Tag Archives: Blogging

My Blogging Journey – What Have I Learned after 100 Posts?

Hello reader!

Well goodness me, this is my 100th blog post!

Since I first started writing this blog back in September 2014, I honestly never thought that it would still be going. Looking back, what has enabled me to keep this going is a love of writing about my passions and interests, just like any other writer. My blogging journey has allowed me to express my love of writing and to learn about many topics and themes, whilst sharing my written thoughts with many other people.

When I mention my blog, I am often asked what I write about. My blog is not about one subject or theme, as it is about my personal and professional interests (strictly non-political) and positive experiences, that have motivated, educated, entertained, inspired or even moved me. You could compare my blog to a box of Quality Street, as there is something for everyone, or at least I hope that is the case.

Over the years my blog has evolved. From originally writing about networking, to technology, business, personal development, social media, data security, health and fitness, and even poetry and literature, my blog has become diverse in the sheer variety of topics that I have written about and published. I enjoy writing about different things, and I consider the diverse nature of my blog, to be an important part of its longevity, as well as the fact that I write from the heart too.

Over these last five years, I have learned so much on this journey that blogging has enriched my life and added to my skills, whilst giving me great joy. I have included some points below, to give you an understanding of what I have learned.

  1. Enjoy what you do.
  2. Quality is more important than quantity.
  3. Write for yourself and from the heart.
  4. Keep learning and never stop.
  5. Create and share content that resonates with people.
  6. Accuracy of research, language, spelling and grammar is important.
  7. Get straight to the point and keep jargon to a minimum.
  8. Keep away from politics if possible!
  9. Be yourself and let it shine through!

As individuals we continually learn and develop, as our personal and professional lives change. Through the events and seminars attended, the experiences I have encountered, the books read, the people I have met, the technologies and subjects I have learned, has continuously provided me with the creative fuel and enthusiasm for ideas, to create and publish my content. Therefore by continually keeping up-to-date with what is happening professionally, or just sharing my personal experiences and knowledge, I have become a more rounded individual.

Is there anything I could have done better? Having put so much effort into this blog, I feel whilst I have been extremely satisfied with my blogging journey and producing quality content, there are two key areas I can improve upon. These include sharing and commenting more on blogs written by others, as I believe it is important to help bloggers and other people. Secondly I must confess I have not promoted other articles written by others on my blog,whilst publishing my own. This has given me plenty to think about, and recognising these shortcomings will not only help me become a better blogger, but also to help more people.

Do I have any favourite posts that I have written? To be honest, this is a very tough one to list, as I have enjoyed writing each one and sharing them. However there are some I consider to be my best and memorable, of which I have listed below.

  1. The Benefits of Apprenticeships.
  2. Networking Lunch with Lawrence Kenwright.
  3. GDPR – Are you Ready?
  4. Windows 10 – What Businesses Need to Consider?
  5. Busting the Myths of Data Security.
  6. Networking Breakfast with Nicola Forshaw.
  7. Getting the Best Out of LinkedIn.
  8. Recollections of my 1stLiverpool Half-Marathon.
  9. Running the Scouse 5k for Charity.
  10. BIMA & Microsoft Roadshow in Liverpool.
  11. What Does it Take To Be Successful?
  12. What Have I Learned from Networking?

Writing this post and the previous ninety-nine has been a pleasure. I would like to thank everyone who has read, commented, shared, or even just had a quick look out of curiosity. I hope you have enjoyed and found my posts to be interesting, educational and at times entertaining. Therefore I am looking forward to writing and sharing more content with you in the future.

Thanks for reading, and here is to the next hundred and beyond!

Yours Sincerely

Ben Cross

Social Media Meetup – Thursday 19th April 2018

Recently I attended Social Media Meetup, which was held at Launch22 in Liverpool. This was organised by Mark Russell of bmicro, and featured knowledgeable speakers in Peter Buglass of Objective Comment Consultancy and Edward Ridding of Umami.

I had never been to this event before, although others in my network had recommended it, through word-of-mouth on LinkedIn. Therefore as a blogger, I decided to attend the event, and see what I could learn. It was certainly worth the investment of my time and energy.

The event featured a brief talk from both Peter and Edward, who shared their professional experiences of using social media, as part of their businesses. Peter and Edward also gave their views on the recent announcement of JD Wetherspoons, closing down their social media accounts, and allowed the audience to contribute to the discussion.

