In our previous post, we established the fact that there is a writer in you. We also added that you should be intentional about doing things that will empower that writer in you.
There are things you can begin to do right now to begin empowering the writer in you. If you are interested in finding out what they are, today is your lucky day because that’s why I’m writing this post.
3 things you can do to start empowering the writer in you
1. Begin to read more books than you have ever done before
If your dream of becoming a writer means anything worthwhile to you, then you have to be a reader first. It is true that writers write, but it is also true that writers read a lot.
If you cannot bring yourself to the discipline of reading, you cannot subject yourself to the discipline of writing. Apart from the vast information you gain from reading, it also helps you learn the style of writing from other writers.
Read voraciously. Read wide. Don’t be intimidated by the block of texts you come across on the pages of books or on posts online.
Writing comes from reading, and reading is the finest teacher of how to write” –Annie Proulx
Read regularly every day. Don’t go to bed any day without having read something. Yes, it is that serious!
When I was studying accounting at the undergraduate level, my mantra was, “any day without studying accounting is no day.” (Thanks to a friend who gave me that idea). With that, I was able to motivate myself to study the course until I got the proper handle on it.
You may as well adopt that philosophy, so that no day will pass without you reading something. After all, you want to empower the writer in you.
2. Begin to train on the art of writing
One of the side benefits of reading is that you get to see firsthand how other writers present their works and to learn from them.
To begin empowering the writer in you, apart from committing yourself to continuous reading, another thing you should do is to get trained on the art of writing.
I am not suggesting that you should go back to school for a degree in communication arts. Well if you are still very young, that might not be a bad option. But I want to believe you are eager to birth your writing career so you don’t want to waste more time!
If that is so, you can go through the quicker route. Take condensed trainings on writing. Register and attend writing workshops – both terrestrial and online.
If learning via video is your thing, do so by any means. Thanks to Youtube, you can find numerous materials on writing to watch and learn from.
3. Start writing now
After all said and done, what is the next practical thing to start doing? You guessed right! Start writing!
If you read all the books there are to read and you attend all writing workshops possible, and you don’t get down to actually start writing, you haven’t helped yourself enough and you will still be very far from achieving your goal of becoming a writer.
Start putting pen to paper and begin to write or get your hands on your computer keyboard and start punching away. You know the computer is an obedient tool. It will record whatever you type in, and it’s not going to tell you to stop writing. So why the waste of time?
If you want to become a writer, you must start writing something. Write stories (real or imagined). One quick way to achieve that is to start blogging. So start a personal blog where you can practice writing for others to read.
Write poems, write anything that comes to your mind. Write about your experiences. Be creative, be imaginative. Just write.
Don’t wait until you have become a writer to start writing. It doesn’t work that way! You can’t put the cart before the horse and expect to go anywhere.
Your dream of becoming a writer is achievable! While you wait for that to come through, start doing what you can do now: start empowering the writer in you. Read more, learn more and write more. You will get there!
Part of the joy of blogging is having people following your blog, regularly reading your written thoughts and sending you feedback through their comments, likes, emails, reblogs etc. If you have ever wondered why people are not following your blog, these may just be some of the reasons:
They don’t even know that your blog exists in the first place…
You are not following their blogs…
People get to your blog, but find out your posts care less about their core values…
Beyond sharing my thoughts and being a source of inspiration to my readers, blogging has become a journey of personal development for me. I have learnt new things, improved on my writing skills, acquired new skills, met and interacted with different kinds of people from different places around the world.
I have inspired some people and I have also been inspired by many other people. I have defended my faith, read several insightful posts, gained vast knowledge in many areas of life and so on and so forth
Racial discrimination and prejudices wear attires in Nigeria different from the ones they wear in America. While racism exists as a result of differences in colour of the skin, tribalism hinges on differences in birth-roots. Both are common societal evils that must be dealt a decisive blow in order for us to have a better world.
No one is born hating another person because of the colour of his skin, or his background or his religion. People learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite – Nelson Mandela.
Thank you for reading and happy new year in advance.
Welcome to our Parentinggist parent of the month. Let’s meet our guest.
My name is Victor Uyanwanne, husband to Jennifer, father of two energetic boys and an aspiring writer.
Great, can you throw more light on your writing.
For the past three years, I have been publishing posts bothering on life and living, family issues, blogging tips, poetry and many other things that tickle my fancy. My purpose is to inspire people and equip them with the right knowledge that will help them live happier.
Being a follower of Jesus Christ, the thoughts on my blogs are presented from a Christian worldview. If you want to read my writings first hand, they can be accessed via Victors’ Corner
Awesome blog, you’ve got, how do you combine your regular job, writing and family?
Thanks for the compliment. I will say, I am combining effectively well. I take my job seriously and I put in my best all the time.
