Dear New Blogger: 7 Things I Would Like You To Know

Advice to a new blogger

Many people will take the wonderful decision to start a blog this year. If you are one of such people or you have recently started a blog, I will like you to know some things which will help you in the blogging journey.

1. Your decision to start a blog is a step in the right direction

Some people would start a blog and then begin to wonder if they are doing the right thing. If you are thinking like that, then the following words are for you.

I wouldn’t know the reason you started your blog, but one assurance I can give you is that starting a blog is a good step you have taken. So don’t give in to self-doubt!

However, if you are not sure why you started a blog in the first place, take some time off to get that settled. You don’t want your blog to be directionless and purposeless. Do you?

Once you have defined the purpose of your blog, believe in it strongly. Having a firm belief in your blog’s mission will empower you, encourage you, enlarge you  and deepen your expectations.

When I started this blog, I saw it as an avenue to share my thoughts with the world and also to explore my writing skill which has remained latent over the years of my life. But I soon discovered that blogging is also a journey of personal development.

Apart from the many other benefits you will get to enjoy from starting a blog, you will get to discover that blogging will help your personal development in many ways. I don’t want to over-flog this point because as you know, the taste of the pudding is in the eating. So ride right ahead on your blogging journey.

2. Read and write extensively

As you have embarked on the blogging journey, know that you have headed in the writing direction. In other words, a blogging journey is largely a writing journey.

One notable thing that writers do is that they read a lot. So if you want to go far with your blogging experience, you have to read and write extensively. By so doing, you will gain more knowledge, have fresh ideas and improve on your writing skills.

If you have the dream to be a published author one day, know that your writing blog is a veritable platform to hone your skills. You get the point?

Promote your blog posts on social media.

3. Take some steps to make your blog more visible

Let me shock you with this little statement: despite all the efforts you have put in it, many people who should be reading your blog do not even know that it exists in the first place. That’s harsh, I know but it is the reality you are face with!

Your blog is new on the block hence I concede that it will take some time for it to gain due popularity. But if you think the world should read your blog because you have something valuable to share, I think it is worth it for you to take some steps to make the blog more visible than it is right now so that more and more people can discover it to read.

For instance, you should make sure your blog is indexed as ‘public’ rather than as ‘private’ to make it discoverable by search engines. Also when you publish a post on your blog, don’t go to sleep. Promote it on social media and encourage your readers to share it as well.

Those are just a few tips on how to make your blog more visible. You can find out others for yourself.

4. You need to interact with other blogs regularly

I already said you should read very extensively. Part of what you should be reading regularly are posts on other blogs – whether they are in your area of niche or not. I know from my own experience that there are many benefits of reading other people’s blogs.

Don’t be an island to yourself. Reach out and interact with other bloggers. Follow their blogs. Read their posts. Hit the like button on the posts you have read and liked.

Most importantly, leave meaningful comments on other blogs’ posts you have read. Both the writers of the blogs you comment on as well as some of their other readers may follow your trail to your blog to read your posts as well. And please, for goodness sake, don’t tell me you don’t care if no one reads your blog, because that would be a lie!

5.You will face some negative criticisms on your blog

Let no one deceive you, blogging is not a piece of cake. There would be times the feedback you get would seem like a bitter pill to swallow. But it is up to you how you would react to it.

Apart from the hard-work and personal discipline that your blog requires from you, know also that some people will harshly criticise you for it. There are those who will question your decision to start a blog. Some will dismiss your posts as irrelevant and some others will even attack your person.

Whatever kind of criticisms you may face, do not be discouraged and do not give up on your blogging mission. Just stay focused on your blogging objectives and use the criticisms to improve on your game. I tell you what, there are some good things about the negative criticisms you will get on your blog. Find them and use them.

valeria-zoncoll-145929-unsplash.jpg

6. If you leave your blog, your blog will leave you

I don’t mean that to be taken so literally. But I do want to emphasise on the need to stay ‘close’ to your blog.  I have a personal rule that no day passes without me checking up on my blog. That way I am able to make draft posts, review pending posts,  or catch up with responses on  my readers’ comments.

I am not saying you should be like me; follow the pattern that works for you. The important thing is that you don’t leave your blog ‘unattended’ to for weeks or months. Your faithful readers will be left hanging if you do that!

In a way, having a blog is like having a baby. You have to nurture it, feed it regularly and ensure that it remains healthy. That’s what you should do to your blog too.

Respond to readers comments your posts. Write new posts regularly. If you choose to post daily, weekly or monthly as the case may be, please be consistent about it. To keep your readers coming back, you have to give them something good to regularly come back to.

