10 TIPS FOR THE CASUAL (or not so casual) BLOGGER

10 TIPS FOR THE CASUAL (or not so casual) BLOGGER

I thought I would do a Blogging Tips post today. This is for both the casual and the blogger who wants to take that next step. Both types can use these tips. Many of these are basic and some are what I’ve picked up along the way. I hope you find something useful.

10 TIPS FOR THE CASUAL (or not so casual) BLOGGER image

I. CREATE CONTENT PEOPLE WANT TO READ

  1. You may have a target audience you would like to reach.
    • Do some looking around to see what other similar blogs as yours are doing and have had success with. Don’t copy them, but take the idea, put your spin on it. With all original content. This should then spark other ideas.
    • When reading or watching whatever type of media is your preference, consider the topics being discussed for posts on your blog.
    • When reading a novel there may be something that gives you an idea for a post. This has happened to me several times with tips on how to write.
    • If you are a writer, then do posts about writing. A poet? Poetry. A carpenter? Carpentry. Baker? Baking.

II. CREATE POSTS THAT ARE LISTS

  1. A numbered list like ‘Ten Ways to Paint Your Nails Without a Nail Polish Brush’ will get you visitors/traffic/hits. I don’t mean traffic just for the day or week you post it, but also off and on for weeks and months to come. I have posts from 6 years ago that still get visits.
  2. Images are a hit or miss now. The pros of blogging and Social Media are saying fewer people want to see your images. If you think about it, it makes sense. I would say most people want a quick and easy-to-read list of information. If they need to scroll down past one image after another, they might leave the page and not visit you again. But if the images are relevant, include them. The list might be ‘The Greatest Album Covers of the 80s’, which would need images.

III. HOW TO POSTS

  1. You can do a post on a popular topic you know about that. Or you can create one about something on-trend right now. But if you see it’s popular, you’re too late, but give it a shot, anyway. Do a post on something you like. It won’t hurt your blog. And if it’s a real dud, that’s what delete is for. Go to a site like Google Trends to see what’s happening now if that’s what you’re looking for.
  2. If you choose something outside of your comfort zone, make certain you have your facts right. But I suggest you stick to what you know and what your blog is about unless it’s about random topics. Then I suppose you can go for it.

IV. CREATE A PROFESSIONAL AND QUALITY POST

  1. After I determine what kind of post I want to do, I spend time with it. For a haiku, a poem of three lines of seventeen syllables, I could spend three minutes, three hours, or longer. I want it to be just as I want it. Sometimes I’ll ignore this rule, rarely, but I do so to keep myself writing. And posting forces me to write. If I’m writing a post about thirteen types of ghosts in cultures around the world, that’ll take a while, because I don’t like to copy another person’s post. I may use part of it for inspiration, and then go off and hunt down more information that I want to use that differs, so mine is unique, or as unique as one can get on the internet.
  2. If I write my poetry, it can be weird, but for poetry that’s okay. It’s a creative art form to let the crazy out sometimes. It’s the healthiest way you can do so.
  3. But when I put out a post like this or a How-To post, I want to make sure it looks and reads as what I call casual-professional. The tone may be casual, but when you look at the structure, the grammar, and the spelling, I want it professional.
  4. If you have Word, go into the settings of the Editor or what most of us call the Spellcheck and customize what you want it to check for.
    •  Or you can use Grammarly.com which is free and has options to check your Word documents and even your post in your WordPress.com Posts editor.
    • There are others, such as ProWritingAid.com/Free, which is like Grammarly. I like the reports you can check out. I may do a post on the sites I’ve found. Both services limit what you can do with the free versions, but they’ve been working for me just fine.
    • I’ve noticed my writing has improved. I recognize the problems as I’m typing, not only punctuation but diction, grammar, and sentence structure, just to name a few. Do I always use the suggestions of a site? No, because sometimes it’s in the dialogue of a book I’m writing. Dialogue does not always stick to the rules. If it did, it would make for a somewhat boring and mechanical tone, but sometimes I might want that.

