#WordOfTheDay – Newfangled is one word

Medieval (3).png

Today’s word sounds very attractive right? What could it mean? Before we tell you the meaning, let’s go back into history. 

Newfangled is actually a pretty old word. It dates all the way back to the 15th century, and likely developed from a combination of the Middle English newe, meaning new, and the Old English fangol, from a verb meaning “to take.

Now can you guess what it means? 

Newfangled means attracted to novelty or the newest style or kind of a thing. Don’t make a mistake of writing new fangled. It is Newfangled

Here are a few synonyms of this word; Ultra modern, new, contemporary, fashionable

Look at this word in a few examples and be sure to form your own sentences

  1. My grandson owns all of the latest newfangled electronics.

  2. I don’t understand the newfangled speech used by teenagers

Advertisements

3 questions to ask before reviving your blog

Medieval.png

If you follow our blogging series then you’d know how we advocate for writers to have their own blog. Blogging is fun and when done the right way, it can yield amazing results. However, if your blog has been dormant for a while there are a few questions you may need to ask yourself. 

Do I still enjoy blogging?

Why devote time and energy trying to revive a blog when you do not enjoy blogging? Maybe you did it because you liked what other bloggers were doing but you need to be honest with yourself. 

Patiently allow your true motives to arise. If you genuinely love blogging then you can consider reviving it. 

What commitment can you make?

Depending on your schedule, you have to ask yourself the kind of attention and energy you can devote to your blog.

Some bloggers run successful businesses currently and simply cannot take on new projects. Other bloggers work full time and cannot give the proper attention and energy to blogging in order to grow a thriving, full time venture.

Be honest. There’s no need resurrecting a blog you cannot commit to 100%.

Does the niche still exist?

Assess it, is your niche still relevant or do you need to evaluate things? 

Imagine trying to resurrect a blog focused on typewriting for businesses. There’s no way that blog can succeed Niches like personal development, writing, and travel pretty much work now, and forever, as long as human beings exist. People want help improving their lives by improving themselves.

Social media myths every blogger should get rid of

Medieval (5).jpg

Every blogger knows that social media cannot be avoided especially if you want to be successful as a  blogger. There are however a few myths about social media that you need to take note of. We shared four of such myths in this post. 

Social media is cheap or free. 

Now this is quite tricky because it is true that so many social media sites are free. The same applies to a number of social media management tools but you must know that although they don’t cost money, they cost time (time is money). One way or the other, you’d have to pay for it. Think about the money you spend buying data in the first place. 

You can make a big splash really quickly. 

No you can’t. There are a few people who seem to ‘make it big’ quickly but it does not work that way for everyone. Don’t expect your blog or social media page to become a sensation from one minute to the next. It takes a lot of time and dedication to keeping your content fresh which is one of the things that attracts growth. 

You can’t build quality relationships online. 

This is not true. Many people have built quality relationships online. The Sparkle Writers Hub is a testament of this. Through our writing blog, we have successfully built relationships with writers, authors, book publishers amongst others. As long as you are ready to groom the relationship offline, then it is worth it. Business relationships can be built on social media; let no one tell you otherwise.

It gives away content and ideas you should be charging for. 

Simply put: The more you give, the more you receive on social media. You need to let go of the idea that all the content you produce is proprietary. Engage with your audience, and encourage them to share what you’ve created.

 

#WritingQuote – Get it down, it’s the only way you can do anything really good

Medieval (3).jpg

“Get it down. Take chances. It may be bad, but it’s the only way you can do anything really good.”  William Faulkner

Too many writers have missed out on writing great stories because their ‘perfectionist’ mentality got the best of them. 

Have you ever read that ‘good writing is great editing?’ It’s the truth.

Most of the bestsellers we read today may have looked uninviting when the authors started writing the first draft but they decided to finish the story first.

Dear writers, you must learn that you have to get that idea written down first. Don’t be too quick to shove it away as not good enough. Get it down! 

Taking chances is also another thing every writer must learn to do. 

Don’t be too quick to hide in your shell or too lazy to step out of your comfort zone.

Good writing is sometimes an adventure and you can’t lead your readers where you have not been.

This is how to make money from blogging

Medieval (4)

One of the major concerns of many bloggers is how to monetize their blog. What are the steps to take and how do you value your content?

Sue has got all the answers!

You can create a plan to make money with your blog, even if you have never sold anything before.

The first step?

Listen To Your Readers

Your goal is for your readers to see you as a trusted friend and a valuable resource. Before you sell anything, you need to build a relationship first.

