Whether you plan your blog posts or just start typing, whether you’re a writer who plots or has the story flow out of him/her, the first step is to get it written. Nonetheless, hitting the Publish button isn’t enough anymore. Now the hard work only begins.
You have to edit, proofread, format, make your work known, get it read.
“How? With billions of books published, how in the world is anyone going to notice me?”
“With billions of websites on the internet, how is anyone going to see my website and why should anyone read my full blog posts?”
There are so many factors to consider, so many questions we want answers to.
So, I compiled here a list of the most asked questions regarding writing and blogging, and I added my responses that will hopefully be helpful. 🙂
Table of Contents:
- Why should I invest in SEO tools?
- Is Pay-Per-Click worth it?
- What are some WordPress education themes for free?
- How do bloggers do giveaways?
- What do you need to build a website?
- Why do bloggers need keywords?
- What are some common mistakes freelance writers make?
- How do you make a good analogy?
- Why do writers use personification?
- What is the best way to improve your writing skills?
- What are the challenges of writing a book?
Questions about Blogging
1. Why should I invest in SEO tools?
There are free and paid SEO tools. I am using the free All in One SEO and the free version is great. If you can’t afford to buy the premium version, you’re fine with the free one.
What does the Free SEO tool do?
- Optimizing your content for search engines
- Optimizing your WordPress website
- WooCommerce is included in the free version
- You can integrate your website with Google Analytics, Google Search Console, Pinterest, and Bing Webmaster
- You can create and submit XML sitemaps to Google and Bing
- Post and page optimization
- A preview snippet shows how your content may look in search engine results. You can leave it as it is, but you have the option to change it, giving you the chance to edit the preview to an enticing text, giving the online searcher more information about what he/she’s looking for in an article. It may increase the possibilities of getting more clicks on your website.
- If for some reason you don’t want the search engines to include your post or page in their search results, you can simply tick the “No Index this page/post” and/or the “no follow this page/post” button.
What about the Premium version?
- It unlocks more WooCommerce features
- Optimization of categories and tags
- Your videos on your website are included in the XML sitemaps
- Pro support forums
- Video tutorials covering SEO’s main features
In conclusion, the free SEO version is quite complete, even for WooCommerce, but the premium version offers some extra advantages and is worth it. It depends on what you want to get out of your SEO plugin.
2. Is Pay-Per-Click worth it?
What is Pay-Per-Click?
When someone clicks on an advertisement, the company that placed the ad online pays money to the host website, literally giving them a payment per click. In essence, the website is buying the visits to its site instead of earning those visits through SEO or “organically.”
It works for many but not for everyone. Some people also call it a “click-fraud”. If you do it right, though, it can increase visitors to your website.
Is it worth it?
– Paying to generate clicks on your website can work if you know what you’re doing. You have to write a great ad, make the text enticing so that internet users will click on it.
– You have to invest time, check what works and what doesn’t. You need to optimize your ad, improve it, and that takes time.
– Experience and skills are a bonus, because setting up a good and effective ad campaign is not that simple. It needs practice.
– It’s a great tool to grow a customer base.
– PPC visitors are 50% more likely to make a purchase than organic visitors.
In conclusion, if you’re not sure about how to create a great ad, I wouldn’t invest the money.
Of course, you can ask a friend or an acquaintance to help write the advertisement or you could pay someone to do it. The best way is to learn it yourself. Teach yourself. Take courses. The internet is teeming with tutorials.
3. What are some WordPress education themes for free?
In the education niche, WordPress offers several amazing themes for your website. WordPress has thousands of free themes to choose from. They’re easy to customize and they come included with dedicated features that you’d otherwise spend lots of time installing.
Some great themes are the following:
- Shapely: compatible with all plugins and optimized for speed and search engines
- Antreas: sleek and flexible, providing many tools to take your business online
- Illdy: easy to use, versatile, and works smoothly
- Education Base: colorful design and organized layout; fully responsive and user-friendly
- Education Hub: simple and clean design, professional look
- Astra: versatile, lightweight, and easily customizable. This popular theme is rich in features and highly recommended.
