Okay, so you’ve set up your hosting, picked a theme for your WordPress site, and come up with a list of topics to write about, What next?
Now it’s time to start writing.
Writing can be a daunting adventure for many people. In fact, it was once upon a time for me too.
I remember when I first started blogging, I wasn’t a writer in the traditional sense by any stretch. I just shared my thoughts, emotions, tips, tactics, and inspiration in a format that people could digest. It turns out they liked it.
You don’t have to be a masterful writer to start and run a successful blog. Blogging is therapeutic. It’s an outlet. A way for you to share and connect with the (believe it or not) millions of other people out in the world who are just like you. You just haven’t discovered each other yet!
But, if you are still daunted by the task of writing a blog, here is a 3-part formula you can follow for making every blog memorable:
Write a mind-blowing headline that entices people to click and read your blog when they discover it.
Hook readers in with short, punchy sentences, storytelling, and emotive language.
Keep people engaged with visuals such as screenshots, infographics, videos, image quotes, and GIFs.
Just remember blogging does not solely rely on how best you are in writing and in English grammar. Blogging also involves on how you connect with your readers, how to entice them, how to keep them to always read you blogr posts, and having more sense of humor in your blog. Here are one of the lists to take in writing a blog and to generate traffic.
Engage with your readers.
Come up with the best and unique topic.
Know how to generate real and organic traffic.
Use the free but really best source of engagement to get traffic the social media site.
Know how to use back-links.
Avoid illegitimate and doubtful free traffic source.
Lastly, always be upbeat and always keep the fire up.
Or you can take an indirect approach by finding a popular news story outside your industry and writing about how it could affect your audience.
For example, as a marketer, the drought in California isn’t directly related to my niche. But I could still use this newsworthy topic to write a story like How the California Drought Will Affect Silicon Valley Startups.
8. Go somewhere else
Some places are just more inspirational than others. That’s why I love the idea of PeerSpace (it’s like AirBnB, but for creative spaces).
Even something as simple as a park pavilion or private room in a restaurant can do the trick.
9. Use freewriting
Freewriting is the foundation of several brainstorming techniques.
You simply write nonstop for a set amount of time. Don’t make corrections or edits along the way. Just keep writing until your time ends and see what ideas have come out of your session.
10. Dive into Quora
Quora is a wonderful community, full of people asking and answering questions.
You can follow interests related to your industry and then when you need new blog post ideas, dig through the stream and look for questions or answers that could help your audience.
I’m such a huge fan of this technique that I’ve actually incorporated it into the strategy documents I share with my content marketing clients.
One tab on the document automatically pulls in a list of related Quora questions, giving us plenty of ideas that we know people are looking for information on.
11. Keyword research
Solid keywords are the cornerstone of blog posts, which make them a perfect brainstorming tool.
I try to make an effort to discover new keywords on a regular basis.
Start with big ideas or general keywords (e.g. Internet Marketing). Then, break it down into smaller sections (e.g. Content Marketing, PPC, SEO).
Continue to get more specific, giving you a bunch of topics that will make for great posts.
13. Use an idea generator
Several companies have created blog topic generators. When all else fails, use one of these to spark content ideas. (My favorite is the one by Portent.)
14. Mistakes and learning
Make a list of the challenges, mistakes and failures you’ve overcome.
Chances are, your readers are facing similar things and need the concrete solutions you can provide from your experience.
It’s a perfect opportunity to create helpful content.
15. Use a brainstorming spreadsheet
Hubspot has a brainstorming spreadsheet that adds a bit of structure to the process. It’s a visual, detailed way to generate ideas based on a general topic.
16. Search social media
Tools like Topsy help you search through the topics that are being shared most on social media. Go through the popular posts related to your industry and mine them for content ideas.
17. Write down your ideas
The best ideas seem to happen when I’m not trying to create them. Carrying around a notebook helps me capture my ideas – whether I’m out and about or waking up from a dream.
When you get in the habit of writing down ideas, you may find that they flow a lot easier as well. Give it a try!
18. Take advantage of your comments
Find a blog in your industry with an active comments section (or, if you have a discussion section on your own blog, use that).
