Blogging Events Effectively

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Last Tuesday, I attended the International Youth Leadership Assembly (IYLA) at the United Nations and the whole time I thought about blogging the event. However I felt I couldn’t create the post last week. Although I uploaded images on social media, I had to leave an hour early to make a meeting with charter school to be a possible affiliate for my organization. I really had to go and did not get to experience the IYLA event fully. And therefore I was stuck.

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Of course I could have just uploaded the images I took and wrote on the speakers I did see or parts I did partake in. However, I felt I would not capture it fully and effectively, being that I missed on on substantial parts. Of course I could have took it into a different direction and spoke on the IYLA organization that led the program and the message of “Moral and Innovative Leadership: Vision, Service & Entreprenuership.

Therefore (a week later), I am writing how to capture events effectively.

  1. Stay for the Duration: You should stay for the duration in order to capture everything with imagery and/or with notes.This will also give you a first hand look and ability to connect with what or whomever you need to.
  2. Bring a Friend: I know you may not be able to get two tickets or press releases but try. If its a free for all bring someone to accompany you. Two heads are better than one. While one person is taking pictures, the other is taking notes. While one person is networking the other is making announcements. While one person is bobbing for apples the other is capturing the moment. 😉
  3. Take Images: If a scene can not be found on the internet or its unique to the event, make sure you take your own image. If possible hiring a photography, lol, or just bring a friend. Its always best to have original imagery when speaking on events.
  4. Take Notes: Although you think you’ll remember, when its time to write your blog certain facts or instances will be forgotten. For example I had to try and look up the presenters at the past IYLA event and some topics before I could write the blog that didn’t get published. 🙁 Have a system on notes, try not to just write everything all over the place. Organize your notes.
  5. Have a Focus: What were the special topics that sum up the event. For example: was it about empowering or networking and what took place to show that.

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.

Blogology: Standing out

Now days every time you open up you computer you’re inundated with blogs and vlogs and everything in between but with so much volume how do you make your work stand out? Well as discussed previously you need to secure things like your theme, posting schedule and word choice but there are other ways to be unique to your readers and potential audience.

Personal Touch

When somebody you know personally reads something from you it’s likely that they notice your style of writing and personal details and appreciate them. Similarly regular readers of your blog will become familiar with your writing and come to enjoy your touches of personality in each post. So even if you’re writing about a familiar subject or a broad topic your personal touches add a new spin and a fresh view.

 

Speak in the first person

When you choose to speak third person or from a distanced point of view the post lacks a personal or real life connection. Writing from a place of experience or sincerity will show and will resonate with readers to hopefully come back for future posts.

 

Cliff Hangers

When you title your posts and write a few sentences about it you should always use descriptive and intriguing language. Make the audience interested enough to read along but don’t give enough away where they wont read the entire post.

Whenever we do something that is the at the moment thing like blogging we strive to be the best and to get recognition for our efforts. It doesn’t happen over night and it takes a fair amount of dedication to do, but it is doable. If you’re committed and passionate about your writing it will show. For more tips and tricks check out my previous blog posts or follow me on twitter!

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A Blogging Tip I Want to Share with You

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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.

 

The Purpose of Social Monitoring

Image by: Sean MacEntee

Image by: Sean MacEntee

Depending on the blogger, one of the easiest and most difficult things about blogging is creating your blog. Unfortunately, this is a contradicting choice because it can be difficult to have the courage to start a blog and be comfortable with sharing your thoughts for the internet world to view at their own leisure. For those of you who are struggling with this dilemma, I want to encourage you to follow your dreams, blogging in its many forms is the most enjoyable experience I have ever had in my life. It has allowed me to have a greater acceptance of myself and I have learned a lot about who I am. Whether if you are choosing to start blogging through written posts, photographs, or videos; each and every form of blogging can captivate an audience to relate to your life experiences. So if you have been wondering and wanting to blog for a long time, I would suggest that you give it a chance and take a leap of faith. Blogging is extremely fulfilling in that it shares moments in life that were either positive or negative to benefit every reader, watcher, or listener.

