All posts tagged “Blogging”

10 Reasons To Keep Blogging In 2015

Blogging is basically the new resume. Your potential employer and clients will Google your name. And if they see that you have a blog, rest assured that they will browse through it. Now, your blog should contain what you want others to see you as: as a writer, web designer, marketer, or whatever you are.

This helps boost credibility and the blog itself may serve as a work portfolio with all your knowledge put into it. Besides that, you can also earn on the side. If you need more convincing on why you should start a blog (or continue on with your current one), here I give you 10 reasons why you should still blog in 2015.

1. It’s A Resume In Action

If you are looking to create the perfect resume, especially if you are in web design and development as well as writing and graphic design, blogging about your focus is basically a resume in action. It tells people that you know what you are doing. Employers and clients might as well skip the interview part.

Take for example web designers who regularly publish tutorials about how to build websites on their own blogs. That, in itself, is a testament that they know what they are doing.

Suppose a man handed you their business card and it has their website, email address, phone number, and business address written on it. Which would you be most likely to use first? Are you going to email the guy or call him, or send him a letter?

If you don’t already have one, start a blog and include your blog address on everything. Your resume, business card, letters, social media profiles, and maybe even place a sticker of it on the back of your car.

2. It Increases Your Credibility And Authority

Companies and individuals are going crazy about building up their brand. They want themselves to be presented to the public in a way that will make them a credible authority in their niche. Of course, that’s the goal, and blogging is the easiest method to accomplish it.

Put yourself in the place of potential clients or employers. Suppose you have ten resumes on your desk and only two of them have their own blogs. Wouldn’t you be curious about these two and read their blogs? And if you like what you see, wouldn’t you give them a higher score than the rest?

This is a useful trick that works most of the time. If you have a blog, people will trust you more. The same thing happens with businesses. Notice how people will trust a business more if it has its own website. The same goes for individuals.

3. It Makes Networking Easier

Blogging connects you with like-minded people and in this competitive world having the right people in your network is equivalent to good currency. This applies to the real world too. If you’re a writer who has a web designer friend, you can ask them to help you with your website for free or for a cheaper price. If you know an IT person you can say goodbye to your computer problems.

If you connect with people who know search engine optimization, blogging, freelancing, and the like, and if you develop good relationships with them, it’s as good as saying you have those skills yourself. And I mean it in a very positive way.

Safe to say, you can also use your personal network as a way to ask for help or feedback (and give yours too). Of course, you need to reciprocate. But you get the idea, right? And if you do it right…

4. It’s A Good Way To Find Clients

You can start a blog that answers common questions about your field, how-to articles, tips, and tutorials or a mix of everything. The thing is, you need to make it useful and be sure to add your personality to it. You need to make sure that everything you publish expresses how well you know your field.

It’s your time to show off. Big time. You are the artist and your blog is your canvas. And you are trying to sell yourself.

If you are a copywriter, be sure to publish tips on how to become a better copywriter. If you are a web designer, publish your best designs. And so on, you get the point.
If your goal is to attract clients through your blog, be sure to design your blog in a way that will scream “Hire me!”

I’ve been blogging actively for almost 4 years now and I can attribute at least 60 successful freelance works that were led to me by my blog, whether it’s web design and development or copywriting. All of these happened while I was employed full-time.

5. It Can Be A Source Of Extra Income (Or Only Income)

You can monetize your blog if it becomes popular. You can make anywhere from a dollar to several thousands of dollars a month depending on how well you market your blog. You can earn by selling your product, someone else’s product (and earn commission), or by placing advertisements on your blog.

If you are wondering how blogs make money, it’s mainly through advertisements and affiliate commissions.
One of my blogs earn somewhere from $ 50 to $ 300 monthly, mostly through affiliate commissions. And it’s a good way to earn passive income.

6. It Makes You A Better Communicator

One of the most useful skills to have in this day and age is writing. If you are a good writer, no matter what the field, you instantly become a good communicator and that’s exactly what upper management level jobs require. If your goal is to ascend the corporate ladder, make sure to work on your writing skills. And blogging is the perfect place to start. What makes a good writer is that they write daily.

