5 Facts About Daily Blogging

By Helga L Van Niekerk

1. People are interested in People

Facebook has proven that people are interested in people. They (we) spend hours peering into the lives of others in a subtle form of voyeurism. So if you are thinking of starting a daily blog, your life will change as you find things in your daily life that will interest others. That will get others coming back to see what’s happened next.

2. Consistency is Everything

If you are going to declare your blog to be ‘daily’ then you had better make it daily! There’s nothing worse than going into a daily blog and finding the last post was 6 months ago. I would suggest that you force yourself into blogging daily for a month without posting your blogs just to get into the habit. Once you are sure you can do it, get online, find a blogging site, register and off you go!

3. Social Networks Work

If you want people to read your blog, go to where they are. Start with your own profile page and post the link on your own status. Soon your own friends will view it. Post it on any other social site you are affiliated with. If you are writing about meeting a well known person and you have something nice to say about them, post a link on their social network page as well.

4. The Title of Your Blog is Really Important

The longer I blog, the more I realise the importance of the title. You want a bit of a provocative title that will draw people in. Quite often, I will sit down and write a blog and not have a title. As I get going, I soon discover a sentence of part of one that will grab a reader’s attention. It may not be a huge event from the day. In fact it may only be a passing comment, but it’s enough to get the casual observer’s attention and turn them into a regular follower of your life.

5. Blogging Can Bring Out The Real You

Don’t blog for the masses! Blog for yourself. Let what you write be the story of your life, so that in years to come you can look back and trace what has happened. You’ll find logging events from your life makes you look for things to write about. Be creative. Have fun! Let the real you come out!

Helga van Niekerk is the presenter for the Rise and Shine Show on Cape Town’s 107.5 CCFm. Helga’s life changed when she came to faith in Christ in 1979. She enjoys writing and travelling and looks forward to doing more of both.

View her blog at http://www.helgavan.com

Article Source: [daily blogging,daily blog,daily personal blog,blogging daily,daily life,Helga van Niekerk] 5 Facts About Daily Blogging

10 Ways to Screw Up Your Blog From the Start

By Lisa A Mason

I work with many clients on a regular basis helping them with their blog and website content. Over the years I have been in business, I have written for thousands of different blogs/websites both with my byline and also as a ghostwriter helping my clients.

Through all the years and all the changes in search engine algorithms, there is one thing that has not changed- content is king. And it’s true now more than ever. However, I still see smart business people making dumb decisions about their blogs day in and day out. Some come to me to get help after they messed things up and others come to me from day one in hopes that I will help them get on the right track.

Here are some mistakes I see regularly that are sure to doom your blog before you even get off the ground and running:

Use a terrible theme that makes it difficult to read or look at your page. Backgrounds with odd patterns that make the reader feel dizzy or fonts that are too difficult to see or that blend in with the background are big no-no’s.
Write it like it’s a diary. Unless your blog is, in fact, a diary, it should not be written this way. Think about what’s in it for the reader. No one cares what you had for breakfast.
Abandon it! The key to blogging is consistency. If you create it and then abandon it, then you obviously will not have the results you seek.
Babble a lot, especially about yourself. Get to the point. Your readers are busy. Get to your point or they will find someone who can.
Bore the reader to death. Some writing is just not interesting. However, a creative blogger can make any topic (regardless of how dull) sound exciting.
Talk all about your products/services and how wonderful they are. The blog should give the reader something of value- not sound like an early morning infomercial.
Format your post like one giant block of text. Readers on the Internet like to skim. Break up your text, use smaller paragraphs and shorter sentences. Use bullet and numbered lists and subheadings when needed.
Disable comments. Blogging is about getting the reader engaged. You want people to be able to comment on your posts. If not, you’re just out there talking to yourself and what’s the point of that?
Have no social media share buttons. What’s the point of a great blog if it doesn’t get noticed? Add your social share buttons and make them as user friendly as possible and in an easy to find location.
Have nothing to say. It is possible to have a bunch of words that say absolutely nothing. Readers today (and Google) are looking for something more. Your posts should have something of value for the reader.

So what do you think? Have you ever made these mistakes in blogging? What are some other mistakes you’ve seen people make with their blogs? Did this post give you any ideas on how you can improve your blog?

