Where to Get Logo Design Inspiration When You Need Help

Where to Get Logo Design Inspiration When You Need Help

You probably know this feeling…you sit down, ready to start designing a logo for your client and…nothing. Zero. Zilch. Nada. The logo design inspiration fountain runneth dry.If that sounds like you (sometimes), you’re definitely not alone. It’s something all creatives struggle with, which is why we have terms like writer’s block and designer’s block.And if you are hit with designer’s block, sitting there stewing about it is rarely the best way to approach the situation. So to that end, let’s go through some tips for where to get logo design inspiration when you need help. I’ll split the list into two parts:

  • A list of websites where you can get design inspiration
  • Some non-website tips to help get the creative juices flowing

What’s The Line Between Inspiration and Plagiarism?

I want to lead with this because it’s a hot debate whenever the topic of inspiration comes up. My take is this:

If you have to ask the question, you’re probably leaning towards plagiarism.

Inspiration should be about using an existing idea to inspire a new idea. It’s not rote copying.

While not all of my tips involve looking at other people’s work, I think it’s important to consider because you always want to stay respectful of the work and creativity of others, even if you draw on it for inspiration.

The Big Tip: Logo Design Inspiration Websites

The Internet has left us spoiled for choice when it comes to logo design inspiration. Beyond the ability to instantly pull up any brand’s logo from pretty much any point in history, there are whole websites dedicated to providing you with an easily filterable gallery of logo inspiration.

Below, I’ll take you through some of the best options when it comes to inspiration sites.

Behance and Dribbble

I lumped these two together because I’m guessing you’re already familiar with them if you’re a graphic designer.

On the off chance that you’re not, both Behance and Dribbble are design portfolio sites. Or, as Dribbble puts it, “show and tell for designers”.

While it’s not all logos, you can find plenty of logo inspiration by simply searching for something like “logo”.

Logospire

Rather than opting for any type of filter, Logospire is one long infinite scroll of logo design inspiration. You just keep scrolling. And scrolling. And scrolling. Until you find one that catches your eye.

The sheer volume of logos flashing by is a good way to break free of a design funk.

Logopond

Logopond is the opposite of Logospire. Instead of one long feed, you can search for logos by both title and tag. Then, you can further refine your queries by categories like:

  • Client Work
  • WIP (work in progress)
  • Unused
  • Student Work
  • For Fun

If you want inspiration on a specific topic, it’s a good option for niching down your inspiration sources.

LogoLounge

LogoLounge is another inspiration site that focuses on making designs searchable. Currently, LogoLounge offers up more than 260,000 designs, which should give you ample opportunity to strike inspiration.

To browse all those logos, you can search for keywords and then sort by chronological order.

The only downside? LogoLounge is not free. If you want access to those 260,000 searchable logos, you’ll need to shell out $100 per year.

Reddit

If you’re not familiar with Reddit, it’s basically a collection of different topic boards called “Subreddits”. These subreddits cover pretty much every topic in existence. Including…

Design inspiration.

You can find subreddits for both pure design inspiration, as well as for design critiques that might spark something creative in you. It pays to search around, but some good starter subreddits are:

Non-website Ideas for Logo Design Inspiration

If the websites alone aren’t lighting a creative fire for you, here are some other ideas to help get the creative juices running.

Brainstorm With a Mind Map

Sometimes it pays to go at things conceptually. Brainstorm ideas, concepts, and aesthetics that apply to the logo. Then use mind mapping to connect associations and find patterns.

If you’re not familiar with the concept of mind mapping as it applies to design, The Graphic Design School put together a great post with some examples of how mind mapping can help spur creativity when it comes to graphic design.

To actually get your thoughts down, you can either use pen and paper or go high tech with a tool like MindMeister.

Doodle it Out

It’s easy to become too focused on creating something “productive”. Sometimes, it pays to take a step back and just let your mind take your design wherever it wants to.

Imagine you’re back in your middle school days just doodling away on your notebook. Even if you don’t find sudden inspiration in the doodles, you’ll still succeed at clearing your mind, which is a win all by itself.