V. CREATE AN ATTENTION GETTING TITLE

  1. Clickbait? Yes, but in a positive way.
    •  Use the keyword that people are looking for, then build your title around that. Keep it as compact as you can, meaning use as few words as you can, but still let the people know what the post is about, maybe even why to choose your post over someone else’s.
    • Making it unique is including that one descriptive word that you feel stands out about your post.
  2. Don’t do the bait and switch and have barely a mention of what’s in the title. This is self-explanatory.
  3. Don’t have a post that has nothing at all to do with the title.
  4. Have you ever clicked on a great title and ended up reading about two or three paragraphs and been like, ‘This is a lying sack of burning garbage from the backside of a dog?’ Me too. Don’t do that. You’ll lose your regular and faithful visitors that way, not just those first-time visitors.

VI. CHOOSE A FORM OF ENGAGEMENT WITH OTHERS

  1. Reply to comments on your posts but keep it positive. Don’t argue. You can disagree but keep it professional. I’ve had to do this.
  2. Visit other blogs.
    • Engage with the blogger in the comments of a post you like.
    • Engage with other bloggers that make a great comment.
    • While on another blog, never argue or be negative. Always be positive.
    • Only like, comment, or engage in any way, if you truly like the blog and the blogger. And that brings me to the next point.

VII. NEVER FAKE IT

  1. It’s so easy to spot the fakes. You can tell by the words and tone. I can’t explain it, but you’ll figure it out.
  2. Whenever you comment, type what you mean with the words that come to mind. Look at them after you type, and you can always change a word here or there that will make you seem smarter than your thoughts might say on their own. Or that conveys your comment in more precise wording.

VIII. DON’T SWEAT IT

  1. At one time I was doing just about everything to drive the traffic up higher and higher on my blog, but it became too much.
  2. Unless you have an unbelievable amount of energy and organizational skills and commitment, you’ll burn out.
  3. Blog burnout is one of the worst feelings. You want to create posts. You have ideas. But you just can’t write put them in post form.
  4. If you keep writing and you’re doing the other things, then people will visit, it may be slower than on some other blogs, but do what you do and just let whatever happen… happen. Unless you’re looking to be more than a casual blogger.

IX. SOCIAL MEDIA

  1. This will surprise you to hear, and there will be some who might comment and completely disagree with me, but Social Media, at least Twitter, isn’t quite what it once was. I”m not saying to ignore tweeting your post. I’m just saying you need to cultivate relationships and make friends. Somehow create a connection where a reader wants to come back for more. I, fortunately, made friends before I all but abandoned my blog for a long time. Those friends kept the blog alive until I was able to return not to long ago.
  2. If you can find a good group on Twitter to be a part of that will help a lot to make Social Media work for you. Or you can grow a group of TRUE SM FOLLOWERS and by ‘TRUE SM FOLLOWERS’, I mean don’t do the follow-for-follow or the follow back trains. I did that recently as an experiment. Then I stopped.
    • Each week I’ve seen double digits in the number of unfollows. I still have new people following me without me being required to do anything in return, but often the unfollows are higher, but it’s evening out as of the original writing of this post.
    • To find out how many are following or unfollowing, you might try one of the SM hub sites, like TweepsMap.com. It tries to get you to install a browser extension, but I haven’t. I get an email report on how many new followers and unfollowers I had for the week.
    • I knew what the results of the experiment would be, but I wanted to speak about it from experience, which is what I mostly do when I do Blogging Tips or How To posts. Before the experiment, I was gaining followers at a steady pace each week, just not massive increases. But they were TRUE increases and in my area of interests, the literary types mostly, but not always.
  3. Try all the various Social Media possibilities, then monitor your stats each week. If you look at the Referrers section, you can see where most of the clicks are coming from. It’s not bulletproof, but it’s good enough for me.
  4. I would suggest doing some posts through Instagram and note to check your profile for the link you want them to click on. Have a good image, maybe even a very short few seconds telling people to click the link in your profile/bio.
  5. I’ll give you an example. For my basic broadcast to other outlets than my blog, including Social Media, on Monday of the week of this post, my usual biggest day, I received one visitor who clicked on a social media link, and that was a Facebook link. Other bloggers will vary based on how much time and effort they’ve put into whichever SM they are getting those referrers from.
  6. But keep trying until you find your people. I know I’m not a big magnate for Social Media responses. I haven’t ventured into Reddit much, but I’ll try that out to include in a future tips post.
  7. I’ll finish this section off with something I just checked, from back when I was heavily involved in blogging. Back then I was working the blog about eighteen hours a day. And I was doing number I, II, V from above a lot. Outside of my challenges, my next three biggest posts that year were
    1. 10 Tips list
    2. A very Attention-Getting and Timely Titled post
    3. A How-To post.
    4. My referrers that year ranked as #1 Search Engines (11 of them), #2 WordPress.com Reader, #3 Twitter, and #4 Yahoo mail. The Search Engines and WP Reader accounted for 85% of the referrers that year. Twitter was 10% a lot of this percentage came from blog shares that were extremely popular at the time. Every Sunday had this one that would trend in the top 10 on Twitter, and Monday there was another one. But as you can see, Twitter is a different animal than it once was.

