A Blogger’s Dreams

Write about blogging full-time. If you aren’t already a full-time blogger, is it something you’d ever aspire to do?

That is the dream. To make a lot of money off my writing and my blog and to quit my job as a result of that.  I do not have the luxury of making a proper living off the earnings that I make on this blog. In fact that has almost dried up to just a trickle. So much so that now I think it’s always gonna be this way. I was getting a lot of money at one point. From the end of 2018 till late 2020, I was getting quite a nice chunk of money for sponsored posts.

That money gave me the freedom to spend some money on myself. I bought two mobile phones, the ones that I use now, my current laptop, my computer chair, a lot of dvds and some Funko pops and even let me take a couple of 3 to 4 day holidays without having to dip into my salary money. That was an awesome feeling. But it hasn’t lasted and now I am lucky if I can make Rs.6000 a month from my blog. But the dream is still there that I can just make a bunch of money every month off my blog.

So I hope that does happen and I can live in ease and have all my needs & my family’s needs plus a lot of luxuries met just because I maintain a blog and write on a daily basis. Someday!

Prompt from 61 BLOG POST IDEAS FOR ANY NICHE | WRITING PROMPTS FOR BLOGGERS

Outline Your Writing Process

Outline your writing process. What steps do you follow when writing a blog post?

Ok. I don’t really have a schedule for releasing or publishing blog posts. on most days, I try to post one post in the hours before lunch (which is 1:30 pm for me) usually between 11:30 am to 12:30 pm. I usually will thought of a topic by the end of breakfast and will start to check on sources by then. So the one hour slot of 11:30 am to 12:30 pm is great for me to publish that first post. A second post is usually done around dinner time or slightly after dinner. But on weekends and days off it can vary. Usually I just spend about 90 minutes or close to 2 hours a day looking at what topics I want to write about and maybe an image or 2 to go along with it.

I do not really keep a planner and I honestly do not recommend keeping one yourself. Unless you are planning to write about certain topics that you get paid to do – in that case by all means, do keep a planner with notes or bulletpoints jotted down on a small notepad/scribblepad or even on Word/Notepad on your own pc/laptop. What I usually do is, if I get a few ideas about the topics that I want to blog about, I create them on WordPress and save them as drafts because I know that I will come back to them later. This way I don’t forget said topics and also I have my set of blog posts all mapped out for the next couple of days.

When you want to blog but you are unable to come up with a topic – is to use blog prompts. Simple as that! Just go to Google and search for blog prompts. If you want specific topic prompts then search for “blog prompts for (insert the topic here)”. What I have been doing is to search for “blog prompts for (insert the month we are in at the moment)” to get some specific topics for the month. There are several website and bloggers who share a bunch of prompts on a monthly basis and hence it is easy for us to find a topic to inspire us. If you do select one of them, please do link back to the blogger or website in return.

Prompt from 61 BLOG POST IDEAS FOR ANY NICHE | WRITING PROMPTS FOR BLOGGERS

Six Reasons Why WordPress Is The Best Platform For Your Blog

1. You Can Use WordPress for All Types of Projects

You might have heard that WordPress is a blogging platform. That’s not technically false, but the way the CMS is built also means you can use it for all sorts of projects. For example, you can use WordPress to grow your business, build virtual classrooms, create forums, run social media platforms, or power pretty much any other type of project you can imagine. If you own a small business, you can even set up an online store with WordPress and the WooCommerce plugin.

2. Learning How to Use WordPress Is Simple

WordPress is pretty easy to pick up, even if you’ve never dealt with a CMS or built websites before. Beginners are welcome! To get started, all you have to do is select a theme, maybe install a plugin or two, and then jump right into creating pages and other content. However, the great thing about WordPress is that there are always more ways you can customize the platform. Once you get the hang of it, you can start implementing more advanced functionality to gain full control over how your site looks. Even for experienced web developers, WordPress has plenty to offer. It provides a foundation you can iterate on more quickly, which is far more efficient than trying to build a site from scratch.

