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The Art of Notebook: 10 Blogging Tips for Beginners

July 20, 2012 by Galvin Tan in Special, Technology with 15 Comments


Write a Short Story and Win a Lenovo 320GB hard disk.

When I first started my blog back in 2005, I didn’t know what to do. Blogging is relatively new to Malaysians and I spend most of my time searching for blogging tips online. Over the years, I’ve picked up some really useful blogging tips and it changed my life forever.

As Lenovo’s Book of DO ambassador and representing the Art of Notebook, it’s only right for me to pay-it-forward by sharing some blogging tips with all of you budding bloggers out there. Whether you’re new to blogging or wish to start a blog, follow these 10 blogging tips and you’ll be rolling like a pro in no time.

1. Define Your Goals

Just like every other decisions you made in life, decide what you want and go for it. But before you even start, you need to know what you want. Different people have different reasons to start a blog. Whether it’s for personal use of for your organisation, you need to define its purpose. I started my blog because I wanted to improve my writing. I find a reason to put in an entry everyday and eventually, I got my blog running.  So know what you want, define your goals and move ahead.

2. Know Your Audience

When I started my blog, I find myself blogging about anything and everything under the sun. Eventually, I found myself writing more on interesting gadgets and food that I eat every day. I soon realized that I begin to get readers who share similar interest commenting on my blog.  That’s when I decided that I’m going to be a gadget and lifestyle blogger. When you have a blog, you will eventually have readers. Your blog reflects who you are and whom you’re attracting. So know who you are attracting and give them what they want to read (usually it’s what you want to blog about).

3. Be Consistent

Once you’ve established your blog, your blog is a brand. And like any other brands, you need to have an identity. The only way to build an identity is to be consistent. You need to be consistent throughout your blog. Be it your design or how you write your blog. KEEP AWAY from using multi-coloured fonts in your postings unless you’re trying to attract younger age readers.

4. Be Persistent

The best way to keep readers coming back is to always have something new (and meaningful) for them to see. Nobody likes old news. So, try your very best to keep your blog updated as frequent as possible.

5. Be Inviting

Perhaps the most important part about having a blog is the social aspect of it. Most blogging platforms such as Blogger.com and WordPress do have a comment tool. It’s a platform for two-way conversation between readers and yourself. Readers will read your post and leave their comments. So try to reply their comments if possible. Even a short one liner will do.

6. Be Visible

Unless you know SEO (Search Engine Optimization), your blog will not go anywhere if you don’t do anything besides blogging. Much of your blog’s success relies on your efforts outside your blog. The best way to get your blog known is to visit and to share comments on other blogs. NO, never advertise your blog on another person’s blog. Instead, try contributing your thoughts and share comments on their blog. When commenting on their blog, you will need to fill in your name and blog URL, that’s when you start getting visible.

7. Take Risks

There are plenty of blogging tools available out there. Dare to take risk with these tools and make full use of it. Exclusivity is the key to attract more readers and it won’t come easy. Be ready to sacrifice some precious time digging into certain topic that may be interesting to your readers.

8. Ask for Help

The Internet and especially the blogosphere are forever changing. Even the most experienced bloggers may find themselves entangled in the World Wide Web at times. So do not be afraid and be ashamed to ask for help. I’m many experienced bloggers are willing to share their knowledge if you ask nicely. I’m lucky enough to have a number of close friends whom are bloggers too. So whenever I’m stuck with something technical regarding my WordPress blog, I will ask for their help.

9. Keep Learning

A wise man once told me that learning is a never ending cycle. You will never stop learning. The moment you stop learning is the moment you are buried six feet underground. Even though I’ve been blogging for the past 6 years, I never stop learning. Or else, I wouldn’t be writing this post.

10. Be Yourself

At the end of the day, your blog is an extension of who you are. What you write is what you’ve perceived. So write as you wish and don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Even if you’re not good at writing, try and keep trying. Eventually, you’ll get things right.

 

Just to make things fun, I will be giving away a Lenovo 320GB Hard Disk. All you need to do is to write a three-paragraph  SHORT STORY based on the title ‘HOW I BECAME A SUPERHERO’.

Now there’s a catch to it, you short story have to include these words as listed here:

  1. Lenovo
  2. Idea
  3. Power
  4. Cape
  5. Kangkung Belacan

Here’s what you need to do:

  • Submit a three-paragraphed story based on the topic provided by you to win a Lenovo 320GB Hard Disk.
  • Submit your creative short story on this comment box by 11.59pm, 30 July 2012.