X. TAKE IT EASY

  1. If you are like I am now, you want to create excellent posts that you think people will like, post them, and don’t worry about what happens next. Don’t worry about negative comments on your post. You can even deactivate the comments entirely, but that causes some limitations at the time in engagements with the good people. ‘Negative comments’ is my polite way of saying savage beasts who create a diatribe of spittle covered screens. Your friends might give a constructive suggestion, like with your poetry. One did so for one of my recent poems, but they did it in the right way.
  2. If you create a weekly challenge, make certain to visit the participants’ entries. If you like it, then click like, if you don’t then don’t.
  3. Honesty. If nothing else, post and be honest. Don’t lie just to keep them coming back to your challenge.

 

Check out these other posts for more tips:

5 Ways to Grow Your Blog Audience. This one has some of the same information but a lot of different as well.

How to Survive the Blog Life. This is a good one for new bloggers, as well as veterans who are starting to feel weary. 10 things I’ve realized over time that can make you lose heart or lose your mind while blogging.

1 Key to Help People Find Your Blog.  Most of us know what Gravatar is but not everyone is using it to their greatest advantage.

 © 2020 Ronovan Hester Copyright reserved. The author asserts his moral and legal rights over this work.

How To: Do Page Jumps-Return to Top of Page. Updated to make it Simpler.


I’ve been doing something called Page Jumps on my articles lately and I’ve had requests how to do them. So here I am. Page Jumps are when you do things like click on something that says Return to Top and it takes you to the top of the article.

Here are the Codes to use to have your Readers Return to the Top of page by clicking on those words. Make certain to do this in your Text Tab of your Post Editor.
AND where you see quotation marks that look backwards? They should face the words. They appear backwards here due to the color fonts. I know it sounds crazy but apparently the quotation marks are prioritizing the font stuff over the text stuff. Go figure.

Anchor Code-It goes at the very top of your article.
<a id=”Top“></a>
Go To/Return to Top Code-It goes where you want the Reader to be able to click.
<a href=”#Top“>Return to Top</a>

Don’t worry about the colors. That’s just something I have from later in the post where the red is what you leave alone, and the blue is what you can change. The Reader won’t see the colors. Just the words Return to Top in that second code.

That’s the simple way without any explanation of how things work. You can do it and things are fine. If you want to understand more, keep reading. You can bail out of here any time you like.


 

If you’re still with me, I’ve been using a lot of references and instead of having all the links and colors filling up the body of the article/post, I decided to go with a little more professional look.

I am going to break this up into different posts for different Titled jumps, even though they are all basically the same.

Today will be

How To: Include a Return to Top of Page “Page Jump”.

I’ll be honest with you. If you can do this, You can do any of the other Page Jumps I will discuss later in the series. But I’m not going to clutter up things with too many things at once.

You need two pieces of HTML Script/Code to do the Return to Top Page Jump. I gave them at the top but don’t worry they appear several times in the article. You saw how simple they are.

Bur first there are things to remember about HTML:

  • Always use HTML in the Text Tab of your Post Editor. It will not work in the Visual Tab.
  • When going through this article, all Red Bold Text is what is to be left alone. Blue Plain Text within the HTML Code is what you can change to meet what your need.
  • Save often if doing a lot of HTML Code.
  • Always open an HTML Code intensive post in the Text Tab. 

