How To Write Good Blog Posts

How To Write Good Blog Posts

Step 1: Understand your audience.

Before you start to write, have a clear understanding of your target audience. What do they want to know about? What will resonate with them? This is where creating your buyer personas comes in handy. Consider what you know about your buyer personas and their interests while you’re coming up with a topic for your blog post.

 

Step 2: Start with a topic and working title.

Before you even write anything, you need to pick a topic for your blog post. The topic can be pretty general to start with. For example, if you’re a plumber, you might start out thinking you want to write about leaky faucets. Then you might come up with a few different working titles — in other words, iterations or different ways of approaching that topic to help you focus your writing.  For example, you might decide to narrow your topic to “Tools for Fixing Leaky Faucets” or “Common Causes of Leaky Faucets.” A working title is specific and will guide your post so you can start writing.

Step 3: Write an intro (and make it captivating).

We’ve written more specifically about writing captivating introductions in the post, “How to Write an Introduction [Quick Tip],” but let’s review, shall we?

 

First, grab the reader’s attention. If you lose the reader in the first few paragraphs — or even sentences — of the introduction, they will stop reading even before they’ve given your post a fair shake. You can do this in a number of ways: tell a story or a joke, be empathetic, or grip the reader with an interesting fact or statistic.

Then describe the purpose of the post and explain how it will address a problem the reader may be having. This will give the reader a reason to keep reading and give them a connection to how it will help them improve their work/lives.

Step 4: Organize your content.

Sometimes, blog posts can have an overwhelming amount of information — for the reader and the writer. The trick is to organize the info so readers are not intimidated by the length or amount of content. The organization can take multiple forms — sections, lists, tips, whatever’s most appropriate. But it must be organized!
Step 5: Write!

The next step — but not the last — is actually writing the content. We couldn’t forget about that, of course.

Now that you have your outline/template, you’re ready to fill in the blanks. Use your outline as a guide and be sure to expand on all of your points as needed. Write about what you already know, and if necessary, do additional research to gather more information, examples, and data to back up your points, providing proper attribution when incorporating external sources. Need help finding accurate and compelling data to use in your post?

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Free Blogging Platforms

Free Blogging Platforms

WordPress
WordPress.com is a hosted version of WordPress. This means that instead of having to download the software and install it yourself, all you need to do is sign up for an account at WordPress.com, and you can start blogging in a matter of minutes.
Blogger

Blogger is one of the oldest blogging platforms out there. Currently, it’s run by Google, so all you need to sign up is your standard Google account. Similarly to WordPress.com, Blogger takes care of all the technical heavy lifting, allowing you to just focus on creating content.

Tumblr

Tumblr is a microblogging and social networking website founded by David Karp in 2007, and owned by Oath Inc. The service allows users to post multimedia and other content to a short-form blog. Users can follow other users’ blogs.

Webly
Weebly makes it surprisingly easy to create a high-quality website, blog or online store. Over 40 million people use Weebly to bring their unique ideas to life.

Wix
Wix.com is a cloud-based web development platform that was first developed and popularized by the Israeli company also called Wix. It allows users to create HTML5 web sites and mobile sites through the use of online drag and drop tools.

Blogger Photo Tips

Blogger Photo Tips

one | Lighting: Think bright, but not too bright. The one mistake I made when I first got my camera and started taking pictures was thinking that the object I was shooting needed to be in direct sunlight in order to get a good photo. That couldn’t be more far from the truth. You want to take your photos near a bright natural light source like a large window or an open door, but not in the afternoon sun on the sidewalk in front of your house. Playing around with the lighting is something I constantly do when I set up to take photos. Sometime’s it’s more flattering to have light coming in from one side or the other and sometimes it’s more flattering to have your subject facing the light source.

two | Props: Including props and staging your photos helps to make them more appealing and create a story within your photograph.It’s simple and I love simple! If you’re looking for even more inspiration, I suggest checking out Live Laugh Rowe and A Night Owl Blog. Both have an incredible talent for staging their photos and do so in ways that I only wish I could!