Go For a Walk

I’ve met plenty of designers who swear their best source of inspiration is stepping away from the screen and going for a walk outside, whether that means nature or the city streets. Not only is it another way to take your mind off the issue, but it also opens you up to all sorts of inspiring sights and sounds.

Additionally, a Stanford study found that a “person’s creative output increased by an average of 60 percent when walking.” So walking is actually scientifically proven to make you more creative!

Look to the Past

If your client is an established entity, they may have a back catalog of logos that you can pull inspiration from.

Can you take one of their original concepts and pull it into the modern world? Or maybe an element in their old designs kicks you into gear.

Live to Fight Another Day

If none of the above is working for you – you may just need to completely take a step back and return another day.

Sometimes it’s just not the right time for creative work – and when that happens, there’s no use banging your head against the wall (unless you have an unavoidable deadline, of course).

Wrapping Up

The array of logo design inspiration websites that have popped up make it easy to quickly draw upon hundreds of thousands of logo examples. But they’re not always an instant source of creative eureka.

Sometimes, it pays to step back and let your mind wander by mind mapping, doodling, going for a walk, or anything else that helps jog your creativity loose.

But as we as know – this is a fairly personal thing. So I’d love to hear from you all. Where do you look for logo design inspiration?

9 Best Screen Capture Software for Video Tutorials and Client Walkthroughs in 2017

9 Best Screen Capture Software for Video Tutorials and Client Walkthroughs in 2017

Have you ever needed to record your screen to show a demo of your software, give someone a walkthrough as a tutorial, or create a video of your screen for an online course? Screen capture software is perfect for this. Screen capture software includes tools to capture all or portions of your screen in high definition, and allows you to easily edit, add information such as text or audio, add interactive buttons, and lots more. Some even include features such as live-streaming.

 

9 Best Screen Capture Software for WordPress Video Tutorials and Client Walkthroughs

Most of the apps on this list were made specifically for creating training videos. Some are for Mac only, some are for Windows only, and others work on both systems as well as Linux. Prices range from free to several hundred dollars. I’m showing the prices for commercial use. The software might be cheaper than I’ve shown, but the cheaper prices will either show watermarks, limit the features such as time of recording or number of recordings, reduce the editing features, or specify they are for home use only. The apps are in no particular order.

1. QuickTime

QuickTime 7 Pro for Mac from Apple unlocks editing functionality within the QuickTime 7 Player. Editing features include creating slideshows with music, cropping, resizing, compression, and adding special effects. You can also convert images to different formats. The Pro features are purchased through the free app. QuickTime X (10) Ships with Mac OS X. It includes video editing, screen recording, capture of video and audio streams, visual chapters, file conversion, sharing to YouTube, live streaming, and GPU acceleration. Its screen capture features keep users from copying DVD’s. It removes support for a few of the popular formats, so some have preferred version 7.

Price: $29.99 | More Information

 

2. ScreenFlow

ScreenFlow from Telestream provides video editing, screen recording, and screen-casting for Mac. Anything or any part of the screen can be recorded with high quality. It evens records iOS, meaning you can record your iPhone, iPad, or Apple TV. It includes tools meant for software tutorials such as mouse click effects, pointer size, and displaying any keys that are pressed. Editing tools include callouts, highlights, annotations, transitions, text, audio and video filters, and even multi-channel audio. Animations include graphics, titles, and logos. It also includes closed-caption support. The intuitive interface is easy to learn for anyone without video editing experience. It has lots of publishing options.

Price: $99 | More Information

 

3. Screenium

Screenium from Synium Software provides screen recording for both Mac and iOS. It provides recording at 60 frames per second to create a smooth video recording. It will record full screen, windows, or a selected area. Editing features include cutting, text, audio, effects, transitions, and animation. You can embed picture-in-picture clips from a webcam so you can appear within the video or show additional slides or images. It has smart zooming to highlight areas on the screen. Videos export to multiple platforms including YouTube, Vimeo, Facebook, Flickr, and messages and mail apps.

