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Third Avenue
Mount Lawley, WA, 6050
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+61402027060

DesignUntapped is Lifestyle Blog and shop all about creativity, colour, fun, fashion, design and pop-culture.

We stock Teeshirts, clocks, totes, prints and all things creative. Life is all about having fun!!! Enjoy!

FOR BLOGGERS

This is my first swaray into the mysteries of the World Wide Web. I'm not pretending to be an expert, i don't know jargon, i don't have a marketing degree and i'm not a web developer. I have a passion for design and a full time job.  I'm learning as i go and developing my business and website. I'm going to share honest stories and developments here and provide some useful free content along the way.

Blogging on the Go - How to be Flexible and use Technology to your Advantage

Andy Fawcett

You aren't tied to your desk. 

Its a big wide fun world, you are a busy person and you want to experience it.  Howver you also want to build your blog consistently and with quality content. This takes time, correction, lots of time. 

If, like me, you have started your blog for fun, for a break from the nine to five and to experience, to learn and to develop. Then you don't want to spend endless hours in a home office, no matter how quirky and fun you have made it.

In this post I am going to discuss a few helpful hints and tips for blogging on the go and how t squeeze in some time around your life.  Not squeeze in life around your blog. 

image.jpg

 

How often should we blog

The experts recommended blogging consistently, some recommend that as a new blogger you should blog 3-5 times a week. Others state that generating new content ensures the almighty algorithms of The Google overlords will reward you ten fold.  Personally I think you should blog when you can and as often as you can, but don't burnt out, if the fun is lost then your blog will die. 

So often creating content can be a long and involved process. Researching, Writing the first draft, editing, re-writing, creating images and then promoting. Not sure about you but it take hours and hours for me.  However some times when you are in that sweet spot, the words flow continually and you feel you write an epic tale in a matter of moments, other times you can stare and stare at the blank computer screen and nothing comes. So how can you avoid this sticky situation.

Embrace Technology - 5 Mobile Strategies I use for Content

Iphone Notes

The notes app on your phone is fast, easy and incredibly useful to document ideas.  Waiting for a bus and see a sign that's sparks an idea? Quick get on you phone and save it.  I keep a number of lists for different categories and keep these topped up with ideas as they come. 

Carry a Good Old Fashioned Note Book and Pen

The notes app may be good for capturing quick ideas, but don't neglect how good a notepad can be for scribbles and developing an idea. Doodling, sketching, working on titles or just writing nonsense can really spark something and help to formulate a piece of content.

Use Evernote or Similar to Keep Stuff in The Cloud

Evernote is the next step of notes and essentially a digital note pad.  It's the iPhone notes app on steroids.  It is a great tool for keeping your projects ideas and inspiration in a handy spot that can be accessed over a number of platforms, mobile app, desktop etc.  You can also make little doodles, capture photographs, copy and paste text, make notes on text. The best bit it starts on a free tarrif so you can give it a go without committing any of you tight budget.

Use the Squarespace Blog App

This one I actually love and have wrote this post on.  My website is made via Squarespace, which is so intuitive and easy to use.  They also have a number of apps that make life a little bit easier, the blog app is so easy to start writing content and (Similar to Evernote) can be accessed from multiple platforms.  I like working directly into the Squarespace blog app when I can as its saves on doubling up on work and allows you to add SEO, links and images as you develop your post.

Create Images on the Go

Creating images to develop your post and promote your bland is a essential part of any blog post.  This is often very time consuming and one of the tasks you just have to be at your desktop for.........WRONG!  There are now some great tools to help develop images on the go I use two regularly. Firstly there is the Adobe creative cloud, I pay a monthly subscription to Adobe to access photoshop, illustrator and their other amazing products.  Recently Adobes suite of mobile apps and cloud storage has made it easier to develop images on the go.

  Howver not everyone fancies his or herself as a designer and their products are fantastic (when you know what you are doing). Canva is an amazing website that you can use to make images and is free. It's very intuitive, fast and looks very professional.

I made this image so quickly and I love it

I made this image so quickly and I love it

 

Happy blogging folks, 

love n stuff

Andy @ designuntapped

50 Free Pinterest Board Ideas

Andy Fawcett

Hey mateys, how ya doin? I'm triffic thanks.

In my Pinterest post I referenced creating Pinterest boards to up your pinterest game.

50 Pinterest Board Ideas

We if you are struggling for board ideas here is 50 of them.

  1. Black and White
  2. Red
  3. Blue
  4. Green
  5. Tshirts
  6. Fashion
  7. Fashionista
  8. Hats
  9. Inspirational Quotes
  10. Comedy
  11. Tattoos
  12. Hot Guys
  13. Hot Gals
  14. Style Gurus
  15. Sustainability
  16. Environment
  17. Architecture
  18. The Sea
  19. The Sky
  20. Sport
  21. Sporting Icons
  22. Design
  23. Furnature
  24. DIY projects
  25. Illustrations
  26. Typography
  27. Blogging
  28. TV shows
  29. Colour Schemes
  30. Cats 
  31. Dogs
  32. Rain
  33. Beach
  34. Surf
  35. Horror
  36. Portraits
  37. Photography
  38. Street Art
  39. Voodoo
  40. Travel
  41. Cars
  42. Mopeds
  43. Shoes
  44. Sneakers
  45. Cold
  46. Heat
  47. Dream Homes
  48. Snooze
  49. Food
  50. Drink

There you go, some quick fire inspiration. Go nuts get some pinterest boards all up in my grill dawg.

Up Your Pinterest Game and Use Your Boards to Drive Traffic

Andy Fawcett

Pin It. Pin it real good.

Pinterest is a bloggers dream, or so they say.  Who are they? The bloggersphere that's who.

Depending on your niche, Pinterest can be a real source of traffic for your budding blog or newbie business.

I've used Pinterest for years but always passively. I've been a voyeur, lurking, pinning to secret boards. No more. I have stepped out of the shadows and committed to the dark overlord that is Pinterest. Now bring me traffic oh great Pinterest gods.

Up-your-pinterest-game-and-drive-traffic-to-your-page

The Top 5 How-to-Use Pinterest Blog posts.

First things first if you, like me, have been using Pinterest in the past to research your latest wall paper or to save that Vegan recipe you will never try. Then chances are you need a crash course in Pinteresting.

There are some amazing bloggers out there who have figured out this social space and their pinterest game is on Point (or on Pin). Here is my 5 recommended further reading:

Jeff Bullas - 5 ways to flood your blog with Pinterest Traffic

Cursive Contents introduction on how to use group boards

Blog Ambitions - 10 things you Shouldn't do on Pinterest

Amy Lynne Andrews - Pinterest Tips

Fast Company - The Ultimate Guide To Pinterest

5 actions to take to improve your Pinterest game

So what did I do? 

What can you do?

1. Conduct a Pinterest Audit and Remove any Poor Quality Pins

Go back through the pins you have and make sure they are of the highest quality. Unpin the poor quality posts and only select fine images. Your pins will be the window to your brand so make sure they represent the best there is.

2. Rename you Pinterest Profile

Add a description to your Pinterest name that relates to what you do.  Become an authprity. For me I renamed my pinterest DesignUntapped | Business & Blogging | Lifestyle & Design. 

3. Create some Pinterest Boards and Start Pinning

If like me, you were using the Pinterest group without an underlying strategy you would have had a random collection of pins without any theme. Well correct this right now matey.

Brainstorm what your blog is about and create a board specifically for that topic.  The more boards you have and the higher the quality increase your chances of gaining followers.

Need some inspiration then take a look at my 50 Pinterest Board Ideas post.

4. Start Following Others on Pinterest

Although it may not seem like it, Pinterest is a social media platform so lets get social. Interact with others, comment on their pins, follow them, like them. 

