Unleash your creativity.

There are simple, practical ways that will inspire and stimulate your creative potentials.

Read More

Earn from your creativity.

Tips to help you make money from your creative process: blogging, writing, photography, vlogging...

Read More

Grow your network, build your community.

Strategies on how to network effectively and to grow your blog community.

Read More

Building Better Connections – Blog Bytes

Building Better Connections, Networking, Commenting, Social Networking Sites

Building Better Connections

To build better connections for your blog, it’s far more expedient to spend a little time a day to read and comment on several blogs that you follow, than going through hundreds of them leaving your likes and Gravatar on a consistent basis like a sticker.

Your comments leave a more valid impression behind. It’s a painstaking and time-consuming affair, but worthwhile in the long-term.

Remember that people follow people – they essentially follow the perceived personality behind the blog, even when the blogger is anonymous – and not necessarily the website. It’s the connections that form the backbone of your blog and those few minutes spent commenting builds a bridge to networking.



Networking

Networking means doing a whole gamut of things that I have written about here before such as:

  • Leaving comments on other blogs.
  • Responding to comments that others leave on yours.
  • Make helpful suggestions.
  • Emailing people to introduce yourself especially in a niche that interest you.

Give yourself a challenge today, comment on at least 5 – 10 blogs that you read.

Check these links for more blogging and writers tips.

This post has affiliate links approved for this site.

Compose in The Thirds – Essential Photo Tips

What is The Rule of Thirds?

The rule of thirds is possibly the most common essential photographic technique that is applied to your images to improve its composition and to create the right balance.

Third Rule , Photo Composition, Essential Photography Tips, Digital Photography, Balanced Images

 How to Use The Rule of Thirds.

The basic principle of the rule of thirds is to mentally imagine breaking your subject down into thirds in your viewfinder, horizontally and vertically, so that you have nine equal parts.

Third Rule, Photo Composition, Essential Photography Tips, Digital Photography, Balanced Images




With this breakdown in mind, think about the elements of your photo that’s most important, and try to place them at or near the lines and intersections of the grid. They mustn’t be compulsorily lined up as long as they’re close.

Rule of thirds could be used for any image because it’s versatile. The general idea is that an off-centre composition is more aesthetically balanced and pleasing to the eyes’ than one when the subject is positioned right in the middle of the frame.

Third Rule, Photo Composition, Essential Photography Tips, Digital Photography, Balanced Images

Playing or not Playing by the rules

Like most rules, the rule of thirds is not cast in stone and should never be applied blindly, particularly when it comes to creativity. In essence, this rule can equally be broken effectively and you would still end up with great images with its’ focal point in the centre of the square.

Third Rule, Photo Composition, Essential Photography Tips, Digital Photography, Balanced Images

Simply think of the rule of thirds as one of those rules of thumb and excellent starting point for creating balance in any composition. It would come naturally with practice.

To join the photography theme challenge for practice, check this link and you can find other photo tips here.

This post has affiliate links approved for this site. 

10 Quick Tips for Budding Photographers

Quick Tips For Budding Photographers

So you’ve caught the passion for photography? As a beginner consider these tips on camera, learning, experiment, and practice below as you begin the journey of finding your foot in the huge world of image making.

Beginner photographers, digital photography, photo tips, camera, learning, experiment, practice

1. Resist the urge to splurge.

Yes indeed, this is a common weakness of picking up a passion especially one like photography. The urge to buy an expensive camera and many gadgets that you believe would make your images great. simply kicks in. It’s quite possible to get great shots with an inexpensive point and shoot cameras. The important thing is understanding the gadget that you are presently using and practice, practice, practice. By the time you are ready for an upgrade, you have a better idea of what you want. Going overboard to acquire gadgets sometimes leads to spending on things that we may end up not using.

2. Don’t be afraid to experiment.

Your cheap point and shoot camera might just surprise you with its output when you invest time to go through its manual and understand it. Play around and shoot with different settings and focal points as much as you can to see what you like and what works best.

3. Get a tripod or lightweight Gorillapod.

This gives your photos stability especially if your hands are not steady. Your images would turn out way better and there are lots of inexpensive tripods that you can invest in.

