I needed a projector for DJ lightshows and had to spend many hours researching to get one that would be good enough for my needs but cheap enough that I could afford it..I had no idea there were quite that many projectors out there.
After reading some useful articles I was more informed.. I knew that for daytime projections to be visible I needed to go for at least 2000 lumens brightness and a gas powered bulb rather than LED as they were still not bright enough for my purposes, at my price point anyway (£175-£250)
I ended up finding the Optoma s310 at a very low price and after reading a number of highly favourable reviews I hit buy it now and crossed my fingers..
When it arrived next day I was impressed with the packaging for starters and was pleased that it arrived with a fitted soft case and remote. I soon had the unit set up and once it was running and in focus I had a bright colourful windows desktop on my wall, a few tweaks in the menu and the picture was even brighter, bigger and sharper than I ever hoped for at such a low price and this was in afternoon semi daylight (curtains open) I was just gobsmacked!
I couldn't wait to use it at night and my children and I watched some movies with the projected image on the wall, even without a screen it was so gorgeous I was glowing with pride. 5 hours continuous use and the casing was warm but not red hot as I expected..
My projector is still one of my most valued possessions and I have just bought a lightning to VGA connector so I can now plug my ipad into the projector. Wow, awesome, I am so impressed with this projector's ease of use and reliability and would not hesitate to recommend this unit to anyone.
The construction quality is solid and the picture quality is just amazing, especially for such a low price.
It has worked perfectly with all of my computers including Imac, PCs running windows XP, Windows 10, ipad mini and ipad air, all with excellent clear results.
I intend to get a short throw unit next and start building up a battery of units to do lightshows with!
'Back in the day, if you wanted to get your website ranking highly in search engines all you had to do was cram the pages of your site with as many “relevant” keywords as possible.
So, you have a web site, maybe you have several web sites or blogs. Without traffic, they are lonely little ghost towns nobody visits – the internet contains literally trillions of web sites and a great many of them get almost no traffic at all.
You need traffic, everybody needs it and without it none of your banners, or ads would generate any revenue for your business, and, lets get this straight, running a successful website is a business – if it isn’t earning money, then it’s losing money.
In those hazy old days of the Internet it was relatively easy – you would just stuff lots of vaguely relevant keywords in your pages, use copied content, throw in some Meta tags and that would do it… Some people still believe they can get away with it today, but the last few Google updates have put an end to all that.
That kind of SEO actually causes your pages to be de- indexed by Google and we don’t want that…
This whole culture of SEO has given people some dangerous misconceptions that need to be put to bed once and for all. The best way to understand it all is to try to see what Google is about and what its actual purpose is…
So, what is Google's purpose?
Google is there to make a profit! They do so by maintaining their popularity as the world’s Number One search engine by ensuring that when you search for anything, you will always get high quality, relevant, unique content. Not spam, copied content or irrelevant garbage. So, if you want your web site to feature in the first page of Google results for a given search phrase, your content has to be excellent – relevant, unique, readable.
That means that whoever is producing this content has to actually know quite a lot about their given subject, be able to write well and maintain a high standard on a regular basis. Not only do you need good content, you need to be posting more and more of it, regularly, to be seen as interesting, worth reading, valuable.
You either need to write it yourself, or pay a professional writer or copywriter to write it for you. If you do decide to hire a writer, look for examples of their work, see if they have a web site, look for reviews and testimonials before engaging their services. You may already have content on your web site that needs proofreading, or some of it may need rewriting because it has been copied, or because it was copied from somewhere to begin with.
In some cases, web site owners choose to follow SEO tactics that at best, are out of date, at worst are actually detrimental to the site’s ranking. But there are other ways to get more visitors to your web pages that don’t involve constantly writing new articles and page. Sure, you need content and it needs to be high quality, but just content on its own is not going to get you targeted traffic.
There are a number of very smart ways to get your pages seen, like for instance, producing a YouTube video; you don’t even have to have a camera, you can take your existing content and re purpose it by breaking it up into short paragraphs, and paste them into PowerPoint, make a presentation, add a voiceover, maybe a slick opening splash screen (you can get these produced for very little at Fiverr.com) and upload it to YouTube. Make sure you mention your web site at least once in the video, end with a call to action and have your page link in the description under the video.
I recommend starting your description with your web site’s URL, (don’t forget to include http:// before the www. in lower case letters so it will be clickable) then write a description of what the video is about and end with the URL again. Also remember to add relevant search tags, these can be entered in the box immediately below the description box and are comma separated.
