesses or stick to large corporates? Then there was the issue of whether or not my creative writing sat comfortably with my copywriting. Now I’m a lot clearer on what my business is, and how I want to move it forward. As my business changes and grows, so my site needs to evolve to reflect that. Website technology has evolved I started with a simple wordpress.com template coded by a bloke in my office. (Thanks, Stefan!) Then I migrated to wordpress.org, and rebuilt my site with my own worn little hands. I began with a free theme then upgraded to a paid theme. As my coding skills improved I tinkered with my theme (and broke it many times). After a while it started to look a little lumpy around the edges. Finally I decided to...
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