4. Keep your camera close to you.

Opportunities to capture unique photos present themselves unexpectedly and when you’ve got your gadget, you take advantage of such opportunities. So like the girl’s guide mantra says, ‘be prepared’

5. Don’t overlook the mundane.

Everyday ordinary things make great subjects to photograph. It all depends on your perspective as a photographer and the story you choose to tell through the image. Try looking at familiar grounds with a fresh eye and find inspiration all around you.

6. Keep a list.

Keep a list of ideas and things that you want to photograph especially when trying to recreate an image that you like. Taking special note of important details like the time of the day, lighting etc will come in handy. Create and compare.

7. Be hungry for knowledge and take advantage of free resources.

Study what professional photographers are doing. Do your research, check out websites that offer online learning resources. Some are even offered free now and again on Coursera and many websites.

8. Work outside your comfort zone.

Don’t always stick to the familiar. Be open to the things happening around you.

9. Learn the basics and practice them often to help assimilation.

Information overload could be overwhelming so stick to a bit at a time. Trying to rush the learning could lead to the opposite direction. Consistency and balance are the keys to sustaining passion.




10. Be patient and enjoy the process.

The most important aspect of learning and perfecting a craft is enjoying the learning process and patiently putting lessons learned to test.

What tips would you offer a beginner photographer?  To join the photography theme challenge for practice, check this link and you can find other photo tips here.

Ready. Steady. Say Cheese.

This post has affiliate links approved for this site. 

Blog Bytes – Invest Time

Blog Tips, Invest Time, Success, Blogging, ROI, Dividends

Plan to Invest Time

Blogging is not a get rich, quick fix venture. Blogging is a lifestyle art that requires grit and not a fad that will make your pocket swell overnight.

You would need to invest some length of time in your craft before you will enjoy the dividends of your hard work.Tweet: The plain truth is that the blogosphere (web) is a ginormous, noisy place, with millions of minions churning out information at the speed of light.

The plain truth is that the blogosphere (web) is a ginormous, noisy place, with millions of minions churning out information at the speed of light.




It takes some time to build a good blog, to network, to cultivate and keep up your readership.

Except you are willing to persevere and to diligently invest a greater time than most, you are likely going to get frustrated and success would be almost impossible.

My candid advice is that if you are seeking a short path to success, to fame, to quick returns on investment, blogging is not the right path for you.

However, if you dig in your heels, keep building on it, keep learning and improving, the results will be worth all the effort in the long run.

Check these links for more blogging and writers tips.

WP Engine Fastest Managed WordPress Platform

This post has affiliate links approved for this site.

Overcome Your Writing Fears – Essential Writers Tips

Essential Writer's Tips, Writing, Overcome Writing Fears, Writer

 

Writing Fears

What are your greatest writing fears?

Writing is not for the faint of heart and to build a successful career as a writer is not without its’ fair share of anxieties.

At various points in their pursuit, most writers have experienced writing fears, so this is not a challenge peculiar to you.

I remember when decided I to follow my passion and started writing actively, I had bubbles of anxiety in my stomach for days, I lost several nights of sleep wondering what made me think that I was good enough for anyone to want to spend their time reading my words.

Coupled with that, I enrolled for a creative writing course and as much as I tried not to take the instructors critic to heart, I never looked forward to hearing from her and was literally developing an ulcer from anguish. After much angst, I decided to put my anxiety to an end, to believe in myself and chose to face my fears.

Your fear might be one or even all the following:

  • Fear of failure.

This is one of the most common writing fears that writers nurture in the dark recesses of the mind, creating various excuses to stop from writing that story, book or series that you have, excuses like ‘the bookstores are already so full of books, who would want to read mine?’ Don’t let these doubts and lack of confidence stand in your way.

  • Fear of rejection.

In my honest opinion, I believe that all writers face this fear at some point or the other. Fear of submitting that work and facing the rejection. In this case, my friend, you’ve got to develop a thick hide like the Rhinoceros. Brace your mind that it’s bound to happen but it won’t stop you from pursuing your dream.

