Helen and Teacher

Helen and Teacher
The Story of my Life

Friday, August 23, 2013

Tips for bloggers and writers

From Problogger.com some writing and blogging tips I found interesting. These are free to share. Building a Blog Brand, Posting Frequency and Choosing a Niche [Speed Q&A] Posted: 22 Aug 2013 08:17 AM PDT In our most recent webinar we had 700 questions submitted by attendees – many of which we simply didn’t have time to cover. Here are 3 of those questions and some quick answers. How to Build a Brand for Your Blog “What is the most important rule of thumb for building a brand?” – David I think the most critical thing you can do in building a brand around your blog is to give some time to considering what kind of brand you want to build. Amazon Founder Jeff Bezos is famously quoted as saying that “a brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room” – the question I think we all should ask is: What do we want people to say about our blog when we’re not in the room? Identify what you want to be known for and you’ll be in a much better position to BE that – which is key to building your brand. This clarity will inform the way that you write, the topics you cover, the social media personas you build etc – all of which contribute to your brand. Some further reading on Branding Blogs: ■A Key to Building a Sustainable Online Personal Brand ■Branding a Blog is Difficult – Or Is It? ■Branding Your Blog: You’re Doing it All Wrong Choosing a Niche: Profitability vs Personal Interest “What is more important, finding a profitable niche or finding something you love writing about?” – Carley Great question and one that I’m sure there are going to be many perspectives on! I guess it really comes down to your goals as a blogger as to how you answer that question. At one end of the spectrum – if you have no intention of making money blogging then obviously profitability of the niche does not come into it. At the other end of the spectrum – if you are blogging with the sole intent of making money then you’ll want to give the profitability of the niche at least some consideration. Most ProBlogger readers however start out with mixed emotions and so the answer is somewhere between the two. I personally have had 30 blogs over the years – the two that have had most success and profit have been the two blogs that I started because I really wanted to talk about the topics (blogging and photography). My genuine interest in the topic sustained me through the tough times and I like to think that my passion for the topics showed through in the way that I blogged – which I think is an attractive quality when you’re looking for new readers. Interestingly – the blogs that I started purely because I thought they might be profitable didn’t last long. I couldn’t sustain writing about them every day and I think those who did find the blogs were probably bored by what I wrote. So if I had to choose between ‘interest in the niche’ and ‘profitable niche’ – I’d probably choose ‘interest in the niche’ (having said that – you don’t have to choose between the two – you can aim somewhere in between). Ideal Posting Frequency What is an ideal number of post per week? – Marsha This is another question that there are many perspectives on and you’ll need to weigh up a number of factors including how much time you have, what type and length of posts you’ll be publishing, your goals for blogging etc It also comes down a little to experimenting to see what level of posting goes down well with your readers and how much you can sustain because posting frequency can have an impact upon both you and your readers in positive and negative ways. Let me expand on that a little: Impact Upon Your Readers: ■too much posting can burn your readers out and leave your readers feeling overwhelmed. ■too little posting can make it difficult to build momentum on your blog and won’t enable your readers to feel connected and engaged Impact Upon You ■too much posting can burn you out and have a detrimental impact upon the quality of your writing ■too little posting can leave you feeling disengaged from your blog and readers – while regular posting can help you to build momentum It’s a juggling act and you won’t really know what is right for you until you start. As a guide – I generally recommend if you’re starting out with blogging that you start with 3-4 posts per week if you can sustain that. You can then adjust your strategy from there as you get into the swing of blogging. Read more on posting frequency in this longer previous post on the topic. Originally at: Blog Tips at ProBlogger

Monday, August 5, 2013

Another Monday,and the rain beats down on our roof as though it would break right through and drown us all. Below are two more of the original tips. When time was my own, I loved browsing how-to books. I found many self-help books interesting, even if they couldn't help me. Dr. Laura's were always the most fun, and there was one about business called When Smart People Fail that gave anyone looking for a job a lot of insight. I love our local botanical center for many reasons, but one is that they have a great library, displayed in a comfortable setting. The books are all on plants and gardening, and are lovely in their own right. What a great place to research this topic, all in one place, where you can sit in style and take notes. I learned a lot about pioneer crafts by making dolls. G. Stanley Hall's 1897 classic A Study of Dolls gives lots of insight into pioneer and urban crafts, and into the creativity of children. Innovative children he studied made dolls out of all types of found objects, including old shoes, rags, and even meat! Corncob and corn husk crafts have origins in Native American and European culture, cf my post on Corn Dollies. Wendy Lavitt's American Folk Dolls is another good source. 7.Invest in a good library on how to books and books on going green; don’t over look free government publications and consumer reports. Many books and magazines on these subjects can also be found at library sales, and library cafes, where they cost as little as a dime. You can also recycle your old magazines by bringing back the ones you have read and do not need any more. 8. As a family hobby, review pioneer crafts including soap making and butter making. Try making jam or jelly and using canning jars. If you are lucky and have your mother’s or grandmothers’ glass fridge containers nad storage boxes, check to see if they are lead free and use them. Martha Stewart's book have great ideas, as do Laura Ingalls Wilder's Little House Books. Local museums and national parts have kits and publications on this topic as well. The Scouts for both genders have plenty of tips for crafts and how-two projects in their manuals and various brochures on earning badges. Joining Scouts or any similar organization is still the best way to learn self reliant crafts and folk arts.