Author - Nick Throlson

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How to Make Your Blog More Engaging to Your Readers

In many ways, setting up and running a blog is easy, and just about anyone can have their site set up in just a few minutes and start posting content. However, although setting up a blog can be easy, getting readers to the site can be more challenging. There are a few ways that you can engage more with current and new readers in an attempt to build your following and create a site that makes you proud.

Create Good Content

If you have done your research on blogging, you will know how important your content is. No matter what your niche may be, you always need to provide something your readers want to know. One of the best ways to do this is to try and find a different spin on an existing topic. Find a popular or trending topic that fits in with your niche and look at it from a new perspective. People are always interested in differing opinion, even if it’s controversial, so thinking of a different angle can get you noticed.

Be Visually Appealing

Your blog is the face of you and what you want to say, so make sure it appeals to your readers. Many visitors like to have pictures or video to look at as this is more visually stimulating. However, there are also other ways to get your readers attention. Try adding documents or slides to your posts to reiterate a point or show a trend. There are sites such as DocRaptor that will help you convert these documents without any complications.

Be Helpful to Your Readers

Although your visitors will like to read what you have to say, you can make it even better by offering them a solution to a problem. There may be something within your niche that has always been difficult resolve; this gives you a great opportunity. By thinking about possible solutions, you will be giving people something they haven’t had before. Not only will this be engaging to your readers, but it will also be something they will want to share with others. You might be able to make it your angle, to try and solve those seemingly impossible problems.

Monitor the Trends

Whatever your blog is about, there will always be certain topics within it that are trending, or at least getting a lot of attention. To stay relevant, you need to find out what’s happening in the realm of your blog topic and write about it. For example, if you are a writing a music blog and a new band hits the scene, then you should be writing something about it. Readers will be eager to hear what you think, and it will make your blog relevant.

Social Media

Social media is by far the best way to reach your readers, not only because there are billions of potential people out there, but also because this is where the trending stories are. It is no coincidence that the clear majority of bloggers are hugely active on their social media accounts. They are all trying to gain a greater following and a larger readership. As with your posts, anything you share to social media should have a photo as these posts are more likely to be clicked statistically. You shouldn’t just use social media for sharing your content; you also need to get involved with conversations and get yourself out there. The more people see you, the more likely they are to follow you and then see your blog posts.

Offer Them Something

The promise of free information will often lure visitors to your site. If you can develop a short eBook or perhaps a PDF file with useful information or a ‘how to’ guide, then you will find people eager to read and download it. You need to make it your own and offer them something they cannot get from anywhere else. If you are looking to generate income from your site, then offer the first part for free and then make any subsequent parts available for a fee. If the content is good enough, then it will encourage people to pay for it.

Monitor Your Traffic

Sometimes gaining visitors to your site is a matter of trial and error. You can write something that is amazing, but it will only get a few readers, while something simple gets thousands. To find out what makes your readers happy, you need to analyze your visitors after each post to see how they react to it. You can then start to develop a strategy that you can incorporate into all your posts. Another reason for monitoring your site traffic is so that you can find the perfect time of day to post your content. Depending on where your visitors are located, they will be reading your latest post during their lunch break or when they are at home. By keeping your posting times the same, readers will anticipate it.

Keep Your Layout Simple

Have you ever been on a website that is so cluttered by options that you don’t know where to start? For many readers, seeing a site like this will be enough to put them off wanting to explore. You must keep the design of your site simple yet enticing, use images and buttons but keep the writing to a minimum. Most bloggers like to have their posts on the front page because its easier for the visitors to see it. While this is a good idea, it isn’t essential, if there is something else you want on your front page then do it. You must remember though, that you should make your blog easy to find from any page.

Whatever the reason you write your blog, make sure that you are interested in the subject matter. There is nothing worse than writing on a topic that you don’t like, it will make you demoralized, and this will show in your content. There are plenty of potential readers out there for everyone, so don’t delay.


Appeal To Your Audience: 3 Ways To Use Apps For Marketing

Appeal To Your Audience: 3 Ways To Use Apps For Marketing


Apps are more than just a toy. Companies are finding a growing use for them in the business world with apps designed to help with everything from project management to accounting. Apps can also be particularly effective when it comes to marketing. Here are just three ways to use apps in marketing.

