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Journal Entry 1104/10/21

Setting up the Right Mindset

Pondercations and Musings for my week ahead …

I started my marketing course again today … my target was to get the craziness of September and all the house and garden moves and resettlements and so on out of the way and restart the marketing course, and today l awoke with the right fresh mindset and exercised on the treadmill for twenty minutes [it was raining outside – again], took a three minute piping hot shower, made my nutrient shake, dressed myself in smart but casual clothing so as to at least look a bit more dapper and positive than the usual trackies and sweatshirt and logged back in.

The marketing course is a professional course with many modules unlike the vermiculture course of last week, which whilst wouldn’t need to be as large as this current course [although there is no reason why it couldn’t be] didn’t take me long to complete – it was over and done with in less time than a seven-course meal would take. Sadly, the worm farming course wasn’t a professional learning curve, but maybe l will create one that is a bit more directional and focused.

However, my current course is very dedicated and is right for those who are truly passionate about learning – that l am, but also it doesn’t pamper the learner with a softly softly approach but offers a bit more in realistic adventure and task application … it makes you think.

I like to think.

The modules today were discussing Mindset …the last time l was studying this course, was in the early days of September almost a literal month to today, and back then we were discussing brand and brand identity and those subjects have been on my mind all month prior to this morning’s lessons concerning having the right Mindset.

Over the last thirty or so days l have had the following questions – of which some are random and abstract perhaps, but directly applicable to my business blog – running through my mind …

1] What is it with white backgrounds? Are they more appealing than coloured backgrounds?

2] Which is more important in/on a blog – a photo of the writer or merely a cartooned avatar?

3] How important overall is/are the use of images displaying to the world at large who you are – be this a personal/hobby or prompt blog or a business blog/website – does the visual identity of the blogger actually communicate more to the reader/buyer and or user – is IT really important?

4] Is the brand of the business more important than seeing the person behind the brand image?

I mean look at Microsoft or Apple – we don’t see everyday who is behind them – we see their brand images – is it therefore of uttermost importance to buyers/readers and so on to see who they are commenting to or responding with? Could there be a brand image and maybe a photograph in the Bio? Would images not be better served on the likes of Pinterest or Instagram or is it down to the products and services being advertised over that of say just content?

5] Do people really care what the people behind a brand image look like? Isn’t content/product/service – King anyway?

6] Who are we truly writing for anyway?

Letting go of the notion we write for ourselves – sure okay, we write because we love to write, but we can write privately, we don’t have to write publicly and display everything to the world. We write because we WANT, because we DESIRE to be read. We want and desire to be seen and heard. BUT, with all the followers a blog has and of course heavily reflective upon the style of the blog – who are writers really truly writing for? Everyone or a smaller circle in a wider community or who? Anyone that will read?

7] Why do people seemingly ask stupid questions on Facebook groups, when they could so easily ask Google? Are people simply no longer able to solve their own problems? Can they no longer research without x number of people holding their hands? When did people stop solving their own problems? Is it merely a case of wanting to fit in, to be heard from their community or are many people now so clueless that they cannot do anything without validation from others and the need to belong is ever important?

These are questions l have had on my mind over the last few days and month.

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48 thoughts on “Journal

  1. Good luck with the course! I am hoping to take a horror writing course (one day only) online soon. And thank you for the questions you posed. It is good to think about these things if you want your work to succeed. It has given me something to ponder today.

    1. Hey Jen, a horror course is a great course. I took one of those years and years ago that was being offered by the horror writer James Herbert, But l am going back to the mid 80’s and back then before computers it was a mail order course.

      Have you read Stephen King’s book On Writing?

      On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft is a memoir by American author Stephen King that describes his experiences as a writer and his advice for aspiring writers. Originally published in 2000 by Charles Scribner’s Sons, On Writing is King’s first book after he was involved in a car accident a year earlier.

      Also another that may provide inspiration for writing is Behind The Horror by Dr Lee Mellor

      Uncover the twisted tales that inspired the big screen’s greatest screams.Which case of demonic possession inspired The Exorcist? What horrifying front-page story generated the idea for A Nightmare on Elm Street?

