5 WAYS TO GROW YOUR BLOG AUDIENCE.

You saw the title of 5 Ways to Grow Your Blog Audience and are wondering about seeing an image about a challenge. Keep going, this part is an explanation of that, or you can click HERE and head to the beginning of the main content. I’m this week’s host of Writers Quote Writers Quote Wednesday Writing ChallengeWednesday Writing Challenge over on SilverThreading.com. Colleen and I alternate hosting weeks since we combined her quote challenge and my Wednesday writing challenge into one huge jamboree of a wordfest. Colleen chose “Romance” for the theme last week, and I’ve chosen “Wisdom” for this week. Click HERE to check out what “Wisdom” quote I chose.

What does that matter to you if you are not involved in that wonderful challenge?

First of all, I’m not doing this to get you to go to my quote over on the challenge. If you’ve followed me for a while you know I am not a numbers hound when it comes to blogging. I enjoy blogging and used to be a data analyst in marketing, so numbers and how things work are hobbies of mine. When I feel it’s time to share something useful, I share it. That last part is the former teacher and corporate trainer in me.

However, I had to mention the challenge because I told people there I had some words of wisdom to share about blogging and I wanted the challenge to remain the focus of the day on Colleen’s blog.

Secondly, I hadn’t planned to share any words of wisdom here today at all, but felt there was a need to after thinking about the possibilities Quote Posts, and others similar to them, can bring to a blogger.

I’ll be sharing how to set things up to attract attention with a post and what to do with it once you’ve attracted readers. Okay, so I don’t make money from blogging, but to me the Readers are friends and encourage me to continue writing. How do you think the amnesiac finished a book and has it on Amazon? I was in limbo before I started blogging and found the community here.

5 Ways to Grow Blog Audience

YOU NEED TO GRAB THE ATTENTION OF THE CASUAL READER (CR).

If you’ve been blogging a while and look around for how to bring people to your blog, then you’ve seen tips about catchy Post Titles. Yep, this is the big one for getting people to click on your post to begin with.

  • Don’t lie or bait and switch. In other words, your title should be true about the post. If not, people won’t come back.
  • How do you create that attention grabber title? I’ll give you the three that work the best.
    • Use numbers if doing something like quotes.
    • Use the old ‘How to” if you are going to share a tip or advice.
    • Or use “What do you do …”

Do these work? Here are my top 10 most ‘Liked’ posts.

Anything I mentioned above stand out to you in that list? The question is, did I use those methods on purpose or not? The truth? I did it with only one, and that one I did use the numbering the way they said to. I used 18 instead of using numbers such as 5, 10, 15, 20, and so on. What you see though is, attention grabbers work. However, grabbing them doesn’t mean you keep them coming back.

YOU NEED TO KEEP THE CR’S ATTENTION.

To turn a visitor into a regular reader of your blog:

  • Follow through on what your title promised.
  • Make your post visually and mentally stimulating.
    • Get the readers eyes moving.
    • Mix up your post with Images scattered about and not always centered or all in a column along one side of the post.
    • Don’t have too many font sizes or colors. That gets annoying. If a list, like a list of quotes, perhaps alternate two colors, with odd being one color and even being the other.

YOU NEED TO PLAY THE NAME GAME

Sounds like I’m saying to spread gossip, right? No. What you need to do is make sure when you put an image in your post, you have filled in the Alt Text field for the image. Why? Do you notice that quite often people put images at the very topAlt Text Image in Media Library of a post? Have you ever noticed that I rarely put my images right at the very top?

There’s a reason I don’t. Search Engines crawl through your pages searching for key words a person is looking for. If you have an image taking up room at the top, and nothing in the Alt Text field, two things get messed up: the Search Engines may discover other more SEO friendly site pages and push you down the list during their hunt, and the other thing, nothing to do with Search Engines, is screen readers for the visually impaired don’t read that blank field and it throws them off a bit. Simply pick maybe the best five words to describe what the image is about in context of the post. It doesn’t need to be complicated. It could be something like “Writers Quote Wednesday Writing Challenge Image”. Also be certain to include what the post is about in the first paragraph as well as anywhere appropriate.

LINK TO RELATED CONTENT YOU ALREADY HAVE.

If people visit you looking for one topic, add a link at the end of your post to previous content of a similar nature the reader may find interesting. One thing you can do with the old post is change the name of it to something catchier and more attention grabbing for the reader to click on. The thing is, your content may be great, it’s just your title was bad. (See Blog Tip: Links to Blogs and Articles-How to and WHY to find out to link.)

YOU NEED TO INVITE READERS TO FOLLOW YOUR BLOG.

Make it easy for a visitor to click follow. You can:

  • Put a link to Bloglovin’ in your post and have people follow you that way. It’s not my preferred method but it is one.
  • You can also include your Twitter handle with a link included for people to follow you on Twitter. I do this. (Wonder how to add it? See Blog Tip: Links to Blogs and Articles-How to and WHY)
  • You can also put a script in your post that when people click on it, they follow your blog. I do this.

I imagine you may be wondering what that script is I mentioned. Let’s see if I can put it in here and make it not work.

[ blog_subscription_form ]

Success! What you need to do is take all the bold you see and remove the space between the [ and the b and between the m and the ]. Place that in your post and it will appear as everything between my Book Cover below and my Twitter handle. There is no actual HTML scripting.