Reading and writing are my top hobbies so I have fun doing both, especially at night after work and on weekends. Except because of Lagos traffic bottlenecks, anyone here should have plenty of time after work (from the close of work at 5pm daily to whenever he or she goes to bed) to do some personal things. That’s how I find time to hone my writing skills.
As for the family, I will give all the credit to my beautiful wife for holding forth strongly at the home front. She is really a gift from heaven to me; a helpmeet indeed.
Having said that, I will add that as much as possible I try to spend much time with my family whenever I’m not at work. And I usually cut out unnecessary outings. I don’t know about you, for me, family time is fun time and best time. I have two very inquisitive boys. Answering their numerous questions and bonding with them through mutual interactions have been one of my greatest pleasures as a dad.
We would like you to share some of the numerous questions from your boys, I’m sure we would benefit from them too or laugh it out.
I have had my boys asking me scores of questions. And many of those questions I answered correctly without much ado. Yet there were ones I had to think twice before answering.
For instance, one of them once asked me, “Daddy, why do we have ten fingers?” How does one answer that? Please help me out (smiles).
When they asked, “Daddy, what is the baby of a horse called?” I am ashamed to say that I had to quickly check “Google” on my smartphone before I could tell them it’s called “a foal.”
Of all the questions my boys have ever asked me, the one that impressed me most was when the older boy (then 4years plus) asked me how he could be able to make it to Heaven at the end of this life. I must say it was my privilege to lead him to Christ that Christmas morning.
Oh this is wonderful, I must say, so what advice do you have for parents who are reading this; how can we lead our kids to make Heaven?
Parents should share the simple truths of the gospel with their children and allow them to make up their mind about receiving Jesus Christ into their lives. It is not something that can be forced.
In addition, parents should always pray for their children, that they receive the Lord and follow His way. In my boy’s case, I had prayed for him even before he turned 2 years old that he would get to be born again before the age of eight. Fortunately for me, it happened much earlier than expected.
One other thing I will add is that parents should by their conducts show good examples to their children. Children are good observers and they learn alot from their parents. If we want our children to be candidates of heaven, we should not live our lives as candidates of hell.
Thank you so much for honouring our invitation.
You are welcome. The pleasure is mine.
P.S: The interview was originally published on ParentingGist blog.
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.
What drives traffic to your blog? Any idea how many readers landed on your site from search engines word searches?
Have you figured out which country most of your blog traffic come from?
Where do most people access your blog from? Do you have more or less viewers from within your geographical location or from abroad?
You may be surprised to find out that people are viewing your blog from many countries far away from where you are.
If you are interested in knowing more about this, you will have to take a good look at your blog stats page. And that is not a bad thing to do provided you approach it without being so emotionally attached to it.
WordPress support explains that “Your stats page includes a bunch of nifty graphs, charts, and lists that show you how many visits your site gets, what posts and pages are the most popular ones, and much more.”
Why don’t you take some few minutes to explore your site’s stats page? You will find some interesting results.
Just like many other parts of your wordpress site, the navigation of the stats page is menu-driven so it is not difficult to explore at all.
I’m aware that many business blogs take their blogs’ analytics very seriously. But even if yours is a personal blog, it doesn’t stop you from taking a little peep into your blog’s stats.
In this post, we are focusing on just the number of blog views by highlighting two broad ways you can review the sources of readers to your blog.
However, bear in mind that I am not an expert in blog analytics. This post is based entirely on the observations made on this blog.
You may use the comment section to share your own experience if it is different from what I am sharing here.
2 Broad Ways To Analyse Your Blog’s Traffic
Your blog’s traffic can be analysed in terms of the total number of “views by country” or in terms of the total number of “views by referrer.”
We will now take a deeper look at each of the two:
1. Analysis in terms of geographical Location
Do you have any idea in which country most readers access your blog from? You can know it by simply analysing your blog views by country.
It is important you know your blogs views by country because it will help you in some ways. If you are not sure how, this post will show you something about that.
One surprising thing I found from analying this blog’s view by country was that although I write this blog from Nigeria, majority of the people who view it are based in the United States.
Though, I was initially reluctant to publish that post, the realisation that most of my readers live in America made me overcome the initial inertia.
Second on the list is Nigeria, my country of birth and residence. Interestingly, Australia which used to occupy the second position has now been displaced to the third.
Since the year 2018 began, over 5,000 people have viewed this blog from around a hundred different countries of the world. (I know it because I counted).
But interestingly, more than 65% of the views came from within the US alone.
Don’t you think it makes great sense for you to know where majority of your readers are?
As an example, you can take a look at the following record showing the top eight countries from which this blog has been viewed from January 2018 to date:
2. Analysis in terms of Referrers
How do people get to discover your blog? What are the sources of traffic to your blog?
Apart from the ones that came through mouth to mouth recommendations, have you bothered to check your blog stats to see your highest source of referrer?
