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10 Reasons You Should Start a Blog

10 Reasons You Should Start a Blog

Blogging is fast becoming the quickest way to express yourself online. With it being both free and potentially valuable to start a blog, more people are joining the blogging community than ever; so why should you join too? What is so good about blogging that means everyone should have a go?

1. You’ll gain confidence.

Blogging is the shy person’s stage. You can be center of attention, meeting new people by gaining follows and likes, all within the safety of your own limits. Your blog is your own, whatever you want it to be, and it’s a great way of gaining confidence whether it’s in the field you’re writing in or personal expression.

2. It’s a form of diary.

Writing a diary is long outdated. However, blogging is essentially a collection of diary entries for the world to see. Your blog can be your own secret place on the Internet; anonymous or not, there’s a comfort in the thoughts and helpful advice of Internet friends. There are no expectations with blogging, despite the majority of followers being strangers,

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3. Blogging is great writing experience.

Trying to get into freelance writing? Blogging is the best way to show your writing is current, and you’re writing regularly. As soon as you’ve created your first post, you’re officially published on the Internet, and can promote yourself to companies far more easily by linking your blog than showing outdated articles.

4. There is potential financial gain.

With blogging becoming more and more prolific, there is no doubt that its becoming a profession to be taken very seriously. Blogging is easily a full-time job, if a blog is expected to reach its full potential, and money can be made with hard work and perseverance. Advertising on your blog can help you financially, as can accepting sponsors if you’re reviewing products, but ultimately your blog can lead you to a career in blogging, which may seem far off for someone starting a blog, but it’s becoming far more acceptable in this day and age.

5. The blogging community is great.

All fellow bloggers want is for other bloggers to be part of the community, and be involved by following blogs and leaving comments. With websites like “Bloglovin” it’s easy to have a contained place on the Internet for your favorite blogs, while gaining inspiration for your own posts and articles.

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6. It allows potential for self growth.

Broadcasting yourself online allows time for reflection, perspective. You will be able to look back on past work and ideas and learn from them, promoting not only a form of diary entry, but also the idea of self growth. By envisaging your ideas in a public form, it allows your creativity to grow, as well as your confidence and ambitions.

7. It allows development of technological skills.

It is very difficult not to learn basic technological skills while blogging. Whether it’s simply editing pictures and using templates, or changing the aesthetics of your blog by using basic coding, you’ll learn a lot of basic yet valuable information about the technological age in which we live. Social media, SEO writing, picture formatting—these are all basic skills you can pick up within the first couple of weeks of starting your blog.

8. It gives people a creative outlet.

Blogging allows a creative outlet for those who have become consumed by everyday life. By giving you the flexibility to blog when you wish, it can become a way to channel creativity without imposing on your day-to-day responsibilities. What better a way to be creative than in the comfort of your own home, when you have the time to enjoy it.

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9. Blogging is the current way to market a business.

These days, companies are crazy not to have embraced the blogging world. It’s all very well having a professional website, but if you use a blog that is regularly updated to show current offers and promotions, clients will see you as more approachable, current, and most importantly more involved in your business.

10. And finally, it creates opportunities.

The final and perhaps most important reason to start a blog: it creates endless opportunities for its owner, whether it be in the form of friendship, financial gain or self-growth, blogging certainly puts your personality out there to the world and gets you noticed in a very unique way.

So what are you waiting for? Go out there and create your own little space on the Internet—you won’t regret it.

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Featured photo credit: http://picjumbo.com/ via picjumbo.com

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Nicola Vaughan

SEO Copywriter

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Last Updated on January 15, 2021

7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

The popular idiomatic saying that “actions speak louder than words” has been around for centuries, but even to this day, most people struggle with at least one area of nonverbal communication. Consequently, many of us aspire to have more confident body language but don’t have the knowledge and tools necessary to change what are largely unconscious behaviors.

Given that others’ perceptions of our competence and confidence are predominantly influenced by what we do with our faces and bodies, it’s important to develop greater self-awareness and consciously practice better posture, stance, eye contact, facial expressions, hand movements, and other aspects of body language.

Posture

First things first: how is your posture? Let’s start with a quick self-assessment of your body.

  • Are your shoulders slumped over or rolled back in an upright posture?
  • When you stand up, do you evenly distribute your weight or lean excessively to one side?
  • Does your natural stance place your feet relatively shoulder-width apart or are your feet and legs close together in a closed-off position?
  • When you sit, does your lower back protrude out in a slumped position or maintain a straight, spine-friendly posture in your seat?

All of these are important considerations to make when evaluating and improving your posture and stance, which will lead to more confident body language over time. If you routinely struggle with maintaining good posture, consider buying a posture trainer/corrector, consulting a chiropractor or physical therapist, stretching daily, and strengthening both your core and back muscles.

Facial Expressions

Are you prone to any of the following in personal or professional settings?

  • Bruxism (tight, clenched jaw or grinding teeth)
  • Frowning and/or furrowing brows
  • Avoiding direct eye contact and/or staring at the ground

If you answered “yes” to any of these, then let’s start by examining various ways in which you can project confident body language through your facial expressions.

