Why Visualize Data #THURSDAYTIPS #NanoPoblano2019

What is Data Visualization? It is the visual presentation of data to inform your target audience.

These data are meant to complement the relevant information you share. They serve as proof or factual evidence to support any claims you have and to help people understand the value of the data being presented.

Image from PCMag.com

The Evolution of Visual Presentations

In the old days, these visualization tools were simple graphs, charts, tables, timelines, and maps. They were materials you could physically touch. Over time, with the arrival of better technology, we learned to make more effective presentations. They were created using computer graphics and online spreadsheets.

In the Internet age, however, visualization tools have become much more sophisticated and interactive. Various software, widgets, Application Program Interface (API), and other programs are used to make them instead.

Today’s data visualization tools include the usual but more detailed charts (bar charts, pie charts), infographics, geographic online maps, and sparklines, which are small designs for numerical and statistical information. Heatmaps are included, too, as they are snapshots that indicate two things: what catches your website visitors’ attention, and where they stay the longest in your site.

The Advantage of Newer Technology

A visualization software helps give people a better idea of your data by showing the relationships between items and the patterns and trends. They can be more detailed, able to show information that would otherwise be missed. Unnoticed details could cause unexpected problems or misinterpretations.

Meanwhile, visuals attract more attention. They help the audience to understand data. People normally get bored with dull and cold presentations. With today’s technology, we are able to maximize a material’s potential while we improve how people interpret our data.

For instance:

With the Timeline JS widget, you can show stunning, interactive timelines to impress people. But it’s not just to impress, rather, to emphasize the significance of the presented data. The timelines can have slideshow and embedabble capabilities.

ZingChart is a feature-rich API and is very interactive. It allows animation to be used in its visuals. People are attracted to visuals and they love animation. ZingChart’s JavaScript library has hundreds of chart types to choose from, which also means hundreds of ways to let your audience digest information. 

TheTableau software updates information in real-time and is great for team collaboration. It allows you to create powerful, beautiful visuals and is very easy to use with its drag and drop ability.

Now MS Excel, Google Charts and Google Sheets maybe “old”, but they are still popular. In fact, they keep up with the modern times quite well—the better to stay competitive. Try out their library of data visualization tools and see that they are not at all behind when it comes to new technology.

The Importance of Data Visualization

The question is, why get these newer tools when you can use the old ones? The problem is, it is not really advisable, especially if information may be lost using the older technology.

You like to inform. You like to write. But how do you make sure your presentation sets you apart and shows you as an authority? Today, content is king. Part of that content are data that, as said earlier, should support any relevant information you share.

 

If you want to be seen as an authority in your field, show it. Make people know you are trustworthy, competent and knowledgeable. Use effective data visualization tools. Remember, though, that being resourceful is good, but it does not necessarily make you an authority. No matter how visually striking the look, if content is lacking, you will only be wasting both your and your audience’s time.

 

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NOTE: This was written in 2018 (never published, at least, not without my consent) so the visualization tools mentioned may not be that updated. Technology changes fast.

DISCLAIMER: I am not endorsing any product, tool, or company. Any mention was just for information purposes.

5 Ways to Drive High Quality Leads #ThursdayTips #NanoPoblano2019

Are you having trouble getting quality leads? Then, you are probably doing it wrong.

There are various ways to learn how to get those leads. They will not be easy and will require more time and effort to do.

5 Ways to Drive Great Leads

Below are five ways to do it, listed in random order. They may be things you already know, but they are there for emphasis.

1. Write unique and relevant articles. Make sure you do not simply copy off from other people’s works. Make sure your topic is related to what your business is offering.

If you do not create unique and relevant articles, you will end up listed far away from the first search engine results page. That is not going to help you drive high quality leads since searchers cannot find you. Content is considered king in the search engine optimization (SEO) industry.

2. Use Google AdWords. This can help you with great campaigns. You can create banner-type display ads and text ads. Maximize the use of their Keyword Planner Tool to include keywords in your ads. The tool will help identify keywords your site is ranking for and suggest some that you may try to rank for. Forget all the others that are not helping your site rank higher in search engines.

Understand how this powerful Google product works so you can use it well to boost your business standing. It is not an easy task and the service is not free. Still, work hard on your campaigns and check performance based on the results.