Check out 10 Tips to Make Blogging Enjoyable. Traps to Avoid or 18 Quotes to Inspire Writers, Bloggers–Everyone. You choose which your in the mood for today.

Much Respect

Ronovan



Amber Wake: Gabriel Falling on Amazon

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Tips to Increase Followers and Views.

Followers and Views, two different aspects of blogging that go hand in hand but at times do so in ways that you may not think about.

People like that Follower number to grow even if they don’t like to admit it. But not all of that number View your posts. Many did at one point but over time things happen and blogs slip through the cracks. That’s one reason I try to Follow the ones I really, really can’t miss by email. That being said, I don’t WANT to miss anyone’s posts, but I have developed some relationships that have been good for me that I don’t want to let slip away for certain. If you are new here, I have retro grade amnesia and short term memory problems so I have to do certain things to make it easy on me. I just didn’t want anyone to take what I was saying the wrong way.

Here is an article which touches on our subject today.

Blogger Psychology: Views vs. Likes, Which Satisfies you?

We will start with Followers.

A big place for a blog to initially get Followers is through their blog’s platform. I will be referring to the WordPress platform for the purpose of this article as that is the platform I have this blog on.

WordPress has a Reader. This is where the In House Readers or IHR as I call them come from. You can use the Reader to see the blogs of the people you follow or you can select a Tag to see and read anyone that comes up with that Tag attached to their post describing what their post is about, even if you don’t Follow them. I can put in the Tag Haiku and see all of those posts with that Tag. Even if the post/article is about jelly beans they can put Haiku as a Tag and it will show up under Haiku.

Here comes a problem. If you have a very short post, Images or a Haiku poem for example, people can see that in the Reader and simply click Like from there without ever having made it to your blog and registering as a View. For a blogger who often writes Haiku that can really take a chunk out of the potential Views even if I get 50 Likes for a Haiku from the Reader.

If people go to your blog you have a better chance of them Following you and of course you get the Views. For me, well I suppose it’s the Views that show me people are interested in what I do, not just Likes.

Likes are nice but Views make news.

But to be honest when I see certain people Liking my Haiku and the Views are not matching up, I don’t freak out. I know they are reading and I know they didn’t just click Like because they click Like on every person they see. There are people that do that in hopes of having people Follow them or in hopes of keeping Followers.

Increasing Followers and Views go hand in hand. Someone has to Follow something somewhere in order to get to your Blog. It could be a Tweet on Twitter or a link in someone’s blog post. I can’t talk about Views without some reference to Follows. That’s why I went into all of that.

Here’s a checklist of things you might want to keep in mind.

  • Make your posts longer-That sounds opposite coming from someone who wrote an article called Short and Sweet Keeps Them in Their Seats. Well, in this case you want posts to be longer so the WordPress.com Reader cuts them off and thus makes the reader need to click to your blog. I don’t mean way long though. This is not something I actively do, but something I am pointing out to you so you are aware of it. With a Haiku or image you can see everything on the Reader and no one need visit your blog.  But you say you don’t want to do that. So what should you do? Well if you are writing an article make the opening lines count. I don’t normally have short articles but if I want people to click on something that might say 1,275 more words at the end of the cut off point in the Reader, I best make those first words count.
  • Writing counts-Make certain you are putting quality out there. Regardless of what it is, make it the best writing you can do.
  • Subject matter-You will have visitors from your other social networks but you want to go for the IHR. One way IHR find you is according to the Tags you use. We know tagging is important. I’ve discussed it many times. I even have an article Tag So You’re It. But let’s move on from there. What are you writing about? Are you turning off your current Followers and Viewers with a sudden change in interest? I recently became passionate about the plight of a Blogger who is imprisoned in Saudi Arabia. Since that day my Views have dropped big time. Perhaps I offended someone. Well more than some ONE. But as I have said, I will write what I write and whatever happens happens. So that’s a decision for you to make. But I write honestly. I don’t write popularly.
  • Social networking activity-Usually the more involved you are the more likely you will have increased Blog activity.

The key to more Followers and Views?

The secret all Bloggers want to know?

Time

  • Time as in effort you put in regarding the quality of work you do.
  • Time you put in for social networking activity.
  • Time in waiting for the Followers and Views to find you after you have worked on the first two Times. The Three Ts.

But honestly you need to do a little of all three to get the job done. And one of those you MUST do. Quality.

For more articles on Increasing Views and Followers:

Why Isn’t Anyone Reading My Articles?

3 Ways to Increase Views And Make Your Life Easier

Blogging Tips: 3 More Ways to Increase Your View . . . The Easy Way

5 Image Things To Know For SEO

How To Increase Your #SEO Results And Get Your #Blog Noticed

 

 

Ronovan Writes

 

 

 

 

@RonovanWrites

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My Top 10 Most Liked Blog Tip Posts of 2014.

When  I started blogging I never thought I would have anyone reading my work or following my blog. Honestly I just wanted to share what thoughts came to mind as a way to get them out of my head because I needed to. I mean I literally had to get all these things out or go crazy. A concussion will do that to you.

I was a teacher of students of ages 14-over 50 or 60 all in the same classroom. Then I was a trainer and manager in the business world. Teaching is in my blood somehow. If I learn it I share it.  And I like to share it as simply as possible. Well as simple as other people can understand. It isn’t always simple to make it simple for others to get it. But people have liked my Blogging Tips this past year and here they are my . . .