Price: $49.99 | More Information

 

4. Screen Recorder

Screen Recorder from Icecream Apps works on Mac OS X and Windows 10 to capture any area of the screen as either a screenshot or a video in HD. You can draw, add text, and add arrows while you’re performing the screen capture. It even includes project history so you can see previous versions of the images and videos. Zoom while recording and select a mouse size and area so you can record a specific region around the mouse. Trim, convert, display hot-keys within the video, set screen captures on a timer, and perform audio adjustments.

Price: $29.95 | More Information

 

5. Camtasia

Camtasia from TechSmith uses an intuitive drag-and-drop WYSIWYG editor for both Mac and PC. You can record any portion of the screen all the way down to an individual pixel. Add callouts, shapes, and arrows. Insert video using your webcam. Build videos with multiple tracks for video, audio, images, and text. Import media with 4k resolution. Add transitions such as intro or outro to the beginning or end of a clip. Add voice narration, audio effects, video effects, and even green-screen. You can even add quizzes so you can know how much of the video was viewed and by whom. It includes animated backgrounds, graphics, icons, and royalty-free music tracks that are safe to play on YouTube and Vimeo.

Price: $199 | More Information

 

6. Snagit

Snagit, also from TechSmith, is a simple screen capture and recording app for Windows and Mac. Capture screenshots, record video, edit images, and share your files. It includes markup tools that make it easy to edit and customize every screenshot. Click and drag to capture any portion of the screen. Record, narrate, and trim video. A magnify tool lets you focus on one portion of the screen. It can be expanded to capture Android and iOS and send photos and videos to the Snagit editor from your mobile device. It will even capture multiple types of scrolls. Panoramic capture is used for wide horizontal scrolls and infinitely scrolling webpages. Scrolling capture helps to capture something that’s not showing on the screen vertically, horizontally, or a scrolling area. It will also create animated GIF’s.

Price: $49.95 | More Information

 

7. Snap 10

Ashampoo’s Snap 10 for Windows allows you to capture and edit anything on your screen including the entire screen, multiple windows at once, a web page, or individual sections, and turn them into images or videos. You can add arrows, graphics, automatic numbering, etc., to create self-explanatory steps. Live editing lets you add text, drawings, and voice narration rather than having to add them in post-production. Visually show mouse and button clicks within the video. Add watermarks, include information on the source page, and include other graphical metadata and links. Videos can also be converted to animated GIF’s.

Price: $49 | More Information

 

8. Open Broadcaster

Open Broadcast Software is a free open source software studio for Mac, Windows, and Linux that’s made specifically for video recording and live streaming. Designed with gamers in mind, it records directly from your graphics card in HD in full-screen at 60 frames per second. It includes real-time video and audio capturing and mixing to record unlimited scenes. You can switch between scenes using custom transitions. Video editing includes filters such as chroma, color correction, color keying, masking, etc. Audio filters include gain, noise gate, suppression, and VST plugin support adds even more features. It’s easy to configure and you can set up different configurations based on profiles. The studio mode lets you preview the video before publishing.

Price: $Free | More Information

 

9. Flashback

Flashback, from BlueBerry Software, is a screen recording app for Windows. It will record any part of your screen from multiple monitors to create a video file. It will also record from your webcam and will record audio. It includes pro editing tools so you can draw on the screen, add notes, callouts, text, images, cut, crop, add blur effects, synchronize audio with video, etc. The files will export to any major video format. Schedule your recordings and add watermarks, interactive buttons, create start and end titles, etc. Zoom in to any part of the recording and use auto-tracking for the mouse so the action stays in view.

Price: $99 | More Information

 

Final Thought

Screen capture software provides you with the tools to create videos of your screen, allowing you to easily create your own software tutorials and walkthroughs. There are a lot of screen recorders out there to choose from, but this quick look at 9 screen capture programs will help you narrow it down so you can select the best software for your needs and budget.

How to Defeat WordPress Spam Users: Identify, Delete, and Prevent Future Registrations

How to Defeat WordPress Spam Users: Identify, Delete, and Prevent Future Registrations

Back when WordPress was just for blogs, spam users weren’t really a problem site owners had to combat. But as WordPress has expanded into membership, multi-user, BuddyPress, and all kinds of other sites with open registration, WordPress spam users have become an all-too-common problem for many site owners.

