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Everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. ~Sylvia Plath

4 Ways To Keep Your Blog Content Fresh

Posted in Guest Posts, The Blogger's Well2 Comments

IMG_4267 Keeping a blog fresh is like keeping a plant fresh — you need to water it regularly or it dies. But what does keeping your blog fresh mean exactly?

Well, for one you need to analyze your blog so far – read some of your older articles, reflect on their meaning and importance and then make a strategic decision what went wrong and where and how can you fix the problem using the least bit of effort.

Here are some ways to boost your rankings, if not permanently at least for a while.

Change Your Design

The first thing readers see when they visit your blog is the graphic design, button interface, logo and theme. If you haven’t spent much time in the beginning to work out all the kinks of your design, maybe you can work on it now. First impressions matter and it is never too late to add a few more buttons. Something more about yourself. Maybe a nice picture of a beautiful sunset – anything that catches the eye and is pleasant to look at. Of course color coordination is very important as well as the overall theme of your interface set-up.

Experiment! You will be surprised of your own artistic abilities!

Hint: if you really can’t make your own designs, hire a good professional designer. Try LinkedIn groups and Coworks.com for affordable yet competent professionals.

Write More (Related, Interesting) Content

Usually when people start writing content in their first blogs, they have at least a basic idea of what they want to accomplish. But as time goes by people change; and so do their writing. In most cases the most successful blogs are specialized to deal with only one, two subjects at the most.

Are you going to be a social commentator? Comment about a small, but interesting (maybe even controversial) issues. If you give out technical information, be sure that all your facts and not double, not triple, but quadruple times checked before you post them to the internet. If you accept guest blogs on your site, be sure to thoroughly read each and every submission your receive, where quality control and proper formatting should be taken very seriously. Also, more pages automatically means better SEO, and that is what being popular on the internet is all about.

Develop an SEO Strategy

There are numerous ways to boost your SEO rankings. For example you can host guest posting from authors in exchange for providing them to link out to their websites. Basically the more (quality, related) links you have going in and out of your blog the better. You can even write guest posts yourself – this way bigger, more successful blogs will share some of their popularity with you.

Host a Discussion Forum

If you are working under one particular subject (like cleaning for example), you can host a forum and have people discuss your issues further boosting your traffic. Not to mention that if you are good/original enough, you can make serious traffic, with hundred of thousands of people visiting your blog every single day! You can sell ad-space to companies and sponsor your own You Tube channel. The possibilities are endless, but you do need to work on your blog and attract more and more visitors daily.

The most important thing in this line of work is consistency and giving it all you’ve got every time.

About the Author

July Minor loves to write about Internet and blogging. She currently works as a web designer for www.tidycleaning.co.uk/deep-cleaning-sw2-tulse-hill and she has a lot of experience to share.

Image credit: dopub

The 6 Secrets Behind My Blogging Success

Posted in Guest Posts, The Blogger's WellBe the first to comment

Two Bloggers, after Norman RockwellBy July Minor.

For as long as I can remember, I have been engaging in the fine act of scribbling my thoughts on paper (and then showing that to other people for shock value).

But seriously, what makes an average blogger turn successful?

Is it hard work? Determination? Both?

Well, the answer sadly is— no. But don’t get discouraged, for I am about to reveal my own personally patented secret to success, although I am fairly sure it is not secret at all. The key is to follow a set of rules and guidelines that I guarantee you to work wonderfully in at least 60% of the time.

Why 60% you ask? Well, as you will find out; blog writing is a tricky and harsh endeavor, suited only for those with true mental and ethical fortitude.

So What Is It?

The answer to that question can be found in yet another question:

What makes a good entertainer great?

Just because you’re writing your entertainment on paper (figuratively speaking) you are not protruding more integrity into your undertaking. As a matter of fact you should feel flattered that you live in an age that allows basically every Tom, Dick and Harry to express their viewpoint, even if no one actually cares.

Here are my 6 secrets to make your blog stand out (and people care).

Quality Design

As superficial as that may appear to the less artistically driven bloggers, having a good quality design is what counts for the first impression. No one is going to stick around to hear your philosophy on contemporary hedonism if your blog looks like garbage. There are many fantastic tools that can help you turn your dud blog into a real winner.

While this paragraph is no place to go over each of them specifically, some well executed research and hardcore learning initiative on your behalf will help you see just how much better your blogs can look if only you take some time to learn the fundamentals of art designing your blog— or to find a good web designer to do it for you, that’s it.

Content That Connects

And I can’t stress that enough! People are not interested in you, your children or your dog Precious. If you expect to be recognized as a great blogger, you must discard any fantasies you may hold in regards to writing about yourself. People are just not interested in your personal life because it doesn’t bring them what they need.

Base your written content along the lines of ‘What is Hot right now and what is not”. For example, look as the situation in Syria escalates and write about what you believe people want to hear about that topic. You must, and I repeat MUST, give people what they want.

