So you want to be a social media butterfly? Tips on starting your own #blog

Starting a blog is a fantastic tool to join the online community. Follow these tips to ensure your blog is set for success.

1. Outline Your Goals

Before you start a new blog, it’s essential that you determine what you’re hoping to achieve. Having a plan will help to accomplish these goals. Are you an expert on a topic? Are you trying to promote your business? Do you simply want to connect with the community-at-large to share your experiences, ideas and opinions? Once you’ve determined your short- and long-term goals, write and market your blog to meet those goals.

2. Know Your Audience

Whether you’re targeting teenagers, mothers, sports enthusiasts, fashion community, etc., your blog’s design, tone and content should reflect the expectations of your audience. This is like creating a “brand” for your blog.

3. Be Consistent

Your blog is a brand. Your blog represents a specific message and image to your audience, which is your brand. Your blog’s design and content should consistently communicate your blog’s overall brand image and message. The more consistent you are, you’ll garner readership loyalty.

4. Be Determined

Publish, publish, publish! A busy blog is a useful blog. Blogs that are not updated frequently are perceived by their audiences as static web pages. The usefulness of blogs comes from their timeliness. While it’s important not to publish meaningless posts else you may bore your audience, it’s essential that you update your blog frequently. The best way to keep readers coming back is to always have something new (and meaningful) for them to see.

5. Be Engaging

Getting involved in social media means being social! Engage your readers/followers by asking them to leave comments by posing questions, and always respond to (valid) comments from your readers. Doing so will show your readers that you value them, and it will keep the conversation going. Share the social love by leaving comments on other blogs, inviting new readers to visit your blog for more dynamic discussions.

6. Get Noticed

Get out in the online social community by finding like-minded bloggers and commenting on their blogs, participating in social bookmarking through sites such as Digg and StumbleUpon, and joining social networking sites such as Facebook and LinkedIn. Blogging is not a rally of, “if you build it, they will come.” You must create captivating content on your blog and promote it in different platforms.

7. Take Risks for Rewards

If you’re new to the blogging community, don’t be afraid take risks and try new things on your blog. Keep things fresh by adding a new plug-in, holding a contest, or adding other supplements that will help to enhance your blog. BUT, don’t fall prey to every new fad that becomes available for your blog. Do your research and discover which tools will help to achieve your goals.

8. Ask for Help

Every blogger is a beginner at some point, and being part of a close-knit community, most of us are approachable and helpful people. Don’t be afraid to reach out to fellow bloggers for help. Remember, the success of the blogosphere relies on networking, and most bloggers are always willing to expand their networks regardless of whether you’re a beginner blogger or seasoned pro.

9. Never Stop Learning

There are always new tools available to bloggers. The Internet changes quickly, and the blogosphere is not an exception. As you develop and get more comfortable in your blogging routine, take the time to research new tools and features, and keep an eye on the latest news from others.

10. Be Yourself

Inject your personality into your blog and adapt a consistent tone for your posts. Determine whether your blog and brand will be more effective with a corporate tone, a youthful tone or a snarky tone. Then stay consistent with that tone in all your blog communications. They could read a newspaper for news reports. Instead, people read blogs to get bloggers’ opinions on the news, the world, life and more. Have a conversation – write like you speak. After all, you’re a blogger, not a reporter!

Need a new #Summer #Hobby ?

Every once in a while, I find the need to pick up a new hobby. Some last, most don’t, but nevertheless, I can at least say I tried! My latest hobby was born out of inspiration from a friend who designs and creates the most gorgeous fashions!

I thought quite simply (and naively), ‘I can do this!’ I think my naivete and ambition has gotten the better of me. I digress.

I went out, bought a new sewing machine; went to the souq and bought all kinds of beautiful fabrics, and all the tools necessary to start this hobby.

Well, that was about a month ago, and the darned thing is still sitting in the box taunting me. On a positive note, I have watched the (1/2 hour) video and read the manual on how to get the machine set up – perhaps that’s where I went wrong! Not only does the actual creation of clothing sound daunting, but just setting up the machine to get it in working order is a complete task unto itself. You’d think in this day and age they’d find a way to make sewing machines a little more intuitive and the set-up more simplified! For crying out loud, it’s 2012. I should press a button and it should just spit out the item I desire in my perfect size! Either that, or I’ll just continue retail therapy to sooth my stress from this hobby! Let the pros do what they do best me thinks!

No, no. I WILL CONQUER THIS (I keep saying to myself!) And, conquer I shall. Eventually. In the meantime, thank goodness for my blog! At least I know how to work it! By the way, said friend forgot to mention that her mother’s been teaching her for 14 years. So, I called my mom who once made me a dress back when I could wear a pillowcase and it would look cute. Her reaction: “Oh honey, you don’t have the patience for this kind of thing.” Thanks mom.

She may have a point though. I am now onto the search for my next hobby, and with that, I am inspired to help you! I did a Google search on hobbies, and found a response on Yahoo for this question. So, if you haven’t got your own blog (or sewing machine), here’s a list of hobbies to get you on the right track (pretty sure it was written by a man, so I took out the woodworking, unless you’re into carpentry?)