Display ads on apps

In-app advertising is the fastest growing form of mobile advertising. Many apps display a picture and video ads within them – by getting your ads displayed in apps that your target audience uses you could help to attract more customers. Smartphone screens are smaller than PC screens and so ads need to be smaller and simpler to stand out, which could require hiring a specific in-app advert designer. Videos are likely to be more expensive to produce than picture ads but could help to make more of an impact. Companies like MoPub can help you to target specific apps using real-time bidding. This can often be more effective than standard pay-per-click advertising in which impressions can be a lot more random.

Download apps to help with your marketing

There are a number of apps that can help you with your marketing. Social media sites such as Facebook, Linked In and Twitter all come with their own apps, which could come in use for social media marketing. You can also make use of apps such as Buffer which can allow you to schedule posts for specific times on multiple social media sites. Meanwhile, there are apps like MailChimp that can allow you to manage mass emailing from your phone. You can even download apps for WordPress, which could allow you to write blog posts and edit your company website using your mobile device.

All of these apps can allow you to handle digital marketing on the go. This could be great for business owners that are rarely in the office, but still, need to keep on top of marketing.

Create your own app for marketing purposes

You can also create your own app as a form of marketing. If you own a store and want to encourage return customers, you could create a digital loyalty card app that gives people point and rewards every time they buy something at your store. If you’re a takeaway restaurant, you could create a menu app that people can order directly from. You could even offer discounts to app users as an incentive.

There are several ways to go about creating your own app. If you’ve got programming knowledge you may be able to make your own from scratch. Alternatively, you could seek out an app development company to build an app for you. There are also app builders out there such as Appy Pie, which can allow you to build your own app with little or no coding knowledge for free. This option is ideal for those only wanting a simple app, whilst the former options may be better suited for those wanting to create something a little more complex.

Set Up Your Own E-commerce Website?

Key Trends In User Identification Technology

As the internet becomes more and more an integrated part our day to day lives, becoming as commonplace to us as the radio, electricity or zinc, the dangers of it are becoming more apparent. Not just the danger of wasting valuable time watching kittens when you’re supposed to be working, but serious dangers such as cyber-attacks, loss of data, or even the theft of one’s identity.

It used to be you could impersonate anyone you wished on the internet, but developments over the past decade have helped ensure that our identities are more protected than ever.

So listed below are some of the key trends we’ve spotted over the past couple of years within the realm of user identification technology, and how they can help protect you and your identity whenever you’re using the internet.

Two Factor Verification

Usually, when you sign up to a website or something similar, there’s just one line of user verification. Most usually, this is the password. The problem is that even 12-character alphanumeric passwords with one lower case, one upper case, and one special character are actually very easy to bypass. And as most of us – perhaps unwisely – link most of our accounts to a single email address, if you find one breach the whole system is at risk.

As such, many sites are now employing two-factor verifications when signing up for an account, making important transactions, or when adjusting your account’s details. For example, as well as having a password, the website may also require a verification code sent to an email address or a mobile phone before any further action is taken.

This provides an extra layer of security so that even if someone has managed to guess your password they still can’t make any major adjustments to your accounts or your data without getting past that second layer. This at least delays them, and for casual attacks, that’s often deterrence enough, and can also alert you personally when they occur.

Use of Mobile Phones

We already mentioned that the two-factor system may ask you to link your account to a mobile phone so that verification codes can be sent if someone tries to access or adjust your account. In general, the growing universality of mobile phones has meant that many websites and companies are making use of them to protect their users and their identities.

Popular games developer Blizzard, for example, offers the option of a mobile phone verification app when users sign up to their online gaming platform, Battlenet. Whenever the user’s account is activated by a new device, a verification code is needed before access can be granted. Likewise, if anyone attempts to change the account’s password, or make any online purchases.

As it’s highly unlikely that the user’s mobile phone will be in the possession of the attacker, it provides a layer of security very hard to overcome.

Some companies, such as Cognito, have started offering similar services for a number of websites. Using their app, you can connect accounts to your mobile phone, thus ensuring they can’t be accessed without a special ID code.