But for those of you that have already chosen to start blogging, it begs the question of “what comes next?” while starting the blog could’ve been the easiest part the upkeep can be the most difficult as you have to make sure that your blog stays relevant for readers to continue reading. However, there is a very important detail that I have left out … how do you attract readers in the first place. The answer is simple, aside from utilizing your social media to constantly alert your readers of when you upload a new post, social monitoring enables you to understand what readers are interested in. Social monitoring helps you as a blogger gain the knowledge of seeing what are the trending topics as well as the insights of your possible readers by zeroing in on their interests. There are many free or low-cost options to be able to do social monitoring effectively. It allows to listen in to what others are posting about in social media, various blog posts, or public forums. You can easily see what others are conversating about on the internet to guide you in what to talk about in future posts or to just gain a perspective on the audience’s interests.

So with the use of this information, I hope it helps to encourage you to post in the future and will help you be successful. Good Luck and Happy Blogging!

Blogology 101: Open new doors with your words

As a writer, and especially as a blogger, your words will be seen by dozens of eyes and evoke positive or negative reactions. If you have a knack or a love for writing as I do you want your words to be able to speak over the chatter of others and make a difference. You want to be heard. So how do you do that? Well besides having a gift you need to pay close attention to your word choice and over and under tones. A writer’s choice of words and overall vocabulary is huge in how a reader will relate to and enjoy the piece as a whole so it’s important to expand your reach with words. Think about times when you hear prominent figures speak or read things they’ve written, it’s easy to pull memorable quotes and points from it because it is so strongly written. Here are a few ways you can beef up your own vocabulary,

Read, read READ!

Reading is an excellent way to expand your word bank. Try and pick up things you wouldn’t typically go for like picking up the Wall Street Journal over the post and instead of reading ABC online read CNN or fox. The larger the publication and the topic the more likely you are to encounter new vocabulary words.

Befriend a thesaurus

Growing up we all learned what a thesaurus was and how to use it but how many of us actually still do? Another way to boost up your word bank is to write an entire blog post and then go back and read it over selecting five or six words you can swap out for another word that will explain it better.

Relearn your skills

This may sound silly but it works. Take up a new understanding of something you’ve become familiar with and relearn how it works. Doing this will help you explain things in a new light and with new words. Being able to explain things in multiple ways makes your vocabulary stronger too.

Overall your choice of words can make or break your piece. If a piece is too choppy or the vocabulary is too loose it makes it hard to read. Think about the things you dislike when you’re reading something and make points to avoid them. Effort in your writing shows and readers will appreciate it, so making your vocabulary bank wealthier can only benefit you.

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Blogology 101: Blogging about hot topics

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As bloggers we often stick to our theme or genre when we write but occasionally our genre crosses paths with a hot topic or current events issue. Now you can either refrain from acknowledging it at all or you can add your commentary to the situation using your blog. However when you blog about a sensitive or hot button issue you need to go about it in a diplomatic and respectful way, you never want to come off as ignorant, bashing or uneducated. Here are some things to keep in mind when writing about something that’s heavily debated.

 

  1. Eliminate bias or harsh criticism from the tone of your writing

It’s easy to get carried away or passionate when you write about something, especially something close to you. It’s crucial however, that you don’t let that leak into your writing because readers will either be turned off or overwhelmed by your opinion being thrown at them. Let your feelings be known but do it passively.

  1. Acknowledge that your opinion is not the only one

It’s only natural to have an opinion about something but a good writer can acknowledge their own point of view as well as the views of others without bashing or belittling them. Instead try viewing the topic through multiple lenses so your readers get an even palate and your audience is wider.

  1. Facts, facts, facts

The worst thing you can do is fudge information or twist the information from its source. It’s always best to use multiple sources and wait a day or two so the validity of the information can be verified over. If readers feel like they’ve been given bad information they’ll be less likely to return to your blog.

 

Whenever we write our personal style and touches shine through, that’s what makes our blogs unique, but it’s important that you fine-tune that so that your blog attracts a vast and diverse audience. You’re more likely to get better feedback and a wider following when people from multiple avenues like and share your work. Also remember being able to see multiple angles of something makes you more of an asset to a company who might want to hire you as a writer.

 

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. ?

The Importance of Audience Engagement

Image by: Kristina B

Image by: Kristina B

When I think of the array of topics that I have talked about in my blog posts, I am faced with the question of “why was it relevant?”. I have many reasons for each of the concepts of my posts as well as why I have chosen to write about such topics that I feel would appeal to each of my readers. Obviously, I hope that each of my posts are relatable as each of my posts are about food themed topics, I encourage all to read my posts whether if you enjoy baking, are learning how to bake, or simply interested in baking topics. But there is more to blogging than just wanting to be relatable because being relatable is more than just an incorporation of this concept but almost a science of putting yourself in the minds of your readers. By becoming the reader, you must be a number of readers, in my case, it would mostly be two very different types of readers ……. the bakers and the non-bakers as well as everyone in between that measurement of readers. But the truth is no matter how relatable your blog is it will not appeal to everyone because each person simply has their own basis of what they are willing to read and what is not as important for them to gain interest from.

