An Effective Poll Adds Value To Help Build Your Blog

Opinion Polls, Create Poll, Polldaddy, Surveys, Grow Blog , WordPress.com, WordPress.org, enhance blog, audience interaction

Do You Use Polls?

There’s a reason why businesses run periodic polls/surveys because it helps them understand the demographics of their customer base and needs and ultimately helps them make strategic business decisions. Polling could save them from certain vulnerabilities, prevent threats to their business and boost their business immensely. It delivers valued feedback.

You might be wondering what your blog has to do with running a survey or poll if you are not selling any product? To state it succinctly, from the onset, you should think and treat your blog/site as your business even when you are not yet selling any tangible item. You are trading your words for attention/readership of an audience.

You are also showcasing your words perhaps for talent hunters and when you think of it from this perspective, it helps you refocus your thoughts on the significant ideas that could be the building blocks of your blog, it could also help you to know the weak links on your blog. The responses of your readers from a poll could yield many leads to topics to look into or write about. As a matter of fact, this post on polls emanates from a question asked by a reader – so, I’m taking a¬†cue from that, thank you, Idle Muser ūüôā

Polls are a great way of interacting with your audience and certainly enhances your blog. It holds the advantage of being inexpensive to run online because WordPress.com and WordPress.org already come with built-in survey features ‘PollDaddy,’ and adding it to your blog is pretty easy.

Polling helps to describe the characteristics of the survey population and the anonymous nature of the survey allows your respondents to offer more candid, unambiguous and valid answers.

To create a poll on WordPress.com

To add a PollDaddy poll to your post or to a page, just click on the Add Poll icon above the editor.

Add Poll

If it’s your first time of using the poll, you’ll be prompted to create or to import an account by WordPress.com. Just choose your options and follow the instructions presented to you.

After you’ve created your account, create your new poll and configure it to suit your needs then click save poll button to save your options.

You will see a message appear at the top indicating that the poll has been created. Click on the Embed Poll button to insert the poll into the post or the page that you want.

Poll Created

You can also create a poll to stay on your sidebar if it’s something you want to keep for a lengthier time.

To add a PollDaddy poll to your sidebar you use a Text Widget. Go to Feedbacks then to¬†Polls¬†from your dashboard where you’ll see a list of all the polls you have created. Choose the right poll that you want on your widget then click on the Embed & Link button.

Copy the entire code that appears in the Shortcode field  then paste this code into a new Text Widget for your sidebar from Customise РAppearance РWidgets. You can choose the place where you want your poll to appear by using the reorder button to place it where you want it.

When adding a poll to your sidebar, you may need to change the style to Narrow so that it fits properly. Simply click on PollDaddy styles and choose Narrow from the options, Wide, Medium, and Narrow.

To create a poll on WordPress.org

If you use a WordPress.org you would need to install your poll plugin on your self-hosted site from your back-end.

You could install PollDaddy to get access to the same features or you can choose another plugin that you like.

Here’s a little poll for you

Submit




It’s Time to Leave That Free Site – This is Why

Free Site, WordPress Hosting, WP Engine, Domain Names, Namecheap, Free Site Companies, Website setup, Recommendations

Free Is Not Free After All

The year is winding down fast and it’s been some good months since you took up that tempting free offer to start your blog/website. Naturally, you are totally loving the idea of having a space that finally allows you to say your piece. A medium to have your voice heard and you are busy plugging away for hours on end.

Congratulations. That’s certainly a step in the right direction, but I must burst a little part of your bubble with some hard truth about ‘free sites,’ that’s the wrong direction.

There’s a CATCH to this free bait and if possible, you must AVOID it at all costs.

Many beginner bloggers/writers start their site with the thought of keeping their costs down to spending nothing at all, therefore they plunge into the choppy waters of the internet with glee and a feeling of smartness until reality slaps them in the face real hard.

Short of telling you that it’s a dumb idea to accept free hosting – no offense meant, the internet is popping full of companies that offer free hosting that you have to exercise caution before accepting such invitation to treat and if you know someone who plans to do same, just hold their hands and ask them to press pause on that right there.

Here’s why I say so

  • Shutting down your site

How would you like to wake up five months after you’ve worked hard on that blog, posting your book chapter by chapter, writing your witty articles, connecting with people from all walks of life and all the stuff that people do on blogs only¬†to find out that you can no longer access your site? It’s been deleted due to spamming!

Such miserable moment is better left imagined. I know a blogger whose site went forever 404 on her and all attempt made to contact the service provider to restore it received no attention. There was no help desk or anyone to connect to, to navigate through this challenge.

Things are rough out there and it’s natural for anyone to want to build their website at a low-cost, but please avoid free – no exceptions here. Except self-inflicted heartache is your kind of thing,¬†don’t take such shortcuts especially these days when Web-hosting is cheap that it’s worth that little investment to gain ownership of your site. When you put this cost in perspective, it does not amount to the cost of a¬†box of Dunkin Donuts or a McDonald’s’ burger or whatever it is you indulge in eating.

  • Networking Issues

In order to grow your audience, it requires a lot of social media networking, traffic, and social engagement and search engines attach more trust and credibility to paid domains. You won’t even be able to add your blog to certain services¬†because you need to prove ownership of your site which you don’t have.