      1. This course is offered by author Tim Waggoner. I have read a few of his short stories and have his book on writing horror.
        I have a first editor hardback of On Writing. My Mom got it for me as soon as it came out since he is one of my idols.πŸ–€
        I did a mail order creative writing course through Writer’s Digest back in the 90s. Life got complicated and I wasn’t able to finish the course. I still have the course books though. I would much rather have real books than digital ones. I am a very tactile writer that way. My first drafts are always long hand as well. With my trusty fountain pen! Lol

        1. I think if my writing wasn’t such a scrawl l would write long hand – but my writing has always been poor since l was a child due to poor hand to eye motor coordination – comes with the territoty of autism sadly, we all have our quirks.

          I started using a typewriter from the age of 12 or something.

          I was just out walking with Suze and we were discussing ‘penpals’ when l was a kid and how l remember typing on my dodgy typewriter and using tipex by the gallon loads – then l was thankful l didn’t write long hand πŸ™‚

          Here’s wishing you a great course Jen πŸ™‚

        2. Glad you two got out for a walk! I have just taken up writing to penpals these past few months. I didn’t realize how much I missed it. Something to be said for waiting for something to come in the snail mail.
          Thanks for the well wishes! The same to you in your coursework!

    1. Hey Sadje πŸ™‚

      Well there is a huge difference in price alone, the worm farm was a small course at Β£19.95 whilst this marketing one l purchased a few months ago at around Β£800.

      So far l have been impressed.

      It has taken me a long time to simply get through the first module – not because the course is hard, but life simply got in the way for several months πŸ™‚

      The worm course is a particular subject matter that is not really that commercial in so far as courses go so we shouldn’t perhaps expect top quality, whilst the online marketing course is a very much in demand subject matter and the course competition and depth is varied.

  2. Great questions! Whoah! And no easy answers. Only anxiety! 😩 BTW, i am in need of four people wanting life coaching for my upcoming testing in May 2022 for Health/Wellness certification for mind, body and spirit. So if any of your readers wants to have free help with life’s big questions … πŸ€” It is via zoom so people can be anywhere in the world.

    On another note, it was refreshing and great to read you this morning Rory. Ive missed blogging. I haven’t had as much time to interact. Im writing a bit more now… sharing liberally. I will never make money blogging. But then that was never my intention.

  3. White backgrounds are easier on my eyes. I love photos of people. Writing for myself is the pleasure, readers are a different pleasure of applause.

      1. Readers are a pleasant surprise. Blogging was a way to continue the many hand written journals I kept over the decades in indecipherable cursive. I tossed most of that journaling from time to time as I outgrew it like I did my school essays and artwork. Blogging leaves a trail that exudes more permanence and allows my wife to share in reading my writing but ultimately is exactly like jogging to me, sometimes social but mostly filling a personal daily need that I cannot rationally explain.

        1. That’s interesting, so you used to journal privately anyway like some keep diaries l guess, and then starting posting publicly as a way for others to specifically read including a wider audience. Was the switch to a public blog purely for family to read initially as in it was more legible because of the format Geoff?

          If no one else had read those entries, you would presumably still have written because initially it was for family and friends to read?

          If no family or friends or even external readers had read would you still pen the entries down? I think you have actually answered that in a blog post you wrote several weeks ago.

          You print the stories off as well, yes?

        2. Yes, I even kept separate journals of everything I ate and details of every jog and hike. During purges, I tossed that stuff. Never Blogged for family. Only my wife and the son who set up my Blog up as a surprise birthday present ever read it (freeing me to write candidly). Anyone close to me has heard every story a million times. I do not trust WordPress so I print off any post I like, preserving the option of a compendium notebook.

  4. Big corporations have logos, small personally run businesses have a logo and a really well done photo of the owner of the business…If I’m doing business with a one-person solely owned business then I feel more comfortable with a real picture of the real person.

    Personal blogs – it’s whatever is fun for the blogger. There are no rules for personal blogs, in my opinion. If you’re doing it for fun, then just have fun!

    1. Good insight and something l agree with also. I was discussing this with Suze this morning as she asked why l thought a photo was important as l wasn’t going to be a big business?