three | Backgrounds: Let’s face it, no one wants to see your messy living room or kitchen in the background of your pretty blog photos. It’s just not all that pretty and appealing to the eye. Instead, grab yourself a piece of plain white poster board and set it up as the background for your photos. Or better yet, make yourself a faux chalkboard background– that’s one of my favorites to use, actually. (DIY Faux Slate Chalkboard Photo Background) Remember that when you’re shooting from above, what’s under your subject is even more important than your back drop. I know a lot of bloggers use photography backdrops such as these on Etsy and some just take the pictures out on their deck, on decorative tile in their house, or on their hardwood floors. You just have to figure out what works best for you and for the specific photos you’re taking.

four | Angles: Play with your angles. Don’t just sit there and take photos of your subject from one point of view, move around, and take pictures from every angle possible. You may surprise yourself. You’ll capture light and shadows in different ways and highlight your subject in different ways as well. Get down on the ground and take a photo from that angle and then grab a chair to get one directly overhead and continue snapping until you find that “perfect shot.” That’s exactly what I do when I take my photos and you know what? I never, ever choose the first photo for a blog post. It’s usually one of the last photos I took, so it really pays to play around a little bit.

five | Think Vertical: I don’t know about you, but Pinterest is my #1 referral for my blog. It has been for a while, but I saw a huge increase in my re-pins and traffic from Pinterest when I began creating pin-worthy vertical photos. A vertical photo takes up more real estate on Pinterest and the more space you take up, the more likely someone is to see your pin and the more likely they will be to re-pin it. You see, Pinterest limits the amount of space an image can take up horizontally, but vertically the size isn’t limited as much. And I say “as much” because they’ve just recently added an “expand pin” button on the mile-long images. The sweet-spot-size for me has been 1000×3000 pixels. The only trouble I have is remembering to take vertical photos while I’m snapping away. So just remember to “think vertical!”

The Most Common Misconceptions About Blogging

The Most Common Misconceptions About Blogging

It’s very clear that there are so many misconceptions and things non-bloggers don’t understand about blogging  or actually, how difficult and stressful it can become, if you’re trying to make a name for yourself. Since there are so many of us in the community it’s becoming increasingly difficult to make yourself well-known by brands, since everyone wants to have a blog these days.

There are a few misconceptions however, that people without blogs or with no link to blogging or have no friends who are bloggers that they don’t understand how tough it is to maintain a decent blog that people will still come back to and read every week.

 

1. BLOGGING IS EASY.

Ummmm…. no…… as far as I’m concerned and my two years+ experience, I’d say it’s quite a difficult “job”. We have to plan, and draft and re-read, check for errors at least 4 times in-case we missed something the first time, when looking for ideas on the internet, we have to make sure we’re unique because like YouTube there’s always going to be copy-cats, we have to bring our own uniqueness to our blogs, to make us stand out, but no, blogging is not easy.

 

2. YOU NEED TO BE FAMOUS BEFORE YOU CAN TELL ANYONE ABOUT YOUR BLOG.

Why would that even be the case if you’re someone who isn’t bothered about numbers and stats anyway, a small audience is still better than no audience, a small number of dedicated users who like, comment and rt or whatever your blog posts is better than no one seeing it. A blog will not find a audience if you keep it a secret. Don’t worry about what other people thing, you do YOU.

 

3. GREAT CONTENT WILL FIND AN AUDIENCE

I think this is so UN-true. An audience can obviously tell when the person writing the blog post has absolutely no knowledge on the subject. You should always write about what YOU want to write about and not what other people want you to write about because your blog is YOUR blog and you’re writing it, you’re in control of what you write about, however monitoring your most popular posts and what they’re about is a good idea, as long as YOU like writing about it and you aren’t just doing it because your audience likes it.

 

4. SUCCESS WILL HAPPEN IMMEDIATELY

If you look at bloggers and social media influences such as Zoella, she didn’t start off as big as she is now, she took 7 years to be where she is today, success comes with hard work and dedication, showing brands and other people that you’re really committed to what you’re doing with your blog and where you want to be, it comes when you don’t give up, it doesn’t come fast, when I first started blogging, I didn’t have near as many views as I do now, I’ve had several fall-backs and reasons to quit and not keep going, but I haven’t, I’ve stuck with it, admittedly, I’ve still got a long way to go before I’m “successful” but now I’m more determined than ever to make it work and make a brand for myself.

