#WBC2020 – How I wish Content Creators wouldn’t…

1. Trick us? We are aware the numbers matter so much to you – especially when you have to market your page to possible clients for adverts or for you to start earning (on YouTube). You have to gain a certain number of followers and clicks to posts but please consider your loyal consumers too. The click baits are too much. Will it be too much if we asked you to create a catchy headline/title that is still related to the post? We are tired of clicking to only see the headlines/titles have no implication whatsoever to the story/post. Are you tricking us or what?

2. Hang around Twitter and make news out of the most mundane issues? The fact that they are celebrities and pastors and presidents and known figures does not make everything they tweet newsworthy. We are now making celebrities out of undeserving people. This has resulted in people doing all sort of crazy things in order to trend. Really? Content creators. Really?

3. Take content from sites without properly citing the source? Academically, that would be called plagiarism and possibly leading you to lose your degree but in the content creation world, it seemed to be overlooked and it’s gradually gaining acceptance. For instance, bloggers take stories from other pages and slap it to theirs as if the one who created it does not even exist. It’s someone’s work, for crying out loud, please cite them.

What do content creators do that you wish they would stop? It’s a learning experience so share yours.😊

***This is 8/22 of the #WinterABC2020. The prompt is 3 things you wish African content creators could avoid***

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#WBC2020 – 5 Committed Bloggers in Ghana

There are several bloggers in Ghana but the very popular ones are those who create content on entertainment/celebrity/lifestyle and current affairs. You are more likely to get the names of such websites when you ask the ordinary Ghanaian for an example of a blog.

There are awesome ones in other niches but the five I have selected for this post are those I discovered recently and are quite committed to the cause:

1. Joseyphina blogs consistently. She writes Christian, short stories mixed with some series and a little bit of everything. She is one of the people I take motivation from and she writes very well.

2. Omtsdigest blogs on business and finance, parenting, Christian and lifestyle. She says she is a lady of few words and her blog portrays that quite well.

3. Floodlightdaily is relatively new in the blogosphere but has been writing consistently in the short period that I’ve known her. Her niche is Christian.

4. GoldinWords was one of my motivations for sticking to this niche. He writes plainly and is candid in his posts. When he wrote about his addiction to pornography and how he broke free, I was stunned. Anyway, he’s not afraid to share his personal struggles and I guess that is what blogging should be about.

5. Nesta Erskine is an awesome storyteller and very witty. He shares shortstories on his Facebook page. You are likely to remained glued when you start reading his content.

Do you know any Ghanaian bloggers I should be checking out? Kindly leave their links in the comment section 😊

***This is 7/22 of the #WinterABC2020. The prompt is 5 bloggers in your country***

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The Purpose of The Christian Blog Ghana

The Christian Blog Ghana has gone through a number of phases in its development and the platform turned five years in May (2020).

Initially when I was creating this blog, the larger vision was to provide Christians an avenue to add their voices to the blogosphere. I thought of a platform that was going to motivate Christians to share their opinions on subjects concerning them. In other words, we were going to be a community of Christian bloggers but that has not happened yet.

As the days went by, I realised I was not getting as much content from my fellow Christian brothers and sisters as much as I had envisioned, thus, I had to carry my own blog on my shoulders 🤣🤣

Perhaps, I did not market the blog properly or the people I contacted were not prepared to create free posts or they were not real bloggers. A big shoutout to those who heeded to the call and still provide me with guest posts.

The good news, however, is that I possess some level of creative abilities and I’m able write my own content. So currently, I have modified the posts I put up here. Even though, I mostly write from a Christian perspective, I have decided to give my creative voice exposure here as well.

I haven’t given up the hope of creating that community of Christian bloggers, though. Send me a message if you are interested in joining this community.

The lesson: Don’t create a blog with the aim of using other people’s content to grow your audience. You must be ready to take up the challenge of creating your own posts.

***This is 2/22 of the #WinterABC2020. The prompt is to state the main goal of your site.***

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10 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Started Blogging

Seven years ago, I fell in love with the act of blogging. I thought the most essential skill needed for blogging was to be a good writer and writing was something I enjoyed so, cool beans.

Instead of feeling proud for blogging consistently (well almost) on different platforms, here I am in 2020, sitting behind my laptop and reflecting on some of the stuff I have discovered for myself on this journey.

