Archive for the ‘Blogging’ Category

How Frequently Should I Publish Content on My Blog?

By Matthew On March 18, 2011 81 Comments

image00This is a guest post by Matthew.

Just like many other bloggers out there, I’ve often asked myself the question “how often should I post to keep my readers satisfied?”.

While I haven’t found a definitive answer to it yet, and honestly I don’t believe I ever will – blogging is dynamic, it requires adjustment all the time – I’ve sure learned quite a few important things about posting rhythm in the meanwhile.

No Definitive Rules

There are no clear cut rules regarding posting frequency. While many successful bloggers post every day, some even multiple times, others post less frequently – one or two times per week. It all depends on the type of blog you’re running, on your time, and of course, on your personal style.

The all important point here is to understand yourself and the scope of your blog and to find the posting rhythm that works best for you. Because doing so is not necessarily easy, I’m going to talk about some things you should look at.

Finding Your Pace

Many inexperienced bloggers think that if they fail to post every day they have no aptitude for blogging whatsoever.

This is not true. I’ve been through it myself, and I know really well how demoralizing it can be to fail to meet the posting goals you’ve set yourself. Fortunately, there simply isn’t any posting limit that guarantees your success – it’s all about testing and experimenting.

Consider carefully these factors when deciding how often you make updates:

  • The popularity of your niche. The more activity there is on rival blogs the more posts you have to make.
  • The average length of your posts.
  • Your readership’s expectations.
  • Your aspirations. If you plan to keep your blog personal and be the only one updating it you shouldn’t set a too ambitious posting limit you won’t be able to keep up with.

It’s Better to Start Slow

image01I remember when I started my diet blog of Medifast coupons and Diet to Go discounts, I determined I will post 3 times a week.

By setting an easily achievable posting norm in the beginning you’ll be able to reach your goals and, more importantly, you’ll avoid that which might kill your blogging aspirations altogether: failure to update your content frequently.

Making up your mind to post every day is not going to work if you’re not used to it. Not only will there be moments when you’ll struggle to write your posts, but also, in the instances when you manage to pull it off, the quality of your content will suffer. And quality content is the backbone of every successful blog

So start slow and gradually increase your posting frequency. Three posts per week is usually good to start with.

Be Constant and Pay Attention to Your Readers’ Response

When increasing or decreasing your posting frequency monitor your readers’ response. I’ve noticed that readers are particularly paying attention when there is an abundance of material.

However, if they find that the content they have to digest is becoming more than they can handle, then some will get a bit annoyed. Refrain from abruptly modifying your posting rhythm or you might lose a couple of readers.

Be constant when it comes to adding material to your blog and make sure you let your audience know when you’re making considerable modifications in this regard. They’ll appreciate it.

Determine What Is Affecting Your Posting Rate & Address It

Have you ever scrutinized your posting process to determine where blockages occur? If you haven’t then you definitely should. It will help you tremendously to increase your posting proficiency.

image02If coming up with ideas gives you the most trouble, then try to address this by assigning some time every week for brainstorming, and by getting into the habit of thinking about ideas way before deadlines.

Planning in advance will prevent pressure from building up, which always takes its toll on your efficiency.

On the other hand, if generating ideas is your strong point, but you find difficult finishing the articles you’ve started, then try to change the way you work, shifting the focus from quantity to quality.

Obstructions in the writing process can appear almost anywhere. It’s important to identify them and to come up with solutions.

When You Don’t Have Anything Good to Post Don’t Post

If you’re ever in doubt whether to post or not a modest piece it’s almost always safer not to. From what I’ve seen, the reaction of readers is worse when they read something second rate than when they have to wait a day or two more for new content.

If a post doesn’t provide information, inspiration, or entertainment for your reader, then think twice about submitting it.

Efficiency Improves With Time – Be Patient

With time it becomes easier to keep your blog updated, but you don’t need someone else to tell you this. Think of any activity you’ve been doing for a long time. Don’t you carry it out now much better than you did in the beginning? The same applies to blogging. The more effort you invest into posting and the more time you set aside for it the better you’ll become.

Remember that you must find your own posting rhythm, and don’t be easily discouraged when you’re not as productive as you would like. Just keep at it. Results will come.

This is what I had to say about posting frequency but I’m really curious to learn what you think. How many times do you post weekly? And what advice can you share with bloggers who would like to post more often?

Matt_Thumb_100Since starting his first blog in 2009, Matthew has been sharing his online experience with other fellow bloggers. In his blog, which offers coupon deals for weight management programs, such as a Diet to Go coupon code and a coupon code for Medifast meal replacement plan, Matthew reviews weight loss programs and diet plans.


Gloson’s comment:

 Stop Following the Blogging Crowd. Reform!Wow, awesome post, Matthew.

You’ve listed down some great ideas. Some of your points captured my attention, especially where you said we should determine what’s affecting your posting rate and address it. I really agree with it—If we can break down our problems, we can overcome them with great ease.

