How to use polls to engage your blog readers

Hey blogger!

Have you ever used a poll before? If you’ve not, today’s post is perfect for you. 

Polls are a good way for bloggers to find answers to questions, try out new things or just feel the pulse of the online tribe.

Here are a few ways you can use polls for your blog.

To try out a new blog segment

Are you thinking of introducing a fresh segment on your blog but you are not sure how your audience will take it? Try taking a  poll. You can do a pilot post on your blog and create a simple poll asking your readers to vote for or against the new segment. This is a bit better than asking them to leave a comment because it gives you the results without you having to count manually who is for or against the addition. 

Top notch ideas on how to improve the blog

Tired of second guessing or doing it on your own? Ask for help. Ain’t nothing wrong with that! If you need ideas on how to improve your delivery, design or approach you can create a poll to ask your followers. Most of them would gladly chip in a thing or two. Besides your audience’s advice is priceless especially the honest and sincere ones.

What you should remove from your blog

This may be a bit painful especially if you do not agree with some of the suggestions but honest and sincere answers never hurt anyone right? The worst that could happen is that you’d reject the suggestions and move on. On the other hand, you may be getting valuable feedback on how to make your blog more likeable. 

Either way, polls are a great way to engage your audience in a fresh way.

If you do this your blog will not grow

Every blogger wants a responsive, irresistible, if possible, money making blog. However, there are a few things you do that can affect the growth of your blog.

One of them is failing to promote your content WELL. Note that we didn’t just say failing to promote your content. Do you just send broadcast messages to the few contacts on your WhatsApp list and forget about that post? That’s definitely not enough. 

You need to ensure you add sharing buttons to your blog articles and share content at peak times of your audience’s social activity.

You may be wondering why. We’ll tell you.   

Blogging is a very time sensitive work. Don’t just think you can write, publish and share content whenever you want. You must be sensitive to timing to get the optimum engagement. 

Other important things you can do include:

  • Sharing your article on social networking sites with images (to make them more attractive)
  • Sharing content multiple times on social media sites
  • Keeping up with your content by responding to comments etc.
  • Encouraging your blog authors, contributors, team members, friends and family to use their social networks to help share your blog content.

For your blog to grow, you need to be intentional about it. Put in the work and you will see the results. 

Here’s what you need to know about changing the name of your blog

 

Have you been thinking of changing the name of your blog but you think you would be committing a criminal offence under the blogging code if you actually do.

Fear not!  Today’s post has come to your rescue!

Just like your personal name, the name of your is super important. It is literally the first thing that anyone notices about your blog and it helps to pass a strong message about what your blog is about.

When you want to change your personal name there are so many things to consider. The same aplies when you are thinking of changing the name of your blog. It is possible to outgrow a name when it comes to blogging but you must take precaution. 

You have to consider the following;

How important is it?

Is it really that important? A name is not something you play with. Why do you want to change the name, and essentially your identity online? Because you feel like it? Because the current name doesn’t exemplify what the blog is about anymore? You need to answer all these questions.

How far gone have you gone in the blogging game?

For popular bloggers, it may be difficult to change their name because they have spent so much time, energy and money in turning that name into a brand. If your readers are already accustomed to the name of your blog you may want to think twice before you change that name.

Match your blog’s new name with a domain. 

If it’s imperative that you change the name of your blog please make sure that you do all you can to match the blog’s name and domain (URL). As you’re considering what to change your name to, do a search to see if the domain is available (and try to get the .com and .net). Having your blog name and URL match isn’t just good SEO, it’s an easy way for people to find you. If a reader can remember the name of your blog, she can remember your URL and find you. 

Match your brand throughout your social media accounts. 

Once you change the name of your blog update the change on all your social media accounts. Let your followers know and change your bio information where you need to. It is not nice to confuse everyone. 

We hope this was helpful! 

 

 

Do this when you don’t know what to blog about

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You have decided to be consistent with blogging and you even went ahead to set a target for yourself. The only issue is that you don’t know what your next post will be about. 

