15 Best Time Hacks for Better Blogging

The Giving Gift – 15 Best Time Hacks

Hi, Peter Problogger, Great to see you. Come in. Want a cookie I just baked?

Sure Amy Amateur, These are delicious. How did you have time to bake?

I’ve been reading best time hacks Marsha found from her blogger friends, Peter. Look at these!

Don’t Miss Another Great Post to Make Your Blogging Hobby More Productive

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best time hacks
How to Blog Effectively: Fifteen Best Time Hacks

15 Best Time Hacks Pack More Fun into Your Hectic Schedule

  1. I know some people that draw boundaries and use one day a week to visit blogs – they set aside so many hours and then have a folder with top blogs to visit – ones they want to be sure to see. – Yvette Prior
  2. I know others who use emails and read posts that way and then later come to visit the blog – maybe once a month. – Yvette Prior
  3. I know someone who mostly visits those who visit their blog – and for me – I change it up – but to use time effectively – I have started visiting less and then reading more posts in one sitting. But it depends on the blog! But I like the freedom to stay away and make visits that are more meaningful. – Yvette Prior
  4. Photo blogs are easy to visit and go – but those who write need more time.
  5. I also sometimes ride my exercise bike while visiting blogs. Good use of time! – Yvette Prior
  6. Dawn from Lingering Visions writes, “I try to keep things organized and so I have a schedule that I (mostly) adhere to.
  7. For the most part, I have a system to my posts.I blog incessantly and schedule my posts while I work my day job (which is really a night job). I have an outline I follow (yes I am anal) but sometimes I stray (I am not that anal!). I’ve worked in manufacturing for thirty years so I believe in having a system. A system is what works: for me or for you, if it works, that’s a system. Lingering Visions
  8. I love taking pictures and do so all the time. On Sundays, I post what I consider My Best of the Week.
  9. I tend to be fairly philosophical and I enjoy conversations of the same nature, asking what if and wondering why. On Mondays, I post a weekly quote and it usually coincides with the things I have been thinking and talking about.
  10. I have also recently added a music post on Mondays. One week I post something I am currently listening to and the next a song from my life (in chronological order). Click here to see what I have posted so far for Music Mondays.
  11. I have wanted to be a writer since I was nine years old. On Wednesdays, this blog is totally devoted to that aspiring interest when I stretch my Creative Writing/Fiction/Poetry muscle.
  12. I find it such a shame that some of the posts from our early days of blogging get little attention. There could be a ‘gold nugget’ of a post you wrote last year that if republished, reblogged, or rescheduled could bring lots more comments and likes, as well as new followers. …The only real differences between rescheduling and republishing are that when you republish a post there’s more work involved in attaching tags, categories etc. Also, when you reschedule a post your followers do not get an email notifying them that a new post has been issued. When you republish they do get an email, as it’s as if you’ve published a whole brand new post.Hugh
  13. Saturdays I post more personal stuff that falls under the category of The Ups and Downs of My Life.
  14. I spend 20 minutes every morning catching up on notifications and checking out new followers and sending out tweets. That’s all I can manage in my busy days, but there are apps such as Hootsuite and Buffer that allow you to pre-schedule posts at various times. Debby 
  15. Knowing specifically what you’re trying to achieve with your daily or weekly blog will allow you to focus on what’s crucial while not getting bogged down with distractions and non-essentials.  For example, if going into a particular day you have a set goal of expanding your audience through LinkedIn, then you don’t want to get bogged down playing around with Facebook. Luisa Benton

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Better Blogging with Photography: Book Review

by Terri Webster Schrandt

Cover Better Blogging with Photography

Easy Read, Great Advice

Did you know that using your iPhone or dsl camera can easily make better blogging with photography? When I read on Ultimate Blog Challenge that her book, Better Blogging with Photography, had come out, I rushed over to Amazon and clicked “buy now with 1 click.” Right away I started making some changes to my blogs.

Thanks, Terri! I’m keeping this book handy as a resource book. I have a lot of remodeling to do.

Well Organized

  1. Having smartphones and digital cameras and processing makes using your own quality photos easy.
  2. Terri’s chapters are well organized with helpful tips on each topic including how to curate and edit your own images.
  3. She tells how she built her blog and gained followers/friends using photos and participating in photo challenges and link parties.
  4. One reader liked her list of credible links to find free images.
  5. She discusses social media. I never considered that photo challenges also publish your post to social media.
  6. She shared some compelling copyright stories to encourage readers to use their own images.
  7. Subscribe to her newsletter for ongoing help.