3. Themes and Plugins Give You Full Control Over Your Website

If you’re new to WordPress, you may not be familiar with the concept of plugins and themes. Let’s break down what both of them are:

  1. Themes: These are templates you can use on your website to alter its basic design.
  2. Plugins: These add new features and functionality to your site.

As we mentioned before, there are thousands of plugins and themes (both free and premium) available for WordPress. In most cases, you’ll find there are excellent free options for whatever style of features you want to implement on your site. That is in stark contrast with other CMSs, where some of the best ‘extras’ lie behind paywalls.

4. WordPress Websites Are Easy to Maintain

One thing you may not be aware of if you’ve never set up a website before is that they require a bit of maintenance work. With WordPress in particular, you have to stay on top of the following:

  • Updating the CMS as new versions come out
  • Updating your plugins and themes whenever you have the option to
  • Managing your site’s comments (if you choose to enable them)
  • Ensuring that your website is fully optimized and secure
  • Backing up your site often

In practice, none of those tasks should take up too much of your time individually. However, if you want to save time, you can always opt for a managed hosting service. Managed hosting plans get their name because your provider will take care of a lot of maintenance tasks for you.

5. You Can Optimize Your Website for Search Engines

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is all about making sure your website gets the traffic it deserves from the likes of Google, Bing, etc. There are a lot of things you can do to work on your site’s SEO. However, depending on which platform you use, optimizing your content for search engine results can either be simple or an uphill battle. With WordPress, you get access to a lot of powerful SEO plugins, such as Yoast SEO, All in One SEO Pack, The SEO Framework, and more.

6.  You Own Your Website and Its Content

WordPress is what’s called a “self-hosted” CMS. That means you can take the software and set it up on any server you want to use to power your website. The advantage of this approach is that you’re not tied to a single hosting platform. With a hosted platform, the provider can always suspend your account for one reason or another. With WordPress, on the other hand, you can switch hosts at any time. You can also make any changes you want to the CMS, and you have full ownership of all the content you create.

How Do You Overcome Writer’s Block?

Even the best writers struggle with creative block. Help out your readers by sharing with them some of your personal favorite strategies for getting back into the rhythm of writing.

So one of the easiest methods to overcome writer’s block – when you want to blog but you are unable to come up with a topic – is to use blog prompts. Simple as that! Just go to Google and search for blog prompts. If you want specific topic prompts then search for “blog prompts for (insert the topic here)”. What I have been doing is to search for “blog prompts for (insert the month we are in at the moment)” to get some specific topics for the month.

There are several website and bloggers who share a bunch of prompts on a monthly basis and hence it is easy for us to find a topic to inspire us. If you do select one of them, please do link back to the blogger or website in return.

Prompt from 100+ Blog Ideas to Inspire Your Audience from Wix Blog

Your Blog Content Schedule + Tips

So I don’t really have a schedule for releasing or publishing blog posts. I do it far too often and many times in a day to actually worry about creating a schedule. But first let’s see why experts say you should create a blogging schedule:

Once you’ve created your blog and chosen your topics to write awesome blog posts, the next step is to define a blog schedule that will help you publish those awesome blog posts super consistently to increase your:

  • Social media shares
  • Social media subscribers
  • Traffic
  • Newsletter subscribers
  • Customer conversions

Chances are, you’re looking to create a blog schedule because you’ve heard publishing consistent content can help you grow your blog. It’s true! Actually, folks who publish consistent content get as much as 30% more traffic for every post they publish.

Having said that on most days, I try to post one post in the hours before lunch (which is 1:30 pm for me) usually between 11:30 am to 12:30 pm. I usually will thought of a topic by the end of breakfast and will start to check on sources by then. So the one hour slot of 11:30 am to 12:30 pm is great for me to publish that first post. A second post is usually done around dinner time or slightly after dinner. But on weekends and days off it can vary.

As for tips, I will say that when you are not writing a post look for prompts or topics that you want to write about. Each week save atleast 5 to 6 of them and schedule them in your drafts. That makes it easier to remember that you have planned to write about them in the coming days. Select your resources and links to other pages and then when it comes to posting, you are almost all set.

