Tag Archives: Social Media

My Top 5 Blog Posts of 2017

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It’s hard to be believe I have been blogging for over 5 years! My first blog ‘The Photographer’s Guide To Travel’ was born in August 2012 at the ‘Book Passage’ bookstore, Corte Madera (slightly north of San Francisco) at the Travel Writer’s and Photographer’s Conference.

Back then I wasn’t exactly sure what a blog was, the purpose of a blog or how to manage a blog. 5 years later and I’m not sure if I’m any the wiser! You would think I would know a good bit about blogging by now however every year I find blogging and writing in general a steeper learning curve than the year before. With everything I learn I find there is even more to learn just around the corner. Maybe this is what draws me to blogging/writing, the insatiable, ever steep and never ending learning that is an integral part of the writing and sharing process.

In 2017 I wrote and published 24 blog posts which is more posts than I have published in any previous year.  I am definitely getting more disciplined at writing, but still have a long way to go to my goal of writing and publishing a post every week!   

Here are my 5 most viewed blog posts of 2017.

14 Steps To Create A Website

Thanks to Michael Hyatt’s amazing book ‘Platform’, I learned more about growing a social media presence this year than I have learned in the previous 5 years since launching my first blog. If you are a blogger, writer or business owner of any type and want to know more about growing your blog, readership and business through social media, I highly recommend this book. It’s easy to read and the wisdom shared is really easy to implement.

It is thanks to ‘Platform’ and the huge amount of resources that Michael Hyatt shares on his blog that I was able to design and create my own new website ‘The Art Of Positive Change’ earlier this year.

This blog post takes you through the 14 step process I used to design and create my website.

Continue reading….

Meeting Art and Understanding Lean

In 2013 I was humbled and immensely grateful to meet Art Byrne. Art, author of ‘The Lean Turnaround’ is a living legend in the world of Lean and is a wealth of knowledge and wisdom that he is more than happy to share.  Art gave the keynote speech at the 2103 Lean Enterprise Academy Summit  – the video is embedded in this post.

This video is a must see for anyone interested in or implementing Lean.

Art says it as it is and his no nonsense, deeply wise approach to Lean is what we need more of in the world.

Continue reading….

Awareness and Action

This was the first post in my 26 part blog series ‘The Art Of Positive Change’. This blog series introduces my audience to ‘Pinky’ the Positive Pig created by the brilliant cartoonist Andy Kefford and brought to life through my blog posts. The blog posts series features and A to Z of the elements required to bring change into your life and business and there is no better place to start than ‘Awareness’ that change is required and ‘Action’ to implement change.

Continue reading….

The Complete A-Z Of Effective Change

This is the Central Page for my 26 part blog series ‘The Art Of Positive Change’ containing links to all of the published posts in the series.

So far I have published posts on Awareness, Bravery, Confidence, Dedication, Energy, Faith, Gratitude, Honesty, Imagination and Journey – all of the blog posts can be read by clicking on the links/images on this Central Page.

Continue reading…..

Gratitude

Another blog post in my 26 part blog series ‘The Art Of Positive Change’. This is my 3rd post on the subject of Gratitude and I’m sure this will not be the last. Gratitude is the single most effective way of bringing peace and acceptance to a situation. Gratitude when expressed is a very powerful force.

Continue reading….

To each and every one of my readers, thank you for being here.

Without you, it’s just words on a computer screen!

Keeping it simple,

Siobhain

x x x

 

 

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14 Steps To Create A Website

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Do website_Picjumbo

14 Steps To Build a Website a using PDCA (PLAN, DO, CHECK, ACT)

‘DO’

Following on from my previous blog post ‘6 Steps To Plan A Website’, here are the 14 steps I used to create this website which was very much stress free due to the detailed planning carried out in the ‘Plan’ phase.