Related Articles

Help promote Terri’s new book by sharing this post and visiting her blog, Second Wind Leisure. Thanks! 🙂

Build Successful Blogs: Book Review

“Do you want to build a successful blog?”

Peter Problogger smiled at his friend Amy Amateur as he handed her Janice Wald’s book.

“Thanks for the book, Peter. I thought my blog was successful, Peter,” Amy Amateur said, her raised eyebrows giving her an injured look.

“By ‘build a successful blog’ I mean this, Amy. Would you like more traffic, readers, friends, and people who are influenced by YOU?”

“Influenced by me. Sure! That has a nice ring to it! I definitely want THAT! I guess I don’t know it all. I can improve,” Amy said relieved.

build successful blogs
An Insider’s Guide to Building a Successful Blog

What about you?

Are you OK with getting fewer and fewer visits your blog?

Are you convinced that you KNOW everything about blogging? Do you think your blog could not get ANY better?

THEN PLEASE DO NOT READ An Insider’s Guide to Building a Successful Blog.

Do you get confused by all the tips, tricks, and blind alleys? Do you try to understand all the skills involved in blogging, and still get stuck?

Then READ An Insider’s Guide to Building a Successful Blog..

TRAFFIC-WISE I did in five years what Janice accomplished in one year.

build successful blogs
Mostly Blogging, Janice Wald

Shock!

Like Amy, I am still learning about blogging!

Blogging has changed since I started ago. HUNDREDS of THOUSANDS of bloggers have joined the blogosphere. Maybe the blogosphere changed while you were busy creating posts, too.

This was a hard review to write. Why? Because I learned so many tips. Some were quick to apply. Some took longer. It took me two weeks to get halfway through Janice’s book.

What I Learned to Build Successful Blogs

  • Always have an odd number in your headline.
  • Put “YOU” in the headline.
  • Readers find your blog easier if you add an alt text line to every graphic.
  • Google your headlines before you publish your post. Notice how many tips each article wrote about your topic.
  • Write one or two more tips – just end up with an odd number!

Blog Prompts to Build Successful Blogs

Wald mentioned influencers but I did not know who she meant. Were they ordinary bloggers, pro bloggers, or someone in a specific field?

To find out I checked out over 80 blogs of her acclaimed “influencers” she quoted. I wrote four blog posts in a week based on what I learned. Several of her “influencers” became my friends and followers.

Influencers Who Built Successful Blogs

Here are a few of Janice’s friends mentioned in An Insider’s Guide to Building a Successful Blog. You might see some of your own friends in her lists like I did.

More Comments

Melinda reviewed her book and said, “This book is a compilation of (Janice Wald’s) posts teaching the ins and outs of blogging.”

One reviewer said she “did her homework.” Another reviewer said she did not guard her secrets. I have to agree.

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Brand Yourself in the Blogosphere? How?

Why Do You Need to Brand Yourself?

“Brand me? I’m not a cow, Peter! ” Amy Amateur said.

brand logos“Even amateur bloggers need to brand themselves.” Peter Problogger said.

“Why?”

“Why are you blogging?”

“I don’t know. I just want to write and share what I know.”

“Share what to whom?”

“Hmm, Whatever I think, right? Everyone, I guess.”

“You need a brand. How will people remember you?”

“I’m pretty?”

“So are lots of bloggers.”

“I’m fun.”

“So are lots of bloggers. Three million posts a day – remember”

“Ugh.”

Brand logo
Always Write #7 I’m not crazy about 5 & 6

How Do You Brand Yourself?

My husband and I live in ranching country. “Brand” sounds painful, not to mention hard to do!

Put on your thick skin! This might hurt.