Terms and condition of the contest:

  1. This contest is open to all Malaysians residing in Kuala Lumpur and to those who are aged 12 and above.
  2. Winners will be selected based on creativity, originality and relevance to the topic.
  3. Each winner will be entitled to one (1) Lenovo 320 GB Hard Disk.
  4. The contest judges reserve the right to disqualify any participant or winner and may refuse to award any prize to a person who is ineligible or violated any rule, gained unfair advantage in participating in the contest, or obtained winner status using fraudulent means.



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About Galvin Tan

A creative professional and social media junkie, Galvin Tan has been blogging since 2005 and he writes about everything from food to gadget. An avid fan of football and loves playing foosball and basketball. For latest updates, follow him @galvintan on Twitter.

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15 comments
Ruxyn
Ruxyn

Oh yay! Thanks to much ! :D

Ruxyn
Ruxyn

I mean thank you so much :X Overexcited :)

Galvin Tan
Galvin Tan

Congratulations to Ruxyn for submitting the best short story. We will be contacting you shortly.As for the rest, thank you for your participation and do look out for more giveaway contest here at Decoding Galvin.

Galvin Tan
Galvin Tan

Wow, great stuff we have here. I would like to thank everyone that participated in this mini contest and we're looking into all the entries now. Please stay tune as we will announce the winner very soon.

Muhammad Azwan Bin Azri
Muhammad Azwan Bin Azri

Long time ago,

I dreamnt to be a superhero,

One day, after finished my assignment using Lenovo,

I went to the bed and sleep with my pillow,

It does not take long time to hear my snore,

Then I start my dream journey as a Supa-Hero!

I arrived at a place surrounding by fire,

I don't know where and I have no idea,

I looked at my hands and both of them covered with blue light fire,

Now I know I have super power!

Suddenly I heard someone laughing and shouting hysterically like orang gila,

The person covered by smoke in the atmosphere!

When the smoke completely disappeared,

I saw a women in cape standing with swagger,

She is Nicki Minaj the crazy singer!

Her hair coloured like Kangkung Belacan,

With all those over the top fashion, I think I don't stand a chance!

But I tried to fight like a true superhero,

Finally she is defeated and I am the Supa-Hero to bestow!

Gina Cheng
Gina Cheng

I was blogging about my neighbour’s impoverished dogs using my trusty old Lenovo Y410 in my blog when a fellow reader commented that instead of just praying or lamenting about the misfortune of the dogs, I should do something about it!

So, I cracked my head for ideas on how to persuade my neighbour to give away their dogs instead of keeping them in the cage for 24/7 without offending them. Afterall, we have been neighbours for as long as I could remember and I didn’t want to create any conflicts. I believe each and every one of us has a power to make a difference. So, I don on my invisible cape to summon my courage to talk to the neighbour.

It was such a relief when my neighbour readily agreed to give up their dogs for adoption since they do not have time to care for them. I was so happy to be of assistance and within the next few days, I managed to get compassionate friends to adopt their dogs so that the dogs don’t have to be fed with regular human food like kangkong belacan and bak kut teh! You don’t need superpowers to be superheros. All you need is a compassionate heart and courage to stand up for the less fortunate to make a difference.

Leyasheena Panicker
Leyasheena Panicker

Testing…. testing… hello? Is this thing even on? Oh, yeah it is. Um, hi. My name is Casey Harold and today I will tell you a story about me. And trust me when I say that this is no ordinary tale.Now and then I think of all the times I could have just walked away from totally changing my life. But of course, I just HAD to get so curious now, didn’t I? Maybe I should elaborate more about this, eh? Well, it all began on a wet summer night in New York City.

It was raining and naturally, I didn’t have an umbrella with me. With no money and no raincoat, I had to trudge through the rainy streets by myself. I shivered and cursed myself as I ran up to a dark alley to dry up. I could hear cats screeching as they ran or fell into dumpsters, I wasn’t really sure. I ignored them and took out my phone to check what time it was. The light from my iPhone ignited a small portion of the alley as the screen read 23.11pm. “Great,” I thought aloud. “It’s 11.11! Hah! Maybe I should make a wish for the heck of it.” I chuckled to myself thinking about all those stupid girls in school who would probably be doing that right now, wishing for some boy with 6 pecks to swoop them off their feet. For the heck of it, I made a silent wish. "I wish things would be different." Then, the weirdest thing happened. With a huge flash of lightning, I saw something that I didn't notice before. A laptop was sitting all by itself in that alley. It was a sleek brand new Lenovo one as well. I approached it with pure scorn, wondering who on Earth left it there. As I approached it, the screen magically lit up. The screen read, "Hello, Casey." I was so freaked out I tripped over my own feet and fell down in shock. "Why are you so afraid?" it asked. "You wished for things to be different, didn't you?" It was then that I understood what had happened.

