Three Thought Bubbles hits the stop button

23 December

I’m hitting the stop button on Three Thought Bubbles. It’s time for me to stretch upwards. I’ve committed to learning new skills. One of the triggers for this move is a business trend that worries me today; we want to distill everything down to a 5 step process. Social media obliges and rehashes the formulas daily. I want to do some deep learning which involves messy exploration with no set objectives. I want to learn through doing the work myself.

A video posted by Min Liu (@bloodydairy) on

 

I’m taking six months out to do some deep learning in a distraction free zone!

I continue to be open to collaborations and side projects. One of these is ARTzheimer’s – a social enterprise that uses art to provoke bold and honest conversations about Alzheimer’s. My work here is as a written and visual brand storyteller.

I stand by the two reasons I set up Three Thought Bubbles; to help businesses to be more human on the web and to help them to communicate with meaning and clarity. I still believe that human and marketing are two words that can co-exist – if we choose to communicate with intention.

This creative learning break was greatly inspired by Stefan Sagmeister. One day he questioned how we spend our lives learning, working and dreaming about retirement –

Right now we spend about the first 25 years of our lives learning, then there is another 40 years that’s really reserved for working. And then tacked on at the end of it are about 15 years for retirement. And I thought it might be helpful to basically cut off five of those retirement years and intersperse them in between those working years. That’s clearly enjoyable for myself. But probably even more important is that the work that comes out of these years flows back into the company and into society at large, rather than just benefiting a grandchild or two.

Here are some of my articles about key ideas I learned as a mentor and trainer over the last three years:

  • The concept and results of doing micro work are powerful.
  • Best Practice’ is a jargon phrase used by lazy people who want to follow formulas and not exercise their brains.
  • “We’re on social media.” Really? What is your intention?
  • Learn to chop your words – the power of editing.
  • Ultimately, what do you want to be known for?
  • Why blogging is not about finding your voice.
  • I encourage you to be part of an encouragement network.Develop your brand voice

    That’s it for now – no trumpet fanfares or lengthy speeches. I have thoroughly enjoyed working in this field. I trained a diverse group of clients and got to collaborate with inspiring colleagues. Two colleagues I’d like to mention in particular are Siodhna McGowan from Inspired Thinking and Gillian Horan from The Pudding Brand. Like myself, they strive to make marketing human and meaningful.

    Who knows what the next chapter will hold! I’d love to stay in touch with you – Twitter is my platform of choice.

    .

Animated GIF credit:
Min Liu Animator NYC / Taiwan
Website: min-liu.com
Instagram: @bloodydairy

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How to blog for your Irish wedding business

7 April

How to write a blog for your Irish wedding business

Are you an Irish wedding business owner who would like to connect better with your customers on the web? I can help you to humanise your business by training you how to write an authentic blog. You already know who your ideal clients are – and you love working with them. I can show you how to translate your face to face personality online so that your clients get a sense of who you are and how you do business.

I have a new training course specifically designed for wedding industry professionals. Here’s how I can help you – First up, I know how many of you are petrified by the whole idea of social media! I used to be like that too until I discovered a new way of communicating. Blogging completely changed the way I thought about marketing. I found a genuine and effective way to connect with my customers before we met in person. And the feedback from clients was amazing.

We each have different ways of connecting. Some people are great on stage or at a networking event. Others do really well telling stories or relating one-to-one. But business happens online now, so we must make an emotional connection here first. I have fifteen years experience working in the wedding industry and seven years blogging – here is my story:

Before launching Three Thought Bubbles, I owned Rangoli Jewellery. Working one to one with clients every day made me understand how important this human connection is. I had a professional website but I realised that it didn’t show my personality or convey what it was like to do business with me. So, I started writing a business blog in 2008. My customers loved getting a behind the scenes glimpse into my business. I found ways to share content that excited and inspired them. My blog helped me to build trust before a face-to-face meeting. It also gave me huge clarity on what I wanted from my business. It helped me to seek the kind of work I wanted more of.

