80+ BASIC RESOURCES FOR BEGINNERS IN BLOGGING TO GROW IN 2019

The Turn of Blogging in 2019

Blogging in 2019 has gone beyond writing a post regularly to writing a post that is well optimized for search engines. Posts that meet up with the search terms of queries on search engines. It has also gone beyond posting news updates. In 2019 also, ROI is no longer a measures of site viewership. To blog in 2019, one need authentic contents that would make for a high search engine ranking. In 2019 thus, CONTENT IS THE KING! Such content and how to present it to the target audience requires articulated skills and hi-tech software tools.

Secondly, besides making a good content, in 2019 successful blogging requires some marketing skills. Especially, social media marketing strategies and email marketing strategies. If you’re already a good writer and you want to become a good blogger, you need to add some marketing skills to your resources.

In the same vane, there is need for at least an average skills in users experience and awareness on the usage of some basic tool sets.

Thus, a successful blogging in 2019 requires spending more time creating useful content and beautifully promoting the same to the right audience.

In this article, a brief description and a comprehensive outline of these skills checklists and tools checklists will be attempted.

These resources: the strategies, the skills checklists and tools checklists are detailed as follows;

1. Content Creation Strategies

Writing genuine contents is an inevitable requirements in blogging. Blogging in 2019 is for freelance writers; it requires the ability to come about a piece of article with minimal input and in few hours. However, for optimum yield it is pertinent that one be guarded in procedure and precepts for writing a properly optimized blog posts. Such factors as one’s knowledge in a given niche, in a given topic and in a given post is critical.

Also, one’s knowledge in the use of punctuation marks, correct grammar, spellings, use of simple words, good sentence structure, simple paragraphs, good text structure like use of listing and good thought flow are crucial for good writing.
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The Necessary Skills required for content creation includes:

  • Research and internet surfing skills: With ability to learn fast, researching is an inevitable step towards creating a detailed contents. At this stage of your contents creation, you would take recognizance of the style and tone of all the high-ranked articles. Taking note of their keywords, the points they have included, and the flow of information. Also you need a good deal of searching to generate the best title and enough ideas for the article you are setting out to write. Once you have gained this knowledge, writing is simply the ability to take a new thought flow and the presentation of knowledge in your own words. The necessary tools here include: HubSpot’s Blog Topic Generator, Google Adwords and Keyword Planner, Quora, Squirrly, Blog Topics Generator, HubSpot’s title maker , Twitter trending topics, LinkedIn Pulse, Facebook’s Trending section, Coschedule Headline Analyzer, EMV tool, Headline Analyzer, TweakBiz title generator, Potent C idea generator, UpWorthy title generator etc.
  • Reading and Note taking Skills: these implies the ability to skim and scan through a large volume of information, stripping the needed facts from it within a short period.The necessary tools here include; Evernote, Feedly, Pockets, Zest etc.
  • Writing and Editorial skills: writing is an art. It is all about the minds paintings of a beautiful array of information using words. Writing for public consumption demands the ability to put your points in a simple, attractive, and interesting layouts. Editorial skills is beyond prove reading, it is more on making a beautiful formats in your writing. The necessary tools here include: Google Docs, Bear–Writing App, Grammarly, Hemingway, Blogo, Open Live Writer, ProWriting Wider etc.

2. SEO STRATEGIES

SEO Strategies is a step ahead making good contents. A proper SEO for each post and blog page helps the article to be easily discovered by search engines like: Bing, Google, Yahoo search engines. Good SEO in a post makes it rank high and appear in first pages to search queries. Also, it guarantees a long-term organic traffic way way more than the traffic one could drive from social media promotions.
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The Necessary Skills for good SEO include:

  • Copyright Skill: a blogger is expected to create genuine and authentic contents. And where possible making reference to information copied. Also, it is necessary to avoid copyrighted items; especially images. Such tools as pixabay, Death to the Stock Photo, plagiarism checker are necessary here.
  • Keywords Research and Competition analysis Skills: It’s all about finding the different terms and phrases that your target audience will use to find your article. The ideas here is to use long-tail keywords that have low competition.long tail keywords are phrases that are generally over three words long and have a lower search volume. The benefit of these keywords is they are less competitive, and they are targeted to a specific audience. The necessary tools here include; Google keywords planner, Ahref, keywords io, MOZ, Market Samurai, Soolve, SemRush, Majestic, KWfinder, SERPChecker, SERPWatcher, Long Tail Pro,Google Trends etc.
  • Title Crafting skills: after the choices of keywords had been made, next it is necessary to come up with some different blog topics and titles focused around those keywords. Oftentimes, the target here is to use a trending topic which is catchy, and enticing. The necessary tools here include: Impact Blog Title Generator, SEOPressor Blog Title Generator, Link Bait Title Generator, Emotional Marketing Value Headline Analyzer, BuzzSumo.
  • Internal and External links building skills(Backlinks and Pinkbacks): putting links to relevant articles on your contents helps to promote the ranking of your blog post. Especially, when the article is closely related to yours. Also, having your articles linked to other sites is similarly valuable. Oftentimes, this calls for good networking with top influencers in your niche. The necessary tools here include; linkminer, link check etc.
  • Editorial Skills: the editing required here involves structuring your contents and reviewing it to make it fit in to SEO requirements. Such requirements like short paragraphs, backlinks, short sentences, active voice, contents of up to 1000 words and above, use of enough sub-headings, etc. The most common tool for WordPress users is Yoast SEO Plug-in. This tool is essential in fitting in with some of the most important on-page SEO factors–Such as setting up meta titles and description, Web development, urls, the actual content on each page, page structure and creating a sitemap. Yoast SEO, is very important for bloggers. It helps you to review all the SEO requirements and ensures that you have all your pages and posts well optimized.