Top 10

ronovan-writes-blogging-tipsOf 2014

#10
How to Increase your #SEO Results and get your #Blog noticed.
Sept 15

#9
Nice try . . . but even though I may be stupid, I do check.
Sept 5

#8
3 Ways to Increase Views and Make Your Life Easier
Aug 21

#7
Keeping Your Sanity in Blog World
Sept 4

#6
3 Things Every Writer or Blogger Should Consider
June 29

#5
5 Image Things to Know for SEO
Dec 3

#3
Add your website/blog site to your Gravatar.com site . . . PLEASE!
Aug 19
#Blog #Tips Tag So You’re It-How to Tag your Blog Right.
Dec 1

#2
Writing and Blogging For Therapy
65 June 3

#1
How to Survive the Blog Life.
Oct 14

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5 Image Things to Know for SEO

In a recent article I discussed How to Tag Your Blog Right. In that article I mentioned that to increase SEO results and thus visitors and views to your blog does not mean extra work. Tagging your blog content is something you do anyway, so why not do it properly? I also discussed the permalink change that is no extra effort. Extra effort to me is if I have to do research and search for all the things to do for an article. I like to just go with the flow of the mind waves.

Today is another ‘No Extra Effort, Should Already Be Doing It’ thing to, again, increase SEO results. I harp on SEO results. I don’t do this to try and turn you into a tech savvy market yourself machine. I do it to give you the lingo and the basics of blogging and website management. You write it, you build it, don’t you want it seen?

I get in a rush sometimes and don’t always do this. To be honest, as I have said before, I am not so much focused on really pushing my blog to be some monster machine. I’m happy the way I am. That being said, I should be doing these things. Reading about these things might make it SEEM like there is more to do, but it’s not. It’s just you are reading about what you already do. That always makes it sound like work.

5 image things to know for s e o

Image Type or File Type

When you look at images on your computer you see those letters at the end after the . that are usually JPG, GIF or PNG. Those really are QUALITY things to look at. If you want QUALITY at any size go with the JPG. PNG and GIF would just depend on what you have. I notice that at times a site called picmonkey will save a creation in PNG form. This is not to say it is better than others, it just means that the format is good for that image. How do I know this for certain the JPG is the best quality? I took a picture and did something I will discuss in the next point.  The JPG quality sometimes surpassed PNG and GIF greatly.

You are probably wondering how if you have a GIF how you can turn it into a JPG. In WINDOWS you simply open the file then click;

  • File
  • SAVE AS
  • And Choose JPEG from the Save as type portion of the pop up box that shows up. At least that’s how it works with mine. Most will work similarly. Play with it if yours is different.
  • Save

Right about now you are thinking that is a lot of work. Do it a couple of times and it takes you maybe 30 seconds. My apologies if that ruins your day.

Others of you are asking yourself “What difference does it make since the picture looks fine to me?”

File Size or Web Page Load Speed

You’ve written a catchy sounding title, it’s been clicked on and then it just sits there attempting to load. If I am a passerby visitor I’m gone already. If I am a friend and follower of yours I will refresh to see if it works and if not, I might come back later. Sure I will eventually read your post if I remember. If I have 10,ooo followers on my Blog and another 20,000 on Twitter and I might have shared that post with them at Lunch Time in the New York City time zone and am now sharing it in the 2 AM New York City time zone instead, that might mean a bit of difference to you.

This is a little extra work for you. But it’s quick work.

The smaller your File Size for an image the faster your load time. But be careful of your quality. Reducing File Size means reducing the number of pixels per inch. As you reduce the number of pixels you are basically taking away detail of the image.

  • DynamicDrive has something called Image Optimizer that is free to use online. You can choose a URL to load or an image from your computer. You can convert to a different type, and then compress.  The really great part? You can then scroll down and look at the original photo and compare to the different reduced file sizes for what you like. Yes, they get bad toward the bottom, but the first couple are pretty good. And depending on your purpose for the image, that -21% image might be nice enough. Then you just save the image you want and move on.
  • I Optimized the same photo in all three file types and the jpg was by far the best quality.
  • What you have below is the original photo in JPG form, then reduced by 21% in JPG form, then by 19% in GIF  and then the PNG is the only one they offered.

collaborationstallcollaborationstall_21collaborationstall_19collaborationstall_4Extra Bonus? Less space on your computer taken up as well if it’s something you are just using for a blog post and not a family photo.

Now you know about quality file types. You know about compressing or resizing your file types. Now onto something else that’s important and we will discuss it in three forms. Why? Because there are three different forms

Naming Your Images

File Name or Image Name

This is the name you give it on your computer and then load it to your site or blog. Think key words and simple English. Don’t jam it full of buzz words. Let’s say you have an image of a sunset. Suggested File Name;

  • pink-sunset-over-ocean.jpg

Basically you describe what is in the image with the most important words first, just in case you use too many characters. In a way you are ‘tagging’ your images. Basic and to the point. If you had a vehicle you would put in the details of the vehicle such as blue-honda-accord-2007-se.jpg or something like that. Your images have to have a name so why not make them useful for you and SEO. I have done a bad job of naming some of my images in the early stages and spend forever looking for that one image I need.

Alt  Text

If you look in the Media portion of your site or blog you will see something called an Alternate or Alt Text box. Fill that out. Don’t leave it blank. When you load the image you will already be on this screen with this field staring at you. What do you do? One simple thing would be to take the file name and just replace the dashes with spaces. I know that sounds simple but that is one suggestion. You can also give it a different name such as;

  • sunset over laguna beach pacific ocean

Now you have two different wordings for the same image for the SEO to see. Just remember to use the important words first.

