Build confidence in any activity: the wheel of performance

Struggling to start a new venture or even nurturing one of your own creative outlets is a common issue in our digital age. The constant bombardment of highlight reels of everyone’s successes without the backdrop of the long, hard road it took to get there – is one thing that can contribute to performance inertia and a lack of confidence. But there are tools out there to help. Enter, The Wheel of Performance:

So what is it?

The wheel of performance is a simple concept to combat any struggles related to confidence and inertia in productivity. It formalizes the underlying process of performance, improvement and drive. This arms your understanding in order to make any task feel doable and introduces you into a flow of action. It applies to anyone in any field of performance from writers, painters to musicians and even those wanting to start a new hobby or profession.

Where to start?

Ideally you will be in a constant flow of motion within the wheel, though by its nature there are two entry points here. For those who are naturally curious and/or active, they would start with confidence. This is when you already have the positive reinforcement and belief that you can do the thing. As for those of us who are struggling with confidence, the second entry point would be with action. Whereby regardless of how you feel or how experienced you are, you take the leap and just do it. This kickstarts the wheel and you’re on your way towards confidence via feedback.

Feedback & motion

This is where you evaluate your performance or even just celebrating the fact that you’ve completed the task. Feedback takes shape in many forms from someone else’s praise or opinion to the reaction of an audience.

Now you’re in the motion of the wheel. Drawing from that reinforcement or even critical analysis on where you could improve for next time – this feedback directly fuels back into confidence, which then transmutes into action and so on.

A state of flow

Now that we’ve gone through the fundamentals, there are still some things to unpack here. How do you start with action when you are feeling completely unmotivated or uninspired?

Thankfully there are many tips and tricks out there in which you can find all over the web. From small yet effective mental games like simply counting down from 5, to “performing” without worrying about effectiveness.

An example for the writers out there, would be to simply open Notepad and begin writing anything you think of. The momentum of typing and moving your fingers will eventually help spark that idea for an opening sentence. Another way of going about it is reconnecting with your love for what you’re doing in the first place, you can read more about this in a blog we wrote earlier this year.

However you find your point of entry into the wheel, it’s all about maintaining that momentum between those three steps. With each revolution, any action will become more and more effortless as your confidence grows through continuous feedback.

What happens to Digital You when you die?

Each and every day we log into an ever-changing digital world. The more time we spend on social networks, search engines and mobile apps, the more we scatter pieces of ourselves around the web that together form pictures of our real lives, identities, tastes, preferences, habits and opinions. When pieced together, these fragments of information form a digital version of who you are, a digital you

It’s a concept I’m sure many of you haven’t really thought about yet (well, those of you who haven’t seen Black Mirror), but what happens when you die in a world where the virtual parts of you go on existing? This can be quite morbid and daunting to think about but, with some forward planning, it is something you can control (mostly). Here’s a practical list of how you can prepare to remove unwanted digital assets.

What to do with your data before you die:

  • As privacy policies dictate, the companies who have your account information are not going to give anyone access to your digital assets without your password. Make a master list that includes all the usernames and passwords to your digital accounts, hide it securely by encrypting the document and tell someone you trust. This way your friends and family can easily access your digital assets, if that is something you want.

 

  • Social media becomes the biggest digital shadow of ourselves that remain after we die.  Appoint someone you trust to notify Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to memorialize or delete your account.

 

  • Name a Digital Executor in your will. A fairly new job title, this person has authorization to close your accounts, subscription services and social media pages. They will also delete files from your computer and hard drives as instructed. But they also need your logins to carry this out, so make sure you’re prepared. 

 

  • Sign up for Google’s Inactive Account Manager. If your account has been inactive for more than three months, this application will send an email to a specific Gmail address. This ensures that someone you trust can access your Gmail account, photos and other data after you die.

 

Although it’s almost impossible to guarantee that your personal data will be completely removed from digital applications, taking the above steps should give you some peace of mind of what will happen to digital you when the real you is no longer around. 

Search engine optimization (SEO): A need to know guide Pomegranite Online Presence Consultancy blog post by Tomas

Search engine optimization (SEO): A need to know guide

With the number of businesses on the internet, it can be very hard to make yours stand out. You could spend money advertising it? But these can prove real costly, and added to this, we humans have developed ad blockers and even ‘evolved’ our eyes with banner blindness. What’s your best option then? Well, when it comes to your business’ website, there’s one clear solution: search engine optimization, or SEO, to the kids in the know.