From this, the discussion opened up a wide range of opinions, leading to other relevant issues surrounding social media. These included how organisations collect and use personal data, to provide personalised communications to their customers. A typical example is Amazon using data collected on customers, to send personalised ssm2_290418recommendations, based on browsing and shopping habits.

In addition, the event allowed the audience to ask each other questions, and discuss how to improve their online platforms. This was a good opportunity for me, to tap into the experience of the speakers and audience, who gave me some useful advice and pointers.

There was a real community feel to the event, as the audience was a diverse mix of professionals from different backgrounds, including entrepreneurs, digital marketers and bloggers. The bloggers I met included Jo Fitzimons who not only has a travel blog called Indiana Jo, but also a prosecco themed-blog called Visit Prosecco Italy. Another blogger I also met and was impressed by was Aditi Chawla, of Try New Today. Being surrounded by like-minded people, and a friendly dog called Buttons was very relaxing and pleasant, making this one of the nicest events I have ever attended, and one that I recommend to anyone.

If you have ever been to Launch22’s offices in Liverpool, I guarantee that it offers something completely different (in the words of Monty Python). As a co-working space, Launch22 has a quirkiness andssm1_290418 homely environment allowing for entrepreneurs and creative-minded people to launch their dreams. Such homeliness was evident, when I noticed a huge teddy bear in the office.

To conclude, I would like to personally thank Mark, Peter and Edward, and everyone at Launch22 for putting together an evening, rich in learning, delightful conversation, and for the popcorn.

I shall certainly be looking forward, to attending another event in the near future!

Professional Liverpool – Networking Lunch with Dean Currall

Marketing is crucial for businesses in every industry. From law, digital, construction, technology, manufacturing, finance and others, it is a key role shared by everyone. However one of the common pitfalls encountered are professionals talking about themselves and their businesses first, rather than listening and learning about what potential customers want.

I had the pleasure of recently attending a networking lunch organised by Professional Liverpool, which looked at marketing. The speaker was Dean Currall of Verb Marketing, who gave a presentation about how professional services can utilise marketing techniques, to develop fruitful and productive trust-based relationships.

There was plenty that Dean talked about, that really fascinated me. From the importance of giving solutions to customers, in the form of services and structured content, I found Dean’s presentation to be tangible and relevant for businesses, entrepreneurs and professionals today. In this era of digital technology, companies need to use the capabilities provided to tailor their marketing approach, in order to attract clients and promote their services.

In addition, Dean also provided other useful nuggets of wisdom, which I have listed below.

  1. You need to have a marketing strategy and objectives that are relevant, achievable and measurable.
  2. Create and give free content that resonates with people.
  3. Promote and boost content created and shared by others (e.g. blog posts, published articles and presentations).
  4. To sell content to boost your brand, you need to offer solutions.
  5. Your content needs to include tangible information.
  6. Become a thought leader and develop a relationship of trust.
  7. Do more seminars and blogs!
  8. Sell stories, experiences, solutions and benefits.
  9. Segment your content using a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) database.

From the points listed above, I was able to relate this to my blogging work, and how I constantly strive to create relevant and useful content, that resonates with people. Listening to Dean speak about structuring content, providing relevant information and how it needs to capture the personal attention of others, was a defining moment for me.

It also made me think back to a past experience, when I wrote and published an article about learning from failure, back in June 2016. When I published and shared the article, I discovered later on to my amazement, that it was viewed 88 times that year, which I was not expecting. Therefore I was taken completely by surprise with how the article struck a chord, and resonated with many people. It still surprises me today!

I was greatly impressed with Dean as a speaker. I not only learned plenty from him, but he presented and delivered his content, with a knowledgeable yet easygoing tone, that I could easily relate to and understand. In addition, I was also impressed with his knowledge of the mechanics involved with successful marketing. This has given me a greater understanding of creating and marketing my blog content.

A delightful bonus of the event was networking with familiar and new faces. These included Paul Trickett of Bathgate Business Finance, Agnes Fitzgerald of Irish Business Enterprise, Elaine Courtney of Courtney Reid, Jon Davies of Jon Davies Accountants and Simon Robb of The Alternative Board, amongst many others. Overall it was a pleasurable event, and I sincerely hope that everyone who attended also enjoyed Dean’s presentation, and found it to be as interesting and useful as I did.

I would like to personally thank Dean for sharing his marketing wisdom, and also to Alex Clark and Emma Rittenberg of Professional Liverpool, for organising a top-notch networking lunch.