Stuck creating content?



Stuck creating content


Maybe now it is time to create some new solid content. If you are stuck, all is not lost. Here is a process to help demystify the task. Either way don’t wait, after all content is king.


So how do we begin to create content from a blank page? This is my simple approach!


Absolutely first of all, have in mind your key 3-4 key search phrases that you want to use to optimise your overall site. If you have these in mind or written down, they will naturally appear in your content and this is what Google wants to see.


1 Plan the content you are going to make. I find it difficult to pull content from thin air. But if I plan what I’m going to say on 4-5 pages, I know what I need to generate.


2 Ask yourself a question. Let’s say you have planned pages called About Us and Services. Start by asking yourself a question as if a client has rung you on the phone. Questions such as ‘how do you guys operate and what territory do your team cover?’, ‘What services do you provide and what size businesses do you generally work with?’.


3 Once you have asked these normal everyday questions, simply answer them! You could answer these naturally if someone were to phone you, so write that answer down. Turn the questions into sub headings – ‘Territory we cover’. Writing in your own personal manner can be really appropriate for content on websites for small and medium size businesses. This depends on a little on your industry. Mostly we don’t all have to write content trying to sound like some high flying marketing corporation. At the end of the day, it’s about good, useful information for your clients. Here are some additional tips to keep in mind while creating content.


*  Write for the customer personally

*  Keep paragraphs short, 3-4 lines

*  Use Sub Headings

*  Write short sentences

*  Keep your keywords and search phrases in mind

*  Add little bits of content regularly over time and Google will love you!





Resize images the easy way in 2012


Resize images the easy way in 2012This is by far the best little image resize program I’ve ever come across! I highly recommend you download it, and learn some of it’s features. It is really easy to get started.


First of all go to and click on the green button “Download Free Now”.


For a really quick getting started, watch this 30 second video on YouTube –


I really like the fact you can right click on an image in your File Explorer and select Light Image Resizer from there. Or you can open it as a program and open files in it.


The first part is simple. Either click to open image files, or select a whole folder with images in it.
Image resize


Next click the Options tab or the Next button. There are a lot of options here. And a few more on the Effects, Misc and Publish tabs. But you don’t need to look at these if you don’t want. Simple select from the first drop down box a profile. So for instance to simply resize some images to upload to your website through the editing tool, you might select the 800×600 Profile. This will knock your photos back to something that will upload easily without timing out.


You could just hit the Process button now and you are done!


For the more adventurous, here are some cool features….
Note you can hit the Preview button at the top right at any time to see what the results will be!

Image resize


* Click on the New Profile button before playing around with the settings (You don’t want to overwrite one of the standard ones like I did!).


* Put in a custom width and/or height. This is great if you are resizing images for eCommerce products.


* Experiment with the Mode. Center and Crop can have interesting results. Make sure you use the Preview button at the top to see what the result will be.

Image resize


* Under effects you can even import a watermark and set the transparency and position.


* Filename Mask is an interesting one. With the popup help you can create a name template for the final filename of the new image files. Something like %F_%W will rename the new image files with the original file name and the new width. So you might end up with something like surefire-logo_250.jpg.


* Action will usually be to make new copies.


* Destination can be the original folder, or create a new one.


It is worth spending a few minutes getting your head around this program, so choose some images that don’t matter too much and give it a go!



How to take a screen shot, PC and Mac


You’ve heard people say it, you may have seen them do it… but how DO you take a screen shot? It is incredibly handy!


PC Windows


Okay so on a PC in Windows you can take a screen shot of the whole screen of your computer by simply pressing the “PrtSc” button on your keyboard. It stands for ‘Print Screen’!
Then open something like a Microsoft Word document or a new email, or a drawing program of some type. Right click and select ‘Paste’ or use “Ctrl V” whichever you prefer.


Sometimes you don’t want a screen shot of the entire computer screen. It can be very handy to just capture the current window.


So make sure the window you want to capture is clicked on and then holding down the “Alt” button on your keyboard, tap the “PrtSc” button (then release the “Alt” button). Then just like above, open something like a Microsoft Word document or a new email, or a drawing program of some type. Right click and select ‘Paste’ or use “Ctrl V” whichever you prefer. Just that window will be pasted!


Microsoft OneNote


If you have Microsoft Office and use the OneNote application, it has a really nice capture built into it called screen clippings. This runs all the time and for MS OneNote 2010 can be used in the following way-


Just hold down the “windows” button on your keyboard (that’s the one with the windows flag on it that you’ve never used before!), and tap the “S” key. Very cool!


Apple Mac


With Apple Macs it is a case of using a program called Preview, or trying the following commands.


Command-Shift-3: Take a screenshot of the screen, and save it as a file on the desktop
Command-Shift-4, then select an area: Take a screenshot of an area and save it as a file on the desktop
Command-Shift-4, then space, then click a window: Take a screenshot of a window and save it as a file on the desktop
Command-Control-Shift-3: Take a screenshot of the screen, and save it to the clipboard
Command-Control-Shift-4, then select an area: Take a screenshot of an area and save it to the clipboard
Command-Control-Shift-4, then space, then click a window: Take a screenshot of a window and save it to the clipboard


Then open something like a new email, or a drawing program of some type. Select ‘Paste’ to insert.



Paste With Care – 3 simple rules


Paste With Care - 3 simple rulesThink back to when we did training. The second most important thing you will have been told is – paste as plain text.


We all know online editors have some quirks. But the most significant is to do with pasting content.


The issues lay with what you can’t see. When you select and copy content from another source like a website or Microsoft Word, other hidden information comes with it.


In particular if you select and copy from MS Word, you also get lots and lots of hidden Microsoft tags and code. You can’t see it, but it will break your page and make your content look terrible, or impossible to format and edit.


Not to worry though! You can still copy content from elsewhere. The key is to use the following process.


1 Copy content from source
2 In your website admin put the cursor where you want the content.
3 DO NOT right click paste, or hit ctrl V! Instead press the paste as plain text button on the editor toolbar.
4 You may want to go and delete the lines between paragraphs, and replace them by hitting Enter. This makes them proper paragraphs so you can format headings.


It isn’t really complicated, but definitely is a discipline when you are used to using quick shortcuts for pasting.
NOTE you CAN copy and paste content within your own site. Either within the editor, or from your live site.


To see the process in detail watch the following Surefire Help Videos-

Part 1: Paste as plain text from another source
Part 2: Preparing pasted content for formatting
Part 3: Formatting text content



Step by step insert video into your website!


Step by step insert video into your website!Putting a YouTube video into a page on your website using the Surefire Design content management system isn’t particularly difficult, but you need to take a little care…


Sign up for a free YouTube account at, and follow their instructions to upload your clip.


Then browse to your clip in YouTube. You will see (for all clips on YouTube) there is a button for Share, and then Embed.


Click on this and it will show the code that we want to copy and paste into the editor.
Select the code in the Embed box and copy.


1. Open your website page in the WebStart editor.


2. In the spot where you want to put the video, type something you will recognise when we start looking through the code… personally I type *******.


3. Then click on the ‘Source’ button on the toolbar. This will show you the actual html code for the page.


4. VERY CAREFULLY look through the html code for the ******* you typed. Delete the ******* and making sure the cursor is in the right place, right click and select paste. This will drop in the code you copied from YouTube.


5. Press the ‘Source’ button again to get back to the usual view. You should see the video embedded in the content now! If it isn’t… do NOT save the page. Go out and start again.