The A – Z Guide To Become A Successful Blogger

The A - Z Guide To Become A Successful Blogger

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Chances are, creating a successful blog is A LOT harder than you think it will be. The glitches that keep you up all night and the perfection you can never achieve. There’s always a post to write. A piece to share. A photo to take. A comment to respond to. A link to fix. A social media account to join. The list goes on.

This makes blogging an incredibly tedious but rewarding task. This media world almost demands you to be a 20-something with a blog. But don’t worry. You don’t have to review a brand of foundation or travel the world with just a backpack to be qualified to brand your name and your passion. You don’t have to be a slave to your followers and you don’t have to ( and likely, can’t ) find success in a month.

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A. Avoid Getting Consumed

Building and maintaining a blog can be both time consuming and addictive. There’s ALWAYS more to do and it will take sacrificing parts of your social life (and your current work life) to do it.

The amount of time that you put into your blog should depend on your end goal.

Turning your blog into a full income will take a lot of work whereas keeping a blog as a hobby will require less dedication and come with less ‘tiresome’ tasks.

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B. Brand Your Blog

Treat your blog as though it’s a professional brand and/or company.

Create a catchy title, a relevant slogan, a creative logo, a personalized email, and on top of that, use your voice to build an identity. You CAN run an anonymous blog while still giving your readers a voice that they’re comfortable with – and trust – but this makes branding all the more important.

As you brand your blog – brand yourself. Build a respected reputation, network yourself, show off your skills, and find a creative way to shine a light on your personality.If you’re not committed to running a blog, you can post your own photos, poems, or artwork in-between your Instagram selfies.

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C. Consistency is Key

Remain consistent with your posts and overall online presence. You don’t have to blog every-single-day, but 2-3 times a week ( even once a week ) will reassure your readers that they have something to look forward to – regularly!

T IP ! Always choose quality over quantity

But – keep in mind that we live in a fast-paced world. We’re surrounded by stories, articles, videos and updates. You may have to step up your online presence in order to compete with the platforms that are putting NEW content out – every day. You can use popular websites like Buffer, Coschedule, and Hootsuite to layout and schedule your posts ( this is something that I NEVER did ).

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D. Domain Name’s Require Thought

Take your time and think about your domain name – carefully! Choosing a domain name is like choosing a company name. No matter what you’re selling, be it a product, a YouTube channel, or poetry – you MUST humanize your brand.

Understanding Domain Endings:

  • .com • for commercial use ( the most popular )
  • .edu • for educational institutions and universities
  • .info • for informational websites
  • .org • for non-commercial organizations
  • .gov • reserved for the United States government
  • .ca • Canada
  • .au • Australia
  • .de • German
  • .in • India
  • .uk • United Kingdom

How-To Start A Blog From Scratch

Your domain name is the “www” address of your blog. It’s the title that gives your website an ‘identity’ and directs readers to your page.

  • Choose a name that is easy to spell and remember
  • Avoid using numbers, hyphens or misspelled words
  • Ensure that you can match your handles on social media
  • Have a name that is pleasing to the eye
  • Make sure that your domain is relevant to your blog

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E. Embrace The Gradual Money

A lot of bloggers want to grow in order to earn money.

Find a way to make your blog profitable while maintaining your genuine message. This takes a lot of time, patience, and sometimes turning down ‘appealing’ offers. You can make an income AND not be a sell-out. Just wait for the payoff.

The money you make from blogging can range from spending money to a full-time income. The difference is – of course – based on the amount of work you put in and the end goal you have. Whether it’s a few well-placed ads, affiliate programs, or an attached company, making money off a PASSION is always worth aspiring to. As long as you stay genuine, and do what you love – the money will follow.

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F. Find Your Niche

What will set you apart from every other blog? What will make your blog unique in a way that best represents YOU? What will the steps be to get followers? Sometimes, you’ll start a blog before you stumble upon your niche. Take the time to figure out what brought in your first 5,10,100 followers and what made them stay. That will always be the people – and the content – that you need to stay true to.

T I P ! Talk about what you know about!

Creating a blog is more than filling a Facebook page with videos and reposted articles, or an Instagram page of your drunk antics. A blog means building something you’re proud to put beside your name and letting it speak for you.