Many years had past and boy, did I make a difference. Not only was I the youngest person to graduate at Oxford with the highest GPA, but I was also the first person to find a cure for cancer. I had it all; fame, fortune, girls, attention, you name it. And it was all thanks to the Lenovo laptop. It was the true secret behind all of my doings. You see, this was no ordinary laptop. It literally had a mind of it's own. A thing that was so smart that you do literally do anything with it. And so I chose to be a superhero. The best part of this was that I didn't need a cape or any powers of any sort. I just needed the right ideas and maybe a bowl of kangkung belacan to enhance my thinking skills and bam, amazing things would be born. Now, I am old and worn. My glory days are over and alas, I am not immortal. I'm taping this so that you can take over from now on. You now know all my secrets. The Lenovo laptop is hidden deep in the Harold mansion, in the diamond safe. You already know the combination.However, do remember that with great power comes great responsibility. It's you who should steer now.

Robin
Robin

Few months ago while having dinner with my family at 123 Food Court, I had a strong cravings for Kangkung Belacan plus Sotong. I quickly ran towards the store and shout out my order. Hiding behind the tall piles of Kangkung was the hawker's son, indulging himself with computer games on his Aqua Blue Lenovo IdeaPad U310 Ultrabook™.

I inched closer towards him and said, "You should help your father to reduce his workload." He stared at me and answered, "I have always wanted to learn the secret recipe of this dish but my father insisted that I should complete all levels 'Vegetable Chopper' before he pass down the family secret to me." The hawker passed my order and replied, "I want my so to learn the fundamentals before exposing him to the culinary world."

His replied struck my mind because I have always failed in my mission to be a superhero. I quickly lay a strong foundation by reading materials and practising my martial art skills. My quick progress has transform me into my own definition of 'Sotongman'.

Robin
Robin

Sorry I missed out some words.

Few months ago while having dinner with my family at 123 Food Court, I had a strong cravings for Kangkung Belacan plus Sotong. I quickly ran towards the store and shout out my order. Hiding behind the tall piles of Kangkung was the hawker’s son in a cape, indulging himself with computer games on his Aqua Blue Lenovo IdeaPad U310 Ultrabook™.

I inched closer towards him and said, “You should help your father to reduce his workload.” He stared at me and answered, “I have always wanted to learn the secret recipe of this dish but my father insisted that I should complete all levels ‘Vegetable Chopper’ before he pass down the family secret to me.” The hawker passed my order and replied, “I want my so to learn the fundamentals before exposing him to the culinary world.”

His replied struck my mind with a strange idea because I have always failed in my mission to be a superhero. I quickly lay a strong foundation by reading materials and practising my martial art skills. My quick progress has transform me into my own definition of ‘Sotongman’ with extraordinary power.

Amin
Amin

Nama saya Amin, saya berumur 9 tahun. Orang di sekolah saya panggil saya super-hero. Pada satu hari, mak saya panggil saya ke pasar untuk membeli sayur kerana dia tak ada masa kerana dia sedang menonton Power Rangers. Saya pun menaiki basikal BMX saya ke pasar untuk membeli sayur. Setelah saya tiba di pasar, i tidak tahu apa sayur yang mak saya nak beli kerana dia tidak memberitahu saya. Saya pun main tibai la beli kangkung kerana kangkung belacan adalah sayur kesukaan bapa saya.

Selepas beli kangkung, saya pun jalan jalan di pasar dan saya nampak satu peniaga yang kulit hitam tapi bukan bangsa India. Saya pun tanya dia dari mana. Dia cakap dia orang afrika dari Cape Town, South Afrika. Dia menjual laptop yang sangat murah dan ada banyak jenama terkenal seperti Lenovo dan sebagainya.

Saya pun terfikir satu idea untuk menjadi budak pertama yang bawa laptop ke sekolah. Saya pun beli satu laptop dan bawa ke sekolah pada besok harinya. Cikgu saya ternampak laptop saya dan dia merampas laptop saya. Saya panggil bapa saya ke sekolah untuk mendapatkan laptop saya balik. Cikgu itu tidak mahu bagi laptop saya balik kepada bapa saya. Bapa saya melempang cikgu itu dan merampas balik laptop saya. Selepas itu, kawan kawan saya memanggil saya super hero.Itulah cerita macam mana saya dinamakan super-hero di sekolah saya.

