Blogging

Back in early January 2017, I decided to take Youtube a little bit more seriously. So, I began researching events across the UK. Originally, I was priced out of going to VidCon in both Amsterdam and Anaheim – although I did end up going to VidCon Europe in Amsterdam in the end. You can read more about this here.

So I opted for the smaller UK based event, Summer in the City. Labelled as the biggest Youtuber event in the UK I figured I couldn’t go wrong. So, I decided to book a ticket for the creator day only, Friday the 4th August. Here’s what happened…


 

Location

The event was hosted at the Excel in London. The premier event space in London, this place is easily accessible by public transport or by car. I chose to drive to London that day, however I was highly disappointed by the £20 standard parking charge. While this covers you for 24 hours, I only stayed for around 4. 

The Excel in London is also fantastic for the number of surrounding hotels available to suit most budgets (from basic to luxury) all within walking distance. This was perfect for those who were looking to attend the event over the entire weekend. 

Now for a couple of negatives; The venue offered free WIFI, although I found it to be rather spotty at times. However, my main cause for concern came from the lack of lighting, especially in the panel sessions. These sessions are at least on creator days supposed to be educational and informative. However, the size of the building and lack of lighting made it both hard to see and hard to hear. Compare this to the RAI in Amsterdam for VidCon where the panels were in a more office / classroom environment with fantastic facilities, lighting and services it just didn’t compare.


Speakers

The fast majority of speakers we’re non-prolific. Even for the UK Youtuber market. In fact, there were only a hand-full I’d heard of and wanted to see speak in a creator panel.

Unfortunatly the content didn’t make up for this. With repetitive and highly similar content (example Gaming Stage at 12:00 and 12:00 and 13:00 in Panel Room A all seemed to cover pretty much the same thing) and a serious lack of hands-on / interactive experiences and tutorials.


Atmosphere

I don’t think anything can sum up the atmosphere of the Summer in the City Creator Day quite like the moment I pulled into the carpark of the Excel and wondering if I had the right location because the whole place was empty.

In fact, even in the main haul, I still had that same concern. I appreciate that the size of the event is catering to the main SITC event over the weekend. However the whole place was VERY bare with 100 times less people inside of it. 

I think a lot of Youtube based events are all about the community feel and atmosphere and that just wasn’t there here.


In my opinion, the SITC team need to either move the creator day to a separate venue more catered to this style of event or put it inside of the main event like VidCon to really create that atmosphere. 

Value For Money

The ticket for the Summer in the City creator day along was £30. I’m not going to talk in reference to the £20 parking charge or the cost of petrol, food etc. as it’s really going to be different for everyone.

Instead, the value for money for the £30 ticket alone… and in my opinion. It just wasn’t worth it. Not even close. I honestly don’t see what you got for that £30

0

Blogging

After getting such phenomenal value from my first blogging course, Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing. I decided that investing in myself, and my blog was the way forward.

Looking to expand my spend money & travel section I looked for the very best travel related blogging course on the market. After extensive research I was split between Nomadic Matt’s Superstar Blogging & Travel Blog Success. 



Both of similar pricing, all the reviews on other blogs seemed to be bias, simply wanting you to sign up using their affiliate link (so they get a commission).

In the end I went with Nomadic Matt’s Superstar Blogging. Matt’s website is beautifully curated and has been featured in major news outlets – it really didn’t seem like a bad blog to follow in the footsteps of.

SuperStar Blogging Breakdown

SuperStar blogging is broken down into four separate courses; travel writing, travel blogging, travel video & travel photography.

While I would have loved each and every course. I had to pick the one that was set to bring me the best return on investment. So I opted for ‘The Business of Blogging’ the course was $267 (or 3 payments of $99). It came with a number of case studies, hours of expert interviews and tutorials as well as a 30 day money back guarantee – just in case.

Structure

The structure of the course is different to any other I’ve previously taken in the fact that you get a module released once a week. 

This is great on one hand as you’re left not feeling overwhelmed by information. However, on the other hand if you have some spare time and want to get in front – it’s going to require you to invalidate your 30 day money back guarantee and ask for the entire course unlocking. 