Biometrics are nothing new – customs and immigration officers have been using biometric data to verify passport holders for quite a long time now. However, we’re starting to see biometrics see more use in our daily lives as well.

Most mobile phones now have the option to be secured using biometric data, typically a fingerprint or facial recognition. The phone then cannot be unlocked without that input, at least in theory. Many phones also maintain a typical pin code or pattern security system, as biometrics are notoriously finicky and do not always work as intended.

While not foolproof by any stretch, they provide a very convenient and quick means of providing user identification for our mobile devices.

New Methods of Data Storage

Recent events in which personal data has been acquired and illicitly disseminated across the internet due to the actions of hackers have also caused a rethink on how data storage is managed. If a hacker can access important personal information, such as your date of birth, address, or mother’s maiden name, they can use this to bluff their way into your accounts and cause all kinds of damage.

One solution is to ensure that no one organization has access to all your information, a process called blockchain. Instead, data is added sequentially in blocks using a “hash” of data from the preceding block.  Already used for bitcoin transactions, it’s a highly effective and secure method of protecting personal data.

Why I Stopped Using Facebook

Why I Stopped Using Facebook

If you use Facebook, I’m sure you’ve found yourself scrolling endlessly through feeds. How often have you found yourself scrolling for 10 or 15 minutes without even realizing it?

At first, it’s just a notification. Next thing you know, you’ve seen pictures of somebody’s vacation, some funny cat videos, and that little Billy lost a tooth. Who is little Billy anyways? Must be someone’s nephew. Then you realize it’s time to stop scrolling and get back to work.. but what was it you were working on again?

If you think about it, when was the last time that Facebook improved your productivity? A better question might be to ask, how much time have you wasted using Facebook? Don’t worry. You might not be wasting that much time as compared to the average user. Or you might be a Facebook maniac and not even realize it yet! (probably not).

Major Time Waster

An hour every day. That’s about the average time users spend on Facebook. All of those times checking notifications and getting sucked in really add up. And it’s pretty difficult to track yourself. Minutes seem to fly by while you’re scrolling.

It starts off as a simple notification. That’s the bait. And if you go for the bait, you’re likely to get hooked. That quick look at your phone turns into a few minutes. Those few minutes turn into about 7 hours a week, 28 hours a month, and two weeks a year (on average)! Now here’s where it’s going to get a bit uncomfortable. That amount of time adds up to about 8.4 work weeks. It’s like sitting at a desk working full time for 8 and a half weeks scrolling through Facebook. That’s a lot of time. And this isn’t considering the amount of time it takes to refocus your mind back to work.

Broken Attention

You’ve seen how much time the average Facebook user wastes on the platform alone. But there’s another effect at play here. It’s the amount of time it takes to refocus your mind. Have you ever noticed how long it takes to get that mental momentum back after taking a break on Facebook? It could take 10-15 minutes to get back in the zone. This is a hidden cost of pulling your phone out and scrolling through the app. You think you’ve only wasted 5-10 minutes but in reality, it took you another 10-15 to get your focus back.

It takes time to focus your mind on work. That momentum has to build up for you to get in the zone. And if you’re constantly looking at notifications and scrolling through Facebook every hour or so, you’re downgrading the quality of your work. How much can that cost your business, job, or school career?

Negative Effects

A lot of people have said they feel negative after using Facebook. And a lot of people have talked about the joy of leaving the social network. They talk about it as if a weight has been lifted from their shoulders.

I was reading Harvard Business Review recently and came across an article called A New, More Rigorous Study Confirms: The More You Use Facebook, the Worse You Feel. Doesn’t sound like a very positive article, right? Well, there are some positive takeaways. The study found that having a face-to-face social network in real life has some positive effects on overall well-being. But, on the other hand, Facebook users self-reported some pretty negative side effects of using the social network. The researchers found that liking posts and clicking links were predictors in users feeling negative in the areas of physical health, mental health, and life satisfaction. Researchers can’t pinpoint the exact cause but it may have to do with the way we compare ourselves to other people’s polished profiles and posts.

