The Complete A-Z of Blogging

***This post is image-heavy***

Here is the full series of the A-Z of Blogging which I wrote for the Blogging From A-Z April Challenge, please click on the images to take you to the relevant posts!

A2020

B2020C2020

D2020E2020

F2020G2020H2020I2020J2020

K2020

L2020M2020N2020O2020P2020Q2020R2020S2020T2020U2020V2020W2020X2020Y2020Z2020

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

Z2020

It’s the last day in the Blogging from April A-Z Challenge and as always, Z is a pretty difficult letter to find words for.  I found it pretty hard to come up with anything for my A-Z of Blogging but found one thing that Z could stand for, and so I bring you Z for Zip files.

Zip Files.  A zip file can be used for many things, compressing files, archiving and sending large files online to another person.  The main thing that zip files can be useful for in the blogging world is to archive your blog – posts, data etc as the data from your blog can be saved into a file that is compressed, saving you space on your pc.  Zip files are widely recognised and can be opened by most operating systems which can be useful if you are upgrading your pc and still need access to information that you have saved elsewhere.  Most blogging platforms will offer a way for you to download your blog and save the information in case anything should ever happen to your blog and the option can usually be found in the blog settings menu.  I recommend archiving your posts and saving them to a zip file before you make any big changes to your blog (such as changing the theme or layout) and regularly making backups of your blog, once every 3-6 months depending on how often you blog.  You never know what could happen to your blog and having a backup saved means you always have access to things you have written and can re-post them should they disappear from the internet at some point.

What do you think of Zip files?  Do you have any other blogging terms that begin with Z?  I’d love to hear your thoughts so let me know in the comments!

 

Blogging From A-Z – A-Z of Blogging – Y

Y2020

Todays Blogging from A-Z April Challenge brings us the letter Y and in my A-Z of Blogging this stands for YouTube.

YouTube.  Blogging via video is known as Vlogging and can be used on its own as a blogging channel or, you can amalgamate traditional blogging with a vlog, gaining other followers from different places.  Vlogging is a useful medium for showing your audience things such as how to’s, reviews, general chat and letting your audience get to know you in a different way.

Do you have a YouTube channel?  What sort of things do you put up or watch on a vlog?  I’d love to hear your comments!

Blogging from A-Z – A-Z of Blogging – X

X2020

We are nearing the end of the Blogging from A-Z April Challenge and in today’s A-Z of Blogging we are covering the letter X which stands for X-Posting.

X-Posting.  X-Posting, also known as Cross posting is where you publish the same post to other sites or blogs.  X-Posting used to be the done thing with bloggers sharing their posts to several different groups or sites in order to gain readers or followers but generally, now, is not such a good idea.  SEO tends to frown upon posts that are shared elsewhere (links are fine, so ccarrying on sharing links via social media won’t do any harm) but sharing a full post to other sites means that your post could become unserchable and harm your chances of being found as it is hard to determine the original work and one that has been plagarised or copy and could have been copied and pasted from another source and is not an original work.  Best practice as a blogger is to never copy and paste an article to other sites but provide links that will send readers to that post instead.

What are your thoughts on X-Posting?  I’d love to hear about them in the comments!

Blogging from A-Z – A-Z of Blogging – W

W2020

We are into the last few days of the Blogging from A-Z April Challenge and today’s letter in my A-Z of Blogging is W which stands for Workspace and Writing Style.

Workspace.  Having a dedicated workspace set up for blogging is a good idea, it can save you time as you don’t have to think about setting anything up prior to writing, can aid your creative flow and allows you to get into a blogging mindset.  It doesn’t matter where you set up your workspace, it could be a kitchen table, on the sofa, in a spare room, just make sure that it is comfortable, warm and light and that you have everything you need to hand.

Writing Style.  There are so many different writing styles, from formal and business-like to chatty and friendly but whichever tone and style you choose you should let your personality come through, being aware of how you want to be perceived and be fitting with your blog niche or topic.  You should always try to keep to a similar writing style through each post that you write and publish, there are so many posts online and keeping to the same style of writing will identify your posts as being yours almost as much as the clothes you wear and the speaking vice you have.

Do you have a workspace that you blog from?  Or do you have any thoughts on Writing Styles?  I’d love to hear about any thoughts you have so leave me a comment!

 

Blogging from A-Z – A-Z of Blogging – V

V2020

V in my A-Z of Blogging for the Blogging from A-Z April Challenge stands for Views and Visuals.

Views.  Views are all part of Stats (which I wrote about in this post) and tell you how many times a post or blog has been seen.  These figures can be used to gauge what the audience you are writing for find the most interesting in terms of topics you write about.

Visuals.  Visuals are any items inserted into a post to make the post more interesting and mainly cover the form of photos, graphics or infographics.  Using visuals not only breaks up a text, illustrates what you are explaining but can also entice the reader to click on your post to read it if the image catches their eye.  Visuals can also be used on social media platforms such as Twitter, Instagram and Facebook to promote the post you have written by uploading the image with a short sentence about the post along with a link or directions to a link (such as Instagram, a useful term here would be Check my bio for the link).

What are your thoughts on Views and Visuals?  Let me know in the comments!

