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6 Qualities of a Great Blogger

6 Qualities of a Great Blogger

Before launching my blog, I did extensive research.  My background in research rarely allows me to simply tackle a new project blindly, I understand the importance of researching and understanding the environment that I am choosing to dive into, how those before me succeed, and how they failed. All of this information helps me prepare myself for the challenges that I will face ahead.

For many, blogging is a business, or a way to market their business, meaning there should be a strategy in place. The best way to strategize, is to be aware of your peers and your audience. One thing I love so much about being a part of the blogging community is just how helpful fellow bloggers are.  Always prepare to support new bloggers, it is truly a welcoming community, if you leave yourself open to it.

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How do great bloggers find success?

Blogging is challenging, it is time-consuming, and feels like a full-time job a lot of the time, especially if you are doing it right.  If your goal is to create a great platform for your brand to reach out or to build a great business through the blog, then you should certainly spend as much time as possible building your blog. Some of the greatest qualities the most successful bloggers have are listed below.

Be Resourceful

Being resourceful is a necessary quality in every area of life, and the great bloggers are always resourceful. We are aware of how resourceful they are because they offer their the experience with resources freely. By sharing knowledge, bloggers are able to encourage the sense of community that is so important with their own blog and with fellow writers.

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Before launching my new blog, I spent hours exploring several bloggers, including Elaine of XOMISSE, and her amazing list of blog resources, tutorials and tips.  From design, to coding tips, you will learn how to not only launch a great blog, but how to create a beautiful blog. There are many online classes that give you step-by-step blogging advice.

Be Friendly

The blogging community is full of networks, with a focus on community.  As I mentioned above, there is a strong sense of community and those that have found success, enjoy offering as much support as possible to other writers. Being friendly to other bloggers will help you to connect and network with the best. In the future, other bloggers will feel comfortable approaching you, and can create wonderful opportunities for you.

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Be Experienced in Writing

A background in writing is important in blogging.  Creating great, and engaging content is essential in blogging. The average reader is very savvy and can easily find another source of information if yours is not there. Without great content, it will be impossible to keep your audience engaged, and will certainly make it difficult to keep them coming back for more.  Your ability to offer solutions and answers to their questions through your content is what will help to build value in your brand over time.

Be Organized

A great blogger is organized. Managing a blog requires the ability to multi-task and to juggle multiple responsibilities. A blogger needs to be organized, especially if your goal is to expand and to write for other publications. Use tools at your disposal to create an easy to follow blog calendar in order to organize your content and to remain consistent for your readers.

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Be Social Media Savvy

As a blogger, you will spend a lot of time on social media. Those who do not enjoy navigating through the complexities of  multiple social platforms may be required to hire a great social media manager. Aside from Facebook and Twitter, interacting with other bloggers through their blogs is important as well.  Remember to not only focus on your readers, and followers, but utilizing the power of connection by reaching out to other bloggers in order to expand your reach through connections. Use unique avenues to reach your audience and fellow community members.

Be Passionate

Passion can be taken for granted.  Passion is something that helps you experience a drive to succeed.  It is passion that allows you to stay up and to complete a project while others sleep and it is passion that then allows you to be the first to get up in the morning.  Passion helps you to work 10 times harder than anyone else in order to succeed and it allows you to enjoy every step of the way.

If you are not passionate about your craft, it will be harder for you to feel motivated, and to enjoy yourself along the way.  Without that, it is just hard work that has to get done.
Passion inspires innovation, and in blogging, being innovative will allow you to shine among your peers.  There are many bloggers, many blogs on similar topics, what makes you different?

Featured photo credit: IM Free via imcreator.com

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Nancy Laws

Freelance Writer and Virtual Assistant

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Last Updated on July 17, 2019

The Science of Setting Goals (And How It Affects Your Brain)

The Science of Setting Goals (And How It Affects Your Brain)

What happens in our heads when we set goals?

Apparently a lot more than you’d think.

Goal setting isn’t quite so simple as deciding on the things you’d like to accomplish and working towards them.

According to the research of psychologists, neurologists, and other scientists, setting a goal invests ourselves into the target as if we’d already accomplished it. That is, by setting something as a goal, however small or large, however near or far in the future, a part of our brain believes that desired outcome is an essential part of who we are – setting up the conditions that drive us to work towards the goals to fulfill the brain’s self-image.

Apparently, the brain cannot distinguish between things we want and things we have. Neurologically, then, our brains treat the failure to achieve our goal the same way as it treats the loss of a valued possession. And up until the moment, the goal is achieved, we have failed to achieve it, setting up a constant tension that the brain seeks to resolve.

