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Taking A “Break” From Work

By Cheval John

I normally would have a post today.

However, I decided to take a break to attend a major league baseball matchup for the first time this year.

I could have put together a fast post regarding social media.

I choose not to do the above because I wanted to be as detail as possible on providing value to you and also be consistent in publishing the blog post.

Later this week, you will see a quality post about how the Houston Texans Cheerleaders are dominating the NFL with social media and what we can learn from them as business professionals.

As for right now, I will enjoy this baseball matchup and see how the sport applies to businesses across the world.

Is Blogging Still Worth It?

By Cheval John

May 24th, 2017

You might be wondering if it’s worth it to have a blog after seeing these stats

There are over a billion websites in the world- Internet Live Stats

About 2.7 million blog posts are published everyday-Hosting Facts.com

The answer is yes because your blog is the home base for your website

Here are more stats about blogs:

Websites with a blog have tend to have 434% more indexed pages-Impact

43% of marketers who work for business to business tells everyone that blogging is very important for their companies-Social Media Examiner

81% of businesses consider their blogs to be an important asset to their businesses.-Search Engine Journal

Out of the millions and millions of blogs, the top hosting sites for blogs are Tumblir and WordPress (WP).

Though Tumblir host 175 million blogs, I am honestly not a fan of the platform.

WP hosts 75.8 million blogs in the world.

You might not know that WordPress has two different platforms for blogs.

There is WordPress.com, the free hosting site, and WordPress.org, the self-hosting software.

Before we get into the details of WordPress.com and WordPress.org, I want to chat about another hosting site that emerged over the last few years: Medium.

Medium was created in 2012 by Evan Williams, one of the co-founders of Twitter.

The vision for Medium was to create long form content in the manner people could express themselves more since Twitter has a 140 character limit.

People who creates an account on Medium via Twitter or Facebook will automatically increase their audience depending on the number of followers on either platform.

For example, Rachel Rofe, who is the author of 50 plus books, created her Twitter account in 2007 and built a strong community.

When Rachel started using Medium in 2014, almost 1/3 of her Twitter audience “followed” her to the blogging platform

This is an advantage for those who are looking to start blogging for the first time.

And you also keep the blog content according to the people at Medium.

With the above being said, here are the difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org.

Pros of WordPress.com:

It is free

You can interact with fellow bloggers on the platform and build a community

Your blog could be discovered

Cons of WordPress.com:

You have limited features which can hinder you from expanding your blog

Pros of WordPress.org

You have access to the plugins which can improve your website

You can design the website which fits your business

The website is yours forever

Cons of WordPress.org

You have to pay a hosting company to run your website

In reality, it is not a con because they are hosting companies which are compatible with WordPress.org and are very affordable for small businesses.

The two hosting companies I highly recommend for hosting your website using WordPress.org are
Blue Host and Host Gator.

(Disclaimer: I use host gator for my business blog and I am not getting a commission at all.)

If you have to choose between wordpress.com and wordpress.org if you are planning to start a blog, I would select the latter.

When you built an audience over the years using wordpress.com and you want to switch to a self-hosted site using wordpress.org, you will end up “losing” the total number of views for your blog.

It will also cost you between $129-$200 to transfer your content from wordpress.com to wordpress.org.

I started this blog on wordpress.com in 2011 while simultaneously blogging for the collegiate newspaper and myself during my time in graduate school.

When I was placed on probation from graduate school, I decided to buy the domain name and upgrade the blog to vallanomedia.com using wordpress.com in January of 2012.

A couple days later, I formed the company as an llc and continued to blog about sports, travel and current events.

After looking at articles from experts like Nathalie Lussier regarding blogging platforms, I knew I had to switch my site over to wordpress.org.

So on October 1, 2012, I paid around $140 to switch my blog over to wordpress.org.

I had no idea at the time I was going to “lose” over 3,900 total viewership I built before switching from wordpress.com.

In conclusion, I want to add having a blog is important because it is your main real estate.

The social media platforms are just rented land.

If you want to build your business via blogging, you must do your research on which platform is right for you.

Here is a quote from Sonia Gregory, Owner and Creative Director of FreshSparks, which sums up the importance of having a blog:

“A blog is an opportunity to shake hands and introduce yourself. You can gain a reader’s trust through quality content.”

Are you planning on starting a blog? You can leave your comments below.

Does Not Hurt To Be Wrong

By Cheval John

I don’t have any posts this week about social media or live streaming.

However, I will chat about something else many people are afraid of.

Being wrong.

What I mean is many of us always want to be right.

We see a lot of predictions of where social media is going in the next couple of years.

Or which social media platform will be around.

Some thought that Vine would be around for a while because they were one of the first to jump start the live streaming revolution.

We even thought that Facebook was going to be a second class social media platform because they implemented their program to where you pay in order to boost your post.

Look at facebook now as they are continuing to dominate the social media scene especially with live video.

This leads to what I am chatting about in being wrong with predictions.

I made predictions over the years that turned out to be wrong.

People made fun of me for my wrong predictions that they called it the “Chevy Curse”

I keep on making some predictions surrounding a sporting event because sometimes they come to pass.

In this case, I have made a bet on myself on being a full time entrepreneur.

I am believing that things will be well with the business because I have learned a lot of valuable lessons along the way.

I understand that there is no such thing as over night success in building a business.

Yet many want to believe that when they start a business they will become profitable or even rich quickly.

The above will happen only if they experienced failure in their first business and learned valuable lessons.

Some might call us insane because we have not seen money rolling in despite years of hard work.

They will tell us to get a real work at a company.

They are the same ones who are miserable working at a 9-5 corporation.

I will tell that I am not afraid to be wrong in believing that my business will succeed because I know I am trying something new in being an entrepreneur.

