In our previous post, we established the fact that there is a writer in you. We also added that you should be intentional about doing things that will empower that writer in you.
There are things you can begin to do right now to begin empowering the writer in you. If you are interested in finding out what they are, today is your lucky day because that’s why I’m writing this post.
3 things you can do to start empowering the writer in you
1. Begin to read more books than you have ever done before
If your dream of becoming a writer means anything worthwhile to you, then you have to be a reader first. It is true that writers write, but it is also true that writers read a lot.
If you cannot bring yourself to the discipline of reading, you cannot subject yourself to the discipline of writing. Apart from the vast information you gain from reading, it also helps you learn the style of writing from other writers.
Read voraciously. Read wide. Don’t be intimidated by the block of texts you come across on the pages of books or on posts online.
Writing comes from reading, and reading is the finest teacher of how to write” –Annie Proulx
Read regularly every day. Don’t go to bed any day without having read something. Yes, it is that serious!
When I was studying accounting at the undergraduate level, my mantra was, “any day without studying accounting is no day.” (Thanks to a friend who gave me that idea). With that, I was able to motivate myself to study the course until I got the proper handle on it.
You may as well adopt that philosophy, so that no day will pass without you reading something. After all, you want to empower the writer in you.
2. Begin to train on the art of writing
One of the side benefits of reading is that you get to see firsthand how other writers present their works and to learn from them.
To begin empowering the writer in you, apart from committing yourself to continuous reading, another thing you should do is to get trained on the art of writing.
I am not suggesting that you should go back to school for a degree in communication arts. Well if you are still very young, that might not be a bad option. But I want to believe you are eager to birth your writing career so you don’t want to waste more time!
If that is so, you can go through the quicker route. Take condensed trainings on writing. Register and attend writing workshops – both terrestrial and online.
If learning via video is your thing, do so by any means. Thanks to Youtube, you can find numerous materials on writing to watch and learn from.
3. Start writing now
After all said and done, what is the next practical thing to start doing? You guessed right! Start writing!
If you read all the books there are to read and you attend all writing workshops possible, and you don’t get down to actually start writing, you haven’t helped yourself enough and you will still be very far from achieving your goal of becoming a writer.
Start putting pen to paper and begin to write or get your hands on your computer keyboard and start punching away. You know the computer is an obedient tool. It will record whatever you type in, and it’s not going to tell you to stop writing. So why the waste of time?
If you want to become a writer, you must start writing something. Write stories (real or imagined). One quick way to achieve that is to start blogging. So start a personal blog where you can practice writing for others to read.
Write poems, write anything that comes to your mind. Write about your experiences. Be creative, be imaginative. Just write.
Don’t wait until you have become a writer to start writing. It doesn’t work that way! You can’t put the cart before the horse and expect to go anywhere.
Your dream of becoming a writer is achievable! While you wait for that to come through, start doing what you can do now: start empowering the writer in you. Read more, learn more and write more. You will get there!
Part of the joy of blogging is having people following your blog, regularly reading your written thoughts and sending you feedback through their comments, likes, emails, reblogs etc. If you have ever wondered why people are not following your blog, these may just be some of the reasons:
They don’t even know that your blog exists in the first place…
You are not following their blogs…
People get to your blog, but find out your posts care less about their core values…
Beyond sharing my thoughts and being a source of inspiration to my readers, blogging has become a journey of personal development for me. I have learnt new things, improved on my writing skills, acquired new skills, met and interacted with different kinds of people from different places around the world.
I have inspired some people and I have also been inspired by many other people. I have defended my faith, read several insightful posts, gained vast knowledge in many areas of life and so on and so forth
Racial discrimination and prejudices wear attires in Nigeria different from the ones they wear in America. While racism exists as a result of differences in colour of the skin, tribalism hinges on differences in birth-roots. Both are common societal evils that must be dealt a decisive blow in order for us to have a better world.
No one is born hating another person because of the colour of his skin, or his background or his religion. People learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite – Nelson Mandela.
Thank you for reading and happy new year in advance.
Welcome to our Parentinggist parent of the month. Let’s meet our guest.
My name is Victor Uyanwanne, husband to Jennifer, father of two energetic boys and an aspiring writer.
Great, can you throw more light on your writing.
For the past three years, I have been publishing posts bothering on life and living, family issues, blogging tips, poetry and many other things that tickle my fancy. My purpose is to inspire people and equip them with the right knowledge that will help them live happier.
Being a follower of Jesus Christ, the thoughts on my blogs are presented from a Christian worldview. If you want to read my writings first hand, they can be accessed via Victors’ Corner
Awesome blog, you’ve got, how do you combine your regular job, writing and family?
Thanks for the compliment. I will say, I am combining effectively well. I take my job seriously and I put in my best all the time.
Reading and writing are my top hobbies so I have fun doing both, especially at night after work and on weekends. Except because of Lagos traffic bottlenecks, anyone here should have plenty of time after work (from the close of work at 5pm daily to whenever he or she goes to bed) to do some personal things. That’s how I find time to hone my writing skills.
As for the family, I will give all the credit to my beautiful wife for holding forth strongly at the home front. She is really a gift from heaven to me; a helpmeet indeed.
Having said that, I will add that as much as possible I try to spend much time with my family whenever I’m not at work. And I usually cut out unnecessary outings. I don’t know about you, for me, family time is fun time and best time. I have two very inquisitive boys. Answering their numerous questions and bonding with them through mutual interactions have been one of my greatest pleasures as a dad.
We would like you to share some of the numerous questions from your boys, I’m sure we would benefit from them too or laugh it out.
I have had my boys asking me scores of questions. And many of those questions I answered correctly without much ado. Yet there were ones I had to think twice before answering.
