Hi, friends! I’ve seen many of you talking on Twitter and Facebook about useful plugins, so I put together a list of plugins to help you improve your self hosted site. I personally use these plugins often and love them. Here are some plugins to improve your blog.
Have you ever had trouble commenting on a blog that uses a different platform than yours? I’m a WordPress user, and sometimes it’s difficult to comment on Blogger blogs. Plugins like Disqus or Commentluv that work across multiple platforms solve this problem. So even if someone is using a different platform, as long as they have Disqus, it’s easy for anyone to comment. It’s also organized and aesthetically pleasing.
Hi, friends! I’ve been reading posts about how bloggers create high quality blog posts. The knowledge I’ve learned from these posts has inspired me to write a part 2 to my popular post “How to Create Great Content for Your Blog”, about a blogging process that’ll help YOU produce a high quality blog post. Here is the way to construct a great blog post, from start to finish.
Outline Your High Quality Blog Post
- Bullet point outlines: The first step to writing a high quality blog post is writing a “bare bones” outline in bullet point format. These bullet points can become the post’s headings. Starting with an outline keeps the post organized and makes sure the ideas flow logically.
- Do your research: It’s a good idea to do a quick search on Pinterest to see what has already been written about this topic. This helps make sure you’re not copying someone else’s post, and it can also provide inspiration for new points to cover in your own post.
- Divide the post into headings: Once the headings are established, use sub-points to add details to support your main points (like in a high school English class!). Then, turn the sub-points into complete sentences. These sentences will make up the paragraph that goes underneath that heading.
- Transfer to paragraph form: When you feel the post has enough detail, remove the bullet points and sub-points to make the outline look more like a paragraph.
- Add the intro and conclusion: Don’t forget to write the introduction and conclusion/call to action for your post. I’d recommend saving this part until the post is in paragraph form, because it’s much easier to introduce and conclude a post that already has some sort of substance. At this point, the outline should start looking like a blog post.
- Proofread: Edit and proofread your post for spelling and grammar errors.
- Proofread again: Read it over one more time, but this time, look at the “big picture.” During this reading, make sure the post, as a whole, is coherent and makes sense. At this point, the actual text of the post is finished!
Hi, friends! I’ve noticed that many of you are considering the switch to self hosted on WordPress.org. I was afraid to take the plunge and spend money on my blog, but a few months ago, I finally did. It was so worth it! I love the freedom that self hosted provides. Making the switch is a big decision, so I wanted to help those who are still on the fence. Here are a few reasons you should consider the switch to self hosted.
Your content belongs to you.
When you’re on WordPress.com, your content belongs to them. You are at their mercy in that they can deactivate your blog at any time if they believe you have violated their terms of service. When you are self hosted, your content belongs to you and only you…
Hi, friends! We work hard on our blogs because we want them to be the best they can be. However, sometimes, there are some little changes here and there we can make that could improve our blogs. I’ve visited many blogs over the years and there are a few particular things I repeatedly see that could be improved. Here are some ways you can improve your blog.
To improve your blog, make your text bigger
One of my biggest pet peeves in the blogosphere is when people use a microscopically small font size. Small fonts are hard on the eyes. When I see a post written in a small font, it makes me not want to read the post. That’s why I use a size 18pt font for my posts and an even larger size for my headings.
Hi, friends! Getting sick in college really sucks. This past Thursday, I came down with a sore throat, fever, and stuffy nose. Thankfully, I was able to rest this weekend and I feel much better now. It’s hard to stay healthy in college, since students share so many common spaces, so I decided to do a post to help you when you get sick.
The best way to deal with this is prevention. Unfortunately, it’s often too late.
Hi, friends! Over the course of my college career, I’ve heard fellow students talk about how “intimidating” or “hard” their professors are, but I’ve never been able to relate 100%. Of course, I’ve had professors who expected a lot of work from their students, but I wouldn’t use those words to describe them. I think people feel this way because they don’t understand how a professor’s mind works. In this post, I want to break down the stereotype of the intimidating/mean professor by introducing you to Dr. L, one of my favorite professors who works in the college of engineering. I had the chance to interview Dr. L recently, and I asked some questions that would help you gain some insight into the mind of a professor. Without further ado, here is the interview!
