Wooden Garden Workshop

How to Successfully Soundproof a Garden Shed

There is no doubt that you can make use of your garden shed for practicing any musical instrument.

Albeit, subject to the condition that the sound that you produce must be limited inside the garden shed.

The aim is to gratify your passion, and not to disturb other people.

You can do your passionate practice in two ways.

Acting on the first way doesn’t need you to soundproof your garden shed but it needs you to slow down or dampen your voice or the sound of your musical instrument that you want to play inside your garden shed.

Without a doubt, the first method doesn’t fully gratify your music passion.

For the full gratification of your abiding passion, it is obligatory for you to soundproof the entire room so that you can beat the drum or play another musical tool freely and unhesitatingly, and your practice sessions do not intervene in anybody’s rest or job.

Read this piece of blog writing until the end & act on the recommended, easy-to-follow ways so that you can carry on with your passion loudly and zealously in an ideal and the best soundproof environment inside.

The Shed Windows

The shed windows are hugely responsible for allowing the sound to go out of the garden shed especially if you own an old-fashioned garden shed.

If equipped with windows built of thin glass or perspex, they may readily drive the voice and sounds out of the building.

The best fix is that you permanently close those windows with cement and bricks.

It will be cheaper than trying to soundproof them using other ways that could be relatively laborious as well.

In case this method is not possible for you for any reason, it is advisable to buy thick plastic sheets to seal the windows

Soundproofing the windows is a must.

Drumkit Rigged Up to PA System

The Shed Door

Closing the garden shed door tightly can’t guarantee that your shed is at all soundproof.

Regardless of high-quality and durability of the door, the doors have some subtle holes and gaps that may allow the sounds to escape through.

The sound leakage might also take place between the door and the door frame.

However, it is possible and feasible to soundproof the garden shed door through rubber seals.

Alternatively, you can stick high-quality thick adhesive plastic sheets to make your door a hundred percent soundproof as well as suitable for music activities.

The Shed Walls

When it comes to soundproof a room, house or shed, the most challenging parts are walls, aren’t they?

In order to soundproof the walls of the shed, you can normally make use of any conventional or ordinary insulation easily available in the nearby marketplace or online.

You can’t achieve the best outcome unless you use the correct specialised materials from a soundproofing supplier.

Although some people make use of plasterboard, it is an abortive action over time by all accounts.

This is because of the excessive use of screws that provide the sounds with the backdoor to escape through.

You can soundproof your wall as long as your budget allows you.

The more amount of insulation you attach to the walls, the higher the soundproof outcome they will give you.

One of the easiest and the most ultimate solutions is that you go to a local music store, buy sticky acoustic foams and stick them to the walls ensuring no gap left there.

You will not have to work very hard nor will you have to paste any gums or glues as they are already made sticky on their back.

The use of acoustic foam is very common in professional music studios.

It is noteworthy that you must stick acoustic foams to interior walls rather than exterior walls.

Fender Telecaster & Ibanez Amp

The Shed Floor

For the purpose of soundproofing the floor of the garden shed, you need to lay a thick carpet and soft h so that these two things can absorb the sound and prevent it from bouncing and reflecting the walls and roofs.

It is not mandatory for you to use a brand new carpet and foam; you can also manage with an old carpet.

The utilisation of these two things will prevent the sound from vibrating and escape through, and thus, your garden shed will remain soundproof.

Depending on your ability to pay, you can also use rubber gym mats.

The best part about these mats is that all the parts of the mats easily interlock.

Compared to the old carpet, rubber gym mats will give you a more enjoyable soundproof experience but it is a bit expensive.

One of the aesthetic benefits of rubber gym mats is that they will add the enhanced value to the overall look of your garden shed with a bang.

The Shed Ceilings

You can insulate the ceiling of the garden shed in the same way as you can do to the walls.

Likewise, you can stick acoustic foams to the ceilings.

You are honestly advised against using any type of screw-based insulation because the screwed areas may allow the sound to escape through.

Conclusion

There is no final or ultimate single-solution to soundproofing the garden shed in a way that you follow it and all the shed magically become soundproof.

That’s not the case, you have to soundproof your garden shed by acting on one by one step as stated above.

You need to soundproof all the garden shed parts including windows, doors, walls, ceiling, and floor.

The ways I have recommended above are all tried and tested ones like hundreds of garden shed owners have acknowledged them as successful, and that, they are working well for so many sheds these days.

Once you have soundproofed your shed, you can complete your music ventures hassle feely.

Soundproofing is the only way to help you carry on your music passion without being disturbed and disturbing other people.

There are costly soundproofing ways, too.

In this post, you’ve got to know cheap or comfortably affordable ways that can work wonders for you.


Professional Designing a Website

Understanding Minimalism: Best Practices For A Modern Style Website

The history of modern art and design speaks volumes about an era that stands among the ones making an impact to-date.

The time when design started shedding layers and layers to welcome the minimalist streak has evolved to give birth to minimalist web designs.

Continuing the tradition, minimalism has penetrated the web design to flash its unique attributes on the fast-lane World Wide Web platform.

A modern minimalist website is different from that of the usual one.

It has more benefits, is more appealing to the users, and is a way to make the most out of few elements.

From experimenting with colors to simplifying the user-experience, minimalism piques the users’ senses and allowing them to pair their emotions and thoughts with a clutter-free design.