For instance, one of them once asked me, “Daddy, why do we have ten fingers?” How does one answer that? Please help me out (smiles).
When they asked, “Daddy, what is the baby of a horse called?” I am ashamed to say that I had to quickly check “Google” on my smartphone before I could tell them it’s called “a foal.”
Of all the questions my boys have ever asked me, the one that impressed me most was when the older boy (then 4years plus) asked me how he could be able to make it to Heaven at the end of this life. I must say it was my privilege to lead him to Christ that Christmas morning.
Oh this is wonderful, I must say, so what advice do you have for parents who are reading this; how can we lead our kids to make Heaven?
Parents should share the simple truths of the gospel with their children and allow them to make up their mind about receiving Jesus Christ into their lives. It is not something that can be forced.
In addition, parents should always pray for their children, that they receive the Lord and follow His way. In my boy’s case, I had prayed for him even before he turned 2 years old that he would get to be born again before the age of eight. Fortunately for me, it happened much earlier than expected.
One other thing I will add is that parents should by their conducts show good examples to their children. Children are good observers and they learn alot from their parents. If we want our children to be candidates of heaven, we should not live our lives as candidates of hell.
Thank you so much for honouring our invitation.
You are welcome. The pleasure is mine.
P.S: The interview was originally published on ParentingGist blog.
Why do you have a blog? Do you want to be read far and wide?
How visible is your blog?
I’m sorry to tell you that many people who should be reading your blog are not even aware that it exists in the the first place!
Well, let me clarify that this post is not for those who claim that they don’t care whether someone reads their blogs or not.
If that includes you, I think you should move on to another post right now, because there is no use you continue reading this piece.
But if you think the world should read your blog, because you have something valuable to share, I think it is worth it for you to find out how more and more people can discover yourself blog to read it.
A few times I have stumbled on some blogs with great contents (by my own reckoning that is) but with very few readers or followers.
Why is that so? I believe many people are not yet aware that such a fantastic blog exists.
Granted, some of those blogs are new on the block hence I concede that it will take some time for them to gain due popularity.
What about those blogs that have been existing for a while, have great content but not much viewership? I would say there must be something missing…
It is one thing to have a blog that publishes great contents and another thing to have people visiting the blog consistently. The good part is that the two are not mutually exclusive.
Good content should attract great readership. I wish it’s that simple!
If your blog’s content is great, then readers should be swarming in. But is that your reality?
Let’s face it, your blog is just a tiny part of the hundreds of millions of blogs existing on the blogosphere and many more millions of posts churned out week in week out.
In fact, within the next 24 hours after you have read this post, another fifty thousand new blogs would have been created around the world and over two million new posts published.
So my friend, you see, it will take some efforts on your part for your blog to be discovered, read and followed. Like me, I believe you would want your blog to have visibility.
Or don’t you want your blog to be noticed?
Four ways to make your blog noticeable
1. Is your blog private or public?
The first advice I would give you here is for you to index your blog as “public.” By so doing, it will be discoverable when people do word searches on search engines such as Google.
Only those people who don’t want their blogs to be read by just anyone should be indexed “private.” That way, their blogs will not show up in Google searches, but will be available to only those they choose to invite in.
2. Write great contents
I have heard it said over and over again that when it comes to gaining traction for your blog, content is king. The argument is that if your posts are relevant and helpful to your readers, they will keep coming back for more.
I am not saying it is foolproof but it helps to have great contents on your blog.
Generally, people are searching for solutions to something. Your post might as well be the ‘miracle meal’ that satisfies their hunger.
Don’t forget that people desire to live happier. They want to live healthier. And they want to live wealthier…
Chances are that if your content consistently provides answers in any of the three areas, more and more people will be interested in your blog.
3. Promote your posts on social media
After you have published that fantastic post on your blog, don’t call it a day yet; spread the word around about your new post.
We are in the age of social media. Take a good advantage of it to promote (I don’t want to say ‘advertise’) your posts.
Just “Share your work with the world through Facebook, Twitter, and other social networks” is the best advice in this regard.
That way you will make your article available to a wider audience. Sooner or later those who so read your article on social networks will follow you home to your blog.
You don’t have to employ all of the social media platforms out there to be able to achieve this. One or two is enough.
In my own case, Facebook and Twitter have been useful in helping people discover this blog.
With the help of Publicize, I have linked my WordPress blog to my Facebook and Twitter Accounts.
Any post I publish on the blog is automatically publicised through the two social media handles for my followers to see, read and possibly share with their own followers. You can do the same if you have not already done so.
4. Reach out to other blogs
This is about getting out of your comfort zone and connecting with other bloggers; engaging with the blogging community.
If you want your blog to be noticed, you cannot afford to stay in your cozy corner of WordPress and expect it to happen just like that. You have to deliberately interact with other blogs.
There are many ways you can achieve that: visit and read other blogs, like the posts, share a comment, link to other posts, follow other blogs you like, join a blogging community. Guest post as well.
When you do any or all of the above, you leave a link-trail through which people may be ‘lured’ to your blog.
If you do not make any deliberate effort to promote the posts on your blog, chances are that not everyone who should be reading your blog would be able to find it.
How do you get your blog noticed? Leave a comment.
What drives traffic to your blog? Any idea how many readers landed on your site from search engines word searches?
Have you figured out which country most of your blog traffic come from?
Where do most people access your blog from? Do you have more or less viewers from within your geographical location or from abroad?
You may be surprised to find out that people are viewing your blog from many countries far away from where you are.
If you are interested in knowing more about this, you will have to take a good look at your blog stats page. And that is not a bad thing to do provided you approach it without being so emotionally attached to it.
WordPress support explains that “Your stats page includes a bunch of nifty graphs, charts, and lists that show you how many visits your site gets, what posts and pages are the most popular ones, and much more.”