What are the ‘hottes’ topics right now on the ol’ Internet? Find out and write about that. If you have any scientific understanding of social manipulation and social control in general, then you would know that people tend to follow the herd. So try to avoid subjects that are too controversial or unpopular unless you have an objective in mind.

Style

Always strive to write interesting content, but don’t get discouraged if your posts turn out as a failure the first couple of times. Remember that every great author had to start from somewhere.

Actually, refining your style is both part writing and part reading. So if you want to be a successful blogger, you need to read lots and lots of blogs. Find the style that suits your style best and try to copy it. Most great writers are just copying what other great writers wrote before them. Of course plagiarism is a big no no, so alongside ‘stylish’ text I must insist that we put ‘unique’ there as well.

Advertisement

How do international companies make it big? They pour millions, upon billions in advertisement alone. If a financial newspaper wrote about the current tensions between North and South Korea and it was advertised on all the major talk shows, TV ads, the News etc., there would be lots of people who will have an interest in reading it.

As long as you can find a link between popular topics and your blog, there’s always room for advertisement.

Guest Posting

Promote your website by writing guest posts for other people. How does that work?

Well, a long time ago, some smart fellow came up with a simple, yet irrefutably genius idea; why not make a blog but have other people write the articles for him? And little by little that blog started to grow and generate untold amounts of traffic. Soon enough more and more people started showing up to take a part in this. After all, for each guest post you submit, the blog itself posts you personal info – like name, website, bio etc.

This way you are making yourself popular, even before you start writing for your own blog. And if you play your cards right, maybe some day people will guest post on your blog too.

Linking

Like I said earlier, there is not a single, all powerful truth behind being a successful blogger. For example, linking your blog to other ‘high traffic and high authority’ websites will boost your SEO rankings exponentially. It is an important part of blog management, and if you want your blog to be successful, it is just as important as writing good content for your readers.

About the Author

July Minor is passionate freelance blogger and writer. She loves to spare her time blogging. She currently works at Clean To Perfection and she loves that because she has enough free time.

Image credit:  Mike Licht

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Smart Tips For Successful Online Marketing (For Writers)

Posted in Guest Posts, Marketing Toolbox1 Comment

Online MarketingGuest Post by Maria.

Online marketing can bring you treasure house, if you are aware of what you are doing. It seems like rules keep on changing every day so you need to be updated with the latest trends in the markets for advertising and promoting your freelance writing business. Navigating internet marketing is like sailing the ocean on a leaky boat as every day many technologies come and make the internet marketing diverse and more complex. So the best way to keep your business flooded with the high-paying clients is to keep up to date with knowledge and stay motivated. Here are a few tips for successful online marketing.

Create an online marketing strategy: You need to have your own marketing strategy for successful online business. Know all the latest trends to take advantage of them for your online marketing. Some of the famous tools for the online business are,

Make sure that potential clients find you on the search engines: Make proper use of the search engines as many of the businesses are not taking much advantage of the search engine optimization, even things followed on the internet can be beneficial. A latest research report showed that many of the web surfers find the new sites on the internet through search engines, and it is also found that 85% of internet user use search engines to find the vendors and solutions. A search engine optimization strategy followed with right strategy can drive effective results.

Develop regular e-newsletters: With the e-newsletters you can inform and keep clients updated about the new products. This type of promotion can be done with existing clients to retain them and it can also be used for attracting the new prospects. Frequently sending the useful information to your clients can add value and is the best way to build the level of trust with them. Over a period of time your current clients will refer your writing services and products to their friends or known people. A newsletter can also be used to send declare sales and promotions.

Create your website content on your clients’ requirements and interests: A common mistake that many freelancers do is that their content talks about the business where the prospects are not interested. Visitors are more interested in knowing your products and services and key in successful online marketing lies in how you promote them. Visitors stay very little on the sites so follow the right marketing strategies to maximize your benefits.

About The Author

This guest post was contributed by Maria, financial guest blogger from Manchester, UK. Wrote many articles on ppi claims. Find out more about her blogs @financeport

Winning at NaNoWriMo – How to Write a 50,000 Novel in 30 days

Posted in Guest Posts, NaNoWriMo-ers6 Comments

Guest Post by Grady Pruitt.

It’s Halloween. The kids have gone to bed. Your spouse is asleep. But you’re wide awake. Full of anticipation. NaNoWriMo is about to begin.

Time seems to drag. Midnight seems as if it will never get there. You have committed to writing 50,000 words or more in the next 30 days. You’re not quite sure why, but that sounded like a fun idea. Especially when you sit down and realize all you need is 1,667 words a day to reach your goal.

Tick. Tock. The laptop is ready. Tick. Tock. The notes are on the desk. Tick. Tock. Will it ever begin?