Prompt from 30 APRIL BLOG POST IDEAS at BloggingHerWay

On This Day, April 24

On this day, April 24:

What Are Your Favorite Things About Blogging?

What are your favorite things about blogging?

Hmmm, everything? I like it as it brings out my creative side. It is an outlet and it is I also try to be as honest as I can on my blog. I don’t hold back – well maybe I might tone down the language a bit, even though I have thrown in a few choice words many times. Yet it is still very tame when I compare it with what I say when I get angry or think. I also try to post as much positive things as I can and keep it varied. It’s like a release from the day to day life and a way that I also let my frustration out. If I didn’t blog and use it as a therapy for myself, I might actually go a bit angry and nuts at things that happen to and around me along the week. Even sometimes at home, when I get pissed off because of family, even if I may not blog about that exact incident, I do find that blogging keeps me from acting out.

Sometimes that is more than enough and sometimes it’s not but it is akin to therapy. Another thing I learned is that this hobby of mine can and has made me a lot of money. When what you do during the downtime and as a hobby makes you a bunch of extra cash on the side which you can use to buy some things that you have been eyeing but maybe couldn’t buy at the time until you save some money, it is an awesome feeling. It’s a feeling that is so sweet that you cannot but be proud of yourself a little bit. Ok, I lie! It’s more like you cannot but be proud of yourself a lot.

When I first started blogging, way back in 2002 and on a different blog than this, it was mainly because I had made the move from my hometown to Calicut and I thought it was a good way to capture my thoughts, ideas and what I was going through and events that happen to me living alone in a new city. But over the years I have realized that I am blogging more for me than anyone else.

Prompt from 30 APRIL BLOG POST IDEAS at BloggingHerWay

Do You Have Any General Blogging Tips And Advice?


Write for yourself first : Write for yourself first & foremost. Ignore the fact that anyone else will read what you write; just focus on your thoughts, ideas, opinions and figure out how to put those into words. Write it and they will come.

Understand your audience : Understanding your audience better means you’ll have a better idea of what blog content will resonate with them, which is a good start when you get to writing blog posts. A great technique for doing this is to simply ask your readers first on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn with an engaging quote. If people respond well to it, than this is probably a great topic to write about. An example for this comes from Andrew Chen who famously “tests” his blogpost ideas on Twitter first.

Love your existing readers : Focusing on your readers is a great way to get to know them better. Love the readers you already have. A lot of bloggers get quite obsessed with finding new readers – to the point that they ignore the ones they already have. Yes – do try to find new readers but spend time each day showing your current readers that you value them too and you’ll find that they will help you grow your blog.

Be true to your voice : Stay true to yourself and your voice. People don’t care to follow sites so much as they care to follow people. Writing isn’t about picking the right topic; it’s about finding the right voice. What matters, what readers really resonate with, isn’t so much what you say, but how.

Be consistent : Consistency is one of the most important things that bloggers tend to forget. It’s much easier to lose your traffic than it is to build it up, so make sure you consistently blog. Over a two-month span, businesses that published blog entries on a regular basis (more than once a week) added subscribers over twice as fast as those companies that added content once a month.

Prompt from 31 BLOG POST IDEAS FOR MARCH FOR EVERY BLOGGER at The Sunday Girl

This Is A Good Time To Blog

Do you have a job, full time or otherwise and blog? How do you manage your time to allow you to blog? I’m sure others would appreciate a post full of pointers and tips.

Yes ofcourse. I do not have the luxury of making a proper living off the earnings that I make on this blog. In fact that has almost dried up to just a trickle. Back in late November of 2018 I started getting a lot of requests for sponsored posts. I started making a bunch of money off the posts that I was getting sent or, in some other cases, getting asked to write on a subject and insert said company/businesses links in the post. Either way is fine with me as long as they pay me.

So, I was able to spend money on a bunch of stuff but since mid 2021 it has all but dried up. I get some from one agency every month and my usual ones, who used to send me a lot of stuff in 2019 all the way up to end of 2020, now sends me stuff once in a while. That is never enough to sustain any kind of lifestyle. It currently just lets me spend some money on a few things, not too expensive, that I might need on a monthly basis. Like maybe a shirt or some beer or an import dvd set or two some novels. Or maybe a few beers. That’s about it.