In 2013, when I started, I wish someone had told me that:

  1. Blogging was not just putting words in electronic format but it was a deliberate act that required a lot of dedication and consistency. One needed basic blogging, marketing as well as some graphic designing skills.
  2. Using WordPress (the one I am most familiar with) is like managing any other social media platform. It requires constant engagement with your readers and other bloggers.
  3. Knowing the purpose for starting a blog is key since that would guide you to select a suitable name, design and topics for the blog.
  4. It’s your space, don’t limit yourself. If a particular niche is restricting your creative abilities, you can gradually make changes to the blog by including other similar subjects. That should provide you with topics to blog about.
  5. As much as you’d say your blog is not a personal one, it would be great to fold up your sleeves a little bit. Write a few things about you so readers get to know the face behind the blog.
  6. If you are concerned about getting a lot of followers, keep being consistent and engage with other bloggers as well. Read their posts and leave fair comments. They MAY notice and follow you (stressing on ‘MAY‘).
  7. What is the ultimate purpose for the blog you are creating? Is it for monetary gains, to market your writing and editing skills or for socialising purposes? That must dictate your tone, your choice of words and the style of writing you’d employ.
  8. Don’t get intimidated by other good bloggers instead, engage with them and let their works inspire you.
  9. You do not need to be present on all the social media platforms to promote your blog. That may even be counterproductive. Being present on one or two additional platforms should be enough (especially if you are the only one managing content on all of them).
  10. The WordPress app on your phone doesn’t bite. On the other hand, it allows you to blog easily. Use it!

How long have you been blogging and what lessons have you picked up? Do share 🙂

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5 Blogging Subjects that Attract Wide Readership

Oursmiley community is gradually growing bigger. We have gained over 100 followers and to celebrate this achievement, we’d like to share blog subjects that attract a wide readership. This is based on the blog’s traffic statistics over the years and aimed at giving you some insight in case you are thinking of what to post on your blog.

Below are the subjects that attract a wide readership, starting from the bottom:

5 – Your Perspective

This, perhaps, is one of the easiest subject to write about. A Christian blogger may read a portion of the Bible or hear a sermon and may decide to share his/her perspective on the subject. The content may also be based on the writer’s revelation and depending on how the content is presented, this subject area may attract some readers. Your perspective will matter more if you are an expert in a particular field. For instance, people would click on the link to read a post if a successful musician shares tips on how to sell an album.

A blogger should not always share his/her perspective on subjects but rather find other ways of presenting them. One way of doing that is to give the subject area to other writers to develop and for you to feature their work on your blog. 

4 – Book Reviews

This is quite an interesting subject to blog about and one of the most demanding. It requires reading Christian literature and sharing your thoughts and critiquing the book’s content.  Well, depending on the country you are blogging from, this subject could be something to explore but the truth is when book reviews are done on this blog, the number of Ghanaian readers who click and read is not as high as other nationals, therefore, making it a tricky subject to blog on.

3 – Fiction

Christian fiction has a wide readership, particularly, if they are well-written, full of suspense and has some humour in them. This is an area to explore, especially, if your target readers are Ghanaians. If you have a perspective to share on a subject, you may want to think creatively and convert them into short stories to break the monotony of writing dissertations or thesis for your blog.

2 – Guest Blogs

Featuring other good writers on your blog is one of the quickest means of attracting readers and expanding your blog’s reach. If you have the time and the skill, interview other people [especially, those who do not like writing] on various subjects and post them on your blog. When such posts are featured on a blog, they attract readers, particularly, from the guest blogger’s circles. It is almost like a brand endorsement or social media influencer recommending your blog. 

1 – Personal Relatable Experiences

Based on this blog’s statistics, this is one of the most widely read subject areas.  Readers would want to know your personal life stories so instead of writing broadly on a subject and providing information on how to do something, it is better to package that into a personal testimony on how you overcame an addiction or met your spouse or how your tithing habit helped you to overcome poverty. Your relatable life testimony could be the life-changing agent for that reader going through a similar challenge. 

 

Are you a blogger? Which subject do your readers love?

Are you a blog reader? which one is your favourite? We’d love to know. 

