Beginner’s Guide: How To Be A Great Blogger

So, you have decided that you are going to start a blog? Great news! Once you have found a topic that you are passionate about, you are ready to go. However, there is a lot more to blogging than meets the eye. If you are looking for a helping hand, read on to discover some helpful tips…

 Be yourself – Let’s start with the most important tip of them all: be yourself! When it comes to blogging, there is not a specific set of rules to follow. However, your key to success is definitely to be yourself. That is what is going to draw people in. If your blog is impersonal, people won’t be able to connect with you or relate to you, and you will struggle to maintain a dedicated viewership.

 Use WordPress – One of your first decisions is going to be what platform to use for your website, and WordPress is definitely an option that comes highly recommended. There are many reasons why this is the case. This includes the fact that it is easy to optimise your website for the search engine result pages with WordPress, as well as the regular updates, strong community support, endless plug-ins, and a high level of security. WordPress also offers quick installation and ease of use too.

Learn about SEO – Not only do you need to be yourself and choose a good blogging platform but you also need to make sure you master the art of search engine optimization. After all, you can have a very impressive and engaging blog, but if no one is reading it, what is the point? You need to make sure that you are optimziing all of your content so that it appears as high up on the search engine result pages as possible. From using certain keywords to making sure your blog operates quickly and efficiently, there are a lot of different ways that you can boost the search engine ranking of your website.

 Write catchy headlines – It does not matter how amazing your content is, nobody is going to read it if you do not produce a catchy headline. People have a split second to determine whether they are going to read your post or not, which is why it is imperative that your headline makes a big impression. Good headlines are bold, useful, and powerful, yet simple.

Use original images wherever possible – Aside from the tips that we have mentioned so far, we would also recommend that you use original images whenever possible. There are some great stock photo websites out there at the moment, where you can get images free of charge, without having to worry about any copyright problems. However, the issue with these photos and images is that everyone is going to be using them, and so it can make your blog look generic and dated. Original photos make a much better impression.

 Organize your devices – It is important to have your laptop and phone set up so you can easily post to your blog. You can use an iPhone cleaner app to make sure you have plenty of space.

Be consistent – Consistency is one of the most vital things that most bloggers tend to forget. A consistent blog will ensure users do not get confused. After all, there is nothing worse than posting frequently and then having several days of silence. Schedule your posts to overcome this. Remember, it is much easier to lose traffic than it is to build it.

Use a content calendar – We have just mentioned the importance of consistency, and this is why it makes a lot of sense to use a content calendar. Content calendars are helpful because you can plot out future content and keep everything nice and organised. If you simply add content whenever you feel like it, you will find it incredibly difficult to maintain the consistent posting schedule you really need.

 Give stuff away – People love free things, so if you can afford to run a competition, this is a great way to build up traffic. You can get people to share your social media posts in order to enter, and for every share, you are going to be benefitting from free advertising.

Use different types of content – To keep people engaged, it makes sense to use different types of content to keep people engaged. There are so many different types of content that you can put on your site to keep people entied and engaged. This includes blog posts, how-to guides, features, videos, infographics, audio, and much more. If you use different types of content, then you ensure that things are not boring for those using your website, and this is key.

Explore avenues to boost your profits – In addition to the points that we have mentioned above, you also need to look into different ways to boost your profit levels. After all, everyone wants to make extra money if it is possible. The good news is that there are a lot of different ways that bloggers can add to their income. You can for, example, accept guest posts on your website for a small fee. You can also sell advertising space. Another option is to make money via affiliate marketing. No matter what avenue you go down, you need to make sure you do so in a manner that does not end up frustrating your audience or isolating them.

 Understand your audience – Last but not least, the importance of understanding your audience cannot be ignored. You need to get to know your target consumer base before you do anything else so that you are able to create content that is going to resonate with them.

 Hopefully, you now feel more prepared for your blogging journey. From being yourself to choosing the right website platform, there is a lot to take into account, but if you follow the advice that has been provided, you should find the process a lot easier.

 

Free Printable Blog Planners and Calendars for 2017

blog planners

At the beginning of each year I like to share a few blog planners and calendars that I’ve found for the new year.  Since it is mid January already, I feel this post is a little late, but I try to devote my entire month of January to organizing and reorganizing, as well as setting my goals for the new year.  If you’re like me, and you’re still trying to wrap your head around the new year and make plans, then these printables should be a great resource for you.  I hope you enjoy them! [Read more…]

6 Printable Blog Planners for 2016

Free Printable Blog Planners for 2016

2015 has been such a crazy time for me!  I had so many projects going on from week to week that I barely had time to breathe (but it was a good thing, I’m not complaining at all!)

On the other hand, my year got off to sort of a rough start.  My husband was sick and in the hospital, and he had a long recovery time.  Needless to say, that was a very stressful time, and unfortunately it greatly affected everything from my housekeeping and personal organization to my blog organization! [Read more…]

Making Good Decisions Online and #ShareAwesome Contest

The National PTA and LifeLock are teaming up for  #ShareAwesome, an advocacy campaign designed to encourage families to embrace technology and use it for good, making positive, safe decisions online.  Secondly they wish to open up a conversation between parents and kids, so that teens and tweens can make good decisions online.

