Author Archives: Karen Monier (@kmonier1159)

Karen Monier is Out There!

Well, at least my blog is!  Do you like to eat?  Or read a great book?  Or Eat and Read a great book at the same time?  My blog is about all my favorite things…eating, laughing, traveling, reading and my soon to be new favorite thing–RETIREMENT!  WooHoo…when I will at last be able to do all my favorite things WHENEVER I WANT TO!  So subscribe to my blog and join me on my wild ride into a different life….

21 Ways to Attract New Readers and Keep Them Coming Back

Increasing traffic, it’s a quandary faced by anyone who runs a blog. The only thing harder than acquiring new readers is converting them into regular visitors. Follow these 21 tips to get new readers and keep them coming back for more.

1. Follow a Posting Schedule

One of the first things people look at when they visit a blog for the first time is the publish date of recent posts. If the last post was two months ago red flags go up and readers won’t bother checking back for new content. Even if your budget limits you to one post a week or twice a month, keep a regular schedule to show that you’re committed to the content.

2. Respond to Comments

New readers want to know that you listen to comments and aren’t just churning out posts. By responding to comments you start a discussion and make them feel appreciated. This shows that you’re connected to your blog and what people say on it. Plus, it’s a great way to build new relationships.

3. Keep Content Relevant to Your Target Audience

As you continue to build your credibility in your niche, keep content relevant to your readers. Your returning fans will stop coming back if they think they have to dig through pages of articles that don’t relate to them. While writing off-topic once might drive new readers to your blog, they won’t come back when they see that the coverage they came for was a one time thing. For example: someone who runs a knitting blog and writes an article on cats will bring cat-lovers to her blog, but they won’t stay to learn about different types of yarn.

catsyn3.294. Set Up an Easy-to-Use Comments Section

Readers don’t want to go through a 10 step process to comment on your article. If people enjoyed filling out lengthy forms, they’d spend more time at the DMV.  Not only does a complex comment process dissuade readers from talking about your post, it’s what they remember your blog by if they return. By using a streamlined commenting process, new readers can feel like their voice is heard without getting aggravated.

5. Brand Your Content

If you’re starting a new blog, your posts should take on some resemblance of unity. In the same way that it’s important to stay on a posting schedule to show readers that you’re reliable, publishing consistent content that’s on-brand and in a similarly branded format will show that you’re an authority and know what you’re doing.

6. Start a Series

This is a helpful way to bring new readers back to your blog at least one more time or keep first timers clicking through your internal links. Be sure to note in the first part of your series when the next part will be, “Come back next week to read Part 2…” and link back to previous parts as your series progresses, “As we talked about last week in Part 1…” Readers will want to follow the series or click-back to catch up on what they missed. Continue reading

Understand These 10 Principles of Good Design Before You Start Your Next eLearning Project

Whether you are just getting started with eLearning design and looking to get a better understanding of eLearning best practices, or you’ve been designing courses for a while and are trying to find ways of making your material more effective, considering the basics of visual design is key.

Design is too often overlooked by course developers, or otherwise misunderstood – some eLearning designers think that as long as their course “looks good,” the visuals are sufficient. But graphical composition and design affect the way a learner takes in information, so giving a bit more thought to the visual layout of the pages of your course is an important part of eLearning best practices. Try these ten simple changes, and see the difference they make.

1. Guide the viewer’s eye:

The placement of the elements on each page should flow naturally from one to the next in a progression that lends itself to the content you’re teaching. Images and graphics should be oriented in a way that directs the reader’s attention inward and onward, never away from the screen or your content.

2. Control the clutter:

Many eLearning designers are tempted to overload their pages with content, because the authors of the material for the course included an excess of details. Figure out what’s most important, provide the reader with an avenue to access the additional information, and cut everything superfluous. An important part of eLearning best practices is identifying the critical facts and concepts and keeping things simple. Going overboard with text density in an eLearning course can be a very big deterrent to a student, especially when they’re reading on a screen. Continue reading

How to Tell the Difference Between a Widget and a Plug-In

What is the difference between a plugin vs. a widget? To many bloggers, the difference is trivial and the two terms are often used interchangeably. However, plugins and widgets are treated as two distinct functions in WordPress and interact with you and your readers in different ways. If you plan to optimize the back-end of your blog or website, it’s worth brushing up on what each term actually means.  So, let’s start by defining them.

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From Boring To Something Fishy? The Endless Theme Search….

I feel like I have looked at hundreds of themes this last week.  My first stated goal was clean and simple.  So I chose as my first theme Twenty Ten I think simply because it looked easy to deal with. Put a nice picture across the top, easy navigation, enough flexibility to make it mine.  I changed my blog to it and realized it was just a little boring for me.  Then I came across Mystique.  Great name, right?  It is a bit more fun and has lots of options.  It  offers layout choices of one, two, or three columns, six color schemes, four footer widget areas, and support for six post formats.   I’m not sure if I need this many choices at this point but it sounds good.  I liked the nice dark border around the outside of the page…it makes me want to read what is inside those borders and makes pictures POP.  Then I ran across Something Fishy.  Wow…a theme that has fish swimming and  bubbles floating as you scroll down the page, and various other sea creatures appearing at random times. Now, isn’t that fun?   I like the casual style of this theme but it may be a little too down-home in the long run.  At the moment my blog has this theme but that will probably change…stay tuned!