Find your Blogging Voice

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A blog “is the best bet for a voice among the online crowd. It’s a personal website, packed with features, as easy to use as your e-mail”(What’s your story). 

I seemed to have made myself a little theme with my last few blog posts so I decided I was going to do a blog about blogging.

I have my own personal blog, along with the blog posts I put on this site. I must say, my blog has taken the back burner since I started this program, as I have just gotten too busy. My blog was started last January, it was started with a co-worker of mine, and we did it as a challenge. We had decided that we were going to be trapped in our closets for 2015, that we were not allowed to shop for the year, and that we must wear all of our clothes in our closets. In my business, I have many events that I attend in a week, from store-openings, to charity events, to gala’s and I seemed to buy a new outfit for every event. The blog gave me a reason not to shop. It gave me a purpose! So I completely understand why people are bloggers, and why it is so enjoyable. But I often wonder…

Where do people find the time!

Now there is nothing wrong with being a blogger and spending time on your blog; however I couldn’t make my blog work, because I couldn’t spend enough time on it. Don’t get me wrong, I really liked blogging, but I felt let down when I wasn’t getting a lot of views on my blog, and I wasn’t getting the followers I wanted. It made me feel that I was writing for no reason. So I am here today to discuss how you can write and manage a successful blog.

Some questions came to mind when I first started writing this blog post, that made me stop and re-evaluate my own blog. I suggest you ask yourself the following questions as well about blogging before you put more time into your blog:  what do you want to achieve with your blog? More followers? PR opportunities? Just sharing your thoughts, opinions and tips? Once you have answered all of these questions, you can best plan out the next few moves on your blog. Here are a few tips on how to make your blog better:

  1. Find your Niche; writing a blog about an idea or concept that no other blog is writing about is going to be key. You want your blog to be different. You want your readers to come back to your blog everyday, and choose to read your blog over another blog.
  2. Be original; as mentioned above, you want your blog to bring in the traffic, so you need to be original. It is going to be hard to find something to write about when everyone is writing blogs nowadays however if you are original; with your pictures, with your attitude, with your writing style, you will bring the readers to your blog, even if your subject matter is the same as other bloggers.
  3. Social Media; each time you post something, post it on your blog’s Facebook page, Twitter, and Instagram and ask readers to check out your new blog post.
  4. Google+; Create a Google+ account for your blog, the more you post on google+ the higher your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) rank goes up. Every time someone searches on google something that links to your blog, the higher the chances are your blog will be seen. Also don’t forget to add those tags to your blog!
  5. Photography; Make sure any pictures you post on your blog are well-lit, clear, and feature your picture in the best light. Readers want to understand what you are talking about and adding more pictures will help. However they don’t want to see photos that are blurry and that they can’t make out.
  6. Contact me; make sure your blog has a contact me button. The easier it is to get in touch with you the easier collaboration will other bloggers will be. The great thing about collaborations, is that the other bloggers’ followers will go to your blog because you have collaborated with one of their bloggers they follow.
  7. Keep it simple; don’t make your blog complicated. I believe people read blogs to escape reality, and when your blog is too confusing, you are going to lose followers/readers, because the reader can’t escape reality.
  8. Comments; make questions in your blogs, so that readers want to comment on your blog. You can leave an open-ended question, or ask readers to post their opinion in the comments, this creates a sense of unity to the reader, and they will come back to your blog. You are creating a community!
  9. Add new content; remember to post regularly. As with any social media, you are going to lose readers if they have nothing to read. Readers are not going to come back to your blog, if there is never any new content. Try making yourself a schedule, plan out your post on a calendar and stick to it.
  10. Headlines; remember to make your titles of your blog catchy. People will be intrigued to read your blog if your title triggers something in them.

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So the question is are you going “to blog or not to blog”. I think in our social media driven society, that everyone should have a blog, as it is a way to share your experiences with friends, family and random strangers on the internet. Please post any other ideas or suggests in the comment section on how to run a more successful blog 🙂

Starting a blog (COM0011 – Blog Post #2)

As one of our Assignments for this course is to post on this blog, I thought I would look at how to  start  your own blog. There are may different blog hosting sites out there or you can buy a domain and Self-host.

If you plan on going with self-hosting, You will need a domain that will cost approximately $10 a year and hosting (service that connects your blog to the internet) is around $4 – $7 a month. To sum this up, it will cost around $50 a year. Check out this link for How to Launch a Self-Hosted WordPress Blog in 20 Minutes or Less.

One blog hosting site WordPress.com owned by Automattic, and powered by the open source WordPress software. It is free to use, but you can upgrade for premium features such as a custom domain, premium themes, no ads and many other options. It also happens to be the site we use for this blog.Another one is, Blogger owned by Google, Which makes it great if you already have a Google account as you do can use it for Blogger as well, And also allow you to use Google Adsense to place ads on your blog to make money. Blogger is a great site for beginners with an easy to use interface, And best of all it is free to use.

After you have decided whether to go with a blog hosting site or Self-hosting, You will need to choose a name for your blog. If you know what you are going to blog about, then try to pick a name that matches. For help with naming you blog check out this blog, How To Brainstorm Blog Name Ideas You’ll Love.