Businesses providing goods and services have always used the written word in one way or another to promote their offers to existing and potential customers. They might have taken out advertisements in local newspapers or magazines for their niche. One tractor company produced a farming magazine  to attract customers. Radio soap operas were also used to promote goods to housewives.  Posters and leaflets were a big part of the marketing mix and often distributed in community venues from churches, to GP surgeries to supermarkets.

In the digital age, content marketing is essential to succeed in the business world and the better your content the more word of mouth you create leading to new customers. It can be very daunting though with terms flying around that you don’t quite understand such as the Google Algorithm. There is a whole range of types of content too such as tweets, Facebook and blog posts, YouTube videos, downloadable white papers, email newsletters, webinars and website articles. It can be a lot for a business owner to get their head around whether they are pushing products, a service or indeed a blog. You can always outsource this work and take on an expert such as Content Mother to help with content, blogging and outreach.

I am sharing some content marketing tips to give you a head start.

Identifying your audience/s

Content marketing needs to be thought about and not rushed into. The first step is to identify who you want to read your content and to engage with your business. If  you can produce content that tackles a burning issue or pain point they have in their lives, you are one step away from new customers. If you keep solving their problems over and over again, they will grow to know, trust and like you. Not only does that make them more likely to buy your products and services but it also encourages them to tell other people about what you do. These new people become readers and potential customers and so the momentum builds for your business fuelled by great content marketing. Listen to your team members and perhaps hold a brainstorming session to really pin down the burning issues and pain points for your customers and potential customers. For some businesses, making customers laugh or keeping them entertained can also pay dividends – it’s not all about the pain points although you could argue that we access entertainment to escape the pain points in our lives so it all ties in nicely.

What do you want your readers to do?

When producing content you should keep in mind what you want your reader to do having read what you have to say. Do you want them to give you feedback, buy a product, take up a service or something else entirely. You may even be wanting someone to fund or invest in your company. It is good to monitor results of different content pieces and to have set a target or benchmark as to what you would like to see each one produce in terms of page views, clicks on links, leads and social media shares.

Who is going to write the content?

Not everyone is a natural writer and even good writers are not necessarily wonderful at writing marketing materials. Who in your business has the skills you need? Can you access some training for yourself or a member of your team? You will need to learn about search engine optimisations and work out your focus keywords. If you are not used to content marketing, you can learn relatively quickly and that is better than just producing content with no real purpose and not backed up by effective search engine optimisation.

What are the benefits of content marketing?

If all this sounds like an awful lot of time and effort you will need to be convinced of the benefits of content marketing at best. It is all about finding your prospective customers, converting them into customers, retaining them as customers and then seeing them go out and about in the world on and offline shouting to the rafters about your amazing products and services.

In conclusion, great content marketing can bring huge traffic to your website and blog posts and convert into wonderful engaged customers that buy time and time again. If you don’t know what you are doing you can access training or take on a consultant who is already skilled in this field. Remember also that one good bit of content can be repurposed so a blog post could become a vlog and a podcast. That’s just one example of how creative we can be with content marketing.

I try to be nice. It is how I was brought up and I am pleased about that. I try to support friends and family members. I have started to wonder recently if it is possible to be too nice. Is it ever OK to say that something is not good enough? I am not sure it is yet so as ever I use my blog as my sanctuary to get some feelings out.

Here are some things that I think are not good enough in my life.

Saying it is just the way you are

This is such a convenient get out clause for bad behaviour. People can  change so if you behave badly and hurt someone it is not OK to say that it is just the way you are. Or rather perhaps I can say that if that is the way you are I am not sure I want to be around you.

Not communicating information that I need to know

Sometimes I have lots of things to juggle so if there is information I need to know for my own financial and emotional wellbeing, please share it. I find I handle things better when I have information even if it is unwelcome information or means hard times are ahead.

Telling lies

My late mother always said she could handle anything except lies and I think I am the same. Don’t tell me you did not set up profiles on websites if you did. Don’t say you were not somewhere when you were. Don’t tell me time and distance prevented my brother seeing myself and my children when that is so clearly not true as that same (now dead) brother found time to travel the world during the very time he chose not to see me or my children. That’s fine by me but don’t abuse my intelligence by saying it was otherwise please.

Don’t claim to be a friend if the reality is you don’t want to see me again

Friends see each other perhaps not often but sometimes. Or that’s my definition of friendship anyway. There are so many people I would love to see again and through Facebook and so on you really start to think they would be the same but find out actually you just don’t matter to them that much. And that’s a shame. You will keep some because you love them anyway of course but friendship to me means sharing and ideally making new memories together.

So what is this post about? Perhaps I am moving on to a new place in my life where certain people are making me feel so very good about myself. Now I am less isolated, perhaps I am choosing to put up with less poor behaviours.  It seems I can have positive people in my world even if family members and old friends are not around for me.

Perhaps I am just entering a new chapter. A time when I look after myself more and focus on those who actually want to treat me well. Perhaps it is about time.

Is it ever OK to say something is not good enough? I guess the truth is we have to set our own standards of what is and what is not good enough. In fact it is all about being honest about that, communicating it and being a good friend to ourselves.

