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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 December 10, 2019

5 Smart Reasons to Start Journal Writing Today

5 Smart Reasons to Start Journal Writing Today

Here’s the truth: your effectiveness at life is not what it could be. You’re missing out.

Each day passes by and you have nothing to prove that it even happened. Did you achieve something? Go on a date? Have an emotional breakthrough? Who knows?

But what you do know is that you don’t want to make the same mistakes that you’ve made in the past.

Our lives are full of hidden gems of knowledge and insight, and the most recent events in our lives contain the most useful gems of all. Do you know why? It’s simple, those hidden lessons are the most up to date, meaning they have the largest impact on what we’re doing right now.

But the question is, how do you get those lessons? There’s a simple way to do it, and it doesn’t involve time machines:

Journal writing.

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Improved mental clarity, the ability to see our lives in the big picture, as well as serving as a piece of evidence cataloguing every success we’ve ever had; we are provided all of the above and more by doing some journal writing.

Journal writing is a useful and flexible tool to help shed light on achieving your goals.

Here’s 5 smart reasons why you should do journal writing:

1. Journals Help You Have a Better Connection with Your Values, Emotions, and Goals

By journaling about what you believe in, why you believe it, how you feel, and what your goals are, you understand your relationships with these things better. This is because you must sort through the mental clutter and provide details on why you do what you do and feel what you feel.

Consider this:

Perhaps you’ve spent the last year or so working at a job you don’t like. It would be easy to just suck it up and keep working with your head down, going on as if it’s supposed to be normal to not like your job. Nobody else is complaining, so why should you, right?

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But a little journal writing will set things straight for you. You don’t like your job. You feel like it’s robbing you of happiness and satisfaction, and you don’t see yourself better there in the future.

The other workers? Maybe they don’t know, maybe they don’t care. But you do, you know and care enough to do something about it. And you’re capable of fixing this problem because your journal writing allows you to finally be honest with yourself about it.

2. Journals Improve Mental Clarity and Help Improve Your Focus

If there’s one thing journal writing is good for, it’s clearing the mental clutter.

How does it work? Simply, whenever you have a problem and write about it in a journal, you transfer the problem from your head to the paper. This empties the mind, allowing allocation of precious resources to problem-solving rather than problem-storing.

Let’s say you’ve been juggling several tasks at work. You’ve got data entry, testing, e-mails, problems with the boss, and so on—enough to overwhelm you—but as you start journal writing, things become clearer and easier to understand: Data entry can actually wait till Thursday; Bill kindly offered earlier to do my testing; For e-mails, I can check them now; the boss is just upset because Becky called in sick, etc.

You become better able to focus and reason your tasks out, and this is an indispensable and useful skill to have.

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3. Journals Improve Insight and Understanding

As a positive consequence of improving your mental clarity, you become more open to insights you may have missed before. As you write your notes out, you’re essentially having a dialogue with yourself. This draws out insights that you would have missed otherwise; it’s almost as if two people are working together to better understand each other. This kind of insight is only available to the person who has taken the time to connect with and understand themselves in the form of writing.

Once you’ve gotten a few entries written down, new insights can be gleaned from reading over them. What themes do you see in your life? Do you keep switching goals halfway through? Are you constantly dating the same type of people who aren’t good for you? Have you slowly but surely pushed people out of your life for fear of being hurt?

All of these questions can be answered by simply self-reflecting, but you can only discover the answers if you’ve captured them in writing. These questions are going to be tough to answer without a journal of your actions and experiences.

4. Journals Track Your Overall Development

Life happens, and it can happen fast. Sometimes we don’t take the time to stop and look around at what’s happening to us at each moment. We don’t get to see the step-by-step progress that we’re making in our own lives. So what happens? One day it’s the future, and you have no idea how you’ve gotten there.

Journal writing allows you to see how you’ve changed over time, so you can see where you did things right, and you can see where you took a misstep and fell.

The great thing about journals is that you’ll know what that misstep was, and you can make sure it doesn’t happen again—all because you made sure to log it, allowing yourself to learn from your mistakes.

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5. Journals Facilitate Personal Growth

The best thing about journal writing is that no matter what you end up writing about, it’s hard to not grow from it. You can’t just look at a past entry in which you acted shamefully and say “that was dumb, anyway!” No, we say “I will never make a dumb choice like that again!”

It’s impossible not to grow when it comes to journal writing. That’s what makes journal writing such a powerful tool, whether it’s about achieving goals, becoming a better person, or just general personal-development. No matter what you use it for, you’ll eventually see yourself growing as a person.

Kickstart Journaling

How can journaling best be of use to you? To vent your emotions? To help achieve your goals? To help clear your mind? What do you think makes journaling such a useful life skill?

Know the answer? Then it’s about time you reap the benefits of journal writing and start putting pen to paper.

Here’s what you can do to start journaling:

Featured photo credit: Jealous Weekends via unsplash.com

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