The following is how the Codes appear in a generic form, before you do what you want to them. I will also call the codes by these two Titles throughout this series but without the word Generic.


Generic Anchor code:

<a id=”unique-identifier“>words for reader to see</a>

Generic Go To code:

<a href=”#unique-identifier“>words for reader to see and click</a>


For Return to Top of Page, the Codes will end up like this.

Anchor code:

<a id=”Top“></a>

Go To code:

<a href=”#Top“>Return to Top</a>


Let’s talk Anchor Code a moment. You can now copy and paste the Anchor Code to the top of your post before everything else, even with the colors. Remember  no one will see the colors or anything else. The only way anyone can see the Anchor Code is if you put in something between the ><. And even then they don’t see the actual code itself.

Place the Go To code anywhere you need to in your post. For the Go To code, the only thing people will see is Return to Top. Why? because those words appear between the >< in the Go To code.

You can now do the Return to Top jump in your post.


If you keep reading, I explain about how the two scripts work and what makes parts of them important. If you are simply going to use them as is and you think any further explanation might confuse you then stop now. Just make sure to scroll down to connect with me at various places like Twitter and Facebook.

But if you stay, those two pieces of code will appear again at the end, so you won’t have to scroll back up to get them or worry about copying and pasting right now.


You are still with me. Here is the Generic Anchor (GA) code and the new Top Anchor (TA) code, see how the Anchor code changed?

GA <a id=”unique-identifier“>words for reader to see</a>

TA <a id=”Top“></a>

The unique-identifier was changed to Top. That’s the word I am using to let the Go To code know where to go to. 

The words for reader to see was deleted. I personally don’t want anyone to see something at the top of my article that isn’t part of my article. You can have the word Top in there if you want people to know that’s where the Top is they are going to. The code would look like this

<a id=”Top“>Top</a>

In the Article the Reader would see the word Top in the article.

If I made the code look like this <a id=”Top“>Banana</a> the Reader would see the word Banana in the article.

But to make this work, the important part is that unique-identifier, what is now showing as Top. Now we need the Go To code and something for the Reader to Click so they can Go To the Top.

You have  the Anchor <a id=”Top“></a>
Now here is the Go To <a href=”#Top“>Return to Top</a>

Notice how the word Top appears after the = sign in both of the codes? The words are identical to each other. That is important. The script is case sensitive. Leave that # in the Go To code.

With those two scripts above you can now have some fun. You can put that Anchor at the top of your page, or anywhere in the page for that matter, and then paste that Go To script anywhere you like and as many times as you like.

That’s it for today.

If you want more detail today, and I mean MORE detail, click here. Otherwise I’ll have another article soon with more Page Jump tips. In the meantime,

Let’s connect. and then if you have a How To suggestion click here for the Contact Form.

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You decided you wanted a little more. Okay. Well, it’s a lot more now that I’ve typed it up.

Anchor Code: <a id=”unique-identifier“>words for reader to see</a>

Go To Code: <a href=”#unique-identifier“>words for reader to see and click</a>

You can do all the Page Jumps you want with these two pieces of code. I’ll have posts coming up that breaks them out more but if you want to play a little here’s all you need to do.

See that unique-identifier?

As long as you have that Identical in both codes, you can put them anywhere in your post. You want someone to have the option of skipping down to here, like I did earlier? This is all you do.

Anchor Code: <a id=”here“></a>

Go To Code: <a href=”#here“>here</a>

The id is what is known as a Header. So the id/Header for the page jump to this section equals “here“. So my header is the word here. That lets the Go To Code know what Header word to Reference when looking for where to Go To. See what I did with the red bold letters? href, and what does the Go To Code include? href.


Review for a moment and catch your breath. All of that we just talked about means, the words unique-identifier must be identical in both codes to talk to each other. If they don’t, they won’t work. That’s all we said.


Now to walk through what each part of the Anchor code means. Like I said earlier, I’m not using techie words here. At least not intentionally. If you think is too much, bail now before I confuse you.

<a id=”here“></a>

Each character in the code means something. I may not give you the technical jargon, but I will give you the gist of it all.

