Choosing the Perfect Blog Name: Two WordPressers Share Their Secrets

Okay… choosing the perfect domain name is something a lot of bloggers struggle with – especially the newbies.

When I decided to name my blog “PBW &Beyond”, it was a happy decision. This was because PBW & Beyond reflected the frequency, topics and style of my writings on this blog. I choosed PBW & Beyond because I came to the realization that on some days, I might prefer to share a topic that relates to writing and blogging. And on other days, I might prefer to share any ramblings that interest me in the form of reblogs or rough notes.

So, I don’t care how long you’ve been struggling with the concept around your domain name. One thing I can say is that this post from interviewing two wordpress bloggers on their blog names might influence your blog name decision.

At the end of the day, you just have to go with what works best for you and your audience. Just make sure it is easy to pronounce and memorable enough to spell.

Enjoy this post.

The Daily Post

We discover different types of blogs in our community, from travel to food to parenting, with memorable and clever names. You may notice that a number of blogs on WordPress.com have unique web addresses, or custom domains: instead of mysite.wordpress.com, their address is mysite.com. Bloggers get custom domains for different reasons, but ultimately, it’s a great way to build and solidify your presence across the Internet. You can register a new domain through WordPress.com; you can also use a domain you already own with your WordPress.com site, which is called domain mapping.

A crucial step before purchasing a custom domain is deciding on the right name for your blog. Since selecting a name that best reflects your content is so important, we wanted to share insights from two writers on WordPress.com — Sarah and “C.J.’s Mom” — on how they ended up with names they were happy with.

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@Jenny_Chisom is Here on Her Blog Tour

Jenny Chisom is one of Nigeria’s amazing bloggers. She’s doing much to encourage many Nigerians to become professional bloggers. Currently, she is on her blog tour. She’s however decided to stop by here on PBW & Beyond.

So, we had some interview questions for her.

Here’s the transcript.

1) Tell us about yourself:

I am a 34 years old Nigerian girl born in Portharcourt and raised in Aba. I schooled in Aba, Calabar, Owerri and proceeded to Sokoto for my NYSC before coming to live and work in Abuja almost 8 years ago. 

Coming from a large family and second of seven siblings, I am a natural observer and innovative thinker. Having studied English, Literature and also Entrepreneurship Management equipped me to discover and express myself beyond my mostly conservative upbringing.

I am known popularly as Jenny Chisom but my full name is Helen-Jennifer Chisom Opara. Close family members call me Chichi.
 
I started a small content development company, Logos Audibles in 2010 and with it has floated my passion projects – The Login Blogging Enterprise Project, The Social Media Job Fair, and the Bloggers Party, which have encouraged a lot of online enterprise in Nigeria.

See details here and here.

2) Can you tell us about your ideal blog reader?

Hmm!

I can say, my ideal blog reader is the vivacious lively person who isn’t tired of learning and especially someone in search of unique business ideas and enterprise inspiration.

3) Why do you consider yourself a blog expert?

No way!

I am not an expert, some people in Nigeria just think I am.

(laughs)

I am just a girl that loves finding my unique voice and love to leverage on innovative and affordable platforms to ‘sell’ my creativity.

As regards blogging, I started out blogging about my new small business in 2009, then about my clients and helped promote Authors and Creative Entrepreneurs. That was over 5 years ago. I know I am an expert at sharing anything I learn with others so they can also benefit and integrally move their enterprise and business forward.

My blog did all my marketing and got me clients from outside Nigeria too so I decided to be an ‘expert’ in letting people know they can use the tool to grow their personalities and or businesses. And teaching other people, has made me learn more and apply principles that work for me as a ‘bloggers blogger’.

If having a blog for all my ideas and projects, makes me an ‘expert’, then maybe I am.

(Laughing)

But honestly I feel I haven’t even started showing people what blogging can do.

4) As a blogger, what challenges do you face?

I would say, mainly, high cost of internet data and the fact that more Nigerians aren’t blogging right. The challenge is in the task of training most bloggers in Nigeria to blog purposefully and get Nigeria to become a developed country that is also perceived rightly.

5) Can you describe your blogging style to us?