Kok Chiu
Kok Chiu

It was a dark and stormy night with howling winds sweeping across the city. As I looked outside my bedroom window, the misty orange glow from the nearby lamppost, blurred by the curtain of torrential rain, illuminated the otherwise empty cobbled street. I would do anything for some piping hot kangkung belacan right at this moment, I thought. I was busy burning the midnight oil yet again trying to finish up my assignment. My stomach growled but I had to soldier on even though my dingy old laptop was acting up again. “For the umpteenth time, why must you fail on me?!” I shouted and banged on the keyboard. I was frustrated and hungry, not a good combination I might add. As I was fidgeting with the wires, trying to troubleshoot the problem at hand, lightning struck and I felt a quiver of current coursing through my veins. And then darkness enveloped me.

When I woke up, everything was a blur and I had a throbbing headache. The clock showed that it was already a quarter to eleven, an hour had passed. As I looked around, I noticed something different. My relic of a laptop had transformed itself into the Lenovo IdeaPad U310 Ultrabook. I was in awe – it was sleek and sophisticated with beautiful ergonomic curves; I rubbed my eyes thinking it was all a dream. Pinching myself, the pain proved that I was not dreaming. As I was about to turn the power on, a sudden booming voice filled the room. “YOU HAVE BEEN CHOSEN TO BE THE ONE. YOU ARE BESTOWED WITH AN AMAZING POWER UNLIKE ANY OTHER. THIS ULTRABOOK WILL AID YOU IN YOUR QUEST TO GREATNESS!” And just like that, silence then filled the room. I was taken aback but managed to collect my thoughts. This ultrabook will certainly be an awesome sidekick. I won’t have to face a lagging laptop again. Goodbye to slow performance!

I suddenly felt like a superhero with my new-found powers. Using my trusty Lenovo IdeaPad U310 Ultrabook I can now complete my tasks swiftly, efficiently and without fuss. I could lead the way in showing to friends and family members the wonders of this amazing Lenovo Ultrabook. Feeling all empowered, I had the idea of donning on a cape but guessed that it would be a tad too much. A nice suit would do. Nonetheless, from that day forth, I would chart the way forward in ridding the world of straggling, bothersome, malfunctioning laptops. Introducing a new world order where high-performance ultrabooks will revolutionize a new-fangled digital epoch...

Ruxyn
Ruxyn

It is every child's dream to become a superhero. Batman, Superman, Spiderman – we’re all inspired by them when we were kids. I remember the times I would pretend to be Supergirl (since I'm a girl, it makes sense to be Supergirl) and I would jump off my bed so fashionably, in a manner that I would consider to be heroic. As I landed on the ground on my feet, I would then look up and give my best pose and imagined that I was the hero of the town and everyone was looking at me with awe.

As I grew older, the idea of being a superhero changed eventually and I understand that we can be a superhero of our own, based on our own definition. Fictional superpowers don't appeal to me anymore. I now see a superhero as a person who dares to make a difference and bring change. I want to be a superhero that contributes to society in ways that I can. I want to write and review about issues that matters without any bias or prejudice. I don't need a costume or a cape but I can still be this superhero that I want to be. With social media, everyone can make a change - to make a world a better place. I want to be part of this change.

I can be in front of my Lenovo IdeaPad U300s and I already feel that I have so much power in my hands. Lenovo enables me to access information from anywhere because of its portability. What’s better is that I can gain information in split seconds, ultimately polishing my blogging experiences. This idea of superhero isn’t that bad at all. At least I can enjoy my favourite kangkung belacan and not be judged. This is the power that every superhero should have. There shouldn’t be any need to compromise nor disguise but be daring to do things that matters. Lenovo is right. Lenovo is for those who do - for those who do want to make a change.

Gary
Gary

It was a day unlike any other as far as I remembered - the sky was clear and the sun was asserting its presence strongly which only means that it was the perfect time to head over to my neighbourhood shopping mall for some much needed yet somewhat artificial blast of cool air. I was window-shopping for a Lenovo computer seeing that it was a reputable brand anyone could have asked for. I already had an idea what I wanted having scoured the Internet for product reviews of Lenovo's latest range of ultrabooks.

On the suggestion by the salesperson at the store, I decided to give it a go, trying out the features of the new Lenovo IdeaPad U310 Ultrabook. At first click, I felt a surge of power rushing through me, it was as though I was jolted by the Ultrabook Gods hinting at me that this laptop was 'The One'. I could multitask faster and browse easier both effortlessly and seamlessly.

I felt like donning a cape right then and there but felt that it was a bit over the top having to expose my new-found powers and identity to the public. After contemplating for a bit, I thanked the salesperson for his awesome help as I had much to think about for my next notebook purchase. But suddenly I had a sudden craving for kangkung belacan. And that was when I knew, it was a special day indeed for I only have kangkung belacan on special days...

Kelvin W
Kelvin W

I guess I'm not legible to enter the comp. :(

and guess what I finally started blogging, can I advertise here? LOL

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