12 things to note when getting your domain name

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If you are a blogger considering moving from probably a wordpress.com account to hosting your own website, this post is for you. We will not be able to exhaust all of the dos and don’ts in one post but we can give you enough information that will help to shape your website decisions.

Here are the dos and don’ts.

  • Choose the right technology and hosting solutions in website building.
  • Use the smallest images you need, not the smallest images available.
  • Use software programs to compress large images or to resize.
  • Avoid complex designs. Stick with a simple design.
  • Use the same background images on every page.
  • Limit what your visitors have to download.
  • Open the site on a mobile using data connection and check how fast it loads.
  • Make the site mobile-friendly.
  • Make the icons clear and well-organized.
  • Make it easy to find addresses and phone numbers.
  • Make sure your web designer is cool with codes and scripts that is if you are not the web designer.
  • Do a test-run on as many browsers and devices as possible.

And you are good to go!

 

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The difference between your blog and social media

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Do you know that there is a difference between your blog and social media? If you didn’t know, this post is just for you.  

This is why. 

Blogging and social media allow people to share their opinions and thoughts with the people who listen. They allow you to promote the links you want to promote, share that news status, and more. However, blogging and social media are also very different.

When you blog, your content is all by itself. There is no competition when someone enters the URL to your blog. It’s just your blog post followed by another one of your blog posts. With this method, you can develop a stronger community.

On social media, you will develop a larger community, but larger doesn’t mean stronger. If someone is following thousands of people, chances are they won’t see a lot of your tweets. Social media is also filled with competition because the timeline keeps on updating. A new tweet appears on your timeline every second, and millions of tweets are sent out every day. This is the same for Facebook, Pinterest, Google+, and all of the other social networks. It’s also very easy to get fake followers although fake subscribers to a blog are less likely.

Blogging allows you to develop a strong community and social media allows you to build a large community. It’s quantity against quality. However, if you can mix the two together, you will have a big presence on the web.

 

Why you should stop publishing one post every month

 

You are busy and we understand that but if you continue posting barely once every month you will kill your blog. According to Neil Patel on Moz.com, the less you post, the less chance your newest post has at gaining traction. Sad right? 

That one blog post every two months is about as good as not blogging at all. The more frequently you post, the more traffic you are going to get. That traffic eventually slows and then dies when you stop posting.

Besides, if Google comes back to your site to check for more content and doesn’t find any, it will back off and it may be a long time before the it comes back to check. 

What qualifies you to be a blogger is if you are blogging actively. Except you really don’t care if anyone reads your post, you really should do something about your blogging consistency and the earlier you do so, the better for you and the next post you are about to publish. 

Blogging myths we can’t stand

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Blogging is defintely a thing, not only in Nigeria but all over the world. However, despite its popularity there are some things we hear about blogging that make us cringe. 

If you decide to believe these things hook, line and sinker, you’d be living in a world of your own. 

Here are three myths we just can’t stand. 

Blogging is Cheap

We don’t know why people actually believe this. Data alone is so expensive and that’s the primary tool of a blogger, so why would anyone say blogging is cheap? If you intend to be a professional blogger, you would need a domain name which is not free, maybe a professional camera and a few other things. Blogging is definitely not cheap. 

Blogging is Easy 

What exactly is easy? Even eating requires some form of work. Blogging entails thinking, planning, scheduling, writing, editing, proper creativity and a lot more. Most times bloggers have to work overnight to edit videos or upload posts just to make sure their readers are satisfied. Do you really think that is easy?

Everyone’s in it for the Money

This is obviously not true and we wonder why some people can’t see it. There are many people who blog to solve a problem, to express their passion and many others., just like the Sparkle Writer’s Hub 🙂 

 The money may come but that’s not everyone’s priority.

 

Why how-to posts are one of the most powerful blog posts you can ever write

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If we told you that there’s one kind of post you’d publish on your blog and readers will keep coming for more what will you do? What if we said this kind of post fits into any niche; isn’t that much better? 

“How to” posts are one of the most efficient ways to communicate with your readers. Everyone has a need and is seeking solutions. If you dedicate your blog posts to solving a particular need, your readers will grow steadily.   

Think about it. Why do we go to the web? Apart from going to find out the latest in film, football and to connect with friends, we go to the internet to learn. That’s why before you finish typing, ‘how do I…’ on Google several options pop up. Many people are seeking answers. If your blog provides a step by step on how to solve their problems they’d become a regular on your blog. Pick a topic that interests you and consistently dish out solutions to issues under that topic.  