My style is fun, upbeat, educational and business-like. I also love to do lots of promo for businesses.

6) Where can we find your blogging work?

My personal business blog is at www.jennychisom.com.
 
I am grateful for being hosted on this blog today. Thank you very much.


Jennifer Chisom
08038994417
 
Social Media Chaperon/ Content Consultant
http://www.jennychisom.com

3 Things You Can Do To Build An Awesome Blog Brand

Blogs are brands.

Not only at the top level do we consider them brands. All below A-list blogs are also brands.

And so, if you want to take you blog brand to the next level, use the three tips below.

1) Think of your blog as a brand.

This does one thing for you. It establishes your blog as a unique entity in your mind. The benefits of this are amazing.

First, you get to easily see your blog from the outside in. Secondly, you get the chance to view your blog as an extension of yourself. What you think about you has its way of being reinforced on your blog.

2) Know your niche.

Your niche is the topic you really crave to write on your blog.

Covering topics on your blog isn’t enough. Playing with words, and pictures, and videos isn’t enough. You have to be willing to go that far into your topic. You have to be a journalist at the core – breaking unethical rules to get your site’s main gist for the day.
Now that’s what it feels like to know your topic.

3) Be your writing self.

This can only happen when you learn to get comfortable in your own skin. Every word, every sentence and every plugin that you use should add up to give your audience a sense of who you are and what you really have to offer.

In terms of value, it is what you create. It is really what you create to help others that really sells.

In summary, your blog is your platform. It is where your voice is being heard. Don’t sell yourself short.

~ PBW

7 HARD TRUTHS ABOUT BUILDING A BLOG

Writing a blog is work.

Building a blog takes much more of your time and other resources.

You have to think about your headline, the introductory part, the main message, and the conclusion. You also have to think about the format you’re going to publish your post.

Leaving it at your drafts won’t do you or your audience any good. And so it is important to have an idea of the realities of building a blog.

Having these tips in mind will re-write your expectations to fit your current style of blogging – and also, the niche you’re operating.

SEVEN HARD TRUTHS ABOUT BUILDING A BLOG

1. Building a blog audience takes time

And I’m sorry to be in your face with this fact. You shouldn’t expect immediate results in weeks or months – i.e. if you want to gain a significant sized audience.

Building a sizeable, real audience really, really takes time.

This is good in one sense. It affords you the opportunity to know more about your blogging niche – the competitors, the topics, the plugins needed and the remaining essentials that will help your blog to stand out from the crowd.

2. Building a blog requires dedication to the blogging craft

You have to keep showing up until it hurts.

And when it starts to hurt, you know you’re doing something worthwhile. The reason is because building a blog is just like building a business. You have to really be weird to come to success.

The work will eat into your extra time. And on certain days, your blogging gigs will eat into your night sleep. It’ll be hard to sleep when you keep thinking about your next blog post.

The feeling can make you anxious. But it’s part of the signs that show people that you are dedicated to your craft.

3. You will have to tell people about your new blog

Telling people about your new blog takes courage.

And the reality is that all successful bloggers are courageous. They are not afraid of failure. They are not afraid of what people will say about their efforts.

In fact, they recognize the fact that their blog is a continuous log of work-in-progress. It doesn’t matter if you video-blog, image-blog or text-blog.

What matters is that you are not afraid to tell people that you’re a blogger.

4. You have to complete your unfinished posts

There is this situation I got stuck in. Today, I also really feel that many top bloggers have also experienced this at one point or the other. And that problem is the problem of the unfinished post.

What causes it? I’ll say it’s your desire for perfection.

You want to finish your blog post is a perfect way. While there is no way to gauge the perfection in a blog post, it is possible to gauge the quality of a post. And a post that helps a blogger’s audience is capable of being rated as awesome.

So, stop abandoning your blog posts, and stop (I mean it), being afraid of publishing your own blog posts. Do work hard to finish them. The process is quite straight forward.

If I may add, try using an editorial calendar. It will really help to push you forward to meet your blogging goals. This will truly reduce your need for leaving an unfinished post the way you did in the past.

