Steve.Richardson - Profile

Steve.Richardson

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JoinedSep 2009
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Latest activity 20th Oct 2021 6:10pm  
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Steve.Richardson Bio
Happy father & business owner, fascinated by marketing, local search & making trader directories effective.
- Founder of the UK Business Directory and Forum; www.mylocalservices.co.uk
- Founder of the USA Directory; www.mylocalservices.com
- Creator of the Trusted Trader platform; www.trustedtrader.scot in partnership with Trading Standards.

Always willing to help and advise if I can, feel free to connect or get in touch.

Favourite quotes:
- The Attitude of Gratitude - Father Brian D'Arcy
Be thankful for what you have, not stressing about what you haven't.

- Production not Consumption - Daniel Priestly
Be a producer of effort, for health, wealth and family. Not sat on the sofa being a consumer.

Recent Posts
The BBC rebrands - or does it? 20th October 2021 6:10 PM

Saw this on Twitter and first reaction was how much did they get fleeced for that!

Then reading into it a bit more, it seems the original typeface is only licensed for print and not digital, so they have to pay royalties. So they have now created their own typeface meaning they own the copyright and no longer have to pay for it.

So bizarrely, it actually makes sense and is probably worth the cost of whatever it was to be created  

We live in a strange world...

Well its October, and it's still here. Don't watch the news these days as it was too depressing, so can't be sure.

Is Bozo still in charge ? 

But adjusting to this new normality, now enjoying working from home, remote team seem to prefer it, and even looking at flogging the motor as it's an expensive ornament these days. So quite happy to go forward and not return to a previous version of normal.

I get the feeling there’s worse to come......
 

Still a ray of sunshine eh Barney 

Avoiding excessive google ads costs 12th October 2021 5:26 PM

As a long time user (from when it started!), I'm still a fan of PPC, but my enthusiasm has waned over recent years. 

Originally you had an account manager that was keen to help you get the best from the platform, offering sensible advice and helping you navigate around what became an increasingly complicated tool. But once a campaign was tuned, it needed only occasionally tweaks and minor adjustments and always gave a good return.

In recent years, the returns have gone down, quality of advice has exited stage right with an overwhelming desire to get you to try untested strategies using more of your precious budget. Successive account managers then try and repeat mistakes of predecessors with clearly no account notes or handover, leaving you to having to advise them on what does or doesn't work 

Then more recently, Google algorithms have been quick to trigger false positives, leading to our account being incorrectly suspended, with me eventually getting it reinstated.

So I'm slowly winding down from PPC spend, it still gives a semi-decent return, but I spend about 10% of what I used to, and basically ignore most account reviews. The platform in my view is now very unwieldy and overly complicated for what it is trying to achieve. But you can still navigate your way round with perseverance and I would stay clear of any professional PPC companies unless you have a monthly budget of £2,000+. £250 - £350 of that will be just admin fees.

I still think you can teach yourself from scratch if you set a £10 budget, with a £2 a day limit and experiment with your adverts and keywords, as long as you have time to spare, and time is money.

Good advice about blocking the USA, but if I remember rightly, I think you can set the UK as a regional option.

I still think it is great for instant marketing if you want to experiment with new content/product/keyword and you need instant feedback. You can react on the fly and see realtime results. But that can be expensive, so it depends on your circumstances and budget.

Coming from the hosting world and watching the first incarnations of the "cloud", you will find fewer cynics than me

There is always a single point of failure, platforms do have catastrophic outages and human beings misconfigure databases or security and screw things up.

But the "cloud" has moved on a long way in the last 20 years and matured. Pretty much everything data wise utilises the cloud in some shape or form, from Netflix to Facebook and everything in between.

For yourself, it depends what software you are using. Storage wise, cloud space is peanuts, so it's down to a provider. If you use Microsoft Office, then by default you should have access to "One Drive" which is Microsoft's cloud solution and will give you the saving and editing ability you need. You can also collaborate with other people.

