Are you ready to Build Your Brand with a Blog?

Hey guys, it’s summer break but you can sign up now for my Building Your Own Blog Workshops at DelTech in Stanton and Dover which will begin in September.  However, if you can’t wait for the classes to begin, this checklist will give you a head start until workshops resume in the fall.

1. CHOOSE A BLOGGING PLATFORM

There are several options available, but WordPress and Blogger are great places to start for beginner bloggers.

2. NAME YOUR BLOG

Choose a name that reflects the essence of you or your blog. Take your time time to  think this step through. After all, your blog is your brand and you want to have a name that is reflective of it.

3. RESERVE/PURCHASE YOUR DOMAIN NAME

There are many reasons why you need your own domain name. So head over to GoDaddy.com or WordPress.com which are just two of the many sites that will walk you through the process.

 

4. DETERMINE YOUR BLOG DESIGN

This is key since your blog design can either attract people or turn them away. Think of it like browsing for a magazine or book, most people are drawn more towards those with eye appealing designs, which holds true for blogs.

Blogger & WordPress both offer free themes that you can build upon, and there are lots of free site design options that you can find via Google.

If you want a customized look for your blog to help it stand out, hiring a blog designer is always an option. Make sure you agree on what’s included in your design package upfront, and what type of design support will be available to you once your blog is up and running.

Check sites such as Fiverr to save on the cost, but make sure you read the reviews of the web designers.

 

 

5. WRITE, RINSE, REPEAT!

Once you get readers to your site, you want to engage them & bring them back day after day. The best ways to do this?

  • Have a great ABOUT page.   This is the page that explains why you started blogging, introduce yourself, your family or anyone/anything else that you’ll be blogging about.
  • Make sure your CONTACT page is up-to-date. Include your email address, as well as any other social media accounts that you’d like to connect with people on: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc.
  • Content is King but let your Customers Wear the Crown. Readers won’t want to hang around on your blog if there isn’t much to read, so have several posts in draft and ready for when your site goes live and make it compelling enough that they want to share with their circle.
  • Set a blogging schedule to ensure that you’re keeping fresh posts coming. Whether you blog once a week or once a day, you should set that expectation for your readers from the beginning.
  • Don’t forget the pictures! Too much text doesn’t get read, always use images, as we humans have the attention span that less than a Goldfish and you want to capture them in the first 7 seconds.

 

 

If you are ready to start a blog, send an email to info@ablakeenterprises.com to take advantage of the $150 Summer Special or head over to my website to learn more.

Smartphone App Addiction of Tweens & Teens

How much time are your tweens and teens spending online?

 

 

Do you wonder if your tween or teen is so closely connected to his or her smartphone that they are addicted to the apps?

Remember when cellphones were used to make phone calls?

The addiction to social media and mobile apps is no secret among today’s tweens and teens but are they so addicted that they cannot function normally and do you even know what apps they are using?

I was talking to a friend the other day and we wondered if the population rate would drop as the younger generation no longer communicates face to face, let alone has a relationship that is not online.

According to Pew Research Center, the availability of smartphones has resulted in 92% of teens (ages 13-17) saying they go online every day, and 24% of teens stating that they are online “almost constantly.” With this many teens online at such a high level of frequency, what exactly are they doing?

Did you know that more people own smartphones than they do toothbrushes?

WHAT SOCIAL MEDIA APPS ARE TWEENS & TEENS USING?

Social media is a major part in the lives of tweens and teens and there are a number of social media apps that rise above the rest in popularity. Research reports that Facebook is still the most popular and frequently used social media app among teens, although most won’t admit to it, as a matter of fact, less than 71% will.  Instagram is second at 52%, followed by Snapchat at 41% then Twitter at 33%.

 

According to Common Sense Media, tweens (ages 8-12) and teens (ages 13-18) use their media differently. Teens are more likely to multi-task, using their device or computer to listen to music (76%), text (60%), watch TV (51%), or use social media (50%) while they are doing their homework.

With all of this time online, how do tweens and teens use social media? In today’s high tech world, social media acts as a place tweens and teens can go hang out and socialize outside of home and school.

When on these apps, teens and tweens are chatting, playing games, and snapping, sharing video, photos and other images that they find online.   In most cases, tweens and teens prefer to interact with others they already know, however, with the vast amount of social media apps available, it becomes increasingly easier for your child to interact with strangers as well.

The key is to know which apps your child is using. Once you have that information, you can familiarize yourself with these platforms and how they are used. Sign up for an account, discover firsthand how these platforms are being used by kids.

When you have this information, you can open a line of communication with your child and educate them on best practices when using the app. You can also discuss the possibility of not using certain apps if you feel they aren’t appropriate.

Ultimately, social media is here to stay, it’s not a fad nor the future and it has become a significant part of the social development of tweens and teens.

Is your teen or tween spending too much time on their mobile device? 

How can you tell if your child’s reliance on smartphones and other mobile devices is normal when you have no frame of reference for childhood smartphone use, and when society has completely surrounded itself around mobile devices?

Here’s some important information about children and smartphone use, and some tips on how to deal with potential smartphone addiction in your tweens and teens.