About the Author:

Lisa Mason is a [http://www.writerlisamason.com/]freelance writer with a specialty in Internet content and SEO articles and the author of How to Earn a Living Writing for the Internet. She has written thousands of articles, hundreds of ebooks and thousands of website pages and related content in more than 10 years as a professional writer.

See her website for a free article writing template guide as well as more [http://www.mywritingtips.com/]writing tips and info on the writing services she offers.

Article Source: [http://EzineArticles.com/?10-Ways-to-Screw-Up-Your-Blog-From-the-Start&id=7071472] 10 Ways to Screw Up Your Blog From the Start
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Writing Jobs 16/09/11

 

Every Friday we will publish the latest in job listings for writers so please bookmark the Creative Competitor and check out our site regularly.The following job listings have all been recently advertised online. We do not endorse any of the listings here and as with all Internet based advertisements, we recommend caution when applying.

If you liked these jobs, why not consider signing up for our Premier1 Newsletter which would be sent to you monthly and is filled with current job listings, writers markets, publishing news?

Friday 16/09/11

Simply- Showbiz.com Seeking Entertainment Writers

Do you have a passion for writing everything showbiz, pop culture and current events? If so, contact us about becoming a contributor at Simply-Showbiz.com. This is a start up site and we’re looking for motivated people who are looking to delve into, or expand on their already existing involvement in the entertainment scene. Writing samples required, please.

We are looking for writers / vloggers (cute would help for the vlogging) to cover a variety of topics — movie, TV, theater, concert and DVD reviews, (Irreverent & fun attitude a must!) and your day to day “hot topics.”

You will receive mentions in our PR Newswire press releases as well as world wide exposure within our a bio section — and the occasional swag. (Swag and PayPal monies will be awarded to *gifted* writers, as this is basically a NON-PAID position. That said, we are looking for writers that can see the forest beyond the trees. Rome was not build in a day and neither is a high profile entertainment blog. If you have no idea what I just said, don’t even think about replying.) Bottom line, worthy applicants will be part of the big picture — THE BIG PICTURE. (Contracts will be signed as needed and when the time comes, this is no B.S.)

Compensation: Yes

http://newyork.craigslist.org/mnh/wri/2601003431.html

News Assistants-Union Square

Law360, published by Portfolio Media, Inc. is an online daily newswire that covers breaking legal news for a sophisticated audience of lawyers at firms, corporations and government agencies.

We are currently looking for News Assistants to join our NYC editorial team.

Reporting to an Assistant Managing Editor, News Assistants will be responsible for the news gathering routines in Law360’s fast-paced and growing newsroom. Law360 currently publishes about 100 articles per day. News Assistants will be responsible for combing through court dockets and other public databases to find important legal developments, and pitching stories based on those developments for editors to review and assign.

Upon meeting certain performance goals, exceptional News Assistants will be eligible to join the Law360 reporter apprenticeship program.

Compensation:Yes

http://newyork.craigslist.org/mnh/wri/2600595108.html

Christian Writers/Bloggers NYC

Does it excite you to talk about your Christian faith?
Do you like most also have questions about religion?
Do you have stories that the world needs to hear?
Do you write your own blogs?
Does everyone always love your Facebook/twitter posts?

If so our opportunity may be for you!

Who are we?
We are a Christian website dedicated to connecting the world to Christ.

What is the position?
We are searching for 4 christian blog writers both (2)male and (2)female to create weekly installments of motivating, captivating, enriching and mostly intriguing discussions.

Compensation: Does not state.

http://newyork.craigslist.org/brk/wri/2598617736.html

Copywriter Creative Circle – Philadelphia

Location: Philadelphia Suburbs
Status: Freelance – 3 days a week
Estimated Duration: Ongoing
Rate: Up to $25/hr DOE

Our client, a hybrid agency in the suburbs is looking for an onsite copywriter to join their team for a long term freelance gig.

You will be responsible for a variety of projects including content management for a large pharmaceutical client. You will be working with the content of the website and reflowing content along with developing content outlines.

In addition, there will be some weeks when you will be responsible for the copy for a number of print ads and collateral pieces.

