Friday, November 16, 2018

How to Make Your Mark on Social Media Today


Everything You Need to Know About Social Media to Get Started

Social media isn't as complicated as you might think. It's an easy way to reach out to your followers, family and friends.  If you're a beginner it can seem like a really difficult thing to get used to, especially if you're not a regular internet user.

Knowing where to start and which social media platform to use is the first hurdle.  A lot of this can be trial and error, because you may not feel comfortable with every platform you use.

If you're using social media alongside your blog, you may discover some platforms are more suited to your genre.

I'm going to get back to basics and give you four handy pointers to help you start your journey on social media, and show you how you can rapidly dominate your platforms:

Points to consider, to leave a positive impression on social media:

1. What Do You Want From Social Media?

So what is it you really want to gain from social media?

I would try out a few different platforms first to see what kind of results you get back, before going full-on.

2. Starting Your Profile

After you've chosen your social media platform, you need to create a profile. If you have a blog, make sure your logos are carried through all of your platforms, and everything looks the same.  This shows clear uniformity, and shows that mean business.

How you present yourself is important, this will be how your followers will see you online.  It will also determine if people want to look into your work further.



What Information Should I Pass on to My Followers?

Avatar

Choose a profile picture of yourself or your business.  Don't use a default avatar, these aren't taken very seriously.

Profile Name

The name that your community will know you by.  My Twitter profile is @1976write  and so is my Pinterest profile.

Profile Details

Try looking at websites in the same genre as you.  There's no harm in getting new ideas that way.

Website Links


The perfect place to include your website links.  If you use Google+ you can include your Amazon author page and any other useful links you may have.

3. Be More Active in Your Community

Start looking at other people's profiles and discover what they have to offer.

Remember social media is a powerful tool these days. Like most things in life, it takes time to build your community, but the time is outweighed by the benefits of what you gain from the journey. 

4. Don't Schmooze on Twitter

Something I've learnt over time on Twitter is not to sell, sell, sell.  It's an easy trap to fall into, because everyone else is doing it.  But it won't help your profile or the products you're trying to sell.

5. Always use the 80/20 Rule

That simply means you should be retweeting 80% of other people's content, website and blogs.  The other 20% is your own self-promotion.

My routine is posting three or four of my own links, and retweeting about twenty to twenty five from my Twitter followers.

6. Start With One Social Media Platform

If you're unsure which platform to use, start with Twitter.  Try it and see if its a good fit for your business or blog.

I went down the route of Twitter and Facebook, discovered that Facebook wasn't the platform I needed and put my time and energy into Twitter.

Make sure which ever platform you choose to direct your followers to your blog landing page or squeeze page.  If you have a newsletter even better.

7. Facebook Has Grown Up

Facebook isn't just about getting in touch with old friends, it also allows you to set up your own author, organisation or business page.

You can keep your readers up-to-date with current events on your website. Remember:

  • Only use Facebook if you're going to keep your page up-to-date.
  • Facebook isn't Twitter.
  • Ask other people to promote you every once in a while.

8. Discover Which Platform Suits You

I use Twitter, Pinterest and Google+ to promote my content. Social media is all about quality and timing, try using the helpful route instead of the "I'm an expert in my field".  There are too many experts on social media. 

This post contains affiliate links.  This means if you purchase through these links you are supporting 1976write and we thank you for that.



Wednesday, November 14, 2018

9 Rules of Powerful Blog Design

People lean towards things that are more attractive, it gives them a greater sense of trust.

Here are the 9 rules of powerful blog design:

1. In Blog Design, Looks Matter

First time visitors to your blog take notice of everything when they first land on your blog.  It's not just blog content that keeps your readers interested, but also the way your blog is designed, and
how it functions and feels.  Your blog design will help you sell more products, and keep people engaged.

2. Make it Navigable Before You Make it Pretty


People don't like hanging around a website if they can't find the information they're looking for straight away.  Use tried and trusted website layouts.  With your search box at the top of the page above the fold.