If you go for a more personal “talking head” type of video review, you should try the new transcribe option, (go to subtitles and CC) it allows you to type in exactly what is being said in the video and it pauses every time you type. It is far better than allowing the YouTube voice recognition system to do it as it is very rarely readable.. This is good for two reasons; one is it makes the video much more accessible for deaf viewers and it actually helps your video to rank in search engines, particularly Google, who own YouTube and so give it preference in searches. It is MUCH easier to get a video to rank highly in searches than a web site or page.
Videos convert viewers into buyers better than text content – the combination of the two is simply the way companies market on the Internet these days and it is just expected that if you have a web site where you are offering a product or service that you should have a video or two that explains what your product does, what problem it solves, why it is worth buying, how to use it, tips and tricks etc. A very powerful technique is to publish reviews of types of products that includes your competitors’ products and that goes into detail about their relative features and concludes with an endorsement of your product in what seems to be an impartial review..
Another style that is increasingly popular is unboxing videos. People like to see the product they are thinking of buying being unboxed and tested out – it could work well for your promotions, as can on- page desktop screen recordings as the reviewer looks at the pages of your web site and talks about them. People respond to these videos and it attracts new visitors who are already warmed to your site pages and know what style of content to expect when they click through.
The same goes for training courses, ebooks, in fact any kind of digital downloadable product; you may need to buy the product in order to have a copy to review, but in some cases the vendor will actually give you a review copy for you to use as it is worth it to them in order to increase their sales figures and click through rates, if you are promoting/reviewing a digital product for another company you can earn affiliate commissions from sites like ClickBank and JVZoo, they have new products coming out all the time and they all pay commissions on sales.
Video should definitely be a part of your web site marketing strategy, it is a tried and tested formula and a great deal can be accomplished in just an hour or two with software that may already be sitting on your desktop. If you use a PC then check out windows Movie Maker, there are loads of YouTube tutorials on how to use this free video production software and, if you use a Mac then the same applies to Imovie.
It is very likely your competitors are already using video to increase their company’s visibility on the web, so it is important that you watch their videos, take notes and look for ways you can improve on and outclass your competitors. Once you have a video on YouTube, or one of the other video sharing sites, you can embed a link to it on your web pages and share it on your social media network. One well- made video can do a lot to help in your promotions and to increase the visibility of your brand.
How to get targeted traffic to your web site without having to pay loads of money for it...
This is the holy grail of all internet marketers and web site owners. Nobody wants their site to be a ghost town after all, do they?
Recently I read a great article on 6 free ways to increase your web traffic and I am stunned, not one of those ideas have ever been mentioned by any of the marketers I have read anywhere.
These days there are literally thousands of gurus and " experts" out there who all want to tell you the way they made their millions , how you can too, all you need to do is buy their course, their e book or give them your email address. All it has got me is a constantly full mailbox cluttered with offers, upsells, downsells and general spammy stuff. God, if I bought even a tenth of them I would be chasing my tail for ever and broke as well!
I have had to promise myself to stop buying WSOs (warrior special offers) and to re read and implement the ones I have already got. Avoid shiny things, read, learn and stop looking for the magic bullet that's going to get me the traffic I need (the sales, really) and to try to populate my site with valuable informative content. So there you go.
As I am a keen artist, I paint, scribble and doodle a lot and I bought 10, 16"x20" gallery sized canvasses from a dealer I found on eBay - a year later and they are all used up and I was unable to get any more as cheaply as that lot, so I checked the works and eBay again but, at the size I want, I would have to pay at least £5 each for them and I am far too tight to horf up £50!
So I researched a bit on the web and soon had enough information to know how to recycle/reuse my used canvasses and reduce the amount of space my finished masterpieces were using up at the same time... All I needed was a stapler (the big woodworking kind) some old sheets, a can of emulsion paint, PVA adhesive and some chalks..
The method: cut the picture from the canvas frame, remove the old staples, sand and, where necessary, use wood filler in any cracks, holes or knots that are found, then reassemble the four pieces and I glued them together for rigidity and strength.
When the glue/filler had dried, I then cut a piece of old sheet about 4-6 inches bigger than the fame and stretched it over my canvas frame. Then I stapled the material to it starting at the middle of each side, working my way around then adding a staple each side of the middle one until I got to the corners, pulling the material tight each time before stapling. The finished result was pleasing to me and it was tight as a drum.
I mixed up 70% emulsion, 20% PVA and 10% water (approx) and I grated up a large chalk which I added to the mix, I then painted it onto the back, sides and front of the canvas and put aside to dry. After 12 hours I sanded the front and painted it again. This process simultaneously sizes and primes the canvas, after another 12 hours and a light sanding, it is ready to be painted on!
This saved my a load of money and I will reuse the frames many times, I have put a posting on freecycle asking for old material and got an offer within 12 hours... woohoo!
Let's see how well it holds the acrylics I intend to use on it...thanks for reading.