Why don’t you take some few minutes to explore your site’s stats page? You will find some interesting results.
Just like many other parts of your wordpress site, the navigation of the stats page is menu-driven so it is not difficult to explore at all.
I’m aware that many business blogs take their blogs’ analytics very seriously. But even if yours is a personal blog, it doesn’t stop you from taking a little peep into your blog’s stats.
In this post, we are focusing on just the number of blog views by highlighting two broad ways you can review the sources of readers to your blog.
However, bear in mind that I am not an expert in blog analytics. This post is based entirely on the observations made on this blog.
You may use the comment section to share your own experience if it is different from what I am sharing here.
2 Broad Ways To Analyse Your Blog’s Traffic
Your blog’s traffic can be analysed in terms of the total number of “views by country” or in terms of the total number of “views by referrer.”
We will now take a deeper look at each of the two:
1. Analysis in terms of geographical Location
Do you have any idea in which country most readers access your blog from? You can know it by simply analysing your blog views by country.
It is important you know your blogs views by country because it will help you in some ways. If you are not sure how, this post will show you something about that.
One surprising thing I found from analying this blog’s view by country was that although I write this blog from Nigeria, majority of the people who view it are based in the United States.
Though, I was initially reluctant to publish that post, the realisation that most of my readers live in America made me overcome the initial inertia.
Second on the list is Nigeria, my country of birth and residence. Interestingly, Australia which used to occupy the second position has now been displaced to the third.
Since the year 2018 began, over 5,000 people have viewed this blog from around a hundred different countries of the world. (I know it because I counted).
But interestingly, more than 65% of the views came from within the US alone.
Don’t you think it makes great sense for you to know where majority of your readers are?
As an example, you can take a look at the following record showing the top eight countries from which this blog has been viewed from January 2018 to date:
2. Analysis in terms of Referrers
How do people get to discover your blog? What are the sources of traffic to your blog?
Apart from the ones that came through mouth to mouth recommendations, have you bothered to check your blog stats to see your highest source of referrer?
There are many sources of referrals to your blog – search engines (Google, Yahoo, Bing), WordPress Readers, other blogs or sites, social media (Facebook, Twitter) etc. One of these will top the list as your main referrer.
For instance, from the first quarter of this year till now, here is the summary of how readers were referred to this blog:
As can be seen in the above summary, most of the people who viewed this blog from the beginning of the year till now were referred here by search engines. And this is consistent with observations in the previous years too.
In a way, I see it as a good thing because it points to the fact that my posts show up when people do specific word searches on the internet.
Some people have suggested that SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) helps a lot in this regard. They may be right but I have not fully grasped how that works…
I simply write my posts as the words flow from my mind to the blog page, hoping that they provide answers to someone’s questions out there.
It is my belief that knowing a bit about your blog’s stats with respect to traffic referrers to your blog or where most people view your blog from will improve your total blogging experience.
Is it Google or social media that drives most traffic to your blog?
WOW, you have blessed me so much with “your poem.” I was not expecting anything like that and have never received anything like it before.
Each day I pray for the Lord to inspire me and that He should send me something from time to time to quicken to my spirit that I am indeed doing this all for His glory and His purpose. Every now and then I get a word of encouragement from someone that confirms I am using my gift for Him. This not only confirms it but it solidifies this is w[h]ere God wants me. Thank you again for giving me such a huge blessing. ~ Have a wonderful day with Jesus.
And after I had turned my ‘poem of gratitude’ into a full post, she also remarked:
There you go again Victor blessing me again with your post! I love that you turned it into something that we can all do to let others know that we appreciate what they do. Encouraging others is so important for us to do and this is a great way to do so. ~ May God continue to use you to bless others ~
I am not trying to be sycophantic or eager to blow my own trumpet here by sharing theses comments. Rather I am only trying to reecho the sentiment that in this world of blogging, “Encouraging others is so important for us to do…”
So is there anyone whose blog posts have greatly impacted your life? Why don’t you reach out and appreciate such one?
There are a few things you may want to do to show some love to the blogger you read his or her post. In my next post, we will explore some 10 simple things you can do to make your favourite blogger feel appreciated.
“Congratulations on getting 500 total follows on Victors’ Corner.” That’s the notification I recently received from WordPress.
What that means is that this blog has reached yet another milestone, just like the 200th post milestone achieved a few weeks back.
I am not writing this post in order to blow my trumpet. Rather, I just want to use the rare avenue to convey my heartfelt appreciation to every oneof you who has been so kind to be one of my WordPress followers. Therefore kindly accept some 500 rounds of applause from me to you.
Secondly, I will also use the opportunity to invite more WordPress users to join the over 500 amazing followers of this blog. I assure you that there is so much more to gain and nothing to lose by joining this blog’s community.
You may extend the favour by recommending this blog to your friends and family so that they too can benefit from the things we share here. I hope that is not too much to ask?
Once again, thank you for your immense support this far.
Finally, what has been your experience following this blog? Kindly drop a comment.
Thanks to WordPress, I was able to set up this blog three years ago without any professional help.
Since that time, I have had the privilege of having several online interactions with many other WordPress users and I would say, it has been mutually benefiting. But the interaction has remained online as I have never attended any terrestrial event for all wordpress users.
All that got to change over the last weekend as I attended the WordPress Conference – codenamed Wordcamp Lagos or #WCLagos2018 – on 10 March 2018, where the beautiful packages embedded in the event’s theme of “Bringing the WordPress community closer” began to be unfolded before my very eyes.
For the first time in my life, I was under the same roof for a whole day with many people that have anything to do with WordPress.
