Blogging from A-Z – A-Z of Blogging – R

R2020

Today we have the letter R which stands for Reblog and Reviews in my A-Z of Blogging for the Blogging from A-Z April Challenge.

Reblog.  A reblog is a share of either one of your posts by another blogger or you sharing another bloggers post.  If you are going to re-share another bloggers post then explain in the reblog the reason you are sharing it.  I don’t tend to reblog a lot of other peoples content unless it is something I have really enjoyed and I tend to point my readers toward the blog post that I’d like them to read by adding a link to their post or blog.  Should someone request that the reblog is removed, which the original writer may ask you to do, it doesn’t matter about their reasoning, it is common courtesy to remove the post as soon as you are asked to do so, and the same should be expected if you have work reblogged that you do not wish to be shared by another blogger.

Reviews.  Reviews are brilliant for other people to find out just what a product or service is like from a real person and many people will turn to reviews before making a product purchase so you can gain a lot of traffic from these sorts of posts.  There are several different kinds of reviews, from paid reviews, sponsored reviews, unpaid (personal) reviews and many others in between.  Whatever kind of review you are writing will need to be disclosed at the beginning (or end) of the post.  I like to disclose my kind of review both at the beginning and end so the audience knows.  Failure to disclose this information especially when you have received money or goods in exchange could lead to a fine or your blog being shut down as it is now law as part of the Advertising Standards Agency Influencer Guide.

What do you think of reblogs and reviews?  I’d love to hear your views in the comments!

Blogging from A-Z – A-Z of Blogging – Q

Q2020

In today’s post for the Blogging from A-Z April Challenge, we have the letter Q.  Q in my A-Z of Blogging stands for Question and Answer Posts.

Question and Answer Posts.  I love question and answer posts and think they can add something more for the reader in terms of getting to know you, the writer.  There are lots of different questions prompts on the internet, conducting a search for “Get to know me questions” will give you lots of different questions which you can make into a fun post that readers will love!  Other ways of generating questions to answer are to ask your audience by either using your blog post to ask if the readers have any questions or via your social media channels (a good way to engage with your audience outside of your blog and gain traffic from other sources).  If you are stuck for ideas you can also do a search on your blogging platform for other bloggers who have done similar posts and use their questions to generate some of your own, or you could think about the kinds of things you would like to know about other bloggers, questions like “How many pets do you have?”, “where do you blog?”, “where do you get your inspiration from?” are always really good questions to start with.  If you want to do a question and answer post have fun with it!

Have you done any question and answer posts?  What do you think of them?  I’d love to hear your thoughts so let me know in the comments!

Blogging from A-Z – A-Z of Blogging – P

P2020

P stands for Posts in my A-Z of Blogging for the April A-Z Blog Challenge.

Posts.  Posts are the individual entries that appear on your blog (like this one!).  There are lots of guides and differing rules about writing posts online, many are really contradictory though so don’t feel that you have to stick to any rules that you read.  I have read that a post should be a minimum of 250 words and not exceed 3000 but in reality, length doesn’t matter all that much.  The main things that you should follow are that your post is well written in a clear and concise way, the post contains paragraphs, correct grammar and makes sense.  If you are using affiliate links or it is a paid or sponsored post then it is the done thing to let your readers know, and if the post has lots of images I like to warn my readers that the post is image-heavy in case it takes a while to load for them.  If the post is on the heavy side with text then consider adding sub-headings or images to break up the text, or if you can – bullet points work really well, anything that will make reading the text easier for the audience goes down really well.

Do you have any thoughts about posts at all?  I’d love to hear about them so let me know in the comments!

Blogging from A-Z – A-Z of Blogging – O

O2020

Today’s Blogging from A-Z Challenge brings us the letter O and in my A-Z of Blogging O is for Outsourcing.

Outsourcing.  There are many reasons you may be considering outsourcing from having a lack of time to not knowing fully how to implement something and any other reason in between which is where you look for another person to delegate certain tasks to.  In the blogging world, there are lots of different things you could outsource, from writing certain blog posts, photography and images, managing social media feed to email subscription lists.  Outsourcing is not a good idea for all bloggers though and unless you are already making money from your blog it can be pretty costly to do.  If you are thinking of outsourcing certain blogging tasks, think about the reason you want to outsource and see if you can come up with a different strategy such as re-thinking your time schedule or learning a new skill first.

Have you thought about or do you outsource any blog task?  I’d love to hear your thoughts on outourcing so let me know in the comments!

Blogging from A-Z – A-Z of Blogging – N

N2020

Today’s letter for the Blogging from A-Z April Challenge is the letter N which stands for Networking and Niche in my A-Z of Blogging.

Networking.  Building up a network of like-minded bloggers is a must for any blogger and in its essence, networking is all about communicating with other bloggers.  Networking is pretty simple in the blogging world, commenting on blog posts, following other bloggers and taking part in conversations that are going on are just a few ways to network with others.  Taking part in things like blog awards, guest posting, collaborations and question and answer sessions are other ways you can build up a network.  Each blogger will have a different set of bloggers that they network with depending on the types of blog, interests, hobbies and other factors.  Many of the bloggers I have networked with have become friends in real life and online and they really are valuable in all sorts of ways!

Niche.  Your niche is the overarching theme of your blog or the main topic of your blog.  This blog, for example, is a lifestyle blog which covers post topics such as mental health, crafts, DIY, books I am reading amongst other things.  Blogs can fall into all sorts of niches – gardening, business, finance, fashion, computing, gaming, photography, the list is almost endless, and generally, most blog posts would cover something to do with the overall theme.  Blogs don’t necessarily have to fall into one kind of niche either, I have read blogs that are business and mental health-themed and cover topics such as how to reduce stress in the work environment and other mental health/work things.  Having a niche that your blog fits into can help you to generate ideas for posts as well as attracting an audience that is interested in that theme.  By keeping blog posts related to your niche you will find that readers will keep coming back and you will gain more followers as the audience will come to know what to expect from your posts.

