Friday, October 19, 2018

Why You Shouldn't Get Discouraged as a Blogger

Posting regular blog posts can be harder than you think, put that alongside other writing you may be doing, like writing a book, and you have a week right there.

I love writing, but sometimes writer's block creeps up when you least expect it. When writer's block hits, all ideas and thoughts for that days work just seem to disappear, and that can be really frustrating.

So how do you get through a period of feeling totally deflated and discouraged?

Don't be disheartened and frustrated, we've all been there.  Here are some things I do when I feel discouraged:

 1. Don't Let Your Blog Stats Consume You

You can spend hours looking through your blog stats and not do any work.  Don't get me wrong analytics have a purpose, they can show you your most popular blog posts and what your demographic is. On the downside looking at your stats regularly can be pretty depressing.

This is the same for Feedburner subscriptions.  Does it really matter how many you have?  That's why writing is the most important part of your blog.
 2. Don't Compare Yourself to Others

If enjoy reading other bloggers in your niche, you may start to feel inadequate, this can happen if you're having a bad day. Try researching new blog post ideas if you feel like you're getting blog reading fatigue.

3. Try A Little Education

There's no harm in expanding your horizons and learning new things within your niche.  In the long run it won't do you or your blog any harm.  Check out my blog post 15 Best Online Courses to Kick-Start Your Writing Business.

4. Be Creative

Why did you choose blogging?  I'm guessing because you love it so much.

Blogging is more than just promotion,  the secret lies in the time you spend creating and getting your posts published. Marketing and promotion should be secondary, you need to think of delivering good quality content to your readers, just like any other magazine or newspaper does.

5. Automate Your Social Media

Having the time to create blog posts is crucial for any writer. You can do this easily by scheduling your posts in advance on Buffer or Hootsuite without thinking to much abou it.

I use social media, don't get me wrong, I just keep my distraction down to a minimum.  By automating blog posts you can concentrate on the more important task of writing.

Don't be intimidated by other bloggers, your voice is important, and people want to listen to what you have to say.

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Wednesday, October 17, 2018

How to Stay Passionate About Your Blog

To keep the momentum going on your blog takes passion and drive.  Without these your dead in the water.  Your passion for blogging should come because you love it, not because you want to make lots of money.

Follow the points below to discover how to blog passionately without all of the pain:

1. 'Just Write'

Sometimes its best to just write down what comes into your head, this doesn't work for everyone, but its a good starting point.  Writing a lot of something is better than writing a whole lotta nothing.

2. Incentivise Yourself

When things get tough take a step back, go for a walk, watch a movie, listen to some music.  What you do in life has a direct link with how your writing turns out.  If you feel a bout of writer's block coming on, take a break, then come back to your work.  You'll discover how much easier it is to write when you take a step back.

3. Write Bite Sized Posts

There's nothing wrong with keeping your blog posts short and to the point.  A lot of well known bloggers tell you to write a 1,000 words or more, to get more traffic, but that's not always the case.

People have pretty short attentions spans these days, so there's no harm in writing blog posts that are short and to the point.

4. Read Other People's Blogs

It's so easy to get caught up in your own bubble and not realise the wealth of inspiration that's out there.  Take time each week to see what's going in your blogosphere.

5. Start a Blogging Plan

There's no harm in keeping to a regular schedule, when it comes to blogging.  Blogging is all about working around your day, and writing regularly for your readers.  If you have a business and are doing other things alongside your blog such as, writing books, try using a blog planner to plan ahead.

5.  Make Regular Notes

If you're day is pretty hectic and you don't have time to sit down and think about what you're going to write, try carrying a notebook with you, this will help you capture any thoughts for future blog posts. 

6. Revamp Your Blog

Give your blog a makeover, this will get your creative juices flowing again, helping inject new energy into a blog that may feel tired.

7. Dig Up Your Archives

Every blog post you've ever done will have a lot of thought put into it.  Your new reader haven't experienced any of your original blog posts.  Give your old blog posts new lease of life by editing them and updating them new images and information.