3. Social Media Marketing strategies

Social media marketing is a crucial aspect in blogging. It is about having a presence in the various social media platforms where people come often and on. Through social media marketing a blogger is able to promote his blog posts thereby, attracting organic traffic of quality audience. Apart from the various social media platforms, there are a number of forums and questions and answer groups where a blogger’s involvement affords him the opportunity to create awareness on his posts.

Social media marketing is a journey to building loyal followers. This requires a lot of dedicated service to satisfy your audience. For instance, you would need to respond to their comments and questions, you would need some consistency in the area of your blogging etc.
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The Necessary Skills here include:

  • Networking skills: a blogger needs the ability to interact effectively and be able to lead a discussion on his posts. Networking also involves interacting with other top bloggers; learning and leaning from their resources. The tools checklists required here includes: LinkedIn Pulse, Hootsuite, Sprout Social, Slideshare, Twitter, Quora, Social Warfare etc.
  • Customers Services skills: this requires meeting your followers expectations, including providing answers to their queries. Some useful tool sets here includes: Sendible, Hootsuite, Feed burner, ConvertKit, etc.
  • Campaign creation skills: in most cases, a new blogger may need to launch a campaign to announce his presence. This entails making your site go viral. Such campaign as boosting your posts on Facebook page, giving out an incentive, hosting a quiz or competition, all in attempt to draw people’s attention to your blog. Needed tools sets here includes: Fyrebox, BufferApp, Sprouts social, etc.

LAST WORD

The goal for this article is providing a comprehensive guide for a beginner in blogging. Hoping that this purpose has been achieved, anyone who wish to start a new blog either as a social entrepreneur or as a casual blogger, can leverage on this resources to have a boost in his blogging goal. Same with renowned bloggers, this resources provides a checklist to weigh your current positions in blogging and the prospects.

So, it’stime to have a boom in your blog.
Comment below, which of this resources do you already wield.

Ede S.S.

Read up on how to earn online in 2019 here

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A CHRISTIANS VIEW ON VALENTINE’S DAY: DOES VALENTINE’S PRACTICES SUPPORT THE CHRISTIAN VIRTUES OF LOVE?

WHAT IS VALENTINE?

Love is Christian. Christian is love. Valentine is an English word that mean ‘an expression of love, especially romantic love, usually in the form of greeting card, gift, or message given to a person the object of affection, especially on February 14th. Valentine is defined in terms of the gift items affectionately exchanged while Valentine’s day is further defined as a day for the exchange of valentines and other tokens of affection.

The unanswered questions in the heart of many Christians leaders has been on the type of love that Valentine’s day portrays: does Valentine’s day love speak of the love in 2cor 13. The love that compelled our Lord to journey to the cross. The love as in jn10:11-18., Roms 5:5, 1jn 4:8; 5:3. The Love that is exercised through the divine will in deliberate choice and obedience to God’s commandment, made without assignable (selfish) cause save that which lies in the nature of God Himself. Is this same with the Valentine’s love?

DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVES ON VALENTINE’S DAY?

Various views on Valentine’s day has been reconstrued on the range of the abnormal emphasis affected on the ‘gifts items’ and the unnecessary emphasis affected on the ‘romantic love’.

These perspectives are as follows;

  • As the day intended to appreciate the special people in ones life, by having a reminder of how they have been loved and who has loved them. Including parents, grandparents, and showing how much they appreciate the love they’ve shared through laughter, gifts and spending time with themselves.
  • As a day to to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to give gifts to them. Also, showing love to those who seem unlovable.
  • As a day to express Romantic love with ones significant others. In the name to celebrating their relationship.
  • As a day to share Christ’s love by using the opportunity to raise awareness on God’s love and the command He has given us to show love to others.

WHERE DID VALENTINE’S DAY COME FROM?

