Lu2HBC logo in circle
Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Post Type Selectors

Malaysian cuisine has been developed from the cultures found across the country which include Malays, Chinese and Indians with a splash of Thai and Arabian influences. These combinations result in distinct and exotic flavours and a variety of specialty dishes.

One of the staples is of course rice with a dish often referred to as the national dish being nasi lemak which is rice steamed with coconut milk giving it a rich fragrance.

Often served with anchovies, peanuts, cucumber, hard boiled eggs and sambal, a spicy chilli paste, nasi lemak is often considered a breakfast dish but can be served in a variety of ways at any time of the day.

Other staples include noodles with a wide variety of different types and bread, usually an Indian style such as roti canai.

Poultry is handled according to Halal standards to conform with the country’s dominant religion of Islam and some factions of the community, in particular Hindus and some Buddists do not eat beef.

Goat is a popular ingredient particularly in curries, soups and stews. Seafood and fish are enjoyed by most and usually fresh and tasty.

Vegetables are available year round as there are little distinction between seasons in Malaysia and there are some delicious and exotic fruits such as lychees, durian, mangosteen, rambutan, guava and longan.

Some traditional dishes of Malaysia include –

Ikan pari

A grilled stingray wings served with air asam which is a dip made from shrimp paste, onions, chillis and lime or tamarind juice.

Ikan Asam Pedas

A sour fish stew including tamarind, chilli, tomatoes, okra and Vietnamese coriander

Ayam Goreng Kunyit

Deep fried chicken marinated in turmeric and other seasonings

Pulut Inti

Steamed dry rice pudding. Glutinous rice and coconut milk wrapped in banana leaves folded into a pyramid shape. Topped with grated coconut and sweetened with palm sugar.

Nasi Berlauk

This is a great way to try Malaysian cuisine as this dish consists of a plate of plain rice with a range of other traditional dishes placed around. You eat what you choose and the cost of your meal is determined on what and how much you eat.

1. Te Ara Tahuna Estuary Cycleway and Walk

Te Ara Tahuna Estuary Pathway provides an excellent bike ride, or riding with children on bikes or scooters.

Accessed from Western Reserve, at the southern end of Orewa beach and just 40 minutes drive north from Auckland centre. The path features tributes to the estuary's past as a significant food gathering place for Maori including six carved seats created by Auckland's prison's carving group, carved from Macrocarpa trees felled during the walkway construction. Five of the seats represent the various hapu of the Kaipara Harbour who travelled to their traditional fishing grounds in the Orewa estuary to collect seafood.

The sixth seat was unveiled in memory of Kiara Morgan, a young Orewa girl who died of cancer in 2011.

The pathway is 7.6 km long and passes along the edge of the estuary through bush trails and quiet residential areas. It is mostly sealed and flat.

The pathway (travelling anti-clockwise) follows the Millenium Walkway through Western Reserve and distance markers are placed every 1 km so you can track your progress! Connects to walk Nos 1, 2 and 3 below.

Orewa Walks
1. Alice Eaves Scenic Reserve
Old North Rd, Orewa. 30–45 mins. Fine remnant stand of native kauri and broadleaf forest at northern end of Orewa. Lower track beside Nukumea Stream to Kensington Park suitable for wheelchairs. Good examples of kauri and puriri. Pa site at Hillcrest Rd entrance.

2. Orewa Esplanade Reserve

Hibiscus Coast Highway, Orewa - 45–60 mins. Paved walking track along northern half of beachfront reserve. Runs from Arundel Reserve, at northern end, to the town centre. Links to No 1 above.

3. Orewa Millennium Walkway

Orewa Township. 2 hours. ‘Oval’ walkway. Start from south bridge, follow estuary to Centreway Reserve, turn left down Riverside Rd and cross road into Grant Park, along Hatton Rd through Victor Eaves Park to link with Eaves Bush returning to south bridge via Orewa beachfront. Follow the blue footprints.

4. Maygrove Reserve

Riverside/Lakeside Drives, Maygrove, Orewa. A variety of walkways through residential areas, esplanade reserve and around the artificial lake in Lakeside Reserve. Wet in winter. Range of short and long walks.

