Top 10 The blue pill tips

Request for donations

Don’t underestimate the generosity of the online community, especially if you’re able to satisfy their thirst for information. By requesting for donations, you can dedicate more of your time creating and polishing your blog content. In return, your loyal readers will express their gratitude in the form of cash. PayPal can help you get a donation system on your blog working in no time. You simply need to sign in, configure your button’s style, and set the donation options you want to offer. The website should automatically generate the code you need to add your PayPal donation button to any page. It’s also available as a shareable URL and QR code. Just be mindful that the PayPal donation button is intended to be used by non-profit organizations. While it can be used by anyone to receive donations, you’ll soon have to transition to proper, creator-centric donation platforms. Better yet, turn your blog into a membership business to get recurring revenue from your audience.

Compress your images

So, you’re already familiar with cloud-based image editing tools and you’re excited to create beautiful visuals for your blog. Just remember to use lossless compression to reduce their size without compromising image quality. Keep in mind that images utilize more bandwidth than text when being loaded on a page. The bigger the image, the more bandwidth it requires — increasing the time it takes to show them on screen. An image compression tool like Kraken.io reduces this problem by shrinking the size of your images.  It also features a lossless optimization mode that lets images keep all visual information after being compressed. In other words, you get to reduce the file size of images with minimal changes in quality and clarity. You may be asking, what if I use a WordPress plugin like Smush to automate the optimization of my images? That’s not really a bad idea, but there’s something you need to know about plugins first.

Practice plugin hygiene

As a WordPress user myself, I understand why some bloggers get carried away when installing plugins. A plugin that integrates functional contact forms into any theme? That’s something I need! What about a plugin for a fancy, interactive calendar on your homepage? Yes, please. I get it — plugins are great. But if you install too many of them, you’re negatively affecting two things. First and foremost, too many plugins can bottleneck your website’s performance. Here’s the thing: every single plugin you install will consume precious server resources and inevitably impact your website’s performance. That’s why most all-in-one page builders tend to slow your WordPress site down unless you perform all the necessary optimizations. As soon as they’re activated, they create pieces of code — from CSS to JavaScript — that can bog down your site. On the bright side, there are countless proven plugins that are either lightweight or well-optimized out of the box. Even if they do impact your website’s performance, their effects are barely noticeable. Other than performance-related issues, having too many plugins may also affect your productivity. Have you ever tried working on your WordPress site with these many items on your dashboard? In addition to being distracting, too many plugins can also slow down the performance of the dashboard itself. There’s also the possibility of plugin conflicts that can lock you out of your WordPress account. As a rule of thumb, avoid installing plugins that have similar features. Also, be sure to check plugin reviews before installing them to see if other users are experiencing issues.

Niche down

The ever-rising popularity of blogging is a double-edged sword. True — it spurred in the creation of tools and services that make blogging more accessible than ever. On the flip side, the incredibly low barriers to entry have made blogging an extremely competitive industry. That’s why niching down is one of the most valuable tips any aspiring blogger can learn. You can’t just target broad markets like food, photography, or entrepreneurship and be done with it. Use advanced marketing analytics and keyword research tools like SEMrush to mine for niche ideas that are still feasible. You can read this niche research guide for more tips on finding the best niche for your blog.

Add a clickable table of contents

If your goal is to improve your content’s scannability, there’s a lot more you can do than just add subheadings. I, for one, commit to creating a clickable table of contents for each and every post. Long-time Master Blogging readers should already know this by now. With a clickable table of contents, readers can conveniently skip ahead to whatever section captures their interest. They no longer need to scan paragraphs upon paragraphs of text to find what they’re looking for. To create a table of contents for your blog post, you can use a WordPress plugin called Table of Contents Plus. It automatically scoops up elements on your content with the “heading” attribute and generates a list with clickable links.

Run simple contests

While helpful, you don’t really need a tool like Rafflecopter to run social media contests and engage your followers. Creative brands have been utilizing the built-in features of social media websites to run simple giveaways and competitions. If you search for “hashtag contest” on Instagram right now, you’ll see thousands of posts from brands who do this. Some of the mechanics you can combine to run your own contests are:

  • Require a Branded Hashtag — Picking the winners in a hashtag contest is as easy as can be. You simply need to search for the hashtag and let the site pull up posts with loads of engagement.
  • Ask Your Audience to Upload Pictures — A common mechanic in hashtag contests is to ask participants to upload a photo as their entry. Using this in your contest will help you raise brand awareness and earn some user-generated content in the process.
  • Require Participants to Like or Share — If your content prize is tempting enough, you may require participants to like your page, share your post, or both. Including this mechanic in your contest is guaranteed to maximize the value you get out of it.

Use AnswerThePublic to unearth more content ideas for your blog

If you find it difficult to formulate content ideas with keyword research, you will love AnswerThePublic. True enough, it doesn’t have as many features as most keyword research tools. What it does well is providing you with tons of potential, question-based ideas that will draw your target audience’s attention. Not to mention that AnswerThePublic is free to use. To start your content research with AnswerThePublic, enter a relevant keyword and click ‘Get Questions.’ AnswerThePublic will then generate a long list of questions that you can use as topics for your next blog posts. By default, questions are presented visually. For a clearer and more organized view of these questions, switch to the ‘Data’ view.

Make sure your pages are loaded with custom graphics

It’s simply inexcusable for any professional blogger to use royalty-free stock photos as their Facebook cover photo. Granted, generic-looking stock photos may work as temporary placeholders. But if you want to make a strong first impression on social media users, use custom graphics whenever possible. Don’t worry about the cost of hiring a professional graphic designer just yet. Any simple graphic with your brand’s value proposition should do — more than doable with tools like Canva and Visme. Other than your Facebook page’s cover photo, you should also make custom graphics for the following:

  • Instagram posts
  • Pinterest posts
  • Blog featured images when shared on Facebook
  • Twitter cover photo
  • YouTube channel banner art

Use Rubber Gloves to Pick up Stray Dog Hair

Does your dogs hair get everywhere, or is it just me? My favorite method for picking up all that loose hair is using a pair of rubber gloves. You put them on and run you hands over your furniture; it’s amazing how well pet hair clings to rubber gloves.

Use a Clicker to Reward Good Behaviors

Having trouble being consistent with giving out praise at the right time? Start clicker training to make marking their good behaviors much easier.