Blog Posts

8 Simple Tips To Turn Your Blog From Blah Into Fantastic

fantastic blog

Are you starting to feel like you sound like a broken record?
Does it feel like you are running out of topics to write on?
Are you coming up empty when you think about what your next blog post should be about?

Imagine how your readers feel if you are starting to feel that way. The most important thing is recognizing when you need help and being willing to do something about it before you lose your audience. These 8 tips will help you turn your blog from blah into fantastic in no time.

1. Re-evaluate your blog

Remember the reasons you started your blog? Still remember the excitement with which you wrote your first post? It’s time to re-evaluate your self and your blog to get a feel of where you started, where you are and where you’re headed.

I am very hands-on, so I prefer to write things down. Take the time to review the reasons you started your blog. If you do not have them written down, it’s not too late. You can still make the list and then do your review.

Do you feel like you are still on track?

  • Are you meeting the goals you set when you started your blog?
  • Are you enjoying writing your blog posts?
  • Are you still excited about writing?
  • Do you still believe in your ability as a blogger/writer?

If the answers to these questions are mostly NO, don’t give up just yet. It might be a wake-up call to point you in the right direction.

2. Re-evaluate your audience

audience

Hopefully before you started your blog, you considered who your audience will be and what they are likely to be interested in. Sometimes as your blog continues to grow, you acquire other readers that you probably didn’t expect to be interested in your blog.

This is where the use of website traffic analysis, like the one by Google analytics comes in really handy. Understanding who your audience are will help you select topics that meet their needs and keep them coming back for more.

3. Introduce new elements to your blog

Be creative. Using information from your website traffic analysis, determine the kind of incentives that will encourage your target audience to keep visiting your website.

It can be a summer give-away prize or entry into a drawing for gift cards or cool electronic gadget, depending on your budget. You could also present additional relevant information/updates that you know will keep your readers coming back to your blog.

4. Use eye-catching images

eye catching picture

Everyone enjoys a nice, bright, conversation-starting image. Words do tell the story, but sometimes a picture is worth more than a thousand words. These days stories are told mostly with pictures. For example, you can take a look at my friend’s website: Sportystation. He reviews different sports equipment and has a nice collection of images in every posts.

Pinterest is becoming more and more popular, and it’s all about the pictures. You are more likely to get attention on twitter if you use great, eye-catching graphics or images in your tweets. An attention-grabbing image is the first thing that draws readers to your website before they get to read your content.

5. Use relevant breaking news stories as an inspiration for your blog posts

Things happen around us every day that are news-worthy. Most people will read your blog if it’s related to something that’s currently on the news. Your post is also more likely to get found and better-ranked because there are a lot of searches for current news stories.

Make sure to keep it relevant to your niche, or at least find a creative way to link the news story to your blog niche.

6. Invite guest bloggers

It’s a great idea to invite guest bloggers to spice things up on your blog. Before you do that though, make sure to research the intended blog writer’s blog/blogs to ensure that their post will have a positive impact on your blog.

For the most part, the guest blogger writes on a topic of their choice. You can also ask if they could choose from some topics you have compiled. Some bloggers resist the idea of guest-blogging due to insecurities, but it just might be what you need to turn your blog from blah into fantastic.

7. Consider paying someone to write posts for your blog

pay writers

If you are having trouble meeting up with your deadlines or just need to inject some new life into your blog, it’s not a bad idea to occasionally pay someone to write a post for your blog.

Some very successful blog sites actually thrive on paid writers. You may want to start with upcoming great bloggers that can deliver the goods at a reasonable fee.

8. Tweak or change your niche

You’ve done everything you possibly could to improve your blog and nothing seems to be working. You’ve tried to revive your interest and excitement about your niche, but you still struggle to find topics to write on.

I know you’ve put in so much time and energy to start your blog, so I do not expect it to be an easy decision to change direction, but that might just be what you need .Change can be a great thing, if it happens at the right time and for the right reasons.

You may just need to tweak or add a little twist to your existing niche, as opposed to completely taking up a new niche. Even if you do decide to choose a totally different niche, you can still continue to earn income from your older website if it continues to rank well.

Who knows, you may become interested in it again after taking a little break from working on it.

Final Words

Are you currently feeling like you are getting bored with your blog? Did you have to deal with this situation in the past? How did you handle it? I’ll love to hear from you, join the discussion.

Pregnancy Pillow Reviews

pregnant mother

There are so many different types of pillows available for pregnant women. If you read reviews of all the different kinds of pillows, you will find undoubtedly find that it can be confusing as everyone has different opinions.

In what follows, I have tried to sum up some of the reviews on Amazon to help guide you in making an informed decision as to what suits your needs best.

So now I will present to you my Top 3 Pregnancy Pillow Picks!