5. Pohutukawa Reserve/Orewa Estuary

Pohutukawa Ave and Moffat Rd, Orewa. 30–45 mins. Grass reserve walkway on south side of estuary running from Orewa south bridge to Jelas Rd/Kingsway School into Totara Views subdivision.

Whangaparaoa Walks

1. Amorino Reserve
SH1/Hibiscus Coast Highway, Red Beach. 15–30 mins. Reserve walkway beside Orewa estuary mouth, linking with surrounding residential streets. Start of Whangaparaoa Peninsula’s ‘Coastal Walkways’. Follow signs on lamp posts.

2. Red Beach Reserves
Vista Motu and Marellen Drive, Red Beach. 30-45 mins. An informal walk between various reserves in the centre of Red Beach. From Red Beach Lookout Reserve take walkways into Higham Ferrers Reserve, cross Bay Vista Dr into Gilshennan Reserve, follow path to right and follow walkways to Rushden Terrace and Red Beach Park, cross Marellen Drive to beach.

3. Red Beach section of Coastal Walkway
Ngapara St – Duncansby Rd, Red Beach. 30 mins. Walk along beach from Ngapara St to Duncansby Rd. May be restricted at high tide.

4. Stanmore Bay Beach
Cooper Rd and Stanmore Bay Reserve, Stanmore Bay. 15–30 mins. Walk along beach from Cooper Rd/Lea Reserve to Stanmore Bay Park. Cross arch bridge at eastern end of park to link to No. 3 above

5. Stanmore Bay Reserve to Manly Beach
Stanmore Bay Rd – Moreton Dr, Manly. 15–30 mins. Walk from end of Stanmore Bay Rd and take track up through historic cemetery. Left into Ardern Ave and cross to next accessway. Turn right into Swann Beach Rd to the top corner and next accessway with steps through to Hurdlow Place and Moreton Drive / beach.

6. Manly Beach to Tindalls Beach
Brown St – Tindalls Bay Rd, Tindalls Beach. 15–30 mins. From end of Brown St, walk along beach (restricted at high tide) to boatramp. Cross footbridge by sheds to accessway to The Crescent. Follow road round Crown Reserve to Tindalls Beach.

7. Tindalls Beach to Matakatia Beach
15–30mins. From centre of beach, take series of accessways through to Whangaparaoa Rd. Cross road and turn right to top of hill, then left into reserve accessway down to Matakatia Beach.

8. Gulf Harbour
Shakespear Rd – Gulf Harbour Drive, Gulf Harbour. Walkways progressing as Gulf Harbour estate develops. Network utilises reserves, roads and runs through the golf course. Range of short and long walks. Toilets at boatramp.

9. Fisherman’s Rock/Pacific Parade
Fisherman’s Rock Reserve, Army Bay. 60–90 mins. Coastal clifftop walk from Fisherman’s Rock Reserve to eastern end of Pacific Parade. Two clifftop staircases and stone ramp provide access onto rocky foreshore. Access between Fisherman’s Rock and Pacific Parade Reserves via foreshore, restricted at high tide.

10. Shakespear Regional Park
Army Bay, Whangaparaoa Peninsula. Various marked tracks ranging from 1 – 2 hrs around farm park at end of peninsula. Open sanctuary under development behind predator-proof fence. Bookable picnic sites and camping. Sweeping views of Hauraki Gulf and islands. The Heritage, Tiri and Okoromai tracks are medium difficulty and are approximately 9 km. Click here for basic Shakespear map.

11. Tiritiri Matangi Island
Take ferry from Gulf Harbour Marina. Open sanctuary for some of New Zealand’s rare and endangered plant and bird species. Home to saddlebacks, kiwi, takahe, bellbird and other native birds no longer seen on mainland. A variety of walking tracks across island.

12. Tiri Rd – East Ave Clifftop
Starts at 33 Tiri Rd, Little Manly. 5–15 mins. Short clifftop reserve walk between Tiri Rd and East Ave cul de sac. Good views of Hauraki Gulf.