Here we go: Gardening, blacksmithing, knife making, rustic furniture making, Boat making, rock climbing, cabinet making. Paper mache, miniature model making Crocheting, Knitting ,Cross stitching, embroidery, sewing,Quilting, Photography, cave climbing. Rock climbing, antique collecting, Tool & die work,Glass blowing. Hand spinning wool & yarn, pewter work, Printing , Stonework, cement & concrete worker, Sculptor, Special Effect man, Geologist or rock collector, meteor collector, Explosive Man, Flower arranging. Fashion designer, Farmer,Horse Raising and breeding, Veterian.Casino worker, brickworking, masonery, Model train collector. Toy Making. drafting, Electronic whiz. Robot maker, Silversmith, goldsmith, coppersmith, tool collector, historian, calligrapher. Civil war reinactors, Gun Collecting.stamp collecting. Bird watching. home interior decorator,conductor,cowboy.party hostess, thrill seeker, Surfer,scienitist, Stunt man,wheelmaker, kitchen & home collector,fishing collecting,blowtroch collector,bottle collector,comb collector,mining equipment and collectibles,lantern collect, Steam,air, and
electric organ and pianio collecting, vacumm cleaner collecting,quilt collecting,Scrimshaw, toy collecting, carriage Building or coachmaking and repairing as well as collecting,Wheelmaking,sleigh collecting and building, Farm implements, pulleys,locks,steam & air gauge collecting, tinsmithing, brass smithing, ornamental ironwork, clock collecting and making (horology). Coopering, Steam engine and locomotive collecting and making, Steam whistle collecting and making ,musicial instruments collecting, vinyl and Cd record collecting slide rule, surveyor instruments collecting, Thermometer & Meterology Instruments collecting, saw blade collecting, Flag collecting,Autograph collecting,clothes, yarn weaving,String art , Movie poster collecting, Magazine and book collecting,Paper collecting, garderning, insect collecting, Stamp collecting, cake decorating, Pottery, Microscopery, Telescopes collecting, music box collecting, Armor collecting, Teapot collecting, Teacup collection Painting,art collecting, Picture, postcard
collecting, Orgimai, Tourist items,Plastic tinkets,Perfeme bottles,1900’s cast iron banks, Telephones, TV sets ,Taxis,Cookie Jars,Native American Art, African Art,Americana Art,Movie Reel Collecting, needle collecting, Star wars memobias, Cereal box collecting, pocket knive collecting, Knive collecting, Fence Collecting, Electricial insulator collecting, card collecting, play card collecting, Board game collecting. Doll Collecting. Ad collecting, Sign collecting,clown memorabilia, Escapologist or Magican memorabilia and stuff, Magican Pen collecting, Pencil collecting,music memorabilia Codebreaking memorabilia, crossword Puzzles, word search games or books, kite making, yo-yo,Diadlo, knotting,Hula-hooping, dancing, blogging, toblaning, singing, acting, Learn a foreign language, Beadwork, candlemaking, Scuba diving, Swimming, hiking, backpacking,camping, horseback riding, biking,Latch hooking, Anwering Q. on Yahoo, pole dancing,mountain biking,sky diving,Model training, story writting, paper embrodering, papercrafts, Candlemaking, Beading , Astronomy, You can learn a language, Unicycle, biking, motorcycling, motorcycle collecting , Dirt biking, Police memorabilia, wooden wagons and stagecoach collecting, locks and keys collecting, Blueprint collecting, Homes and building collecting, Model rocketery, clock collecting, calulator collecting skateboarding and skateboard collecting,Rc car aircraft, boats collecting, Pinball machine collecting or Pinball wizard, video game machine collecting. theme park memorabilia, stain glass working, Space memorabilia, Spoon or fork or silverware collecting ,axe collecting, Sky diving, Black project or ops collecting or a consipacist { Just be care on this one or you might disappear without a trace or worst}, Shot glass collecting,Beer mug Collecting , Christmas ornament collecting ,Seed collecting, rising birds, toothpick or matchstick building, Recipe collecting, cooking, and cookware collecting, Certains or fabric collecting,sewing machine collecting ,tree collecting Bonsai, bird watching, Dog breeding,Dog trainer, Cat trainer, Teacher, snow or ice scuplturing ,sandcasting, fencing, Fatheads Pictures,computer viruses ( just don’t send them),Playboy magazines,gynnastics, Disk Jockey( DJ for short),metal detecting, Home painting,geocaching,water skiing, boating. Jet setting. airplane piloting, door to door salesman,Tv repairman, chess, checkers and other games, ship in the bottle builting, or put things in a bottle CB- Radio, Orienteering,Tatting, Batik, Metal Punch, Rug Braiding, Decoupage, Beading, Bow making, Patchwork ,Chicken Scratch ,Dough Sculpting, Seed Painting, Face Painting,Silk Stitching,Scherenschnitte,pine cone painting, Tin punching. Tennis, baseball, Softball,Football,Field and track running.Diamond and jewerly collecting, Ham Radio operator,Stereo player collecting, DIY Projects, Model Rocketry and Rocketry,Boy Scouts,Cub Scouts, Eagle Scouts, Belt buckle collecting,Shoe collecting, Play a musical instrument of some type, leathercrafts, Scrapbooking collecting, Belt buckle collecting,Shoe collecting, collecting a musical instrument, leathercrafts, piggy banks, Bead Making or Work, Abbacus collecting,Plastic work,Fiberglass working,entertainment director, Square dancing,Disco dance,Ballroom Dancing, Video gaming, Opera actor, Ballooning, Recreational Boating, Recreational Flying, airplane collecting, Guitar collecting, temari.

Apologies for the lack of formatting and grammar in some cases. Some are outright weird – and perhaps not even English, but hey, get inspired!If all else fails, start a Pinterest account. For now, I’m very content with my blog!

Happy hobbying!

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