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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 December 2, 2018

How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

Ebb and flow. Contraction and expansion. Highs and lows. It’s all about the cycles of life.

The entire course of our life follows this up and down pattern of more and then less. Our days flow this way, each following a pattern of more energy, then less energy, more creativity and periods of greater focus bookended by moments of low energy when we cringe at the thought of one more meeting, one more call, one more sentence.

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The key is in understanding how to use the cycles of ebb and flow to our advantage. The ability to harness these fluctuations, understand how they affect our productivity and mood and then apply that knowledge as a tool to improve our lives is a valuable strategy that few individuals or corporations have mastered.

Here are a few simple steps to start using this strategy today:

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Review Your Past Flow

Take just a few minutes to look back at how your days and weeks have been unfolding. What time of the day are you the most focused? Do you prefer to be more social at certain times of the day? Do you have difficulty concentrating after lunch or are you energized? Are there days when you can’t seem to sit still at your desk and others when you could work on the same project for hours?

Do you see a pattern starting to emerge? Eventually you will discover a sort of map or schedule that charts your individual productivity levels during a given day or week.  That’s the first step. You’ll use this information to plan your days going forward.

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Schedule According to Your Flow Pattern

Look at the types of things you do each day…each week. What can you move around so that it’s a better fit for you? Can you suggest to your team that you schedule meetings for late morning if you can’t stand to be social first thing? Can you schedule detailed project work or highly creative tasks, like writing or designing when you are best able to focus? How about making sales calls or client meetings on days when you are the most social and leaving billing or reports until another time when you are able to close your door and do repetitive tasks.

Keep in mind that everyone is different and some things are out of our control. Do what you can. You might be surprised at just how flexible clients and managers can be when they understand that improving your productivity will result in better outcomes for them.

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Account for Big Picture Fluctuations

Look at the bigger picture. Consider what happens during different months or times during the year. Think about what is going on in the other parts of your life. When is the best time for you to take on a new project, role or responsibility? Take into account other commitments that zap your energy. Do you have a sick parent, a spouse who travels all the time or young children who demand all of your available time and energy?

We all know people who ignore all of this advice and yet seem to prosper and achieve wonderful success anyway, but they are usually the exception, not the rule. For most of us, this habitual tendency to force our bodies and our brains into patterns of working that undermine our productivity result in achieving less than desired results and adding more stress to our already overburdened lives.

Why not follow the ebb and flow of your life instead of fighting against it?

    Featured photo credit: Nathan Dumlao via unsplash.com

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