 

5. A LOT OF TRAFFIC MEANS A LOT OF MONEY

No, no, no. Many people think that a lot of traffic is the ultimate success for a blogger. But the truth is that traffic does not pay rent or food. You still need to make money to live off blogging. And traffic does not necessarily translate into money. You need a product or service to sell and a strategy for selling it. Blogging is a business and as such you have to have a product or service to sell and some sales funnel to close the deal. Many bloggers that I know, blog and balance a job as well because they know blogging income doesn’t cover rent or anything you need for your day-to-day life. At most it’s just some extra cash for luxuries, however, I will say that it’s not impossible to make a lot of  money from your blogging but that does take hard work and dedication for a lot of years.

 

6. BLOGGING CAN’T  BE A FULL TIME JOB

Wait. Are you even serious, to hell with that!  Blogging is stressful af, it can be a full time job if you work at it for long enough and hard enough, if you like working from home, then really that’s your best job! Blogging can eventually be a full time it just won’t happen straight away!

 

7. MOST PEOPLE ONLY HAVE A BLOG TO GET THE FREE STUFF

Ever heard of a hobby? Some bloggers don’t even have any intentions of making anything out of their blog, they may use it as an escape route when their life gets tough, maybe their work is hard, or they’re trying to complete an assignment that they can’t do, it can be very theraputic to get your mind off your stresses, people don’t just have to be in it just for the free stuff because they’ve seen other people get free stuff as well.

 

8. BLOGGERS ARE PAID TO PROMOTE PRODUCTS

Sometimes. But not all the time. Often we have to buy a product to get a “discount”, and some of the brands we get contacted by are ludicrously expensive, and we’d get like a 10% discount. RIP OFF. More and more bloggers are rejecting an opportunity for a spon post because they just don’t like the product, why promote something you don’t like yourself, your audience will see you like the product then they might not like it themselves, then that would be pointless.

 

9. TAKING BLOG PHOTOS IS EASY

Of course not! It’s bloody difficult to find the right lighting and appropriate flat-lay, especially as we come into autumn and it’s dark for the best parts of the day, if you can’t take blog photos, then you have to wait for ages and that can be very frustrating because you’ll have to wait to publish the blog post you worked really hard on.

 

Blogging is not easy and you can become successful from it, taking blog photos is hard, planning posts is hard, trying to be original and not just a copy cat is hard. Blogging is stressful and can make some people give up, it is not easy and I just wish people would stop saying that it’s so easy!

How To Make Money From Your Blog

How To Make Money From Your Blog

One of the biggest misconceptions that I see bloggers having about monetising blogs is that they have to do it in one of a handful of ways. The reality is that there are many ways to make money from blogs.

1. Advertising Income

 This is where many bloggers start. In many ways this model of making money from blogs is not dissimilar to how a magazine or newspaper sells ads. As your traffic and brand grows you’ll find advertisers will be willing to pay to get exposure to your audience. While you need decent traffic to do a direct deal with an advertisers there are ad networks (like Google AdSense) that act as a middleman and enable smaller publishers to run ads on their blogs. This is where many bloggers start (I did too).

2. Affiliate Income

To put it most simply – affiliate income is when you link to a product that is for sale on another site (take Amazon for example) and if someone follows your link and ends up buying that product you earn a commission on that sale. There’s more to it than that but this is another great place to start with monetising your blog as affiliate programs are easy to sign up for and if you have an engaged audience you will find they follow the recommendations that you make on products.

3. Recurring Income

Another growing category of income that I’m seeing more and more bloggers are experimenting is recurring income streams (sometimes called continuity programs or membership programs). This is where readers pay a regular recurring amount (usually on a monthly or annual basis) for access to either premium content, a community area, some kind of service, tools, coaching (or some combination of these things).

 

4. Promoting a Business

Many brick and mortar businesses indirectly make money from their blogs by using their blogs to grow their profile and direct readers to their business.

5. Services

A common way that many bloggers make money is through offering services to their readers. These might be anything from coaching and consulting, to writing or copywriting, to design, training or other freelance services.

6. Products

 Products can of course take many forms and income virtual information products like eBooks or courses but also other virtual products like software, reports etc. The other type of product some bloggers sell is physical products. This is most common when the blogger has a business but sometimes bloggers also create merchandise (T-shirts etc) or other physical products to sell.

25 Facts About ME

25 Facts About ME

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I think, if I’m correct, I’ve already done this but on my Wanderlust Amy blog, which I no longer write on, but I thought I would do an updated version on this blog, since there’s a few of you following me now and I did think it was nice just to make sure there are a few “get to know me” type posts on here before I start writing my proper posts, this coming Monday.

