Grammarly Review: Write Your Way to More Polished Blog Posts

grammarly review

Last time, I shared three easy ways to improve your writing. They’re really simple: read, write without thinking of SEO, etc. and get feedback.

Today, I want to raise the oft-talked about topic of bloggers being good writers yet again. Practice makes perfect, and the more you write, the better you get at it.

writing quotes

Make writing well a habit, and you’ll improve daily. [Read more…]

Call for Minimalism: How the New Wave of Blogging Platforms Gives More by Going Less

minimalism-241876_1280

WordPress has become synonymous with blogging.

Over the years, this blogging platform has provided people the opportunity to create their own little online space where they can write whatever’s on their minds. This activity has spread onto others like wildfire, as hundreds and thousands of users have registered for a WordPress account to do the same.

Seeing how effective blogging is, businesses tried their hands at it, producing blog posts catered to their target audience with the purpose of gaining leads and customers.

Along the way, however, WordPress just stopped becoming a blog. In fact, it started to become even more than just a blog, if not better. [Read more…]

How Bloggers Can Help During Times of Tragedy

Nepal_Earthquake_2015_01

On April 25, tragedy struck Nepal as a 7.8-magnitude earthquake destroyed residences and buildings (including the UNESCO Word Heritage sites) in Kathmandu and took the lives of around 5,000 civilians (and counting). The earthquake is the most devastating natural calamity that hit Nepal since the Nepal-Bihar earthquake in 1934.

Relief efforts from all over the world are underway but frustration is boiling in some parts of Nepal who have yet to receive the assistance they badly need.

If you wish to help your Nepali brothers and sisters, below are links to online media outlets pointing to trustworthy organizations collecting donation or the victims of the earthquake:

Before sending out your donation, read this post at NPR first to understand how your donation is received and processed by these organizations.

While these are the steps that you can take in order to lend a helping hand to those in need, the question now remain: what I can do to help as a blogger?

If you are an authoritative blogger with a sizable readership and clout to influence your audience, you can use these to make an effort and increase the assistance to the victims of the earthquakes. Here’s what you can do:

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What Does It Really Mean to Blog?

Students internet computer addiction sitting bench

Students internet computer addiction sitting bench

Andrew Sullivan, blogging pioneer and Blogger-in-Chief at The Daily Dish, retired from blogging in the ‘near future’.

One of blogging’s most unique voices, Sullivan has been sharing his conservative political views since 2000.

He has written newsworthy posts throughout his 15 years as a blogger. He admitted to being wrong about the Iraq war and shared his thoughts about marriage equality, live-blogging about the Green Revolution for a month in 2009, and wrote a lot about Barack Obama.

He also formed a bond with his readers that he was able to share the politics of his own life – getting married to his husband, getting his green card, and getting his heart broken when Dusty passed away.

It is this kind of relationship forged with readers that makes Sullivan a legend in his own right.

A lot of people may not be familiar with Sullivan, but people who matter in his field do. Ta-Nehisi Coates, Noah Smith, and other luminaries in the political blogging world have acknowledged and paid respects to Sullivan’s departure.

As a guy who has never heard of Sullivan prior to writing this interview, I do not want to undersell his accomplishments of inspiring a wave of socially and politically conscious bloggers and entertaining the intellectual readers. That said, I would like to refer you to this wonderful piece by Tyler Cowen who provides a succinct but effective retrospective of Sullivan’s blogging career.

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Flipping the Coin – How do your Customers See your “Little Mistakes”

A little while ago I read this great post by Ken Mueller which got me thinking, “Where have I never been with my posts before?”

I was quite surprised to find that the answer was “The customer’s mind-set.” I have written posts in the past about providing great customer service and nurturing post-purchase, but never actually about how a business could be seen through the eyes of a customer. Most importantly though, how customers view the “little mistakes” that you decided to let slide or deal with later.

Here are ten little mistakes that I see quite often when browsing the web, and how they could be making your customers view your business in the wrong light!