5. You have to promote your posts

Whether it is sharing them on Twitter or Google+ or Facebook or any other platform, you have to share your posts.

Promoting your blog posts is one share way to get significant traffic to your blog. Visitors will click on the links to you blog from other platforms and head over to read the full content of your blog posts. And this is best done after you hit the publish button on your latest blog post.

6. You have to build connection with your readers

Building connection with your readers is essential if you have to grow your blog readership. It is also an important strategy in building your blog’s engagement with your readers.

At the end of the day, you have to realize that it is people –not bugs – that do the actual reading of your blog.

Building a connection with your readers will encourage your readers to spread the word about your blog. Who knows? You may be nominated for a blog award.

Even though the result takes quite some time, but in the end, it is all worth the effort.

7. You are free to embrace other blogging formats

Blogging isn’t restricted to words alone.

As much as it’s a good thing that you blog predominantly in the format you enjoy, blogging isn’t restricted to one format.

On a platform such as WordPress (for example), you can blog in the following formats:

  • Text
  • Video
  • Image
  • Quote
  • Link
  • Status
  • Gallery etc.

You can also blog about articles, events, styles, objects, luxury, people and poetry etc.

The choice is yours.

You are free to use whatever format that interests you on your blog.

In essence…

Your blogging journey is meant to be fun and exciting. Occasionally, there are the situations that make the hair at the back of your neck stand. Still, building a blog is not a one day activity.

Over to you…

How long have you been blogging? And what’s your experience like? Share it with us in the comments.

~ PBW

All Bloggers Don’t Blog for the Same Reason

It’s funny whenever I run into a blog whose owner feels bad for not posting for some months.

I think this stems from two kinds of emotions.

  1. Emotions that originate from the thoughts of a deep sense of obligation to one’s audience.
  2. Emotions that originate from the feelings of insecurity that arise due to competition with other blogs.

My thoughts
I’ll run from ground to the skies. So, let me start from the second point up.

I think competition is kinda dump

There is no need to monitor your competing blogs to the point of obsession.

In fact, there is a thin line between monitoring your competitors and confusing yourself.

Blogging, as every real life blogger knows, is not for the faint of arms. Your arms should always be on standby to write your next posts because inspiration is everywhere.

So, next time you feel insecure about the competition, remind yourself that they worked hard to get to where they are.

While you can get inspiration from them, don’t forget why you started blogging in the first place.

Your sense of obligation to your audience

That’s it.

When you get to the point this feeling envelopes you, you’ll become a blogging superstar.

Why? It is because on the competitive plane, it is hard to be original.

Contrary to the ‘street’ gist, your own creativity will spark into a burning fire that burns your words into your blog.

I’m talking here of burying yourself in your audience interests.

To round up…

Now you’re aware that all bloggers don’t blog for the same reason, I’m sure you’ll sit your ass down for a moment. Grab a mug of coffee and then think of why you started blogging.

Let those answers silently guide you into the blogging superstar that you were meant to be.

That’s it my dear friend.

~ PBW

#BLOGGING: 3 Simple Hacks That Will Make Your Blog Post Really, Really Persuasive

When you write a post, you should embed yourself in it.

It is good for your readers and you.

If you ask me, I’ll tell you that a very persuasive blog post is attractive to read. It gets your audience to tick the yes box. You’ll also feel good about yourself when you hit the publish button.

There will be no need for you to beat around the bush. You just know that you’ve done a good job – irrespective of whether you are on the blogging amateur or professional level.

With this in mind, I want to share with you three simple hacks for crafting out a really, really persuasive blog post.

Now, lets start.

1) Match your words to your audience needs

For you to do this, you have to learn what’s important to them.

The reason is because whenever you write, you are always writing for someone else. It’s very easy to forget this. The idea of writing the way you want can sometimes make you blind to your audience needs.

All audiences are different; and this may sound obvious but in practice, you may forget to apply this concept to your work.

All in all: your audience matters. Keep them in mind when doing your writing.

2) Speak in the jargon your audience accepts

There is a way your audience speaks. There are words that your audience uses. They might be technical or derogatory in manner. The important is that you identify the kind of phrases that are not offensive to the particular audience that you’re writing to.

