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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 May 21, 2019

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

For all our social media bravado, we live in a society where communication is seen less as an art, and more as a perfunctory exercise. We spend so much time with people, yet we struggle with how to meaningfully communicate.

If you believe you have mastered effective communication, scan the list below and see whether you can see yourself in any of the examples:

Example 1

You are uncomfortable with a person’s actions or comments, and rather than telling the individual immediately, you sidestep the issue and attempt to move on as though the offending behavior or comment never happened.

You move on with the relationship and develop a pattern of not addressing challenging situations. Before long, the person with whom you are in relationship will say or do something that pushes you over the top and predictably, you explode or withdraw completely from the relationship.

In this example, hard-to-speak truths become never- expressed truths that turn into resentment and anger.

Example 2

You communicate from the head and without emotion. While what you communicate makes perfect sense to you, it comes across as cold because it lacks emotion.

People do not understand what motivates you to say what you say, and without sharing your feelings and emotions, others experience you as rude, cold or aggressive.

You will know this is a problem if people shy away from you, ignore your contributions in meetings or tell you your words hurt. You can also know you struggle in this area if you find yourself constantly apologizing for things you have said.

Example 3

You have an issue with one person, but you communicate your problem to an entirely different person.

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The person in whom you confide lacks the authority to resolve the matter troubling you, and while you have vented and expressed frustration, the underlying challenge is unresolved.

Example 4

You grew up in a family with destructive communication habits and those habits play out in your current relationships.

Because you have never stopped to ask why you communicate the way you do and whether your communication style still works, you may lack understanding of how your words impact others and how to implement positive change.

If you find yourself in any of the situations described above, this article is for you.

Communication can build or decimate worlds and it is important we get it right. Regardless of your professional aspirations or personal goals, you can improve your communication skills if you:

  • Understand your own communication style
  • Tailor your style depending on the needs of the audience
  • Communicate with precision and care
  • Be mindful of your delivery, timing and messenger

1. Understand Your Communication Style

To communicate effectively, you must understand the communication legacy passed down from our parents, grandparents or caregivers. Each of us grew up with spoken and unspoken rules about communication.

In some families, direct communication is practiced and honored. In other families, family members are encouraged to shy away from difficult conversations. Some families appreciate open and frank dialogue and others do not. Other families practice silence about substantive matters, that is, they seldom or rarely broach difficult conversations at all.

Before you can appreciate the nuance required in communication, it helps to know the familial patterns you grew up with.

2. Learn Others Communication Styles

Communicating effectively requires you to take a step back, assess the intended recipient of your communication and think through how the individual prefers to be communicated with. Once you know this, you can tailor your message in a way that increases the likelihood of being heard. This also prevents you from assuming the way you communicate with one group is appropriate or right for all groups or people.

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If you are unsure how to determine the styles of the groups or persons with whom you are interacting, you can always ask them:

“How do you prefer to receive information?”

This approach requires listening, both to what the individuals say as well as what is unspoken. Virgin Group CEO Richard Branson noted that the best communicators are also great listeners.

To communicate effectively from relationship to relationship and situation to situation, you must understand the communication needs of others.

3. Exercise Precision and Care

A recent engagement underscored for me the importance of exercising care when communicating.

On a recent trip to Ohio, I decided to meet up with an old friend to go for a walk. As we strolled through the soccer park, my friend gently announced that he had something to talk about, he was upset with me. His introduction to the problem allowed me to mentally shift gears and prepare for the conversation.

Shortly after introducing the shift in conversation, my friend asked me why I didn’t invite him to the launch party for my business. He lives in Ohio and I live in the D.C. area.

I explained that the event snuck up on me, and I only started planning the invite list three weeks before the event. Due to the last-minute nature of the gathering, I opted to invite people in the DMV area versus my friends from outside the area – I didn’t want to be disrespectful by asking them to travel on such short notice.

I also noted that I didn’t want to be disappointed if he and others declined to come to the event. So I played it safe in terms of inviting people who were local.

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In the moment, I felt the conversation went very well. I also checked in with my friend a few days after our walk, affirmed my appreciation for his willingness to communicate his upset and our ability to work through it.

The way this conversation unfolded exemplified effective communication. My friend approached me with grace and vulnerability. He approached me with a level of curiosity that didn’t put me on my heels — I was able to really listen to what he was saying, apologize for how my decision impacted him and vow that going forward, I would always ask rather than making decisions for him and others.

Our relationship is intact, and I now have information that will help me become a better friend to him and others.

4. Be Mindful of Delivery, Timing and Messenger

Communicating effectively also requires thinking through the delivery of the message one intends to communicate as well as the appropriate time for the discussion.

In an Entrepreneur.com column, VIP Contributor Deep Patel, noted that persons interested in communicating well need to master the art of timing. Patel noted,[1]

“Great comedians, like all great communicators, are able to feel out their audience to determine when to move on to a new topic or when to reiterate an idea.”

Communicating effectively also requires thoughtfulness about the messenger. A person prone to dramatic, angry outbursts should never be called upon to deliver constructive feedback, especially to people whom they do not know. The immediate aftermath of a mass shooting is not the ideal time to talk about the importance of the Second Amendment rights.

Like everyone else, I must work to ensure my communication is layered with precision and care.

It requires precision because words must be carefully tailored to the person with whom you are speaking.

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It requires intentionality because before one communicates, one should think about the audience and what the audience needs in order to hear your message the way you intended it to be communicated.

It requires active listening which is about hearing verbal and nonverbal messages.

Even though we may be right in what we say, how we say it could derail the impact of the message and the other parties’ ability to hear the message.

Communicating with care is also about saying things that the people in our life need to hear and doing so with love.

The Bottom Line

When I left the meeting with my dear friend, I wondered if I was replicating or modeling this level of openness and transparency in the rest of my relationships.

I was intrigued and appreciative. He’d clearly thought about what he wanted to say to me, picked the appropriate time to share his feedback and then delivered it with care. He hit the ball out of the park and I’m hopeful we all do the same.

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Featured photo credit: Kenan Buhic via unsplash.com

Reference

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