13. Little Manly Beach
South Ave – Little Manly Beach, Little Manly. 5–15 mins. Shore reserve and clifftop walk from South Ave to beach.

14. Arkles Bay Clifftop
Ladies Mile – Arkles Bay. 5–15 mins. Short clifftop walk from Ladies Mile/Whangaparaoa Rd intersection to Arkles Bay beach through coastal bush. Steep flight of steps at Arkles Bay end.

15. Whangaparaoa Town Centre to Stanmore Bay beach
Town centre – Brightside Rd, Stanmore Bay. 15–30 mins. From town centre via Palmgreen Court and reserve, walkway to Rata Rd. Walkway half way along Rimu Rd on right leads into Stanmore Bay Park past leisure Centre. Cross Brightside Rd to beach side of reserve.

16. Stanmore Bay Reserve to Town Centre
15–30 mins. From the back of the leisure centre, via wetland walk to Rata Rd, Palmgreen Court or Red Hibiscus Rd and onto Whangaparaoa Rd.

17. Ferry Road Reserve. Ferry Rd, Arkles Bay
5–15 mins. Short reserve walk through coastal bush to foreshore of Weiti River near mouth of river. Timber steps at top. Slippery rocks on foreshore.

18. Fairhaven Walk. Wade River Rd, Arkles Bay
30–45 mins. Rough dead end walking track off end of Wade River Rd past boat club on banks of Weiti River flanked by native bush with some big puriri trees.

19. Okura Walk
Duck Creek Rd, Stillwater or Haigh Access Rd, Redvale. 2–2.5 hours from Stillwater through muddy pastures and along foreshore to historic Dacre cottage (composting toilets alongside). 3–3.5 hours from Okura (Haigh Access Rd) through Scenic Bush Reserve. Coastal walk between Weiti and Okura Rivers. Boots required. Check out Okura Walk details

Again, there is a view of Mexican food that doesn’t do it justice and this is because of the way this has become one of the most popular #world cuisines in recent years. The

Mexican cuisine is primarily a fusion of indigenous Mesoamerican cooking with European, especially Spanish. The basic staples include corn, beans and chili peppers with a number of other foods introduced by the Europeans, in particular, meats including beef, pork, chicken, goat and sheep, dairy products (especially cheese) and various herbs and spices.

When conquered initially by the Spanish, they tried to impose their own diet on the country, however the foods and cooking techniques began to be mixed. Eventually African and Asian influences were also introduced into the mix.

Tortillas, chimichangas, fajitas and chili con carne have been adopted by Western restaurants as Mexican food, but this only really represents Northern Mexico. The food of Central and South Mexico is subtler with many dishes derived from the ancient Mayan culture.

Mexican cuisine is an important aspect of the culture, social structure and popular traditions of Mexico. Native ingredients include tomatoes, squashes, avocados, cocoa and vanilla

The main meal of the day in Mexico is the "comida". This is eaten between 1.30 pm and 4.00 pm.  It typically consists of an appetizer, a soup or salad and the main course: seafood, meat or poulty, rice and/ or beans and of course some hot tortillas.

You will find tortillas all over the country, along with plenty of eggs and vegetables. Chilies, chocolate, tomatoes and cumin are also major flavourings.

Mexicans work around their eating schedule unlike us in the Western world!

Traditionally we think of Mexican food as being tacos, salsa, quesadillas, beans, tortillas and enchiladas

Thinking about having a guinea pig as a pet? For many guinea pigs are ideal pets for kids and families as they are cute, cuddly, tolerant of boisterous kiddies and are relatively low maintenance. Here are six good reasons to own a Guinea Pig:

  • They are affectionate and social
  • They are inexpensive to buy and maintain, and rarely bite
  • They don't require vaccinations and are not prone to disease
  • They won't rip up your house
  • They don't smell, because unlike their fellow rodents, they don't have musk glands
  • They don't require a lot of space and are thus ideal for people living in small homes like apartments or townhouses.

However, guinea pigs can be messy!

