Wings I was given,
to fly I was taught,
hesitant I have been
to take that leap,
to spread those wings
lest they shrivel and die.
We’ve always had an affinity for mystery. It’s one of the best things that makes us humans, is that we want to know more about the things we don’t understand. That’s why we’re pulled and swain by mystical fantasy. This is partly because we wish we could live in such a world, where magic and beasts like flying dragons soar above in the sky. No matter how old we get, the fantasy genre in novels, movies and now video games never gets old along with us. It’s a never-ending world of possibilities. We played these sorts of games with our friends in the school playground. The adult world makes fantasy even more intriguing because now you can insert kingdoms and war against good and evil. Politics and romance are the two subjects that get the most attention. You would think that since society is getting more and more advanced, that Sci-Fi would be holding the top spot in our interests. However, there are some very good reasons why mystical stories are making a huge comeback.
If you haven’t heard of this next show, then perhaps that’s why you’re out of the loop. Game of Thrones on HBO has sent the masses into a mystical frenzy. A story about warring factions, broken hearts, family issues and of course, dragons. It may have single-handedly brought back mystical themes into the limelight. The season 7 finale that was aired in August 2017, was watched by 16.5 million people. In today’s modern standards where there are so many other distractions and ways to occupy our lives, this is a substantial achievement. Some credit must go Netflix which airs the show on its online watch-whenever platform. There are so many characters with different special abilities and civilizations. Everyone can side with who they feel reflect more of themselves.
Strategy games have always been a niche that unfortunately never made it into the mainstream. It’s kind of like chess. Everyone knows that it takes skill to be good at it, but it takes too much time to learn and perhaps the pull of the game wears off when you’re not advanced in the tactics. However, smartphones have done fantasy strategy games a great service as games like Final Fantasy 15 have injected the power of the story. The characters, their mission and what lies at stake are gripping and intense. The world is in chaos but only one faction and kingdom can put order back in its rightful place. This game is an MMO which means massively multiplayer online. You can explore an entire world in your smartphone, interact with other people from around the globe and team up or declare those that don’t stand with you, your enemies. The combat mechanics are just button mashing either, they require skill to use and learning each character will put you ahead of everyone else.
Whether you want to be a queen or king of a far-away land and lead your clan to a better tomorrow, the fantasy genre supplies you with gripping stories and entertainment value. The last great mystical epic was the Lord of the Rings movies but with Game of Thrones and great games to play, a new era is upon us.
I don’t know if it irritates me or amuses me. Still trying to work out my sentiments. Sometimes, someone would leave a comment that sounds completely odd and far away from your post that you actually have to go back to your post to read it again to figure out exactly what it was that you wrote to prompt such an asinine comment.
Then, it dawns on you that they didn’t read it, but they summarized what they felt you said and made their two-bit comment that makes you wonder, why people do that. Yeesh! I also think that there’s an automatic ‘like’ button that some bloggers have learnt how to manipulate ‘cos I can’t relate with how fast a post gets liked considering that you just clicked the publish button.
Sometimes Shaving is Necessary It simply wasn’t what I was expecting. Short, good read.
A plague of discontentment I daresay we’ve all walked down this path.
When life throws a curveball and it surely will throw you a couple of them.
Thoughts Short and true
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You may wonder how important a business plan is for your blog and I must confess that as a beginner I wondered the same thing and I learned this the hard way after dabbling around with my first blog. Having a business plan for your blog is not mandatory, but if you regard your blog – or plan to do so – as a way to earn income, to grow your platform, to showcase your creativity and create a brand, then your blog is your business and creating a blog business plan is essential.
With this clarity on why you need a blog business plan, let’s go into the details of how to develop a simple, smart plan for your blog.
There are certain thoughts that you should have on your mind as you create your plan such as:
The platform (hosted or self-hosted) that you want your blog on – WordPress, Blogger, TypePad, Others.
If you are self-hosting, consider how to get your domain name, how to buy hosting service, customizing and designing your blog and consider what the annual fees for maintaining your blog will be.
What are your three main goals for blogging? Identify them and use them as your focal point.
