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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 August 16, 2018

10 Ways To Step Out Of Your Comfort Zone And Enjoy Taking Risks

10 Ways To Step Out Of Your Comfort Zone And Enjoy Taking Risks

The ability to take risks by stepping outside your comfort zone is the primary way by which we grow. But we are often afraid to take that first step.

In truth, comfort zones are not really about comfort, they are about fear. Break the chains of fear to get outside. Once you do, you will learn to enjoy the process of taking risks and growing in the process.

Here are 10 ways to help you step out of your comfort zone and get closer to success:

1. Become aware of what’s outside of your comfort zone

What are the things that you believe are worth doing but are afraid of doing yourself because of the potential for disappointment or failure?

Draw a circle and write those things down outside the circle. This process will not only allow you to clearly identify your discomforts, but your comforts. Write identified comforts inside the circle.

2. Become clear about what you are aiming to overcome

Take the list of discomforts and go deeper. Remember, the primary emotion you are trying to overcome is fear.

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How does this fear apply uniquely to each situation? Be very specific.

Are you afraid of walking up to people and introducing yourself in social situations? Why? Is it because you are insecure about the sound of your voice? Are you insecure about your looks?

Or, are you afraid of being ignored?

3. Get comfortable with discomfort

One way to get outside of your comfort zone is to literally expand it. Make it a goal to avoid running away from discomfort.

Let’s stay with the theme of meeting people in social settings. If you start feeling a little panicked when talking to someone you’ve just met, try to stay with it a little longer than you normally would before retreating to comfort. If you stay long enough and practice often enough, it will start to become less uncomfortable.

4. See failure as a teacher

Many of us are so afraid of failure that we would rather do nothing than take a shot at our dreams.

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Begin to treat failure as a teacher. What did you learn from the experience? How can you take that lesson to your next adventure to increase your chance of success?

Many highly successful people failed plenty of times before they succeeded. Here’re some examples:

10 Famous Failures to Success Stories That Will Inspire You to Carry On

5. Take baby steps

Don’t try to jump outside your comfort zone, you will likely become overwhelmed and jump right back in.

Take small steps toward the fear you are trying to overcome. If you want to do public speaking, start by taking every opportunity to speak to small groups of people. You can even practice with family and friends.

Take a look at this article on how you can start taking baby steps:

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The Number One Secret to Life Success: Baby Steps

6. Hang out with risk takers

There is no substitute for this step. If you want to become better at something, you must start hanging out with the people who are doing what you want to do and start emulating them. (Here’re 8 Reasons Why Risk Takers Are More Likely To Be Successful).

Almost inevitably, their influence will start have an effect on your behavior.

7. Be honest with yourself when you are trying to make excuses

Don’t say “Oh, I just don’t have the time for this right now.” Instead, be honest and say “I am afraid to do this.”

Don’t make excuses, just be honest. You will be in a better place to confront what is truly bothering you and increase your chance of moving forward.

8. Identify how stepping out will benefit you

What will the ability to engage in public speaking do for your personal and professional growth? Keep these potential benefits in mind as motivations to push through fear.

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9. Don’t take yourself too seriously

Learn to laugh at yourself when you make mistakes. Risk taking will inevitably involve failure and setbacks that will sometimes make you look foolish to others. Be happy to roll with the punches when others poke fun.

If you aren’t convinced yet, check out these 6 Reasons Not to Take Life So Seriously.

10. Focus on the fun

Enjoy the process of stepping outside your safe boundaries. Enjoy the fun of discovering things about yourself that you may not have been aware of previously.

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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