Google Homepage

Google’s homepage is the best example of minimalism

Sure, it’s becoming popular.

Most of the companies and designers are employing minimalism to create original designs with a light yet deep impression.

When well-designed minimalist sites collide with a user-focused approach, excellent user experience is created.

As much as it’s fun to play with minimalist web design, pinning it can be harder and trickier than imagined.

To help you understand what minimalism is about, this article takes you through a detailed approach to explore this modern concept.

As the article proceeds, you will also learn effective practices to master minimalist website designing.

What’s Minimalism and Why Choose It?

Popularly known as the art of ‘less is more’, designers use the term in several industries to refer to the same idea.

As little as it utilizes to create the maximum impact, the word itself hides much more than it displays.

Minimalism is about reducing the redundancy and removing the clutter.

While some believe it to be a method of introducing creative aesthetics, others think of it as a fundamental principle every website should follow.

In reality, minimalism is about simplifying communication, making it direct and transparent.

When designers create a web design, they usually focus on communicating the website’s message to the audience.

They concentrate their attention on reducing the number of unnecessary elements to the essential ones and maximizing the user experience.

Bouguessa Homepage

Bouguessa beams on top of aesthetic minimalism and usability

Each component of a minimalist website is used to its optimum, so the quality remains able to deliver value without sacrificing the website’s usability and functionality.

With the bold types, imagery and colour play, the message hits the user like a train – seamlessly and directly.

When we say minimalism has benefits, you must believe it. Why?

Because an excellent minimalistic web design offers the following opportunities:

  • Content utilizes fully
  • Website becomes more responsive
  • Page-loading time decreases
  • Increases user retention
  • Hierarchy presents at its best
  • User doesn’t get stressed
  • Navigation becomes intuitive
  • Aesthetic appeal maximises

Components of a Minimalist Website Design

Minimalist web design has few but strong pillars that set the foundation of great design.

Let’s take a peek at the essential elements that have the creative power suiting to the taste for minimalism.

1. White/Negative Space

Every website is created with two main elements in focus – figure and ground.

The human mind notices the features on the front and ignores the surrounding area.

That area or the white/negative space creates balance and guides the users’ attention to the elements of importance.

2. Visuals

Minimalistic website design is incomplete without high-quality, magnetic visuals. As the figure elements, they guide the users’ attention and convey the messages you can link with the rest of the content.

As minimalism is about introducing one focus at a time, the images and videos used in this context must showcase minimalism by portraying one focal object at a time.

In fact, visuals influence more than usability.

Striking and relevant visuals are the vital minimalist characteristics that rule.

3. Typography

Types are a great way to convey the intended message as well as the tone.

In minimalist styles, the types and fonts used are typically bold and broad.

They’re meant to be experimented with.

The types tell your viewers what your web design is about and how you’re delivering it.

These give your message a language, setting its tone and personality with its attributes.

Moreover, each type, when matched with different messages and different characteristics, presents a unique and creative approach to the design.

4. Colours

Colours are the moving factor in the minimalist site.

They evoke emotions and can influence the viewers and users to take action.

Whether you’re using bright to dull and nudes to flashy ones, the colors can convey a variety of meanings, enhancing the impact of your design as well as your messages.

In minimalism, colours are usually used in contrast to making the figure pop out against a subtle background.

Whatever your ideas, the right choice of colors makes your website look more refined.

Tips To Master Minimalism In Web Design

Achieving minimalism in web design isn’t as easy as it seems, but following the right practices can help you get the experience you need for creating a minimalist site.

1. Create A Single Focal Point

Minimalism is about creating a single focal point that enhances your chance to communicate your message directly to the audience.

In all the professional sites created at a Dallas web design company or any other around the world, professionalism will peak at focusing on one figure in the webpage at a time.

The focal point could be a text, image, or video, aided with a secondary element to converge the attention.

It allows your users to retain the chunks of information for more extended periods in the memory.

Vincent Saisset Homepage

Vincent Saisset uses nothing but the initial of his first name on the homepage.

The V gets all the attention until the user scrolls down to discover the developer’s portfolio.

2. Use Space For Your Good

White space or negative space gives life to your content.

It enhances the quality of how a text or image or any other media appears on the site.

The more you use white space, the more it can inch closer to easing the user experience.

Several sites use white space to let the content breathe.

Also, white creates a stellar contrast with the imagery to navigate the user’s attention without tiring the eyes.

Muraflex gives a stunning example of web design exploring the edges of white space.

The breathable area lets the user tune with the aesthetics of the design while keeping it light.

Fino Homepage

3. Make Animations Appeal To The Users

The animation is often viewed as fluff in the design world as it could weigh a website’s responsiveness down.

But with minimalism, animations used with respective plugins not only appeal to the end-users but also become a source of interaction.

These make the designs appear more professional, adding efficiency to the overall interface.

If you want to add animations, your designs could reach the next level and enhance the height of user experience without compromising other areas of website functionality.

4. Big and Bold Fonts Are The Go-Tos

As mentioned before, the choice of type is a critical factor in a minimalist design.

Most of all, it should be clean, clear, and readable.

You can use the typography as your focal point to state your message and create attention-grabbing texts.

However, you must stick to no more than one to three fonts, as using more would shun the chance of being transparent and legible.

