So often girls are not taught the basics about tools or fixing things for themselves. This means that there are many, many women out there who will call a plumber to fix a blocked drain, and pay a lot of money, because they have no idea where to begin to fix it. It's a very simple procedure, if you know what to do!
Wild Women With Toolboxes addresses these issues and shows how to fix things for yourself and save a whole whack of money.
I've always been handy with my hands and can often see how something works, or is supposed to work. I am as comfortable with a spanner in my hand as a pen, and Wild Women With Toolboxes was started to help people find the right information to do their own fixing and maintenance.
Sign up and get hints and tips right in your inbox.
Is Your Website Doing What it was Designed to Do?
For years, high quality content has driven sales. Hard sell was the norm and people bought what you were selling. Now things have changed. Hard sell is out like last year’s Christmas decorations and the far more informative conversational style of story-telling is king. People are more likely to read a story than a sales pitch and content has to be adjusted to accommodate this change.
If your website is not driving sales or creating leads, then it needs an overhaul.
How Do You Produce Conversational Content That Converts?
Know who you are writing for.
You can’t just write anything and expect your target audience to magically materialise. How I wish it were that easy.
You have to work at it and produce content that not only interests your audience, but entertains and informs. Content needs to attract the kind of clients that will be interested in buying what you are selling. Also, you want to attract the kind of people who are interested in your content and want to share it because it hits the right cord.
Content is actually selling indirectly, but it’s not an in-your-face “but-that’s-not-all-folks” type of selling. It’s more like sitting down with a friend over a cup of tea and discussing a problem that they are facing and you suggesting the solution. Of course, the solution is what you are selling.
See if you can write about things that others haven’t covered. Pop over and have a look at what your competitors are writing about and see what they are missing, or see how you can expand on what they are covering to provide more comprehensive information and more value to your readers.
Always keep in mind who your target audience is.
Keep It Simple
Don’t be tempted to resort to jargon — ever. Unless you are writing exclusively for other geeks in your field and are only selling to them, just don’t. The quickest way to lose clients is to write stuff they can’t understand.
Keep it simple.
Make your content fun and informative enough to make your followers want to read your next post. Keep boring for the text books.
Elements of Good Content
The other plus to writing in this manner is that the content is optimised – headings, subheadings, images, captions on images, bold and italics, metadata – it all attracts the attention of search engines.
Make It Useful
If readers have no use for the information, they won’t read it.
Why Conduct a Content Audit?
Firstly, let’s talk about what a content audit actually is. It’s an inventory of all of your website’s text, photos, images, links, and documents.
Each piece needs to be assessed and checked to make sure that it’s:
A spread sheet with all the information for each item helps tremendously to keep order in the chaos.
A site map helps to guide a content auditor through the website, much like a map guides a hiker through unknown territory.
What to Put in the Spreadsheet
For the spreadsheet inventory, put in for each item:
Once you have the content inventory, you can start on the content audit. Pages that need to be removed or updated will be shown clearly.
If the website doesn’t have a blog, give serious consideration to starting one. Websites that have a blog get 55% more traffic than those without one.
A study of the keywords used and looking for better keywords to replace some will improve the site significantly in search engines. Keyword stuffing, on the other hand, will be detrimental to your ratings and will also put your target audience off. It also looks cheap and tacky and is difficult to read.
Main Purposes of a Content Audit
The two main purposes of running a content audit are:
A content audit should be run at least once a year.
How Much Time Does a Content Audit Take?
That is the million dollar question.
If your website is large with hundreds of products and a large number of blog pages, then it will be a monumental undertaking. However, if your website is small with only a few blog posts and less than 20 products, then it shouldn’t take too long.
Once the initial audit has been done, then it's just a matter of going through the list for the next content audit.
So Who Will Run Content Audits For You?
Copywriter-To-Go runs content audits for medium and large companies, and provides a comprehensive report, with the spreadsheet, at the end of it.
We will go through the report with you to make sure that everything in the report is clear.
You can either make the suggested changes yourself, or get it done for you.
How to Reach Us
If you would like to discuss options with us, you can contact us through any one of the following:
+33 641 01 11 18
St. Maarten has made a spectacular come-back after the island received a devastating blow from Hurricane Irma in 2017. We still have to see what the effects of Covid-19 will be on the island as countries start to emerge from something that no one on earth ever expected—the time the world came to a screeching halt.
It's been a particularly difficult time for those who have been separated from friends and family and had to go through the lockdowns on their own, or worrying about the safety of parents and grandparents and others who may have been at risk and not being able to visit them to help out.
One positive thing to come out of the lockdowns is that it's brought people closer together–neighbour helps neighbour, people check in on social media to make sure that everyone in their circle is ok, and it's made people much more aware of others around them and their vulnerability.