  • Fear of poor writing.

You can only get better through practice, making mistakes and learning from them. Refreshing your knowledge of basic writing skills and grammar would help. Also, consider using writing tools that point out those little errors.

  • Fear of criticism.

Writers are sensitive people especially when it comes to their work. Allowing others to critique your work is a nail-biting time. One way to get past this is to choose those who check your work carefully, based on their experience – not for the feel good cause – but knowing that they will offer a constructive feedback. Condition your mind not to take it personally and check the outlined issues. Most times it’s worth it.

  • Fear of obscurity.

Not going after your dreams will not make you visible. What have you got to lose? Since you are down, there’s only one way to go and that is up.

  • Financial concerns

A valid concern for most writers. It’s certainly not easy to leave the thoughts of the bills to pay to chase a bowl of gold coins at the end of the rainbow. So, caught in this many writers struggle to find the time to get their writing done. This is a situation where a thorough work-life balance approach comes in. You’ve got to create the space to chase your dreams. Scheduling will help.

Some are afraid of letting it all out. Worried that emptying their thoughts will only bring castigation. Thus, their writing becomes lackluster because out of fear of getting personal and losing their perceived sense of privacy, they fail to draw on personal experience that can only enhance their writing.

  • Fear of not finding the right words to bring out that great story in you.

There will be days like this whether you are a new writer or an experienced one. Be ready to deal with the writers’ block. 

  • Fear that no one would want to read your publications.

You’ll be surprised. Stop selling that excuse to yourself.

  • Fear that your story is not as original as you thought.

I believe that everything has been written in one form or the other, however, you haven’t written from your own refreshing perspective. Go ahead and own your story.

  • Fear that you are not as talented as you thought.

It’s most likely that you simply have a distorted view of your own writing and potentials. Others think you’ve got it, but in your own mind, you feel you fall short. Learning to believe in yourself is important here.

  • Fear of never becoming published. 

The beautiful thing about self-publishing is that it frees your mind from this inhibition. No hindrances to exploring getting your work out there by self-publishing.

The list of writing fears is endless and the interesting thing is that the thing that is your strength as a writer ‘your imagination’ goes into overdrive in face of these fears and you’ll eagerly fill in the blank spaces of ‘what ifs’ by giving the fear a larger than life attribute.

This ultimately leads to not realizing your aspirations and full potentials as a writer because these fears become a problem when we fail to deal with them.

For example, the fear of rejection prevents many writers from submitting their work and what makes it worse is that the more a writer allows a fear to grow the more you reinforce its place as the captain of your creativity.

Facing Your Fears

Only thing we have to fear is fear itself. Franklin D. Roosevelt

Your writing life presents you with the endless opportunities to meet your fears and conquer them.

Facing that blank page, sending out that manuscript only to receive a rejection letter, having the courage to bare your soul and being told that it lacks character… are surely part of what a writer’s nightmare is made of, however, when we consciously work with fear, we can actually harness this energy source in ways that will support our writing goals and enhance our writing experience.

Steps to dealing with your writing fears

  • Identify which fears concern you most. Which ones are valid, which fears could become valid and which ones are simply excuses?
  • Acknowledge the fear without putting it in charge.
  • Seek ways to rise above it: Join other writing groups, give yourself the permission to fail. Redefine your own scale of success. Apply daily, positive affirmations to boost your thought.
  • Brainstorm on how to handle your fears in positive ways. For example, instead of telling yourself that it’s okay to get rejected, tell yourself that you’ll research reasons why submissions get rejected and seek solutions to revise your work properly.
  • Focus on process instead of results. Have a written action plan that you can refer to when you start feeling discouraged.
  • Forget perfectionism and be open with your shortcomings.
  • Retrain your poor habits diligently. There are those habits we’ve imbibed over time that simply yield nothing and only serve as blocks in our path.
  • Don’t make things harder than they are. Cease from approaching your writing from a place of fear, it only makes it harder and tiring. When you find yourself all tensed up, seek ways to relax before getting back to your writing.
  • Keep doing it afraid. Repeating your process creates comfort and confidence.
  • Be realistic in your approach. Don’t set impossible goals for yourself. Factor your lifestyle in and use a pragmatic approach.
  • Talk about it. It helps to share your thoughts and fears with those you trust.
  • Quit comparing. Your writing is unique like you are. Consistent comparison with other writers you esteem and trying to copy them hurts you more than it helps you. You can learn from the masters but carve your own path.
  • Research ways to do it better.