3. Keep it Clean and Simple


Don't clutter up every single corner of your blog with banners and advertising.  Give your audience space to read what you have to say.

4. Every Blog Post Needs an Image

Images speak a thousand words.  Take time to create your own image and add them to every blog post you write. 

Images can be pinned on Pinterest to attract traffic, read my blog post about using Fotor to learn more about image creation for your blog.


5. Let People Know What You're All About

Make your presence known with an about page and a blog tagline. You can use your about page to create your own blogging story and encourage others along the way.

6. Make Your Blog Legible

Your fonts and text should be readable to all.  You can do this by using larger fonts, and leaving white space, giving your readers time to take in what you've written.

Fonts can be used to make you stand out from the crowd.

7. Encourage Repeat Visits

Allow your readers to sign up for a free download, and offer them a monthly newsletter.  People never buy anything on their first visit.  So give them reason to trust you, by building a relationship with your readers.

8. Keep Sign Up Forms Simple


People hate complicated things, so keep it simple and only ask for their email address, on initial click.

9. Only Redesign When You Really Have To

People don't like change, and prefer the familiar instead.  If you think you can improve on certain aspects of design then do a little tweaking, buy stay away from major change, unless you feel your blog really needs it.

This post contains affiliate links.  This means if you purchase through these links you are supporting 1976write and we thank you for that.

Monday, November 12, 2018

How to Fix Common SEO Problems

By 2020 $79 billion is expected to be spent on SEO.  That's a lot of money, but is it reasonable for bloggers and business owners alike to spend so much on SEO? It is when you think of what it takes to hold on to customers and blog readership these days.

Holding on to followers and customers is a full-time job, and requires the need to fix and identify any SEO problems on a regular basis.

Below are some of the most frequently found SEO problems and how they can be easily solved:

1. Site Speed

The better your website speed, the higher your website ranking is on SERPs.  Which can mean more pages indexed on Google search.

Solving the Problem


Track your websites pagespeed with Google PageSpeed Insights.  It will give you a simple description of the actions required to improve your blog pagespeed.

2. Text to HTML Ratio Matters

A low ratio of text to HTML could demonstrate:

  • Slow loading website
  • Hidden texts
  • Exorbitant amount of flash on website

Solving the Problem

To remedy this only add relevant on-page text where necessary, and move inline scripts to independant files, removing all unnecessary code.

3. Too Many Broken Links


If your website contains numerous broken links it can lead to:

  • A poor quality website
  • Search bots diverting to other websites, leaving many pages un-indexed and un-crawled
  • Authority of website taking a hit

Solving the Problem

Refer to Google Search Console to make sure your pages are being crawled.


4. Fix Duplicate Content

If your blog contains copied content it will be penalised by Google.  Nearly 29% of all internet content is copied.

Solving the Problem

Stay on top of your website content by using Siteliner and Copyscape to ensure originality.

5. Chaotic URLs

URLs that finish with "..index.php" or "..p=567394" aren't user friendly.

Solving the Problem

You can fix them by:

  • Adding keywords
  • Use hyphens instead of spaces
  • Use lower case letters

6. Write More

Many bloggers would say that your word count doesn't matter too much to Google. 

Solving the Problem

The best way to get around the word count problem is to write blog posts of various lengths, some long, some short, then you have variety for your readers, and you keep Google happy.

7. Make Your Website Mobile Friendly

Google is launching its first mobile friendly index in 2018.  Surprisingly many websites aren't that mobile friendly, and haven't quite caught up.

Solving the Problem


You can solve this by simply:

Allowing Javascript, CSS and images to be seen by Google search bots:
  • Shy away from using flash content
  • Design a mobile friendly website
  • Get more clicks by creating rich snippets
  • Test your website on Google Page Insights tool
8. Ineffective Contact Forms

Only 16% of people will end up filling in your contact form. 

