blogging advice

Optimizing Your Blog with Grammarly – 2016 Review

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Blogs grow into masterpieces not only by the content they provide but the quality of that content. If your well thought out blog post suffers from errors in spelling and grammar, your readers would be turned off. You can have the most influential and motivating content but neglecting to critique your content carefully can be detrimental to both your blog’s reputation and future. Don’t get me wrong! Producing amazing content contributes highly to growth, but errors are just unprofessional.

Now you know just as well as I, editing is tedious. It’s boring, annoying and very time-consuming. Most new bloggers and authors understand that it is an essential step to take before publishing, but we are only human. Chances are, you are not a world-class editor, or else that would be your profession! With that being true, it is very likely that if you go back to the last post you published, you will find an error. If you don’t, have a friend read it and they will find one for you.
The point is, if you don’t have a professional editor, the errors will find their way into your blog posts some way or another. So invest a few hundred dollars into a professional that knows what they are doing!
Kidding!

Unless you are already a successful entrepreneur, author or have already created a budget for such expenses, don’t invest all of your money into a world-class editor. Why not? Because there is a program for your browser, that will provide the same editorial service for free! It’s called Grammarly!

The day I discovered Grammarly’s proofreading software was the day that the majority of my blogging anxieties vanished. Literally!
No longer did I have to worry about spending half an hour to edit exceptionally well. More likely than not, I found myself previously choosing to do a quick, ineffective skim as opposed to the less fun act of carefully thought out revising. Grammarly does it for me, and the only thing I have to do is click a button to correct!
Honestly, I wish I would have known about the free editing program sooner. I’m sure my blog would have developed a much larger audience had I done so. Nevertheless, I do have to thank John Lee Dumas for recommending Grammarly on his Podcast, EoFire.

So bloggers, new and old, understand that it is rare that I recommend programs only because I don’t personally use them. In fact, this is my first “review”  because I use Grammarly, ALOT. I believe in their system and can honestly say it will make your writing career 100 times easier!

As I have said before and will continue to stress, the integrity of your blog’s future relies on quality. Grammarly will give you THAT quality which will distinguish your blog posts from the rest of the self-publishers with a professional look!
Now, while the Grammarly’s free version is fantastic, it has its limitations that the premium version breaks through! Luckily, it won’t break the bank.

So what exactly will Grammarly’s Premium do that the free version won’t. Well, it will not only correct common issues with spelling and comma splicing, but it will begin to act as a real editor!

Premium

Advanced issues including word overuse, sentence fragments, passive/active voice misuse, contraction detection, punctuation and many more hidden errors that we often ignore or don’t even realize are there.
Also includes a proactive thesaurus, vocabulary enhancement, and context-optimized synonym suggestions.
On top the professional writing advice, Grammarly’s premium checks for plagiarism!

Free

Standard errors such as spelling, pronoun use, and word choice.
So as you can see, premium offers much more than a simple grammar check. Grammarly will accurately proofread your work and make suggestions that only professional editors and writers could do with ease.

Students, bloggers, and authors, I highly recommend trying Grammarly for free! You will love it! If you want that professional editorial touch to make your blog even more appealing to promote audience growth, go premium!

Try it for Free!

Final Opinions

The only true complaint I can think of is the fact that it may occasionally get confused with the point you are trying to get across. Grammarly accurately detects how you use various words so if it does not know how to correct and error, chances are your readers will also struggle with grasping the point you are trying to get across.
With that being said, I highly recommend that you give your post or paper a final glance after utilizing Grammarly’s expertise just in case you find the need to reword a sentence.

-Image from Pixabay

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Before Creation, Focus on Foundation

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When deciding on creating a blog, you must lay out the blueprint before you begin building. Nothing is worse that starting a blog to only realize that you are boring yourself. Avoid that common issue by carefully planning out ahead of time.

