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12 Common Mistakes Made By New Bloggers

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12 Common Mistakes Made By New Bloggers

Nobody’s perfect. When you are just starting to blog, it’s easy to make mistakes because of your lack of knowledge and experience in the field. It’s also possible that you screw things up as you go on publishing new and new posts.

So, to make it easy for you to consider certain points if you are thinking of starting a new blog or to put you back on track if you have run off course, we enlist here 12 common mistakes made by new bloggers.

1. Writing long paragraphs

A long, tedious paragraph without dividers is a common mistake made by every new blogger. Well, you might have put an extraordinary effort in collecting information on the topic and you pour it down.

But readers have been found to be discouraged by long chunks of sentences. Research has found that in average, a reader reads about less than 20% of your writing. Plus, add the fact that people on the web have shorter attention span than other people. So, make sure to have short paragraphs with suitable heading, spaces, bolding so that it feels easy and good to read.

2. Not having pictures or using them the wrong way

Well, if you don’t use any pictures or use small, unclear images in your blog, be ready to take the brunt of it. Remember that a picture speaks more than a thousand words and that visual stimuli are the trick that you can use to your advantage. So, don’t think twice. Use good quality, big images, charts, even clipart to break your paragraphs to turn it into a beautiful piece of writing.

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3. Having inconsistent publishing schedule

Many bloggers publish large number of articles at a time and then don’t publish for a month or so. Well, if you do like that, you’re at a terrible loss.

It’s always better to make a publishing schedule so that your audience can anticipate the date of your new publication and can come back at that particular time. If you don’t publish for a long time, your audience will be discouraged and may not show interest in your writings. You can write a bunch all at once and set a publishing schedule that is regular!

4. Not going self-hosted

It’s all right to have a free blog through WordPress or Blogger if your audience are only your friends and family. But if you want to reach lots of people or want to make money eventually, you should consider going self-hosted.

You can buy hosting from companies like One, FatCow, and GoDaddy. The choice of web hosting obviously depends on your requirements. Bluehost is ideal for new bloggers with multiple plans and offering the privilege of reaching someone in customer service if needed.

5. Violating copyright

Many new bloggers commit the mistake of putting someone else’s photo and adding credit by placing a link. It’s violating the copyright hands down because you weren’t given permission to use the photo by its owner.

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Be sure to use your own photos or free images. If you need to use images other than yours, you can use Creative Commons images on sites like Flickr. Similarly, don’t copy-paste written content that belongs to other people. Be creative and original.

6. Ignoring SEO

You just can’t ignore SEO if you are to grow your audience. You mightn’t be able to compete with other established sites but you should still never ignore Search Engine Optimization. You will get good traffic to your site if you get the hang of it. You can download the WordPress SEO by Yoast plugin and get started by using it to get target keywords on which you want to rank.

7. Not optimizing their blog’s permalinks

Naturally your blog’s permalinks will be set to something like blogname.com/?p=123 which is not friendly for search engine. It will give no information to Google whatsoever about your post and so, you are bound to lose lots of audience.

The solution is to change permalink settings to show your post or page name after main URL. Take for example the URL of this particular post is http://www.lifehack.org/356773/common-mistakes-made-by-new-bloggers instead of something like http://www.lifehack.org/356773/?p=123.

8. Not adding social media sharing options

The more, the merrier. You will always want to build your audience. But you can’t do it effectively without social media sharing buttons. Who would go through rigmarole of copying your link and pasting your URL when it can just be a button away?

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So, social media is a must. But don’t put it at the bottom of your blog. Studies have found that putting social media sharing buttons on top- and left-side of your blog will have best results. Adding them is pretty simple too.

9. Not replying to comments

If you don’t reply to comments on your blog, it’s a blunder. You must reply to comments politely, positively and professionally. It would disappoint and discourage your audience if you don’t take the time to make conversation.

