Week 2 Progress

Well, Week 2 of Partnership to Success has been all about starting to improve the blog. Under John’s guidance I have installed a new theme specifically designed to make all Internet Marketing processes easier, together with some appropriate plug-ins. Since these are all activities I am already familiar with I could say that I have now completed Week 2 BUT…….. under my self-imposed constraint of following the course completely, step-by-step, I will not proceed to Week 3 until I am completely happy with my blog banner.

The recommended way to obtain a professional, attractive and effective banner is to get a graphics professional to design it for you. I fully intend to do this in due course but for now budget constraints meant that I needed to find an interim alternative.

I’ve always been one of those do it yourself sort of guys – not that I haven’t been able to delegate throughout my career where I’ve had resources to delegate to! – so my first impulse was to find some software that I could design my own banner with.

With very little research I soon found GIMP – open source software that is free to download and use. Within a couple of hours using an image from my own personal library I came up with this:-

temporary banner

My Very First Attempt!!!

At the time of writing I have this image installed as my header pending the realisation of something better!! I have found an alternative image which could be the basis of my next attempt should I decide to continue down that route, but bearing in mind considerations of professionalism and budget I followed a recommendation from another of my “gurus” and took a look at the Fiverr website – basically an online marketplace for freelancers to offer their services and buyers to buy them, often at extremely attractive rates.

Now this is a word of caution. It is extremely easy to get side tracked as you wend your way through the welter of offers and opportunities that are daily; hourly; almost every second sent your way when you are involved in this business. Bearing that in mind, do you think I found a professional to create my banner for me within current budget? DID I HECK AS LIKE!!!

However, this was not because there was nobody suitable. It’s because I got sidetracked and haven’t even checked them out yet!! Now in this particular instance I am not overly concerned about the sidetracking because I believe the outcome fits well with my current strategy to replace the day job income and open up my options for the rest of my working life and retirement. Unusually, it seems, for an engineer I have always been very literate! I say unusually because for the vast majority of my esteemed colleagues in my engineering career writing, particularly spelling, could be a challenge. However, probably due to my fanaticism for reading particularly as a child (as a 6 year old primary school pupil I had a reading age of 21 years) I have always found it easy to spot the sort of errors often creep in to many writers’ outputs.

So, when I went on to the Fiverr site and immediately spotted the huge numbers of members offering proofreading services it struck a chord. When I checked out a few accounts and saw the number of “gigs” (their word for contracts) being performed I decided that a slice of that pie would do very nicely for me thank you. To cut a long story short  I now have my own Fiverr account and am offering my own proofreading gig – still awaiting approval at the time of writing, but who knows where it could lead.

OK, so is it a bad thing to allow oneself to get sidetracked? In this particular instance I believe that for me it was not a bad thing.

  • Opening an account has increased my online presence, and given me a tangible site to link to thus improving the search engines’ interest in me and my businesses
  • It has opened up another potential income stream – it is vital in Internet Marketing not to have all your eggs in one basket
  • I retain full control of my time since I only take as much or as little work as I need from gigs offered
  • It has potential for immediate income generation – something else to keep the wolf from the door whilst I continue to develop the other strands and income streams of my online businesses
  • There is an incredible range of skills in the Fiverr marketplace potentially allowing me to sell other skills I have or can learn should I wish. Just a thought – maybe I will even end up creating banners and logos for others – LOL

OK – possibly more about Fiverr later. Definitely more about the rest of Week 2 of my mentoring programme in the next post……………stay tuned folks!


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