When you think about your audience differently, your writing will improve – especially in terms of how you combine your use of jargon and everyday words in your sentences.

Another way of interpreting this is to use the vocabulary that your audience understands.

3) Connect your writing voice to the blog post you’re writing

To connect your writing voice to the blog post that you’re writing, all you have to do is find your blogging voice.

Your blogging voice encompasses the way you use your writing to express your thoughts – and the style, of course.

For the sake of the growth of your blog in future, work on focusing your efforts on developing your writing voice. It’s an essential that you take your time to get this write. It is one of the ways to avoid your pattern of writing in twists and turns.

Focus on a single message in each of your posts. If you have different ideas that you want to merge into that particular post, title the blog post like a theme on the topic.

IN CONCLUSION

Writing a persuasive blog post is easy. Just use the three tips above.

OVER TO YOU…
Have you ever wondered if your blog post is persuasive enough? Please share your experience with us in the comments.

7 WRITING HABITS: 4 great ones and 3 ugly ones

What’s good writing?

It’s the kind that gets noticed, read and really appreciated. If it’s your work, you may not get to see all the wonderful people who enjoy your work. But one thing’s sure: most of them do find your work interesting.

You know it.

A work – that work – that first earns a bookmark for an evening cup of tea. It pushes your readers to explore what is being offered. It takes your audience down the road. The journey is safe. All your readers need to do is to enjoy being the audience because the writing is too good to pass on. It’s not academic or scholarly-sounding in voice.

The point is that great writing takes time to master. And so, if you’re looking for a one-time quick formula to solve your writing chaos, I’ll be honest with you: there ain’t any magic formula.

You have to pay the price with a currency named “practice”.

You have to practise your writing. It helps to sharpen your skills and increase your brain’s ability to process complex concepts. If you can turn complex concepts into simple messages that can be understood by your audience, then you’ve got a potential winner.

At first, no one is going to acknowledge the fact that you’re onto something. The reason is because the beginning stage of a writing-related profession is filled with a lot of mediocrity and lazy ass bums of a people. To get out of that shit-hole, you have to pick up your pants and get your shoes into the right kind of foot-holding that fits you.

And so, to boost your confidence to become a better writer, the tips below will help you.

SEVEN WRITING HABITS THAT KICK ASS AND MAGNETS THE KIND OF AUDIENCE THAT YOU DESIRE

The 4 DO-THESE Habits:

1. WRITE LIKE YOU’RE ALIVE

If you try writing when you’re unhappy or worried about the next possible disaster, your readers will discover the dead-spirit in your work.

It’s not healthy.

It’s even more mentally and emotionally tasking to come up with the right words to say what you want to say in the best way you intended to say it out.

Unless you’re using writing as a healthy way of releasing negative energy, it’s not always a good thing to write in a negative state. This doesn’t mean you should always wait for the perfect time.

There is actually no perfect time to write.

You can just start out by scribbling your thoughts on paper or monitor. And you’ll notice that as you continue inking or pounding away the keyboard, your cognitive prowess will release the right tiger of boldness and joy.

That’s enough to get you quickly in the mode to write out those positive-impactful words.

2. WRITE WITH CONFIDENCE

Building confidence takes time.

But many readers know when the read the work of a confident writer. Errors are bound to happen. And even though it’s a good thing to correct your grammatical mistakes and other structure issues, it’s important to keep a clear head in this process. Worrying about possible issues will only increase the likelihood for you to commit them.

You are not in this to be afraid. You’re in this to change or improve your existing world with your own words. And the best way to tell the people who read your work that it’s okay to turn the next page is to write with confidence.

3. GET INTO THE PROFESSIONAL MINDSET FAST

Until you start recognizing yourself as a writer, you won’t get the inner kick to stand up and do what needs to be done – the actual writing.

It is very possible to spend a large chunk of your time reading books on writing, going to writing events and even speak on writing with so many people but yet miss the doing part – doing the actual writing. And so, getting into the professional writer’s state of mind is an essential habit that you need to develop to horn your skills into a spear.