Blogging from A-Z – A-Z of Blogging – U

U2020

Today’s Blogging from A-Z April Challenge brings us the letter U which in my A-Z of Blogging stands for User Experience.

User Experience.  User experience is such an important thing to consider when building your blog, designing a simple, easy to navigate page where everything is laid out clearly and all buttons work the way they should, that articles and posts are easy to find, read and have clear headings, paragraphs and are easy on the eye all make for good user experience.  Good user experience is the most important thing to focus on as a good user experience will lead to repeated views and direct traffic.  Think about how you want your site to appear, the placing of menus, sidebars and things you display on these, keep them simple with links to the important pages, whether these are links to posts in certain topic groups or external links to social media or galleries, the choice is yours.  I like seeing sites with a search facility so I can re-visit certain pages easily so I highly recommend adding one and placing it in a visible area.

How much importance do you place on user experience?  What have been your experiences either good or bad?  I’d love to know so leave me a comment!

Blogging from A-Z – A-Z of Blogging – T

T2020

T in my A-Z of Blogging for the Blogging from A-Z April Challenge stands for Tags, Time Management and Traffic.

Tags.  If you use Twitter or Instagram then you may be familiar with the hashtag (#) that is put in front of certain keywords to help your tweet or image to reach others that are searching those words but did you know you can also add tags to blog posts?  Most blogging sites will allow you to add tags to your post (here on WordPress when writing a post there is a sidebar to the right – post settings – categories and tags).  By adding tags to your blog post it can help your post to appear in searches and be found more easily.  There are a few things to note about using tags on your blog – you don’t need to put the # symbol in front of any words or phrases you use, only use tags that are relevant to your post or the topic and only use up to 10 tags on any post – many blog sites will not make posts searchable if there are too many tags used as it will consider the post to be spam.

Time Management.  When starting a blog it is easy to get caught up in trying to do all the things that you see other bloggers doing and before you know it you have no time to do the things that you should be doing for your blog.  To help manage your time it is worth thinking about the elements of your blog that are essential, making a list helps, then prioritising them in order of most important to least before focusing on the most important ones.  For me this is – researching post ideas, posting schedule, writing time, photos/graphics/images, before I even think about other social media platforms.  Once you know which tasks need performing then you can allocate time to getting them done.  Being aware of how you spend your time on your blog can help calm feeling of overwhelm and can streamline your blogging experience freeing up time to work on other parts of your blog.

Traffic.  Traffic is the number of views and visitors to your blog on a daily/weekly/monthly/yearly basis and as 2 types – organic and direct.  Organic traffic comes from external links (for example a tweet that contains a link to your blog) and direct traffic is generated by someone knowing your web address (URL) and directly typing that into a web browser.  You can generate your own organic traffic by using other social media sites to promote your post or blog by sharing a link that directs people to your blog with a short explanation of what the post is about.  Direct traffic can be harder to generate as you are relying on people remembering your blog and the site name which is why it is so important to choose a short and memorable name for your blog.  Another way to generate direct traffic is to get some business cards made up with your blog address on and hand them out to people either at networking events or whenever you mention your blog to someone.

Do you have any thoughts or opinions on Tags, Time Management or Traffic?  I’d love to read any comments you may have!

Blogging from A-Z – A-Z of Blogging – S

S2020

In todays A-Z of Blogging, which I am doing as part of the Blogging from A-Z April Challenge, we have the letter S.  S stands for Schedule, Social Media and Stats.

Schedule.  If you want to grow your audience and attract new followers and readers then having a schedule in place is a must for any blogger.  Having a schedule in place, whether you post once a day, 3 times a week or once a fortnight it is worth keeping to a schedule so your readers know when to expect a new post.  One way of keeping to a schedule is to use a function available on most blogging platforms (and one I am really into using) is the “Schedule” function button which allows you to write a post and then publish it to your blog at a future point.  This function means that you can write a series of posts in advance and then not have to worry about writing for a while.

Social Media.  There are lots of different views on social media as a blogger with regard of how to use it, which platforms to use and when you should post to them but my advice is to find a social media platform that you love and invest time and effort into making that the platform your blog is showcased on.  It is better to focus on one platform and know the ins and outs of it and really give it a go than to have a half-assed attempt at all of them.  That being said, if you don’t want to use social media to support or promote your blog then that is fine too, blogging is about being comfortable with what and how you share it, not when and where.

Stats.  Stats are those, sometimes pesky, little numbers that tell you how many people have visited your site and how many views certain posts have been seen in a day/week/month/year and can tell you all sorts of things.  It is worth checking your stats occasionally so you can see how certain posts perform so you can look at writing further, similar posts or creating a series of posts that link to the original post.  They also tell you things about the demographic that your posts appeal to, such as where the main percentage of your audience is from, and how well your blog is performing in certain places which you can use to adjust your posts towards.  One thing that I’d like to say is, try not to become to obsessed with stats, they are only numbers and should act as a guide for your blog and are not something to worry about, there are peaks and troughs in all bloggers stats through the year and that is normal, but obsessing over them will not get you anywhere.

What are your thoughts on schedules, social media and stats?  Let me know in the comments as I’d love to hear about them!