If you’re in for some fun, experiment with a variety of fonts and different sizes.

Rezo zero presents as a clear-cut example of how a focused, readable text should look.

It’s broad. It’s bold. And it delivers the message equally well.

Rezo Zero

5. Choose HQ Images At All Times

People react to visuals more than they respond to the text.

Beautiful imagery overwhelms other functionality flaws, and it’s proven by the law of aesthetic usability.

For that reason, design in the industry is whole another topic.

Take your cue from every site that uses bold and high-quality graphics to set the emotional stage for your users.

Like colours, the viewers must be able to visualise their needs via these graphics.

Just remember that minimalism is about narrowing your focus.

It isn’t about just decoration; it’s about showcasing the product or service you’re offering.

Yelvy adds a fantastic touch to the website by directly showcasing the product line.

Beautiful imagery combined with a direct message gives you an excellent user experience.

Yelvy Homepage

Minimalism Can Speak Wonders About A Web Design

Minimalism is much more about creating a sense of wonder with the convenience of use.

You might achieve the looks, but dousing your design in functionality is equally important.

Without a smooth and sleek website, you can’t reach your goals and objectives.

In this article, we discussed some fundamentals and tips for minimalist design.

To get started, tune in with the minimalist vibe and design your web site journey with dedication and practice.

Author Bio

Loius Martin is the Creative Marketing Manager at Invictus Studio, a professional logo design company in Dallas.

With years of practice in the field, Loius is considered a seasoned professional with a smooth, serial streak for everything related to design.

After work, Loius chills with some classic jazz as he writes blogs and articles related to web design.


Illustrations of Mobile Apps in Use

6 Important Things to Know About the App Design Process

Designing a mobile app incorporates a typical yet complex process.

After failing, learning and succeeding, most of the mobile app developers follow the same process.

For the beginners and those who want to build an app for their business, it’s important to know how the design process flow.

The designing process typically includes the following steps:

1. Idea

The idea is the beginning of any development process.

In the first place, your idea should be liable to work on.

If you are looking for some mobile app developers, make sure your idea is viable to earn and capable of recouping your investment in the form of revenue.

Besides, discuss with the mobile app developer if your idea is technically feasible or not.

Check for the obstacles to face while implementing the idea?

Is your idea unique?

Do you have your competitors already in the market?

How can you make your idea better?

If you think your idea is worth working on and can give you returns, start working on it.

Man Viewing Brainstorming Wall

2. Specification

After the idea, comes specifications.

It’s crucial to gather specs to declares that what is your app for and how it is going to be accomplished.

By writing the spec, you would further develop, evolve and refine your idea towards a better product.

Some mobile app developers overlook the spec phase, but it shouldn’t be ignored at all because it brings things in clarity.

Many initial assumptions are clarified and elucidated in the spec documentation, keeping everyone know their job and help operate the work in a productive sequence.

3. Wireframe

The first deliberate design made in a project is Wireframes.

They are low fidelity mockups built based on specifications.

This part is usually handled by a UX designer; however, the involvement of all the team members is vital. Photoshop and Sketch are the popular software applications used for wireframing.

Holding Mobile App Wireframe

4. Prototype

After specs and wireframes, you are ready to present a solution for the first idea.

This phase helps in rectifying the mistakes or missing details in the specs.

Prototype brings forward the errors and counterintuitive flows of the app so that they can be fixed.

For prototyping and collaborative design work, you should check out  FramerFigma, Marvel, or InVision.

5. Visual Design

Visual design is the final section of the design process.

The visual design process is based on all the previous sections you through designing an app.

For the visual design part, mobile app developers mostly use Photoshop and Sketch.

iMacs Running Adobe Photoshop

6. Development

Design and development of an app are the interweaved processes and require collaboration between the designer and the mobile app developer.

So, the design and the development process should not be done without the basic understanding of both areas.

Before getting the final product in hand, the designer and the developer usually keep revolving in the design and development processes and results.

Moving along the time, the design tools and the outcome, both have changed and improved to a remarkable extent.

However, the basic design process of a Mobile App is the same.

Moreover, if you are looking for a mobile app developer Dallas, you should know the basics of the design and development process to bring things to a settlement in a progressive way.


Essential Travel Items

Travel in Style with These 5 OOTD Essentials

Travel plans don’t just end after booking your accommodation and writing your itinerary.

In this era of Instagrammable trips, checking on your wardrobe for the perfect travel outfit of the day (OOTD) is a must, especially for us fashionistas.

Checking your wardrobe does not mean you would pack every piece you find desirable for your travel fashion.

Pack smartly and remember these essentials you need to bring and match with your outfit.

Bringing these can make your adventure more memorable and Instagram friendly.

Funky Burberry Handbag

Bag

A bag is not only a necessity in every journey.

Although the things inside the bag counts more, choosing the right style of bag can either make or break your travel fashion.

From clutches and slings to stylish backpacks, your bag is a special ingredient to your overall look.

Relaxing Wearing Cool Sunglasses

Sunnies

Every destination lets you find new ways of seeing things.

To see things better, our eyes need to be protected.

A pair of sunglasses is a must for every travel location and season.

Sunscreens are not enough to protect you from UV rays, invest on sunnies with UV-filter lenses also to protect your eyes.