Rangoli Jewellery website

My blog was twice a finalist in Blog Awards Ireland for ‘Best blog of a SME’. Blogging made me realise that I could chat and connect in a natural way online. My customers got a sense of what it was like to do business with me. They trusted that I could help them.

I understand your industry and the personal relationships that you build with your couples. Bridal specialists are brilliant at listening and interpreting ideas for their clients. I also understand the pressures of running a successful business and all the juggling that is involved. I can give you the confidence and skills to translate what you do so well, to the web!

  • I’ll help you know what to write about – together, we’ll create a content strategy and calendar.
  • I’ll teach you how to find your voice – really it’s about writing in a conversational style and using language that you use in real life.
  • I help you understand how people read content online and how to write for this audience.
  • I’ll support you and hold you accountable! I’ll give you practical tips and tools to get you started.
  • I’ll show you how to make blogging a regular and valuable part of your business.

    Learn how to write a blog for your wedding business

    Here’s some feedback from Aine Teahan from ‘And Baby Makes Three‘, formerly Allegria Wedding Photography.

    I am now blogging consistently on a weekly basis and I can see huge benefits for our business – more that 80% of our business comes as a result of the blog! If you’re on the fence about blogging or have lost your way, Aisling will get you on track. She is enthusiastic, full of great ideas and she will inspire you to get your story out there. It will be the best investment you could possibly make for your business.

    New bloggers always have some questions and I’m happy to answer them. Please give me a call on 087 635 5655 and we can have a chat! Otherwise you can send me an email. Read more about my one-to-one training and pricing. If you’d like me to help you tell your story, we can discuss that too.

    Image credit: Rangoli bride Aisling – (read her wedding story). Photographer: Peter Gordan of ExploreLight

  • Achieve business clarity today with ‘Subtract’.

    19 February

    Imagine if your business could be simpler – ‘Subtract’ training helps ‘sometimes overwhelmed’ business owners to get clear on the issues affecting their business right now. What is working, what needs to be changed? What can you subtract?

    I will train you how to focus on doing less, but doing it better.

    get business clarity bytaking a 'Subtract' workshop with Three Thought Bubbles

    As time-poor business owners, it’s easy to get buried in the day-to-day running of your business. You struggle to find time to ask really important questions of yourself. Subtract training gives you the space and support to review your business today.

    Let’s re-connect with what you love to do
    ‘Subtract’ is about getting an ‘outside-in’ view and reconnecting with the ‘why’ of what you do. It’s about getting clear on who you want to do business with and what you are offering them. And it’s about simplifying how you do business.

    Subtract training will help you in two ways –
    1. It will give you a map of where you are now and where you want to go next. What needs to change?
    2. It will help you create a meaningful business story that customers can easily understand and relate to.

    Together, we will create a new strategy and a meaningful business story that your customers can easily understand. You have all the answers – you just need to ask yourself new questions! I can help you with that. I train business owners how to talk confidently and clearly about what they do. I believe that this is one of the most powerful business skills you can develop.

    Subtract - get business strategy amd clarity

    Subtract is about creating simplicity in your business. After your training you will –

    • Be clear on the key messages you should be using when trying to engage new customers.
    • Have a mental note of the rubble, distractions and interruptions you need to minimise in your business life.
    • Understand how to create concise, persuasive and relevant communication that your human customers will enjoy reading 

      As a business owner for 17 years, I share some of the same struggles as you! But I have discovered how a minimalist approach to business planning makes me happier and my business more successful. I now see clutter as anything that doesn’t serve me well. I believe that this training will give you and your customers greater clarity on what you do.

      Give me a call on 087 635 5655 to book your class or discuss more details. This class will be tailored to suit you. The course includes a practical workbook and follow up review.

      Class details:
      This is a one to one class and lasts for one and a half hours.
      Venue: a central Dublin location*
      Investment: €250
      *This training can take place in your business premises by arrangement.

    Blogging tips – shake up the world with the word ‘why’

    18 November

    The word ‘why’ shakes up our world – it helps us find out who we are and what excites us! There is a constant stream of whys rolling through our mind every day. I’m here to help bloggers (newbies and seasoned ones) to understand how important this word is. Why do you like certain content, brands or experiences and why do you dislike others? In order to create great content, you first need to examine what you like and don’t like.