But if you are not fond of entering the corporate scene and would rather work as a freelancer, being a good writer will definitely do wonders. If you can write the best cover letter, proposal letter, resume, and any kind of text that would entice employers to pick you then you are basically securing your future.

Think about it. If you are looking for a web designer and two people emailed you regarding the project, which one will you pick, the one who writes better or the one who just rambled on endlessly?

7. It Turns You Into A Teacher

With great power comes great responsibility. This also applies to the skills you have. By default, you have a responsibility to help educate people, especially if they are clueless on how to be like you.

Besides, what are you going to use your skills for aside from work? It would be wasteful to just keep them to yourself, especially in today’s age where information flows freely from across the World Wide Web.

Think of it this way, I’m certain that you didn’t learn everything you know right now from school or from books you bought. Most of the practical skills you have you probably learned from free tutorials online. So why not give back?

8. It Forces You To Learn New Things

Blogging is not just about writing and waiting for pageviews. Blogging, in itself, is an art that is comprised of several parts. If you want to make your blog popular (and it should be your goal), you’ll need to learn how to do many things like marketing, SEO, keyword research, basic web and graphic design, and the like.

I daresay if you know Internet marketing and SEO on top of your other skills, you’ll be an invaluable asset to anyone, especially in the online world. If you know how to make things go viral as well as what kind of tools to use in order to have a smooth-faring website, you’ll be an unstoppable entity (like the Batman of the Internet). Simply because you have multiple skills to offer your client.

If you start your own blog and put some serious effort into it, it’s definitely a possibility.

9. It Helps You Strengthen Your Mind

Aside from solidifying your skills through blogging, you get to strengthen your mind as well by delving deeper into different topics.

Just think about the last article you’ve read. What are your thoughts on it? Did you agree or disagree with it? How will you improve on it? The process in itself turns your mind into a more well-rounded inquisitive mind. And the world needs more of that.

Another thing you should keep in mind about blogging is that it’s a process of self-discovery. You can only write your opinions and what you know.

Blogging is also a great way to organize your thoughts. By writing regularly for an audience, you are forcing yourself to form coherent sentences and your mind remembers this process, which you can then incorporate throughout your life.

10. It’s Easy

Blogging is easy and it yields great results. All you need to do is set up a blog and start writing your thoughts about your interests (that are relevant to your work, since you want your blog to be your resume, right?).

Write, improve and learn from other. In the process of doing so, you’ll inadvertently improve not only your work, but also your entire self.

Conclusion

Running your own blog can be time-consuming, but it can also be fun, especially if sharing your knowledge makes you happy. The great thing about blogging is that if you do it right it will pay off big time.

And there are a lot of guides out there that will teach you exactly how to blog. Regardless of your profession and speciality, I highly suggest that you put your expertise online for the world to see.

Show yourself off online.





hongkiat.com

Killing Two Birds With One Stone or Blogging Benefits for Freelance Designers

The article contains a list of benefits a freelance designer can get out of launching and maintaining a personal blog dedicated to the field of their interest.
MonsterPost

Blogging Advice: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

via Elnur

Ever had this experience where, after reading a bunch of blogging advice on the Internet, you just stare blankly at your computer screen and say: “Huh?”

It’s not that you didn’t understand the advice. It’s just that the so-called blogging “experts” can’t seem to agree on the do’s and don’ts of professional blogging.

One expert will say: “Blog about what you love, be active on social media, and everything will fall into place!” Another will say: “No, you don’t need a blog; you need to do this and that instead.”

Not that conflicting opinions are bad, per se. It’s good that a lot of people want to give a more rounded view on a subject like blogging. However, this can be confusing for you if you’re still trying to get your feet wet in a pool as overcrowded as the blogosphere.