7. You might see the need to start a second blog too

I already assured you that your decision to start a blog is a step in the right direction. So I take it that we are settled on that.

What about starting a second or even a third blog? That’s not a bad idea either. But you have to wait until there is a compelling need for it. Otherwise, your energy might be spread out too thinly across multiple blogs and you might stifle your main one to death.

When I started Victors’ Corner, I didn’t see the need for another blog until three years after. Being a personal blog, I had about six categories of posts I crammed into it. But I have recently seen the need to create a separate blog from the Poems’ Category. That has given rise to Living Poems blog.

As as you make progress with your current blog, you might sense the need to set up another blog, that’s okay. You are not doing that with the aim of shutting down your current blog but with the purpose of furthering another blogging objective.

Thank you for reading my suggestions to new bloggers. Let the conversation continue in the comment section. What will be your advice to a new blogger?


©Copyright 2019 | Victor Uyanwanne

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5 Blog Comments Turned into Full-fledged Posts

 

blog comments vs blog post

In a previous post, I suggested that you could turn some of the most outstanding comments on your blog into full-fledged posts.  The idea is that turning outstanding comments on your blog to full-fledged posts will open up the comments for more visibility, further discussion and more impact and penetration.

To show that I have already walked the talk, please allow me to briefly share 5 of my readers’ comments that were turned into full-blown posts on this blog. (Clicking on the highlighted titles will lead you to the full version of the post).

#1. Racial Discrimination in Southern Africa: A True Life Experience

This particular post captured the true-life story of one of my blog readers who experienced racial discrimination in Southern Africa. It was her  personal response to an earlier post of mine, namely Racism in the US Vs tribalism in Nigeria.

In the reader’s words,

“Discrimination is something that really pricks me because I have experienced it. For the life of me, I just cannot understand why people choose to look down on other people because of intangible attributes/features.

“The funny thing is that you don’t have to go as far as America to witness and feel the effect of racism. Come down to the southern part of Africa, you would see and feel it yourself. It’s more transparent in South Africa and Namibia than in other Southern African countries.”

#2. Prejudice Comes in Different Forms – A Reader’s Perspective

Racial injustice.

As the discussion on racial discrimination continued on the blog, another reader introduced a different perspective saying,

“…Being prejudiced comes in many forms and it isn’t just restricted to those who have a different skin-colour – although that is one of the more obvious forms. …All of us are prejudiced in some ways; it could be education, upbringing, intelligence, success or failure and a host of other “particulars”.

But does that mean racism is justified? The answer is No!

As the reader further expatiated, “Racial prejudice is wrong in all of it’s various forms but I fear it is a condition of the human heart regardless of our skin-colour, regardless of our education or upbringing or success or failure…

“We all are creations of our Creator, made in His image and we [are in] error if we think otherwise. And most importantly, we all need the saving Grace that God in His wisdom holds over to us, namely the acceptance and saving shed blood of His Son, Jesus Christ, to make us new.”

#3. Conversations With Atheists 2

victorscorner

This post captured some of the most interesting conversations I have had with some atheists on this blog. One of them claimed nature has helped his understanding of life more than the ‘man in the sky.” But he would not acknowledge that the man in the sky, so-called, is the Architect of the Universe, the One whom it was that put the natural world in place.

“God is out of touch with the world” claimed another so-called atheist. To that I responded, “It is even more appropriate to say that it is the people of the world that are losing touch of God. All men, including you, need to get know God better.” How can someone who doesn’t exist lose touch?

Yet another self-professed atheist got carried away during one of our conversations and he kept saying, God is wicked, God doesn’t love humans, God enjoys to see people suffer, etc. Really? I couldn’t hold back asking him, “How can the God you say doesn’t exist be wicked and loveless?

All these led me to surmise that many atheists are living in self-denial when they say that God doesn’t exist, because deep in their hearts they know that they are wrong.

#4. Pornography: Setting Up Defences In Our Daily Lives And Taking Them Seriously

viewing pornography

In this post, I shared the comment of a reader, who in a very frank manner, identified with the pervasive personal struggle against lust and pornography, as well as the ways to overcome them.

According to this reader, we must all understand that pornography has harmful effects on our lives, careers and family. Therefore, it should not be accepted as a normal thing in our daily living.

To deal with addiction to pornography decisively, the reader recommends that we must identify the things that trigger the desire in us and set up adequate defences against them.

