Traveling Your Way to a Better Blog

Chances are, you enjoy blogging. At least you did at the start. While some people blog as a profession, most of us start them out of passion. Why is it, then, that blogging often turns into a chore? After a while, at least for some bloggers, it feels like something we have to do, rather than something we want to do.

Has the passion really dissipated?

Better BlogNo, in all likelihood there are a number of factors that go into blog dissatisfaction that have nothing to do with passion…

It might be the staleness of comments discussion, or even a traffic plateau. Most commonly, though, we grow bored with our blogs because it feels as though we’re spinning our wheels.

Nothing feels fresh any more. Thankfully there are ways to combat that feeling.

A change of scenery

I’ve found that some of my freshest content ideas come immediately following a vacation or business trip. That is, those are times when the juices flow.

I can usually bank a few weeks’ worth of content on all of my blogs. The ideas sometimes come while I’m on the trip, sometimes while I’m on the airplane, and sometimes immediately afterwards. But whenever they came, they coincided with times that I’d been on the road.

Changing the scenery, apparently, did change my mind. Being away from familiar dwellings inspired something in me. That is, it seems as though my blogs had grown stale, because my environment had grown stale.

After talking to many more people, particularly work-from-home types, I found many similar stories. Getting out of our comfort zones apparently gets the creative juices flowing after they’ve gotten stagnant.

The great news is that traveling doesn’t have to be a big ordeal. Simple trips can suffice. You can also find useful purposes for travel, so you can combine your best interests. Here are the two ways I’ve traveled, much to my benefit.

To the surprise of some, none of them involve a tropical beach…

Traveling to get away

A vacation? Perish the thought. There’s too much work to be done. While many of my office dwelling friends get three, four, or even five weeks of vacation per year, I’m lucky to get but one. It’s one of the few drawbacks to working for a start-up, and working from home. With constant pressure to grow our sites, it’s tough to get away even for a week. Yet, as outlined above, getting away is still important. The best way I’ve found to reconcile these issues is to take frequent mini vacations.

The key here is to completely change your surroundings. I live in a mostly urban area, so these mini trips are to the land of small towns and trees. Lots and lots of trees.

Friends of mine who live in small towns like to take their trips to New York City, Boston, Washington D.C., or other fast-paced, populated areas.

The overall point, though, is to find stimulus that you simply cannot find at home. That will get the creative juices flowing again.

Of course, over the years it has become more difficult to create an all new environment. After a while, vacationing in small towns gets stale, too. Still, there are all sorts of adaptations of this. For instance, I’ve taken to seeking out a car rental as far in advance as possible (as to keep the cost as low as possible — you don’t want to book a rental car just a few days before you need it). You can also choose an uncommon destination. Have you ever been to a beach town in the winter?

It’s surprisingly relaxing.

Again, the overall idea is to take a day or two off work, overlap with a weekend, and completely change the scenery. The new stimulus will inspire you and get you back on track.

Traveling with a purpose

While traveling with the sole purpose of changing the scenery can be helpful, it’s even better to combine this with a professional purpose. As I noted above, it didn’t matter whether I was vacationing or traveling for business. Either way, the ideas would start flowing. So why not take the opportunity to grow professionally?

For anyone who works on the Internet, there are dozens of helpful conferences every year. Affiliate marketers have a number of conferences that have long track records and are run by successful people. There are general blogging conferences, and there are niche blogging conferences. There are also industry conferences – tech bloggers will find plenty to their liking here.

Conferences give us a chance to expand our social networks. Surrounded by people with similar interests, it’s hard to walk away without a ton of new address book entries.

Conferences also provide a great opportunity for a face-to-face meeting with people we’ve met online. Twitter can be great for conversations, but there’s so much more to a physical connection.

Additionally, conferences provide many educational opportunities. Panels and keynotes feature material from some of the most successful people in any given field. These speeches and panels can give us ideas that we can apply to our own sites. That is, conferences provide a veritable treasure trove of ideas. Those ideas spur the mind, which helps us keep things fresh.