It’s the chance to use YOUR uniqueness and YOUR creativity to your advantage.

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G. Get Involved With Others

Blogging introduced me to many creative people from around the world. I worked with Photographers, Writers, Illustrator’s, Graphic Designer’s, Companies, and more. Collaborate with like-minded creative’s so that you can expand your potential, bounce ideas back-and-forth, and create something that’s great.

T I P ! Collaborate with like-minded creative’s so that you can expand your potential

Include A Call-To-Action. Set the conversation that you WANT to happen in your comments by including a relevant question at the bottom of your post. This is a ‘Call-To-Action’ and will work to keep your audience focused. You may still get comments from “Internet Trolls” – but learn to ignore them!

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H. Handle Your Blog Like A Resume

Use your blog as a resume!

Forget the days of sending out 50 white pages with your High School’s name and your first boss’s scribbled recommendation. That’s not enough in this generation. Your strengths and abilities must now be shown in a way that won’t let it be tossed in a pile with a bunch of ‘others’.

Incorporate a voice to your talents, be it: photography, writing, painting, graphic design, web coding, your knowledge on any topic – the list is truly endless!

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I. Interact With Your Readers

Interact with your readers in order to build a ‘community’. One privilege to blogging is having the ability to connect with others and hear insight into topics that you’re interested in. You can gain a new perspective while sharing your own.

  • Arrange + submit guest posts
  • Engage in email conversations with your readers
  • Respond to all comments and interactions on your social media accounts
  • As questions and include a ‘Call To Action’ at the end of your blog posts. A ‘Call To Action’ is a relevant question that will invite your readers to respond.

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J. Join Affiliate Programs You Use

Become an Affiliate ( or ) Ambassador to companies and products that you use and support. As long as you remain honest, your readers will respect your opinion.

You can sign up to become an Affiliate to ( almost ) any program including Bluehost, Swagbucks, RedBubble, etc. If you have a favorite product or company – reach out to them, to see if they have an Affiliate Program available.

I love to share my opinion on products that stay true to my audience and brand. From BIG COMPANIES that challenged me to find what’s worth the “hype”, to NEW ENTREPRENEURS promoting their product with a purpose.

Share-A-Sale connects companies to bloggers and influencers. There are over 3,000 affiliate programs for you to join in categories such as clothing, pets, subscription boxes, food, electronics. There’s something for everyone!

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K. Keep True To Yourself

By writing about something that you can put your heart and soul into, you will be rewarded with the ability to impact someone else’s life ( as well as your own ).

The online world is FULL of arguments, disagreements, and heated disputes that can go in circles for hours. But, don’t let the thought of controversy or having your thoughts “stomped on”, stop you from sharing them. Every voice needs to be heard. Every emotion needs to be expressed. Every opinion needs a fair chance to stand.

Some Topics Considered Controversial:

  • Politics ( leaders, the election )
  • The Legalization of Marijuana
  • Gender Role
  • Hobbies & Passions
  • Human Rights ( abortion, legal matters )
  • Religion
  • World Issues

If you feel like a topic could trigger others, put a notice at the beginning of your post. This will prepare your readers and let them make the choice if they want to continue reading or skip over, without getting offended.

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L. Less Is More

Keep your blog clean and simple. Only have ‘Share’ buttons that people will use. Have a solid background so your words can be read, and don’t fill your page with EVERY widget you find. This will make your page slower, harder to maneuver, and your important work will become lost in the mess.

The average person does not want to read extensive text or even follow directions.

It’s so important to be CLEAR and CONSISTENT.

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M. Make A Connection

You should ALWAYS be in touch with your Readers. Listen to their input. Respond to their comments. Run giveaways. Offer guest spots, and allow your blog to become an honest community – not a manufactured website.

The more you learn and become comfortable with your perspectives, it will only become easier to understand others. It’s important to understand their viewpoint – even if it disagrees with yours, so stay open – minded and stay humble.

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N. Numbers Are Addictive

It doesn’t matter who you are. You’re paying attention to numbers. You’re watching to see if you get 5,50, or 500 Followers. You’re waiting to see 10, 100, 1,000 Likes.

