Building your online presence

So you’ve taken on board all the advice about deciding on your niche and establishing an online presence and its time for action. But where do you start? Here’s my story so far.

As a Maths tutor primarily targeting GCSE and A-level students I found myself competing with an increasing number of tutors and agencies in the same space. It was becoming hard to get noticed and I wasn’t prepared to drop my fees to compete solely on price. So I needed to establish a niche!

I have chosen the Maths STEP (Sixth Term Examination Papers) which are used by the top Universities to assess applicants wishing to study Maths.

The next step was to create a website so I needed to choose a domain name, a web hosting platform, and a web builder. I chose a domain name that best matched my niche and researched hosting platforms and site creation tools over the internet. With such a wide variety available this wasn’t easy but I eventually settled on FreshSites as my host and WordPress as my website creation tool. My choices were driven by cost, reviews and availability of support.

So having purchased my domain and installed WordPress I set about creating my site. The first step was to select a ‘Theme’ from the many available, which sets the basic structure of the pages on your site. I chose a fairly simple theme ‘Twenty Twelve’. Then its on to customising your site, creating menu structures and content. It took me quite a bit of time to familiarise myself with system, but every time I got stuck I found my question answered on the support forum.

As well as basic content I learned how to create internal and external links and embed a youtube video I had made explaining how I go about online tuition. Then it was on to plugins. Plugins are essentially bits of packaged software that make it easy integrate common functions. And there are loads available for free! I installed a plugin that creates a Contact Form, one that links to Social Media and another for SEO. The latter submits your site to Google and other search engines, builds a sitemap hat helps them index your site and gives you hints on optimising your site for SEO.

That’s as far as I have got. There is more to do in creating Landing Pages and getting my blog up and running, but its been an exciting and challenging journey so far.

Maths Theorems and Proofs

Theorems (and their proofs) are the building blocks of all Mathematics – in fact they ARE the whole of Mathematics.

But the concept of proof is barely mentioned in the school curriculum until Further Maths. Maybe it is thought to be too difficult or complex. It does not have to be.

Every GCSE Maths student is expected to learn Pythagoras’ Theorem. ‘In a right angle triangle the square of the hypotenuse (the longest side or side opposite the right angle) is equal to the sum of the squares of the other two sides.’  It is often written in shorthand as a² = b² + c².

But how many students (even at A-level) can prove it? There are many simple and elegant proofs. Have a go.