How to Keep your Blogging Motivation Alive?

I have seen many, who Start a Blog, Love and Live with it for sometime and finally Lose the Motivation and let it die.  A lot of hard work in Building the Blog, gets wasted for the Loss of Motivation. If you are one, don’t worry!

There are many others like you and I am one of them too. Here are a few solid tips to keep your Blogging Motivation Alive!

1. Keep Reading

Believe me – the more your Read, the more you feel the urge to Write.  Don’t just read content on your Blog’s Niche.  Read everything around, that makes sense to your Profession and your Life.

Another side effect of Reading is – you get a lot of Potential Topics and Ideas to write about. Think about reading on a Top Product and the urge to Write a Review about it!

2. Run Blog Series and Regulars

Another main reason to lose motivation – is running short of Content to write. A Simple Way to over come this problem, is to maintain a Blog Series and Regular Posts in your Blog.  This also lets your readers know, when and what to expect from your Blog.  Some Ideas around this are:

  • Choose a Topic and Write a Series of Posts around it
  • Write a Weekly/Monthly roundup posts, with links to Top Content in your Niche
  • Write Periodic Product Reviews
  • Run a Video Tutorial or Interview Series…

3. Invite Guest Writers

What’s better than getting more traffic your way – with not writing a post for sometime.  This can be easily achieved, by building a Network of Guest Writers for your Blog.

Deliberately advertise in your Blog, that you are looking for Guest Writers and Invite Applications from them.   Offer incentives like AdSense Revenue Sharing, Paid Writing etc.

4. Write in the Mornings

This is my favorite.  I write most of my Blog Posts in the morning – at least the Post outlines!  I complete them probably later in the day.

You write the best, when your mind is fresh after a Good night’s sleep.  Try this magic tip and let me know if that works for you!

5. Keep Promoting your Blog Posts

Use Social Media to constantly promote your Posts.  Don’t restrict yourself just to the new posts – but also the old ones which you think are worth propagating.  Believe me, the feel of people sharing and talking about your Blog Posts goes a long way towards boosting the Blogging Motivation

Can you think of something else to keep your Blogging Motivation Alive?  We are all ears…

Photo Credit: Darcy McCarty

10 Tips to Make the Blogging Process More Efficient

When you started blogging, you probably had no idea of the time that it would take. You wanted to make content that was easily readable and distribute it to the world. Writing 300-500 words a day sounds easy, but it takes a lot of time and planning to do it efficiently. Here are ten tips that will help make the process more efficient.

1. Keep a list

Carry a memo pad with you to capture the moments when you say, ‘I should write a post about that,’ or ‘that’s pretty interesting.’ When you sit down to write a blog post, you will have a ready-made source of ideas so that you can spend your time writing instead of daydreaming.

2. Schedule posts

Most blogging software allows you to schedule your posts. With scheduling, you can get ahead of the game and pre-write posts that are fascinating or important to you and still keep the schedule that you’ve set up. You can also back-date posts in case you miss a day.

3. Stay focused

Writing in a Notepad window with your browser closed is the best way to stay focused on what you are writing. That way, you are not distracted with the latest and greatest events which are occurring in the world. Turn your phone off for a few minutes, and put your hands on the keyboard.

4. To-Do lists

There are plenty of things for you to keep track of. To do lists act as reminders of what needs to be done for that day and the coming day. Throughout the day, keep a list of the things which need to be done to keep your blog running. You won’t be suck for something to do.

5. Use Pen and paper

Hand writing is a wonderful way to disconnect from the fast-paced internet world. You write slower and have more time to think about what you’re writing down. As a result, the quality of your posts will improve. If you type too many words a minute, the meaning can be lost from the brain to the keyboard.

6. Develop Recurring Series

Inspiration can often strike to write a series of posts about one specific subject. These posts often build upon one another and are written concurrently. Give your readers bite-sized posts which tackle a specific topic. Write a story and separate it into parts.

7. Create time limits

Working under deadline produces some amazing results. Set yourself a time limit for how long you will work on the blog post. Make sure that it is a hard limit, and your brain will soon conform to the schedule that you’ve set. This is a great method that can be used for people who are constantly running.