I’ve certainly learned a lot from this post. Thank you very much Matthew. :)



12 Best WordPress Plugins for New Bloggers

By Gloson On January 31, 2011 62 Comments

Pretty Awesome 3D Metal WordPress LogoHey guys! This is a guest post from James Adams.

There are over ten thousand plugins that you can add to your new WordPress blog.

There are plugins which will optimize your content, manage your pictures, and connect you to the social networks.

Which ones are the best? Following is a list of ten WordPress plugins that you should place on your site.

image by bobbigmac

1. All in One SEO Pack

Make your posts more search engine friendly by installing the All in One SEO Pack. No problems for beginners, simply install it and it runs. Creates META tags. Custom post types are supported, and it has a built-in API. Advanced users can tweak this plugin to their heart’s content.

2. Google Analyticator

With Google Analyticator you can integrate Google Analytics so that you can track who is referring traffic to your blog.

You can see what users view, what pages they view on your site before they complete a goal, how long they stay on your site, and where they go when they leave.

image by lumaxart

3. Add to Any

This plugin allows others to share your posts and pages with any service. Integrate this service through Google Analytics.

Optimize your selections from over a hundred social networks, including Twitter, Google Buzz, Delicious and Facebook. Maximize the chances of your posts going viral.

4. WP Super Cache

Optimize your blog by serving up static html pages instead of loading the information each time. This reduces the server load. An essential plugin if you are expecting a lot of users to your site.

image by Dunechaser

5. Google XML Sitemaps

Google XML Sitemaps makes it easy for the search engine crawlers to look at your site. It pings Google, Bing, Yahoo and Ask.com with any changes that you have made to your blog. Tweak your plugins, customize your parameters and priorities.

6. Akismet

Akismet is essential to preventing spam comments from your blog.

It will hold those posts for moderation to let you determine whether you have received a visit from the spam bots.

It is activated by using your Akismet API Key. There is a counter which will tell you how much spam Akismet has captured.

image by heggarty_david

7. SEO Automatic Links

Interlink your posts and make your blog rise in the page rankings on Google.

This plugin works automatically to connect phrases, tags, categories and pages within your blog. You can set the links themselves to open in new windows for those who want to stay on your blog.

8. LinkWithin

If you want to help your users find other posts on your blog that are related to the one they’re reading, then this plugin is a great way to show related posts.

There are other plugins that list related posts, but they tend to be most text-based, and easy to miss. However, LinkWithin provides a visual interface that engages users. Install LinkWithin and boost your pageviews instantly.

image by AJC1

9. FeedBurner FeedSmith

By integrating FeedSmith you can automatically make your RSS feed redirect to feedburnerFeedBurner, which means you can get really useful data on how many subscribers you have, who is using your feed, how your feed is being read. FeedSmith is indispensable.

10. Digg Digg

Although the name suggests that this plugin is for Digg only, it isn’t. Digg Digg allows you to add social shared count and voting buttons for super high traffic websites including Digg, Reddit, StumbleUpon, Twitter and Facebook. Using this plugin can help your best content go viral as it makes sharing easier.

11. Ozh’ Admin Drop Down Menu

If you’re serious about your blog then you’ll probably spend a lot of time in the backend administering posts, pages and media. This plugin makes it much faster to navigate, hence making admin less of a chore.

12. WP Security Scan

This plugin is an essential part of defending your blog from hackers. It will scan your blog’s setup and advise how to make it more secure by making your password stronger, ensuring you have the correct file permissions, changing database prefixes, etc. A must have for any WordPress blogger!


Installed plugins should make your blog run smoothly and more efficiently. With Add to Any, you can share posts easily. With the All in One SEO pack, you will make your posts more SEO friendly. Stats allows you to track your visitors without confusion. These plugins are easy to use and will make your blog shine.

This guest post was written by James Adams, a writer who covers developments in technology and analyses new hardware for Cartridge Save.



My Entry for the Awesome BlogEngage Contest

By Gloson On October 31, 2010 30 Comments

Hey guys! How are you?

I’ve been busy recently, especially with the composition and full instrumental of my 1Malaysia Song. (It’s still in progress)

Meanwhile, I’ve also managed to submit my entry for the awesome BlogEngage Best of the Guest Blogger Contest, just before the deadline!

My entry is titled 15 Ways to Get More Comments on Your Blog. I’ll really appreciate it if you could comment on it or tweet it. Thank you so much! :)

Here are the awesome sponsors who made the contest possible!


Also, I will be posting a new blog post on Gloson Blog next week, so stay tuned! :)

Cheers! =)



It’s Not Really What You Say, but How You Say It

By Gloson On September 28, 2010 54 Comments

In blogging, it’s not really what you say, but how you say it.

In blogging, many topics have been written about a lot of times. But if you write that topic from a creative angle, using creative writing, with creative pictures, and creative points, that blog post is bound to go far.

For an example, let’s take a look at commercials.R&L

Most commercials deliver one message: that you really should use their products. But how should they convince you to do that?