3. Use reputable analytical tools like Google Analytics. Google is emphasized because it is the most popular and trusted search engine. There are other analytical tools you can use; it depends on which search engines you trust. Bing has its own tools, for example, so use it, if that is your preference.

Analytics are important especially since they are oftentimes integrated with search engines: Google Analytics is with AdWords, Bing’s SEO Analyzer is with Bing Ads. Using them gives you a bigger picture of how your site is doing, why it’s not performing well, and what the possible problem(s) could be.

4. Do both on-page and off-page optimization. Optimize well, not just on-page but off-page. If content is king, optimization could be the queen—it can get you anywhere.

On-page SEO is done directly on the site. You can optimize titles, descriptions and links. It usually involves keyword search, allowing you to include keywords in creating descriptions, for instance. Meanwhile, off-page SEO is done outside the webpage. These are ways to promote your site through social media marketing, link building (e.g. online directory submissions), article submissions that link back to you, and others.

Hiring skilled SEO specialists is highly advised.

5. Learn online marketing strategies. You will need to learn new marketing strategies to get high-quality leads. Learn inbound marketing, inbound sales marketing, even email marketing. All can help you improve your business and get great leads.

Do not handle all the marketing, though. Make sure you have people to delegate tasks to. A marketing and a sales person/team will have separate tasks while still working together—Marketing will find possible leads (based on targeted “buyer personas”), Sales will work until the leads avail of your products or services. They must have the proper training on the new marketing strategies.

Marketing is very important. It is how you are going to introduce your business and let people know what you offer. The best strategies can boost business performance.

People’s attention span is too short, so you must keep their attention. They may visit your site, become leads and possibly convert into customers. Eventually, they may become what Inbound Marketing calls “evangelists”, the ones who will promote your business by word of mouth and increase your social media reach.

6 Reasons a Vlogger is Not Popular #ThursdayTips

So you’ve decided to join the club and vlog. But it’s been months–years even!–and you’re nowhere near the famous vloggers that inspired you. You’ve been posting daily and religiously ’cause that should make people remember you, right? Yet you’re not popular. What gives?

Let’s just take me, for example. Why is it that I might never be a popular vlogger? Well, I’ve watched enough YouTube vlogs to have observed certain truths. If these are your truths, well, sticks and stones, and no offense meant.

Why I’m not Popular

1.  I am not gorgeous.

2.  I’m not famous or going around with the “in” crowd.

3.  I don’t have the right or more proper equipment.

4.  I don’t have enough resources (physical and/or financial).

5.  I am not the gimmicky type of person.

6.  I’m too shy when I need to be bold.

I only emphasized my observations. It doesn’t mean that if one is this or not that, he/she should stay that way. It depends on what he/she wants to be or accomplish, what that person decides to do and thinks he/she can do.

I have suggested alternatives or simple solutions below.

How to Be a Popular Vlogger

  1. Just be presentable.
  2. Actively engage with your audience. Interact with people. Go out sometimes.
  3. Make an effort to acquire better equipment for your purpose.
  4. Be resourceful. Find ways!
  5. Be creative. Make the effort.
  6. Believe in yourself and be confident.

I have actually shared these whys and hows in my most current vlogpost.  There, I further explained a little bit more my bases and insights, own experiences, and conclusions. Excuse some of the mildly rough edited parts.

Perseverance pays off only when you do things right. It doesn’t matter how many times you post. If you ignore the importance of relevant content to people, then people will ignore you back.

How to Make a (Boxed) Ninja Turtle Costume #ThursdayTips

I’ve actually been putting off showing this. The reason was simple: I wanted to show it on my vlog then share here. But since I still have many backlogs there on YouTube, I thought, why the heck not share it now, right? So, a bit of a background…

Our cosplay theme for Christmas 2018 was ‘boxed anime/cartoon character’. I did some digging to make sure I understood what to do. Apparently, the box or cardboard idea has its own history and it has to do with this guy –>

This was Paul M. Palgen wearing his “epic fail” costume, now known as the Cardboard Box Gundam, back in 2003 at the Anime Central (ACEN) convention. As explained in KnowYourMeme.com (because indeed, it became a popular meme after):

“Paul’s costume of Zack from Final Fantasy VII had become unusable only days before the Rosemont convention…Not wanting to attend the convention without a costume, he asked his sister what he should do. She said, ‘Nobody’s going to care. Just wear a cardboard box and say you’re a Gundam.’