Guinea pigs are herbivores and require a high-fibre diet. They should have grass or grass hay available at all times. Lucernce or clover hay can be offered but not as the sole source of fibre as they are high in calcium and protein. Suitable grasses include clover, buffalo grass and oat grass. Guinea pigs also enjoy dandelion, milk thistle and a variety of fresh herbs.

If you are a clean freak you might want to think twice about a guinea pig. They are slobs. They poo in their food, water and bedding. They scatter their bed into their water and their water into their food. So because they can't do it, you need to check, clean and restock their food and water containers daily.


Running is a popular health kick in New Zealand and can become quite addictive but running isn’t just good for the heart. Read on for some of the other great benefits then get those running shoes on and head out into our Spring sunshine!

1. Healthy heart - Running is one of the best ways to give your heart muscle an effective workout. By running regularly you can improve circulation, and reduce the risk of a heart attack, high blood pressure and stroke.

2. Weight loss - The average runner burns 1,000 calories an hour during a training session. So expect to get thinner, which will in turn help you run faster.

3. Osteoporosis - If you run on a regular basis you are continually taxing your muscles and bones so the bones are stimulated to remain stronger and do not easily weaken with age. So bye bye osteoporosis.

4. Mental health - A regular running habit will you lift your mood and build self-esteem. It also increases your self-confidence as you reach fitness and/or weight loss goals. Running can help relieve mild depression.

5. Sleep - Studies show that runners find it easier to get to sleep at night and sleep longer. Insomniacs take note.

6. Stress - Running increases your ability to cope with everyday minor irritations and stresses.

7. Happiness - Endorphins engendered by exercise mean that people who run are often happier than those who don't: ever felt that sense of elation during or after a run (known as the runner's high)? Running regularly can also improve patience, humour and ambition, and make you more good-tempered and easy-going.

8. Anxiety - Runners generally have a lower level of anxiety than those who don't run. One study suggests that regular training reduces the activity of the serotonin receptors in the brain which regulate mood. Reduced sensitivity of these receptors to stimulation might explain the positive effects of exercise on anxiety.

9. Immune system - If you are a runner you will find that you have a stronger immune system, that means you'll suffer less from minor illnesses such as colds, allergies, fatigue, menstrual discomfort, backache, and digestive disorders.

10. Brain power - You can increase your mental functions by going running as it boosts blood flow to the brain and helps it receive oxygen and nutrients, making you more productive at work.

11. Complexion - Running stimulates your circulation, improving the transportation of nutrients around your system and flushing out waste products. This will help make your skin clearer and give you that distinctive runner's glow.

12. Fat burn - By running you are building lean muscle, changing your body composition and your metabolism. Lean muscle weighs heavier than fat, but burns more calories even when you're resting, so cultivate a regular running habit and you should see a gradual, healthy inch loss.


With some products it simply doesn’t make sense to buy new at full price when invariably you can find the same quality buying second hand. By doing so you can often see your savings quickly multiply. Here are examples of some of the best items to consider buying second hand.

Car - Probably the first thing that springs to mind would be a car. Did you know if you buy a new car it depreciates by up to 20% as soon as you drive out of the car yard! Even just going for last year’s model can be a huge saving. Once a car is over five years old you can expect to get only a third of the original price.

Books - Both text books and reading books. Nowadays you can of course buy online making huge savings. However for those who enjoy the feeling of holding a book there is an abundance of second hand book stores and book fairs. Another option is to ask your friends or on facebook, invariably someone will have finished the book you are after and happy to pass on or sell at a very good price. For text books often your college or learning facility will have a library or rental department you can use if it is not a book you will need on-going.

Children’s Clothing - Often you can find some wonderful items through friends and family, websites for swapping or buying/selling second hand clothes and of course shops such as your local Hospice or Salvation Army store always have some great bargains. In fact, while you are at it there are often great bargains for adults as well as a book section too!

Pets - It almost seems a sin to pay the hundreds of dollars you can do for pets in a store when there is such an abundance of abandoned and yet loving, beautiful pets at the SPCA and other shelters. If you are considering getting a pet make sure you check these out first - you may be there last hope for a good home!