For now, travel as we know it is a thing of the past. Hand sanitisers, face masks, and social distancing are expected and enforced in many countries around the world and plane trips will need a lot more preparation before embarking on one. Many airlines will expect passengers to wear a mask for the entire flight and onboard food and drinks will be a whole other issue too.
But let's not be too morbid about the difficulties ahead and take a vicarious trip to St. Maarten/St. Martin for a dose of sunshine and beach instead. Lay out your towel on the balcony or in the garden, set out an ice cold cocktail, open a travel magazine, and pretend you are on an island beach with a turquoise sea just steps away from your toes – and relax.
Ok, maybe not this one
If there’s one truism about travel, it’s that hotels can really eat up your cash, but if you are not keen on hostels or tents, then there is another solution. All you need is a bunch of friends to go with you to split the cost and you’re set for the time of your life.
Split between fifteen people, a castle in Europe could cost as little as 30 Euros per person per day. Of course there are far larger and grander castles that would melt the staunchest credit card, but there are also some that are more affordable. Now isn’t that a whole lot better than spending 25 Euros a day to stay in a hot, stuffy tent on a campsite that is miles away from anything remotely civilised?
Outdoor kitchen and dining at Il Castelluccio
Il Castelluccio is in a national park near Lecce Nei Marsi in central Italy and you and your friends can rent the entire castle, or just portions of it for smaller groups, but then, of course, the cost goes up per person.
La Demeure de Louis near Clermont-Ferrand
Château de Bussolles in Champeaux-sur-Sarthe
France has many castles with varying degrees of grandeur and you just have to set your budget and not get carried away. These two large historical castles, one in central France near Clermont-Ferrand and the other in north-western France in Champeaux-sur-Sarthe, should fit the bill nicely.
El Alcazar has medieval decor
Spain has its fair share of castles in the sun too. El Alcazar near El Robledo in central Spain is decked out in medieval decor to lend an air of authenticity to the whole castle experience.
For an unforgettable vacation with friends that won't break the bank, I present – the castle.
Kerry Biddle © 2020
Mimosas in flower
Mid-February and it is unseasonably warm. Despite what the calendars say, spring has arrived in the South of France. The mimosas are in full bloom, clovers with their sunny yellow flowers are flourishing, and annual nettles have made themselves known in dappled places. The young leaves and mauve blossoms of mallow make a welcome snack on a long walk and I made full use of them this morning.
The various wild lavenders are scenting the air and adding their contribution to an early spring. Lavender flowers make a delightful syrup and there are enough to make a small jar or two in the coming days.
Mallow makes a welcome snack on a long walk
Honey-scented sweet alyssum, daintiest of the scented wild flowers, lines the roads and can be seen in great numbers growing in between the neat rows of grapevines in the vineyards.
I even spotted my first poppy of the season, but it was a poor specimen indeed and didn't warrant a photo.
Seeing all this life reminds me that it is time to sow some more seeds for the warm weather to come and to prepare another bed for summer squashes.
The vital key to successful online lessons is to have proper lesson plans. Remember that online lessons are very different from face-to-face lessons, because your body language is limited for your student. They cannot rely on body language to pick up your meaning, although some will come across over video calling. Also, online lessons should be limited to 30 minutes as the lessons are very intensive and students can become tired and lose interest.
So how do you fit everything into 30 minutes? You split the lessons into three parts – before, during and after.
Let's say for example that you and your student have a lesson once a week. In the days preceding the next lesson, send them some material to either watch, listen to, read over, or complete, but keep in mind that most people who do online lessons are busy and may not always have time to complete the assignment. To avoid making the student feel uncomfortable about continuing, make sure that the lessons do not rely solely on the student having done the preparation. All lessons are supposed to be fun and engaging and this is particularly important for online lessons.
For the actual lesson, go through the prep materials briefly and find out where there may be difficulties in understanding or pronunciation and deal with those first. Then go into the materials that you have prepared prior to the lesson. Make every minute count, as time is limited. Your student must speak as much as possible to practice the language in a setting where you can correct and encourage them.
To finish off, give your student some work to do at home, which they will send to you online when it is done and you will send them your feedback. This work must complement the lesson so as to reinforce what they have learnt. Bearing in mind that your student might be working long hours, keep homework short and to the point, especially when it comes to a writing assignment. Anything that needs extra attention from the homework can be made into a lesson for the next session.
Before signing off, ask your student if there is anything that they would like to cover in the next lesson. If you plan your lessons around their interests, you are bound to succeed in planning sessions that will keep them interested and engaged.
Good planning makes great lessons!