And the rest is meme-worthy history! Yes, it became a thing, spawning parodies and tributes. Who would’ve thought?

Okay, history lesson done. On to my real topic.

The instruction/requirement was to make sure to use a square box to cover the trunk of the wearer’s body. Then we were free to do whatever with the whole look. For some reason, the first thing that came to my mind was to make a ninja turtle costume for myself. It must have been because of the turtle shell that gave me an idea. Besides, it was a long-time coming. I had always wanted to make one. If you don’t know or haven’t read about it yet, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles hold a special place in my heart.

See my favorite Michelangelo? That’s me.

Michelangelo is my fave TMNT and I really wanted to create  nunchuks 😉

I know, I know, the colors were not all in the same shade (I had to make do with my resources), but I did my best. In fact, I think I did a good enough job, at least.

Now, how did I make my costume? My Internet search wasn’t such a big help — some were too simple that I didn’t like them; others were too elaborate and costly for me. I don’t think I saw a boxed ninja turtle even. Therefore, I thought of 95% of this costume myself.

Below is HOW TO MAKE A (BOXED) NINJA TURTLE COSTUME…Well, my way. I am sharing this “infographic” that I shared to my friends. If the words are too small, just do a right-click, click on “View Image”, and voila! Still too small? Press CTRL then the plus (+) sign several times until the desired size.

So how did you find it? Of course, again, these are just my own ideas. There are various ways to make a TMNT costume. But if you want to use my ideas, feel free to do so. Meanwhile, I will share the how-to video once I’m actually done with it.

COWABUNGA!!!

How to Rank Better with Search Algorithms #ThursdayTips

Why is your business not searchable on search engines? Focus on Search Algorithms!

But what are search algorithms? How do they work? What should you do? Let this short video introduce you to some Google search algorithms. Find out what they do and what you can do with them to rank better and get noticed.

Again, side note: I wrote and created this video for ConnieKnows.com. So they own the video.

Any thoughts? Share them in the comments!

Just no spam, please. No comments pretending not to be spam. Guys, I see through you.

“Do I have to make every detail in fantasy fiction logical or acceptable?” #ThursdayTips

Well, I haven’t done this in a long time, so why not?quora-believable-fictionThis was where the excerpts came from: The Truth in Your Make-Believe.

Fellow fictionists, feel free to add in more tips!

 

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Sorry, I hadn’t been posting guys. There are just many things on my plate lately. But I promise to be a little more active again the next days…Toodles!

#AskGi No.1: “How do I tell my boyfriend I don’t find him attractive?…” #ThursdayTips

Welcome to my new…what do you call it…? Never mind. Welcome to Ask Gi!!! What is it? It’s stuff I get asked. Not personal, though maybe based on experience, but opinions and/or suggestions. Mainly, about LIFE!!! So I thought I’d share the more interesting or helpful ones to you. I’ve already created a page for #AskGi Column (check the menu).

I’ve been told several times I give good advice. So if you’re not shy about it, feel free to ask me something, too. Send your questions to j.gi.federizo@gmail.com, subject: “Ask Gi”. I will respect your privacy. Let me know if (1) you want things published or not, and if yes, (2) what real or code name we should call you by.

So here’s our first question. Comment below for your own reactions 🙂

Advice for the Supposed Lovelorn #ThursdayTips

Valentine’s largely become an occasion for married couples, those in a relationship (even if “It’s complicated” and all those other tags), or people simply in the courtship stage. And this has pretty much resulted in singles being shoved aside, figuratively speaking, but sometimes rudely just the same. The worse part is, oftentimes, it’s the singles who belittle themselves and feel unworthy.

This should not be so. It’s the season of LOVE!!!!! Love is everywhere of every day. Love is for everyone! And unless you’re an evil overlord or such,…

YOU ARE WORTHY OF LOVE

Stop hating on Valentine, it’s not his fault. Don’t be a killjoy just because you think Valentine’s is not for you. Perhaps it’s simply not the right time, or s/he’s not the right person, or there are just greater things in store for you. Stop sulking and keep living.

I remember this incident when two younger and prettier girls concluded that I was depressed due to a lack of romantic relationship. It was the only proof they had. In other words, singles like us (or like I was then, and they were, for that matter) were diagnosed as depressed just by knowing our pitiful status.

