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Every Blogger Should Avoid These 15 Mistakes To Get Popular

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Every Blogger Should Avoid These 15 Mistakes To Get Popular

A lot of bloggers are constantly on the hunt for a better design, higher quality content, sharper photography and many more viewers than they already have.

While there’s nothing bad about investing more money and time in your blog, you might find it easier to try “removing” some things before adding more.

Especially if you run a small to medium sized blog, these 15 eye-opening tips will help you eliminate some behaviors that are getting in your way. In order to make your hard work get the feedback it deserves, you should avoid these common blogging mistakes.

1. Not having a clear motivation for blogging

When blogs started to come around, they were digital formats of journals and diaries. But today the options are endless and you can make your blog about whatever you feel like. What’s important about having a clear motivation is that it will keep you on track and remind you why you started everything when things become rough (because they will soon) or when you lack ideas.

How to avoid it:

Be clear about why you want to blog and this will help you shape up the content you’re creating, and readers will find it much easier to recognize your voice.

2. Relying on giveaways and other shortcuts to attract readers

You will for sure get a ton of comments if you host giveaways. You will acquire many new viewers as soon as you do a linkup, and of course people will sign up for your weekly newsletter if you offer them a free e-book.

But I bet readers won’t even remember your blog’s name after they comment on the giveaway and they might trash the newsletter email because your name or blog won’t sound familiar.

How to avoid it:

It’s better to have ten readers that comment daily and spread your content with friends than a thousand new subscribers that don’t even know who you are. For your next giveaway, you might want to ask your readers what keeps them coming back to your blog or what they’d like to see more of, so you’ll get to know what works and what doesn’t.

3. Creating content that is fashionable or searchable for the moment

There’s no reason why you can’t create vacation posts come summer, but writing about the latest trend in yoga classes while you barely go to the gym yourself won’t do anyone a favor.

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Readers notice unnatural and suspicious content immediately and there’s nothing worse for your blog than to make people feel like you’re treating them as dummies.

How to avoid it:

While it’s okay to experiment occasionally, you’d better stick to blogging about what comes natural to you, what you love doing and what you are trying to learn. Nobody is going to demand everything from you, that’s why there are so many blogs out there.

4. Obsessing with numbers and page views

While the bitter truth is that low numbers mean only a few people are reading what you pour your hard work into, bigger numbers don’t automatically mean the whole world is appreciating your work. You might get a crazy view count once a post is shared through a famous website, but if you haven’t prepared your blog for that, the next day will be low in numbers as always.

How to avoid it:

Create content for your target audience from day one. When those readers meet your blog, they will find what they need, subscribe and never leave you again.

Also, choose to work with companies that focus on the importance of what a single person has to say and not only rely on numbers and statistics.

5. Not replying to readers’ comments

There’s no biggest joy for a blogger than reading comments. But somehow a week has gone by and you haven’t answered those questions about your design process yet or haven’t thanked the nice reader who wrote a long paragraph expressing how your last post changed their life. Sound familiar?

How to avoid it:

Even if you have thousands of comments to read daily, try answering the readers’ questions. Also, don’t forget a few “thank you-s” every now and then through social media channels or at the bottom of a post. Consider doing it especially when your readers’ reactions surprised you so they are constantly reminded you appreciate the time they devote to your blog.

6. Looking around for inspiration before writing your posts

Sometimes you are drained and no idea seems decent to put out there. So you assume it’s the perfect time to browse favorite blogs for inspiration. Beside risking spending the whole day in front of the screen and doing nothing else, you will probably get input from someone else and post about the same thing. Or perhaps the visuals you see will make you want to design a similar style for your own post.

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How to avoid it:

Try to compile your content schedule at least a week or two upfront, so you won’t be particular to current trends and follow what everyone else is doing. If you write your posts and publish them on the same day, make it a strict rule not to browse other websites unless you’ve hit publish on your post for the day.

7. Not sharing the love

There are so many hard working bloggers out there with a distinctive voice. You probably discover at least an article/post/essay daily that is worth sharing. But sometimes you are too busy to make that happen or even assume the blogger doesn’t need your share because they already have so many followers.

How to avoid it:

What you share is equally important to what you create. So you better have “worth reading” links in between your own posts. You might also want to consider discovering and sharing the work of less known bloggers, in order to stray away from links that have made the round of internet already. Consider sharing amongst your own niche or completely different themes too, while mixing the two together.

