VFAN FORMULA 1 SPORTS SPONSORSHIP BLOG // QNET
The QNET VFan blog, a word press blog, was the official web space for all sports updates on the company’s Formula 1 sponsorship of the Marussia F1 Team. Written in the voice of a fictional character “VFan” – the Marussia F1 team’s number one fan – the blog posts cover race updates, race results, any related Marussia F1 Team news, and any company events that “VFan” was present at. I was co-writing for this blog from August 2012 to May 2013, with the main objectives of increasing awareness and reputation of QNET as a company, and their sponsorship of a major sporting team, as well as increasing traffic to the other VFan social media pages and to the FanHQ website (an interactive and gamified company website with a Formula 1 theme). These posts were shared on the main QNET company blog and social media pages.
Below are two samples of posts that I authored. Please click on the button below to see the full list of posts I wrote for QNET VFan.
// MAY 2013
DATED May 22nd, 2013
PERMALINK (Not Live) http://vfan.qnet.net/2013/05/22/monaco-the-glitz-and-glamour-of-formula-1-racing/
TITLE Monaco: The Glitz And Glamour Of Formula 1 Racing
The weekend is almost upon us as we approach one of the most exciting and historical races of the Formula 1 calendar, the 2013 F1 GRAND PRIX DE MONACO race. Holding its inaugural race in 1929, the Circuit de Monaco is no stranger to Formula 1 sports, having a rich history of racing. With the Monaco Grand Prix arguably esteemed as one of the most famous F1 events on the calendar, the paddock will enjoy a thrilling weekend of F1 history in the making.
The Marussia F1 Team boys are charged and ready to go, preparing for their first debut F1 drives at the Circuit de Monaco. This circuit is made up of a combination of streets of Monte Carlo and La Condamine, running around the harbour of the Principality of Monaco. The race consists of 78 laps, making it one of the longer races in the season and is believed to be one of the toughest circuits, with its many elevation shifts, tight corners and narrow track width. Taking six weeks to assemble and another three weeks to dismantle, the annual F1 Monaco Grand Prix consumes the city spurring the start of a chain reaction of activities for the local Monacans.
Jules Bianchi knows the area of Monaco very well, being native to the neighbouring city Nice, France. Having previously raced in Monaco in the junior formulae, he will be especially thrilled to be now racing at the highest level of motorsports to an audience of close family and friends. Bianchi clearly has very fond memories of this race, sharing, “When I was nine or ten years old and used to go to watch the Monaco Grand Prix, I could never have imagined that one day I would be racing here myself. It’s a unique race, a fantastic experience on and off the track and the atmosphere is very special.”
In light of the challenges faced in Spain, Marussia’s Team Principal John Booth commented on how tyre management will be a top priority in the Monaco race strategy for the team. Max Chilton has been preparing in the simulator, building confidence and excitement for the weekend. He shared, “I can’t wait for my first Monaco Grand Prix experience at the wheel of a Formula 1 car. It’s a fascinating track and everything can turn on a knife-edge because of factors like the close proximity of the barriers and the importance of qualifying ahead of our immediate competitors.”
Likened to “riding your bicycle around your living room”, the F1 GRAND PRIX DE MONACO 2013 will certainly be a race that really showcases a driver’s ability, and so we wish Jules and Max have the opportunity to really shine through!
Don’t miss any of the action; get LIVE RACE UPDATES at my VFan Twitter and Facebook pages, and be sure to keep a watch out on my FanHQ and VFan Blog pages for new photos and general buzz!
And GET BUSY testing your F1 knowledge on my FanHQ games to collect Fanpoints and win the grand prize!
À bientôt F1 fans!
Circuit de Monaco, F1 2013 Grand Prix de Monaco, FanHQ, Formula 1, John Booth, Jules Bianchi, Marussia F1 Team, Max Chilton, Monte Carlo, QNet
DATE D April 25th, 2013
PERMALINK (Not Live) http://vfan.qnet.net/2013/04/25/the-sands-of-bahrain-takes-formula-1-by-surprise/
TITLE The Sands Of Bahrain Takes Formula 1 By Surprise
Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix | Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir
19 – 21 April 2013
BIANCHI P19 1:38.756
CHILTON P20 1:39.279
The Marussia F1 Team boys Max Chilton and Jules Bianchi were faced with many unforeseen challenges during the desert oasis race at the 2013 F1 GULF AIR Bahrain Grand Prix last weekend. Despite making excellent starts in the early opening stint of the race, the drivers MR02’s suffered significant tyre degradation, forcing them to complete four pit stops, pushing them down the ranks.