Time was, traveling was an expensive, time-consuming process. But now, with the Internet and travel agencies, it’s quite simple. We can use cheap travel for many purposes. While going to a conference or other industry even helps reconcile our professional and personal needs, a simple trip away from home can do the same. There are plenty of opportunities to do so. When things are feeling stale and you need new stimulus, a short weekend trip can provide weeks, even months, worth of solutions.

Joe Pawlikowski edits several blogs across the web, including his latest project, A New Level, which addresses issues for at-home workers (and whatever else he’s thinking about).

5 Simple Blogging Tips to Apply

Blogging is the essence of the Internet marketing industry. Generating a secondary source of income through blogging has been a popular “make money online” method in the last few years.

Blogging TipsFor most of the experienced writers, blog writing looks simple since we generally take it to be an act of writing on the web where there are no restrictions and where you have a maximum amount of freedom of expression.

But please remember that the basic idea is not that you should write just anything that you like but instead as a principle, you write it for the world to read it as your creation with lot of expectations attached – Right!?

That is – any damn writing that we do, we expect people to appreciate it and we also wish to suddenly become a very popular writer. Isn’t that a reasonable expectation? No, it’s not…

Do Search for Blogging Tips

Blogging is more than just mindless scribbling of thoughts you suddenly conjured up…

No, for serious bloggers, this is a full time job where you have to put in hours of labor to actually write something worth reading.

The blog may work really well for you to merit appreciation from other popular bloggers. If you desire your blog to receive high search page rankings, start following a few simple principles, given below.

Before writing on your own, sit back and analyze this – why do you go to someone’s blog, read it and keep reading it?

Is it that someone has forced you to do so – obviously not. You would agree with me that you read a blog only when you find it well written, to the point and above all, interesting and completely informative about a specific topic you want to know more about.

Actually all good articles/blogs are the result of many built in features which would have made them a worthwhile read for you!

Here are 5 simple blogging tips that might help you to start a good blog or if you have already started blogging – to improve it.

Prepare for writing

Writing of any kind requires solitude, along with a few good ideas and the devotion to create a good piece of content.

Here, let me point out one thing – some people are not good in writing or even if they are, the desire to rank high on Google, which demands regular blog posting, often creates a position where the blogger has to hire outside help.

Now, over the years, I have felt that farming out content writing tasks to a group of writers who promise to charge less and provide quality work does not work out in most cases.

There are two reasons for this:

  1. They lack experience.
  2. Their writing lacks edge.

Moreover, when you are hiring a content writing company, many writers will be given your project and it is a given fact that every writer has their own unique style which cannot be replicated.

As a result, your blogs will vary in quality. They might give you 10 blog posts daily but are they always worthwhile? Most of the time, the answer is a resounding NO. Further, you have to spend more hours correcting them and making them better and correlating them all into one voice.

For example: Take Income Insiders. Casper’s posts have a distinctive style all his own, very technical, while Joni’s posts are completely different, more emotional…

To avoid all these troubles and uncertainties, the best option is to write yourself or maybe contract an individual writer to take charge of your blog while you deal with the blog marketing. This way the authorial voice of the blog remains intact.

Whether you are a blogger yourself or a contracted individual writer, the four points below will help you prepare for writing. .

  • Start writing only when you have thought about the subject thoroughly.
  • Do try and discuss with someone near you or you know personally just to make sure that the idea that you are getting at is worth sharing.
  • Always generate some kind of a draft or sketch on how the blog could be presented.
  • Lastly, please try and set your own mood – that is, find yourself a comfortable place and environment – away from noise and disturbance – which should help you to concentrate well on the task.

This initial rehearsal will trigger your thought process and you will definitely be able to write a better blog. Practice the above four steps every time you intend to write until it becomes habitual for you.

Creativity:

After all, writing a blog is a creation – so to say, an art work. So be creative also.

You must undertake the task with an artistic attitude. Develop the blog with attractive words and phrases here or there, or create sentences artistically by twisting the flow of words.

The aim should be to make your reader feel that you have made a genuine effort to frame this blog for him/her, and not otherwise – that it gives a bad impression of a diary note being posted as blog, which unfortunately, many of us do inadvertently. Avoid being excessively casual in putting across the matter.