Below is a list of everything I  needed  highlighted from the ‘plan’ phase and what I used for each element to become part of my website.
  1. Hosting  – I use Bluehost for hosting as it is recommended by Michael Hyatt, author of ‘Platform’ and one of the world’s most successful and influential writer and bloggers
 

2. A reliable platform  – most of the bloggers in the world including me use WordPress.  I have used WordPress for my Travel Photography blog for a few years now so no need to change. WordPress is easy to use, easy to navigate and integrates with loads of plug ins

3. A suitable theme – I started using Standard Theme and went through many iterations and customisations to try to achieve the minimalist look I had envisioned. The theme changed to Twenty Twelve just before this website was launched as Twenty Twelve suits my vision for my website much better

4. A domain name – I chose Siobhain.Danaher.com – thankfully no-one else was using this domain name!!

5. A website name  – The current name for this website changed many times and I finally decided on ‘The Art Of Positive Change’ as I think it represents the holistic nature of Lean in Business and Simplicity in Life that I will write about

6. A tagline – the tagline for this website stayed the same up to a few days before the launch of this website when it was changed to the current ‘Lean in Business, Simplicity in Life’

7. Headings for the menu –  ‘About Me’, ‘What is Positive Change’ and ‘Recent Posts’ are the current headings in the menu – more headings will be decided as I create blog posts

8. The website needs to be responsive (mobile device friendly) –  the WordPress theme I am using, ‘Twenty Twelve’, is fully responsive

9. Enable sharing of blog posts through social media networks – I use the Plugin ‘AddToAny Share Buttons’ for sharing blog posts. The share buttons are colourful, clear and minimalist which fits in with the theme of my website

10. Enable readers to connect through social media networks – social media icons that connect to my social media networks are built into the WordPress ‘Twenty Twelve’ theme

11. Enable readers to contact me directly through the website/blog – I use the Plugin ‘Contact Form 7′ for a contact form that is connected to my e-mail

12. Enable readers to sign up to my e-mail list  – I use MailChimp which is fully integrated with WordPress.  MailChimp is the e-mail service provider (ESP) of choice for many well established bloggers. It is really easy to set up and create e- mail templates with

13. Determine the metrics required from the website, how will you know if your targets/objectives are being met? I have been tracking metrics on my Travel Photography blog for 5 years and so have an idea what metrics are required for this website

14. FInd time to write and create content – this requires a PDCA (Plan, Do, Check, Act) cycle of its own!!!

Below is an excellent video by Michael Hyatt explaining the steps required to create a WordPress website of your own,

That’s it,

Keeping it Simple,

Siobhain

 

 

 

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6 Steps To ‘Plan’ A Website

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As outlined in my previous blog post ‘Dr Deming’s Gift To the World‘, the PDCA (Plan, Do, Check, Act) cycle can be used to implement/change/improve just about anything.

From high level organisation strategy to detailed day to day change PDCA is a recipe for success in both cases and everything in between.

This is the first blog post in a 4 part series of how you can use PDCA to build a website (which is the methodology I used to build this website). This first post focuses on what is required when planning a website.

There are a lot of great websites out there and a lot of great web designers who are skilled and qualified at building websites. if you have a budget to do so then the best thing is to hire someone to build your website.

 I’m not a professional web developer and all I know about online marketing, website/blog building and social media presence is self taught so if I can build a website anyone can!

 PDCA (PLAN, DO, CHECK, ACT)

‘PLAN’

1. Outline exactly WHY you want a website

In the Lean world we use the phrase ‘Know Your WHY’ which continuously makes us question WHY we do what we do. My  blog post ‘Know Your Why‘ takes a closer look at the importance of knowing exactly ‘Why’ you are doing something.

Why you want a website can vary from having somewhere to share your thoughts through blog posts to wanting to set up a business selling goods/services etc. Knowing exactly what you want from your website is critical to building your website efficiently.

2. Determine exactly what you want the website to look like

Know what your vision for the look and feel of your website is.

