Tag Archives | blogging

Beginner’s guide to WordPress

wordpressAccording to Wikipedia, WordPress was used by more than 26.4% of the top 10 million websites by April 2016. That’s more than a quarter of the world’s websites, including this one.

You can use it to run a blog or even a whole website, whether or not that website includes a blog.

In WordPress jargon, ‘posts’ go on your blog (one long page with the most recent post at the top), and ‘pages’ are static.

There are thousands of options so you can make your site look and behave exactly as you want. But it’s a target for hackers. If you don’t want to unexpectedly find your site selling Viagra or promoting the Bristol Gerbil Society, it’s wise to do regular updates that add the latest security patches.

There are two flavours of WordPress. Both are free. Yes, free! Confusingly, both have the same name.

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Why you should be guest blogging

Him: “Hello, we have a newsletter that goes to 50,000 businesses. Please will you write a guest article for us?”

Me: “OK.”

Him: “Thanks. That will be £3,000 please.”

Me: “Hang on a minute. I’m a writer – I usually get paid for what I write, not the other way round!”

Him: “But writing an article for us acts as advertising for you…”

Me: “Thanks, but no thanks.”

How things have changed since I was at journalism school all those years ago. These days, I contribute to Fresh Business Thinking, The Huffington Post, Birds on the Blog and others. Unpaid. But of all the marketing strategies I’ve tried recently, guest blogging has brought me the best results. It might work for you too.


Because instead of trying to build an audience of your own, you can expose yourself (ooer) to an existing audience that’s bigger than anything you could dream of. The other site gets unique content, and you benefit from the inbound link that helps your search engine ranking.

As well as approaching relevant blog sites direct (use Technorati or Google blogsearch to find them), there are various places you can upload content for sharing, including:

I’m not the only one that finds this approach effective. One of the companies I train for has 18 external blogs that they manage – all of them are optimised for different search terms and have the objective of demonstrating expertise and driving traffic to the main website.


20 ways to make your content marketing strategy work harder for you

You’ve probably heard the expression ‘content is king’. It’s never been more true than today, when the Internet is so dependent on content, content, content.

If you write blogs and articles on your own website or blogsite, or as a guest author, you are doing what’s called ‘content marketing’. Here are 20 ideas to make your content marketing work harder for you. In no particular order:

  1. Identify the keywords you want to be found for, e.g. using Google’s keyword tool
  2. Join Ezine Articles and apply for Diamond status as soon as you’re entitled to
  3. Use your desired keywords in the article heading, summary, body copy, sub-headings and resource box (the article is your ‘give’ the resource box is your ‘take’)
  4. Write compelling titles e.g. inspired by Cosmo Online (!) but adapted to your own topic area/s
  5. Share links to your articles all over your social media platforms, and get your friends/fans/followers to share them too (the more views your articles get, the higher they are ranked)

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What can I write in my blog?

Blog = contraction of web log, a log (diary) in reverse chronological order, that you post on the web

In my view, websites are on their way down, while blogs are on their way up. There are a few reasons for this:

  • Google likes regularly updated content
  • By providing added value content, it’s shareable throughout the social media community
  • People can comment and interact

What to write?

Apart from e-commerce on sites like Amazon and eBay, people go to the Internet for two reasons:

  • Information
  • Entertainment

So that’s what you need to provide. Information in the form of hints, tips and advice to demonstrate your expertise, and/or entertainment (in accordance with your brand values). Your blog can be keyword-rich if you want it to be found on search engines, and – if you allow comments – it offers your friends, fans and followers the opportunity to interact with you. Blogs are best when you include images and video as well as words.

How much?

A blog post only needs to be around 150-300 words. That’s 2.5 paragraphs or a page of A4 in 12-point Arial or Helvetica. Any longer than that and it’s an article. You can still keep to my suggested word count if you split longer pieces with a ‘Read more’ link.

How often?

You should blog ideally 2-3 times a week, if not daily, but once a week is fine. If you can’t post at least once a month, don’t do it.

71.4% of consumers say that blogs affect their purchasing decisions “somewhat” or “very much.”

Source: Hubspot