THEME REVEAL Build a Better Blog – A-Z Challenge

This entry is part 1 of the series Build a Better Blog

How popular are blogs?

Did you know there are more than 152,000,000 blogs on the Internet? (That is according to statistics in 2013!)

 And somewhere a new blog is born every 30 seconds?

Blogging is clearly worthwhile!

Throughout the month of April, 2017, I’m going to share how you can build a better blog, one that people will reach those for whom it’s written, and one that you will enjoy creating.

  • If you are a writer, there are many reasons why you should be blogging, and we’ll cover those in the next few weeks.
  • If you’re not a writer, what better way to keep in touch with your friends and family?

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Build a Better Blog – Introduction to Series

This entry is part 2 of the series Build a Better Blog

How popular are blogs?

Did you know there are more than 152,000,000 blogs on the Internet? (That is according to statistics in 2013!)

And somewhere a new blog is born every 30 seconds?

Blogging is clearly worthwhile!

Introduction

This is the introduction to a series in which I will share how you can build a better blog, one that people will reach those for whom it’s written, and one that you will enjoy creating.

You don't have to be a writer to blog. New series on blogging begins today. Click To Tweet
  • If you are a writer, there are many reasons why you should be blogging, and we’ll cover those in the next few weeks.
  • If you’re not a writer, what better way to keep in touch with your friends and family?

The term, BLOG, is a contracted word from WEB LOG. That’s all it is. A log, diary, journal, whatever you want to call it, which you publish on the web.

What better way to get known and further your writing dreams?

But . . .

It doesn’t have to be public. If you’re doing it to keep the family informed,
you can restrict it to members of the family or to your group of friends.

Building a Better Blog A to Z

This series was originally done as part of an A to Z challenge, which I love as it forces me to think out of the box. So each post will contain ideas that will encourage and inspire you as you look at your own blog. I will give you a week to read it and put the ideas into practice before I post the next one. Sign up to receive notification of the next post, so you don’t miss it.

I’d love you to leave a comment or question at the end of each post. If you include a URL in your comment, I will get back to you.

Coming next: Awareness Alert!

Introduction to Build a Better Blog. Start reading today. Click To Tweet

Please Note:

I plan to turn this into an eBook when I’m finished, so is there anything I haven’t covered under the various headings? When you read, please comment if you think of anything I should include. Thank you!

These posts were originally posted as part of the 2017 A to Z Blogging Challenge. Because I’m re-posting them with updates, I have reverted the originals to draft. I apologize if this causes any problems with missing links, but all the posts WILL repeat – on an approximately weekly basis.

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A is for Awareness Alert – Build a Better Blog

This entry is part 3 of the series Build a Better Blog

We’re working through the alphabet looking at ways to Build a Better Blog. The previous post was an Introduction to the Series. Today we begin with A. 

A is for AWARENESS ALERT

  • People need to be aware of you

As writers, we’re always hearing of the importance of “branding”, or making it clear what type of writer you are. Readers need to know about you, about your brand, and what you’re doing. Blogging does that for you. It gets you out there, sharing your brand, without consciously having to think about it.

  • Others need to know about your posts.

There is no point in blogging in a vacuum. If you’re a writer, the more people who know about you, the better. If you’re writing for family and friends, they need to know when, where and how to keep up to date with your posts. There are a number of ways to help your readers be aware of your posts, and we’ll look at them over the next month. read more

B is for Blog a Book – Build a Better Blog

This entry is part 4 of the series Build a Better Blog

We’re continuing to work through the alphabet, looking for ways to Build a Better Blog. Posted so far:

Today, we look at B. 

B is for BLOG A BOOK

You can use your blog to write a book. After all, what’s the difference between reading a series on a blog, or reading a book online?

  • Start with a strong introduction

If you were writing a book, your first chapter would introduce the subject (or the main characters) and build a sense of expectancy for the reader. You need to make them WANT to read on.
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C is for Creative Content – Build a Blog

This entry is part 5 of the series Build a Better Blog

Today we reach C as we seek to Build a Bettter Blog.

C is for CREATIVE CONTENT

  • Choose a theme you know will interest your reader

    ….and that is in line with your blog. For example, there would be no point in me writing a series of favorite recipes. Visitors to my blog do not come looking for those. It doesn’t matter how good then recipes may be, they don’t fit the reason why people come to my site.

    So ask the question:
    Why do people come to my site? What will interest them?

C is for Creative Content - Build a Better Blog #blogging Click To Tweet

 

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Dogged Determination

This entry is part 6 of the series Build a Better Blog

Today we look at D as we seek to Build a Better Blog.

D is for DOGGED DETERMINATION

No person who has been blogging for any length of time will tell you blogging is easy. Some posts just flow. Other times they seem to run into a blocked dam. You wonder why on earth you ever thought you could blog regularly. So here are some suggestions to help you cope when these times arrive.

Determine to make your blog a success. 

It doesn’t matter what type of writing you’re doing. Whether you write poetry or comic strips, novels or technical manuals, if you’re going to write, you need to be determined to succeed. That includes blogging.
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Eager Enthusiasm

This entry is part 7 of the series Build a Better Blog

enthusiasm

Hello again all you enthusiastic bloggers!

I am taking part in The Write Tribe Problogger October 2017 Blogging Challenge. So a special welcome to the other members of my sub-tribe. Hi guys!  This is the 2nd post in this challenge.

We’re working through the alphabet as we look at ways to build a better blog. Today we come to E for

EAGER ENTHUSIASM.