Spammers target WordPress registration forms to create bot accounts that spam links and/or try to inject malicious scripts. But guess what? With a little know-how, you can fight back against these nasty folks and rid your site of spam users once and for all.

In this post, I’ll take you through how to identify and delete existing spam users. Then, I’ll show you how to proactively prevent WordPress spam users once and for all.

Why WordPress Spam Users are a Problem

Spam users can hurt your site both internally and externally, which is why they’re such a nuisance.

On the internal side, spam users bloat up your database and just generally make it harder to manage your site. If you have to sift through hundreds of spam users to manage the real users, you’re going to waste a lot of time. Similarly, if your server has to store heaps of spam users in the database, it’s going to work less efficiently, too.

Spam users can hit you on the external side by posting spammy outbound links, which can hurt your site in the eyes of Google. If you’re running something like BuddyPress, spam users might even send private messages to legitimate users, which your real users certainly won’t appreciate.

So, end the spam user problem once and for all by learning how to identify, delete, and prevent WordPress spam users.

How to Identify and Delete Existing WordPress Spam Users

Once you implement prevention methods, you hopefully won’t need to do this very often. But if you’re just starting out, you’ll first need to identify (and then delete) any existing spam users.

If your spam problem isn’t too large, you might be able to do this manually by bulk deleting users who exhibit spam behavior. If you’ve got a real infestation, you’ll want to turn to a plugin that can automatically go through and detect spam users.

How to Bulk Delete WordPress Spam Users Manually

The simplest way to delete spam users is to just go through your Users tab and check the users you want to delete. Then, you can bulk delete them by choosing the Deleteoption from the Bulk Actions dropdown.

Bulk delete WordPress spam users

Of course, doing this with the default WordPress screen options is infuriating because it only shows 20 users per page. Thankfully, you can change this number by clicking on Screen Options in the top right corner of your WordPress dashboard:

screen options

Then, change the Number of items per page box to the number of user accounts you want to display on each page.

items per page

If clicking a couple hundred checkboxes doesn’t appeal to you, you can also automate some of this process by using a plugin called Bulk Delete.

Bulk Delete allows you to bulk delete users that meet criteria like:

  • Specific User Roles
  • Specific Meta fields
  • Last login date
  • Registration date

If spam users are thoroughly mixed in with real users, these criteria may not be especially helpful. But Bulk Delete is great for cleaning up a one-time attack where the spam accounts all registered on similar dates or eliminating old spam users who logged in once but haven’t been back since.

Identifying and Deleting Spam Users with a Plugin

If you have too many users to identify manually, you can turn to a plugin called SplogHunter (formerly known by the somewhat awkward name “WangGuard”) to automatically identify and remove spam users. I’ll also discuss the proactive prevention part of this plugin in the next section.

SplogHunter goes through your existing users and compares them against its database of sploggers/spam users. If there’s a match, SplogHunter will mark that user in a new “Splogger” column. You can then easily delete spam users after verifying they’re not real people:

bulk actions

SplogHunter also provides an easy Report as Splogger button that both deletes a user and adds them to SplogHunter’s centralized database (similar to how Akismet functions for comment spam).

Note – as you can see in the screenshot, there is still WangGuard branding in the most recent version of the plugin. Rest assured that SplogHunter and WangGuard are the same thing.

How to Prevent Spam User Registration on WordPress

Do you know the old saying “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”? That definitely applies to spam users on WordPress. If you stop them from registering in the first place, you won’t need to worry about identifying and removing them.

There are a number of ways you can block them:

  1. Fortify your sign up form with CAPTCHAs – this is my least favorite method because it requires real people to verify they’re not a robot, which isn’t good for user experience.
  2. Use a plugin that compares signups against a database of spam users – this is a better method because it doesn’t inconvenience real people. It just quietly blocks known spam users.
  3. Add access rules to prevent sploggers – if you notice that most spam users come from, say, .ru domains, you could create a rule that blocks anyone from using an .ru email to register.