Compensation: Yes

http://philadelphia.craigslist.org/wri/2589943166.html

Writer- Warminster Philadelpia

Launching on October 6,  OnExcellence.com has an immediate need for a writer to develop and maintain a pipeline of quality content including a weekly column and the “features” noted in the library.

Writing experience and a bachelor’s degree are required and the OnExcellence mission and objectives should resonate with potential applicants. Candidates should have excellent organizational skills and be committed to continuous improvement.

Compensation: Yes

http://philadelphia.craigslist.org/wri/2594705637.html

Know Senior Living Facilities or Senior Health Services?

We’re Caring.com. We think family caregivers and their senior loved ones should be armed with at least as much information about their residential care choices as the average restaurant-goer has about his or her dining choices. We’re building our local directory of senior services and housing from the ground up, and we want your help seeding it with well-written, detailed reviews.

Our company was founded by people who have been caregivers in their personal lives, and, besides our directory, our site contains expert articles, caregiver forums, and a question and answer section.

If you’re familiar with several assisted living facilities, skilled nursing facilities, in-home care agencies, and adult day health programs (excluding any that have directly employed you) we’d love to pay you $10 per review (limit 5).

We’re looking for reviews that reflect your personal experience of any facility or service, including personal anecdotes, observations, or details such as “I saw one of the staff comfort a distressed resident with a friendly joke” or “It seemed like a lot of the residents were just watching TV.”

Compensation: Yes

http://philadelphia.craigslist.org/wri/2589014122.html

Website Review Writers Needed

Free site sign-up is a new website that is topping the charts in South America. We are looking for some one to write a review about Free site sign-up and submit your review to our email address. You will be paid for a GREAT review, good or bad.

Compensation: Yes

http://london.craigslist.co.uk/wri/2598785926.html

Work-At Home Writers Needed

Our company is currently seeking for freelance workers/writers with the ability to work from home. We are providing our writers with the opportunity to receive projects from employers in one or more of the following job categories:

● Creative writing
● Website content
● Tech writing
● Translation
● Copy writing
● Printing/pagemaker
● Sales copy.

Working gigs are available in other fields as well (Administrative support, Business service, Design Arts and Multimedia,Web development, etc).

We offer:
– Hundreds of available projects
– Flexible working hours
– High pay rates.

Compensation: Yes

http://london.craigslist.co.uk/wri/2581478892.html

PoshGlam.co.uk Contributor Required
POSHGLAM.co.uk seeks well versed contributor for LFW. If interested, send clips and resume

Compensation: Not Stated

http://london.craigslist.co.uk/wri/2594155699.html

Press Preferences – Blogging Software Explained

Copyright (c) 2011 Enzo F. Cesario

One of the biggest advantages that the web offers is the relative
ease of developing tools catering to the needs of a particular
user set. For every ten people who want to perform a specific
task, there will be ten ways for them to do it because each will
have ten different needs to address. Blogging software is an
excellent example of this phenomenon as there have been numerous
blogging programs that have arisen since the advent of
Livejournal in the late 1990s.

Understanding a few of the more common blog software programs can
help any blogger make an informed choice about their particular
needs and get their message out in the most efficient way.

Livejournal

Livejournal is the earliest, albeit not the simplest, of the blog
creation programs introduced. It began as an early form of social
media networking software; the emphasis was on friends sharing
their journals online with one another. As such, it has a
multitude of features aimed at creating a mutually-supporting
network of watchers and friends.

There are groups that can be joined and monitored for content
relating to the blog’s interest, which is a key tool in
generating involved commentary. Similarly, it is easy to
subscribe to specific blogs and monitor them on the “friends”
list for the same kind of content. The Livejournal software also
is used by a number of blogs, such as Deadjournal and
Insanejournal, and was used by Greatestjournal before GJ went
under. Thus, a great many people already are familiar with its
functionality and there is a large user base to tap into.

On the other hand, it isn’t the simplest system to figure out,
with some friends functionality buried under several layers of
interface. Additionally, it suffers from a certain juvenile
reputation, being firmly associated with high school students in
many minds. The audience is still big, but it has its limits.