Worthy of mention, is the readers suggestions that “we need to spend quality time with GOD every day, not as a to-do-list or a good christian checklist. But because God wants a relationship with us, and how do we have a relationship with anyone we never spend time with?”

#5. Being a Loving Leader Does Not Mean You Shouldn’t Hold Your Team Accountable

Being a loving leader

As a leader, you should love your team members, even when things do not go according to plan.

As one author observed, ”If you are leading anything of significance then you will regularly run into many uncertainties, obstacles, and failures. And it is the way you deal with these situations, how you handle things going wrong, that truly defines your leadership.”

And when things do go wrong, you as the leader should build a shared understanding of the root-cause of the problem through what the reader called “exploration conversations” without demoralising any member of your team.

“This approach doesn’t preclude a leader from holding people accountable for their actions. In fact, it is the opposite. If you don’t hold people accountable then you aren’t really being a loving leader.”

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You have read some of the blog comments on this site that I turned into full-fledged posts. You can click on the embedded links to read the complete posts.

Have you ever turned a reader’s comment into a full-fledged post on your blog? Feel free to leave a feedback or reaction in the comment section below.


©Copyright 2018 | Victor Uyanwanne

Turning Your Readers’ Comments To Full-Fledged Blog Posts

Treasures are useless if they are buried away in the earth. But once they are brought to the surface, they can be appropriately harnessed and put into meaningful uses.

That’s how it is with your readers’ invaluable comments; they will not be so useful to your other readers if they are not given the optimum attention they deserve.

Let me state categorically that it is very important you don’t fail to peruse your blog’s comment section. That way, (apart from responding to all the comments as appropriate), you can sift out the gems in your readers’ thoughts or the feedback left for you in print, and then give them maximum exposure.

Talking about maximum exposure, that’s what you should give to your readers’ most outstanding comments. You can do that if you would use some of your readers’ most impressive contributions to write full-blown posts on your blog.

My point is that as you explore your readers’ comments, you might come across veritable comments that could be converted to full-fledged posts.

As you already know, not everyone who reads your blog posts has the patience and time to go through all the other readers’ comments one by one. But you, as the blog author, should not fail to do that.

I strongly believe that there are many other benefits of looking at the comment section of your blog. For instance, if you thoroughly explore your readers’ comments, you will definitely be able to pick up some fresh ideas for new posts.

You may even find some comments on your blog that can be directly lifted and turned into full-fledged posts. And that’s the reason I am using this post to drum that point home.

Needless to say, I have been able to convert some of my readers’ comments into full-fledged posts a number of times on this blog. And the experiences have been great. So I will not hesitate to suggest you do the same thing on your blog.

Turning outstanding post comments to full-fledged posts opens up the comments for more visibility, further discussion and more impact.

One advantage of turning a good blog comment into a full-blown post is that the valuable information or insights shared by your readers will not be not buried or lost deep down there in the comment section.

It would be great if you can have everyone who reads your main post to also read all the blog comments generated by the post. But as I already pointed out, not all your readers will be able to quarry through the depths of the many comments on your blog to extract out the hidden gems.

You can help out occasionally by turning some of those invaluable comments into full-fledged posts. Doing so will make it more accessible to more of your readers.

In a subsequent post, I will highlight some of my readers’ comments that I successfully lifted and turned into full-blown posts on this blog.

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What do you think of the idea of turning some outstanding comments on your blog into full-fledged posts?


©Copyright 2018 | Victor Uyanwanne

7 Benefits Of Reading Other People’s Blogs

Why you should read blogs

The whole experience of blogging is not about you churning out posts after posts for people to read, to like, to comment on and to share. It is also about you reading other people’s blogs and interacting with them as much as you can.

There are many benefits you will derive by reading other people’s logs. In this post, I will highlight seven of such benefits.

7 Benefits of reading other people’s blogs


1. You learn from other people

People share ideas, experiences and insights on their blogs. They do so not for self-amusement but for you to read them. You will learn as you read those sites.

As one of my readers once stated, “What I love about blogging is taking the time to read other people’s thoughts about faith stuff as its important to get perspectives different from my own.”

Every opportunity you have to read is an opportunity to learn something new or remind you of something’s you have forgotten.

Be honest with yourself for once: you don’t know everything. That’s why you should read what other people have written on their blogs so that you can know what they know.

2. You discover new blogs to follow.

People follow your blog and you should follow other people’s blogs too. Reading other blogs will help you determine whether or not to  follow such blogs.

There are many reasons I may not have followed some blogs. But reading other people’s blogs helps me to discover suitable ones to follow.