Snoogle Chic – Snoogle Total Body Pregnancy Pillow with Easy-off Zippered Cover

snoogle-chic-jersey-snoogle-total-body-pregnancy-pillow-review

This pillow gets 4/5 stars from user reviews on Amazon.

Pros:

– provides support for your back, pregnant belly, and hips and legs

– avoiding the need to use many separate pillows

– can be used after pregnancy to support the baby during nursing

– can be used whether lying on your left or right side

– decreases the chances of rolling over onto your back, which is not advisable in pregnancy

Cons:

– it’s big

– the cover can be difficult to put back on

– some people find that it is too stuffed

Leachco Snoogle Total Body Pillow

leachco-snoogle

This pillow gets 4.5/5 stars on Amazon reviews. Here are some things that are mentioned on Amazon about these products from users of this pillow.

Pros:

– can be propped up to help mothers with heartburn/gastroesophageal reflux during pregnancy

– can be used during pregnancy and after pregnancy for nursing the baby

– makes sleeping more comfortable, helping to alleviate some of the pains and discomforts associated with pregnancy

– you can position this pillow in front of your belly or behind your back, depending on the support you desire

Cons:

– some users have found it too firm (but the pro is that it retains its shape with washing)

– big

– if you toss and turn lots before going to sleep, you may find it a bit cumbersome

– some people find it is too flat

Comfort-U Total Body Pillow Full Support Pillow

comfort-u

This pillow gets 4/5 stars on Amazon user reviews.

Pros:

– feels like you’re sleeping in a nest

– people with fibromyalgia find it to be very helpful

Cons:

– large

– needs to be fluffed up

– you may be more able to roll onto your back, as other users have found it does not provide enough back support

My advice

Get a pillow that you will love because these pillows will join you throughout your pregnancy journey. These pillows that I mentioned have different features and prices so choose which pillow fits your needs and budget. Good luck on your pregnancy mothers!

Voyage 200 Calculator Review – Graphing Calculator For Geometry

Voyage 200 review - graphing calculator for geometry

The Voyage 200 is an advanced graphing calculator from Texas Instruments. It has all the same qualities and functions of 92, but with an increased amount of Flash ROM of 2.7 MB. With a large display and QWERTY keyboard, this hand-held device is easily customized for your own needs.

You can install numerous software applications for functionality. In my opinion this calculator is best for geometry. Additionally, it is also great for other subjects as well! If you are looking for other great calculators read this best graphing calculators – buying guide article.

Features

Some of the key features of the Voyage 200 graphing calculator include:

  • Neat print
  • High revolution screen
  • Ergonomic design
  • Computer connectivity & upgrading abilities
  • Geometric software
  • Symbolic manipulation and units
  • Built-in clock
  • Active user history for retrieving 99 problems or entries
  • Real time rotation in 3D
  • Powered by 4 AAA batteries

If you buy a new Voyage 200, you will find that it contains pre-installed applications. Many of these you will find use for, while others you may want to replace with other apps. You can find math-related programs, scientific apps and even games available for your Voyage 200 online!

Some of the pre-installed applications include Cabri Geometry, Data Editor, CellSheet, Simultaneous Equations Solver, Geometer’s Sketchpad, Finance, List Editor, Study Cards, etc. Obviously, there are many programs that will help you in any type of math class, from geometry to accounting!

One application is a Math Guide that helps you with your calculations. You can learn how to simplify certain types of derivations, equations, integrals and calculations of all kinds. Whether you need to calculate simple equations or solve polynomial functions, the Voyage 200 Math Guide will help you.

Moreover, it will find mistakes for you! One thing you will undoubtedly notice is the layout of this graphing calculator. Not only does it have a big display of 128 x 240 pixels, it also features a full keyboard, number pad and keys with two functions.

v0y200

The functions are all clearly labeled, and the position of the keys makes them easy to access. If you purchase a new Voyage 200, you’ll be glad to know that it comes with a transparent cover to protect the surface from scratches.

There are also protectors over the gummy knobs which protects the device from slipping all over the table or desk. This graphing calculator comes with a handbook more than 300 pages long.  Within its pages, you will find easy-to-understand instructions on the Voyage 200. This guide is very helpful, to say the least.

Many graphing calculators only come with complicated guides that only seem to make things more confusing for the user. Fortunately, this is not the case with the Voyage 200. The only downside, as you’ve probably surmised, is that this multi-function, graphing calculator is on the expensive side.

A new Voyage 200 comes at around $200, and a used one sells for around $120.  Still, it’s the most advanced device on the market, and comes with a good instruction book, cover, batteries, pre-installed apps, etc. You’ll definitely get your money’s worth!

Goin’ Back to Cali

cali

We’re happy to have another guest post from the Content Team this week. This time we’re hearing from Nick Mancini, who recently returned from a pretty productive road trip…

Nick Mancini: I can understand now why there are so many famous songs written about California. There is so much going on there and we got to capture a lot of it through the eye of a lens—majestic mountains, towering forests, sandy beaches, and vast seas.