Blogger

Blogger is one of the most commonly used blogging programs out
there. It has the advantages of being very simple and more or
less omnipresent. It’s become so common to use that the
.blogspot portion of a url has become inextricably associated
with blogs of all types, be they serious or more casual in
nature.

The simplicity of Blogger is its strongest advantage. It doesn’t
bury the user in options, making the process of setting up and
getting a blog moving very easy. Blogs can be tagged and
disseminated on short notice, and there are a number of templates
available to customize a blog’s appearance.

On the other hand, the simplicity of the interface is a slightly
shallow concept. Blogs can be tagged, but they can’t be
categorized within the blog itself. This makes organizing a
Blogger blog a bit difficult. Going further, templates cannot be
edited easily — doing so requires CSS and HTML knowledge. Any
business hiring a blog writer to use the Blogger software will
need to stipulate that CSS and HTML editing knowledge are a must
as well.

WordPress

WordPress is growing in popularity as a blog platform because it
offers a compromise between simple but limited options like
Blogger and the more robust yet incredibly complicated options
such as Movable Type. WordPress is essentially a word processor
built into a publishing package.

A whole slate of editing options are available for writing the
blog itself, such as font and formatting adjustments, and the
option to edit in visual style or to go right to the HTML if the
blog writer is comfortable with that. There are options to make a
quick post with very little adjustment as well as options to make
a more complex offering with jumpcuts, embedded video and
elaborate pictures. Also, the templates can be adjusted without
knowledge of HTML, allowing for much more customization.

Moveable Type

This is an unusual entry into the software. It is very well known
and incredibly powerful for people who know what they’re doing.
However, it is also notoriously difficult to install properly and
even harder to use to its full effect. MT offers many options for
customization, but then so does being able to program in computer
languages such as HTML and C++. This is an option not for the
beginner, but for someone already experienced with blogging and
computer language in general who wants full control of every
aspect of his or her blogging experience.

Self Made

This is a bit of a trick in that it isn’t explicitly a blogging
software program. Instead, some users do elect to simply make
posts directly onto their front page using the basic text
software of their site. This has a certain simplicity to it,
minimizing the need for complicated installs. However, it also
has an unfinished look about it, and severely limits the options
of what can be accomplished, and as such is an option more to be
avoided than embraced.

As a final note, it is fairly easy to get a hold of these
blogging programs. Before committing to any one of them, a user
should create a “dummy” account for each and try a few sample
posts to see how they like working with the software. This will
make the entire process a bit more complicated up front, but will
ensure that the company gets the tool it most needs.
About The Author:
Enzo F. Cesario is an online branding specialist
and co-founder of Brandsplat, a digital content
agency. Brandsplat creates blogs, articles, videos
and social media in the “voice” of our client’s
brand. It makes sites more findable and brands more
recognizable. For the free Brandcasting Report go to
http://www.BrandSplat.com/ or visit our blog at
http://www.iBrandCasting.com/

Read More Articles From Enzo F. Cesario:
http://thephantomwriters.com/recent/author/enzo-f_-cesario.html

Image:© Fred Goldstein | Dreamstime.com

Some Thoughts on Speciality Blogging

Copyright (c) 2011 Enzo F. Cesario

Blogging is held up in many circles as the epitome of the
personal project. Blogs are praised for their focus on the
personality of the blogger, the flexibility of the medium (text
only, vlog, podcast) and the relatively limitless topics that can
be blogged on.

Given that the division of labor allows for the formation of
specialized approaches, it shouldn’t be a surprise that niche
and specialty blogs have become part of this great journalistic
movement. There are blogs covering all manner of specialties,
from arts and craft-focused publications to hard-hitting
diatribes on the political situation in foreign hotspots. The
powers of SEO and keyword writing allow these blogs to stand out
to their intended audiences during searches, so clearly all that
remains is for the next blogging genius to unleash his
specialized knowledge upon the world, yes?

Well, as ever, the situation is perhaps slightly more complex
than that, and for good reason. Let’s have a look at some of the
pros and cons alike of dedicating a blog to a particular topic.

The Sublime

There is something very satisfying in reading a well-crafted blog
on a particular subject when it’s put out by a skilled and
well-versed master of that topic. A specialized blog is more than
single mindedness when done properly — it is a treasure house of
many varied gems.