There are many sources of referrals to your blog – search engines (Google, Yahoo, Bing), WordPress Readers, other blogs or sites, social media (Facebook, Twitter) etc. One of these will top the list as your main referrer.
For instance, from the first quarter of this year till now, here is the summary of how readers were referred to this blog:
As can be seen in the above summary, most of the people who viewed this blog from the beginning of the year till now were referred here by search engines. And this is consistent with observations in the previous years too.
In a way, I see it as a good thing because it points to the fact that my posts show up when people do specific word searches on the internet.
Some people have suggested that SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) helps a lot in this regard. They may be right but I have not fully grasped how that works…
I simply write my posts as the words flow from my mind to the blog page, hoping that they provide answers to someone’s questions out there.
It is my belief that knowing a bit about your blog’s stats with respect to traffic referrers to your blog or where most people view your blog from will improve your total blogging experience.
Is it Google or social media that drives most traffic to your blog?
WOW, you have blessed me so much with “your poem.” I was not expecting anything like that and have never received anything like it before.
Each day I pray for the Lord to inspire me and that He should send me something from time to time to quicken to my spirit that I am indeed doing this all for His glory and His purpose. Every now and then I get a word of encouragement from someone that confirms I am using my gift for Him. This not only confirms it but it solidifies this is w[h]ere God wants me. Thank you again for giving me such a huge blessing. ~ Have a wonderful day with Jesus.
And after I had turned my ‘poem of gratitude’ into a full post, she also remarked:
There you go again Victor blessing me again with your post! I love that you turned it into something that we can all do to let others know that we appreciate what they do. Encouraging others is so important for us to do and this is a great way to do so. ~ May God continue to use you to bless others ~
I am not trying to be sycophantic or eager to blow my own trumpet here by sharing theses comments. Rather I am only trying to reecho the sentiment that in this world of blogging, “Encouraging others is so important for us to do…”
So is there anyone whose blog posts have greatly impacted your life? Why don’t you reach out and appreciate such one?
There are a few things you may want to do to show some love to the blogger you read his or her post. In my next post, we will explore some 10 simple things you can do to make your favourite blogger feel appreciated.
“Congratulations on getting 500 total follows on Victors’ Corner.” That’s the notification I recently received from WordPress.
What that means is that this blog has reached yet another milestone, just like the 200th post milestone achieved a few weeks back.
I am not writing this post in order to blow my trumpet. Rather, I just want to use the rare avenue to convey my heartfelt appreciation to everyoneof you who have been so kind to be one of my WordPress followers. Therefore kindly accept some 500 rounds of applause from me to you.
Secondly, I will also use the opportunity to invite more WordPress users to join the over 500 amazing followers of this blog. I assure you that there is so much more to gain and nothing to lose by joining this blog’s community.
You may extend the favour by recommending this blog to your friends and family so that they too can benefit from the things we share here. I hope that is not too much to ask?
Once again, thank you for your immense support this far.
Finally, what has been your experience following this blog? Kindly drop a comment.
Thanks to WordPress, I was able to set up this blog three years ago without any professional help.
Since that time, I have had the privilege of having several online interactions with many other WordPress users and I would say, it has been mutually benefiting. But the interaction has remained online as I have never attended any terrestrial event for all wordpress users.
All that got to change over the last weekend as I attended the WordPress Conference – codenamed Wordcamp Lagos or #WCLagos2018 – on 10 March 2018, where the beautiful packages embedded in the event’s theme of “Bringing the WordPress community closer” began to be unfolded before my very eyes.
For the first time in my life, I was under the same roof for a whole day with many people that have anything to do with WordPress.
Bloggers, Coders, web designers, digital marketers, lawyers, entrepreneurs etc, were there. And you know what, there was something for every one…
According to the information provided by the organisers of wordcamp Lagos on the event site, here is an insight into what a Wordcamp is all about:
WordCamp is an all-encompassing term referring to a conference, a community organized and officially sanctioned event to deal with all things WordPress…
They range from a one-day event to a three-day event depending on the local community organizing it. They comprise of but not limited to conference-like sessions, panels, interviews…, kids-camp, short or multi-hour workshops, and (en)lightning talks.
People attend to share ideas, learn about WordPress, talk about opportunities, and meet other WordPress users in person…
For over a decade now, Wordcamp sessions have been reported to have taken place in many cities across some dozens of countries of the world. Lagos has now joined the league of world cities to have hosted a WordCamp conference.
WordCamp in my City of Lagos
Earlier in the year, I became aware that such a program was coming up here in Lagos – my city of residence; and I had made up my mind to attend.
Gratefully, I realised that my schedule could accommodate it. So three days to the event I was able to complete the online registration and on the D-Day I showed up for the workshops.