Formal clothing - Whether a wedding gown, ball gown or dinner jacket there are so many people that head out and spend the earth to wear something just once! You can make some wonderful savings. Also designer stores can sometimes have seconds on sale at significant savings often with flaws barely noticeable!

Video games and DVDs - Once someone has completed the game or seen the movie more than 4-5 times it is time to move on and you can take advantage and get some great bargains.

Home Gym Equipment - Yes, the fad comes, the fad goes and so often equipment merely sits in someone’s garage or spare room collecting dust. Do check on the condition but generally so many people lose interest before the equipment has barely been used!

Hand Tools - Simple tools with few moving parts, hammers, wrenches, screwdrivers, etc can last for decades if well made and maintained and often easy to find in garage sales or online.

Musical Instruments - Particularly when your child is starting out buying new is not wise. Either second hand or perhaps rental can give you an idea of how long their interest will last. If the interest continues and the ability is good you can change your stance later.

Bicycles - Like cars new season bikes come out all the time. Do check the condition of the bike and also ensure it isn’t stolen! Also if you can wait until the cooler months you can often get better bargains on bikes from those who no longer want to brave the elements!

So much of what we buy devalues as soon as we open the box or walk out the store so save yourself some dollars and use it for something else you enjoy!

We have hunted out our five favourite dive sites in New Zealand. New Zealand reportedly has more scuba divers per capita than any other country in the world. Whether it's cruising around reefs in subtropical Northland water, or exploring a subterranean fresh-water cave system, Kiwis are at home under the water.


If you're looking for superb diving opportunities in New Zealand, you cannot go past the Poor Knights Islands, off the coast of Tutukaka, near Whangarei. Jacques Cousteau named it as one of the top 10 dive sites in the world and more recently Diver magazine called it the world's best subtropical dive.

Warm currents swept in from tropical waters further north support 125 different species of fish, as well as corals, sponges, kelp forests and stingrays. This is the place to go for stunning displays of underwater colour: Reef fish mingle with sponges, anemones and vibrant seaweeds.

The islands are the remains of a group of 11-million-year-old volcanoes and underwater cliffs drop to 100m below sea level in places. Caves and archways shelter species that usually would be found much deeper than they are here  - in the Rikoriko Cave, 10m below the surface, is a sponge usually found 200m down.

The Poor Knights include the world's largest sea cave - so big that it's reputed to have hidden a Japanese submarine during World War II.

Visibility is best in winter, when divers can see up to 30m. But as the water warms up, plankton moves in and decreases visibility, although it boosts fish life. Watch out for passing humpbacks and turtles.


Still in the north, Greenpeace's flagship boat was sunk at the Cavalli Islands in 1987, two years after its infamous bombing in the Auckland harbour. It is now an artificial reef teeming with marine life and a very popular dive site. But reports from divers say that the wreck appears to be disintegrating at an increasing rate, so this is one to visit sooner rather than later. The wreck is 27m below the surface, and about 40m in length.

It is covered with gorgeous jewel anemones - but some experts say it takes a night dive to see them at their very best. On a normal day you could expect to come face-to-face with golden snapper, kingfish, john dory, mackerel, scorpion fish, moray eels and crayfish.

There are usually mild currents and visibility is good from February until the end of June.


A unique opportunity for divers of any skill level, the Riwaka Caverns near Nelson are a massive underground network of caves and tunnels, filled with fresh water. A bush walk leads you to the start of the dive, where you slip underwater and swim through a series of enormous caverns.

It's cold and very dark at the beginning but once you surface inside, you can take your scuba equipment off and marvel at the stalactite and stalagmite formations as well as a waterfall of pink limestone inside the cave at the end of the second sump.

Divers comment on the unexpected size of everything to do with this dive - from the boulders they clamber over to the caves themselves. Explorers have so far ventured about 800 metres into the network, called the Riwaka Resurgence.


There are not many places in the world where you can dive around a live volcano but New Zealand is one of them.

White Island, about 50km off the coast of Whakatane, is a 200,000-year-old volcano surrounded by water that is full of marine life, including kingfish, stingrays, moray eels and blue maomao.