  1. I have a twin sister
  2. So does my mum
  3. My lucky number is 6
  4. My favourite colour is purple
  5. But I also love mint green
  6. I love pastel colours
  7. I don’t like pink – but my sister is obsessed with it
  8. My nickname “Ames” is longer than my actual name – Amy, that’s weird hahaha
  9. I love Ed Sheeran
  10. I love Shawn Mendes
  11. I love Ed Westwick
  12. My favourite singer is Ed Sheeran
  13. My favourite band are 5sos
  14. I’m scared of the dark
  15. I’m obsessed with Disney
  16. I’m also obsessed with Harry Potter
  17. I love blogging
  18. I love watching YouTube
  19. Little Mix are my favourite female band
  20. At the moment, my favourite song is Despicito
  21. My music taste is so random
  22. Pastel colours are my aesthetic
  23. I turn to my friends & twitter for advice
  24. I love my twitter followers & fellow blogger pals
  25. My best friends’ name is Lucy

TMI – Too Much Information Tag

TMI – Too Much Information Tag

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I had a little idea to do the TMI tag on my BLOG,  I have also done a YouTube video similar and I’ve seen a few other bloggers do this tag in the past on their blogs. Someone suggested on their list of blog post ideas to actually do YouTube tag on their blog, and I suppose that’s just a good way to get to know your favourite bloggers.

  1. What are you currently wearing? – Jeans and a top
  2. Have you ever been in love? – Yup
  3. Did you ever had a terrible breakup? – Unfortunately L
  4. How old are you? – I am 20
  5. How tall are you? 5ft 2”
  6. How much do you weigh? – ………………
  7. Do you have any piercings? I don’t have any
  8. Do you have any tattoos? No
  9. What’s your favourite drink? – Hot chocolate
  10. What’s your favourite song? Despacito
  11. What’s your Zodiac sign? – Capricorn
  12. How long does it take you to shower? 10 Minutes
  13. What’s favorite show? The Inbetweeners
  14. What’s your favorite bands? 5sos
  15. Something you really miss? Being young and not having responsibilities
  16. Where do you go when you’re sad? In my room away from everyone
  17. How long does it take you to get ready in the morning? 1 hour and a half-2 hours
  18. Have you ever been in a physical fight? – No – but my friends call me an angry hamster if I ever do get angry hahaha
  19. What turns you on? Ed Sheeran!
  20. What turns you off? Big headed and arrogant people
  21. Quality you look for in a partner? Caring for someone, being there for someone no matter how hard it is, patience, trust
  22. What’s your favourite colour? Purple
  23. Loud music or soft? Ed Sheeran
  24. Favourite Quote? ‘Everything will be okay in the end, if it’s not okay, it’s not the end.’
  25. Favourite actor? Jack Whitehall
  26. The reason you joined WordPress? I wanted a change from blogger and loads of people have recommended it to me
  27. Do you have any fears? What they are? Deep water, clowns, spiders, the dark, heights
  28. What’s the last thing that made you cry? Like yesterday??????
  29. Meaning behind your Blog Name? I made a poll on twitter and my followers chose out of the options I gave
  30. Last time you said you loved someone? Umm like maybe this morning
  31. Last book you read? I don’t really read books
  32. The book you’re currently reading? none
  33. Last show you watched? The Inbetweeners
  34. Last place you were? Town centre
  35. Last sport you played? I don’t do sports
  36. Who’s the last person you talked to? My sister
  37. Last song you sang? Ed Sheeran – Dive
  38. Favourite chat up line? Lol I dunno – there’s one I find completely CRINGE and others I find abso hilarious hahaha
  39. Do you have a crush? – Ed Sheeran
  40. The relationship between you and the person you last texted? She is my friend
  41. Favourite food? Pizza – always pizza
  42. Place you want to visit? New York
  43. What’s the last time you kissed someone? Lol dunno like 10 months
  44. Last time you were insulted? No idea
  45. Favourite flavour of sweet?  blackcurrant
  46. What instruments do you play?? – None
  47. Favourite piece of jewellery? Don’t wear it
  48. Have you ever used it? N/a
  49. Last time you hung out with anyone? Yesterday
  50. Who should answer these questions next? EVERYONE! I would love to see all of your answers.