Friday, November 29, 2013

Four Types of Popular Blog Post That Don’t Require Much Writing by Ali Luke

Do you wish you could produce great blog posts with a minimum of writing?
Well … you can! And they might even turn out to be some of the most popular posts on your blog.
I’m not talking about using video, audio or images here – though all of those can work very well. You can create a normal, text-based post without doing much writing at all.
Here are three types of blog post that often go down very with readers. You won’t need to write more than a few sentences for each (unless you want to).

#1: The Quotes Post

Lists of inspiring, motivational or useful quotes are hugely popular – with good reason. They offer bite-sized, easy-to-digest chunks of advice (or doses of humour).
To put one together, use sites like BrainyQuote and Goodreads to find great quotes on your topic. You might also collect quotes from books, websites, etc during the normal course of your reading and blogging: store them safely for future use.
How to Flourish: 17 Quotes On Living, Being and Doing (Charlie Gilkey, Productive Flourishing)
This post had over 1,400 shares on Facebook – and I know it’s one of Charlie’s most popular pieces. Yet the only words he wrote are a single-line introduction, and a two-sentence conclusion linking to a follow-up piece.

#2: The Interview Post

If you’re not an expert yet, turn to the people who are. An interview post is a win-win-win: it gives you content you couldn’t have written yourself, it raises your interviewee’s profile, and it provides a fresh perspective for your readers.
Interview posts take time to put together, especially if you’re interviewing several people at once (which can make for a really good resource). Make sure you plan ahead and allow time for busy bloggers to get back to you with their answers.
Six Inspiring Experts Answer Five Questions on Writing and Blogging (Ali Luke, Zen Optimise)
I put together this post a few weeks ago for Zen Optimise (where I’m Head of Content). Although I wrote quite a long introduction, it only takes up a fraction of the post – each of the six interviewees provided generous, in-depth answers. Daniel’s one of them, so you may want to check out his tips!

#3: The Discussion Post

This type of post works best once your blog has been running long enough to build up a loyal audience of engaged readers. Instead of writing about a topic yourself, you simply pose a question – and watch the comments come in.
Discussion posts can build engagement and community, and they can also be a rich source of ideas for future posts. (You might write a post quoting some of the best comments, for instance – in a similar way to Great Guest Post Pitching Advice from Two DailyBlogTips Readers.)
DISCUSS: How Often Do You Redesign Your Blog? (Darren Rowse, ProBlogger)
Darren runs discussion posts on a regular basis, with readers adding their answers in the comments. Many readers will write quite in-depth comments – several sentences or a couple of paragraphs.

#4: The Recap Post

New readers often miss out on your older posts, and readers who’ve been around a while may not read every post. A recap post – covering the previous month, three months, six months, or a year – is a great way to showcase some of your best work … without doing much writing.
In your recap post, you’ll obviously put the titles of and links to previous posts, but you might also copy their opening lines or a key paragraph. Once you’ve created one post like this, you can reuse the format again and again – saving you even more time.
Don’t Miss Out: Read Our Five Top Posts from October 2013 (Ali Luke, DailyBlogTips)
This was a quick post to write, with a short introduction and conclusion, and a main body made up of the top five posts of October – each one has the title, date, and a short excerpt.

I’m sure there are a few tricks I've missed! Drop a comment below and let us know your ideas for creating posts without writing much.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Donor Anonymity: Are Sperm Donors Really Anonymous? By Guest Blogger Michelle Patterson

The decision to become a sperm donor is a major decision that needs to be thoroughly thought out beforehand.  While there are many factors to consider before making your decision, the most important factor to consider is that of your confidentiality and anonymity. You should know and understand what to expect from a donation clinic as far as your confidentiality and your rights as a donor are concerned.  While your rights will differ depending upon what type of donor you will choose to be, they are nonetheless important. 

You should take an adequate amount of time to educate yourself regarding the donation clinic’s confidentiality and anonymity contract before making such an important decision.  You need to insure that you are choosing the clinic that best meets your needs.  All donation centers must have a confidentiality agreement that protects your rights as a donor, and knowing those rights beforehand can make a world of difference before signing a contract.  This article will discuss what to expect from a donation center regarding your confidentiality and anonymity as a donor.

While there are two ways to donate your sperm, anonymously and not anonymously, this article will focus on anonymous donors only.  When donating anonymously, you should expect just that; that your sperm donation will be made entirely and completely anonymously with no chance of your name ever being released to the recipient or the child at any point.  Most clinics should assign you a specific donor number that you will be referred to throughout the donation process, and any other time you decide to donate.  This number will then be included on all of your paperwork in the place of your name, thus again further protecting your anonymity.

It is always important that you read any contract that you are given in full detail before signing your name.  If you have any questions regarding the contract and your rights as a donor, it is vital that you have your questions and concerns addressed before signing the contract.  If you are choosing to donate anonymously, then you most likely have concerns about meeting a child later on, and you want to be sure to agree to that fully in the contract.

Another thing to check on at the donation center is whether or not the center has what is called an “openness agreement.”  An openness agreement is an agreement you sign that states that if a child born from your donation wishes to contact you, you can be contacted by the clinic and asked if you would like to meet the child.  Even if you agree to sign this agreement in case you change your mind about anonymity later on, the agreement should state that your name and information will not be given out without your consent and without the phone call from the clinic beforehand.

Again, it is important to do your research on the clinic you wish to use in order to insure your anonymity, although most clinics that are accredited follow confidentiality contracts fully.

About the Author

Michelle Patterson is a nurse with several years’ experience in a sperm clinic.  She suggests looking into the information provided by California Cryobank regarding sperm donor anonymity before making the decision to become a sperm donor.