Monday, March 24, 2014

15 Things I Wish I knew Before I Started My First Blog

Hosting your own blog is one of the smartest things to do whether your a freelancer or a business owner. It’s one of the newest and best ways of communicating with other people. Though the older generation is getting familiar with this too (some of them blog now too), most still prefer the coffee or tea get together and fellowship. You can use this to your advantage.

As a blogger, I want to share with you some of the things pondered upon by those who are contemplating of joining the young and the not-so-young people hosting their own blog. These can save you from future worries and stresses. You’ll discover for yourself that blogging is indeed fun and profitable. For your benefit, here's a lists of things I wish I knew before I started my first blog. I wish I knew…..
1. …the reason for hosting a blog. Do you blog to be known? Or to start or promote a business? Or to just express yourself and your feelings to the world? Or to meet new friends? Why do you blog? Knowing this is important. This will determine the overall concept, style, and purpose of your site.
2. …that a cool URL (name) is important. This gets the attention of the viewers. Your URL should be catchy, unique and original. It must also give your viewers an idea of what your blog is all about.
3. …a good website for blog hosting is important. If you choose to set up a free blog on sites like, choose a website where there is traffic (or a lot of viewers) and that makes it easy for new people to discover your blog ( for example). Remember, the more the merrier. You could also provide links to other social media networks.
4. …that house rules are necessary. Well, just the basics though. You don’t want to scare the viewers with a very long list, do you? Just give them information about things you would not allow to be expressed in your blog. This should be stated at the top, before they proceed with the whole blog.
5. …that I could be me as much as possible. There is no need to pretend to be a genius or to be somebody you are not. Enjoy being yourself. Communicate with passion and what really is in your heart. Blog hosting is technically socializing or communicating with other people, only it’s online and not face-to-face. Our parents’ advice of “be yourself” is applicable here too.
6. …that being careful with personal information is a must! Although being yourself is important, do not reveal information such as home address, contact numbers, properties, money matters, and work-related info among other things. Maintain your privacy. Remember, this can be read by the whole world. Protect yourself from possible dangers. Not everybody who is browsing your blogs has good intentions.
7. …how to be careful with legalities too. It’s not just about the freedom of expression but consideration of the rights of others too. Do not just name names or post photos (with no permission) or use the intellectual property of others. There are legal consequences of doing so. 
8. …blog hosting is not just about me. This can be read by all ages, by all races, and by people of all religions in the whole world (well, almost the whole world). Be generic. Be considerate. Be careful (Children might be reading what’s on your blog.).
Although the site is yours, it is not about you all the time. There should be no gossiping and no discussion of private family problems or something that can hurt somebody.  
9. …accuracy of information is vital. To be credible, provide the latest and reliable information. If it is just your opinion or experiences you’re sharing, then there’s no problem. But if you’re sharing world news or information, get your facts straight.
10. …it’s supposed to be fun, enjoyable, helpful, and informative not only for me but for the readers as well. Always think of your readers. Put yourself in their shoes. Are they going to like your posts? Will they enjoy it and feel good? Will they benefit from your blog?
11. …my blog can touch somebody. Yes, it can help uplift somebody too. There might be others who can relate to your posts. You can be a source of inspiration for others, for all you know.
12. …the latest trends. People always want to be updated. Bring in the freshest news as often as you can. 
13. …the bloggers’ jargon (or terminologies). Use their dictionary. Speak their language. Study. Research. Know their jokes too. 
14. …pictures can help my blog too. They can add beauty and life to posts. If it’s a friend’s or a family member’s photo, however, ask permission before you post it.
15. …that I can seek the help of a professional writer when I know I’m not good with words especially if it’s about my business. You can use your site for business. Make it look professional—not too homey and simple, that is, if you want the viewers to take your business seriously. 

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

How to Find New and Exciting Blogging Topics

Writing good and interesting blog posts gets tedious at times and one day you find yourself just sitting there, wondering what to blog about. It's not that you're lazy or don't enjoy writing anymore - the problem is elsewhere.

You can't just write about anything that pops into your head, right? There has to be some research involved because what's the point of writing about something nobody cares about? Here's a process you can follow when you get stuck.

Use Social Media Websites

No, this is not going toe be more of the generic 'look for what's viral' type of advice. Yes, you could browse around and see what's trending for your industry right now, but why would you write about something that everybody else and their brother is writing about?

Be clever about it and make your own spin on the themes that you see are popular right now. If you see a post about Top 10 of the Best Whatever, you should think about writing the opposite - The Worst 10 of Whatever - it will be original, fun and engaging for your readers.

Look for what are your friends asking on social sites or what problems they have. Are they complaining about not spending enough time with their kids? Write a blog post titled 5 Ways to Spend More Time with Your Children or 4 Outdoor Activities For Family Bonding.

For some extra traffic, post a response on the original comment of your friend with a link to the post you wrote.

Get Your Audience Involved

Here's the thing most bloggers forget when they're on the hunt for new content ideas. You can directly ask your audience for feedback - that's the beauty of the Web 2.0 world compared with old media where feedback is slow and sometimes nonexistent.

Go to Survey Monkey and create a survey with questions related to your general topic. Make them in way that will generate useful answers and not just a Yes or No type of response.

Use Photography as an Inspiration

A boring topic may make you procrastinate on writing that post even more. One cool trick that will help you with writing the story and ranking in the search engines is to use photos. When you're out and about and you see anything that has to do with your topic get your phone out and snap a picture. You'll start to accumulate an archive with relevant images that you can upload with your articles or create galleries to compliment your content.

This way you can visually express your point more effectively with a blog post and as a bonus - you own the rights to the picture. This is perfect for niches where you can't find images that fit the topic on the web.