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4 Ways to be an Amazing Blogger No Matter Where You Live

4 Ways to be an Amazing Blogger No Matter Where You Live

Over the past decade, blogging has blossomed from an after-work hobby to a potentially six-figure-income career. When we think of successful blogs and bloggers, most of us think of glamorous offices, 10-person teams, and evenings spent at exclusive parties. While some bloggers may live such a lifestyle, there are thousands of successful bloggers who live in small towns and have a staff of one.

You don’t need VIP passes or a loft in New York City to be an amazing blogger. To get started, all you need is a website that is simple to edit, a budget-friendly Internet package, and these helpful tips:

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1. Identify and embrace your target audience.

The best blogs that keep visitors returning have a clear vision, focus, and grasp of their readership. To build a dedicated audience, you need to define your target readers and create content that caters to them. This is also known as building your personal brand or niche.

For example, your target may be women trying to balance a career and family, new college graduates navigating the real world, or adventure-seekers living in a small town. Knowing your target audience is essential because you can easily cater to their needs and know what kind of content and medium they find most engaging. This helps you consistently create content you are confident your readers will enjoy and makes it easier to build your network.

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2. Keep your content authentic.

You don’t need to visit 50 countries to write about travel, and you don’t need to live in a fashion capital to write about style. Blog readers crave truthful experiences–your unique viewpoint and twist on a popular category can meet that desire.

It may seem disingenuous if you write about New York City street fashion when you live in Ohio. However, you could focus on how to translate big-city style for life in the Midwest. This personalized spin allows you to cater to a specific audience and create innovative, fresh content. Rather than focusing on going viral or writing about a trending topic, make it your goal to provide new content that connects with your readers.

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3. Collaborate and network with other creators.

No staff photographer? No big parties to attend? No problem. Thanks to the Internet, you don’t need a team or exclusive event tickets to network or collaborate with fellow creators. If you need someone to take photos or edit videos for your blog, contact your local community college or high school. Often, students will be happy to help in exchange for a byline or online shout-out.

Along with joining a networking group through Meetup or LinkedIn, one of the best ways to network with other bloggers is to comment on their blogs. Start a conversation, hold a Skype meeting to exchange tips, or contribute a guest post on each other’s blogs. Not only is this a fun way to make friends with fellow bloggers, but it also helps you build your blog’s reach.

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4. Rely on technology to simplify tasks.

Who needs a staff when you can use inexpensive technology to automate many of your blogging duties? Marketing is the cornerstone of building your blog’s traffic and reaching new people. Thankfully, there are multiple free and inexpensive technology platforms that allow you to perform these marketing tasks in less time.

A social media manager, like Hootsuite, allows you to schedule posts in advance and review analytics. You need to share your blog posts regularly to build your social network. If you need infographics, quick graphics for posts, or other designs, sites like Canva make it inexpensive and easy to create images without any design skills. As for email, MailChimp lets you quickly set up and send newsletters that inspire your readers to return to your blog for more content.

Blogging can be an exciting adventure full of opportunity, and a chance to connect with people around the world. Don’t assume you need a big budget or major resources to carve your own space in the blogging world. With these tips under your belt, you can become an amazing blogger–no matter where you live.

Do you blog? Have you or a friend considered starting a blog? Share these tips on Facebook and inspire your friends to start blogging!

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Last Updated on May 20, 2020

What Are Analytical Skills (And How to Strengthen Them For Success)

What Are Analytical Skills (And How to Strengthen Them For Success)

Everybody makes bad decisions. Some people, however, are more capable of making better decisions that inch them closer to success.

These individuals are not ruled by emotions, desires, or hunches. Rather, they depend on their analytical skills to overcome challenges regardless of urgency or complexity.

What Are Analytical Skills?

According to Richards J. Heuer Jr., a former veteran of the CIA,[1]

“Thinking analytically is a skill like carpentry or driving a car. It can be taught, it can be learned, and it can improve with practice. But unlike other skills, it is not learned by sitting in a classroom and being told how to do it. Analysts learn by doing.”

Analytical skills can be considered as one of the critical life skills that are not taught in schools. It comprises of visualization, critical thinking, and abilities for gathering and processing information.

Here’s a closer look at some of these abilities:

Visualization

Also tied to a person’s creativity, visualization is the ability to predict the possible outcomes of strategies and actions. In a professional setting, visualization involves the analysis of data – often through illustrations like charts, graphs, and detailed lists.

Critical Thinking

Simply put, a person’s ability to think critically can be measured by his or her consistency in creating reasonable decisions. It pertains to the ability to evaluate information, siphon what’s useful, and draw conclusions without being swayed by emotions.

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As a critical thinker, you’ll find yourself challenging assertions and finding loopholes in proposed solutions.

