Category Archives for Life and Stuff

Brand Awareness Tactics

How Branding Can Help a Website

I want to share with you a case study which is a good example of using branding techniques for a small niche website. It’s not only big brands that can use and benefit from these techniques; in my opinion all websites need good brand awareness if they are to succeed.

I was approached by the owner of specialist spy software company called Acisni.com. The site is a learning resource dedicated to different types of spy software with a special emphasis on cellphones. It’s not as shady as it sounds – they focus on legal uses of software for child monitoring and employee monitoring. They do in depth guides and reviews – like this one of mSpy – the best selling spy spp right now. Definitely a very specific, targeted market.

The owner is called Susan Kennedy and she wanted advice about increasing the brand awareness on the website. He was looking to find ways to increase the website’s exposure and possibly gain some traction in social media.

The first good point I noticed was the domain name – it wasn’t some keyword stuffed name commonly used by web marketers. The Spy Software Guide is a decent sounding branded domain name.

Another plus point, was the fact that he was targeting legal uses for the software with an emphasis on monitoring rather than spying – a subtle difference, but an important one in terms of branding and any social aspects of the site. No one wants to share and tell friends about some illegal website!

The Action Plan

The website had no social presence at all so my first step was to set up all the usual social profiles:
Google plus – we built out a good solid profile and connected the website to the profile and set up Google authorship. This is a crucial step for any young website and one which has become virtually essential in my opinion.

You can use the Google rich snippets testing tool to check that the authorship is working correctly.
Facebook – another essential sharing platform for every website regardless of size. Here we used his personal account to set up a custom business page. Installed a few nice photographs and a custom background just to create a professional look.

Twitter – not my favorite platform but it is so easy to set up that I usually include it. Again using the same custom graphics and background images for a professional look – keeping the brand consistent.

Pinterest – the website already had some great images so Pinterest was a logical addition. I figure we will be able to get some good sharing with the custom graphics and targeting worried parents should give us some traction. This platform can be a great source of traffic in certain niches.

YouTube – he already had a few simple video intros hosted on his own website but no YouTube account. We set up a dedicated YouTube page and moved his videos to it. Always good to have another strong web property linked to your website.

The next step was to link all of the accounts together and to link everything back to the website. From an SEO standpoint this has the added benefit of strengthening the backlink profile. The main purpose of all this however, is to spread the word of this website across the different platforms and gain that branded, social presence.

Getting some plus ones on Google, some likes on Facebook and views on You Tube all add some social validation to the website – helping to make it look like a real brand.

All of this work cost very little money and took just a little time and organization – something every website could and should do to improve their appearance and widen their brand.

Nursing Salaries Under the Microscope

nursing salaries

Todays article is about something a little different on this site. In a previous life I trained and worked as a regstered nurse – I know, me!

Well I’ve always had a deep interest in nursing and healthcare in general and recently a good friend of mine from my nursing days got in touch again. Debra runs a nursing website called Nursesalaryguide.net, it basically provides lots of data and information about different types of nurses and their salaries across all states in the U.S. She also has detailed guides on nurse training and what you need to get started on this career path.

Fascinating stuff I know – if you are not in this line of work. But it is interesting to consider that where you live and work as a nurse can have such a massive impact on your final salary. Most people assume that nurses would earn similar ammounts in any state – wrong.

I’ll share her infographic below – looking at the Registered nurse specialty:

nursing salaries

Help my friend spread the word about her very useful website ….. and help a nurse!

6 Tricks To Take You From Fit To Fitter

getting fit

Are you ready to move from fit to fitter? If you answered yes, then it is time start thinking smart!

If I told you that the secret to enhancing your fitness is to take things a little slower, would you believe me? It’s natural for us to think that pushing ourselves harder will help us see results faster but that not always the case. Exhausting yourself is never a good thing. The truth is: rather than taking giant steps it’s better to proceed with baby steps and get results that will last longer.

It doesn’t matter if you are a beginner, a fitness expert, or just someone who works out when you feel the urge, if you take care of your body while taking things one step at a time, you will start seeing the results you want.

It not unusual for people to push themselves harder whenever they start working out for the first time. Firstly, endorphins which help the body to feel good are released during exercise. So you might find yourself enjoying your new lifestyle and wanting to work out more.getting fit

Secondly, once you start seeing good results you may become more eager to get to your goal, forcing you to push yourself harder. The problem is, if you work your body too much you will overexert yourself. The smartest thing to do is to moderately move outside your comfort zone and adjust to your new lifestyle.

Think about it this way: if you’re a car racer who suddenly gets a new car you will need to invest some amount of time to get used to the car first before going toe to toe with someone. Taking the car on a race on the first day can be dangerous and it reduces you chances of winning the race. The smart thing to do is to slowly take the car up through its gears; you need to pass through the lower gears before you can get to the top gear.

Once you’ve learnt to listen to your body, you will be able to enhance your performance and lead a healthy life.

I’ve met a lot of people who say they hate exercising and that is because they often push themselves to exhaustion during the first period. They don’t allow themselves to have fun so naturally they begin to hate it. Approaching a new workout regime slowly will give you the mental boost you need to stick to your fitness program longer.

In this post I want to help you learn how to take a positive approach to fitness. Here are six tricks to help you get from fit to fitter.

Don’t Ignore Your Body

It’s important that you listen to your body. It knows what’s best. Pain is a way for your body to tell you that you’re working too hard, so if you begin to feel soreness, it’s important that you slow down. If you injure one of your muscles, it will be much harder for you to workout, pushing you further away from your goal. Sure, it’s natural to feel a little discomfort when you start working out for the first time, but whenever the pain gets too excruciating, that’s a sign for you to slow down.

Establish Your Foundation

It’s important to create a foundation, when you decide to take on a new fitness plan, and build on it. Understand that in order to get to the top you will need to start building from the bottom. The more patient and focused you remain, the better your results will be. If you’re planning to enhance your flexibility, core muscles, balance and aerobic fitness you should avoid pushing yourself too much. Establishing a solid foundation will help you to transition smoothly into more intense workouts.

Know When It’s the Right Time To Progress

This may be common sense but in order to keep seeing results you will need to progress your workout. The main reason why people stop seeing results after working out for some time is because their bodies tend to adapt overtime. Once your body has adapted you will need to increase loads to continue seeing results. Some ways in which you can progress with your workout are to increase the duration, frequency or intensity of your workout. Ensure that you do not push yourself too hard to avoid injury (refer to tip 1 and 2).

Learn The Basics First

Similarly to how you had to learn how to count first before you could multiply, it’s important that you learn basic exercises before you start adding weights to your routine. Once you get good at it then that’s your cue to move on to the next step. How will you know when it’s time to progress? Your body will let you know, you just need to listen to it. As soon as an exercise starts feeling too easy it’s time to challenge yourself.

Be Accountable

Try starting a blog to keep track of your fitness regime and diet. If that’s too much, you can always keep a diary. Not only will it motivate you but it also helps you to keep track of your progress. Visiting online forums to share your progress with others is also a good idea. If you don’t spend much time on the internet and you’re not into keeping a diary you can always discuss your progress with your friends and family.

Know The Cycle

Fitness experts train in cycles to enhance their overall performance. This means that they start with a foundation and enhance their strength before moving to the power phase. Of course there should be enough time for resting and recovery. Each time you complete a cycle, you will see better results.

Follow the tricks above and you’ll be able to move from fit to fitter before you know it. Feel free to sound off in the comments below if you think I might have left something off.