Friday, April 29, 2016

In the war of the blogs, why I choose Blogger

As with most things in life you have competition. It is what makes us stronger, smarter, braver and better. It is what pushes us when we don't think we have it in us. Trying to come up with the next best thing, so of course you have multiple platforms in which to publish your blog.

Now you just need to figure out which is going to help your content seem better than the next guys. Make people want to come to your blog and learn what you have to say.




COST
Well of course the first and for most reason I choose blogger....PRICE=FREE! I didn't start my blog to make any money so I didn't want to spend any money either. Yes, there is a free option with Wordpress but most of my internet world is Google centered so why not go Blogger.


EASY SET-UP
Simplicity! It is so easy to figure out how to set up a blog and be publishing in a few hours. You don't need to have any previous computer savy to start a basic blog. There are many templates that you can choose from and with a little bit of knowledge you can edit those templates...or not. I haven't done anything very fancy with mine and I'm OK with that. I don't think it's ugly and hopefully if people thought it was, they would tell me! icanbuildablog.com doesn't recommend Wordpress for beginners.


OWNERSHIP
I hear all the time how it is that Google owns my information and that they could shut me down whenever they want and for no reason. Well, Yes that is true but I have tried not to let it bother me. I try to look at the positive and I guess if some day it happens, it happens. Then that would be my sign that it was time for something new. If this is something that bothers you than by all means go Wordpress and get your own domain.


SCHEDULING 
Yes, I am aware that Wordpress has wonderful plug-ins that help with almost everything you want to do. Blogger also has an option to schedule your blogs to post when you are not able to. It may just be the one time but that's OK. It gets it out into the world for me when I can't. honestlymodern.com talks about how she couldn't wait to switch to Wordpress to be able to use a scheduling plug-in.

Overall, what I learned through my research to figure if I wanted to switch from Blogger to Wordpress is that most people agree that Blogger is a good alternative to Wordpress and that was enough for me. I am committed now and am going to stick with it. I'm no fortune teller so who knows what my future holds. Maybe some day I will feel the need to make the switch (I know how if I need to) but why mess with a good thing.

*Which platform do you use and why?


Wednesday, April 27, 2016

4 basic ways to help your social media following

As someone who is new to the whole social media world, yes I use to have accounts to keep in touch with family members but I didn't really search what everyone in the world was doing...before my blog!

Now I want to know all the fun things other people are sharing, but I want to be genuine and be myself.
  
I see there are apps that can help you get followers and I installed one and it just seemed weird that I would be randomly picking people from a list that the app created for me.

I want to be in charge of my own social following so I have come up with these rules that I follow and SLOWLY it has been working.




DON'T BE A STALKER
It is OK to follow people of similar interests. Studies show that in the 5 people you follow, 1 will follow you back. Now that may not be true but it has kind of seemed the case with my Pinterest.


PUT YOUR BEST STUFF OUT THERE
If you are creating some great content than people will eventually find it and share it and like it. Wallha! Followers. You may not be able to create good content if you are trying to rush it. I know you think they will forget you if you don't post, but they won't.

BE THE EXTROVERT YOU ALWAYS WANTED TO BE
Isn't it so nice when you get a friendly comment on a post you worked really hard on? It makes you feel like "hey, this person gets me!" Well than, that is what you should be doing. Strike up a conversation with someone who has a similar view point and you never know where things could go. You could find your new BFF!

SHARE, SHARE, SHARE
I try to make it a point every day to share at least 5 other posts on all the different social media sites. I just learned how it is you can regram on Instagram (man am I slow) So if you end up sharing stuff from someone you like then they may just like you back.

Very simple little things to do that will help bring in genuine followers instead of ones that someone picked for you.

*What is you favorite way to connect with a new follower?

Monday, April 25, 2016

I guarantee that you will find Blog Inc.useful

I kept seeing posts about blogging books that you should read and since I have kind of felt like I was in a rut I figured what could it hurt really. It never hurts to find out what others think. Why recreate the wheel per-say.



Ch.1 Introduction
Joy Cho, the author, talks about why you should blog and she gives 5 reasons.
*Passion
*Community
*Marketing
*Sharing talents
*Income
Usually your reason will fall into one of these categories. The she goes on to list the types of blogs there are, again she gives 5 examples.
*Personal
*Topical
*Talent
*Behind the scenes news
*Community/Collaboration
She points out, and I agree, you don't always fit into one of these categories. Most blogs and bloggers evolve over time.

Ch.2 Finding your niche
In this chapter she asks some questions that can help you figure out what you want your niche to be. Now I started my blog for one reason that I since don't have anymore, but I decided to keep blogging. So I am still without a niche.
Joy gives ideas on how to come up with a name. That was hard for me and sometimes I think that my name is to long.
Writing style and finding your voice is covered in this chapter. I like to think I'm witty but I don't want to sound fake so I am careful of how I use my voice.
She talks about content and this is one area I struggle with and it runs hand in hand with the knowing your niche. Some times I'm not sure of what content I want to share and then when I do come up with an idea, it has been done almost a dozen times already.
There are some suggestions that Joy shares on how to come up with content.
*using images
*sharing your life
*recurring topics
*creating your own layouts

Ch.3 Powering your blog
Joy talks about platforms, names and design in this chapter. What to post about and the importance of pictures. I agree wholeheartedly with the emphasis on pictures, being an Instagram addict myself. A great picture can draw in a reader. She also recommends creating a space for you to feel inspired.

Ch.4 Blogging etiquette 
In this chapter she talks about how you can create a community if you reach out to other bloggers and how it is important to be supportive of others. I am a very shy person so I do a horrible job at this. I try to make sure to interact a few times a week with other bloggers but I could do more.
Social media is another thing that she says to take advantage of. You should try to get your content out there in whatever way you feel works best for you. RESPOND TO COMMENTS!

Ch.5 Making it a business
Joy talks about some key essentials in this chapter. I am not planning on using this as a business so I skimmed this chapter but you should read it if you are. There are some useful tips.

Ch.6 Monetizing
Again this is not something that I plan on doing. I started my blog as a hobby and plan to keep it that way, but I skimmed this chapter also and there are very good tips that would be helpful to those that have no idea how to go about doing this.

Ch.7 The next stage
This chapter goes over some possibilities that your blog could face in the future. Ideas of updates that you may want to make. I love that she touches on bloggers block. It IS a thing and it sucks, but she gives you some ideass on how to get creative again.
*Change your environment
*Take a class
*Move around
*Interact with others
*Cut back
*Take a break


In this book Joy interviews 18 other bloggers. It is nice to be able to see the thought process of other people and what other niches go through that yours may not.
I highly recommend reading this book. It is great for those thinking about starting a blog or for those that are 6 months in and still feeling lost.
*If you have a book that you recommend for getting ideas, please share.