8. Not networking

It’s not impossible to thrive in blogging without networking, but it could be extremely hard. Especially if you come from a country full of great bloggers, it might be a pain to get noticed. In addition, blogging is a relatively new profession and not many people understand many things about it, so having someone to talk to about difficulties or just to celebrate a milestone is crucial.

How to avoid it:

Don’t be shy to reach out first and tell someone you read his/her blog daily and appreciate the hard work. Be personal, mentioning a specific thing you like, such as their sense of humor or the beautiful photography. If possible, organize meetings with bloggers living near you. You might end up getting along in real life and support each other in the online world too.

9. Posting something light, just to fill in a day

Life happens and more often than expected, bloggers don’t have everything together.

You could have overslept, taken a longer vacation time to join your family on the beach or just can’t come up with great ideas. If you always aim for high quality content, a light and fluffy post won’t look good a year from now and you will regret posting it. It’s better not to post anything at all than something you’re not proud of.

How to avoid it:

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On days like that, you can ask a fellow blogger to guest post on your blog or you can just share your best old content in a new way, by doing a thematic round up of links. However, don’t be afraid to be real with your readers. If they know you’re not feeling okay or something is going on in your life, their support might get you back on track faster.

10. Falling into the comparison trap

With so many websites posting great content multiple times a day, with flawless images and well researched texts, it’s not easy to keep feeling proud about your own blog at all times. What you shouldn’t forget is that many blogs are run by a team and they need a lot of money to run smoothly, so they are accepting far more sponsors than you are.

How to avoid it:

Notice when you blog faster and when ideas strike write them down. Try to do writing in bulk, take pictures on a good lighting day and edit everything at once. These will make your blogging much faster and organized. Also, don’t forget that you’re doing your best. Consistency, quality and honesty are valued more than anything else you might bother with.

11. Accepting every single offer that comes your way

It might be tempting to say “yes” to every email that says, “We love your blog! Would you like to work with us?”, especially when you’ve just started blogging. While that might be fun at first, spending your time and your valuable blog space with companies that you’re not interested in is such a wasteful way of blogging.

How to avoid it:

Work to achieve  your dream collaborations and create the work you want your favorite people/brands to see when they come across your blog. Be selective and don’t be afraid to say “no” when the proposal is not a great fit. But be kind and leave some doors open for possible future collaborations.

12. Telling people to do something just because you think so

Indicating you know best or have heard a lot of people say so is not the right tactic to approach your readers. Phrases like “go out and buy this” or “stop doing this today” are not professional and might even offend readers.

How to avoid it:

Give people options and tips based on different conditions. If you’re talking clothes, consider examples based on budget. For beauty items, give an option for every skin type or age range. You should never say a particular thing is the only or best answer.

13. Not personalizing sponsored content

No matter how much bloggers want to believe the contrary, most readers are put off by sponsored content and especially posts written by a brand representative. Every blog is a personal space and the owner can do anything they like, but you better use your own voice to express things. It is important that sponsored content is sparse and clearly stated as such.

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How to avoid it:

Even if you are reviewing a product you were sent for free or you accepted money from the brand, everything will seem more reliable if you share your own experience. This way the readers will know your opinion is true and it’s not the money you were given that made you love an unheard of before gadget.

14. Ignoring user experience

It is very easy to spend all of your time on making sure your design is cohesive, with easy to read text. But what you might miss is that your website could not load correctly on a different browser or pop up ads might appear every time a reader clicks on a link.

Also, don’t forget that colors never look the same on two different screens. So you might want to check things before you spend all your time perfecting them for your own browser/monitor/device.

How to avoid it:

Follow yourself on every social media and subscribe via email to see how everything looks from a reader’s perspective. Notice if things are published on time, how the graphics look on different formats and if the post looks the same on a mobile browser. It might seem like a chore to do, but it’s crucial to try it  when you start out and every time you switch hosts, blog URL or launch a redesign.

15. Not giving readers enough options to follow you

No one can deny that keeping up with all the social media platforms is a huge task. Adding the new ones that seem to appear daily out of nowhere, things surely get insane. But since blogging relies heavily on social media, you can’t justify not using them correctly. You should not only use these platforms to promote your blog and your latest posts, but also treat them as the readers’ tool to keep in touch with you.

How to avoid it:

Try to be on all the social media your users are, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, Pinterest, Bloglovin, to mention a few. You can cut time by using apps that schedule posts. Also, don’t forget to provide the option to your readers to subscribe by email.