Planning to start a blog begins with choosing a niche. What is it that you want to communicate? Are you going to be delivering advice? Introducing the world to your take on life? Inspiring others? Whatever it may be, make sure that this will be something that you could talk about all the time. You don’t need to be an expert right away but be willing to do more than the average google searcher. To your viewers, you should be seen as a trustworthy expert in the topic so make sure that this is the true you.
Upon getting the easy part out of the way, start choosing how you want to present your ideas. Do you want to type long notebooks, short & sweet advice, or make engaging videos? Each requires a different set of talents and dedication but once you decide on one, you give your blog the opportunity to develop a personality that is not constantly altered.
Lastly, focus on being unique. Strive to be THE blog as opposed to THAT blog. Don’t fear how others will judge your voice. It’s YOUR voice and therefore it can never be copied. The moment you strive to be the same as another is the moment that you become just another blog. Dare to be different and you will naturally attract those readers looking for your upcoming content.
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-Image from Pixabay

Optimize your Blog with Pillar Articles

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All bloggers, no matter the niche, should have some understanding of the power of pillar articles. You may or may not already be using them, but once you get a deeper understanding of their function and use, your blog will enter a whole new level of sophistication.
A pillar article is not simply a single blog post, but rather a miniature network of content within one’s blog. Essentially, a pillar article refers back to a previous or equally relevant post that may not have exactly belonged within the original blog post. As confusing as it may sound, it is a lot easier than you may imagine. In the most basic terms, a blog post becomes a pillar article when it directs its readers to another post, most commonly through the form of hyperlinking.
The Benefits
Pillar articles are one way give your audience a reason to stay! By indirectly referring your readers to another relevant article, you may have the opportunity to answer another question that they may have forgotten that they even had. On top of the reduction of bounce rate and increase in page views, pillar articles can also serve as a great marketing tool. For example, picture this situation:
A new viewer has just Googled “How to Create a Blog” and is directed to your blog for the first time. They are new to the realm of blogging and take interest in your blog posts. During their exploration, the viewer stumbles across a term that they have no knowledge on. Say the phrase “niche blogging” is what they don’t have a great understanding on, but luckily you have hyperlinked this to your older post that explains the process.
Naturally, the same process may occur repeatedly throughout several pillar articles until that one new viewer has stumbled across your personal web hosting recommendation. More likely than not, you have affiliate connections to your hosting recommendation. The result? Your site has just generated 20 additional page views with the addition of a sale off of that single person. Without your blogs implementation of pillar articles, that very same viewer may have left your blog after reading the initial blog post!
How to Create Pillar Articles
The creation of pillar articles should not require much thought and usually will come naturally. As long as you know how to hyperlink an article within your blog post, you know how to turn an ordinary post into a pillar article. DO NOT get carried away with the process in hope of building your site’s view count. It simply will backfire if you try to include every article into a single, irrelevant post. As mentioned above, you should only naturally create these articles. If your blog is closely related to your overall niche of choice, then you will more than likely be talking about similar topics. As a topic from a previous post gets mentioned within one of your newer posts, make the conversion into a pillar article. It will save you time from reexplaining the old article and will allow you to redirect your audience for another short read!
Did you identify whether or not this blog post was a pillar article itself? Like, subscribe and let me know in the comments below!
-Image by Pixabay

Avoiding Writer’s Block

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Have you ever literally become lost for words? Sometimes we’ll all lose train of thought or simply lose inspiration when it comes down to writing. This phenomenon has been coined as “writer’s block”. By definition, it is the process of not being able to think of what to say or getting stuck in the middle of writing a book or article. Bloggers are also in the category of people most likely to suffer from writer’s block. Luckily there is a simple way to avoid it!
From my experience, I’m most productive in writing blog posts when I have already started writing. Although that may not make any sense, it is the truth. I’m the type of person who struggles with starting a blog post and will spend hours deciding on what to even write about. On the bright site, once I get going, there is no stopping me. So how do I battle with my form of writer’s block? I do so by planning ahead. I know for a fact that I’m going to lose train of thought or get distracted sooner or later. I am only human and sometimes it just happens. In order to prevent it from actually hurting my blog, I plan ahead. Instead of trusting myself to consistently write one blog post a day, I use some days to accelerate my blogging effort. When I feel motivated and have constant ideas flowing, I continue to write. This allows me the ability to finish a weeks worth of posting within a single day. Not only does this free up my schedule during the week but it also gives me time to relax and think. The pressure from dealing with writer’s blog can be stressful, but by working full time during my most motivated days, I give my self enough time to deal with writer’s blog in a healthy way!

