Easy Tips To Improve Your Blog

Blogging is getting popular nowadays.

For almost every topic, there is a blog, and the good thing about it is that people are now open to share with other people with their knowledge and experience.

To have a successful blog that is read by many, it will take careful planning and decide on important things.

Research is something you need to do always, and I hope you can make use of this article to help you with your blog.

[bctt tweet=”When you are starting to blog, it is important that you never give up. ” username=”thegeekmommy”]

When you are starting to blog, it is important that you never give up. On your first day as a blogger, you are not going to get a lot of readers, and that is fine.

Little by little readers will find out about your blog, just continue to write ideas and stories you are passionate about.

Easy Tips To Improve Your Blog Post Image

Try making a blogging set-up. You’re not just going to be writing; you must also create goals, strategies, and evaluations.

You must create a place where you may focus on your main goal. Try to pick your particular type of set-up, such as pen and paper to start making a plan for the success of your blog.

In making your blog article, it is important to make this more easy to digest. You can organize the article into different headings and, if needed, subheadings.

Some readers would do a quick scan and would read the article after they get the key concepts. For this, an easy to understand heading and subheading groupings will invite the visitor to read your piece in full and hopefully make them read more from your blog.

Social media is likewise big nowadays. Connecting and sharing via social media is an ideal way for you to widen your reader base.

[bctt tweet=”Connecting and sharing via social media is an ideal way for you to widen your reader base. ” username=”thegeekmommy”]

When you incorporate social media sharing widgets, it would be open up opportunities for your readers, family, and friends to share your articles with others, ensuring more blog visitors.

I suggest that you use a WordPress theme that different from the default configuration. Make your blog stand out by making them unique. Decide what color themes are you going to use and make them part of your posts. Make your blog more appealing visually.

Now that your blog is easy on the eyes, you need to have to know more about the topics you are sharing through your blog articles.

People are always looking for information, and the more people see that you are an expert in your topic, the more they will visit your blog and share this information with others.

It would be wise to perform research from time to time and to read current events on the topic you’ll be focusing. This enables you to create blog topics more easily and has a more engaging interaction when your readers leave a blog comment.

Going back to visual appeal, take advantage of the white space. White space will enable users to ‘rest’ his/her eyes and will make the content easier to understand.

When readers encounter a wall of text, the first instinct is to skip the section or leave the blog, altogether.

As was discussed earlier, bloggers are everywhere. There are lots of reasons to develop a blog. Everybody can have their own interpretation of information, and the more people are out there and making things easier to understand, the better.

It is my hope you can use the pointers above to have a more compelling message and be able to present this better to your blog readers.

New Method to Post to Instagram From Your PC Without Downloading Any Apps – Video

Guess what?

You can upload your images and photos through the Instagram web app.

Well, there’s no official announcement about this yet and you can’t access it directly. Good news is, I have prepared a video to teach you how to do that!

Post to Instagram From Your PC Without Downloading Any Apps

[convertplayer id=”qnYRQWJ8c” width=”700″ height=”394″]

For those who learn better reading, here’s the transcript (or rather the step by step instructions).

Creating your images

We will create a Mother’s Day image post.

  1. Head over to Stencil and login. (If you don’t have it yet, no worries, you can register and use this for free)
  2. From the list of image sizes, select Instagram Post 1080 x 1080.
  3. Since we are creating for Mother’s Day, we will select a background that is relevant for mothers.
  4. You can use the background search function to find background images.
  5. Select the background.
  6. Click the Quotes section (left-side).
  7. Use the quote search function to find suitable quotes.
  8. You can change the font size, font type, font color. You can also drag and drop the text box to place the text where you want them.
  9. When you’re happy with the image, click download and save the image on your computer.
  10. That’s it, you already have your Mother’s Day image for Instagram.

Posting to Instagram using Instagram Web App

We will be using Chrome for this example. (This Instagram trick is also verified to be working using Firefox).

  1. Login to https://www.instagram.com/
  2. When logged in, right-click on any empty space. Click “Inspect”.
  3. The Chrome Inspector will pop on the right-side. This contains HTML codes.
  4. On the upper left corner of the box, you will see a mobile/tablet icon. Click that.
  5. You will then notice that the view on the left will be adjusted to the mobile view.
  6. On the top portion (bottom portion on Firefox), you will see a camera icon. Click the Camera icon.
  7. This will behave exactly like the app on your phone.
  8. You select the image you want to upload.
  9. You may adjust and set filters, if you prefer.
  10. Add caption and hashtags, as appropriate.
  11. Click Share.
  12. That’s it, you successfully posted an Instagram Post via your PC without downloading any apps!

Happy Instagram posting!

Creating an Instagram Post using Stencil – Video

Among my social media profiles, Instagram is my favorite.