Solving the Problem

Some tips to rectify this problem:
  • Keep your contact form short and sweet
  • Collect only the information you require
  • Be more adventurous with the "submit" button
  • Experiment with colour and style
This post contains affiliate links.  This means if you purchase through these links you are supporting 1976write and we thank you for that.

Friday, November 09, 2018

Proofreading Essentials

A key part of proofreading is taking the time to process everything you've written down.  The process can seem almost impossible, constantly battling with your eyes and brain telling you everything is fine, and nothing is wrong with what you've just written. Here are some essential proofreading tips to help you master your proofreading technique:

Apply a Checklist

Organise a list of valuable things to look out for, for example areas like agreement nouns, verbs,  pronouns, antecedents, and number style.

Check for Factual Accuracy

Go over your facts, figures, and proper names rigorously.  If you're inserting at the last minute, make sure the information is highlighted so that you remember where to put it in your document.

Verbalise Your Document

Read out loud and discover all of those pesky errors you've missed.

Use a Ruler

Use a ruler to cover the text following the line you are proofreading, moving the ruler down as you go.  This helps your eyes to focus on one line of text at a time and stops you from reading too quickly.

Check Your Format is Correct

If you have specified format to follow, make sure your document complies with the instructions you've been given.  Making sure page numbering, alignment, fonts, sizes, and headlines are all within the parameters you've been given.

Repeat Your Proofread

Go over the revisions you've made, check through the document with a fine tooth comb and not just  a quick spot-check.  You may have missed something.


Before You Proofread Take a Break

Don't proofread your document straight away, leave it a little while, otherwise you'll miss so many typos.  Proofread the day after.

Don't Trust Your Spellchecker

Read every word over and make sure you've used the right ones.  Use a thesaurus or dictionary if you're happy.

Check for the Most Missed Mistakes

Same sounding words, and words that look the same such as effect, affect, compliment and complement, are so easy to miss.  Check out my book The Writers Guide to Writing Well, for more information about how to use the correct word. 

Make a Print Out

If you find it difficult to pick mistakes up from a screen, print out a hardcopy instead.  This gives you the opportunity to go over your work somewhere that is distraction free and quiet.

This post contains affiliate links.  This means if you purchase through these links you are supporting 1976write and we thank you for that.

Wednesday, November 07, 2018

Selecting the Right Kindle


If you love the smell of a paperback, or the feel of a real book, there are other ways to appreciate the written word.  Books will always be here, but e-readers have their own advantages. 

Core Features of Amazon Kindle
  1. All Amazon Prime members have access to Kindle Owners' Lending Library
  2. Prime members also have access to Prime Reading Service
  3. Access to Amazon's Family Library (which means you can share your eBooks with other members of your household)



Real Pleasure Reading from a Kindle
 
No need to wait for the next new book release, you can download it immediately it comes into the Amazon store.  A Kindle is a well-built, hardy piece of kit that will withstand the roughest of hands.  A really good reason to purchase a Kindle is that its so easy to use.

Useful Features on a Kindle
  • Unique E-Ink screen that look just like words on paper
  • Readable in the sun
  • Refreshes immediately
  • Long battery life
  • Has the ability to highlight and share passages with other people
Perfect for Night Readers

If you spend most of your time reading at night or in the wee small hours, Kindle is perfect.  With tiny LEDs that emit a natural style lighting to adjust to your illumination needs.
Buy Books at All Hours of the Day or Night

As mentioned earlier, Kindle allows you to download books whenever you want, and you get them straight away to read. 

No more hanging around waiting for the paperback of hardback to come out.  With 5 million books and counting, you have a millions of books to choose from, at your fingertips.

Amazon has a range of non-fiction and fiction books at low prices everyday.

Which Model Should I Choose?