    A big shout out to John-Paul Flintoff as his sketch below was the trigger for this post. What a great question to get us started! Why do you have favourite or least favourite foods? I’m encouraging you to practice your ‘why’ muscle!
    Illustration by John-Paul Flintoff

    I’m going to show you ways to catalogue this information to inspire your own writing and branding. Your likes and dislikes may be completely different to mine. That’s what this exercise is all about!

    I started writing about the things that excite and annoy me and then I had this idea – I’ve been talking about making a podcast for a while so this is the perfect topic! Here’s some of the things I’ll be talking about –

    I like… honesty

    Informal writing styles

    Simplicity

    Thought-provokers

    Fun and humour

    Variety

    Business stories

    And visually attractive brands

    Now, what do you like?

    Let’s get you started with some practical action steps. I am constantly researching and saving content and find that Google Docs or Evernote are great tools for this. Below is a simple example to show you how to create categories to save links in. I have included Good design, Good ‘About’ or bio pages, Fresh approach, Clear calls to action, Captivating post titles, Competitors, Striking visual ideas and Mixed media content. You create categories for things that inspire you. Include some negatives in there too! Simply save the links and an explanation in each case.

    Tools for bloggers

    How does this help you to blog?
    You’ll soon get a clear sense of what you like and don’t like on the web. This will help you design your content in every sense of the word. And you’ll have more fun with it too, When you’re passionate about your writing, it shows!

    Tips and takeaways for you;
    Know what you like and dislike on the web. Use that as a way to inspire what you create. Awareness is the first step!If you’d like help with that, give me a shout. I train business owners how to tell their story on and off-line.

    Credits:
    Connect with John-Paul Flintoff – WebsiteTwitter
    .

    Blogger spotlight – Live & Breathe Pilates

    2 February

    In this new series, I’m thrilled to interview some of my Three Thought Bubbles, blog students. They have kindly agreed to tell their story, share their experience and inspire others to start writing a blog. If you want to learn something new, it helps to talk to someone who has been there before you. I’m really grateful to each of them for baring their souls; I’m very proud of them too!

    First up is Steph Grey from Live & Breathe Pilates. Steph took one of my ‘Introduction to blogging classes‘. Working together, we looked at how she could reach and help her customers online. This is a continuation of what Steph does in person with her clients. We tackled her nervousness about ‘putting herself out there‘ and I gave her fresh tips on writing for an online audience. Steph impressed me with her speed in getting launched. As she says herself you need to ‘Just do it’! This is my no.1 mantra too. Let’s hear what she has to say;

    live breathe pilates dublin
     

    What made you want to start writing a blog? Tell us about where your skills and passions collide!

    I’m really passionate about what I do and I wanted to spread the word about how Pilates and movement can help people in their day to day lives – to improve their posture, feel better, get stronger, recover from injury and in many cases get them out of pain. Making people aware that there is a way to take control of their own bodies and be an active participant in staying fit and healthy is a great motivator and the feedback we get is amazing. Having clients telling you that they are pain free for the first time in years, have no longer to take daily painkillers, that they can now touch their toes or feel they have their bodies back post pregnancy is fantastic. And I just want other people to feel and see the benefits too. I’m one of those annoying people who love their jobs because there’s a real satisfaction for me in helping people. That and being told by our website designer and digital marketing lady that I had to 🙂

    Who do you want to inspire to think, feel, or act differently?

    Everyone! Pilates can be beneficial for so many people – our two oldest clients are in their late 70s, and if I’m as strong and flexible as they are when I’m their age I’ll be very happy. Our youngest clients came in yesterday with her Mum, she’s just 12 ½ weeks old and her Mum is getting back to Pilates after her pregnancy. Baby is working on her roll overs. Pilates can be tailored to suit the individual body – and should be – so it can be appropriate for all. I really believe Pilates (done correctly) can help many people – so I’d like to get as much knowledge out there about the benefits as I possibly can. For example, if one of our over 55s clients learns how important balance is as you age and can then explain that to their friends and family, then that can maybe have an impact on reducing falls and fractures in their circle. Most new mums want to get back to having a flat tummy as fast as possible post delivery – and decide to start doing sit ups – not the best thing for their bodies immediately after having a baby. Educating people about their bodies and the “why” is as important to me as teaching the exercises. It empowers people.