I know how many times that I’ve had to prove ownership of my site with an advertiser before I could get on their programs and when your site is a free site the perception is different.

  • Unprofessional looking address

Owning a website that its name reads something like ‘mylittlecorner.Simplecheapandfreesite.com’ looks dreadful and unprofessional. There’s a lot to say in a name and Perfect domains are hereyour visitors will definitely notice this. At the end of the day when you figure out that you want to buy a domain name that would have cost you less, the free site company ends up charging you twice that amount.

  • Absolutely no support

You have jumped in and you now find out that there’s absolutely no helping hands in the free site kingdom. No connection whatsoever. Free site companies don’t give any support services to users. You are left to swim through the overwhelming process of setting up your site with limited documentation, good luck with that.

  • Extremely slow websites

Using free websites is simply setting yourself up for bad user experience. Most of these companies that offer free sites don’t have the support for it. Running sites costs money and servers are expensive, so they simply lump hundreds of websites on a server which slows down the sites loading to such a snail speed that makes a web page difficult to discover.

  • Lack of website¬†building tools and limited space for your web pages.

In most cases, these companies will not let you install WordPress on your free site because to run WordPress would cost them more and they lack the facility to offer that. Even when you install WordPress on their platform, you’ll meet loads of errors and downtime. Your pages and building tools are limited that to get anything more to improve your experience would need a paid upgrade. At the end of the day, it comes down to the same thing – possibly spending more money¬†than you bargained for.

  • Poor backup support, hacking, and security

Having backup support on free sites is a pipe dream and if something goes wrong with your site per chance, you stand a good chance of losing your entire data because they are unable to restore it. Free website companies are a thriving ground for malware and they are vulnerable to frequent hack attempts due to poor security practice.

  • Locking down your data

People will often say, ‘let me start with the free one, then I’ll upgrade when I make some money.‘ No, you won’t¬†make money on a free site, secondly, you’ll discover that when you do want to migrate your data from a free site to a paid one it becomes tedious because free website companies don’t have the tools to do this easily. At the end of the day, you’ll either end up leaving the data behind or seeking the services of someone with the know-how to manually move your data and the cost is not cheap.


  • You can’t monetize your blog and they place their independent ads on your pages

If it’s part of your dream to earn from your free site, let me give you a pat on your back now and tell you to shelve that thought ’cause it’s not gonna happen. Remember that these companies exist to make money, so you create the content and the company,¬†however, capitalize on it and plant their intrusive advertisements all over your pages. You simply have no control. To get this slice of pie, you’ve got to go get a proper site.

  • They could close shop and that’s it

There are no guarantees on the longevity of some of these companies. Some are one-trick ponies that could decide to simply shut down their servers and pack up their business for a myriad of reasons and because the terms of their modus operandi cover them legally, they are fully protected.

  • No protection of your information which could be sold

Always ask yourself what the catch is. In this case, most of these free website companies collect email addresses and sell them to other marketing companies as a way of making money.

  • Lack of responsive designs and support for mobile devices

Most free website companies don’t offer responsive designs that work on mobiles phones because what they offer are often too old to support the fluidity of mobile devices, thus your dashboard is restricted to desktop which infers that you would not be able to update your site from your phone, neither can mobile phone visitors find you and you must remember that handheld device is part of everyday life today and it drives a reasonable amount of traffic that you would not get.

  • There are no contact forms or branded emails

Your contact form and about page are one of the first things that you put up on a good site. It’s through your contact form that you would most probably receive business requests – if your site is business driven and other requests. Most free sites don’t have a way to add a custom contact form neither can you create an email account name with your domain name if you are interested in doing so.

  • Difficult to get rid of your site and data

Peradventure you decide to cut ties with the free website company, it’s almost impossible to drop your site from their server because they deliberately make it difficult to do so since most times they use the content created by¬†free users to earn money.

  • Limited upload features and poor statistics

Paid hosting buys you the benefit of uploading unlimited files to your site using the media uploader¬†that’s on WordPress, but with free site companies, you only get a web interface that’s slow where you can only upload one file at a time to a restricted amount. On the other hand, you are in no way able to install traffic counters such as google to gain an understanding of your sites stats.

  • You are investing so much of your time for nothing

You are working as hard if not even harder than the paid user and it all amounts to nothing. Blogging takes up a lot of one’s time and as is often said, your time is your money and you have to choose how you invest it wisely.

There are reputable sites that offer free plans, but they are few and far between. If your aim is to build something tenable and serious online, then you should never start with a free site. Without mincing words, it’s a waste of time, it’s unsafe, unreliable, could be¬†a harrowing experience and your growth potentials are seriously hindered.

There are better ways

My recommendation is that you register your domain name¬†and build your site. You won’t wake up tomorrow to find that it has vanished into thin air. There are¬†top-notch hosting companies that offer WordPress open software hosting¬†at a decent cost and they will help you with the support that you need to meet this.

I hope you’ll make a smart business decision today and ditch free hosting because free is not free after all.

If you find this article useful please share it and educate others. I would love to hear from you.

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These Are The Reasons No One Reads Your Blog. 11 Little Tips To Change Things.

