Blogology: Have fun!

Image via bitmoji

Image via bitmoji

While technically there are blogging jobs writing a blog shouldn’t necessarily feel like one. The old saying goes “ if you love what you do you’ll never work a day in your life” and it’s pretty spot on. If you don’t love blogging, or writing in general, then the experience wont be fun for you and that will translate into your writing. It’s easy to see when someone wrote something because they had to and while you might not have a choice at work you absolutely do with a personal blog.

 

Like I’ve mentioned before write about something you know and love or about something you’re learning to do and share your experiences doing so but whatever it is should make you happy on and off the blog. Some people write how to or food blogs other people write parenting or lifestyle blogs but regardless of the topic it is one that is close and important to them. Here are three ways to have fun and make your blog interesting and upbeat,

Have guest bloggers

Sometimes its fun to compare and contrast two styles of writing or viewpoints and readers might appreciate the change of pace. Be sure though that you proofread and discuss with your guest the limits and do’s and don’ts of your blog, you don’t want to lose readers.

Do interviews

Instead of just writing from the first person maybe take your topic and interview someone who has been through it too. For example if you’re going to write about changing jobs or interning experience try to interview someone who’s done it before.

Pictures, pictures, pictures

Visual elements are key because people are more likely to click on links with interesting and well-shot photos. If your topic is pretty straight forward, like this one, pick a unique and interesting thumbnail for it.

Writing is a passion for many people and when they choose to write in their spare time it’s often online now days so exposure is much easier. Enjoying what you’re writing about is so important and baring writing for work writing on your own blog opens endless doors of possibility. For some ideas on how to start a blog or refresh your current on check out my previous posts this summer.

A Blogging Tip I Want to Share with You

a laptop on a desk

Image Credit: Aquila Style

It was about five years ago when I was blogging for a food blogging community known as IReallyLikeFood (currently non existent) where I was on a team with bloggers like The Buzz, but I was specifically on a team of food bloggers and every blogger had their own original and authentic voice, background, and style.

At the start of my internship, I was going through a rough time in my life because my grandpa became ill and passed away two weeks after I started at this internship. I started out as an editorial intern where I was given a project for 2-3 months and I had to write 8 blog posts per week when there’s only seven days a week, but I did it. We also had an internal weekly calendar where each blogger had their own excel sheet and where they can copy + paste the links/topics for each post. Week after week, my stats and views were skyrocketing high to the point where I made the Top Contributor list on numerous occasions.

After I completed 2-3 months of my internship, I met with my manager over coffee where we discussed my evaluation and the progress of my blog posts. She had a couple of questions about my topics/ideas because it seemed like I was a machine of endless, fun, trendy, and cultural blog posts. I blogged about anything from a restaurant experience, Starbucks vs. Dunkin Donuts, my infatuation with Thai food, food photography, my obsession with clams, Chinese food and etc.

My manager was very impressed with how versatile I was and etc. The best blogging tip/words of wisdom I learned from her was that she told me to ALWAYS remember that I have an endless inspiring figures and inspiration where I can easily be inspired to create a blog post. She said it truly shared in my blog posts because I do share a lot of the dishes that my mom makes and there are instances where I always drive my blog post back to my Chinese and family roots.

If you’re a blogger and your reading this, I want you to ALWAYS  remember that the next blog post is at arms length or at your finger tips. You may not realize it now, but you will. Sometimes the simplest person, event, or things in your life can be the trigger to you creating the next blog post. DON’T be afraid of who or what is in your life and just be inspired by what you have in your life or what has happened in your life. NEVER  forget your biggest supporters, readers, and events in your life and always surround yourself with ideas, inspiration, and keep yourself abreast of what’s going on in your passion.

 

Tips for the Successful Blogger

Image by: martin.canchola

Image by: martin.canchola

When building a blog, there are numerous aspects to consider when writing each post. In my last post, I shared tips for audience engagement but this week’s post, I want to discuss the writing aspect a tad more and how to be a successful blogger. Ultimately, it takes time to become a successful writer but these tips are designed to help you achieve your goals not only as a writer but as a blogger.