A genuine expert writing a specialty blog is what really makes
the medium come alive, in fact. It’s one thing to simply have
anyone writing about something they care about and focusing on
that topic. Having someone who knows it, who “groks” it as
Heinlein would say, means that the blog can cover the various
shades in between the obvious postings.

As an example, consider a blog focusing on the latest in board
games (and if you think gaming of all sorts isn’t a topic worth
considering, you haven’t seen Steve Jackson Games’ 2010
shareholder report, in which they posted $3.5 million in gross
earnings). Our gaming blog, written by an interested observer
rather than an expert, could cover the major releases for the
year. Big gaming companies like Wizards of the Coast, Steve
Jackson Games, Battlefront and so forth could be profiled, the
occasional interview with a game designer could be featured,
trade shows could be reported on. It would be nice and
informative, and safe for all those reasons.

A genuine expert in game publication and game theory, on the
other hand, could get into the subtleties of game mechanics. They
could explain how a certain game is literally impossible to play
properly because of bad designs in the rules, or illustrate how a
new game just released takes all the problems inherent in a
timeless classic and makes a much better game of it. Rising stars
in the independent development industry could be pointed out and
brought to greater prominence.

Basically, the blog would look very similar, but would have many
varying shades of interest and subtlety between the more common
flavor of post, allowing for so much more interaction and
engagement with the material.

The Unfortunate

Specialization is, by necessity, also exclusive. Choosing to
specialize in a particular topic to any degree automatically
alienates a set of readers not interested in that specialization.
So while a specialty blog can allow an expert to really
illustrate the varying shades and joys inherent in their favorite
topic, each level of focus it dives into cuts away that much more
of an audience — and readers are certainly not an infinite
resource.

Again, take our gaming blog: Gaming as a whole topic is fairly
broad, encompassing video games, board games, roleplaying games,
casual games, serious-hardcore games and so forth. And yes, there
is a certain amount of overlap; many people enjoy playing games
of all sorts, so a blog about any one of them isn’t going to
outright sever all connection with the others.

However, there are people who are interested in some things, but
not others. Focusing a blog on RPGs and not video games
eliminates a major portion of the gaming crowd (RPGs haven’t
been the largest contender in the gaming market in more than a
decade now). There is a lot to talk about in roleplaying game
development, of course — but it will never approach the scale of
video game development as a market, and thus any blog about it is
never going to attract the same degree of attention.

So, what to about it.

There is fortunately a very clear answer: Do what you can do
best. If you know your niche, and are confident you can make it
work, try it. Start right now, put up that first post, and begin
shopping around for good keywords, listing your blog in
directories and promoting gently on social media networks. You
will never have success if you don’t try. If, on the other hand,
you feel more comfortable taking a generalist approach,
understand that this isn’t bad. There are many readers out
there, and a general approach to blogging can bring them in. And
if you start wide, there’s nothing to say you cannot drill down
to a more specific angle later.
About The Author:
Enzo F. Cesario is an online branding specialist
and co-founder of Brandsplat, a digital content
agency. Brandsplat creates blogs, articles, videos
and social media in the “voice” of our client’s
brand. It makes sites more findable and brands more
recognizable. For the free Brandcasting Report go to
http://www.BrandSplat.com/ or visit our blog at
http://www.iBrandCasting.com/

Read More Articles From Enzo F. Cesario:
http://thephantomwriters.com/recent/author/enzo-f_-cesario.html

Blog Management – Know When to Let Go

Copyright (c) 2011 Enzo F. Cesario

Sometimes a topic just isn’t working – you can tell when you’re writing it, and you can tell when you’re reading it. Maybe the humor is forced, tired, or rote. Maybe the blogger didn’t go into the same level of interesting side detail that he usually does, or perhaps her topic looks like she fell back on a safe and reliable piece, rather than going somewhere new like her last eight. Whatever the reason, not every topic is created equal, and sometimes a post just isn’t up to anything like your usual standards.

