5 things every junior blogger should do before they start blogging – Olivia Colville

Congratulations! You’ve taken the plunge and launched yourself into the wonderful world of blogging. Being a writer in South Africa is a great way to make a living. But it isn’t as simple as you may think. Whether you’ve already set up your blog, or you’re still staring at a blank page here are five things you should think about before you hit the keyboard.


  1. What are your blogging goals?

It’s easy to get carried away with the image that being a junior blogger conjures up. Being able to spend your days in a creative space is the dream of many. But to turn it into a profitable reality you need to have goals. Do you have a story to tell, a product to sell or a business to promote? Figure it out before you start writing so you know what you’re working towards


  1. Set up a blogging calendar

It will help you to focus on the goals you’ve set for your blog and help to stick to deadlines. Experienced copywriters in South Africa typically have to juggle more than one project at a time. Get into the habit of using an editorial calendar to help you develop this vital habit from the get go.


  1. Create a community

Blogging shouldn’t be one-sided. You should be aiming to start a conversation and spark some interaction. Ask your audience questions such as how they feel about what you’ve written and what their opinions are. Then respond to those comments and keep the conversation going. It will give you the opportunity to learn about them and what they need from your blog.


  1. Embrace SEO

To be discovered and grow your audience, your blog needs SEO. You don’t have to be an expert before you start, but you should know the basics. You’ll learn as you go along and then you start applying SEO in a way that’s natural. Don’t alienate your audience by stuffing every post with as many keywords as you can. But don’t neglect them either. Proper use of SEO can make a real difference to the success of your blog.


  1. Set up Google Analytics

It’s easy enough to do and being able to track statistics on your site will help you become a better blogger. You’ll get a better sense of what’s working and what’s not getting the response you want. Monitor the performance of individual posts, find out how much time people are spending on your site and what search terms they use to find you. You can use this information to make your blog better and get you closer to the goals you want to achieve with it.


South African businesses crave content and setting up a blog is a great way to show off your writing skills. Being a junior blogger is fun, but don’t neglect the serious side of blogging. These simple tips will set you up for success and it won’t be long before your work gets noticed.

Leptin: The hormone that tells you you’ve had enough

Hormones regulate the way we think, do and say just about everything. When it comes to our bodies’ most basic survival ability—eating—one such hormone, known as Leptin, may cause more damage than good.

More research into this tiny little hormone has suggested that a lack of Leptin may be the main cause of obesity. Research also indicates that people who develop a resistance to Leptin become overweight because there’s no signal in the brain telling them that they are satiated.

So if Leptin resistance and depletion are the main causes of obesity, then there are a few important questions we need to ask:

  1. What causes people to become Leptin resistant?
  2. Are there methods to reverse the effects of Leptin deficiency and what are they?
  3. How can we harness this knowledge about Leptin to live a healthy, balanced life?


  1. What causes people to become Leptin resistant?

If Leptin resistance is the effect, we must analyze the cause if we want to prevent the eventual deficiency of this crucial hormone. Doing so successfully will result in maintaining a well balanced weight and lifestyle.

Strangely enough, the first cause of Leptin resistance is high levels of Leptin. Too much of a hormone can cause the brain to stop responding to it.

Another cause of Leptin resistance is elevated levels of free fatty acids. Eating too much food with free fatty acids causes a disruption in the brain and blocks off Leptin signalling. The Leptin is still there, but the brain doesn’t respond to it.

Too much fructose (fruit sugar) will also cause Leptin resistance.

The final main reason for Leptin resistance is inflammation of the hypothalamus. This is a region in the front of your brain that regulates the nervous system and most of the basic survival functions such as hunger, thirst, sleep, and body temperature. A chemical imbalance in this region of your brain can cause Leptin resistance.


  1. Are there methods to reverse the effects of Leptin resistance and what are they?

Now that we know the cause of Leptin resistance, we can confidently work on fixing the problem. There are strategies that you can implement in your diet incrementally that will prevent and even reverse Leptin resistance.

  • The most important first step to take is to avoid eating carbohydrates as much as you can. There are a number of foods that contain hidden sugar, and these should be identified and removed from your diet.
  • Exercising will bring a measure of hormonal balance back to your body and brain allowing it to read the Leptin hormone once again.
  • Eating lots of soluble fibre will also bring harmony to your digestive system and reverse Leptin resistance.
  • Foods that contain high levels of protein actually increase the Leptin hormone in your body.
  • Getting enough sleep will also improve the Leptin in your body.


  1. How can we harness this knowledge about Leptin to live a healthy, balanced life?

It’s all very well knowing about Leptin, but we must implement this knowledge if we are to benefit from it. The fact is: our western diet may have a lot of variety, but most of the foods we eat are disrupting the hormonal balance in our brains. This imbalance is showing in our society’s growing obesity problem.

The main thing about Leptin is that if the brain doesn’t have enough of it (or if the brain isn’t responding to it), then you will always feel hungry. This hunger usually translates into you eating more of the wrong foods that cause Leptin resistance, and so the cycle continues.


Fixing Leptin resistance and low levels of Leptin isn’t something that can be done overnight. It takes a well balanced strategy to undo the problem and restore the body to optimum health.