You must begin building relationships with fellow bloggers, this will enable you to have an open-mind to how others write and what they choose to write about to appeal their readers. This can be more explicitly used with the use of social media by sharing blogging posts and not only understanding how others write in the respected theme that they have chosen to write about but others who write about an array of other topics as it can help you become a better writer by having a broader perspective in blogging.

Formatting is especially important when writing a blog post as it can easily attract more readers if done correctly. This can consist of bullet points when naming an unofficial list or numbering as well as putting certain text in bold font in your post so it shows the significance of it in the post’s entirety. Add images to your post to better enhance the theme of the post. The use of appropriate images allows for your written words to be better supported by way of an image that helps to break up long texts by photographs to encourage readers to read the entire post instead of only skimming through or reading half of it because it became monotonous or too lengthy.

Finally, as a fellow blogger, I suggest that you have fun with every post that you write no matter how serious or funny, each post reaches someone in a way you may have never expected so just be yourself, be original, and don’t forget to enjoy yourself.

 

Pros and Cons of Blogging

A blog is information or conversation that is published online. Having been blogging since about 2010/2011, doing my beauty/hair blogs, as well as reading the blogs of others, I noticed some great things and some wow factors. Therefore, I have comprised my first list about the pros and cons of Blogging.

PROS

  1. There is a market for everyone: What ever you think about, hope to be, or have an interest in, can be the topic of your blog. There will be several other people who will be interested in that information as well. If you google cleaning with lemons, thousands (made up figure) of blogs and individuals asking the questions will pop up.
  2. Easy to start: All you have to do is go on Wix, Blogger, WordPress, Facebook, or have your own site and start writting. There are several free and paid avenues to start from. I started with Blogger and WordPress before publishing my own site and adding a blog to it. All were free.
  3. It is a great marketing tool: If you have a product or service you wish to spread to the masses, just blog about it. You can post video, reviews, comments and more. Share it on social media, advertise on craigslist, and/or post links and ads to your blog or the blogs of others.
  4. You can make an additional income: Speaking of advertising for other blogs, you can use the your blog to get paid and advertise for other blogs, services and products. You can get paid or get free products to review products and share it on your blog. For example, I was sent a hair product to review for my beauty blog.

CONS

  1. People have freedom: With freedom comes responsibility, or one would hope. Some people post Lies, degrading things and disgusting things. Either way, because there are no limitations, they have that freedom.
  2. It can be hard knowing who or what is credible: With the freedom to post, people try their best to decieve others. They may have fake facts, fake logos to make you think its a known site, and other ways of deception. Make sure before you take ideas you do your research.
  3. Without a following you can be your only subscriber: For sometime it may seem like you are the only one reading your post. You maybe, just share it and market your blog. You can become an affiliate of another company also and get paid, which I spoke about in previous post. You will eventually get some people to comment or follow you.
  4. Self-ran: You have to put in the work on your own, unless, of course, its a team of bloggers like THE BUZZ.

For help with your blog, advertising, or more email me at amonib.biz@gmail.com


QUESTION TO THE AUDIENCE: What do you think are pros and cons of blogging. ?

Blogging Practices: Branding and Promoting Your Blog

As a blogger,  your main responsibility is to create stellar content for your specific niche, regardless whether you joined the blogosphere in search of a casual hobby or to establish a serious business. Before your market and publicize your content, if you really want to hit it big with traffic or revenue, you have to view your blog and more importantly yourself as your brand.