8. Create a Blog Series

Sometimes its hard thinking about just one blog post let alone four or five.  So do some research, pick a larger topic and become innovative in your blog post creation.

I'd love to hear about your blogging stories in the comments below.

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Monday, October 15, 2018

How to Use a Dictionary and Thesaurus When You Write

If you're looking for simple tools to help with your writing, look no further than a dictionary and thesaurus.  The most basic and cheapest of tools, each of these books will help improve your grammar and punctuation in no time!

What is a Dictionary

An assembly of words in one or more particular languages.  Listed alphabetically, providing the meanings, definitions etymologies, and pronunciations of words.

A Brief History of the Dictionary

There is much deliberation as to what form's the basis of the first dictionary.  Archaeologists have found bilingual words lists from the Akkadian Empire, located in Modern Syria of 2300 BCE. 
Arabic and Chinese dictionaries have also been found.  Robert Cawdrey, a school teacher called a table alphabetical in 1604, but that was thought to be not very accurate.  The most trusted modern English language dictionary was Samuel Johnson's, and was around for 150 years up to 1755.  Then came the Oxford English Dictionary.

How to Use a Dictionary

An important resource for anyone learning a new language, or wanting to improve their grammar.  You can use a dictionary to:

  • Find the meaning of an English word you've heard or seen
  • Discover the English translation of the word in your own language
  • Ascertain the correct spelling of a word
  • Review the plural of a noun or past tense of a verb
  • Discover more information about the word
  • Check out the synonym or antonym of a word
  • Find the collocations of a word
  • Analyse the part of a speech of a word
  • Determine how to say a word
  • Uncover examples of the use of a word in natural language
In order to use a dictionary properly, you need to know the kind of dictionary you need to use, and find what you're looking for.

Here are 4 tips to help you get the most out of your dictionary: 

1. Unearthing Words Effectively

A skill that requires a lot of practice.  Ask a friend to give you 5 words, and then see how long it takes you to find them in a dictionary.  At the top of each page in a dictionary are guide words, use those to help you find the word you're looking for.  Keep practising until you find any given word within 10 seconds.

2. Discovering the Correct Meaning of a Word

As you well know the English language is full of words that sound the same but have a different meaning.  If you're unsure what the word means you can, find the word that makes the most sense in the context it's given.

3. Ascertaining the Correct Spelling

If you discover you can't find the right spelling, look up the spelling you think it is, until you find the right one.

4. Learning When to Use a Dictionary

English dictionaries are full of thousands of words with different meanings, you could spend most of  your life reading one.  Knowing when to use one is the real trick.  Always finish the sentence you're reading to get the context of the word you're going to look up. 

What is a Thesaurus

A thesaurus is a group of words put together depending upon their similarity or meaning, sometimes synonyms and antonyms.

History of the Thesaurus

The modern thesaurus was developed by Peter Mark Roget first published in 1852.

How to Use a Thesaurus

If you find yourself using the same words repeatedly, then you need to spice up your language a little, and use a thesaurus.

This is how you can use a thesaurus in your writing:
  • Choose the word you want to put into your sentence
  • Find the word, alphabetically in your thesaurus
  • Check out the words listed alongside your chosen word
  • Replace your chosen word with a word that fits into your sentence 
The Best Dictionary and Thesaurus 
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Friday, October 12, 2018

How to Really Write for Your Audience

More than ever, content is being eaten up via PC's, laptops, tablets, and phones all around the world.  That's why it's important to write content that will keep your readers permanently hooked.  This requires high quality, easy-to-read content.

How to Write Great Content People Will Read

So Who Are You Writing For?

Everybody has a problem they want solving, sometimes you may write blog posts that are more personal, and for your own benefit, but most of the time it's for your readers specific needs.  At the end of the day your audience is the most important thing, when it comes to writing great content for your blog, make sure you hit the right note every time you publish.