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

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Last Updated on July 20, 2021

How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)

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How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)

You’re standing behind the curtain, just about to make your way on stage to face the many faces half-shrouded in darkness in front of you. As you move towards the spotlight, your body starts to feel heavier with each step. A familiar thump echoes throughout your body – your heartbeat has gone off the charts.

Don’t worry, you’re not the only one with glossophobia(also known as speech anxiety or the fear of speaking to large crowds). Sometimes, the anxiety happens long before you even stand on stage.

Your body’s defence mechanism responds by causing a part of your brain to release adrenaline into your blood – the same chemical that gets released as if you were being chased by a lion.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you overcome your fear of public speaking:

1. Prepare yourself mentally and physically

According to experts, we’re built to display anxiety and to recognize it in others. If your body and mind are anxious, your audience will notice. Hence, it’s important to prepare yourself before the big show so that you arrive on stage confident, collected and ready.

“Your outside world is a reflection of your inside world. What goes on in the inside, shows on the outside.” – Bob Proctor

Exercising lightly before a presentation helps get your blood circulating and sends oxygen to the brain. Mental exercises, on the other hand, can help calm the mind and nerves. Here are some useful ways to calm your racing heart when you start to feel the butterflies in your stomach:

Warming up

If you’re nervous, chances are your body will feel the same way. Your body gets tense, your muscles feel tight or you’re breaking in cold sweat. The audience will notice you are nervous.

If you observe that this is exactly what is happening to you minutes before a speech, do a couple of stretches to loosen and relax your body. It’s better to warm up before every speech as it helps to increase the functional potential of the body as a whole. Not only that, it increases muscle efficiency, improves reaction time and your movements.

Here are some exercises to loosen up your body before show time:

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  1. Neck and shoulder rolls – This helps relieve upper body muscle tension and pressure as the rolls focus on rotating the head and shoulders, loosening the muscle. Stress and anxiety can make us rigid within this area which can make you feel agitated, especially when standing.
  2. Arm stretches – We often use this part of our muscles during a speech or presentation through our hand gestures and movements. Stretching these muscles can reduce arm fatigue, loosen you up and improve your body language range.
  3. Waist twists – Place your hands on your hips and rotate your waist in a circular motion. This exercise focuses on loosening the abdominal and lower back regions which is essential as it can cause discomfort and pain, further amplifying any anxieties you may experience.

Stay hydrated

Ever felt parched seconds before speaking? And then coming up on stage sounding raspy and scratchy in front of the audience? This happens because the adrenaline from stage fright causes your mouth to feel dried out.

To prevent all that, it’s essential we stay adequately hydrated before a speech. A sip of water will do the trick. However, do drink in moderation so that you won’t need to go to the bathroom constantly.

Try to avoid sugary beverages and caffeine, since it’s a diuretic – meaning you’ll feel thirstier. It will also amplify your anxiety which prevents you from speaking smoothly.

Meditate

Meditation is well-known as a powerful tool to calm the mind. ABC’s Dan Harris, co-anchor of Nightline and Good Morning America weekend and author of the book titled10% Happier , recommends that meditation can help individuals to feel significantly calmer, faster.

Meditation is like a workout for your mind. It gives you the strength and focus to filter out the negativity and distractions with words of encouragement, confidence and strength.

Mindfulness meditation, in particular, is a popular method to calm yourself before going up on the big stage. The practice involves sitting comfortably, focusing on your breathing and then bringing your mind’s attention to the present without drifting into concerns about the past or future – which likely includes floundering on stage.

Here’s a nice example of guided meditation before public speaking:

2. Focus on your goal

One thing people with a fear of public speaking have in common is focusing too much on themselves and the possibility of failure.

Do I look funny? What if I can’t remember what to say? Do I look stupid? Will people listen to me? Does anyone care about what I’m talking about?’

Instead of thinking this way, shift your attention to your one true purpose – contributing something of value to your audience.

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Decide on the progress you’d like your audience to make after your presentation. Notice their movements and expressions to adapt your speech to ensure that they are having a good time to leave the room as better people.

If your own focus isn’t beneficial and what it should be when you’re speaking, then shift it to what does. This is also key to establishing trust during your presentation as the audience can clearly see that you have their interests at heart.[1]

3. Convert negativity to positivity

There are two sides constantly battling inside of us – one is filled with strength and courage while the other is doubt and insecurities. Which one will you feed?

‘What if I mess up this speech? What if I’m not funny enough? What if I forget what to say?’