What will your blog subject focus be?
Who is your target audience and what are the possible solutions that you plan to offer to them?
When a reader visits your blog, what are the calls for action that you want them to take – Subscribe, buy, share etc?
How will you encourage them to take such action?
Search and study your competition. What is it that they are doing that you can learn from and possibly improve on.
How often will you update your blog? Think of your first ten blog posts, develop the content and come up with a list of focus keywords for your blog.
What are the strategies that you will use to increase your blogs’ SEO? Do you plan to run periodic promotions for your blog?
How will you measure your success? Think of the methods that you could use – Google Analytics, Email and RSS subscription, comments, and feedbacks. Read More…
If you want to get your teeth into the best hot dog in Times Square, are you going to go to the vendor that has no one queuing up their cart or are you going to the chap that has twenty people standing in line? Exactly. It’s called social proof and it is a surefire way to tap into the psychology of people. But it’s not just hot dog vendors that can use this marketing tool; it’s something we bloggers can use to encourage people to read our words, subscribe to our blogs and follow us on social media.
So, without further ado, here are some pretty genius ways you can add a dollop of social proof to your marketing strategy and encourage more people to buy into your brand – whatever that is.
You must have come across an online publication, newspaper supplement or Instagram account where someone with influence takes over for a day or so. They might play magazine editor for a special edition, they might do a guest post on a blog or take over a brand’s Insta-stories. Whatever it is, having an expert or influencer takeover is a great way to tap into the followers and embrace the halo effect.
Another super awesome way to create social proof is to highlight a milestone by showing a bunch of gratitude towards it. Perhaps you just reached 10,000 Instagram followers, or 5,000 Facebook followers or a 20,000 blog subscribers – reaching a milestone like this is cause for celebration, offers you a chance to say thank you and, best of all, let’s other people know you are worth following.
The moment you come across a blog that shows they have a social media following of tens – or hundreds – of thousands of followers, you automatically click the ‘like’ or ‘follow’ button. Why? Because there has to be a reason why so many people are following them and you don’t want to miss out on it. The best way to achieve this kind of following is organically, but a great way to get a head start is to buy cheap Instagram followers. It’s not cheating, it’s just embracing the fact that perception is reality. Distinction.
User-generated content is the secret weapon used by so many brands, bloggers, influencers and everyone else and that’s because it helps grow a following to record numbers in almost no time at all. A great example of a brand that loves user-generated content is Fairfax & Favor. It’s the backbone of their marketing strategy. The way it works is simple: you repost user’s posts by encouraging them to use a branded hashtag.
One of the most amazing ways to boost your social proof is to get your blog endorsed by industry leaders or well-known brands. We’ve all been on a blog and noticed a section titled “as seen on” followed by a load of logos you recognize: Cosmopolitan, Huffington Post, Daily Mail etc. That’s the aim right there.
Without any doubt, images make your blog posts stand out. They act as eye candy and are an important part of design and professionalism.
If you often use images for your creative works, it’s important to bookmark a handy list of your go-to websites where you can find images that are absolutely free.
I literally cringe when I see bloggers slapping on photos or images with copyright and watermark credits stamped all over an article that they’ve taken time to craft. It looks sloppy and simply shows lack of professionalism.
Using copyrighted images is not the ideal solution. Such practice could expose you to issues of copyright infringement. To be honest, before I knew better, I made the same mistakes, but the good thing about information is that when you know better, you do better.
Online, there are millions of free images that don’t need accreditation, and one could equally create their own images through photography or by using creative solutions like Canva, PicMonkey, Powerpoint, Font Studios, Pic Art etc.
However, there comes a time when we are searching for something specific to buttress our message and when we don’t have a suitable one in our photo bank, we resort to other sources.
Most of the images in this list are free from restrictions or licensed under creative commons public domain. It means is that copy, modify, share, use for commercial purposes – without permission.
However, some of these photos may need attribution and the best advice is to take a few minutes to check the restrictions of an image before using. If in doubt, contact the author of the site and even when attribution is not required, it’s always a nice thing to do.