Beginner’s Guide to Online Marketing

My friend has an interview on Tuesday for a marketing manager role, and has never done any online marketing, so here goes my introduction to it…

Internet Marketing Jargon

Online marketing has so many abbreviations, that if you don’t know them, it sounds like another language

What is a “Browser”?

A browser is Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Firefox, Safari on an Apple device or Opera. It’s a piece of software for navigating the internet and downloading/rendering websites.

DO NOT say that you use Internet Explorer in an online marketing interview. Say that you use Chrome.

The main reason that people use Chrome and Firefox is that you can get plugins/extensions for Google Chrome. The most popular in online marketing is probably the ‘Mozbar’ which helps you see the ‘Domain Authority’ of a website.

What is a CMS?

Content Management System.  A typical CMS is WordPress. This site is made using the free version of wordpress that uses the WordPress hosting platform, a free design template. The wordpress software can also be used when hosted with a different company such as GoDaddy, and the paid WordPress software allows plugins.

What are “WordPress Plugins”?

They are add-ons to your site that allows you to add ‘functionality’. For example you might add a Paypal plugin that allows you to create a shopping cart and payment system on your site to make in an online shop/ecommerce site.

What does “SEO” Stand For?

Search Engine Optimisation. This is the process of ranking as high as possible on Google and other search engines such as Bing.com.

Some terms to be aware of in SEO:
Meta Description – This is the description that you add the theof your website page’s code that shows in the Google Results. It just described what is on the page. Meta Descriptions should be 155 characters or less.

Meta Title .- this shows at the top of the tab in your browser and in the Google results pages.

meta-description
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What does “CRO” Stand for?

Conversion Rate Optimisation. This is the process of getting people who visit your website to buy things or sign up for a newsletter or submit a form. If you have an online shop, a ‘conversion’ would normally be a purchase on your website.

What does “PPC” Stand for?

Pay Per Click advertising (not Payment Protection Cover as I thought in my interview at the bank I used to work at). The 2 most popular forms of this are Google Adwords and Facebook advertising. Facebook is usually more effective on a smaller budget.

SEOmoz-PPC-vs.-SEO2

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What is HTML?

HTML stands for hyper text markup language. It structures websites whilst something called CSS – Cascading Style Sheets.

The best place to start learning HTML is w3 Schools. It can be overwhelming at first, but it’s easy when you get the hang of it. It’s just a load of numbers and letters inside angle brackets <> to remember. There’s no working out or formulas to remember, just letters and numbers.

HTML is one of the ways a websites ‘talks’ to a browser, so that the browser can render the website and show you what’s on there.
CSS makes it looks nice, adding colours, styles etc. For example the CSS might tell the browser to make all the main headings red and all the list items italic.

What is DA?

DA stands for Domain Authority. DA is an indication of how ‘powerful’ or authoritative a website is. The higher the DA (score of 1-100), the more valuable a link is from that website.

What is a Link?

A link or a hyperlink is a bit of text or an image, that you click to go to another website. For example this red underlined text is a link to a fitness blog. When you click it, you should be taken to another blog.

The more links a website has, from high quality websites, the more likely it is to rank higher in Google. You can gain links by creating great content, you can create and run marketing campaigns that people will want to write about, or you can be naughty and pay for some links.

What is Guest Posting?

Guest posting is an old school tactic to gain links to your website and rank on Google. You create an article/blog post, send it to a blogger in an email and ask if they would like to use it on their website. The article will contain a link back to your own website. The typical response from a blogger is either “no thanks” or “okay, that will cost $50”.

Now, this is against Google guidelines and you can get penalised by Google for doing this. People still do though. In theory, if a blogger accepts a payment to link to another website, in any form, whether it is via a blog post or sidebar-link or banner, then it should be a ‘no-follow’ link.

What is a NoFollow Link?

A no follow link has the HTML code – rel=”nofollow” added to it.

This tells Google NOT to count this link and not factor it in to it’s ranking algorithm.

What is the Google Algorithm?

It’s the formula that Google uses to work out where to rank websites on their results pages. Apparently nobody knows all of it, but it looks at how many other websites link to yours, the quality of the websites linking to yours, the quality of your website and its content and how fast your website loads.

What are Keywords?

Keywords or KWs, are search terms used in Google. If I search for “Red apples” then the keyword is “red apples”.
Rather confusingly, search phrases are also called keywords. You want to find KWs with lots of monthly searches, that don’t have lots of competition and add them to your content and headings in a natural format.  Don’t stuff them in everywhere.

Use the Keyword Planner Tool to find KWs with lots of monthly searches. And do a Google search to see which websites rank for those terms. If the top 10 websites for that KW are the likes of the BBC, Fox News and Amazon, you probably aren’t going to rank on the first page for that term.