If reading two or more articles on the same blogging topic often makes you want to scratch your head, here are a few questions you can ask to decide whether an article is worth a click on, the “Bookmark” button or the “Back” button.

Is The Advice Evergreen?

“Evergreen” means that the advice will be just as applicable five, ten, or even twenty years from now as it is today. For example, Michael Poh’s “Journalism For Blogging: 6 Things to Consider” will always be timely, because it talks about basic but essential principles that every blogger should keep in mind if they want their content to be worthwhile – no matter the topic, target audience, and time period.

Now, this is not to say that articles with a “trending now” or “technology” element can’t be evergreen. It’s still possible for a piece that incorporates those elements to be evergreen, as long as it gives an insightful explanation on why those elements worked (or not) in the context of the article (e.g. how Flappy Bird became an overnight sensation before fizzling out, and what lessons developers and marketers alike can learn from it).

Does The Author Provide Concrete Examples To Support Points?

Any “expert” can say that “blogging is a great way to make quick cash”. From a common sense perspective, it’s easy to believe that argument (which is quite questionable, by the way). After all, you only need a computer, an Internet connection, and an ability to string words together to get a blog up and running, right?

But, unless that “expert” can provide substantial evidence (e.g. real-life success story) to prove that blogging is in the beginner mode of the money generating game, it’s best if you take that argument with a grain of salt.

Even if the “expert” does have evidence, it’s possible for this to be exaggerated – or worse, fabricated – due to the open nature of the Internet. If you have any doubts about the legitimacy of an author’s evidence, it won’t hurt to do a bit of background research (e.g. Googling the subject, browsing forums, asking your more knowledgeable and trustworthy colleagues) before you come to any definite conclusions.

(On that note, if anyone claims to have a “magic pill” to your blogging woes, be skeptical. Blogs require vision, dedication, and hard work to maintain, and anyone who says otherwise is probably trying to sell you snake oil. Probably.)

What’s the author’s purpose for writing the article?

Anyone who talks about blogging online does so for a number of reasons, such as (1) a desire to inform; (2) a desire to entertain; (3) a desire to persuade; (4) a need to meet a specific daily/weekly/monthly quota of content; and (5) a need to promote a product or service.

The key is to identify which of these is the author’s main objective. Once you figure that out, you can decide for yourself whether the author’s words are worth considering or not.

For example, a post on the “20 Ways to Promote Your Blog” may offer solid tips, but if it includes any promotion for products/services, it may actually be an advertorial. In case you decide to buy any of these products/services, make sure you search for objective reviews on them first. After all, it’s best to get your money’s worth, right?

Can You Make The Advice Work For You?

On the flip side, it’s possible for an article like “The Ultimate Guide to Promoting Your Blog via E-Newsletter” to be well-written, detailed, and insightful, yet still be “bad”. How?

Simple: It’s not (yet) applicable to you. You may already have a blog, but not enough subscribers to warrant the effort you need to put into crafting those newsletters.

A few more words of (unsolicited) advice

The truth is, there’s no such thing as “good” or “bad” blogging advice, at least not in the strictest sense of those words. There’s only advice that is prone to misinterpretation and misapplication. Whether the words of an “expert” will affect you positively or negatively will depend on various factors, like where you want to go as a blogger, your perception of where you are vis-à-vis where you want to be, how realistic your expectations are of what it takes to get from point A to point B, and how “expert” advice will fit in with all of that.

For More Blogging Related Posts





hongkiat.com

A Big Guide to Blogging SEO – Attain the Highest Ratings for Your Website

We know that blogging is hard, especially if you were not lucky enough with your niche. Watch this slideshow, containing success tips from trainer Casey Markee and find out how Authorship, SEO best practices, good content and link building will quickly make your website noticeable among the competitors.

MonsterPost

Blogging For Yourself Vs. Staff Blogging: Which Should You Choose?

Gone are the days when “weblog” or “blog” for short was basically a fancy term for “online diary”. Today, you’d be hard-pressed to find a large corporation or small business that doesn’t have a blog for promotional and engagement purposes.