8. Don’t worry about SEO

A lot of time gets wasted in discovering how the proper keywords are going to be put into a post. Writing the post naturally will make it more entertaining to read. You will save yourself a lot of time by eliminating the SEO restrictions.

9. Use your passion

Passionate writing makes for fast writing. There is little time spent for the research because your topic has already been studied. Readers are much more interested in hearing what you have to say if you’re writing from the heart.

10. Don’t edit your content away

Editing often removes the passion from a piece. Bloggers sometimes spend hours working on a post, crafting it so just the right words are used. Sometimes a post can be edited away to nothing. Stick with only one or two editing passes and your readers will be thankful.

Blogging efficiently takes focus, inspiration and practice. When you sit down at the keyboard, you should have something which is itching to get onto the page. Good luck, and happy blogging!

How to NOT Suck at Blogging?

Many People start their Blog with a Bang. Everything goes Great and Traffic starts coming in. Suddenly, they start sucking at Blogging! Their Content Sucks! Design Sucks! And, Ultimately the Traffic!

Hmm… Sounds dramatic but this can happen to your well-nurtured Blog too! So, How to NOT Suck at Blogging?

Don’t Post a Set of Links, because you don’t know what else to!

You have a Series of Drafts and Start Posting them one after another.  One fine day – you realise, there is nothing to Post.  You can’t think of anything, that’s worthy of posting.

Resist your temptation to post a Set of Links to News Items or Others’ Blog Posts.  Though an occasional shot at this might be useful, don’t make this a Habit.

Web is full of links, and nobody wants another bunch at their RSS Feed.

Don’t Blog (only) for Money!

A Blog full of Affiliate Links and Banners – makes you look desperate for Money.

Worse even, your Content might be lost among those links.

Avoid Excessive Affiliate Banners at any Cost!

Don’t Switch your Blog Niche, every Week!

Identify a Niche for your Blog and try (your best) to stick to it.  Though occasional Niche Switches are acceptable, depending on the Traffic and Popularity – frequent niche changes confuse the readers and sometimes you!

If you desperately want to switch the Niche – think through it and perform it in a systematic way.  Again, don’t do it every week!

Don’t Live with a Shabby Design

Though you may start with a Moderate Design, when your Blog is still naive and looking for Traffic – make sure to give it an uplift once the Blog grows.

A Shabby Design always sucks!  Grab a nice theme, Hire a Designer (if required) and make your Blog look good.

Though Shabby Design don’t affect the Traffic – it leaves an impression (many times, a bad one!) in the minds of your Readers.

Don’t Be Monotonous

Not all your Readers want to know, what you did the last weekend.  Neither all your Readers want to know, what you think about the Recent Elections.

Maintain a Healthy Type of Posts and keep writing across them.  Write a Tutorial, Give a Tip, Post a Review and if possible, Interview someone in your Niche.

Being Monotonous, is no less than Sucking!

That’s all I wanted to say.  So what do you think about Sucking at Blogging?  Let’s talk.

Why Professional Blogging can be really dangerous?


The recent celebrities in the Social Web, are the Professional Bloggers.  They blog for others and grow themselves in the process.  Are you longing to be one?  But do you know that professional blogging can be really dangerous?  Read on to identify, if you are ready to get into this dangerous world of Professional Blogging.

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Start your Professional Blog with a Bang, using these Power Tips

Professional Blogging involves a lot more commitment and planning, when compared to casual blogging. So how to start your Professional Blogging journey with a Bang? This post will give you all the essentials.

What is Professional Blogging?

By Professional (or Pro) Blogging, I mean running a Blog that has a dedicated niche and targeted group of audience. Also such a Blog would eventually become a platform for selling related services, products and ultimately start making money.

Tip #1 : Choose your Brand Name wisely

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What I Hate to see in a Professional Blog?