Recognise Your Audience

An important part of blogging is knowing who you're writing for, and understanding their needs.  You can keep your blog fresh by including new ideas, stories, and lists things that you think may be useful to your readers.  Always allow your audience to comment on what you've written, and ask for feedback, every now and again.

Grab Their Attention

Some people find this easier than others, but you need to sling a hook before you catch a fish.  By creating fact filled blog posts with captivating titles you can reel in your audience.  Start with a story or a joke, and anything you can think of to keep them reading.

Use Makes Mastery

Writers aren't born great, they have to work at it and practice often.  Take time aside everyday to write, even if it's just a page in your journal.  Expand your vocabulary by reading regularly, and discover new styles of writing.

Make Your Writing Memorable

Knowing that someone out there has taken the time to read anything you've written, should give you the feeling of sheer euphoria.  Try and bring a fresh perspective to an already talked about subject.  Always remember you want your blog posts to last and stay evergreen.

Suggest Ideas, Don't Demand Them

People don't like being told what to do. Provide your readers with suggestions not demands.  Always allow the reader to make their own decision.

Captivate Your Audience

Choose topics your readers will respond to, you can do this by looking up your most popular posts in your analytics.  Stay on topic and keep your sentences light, and to the point.  Engage your readers with a variety of words, instead of using the same language over and over.

Don't Get Lazy

It's easy to slip into the lazy mode of writing, where your grammar and spelling errors become secondary.  Always check your articles, and blog posts over for mistakes, and use the spell checker.

Be Animated

Be descriptive in your prose, make your writing as detailed as possible.  Paint a picture in your readers mind. 

Let your Charisma Shine

Allow your audience a glimpse into your everyday life.  If you love humour, or sarcasm add to your writing.  Allow your personality to shine through, and just be yourself.

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Wednesday, October 10, 2018

How to Improve Your Writing Vocabulary

An essential tool of any writer's toolbox is vocabulary, this goes hand in hand with punctuation and grammar. 

Having a greater vocabulary will make your writing more compelling, and help your readers know what you mean. Writing vaguely will soon become a thing of the past, and will leave you with an tool you'll never be without.

Here are 18 tips to improve your writing vocabulary:

1. Try New Words

When you discover a new word try putting it in your journal, an email or slip it into a conversation.  Better still write it down, and make a list of the new words you learn each week.

2. Read Something New Everyday

After you've left school, or university, reading becomes a relic of the past.  Don't abandon reading completely, read anything you can get your hands on: newspapers, magazines, books, internet articles.

3. Master the Root of a Word

Words in the English language come from a familiar root, prefix or suffix, generally taken from Greek or Latin.

You'll have a greater understanding of words when you discover what the root is.

4. Keep a Thesaurus Handy

If you're using the same words over and over, try conveying the same meaning with a different word.  A great habit to keep and a simple way of finding new words.  You'll be able to express yourself more easily.

5. Learn a New Word Every Day

This point is pretty similar to number's 1 and 3, learn a new word every day.  Use your thesaurus or dictionary, and start writing down the new words you've uncovered.

6. If It's Unfamiliar, Write it Down

If you're not sure what a word means write it down, if not make a list, and look them all up later.

7. Make Journaling Part of Your Day

Journaling not only helps your writing style but also helps you to improve your vocabulary.

8. Expand Your Reading List

If you love reading, you may stick to the same kind of reading material. Try diversifying, and branching out on the topics you read, include politics, contemporary literature, and maybe even a bit of Shakespeare.

9. Challenge Yourself to a Word Puzzle

This kind of word game will challenge your brain, and exercise it at the same time. Word puzzles make you think harder of words you don't usually use in everyday life.

10. Process New Words in Different Ways

A new word will become part of your vocabulary after about 10 or 20 repetitions.  In order to make it stick you need to write down the definition, and the sentence you're using it in.