This trend gave rise to a new wave of opportunities for writers who wanted to express themselves online, and make a living from doing so. You can now either build a blog from scratch, or get paid to write for other blogs (a.k.a. staff blogging). Which begs the question: Should you be a blogger for yourself, or for others?

You can be both, of course. But if you’re too busy to write for multiple blogs at once, you may be forced to just pick one or the other. Luckily, we have this list of pros and cons to help you weigh your options on whether to go solo or blog for a site.

Blogging For Yourself

Pros

The biggest pro of having your own blog can be summed up in three words: Complete Creative Control. You can decide what, when, and how often you want to post. If you want to post political commentary on Monday, a funny cat video with a witty caption on Tuesday, and flash fiction on Wednesday, no one can stop you, because it’s your blog.

The overall blog design is likewise within your control; you can make it minimalistic and elegant, or loud and attention-grabbing – whichever suites your style.

For further reading on how to design your blog, check out:

Also, your blog can be used to promote your products and services in any way you want. You can write an entire blog series around your products, or limit your promotions to sidebars and widgets. Although it’s possible for you to do some self-promotion even while blogging for others, you’ll usually be limited to your bio section in these cases, for various publication-based reasons.

Lastly, your blog can be monetized. That means that, as long as you have a regular and significant amount of traffic to your site, you can earn a decent income without doing much beyond posting daily, engaging your followers/customers, keeping tabs on the numbers, and marketing your blog like crazy.

Cons

Wait, did we just say “marketing”? Oh yes, we did.

If you’re blogging purely for fun, and wish for it to stay that way, marketing isn’t really something you need to worry about. But if you set up your blog for business purposes, or you expect to make good money from it, you’ll have to work hard to let the right people know about you.

And even if you manage to gain a significant following, you can’t take this as a cue to be complacent and disappear from the virtual world for months, unless you want your followers to drop or forget about you altogether.

You also have to be more careful about how you project yourself to others. As a relatively famous blogger, you’re no longer just a nameless person on the Internet; you’re now a brand, and people will expect you to act as such (Hint: Good brands take care not to post overly offensive content on the Internet).

Staff Blogging

Pros

As a staff blogger, you already have a fully functional website to write for. There’s no need for you to worry about blog design, marketing, ads, and the like; just come up with fresh, original, and engaging content for the blog’s existing readers, and you’re good to go.

If the blog you’re writing for already has a large following, you can use your staff blogging position to expose your work to others. Provided your work is good enough, there may be at least one among the blog’s tens of thousands of followers who’s interested in your blogging services.

Let’s not forget that staff blogging is usually a paid position. Need we say more?

Cons

On the other hand, the type of content you can churn out is restricted by the blog’s niche, voice, and writing guidelines. If you’re writing for a blog with a fun, playful voice, you can’t be too stiff and formal with your style. Likewise, a tech blog has no space for fashion articles, unless we’re talking about apps that help you find the right dress size, for instance.

There’s also the accountability factor to consider. Everything you produce is a reflection on the blog owner, so if your post is “bad” in any way, it’s a disservice not just to the blog’s readers, but also to the one who gave you the staff blogging position in the first place.

The Decision is Yours

Whether you want to build a blog from the ground up, write for someone else’s blog, or do both, rest assured that all of them are legitimate ways to carve your own space in the blogosphere. Just make sure that anything you do is aligned with a clear vision of the kind of blogger you wish to become, and that blogging is really something you want to do for a living.





hongkiat.com

11 Vital Blogging Plugins Every WordPress User Must Have

The importance of WordPress for website owners and bloggers are known to all. One can cache a browser, a web page, any database, object, and most importantly the CDN support. By caching your…

For full article and other interesting tech related stuff visit the website.
SkyTechGeek

Top 10 Platforms for Blogging Online

Blogs are ways to express your thoughts and you need to use the blogs to bring out the presence of the company that you are heading. The contents from your side are updated in the sites so that the…

For full article and other interesting tech related stuff visit the website.
SkyTechGeek

Collaboration Tools for More Effective Team Blogging

Most content experts gear blogging advice toward individual bloggers, but where’s the advice for blogging as a team? Team blogging has several benefits for everyone involved. For instance, a teamRead…

You can visit the website for the full article and other interesting articles.