  • <a (Tells the blog this HTML script is going to create a link up with another script on the page or another page. That’s what <a means, a link. Just like <p means paragraph.)
  • id=”here(This is identifying your Header. Your unique place for the Go To Code to unite with. The word you type where it says here is what the Go To Script is going to look for. It’s case sensitive and needs to be exact in both HTML Codes.)
  • >< (Anything between these two will appear to the Reader of the article/post.)
  • /a> (This closes the script. If you don’t have the / in there,  there might be additional words affected. I found that out with another type of script.)

Let’s walk through what each part of the Go To code means. Or at least what it means to us.

<a href=”#here“>here</a>

  • <a (Tells the blog this HTML script is going to create a link up with another script on the page or another page. That’s what <a means, a link. Just like <p means paragraph.)
  • href=“#here (This is telling the blog the HTML script is looking for a Header Reference that is equal to a specific word. When you created the Anchor with the Anchor Code you created a Header. Now when a Reader clicks the Go To words your URL will change slightly. For example, when you clicked the word here in order to come down to this part of the page the URL now ends with #here. Notice in the following how it appears when References is used as the Anchor. https://ronovanwrites.wordpress.com/2015/04/11/japan-manga-comics/#Tezuka6-8)
  • Now this is the cool part. You can put that link, that URL since it has that Header in it, with that #, in your Go To code where it says here, and now Jump To that spot in that page. Because that URL is an Anchor on that other page.) But what would that Go To code look like? <a href=”#https://ronovanwrites.wordpress.com/2015/04/11/japan-manga-comics/#Tezuka6-8“>here</a>
  • >< (Anything between these two will appear to the Reader of the article/post. This could say here, or Return to Top, or Banana. As long as there is one something in there for the Reader to click, they can Page Jump.)
  • /a> (This closes the script. If you don’t have the / in there, then there might be additional words affected. I found that out with another type of script.)

Now you can see with just these two codes you can do a lot.

Anchor Code: <a id=”unique-identifier“></a>

Go To Code: <a href=”#unique-identifier“>word for readers to see and click</a>

Return to Top


© Copyright-All rights reserved by ronovanwrites.wordpress.com 2015

 

 

How to Add your Facebook Page to Your Blog with a Widget.

All links open in this window. I had two requests about Facebook and the Sidebar. How to Add your Page to the Sidebar, such as a store or author page. How To Add your Personal Status Page. Click to got to Personal Status Page How To The Sidebar of your blog is like advertising for yourself. Many of us have a facebook page to go along with our blogs. In some cases the facebook page came first. If you’ve been around here before then you know it’s time to start the show.

Facebook Store/Author Page

We’re headed to the Dashboard of our blog. I use WordPress, that means what I describe is what I see.

  • Got to Dashboard.
  • Go to Appearance near the bottom on the left.
  • Hover over Appearance or click it.
  • A menu appears and you click Widgets.
  • Scroll down the page that comes up with all the Widgets on it until you see Facebook Like Box.
  • Click Facebook Like Box.
  • Choose the Widget Area you want to the Box to show in.
  • Click Add Widget.
  • In the Title field, type what you want the Widget to be labeled on your Sidebar.
  • Take the URL from the facebook page and paste it into the Facebook Page URL field.
  • If you want to show the posts from that page check Show Stream.
  • Click Save.
  • You are done.


 

Facebook Personal Account Status Page

This one pretty simple for now as far as getting your RSS Feed URL. I’m still working on a more complicated way for some reasons. But for now this is what I have. return to top

    • Go to http://fbrss.com
    • Log in with facebook.
    • And you now have your RSS Feed links.
    • You can choose Your RSS Status feed or Your Own Posts Only. Pick one.
    • Now we’re off to the Dashboard of the blog.
    • Go to Appearance.
    • Click Widgets.
    • Scroll down to RSS.
    • Select the Widget Area.
    • Click Add Widget.
    • Paste your RSS Feed URL into the box labeled for it.
    • Give it a name.
    • Click Save.
    • You’re Done.

return to top For other How To with Widgets click How to add Widgets to your blog. That’s it for this Widget How To. As always, GO TO THE ABOUT PAGE to fill out the form if you have any requests for more How To posts, please. I enjoy doing them. @RonovanWrites

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How to add Widgets to your blog.

