Brand For Success – Blog and Writing Tips

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Online Branding For Success

In this age, online branding is what people see when they search your name. Online branding is the equivalent of traditional ‘Dress for Success or Dress As You Want To Be Addressed.’

You won’t turn up for an interview or that important meeting in your hair bonnet, scruffy bum shorts and cut off T-shirt likewise, your online abode shouldn’t look like a dumping site for rejected literal vomit.

First impressions do count. Google is at everybody’s fingertips and anybody who Google’s you or takes the time to visit your site is a potential investor – maybe as a reader, partner, book buyer, agent, publisher etc.

With all the challenges and variables connected to online success, your personal branding is the one thing that’s totally under your control which you must harness to your advantage.

Maintain a consistent branding across the social media platforms that you use. This shows your professionalism, your confidence in yourself as an author and in your creativity. Your site is your strategic piece of online real estate that must be a hub for your online presence.

When you Google your name and ‘author,’ your website should pop up in the search result, followed by your social media profiles and your books on Amazon, Smashwords or Goodreads – if you are published.

If someone clicks on those links do they lead to your profile? Are your profiles consistent? Do they look professional?



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Use same author photo or logo across board your social platforms

Create similar descriptions or about you.

Maintain similar, readable fonts and colours that are easy on the eyes.

Can someone read your profile on mobile devices?

Keep your graphics minimal. Simple and classy trumps messy and over zealous.

Maintain your platforms branding with periodic audits.

Keep your writing stellar.

Remember that the image you project is what the reader takes away.

 

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.

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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…’ 

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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.

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Things That Make Blogging Dreary: Yeah! I Said That.

Blogs Dreary Parts, Blogging, Building Successful Blog, Blog Plan, Essential Blog Tips

To Blog or To Wash

There are day’s that I equate blogging with the boring class of washing dishes or clothes. These two are not my favourite house chores and I am yet to meet anyone who’s ecstatic about them.

Why no good fellow has thought it wise to create an elegant and smart gadget that removes the clothes after a wash, irons, folds them and puts them away nicely is a question that I ask from time to time. Now that’s a good manufacturing idea for someone to tinker around with.

You might wonder why I put blogging in the same group with housework. Okay, it’s not every day that blogging falls into that status, there are days that I do find it exciting, especially when I feel my brain cells swell with knowledge, however, here are my reasons.

Blogging’s Dreary Parts

Blogging requires dedication.

Blogging requires plugging away at it week after week just like those house chores that always materialize from thin air. You simply can’t run away from doing it to keep it going consistently.

Blogging takes time and flattens your gluteus maximus.

I keep imagining that all the hours spent sitting on my glutes instead of primping and plumping them up must have its’ side effects. Some days I feel as though my bum is getting a square shape from all the hours of sitting.

Housework takes time and sets my teeth on edge.

Starting up a blog and keeping it going takes up time. You start writing a quick post and several hours later, you are still nowhere near the end of what you want to write.

The trick here is to having as many drafts as possible in your folder to help you on the days that you don’t have all the time to spare. You could also consider renting a freelance writer if it’s essential.

To succeed in blogging, you need a plan.

No, you can’t fly by the seat of your pants and expect to make it work. Not having a plan is a good recipe for not succeeding as you would like.

I find this rather annoying. Why can’t we just write and the World queues up to read the golden drops of brilliance from our revered stations as writers?

On the other hand, developing a work plan to grow your blog is not difficult, but the crucial aspect is to stick to it.

That’s the magic wand. Create a workable plan. Stick to the plan.

You need oodles and oodles for patience.  

You took all that precious time, wrote that fabulous post of yours with your life’s blood used as ink. You edited, polished and edited it again, then you hit the publish button. Hours, Days, Weeks, squeak…no one is reading it. You could have probably used that time to bake several loaves of bread, you mutter.

Why is no one reading it? You could have sworn that your article is a piece vying for a Pulitzer, but the truth is that starting out your blogging journey is lonely and readers take their time to latch on.

Your mother and possibly your sister who you coerced with pancakes from IHOP’s are the only ones’ reading it and there are days that they may forget to cheer for you.

Don’t Quit

Whatever the case is, don’t stop blogging. Don’t quit on your blog.

People have many reasons for not blogging. Some worry about exposing their vulnerability as one of their reasons.

For me, no matter how square my bum gets or as dreary as plugging away on the blog might become, I would choose to do it over and over. It’s a faithfully satisfying love affair.

So tell me, what’s your dreary reason?

15 essential checks before launching your site.

Site checklist, WP Engine, SEO, Google Webmaster Tools, Plugins, Yoast, MailChimp, Google Analytics, Email

Now you’ve decided to give blogging a try, having a checklist is essential and would help you to prepare for any primary challenges before launching your WordPress site. It makes the arduous and lengthy process of website development less stressful and more productive.

Below is a quick checklist of the important to-do before launching your site.

  • Install your WordPress backup solution. There are plenty of good plugins that you can set up on your site within minutes. WP Engine platform has automatic back-up support feature that ensures your data is kept safe.
  • Secure WordPress Admin area by installing a security system to prevent hacking into your site and use a unique username and password. Don’t stick with the generic username ‘admin,’ that makes it an easy target.
  • Remove all Ipsum text. These are the dummy texts used as page fillers on the site.
  • Proofread your site for grammatical and typographical errors.
  • Check that images, videos, sliders used are properly formatted and functioning.
  • Check that all links are working correctly.
  • Test installed social sharing icons to make sure that they are working properly.
  • Setup Email for your website. Setting up your email up and your subscription forms as soon as possible will help you to start building an email and subscriber list right away. MailChimp plugin offers a simple way to integrate your emails and save your mailing list.
  • Test that all your forms are working as they should: contact forms, subscription forms, comments.
  • Preview your site in Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari.
  • Check for mobile gadget friendliness and responsiveness.
  • Add your site to Google Webmaster Tools/Google Search Console.
  • Install Google Analytics. It’s important that you install google analytics before you launch to help you keep track of your performance and to learn how your readers interact with your site. It will also provide information on how your site has grown as time goes on.
  • Check your SEO settings. Search engines are the top traffic generators for most websites and optimizing your site for search engines can help to grow your blog consistently. WordPress SEO plugin by Yoast is a comprehensive optimization plugin for WordPress.
  • Check the site for 404 errors through google crawl report and fix them.

Well done! We hope the information provided will be of help to you as you set to launch and if you like this article, please subscribe to join our community.

What exactly does BLOG mean?

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Blog Defined.

Blog. You’ve heard the word repeated so many times, that you want to know what it’s all about.

Simply defined, a blog is your online journal that you frequently update depending on your schedule. A place where you share your thoughts, showcase your creativity and even hone your passion. It is your website and can be whatever you want it to be. ‘Blog’ is a term derived from the word Weblog.

When you launch a blog, you are known as a blogger and your online journaling activity is referred to as blogging.

Blogs have evolved from being just a place where people write and share their day to day activities. They’ve become platforms of influence and change and today you’ll find millions of blogs covering every topic that you can think of and even those one’s that you didn’t imagine.

Anyone can be a blogger and maybe you should consider it too.

Here are various reasons why you should blog. 

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