Long Tail Keywords are less popular KWS, with less searches but often ‘convert’ to sales etc. better.

A Head Term might be “Tennis Balls”
A Long Tail Keyword might be “Buy Yellow Slazenger Tennis Balls UK”

“Tennis Balls” will have a much higher volume of monthly searches but will be very hard to rank on the first page of Google for. “Buy Yellow Slazenger Tennis Balls UK” will have less search volume each month, but will be easier to rank for and people searching for that term are more likely to buy/convert.

Tools for Internet Marketing

A CMS – such as WordPress so that you can create a website

A Keyword Tool such as the Google Keyword Planner. So that you can see what keywords to try and rank for or advertise with if you’re using PPC ads.

Google Analytics – to see who is coming to your site, where from and to what pages.

Google Chrome and some extensions such as the Moz Bar

Screaming Frog for Technical SEO. This gets all the information from a website and downloads it into an Excel Spreadsheet.

SEO Mofo – to make sure your meta titles & descriptions are the correct length. Add a CTA – Call To Action such as “Book Now!” or “Learn More” at the end of your descriptions.

Yoast SEO Plugin – This makes it easy to add meta titles and descriptions as you make your webpages and blog posts.

What I’ve Learnt from Reading Books & Watching Ted Talks

I recently read Marcus Aurelius’ Meditations and decided to write my own…

These are generally things I have read, I implement some but not others (e.g. the career ones, I do aspire to achieve/do most of them though) .

I see a lot of nice, ‘well brought up’ people with depression and one of the main reasons is that they’ve been brought up to do good, to share, to think of others, and this is not how 80% of the world works, especially the working-world.

Stoic philosophy helps best with this issue, I don’t think that there is one quick fix…just learn to laugh at injustice and don’t take life of yourself too seriously…

Happiness

  1. You reap what you sow – if you are constantly complaining about people, treating people with contempt and being bad tempered, you will angry, unhappy and low spirited. I don’t believe 100% in karma, but I do think your words, actions & thoughts are all related
  2. Take 100% of responsibility for your actions; it’s rare that you are the victim of circumstance & there’s never a time where you can blame other people for your actions. Attributing all of your problems and flaws to external forces such as bad luck, your wife, parents etc. leads to depression and learned helplessness.Rather than complaining, take ownership, analyse and make sure you make better decisions going forwards. Avoid saying “I haven’t got time” and “I have to…”. Blaming others leads to a victim mentality. So does blaming lack of time and money.
    e.g. If someone asks you to go on a lads holiday, you might say “I’d love to, but I’d prefer to spend the money on my university books”, rather than “I can’t afford it”.
    Saying “I can’t afford it” is logical in many instances, but it really helps to reframe the phrase.If you fall out with someone, or something goes wrong in work – focus on what you could have done differently, rather than what others did wrong. E.g. If you’re a project manager a someone doesn’t tell you about a mistake, you can analyse your own communication skills and approachability.
    See Jocko Willink’s ‘Extreme Ownership’ Ted Talk.
  3. Thoughts of the self create much suffering:
    e.g. concerns regarding appearance, self worth, importance, how you are perceived etc
    True humility is not thinking less of yourself, it’s thinking of yourself, less. Don’t flatter yourself by thinking people give you a second thought.
  4. Thank people for criticism and use it objectively to improve. Defensiveness is usually a sign of insecurity and is the cause of most arguments
  5. If you are made angry by something or someone, then it has beaten you. Laugh smile and be flexible in mindset. Prisoners of war survived the Nazi concentration camps by having a sense of humour, so don’t allow small problems & trivial insults overcome you smile
  6. Beware of the narrative in your mind – “You are not your thoughts”. Don’t be ‘in’ your thoughts, observe them. It is okay to have jealous, aggressive thoughts, as long as you don’t speak or act upon them. “Automatic thoughts” are often negative & aggressive, acknowledge them, disassociate from them, and replace with rational, nice thoughts!
  7. Perfectionism is an illness. Strive to improve, not to be perfect or the best.
  8. Don’t Be a Harsh Judge or Critic – you force yourself to take life a little more seriously each time you do. For example if you criticise someone for having a cheap car, you’ll make yourself and those around you more anxious about the state of your/their car.
  9. Be organised, to allow mindfulness – have a ‘To Do list’ in work and at home. This helps you to be mindful, rather than scanning our mind for things you may have forgotten.
  10. You are the average of the 5 people that you spend the most time with. Avoid negative and superficial people. Don’t judge them, they are just on a different path in life and unaware how they effect others.
  11. Attachment is the cause of all suffering – especially to possessions. Take care of things, but don’t invest emotions in them.