There are many rendition on the “origins” of Valentine’s Day as there are numbers of historians attempting to describe it. As expected, most have something to do with pagan ritual (just like most holidays—from Christmas to Mother’s Day—has something to do with pagan ritual). Most popular among these renditions are as follows;

  • The saint Valentine’s school of thought: Valentine’s day is traced to be rooted from an ancient Roman festival. It is originally known as Lupercalia which is celebrated every February 14. Lupercalia is celebrated to honor not God, but pagan gods namely Lupercus (god of fertility), Juno (goddess of marriage and women) and Pan (god of nature). Lupercalia is celebrated with pagan sex rituals. It is about eroticism, lust, and fertility. As early as the fourth B.C., young men seek their sexual partner during the Lupercalia festival. By a “love” lottery, young men would be able to win the companionship and sexual service of a woman until the next year’s drawing
  • The saint Valentine’s school of thought: According to history, Roman emperor Claudius II imposed a ban on marriages because too many young men were dodging the draft by getting married (only single men had to enter the army). A Christian priest named Valentinus ignored the ban and performed secret marriages. He was caught, imprisoned and sentenced to death. While awaiting execution, young lovers visited him with notes about how much better love is than war.
  • The execution occurred in 269 CE on February 14th, the Roman day dedicated to celebrating love and fertility. After a couple of centuries Emperor Gelasius declared it a holy day in honor of Valentinus instead of the pagan god Lupercus. This allowed Christianity to take over some of the celebrations of love and fertility which had previously occurred in the context of paganism.
  • This famous saint, an Italian doctor who later became a priest, inspired the creation of the holiday of Valentine’s Day. He was sent to jail for performing weddings for couples during a time when new marriages were outlawed in the ancient Rome. Before he was killed for refusing to renounce his faith, he sent a loving note to a blind child he had been helping to teach, the daughter of his jailer, who history holds that he later cured her blindness and that note eventually led to the tradition of sending Valentine’s cards.

WHERE DID WE START GETTING IT WRONG?

The misunderstanding in the concept of Valentine follows from the distorted views on the concept of love. Even with our increase in knowledge we still have a distorted approach to love in Christianity!

There’s a cutting edge between Valentine’s practice and Christian love virtues. Most times Christian leaders adopt a conservative stance in attempts not to conform with the world. And arguing that the similititude in the practices of the world with the Christian virtues is but the devils game tactics in bringing pollution to the Christian practices. Because the devil is known for deception; the devil has a way of making a fake copy of every concept about God and Godliness. Much so had he propagated a false approach to love, an approach that is based on feelings, lust, emotions, neurochemically mediated behaviors, selfish desires, and without any spiritual basis. So, the Christian leaders always believed there should be a benchmark and a deliberate watch on the landmarks.

Christians started getting it wrong when in our attempts to love we ends up copying what the world does in their love expression.

WHAT SHOULD THE CHRISTIAN’S DO?

The expression of love cannot be tagged to one day. Married couples or those who are in a relationship can show their love and concern every day and not wait for Valentine’s Day. It is also needful to put to check the act of waiting to receive a gift on Valentine’s day to feel LOVED.

But generally, Christians should not be abstaining from love expression, be it Valentine’s day or not, for love is shown abroad in our heart by the Holy Spirit-we are love. Rather, Christians should cautiously define what love ought to be. Christians should stick to the BIBLE definition of love. Thereby, salting the world; making them learn love from US. Christians should use Valentine’s day to raise awareness on the unfailing love of God. And raise awareness on the truth definition of love as in 2cor13.

LAST WORD

Christians are called to love, not to lust. There is no doubt that the origin of Valentine’s Day involves strong infatuation and lust rather than genuine love. We are not available as lovers-the type that Valentine’s day portrays, we are to be fully wrapped in love with the HOLYGHOST(that KOINONIA).

He that is pursing God does not pursue lovers.
Am particularly using lovers because love in its true sense is not a good feeling at all
It is such feelings as the journey to the cross or, 2cor13.
If it’s for love, it is what we owe all men 24/7.

We need friends not lovers!

Happy Valentine’s day!

Email Marketing Strategies and Tips to Grow your business in 2019

What is Email Marketing?

Email marketing is the act of sending a commercial message, typically to a group of people, using email. Attempts is often made to differentiate email marketing from Marketing Automation. With email marketing being ascribed the responsibility of sending super personalized, responsive, beautiful emails in just a few clicks. And Marketing Automation as responsible in generating personalized response based on customer actions and sending automated follow-ups. However, the seemingly difference in these two digital marketing strategy is more in their role. The both operates with the same principles of reducing your clicks and reaching more target audience with faster response rate; which is the focus of this article.

An attempt to launch email marketing campaign is a strategy to generate a contact list/lead list of customers. These customers would have to give you their consent and permission by subscribing to allow you sent newsletters of current happenings in your business thereby advertising and selling your products or services to them through their emails.

Email marketing is quite a good place for a startup in digital marketing because as I mentioned in my previous article:- 101-resources-for-digital-marketing-in-future , it is the easiest campaign to launch. It has the cheapest ROI within digital marketing. It is also the most reliable strategy for driving business growth by having people subscribe for updates on your products and services.

STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE TO LAUNCHING EMAIL MARKETING CAMPAIGN

Email marketing involves: making plans to incorporate email marketing in your other marketing strategy, choosing an email marketing server, generating a contact list, creating engaging contents, choosing a platform to share your contents and requesting followers who benefits from your contents to subscribe for your email updates. In email marketing, besides the media platforms or sites where you share your contents, you would need email servers tool such as:

When you subscribe with such tools they would help you synchronize your media activities into one and provide a subscription form in all your sites. It is the responsibility of these tools to prompt your viewers to fill up the form and drop their emails for subsequent updates. Yours is to keep your sites loaded with traffic. It is these tools also that is responsible in automating your messages and furnishing you with email templates.

Having made your choice for a startup; the following skills (as outlined in the previous article-101 resources for digital marketing in future) will be necessary in steps to launching a successful email marketing campaign. As detailed below:

Email strategy planning

This is the very first port in email marketing campaign. It involves strategizing, planning and choosing email marketing tools and platforms that would suit the customers; describe their needs and enable your products or services to positione to provide these needs. It is also necessary that you consider the following time after times in your plans;

  • Keeping your email database clean, up to date and of value for customers.
  • Ensuring your audience are targeted and segmented enough.
  • Seeing to it that the subject line is adequate, straight to the point and informative.
  • Ensuring that you are following the rules of CAN-SPAM regulations.

Email campaign creation

Once a choice of email marketing server has been made. Next you’re face with the task of growing your email contact list. You would need simple, enticing and strategically placed opt-in forms for customers to sign-up.
Once you have your optin form and your email marketing service in place, you are ready to start building your email list and making sales. Often times, you might need to use lead magnet to encourage customers to subscribe.
A lead magnet is something valuable you would offer your customers in exchange for their email address. Cheap lead magnet include digital materials like PDFs, MP3 audio files, or videos that you can create yourself at minimal or no cost.

Email copywriting

Create original, interesting and engaging contents which would be of value and able to uphold the visitors on your sites. Your email content could have the following qualities:

  • A good format
  • A trending subject line
  • Engaging body content
  • Conclusion with a Call-to-Action

Template creation

Most times you would need a template for your emails to make sure email designs follow brand values. Email template is a pre-defined email layout, that may already include content like images or text.

Email segmentation

This is also called targeted email marketing. It requires that you organize your email contact list according to a set categories. It entails creating and sending out highly personalized emails to individual customers. This will help you to avoid sending the same messages to everyone and help increase the rate of response you get from your customers. Here are examples of some categories:

  • Location
  • Sex
  • Customers interests
  • Prospective/New customers

Lead scoring and personalization

A lead is a group of prospect with an unknown level of interest in your products or services. Lead scoring involves analyzing each categories based on some categories like number of emails opened by individual customers, this will enable you to rank your prospects by assigning point values to different criteria and actions to identify those leads who are most interested. It also allows you to address each of your prospects differently according to their level of interest. Lead scoring goes in hand with segmentation to enable personalized messages. But beyond personalizing emails, lead scoring enables you to analyze your customers and direct your the information you would serve each categories of your customers.

Email campaign analysis and reporting

A successful digital marketing campaign requires a comprehensive statistics. This is to enable proper planning and strategizing.
Some of the parameters of concern in email marketing includes:

  • Deliverability: Your deliverability rate is the number of emails that made it successfully to the target recipients email.
  • Email Open Rate; The open rate shows the number of recipients who opened your email.
  • Email Click-Through Rate.;The click-through rate shows the percentage of subscribers who clicked a link in your email.
  • Unsubscribes, bounces and other statistics.
  • Sending time that generate more response.

All said and done, analyzing the response from your mails allow you to discover where you need improvements. When it is implemented, this enables you to re-strategize and the result is a boom in the growth of your business.

Conclusion:-

So we see that email marketing is quite a very easy campaign to launch. As well, its importance in growing your business can not be over emphasised. Email Marketing is the most reliable and wider reach digital marketing strategy.

Comment your experience. Have you ever used email marketing for your business or not?
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Social Media Marketing Hack to Grow in 2019

Social media marketing is a type of internet marketing that involves creating and sharing content with the use of social media platforms to promote products or services. Social media marketing works by influencers advertising.

An attempt to launch a social media campaign is a strategy to raise loyal followers by building a strong social media presence as well as to take a place as a thought leader within a niche.

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THE EPIC OF COVENANT RELATIONSHIP: LEARNING FROM THE FRIENDSHIP OF JESUS WITH MARY, MARTHA, AND LAZARUS.

The account of our Lord’s dealings with Mary and her sibling is one with enormous spiritual insights. Albeit, we would only take a toll on the aspects of their relationship to further our knowledge on covenant relationship.

Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus’ feet, and heard his word. Luke 10:38-39.

