Ten Ways to Make Your Blog Unique

This entry is part 9 of the series International English

Do you want your site to stand out in the noise of the Internet?

Do you want a unique blog or website?

So what is your goal?

Are you hoping to make it the best in your niche? Then I need to disillusion you.

Sorry.

You will never be the best. According to the stats at the time, in 2013  there were an estimated 152,000,000 blogs on the Internet. Yep, 152 million! And that was years ago. There are doubtless many many more today. And guess what. Many of them will be in your niche!

I’m sure you’re good, but that good?

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Zing and Zeal for Your Blog

This entry is part 28 of the series Build a Better Blog

Z is for zing and zealWe’ve come to the end of the Build a Better Blog alphabet, and today  we’re looking for that final touch. We have two words today.

Zing and Zeal!

First some definitions.

My dictionary describes zing as the activeness of an energetic personality.

It also suggests a brief high-pitched buzzing or humming like “the zing of the passing bullet”.

For those of us participating in the A to Z Challenge it would be appropriate to mention the zing of April as it sped past! But that’s not the sense we’re using in this closing post, but rather the activeness of an energetic personality.

Zeal according to my dictionary means  a feeling of strong eagerness, excessive fervor to do something or accomplish some end, and finally prompt willingness..

Face your blog with  a combination of zing and zeal and I guarantee it will take off!

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EXciting X Factor of Your Blog

This entry is part 26 of the series Build a Better Blog

Disclosure: This post contains some affiliate links for your convenience. Click here to read my full disclosure policy.

We’re nearing the end of the alphabet and the A to Z Challenge. We’re into the tricky letters now, but today I thought we’d look at 

X is for X Factor

How good were you at maths (or math) at school? Let’s start with a maths challenge. 

9 – X = 6

sumI’m sure you didn’t need a calculator to work out the answer.

This X stands for 3. Change the X into 3 and you have 9-3=6.

And that is correct. If you got it correct, I’m proud of you. But if you were wrong, write out X = 3 100 times before bed tonight. 🙂 

So what on earth does this have to do with blogging?

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Watch your Word-Count as you Build a Better Blog

This entry is part 25 of the series Build a Better Blog

Disclosure: This post contains some affiliate links for your convenience. Click here to read my full disclosure policy.

One question that is asked over and over again in blogging circles is, “What is the ideal word-count for a blog post?”

Now that we’ve reached W in the A to Z challenge, it seems a good time to look further at this question. So

W is for Watch your Word-count.

Some will tell you readers have limited time to read, so short is best. They will tell you that you’re more likely to reach more people and gain more comments, if you stick to short punchy posts.

Others say readers don’t spend time reading longer posts, they will only skim the text, but if they spot interesting information, they will stop to read. Therefore the longer posts are better. Certainly the Search Engines are more likely to spot keywords in longer posts and, it is often argued, the longer the better from the SEO point of view.

When I first started blogging it was an accepted fact that the ideal word-count was around 500 words. Why? Because readers could see the post on their screen without needing to scroll down. That of course is no longer the situation, what with the smaller laptop screens and even smaller tablets.

Add to this the estimated 51% of readers who do most of their internet reading on their mobile phones. read more

The Virtue of Value when you Build a Better Blog

This entry is part 24 of the series Build a Better Blog

Disclosure: This post contains some affiliate links for your convenience. Click here to read my full disclosure policy.

Does your blog contain content of value? Would your readers miss out if they didn’t read a particular post? You may remember that in the introduction to this series, we saw there were many different reasons why you might want to blog. We’ve been especially zeroing in on two of these.

If you are a writer, we’ve looked at many ways you can build a better blog.

If you’re not a writer, we’ve looked at ways to better keep in touch with your friends and family.

Today, we come to V in the A to Z challenge, and we’re looking at

V is for Value

Today, we’re looking at ways to add value to your blog no matter who you are writing for. Some of these points will surprise you. Others will be duplicates of statements made earlier. Still others will be ones you’re already using. But I trust you will benefit if you work through the list that follows. read more

Understanding URLs as you Build a Better Blog

This entry is part 23 of the series Build a Better Blog

Disclosure: This post contains some affiliate links for your convenience. Click here to read my full disclosure policy.

We are nearing the end of the alphabet in the A to Z Challenge. So today we look at

U is for URLs.