Why? Well, I like looking at beautiful photos and read through thought-provoking, motivational and inspirational quotes.

You can tell that I enjoy visuals.

Though I’m trying to get my Photoshop skills to the next level, I don’t have the time to learn this awesome software. I already penciled this knowledge upgrade and I’ll get into it as soon as my schedule permit.

This brings me to search for tools that can help me with Instagram.

I need a tool that has virtually no learning curve, able to produce top notch graphics that would look like a pro did it, and something that will assist me in my Instagram journey.

I have tested a lot, I especially like Canva and Stencil. Both have Free Accounts that will enable you to create graphics. What made me choose Stencil over Canva? Read on.

Reasons why I love Stencil

  • Dashboard is simple and intuitive. Just looking at it, I can already see what the options are for.
  • The graphics are royalty-free. No need to shell out dollars to use one.
  • Easy image creation via Chrome Extension or Firefox Add-on. (I’ll create a video post to show this handy feature).
  • Integrates with Buffer to schedule my social media posts.
  • In-app capability to share my images to social media. Tested working for Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram (via SMS).
  • Ability to share my image via link. If you want somebody to check your image (a friend or boss), this is perfect.

With that, I have created a quick video.

Creating an Instagram Post using Stencil

[convertplayer id=”luLonhAAg” width=”700″ height=”394″]

Hope you learn something from the video. 🙂

Have fun with your images!

 

Easy Steps on How to Start a Blog for Beginners

Been thinking of starting a blog?

Since you’re reading this, you must be.  No worries, we will be holding each other’s hand through this guide. 🙂

In this 6-step Tutorial on How to Start A Blog in Less Than 1 Hour, you’ll be ready to conquer your way through the blogosphere in no time!

Let’s start to blog!

(This post may contain affiliate links)

Put your blog ideas in action

If you have been thinking of starting a blog, you may already have some blog topics that you would like to share with your future readers.

Or you are casually thinking about blogging and you don’t have any ideas yet.  In any case, here are some pointers to get you started with your blog ideas:

  • Make a list of blogs or websites that talks about the topics you like
  • Use Google Instant to have a list of topics that other searchers are looking for

blog ideas google instant

  • Use Answer The Public, a free website tool that will show you the common questions about your topic

blog ideas - answer the public

  • Use Epicbeat, this is my favorite. It will show you relevant published articles about your topic and you can see which format works best, so you can also plan what type of blog posts you will create. My favorite feature is you can see who are the influencers and bloggers you can connect with. Fast way of gaining online friends and resources, if you ask me.

blog ideas - epicbeat

Name your blog

Now that you already have blog and blog post ideas, it’s now time to think of a name for your blog.

Your blog name will be used as your domain name. Domain name is your online address where your readers can access your blog (e.g. thegeekmommy.com is the domain name of this blog).

How to choose a domain name? Glad you asked –

  • Short and easy to remember
  • Easy to spell (you don’t want your readers going to another blog because of misspellings)
  • What do you want to be known for? (this will be your branding)

Make a list of possible domain names and ready them aloud. Pick the top 3 best sounding domain names from your list. You can check the domain availability here.

Hosting your blog

A lot of new bloggers are confused with web hosting and why this is needed. Yes, there are a lot of free blogging platforms out there and they provide a good platform. WordPress.com is one of the best free blogging platforms around and it is the most popular.

But do you really want to have your blog on a free blogging platform? Let me tell you some important reasons why (even as a beginner) you should use free blogging platform and go for self-hosted blogs.

  • You don’t ‘own’ your space and your blog can be terminated at any time without notice
    • Imagine having created a great blog and you have loyal followers, and suddenly you can’t log in – yup, it can happen. Here’s WordPress.com’s TOS – “Automattic may terminate your access to all or any part of our Services at any time, with or without cause, with or without notice, effective immediately.”
  • Your blog design and theme is limited only to what is available in their repository. You can’t use custom theme and you can’t upload plug-ins to extend your blog capabilities. You’d like to have your blog ready to scale up and not hold you down.
  • You have to pay extra for custom email. Free email address are good and I still use them. But if you want to make a brand for yourself, it is more professional looking if you have a custom email with your domain name.
  • They can display their (not yours) ads. ” Automattic reserves the right to display advertisements on your blog unless you have purchased an Ad-free Upgrade or a VIP Service account.” If this was self-hosted all advertisement income will be yours.
  • Your blog domain name is going to be longer than you wanted. (remember the pointers above?)

Are you convinced that using a self-hosted blog is the way to go?

There are a lot of web hosting providers to chose from. In this blog, we used Hostwinds as our web hosting provider.

