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

7 Tips on How to Write an Informative Blog Post That Rocks

Have you ever wondered how to write the kind of blog posts that retain your blog readers?

One popular yet still very successful way to go about this is to write and publish informative blog posts.

And by informative blog posts, I mean the kind of blog posts that make your readers want to bookmark your post. I’m talking of that blog post that makes your reader want to follow you on your journey from the beginning to the last word of your post.

You can build such a community of loyal fans with your blog. Post writing is an essential part of this mix.

It is also possible to miss your way. Learning to write the hard way can be tough. You’ll make mistakes and waste resources if you don’t understand how to roll out your thoughts in a promising way.

I’ll say you should stop trying hard to figure out everything on your own.

At a glance, let’s take a look at informative blog post writing.

  1. Research before you write
  2. Write in a conversational tone
  3. Write the topics that you love
  4. Don’t be afraid to take a stand
  5. Embrace the genius in you
  6. Deliver Value
  7. Put writing perfection out of your mind and hit the publish button

These steps are moderately easy to accomplish. You just have to relax and enjoy the ride. Now, the details…

7 TIPS ON HOW TO WRITE AN INFORMATIVE BLOG POST

1. Research before you write

The first step to writing an informative blog post that rocks is to do your own research. It doesn’t matter if it’s online or offline. Just do your own research.

By research, I mean feed your mind before you think of writing. And the best way to go about this is to read the blogs of the top bloggers (also known as A-list bloggers) in your niche. Then take notes in your own interpretation of what you learn.

The reason is because the top bloggers in your niche are already ahead of you in terms of audience and influence. They spend most of their time reading the work of other top experts. Their aim is to get tips and tricks that will help them to fast track their way to more success (with fewer mistakes made while climbing that mountain).

And just like them, you too have to follow suit. It’s not a new thing. My way of understanding this approach is that you should first learn what successful people do. Next, do them. Then modify their approach to fit your workflow and lifestyle.

My point is that if you really need to grow your knowledge base, you have to learn from them – of course. They do write professionally informative blogs.

It’s true that every great leader was once a follower. You have to learn from the A-list bloggers so that you can leverage on their own experiences. It is also a good idea to read other blogs so that you will know the current best practices and the best way to implement them in your online business.

2. Write in a conversational tone

With the increasing number of algorithm changes in search engines like Google, the blogs that show up in the top five results have one thing in common – their authors write their blogs in a conversational tone.

The best way for you to write in a conversational tone is to write in the informal language of your blog reader. I’m talking here of using slangs that your typical blog fan loves. Ignore the office tone. Simplify your words if need be. Scrap off the academic mannerism and write for your audience.

You have to picture them reading your post individually. This means that you will have to know the kind of person who you’re expecting to read your blog post. You can’t write for everyone. You’re writing for just a few of the awesome people who are interested in what you have to say about your niche topics.

At the beginning of my blogging journey, I really found it hard to converse in my writing. It was so different from what I learnt in school. The thing with blogging is that it’s okay for you to use the apostrophe [’] mark to shorten words. Examples of this shortening include: do NOT can be “don’t”; is NOT can be “isn’t”. I’m not advising you to apply the shortening in all your blog sentences. Just use your discretion to craft out a moderate work that you’ll be proud of.

3. Write the topics that you love

If you have to write the topics you love, then you have to write the topics that you know.

You can go about this by infusing your personal experiences into your writing. Explain your topics using metaphors that your audience can relate to. It doesn’t matter whether it’s grandma’s recipe or dad’s truck; just use something in your past to connect your topic to your reader’s mind.

Write on as many topics that you think makes your heart leap for joy. But don’t overdo it.

As you go along your path to blogging success, start eliminating many topics that come to your mind until you’re left with two or three of the topics that spark your creative genius. Focus on these topics. Make sure each of them delivers to you a minimum of eighty percent return on effort. Research them and write helpful, informative blog posts that help your audience solve their own problems. They’ll definitely come back again for more. And guess what? That’s loyalty at work.

4. Don’t be afraid to take a stand

Taking a stand can be tough for many personal and professional reasons. But the reality is that you cannot hang on the fence.

Life is never interesting for those who hang on the fence.

As a matter of fact, those who hang on the fence concerning sensitive issues lose real friends and loyal associates. They always, always get lonely and sad at the end of the day. They live in glass houses that are not protected. Their hanging on the fence decisions have a way of coming back to hunt them in their sleep. And nothing beats a good night’s sleep with peace of mind.

My question now is “do you have a revolutionary idea that goes against the industry norm?”

My Advice: suggest it.

Take your time to do your homework. Then write about it. And publish it on your blog.

It may go a hundred and eighty degrees contrary to public opinion but you know what?! As long as you’re sure your opinion is filled with abundant life – and not necessarily to gain temporary PR, stick to it to the end.

There will always be a miracle door that will open for you to help as many people as humanly possible – and to get blessed in return for doing so.