Here are some tips and practices you can utilize in branding and promoting your blog:

  • Set Google and Twitter alerts for your blog’s name and keywords related to your blog and then join conversations as they happen.
  • Send direct messages to people who follow you on Twitter to strengthen your conversations and relationships with them.
  • Start a Facebook, Twitter, Instagram page or anything related to your niche

Examples:

a Facebook page about food

a Facebook page about food

  • Start guest posting. If you’re looking for an effective way to promote your blog, one of the best things you can do is start guest posting. Guest posting, or writing a blog post that will be featured on a different blog, is one of the best ways to expand your audience and begin to develop authority in an industry like here at The Buzz.
  • Create the top 10 list. Create “The Top Ten list” of brands or blogs that you want to model yourself or blog after. Either because they are a competitor, you share a space with them, or they are in your niche. Make sure that they are successful at what they are doing and someone you want to emulate. Refer back to this list whenever you need inspiration, have to make a decision or want to see how others have done it.
  • Put a link in your e-mail signature.

a business card of a food blogger "Jessica Deng"

  • Creating your own business card is a quick way to add to and strengthen your blog brand. Putting your logo and your colors on print materials will help when you travel, share, connect, and dream. Make sure that when you create your cards that you are comfortable with the information you put on them and keep them connected with you overall brand.
  • Use Pinterest. Believe it or not, I highly recommend using Pinterest because it has endless visuals that are surely going to spark some creativity or inspiration in you and there’s endless content on Pinterest for you to read, use, or emulate.
  • Attend networking events and/or conferences. There are many social media marketing events and blogging conferences available for you to attend where you can hear from influencers, meet other bloggers, and exchange business cards.

Hopefully you’ve found these tips helpful and took some notes. The next post will feature why I started blogging for The Buzz/Openlab.

Do you have any tips or tricks about how to promote a blog? 

7 Steps to Run a Marathon – Congratulations, TCS New York City Marathon Winners!

On November 1, 2015 about 50,000 people traveled from Staten Island through Brooklyn and ended in Manhattan for the annual TCS NYC Marathon. This 45 year old marathon started as the Central Park race, it has grown exponentially being open to anyone over 18. Let’s congratulate the running and wheelchair race winners:

Mary Kietanya woman running a marathon


a man running a marathonStanley Biwott

a man running a marathon in a three-wheeled wheelchaira man running a marathon in a three-wheeled wheelchair

 

 

 

Tatianna McFadden

Ernst van Dyk

 

 

 

 

Here is 7 steps to prepare for participating in the upcoming marathons:

  1. Check and monitor your health: You should know your capabilities. Check in with your physician and make sure your are able to participate. If you aren’t in shape ask what you can do to perform at your best.
  2. Do research: Explore the marathon. Make sure you know the time you have to finish the race and and the route in which you will take. Know the course, what will be provided, and the map in and out. Sometime if you go in groups or with an organization you will be able to be sponsored or ask for donations for your supplies, time off and training. Now, after you register for the event months to a year in advance lets finish to prepare.
  3. Dress for the part: You don’t have to get the most expensive brand clothing and running shoes, however, they must have good quality. You need to be able to have items that will be able to sustain weather conditions, which includes the environment and the sweat and heat from your body. Your clothing should be able to handle the stress while you train and race on the day of your marathon run or roll. If you buy something and it messes up soon after, return it and consider reading reviews before purchasing over the advice from some sales person.
  4. Eat healthy: From day 1 of your training make sure you have a good amount of carbohydrates, protein, grains, fruits, veggies, and of course, LOTS OF WATER! You can consult with a trainer and make sure you are intaking the right amount of food for the amount of exercise you will now endure.
  5. Do many trail runs: Part of your training, which includes exercise and a healthy diet, will be actual doing trail runs. Your researched the route now use it. Run, or roll, with a partner, or many, how you would on the day of your marathon even. Im sure the first time may be rough and you will be out of breath. But as you continue to practice it will become second nature and be as easy as pie.
  6. Avoid injuries: Keep yourself safe. Try not to sprain anything or continue working through an injury. Get injuries checked out and handle them as soon as they occur. Make sure to take breaks and return to training when they heal. Stretching can help.
  7. REST: Try not to over exert yourself. make sure you have adequate sleep. There isn’t a cure for tiredness except sleep. Not coffee, not an energy drink, and not cold air. If you are tired your body will shut down on you, so avoid that from happening.

Enjoy and do you research for the marathons to come.