So my full time job is what I use to feed my family (dad & mom) & pay the bills and have some left over for some fun. When I am not working I tend to spend a lot of time online. I make sure that I have enough time to create 1-3 posts, which includes sponsored ones as well as whatever I want to share. Sometimes even images and videos. I just do. Since I do not have a social life anymore. LOL!

Prompt from 31 BLOG POST IDEAS FOR MARCH FOR EVERY BLOGGER at The Sunday Girl

Time Spent Online Running Your Blog

Well the prompt asked how much time I spend online for running my blog. Well, there is no straight, easy answer for this and most bloggers. As I have a full time job and this is just a side thing (I do not make much money out of this blog anymore but did for a while) I do not spend that much time to plan out things and usually just post whatever I am interested in or something that I like or whatever is in the news that I feel like I should write about (like the death of a celebrity).

Almost on a daily basis, I also do check out the various blog prompts available by just giving a google search for prompts for the month and check them out. A lot of them are just keywords or whatever America deems the day to be (National butt plug day or whatever) and not real prompts. A lot of them are run by women and hence they have either women-centric or makeup / clothing stuff which I do not get into, ofcourse, being a guy. But there are some blogs that do have really worthwhile blog prompts and I use them and also leave a link towards their prompt page & blog url. It’s the least I can do.

So usually I just spend about 90 minutes or close to 2 hours a day looking at what topics I want to write about and maybe an image or 2 to go along with it. Sometimes it is the image that takes the most time as at times I can get rather picky on which image I want to have on the blog post. Some take like 5 minutes to select like in this post and others like this post a few days ago can take ages for me to decide. If I made a lot more money from this blog and it was my main source of income then I would probably spend a lot more time, like 5 to 6 hours a day on it.

Prompt from 127+ BEST BLOG POST IDEAS FOR EVERY LIFESTYLE BLOGGER IN 2022 at She Means Blogging

8 ESSENTIAL THINGS EVERY BLOG NEEDS

1. EASY TO NAVIGATE

Keep it streamlined and simple. You want to make sure your blog is easy to navigate so people can find what they are looking for, subscribe, follow, and stick around. If it is easy to navigate then your readers will want to stick around and read more content, thus creating a loyal reader. Creating categories on your sidebar is a good example of making it easy to navigate.

2. BRANDED THEME

When someone lands on your blog the theme and layout is what they first see and that’s their first impression of what your blog is about. Even if you have the best written articles in the whole world it simply won’t matter if your blog design is clunky and hard to read. A beautiful design is great, but remember you can find this for the right price. My theme is simple yet elegant, predominantly white with sparks of colour here and there. I use biscuit-lite by Pankogut.com but you can easily find some beautiful themes out there.

3. SEARCH FUNCTION

I think this is a given for any website and that ofcourse includes blogs. Make it easy for me to find what I’m looking for on your blog! Chances are, if I’m reading something on your blog I might want to read something else. So make your search function easy to find.

4. SOCIAL MEDIA FOLLOW

You want your readers and followers to connect with you on other social medial platforms. Facebook might be a bit too personal but you can create a page or account just for your blog. Do not forget to add something as simple as your Instagram link and display it on your sidebar or the header/footer. If you have quite a few links than create a separate block or page just for that. Just so people have every option to follow you.

5. CONTACT YOU

It is very important to create a way for people to contact you. A contact us page is essential for an agency or business who are new to your blog and while perusing around they suddenly have a great, paid collaboration idea for you. But wait! There’s no way to contact you. This can lead to many missed opportunities. It doesn’t need to be fancy. Just a simple way to email you works fine. I recommend having a contact page – I use – WPForms Lite connected to my Gmail account so I receive each submission as an email and if I choose to reply to them, then my email takes over.

6. SHARE BUTTONS

What if you reader enjoys your post or feels that your post is really important and has relevant information and wants to share it with their followers? They go to share but there are no share buttons! That is an opportunity missed! We want to make it as simple and easy as possible for people to share our stuff. I use the Simple Social Buttons plugins free options which I think is one of the best.