First, you must create a target audience, this will enable you to fully understand what you are trying to share information about and who you are trying to reach with your posts so that you will be able to evoke that in your writing. These posts may even motivate your audience of readers to want to learn more about that specific topic or it may help them with personal events in their life. And, there is always room for your target audience to expand depending on the topic, it can be of interest for many while others may not be but that is purely up for the writer to decide what their readers want to hear based on past posts and the number of views/comments for the most popular ones.

Second, the topics that are discussed should entail newsworthy subjects that will either impact the reader to want to continue reading to gain more knowledge on this topic and also have the possibility of liking your way of writing, in terms of the way you evoke ideas which creates opportunities for them to be interested in your other posts.

Image by: Daryl Lau

Image by: Daryl Lau

Third, headlines can purely influence a reader’s decision to read the entire post or to just keep scrolling through. Ultimately, the choice of words that are selected to be used in the headline of a post may be a determining factor for readers to decide whether or not they will continue to read the post. The headline should set the tone for the entire post but should add some excitement that will persuade and encourage readers to want to read the post.

Fourth, topic tagging is an important part of blogging because it helps the readers know what the topic of the post is about because they choose to read it in its entirety. This only gives the key words that are used in the post or to describe the topic of the post. It not only helps the readers to have a common knowledge of the subject being described but helps the writer to stay on topic to reach their target audience.

And finally, ask questions in your post to encourage comments. With the addition of comments, it allows for the conversation to further continue by understanding the readers’ opinions. Comments are hard to obtain, some may not read your post all the way to the end which eliminates the option of commenting while others may not feel obligated to comment on your post. But comments are helpful, it lets writers know that readers are listening and opens doors that show that the post is not one-sided because even the readers get a chance to share their thoughts.

Comment below with your thoughts on audience engagement and what else is needed to make a blog post interesting to readers.

 

Blogology 101- Be Relatable

On any given day you can probably find at least a dozen blogs being advertised and shared on your timeline. How many of those blogs do you actually click on? Now how many do you actually read through to the end?

In today’s day and age just about anyone can start a blog but not just anyone can have a good blog. In order to have a successful blog with a regular audience and following, there are several key points to remember but todays point is being relatable. Have you ever read something and three lines in rolled your eyes and said, “This is ridiculous” and closed the tab? Why was that? Probably because whoever wrote it wrote the blog post either without actual experience on the matter or wrote it completely lopsided and bias. So it’s important to remember a few things when writing a relatable piece,

  1. Transparency – Nobody likes smoke and mirrors so if you’re going to write about a life experience or something that’s happened to you, be honest. If there are key elements of the story you’re missing or can’t share it’s probably best to skip writing about it because your readers will find those cheese holes in the story right away and it’ll probably deter them from reading the rest of the piece and possibly anything else you post. If there’s a life lesson that you want to share but don’t want to get into the nitty-gritty then try your best to zoom in on that one aspect, why it’s important and how it’s able to stand on its own.

 

  1. Don’t be bias– Even though the experience you’re sharing is yours and yours alone you need to be mindful of the fact that the way things played out for you may not be the same for everyone. In fact nobody will see the same two scenarios the same so in order to be successful blogger it’s always better to keep an open mind. Even if you feel super strongly about something try and convey it in a way that says you believe what you believe but you’re aware and respectful of other people’s views.

 

  1. Knowledge– When you’re writing about a current event or something that’s going on in the world make sure you confirm your sources. Check the validity of the information against other sources and use neutral sources that people are less likely to disregard or dislike. For example don’t always use the same source, use several that back up the information you’ve found or have. Building an audiences trust is crucial in getting them to share your work and keep coming back to read it.

All in all people have to feel that they’re reading something that increases their knowledge, helps them through a hard time and isn’t trying to shove something down their throats. In the age of technology more and more people turn to blogs or other online forums for advice before their buy things, before they visit places and when they need advice. If you want to have a blog that pops remember your audience will be diverse so you should be too.

Image via Freepik.com

Image via Freepik.com