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Blogging For Newbies: How To Start

Blogging For Newbies: How To Start

Many people blog nowadays – in fact, it is probably harder to find somebody who never tried it at least once than somebody who blogs on a regular basis. Some do it in hope to earn money, others believe they have something valuable to tell the world, still others consider it to be a fun way to pass the time and meet new people. However, irrespective of what your motives are, if you are an absolute newbie, you are probably asking yourself: how do I start? Let’s try to answer that question.

1. Decide on the Niche

You cannot blog about nothing in particular. Well, you can, but you shouldn’t expect for anybody to be interested in reading your ramblings on random subjects. The first question you need to ask when you try to decide how to start a blog is not a technical one, but that of content.

Can I write something that will be interesting for a wide audience? Am I passionate about this subject and will I be able to continue writing about it for years to come? What is this audience going to be like? What are their needs and wants, and can I adequately address them? Do I have anything new to add in my chosen niche? Will I be able to keep on producing content on this topic for a hundred posts? Three hundred?

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Ultimately, new bloggers must define their niche, and as they say, the rest will take care of itself.

2. Don’t Start a Blog for Free

A variety of websites will offer you a possibility of starting a blog for free in a matter of minutes. This offer looks incredibly tempting, and perhaps you may try it out – just to see if you are cut out for this blogging life and are capable of writing on a regular basis.

However, all free blog platforms have serious downsides: you won’t be able to earn money, they have poor security, you don’t have real control over your blog and, when all is said and done, it simply doesn’t belong to you.

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It is much better to go the whole hog from the very beginning and start a standalone blog – this way you won’t have to migrate it later on.

3. Brainstorm a Name

The name of your blog should be memorable, unique and, ideally, immediately suggest the topics covered by the blog. Be patient and don’t rush picking a blog name because once you’ve started blogging under a specific domain, it becomes troublesome to change.

Discuss names with your family and friends, generate a list of options, let your ideas percolate your psyche, and make a final decision in a week or two. You are bound to stumble upon something you will absolutely love.

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4. Choose a Blogging Platform

The absolute majority of blogs on the Internet use WordPress as their platform – and it is certainly easy to learn, reliable, flexibility and ultimately the best blogging tool out there.

The best part is that you can quickly set up a blog without any technical knowledge whatsoever and without the need to hire a specialist to do it for you. If you are an absolute beginner, there is certainly no better option out there, especially given the number of resources available for the open-source software.

5. Learn from Your Would-Be Competitors

Before starting your own blog, be sure to check out other bloggers in the niche you intend to enter. Ask yourself whether you are capable of offering your future readers something that isn’t already present on the market. Consider what you should do to be up to this task.

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Blogging is a fascinating and quickly developing activity, whether you do it for business or pleasure. Starting out correctly and avoiding mistakes characteristic of beginners  will certainly make your way across the competitive world of blogging a much more pleasurable one – so don’t be afraid of beginning. A lot of things will become clearer as you go along.

Featured photo credit: BLOG/Thomas Hawk via flickr.com

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Melissa Burns

Entrepreneur

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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