Categories
My Guest Posts Personal

My Guest Post: 11 Sure-Fire Ways to Annoy Your Readers & What I’ve Been Doing

Hi everyone! How’s everything going? 🙂

My Guest Post

annoyedRecently, I have made a guest post on my friend Gerald Weber’s blog. It’s called

11 Sure-fire Ways to Annoy Your Readers
(Please Don’t Do This)

It talks about 11 sure-fire ways to annoy your readers. Read it so that you would know what to avoid to not annoy your readers. 🙂

Here is one of the points of the post:

1. Writing in gigantic blocks of text

Big text blogs are easy to get lost in. They also strain eyes and make reading difficult.

Because it’s hard to scan. Let alone read.

In fact, a study shows that only 16% of your readers read word-by-word. The rest mostly scan. So at least make it scannable.

I suggest keeping paragraphs 1 to 7 lines long. Then your readers would read your post relaxingly and enjoyably. Ahhhh… 8)

So are you unknowingly annoying your readers?

Go to the post to find out!

11 Sure-fire Ways to Annoy Your Readers (Please Don’t Do This)

I’ll really appreciate it if you could leave a comment or tweet it 🙂 . Thanks!

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What I’ve been doing: The Creative 5 Program

Some of you might have been wondering why I haven’t been posting in a while. Well, it was because my mom and I are doing a project.

It’s a program called The Creative 5.

“Uhh.. well, what’s so creative about
The Creative 5?”

Well, it uses the same 5 story characters, Feathers, Swan, Tablets, Rainbow, and Butterfly, to create over 90 different 5-short-paragraph stories!

It might sound simple but actually it is very challenging to create with these 5 characters a 5=short-paragraph story that is unique, creative, and interesting.

So, if you think you can do it, congratulations! You can join The Creative 5 contest. You only have to pay $1 USD to join, and you’ll also get The Creative 5 Book 1, which usually costs $10.

So, start having fun tickling your creative brain cells and write your own The Creative 5 story now! 🙂
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By the way, I’ve been featured in Tamar Weinberg’s post How Young is Too Young? along with other very young bloggers like myself. Please check them out! =)

So, how are things going for you? I hope you’re doing awesome! 🙂

Cheers!
Gloson

Categories
Interviews

Martin Njounkwe’s Interview With Me at Start At 10

Yep! That's Martin!Recently, 18-year-old entrepreneur Martin Njounkwe interviewed me at his blog, Start at 10, “The growing entrepreneurs blog”, which is a coincidence because I started my blog at 10!

Martin has already interviewed some well-known entrepreneurs on his blog, like Jason O’Neill, 14, founder of Pencil Bugs, and Sarah Cook, founder of Raising CEO Kids, a company created to support business kids and their parents. (Sarah Cook had interviewed me before also.)

I thought you might like to see my answers to Martin’s interview with me. Please head over to his blog to see it. 🙂

Here’s a part of the post:

The post today will be an interview of Gloson a 12year old blogger from Malaysia. What intrigued me about Gloson was how he used blogging to showcase is artistic nature.

He is a young talented poet whose won various awards in his category and via his blog he has being able to sell the compilation of his work with already 2 books published.

Please click here for the full interview. 🙂 Hope you’ll enjoy it!

Categories
News

I’m the 1st Runner-up in the Blog4FT Contest!

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Hi guys! I am glad to announce that I am the 1st runner-up in the Blog4FT (Federal Territories) contest!

Blog4FT is a blogging contest in which you are to blog about the Federal Territories of Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya, or Labuan).

The main goal of this contest is to make a positive impact about the Federal Territories on the web.

It ran for 3 months (October 5, 2009 – January 5, 2010).

Each month, several entries from each category (Public, Media, and Junior) are shortlisted for the final prize.

I posted my contest entry, My Most Enjoyable Holiday in KL in Dec 09, in the last month of the competition. It’s about my enjoyable journey through Kuala Lumpur, the exciting capital of Malaysia.

The Blog4FT Prize-giving ceremony was on March 28, 2010. All the monthly winners were invited to the ceremony.

Me in the Blog4FT T-shirt posing at the ballroom behind the VVIP table before it started.

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When Datuk Raja Nong Chik, the Minister of Federal Territories and Urban-wellbeing entered the ballroom, a drum band performed to welcome him. Their rhythmic performance was totally awesome!