If you make good conversation, exchange more ideas, it will encourage other people to start conversation too and will allure new visitors to visit your blog regularly.  Some readers will even just skip to comments section to see what others found useful before going through your content.

10. Not showing recent/popular posts

Some clever readers will want to check out your most popular posts and recent posts to gauge you if you are worth following or not. So, be sure to make it easy for the audience to find your popular and recent posts. So, put it in sidebar or homepage where it’s clear and easy for the audience.

11. Not giving email subscription option

You should offer email subscription to your readers. Many bloggers just offer RSS subscription feed which isn’t not as friendly as email subscription. So start an email list from the start itself and make it easy for readers to sign up with links on your pages.

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12. Expecting quick results

You might expect instant results from your blog like making money but you should make up your mind that it’s not possible. With growing bloggers and more competition, you should be patient.

Your audience will grow at slower rate than you’d expect. But they will grow! So keep up the good work, create good content and be consistent. You will eventually get results.

Featured photo credit: Blogger by StockSnap via pixabay.com

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Nabin Paudyal

Co-Founder, Siplikan Media Group

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Last Updated on August 25, 2021

Why Personal Branding Is Important to Your Career

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Why Personal Branding Is Important to Your Career

As a recruiter, I have met and interviewed hundreds of candidates who have no idea who they are.

Without a personal brand, candidates struggle to answer the question: “tell me about yourself—who are you?” They have no idea about who they are, what their strengths are, and how they can add value to the company. They present their CV’s believing that their CV is the key to their career success. In some ways, your CV still has its use. However, in today’s job market, you need more than a CV to stand out in a crowd.

According to Celinne Da Costa:[1]

“Personal brand is essentially your golden ticket to networking with the right people, getting hired for a dream job, or building an influential business.” She believes that “a strong personal brand allows you to stand out in an oversaturated marketplace by exposing desired audiences to your vision, skillset, and personality in a way that is strategically aligned with your career goals.”

A personal brand opens up your world to so many more career opportunities that you would never have been exposed to with just your CV.

What Is Your Personal Brand?

“Personal branding is how you distinctively market your uniqueness.” —Bernard Kelvin Clive

Today, the job market is very competitive and tough. Having a great CV will only let you go so far because everyone has a CV, but no one else has your distinct personal brand! It is your personal brand that differentiates you from everyone else and that is what people buy—you.

Your personal brand is your mark on the world. It is how people you interact with and the world see you. It is your legacy—it is more important than a business brand because your personal brand lasts forever.

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I have coached people who have very successful careers, and they come to me because they have suddenly found that they are not getting the opportunities or having the conversations that would them to their next role. They are having what I call a “career meltdown,” all because they have no personal brand.

A personal brand helps you become conscious of your differences and your uniqueness. It allows you to position yourself in a way that makes you stand out from the pack, especially among other potential job applicants.

Don’t get me wrong, having a great CV and a great LinkedIn profile is important. However, there are a few steps that you have to take to have a CV and LinkedIn profile that is aligned to who you are, the value you offer to the market, and the personal guarantee that you deliver results.

Building your personal brand is about strategically, creatively, and professionally presenting what makes you, you. Knowing who you are and the value you bring to the table enables you to be more informed, agile, and adaptable to the changing dynamic world of work. This is how you can avoid having a series of career meltdowns.

Your Personal Brand Is Essential for Your Career Success

In her article, Why Personal Branding Is More Important Than Ever, Caroline Castrillon outlines key reasons why a personal brand is essential for career success.

According to Castrillon,[2]

“One reason is that it is more popular for recruiters to use social media during the interview process. According to a 2018 CareerBuilder survey, 70% of employers use social media to screen candidates during the hiring process, and 43% of employers use social media to check on current employees.”

The first thing I do as a recruiter when I want to check out a candidate or coaching client is to look them up on LinkedIn or other social media platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Your digital footprint is the window that highlights to the world who you are. When you have no control over how you want to be seen, you are making a big mistake because you are leaving it up to someone else to make a judgment for you as to who you are.