    What reservations did you have before you started blogging?

    Loads. I’m not a writer – I’m a talker. I even talk to myself all the time. My husband will tell you I never shut up. So sitting down and seeing the blank screen in front of me, with a flashing cursor expecting input was very daunting. I didn’t think anyone would really be interested in anything I had to say – or that I’d say the wrong thing and make a tit of myself. All the usual fears of failure that we Irish are so scared of.

    How did you talk yourself out of these and press the publish button?

    I decided I needed help first. I had no idea where to start so when I saw Aisling’s blogging workshop online I decided to start there – in the hope it would enable me to put some sort of structure around what I wanted to do.

    During our blogging session, Aisling made a very good point to me – I stand up in front of groups and talk about Pilates and anatomy every day with no bother at all. My clients (as well as my husband) will tell you I never stop talking. So she suggested I think about it more as a face to face conversation and I have found that really helpful. And I’ve accepted I’m not going to be perfect – but everything has a learning curve. I think it’s good to scare the hell out of yourself regularly and do things you’re unfamiliar with. It keeps life interesting.

    It’s early days yet but what are your initial reactions to ‘putting yourself out into the world’?!

    I’m starting to get more comfortable with it and to be more engaged in the online world – blogging, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. We’re all in the same boat and have to start somewhere I suppose – and people are genuinely really nice and friends and family and our wonderful clients have been very helpful and supportive. I’ve also met some great people online too. So the plan is to keep at it, keep plugging away and I’m hoping the more I do it the easier it will become.

    What sort of feedback have you had from customers or readers? How is your blog helping your business?

    Many of our client’s have been with us long term – so I know they get the benefits of Pilates and also like our classes and studio. We get a lot of new clients into the studio from word of mouth – so it’s good to be getting the word out online too. We’ve lots of testimonials on our website from our clients – which I’m very proud of and we have had more likes on FB and follows on Twitter. I’ve been told blogging helps with your google rankings too. We’ve also recently updated our website and put in an online booking system – so all this has helped us to stay on page 1 of the google searches. Not bad when you’re a small business and handling all your own marketing etc inhouse – as opposed to other studios out there with massive marketing budgets. We have no PR machine behind us or celebrity to rely on – it’s just me, my hubby and our fab web designer Clare. And of course, the consistent quality of the studio and the classes we offer all help too.

    I’ve learnt a lot about running a business over the past 2 years – though my background in business has really helped too. I worked in IT for many years as a sales executive, handling global accounts from initial contact all the way through tender writing to project management of rollouts for successful bids. The skillsets I picked up along the way are useful in my new role as a studio owner. Many people have commented that’s an incredible (even stupid) jump to make – from a well paid IT job to a penniless Pilates instructor – but it’s all very similar really – you’re still dealing with people and people buy from people. The scariest thing was leaving a full time well paid job for self employment – earning a fraction of my previous wage in the middle of the worst recession in years. Working for myself and being responsible for my own destiny is scary as hell but it’s the best thing I have ever done. I’d highly recommend it.

    What were the key takeaways from your Three Thought Bubbles class?

    As I said earlier, keeping in mind that your blog should be like having a conversation really helped me to get the words out. Also having a structure around how to get started and the general demystification of how it all works. That and actually getting started writing!

    Do you have a structured way of writing or planning your content? Or what’s working for you now?

    I’m still a bit of a nerd so I use online tools like Evernote to take notes of ideas as I’m out and about. I follow lots of Pilates and anatomy sites and blogs using Feedly. And I listen to clients – what they ask in class, niggles or injures they feel have improved after coming to Pilates for a while – and also reading other non Pilates based blogs and websites for ideas.