This campaign is of particular interest to me, because every afternoon when I sit down at my desk to edit photos or write I post, I can’t help but overhear a young gamer playing on his computer in the next room.  When he’s not at school, participating in activities, or sleeping, Noah is glued to his computer! The fact that we can hear him through the walls is a good thing, as it gives us a chance to monitor his activities without constantly looking over his shoulder.  But apart from this, we try to encourage positive and safe behavior online, so that we won’t have to worry about Noah in times when we can’t be there to listen in. [Read more…]

My New Tablet with T-Mobile Free Data

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #CollectiveBias #TabletTrio

T-Mobile Trio AXS

I am so excited to introduce you to my newest toy….err blogging tool!  I’ve been wanting a tablet for the longest time, but our budget doesn’t allow for me to just go out and spend hundreds of dollars on something like this, especially when I already have my laptop and smart phone for my blog and Etsy business.  But when I heard about the new tablets at Walmart, featuring a free T-Mobile Data Plan, I immediately got excited! [Read more…]

Blogging with Advowire

Advowire

As a blogger, I’m always looking for new companies to connect and work with.  Having said that, anytime the subject of blogging comes up in conversation, I am always asked how you make money doing it and how you connect with companies.  This can be a hard question to answer, especially if you are talking to someone who is unfamiliar with the concepts of blogging and online marketing. [Read more…]

Friday Favorites – Week 209 – Featuring Our Great Sponsors

friday favorites

Hey guys! Last week there was a problem with the linky.  I’m not sure what happened; after I posted, it appeared to be working perfectly.  It wasn’t until Saturday that I realized there were NO links! Eek!  Sorry about that!  Anyway, since there we didn’t really get to have a proper party I decided to use this week’s party as an opportunity to give thanks to my wonderful sponsors and affiliates! [Read more…]

Designing Business Cards for Your Blog

Simply Sweet Home Business Card

As a blogger and Etsy shop owner one thing I’ve learned about is branding.  It’s important to have a unique banner/logo at the top of your blog to help you stand out.  And you, of course, want to use matching elements or colors throughout your website to create a cohesive look.  Furthermore,  it is important to use your logo and/or head shot and other matching thematic elements on your social media accounts.  But what about print media, such as business cards?

How do you take the elements from your website and use them to create a business card or a printed media kit?  The easiest thing to do would be to hand your elements over to a designer and have them fashion a card for you.  Some web designers even include a card design in with your blog design package. [Read more…]

Creative Ways to Promote Your Blog Offline

OnTimeScreen Shirts

Although I don’t consider myself a complete expert, I like to give advice on blogging any time I can.  One thing I think everyone struggles with in one way or the other is marketing their blog or business.  And truthfully, you could spend hours learning about how to effectively market yourself on Facebook, Twitter, and other social networking sites, or through commenting on other blogs, running giveaway promotions, going to conferences…and well, the list goes on and on!  But if you don’t put those strategies that you learn in to place and be consistent about it, you will not have good long term results and success.  Luckily there is no time limit, and we can choose to adopt any of these strategies whenever we choose.

In the meantime, today I’m going to talk about an old fashioned, yet still highly effective way to bring traffic to your site and your business.  Back in the “old days” before we all had websites, businesses promoted themselves using cards, shirts, and hats.  It was effective and still is!

Although commenting on blogs and using social media is free, there is something to be said for apparel that promotes your business.  For one thing, as you wear these items out, people in your local area, who might not find your website on Google, who might not even have a profile on Twitter or Facebook, will see your blog or business name.  And then maybe they will go home and Google it or even strike up a conversation with you about it.  This is a great way for you to build a local following for your site, beyond friends and family.

You can even get friends and family to wear apparel with your blog or business name.   They will be happy to do it, because they want to help you out, and because everyone loves hats and t-shirts.  And the more people wearing items with your business name on it, the more people will see it.

And with today’s technology it has never been easier or more affordable to get these items.  You can get a screen printing of your logo on t-shirts, sweatshirts, and hats, with a quick turn-around time and a low minimum order, so it is very budget friendly.

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Find Your Social Media #StrengthFactor with HireInfluence

HireInfluence

 

I’m always interested in finding new ways to measure how well my blog and my social media accounts are performing.  I was recently introduced to HireInfluence, a new social media ranking and reporting system.

When you activate your profile on HireInfluence (via your twitter account), you’ll receive a fully detailed report that, among other things, lists your social media strength factor.  You can then add your Facebook and LinkedIn accounts.  After you link your accounts you will get a detailed report on your social media influence or “Strength Factor.”

Your strength factor is a score out of a 100, and it is a scoring based on the number of network contacts within your profile and the level of impact each social channel has in relation to proven inbound marketing results.

HireInfluence also evaluates eachs social media account.  For example, on Twitter, it tells you how many followers you have, as well as your number of mentions and retweets, links posted, names mentioned, etc.  It also tells you which links, hashtags, and keywords you have tweeted the most.

Now you may be wondering, besides this statistical data, what else can I gain by activating my profile at HireInfluence.  For one, the information in your report may be printed or saved to use in your blog’s media attach or attach to a resume.

Secondly, once you activate your profile, you are now listed in a database used by brands, marketing companies, PR firms and businesses looking for social media stars to work with.  Basically it is a win-win!

Giveaway! HireInfluence is giving away 3 $100 Amazon gift cards.  All you have to do is activate your profile by March 25 and you will be entered to win!

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Disclosure: I was not monetarily compensated for this post but will receive a $25 Amazon card.