This, for me personally is where things all started to go a little wrong…

Before I started I noticed that in the FAQ it said this course was suitable for established bloggers. Having been blogging for almost three years (although very little on the topic of travel) I considered I’d be okay.

superstar blogging
However, I breezed through the first week, and the second, and the third… These were not only all things I’d done previously but things I feel that you can learn for absolutely free – In fact I have a tutorial on it all right here…


Suddenly I was left worrying. Had I wasted $267? 

I looked over the course content once more. Left with the decision of whether to unlock the entire course or quickly do my best to claim back the money I’d spent – In the end, I opted for the latter.

Who Is SuperStar Blogging Designed For?

From my four weeks experience on the course I can hand on heart say that this course is not designed for any established blogger.

If you’ve been blogging for more than a year (regardless of your niche), I’d say you know 90% of this stuff.

Even if you’re new to blogging I honestly believe you can find a better, cheaper or free course that can teach you all of this – or at least a good chunk of it. 


Why Am I Reviewing SuperStar Blogging If I Got A Refund?

I think by now you’ve probably realised that I’ve found this course very poor in the terms of value for money…

So, I guess it comes down to why on earth have I written this post?

Well, personally $267 is a lot of money in my opinion.

I wanted to follow in the footsteps of Nomadic Matt. His blog is fantastic, however the more I listened to him and read his content the more I was put off by his ideals of selling products to your audience over opting for free hotel stays for reviews etc. 

I’m not saying this is bad entirely, just this isn’t going to work for everyone. In fact some of the ambassadors of his course do the opposite and work with brands to promote products – and that’s okay! There’s more than one way of doing things… 

Finally, I trusted my fellow bloggers to honestly tell me what they thought of the course. However, from my own experience I’ve found those reviews to be bias. Maybe it’s because they got the course for free in return for a review. Maybe so they could get an affiliate commission. It could be because they like Matt (I do too, he seems like a nice guy), who knows…

0

Blogging, Technology

The GoPro 4 Silver, was my first GoPro camera. An while it’s no longer the latest model of GoPro action cameras it’s still a great camera for those looking for the ‘perfect action shot’. Which is exactly why I decided to still review it on the blog today.

Go Pro 4 silver


I’m not going to bore you with the specifics of this camera. There’s better websites, that go into much more detail than I ever could on that topic. Instead, I want to talk about the basic features and what the camera is like to use for someone who’s really only used to shooting on a mobile phone or maybe the occasional point and shoot camera.


The camera can be a little fiddly to use at first. However, with practice it becomes simple and straight forward. , the same goes for additional batteries, meaning you should never have an excuse not to capture any moment.

and can both record in a full HD resolution (1080p) up to a rate of 30fps. Finally, I think it goes without saying and is the reason most of us buy this particular brand of camera. The camera is fully waterproof up to 40metres, shockproof and is absolutely amazing for capturing moments from all sorts of different activities.


So, if you’re looking to advance into action and underwater shots with your blog / vlog. There really is no better brand and with the release of the new GoPro 5 the price of the GoPro 4 Silver has dropped significantly making this a much more affordable camera for newcomers to the ‘action camera’ market.



If you’re still unsure then check out how the GoPro 4 Silver stacks up to the other GoPro cameras on the market right now using this table below;

0

Blogging

So you’re looking to take your blog to the next level. One way to really stand out from the crowd is to install one of the very best paid WordPress themes on the market. However, with tens of thousands of options it can be hard to find the option that’s right for you. Which is exactly why I’ve put together this list of the very best paid WordPress themes on the market.

Feminine

Feminine WordPress theme is aesthetically designed with girly concept, colour and careful consideration for everything you need to build the best feminine website. This best feminine WordPress theme comes with three uniquely designed post layouts and three slider layouts that give you enough customisation choices.

Best paid wordpress themes on the market

Smart Passive Income

Designed off the back of Pat Flynn’s highly successful website Smart Passive Income. The Smart Passive Income Pro theme weaves together these essential elements. It features striking design and strategic content areas that will make your online business unforgettable.






Simply Pro

Simply Pro is a very modern theme following the design trends set by the top bloggers. With it’s simple, minimal style, your content will look amazing. Simply Pro comes packaged with customisable colours, so you can change to fit your needs.


Pretty Creative Pro

Pretty Creative is a theme for creatives. It was designed by a creative, with creatives in mind. No matter what it is that you create, the Pretty Creative theme will showcase your work in a polished way that allows your creativity to shine.