I never really felt depressed about the lack of significant other. I hope that if you are singles right now, you don’t either. Let me share with you the things I learned along the way (taken from my SPINSTERVILLE piece). Take these as words of wisdom from a former supposed lovelorn:

Being single is not something to be ashamed of. It is not a sin. Where in the world has that ever been written? Spinsterville is not The End of the World. More like a State of Mind. The end of the world is only for those who cannot get pass beyond what their eyes can see. They do not care that the world is round and to see it from different perspectives. They do not care to look at what is really beyond the horizon, afraid that they just might find themselves and not like what they’ll see.

Singlehood is not merely a choice you make, but the only one given you at the particular moment. Should the opportunity presents itself, however, you still have the right to not accept Choice B. Maybe not that soon, maybe never.

Love is not something you simply buy from the store wherein you go to a rack, pick one item up, then pay for it at the counter. If this is how it’s done, then you just might pay dearly…It’s about making the right choice. It’s about choosing what makes you happier, not what makes them happier.

Why hurry and jump into the frying pan just to avoid singlehood? Sometimes, you get more than you bargained for. Many times, people get into it at the first sign of false hope, only to get burned and live the rest of their lives trying to lick the wounds…In our hurry, we pick the closest fruit nearby and think that that will do. Later, we discover the worm that has been hidden all along. By then, it’s too late. What a rotten deal we put ourselves into.

Don’t join the bandwagon just so you won’t be left behind. A wedding does not assure you of a happy marriage. It is simply a declaration of the commitment you make, that you will try to achieve the happiness you crave for in the relationship.

It does not assure you of children, either, if that is your primary goal. Don’t treat your spouse like a thing that you can use for your own selfish purposes.

A soul mate is not necessarily the one you marry. S/he could be your best friend in the form of a companion, parent, child, someone of the same sex…I can go on and on. A soul mate is someone who understands you fully yet helps you become a better person and lets you return the favor. A kindred spirit, so to speak.

Do you realize that statistically, there is an uneven distribution of the sexes in the world? There are, in fact, less men than women. Let us also not forget about gender preferences…I only know that somehow, some way, the balance is tilted and that’s reality. They will not change just because you say so. We all have to look at the small details to see the bigger picture.

Singles should not think they are the only singles in the world and that they have failed in fulfilling their life’s mission. Was Jesus ever married? No. Did Mother Theresa marry? No…This just goes to show that you don’t have to be married to achieve whatever it is you are meant to achieve.

“You are all that you need.” I think, to have someone is really just icing on the cake. The cake itself is already whole, delicious and edible, its foundations already built. The icing and all others are just treats that may be enjoyed and add color. But they are not necessary. We just want them to decorate the cake, like we want them to decorate our lives.

I think singles and non-singles are both victims of society and its twisted notion of what is supposed to be right or wrong. This thinking dates back from time immemorial. It’s so much so that even when they feel happy, doubt often creeps in to kill that happiness, simply because they are not what they are not. 

So you think you are alone and has no one at all? Then, it is worse than loving blindly. I call it living blindly. Open your eyes, look around! You can never be alone unless you will it. What do they say? That “no man is an island”. Realize that many people need you.

The heart is the biggest and strongest muscle after all. It can accommodate as many as you want if you let it. Marriage is not a requirement in life. It should not be a must to be considered normal and a part of society. It is definitely not a ticket to hand over to enter the gates of Heaven.

 

Do you guys agree yet? If yes, can I give you a few more tips? These are from an interview Dr. Eamer did with me about being one of those in the NBSB (No Boyfriend Since Birth) crowd. In Part 2 of that interview, he asked for me to give a message to NBSBs (start reading that as a noun). Here they are below, translated wholly in English. I believe they are meant for all singles, not NBSBs alone…

TIPS WHILE YOU WAIT (OR NOT)

One, don’t wait. Don’t waste your time waiting. Don’t lose hope, yes, but do not make it your life-long goal or else, you might get more depressed. It will happen if it will happen. If it does not, at least find a way to be happy nevertheless. You owe it to yourself. Maybe do something that will benefit others.

Two, others can eat their opinions. If you’re just thinking of what others say or think of your situation, shove it. Are you getting into a relationship just so you can shut people up from meddling in your single life? Who do you think will suffer in times of trouble, them?

Three, don’t be desperate. Don’t settle for two-timers who are all-too willing to treat you as a fling or mistress. Where’s the dignity there? I think that would be even worse and humiliating than being an NBSB for Life.