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Ideally, this tension is resolved by driving us towards accomplishment. In many cases, though, the brain simply responds to the loss, causing us to feel fear, anxiety, even anguish, depending on the value of the as-yet-unattained goal.

Love, Loss, Dopamine, and Our Dreams

The brains functions are carried out by a stew of chemicals called neurotransmitters. You’ve probably heard of serotonin, which plays a key role in our emotional life – most of the effective anti-depressant medications on the market are serotonin reuptake inhibitors, meaning they regulate serotonin levels in the brain leading to more stable moods.

Somewhat less well-known is another neurotransmitter, dopamine. Among other things, dopamine acts as a motivator, creating a sensation of pleasure when the brain is stimulated by achievement. Dopamine is also involved in maintaining attention – some forms of ADHD are linked to irregular responses to dopamine.[1]

So dopamine plays a key role in keeping us focused on our goals and motivating us to attain them, rewarding our attention and achievement by elevating our mood. That is, we feel good when we work towards our goals.

Dopamine is related to wanting – to desire. The attainment of the object of our desire releases dopamine into our brains and we feel good. Conversely, the frustration of our desires starves us of dopamine, causing anxiety and fear.

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One of the greatest desires is romantic love – the long-lasting, “till death do us part” kind. It’s no surprise, then, that romantic love is sustained, at least in part, through the constant flow of dopamine released in the presence – real or imagined – of our true love. Loss of romantic love cuts off that supply of dopamine, which is why it feels like you’re dying – your brain responds by triggering all sorts of anxiety-related responses.

Herein lies obsession, as we go to ever-increasing lengths in search of that dopamine reward. Stalking specialists warn against any kind of contact with a stalker, positive or negative, because any response at all triggers that reward mechanism. If you let the phone ring 50 times and finally pick up on the 51st ring to tell your stalker off, your stalker gets his or her reward, and learns that all s/he has to do is wait for the phone to ring 51 times.

Romantic love isn’t the only kind of desire that can create this kind of dopamine addiction, though – as Captain Ahab (from Moby Dick) knew well, any suitably important goal can become an obsession once the mind has established ownership.

The Neurology of Ownership

Ownership turns out to be about a lot more than just legal rights. When we own something, we invest a part of ourselves into it – it becomes an extension of ourselves.

In a famous experiment at Cornell University, researchers gave students school logo coffee mugs, and then offered to trade them chocolate bars for the mugs. Very few were willing to make the trade, no matter how much they professed to like chocolate. Big deal, right? Maybe they just really liked those mugs![2]

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But when they reversed the experiment, handing out chocolate and then offering to trade mugs for the candy, they found that now, few students were all that interested in the mugs. Apparently the key thing about the mugs or the chocolate wasn’t whether students valued whatever they had in their possession, but simply that they had it in their possession.

This phenomenon is called the “endowment effect”. In a nutshell, the endowment effect occurs when we take ownership of an object (or idea, or person); in becoming “ours” it becomes integrated with our sense of identity, making us reluctant to part with it (losing it is seen as a loss, which triggers that dopamine shut-off I discussed above).

Interestingly, researchers have found that the endowment effect doesn’t require actual ownership or even possession to come into play. In fact, it’s enough to have a reasonable expectation of future possession for us to start thinking of something as a part of us – as jilted lovers, gambling losers, and 7-year olds denied a toy at the store have all experienced.

The Upshot for Goal-Setters

So what does all this mean for would-be achievers?

On one hand, it’s a warning against setting unreasonable goals. The bigger the potential for positive growth a goal has, the more anxiety and stress your brain is going to create around it’s non-achievement.

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It also suggests that the common wisdom to limit your goals to a small number of reasonable, attainable objectives is good advice. The more goals you have, the more ends your brain thinks it “owns” and therefore the more grief and fear the absence of those ends is going to cause you.

On a more positive note, the fact that the brain rewards our attentiveness by releasing dopamine means that our brain is working with us to direct us to achievement. Paying attention to your goals feels good, encouraging us to spend more time doing it. This may be why outcome visualization — a favorite technique of self-help gurus involving imagining yourself having completed your objectives — has such a poor track record in clinical studies. It effectively tricks our brain into rewarding us for achieving our goals even though we haven’t done it yet!

But ultimately, our brain wants us to achieve our goals, so that it’s a sense of who we are that can be fulfilled. And that’s pretty good news!

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Featured photo credit: Alexa Williams via unsplash.com

Reference

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