The relationship of our Lord Jesus with Mary and her family has its first mention in Luke 11. It begins with a role definition of the parties involved. Mary and her family provided lodging bay for Jesus and His disciples while learning from the Messianic teaching of Jesus in their inside.The family was full of hospitality and generosity. Meanwhile, Jesus not only visited the family, but He felt free to drop in at any time. Jesus had a beautiful friendship with Mary, Martha, and Lazarus to a point where they spoke plainly to him, and the Bible recorded that Jesus loved Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus.The fact that He loved the family is stated three times in John 11, verses 3, 5, and 36.

Earlier, when Jesus had come to resurrect Lazarus from the dead, He showed great respect and love for Mary and Martha. They spoke to Jesus as if He were a part of their immediate family. Jesus was so troubled by their anguish over their brother’s death that He was moved to tears before raising Lazarus to life.

The four weren’t just friends; they were close friends!

Perhaps this relationship all started when Jesus ministered deliverance on Mary in Luke 7. The woman in John is Mary the sister of Martha and Lazarus. In Mark and Matthew she is anonymous. The event in Luke features an unknown sinful woman. Subsequently, Mary would feature in crucial scenes of deep biblical insights and revelations. These scenes marks the highlights of this relationship. And, of course, it’s from these scenes that we will draw our nuggets for covenant relationship lessons for this episodes.

Moments in the family house of Martha where they sits at Jesus’ feet, and learned from His messianic teachings.

Here we bring back to mind that though the relationship between Jesus and the family of Martha was a vertical class of relationship, yet the scenario here did not seem to emphasize that. From this singular scene we could describe a handful of virtues in the character of a covenant relationship.

Such as;

  • LONELINESS: Many persons in the church are skeptical when it comes to matters on relationship. Very few understand the value of a faithful friend. Jesus had his 72, his 12, his closer 3, and His closest 1. In this relationship with the family of Martha too. We see that He did not only build friendship but was deliberate about it. Many persons in the church are lonely! There’s a dose of suspicions and brotherly love is just in the mouth. It is high time we revisit the assertion that Christianity is a personal race. The bible clearly states that two shall chase 10 000, while one will chase 1000. Also that two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour. For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow:…
  • MENTORSHIP IN FRIENDSHIP: we learn a great deal of knowledge from our friends. The best approach to mentorship is the friendship approach. It is also the best way to boasting the self image of the junior party in mentorship. We see in this case, Jesus taught them in a friendly setting while tactfully influencing their love for God as a priority.
  • SHARING MOMENTS TOGETHER: Covenant friends spend time together. Fellowship with one another is the secret for a lasting friendship. Moments shared together creates beautiful memories in godly relationships. Such memories helps to sustain the relationship even at the face of separation by distance and time. Moreover, troubles shared with covenant friends in such times gets its soothing. This is the principle in James 5:16 Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. Godly friends are prophetic helps. We cannot afford to miss the thousands of blessing God has orchestrated that We get from one another!

The scene where Mary anointed the Lord with ointment, and wiped his feet with her hair

We have the following to learn here:

  • SACRIFICE: Love requires doses of sacrifice, as is well demonstrated by Mary in this scene. Sacrifice is the hub of covenant relationship. The bible did not tell us how rich the Martha’s family was. But certainly explained that the jar of ointment used by Mary to anoint the feet of Jesus was very expensive. It was not something she would easily come by.
  • PUBLIC DISPLAY; In this scene also we learn to identify with our friends especially in the public. Friendship should be celebrated. Not like the common experience in Christian relationship where one (especially guys) would blush and crush at the other in the private. Especially; through calls, chats and messages. Sometimes, including when they hangout alone. But when they are in the presence of igwemmadu(other brethren),they tend to act like they never knew the other nor have any interest to do so, sometimes even avoiding them in the public. Identifying with your friends in the public shows you are proud of them as well as the relationship. True friends should have a sense of mutual privilege to be with each other anywhere.
  • When friends learn to pleasantly present each other, the result is love in reciprocity. The result is glaring. Especially to the world. They will know we are Christians by our love for one another. ‘…Then said the Jews, Behold how he loved him’. The world will troop to the church (revival), because everyone wants to be part of a place where there’s love.

The death plus resurrection of Lazarus

The virtues here includes:

