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Creating An Effective Blog

Creating An Effective Blog

You’ve most likely toyed with the idea of creating a blog before, but may have been hesitant for a variety of reasons. Maybe you weren’t sure what to write about, or if what you had to say would be worth reading. Maybe you had some amazing ideas but weren’t sure how to get noticed.

Whatever the case may be, let’s get one thing straight: with literally millions of blogs out there on the Internet, it definitely isn’t easy to stand out. But it’s not impossible.

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When creating a blog, keep the following tips in mind if you want to maximize your potential for success:

1. Be presentable

I know that content is king, but be serious: you’re not going to get noticed if your blog isn’t designed in a welcoming and user-friendly way. Pick the right web host for your blog, especially if your aim is to grow your business through your online writing. You could create the most incredible content known to man, but if your site design doesn’t live up to your audience’s standards, they’ll pass right by you and move on to the next best thing.

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2. Be unique

Every single person on this planet has at least one unique quality that deserves to be shared with the world. Your blog is your opportunity to showcase your individuality. It’s your place to share your own opinion using your own voice. Don’t fall into the trap of discussing topics that don’t interest you just because they’re trending; not only will you come off as phony, but the people who read your blog won’t be the people you want reading it. Stay true to yourself, and like-minded people will follow.

3. Be consistent

If you’re not consistent with your blog, you’re going to end up lost in a sea of RSS feeds and bookmarks, even if the content you do post is incredible. Your content should focus on one specific topic, or at least stay under the same umbrella. If you write about fashion one week and computer hardware the next, you’re only going to confuse your audience. Similarly, you want to post consistently as well. If you post great material three times in one week, and then disappear for a month, you’re going to lose all the followers you gained throughout your initial venture. Be consistent, and you’ll create a consistent audience base.

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4. Link to others

There is absolutely no reason to pretend you’re the only one out there talking about the specific topic your post is about. If you saw a post on another blog that was the basis for your post, link to it. If you know your audience will benefit from another source, link to it. By showing that you’re knowledgeable about other sites and sources within your industry, you’ll become more trusted by your audience and customer base.

5. Invite comments and critiques

Your blog could potentially be seen by thousands, if not millions, of individuals, each with their own ideas and perspectives. Make your content open-ended so as to invite conversation and dialogue, even with those who disagree with you (and believe me, they’ll make themselves known). Not only will doing so create a strong bond between you and your readership, but you could also learn as much from your audience as they learn from you.

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Like I said, you’ll also face your fair share of criticism, and that’s okay. Rather than taking negative comments personally, use them as a springboard to improve your writing and knowledge in order to create even better content in your next post. However, you do want to make sure you filter out the spam and trollish comments; they take away from the integrity of your entire blogspace.

Featured photo credit: ~C4Chaos ~C4無秩序 / blogging station @ Ireland via farm1.staticflickr.com

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Last Updated on June 19, 2019

6 Ways to Be a Successful Risk Taker and Take More Chances

6 Ways to Be a Successful Risk Taker and Take More Chances

I’ve stood on the edge of my own personal cliffs many times. Each time I jumped, something different happened. There were risks that started off great, but eventually faded. There were risks that left me falling until I hit the ground. There were risks that started slow, but built into massive successes.

Every risk is different, but every risk is the same. You need to have some fundamentals ready before you jump, but not too many.

It wouldn’t be a risk if you knew everything that was about to happen, would it? Here’re 6 ways to be a successful risk taker.

1. Understand That Failure Is Going to Happen a Lot

It’s part of life. Everything we do has failure attached to it. All successful people have stories of massive failure attached to them. Thinking that your risk is going to be pain free and run as smooth as silk is insane.

Expect some pain and failure. Actually, expect a lot of it. Expect the sleepless nights with crazy thoughts of insecurity that leave you trembling under the covers. It’s going to happen, no matter how positive you are about the risk you are about to take.

When failure hits, the only options are to keep going or quit. If you expect falling into a meadow of flowers and frolicking unicorns, then you’re going to immediately quit once you realize that getting to that meadow requires you to go through a rock filled cave filled with hungry bats.