Read through each comment and look at what people are asking. Those questions can lead to great ideas for blog posts.
19. Use the Medici Effect
The Medici Effect refers to the way in which seemingly unrelated things often intersect. When coming up with blog post ideas, look for commonalities across different topics.
For example, let’s say I ran a blog about helping freelancers succeed. If I came across a post about the best morning routines for executives, I could then translate that topic into something specific to my audience.
20. Do competitor analysis
Go through the content that your competitors are creating. I like to start in their Most Popular Postssection, or use one of the many tools online that make this even easier.
Analyze the post topics and their relative popularity. Then, look for ways you can expand on the topics, include better research or create a piece of content that’s better overall.
After recording one of the worst sell-offs in all of 2018, the crypto market has experienced a minor corrective rally, adding $8 billion to its valuation.
The Bitcoin (BTC) price is approaching a resistance level at $5,600, a minor resistance level BTC will have to surpass to potentially eye a rally to $5,800 and potentially re-enter the $6,000 region.
Since August, BTC had defended the $6,000 support level, which has since turned into a major resistance level. Hence, if BTC initiates a corrective rally throughout the next three to four days to the $6,000 level, then it will be possible for the dominant cryptocurrency to end 2018 with a positive note.
However, if BTC struggles to breakout of the $6,000 level, then it will be difficult for the market to escape its low price range by the end of 2018.
Bitcoin Downtrend Still Possible
A further downward movement by Bitcoin is still possible from the mid-$5,000 zone. Cryptocurrency trader and technical analyst DonAlt said that BTC had a decent daily movement on November 16, but it will need to show some momentum in the high $5,000 region to confirm a positive short-term movement.
“It’s been a good day for BTC. That doesn’t change the fact that we’re approaching resistance. On the charts are the three setups that I’d be willing to trade. S/R flip or rejection on red, long green or just a straight up nuke from here.”
Crypto Rand, a respected digital asset analyst, stated that a fall to the $4,800 to $5,000 range is possible, given that technical indicators have not shown any signs of a bottom.
Prior to the sudden 11 percent drop of BTC, Willy Woo, a Bitcoin analyst and the founder of Woobull.com, said that BTC demonstrated a typical sell signal. Woo analyzed both technical and fundamental indicators of BTC including the Bitcoin network’s transaction volume, to predict a downtrend.
“This last reading of our blockchain and macro market indicators is still in play. What has changed is that NVTS has now broken its support, typically a sell signal,” said Woo, adding that all of his indicators show a bearish trend. “All our blockchain indicators remain bearish. NVT, NVTS, MVRV, BNM, NVM. They are experimental but have served to make very correct calls to date, even when traditional on-exchange indicators were reading to the contrary.”
The volume of BTC remains at $6 billion, still at a high level due to the spike in daily volume on November 14. On Wednesday, the volume of BTC temporarily spiked to $8 billion, doubling its volume within a three-day span.
Independent Price Movements
Over the last 24 hours, Ripple (XRP) and Stellar (XLM) recorded an increase in price in the range of 2 to 4 percent. Primarily because of the downtrend of BTC, major cryptocurrencies and small tokens have started to demonstrate independent price movements.
A lack of dependence on BTC can be considered as a positive change in the market, which relied on the short-term price trend of Bitcoin for at least the past four months.
Does your website need millions of visits? Buy website traffic cheap at 10khits for just $29 and get hundreds of thousands of visits per month or simply you can earn free website traffic! Then please click this link https://www.10khits.com/?ref=452345
State passes largest expansion of voting rights in decades as Massachusetts affirms transgender protections.
It’s not all about the red v blue. In dozens of states, voters cast ballots on Tuesday on issues ranging from voting rights and climate change to gun control and taxing tech to fund homeless services. Four states will see voters weigh in on the Obamacare Medicaid expansion, while Massachusetts voters will have a chance to reaffirm (or reject) a measure protecting the rights of transgender people.
We’ll be updating this story all night as the results come in, so stay tuned …
Last-minute lawsuits, long lines, voter roll purges, and inconvenient polling places – Americans’ ability to exercise their right to vote has been under pressure since the supreme court invalidated parts of the Voting Rights Act in 2013.