Budget Kindle starting at $79.99



Comes with:
  • 6" touchscreen
  • 1GHz processor
  • 4GB of storage
  • Two weeks battery life per charge

Kindle Paperwhite from $119.99


  • Optional 3G connectivity
  • 300 pixels per inch
  • Available in Wi-Fi
  • Available without lockscreen adverts with 3G $170

Kindle Voyage from $199.99



  • Thinner and light with PagePress buttons and ambient light sensor
  • Choose between Wi-Fi or 3G
  • 6" touchscreen
  • 300 pixles per inch
  • Use PagePress to turn pages
  • Six weeks battery life is used for half an hour a day with wireless off and screen lighting set to 10
  • Ambient light sensor, adjust automatically to the lightning conditions

Kindle Oasis from $249.99



  • 3G version
  • Waterproof
  • The lightest of all other Kindles weighing in at 131g without its case
  • Battery last a couple of weeks
  • Included case boosts battery life by up to two months
  • Now with Audible, listen to the world's largest library of audiobooks
  • 300 pixels per inch
  • Front lit with more LEDs

Best Kindle Overall

First eReaders should opt for the basic Kindle, but a worthless buy for those wanting a better upgrade.  The Kindle Paperwhite comes out the best choice and value, with its touchscreen and light, for anyone wanting to upgrade their old Kindle.

For those avid Kindle eReaders the Kindle Oasis is the best choice, if you're looking for the best model it comes out on top.

This post contains affiliate links.  This means if you purchase through these links you are supporting 1976write and we thank you for that.

Monday, November 05, 2018

25 Best Places to Share Your Blog Content After Publishing


Publishing content is not enough, you need to promote your blog posts, to gain more visibility in all corners of the internet, double your blog traffic.

If you're not sure where to start posting, here are some places to get your posts seen by the most eyeballs:

Social Media

Most people have a social media account these days, start reaching out to as many sites as you can, and start to spread your presence online.

Facebook and Facebook Groups - 25% of all referral traffic comes from Facebook, however sharing a post just isn't enough.  You can bring in double if not triple the amount of traffic with the right kind of strategy.

Try starting a group in your blog niche, interact with your followers,  and provide them with tips, keeping them engaged regularly answering questions and adding links from your blog.  Watch the steady flow of traffic to your blog.
 

Twitter - Use Twitter to promote your blog, create Twitter cards for conversions, engage with fellow bloggers and influencers, using hashtags in your niche.


Pinterest - With really good graphics Pinterest can get you a lot of traffic.  Allowing you to create your own boards and group boards for referral traffic.  Check out my blog post 3 Great Reasons to Use Fotor, for creating images.

Google+ - Highly underrated, Google+ has 90% online marketers and bloggers, making it the second largest social networking site.

Instagram - Instagram is a great place for your readers to learn more about you and your brand, create photos and show them life through your eyes, with your products and books.

LinkedIn - If you're interested in article marketing, then look no further than LinkedIn Publishing.  LinkedIn Publishing gives you a platform to write articles or republish previous posts to people in your own particular niche.

Social Bookmarking Sites

Never out of fashion, social bookmarking websites are useful for bringing more eyeballs to your blog.  Here are some of the most popular:

Digg
DoSplash
Kingged
Inbound
Bizsugar
Delicious

Newsletter

Any reader that has taken the time to sign up and receive a free download or monthly newsletter is interested in what you have to offer.

Send your loyal followers published blog posts, current books, downloads to get more shares and follows of your blog.

Quora the Question and Answer Network

Promote your brand and authority by answering questions in a way that users will value, and add relevant links from your blog gain exposure.

With over a 174 million visitors a month, Reddit can give you a lot of traffic.  You can do this by:
  • Creating a professional looking profile.
  • Remain active in threads related to your niche.
  • Discover sub-reddits.
  • Give your blog post a catchy hook.
Slideshare

Use the visual content marketing platform Slideshare, that has almost 60 million visitors a month.  Create a simple slide show by:
  • Creating images that stand out.
  • Making your message clear.
  • Including a link back to the blog post your promoting.
Link Round-ups

Produce a weekly or bi-monthly round-up of your best posts and publish them.  This will benefit your audience greatly, with current news and ideas your blog has to offer, and sharing new resources and finds your blog have.