Professional Blogs are meant to be professional.  Look at the posts on ProBlogger or Copyblogger.  They all have a commonality.  They all have an advice to broadcast or a problem to solve.  There are many blogs which does nothing but exist.  What are the things that piss you off in a professional blog?  Read on for my list.

Following is my brief list of “Things I hate” in a Professional Blog, that I follow:

  • Purely Personal Posts – If is just about one’s accomplishments, making $10000 a month, blah-blah…, then it is better to just keep off. I am OK if it gives me some pointers or tips.  But nevertheless, I am seldom impressed by a trumpet!  (Occasional personal posts are OK if it’s an announcement or a broadcast message!)
  • Very Little Excerpt of Posts in Home Page/RSS Feed – This is something that pisses me off.  The first thing you notice in a blog is the latest post and it turns me down if I have to click further to read it.  Excerpts in RSS feed to boost Blog traffic, is the limit!
  • Too many images in every Post – Images are good if they are relevant and are used to demonstrate or emphasize something.  But 10-15 images on a post that demonstrates nothing just disappoints both the reader and the Search Engine
  • Home Page load time exceeds a minute – If I go to a blog home page, just to wait for more than a minute for the page to load completely, then that would be my last visit!
  • Advertising Images/Text dominating the content – As I often repeat in my posts, advertisement must co-exist with the content.  Readers don’t come to a blog to click on Ads.  They read content and are happy to give you money, by clicking the relevant Ads.  A website predominantly full of ads, remembers me of spam stuff

So, now it’s your turn.  What do you hate to see in a Blog?  What kind of characteristics or content urge you to unfollow a blog/website?  Discuss in the comments!

5 SEO Health Checks for your Blog

SEO Health Check

SEO Statistics and facts are good to know, especially if your Blog is in existence for more than 6 months.  These statistics help you identify areas where the blog excels and where it fails.  In this post, I will show you 5 Essential SEO Health Checks that can reveal hidden problems of your Blog.

1.  Check SEO Stats with Website Grader

Website Grader is a free SEO tool that analyzes your website and provides you with a report on the site’s marketing effectiveness. Though the term SEO appears nowhere here, the report is very detailed and provides you with lot of information on the SEO effectiveness.

Website Grader

Some of the key points in the generated report include:

  • Page Title, Meta Data Description and Keywords – these are something that the searching engines generally look for.  Make sure these are relevant to the content of your blog.  Also the report suggests whether the Meta Description or Keywords are too long
  • Heading Tags Summary – Gives you a list of H1, H2 and H3 tags used in the home page and some inner pages.  Also reports the presence of multiple H1 tags which is not a good SEO Practice
  • Image Summary – Reports the number of images and missing ALT tags
  • Google Page Rank and Indexed Pages
  • Last Google Crawl Date – Lets you know when was the latest crawl of your blog
  • Number of Diggs and Delicious Bookmarks
  • Many other useful statistics…

You can check a sample report here –

2.  Check SEO further with PageBoss

PageBoss is a similar tool to Website Grader, but with emphasis on numbers.

It gives you Numbers and Statistics from a lot of sites and here are a few ones:

  • Google
  • Yahoo
  • Twitter
  • Alexa
  • Friendfeed
  • StumbleUpon
  • Digg, etc.

You can use this report together with Website Grader to look for the grey areas.

3.  Check how your Blog appears to a Spider

Lots of essential content and keywords of a webpage may not be visible to the Search Engines, because of components like Javascript, Flash content, Images etc.

Search Engine Spider Simulator is a tool that simulates a Search Engine and displays the contents of the web page exactly how a Search Engine would see it.  This helps you understand if the Search Engines are reading meaningful content or just meaningless Javascript.

Spider Simulator Result

A Sample report on how a Search Spider sees a website

Here is an example of the Spider Simulator output when run on my blog.  If you see a lot of Javascript or Flash Script Tags, make sure to detect the plug-ins or theme components that are responsible for this!

4.  Check Meta Tag and Keyword relevance to your Blog Contents

Another important check is the relevance of your Meta Tags and Keywords to the content of your Blog.  Search Engines generally ignore sites which claim a few keywords but the content doesn’t go well with them.

