6 Ways to Create Compelling Blogs

The goal of a blogger is to create compelling content that educates and entertains.

Bloggers want to keep readers coming back for more—especially if the blogger works hard at creating captivating blog posts.

6 Ways To Create Compelling Blogs

1. Write with a compelling voice that makes the reader feel as if they're having a great conversation with the writer.

If you talk to the reader, not talk at them, they're more likely to read the post, not just skim the copy. Like Jared Polis said, "For me, blogging is just like talking."

2. Punch up the copy with something unexpected.

Something unexpected might be a quote that emphasizes the point, like the quotation from Jared Polis that I used above. Or it might be something that makes the reader think like what Warren Ellis said, "I think blogging is a muscle that most people wear out."

You could use a startling statistic or fact, anything that amuses the reader or inspires deeper thinking.

3. Use numbered lists.
Number those items!


Readers love this because psychologically they feel as if they're getting step by step help in an area—and they really are. People like reading lists for information.

4. Use metaphors and similes that speak to the audience's cultural experiences.

I often use a baseball metaphor because I love baseball. Just about everyone understands a reference to "hitting a home run." Sports allusions are great for male readers, but female readers understand them too. Sports are part of our cultural background. Don't be afraid to use sports, literary, political, or whatever-floats-your-boat metaphors and similes.

5. Reference what others have done. 

Why re-invent the wheel? Point your readers to other blogs that contain information that will help them. Acknowledge the body of work that has already been created. Give links if possible. Honor your fellow writers.

6. Feel free to blog about subjects many others may have already addressed.

Different writers can, and do, present the same information in many different ways.

Maybe you've read 100 articles on writing, but article number 101 is the one where you really "get it."

The way you write about something may be the way that speaks to someone who desperately needs to understand the information you offer.

Takeaway Truth

To be a blogging success, keep these 6 tips in mind as you plan and write your posts.

Month by Month Blog Post Ideas, Part 1 of 2

What I hear most often from bloggers is that they can't keep coming up with ideas for a blog post.

Here's another tip to help you with this so you don't have to get a headache dreaming up ideas.

Today's Blog Post Tip

Always have some resources that can nudge your imagination. By this, I mean a specific list of something you can go to time and again to mine for ideas when your imagination is on strike.

One of these resources should be the Monthly Tie-In because every month of the year is special for something: holidays, retail sales of certain items, commemorative days, etc.

You can do a google search of what a particular month is noted for or use my list that follows as a resource. Add to it. There are many things about each month that's special and that "specialness" may also trigger a memory of an experience you had about that event.

Not on the list below are each month's birthstones, astrological signs, and flowers as well as books whose subject matter can tie in to special celebrations and events.

My Resource List of Monthly Tie-Ins: January - June

January
  • after Christmas sales
  • New Year's Day
  • resolutions
  • self-improvement of every variety
  • review some of the latest books about diet, fitness, vacation planning, self-improvement
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Day
  • starting new projects in the home, work, hobbies, etc.
  • International Holocaust Remembrance Day
February
  • Chinese New Year
  • Black History Month
  • Library Lovers Month
  • Valentine's Day and everything involving love, romance, relationships, marriage
  • President's Day in the U.S. may spark ideas of past presidents, history, accomplishments, quotations, speeches
  • Baseball spring training starts. Whether a fan or not, did you play baseball as a kid? Got memories to share?
March
  • St. Patrick's Day
  • Easter
  • Daylight Savings Time starts in the U.S.
  • spring begins
  • Mardi Gras 
  • Girl Scout Day
  • International Women's Day
April
  • April Fool's Day
  • spring flowers
  • allergies
  • World Health Day
  • World Earth Day
  • National Poetry Month
  • National Autism Awareness
  • National Walking Day
May
  • May Day
  • Mother Goose Day
  • Kentucky Derby
  • Star Wars Day
  • Cinco de Mayo
  • Police Officers Memorial Day
  • Armed Forces Day
  • Mother's Day
  • Memorial Day
June
  • National Heimlich Maneuver Day
  • National Pen Pal Day
  • Flag Day
  • Bastille Day
  • Summer begins
  • D-Day Remembrance
  • National Cancer Survivors Day
  • Father's Day
  • Old Maid's Day
  • Graduations of every type
That should get you started. Next week, I'll post another list for July through December.

