Top 10 Blog Posts of All Time

Article by Wendy McCance

I began the blog, Searching for the Happiness in February of 2012.  Since then, 522 blog posts have been written.  It’s amazing how many stories, interviews, job advice and product reviews have appeared on the blog.

In looking over all the articles that have been posted, I was curious to see what the top 10 articles of all time were.  Like anything else in blogging, it’s hard to predict what a reader will gravitate towards and the most popular posts will usually surprise you.  If I had chosen what I thought the most read articles were, I would have missed the mark on more than half of the top 10 articles.

If you would like to take a look at the most popular articles, take a look at the list below. You can click on any title to read the full article!

The Top 10 Most Popular Articles of all Time on Searching For the Happiness (In order by most read):

1.  How to Find Writing Assignments as a New Freelance Writer.

2.  Words of Wisdom:  What I Want My Kids to Know.

3.  All the Rage with High School Kids:  A Game Called Hostage.

4.  How to Make Money Using Product Review Sites.  Pt. 1

5.  The Freelance Writer’s Guide to Make Money on Constant Content.

6.  When to Walk Away From a Friendship.

7.  Can You Really Make Money off Your Blog?

8.  What Missing Your Significant Other Might Say About Your Relationship.

9.  How I Make Money off My Blog.

10.  What Does Love Look Like to You?

What do you think? Are you surprised at some of the articles that made it to the top 10?

My Favorite Articles on Blogging

Article by Wendy McCance

This is a quick snapshot of some of the incredible links you can find that I post on my Facebook page, Google+and Twitter.

I am always looking for new information on blogging.  I have found that no matter how much you think you know, there is always something new and fresh that can be found.  I especially like articles dealing with topics you might not have even thought of.

The longer I have blogged, the harder it is to find new information though.  In a sense I guess I should be thrilled that I have learned so much.  On the other hand, it does get frustrating trying to find something new.

A good thing to remember when viewing the links below.  To be successful at blogging, there are more components than just the blog itself.  How you handle yourself on other social media platforms can have a profound effect on the success of your blog.

Below, I have assembled some of the best information I have found.  I hope you enjoy these articles/bloggers as much as I do.  There are some incredible bloggers who share amazing information out there.

1.  Make sure your blog is properly displayed on mobile devices.

2. 25 things that make you look dumb on Pinterest.

3. 12 things you should be using your blog for (besides blogging).

4.  5 free content promotional sites.

5.  10 things no one tells you about blogging.

6. 5 common WordPress errors and their fixes.

7.  A story of an article stolen and used without permission in a magazine called, Cooks Source.

8. How I attracted 10,000 Twitter followers in a year.

9. The truth about failing freelance bloggers and how to succeed.

10. The best library of amazing articles.  One of my very favorite sites!!

11. 45 social media tools and tips.  

If you have some favorite articles or sites, please let us know.  Share them in the comments below.

P.S.  If you want to stay up to date on the best articles I find, follow me on Twitter, Google+ or my Facebook page.  New content comes in several times a week.

What Makes a Blog Popular?

Written by Wendy McCance

Some bloggers have been asking me why their blog might not be getting much traffic. If readers are checking out their blog, the question has been why there aren’t many comments.

Besides the issues discussed in my article,
Some Secrets I’d Like to Share About Blogging http://searchingforthehappiness.wordpress.com/2013/02/23/some-secrets-id-like-to-share-about-blogging/
I can say there are a few more reasons you might not be getting the response you are hoping for.

Below are 5 additional reasons you might not be getting the response to your blog that you are hoping for.

1.  You have a niche blog.

The best example I can give is that of my second blog, Adventures in Real Estateat: http://wendyworkinginrealestate.wordpress.com  I figured that with the housing market the way it has changed, and so many people in a transition (rental homes are extremely popular right now), that it would be a no brainer.  I figured this new blog would be even more popular than this one.  I was so very wrong.

I’ll just lay all my cards on the table and say that I started the second blog May 2012.  My biggest day of views topped out at 77 views for the day.  My average day saw about 19 views.  Think about how many months I have been plugging away since I began the second blog.  This is because my blog is aimed at a very small audience.  I hadn’t realized how small this audience would be until I had worked on the blog for some time.

I also rarely see comments unless it’s from a new real estate agent who appreciates learning what to expect in the business or someone in a transition (thinking of buying or selling a home).  For most, there is no reason to comment.  The reader is just picking up some information and moving on.  There is nothing that personally strikes a chord.  There is just not much to say about what they have read because it is just to gain some information.

In comparison, my blog, Searching for the Happiness began in February 2012 and by April 2012, I was seeing enormous change.  I had just hit on something that was relatable and people wanted to continue to read.

