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Last week, on TSDN – 035, we defined what a blog is and we briefly discussed what you would need to start a blog and I gave you tips for publishing your blog.

Today, I will talk to you about publishing your first blog post.

When you have answered the basic questions about your blog, you should have a good idea what sort of things you should write about. For example if you are writing a sports blog, the question I would ask is, what sort of sport are you focusing on? Do you report on everything or you are reporting on a specific sporting activity? You could be writing about football (soccer) or rugby. It could be cycling or running. Maybe you’d prefer to follow and write about golf or tennis. Maybe you’d rather to swing towards baseball (pun intended).

Someone may not be so keen as to write about sports. You may perhaps be interested in gardening or fashion designing. Some people prefer to write about politics, religion, science, movies and the list goes on. Whatever one chooses to write about, it then opens doors to further choices.

Let’s say I choose to write about Gardening. This subject alone is rich and broad. There is always something to write with regards to gardening. You can write about vegetable gardening and a few months later, you switch to flower gardening. You can write about grass and its variants. You can write about the problems and solutions of gardening. What about pests and solutions to that problem? What sort of tools a gardener may need to own? Various type of soils and so on and so forth. There is so much to learn and write about with regards to gardening.

Some people would prefer to just write spontaneously, as ideas come to mind. These sort of bloggers are free spirited. They write about anything and provoke readers to take a second look at life. Some prefer to post in the form of an open diary. I mean to say, they write about stuff that is taking place in their personal lives. If this confuses you, think of it as a text version of the Kardashians. Only without the Kardashian drama.

Once you make your choice and have decided on the name of your blog, domain name and a hosting service. It is time to publish your first post.

CHOOSE A THEME FOR YOUR BLOG

Most hosting services will guide you through the process of setting up your blog. I personally recommend WordPress.com. All the processes which were described in the last episode, will be easier to setup because WordPress.com provides a setup wizard for you. Also during the setup process you will be given a chance to choose a theme for your blog and then customize it to your liking. There are hundreds of themes to choose from.

If you are working on a budget, there are free themes which are perfect for getting started. There are also paid themes which allow your blog to look a little bit more professional and attractive. There are also themes which are designed for businesses and online shops. Some themes are suitable for news blogs, photographers, podcasters and much more. Choose the one that works for you. Don’t worry if you end up not liking it in the future. You can totally switch to another theme at any time, without losing your content.

Having chosen and customized your theme, you are now ready to publish your first post.

CHOOSE AN ATTENTION GRABBING HEADLINE

The first thing your potential readers will see on your post is the headline. It is critical to choose a headline that will make your target audience to stop what they are doing, and pay attention to your post. If your headline is dull and unattractive, your post will be treated as something that never existed. You need to pull the readers to your post by provoking their curiosity.

This means you must have a good idea as to what would interest your potential readers. What are your readers searching for? What is it they want to know? What problems they wish to solve? Are you able to meet their expectation?

Let’s say, your potential audience wishes to get out of debt and begin a journey to financial freedom. If you have ideas on how to help them improve their financial standing, you could draw their attention with these headlines: “How to Get out of Debt and Reclaim Your Life?”, “How to Shame Your Creditors and Live a Debt Free Life.”, “How to Pay Cash for Everything and Never Borrow Money Again.” There are also other headlines which are related to money and can be used to draw the attention of your readers. You can put up a line that says: “3 Reasons Why You Are Still Poor?”, “4 Ways You Can Buy the Bank and Never Owe It Again.” Try something along those lines.

What about cooking. Some people may want to write about food and cooking. There are scores of people who are looking for easy recipes for easy and quick meals. Equally so, there are hundreds of blogs offering these recipes. One out of a number of things that could make a new culinary blog to stand out, is to use an outstanding headline. Pull the eyes of potential readers to your blog post. You can put up something like: “4 Quick Recipes for Instant weight loss.” Or “Common Colds Hate These Foods” You can even go as wild as saying, “If You Eat This You Will Keep the Doctor Away.” Make your posts believable even before they are actually read.