There are a lot of reasons, most of them hard to pin down, for why a post might not be making the cut. Perhaps the details are just too sparse to get ahold of, or the interview that the post is based on just went poorly and the subject has almost no personality to do a piece on, or maybe it’s just mind-numbingly dull to the writer and he can’t work up any enthusiasm for it. These things happen, not necessarily to every writer, but they are likely to happen to most.

So the question becomes, how do you deal with a bad topic?

The professional answer might be to “chin up and bear through it, deliver what you were hired to write and just try harder next time.” For some of us, this is acceptable and even good practice. After all, not every assignment can be gravy; sometimes you just have to bite the bullet.

However, this article aims to argue that this is not always or even often the case, and writers need to learn when to let a topic go and move on to something else more frequently.

How Does This Work?

After all, professional bloggers in particular are hired to write about specific subjects — how can they get away with writing about something else or just dropping a topic?

It has to be said, the option to leave a post behind isn’t always there. Sometimes an assignment is too specific, and one has to go through with it. However, this is actually very rarely the case. An engaging blog is about the writer’s personality, not necessarily the content (although the content is how this persona is put forward). Thus if a particular topic or, more importantly, a particular approach to a topic is not working for a writer, then a change is needed in either small or great degree to allow the writer to work their particular magic.

Side Doors

The first step in letting go of an article is to let go of your initial approach to it. It may be that the subject itself actually isn’t all that bad, just that the initial or usual way of approaching it isn’t working out so well. Take that interview example: Say our mysterious blogger is an interviewing genius, and has had some exceptional success with interview-driven blog posts so far. However, the latest interviewee, an artist in this case, is just dreadful. Their work is exciting, their reputation amazing, but in person or in print they’re as dull as a brick! The blogger can’t get their normal approach to work.

Alright, another approach is warranted. So instead of using the actual interview, our blogger makes one up. This isn’t to say they make up the actual interview with the artist, which would be illegal and wrong. Instead, they interview the person’s art itself. They raise questions they have, and look at what answers the art itself provides.

This is a bit of an esoteric example, but it illustrates the key point — if you’re having trouble doing something, try approaching it from a different angle. Languages are flexible, with shades of meaning and cultural variations that can surprise you. Experiment a bit and see if a new method opens new successes.

Genuinely Drop It

Some topics, however, just don’t work. It happens, be it writer’s block or just a lack of information.

The solution here is be honest. If you are your own boss, just accept that you tried and it’s time to write something else. Writers of fiction do it all the time; bloggers should be no different.

If you’re writing for an organization that expects you to cover certain topics, be up front as early as possible and go to your bosses with an explanation in detail why the topic isn’t working, and why you think posting it would be detrimental rather than helpful. To make the process easier, go with alternative ideas — already written out or at least drafted in proposal form — so they can see you know what you’re talking about and have the content ready.

Why Letting Go is Good

Burnout is a very real phenomenon among bloggers. People can sense when a writer hasn’t put their heart and soul into a piece, and they can tell when something was forced out of their keyboard at gunpoint. Consistently forcing oneself to write articles that wear on them will wear a writer down and diminish their blogging talents. So for the sake of your creativity and excellence, make sure that you know when an article needs either a different approach, or a graceful decline.

About The Author:
Enzo F. Cesario is an online branding specialist and co-founder of Brandsplat, a digital content agency. Brandsplat creates blogs, articles, videos and social media in the “voice” of our client’s brand. It makes sites more findable and brands more recognizable. For the free Brandcasting Report go to http://www.BrandSplat.com/ or visit our blog at http://www.iBrandCasting.com/

Image: © Damien Richard | Dreamstime.com

Good Press: Promoting Your Blog

Copyright (c) 2011 Enzo F. Cesario

There are numerous ways to get a blog noticed and mentioned online. Some are good and others are atrocious. We’re all aware of “that guy” who simply joins conversations online and says, “Wow, that’s interesting. Hey, have you read my blog about…” Sometimes the blog covers the topic being discussed — but usually it doesn’t. Sometimes our “friend” doesn’t even go to the trouble of actually even trying to comment on the conversation and simply spams his blog’s links everywhere he can, hoping someone somewhere will accidentally click the link instead of the block button.

So how do we avoid becoming “that guy?” The blog needs promoting; blogs that people don’t know about don’t get read… it’s as simple as that. But there are polite ways to promote your blog in an active sense without becoming a blog-spamming troll.