    TedSnow
    Ted Enjoys the Simple Things
  12. Acceptance is important. Resisting ‘what is’ makes it infinitely worse.
  13. Life is all about good experiences, interesting & fun experiences can happen anywhere like work, in a traffic jam, anywhere if you can learn to laugh and have fun. You don’t need to be on an expensive holiday to have a good experience.
  14. Avoid hate, jealousy and bitterness. Life is just a random cluster of events, full of inconveniences & injustices that must be laughed at. Acceptance is key for happiness when you literally can’t change something.
  15. Everyone needs a hobby & a passion. Ideally one which gets you in ‘flow state’ and builds social connections with ‘nice’ people. Remember to put your family before your passion however…
  16. Type A Personality – If you have one – highly competitive and short tempered – don’t make the mistake of expecting everyone else to be a highly motivated Type A like you – the world would be a very stressful and unhappy place if this was the case. Your judging will lead to narcissism, which will lead to entitlement, which leads to anger and further frustration.
  17. Happiness has a ripple effect
    “Capitalizing on the Happiness Advantage does more than solely benefit us. Research into social networks has shown that behavior is literally contagious, good or bad. Our attitudes and behaviors infect the people we work with directly, but also spread to the people they interact with. This is called the ripple effect” (p.201)
    The Happiness Advantage
  18. Peace begins with a smile
  19. Flexible people are the happiest – be flexible in terms of plans, set backs etc. Adapt, change & chuckle
  20. Write down 3 good things which have happened each day
  21. Write down a negative thought, then write down 4 positives. e.g. work is boring – positives – I don’t have to work shifts, I don’t have to travel to a city centre, I don’t have to deal with angry customers, I work with nice people
  22. Find the positive in the negative whenever possible. e.g. I lost my job but have learnt massive amounts about careers & life that I can pass onto my children.
    see the Zen Farmer – bad luck can be good luck:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=81XIhTePvKE
  23. Don’t Cry Over Spilt Milk – Once a milk bottle is smashed and milk goes down the drain, no complaining or whining will bring it back. Deal with it and clean up the mess.
  24. According to Jonathan Haidt, suffering can lead to happiness if you respond positively and adapt
  25. Happiness is not an Entitlement – Many people have to work at it, by giving gratitude everyday, meditating, exercising and eating good clean foods.
Stay_uncomfortable_comfort_breeds_complacency_fireman_up
Stress can help you, as can unpleasant people. Just learn to laugh and roll with them – never hate a hateful person

Citizenship & Social Skills

  1. Be kind, you can make or break someone’s day and people hold grudges for decades – so be nice to everyone
  2. Only hold aggressive opinions about things you have researched completely and deem as highly important. Whilst discussing politics, pretend you are interviewing someone rather than arguing with them
  3. Don’t Expect People to Make an Effort with You – people will never really know what to say to a ‘new’ person. Smile and make an effort but don’t worry too much if they don’t fall head over heals to welcome you to a new team or job etc
  4. Popularity is not important
  5. Love & care for your family, friends and local community. See Dunbar’s number. Your brain isn’t designed to care about 7 billion people. If you care for the entire world’s population you may begin to suffer from stress and depression. You can do the right thing to help them, donate money etc but try not to invest too much emotion.
  6. Speaking of Community – Everyone needs to be in one. We’re social and tribal animals and we need a sense of belonging, this is often cited as a reason for Crossfit being so successful! Crossfit, Church, Football, the pub – whatever it is, you need to be part of one (obvs stay away from dodgy cults and political groups though).
  7. Never say “I hate people”. Focus on those you love, not those you don’t enjoy the company of. Focus on what is good about people not there 1 or 2 flaws. Don’t judge, everyone starts off as a happy baby and is shaped by their environment (and genes).
  8. People Will Always Pick on Those They Perceive as Weak or Naive. Try your best to say things with confidence and stand tall etc. Easier said than done!
  9. Never ‘tut’!
  10. Say “you’re right” instead of “I know” and you’ll appear much nicer.
  11. Never Expect Gratitude. It’s a bonus rather than an entitlement for someone to say thanks
  12. Say nice things about those you don’t like – It will sometimes get back to them that you’ve said something nice, and will seem like a sincere compliment coming via someone else