How Tweens & Teens Are Using Smartphones

It’s important not to approach the idea of smartphones and mobile devices as automatically bad. After all, they are an integral part of your tween’s and teen’s social life and an important communication device. And, if current trends continue, they’ll also be an important part of your child’s adult life. It’s likely they’ll be expected to have and use a smartphone or other mobile device in their professional life later on. Learning to handle these devices now can be a helpful thing for their future.

On the other hand, too much of a good thing can always be dangerous. Some experts believe that smartphone use may be replacing drug and alcohol experimentation and addiction in teens due to a correlation between falling rates of tweens and teens who report drug use and rising rates of internet use. And while that may sound positive, experts also caution that it affects the brain in a similar way to using drugs.

How Much is Too Much?

Smartphones may be relatively new but the signs of addiction are consistent whether the addict is using drugs or apps. According the studies, your tween may be experiencing smartphone addiction if they exhibit some of these signs:

  • Using the smartphone to alleviate anxiety, depression, or other negative feelings;
  • Preoccupation with the smartphone to the detriment of grades, friendships, and other activities;
  • Withdrawal symptoms like anger, depression, irritability, and restlessness when the phone is taken away.

Smartphone use may also cause physical symptoms of addiction:

  • Eyestrain from too much digital viewing;
  • Neck pain from hunching over the phone;
  • Sleep disturbances and fatigue thought to be caused by the light from cell phone viewing after dark.

What Should Parents Do?

Iphone parental controls

If you suspect your child is addicted to their smartphone, your first instinct may be to remove the device entirely. That is an option, and it may be appropriate for some, however, smartphones are part of modern life, and it’s unrealistic to expect your child will never use one again. Therefore, it may be advisable to treat smartphone addiction less like a chemical addiction and more like a food addiction. That means teaching your tween to moderate themselves.

Set boundaries for smartphone use. You may want to limit your child to a certain amount of time on their smartphone each day, or to designated times of the day, or both. It’s also important to keep an eye on what they’re doing and limit online activities that your kids spend an unhealthy amount of time on, like social media sites or games.

Let’s Chat > How do you control the smartphone usage of your tween or teen?

Making Casual Business Videos on a Dime

Making-videos

 Making Casual Business Videos on a Dime

By Christine H.

 

It might seem like a contradiction in terms to talk about a DIY corporate video. After all, shouldn’t we listen to the adage “you have to spend money to make money” on some things? Of course! When it comes to making a polished, sleek video about your business, you should hire a pro–someone to make the production value big and beautiful.

 

However, with the rise of YouTube, social media, and video marketing, not every single video that you put it out needs to be worthy of screening during the Super Bowl. Video is a great way to get more eyes on your content. It could be a way to expand your social media marketing on Facebook and Instagram. It might be a casual series that you set up in your office to help your followers better utilize your service or product. For example, if you sold crafting supplies, you might have a series where you show how to make something new each month. You might use video content as a fun way to introduce the team in a dental office, or as a temporary effort to promote an upcoming event.

 

In any case, it’s easier than ever to make worthwhile video content for your business. Here are some tips to elevate it from a home video into something more hip and snappy:

Pick a Consistent Place

 

The background for your video can make or break the attempt. This is especially important to think through thoroughly if you plan on making regular video content. Having a consistent backdrop will bring everything together. So, what should you choose for your background? Well, the simplest and safest answer is a blank wall. Avoid pictures in the background, or any awkward variances. But remember that a textured or colored background can work to your advantage. Just remember if you use a blank wall to manage the shadow.

building-a-business

If you have a camera with good depth of field control, you might want to get adventurous with your background. Depth of field will ensure that the foreground is in sharp focus while everything in the background is blurred into an indistinguishable scene. All the same, you’ll want to carefully choose your background, like selecting a good-looking lobby or a good view of your busy beehive of workers.

 

One more note: it’s great to have that place be a consistent area, especially if you’re doing a series. That’s why it can be really nice to have an out-of-the-way place. (That’s also great for managing sound, by the way.) So, think about having, say, a garage or warehouse corner where you can be alone, and which you’ve set up to be a multi-purpose area.

 

Easy Lighting Tweaks

 

The first thing that any professional photographer or videographer does is ensure good lighting… and there’s a reason for that. Most of the time, effective lighting can be immediately achieved by balancing lighting from two or more sources. This prevents harsh shadows. Diffused light will reduce shadows and give you consistent illumination. In order to achieve this, you can get a reflector, or a softbox, neither of which is very expensive. Don’t forget about magic hour (twilight), or the blessing of a cloudy day. Both grant nicely diffused natural light, if you can get the timing right. However, again, if you’re planning a series, you might be better off with lighting that you can control easier than the weather in order to get a consistent look.

how-to-create-a-business-video

Prioritize Sound Quality

 

Did you know that in almost every study that’s been done, audiences are more picky about their sound quality than they are about the image? If the sound is tinny, patchy, or echoing, it can be wildly distracting. However, it’s a commonly neglected aspect of casual videography. Invest in a good-quality mic, like this one, instead of just utilizing the one on your phone.

creating-a-business-video

Find a Comfortable Spokesperson

 

When you’re looking for your spokesperson, you’ll probably find that it’s harder than you’d initially thought. Some of us freeze up in front of a camera. Others can’t stay focused. So, if you were thinking that it’d be great to get the boss’ face on there, but they’re woefully stiff on-camera, be flexible! Find someone in your office who can be at ease in front of the camera.