Little mistake #1 – Not blogging or updating your social networks

screenshot of blog not being updated

It’s very easy to neglect things like your blog and social networks. What with more urgent work tasks, familial and social commitments and unexpected requests dominating many of our lives, the simplest solution is to try and alleviate the pressure by “just blogging tomorrow.” That tomorrow then becomes the day after, and the day after that and the day after that, as you can see from the lonely looking lambs in the example above (almost as lonely looking as the stagnant blog itself)!

It’s a vicious circle, and one that can leave both existing and potential customers seeing you as just as neglectful in other areas of your business as in your content. It can also come across as you simply not having anything interesting to say, so how could you have anything interesting to offer your customer too? [Read more…]

Why Marketing Your Blog is Crucial to Its Success

Because blogging has become more mainstream, it’s not enough anymore for businesses to simply have a blog, publish some posts, and call it a day. Blogging has become its own unique cog in the overall branding and marketing machine, forcing companies and blog owners to additionally market their blog if they want to make it successful.

Marketing your blog and promoting the great content that you are focused on writing can help not only generate more blog traffic, but also get more referrals clicks to other pages of your website, especially if you are regularly linking to them within your blog posts (where appropriate). [Read more…]

Sorry, journalists – you can’t rely on tech companies for your next big payday

Sorry, journalists — you can’t rely on tech companies for your next big payday (via Pando Daily)

By Hamish McKenzie On October 7, 2013Bad news, journalists. Tech companies likely aren’t going to save you from your low-paying, high-drudgery jobs at newspapers, magazines, TV channels, radio stations, or blogs. If you’re looking for the easy way…


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Are Comments a Measure of a Blog’s Success?

Comments

CommentsIn December 1997, Jorn Barger of Robot Wisdom coined the term “weblog.” It combined the word “web” and “log,” and at the time such “weblogs” were incredibly basic. There were no push button services at the time, and not just anyone could start plugging away. Eventually, “weblog” got shortened to “blog” sometime around the year 2000, and we have seen massive changes ever since. WordPress, Blogger, Typepad and others have made it super easy for anyone to start creating content, helping to make their voice heard.

As blogs started to evolve, so did the level of interaction around them. The rise of search engines made content easy to discover for the first time ever, and commenting systems made it so that posts were no longer one-sided. Now, thanks to the age of social media, search engines are no longer the main source of discovery. Despite getting my start at blogging around 2008 when Facebook and Twitter were really beginning to gain traction, I always valued comments. [Read more…]

Is Google+ the Next Big Blogging Platform?

Google+

Google+

Google+ is no slouch in the social media space, commanding nearly 200 million active users in the stream as of May 2013. While it does offer unique features like Hangouts, group video chats with up to 10 people, it’s not too awful different from other social networks. You can follow or “Circle” people, segment the people you follow into specific circles (lists), share with specific circles or publicly, and so on.

You can create a community, start a page, and with cool features like Auto Awesome, upload the best looking photos possible. With any social network, the biggest defining factor is its community, many of which who span well beyond the tech geek stereotype. As Google+ continues to grow, so has the idea of it becoming a serious avenue for bloggers. [Read more…]

Why We Don’t Need More Domain Extensions

Domain Extension Image

Domain Extension ImageOver the past year, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Named and Numbers (ICANN), the non-profit organization that is responsible for, among other things, assigning domain names on the Internet, has given initial approval for over 1,500 new “top level domains” (abbreviated as TLDs and sometimes referred to as “domain extensions”).

This means, fairly soon, you could start seeing sites like http://www.site.love, http://www.site.beauty and http://www.site.toys, among many others.

However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll be snapping up your own .baby or .love domain any time soon, many of the extensions may wind up being controlled by private organizations, such as L’oreal’s bid to control .beauty, where there are obvious business interests in the TLD itself, not in selling new domains. As such, many of those applications are for closed registrations, meaning that the operators of the extension will be selective in who they allow to register.

This has already sparked a predictable and understandable fear of corporate control over the Internet. But while the discussion about the balance between corporate control and Internet freedom is important, it’s also important to ask why ICANN is so eager to expand the number of extensions so quickly and what the impact of that expansion could be on the Internet.

Sadly, if previous expansions have taught us anything, it’s probably the latter. [Read more…]