Podcast – 2013 Mini Episode 5

blondishnet-podcastI give a lot of tough love out to bloggers, mostly due to the fact that when you step into blogging for your business or even making money from it, you have to hold some type of standard. It’s acceptable to get by making mistakes in the beginning, but as a blogger, your blog must reflect your growth.

In this mini podcast episode, I point that out, particular with the bloggers out there using English as a second, third, or more language. It’s tough. I know, I’ve been there, but for many whining about why their site is having problems, they forget to actually go back into the content and read it.

This episode is a little over 3 minutes, but I have a small challenge at the end for bloggers.

Video: Podcast – 2013 Mini Episode 5 Podcast – 2013 Mini Episode 5


Take Your Blogging To the Next Level

levelupSo maybe you’ve been blogging for less than a year and you are wanting to increase your blog’s readership or blog circle. A lot of bloggers might find themselves at some daunting plateau where their traffic doesn’t seem to be growing, but at least stays the same. It might be frustrating to try to grow your blog. This article will go over on how to take your blogging to the next level.

How To Take Your Blogging To the Next Level

Increase the frequency or the number of posts you write.

You’ve got the blogging part down. You might be writing 2 or 3 times in a week. How about trying once a day? You can still have a quality article at 300 words. It could be a blog post written in response to another website’s article. However, increase frequency and maybe even invite a guest writer once in a while.

This would be an ideal time to learn to write and schedule posts ahead of time.

Introduce a special blog series from time to time.

A series of posts that are focused around a specific topic are great for conversion. It could be a series of interviews, an in-depth tutorial, a gallery, or a broad topic. This keeps your visitors coming back if they are interested in finding out more.

However, don’t just create any old series and slop a whole bunch of things together. Make this series something that you can feature for weeks until your next series.

Vary the type of posts you write with using different mediums.

When I say mediums, I mean the forms of media you can syndicate your work. Examles of those mediums can be:

  • Post
  • e-book
  • Podcast
  • Video
  • Presentation
  • PDF
  • Memes
  • Infographics
  • Pictures

You should try to use a variation and balance your content using a little bit of each. You might even want to try optimizing your content so it can be accessed on any of those mediums. Some people connect more visually, than reading. Others may be on the go, and downloading a podcast might be convenient.

Make sure your articles are thorough.

You might know your topics, but sometimes including those detailed pieces of information make you stand out from others in your niche. Be aware of what others in your niche are writing and make sure your article is better than theirs.

Oh, and its okay to go back to older posts to add or edit them in order to improve their quality.

Offer small or medium incentives from time to time.

Your readers are practically the life blood of your site. Sometimes an incentive for being a loyal reader is a great idea. Here are some incentive ideas:

  • Contests
  • Freebies (both tangible and digital)
  • Use the plugin CommentLuv and return comments to those who have blogs
  • Significant discounts on quality products or services

Contests are great and can bring in some traffic if you have a decent and active following. However, you might want to start with small freebies and discounts that are for products and services relevant to your niche.

The other suggestions mentioned above are to have CommentLuv installed on your site and to return comments to those who are bloggers. CommentLuv inserts a simple link to the commentators most recent post. This means that they would like you to read their blog post. A lot of people have forgotten that this was the original intention for creating such a plugin.

Offer a means for your readers to keep coming back.

With all these opportunities, and new posts, you want your readers to subscribe to your newsletter in order to receive site news, special offers, and more freebies. This is a way to get them to come back to your website. If you don’t have a newsletter, you should have one set up.

These are just some core tips that you can take your blogging to the next level.

You might enjoy Sadie Lankford’s post on 99 Ways to Increase Blog Traffic too! (opens in a new window)

Are you stuck in a rut with your blog? Have you tried all of the suggestions listed above? If you’ve been blogging for year, what other tips do you have?

How to Improve the Quality of Your Blog Posts

Quality content is probably something you keep hearing or reading from people when it comes to content writing. Not everyone can be an English major, and we are all not perfect. However, to be competitive in your blog niche, you have to provide quality information.

You can do this through several factors:

  • Research
  • Content Quality Control

Yes, it really is simple as those two areas, but the question is – why?

Researching to Improving the Quality of Your Blog Posts

Well, research is a big area in content writing. In order to write about something, you must have some knowledge on it. The issue is:

  • How much knowledge do you have on the topic?
  • How much time are you willing to invest in researching what you do not know?

If you go out with guns blazing and just write an article without thorough investigation, you are risking your reputation, and the quality of your blog’s content. Your readers deserve the best, right?

So, once you have established that you are determined to provide quality blog posts, you will want to put aside time to research. It might take reading books, interviewing people, and reading other sites in your niche.

Content Quality Control to Improve Your Blog Posts

Content Quality Control involves making sure your article is thorough, well worded, spelled correctly, and unique.

If you go through your blog post and feel that you are missing something, go back to the first stage to improving your article by researching. If it takes reading twenty different blogs, or going to a library to read an encyclopedia… do it!

