Saturday, September 2, 2017

6 Reasons Why Blogging Is Killing Your Business

Blogging for business can be a strenuous task. Many small businesses have tried and failed in researching, writing, and creating blog posts for their business because, well, it can be anyone’s worst enemy. This isn’t an exaggeration; it’s true, and many small business owners can attest to that.
However, let’s not lose hope at all. Today, we’re here to talk about the different reasons why blogging can be your business’ number one enemy. Along the way, let's identify we can counter these hurdles and become more productive in creating content for our business.

1. You Don’t Publish Enough or You’re Not Writing at All

As we all know, writing even just a 500-word blog post requires a lot of time, which a lot of entrepreneur don’t have. That’s why we end up putting writing at the backseat and just wait for inspiration to kick in, which doesn’t happen that often. As a result, we don’t get the chance to publish new, fresh, and useful content for our readers and that's why we lose our market or readers.
So, what should we do to always be on track when blogging?
  • Create a calendar
Make an editorial calendar or work your content calendar with your team. The calendar allows you to create topics and content ahead to avoid writer’s (content?) block. So, make sure to brainstorm with your team once or twice a month. Here's a simple tip on how to start your editorial calendar (with examples).

  • Read, read, read, and did I mention read?
The key to generating useful content is to read and learn it yourself. The more we know, the more theories, application, ideas, and the like we can use in our businesses. Which also means that we have more things to write about.

  • Choose a day for publishing content
A lot of people operate with structure and consistency, and it's what makes them productive. So, maximize this by creating a habit with your audience by selecting days to publish your blog post for your business.

2. Boring Content and Headlines

Boring is a terrible way to describe content, but it’s true. However, boring here can mean a lot of things, and dull is just one of them. So, let’s break it down, shall we?
  • Boring = low-value
Picture this: you want to buy a new pair of shoes, so, what do you do? You go online and read reviews to help you form the right decision. The downside is we tend to be bombarded with a lot of content, even click baits, that don't give value that's what makes it frustrating.

Similarly, when you write content for your business, you have to think of your readers. Create a helpful and entertaining content that brings value to them. Remember, they'll spend time reading your post so make sure they get something from it and that's your responsibility. Make sure your post provides value to your readers to be able to create meaningful connections.

  • Boring = not compelling
Your headline is the most important part of your article. Remember that 80% of your audience will read it and, when you're headline capture's their attention, that's the time they’ll read your content. Remember that only 20% of your audience will read your post. So, make every part count; make every part compelling, useful, and that it hooks them to want more.

  • Boring = irrelevant
Relevance is key in capturing your reader’s attention. Keeping your posts timely and useful by editing and updating the content is essential in blogging for your business. Posting up-to-date content also helps your post or page ranking. The more relevant the content is, the more the search engines will index your post or even website.

  • Boring = confusing
A long post is one thing, but a confusing article is another story. There are a lot of long posts, which can be 2000-word or more, that stays relevant, valuable, and compelling. The key is to break down the content in small but related pieces to avoid confusion. Use headings or break text with images, videos, and other visuals to highlight different parts of your post.

3. You Don’t Gather Feedback and Reviews

If you’re publishing within your target dates or hitting your target posts per week, then great for you. However, if your stats still low, then maybe your problem's not just your post schedules. One of the hundreds of reasons could be the lack of comments or feedback you get.

Remember that blogging is a two-way process; it’s a conversation. Instead of just writing, make it a conversation between you and your audience or among your readers. Remember, conversations are the best way to learn about a person, so apply it in writing, too. The question now is, how do we get their opinion about your post?

  • Ask
At the end of your post, ask them what they learned, have they experienced the same thing, or what can they add to your story.

  • Socialize
Even if it’s not in the comment sections, ask them to interact with you about your posts in social media. Converse with them, share ideas, or even ask them what they want to read about next that they think is relevant to their business; sky's the limit!

  • Set a Goal
There’s no one-size-fits-all solution to everything. That’s why it’s important to create a plan for your readers, too. With their feedback, you’ll know whether your tactics and tools are effective and what aspects in content creation you need to improve.

4. There’s No Engagement

Engagement in blogging and social media comes in many forms. Post engagement comes in three forms in blogging. Here are the things that you need to consider:
  • Comments
Sometimes, the lack of comments in our posts is the reason why many of us stop or don’t start blogging. So, to ensure that you get the right engagement you need, always go back to steps numbers 2 and 3.