Image Credits in order:

Mary Keitany Nyc by Acrb using the CC S-A (Share Alike) 3.0

Stanley Biwott during 2013 London Marathon by Chmee2 using CC S-A 3.0

Ernst F. van Dyke in 2014 Boston Marathon by Gr5 using CC S-A 3.0

Tatyana McFadden alla Maratona di New York del 2011 by Caricato da OttawaAC using the Creative Commons (CC) by 2.0

Anything You Want OR Need … for FREE!!

What is something you want to do or have? Did you know you can get it free, especially when you are motivated and put in the research for it. For example, Have you ever walked into a food court of the mall and was offered cinnabon’s sugar donuts, or asian cuisine on a stick? Not only can you get free food but you can request samples from those mall restaurants. At the end of your “food court smorgasbord” you may have a fulfilling snack. Well, that is similar to just about anything you can think of.

colored letters that spell "FREE"

Here’s How:

  1. Events & Activities: You can get free tickets to movies, preescreenings, fashion shows, fundraisers, community events, and celebrities events on sites like EventBrite. And of course many events have goodie bags of freebies. Try looking in Timeout NYC, searching for free concerts in the parks and beaches, download “local” themed apps on your phone, visit Meetup.com hobbies and networking events. Get on tv by searching casting companies like OnSetProductions.
  2. Knowledge Training / Experience: Ask those you know for advice. You can ask companies to volunteer or go on VolunteerMatch. Of course Youtube helps, but there are also sites that allow you to bartering services. Look in the news papers where most jobs offer free training on the condition that you work with them for a time period. I love the DIYnetwork and places, like HomeDepot, that offer free classes.
  3. Food / Clothes: Besides growing a garden and sewing your own clothes, there are organizations and churches that provide free food and clothing. You can even inquire on 311 (for those in NY) for help or on your governments’ website
  4. Shelter Companies like Habitat for Humanity help you own a home as long as you volunteer some labor, but there are other non profits and private funded organizations that provide shelters, rooms, help with mortgage, rent assistance, and utilities (i.e.: heap. There are even grants for new home owners are being energy efficient.
  5. Money Who doesn’t love free money! Apply for government grants, signup with crowdfunding websites, ask those you know, and/or apply for scholarships.
  6. Childcare – Most schools are free, even some pre kindergarten are with programs like Head Start. Some schools and jobs have daycares, just ask. If not contact you local government assistance providers.
  7. Insurance: Contact non-profits, private organization or your government website.
  8. Entertainment Services: There are companies like Vive Entertainment Enterprises LLC or non profits like BRIC Arts Media. You can also find people by looking up hashtags, posting and messaging on sites like Model Mayhem, craigslist, Instagram, and Facebook.
  9. Business Help: Organizations like SBDC at New York City College of Technology, Small Business Association, NYC Business Solutions, NELP (lawyers), and government websites will help small business and entrepreneurs. Go on sites like idealist.org or businessmentor.org to find volunteers and help. The best thing to do is network.
  10. Freebies & Goodies For cosmetics, accessories, cleaning products, and the random, there are nonprofits or organizations that are the middle man like Freecycle. Some places provide free toiletries, others sites give away based on their sponsors.  Hey you might get free stuff for being a loyal customer, like a sephora. where you can also get free samples of cosmetics when ever you want and bigger samples with purchases. There are even sites like Beautystat, and you tubers who have contest and giveaways for their subscribers.

If your need or want isn’t listed here, some of the same sites may still help you. If not, googling the service you need and adding the word free at the end, by putting up post on social media and inquiring with those you know.

Now that you know how to find free necessities and wants, try it for yourself. Get your freebies and tell me all about it.

DISCLAIMER: I am not being paid to share this data or information. Everything is my opinion and I do not take responsibility for what you may encounter during your search.


QUESTIONS TO THE READERS: How do you get freebies? | Have you tried any of the methods? Did it work? | Has anyone got a free iPad or electronic by participating in offers? | Was this information helpful?