Blogging is a beautiful thing as it is more relaxed than journalism and allows the blogger’s voice to come out. While you do want to provide a great reading experience, you need to be conscientious of spelling and grammar. Of course, the grammar does not have to be perfect, but it MUST be understood. In the case you are in a competitive blog niche, you would want to try hard to not make too many mistakes as your site may be on a world level and must be understood by people who do not speak or read your language as a first language.

Proof your posts before publishing. As many times as you may have read that, you need to drill it deep within and make it a habit.

Have you implemented research and content quality control into your blogging habits? What resources make it easier to research or help with content quality control for your blog?

What To Do When Your to Blog Inspiration Hits A Dry Spell

Sometimes blog inspiration might seem hard to come by. What can you do to prevent hitting that dry spell? Inspiration can come from many places, but it is how you harness it that counts. However, there are factors that can get in the way of getting your words to jump to your mind and onto your blog.

Well, you need to think about your blogging habits:

  • When do you normally blog? In the evening? In the morning? Midday?
  • Have you eaten properly?
  • Are you having some type of exercise, even in small increments of time, like 10-20 minutes.
  • Have you done your homework by reading around your niche and a little outside of it to keep on top of the news?
  • Are you blogging way to frequently?
  • Does blogging have to be done in a rush?
  • Are you just painfully continuing to blog in a niche you no longer have enough material to provide for?

All of the above factors can affect your blog habits. You do need to blog when you are most creative because this is when you will at least have that extra oomph to get that article done. Also, never rush blogging. If you have an article you think you have to squeeze in before a certain time, you really do not. You are not putting a newspaper to bed for publishing on the next day. Your thoughts might be rushed and not come across as logical as it should.

Yes, your health can be a big factor! If you are ill or not eating properly, you could be running low on both energy and the brain power to even get through the day. Make sure you are eating well and incorporating a few exercises. Some bloggers may even freelance online, so that means those who are living the freelancing lifestyle need to take extra care. 10 or 20 minutes might make a difference. Remember in health class – exercise encourages your body to release endorphins. Endorphins make you happy and a bit more energetic.

DO YOUR HOMEWORK! You might not have a boss overlooking… wait – YOU ARE YOUR OWN BOSS! Make sure to keep yourself on target and do your research. Surf the sites you enjoy, read from people within and outside of your niche. You never know – someone might write an article that you may have a response well worth writing your own blog post.

The biggest thing of all in this is that if you are just doing this for the money and not because you are at least passionate about it – STOP! Most people who are passionate about certain topics are more than likely able to nit pick everything apart and find something new to write about. They are also more willing to do the research and stay on top of the game.

These are merely some things to think about when your blogging inspiration hits a dry spell. However, I know others have their own rituals – so what do you recommend?

Taking That First Step To Starting A Blog

Starting your own blog does take courage. You are starting it with the obvious intent to reach out to others, whether it to provide information, provide inspiration, make money, for therapeutic reasons, or other reasons.

Before you start a blog, you really have no need to be monetizing it yet. Of course, you can implement Adsense, but without traffic and clicks, you make nothing and appear to be all in for the money.

Get your priorities in order before you start a blog.

Planning your blog is the best place to start.

What do you want to do with your site? Do you want to teach people something? Do you want to make money? You want to create a sturdy focus, specifically on what you want to cover or have a great interest to learn about. Unfortunately, just picking something to blog about will not cover it. Why? Well, you are more than likely to become disinterested. That is why a lot of bloggers and social media consultants will urge you to have a real passion for what you write about.

Once you have what you want to write about, create a site. Whether it is using WordPress, Google Blogger, or some other platform, you need a medium to become your blog headquarters.

When you get that site, just do not let it sit idle for one moment! Write your first post. Make it your introductory. Include:

  • A little bit about yourself.
  • Your intentions for your blog.
  • Topics that will be covered.

Be prepared to blog more than just an introductory posts. You can always save a post on draft mode and publish when you are ready. The fact of the matter is- blog! This is where you take your first step into the open.

Do not worry about the design. Do not worry about the monetizing. Your content needs to come first.

How are you going to invite people to your site if there is nothing there to welcome them? Your blog is much like a home. If you have nothing to make people feel at home, why would they want to stay… let alone come back.

Most blog platforms and content management systems have at least a pleasant default theme. Some bloggers wait until they have a perfectly design site to make their debut. However, what about all the time waiting for that theme to be finished, or the time to find the right one?

You could be blogging and already engaging with people!

So many people want to worry about making money, playing with their site to optimize it for the search engines, and more….however, you really do not have to focus on that so much. Search engines becoming social oriented, other than normal algorithms. So, that means, your visitors will be the ones to say your site has more authority, and not just a bot.

After you have written your content and actually started driving in readers, you can think about all the other luxuries to add to your site.

Is It Really THAT Annoying to Moderate Comments on Blogs?

I have heard a lot on the verdict about anti-spam plugins for WordPress and even after trying a lot of different plugins, I still come to the conclusion – you will see spam get through. Some plugins less than others, but still… there is always a factor that there will be spammers. It does not matter if you put captcha, a math question, or even a check mark, THERE WILL ALWAYS BE SPAM.