Money & Career

  1. Adverts (& the news) use negativity, fear & comparisons to sell you things. Don’t buy something because of an advert. It’s like a game to get you to part with your money.
    Beware of social proofing, loss aversion, the law of reciprocity and the power of authority – all used in marketing. Know the difference between ‘wants’ and ‘needs’.
  2. Business is always mixed with politics, don’t let it bother you. Read The Prince, The 48 Laws of Power and How to Win Friends & Influence People, this makes you revel in the politics rather than hate it. I used to get angry about work-politics but it comes with the territory, especially at bigger companies.
  3. It’s better to have a small house and disposable income, than a large house and concerns about money. Be aware of the hedonic treadmill.
  4. Buy investments not liabilities. In the book ‘Rich Dad, Poor Dad’ the author describes how poorer people tend to buy ‘liabilities’ that decrease in value like cars, whilst the rich look first to buy assets (things that increase in value) like properties, currencies, gold etc. For both assets and liabilities, make sure you can afford them!
  5. Move to get Promoted – When you’re single if you can buy a house, rent it out, then move anywhere in the world (literally) for a job that’s senior to your current position. Obviously the ‘buy a house’ bit only works if you work hard/get lucky to begin with and get a good job! The principle remains the same if you don’t have a house though, you just don’t have an investment to fall back on. I didn’t do this, I was too much of a pansy and came home after 3 months in America.
  6. Set up an Online Business – Get Paid in Sterling or US Dollars and live like a king on bahts in Thailand.
  7. Learn to entertain yourself for free or on a low budget. e.g. hiking, camping. Those who need expensive holidays to be entertained usually find it hard to be happy day to day and are often skint.
  8. “Don’t outshine the master” pretend your life and your knowledge is slightly inferior to your boss’s
  9. Meditate – meditation is all about not judging thoughts. Therefore it helps hugely if day to day you don’t judge people.
  10. It’s good to have rubbish employment at some stage in your life. You’ll appreciate a better job later in life eg. I don’t let boredom effect me, after working in a call centre getting verbally abused all day. Boredom is good.
  11. Social intelligence & confidence is just as important as knowledge when it comes to your career. (Perhaps different if you’re a highly skilled doctor or engineer)
  12. Have a Stop – Loss Formula – Set a limit so you never risk more than you can afford
  13. Experience is much more Important than Qualifications – Do unpaid work or start your own business if you have to, in order to get some experience.
  14. If you work in an office, have a cold shower twice a week and engage in intense exercise at least once a week. Otherwise your body and immune system are likely to become weak.
  15. If you are unable to rid yourself of anger – use it to motivate yourself. For example, gain new and better skills to move to a different job.

Learning New Skills

  1. It takes 10,000 hours to become a master, 20 hours to become ‘good’ at something. When learning new skills, learn the basics and then practice, gain feedback, adjust, then practice again, gain feedback, adjust, etc. Don’t read and read about how to do something, you need to practice itcropped-dadblog1.jpg
  2. Set Monthly personal development goals such as reading books, going out of your comfort zone, or building character e.g. Take a cold shower each morning, speak to 2 new people each day
  3. Growth mindset – never be afraid to learn new things – never say “I can’t do it”, you can’t do it yet.
  4. You don’t need much money to be happy, but you do need sleep. Aim for ‘fuck you money’ – have enough money to say no to jobs etc you don’t want to do. Things don’t make you happy, other than food & shelter
  5. Cheerfulness is always the best approach to problems and day to day issues.
  6. ‘Start with “why?”’ when trying to motivate and persuade people
  7. Do everything with enthusiasm
  8. Treat repetitive tasks like meditation. 1 thing/item at a time, don’t think about the past or present, just what you are doing, 1 at a time.
  9. Never be afraid to fail. You win or you learn.
  10. Low energy can be mental or physical but normally both
    Address both potential issues with diet & exercise for physical, reading, CBT and meditation for the mental.
    Diet – probiotics, fermented foods, high omega 3, low omega 6, low/no sugar

    CBTNegativeThinkingCycleExample
    Having Low Energy Can be a Mental Health Issue (or a physical issue)
    Image Source

  11. Feedback is crucial when learning new skills – perfect practice makes perfect. Video yourself is required.
  12. The Goal Posts Move – Once you’ve learnt a new skill, keep up to date, or you’re skills will become out of date.