Importance of Pre-Launch Preparation

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When you finally decide to start a blog, you may find yourself overly eager to publish the site. Your intuition may tell you that the sooner your blog goes live the better, but in reality, this is not true. Launching a blog not only requires you to spend the proper amount of time designing a layout for your site, but also requires you to come up with the rest of the foundation. The foundation includes your blog’s posting schedule, primary topic, and audience!
First and foremost, your blog’s content needs to have a set in stone posting schedule. Well not necessarily “set in stone”, but instead a general schedule. My blog has one post scheduled at the same time everyday. Throwing in an extra post every once in awhile doesn’t hurt, unlike a randomized schedule. The main perk of sticking to a precise posting schedule is allowing your growing audience to know exactly when you will post. Knowing your schedule will make your readers much more likely to tune in when the time comes. This, in turn, will allow your blog to start receiving views almost immediately when a post goes live.
Hopefully you already have a general idea for your blog’s theme or primary topic. Prior to your blog’s launch, you will want to reconsider your blogging ideas. Decide on whether or not people will be interested and determine how widely talked about your blog’s current niche is. If there are billions of other bloggers already talking about your blog’s niche, consider narrowing down, at least until your blog develops a bigger audience. New blogs sure conquer lower competition topics before going big. If your blog is about health, start out by doing posts focused on something like healthy foods or exotic exercises. Each of these smaller niches have plenty to talk about, and in the long run, will allow you to expand to virtually any concept within “health” that you could imagine.
Finally, understand that the majority of your audience will not arrive till months after your initial launch. Your blog has to start somewhere so in order to give it a little boost in exposure, you should get the word out in advance. Set an official launch date for your blog, and be sure to promote yourself in the prior weeks in order to build some anticipation among your followers. You can do this by talking about your upcoming website on Twitter, Facebook, and other social medias. Provide your followers with the launch date and a brief description of your blog in order to have potential viewers waiting at your door step. The day of your blog’s launch should be rewarded with new and organic views, mostly coming from social media. Be sure to ask your audience to like and share your new blog when it launches in order to spread the word even further!

SEO Understanding Boolean Operators

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Boolean Operators are the conjunctions used to separate keywords when searching. In a search, these conjunctions (and, and not, not) provide the user with more refined and relevant results. Although used primarily for precise research, these concepts can be applied to your websites marketing strategies. By truly understanding Boolean Operators, you can learn how to reach your site’s intended audience with ease.
Boolean Operators function the same way as the process of niche blogging. For example, if you are starting a blog on a popular topic, you will want to focus on smaller niches within the topic. By doing so, you reveal the less talked about topics that have less competition. Less competition gives your website a better chance at being discovered and achieving high seo rankings. In short, your goal is to make a post that will show up with 30,000 other search results as opposed to 30,000,000.
How should you go about doing this? Treat you blog or website like a poem. Every word and its placement, make a huge difference when it comes down to search engine discovery. Write down exactly what type of audience you want to attract and decide on what you are actually going to talk about. While avoiding reductions in quality of your blog posts, visit your favorite search engine to do a little research. Find out what keywords are popular and play around with them in your post’s title. Simply moving around two words may help your blog dodge millions of competitors on the internet.
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The Importance of Editors 

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Whether you’re a rising blogger or small business owner, the quality of your website really defines the entire foundation. An important aspect of building a website or blog, is to make sure that you avoid sloppy work. Usually when working on a new blog post or website page, we tend to want to get as much of it put into place as possible. As a blogger preparing many posts a day, I personally don’t take the time to immediately proofread my work. Like you, I am human and never make a perfect, mistake-free article on the first try, which is why I sought out an editor.
The main and most obvious reason that you will want an editor or two working on your site, is so that your hidden errors are corrected. No matter how talented you are in writing, you will always overlook minor errors if you try to proofread your own writing right away. Having a fresh set of eyes readily available to peak at your work allows you to have these commonly overlooked mistakes corrected. On top of having your post more thoroughly reviewed by a peer, you also have the luxury of not being bogged down by a ton of editing.
Editing can become a hassle when you look at a larger scale. If you make one blog post a week, you may not need an official editor. Instead you could ask a trustworthy friend to take a glance at it. Although, if you were to post blogs on a daily schedule, an editor is almost always a better choice. Many bloggers, like myself, like to take a day or two out of the week to crank out enough posts to last me through the next week or so. In order to do so, I like to continue to write nonstop on predetermined posts, so that I avoid getting distracted or becoming bored from the burden of critiquing small details.
To sum things up, will not having an editor mean your website is destined for failure? Of course not, but having one does make your site that much better! So take a moment to consider hiring or asking a friend to be your site’s editor, if you don’t already have one. They don’t necessarily have to be a professional, but their two cents will save you a ton of time! If you have any other suggestions for new bloggers or website owners, feel free to post a comment!