If we want to turn our blogs into a site people will want to visit, we need to be enthusiastic. Enthusiastic, not just for the first few posts (easy to do) but enthusiastic when the going gets tough. (Like in an A to Z challenge when you reach the Q’s, the X’s and the Zs!)

So here are a few suggestions that may help.

  • Hang on to that enthusiasm you had in the beginning!

    That isn’t easy. You start with great enthusiasm, but after the first few posts you begin to wonder why you’re spending all the time writing something hardly anyone seems to read. For that reason, it’s great if you start to collect followers. Then you feel as if there’s a reason for writing. You also know someone will miss you if you fail to turn up!

  • Don’t judge your success by the number of comments you receive!

    One thing I’ve realised is that where people may read, they are slow to comment. So don’t judge the success of your blog by the number of comments you get. Then you will soon give up. Check how many people visit your posts on average, then go all out to increase that number. Also follow the suggestion in an earlier blog and ask for a response to your topic.

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Facts or Fiction? Post 4 in the Pro-Blogger Challenge. #writebravely

This entry is part 8 of the series Build a Better Blog

facts

Hello again all you wonderful bloggers!

I am taking part in The Write Tribe Problogger October 2017 Blogging Challenge. So a special welcome to the other members of my sub-tribe. Hi guys!  This is the 4th post in this challenge.

We’re working through the alphabet as we look at ways to build a better blog. Today we come to F for

Facts or Fiction

Here is a less than commonly known fact: Tweet it if you will.

Blogs can be fact OR fiction. Just make sure your reader knows which. #writetribeproblogger #writebravely Click To Tweet

Here is a list of tips or suggestions. You won’t be able (or want) to use them all, but maybe one or two will spark a flame of creativity in you!

First, we’ll look at the more common type of blog: the one based on FACTS, in other words, non-fiction.

  • Write on a Nonfiction Topic and the Facts you use will increase your Authority.

    This applies to individual posts, or to dedicated blogs. I have a blog dedicated to encouraging and inspiring those going through the cancer valley. It is called Rise and Soar, and all the posts are on some aspect of cancer. How am I qualified to do this? I am a cancer survivor (20 years but who’s counting?). I am also a retired Registered Nurse (RN). And I’m a pastor’s wife. (Also retired – not as his wife, but Rob has retired from full-time ministry. Although at times I wonder, he does so much preaching at away churches I expect our own minister to welcome him as a visitor!)  Yet because I blog on the topic, I am amazed at the variety of questions I am asked. read more

Go to Google ~Post 6 in the Pro-Blogger Challenge. #writebravely

This entry is part 9 of the series Build a Better Blog

googleHello again to all you wonderful bloggers!

I am taking part in The Write Tribe Problogger October 2017 Blogging Challenge. So a special welcome to the other members of my sub-tribe. Hi guys!  This is the 6th post in this challenge.

We’re working through the alphabet as we look at ways to build a better blog. Today we come to

G is for Go to Google

In recent years, the company of Google™ was unhappy when Merriam Webster included its name in its dictionary. They no doubt fear that the world will go like “hoover” which became a generic term for “vacuum” in many countries.

Right now, “to google” actually means to use the Google™ search engine. If the term comes to mean, “I searched the internet for . . . ” the company’s branding will lose its value.

Having cleared that, let’s move on to a list of the pros, cons and other things we need to know when we Go to Google™.

  • Google Images Advanced 

    There is a common misconception that if you want an image you can “Google” it, and if it shows up you’re free to use it. Others will insist it’s okay as a long as you give credit to the photographer or artist.

    Neither of these is correct. 

    There are other sites where you can get pictures, and I will cover them in a later post, but when it comes to Google, there is a way to play it safe. If you go to your Googlesearch bar, and type in e.g. Cape Town, then click on Images – and you will be presented with thousands of amazing views. BUT those are not all free to use. Read and work through the following instructions carefully. read more

How to Harness Your Hashtags

This entry is part 10 of the series Build a Better Blog

hashtag

I am taking part in The Write Tribe Problogger October 2017 Blogging Challenge. It’s good to welcome members of my sub-tribe. Hi guys!  This is the 8th post in this challenge.

We’re working through the alphabet as we look at ways to build a better blog. Today we come to

H is for How to Harness Your Hashtags.

  • What is a Hashtag?

A hashtag is a label used for content. It helps other readers to find the topics they are interested in. By the same token, it helps you to find other comments or articles on the topic you’re researching. It was initially used in Twitter, but it is now often seen on Facebook, Instagram and Google+. If you’re a musician, you’ll recognise the hash symbol as the sharp sign or #. This is how the hashtags for the Pro-Blogger challenge appear: #writebravely or #writetribeblogger. If you click on either of those in Twitter, you will be able to read all the other tweets people have sent with the same hashtag.

  • Why would you use a hashtag in your blog?

And the answer is you won’t. BUT if you don’t promote your blog outside of your blog, you won’t have any readers. And no readers means no point in writing your blog. So although you won’t use hashtags inside your blog, you need to know about them so you can pass on news about your blog to the people who will be interested.

  • Hashtags are essential ways to build up traffic to your blog posts.

When you post about a new blog article on Twitter, if you add an appropriate hashtag you will be able to link up with other bloggers who have written on the same topic. The same applies to Facebook, Instagram and Google+, although they are used in a slightly different way. We looked at the topic briefly under Eager Enthusiasm where I explained how I discovered the effectiveness of this little sign. (Google the specific topic you want to learn more about.)

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