We have a suggestion for you – Do something interesting and then write about it.

If you really think you are stuck, do this and it will fix all your problems. Life is way easier to write about when you’re doing something interesting. Don’t you think so? Take a course, tick activities off your bucket list, say hello to a stranger on your way from work. It doesn’t have to be anything super serious but it must be interesting enough to catch the attention of your blog readers. 

You never can tell, they may like the post so much and request that you make that post a regular one on your blog. This would however not happen if you do not try it out first. 

Blogging doesn’t have to be so straight jacketed and boring. Try new things and have fun while you are at it. Just make sure that you don’t use writer’s block as an excuse not to write. You know what we think about it already. 

5 Storytelling Mistakes You Must Avoid as a Blogger

Blogging is fun. It requires you to share a story with your readers. This story could be about your experience, thoughts or events happening around you.

If you want your readers to keep flocking to your blog, you need to master the art of storytelling. Bloggers are story tellers. Didn’t you know that? Well, now you do and today we have some storytelling mistakes that you must avoid so that your readers can have the best experience when they visit your blog. 

Writing the stories you want to read. 

Yes, we know it’s your blog but if you keep writing only the stories you want to read, you will alienate your readers. You must be wondering, ‘Doesn’t this conflict with the advice to write from my heart and write the things I am passionate about?’ No it doesn’t.

While you are free to choose the theme you want to write on, you must write your story in a way that will be interesting to your audience. It’s not just about the story but how you tell it.

Forcing yourself to sound like a storyteller.

Authenticity is key when it comes to storytelling. When you tell yourself that you must sound like a storyteller, you can be assured that you are doing it wrong. Don’t force the story neither should you try to fake it. Authenticity goes a long way in telling stories effectively.

One tip we can give is for you to make your story as real as possible. You can use real people and real events to achieve this. 

Prolonging the story beyond what is necessary

Storytelling doesn’t mean you have to write an epistle. This is not a series or a book. It is a blog. Make your story short, sweet and simple. When a story drags on, it may get boring and you don’t want your readers to be bored right?

If you want to write a long story, consider breaking it into parts and let your readers anticipate the next installment. 

Starting in a boring way

The story may be great but if the opening sentences are boring, you may have wasted a good story. Your readers may not get to the end or read the interesting parts of the story.

Sometimes, the best place to start a story isn’t right at the beginning. Come up with creative ways to start your story. This is will make your readers eager to read more. 

Not having a main point of focus

What’s the point of writing a pointless story? You would have wasted both your time and energy. Let your story have a key message; something your readers will take away at the end. Even if the story is just to make your readers smile, write in a way that you will allow you to easily achieve this purpose. The last thing you want is for your reader to get to the end of your story and say, “What did I just read?” 

Always bear in mind that honing your storytelling skills comes with practice and the content you consume. Visit blogs where the owner tells beautiful stories. It will rub off on your own storytelling skills. 

 

Every blogger needs to read this

3 ways to get great pictures for your blog

How do you feel when you see bloggers who write posts and get 20 comments, 100 shares and even gets endorsement deals because of their blog. It makes you wonder what you are not doing right.

We saw this quote and we were encouraged and being the great people that we are, we have decided to share. This quote was shared by Darren Rowse.  He said

99.9% of great bloggers are not awesome on day one. Their awesomeness is the accumulation of the value they create over time.”

How profound is that? 

This means that you have no business getting envious of other bloggers and their successes because they have done so much work overtime to get to that point. You can’t be blogging for one month and expect the same results as someone who has been blogging consistently for one year. 

No blogger becomes perfect by writing just one blog post. Perfection and mastery comes from blogging over and over and over again. So if you are feeling depressed as to why you are not seeing results be rest assured that they will come you just have to keep blogging.  The more you blog the better you become at editing posts, creating images and sharing your thoughts. 