5. Join Some Pinterest Group Boards and Use Them

This is a really good one. Find some group boards and request an invite. Pinterest group boards can be a collective of 100s or thousands of pinners, these group boards have a significant following and therefore if you pin to them you increase your chances of exposure.

What Should You Do Now

Visit me on Pinterest. Follow me and like my pins. Shoot me a message and i will follow you back.

 

StumbleUpon this Definite no-no.........Learn from My Mistakes and Don't get banned.

Andy Fawcett

StumbleUpon is one of my fave social media platforms. 

Or at least it used to be. 

Before I launched DesignUntapped I have been a user of StumbleUpon, but I must admit, I had missed the social aspect, I was unaware of adding pages and getting followers. 

But once I realised that you could add pages, I mean it's obvious, someone was discovering the content that you stumble upon, someone was having to share it, then I started to think of it in a whole new light. 

However I have fallen foul of the platform.  My account is now ghost blocked as a result of my attempts at self promotion.  In this post i want to help you make sure you don't make the same mistake I have.

Please share this (probably not on stumbleupon) to help raise awareness in the blogging community.

I Stumbledupon an major nono- brick-wall-with-white-text

So What Did I Do Wrong

Well I have committed a StumbleUpon sin, I used it for self promotion. Initially I added one of my posts about making an about me page.  I added it as a trial to see whether StumbleUpon could actually generate the traffic that a lot of other bloggers have been saying. 

Well the result was outstanding, not only for that post but also the follow on affects of people reading other posts on my site.  I was generating more comments and more sign ups to my mailing list. 

I thought I had cracked it.  

However I had not read the T&Cs, and who can honestly say they have. StumbleUpon forbids self promotion, however because this was my first share, how would they know it was me. 

So the next few posts I did I would promote on my Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Stumble Upon platforms.   

Suddenly, there was no more referrals coming from StumbleUpon, was it the quality of my post, was it my writing style, well "it's not you, it's me", this was the start of StumbleUpon kicking me to the kerb. 

What is a Ghost Ban?

StumbleUpon don't admit to ghost banning, but they do say that they impose restrictions if you are caught going against their T&Cs or end user agreements.  Which I had innavertantly done.

However a Ghost Ban is the equivilent of a girlfriend carrying on with you as usual but you don't get anything in return. You can text her, send her presents, flowers, love letters but you don't get to go out and you certainly don't get any lovin.  StumbleUpon lets you continue to use the platform as usual, you can still see all the user content, you can still add pages and you can still like and comment on pages. However nobody else can see your activity. 

You are left in limbo bimbo, shining your mirror balls for all eternity. (Mighty Boosh Reference for ya there). 

So What Can You Do About It?

This I currently do not know. 

At the moment I haven't contacted StumbleUpon, i am still using it, but just for research and for boredom and will continue to do so, just because I like the platform. 

Now that they have launched their paid advertising, I am unsure that if I do this, will this result in a release from my ghost ban?

How can You Avoid a Ban? 

Abide by the rules sucker. Don't self promote. 

If you do wanna risk it.  Don't get greedy. Share more of other people's pages than your own. I have read elsewhere to keep a ratio of 20-1, 10-1, 5-1, no-one really knows what makes StumbleUpons Algorithm notice you.  So my advice would be to be cautious. 

So What Does It Mean for the Beginner Blogger

Exposure is one of the most difficult things I am struggling with. It's the catch 22 that you need exposure to be seen, yet you need to be seen to get exposure.  Social Media algorithms are increasingly becoming more and more driven to make people pay for advertising.  The quality of content is suffering as a result  as the larger the marketing budget the more exposure. Those that can afford it will continue to grow exponentially.  Us new bloggers must continue to chip away and work harder and harder to gain a readership.

What can I do?  

I'm going to continue to write and continue to focus on developing my quality and my enjoyment for my readers. However  It's becoming more obvious to me that I will have to invest more and more into advertising to build a base readership. 

What can you do?

Spread the word, share this blog using the side buttons, it's just one click.

Help build a community and go and share 3 blogs today on 3 of your fave platforms.

We all need to help each other. 

You don't think this is worthy of sharing, that's cool too, but help me develop, let me know how I can improve. What would you like to see and what would make you share? Comment below.

 

 

Traffic and Income Report - By DesignUntapped - March 2016

Andy Fawcett

You know the saying "Time flies when you are having fun" that should definitely be rephrased "Time flies when you are trying to start a blog and online business".

Well this is round 2 of my progress reports for this little venture.

Why should you read it?

If you too are starting a blog you may become disheartened by the big how to grow your blog to a million bazillion followers and generate a katrillion dollars. Well its not all like that. I am like you, I'm coming on leaps and bounds but struggling to gain traffic.

This is a way for me to document my processes, what I have done, what's failed and whats succeeded. I am being honest and open. Learn from me, with me and lets help each other out.

Personal Review

Well this month has flown by.  It doesn't seem long ago that the I was sat writing my February report.

This month has been glorious, the sunshine and the weather on the West Coast of Australia has been epic.  Its also public holiday season, which means a couple of long weekends and chance to recharge the batteries.

I've found a new job so will be changing companies for my day job, and hopefull this new one will bring me some increased happiness and allow me to be able to focus on DesignUntapped after my 9-5 without having to worry about job insecurities. 

The AFL, Austrlaian Footy Seson has kicked off, and I have started an elite fantasy league. All league members have one thing in common, a total lack of knowledge of AFL. We hosted an old school sports day event tournament to decide the order of the draft. Which was an awesome day.

Blog and Content Stats

Social Stats

Facebook Page - 85 upto 105.

Twitter - 324 upto 360.

Instagram - 1075 to 1068

Instagram

Pinterest - 122 to 166

-DesignUntapped-

My social media has been a result of genuine interaction with people. Sharing other peoples and my own content.

Monthly Progress

This last month has seen some solid progression in my blogging, I signed up the the Jeff Goins International Blogging challenge. This community based blogging challenge really taught some new skills and helped me to refine my voice and also put me in touch with some fellow bloggers. 

I've also made the first steps into a brand new business venture, which I will be announcing in the coming months following development. 

I haven't hit 200 visits yet. Hopefully I can continue to build and develop a readership. 

List of Published Content

Ultimate Blogpost Checklist and why it will help your blog

Unfulfilled is blogging the answer, what is the question

DesignUntapped Manifesto

Keep calm and blog (with free ebook)

10 Reasons why Content Isn't King - The Death of Content

Win an IPhone Case Competition

5 new superstar Bloggers and Why You Need to Read Them

What are Micro-moments? And why you should use them

This Blog will Fail and Your Blog will too

10 killer calf tattoos

10 awesome leg tattoos

Bill Gates is a time traveller

New Products

Ultimate Blog Post Checklist

Cute Kittens, Ocean Sounds and the Calmness of Blogging Ebook

Blog, Sweat and Tears tee

Blog Life Tee

Too Far Behind Motivational Print. 

 

DesignUntapped Digital Digest

So I launched the DesignUntapped Digital Digest for my DesignUntapped members.  This included exclusive content, links, competitions and discount codes.  It'll be getting published each month so sign up to get the next edition. 

Business Stats

I've saved the worst till last, hopefully in the future i can start to generate more traffic start to generate some income.  This month my products didn't sell so well and I only shipped a couple of units.

INCOME (all $ are AUD)

  • Advertising - $0 (not yet)
  • Products - $78 (just a few, thanks everyone)
  • E-Products - $0 (launching soon)

EXPENSES

  • Products $50
  • Product Development $00
  • Squarespace $34
  • Miscellaneous Costs $25
  • Adobe Creative $50

My Targets for Next Month

  • I want to continue to grow my social media channels by 15%.
  • Blog at least 6 new blogs, across the four channels (For Bloggers, For Fun, For Ink, For Design).
  • Launch 4 new physical products in the shop.
  • Add additional photography of Existing Products.
  • Develop one free E-product blogging tool.
  • Hit 200 daily visitors. (Fingers Crossed).
  • I'm thinking about starting using adwords again to promote the blog. 