Wellness Pro

Do you focus on mindful living? Your attention to health and well-being can now extend to your website. Wellness Pro is here to offer a holistic theme solution for your Genesis-powered site.
 



There we have it. A complete collection of the very best WordPress themes – at least in my opinion. As always, I’d love to know what you think of all of these WordPress themes in the comments below. Do you have a WordPress theme that you believe should be on this list? – Let me know!

 

0

Blogging, Technology

After a short few – albeit fantastic months with the DJI Phantom 3 drone I decided to upgrade to the newly released DJI Mavic.

Around a quarter of the size and weight of it’s phantom alternative. The Mavic seemed like the obvious choice as we moved into more long term travel. However, was the decision a good one? This is a complete DJI Mavic Drone review.



I’m not going to bore you with the specifics of this drone. There’s plenty of other websites for that. Instead I’m going to talk about the basic features. From one drone novice to another. 

This drone is compact, it folds into something that can fit comfortably in your hand and it weighs around a quarter of the phantom 3. In fact it’s so small I’m able to carry it around in my 20l backpack while travelling the world.

It’s got a 4k camera on a stabilisation gimbal that allows for high quality photos and videos.  and allows for mobile phone playback.

The whole set-up and flight process is much smoother in comparison to setting up the phantom 3 (unfortunatly I have no other drone to compare it to) generally it’s much more sleek.


Unfortunatly, the battery is still not where, personally, I’d like to see it. You’re going to get around 30 minutes of flight time from one full charge. Considering I might be going somewhere specifically to fly my drone and capture some awesome shots


In fact, that would be my one and only drawback of the drone. That, and it to become smaller. Which all thing considered , it still doesn’t pack the power that the Mavic does – which in my opinion still makes it the very best drone on the market.

0

Blogging

A big part of blogging is photography. However, due to the creative commons licence you can’t just take any old image from Google and re-use it within your own content. Instead the image needs to be approved for commercial use by the owner. 



This is where stock photos come in. Stock photos are pre-approved photos that can be used without seeking the rights from the owner. Over the years stock photo websites have become more and more established. However, many of them charge a one off or monthly reoccurring fee for accessing these stock photos.

Which is why today I’ve put together this directory of 99 free stock photos websites. Regardless of your niche or topic there’s images within this list for you. Sorted alphabetically scroll through and find the best free stock photos websites for you and your audience!

123RF

A Digital Dreamer

Ancestry Images

Barior

BigFoto 
CreativeCommons.Photos 
Crow the Stone 
Dreamstime 
Epicantus 
Free Media Goo
Free Range Stock
Free Stock Image Point 
Good Free Photos 
Moveast 
Photober 
Pickupimage
Re:splashed 
Skitter Photo

CreateHer

Cupcake

Death to the Stock Photo

Foodie’s Feed

Free Stock Photos
RGBStock

Freestocks
FotoDiSpalle

Getrefe

Godot

Gratisography

IM FREE

Imagebase

Jay Mantri

Je Shoots

Kaboompics

LibreShot

Life of Pix

Little Visuals

Lock & Stock Photos

Magdeleine

Negative Space

New Old Stock

Pexels

Photo Collections

Photype 
Fancy Crave 
StockPhotos
Stocka 
Startup Stock Photos
Made In Moments
Travel Coffee Book
DesignersPics
FindA.Photo 
Albumarium 
The Light Painters Loft
RawPixel
ISO Republic
MMT
Free Nature Stock 
Stockolia
Pattern Pics

Picjumbo

Pixabay

Pond 5

RaumrotRaumrot

Snapwire Snaps

Splitshire

Stocksnap

Stokpic
Photocrops

Superfamous Studios

The Amazing Pattern Library

Tookapic Stock

Ultra HD Wallpapers

Unsplash
MorgueFile 
FreeImages 
Picography 
Public Domain Archive 
Kozzi 
EveryStockPhoto 
Openphoto
Stockvault 
Unprofound
Cepolina 
Abstract Influence 
Photo Rack 
Freepixels
Freefoto 
Image After
Free Digital Photos
Public Domain Photos
Free Historical Stock Photos
Kave Wall 
Budgetstockphoto

UPICM

WikiMedia
FreeRange
Visual Hunt

Wylio

0

Blogging

It’s all a little ironic that I’m using a plugin to review, the very plugin I’m reviewing. That said, I felt as though WP Review Pro deserved a serious mention within the topic of blogging.