All links open in this window.

Recently I published a How To article and in closing I mentioned if anyone had a How To they would like to see to let me know through the Comment Form on the About page. I got a request.

Widgets in the Sidebar, how?

Depending on the Widget this can be very simple, or a little less simple, but overall not that difficult.

I will show how to add four types of Widgets. If you don’t know how to get to where you select the kind of Widget you like in your Dashboard, make certain to keep reading before jumping to a certain section. The below links take you to sections of this article.

Let’s get started.

  • As always we’re headed to the Dashboard of your Blog first. I of course use WordPress.
  • In the Dashboard, when you look down the list of options you have you will see Appearance near the bottom.
  • Hover your cursor over this and then choose Widgets from the menu that shows. You can actually click Appearance and the list of options will show below the word Appearance but I like to hover.
  • You have a lot of Widgets you may use but be careful you don’t overcrowd your screen. Make certain what you choose has a real purpose for being there.

Different Widgets obviously have different purposes and it takes different steps for each kind. Some require you add a link from another website. Some require you add an image link from the Media portion of your blog Dashboard. But for each the next things are the same.

  • Click the Widget you want to add.
  • Select the Widget Area you want to add it to.
  • Click Add Widget.
  • And eventually Click Save.

Something useful to know: You can then drag your Widget up and down the list of Widgets to place it in  the order you would like. Perhaps you want more eyes on your Facebook Like Box than some other Widget. Just drag it to a more prominent position.

That’s the basic how to add a Widget process. As I said, some Widgets will require a little more work. Some of those are how you want them to appear or how many in a list you want to show. Those are simple.

Twitter Timeline

One not so simple one but very popular Widget is the Twitter Timeline. For the (TT) click here to go to the article I wrote in July titled Adding the Twitter Timeline to your Sidebar. This article includes images of the process.Return to top of page.

Image Widget

The Image Widget is also popular to use. You will need an Image URL to place in the Widget information. The Image URL is the URL attached to an Image you have in your Media Library. Click to your Media section on the Dashboard and find the image you like and then copy and paste the link into the appropriate box. If you want people to click the image to go somewhere else, you need that URL address as well. As for the Width and Height? For my own blog I have found 210×210 pixels is as wide as I go without losing part of the image. You will change the numbers in the Widget area itself.Return to top of page.

Top Posts and Pages

Top Posts and Pages is probably one of the most popular Widgets to use that I have seen in my wandering about. For this one you need to chose between a Text List-a list of article names, an Image list-List of names with Image, or Image Grid-A side by side two column grid of images from your most popular posts and pages, at least that’s what it does on mine. You need to have an image inside of the post for it to grab or it will grab what it wants. I place one near the top of a post just in case. I can always come back and create an image if something happens. No specifics for size. The Grid makes it fit. You will also need to chose based on Likes or Views.Return to top of page.

Adding Video

Some people like to have a video in their Sidebar. For a time I had a Video Welcome to Ronovan Writes. I looked terrible and sounded bad. I removed it. But if you want to add a video you use the Text Widget:

    • Go to Youtube.
    • Select the video you want.
    • Choose Embed.
    • Copy the Code that comes up in the box. It will look something like this:
    • Paste that into the Large empty box under your new Text Widget. Now the numbers showing about, 210? I did that. Why? Because what you will see in Youtube is different. But you want it to show nicely for you in your sidebar, just change those numbers.
    • Give it the Title you want.
    • Click Save.
    • Done. Unless you want  to drag it to a new position among the current Widgets.

Return to top of page.

Adding Widgets is a lot easier than people think. For one thing, remember this; You aren’t going to break anything. Something doesn’t work right, delete it and try again. I may add another article about this in the future.

For facebook Widgets click How to Add your Facebook Page to Your Blog.

My apologies to the lady that asked for this. I was working on it when I went to the Emergency Room.

Remember, if you have a How To you would like to see, go to my About page and fill out the form. I’ll get to work on it as soon as I can. It’s the teacher in me. I enjoy it.
Return to top of page.

Much Respect

@RonovanWrites

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