Please like us on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest and Share with your Friends.  Spread the word.

 

 

Why This Blog will Fail and Your Blog will Too, Unless you Do This...

Andy Fawcett

This blog is destined for failure.

I've accepted it.

There is no saving it, there is no slowing it, it's doomed.... and so is yours!!!

And why is that the case.

I'm not innovating quickly enough and neither are you.  The main influencers of your niche, the guys n gals with 100,000 and more views a week got there by hardwork, talent, dedication and by doing something differently.  

I want to challenge you to innovate your blog, website or product. Be different, be interesting and try something different. What's the worst that could happen.  Sign Up to my Mailing List to receive my latest innovation.  

Why-this-blog-will-fail-and-yours-will-too-unless-you-innovate

Why you Need to Innovate

It's easy to copy, especially in blogging.  Has there ever been such a medium before that shares so many of their independent strategies and lessons learned.  Go on, go visit one of your favourite big bloggers, i guarantee they have a post along the lines of "How i got to 11340 followers and how you can too" or "10 Easy Actions to Improve your Blog Traffic".  Follow them to the letter and you too will get 100,000 followers.

Wrong.

You won't, you will definitely learn some lessons, improve your traffic but you won't reach their stats.  What you will be left with is an empty feeling inside.  That emptiness can only be fulfilled by creating something of your own, nurturing it, developing it and launching it.  

Where would we be if we didn't innovate.  No fire, no wheels, no internet, no IPhone, god forbid.

How do I Innovate?

To innovate you have to try.  Try something new, learn from it and try again.

So i lead you to my first point. To innovate you will have to fail.  This blog will fail and it will fail a million times, but that won't stop me trying.  In my about me page and in my Manifesto i allude to learning and evolve as a brand, this is my commitment to innovation.  Many of you may have read my previous posts and if not, i'll let you into my little secret, I don't know what I'm doing, I'm learning and sharing as I go along.  But here is the rub, no-one is an expert, experts don't exist, there are just people who either know more than you or know how to do it smarter than you.

In 2008 Google published an article called the 8 Pillars of Innovation, I'm not going to regurgitate it, its a great read and i recommend you dig into it yourself.  They conclude that in order to fail, you need to take risks.  So go for it, take a risk and develop something new.

You already write a blog. You create.  You put yourself out there.  You are fearless already.  Remember that blog post you did that you thought was killer yet it bombed. It was not received well, you got negative feedback, you wanted to pack it all in.  Well what did you do?

You opened your laptop and went again.  You researched, you wrote and you published some of your best work.   Well thats how you can develop your innovation, dare to fail and try something different.

Today's Innovator is the Influencer of Tomorrow

When you do produce you innovative idea or product you will know it.  You can become the leader of your field, you can become the influencer of tomorrow.  You can become successful, well until your next failure that is.

Well good luck to all of us in this venture.  Good luck in your attempts, just keep trying. 

My latest attempt at innovation is The DesignUntapped Digital Dispatch , coming out this month, sign up to my mailing list to give it ago.

 

Love N Stuff,

Andy @ DesignUntapped

 

What are Micro-Moments and How to Use them to Capture Web Traffic?

Andy Fawcett

I'm sat waiting for my train. 

There is a queen song blasting through my headphones from Spotify radio. 

Man Freddie Mercury was awesome.  I wanna get a tshirt with him on it.  I pull out my phone "Where can I buy a Freddie Mercury tshirt?" Come on Google, deliver the goods. 

That right there, is a micro-moment.  In this digital age the mobile phone is now the most important internet device.  Last year in 2015 more internet searches were carried out on mobile formats than on desktop.  

So what do you need to do to prepare for this transient mobile hungry customer base?

Hey while I have you here, please sign up to our newsletter, the new edition comes out on the 30th and it's gonna be packed with goodies.

What are Micro-Moments and How to Use them to Capture Web Traffic

What the Heck is a Micro-Moment - The Beginners Guide

So what actually defines a micro-moment and why should it matter.  Micro-moments are the sweet spot between a persons intent, context and immediacy.   

What that means is that in that precise moment a person knows what they want, that they intend to do it/buy it and they need it now.  Who wouldn't want to tap into that?

It's the web equivalent of a guy with gastro running into your shop and asking for the key to the toilet! They want it, they need it and they seriously intend to use it. 

We are not just talking about products, this is in relation to information, knowledge, locations.  The web these days is becoming instant, in the moment. 

Seriously I once bought a purple watch in my sleep, true story, at the time I was a strange sleeper and I do think it was a combination of sleep walking and shopping.  But for what ever reason in that very moment I wanted a purple watch, I wanted it then and I intended to buy it.   I still have it, I hate it, it lives in a draw and mocks me constantly.

The types of Micro-moment

Google are characterising the micro-moment into 4 distinct groups: 

  • I want to know moment aka How the fuck do I get rid of this hangover moment.
  • i want to go moment aka I want to go to get a coffee near me to try and fight off this hangover.
  • i want to do moment aka I want to do some retail therapy.
  • I want to buy moment aka i want to buy a t-shirt to make me feel better.

If you hadn't guessed i am hungover.  Too many tequilas.

But what i have shown above is a potential 4 micro-moments that may lead to a sale or a visit to your website.

So How should this Impact what You Do

    The old days of SEO still apply however they are given less impetus in googles new algorithm.  Google are trying to put users first which means fresh, relevant content is bumped up the list.

    Think about your service, post or product and how is it relevant?  

    Identify what micro-moment a potential customer may have in order to search for your product and try to position your content accordingly.   identify appropriate key words and use these organically and naturally.

    Word of warning, don't try and cheat. Just like your SEO, you may be penalised by Google if you are seen to be keyword ramming in your post.  It should still be relevant to your content and still be useful for your readers.

    For example,  the micro-moment of one customer may be, coming out of a Broadway play, let's say Arthur Millars "The Crucible", it's currently running on Broadway and getting rave reviews.  Ben Wishaw is playing John Proctor.   The person might Google "I want to know what Ben Wishaw is going to be in".  Ben Whishaw is the actor that is going to play Freddie Mercury in the upcoming biopic.  If you sell Freddie Mercury tshirts in NewYork right now and make that link for your customers, you may just capatilose on the micro-moment.

    Obviously that would be a very niche way to spend your already very tight marketing budget.  But as an example to get your mind-cogs turning.

    So What to Do Next

    In your future content you need to think about your strategy.   Think about your users intent and how that will reflect on their search criteria.

    Most-searches-are-now-carried-out-on-mobile-platforms-iphone

    The things you need to do right now:

    • Make sure your website is optimised for mobile content.  If it doesnt look good on a phone you have lost that potential user to a competitor;
    • Make images small so that the speed of the website is not compromised;
    • If you are a product based company, you need a blog in order to capitalize of the micro-moments.   We may see with Instagram's impending algorithm update that they may be utilising some sort of Micro-moment functionality but who knows.
    • Watch this google video as a bit of an intro into Micro-Moments.

    The web is constantly changing.  The search engines learn tricks that people use to try and get a better SEO score. Put your time into good content, forget about the tricks.  Know your customer, know what they are looking for and you might just survive in this noisy crowded digital environment.

    Well if you have a spare five why not take a look at DesignUntapped products in the shop.