I know some of these are fictional headlines but I believe you get the idea. A great headline is the draw card for searchers to notice your blog post. You may have to do a research on what people are mostly searching for online. Knowing the questions most people ask in Google search, may be another way to figure out what sort of headlines to put up, in order to reach your target audience and perhaps draw their attention to your post.

STRUCTURE YOUR POST WELL

You may have a compelling headline but this is not a guarantee that your reader will stay, except when you have written a well-structured post. What may turn many readers on or off, is the readability of your blog post. For someone getting started with blogging, you don’t need to worry much about the rules of grammar and other things that pertain to writing a politically correct English text document. What you need to focus on is that your ideas are easily understood by your readers. Your ideas should be well connected and they must be flowing to a certain direction. They must take the reader from the position of doubt to the place of confidence that they have found the solution to their problem.

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Writing a post is like building a house. A well-structured post would have:

  • An Introduction

An introduction is like the front porch of a house. This is where the front door into the house is found. In the introduction you tell the reader what you are going to write about. If you flunk your introduction your reader will leave. You must have a way to hook the reader. Many bloggers use rhetorical questions to get the reader hooked and make them stay to read on some more.

A sales person who is selling a weight loss formula would open his post in this manner:

Have you been made fun of due to the size of your body? Have you been trying to lose weight to no avail? Do you want to wear what you want without being judged? If you answered “yes” to any one of these questions, I have a solution for you.” These questions do not require an answer, instead they are used as a platform get the reader’s attention and also to invoke the reader’s emotional investment into the post. Once a person is emotionally invested to something, they linger a bit longer to find satisfaction.

So, write a compelling introduction, giving a reader a clear idea of what your post is about. So you tell the reader about what you are going to tell them.

  • The Body

The body of your post is like the inside of the house. The house has bedrooms, a dining room, a lounge, a kitchen, a bathroom and a study area.  Each of these rooms have detailed and relevant furniture. As the house have different rooms, for different purposes, your post should have paragraphs that would communicate different ideas. Each paragraph should carry a certain idea and then flows to another paragraph to explain another connecting idea.

You must use shorter paragraphs to drive your point home. Shorter paragraphs will encourage the reader to stay and will help them to comprehend your main idea.

It is good practice to use text breakers, like related images. Many readers get bored when reading a long body of text without any other form of visual arts in sight. You may use images or quoted text for emphasis and to give the reader a small break.

In the body of your post, it is where you explain your ideas in details. This where you tell the reader what you have promised to tell them. You define problems. You explain why they have not been solved before and how are you planning to solve them. You explain how your solution is different from others and why it will work. You allow the reader to see the value of what you have to offer. This where you tell stories to which your audience can relate. You use graphs, bullet points and whatever means available to help you get your main idea across.

You have hooked the reader in the introduction and in the body you are reeling them in.

  • Conclusion

The conclusion is the final structure of your post. This is where you summarize everything you have said. Basically, you tell the reader what you have told them. This is where you compress all the ideas you have unpacked in the body, so that the reader can have something to take home.

Also in the conclusion you tell the reader what to do with the information you have just given them. Some people would have no idea what to do with what you have said and so they need a call to action.

GIVE A CALL-TO-ACTION

A call-to-action is not a mysterious thing, really. This is where you tell your readers what to do. I know, some people will not feel comfortable with telling people what to do, but in the case where you need readers to share your posts if they find it helpful, you need to tell them to do so. If you have links that may help your readers, you need to tell them so that they will click on them.

Sometimes you may want to give freebies like free eBooks to your readers. You will need to tell them what to do in order to get the freebie. Some people use call-to-action in order to build a mailing list and to gain more subscribers.

Always give a call-to-action so that your reader can engage and do something with your content.

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What is a blog?

You may have heard people talking about a blog before and perhaps you have been wondering as to what on earth is a blog. If not, then you already know what a blog is and you will agree if I say, the word blog is short form of the word weblog. Basically a blog is website which is regularly updated with new posts on daily, weekly, biweekly or in some rare awkward cases, on yearly basis.

Why should you want to start a blog?

There are many reasons why people would want to start a new blog. Some of those reasons would be boredom. One would pass some extra time by putting a line or two out there for others to read and hopefully to comment on it. In short blog writing can be done as a hobby. A lot of people have started blogs as a hobby with no particular purpose in mind.