We know that there are some people who will argue that they’ve been blogging for a while and still no results. Our advice is this keep blogging your time will come. 

 

These tools will help you blog like a boss

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Sparkle Writers, how are you doing? and your blog? Fine we hope.

You know how time consuming it is to manage a blog right? It’s even more difficult when you are trying to do things right. In between finding the right images for your blog, editing the images and posting on facebook, twitter and instagram time never seems enough. 

Here are a few tools that can help you blog like a boss.

Fiverr

Ever heard of this amazing community? It has a pool of experts that can help you with several blog activities. Logo design, template creation, programming and lots more. All you need to do is get started by signing in. What’s best? It costs $5dollars. Well you can get them for that amount or higher, depending on what you want. 

Grammarly 

Grammarly is a great tool  that helps you improve your writing. It helps to correct your typos and grammatical errors. What do you think about having something that helps you edit your work just as you are typing.  Well that’s if you sync it with your computer. Grammarly is that tool that can work for you.

Mailchimp

What serious blogger does not communicate with his reader via email? Not sure there is any. Mailchimp helps you send messages to your reader, talk about blog posts and grow your community. They have free and paid versions so you can choose what plan suits you.  

 

 

How responsive is your blog design?

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Hey Sparkle Writers, did you know that mobile users spend more than 63 percent of their time on their phones accessing mobile websites and apps? 

So what do you think this means to you as a blogger? Your blog design must be responsive enough to accommodate all kind of users. 

Mobiles and tablets are now a primary source of web traffic all over the world.

If your theme doesn’t respond well to the smaller mobile screens there is a good chance you will be losing valuable traffic as people click away to find something easier to navigate

If you want to keep these people there’s only one way to do it, make your blog design responsive. 

You can use this to test to find out if it is responsive or not.

We’ve checked ours and its very responsive! 

 

 

 

 

Your blog is a brand; treat it as such

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We know there are many reasons why you could have started your blog.  For a lot of people, they started their blog because they needed something, somewhere to document their thoughts and words but as time goes on you will realize that there is more to your blog than just documenting your thoughts. 

Your blog is a brand. Your brand (Yes you read that right). It is a brand and you should begin to treat it as that. 

If you haven’t realized that yet, it’s probably because you have not taken deliberate steps to make it one. 

Here are a few things you can do to change that;

Give your blog a tagline.

A tagline adds insight into your blog’s personality and content that is integral to your brand. Consider your blog’s focus and keywords. For example, the Sparkle Writers uses simple facts to truths to encourage writers not to give up . Ours is this ” We believe every writer has a sparkle. We can help you discover yours.”

Choose a memorable address.

While options such as WordPress.com and Blogger are freely available, it’s advisable that you start using your own URL for your blog. This gives your blog its individual identity. Don’t use just any name, use something memorable, a name your readers will easily remember. 

Be distinctive and original

Your blog must be original to be an authentic brand. Don’t go copying other people’s  blog posts and ideas just to keep your blog alive Remember our post on copying blog posts?  It’s not just right. A brand should not be built on copying and piracy or plagiarism. It should carry your essence and only you can make that happen. 

 

Your ideas are valuable

Your ideas are valuable

If you are a blogger then you already know that blogging is not all cake and ice cream. You need a lot of work and plenty ideas to keep your blog running. One post per month will not do justice. 

So how do you keep your blog running properly? The trick is to maximize every idea you get. No idea is useless and you have to learn that.  To keep the content coming, you need to have ideas to write about. When you get an idea, write it down. You don’t have to use it now but just write it down. You never can tell when that idea will make sense to you. 

Again, no idea is useless. So when next you get inspired by something seemingly unimportant, grab your journal and note it. A day will come when you’d want to develop that idea but if you can’t remember the topic how you will you flesh out an article?

Another option is to curate content from others or do an alternative post, such as using video.

Whatever option you go for, just know that every idea is valuable. You never know who needs to read that next post.