10 ideas for creating new blog posts

Do you run out of  ideas to post to your blog regularly? Here are some tips that may help:

1. Blog your passion. Identify what your passion is and blog about it. Track news, network with people in your niche. You will never run out of ideas about your passion. 

2. Draft your ideas. Actaully, we do have lots of  ideas to blog. Note them somewhere and create draft posts for them. Even filling the title of the posts with your idea is a good start. It will act as a reminder and you will always have lot of ideas waiting to be converted into posts.

3. Find what people search for. review your visitor stats and find what search keywords people are using to find your blog. More often, they may land in the wrong page or a general page. Create specific posts on those topics with more info.

4. FAQ posts. Do you reply to the same questions in email, forums? Create a Frequently asked questions post out of it. It is easy to send / post this link hereafter. This saves your time and brings you new visitors.

5. Blog your comments. You may be repeatedly posting the same comment in many blogs. For example, 

Hot current-affairs topics like Eelam, Elections etc.,

Evergreen topics like Hindi Vs Tamil, WordPress Vs Blogger etc.,

Summarize these comments and make a blog post out of it.

6. Link Posts. Do you visit some sites often? Do you see a pattern / theme in such sites? You can create posts with just these links. Many people want to find just links to relevant websites on a particular theme.

7. List posts. I often search for things like top movies, top books, top software etc., Do you have some favourite things which you often recommend to friends? You can list them in your posts.

8. Review Posts. People want to know opinion on anything new like gadgets, movies, albums etc., You can review anything that you may use. If you post consistently and regularly, you are bound to be an expert in your niche.

9. Troubleshooting posts. Do you troubleshoot your computer, software etc., often? You may think it is just trivia or regular things. But people do google a lot for troubleshooting. Blog your solutions.

10. Blog your experience. Have you done something which many others are finding difficult? For example, you may be going abroad for higher studies or getting a freelance job online. This definitely deserves to be blogged. People often look for guidance and inspiration. Such posts can get you great friends, referrals and loyal readers.

Twitter wisdom

How to find new people to follow in twitter?

0. Visit your friend’s profile pages and check whom they are following.

1. Check to whom your friends are sending @ replies often. These are active, interesting people.

2. Now, Go to http://search.twitter.com and search for things of your interest. Select profiles with interesting content.

From all the above profiles,

* Select profiles with followers / following ratio 1 or more. The more the better.

* Select profiles with lot of links in the updates. Links mean information.

Remember: The number of your followers isn’t that important. The number of people you follow, their quality of tweets is important. The more the people and better they are, you are better informed.

Twitter Syntax

* To reply to someone start the tweet with @someone

* To retweet what someone said, start the tweet with RT @someone

* To link some topic to its search page in twitter, use #sometopic anywhere in your tweet

* To directly send a message to someone, start your tweet with d someone

Twitter Time management:

Twitter failed to give a statutory warning that it is highly addictive. I am already seeing many of the reticent bloggers spending a lot of time in Twitter. True that twitter induces conversation by design. But still…

* Don’t keep a Twitter Desktop / browser app or Twitter website open all the time. The notifications, refreshings will suck your time.

* Switch off the followers notifications or send it to your secondary email.

* If you get annoyed by @ replies between your friends, you can switch them off from the settings. But these replies only make the place lively, informative, interesting. You will find new people to follow.

* Do add a clear profile picture. Helps your friends to identify you easily.

* It’s best open once / twice a day, read the tweets, reply and close it down.

* Read the tweets in reverse chronological order. It makes more sense.

* Don’t flood with tweets. Anything more than 10 a day, people are starting to get annoyed.

Twitter as Microblogging platform:

If you are seriously considering Twitter as a Microblogging platform and caring less and less for your regular blogs, think twice now. I find Twitter great to stay in touch with friends, get help, social networking but I rate it very poorly as a Microblogging platform. Microblogging is not just being about short.

Why?

* Twitter is unreliable. Goes down many times. I would like to blog when I like not when Twitter is fine.

* You don’t own the content. Right now, you can’t export your tweets to another service.

* Content accessibility is blocked in many ways. They cut down the archives after mere 5-10 pages. I have 1000+ tweets gone for ever 🙁

* Your readers need to register, understand twitter before they respond to you.

* Comments / replies are spread over and don’t make sense many times. It is confusing for which tweet you get the reply.

* The 140 character limit can be unnecessarily limiting.

* The TinyURLs don’t help you understand where you are gonna land.

* No way to find related content as there are no tags and categories.