    Love N Stuff

    Andy @ Designuntapped

     

     

     

     

    5 New Superstar Bloggers and Why you Need to Read Them

    Andy Fawcett

    Talent = Nothing

    Talent + Commitment = Something

    Talent + Commitment + Hard Work = Progress

    Talent + Commitment + Hard Work + Exposure = Nearly There

    Talent + Commitment + Hard Work + Exposure + Luck = Possible Success

    Over the past week i have been participating in Jeff Goins How to Blog Like a Pro 7 Day Challenge along with circa 3,000 other writers, bloggers, artists, procrastinators, scallywags and entrepreneurs.  

    Along with the skills that i learned and the confidence this challenge has given me i have learned that there are some fantastic new bloggers out there, writing quality content in the most original ways possible.

    I want these talented creatives to build, grow and develop and I want to be able to read what they do in the future and see where their blogging career takes them.

    Hey boy, hey girl, superstar Bloggers.......Here we go.

    The Beautiful Between - Living Fully in the now & not yet

    Sarah from the Beautiful Between writes about her faith and finding a purpose in the in-between purposes.  Her page is clear crisp and her writing is top notch.  I wish I shared her philosophies but as an atheist it's not really something I align with.  What I do align to is her commitment, her clarity in what she writes and her honesty, which really comes through in her writing.

    I think Beautiful Between is proof that a good writer can really make any topic interesting.

    I also really think her imagery is top notch.  It makes me calm just looking at it and really adds to her message.  It brings her blog together in an holistic manner that really works to build her brand.

    The Faith Niche is a very busy area so Sarah will have to really promote her blog well to not get lost under the big guys. Good luck Sarah.

    Annie Singer - www.anniesinger.me Young Adult, Young Adulting

    From Ying to Yang, Annie Singer of www.anniesinger.me writes with a refreshing tone that walks the line between informative and fuckyouative.  That's a compliment by the way.

    She has found her blogging voice and it is punchy, direct and interesting.

    She blogs about SEO, social media, marketing, influencer outreach and blogging.  But this isn't a side hustle, she is the real deal.

    Another very competitive niche, but i think anniesinger.me has an angle that could really resonate with people and approach that makes her different.  I think in a couple of years we'll all be waxing lyrical about her.  As she is also a Muay Thai Fighter I also see in her future "The 7 day Blog and Arse kicking challenge, a combination of fitness, fighting and blogging to supercharge your blog".

    Annie if you read this i'll take my 10% idea fee on that one. 

    To Be the Man - A blog for Men

    Chuck Chapman is the man behind to To Be the Man, A blog for Men, Chuck is a man writing for men about men, man.

    Is that a record for men/man mentions in a sentence? who has the number for Guinness World Records.

    His blog has a clear direction, he has obviously worked on the format and targeting a very specific market.   The blogging advice market for men.

    Publishing  life tips, sex advice, leadership issues.  What i do see for To be the Man is a number of link ups and opportunity for affiliate marketing such as Dollar Shave Club, Fitness Magazines, Male fashion influencers, gadgets.  

    Provided Chuck can get the exposure, he will definitely become a success.

    This is a page i would love to get a guest post on, watch this space.

    Matt Moss - Mossthewriter.com

    Moss the Writer has a consistent tone of writing. It's informative, not preachy, not braggy yet confident and authoritative in nature.  It's the blogging equivalent of a good warm hug.  

    You know those good hugs that feel just right.

    Moss the Writers blog use white space to not distract from the words, he lets the writing tell the story.

    He is also a fan of Soren Kierkegaard, the Danish philosopher who practiced existentialism, and reflection on ones selves attitudes and actions. This shows through in his blog, Moss seems to have a good handle on self reflection and consistently challenges his own writing.

    Nicole Bianchi - Productivity Tips and Creative Inspiration

    Nicole Bianchi's blog looks almost the finished article. It was established in 2016 so is new by all accounts. The theme is consistent and her writing prose has a lovely developed feel to it. 

    Nicole knows her target audience and that is something many bloggers will struggle to identify for years. 

    One of the challenges of the 7 day blog challenge was write a manifesto, Nicoles manifesto was one of the very first i read, it was so good, she set the bar incredibly high.

    Her blogging/writing research page is a great resource for help, images, plug-ins, guides. Thanks for this Nicole.

    Why Do I Need to Follow These Guys

    a-bloggers-desk-phone-books-keyboard-on-a-desk

    It's easy to follow the big guys, the Jeff Goins, the Probloggers.  

    Starting on my Blog journey i am the same position as the 5 blogs i mention here.  The Catch 22 of needing a following but not having enough followers to build a following.  

    I genuinely believe we can get there starting with a small devoted following, working on our craft, building quality and sharing others.

    In this age of algorithms and rules to prevent self promotion and to force advertising dollars into the coffers of the big social media outlets, we all need a helping hand.

    If you agree share this page on Stumbleupon, Pinterest, Twitter, or just share it on your blogs.  Lets try and get support the little guys, they'll soon be the medium guys and eventually the big guys they'll remember their grass roots fans.

    Love N Stuff,

    Andy @ DesignUntapped.

    FREE IPhone 6/6plus/s Cover Case for my Readers

    Andy Fawcett

    To celebrate all the new followers and readers we've been getting.

    As a reward to all you great bloggers for providing useful feedback and helping to shape and develop DesignUntapped.

    I'm giving away an Iphone case for one lucky person.

    For the rest of you i'm giving away my ebook "Cute Kittens, Ocean Sounds and the Calmness of Blogging" as a free digital download.

    This is also part of the relaunch of my new revamped Newsletter (due to be sent out on 30th March 2016).

    I Blog Therfore I am iphone cover-purple-colour-typewriter-imagery-on-a-desk-#contest

    The IPhone case can be for an IPhone 6/6s or IPhone 6plus/6PlusS.

    How to Enter the Competition

    You need to register for my Newsletter below and leave a comment on anyone of my blogposts.

    Name *
    Name

    Thanks again and keep on blogging,

    Love N Stuff

    Andy @ DesignUntapped

     

    10 Reasons Why Quality isn't King - The Death of Content

    Andy Fawcett

    Bill Gates stated that Content is King, all the way back in 1996 if you want to read his essay i have uploaded a copy  (thanks to Craig Bailey for tracking this down).  

    Reading this now shows just how forward thinking Bill Gates was.  He pretty much nailed it......up to 2010........since then..............Content is alive..............Quality is dead............Quantity is king.

    However I believe the state of the internet right now is in free fall.  No longer is the best content rewarded.  Today's internet is a cash Juggernaut where the biggest budget is king and quality comes second, third, fourth or not at all.

    Sure there are plenty of creative people producing quality creative content.  But this is dragged down among the poor content of "20 celebrities that used to be attractive", to be forever hidden at the bottom of the pile.  

    The content equivalent of Daniel Day Lewis acting in an Adam Sandler movie.  Quality hidden by chaff.

    The=death-of-content-10-reasons-why-quality-isn't-king

    10 Reasons why Quality Isn't King

    1. Numbers Matter

    There is zero reasons to spend time writing good content unless people can see it.  If you uploaded a picture of a dogturd that looked like Donald trump. Boom that gets you views. However a genuinely original piece of content will fall by the wayside.

    2. You gotta Pay to get Paid

    Outbrain, Adsence, Tomboola, the list is endless. These guys hide behind an algorithm, coding black magic that rewards the biggest budget, not the best content.

    3. Your not on the list you ain't coming in

    Unless you are in an inner circle, you can't get traction. If you aren't under the wing of an influencer or say the things they want you to say.

    You will be left to rot, down in the hull of the internet, irish dancing with Leo and Kate, while the inner-circle dines on their Oysters and Foitgras...... "Cut up the cucumber darling, the next young In thing has arrived"

    4. Their/There/They're doesn't make any difference

    Who cares about grammar and spelling, not the internet that's for sure.  Steaming poo, winky face emoji.