I hit the road with Travis, one of our video producers, for a week filled with all the beautiful places we could fit into one trip. We started off the week shooting three salvation messages in San Francisco:The first video was about how God created all things, but created us intimately and how Jesus is the only way back to that intimate relationship with God.

We shot this one entirely in the Redwood Forest surrounded by God’s beautiful creation.In the second video we utilized the trolley system in downtown San Francisco. We used the trolleys to talk about how we are spiritually lost and Jesus is the way to get us to where we need to be.

The trolleys took us right where we needed to end up. Without them we were lost in a big city. The last salvation message we shot using the Golden Gate Bridge as background imagery to communicate how we are separated from God because our sin, but God used Jesus as our bridge back to Him.

The salvation messages were all shot on day one of our weeklong trip. The following day we headed down to Santa Cruz to shoot a four-week series with Josh Shipp entitled “You asked for it”.  We spent the entire day and into the evening with Josh as he answered questions about personality, relationships, parenting and bullying. This series will be played in September for the kickoff of our student ministries.

golden-gate

Travis shooting w/ Josh Shipp

After spending a long day with Josh in Santa Cruz we drove down the scenic Pacific Coast Highway (shooting B-Roll) to Los Angeles.  While in L.A. we shot a three-week series called “Hollywood: Fiction, Fortune, and Fame”.

With Hollywood as our backdrop, we talk to students about being real, not being controlled and caught up by money or the American dream. But rather making a difference for God, and how God knows them and loves them and we are to do famous things for His name.

hollywood

Hollywood

You are probably asking yourself, “did you see any celebrities while in Hollywood”? Well I’m glad you asked, and the answer is yes…yes we did!  We passed a car filming and when we looked over there was Christian Bale driving as they were shooting.

We also saw another famous person who walked right in front of our car when we were stopped at a red light.  I shall keep this celebrity nameless since he is a celebrity for all the very wrong reasons.

We spent the rest of our trip riding around shooting B-Roll in downtown L.A., Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Huntington Beach, Santa Monica, and San Francisco.We worked hard and we worked long days, but doing it all in California made it a little sweeter.

We wrapped up two series totaling seven weeks, three salvation messages, and countless hours of B-Roll.Just as exciting as this trip was, I am equally excited to see all these videos hit campuses and Open. From our California trip—THAT’S A WRAP!

Nick Mancini is a LifeChurch.tv Youth Content Developer.

5 Sure Ways to Activate Your Metabolism

Boost Your Metabolism card with colorful background with defocused lights
Boost Your Metabolism card with colorful background with defocused lights

How your body eliminates waste matter is directly related to your health. If your system is efficient, chances are that you will maintain good weight and enjoy good health. The sad thing is that your metabolism can slow down owing to various factors and this will lead to inefficiency resulting to disease and disorders.

An active metabolism depending on body type is ideal and most people who have health issues and find it hard to cut weight suffer from a slowed metabolism. The following are sure ways to activate.

Stop!
You need to just stop! Halt for a minute and think of what your next meal will be. Many times, we get so involved in stuff that we forget what we are feeding ourselves. Sometimes, your body will appreciate a break regarding food intake.

In some ancient cultures, fasting for some time was an excellent way to remedy common abdominal upsets. This does not mean that you starve yourself but it is a natural way to detox and allow time for the body to rid all waste. Take a few hours and let your tummy sit empty. Some water to keep the hydration up will work wonders. This is guaranteed to activate your metabolism.

After the fast; what next?

The second thing that is bound to activate your metabolism after you have detoxed naturally is taking in the right food in the right quantity. Many will be overtaken by hunger and this can lead to overeating. Instead, do it the right way. Get your food groups in order i.e. proteins, vitamins, carbs and minerals.

Organic foods are obviously your best bet. Instead of eating a hipped plate of food, divide the food into two. In other words, eat half of the food you normally eat. After a few hours, eat the other half. Your metabolism will continually be active digesting the food.

boost-metabolism

Things to avoid

Fried foods, processed floors and sugars are enemies to good metabolism.

Get off the couch

After you have fed yourself, going to bed or lying around lazily will work against you. If possible, walk around or get busy. This will definitely burn energy increasing your metabolism. Even after dinner, you can get busy around the house for some time if you want an efficient metabolism.

Water, vitamins and minerals

Water is a must not forgetting enough vitamins and minerals. Hydrate as much as possible throughout the day and this keeps you fresh and alert. Vitamins must be in bulk to keep you protected and snacking away on fruits and vegetables is a good idea. Supplement on vital minerals like calcium, magnesium and iron. Many of the fruits, nuts and vegetables also contain essential minerals.

Conclusion

These tips are definitely going to boost your metabolism. If you can keep the above on finger tips, you health will be maintained and improved; weight loss can be a walk over.

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