Directories
There are a number of website and blog-specific directories out there. Most of us are familiar with these, so a short summary is all I’ll include here. In essence, these are websites that will host and promote various other sites for a subscription of sorts. Some are ad-supported, others require payment or contracts of a certain period of time. What these do is allow another angle of search engine optimization so that people looking for topics relating to your blog will have more of a chance of finding your hard-written content.

SEO
By now, good SEO practices should be seen as mandatory. Keywords, meta-tags and other good SEO practices will promote your blog for you without ever requiring you to contact anyone. Do it.

However, there is the related, yet not identical, field of topic tagging. Many blogs have an option to tag an article with topics. These don’t necessarily directly relate to SEO results, though in some cases they do get listed. What they do is allow people using the same blogging software to browse based on topics. So if you’re discussing a particular issue or news story, tag it in the categories or topics section, and fellow WordPress or Blogger users might just come across your work.

Social Media
The previous techniques are useful because they don’t require direct interaction with others. They’re based on letting searches promote your work for you. However, nothing in the world beats the personal touch, and there’s nothing more personal than social media. As mentioned above, the personal approach is risky, because people have fickle moods. Not everyone is in the mood to hear about a blog when they’re having a discussion. Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be as crass as the above example of our blog-desperate friend.

First, there are online forums. These are a great place to ease into the social media experience. Find a forum or two related to the topic of your blog, and begin participating. When it comes time to create your profile, make sure good content is provided. Provide a short but informative bio about what you do, put keyword relevant tags to your blog in the activities section and make sure your blog is linked in either the website or signature portions of your forum, or both.

These practices, you’ll note, can be repeated on any social media site. Facebook in particular is good for this, as it has a very robust background and biography section to work from.

Once in the forum or social media discussion group, participate actively. Introduce yourself if there is an appropriate place to do so. Mention your blog and what it is about briefly, and then drop it for a while. Drop in on discussions that you feel you have something relevant to contribute to, always being sure to be polite and provide insightful commentary. If you can’t think of something to say, don’t force it.

One good “bridging” method in these cases is using your fellow conversationalists’ comments as inspiration for a blog post. Suppose someone brings up a commonly held misconception, or mentions something you genuinely hadn’t thought of before. Write a post about it, and link to that post in the message. Use this technique sparingly — you want to be known for your own unique content, not as a topic-miner. However, when done politely and genuinely, this can get people interested in speaking with you and reading what you have to write.

Habits and Practices
Those paying attention will see that this is a process, not a “step.” Blog promotion is an activity that takes time to properly cultivate and is very easy to get wrong. The steady and measured approach is the best way to avoid taxing peoples’ patience — pushing too hard will get you flagged for spam or banned, which results in a bad reputation.

Getting readers to come to a blog is like developing any good relationship. Businesses tend to thrive on repeat customers rather than one-time visitors, and a blog is the same way. You want a loyal readership? Show them you’re trustworthy and friendly before they ever show up. You aren’t going to be able to force interest — either it is there or it isn’t. Do your blog a favor and remove the roadblocks of over eagerness by accepting the long-term view of solid promotion.

About The Author:
Enzo F. Cesario is an online branding specialist and co-founder of Brandsplat, a digital content agency. Brandsplat creates blogs, articles, videos and social media in the “voice” of our client’s brand. It makes sites more findable and brands more recognizable. For the free Brandcasting Report go to http://www.BrandSplat.com/ or visit our blog at http://www.iBrandCasting.com/

Plan Your Writing Day

by Annette Young

Over the years, I have tried and tested many different ways to enable myself to be more productive with my writing. From getting up at some unearthly hour and hoping that the creative part of my brain would kick into gear, to writing at lunchtimes (squeezing in as much writing as I could whilst working full-time ) to dedicating myself to the writing process just at weekends. Initially it was difficult to make myself sit down to write on demand but after a while, this approach worked-most of the time anyway because there were some days where I really struggled to find the right words. I even used reward tactics when I had successfully completed a difficult project, and this helped when I was working on writing projects that in my mind were deadly dull.