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Datuk Raja Nong Chik made his speech about Blog4FT. He said the web is making a big impact on the lives of Malaysians, which was one of the reasons he started Blog4FT.

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He also said he has a ‘facebook hour’, in which he interacts with comments, complaints and 50suggestions on facebook.

He is really one of the first ministers who uses social media to listen to people! 😀

Then, dinner was served, and all of us enjoyed the delicious menu.

Junior Category (18 and below)

2nd Runner-up

After that was the time everyone had been waiting for – the prize-giving part! The winners of the Junior category were announced first.

Sharifah Hani was the 2nd runner-up (3rd), for her entry, Kuala Lumpur: The Lost Art of The “Serunai Burung”. She won a Dell Studio Hybrid and an iPod touch. Congratulations!

26394_376961933788_724868788_3711849_1635724_n Photo courtesy of Razali Mohaiyin

1st Runner-up

And to my excitement, Gloson (me) was the 1st runner-up (2nd) for my entry, My Most Enjoyable Holiday in KL in Dec 09! 😀

I ran up to the stage and received the prizes and the medal from Datuk Raja Nong Chik, the Minister of Federal Territories and Urban-wellbeing.

I won a Dell Studio Hybrid, an iPod touch, and a Sony PSP. I am very thankful to you readers, for voting for my entry and supporting me! 🙂

26394_376961943788_724868788_3711851_7809971_nPhoto courtesy of Razali Mohaiyin

Another photo 😉 . On the left, beside me, is Datuk Ahirudin Atan [a.k.a. Rocky], the Chief Judge of the contest.

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Grand prize winner

Yeow Minyi was announced the Grand Prize Winner (1st), for her entry, 350! 350! I SAY 350!!!! She won a Dell Studio Hybrid, a Sony PlayStation 3,  a Sony PSP, and an iPod Touch! Wow! Congratulations! 😀

26394_376961948788_724868788_3711852_753203_n Photo courtesy of Razali Mohaiyin

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The winners from the Junior Category. 😀

26394_376961953788_724868788_3711853_7850224_nPhoto courtesy of Razali Mohaiyin

Media Category

2nd Runner-up

Then the winners from the Media category were announced. Azizul Fahmi Ahmad Zabidi was the 2nd runner-up for his entry, Cerita kemasyhuran Bangunan Sultan Abdul Samad. He won a Dell Studio Hybrid and a BlackBerry Bold!

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1st runner-up

Sonny Ikmal Bin Ahmad Kamil was the 1st runner-up, for his entry Pasar Chow Kit, Pasar Satu Malaysia! He won a Naza Prisma Motorbike, a Dell Studio Hybrid, and a MacBook (I’ve always wanted one)! Woohoo!

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Grand Prize Winner

My friend, Niki Cheong, who featured me as a twitterer in the press last year, was the Grand prize winner! He won a Kia Optima Novus car, for his entry My Bangsar! Congratulations Niki (The guy in the hat)! 😀

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Public Category

2nd Runner-up

After that, the winners of the Public category were announced. Loke Seng Hon was the 2nd runner-up, for his entry, History, Heritage & Architecture – All in KL & Putrajaya. He won a Dell Studio Hybrid and a BlackBerry Bold!

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1st Runner-up

Nigel Sia was the 1st runner-up for his post, Thankful (A video that has great reasons why Malaysians should be thankful). It was later projected on the screen for everyone to watch as they finish their meal.

He won a Naza Prisma motorbike, a Dell Studio Hybrid and a Macbook! As he was receiving the “key”, I could hear many of his friends cheering him! Go Nigel (Center)!

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Grand Prize Winner of the Contest

Emila Yusof is the grand prize winner for her entry, KL: A to Z Fun Things to do & Places to Visit with kids, a unique, colorful and fun flipbook filled with drawings she drawn herself!

She won a Peugeot 308 VTi car! Woohoo! Unfortunately, she was not able to come to the ceremony as she was flying back from Italy. So, her husband and her cute little boy came to represent her.

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Emila Yusof was interviewed by Blog4FT and it was featured on the screen as dinner was served. You should really go see Emila’s drawings in the flipbook. They’re truly amazing! She has also blogged about her prize on her blog.

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Winners posing on the stage. 1Malaysia!

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Me with the grand prize winner of the Media category, Niki Cheong.