Bloggers, Coders, web designers, digital marketers, lawyers, entrepreneurs etc, were there. And you know what, there was something for every one…
According to the information provided by the organisers of wordcamp Lagos on the event site, here is an insight into what a Wordcamp is all about:
WordCamp is an all-encompassing term referring to a conference, a community organized and officially sanctioned event to deal with all things WordPress…
They range from a one-day event to a three-day event depending on the local community organizing it. They comprise of but not limited to conference-like sessions, panels, interviews…, kids-camp, short or multi-hour workshops, and (en)lightning talks.
People attend to share ideas, learn about WordPress, talk about opportunities, and meet other WordPress users in person…
For over a decade now, Wordcamp sessions have been reported to have taken place in many cities across some dozens of countries of the world. Lagos has now joined the league of world cities to have hosted a WordCamp conference.
WordCamp in my City of Lagos
Earlier in the year, I became aware that such a program was coming up here in Lagos – my city of residence; and I had made up my mind to attend.
Gratefully, I realised that my schedule could accommodate it. So three days to the event I was able to complete the online registration and on the D-Day I showed up for the workshops.
This was my first experience with a WordPress wordcamp and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
In fact, I later got to understand that this was the first city WordPress conference in Nigeria and in West Africa for that matter.
It was such a huge success by my own estimation, I had to go to one of the organisers to ask, “When is the next one holding please?”
Apart from the fantastic venue chosen for the event – The Civic Center, Lagos – there were many other reasons that made it worthwhile for me. And it is my pleasure and privilege to share my experiences with you.
8 reasons I think you should attend a WordPress wordcamp
1. Improve on your knowledge with WordPress
Generally speaking, the conference improved my understanding of the workings of WordPress as an “online open-source website creation tool” which presently powers 30% of the internet.
And specifically, I also gained improved knowledge in some areas of blogging, search engine optimization, digital marketing, web development in a developing country, to mention but a few.
I guarantee you that should you attend a WordPress conference as I did, there would be something new for you to learn from the various ideas exchanged at the forum.
2. Networking opportunities
It was not all about learning new things. The conference also afforded me the rare opportunity of having face to face interactions and networking with all kinds of WordPress users, from within my country and abroad as well.
From bloggers to web designers, coders, CEOs, digital marketers, online payment companies, photographers, etc, I was able to engage with some of them in very meaningful conversations.
Now I can say that I have expanded my physical sphere of the WordPress community by reason of that conference.
Indeed, the WordPress community was brought closer to me on that day! You can have the same experience too.
3. Inspiration from people
There are many ways to receive inspiration; one of which is through the the people who have gone where you wish to go or have done what you want to do.
Many things about the conference left me largely inspired. But the one that stood out for me was the personal story of Labi Francis, “a blogger, front-end developer, SEO expert, social media strategist and tech enthusiast.”
I sat in his class as he shared the story of how he grew from being a new comer with WordPress to the enviable position where he is right now. His humility was so apparent as he told his story of how WordPress has transformed his life.
And who says WordPress is incapable of changing your own life as well?
4. Very affordable fee
For a pre-registration fee of N3,500.00 (about 10 US dollars) per person, I found the conference to be very affordable and easily within the range of anyone who has any interest in WordPress.
To think that for that amount, you got to listen to multiple speakers, used one of the choicest high profile event centres in town, got one WordPress branded T- shirt for free, had a sumptuous lunch at a magnificent lagoon-front restaurant is nothing short of amazing.
It was an experience you would not like to miss. And I’m glad I didn’t miss it. That’s why I’m sharing my experience with you, hoping that you would be encouraged to attend the next WordCamp event in your community.
5. Some Freebies for everyone
Apart from the free WordPress branded T-shirts already mentioned, there were other free items given out to all participants as well. These included, small shopping bags and WordPress branded stickers of various sizes.
Also, for anyone who needed a taxi ride home after the program, a taxi company which was on ground at the event offered free (or discounted) taxi ride to the tune of two thousand Naira, an equivalent of about six US dollars.
I would definitely have benefited from the offer if I hadn’t driven to the event myself. So you see? There are alot of side benefits waiting for you when you attend a WordPress conference.
The kids were not left out of the conference. The organisers made arrangements that also included kids (under their parents supervision) who have interest in coding, web designing and WordPress generally. The good part was that they were separately and specially catered for, for a fee less than 30% of what the adult participants paid.
Although there might be limited spaces for kids, parents and guardians are encouraged to attend WordCamps with their kids. So next time you want to attend a WordCamp, please do not say no to your teen or preteen geek who wants to tag along with you. Both of you will learn and have some fun in the event.
7. Opportunity to volunteer
I learnt earlier that “All Wordcamp organisers and speakers are unpaid volunteers; they offer their services as a labour of love.”
In the Lagos event, I could see that the volunteers were extremely friendly and very helpful, giving guidance and directions to the attendees during the program. And the help desk lived up to their name: very helpful.
So if you are a WordPress user – front end, back end or anything in between – and you want to offer your services free of charge, for the benefit of the WordPress users around you, a Wordcamp will be a good place to volunteer your time and talent.
During one of the side conversations I had with some people at the conference, I learnt that there are other WordPress meetups which also offer the platform for sharing ideas, volunteering and mentoring.
You may want to seek out the one in your community for active participation and collaboration with other WordPress users.
8. The after-party.
An “after-party for you to meet new friends, business partners, employees, employers, and life partner,” scheduled to take place at the conclusion of the day’s events was also included in the package promised by the organisers.
Unfortunately, I am unable tell you how this one went down because I didn’t wait to witness it. Sorry!
In the final analysis, I was convinced beyond all reasonable doubts that the the Wordcamp event delivered great “content and value” to all the participants.
So if you want to have a swell experience like I did at the just ended #WCLagos2018, please make plans to be part of the next WordPress Conference holding in your community.