2. Trust the Muse

Writing a story isn’t a big risk. It’s really just a risk on my time. So when I start writing a story, I’m scared it will be time wasted. Of course, it never really is. Even if the story doesn’t turn out fabulous, I still practiced.

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When I’ve taken risks in my life, the successful ones always seemed to happen when I followed the muse. Steven Pressfield describes the muse,

“The Muse demands depth. Shallow does not work for her. If we’re seeking her help, we can’t stay in the kiddie end. When we work, we have to go hard and go deep.”

The muse is a goddess who wants our attention and wants us to work on our passion.

If you’re taking a risk in anything, it’s assumed that there is some passion built up behind that risk. That passion, deep inside you, is the muse. Trust it, focus on it, listen to it.

The most successful articles and stories I write are the ones I’ve focused all my attention on. There were no interruptions during their creative development. I didn’t check my phone or go watch my Twitter feed. I was fully engaged in my work.

Trust the muse, focus your attention on your risk, let the ideas and path develop themselves, and leave the distractions at the side of the road.

3. Remember to Be Authentic

Taking a risk and then turning into something you’re not, is only going to lead to disaster. Whether you are risking a new relationship or new opportunity, you must be yourself throughout the entire process.

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How many times have you acted like you loved something just because the men or woman you just started going out with loved it?

For example, I’m not an office worker. I have an incredibly hard time working in a confined timeline (ie. 9-5). That’s why I write. I can do it whenever the mood strikes, I don’t have somebody breathing down my neck, telling me that I’m five minutes late, or missed a comma somewhere. I don’t have to walk on eggshells wondering if what I’m writing will get me fired or make me lose a promotion. I can just be myself, period.

One girlfriend didn’t understand that. She believed solely in the 9-5 motto, specifically something in human resources because that was a very stable job. I was scared for my future, but I stuck with the relationship because of my own insecurities and acted like I would do it to make her happy.

Here’s a tip: NEVER take away from your happiness to make somebody else satisfied (note I didn’t say happy).

Making somebody else happy will make you happy. Doing something to satisfy somebody is murder on your soul.

4. Don’t Take Any Risks While You’re Not Clearheaded

I’d been considering the risk for a couple weeks. It all sounded good. I was 22 and I could be rich in a couple of years. That’s what they were selling me, anyways.

One night, while at a house party with some friends, I found myself at a computer. A couple of my friends were standing nearby and asked me what I was doing. I told them I was considering starting my own business and it was only going to cost me $1,500.

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Of course, when a bunch of drunk people are surrounded by more drunk people, things get enthusiastic. It sounded like the best business venture in the world to everybody, including me. So I signed up and gave them my credit card number.

A few painful months and close to $4,000 dollars lost later, I quit the business. I was young and fell into the pyramid scheme trap. It was an expensive drunk decision.

Drinking heavily and making decisions has a proven track record of failure. So when you have something important to decide, don’t let your emotions take over your brain.

5. Fully Understand What You’re Risking

It was the start of my baseball comeback. I got a tryout with a professional scout and killed it. After the tryout, he talked to my girlfriend and myself, making sure we understood I would be gone for up to 6 months at a time. That strain on the relationship could be tough.

We understood. I left to play ball, chose to stay in the city I played in, and a year later we broke up. Not because of baseball, see point 3 above. Taking big risks can have massive impacts on everything in your life from relationships to money. Know what you’re risking before you take the risk.

If you believe the risk will be worth it or you have the support you need from your family, then go ahead and make the leap.

You can get more guidance on how to take calculated risks from this article: How to Take Calculated Risk to Achieve More and Become Successful

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6. Remember This Is Your One Shot Only

As far as we know officially, this is our one shot at life, so why not take some risks?

The top thing people are saddened by on their deathbeds are these regrets. They wish they did more, asked that girl in the coffee shop out, spoke out when they should have, or did what they were passionate about.

Don’t regret. Learn and experience. Live. Take the risks you believe in. Be yourself and make the world a better place.

Now go ahead, take that risk and be successful at it!

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Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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