  • Post Share
Sharing your posts on different channels also increases your page clicks. Also, encouraging other people, including your family and friends, to share the post will definitely help. This increases your website traffic which is great when you’re blogging for your business.

  • Include Polls
Adding polls on your posts also increase your engagement. You can add a poll about your post or future blog post to learn more about your reader’s opinions.

  • Engage with Key Influencers
Building a genuine relationship with influencers in your industry also helps increase your engagement. Find time to work with the major influencers in your industry, for example, fashion bloggers or food bloggers, to expand your own audience.

5. Your Posts Lack Visuals

People are visual creatures. We love seeing colors, images, and movements on the screen. So, make sure to take advantage of photos this when blogging for your business. Here are some visuals you can use for a stronger marketing strategy:
  • Photos
A relevant image or images when blogging for business must be part of every post. Use the image to trigger the emotion you want your audience to feel or react to on your post. Don’t forget to use captions below your pictures. In this way, you bring your reader’s focus downwards to keep them reading, read more about it here.

  • Infographics
Do you want to share data about a business or a simple guide? If yes, infographics are a great way to present or summarize your idea. In this way, the data will get processed fast and can easily be shared in different channels.
How to Write a Blog Post
  • Videos
Adding videos to your post also increases engagement, especially when you indicate at first hand that you have a video or videos to support your written content. You can do this in your title or even in your introduction.

  • Memes
Memes are images with texts that tell a story, most of the time funny and sarcastic stories that can break the post’s text.

  • GIF
Graphics interchange format (GIF) is my favorite, obviously. It’s a great way to grab your reader’s attention.

6. You Don’t Promote Your Content

Blogging for business also means you have to invest in your marketing. Don’t forget that there are a lot of ways to advertise your content, both paid and free. As what we've talked about, you can promote your posts on your own, but paid ads and promotions can also boost your business’ online presence. Learn more about online marketing here.
So, here are some of the things you can start doing to befriend your company blog:
  • Choose snippets from your post and advertises it on Twitter.
  • Tag your sources as your advertise your post. Before this, make sure to email them and inform them that you’ll include them in your ad.
  • Write blog posts for a community to add a link back to your business website.
  • Run a campaign add on Facebook or Instagram. Don’t forget to identify your target market on the campaign, specifically the demographics and geography of the audience you want to reach.
The Takeaway
Blogging for your business is an excellent way to reach your target market because you can do a lot of things in just one blog post. So, don’t just settle with a plain website that introduces your business, product, or service. Make sure you introduce who you are, too. Remember, in a world where people are bombarded with information; your voice will be a refreshing voice that they would love to hear.

And, after all of these, if the task still overwhelms you, just drop me a message and I'll be willing to help you start create content for your business :)

Monday, July 17, 2017

I Won Something from Zalora + Zalora Promo Code!

And, yes, I couldn't resist joining an Instagram giveaway sponsored by Pond's and Zalora because of the prize- not! Seriously, with all the giveaways spamming Instagram, who wouldn't want to take a chance, there's no harm in trying, right?

Also, this is my first time to win after joining hundreds of giveaways in different forms and platforms; hence, the post ;)

The steps were simple, all you have to do to join was to follow the sponsors and "comment your definition of beauty." And, as someone who have recently loved and accepted her flaws, I thought I have a chance to win. Here's my answer:

Beauty is being true to who your are & who you want to be. It's being confident in your own skin and encouraging others to do so, too. Beauty isn't just loving yourself as it also means you really behind others to love and respect themselves, too. It's a collective force that can be more appreciated when seen in everyone, regardless of differences. 

Pang Miss U bah? Lol! 

Seriously, I still fall on the encouraging part, but I always remind myself not to. I try my hardest to appreciate and respect everyone around me. And if needed, I remind people of their beauty. 

Take a closer look of what they sent me. I'll be making a review of the items soon.

For those who came here for the promo code, here it is: 
zalora coupon code 2017
Disclaimer: By using the promo code, I get a small commission from Zalora. 

Monday, June 26, 2017

Why are there so many giveaways in Instagram?

Yes, I'm one of those people. But, of course, I still join legitimate giveaways, though. And, after joining hundreds of giveaways on Instagram, I finally won one from Zalora in partnership with Ponds.

But to answer the question, here are some insights that are helpful for both brands and those who want to join a giveaway on Instagram. 

