blogging

Creating a Successful Blog

So you have time to read blogs? Why? Don’t you know what you want in life?

Said a philosopher who had no concept of having to battle with a financial position.

Benefits of Writing a Blog

Most of us aren’t completely aimless in life, we have some kind of plan and guess what, we do like to read blogs, because we like to write blogs. It is as simple and as complicated as that.

Why do we write a blog?

  • To Spread Awareness
  • To Inform or Educate
  • To Meet others
  • To hear Independent Perspectives
  • To Promote something or someone (not discussed in this blog post)

There are more similarities between people from diverse cultures than there are differences. We can learn so much from each other if we keep an open mind.

Choosing Topics for Blog Posts

Develop your own personal voice and blogging style by writing quality content that might be useful to others.

Perhaps the best way to stand out from the crowd and make an impression upon people is to produce content that impacts them in some way. Write something that matters, that helps people, that solves a problem, that enriches people’s lives, and you increase the chances of them coming back again and again.

artofblogging.net

Write Interesting Blog Content

Blog posts are interesting to readers if you:

  • Write about topics that you know well or in which you have some expertise
  • Write about something that is dear to your heart
  • Post about subjects you are passionate about
  • Ask questions of your readers to engage the audience and build your own blogging community.
  • Keep posts short and succinct as much as you can! Long posts tend to bore the reader. Everyone is time poor.

Tips on Increasing Blog Traffic via the WordPress Reader

  • Research your topic to see what others have written previously and how this blog topic performed. Google can also give you an idea of the most popular questions the public has about any given subject. This can help you structure a post to answer those questions.
  • If you reset the publication date on a post multiple times, WordPress will drop your posts from the WordPress reader for a while.
  • Too many re-blogs of other sites will also result in your blog not appearing in the reader which means less new people coming across your blog.
  • WordPress does not want to have lots of duplicate content in their reader. New bloggers often make this mistake in an attempt to gain new readers. Unfortunately, it has the opposite effect.
  • Visit other bloggers who are writing about a similar subject.
  • Share your post via a Hyperlink in Pinterest and social media

Commenting and Blog Etiquette

  • Be kind to those who take the time to comment on your blog and visit their blog.
  • Reading and commenting on other blogs can only help to build your community and increase your readership.
  • Find a blogging challenge that interests you and join in. There are many types and it is a good way to build a blogger community of like-minded folk.
  • Long comments are interesting. Bloggers love long comments. It is hard to begin a conversation if you receive a comment that merely says, “Great Post.” It could even be a spammer as it is not specific enough. Think about what you liked about the post? I usually try to keep the conversation going by asking something further about the topic which leads to a deeper, more fulfilling conversation.
  • No one has time to read every post of every blogger that you might follow. Liking posts is no ongoing substitute for a real comment.

Tips on Formatting a Blog

Themes and WordPress bugs

  • Some WordPress themes do not present all that clearly on every device. I was using a Twenty Twenty theme that did not show allow a comment option and did not format well on some devices. Check how your post and blog presents on various devices.
  • Customize the chosen theme with a colour or featured post to stand out from the crowd
  • Add a featured image to each post where possible. This creates interest in the WP Reader.

Tips on Formatting Blog Posts

Use Headings and Subheadings

  • This is good for SEO. It also aids in making your post organized and flow.

Useful Widgets for a Blog

  • Include a translation option for speakers of a language other than English
  • Add a Follow option for Email and WordPress Readers – this is ESSENTIAL
  • Link other Social media Accounts
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Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

Media

  • Free blog plans have a limit to how much media storage you have. Resize your photos for faster loading of your site and efficient utilization of storage limits or purchase a paid blog plan.
  • I use Imgur or Flickr to add images by linking a URL (saves downloads and uploads). Copy the image location in google, (Right-click), if you don’t have a photo of your own to illustrate the point you wish to make by adding media.
  • If your google photos don’t show to other readers, it could be due to your privacy settings in Google photos.