Title

The great thing here is that for WordPress.com users this is already filled in. Now you can always change it for a third descriptive and short blurb. If you have a site or blog that doesn’t fill in the Title go ahead and put something in there. There is no 100% answer to if it does or does not impact SEO but why not? You can even just copy and paste the ALT Text blurb if you like.

So why the big deal about naming?

There are tools out there for the visually impaired that actually read your images. Also SEO reads your images and if you have an image at the beginning of your article or post and there is nothing to read but gibberish File Name numbers that came from your camera then that search is going to skip right by you. I am not certain how far into your content a search goes but make sure those first couple of of paragraphs, images included, have important words in there.

Much Respect

Ronovan

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My 3 Best Blogging Tips for a Successful Blog

My Best Blogging Tip

I can give anyone is to be honest in everything you put out. If you have something you don’t like or are not feeling, then don’t post it. If that means you go a day without a post, then fine, save your readers the suffering of mediocrity. My apologies to my readers.

I feel responsible to put out a lot of content in order for there to be something for each type of person that visits. I know not everyone likes each and every piece I come up with so I try to have a little bit of variety. This does not mean a piece is bad just because a person does not like it. You can’t make everyone happy with your writing.

The foolish thing about the idea of my massive amount of content output is . . . I have so much content on my blog that people already have plenty to see if they want to see it. But there is a problem with backing off my content output and just letting people check out what I have already. And that’s where my,

Third Best Blogging Tip comes into play and that is . . .

Blog Organization & Navigation: Get it right Sooner than Too Late.

No, you didn’t miss the number two blogging tip. Not everyone is like me for content output. I am a serious writing fiend. This has put me in a bad spot. I need to organize but it will be a very long process and that is time intensive and tediousness I can’t handle. It’s just something I literally cannot do at this point in my life medically.

lego_juggler

How did I get so unorganized?

Whenever we start blogs we want them to look great and put out creative things without a look to the future because we often times don’t think about what happens if we really enjoy it or if others enjoy our work. Great. But one thing you need to think of is organizing. We use Categories on that sidebar thing for that and it works perfectly fine. But then again . . . it doesn’t.

How are your visitors going to find your great work? How do they navigate your site?

You might be saying to yourself,

“Ronovan, I write poetry, or I have photos so people are just going to see that by clicking on my Photography category.”

  • I don’t like every subject matter of photography.
  • I don’t like every subject matter of poetry.
  • You know there are even triggers for some people these days. Triggers are words or sounds or images or anything that causes some reaction from another person and often times in a negative manner.

Triggers have been an issue with me of late. There are blogs I don’t visit now because there are things I know might be there. Even a warning is a trigger. Even the idea of the site itself is a trigger and the person attached to the site has become a trigger. So what to do to help this not happen? This isn’t to say you need to try and avoid every trigger ever because that’s impossible.

The Category way, a MUST

Sure, Categories are a start but then you have to think about things like . . . well let’s take poetry. I have a lot of poetry on my site. All of it is under the Category of Poetry which I now have as a drop down box under ‘My Writings’ page. But there are different types of poetry and different topics.

So what I need to do is slowly move my poetry into more Categories. This is great if you want a long list of Categories on your sidebar.For me the Drop Down Menu looks a touch more professional as long as it is done properly. I still need to work on mine. But if you are satisfied with a list of categories in your sidebar then by all means do it.

There is nothing wrong with having poetry categorized as Love Poetry, or Depression Poetry, or Funny Poetry, or even Sensual Poetry.  You would be using those adjective words in the Tags anyway, so why not use them in the Category name instead? That means one less Tag you use.

The thing to know here is to go ahead and make these Categories as you make your posts. It will come in handy later when and if you want to do drop down boxes/menus.

If I had done the above to start with the next option I will mention would be a breeze.

My Nightmare

Waiting until you have almost 700 articles published is a bit late in the game to be taking another stab at organization but it is a must. I’m going to try but it will be slow going. I advise you to do it now. Do it a little at a time if you need to. But get it done so people can visit and check out more of what you have to offer. Just imagine people don’t even know about my poem ‘Snack Attack‘.

Doing Drop Down Menus.

You might be wondering how to set up the Drop Down Menus under or atop your header photos. Go to your Dashboard, for WordPress users, then to Appearance near the bottom, and then Menus.

For some there might be different locations for Menus, as in where on your blog a menu or menus can appear. I’m just going to briefly or not so briefly do a run through of a basic drop down option.

MenuOnce in the Menus page to edit your menus you have sections called  Pages, Links, Categories, and then to the right Menu Structure. If you have your blog open go ahead and just take a look at it and  you will see it’s pretty simple and nothing all freak out worthy. You can’t mess up in here unless you hit save and even then you have to do something else first before anything you do now would save. And I’m not telling you what that is yet.  So check it out.

Before anything, look at the Menu Structure section.

What happens here is you move Pages, Links and Categories into this box and then move them around to how you want them to appear and function on your blog.