We used Hostwinds, for a number of reasons:

  • Their customer support is top-notch and friendly. For whatever reasons, you can get in touch with them 24/7.
  • While others give 30-day money back guarantee, Hostwinds offers 60-days.
  • Unlimited Bandwidth. You can have as many web visitors as you want.
  • Unlimited Disk Space. You can blog to your heart’s content.
  • Free Dedicated IP Address. This is needed if you want to make your website secure against hackers.

Here are the steps to set-up your self-hosted blog:

  • Go to Hostwinds.com (this link will go directly to their shared hosting page). hostwinds-shared
  •  For beginners, I suggest you chose the Basic Plan. Click the green, Get Hosted button.

hostwinds-shared-basic

  • Enter the domain name you picked above, and click submit.

register or transfer domain name

  • Continue with Step 2 (Click the green continue button)
  • Fill out your login details and billing information

login and billing info

  • After payment, you will receive an email containing details of your account. Keep this email, this will have your passwords.

Your blog platform: Self-hosted WordPress

Once you receive your email from Hostwinds, use the link to login to your cPanel using the username and password provided.

On the bottom portion of your cPanel dashboard, click WordPress.

wordpress - hostwinds

 

Click Install Now.

wp install hw

Begin your WordPress setup. Choose your domain (if you only have 1 domain, it’ll be chosen automatically). For the Site Name ans Site Description, refer to the blog topics you made from previous step. You can change this later.

wordpress setup 1

You will be asked to enter the username and password for the admin account for your blog. This is different from the access credentials Hostwinds emailed you earlier. Please keep a copy of your WordPress blog username and password. The admin email is where all information about your blog will be sent to.

wordpress setup 2

You can leave the default for the Advanced Options and leave the Limit Login Attempts unchecked. You don’t have to select anything from the themes provided and just click Install.

wordpress setup 3

After you click Install, it will work its way to install WordPress in your Hostwinds hosting.

Now you can log into your WordPress blog

http://www.yourdomainname.com/wp-admin
Log in with your username or email and password

Setting up your WordPress blog

When you login to your new WordPress dashboard, you will see something similar to this –

wordpress fresh install

You can remove the sample Post, Page, and comment.

Post: Click Post > All Posts > Click Trash on the Sample Post

Post: Click Page> All Page> Click Trash on the Sample Page

Comment: Click Comments> All Comments> Click Trash on the Comment

Terminologies:

Pages – these are often used present timeless information about yourself or your site — information that is always relevant. You can use Pages to organize and manage the structure of your website content. Examples are About Us, Contact Us pages.

Posts – these are entries that display in reverse order on your blog. Posts usually have comments fields beneath them and are included in your site’s RSS feed. (RSS will be explained as a separate topic).

Media – consists of the images, video, recordings, and files that you upload and use in your blog. When you create a post and attach an image to it, it is stored in this section.

Appearance – here is where you will edit the theme of your blog, customize for granular changes like colors, fonts, widgets (contents on your sidebar), menu (your navigation menu), header, background, and editor. I don’t recommend you ever touching the editor unless you know what you’re doing.

Plugins – this will extend the functionality of your blog. You can add contact form plugins, caching plugins (to make your site load faster), sliding banner plugin (to create banner or image carousel), and many more.

Settings – here is where you can customize your site title, tagline, etc.

wordpress settings

Site title – Enter the name of your blog here.

Tagline – explains what your site is about.

WordPress Address (URL) – you can leave this at default.

Site Address (URL) – Enter the address you want people to type in their browser to reach your WordPress blog.

E-mail Address – Enter the e-mail address to which you want WordPress to send messages regarding the administration and maintenance of your WordPress site (comment approvals, etc.)

Membership  : Anyone can register – leave uncheck, disallowing anyone to be able to register an account on your site.

Writing – you can leave at default for now.

Reading – Front Page Display:  allows you to choose what content appears on your site’s front page.

Reading – Blog pages show at most:  lets you choose how many blog posts are displayed per page. The default setting is 10 posts per page.

Reading – Syndication feeds show the most recent __ items:  lets you set how many blog posts will be sent out at once via your RSS feed

Discussion – you can leave at default for now.

Permalinks – the permanent URLs to your individual pages and blog posts, as well as your category and tag archives. A permalink is the web address used to link to your content. Recommended setting is  – Custom: /%postname%/ so you blog post doesn’t have dates on the URL.

permalinks

 

Setting up your First Post

To add your first post, click Post > Add New.

add new post

(the image shown might not be the same to your current installation of WordPress)

Enter the post title, post content, and after you’re done click Publish.

If you want to add images and video, you can click Add Media either upload from your computer or insert from URL and then insert into your post.

To add a link, highlight the words you’d like to attach a link to and click the Link Icon.

link wordpress

You can also format your post – heading, fonts, alignment, indention, lists, etc.

You can also schedule your posts to be published at a later date or backdate the post.

Congratulations! You have just published your new post.