This blogging tip has another dimension. You must also be innovative in expression. Put across your ideas one by one, substantiating it with enough backup material. One must feel as though you are slowly sailing him/her to some conclusion, so very convincingly.

Remember to present your ideas tactfully! Remember, you are not releasing an order for others to follow; instead, it is your view point that you are sharing with strangers and want those people to understand and appreciate you.

Originality:

You must never try to duplicate or copy anything while creating a blog. If one does it and gets noticed even once, the readership starts diminishing menacingly.

You were willing to put your own ideas into your creation, which is how you had set yourself writing. Right?

So why repeat what others say unless it is an attempt to second an idea or writing for raising a voice in support of someone else’s expression or remarks. Simply avoid repeating.

Frame something unique that is different and original. Even dare to argue and contradict a statement or version, if you would want to do so.

Let the world know, that thinking your way about a particular subject is also possible. So remember that this blogging tip of adhering to your original expression will bring you maximum readership.

Small is appealing:

Blogs should not be long – drawn out text matter, which would otherwise give an impression that you have written a chapter of a book.

Small blogs, crisp blogs and to the point blogs are most liked by the readers, unless the topic is such that it warrants a longish debate or discussion.

Nobody has time to read your long write-ups.

Also, it may not be easy for you to keep writing as beautifully as you had started out all the way until the end… you may make your blog boring, forcing the reader to click off the blog page.

Moreover, when the blogs are long, it is good to break them down into sub-sections.

To put this blogging tip briefly, ‘write short and sweet’ – that must be the rule.

Right language:

The command on language is a must. Perhaps, there is no need to give this blogging tip. You know it.

Whatever you write, long or small, sarcastic or humorous, your expression needs to be written in good language throughout.

A blog has no meaning if the language is poor. Do not think that your readership targets are those people with poor language skills.

On the contrary, aim at writing blogs expecting that many people do have perfect grammar and vocabulary and would read your blog.

Remember that if language is poor, people will neither understand what you want to express, nor will they stay on your blog. You do not want that! So try and keep improving your grammar.

The above discussed blogging tips are there to help you create a good blog. There could be many other things like – selecting relevant topics, making the blog interactive and others, but please remember – you have to be an artist first and you select the object to paint later, so we shall come to other tips for blog creating in the future.

Besides, be patient, add the capabilities one by one – slowly. That will make you a perfect blogger one day…

Don’t you think it is time to start?

Do Comments on Your Blog Matter?

The comments section is a vital part of any given blog. This differentiates a blog from a static website.

It provides an opportunity to build up conversations, letting the visitors provide valuable feedback which helps to make the blog more interactive. The most popular blogs have an interactive community, displaying the visitor’s feedback in an interesting way.

Blog CommentsWhen you talk about Blog Marketing, encouraging visitors to leave comments on a post helps to pull in more traffic and as a result, increases the visibility of your blog.

Moreover, receiving blog comments is a boost for the blogger too because the blogger is motivated to write more meaningful posts for the readers. We will discuss the importance of blog comments and how it benefits you to the core in the sections below.

Why does a Blog comment matter?

It has been observed that great, informative content on a blog can lose its essence because of a negative comment being made on it.

If the reader is smart enough then he/she will read the comment/feedback on the post just to get an understanding about the post. Sometimes a few negative comments might ignite the reader’s interest and prompt the visitor to read the article.

How does Blog commenting help a Blog?

1. Building relationships!

From a Bloggers point of view

When a blogger comments on any blog, there is an attempt being made to build a rapport with the blogger, along with an expectation of receiving returned visits and comments from that particular blog.

It’s a kind of mutual understanding on sharing opinions and good feedback or providing good suggestions. This helps other bloggers in getting valuable links and to boost blog traffic.

From a unique visitor’s scenario

A normal unique visitor might also visit from a comment made on any other blog by you. Here the comment being left has to be very informative to make a unique visitor click on the name you used to post the comment and land on your blog.

2. More chances of getting pre-qualified visitors

The moment a visitor reads a post, it must prompt the reader to leave feedback. It could be either by asking a question/feedback at the end of the post or the content itself must be so impressive that it pulls at the reader’s mind to leave a comment. To leave a unique comment helps to gather attention of the blogger and unique visitors as well.

