Saturday, 10 October 2015

How to be successful in blogging and have fun! Tips for beginners

     If prompted with line "blogging tips for beginners", Google comes up with some 97 400 000 results. Is it even remotely possible to come up with anything new on this topic? COMPETITION is high, but I noticed one flaw in all those numerous posts about this theme:

It`s written from a veteran point of view.

     The most imporant factor in selling any information is to speak the same language; this includes similar mind bubble too. Here`s an example:

"Spend at least an hour promoting your posts on social media." 

(or something like that, there`s no actual source)

     What does that mean? In this case, you get the idea, but no instructions whatsoever how to use it. It`s like a furniture from IKEA without any tips how to assemble it. If you are clever enough, you will eventually get it, but you are not reading those lines to get an idea only, there should be INSTRUCTIONS too. Without any instructions, you will waste some precious TIME for sure.

     Because what happens afterwards is simple; you don`t know how to promote your content. You logged in to Facebook, Twitter and Google+. You hit share. And the question arises: Share with whom? Share where? Share how often? Share... Anyway, by now you get the idea. This is what I want to FOCUS on here. The MISSING LINK in 99% of those millions of posts.

     I`m not going to write anything that`s so common in other posts; so don`t look for advice like "traffic won`t come to you, you need to come to traffic." You should already know that and if you don`t, read some google search results.  You have the IDEA, now it`s time to find a way to SELL IT to the world! I will provide the advice EXCLUSIVE to my first month experience with blogging! It`s going to be chronological from the idea of creating a blog to sharing and caring for your traffic.

From Concept to Idea

     Every blogger`s journey starts with a concept. Concept is a general idea, it`s not what you should write your posts about. It`s more of a overarching LINE connecting your posts. Idea, on the other hand, is something you want to write about in your specific posts. Let me give you a CONCRETE and an ABSTRACT example:

Concrete concept: games characters and different storyline approaches

     What you`re trying to do here is to specify your topics, from general concept of games to specific concept game characters. You don`t want it to be too specific either; if you are going to write posts only about different special abilities of characters, or just focus on rpg or pc games your audience would get smaller with excluding specific GROUPS of players. More importantly, your CONCEPT POOL will get dry really fast. Imagine all those posts you could write about it. If you can come up with more than 10 in a minute, you should be fine. I understand that not every one of us plays rpg games, so here`s the abstract example:

Abstract concept: kitchen towels

     Let`s say you are really into kitchen utensils. These are naturally part of the kitchen (same goes for video games in IT world). But since you can`t write about all kitchen utensils, you have to decide which you focus on. For example towels! These can be white, green, yellow, green..Can be used to protect your hands, or swipe dirt and as a decoration. Every kind of towel has a different properties you want to write about; some of them have even messy kitchen stories to tell.

     On the other hand, you don`t want to write only about green towels, because the topic is too specific. Your concept pool would run out in a moment (same goes for only rpg pc games). Find a MIDDLE GOLDEN PATH between specific and general.

     Keep in mind that even the most common topic can be re-written in A CREATIVE manner. You can see what I used as an example. Video game characters are so common! But people don`t look at their character development and storyline so often. This is your CORNER of creativity.

     This is not to say you can`t COMBINE concepts. If 2 concepts are similar or have something in common, you can post a different topic, just to keep your blog interesting. I`m doing it with poems section. However, keep in mind you should have one MAIN CONCEPT.

     Just take a look at the world`s foremost youtuber, Pewdiepie. He started on A concept of scary videogames. This is very specific and since there was not enough creativity in scary games, he decided to BROADEN the concept with other features and games, focusing now on gameplay videos with funny commentaries. It`s funny watching people getting scared. It also shows they are not better than any one of us, showing us their weak spots, their humanity. This is what`s so ATTRACTIVE on Felix. To summarise, he chose relevant concept of scary games playthrough. He put a creativity in it the way nobody else did before; he made fun of himself getting scared. And the whole world laughed with him!

     Don`t be afraid to change concepts if you see it`s not working. Stay with the new concept for a while to see where it`s going. DON`T JUMP from one to another. Your blog needs CHARACTER to be recognised in a LONG TERM perspective.

Decide on design basics

     If you start with blogger, you have some template designs at your disposal from the very beginning. Choose COLOR and where things should be. Decide on what SOCIAL PLATFORMS you want to use and add plugins for comments and don`t forget panel for e-mail subscriptions. This should take you a few days, but it`s neccessary to get your audience used to your blog. Again, you can find plenty of advice on what shouldn`t be missed in design on Google. The most important thing though is to make your content VISIBLE. Your text READABLE. Your thoughts SIMPLE. NOBODY CARES about clean and clever design if they can`t read your content. Make it easy to REACH other blog posts once people are finished with reading the one you shared.

     People honestly don`t care about your design much, they care about content. Content interesting enough to make them reading further and further. I`ve already seen so many blogs with beautiful designs, but with a text hard to read. There is one more thing important to audience and that is GIVING OPINION about what they just read. Make comment section for all social platforms you are on.

     Stick to your design once you decided upon it, unless it`s too messy and makes text undreadable. Changing your design too much and too often leaves a bad VIBE. Let`s say you have a favourite blog. You visit it every other day. You know where things are and learnt to like it there. However, blog`s owner decides to change the template and design twice a week before he or she doesn`t feel like it. Suddenly, you don`t know where things are anymore. Your favourite blog looks like a completely different website. You simply don`t get the feeling of FAMILIARITY any more!