Blog Audience, Improve Blog, Writer, Blog Tips, Copy-writing, Branding, Social Media, Site Speed, Promotion, Grammarly, WPEngine, NameCheap

 Reasons why no one reads your post


As a writer cum blogger, we all know how much effort and time it takes to craft your words, curate your images, tag, categorize, primp, polish and publish courageously, only for you to sit back satisfied, twiddling your thumbs anticipating a deluge of comments from expected readers, but, gasp and with a lump in your throat, no one hits that like button or even leaves a smiley face behind. It could dampen anyone’s enthusiasm.

The situation is tougher when you are just starting out with your blogging or writing passion and you need that validation that comes from others – of course, your few good buddies and mom would probably support you, woe betide them if they don’t, but we all do need that extra validation because we are social beings, so spare yourself the rhetoric of ‘I’m writing for myself,’ and let’s get to the cause.

  • Your Entitlement Thinking

Yes, you heard me right. We all have our egos’ and at the back of a writer/blogger’s mind is the belief that our awesome, compelling writing is the next best thing after chocolate, coffee, and cakes – yet no one is reading this awesome writing even after you’ve done all the things that you think are right.

We simply fail to remember that everyone else is busy getting on with their awesome writing and no one owes us an iota of that attention which we feel entitled to.

We must always realize that their time which they give to us is a privilege and when we get rid of our entitlement mindsets, we are less burdened with thoughts of expectations that don’t belong to us and we free our minds to greater possibilities which include getting more creative and leaving our glorified pedestals behind while we engage with others and build a community around us.

One book that I am glad I read and still refer to often¬†is ‘How Successful People Think: Change Your Thinking, Change Your Life¬†from non-other than the leadership expert John C. Maxwell.

Tenets grasped from this book has helped me immeasurably.

  • The idea that since you built a blog, they will come

You just set up your brand new blog and you think it’s a soccer pitch where fans gather in their thousands. Well, breaking news, blogging is a different game. It’s a butt flattening, finger tapping, elbow greasing, mentally demanding exercise and the rules are different. Your new blog is not going to start gaining loads of visitors overnight or even in several nights.

You’ve got to create enough content which would open inroads to your blog through search engines. Your content is your invitation to treat. You’ve got to build credibility as a reliable source of information as well as building your audience, so whoever told you that blogging or writing is an easy road to quick pickings is lying to you, however, if you stick to it, it would be worth its while at the end.

Perfect domains are here

  • Your site is not useful

Many take up blogging for various reasons, but I have commonly heard/read others say that their purpose for starting a blog is to work on their writing, promote their published work, showcase their talent etc. At the bottom of this list of purpose’s is the forgotten reader who would form part of your target audience should he/she find something that retains their attention.

There are millions of talented writers/bloggers and other creative people out there in today’s frenetic pop culture world, and the only way to carve a niche is to stand out. Be useful to your audience so that they become your repeat customers.

Give out tutorials, free tips, worksheets,  e-books, even services etc. Promote others. People appreciate those who promote and help them to grow.

Make your posts count in some way. Whilst crafting your post, bear two things in mind:

The purpose of your post and what a reader takes away from it.

Of course, there are blogs that exist for the mere pleasure of writing personal journal’s, but my underlining question is ‘what is the long-term goal for your blogging ambition?’

Remember that by the time that you’ve honed your skills and published a book or two, the audience that you built would probably be your first customers and help to generate some growth for your blog.

  • You are inconsistent

Are your posts inconsistent and sporadic that no one is able to figure out when next they will read from you? Even when you do attract an audience and after a while, you are not posting regular engaging articles, they will lose interest and move on. This is a highly fluid and competitive existence, sadly.

Your frequency and consistency count. No, you don’t have to publish a thousand posts every day, besides, no one has time for all that, but consistency counts even if it’s one post per week. Create a schedule and keep to it.

  • Your writing sucks¬†

The quality of your post highly depends on the quality of your writing. An article that lacks clarity and filled with grammatical errors is tiresome to read. Sentiments aside, tackle grammar and spelling issues by using writing aids such as Grammarly and proofread your work before publishing. No one is above making mistakes even if you are a solid 5-star writer.

Blog Audience, Improve Blog, Writer, Blog Tips, Copy-writing, Branding, Social Media, Site Speed, Promotion, Grammarly, WPEngine, NameCheap

  • Your blog is not optimized for social sharing or comments

Many times I’ve come across posts that I would like to comment on or leave a footprint to show that I visited, only to find that there are no buttons or that the buttons don’t work.

It’s imperative to add your social network buttons or a comment bar to your posts to enable your readers’ to share your content as well. This would help you to gain a¬†new audience that you may not have been able to connect to on your own.

You should also note that publishing a post that’s been automated to share on social platforms is not enough. Publishing a post is not an end itself. You have to interact with your readers where they are and this might mean scheduling time to read other people’s’ articles, create conversation, share their work as often as you can.

Social media is a huge opportunity to grow your blog. Use it optimally.

  • Your site lacks focus and is poorly branded

Your interest is diverse and you want to write a bit about everything, which is not a bad thing in itself. I equally have an eclectic taste in reading and writing and a bag full of opinion to go with it, in fact, I’ve gotten into an argument over this topic before – I was on the side of writing whatever pleases me on my blog as against having a blog with a narrow focus that boxes you in.