Five states had voting rights issues on their ballots tonight, including Florida, where voters chose to restore the franchise to 1.5 million people who were convicted of felonies and have completed their sentences. Activists who fought to pass Amendment 4 cheered the victory, which represents the largest expansion of voting rights in decades.
Maryland approved a measure that will expand voting rights by allowing same-day registration, and Nevada enacted automatic voter registration when drivers have contact with the department of motor vehicles.
Meanwhile, North Carolina and Arkansas both passed constitutional amendments requiring voters to provide photo IDs to vote – measures that generally have the effect of restricting the voting rights of the poor and elderly.
Tech tax for the homeless
A controversial measure that will levy a tax against the largest businesses in San Francisco to fund housing and services for the homeless has passed. The 0.5% gross receipts tax on companies with revenues over $50m had touched off a battle between the city’s tech billionaires, with the Salesforce CEO, Marc Benioff, publicly feuding with Twitter’s Jack Dorsey and other tech titans who complained the tax was unfair.
Another California housing measure, Proposition 10, which would have allowed cities to enact rent control measures, failed.
A Massachusetts civil rights law came under attack this year with Question 3, which sought to repeal the 2016 state law banning discrimination against transgender people. But voters rejected the measure, making Massachusetts the first state to affirm transgender rights in a statewide vote.
It was a tough night for reproductive rights, with voters in two staunchly Republican states approving measures to restrict abortion. Alabama passed a constitutional amendment to recognize the “right to life” of fetuses and deny public funding for abortion. West Virginia also passed a constitutional amendment declaring that the state does not protect the right to abortion and restricting public funding for the procedure. A similar measure prohibiting public funding of abortion was rejected by voters in Oregon.
Legal weed continues to spread across the US, as four more states voted on legalization. Missouri voted to legalize medical marijuana, and Michigan voted to approve recreational use of the drug. North Dakota, which allows medical marijuana, rejected legalization for recreational purposes. We’re still awaiting results from Utah, where a measures legalizing use for medical purposes is leading the polls.
Thirty years after Oregon passed a sanctuary law, barring state and local law enforcement from using public resources for immigration enforcement, voters in the state rejected an attempt to repeal the measure.
Voters in Louisiana elected to require a unanimous verdict from a 12-person jury for a felony conviction. Juries in the state had previously been allowed to convict with 10 out of 12 votes, a remnant of Jim Crow-era laws that disproportionately affected African Americans.
It’s not quite $15 an hour, but hundreds of thousands of workers in Arkansas and Missouri will get raises after voters in the two states approved increases to the minimum wages. In Arkansas, the rate will increase from $8.50 to $11 an hour by 2021; in Missouri the wage will ramp up from the current $7.85 to $12 an hour by 2023.
Efforts to curb America’s addiction to fossil fuel consumption saw little success at the ballot box on Tuesday. In Arizona, a well-funded campaign to require electric utilities to get half their power from renewable sources by 2030 was rejected by voters, and in Colorado, a measure to place restrictions on where new oil and gas wells can be located failed to pass.
Missouri and Utah voters also rejected increases on gasoline taxes. Another major environmental initiative – a carbon emissions fee in the state of Washington – is currently trailing. California voters did manage to reject an attempt to repeal the state’s most recent gas tax increase.
Washington state enacted tough new gun control laws, increasing the minimum age for purchasing a gun to 21 and establishing background checks and waiting periods.
In a blow to factory farms, California’s Proposition 12 passed, establishing minimum space requirements for farm animals. The measure also requires that all egg-laying hens be raised “cage-free” by 2022.
Four states voted on the expansion of Medicaid coverage to more low-income residents, a key aspect of the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare, that many Republican state governments rejected. So far, voters in Nebraska and Idaho have approved the expansion, and the measure is leading in Utah. In Montana, voters are facing a slightly different question: whether to maintain the Medicaid expansion beyond 2019 and fund it through a tobacco tax. That race is still too close to call.
Tampon tax exemption
And in one small victory for women, Nevada voted to exempt feminine hygiene products from state and local sales taxes.