New Algorithm-Driven Feed of Instagram

The new feed algorithm of Instagram is similar to Facebook; it's complicated. It doesn't necessarily show how it literally works and how they choose posts to show on your feed. And that's what makes it brilliantly complicated. 

However, there are a lot of factors that gives users, especially brands and influencers, hints on how they can bypass Instagram's complexity. And this is what we'll talk about. 

Factors Influencing Instagram Feed

  • Engagement 

Simply put it, posts with higher engagements are ranked on top of the feed. Engagement here doesn't only mean likes as your posts should also have comments, views, shares. And for Instagram stories, views and replies also matter.

However, popular posts don't always get their way into your feed because relevance is still a key factor.

  • Relevance

Your interest still plays an important role on what you see on your feed, including your relationship to the user. Therefore, posts which are more relevant to your account, regardless of popularity, will still be ranked higher on your feed.

Instagram consider relevant posts as posts and accounts that you're currently interested in and had interacted with. Posts you commented on and liked, hashtags you've searched and used, and other similar factors can be used to identify relevant posts to show up on your feed. 

Therefore, if you often use a hashtag (e.g. travel) then travel posts will be ranked higher on your Instagram feed. 

  • Relationship

Nope, I'm not talking about being single or in a complicated relationship here (and yes, this is lame lol!).

Your relationship to an account will be considered when ranking posts. As Instagram puts it: "no matter how many accounts you follow, you should see your best friend’s latest post.

Instagram determines your relationship to a user by using the following:
  • People you've exchanged messages
  • Users you often tag on your posts or other's posts 
  • Accounts you search for
  • People you know IRL 

There are other factors that Buffer Social cited, but these are the most crucial factors that Instagram use on its new feed algorithm. 

So, to answer the question, Instagram giveaways is one of the ways to bypass its current algorithm. Let's digest the basics of an Instagram giveaway instructions:

  • "Follow me on Instagram" increases engagement and level of relationship.
  • "Like this photo" increases user engagement.
  • "Tag five friends in the comment section" increases engagement, relevance, and opens new relationships with other users. 
  • "Like and comment on previous posts" also increases engagement and relevance. 

How to disable Instagram's new algorithm-driven feed and go back to chronological order?

Instagram, unlike Facebook, doesn't provide an option to change your feed back to chronological order. The best thing to do is to create a meaningful community among your followers and engage with them so that you can see each other's posts.

Are giveaways effective in gaining followers?

I honestly don't know. 

However, here are some of the basic questions you can use if you want to grow your audience:

Target Audience 

Always consider your community in mind. Look at the people who follow your account and use this to find the right prize for your giveaway. Create your follower's profile. 

Identify the Prize

Once you've identified your audience, you can now easily determine what they would love to receive as a price. 

Giveaway Mechanics

Always be specific on the mechanics. Don't just say "engage with me." Create simple steps for your audience to follow. 
And because I often engage with Zalora, I stumbled on one of their giveaways and joined the fun. Read on about what I learned about this giveaway here. 

BTW, what do you think of Instagram's feed? 

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Ripped Jeans, Hopeful Dreams

how to style tattered jeans for women
I think everyone would agree that ripped jeans are the go-to badass jeans for both men and women. Now, ripped high waisted jeans is another story, but I wouldn't miss on one. 

But there's a catch; I'm not into high waisted skinny jeans with rips on the knees. Don't get me wrong, it's a great alternative to what I'm wearing here. However, what I love about loose tattered jeans is that it give more freedom for movement. 

What's it called?

According to Apparel Search, ripped jeans are also called distressed jeans. And just like most of the fashion statements that never dies, ripped jeans also have a history. 

These were first worn by men in 1970s. And now, wearing tattered jeans is a conscious choice. Oh, how times have changed. 

In the fashion world, its origins aren't really known. But it became popular during the 1980s to 2000s during the rise of the grunge and punk era. During the early 2010s, the jeans were revived and renamed to worn out jeans. 

How to style ripped jeans?

And yes, I'm not an authority in answering this question. But for someone who loves to thrift clothes, I always get the change to envision how I style what I buy during my hunts. 

There are a lot of ways to style your ripped jeans. In this post, I played around with another item I bought from a thrift store; a bralette. Decided to do this because of (1) beach and (2) heat. 