However, your divergent interests and ideas may not work together on one site which is what led me to set up this blog where I could talk about specifics of – blogging, writing, photography, speaking…while my other blog is for poetry, fiction, life lessons…

The truth is that when a blog is narrowed down to certain specifics, it’s easier to keep the attention of a focused audience who already have an idea of what they want to read.

What reference points do you want your site identified with? That answer is the key to your question of what you should focus on.

Finally, if your site is one hot mess of a place, cluttered without direction, it’s visually unappealing and appears unserious. Take a bit of time to streamline your site, clean it up and keep it professional.




11 Little Tips That Make a World of Difference

  1. Rebrand your site – if need be – there is always room for improvement.
  2. Imitation is a key to success. Yes, I said it. Find out what others are doing to grow their niche and imitate them by tailoring your steps.
  3. Get your writing out there. Collaborate with others, guest post, join challenges, try videos, vlogging, podcasting advertise if need be, just keep trying.
  4. Look back at your posts that tanked. Figure out why they did so and avoid repeating the same mistakes.
  5. Use engaging photos. The world we live in is highly visual driven and this equally applies to online engagements. People like to look at interesting imagery. Avoid tagging on tacky looking photos and consider taking or creating your own pictures to avoid copyright issues.
  6. Increase your font. Some use fonts others have to squint to read. No one wants to get cross-eyed trying to read an article that is probably not that interesting. Give your words more clarity and check your errors.
  7. Promote others, you promote yourself. This is not rocket science. Find time to consistently promote others in your niche and they will stick with you.
  8. Try to make your posts useful.
  9. Make your content witty, add a bit of humanness to it, share anecdotes of your experience. People connect to some emotional engagement.
  10. Ask for feedbacks at the bottom of your post from your readers. You could even use a poll to find out what they would like you to blog about.
  11. Check your site speed. Nobody likes a slow blog and if your blog loads too slowly, chances are the reader would lose interest and move on. For WordPress.com bloggers this might be less of an issue, but for self-hosted .org sites, your loading speed counts. A fast blog is achieved by using fast servers. You can test your website with the WP Engine WordPress Speed Test. and analyze why your site loads slowly.

I hope that you find this article useful and would certainly love to hear from you about your blogging experience.

Here are other quick tips for your¬†blog. Do something nice today, we would appreciate if you share this post. Thank you ūüôā

WordPress Speed Test

 

BLOG BYTES – USEFUL TOP TIPS 3

Useful Top Tips, Blogging, Blog Posts, Networking, Online Relationships, Best Practice, Be Patient

Be Patient

Don’t expect to be an instant online hit once you press that publish button. As a matter of fact, your post may sit at the bottom of the blog ocean for some time, before any interested reader mercifully fishes out your soggy post.

I liken this stage to that of a fisherman who waits patiently in his rocking boat to catch a fry. At this point in time, any fry that he catches would do.




The thing about blogging is that it’s a painstaking affair that requires patience. It requires leaving your blog posts and going out there to seek others in your niche.

It takes people time to connect and build relationships and this equally applies to online relationships. Thankfully, there are ways to help build your network.

Here’s a post I published some time ago ‘The Mathematics of Blogging.’ You can also check this link for more Top Tips.

Why I Chose WP Engine. Grab Super Cool Hack For Deep Discounts

WP Engine, Web Hosting, Web Solutions,Customer Service, Discounts, Hacks, Migration, Site Set Up, Support, Security, Backups, Plugins, Fast Responsive site

Let’s talk about WP Engine¬†

You have been contemplating starting a blog or moving from managed hosting to self-hosting, but with the plethora of web hosting services out there, you are still debating your choices.

If you are like me you probably spend days, weeks, and months thinking, comparing notes and analyzing the different set-ups that are out there, that you probably end up cross-eyed and confused from reading so many articles on competing services.

Yes, it’s important to do your research, but at times, over-thinking a process could kill enthusiasm and inspiration. I nosed around a bit, read as many articles as my brain cells could accommodate, asked questions from users about their experience with the different services before I made my decision.

A Brief Outline of Things to Consider When Choosing a Web Hosting Provider

WP Engine, Web Hosting, Web Solutions,Customer Service, Discounts, Hacks, Migration, Site Set Up, Support, Security, Backups, Plugins, Fast Responsive site

What’s your plan for your site?

Not all web hosts are right for every customer. Before you venture off to look for hosting provider, take an in-depth look at what your plans are for your site. Some bloggers start with just the need for a space to write and to share their creativity, naturally, as time goes on, the need to maximize one’s blog arises, therefore, it’s worthwhile to take that little time to map a chart of what you want before you go shopping for hosting services.

Pricing

This is the part that most of us look at before making a choice, but cost shouldn’t be the main driving factor. Some providers offer great shared plans but don’t have the solutions and capacity for a growing business, while some are best suited for big enterprises and are not tailored to fit small start-ups.

Always bear in mind that we get what we pay for and grabbing the cheapest offer that’s available is not the smartest idea or move for you. Some of these hosting services that offer the barest minimum charge – like $1.99 or thereabouts usually fall short in hardware and support.