Takeaway Truth

Having a resource that generates blog post ideas each time you go to it makes blogging more enjoyable.

Our Dog's Favorite TV Show

Frosta toasting the New Year (just water).
I just read a post by Connie Vines on Romance Gems that made me tear up because it brought to mind our amazing dog, Frosta.

She was a miniature poodle and was the 7th birthday gift of our youngest daughter.

Darling Daughter of course named her. She wanted to call her She-Ra, Princess of Power, after her favorite cartoon heroine.

I cringed. "Here, She-Ra."

One of She-Ra's Power Princess friends was a superhero chick named Frosta. I thought Frosta could kind of be nudged into Frosty, an appropriate name for a white poodle.

So the compromise worked, and Frosta became a part of our household. She was the smartest dog I've ever seen and had a vocabulary the equal to a toddler's. Bed, cookie, walk, ride, sit, stay, heel, lie down—dozens of words and hand signals.

Frosta's Favorite TV Show

I'd always read that dogs don't really "see" television because their vision process "works" differently than ours.

However, one day I was flipping channels, with her lying next to me on the couch. The theme music came on with a boy calling, "Lassie." I had landed on a cable station that showed the really old black and white Lassie TV show.

Lassie barked and came running. When Lassie barked, Frosta jumped up, off the couch, ran to the TV cabinet, and looked up at the TV.

As long as Lassie was on screen, Frosta gazed raptly at the TV. I told my husband and daughter about it, and they laughed. Hubby said it was a coincidence.

A couple of days later, the same thing happened when he was flipping channels. I decided to conduct a Lassie experiment.

I placed a footstool in front of the television and turned it on at the scheduled time. The minute Frosta heard the theme music, she came running. She jumped onto the footstool. Tail wagging, she barked when Lassie barked. Then she sat on the footstool and watched the entire 30 minute show.

I'm ready for my close-up.
It was the most amazing thing I'd ever seen—until I said, "Lassie," and Frosta would bark and wag her tail.

After a few days, I always placed the footstool in front of the TV and turned it on so Frosta could watch her show. I took a picture of her on the footstool, watching Lassie. I guess the picture is in one of the dozen boxes of photographs. I'll have to look for it.

Takeaway Truth

"A dog will teach you unconditional love. If you can have that in your life, things won’t be too bad." —Robert Wagner, Actor

Training My Posture with Upright Go

I know what I want for my birthday—an Upright GO 2 NEW Posture Trainer and Corrector.

Technology meets physiology in this device.

My chiropractor has told me that part of my problem with my neck/shoulder/back pain issue is my posture.

Over years of constant computer use, I developed the terribly bad habit of leaning to the right to use my mouse and slouching when I get tired after too many hours at the computer without a break.

Bad habits are hard to break, but I think this little gadget I saw last week will help me get back to the excellent posture I once had.

Product Description

Boost Your Health: Meet UPRIGHT GO 2 the simplest, fastest and most natural way to improve your posture in just 2 weeks. Healthy upright posture strengthens back and core muscles, stimulates better blood flow and promotes overall well-being.

Stay Connected: Download the UPRIGHT GO app for iOS and Android and sync your device with your phone to start your daily training sessions and tracking your progress.

Perfect Your Posture: You can easily create custom training programs with the UPRIGHT GO 2. In training mode your device will gently vibrate whenever you slouch. You can adjust the sensitivity, training time and vibration intensity in the UPRIGHT App.

Track Your Progress: Tracking mode turns off vibration alerts, and keeps accurate stats on your posture throughout the day using enhanced, multi-sensor technology.

Create Lifelong Habits: Develop a daily practice of posture awareness and correction. Most of our users notice significant improvement within just 2 weeks of using the UPRIGHT GO 2. Discover what good posture feels like.

Takeaway Truth

I don't want to wait for my birthday to roll around. I've named the Upright GO 2 NEW Posture Trainer and Corrector my reward for finishing the 2 books I'm editing this month. Once I have it and have used it for a month, I'll give you a report.