This strategy can also be used in your monthly newsletter, the links will benefit you with good quality backlinks to your already published posts.

Search Engines

Regularly submit your blog URL to search engines to get traffic, and make sure your sitemap is set up on Google Search Console.  Read more about setting up a sitemap here.

Google
Pingomatic
Bing
Social Book Marker
SubmitX
SoMuch
Entireweb
Triberr

This post contains affiliate links.  This means if you purchase through these links you are supporting 1976write and we thank you for that.


Friday, November 02, 2018

10 Popular Website Types for Bloggers

There are a number of different types of website, depending on your chosen niche.  Here are 10 of the most well-known websites online today:

10 Well-Known Websites Types

1. Writers and Author Websites

Usually these sites are designed to include a short biography about the writer, and links to the authors works. 

Writers usually have a following through their social media and books, which helps sell any books or products, or other future publications.

2. Community Websites

Connecting people from all around the world, as well as inform people about events, share ideas, photos, and help them to interact with like minded individuals.

3. Payment Websites Online

As more and more people purchase online, websites with a (PSP) or payment service provider are an efficient way to pay online using credit cards and real-time orders.  A risk free way for clients to pay without any hidden charges.

4. Consultation Sites

A website specifically created to solve problems on particular topics.  Ranging from general inquiries to specific information. 

5. Small and Medium Sized Websites (SME)


With cheap hosting costs smaller enterprises focus on online marketing.  With an easy to navigate website, consumers can consume the information of a business in a smaller space.


6. Corporate Sites

A business website set up for the sole purpose of providing information about a particular company's business and products.

7. News Sites

Websites with the latest entertainment, news, sports, weather, and what's going on in the world.

8. Political Websites

Sharing information about political campaigns, information about a candidate, along with news blog posts. 

9. Personal Blogs or Websites

This kind of website can be used for both personal and business purposes.  Sharing information about interests and life in general. A common website choice for many bloggers.

10. E-commerce Sites

Most e-commerce sites are popular because of their marketing nature.  Selling and shipping are all capable under one umbrella for businesses and bloggers alike. 

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

A Writers Guide to the Perfect Workspace


Have you given much thought to the space you write in?

My writing space is pretty simple:
  1. One desk
  2. One Chair
  3. One Computer
I don't have much room to move around in because my writing space is in my bedroom.  But I do have a relatively quiet space in to work in.  Here is a quick guide to the ultimate home office for writer's:

Be More Ergonomic


This is a great place to start, how you display your computer:
  1. Top of your computer screen should be at eye level, this reduces fatigue.
  2. Your keyboard should be positioned so that your forearms are parallel to the floor.
  3. Your seat should be adjusted so that they're firmly resting on something.
Learn to Love Natural Light


If you're room has a window in it, use it.  The whole idea of working from home is to be free from the cubicle style workspace that many people have to work in.  Make sure your desk is facing a window so you can look at the scenery and take-in the natural light.

Use Additional Lighting

In the dark winter months you'll need a lamp for the darker part of the day.  Try a table lamp with soft lighting and an interesting design, to give your space a personality.

Be Inventive with Storage


If you like to write on notepads then stacking boxes are a great way to store away all those notes you've been making.  Shelves for book storage or book cases.  If you need space for paper why not try a filing cabinet, it doesn't need to be huge, just enough for your business needs.

Form a Creative Space

If you have the room why not create a space to let your creative juices really flow.  A simple coffee table, bean bag or chair, and a lamp to help you think.

Go Green


Add plants, because they make people happier, and some plants don't need to be watered that regularly.

This post contains affiliate links.  This means if you purchase through these links you are supporting 1976write and we thank you for that.