If you like this post, please follow us on Facebook so that you don't miss out on new posts.
April 2, 2019 © Kerry Biddle
Allow me to introduce myself, I am Cat Von Rose, owner of Vonrose Tea Merchants, purveyors of quality teas to adventurers and other fine characters. I inherited the company when my father was murdered in India on a tea buying trip. We never did find out who did it, but my suspicions lie firmly with Lady Summerfield and that ghastly son of hers.
My sister Cyn is the wild one and comes and goes as she pleases. One day she came back from a trip to the jungle minus a forearm, hence the mechanical contraption that she wears, designed and made by herself. Not all of her inventions work so well, in fact some are remarkable in their failure. She is a formidable opponent in any fight and I would rather have her with me than against me any day.
Lovan was my father's righthand man and swore to stand by my side in the difficult times ahead, which he has, admirably. He is rather otherworldly, has incredible instincts, and has deep secrets that I have not presumed to ask him about. I've come to accept that there is a depth to Lovan that should be left alone, but the fact that he has some magic about him is obvious.
And then there is Jasbir, my Punjabi cook. Her name means Victorious Warrior, but I have not seen so much of that side of her as of the sharp-tongued harridan that emerges whenever anyone crosses her. Not with Cyn and I, though. She spoils us both unashamedly and turns a blind eye whenever Cyn sneaks into the pantry late at night to grab a quick bite of whatever's going after a sojourn of whatever kept her out so late. Jasbir has an impeccable aim with a shoe and considering that she doesn't wear any, I often wonder where she keeps them.
Kerry Biddle ©2018
Illustrations ©2018 Vonrose Tea
Just under a month ago, the Caribbean island of St Maarten/St Martin was laid waste under the sledgehammer blows of the strongest hurricane ever to be recorded in the Atlantic, but that didn't stop the people of the island from getting back up, dusting themselves off, and setting to work clearing seemingly impossible mounds of debris.
Aid poured in from around the world and, with the help of the Dutch Marines, Airborne Light Mobile Brigade, and French Gendarmes, order was restored and the rebuilding could begin. At first is was water, food, and emergency supplies on military aircrafts that arrived at the badly damaged airports and emergency evacuations leaving the island again. Then the Royal Caribbean cruise ships began to arrive to help with evacuations and to bring emergency rations. Now ships are arriving with building supplies and heavy moving equipment so that the rebuilding can begin in earnest.
The island will recover – Island Strong.
©Kerry Biddle 2017
As the dual nationality island of St. Maarten/St. Martin braces for the passing of Hurricane Maria, I wrote about going through Hurricane Irma and the aftermath.
As if that was not bad enough, many evacuees from the French side of St. Martin who were flown to Guadeloupe, are now in direct danger from another Category 5 hurricane, Maria, just weeks after having survived Irma and it looks as though the Virgin Islands are going to get smacked by the eye again. The thought of all of that flying debris and broken glass being picked up by Hurricane Maria and used as missiles against vulnerable people on the islands is just frightening.
St Maarten will experience strong Tropical Storm conditions - if Hurricane Maria doesn't didge a bit further north and stays on its present path.
©Kerry Biddle 19/09/2017
You have three seconds to grab a reader's attention. That's it.
In this fast and furious world where most people are overrun with information and don't have the time to wade through a load of gumph before they find what they are looking for, it's imperative to hook the reader in the first sentence. In that first sentence you will tell the reader what the main topic of the blog is about and then in the following paragraphs, you will expand on your idea. Another way to grab attention is to start with the problem like I have and then go on to explain how to solve that problem.
If you are telling a story, particularly a travel story, then the best place to start is with some sort of conflict. Anyone who has been in that same situation will immediately relate and someone who has not been in that situation, but would like to know how to solve it, will have their interest piqued. Above all, a story must be entertaining and should stick to just one topic at a time. No one wants to read about every single thing that you did on that African safari. Break it up into a whole lot of different stories. Not only will you find it far easier and more fun to write, but your readers will thank you for it.
In actual fact any blog post should stick to one main topic and not go wandering off on a tangent. Small tangents or asides can add interest to the post, but use them sparingly. When editing the post, make sure that you have stuck to the topic and delete any unnecessary fluff or tangents. Put the deleted material into a separate folder to possibly put into another story or to give you some ideas for another topic.
A blog should give readers something of value. Something that has taught them something, or some information, or something humorous that they can identify with. They have taken the time to read your blog, so you should reciprocate with something useful, even if it's just for the entertainment value. Sometimes in this fast-paced world a bit of lightheartedness can go a long way to making someone's day a bit brighter.
©Kerry Biddle on text and photo - 6 April, 2017.