One of the first pieces of advice that many new bloggers receive is: publish a minimum of 2 to 3 times a week and try to publish on a consistent schedule (eg every Monday and Thursday). Of course, this advice is well-meaning: the advice giver (probably an internet marketing blog) wants to help your blog increase it’s traffic and readership base.

publish blog postsBut just how correct is this piece of advice? Maybe you shouldn’t publish blog posts on a regular basis. Maybe you should just write whenever you feel like it or when an interesting idea crosses your mind. Here are the advantages and disadvantages of publishing on a regular schedule.

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As you probably know, there are 3 types of traffic: direct, referral, and search. Out of these 3 types of traffic, direct traffic is the most predictable. As long as you write good content, your direct traffic will remain steady. The same readers will keep coming back to your blog. Referral traffic tends to be more of a roller coaster. Traffic spikes tend to be caused by referral traffic. Let’s assume a major blog decided to link to your website. Thus, you will experience a major surge in traffic, which will most likely taper off after a few days.

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Ghost 0.5 is going to be released soon (sometime in the spring of 2014), and we’re going to see some pretty new and exciting features available to all Ghost blogs. Ghost 0.4 was already a pretty big leap, but I expect it will be version 0.5 that really puts Ghost on the map.

In this post I’ll outline what features to expect in Ghost 0.5. Please note that this is a non-techie edition. A lot of the coding and programming languages are going to change, but that doesn’t really affect the end user, does it now? :P What we really care about is the new functionality that we’re going to see in this release.

Basically, version 0.5 is a big step towards increasing the ease in setting up and customizing a Ghost blog.

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For anyone who is serious about their blog or website and is soon going on vacation, they will know that keeping a site up and running while they’re away for three weeks is difficult. This is especially a big problem for blogs because blogs depend on fresh content. If a blog does not update its content in 3 weeks, readership will start to fall and the blog’s traffic will start to decline. In addition, a lot of bad stuff can happen in 3 weeks. What happens if your server crashes? What happens if your site gets hacked? What happens if Google slaps a search engine penalty on your website and traffic falls 40% overnight?

That is why you MUST prepare your blog for your extended vacation. Here’s how you can keep your blog or website running smoothly (and hopefully growing its traffic) while you’re on vacation.

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Best Free Ghost Themes

March 7, 2014 — 3 Comments

With the Ghost blogging platform becoming more and more popular by the day, a lot of new themes (free and paid) are popping up each week. To be honest, the best Ghost blog themes tend to be paid themes (they’re usually quite cheap, ranging from $10 to $20). However, there are also a lot of really good free themes that you download at no cost to you. The following are what we believe to be the top free Ghost themes that you can download right now.

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If you’ve been looking around at Ghost For Beginners, you’d know that we have a lot of videos and video tutorials that accompany our written tutorials. In addition, we also upload our videos to our Youtube tutorial. These videos have been a decent source of traffic for us. There are a lot of bloggers out there (like us) that use Youtube videos as good sources for traffic. Here’s how you too can use videos and Youtube to grow your website / blog’s traffic.

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Every week, the developers behind Ghost (most of them are volunteers) meet together to talk about key issues regarding the development of the next version of Ghost, which at the moment is Ghost 0.5. This meeting includes updates on how the next version of Ghost is coming along and what technical difficulties the developers are facing. In this article I’m going to highlight some of the main things that have come out of the most recent developer meeting. Please note that I’m going to omit a lot of the really technical stuff (eg discussions about what type of code Ghost is going to use), because the Ghost For Beginners readership tends to gear towards non-techies.

So here are the key highlights, decisions, and actions made from the recent developer meeting…

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ghost and wordpress usage statisticsIf you go to our What is Ghost webpage and scroll to the bottom, you’ll notice that we update the number of downloads Ghost has everyday. So how does Ghost’s usage statistics stack up against the usage statistics for WordPress, Tumblr, Blogger, and other popular blogging platforms? Let’s find out.

Usage Statistics

Ghost versus WordPress Usage 

As of today (mid-February 2014), Ghost has 139k downloads. Keep in mind that “downloads” does not mean the number of blogs that are actually running Ghost right now. The term “downloads” just refers to the number of times the Ghost core files have been downloaded. For example, the same blogger may have downloaded the Ghost code twice, thereby inflating the download numbers. Thus, the real number of blogs running Ghost will be less than 139k.

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We’re hosting a pretty cool giveaway here at Ghost For Beginners. There will be a total of 3 winners, and the prizes are as follows:

  1. First place prize: Any premium Ghost blog theme you want from http://marketplace.ghost.org/ + $50 cash via PayPal.
  2. Second place prize: Any premium Ghost blog theme you want from http://marketplace.ghost.org/ + $20 cash via PayPal.
  3. Third place prize: Any premium Ghost blog theme you want from http://marketplace.ghost.org/

So how does this giveaway work?

This giveaway is running from February 15 2014 to February 28 2014. In order to enter this giveaway, either follow us on Twitter or like our Facebook fanpage. 3 winners will randomly be selected via Rafflecopter. The winners will be contacted via email on March 2 2014.

The winner must tell us which premium Ghost blog theme they wish to purchase. We will simply transfer them the money to buy that blog theme via PayPal (so that they can buy it themselves). In addition, the first and second place winners will also receive cash prizes via PayPal.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Today I’ve got something special for you. I’ve been blogging and building websites for over 4 years. I’m going to share with you my #1 method of creating a highly successful blog / website that gets a ton of traffic each month. This advice doesn’t just apply to Ghost bloggers – any blogger can use it.

Map Out Your Growth Engines

blogging growth engineI’m going to use Ghost For Beginners as an example here (because this is the first site that I’ve truly mastered the “map out your growth engines” idea).

If you’re familiar with the business world, you’d know that every company that’s up and coming has its “sectors” where it wants to achieve X% of growth per year. For example, Company A may say that this year, the goal is to generate the majority of growth of sector X. In order for a company to grow, it must have growth engines that provide this growth. Sounds obvious, doesn’t it?

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