Considering the purpose of any website is to attract traffic, it seems a no brainer that you should optimize yours for search engines like Google and Yahoo, which is where most website visitors stem from. How does one do this though? Well, like any good recipe, there are several key ingredients, which fortunately the folks at Moz have put into a handy guide for us. Based on Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, they’ve developed seven key SEO points to consider for your website:

Search engine optimization (SEO): A need to know guide Pomegranite Online Presence Consultancy

For those unfamiliar with Maslow’s hierarchy, the idea is that you can’t reach the apex without all the layers that build up to it. So in SEO’s case, we start with crawl accessibility, which refers to how well your website is interlinked. It’s why you have a navigation bar: so that users (and search engines) can easily travel through your website in a logical way. If you add a page to your website, be sure that is linked to somewhere. Search engines need to travel/crawl through your website to index everything. If a page is no longer in use, whether it be a copy or an old version, be sure to delete it. 

The next step is having compelling content, which is measured by how users interact with your website. Tools like Google Analytics will track how many visitors you have on your website, but also how long those users spend on your site, how many pages they click through, etc. So for example, if someone searches “plumber” on a search engine, sees and then clicks onto your site, spends five minutes clicking and reading through pages, chances are you provide a plumbing service or product of some sort. Include strong content that leads to people spending more time on your website, search engines recognise this as a huge plus.

Making sure your website is keyword optimized involves some research and additional tools such as Google Keyword Planner, which tells you which keywords in your niche are the most popular. You will also see how competitive a particular word or phrase is. Choosing high volume keywords, which aren’t too competitive, is key. Once you have your keywords, you now have to embed them onto your website. The rule of thumb here is repeat, repeat and repeat again. Having your keywords across your site is really important, especially in your headings and the introduction paragraphs. It’s a good idea to have your keywords chosen before crafting your website’s content so the copy can be crafted around these keywords. Fortunately tools like Yoast can easily tell you how strong your keyword optimization is for a specific page, especially if you are using WordPress to build your website, like we do for our clients.

A great user experience is a necessity for any website, it’s important that users enjoy visiting your site. Fast loading speed, ease of use and a compelling user experience, whether on desktop, tablet or phone, are all vital. Keep in mind the size of the files you upload to your website, screens aren’t often wider than 2000px, but cameras and phones shoot much larger than that, just for example. Tools like Pingdom give you a score for how fast your website loads, which can be very useful when compressing content or choosing to move hosting providers. And what’s the best way to check the user’s experience? User testing is the key! Get your friends and family to visit your website, they’ll be guaranteed to pick up something you didn’t. You have to keep in mind how your website will appear on someone’s cell versus their laptop, responsive design is a must for any website.

What’s one of the best promos you can get for your business? References and testimonials – that’s where share-worthy content comes into play. Having other websites link and cite your site is hugely valuable, because search engines see this as the internet’s form of an endorsement. People sharing your website on social media has a similar benefit. In the era of digital, it’s refreshing to think that recommendations are still so important.

Something that is often overlooked for website pages is their metadata (title, URL and description), but this is the information shown when your site appears in search engine results. Giving users the right information when they see your website on a search engine is key, your text really needs to stand out. Tools like Yoast will help to tell you if your titles and descriptions are the right length, and whether you’ve included your keywords correctly. If you feel like this content is too limited, fear not, this is where the seventh and final point makes its entrance…

Schema markup is a form of data that is added to a webpage to help search engines better understand its content. It uses a set of standard tags that categorises page content. For example, a line of code may tell search engines that “November 5th, 2020” is a date or that “The Great Gatsby” is a book title. When schema markup is used on a page, that page may receive a rich snippet search result on search engines. A rich snippet is a search result that includes additional information such as photos, videos, reviews, addresses and other extra content depending on the type of search result. Schema markup identifies this extra information and explains it to search engines so that they can display it as a rich result. How do you add this markup? Fortunately the Google Structured Data Markup Helper makes it real easy to add this information to your website’s pages, but you also get plugins like Schema Pro for WordPress that makes it even easier.

I hope you found this guide to search engine optimization (SEO) useful. It’s by no means the encyclopedia, but it should help you at least understand the basics and thereby know what you’re talking about with SEO experts and website development teams.

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