V – How to plan a variety of ideas for your blog posts. #AtoZ

V – How to plan a variety of ideas for your blog posts. #AtoZ

AtoZ blogging challenge

A couple of days ago I shared a post — ‘Schedule your posts‘ — where I spoke about creating a content calendar for your blog to be prepared with a post bank and save yourself from Writer’s Block.

Creating a content calendar ensures a post on your publishing days. It also gives you a fair idea of which topics you have covered and which need to be written about.

Today, I am trying to write about planning a variety of ideas for your blog so that it becomes easy for you to schedule your posts.

This gets easy if you have a niche. I mean, if yours is a travel blog, or a food blog, or even a health blog, like mine, then you already have solved half the problem.

You know which topics you can possibly work on.

And even if it’s not a niche blog, you can decide on a variety of topics to be scheduled for the future! In fact, I feel that is easier on a personal blog. It’s like a diary where you share your thoughts, anecdotes from your daily life, or views on certain matters you might wish to share with your readers.

For a niche blog:

Mine is a health and wellness blog. And, I have divided this category into four sub-sections.

Physical Health – fitness and its importance, various fitness regimens.

Mental Health – mental illness, care for caregivers, etc.

Emotional Health – practicing mindfulness, meditation, self-care…

Food & Nutrition– kinds of diet, benefits of different foodstuffs, etc.

I have divided my diary into four parts, where I plan my posts every month. And, in every section, I note down related topics as and when I think of them. Or, maybe when I come across a topic while reading the newspapers or a health magazine and feel I could write it from my point of view.

So, basically, if you first make a list of topics you could write on for your niche, or on your chosen subject, it becomes easy slotting the topics throughout the month. Allotting a topic per section throughout the month gives equal focus to every sub-category.  Even your experiences can be worked upon for a post when it comes to a health post or a travel post.

This being the first time that I am working this diligently on topics for a particular category and on creating appropriate content for my blog, this post is actually for me, to remember when I create the calendar for the coming months.

I hope you are able to take something away from this post; something that might help you in preparing topics for your blog, if you are a newbie blogger.

If you have any suggestions regarding how to plan topics for a niche blog, do share. Your pointers will be helpful for me as well as my readers.

Thank you!

Love,

SHILPA.

April 2018 A to Z blogging Challenge

My theme for the A to Z Blogging Challenge is all about my blog, Metanoia, and my blogging journey from the time  I started, 5 years ago. The lessons I learnt, the tips and tricks I picked up from fellow bloggers and the guidelines I could have used back when I began.

You will find all of my A to Z posts here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

U – Ultimate Blogs to follow. #AtoZ

U – Ultimate Blogs to follow. #AtoZ

A to Z blogging challenge

As bloggers, we all need inspiration and guidance. And, both of these we find in abundance in some of the really fabulous blogs in the blogosphere. Just visiting these blogs and reading the amazing posts helps motivate us to give our best. It also teaches us so much about writing, expressing our views and honing our skills.

There are some blogs I visit almost every time there’s a new post there. Some, that have become not just a favourite place, but also where I get to learn a lot. Like an institution, perhaps. There are also some that I may not visit regularly, but whenever I do, I come back feeling so good!

And, there are some blogs that I discovered during this ongoing A to Z Blogging Challenge.

Today, I am sharing the Ultimate Blogs for you all to follow, if you aren’t already. You will not only find awesome stuff to read but, believe me, you will come back feeling enlightened, enriched. You will find a lot of information in some and through others, you will be able to learn how to work on presenting your posts; crafting your posts till they shine with perfection!

I shared with you my favourite Book Reviewers‘ blogs, and also my favourite Food blogs  some days ago. Do read those posts if you haven’t.

The following bloggers blog about varied topics, but the topics I have mentioned here, are the ones I find most inspiring as well as entertaining at their respective blogs.

 

Ultimate blogs to follow:

For Blogging, social media strategy and writing:

The Moving Quill, by Shailaja Vishwanath

For Mindful living and Motivation:

Collecting Smiles, by Vidya Sury

Everyday Gyaan, by Corinne Rodrigues

Never ever give up hope, By Carol Graham

Godyears, by Dr. Roshan Radhakrishnan

Sirimiri, by Mayuri Nidigallu

For travel:

A rose is a rose is a rose, by Shilpa Garg

Astonishing India, by Shoma Abhyankar

Shalzmojo, by Shalini Baisiwala

Sonia’s musings, by Sonia Chatterjee Banerjee

For fiction:

I wrote those, by Sid Balachandran

Rashmi’s Ramblings, by Rashmi Raj

Loose end of the thread, by Varad

I rhyme without reason, by Vinay R

For parenting: 

Diary of a doting mom, by Shailaja Vishwanath

Rachna Says, by Rachna Parmar

For feminist writing:

Random thoughts, by Nabanita Dhar

Life of Leo, by Soumya Prasad

For personal  essays:

Trina looks back, by Balaka Basu

Natasha’s Musings, by Natasha SInha

For fitness:

Destiny’s Child, by Rajlaksmi Boruah

 

So, these are just some of my favourite blogs! There are many more I visit and find equally entertaining. And, many more that I intend to visit in the future. Visit, as well as discover their beauty and awesomeness!