T I P ! Number’s don’t translate to sales or success

Social media numbers can control some people more than others and unfortunately, it’s powerful enough an obsession to destroy your blog and it’s potential.

You MUST learn how to let your numbers grow – naturally.

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O. Original Photos Are Crucial

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We live in a society that has an attraction for pictures, graphics, and ALL things visual. This may act as a challenge for yourself if you’re a writer, or simply have not a single artistic bone in your body.

You’ll find yourself with a story to share but no way to effectively share it.

No matter your topic, here’s how to fill your blog or social media accounts with photos that you have 100% rights to. No more blank pages. No more intimidation by Photoshop and no more expensive Freelance Illustrators.

No more copyright laws and no more standard stock photos!

F A C T ! Content with an image will get up to 94% more views

So, how do you create beautiful, enticing, and original images for your blog? Use a website like Pic Monkey. This simplifies the way that you can edit and create your own images. Go ahead. Spend hours amongst layouts, fonts, graphics, and so much more. You can build minimal, fun, and effective pieces. Let your creativity wild!

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Want to find out more about Pic Monkey?
Check out this quick video!

Click HERE to use Pic Monkey!

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How – To Create Original Images:

  • FIND A FRIEND PURSUING PHOTOGRAPHY. Connect with a friend or a classmate that’s looking to pursue photography and build their portfolio. Find someone with a similar focus and creative outlook as yourself to prevent disputes. This collaboration will be beneficial for the both of you!
  • EDIT AND CREATE ORIGINAL IMAGES. There’s no denying how intimidating Photoshop or any design platform can be. And of course, hiring an Illustrator can cost a lot of money. Don’t worry! Times have changed. Websites like Pic Monkey and Canva have simplified the way that you can edit and create your images.
  • DO PRODUCT REVIEWS. Product Reviews are a GREAT opportunity to work on your photography skills, get content, as well as give your readers a peek at your personal life. On top of this, companies are usually willing to give you their professional PR photos and banners to go along with your post – if you want.

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  • TAKE YOUR OWN PHOTOS. I’m a HUGE believer that the quality of your smartphone is enough to take your photos. But of course – a DSLR camera will give you higher quality videos and photos. Depending on your vision/photography ability, this may be the best choice. In addition to creating an authentic and individual look, it’s the safest option to avoid any Copyright issues.

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P. People Can Be Mean

Putting yourself ‘out there’ on the Internet will always require you to develop strong skin and a strong sense of confidence. A lot of people feel safe saying harsh comments in hopes to bring you down. But – it’s just jealousy and you must grow strong enough to realize that they are simply words on a screen.

Some argument is healthy so don’t be so quick to discount every disagreement. This will never let you grow, learn, or see the world any differently than you do now. Challenge yourself. Strengthen your mind. Better your life.

If you are being harassed by another people while online, you are completely free to Block, Mute, or Report a specific user to the social media site.

Additional Tips:

  • Avoid using CAPS LOCK as it can come off as aggressive
  • Try to clarify your stance before you start an argument
  • If it’s a private issue send it in a direct message
  • Know when you’re having an intelligent debate vs. an argument that you’re simply never going to win
  • Have the maturity to agree to disagree and more on
  • Avoid jokes or sarcastic comments that could be misinterpreted
  • Don’t spam comments or social media accounts
  • Watch your own online etiquette and be kind to others!

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Q. Question + Answer Pages Are Essential

Make sure your blog has a ‘Question + Answer’ or ‘F.A.Q’s’ page. Your readers will appreciate the ability to easily answer their questions and to even find out more. By answering commonly asked questions, this will bring NEW readers up to speed and leave you the time to be productive in other ways.

  • Include HEADERS, SUB-HEADERS, and POINT FORM answers
  • NEVER assume that anyone knows who you are, what you’re doing, what you start for, or what your purpose is. You have to tell them.
  • Arrange your questions in alphabetical order ( within categories )

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R. Relatability is Crucial

If you decide to write your blog in the form of a diary, it will make it harder for your readers to relate to your story as they haven’t experienced what you’ve experienced, and they don’t know who you’re talking about.

T I P ! Try to discuss feelings as opposed to specific events

Find a way to tell your story in a way that will allow others to put themselves in your shoes or compare what you’re saying to their own lives.

