This is a guest post from Gloson. It is part of The “Bad Ass” SEO Guest Blogging Contest.
Most of us have been trapped in blogger’s block before – very determined to write the next high-quality blog post to benefit your beloved readers! Woohoo!
Searching for ideas
Photo by Stephen Poff
So you sit down and your fingers are ready to type! But after several minutes, you are still stuck on a blank page – you haven’t wrote anything at all. You can’t think of even a single idea! Aww man!
But your problem is now over! Here’s a very effective and little-known method to help you get blog post ideas in no time!
Step 1 – Visit other blogs in your niche
If your blog is about entrepreneurship, visit other blogs about entrepreneurship, business, marketing, blogging, social media, and those kinds of stuffs.
Step 2 – Look for list posts
Some examples of list posts are ‘10 Ways to Become a Successful Blogger’, ‘50 Ways to Become Super Productive’, ‘12 Ways to Maximize Your Influence on Twitter’, and other posts like those.
Photo by Éole
Step 3 – Read the list posts, and get ideas from the points!
Next step is to read the post and get the goodies.
Most blog posts about overcoming blogger’s block mention that reading other blogs helps you get ideas for your next post.
However, they didn’t mention that you should read list posts, which are a much easier and faster way for getting ideas!
Here is how to get blog post ideas from list posts!
Here are the first 2 points from one of my blog posts, 22 Reasons to Blog.
1. Writing skills
One thing blogging has improved a lot in my life is my writing skills.
I have noticed that my writing skills started to improve rapidly during the first few months I started blogging. And soon, I realized that my writing was becoming more professional.
2. Communication skills
When you blog, you get feedbacks. And when it comes to feeding back the feedbacks, you have to communicate. And when you learn to communicate, you improve your communication skills and learn to communicate better.
So, what blog post ideas can we get from these two points?
- How Blogging Improves Your Writing Skills
- How Blogging Makes You a Better Communicator
And then you can write blog posts about those two topics! Isn’t that easy?
So basically you are just expanding the points into a detailed blog post.
Here’s another example, from Mashable – FOLLOW FAIL: The Top 10 Reasons I Will Not Follow You in Return on Twitter. Here are 2 of the fails.
1. You have no user avatar
…or your user avatar is neither a personalized photograph nor reflective of a brand.
More important than whether or not your Twitter profile background is “designed” is how you choose to present yourself in that seemingly insignificant 48×48 pixel square. If that square is empty, impersonal, or otherwise lacking any qualities that will immediately allow me to visually associate it with you, that is an immediate Follow Fail. If I am going to build a Twitter relationship with you, I want to see you, or your brand, and not, however humorous I may find it, a screen capture of a magical leoplurodon.
10. You do not engage your Twitter followers
Probably the most important reason why I will not return your follow, though, is if it is glaringly obvious that you do not engage your Twitter followers. Here I suppose I need to make a distinction between those Twitter users who use Twitter to broadcast their content, as opposed to everyone else; these broadcasters, in my experience, are generally the ones who are followed, not those who are following.
Obviously, engaging their followers is not a priority. Twitter is a major platform in social networking and social media, and they aren’t called “social” networking and “social” media for nothing. There are other people out there, and if you are not engaging or interacting with those users who take the time to follow you for whatever reason, that is a huge follow fail in my book.
So, what ideas can we get?
- How to take a great photo for your profile picture
- 12 Ways to Engage Your Twitter Followers
Let’s take another example, this time in the Personal Development niche. What blog post ideas can we get from 6 Traits that Separate Winners from Whiners?
1) Whiners Focus on the Past, Winners Focus on the Present and Future
Whiners love to dwell on the past. “I wish this never happened!” or, “if you had just done what I said we wouldn’t have this problem,” or everyone’s favorite, “I told you this would happen!” The past is done and over and can not be changed. For some reason this simple concept eludes Whiners.
Winners understand that we live in the here and now. Rather than dwelling on the past, Winners focus on the future they want to create and think of actions they can take in the present to make that future happen.
2) Whiners Cast Blame, Winners Take Responsibility
When something goes wrong, the Whiner’s “blame radar” kicks into full gear and they start a CSI style investigation to find the guilty party. This hurts morale and takes away energy from the most important task: fixing the problem! Winners take responsibility for your actions and simply say, “what can I do to solve this now?”
There is a time and place to identify what went wrong, why it happened, and what can be done to make sure it doesn’t happen again. That time and place is after the crisis is resolved, not before.