11. Try Word Association Exercises

Say a word out loud, something like minuscule, which means tiny or very small.  Speak out loud a sequence like, grand, large, medium, small, tiny, very small, and minuscule.  Try listing the things you think are minuscule.

12. Practice Mnemonics

A mnemonic is a memory trick, to help you remember new words.  Try sounding out and word, then put it in a funny sentence.

13.Create Your Own Vocabulary Tests

Start your own list of new words, and make it a daily habit, include them in conversation and writing. Draw up a quiz at the end of each week to really bond them to your memory.

14. Build Synonym Word Lists

If you're in the habit of using the same words over and over again, grab your thesaurus, pad and pen.  Start listing new words to use instead.

15.  Do a Writing Course

The internet is full of writing courses, or courses you can attend locally.  Find a course that is full of quizzes and assignments to develop your fluency, and help you read up on your writing skills.

16. Do Your Own Editing

If you don't have the luxury of an editor you're probably doing this already.  By being your own editor you have the controls in proofreading and editing your work the way you want it sound.  Getting rid of  overused words, and replacing them with something more decisive.  Improving your writing tone, style and giving your work clarity.

17. Use Your Active Expressive Voice

Your vocabulary work's from a larger group of words that you have an idea of.  This small group of words helps you to express yourself and your ideas.  Discovering new words and changing from your passive vocabulary to an active, expressive vocabulary, isn't as hard as it sounds.  All you need to know is how to define, pronounce and spell those words.  You can do this by saying them out loud and using them at every given opportunity into your active set of words.

18. Buy a Pocket Thesaurus and Dictionary

Slip a pocket dictionary and thesaurus into your bag or pocket, and boost your vocabulary.  Do this  while you're on a train or in a waiting room. Take a few minutes out of your day to learn a new words, and see how much difference it makes to your vocabulary.

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Monday, October 08, 2018

How and Why You Should Curate Content on Your Blog

Curating content from other websites, is a simple trick used by many bloggers as well as online publishers.  This is done by adding personal commentary to current topics, being talked about on the internet.

You can do this by picking out content you think your audience will get the most value from, and then add your own thoughts, and publish it on your blog.  Remember to stay within the rules of blogging by not plagiarising others and always featuring the source,  with a link to the content originally published.

This is both a compelling, and feasible way of bringing interesting content to your readers.

Here are 4 tips to curate content on your blog:

What You Need to Know About Publishing Editorialised Content You've Curated

Before you starting curating content you need to know the differences between:

Content Aggregation - When you bring together links to other content and provide nothing but the links in a single place, this is called content aggregation.  Websites such as Alltop and PopURLs.

Content Syndication - Redistributed and aggregated content from websites such as Newstex and NewsCred are good examples of this kind of content syndication.

Content Curation - If you're reviewing an article or blog post you've read, you need to gather together the links to your sources as well as descriptions.  Add your own commentary, publish it in a single location, that's content curation.

Quick note: Remember to cite, link back to the source,  and provide attribution, so you can share a variety of sources with your audience.

Produce a Weekly Round-Up Blog Post

An interesting way of leveraging content is to produce a weekly round-up of blog posts.  In your weekly round-up you can share links and descriptions from a variety of sources,  on topics relating to your blog.  This will show your peers that you like what they're writing, and also share new information with your readers.  This is another step in establishing relationships with fellow bloggers you respect.

Use Slide shows to Focus Readers on Curated Content from Various Sources

Both engaging and good for SEO, visitors have the opportunity to click through each page on the slide. Allowing readers to interact with your blog, each link has its own image and commentary.  Can also be reused and put on Twitter and Pinterest.

Embedding Curated Content on Your Blog

Websites such as Rebelmouse allow you to embed content on your blog, with little fuss.  With formatting already set in place, the process is quick and easy. 

Put Curated Content into an Online Video

Create a YouTube video with your own insights and include a single or multiple piece of curated content.  Make sure you include all of the correct links to your sources within the video.