  • If a Title is all the way to the left in the box then it will function as a ‘Heading’, at least that’s what I will call it. Or perhaps a Section Title. I have Haiku Challenges on my blog RonovanWrites, well I don’t want a person to click Haiku Challenges and end up seeing every challenge I have because it then becomes confusing. Instead I want them to see the specific type of challenge, be it the Word Prompt Challenge or the Wordless Haiku Challenge.
  • If you want something to show up as a drop down option then you simply drag it slightly to the right, underneath the ‘Heading’ you want it to appear under. So for me the ‘Heading’ would be Haiku Challenges and the drop down options would be ‘Word Prompt Challenge’ and “Wordless Haiku Challenge’. So Haiku Challenges would be all the way to the left then the actual challenges would be lined up underneath each other just to the right and under the ‘Heading’.
  • You can even make subheading under subheadings by moving something to the right of ‘Word Prompt Challenge’.
  • Don’t do the sub of a sub thing, or I don’t recommend it as the deeper you bury things in your blog structure supposedly the deeper a Search Engine will need to search.

Pages:

Pages is the section that contains actual PAGES you have created in the PAGES part of the Dashboard. I will use all caps for real PAGES from now on so you will know the difference between a real PAGE and what looks likeLego_Blocks a page.

  • Click on the ‘Pages’ box and a list of your PAGES will appear. You can check the box next to what you want and then click Add to Menu. Did you catch that? You can actually, by using the Menus feature, keep a PAGE from appearing in the Menu while you work on it or until it is ready to be used.

Links is a bit different:

For links you have two boxes; URL and Link Text.

This is where I create the ‘Headings’ or ‘Fake Pages’ if you will.

  • Type in the ‘Heading’ in the Link Text field. For me it would have been Haiku Challenges.
  • Next you need a URL link to hold the ‘Heading’ in place so to speak. You see if you clicked on Haiku Challenges you might not find anything there because I just created a name, no content, no post or anything. What you do is simply copy the URL from the front page of your blog. This will make it so no one can click on it but when their cursor hovers over it the drop box shows up.
  • Once you have done this, click Add to Menu and place it where  appropriate on your Menu Structure.

Categories is the last on our list:

These are the Categories you created as you created your posts. And this is why you want to be a little specific about naming standards. In other words these are the Categories that show up on the Category list in the sidebar.

  • Click the View All tab so you can see all of the Categories you use for your posts.
  • You can now add any you want to the Menu Structure area.

Why be specific in naming standards? What if you have a Literary site that does interviews and book reviews and you have genre ‘Headings’ and then ‘Categories’ that are all the same names according to age of reader? You know what you end with for yourself? Confusion and delay. So be specific so you know what you are using at a glance and not out of trial and error.

Here is the part you need to know about making drop downs instead of a bunch of ‘pages’.

Once you’ve done all the Menu Structure you then want to make sure Primary Menu is checked at the bottom and then click Save Menu. You can click Save Menu throughout the process and check and see if things are going as planned by having your site open in another tab or window. Just hit refresh on that other tab or window and check out your progress.

That’s a quick rundown of how the Menus work and how to get organized. I hope it will be helpful and I will work on a more complete Menu article in the future with the images that you have become accustomed to, but to be honest, this article wasn’t going to be this, it just happened.

One last thing for the O/N Blogging tips you need to do and actually it’s the first is to sit down and think about your Category names, your ‘Heading’ titles, and even your real PAGES you want to have. You don’t have to have every single one, just what you need so you get a standard method in place.

Now for the number Two Best Blogging Tip I have

Have fun and ignore the number of views and followers you have. If you worry about those two things then you start forgetting about the Number One Tip, being honest. You start forcing things and people can tell you aren’t having fun or at least you are not putting your heart into it. When that happens, people stop visiting you.

So why are these my Best Three Blogging Tips? If you don’t have quality you don’t have readers and if you have a mess on your hands your new readers won’t see your quality content from before they found you. So make your life easier.
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Much Respect

Ronovan

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How to use fotoflexer for adding text and more to your images.

I had a lovely and sweet lady ask how to put text on an image. Sometimes, even when you are just not at your best you can’t say no to a wonderful woman. So here I am.

You can do it with your various photo editing things. I used to use  ‘Paint’ that comes with windows to do it sometimes but now I use an online site called fotoflexer.com.  I know of this because Colleen of Silver Threading used it on a Haiku Challenge of mine and I went nuts for it. Collen is another sweet and beautiful lady and friend. She shared the site with me and now here we are.

The reason I use it now:

  • They have some cool features you can use to make things look awesome.
  • The text looks sharp and professional.

Why should you add text or other things to your images:

  • You don’t have to but it makes for variety and if you are using Twitter it’s a way to get something said in a visual way that jumps out at people. I get more clicks when I include images than when not.

The step by step looks long below, but if any of you have read my Tips before you know they really aren’t that Long, they are just detailed.

 

First thing to remember is? Take your time this first time out. Give yourself plenty of time to play around with it and have fun with it, because it can be very fun to play with adding things. So if you are in a hurry to get an image done . . . either forget it this time or plan for it another day. Sure you can do this in a matter of a few minutes once you know it, but right now . . . you don’t know it.

 

Once you get to fotoflexer you can sign up for a free account, like I did, or just use it. But either way you need to allow pop up ads. It’s not for the ads themselves but I think it’s for what works on the actual site itself. You can allow pop up ads just for a particular site. Most likely you have ‘Adblock Plus’ or something of that nature. That’s not what I have but it is a popular one. Just click it and click the option that probably says allow for this page.

 

Now we’re good to go. I am not going to bullet point these. Each piece is a step, each paragraph or whatever you want to call it.

 

I simply click on ‘upload photo’ and then ‘upload’. Now you find the image on your computer you want to use and load it.