    What one piece of advice would you give to someone considering starting a blog?

    Just do it. You’ll make mistakes, but the more you do it the better you’ll get. Same as starting Pilates I suppose.

    What does a ‘successful’ blog mean to you?

    Interaction is key really – the more interesting your content the better. But it doesn’t always have to be about the specific business you’re in. I wrote a blog about new year’s resolutions earlier this year. And lack of motivation about keeping them as we end up just feeling deprived. Not Pilates specific at all – but hopefully helpful to clients in a different way.

    Thanks for talking with us here Steph. It’s been fascinating helping you and seeing how your ‘job’ and way of life are so naturally entwined. I wish you all the best with your business and will be keenly following your blog.

    Connect with Steph online:

    Website and Blog
    Facebook
    Twitter
    Steph’s website designer is Claire Regan, from
    Fierce Clever.
     

    5 fears about business blogging and how to tackle them

    19 August

    The thoughts of blogging might be bringing you out in a cold sweat. But here’s the biggie; we all share the same anxieties! I’ve been blogging since 2008 and I still have insecure days. Before you start, let’s face and name your demons. This will build your confidence and spur you on to launch. Here are five common fears + tips on how to tackle them.

    These are real concerns from a recent client who is about to launch her blog. I talked her through each of these, from my personal experience. (I’ve written a blog for my jewellery business, Rangoli since 2008).

    fears about business blogging three thought bubbles

    I’m not sure where to start

    This is the biggest stumbling block for lots of us. We know that we should be writing a blog. We know examples of people who are doing it well. We’re excited about the possibilities. But we have so many questions. For many, these are a mix of technical how-tos combined with questions of whether we are knowledgeable enough in our field to put ourselves out there as an ‘expert’. I have totally been there myself. Initially I questioned why people would want to hear me talking about different aspects of my business. But I wanted to show readers what I am like and how personal my service is. My website is a product catalogue but my blog is a place for my customers to get to know me better. It’s a ‘behind the scenes’ peek into my studio!

    My thoughts: You are learning a new skill. Treat yourself to some great books or tutorials.  Don’t wait to be perfect before you publish because otherwise you will never begin.

    I don’t have a background in writing

    For starters, blogging is very different to other forms of writing. That doesn’t mean that grammar and structure are not important. But, if you start thinking about sharing conversations, rather than writing formal articles, it will really help you. I teach lots of tips about writing for an online audience as well as how we read online. What I have found is that you get better at editing your content over time and reducing it to the core message. You can continually edit, unlike a printed document.  This lets you improve (or remove) your content over time.

    My thoughts: Your writing will improve with regular practice. Be conscious of telling your story in a conversational and concise way. Lose the fluff!

    I might be boring

    Wow, this is a biggie and should probably be number one on the list. The fear of radio silence is huge when you publish your first few posts. Will anyone read it? Will they be bored to tears? I certainly had this fear when I started. It’s such a human emotion. While blogging for Rangoli, I decided from day one that I didn’t want the blog to be all about me and my business. I consciously looked for content to share from other related sources. Readers want to be entertained. Variety is essential.

    My thoughts: I read somewhere that you should read your posts out loud to see if they bore ‘you’! The chances are that if it sounds boring to you, it will definitely bore your reader. Only blog about things that you are really passionate about, even if that means producing less content.

    What I find interesting may not interest my clients

    This one is really about understanding and connecting with your audience. I can teach you how to get to know your ideal clients. The better you understand their needs, the easier it is to choose content that will appeal to them. There is a balance though, as you need to write about things that excite you too. I enjoyed creating a section called ‘Aisling’s World‘ on my Rangoli Jewellery blog. This was a space to share some ‘out of business’ interests. Readers can dip in there if they like!

    My thoughts: The more niche you become, the better. Find the audience to match your specific passion and skill and then you can write about things you’ll both enjoy.

    I lack confidence

    Starting a blog requires new skills. Of course you are going to feel a bit vulnerable for a while! Ban your inner perfectionist and give yourself time to learn this new skill. Blogging can be learned in stages and at your own pace.