There are a lot of great websites out there, researching these will help in determining the required look and feel of your own. This is especially helpful if someone is building the website for you as it gives them a visual guide to what you require.

3. Apply learnings from previous experience with websites/blog

A key part of Lean methodology is learning and using these learnings to continuously improve. It is from failure and mistakes that our greatest learnings are achieved. However the learning is not taken advantage of if it is not applied in the future.

Much of this blog series has come from learnings from my current Travel Photography website and Travel Photography blog which have both been live for 5 years.  I have also learned loads from well established and experienced bloggers who have been doing this for a much longer time

4. Determine exactly what you want the website to be able to do, what will be the capability. This is of the utmost importance and deciding this now will remove the need for reiterations of your website in the future

The below is a simple yet crucial list for the functionality of your website. You may need more functionality in your website, for my website this was a sufficient list to get it launched.

  1. Hosting – Reliable hosting is critical and so you will need a  reliable hosting company – there are many hosting companies, it is a worthwhile to research the ones the most influential bloggers use
  2. A reliable platform  – most bloggers including me use WordPress and I have loved using WordPress for my Travel Photography blog so no need to change
  3. A suitable theme – if WordPress is your chosen platform you will find a huge range of themes to chose from
  4. A domain name – learning from master bloggers the best domain name to choose is your own personal name.com. The direction of your website and the type of content you share may change over time but your name will remain the same. When your domain name is chosen and activated it is not so easy to change. Your personal name is something you have had for a very long time and so chances are you won’t be changing it any time soon!
  5. A website  name – this can be your domain name but can also be something different. The name can be changed easily in WordPress so not a big deal if you want to change it. In saying that a name is not just a name, it is a brand and so it’s not ideal to be chopping and changing it – think ‘Apple’!
  6. A tagline – same as 6 above – your tagline will become part of your brand
  7. Headings for the website menu –  determine  what your headings for the website menu  will be and how many you will have, these will be on every page of your website so choose wisely
  8. Does your website need to be responsive (mobile device friendly)? The answer to this is yes – having a responsive  website and in this day and age it is an absolute must as most websites are visited using mobile devices. If your website is non responsive (not mobile friendly) it dramatically reduces the chance of people reaching you and your content
  9. Enable sharing of blog posts through social media networks – when someone reads your blog posts a simple click of a button enables them to share your content with their social media networks, this needs to be easy to do as no-one likes to spend too much time figuring out how to share a post!
  10. Enable readers to connect with you through social media networks – similar to the above, if someone visits your website or reads your blog posts and enjoys what they see/read, they will want to connect with you on social media networks – as above, make this very easy to do – one click should suffice
  11. Enable readers to contact with you directly through the website/blog – as well as being able to connect with you through social media channels it can be helpful to include a contact form connected to your e-mail address so readers can mail you directly
  12. Enable readers to sign up to your e-mail list – this is one of the most important parts of our website as it enables you to connect directly with your readers and send them updates on your posts and content

5. Determine the metrics you will require from the website, how will you know if your targets/objectives are being met?

As in any project, Lean or otherwise, metrics are hugely important. how will you know if you are improving, how will you know if your objectives are being met, how will you know if your project has been successful? How will you know when to change course? Metrics, Metrics, Metrics.

It is here in the planning stage that the metrics you require and the management of these metrics will be determined. What information would you like your website to tell you? How do you know if your website/blog is delivering what you want it to?

6. Find time to write and create content for the website/blog

I have had an active blog for 5 years and have learned that it is one thing creating and launching a website, the challenge is creating interesting content that people actually want to read on a regular basis.

This requires a Plan, Do, Check, Act cycle of it’s own!!!!

That’s it – 6 steps to ‘PLAN’  a website!I’m sure there are many more items I could have planned for, is there anything you think I have missed?

Keeping it Simple,

Siobhain

My next post will focus on the ‘Doing’ part of the PDCA (PLAN, DO, CHECK, ACT) cycle to create a website. Plan

 

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