What are your own experiences with WordPress Conferences? Share your story in the comment section.
As much as possible, you should endeavour to maintain a good communication flow with your spouse. That means you have to promptly take care of anything trying to impede appropriate communications with your spouse. Failure to do so may later lead to sad moments or other unpleasant consequences which you would not like.
In a thorny situation, your spouse is not the thorn.
If your spouse wears an unusual outlook, you as the other half should show persistent care (by asking) to find out what the problem is.
If your spouse slows down in communicating with you, that’s not the time for you to withdraw from him or her.
Be strong for your spouse by whispering to him or her that you are there for him or her.
There are “three levels of knowing God: recognition, acquaintance, and friendship.” To know someone deeply, you have to regularly talk to, or spend time with, him or her.
Knowing God deeply is not different from that. Except you are willing to regularly fellowship with God, talk to Him as a friend and let Him talk to you too, you may never get to know Him at the deepest level possible.
Except you are married to the devil personified, I am free to say that your spouse is not the problem in your marriage. So resist the temptation to see him or her as one.
A vital key to amicably resolving the challenges between you and your spouse is to learn to focus on tackling the issue at hand rather than putting the blame on a person – your partner.
You may have been hurt by what your spouse said or did at some point, but the problem is still not your spouse. A problem is a problem and your spouse is your spouse. Please don’t mistake one for another.
I can’t force anyone to believe in God. But I can at least let them know some things that may help them make up their mind in the affirmative. After all, acknowledging Jesus Christ as one’s Lord and personal Saviour remains a decision everyone has to take by him/herself. So if you are an atheist, here are some sobering truths I wish you to know:
Jesus Christ is the only Way to God.
You are not the first person to doubt the existence of God.
The Bible has a word for anyone who doesn’t believe there is God…FOOL.
There have been people who turned from atheism to God and so can you.
Your lifetime is your only opportunity for you to know God.
Whatever misgivings you have about God can be handled.
God has numerous children and He has room for you too.
In His birth, divinity became humanity. It was the beginning of the unfolding of the grandest heavenly agenda in bringing salvation to mankind. Here are some of the things that proved Jesus was not an ordinary person:
Jesus’ miraculous conception by a virgin.
His conception by a virgin and birth were undeniable fulfillment of Prophecies.
Jesus got His name several centuries before He was born.
He wasn’t born to earthly royalty, but angels heralded His birth.
The birth of Jesus is the proof of God’s love for the world.
Jesus was born to die.
Jesus is the only man in history with the complete tripartite cycle of birth, death and resurrection.
He is the only one giving eternal life to anyone who believes in Him.
Part of the joy of blogging is having people following your blog, regularly reading your written thoughts and sending you feedbacks through their comments, likes, emails, reblogs etc. If you have ever wondered why people are not following your blog, then you have to check out the post.
Based on my own experience, the post was used to highlight 8 possible reasons, just like some other people, I have not been following your blog:
I don’t even know that your blog exists in the first place.
You are not following my blog.
I got to your blog, but your posts care less about my core values.
The first three posts I read on your blog did not make much sense to me.
Your picture is not on your profile.
You did not join any blogging community.
Your blog language is totally different from mine.
No one has recommended your blog to me yet.
Thank you for reading. Please feel free leave A comment and share the post.
How would you describe your personal blogging experience? Has it been somewhat frustrating or you are enjoying the ride all the way?
How about doing some little things that will improve the blogging experience for both you and your readers? In this post, I will like to explore 5 questions you should resolve if you want a better personal blogging experience.
1. Is your blog mobile device friendly?
I’m writing this post with my smartphone. And chances are that you might be reading it on a portable device as well.
That confirms the report that a rising percentage of internet users access blogs via their mobile devices as against the traditional desktop computers. The implication of that is that the readers of your blog will have a frustrating experience navigating your blog if it is not well optimised for mobile devices, such as phones and tablets.
One way to optimise your WordPress blog for mobile devices is to use a theme that is mobile device friendly. Another is to use a suitable plugin that serves that purpose. Any of the two options is capable of improving the site loading time and navigation.
2. Are you reaching out to other bloggers?
Blogging is not a solo business, neither is it a one-way express. Just like you, many other people are involved in it. You shouldn’t stay in one corner of WordPress unnoticed when there are millions of bloggers out there you could reach out to and interact with on a regular basis.
Except your blog is a private one, you will have to reach out to other bloggers if you want other bloggers to reach out to you.
You can reach out to other people’s blog by following the ones you like, reading and commenting on their posts, hitting the like buttons, sharing and reblogging their posts and even sending them direct emails. There is a great chance that when you reach out to these people, they too will also reach out to you, and the cycle will continue.
3. Do you follow your own blog?
People follow your blog through their WordPress accounts or through email subscriptions. That way, anytime you hit the publish button, they get notified in their email boxes or through their WordPress Readers, giving them easier access to exploring your new posts.
How does your post notification look like in an email message? You can find out about it by simply subscribing to your own blog with your email address.
This way, you will receive notifications for all your posts, just like any of your followers. It is a simple step but one capable of improving your personal blogging experience.
4. Do you promote your posts on social media?
Do you want many people to read your posts? If your answer is yes, then you will have to do some forms of promotions so that as many people as possible can find your posts to read them.
I am not talking about very aggressive marketing campaign here. You can go for that if that appeals to you. But as a personal blogger, I am actually talking about using your personal social media such as your Facebook or Twitter handles to promote the posts you publish on your blog. This costs you nothing more than a little of your time and effort.
If your blog is indexed as ‘public’ and is search-engine optimised well enough, people can find the blog through Google searches without much inducement from you. But beyond that mechanism, there has to be some deliberate efforts on your part towards getting people to read your blog.