Meet the Blogger: 7 Questions with Delali

This is the 100th post and according to the polls which ran on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, the majority of you want to know more about the blog administrator/manager. I am, therefore, going to pose questions and answer them myself. If there is anything else you wish to know about me, you can leave that in the comment box. I will try to be as frank and fun as possible:

About Delali

IMG-20180616-WA0013My name is Delali and I do an 8am-4pm on weekdays as a Communications and Marketing person with an NGO. I am a mother of an almost two-year-old, a wife of almost three years and a blogger.

In 2013, I started a personal blog and a year later, I got a job as a content developer, managing the blog for a real estate marketing company. I have also blogged about cars but I made the big switch to Christian blogging in 2015. I started by posting content every day but along the line, I fell back (I was adjusting to married life, probably 😂). I wasn’t consistent in 2016 but I picked up from where I left off last year. I am more consistent, deliberate and I ensure at least a post goes up each week.

Why Christian Blogging?

First, I believe I was prompted by the Holy Spirit to start this. Secondly, because I thought there weren’t a lot of serious Ghanaian Christian Bloggers but as I searched wider, I have identified a number of them who are doing amazing things (blog post for another day). Thirdly, I see so much content that needs to be developed in this niche. In other words, there are a lot of stories that can be told about our belief and anyone who ventures into this niche will never lack content. Amen!😂 Finally, because of my background in communications, this blog gives me the avenue to apply most of what I have studied eg. in print journalism, graphic communications, advertising etc.

What inspires you?

Everything around me. I think I find it easier to write and a couple of friends have remarked that my posts are more in-depth than my speech (I don’t know why). I guess it’s my gift.

As a blogger, I make time to visit, read and comment on other people’s blogs and that provides me with ideas on what to post. Through that, I have made a number of acquaintances, an activity every blogger should take seriously. I also draw inspiration from a lot of people. I don’t have a role model yet, but, I pick lessons from the lives of different personalities.

What are your struggles as a blogger?

Do I have any? At first, I used to worry about the number of people who visited the blog after I wrote on certain subjects but I have gotten over that. How? Because I’ve realised this blog had two types of audiences – Ghanaians and other nationalities. Different posts appeal to different audiences. For instance, when I do a book review, the number of non-Ghanaians who click to read is higher and the opposite is what takes place when I create funny posts. 😂 I am learning to find the balance, ie. creating posts that appeal to both groups.

My other challenge is finding the time to put together the content. Currently, I have conducted an interview with a former classmate of mine, who is doing gospel music and I need to transcribe, create a post and upload it to the blog. I need to do a review on my first Christian novel – Francine River’s Scarlet Thread. (***Don’t be shocked. I didn’t know anyone wrote Christian novels. 😂 Perhaps, you can drop titles and authors of Christian novels in the comment box so I search and read.*** ). I am also planning a special giveaway for loyal followers of the blog and I need to find time to do all of that.

What are some of your favourite tools as a blogger?

The whiteboard hanging in my room and a marker.😂 That is where I write my ideas and because it is close to my bed, it does not only serve as a reminder but haunts me when I do not meet my timelines. I also have ‘Keep’ on my Nokia 8 which serves as a notepad and I use that to jot down my ideas.

Which are your most read posts?

My most read posts include 3 Reasons I Dislike the Empire Series for 2015, To my Husband on our Second Wedding for 2017 and for this year, Me? A pastor’s wife? Never. And the blog’s Homepage too. 😂

How do you use social media? 

I am deliberate with what I post on my personal social media pages. I am guided by this principle: I do not want people to know everything about me with just a click of a button. If you want to know more about me, you need to ask and I will provide you with the details. With this, I can say I am a very private person and that is why it has taken such a long time for me to create this post.

For blogging, social media is a useful tool. I started this blog by using a pseudonym because I had wanted to remain anonymous but I realised it was very difficult getting people to read the posts. 😂 Most people will read your blog posts because they know who is behind what they are reading, therefore, promoting the posts on social media prompts them to take a look at what you have.

How does the future look for Delali and Christian Blog?

For the Christian Blog, I am working hard to get it established. I also envision a Christian magazine whenever I look at this blog. I am also working on finding ways to remunerate guest bloggers and contributors. It wouldn’t be bad to write for the blog and get some money for sharing your personal experiences and knowledge.

Personally, I would love to take a 12-months vacation to Bali or The Maldives or Cancun and work on my first Christian novel… (it’s a dream. Please allow me!) 😂

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