A young man recently posted on a Facebook community site that he is struggling to find employment and all the Recruitment Agencies he had contacted wasted his time and no-one ever came back to him.
I know how hard it is to get a job especially when you don't have experience. This particular gentleman said he was looking for a job in "copywriting, editing, social media, marketing, IT, admin or HR work". He had studied Philosophy and English at University.
Having been in business for many years, I too have come across job applicants who arrive for interviews not even knowing what job they had applied for. All they wanted was a job so that they could earn a monthly salary. There is such fierce competition for jobs that recruiters and employers are looking for applicants who have specific skill sets. Yes, you need to be multi-skilled but you need to have a plan about where you are going and the route you want to take to get there.
Joomla! is my favourite website development platform. I have been using Joomla! for the past 5 years and as it has developed from Version 1.5 to where it is now at version 3.3+ it just gets better and better. Joomla! is what they call a content management system and you can create small simple websites or huge websites with lots of different components and addons.
Joomla! is free to download and there are lots of forum and the documentation is pretty good. I have found that the core Joomla! has become so good that you no longer need nearly as many customised add-ons as you used to.
When I first started creating websites I used free templates (in Wordpress they are called themes). I found them very limiting in their functionality and the paid templates were expensive. I therefore decided to learn how to use a template framework. Gantry has proved to work well for me although I have had quite a steep learning curve to customise the various elements.
Gantry is free to download and you can find help on the various Google Groups and basic documentation. However to get top level support you need to join their membership club.
Admin Tools comes in 2 versions - free and the paid Pro version. This product helps you manage the backend of your website and helps to keep you safe from hackers and other nasties. The Pro version has fantastic additional site management tools and a very comprehensive Firewall.
Akeeba is probably the most popular Backup programme for Joomla!. It also comes in a free and a paid version. Your internet service provider (ISP) usually keeps backups of your website on their servers. However it is good practice to do your own regular backups and download them to your hard drive or perhaps Google Drive or Drop Box. Better safe than sorry.
Joomla! comes with its own inbuilt text and image editiors but the functionality is pretty limited. For those of us who are not the best at coding, JCE is a great option as it has what is called a WYSIWYG (What you see is what you get) editor. You type as normally and select your fonts and styles and other features and JCE converts it into the appropriate HTML code for you. The free version does most things but there is a subscription version that has additional features.
When you have a website you need to be able to tell people about what you are doing etc. Sending out professional looking newsletters via e-mail to a targeted database who have OPTED IN to receive your news is an excellent marketing tool. ACYMailing lets you collect e-mail addresses on your website, store them in different lists according to your needs. You can set up professional templates which look good on desktop computers, laptops, tablets and mobile phones. There are various levels of investment from a free basic package right up to an expensive package for large companies.
It is also important to see who opens your newsletters, which links they cllick on, who unsubscribes etc. ACYMailing handles all of these features. As with all website components a degree of customisation and knowledge of how websites work is required.
This is currently my favourite component to share the content on my websites to various social media and also to encourage people to follow me on my Social Media platforms.
It is a free download, looks elegant and works well with just a little bit of configuration
Everyone needs to brag a bit about how much their customers love them. Having a place where your customers can add a testimonial about your products and services is a great marketing tool. Freestyle Testimonials comes in a Lite and a Pro Version. Looks clean and neat and works well. You can also moderate the testimonials before they are published.
If you have a blog, want to create an e-book, write a novel, a thesis, a manuscript, a play, a poem or pretty much anything else, Scrivener is a wonderful programme. It is a word processor and a project managment system combined. You get a cork board system where you can structure your scenes and chapters, a place to develop your characters and a place to house all your research. Once you have prepared your book or script you can automatically compile the document into different formats.The page numbering, chapter headings etc are all taken care of for you.
I have learned from bitter experience to always draft my blogposts and articles in Scrivener and not to do them straight into my website. Website crashes always happen when you haven't backed up for a few weeks/months.
The cost is around USD40 and I have found it to be a very good investment.
Scapple is a bit like mind mapping software but much simpler. I love it because it suits my random mind. You simply double click and enter the thought that comes into your head about an article you are planning, an event you are planning, gift ideas, shopping, cooking ingredients etc. I use Scapple a lot as I can easily link similar ideas, move them around, link several things together and as I do so my planning becomes clearer and I am able to write much more easily.
You can import Scapple into Scrivener, export it in a variety of formats and print it as a pdf etc. At only USD15 it has helped me enormously.
Dave is bringing a multitude of skills and a wealth of experience to Braving Technology.
His first career was as a hard news photographer on the Vaderland, The Star and The Rand Daily Mail during the tumultuous 70's and early 1980's. Arrested and jailed several times as he was covering political riots and other events he saw it all.
There are something like 400 million blog sites out there in the ether clamouring for your attention. Then we have the news websites, company websites and all the Social Media channels. What chance does your company website or personal blog have of getting noticed?
Increasingly we have the attention span of fleas. If you are targeting those under 35 you have even greater problems. A study commissioned by Time Warner found that this age group changed media channels 27 times during a non-working hour. They flip from tv to tablet to phone at the speed of light. This is a nightmare for digital advertisers but equally so for content creators.
How are you going to get visitors to your site and then keep them there long enough to read one article let alone browse your other products and services?
Have you wondered how you are able to search for a website or topic using Google? Google Search and other Search engines “crawl” your site looking for specific Keywords and phrases that are repeated either in the headings, or the content which includes images so that when people are looking for what you are offering they can find you.
This is part of the SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) Process.
How do your Customers find you? Who are your customers? Why do they buy from you and not from your many competitors? Why are you getting the "wrong sort of customers"? Where do these customers come from? Are they businesses or are they individuals? Perhaps they are a combination.
These questions are hugely important when planning your marketing strategy. Whether you use print, tv, radio, a website or social media you need to understand your customers and the journey they take to buy from you .... or not!