They gave the race all they had and brought the cars home with Bianchi pulling in 19th place and Chilton following in 20th place. Marussia Team Principal John Booth has positive hopes for the next race commenting, “A difficult weekend continued into the race, unfortunately. Our performance was defined by the fact that this track just hasn’t played to the strengths of our car and at the same time as this has hurt us, the cars around us have made their own progress. It was also a busy race in the pits today, given the higher tyre degradation that we experienced. All in all, I believe we got the most out of the car today, but clearly, we need a good step for Barcelona to maintain our objective of continuous improvement throughout the year. We head back to the UK now for a busy few weeks in the factory preparing our upgrades for the start of the European season, whilst analysing what we’ve learned at the last two races. I’m sure that the result of this work will be a much-improved car for the next race and we can get back to competing where we want to be.”
With a two week break to catch up on their thoughts, the team will surely be revving to go at the 2013 F1 GRAN PREMIO DE ESPAÑA Grand Prix taking place on the 10 – 12 May in Catalunya, Spain.
Catch all the latest news about the 2013 Formula 1™ season at my Facebook, Twitter and FanHQ VFan Blog. And be sure to check out the new games in FanHQ and win as many Fanpoints as you humanly can to be in with YOUR chance to win an ultimate race weekend of your own!
And now for the fun bit! Enjoy the 2013 F1 Bahrain GP in photos especially selected for you:
2013 F1 GULF AIR Bahrain Grand Prix, Bahrain International Circuit, Formula 1, Jules Bianchi, Marussia F1 Team, Max Chilton, QNet
// APRIL 2013
DATED October 13th, 2017
TITLE 10 FREE Tools To Make Engaging Visual Content For Social Media
SUBTITLE 10 tools you can start using today to make professional images for your social media posts and engage
your audiences for great results.
VISUAL MARKETING MADE EASY FOR YOU
Have you ever found yourself looking through your favourite Facebook or Instagram pages, feeling a little envious of their picture posts? You’ve always wanted to make similar images but you don’t have the extra money to spend on hiring a designer or to install a fancy editing suite? Well, a few years ago I was in the same spot and got curious. I was determined to find a way of making higher quality social media images at a lower cost.
After some extensive research, what I found was even better! Tools that allowed me to make professional looking images tailored specifically to social media, and all for FREE! Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying AT ALL that hiring a qualified graphic designer isn’t a valuable step in your marketing plan. I’ve teamed up with some amazing illustrators and designers in the past, and would love to work with them again when I can afford too!
But in the meantime, if you’re like me and operating your marketing alone, the following tools that I’m about to share with you can help you create some pretty awesome design work, specifically tailored to social media marketing, only for the cost of the time you put into it. So without further ado let’s dive in.
CREATING IMAGES FROM SCRATCH
<image 1: Canva logo and background>
With over 50,000 design templates and a database of 1,000,000 (yes, a million) professional photos to choose from, Canva really does have a lot to offer! With hundreds of Design Elements, background design themes, pre-made text and font styles there are countless combinations of possible layouts to play with.
This is a great tool if you already have an idea of what you want your social media artwork to look like, or if you are willing to experiment and draw inspiration from their templates and examples. I’ve used Canva in both scenarios and have had really satisfying results!
AVAILABLE ONLINE | IPHONE | IPAD
2. ADOBE SPARK
<image 2: Adobe Spark Post home page>
Divided into 3 tracks, Adobe Spark offers you the choice of creating a “Post”, “Page” or “Video”. Once you’ve chosen the type of post you want to make you have 100’s of free templates and lots of free quality stock photos from Pixabay to choose from; you really do have a lot to work with, whether you choose to use one of their pre-made structures or start completely from scratch.
Adobe Spark is simpler to navigate than Canva, so it’s great for beginners who are starting out in social media design.
For the purpose of demonstrating the potential of this tool, I used Adobe Spark to make all the artwork for this particular blog post (blog feature image, Facebook Fan Page cover, Pinterest post and a general social media image).
Not only did I find plenty of choices to customize the images to how I wanted them to look, I also made them all for absolutely free!
AVAILABLE ONLINE | IPHONE | IPAD
WRITING TEXT ON IMAGES
3. WORD SWAG
<image 3: Word Swag logo and background>
So this one is a little bit of a cheat on my shortlist as it isn’t free. The reason I was excited to feature it here is because it’s one of my favourite apps to use, and for the amount of work I’ve gotten out of it, it totally exceeds the $5 that I paid for it.
Available only on smartphone and iPad it’s a treasure of an app. With 48 graphic font styles hand designed by world-class graphic designers and 590,000 completely free photography backgrounds from Pixabay, you have so many potential variants of images you could make, all at the tip of your fingers.
If you’re ever stuck for something witty to write try one of their pre-written inspirational captions; you’ve got 100’s to choose from! And after you’ve chosen your background, caption and font style why not add one of their 22 photo filters to change up the look of your post. To top it all off Word Swag has a feature that allows you to add a watermark to your image in the form of text or a photo from your camera roll (i.e. your logo).