For instance, my blog analytics show that I receive the largest traffic to my site through Google referrals, which is good for me. But I do also receive traffic via my social media handles, especially through Facebook.
As you are on WordPress, you may as well be active on social media. (Facebook and Twitter are my favourites. You can stay with the one that works best for you). This will give you more channels to promote your blog – at no direct financial cost.
You can link your posts through the sharing apparatus on your blog settings such that each time you publish a post on WordPress, it will automatically appear on your social media handles. This will make it easy for all your readers to see, click on and be directed to your blog to read the full article.
5. Do you use good pictures in your posts?
Your post should not be a block of texts that only a serious researcher can commit to read through. Make the reading experience feel better for your followers by adding appropriate pictures in appropriate places in the posts.
I have learnt to use at least one picture (the feature image) in every of my posts. And as the text counts increase, I increase the picture counts as well – one picture per every 400-500 words on a page.
Besides improving the general appearance of the post, embedding pictures in a post also helps search engines to discover your blog. But you will have to ensure that the pictures are properly labelled as you saved them in your gallery before inserting them in your posts.
What did you do to improve your personal blogging experience? Feel free to leave a comment.
“Your blog name is one of the first things that readers notice about your site. Your name tells visitors what your blog is about, but also reveals a bit about you and your personality.”
The purpose of this post is to ask you to share the story behind the name of your blog so that we can understand you more and relate with you better. But before I delve into asking you that question, I will like to first and foremost explain how I arrived at my own blog name.
How I arrived at my own blog name
I know it is not a so-fantastic story but it is my pleasure to share it with you all the same. As you can see, the name of this blog is Victors’ Corner.
Back in my undergraduate days many years ago, I used to ‘run’ a little motivational speaking session in my class. I would often stand in front of my classmates (usually before or in between lectures) to speak to my fellow students. I would encourage them to work hard, to not be discouraged, to not to give up hope and to always trust God for the best.
I used to call that little sharing platform The Victors’ Corner. The Victor in the appellation is not the Victor that is my real first name. But it referred to victor as an English word meaning a winner. My simple operating purpose was to inspire my fellow students then to become victors, succeeding (especially in academics) in flying colours.
My first email account name
Around the year 2001 when I opened my first email address, Victorscorner became the natural username to employ. But instead of the two separate words, Victor’s Corner, it became merged into one as Victorscorner. The apostrophe was done away with because, as you know, it is not allowed as part of an email username.
Then came 2015 when I had the privilege of starting this blog. WordPress requires an email address to set up an account. And as such, my already existing firstname.lastname@example.org became handy.
Why Victors’ Corner?
Victorscorner also became automatically used as part of the blog’s domain name. And I later adopted it as the name of the blog as well.
However, I will like to explain the little twist to it – the double entendre in it. At the initial stage, the blog name was in the singular form, Victor’s Corner, referring to one winner at a time on one hand, and my (real name, Victor’s) corner of WordPress on the other.
But I later began to see everyone on this platform as winner a in one way or another. So the name was tweaked to a plural form, Victors’ Corner. That is the form in which the blog name exists till date.
As I explained on the About Page, we are all winners in this corner.
I am a winner
You are a winner
Together we are winners.
That’s the story behind my blog name. You may read My About Page for more.
Now let me ask you: What is the story behind your own blog name?
Blogging brings about a two-way interaction. You share your opinions through your posts, and your readers respond to them through their comments. This makes the whole blogging interaction mutually beneficial.
As a personal blogger like me, the least you can do after going through your readers’ comments – to retain their loyalty – is to acknowledge their effort by genuinely responding to their comments. I see it as a sign of disrespect not to do so.
I like to read and respond to all the comments on my blog posts. There are immense benefits in doing so.
In this post, I am sharing some of the simple reasons I love reading my blog comments:
1. To show that I acknowledge and respect my readers
Out of the millions of blogs out there, it is a big favour for you to have people reading yours, and even a bigger one to have them leave comments on your posts. So if someone is kind enough to comment on your post, be respectful enough to acknowledge the person with a response.
If you do not respond, the person may stop commenting on your future posts because he or she will feel unappreciated. Hardly would you have a neglected reader who keeps coming back and commenting on all your posts.
As you well know, respect begets respect. I want to be acknowledged whenever I comment on other blogs. So I extend the same courtesy to anyone who takes out his or her valuable time to leave a comment on mine.
2. Readers’ comments on my post reveal their connection or engagement level
When a post strikes a chord – positive or negative – in the heart of a reader, he or she is most likely to react to it by ‘liking’ it, sharing it or leaving a comment after reading it. That goes to show that if I explore the comments on my blog, I would often see how much the post resonated with the readers.
I would not know much about how you as my reader feel about my posts, except you leave me an appropriate comment. And once I see your comment – positive or negative, I feel bound to respond to it.
Apart from clearly identified spam comments, I don’t yet have a record of ever deleting any reader’s comment on my posts.
Experience has shown me that it is easier for readers to simply walk away after reading a post than to click the “like button” below a post or write a comment after reading the post.
Even when a reader shows that he or she ‘likes’ a post, (I am glad to see those “likes” on my posts) I feel that comments show a deeper level of connection or engagement between my readers and I than “likes” do.
The “Like” button is a one-way traffic; as the name depicts, you hit it to show that you like a post. But through comments, I can get to see whether you like the post, disagree with it or you are simply indifferent.
Usually, I can feel my readers pulse through the comment window. While exploring the comments, I would often see all sorts of emotions and attitudes on display: joy, agreement, disagreement, anger, hate, love, appreciation, prejudice, faith, hopelessness, desperation, to mention but a few.
As I said already, I endeavour to respond to all of the comments as most appropriate. So far, none of my posts have generated more number of comments than I have been able to respond to.