However, it should be noted that not all blogs can be commented upon by visitors.

For instance, a blog dealing with modernist paintings cannot be understood by all the visitors landing on that blog, either knowingly or unknowingly.

Therefore, the quality of the blog cannot be undervalued just because the visitors cannot understand it. In this case, most of the visitors do not have the faculty to understand those paintings.

Furthermore, some blogs tend to be so comprehensive in dealing with the issue that comments are seldom necessary, apart from words of appreciation!

3. Emphasis given by search engines.

Search engines give high importance to regularly updated blogs. If the frequency of a given page is updated very often, the possibility of getting crawled by search engines gets higher which increases the blog traffic. Thus, it helps in Blog Marketing.

Considerations while posting a comment on someone else’s blog:

1. Don’t just comment for the sake of commenting.

Add some useful information; a genuine feedback that the blogger and a normal visitor might benefit from.

For instance, you could argue for or against what is written in the blog. This will give others a chance to continue with the argument. The key for blog commenting is to gain useful links and more visitors to your blog.

2. Add the blog related information:

Remain contextual. Don’t give misdirected comments. In other words, the comments should directly relate with the blog content posted.

3. Adding URL

Adding your blog’s link anywhere else is treated as a spam. Most of the blogs do take your URL and link your name which gives you an element of popularity in the comments section. Put genuine information rather than projecting marketing related stuff about your blog.

4. Respond back to the comments

Make the commenter feel they’re a valued visitor for the feedback that was provided. Reply back over the blog itself, which other visitors can see. Try sending a personal message, if possible, to build a good relationship.

Moderating the comments on the blog is becoming a mandatory process as more number of comments/queries arises; it becomes quite difficult to handle them effectively. However, the more the comments are responded to, the better the community develops.

Ways to increase your Blog comments:

1. Fire Questions:

Including questions in the post or to frame the title in a question format can help receive relevant comments on a blog post. Setting a question right from the beginning of the post prompts the reader to leave a comment or give feedback.

2. Inviting to post comments

It is observed when a blog asks for posting comments, a blog receives a higher number of comments. In a way, its better to ask for readers to post comments, as people who are visiting for the first time or ones who are not habitual of posting a comment, might get started to post their feedback upon reading it.

3. Open Ended Posts

To follow the art of writing creative posts, one has to leave some room for other experts to add on their opinions.

The post must not reveal everything about a particular topic neither should it sound tasteless.

Nevertheless, it is also possible for some of the blogs to be very comprehensive in nature, that is, they are not of open ended in nature.

4. Setting up a constructive comment section

Setting up boundaries into a comment section helps in getting a higher number of comments. Sometimes things get out of hand when visitors start getting too personal and thus, the tone of the comment must be directed towards the exact topic on which the post has been written about.

5. Be polite

Many visitors/readers do pick out some errors on the blog or the blog post and leave negative feedback that makes one aggressive. Keep it a point to respond back politely.

Try not to delete those comments unless they are spam in nature. It is important to convert the negative sentiments into positive ones.

A blog which has only positive comments raises doubts too. After all, nothing can be 100 % white or black. This is the reason why argumentative comments are encouraged on a blog.

6. Good comments can be rewarded

Good comments made by visitors can be included in the next post highlighting a good suggestion given by a user, so that the person who made the comment feels valuable.

All the key aspects related to blog commenting have been covered in our discussion. You will gain information on ways to increase blog comments, important steps to keep in mind while introducing a comment section or while commenting on other’s blog.

Let us know if something is missing; something that proved useful on your blog…

5 Ways to Retain Your Blog Readership

Retaining blog readers: You’ve created your blog. You have made every best effort to make it impressive and there – you are rewarded – people sincerely like your blogs. And now you want them to continue with you forever.

Retain Your Blog ReadershipYou want people to still like your blogs despite the competition around. If you have applied all the desired techniques to make your blog a popular one and you have also gained a reasonably good readership, you need to think about another angle…something that most bloggers tend to overlook because they take the readership for granted…So what you have to think about now are the ways to retain blog readership.