The takeaway is that you never know what will become popular or what will fall flat until you try out your idea.  Honestly, I think that’s part of the fun of a blog.  It’s challenging to find an idea that people will enjoy.  It’s all part of the creative process.

2.  Have a central theme.

I have been to blogs where there is so much someone wants to share, that it gets confusing.  A blog about family life with pages dedicated to recipes, crafts and stories about your kids should work nicely.

If your blog is part personal stories and part chapters of fiction from the book you are writing, you need to make sure it’s obvious which is which and tie it together.  I am embarrassed to say that I have read blogs like this where I read some of the fiction portion and didn’t realize it wasn’t a real life experience until a post or two later.

To tie the two together, you might want a page that shows the process.  Mix how you felt and what you did and then give a snippet of what you ended up writing.  Just make sure readers know the snippet is the fiction portion.

3.  You need to consistently write posts to get an audience.

I have had people reach out for help saying that they are not getting anyone to visit their blog after 4 months of writing (for example).  I would go check out the blog and would see 2 posts their first month, 4 posts their second month, 1 post their third month and 6 posts the month I checked it.

If you aren’t writing fairly regularly, your blog will sit with no views.   Each time you post an article, your post circulates through your personal efforts at advertising and through the WordPress site (if that’s what you are using).  In between this time, it just sits.

If you start to get interest and people check back just to see that same article days or weeks later, the interest will begin to die out.

4.  The name of your blog should be the same name as your blog address.

When I wrote my second blog, Adventures in Real Estate, that name wasn’t an option for my blog address.  I was so sold on that title, that I went with a different name for the address.  Wendy Working in Real Estate is what I used (http://wendyworkinginrealestate.wordpress.com) to be exact.

It was a horrible idea.  I just couldn’t give up that snappy title.  I know I don’t get as much traffic because readers don’t know how to reach me.  If you can’t or don’t want to use your blogs title for the address, at least use your name so that people can google you.

5.  Grammar really does count.

There have been blogs I have seen that are either full of spelling errors, or just don’t make sense when read.  As long as you use spell check and reread your blog to make sure it flows nicely and is understandable to the reader, you should be fine.  You don’t need to spend hours on your post, but rushing through and posting as soon as you type that last word is a recipe for mistakes to occur.

I know I said there would be 5 reasons, but I thought of one more important point I just had to mention.

6.  Make sure everything works properly on your blog.

I have learned from experience that you should always check links and those pictures that can be clicked on.  What’s the use of adding links someone might enjoy if they don’t work properly.  That’s just going to annoy your reader.

I hope this post has been helpful.  I have had to tweak areas of my blog many times and can relate.  How else would I know some of the pitfalls?  Just take care to do what you need to so that your blog comes across as flawless as possible and move on.  As for me, my blog is always going to be a work in progress.  There’s so much I still need to learn myself.  Thankfully I have some great people reading my blog who are generous enough to give me pointers as well. 🙂

Some Secrets of Blogging

Article by Wendy McCance

I would like to try to help those who are either starting out blogging or feel like they have hit the wall.  It’s great to write about how great blogging has been for me, like I did in my last post http://searchingforthehappiness.wordpress.com/2013/02/23/a-blog-can-change-your-life-in-astounding-ways/ but I realize that the article could feel frustrating to read if you feel stuck or overwhelmed.

Below are the best tips I can think of to help you move along in the blogging world. 🙂

1.  Authenticity is everything.  Be true to yourself and do what feels best.  No matter how much advice you read, a blog will take a while to gather steam.  Use this time to learn what you are passionate about.

Tweaking the blog comes with the territory.  You might decide to not continue to write poetry for example, but are loving writing about trips you have been on.  Listen to your heart and follow what makes you feel happy and it will show through to others.  You will also feel more invested and will want to stick with your blog instead of giving up.

You might want to check out this article about different blogging styles.
http://searchingforthehappiness.wordpress.com/2012/08/29/advice-to-those-wanting-to-blog/

2.  Read the advice of others, but throw out what doesn’t work for you.  If you have read this blog for a while, you are familiar with the posts I tested.  My most well-known was the post, It Shocked us all!  What Happened in the Toilet? http://searchingforthehappiness.wordpress.com/2012/03/16/it-shocked-us-all-what-happened-in-the-toilet/ Not only was the title horrible, you could tell I was trying to do something that didn’t come naturally.

I wrote the article after I had read my fill of advice on the best titles to increase traffic to your blog.  I’ve tried a few times to come up with solid titles and then write an article.  It always has a poor reception.

The best way I have found to write a post is to write about what is on my mind and then worry about a title.

3.  Go to other blogs and comment so that you will increase your traffic. Another good one is the advice of following other blogs so that people will get curious about your blog and stop by to see what you have.