Don’t like what I have written? Oh sorry – it is just the way I am!

Cuddle Fairy
Run Jump Scrap
The Pramshed
Post Comment Love

I want to write about the reasons I struggle with home education because it will stop the thoughts and feelings whirring in my head so much. I  am not against home education but I really struggle on almost a daily basis so I want to share the reasons why that is the case.

It wasn’t my choice

I am freedom-loving by nature and I did not choose home education as such. It chose me when my daughter was bullied by pupils and her Head Teacher. I was interested in home educating when I became a mother but my husband ruled it out so I went down the traditional route placing my children in schools. When my daughter was threatening self-harm that had to change and quickly in her case and her brother did not feel he should go to school if she did not. Perhaps I gave in too easily in his case but it was a very stressful time. That’s just the first reason I struggle with home education.

I have a lot on

The truth is that the bulk of housework falls on my shoulders. I try so hard to keep the house clean and tidy but with dogs in particular and children too that can be challenging. I seem to go from room to room spotting dirty surfaces, floors that need sweeping/steaming, toilets that need flushing/cleaning and so on. It is endless and soul-destroying.

I am also not in the privileged position of having a husband on a great wage so I need to make money. I have the flexibility of freelancing  but also the pressure of constantly having to find work which has been in short supply recently.

I do think it is important that there is something of me left in the mix too to avoid collapsing into depression so I am taking more time out to read, listen to music and so on.

My children have different learning styles

I think I could do OK if I was home-educating just one child but I have two on this journey and they have very different needs and learning styles. My daughter is like me, able to decide what her passions are and to pursue them with impressive focus. She is quite self-sufficient but I worry that she is doing things she likes rather than covering all the things that would be covered in a school environment. My son has passions too but would spend all his time gaming if I let him. He likes to learn with me cuddled up doing work-sheets or whatever. I struggle with home education because I do not know how to balance their needs.

I don’t know what I am doing

I don’t have teaching qualifications. I am relatively bright and I had a good education but how does this equip me to teach my children adequately? I veer between being convinced of different schools of thought regarding home education anything from leave them to their own devices and see what emerges through to a focus on the National Curriculum. Then I get myself in a tizz wondering why we need to know the stuff in the National Curriculum most of which seems fairly irrelevant to life skills and jobs except in the most specialist areas. Then I convince myself I am neglecting my children by taking them out of school in the first place. Then I start envying parents  who send their children to school or even put them in boarding school so they can leave it to the perceived experts and not have to worry too much. I don’t know what is the right or wrong thing to do or even if such things exist.

I get very little help

As with so many areas of life, I get very little help from my husband who initially said he would take on the  maths and science teaching. In three years or so that has equated to two kitchen science experiments and a few maths worksheets. I am a baby I suppose but I just feel like screaming and do sometimes “It’s not fair!”

Don’t get me wrong! I do think home education has loads to offer and I see other parents carrying it off with aplomb. It can be magical and I want it to be for us but I am in the mix so perhaps that is impossible.

Well, I am glad I got that off my chest and will be sharing wobbles from other home education parents soon.

5 Reasons I Struggle With Home Education

 

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Cuddle Fairy

Mum Muddling Through
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Twin Mummy and Daddy

Contesting or challenging a will is not an easy process and it can be difficult to even just get the process started. Of all wills passed through, 99% of them do so without any issues and in a court of law, a will is seen to be the voice of the person who left the will as they are no longer physically here to speak about their wishes. For this reason, courts tend to stick very stringently to wills, however, there is still room to content one if you feel that you have a valid legal case for doing so. Usually, a spouse is the most successful when it comes to challenging a will and it also tends to be that cases of testamentary capacity or a person being unduly influenced are the most successful in court.

It is important that you seek the best legal advice that you can in these situations. You can find solicitors by visiting the website the-inheritance-experts.co.uk – they have UK wide solicitors who offer fixed fees. You can claim a free initial consultation on their website and information on how they can help you contest a will.

If you are successful in challenging a will, you can void it in its entirety or just part of it, depending on what your claim is. If the whole will is voided, then it is up to the courts to distribute the assets in the will as if it never existed. When distributing the will, it will be guided by family relationships and intestacy laws.

In this article, we will be outlining the grounds that you can use to contest a will if you have found yourself in this situation.

 

Testamentary Capacity

All adults are presumed to have testamentary capacity and under the law you have to be 18 years or older to create a will. Minors cannot make a will as they are deemed not to have the testamentary capacity needed to create a will. They also need to pass the 1870 Banks v Goodfellow model to show that they are of good mind to create a will.

In some cases, there can be claims made against a will to challenge the adult’s testamentary capacity and this normally comes under the adult having an illness such as dementia. Other claims that can be made under the ground is that the adult making the will did so when under the influence of a substance or that they somehow lacked the mental capacity to create a will. If you want to try and challenge a will based on mental capacity then you have to show the testator that they did not know what the consequences of creating the will would be at that time. The person creating the will also has to know the extent and value of the property, who they must provide for and who will benefit from the will that they have created, what a will means, the disposition that they are making and how all of these elements relate to form a distribution of property.