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Me with Nigel Sia, 1st runner-up in the Public category.

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Shaking hands with Datuk Raja Nong Chik. 🙂

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Outside, the winners were posing with their brand new shiny vehicles! Here’s Niki Cheong with his brand new shiny Kia Optima Novus!

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What a shiny and beautiful car! Niki has also blogged about his winnings on his blog.

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Nigel Sia (right) from the Public category posing with his Naza Prisma motorbike (He blogged about this on his blog). On the left is Sonny Ikmal Bin Ahmad Kamil (Media category) with his motorbike. Datuk Raja Nong Chik posed stylishly in the middle 8) .

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Here’s Yassin, the son of Emila Yusof, the grand prize winner from the Public category posing with his mom’s brand new car. Picture taken from her blog post about her winnings.

Wow! It’s a shiny brand new silver car!

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Us posing together before we went back home. From left to right: Datuk Rocky (The Chief Judge), Yeow Minyi, Nigel Sia, Niki Cheong, and me.

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Me posing with the prizes when I reached home. From up to down, Sony PSP, Dell Studio Hybrid, iPod touch, Medal of being the 1st runner-up, certificate for being a December month winner, and Isetan and Borders vouchers.

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The next morning…

Fullscreen capture 3032010 35034 PM

Once again, I want to say a big thank you to you guys for supporting me and voting for me, and for being a reader of my blog. I couldn’t have made it without you!

Cheers everyone! 🙂 🙂

Categories
outdated

14 Important Things to Do After Starting Your WordPress Blog

Update 2020: Originally this post had 17 things to do, but 3 of those things are outdated, so there are only 14 things to do now! 🙂

So, you’ve got a brand new wordpress blog!wordpress-logo-stacked-rgb

Now what?

This post will tell you what you need to do after you start your wordpress blog.

If you already have a wordpress blog, you can still do these things if you haven’t done them yet 😉 .

So, here is my checklist of the 17 important things to do after starting your wordpress blog! Enjoy! 🙂

(Psst…If you’re thinking about why you should start a blog, >> 22 Reasons for You to Blog
And if you don’t use wordpress, click here to read about why you should use wordpress).

1. Decide whether you want to ‘www’ or not

www If you have noticed, some blogs, like http://mashable.com/, don’t use the ‘www’ in their address. And some blogs, like http://www.techcrunch.com/, use the ‘www’.

So if you type http://www.mashable.com, it will redirect to http://mashable.com, and vice versa.

One advantage of having a www is your blog address will look more formal.

And if you don’t use the ‘www’, your address would be shorter.

To decide, go to yourblog.com/wp-admin/options-general.php and change both the ‘WordPress address’ and ‘Blog address’ to http://www.yourblog.com, or vice versa.

wwwornot

WWW Image by bull3t

2. Set up a feed so people can subscribe to your blog

If you are wondering what a blog feed is, it is a slimmed-down version of a blog that is created to be easily syndicated. You can subscribe to it using email or an RSS reader. A feed is represented by the orange RSS icon.

This is the orange RSS icon. Many people prefer to get updates of your new blog posts through this easy way.

You can set one up at feedburner (Here’s how mine looks like). It’s free and easy! Just type in your blog address and click Burn Feed 😉 .

After that, set up email subscriptions, which enables your readers to subscribe by email. Go to Publicize >> Email Subscriptions in order to activate it and get the form.

Not setting up email subscriptions is a big mistake when it comes to getting subscribers to your blog because most people don’t know about RSS readers. Also, about 50% of my blog subscribers subscribe by email, so email subscriptions is a must!

After that, put the form and the RSS icon on your blog and link it to your feed at feedburner so people can subscribe.feedburner

3. Install Feedburner Feedsmith

Feedburner Feedsmith is a plugin that detects all ways to access your original wordpress feed and redirects them to http://feeds2.feedburner.com/yourfeed.

This plugin is needed for feedburner to track every possible subscriber to your blog by redirecting those who access http://www.yourblog.com/feed to feedburner. So, click here to install this plugin!

4. Subscribe to your own feed via RSS and email

It’s important to subscribe to your own feed, because it lets you see what your subscribers see, and when something is not right with your feed, you’ll notice. Besides, it boosts your subscriber count by 1 too 😉 . Hehe.

You can either use an RSS reader or email to subscribe to your feed, but it is best if you subscribe to both of them.