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S. Social Media is Required

It’s not likely that you have one Social Media account. They all have different features, options, and an audience, but – DO NOT sign up for every account at once. You’ll overwhelm yourself and your work will be mediocre. Not outstanding.

Start with the most popular accounts ( Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest ). Link your blog to your accounts so that your blog posts are immediately updated and can be discovered by a whole new audience.

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T. Theme’s Don’t Always Work

Just because a Theme is available on WordPress, it doesn’t mean it works for the content that you’re trying to share. Finding a theme that works for you and your content is a frustrating session of trial-and-error.

Keep in mind that not all themes are mobile friendly although it’s such an important feature to look for. The majority of your audience are reading your blog on the go!

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U. Update Your Readers

Ask your readers’ opinions. Keep them updated throughout the journey, and even give them an alternative social media account to find you on. That will let your readers keep up-to-date; as well as ensure that you stay relevant.

In addition to updating your followers, it’s so important to be updated yourself. Stay aware of current and recent events. Since you have a following, it’s SO important to share accurate information – as people are looking up to you.

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V. Very Few People Will Understand

Not everyone will support or understand your decision to blog. Don’t let other people’s judgment affect what you do.

Regardless if your life is filled with people who will listen to you vent, help fill emotional voids, and encourage your dreams, blogging will give you an entirely different outlet. An outlet that you may not even know that you need.

A blog can connect you with people who can judge you off no more that what you choose to tell them. They can offer a perspective that you may not have otherwise seen. This is something valuable that only a ‘blogger’ can experience.

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W. Writers Block is Common

Blogging can be a frustrating challenge and writer’s block doesn’t help. It’s okay to take a break and seek inspiration from so many different places.

  • Find inspiration from other bloggers and social influencers
  • Browse your favourite social media accounts
  • Revisit old journals and real-life events
  • Listen to music and pay attention to the lyrics

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X. (E)xplain Yourself To Your Readers

It’s frustrating to come across blogs that don’t include an ‘About Me’ or ‘Start Here’ page.

You don’t have to write an elaborate summary of your background and details down to your home address, but give your readers a general of who is writing these posts. It will help them to connect and better understand you as a person.

You also don’t have to expose your personal life just to have something to write about but – turning your thoughts into a post is a liberating step. It’s a rewarding experience that will clear your head of all the things that keep you up at night.

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Y. You’ll Want To Give Up

Running a blog can be extremely difficult at times. There’s always an impossible desire to achieve a sort of perfection, and it’s almost guaranteed that there will be AT LEAST 1 time when you’ll want to give up and delete your blog, altogether. Just take a break for a few hours ( or days ) and come back fresh-minded.

5 Things That Will RUIN Your Blog:

  • Quality Over Quantity. It will take find a posting schedule that works right for you, your content, and your audience. While it’s important to post content regularly, don’t don’t let that affect the quality of your work.
  • Your Unable To Find On Other Sites. In the age of social media, it’s so important for your readers to have the ability to contact you ( via. email, Twitter, etc. )
  • Bad Blog Titles. Your blog titles may be more important than you know. On top of making them enticing and click-worthy, make sure to include SEO friendly Keywords so that search engines can find it.
  • You Have Bad ( or no ) Images. Your images are the most important aspect of your blog. They should be large, high-quality, relevant, and LEGAL!
  • Trying to Achieve Perfection. While aspiring for perfection, it’s so easy to lose the reason WHY you started to blog and you’ll lose your authentic voice/purpose.

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Z. Z – Z – Z -Z

Never forget to TURN OFF the computer, the Smartphone, and the iPad in order to get some sleep. No matter how much you have to get done, we all have to unplug once in awhile, in order to do the best ( and be the best ) that we can.

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8 • Useful Tips To Clean + Organize Your Computer

8 • Useful Tips To Clean + Organize Your Computer

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BlueHost provides a special discount to all Ex-Blogger For Hire readers! You will pay $2.95/month instead of $3.95/month.
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Chances are, you’ve grown up, being scolded about cleaning your room, your school locker, or even your car. We know very well that maintaining a clean living space can be equivalent to living a stress-free and happy life. It’s comforting to know where your belongings are and satisfying to function in an organized area.