7. COMMENTING

This one is a given and I find it silly mentioning it here but…..Set up your comment system so that the majority of your readers can comment. A great option? Disqus. or Brian’s Threaded Comments.This is a simple, easy to use tool that allows comments and also helps you avoid spam.

8. ABOUT ME PAGE

And if your readers wants to know more about you? An About Me Page is a very essential part of your blog. Infact whenever I visit a new blog and enjoy a couple of the posts, then next thing I look for is to find out more about the blogger(s). If that is not available I am left wanting as will your readers. Create a page with information about, a photo or two and anything else you’d like to share.

Ways To Build An Online Relationship With Bloggers

Well, this is a very simple thing to say how to do and not that easy to get done. But there are a few things that you can do and which I have done. The very first thing, is you are a new blogger, after you create your own blog and have atleast a few blog posts published, is to look for blogs that you would want to read more than just a handful of posts. One way is to use google for the topics or search for blogs in the particular niche that you are interested in. If it is not a niche but bloggers from a particular country, state or city that you are interested in then do a search for that. There is always a list for them.

Once that is done you start reading their posts and if you find that you enjoy reading them, start commenting on them. Ofcourse add your name and blog URL in the comments so that they can easily check your work out. Then create a blogroll and add the blogs that you have liked and keep adding to them until you have a good number. Keep reading their posts and commenting and replying to their comments. Ask them to check out your blog and when they comment reply back to them. Soon you will have atleast 10-15 (after you keep visiting maybe 30 to 40 blogs) and now you have a small group  of bloggers you have a relationship with.

Point to note, a lot of the bloggers I have create a bond and friendship with have stopped blogging altogether and instead use Facebook & Facebook groups to get their posts across to their friends. Some also use Twitter. I am friends with most of them still so I am happy that we keep in touch. A few seem to have disappeared. It happens.

Prompt from 121 LIFESTYLE BLOG POSTS IDEAS TO WRITE ABOUT IN 2022 at SheMeansBlogging

Share Your Most Favorite Useful Blogging Tip.

There are several things I can say is a top tip about blogging, in my humble opinion. I have been blogging for a long time but consistent blogging since maybe 2005-06 and then on this blog since 2007. I am in no way the top level of bloggers in terms of advertising, popularity and income but yeah I have made a good chunk of change for posting some sponsored content over here. Especially since 2019. So what I am picking as a top tip is based solely on my experience.

I would say that be true to yourself and blog about the things that you want to blog about. The things that you are passionate and feel is important and close to your heart. If it’s a sport then write about that or a particular team that you support. If it’s rock music, then do that. Or if it is movies, television, atheism, religion, technology or books or anything under the sun, write about that. But you don’t have to restrict your blog to just one topic; if you have many things that you can and want to write about, then make it a personal blog so you can write about anything and everything. Which is what I do!

And I think that is why I have been able to make the money that I have made on my blog. The kind of topics, or categories as blogs state them to be, are vast and varied and therefore any of the agencies can contact me for sponsored posts on various topics. It won’t matter as I will do almost everything. Kinda like life itself.

Prompt from 121 LIFESTYLE BLOG POSTS IDEAS TO WRITE ABOUT IN 2022 at SheMeansBlogging

Revisiting My First Few Blog Posts From 2002

Revisit your very first blog post and reflect on how you’ve grown

Well, I have to go back all the way to 2002 and check my first few blogs posts to look back at them. So yeah, back in the latter half of 2002 I had moved temporarily to the city of Calicut and being away from my family and staying in the lodge and joining my first proper company – I thought the best thing would be to have some sort of record on that. Having spent a few months before that reading a few blogs that I enjoyed, I decided to start one of my own.

Even though I moved to Calicut by the end of July, it took me till October to actually start the blog on Blogspot. And initially it was more like updates of what I did, if I bought some shirts or cds or anything like that or if I watched a movie. It was sporadic at best and so it was like “hey guys, this is what I did during the last few days, I am back in Cochin or I was in Cochin and now headed back to Calicut”. The rare party with friends – yeah, I’d mentioned that and what we ate/drank.