And the key to building that relationship? Focus on your reader’s needs.

When you can put yourself in their shoes, you’ll be able to understand exactly what they want and how to deliver it to them.

Find Online Conversations

In order to really understand your readers’ problems, you need the hard data that they will actually provide to you themselves.

You need to listen to the conversations they have online.

The easiest way to learn about your audience’s thoughts and feelings is through:

  • Blog posts
  • Blog comments on other blogs
  • Forum postings
  • Social media sites
  • Amazon book reviews

Even better, you can ask for the specific data you need by directly asking your readers to take a few minutes to give you feedback.

Online surveys are easy to conduct these days, and there are free tools, like Survey Monkey which walk you through it step-by-step.

Understand Their Problems

So the key is to listen closely to understand their problems and desires. Selling isn’t about forcing a product down anybody’s throat.

In fact, you’ll be far more successful in the long run and make more sales if you take a completely different approach.

When you empathize with your audience, you can create a marketing message that resonates with them and shows that you’re a responsive blogger that listens and cares.

You can then offer the products and services that your readers are already actively seeking, rather than trying to convince them to buy products they never wanted in the first place.

Start by listening closely. See what your readers are thinking, feeling and saying while you cruise around the web this week.

Remember, it’s never too late to turn your blog into a business. 

 

 

Here’s why you should guest blog

Medieval (1)

Last week, we mentioned that managing a blog can be difficult. We know someone is wondering why we are tying to add to your work load by asking you to guest blog. 

It’s because you need it for your personal and corporate brand (if you have one) to grow.

Guest blogging is simple (well depending on how you look at it). It entails writing for another blog in your niche area. 

Want to know why it is pretty important? Keep reading.

You would increase your visibility 

Getting noticed, especially for a new website, is very difficult. Becoming a contributor to popular and highly revered websites and blogs in your niche will give you the visibility that you crave and you will get the chance to introduce yourself to a wider audience. Isn’t that amazing? 

Traffic on your own blog will increase 

Aside from getting your website in front of an established audience and potentially sending you referral traffic, you get a link back which is gold and impacts your SEO positively. Please note that guest blogging on websites with low-quality could negatively impact your website instead of helping you grow and increase your organic traffic. So choose wisely. 

You can establish yourself as an authority 

Every writer or blogger who means business must strive to become an authority in his or her niche, consistently blogging on other sites apart from yours will help increase your authority brag rights, if there’s something like that but you get what we mean. 

While the concept of guest blogging is easy enough, it’s definitely going to take some manual work and time to find results. This means going to Google, searching for sites that allow guest blogging, building relationships with those sites, and then creating high-quality content for each of those sites. All the best!

Here’s how to balance blogging and your day job perfectly

Medieval.jpg

According to Technorati, up to 64% of bloggers are classified as Hobbyists and another 13% are Part-Timers. It would be good if every blogger could devote 100% of his/her working hours to blogging but realistically not all of us are full-time bloggers. 

Balancing blogging with your day job and your life can be quite difficult. After all, we have only 24 hours in each day and we have to spend at least 6 of those hours sleeping.

So how can we balance blogging and our day jobs perfectly? 

Delegate

You don’t have to do everything. You can outsource design, marketing and any other task that would steal your time.  Ask yourself what is the most important thing that you have to do on your blog? Create excellent content of course. If that’s all you can do, do that and outsource the rest. 

Carry a notebook with you. 

0c5fa51f-8b6c-4d97-baad-4562248dc20b

Sometimes you get an idea for an excellent post when you are at work, hanging out with your friends or when you just wake up. While you won’t always have the opportunity to write this post right away, you can jot it down in a journal. When it is time for your next blog post, you will have an excellent idea waiting for you. After all, there is nothing worse than a writer’s block when you there’s a deadline.

Enjoy time away from blog. 

This is probably the most important part. The blogging world can easily consume you. Having to think of new posts, updates for the blog and what’s going on on social media can be draining but no matter how much you love blogging it is important to step away from it and spend time with your loved ones, devote some time to your health and spiritual needs. This time away from your blog will give you more inspiration to create the most excellent and amazing content.

 

Learn the best way to re-use old content

Medieval (1)

Depending on when you started blogging, you probably have a pile of old blog posts that may not be easily discoverable because of the new ones that would come up first in recent posts.

How best can you remind your readers about the existence of other posts because hey, they really can still be useful.

Here’s how to go about taking old content and making it shiny and new again.