Adding Tags to your Blog Post

  • Adding Tags and Categories are useful for helping other readers discover your blog.
  • It can also help if you want to check back on a previous post, on your own blog.
  • Use up to 15 categories and tags in total.
  • Using more than 15, or adding irrelevant or inappropriate tags, will result in your post being bumped from the WordPress reader. The more tags you use, the less likely your post will be featured in the Reader. And that means less new readers and followers.
  • Delete old tags that have a count of zero (posts>tags>count)

Do you have some blogging tips for New Bloggers?

Recently I posted about maintaining a blog, which led to some really productive comments and conversations.

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Community

Upcoming Poetry Challenge for Beginner Poets

Writing poetry is something everyone can do, because you can’t really ever get it wrong.

Poetry is just your own thoughts down on paper, so how can that be wrong?

Poetry writing can be a great way to express deep-seated emotions in a constructive way, helping us to process their inner meanings and significance. Then again, your poetry might just be a little bit of fun. Rhyming poetry is an example of this.

Hosts Amanda and Ineke

Fellow blogger and writer from New Zealand, Ineke from scrapydo2.wordpress.com and myself, Amanda from Something to Ponder About , are jointly hosting an upcoming poetry challenge in English and in Afrikaans, in the WordPress community.

I invite you to join in.

 

Andrea Heiberg.jpg
Writer Andrea Heiberg

 

Why?

I have my reasons for running this challenge. The first poetry challenge I ever joined was hosted by Andrea Heiberg, a teacher friend in Denmark and her colleague in America and involved an Adult and Child poetry writing challenge which you can still find here.

There was around six groups participate, from all over the world. It was a lot of fun to see what each couple came up, with each week, as well as how they improved throughout the course of the challenge. It was definitely a learning experience for all.

Sadly, Andrea Heiberg passed away last year from Cancer and I know that she would have been absolutely thrilled to see me instigating a new Poetry challenge. So, first and foremost, this poetry challenge honours her as a writer. Secondly because it is fun to write and it builds a community. I hope it will inspire you to join in.

 

When will the Challenge start?

The Poetry challenge is open to everyone, from complete beginners to advanced writers, and will run from March to October in 2018.

You can write in any language, it certainly doesn’t have to be in English.

Ineke will post the challenge in Afrikaans on her blog, so if that language suits you better, visit her here. See instructions on joining below.

 

How the Poetry Challenge Works    

On the first week of each month, Ineke and I will publish a challenge post which asks you to write a poem based on the prompt supplied,  or your own idea. We will include links to helpful sites and tips for poetry writing. There will be a poetry prompt for each month that the challenge runs.

Remember, you do not have to use this prompt, at all. The prompt is only there if you feel you want a topic to work from, or you find it hard to come up with an initial idea.

 

A and I Poetry Challenge .jpg
Ineke and I have created the above logo for the Poetry Challenge and you are very welcome to paste this onto your blog post or sidebar, so that others can also find out about the challenge, if you so wish.

 Join the Challenge!

The challenge will commence in March and run for six months.

One post and one prompt per month.

Join in for one or all months, as you like.

Instructions :

  • Sign up by leaving a comment here so we know you are interested in participating.
  • Ineke and I will post a poetry prompt and writing tips and links, around 1st day of each month. You might need to follow our blogs so that the posts show up in your WP reader.
  • Using the monthly Poetry prompt supplied, or your own idea, write a post with a poem, either fun or serious.,
  • So that we can see when you post for the poetry challenge, don’t forget to include a link or pingback to  scrapydo2.wordpress.com and Amanda’s blog, Something to Ponder About  and the tag A and I Poetry Challenge.
  • Include the Poetry Challenge badge in your post, if you so wish. (optional)
  • Leave a comment at Ineke’s blog, scrapydo2.wordpress.com and Amanda’s blog, Something to Ponder About, with a link to your blog post on the Poetry challenge post for that month. If you do this, others can find their way to your challenge post and join in the community too.

That is it!

Oh and have fun writing!!

N.B. Ineke and I will post link backs to the blogs who have joined in with the challenge in the poetry challenge post in the following month, so that you can all find each other’s blog posts and build a new poet’s community!!

Here is an initial link that you might find useful if you are looking for rhyming words.

If you have any questions, please just ask us.

I will post the first prompt this coming week.

Poetry – Something thoughtful to Ponder About

A and I Poetry Challenge