It’s no wonder why many of us are uncomfortable giving a presentation. All we do is bring ourselves down before we got a chance to prove ourselves. This is also known as a self-fulfilling prophecy – a belief that comes true because we are acting as if it already is. If you think you’re incompetent, then it will eventually become true.

Motivational coaches tout that positive mantras and affirmations tend to boost your confidents for the moments that matter most. Say to yourself: “I’ll ace this speech and I can do it!”

Take advantage of your adrenaline rush to encourage positive outcome rather than thinking of the negative ‘what ifs’.

Here’s a video of Psychologist Kelly McGonigal who encourages her audience to turn stress into something positive as well as provide methods on how to cope with it:

4. Understand your content

Knowing your content at your fingertips helps reduce your anxiety because there is one less thing to worry about. One way to get there is to practice numerous times before your actual speech.

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However, memorizing your script word-for-word is not encouraged. You can end up freezing should you forget something. You’ll also risk sounding unnatural and less approachable.

“No amount of reading or memorizing will make you successful in life. It is the understanding and the application of wise thought that counts.” – Bob Proctor

Many people unconsciously make the mistake of reading from their slides or memorizing their script word-for-word without understanding their content – a definite way to stress themselves out.

Understanding your speech flow and content makes it easier for you to convert ideas and concepts into your own words which you can then clearly explain to others in a conversational manner. Designing your slides to include text prompts is also an easy hack to ensure you get to quickly recall your flow when your mind goes blank.[2]

One way to understand is to memorize the over-arching concepts or ideas in your pitch. It helps you speak more naturally and let your personality shine through. It’s almost like taking your audience on a journey with a few key milestones.

5. Practice makes perfect

Like most people, many of us are not naturally attuned to public speaking. Rarely do individuals walk up to a large audience and present flawlessly without any research and preparation.

In fact, some of the top presenters make it look easy during showtime because they have spent countless hours behind-the-scenes in deep practice. Even great speakers like the late John F. Kennedy would spend months preparing his speech beforehand.

Public speaking, like any other skill, requires practice – whether it be practicing your speech countless of times in front of a mirror or making notes. As the saying goes, practice makes perfect!

6. Be authentic

There’s nothing wrong with feeling stressed before going up to speak in front of an audience.

Many people fear public speaking because they fear others will judge them for showing their true, vulnerable self. However, vulnerability can sometimes help you come across as more authentic and relatable as a speaker.

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Drop the pretence of trying to act or speak like someone else and you’ll find that it’s worth the risk. You become more genuine, flexible and spontaneous, which makes it easier to handle unpredictable situations – whether it’s getting tough questions from the crowd or experiencing an unexpected technical difficulty.

To find out your authentic style of speaking is easy. Just pick a topic or issue you are passionate about and discuss this like you normally would with a close family or friend. It is like having a conversation with someone in a personal one-to-one setting. A great way to do this on stage is to select a random audience member(with a hopefully calming face) and speak to a single person at a time during your speech. You’ll find that it’s easier trying to connect to one person at a time than a whole room.

With that said, being comfortable enough to be yourself in front of others may take a little time and some experience, depending how comfortable you are with being yourself in front of others. But once you embrace it, stage fright will not be as intimidating as you initially thought.

Presenters like Barack Obama are a prime example of a genuine and passionate speaker:

7. Post speech evaluation

Last but not the least, if you’ve done public speaking and have been scarred from a bad experience, try seeing it as a lesson learned to improve yourself as a speaker.

Don’t beat yourself up after a presentation

We are the hardest on ourselves and it’s good to be. But when you finish delivering your speech or presentation, give yourself some recognition and a pat on the back.

You managed to finish whatever you had to do and did not give up. You did not let your fears and insecurities get to you. Take a little more pride in your work and believe in yourself.

Improve your next speech

As mentioned before, practice does make perfect. If you want to improve your public speaking skills, try asking someone to film you during a speech or presentation. Afterwards, watch and observe what you can do to improve yourself next time.

Here are some questions you can ask yourself after every speech:

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  • How did I do?
  • Are there any areas for improvement?
  • Did I sound or look stressed?
  • Did I stumble on my words? Why?
  • Was I saying “um” too often?
  • How was the flow of the speech?

Write everything you observed down and keep practicing and improving. In time, you’ll be able to better manage your fears of public speaking and appear more confident when it counts.

If you want even more tips about public speaking or delivering a great presentation, check out these articles too:

Reference

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