I faced a situation when I started college late and wondered if I will ever graduate.

I worked hard in order to attain my college degrees from Lone Star College and Sam Houston State University.

That same tenacity will propel me towards achieving profitability this year which will take my business to the next level.

Even if people tell me I am crazy, I will continue to air my podcast every Tuesday, publish my blog on Wednesdays and participate in Twitter chats despite not seeing the positive results yet.

I rather be insane in doing the above than waste time in work that does not fulfill my destiny as a business owner.

Do you agree or disagree with this post? You can leave your comments below.

What Is Stopping You From Live Streaming?

By Cheval John

May 10th, 2017

Social media is a mechanism for business owners and companies to connect with their potential audience.

Many see it as a platform for free advertising.

So they self-promote their events or services hoping people will buy from them.

While others place all of their focus on building their business on the different social media platforms.

They don’t understand that the different social media platforms belongs to the owners who created them.

When they put all of their eggs in one basket (in this case, a social media platform), they end up losing their client base in the long run.

That’s why many scrambled to regain their audience when vine shutdown earlier this year.

Another example is when Facebook changed their algorithms which decreased the organic views of each post a couple of years ago.

Business owners now have to pay for facebook ads in order to regain the audience and make money.

I am not an expert on boosted posts on facebook, which I did try out their ads on my business page and got some likes from people I did not know pertaining to my previous articles here.

What I do know is that live streaming is an important avenue for businesses to get their message out to a prospective customer.

Facebook entered the live streaming matchup in 2015 when they allowed celebrities and public figures access to this new video on demand as a test run to see if live streaming would work for them.

When they saw the positive results of live streaming, they decided to allow everyone to have access to facebook live in early 2016.

YouTube was ahead of the video revolution when the platform was created in 2005.

The platform allowed anyone to upload videos of their cats surfing, cover songs of famous artists, even their reaction to a home run at a baseball matchup, or highlights from a collegiate softball game.

YouTube decided to enter the live stream market between 2015 and 2017 and allow anyone to showcase a news program or sporting events that is occurring.

I found out about the Canadian Women’s Hockey League (CWHL) when they live streamed the playoffs on their YouTube channel.

The CWHL has been around for 10 years and it took a live streaming show to discover talented women who are professional hockey players.

You might be wondering which one of the platforms is right for you if you are considering live streaming for business.

Here are a few things to consider when choosing between Facebook Live and YouTube

Facebook:

This platform has 1.9 billion users

You can broadcast your live streams to your friends, family, group page and fans who liked your business page, respectively

The live videos is very personable

You can live stream from your mobile phones

A person can now broadcast their live streams from their own computer

YouTube:

The social media service has over a 1 billion users

It is the largest video website in the world

Google, the world largest search engine website, owns YouTube

You can become an “expert” over time with educational videos which solves a pain point for your audience

So you have seen the difference between Facebook Live and YouTube.

Both facebook and youtube are working on allowing two or more people to live stream at the same time.

Here are some video platforms that will allow multiple people to simulcast to facebook live or youtube from your computer

Blue Jeans Network:

Their on social platform allows you to simulcast to facebook live

Zoom:

Allows you to simulcast to either Facebook Live or YouTube.

A side note: You would have to buy their Pro plan at $14.99 a month before you can upgrade to the webinar platform for $40 more.

Crowdcast.io

This live video service recently launched the multi-stream software that allows you to simulcast to either facebook live, youtube or periscope.

You would have to put in the API key in order to simulcast to either platforms

Wirecast

This is a live streaming software of telestream which allows you to simulcast to facebook live, periscope and even youtube

Now you have seen the options which can help you to live stream for your business.

The only question is:

“What is stopping you from live streaming?”

You can leave your comment below.

Your Job Security Is Creating Work For Yourself

By Cheval John

When ESPN laid off 100 on-air talent and journalist a couple days ago, people had to wonder if there are safe in their work.

One could argue ESPN is doing what any business needs to do in order to save their network.

Which ever side you choose, one thing is certain: no one is safe at their work anymore.

This is a wake up call to people that they need to build their network and communities on social media.

As for the ones who still employed with ESPN are under tremendous pressure to raise the bar in their programming in order to help the network get back their subscribers.

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of ESPN, John Skipper, understands they must focus their efforts on digital because most of the audience are consuming shows, news, sporting events and entertainment on mobile devices.

“Our objective in all we do is to best serve fans and their changing consumption habits while still maintaining an unparalleled and diverse talent roster that resonates with fans across all our platforms, Skipper said in a statement. “We will continue to foster creativity and investment in the products and resources necessary to embrace the opportunities that lie ahead.”

So how can ESPN overcome their disastrous loss of subscribers in order to restore their status as the “worldwide leader in sports?”

1. They need to listen to what their audience wants

Most of the audience wants sports reporting and less noise.

2. They need to return to their roots of what made them a unique brand.

When they started out in 1979, ESPN showed sports programming that led to them being known as the worldwide leader in sports.

Now most of the shows are all talk radio and debate shows that is only fueling the noise.

3. They need to be more innovative.

As I mentioned before, most consumers are now watching their news and sports on mobile devices.

They are also watching shows on YouTube and Facebook Live that are interested to them.

So ESPN can do this one thing below:

Have a once a week question and answer on Facebook Live with their CEO interacting with their fans

This will encourage their employees to do the same.

I mean, the employees are the ones who are replaceable in the first place.

So if they are allowed to build their personal brand, they will be prepared whenever they receive the notice of losing their work.

We shall see if ESPN can reinvent themselves and rise from the ashes in the near future.

As for everyone else that is reading this post, your job security is creating work for yourself as an entrepreneur.