     Each post should be either text, or PICTURES, not both! You can use pictures to underline your text, but don`t stick pictures everywhere like I did in a few early posts. You can make a picture post, but don`t write too much text between your pictures. It`s CONFUSING and appears MESSY.

     This is not to say there are no GRADUAL changes possible. If you`ve seen some of my older blog entries, I sometimes change headline structure, or like in this post; some important words are in capitals (I learnt that on Kitchentakeovers, thank you Alicia!)

"Dray horse" posts

     At the very beginning, there should be at least one or two  posts that can get more viewers than any other post on your blog. I call these posts "dray horses" in a sense they can show you the way audience wants you to perform. They represent the SWEET MUSIC to your ears; just LISTEN to it. They are like bright BEACON on your journey; WATCH for them carefully. This is your audience telling you where to go from here. This is what I mean:

     That one post about anxiety made so many views in COMPARISON with others! How? First of all, the idea is pretty catchy; everybody experiences anxiety on their first day at a new job, so it`s relevant. Second, I used catchy words for SEO and in the headline. You can see that my other stats are pretty terrible. Well, I didn`t use my own advice. Don`t do the same mistake like me!

How to share your posts to get traffic

     If you are really new to blogging and had no other blogs before, you have no INFRASTRUCTURE to lean on. No people ready to read your blog posts. The first thing to do here is to get accepted into few bigger groups on social media, where you can share your blog posts and find some new iniciatives around blogging you can join. First and foremost, decide on your main platform; is it going to be Facebook? Or perhaps Google+? You should certainly have more than one platform at hand, but make one the BASE of operations. BUILD your profile so that people can IDENTIFY you easily.

     Then you can share your posts! Pick a description of every shared post carefully, people decide on what they want to read first. Only then they actually read it. REMEMBER that.

     As a time flows by, you might notice various iniciatives in groups you joined. Become a MEMBER of one of them! This is a perfect way to make a LIST of bloggers you know better than the others. Suddenly, you are not alone any more; you have a group of bloggers that share and comment on your posts. My first and still on-going iniciative is Blogtober Challenge. I`ve met some 20 active bloggers who comment on my posts and inspire me. This kind of feedback is way beyond APPRECIATION!

     The most important idea I`m going to give you on a GOLDEN PLATE is that you MUST share your blog posts several times a day, in different groups to get traffic. You might think this is a common sense, but for the NEW bloggers nothing is taken for GRANTED. My first week I shared new blog posts only once each day. In groups of few thousand, my tiny little posts got overwhelmed and I ended up with only a few people.

     Since you just started your blog, the chances on getting your own guest post are minimal. All those tips to make use of your connections are hard to realise when you don`t have any network yet. And yet, you can find this advice almost everywhere. And let me tell you, it`s useless at first. Don`t waste your energy on USELESS things.

Don`t let other things distract you

     Now let me get back to Blogtober for a moment. The thought behind this ACTIVITY is simple; post each day on predefined topics. I didn`t see any problem with that at first, but I see some now. I got distracted from making "dray horse" posts. Instead, I`m making posts which are of questionable quality sometimes and have a barely growing audience. Don`t get the wrong idea; I`m learning so much from other bloggers. But, this lead me off my path. If any challenge causes you to lose focus and doesn`t give you at least some added value, better STOP doing it immediately!

Structure of blog posts

     Before writing any article, first think of a script for it. Blogging is similar to Youtube channels. The only difference is that your OUTPUT is written. Think about a STRUCTURE of your post. Now I`m not talking only about introduction and conclusion. Specify what do you want to say from the idea you have in mind. What`s still RELEVANT and what`s not? Are there any special features you`d like to add to the post? Pictures, links, added content? Is there a friend you want to mention? I still make this mistake and I probably will for a long time. I hit PUBLISH and immediately after realise that there are 2 more things I wanted to ADD. This is a nightmare once you shared your post.

     There is a RULE that goes like this: "one idea per one post". If you want to write a travelling guide, don`t split up this topic into 3 different posts. It`s hard to keep track of and above all, it`s CONFUSING. People don`t like that they have to look for INFORMATION on few places, even if it`s all on your blog. Some bloggers do it, but NOT OFTEN. They can afford it since they are more FAMOUS than you. It`s a way to make posts different. It`s definitely not a STANDARD way of writing. Just look at these posts on my blog (1 2 3). It`s TIRESOME to click on next post if you want to keep reading the same topic, isn`t it?

Happy Blogging!

In conclusion, I hope I gave you the right amount of advice and experience. So get up there and use it! That`s the best way to tell me I did something for you today. That and sharing or leaving a comment. So don`t be shy!


About Unknown

My name is Sidney Aldaine. And this is the start of my ultimate project, my Fantasma. My way of helping people to make them feel better. My way of contributing something of a value to the world we all live in. Thank you for stopping by, I hope you enjoy my little corner of the web. Place, where I left a piece of my soul and dreams. A Fantastic place. I would love to call myself a blogger and a writer some day. And I`m not going to give up this dream, at least not until my Fantasma comes into reality.

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