- Education Zone: minimalistic, with different sections that offer website visitors easy and immediate access to the information they’re looking for. It’s optimized for SEO.
There are many more free educational themes, but the above mentioned are the best and the most popular ones.
4. How do bloggers do giveaways?
– Ask users to subscribe to your newsletter and give them a freebie (perhaps a free e-book, calendar, list, whatever relates to your blog and your niche).
– Call-to-Action buttons
– Share your giveaway on social media.
– Create a pin and pin it on Pinterest.
Keep in mind that a lot of people may just stop by for the free goods and then they’ll be on their way, but you will still gain new followers and readers.
5. What do you need to build a website?
– A niche
To define your niche, choose something you are interested in or that you are knowledgeable about. You’re going to write a lot about it, so picking a niche that you have no interest in will work against you.
First of all, writing articles about something you don’t care about is boring. Secondly, your lack of interest will reflect in your writing and it might turn away the reader.
Why would someone choose a niche he/she doesn’t care about? Perhaps because it’s a popular niche or because it is rumored to make a lot of money, but making money with something you don’t love …?
Isn’t that one of the reasons why most people leave their day jobs and start businesses online? Then why repeat that self-sabotaging habit?
Choose something you care about. It can even be something you may not know much about but you’re willing to learn. Let’s say that you would love to find out more about drones, but you have no idea about them. Then start a blog with your research on drones.
Maybe you want to become a camping expert but don’t have much experience with it. Do research, check out camping gear, camping spots, tips, etc; learn about it, and then start writing. Share your findings with your audience.
– SEO: this topic was covered in the first question of this blog post.
– Website hosting
Great website hosting is a must. You have to keep your website secure and be able to rely on a good support team to help you out with technical issues.
– A keyword research tool
This is explained in nr. 6
– Social media
After you publish your newest blog post, share it on social media to spread the word. Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, Instagram, Pinterest and whichever other social media platform you use are excellent channels to lead more traffic to your website.
6. Why do bloggers need keywords?
Keywords increase SEO. It is highly recommended including at least one or two keywords in your blog and one in your title. This will help readers to find your article more easily. If you don’t know how to find keywords for certain blog posts, Jaaxy is a great, user-friendly tool that can help you out.
Questions about Writing
1. What are some common mistakes that freelance writers make?
- Diving in too soon
Before you become a freelancer, make sure you have some savings that will cover necessary expenses such as rent, bills, grocery shopping, etc. Those savings should last for a few months.Don’t start off without having enough savings. It is best to start your freelance career while you’re still working your full time job, to set some extra earnings aside.
- Taking on the wrong clients
Although a handshake still counts as a deal maker, when you take on a job it is best to have a contract. This will protect both you and the client, and it avoids nasty surprises down the road.Work with a client who offers you work you want to do and are qualified to do, someone who works with you to achieve great results and who you can communicate with; a client you can be a good team with.
- Not having a system
It’s important to keep track of expenses, and payments due, made, and received. Always know what’s coming in and going out.
- Not charging enough or overcharging
Setting the right price can be tricky. How much should you charge and how much is too much or too little?Setting the price too high may cause you to lose potential clients, but setting it too low can also work against you.Not only will you get paid too little, but you may also end up stretched too thin and getting frustrated, which will lead to not doing your best work. That in turn may lead to a bad reference …
2. How do you make a good analogy?
Use easy-to-create imagery.
If you want to show how two things are alike with the goal of making a point about the comparison, then use examples that are easy to understand. Readers must be familiar with the image you’re trying to evoke.
If you want to compare someone to a historical person, remember that not everyone is a history buff. Not everyone is a science enthusiast. Not everyone knows all about reptiles, amphibians, crustaceans, etc. Keep it easy to understand. No one wants to read an analogy that will prompt them to consult the encyclopedia 😉
Unlike a simile or a metaphor, an analogy not only shows but also explains. You want to make a point by making a comparison to something that identifies an identical relationship or something that identifies a shared abstraction.
