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Every Blogger Should Avoid These 15 Mistakes To Get Popular

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 March 14, 2019

7 Questions to Ask in a Job Interview That Will Impress the Interviewer

7 Questions to Ask in a Job Interview That Will Impress the Interviewer

Recruiters might hold thousands of interviews in their careers and a lot of them are reporting the same thing—that most candidates play it safe with the questions they ask, or have no questions to ask in a job interview at all.

For job applicants, this approach is crazy! This is a job that you’re going to dedicate a lot of hours to and that might have a huge impact on your future career. Don’t throw away the chance to figure out if the position is perfect for you.

Here are 7 killer questions to ask in a job interview that will both impress your counterpart and give you some really useful insights into whether this job will be a dream … or a nightmare.

1. What are some challenges I might come up against this role?

A lesser candidate might ask, “what does a typical day look like in this role?” While this is a perfectly reasonable question to ask in an interview, focusing on potential challenges takes you much further because it indicates that you already are visualizing yourself in the role.

It’s impressive because it shows that you are not afraid of challenges, and you are prepared to strategize a game plan upfront to make sure you succeed if you get the job.

It can also open up a conversation about how you’ve solved problems in the past which can be a reassuring exercise for both you and the hiring manager.

How it helps you:

If you ask the interviewer to describe a typical day, you may get a vibrant picture of all the lovely things you’ll get to do in this job and all the lovely people you’ll get to do them with.

Asking about potential roadblocks means you hear the other side of the story—dysfunctional teams, internal politics, difficult clients, bootstrap budgets and so on. This can help you decide if you’re up for the challenge or whether, for the sake of your sanity, you should respectfully decline the job offer.

2. What are the qualities of really successful people in this role?

Employers don’t want to hire someone who goes through the motions; they want to hire someone who will excel.

Asking this question shows that you care about success, too. How could they not hire you with a dragon-slayer attitude like that?

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How it helps you:

Interviewers hire people who are great people to work with, but the definition of “great people” differs from person to person.

Does this company hire and promote people with a specific attitude, approach, worth ethic or communication style? Are the most successful people in this role strong extroverts who love to talk and socialize when you are studious and reserved? Does the company reward those who work insane hours when you’re happiest in a more relaxed environment?

If so, then this may not be the right match for you.

Whatever the answer is, you can decide whether you have what it takes for the manager to be happy with your performance in this role. And if the interviewer has no idea what success looks like for this position, this is a sign to proceed with extreme caution.

3. From the research I did on your company, I noticed the culture really supports XYZ. Can you tell me more about that element of the culture and how it impacts this job role?

Of course, you could just ask “what is the culture like here? ” but then you would miss a great opportunity to show that you’ve done your research!

Interviewers give BIG bonus point to those who read up and pay attention, and you’ve just pointed out that (a) you’re diligent in your research (b) you care about the company culture and (c) you’re committed to finding a great cultural fit.

How it helps you:

This question is so useful because it lets you pick an element of the culture that you really care about and that will have the most impact on whether you are happy with the organization.

For example, if training and development is important to you, then you need to know what’s on offer so you don’t end up in a dead-end job with no learning opportunities.

Companies often talk a good talk, and their press releases may be full of shiny CSR initiatives and all the headline-grabbing diversity programs they’re putting in place. This is your opportunity to look under the hood and see if the company lives its values on the ground.

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A company that says it is committed to doing the right thing by customers should not judge success by the number of up-sells an employee makes, for instance. Look for consistency, so you aren’t in for a culture shock after you start.

4. What is the promotion path for this role, and how would my performance on that path be measured?

To be clear, you are not asking when you will get promoted. Don’t go there—it’s presumptuous, and it indicates that you think you are better than the role you have applied for.

A career-minded candidate, on the other hand, usually has a plan that she’s working towards. This question shows you have a great drive toward growth and advancement and an intention to stick with the company beyond your current state.

How it helps you:

One word: hierarchy.

All organizations have levels of work and authority—executives, upper managers, line managers, the workforce, and so on. Understanding the hierarchical structure gives you power, because you can decide if you can work within it and are capable of climbing through its ranks, or whether it will be endlessly frustrating to you.