Besides, wearing shades is not just for heat protection, it is also a nice addition to your travel OOTD.

Choose a pair with comfortable and firm frames that would not fall off easily when you go for a jump shot or do other activities.

Make sure you bring a good pair of sunnies wherever you go, whatever the season is.

Man Looking at Wristwatch

Watch

There is no doubt about watches being a part of every travel essentials.

Watches keep us on track of the time.

They help us enjoy and make the most of our trips.

There are many travel watches out there that you could choose from.

Depending on your preferred design and style, a timepiece can complement your travel outfit.

The Omega Speedmaster, for example, can complement clothes in a monochrome tone.

Other travel watches also have a GPS feature to track your location, and water resistance in case you need to dive into the water.

Now, that just makes watches a “must” in every travel.

Kaftans & Cover-Ups

Kaftans and cover-ups are ideal for traveling on beaches and tropical places.

You can style your kaftans in so many ways – they look great as mid or long boho dresses but can be paired with jeans too.

Plus, the garment is very light, wrinkle-free, and would not consume so much space on your travel bag.

Cover-ups are your beach buddies when you need to hide your body insecurities and protect your skin from the sun’s heat… in a more fashionista way.

You can wear them in different ways you want to flaunt your beach body.

Shoes

After packing your clothes, accessories, and travel documents in your bag, the next thing you would do is to choose the perfect shoes that will help you take each step towards an awesome adventure.

Good shoes can take you to awesome places.

The ideal travel shoes should have good support and weight, comfortable, durable, functional, and of course, stylish.

Pick your travel shoes according to your itinerary and expected activities.

Walking shoes and sandals are ideal for sightseeing and long walk in the city streets, they can match with a variety of outfits too.

Ankle boots are good for long walks too but are better worn during cold and unpredictable weather.

Dress shoes and ballet flats are for walking too but for chic, light travels only.

Don’t use these shoes on whole day walks if you don’t want to wear them out soon.

If your destination requires hiking, climbing, and other special activities, a pair of hiking shoes is a must to keep your toes safe.

Winter boots are good hiking shoes too if you are under a colder climate.

These are just 5 of travel essentials that will keep you stylish, too.

You can also add on some hair accessories if you don’t want the windy day to ruin your hair when traveling.

A simple clip, tie, or a hairband could make a lot of difference in your style.

Wraps, scarves, and bandanas give you different vibes too and can wipe off your sweat instantly.

Remember, traveling lets you see and experience things outside your comfort zones.

Whether you’re backpacking around Asia, city-hopping around Europe or planning a temporary move to USA to see every State in a rented RV, make sure you go in style.

Don’t let your look ruin your memories of finally taking braver steps in seeing the whole in a new lens.


Superyacht Moored in Auckland

A New Banking Solution for Seafarers and Expats

Moving to a new country and starting a new job can be one of the most nerve-racking times in your life.

Between finding accommodation, getting familiar with your surroundings and the culture, dealing with potential language barriers, and settling into your new job, you must ensure continuous and reliable access to your money.

Or, what if you are working on a superyacht, sailing the seven seas for months or even year at a time without a fixed address?

You will have to consider all the different continents you will be visiting and the different currencies you will need to use.

And the last thing you want to worry about is opening a bank account, which is never easy for someone outside their own country.

Why is it so difficult to open a bank account as a seafarer or expat?

  • Sure, your employer or management company may set you up with the bank they do business with, but, that bank might not have everything you want and expect from a bank.
  • You may only be able to open an account in the local currency, which may be different than the currency that you need.
  • How are you going to send money back home without paying ridiculous fees and getting the bad end of the exchange rate? No worries, you can make up for those losses by investing in the market! Right? Maybe not.
  • You may discover that the bank doesn’t offer a brokerage account. Or, the brokerage account they do offer may not have all the instruments and markets you were looking for, limiting your strategy and gains.

So, what can you do? Use your existing, domestic bank?

Possibly, but the odds are that most banks at home aren’t designed for depositors who have a ‘borderless’ lifestyle, especially when it comes to transferring and withdrawing funds around the world.

Luckily, there isanother option—one that many expats are now taking advantage of.

Open an International Bank Account

Okay, I know what you are thinking. Aren’t those accounts only for the super-wealthy, requiring large deposits and minimum balances upwards of hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars?

And, aren’t the maintenance fees astronomical?

Yes, it’s true that many ‘offshore banks’, as they are commonly referred to, are designed for the super wealthy and elite, not the average expat or small business owner.

But that’s not the type of bank we are talking about here. There is a new type of bank that is disrupting the traditional banking industry and its gatekeepers.

We call them “International Banks”.

Why are they becoming more popular?

  • Today, we see some serious lag in the traditional banking system—outdated infrastructure, legacy management, and narrow product offerings.
  • The rise of the internet and smart devices has offered consumers and businesses an alternative to ‘traditional’ banking solutions.
  • More and more banking transactions are being completed electronically on smartphones or computers, not in-branch.
  • This has raised some questions about the relevance of traditional, ‘brick and mortar’ institutions like domestic banks, whose technical, regulatory, and customer service limitations have become the norm.

Pair these changes with globalization and the fact that many of us are doing business more internationally than ever, whether working abroad or running our own businesses, transferring funds to/from clients and vendors all over the world.

Now, these new International Banks have the same functions – often more – than your domestic bank.

