5 Pages You Need to Have On Your Blog | Pages Every Blogger Really Needs on Their Site

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Bloggers old and new who want to see success online have an uphill battle ahead of them. It’s not enough anymore to simply publish your afternoon thoughts on Blogspot’s default theme; with such a saturated market, both readers of blogs and the brands who want to reach them have high expectations, which means bloggers often have to go the extra mile to impress.

But it’s not just enough to host top-tier content on your blog. Visitors to your site want to know that they’re taking advice or getting the scoop from someone who is knowledgeable and credible, and when it comes to their first impressions, perception is reality.

This is why it’s vital to not just to put out high-quality posts, but also to present yourself as a professional who knows their way around the blogging world and lives up to—or exceeds—industry expectations. Part of that involves including pages on your blog, in addition to posts, that provide more information about you and your background and make it easier for visitors to navigate your site.

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What Is Media Bias? | 5 Questions To Help You Identify Bias in a News Story

If there’s one thing I’ve learned over my five years working in media, it’s that journalists are human—flaws and all. And humans, as many researchers argue, are inherently biased.

This doesn’t mean, of course, that every newspaper is unreliable or that every article you read is worthy of a “fake news” label. But even Pulitzer Prize-winning journalists don’t get the facts right all the time, and sometimes, it’s what they don’t say that makes all the difference.

It’s easy to find a news source that seems credible and slip on your rose-colored glasses, content to take their reporting as straight fact. But as consumers of media in the digital age, it’s our responsibility to be diligent and ask questions about our sources—and our sources’ sources. Who’s behind the words you see on the screen? Where did they get their information from? And what lens are they looking at this issue through? (Spoiler alert: It’s not always rosey.)

If you want to be a more informed reader and ensure you’re not being duped by slanted copy, keep reading.

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Opinion | In 2020, Winning Over Young Voters Means Mastering Social Media

The COVID-19 pandemic gave this year’s presidential candidates the opportunity—and the time—to revamp their social media strategies and rally young voters. But did they miss their chance?

The impact of social media on American elections has been front-and-center in pundits’ minds since Democrat Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s historic 2018 primary upset, when, according to The New York Times, the then-28-year-old took on fellow Democrat Joseph Crowley for his spot in the House—and won. “The race was not close,” the Times reported curtly.

More tongue-in-cheek commentary from the Times: “The last time Mr. Crowley, 56, even had a primary challenger, in 2004, Ms. Ocasio-Cortez was not old enough to vote.”

It didn’t take long for pundits and party leaders alike to take an interest in Ocasio-Cortez’s knack for digital campaigning. While the Times indicated that the now-congresswoman won support from progressives in her district by attacking Crowley’s “role in the leadership, and the fact that he was the head of the local Democratic Party machine,” numerous reports pointed to her social media prowess—and she has maintained a reputation for being something of a Twitter guru. NBC News reported in January 2019:

Less than three weeks after being sworn in as the youngest woman ever elected to Congress, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez already has more Twitter followers than Speaker Nancy Pelosi, more interactions than Barack Obama, one of C-SPAN’s most-watched congressional floor speeches of all time and a ubiquitous nickname that doubles as her Twitter handle — “AOC.”

Indeed, many have taken notice of how naturally AOC interacts with supporters—and critics—online, and it’s quickly become a pillar of her success. “If Cory Booker is pretty good at Instagram as far as politicians go, the vibe’s still sometimes like your Bible study leader is giving you a college campus tour,” BuzzFeed’s Katherine Miller wrote in November 2018, according to NBC. “Ocasio-Cortez uses Instagram like the rest of us do—reflexively, incidentally.”

But it seems not everyone in Washington has AOC’s Instagram instincts.

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61 Blog Post Ideas For Any Niche | Writing Prompts for Bloggers

Being a blogger isn’t always sunshine and rainbows. While we’d all like to think that ideas for new articles simply flutter into our minds like butterflies in the breeze, bloggers may find that developing new topic ideas is harder than writing the posts themselves.

What’s your next move when you find yourself stuck while brainstorming?

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5 Easy Ways To Add Words To Your Blog Post

Whether you’re a solo blogger working on a personal essay or a copywriter looking to bulk up your latest assignment, read on for five strategies to help you add length to your blog post.

Bloggers who want to reach the highest ranks on Google and succeed in creating content that readers can’t help but share often find themselves asking: How long should my blog posts be?

It’s a question that digital marketing analysts and content creators alike have studied and debated for years. Without enough words, readers may be left feeling dissatisfied and frustrated that all of their questions weren’t answered. Too many words, however, and you risk alienating readers who don’t have a lot of time to spare and can’t—or won’t—read to the bottom of your post.

The latest reports from sources like Yoast and HubSpot suggest that in 2020, bloggers should aim to publish posts that range from 1,000 to well over 2,000 words, depending on your content goals. It’s a fairly wide margin, and you’ll likely have to do some of your own research (or attempt some trial-and-error) to find the sweet spot for your unique audience.

If you find you do want to give your readers more content to gobble up, here are five ways to add length—and value—to your latest blog post:

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Read 12 Books in 12 Months with This 2020 Reading Challenge

Disclaimer: As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases, and this post contains affiliate links. If you click any of these links and make a purchase, I’ll earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. All opinions are my own and can’t be bought. Thanks so much for supporting me and my blog! (Click here for more info.)

I started actively tracking my reading on Goodreads in 2015, and in 2016, I first embarked on the infamous Goodreads Reading Challenge. I set a high bar for myself—I pledged 50 books that year—but as an English major with a full course load, I easily exceeded my goal. The next year, I topped myself with a personal record of 67.

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10 Questions to Ask Before Choosing A Professional Editor for Your Book

Looking for a copyeditor to help you take your project to the next level? I’ve spent the last five years helping authors and businesses optimize their content and connect with readers. Click here to learn more about my work history and get in touch.

Have you recently completed your manuscript? Gone over it yourself a time or two? Then it may be time to hire your first developmental or line editor—and once you think you’ve found the right one, it can be tempting to jump right in with both feet. But not so fast.

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A Professional Editor’s Favorite Journals and Planners — 5 Notebooks I Use Every Day

Disclaimer: As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases, and this post contains affiliate links. If you click any of these links and make a purchase, I’ll earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. All opinions are my own and can’t be bought. Thanks so much for supporting me and my blog! (Click here for more info.)

“You don’t need to take notes,” one esteemed lecturer told me and others in the crowd ahead of a highly anticipated presentation on digital publishing. “I’ll send you a PDF of this slideshow.”

I soon found myself in a sea of side-eye when I—undeterred—took out my notebook and recorded the date in the upper right-hand corner.

My mother has accused me of being an “old soul,” and perhaps it’s just a quirk of my personality that I’m keen on pen and paper, but I’m not alone. A 2014 study from researchers at Princeton and UCLA, previously cited in a July 2017 guest post on my blog, showed that taking notes by hand helps with retention in the classroom—largely, they say, because the physical note-taking process forces the listener to actively synthesize, process, and reframe the information being presented.

“The more deeply information is processed during note taking, the greater the encoding benefits,” researchers Pam A. Mueller and Daniel M. Oppenheimer reported.

If you’re like me, and the majority of the participants in Mueller and Oppenheimer’s study, then taking notes helps you better understand and recall new information—and you’re going to want the right tools for the job. As a freelance writer and editor, here are my five favorite notebooks, journals, and planners—the ones I use on a daily basis and simply can’t live without:

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