Fissures in the rocks create a ''spa-pool'' effect of bubbles in places. The water temperature hovers about 18 degrees but can get to 22 degrees in summer and divers report up to 50m visibility, with reefs, pinnacles, drop-offs, boulders, archways and plateaus to explore. Stop for lunch or to snorkel at Champagne Bay, which gets its name from the thermal activity in the water. Rare diadema urchins have made their home at White Island - check them out at Diadema Rock.


After 18 years in the New Zealand navy, the Wellington is now the most accessible dive wreck on the planet, just off the coast of Wellington, about 10 minutes from the airport. Scuttled in 2005, the wreck has been broken up into three sections by currents and is a living reef, home to many different species of fish.

The wreck is roughly 24m down, with visibility of about eight metres. Being Wellington, divers are warned to watch for currents. Dive around the gun turret or take in the exterior of the ship - diving in the midship and stern sections is not advised. This is as safe as it gets for wreck diving, though, you will not even need a torch.

Article courtesy of Hamilton News - 3/12/12

Has your child ever asked you this question? And what was your answer? Here are a few facts and arguments you can use in the future.

When learning many can't understand the benefits of maths beyond the basic calculation of daily things. However maths is important in all aspects of our lives.

Maths equips us with many tools including -

· Logical reasoning

· Ability to think in abstract ways

· Problem solving skills

Maths develops the imagination and trains us to be able to think clearly. Maths is also important in the development of language. You would be amazed at how often the language of maths crops up in your daily conversations; talking about time, money, temperature, technology, planning trips, shopping, cooking, designing plans ...

Mathematics is important in many everyday employment situations, science and technology, medicine, the economy, the environment and development, and in public decision-making. Think of the jobs that require maths these include doctors, teachers, scientists, engineers, technology services, lawyers, marketing, building, designers just to name a few.

Maths is invariably used, and often without realisation, to find the right concepts and methods to make difficult things easy, to explaining why a situation is how it is. By using maths skills you develop language and insights into our understanding and appreciation of the world.

Maths isn't just numbers and is all about patterns too. Imagine a fashion designer trying to develop a concept without maths abilities!

Increasingly, employers are looking for graduates with strong skills in reasoning and problem solving.

Finally of course everyone nowadays has a computer. The computer itself is a machine built upon the principles of mathematics.

So whilst you may think you don't use maths or hate the subject, just imagine how you would get on calculating your change at the shop, working out if you can afford that much anticipated trip, reading your bank statement or baking that cake if you had no, or very limited, concept and knowledge of that often dreaded subject - mathematics!

Travel - Prehistoric Dordogne

The Dordogne region in central France is famous not only for its beautiful scenery and river but also for it’s prehistory.

Les Ezyies

Les Ezyies and the Verzere Valley are a UNESCO World Heritage site (designated in 1979) for the prehistoric caves. Font de Gaume is famous as it is one of the few caves left where you can see the original prehistoric polychrome paintings. The caves include some of the most significant archaeological finds of the Upper Paleolithic (from about 40,000 to10,000 years ago) and Middle Paleolithic (200,000 to 40,000 years ago) periods, they are especially noted for their extensive wall drawings. Discovered in 1901, more than 200 images have been identified in Font-de-Gaume.

The Grotte du Grand Roc

As well as the pre-historic caves the dordogne has a large number of beautiful natural caves and the Grotte du Grand Roc is one of the best of these. This is a natural cave containing an incredible display of stalactites and stalagmites as well as rare 'exentriques' which are tiny stalactites that grow in all directions.

Another very unusal formation are the triangles. These are on the floor which and form an area covered in perfectly formed triangles. 

Evening visits to sights in the Dordogne are becoming ever more popular and the Grotte de Grand Roc is now open for a night time visit on Monday evenings. On these visits the caves are explored by torchlight in the way they would originally been discovered by Jean Maury in 1924. At the end of the visit the caves are illuminated so that you can see them in all their glory.