You don’t have to follow my example here; you have the power to decide which of your readers’ comments to delete or keep. That’s why there is a setting on WordPress that allows you to moderate the comments on your blog.
3. A measure of the success of a post
The comment section reveals a lot about the acceptability or impact of any post I make. It lets me see whether or not the post has ‘hit the target.’
There are many ways to measure the success of a post. Apart from the number of views, shares and likes, the number of comments generated by the post also counts for me.
Please don’t misunderstand me; I do not write any post with the sole intention of generating mere comments. Rather, before I hit the publish button, my number one wish is always that my post will positively touch at least one person’s life.
That is to say that the ultimate test of the success of my posts is the number of lives they impact positively, not the number of comments they generate. But how would I know that someone somewhere was touched or influenced by my post except he or she leaves me a feedback comment?
Perhaps a few examples will bring home my point.
I can recall a positive feedback I once received from a pastor in the US who commented that a post I made bothering on time, talent and treasure gave him an insight to a message he had been proposing to preach to His congregation but did not know how to go about it.
How about a reader who after reading my post on forgiveness commented that the post touched her and she had decided to forgive someone whom she had refused to forgive for years?
Quite recently too, “you have made my day,” was a comment a reader left below the post why not to judge people.
How else could I measure the success of my posts without all these positive feedback which I glean from reading the comment section?
4. Ideas for new posts on the blog and other suggestions.
In my relatively short period in blogging, I have discovered that the comment section of my posts is a goldmine for new blog ideas and readers’ suggestions. I have been able to spurn several posts from looking at my readers’ comments and also improved on my blog generally by implementing some of their suggestions.
So if you thoroughly explore your readers’ comments, you will definitely pick up ideas for new posts on your blog. For instance, there were some comments on my blog that I lifted and turned into full fledged posts. All the Conversation series so far posted on this blog fall into this category.
Not too long ago as well, I got to know through a reader’s comment that the Twitter sharing button on my blog was not properly set up.
Before I received the feedback, I didn’t realise that once anyone tried to share my posts via that button, it usually led them to a Twitter account that is not mine, though bearing some semblance with my blog name. But I was able to rectify the improperly set-up blog-twitter link because the error was pointed out through the comment section by one of my faithful readers.
So check your blog comments, you will see fresh blog topics directly suggested by your readers. Although most of them will not be so direct, you will still be able to pick up some fresh ideas that can help improve your entire blogging experience.
5. Gives me a lead on to new blogs to follow or fresh posts to read.
There are many ways to discover new blogs to follow or interesting new posts to read. One simple way I have found is to follow through the channel of the comment section of my posts.
I do check my WordPress Reader from time to time for new posts and I also do receive daily email notifications from blogs I follow in numbers more than I can handle on a given day. But I make sure that no day passes without responding to my blog comments, which in turn lures me to the commentator’s blog.
Once someone leaves a comment on any of my posts, I am most likely to head to the person’s blog – after responding to the comment – to see what the person has to offer on his or her blog. This way, I have discovered interesting new blogs to follow and great articles to read.
I have also observed that some readers do recommend posts for me to check out on their site by dropping the link via the comment section. (To guard against being spammed, I have set up the blog to allow for maximum of two links at a time from anyone comment section).
By and large, the comment section of my blog has become the easiest way for me to reciprocate comments and actively follow up with the conversations on my commenters’ blogs.
If you have followed this blog closely by commenting on my posts, you will have observed that I seem to pay a visit to your blog once you have left me a comment. I don’t intend to stop doing that because it is a strategy that has been working for me.
6. Gives me further insight on a post.
Your post is essentially your perspective on an issue. And no one person has it all. By reading your readers’ comments, you can gain some more perspectives on the issue in discourse.
On any given posts, there are readers that will give you a very interesting perspective to your post, different from the one you wrote about. So you will miss out on them if you do not reckon with your blog comments.
When I wrote 8 reasons I do not follow your blog, I was simply sharing my own perspectives based on my limited experiences on why I am unable to follow some blogs. But as I took a good look at the various comments generated by that post, I could see other reasons adduced by my readers on the principles that guide them in determining which blogs to follow or not to follow.
Of course some of their guiding principles tallied with mine. But there were some that didn’t, which kind of gave me some more insights on why some people may not follow a blog.
So if you do not mind receiving a different view to your post, allow your readers to engage you through their comments on your posts. The feedback might pleasantly surprise you.
7. Avenue to throw more light on a post or correct a wrong impression.
On more than one occasions, some readers have misunderstood my posts, as seen through their comments. By responding to their comments, I was able to throw more light on the post and also (hopefully) corrected the wrong impression that might have been formed from reading them.
You could take the post as an open response to some readers’ comments precipitated by an earlier post on singleness. And I must tell you it helped to assuage some feelings precipitated by the referenced earlier post.
My dear friend, it is important you read and respond to your readers comments. It is a huge disservice to both you and your readers if you do not read and respond to your blog comments.
For instance, how can you provide an answer to a reader’s question in the comment section if you didn’t check it out in the first place? You can be sure that you will lose a reader’s loyalty if he or she feels repeatedly ignored by you.
8. A source of some motivation
I will not end this post without adding this point: I get some motivations (no matter how little) from looking at my blog comments.
When I started this blog, I did not so much imagine that so many people around the world would appreciate the thoughts I share. Now that I am aware that people are reading and giving positive feedback through their comments, I get encouraged to keep writing.
That does not mean that I would stop writing if the comments stop coming. But sincerely I am glad that people do read and comment on my posts. So that’s a source of motivation for me to keep the colourful blogging flag flying.
What benefits have you enjoyed reading comments on your blog?
Have you ever checked out my About page? I thought I should ask you that question and then offer you a veritable opportunity to do it if you haven’t already done so. But even if you have read it before, you still have something to gain by reading it again.