Imagine you have a brother and he’s an alcoholic. He has his moments, but you keep your distance from him. You don’t mind him for the occasional family gathering or holiday. You still love him. But you don’t want to be around him. This is how I lovingly describe my current relationship with the United States. The United States is my alcoholic brother. And although I will always love him, I don’t want to be near him at the moment.
I know that’s harsh, but I really feel my home country is not in a good place these days. That’s not a socioeconomic statement (although that’s on the decline as well), but rather a cultural one.
I realize it’s going to be impossible to write sentences like the ones above without coming across as a raging prick, so let me try to soften the blow to my American readers with an analogy:
You know when you move out of your parents’ house and live on your own, how you start hanging out with your friends’ families and you realize that actually, your family was a little screwed up? As it turns out, stuff you always assumed was normal your entire childhood was pretty weird and may have actually fucked you up a little bit. You know, dad thinking it was funny to wear a Santa Claus hat in his underwear every Christmas or the fact that you and your sister slept in the same bed until you were 22, or that your mother routinely cried over a bottle of wine while listening to Elton John.
The point is we don’t really get perspective on what’s close to us until we spend time away from it. Just like you didn’t realize the weird quirks and nuances of your family until you left and spent time with others, the same is true for country and culture. You often don’t see what’s messed up about your country and culture until you step outside of it.
And so even though this article is going to come across as fairly scathing, I want my American readers to know this: some of the stuff we do, some of the stuff that we always assumed was normal, it’s kind of screwed up. And that’s OK. Because that’s true with every culture. It’s just easier to spot it in others (e.g., the French) so we don’t always notice it in ourselves.
So as you read this article, know that I’m saying everything with tough love, the same tough love with which I’d sit down and lecture an alcoholic family member. It doesn’t mean I don’t love you. It doesn’t mean there aren’t some awesome things about you (BRO, THAT’S AWESOME!!!). And it doesn’t mean I’m some saint either because god knows I’m pretty screwed up (I’m American, after all). There are just a few things you need to hear. And as a friend, I’m going to tell them to you.
And to my foreign readers, get your necks ready, because this is going to be a nod-a-thon.
A Little “What The Hell Does This Guy Know?” Background: I’ve lived in half a dozen states in the US, primarily in the deep south and the northeast. I have visited 45 of the US’s 50 states. I also lived abroad for several years, primarily in South America and Asia (with various stints in Europe). I speak three languages. I’m married to a foreigner. So I feel like I have a good perspective on the US from both the inside and outside.
(Note: I realize all the things on this list are generalizations and I realize there are always exceptions. I get it. You don’t have to send 55 emails telling me that you and your best friend are exceptions. If you really get that offended from some guy’s blog post, you may want to double-check your life priorities.)
OK, we’re ready now. 10 things Americans don’t know about America.
1. FEW PEOPLE ARE IMPRESSED BY US
Unless you’re speaking with a real estate agent or a prostitute, chances are they’re not going to be excited that you’re American. It’s not some badge of honor we get to parade around. Yes, we had Steve Jobs and Thomas Edison, but unless you actually are Steve Jobs or Thomas Edison (which is unlikely), then most people around the world are simply not going to care. There are exceptions of course. And those exceptions are called English and Australian people. Whoopdie-fucking-doo.
As Americans, we’re brought up our entire lives being taught that we’re the best, we did everything first and that the rest of the world follows our lead. Not only is this not true, but people get irritated when you bring it to their country with you. So don’t.
2. FEW PEOPLE HATE US
Despite the occasional eye-rolling, and complete inability to understand why anyone would vote for George W. Bush (twice), people from other countries don’t hate us either. In fact — and I know this is a really sobering realization for us — most people in the world don’t really think about us or care about us. I know, that sounds absurd, especially with CNN and Fox News showing the same 20 angry Arab men on repeat for ten years straight. But unless we’re invading someone’s country or threatening to invade someone’s country (which is likely), then there’s a 99.99% chance they don’t care about us. Just like we rarely think about the people in Bolivia or Mongolia, most people don’t think about us much. They have jobs, kids, house payments — you know, those things called lives — to worry about. Kind of like us.