If you have a google account (which you most probably do – if you use Gmail, you have one), you can go to Google Reader. After logging in, click ‘Add a subscription’ and type in your blog address there.

5. Get your blog a favicon

A favicon is the icon you see next to your browser address bar and in your browser bookmarks. Gloson Blog’s favicon is .

It helps you brand your blog and also helps people locate your site more easily in their bookmarks.

To do this,

1. Create a square image and upload it to http://www.html-kit.com/favicon/ to generate a favicon.

2. Download it and upload the .ico file it using an FTP client to /wp-content/themes/yourthemefilename.

3. Go to the wordpress administration area and then go to Appearance >> Editor.

4. Click on “header.php” to edit it.

5. Add this code on the line just before </head>:

<link rel=”shortcut icon” href=”wp-content/themes/yourthemefilename/favicon.ico” type=”image/ico” />

(Be sure to replace ‘yourthemefilename’ with your theme file name 😉 )

6. Press Ctrl + F5 (Clear cache and reload) on your homepage. You should see it now! 😉

6. Change the permalink structure

A permalink is the address of a blog post. This post’s permalink is https://www.glosonblog.com/17-important-things-to-do-after-starting-your-wordpress-blog/.

By default, the permalink structure is like this: http://yourblog.com/?p=123.

Instead of the post ID, I suggest changing it to http://yourblog.com/your-post-title in order to gain SEO benefits. Also, if  a visitor looks at it, he will know what the post is about before clicking it.

To do this, go to yourblog.com/wp-admin/options-permalink.php and then, type in   “/%postname%/” in Custom Structure.

custompermalink

Don’t worry about broken links because the default structure will redirect itself to the new structure 😉 .

For example, this post’s old permalink structure is https://www.glosonblog.com/?p=1833. Click it and see what happens 😉 .

Link photo by cindy47452glosont

7. Write Your About Me page

An ‘About Me’ page is essential for every blog. When your readers are interested in your content, they want to know who wrote it. That’s when they go to the ‘About Me’ page.

Basically, it is just a page that tells who you are, what is your blog about, interesting things about you, and of course, a picture of yourself.

It really helps your readers to know you and your blog better! (Here’s my ‘About Me’ page by the way.)

8. Set up a contact form

A contact form is an professional and easy way for your readers to contact you. It also protects your email address from spammers.

There are some wordpress plugins that allow you to put up a contact form. I recommend Contact Form 7, a very popular contact form plugin.

After installing it, make a new page called ‘Contact’ and insert the form into it. (Here’s how it looks like on this blog 😉 )

9. and don’t forget the archive page too!

An archive page (here’s mine) is where people can find all the posts on your blog, from the first post to the latest post.

An archive page is important because it lets people discover your older content easily (and generate more pageviews).

To make an archive page, I recommend SRG Clean Archives, the one I’m using now. It’s clean and displays all your posts neatly.

If you are looking for a more creative and fun archive plugin, you should try Snazzy Archives, and here’s how it looks like.

10. Find a free theme and tweak it to make it unique

or hire someone to design it or design one yourself 😉 .

A theme (design) is really important to a blog because it represents the blog’s brand. Because if content is king, the design is the shiny robe and crown.

So I recommend you to find a not-so-common theme that you like. Then tweak it and make it a little (or better, a lot) different than the original.

One way is to change the structure of the theme by going to the Theme Editor (yourblog.com/wp-admin/theme-editor.php) in wordpress.

Another easier way is to change the images of the theme. The images are located in the theme’s folder.

After editing the images (like changing its color or texture), you can overwrite them to your blog using an FTP client like Filezilla.
(In the directory /wp-content/themes/yourthemefilename/images)

Be sure to press Ctrl + F5 to clear the cache to see the new design.

11. Set up your ping list

A ping list is a list of services that will be pinged each time you post. The services will notify sites and directories that you have posted a new post, thus giving you more exposure.

To set up your pinglist, go to the Update Services section in yourblog.com/wp-admin/options-writing.php.

And paste the sites you want to send a ping to. Note that the more pings you list, the more server resources your host has to use. So you might get suspended on a shared hosting if you use too much server resources.

This is a short recommended list of pings.

http://api.moreover.com/RPC2
http://bblog.com/ping.php
http://blogsearch.google.com/ping/RPC2
http://ping.weblogalot.com/rpc.php
http://ping.feedburner.com
http://ping.syndic8.com/xmlrpc.php
http://ping.bloggers.jp/rpc/
http://rpc.pingomatic.com/
http://rpc.weblogs.com/RPC2
http://topicexchange.com/RPC2
http://www.blogpeople.net/servlet/weblogUpdates
http://xping.pubsub.com/ping

12. Install Google Analytics (or any site stats counter you want)

GoogleAnalytics Site statistics counters are important for you to monitor, analyze and study your blog’s traffic, so you can get to know your visitors better

I recommend Google Analytics, because it’s quite advanced and has lots of features. It’s free and all you need is a Google Account.

Google Analyticator, a wordpress plugin, allows you to easily add a Google Analytics tracking code.

Note: And please don’t become a stataholic! Write more posts!

13. Install WordPress DB Backup to schedule blog backups

WordPress Database Backup, a wordpress plugin, allows you to schedule blog backups (hourly, twice daily, daily, weekly) easily and have them automatically sent to you by email or stored in the server.

Backups are really important because if anything ever happens to your blog, you have the backup, your best defense.

14. Change the admin username

Most of the login usernames of wordpress blogs is ‘admin’. If your wordpress blog’s login username is ‘admin’, too, you should really change it to something that can’t be guessed easily because the default name makes hackers’ lives so much easier.

Changing it is super duper easy. Here are the steps to do it:

1. Go to the wordpress admin area.

2. Go to Users >> Add new

3. Fill in the details with a different username and give it administrator privileges.

4. Log out and log in with the new username.

5. Delete the ‘admin’ user.

6. When you do so, it will ask you whether you want to move the posts and links of ‘admin’ to another user or delete them. Attribute the posts to the new username you have just created.

Photo by Darwin Bell

15. Install the All-in-One-SEO Pack Plugin

All-in-One-SEO-Pack is a really popular wordpress plugin to do all the basic SEO things on your blog like page titles, post titles, meta tags, descriptions and those kinds of stuff. By default, the browser title of a wordpress blog post is:

Blog Title >> Blog Archive >> Post Title.

If you install All in One SEO, the structure will be changed to (or you can customize it):

Post Title | Blog Title

Which looks simply much better and shorter.

It also noindexes the date and category archives so that it won’t appear in search engine results pages and won’t receive duplicate content penalty.

16. Create your own 404 page

404error A 404 page is what your readers see when they go to a non-existing page on your blog. Like this: https://www.glosonblog.com/thispagedoesntexist.

By default, the page is just a ‘404 error – Page not Found’ 404 page that isn’t much help to your readers. Why not make it more helpful instead?

To do this, go to the wordpress admin area and then Appearance >> Editor. Click on 404.php to edit it.

Find the part of the code where it says <h2>404 Page Not Found</h2> or something like that. Then overwrite that line with this code (My version of a 404 page).

Be sure to make a backup of your old code before overwriting. It will probably work on most themes, but in some cases, it won’t, then you need to have a little bit of HTML knowledge in order to make it work.

<h2>404 Page Not Found</h2>
<p>Oopsie! The page you are looking for cannot be found! It might be renamed or removed. Please check your spelling or return to the homepage.</p>

<p>Or, you can also view our latest posts below. Hope you’ll enjoy them. Thanks! ;-)</p>

<p>
<h2>Latest Posts</h2></p>
<ul>
<?php
query_posts(‘posts_per_page=10’);
if (have_posts()) : while (have_posts()) : the_post(); ?>
<li><a href=”<?php the_permalink() ?>” title=”Permalink for : <?php the_title(); ?>”><?php the_title(); ?></a>
<?php endwhile; endif; ?>
</ul>

Feel free to edit and customize the code! 🙂 Do tell me if this code doesn’t work!

17. Write a post!

Still, without any content, a blog won’t be a blog.

So go on and write a post! Write a unique high-quality thought provoking post on a topic you are passionate about!

After that, promote it on twitter, facebook, stumbleupon, and so on and on. Ask your friends to read it too! 🙂

Photo by KatieKrueger
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So here are my 17 things to do after starting a wordpress blog checklist. Be sure to bookmark this post and read it when you start a new wordpress blog! 😉

If you know of another thing to do after starting a wordpress blog, please tell me in the comments!

And if you have any questions, please drop me a comment and I’ll be very glad to answer it! 🙂