  1. Name yourself.
    • Brainstorm ideas. What do you like? What are your characteristics? What is the purpose for your blog?
    • My husband and I chatted. Rudy, our Chamber President, calls me a social butterfly. My husband suggested “Fly By Night.”
    • The tagline for this blog was Just Write, but than name did not have the punch I wanted for a logo.
    • When I said, “Always Write” Vince’s eyes lit up and he laughed. “That’s you.” (I may be a little bossy and opinionated.)
    • Besides, I could make an acrostic out of Always Write. I love acrostics.
  2. Unify everything under the same name.
  3. Create your logo.
    • It might be your picture. My friend Ralph said, “It’s just me.” He’s right. His face is his brand. Having your face somewhere on your blog makes it easier to communicate with you. I especially look for them on the about me page.
    • Canva.com has templates to create logos.
    • Try out backgrounds. When I showed my experimental backgrounds to Vince, he lacked enthusiasm. Back to the drawing board
  4. Add elements like shapes and lines. Janice Wald in Mostly Blogging says that every graphic should have a line. I thought maybe a triangle logo would work. Canva.com offers only square logos, so I went with a triangle on a square. “I like red,” Vince said.
  5. I designed several. When I asked for your opinions, you liked the same one I did. You can see it in my header now.

brand logo
Always write #8

Brand Design Problems

It’s fun and easy to play with Canva logos. There are some design issues, though.

  • See how my border misses the left margin on the bottom?
    • The circles that appear when you move click on elements to move them cover the margins.
    • You can fill the space in Photoshop if you don’t want to correct it in Canva.

Brand logo
Always Write #9

  • The tip is not quite centered on this one, and there is a hair of pencil wood that is not quite right on the top. I worked with it but it needs more precision.

Am I right?

Yep, I’m always “write.”

Are You Going to Make a Brand?

Do you have a personal brand? What process did you use to identify yourself?

I received this twitter from  Nov 14

At , we use to make custom course banners for faculty courses.

Brand Summary

Even amateur bloggers benefit from having a brand. Logos help amateur bloggers develop a focus for their blog. Creating them also develops design skills.

There’s a company that specializes in helping people find themselves called Brand Yourself. Even non-bloggers have reasons to consider branding their image.

Follow-up

Thank you all for your input on my brand. I chose the most popular logo. Since that time Daniel Renteria from The AARC began redesigning my blog. He used my design to create a slimmer more professional design. Daniel used a triangle only. 🙂

The hardest part of hiring a professional designer is knowing what you want. Using Canva.com made it easy to leap from what was in my mind to my amateur design to a professional design. I gave Daniel an idea to start.

Related Posts

  1. 7 Steps to a Successful Brand for Your Personal Blog
  2. How Canva.com Turned Me into a Graphic Artist
  3. How to Post to Multiple Social Media Accounts and Still Breathe
  4. Seven Tips for Using Photos in Your Blog
  5. 7 Things You Can Do to Build An Awesome Personal Brand
  6. The First Step To Building Your Personal Brand
  7. The Complete Guide to Building Your Personal Brand

 Please share

I’d love it if you share this post.

I’d also love it if you’d like my Facebook page, TC History Gal Productions. (The story of TC History Gal is a short story. It’s on my About Me page.) 🙂

Are You Still Looking for “The Influencers?”

Look no further for Influencers!

The influencers pictured in the featured photo are mine and some of Janice Wald’s most influential bloggers. This post resulted from preparing to review Janice Wald’s book on blogging, Insider’s Guide to Building a Successful Blog. I added a few not on the list below. How many of them do YOU know?

influencers
Influencers are not always famous. Pictured here is my friend Spencer Morris who passed in October 2016. He was one of my personal influencers. 

Do you want to be a Better Blogger?

You are not the same blogger you were last week, if…

You checked out all the influencers’ links I’ve posted and researched from Mostly Blogging Janice Wald Janice’s book, Insider’s Guide to Building a Successful Blog Chapter Three. 

Finally, I completed my research on all of Janice’s 50+ expert influencers.