Now, I’ll share some plugins that can help you implement one or more of these checks:

Captcha by BestWebSoft – Add CAPTCHAs to Registration Forms

BestWebSoft

If you want to require all your users to fill out a CAPTCHA before signing up, you can use Captcha by BestWebSoft to add a simple math equation to your forms. Again, I don’t think you should go straight to CAPTCHAs. But if you have a really bad spam problem, it’s a good way to knock out spam right away.

Key Features:

  • Works on login, registration, recover password, comments, and contact forms
  • Adds a simple math equation that fools spambots
  • Allows users to get a new question if it’s too difficult
  • Can configure the difficulty of the math questions
  • Includes letter and number CAPTCHAs as well

Price: Free | More Information

SplogHunter – Automatically Flag Spammers Without CAPTCHA

SplogHunter

In addition to filtering out existing spam users, SplogHunter can also protect your registration forms without requiring users to fill out a CAPTCHA. When users sign up, they will be automatically compared against SplogHunter’s crowd-sourced spam user database.

Key Features:

  • Blocks spam sign ups without CAPTCHA
  • Spammer database is constantly updated because it’s crowd-sourced like Akismet
  • Works with WordPress,WordPress Multi-user, BuddyPress, and bbPress 2.0
  • Can manually block specific domains from registering

Price: Free at the time of writing (there is talk of moving to a freemium model) | More Information

Note -you will need to obtain a free API key from WangGuard/SplogHunter to properly use the plugin.

WP-SpamShield Anti-Spam – Full-Service Anti-Spam

SpamShield

WP-SpamShield Anti-Spam is a highly-rated plugin that handles spam protection for every aspect of your site. Part of that includes your registration forms.

The plugin works in a very smart way. It protects you with both JavaScript/cookie protection AND and an anti-spam algorithm. It also doesn’t use CAPTCHA, which I’m a fan of.

Key Features:

  • Protects against registration spam as well as comment, pingback, and other forms of spam
  • Doesn’t utilize CAPTCHA – no front-end impediments to users
  • Works with BuddyPress, bbPress, WooCommerce, and a variety of other forms

Price: Free | More Information

Wrapping Up

WordPress spam users can be a real pain for anyone running a site with open registration. These bots can harass your real users, bloat your database, and damage your SEO with spammy outbound links.

But, if you implement the right protections, you can root out spam users and prevent them from even registering in the first place.

Before inconveniencing your human users with a CAPTCHA, you should try a plugin like SplogHunter or WP-SpamShield. If you still have a spam problem while using those plugins, then you might consider blocking specific domains that are spamming you or adding a CAPTCHA.

Become a Better Blogger: Essential Blogging Skills Every Business Needs

Become a Better Blogger: Essential Blogging Skills Every Business Needs

Whether you want to attract more clients to your freelance service or business, drive more customers to your store, or just build a bigger audience for your blog, it’s vital that you understand the essential skills that every blogger needs.

In the past, we’ve published a few articles on this blog about the benefits of content marketing and how to grow your WordPress business through better blogging. However, in today’s article we’re going to cover some of the essential skills almost everyone needs in order to find success online.

Even if you aren’t writing the content yourself, it’s important to have a good understanding of what good content looks like. This knowledge will help you to recognize whether someone is a good writer for your blog or not. It will also enable you to determine if the work they do for you is up to standard.

Whether you’re already involved in the growing WordPress economy, or you’re looking for a way in, blogging can be a great entry point. Having a busy blog can also help accelerate the sales of your WordPress-related products and services.

So whether you’re totally new to blogging or you just want to brush up on your skills, here is the essential knowledge that every blogger needs in order to grow their audience. Whether you want that audience to go on to become customers, clients, or your join your network, these tips will help you get the best results from your efforts.

1. Know Who You’re Writing For

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Know your audience

Whether you’re a freelancer in need of a steady stream of new prospects or a business looking for more customers, I hope that you already have a good idea of who your ideal client or customer is. This persona is who you will be writing your blog content for.

However, if you’re blogging to build a reputation, grow an audience, or cultivate a following, you might not have given as much thought to the topic of who your ideal reader is.

Creating a Reader Profile

The more specific and detailed you can get when it comes to creating the profile of your ideal reader, the more focused your content will be. As your content becomes more zoomed in on your ideal reader, the more it will resonate with them, offer real value, and help turn them from a one-time visitor into a subscriber or follower.