  • EMOTIONS: where necessary, emotions is part of virtues that characterizes covenant relationship. In my previous article; ‘i love you’ I explained that love is in three non splitting cadre of spiritual, emotional and physical cadre just like the humans are in three level of spirit, soul and body and yet are not separate entities. In this scene, we read Jesus responded emotionally to the emotions of Mary even when it was clear He was going to raise Lazarus. What touches our friends should touch us for only then are we able to offer the best Holy ghost powered help.
  • HONESTY: Covenant friends are able to speak with their minds honestly to one another, whether right or wrong. We see this in Martha’s plight, she was her self and said her mind. There was self disclosure, openness of heart and honesty all through in their relationship. We all need honest people we can open up to.
  • TIMES OF TROUBLE: Covenant friends are selfless and sticks with you in the times of adversity. Albeit, in the days of strength, we may not remember that we would need friends. Friendship can be a weapon of welfare, when well chosen and when chosen at the right season. Not when you are in trouble before you realize you need friends. …but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up. There are times one would need prayers. There are times one would need encouragement. There are times one would need to be ministered to. We all need friends who can pray for us with understanding.
  • DISAPPOINTMENT: When our friends are not forthcoming as we expected-how do we handle it? The home of Martha, Mary, and Lazarus was a home which Jesus graced a number of times with His presence. It was also a home He blessed with His greatest miracle. But this home did not escape from the trials and tragedies of life. Martha and Mary and Lazarus dealt with normal anxieties. There was sickness, and death, and grief. The presence of Jesus in the home did not exempt them from these things. It will not be strange too in covenant relationship to prepare your heart to forgive on the odd days of seeming disappointment from friends. In the case of Jesus with this family, it was a supposed disappointment. Jesus was on time even though all had lost hope. Jesus did not disappoint HIS friends. In our relationships too, we are required some measures of discipline and stewardship to being faithful to our friends. The Bible queries “… a faithful man who can find?” We are the faithful friends!
  • FAITH: closely related to the above is that we need faith and patient with our friends. In John 11:37, it was the third time people spoke in the past tense on the possibility of life again for Lazarus. In matters like this, it is in the nature of human to blame. Blame is an acceptance of conclusion on the past. It is human to dwell on the past, to dwell on the circumstances of the now reality, but in divine we are required to have Faith to receive what we want-the just, the Bible said shall live by faith. We need faith too in putting up with our friends. Jesus used this critical case so we would have no excuse not to have Faith. Martha said, but I know, that even now, whatsoever thou wilt ask of God, God will give it thee vs22.

God make us faithful friends!!!👐

101 New Skill-Sets for Digital Marketers in Future

Chief in the mindsets required for understanding the future of digital marketing and preparing for it is the fact that every individual can succeed online, using his or her talents, skills or areas of gifting to attracts a thriving job, or start a new product/services by using such talents to influence a community of audience which would be turned to potential customers by producers. Albeit, to do this one need to be abridged of the following jobs, the needed skills with their associated tools:

Visit the link below for a brief exploratory journey

Men or Women: Who Should Ask More Questions in Relationship Building?

Then saith the woman of Samaria unto him, How is it that thou, being a Jewish man, askest drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria? John 4:9

Introduction

Just as our grace level grows proportionately to the level of the knowledge of God we have. So also do the knowledge of one another we have afford us with a measure of grace with one another necessary for an effective purposeful relationship.

There have been much emphasizes on advancing step by step cautiously in the phases of our relationships. What determines when we move from one phase to another is much hinged on how much of each other we have come to know, how much of compromise is going to be required of us, the strengths and weaknesses, favorites and hobbies, dislikes and likes etc. The knowledge of these and more is possible through purposeful conversations using the tool of questioning. Secrets to conversation is to get the other person talking about himself or herself and to do this, you would need to ask the right questions. Then you simply have to be a good listener.

This is not an article on list of questions to ask your friends. Though you may want questions that reveal how unique your new friend is, questions that can speak to core level personality traits, and questions that provide room for storytelling, or questions on works, sports, hobbies, travel, politics, religion, and current events. Very important they are for your conversations but the focus here is on what I would term ‘picking on your friends’-to be differentiated from ‘pulling their legs’.

The Acts of Picking

Very important in relationship conversations is the act of picking on your friends. Picking on your friends is about hanging on each others every word. It’s a way of wanting to know everything you could about each other. It’s a call back to clarifications of seemingly unacceptable assertions made by your friends-this will help your friends think about their words before voicing it. It’s about having him or her talk about herself or himself in a scenario where he/she unconsciously lets out his opinions on key matters. You may want to know your friends views on matters bordering on family, in-laws, finance, God, etc.

Although great communication like this is the foundation of any healthy relationship. Picking may look troublesome, in a case where any of the party involved in the conversation does not wish to have the relationship proceed beyond acquaintances. But, ultimately, as the person doing the asking, it’s important to have an atmosphere and a demeanor fill with love-the atmosphere in questioning should be that of love, and open-minded/liberal.

One common challenge in relationship building is being honest with our friends, everyone prefers to always give the positive impressions and bottle up on the things they resent even at the risk of blowing the relationship. We would have a better foundation for our relationships if we rather could bring up such dicey issues in a more tactful ways like Jesus did while revealing to the woman of Samaritans the odd things about her. When you ask these questions for the betterment of the relationship, you can help build trust, not to start an argument.

In conversations like this, be intentional to focus on others, not yourself. Pay attention, drop your smart phone, and make an effort to truly listen to the other person. By paying close attention to what they say, do, and how they interact, you’ll quickly get to know them. Little things go a long way, such as remembering someone’s preferences, the stories they’ve told you, and what’s going on in their life. There in is the beginning of friendship.

