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Starting a blog on WordPress: Why I decided to start a blog on WP (This blog)

June 9, 2019 / Comments Off on Starting a blog on WordPress: Why I decided to start a blog on WP (This blog)

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The reason I decided to start a blog on WordPress is that for me it is the best blogging platform and here I am talking about the .org version, which I have linked to and not the .com.

Why starting a blog on WordPress is better?

The .com site is totally free and you can have your blog up almost immediately, so it seems an attractive proposition and rightly so as I know many people who use it.

But I want total control over what I post, what I can and cannot say and for that information to be there until I decide to remove it, therefore the content and the site that I have is owned by me.

With the .com version of WordPress, it is their property and I am not for one minute saying that it is not a good place to start a blog, or that they will try to control what you say…it’s just that the owner of the site is not you.

I know that there are many other ways of getting started, but the advice I received and through all of my research always took me back to WordPress.

To use the .org version of WordPress, you will need someone to host your site and take a look at Seekahost and what they offer, it is owned by Fernando Raymond, who inspired this current WordPress blog.

There are many advantages to using WordPress for all your website needs, so for me, it is a ‘no brainer’ and worth the effort as to learning how to use it.  There is also a tremendous support community and you can literally learn to build a website form an online tutorial on YouTube if you want to learn the absolute basics.

For serious blogging and websites, get it done professionally and find a hosting company that you can trust – the design of this blog is the next step I will be working on with Fernando, but I just wanted to get started and publish before any WordPress support!

Why Did I Want To Start A Blog

start-a-and-blog-and-make-money-onlineI launched my first blog to simply put myself ‘out there’ on the Internet and it was a way that was purely to get all of my thoughts, beliefs, and opinions out of my head and into a ‘home’ and I admit that even as a ‘seasoned entrepreneur and businessman,’ the thought of going out to the Internet was daunting, even though I have had my fair share of media exposure over the years, so I more than anyone can understand why some people are extremely anxious about starting their blog.

The inspiration for my first blog came from Jack Spirko.

Jack was heading the marketing division for my companies at the time and was adamant that I absolutely must, ‘get myself out there.’ He literally walked me through all of the steps of blogging and what could be done with it, showing me examples of blogs he had started and also ones that he followed at the time and one of these was the Texas entrepreneur Mark Cuban

Mark Cuban is the owner of the basketball team the Dallas Mavericks and also an investor on the program Shark Tank, so he is a well-respected figure who had no trouble in finding his voice on his blog.

I was inspired and got started immediately, but I got started as a CEO and not as someone who learned about how to set up a blog and cover the technical aspects as I had a team of people to do it for me.

Big mistake!

Sadly during the big hack that hit American companies so hard around 15 years ago, the blog and all of its content were lost.

That blog was a commentary and opinion about everything because as an entrepreneur, businessman and someone who is keen to learn, I am never short of an opinion or three and for me, the more controversial the better, but not for the sake of controversy, but because I believed I was right by going completely against the grain.

Something I will still do to this day when starting a blog.

My reasoning was that I would put my knowledge out there and if it resonated with anyone, then they would follow my blog and everything would be great…and it worked as I started to build up a small, but nice following, writing about everything from sport to the Banking Crisis of 2008 and many other topics that took my interest.  I started to blog each and every day, waking up and going with the feeling I had for that day and with any news that was making the headlines.

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Like most bloggers, I started to slack as I had other things to concern myself about such as the running of my companies, but these things happen and I would then restart the writing with the same energy I had to start it in the beginning.

What I can say though, was that I absolutely loved writing!

I gave no thought to monetizing the blog as that was never the initial goal, although I did earn a few dollars from Google Adsense.

What followed after the blog was lost, was a period of online frustration and inactivity, which I talk about here about how you can make money online in 2019.

Today

After a 35-year business career, I decided like many that I wanted to ‘give back’ to the business community and try to help those people who are in the same shoes that I was in many years ago when I saw searching around and desperate for advice.

I decided to become a volunteer mentor for Business Wales, as I returned to Wales from the US three years ago as my Mother and her family were all from South Wales and it is a lovely place to live and to raise children, so why not start and help the business people in the Country that was close to my heart?