Also, see my bralette glittering? Well, these details made me say yes to buying it even though I'm unsure of where and when I'm going to wear it, just like my favorite boho dress. But here I am, basking under the sun, sand on my toes, and glitters on my top.

how to style boyfriend's tattered jeans for women

Another thing that I always do is pair it with black or white shirt. For a lazier look, try using your favorite worn out sneakers, or you can also use your favorite neon flats to add color to your look. 

I also see a lot of women of women prefer skinny ripped jeans design instead of the baggy ones. If you have one of this, then you can pair it with heels or wedge. Selena Gomez pulled this look so good I almost didn't want to wear baggy ripped jeans ever, well, just almost. And I wouldn't put her photo here, too, kay papha jud ko hahaha!

Where to buy ripped jeans?

  • Thrift stores
My first stop is to look at the nearest thrift shop. Or buy thrift pants and make your own. Though I bought mine at one of the thrift stores back home. They're really cheap and though some needs minor alterations, it still wouldn't hurt your pocket. Bought mine for P50.00!
  • Online 
You can also check online stores for some on-point ripped jeans for petite women. Get yours from Zalora and get 15% off by using ZBAPFIR3 now!
There are a lot of online stores and even Instagram and Facebook stores that sell high quality tattered jeans that you can check out.
  • In-store
You can also check out your favorite brands and it's even better if they're on sale!

How to wash dem tattered jeans?

 Normally, we'd just toss our jeans and other clothes in the machine. However, I don't always machine wash my jeans, especially my favorite tattered jeans. I usually wash it by hand. 

 I know ruining or ripping it a little bit more makes it more appealing, but not for me. So, it depends on how you’re comfortable with washing your clothes.

So, care to share where'd you get your favorite ripped jeans?

Monday, June 5, 2017

How to Add Social Media Icons on Your Sidebar in Blogger

Learning to add functioning social media icons in your sidebar in blogger is important. Everyone's in social media and that's why you should let your readers know that they can also reach you anywhere, too.

I can't seem to find my source for this hack, will dig into it later and will credit my source. I call it hack because some instructions that I've first tried involved tweaking my theme's HTML, but this one's easier. So, let's start, shall we?

1. Choose your icons

Choose free icons from iconfinder and download it. There are a lot of icons you can use for free here and there are also icons for sale. If you really want to match your social media icons to your theme, then I suggest that you purchase it or you can also make your own. 

Make sure to download the .png files of your chosen icons. Once you've downloaded the icons, resize it using Adobe Photoshop or other image resizing tools that you usually use. 

Tip: Check the size your sidebar by using the Inspect element with Google. This is important to ensure that your icons aren't too big. 

2. Open a new post 

Open a new post and upload the icons you've resized. 

blogging tips in adding working social media icons in blogger sidebar or footer

3. Insert link

Once you've added the images, it's time to insert your links for your social media icons to function in your sidebar. Here's how you do it:

1. Highlight the icon and click on Link, as seen in the photo. 

tips on how to add social media icons and links in blogger sidebar or footer

2. You'll then be asked to add the link for the icon you've highlighted, as seen here, and just add the link and select 'OK.' Do this with all the icons. 

add social media links and icons in blogger footer and sidebar

Tip: Align the icons according to your preference, too. Just make sure that it fits the width of your sidebar. You can also add more icons and link more social media accounts on your blog in your sidebar or footer.

4. Get HTML 

Click HTML on the post, as seen below, to get the code. 

add a functioning social media links in blogger

You'll then see the HTML code, but don't panic, just let it be. All you have to do is copy the code. Make sure you don't change anything in the code. 

this is the html for your social media icons in blogger

5. Add HTML to theme

Go to your Layout and, on the sidebar, click on Add Gadget (see photo below). 

tips and tricks on adding social media icons sidebar or footer in blogger

Select the HTML gadget so that it'll be added to your sidebar, as seen below. You can also add the icons using the same HML code on your footer.

how to add html code for social media icons in blogger sidebar or footer

Once you've added the HTML gadget on your sidebar, click on edit. Paste the HTML code you copied from the post you made in step 2. 

simple tricks in adding html code for social media icons in blogger

Save it and go to preview. Adjust the sizes of the icons if it doesn't fit on your sidebar. 

Remember that the width of the sidebar differs according to the theme you use. So, make sure to get adjust the sizes of the icons accordingly,  

This is the simplest way I've read, so far, on how to add social media icons on Blogger, especially if you're not using their default themes. 

If you've tried this, let me know if it works for you, too.