Aly: Some students are afraid to get to know their professors. Why should a student take the time to sit in front of the class and introduce him/herself to the professor?
Dr. L: Professors are people, too. Most are in the profession because they enjoy teaching. When you introduce yourself to your professor, you stand out from the crowd as someone who has given more thought to the subject than others. When it comes to grading, professors will remember students who come to them for help. Establishing a relationship with a professor can help you with research opportunities, scholarships, and even acceptance into graduate school. Remember: you are paying a lot of money to go to school. You have the right to ask questions of your professors and they have a duty to spend the time to answer them…
Hey everyone! Recently, I had a Twitter conversation with fellow bloggers. We were talking about how to balance blogging and school. I’m sure many of us have had the same problem at some point, so I decided to dedicate an entire post on the topic. As college students, we have enough on our plates, so trying to juggle another hobby, like blogging, can be a challenge. Still, it’s possible to be an A+ student and an active blogger. Here are some tips on how to balance college and blogging!
Set aside a designated time for blogging.
Setting aside time to blog will make sure you actually have time for your blog. When you don’t intentionally set aside a time block for blogging, it’s easy to let it slip through the cracks when you have so many other commitments to attend to. If you set aside the same time block every week, it’ll help you stay consistent, because you know exactly what you’re supposed to be doing at that time. Intentionally planning to blog will encourage you to actually do it…
Hi, friends! This is a topic that I haven’t seen much about in the blogosphere, so I decided that I wanted to start a conversation on this important topic of the 21st century: online classes! Online classes are becoming a popular thing, even in grade school. Already, a lot of college classes involve some sort of virtual component, but some schools even offer classes that are completely online with no face to face interaction with a teacher or classmates. Clearly, online classes are a trend that’s here to stay.
Before we dive into the meat of the post, let me explain that there are two types of online courses: a full-time online course and a blended course. Your university may have different names for these, so figure out what your University calls them.
A full-time online course is done completely online. All the readings, homework assignments, and tests are virtual. You don’t meet the teacher in person.
Blended courses are done partially online and partially in person. You will have some readings, homework, and/or tests to submit online, and some to submit in person. You do meet in a classroom with other students and a teacher, but not as often as a traditional class…
Hi, friends! It’s easy to let God fall to the bottom of your to do list in college. In high school, your parents would take you to church and youth group, and encourage you to live your faith. Now that you don’t have your parents on your back, you can get so caught up in reading, studying, or hanging out with friends that you simply forget about church and praying. Here are some tips to help you intentionally incorporate God in your everyday college life.
Get up early to read the Bible and pray
Before you freak out, don’t worry: you don’t have to get up super early. Just pick a time block when you’re completely available, and set it aside to pray and read the Bible. In my case, I wake up early every day, since I know I don’t have anything else during that time and I won’t be disturbed. After I spend the first few minutes of my day praying, I feel energized and ready to tackle the day.
I’d also recommend setting aside the same time block every day because consistency will help you form the habit. The first week, it’ll be hard. But if you push through those tough first week, you’ll form the habit of getting up early to pray within a few weeks. It’s worth getting up a few minutes earlier to give the first moments of your day to God…
Hi, everyone! Something I have personally been working on is creating great content for my blog. Readers often say that great content, like long posts, are the most helpful to them because these posts are the ones that are thorough, detailed, and discuss the topic in depth. I want to be as helpful to you as possible, so when I read that a few weeks ago, I wanted to start writing longer posts. When I first started blogging, my posts would average around 200 words. Now, they average around 400 or 500. This is a big improvement, but it’s nowhere near the recommended 1,500 words. Clearly, I still have a lot to learn. The tips in this post are as much for me as they are for you. So, here are some ways to lengthen and add details to your blog posts.
Make it easy for your readers to apply what you’re teaching them
The first step to creating great content is to help your reader apply what you’re teaching them. First, show them WHY they should apply it in the introduction of the post. Set the stage for the post by telling them how they will benefit from the information you’re about to give them. What’s in it for them? Why should they spend their precious time reading your post? THAT is how you hook a reader in. For example, if you’re doing a DIY tutorial, tell them how beautiful the end result will look and how easy it is to get such a pretty result in just a few minutes…