If you think that your family member or loved one did not have the above when creating the will then you can challenge it on the grounds of testamentary capacity. If you are using this reason then you will be obliged to provide evidence that they were mentally incapable of creating a will at the time when they did and this has to be by experts through medical or psychiatric assessments. Medical records play a large role here in being used as evidence and also anyone who was in contact with this person when they made the will as they will be able to testify as to whether or not they were of sound mind.

 

Fraud or Forgery of a Will

Of course, the most obvious reason as to why you would contest a will in an inheritance dispute is if you think that the will has been forged or it is a fraud. This could also mean that the signature on the will has been forged. However, this type of case when contesting a will can usually be very difficult to prove and it can also be very costly.

 

No Valid Execution

Another way in which you can contest a will is because of a lack of execution. This simply means that you do not think that the will has been correctly executed. Wills must be compliment with the Will Acts 1837 section 9 and as part of this, any will that is thought to have a lack of valid execution can be contested against. Here are some of the reasons in which a will may not have been properly executed.

  • The will has to be in writing and it has to be signed by the testator too. It can also be signed by another person but in the presence of the testator.
  • The will has to look as though the testator intended with their signature to make the will valid.
  • This signature has to acknowledge by at least two witnesses who are present at the same time.
  • Both witnesses have to sign the will and acknowledge the signature in front of the testator.
  • A will that has been validly executed is then seen to be legal in the eyes of the law and you must have evidence to contradict this if you feel there was a lack of valid execution.

 

Undue Influence

Another key reason why many people have a case to contest a will is because they feel there has been an undue influence. When you demonstrate undue influence, this simply means that there has been some sort of manipulation, coercion, intimidation or deception involved by another person to put pressure on the person who is making the will. This could be physical violence, confinement or deception that is classed as undue influence. It is important to note here that emotional pleas are not considered to be undue influence. This can include complaining about your financial affairs, reminding someone of all the times you have helped them or letting them know how much you are struggling. While this emotional influence can be seen to be morally questionable, it is still perfectly legitimate in a court of law.

 

Lack of Knowledge and Approval

If you are looking to contest a will, you may be able to do so if you can give evidence that there was a lack of knowledge and approval in creating the will. When someone is making a will, they have to be aware of what exactly it is that they are signing and they must also have the knowledge of its contents to be able to approve it. This could be because they are blind, illiterate, deaf, unable to write, unable to speak or they are paralysed. If the testator falls under one of these then it has to be proven that they knew and understood the content of their will.

 

Rectification Claims

A clerical error or a type can also be a reason to contest a will. Furthermore, if the person preparing the will hasn’t understood their instructions, then this can mean that they will can be contested. You can apply for this to be changed, however, again there has to be clear evidence that of an obvious failure to understand clear instructions.

Finding the perfect prom dress can seem like a huge challenge but I like to think of it as a whole lot of fun. Proms are increasingly popular and a time to make lasting memories. Some of those memories can be made as you anticipate the night itself and choose your perfect prom dress. Here are my tips to find a prom dress to suit you before your big day.

Prom Dress

Take your time

Don’t leave choosing your prom dress until the last minute. I have made mistakes like this including with my wedding dress and it leads to stress particularly if your dress will need altering at all.

Even months before the prom you can have so much fun looking at fashion magazines, fashion sites on the Internet and perhaps you will take your inspiration from the Oscars or other red carpet events.

Decide on a budget for the prom dress and remember to factor in things like handbags and accessories.

Your face and body shapes

Study the shape of your face as this can be helpful in deciding what sort of neckline to go for and there are many choices including sweetheart, cowl and Sabrina. Perhaps you are inspired by Meghan Markle’s bateau neckline from her wedding dress?

Next be honest about your body shape and look online to find out the dress shapes that will flatter your figure most.  You can study all the tips on this online making it so much easier than in the old days when you just had to go with your gut instinct really.

Material, length and colour choices

What material would you like? I love chiffon and silk but your thing might be velvet or lace.

Colour is another thing to choose. Black is a classic choice and can be jazzed up with  jewellery. White is another traditional favourite but can look too bridal if you don’t take care. I like to wear bright and light colours because I have had my colour analysis done and know these show me at my best. I would highly recommend you have your colour analysis done before selecting your prom dress.

What about the length? Too long and you might trip up and too short and you may spend the whole evening tugging your skirt down or flashing more thigh than you intended.

Think positive

Try to focus on your good bits. Women and girls have a very self-sabotaging habit of worrying about the parts of their body they like least. Bear in mind someone else might find the feature you hate your most attractive feature. Also everyone can find something they love about themselves. So if you don’t like your tummy area but feel you have great legs, choose a dress that will show off those pins and skim over the tummy area. Even better learn to love yourself inside and out 100 per cent but sadly that takes some of us a bit of time to master. Know the celebrities that you think are all that also have their insecurities.

The last words

Go forth and enjoy your evening and remember the best make-up is a smile!

What is your favourite style of prom dress?

Finding The Perfect Prom Dress

 

 

 

 

Cuddle Fairy
My Random Musings