La Roque Saint-Christophe

Nearby is La Roque-Saint-Christophe, an incredible troglodyte village which shows evidence of use as a shelter for Neanderthal man (50000 BC), Cro-Magnon man (25000 BC) and since then up until the Renaissance in 1588 when the trogolodyte town and fortress that had grown up was destroyed in the Wars of Religion.

The town occupied 5 terraces in the cliff face using naturally hollowed out caves in the limestone cliff. Three hundred feet above the ground and more than half a mile long the Roque Saint Christophe really is a remarkable troglodyte development.

This cave 'village' half way up a cliff has a church, a cow-shed and lots more. There are also some reconstructions of large-scale machines of construction used in medieval times.


Now head on to Saint Leon sur Vezere which is yet another of France's "most beautiful villages", set in a curve in the Vézere River. It is a small village, of houses in the attractive local stone joined by narrow meandering pathways and alleys. Remarkably for a village of this kind in this location, St Leon sue Vezere has not been overly renovated - rather 'sympathetically restored'.

Many of the houses still have parts of their roofs made of stone which was the traditional roofing at one time. The church in the village is small but perfectly formed and is on the pilgrim route that led from the Abbey of Vezelay in Burgundy and on towards the abbeys at Cadouin and Saint Avit Senieur.

The chateau de Clerans has a beautiful slate roof with spires and ornamental stone work. It is private but very attractive and can be seen from various points around the village as well as from the riverside path.

There is an interesting legend in the village that a servant who shot an arrow at the cross fell down dead with his head turned the wrong way round. His grave was opened in 1890 by members of the Archealogical society and indeed there was a body with a head which was back to front.

Answer the Queries - To be able to produce good web content the first thing you need to understand is what your user is searching for and be able to provide them with the answers.

For example, if you sell cane furniture your end user may be looking for an outdoor lounging set for around the swimming pool. Your content must demonstrate your knowledge about what furniture pieces can be left out in the weather, if you provide waterproof or weather proof cushions, sizes, dimensions, colour schemes. Good content will also provide details on how and where your furniture is manufactured, different finishes and if your company works alongside a country with it's fair trade principles make sure your care and support is clearly shown in your content. Provide the answers to their questions.

Allow for Interaction - If you are able allow for an area for comments. Encourage questions, especially those sometimes unexpected questions, eg Is cane appropriate to use for the base of a bed? for you to provide more information without initial overload.

Use Visuals - Use images and videos. We all know visual learners are one of the highest percentages of our population. Plus, of course, in a world increasing full of traffic and short on time, images can be the first attraction to people moving on to your more graphic content. There are lots of options now including slideshare, diagrams, short animations, videos and, of course, just a good appealing image.

Bullets - In web writing lists or highlighted bullet points are often a good way to catch a user's eye.

Headlines - Strong Headlines should be inviting. Stats quote 80% of people read your headlines but only 20% read the content! Create interest through that headline but it does of course need to be relevant to your content! Consider your audience then craft your headline, eg a florist catering to the wedding market could write an article on the most popular flowers in wedding bouquets, she's an expert, knows her local market both floral and wedding styles and seasons so which article headline would be more attractive to read the content -

"Popular Bouquet Flowers"; or "Top Blooms that ...

...won't wilt at your Summer Wedding" ...will bring magic to your Winter Wedding"

Short, Sharp Content - Keep your paragraphs short. Three or four lines creates the illusion of short, sharp snippets as opposed to a half page paragraph giving the illusion of monotonous drone.

Personalise - Create your own unique style and tone in your writing. Make yourself personable to your readers. Let them feel that they know you so they can build up a relationship and trust with you. We all know we wouldn't buy something from somebody we don't trust.

Accuracy - Make sure what you are saying is accurate! If you are quoting stats link to the stat source. This is not only giving credibility to your stat but also showing you have researched your topic. 

Once complete step back from your article. Go back to it later and re- read. Take out unnecessary words. The word "that" for example is almost always superfluous. Make sure your information reads fluidly and each fact gives a complete picture and finally ask yourself, if you wanted information on the topic you are writing on, do you think you would find your article useful?

chevron-up linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram