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5 Things You Need To Know Before Starting a Blog

5 Things You Need To Know Before Starting a Blog

It has never been easier to start a blog! You can set up a Tumblr or WordPress account in a few minutes and begin sharing your thoughts with the rest of the world. However, if you want to create a successful blog, it’s not quite that straightforward.

There are a few important concepts you must understand before you write your first blog post. This article will share five concepts that will help you create a successful blog that you can be proud of!

1. Having a plan is essential for making your blog a success

Starting a new blog is just like starting any new enterprise — if you want it to be successful, you must plan every step. If you don’t have a vision for your blog, it won’t do well in search engines, won’t attract readers, and won’t achieve the goals you have set for it. Thankfully, creating a plan for your blog is fairly simple.

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Determine the goals of your blog
Think about why you are blogging. Are you promoting a business? Are you attempting to make money via blog monetization? Or is your blog just a place where you express your personal thoughts? It helps to define specific goals for your blog, which may include how much content is posted, how many visitors it will attract each month, and how much revenue will it generate.

Decide what the blog will be about
Most successful blogs focus on a specific niche. Decide what your niche will be, based upon your overall goals, what you enjoy writing about, and what you think readers will be interested in. If you are interested in making money from your blog and ranking well within search engines, you may have to perform an extensive keyword research and niche research before settling on a blog topic.

Research your competitors
If you are blogging for a business or to make money, take a close look at the blogs that are run by your competitors. Do they have any great ideas which you can use? What keywords do they rank for in search engines? How often do they write blog posts? Assess how difficult it will be to create a blog that is better than theirs. Tools like BuzzSumo and SEMRush can help you with the keywords, content & competitor research.

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Choose a blogging platform & hosting
There are dozens of different online blogging platforms that you can use, including WordPress, Tumblr, Blogger, and Squarespace. You might prefer to have your own server, which gives you more control over the features that your blog can offer. Weigh up the convenience, cost, accessibility, and features of each platform. If you are passionate that your blog will be receiving tons of traffic, you would need to think about website speed and performance. Hence, carry out research on what different hosting companies have to offer.

Choose an appropriate blog theme
A blog’s “theme” is its design. Pick a theme that matches the goals of your blog, your intended audience, and the blog’s topic. If you are planning to write about accounting & finance, make sure you’re not using some fancy & over-animated theme.

As mobile search growth rapidly, it’s important to choose a responsive theme that will adjust to any screen size, with the ability to adopt for Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP).

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Decide how often you will be posting 
To be successful, a blog must have a regular stream of original, useful content. Determine how much time you have for writing blogs each week and how much content you will require beating your competitors.

Decide how you will promote your blog
Make a plan for how you will promote your blog. Will you use social media? Will you implement Google Adwords or any other sort of Pay Per Click advertising? Will you consider doing manual outreach and guest contributions?

Decide how you will track the success of your blog
Choose an analytics platform to integrate with your blog, so you have a clear understanding of how well it is doing.

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2. Your blog is more likely to succeed if it is social

The popularity of social media has exploded in recent years. Social media users share millions of pieces of content with each other every day on a variety of platforms, including Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, and Google Plus. If you want to increase the number of visitors to your blog, you should harness the power of social media as much as possible. Create social media profiles that are linked to your blog and give users the ability to share your posts via social media. If you are creating great content, you will see a massive influx of visitors from social media!

3. Content is king!

Good blogs ALWAYS have great content. Don’t be stingy when writing the content for your blog. It must be original, engaging and valuable for your readers. If you write high-quality content, search engines will pick it up, and it will explode in popularity on social media. Never skimp on content!

4. You may have to learn basic Search Engine Optimization

If you are focussed on having a successful blog that attracts many readers, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) will be important. Basic SEO techniques will help you create a blog that search engines will love, resulting in higher ranking pages and more visitors.