Your writing passion and your pursuit for success as a writer are valid and precious. Don’t let any form of insecurity keep you from doing that thing you’ve been called to do. Deal with those fears today and broaden the horizon of your potentials.

Let’s talk in the comments. What are your greatest writing hang-ups?

Check this link for essential Writer’s tips.

Keep your writing error-free; Use Grammarly.

 This post has affiliate links approved for this site. 

Egg, You’re On! Make everyday objects interesting.




Egg You’re On

Photo theme for letter E offered Egg and Environment. The environment would have probably been an easier subject to shoot. It’s a big, wide world out there, but I chose to go a different route and explore the Egg.

I like the idea of finding everyday objects, something simple and ordinary and playing around with it to turn it into an interesting subject.

I grabbed an egg out of the crate, placed it on the floor near the window where light streamed in.

Photo Theme, Shooting an Egg

Make everyday objects interesting.

It was a bit challenging to balance on the smooth floor due to lack of friction, then I balanced it in between the floor tiles that offered a gap to hold the egg, and there you go.

Several shots from various angles later, I settled for this one which I took in a close-up and monochrome.

Well, after all the shooting of the eggy images a natural wish for some omelets gave way and the natural progression of followed.

Photo Theme, Make Everyday Objects interesting, Egg, Digital Photography.

It’s Easter in a couple of weeks. Do create fun ways of playing with the eggs.

To join the photography theme challenge for practice, check this link and you can find other photo tips here.

This post has affiliate links approved for this site. 

 

What’s Your Blogging Purpose?

Blog Purpose , blog, blogging, writing topics, finding purpose

What’s your blog’s purpose?

Can you explain the purpose of your blog in two split secondsYou must wonder why I ask this question?

Except you are blogging incognito, it shouldn’t come as a surprise if people ask you what your blog is all about when you introduce it to them.

The last thing you want is to do is to mumble garbled thoughts that leave them wondering if your orange juice is spiked.

Your intention is to sound brilliant, concise, engaging and with a twinkle in your eyes when you speak about your blogging passion. Your little snippet should make them want to visit and capture some of your magical dust 😉

People have various reasons for blogging; from blogging for personal pleasure to blogging for business reasons.

With my tongue in my cheek, I dare to point out that if you are blogging just for your personal pleasure and entertainment then you should probably skip this post.

However, if per chance you are trying to engage others with your content, then it’s time to take a deep breath and ponder on your purpose for a few minutes.

  • Ask yourself if the purpose of your blog is easy to define?
  • What do you aim to do with it?
  • How are you testing whether you’re reaching your desired effect?

Answering these questions will help you know if you are on the mark or shooting off the range.

A Multi-Purpose blog.

My first blog ‘a cooking pot and twisted tales’ is a blog of many faces and it started out as an effort to dedicate time to my writing (stories, poetry).

It was initially for my pleasure. A personal creative outlet, but the more enthused I become with her, the more I want to share her with everyone else, so it’s no longer just about me.

At the beginning, I struggled with the attempt to define it because I was still trying to understand this new entity that I was creating.

Now as the months go by, I see it evolving. I see a growing community around my blog and more consistency in the things that I share.

I recognize my underlying goal to share useful information, to share thoughts that provoke reflection and to improve other people’s experience as I journey to my self-improvement.

On the other hand, the purpose of this platform ‘The Art of Beautiful Expressions,’ is simply that of a tool to educate and to share information with others who seek for ways to enhance their creativity and to make their passion a profitable portfolio.

Earn up to $7500 for one sale!

No matter which way that you choose to look at your blog:

  • as an online diary of your life,
  • as a showcase for your talents
  • to share a particular ability that you have,
  • as a way to promote your products that you believe others would find beneficial,
  • as a way of creating meaningful engagements,
  • as a means of providing knowledge, learning and connecting with like-minded people,

remember that it’s a media property which allows you to be any/all the above and many other things.