For most blogs, the about page is usually one of the most frequently checked-out pages. This blog is not an exception to that behavioural pattern.
Over the past several months that I have been writing on this blog, there have been concrete evidence that my about page has been frequently visited, read, liked or commented on. This is your chance to read it (again).
When I started a personal blog a year ago, it was part of my desires to share living ideas or appropriate thoughts in a way that would inspire or be a blessing to my readers. I equally saw it as an avenue to explore my writing potentials which I presumed I had but haven’t really explored on a very large scale before.
Looking back now, I realised that apart from helping in honing my writing skills more, I have also learnt a handful of positive personal lessons which are worth sharing.
Here are some of the beautiful things I learnt from starting a blog:
Ideas don’t benefit anyone unless they are shared
You can start a blog even if you are not an expert
You are neither the best nor the best blogger there is
Even your friends and family may not be interested
You will gain more ideas on the way
Blogging is doorway to other opportunities
You can do it!
1. The ideas or thoughts you have in your head would never benefit others except you share them
Blogging has provided me the most organized platform for sharing my thoughts beyond my nose. If you have ideas worth sharing, it is okay to consider blogging.
I am grateful to all those who have given me the feedbacks that indicated they found my posts very useful. I found too that my writings are also a blessing to me, personally. I guess there are writers who would identify with that feeling.
2. You don’t necessarily have to be an expert in anything before you start a blog
I wasn’t one either! But you would never get started if you think you are not an expert in your field yet. The little you know and share can be a blessing to someone out there.
I know there are specialized blogs out there. But one thing is sure: Everyone is searching; no one has all his/her questions already answered. Otherwise, no one would be reading posts.
3. You are not the best, neither are you the worst blogger
You can easily know that you are not the best blogger out there. But on the flip-side too, don’t see yourself as the worst either. Whether as an established blogger or a nascent one, I found we are all learning to do this blogging thing better.
You may feel that others are doing it better than you are doing (which may be true). But that’s not enough reason to be discouraged. And there is room for you to come on board if you haven’t started at all. The world is waiting to hear your unique voice.
4. Until you decide to reach out to others, you will remain in obscurity
Blogging has been an awesome avenue for me to reach out to people across the world. Once you put your thoughts out there, both people around and across the continents can access them.
Except in my dreams, I have never been to any part of Europe or Asia or America or Australia. But people in these places are reading and following my blog. Suffice to say that but for my blog, they might never have heard about me. I reached out to people and now I have people reaching out to me.
5. Not everyone will agree with your views but there will be someone who does
In as much as you don’t agree with every opinion that people put in your face, it is also fair enough to expect that not everyone will agree with yours. All the same, congratulations to you if you find that you have more people who agree with your views than those who don’t.
The ‘like’ and ‘comment’ parts of my post will often have a pointer to whether or not someone liked my expressed views. So if someone disagreed with me enough to leave me a comment that states so, I would often be glad about it and would take it as an invitation for further interaction.
6. You will meet unusual people
Except your blog is a private one, you will not be able to limit or determine those who read it. That means anyone anywhere can find your blog and read you online except it is indexed to be unsearchable on Google for instance.
In the course of the last year, I have had some atheists visit my blog. Their visit led to a series of online interaction between them and me. I later converted the interactions into several series of new posts. This was unusual for me because up till that time, I had never had any close encounter with any avowed atheist.
7. Negative criticisms hurt but you need not let them stop you
I would love to tell you that I have never been negatively criticized for starting a blog, but that would be a lie. I have been harshly criticized by some people who heard that I was running a blog.
Sadly enough, as I later found out, most of such people have never even read a paragraph of any of my posts. Yet they took joy in deriding my humble efforts. Sometimes, I felt hurt by those unwarranted verbal attacks. But as you can see, I have not allowed such negative responses to stop me, neither should you.
8. In the midst of negative criticisms, there are still some nice people to urge you on
Such wonderful souls could be found around you, or they may also be located thousands of miles away from where you are. Irrespective how much negative criticisms you get, one thing is sure, there would be someone somewhere who would appreciate your blogging efforts and would be glad to cheer you on.
There was a time I found myself complaining that I was facing too many harsh criticisms about the fact that I started a blog, a very kind human voice I met said to me, “Victor, ignore those who criticize you harshly. Don’t let them stop you.” That advice has been very helpful.
9. Your friends and family may not be interested in reading your blog as much as you would expect them to do
You have the freedom to expect that your friends and family members would be the most ardent followers/readers of your blog. Unfortunately, this may not always be so, as I found out.
Most followers of my blog are from across the oceans. It appears that what Jesus said about a ‘prophet not having honour in his home country’ applies in blogging too. But that awful reality should never discourage the prophet. So why should it stop the blogger?
10. More ideas will come to you as you write your posts
I discovered that the more posts you write and the more you read other blogs, the more inspiration you get to write more relevant pieces. Even a preacher knows that writing a sermon becomes easier as he does it over time.
No need to worry over what to write. Just get started by writing something – anything – and more ideas will begin to flow to you as you write. (As I was writing item no 5 above, I got the idea to write another item for post of which I have drafted the title and 5 supporting bullet points). You see what I mean?
11. One little step can open several opportunities
Through my blog for instance, I met Edmond Saganyando, who invited me to be a contributor to his blog. Some of my blog posts have been reblogged on other sites too.
From writing blog posts I have also received the inspiration to start some other worthwhile projects. I really agree that there are limitless possibilities in blogging. You may never find out until you get started.
12. I did it, so can anyone -even you!
Starting a personal blog was a little step I took a year ago. I could say that I am better off in so many ways now than I was before I came into blogging.
What have you learnt from your experience of starting a blog? Kindly share your story.