    You may be a cunning linguist and a well crafty wordsmith but that won't matter.  The most beutiful crafted prose will be read by the minority, while the regurgitated photograph of Kaitlin Jenners orange peel will be fired to the top of the list, shared by Buzzfeed and devoured by the Huffington Post masses.

    5. The Robots are Already here and They Rule supreme

    All hail the Algorithm.  

    Google algorithm, Facebook algorithm, Instagram is soon to be an algorithm.  

    Constantly evolving, changing and becoming self aware.

    Be afraid my friend.

    Skynet is here, and it's looking for content.

    (Psst. only joking Mr Algorithm Sir, I love you really)

    6. Copywrite and Trademark law is second to the speed of the Web

    You spend all day, weeks, months years on your craft, poem, t-shirt design or short story. Publish it to the world and blammo, it's copied quicker than a One-direction tattoo design.

    Sadly the days of respecting an artist don't exist.

    Should you be lucky enough to stumble upon or find your stolen content. Poof they have already made their money, found their followers and built a reputation on your material.

    7. The Liars win

    Take this post it states i'm going to give you ten reasons, i'm not going to and it won't have any implication.

    You have already clicked on my post.

    The stats are recorded. Go ahead leave, i already have your digits. (Please don't really).

    8. Click Next 

    How many times have you been duped on a blog by clicking next and its actually a well placed add.

    It annoys you doesn't it?

    Yes, but half an hour later you are still in bed, late for work, surfing these links in a constant free-fall.

    Like Matthew McConnahay in Interstellar, you don't know where you are, it all looks the same but weirdly different, and you are randomly following something, because it told you too, who did, it doesn't matter.

    9. You are Cheating On Me

    That's right, I've seen you making eyes at that blog over there.

    I can smell the different perfume on you, i know you've been reading other posts.

    Loyalty is a thing of the past. There is so much content out there, why would you come back.  You've enjoyed your one-post stand and now you are off to another one.  There is so many notches on your virtual blog bed post that the post is a stump, a virtual stump.

    10. The Liars win again.

    I duped you.

    Double lie,

    I am giving you 10 Reasons.  This one is for the collectors out there, you know them, the Pinners, that repin but don't click.

    The bufferers that buffer but don't read.  

    The twitterers that tweet but don't taste.

    They don't care about you, they don't even know what your post was about.  They've used you to make themselves look like a expert.

    In conclusion

    Follow these rules for success on the web:

    • Be generic
    • Be unoriginal
    • Be nongenuine
    • Lie
    • Steal
    • Cheat
    • Lie again.

    So what do you think? Are you there? Do you care? Are we going to rally together to save the web?

    The above conclusion is the antimanifesto of DesignUntapped. Drop by and read the real manifesto.

    Bite Me 'N' stuff, oh i can't bring myself leave you that way,

    Love 'N' Stuff,

    Andy @ DesignUntapped.

    (This post has been part 3 of the Jeff Goins Blog Like a Pro 7 day Challenge)

    Keep Calm and Blog - Part 2 of the Goins Writer 7 Day Blog Like a Pro (BLP) Challenge

    Andy Fawcett

    Hopefully you read my Manifesto from Part 1 of the 7 day Blog like a pro challenge.

    No, you didn't?!

    Shame on you, head over to the DesignUntapped Manifesto right now, or you'll be going to bed without dinner.

    Only kidding. Look here,  DesignUntappeds philosophy is here's some cool stuff, you might like it, you might not, and that's fine.

    Ok so this is Part 2 of the Challenge.  I've been inspired by my own manifesto and have decided to be original, provide value and grow my blog exposure.

    What you Want!

    Mr Blogger Blogger, mmmmmmm (poor excuse for a Shaggy impression).

    Don't you need to finish your 500 word blog.....

    Hang on, you need to respond to that comment......

    Twitter is calling.....

    Facebook page is rolling........

    Pinterest is Pinning without you.......

    Darn the spaghetti has boiled over......

    Ooh, Baby I Got It

    It may feel like you have an abundance of tasks and pressures on you for your blog.  Take a step back and remember why you got into blogging in the first place:

    • You have a desire to share;
    • You are creative; and
    • You want to control your outputs, your schedule and your commitments

    What's you Need? You Know I got it!

    So Relax, when you feel stressed, I've got you covered.  I've crafted this ebook entitled "Cute Kittens, Ocean Sounds and the Calmness of Blogging" its designed for you, and me, the beginner bloggers of the world.

    Its a one stop shop of advice to help you manage the perceived stress of blogging.  Essentially it's a self help book that will hopefully provide some entertainment and useful techniques to help you relax and concentrate on what you need to do..... Be awesome.

    The ebook is an interactive PDF which allows you to enter text directly into the book to really get the use out of the worksheets.

    Here's a snapshot of what you can expect.


    All I'm Askin'

    It costs nothing, it's completely free, zero, zilch, nada, nowt, noffink, did I mention it's free.  Just sign up to the mailing list, below, and it's yours.

    Name *
    Name

    DesignUntapped value and respect you as a reader. Your email address will not be transferred, sold or used to help any Nigerian princes release their frozen bank accounts.  We will however deliver free original and useful content to your email and absolutely zero spam.  I guarantee it.

    As mentioned before, if you don't like it, that's fine.

    Is for a Little Respect

    Did you download my Ebook for Freezies? Did you like it?

    Let me know, I love feedback and constructive criticism. How can I improve it?

    If you wanna see more of the same or just wanna say hi, then leave a comment below.

    Too shy, that's fine, drop me an email at andy@designuntapped.com.

    Last but Not Least

    Big shout out to my Ginger brother Jeff Goin for getting the creative Juices Flowing and challenging us all to dig deep and put "it" out there,

    To everyone else taking part in this challenge, well done, I'm trying to read as many as possible and you guys rock,

    Love 'N'Stuff

    Andy @ DesignUntapped

     

    My Manifesto - Part 1 of the Goins Writer Blog Like a Pro 7 Day Blog Challenge

    Andy Fawcett

    In developing the DesignUntapped Manifesto, the credo of what I and my fledgling blog stand for.

    Firstly lets understand what a Manifesto is,  hint, its not the bad guy who can control metal in X Men:apocalypse (I believe that is Curvy Helmet Mental Bendy Man, but i may stand corrected).  

    A manifesto is a tool to communicate vision and values. Traditionally in the corporate environment it is used as a methodology to show that a companies underlying principles contribute to the way it conducts its day to day interactions with clients, customers and staff.

    Due to my corporate background, this is how i am going to approach my manifesto. By asking myself:

    • What are my Values?
    • What is my Vision?
    • Who are my Readers or Customers?

    Do you know your answers to the above question? Let me know in the comments below.

    The DesignUntapped Manifesto. 

    Dream Big - DesignUntappeds only constraints are the ones I make myself. Continue to dream, to reach for the next stage and to aim for the unattainable. There is no shame in failure, however failing to try would certainly be a shame.

    1. Learn More - There is an abundance of information in the world.  DesignUntapped must devour and digest this information to learn, learn, learn.
    2. Be Original - Develop DesignUntappeds original voice. It's own brand and entity.
    3. Be Consistent - Strive for consistency. Produce top content, products, relationship and advice and do it again, and again, and again.
    4. Maintain Integrity - Don't Steal, Don't Sabotage, Don't Block others. Maintain DesignUntappeds integrity at all times.
    5. Credit and Share - Become part of the community.  Credit those that help, entertain and provide.  Share and share alike.
    6. Demonstrate Value - Identify problems, develop solutions and deliver recommendations.  Constantly challenge DesignUntapped to provide free value.
    7. Build and Grow - Small steps develop to something great.  Find the next steps to grow DesignUntapped. Build personal relationships and grow friendships.
    8. Review and Evolve - What worked? What failed, learn the lessons, review the data, use it to adapt and evolve. 