By clever, funny, or stunning advertisements, of course. Here are two great examples of commercials on the net:

The Man Your Man Could Smell Like by Old Spice & Stop-motion T-Shirt commercial for McDonalds and Coke by Rhett & Link (pic).

So, in blogging, we must not only focus on what we blog, but how we blog, too.

What do you mean by “how you say it” in blogging?

1. The way you write it

Write:

  • clearly – people love to read writing that is clear and straight to the point.
  • humorously – everybody enjoys humor. In fact, many stuff become popular on the web because they have got the humor.
  • readable-ly – write in short paragraphs; format your posts.
  • thought-provokingly – if you write like that, readers will think and reflect on your writing and opinions after they are done reading it.
  • concisely & precisely – expressing much in few words, brief and to the point.
  • captivatingly – so interest-grabbing that readers can’t stop reading your writing.
  • passionately – Above all, if you want to write superb articles, you must make sure you love your topic.

Write with your personality–who you are. Don’t write like a robot. In other words, that means don’t ever write like wikipedia (No one reads them unless they want specific info, right?). :P

Photo by wenzday01

2. The way you deliver the message

You can also think outside the box, even beyond text. Have you heard of a blog post delivered just via…

Comics! Haha! Comics!

Actually, it has been done by Mark Anderson on his guest post on Problogger, titled Blog Like a Cartoonist – Six Stunning Secrets to Help You Break Through Bloggers Block.

Here’s a little snippet of the comic. Click here to view the whole comic.

comic

Other than comics, perhaps you can write your blog post in other people’s perspective, like your 1-year-old son’s. Or make your blog post a funny video. You know, get creative! :)

3. Formatting

Style up your blog post. Can you imagine if this blog post was written without list-points, without paragraph breaks– just one big block of text? Would you read it then? I bet you would just skim the whole thing and never actually read anything, right?

So, format your posts with

  • bolds, italics, underlines
  • paragraph breaks
  • points in lists
  • heading styles

4. Creative pictures

Pictures make the whole reading experience for your readers much more comfortable and pleasurable.

It decorates and gives colors to it while hinting what it is about. It’s like a special ingredient to put in your blog post to make it more delicious.

I use Compfight, a cool site to search for pictures on flickr quickly and easily. I usually set my search options to “Creative Commons only”, which lets you use the image for free as long as you link to it; like what I’m doing here :-) .

Photo by Unitopia

But wait! It also depends on what you say…

What you say is quite important too! Notice the word “not really” in the title of this blog post – “It’s not really what you say, but how you say it” – it means that what you say matters too!

Here are some circumstances in which what you say matters.

When a topic is trending – If you are one of the first to write it and also do it creatively, many people are going to share and link to your post.

When the topic is what many people are looking for – like… how to lose fat, how to set up a new blog, etc.

Is the topic your passion? – Too many people blog about a topic not because they like it, but because they want to earn money. So, don’t follow the crowd. Follow your passion and you will achieve much better results!

Don’t blog about a completely irrelevant topic – If a blogger, whose blog is about sport, suddenly blogs about Internet marketing, his readers are going to get confused and unsubscribe.

Other than that…

<!–begins rap–>

You can blog about jeans,
you can blog about beans,
you can blog about tasty
Las Vegas cuisines.

And proteins, teens, routines,
sardines, limo machines,
going green, Halloween,
hygiene, even vaccines.

<!–ends rap—>

You can blog about anything… it really depends on how you say it. I’ve even heard of a guy who blogs about jeans!

And if a blogger blogs about how to use a spoon, and does it in an extremely funny way, it’s gonna go viral.

But if he does it during a time in which spoons are popular, that article is going to get more attention.

In conclusion, how you say is much more important than what you say. But if you do both greatly – what and how – you can go further!

Like.. movies –  If there was a new movie with an average plot but with a lot of awesome special effects, breathtaking graphics, amazing-wow soundtrack, and mind-blowing acting, don’t you think it is going to succeed?

Yes, of course. But if it has a better plot, it would succeed better.

Fill in the blanks:
It’s not really what you ____, but how you ____ it.

I also realized this saying applies to a lot of other things in life. It can be changed to numerous other sayings.

  • It’s not really what you advertise, but how you advertise it.
  • It’s not really what you eat, but how you eat itWhen you chew the food slowly, you appreciate it more and experience what the food tastes like. Also, your stomach will have an easier job digesting your food and absorbing the nutrients. :)
  • It’s not really what you sing, but how you sing it
  • It’s not really what you photograph, but how you photograph it – In photography, you need to try different angles, perspectives, exposure, white balance, etc. in order to get the most out of your shot.

>> In conclusion, it’s not really what you blog, but how you blog it, so focus on how you blog! :)

P.S. Don’t forget to do some promotion on your blog after you post it! :)

___

So, what do you think about this post? I’d like to hear your opinion and views in the comment section below! Cheers! =)

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