International Banks offer low fees, low minimum balance requirements, multiple currency accounts, and competitive conversion rates.

Metal Case Full of Dollars

What exactly is an International Bank?

A bank in the country that you live and work, is known as a Domestic Bank. In contrast, when your bank is in a country outside the country you live and work, that’s an International Bank.

  • Unlike Domestic Banks, International Banks are not mandated by their regulators to invest and lend depositors’ funds into the local economy that they are regulated in.
  • Most importantly, International Banks are not mandated to service the local market and are therefore free to accept clients from most countries in the world.
  • This allows you, the depositor, to go where you’re treated best.

Now, you may be thinking, “International Banks do not have deposit insurance. Does that make them risky?”

Counter-intuitively, banks that have deposit insurance are morelikely to take risks with depositor funds due to the ‘moral hazard’.

Therefore, if you can find an International Bank that does not lend, then the need for insurance is mostly mitigated.

Enter Euro Pacific Bank, an International Bank licensed in Puerto Rico

Euro Pacific Bank (EPB) is a fully digital bank that operates on a ‘full-reserve’ policy, meaning they do not issue loans or engage in proprietary trading of bank capital.

Instead, EPB derives 100% of its margins from fees and commissions.

They are banking on:

  • 100% liquidity
  • 100% capitalization
  • zero loans

And lucky for you, they specialize in seafarers, expats, and other types of “borderless” banking clients.

Is it difficult to open an international bank account at Euro Pacific Bank?

Not at all.

  • You can open your account online, never need to step foot in the bank, or even leave the comfort of your home.
  • And with dedicated customer support, you can easily reach us by phone or secure message, with service in several different languages.
  • Open an account with several different currencies and a bank card, which allows you to access your funds all over the world.
  • Send funds back home and to family, as well as pay bills, fees, and memberships, all from one account.
  • In addition, you can even buy and store precious metals, trade on an international brokerage platform, and invest into unique managed investment portfolios.

Your life doesn’t have borders. Why should your bank?

Seek a sound banking solution that travels with you.


3 Professional Women in Meeting

How to Stop Wasting Time as a Leader

As a leader, you may find yourself strapped for a little something called time.

Especially when you a juggling clients, team members and the constant flow of work that comes in any leadership position.

Learning to manage your time more efficiently, then, is a very valuable lesson for you to learn as a leader (especially if you are relatively new to the position).

With that in mind, here are the very best way that you as a business leader can work to stop wasting time in your everyday working life.

Take note and speed things up – the glass ceiling (amongst other things) is there to be broken! Including wasting your own time.

Have Less Meetings

This is a big one and something which many business leaders struggle with.

Meet people less and when you do have meetings, make sure they are as efficient as possible.

Have a structure, know what is going on and work to ensure your mutual goal is met.

That way you will start to dread meetings less and less!

Meetings are the bane of most workers lives, so reducing them as much as possible is the only way forward.

Reduce the meetings, make them more productive and you may be surprised by how much more both you and your staff get done!

If they waste time then why have five separate meetings per day.

Ask yourself this and cut back today to save time tomorrow!

Remember you can be a super inclusive leader.

But, if you’re not actually there half the time your employees won’t feel very supported. So you need to learn to strike that very delicate balance.

Streamline Tasks, But Not at the Expense of Quality

Have you ever spent a long time doing something which you know isn’t worth that much effort?

Well, have you ever considered how you can work to reduce that effort?

But, remember this important factor: streamlining is great until it means you are losing quality.

Only quicken the steps which are taking too long but won’t risk any loss to quality.

Get a Plan in Place

Failing to plan is planning to fail.

Being a capable planner is not only a good idea, but it’s practically impossible to not have in place when you are any kind of leader in a business.

The better the plan, the better a time you will have as a leader.

And if you have a plan which you can reference and regularly too, then you will appear as a much more competent and reliable leader on top of this.

It’s a common turn of phrase, but one which is extremely relevant to consider when it comes to the modern workplace.

Make sure that you have a day, week and even monthly plan which you base your working life around.

Good planning can save you a lot of time as a leader and help to give you more room to deal with the little emergencies that appear every day.

Try to Keep Your Priorities Balanced

Prioritising is one of the hardest parts of any job.

Especially as everyone thinks the tasks you’re doing related to them is the most important thing for you to be doing.

Learning to balance and manage these tasks, then to prioritise them, then, can be quite difficult.

But, if you want to be seen as a good leader then this is a vital balancing act.

You need to make sure you address all of the important issues, but don’t overlook what your subordinates are asking of you.

It may seem relatively small in the grand scheme of things, less important than x, y or z on your list.

Yet, sometimes prioritising the little things can make you a better leader.

At the very least, it helps you to communicate to those you lead that you care.

Because, let’s face it, every mole hill can feel like a mountain during a bad day at work – whether you’re a PT, officer of the law or corporate solicitor.

And you need to help your team to the top of either one.

Stop Being ‘Busy’

Busy work is a real issue when it comes to leadership and you may find yourself doing way too much of it.

Much like anything else, being busy is great until it gets to a point where it is actually detrimental to your working life.

Busyness is something which a lot of business leaders get too preoccupied with.

And when employees or anyone underneath them notice this, it is all too easy for them to become resentful of this fact.