Review: 6 Underground

Ryan Reynolds, the star of 6 Underground, a Netflix original movie that premiered Dec. 13, 2019, is a master of the stone-faced one-liner.

In a movie like Deadpool, he effectively conveys emotion even as he's mouthing a one-liner that elicits laughter and probably makes the viewer cringe at the same time.

That skill or talent—whatever you wish to call it—must be why he stars in this flick. In fact, the movie may have been built around him for that ability.

Storyline

Six individuals from all around the globe, each the very best at what they do, have been chosen not only for their skill, but for a unique desire to delete their pasts to change the future.

My Thoughts

6 Underground is one action scene after another, stitched together with Reynolds and his one-liners.

The opening car chase sequence is...well, let's just say some stunt drivers got a big payday from the lengthy scene that left little room for charaterization.

In fact, characterization was tossed in as an afterthought later in the movie, rather than making it a way of letting the viewers get to know the characters and learn why they were doing what they were doing—which was preposterous in the extreme.

Rather than creating a story about a character/hero that the viewer could like and root for, the movie depended on Reynolds's onscreen personality in similar movies to make him, as hero, appealing to the viewer.

Takeaway Truth

Sorry, Mr. Reynolds, Mr. Bay, and the other talented cast members. Thumbs down from me. This movie will probably appeal to people who like loud crashes, mind-numbing action sequences, stunts of all kinds, and disengaging the brain while watching. The rest of you can probably find something better to do with 2 hours and 8 minutes.

Design Great CTA or Call To Action

If you're marketing anything online with the hope of selling it, then you need to have a great Call to Action, or CTA, which it's usually called.

What makes a good CTA?

One that is not click here-do something for me.

You know, that's the one we unfortunately end up putting in our newsletters, websites, and blog posts because we're in a hurry or tired or not very imaginative.

How to Make a Good CTA

Put the focus on what you want to give the person reading your newsletter or blog post...what you want to share with the reader.

You want to give them some information that might be useful or helpful in some way to them. You want to share something interesting, something they might want to know...something that will excite them.

If the reader is already a newsletter subscriber or blog follower, then you want to reward them in some way.

Bad CTA: "Buy my book that was released today!"

Good CTA: "Want a free sample of my latest book? Here's how you can get it." (Embed the link to your NL or blog or webpage where the sample is contained in the last sentence.)

Good CTA: "My latest book contains my family recipe for Chicken Enchiladas. If you want that  recipe now, here's how you can get it for free." (Embed link etc. Of course, with the recipe you can have the book's cover art, buy link, a short compelling blurb, and where in the book the recipe occurs.)

In other words, make your CTA organic and compelling as well as giving to the reader. 

Worst CTA ever: (I get these all the time!) Someone follows me on Twitter so I follow them back. Immediately I get a direct message saying: "Buy TITLE OF BOOK by AUTHOR NAME now for a riveting reading experience." OR "Buy TITLE OF BOOK by AUTHOR NAME and leave a review!"

Nope. Won't buy, and definitely won't take the time to read and review.

Takeaway Truth

Don't be guilty of Bad CTA Behavior. Give to readers. Share with readers. Let them get to know you.

Beauty Tip: Get Blur Moisturizer Primer

I'm the kind of woman who likes to have my hair styled and my makeup on when I leave the house.

I've always been girly that way. Until...

Until I started seeing the chiropractor once or twice a week about 6 months ago.

I discovered I liked sleeping later—especially if I had a pain-filled night—instead of getting up early to do the hair and makeup thing.

But pain doesn't make one look her best, does it?

So I compromised. No makeup, but applying this "blur" moisturizing primer, Maybelline New York Master Prime.

I discovered it made me look a little less like death warmed over when I left the house on those mornings.

I was actually surprised that it helped that much. The one shown above is the one I use, and it's $5.29 for a one-time purchase or $4.50 if you subscribe, which I do. It evens out any redness in the complexion. There are several to fit various skin tone needs.

Takeaway Truth

This isn't a beauty blog, but I thought I'd share this little secret.