Monthly Archives: May 2017

Ghost vs. WordPress: A Purist Blogger’s Dilemma

Ghost vs. WordPress: A Purist Blogger's Dilemma

Ghost touts itself as a “simple, modern WordPress alternative.” And that’s true, to an extent. While Ghost, which claims a "virtual" headquarters in Singapore, focuses solely on the blogging process, San Francisco-based WordPress has evolved into something far greater than just a blogging platform.

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How to Identify Your Digital Workplace Needs

How to Identify Your Digital Workplace Needs

It's easy to identify where corporate communications and collaboration can improve. The same can also be said about business content governance.   But recognizing a problem and understanding what needs to be done are two very different things.

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7 Travel Tips For CMOs

Whether you are traveling to a marketing conference or visiting one of your company’s locations around the world, as a CMO you need to ensure have an efficient travel strategy that keeps you on a budget, maintains your productivity on the road, and helps you actually enjoy the business travel experience.

1. Always travel light. Pack with the idea of just bringing a couple changes of clothes that will fit in a carry-on bag. It is cheaper to use a hotel’s laundry service than it is to check luggage and pay those excessive fees. Consider shipping any presentation materials or digitizing anything you have to take with you for meetings to save additional suitcase room. You will save time disembarking and have much less to drag around with you to your transportation, hotel, and back again.

2. Focus on your rest. Since you are most likely not flying business or first class in order to keep travel costs low, you may fear that sleep is out of the question back in those cramped coach quarters. It’s nothing that noise-cancelling headphones, an eye mask, and a neck pillow can’t solve for you. The ability to be fresh and ready for your meetings on the other side of the flight will make all the difference in how well that business trip goes.

3. Don’t panic when the unexpected happens. Traveling is full of surprises — and typically not the good ones. They come in the form of things like flight delays and cancellations, reservation issues, and even lost passports or visa problems. First and foremost, it’s important to remember that everyone realizes these types of things happen and are beyond your control. Second, focus on the unexpected that you can fix like lost or stolen passports. Companies out there to help you get an expedited passport sent to you no matter where you are in the world.

4. Use travel apps for everything. Apps exist for the sole purpose of making everything more convenient so take advantage of them for all aspects of your trip. This includes booking an Uber to get you around or using a parking locator app like Spot Hero to reduce time finding that airport or garage parking spot. You can also take advantage of apps like Yelp to find restaurants or service providers in cities you are unfamiliar with so that you can guarantee a great experience.

5. Stay powered up and ready to work. While those long flights may be good for a nap, you can also use part of that time to get some work done so you can enjoy the sights and relax when you arrive at your destination. The last thing you want is to get on board and find out none of your devices work because you used them up in the flight lounge and all the power stations were taken or you didn’t have the right converter. Companies like Travel Inspira provide adapters, cables, and hubs that allow you to work anywhere. Their converters include dual USB charging ports so you can juice up multiple devices at once to be ready to work.

6. Avoid standing in any type of line — even customs. With a little planning and the right websites, you can avoid dealing with those excruciating lines that always appear at airports. Use sites like Global Entry, TSA Precheck, and Nexus through your airline or Universal Enroll. Also, use your airline’s service for online advance check-in to skip that lengthy process.

7. Embrace the experience of travel. Most people seem to dread business trips, but the best thing you can do is adjust your attitude and consider it as a great experience to enrich your life. So many don’t get the opportunity to see new cities, so do the best to plan your time so you can carve out some free time to have an experience in each place you visit. Even if it is just for a short time, get out of the hotel, take a walk, hit a local attraction, or grab a meal at a town favorite to take some of the flavors of each place with you. This positive approach will also permeate your business presentation and any other reasons for the trip, perhaps even helping you to close a deal on the road.

Now it’s time to hit the road and the airways with a travel strategy that will deliver on both your professional and personal goals that go into planning and taking business trips.

Reading Material

As you travel the highways and bi-ways allow us to provide you with some reading material. I know you love reading the inflight magazine of your preferred airline as much as I do but... after consuming take that consider something: As customer expectations continue to rise, businesses need to appoint a senior executive like the Chief Marketing Officer to deliver exceptional, end-to-end customer experiences. 

Could that senior executive be you? 

Download and yes read Should The Chief Marketing Officer Oversee The Whole Customer Experience? While there's no ads for growing hair by wearing a hat or matchmaker services for executives on the go, I think you'll find it a worthy read. 

Image source: Pexels

Article based on original piece in Forbes

How to Personalise Your Blog Like These 10 Top Bloggers


Lots of bloggers seem to do everything right, yet they don’t see much success.

They write well-structured posts, they pay attention to SEO, they know the ins and outs of their blogging software … but something’s lacking.

That missing “something” can often be personality. It’s the difference between a blog that readers come across and instantly forget … and a blog that makes a connection and an impact.

Does your blog need a bit of extra personalisation? Here’s how ten top bloggers make their blogs stand out:

#1: Include Great Photos, like Caz and Craig from YTravel

Blog: YTravel

Some blogging topics pretty much demand great photos. Travel is one of those (and others include food, craft and fashion blogging).