Readers are readers; they read blogs for getting some beneficial knowledge or educational information out of browsing a page. They have a chance to compare a blog with another as they jump from site to site, blog to blog.

Readers keep searching for something new, some kind of variety in your blogs. So, therefore, retaining blog readership is all about attuning to the interest and choices of the readers and pleasing them. It is about giving and continuing to give them precisely what they relish. Nothing less. Remember that.

5 ways to retain blog readership

1. Keep readers’ choice ahead of writing

You do the writing and your followers read it. You never know what you are creating after devoting hours, would always appeal and make an enjoyable post for your blog readers or not. You really never get any chance to assess it beforehand unless you release it for publishing and host it on your blog page. And then the reaction – the end result – when your blog is rated as ‘liked’ or ‘disliked’. But it would be too late by then to correct the mistake even if you wanted to.

You know, if you are able to perceive this problem, frankly speaking, you are close to the solution of retaining blog readership.

If you understand it well as to why your blog became popular, what the readers might have liked about your blog and in your writing, you have the battle half won. At least you would henceforth not make the mistake of publishing something that readers do not expect from you.

So finally, if you are not going to lose a reader or readers, you may proudly claim – they have been retained by you – simple. Hence you are successful in retaining blog readership.

2. Variety in writing

Nobody likes the same type of stuff again and again. Variety is a must. To keep your readers attracted and interested, you would have to keep making slight changes in the style of writing – if you can.

Normally we type about our expressions. It is possible that readers have liked your style of writing. But you must surprise them sometimes with a slightly changed way, for example, write something that makes your readers smile or even laugh, put some sarcasm or do an experiment with something new that is not your style – but make sure to do it occasionally. Do not overdose. You would be surprised to see the response suddenly flaring up and those who like you already, will make sure never to leave you.

There is another kind variety – that is about the topics. You write well on particular types of subjects – great. That may be your expertise.

The subjects may be politics, celebrities, films, theater, sports, industries, and so on. But try to avoid being stereotyped. You will lose many other readers simply because they might not like the subject that you are writing on frequently – and your subject of interest may be their last choice.

So to keep entertaining your regular readers and also to widen the base of your readers, do try and write on some new themes to the extent you can.

This will have a magical effect of retaining blog readership.

3. Quality matters

Nobody ever becomes perfect. Keep learning. If you want to Earn, you have to first Learn. Keep improving and always strive for delivering a good quality of writing. Quality may be evaluated from the following aspects at the minimum:

Language: make sure that you always deliver text with right grammar and proper vocabulary. Your readers – good or bad on the language, should never be given a chance to point out mistakes in your work. On the contrary, you must try to get their sincere admiration for perfect grammar and impressive vocabulary. They will like you and respect you – which is the key to gain permanent association – the readership, in this case.

Expression: Expressions are the basic essence of your writing. Make sure that justice is done to convey what you want to. If you are not sure, ask someone close to you, to assess it for you.

Keep a close watch at the quality of stuff that you are releasing. And what you will get then are the reactions – response and impact on readership. Do not forget that your goal is to retail blog readership.

4. Be in tune with current affairs

You start writing when you feel like expressing what you know. The information that you have must be up-to-date, authentic and proper.

Your blog should never invite conflicts and allegations unless you have a 200% guarantee to prove what you are saying. If you cannot prove it, you will lower your online reputation.

So make sure to do all the desired research first and when you really feel comfortable with information and data at your disposal, start putting that into the blog.

A good, informative blog will always be appreciated. People will start quoting and referring you to others. And then they will never leave you. That is an intelligent way to retaining Blog Readership.

5. Be regular

Do not pose to be a casual blogger. It must not appear that you write because it is your hobby and you do the writing only when you feel like doing it.

Your readers may be regular visitors to your blog. If they do not see things changing often, they might as well stop coming to it, and you will lose them. Remember, you never want to do anything against retaining Blog Readership. So if you really want them to be with you, permanently, do keep serving them interesting content frequently.

Lastly, remember not to publish blogs just for the sake of it. Whatever kind of blog you want, you must have a well defined purpose. You might make mistake of publishing something useless inadvertently and you will not even get a chance to repent for it. So wait, and keep searching for something that is striking, pick that topic and start writing.