 

You can help with this, too. Flatter them, joke with them, and laugh at your mistakes. When you’re having fun in front of the lens, it will be a much more fun video to watch!

 

Post-Production on a Dime

 

Post production is an area where you’re going to have to find a happy medium. You can spend days cutting and re-cutting the video. You can also pay tons of money for programs with features that you don’t even know how to utilize. However, in order to have a casual feel to your videos, you really don’t want to do all that much processing. Cut just enough to keep it clean. Balance the sound, and give a proper amount of time for intro and outro. Often, you can find software that’ll cover the basics within your normal Windows or Apple operating software. You might also look into Adobe’s amateur options or Corel VideoStudio.

 

Keep it Brief

 

Speaking of your intro and outro time, remember to keep any video that you plan to put online brief. It’s amazingly difficult to hold people’s attention for more than a minute. Do a few dry runs, and you’ll learn that you can’t get through all that much text in a minute or less, and you don’t want to sound rushed. Use visual aids when possible, and re-write the script as needed in order to stay concise.

 

Let’s Chat, do you have any tips for creating business videos?

Help to Put Computers in Classrooms with NERDiTNOW

NERDiTNOW-motherboard

NERDiTNOW and the FedEx Small Business Grant Contest

 

 

Hello and Happy Good Friday my friends.  I am asking that you take a few minutes to help put more computers in classrooms by voting for NERDiTNOW in the 2018 FedEx Small Business Grant Contest

Owner, Markevis Gideon has not only worked tirelessly in building and growing his small business, but he is also consistently giving back to communities, not only here in Delaware but also with H.O.P.E. Missions in Ghana.

 

 

Contest Submission

Elevator Pitch

We purchase, repair and resell computers/phones/tablets with the use of the MOTHERBOARD which is an ambulance converted into a mobile office

Tell us about your business. What inspired you to get into it, what you sell/service you offer, what makes your business stand out and how it impacts you, your community or the environment.

Understanding the need for both individuals and small businesses to have their very own NERD i.T Guy, this business was created to do just that. At age twelve I was given my first computer, which sparked initial interest in the i.T field. Starting in a 2-bedroom apartment to a storefront with two branded vehicles (including the “Motherboard”), we have been able to excel in the market by being a honest company, that help save time, money and ultimately NERD all of your technical needs NOW!

How would you use the FedEx Small Business Grant money to make a significant impact on your business?

Here at NERDiT NOW, we are small but mighty! All grant money awarded will only propel us forward. And you can see how below: Increase our Assets $15,000 Purchase and design a second mobile truck to expand services to residential and corporate clients in Philadelphia. Technicians and staff $10,000 We will onboard 2 new techs to staff our new location & second truck. Increase Brand Awareness With the help of FEDEX print services we will revamp our marketing material & create new signage.

 

NERDiTNOW-Newport-Delaware

 

Video Submission

 

 

Thank you for supporting fellow NERD & Friend – Have an awesome weekend!

Your Social Media Brand is Your Bond – Take It Personally!

 

These days when signing onto Facebook, it’s not hard to find your timeline filled with friends or friends of friends ranting about something and asking you “to make it go viral”.  Whether it politics, religion or sports, there is always something and oftentimes it is very difficult to get away from the negativity. 

Yes, Facebook has been changing the algorithms to make it fun again, however, I often find myself reminding clients that “Your Social Media Brand is Your Bond and You Need to Take It Personally”.  

 

Long gone are the days when you could separate your personal page from your business page because eventually the two will meet.  You really don’t want something negative or hateful that you posted on your personal page to collide with your business page which may lead to the lost of current or future clients or other business associates. 

 

your-social-media-brand-is-your-bond

 

I know…we are all entitled to our own opinion on a myriad of topics and there are some that can get our blood boiling.  But think about it for a moment; as a consumer would you want to do business with someone who shouted or cursed you simply because of a difference in opinion? 

I know that I wouldn’t!

I doubt that Facebook will ever be “fun again”, but remember, your social media brand is your bond, it’s what people think of you regardless of whether or not they personally know you.  How do you want people to view you, what impression do you want to leave? 

Think before your Tweet, Stop Before You Snap and Pause Before You Post.

 

prayer-and-meditation

 

Believe it or not, I don’t check in on social media the first thing each day, why because I need to first arm myself with prayer and meditation!  Yep, I put on spiritual armor and ask God to guide my tongue and soften my heart so I can forgive those who may try to distract me from my goals. 

 

home-office-and-laptop

 

“Your Social Media Brand is Your Bond – Take it Personally” and don’t give away your power feeding into the negativity of others. I am wishing you all a wonderfully blessed week!

Let’s Chat: Have you stopped following or have unfriended someone because of what they have posted on social media?

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