In my opinion, you can’t go wrong with this app and it’s totally worth every cent of your investment!
AVAILABLE FOR IPHONE | IPAD | GOOGLE PLAY
<image 4: Phonto logo and background>
Phonto is another app that I have loved for a while, appreciating its sheer simplicity to produce really impressive results. It’s a lot simpler to use than Word Swag but I still find it a hugely valuable tool.
With over 400 font styles and the option to install your own font preferences, you have a huge selection to choose from.
Every aspect of the text is customizable from the thickness of the text stroke, the shadow effect of the font, size, background colours, line spacing and much more. And these are just all the free features that come with the free app. You can upgrade with in-app purchases to access even more awesome tools.
The only downside of Phonto is it doesn’t have a source of stock photos for image backgrounds so you have to have an image ready to upload to the app. Although, you can make quote images with plain block colour backgrounds, which I have found incredibly useful in my work.
AVAILABLE FOR IPHONE | IPAD | GOOGLE PLAY
CREATING DOUBLE EXPOSURE IMAGES
<image 5: Fused logo and background>
There are a number of apps out there that offer an overlay feature (double exposure) but after trying a few I still always come back to Fused. I love their branding and the look and feel of their interface and always feel more flow when working on this app. You have a choice of uploading your own photos or using their choice of free and paid artist collection packs (photos taken by up and coming photographers and artists) to make stunningly artistic images in a few simple steps.
If you fancy going a step ahead why not experiment with your own video clips from your camera roll. You can work with up to 15 secs of video at a time. With a range of edit features to tweak your fused photo even further, you can make it look exactly as you envisioned. And for a dollar, you can remove their inbuilt watermark (branding).
AVAILABLE FOR IPHONE | IPAD | WINDOWS PHONE
EDITING IMAGES ONLINE
6. PIXLR EDITOR
<image 6: Pixlr Editor logo and background>
I’ve used this for at least 7 years now and have always found a feature for anything I have ever needed in a photo editing software. Don’t be fooled by the fact that Pixlr Editor is a free tool, it has some serious power with its complex platform and extensive features that mimic ridiculously expensive editing software like Photoshop.
This is definitely not a tool for the faint-hearted, you’ll need to have some base design knowledge to work the editing features, but there are plenty of instructional resources available if you are willing to try. With an engaged community and actively updated blog, you’ll always find an answer to any question you may have.
AVAILABLE ONLINE | GOOGLE CHROME EXTENSION
7. GOOGLE SNAPSEED
<image 7: Google Snapseed logo and background>
Getting high ratings from across the world, Google Snapseed is a mean piece of photo editing software, and it’s all for free. With its impressive range of inbuilt filters including Drama, Grunge, Vintage, Center-Focus, Lens Blur, Glamour Glow, Portrait, HDR Scape, Noir and the list goes on, it’s true that as with Pixlr Editor you do need a bit of photographic prowess to get the most out of this app.
Saying that the interface is super easy considering the complexity it offers so if you do have a bit of time and patience to learn it from scratch I would highly recommend that you do so. With a huge number of editing features, you’re really spoilt for choice and can produce professional looking images all from the power of your smartphone.
This is definitely one of my favourites too, but as I like to keep my photos relatively natural, I don’t find that I use this as often as I would like to!
AVAILABLE FOR IPHONE | IPAD
FREE STOCK PHOTOS
<image 8: Pixabay logo and background>
If you need high-quality professional stock images for your work or personal use, but don’t have the money to sign up for a membership with the likes of Shutterstock or other expensive stock photo providers, look no further as Pixabay could be the solution for you.
With a great range of quality photos and the option to download them in four different sizes you really have a lot to discover here. After every download you make there is an option to give a PayPal donation if you feel like adding back to the Pixabay community, but aside from this voluntary payment, the whole site is entirely free.
Although personally, I find that there isn’t as much choice of photos as I would like, I can’t complain based on the amount of value I have gotten out of using this tool and for the generosity of the contributor photographers.
AVAILABLE ONLINE | IPHONE | IPAD
<image 9: Pexels logo and background>
Very similar to Pixabay this is a great site to discover high-quality photos for absolutely free. With the option of downloading 4 different sizes or a custom size, you can always find something that can add huge value to your project needs.
Thanks to Pexels Creative Commons Zero (CC0) license we can all enjoy the generosity of professional photographers and artists who have made these free stock sites possible for the likes of you and me! If you go to the “License” tab of the main website you can make a PayPal donation as a thank you for their great work.
AVAILABLE ONLINE | IPHONE | IPAD
RESIZING IMAGES ONLINE
<image 10: picresize logo and background>
If you’re a photography fan like I am, and find yourself using a high volume of photos in your work you will definitely have needed to resize photos. Not having any fancy photo editing software (because I couldn’t afford to pay for them or couldn’t justify paying out that amount) I’ve always relied on online resizing sites that have saved me every time.