    There it is, DesignUntappeds core values.  How did I do? Do your values align with DesignUntapped. If so, get in touch, lets connect. 

    Why the manifesto?

    I've currently signed up for Jeff Goins Blog Like a Pro (BLP) 7 day challenge. An initiative and challenge started on GoinWriting designed for beginner bloggers to challenge their productivity, principles, writing style and to define their goals and aspirations.

    Its also an example of a fantastic piece of internet marketing by Jeff Goin. Instantly promoting his own entity and providing value to the blogging community.  This initiative is truly the forward, outside of the square, thinking that a new blogger needs to develop in order  to continue to grow into the field. Kudos Mr Goin, kudos indeed. 

    But thats enough about Jeff, take the time to come and meet me, Andy Fawcett, creator of DesignUntapped.  Lets connect, drop me an email at andy@designuntapped.com,

    Love N Stuff,

    Andy @ DesignUntapped


    Unfulfilled at Work? Is Blogging the Answer? What is the Question?

    Andy Fawcett

    Hi Everyone, 

    Welcome to my post.

    Come in, make yourself comfortable and be prepare to unleash some fully fledged truth bombs on you sub-conscience. 

    Today's post is being written from a fully personnel perspective. 

    It aims to convey why I, like many of you, feel unfulfilled in the day-to-day role and  whether this blogging malarkey can be the answer to providing fulfillment and contentment.

    Hopefully it will raise some questions, thoughts or at least give you that warm feeling that you are happy and content where you currently are, where you are going or help you figure out where you need to be.

    Please take a second to like designuntapped on facebook. 

     


    Feeling-Unfulfilled-is-blogging-the-answer-man-on-bridge

    Are you fulfilled?

    OK so recently i am feeling increasingly separated from my work colleagues and feel that my company is going in a different direction to what i am comfortable with. I won't go into specifics but needless to say i am unfulfilled.

    In my opinion the three things that would mean i am fulfilled at work are being challenged, respected and utilised.

    Being Challenged

    Looking back through my previous projects, when was I happiest?  It wasn't when I dredging through the monotony of emails or invoices. It was when I was actively engaged in challenging work.  Work that i found interesting, work that had a clear direction (maybe not at the start but definitely once it starts to develop), it was when i could use an existing skill or learn or develop a skill to produce a valued output.

    So how can you be challenged? Think about your current position or tasks.  

    Being Respected

    Respect is earned and is reciprocal. Do a good job, work hard and respect will follow.  

    However respect isn't just about being good at your job. This is also in regard to being a valued member of a team. Its the day to day relationship you have with colleagues and leaders and how information is passed between the team.  Its about treating customers, colleagues, bosses as people, as humans.

    Respect can take the form of the remuneration you are given, or the plaudits you receive or as mentioned before the day to day interaction of being an integral part of a team.

    Being Utilised

    There is nothing worse than having to twiddle your thumbs or having your skill set not be utilised.  The satisfaction of ending a day knowing that you have earned your personal time.  Or being in the position that you can look back and see that you have delivered or made significant contribution to a goal or action can build upon your motivation and momentum to wake up and do it all again.  Ultimately work is about accomplishment.  

    Can Blogging be the Answer?

    Well if the question is can i be challenged, respected and utilised. Then blogging could be the answer.  Of course there is the human need for clothing, warmth and sustenance that can only be provided from an income.  So that is the challenge? Every time you write a post you can challenge yourself to create something useful, entertaining and original. You can be respected from your peers, your readers but ultimately the self respect comes from the satisfaction of producing your content.  Utilisation can be looked at that you can always be doing something productive for your blog, be it writing, researching or marketing it.

    WHAT NEXT?

    In conclusion I need to find fulfillment. I need to establish what i need to do that and progress to work with colleagues, supervisors and customers to become challenged, respected and utilised.  

    For my blogging i am going to continue to challenge myself to develop my skills, attain respect from you my readers and utilise myself to provide more and more quality content. At the moment, for me blogging can not be the answer, but it may just be a stepping stone or development tool to get there.

    Available as a framed poster in the DesignUntapped Shop

    Available as a framed poster in the DesignUntapped Shop

    Remember, when you think you are too far behind, you are always miles ahead of those who haven't tried.

    Thanks for reading.   What leaves you fulfilled? Has blogging helped you? Leave a comment below and lets figure out a way to be fulfilled in whatever we do.

    Love N Stuff,

    Andy @ designuntapped

     

     

    Free Ultimate Blog Post Checklist and Why It Will Help Your Blog

    Andy Fawcett

    The-ultimate-blog-post-checklist-with-free-digital-download

    Well done on your last post, you really nailed it.

    You put your heart into it and was incredibly pleased with it.

    Do you feel like you are finding your voice?  Your blogging is improving leaps and bounds.

    However, if you are anything like me, you may realise with every post that something is missing.  

    Well that, my friends, is the reason for this ultimate blog post checklist that i would like to share with you.  It's designed as simply as possible and as a chronological checklist to use during your blog development.  If you prefer to use the infographic list, please feel free to do so.   However if you are keen on using a checklist worksheet, I've drafted and expanded this into a PDF.  Its also available in the store as a free digital download item.  Both the infographic and the checklist can be used as a printable to-do list for each of your blog posts.

    Pre-Post

    1. Do you have a killer idea?

    It may seem obvious but to start a blog post you need an idea.  It can come from anywhere. Finding that great idea is half the battle.  Struggling for that idea, you can find inspiration everywhere.  Try to train your brain into being creative, find a problem and craft a potential solution.  

    That may sound over-simplistic, but the more you do it the easier it will get.


    2. Does it link to your niche?

    You will have read about your "niche" on most advice blogs. It may be that you know exactly what you are targeting and who you are trying to help. You may have a fantastic specialism.

    I subscribe to the "niche" idea but in more for the consistency of your writing. Your readers will develop into fans and that is because they enjoy the way you covey your ideas, like your voice and trust the information you are sharing.


    3. Are you in a happy place?

    When you are in a good place or a good mood it is 10x easier to start writing.  It shines through in your text.  

    Try and get yourself in a happy place, listen to some music, get active, dance, sing, go for a run, whatever you can to help you forget about any external factors and help you be ready to produce your best work.


    4. Have you got a cup-o-tea or coffee?

    Self explanatory really, blogging and coffee go hand in hand.  Stick the kettle on then, get brewing. Head on back to read the rest of this post.   

    At this stage download the ultimate blogpost worksheet by subscribing below. It's a companion to this post and has some extra special goodies to help you capture SEO keywords and help plan your post.  

     

    Name *
    Name

    MID-POST
    INTRO

    5. Clearly state what the post is about?

    Your introduction is your key opener.  Your readers need to know what they are getting into as soon as possible.  Too much waffle and you have lost them.  Be concise, be fun and be informative.  The post won't be for everyone, so don't waste their time.


    6. Will your intro grab the readers
    attention? 

    SEX.....now that I have your attention, read on.

    Your intro really should leave your readers wanting more. Like a good book they should be enticed to read on and be fully engaged from the beginning of the post.  

    Be careful though, you need to be genuine, don't promise something that the post can't deliver. This comes back to trust between you and your readers. 

    7. Does your intro include a strong Call-to-Action?

    The all powerful call to action (CTA). Your blog maybe delivering the best most awesome stuff on the whole World Wide Web, however once your reader finishes are they going to do anything with it. Chances are they won't unless you ask them to.

    Spell it out, examples of CTA:

    • share this post on facebook
    •  like us on facebook
    • leave a comment below
    • sign up to our mailing list for exclusive free content
    • share this post on Pinterest using the sidebar
    • read my previous post here

    BODY


    8. Is your post split into paragraphs?

    Remember that you are writing copy for your blog and oldschool grammar rules are relaxed.