5. Relationships matter

Blogging is a social activity that allows a blogger to engage with readers and other bloggers. If you want to ensure the success of your blog, focus on engaging readers and creating relationships via your blog. Reply to people who make comments, talk to other bloggers & influencers, and write guest posts for other blogs. Think of your blog as being a part of a conversation with other people. That will help you build a loyal audience who love your blog and regularly share it with others!

We hope you enjoyed reading the 5 things you need to know before starting a blog. These techniques will help you succeed as a blogger!

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Dmytro Spilka

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Last Updated on February 11, 2021

10 Secrets of Making Every Presentation Fun, Engaging, and Enjoyable

10 Secrets of Making Every Presentation Fun, Engaging, and Enjoyable

Not a lot of people are good at public speaking. You could even say that virtually everyone needs to get some practice, and preferably good guidance, before they can learn to stay calm when facing a room full of people. Having all eyes on you is an uncomfortable experience and it takes time to get used to. However, even if you can manage to control your stage fright and stay focused, it doesn’t necessarily mean that your presentation won’t put people to sleep. This is usually the case with long presentations on a very dull subject, with the presenter speaking in a monotone voice and dimming the lights to play a PowerPoint presentation.

You have to work hard to develop the right skills

If you want to be remembered and actually get people engaged, you need to make your presentation fun and enjoyable, without coming off as corny or desperate to please. I know, it doesn’t sound that easy at all! A good presentation during a promotional event or given to an important client can be a game changer for your business, so it is easy to get stressed out and fail to perform all that well. Luckily, giving an interesting lecture is something that can be practiced and perfected. There is plenty of advice out there on the topic, but let’s look at the most important aspects of giving a memorable and fun presentation.

1. Make your presentation short and sweet

With very long, meandering speeches you tend to lose the audience pretty early on, and from then on out it’s just a test of endurance for the few bravest listeners. Not only will people’s attention start to drop rapidly after sitting and listening to you talk for 30 minutes, but you also risk watering down your core ideas and leaving your audience with little in the way of key phrases and important bits of information to take away from the whole ordeal. Famous speakers throughout history have known the importance of condensing the information by using well thought out sentences and short phrases loaded with meaning.

JFK’s famous: ”It’s not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country,” expresses so much in very few words and gets the audience thinking. Ancient Spartans, for example were famous for their quick, dry wit, often demolishing their opponent’s argument with a single word or phrase. You’ll want to channel that ancient spirit and be as concise as possible when preparing your presentation.

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2. Open up with a good ice breaker

At the beginning, you are new to the audience. There is no rapport, no trust and the atmosphere is fairly neutral. Even if some of the people there know you personally, the concept of you as an authority on a particular matter giving a speech will be foreign to them. The best way to encourage a warm and friendly atmosphere is to get some kind of emotional response out of the audience right at the beginning. It doesn’t matter what emotion it is, you just need to connect with them on a more personal level. It can be shock, curiosity, laughter, knowing smirks, nervousness – whatever gets them out of that initial feeling of indifference. There are different kinds of effective ice-breakers, but generally speaking, the most successful ones utilize one of these tactics:

  • Joking
  • Tugging on their heart strings
  • Dropping a bombastic statement
  • Telling an interesting and relevant anecdote
  • Using a metaphor or drawing comparisons

You can make a small, self-deprecating comment, stir the presentation one way and then suddenly surprise the audience, use sarcasm, open up with a short childhood story that taught you a lesson, quote a famous person and elaborate on it from personal experience, use an inspirational anecdote or hit them with a bit of nostalgia. Just remember to keep it short and move on once you’ve gotten a reaction.

3. Keep things simple and to the point

Once you’re done warming up the crowd you can ease them into the core concepts and important ideas that you will be presenting. Keep the same presentation style thoughout. If you’ve started off a bit ironic, using dry wit, you can’t just jump into a boring monologue. If you’ve started off with a bang, telling a couple of great little jokes and getting the crowd riled up, you have to keep them happy by throwing in little jokes here and there and being generally positive and energetic during the presentation. You need a certain structure that you won’t deviate too far from at any point. A good game plan consists of several important points that need to be addressed efficiently. This means moving on from one point to another in a logical manner, coming to a sound conclusion and making sure to accentuate the key information.