So, until next time…I mean, until the next such ‘Ultimate Blogs to Follow‘ post…

See y’all!

Love,

SHILPA.

April 2018 A to Z blogging Challenge

My theme for the A to Z Blogging Challenge is all about my blog, Metanoia, and my blogging journey from the time  I started, 5 years ago. The lessons I learnt, the tips and tricks I picked up from fellow bloggers and the guidelines I could have used back when I began.

You will find all of my A to Z posts here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

T – Tidbits. #AtoZ

T – Tidbits. #AtoZ

AtoZ Blogging Challenge

‘Tidbit is a small and a particularly interesting piece of gossip or information.’

And, who doesn’t love such tidbits!?

I have a place on my blog especially for tidbits; posts that are light, frothy and fun to write about and read.

Not all of my ‘Tidbit’ posts are gossip, though, some are just about anything that’s a part of a regular day or even musings of an idle mind. Funny, crazy thoughts about mundane things that, when looked at differently, can give them a whole new identity.

So, in this section, you will find a post on 30 odd questions I answered to let my readers a peek into my mind and my Life.  Questions that are the kind curious friends ask;  information that is often used as fodder for idle gossip, and having some fun at our expense!

There are some like this post that I wrote to pep myself up on a boring day. It was just something I shared about myself. Posts like these often bring you closer to your readers.

We bond over topics that seem mundane but are so relatable! It’s all girlie talk, really. Just chatting about jewelry,  clothes, makeup, hobbies, or how we spend a regular day with our friends can feel so refreshing, isn’t it? No serious talk, just plain and simple gupshup!

This post on unusual words was another fun post I enjoyed doing. Searching for words I haven’t heard of, neither use, was a distraction I needed when I did this post. It was fun reading comments for this post, too!

A Book lover’s tag and Anything but books were two book-related posts that shared some of my weird book habits and also some gossip I wanted to share with my friends.

So, writing posts on tidbits is an enjoyable activity. The thoughts just pour at a steady pace as if you are chatting with a friend sitting alongside you, sipping coffee as you go yappity yap!

Writing such posts can be relaxing. For there are times when there isn’t anyone around to talk to; times when you just wish to chat with a friend about nothing in particular, nothing serious, just casual stuff. That’s when you type a post as if you are chatting with a close friend.

Readers enjoy these posts because they are so genuine, so true to heart. And, readers respond to these posts in a similar tone, too. They reciprocate by sharing stuff they feel like talking about — stuff that’s, well, just stuff!

I hope you enjoy reading my Tidbit posts, and write similar posts on your blog, too. Believe me, it will really feel like an evening spent gossiping with a close friend!

April 2018 A to Z blogging Challenge

My theme for the A to Z Blogging Challenge is all about my blog, Metanoia, and my blogging journey from the time  I started, 5 years ago. The lessons I learnt, the tips and tricks I picked up from fellow bloggers and the guidelines I could have used back when I began.

You will find all of my A to Z posts here.

 

 

S – Schedule your posts. #AtoZ

S – Schedule your posts. #AtoZ

AtoZ blogging challlenge

Earlier, when I blogged at, ‘Feelings’, I blogged as and when I felt like it, writing on topics that came to mind, or on prompts I found interesting. Some days, however, the mind would go blank and Writer’s Block would set in, leaving me perplexed and frustrated.

What do I write about, I would wonder. Every topic that came to mind stayed there for a few indecisive moments and then went away, leaving me where I started — with a big question mark.

However, after creating Metanoia, I decided I would write on fixed days of the week, on topics concerned with my niche. And, it was around last year that Shailaja shared this post by  Nandita Iyer on scheduling posts and creating a content calendar for blogging.

I found the idea extremely helpful.  It helps if you have a niche blog because then you can plan your posts for the next six months or even a year and be prepared with your posts in time.

I haven’t been able to plan for an entire year, but I have been planning for a month in advance, as of now. But once the A to Z concludes, I will begin planning for two months, at least.