Mentoring for Business Wales means that I am in touch with a variety of businesses and business owners and it gives me the opportunity to help people from a true mentoring process – where I can empathize with people because I have ‘been in their shoes’ and I can obviously share my experiences.

I have long thought about starting some form of  ‘online academy’ where I can help entrepreneurs overcome the personal and business challenges that they face daily and also some form of a website where I can make use of my 35 years of recruiting experience but this time working purely for the benefit of the job seeker, rather than an employment agency. 

I have been researching and talking to people for the last couple of years as to how to do this – looking at online partnerships and where I can find a home for my knowledge in the sense of a real business but had many discussions with people, but never really found anyone who inspired me.

A chance online search led me to Fernando Raymond.  Fernando immediately inspired me through his passion for his industry and the fact that he wanted everyone to have a blog.

This triggered my memory and I remember having discussions with other businesspeople in the USA, where I would frequently talk about the importance of having a blog to build your own brand.

Fernando not only stirred those thoughts back up but immediately gave me an action plan and got me started and it was not only his thinking that inspired me but his work ethic and authenticity.

So the first step for me is to get out there in the same manner as before, but this time with a specific purpose.

What Is The Purpose Of Starting My Blog?

I simply want to help and inspire people by sharing by entrepreneurial, business and life experiences and to leave my business legacy to my children.

When I started out in the pre-Internet days, there was little help and resources to help anyone and the only way you could get that help was to know someone or read books.

Since my network wasn’t very large and certainly not affluent, I had to buy books and this wasn’t easy because I really didn’t know what books to buy and also didn’t have much money.  Over the years I have amasses what most people would call a small library, simply because I have a thirst for knowledge and I vowed that if I could, I would offer help to people who are in my situation and have little help or resources at hand.

For me, there is so much business misinformation out there and the Internet in one sense has made it worse, simply because anyone can set up a blog or website tomorrow and offer business advice through cutting and pasting information and driving traffic to the site.

But that doesn’t solve the problem – credible business information does!

So in line with sharing my knowledge and experiences over the years – the good, bad and totally ugly, going bust and surviving three recessions and learning how to sell my company’s services at the highest level winning business from the ‘big boys,’ I can honestly say that I know what works and what doesn’t.

On this point, I will also add that I am continually refining my knowledge literally by the second because of my thirst for knowledge in general.  I never stand still and a retirement is never an option!

Who Am I Trying To Inspire?

Everyone and before you think to yourself that you “cannot be everything to everyone,” let me explain:

Being an entrepreneur to me is instinctive and this may be the case for me because certainly nobody ever taught me anything about entrepreneurship.  Being a businessman however can be taught, so it is possible to get a good education, get an MBA and then work for a large corporation, hone your skills, develop a network and one day start out on your own.

I am oversimplifying this, but I want to make a distinction.

I left college at the age of 19 with the qualifications that I should have got at 16, so I was no academic, but what was burning deep inside me, was a desire to start my own business.  Maybe it was from my Father’s side of my family as his family had an extremely successful Dancehall in Aldershot, UK, which was a Military town, that they spent £50,000 refurbishing in the 1950s and my Father managed it on behalf of his Father.

But my Mother and Father divorced when I was 7, and I saw him a handful of times before his death when I was 20, so I never really knew him and as I heard from another member of my family a few years ago, nobody had given me any chance of success.

So immediately I can inspire those people who are in a similar situation and going back even further to my school days, people who know me would never have understood that I was a shy, timid and very reserved schoolboy who lacked self-confidence.

Talking to my children now, I can almost sense when they feel nervous or worried about something and I can relate to that easily.

Children suck up knowledge fast and I know from my own experiences that you can inspire a child fairly easily.

Then you have the people who are experiencing tough times in life and business – having been through situations that would have floored most, I can help people get through these times and re-establish their self-worth.

Business is the easiest one to talk about for obvious reasons and I want people to be less frightened about starting and growing a business and the challenges they will face.

In short, I hope you can see that through my entrepreneurial journey there are aspects of my life that can appeal to everyone.

How Am I Going To Grow My WordPress Blog?

I am going to treat growing this blog as I would treat growing any business.