Expert Notes on Nine Influencers

  1. MeMeesMusings.com MeMee has a personable, philosophical writing style that makes you think. She also hosts some linky challenges. Here’s one. “If you’d like to play Words Crush Wednesday along with me here are the details: Cut/paste and follow these 3 simple rules: (see details on her blog) … I host a monthly poetry event/challenge …. Memee’s Musings came about from a time of personal crisis and is a piece of the journey … each day she finds herself wading rivers, climbing mountains, weathering storms and crossing tightropes.” 
  2. MerriDennis.com She works from home helping people blog with WP “I design sites using a mobile-responsive theme. I listen to you to learn the goals and dreams for your blog or church website and then create a site to help you achieve those goals. I spend my days (and nights) working from home as an e-commerce business manager, homeschooling mom, blogger, crafter, designer, and digital technician.”
  3. QuickSprout.com Neil Patel is well-respected in the blogging world. He’s quoted by other pro bloggers other than Janice. That’s a good indicator. You go to a landing page that asks for your information and it analyzes your website. Finally, you can go to his blog. The first post 33 Writing Tweaks That Will Turn You into a Copywriting Master. I think there are 173 pages of clicks – a whole book!
  4. CoolSanDiegoSights.wordpress.com He did a post about mural painting in San Diego. He sounds like someone I would like. He walks and takes pictures as he walks. “Richard Schulte Downtown San Diego has been my home for many years. My online activities reflect my love for writing, blogging, walking and photography.” I will definitely keep him in mind when I go to San Diego next. It’s one of my favorite cities.
  5. SmorgasbordInvitation.wordpress.com What an interesting woman, Sally Cronin. She writes books, practices nutrition. “I began studying Nutrition and the human body twenty years ago and I opened my first diet advisory centre in Ireland in 1998. Over the last 18 years, I have practiced in Ireland and the UK as well as written columns, articles and radio programmes on health and nutrition. I published my first book with a Canadian self-publisher in the late 90s and since then have republished that book and released eight others as part of our own self-publishing company. Apart from health I also enjoy writing fiction in the form of novels and short stories.” We are now Twitter friends. 
  6. OnTheVergeWithShareenMansfield.com Freeseomarketer.net has tools for any website. “We help check site info fully feature: google page rank, alexa rank, traffic rank, html analysis, visitor Analysis.” You can find out about any website. It shows your IP address when you are on the site. There is a reverse IP address tool which reminds me of a reverse address directory. Great tools! Do not expect this blog to be personable. 
  7. DownHomeThoughts.com  “Shawn Griffith Author Blogger Character Developer decided he needed a place to collect and share wisdom, tips, tricks, advice passed down to all of us by our parents, grandparents, and others.  Thoughts on being a better friend, spouse, parent, sibling, etc. Tips and tricks to live a better, cheaper, more efficient, more productive, fuller life.  Wisdom and advice to help us persevere and grow.” Shawn’s website feels personable.
  8. NicheHacks.com From his most popular post, “Most of your blog readers never read more than a quarter of your articles. In fact, many of them leave within the first 3 seconds of landing on your blog, never to return.” That scared me into reading, BUT the content was LOCKED! You had to tweet something in order to read the rest of the content. Cool! Post author, “Jawad Khan is a content marketing consultant and a freelance blogger for hire. Follow him on his blog, WritingMyDestiny, Twitter and Google+” I posted two tweets while reading the post, and I commented. The blog owner had an automatic responder – so cool! “Thanks For Commenting Hey, In case you don’t know I’m Stuart Walker owner of NicheHacks.com and I want to seriously say “thanks” for commenting (this will be weird if you just insulted me!)…” 
  9. SourcerorBlog.wordpress.com This blog is about superheroes, which doesn’t appeal to me. However, you may feel differently. The site has a lot of followers and quite a few guest posts. “Hi! *waves.*  I’m Gene’O, the resident mastermind at this fine blog. It’s my job to welcome you to the party. So, welcome! Or, as I like to say on Twitter, #WelcomeToTheMadTeaParty. … This is not a personal blog. It’s an engine of Internet mayhem fueled by the contributions of friendly bloggers.” I like his professionalism. Very cool!

Influencers Summary and Reflection

My goal in this post is to boil these tips down to essentials that new bloggers and committed amateurs can use to meet their blogging goals.

Influencers exist in every field. Janice Wald is one of my blogging friends and influencers. She works hard at “Mostly Blogging” so I respect her opinions.

This list of Influencers is not exhaustive. Several of her many influencers have already become new friends of mine as well. If you’re getting started blogging, making Janice Wald’s influencers a part of YOUR community is a great way to jumpstart your blog. But don’t neglect to start keeping a record of who your influencers are in the field you most enjoy.

Call to Action

  • Leave me a comment in the comment section. I always respond. Tell me YOUR blogging goals?
  • Post a link to your blog post in the comment section. Follow other’s links.
  • Finally, I’d love to have you follow me on Twitter @MarshaIngrao or like my Facebook Page.

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