* No audio, visual treat as you can’t embed anything.

* Very Poor RSS feed service.

So, what is Twitter best for?

* To help, respond to your friends with @ replies. Whether you like it or not, the crowd is there. Stay in touch.

* Ask for help. Twitter crowd by design and habit, responds faster than light.

* Anything you would like to write but would not care to archive.

* To follow news, trends.

* Shed your online image and be just friends with people.

And that’s all the twitter wisdom I got in 8 months of tweeting !

Also see:

Twitter etiquette – Do’s and Don’ts

How to get more visitors for your websites?

1. First let know your friends, relatives, contacts about your site. Mail them once.

2. Submit to your site to popular search engines like Yahoo, Google, MSN and web directories in your field. Link to your new site from your already existing sites. Or request your friends to link to you. Make sure, your site is visible in the search engines ASAP. Learn Basic search engine optimisation tips. (Some SEO tips in Tamil here)

3. Comment / participate in similar websites / forums. Leave honest and useful thoughts there and try helping people with your expertise. Be known for activities, thoughts, input that you leave in other website. Become a source of information. Be part of a community. People will return the favor.

4. Give quality content. Don’t write for the sake of updating. You will have to read, learn a lot in your area of interest and spend time polishing your articles. Don’t cheat your visitors with misleading titles, unfulfilled promises.

5. Give full feeds. Will get you loyal visitors.

6. Respect your visitors even if they don’t agree with you.

Time saving and management tips for online chat

1. Do not be logged into any chat application by default all the time you are online. If you could follow this, then half the time you spend in online chats would be saved. Having status mode as busy / don’t disturb doesn’t really help. Our best friend’s first job is to buzz! us 🙂 . Login / Logout notifications from contacts could be distracting too. If you are really busy, if you don’t have a plan to chat with someone, if you don’t have your regular contacts online, LOGOUT NOW from the chat.

2. Do not start any chat application during the system startup. First, it slows down your startup time. Second, you could really be caught with lot of chat windows before you do the things for which you started the system actually. So turn off the option to open it during system startup.

3. Use Google talk or the chat within Gmail. Google talk is really a small app. It can be downloaded fast and installed easily and also starts up without delay. It has a clean and simple interface so you won’t be wasting time exploring / using / understanding the needless ‘coool’ features and cluttered menus.

4. Use one chat client at a time. Right now, I use Google talk for text and or voice chat. Yahoo messenger for video chat. Skype is bulky and slows down your system and I had bad experiences with its sound quality and connectivity. So I don’t use Skype. For calling phones in India, you can use JustVoip. It is cheap and has good sound quality. I don’t really understand the need to have more than one chat client kept opened at a time. I suggest having Google talk as the primary client and then to make choices among others when the need arises for video / audio chat / calls.

5. Do not use chat rooms. They are THE time-killers. Grow up. I can’t imagine a single useful thing that can be done in chat rooms.

6. Whenever possible go for voice chat. It reduces the time and effort needed to type. Speaking is faster and clearer. Calling needs a minimal agenda traditionally. So, you would think twice before calling whereas in text chat you wouldn’t think before starting to type that hi, how’s life which could have been avoided very well. Speaking needs some kind of rapport with the guy at the other end. If you don’t get into that rapport you are more probable to end the chat soon unlike in text chats where you keep saying bye c u for 10 times and before saying it the 11th time you remember something and the chat keeps dragging. Voice chat as a habit and priority will keep you away from chat during working hours in office because it is not easy to voice chat for ever without being watched by colleagues.

7. Do not use chat as a time pass. There are lot more ways to pass time in a healthy, funny and useful manner.

8. Do not use chat for replying to emails unless you have a situation to troubleshoot immediately or you expect a reply immediately. Emails can be short and to the point saving you lot of time.

9. Do not hesitate to decline chat invitations from unknown people and avoidable contacts or to block existing contacts who keep distracting / disturbing you. It is perfectly ok.

10. Stay in invisible mode if you want to focus chatting with a particular contact. Too many chat windows can be distracting and time consuming.

11. You don’t really need to start a chat when you see a contact appear online. We don’t call someone everyday just because he has a mobile phone. Applying the same logic, you need not chat all the time when you see a contact appear online. You need not fear that you will be mistaken as a cold / unfriendly character.

Remember that online chat is not the only way to stay connected with people close to you who would really matter in the real world / time. I always call / visit my best friends and family or get calls / visits from them and they rarely come for an online chat. If used wisely, online chats can be a good productivity / social networking tool saving you money and time.