Figure out what content deserves to be revisited 

Not everything you have posted in the past will be relevant presently. It is your duty to find out what post is relevant and note them. Your content isn’t all created equal, especially where re-marketing is concerned. Some of it isn’t going to be at all helpful because it is too old, too out of date, or maybe too boring,

Wondering how to discover reusable old content? You can do this by looking at posts people focused on or what post got the highest comments, views and likes.

Don’t be too sentimental when doing the selection process. You may have liked   particular post so much and your audience didn’t. There’s no point reusing that content again.
Look for update opportunities

See how things keep changing? It can be as simple as figuring out how things are different now versus how they were when you first created the piece. Some topics are still relevant but the info is now out of date. Now may be a good time to bring it up again and write something that has new details that are important to know now.

Update your call(s)-to-action

Don’t overlook this step! In most cases, content that already generates traffic just needs a more effective call-to-action to improve your bottom line. You can embed a poll to learn how to improve your content to serve your readers’ needs better. 

This is why you should use more pictures in your blog post

Medieval

Raise your hands if you are one of those bloggers who only adds one picture to the beginning of the post, fill it up with lots of text and then you click publish. We are guilty of that some of the time but then everyone makes mistakes right? 

This post is dedicated to explaining why you should stop that.

Do you know why lifestyle, fashion and food bloggers tend to ‘rise’ quickly? Because they delight their readers with pictures, beautiful ones at that.

Agreed, not all of us can be food or lifestyle bloggers because we all have different passions, but we need to infuse the wisdom from these bloggers into our blogging.

When you have large chunks of information to convey to your visitors, using imagery gives you the opportunity to make that information easier to understand. It takes far less time for someone to absorb information presented in a symbol than it does when they’re forced to read about it word-by-word.

Here are more reasons why you should use more pictures .

Symbols quickly convey complex instructions

If you have a pretty long content it is better and wiser to break it down using pictures and symbols. Use memes, GIFs and videos. This way you don’t have to type a blog post that is two pages long.

da8b527a-f777-4195-995a-75570af23675

People are hard-wired for visual processing

According to Canva, approximately 20% of your brain is devoted to vision – the visual cortex – and that system “reaches out and interacts with at least half of your brain, sending electrical impulses all over the place.”

Colour plays a big role in capturing visual attention and a tool that can be leveraged to affect emotions and behavior.”

Communicating your message isn’t only about information

You could have a genius, 10-page report that answers every possible question anyone could think of, and most people will still prefer the condensed version in the form of an image. Efficient communication isn’t about conveying all of the information; it’s about conveying small chunks of information quickly and clearly. 

We know it is not easy but this is what you get from your readers when you make the effort

257eue.jpg

The top four questions on blogging and their answers!

Whether you are a new or experienced blogger, you would agree with us that there is always something new to learn about blogging. Today, we’ve collated some burning questions you might need answers to.

What are the benefits of or best reasons for blogging?

A: Too many to fully name, but just to get you started, you’ll:

  • Be able to express yourself, and share what you know and think with the world.
  • Interact with smart and interesting people around the world.
  • Learn a tremendous amount about yourself.
  • Learn a lot about anything you’re interested in.
  • Perhaps make a career out of it.

How do I get my first readers?

You’ve written a few posts but no one even knows you exist. You’ll need to connect with others, somehow, to share your posts with them. Social networks such as Twitter and Facebook, along with email, and commenting on other blogs (but not spamming them with lots of links to your posts) are great ways to connect with others and share the best of what you have on your blog. As you connect with more people, they’ll naturally start checking out your blog.

FEATURED_Your-Blog-Can-Convert-More-Readers-to-Subscribers-Heres-How

How do I get more readers or subscribers?

OK, you have a few readers, but you want more. Hundreds upon hundreds, thousands and thousands! Well, take it easy. Blogs don’t just explode overnight.

The best answer is just to provide useful and/or really interesting content on a regular basis — daily, weekly, or somewhere in between. As you continue to provide amazing content, your readers will share what you have, and others will start to find you. It’s slow growth, but better than spamming people.

What’s the most important blogging question I’m not asking?

You should be asking, “How can I most help my reader?” Bloggers get caught up in technical things, like blog platforms and widgets and themes and plugins…or in numbers, like visitors and page views and subscribers and comments and ad revenues but this is the wrong mindset.

Focus instead on how you can help people. Make your reader the center of your blog, and find ways to help your reader succeed (at whatever you’re teaching). The rest — stats and money and all that — will come later.

 

These questions have been curated from WriteToDone