Meta Tag Analyzer is a tool to explore the Meta Tags and Description of your blog, to give you the “relevance” metrics.  This provides a clear picture with the facts and areas of improvement.  Other useful information out of the report include – URL Analysis, Keyword Analysis and the Keyword Density.

Page Keyword Analyzer is a very similar tool that takes in – specific keywords and URL – and gives you a report on whether the site has relevant content.

5.  Check W3C Validation Status of your Blog

W3C Markup Validation Service helps you determine whether the HTML tags and the markup used in the page are valid.  This is especially a problem, if you are using some badly designed Themes or Skins.

In addition to SEO problems, bad HTML also causes display and rendering issues with a few browsers.  So make sure to identify markup problems using this tool and fix them.

These are some of the basic SEO checks, anyone can run on their blog without spending a penny.  If you are very keen about the traffic and Google ranks, you should hire a SEO Consultant.

Here are some useful posts around, on checking and improving your Blog SEO:
SEO For WordPress – Daily SEO Blog, by Mani Karthik
Thesis SEO – For Everyone, by THE MULES
Site Clinic: An SEO Checklist for your website, by Digital Inspiration

5 Success Strategies to build your Blog Empire

Blogging is all about patience. You never become a blog celebrity overnight.  It takes a lot of time before you build a group of audience, who will wait for your next blog post!  This post will show you 5 Success strategies, that help you build your Blog Empire to last forever.

1.  Choose a Niche Area

To find a collection of Web 2.0 icons,  I go to Smashing Magazine.  To get a tip on blogging, I go to ProBlogger.  To know something about copywriting, I go to CopyBlogger.  What’s common among these blogs?  Simple.  They all are dedicated to their niche areas.  They have built an authority around their niche areas.

Align the niche area of your blog with what you love doing.  If you are an avid photographer, start a blog around it.  This keeps your passion alive for a really long time. Also, if you choose a common niche area like Technology Tips, then be prepared to wait for a relatively long time (sometimes as high as 2+ years) as there are many who have built their authority around them.

2.  Be Regular and Be Useful

Readers love those, who consistently deliver them good stuff.  By good stuff I mean something useful to them – a solution, a tip, a word of inspiration, a collection of stuff etc.

Another aspect of a successful blog – is being regular.  Build a blogging schedule for yourself and try to stick to it.  If you have a full time job during the week, consider composing 2-3 posts during the weekend and posting them at regular intervals.

Tip: Don’t write irrelevant and non-useful posts just to meet your schedule.  This can have adverse effect on your blog

3.  Offer FREE but useful stuff

Take my word.  People love freebies! Develop something like – a WordPress Template, a Thesis Skin, a WP Plugin or an intuitive e-Book – and give it your readers for free.  You can have some minor clauses here, to have them sign-up for your newsletter.  But otherwise the free stuff should have “no strings” attached.

Just because you give them free, doesn’t mean you can compromise on the quality.  Once they experience the quality, people may come back to you for more and even ready to pay for it!

4.  Don’t overlook SEO

SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is an essential component of any successful blog.  Search Engines are one of the primary channels that bring in new readers and the blog must maintain a friendly relationship with them.

If you are using a great theme like Thesis for WordPress, much of the Optimization is taken care behind the scenes.  If not, there is good amount of home work to do.

Tip: You can check out these excellent blogs to get essential SEO tips and ideas -  DailySEOBlog and Search Engine Journal

5.  Practice Affiliate Marketing and Advertising but with discretion

Won’t you love if your blog grows up as a secondary income channel?  Definitely, I would.

There are numerous Affiliate Marketing and Advertising programs around.  But make sure that these are not the primary components of your blog.  These should blend with the content, but not the other way round.

John Chow is an expert when it comes to monetizing your blog.  Check out his free e-book on “Making Money Online”, that covers everything you need to know about Affiliate Marketing.