 

Once loaded you get a lot of ‘tabs’ for features you can use. Play around with them. You can add picture frame borders or little decoration things. It’s lots of fun. But we are looking at just doing text right now.

 

To add text to your photo, click on the tab  that says ‘Decorate’. You will see the big ‘T’ for text here and you can do plain text or glitter text. Both are added the same way, it’s just glitter can be animated so it sparkles.

So click the T of choice. I am using the Glitter one for fun here.

You will get a little ‘Enter Text Here’ box come up as well as a big white box on the photo where the text shows up. Go ahead and type your text. You can resize the actual text box on the picture by clicking and dragging the sides, top and bottom and also dragging the box to the location of your choice. I like to do that early so I see what it looks like as I do it. But it really doesn’t matter when.

fotoflexIn the Text Options box above you can see some options that appear on the right of the screen at this point. I have the glittery one here, and can actually uncheck the ‘Glittery’ if I like. Let’s run through the options quickly.

Background allows you to do the shape of your text box that will appear on your photo. You might want a heart or something, this is where you choose it.

Transparent will get rid of the background of the text box and the words will appear on the photo itself.

Font-Here it’s glittery or not but if you notice the box below as Cretino in it. That’s a font style. Simply click here and choose your font.

You can align your text left, center, or right with the option below the text options

Choose your Font Size-Auto will automatically adjust the text size as you change the height or width of you text box on the photo.

Text Color-Change the Text color

Background Color-Change the background color if not using Transparent.

Then you Apply the changes, Cancel, or Delete.

 

Once you hit apply and you see your results and maybe you don’t like them, if you look to the far left of the screen you will see the ‘undo’ button. Click that and the text disappears and you start over.

 

But you’re happy with the results so what next. At the very top you will see ‘Save’. Click ‘Save’

Once the save is finished you then get the ‘click here to continue button’. Click it.

Now the ‘Save To My Computer’ button comes up. You guessed it, click it.

You can name the file now in the pop up window, just make sure to keep that ‘.gif’ at the  end. I advise you to name it now, like the one below I named something like ‘Ron_Hoodie_Glitter’. I really don’t know how to spell hoodie for sure but there you go. Why do I name my images with the undescore (_) between words? Because that’s the way SEO likes to read them, so why not do it now?

Now you get the ‘Save Complete’ button. Yep, click OK.

Now you’re done.

Ron_Hoodie_Glitter

Things you need to know:

  • You can sign up for a free account for the site or just do the images. I signed up, why not, right?
  • The other thing, you need to allow pop up ads for the page. For some reason it won’t always allow you to load images unless you do this. But it’s only for the one page so no big deal.

Why do I suggest you use fotoflexer and not paint?

  • Paint can make your text look very bad and unprofessional. fotoflexer makes it look clean and crisp.

 

Well, I hope this helps.

 

Much Respect

Ronovan

 

Some fun ones I did:

Ron_Hoodie_Heart

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NEON Effect

Ron_Hoodie_Neon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

followmeonbloglovin

2014 © Copyright-All rights reserved by ronovanwrites.wordpress.com

How to Increase your #SEO Results and get your #Blog noticed.

If you are wanting people to visit your blog or website or to start getting  your name/brand out there, there are things you need to do that are simple and in some cases a one time set up that will help you. They range from blog post content for Search Engine Optimization (SEO) to adjusting your blog settings. Today I’ll share four with you.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Friendly Blog Post Content

Search Engines, such as Google, ‘read’ your blog content, that’s the way I will explain it. What they are ‘reading’ for is what the person is searching for, what they typed in the search bar.  If you have a blog post about ‘How To Roast A seo_googe_yahoo_upward_trend.jpgTurkey’, then your post needs to OPTIMIZE  and include words that people use to search for when wanting to find out ‘How To Roast A Turkey’. The more relevant words you use the better chances of your blog or website post showing up in Search Engines. No, don’t say turkey or roast every other word. Search Engines actually DON’T like that.

I personally Optimize by having my key words a person is searching for in Search Engines in the first paragraph or two. Why? When a reader clicks to my site I want them to know instantly they have found what they are looking for. I might meander a bit later, but I want to catch their attention to have them keep reading.

Of course don’t get crazy with using the words when it just doesn’t make sense to do so. Sometimes you just need to talk to the reader and sound like you.

Difficulty on a scale of 5 being most difficult to use:

4 until you get the hang of it because you may have to adjust your style just a bit.

Why I mention:

Search Engines are my second place referrer to my site after the WordPress Reader. But here is the kicker, for the past 7 days the Reader only beat Search Engines by 11 referrals. And to be honest we want to be found on Search Engines. (It’s now Dec. 31, 2014 and Search Engines are my #1 referral.)

Including Images Inside of Your Post

Many blogs or website content posts are shared on different platforms or sites. Examples would be Facebook, Google+, Tumblr and Bloglovin. When your content is shared that’s a great thing unless for instance it visually looks like a set of blank photographs.blank_gravatar_image.jpg

You have an image or photograph set as a ‘featured image’. Great, it’s needed at times. I set one for every post I do, unless I am helping with another site and their layout does not use it. But here is something you need to know, put the image in your actual post itself as well. When you get shared on other sites those sites don’t always grab the featured image but they do usually bring the content images along with the share. That way when they do show up, say on Bloglovin you will have images to attract people’s eye.