      My immediate answer was … ‘well not yet am l a big business’, BUT l like to see people and where l can read between the lines in their face to know who they are πŸ™‚

      Thanks for commenting .

      1. Of course the other reason to have a really good photo would be if it is a service business and the person is coming to your home – doesn’t apply in your case, but I want to know who is at my door.

        1. Yes, very much so … the last thing l guess some need to see is the face behind the worms …. πŸ™‚

          I think a photo displays trust and openess and honesty. I want to replace the GUY avatar with a decent photo, but l don’t have an up to date photo.

    1. But with the Reader Grace, that’s all you see anyway as is – it’s not often you visit the site direct – but many thanks – it has been noted.

      I am naturally adverse white background websites, it doesn’t mean l don’t use them, l tend to focus mostly on the reason l am there. it isn’t that l don’t take note, but l tend to like one coloured backgrounds over that of what l call busy backgrounds like a pattern or an image moving.

      BUT, with the blog, [business] especially, l have been looking at a different approach – so your comments are being noticed and noted with thanks πŸ™‚

      1. I will read in the reader only when the the blog site itself is difficult to read – otherwise I go to the site. The background for the blog itself can be patterned or colored but the post part, where the text/post/meat is should be white with black text – it’s just so much easier to read. o many things about personal blogs that annoy me LOL Like all kinds of crap in sidebars. And tiny fonts – forces a person to read in the reader instead of going to the site. But then – you know I am a minimalist…

  5. I think that for a small business, seeing who the owner is can help give a sense that people are dealing with a real person rather than just a business entity. I think a photo in the bio is sufficient and then a brand image as the Gravatar for interactions.

    I’m with Grace in that I like black text on a white background in the part of the page where the text is. For personal blogging, people can get that in the Reader, but for a purely business site, it’s probably best to assume that people aren’t going to be using the Reader.

    1. Hey Ashley, true points all – l totally agree that the business blog will not be read via the Reader as the main traffic flow, l am very specifically aiming to gear it away from there also.

  6. πŸ€” White backgrounds are less distracting.

    Photos of a writer can do. However, a person’s avatar can work just as well.

    There is an old saying that states, “Pictures are worth a thousand words,” therefore we should not bypass the idea of adding appropriate images (pictures that are relevant to the topic) to our blog posts.

    IT plays an important factor; for example, making sure that plugins and widgets run smoothly on one’s blog.

    In regards to business, people need to see the person behind the brand’s image (Think of it as a way of gaining the trust of your customers).

    In addition to recognizing the brand images of Microsoft and Apple, people are aware of the people behind them; for example, they know that Satya Nadella is the Chairman and the SEO of Microsoft and that Tim Cook is the CEO of Apple (Those people have made appearances in the launching of their products).

    Personally, I do not think that people truly care what the person behind the brand’s image looks like. What people care about most is whether or not the product is worthy of being purchased.

    Personal bloggers write for themselves, whereas professional bloggers write for a niche audience.

    I wish you the best of luck with your marketing course, Rory.

    1. Hey Renard, πŸ™‚

      Valid points and thanks for the input,

      I think people write for others first, as well as write for themselves. You write great posts, but you don’t just write for yourself, you write specifically for an audience.

      You are mostly marketing and IT niche oriented, are you not, but you are not a dedicated business blog, so l am guessing you are a personalised niche blog, no?

      Therefore, are you not writing for your audience first and working your craft for yourself second?

      1. πŸ™‚ Oh, I see where you are getting at, Rory.

        From a technical standpoint, I write for both myself and my viewing audience. However, I write for “Me” first. I also publish the types of blog posts that I am genuinely interested in and those who are interested in the topic that was posted will gravitate towards it; for example, people who are interested in blogging tips or technology will go in search of those topics.

        In regards to niches, I am nicheless; I deal with miscellaneous topics on my blog.

        1. I see – when l wrote marketing, l mean with regards to the Blogging posts that you publish Renard – l have always seen you as a personalised niche blog on the topic of blogging and IT for me is with reference to your passion for other systems, that l don’t use nor utilise but know of.