I like Picresize as it’s very straightforward and easy to use, and fast which is essentially the main deciding factor for me when I’m resizing clumps of photos at a time. I use it the most when I’m working with my DSLR photographs which are huge photo files and can get a decent flow of resizing done in one session.
Picresize has been a huge asset to my personal and professional work so I can definitely recommend that you bookmark this great web tool in your browser for whenever you need it.
And there we have it. My top 10 photo editing apps that will not only help you create professional looking visual content for your social media but also wow your audiences and bring you great results.
On an ending note, if you’re new to visual marketing, or don’t feel like you have the knack for design, please don’t feel overwhelmed by what I have presented here. I started exactly where you are, not having a clue about design or artwork, but through persistent experimentation and curiosity, I’ve managed to teach myself a thing or two. And if I can do it then you most certainly can too! The main thing is to try, be confident in your ability to learn and go through trial and error until you feel happy with an image.
If you do have any questions, or would like some advice for your social media marketing I would love to help. Feel free to drop me a message at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Content Marketing, Design, Online Marketing, Social Media, Social Media Marketing, Visual Marketing
I started the minalism marketing blog wanting to share my social media and general marketing knowledge that I've learnt over the years as an online marketer. The main purpose of this blog was to provide a way for individuals, small businesses or even members of in-house marketing teams to read about my own experiences and what I find works and what doesn't. So far I've published written articles and infographics but would like to also expand into video posts once I have the capability and resource.
Below is one my most recent posts and you can click here to read more my previous posts.
// OCTOBER 2017
The minalism blog started as a travel blog with the main purpose of keeping my family and friends updated with what I was getting up to on my second adventure of life in Asia. It was the first time I was moving to live in Asia alone, without the safety net of my family (the previous time being with my family, when I was 9 years old and we moved to Sri Lanka for a seven-year period in total, broken up over the span of a 9 year length), so I was eager to create a way that they could also feel a part of my journey. This blog has always been a casual hobby of mine, but I would like to pursue its potential by committing more time to it in the future, possibly move it from eBlogger to Wordpress to take advantage of the bigger range of customization, functionality and SEO performance.
Below is one my most recent post. Click here to read more my previous posts.
// FEBRUARY 2017
DATED February 07th, 2017
TITLE Food For The Soul: My Love Affair With Minor Key Music
Isn’t it funny how we generally associate minor key music to emotions like sadness or sorrow? Or how in movies you'll always hear minor key music with scenes of darkness or destruction. Although this is not true across the board, there is a general stereotyping of sounds, and what we associate them with, in our everyday life and emotions. We're taught to make these associations, almost like a programming from childhood, and at the very least in the general education that we receive at school. What I find fascinating is how a sound can mean a feeling, how it translates to thoughts and words.
Music has always been in my life, having started playing the piano at 7 years old after begging my parents to take me to a teacher, and then studying music throughout high school. I have always been drawn to minor key music. I find quite the opposite to the general consensus, minor key music is expressive and open, it’s melodies always uplifting and hypnotic. I find a certain purity in these little black keys and a rawness that I cannot find in major key melodies. But hey, that’s just me.
I came across this piece this morning, by a singer I wasn’t familiar with. It struck me with a full force, and I couldn’t stop listening to it. Some of the comments from other listeners suggest that the songwriter is suggesting a religious reference in the lyrics, a return to God. Personally, I think there are many other connections to be made with the words, such as the battle between fear and freedom, or life and death. I find that this song speaks to me about the concept of choice and the purity of being honest with yourself.
In Other Worlds ~ Azam Ali
The key to this place
Is a cold you know
The real dispelled
Into the world you know
Doubt, tasted, you fall in
Down you sink
Into her deep devour
She's still the key holder
And through this portal
She courts you now
Endowed with will
And a course your own
Bound by the despair
Of the shoreless hours
Heed this flame
Within the walled empire
Is all around
She's still the key holder
And through this portal
She courts you now
If love be revealed
In the spark of an eye
Could all be redeemed
In the sea of time
If the stars embed
Like nails into the ground
From the unheard prayers
That have torn up the skies
Would you will it all away
As you sail on your way?
Music is a kind of liberation, that we are lucky to be able to indulge in. A way of learning about other people’s worlds, and their own eternal truths. A way of exploring human nature, in the most intimate sense, by being invited into the inner workings of a musician's mind.
Music has always been a freedom if one cares to let it in.
Click here to listen to for Azam Ali's "In Other Worlds" on Youtube. ᐂ
Azam Ali, Belief System, Beliefs, Expression, Fear, Growth, Honesty, In Other Worlds, Iranian, Mindset, Minor Key Music, Music Lovers, Musician, Psychology, Relaxation, Self Love, Travelling
Ko Samui, Ko Samui District, Surat Thani, Thailand