Facebook is a problem as well in what it pulls in. It will grab an image and carry it with the post if you don’t have one. For a time it was my Blogging U badge on my sidebar, now it is my About.Me image. So I make sure to have images that are for the content itself.

BONUS TIP!

While I am at it, I’ll mention an additional tip. When you add media to your blog notice those different boxes that come up with titles like Title, Caption, Alt Text and Description? Fill those out. Why? When Search Engines read your content you want your images to have words of what those images are. Make sure they include things like .jpg or .gif or whatever format the image is.

Difficulty on a scale of 5 being most difficult to use:

3 just because it can be tedious depending on your amount of images. I sometimes reuse images to make life easier.

Why I mention:

This is one of the things that a lot of people skip and miss out on. Some Search Engines don’t ‘read’ the entire content, just the first so much amount. If you have images taking up the beginning of your post content, then what is the Search Engine reading if you have nothing descriptive in there?

Add Your Twitter Handle to Your Sharing Button

Your Twitter Handle is your brand, your advertising, your contact. You don’t have a Twitter account? That’s fine, it’s all up to you. Twitter is my number three referral for visitors to my site right now. Not a huge number, but numbers. But that’s misleading to say. Some people just don’t click the link in that Tweet. They will open it elsewhere, or copy and paste it. I am sure my Twitter referrals are a lot more than the stats show.

You might be asking me through your monitor screen what I mean by ‘Your Sharing Button’. At the bottom of your posttwitter_bird_image.jpg you have those little buttons people can click on to share your post to various other platforms. One site to share to is Twitter. You don’t have to have a Twitter account for people to share to Twitter. It will simply say wordpress instead of YOUR NAME that created the content. It’s up to you.

If you have Twitter just Go To:

  1. Dashboard
  2. Settings
  3. Sharing
  4. Twitter username to include in tweets when people share using the Twitter button.
  5. Type in your Twitter Handle without the @.

Some of you are wondering why that would increase people coming to your site. Brand recognition. If you have a good name and image people will begin to notice. The more your name gets out there and is seen the more people know it. This is not my personal idea this is a marketing idea.  There are times you will see a TV commercial for weeks before you finally actually watch it. Your child will tell you “Dad, um, this is like the millionth time you’ve seen this.” I am not at all quoting my son.

Difficulty on a scale of 5 being most difficult to use:

1 Once you have a Twitter Account

Why I mention:

It’s a, sorry to say it this way, no brainer. You have a Twitter, you have the option, why not do it?

Use Hashtags and/or Twitter Handles in your Post Title

#BloggerBoySayWhat This is something I’ve started doing lately. It’s not something I’ve really noticed being used, the Hashtag thing, yes, the Twitter Handle, no.

chalk_board_hashtags.jpgInclude these in the title of your post so when the post is shared, say on Twitter, you automatically have certain things you want to include to be tweeted. I do this with Authors and Bloggers I interview now. I put their Twitter Handle in the actual title. I don’t use the Hashtags so much but have when it is an important issue of the moment. For example if there were some Spousal Abuse media frenzy going on I might have a title #(FirstnameLastname) is a prime example of . . . Like I said, this one is a rare one, so when I do use it, it not only gets the write Hashtag used but people will do double take when they see the article title.

Difficulty on a scale of 5 being most difficult to use:

2 I only say a 2 because you need to know the Twitter Handle of the person you are wanting to boost/help out/ promote. And you should already have that if you are doing a post about them.

Why I mention:

Twitter is huge and if you are wanting to draw attention then make your blog work for you. People will share your post on Twitter but they might not go through the trouble of using Hashtags. Just don’t be obnoxious with it unless it’s a joke of sorts.

This was a lot longer than I expected it to be and for that I say . . . ouch. Even my fingers are hurting typing that much. As you begin using tips you get from me or from others it becomes second nature to do them and quicker. Turn these into habits/routines and you will think nothing of them. And as long as you have good content you should, I repeat . . . should increase your readership.

For More of My Blogging Tips and articles click here.

For Tips about Twitter click here.

Much Respect

Ronovan

2014 © Copyright-All rights reserved by ronovanwrites.wordpress.com

3 Ways to Increase Views and Make Your Life Easier

3 Ways to Increase Views and Make Your Life Easier

I travel around Blog World a lot, I research and I use trial and error. Experience in marketing doesn’t hurt. I like to share what I find and TRY to make my and your life easier. I thought I would share a few of  them with anyone that just so happens to be foolish enough to click today.

Change Your Article URL also called a Permalink.

I’m sure you all know how to do this, but I need an article for the day so I’m going to explain it anyway. By changing your article URL you give it a better chance to show up in Search Engines.

Step 1-Go to your Dashboard-Posts-And click one of your posts

URL Change WordPress

Step 2-You’ll see just under your Post Title field/box the ‘Permalink:’ section. The grey/gray part is something you cannot change, just the pink/salmon colored field.

Step 3-Now come up with a usually no longer than 5 word identifier for your article with each word separated by a dash/hyphen. It can be longer but the shorter the better. Don’t use words such as ‘the’ or ‘it’. Those are called stop words. Just put in the big words that say what the article is about. It doesn’t even have to be the title of your article, just what it’s about. Example: Your article is called “What Happened Last Night?” but the article is about an episode of a show you like. You want to put the name of the show in the permalink. That’s what people are looking for when the search in a Search Engine.

Step 4-Click ‘OK’ and I usually click ‘Update’ on the right hand side as well.

Now this is what Search Engines will see.