    My thoughts: I found that connecting with other bloggers both online and in person was a huge support. I went from relative shyness to public speaking in 5 years, so imagine what you can do!

    I hope this article helped you; did I cover some of your own concerns? If I could sum up my best advice in two sentences; it would be to keep learning, but most importantly, Just Start!

    I always love hearing from new and ‘old’ bloggers; scribble me a comment below or let’s arrange a coffee. I offer training on business blogging to suit all levels. What do you need help with most, right now?

     

    Personal Kanban – What will you do today?

    5 August

    Be honest! Is procrastination preventing you from starting a great business blog?

    Do you ever feel overwhelmed and wish you could get advice on how to manage your time better? I’ve been feeling like that myself recently but I’ve had a light-bulb moment in the last week. I want to tell you about it because it has to do with overcoming procrastination…

    My husband Ben is always recommending ideas or books on stuff that intersects our worlds; [his] computer geekery and science + [mine] creativity and business. His latest suggestion was a book called Personal Kanban. Apparently, his IT team use a version of the technique to manage ongoing agile projects.

    I seem to have huge ‘to do’ lists. I’m great at writing them. I have lots of fun with highlighter markers! But the hardest bit is putting it all into action. Where do I start?

    Are you like this too? Maybe it’s because we now spend so much time online. There are so many distractions. We just need to decide how we can best spend our time doing ‘actual stuff’!

    The best light-bulb moments can be summed up in a couple of sentences. Apparently there are only two rules to Personal Kanban: Visualise your work and  limit your work in progress.

    The rules of Personal Kanban by Jim Benson and Tonianne DeMaria Barry
    The rules of Personal Kanban; a book by Jim Benson and Tonianne DeMaria Barry

    The ideas in this book were a revelation to me. Once you have a clear visual view of what you need to do, it’s much easier to see the steps. The key thing though, is to outline all of the steps involved and then limit that to a small number of actionable, daily ‘Doing’ tasks.

    The book is full of brilliant ideas which I’m going to be using! My favourite aspect is that all of the plans are written on post-it notes and placed on a wall or whiteboard. There are three basic columns; Ready, (work waiting to be processed), Doing (work-in-progress) and Done (completed work). This is an active ‘to do’ list, with items moving towards completion.

    There’s many more great ideas in this book but I’m going to leave you with a quote from the authors  to get you thinking;

    Hours, days, weeks of our lives vanish into the ether. Precious time we’ll never recoup because we aren’t paying attention to what we’re doing, we’re just endlessly and mindlessly doing. By visualising your backlog, your work-in-progress, and your completed tasks, Personal Kanban rewards you for recording the good work you’ve done and knowing what comes next.

    Do you have tips on getting things done? Please leave me a comment below. And if blogging is one of the new things you’d like to do for your business, I’d love to connect with you. You might prefer a one-to-one session or a small group workshop. And if this is something that’s still in your ‘Ready’ list, you can sign up by email to hear about my upcoming courses!

    I highly recommend this book. You can find out more about Personal Kanban and purchase the book via the website. let me know if you read it

    The dot conference 2013

    25 June

    This Friday I’m going to my first dotconf.

    It’s an event that’s described as a conference for anyone who works, rests or plays with the internet. That’s me, that’s me! I can’t wait to spend an entire day hoovering up inspiration, while tweeting away from my seat.

    To get us even more excited, there is a competition to win a year’s supply of Ben & Jerry’s icecream. We have James Whelton to thank for this – James is the keynote speaker on Friday and is the founder of Coder Dojo.

    (I thought I was pretty au fait with B&J’s flavours until I discovered a Baked Alaska variety). But getting back to the competition, the dotconf people want to know what we’re looking forward to most on Friday.

    For me, the concept of the Deep Dives is intriguing. Participants can choose from one of several detailed half hour talks. There was a sense of urgency to book your favourite one as spaces are limited! It was a hard call but Rowan Manahan’s talk sounds great; On your feet – selling your great idea.