So here’s the trick, you have to be genuine.  If you comment on a blog, make sure you have read the post and have something valuable to say.  Commenting that you enjoyed the post is fine.  What turns people off is when your comment is way out there and it’s obvious you never read the post.

Another thing that can annoy some people is when you put several links on your comment every time you comment.  If you have a link to share that goes along with the article, great.  If you are just advertising your own blog, over and over again, you can come off as not genuine and kind of self-serving (sorry if that sounds harsh).

If you follow someone, there is a good chance that blogger will look at your blog.  Not everyone will follow just because you are following them.  Make sure you have good content and hopefully you will have something that’s interesting enough for the person to stick around.

One further note, I have noticed many people who go to as many blogs as possible and follow in hopes of getting a follow back.  Many will follow back, but what you want is authentic followers who read your posts and comment.

You can always tell who is just following a million blogs to raise their number of followers.  In the comment section each comment will say, “thanks for following my blog.”  There will be no comments about an actual article.  It might look impressive to show such a big number of followers, but your blog will just be sitting empty with no real views or interest.  It defeats the purpose of having a blog if you want to get anywhere with it.

4.  Be everywhere.  I have written before about all of the places I put my blog.  The secret here is that no one really has the time to be that visible all over the web.  Set up your blog so that readers can hit the sharing buttons such as Digg, Twitter and Facebook and share your content quickly and easily.

Make sure you set up sharing on your dashboard so that whenever you post an article, it automatically posts for you on Twitter, Yahoo etc…

Check in to these sites to see if your article was shared or commented on.  If it has, thank the person or comment back.  That way, you are engaged and even more visible without turning your blog into a full-time job.

You can read my article, Increase the Traffic to your Website at this link: http://searchingforthehappiness.wordpress.com/2012/10/26/832/

5.  Don’t Compare Yourself to Others.  In the early stages of my blog, I wanted success right then.  I had this vision of my blog taking off wildly.  I read some blogs where there were 30 comments or 40 likes.  Some blogs had 2,000 followers.  At the same time I had maybe 1 comment, 2 likes and 4 followers.

It seemed to go that way for so long.  I didn’t take into account that some of these bloggers had been blogging for a few years.  Some of the blogs had gorgeous pictures on it that just drew you in.  Other blogs were just so well written and truly addictive to read.

It wasn’t fair to compare.  My blog was young.  My writing style just developing.  I had nothing special to draw in a reader but my words.

It takes a lot of time, patience and a willingness to learn all you can and keep at it.

6.  Make sure your blog is easy to navigate.  Let’s be honest.  How many blogs have you gone to, gotten frustrated and then left never to return again?  Some of the things that might annoy a reader are:

  • Having a blog that loads slowly or freezes every time you go to it.
  • Having a hard time finding where to comment or like a post.
  • Having to put in all sorts of information and then deal with a Captcha Code. (People want fast and easy).
  • Scrolling down, down, down to get to that comment box.  (You might want to set things up so the newest comment shows up first instead of the oldest comment).
  • Put in information about yourself under the About page.  Readers like to know who you are and what your all about.
  • Don’t have so many links that need to be clicked just to get to the article.
  • Reply to the readers who take the time to comment.  You are building relationships.  If they have taken the time to write to you, it’s nice to get a reply.

7.  Finding ways to show your appreciation for your followers goes a long way.  I don’t have as much time as I would like to go to all of the blogs I would like to and participate.  When I have some extra time, I make a massive effort to go around to as many people’s blogs as I can and show support.  It makes me feel bad because the people who come my way are fantastic and I want them to know how much I appreciate them and what they do.

I try to make up for this by offering bloggers an opportunity to guest blog or share a link or whatever else I can dream up to show I care about them.

Finding ways to show you care really goes a long way in nurturing the relationships you are building.

8.  The power of links.  The more articles you write and the more links you share, the more traffic you will receive.  Find articles that are relevant to something you have written and add your link after your comment.

Advertise your blog on as many blog sites as possible.  Put your link to your blog below your signature when you write emails if it would make sense to do.  The web is all about connections.  Every link that is sent out will expand as more people share your link and send it around the web.

The important thing is to be smart about where you add your link.  As long as it is in a place that makes sense, your links will take off and your traffic will build.

The best part is the more visible you start to become, the more often you will be found in searches.

9.  Make sure you use categories and tags.  This is so important.  If you want to be found in searches, you need to add what category your post falls under.  Maybe it’s health, family, how-to or self-help.

Tags are also important.  Look over what you have written.  Use words or phrases that were written in the article.  You might use tags like, marriage, Twitter, family fun, brownie recipe etc…

10.  Write when you feel inspired.  This is probably the best of all of the advice.  When I began to blog, I read all sorts of articles stating that you should only write a few articles a week.  Putting together a schedule of when you should write was a big part of that advice.  I personally think that’s hogwash.