Deleting the App

I personally could tell that Facebook was draining my time and productivity. It felt like I was wasting hours looking through the feeds and other people’s lives. Look, I’m happy that someone somewhere got married and someone else’s kid lost their tooth. But I don’t need to spend my attention on those things when I should be working. And that’s why I had to get rid of the Facebook app. Now I just post to Facebook via Instagram without getting lost down the rabbit hole.

You might feel better too. Try deleting the app for a week. See if anything changes. Maybe you’ll find that you can accomplish more, have deeper focus, and feel better overall. The only way you’ll know for sure is to test it yourself. I did and it’s working out great for me.

Taking Your Blog as Far as It Can Go

Taking Your Blog as Far as It Can Go

So, you own a blog, but you want to do more than just own it, don’t you? You want to do more than just leave it sitting on the Internet. You want to do more than only upload a few pieces to it every so often. Yes, you want to take your blog as far as it can go, don’t you? Well, if you do, then you’ve come to the right place because comprehensive advice on doing so can be found below.

Run an e-commerce site concurrently with your blog

Yes, blogging success is not just about blogging. Yes, you have to offer more than just your blog if you want to take it as far as it can go. What this means is that you should offer more, and this more should come in the form of another site. And, there is a little better site to run concurrently with your blog than an e-commerce site.

By running an e-commerce site concurrently with your blog you will give your blog a genuine stamp of approval, a genuine stamp of approval being that the audience will see your blog as being professional. And, your blog is seen as professional in this sense is what it needs if it is going to be taken as far as it can go. But where will this feeling of professionalism stem from? Well, first of all, it will show your audience that you not only interested in informing and entertaining them with blog posts but that you are interested in offering them something to take away from their experience with you too. This will show that you value your audience and are not interested in them as traffic numbers, and that will make you seem as professional as a fully-functioning company as that is what the best ones do.

So, if you want to get your quest in taking your blog as far as it can go to the next level, make sure to focus on more than the blogging by opening up an online store. By doing so, you will even make some extra cash on the side through the selling of whatever it is that you sell.

Engagement is your best metric, so use it

No matter how big or small your blog is if you want to take it as far as it can go you need to be using engagement as its best metric. Why? Well, because a blog that is not engaging is not something the audience will want to go out of their way to click on, and a lack of a clicking audience in this sense will do nothing for you in your quest for blogging superstardom.

When it comes to engagement, first of all, you should be ensuring that you are uploading pieces to your blog frequently and that it never turns into a barren, post-less wasteland. Whether this means you writing and uploading the blog pieces yourself, or whether this means delegating it to contribute writers if you simply do not have the time, you simply must be ensuring your blog is always active. And, the pieces you do upload should always be thought-provoking or informative in some sense or another, and they should never be a repeat of any pieces you’ve uploaded before.

Something else that you should be doing when it comes to boosting your blog’s engagement performances as far as they can do is to work on your SEO. By doing so, and by doing so alongside a professional in the field of doing so such as, you would be able to get your blog right to the front of every search engine search that takes place in your blog’s field or market. And, only when this happens will you blog be attracting the high volumes of audience numbers it needs to see itself go as far as it can go.

Keep your blog up at all times

Something that is just as detrimental to your blog as uninspiring content and a lack of content is it going down and becoming inactive. You see, when it does this, quite simply, those that clicked on it with the attention of scouring it for entertainment and information purposes will bounce right back off it, and them bouncing right back off it as a cardinal sin that must be avoided. So, make sure your blog is up and running and is accessible at all times.

To do this, you should enlist the assistance of something known as an uptime operator. What such an operator would do is watch your blog at all conceivable points for instances of downtime, and would alert you to it happening via SMS or email. It would then be your task, as the owner of your blog, to do everything in your power to get the blog back up again before anybody else clicks on to it and bounces away from it due to a lack of patience with it.

One of the best uptime operators on the market is UptimeRobot, and it would be wise of you to use it.

Blogs are precarious things. One moment they can be fruitful and attracting, the next they can be a wasteland that doesn’t offer anybody anything. So, first things first in your quest to taking your blog as far as it can go, make sure you are avoiding that fate! Second of all, make sure you are taking heed of all of the advice above and implementing it into your blogging practices — when you do, your blog will flourish in no time.

For more advice on how to make your blog better, make sure to head here.