On the other parts of the world there are people who would start a blog for business purposes. One will start a blog to promote a particular service or product, hoping that, some lonely people who have extra money would be interested in reading and perhaps end up buying what he has to sell.

Some people write blogs just to inform the public about the events that have taken place in their local communities. Basically, these people are the pain in the butt to the news agencies. Instead of waiting for tomorrow’s newspaper, people will now go to Mindy’s blog and read about a tornado which stole Mr Smith’s car and planted it on Mrs Huckleberry’s roof top, just minutes after the events. Mindy will even have a picture or video which was taken as it happened.

Some will start a blog to entertain their readers. They would post fictional stories, poems, lyrics to famous songs and more.

The reasons for starting a blog are endless.

When you have resolved to start a blog and you don’t know how and where to start, this is your day to know. I am going show what you need to start a blog and how to start a blog.

What do you need to start a blog?

  • Idea

You need to have a good idea what your blog will be about and what do you want to achieve in the end. You need to determine what kind of a blog it will be. This will help you to know what to write about on regular basis. You may want to start a business blog, where you showcase your work. It could also be a place where your customers can actually book your services or make orders for the product you have on offer. My blog is where my podcast episodes are found. It serves as a go to place for my podcast listeners.

Before you publish your blog, you need to ask yourself these questions:

Who is your reader? Where is your reader located? Is your blog intended for men or women? What is the current situation of your reader? Are they in business? Are they employed? What value do you bring to them? Why should they read your blog? What is the cultural back ground of your reader? In which language are you going to write?

Most of the time we get a temptation of wanting to speak to the whole world, but in reality, not everyone will appreciate what we have to say. It is better to focus on a specific audience to which you can bring value. So, these questions will help you to narrow down to a specific audience. They will also help you to focus on a specific niche. Once you determine the reason for your blog and the people it is intended for and the value you wish to bring your audience, you will know what to write about. You will have a good idea on what to research and then present to your readers.

  • Name Your Blog

Every blog has a name. A blog name sets it apart from other blogs in the same genre. People cannot find your blog if you refer to it as a news blog. There are thousands of news blogs in the internet. You need to give it a good name. A name could be anything. It could be “Lungisa’s Blog” or “The Weed Man” or something that is befitting and available.

You need to have a good idea what your blog will be about and what do you want to achieve in the end.

  • Give It Domain Name

Your blog must have a domain name. A domain name will in most cases match the name of your blog, if it is available. For example, my domain name is: thespokesdude.com. It is easier for me tell people where to find my blog. When you start a blog with hosting companies like WordPress.com, the default domain name will be thenameyouhavechosen.wordpress.com and this is on their free hosting plan. In the case of my site it is thespokesdude.wordpress.com. This may work for you while you are starting but in the long run depending on what you wish to do with your site, it is better to buy a custom domain name. WordPress.com at this moment charges $18 for a custom domain name if you choose to stick with their free hosting plan.

  • Hosting Service

So you have a name and a domain name for your blog, now you need a hosting service. I currently use WordPress.com. WordPress.com has five different plans for blog hosting. There is a free plan which is very basic and restricted. This one is best for just getting started. There’s also a Personal Plan for just bloggers and for personal use. Then there is a Premium Plan which best for freelancers, they also have a Business Plan which is best for small business and an E-Commerce Plan which is best for online stores. Depending on your budget and the purpose for your site, you can choose from any of these plans and begin working on your blog.

  • Internet Connect

Without an internet connection you will not be able to do what I have told you. Your blog can be started using a smartphone, a tablet or a computer. These devices must be connected to the internet.

Tips For Publishing Your Blog

  • The Frequency of your posts

It is very important to commit yourself to your blog. Decide on the frequency of your posts. This mean you need to choose whether you will be posting daily or weekly?  If weekly, how many posts per week? If you decide to post on Monday, it is important that on each Monday you publish a post. Never skip an appointment with your readers. If you post on random days, your readers will not know when to expect your posts as a result they will be turned off and move on. Be consistent.