I just read a really good post on how to write excellent sales/promotional emails - check it out its just what I needed to read..
Well here's my third blog post, and today I want to talk about writing, research and a few really excellent software tools that have been helping me enormously that I'd like to share with you.
First of all when it comes to research obviously the place to go to is always Google my favorite search engine. But once I found relevant content after copying and pasting the content into a Word document (and subsequently forgetting where I got it from)
I would then sort through and delete what I didn't need and rewrite whet I did need.
But always by the time I've pasted a few chunks of text I would inevitably forget the sources, I know I need to organise things better.....I wanted to find something more efficient so I did a search and found two excellent resources that have been recently helping me enormously to get my research materials organised.
I found a couple of free resources to try out and the one that I was most impressed with is called pocket, it will install on any operating system, IOS, so I installed it and tried it out..
On all four operating systems. Because I liked it that much.
What it does is very simple it installs a widgety thing at the top right of your browser window and every time you find a webpage with the sort of content you want to use for research simply click on the little icon and it saves the page for you when you want to collate and start writing properly then you can open up the app end view all of the web pages that you have saved and then go back into them end cherry pick copy and paste the data that you want to use for your research material.
The other app that I absolutely love is only free on IOS end currently running out all the old iPad one running IOS 5.1.1 it is free end it's called Dragon dictation. It allows me the freedom I need to be able to write when and where ever I like as long as I have a Wi-Fi connection as it needs that for parsing online, what it does is it allows me to jabber away to my heart’s content to my iPad end it transcribes and turns it into usable text it also includes a very nice word processor to allow you to do edits. (Which I doing 1 to 2 minute chunks)
I then email the document to myself for proofreading grammar end spellchecking before sending the content to my editor or blog or wherever the text needs to go.
Another great online resource I love is copy scope, because when it comes to producing content , as I said earlier I always Google, copy and rewrite but although I regularly use other peoples contents to produce my own content the last thing I want is to get into trouble for plagiarism so I used copyscape regularly.
Copyscape allows you to check content for duplication and on the free version it allows you to use a URL to check for duplicate content. The content that is found includes the URLs where the dupes were found on the web, even the actual clusters of words that it has found copies of are displayed in red which is absolutely invaluable. I decided to upgrade to the pro version which costs me the princely sum of five cents per search, this allows me to copy and paste text into the search bar end as I regularly do in order to check that the content I have generated as a result of reading other peoples content is completely free of duplicate phrases or sentences. Highly recommended not only as awaiting dupe checker but also to regularly check your sites content or your clients sites for duplication...
Your company’s logo is there to talk to your visitors, clients and customers in your absence. First impressions are very important and the quality of your logo could mean the difference between a visitor choosing to leave, or to stay on your web page.
Your logo is there to communicate your company’s message, and you want that message to be clear, relevant and precise.
When you think about it, your logo has to beat the competition, be visually appealing and give the viewing public confidence that you are a brand to be trusted.
You want to stand out from the crowd and have a visual style that is instantly recognisable and conveys your professionalism and commitment to quality.
A well- designed logo will give your clients a sense of stability and purpose, that your company is established and trustworthy, so that they will feel comfortable and safe doing business with you and even referring your company to their contacts.
When you have a graphical representation of your company, people have an easy way to remember who you are and the service or product you represent.
When you have a consistent design strategy that is reflected in all of your company’s content and literature, it reinforces your brand identity and helps to endear your company to your clients. Conversely, if you have a difficult to remember company name and a forgettable logo, they may have difficulty recalling you and look elsewhere just when they are at the point of purchasing.
These days a company with no logo is not a company at all, in many industries it is simply expected, it is standard practice, so don’t be without one!
Well it had to be done sometime, its not the first time I've written a blog post, in fact, I have written first posts quite a few times, it's the keeping it up bit I have never mastered.
But this time will be different... I hope, I want to start blogging about being The Content Guy, hopefully inspiration will flow from the experiences I have working for people in the various fields of expertise I am offering - content writing, proof reading, voice recording, photoshop editing and social media traffic.
I have one or two regular clients at the moment, one is a big voiceover contract for a Polish Technical English teaching web site, (recording tutoring material on the subject of Aviation) and the other being regular writing content for an SEO company base in Northwich in Cheshire, that one is a regular gig, latest assignment is writing on the subject of Common Rail Diesel Injectors - riveting stuff! I wrote 500 words on what a great thing it is, then 1000 words on the various problems associated with CRD injectors...
Just completed 8 new pages on the site, offering various social media traffic services, next I will make some nice icons to replace the boring text menu links.. been reading some interesting stuff on SEO and press releases which have changed my outlook entirely on the subject - here's a link - content promotion killers
Off to write some more... hope to post again soon