By the way, that post is really interesting and inspiring. You should really read it.
So, what blog posts ideas can we obtain?
- How To Let Go of Your Past
- How to Plan Well for the Future
- How to Stop Blaming Others
- How and Why You Should Take Responsibility
There! I hope this article helps you to to eliminate blogger’s block and lack of ideas! Now the only problem is that you have too many ideas and no time to write them all 😛 . Haha
Hmmm… maybe you can write a blog post about that! – How To Find Time to Write Blog Posts!
So, is this method for getting blog ideas working for you? I would love to hear your comments below!
This could be one of your blog readers.
Are you unknowingly annoying your readers? Well, if you are making these 11 mistakes, you might be turning them off. Keep on reading…
Annoyed reader photo by Jonno Witts
1. Writing in gigantic blocks of text
Big text blogs are easy to get lost in. They also strain eyes and make reading difficult.
Because it’s hard to scan. Let alone read.
In fact, a study shows that only 16% of your readers read word-by-word. The rest mostly scan. So at least make it scannable.
I suggest keeping paragraphs 1 to 7 lines long. Then your readers would read your post relaxingly and enjoyably. Ahhhh…
2. Eye-straining text
No matter how good your writing may be, if you write in teeny weeny text, people are going to be annoyed and read with squinty winty eyes.
Or scan abruptly. Or not read at all.
Also, make sure the lines are not squeezed too tightly together, like…
This paragraph is an example of hard-to-read text, hard-to-read text, hard-to-read text. This paragraph is an example of hard-to-read text, which readers can’t stand and move on to the next. So, make reading easy so the poor eye can rest.
5 easy steps to make your text easy to read
1. Go to your theme’s CSS in your admin area. For WP users, go to the theme editor. Then, on the right, there’s a list of files. Make sure you are on style.css.
2. Find #content (the part of the blog post).
3. Add this line to the code. Below are the settings I use for my blog Gloson Blog, but you can customize it.
“15px” = text size.
“25px” = space between lines.
4. Customize the sizes (if you want). It’s important to consider the blog width, the blog post width, the sidebar width, and the design. Then update the code!
5. Clear-cache-reload (Ctrl + F5) your blog and check out your comfortable text. Aaaahhhh…..
If you need any help, just leave a comment and I’ll help out .
P.S. If you have the WP Super Cache plugin, go to another page to see the changes.
Photo by Daniel Y. Go
3. MR. ALLCAPS X. MARKS!!!!!!!!
To most people online, ALL CAPS IS SHOUTING and if used with exclamation marks, it’s EXTREMELY ANNOYING!!!!!! REALLY!!!!
It also looks unprofessional and is hard to read. So don’t write in all caps.
Of course, you can use it occasionally and appropriately if you want to emphasize a word.
Photo by toddheft
4. Where’s the about-me page?
Your readers have read an ammmmmmmmmmmmmazing blog post on your blog!
And now, they are heading to your about me page – They want to know more about the awesome guy who wrote it!
But if they discover that you don’t have an about-me page, they are going to get confused, frustrated and annoyed, especially loyal readers.
So, make sure you have an about me page. It makes the blog more personal!
Don’t forget to put up an image of you too! It really helps the readers to get to know you better and also builds your name and brand on the Internet.
5. Writing like a robot with no personality
Readers don’t like to read writing without personality. It feels as if you’re reading from a robot! Or even a impersonal “professional” commercial site!
Instead, write with your style and personality–who you are. That’s blogging. Readers love to read posts that are written for them and by you.
In other words, don’t ever write like Wikipedia (We don’t read their articles, unless we badly want a certain information, right? Their long paragraphs strainnnn eyes too! Arrgh!).
The cat photo? mis. tuh.-..purr. suhn. al. it. ee
And it’s taken by swanky
6. Reading…reading…reading…GAHH! Music!
Imagine you sitting at your computer then BANG! Music bursts out your speakers! Yikes! *Finds the stop button in panic!* Phew!
Music, especially autoplaying music, is extremely annoying to unsuspecting visitors.
I’ve read from many people that if they visit a blog with autoplaying music, they would leave immediately.
But if your blog really has to include music, just don’t set it to autoplay and you’ll be fine.
Photo by greggoconnell
7. Here an ad, there an ad, everywhere an ad ad
Advertising is really a very good way to monetize your blog!…if it is not overdone.
Too many advertising distract and annoy readers a lot, and they’re going to be turned off very quickly.