When I first started working with computers, I pronounced URL as a word like  (h)url. Only after some sad looks from younger, more informed, members of my family did I realise it’s actually pronounced You-Are-Ell. The letters stand for Uniform Resource Locator, previously known as Universal Resource Locator. So either of these would be correct and I really don’t know who changed it or why.

So what are URLs?

URLs  are simply computer addresses on the Internet. So  what does a URL tell us, and how much do we need to know as bloggers?

It really helps to know what each section of a URL stands for. And by the way, it is not an URL, but a URL. Although the first letter is a vowel as I explained, it is pronounced as a Y (You  Are Ell)  so it is a URL.

If you are able to understand how a URL is made up, you will be able to decide how reliable the information is likely to be. And by the way, there are estimated to be more than 150 billion public web pages, each with their own unique address. As a result, these addresses can become extremely long,  so it is almost always safer to copy/paste the URL.

So let’s unravel the composition of a normal URL. Then we will move on to how we can chose good addresses for our posts.

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Twenty Tips to Create Tempting Titles

This entry is part 22 of the series Build a Better Blog

Disclosure: This post contains some affiliate links for your convenience. Click here to read my full disclosure policy.

Have you ever given a blog post (or a book!) a title which sucked? I have. And it shows up almost immediately in the stats. The title doesn’t appeal. So no-one wants to read the post / book.

It’s a common expression, you don’t sell a book by its cover (see K is for Kindle where I refute the idea) but I’d like to take that one step further. Not only does the picture on the cover (or at the top of your post) count, so does your title.

If the title doesn’t grab your potential readership, no one will read it.

It’s that simple. You need to create tempting titles that will draw readers to your blog.

Follow the suggestions in this series, whether you are an author, an entrepreneur or a family scribe, and you will build a better blog than you’ve ever imagined . . . but use an empty title and no one will come visiting.

I researched this topic before I started to write, and I was amazed to read some of the comments. For example:

‘On the average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar.’ David Ogilvy on Writers Write.

“We spend an average of 30 minutes per title in search of the absolute best wording.” Content Marketing Institute

I sometimes deliberate over titles for 30–60 minutes before settling on one that works. And I often go back and change them. Jeff Goins read more

SEO Strategies as you Build a Better Blog

This entry is part 21 of the series Build a Better Blog

Disclosure: This post contains some affiliate links for your convenience. Click here to read my full disclosure policy.


SEO
 strategies is a topic you never seem to know enough about. This post will probably not apply to those of you doing a family blog, but hopefully, it will be helpful to all other bloggers.

I’m continuing to write for the A to Z blogging challenge, on the topic: Build a Better Blog. Today we’ve reached S, so

S is for SEO Strategies

What is SEO? The letters stand for Search Engine Optimisation. Simply explained, it is the process of drawing more traffic to your blog or website. If you’re writing for the public, you want Google™ to tell others about your blog.

To do this, you need to write fantastic, top quality content, using words and phrases that people will use when they are searching for posts such as yours. In the process, you want them to be easy for your readers to share and link to them . . . and then rinse, repeat. Keep on doing what worked.

So how do we go about doing this?

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Regarding Research

This entry is part 20 of the series Build a Better Blog

Today we’re still working through the alphabet with the A to Z Challenge. We’re going to look at a fun topic which will work for any blogger, whether you are an author, an entrepreneur, or a family member. We’re continuing with Build a Better Blog and today we’re going to look at

R is for Regarding Research.

If you’re an author, I don’t need to tell you how much research you need to do to be sure you have your facts correct or to find inspiration for building your countries or characters.

If you’re an entrepreneur, there are so many places you can go for ideas to work on your craft or hobby. And if you’re doing a family blog, you can look for background to significant locations, or look up genealogy sites for family history.

So how do we go about it? read more

Quest for Quality

This entry is part 19 of the series Build a Better Blog

Disclosure: This post contains some affiliate links for your convenience. Click here to read my full disclosure policy.

Hi All.

I’m back with the next post on the A to Z Challenge, still looking at the theme, Build a Better Blog.  And today we’re reached one of the tough letters – Q:

But here we go with

Q is for Quest for Quality.

First a couple of questions.

Are people reading your blog?

Are you just wasting your time?

Here are a number of ways that will help you turn out quality posts that will persuade your readers to keep visiting and reading as you Build a Better Blog. read more