I’ve been thinking a lot lately about blogging self-esteem which is how you perceive your worth as a blogger.
You can be blogging along, just fine. All of a sudden you suffer a setback such as lower stats or a campaign that falls through or a mean comment or email and all of a sudden, you are doubting your worth as a blogger.
Your Blogging Self-Esteem
It can be very hard to remember all the good things about how you blog, the post that went viral, the big campaign you got picked for, the good comments or when your stats went up for a while.
How do I know this? Because I’ve gone through bouts of it myself. I go through periods of not blogging a lot because I doubt myself as a blogger, wonder why I bother, and remember all the negatives instead of all the positives.
When you are struggling, take a moment to ask other people why you make a good blogger (asking other bloggers would be best) and make a list of all these reasons or comments. Try to stop comparing yourself to others and just do your best.
Self-Esteem Vs Self-Compassion
I watched a Tedx Talk by Kristen Neff titled The Space Between Self Esteem and Self Compassion. It’s only 19 minutes long and I recommend you watch it (see the video at the end of the post.) In the video, Kristen mentions a few things that I want to discuss briefly in the context of blogging.
Average or Above Average?
“It’s not okay to be average. It’s considered an insult to be average. What’s the problem with that if all of us have to be above average at the same time?”
I had never really thought about it much but when she pointed out that telling someone they are average or did an average job is NOT a compliment she was right. Your blog is average. You are an average blogger. Neither one of these sounds appealing does it? However with millions of blogs out there, we can’t ALL be above average now can we?
I’ve heard people say, I want to start a blog about [name topic] but there are already so many other blogs out there about the same topic, should I bother? Some people will answer that by saying that yes, you should because everyone is different and you might have a different perspective on the topic or cover it in a different way.
That is true but I think even if you want to blog about a topic and you aren’t necessarily covering it in a different way it’s still okay because there may be millions of blogs but there are billions of people. I’ve seen MANY posts on how to use Pinterest for example but that doesn’t mean a new blog about blogging shouldn’t cover the topic. There are people reading YOUR blog that aren’t reading the other blogs. YOUR readers want to know about your topic, or your potential readers.
You don’t have to be above average to be useful or worthy. You just have to be helpful or bring information to your readers.
Bullies Exist in the Blogging World Too
Unfortunately bullies exist everywhere, including in the blogging world. It’s hard not to feel down when another blogger makes a snide remark about you or your blog. It’s made worse by the fact that everything occurs online. People are less scared to say what they are thinking when they are hiding behind the anonymity of the internet.
What we need to remember is WHY bullies do what they do. Bullies bully to try to make themselves feel better. In the blogging world this means that a bully is trying to make their own self-worth go up by raining hate on others. This of course is not the way to go about it but in a world this big it’s going to happen. The best thing you can do is to train yourself to feel pity on the bully and learn to brush off what they say because you KNOW better. You know you are worthy.
Self-Esteem is Contingent on Success
Most people’s ideas of self worth have to do with how much success they have. That’s why you feel good when you get a campaign, make a sale, reach new follower milestones or have a post go viral. However that’s also why you feel bad when the opposite happens and you are denied a campaign, miss a sale, lose followers or have a small audience. It’s important to measure your success against yourself (aim to do better than you did last month) but also to realize that you are WORTHY even if you have a set back. Kristen’s Tedx talk explains the difference between self-esteem and self-compassion and why we should focus on the latter.
Stop Being So Hard On Yourself
Most of us wouldn’t dream of saying something like this to a fellow blogger:
“Why are you even blogging? Your blog looks horrible, you have no audience, your posts look like crap, your photos are awful and you can’t be consistent to save your life!”
Right? How many times have you said something similar to yourself? Under your breath perhaps? Why is it okay to talk to yourself like that but not okay to talk to others like that? Do you see something wrong with this?
When you start talking to yourself whether it’s out loud or in your head, stop for a minute and imagine you are being asked to give advice to a fellow blogger. Then start again.
Whether we call it blogging self-esteem or self-confidence or self-worth or self-compassion, I think we all need to give ourselves more love, empathy, acceptance, give and approval.
Watch the Tedx Talk by Kristen Neff
You can find out more about Kristen Neff at her website.
All bloggers need fresh blog post ideas constantly if they want to blog regularly. I wrote about generating content ideas before and mentioned three content generators in that post. Well I found more so this post is about all 10 content generators on the web. Use these tools and generate more than 750 blog post ideas in one hour just like me.
I generated 750 blog post ideas just by using each of these generators ONCE. Many of them can be used over and over so you can actually get even MORE than 750!
Content Idea Generators
Portent’s Content Idea Generator
Portent’s content idea generator is probably the most fun to use and probably the simplest. Type in one keyword and click the arrow. Click the arrow every time you want a new suggestion. I just copied the best ideas into a text document for later.