General

Marcus Aurelius' meditations
Marcus Aurelius’ first life lesson – be mild tempered
  1. All great men and leaders in history preach ‘a mild temper’ (see above photo)
  2. Don’t procrastinate for 1 moment – as this is the beginning of the biggest delays. Make a decision and do it straight away.
  3. Beware the power of Intermittent Positive Reinforcement. See Skinner’s experiments. Gambling is addictive because of intermittent reinforcement, as is social media
  4. What you criticise represents your own insecurities. e.g people’s appearance
  5. Beware of all the cognitive biases – self-serving, confirmation bias, etc. Learn more here. These are crucial and should be taught in school!
    For example – Self Serving Bias:

    The selfserving bias is people’s tendency to attribute positive events to their own character but attribute negative events to external factors. It’s a common type of cognitive bias that has been extensively studied in social psychology

    source

  6. Be aware of ‘Faulty Thinking’ in CBT – for example, Mental filtering whereby people disregard the positives and focus on the negatives. e.g. when you focus on the one thing that went wrong in a presentation. More info here.success
  7. Don’t build huge expectations in children. Telling them they’ll be a dentist or a great football player when they grow up, may upset them if they end up working nights in a factory – not that there’s anything wrong with this.
  8. For every person that says ‘never give up on your dreams’ there’s another 100 people that didn’t and never made it. Beware ‘survivor bias’
  9. Reward effort, not outcome. Say ‘well done, you must have worked really hard!’ ‘instead of well done, you must be really talented/clever’.
  10. Don’t personalise anything other than direct personal criticism. If someone is blunt, miserable etc, it’s generally nothing to do with you
  11. Love imperfections for their quirks – they give things and people character
  12. Don’t eat in front of the TV – you will eat ‘mindlessly’ and not appreciate the food or even register it going in
  13. Have a preference for how people behave, but not a demand. e,g. it’s nice if people say thank you, but don’t expect it
  14. Awkwardness – ‘move into it’, don’t be afraid of it – it can be used to manipulate you
  15. You can Meditate doing any task – Be mindful when driving by constantly focusing on the road immediately ahead & bringing your thoughts back to the road, be mindful when walking by focusing on the sensations of touch and movement -such as the feeling of the wind on your face & the feeling of your feet pressing onto & driving off the floor, then be mindful of all the sounds you can hear
  16. Everyone started off a smiling baby, people are a product of their environment & genetics. Had Gandhi been born in Nazi Germang, he would have likely been a Nazi, not a spiritual leader. Remember this when trying not to judge others.
  17. Expect shit to happen & don’t be dramatic – The world and the universe is in perpetual chaos and gives zero fcuks about you. Just because you live in a comfy house and work a set rota, doesn’t mean random stuff and hassle won’t happen. Expect hassles like stuff breaking and just get on with fixing it.

    meditation-1384758_960_720
    Meditation – Usually not so dramatic
  18. Life is hard for everyone. Get on with it with a chuckle & less drama
  19. Never be unhappy or angry about your lot in life. Others will always have more.
  20. Change a negative inner narrative by listening to and repeating positive affirmations.
  21. Sometimes you’ll do nothing wrong and get told off anyway. No dramas.
  22. You Learn by Mistakes – but they don’t have to be yours – learn by reading.

    Ted
    Learn to enjoy stuff that’s free
  23. Magnesium is a powerful muscle relaxant, great for headaches & sleep
  24. “All disease starts in the gut” Hippocrates. If you have an inflamed gut, you will struggle to feel good regardless of how much you read and meditate. The gut directly impacts the brain and mood. Have a read up on leaky gut and the FODMAP diet
  25. Power corrupts virtually everyone, don’t be surprised or upset by greed etc, all large organisations appear to have at least an element of corruption too.
  26. Risk to Reward ratio – Only take high risks if the rewards are really high. Is it worth doing an exercise in the gym that might make you more powerful but could dislocate your shoulder if you get the technique slightly wrong?
  27. I wish someone had of explained ‘banter’ to me earlier in life – possibly a British thing, whereby you exchange witty insults and the person who gets upset first is the loser
  28. Resilience is related to flexibility. If you’re plans and ideals are flexible and ‘changeable’ then you will be more resilient than someone who is very fixed ideals and plans.
  29. Guy Ritchie said (to paraphrase) on the Joe Rogan Podcast – there’s 2 worlds, an inner one and an outer one. You don’t need the outer world to validate who you are or your worth.
marcus aurelius horse
Marcus gives a nonchalant wave from his horse

To summarise

  • Don’t take life or yourself too seriously and remember that having a sense of humour & being cheerful is always the best way to cope
  • Always pick out the positives. Bad luck often makes you appreciate specific things or people or often turns into good luck if handled correctly
  • Don’t be duped by the system, which wants you to compare yourself to others, feel negative and buy things
  • Learn something from everyone – people don’t have to be role models, they can also be hideous warnings
  • Don’t judge your thoughts or other people if you want to be mindful
  • Be nice & don’t insult people unnecessarily – they’ll hold a grudge for decades
  • Read
 self development

Tips to Avoid Early-Midlife Bitterness

  1. Don’t compare yourself to your friends or others
  2. Take complete ownership of your career – don’t blame others for decision that you made and ‘wrong turns’ that you took
  3. Don’t be judgemental. All the most miserable people I know, are constantly judging others (not that I’m judging them for judging).
  4.  Never be angry with your lot in life because someone had it easier or handed to them on a plate. Get on with what you have.
  5. Don’t sweat the small stuff don’t be offended by anything other than a serious threat, don’t have a nervy B if a household appliance breaks or your car gets scratched.
  6. Eat well and consider natural adaptogen

“Don’t just say you have read books. Show that through them you have learned to think better, to be a more discriminating and reflective person. Books are the training weights of the mind. They are very helpful, but it would be a bad mistake to suppose that one has made progress simply by having internalized their contents.” 