The first several months, I wrote an article a day.  I honestly think that is why my blog took off quicker.  I was constantly sending out new articles and saturating the sites where I placed my posts.

I felt bad when I felt truly inspired if I had already written an article that day.  I didn’t want to go overboard and exhaust people with yet another article to read.

I finally realized that if you have a lot to say, take advantage of that moment and write it.  The best stories come from the moments when you feel ready to write.  If you don’t want to post so many articles on the same day, save it on Microsoft Word and add it the next day.

Another point is that if you feel like you are forcing a post, don’t write then.  I have had times where I don’t know what to write for a few days.  I don’t beat myself up about it anymore.  If I read, watch a movie or get out of the house and go do something, I find that something will trigger an idea and then I’m off and typing again.

I hoped that there is something within this post that will inspire you, answer a question or make you feel more at ease with your own blog.  If you have anything that has helped you that you’d like to share, please do so.  If you are stuck on something and have a question or feel unsure about your next step, ask in the comment section and I would be happy to give you some advice.

All the best in your own blogging journey. 🙂

The Surprising Side of Blogging

Article by Wendy McCance

When I decided to begin a blog, I did it for myself.  I had a lot on my mind that had been building up for far too long.  I felt lost and needed a place to expose my soul, rehash my disappointments and begin the process of building myself up again.  I didn’t blog for fame or fortune or any other motive.  I started my blog to find some peace inside of myself.

Blogging has been the best experience of my life.  I became brave in a way I never thought I could by holding nothing back and letting the truth of my feelings fall where they may.  It has been extremely therapeutic to spend some time each morning emptying my head of some of the thoughts swirling around in there.

There is an unknown side to blogging that I wasn’t aware of until I had been writing for a few weeks.  Surprises pop up almost daily in the most unusual and wonderful way.  I’ve read many blogs since I began my own, but I haven’t seen anyone discuss the surprising events that come along with this writing experience.  I would like to share with you some of my experiences and hope to hear from you about some of yours.

FEBRUARY 2012

When I started blogging in February, I had never read a blog and had no idea how to begin one of my own.  When I figured out how to set one up, my first feeling of accomplishment came from being able to create the blog without any help.  I am not techy and this was a huge accomplishment for me.  I began writing fearlessly almost from the beginning.  The internet is a vast expansion of space and I didn’t think anyone would find me.

MARCH 2012

I wrote each day like clockwork.  I got my most troublesome worries out on a post.  Comments trickled in and it astounded me to realize that not only were people reading my blog, but they cared enough to write a comment.  Those first few comments really blew me away.  It made me feel so good.  I got a little cocky and decided I was a writer and a writer should submit their work to other outlets.  I submitted some posts to Associated Content and within a week, I got an email saying that some articles would be published.  I was floored.  I could actually find my work on Yahoo Voices.

APRIL 2012

  • I got my first review.  Here I was less than two months in and I was reviewed on Cities of the Mind by a freelance writer named Connor Rickett at: http://citiesofthemind.org/blogr-searchingforthehappiness/   It was a great review and completely accurate to where I was at in the blogging process.
  •  I was invited to join a “by invitation only” mastermind group which stunned me.  I had just begun writing, I wasn’t sure what I had to offer to this group of very successful people.  The founder of the group I found out was impressed with the questions I raised in my blog and the amount of participating I did in one of the LinkedIn groups.  She thought I was a positive influence and a good fit for the personalities of the group.
  •  I was nominated for 2 awards by two different people.  The Versatile Blogger Award from:  http://fasab.wordpress.com (great stories, ironic humor) and The Inspirational Blogger Award from:  blueheronwisdom.wordpress.com (inspirational wonderful stories).
  • I got a phone call from a wonderful woman who had been reading my blog.  I had a great discussion with her and was touched to hear from this inspirational reader.

MAY 2012

  • I was recognized on a wonderful blog from:  gracefully50.wordpress.com (fun stories and beautiful photography-fashion related).
  • My readership has been speeding up and grew by more than 44 followers since the beginning of May.
  • I was offered an opportunity to apply for a writing position on an online newspaper.
  •  I was offered an opportunity to be an editor on a reader’s blog.
  • I was given an opportunity by one of my reader’s to contact a well-known and highly successful entrepreneur and pass along the link to my blog.

Please take a moment and write a comment about some of the amazing things that have come your way since you began your blog.  I have been receiving emails from brand new blogger’s who are wondering if they are on the right track and what to expect.  I think it would be incredibly inspiring and beneficial to all to hear about the wonderful moments that go along with blogging.  The blogging community is such an amazing supportive group of people and I would be thrilled if we could continue to support and lift each other up.  We’ve all been there and know what it feels like in the beginning.