Quandry Content Idea Generator
This generator is for bloggers who also have a product they sell. You have to sign up with an email first and then after you confirm your email you will be given a username and password to access the generator. You will have to answer a bunch of questions about your product, it’s intended use and a whole bunch of other things. After I submitted I received 360 ideas in less than 1 second!
I used my SEO for Bloggers: Advanced ebook as the basis for my responses and you can see below some of my suggestions. At the bottom of the page is a little box that you can click to copy and paste the suggestions into a document for later use.
Hubspot’s Blog Topic Generator
To use the Hubspot Blog Topic Generator, fill in three nouns you wish to write about and click give me blog topics and you will be presented with 5 title suggestions. If you want a whole year’s worth of ideas, you can fill out a form and subscribe to their blog and they will email you more. Note that the form asks questions as if you are a business but you can still get ideas if you are a single blogger with no current side business. Just answer the questions as close as you can.
You’ll notice one of my suggestions below is grammatically incorrect. That will happen sometimes with generators but they are ideas and they are meant to be changed as needed.
Tweak Your Biz Title Generator
The Tweak Your Biz generator is another one that gives you a lot of blog post ideas at once. It asks you to enter a keyword and mark if it’s a noun or a verb and submit. I enter “blog” and clicked verb and got 213 ideas!
My ideas were separated into categories. It even puts all the ideas together into one little box that you can save or print. I copied them all into a document and saved for later use. As always you will have to adjust grammar on some of them and some of them might not make sense at all. However out of 213 ideas you can bet I can use most of them.
If you choose a verb – Lists, Questions, How Tos, Celebrities, Lists, Motivation and Ing (adding ing to your word).
If you choose noun – Lists, Best, How-Tos, Questions, Love, Sex, Celebrities, Secrets, Snark, Business, Motivating, Problems and Kitchen Sink.
Example with video games:
Snark – Don’t Be Fooled By Video Game
Secrets – Give Me 10 Minutes, I’ll Give You The Truth About Video Games
Celebrities – Charlie Sheen’s Guide To Video Games
Sex – 7 Ways Video Games Will Improve Your Sex Life
SEOPressor Blog Title Generator
The SEOPressor Blog Title Generator just asks for a keyword and you can clarify what type of word it is for better results (term, product, location, skill etc)
Once you submit you will get 5 ideas and you can hit the refresh button to find 5 more. Alternatively you can enter your email and be sent more ideas. I was sent 154 ideas in a text file when I tried it.
Blog Title Idea Generator
This tool by InboundNow is fairly straight forward. Its suggestions are generic, you can fill in the blanks with your topics or keywords after. Just click the blue button and a new one will appear. I suggest copying ones you like into a document for later. You will only see one idea at a time.
Blog About by Impact
Blog About by Impact asks you to name one thing you like to blog about. Unlike other generators, if you aren’t sure what keyword to use, you can auto-generate some ideas until you find something you’d like to blog about.
The refresh button gives you ideas of what to blog about but if you click next you go to a blog post title generator which has nothing to do with the blog topics you were coming up with.
It comes up with a post title with blanks and you can save the ones you like to a list below. Or you can edit the blanks and then save it. When you are done, you can email yourself the blog post ideas.
FatJoe Blog Post Title Idea Generator
This one like many others asks you to enter a topic or keyword and it will generate ideas. It will give you 10 ideas at a time but there is a button to generate 10 more. Adjust your grammar as needed.
The Blog Post Ideas Generator
This one from Build Your Own Blog is another simple one. You don’t enter any keywords or topics in this one. Just click the orange button for a suggestion. Unfortunately the title ideas come up with a fancy animation each time so it takes longer than it should.
Not all the suggestions are fill in the blank and some seemed more for a hobby blogger. Also I tried to copy and paste them into a document like the others but it doesn’t copy properly so you have to edit each one.
Some ideas I got:
Something nobody will believe is…
I just gotta say this…
Top X Must Haves For __________
Linkbait Title Generator
This one is not flashy. Enter a keyword and click the button. You get 25 ideas. Click the button again for 25 more. They were pretty good ideas.
So how is your collection of blog post ideas now?
This blog is the home of the Biannual Blogathon Bash – a twice yearly blogging marathon. Will you join us this time?
The summer event is coming on June 23-26, 2017
For the 9th time bloggers of all types are gathering together virtually to work on their blogs, get to know each other, have fun, learn new things and possibly, win prizes! Want to sign up now?
What Is a Blogathon?
Blogathon is a merging of two words – blogging + marathon and that’s exactly what the blogathon is. If you are picturing some poor soul hunched over a keyboard for 72 hours though I assure you it’s not quite like that. The event is 72 hours long but I don’t expect anyone to work straight through AND you won’t necessarily be sitting at your desk the whole time. During the blogathon, work on your blogging to-do list, whatever it may be. Write posts sure but you can also clean your desk, go through your email, make business connections, work on your blog design, research a new project idea, take photos for a blog post, whatever YOU need to do. I suggest a goal of 24 (non-consecutive) hours of work during the event but you can signup and participate for as little or as long as you want/can.