Blogger’s Path

The 7 Sins Of Guest Blogging (Based On True Events)

I totally understand why Matt Cutts is pissed with how guest blogging is turning out – a complete pain in the rear. The culprit that triggered the response was an unsolicited email that offered to pay for a post to show up in his blog, and in return they ask for 2 (spammy) backlinks. Smooth, guys. Real smooth.


(Image Source: techndgadgetnews)

Granted that many multi-authored blogs depend on (ok, maybe welcome?) guest bloggers submitting in their insights and advice, there are some things that some guest bloggers do that really, really push all the wrong buttons. The basic ones are already covered in this post 10 tips to distinguish good guest posts from the bad but it is more fun when you have real-life accounts to share with everyone.

Let’s just say truth is way stranger than fiction. *(No real names were used in these stories because… I can’t remember any of them.)

1. You overlook small but real important things

There are a few things that really gets you off on a bad start, the moment it turns up in your pitch. If you have like an 80% chance of making a good impression, these will cut that down to half, almost instantly.

I Can Spellz?

One thing is misspelling things like your liaison’s name (for instance, mine), the site owner’s name, the blog name (if I get a nickel for every time people refer to us as Honkiat), your own post title, popular brands like "Facebook" and "Google" or basically, anything inside your email pitch.

These are small problems, but if your situation is near that last straw on the camel’s back, this is what’s breaking those humps apart.

Don’t Diss The Reader

Secondly, you talk down to whomever that’s reading your post. Inside the post you use words like, "WRONG!", "That is a ridiculous way to design a site," "Are you stupid?". If you’re not going to say it out loud (due to common sense, not shyness) why in blazes would you put that in a post that is supposed to impress the person(s) reading it?

The last thing anyone should be doing is getting on the wrong side of the Internet. Period.

2. You are Inexplicably Rude

Rude guest bloggers exist – like kids who throw fits because their parents got their iPhone in the wrong color, they shouldn’t. You don’t get to write in and say "here is my 1,500 essay on woolly mammoths… check it… make sure it is published." No. Trust me, if we publish just anything we get in the mail, you don’t want us to publish you.


(Image Source: bloggingwithdani)

After getting a rejection email, don’t demand to know what kind of title that can ensure you get published. These blogs are not here to make sure you get published.

Be Professional About It

But if you submit a really good guest blog, like this one, or this one, or this or this, we will be contacting you and arranging to put the post in queue for publication.

Additionally, each of the contributors of those highlighted posts were a delight to work with. They were accommodating and patient, very professional, and will make any changes required to make sure we can help them put their work up on the site. They "get it" that this guest blogging thing is the result of an alliance, not a take-it-or-leave-it.

3. Your pitch was way off-key

If I could tell you stories about the submissions I received, I’d talk about the time when I got submissions about hiking trips in Nepal, why Hitler needs your love, hotel bookings in Mumbai, how to get out of a traffic ticket, an actual business portfolio, how to choose a receptionist, how to buy lingerie online in India, how much it costs to refurbish your office etc, but I can’t.

If you go to a tech site and read about how to change a car tyre, you’d raise an eyebrow too. So before submitting your post to a blog, take a minute to think if it will be something you expect to read on the site (from a reader’s POV). If it is not, don’t submit it.

If you submit it, don’t expect a reply because if you couldn’t be bothered, don’t expect the blog owner to be bothered either.

4. You want Fast Answers

The thing about visiting guests is that the hosts go out of their way to make things comfortable for them – that’s called hospitality. Even when you are visiting your Aunt Ellen, you don’t expect her family to wait on you, hand and foot. They have lives to lead, schools and jobs to lug themselves to and at the least, errands to run.