Although there were some blogs I followed at first sight (especially the ones recommended to me), my guiding principle is that I would need to read two or three posts on any blog before I make the affirmative decision to hit the follow-button.

3. You sharpen your writing skills.

Writers do not only write, they read a lot as well. By extension, as a blogger, in addition to updating your own blog, you should also read blogs other than yours and learn from the writing styles employed by the authors of such blogs.

Personally, I learn a lot from reading other people’s posts. Just like many WordPress users, I did not attend any training on blogging before I got started. Everything I know, I have learnt from reading what other people have written and putting them into practice.

getting people to read your blog

4. You attract more followers to your blog.

“One good turn deserves another” they say. If you want people to read your posts, you too should read other people’s posts.

There is a great chance that if you add value to a blog as you read it – by leaving a comment for instance – you are likely to attract more followers to your own blog.

5. Opportunity to interact with fellow bloggers.

For you to comment on a post, you have to read it first. I would expect that you don’t want to comment on a post you haven’t read.

Essentially, a post is someone’s idea or opinion about something, somebody or some place. Your comment on the post will be your own response to it.

You could also respond to other people’s comments on the post, thereby expanding the sphere of interactions.

6. Community, fellowship and friendship.

As you interact with other bloggers, you form a kind of bond and friendship that might prove valuable to you. Some of your online or blogging friends may eventually turn into your friends in real life.

And when someone becomes your real life friend, the opportunities become limitless. I shared my little experience in this regard when I published From a blog friend to a real life friend.

7. Source of blog ideas

Apart from the new things you learn by reading other blogs, you might also receive inspiration for new posts on your blog. I have experienced this several times.

As I read other people’s blogs, there seems to be a spark of inspiration that comes from it. And I have developed many of such thoughts into full-fledged posts on this blog.


What other benefits do you get from reading blogs other than yours? Leave a comment.


© Copyright 2018| Victor Uyanwanne

6 Good Things About The Negative Criticisms You Get On Your Blog

Negative criticisms of your blog
Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

You will get criticised whatever you do. Blogging is not an exception to that fact of life.

You cannot stop people from criticising you in your blogging journey. But while constructive criticisms are good and welcome, negative criticisms are bitter pills to swallow.

And no matter how bitter the pill of criticisms can be, there are times you have to accept and swallow them as they are, even if it means frowning your face doing it.

The truth is, there is always room for improvement. That’s why you should assess every criticism to extract whatever might be good in it, with a view to improving your life.

As much as you love what you do, not everyone will love you for it. While some people may be indifferent  about your blogging activities, there are some other people that will come against you with harsh criticisms as feedback. But that you face some negative feedback doesn’t mean you should quit on your blog’s mission.

It certainly means you should find the best ways to handle the negative criticisms that confront you in such a way that they become beneficial to you.

Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it. Charles R. Swindoll

The question is, can there be anything beneficial in negative criticisms? I will say yes!

In this post, I will show you six good things about the negative criticisms you get on your blog:

1. Criticisms show you are being noticed.

There are millions of blogs out there. So if someone takes the time to pass a critical comment on your blog, it shows that you are gaining some visibility. Or would you rather be ignored?

2. There is some thing to learn from every criticism.

No matter how cantankerous your readers get while commenting on your blog, try not to be offended. Put a positive construction on whatever criticisms you get, because you will learn something good from it if you handle it properly.

Criticisms may cause your emotions to flare up. Learn to avoid that trap and you will be better positioned to learn something from the criticism that will make your blogging experience better.

3. Criticisms are part of your personal growth process.

You have heard the saying that if people throw stones at you, you should gather them to build a monument. You can apply that principle in blogging too.

When people throw the stones of negative criticisms at you, use them to build up yourself. In order words, don’t allow criticisms to tear you down. And specifically, do not quit on your blogging mission simply because you are being criticised.

4. Criticisms give you opportunity to be nice.

Some people have never been kind in their lives. So don’t expect them to start with your blog. When they attack you with harsh words on your blog, don’t respond to them fire for fire. Show them you are made of better stuff by responding to them as lovingly and as nicely as you can be.

Some bloggers will go the easy way of deleting negative comments on their blog, but if you do so, you would lose the opportunity of responding to someone in a way that might influence his or her life positively.

5. Criticisms make you not to rest on your oars.

Complacency may set in if you never get criticised in what you do or if all you get are only praise words.

The points of criticism you receive, if properly evaluated can be helpful to you in attaining higher grounds.

6. Some critics come as friends in disguise

Ultimately, you will get to realise that not everyone who criticises you are against you. Some are friends who wanted to help but didn’t know to frame their words better.