 Epictetus, The Art of Living 

 

Experience is the best form of knowledge, reading is different but still highly valuable. I try and read books when I can, but I listen to audio books more nowadays and watch animated book summaries (or just listen to them in work if I’m doing something dull).

If you’re interested  – you can listen/watch Ted Talks here or on youtube

 

IF

Correcting Hunched Shoulders From Working at Desk All Day

 

Quick post on this which I will update at a later date…

 

Take a muscle relaxant like Magnesium glycinate

All magnesium is good for relaxing tense muscles, but glycinate is the only form which won’t give you the trots in high doses.

 

Stretch your Chest

Band Exercises

 

Rear Delt Flyes

Perform slowly with a squeeze and hold at the top of the movement

 

Invest in a Foam Roller

Lacrosse or cricket balls are good too for getting into particularly tight spots.

 

Hip Flexor Stretches

If you have hunched shoulders, there is a good chance that you have tight hip flexors and a titled pelvis from sitting down all day.
Make sure to stretch your hip flexors every day!

Redirects – Check All URLs end with a slash

When doing redirects, for a new site –

sometimes, when you crawl the old/current site you will find a few rogue URLs that start with http: not https: and don’t end with a backslash.

 

If you’re doing a find and replace job, to create the destination URLs, this can mess with your final URLs.

Search “http:” to ensure, that if applicable, all the final URLs use the correct http protocol

Then use the formula below, to check the all end with a backslash

 

=IF(RIGHT(A1,1)=”/”,TRUE,FALSE)

 

Excel_backslash_formula

Lunchtime 25 Minute Workout Routines

I’ve been working in my latest role for just over 3 months, and training at the gym there most days, but never actually got around to creating an exercise programme;

So – in an attempt to be more organised, here’s what I shall endeavour to follow for the next 6 weeks –

2-4-2 tempo = pause for 2 seconds at the bottom, take 4 seconds to press/lift the weight, then pause for 2 seconds at the top.

Monday – Legs & Back

Rowing Machine – 1000m

Bulgarian Split Squats x 2 sets of 2-4-2 tempo reps to failure

Seated Row – Core warm up – Sit away from the supporting frame to engage core and use super light weight

Seated Row x 2 sets

Seated Rear Delt Fly with 1 rep, 1/2 rep protocol x 2 sets

Lunges x 2 sets

 

Tuesday – Chest

Cross trainer – 1 min warm up then 4 minute Tabata Interval

Chest Press x 2 sets

Dumbbell Chest Press x 2 sets – 2-4-2 tempo

Cable Punches x 2 sets of 10 reps on each side

Modified Fly x 2 sets of max reps

 

Wednesday – Back

Rowing Machine – 1000m

Lat Pull down – 2 sets of 6-8 reps

Negative Reps – Machine Row

One arm Row – 2-4-2 Tempo

Angled One Arm Cable Shrugs x 2 sets

 

Thursday – Shoulders

Cross Trainer – 5 minutes

Single Arm Shoulder Press 2 sets of 8-12 reps

Single Arm Shoulder Press 1 set of eccentric reps

Shrugs / Upright row – 2 sets of 10-12 reps

Hindu Press ups x 1 set of max reps

 

Friday – Stability Ball Workout

Core Ball Workout

Press ups x 2 sets

Reverse Hyperextensions x 2 sets

One arm row x 2 sets

Hamstring curls x 2 sets

Pikes x 2 sets

Plank x 2 sets

 

Martial Arts Techniques to drill in between sets

Guard framing

Double leg ‘rotation’ to finish takedown

Chest to Chest Guard Sweep

Wizzer Throw to Ankle pick

Wrist control to ankle pick – pull back on right arm and then ankle pick right foot/ankle

Front Kicks

Side Kicks

 

First Baby? My Advice after 1 year

I asked for advice before we had our first baby, and you just get the usual doom and gloom answers such as

“Don’t expect any sleep”
“When you’re sick, that’s the start of your night”

Cheers, nothing useful at all.