Timetable for your blog

This is the timetable I created in my diary as I prefer using a pen and a book to do all the planning.  I do make changes as far as book/movie reviews go as I might not be able to complete reading a book, or find time to watch a movie. I also move posts around if I feel a particular category gets less attention. I leave Sundays free for art I might feel like working on an impulse.

Metanoia is primarily a health and wellness blog, but I also write motivational posts and food posts for Flavoursome Tuesdays, as well as posts on writing. So, I make sure all the categories are covered in a month.

Since making this calendar and scheduling posts, I haven’t faced the Writer’s Block. And, that is the most important reason behind preparing a timetable for your blog.

It also saves time; you have your posts ready for your publishing days and you can also work on the topics well in advance, with all the research in place as well as the images required for sharing on the various social media platforms.

If planning a year ahead seems daunting, you may plan for just a month, to begin with. Slowly and steadily, as you get used to this concept, you can start planning for 2-3  months or even six months, as you feel comfortable. And be assured you will never be stuck with that big question mark, ever again!

So, do you prepare a calendar for your posts? How do you plan ahead? Do share with me.

Love,

SHILPA.

April 2018 A to Z blogging Challenge

My theme for the A to Z Blogging Challenge is all about my blog, Metanoia, and my blogging journey from the time  I started, 5 years ago. The lessons I learnt, the tips and tricks I picked up from fellow bloggers and the guidelines I could have used back when I began.

You will find all of my A to Z posts here.

 

 

 

R – Relationship with blog readers. #AtoZ

R – Relationship with blog readers. #AtoZ

A to Z Blogging Challenge

 

Today — the 20th of April — is a day I will never forget in my life. Last year, on this day, I lost my pet dog, Chikoo. He was my son, the apple of my eyes, and lived with us for almost 13 years.

This morning, I dreamt of him and woke up with a start. And, since then, my mind was restless and sad. Writing this post was the last thing on my mind, although I had been pushing myself to work on it since morning.

So, I sent out a message into the Universe, and to my friends on my FB Page, that  I needed help in choosing the topic for today’s letter. And an outpouring of suggestions awaited me when I logged into FB after some time.

I was deeply moved by this love shown by my readers and chose this topic suggested by my dear friend,  Shilpa Garg. Shilpa and I were, I believe, twins in another life. No wonder then that she came up with the perfect topic!

Maintaining a  healthy relationship with the readers of your blog is a very essential part of blogging. It’s after all the reciprocity that takes place between you and your readers that helps your blog survive!

To repeat what I said in one of my older posts, I had no idea about commenting or building a rapport with my readers in the first few months of my blogging journey.

It was only after I began observing other bloggers that I realised the necessity to bond with my readers. Caring, as in responding to their comments, visiting their blogs if they, too, are bloggers,  or communicating with them if they weren’t,  was what I needed to work on.

And, believe me, it works like magic!

WHY YOU NEED TO CONNECT WITH YOUR READERS:

You need to reach out to your readers. Appreciate how they share their feelings with you, and be genuine in your conduct with them.

Readers often leave behind comments sharing their views, or similar experiences from their life. Some readers pour out their heart to you–a stranger–hoping to find the patient listener they might so crave for. Reach out to them. it’s how you will learn to bond with your readers.

Your readers are the reason why you blog, why you survive as a blogger!

At times, their words may be full of praise for your work, but, at others, their comments may also reflect an attitude that opposes yours. Accept it all bravely. For all you know, in their criticism, may lie a suggestion for you to change your writing style, or the way you express.

We are all unique, so isn’t it natural that our reactions towards others’ thoughts will be unique, too? Opinions may differ; words used might also be laced with bitterness. But, as a blogger, I believe, it’s our responsibility to accept their stance sensitively.

And, if some reader does leave behind bitter comments, refrain from replying in the same tone. it will only lead to acrimony. And, we sure don’t need that sort of negativity on our blogs, do we?

Not everyone will approve of your way of thinking.  Accepting others’ views with an open mind is the key to avoiding clashes of any sort or any bitterness.

It is from our readers that we learn a lot.

Their words often give us clues as to what we need to focus on, what works and what doesn’t.

And, finally, it is because of our readers, that our blog grows, reaching to a height we never thought possible!

So, do reach out to those who grace your blog with their presence. You owe your success to your readers.

 

Your readers are the reason behind your survival as a blogger. Connect with them.

April 2018 A to Z blogging Challenge

My theme for the A to Z Blogging Challenge is all about my blog, Metanoia, and my blogging journey from the time  I started, 5 years ago. The lessons I learnt, the tips and tricks I picked up from fellow bloggers and the guidelines I could have used back when I began.

You will find all of my A to Z posts here.