It is sad, but really, it keeps every blogger on their toes. Even with the best email spam blockers, spam DOES get through eventually.

Personally, I think it is annoying when spam comments on my blog comes in the hundreds. It is without a doubt that unfortunately Askimet for WordPress is not always doing a good job. I hate to say it, but I am not even sure if I can trust how much better paying for Askimet per month can help any blogger, even some of the top pro bloggers out there!

The problem is that there are people out there, just like everyday hackers devious and thinking on how they can reach you. Whether it is your email account, Instant messenger, social network account, or even your blog comments, they try it.

It could be different keywords, or even typing words a certain way. People still get Viagra and Cialis comments like crazy and it is because they are typed differently: spelled incorrectly, typed in l33t spee (upper case, lower case alternating letters), and even grouped with other keywords.

Bloggers literally have to make it part of their routine to block spammers in any sort of manner.

So far, I have heard that the GASP Plugin for WordPress is great for bloggers. Even though it is a plugin that requires your blog commenters to checkmark a box basically asking if they are a real person instead of a spammer, I have heard that a lot of bloggers have given feedback that their moderation queues have greatly reduced.

What is it about spam that is annoying to you? What kind of spam do you often moderate on your blog? What plugin or plugins do you use to try to reduce spam on your blog?

Blogging Lessons Learned from “Julie and Julia”

In the movie “Julie and Julia,” Julie Powell considered herself a failure because a book she attempted didn’t quite work out the way she had hoped. To redeem herself, she set out to cook all of the recipes from Julia Childs’s book, “Mastering the Art of French Cooking.” Powell’s husband encouraged her to blog about her recipes and experiences. What started out as a daily cooking commitment also turned into a daily blogging commitment. Following are five blogging lessons I learned from this movie.

Lesson 1: Blog with a Plan and Purpose

Powell set a goal to cook the 524 recipes from Julia Childs’s book within 365 days and blog about them. She had 524 reasons to stay focused and absolutely no reason to run out of content.

Know what you are going to blog about and be sure you are passionate about that topic. Purpose and passion will keep you going through periods of bloggers block and doubt.

Lesson 2: Blog for Your Audience

When Powell first started blogging, she wanted to prove to herself that she was not a loser. As she started to get readers and followers, blogging was no longer about her; she had an audience waiting to hear from her.

Since your audience will ultimately determine the success or failure of your site, always put them first as you write.

Lesson 3: Your Blog Will Not Become Popular Overnight

Powell’s blog did not become popular right away and neither will yours – unless you already have a dedicated following interested in you or your topic. Blogging is not a “build it and they will come” venture. Just like any other business, you have to market it and provide value to gain popularity.

Lesson 4: Consistency Leads to Success

Apparently, Powell had a history of not completing things she started. She really wanted to finish her project. She cooked and blogged every day, sometimes several times a day. That was pretty ambitious.

You don’t have to be that extreme. Develop a schedule that you can realistically maintain. If you can only blog once a month, do that. Just be consistent so your readers will know when to expect your next post.

Lesson 5: Do Not Blog about Your Job on Your Personal Blog

Powell had mentioned that she was going to be off of work on her blog. Her supervisor read the post and brought it to her attention upon her return.

Do not discuss your job on your personal blog and do not discuss personal topics on your business blog. If you just have to cross that line, proceed with caution.

The five blogging lessons above are just a few lessons I learned from “Julie and Julia.” Powell achieved her blogging goals because she had a plan; she was consistent; and her audience was her priority. You can reach your goals by following Powell’s lead. To be truly successful, though, you have to be committed and possess an attitude of success.


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Are You Checking Your Guest Blogger’s Links In Their Posts?

Are you checking your guest blogger’s links in their posts? Do you care?


While every blog owner has their own policy on what is allowed and what is not allowed in guest posting, the links some guest bloggers are pimping out may not be something you will want to have on your site.


Well, it could be a number of reasons. Probably best to put out a few scenarios:

  • Scenario 1: In the case your guest blogger is working for a company, the keyword they use directs to the business they are paid to write for. While the article may be well written – you are actually allowing them to advertise for free on your website. Say you have a similar business or affiliate market with a similar business, this is a conflict of interest.
  • Scenario 2: You like to try to be laid back about your blog and your guest posting policy reflects that. You just skim over posts, maybe do a few edits, and then either publish it or schedule the post to publish. When it publishes, you find out from a reader that the link your guest blogger put in there leads to a suspicious website or even is an affiliate link.
  • Scenario 3: You do not mind the link dropping, and you get a lot of guest posts. Your blog becomes one hot mess of link dropping spam instead of focused on quality content.

These are merely a couple scenarios. Some of the guest bloggers out there are genuine and are transparent about themselves. Others, they will concoct a whole story to make it seem they are genuine. It is unfortunate that I have had to come across such people and have turned away some or removed quite a few guest posts submitted for review. I am sure some of you have also had problems.

It is important to put a policy in place for guest post submissions or you could possibly be harming your blog’s reputation in the future.

Do you accept guest posts? What are your blog’s guest posting rules? Have you encountered guest bloggers that still submit articles after failing to adhere to your site’s guest writing rules?