Let me add this…

You never know who might be watching you closely.

In future, you’ll be surprised to discover the number of industry gatekeepers who subscribed to your blog – and are still very loyal readers. They may not comment in the comment section, but they’ll always stay alert for your blog updates.

Who knows?! You might even be given the unorthodox title of Thought Leader.

5. Embrace the genius in you

Being a genius opens doors of opportunities for you to spread new ideas and concepts with your writing.

Building a platform takes time. There’s no question about this. And there’s also no need to rush this. You just have to be consistent and diligent in your quest and journey.

Today, I encourage many beginner bloggers (and struggling bloggers) to learn from my mistakes. Don’t shut down your blog without careful consideration. You can suspend it for a while if you think you’ve reach your peak of ‘here and there’. Allow it. Then go refresh your mindset before you come back to continue.

As far as I’m concerned, you still have a lot to offer your audience. You just have to discover the goldmine of practical knowledge and insight that is already within your mind’s vault.

The reality is that blogging is not for those weak in professional discipline. It really does take a good amount of courage and useful ideas for you to pull it off.

So, as you go along with your blogging activities, keep track of the topics that interest you. Then decide on the one that you’ll want to be known for. This might take a long time but it’s worth the dusting and discovery.

Don’t rush to focus on any topic. I did this and one of the consequences of this is that I struggled to update my failed blogs. I didn’t even realize this early enough. My heart wasn’t in those topics. I later killed those domains. I was burnt out and unhappy. I lost money on those websites and related projects I was working on. I also did lose money on my business cards and other personal branding materials. And what wastage in valuable time that was. It was really an experience filled with lots of struggle based on a ‘hit and loss’ blogging strategy.

The interesting part is that I later discovered that there were many resources online that I wasn’t taking advantage of. The summary of this mistake was that I stopped learning. As a way to correct that mistake, I’ve since taken on a personal and professional mantra of “Continuous Learning.”

6. Deliver Value

How you go about this is very important.

First determine why people come to read your blog. The more you understand it, the easier it would be for you to discover the kind of value you should give to your readers.

Giving value means you have to understand the needs of your ideal visitor.

  • Who is my ideal visitor?
  • Which kinds of problems affect my ideal visitor?
  • How can I best provide the answers to my ideal visitor?
  • Which kind of blog posts will turn my ideal visitor into a subscribed blog reader?
  • What kind of blog titles will attract my blog readers?

Questions like these get you thinking on your blog’s value. It’s the start to creating a buyer persona for your blog that rocks. This kind of approach will guide you to write out informative blog posts that rock.

Next thing you should do is know your ideal visitor.

Your ideal visitors and current blog readers have needs. Don’t be anxious about finding out what those needs are. These needs are directly linked to their struggles and frustrations. If your blog can be the go to resource hub for them, you’ve done something worth doing.

Just ask them, you might be surprised at the answers you get. When you do find them, use your blog posts to craft out the kind of informative blog posts that’ll encourage them to stay subscribed to your blog.

7. Put writing perfection out of your mind and hit the publish button

You’ve written your blog post.

You’ve read it and corrected all the typos and structure issues.

Don’t behave like me in my early days of blogging – stop stopping to publish your blog posts.

As much as I understand that you can’t publish everything you write daily, I still encourage you to release that blog post into the world.

Yes! It’s your baby – your brain child.

Yes! It could also be your current masterpiece. Still, I don’t think your current masterpiece will improve into a better one if you don’t hit the publish button.

Publishing your writing takes courage. It tells your readers that you’re there for them. You’re still alive and intellectually sound enough to do the mental and writing work that needs to be done.

Be brave. Hit. That. Publish. BUTTON.

Over to you…

There is no one set of procedures that is considered the best way to write. The ‘all size fits all’ style of blogging is just a writing myth. It is your responsibility to follow through with what you learn. And then use the knowledge gained from actually applying these tips to define your own writing process.

You can write an informative blog post that rocks. Stop wasting time.

Tell us your experience on writing an informative blog post. Was it tough a challenge? Did it really take time? Before you head off to write your next post, let’s talk about it in the comments.

Hackers May Get Better But WordPress Still Grows Stronger

Yes, WordPress has got its own issues.

It’s the same thing with all other blogging platforms. They don’t create everything at once. They provide upgrades over time.

They create value for the world and get blessed in return.

Even though – occasionally – hackers do succeed in tearing down the WordPress dot com security, the Automattic team is still standing strong.

4 Reasons The AUTOMATTIC Team are improving the web with WordPress blogs

  1. They don’t give up.
  2. They know the meaning of “code is poetry”.
  3. They really do listen to customer complaints
  4. The Automattic team see hacking as an opportunity to improve their platform.

There are still so many reasons to love’em.

DISCLAIMER:I’ve been using WordPress blogs since 2008. Ohhh! Less I forget to mention this: I’m a happy fan of Team Automattic.