          Would you say therefore, that if no one read your content, that you would still create the posts that you create on blogging anyway because although you write for an audience as well, you are writing principally for yourself?

          I ask with curiousness alone and not to come across as a bug with an itch or something.

          If no one was reading my content on my blog l would be faced with two options, change my content strategy or look at alternative content or ultimately l guess l would simply stop blogging.

          Everyone who writes for in a format other than private and therefore writes publicly is writing to be read first and foremost, otherwise there is no point in writing on a public blog if we are only writing for ourselves.

          I have always found this particular subject of interest. For years l wrote poetry very specifically for myself only and no one ever saw it.

          When l started writing l published that content to this blog and other platforms because someone suggested that others would enjoy it.

          I created stories only for others to read. they were true stories, but l had no need to create them for myself, as l already knew them.

          It;s a fascinating subject πŸ™‚

        2. πŸ˜† Rory, you are not coming across as a bug or an itch; you are merely curious and I understand that fully.

          Well, it has to do with my mindset. I intuitively know that there are other people who are interested in the same topics as I (Therefore, they will always be perused by people who are into the same things).

          Yes, if people were not viewing my blog posts (which I know is utterly impossible in my case), I would still continue posting the same things.

          Honestly, I just happen to be one of those people whose topics are popular among the WordPress crowd.

          Another thing to consider is that there are topics that are more popular than others, my friend.

        3. Oh goodness – you are so right Renard, there are indeed topics that are more popular. Blog topics are very popular for starters.

          In comparison, composting and worms haha is not on the same scale πŸ™‚

          Kudos to you in so far if no one read, you would continue to publish. I would continue to write, but probably not publish. Not all content l write in this blog is published, much is simply coded ‘private’.

          Like you write daily [l read that on a post of yours this evening], so do l – l seem to do more writing then reading, and more reading than writing πŸ™‚

          Thank you for your comments my friend – always appreciated πŸ™‚

        4. πŸ™‚ You are most welcome, Rory.

          Actually, I do more writing than publishing (I write daily but I do not publish blog posts every day).

          Also, I do make it a priority of mine to read a lot, my friend!

  7. You’ve posed some great questions. I for one don’t post images with most of my posts because I’m blind and for this reason cannot take pictures independently. Besides, I struggle to weave my words around my pictures when I do include them appropriately. I do for one include a picture of myself on my WP profile, but didn’t for many years.

    Good luck on your marketing course! It sounds interesting even to someone like me with zero business aspirations.

      1. SSDD at the Casa. We have our Dramas and our giggles… if I was watching it on TV I’d probably enjoy it moreπŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚
        I’ve still got my Zen, so that’s good. Kinda like the old ads for Timex watches… “takes a lickin and keeps on tickin” πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

  8. Great questions, Rory! IMO, a business needs a business plan, a brand, a logo and photos of the products. If a small business just starting out, think like a big business owner.

    My eyesight can’t handle white backgrounds and I use an app that darkens all of my sites. I realize most like white backgrounds and I feel white gives a nice crisp appearance. Personally, I prefer a very light grey or an ivory tinted background because it is easier on my eyes. Regarding my blog, I like dark backgrounds. I write mostly poetry and feel a dark background adds personality. With that said, I make sure the font color and size is easy to read. Also, I view my blog on different browsers because there can be a difference in the blogs appearance.

    Good luck with your marketing course, Rory!

    1. Great answers Eugenia.

      as we have discussed before, l also struggle with bright white sites [backgrounds] not the actual text bit like you, but l can stand white backgrounded websites. The business blog is black backgrounded , but the white writing background is still present.

      I have opted to have my new branded image visible at all times, but an actual photo of me only in the Bio/About section … l just see worm people being overly bothered with my looks, they will focused more on content.

      Not many people truly focus on the bios, but l like to personally see who l am talking to and even though l have an avatar cartoon here, it’s only because l have not got an up to date photo of me today, but as soon as l do, the cartoon Guy will go.

      I have opted to have my Bio post pinned to the blog, that way it is always visible.

      Many thanks πŸ™‚

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