You know who I want to inspire, so you can see the end-game, but I cannot simply write for each group in the general sense as I would be doing nothing else outside of writing.

I love to write and it would be an idyllic lifestyle to sit down by a nice beach, write all day and with the odd intermittent lunch and a beverage or two, but I want to be laser-focused as to what I write and not ‘all over the place.’

So the first thing I will do and with the help of Fernando, is to plan a blogging strategy as well as to learn everything I can about online marketing, but at the technical and operational level.

For me, it’s time to stop being a CEO and go back to grassroots.

With a laser focus, I will have more chance in becoming a respected authority in my field and that means getting out quality content that really resonates with my audience.

In business, you will always hear the question “what is your Unique Value Proposition (UVP)” and to me, the question is fairly useless and is asked parrot fashion with no real understanding.

I have had only one  UVP in my entire business life and that was when I had a telecommunications software product where we were first to market.

It really didn’t do me or my company any favors as people simply didn’t want to believe it and we had no competition to measure against, so it’s not all that it is cracked up to be – if you really have ‘re-invented the wheel,’ then go ahead and exploit it and good news, but anything else is simply a plagiarism and when you plagiarise, then please try to do it better.

There is one aspect of business and anything if you like that is truly unique and that is your DNA.  

So you are the only real way to differentiate and that is how I will differentiate this blog – there are millions of people blogging, but only one of me and the challenge is to get my voice out there.

The aim is to build a following and then help that following by information, products and/or services that they need and that provide huge value.

What Comes Next?

I am a great believer in letting you market take you to where it is going to be and letting your clients determine what you do.

The market is the market and that goes for every single economy and person in the world as the economy affects people.

This is why it is important to constantly research market conditions and form an opinion as to where it is going to go, in this way you can prepare for the future.

The second point about your clients (your audience if you have a blog) is to make sure you can anticipate their needs and sometimes this can be difficult because many of your clients will not have done the research that you have and therefore will not be aware as to what could happen in the future.

In business (and a blog of course) this gives you a tremendous opportunity to educate your audience through credible opinions that you can back up.

So in line with the above, your clients will tell you what they need and it is up to you to serve and provide value to them.

For me, it will be about doing everything and everything I can to inspire what will hopefully be a diverse audience and grow from there.

There are many opportunities such as online education to transfer the knowledge I have acquired over the years and here I am talking about specific courses that will deliver specific value.

As I love to write, I would dearly like to write a book about my life story both to get it out of my head and to help and inspire people.

There are also speaking opportunities as when I have done them in the past, I loved them – it’s nerve-wracking, but you have to learn to think on your feet and that is a challenge I relish.

I always used to say to my sales team that there was never a sales objection that could not be overcome unless the person or company concerned didn’t like the product or service and I would regularly challenge my team to come up with them and if nothing else it served as a great exercise to sharpen up the team.

One thing that is on the immediate agenda is to finish a book I started with Jack Spirko many years ago, titled “The Inner Salesman.”

The premise of the book is that we are all hard-wired to sell as mankind has had to have had to learn to barter in order to survive and furthermore if you want to really learn how to sell in a natural way, then look at children!

They are masters at getting what they want and will get that bar of chocolate from you just before dinner and by using any and every tactic to do so – the qualities that you want form a salesperson are routinely displayed by children, instinct, fearlessness, determination, emotion and of course dogged determination.

As selling is so central to the world of business – “without a sales, nothing happens” as was said by the founder of IBM, you can see the importance and it is a subject very close to my heart and one that has been seriously overcomplicated.

So for me, there are a lot of things on the coming agenda!

Starting a blog on WordPress

starting-a-wordpress-blogStarting a blog for me is liberating in a sense, I have the feeling that I am getting something out of me as well as helping and inspiring others and you should do the same.

If you are deliberating what to do online or simply want a starting point, then why not start a blog.

Trust me, when you get over the initial sense of fear and a little shock when you publish your first post, you will experience a great deal of satisfaction. So start a blog that matters and WordPress is a great platform and starting a blog on WordPress can be your first step to online business.

To your blogging and Internet success!

-Neil

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Last modified: June 9, 2019