Computing

Whether you like it or not, you need to be comfortable with numbers if you want to sharpen your analytical skills. Bear in mind that computing encompasses other skills like cost analysis, budgeting, and performing general calculations.

In business, you need to use computations when weighing the risks and benefits of any given strategy.

Problem-Solving

Remember that analytical skills are used not just to understand problems, but also to develop the most suitable course or courses of action. This relates to your goal-setting skills, which involve breaking down and prioritizing between objectives.

Resource Management

Lastly, analytical skills involve some degree of resource management depending on the task at hand.

For example, professionals with a tight schedule must know how to effectively manage their own time – also known as one of the most important resources in the world.

Business leaders, on the other hand, must know how to manage company resources, including cash and manpower. Take note that the definition of analytical skills may change to match the requirements of a specific situation.

For example, upon hiring a web developer, analytical skills may refer to the ability to determine the needs of online users, understand web analytics for optimization, and identify visual elements that can match a company’s brand.

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The skillset above, however, should be applicable in most if not all scenarios.

Develop Your Analytical Skills for More Growth Opportunities

There’s no question that the right decisions lead to positive results. It doesn’t matter if you’re running a business or simply trying to climb the corporate ladder. By training your analytical skills, you position yourself for more growth opportunities while staying away from negligible actions you will regret.

For example, you plan to launch a new startup in your local community – but struggle to decide the niche you want to enter. Since you’ve been a technophile your whole life, part of you desires to invest in a gadget store. If you’re passionate about your business, success will come – right?

If you have sharp analytical skills, you begin to see your plans in whole new dimensions.

What are the possible outcomes of this venture? Does the local market have a need for a new gadget store? How much do I need to get started – and how much should I sell to make a profit?

Depending on your findings, you can determine the feasibility of your business idea without letting your emotions get in the way.

6 Ways to Strengthen Your Analytical Skills

There are several approaches when it comes to developing an individual’s analytical skills. For instance, psychologists agree that reading fantasy stories as a child can help sharpen critical thinking.[2]

Research also suggests that undergoing traditional education has a positive effect on a person’s IQ and analytical skills.[3]

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But as an adult, such opportunities to hone your analytical skills no longer apply. That’s why you need to devise a more deliberate, active approach yourself.

Below are a few strategies to get you started:

1. Ideate Business Ideas

Developing a profitable business idea, whether you pursue them or not, involves numerous challenges. You need a ton of research, computations, and problem-solving to create a tangible business plan.

You can organize your ideas with a note-taking tool like Microsoft OneNote or Evernote. Doing so will allow you to delve deeper into your analysis, organize your findings, and stay focused on roadblocks as well as how to solve them.

2. Leverage Analytical Tools

Aside from note-taking tools, you can also leverage other software that can help with analytical tasks. A money management app like Mint, for example, makes it easy to track your spending habits as well as manage your budget with visual tools. When it comes to prioritizing goals, you can use simple task management apps like Trello or Wunderlist.

3. Have a Personal Learning Library

Thanks to the internet, there’s a colossal amount of resources you can utilize to learn new skills, expand your vocabulary, and train your visualization muscles.

Social media networks like SlideShare and YouTube, for example, offer mountains of tutorials you can access to your heart’s content.

For a personalized learning library, you can download Instagram videos or GIFs from educational accounts like NASA Goddard and the American Mathematical Society. But if you prefer specific, technical skills, then a good place to start would be online learning platforms like Coursera, edX, and Alison.

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4. Participate in Online Communities

The internet is a great place to share experiences, opinions, and sometimes intellectual discussions with like-minded individuals. Reddit, for example, has a place or “subreddit” dedicated for every topic imaginable – from technology to entrepreneurship.

For structured debates, you can head to websites like Debate.org and let other users choose the winner via votes.

5. Seek Mental Stimulation

To keep your mind sharp, make it a habit to engage in mentally stimulating activities, such as chess, puzzles, and brain training apps. A great resource would be Lumosity, which contains dozens of cognitive games designed by teams of scientists and game designers.

6. Keep a Personal Journal

Finally, keeping a personal journal allows you to take a second look at everything that happened in your day.

Remember that writing about learning experiences lets you focus on the lesson rather than the emotion. It will help you analyze how you made your decisions, why you came to certain conclusions, and what you can do to improve in the future.

Here’s How to Create a Habit of Writing in a Journal.

Bottom Line

As an adult, you are required to face a myriad of challenges on a daily basis. Work, school, business, relationships – the list goes on when it comes to the sources of life’s problems. With analytical skills, you can confront and overcome any obstacle standing between you and your goals.

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Featured photo credit: Campaign Creators via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] M. S. Ramaiah University of Applied Sciences: Analytical Thinking?
[2] KD Novelties: Why You Should Read Classic Tales to Your Children
[3] Economic Inquiry: The Effect of Education on Cognitive Ability

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