However, before we get started I always like to cover the free alternative. In this case WP Review has a free version. So you can find out if the plugin is going to be right for you and your website. I tried four or five similar free plugins before finding ‘the one’.

WP Review: Free

WP review is simple in the terms of it’s aesthetically customisation options. However it includes a vast array of features that are required to create an effective review;

– Multiple rating systems including; star, percentage and points.
– Google rich snippet support to show a preview of your review in the Google search results.
– Supports short code to allow you to choose where to include the review within your page / post.

WP Review Pro: Paid

After just an hour using the free WP Review plugin I decided to upgrade to the pro version. By upgrading you’ll receive all the features from the free version as well as the following;

– Circle rating system. In addition to star, percentage and points.
– The ability to change the review width and alignment
– Enable user reviews on comments
– Animated review loading
– Premium support

While every WP Review plugin I trialled was similarly easy to use. What really works for the WP Review plugin is the aesthetically pleasing design. As well as the additional features that can really help make your review stand out from the competition.


As always, I’d suggest trialling the free version before opting to upgrade for the paid pro version (should it be necessary). That way you can be confident that this particular plugin is the right one for you and your website.

0

Amazon Reselling, Blogging, eBay Reselling, Everything Else, Everything Else, Freelancing, Selling Lego

I have a whole host of different business cards for different purposes;

One for my Lego business. It contains the online website, contact details and social media contacts. It’s great to give to customers at shows and include within our online orders.

Another for the reselling that Helen and I do together. It contains a short list of the types of items we buy along with some contact details. It’s great to hand a couple out to people we speak to at the carboot or leave some in our local post office for those cleaning out and looking for some quick cash.

We both have business cards for our blogs. To pass onto other bloggers at networking events, or to leave with PR and marketing advisors who might want to work with us on different projects.

With all that in mind, it’s a good job I’m able to design a free business card myself using Canva. When starting any business money can be tight. The last thing you want to be doing is spending money unnecessary. Using Canva to design a free business card is simple, straight forward and a great way to save yourself some cash.

An just because the designs are free don’t think they are not;

A. Professional
B. Cool and modern

Because in my opinion they’re both. Just take a look at the sample below;



Load Canva

To get started you’re going to want to load the Canva website. What I love about Canva is there’s nothing to download, patch, upgrade and install. Instead it’s there, ready to use when you need it (internet connection required)


Once you’ve loaded the website you’re going to want to sign up. You can do so using Facebook, Google or Email. It doesn’t make a difference which you choose.

Select Your Design

Once you’re logged in you’ll be shown to the ‘All your designs page’ this is where your completed designs will be stored (thanks to the cloud) for you to edit and update in the future should that be required.

What we’re concerned about is the panel at the top. Create a design. You’ll see a small selection of different options as well as the more button. Click on that and the create a design will expand.

How To Design Your Professional Business Card For Free Using Canva
In this instance we’re looking to design a free business card. Scroll down to find the marketing genre, within that you’ll see the business card option. Click on it and you should find it opens a new tab within your browser.

 


Select Your Layout

Now we’re into the design stages of the business card. Specifically the layout. Canva comes pre-installed with over 100 different business card designs. All designs are two pages (designed for double sided business cards)

You can select the layout by scrolling down on the left hand side and clicking on the design you would like to use.



How To Avoid Paid Designs

Some designs will be labelled as free. However once selected they’ll come up with a small ‘$’ icon. This is specifically due to the image used within the design. You’ll be able to note the image that is requiring payment due to the watermark.

If you simply remove that image, or change it to another image (either uploaded yourself or from Canva’s catalogue of free images) then the design will be free to download.


Customisation

Now it’s time to customise. Add images, add text. Change the font, change the size, change the colour. There’s really no limit and plenty of options to choose from. 


Download Your Design

Once you’ve finished you’ll be able to download your design. There’s a number of different download formats available including PDF and JPEG. 


The design will then remain in your account for you to change and update in the future should you wish to do so.

There we have it. You’ve just designed yourself a highly professional free business card in a matter of minutes. If you’re interested in seeing more Canva tutorials in the future or have any questions as to this tutorial leave me a comment and I’d be more than happy to help.

0

PREVIOUS POSTSPage 1 of 3NO NEW POSTS