Writing out words that cut hearts and restructure their lives for better takes time and practice. It requires a consistent dedication to the art. There is a science to it. There are words you need to learn about. There are vowels you need to learn about. There are also many writing- related business stuff that you need to get an idea of.

With a professional mindset, you’ll be better equipped to get out of your bed and do this one thing that’s important to you.

4. NEVER STOP LEARNING ABOUT YOUR AUDIENCE

Your audience is the prime call – your own prime call.

They consist of real people and not some spam bots. There are real people who come to read your work. These people have emotions that can be stirred to happiness and excitement.

Some of’em just want to be entertained.

Others want to be informed.

Others just want to get to know who you are and have a taste of what you have to offer.

As long as you are committed to seeing most of your audience’ needs get satisfied, you will continue building a magnificent group of loyalists and ‘unofficial’ word-of-mouth campaigns. And this will come in handy for the business side of your writing career.

The 3 DON’T-DO-THESE Habits:

1. DON’T ALWAYS DEPEND ON ANOTHER PERSON FOR A WRITING PROMPT

Writing prompts are good. In fact, I’ll say they are really, really awesome in getting you to spark that wire of creativity.

Some of’em stir up your emotions to the peak point that you remember things. Some: good – others: not-so-good.

While it’s good to use a writing prompt as a help to kick start your writing for the day. It’s really a good idea that you don’t depend on them.

You’ve got to find a way to come up with your own writing prompts. Look around. Pick an object. Get a book. There’s so much to write. There’s so much out there for you to use as an inspiration generator.

You can do it. Maybe, not always. But if you keep practising, then over time, you’ll see the benefits of creating your own writing prompts.

It may be hard at first, but of course, that’s why you write. You’re meant to turn a blank page into something readable. It’s a craft that has to do with turning your reader’s time into something along the lines of an investment.

Create your own writing prompts and let it be useful enough for your audience.

2. DON’T WRITE LIKE A ROBOT

You know it – that baritone voice behind your favourite ad.

Why baritone?

It’s simple. They want to make you feel the connection between the advertised product and you.

Notice the word ‘feel’.

The idea of making the audience feel was not first created during the recording of the advert. It was at the beginning – the writing of the advertiser’s script.

If it works and makes people like you and I buy what is being advertised, then it definitely makes sense. They writers of the ad know something. And that one thing is that writing like a robot is emotionless writing. I’m talking of detaching yourself from your own writing.

Good writing will center the focus of your writing on your work and you.

Your readers will need to get a sense of connection with you. And for them to stay connected to your brand and work, they need to feel something: they need to connect with you and at the same time make sense of that connection.

Whether it’s the feeling of anger, mystery or excitement, top writers don’t write like robots – they seek to convey emotions into their work. It’s the reason their work are popularly regarded as ‘interesting’.

Oh! And did I forget to mention that “interesting” sells?

3. DON’T WORRY ABOUT PERFECTING YOUR WRITING

Worrying about your writing won’t do you any good.

You have to pick yourself up and get to face that blank page every day. Then seek to conquer it because there is not hundred percent right or wrong way to do your writing.

If you think that you’re confused, then try writing like you talk.

Get your acts together and stop searching for that perfect quote or article that will keep you up at night to write.

Trust your instincts. All good writers do.

And yes, it’s a good thing to learn from others who have gone ahead of you in this process. But it is always detrimental to worry about the standard of your writing.

Letting go of worry opens you to the freedom. Just enjoy this process. After all, it’s for the development of your writing skill.

It might take a very long time to get to know your own writing voice and which topics you love to write about. Still, I encourage you to ignore that fear inside of you. In fact, if I were to say one thing about the inner critic inside your brain, I’ll say you should use the fear inside of you to push yourself forward in your writing career.

Good writing is what you say it is.

Nobody has the best standard of creativity.

We’re all different. And so, even if we write on the same topic, there’s always that one piece of the puzzle that can only come from you. It’ll feel just like destiny. Lol!

WRITING IS NOT FOR THE FAINT OF HEARTS

You will need a significant dose of courage to remain focused in this craft. The reason is because there are many things that could distract you from achieving your goals. Therefore, I encourage you to stick to your guns; don’t let that ‘pestle’ miss its spot in your mortar.