They see themselves as doing the ‘real’ work.

So, stop being ‘busy’ and start being productive.

You will be surprised by how much more you start getting done!

Final Thoughts

Leadership doesn’t have a secret formula.

You can’t become an amazing leader by reading a self-help book, though that would be nice.

It’s trial and error, learning to communicate and being open to change.


Viewing Visitor Stats on Laptop

10 SEO Statistics to Prove the Value of Organic Search

SEO continues to play a key role in how businesses connect with their audience.

While social media marketing has grown in popularity and notoriety, organic search still reigns supreme in 2019 and beyond.

For those in doubt, there are many facts and figures available that prove the value of organic search.

Here are 10 SEO statistics to help you understand why organic search matters in the big picture.

1.  There’s Over 40,000 Google Searches Per Second

According to Internet Live Stats, there are nearly 40,000 Google searches executed per second or about 6.4 billion searches per day.

When someone can’t decide who that actor is in that show they’re watching, they Google it.

If two friends are arguing over the answer to something, they Google it.

It’s become such a staple in consumers’ daily lives that the name “Google” has become genericized like Kleenex and Saran Wrap.

2. Google’s Penguin Algorithm Impacted 1% of Search Queries

Google has said it themselves: high-quality content will be rewarded and spammy content will be penalised.

This became very apparent with the launch of the Panda, which affected 12% of all queries worldwide.

Penguin’s launch impacted another 1% of queries, narrowing down the efforts by looking at keyword littering and anchor text usage.

Having the right distribution of keywords and anchor text plays a significant role in organic search. See more in this step-by-step guide.

3. Optimising Older Content Can Increase Traffic by 111%

According to research conducted by Backlinko improving the content you have in place and optimizing it for SEO can increase traffic by 111%.

That’s 111% more potential leads knocking on your door through organic search.

Using Google Analytics on Laptop

4. 30% of Mobile Searches Relate to Location

Having organic search traffic isn’t just about reaching a global market; it’s about reaching your local market.

If you’re in a city of restaurants, you want to be one of the first ones that show up when a traveler asks Siri or Alexa where they should eat.

5. Five Minutes of Google Downtime Caused a 40% Drop in Internet Use

In 2013, Google went down for five minutes. As a result, global internet traffic dropped 40%.

That means nearly half of the online world was engaged in activities pertaining to Google.

In 2013, there were 144.5 million smartphone users in the USA. As of 2019, there’s an estimated 248 million.

6. Voice Queries Increased 3,400%  from 2008 – 2017

According to research from Hubspot, voice search queries have increased 3,400% over the past decade.

7. Organic SEO is Around 5.7 Times More Effective than Paid Search

Another Hubspot statistic indicates that organic SEO drives more traffic than paid search ads.

At one time, paying for ad space was the be-all-end-all of online marketing.

8. 51% of All Website Traffic Comes via Organic Search

More than half of all website traffic is organic, according to BrightEdge’s Channel Performance Report.

The rest is a combination of paid ads, social media, and others.

Pointing at Pie Chart on Screen

9. 40% of Revenue Comes from Organic Traffic

The same report from BrightEdge indicated that over 40% of revenue is a result of organic traffic, making it the most powerful point of entry for lead conversion.

10. 91.5% of Traffic Stems from Google’s First Page

Does a first-page ranking matter?

Absolutely. 91.5% of traffic goes through first page results.

Many people never scroll to the second page after a search.

So, do you still think organic search doesn’t matter?


Focus on Social Media Icons

Why Social Media Monitoring Tools Are Important for Growing Business Markets

Giant social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter started life as a completely non-business oriented platforms.

For instance, Facebook was launched with the intention of having some entertainment at University by Mark Zuckerberg.

And so goes forth, the story of every other social media platform, we have more or less interacted or worked with in the past.

However, not long ago did the corporate world realized that there is a lot more potential to Facebook and Twitter professionally, than meets the eye.

And in the wake of such success, marketing departments at organizations started investing larger budgets in running business campaigns on platform like Facebook.

The Result?! It generated business beyond their wildest imagination.

Today, every other organisation interested in increasing sales margins would easily be found investing a sizeable budget on Facebook.

But, in a highly competitive environment such as today, to stand out above the competition you need modern day analysis tools.

The age of data is here.

Firms which are collecting and analyzing information are the ones reaching pioneering success.

And such realization has introduced various intelligent tools to help them progress.

One such tool in today’s connected world is the social media monitoring tools.

But here’s the big question…

Are firms actually using these tools to their fullest potential? Let’s discuss.

Are Social Media Tools Being Used to Their Fullest Potential?

As per recent statistical data, 7 out of every 10 individuals are using social media on a consistent basis.

They connect with each other to socialize, share information, and keep themselves entertained.

As a growing business, even if you feel no immediate wish to start using social media, in reality you are left with no other choice but to.

To help your business flourish, you need to work on your social media strategies in order to reach your audience.

Social media monitoring tools allow you to create and work with social media campaigns.

You will first have to focus on the branding aspect of your social media campaign.

Make sure that you have included the right images, content and found the right audience.

Once you are done with campaign building, it is now time to monitor your results of your campaign.

It will help you understand what is working for your business and what is not.

When it comes to social media monitoring, there are a few things which are highly important to be aware of.

And unless, you are not addressing these factors, you are not doing your job correctly.