Americans tend to assume that the rest of the world either loves us or hates us (this is actually a good litmus test to tell if someone is conservative or liberal). The fact is, most people feel neither. Most people don’t think much about us.
Remember that immature girl in high school, how every little thing that happened to her meant that someone either hated her or was obsessed with her; who thought every teacher who ever gave her a bad grade was being totally unfair and everything good that happened to her was because of how amazing she was? Yeah, we’re that immature high school girl.
3. WE KNOW NOTHING ABOUT THE REST OF THE WORLD
For all of our talk about being global leaders and how everyone follows us, we don’t seem to know much about our supposed “followers.” They often have completely different takes on history than we do. Here were some brain-stumpers for me: the Vietnamese were more concerned with independence (not us), Hitler was primarily defeated by the Soviet Union (not us), there is evidence that Native Americans were wiped out largely by disease and plague BEFORE Europeans arrived and not just after, and the American Revolution was partly “won” because the British invested more of their resources in fighting France (not us). Notice a running theme here?
(Hint: It’s not all about us. The world is more complicated.)
We did not invent democracy. We didn’t even invent modern democracy. There were parliamentary systems in England and other parts of Europe over a hundred years before we created a government. In a recent survey of young Americans, 63% could not find Iraq on a map (despite being at war with them), and 54% did not know Sudan was a country in Africa. Yet, somehow we’re positive that everyone else looks up to us.
4. WE ARE POOR AT EXPRESSING GRATITUDE AND AFFECTION
There’s a saying about English-speakers. We say “Go fuck yourself,” when we really mean “I like you,” and we say “I like you,” when we really mean “Go fuck yourself.”
Outside of getting shit-housed drunk and screaming “I LOVE YOU, MAN!”, open displays of affection in American culture are tepid and rare. Latin and some European cultures describe us as “cold” and “passionless” and for good reason. In our social lives, we don’t say what we mean and we don’t mean what we say.
In our culture, appreciation and affection are implied rather than spoken outright. Two guy friends call each other names to reinforce their friendship; men and women tease and make fun of each other to imply interest. Feelings are almost never shared openly and freely. Consumer culture has cheapened our language of gratitude. Something like, “It’s so good to see you” is empty now because it’s expected and heard from everybody.
In dating, when I find a woman attractive, I almost always walk right up to her and tell her that a) I wanted to meet her, and b) she’s beautiful. In America, women usually get incredibly nervous and confused when I do this. They’ll make jokes to defuse the situation or sometimes ask me if I’m part of a TV show or something playing a prank. Even when they’re interested and go on dates with me, they get a bit disoriented when I’m so blunt with my interest. Whereas, in almost every other culture approaching women this way is met with a confident smile and a “Thank you.”
5. THE QUALITY OF LIFE FOR THE AVERAGE AMERICAN IS NOT THAT GREAT
Supposedly, Pablo Escobar once said, “I’m not a rich man; I’m a poor man with a lot of money.”
The United States is not a rich country, it’s a poor country with a lot of money. If you’re extremely talented or intelligent, the US is probably the best place in the world to live. The system is stacked heavily to allow people of talent and advantage to rise to the top quickly.
The problem with the US is that everyone thinks they are of talent and advantage. As John Steinbeck famously said, the problem with poor Americans is that “they don’t believe they’re poor, but rather temporarily embarrassed millionaires.” It’s this culture of self-delusion that allows America to continue to innovate and churn out new industry more than anyone else in the world. But this shared delusion also unfortunately keeps perpetuating large social inequalities and the quality of life for the average citizen lower than most other developed countries. It’s the price we pay to maintain our growth and economic dominance.
To me, being wealthy is having the freedom to maximize one’s life experiences. In those terms, despite the average American having more material wealth than citizens of most other countries (more cars, bigger houses, nicer televisions), their overall quality of life suffers in my opinion. American people on average work more hours with less vacation, spend more time commuting every day, and are saddled with over $10,000 of debt. That’s a lot of time spent working and buying crap and little time or disposable income for relationships, activities, or new experiences.