Turn this intangible asset into something helpful and profitable.

~ PBW

BLOGGiNG BLiSS: Would you love to experience it?

Blogging should be a thing of joy.

Rather, many uninformed people and newbie bloggers think it to be boring – or an activity that is way out their league. Also, many bloggers find themselves struggling to experience the blogging bliss.

To experience the blogging bliss, here are 3 reliable tips for you.

At a glance:

  1. Stop envying other bloggers.
  2. Set your own blogging goals.
  3. Enjoy your blogging journey.

1). Stop envying other bloggers. The reason is because you don’t know their own reason for starting up their own blog(s). If you’ve got to do your own thing, then do it. Stop waiting for permission to start your own thing. There is never a perfect time to start up a blog – but there’s a better time to raise capital for a corporate blog network.

2). Set your own blogging goals. The reason is because every successful blogger out there has his or her own goals set for a particular period of the year. You can set your own goals. Your own goals for your blog should be:

  • Short enough to be clearly written down on a handkerchief;
  • Reliable to point that anyone can read it and see the same thing you see in your mind;
  • Time-dependent so that you will identify resource bins (that may come in the form of fake friends) and remove them from your life;
  • Challenging enough to spur you into bold action;
  • Achievable within the time you set;
  • Positive enough to get you excited about the outcome of your focused efforts;
  • Flexible enough to accommodate the set-backs and frustrations that may happen in reality;
  • Okay enough to allow your daily activities to fall within the acceptable level of stress limits that your body can healthily accept.

3). Enjoy your blogging journey. It’s because blogging is fun – irrespective of your own point of view. Imagine the thrills of worrying about deadlines, thinking of your audience, worrying about what people will say in the comment section. All these making blogging an exciting, romantic adventure. I’ll even say that it’s a good profession that makes your heart race with excitement. And of course, not everyday will feel good. But that’s natural. It’s your responsibility to be happy with what you do and where you do it. If it ain’t fun, don’t waste your life. You will never be younger than you currently are today. Enjoy the moment.

Every Blogger is a CEO

As a blogger, Blogging Bliss is when you begin to accept the extent of your interests and your ability to coordinate and manage resources to transform your blog in to an audience magnet.

If you do this right, you’ll be glad you write a blog. You’ll also be happy about the work you do. It doesn’t have to be as big as any CNN blog or TechCrunch.

What matters is that you love what you do.

Sampling

In line with the message in this post, I’ll list out a sample from the millions of blogs that are lovin’ their thing.

It takes acceptance and endurance to reach the point of blogging bliss. I encourage you to write your blog in the style that makes you smile.

~ PBW

P.S. – If you’ve got a thing or two to say about this post, please feel free to express your feelings in the comments. It’s also okay to include a link to a blog (or two) that makes you proud of bloggers and the blogosphere as a whole.

It doesn’t matter the topic of the blog, just feel free to include them into your comments.

PBW & Beyond Blog in 2015: Long form, Short form, All form

Writing is an art. Blogging is a science.

And if you think like a social scientist, you’ll realize the power in the use of words.

Words have influenced people for generations. Words have made people think. Words have made people meditate on the events that are good, bad and ugly.

It is not always a bad thing to express yourself using words. But using words to paint a picture in the minds of people requires a constant learning spirit. If you understand this, then you will be ready.

What will you be ready for?

You will be ready for my 2015 multi-style blogging on PBW & Beyond.

It’s about the writer’s art. It is his ability to take charge of his work. Using it to help his readers get better in different areas of their lives. It is about helping them experience joy and humour – although I’ll admit, humour is not easy for all creative people. But the most important thing of all is to make the blogging experience ALL about the readers.

And so…

I’m happy for the gift of life and the grace to use my words to help you. The reason is because YOU are important. You’re a VIP. If you weren’t, I won’t be blogging.

Consequently, in 2015, I’ll be trying out both long form and short form content.

How’bout you?

Do you use both long form and short form writing on your blog? Let’s hear your experience and preferred style in the comments.