Picking is a tool for Mentorship

Secondly, and most importantly picking on your friends is a way of cultivating each other. Picking in this sense is a tool for mentorship-mentoring inside friendship. By clarifying, analysing together and reasoning it out, the both of you would come to a common understanding and it gets to a time when your reasonings becomes synchronized. This is what to do when you want to understand your friends and when you want them to understand you. Is a way to develop each other, share your values, explain the justification of your individual principles, share your goals, explain your likes and dislikes etc. Asking questions about another’s perspective and needs is a very potent way to building intimacy-You are getting a look into what matters to your friends at a deeper level.

Men need questioning to cultivate their women counterparts…,In John4, we see a very good example of the role of questioning with the conversations between Jesus and the Samaritans woman. We first see that we don’t necessarily need perfect persons in our relationship building. Jesus saw in the Samaritans woman a potential influence He needed in order to conquer Samaria. Similarly, every woman has an influence capable of boosting the power of every man who can effectively cultivate it in her.

Wrap up

So, Men or women: who should ask more questions in relationship building?_ anyone who has more questions should ask it. Women and Silence😁 Jesus asked; the Samaritans woman too asked… LOL!

Blessings to you!

COVENANT RELATIONSHIP III: David and Jonathan

Introduction

Continuing with the series on covenant relationship, the friendship of David and Jonathan highlights enormously the terms that compose the content of what constitutes covenant relationship. There would be no where in the church where the subject of friendship is being discussed that references would not be made to David and Jonathan’s. There doesn’t seem to be a godlier example of friendship in the Bible.

Covenant Relationships Defined

The definition of Covenant relationships was portrayed in the lines of thier relationship. We see in 1 Samuel 20:14–17, 42; Jonathan and David made a covenant of friendship and peace that was to last through their descendants forever. So we can attempt to define covenant from here as a solemn promise between two or more people. Not like the binding agreements in legal sense. A covenant is so much more than a contract. Covenant is rooted in promise and relationship. It implies a bond that cannot be easily broken by situations. Bearing in mind that these covenants remains unwritten, the definitions we give to our relationships are the covenant binding us in those relationships.

And it came to pass, when he had made an end of speaking unto Saul, that the soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul. Then Jonathan and David made a covenant, because he loved him as his own soul. And Jonathan stripped himself of the robe that was upon him, and gave it to David, and his garments, even to his sword, and to his bow, and to his girdle. 1 Samuel 18:1-4.

The words used to describe their relationship in the verses above suggests a strong bond between them. He says their souls were “knit” together and that Jonathan loved David “as his own soul. Then Jonathan made a covenant with David and demonstrated the reality of his promise by giving his robe, armor, and weapons to David. Thus began one of the greatest friendships described in the Bible.

The Covenant Relationship Virtues in David and Jonathan’s Friendship

Friendship is important to people of faith. If we choose friends wisely and become a supportive, loyal friend, we can strengthen our faith during these unloving times. (Proverbs 27:17) So let us see what virtues we can learn about covenant relationship from David and Jonathan’s;