I came to the conclusion that the words are always there if you search for them hard enough but on sometimes, it’s a case of digging deep and pulling them out one by one. Surprisingly though, these can be times when the results are of a high standard and there is a greater sense of satisfaction at having persevered. One thing that I have found works for me is that  I enjoy the process of writing down thoughts and potential ideas in a notebook (the latest is a glorious red hand-stitched fabric) and there i can collate the jumble of ideas that are mulling around in my mind at any one time, and assemble them in some type of working order. Using something so precious, means I get great pleasure about writing on the handmade paper pages and feel satisfied when my creative to-do list is pretty much fulfilled.

At a weekend, when I’m always less inclined to get into work mode, I write my notes the night before so that I can review them and refresh my memory in the morning and this triggers my inspiration to get on and get my head down. This might not work for everyone but if you are a bit like me, have a mass of ideas, are prone to being distracted, feel very lazy at times, then, creating a list of tasks to be completed just might be the way forward for you. Remember that to succeed in writing, you have to find what works for you. Play to your strengths but recognise your weaknesses and you will generally be far more productive and successful.

Writing – It Can Seriously Take Over Your Life

If like me, you are passionate about your writing and you think about it constantly, your brain can be on constant buzz alert and as a result, it can be hard to switch that level of creativity off.

I have heard some people say that writing should not consume too big a part of your life but how can it not when you  have trained your brain to recognise creative opportunities as they occur? My brain literally digests snippets of conversations that can be used to improve dialogue, it absorbs events as they occur around me and if I start people watching, I get an influx of possibilities through body language, movement and facial expressions. As fiction echoes life, I get masses of ideas on a daily basis and ok, sometimes too many for me to be able to focus on.

I personally think that if writing forms an integral part of your own make-up, then why fight it? For example, I am going to visit family in France in about three weeks time and although I am going with a friend, I have warned her that I will be taking my laptop with me (she did pull a face but knows me so well that it was pretty much a given)and I know that I will have to do some writing over there as I can’t imagine not doing any for a week. Think of the withdrawal symptoms! I love fiction but lately have had to spend a large amount of time writing articles but know equally that there will be so many potential non-fiction ideas whilst over there and who knows, I may even do some travel writing as a result.

Whilst writing may seem like some sort of addiction to the non-creative, it brings an innate feeling of relaxation too and a way of escaping the sometimes doom and gloom of reality even for a little while and writing generates so many opportunities to stretch yourself in new creative areas. What other profession offers so much variety?  I could be writing a travel article in the morning whilst sat admiring stunning views of the Pyrenees, dream up ideas for short stories whilst sipping coffee in a cafe at lunch time and may curl up in the evening whilst planning my next ebook –aided by a large glass of wine of course.

I love the fluidity of the writing life and if writing has taken over my life, I say, bring it on.

What about you?


Set up a Freelance Writing Blog in your Spare Time

Writing Course

By Annette Young

Many writers think that they have to invest a great deal of time and effort into their writing but it is possible to set up a freelance writing blog and start to have a dedicated readership in no time at all. If you are reading this and thinking that it would be impossible to dedicate enough time to really make the blog successful, think again, you just need to write smart.

Writing is about much more than indulging a few creative impulses, it’s about knuckling down and writing to order, it’s about planning a meticulous schedule and trying your utmost to stick to it. If you’re worried that this will curb your creative impulses, don’t, with practice you obtain a more refined and controllable flow of creativity.

You can plan your freelance writing blog weeks or months ahead. Make the most of periods of creativity and just blast out numerous writing posts and save them as drafts until you are ready to publish, a little forward planning will make the whole venture so much easier. It’s also easier to think blog topics whilst creativity is flowing and this will save you having to really work those brain cells if you are not in the right frame of mind for writing.

Your freelance writing blog is what you make it, one post a day will have your dedicated readership growing steadily but two or three blog posts a week are sufficient. You can inject a little of your own personality, or you can share your trials and tribulations with the thousands who get to read you regularly, the content is entirely up to you.  You can be as creative as you like with your freelance writing blog and you can monetise it through google ads and display other paying writing related ads, but don’t think that you can’t set up and manage a freelance writing blog if you only have a few hours to dedicate to it, you will be amazed at how much you can achieve.