    Generally people reading your blog may be doing so on a mobile platform or while on a break. Lots of text can be daunting.

    Take this paragraph.

    Although grammatically not correct, splitting it into paragraphs makes it easier to digest and follow.


    9. Does it include sub-headings?

    Similarly to point 8, above. Splitting your text up can make things a lot easier to read and follow, also if you are writing a long piece, like this one, it can be easier for your readers to refer to paragraphs in the comments.

    Additionally using subheadings benefits your SEO (Search Engine Optimization). By using H1, H2 and/or H3 will vastly improve your website SEO and ultimately help your organic traffic rate. 

    10. Does it utilise white space?

    8,9 and 10 kind of go hand in hand.

    You can see in this text that there is white space surrounding the text.  This is a tactic to make text easier to read.


    11. Is there a Call-to-Action within the body text?

    Here is that CTA again.  We are trying to entice your readers to engage, look at a product or  start a dialogue.  You need to ask them or direct them to do so.


    12. Have you included internal links?

    This is one I always forgot to do until I started using this checklist. 

    Internal links are redirections to previous content on your website.  An internal back link benefits you google status as well as giving your readers opportunity to further engage and get access to other content. 

    You have worked hard on your current post, but also on your previous posts, share them, that way your reader may become a fan. 

    Also be aware of giving certain pages too much power by linking to it too often.  For example your contact us page will already have a lot of links to it (due to its inclusion in your contents, side bar or footer). 


    13. Have you included external link?

    I'm a beginner blogger and coming from a consultant background, it has taken me some time to get over the previous attitude that other people in your niche are competitors. 

    Blogging is a supportive culture, by linking up external sites (that are relevant to your post) you are giving your readers added value.  You can also leave a comment on the external blog, letting them know how useful you found it and thanking them for the influence. This is a contact business and you may establish good ongoing relationships with leaders of your field.

    Also that will give you one of those lovely back links and potentially another avenue for traffic.

    By far my most popular post to date is 5 Killer Blogs to help you write an About Me Page.  I did exactly that and I do get referrals from those blogs.

    One word of warning, to many links will start to be detrimental to your google score. Generally you should try and not exceed 50 links, this includes internal (inclusive of links in contents, sidebars and footers) and external links. 


    14. Are you links complete sentences or phrases?

    An example of a good link is this.  For tips and best practice for SEO read this post from Orbitmedia.

    The text I have used to link is a phrase and includes keywords. Try to avoid the click here type of link.  Not only does it not contribute to your SEO, it also breaks up the flow of your text.


    15. How many keywords have you used?

     Improve you SEO by including keywords for your post.  

    If someone was to search for your post what would they search for? what words would they type into Google?   give yourself a helping hand by using additional keyword phrases.  For example if your post is about Star Wars, also include terms such as "space adventure", "epic science fiction tale set in space" or "a movie about Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader set in a galaxy far far away".

    Word to the wise. Include keywords organically by writing good, original content with keywords flowing naturally.  Google recognises keyword jamming I.e. Including keywords in list form and can penalize your SEO.  

    If in doubt, imagine how you would have a normal conversation about a topic. 

    Use our checklist to search for and capture keywords for use in your blog post. 

    SUMMARY


    16. Does this form a conclusion?

    Your post has been written, it's an epic piece of content that is original, useful, fun and exiting.  You reader has been engaged, laughed, cried, liked you on Facebook.  

    It's time to let them know it's over. You are spent.  Your post should close out with a suitably Summary or conclusion.  Reference back to your introduction.  This shows that you have delivered on your promises.


    17. Does it include a Call-To-Action?

    Ok, now I'm repeating myself, but it really is important. This is another opportunity to direct your readers to engage with you.  It's the ideal time to ask for comments and feedback.


    18. Does it include any recommended reading?

    Combine your CTA with recommended reading.  Link and recommend your previous posts that may be along similar topics to your current post.

    19. Have you asked for comments?

    If you ask for comments, please make sure you have included a comment section.  Also the Internet can be cruel or supportive, don't be too upset if you get negative feedback. 

    PHOTOS & IMAGERY

    Ultimate Bloglist-checklist-by-designuntpped-girl-in-denim-holding-#camera.jpg

    20. Does the post include at lease 1 original image?

    Images are increasingly more important in blogging.  With the rise of Instagram and Pinterest and the changes in Facebook and Twitter (displaying more images) this is your real opportunity to stand out from the crowd.  I ensure I have at lease one original image.  Do not steal from other blogs or google images (I have been guilty of this in the past when I first started blogging).  Images on the web are copyrighted and you may expose yourself to action if you do.

    There are plenty of sources to obtain copy free images, but you really can't beat an original image be it a photograph, sketch or infographic. Make it relevant and make it interesting.

    In addition this is your opportunity to brand your work, include your logo, text style or whatever makes your brand yours. 

    For posts that are long or include a lot of information (like this one) images can really break up the text and keep people's interest and attention. 

    It's something I am still trying to do is go through my older posts and update the images, so start off on the right foot and produce original images from the very beginning. 


    21. Does the post include images specifically targeted for your social media outlets (e.g. Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest)?

    As noted in item 20 imagery is very important to todays viscerally inclined populous.  Knowing that each social media outlet has prefered image sizes and also what type of content is particularly suited to that source can be the difference to getting repins on Pinterest, shares on Facebook or retweets on Twitter.

    I have a post planned to discuss this in further detail.

    See as how i haven't git that ready yet, i refer you to an excellent post written by Lindsay  Kolowich (@lkolo25) discussing a cheat sheet for social media images.

    Another thing to note is that Social Media is constantly evolving and you should try and check the developer tools for each outlet to see if any developments may effect your previous posts and imagery.

    22. Are all images named?

    This is another initiative to improve your SEO.  If you are using original photography, your camera may automatically save an image as Photo001.jpg or something similar.  

    It is unlikely that this will show up in any search engine. 

    By renaming every image with a relevant content name. You are improving your SEO and increasing the chances of someone finding your amazing work.

    23. Does the name include a description?

    The name should also include a description of what the photograph is.  For example if a photograph you include is a blogger dressed in a red top working on his mac.  Then rename the photograph something like "6-styles-for-bloggers-man-in-red-jumper-working-on-a-mac-#bloglife.jpg".

    24. Does the name include a #?

    I'm currently experimenting on the inclusion of hashtags in photo text.  Someone may share your post and use an image from your blog.  In this case including a hashtag may improve your chances of being found in a search.

    BEFORE YOU POST

    Nearly there guys, if you are still with me, thankyou, hopefully its been useful.  I urge you to download the free checklist worksheet to aid you in your post development.  After all its free, what have you got to loose.

    25. Have you re-read your post?

    I know you are excited to post your work.

    I know you have worked tirelessly for hours to perfect it.

    I know you want to help your customers.

    But please take this time to re-read your post.  If possible get someone else to proof read it.  I guarantee if you take this time to re-read it you can make those tiny improvements, catch some spelling or grammatical oversight or strike through something that doesn't add value.

    You want to be showing your A-game, and the extra effort at this stage will really increase the readability and enjoyment for others.

    26. Have you spell checked and grammar checked it?

    Self explanatory really, i'm a terrible speller and grammatically not the bestestest [sic].  So taking the time to check spelling and grammar can be boring and tedious but will benefit your overall blog quality.


    27. Have you checked the spelling in your image titles?

    Don't forget to check your photograph titles as per item 22 and 23.


    28. Have you credited where credit is due?

    Blogging is a strange beast.  Free information and quality content is available everywhere.  of course you will be using research material, inspiration, background content and that's fine.  