In a traditional pyramid hierarchy, for example, the people at the bottom tend to have very little autonomy to make decisions. This gets better as you rise up through the pyramid, but even middle managers have little power to create policy; they are more concerned with enforcing the rules the top leaders make.

If having a high degree of autonomy and accountability is important to you, you may do better in a flat hierarchy where work teams can design their own way of achieving the corporate goals.

5. What’s the most important thing the successful candidate could accomplish in their first 3 months/6 months/year?

Of all the questions to ask in a job interview, this one is impressive because it shows that you identify with and want to be a successful performer, and not just an average one.

Here, you’re drilling down into what the company needs, and needs quite urgently, proving that you’re all about adding value to the organization and not just about what’s in it for you.

How it helps you:

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Most job descriptions come with 8, 10 or 12 different job responsibilities and a lot of them with be boilerplate or responsibilities that someone in HR thinks are associated with this role. This question gives you a better sense of which responsibilities are the most important—and they may not be what initially attracted you to the role.

If you like the idea of training juniors, for example, but success is judged purely on your sales figures, then is this really the job you thought you were applying for?

This question will also give you an idea of what kind of learning curve you’re expected to have and whether you’ll get any ramp-up time before getting down to business. If you’re the type of person who likes to jump right in and get things done, for instance, you may not be thrilled to hear that you’re going to spend the first three months shadowing a peer.

6. What do you like about working here?

This simple question is all about building rapport with the interviewer. People like to talk about themselves, and the interviewer will be flattered that you’re interested in her opinions.

Hopefully, you’ll find some great connection points that the two of you share. What similar things drive you head into the office each day? How will you fit into the culture?

How it helps you:

You can learn a lot from this question. Someone who genuinely enjoys his job will be able to list several things they like, and their answers will sound passionate and sincere. If not….well, you might consider that a red flag.

Since you potentially can learn a lot about the company culture from this question, it’s a good idea to figure out upfront what’s important to you. Maybe you’re looking for a hands-off boss who values independent thought and creativity? Maybe you work better in environments that move at a rapid, exciting pace?

Whatever’s important to you, listen carefully and see if you can find any common ground.

7. Based on this interview, do you have any questions or concerns about my qualifications for the role?

What a great closing question to ask in a job interview! It shows that you’re not afraid of feedback—in fact, you are inviting it. Not being able to take criticism is a red flag for employers, who need to know that you’ll act on any “coaching moments” with a good heart.

As a bonus, asking this question shows that you are really interested in the position and wish to clear up anything that may be holding the company back from hiring you.

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How it helps you:

What a devious beast this question is! On the surface, it looks straightforward, but it’s actually giving you four key pieces of information.

First, is the manager capable of giving you feedback when put on the spot like this? Some managers are scared of giving feedback, or don’t think it’s important enough to bother outside of a formal performance appraisal. Do you want to work for a boss like that? How will you improve if no one is telling you what you did wrong?

Second, can the manager give feedback in a constructive way without being too pillowy or too confrontational? It’s unfair to expect the interviewer to have figured out your preferred way of receiving feedback in the space of an interview, but if she come back with a machine-gun fire of shortcomings or one of those corporate feedback “sandwiches” (the doozy slipped between two slices of compliment), then you need to ask yourself, can you work with someone who gives feedback like that?

Third, you get to learn the things the hiring manager is concerned about before you leave the interview. This gives you the chance to make a final, tailored sales pitch so you can convince the interviewer that she should not be worried about those things.

Fourth, you get to learn the things the hiring manager is concerned about period. If turnover is keeping him up at night, then your frequent job hopping might get a lot of additional scrutiny. If he’s facing some issues with conflict or communication, then he might raise concerns regarding your performance in this area.

Listen carefully: the concerns that are being raised about you might actually be a proxy for problems in the wider organization.

Making Your Interview Work for You

Interviews are a two-way street. While it is important to differentiate yourself from every other candidate, understand that convincing the interviewer you’re the right person for the role goes hand-in-hand with figuring out if the job is the right fit for you.

Would you feel happy in a work environment where the people, priorities, culture and management style were completely at odds with the way you work? Didn’t think so!

More Resources About Job Interviews

Featured photo credit: Amy Hirschi via unsplash.com

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