Some good examples are:
Shared Abstraction ==> “Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know which one you’re going to get.” “A relationship is like a garden. You must keep on watering it for the flowers to blossom.”
Identical Relationship ==> “Light is to dark as good is to evil” Here you are demonstrating two opposites by comparing two other items that are exact opposites.
3. Why do writers use personification?
Personification gives human characteristics to non-human things. For example, you’d give the sun rays a nicer personality when you write “sun rays gently caressed her skin” instead of the “sun rays were on her skin.”
It also makes reading more enjoyable.
Give the wind a voice. Instead of saying “the wind blows” change it to “the wind howls” or “rages around the building.” Now I made the wind angry, I gave it a human emotion.
Instead of “the waves were below her” (on a sinking ship) you could write “the waves awaited her hungrily” “the waves loomed below her, eager to devour her.” You could also use a simile and compare the waves to “wide open jaws.”
The use of personification showcases a non-human entity as more human, more vivid. Personification also makes the story more interesting and it can even help to create an image in your mind as you read.
4. What is the best way to improve writing skills?
– Read books. You learn a lot by reading. Improving your grammar skills shouldn’t be a drag and it shouldn’t make you approach a review of grammar rules with dread, although it’s important to know grammar, of course 😉
– Write more to practice your writing skills, and keep a grammar manual handy to double check, in case you’re not sure about something.
In this article How to Improve your Grammar and Writing Skills – 6 Easy Tips you will find more detailed information.
5. What are the challenges of writing a book?
– Not knowing where to start
Some writers are plotters and they plan out their story to the last detail. Others just start writing and let the story flow out of them. It depends on what type of writer you are, but if you’re not sure how to start I would suggest to either just sit down and start typing or create a planner.
Even include images to help you set up the story line.You could also just drop the pen – or close the laptop – and go for a walk. A walk in nature is always inspiring and you may come back with a fresh idea.
Consider the following as well:
- Do you want to start with an introduction of the characters and show the reader their relationship to each other?
- With a dialogue?
- An action?
- A meeting?
- Do you prefer to start with an action scene?
- A slow build up?
- A flashback?
- A prologue or none?
– Writer’s block
I haven’t suffered from writer’s block, but there have been moments when I felt stuck. I suppose they could be qualified as “bouts of writer’s block.” I recommend the same I suggested previously: go for a walk, distract yourself. Do something else to relax, and soon your inspiration and ideas will return.
– Comparing yourself to accomplished authors
Huge mistake! Do not do that.
Every writer is different and has something unique to offer to readers. It isn’t easy to become known as an author, but comparing yourself to the ones who succeeded in achieving fame or success isn’t going to help your cause.
The only one you should be comparing yourself to is the person you were yesterday.
– Being an overzealous editor
Editing is essential. You simply cannot publish a book without letting it go through a rigorous editing process. However, when you are writing your story, just write it. Focus on your characters and the plot, and – during that time – forget about editing.
If you are going to pay attention to your or you’re while writing an intense battle scene, that scene will lose your focus and it will eventually miss out on something crucial you might have added which is now lost because you absolutely had to scroll back to add that comma.
– Worrying that your idea “isn’t good enough” or it “has been written before.”
Your idea may have been written before but no one ever wrote it the way you do. I have no clue how many vampire books there are on the market. Thousands? Millions? It doesn’t matter; if you want to write another vampire story, then write it, because your book has not been written before. So, get it out there.
If you want to write a book about email marketing, vegan recipes, yoga, spirituality, the Tudors, and I don’t know what other popular subject matter, then do it. Countless books have been written on these mentioned topics, but no one can write them like you.
These are just eleven of the most asked questions about blogging and writing, but there are, of course, more. I will address additional queries soon in another post. Let me know if you have comments or questions, and if there is a topic you would like me to address in a future article, please leave a comment below.