  1. Covenant relationship is borne out of a strong mutual Bond; The beginning of David and Jonathan’s relationship brings to mind a very important matter in friendship making. Jonathan just knew immediately David was done speaking that he was going to be a good friend. Despite the immediacy in Jonathan’s decision, the background of their meeting would help us to understand what drew David to Jonathan. Jonathan must have seen in David something they both share in common: their great faith. We well know how David was resolute to confront Goliath by Faith —1 Samuel 17:45-47. Some years back, Jonathan had acted similarly. He was sure that he and his armor-bearer could attack and defeat an entire garrison of armed soldiers by Faith in the God of the Israelites 1 Samuel 14:6. So Jonathan and David had much in common: strong faith in God, fear and deep love for him. Lately before the social media overhauling influence in our relationship making process, to make a friend somewhat required some sorts of approaching, manning up, speaking up,wooing and letting the person know all you feel about him/her. This act has it’s ills and not much an acceptable practices in the churches. FRIENDSHIP with an eternal value and long lasting purpose is not often borne out that way. Friendship as in the case of David and Jonathan’s happens naturally, as the parties involved connects spiritually, mentally, and physically; feeling pleasant to each other and finding fulfilment of purpose together. The bonding in such relationships is selfless, strong and unconditional, it is natural and real like the love of a mother to her offspring.
  2. Covenant relationship convenes an unfettered love; friendship making is incomplete until the both parties involved sees each other in the same lence of love, respect, value, loyalty, etc. One of the foundations of a covenant relationship is a shared affection and love for one another. In the case of David and Jonathan’s, we see initially Jonathan was the person in positions to help and care for David but sometimes later David came into the position to help and even though Jonathan was no more he still did something to express his love and cares to Jonathan by calling up the remnant of Jonathan’s family (Mephibosheth) and placed him in a honourable place in the palace after restoring all that belonged to the house of Jonathan to him. David and Jonathan manifested the proverbial injunction of A friend that loveth at all times, Proverbs 17:17. We have something to learn from this long term expression of love from David, we are in an age that had been so painted from various social media to project love as the ability to impress one and express to every one around that we care for one, such that we are so image conscious that we think more about the impression that we make than we do about making genuine relationships. Most times; because not all that glitters are gold, people that love us may not be in the position to rush and impress us but inside our heart we can verify their genuine love. Such is the persons to build covenant relationship with. When we build our relationships this way, we would see the rough edges and the ugliest things about us, so we will be known in the ugliest and the best and be loved for who we are, such love like David described was more wonderful than that of women. Someone who loves you will manifest God’s attributes to you the same way only God would do-“unfailing kindness like that of the Lord”. He will show you unprecedented faithfulness in and out of season, traditionally without cause and effect, Love unconditionally, mercies without quitting, gracious, helpful, kind, concerned and more. It should be easy to know who loves you because it will mimic the love like of God. We continued to read that Jonathan loved David as “as his own soul.” Actually, Jonathan loved David more than himself. He willingly gave up any hopes that he would succeed his father, and he entered into a covenant friendship with David. From then on he was concerned with David’s interests over his own.
  3. Intercession: Covenant relationship intercede for each other; it is in the nature of Covenant relationships to have the parties intercede for each other before God, in prayers. Covenant relationship from the depth of their hearts wants the good of each other and are directly concerned on their welfare. We see this description in Jonathan’s interception for David before his father just as is described in Job 16:20-21; My intercessor is my friend as my eyes pour out tears to God; on behalf of a man he pleads with God as one pleads for a friend. By experience also, I learnt that there’s a supernatural bonding that exists between you and anyone you intercede in prayers for. I once had an experience in my local church. There was this senior church sister who I grew up knowing and relating with as my senior in the church. We hardly talk especially not in the platforms of friendship. But one day something dicey happened to her. It was relayed to me by another church guy because I had left that locality and only visits occasionally. The circumstances was one that was sympathetic and got me empathic. So, on one of my prayers moments I was led to intercede for her in prayers. The aftermath of the whole circumstances surprised me. Aside that the situation was turned around by divine intervention, I noticed something different with her the next time I visited that church. First, she related to me pleasantly, we had a long talk, she told everything that had transpired; I never asked her, I didn’t tell her I prayed for her, and for the first time we exchanged contact of which she continued to message and remind me of her goings. This was a surprise to me but then I learnt subsequently that those I intercede for in prayers gets closer to me and we are more pleasant to each other. Thus, I learnt in extension that praying for one can help you accept their person and have them accept you.
  4. Reliability: Covenant relationships are committed to their promise; We see Jonathan ready to make more covenant of loyalty with David than side Saul to betray David. By this time, Jonathan looked at his troubled friend and made his decision. He told David, “Whatever you want me to do, I’ll do for you” (1 Sam. 20:4). Actually it was Jonathan, who was closer to death than David, but he kept his word, and so did David. By the reliability of Jonathan in sticking with David; as expressed in Proverb 18:24, David escaped Saul’s intentions to ruin him. In those days, when a new dynasty took the throne, often the members of the preceding royal family were killed so that there wouldn’t be any rivals stirring up rebellion. Jonathan resisted rivalry. Same was obtainable in David, many years later, David remembered and kept his promise. “David asked, ‘Is there anyone still left of the house of Saul to whom I can show kindness for Jonathan’s sake?” (2 Sam. 9:1). David restored Mephibosheth’s inheritance and adopted him into his own family for Jonathan’s sake. Death did not end David’s love for Jonathan. He faithfully kept the covenant he had made with him.
  5. Responsibility: Covenant relationships are responsible for each others success in the will of God; “…, Whatsoever thy soul desireth, I will even do it for thee”. Jonathan continued to help David survive Saul’s hunt. ‘Don’t be afraid,’ he said. ‘My father Saul will not lay a hand on you. You will be king over Israel, and I will be second to you. Even my father Saul knows this'” (1 Sam. 23:15-18). Jonathan’s encouraging words helped to comfort and strengthen David through to the victory.
  6. Loyalty not royalty: Covenant relationship connotes selflessness; Proverbs 18:24 Some friendships do not last, but some friends are more loyal than brothers. King Solomon in the verse above tells us that a true friend is always loyal. Covenant relationship demands Selfless Sacrifice. When Jonathan stripped off his armor and weapons, he acknowledged the kingship of David over himself. The sacrifice of time, resources, emotional energy, and preferences; I.e: getting to know people, making time to spend with them, bearing with their failures, and working to forgive them when they wrong us, are what keeps relationship strong. Jonathan passed the test of loyalty to David when he took instructions from David to verify Saul’s stands about David’s life.

Last Word

Every David needs a Jonathan. Every Jonathan needs a David. This is an article you read and want to share with your friends. So that you could check on each other and grow together in these virtues. We pray that God will bless us with friends that we would share bonds with.

GRACE!