How-to’s and tutorials establish your credibility and expertise. Use them well. 

Blogging Series – Don’t lose your old readers trying to find new ones

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We found this valuable tip for bloggers by Darren Rowse and we had to share. We hope you learn a few things from this.

Love the readers you already have. A lot of bloggers get quite obsessed with finding new readers – to the point that they ignore the ones they already have. Yes – do try to find new readers but spend time each day showing your current readers that you value them too and you’ll find that they will help you grow your blog.

Focusing on your readers is a great way to get to know them better. I love the way Daniel Burstein describes blog readers’ expectations of you as a blogger:

A blog is really two things. One, simply a piece of technology, a platform. But, two, it is a promise in the minds of most readers, who expect that the blog should have actual content with some elements of value that is hyper-targeted to their needs. Much like with a newspaper. Readers don’t just look at a newspaper as newsprint that is delivered on their driveway every morning. They look at it as valuable information about their city, where they live, and the things that they do.

Preserve your old readers as you pursue new ones. 

Why your contact information should be on your blog

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Having a blog and filling it up with great content is good but it won’t make so much sense if after reading your blog, readers cannot reach you because there is no contact information. 

Your contact page is your final link between you and your readers. If you are selling a service on your blog it is even more imperative that you update the page. How else do you expect readers to reach you?

Depending on what you want to achieve it is not enough to have a ‘contact us’ page, include your email address, your Instagram page url and other information that would help your readers link up with you on different platforms. The more the merrier!

It is never too late to start blogging

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You really want to start your blog but you are afraid it’s too late. There are so many, probably too many, bloggers out there. “Why add to the number,” you keep thinking. We do not agree with you. 

Although we won’t deny that there are so many bloggers already in the blogspehere, this has absolutely nothing to do with your authentic and distinct belief that you have something to offer to an audience special to you. There is an infinity of niches that we doubt there will ever be a time when there will be no more opportunities for a new blogger. 

Are you worried that everything’s already been done? Well, people have been afraid of that for decades, and it doesn’t stop new blogs from emerging.  Every topic can be broken down into hundreds of sub-topics, and each of those subtopics can be broken down into potential target audiences.

You also need to realize that content audiences are consistently growing over time. More users are introduced to the internet, the internet becomes more and more accessible (such as with public Wi-Fi and mobile devices), and blogs become even more popular. The result is an ever-growing pool of potential readers that is currently showing no signs of slowing down.

We recently read a post from Christopher Foster a 79 years old man who recently  started blogging! You heard that right, he is 79  years old and he just started blogging, now tell us what is your excuse? 

Grow your social media followership through your blog

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Blogging is a blessing! Amongst the many benefits, blogging helps you grow your social media follower base consistently. You didn’t know that? Now you know. If you have always wanted your numbers on social media to improve, pay close attention to your blog posts and publish consistently.

Although blogging is not the only way to improve your numbers, your readers are one of the first and maybe your most loyal followers. Once you have picked a steady date and time when you’d be posting those who love your work will, consciously or unconsciously, also want to relate with you and get to know the face behind the blog.

This is why you should help them locate you easily. Put up direct links to your social media pages on your blog where your readers can easily find it and follow you. It is also important to mention to your followers to follow you across the various social media platforms. Sometimes putting it up is not enough, you have to say it. Little by little you’d begin to notice an increase in your social media numbers and if the content on social media is as good as what you put on the blog you’d keep them.

Please remember that this is not a magical way to grow numbers but if you are consistent you’d get the rewards.

The importance of easy navigation on your website or blog

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There is a kind of frustration you feel when you log into a website/ blog and have to go through so much stress to find information. Really, you do not want to give your readers the trouble of looking for content when there are easier ways to make your website easily navigable. Arrange your site in such a way that makes sense to your visitors.

Here are tips to make your website fun to visit.

  • Include a search box in the same position on every page.
  • The logo should be clearly displayed on every page and a click should take them back to the homepage.
  • Use consistent font on every page.
  • Use dark characters on a light background.
  • Do not make readers scroll too long to get to the end of your page.
  • Use headers and bulleted lists for quick scanning.

Always make your blog very easy for your readers to go through and get information. They won’t hesitate to come back when you do that.