Find Your Niche

Essential-Blogging-Skills-Niche-Down-shutterstock_220526536-BoBaa22

Find your slice of the market

When it comes to determining who you’re writing for and what your ideal reader looks like, niching down as much as possible is the goal here. If you want your blog to serve WordPress users, for example, what type of WordPress user do you want to attract?

Are these WordPress users:

  • Coders
  • Web designers
  • Hobbyist users
  • Blog owners
  • E-commerce store managers

Then there are the other things to think about, such as their location, their age, whether they are an Apple or PC person, if they prefer cats to dogs, if they value time over money or prefer to invest their time and learn how to do the job themselves, the list goes on…

Overcome the Resistance

I’m sure in your field, you can niche down more than you have already. However, you might be resistant to niching down as much as is necessary. This is understandable. You don’t want to turn away potential readers or customers who fall outside of your laser focused target demographic.

However, being specific about who your target reader or customer is doesn’t mean excluding everyone else. It just means that when your ideal prospect comes along, they will instantly connect with what you have to say.

Instead of leading with a bland message, in the hope of not turning anyone away, do the opposite. Really refine your voice to ensure your target audience simply can’t turn away.

Furthermore, the better you’re able to flesh out the persona of your ideal client, customer, or reader, the easier it will be each time it comes to sitting down and writing a new blog post.

2. What Action Do you Want Them to Take?

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Define your goals

Armed with your ideal reader profile, it’s almost time to start writing. However, before you do, there are a few more points you need to be aware of.

The next task is to determine what you want your visitors to do after they’ve found their way to your blog and started reading your content.

What Are Your Goals?

Essential-Blogging-Skills-Goals-Shopping-Cart-shutterstock_259703696-Titov-Nikolai

What’s the next step in the journey?

If you’re blogging purely for businesses reasons, then you should already have an idea of this. For those who are blogging to grow their business, the next action typically could include deciding to become one of your clients or customers. While for bloggers with less tangible goals, such as growing an audience or building a platform, the desired next step in the visitor journey might not be as clear.

However, even for business owners and entrepreneurs, the next step in the client or customer acquisition journey won’t always be the same. If you are promoting low-ticket products or services, then yes, the desired action you want your reader to take is to add the item to their cart and make a purchase.

Don’t Just Shove Your Offer in Their Face

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Don’t try to cold sell

However, if you are promoting high-priced items, such as high-end web design projects, online training courses, or big-ticket products like a car, simply presenting visitors with the opportunity to make a purchase often isn’t the best approach.

Start a Relationship or Qualify Your Leads

Essential-Blogging-Skills-Survey-Leads-shutterstock_335129690-Axsimen

Evaluate your leads

The higher the price of the item you are offering, the more you’ll have to do to warm up your prospects before asking them to make a buying decision.

One way of achieving this is to ask your visitors to complete some other action that will help you to either qualify them or start building a relationship with them.

If you’re a web designer, but only want to work on projects in the $20,000 to $50,000 price range, then you need to qualify your leads as quickly as possible to exclude tire kickers and projects with a budget outside of that range.

detailed online form that asks essential questions can help you to quickly filter out unsuitable leads. Another example would be scheduling an appointment for an investigatory call as soon as possible to see how serious the prospect is.

If you are offering high-priced products that typically aren’t purchased online, then the next step in the buying journey might be to arrange a live viewing or test drive, or to seek permission to send out an information pack.

For those of you offering high priced training courses or coaching programs, you ideally want your visitors to sign up to your email list as the next step towards your final goal. This then gives you the opportunity to connect with them through a free series of emails, before presenting them with the opportunity to sign on the dotted line.

Using a free email course as a lead magnet, can help you start a relationship rather than have a request for money being your first point of contact.

If you aren’t in it for the money, and are blogging to build your audience or for some other reason, then you’ll still want your readers to take an action after they’ve read your content. This could include asking them to join your email newsletter, become a follower on social media, or some other action that gives you a way to keep in contact with them.

If you really think about it, each project has its own individual acquisition journey – whether you want to acquire a new customer, client, or follower. Knowing what action you want your visitors to take next will help ensure your blog content is aligned with that goal.