These are the things that will allow you to use social media monitoring to its fullest potential.

Find Out How Your Customers Are Influencing Others

There is no clear explanation on how the average customer feels when interacting with your products or services.

However, one thing is for sure is customers can be very opinionated and biased.

Hence, it’s highly important that you learn about your audience and determine which of them are simply a humble customers, and which of them could potentially influence others.

After all, the purpose of running a social media campaign is to get your message out to as many people as possible.

According to a digital marketing agency, to find social media influencers ask the following questions:

  • How many followers does your customer have on their social media account?
  • How much engagement are they creating on their social media account?

You can get the best answer to these questions by using a modern day social media monitoring tool.

Distinguish Positive from Negative Sentiments

Many modern day social media monitoring tools have the capability to differentiate in between positive and negative sentiments.

The best example so far is the software package HootSuite Insights.

It offers a unique monitoring feature to track sentiments based on keyword search terms.

With HootSuite, you can set up your Twitter mentions to positive sentiments such as “amazing service” or “thank you.”

In fact, you can also set the sentiment analysis to search for positive emoji’s such as a thumbs up.

By monitoring high volume positive posts mentioning your brand, you can engage with those mentions personally and strengthen your relationship with the customers who are positive about your brand.

Record Volume on Specific Keywords

Speaking of keywords, many modern day monitoring tools are capable of recording volume based on keywords.

In terms of social media, volume is the amount of buzz your social media post or advertisement creates.

Analysing volume helps businesses understand the need of the users better and to fine-tune their business advertisements to attract similar people.

Hence, when using a monitoring tool, understand that spikes are a great way to learn about audience.

The Most Effective Social Media Monitoring Tools Used in the Market

Whilst knowing how to use the best social media monitoring tool for your online business is one thing, knowing which of these tools is the best is another.

Here are some of the trendy social media monitoring tools to help you monitor your social media campaigns and fine-tune them to success.

Twazzup

Twazzup is a social media monitoring tool specifically designed for Twitter.

It organizes everything related to social campaign on a single page.

Users can make the best use of Twazzup to study influencers and sentiments of their target audience.

HootSuite

With HootSuite, not only can you manage your Twitter feed but every other social media account.

It started off as a social media account management tool but later transformed into a complete suite of services.

Hootsuite now offers the powerful functionality of monitoring buzz.

Addict-0-Matic

Last but not least, Addict-o-Matic is a free to use social media tool which organizes everything about your social media on a single page.

It organizes all the volume in one place.

Finally…

Don’t forget that social media monitoring tools are highly effective for your online business.

If you are using platforms such as Facebook and Twitter to send the word out on your brand, social media monitoring tools allow you to study and monitor interactions and truly understand the needs and opinions if your target market.


iPhone with 3D Rendered VR City

How Mobile App Development Will Drive the VR Market

The development of Virtual Reality technology has increased dramatically in recent years in correlation with the necessity for technology to adapt and evolve, in order to keep up with consumer demands.

The rise of modern technology has meant that the world is going in an entirely new online digital direction which cannot be ignored or avoided.

This means concepts like virtual reality (VR) are becoming more and more popular and will soon become the future.

The proliferation of Virtual Reality has been contributed mostly by the increase in demand for VR applications.

How Mobile App Development Sculpts the Future of VR

The VR trend has been recognized by mobile app developers who have seized this opportunity and are now incorporating virtual reality when building mobile apps.

Many app developers have created several VR devices that have made the technology readily available for public use.

Such devices have made mobile phones function as virtual reality gadgets which has helped in expanding the VR market even further.

Mobility is perhaps the primary factor that has contributed to the success of mobile apps and so VR apps have taken the experience up a notch.

They have fundamentally allowed users to enjoy mobility to an extent that was not possible before.

You can now use virtual reality apps to explore many opportunities while you are in one place.

For instance, you can use VR apps to experience travel to somewhere you may never have been, even when you are in different geographical zones.

Most businesses have embraced virtual reality app development trends such as the likes of Sony, Facebook and Samsung which have already produced their VR enabled devices, one being the VR play station.

These apps now allow users to view places and services as reality and such results are driving the VR market, solidifying its future.

Young Woman Wearing VR Headset

Improved User Engagement and Brand Loyalty

User interface is a crucial aspect in app development that enhances user engagement, thus increasing brand loyalty.

App developers understand the imperatives of user engagement and have created VR apps which have an improved user interface.

The VR apps provide users with real life-like experiences which ensure users are fully immersed in the app while using it.

As a result of this, they are able to engage in the app more which has improved user engagement and has led to an increase in customer satisfaction and loyalty

Mobile App Sectors That Are Leveraging VR Potential

Virtual reality mobile apps have improved how business operations are carried out, giving services a sense of seamlessness and ease.

Such transformation has led to improved business efficiency.

Retail Sector

The retail sector has experienced huge growth thanks to the intervention of virtual reality.

With VR, retail showrooms can showcase everything from their store without physically keeping the product on-site.

Whether it is showing furniture models or an array of fabric shades, retailers are able to show it to the customers and gain useful feedback about various products and insights on what works best for the consumer.

VR Applications Within the Travel Sector

The use of VR technology within the travel industry is still in its infancy, although a growing number of companies are beginning to experiment with VR headsets and finding great uses of them.