    As long as you make sure you request permission and give credit were it is deserved.

    Let people know that you have credited their work, let people know that they have made a difference.  Do it by email, comments on a blog post or by twitter, telephone, pigeon or smoke signal.  Do not steal other peoples works.


    29. Have you checked the links?

    Now is the time to click on those links you have put within your post.  Make sure you don't get directed to a 404 page.  Someone reading your post has been persuaded to checkout your other content, clicking on a broken link may just prevent them from being turned into a fan.


    30. Are you happy?

    Here is the big questions:

    • Do you love your post?
    • Are you happy with it?
    • Can you improve it right now?

    Then do it.  This is the beauty of your own blog. You are the bottleneck. You are the commander, chief, editor and have the final say on whether you push the button and publish your unique awesome content.


    31. Are you Proud?

    You are the person who will be promoting this post.

    You are the person who will be putting your creation out there into the world.

    Be proud of what you have created, you have turned an idea into a well formed piece of original content.

    Well done.


    32. Are you Excited?

    Well, are you?

    You should be,  your awesome work is ready to go and the extra work you have put into it should be commended.

    Push the button and go get a glass of wine, beer, cup of tea or whatever floats your boat and relax. You've earned it.

    Why this Post will help your Blog

    I promised you a detailed post that will help your blog develop. 

    By using this checklist post and the free blog post worksheet, what you will do is improve consistency of your posts.  Consistency is what will ultimately set you apart from other bloggers in your niche.

    You can be confident that:

    • Your post does what it promised;
    • Has a structure;
    • Includes imagery, links, and SEO improvements;
    • is free from errors;
    • continues to support the blogging community by delivering quality content and sharing other peoples useful content (while crediting them where applicable).

    So why should you use the PDF worksheet.  I'm glad you asked:

    • The PDF includes additional content such as live url links to useful tools so that they are are always at your disposal;
    • You can fill out the contents as you go and tick of the items that you have included;
    • It's easy to use and quick;
    • You can save the completed PDF, which can then be used as an audit in the future.  It's your blog, you may not have time to create images and choose to exclude it, at a later date you can review the worksheet and improve your post.
    • Please give it a go, hopefully it will help.

    Thanks for reading,

    Have I included everything? leave a comment below if you think I have missed anything or can improve in anyway.

    If you like the worksheet, please let me know and share this with the blogging community using the sidebar sharing buttons.

    Happy Blogging.

    Love n stuff

    Andy @ DesignUntapped


    Traffic and Income Report for DesignUntapped - February 2016

    Andy Fawcett

    Hey, you know those blogs that state this month we made $34,599 this month and we didn't lift a finger.

    This isn't one of those.

    I made nothing from my blog,

    and thats ok,

    for now.

    Back in my introduction to and analytics blog post i promised open and honest dialogue. Well this is it.  This is to document my progress, tasks i have started and impact on Figures and Traffic.

    February-traffic-and-income-report-and-the-slow-climb-to-improve-cup-of-tea-and-ipad

    Personal Review

    This month has been a busy one, both in my full time job and blog related activities.  The project i'm working on in Western Australia, a large open pit silver mine is approaching a submission date, and a lot of my time has been dedicated to getting the design and costs right for that and writing up the technical report.  Its been an interesting project and I'll be sad to see it finish.  The market in Western Australia is struggling so there isn't any guarantees of work.   

    My partner and I adopted two kittens, Freddy and Betty, who are a handful but fun.  This has really helped make Australia feel more like home.

    My gym routine has not been the best this month, i probably averaged 2 times a week, and when i did go they were short sessions.  However i have cycled and from work everyday.  So i'm content with that.

    I haven't done as much sketching this month as i'd like.  In reading, i have read half of Ernest Hemingway's The Sun Also Rises, which has been on my read list forever.

    Blog and Content Stats

    You can see that i have really kicked on with traffic and i'm now over 100 visits a day.  How did I do this?

    The first launch of a blog is so difficult, going from 0 visitors to 10 was awesome.

    I'm so happy to have went from 10 to 100.

    The main contributor to this was signing up to StumbleUpon.  I added my pages and the 5 Killer Blogs to Help you Write an About Me page has been added to a number of lists which in turn has created some traffic for me. Thanks Stumble Upon.

    Similarly my subscribers has gone up, this is a measure of unique visitors to the blog.  So its showing progress.  I know to you guys who have huge following this looks small, but i am happy with the progress.

    Social Stats

    Facebook Page - 67 upto 85.

    Twitter - 94 upto 324.

    Instagram - 1079 to 1075

    Instagram

    Pinterest - 42 to 122

    Overall i have had a big push on my social media this month, i signed up for a two week trial of socialquant which is responsible for the rise in Twitter followers.

    In addition i have signed up to buffer, which is a great program that allows you to queue social media posts and it spreads them out for your over the day.

    Instagram has been a non-event this month as i'm waiting for my new camera equipment to arrive to really improve the visual content.

    Monthly Progress

    I've published the following - 

    6 Tips to make time for your blog

    5 Blogs to help you Write a Killer About Me Page

    How to Re-Use and Transfer your Skills for your Blog

    6 ways to keep your Pets Cool During a Heatwave

    Top Trumps - Australia, the Uk and USAs obsession with MKR, Footy and Donald Trump

    Cleaning a Tattoo at Work - How to Do it without Annoying your Colleagues

    The Three Stages of Bill Murray - The Most Original Bill Murray Tattoo you will ever see

    I also did my first ever interview and product review with Spotkit.

    Spotkit App Review - Spotkit Lets You Tag and Share Your Favourite Unique Places to Visit

    Newsletter

    This month i cancelled my newsletter.

    Not forever, just for now.

    Originally this was a round-up of activity of the website, however i reviewed the quality and decided that it needs a big revamp.

    My intention is to develop the Newsletter to include more original content.  I'm excited about this, so sign up below, i promise when it does start it will be so much better than before.

    Business Stats

    I've saved the worst till last, hopefully in the future i can start to generate more traffic start to generate some income.

    INCOME (all $ are AUD)

    • Advertising - $0 (not yet)
    • Products - $201 (just a few, thanks everyone)
    • E-Products - $0 (launching soon)

    EXPENSES

    • Products $114
    • Product Development $62
    • Squarespace $34
    • Photography Equipment $90
    • Miscellaneous Costs $25

    My Targets for Next Month

    • Overall i am pleased with the progress this month. What i haven't mentioned is the work i have done to make my website more user friendly, improve SEO and improve on the image quality and branding.  I've created templates to try and work smarter in the future and hopefully that will save me some time.
    • I want to continue to grow my social media channels by 15%.
    • Blog at least 6 new blogs, across the four channels (For Bloggers, For Fun, For Ink, For Design).
    • Launch 4 new physical products in the shop.
    • Add additional photography of Existing Products.
    • Develop one free E-product blogging tool.
    • Hit 200 daily visitors. (Fingers Crossed).
    • I'm thinking about starting using adwords again to promote the blog. 

    Thanks for reading and supporting the blog.  Please like us on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest and Share with your Friends.  Spread the word.

    Any Bloggers out there, i'd love to hear how you went from 100 visitors to 200 visitors to beyond, leave a comment below.

    Love n Stuff,

    Andy @ DesignUntapped

     

     

     

    A Dummies Guide to Installing Google Analytics

    Andy Fawcett

    Hi and welcome. How are you? You look great! Now that the small talk is out of the way i'll get into it. Obviously i can't see you but what would you say if i knew that you had just come from Facebook link and are based in the UK? How did i know? Is this man a witch, shall we burn him? Calm yourself, there shall be no hobbling this day. This is the power of analytics.

    This is my introduction to google analytics and installing it on your blog/website.

    Read More