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As Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, once said, “Your brand is what people say about you when you are not in the room.”

In her book, Becoming, Michelle Obama writes about the importance of having a personal brand and her journey to defining her personal brand. She wrote that:

“if you don’t get out there and define yourself, you’ll be quickly and inaccurately defined by others.”

When you have a personal brand, you are in control. You know exactly what people will say about you when you leave the room.

The magic of a personal brand is that gives you control over how you want to be seen in the world. Your confidence and self-belief enable you to leverage opportunities and make informed decisions about your career and your future. You no longer experience the frustrations of a career meltdown or being at a crossroads not knowing what to do next with your career or your life. With a personal brand, you have focus, clarity, and a strategy to move forward toward future success.

Creating your personal brand does not happen overnight. It takes a lot of work and self-reflection. You will be expected to step outside of your comfort zone not once, but many times.

The good news is that the more time you spend outside of your comfort zone, the more you will like being there. Being outside of your comfort zone is where you can test the viability of and fine-tune your personal brand.

5 Key Steps to Creating Your Personal Brand

These five steps will help you create a personal brand that will deliver you the results you desire with your career and in life.

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1. Set Your Personal Goals

What is it that you want to do in the next five years? What will your future self be doing in the next five to ten years? What is important to you? If you can answer these questions, then you are on the right path. If not, then you have to start thinking about them.

2. Create Your Unique Value Proposition

Create your unique value proposition by asking yourself these four questions:

  1. What are your personality features? What benefit do you offer people?
  2. Who are you and why do people enjoy working with you?
  3. What do you do and what do people want you to do for them? How do you solve their problems?
  4. What makes you different from others like you?

The answers to these questions will give you the information you need to create your professional story, which is the key step to creating your personal brand.

3. Write Your Professional Story

Knowing who you are, what you want, and the unique value you offer is essential to you creating your professional story. People remember stories. Your personal story incorporates your value proposition and tells people who you are and what makes you unique. This is what people will remember about you.

4. Determine Which Platforms Will Support Your Personal Brand

Decide which social media accounts and online platforms will best represent your brand and allow you to share your voice. In a professional capacity, having a LinkedIn profile and a CV that reflects your brand is key to your positioning in relation to role opportunities. People will be connecting with you because they will like the story you are telling.

5. Become Recognized for Sharing Your Knowledge and Expertise

A great way for you to promote yourself is by sharing knowledge and helping others. This is where you prove you know your stuff and you gain exposure for doing so. You can do this through social media, writing, commenting, video, joining professional groups, networking, etc. Find your own style and uniqueness and use it to attract clients, the opportunities, or the jobs you desire.

The importance of having a personal brand is not going to go away. In fact, it is the only way where you can stand out and be unique in a complex changing world of work. If you don’t have a personal brand, someone will do it for you. If you let this happen, you have no control and you may not like the story they create.

Standing out from others takes time and investment. Most people cannot make the change by themselves, and this is where engaging a personal brand coach is a viable option to consider.

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As a personal brand coach, working with my clients to create their personal brand is my passion. I love the fact that we can work together to create a personal story that defines exactly what people will say when you leave the room.

Other People’s Stories

Listening to other people’s stories is a great way to learn. In his article, 7 TED Talks About Personal Branding, Rafael Dos Santos presents the best Ted Talks where speakers share their stories about the “why,” “what,” and “how” of personal branding.((GuidedPR: 7 TED Talks About Personal Branding))

Take some time out to listen to these speakers sharing their stories and thoughts about personal branding. You will definitely learn so much about how you can start your journey of defining yourself and taking control of your professional and personal life.

Your personal brand, without a doubt, is your secret weapon to your career success. As Michelle Obama said,

“your story is what you have, what you will always have. It is something to own.”

So, go own your story. Go on the journey to create your personal brand that defines who you are, highlights your uniqueness, and the value you offer to the world.

Featured photo credit: Austin Distel via unsplash.com

Reference

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