If you plan to have an e-commerce site, post videos, podcasts, photographs, rich content etc, going for the cheapest plan would probably frustrate your efforts. You’ll probably spend more time dealing with downtime or loading issues than you would like when you choose a hosting plan that might not offer the RAM, space and processing power that installing these things would need.

Area of Specialty and Support

Check out the features of the web hosting provider, what are their areas of specialty and ability? What makes them special? Are there any extra incentives that you would get from using their services such as prompt and regular data backup. What kind of machines are they operating on? Even if you are not a technically astute person, when you read reviews you would know if the host uses top of the line process and services. You could always engage them in a chat or email exchange to understand if they are the right fit for your business.

I would recommend that you look out particularly for things like; speed, uptime, and support, by far the most important aspect in my opinion.

Not all the big names are best tailored for your needs

This is where a good number of people get caught by all the dazzle. Most of the big name companies have built their brand and gained their success over time that they tend to slack off and due to the fact that they are well-known, it’s easy to forget to check their suitability for your business that one ends up with poor customer service and experience.

What are other people saying?

Ask other users in your niche for recommendations on what works for them. Read other third-party reviews online to help you make an informed decision. On the other hand, you could ask the providers that you are looking at the questions you would like answered. This will certainly give you an idea of their professionalism and customer support. Put everything that you found out in a balanced perspective.

Here are the reasons why I chose WP Engine

After much consideration and enough nosing around, I made my decision to go with WP Engine based on various parameters.

I got a listening ear from customer service

Before signing up with them, I sent out inquiries to different web hosting services and out of all, WP Engine got back to me promptly, directed me to their 24/7 chat support services where I bounced off questions with an assistant. I totally loved that feel that there’s someone paying attention to my needs. It corroborated many¬†other reviews ¬†that I had read out there.

The Plan and The Cost

The plans that they have to offer is a few dollars more than some other providers that I compared it with, but putting everything in perspective, that I would I have room to grow from small to large enterprise, their regular upgrades, backup, support, speed and the thought of owning a hack proof website, spending that few more dollars that I would probably spend on bars of chocolate or a drink didn’t seem too much. Besides, you get a discount¬†when you go through referral or promotions. Remember that excellent hardware and service is not cheap.

Money back guarantee if I wasn’t satisfied

Yes, knowing that I had a 60 days money back guarantee made me feel comfortable enough to give it a go and its way past 60 days and I am a satisfied customer.

Earn up to $7500 for one sale!

Their Promise

What they have on offer is a seller for me. WP Engine is a VIP WordPress hosting service and in my opinion, the best WordPress hosting for your website. Their hosting service offers excellent uptime, top-notch security, fast and robust servers, automatic security updates, daily backups, excellent customer service that makes you feel appreciated, and a one-click staging area and restore system that takes away a lot of technical hassles especially for tech-challenged people like me.

A fat slice of the incentives.

Based on the fact that I’m interested in affiliate¬†marketing, I am on the lookout to partner with credible services that offer sensible commissions and WP Engine offers industry leading payouts of $200 per new customer referred by you. There are several incentives worth looking at. Their commissions are generous and this can help you to increase your revenue from your site and over time, your earnings pay for the cost of setting up your site, so to me, it’s a win/win situation.

In Summary and My Experience so far

I am completely a huge fan of WP Engine and would recommend it 100% to anyone. Naturally, there are pros and cons to every service out there and based on my experience so far, their pros far outweigh any cons, besides I haven’t had any downsides yet. Two weeks ago that I installed a plugin and got an immediate notification from WP Engine that the plugin was not good for my system as well as a list of recommended plugins that I could use. I like the idea that I’m not in the dark, stumbling around by myself and probably making costly mistakes. If you are looking to migrate your site or to set up a new website,

If you are looking to migrate your site at the speed of light or to set up a new website, quit worrying and choose a WordPress focused, hassle free helping hand. Let WP Engine handle your WordPress site.

Here’s a big announcement. WP Engine has a Special Sales Scoop Cheat Code now that’s worth taking advantage of. It offers you a¬†get 4 months free on annual plans (20% off first payment on monthly plans) – no coupon necessary!

Click this Link to activate the code and enter the following code using arrows and letters on your keyboard when you get to WP Engine website. Offer expires midnight 31/10/2016.

Cheat Code: Up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, b, a

*Hint* – be sure to leave your sound on and watch the magic happen at checkout!

Go ahead and give it a try. You’ll be glad you did.
WordPress Speed Test

Blog Bytes – Useful Top Tips 2

Blog, Top Tips, Sharing, Knowledge, Growth, Information, Learning, Generosity, Resource, Solutions, Encouragement

Be Generous With Your Knowledge

Share what you know and open up your mind to learn from others as well. It’s a two-way traffic; to teach and to learn.

Hoarding useful information won’t make you any wiser or richer. Some bloggers are often afraid of sharing enriching information out of fear that others may overtake them when they give out what they consider their secret ammunition.

Make yourself and your blog a resource place that others would refer to. Be forthcoming with solutions when you know them. People are more attracted to those they feel would teach them or lend them the inspiration to get where they want to go.