Caz and Craig post gorgeous, smiley photos of their family. Some of these are simple candid snapshots, like in 17 Tips for Flying With Kids to Keep You Calm and Happy, and others are a little more posed, like the photos in Getting Settled in the USA + Where to Next.

Lessons learned:

#2: Add Some Flair, like Pat Flynn from Smart Passive Income

Blog: Smart Passive Income

As soon as you visit Pat’s blog, Smart Passive Income, you see a huge photo of him, plus his signature:

He adds flair in other ways too: his 404 page is inspired by on Back to the Future – his favourite movie, as noted on his bold, eye catching About page.

Lessons learned:

  • Don’t be afraid to go big! That might mean a huge photo of yourself, a bold statement, or an About page that’s filled with images.
  • Talk about who you are beyond blogging: Pat lists his favourite book, movie and game, and writes about his family on his About page.

#3: Develop a Strong, Identifiable Tone, like Shannon from Shannon’s Kitchen [language warning]

Blog: Shannon’s Kitchen

Salty language tends to polarise readers: some love it and find it a big part of a blog’s appeal; others will be put off and won’t return. Shannon swears – frequently and enthusiastically – on her blog (even in her tagline and navigation menu):

Lessons learned:

#4: Get Custom Illustrations, like Ramsey from Blog Tyrant

Blog: Blog Tyrant

As soon as you visit Blog Tyrant, you’ll see Ramsey’s red-shirted avatar: this illustration features in the banner image on the home page, and in the feature images for several of his posts:

It’s also on the front cover of his free report.

Lessons learned:

  • Custom illustrations can create a sense of consistency across your blog. Ramsey’s not the only blogger who uses them in this way: Social Media Examiner have their little jungle explorer in their header and at the start of each post.
  • If you’re not comfortable including personal photos, a cartoon version of you can be a great alternative.

#5: Include an Eye-Catching Sidebar Profile, like Elsie and Emma from A Beautiful Mess

Blog: A Beautiful Mess

New readers may land on any post on your blog … and it can help to give them a quick glimpse into who you are and what you’re all about. Sisters Elsie and Emma do this stylishly with a bright, bold photo and handwritten names in their blog’s sidebar:

Lessons learned:

  • An “About me” widget in your sidebar is a great place to create an instant connection with your reader. Include a link to your full About page too.
  • Happy, smiley photos of you are always a great draw. Some bloggers include these in the header, but the sidebar is a great alternative.

#6: Be Consistent With Your Branding Across Platforms, like Chris Ducker

Blog: Chris Ducker

Chris Ducker uses the same (smiling) headshot on his About page, Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, creating a consistent brand across multiple platforms:

Lessons learned:

  • If you’ve gone to the time and expense of getting a professional headshot done, use it – not just in your banner image, but on social media too.
  • You may want to have variations on your headshot, from the same shoot (compare Chris’s front page image with his About page headshot, for instance).

#7: Use Colour to Boost Your Brand, like Jadah Sellner

Blog: Jadah Sellner

When you visit Jadah’s site, your eyes are instantly drawn to her bright, colourful banner:

The colours of her clothes tie in with the colours of the newsletter sign up: it feels like everything fits together seamlessly. (The tagline above the banner picks up on the same deep pink colour, too.)

Lessons learned:

  • Colour matters! Perhaps bright colours aren’t quite right for your blog, but you can still create a similar banner image that takes colours from a photo of you and uses them for text and other elements.
  • Use colour consistently across your site: check out Jadah’s contact page for some examples.

#8: Use “I” in Your Content, like James Schramko from SuperFastBusiness

Blog: SuperFastBusiness

The first words of James’s homepage are a bold “I” statement: instantly, it’s clear what he’s all about and what he does, and – crucially –how he can help the reader.

Lessons learned:

  • Don’t be afraid to write in the first person. Some bloggers are reluctant to do this, but using “I” and “you” can help you connect to readers and show your personality.
  • Make sure, though, your focus isn’t just on yourself and your own story but on how you can have an impact on readers’ lives.

#9: Have a Tagline that Instantly Lets Readers Know if They’re in the Right Place, like Kelly Exeter

Blog: Kelly Exeter

Taglines can be really tricky to get right, and some bloggers choose not to use them at all. A great tagline, though, is a huge asset: in just a few words, you can tell your ideal readers that your blog is exactly the right place for them.

Here’s Kelly’s:

Lessons learned:

  • Think about who you serve (“compulsive strivers”) and what your blog will help those people do (“lead a less frantic life”).
  • Spend some time honing your tagline, so that it sounds just right – you might want to read it aloud.

#10: Create a “Start Here” Page That Explains What You’re All About, like Emilie Wapnick from Puttylike

Blog: Puttylike

Lots of blogs use a “Start Here” page, but having one is particularly important if – like Emilie – you’ve combined several different passions or strands into one blog. Emilie has different sections on the page to bring together her most popular posts in different categories.

Lessons learned:

  • You can blog about more than one topic, but make sure you’re clear about what you cover so that new readers can get a good sense of your scope.
  • Bringing together your best posts in one place make it easy to showcase your work and draw in new readers who share your interests.

How are you currently showing your personality on your blog? Did anything resonate with you as you looked at the above examples … and what will you try next?

The post How to Personalise Your Blog Like These 10 Top Bloggers appeared first on ProBlogger.