In dealing properly with negative criticisms, you will get to learn that some people who oppose you might turn out to become your allies.


So don’t scare people off when they leave comments you don’t like on your blog. Try your best to follow them to their own blogs. Read their posts and make valuable comments. Sooner or later, you will earn their respect.


Do you think the criticisms you receive on your blog are beneficial?


©Copyright 2018 | Victor Uyanwanne

Sad Truth: Many People Who Should Be Reading Your Blog Don’t Even Know It Exists

Why do you have a blog? Do you want to be read far and wide?

How visible is your blog?

I’m sorry to tell you that many people who should be reading your blog are not even aware that it exists in the the first place!

Well, let me clarify that this post is not for those who claim that they don’t care whether someone reads their blogs or not.

If that includes you, I think you should move on to another post right now, because there is no use you continue reading this piece.

But if you think the world should read your blog, because you have something valuable to share, I think it is worth it for you to find out how more and more people can discover yourself blog to read it.

A few times I have stumbled on some blogs with great contents (by my own reckoning that is) but with very few readers or followers.

Why is that so? I believe many people are not yet aware that such a fantastic blog exists.

Granted, some of those blogs are new on the block hence I concede that it will take some time for them to gain due popularity.

What about those blogs that have been existing for a while, have great content but not much viewership? I would say there must be something missing…

It is one thing to have a blog that publishes great contents and another thing to have people visiting the blog consistently. The good part is that the two are not mutually exclusive.

Good content should attract great readership. I wish it’s that simple!

If your blog’s content is great, then readers should be swarming in. But is that your reality?

Let’s face it, your blog is just a tiny part of the hundreds of millions of blogs existing on the blogosphere and many more millions of posts churned out week in week out.

In fact, within the next 24 hours after you have read this post, another fifty thousand new blogs would have been created around the world and over two million new posts published.

So my friend, you see, it will take some efforts on your part for your blog to be discovered, read and followed. Like me, I believe you would want your blog to have visibility.

Or don’t you want your blog to be noticed?

Four ways to make your blog noticeable

1. Is your blog private or public?

The first advice I would give you here is for you to index your blog as “public.” By so doing, it will be discoverable when people do word searches on search engines such as Google.

Only those people who don’t want their blogs to be read by just anyone should be indexed “private.” That way, their blogs will not show up in Google searches, but will be available to only those they choose to invite in.

2. Write great contents

I have heard it said over and over again that when it comes to gaining traction for your blog, content is king. The argument is that if your posts are relevant and helpful to your readers, they will keep coming back for more.

I am not saying it is foolproof but it helps to have great contents on your blog.

Generally, people are searching for solutions to something. Your post might as well be the ‘miracle meal’ that satisfies their hunger.

Don’t forget that people desire to live happier. They want to live healthier. And they want to live wealthier…

Chances are that if your content consistently provides answers in any of the three areas, more and more people will be interested in your blog.

3. Promote your posts on social media

After you have published that fantastic post on your blog, don’t call it a day yet; spread the word around about your new post.

We are in the age of social media. Take a good advantage of it to promote (I don’t want to say ‘advertise’) your posts.

Just “Share your work with the world through Facebook, Twitter, and other social networks” is the best advice in this regard.

That way you will make your article available to a wider audience. Sooner or later those who so reads your article on social networks will follow you home to your blog.

You don’t have to employ all of the social media platforms out there to be able to achieve this. One or two is enough.

In my own case, Facebook and Twitter have been useful in helping people discover this blog.

With the help of Publicize, I have linked my WordPress blog to my Facebook and Twitter Accounts.

Any post I publish on the blog is automatically publicised through the two social media handles for my followers to see, read and possibly share with their own followers. You can do the same if you have not already done so.

4. Reach out to other blogs

This is about getting out of your comfort zone and connecting with other bloggers; engaging with the blogging community.

If you want your blog to be noticed, you cannot afford to stay in your cozy corner of WordPress and expect it to happen just like that. You have to deliberately interact with other blogs.

There are many ways you can achieve that: visit and read other blogs, like the posts, share a comment, link to other posts, follow other blogs you like, join a blogging community. Guest post.

When you do any or all of the above, you leave a link-trail through which people may be ‘lured’ to your blog.

If you do not make any deliberate effort to promote the posts on your blog, chances are that not everyone who should be reading your blog would be able to find it.

How do you get your blog noticed? Leave a comment.

 
©Copyright 2018 | Victor Uyanwanne