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).

7 Common Mistakes in Writing Blog Posts

As we know, blogging is one of the successfully proven ways of not only managing to get a huge amount of traffic but also leveraging it into sales, that is, revenue.

Writing Blog PostsBarring few unenlightened ones, there will not be any company in the world that does not know the power of blogging. Blogging is a great way to spread the word about your business products or services.

However, as our title for this discussion mentions, blogging is an art and not everyone can write a ‘winning’ piece. The rules of writing a blog is much similar to those used in writing newsletters and Ezines; however, there are certain fundamental differences.

Keep in mind the 7 common mistakes in writing blog posts detailed below that you are likely to make… and improve your blogging style and presentation.

Not Making Your Blog KISS-able:

Making your blog KISS-able means to “keep it short and simple.”

Your blog content should be scan-friendly, that is, your blog should impress and engage the reader. There is no point in publishing a 2000 word post on travel every week or publishing 200 words on a historic subject….what I mean is whether your blog is KISS-able depends on the topic / subject you are dealing with.

Do not keep dragging on the subject…say what you have to say…keep it short and crisp so that the reader can scan it quickly. Ideally you should publish posts daily or on every alternative day rather than following a weekly posting schedule.

Not Making Your Blog Valuable:

Don’t write or publish mundane content. Be up-to-date with latest trends about the subject you are dealing with. There is no point in spending time writing posts that have no relevance because it won’t get any substantial readership.

People do not have hours to spend on your blog. If you don’t have anything relevant or valuable, you can share others blog content but they should be relevant to your business.

From the financial point of view, a blog with good rankings and traffic based on the published content will have high saleable value in the future.

Not Making You Blog Reader-Centric:

This is very important…you should write the blog posts keeping your readership in mind and not blindly jotting down whatever you like. Of course, your interest matters too. Without your interest, you cannot write anything but your primary consideration should be the reader.

Suppose you sell Darjeeling tea online…your blog should be mostly about the various Darjeeling teas in its various seasons, with links to the order/purchase page…this writing will connect with the audience in a better fashion than babbling out the history of a particular Darjeeling tea variety…Getting my point?

Nobody is saying history is irrelevant but will that history sell your teas? NO. Choice of content is the main area where most bloggers go wrong. When writing a piece, ask yourself – Will you be interested to read what you have written?

Not Editing Your Stuff:

It doesn’t matter whether you are writing your blog content or getting it written by a ghost writer, the point is to edit, edit and edit…BEFORE publishing it. Let me relate a personal experience.

In the initial years of my writing career, I joined a reputable web content development company. As a starter, they were paying me a decent amount but soon I noticed that some of the articles were not being paid for in the current pay cycle but carried forward to the next month. Mind you these articles were already published! I asked them the reason.

Their so-called “Editorial Department” replied saying those withheld articles were being reviewed because of typos and grammatical errors…I was flabbergasted. What was the editorial department doing before they published those articles? Can you believe me if I say that it was part of their company’s policy to edit the blogs after they are published??? Why? I don’t know.

Anyhow, my point is never publish blogs before editing and proofreading them. If you are lazy, hire an editing service provider.

Not Providing Sufficient Links:

What are the other purposes of blogging? Good SEO and link building. Linking your blogs with other credible sources will help to build your reputation and position you as an expert in the chosen field. Also, by linking, you are saving your reader’s precious time and they will thank you for that!

Links offer the readers valuable information and when other blogs link back to you, you can create a trustworthy network of associates. Google maintains that link building is important for website ranking so you cannot afford to ignore it.

Not Using Enough Keywords:

Unless your blog is about a subject on which quality material has not been written before, you stand a good chance to rank higher in Google keywords even though you may not make it too keyword-centric.

However, if you have tough keyword ranking competition then you have to use a good percentage of keywords distributed uniformly within the blog.

Recent trends suggest that using long-tail keywords are good for blogs. Nevertheless, keep in mind that the blog should not be too much concentrated with SEO keywords. Doing so is futile because Google will likely rank it as spam.

Not Making the Blog Conversational:

A blog should be a mixture of formal and informal communication depending on the chosen topic or subject. For instance, a blog on fashion should be written in a formal matter; similarly, a blog on archaeology should not be written informally.

Feel the pulse of the subject you are writing about….the blog should connect with the audience…especially if you are writing about topics like Internet marketing. Conversational blogs are known to get better readership sustained over a long period of time.

What is the mistake you did? DO share with us….

Are you interested in earning money from blogs using AdSense? Read our discussion.