    So here is an Instagram video I put together to celebrate the adventure and glamour of the underwater world! #goingdotty

    You’ll catch me tweeting @3thoughtbbls – I can’t wait to turn some of those avatars into 3d faces!

    For more info;
    thedotconf website
    The National College of Ireland

    Image credits for video;
     1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11.

    I want to write a business blog

    31 May

    Are you thinking about writing a business blog? Does the starting part overwhelm you a bit? I now offer one-to-one mentoring sessions to give you the confidence to write your blog and launch! This session is the perfect introduction to my one day workshops on how to write a business blog with heart.

    ‘Mentoring’ sounds serious but these sessions are far from it! Like most things; just getting started can be biggest step. This is a chance for you to pinpoint the core message of your business. I’ll de-mystify the jargon and help you come up with a plan of action.

    I’ve run my own business for fifteen years and have been blogging for five. I know what it’s like to juggle business promotion with making or doing. I strongly believe that telling your business story is the best way to connect with your customers.

    This introductory offer is for a ninety minute, one-to-one class which is priced at €90. These classes take place in a Dublin city centre location. Another option is to learn at your place of work. Pricing for these classes will depend on the venue location.

    How will I help you?

    Before we meet up, I’ll get you to answer some questions about you and your business. This helps me to tailor your session. Questions will include: Why do you think you should blog? Who is your customer? What problems can you solve?

    Once we know the answers to these questions, I’ll help you come up with content ideas as well as a content plan. I’m here to help with the answers too!

    We will discuss different blogging platforms and see which one suits your needs best. I’ll briefly show you how to write a blog post, include photos, video and links. I can recommend website or graphic designers to help with your website template.

    An overview of your industry; I will show you examples of good blogs within your industry. We’ll also look at other industry blogs to show you interesting ways of business promotion.

    My forte is listening and offering advice! I want to show you how easy it is to connect with customers and peers. I’ll also tell you about the hidden benefits of blogging too!

    Everybody’s needs and experience level are different. Give me a call or drop me an email so we can chat about your business.

    Huge type

    20 May

    This has nothing to do with the fact that I bought my first pair of reading glasses this year! Reading online is very different to reading a book. And I’ve noticed that the blogs that I want to read most, all have something in common; a largish font size and optimal characters per line, (or words per line).

    This post by Mike Anderson inspired me to share this idea with you. The fact that Mike has exaggerated this idea makes me laugh (which is always good). But sometimes you need to see an exaggerated version of something for it to register. Mike talks about size of the font as well as the optimal number of characters per line. Our eye can only take in so many words in one line before getting confused. So, the perfect solution is to use a decent font size and between 50 to 75 characters per line.

    huge type

    I’m sick and tired of cramped websites that have tiny type and don’t use the whole screen well. I’ve come to believe that the problem with reading on a screen isn’t the backlight—it’s that the type is too freaking small. Most designers don’t even know that there is an optimal number of characters per line. Let me take you through some of my thinking so that you can consider if you can take away any ideas to use on a project of your own. The fact you’ve read to this paragraph is proof that there is something to my argument. Mike Anderson

    Mike also talks about ‘losing the noise’. This is something that I’m also really interested in. Make you message clear and remove ‘clutter’ from both your post and website template. How can you remove words and get to the core message of what you want to say? Or more importantly; what do your readers want to hear? It’s well worth reading Mike’s post over on his blog.

    Writing a blog is an ongoing learning process. If you look at my Rangoli business blog, you’ll see that my font size and character length needs to be changed! It’s on my to-do list. But I’m happy with the format here on this blog. What do you think of it? I’d like to hear if you have a preference or does it bother you at all?

    Here are some more examples of websites that make online reading a pleasure!

    Zen habits – Leo Babauta

    The Digital Storyteller – Roger Overall

    Simply Zesty – Digital agency

    House and Home – Irish home and interiors magazine

    My blogging workshops cover lots of aspects of business blogging; from content and writing authentically to visual impact. Anyone can learn how to tell their business story. If you’re thinking about starting a blog, read about my one day workshops. I’ll be announcing my next workshop date soon and would love to meet you at one of my classes.