  • Stick to your Niche

It is important for the sake of your audience to be consistent with both the timing of your blog posts and with the content of your blog. If your blog is about gardening tips, then stick to gardening. Your readers will not appreciate it if one day instead of receiving a post on gardening, they find themselves reading about politics and the elections. Stick to your niche! Make sure that your posts are well researched and useful to your audience. This will build your credibility. You will be able to retain your current readership while receiving new readers.

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Every successful person will tell you that the way to success was not easy. A self-made multi-billionaire will tell you that he had to sleep on the floor for the lack of bed and had to sleep with water in the stomach for the lack of food. The day they decided to get up and effect change in their situation, was the day they began their journey to success. They had to understand that no one will hand success to them, they will have to fight for it. They will have to endure the rain and the frost. They will have to continue pursuing their dream despite many “No’s” they had to hear. They will knock on doors despite countless door that had been slammed on their face before. They were looking for that one yes.


It only takes one “Yes.” The well-known Thomas Edison, who is famous for inventing a light bulb had to face countless times of ridicule and shame having failed thousands of times. What kept him going? He looked for that one time of success. Each time he failed, he was discovering many ways for him not to do it, until he found that one correct way to get the light bulb to work and gave it the value it has had for so many generations.


If the way to success and financial freedom was easy, everyone would be successful and financially independent. This kind of a gift comes only to those who work for it. It looks for those who knock at the doors of life and who never pay attention to a door slammed shut on their face or to a thousand no’s.

1. It Takes A Vision


One who can beat the odds and win the race, is the one who ignores all the negative events which contribute nothing towards achieving his goal. He doesn’t waste energy and other resource to fight things which are beyond his control. He keeps his eyes on the road and keeps the finish line in his mind. He focuses on what he can do. All that it takes is a clear vision. Without a clear vision, he will do much harm to himself and to those around him. In fact the bible says, “Where there is no vision, the people perish.

2. It Takes Persistence


If one is not committed to his cause, he will never be able to reach his desired change. It take persistence. One foot in front of the other, over and over again without fail will get the runner moving closer towards his goal. Somethings requires the “rinse and repeat” method. Just do the same thing over and over again until you see the change. If you are a blogger, keep writing. If you are a podcaster like myself, keep recording those episodes and publish them. If you are a singer, keep singing. The only way to practice for a soccer game, is to play soccer. The only way to get people to read your blog, is to keep writing your blog. The only way to get people watch your videos, is to keep producing those videos. Do it and do it again. That is how we have been able to produce 34 episodes in 34 weeks. We keep publishing one episode, one week at a time. We are aiming at producing 52 episodes. That means, it’s an episode for each week from the 20th December 2018 until the 19th of December 2019.

3. It Takes Endurance


Going at a constant pace is never easy. One gets bored or tired and more often get a strong urge to quite. This is where patience and endurance, come to the forefront. One needs to endure hardship. He needs to do what must be done in order to achieve a desired end. Quitting is never an option. Whoever seeks to win the race, they run despite the pain. They run until the pain stops. They ignore that strong voice in the head that says, it is too difficult just quit.

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On the 20th of July 2019, I attended the Engen Pitch and Polish workshop. This workshop was tailored for entrepreneurs who are startups and those who already are in business but need funding to scale their business. I learned much in that workshop.

I learned that some businesses do not need funding, they simply need customers and the entrepreneur needs to know how to pitch to his ideal customers.

There are four questions that one has to answer when pitching to a customer and there additional four questions to answer when pitching to potential investors.

  • What are you selling?
  • What makes you different?
  • Who do want to sell to?
  • Who are you?

In case you are pitching to investors these are additional questions you may need to answer.

  • How much do you need?
  • Why do you need it?
  • How will you pay it back?
  • When will you pay it back?

If you cannot answer these basic questions, then you will not be able to convince your customers to buy your products or your services, not to mention the inventors.

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What an interesting week this has been. We experienced the greatest fight among those who understand the gospel and those who don’t understand it. This was sparked by the video posted on Facebook by Sphamandla Hlatshwayo who was in the night club preaching what he described as the gospel and most bible scholars, including myself, disagree.

An Outcry

Upon the expression of concern towards his methods, there was an outcry from his supporters that the man is being crucified because He didn’t insult people. Of course His supporters are out of line. They fail to understand the argument we bring on the table. It is always a case with most charismatics that when ever there is a heated debate, they get emotional and fail to understand the points which are tabled.