It is the same with guest blogging. Most blogs work on a publication schedule, which is why you get "regular" updates at the same time every day. It’s organized and efficient. To achieve that, a lot of things happen in the background. Long story short, your guest blog, no matter how important it is to you, is a "guest" in the mix. And pushy guests can really make the blog owner wonder if it is worth putting up with their demands.

Everything can still go smoothly on the blog without your submission, so it would be good to not throw a diva fit. If you are really that good, some blogs may put up with you but again, there is only room for one diva, and if Aunt Ellen can kick you out of her home, she gets to be the diva.

5. You do Everything except guest blog

The idea behind receiving guest bloggers is to get good content and in return, you, the awesome author, get great exposure of your work and what you do (and if you are lucky, the readers may click in to check out your site or product).

But when you come in asking to exchange links, or to pay the blog to publish your post, or to demand a backlink (not ask, demand), it’s hard to expect blog owners to be courteous with your requests. If you want to throw money about, do check out the site’s advertising options. Big writing teams that "can write anything you want" can consider setting up their own blogging site (the way I see it, they already have the writing team, so technically they’re halfway there).

Guest blogging is a win-win situation for the author and the blog owner. It’s a beautiful formula that works right when all the ingredients are there in the right amounts, so let’s not go ruining a good thing.

6. You try to pass off someone’s work for yours

It happens a lot. Like a lot, lot, lot. Yet I never thought that it could get any lower than mere plagiarism, until a guest blogger submitted an "original" post he ripped off a site, which ripped the content off our site first.


(Image Source: edtechreview)

It’s like you being at the car dealer, shopping for a new car to replace your stolen car, only to be showed your (still stolen) car by the salesperson. I mean, come on! That is so wrong at so many levels.

Wasted Talents

There are those that try to dilute the work by grouping several writer’s work into the same post. Others spin their articles, changing the tenses, every fourth word or the arrangements of the words. Sometimes they do such a good job with it, you can’t really tell unless you have a really good eye, or really good luck (nature blessed me with the latter). Kind of makes you wonder why they don’t just write an original piece from the get go.

All great relationships start off with trust and understanding. No blog owner wants to feel cheated or scammed into accepting a forged guest blog. And while we are on that subject…

7. You pose as someone else

Like any other sane person, I’d like for the person I go on a blind date with to not turn out to be a serial killer. Ditto with guest bloggers. If you are accepting guest blogs and the submission comes in with a really (almost too) photogenic photo, run an image search with the photo. Some of them may be from a stock photo library.

Also be wary of submissions that come in with two first names. Either their parents were really in a rush to pick their names or they themselves were in a rush to pick two english names to go with their fake identities. It happens often but that’s not the worst.

Multiple Personalities

The worst case I’ve ever encountered involved an author with "multiple personalities". I had accepted a submitted post for publication but upon closer inspection, found that the author lifted content straight from the product descriptions.

It’s no big deal, in fact, it happens all the time, so I do what I usually do in these situations and confront the writer, officially rejecting the post.

The author did not take to the rejection well, and demanded that I honor the initial approval and not fall back on "a shameful reason" to pull the post from publication. Right… it is shameful of me to withdraw from publishing his copycat post, but what’s this – he signed the email with another contributor’s name (and of the opposite gender).

The guest author had lost track of who he was impersonating, messing up who was whom and effectively helping me develop my allergy to BS submissions from then on.

Wrap Up

In spite of all this, we continue accepting guest submissions because it is a great source for talented writers who are really here to produce good content. In fact, some of these guest bloggers eventually become regular contributors. Being a little stricter with the filtration of post seems to be a better strategy than totally closing the doors to guest blogging aka killing the golden goose. And so far, it’s still working.


    




hongkiat.com

Aesthetics of Food Blogging. Tips and Best Designs

Are you looking for some good information in regards to tips and tricks on how to make food blog successful? So here’s a round-up of fabulous tips and tricks from fabulous food blogs and elsewhere that will be very helpful to you.
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