The Virtue of Value when you Build a Better Blog

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

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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

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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.

read more

Twenty Tips to Create Tempting Titles

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

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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

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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?

read more

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

Plan with Purpose

This entry is part 18 of the series Build a Better Blog


Welcome to the next letter in the A to Z Blogging Challenge.

We’ve now reached P as we work through the alphabet so . . .
P is Planning with Purpose. 

Hopefully by now you have a clear picture of the purpose of your blog. Briefly, to remind you of this, answer these questions:

  1. Why have I started this blog?
  2. Who do I hope is reading the blog?
  3. What do I hope to achieve through this blog?
  4. When (how often) am I posting to the blog? (Remember the importance of writing on a regular basis, even if it’s only once a month.)
  5. How much time do I have to spend on writing the posts for the blog?

That done, you now remember your purpose for the blog.
So how can we plan to see that we’re meeting these criteria? read more

Ongoing Opportunities in Blogging

This entry is part 17 of the series Build a Better Blog

Welcome back to our series on how to Build a Better Blog. As part of the A to Z Challenge we have reached the letter O.

O is for Ongoing Opportunities.

Blogs are in themselves great opportunities as well as they create opportunities to reach out to the community.

I’m getting ahead of myself. Here is a list in no particular order of opportunities in relation to blogs. read more

Nuggets and Newsletters

This entry is part 16 of the series Build a Better Blog

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Today we are continuing with the A to Z Blogging Challenge as we look at a topic which is as relevant for the writer as it is for the mom who wants to keep in touch with her far-flung family, or perhaps build a heritage to pass on to her children when they are old enough to be interested in their family roots.

The same principles apply whether you are looking to build your blog as a writer or you are writing a family blog. You want to draw people in to your material, to hold their interest, and to be topical. So

N is for Nuggets and Newsletters.

Here are a number of suggestions for getting a good email newsletter that will stand on its own as well as drawing readers (or family members) to your blog material as well. read more

Marketing Methods

This entry is part 15 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.

Today we’re moving on with our ways to build a better blog, and we’ve reached the letter M. So here we go: .

M is for Marketing Methods.

“But surely,” some of you may be saying, “I don’t need to market my writing? This is a blog, not a book!”

Well,  it may be “only” a blog, but it’s still taken you time to think about the topic and write the text. Perhaps you’ve spent time, maybe a long time, searching for suitable images. Why have you gone to all this bother, if you don’t want anyone to read what you’ve written? So  yes, of course you need to market your blog. And, you writers  out there, most of these ideas will also help you when you’re marketing your books. So let’s get started. read more