For more blog top tips, check this link.




50 Blog Post Ideas and Activities to Beat The Bloggers Block.

Blog Post Ideas, Activities, Beat Bloggers Block, Photography, Writing, Info-graphics, Google Trends, Inspiration, Motivation

So you’ve started a blog, but coming up with fresh ideas to publish is a challenge? You are certainly not alone. It’s a challenge that most bloggers face especially given the fact the for your blog to succeed, great content matters.

Without engaging content, you will not¬†keep your audience’s attention and this ultimately leads to blog dormancy and failure.

Based on my experience of as an author of a blog that has run for only 18 months and in that short while, has over 1,800 published and well-received posts, I’ve compiled a help list of blog post ideas and activities that you can bookmark and refer to as often as you need to and this list is more than enough to keep you busy for¬†a while depending on your publishing frequency.

Now, let’s quickly go through them.

50 Things To Do

#1. Share your experience

If someone is starting out in your field of interest, what top advice would ¬†you offer¬†them? Create a series where you document your learnings with the world of WordPress. This helps you to keep an eye on how far you’ve come and to keep up your focus. Your story could inspire others.

#2. Have you created a resource post lately?

It could be a simple checklist of resources that you use and people like checklists that they can quickly run through.

#3. Are there helpful books that you would recommend?Blog Post Ideas, Activities, Beat Bloggers Block, Photography, Writing, Info-graphics, Google Trends, Inspiration, Motivation

You’ve read some awesome books that changed your views, totally inspired you to become a better you, or made your laugh out loud etc. Others might find it interesting as well.

#4. Write a post that themes around a holiday season.

Yes, we love holidays and part of blogging is also to make emotional connections with your readers. It could be a little story on how you couldn’t blog because you chose to spend more time with family and recommendations on how to get past those days that you are unable to blog.

#5. Writing Marketing Tips that have worked for you

We all search for new ways each day on how to improve on our habits profitably. Sharing your ideas and tips is never a bad idea.

#6. Write a how to start a project post for a beginner

This could be on your photography, writing, e-commerce, becoming an artist, the list is endless.

#7. Networking advice post

What social mediums work for you? How you’ve managed the multiple medias out there? What would you recommend to others?

#8. Writer a common Mistakes post

What are the common mistakes that you’ve observed in your niche? What possible solution would you suggest?

#9. Create a Blog Series

If a blog topic is a long one, consider expanding it by breaking down into series. For instance, I break my Writers tips series into little digestible bits, because there are loads of tips to write about.

#10 Write a Customer Appreciation Post

Appreciating those who support you now and again through a form of mention is a great idea. People love being appreciated.

#11. Is there something you wish others would blog more about?

Throw it out into the open.

#12. Review products, films, services and write a concise review.

#13. Create a list of influential people to follow in your niche.

Include a brief description of who they are and their social links for others to check them out.

#14. Create pick of the week for your readers

Outline the best posts you read during the week and what got your attention and why you consider them valuable.

#15. Interview someone interesting in your niche

Familiarize with other bloggers who you could interview and mine their thoughts for ideas.

#16. Work with others

Invite your readers to share a guest post or tip post and offer to write guest posts.

#17. Share a workload management post

In this time of super stress, people appreciate posts that help them to get better organized.

#18. Share vibrant photos

Images attract viewers. From time to time use a photo that grabs attention.PicsArt_09-02-09.27.03[1]

#19. Produce and publish your artwork, painting etc.

Showing off your portfolio online is also a gateway for an artist or budding artist to showcase their talent.

#20. Write a Best of Post

A post that pulls the best of ¬†the blog posts you’ve published over a period.

#21. Write a freebie post

Freebies are delightful. Use a blog post to draw your audience to giveaways.

#22. What are the best apps you use online/offline?

Write a post and introduce these apps to your audience.




#23. Write a ‘what not to do’ post

Based on your blogging experience, share those things that you would hesitate to repeat.

#24. Write a recap of a free or not free webinar, training, workshop that you attended.

#25. Do you know some marketing secrets?

Blog about it.

#26. Create an event for your blog and invite others

Blog hops, meet, and greets are social networking tools that would drive traffic to your site and well as creating an atmosphere for bloggers to get to know themselves better.

#27. Create a newsletter

Weekly or bi-monthly, whichever works better for you.

#28. Create a crowdsourced post

Ask 10, 20, 30 or more influencers to answer a single question, pool their response into one post accrediting their contribution to each of them with their vital links.

#29. Write a well-researched post on a trending topic in your niche.

This might take the time to create a comprehensive post, but it’s worth the effort at the end of the day.

#30. Create a Definition Post.

These are posts that define aspects of your niche and educates your audience.

#31. Create your own 20, 50, 100 list post of blog post ideas.

#32. Write an A-Z post.

For example A-Z of setting up a blog, photography, writing a book etc.

#33. If you want to mix up things, try vlogging or podcast and share with your audience.

#34. Create your cheat sheets that they could bookmark, download or print out.

make money blogging, create quality content, gain readership, networking, income streams, revenue, monetizing, launch blog#35. Create info-graphics, charts or graphs that break down the information in a quick, visual way.