One I've used for years and I utilise for backups and transferring files to remote team members is dropbox. Fast reliable, plenty of options to suit any budget, think they have a free option as well. 

If you have a Google account (who doesn't!) then you can use Googles version, which is Google drive, and you can edit docs, collaborate, share, save in the cloud etc. Then there are a multitude of third parties offering simial services for varying costs and quality.

The advantage of these services is you can synch and access docs across multiple devices. Security-wise, always go with 2 factor authentication, all services utilise this these days and use individual complex passwords, never share between accounts.

Final one, I'm still conscious of the type of data I store online. There are data breaches all the time, so for me, I won't store any sensitive information, financial or customer sensitive via public cloud services. But that's down to yourself, level of risk and type of data you are capturing.

Hope that helps.

LinkedIn data risk - change password 4th October 2021 2:13 PM

I had an alert over the weekend from the security website, haveibeenpwned.com If you're not signed up, I recommend it, and it notifies you when any of your personal data may be at risk.

It seems my email was part of the big hack attack earlier this year, along with the following info from LinkedIn:
Education levels, Email addresses, Genders, Geographic locations, Job titles, Names, Social media profiles

So strongly recommend anyone changes their password, and as usual, never use the same email/password combination on multiple sites. 

News on the original hack here: Hackers scraped data from 500 million LinkedIn users

LinkedIn response to the scraped data:  an-update-from-linkedin

Does anyone take the corona vaccine? 4th October 2021 2:02 PM
not me...never.  I would rather die.”
 

Isn't that an oxymoron? You would rather die rather than have a vaccine 

Not I would rather run the risk of being seriously ill because I'm opposed to having the vaccine. 

Not the most convincing argument not to be vaccinated 

It has unmasked the malevolence and selfishness of the human race, pushing us into socioeconomic chaos.”
 

wow, that's deep!! 

Facebook hacked 1st October 2021 9:37 AM
Still no reply from anyone at FB ..

I wish I could get my family to join mewe ... It is so much better than FB

 ”

 

Sorry to hear this Andy. Facebook is a total pain in the bum. Support is non-existant.

I had a spell where I lost access for 3 months, just couldn't log-in. FB help were next to useless and I had to trawl through forums tying to find the answer which I eventually stumbled on, and it turned out to be a simple case of having to do a force log out of all devices which fixed the problem, a known issue.

Why FB couldn't have just told me that is beyond me!

Then there have been recent reports of business pages disappearing or getting banned because they had tripped over a policy or a product was deemed to be unacceptable. 

My most recent issue has been with FB reviews. We had 1,300+ which all disappeared overnight. Then it showed as 2, which is frustrating as Google picks this up and shows it in its search results. Then as if by magic, they are all back again 

Then don't start me on Google, we were temp banned from PPC, for no reason, then allowed back on with no explanation, then last month were penalised and suspended from Adsense, with no reason, but given the usual guidelines, don't click your own adverts, don't buy fake traffic etc. I mean really?? We've used PPC and Adsense since it started, and used to have proper human account managers. But now it's all "AI" driven with no explanation given when the Google God penalises you. Then as if by magic, the restriction was lifted and we are still none the wiser 

A very wise person said on another forum, "Never build your business on rented ground", which is excellent advice, but is sometimes unavoidable when you see how dominant these big players are

Three Month Notice Period 1st October 2021 9:22 AM

Hi Mike

Appreciate it's been a while and you haven't had a response, so wonder if you came to a conclusion?

For my uninformed 5p worth, it's down to the confidence of your skillset and ability. If it's time to leave, then go, otherwise procrastination will take over and you will find every reason not to go. It's a healthy job climate, roles are now more flexible meaning a potential increase in location possibilities. 90 days notice isn't that unusual for senior roles and companies are used to waiting. Start actively looking and approach companies, and be straight about your notice period, you'll be fine.

A counter-argument is to put in your notice as there is nothing like a bit of pressure that focus's the mind and you will find a new role. But that's easy to say, and can be challenging when you have financial commitments and family resting on your shoulders. Hope it all works out and let us know