So, don’t fill your blog with too many or distracting ads (animated ones). Making money the smart way is much better than the “quick and easy” way.
8. Complicated, sophisticated commenting system
Don’t ever require commentators to login. No reader wants to go through all the effort to create an account for one single comment!
Mind-exploding Captchas are not a very smart way to prevent spam either. It drives away potential commentators more than it prevents spam.
Instead, install Askimet the spam exterminator. Mostly no spam gets past it.
If a blog requires people to login or enter a Captcha to comment, then it’s missing a lot of potential commentators.
Photo by mag3737
9. Really, really bad design
“Don’t judge a book by its cover,” they say, but that’s the problem. Most people judge a blog by its design.
If your blog has a poor design, it will give new visitors a bad impression and it isn’t very nice to look at, anyway.
So, make sure
- typography easy to read
- navigation easy to find
- design doesn’t distract reader from content
- design doesn’t look like a website from the 90’s
- colors look cool .
And lastly, make sure your design never ever ever looks like this:
Ouch… my eyes hurt.
For some inspiration, here are 50 Beautiful and Amazing Blog Designs compiled by Smashing Magazine.
10. Snail loading speed… dot dot dot… *Yawns*
If your page takes 10+ seconds to appear, visitors lose patience and will click away before your page has even appeared.
To improve loading speed,
- reduce the number of posts on homepage
- reduce the number of images
- reduce the size of images
- reduce your coding
In conclusion, to improve loading speed a lot, remember the 3 R’s.
Reduce, Reduce, and Reduce.
To test loading speed, head over to Pingdom Tools. It gives a detailed breakdown on the loading speed of certain elements, so you know which one slows down the loading.
Here is one popular plugin to help boost your loading speed a lot > W3 Total Cache.
Photo by jpockele
11. Turn off comments, turn off readers
The blog community is made out of 2 things:
1. the blogger
So, if you turn off comments, you turn off readers.
Readers like to voice out their opinions on your blog. It’s where they can converse, discuss, and have their say.
So, don’t ever turn off comments! (Unless you have serious spam issues and have put your reason in the comments section.)
Photo by Marc Wathieu
Phew! That’s quite a list!
Don’t forget to share the things on blogs that annoy you in the comments below! If I think the point you shared is really annoying, I’ll include it here!
So, are you guilty of any of these?
Great Tips from Commentators (Thank you guys!)
Great tips! I would add that in addition to having an about me page, you should have some small blurb on your sidebar that describes you and your blog for new visitors so that people know what the overall gist of your site is.
Great post Gloson! But may I add:
Please don’t load your blog with so many ads that you have to scroll a full webpage to see the content
Awesome post man, these are some great pointers for anyone getting a blog started or needing to ‘spruce’ things up a bit.
I can’t tell you how many times I hate going to a blog that has an interesting title that loads sooo slowly.
Another thing that really annoys me is widgit overload! Too many widgits makes for a very busy page. Great Job!
This is a guest post by Gloson. Gloson is a talented 11 year old blogger from Malaysia. He also has written a poetry book, and is officially the youngest published poet in Malaysia. Be sure to follow him on Twitter!
Commenting on blogs is a great way to get yourself (and your blog noticed). If you type in your site address in the comment form, you will get a little link on your name in the comment.
If your comments are noticed, chances are some people might click into your website and you’ll get some traffic.
But now popular blogs receive about 50 – 100 comments on each post. And people usually miss most of them.
Here are 15 ways to get your blog comments stand out from the crowd and catch the attention of people.
1. Write longer comments if the rest are short ones
If most of the comments happen to be short ones, then write long comments to make yourself stand out. Don’t forget to format it though, for no one likes reading long comments.
2. Write shorter comments if the rest are long ones
Do exactly the opposite if the rest are long ones. Of course, don’t write two word comments or that will backfire.
3. Be one of the early birds
But before you do that…
Make sure you are leaving a useful comment, and not two-word comments. So being the 10th commentator with a useful comment is better than being the 1st with a two-word one.
But note that doing this too many times on the same blog can be annoying.
4. Use formatting to dress up your comment
If you are not familiar with HTML,
a = <strong>a</strong>
b = <em>b</em>
c = <u>c</u>
Formatting a comment is as easy as a b c 😉 . People like to read tidy and formatted comments, and that should stand out from the crowd, if there are not many formatted comments.
For example (My comment on 15 Ways Of Getting (Free) Traffic For Your Blog),