#36. Write about your worst blog posts and why you think they tanked.

#37. Provide useful templates of some kind – finance, business plan, calendar etc

#38. Repurpose an old post and republish.

When you started out publishing your posts, there are chances that you’ve got some gems in your primary articles that barely saw the light of the day. Now that you’ve got some readers, repurposing them might be a great idea.

#39. Reveal your blogging schedule.

Do you blog full-time or part-time? How are you able to balance other aspects of your life and your passion?

#40. Blog your book, chapter by chapter as you write.

This helps you to write the book faster because you are committed to blogging about it.

#41. Make a list of your favourite quotes from influential people. What do you find inspiring about them?

What do you find inspiring about them?

#42 Share what keeps you motivated as a blogger

People love to learn how others keep inspired and motivated. Contribute your own motivating thoughts.

#43. What are your best WordPress plugins?

Share your opinion

#44. Showcase your photography equipment

Share its ups and downs, how it’s served you, your recommendations etc

#45 Make a wish list for your blogging space and future

#46. Use your reader’s comments as an inspiration

#47. Write a how to care for your gadgets post.

#48. Ask your audience what they want. You can also take a poll/survey

#49. Write a post on how you came up with the name for your blog

 Was it for practical or sentimental reasons?

Blog Post Ideas, Activities, Beat Bloggers Block, Photography, Writing, Info-graphics, Google Trends, Inspiration, Motivation

#50. Use keywords as inspiration.

When your creative juice runs dry, you could find inspiration through Google Trends by using keywords in your niche. It’s a tool that uses search facts to decide how many times a word or phrase is used in a given period. This way, you know what’s now trending on a particular subject, that you type in. Pretty effective and easy tool to use.

Hopefully, these ideas that you could tweak to suit your purpose will keep you busy for some time. However, remember that whatever you blog about, enjoy the process and let it be something you are passionate about, that way your inspiration will not wane easily. Have fun

If you’ve found this post useful do let us know in the comments below and please, stay tuned for¬†more blog post ideas.

Blog Bytes – Useful Top Tips

Blog Top Tips, Subscription base, Appreciating Readers, Networking, Engaging Readers, Blog Growth, Traffic, Success, Value

Appreciate Your Existing Readers

In the haste to grow their subscription base, many bloggers become obsessively compulsive in their focus to finding new readers that they neglect to appreciate and properly engage with the existing ones’.

Growing one’s blog is of paramount importance, however, the failure to show appropriate value to your present audience will eventually lead to losing their attention.

As a matter of fact, your existing readers play a huge role in helping to grow your blog and bring more traffic your way.

Find time to consistently connect with them.

In as much as there’s no ‘cast in stone’ right or wrong way to the art of blogging, it is still a form of science whose success lies in certain methodical approaches.

Check here for more useful tips on blogging.

Make Money Blogging

make money blogging, create quality content, gain readership, networking, income streams, revenue, monetizing, launch blog

Income Streams from Blogging – Part 2

In part 1 we explored the possibilities of monetizing your blog through advertising, affiliate marketing and products. Let’s take a further look into other income streams that you could apply to your blog to make money from your blogging. Remember that this project starts first with launching a blog, creating useful content, gaining readership, then monetizing.

Remember that this project starts with launching a blog, creating useful content, gaining readership, then monetizing. If you’ve not yet launched a blog, here are 6 easy steps to set up your WordPress site.

Income through Services

Once you’ve built readership and trust, a common way for bloggers to make money from their blogs is to offer their services to their readers. These services could range from content writing¬†to editing services, coaching to consulting, freelance services, designing, training and promoting.

In this instance, there’s no middle man like affiliate marketing. The direct business decision between the blogger and the client allows both of ¬†them to arrive at a suitable fee.

Income through Events

From the onset, organizing events may not be possible for a new blogger, but as the blogs traffic grows and it becomes better known, the possibilities of organizing blogger/writer oriented events such as conferences, webinars, workshops, meet-ups, summits etc, offers great opportunity to make money as well as the chance for face time with other like-minded people. The upsides are many.

Recurring Income

Income could be derived from aspects such as special membership programs for premium content or for some form of service. A quick example is a platform that hosts writing competitions or reviews and needs paid membership in order to become part of such community.

Money from Offline Business 

Your income could also improve by using your blog as a promotional tool to build your credibility in your chosen niche. With time you become a recognized figure in that industry and this could lead to the approach of others who want you to give a speech to an audience for a fee, to coauthor a book, organize a program, be a brand ambassador and so much more.

Other Streams of Revenue

There are many little ways that a blogger could apply to earn some income. Some add PayPal donation buttons asking for support to their blogs  like the one that I have, collaboration with other bloggers one way or the other, and some popular bloggers eventually go on to sell their blogs as a brand, for a fantastic figure.

make money blogging, create quality content, gain readership, networking, income streams, revenue, monetizing, launch blog

Making money from blogging takes lots of patience and persistence. Diversifying your income streams through the various methods mentioned and more as well as your marketing approach would help get you on track to where you want to be as a blogger and reduces the risk of the painful process of slow income growth.

