Category Archives: Blogging

What Are WordPress Widgets? – A Very Brief Overview

So you’re looking around your new WordPress blog and see an option for “widgets.” But what the heck are these widget things and how do they benefit me when it comes to my WordPress blog?

To give the full on textbook definition of a widget:

A WordPress Widget is a small block that performs a specific function. You can add these widgets in sidebars also known as widget-ready areas on your web page. WordPress widgets were originally created to provide a simple and easy-to-use way of giving design and structure control of the WordPress theme to the user.
-WP Beginner.com

Basically, it’s there area on your WordPress sidebar that shows information such as:

• Recent Posts
• Recent Comments
• Archives
• Categories
• a Calendar
• and there are many more that you can use if it’s your preference. The one’s listed above are just the most popular ones that you see on the majority of WordPress blogs.

Widgets allow you to customize your blog from other ones and can make it stand out. It gives you the creativity to change things up and makes it easier for your visitors to access your content.

There are no right or wrong widgets for your blog, and the way you set them up all falls within your individual taste.

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WordPress Vs. Weebly – Which One is Best?

If you’re a blogger or website designer, you may know this familiar dilemma all-to-well: WordPress versus Weebly – which is better?

As someone that has used both for both site design and blogging, I have gained some insights that I thought could be quite helpful here on my own blog. So let’s jump right in.

These are the top things I believe separate the two.

*Note: This is just a short, easy-to-digest overview of the differences between Weebly and WordPress. If you want a longer, heartier overview, feel free to do a Google search and you’ll land on some of the best posts on the web. 🙂

Cost

If cost is a consideration for you when building a new website or blog, WordPress may be your better option if you use a free theme. At that point all you are paying for is the hosting which can only cost a couple of bucks a month.

Weebly on the other hand, does offer a free website builder, however, you have to pay to upgrade if you want to remove their banner from the footer, AND just to connect your domain name. If you don’t pay to upgrade then you are stuck with a subdomain.

Not to mention, you have to renew your Weebly subscription at least every 6 months (depending on the upgrade package you choose) so that’s another cost to keep up with.

Ease of Use

I’ve built many websites and blogs using both WordPress and Weebly, and have found both incredibly easy to use.

Many WordPress themes are becoming easier and easier to use, somewhat like Weebly’s drag-n-drop builder, making it much easier to use for people that are total beginners or not tech-savvy at all.

Support

Many people like to have support for themselves if something goes wrong, especially if they have just signed up for a product or service that can confuse them during use.

If you use WordPress, your best bet for support is on the central hub which is WordPress.com, and you can have people answer your questions over time.

In using Weebly, you can call their support line or chat online with a team member and likely get your problem solved right away.

My Quick Conclusion

In my humble opinion, whether on uses WordPress or Weebly should depend on their individual tastes, and what they will be using their website for.

There’s obviously a huge difference between a website and a simple blog, so taking these into consideration can really seal the deal when it comes to the look of the site.

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Do I Need Widgets For My WordPress Blog?

w-logo-blueIf you are the host of a WordPress blog, you may be wondering if widgets are something that could be of a benefit to you. In short, it depends on what you are attempting to do with your blog, but there won’t be much of a difference if you use them and if you don’t.

Widgets can make a blog more aesthetically pleasing or look junky if you go overboard. But for the most part, they are just another way to make your blog more like your own, and make your content more easily accessible to your viewers.

If you have played around with the widgets feature of your WordPress blog, you are probably already aware of which ones are available for your use. Some people are aware of this feature but have no idea what any of it means, however.

 

As you can see, there are a number of different widgets that can be added to different areas of your blog, but in most cases the sidebar.

These can give you extra areas to list the pages, posts, archives, and categories on your blog so that people can access your old work, seeing as there can only be 5-10 or so posts that stay on the home pages at all times.

Depending on the type of WordPress theme you are using, you may or may not have more widgets available for use.

So, Do I Need These Widgets for My Blog?

Need, no. But if you want them, grab them.

The only thing I have against widgets is that they can also index in the search engines with the rest of your content, and this can be classified as duplicate content which isn’t good if you are looking to rank in Google.

It’s not something that will completely ruin you, it just looks a little sloppy. There are, however, plugins that you can use to prevent this from happening, which I will get to in a later post.

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Converting Blog Posts Into Even More Content

Anybody that is a blogger knows that creating content for their blog can take time and creativity.

You spend time learning about and experiencing something, then you decide how you want to write about it, and then pour your heart and soul into the piece. This may not always take hours, but the good ones usually seem to.

Wouldn’t it be nice though if there was something you could do to put your blog posts to their maximum use? To use them in more ways than one? Well guess what?
There is! Here’s how:

Repurposing Old Blog Posts for New Content

Why limit our blog posts to just the blog we are writing them for?

Instead, why not take the little nuggets of these posts and repurpose them into different formats of content that can be shared on other platforms, which will in return, give the original content more views, and even likes and shares.

This could mean converting your old blog posts into:

• YouTube videos
• Slideshows
• Images, Infographics
• Content for social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat – you get the picture
• Even content for a whole other blog

The possibilities are only growing, but the content formats I just listed are proven to be highly effective for getting more likes, shares and even followers to the original blog post.
Repurposing old content may take a little extra time, but the effort can go a long way over time and is one of the most simple ways to grow your blog for cheap.

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The Basics of Blogging: An Overlook

Blogging can be used for an array of purposes, but what I have mostly seen is to make money online or expand outreach on a company or brand.

To these people blogging can sometimes seem like a chore or a challenge while those that do it because they want to are usually in it for the passion. Either way, if you don’t have something different, unique, and important, then most people probably aren’t going to listen very much to you. See, the internet is a heavily crowded place, and a large chunk of that space is filled with bloggers. If you can’t find a way to rise above the crowd with your own unique spin then what makes you different enough for people to want to continue to pay attention to.

Find Your Voice

If there’s one important thing I learned about blogging it’s that you can’t care about what people think, and certainly not be afraid to blog with your real voice. Back in the old days when I started my very first blog, it pretty much bombed because I wasn’t really being me. I was blogging in this scared, weak little voice that just blended in with everyone else. It wasn’t until l broke out of that and into my own self that I was able to find success with blogging.

Other than that, here’s what else you need to know about the basics of blogging.

Know Your Topic

The more you do, the better quality of content you can create. This leads to more eyeballs on your content and more frequent visitors. But before you can even know your topic…

Know Your Purpose for Blogging. Like I said above, there are many reasons for blogging. What’s yours? Are you promoting a product or service for a company you work for or are an affiliate for? Or will this simply be a side project kind of like this blog is for me?

Either way you need clarity so you can figure out exactly who your audience is and construct your content specifically for them. This in itself will lead to more customers and conversions because at this point you are providing your target market with exactly what they need. In many cases they will even feel like the content was created just for them. And that my friends, is when you know you have done a good job with your subject.

Have Consistency

Any successful person in any industry will tell you that to get to the level they are at, they had to do certain things on a consistent basis and over a prolonged period of time. Well, blogging works the same way and if you want to make it big, you need to write continuously until you start to see results. Then scale it up and create even more results. It has also been proven that people return to profiles and blogs online that keep updated with fresh content every day, every week, or even just once a month.

Stay consistent and you will go far.

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