3. How Can You Help?

Essential-Blogging-Skills-Help-shutterstock_270348401-Ingka-D

Help your audience through your content

Ok, so now we know who we’re writing for and what the purpose of our blog, it’s time to fill in the missing gap: establishing how to best help or serve your audience.

If you want to get your visitors to take the next step in the journey you’ve mapped out for them, you’ll need to give them something in return. What your visitors are looking for here is value.

This value could come in many forms. This includes more literal interpretations of value such as helping them to save money or generate more revenue.

Alternately, if could just be providing entertainment, information, or a welcome distraction from what they should be focusing on instead.

We all find value in different places. As you’ve already created a detailed reader profile, you should be able to determine what value your audience is seeking and how you can provide it.

Once you’ve delivered some form of value, whether it’s advice, inspiration, information, or entertainment, it’ll be much easier for your visitors to accept the offer you’ve laid out for them and take action.

4. What to Write About

Essential-Blogging-Skills-Writing-shutterstock_267096290-CandyDuck

Time so start writing

So now the moment you’ve been waiting for: it’s time to start writing. But what should you write about?

The best way to get started is, with your detailed reader profile by your side, begin thinking about how you can provide your target audience with valuable content, in a format that they would appreciate.

What Questions Can You Answer

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What questions are you asked?

A good place to start is thinking about the questions you can answer. Think about what questions you are often asked by your clients and customers. This can be before, during, and after you’ve made a sale or completed a project. Do your friends and family often ask you for help or advice in certain areas?

These questions and requests often cover the same topics your target audience are searching the internet to find answers for.

Essential-Blogging-Skills-Google

What are people asking Google?

Not only will answering these questions on your blog help your content receive traffic from the search engines, but it will also provide real value to your audience. Using your blog to answer these questions, helps remove any doubts they might have about taking the next step in your buying journey.

Examples of this could include:

  • How much does X cost?
  • What does the process involve?
  • Does X work or is it a scam?
  • Is X better than Y?

Using your blog to answer the typical questions your audience will have, can help them to overcome any last minute objections they have. This in turn enables them to move forward with confidence.

How You’ve Helped Others

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Share your successes

If you want to gain the trust of your audience, you’ll need to demonstrate why they should take you seriously.

If you’re blogging to promote a product or service, then you can use completed projects or examples of your products being used by your customers as inspiration for your blog posts. Instead of simply publishing client or customer feedback and testimonials, interweave that content into blog posts.

Tell the story of how you were able to help. Be sure to include the results the user revived, and how others can benefit from your expertise. This approach can be applied to your web design portfolio too. Don’t just present the finished projects. Instead, explain what the problem was, how you solved it, and what the results have been for the client.

What You’ve Already Accomplished

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Tell your stories

One of the best ways to connect with your readers is through storytelling. If you’re using your blog to promote yourself, create blog posts that share the stories of how you’ve been effective in the past.

Make sure you’re not simply showing off or bragging, but that your stories include actionable advice that your readers get value from.

If you want your visitors to start a relationship with you – whatever your end goal – you must be able to provide real value and demonstrate your credibility.

Essential Blogging Skills Final Thoughts

Embracing blogging can be the start of an exciting journey. Creating your own content that is published online for the world to see can be nerve racking.

However, if you stick with it, your blog can open up many doors and opportunities that just wouldn’t have occurred otherwise. From new relationships, greater business growth, and countless other opportunities, the benefits of blogging are numerous.

When it comes to putting virtual pen to paper, your blog posts can take almost any form, from list posts and interviews, through to case studies and tutorials. This level of freedom on offer can at first, seem daunting.

Although there really are no hard and fast rules as to how your content should read or look, there are a few blogging guidelines you can use to get started. After that, you can start thinking about finding your true voice and getting more creative with your content.

Blogging can take up a large amount of time, especially if you’re more invested in the other tasks of your business. However, by understating who you are writing for, what your goals are, and knowing what to write about, you can become a much more productive blogger. And if it all seems like too much work, there are plenty of freelance bloggers out there, standing by to take over the writing duties.

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