4. Use a healthy dose of humor

Some of the best speeches and presentations in the world, which have been heard and viewed by millions, all feature plenty of humor. No matter the subject, a great speaker will use natural charisma, humor and beautiful language to convey their points and get the crowd excited about what they are saying. A great example of building rapport with the audience through the use of humor is Barrack Obama talking about the government building Iron Man.

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It is silly and fun, and absolutely not something that you would expect from a man in a position of power speaking in such a serious setting – and it’s exactly why it works. The more serious the situation and the bigger the accent on proper social behavior, the harder your jokes will hit.

5. Try to tell a story instead of ranting

Some people can do all of the above things right and still manage to turn their short and fun little presentation into a chaotic mess of information. You don’t want your speech to look like you just threw a bunch of information in a blender in no particular order. To avoid rambling, create a strong structure. Start with the ice breaker, introduce the core concepts and your goals briefly, elaborate on the various points in a bit more detail, draw logical conclusions and leave your audience with a clear takeaway message. You want to flow naturally from one part to the next like you are telling a big story chapter by chapter.

6. Practice your delivery

Standing in front of the mirror and practicing a speech or presentation is a technique as old as mirrors – well, come to think of it, as old as human speech, since you can see yourself reflected in any clear and calm body of water – and that means that it is tried and true. The theory is incredibly simple, yet the real problem is actually putting in the effort day in and day out. Work on your posture, your tone of voice, accent, pauses between sentences and facial expressions. The most important thing is to talk slowly and loudly enough to be heard and understood clearly. Many famous speakers, such as Demosthenes and King George VI, overcame speech impediments through hard work.

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7. Move around and use your hands

Although you won’t instill confidence in your project if you are very jittery, moving around erratically, not knowing what to do with your hands and making fast movements, standing dead still can be just as bad. You shouldn’t be afraid to use your arms and hands when talking as it makes you seem more passionate and confident. The same goes for moving around and taking up some space. However, try to make slower, calculated and deliberate movements. You want your movements to seem powerful, yet effortless. You can achieve this through practice.

8. Engage the audience by making them relate

Sometimes you will lose the audience somewhat in techno-babble, numbers, graphs and abstract ideas. At that point it is important to reel them back in using some good, old-fashioned storytelling. Make comparisons to events from everyday life that most people are more than familiar with. By making things look simple, not only will you help your audience get a better understanding of the subject by enabling them to visualize the information more clearly, you will also draw a connection between you. After all, you are all just regular people with similar experience, you just happen to be performing different roles at the moment.

9. Use funny images in your slides

Although slides are not really necessary at all times, if you do need them to make your point and present your information more effectively, it’s best to liven them up. They say that facts aren’t always black and white, and your presentation should reflect this. Add a bit of color, make the information stand out and use an interesting animation to switch from slide to slide. You can use the slides to add some more humor, both in terms of the text and the images. An image that is used to elicit a positive response needs to be funny within the context of what you are discussing. For example, if you are discussing the topic of authority, an image of Eric Cartman from South Park in a police uniform, demanding that you respect his “authoritah,” is a nice way to have a bit of fun and lighten things up.

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10. End on a more serious note

When all is said and done you will want the audience to remember the core concepts and keep thinking about what you have said after the presentation is over. This is why you should let things naturally calm down and end with an important idea, quote or even a question. Plant a seed in their mind and make them think. Let us turn to Patrick Henry for a great way to end a speech: “Is life so dear or peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death.”

As you can see, there is quite a bit to learn when it comes to giving a good presentation, one that is both memorable and fun. Be sure to work on your skills tirelessly and follow in the footsteps of great orators.

Featured photo credit: Austin Distel via unsplash.com

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