What happens when you don’t find ‘the why’ for your blog?

There are several disadvantages that result from not having a defined blog.

  • The lack of purpose is like a ship moving without a compass. In relation to your blog, not knowing the proper direction to go, will simply result in wandering aimlessly all over the humongous world of internet and getting lost in there.
  • Without your purpose, you have no goals to meet and a blog without defined goals stays unfocused.
  • Without specified goals, your seriousness about your blog is not a priority and your content suffers. Remember that content is King and it’s your content that engages the readers.
  • Building loyal readers from a blog that lacks purpose is an uphill task. They simply have no idea what they are looking for and why they should keep coming back.
  • When you fail to find any purpose for your blog, you will soon find yourself consistently copying other successful blogs. This way you will lose your own identity, your own voice, and originality.

Some Upsides of Having Purpose

  • Blogging with purpose creates impact and leaves a longer lasting impression on your readers. They find something that resonates with them.
  • Purposeful blogging connects people and builds a community who keep coming back in light of the interest it creates for them. They seek whatever it is you are offering along the way and they want your material to enlighten, to entertain, tell, inspire them or any other satisfaction that you are providing.
  • Instills confidence in the blogger and the readers. When you write with passion and purpose it tells. You are in a better place to convince readers who believe in your recommendations or products.
  • Self-discipline becomes easier and working on your blog provides immense satisfaction and not stress. When your passion aligns with your goals everything down the line becomes relatively easier.

Defining Your Purpose

Having come this far into the article lets take a quick look at ways that would help you to define your blog’s purpose.

  1. Create a list of your interests by looking at:
    • the things you are passionate about
    • the things that interest you
    • your hobbies
    • your experience or ability
  2. For starters, focus on those points that you can find ample material to write your blog posts.
    • such as, having a family and raising children provides you with lots of material
    • you might want to explore your interest in photography or cooking
    • sewing or other crafts/DIY
  3. Organize your choices in categories and sub-categories
    • Now that you’ve identified your categories, try to organize them into similar subjects.
    • for instance, in my first blog, I have a category called creative writing and the subs, poetry, flash fiction, short stories…
  4. Start from your strongest point.
    • Especially for newbie bloggers, it’s always better to take off from the category that offers you more topics to write on. This would help to build your confidence and make it less stressful trying to find topics to write about.
  5. Create a Tagline.
    • Now that you’ve created categories for your blog, make a brief summary of them in a sentence or two.
    • This will be your blog’s tagline and serve as a quick description for your readers.

For example, my tagline for this blog is ‘a resource center for your creativity – blog, write, speak, vlog, photography…’ 

Register your domain names from $0.88

Conclusion

To define the purpose of your blog is like setting a goal. Your platform will be more focused and will create a stronger impact on your readers.

However, with all said and done no one should tell you what to blog about or if you must blog with a purpose.

This is all a matter of choice, but the most important choice is to enjoy what you are doing. Like life, blogging and passion evolve over time so make the best of the journey.

My question above remains, what’s your blogging purpose? Let’s hear it in the comments.

WP Engine

5 Empowering Ways To Use Your Voice Today

5 Empowering Ways Use Voice, Spoken Word, Power, Inspire, Make Difference, Social Media, Tips

The Power in Your Voice

Do you believe that your voice has power and that it could make a difference?

Your voice is the most important tool that you have. A lot of power lies in your words and communication and the failure to use your voice, to Your Life Speak especially in today’s world is a waste. It’s essential to find ways of expressing ourselves as unique people with our own personal styles and experiences.

There are many ways that you could amplify your voice to enhance your creativity and explore the possibilities that lie before you in the Spoken word.

We may not all be gifted with the decibel to sing but we can talk and literally inspire and influence others with our words. The power to shape your own image lies with you and you have to find and embrace the voice that is completely yours.