Why Do we Criticize Him?

The fact that were are accusing Sphamandla of tickling people’s ears, does not automatically translate to that he must insult them. We simply put it to him that he must preach the biblical gospel and refrain from entertaining his listeners as if the gospel is not an urgent message to which a soul must swiftly respond lest his life be ruined. The gospel message isn’t complete if it does not persuade men and women to turn from their evil ways and turn to the living God through faith in Jesus Christ.

The gospel is about Jesus Christ

Jesus must be exalted as the only Savior who can bring us to God and who has borne our punishment on the cross at Calvary. The Gospel reveals the righteousness of God and at the same time exposes the inadequacy of human attempt to bring himself into good terms with God. The Bible is clear, we have all sinned against God and we come short of His glory. It is only in Christ that God can justify us while God Himself remains just. Jesus is not just an accessory in our lives. He is our life. A gospel that has no mention of the cross and of Christ, is no gospel at all. And that is what Sphamandla preached in the club. He preached a dead gospel, which in fact is no gospel at all.

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Today’s Episode is for those who wish to start a podcast but have no idea as to what they need in order to accomplish this dream.

To start a podcast you need these five things:

An Internet Connection

You will need an internet connection in order to have your files available online. After recording and editing your audio files, you will have to upload them onto the internet. Your listeners will access your files via the internet.

A File Hosting Service

On the internet you files will not be float in the air. They will be located on particular place. You will have to find a place where you will keep you files. Some people use Soundcloud, or Dropbox but I use Archives.org. This is because I am a cheap skate and I try my best to reduce the cost for what I do. There are some paid services which offer most professional assistance like Bluehost, Squarespace and many more.

A Website

You will need a website. A website is a home for your podcast. This is where your audience will find show notes and many other things you have to offer. A website is place where your audience get to know more about you. You can begin with WordPress.com

A Recording Device

You will need to record your audio files and in order to accomplish that, you need a reliable audio recording device. You can use a USB Microphone like I do.

The USB Microphone plugs into your Computer and you are able to use your Digital Work Station to record and edit your audio. Get one on Amazon.com

There is wide selection of portable recording devices. I will personally recommend the Zoom H4N PRO Digital Multitrack Recorder

This is the most popular and the most powerful portable audio recorder. It works for podcasters and also for You-Tubers.

You can get easily get this from Amazon.com

A Computer

When recording or after recording your audio files, you will need a computer in order to edit your audio and upload to the internet. If you are a traveling person I would recommend that you get yourself a laptop computer. For convenience Amazon.com has wide range of Laptops and Desktop Computers.

My Personal recommendation is HP 2019 Newest Premium 15.6-inch HD Laptop, AMD A6-9225 Dual-Core 2.6 GHz, 8GB RAM, 1TB HDD, AMD Radeon R4, WiFi, HDMI, MaxxAudio, Bluetooth, Windows 10

These are the five things you need in order to start a podcast. So go on and start one. Record that first audio file and upload it. Afterwards pat yourself on the back for starting.

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Today were talking about the Lord Jesus Christ. The text were reading is John 11:20 -26. We find Jesus attending a situation where Lazarus had died four days before. Martha comes to meet Him and cries out that if Jesus had been around Lazarus her brother would not have died. She also told Jesus that she know that God can do whatever Jesus asks of Him. Jesus ensures Martha that her brother shall live. Martha says that she believe that he will rise in the resurrection of the last day. In response Jesus make a very bold claim. He say, “I am the resurrection and the life.”

This was to make it clear to Martha that Jesus did not need to be permitted by the Father to raise the dead. Such power was already delegated to Him by the Father. Jesus proves that he is the essential principle and the source of all existence. Nobody can be raised from the dead apart from Him and no one can continue to life is it was not His will. Lazarus did need to wait for the last day to be raised. He could be raised right there and then, seeing Jesus had the power to unloose the bands of death. Jesus the raised Lazarus and proved that indeed He has indeed power over death and over a dead body to both restore the souls and to animate the body once more. Jesus Christ is God and man.

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