When you get a girlfriend, everyone mythers you to get married,

Then when you’re married, everyone mythers you about having kids,

And then when you do have one on the way, everyone harps on about how terrible child birth is and how you’ll never have a lie in again or a full night’s sleep and how awful and hard life will be from now on.

Elinor

It’s not all bad; in fact, it’s life changing and amazing – you just have to be pretty selfless to enjoy it. And sleep, you do need to make sure you get some sleep whenever possible.

A Few Parenting Tips

  • Get tops with buttons around the neck. Babies go mental when you try and pull their tops over their heads
  • If you’ve no idea what to do – Peek a Boo (or Pi Po in Wales) is always a winner with children 5-12 months old
  • You’ll fall out with at least 1 family member over parenting style or childcare
  • Phenibut is immense for sleep deprivation, once a week only though
  • Picking up your child side on makes it harder for them to back-heel you in the balls
  • White noise tends to help babies and parents to sleep (especially if you live in a nosey semi-detached)
  • Every woman, and man and his dog will give you advice. Just smile and nod
  • The happiest people tend to be the most flexible with plans etc. This seems especially true with parents – your plans to go to the gym may been constantly scuppered for example.
  • Not that I’d know, but breastfeeding appears to get significantly easier after the first month, then it seems relatively painless after 2 months, until the baby starts to get teeth…then it hurts again
  • Grandparents don’t agree with Attachment Parenting
  • Keep your hands free when walking around the house. You’ll defo fall over a toy at some point and it helps to have hands to break your fall
  • Baby gates are pretty lethal, as are the stands on those vibrating chairs

 

2 other things of note, the NHS staff in the maternity ward were amazing, I was pleasantly surprised at their enthusiasm;

And the 2 healthcare visitors I know personally were extremely helpful – it was one of my friends that suggested our baby might have a tongue tie (this was missed by our designated healthcare visitor – easily done).

 

nora

 

Fitness For Busy Parents

I’ll go into this at a later date, but you don’t need a gym or loads of time to have an effective workout.

Tabata intervals and bodyweight exercises are all you need and you can do them at home.

For example

1 Tabata Interval of squats
Followed by 1 set of maximum press ups

is enough to maintain fitness and muscle mass, and even improve markers of fitness and health depending on baseline levels.

fitness

Tabata Intervals involve 8 intervals of exercise, for 20 seconds.
Each 20 second interval is separated by 10 seconds rest.

Doing just 8 minutes a week of this type of exercise is proven to be beneficial in terms of blood lipid and glucose levels.

 

Fitness may not be a priority in the next year or two, but make sure you try and maintain a level of physical activity, or your health and wellbeing can deteriorate fast

Online Personal Training – is it worth it?

This is something I’ve been looking at getting into for a while…

The attraction with online personal training is initially, that there’s very little barrier to action/entry.

You can still be sat on the sofa with a pizza, and sign up for online personal training sessions. You’ve not spent or committed to a great deal, so it’s very easy to get started. Unlike going into and signing up to a gym, which can be very scary.

Inspirational quote
Don’t be afraid to have a go!

Once you’re signed up, you in theory should have access to;

  • 1-2-1 expert support and advice
  • Personalised exercise programmes according to fitness, time & budget
  • Personalised dietary assessments
  • Personalised diet plans
  • Healthy recipes (that you will like)
  • Technical feedback e.g. if you video lifting weights
  • Psychological assessment, motivation, goal setting & support

Although having a personal training, that’s actually there with you real time has many added benefits – for example he/she can correct poor technique in real time; having an online personal trainer is certainly much more beneficial than having no help at all and entering into a fitness programme with no direction or structure.

A lot of the benefit is that they do all the admin-work for you.

You probably know you need to make a programme, set goals and assess your diet, but realistically, not many people know where to start exactly or don’t have the time to do it all.

I certainly think that video analysis of technique is currently under utilised too. This could be extremely beneficial, especially with the trend to squat and deadlift heavy, good technique is imperative.

Poor Alignment of the spine - looking to far forward tilts head upwards
Poor Alignment of the spine – looking to far forward tilts head upwards

Some quick pointers to remember about exercise if you are contemplating getting fit:

  • You don’t have to train for long periods – 3 x 20 minute sessions a week can make a huge difference to health, fitness & appearance
  • Diets don’t have to be complicated. Start making one change . e.g. cutting out sugar
  • Psychology is very important. Set SMART goals that are Specific, Measurable, Agreed upon, Realistic and Time-bound
  • It takes one month to form a habit. Start by making small positive changes and maintain these for a month

 

 

 

2 Great Family Holiday Destinations in the UK

I’m not a huge fan of travelling abroad. I’m not scared of flying, but I don’t like all the sitting down and the cramped conditions, with the air-conditioning being the real icing on the cake.