What are your thoughts on networking and niches?  Where does your blog fit niche wise?  I’d love to hear any thoughts you may have so let me know in the comments!

Blogging from A-Z – A-Z of Blogging – M

M2020

Today’s Blogging from A-Z post brings us the letter M which stands for Monetization in my A-Z of Blogging series.

Monetization.  Monetization is a way to turn your blog into a money-making venture.  There are lots of different ways to monetize your blog, from affiliate links –  links placed into your post that direct your readers to certain products, paid advertising and sponsored posts are just a few ways to monetize your blog.  I have not monetized my blog and think that you really need to think about whether you want to or not and think of ways that you can get your blog working for you in terms of income.  You need to have a strategy in place, followers and regular readers, you need to understand the rules around different monetization options (like affiliate links and sponsored posts need to be clearly labelled as such).

Have you thought of monetizing your blog?  Or do you have any other thoughts on monetization?  I’d love to read any comments you have on this!

Blogging from A-Z – A-Z of Blogging – L

L2020

Today’s Blogging from A-Z Challenge letter is “L” which, in my A-Z of Blogging stands for Layout, Learning and Links.

Layout.  Layout refers to the appearance of your blog and includes where things are placed and the overall presentation of the site to external* users (*you can see the external view of your blog by typing in the blog URL into a new tab or window on your computer).  There are no strict rules when it comes to your blog layout but it should be easy to read with clear fonts and font sizes, easy to navigate with menus and sidebars clearly labelled, and it should be uncluttered so avoid placing anything unnecessary into sidebars if possible.  If you add or take-away any items that could effect how your blog appears should be checked by viewing as an external user.

Learning.  With advances being made in technology almost daily, and new software, social media apps or additions to social media being introduced it is helpful to learn how to use these things even if you may never use them in the future.  There are so many useful learning resources, many aimed at teaching blogging and blogging platforms as well as others that can teach more about the social media elements that run alongside.  I found the “For Dummies” books to be a brilliant resource but there are lots of other ways to learn – Youtube, Google, Skillshare, podcasts (I highly recommend Pete McPherson’s Do You Even Blog podcast and the website – some really useful resources on both!).  Learning from other bloggers is useful too, I have learned so much from being part of groups dedicated to blogging and even on Twitter too.

Links.  Links connect one web page to another and, from a blogging standpoint, act as a way of showing your reader extra information about what you may be writing about.  For example, I have used links in this post that direct you, the reader to the Dummies book webpage, Skillshare and the Do You Even Blog site which, when clicked will open the relevant page (hopefully) in a new tab or window for you to view.  Links are not always necessary depending upon what you write about but, if you do use links, it is worth checking every now and again that they still work and take the reader to the right sites.  There are a few ways to check if links you have used are broken or still valid and would recommend searching Google for link checkers and find one that you like using.

Do you have any thoughts on Layout, Learning or Links?  I’d love to hear your comments so let me know below!

Blogging from A-Z – A-Z of Blogging – K

K2020

Today’s Blogging from A-Z letter is the letter K which stands for Keywords in my A-Z of Blogging.

Keywords.  A keyword is part of S.E.O (Search Engine Optimisation) and is a word or a string of words that enables internet searches to find your post when those words are entered into a search.  Keywords will vary from post to post, topic to topic and from blogger to blogger.  One way of incorporating keywords or keyword strings into your posts is to think about the topic you are writing about and make a list of search terms that you would enter into a search engine to find related posts.  For example, if you are writing a post about an outfit, where would you wear the outfit? Keywords related to that could be “smart, office wear”, “business casual suit”, “green pleated skirt”, you could name the brand and be super specific about that item of clothing.  Once you have a list of different keywords you can then build your post around those words and mention them in the body of the text.  There are no hard and fast rules around how many keyword/keyword strings you use in a post but make sure that the post is well written and cohesive and that it makes sense.  There is nothing worse than reading a badly written post that is peppered with really obvious keyword strings.

What are your thoughts on Keywords?  Do you use them at all?  I’d love to hear about any thoughts you have so let me know in the comments!

Blogging from A-Z – A-Z of Blogging – J

J2020

Today’s Blogging from A-Z letter is J.  J in my A-Z of Blogging stands for Join In and JPEG.

Join In.  As a blogger, it is easy to feel alone in what you do so to combat this “aloneness” it is worth joining in with things that are happening in the blogging community, whether it is a challenge, a meetup or by leaving comments and joining in with chats that take place on Twitter or other social media sites.  There is always something going on that you can join in with and can help you to develop networks and relationships with other bloggers, gain new followers or even help you to develop your blog and generate ideas for your blog.  I find Facebook blogging groups and Twitter chats to be really helpful tools as a place to start.

JPEG.  JPEG stands for Joint Photographic Experts Group and is a file that is common to images.  Most cameras and other image capturing devices use JPEG as the standard format for image files but it might not always be the best option.  JPEG is a fairly low-resolution format and can pixelate when the image is blown up or definition can be lost when viewing on some devices.  I always try to use TIFF (Tagged Image File Format) where photos are concerned, especially when taking images with a digital camera as the clarity is much better and tend to use PNG (Portable Network Graphics) when I have created my own blog banners or other graphics.  In all honesty though, so long as your images are well lit and of good quality from a viewing standpoint it shouldn’t matter too much which kind of format you use.

Can you think of any other blogging terms beginning with J?  Or do you have any opinions on Join In or JPEG?  I’d love to hear your thoughts so let me know in the comments!