Just bear in mind that making money from blogging doesn’t just happen by sticking up a blog post and hoping that tons of visitors will come. You must be willing to put in the time that it takes to create quality and useful content, network and build relationships with others, experiment with as many methods as you can, till you find the effective mediums that work¬†for you.

I hope that you find this article helpful on your journey to fulfilling your dreams of turning your blog into a money-maker. If you’ve tried any of these methods, it would be wonderful to learn from your experience.

I’ll keep sharing little tips and tutorials on how to make the best from your blog and it would be awesome if you could subscribe to The Art of Beautiful Expressions so that we can do this together.

How To Network, Promote Your Blog And Grow Your Traffic Effectively.

Networking, Promoting, Guest Posting, Social Media Sharing, Content Sharing, Collaboration, Target Readers, Blog Traffic, Growth

Networking and promoting your blog requires online community building which takes consistent effort to engage, interact and share on social media platforms. Most bloggers know how difficult it could be to grow a blog, however, inculcating useful tactics would allow you to make the most of your efforts to promote your blog.

For a new blogger, networking is especially important to help you speed up the process of growing your blog business, gaining new readers and subscribers.

With the spate of networks coming out so often, there are many opportunities for a blogger to grow their blog, however, time constraint may make it impossible to try to use them all. A great strategy would be to focus on a few of them and work them to the best of your ability.

One recommendation that I would offer any new blogger is to invest a significant amount of time daily connecting with others online, which entails reading and commenting on other people’s blogs, responding to comments, connecting via social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Instagram, Pinterest etc.

To embark on effective promotion on social media, I would make a number of suggestions:

Identify your target readers based on your niche.

If your articles are mainly visuals, mediums like Instagram, Pinterest, Tumbler may work best for you, while LinkedIn, Google+ Facebook, Twitter could work in your favour for written posts as well as visuals.

Create great content

The importance of creating content that serves your readers must be reiterated. Killer contents that offer how-to tutorials, solutions to a problem or list of resources relevant to others in your niche would gain and retain the interest of many. Also use snippets that offer tips in-between your schedule of posting killer contents.

Automate content sharing

Through WordPress.org you could choose plugin mediums with the potentials to grow your traffic and the social sharing buttons are easy to implement on your blog and WordPress JetPack provides a service that automates sharing to a number of social networks.

Keep the sharing buttons to a minimum for several reasons; having too many options presents a problem to your readers who may end up not sharing it at all, it also slows down your page speed when you have too many social media buttons.

Use Guest posting and Collaboration

Reach out to blogs in a similar niche as yours and offer to guest post on their blog or to collaborate on topics that you might have in common.

Most times new bloggers aim for high A-list bloggers with tons of traffic and undermine the B-list bloggers with medium traffic flow. The hard truth is that most successful bloggers out there are extremely busy people who are constantly inundated with a deluge of networking requests, so it might be more difficult to catch and retain their attention.

Other medium growth bloggers within your niche are equally in a position to drive traffic to your end especially when your interests lie on the same ground. There’s no point guest posting on a blog that talks about construction, while your interest lies in poetry or healthy lifestyle.

Be Useful. Give, then Receive

Self-promoting is far easier that getting others to promote you and if you choose the path of self-promotion only, your journey will be far more arduous. Be more generous and open-minded in giving rather than just taking. When you highlight and share the good work done by others, encouraging them with your comments and supporting them to achieve their goals, it creates a ripple effect. Generosity may be old-fashioned but still works all the time and you’ll be in a much better position in the long run.

Most people have the fear that in promoting other people’s work they will lose the authenticity of their blog’s which is a total misconception. There are several methods of doing this, either by making reference to the article that you are highlighting, sharing it on social media, featuring the post on your blog and so on.

Be Consistent and Prove Yourself

When you are starting out, it takes some¬†time to create an impression and to build a community. A lot of bloggers start out and give up within the first few months of blogging¬†because the demands of blogging/writing are not easy. The initial slowness of growth and the rigours of networking could make it a steep climb, but you’ve got to keep going and show that you are in it for the long haul. Disappearing into thin air ever so often is not great for the growth of a blog. Be consistent in proving yourself as you grow your niche and keep your expectations to a minimum.

Network, Network, Network

Make time to consistently network at least 30 minutes to 1 hour each day. Read and comment, link to posts of bloggers in your niche, interact with others through Twitter, Facebook

You can search out and join like-minded groups on Facebook such as Share bloggers¬†and Cafe Blog. There’s a number of them online.

Try and build relationships with others. Don’t approach them just as a one-off to help you grow your blog. No one likes to feel used. The basis of interaction should be due to respect for their work and expectation creating a¬†good synergy.

Promotion

Take some time each day, at least a 30 minutes to 1 hour each day to promote your blogs article. Let people in your niche know about it, post it in forums or submit to social bookmarking sites.

With these consistent efforts, the fruitful dividends of your networking will surely pay off over time. I must warn that you shouldn’t expect too much to happen too quickly. The relationships and growth will happen as you persist and build trust.

I would love to hear about your own experience on networking your blog. Are there tips that probably helped you  to grow your blog that you would like to share with us?

 

 

 

Build your best blog without all the guesswork. Grow your community. Improve your visibility. Earn from your creativity.

Do you dream of earning income from your blog?

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