I went on a yoga retreat as part of my honeymoon in 2014. I got there feeling pretty lethargic and had my usual issues with back, neck and shoulder aches and stiffness. After a week of yoga and good food, I felt pretty energised and, well, flexible by the time that we left. A 2 hour taxi drive and a 4 hour flight later, I felt fairly rotten and lethargic again by the time we got back.

Now that we have a little-one, budget is also a big consideration when booking holidays, as well as the length and comfort of the commute. With this in mind, here is a shortlist of places for us to visit in the next few years…

Cheddar

Cheddar in Somerset is famous for its gorge, the Cheddar Man and of course, Cheddar Cheese.

cheddar gorgeImage Source

cheddarwaterfallImage Source

What to do in Cheddar?

Things to do in Cheddar include visiting the Cheddar Caves & Gorge, the Original Cheddar Cheese Company and walking or cycling the Strawberry Line and visiting the Cheddar Man at the Museum of Prehistory.

cheddar man
Cheddar Man – His remains date back to 7,000 BC

Image Source

As you’d expect really, there are also a variety of walks that you can do around the gorge:


If you stay in Cheddar Woods Resort & Spa, there’s also a wide range of activities that you can do…

Where to Stay in Cheddar?

Cheddar Woods is almost definitely the best place to stay in Cheddar for families, and many of the lodges are also pet-friendly, so you can take your dog (or cat, rabbit, not sure about chickens or lizards).

With outdoor, private hot tubs in some of the premier lodges, a luxury spa, gym, pool and restaurant; there’s quite a lot to keep the family entertained whilst on site.

cheddar lodge
A Cabin at Cheddar Woods

The lodges provide a lot more space than you would normally get in a hotel or a B & B:

cheddar cabin
Look at the size of that living room!

If you are looking for a hotel, then as you’d expect, TripAdvisor is probably the best place to do some research.

If you’re on a tight budget, The Oakhouse Hotel has good reviews and is very competitively priced.

The Lake District

The Lake District was declared a National Park in 1951 and according to Lonely Planet – it is by far the UK’s most popular national park. If you like the great outdoors, then the Lake District is a great destination for you, and your family (assuming their outdoorsy types too).

the lake districtImage Source

The Lake District has inspired many great writers & poets, including William Wordsworth and Beatrix Potter. A great testimony to the inspiring landscape that possesses many therapeutic benefits. If you’re feeling stressed out, like a lot of us are, spending time in nature has been proven to treat everything from mild depression to ADHD.

What to do in the Lake District?

With more parks, forests and lakes that you can shake a proverbial stick at, the Lakes has lots on offer. A walk around Derwentwater is always a winner – with some amazingly beautiful and relaxing scenery. Keswick’s local lake is 10 minutes walk from the town-centre.

keswick-reach-lodge-retreat-1600x700

Other Lake District walks include:

Day trips on offer in the Lake District include:

Where to Stay in the Lake District?

It’s difficult to say exactly, with so many difference options available. The Lake District is fairly well known for wild camping, although that’s not exactly ideal for families and larger groups of people. The best place to get some ideas is on the Lake District website.

Places of note to stay in the Lake District include:

  • Keswick Reach Lodge Retreat
  • Brimstone at Langdale
  • Cedar Manor Hotel & Restaurant
  • Holbeck Ghyll

 

That’s just 2 places to visit in the UK. North Wales is also listed in the Lonely Planet’s best regions to visit.

North Wales is brilliant, if you like walking, hiking, cycling, camping and general ‘in nature’ stuff – which I do. I’ll cover that area in a future post!

 

WordPress Site Security

Security threats are not just about tangible properties like your house or car, as there are also security threats online. In fact, there are several of them and they can attack your WordPress blogsite if you do not have the proper protection.

Your blogsite is considered as your home in the digital world. It contains everything that allows you to run a successful blog, which is needed to ensure that you keep your followers interested and entice more to read your posts. A security breach on your site could ruin its content and this could lead the entire blogsite to its downfall.

This is something that you do not want to happen, especially if you are using it for your business. You must secure your WordPress blog from these potential threats, just as you would keep your most valuable properties secured. You can do this by gaining awareness on the security risks that could put your blogsite in jeopardy. If you know the risks that you might be facing, you can plan ahead so they can be prevented and you wouldn’t have to deal with them.

We prepared an infographic that lists some of the most usual security attacks on WordPress sites that bloggers like you might face.

Get the list from our illustration below:

10 Most Common Security Attacks That Will Kill Your WordPress Blog

Surprised with the threats that might put your WordPress at risk? Learn more about how to secure your blogsite and other blogging tips at http://www.startbloggingonline.com/.