Monday, 27 February 2012

What's in a name ?

What's in a name?

How much thought do you put into naming your posts? Two things I learnt last year in the A-Z challenge are.. Give post names thought and start each post with a picture that has a file name relating to the subject. It makes a difference to your search results and your blog traffic !!

For example last year I posted "P is for plastic" Since then it has had 13,019 hits ! It's mainly because the picture and the title relate to each other, so it ranks right near the top on Google image search.

My post "K is for Knight Rider"  4,300 hits

"C is for Conference Centre"  2,607 hits

Now I know there are other tricks to achieve Search Engine Optimisation, repeating phrases, including links in posts, but images and titles we sometimes overlook.

So as you plan your posts ... think "Whats in a name ?"

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Sunday, 26 February 2012

A-Z blogging

Its only 30 days to the start of this years A-Z April Challenge, which seems like a long time but it will fly past and before we know it daily blogging will be upon us. If you haven't already put your name on the list.. Stop thinking about it and go do it !!!

Not familiar with the idea, its simple click on the moving zebra link above, scroll down the page you arrive at and add your name to the ever growing list. That's the hard part. The easy part is to write a blog every day in April. Day one the blog is to have something to do with "A" day two its about a "B" and so on. Confused? the nice folks that organise the show have even made a schedule to follow HERE

So we have looked at the hard part (committing) the easy part (writing) now the challenging part is to return to the sign up page, look at the list of other participants and go visit as many as possible!! That's how you make blogging friends.

Some thoughts from my experience last year.

  • I doubled the number of followers, many of whom I still keep in touch with.
  • I probably trebled the number of blogs I follow.
  • I managed to visit every blog on the challenge list, some I loved, some I liked, some I never went back too.
  • The hardest part about writing was thinking of a topic, the rest was easy. This year I have a note page on my iphone with letters A - Z listed out. As I get an idea, I add it in before I forget. So I know what my E will be even if I haven't written it yet.
  • Write a few posts in the next 30 days and have them saved, it will give you some days off during April, you will appreciate that when you get there!
  • If you end up missing a day in April, don't beat yourself up. This is not a legally binding contract just keep moving forward and enjoy the experience.
  • When you go back to the list to look at other blogs, use your bowser wisely. Note it colours links you have visited differently so you know which you have already visited !
  • Turn off your captcha codes !!! If you want people to comment make it easy! Blogger has pretty good spam protection and you can always delete a comment if it offends.
  • Involve your non blogging friends, I will be asking mine "x is for?" just to see if they come up with a good idea!
So there you have it A-Z in a nutshell. just to make it even more tempting to join in I will make it extra easy. The sign up list is from the A-Z badge at the top right of this page  !!! I'm number 607 this year :)

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Monday, 20 February 2012

A-Z challenge 2012

Its fast approaching that time of the year when bloggers go into over-drive. Yes APRIL is just around the corner, time for the April A-Z challenge. It's the bloggers equivalent of an annual marathon run, but fortunately no more than finger on keyboard exercise is required.

The idea - write a blog post every day in April (Sunday's off) and each day is to be themed around letters of the alphabet. So day 1 is a post that relates to A, day 2 B, etc... You can choose your own theme, A can be anything from apples to aeroplanes and each day does not have to link to the previous.

To summarise during April 26 posts, in 26 days about 26 letters, simples

Last year was my first year taking part and these are the topics I came up with .....

Clicking on any of the images will open the associated post, hovering over will give you the title.

Description Description Description Description
Description Description Description Description
Description Description Description Description
Description Description Description Description
Description Description Description Description
Description Description Description Description
Description Description Description Description

If you would like to take part click on the A-Z banner up at the top and add your name to the list. It will give you a renewed outlook on blogging,  get you to meet other bloggers and probably increase your readership. So everyone is a winner !

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Sunday, 19 February 2012

Football - Crazy

At the risk of alienating some folks today's post is about football and money. I should point out from the offset, I am not a massive football fan, Mrs RJR and the youngest are both keen supporters of Manchester City, many of my friends are fans of Manchester United, me I can take it or leave it.
So why blog about it?
Well over the last few weeks several things have caught my eye in the football world that fall into the "just not right" sector of my brain.

It seems to me in this crazy world the sport of football is getting too big for its boots. I realise that it is also a very addictive form of entertainment, which may well leave people disagreeing with my outlook, but such is life... So here goes.

Football bigger than the law?
After years of trying to stamp racism out of football, a row has erupted following player John Terry (Chelsea) being caught on video during a premiership match appearing to shout racist abuse at Anton Ferdinand (Queens Park Rangers). The video which has been shown on national television has to have his mouth blurred out so as not to offend or influence impending decisions.The evidence is such that the Police and Crown Prosecution Service have decided to press charges and Mr Terry will have to have his day in court. What makes matters worse is that John Terry is also the Captain of England's National Team.
Now here is my beef, if any employee of a national company was accused of such things, chances are he or she would be suspended pending further investigation. Not in this case. Instead the Football Association has bungled the whole thing and he has been left able to play in the upcoming national events but has been stripped of his captaincy, resulting in the team manager resigning.... Fair enough footballs governing body got it wrong, it won't be the first time.. Here is where it gets worse....
In setting a court date " the trial was held over until the summer after the judge took into consideration Terry's playing commitments for club and country. " Now I am sorry to complain, but if that was you or I, we would go to court at their convenience not ours ????
Surely football, not even National football, is bigger than the law??

Money Talks
This week has seen two football clubs call in official receivers as they have found themselves financially insolvent. The larger of the two, Glasgow Rangers owes a minimum of £9 million to the Tax man that it can't pay, with questions that could result in it being considerably more.
By voluntarily assigning their own administrators the club owners stand to avoid paying the Tax man anything. Its not unusual in the business world for a company to go into administration, find a new buyer and reform loosing many of its debts. But here is the kicker, in the real world, the assets of any sale go first to the tax man, not in Football. By some quirky rule, any assets go firstly to "super investors" that's players, managers and the Football Association. The club will incur a 10 point league penalty, the equivalent of loosing 3 games, and probably carry on playing under a slightly different name This means that in times of cuts, deficit reductions and national financial problems, the Tax Man that funds the governments spending power is short changed. To make it worse it has been suggested another 10 large clubs have wage bills that are more than 100% of the income! Why are Football clubs treated any differently than other business??

What are you Worth
Imagine tomorrow morning you go to work and sit at your desk, you tell the boss I don't fancy doing anything today. How long do you think you would get paid for? In a strange turn of events last October, Manchester City Player Carlos Tevez declined to come off the subs bench during a match. In the ensuing weeks the club docked him 4 weeks wages which was ... wait for it .... £1million yes, £250,000 a week. The spat continued the player went absent without leave for 3 months. The club tried to sell him, but as you may expect  no one wanted to spend £40million on him! He his now due to come back... No doubt if he scores a couple of key goals all will be forgiven. But how have we got to a point where a footballer gets paid 10 times more in a week than a nurse gets paid in a year?

Thanks for reading I feel better for getting that off my chest !!!

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