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Friday, October 05, 2018

10 Valuable Things Every Writer Needs to Know

The following is a list of beneficial, and valuable information for all writer's:

1. Take Heed the Sentimental Haze

Don't get caught up in the fluffy words, vowels, and sibilants, it won't withstand the rigours of everyday.

2. Wipe Out Self-Doubt

Nobody likes hearing from a self-doubter, people want to feel, hear, and taste your words.

3. Always Give Your Readers the Truth

Listen to your inner voice and what it tells you, and your writing will flow naturally.

4.  Pay Attention to All Advice and Criticism

Advice can be hard to take.  As a writer you're more open to all kinds of criticism, showing you your flaws, and mistakes.  Accepting criticism, and taking it onboard, is the first step to being a better writer.

5. Don't Be Too Concerned About Your Mistakes

You learn from your mistakes, and we all make them.

6.  Recognize Your Audience

This is about knowing yourself and your audience.

7. Family and Friends Aren't Your Real Audience

You're better off joining a local writer's club than listening to your own family.

8.  Read As Much As You Can

It doesn't matter what you get your hands on, read it!  By reading things no one else reads, you'll discover things no one else has found.

9.  Communicate and Observe as Much as Possible

Observe the world around you, and learn to communicate more simply with your readers.

10.  So Why Do I Want To Write?

Yes, why am I writing?  People usually write because they're passionate about something, and want to tell the world about it.

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Wednesday, October 03, 2018

10 Blogging Courses for Writers

Want to be a better blogger?

Here are 10 blogging courses every writer should try:

1. 3-Step Writing System: Blogging & Writing Secrets

Tyler Speegle, writer for the Huffington Post, and professional blogger, takes you through his 3-step proven plan that will make you a PRO blogger.  Learn how to attract thousands of readers, craft killer headlines, and revise your writing like a professional.

2. Proftitable Blogging: Not a Writer? Not a Problem!

If you're not familiar with content creation, Snehal Wagh, an entrepreneur, and blogger, will take you through the process.  Using his vast knowledge, and business acumen, he'll teach you the core drivers for a successful blog.

3. Medium Blogging Masterclass: Blogging on Medium Successfully

If you want to succeed online quickly, discover why writing for Medium is a sure fire way to grow your website fast.

4. Blog for a Living: Complete Blogging Training Level 1, 2, & 3

If you're a non-techie, and love writing, but not sure where to start, Theo McArthur uses her 20 years of experience building blogs, websites, and marketing experience to show you how to create a fully-fledged online business.

5. 5 Secrets to Developing the Blogging (and Writing) Habit: How to Beat Writers Block Forever

Rebecca Livermore, a bestselling author, and blogger shares her knowledge, and shows you 5 secrets that will help you beat writer's block, find your best writing, discover the diamonds in your worst writing, and much more.

6. Content Marketing: Blogging for Growth

Entrepreneur Eric Siu teaches you how to hit your blogging goals with this 80-minute class.  Learn the same process that has helped him build his seven-figure business.

7. Blogging Rituals and Routines| 10 Secrets for Increasing Blogging Productivity

Professional Content Creationer owner, Rebecca Livermore, gives you a step-by-step plan to create your own personal blogging routine, which will result in: scheduling writing time without being a slave to your calendar, growing your blog content in as a little as 15 minutes a day, and much much more.

8. Starving to Successful: How to Become a Full-Time Writer

Jeff Goins, successful blogger and writer, shares his knowledge of writing, and shows you how to start the kind of blog, for the writer you want to be.

9. Balancing Blogging & Life

Author of Marketing for Creatives, April Bowles-Olin, draws on the same methods she's used to help other successful entrepreneurs to grow their online presence.  Teaching you how to find your voice, and get more comfortable writing about yourself.

10. Build Online Authority

Business entrepreneur Lewis Howes, James Wedmore and Derek Halpern will show you how to turn your passion project into a successful brand.

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