Ding! Dong! The clock strikes midnight! It’s now November 1, and you can begin! Before you know it, you’ve dashed off 2,000 words. You didn’t mean to stay up so late, but since you have to get up to take the kids to school and go to work in the morning, you decide to call it a night and head to bed.

The following evening, you sit down, still filled with excitement, and dash of another 2,000 words. You’re more than a day ahead, and feel good about where you are so far.

A week goes by. That full day’s lead has dwindled down to 400. You still feel good about where you are. But you have absolutely no idea what’s ahead. The next thing you know, your characters go on a revolt. That important task you wanted them to do they just refuse to do. Somehow, they wound up in a situation you can’t seem to get them out of.

Another week passes. It’s now the middle of the month. You’re wondering what you’ve gotten yourself into. The last two days, you failed to write anything at all. You’ve felt so stuck that you’re now 5000 words behind. There’s no way you can finish! Thanksgiving looks like you won’t be able to get any writing done because the world has decided it should be at your house this year. You think about giving up. Your friend who you were writing with gave up a week ago. But something inside you won’t let you quit. You wonder how you would feel if you gave up on this dream. Not only that, but by upping our daily goal to 2,000, you can still be pretty close to making it. So you press on.

You hear about an all-night write-in being held that weekend across town. This just might be the opportunity you need to push your novel back on track. It sounds like a fabulous way to meet other writers. Through the forums, you’ve chatted with one or two, and they are going, so it might be a great time to meet them. One of those won last year. Perhaps they might have a tip that can help you.

The night of the write-in arrives. Your spouse feels like your abandoning them days before being invaded by family, but you assure your spouse that it is just one night and that there is still time to work on the other stuff. Off you go. At the write-in, you have a load of fun. You tell stories about things in your life and listen to others. You learn about word wars where everyone writes for 15 minutes and the one who writes the most wins. Most of them through the night, you loose, but you almost win one toward the end. By the time the night is over, not only have you caught up completely, but you even have built a small lead. Most importantly, the other writers, some of whom have already reached 50,000, have given you courage to face the rest of the month.

The next week is hectic. You write when you can. You go back and forth between being caught up and being behind. Though you thought you wouldn’t be able to write much on Thanksgiving, you manage to find a few moments where you could. But most importantly, you’re beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel. You had a major breakthrough and realized exactly what needs to happen in your story. By the time the fourth week is over, you know you’re on the cusp. With just a few days left, the anticipation begins. Even more of your new writing friends are crossing the 50K mark.

November 30th arrives. You only have 2500 words left to reach 50K, but you’re starting to feel your story might not be complete at that point. You clear your schedule so you can concentrate on writing. One of your fellow writers tells you that he has 12,000 words to write that day to win. He’s not giving up, and that inspires you. So you write. And write. And Write. You take a break, and write some more. You write all day. Time flies by. You stop every once in a while to cheer on the person who had to write 12K. He’s made it to 9K with about 3 hours to spare. It will be close, but he should make it.

You haven’t bothered checking where you were at. You’re pretty sure your over, but you feel you are so close to those two “magical” words, you decide to press on. Last time you checked, you only needed about 1000 words. That was about 4,000 words ago at your usual pace. But those words are near and you want to get them in before midnight.

Finally, you breath a sigh of relief as you type in those two magical words you’ve been searching for all day. You check on your friend’s progress. According to his last update, an hour and a half ago, he needed about 2000 words. You do a quick check on your novel. 55,678 words! A flood of emotions is released as your arms raise in victory. A “YES!” escapes your lips that you hope doesn’t wake your spouse or children. But that’s okay if you did. You’re celebrating your moment. Victory is yours!

You copy and paste your novel into the validator. Surprise! The validator says you have 57,149 words! Almost 1,500 more than you thought! Even better!

You dash off a quick note of encouragement to your friend who was pushing for the finish. Eagerly, you anticipate a post from him. Midnight comes. Did he make it in time? Five minutes pass. Ten minutes. Finally, 11 minutes past midnight, your friend posts. He made it! With a minute to spare! He had been celebrating so much he had just forgotten to update everyone!

It’s December 1st. You’re almost too excited to go to bed. November had been filled with emotions. Excitement, doubt, love, hate, joy, sadness… at one point or another, you had been filled with each.

You’re not sure what you think about your novel. It could be a masterpiece in waiting. Or it could be a dud. That’s a matter for another time. But at least you can say you rose to the challenge. Everyone doubted you would do it. But somehow, you held on to the belief that you could. As you try to unwind, you reflect on your achievement. Maybe there are some lessons for life you can learn. Like commitment, setting a goal, breaking that goal into smaller goals, giving the larger goal a deadline, finding support by others, and persistence. You feel like you can take on the world.

And in the morning, you’ll be ready to do just that.

About The Author

Grady Pruitt (also known as gradyp) is a 6 time participant and winner of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). At his blog, Success Building Blocks, he uses his experience with NaNoWriMo, as well as other lessons he has learned, to help others to become successful at life as well as during the event.

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