The Example in the image is my ‘What super power would I want? Heart surgeon…sort of.’ article.

‘what-super-power-would-i-want-heart-surgeon’ as a URL is too much I think.

‘super-power-change-hearts’ seems much better to me. I cut out the unnecessary words and got to the point. This is like Flash Fiction for URLs.

This doesn’t mean you are guaranteed to get hits but it will help your chances.

Difficulty with 10 being most difficult? 1

Rescheduling Old Posts

It’s difficult to come up with new material each day. I like to provide two pieces. I know, some of my things are totally random but it keeps me creating. But even I get tired sometimes.

Reschedule your old posts. This sounds a bit odd because you think everyone has seen it so why bother, but your much older stuff from when you were new to the blog world wasn’t seen by everyone and some of it was good, maybe all of it.

Schedule Post Change WordPressI go to edit my post and simply edit the schedule time on the right hand side where it says ‘Published on’ for a different day and date. You can even do this throughout a given day if you like. I’ve done it before. What I have found though is it may not really increase views significantly. It also takes up your time. Rescheduling a  post from a month ago is one thing, and really you can revamp the article, make it fresh with your new blogging experience and give it new life.

WARNING! If you have a post linked in another post you need to check that link after you reschedule because the date in the heading will have changed.

A better thing to do is just copy the post. It’s very simple but no images for instruction this time. Do this: Click Posts-Add New-Scroll Down to Copy a Post under Writing Helper-Type the name of the Post you want to Copy-Click Copy-Now just make sure you put in a Feature Image, Add the Tags which are still there you just have to click add and they all show up. The Post will even be in the same category as before. All the links are the same inside the post as well. Whenever I do this I do make note that it originally appeared on a certain date.

Change the name of a Post that didn’t seem to catch on

Have you ever looked at the title of an article and just didn’t want to click it to go check it out? You may have missed out on a great article. The name just didn’t pop with you, didn’t connect. You’ve probably done a bad job of naming as well, I know I have.

Name Change

A name change, even just one word can make a difference. Just step back and look at the title and think “Would I click on that if I didn’t know what was behind it”.

Naming an article in a way is more difficult than writing the article itself. It’s like writing a Twitter pitch for your novel. You have to hook ‘em. Naming a poem that just came to you is excruciating to me.

I first called myWhat Super Power Would I Want? Heart Surgeon . . . sort ofarticle ‘What super power would I want? Heart surgeon,’ but that just didn’t look right or get the right message over. Then I changed it to ‘What super power would I want? Heart surgeon…sort of.’ That title said what I wanted it to say and makes you wonder ‘what does he mean by ‘sort of’’ and people started to read.

One thing to note here: Your URL will still be from your original article title. You may want to go in and change it if you feel a need to.

Those are three quick tips to help bring more views in.

(This is a post from May. I’ll be bringing a new post with some new tips soon.)

Much Respect

Ronovan

 © Copyright-All rights reserved-RonovanWrites.wordpress.com-2014.

Blog Tip: Tag Blog Articles Right

Blog Tip: Tag Blog Articles Right

by: Ronovan

Tags for Blogs isn’t easy. Or is it? You have a great article but no one comes to pay you a visit. Why not? You didn’t send out the invitations. I am going to make this pretty simple. Using a restaurant as an example to give you Blog Tagging Tips so that your Blog Articles will be friendlier to SEO or Search Engine Optimization. Think Google, Bing, and Yahoo.

 

Welcome to Restaurant RonovanWrites.

Please look at my Menu on the right which I call Categories

Please select a Dish from the Entree List of Poetry, Writing, or any other Entree you would like.

The ingredients can be found at the bottom of each  Poetry,Writing, or whatever dish you like as the Tags.

 

Restaurant RonovanWrites isn’t a big deal to people. It means nothing. I need to have what people want. That means a nice menu they are looking for. An example would be Poetry. Okay so I have the dish but what are the ingredients in the dish? Some people want veggie tacos, some beef, pork, or chicken.

 

How will people know what you have unless you tell them?

 

So your dish is Poetry and now you need to tell the customer what is in the Poetry you are serving. You created the dish. You know what is in it, the feelings and descriptions. Those are your Tags.

 

If I have a poem about my Migraines that are very bad, my Tags might be; Migraines, Pain, Headaches, Suffering, Anger, Darkness, Personal, Depression. I normally also put in Poetry, Writing, and Creative Writing, and I if I am using a personal Photo I add Photography. Blogs is also a good Tag to use.

 

There are those who use just a few Tags, but in truth as long as you don’t go over say 10 or so, I think you’ll be fine.

 

Now when a Search Engine reaches out it will see your Tags and the Category. Your Title is also important. Make sure to only capitalize the important words, the proper words. And also use key words in the first paragraph or so of your article. If you notice during some of my articles I have the images about a paragraph down, at least the first image. This is why. Search Engines don’t read Images but they do read something the various descriptions you put in the images when you load them. More on that subject another time.

 

I want to explain something quickly. I haven’t been overly active in really trying to pull people into my site. I know how things work. I mainly work on creating. A lot of what I create does not lend itself to SEO or Search Engine Optimization results. If you are writing articles like this then you should use everything you can. For my poetry, I’m not going to write the first lines of my poetry so Search Engines will like it more.

 

I hope this helps.

 

Much Respect

Chef Ronovan

© Copyright-All rights reserved-RonovanWrites.wordpress.com-June 30, 2014.