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I help technology companies succeed through the power of engaging storytelling. benjamingilstrap.com

We all have cameras in our pockets these days. This post examines three keys to shooting great photos.

A woman taking a photograph with her smartphone
A woman taking a photograph with her smartphone
Photo by vanessa slavich on Unsplash

Note from the writer: To date, this was my all-time best performing blog post. — Ben

Introduction

Have you ever looked at some of the awesome photos posted on sites like Instagram or Flickr and wondered how you could shoot like that? If so, this post is for you. I’m going to break down the three keys to shooting awesome photos. The best part is that you can use these keys with anything from your smartphone camera all the way up to a DSLR.

Ready for the three keys? You sure? Okay, let’s get started.

The three keys are:

  1. ISO
  2. Aperture


The Tools, Tips, and Tricks You Need to Succeed

A disassembled smartphone and several tools sitting on a table
A disassembled smartphone and several tools sitting on a table
Photo by Joel Rohland on Unsplash

Note from the writer: This was a piece I put together as a lead magnet for a short-lived phone repair side project. — Ben

Section 1: The Tools

Like any repair business, you need the right tools for the job if you’re going to be successful with phone repair. Here’s a list of the essentials tools you’ll need to be an awesome phone repair specialist:

  1. Bonafide Hardware Smart Phone Repair Toolkit
  2. Bonafide Hardware JerryRigEverything Metal Pry Tool
  3. Bonafide Hardware JerryRigEverything Green Pry Tool
  4. Uxcell Antistatic Brushes
  5. Uxcell Tweezers
  6. Nubee Temperature Gun
  7. Wagner HT1000 Heat Gun
  8. IMAX LCD Screen Separator Machine
  9. Swan 99% Isopropyl Alcohol

A Free Guide

A blueprint
A blueprint
Photo by Sven Mieke on Unsplash

Note from the writer: I put this piece together as a lead magnet for a short-lived digital marketing side project. — Ben

100 Headlines Guaranteed to Get Clicks

Use these for your Google Ads, your blog, and your social media posts:

  1. The Secret of Making People [do something desirable]
  2. A Little Mistake That Cost [a person] [an amount] per [time period]
  3. Advice to [first group] whose [second group] don’t [do something desirable] — by [a member of the first group]
  4. The [person] Who Won the Hearts of All
  5. Are You Ever [something undesirable] at a [social gathering]?
  6. How a New Discovery Made [something undesirable] [something desirable]

There are a ton of options out there for small businesses to use for creating their websites. This post examines the most popular option and a potentially better alternative.

An open sign hanging in a window
An open sign hanging in a window
Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

Note from the writer: I wrote this piece back when I had first discovered static website generators and was convinced they were the way of the future. To be clear, I still feel they’re a great option, but I also see the value in more traditional options more so than I did when I wrote this. — Ben

If you’re a small business owner, picking the right platform to host your website on is confusing. You’ve seen or heard advertisements for services like Wix or Squarespace. You’ve talked to people who use tools like GoDaddy Website Builder. You’ve consulted with…


And 3 Awesome Resources to Help You Learn

Computer monitors showing lines of code
Computer monitors showing lines of code
Photo by Fotis Fotopoulos on Unsplash

Note from the writer: I wrote this piece back when I was learning to program and was gung ho about sharing it with as many people as possible. — Ben

What comes to mind when you hear the word programmer? Is it a nerdy guy in glasses who loves Battlestar Galactica a bit too much? Maybe you picture Wayne Knight as Dennis Nedry in Jurassic Park.

Ah ah ah! You didn’t say the magic word!

There are three big misconceptions about programming:

  1. You have to be great at math.
  2. You have to be a genius.
  3. You have to get a…

There are almost too many productivity tools out there to count. This post examines one of the best and how it can help you.

A woman sitting at a computer
A woman sitting at a computer
Photo by Christina @ wocintechchat.com on Unsplash

Note from the writer: I wrote this back when I was on a big Trello kick. I don’t use it anymore personally, but I do still feel that it could be a valuable tool for others. — Ben

Introduction

In this post, I’m going to show you how to use a free tool to change your life for the better. You’ll be better organized, forget less stuff and get more done.

Sound good?

Let me begin by saying that I’ve tried almost every productivity tool out there. I’ve set them up, gotten a good feel for them… and then abandoned them…


Most small businesses struggle to get more customers. This post examines one secret that will solve that problem.

A woman telling another woman a secret
A woman telling another woman a secret
Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

Note from the writer: This was a piece I wrote on the merits of the Golden Rule in business. — Ben

Introduction

What’s the biggest challenge you face in your small business? If I ask ten people that question, nine of them will say “getting more customers.” In this post, I’m going to share one very special secret with you that will help you get more customers faster.

Are you intrigued yet?

Mohandas Gandhi reportedly said, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” He never actually said this, but he made a similar statement.

Dale Carnegie said, “You…


Calendly is an awesome scheduling app. This post examines a better way to embed it in your website.

A calendar hanging on a wall
A calendar hanging on a wall
Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

Note from the writer: This may very well have been fixed by now, making this post obsolete. However, it’s a decent example of a technical how-to post. — Ben

Introduction

If you work in a field that requires a lot of scheduling — sales, consulting, professional services, etc. — you know it’s a massive pain in the backside. Sometimes you might send three or four emails back and forth with someone to try and nail down a time that works for both of you. And then if something comes up that requires you to reschedule… not a fun prospect. Calendly was…


Buffer is an awesome automation app. This post examines how to use it to save time and grow your following.

An iPhone showing a social media folder
An iPhone showing a social media folder
Photo by dole777 on Unsplash

Note from the writer: I wrote this back when I first discovered Buffer and thought it was about the coolest thing ever. For the record, I still think it’s a useful tool. — Ben

Introduction

If you own a small business, social media is one of the most powerful tools you have in your arsenal. Leveraging the most popular platforms — Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. — allows you to reach more people and grow your following faster than ever. And every savvy business owner knows that a bigger following will inevitably lead to more revenue.

The Problem

There’s just one little thing that…


GNOME is an awesome desktop environment to use with Ubuntu. This post examines how to fix the terminal application on a fresh installation of Ubuntu Xenial Xerus.

A MacBook with a bunch of stickers on it
A MacBook with a bunch of stickers on it
Photo by Alex Kulikov on Unsplash

Note from the writer: I wrote this back in my Ubuntu heyday. It’s outdated now, but it’s still a decent example of a technical how-to article. — Ben

Introduction

Ubuntu is quite possibly the most popular desktop distribution of Linux ever. It provides a solid experience with a wealth of compatible software and a massive amount of tutorials online to do just about anything you could want. That’s why it’s my distribution of choice and has been for a number of years now.

It used to use the Unity desktop environment by default, but as of the latest version (Bionic Beaver…

Benjamin Gilstrap

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