The event runs 8am EST Friday June 23 to 8am EST Monday June 26. For those in North America, that will basically be Friday morning to Sunday night unless you stay up all night. You are welcome to participate only one or two days or all three. Put in 6 hours or 50. It’s up to you. Sign up now even if you don’t know how much you can participate. If for some reason you can’t participate at all, don’t worry! We hold these events every January and June so there will be more!
If you need to know more, the About the Blogathon page has some more information and the F.A.Q. covers things more extensively. Or perhaps you want to see what others thought about past events on the Testimonials page. Don’t forget to SIGN UP.
Other Ways to Participate
If you have a product or service of interest to bloggers we are accepting sponsors for prizes and you can find all the info on the sponsorship page.
May 4th is World Password Day and it’s the perfect time to remind my readers about WordPress blog security including how hacking works, how to choose a secure password and other ways you can have a secure blog.
Tips on WordPress Blog Security
Without the proper precautions and secure passwords, hackers can gain access to your blog and do all kinds of damage.
How Hackers Get Into Your Blog
When you send information over the internet it doesn’t go directly to the site from your browser. It jumps around a bunch of servers first. So if you login to a site that is NOT using a SSL Secure Connection (https://) then the username and password you type in is actually being displayed to a bunch of other sites and places before it reaches the website server.
Hackers can use FREE tools to find your WordPress login credentials (or other site) and then he or she would have full access to your blog. Also even if you are SSL Secure, sometimes hackers just try different common usernames and passwords and gain access that way. For example your username for your blog should NEVER be “admin” because its one of the most common and so hackers try it first.
How to Tell if Your Blog Has Been Hacked
You can’t always tell easily but there are some signs that can tell you there is something wrong with your blog. Keep your eye out for the following:
- unusual user activity (new users, changing of passwords, user role changes)
- new content that shouldn’t be there
- existing content has been changed in ways it shouldn’t be
- unusual spike of traffic, especially from one particular country that you don’t normally have traffic from
- unusual dip in traffic
- huge amount of spam comments to one particular post in one shot.
- Malware warnings when the page is loaded or in Google Search Console
You can also input your site in the Google Site Status tool to see if any warnings show up.
How to Make Your Password Secure
- Make your password more than 8 characters (the longer it is the harder it is to guess)
- Use a combination of numbers, letters (upper and lower case) and symbols (&#@! etc.)
- Do NOT use dictionary words (vocabulary) like monkey, dinosaur, house. (some programs that try to guess passwords run all dictionary words from different languages)
- Don’t use these most common passwords.
- Don’t use the name of a family member, place you have lived, phone number or other important number (social security number or social insurance number)
- Don’t write your passwords down willy nilly and make sure people don’t see you typing them in.
- Change your passwords regularly
The best suggestion I found for having a password you can remember while still hard to guess that I found while researching is to start with a sentence you can remember but isn’t too easy (include names and numbers) and then shorten it to a password.
e.g. Johnnie and Mason were my friends in 3rd Grade = JaMwmfi3g
e.g. I met my husband 10 years ago in Canada = Immh10yaiC
You can change it up a bit but something like that anyways.
Other Ways to Be Safe
Having a secure password and a SSL certified site are two ways to keep safe.
Here’s another suggestion for WordPress Blog Security from Christine whose blog has been hacked in the past:
“I was told over and over that the easiest way people hack is if you don’t update or get rid of unused themes and plugins. I am now super diligent about staying up on that.” – Christine from Saved By Grace and NorthWest Tourist
Indeed hackers can sneak in through holes made by old themes and plugins. The main WordPress core (without anything added on) is very safe and virtually un-hackable (is that a word?) However themes and plugins are made by different people and if they don’t keep updating them when a new WordPress version comes out there can be safety issues.
Also do not give out your login information and as stated above, make sure your login name is not admin or your blog’s name word for word or your name if your name is shown on your blog. Make it hard to crack.
Wordfence Security Plugin
I also suggest if you are on WordPress to use the Wordfence Security Plugin. This is NOT a sponsored post, I just like the plugin. The plugin helps stop you from being hacked and alerts you to any problems. Wordfence even shows you when hackers are trying to gain access to your blog including what username they tried. Before Wordfence I figured, “ah my blog isn’t that popular, I’m sure no one is trying to break in to my blog.” Well now I know that isn’t the case. It doesn’t matter if your blog is popular.
If you have any other tips on WordPress Blog Security, I’d love to hear them in the comments below. We’d also love to hear your story if you’ve been hacked.