This was my first experience with a WordPress wordcamp and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
In fact, I later got to understand that this was the first city WordPress conference in Nigeria and in West Africa for that matter.
It was such a huge success by my own estimation, I had to go to one of the organisers to ask, “When is the next one holding please?”
Apart from the fantastic venue chosen for the event – The Civic Center, Lagos – there were many other reasons that made it worthwhile for me. And it is my pleasure and privilege to share my experiences with you.
8 reasons I think you should attend a WordPress wordcamp
1. Improve on your knowledge with WordPress
Generally speaking, the conference improved my understanding of the workings of WordPress as an “online open-source website creation tool” which presently powers 30% of the internet.
And specifically, I also gained improved knowledge in some areas of blogging, search engine optimization, digital marketing, web development in a developing country, to mention but a few.
I guarantee you that should you attend a WordPress conference as I did, there would be something new for you to learn from the various ideas exchanged at the forum.
2. Networking opportunities
It was not all about learning new things. The conference also afforded me the rare opportunity of having face to face interactions and networking with all kinds of WordPress users, from within my country and abroad as well.
From bloggers to web designers, coders, CEOs, digital marketers, online payment companies, photographers, etc, I was able to engage with some of them in very meaningful conversations.
Now I can say that I have expanded my physical sphere of the WordPress community by reason of that conference.
Indeed, the WordPress community was brought closer to me on that day! You can have the same experience too.
3. Inspiration from people
There are many ways to receive inspiration; one of which is through the the people who have gone where you wish to go or have done what you want to do.
Many things about the conference left me largely inspired. But the one that stood out for me was the personal story of Labi Francis, “a blogger, front-end developer, SEO expert, social media strategist and tech enthusiast.”
I sat in his class as he shared the story of how he grew from being a new comer with WordPress to the enviable position where he is right now. His humility was so apparent as he told his story of how WordPress has transformed his life.
And who says WordPress is incapable of changing your own life as well?
4. Very affordable fee
For a pre-registration fee of N3,500.00 (about 10 US dollars) per person, I found the conference to be very affordable and easily within the range of anyone who has any interest in WordPress.
To think that for that amount, you got to listen to multiple speakers, used one of the choicest high profile event centres in town, got one WordPress branded T- shirt for free, had a sumptuous lunch at a magnificent lagoon-front restaurant is nothing short of amazing.
It was an experience you would not like to miss. And I’m glad I didn’t miss it. That’s why I’m sharing my experience with you, hoping that you would be encouraged to attend the next WordCamp event in your community.
5. Some Freebies for everyone
Apart from the free WordPress branded T-shirts already mentioned, there were other free items given out to all participants as well. These included, small shopping bags and WordPress branded stickers of various sizes.
Also, for anyone who needed a taxi ride home after the program, a taxi company which was on ground at the event offered free (or discounted) taxi ride to the tune of two thousand Naira, an equivalent of about six US dollars.
I would definitely have benefited from the offer if I hadn’t driven to the event myself. So you see? There are alot of side benefits waiting for you when you attend a WordPress conference.
The kids were not left out of the conference. The organisers made arrangements that also included kids (under their parents supervision) who have interest in coding, web designing and WordPress generally. The good part was that they were separately and specially catered for, for a fee less than 30% of what the adult participants paid.
Although there might be limited spaces for kids, parents and guardians are encouraged to attend WordCamps with their kids. So next time you want to attend a WordCamp, please do not say no to your teen or preteen geek who wants to tag along with you. Both of you will learn and have some fun in the event.
7. Opportunity to volunteer
I learnt earlier that “All Wordcamp organisers and speakers are unpaid volunteers; they offer their services as a labour of love.”
In the Lagos event, I could see that the volunteers were extremely friendly and very helpful, giving guidance and directions to the attendees during the program. And the help desk lived up to their name: very helpful.
So if you are a WordPress user – front end, back end or anything in between – and you want to offer your services free of charge, for the benefit of the WordPress users around you, a Wordcamp will be a good place to volunteer your time and talent.
During one of the side conversations I had with some people at the conference, I learnt that there are other WordPress meetups which also offer the platform for sharing ideas, volunteering and mentoring.
You may want to seek out the one in your community for active participation and collaboration with other WordPress users.
8. The after-party.
An “after-party for you to meet new friends, business partners, employees, employers, and life partner,” scheduled to take place at the conclusion of the day’s events was also included in the package promised by the organisers.
Unfortunately, I am unable tell you how this one went down because I didn’t wait to witness it. Sorry!
In the final analysis, I was convinced beyond all reasonable doubts that the the Wordcamp event delivered great “content and value” to all the participants.
So if you want to have a swell experience like I did at the just ended #WCLagos2018, please make plans to be part of the next WordPress Conference holding in your community.
What are your own experiences with WordPress Conferences? Share your story in the comment section.