Four, if you’re NBSB or single, it doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with you and that you’re incomplete. We just have different circumstances. You’re already complete, as an individual–people are just icing on the cake, there to add flavor into your life.

Five, be careful what you wish for.

So singles, stop trying to conform to others’ standards so that they can mold you into their likeness. Stop explaining yourself and coming up with possible reasons on why you’re still uncommitted when you’re not even sure of them yourself. Stop being defensive and picking we’re-better-than-you fights–online or otherwise–with non-singles.

Most of all, stop apologizing!

YOU ARE SINGLE BECAUSE

YOU JUST ARE.

Alright, this is my key takeaway:

“When I finally meet my Creator, He will not be looking for the ring on my finger; He will not measure my worth by how many kids I’ve brought to the world; and He will not condemn me for not saying “I do.” Instead, He will ask how I lived my life regardless of a ring; He will measure me by how many kids I’ve helped bring up as good persons; and He will ask me what I did for others unselfishly. I will not face him as a single or a married person. I will stand before my Creator as an individual. That’s what really counts.”

 

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Agree or disagree? Let us know below.

If I ever offended anybody with this, kindly let me know. It’s not any of my intentions to do so.

5 Ways to Make Use of Google AdWords #ThursdayTips

AdWords is the main advertising service that Google has been offering to the world. This means that through an online advertising platform, any business is given the opportunity to be seen around search engine results pages (SERPs). This is through paid advertisements. The main goal is be seen on the first page and be listed in the top ten results.

Considering that Google is dominating online search engines, AdWords would be a good way to invest on your own business. You could set up campaign budgets to boost rankings. You only pay when your ads get clicked on.

For a few but relevant advice, read on.

5 Ways to Use AdWords

There are various ways to use AdWords. However, those will depend on individual business needs.

Keywords play a big part in the whole system. Determine what words related to your business are usually searched for in Google. If they are similar, like “blog tips” and “blogging tips”, choose the keyword people more often type in the query box. Of course, you must work on your good content, not just depend on keywords. Keyword-dependency is how much of SEO got a bad reputation. Use SEO properly.

Below are several ways to keep in mind if you are considering using AdWords.

1. Use keywords for your site’s Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Keywords are used in SEO, which is what you do to rank well in search engines. Through AdWord’s Keyword Planner tool, you will be able to check which of your keywords are working for you and what other ones might attract more visitors. Always make sure they are closely related to what you offer.

The Planner will tell you if certain keywords get high volume search rates. It will also tell you how competitive they are. That means if hundreds of sites use the same words or phrases, do not use them. Pick high-volume, less competitive keywords. Once you have identified them, start incorporating those keywords in your site. Get an idea as well on how much each keyword will cost for a campaign.

There are other features to help you zoom in more on the relevant words while targeting locations, languages, and others.

2. Target users through Search Network

The Search Network is focused on pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, mainly known as paid search. Under the Search Network, advertisers bid against one another for keywords they can use in their ads. When a user searches for the keyword, the bid winner’s ad may show on Google. Payment to AdWords is based on the number of clicks the ad gets.

3. Target users through Display Network

Advertisers have the option to not only create text ads. They may exhibit banner-style ads as well. The Display Network is very powerful as its audience reach across the globe is practically 90%.  People are more easily drawn to images.

4. Utilize negative keywords

AdWords have what they call “broad”, “exact” and “phrase” match keywords. Take time to understand how to use them to your advantage.

There are also “negative” keywords that are quite useful. Creating your negative keywords list will help keep your ad from showing up where they shouldn’t. For instance, when users search for “clothes” but your specific products are jackets, your ads will not be shown. This will prevent anyone who is not looking for jackets from clicking on your ads. That saves you money.

5. Do AppsStore Optimization

Google has many partnerships such as with AppsStore. Still, there are currently only a few mobile app promotions in Google Play Store.

Each of these has its advantages that you can benefit from: universal app campaigns, mobile app installs campaigns, mobile app engagement campaigns. People have increasingly become mobile-dependent, so optimize for these.

 

There is more to Google AdWords that would be very useful when you start to advertise and market your site. AdWords sounds easy, but it is not. The success of your business does not depend on AdWords alone. Rather, it’s in how you make your decisions and do your best for each campaign.