With the help of VR technology, getting guided tours across the world has become easy.

One of the best examples of virtual reality in action within the travel industry is the use of the technology for providing virtual tours of hotels and villas.

The key benefit of this is that it allows potential customers to experience aesthetics, without having to visit, offering more transparency than standard 2D images – something of which is a USP for businesses.

Some companies aim to take the use of VR application a step further, offering an entire booking system and user interface that can be experienced through a virtual reality headset.

Architecture

This is one of the main sectors that has seen a surge in the use of VR application in order to enhance businesses.

Virtual reality has benefited the architecture sector on an enormous scale and will continue to do so.

With the potential to bring transformation in the way engineers work on designs, it gives them several options to experiment with different aspects of a building such as material, lighting and layout as well as being able to bring ideas to life.

VR apps within the architecture sector also enable customers to go on a virtual tour of their potential project so they can get an accurate look and feel.

In addition to this, when it comes to editing the architectural designs, doing it prior to construction will save a significant amount of money as well as preventing miscommunication and complicated (costly) re-works.

To Wrap Things Up

VR technology has hit the ground running and is taking over the app market by storm.

Despite that, very few apps are able to support virtual realty just yet.

It is essential that the creation of innovative development apps with VR technology happens in order to tap into this vast potential and support the future of VR market.


Professional Women at Desk Looking at Office View

Ways to Break the Glass Ceiling and Become a Leader in the Workplace

Both men and women can experience trials and tribulations in their aim to make their way to the top of the workplace hierarchy.

However, women in particular are subject to oppression and discrimination in the workplace.

Such obstacles can make it difficult for them to reach leader status ahead of their equally qualified male counterparts.

Once they do attain highly respected roles, this is referred to as breaking the glass ceiling.

Two Guys Working on Laptops

Other people who may experience discrimination include older employees, those from poorer backgrounds and ethnic minorities.

Though equality has dramatically improved over the past few decades, there is still much progress to be made.

The hierarchy within a workplace is still very male-dominated when it comes to the top positions.

So, are there any ways that women and other minorities can increase their chances of breaking the glass ceiling?

While elevating such employees into higher earning roles is a change needed in society, below are some useful strategies that will help you become a strong leader at work in the meantime:

Recognise that the Glass Ceiling Exists

To break through the glass ceiling, you must first acknowledge that it’s there.

There are some tell-tale signs that one may exist within your organisation, such as:

  • Little diversity among the top-level managers
  • Sexist, racist or other prejudice language being common across the organisation
  • Resistance to change and innovation
  • Pay gaps between male and female employees

Be Tough in Negotiations

Nothing worth having comes easy.

Experts suggest that women shouldn’t be afraid to push the boundaries when it comes to requesting work perks, benefits and bonuses.

It’s a well-known fact that women perform better academically.

They graduate higher educational institutions at higher percentages than men.

So, why are they making less money in lower level positions?

Well, males tend to be more assertive in the work environment, making them more likely to get promoted than women.

Though it may be difficult to implement this mentality in the workplace, it is still crucial to be more assertive and self-confident whenever it’s needed.

Never Underestimate Your Capabilities

If you have all the right qualifications, then you are no less worthy to be in the business than your other colleagues.

It may be that your hard work and dedication is taken for granted.

Start drawing attention to your personal strengths and skills, ensuring that management know when you are responsible for the successful completion of tasks and deals.

Don’t Be Afraid to Make Decisions

Not every decision a great leader makes is the best decision.

What demonstrates great leadership is the fact that they stepped up and made the decision in the first place.

People that tend to procrastinate and let other make the decisions that they should have made are showing signs that they don’t have what it takes to be a leader.

Stand Up for Yourself

There are some cases where you’ll be required to stand up for yourself against opposition.

For example, employers may often be reluctant to hire women because of pregnancies in the future.

They may also unfairly dismiss them for the same reason.

This is outright discrimination and can be dealt by consultation with dispute resolution lawyers.

Standing up for your rights as an employee will let your company know that you’re not a push over, and that you’re willing to fight for what you deserve.

Learn New Skills

You may wish to learn more about strategic planning, analytics and performance metrics.

Any instance where you can acquire new skills will begin to make you invaluable to the company.

Learning a new skill can also help you feel more confident and professional, equipping you with the knowledge you need to complete tasks that others may not be able to.

Build A Network You Can Learn From

Studies show that individuals with large open networks succeed at a much higher rate than those with smaller, more closed networks.

Understandably, a busy work schedule means it can be difficult to find the time to attend networking events, however, there is no doubt that these opportunities are worth pencilling in.

Practice Giving & Taking Constructive Feedback

Giving and receiving tough feedback can be a real hurdle to growth, both as manager and as an individual contributor.

However, the sooner you master digesting constructive feedback and giving it out to your colleagues, the quicker you’ll grow personally and professionally.

Don’t Be Afraid to Fail

Human error is unavoidable.

Unfortunately, certain failures by women or other minorities can be magnified and blown out of proportion.

Men are often less afraid with the prospect of dealing with possible consequences of incorrect decisions due to their position within the company.

However, if you want to break the glass ceiling you must realise that you’re not expected to be infallible.

Therefore, you need to move beyond the fear of failure. By doing so, you’ll also become more confident in your approach to certain situations.