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1. Understand How Others Perceive Your Facial Expressions

A December 2020 study by UC Berkeley and Google researchers utilized a deep neural network to analyze facial expressions in six million YouTube clips representing people from over 140 countries. The study found that, despite socio-cultural differences, people around the world tended to use about 70% of the same facial expressions in response to different emotional stimuli and situations.[1]

The study’s researchers also published a fascinating interactive map to demonstrate how their machine learning technology assessed various facial expressions and determined subtle differences in emotional responses.

This study highlights the social importance of facial expressions because whether or not we’re consciously aware of them—by gazing into a mirror or your screen on a video conferencing platform—how we present our faces to others can have tremendous impacts on their perceptions of us, our confidence, and our emotional states. This awareness is the essential first step towards

2. Relax Your Face

New research on bruxism and facial tension found the stresses and anxieties of Covid-19 lockdowns led to considerable increases in orofacial pain, jaw-clenching, and teeth grinding, particularly among women.[2]

The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research estimates that more than 10 million Americans alone have temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ syndrome), and facial tension can lead to other complications such as insomnia, wrinkles, dry skin, and dark, puffy bags under your eyes.[3])

To avoid these unpleasant outcomes, start practicing progressive muscle relaxation techniques and taking breaks more frequently throughout the day to moderate facial tension.[4] You should also try out some biofeedback techniques to enhance your awareness of involuntary bodily processes like facial tension and achieve more confident body language as a result.[5]

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3. Improve Your Eye Contact

Did you know there’s an entire subfield of kinesic communication research dedicated to eye movements and behaviors called oculesics?[6] It refers to various communication behaviors including direct eye contact, averting one’s gaze, pupil dilation/constriction, and even frequency of blinking. All of these qualities can shape how other people perceive you, which means that eye contact is yet another area of nonverbal body language that we should be more mindful of in social interactions.

The ideal type (direct/indirect) and duration of eye contact depends on a variety of factors, such as cultural setting, differences in power/authority/age between the parties involved, and communication context. Research has shown that differences in the effects of eye contact are particularly prominent when comparing East Asian and Western European/North American cultures.[7]

To improve your eye contact with others, strive to maintain consistent contact for at least 3 to 4 seconds at a time, consciously consider where you’re looking while listening to someone else, and practice eye contact as much as possible (as strange as this may seem in the beginning, it’s the best way to improve).

3. Smile More

There are many benefits to smiling and laughing, and when it comes to working on more confident body language, this is an area that should be fun, low-stakes, and relatively stress-free.

Smiling is associated with the “happiness chemical” dopamine and the mood-stabilizing hormone, serotonin. Many empirical studies have shown that smiling generally leads to positive outcomes for the person smiling, and further research has shown that smiling can influence listeners’ perceptions of our confidence and trustworthiness as well.

4. Hand Gestures

Similar to facial expressions and posture, what you do with your hands while speaking or listening in a conversation can significantly influence others’ perceptions of you in positive or negative ways.

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It’s undoubtedly challenging to consciously account for all of your nonverbal signals while simultaneously trying to stay engaged with the verbal part of the discussion, but putting in the effort to develop more bodily awareness now will make it much easier to unconsciously project more confident body language later on.

5. Enhance Your Handshake

In the article, “An Anthropology of the Handshake,” University of Copenhagen social anthropology professor Bjarke Oxlund assessed the future of handshaking in wake of the Covid-19 pandemic:[8]

“Handshakes not only vary in function and meaning but do so according to social context, situation and scale. . . a public discussion should ensue on the advantages and disadvantages of holding on to the tradition of shaking hands as the conventional gesture of greeting and leave-taking in a variety of circumstances.”

It’s too early to determine some of the ways in which Covid-19 has permanently changed our social norms and professional etiquette standards, but it’s reasonable to assume that handshaking may retain its importance in American society even after this pandemic. To practice more confident body language in the meantime, the video on the science of the perfect handshake below explains what you need to know.

6. Complement Your Verbals With Hand Gestures

As you know by now, confident communication involves so much more than simply smiling more or sounding like you know what you’re talking about. What you do with your hands can be particularly influential in how others perceive you, whether you’re fidgeting with an object, clenching your fists, hiding your hands in your pockets, or calmly gesturing to emphasize important points you’re discussing.

Social psychology researchers have found that “iconic gestures”—hand movements that appear to be meaningfully related to the speaker’s verbal content—can have profound impacts on listeners’ information retention. In other words, people are more likely to engage with you and remember more of what you said when you speak with complementary hand gestures instead of just your voice.[9]

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Further research on hand gestures has shown that even your choice of the left or right hand for gesturing can influence your ability to clearly convey information to listeners, which supports the notion that more confident body language is readily achievable through greater self-awareness and deliberate nonverbal actions.[10]

Final Takeaways

Developing better posture, enhancing your facial expressiveness, and practicing hand gestures can vastly improve your communication with other people. At first, it will be challenging to consciously practice nonverbal behaviors that many of us are accustomed to performing daily without thinking about them.

If you ever feel discouraged, however, remember that there’s no downside to consistently putting in just a little more time and effort to increase your bodily awareness. With the tips and strategies above, you’ll be well on your way to embracing more confident body language and amplifying others’ perceptions of you in no time.

More Tips on How to Develop a Confident Body Language

Featured photo credit: Maria Lupan via unsplash.com

Reference

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