Here are 5 easy ideas on how you can use the spoken word today:

  1. Use your voice on social media. Share a video clip or podcast of you with an empowering message for others.
  2.  Read your poetry or a short story for others to listen to.
  3. Write about something that you couldn’t talk about easily before and read it out. It’s a therapy that frees you.
  4. Speak about those things you love or the people who inspire you.
  5. Share a tip that you would like others to know.

I hope you pick one idea today and use your voice to enrich your life as well as those around you.

Remember that it takes one step at a time to get to the level of those brilliant orators who inspire you endlessly. They also had to bravely come out of their shell by starting small. Maybe, this will help you come out of your shell if you are in one.

Speak out and break down those barriers. Tweet this

How are you using your voice? You can share your links or experience in the comments below.




Essential Writers Tips – Go Easy on The Punctuations

Exclamation Points, Punctuation Rules, Punctuation Usage, essential writers tips, emotion

Curb the exclamations!

Guilty as charged. I am one of those writers who loves to emphasize words with punctuations and I believe there are a lot of us. It’s a no-no.

As much as you would love to make that emphasis, avoid using a lot of exclamation marks or using them with a question mark to tell a reader how important something is.

Minimal use of exclaiming punctuations serves as an opportunity to explore your descriptive capabilities as a writer.

Exclamation Point

  • The Exclamation point (!):  Added to show yelling (in a dialogue ) or extreme emotion (in a narrative).

Don’t use more than one (!!), and avoid using it with a question mark (!?).

Most editors discourage its usage, the rule of thumb is not more than two or three exclamation points in an entire manuscript.

This is because overuse of the exclamation point creates room for weaker writing when the writer uses it consistently to show emotion. Instead, a writer should use a stronger dialog or narrative that will better convey that emotion.

Question Mark

  • The Question mark (?): Is used to punctuate a question. Need not be more than one (??) and not used with an exclamation point (?!).

Check this link for essential writers tips.

Keep your writing error-free use Grammarly.

This post has affiliate links approved for this site. 

Publish posts on Niume. Start earning immediately.




Income through creativity. Publish, Earn, blog, promote, revenue streams, Niume

Publish and Start Earning Immediately

Earning from their creativity is the biggest challenge that most bloggers/creators face.

One of the goals of this platform blog is to seek tested ways that bloggers/writers, creative people can maximize and get the best out of their creativity and a huge part of that is earning some revenue.

It is my belief that asides from personal gratification, an artist/creator should earn from their endeavours and I can’t say this enough. We also have bills to pay like every other person.

In my quest to keep sourcing for ways of building income streams from my passion, I came across Niume.com.

I started using it to test and see. Based on my experience so far, I can say that Niume is a site that shares its’ revenue with its’ users.

Therefore, I would like to share with my readers’. You can promote your blog, publish your articles as well as earn from Niume.

The beauty of getting on Niume is that you don’t have to start creating new articles to publish if you already have articles that originally belong to you on your blog. You could re-purpose them and publish them right away.

It offers an opportunity for more exposure and as well as an opportunity to earn.

Here’s how it works:

Revenue streams

  • From Posts

On Niume you generate revenue based on the number of views on your posts.

Niume now pays a $1 RPM (revenues per mille) for the views on your posts.

Once the amount that you have generated plus the amount you earned through referrals reaches at least $10 dollars you will unlock your revenues and paid directly to your Paypal account.

  • From Referrals

They urge you to spread the love and gain some reward.

When a new creator that registered to the site through your personal referral link creates his/her first post you will both receive $1.

In order to count for referral, the post created must meet Niume’s content guidelines and not be removed by moderators.

Here are the categories that you can publish in and I bet you’ll be able to find stuff that fit in.Income through creativity. Publish, Earn, blog, promote, revenue streams, Niume

Photography

Art

Lifestyle

Travel

Literature

Interesting

Culture

Music

Technology

Business

Sport

Movies

It’s really that simple. Log in through my referral link, thank you very much, register your blog, publish and you simply watch your dashboard tell you how much you’ve earned each time.

I would love to hear from you when you try it out. Share your experience with us and do remember that nothing ventured, nothing gained.

 

It’s only fair to share.

This post has affiliate links approved for this site.


Show Buttons
Hide Buttons