However – when was the last time you cleaned your computer? Probably the space you spend the most time. A clean computer acts the same as a clean bedroom.

Follow these tips and you’ll be amazed as to how much better you feel and how much more efficient your time on the computer will be. You can devote a day, or do it gradually, but make it a priority to thoroughly clean your laptop or PC.

THEN, go back every 1 or 2 months, and make sure everything is maintained.

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It’s so important to backup your blog but furthermore; your entire computer.

I backup my files to this External Hard Drive every 2 weeks – or 10 days. This hard drive is fast and compatible with my Mac computer. Backup your computer BEFORE you start cleaning it; just in case something goes wrong.

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1. Create Your Main Folders

Create ‘generic’ folders that will divide the content and sub-folders contained.

  • Documents
  • Photos
  • Videos
  • Music
  • Blog [or work]

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2. Create Your Sub-Folders

  • Create more specific sub-folders to further organize and divide your work
  • Organize Documents: School ➔ Personal ➔ Work
  • Organize School Documents by Year ➔ Semester ➔ Class
  • Include a Folder for your Resume, Job Application, and Cover Letter
  • Have a Folder for your Personal Information including: Taxes, Budgeting, Medical Information, Insurance, Lease Agreements, etc.

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3. Go Through Your Photos

After organizing your photographs into the appropriate folders, go back and delete photos that you either have no interest in, that hold painful memories, or just the duplicates and blurry copies.

  • Organize photos according to year, date, or event
  • College ➔ By Year
  • Family: Parties ➔ Celebrations ➔ Travels
  • Friends: Parties ➔ Events ➔ Year ➔ Friend (?)
  • Old Photos: Junior High ➔ High School ➔ The photos you use against your friends!
  • Travel: Name ➔ Place ➔ Year ➔ Ex. Cruise, 2011
  • Videos: Place ➔ Year ➔ Holiday ➔ Project

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4. De-Clutter Your Desktop

Your Desktop is the most important part to your computers organization. This space should allow you easy access to Files and Documents that you use frequently.

  • Remove your school files from the previous semester, unused applications, and photos that you’ve already filed away.
  • Reward yourself with a new Desktop background. Specifically, one that makes you stress-free and happy.
  • Remove icons you don’t use, often. This won’t delete the program, but will instead just get rid of the shortcut.

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5. Organize Your Email

Although it’s not a direct part of your computer or hard drive, your email is an important place to clean regularly to prevent from getting overwhelmed.

Create files according to your most frequent senders, block the junk mail that comes in consistently, and delete the irrelevant emails you’re finally fed up of seeing.

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6. Rename Your Files

Whether it’s from being lazy or in a rush, we’re all guilty of labeling our documents as a jumble of keyboard letters and numbers. For example: “masokcmsao”

It’s time to go back on those files, open them to find out the content, and finally label them appropriately. You’ll be thankful you did this in the future.

Make this a habit going forward!

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7. Clean Your Computer ( Literally )

Use Q-Tips to get the dirt and germs out from between your keyboard buttons. You can use a handheld vacuum or a specific keyboard vacuum to collect dirt, dust, hairs, etc, but make sure to be gentle!

NEVER squirt or spray a cleaning solution (rubbing alcohol) onto your computer.

If completely necessary, spray the liquid onto a cloth before using.

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8. Tend To Your iTunes

It’s time to go through your iTunes or music folder.

Delete songs you’ve lost interest in or haven’t listened to in years. Label the other music according to album and artist for easier accessibility.

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Other

  • Delete old or unvisited websites you once Bookmarked
  • Remove unused applications and your computer will function faster. Make sure any file you delete has no importance first.
  • Purchase a backup hard drive and transfer all files (once cleaned) over. This will ensure that no matter if your computer crashes or breaks, you will always have your files safely backed up. This will save you from future stress.
  • Use applications like your address book and calendar to your advantage. Having your information in one location will help your life remain organized.
  • Finally, empty the trash can and enjoy the sense of relief.

Follow these tips and it will be as though you’re using a brand NEW computer.

You will never frantically search folder upon folders for your assignment due tomorrow and your favorite photographs will never be forgotten. Your time online will be more efficient – enough that you’ll regret not doing this sooner!

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