Tip: Monetization is a secondary aspect of your blog.  Keep “Quality Content” as the primary aspect

Analyze and find out a Niche area of your blog
Consistently post useful stuff for your readers
Offer Freebies.  But make sure they help people; not trouble them
SEO is essential for any blogs.  Make sure you don’t lose out
Making money from your blog is not a sin.  After all it makes you – popular and rich

6 Types of Blog Posts That Sell like Hot Cakes

hot cakes

Like These Hot Cakes!

If you are into Professional Blogging and carefully watching your Blog Statistics for sometime, then it goes without saying that purely Personal posts do not go well with the readers.  So what kind of posts people love to read?  What to write that sell like hot cakes with your readers?  To know this, read on.

The list is in NO specific order. Also, the list is by NO means complete. Period.

1.  Make Money Posts

This is a definite candidate to gain you page visits and popularity.  There are many casual bloggers who are trying to make some money through their blogs.  So if you offer them some real and effective tips on making money, then consider the blog post sold!

Caution: Posts that make unrealistic claims like create 10000$ from your blog in the first month or get 100 subscribers in a week, can have negative effects on your blog (unless you are the best in town).  Better avoid these!

Some Blogs that are masters of this content:
John Chow dot com – Yaro Starak
Blog Tips to Help You Make Money Blogging – ProBlogger

2.  Tutorial Posts

Teaching something to people gains you two things – reputation and more important, the authority. People mostly turn up to Internet and Search engines, when they wish to learn something.  It can be as simple as How to create a Blog? to as complex as How to Fix a snag in the Rolls Royce Engine that runs an Airbus?.

Never underestimate the power of your tutorial.  For example, if you are an expert with CSS, go ahead and write a tutorial on CSS Basics for everyone.  Even though there are numerous other articles on the same subject, your expertise and writing style may make you a winner.

Tip: Make your tutorials simple and easy to understand.  Use illustrations and make it interactive.  Also support your readers whenever they turn up with issues

Some Blogs that are masters of this content:
Smashing Magazine
Woork | Web design, tutorials, resources and inspiration.

3.  Tips and Tricks

Many bloggers or web workers know the basics.  But at times, they get stuck somewhere.  It could be a minor trick that can help them out.  If you offer that tip, then it is very likely that they turn up to you in future.  Who knows – you might even gain some prospective customers in the process.

Again, never underestimate the value of your tip.  You can make the day of someone, with a tip that could be very trivial.

Tip: Make sure you try the tip and it works.  Never experiment a tip or trick with your readers.  Again, follow up in case they need your help

4.  Collection of Resources

This is a probably an easy post to write – depending on the type of the collection.  During the process of learning, you might have gathered quite a few resources.  I am sure they must be stuck somewhere amidst your bookmarks.  Collecting these and organizing them in the form of a post, can help your readers a lot.

The list could be anything, as long as all the items are logically related to one another.

Tip: Give only live URLs.  Check out for broken links and remove them from the list.  Categorize the resources for better organization and usage

Some Example Posts:
100 Excellent Free WordPress Themes – Smashing Magazine
100+ Lists To Help You Become a Better Blogger – Blogussion

5.  Reviews

Reviews are another type of posts that sell like hot cakes.  The review could be of anything that is of interest to your audience – a product, a website, a service etc.

But this is one of the complex posts to write.  You have to do a complete research before writing the review.  Also, domain expertise is required to come up with a high quality review.  So write these kind of posts only when you are very comfortable with the subject, as it could influence some decisions on the readers’ part.

Tip: Never make it a biased review.  Consider both the advantages and disadvantages.  If applicable, share your personal experiences

6.  Solving a Problem

This is a very important kind of post, that can earn you loyal subscribers. Take a problem from the reader’s domain and provide a complete solution to it.  As with tips and tricks, make sure that the solution works perfectly for you, before recommending it to your readers.

Tip: Clearly mention your assumptions in solving the problem.  Also provide pointers on how to avoid the recurrence of such problems

That’s it I have for you now. It’s time for you to talk!  So what kind of posts are you comfortable with?  What are your key strength areas?  What kind of posts have gained you traffic?  I would love to hear them all.  Shoot in your comments or DM me on Twitter @thotsunlimited

Photo Credit: roboppy