If there was a function that I attended I would write about that. You get the picture. It was like a note taking thing, which I sort of enjoy. When I have a lot of free time I do go back and read some of those old posts just to see what I was thinking back then, what did I watch on tv or movie theatre and what was I listening to at the time. I read about old friends and it makes me smile and wish for the old days to be back. It is fun to reminisce.

Prompt from 31 JANUARY BLOG POST IDEAS at Bloggingherway.com

What Is A Digital Nomad? And What Are The Pros & Cons Of Being A Digital Nomad?

Digital nomads are remote workers who usually travel to different locations. They often work in coffee shops, co-working spaces, or public libraries, relying on devices with wireless internet capabilities like smart phones and mobile hotspots to do their work wherever they want. With 34% of remote employees working 4-5 days a week out of the office, the digital nomad lifestyle could be an exciting possibility if you’ve caught the travel bug and want to break free from the shackles of 9-5 life.

Living as a digital nomad, you’re able to see incredible places, learn from different cultures, and work when or where you want to — true freedom. There are many types of digital nomads out there. Some people travel around their own country by campervan or RV. Some live on sailboats, working from different ports of call. Others stay in backpacker hostels or rent Airbnb apartments while flying from country to country.

There are many upsides to the location independence that digital nomads enjoy. Who wouldn’t want to check off their ultimate bucket list while working from a laptop anywhere in the world? Here are some of the benefits:

  • Save money living in a low cost-of-living area
  • The flexibility to live where you want
  • Ditch the toxic environment of office politics
  • Experience new cultures & make new friends
  • Learn new skills or languages
  • Broaden your mind through travel experiences
  • Set your own schedule and take time off when you want to
  • Spend winters on the beach, and summers in the mountains!

Working from anywhere is a dream for many people. But like all life choices, there are both pros and cons to a nomadic lifestyle. Here are some of the downsides:

  • Moving constantly is exhausting
  • Your productivity can suffer
  • Digital nomads often battle loneliness
  • Finding stability is difficult
  • A general lack of private space
  • Travel loses its luster & wow factor

If you like to travel and move around from place to place, enjoying new experiences then this line of work can be really worth it. However knowing the drawbacks is also a good thing to keep in mind.

Recommended Specs For A Bloggers’ Laptop

As a long time blogger, I have been asked for recommendations for a laptop for someone who is mainly going to blog and ofcourse browse the internet. Since I am not a techie, I had to dip into some websites to find a proper recommendations for specs that a blogger can use. Here are some tips that you can look at before finalizing on a machine for your blogging purposes.

CPU
Avoid anything with the labels: Pentium, Celeron, Atom/Arm, AMD E2, AMD A9, A6, MediaTek unless you are going to buy a ChromeBook. However it is strongly recommended to get Intel Core i3 CPUs from the 8th gen upwards and AMD Ryzen 3 Chips. Core i5 Chips and AMD Ryzen 5 chips might be useful if you want to do some heavy photoshop+light video editing a walk in the park. Core i7/AMD Ryzen 7 chips and up are only useful for heavy video editors, most bloggers rely on simple cuts/transitions.

RAM
2-4GB is fine for ChromeBook/Linux/Windows 10 in S mode/MAC OSX set ups. 8GB is a must for  Windows 10 Home. 16GB (though that is what I have) is wasted unless you’re going to do some pretty hardcore video editing.

Display
Size: get the biggest one you can handle. Obviously, if you’re going to be on the move, you can’t go for a 17”.
Resolution: This is the most crucial part of the display.At  least a FHD resolution, the higher the better. Pair that with a 17” display you’d have an insane amount of free space to multitask. A FHD/Retina Display will also make a 13” display have enough space for you to work with.

Storage
Size isn’t important. The type of storage is. Now that HDDs are almost obselete, pick an PCIe NVMe SSD if you can. It will make your laptop soar through the sky and perform tasks several seconds faster which will add up to minutes then less hours spent blogging.