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Five Simple Ways to Generate Ideas For Your Blog

Five Simple Ways to Generate Ideas For Your Blog
    photo by anselm http://www.flickr.com/photos/anselm23/2964430510/

    If you’ve been reading Lifehack for a while, you would have learned that blogging is the cheapest and most effective way to reach out to your clients, market your products and/or services and establish your expertise.

    But setting up a blog is just the first step. You can’t just write one or two posts and leave them at your self-hosted blog site. You need to blog regularly to achieve whatever your objective is in setting up a blog – whether it is to get ads, be Internet-famous or sell your services.

    The problem is how to come up with good ideas to sustain your blog in the next few months.

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    The solution is to find a way to regularly get ideas for blogging. Here are some easy techniques that you can employ to generate ideas that will keep you blogging.

    1. List down your ideas

    Get a piece of paper or open a blank document in your computer and put down any topics that is related to your business. Don’t censor yourself, just keep the ideas flowing. You can do this every day (my tip for morning larks: do this first thing in the morning) or every week. Remember that no one is watching you while making this list – so no idea is bad or ridiculous. You can always edit this list later.

    2. Solve your reader’s problem

    No matter how satisfied your readers are with your products and services or the information that you provide in your blog, they will have some questions about it. So compile all these concerns and write one blog post detailing for each of the problem that you want to solve.

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    For example, if you are a dentist who blogs, one of your readers problems may focus on taking care of their children’s teeth. You can then write a blog post offering a step-by step guide to new mothers on how to teach their toddlers to brush their teeth or perhaps tips to encourage their children to go to the dentist for regular cleaning.

    3. Go to online forums

    Visit large online forums and monitor the most popular topics and what are the most common questions that the forum participants ask. You can then write a post based from what you learned from this form.

    To find an online forum, type this a this Google: “keyword related your business + forum.” . For instance if you’re a dentist looking for an on online forum, you can type this in Google : “oral care + forum”. Google will then give you a list of for a where oral care is being discussed.

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    An alternative to the online forum is for you to hang around in the comment section of a popular blog related to the theme of your blog. Take note of the questions and opinions posted by commenters.

    4. Read a book

    Take one idea from the book and write how you applied that idea. Another option is to review the book – give a synopsis, your opinion about the book and how your readers can benefit from reading this book. If you are not a bibliophile, you can apply the same technique in culling ideas from the latest movies that you’ve seen.

    For instance, when the last installment of Harry Potter film was shown, I’ve read a lot of blog posts that harped on the Harry Potter theme – from the usual movie reviews to posts about the life lessons learned from Harry Potter or their favorite Harry Potter characters.

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    5. Twitter trending

    Grab some ideas by looking on a Twitter trending topic and putting your spin on it. Another technique is to read the recent Tweets by the people you follow and/or people who follow you.

    Coming up with ideas is one of the first things that you need to learn even before you buy your own domain name for your blog. Blogging, after all, is a long-term commitment and once you applied the above techniques, it will be easy for you to keep your blog interesting and rewarding for your readers.

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    Last Updated on February 21, 2019

    The Secret to Effective Conflict Resolution: The IBR Approach

    The Secret to Effective Conflict Resolution: The IBR Approach

    In business, in social relationships, in family… In whatever context conflict is always inevitable, especially when you are in the leader role. This role equals “make decisions for the best of majority” and the remaining are not amused. Conflicts arise.

    Conflicts arise when we want to push for a better quality work but some members want to take a break from work.

    Conflicts arise when we as citizens want more recreational facilities but the Government has to balance the needs to maintain tourism growth.

    Conflicts are literally everywhere.

    Avoiding Conflicts a No-No and Resolving Conflicts a Win-Win

    Avoiding conflicts seem to be a viable option for us. The cruel fact is, it isn’t. Conflicts won’t walk away by themselves. They will, instead, escalate and haunt you back even more when we finally realize that’s no way we can let it be.

    Moreover, avoiding conflicts will eventually intensify the misunderstanding among the involved parties. And the misunderstanding severely hinders open communication which later on the parties tend to keep things secret. This is obviously detrimental to teamwork.

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    Some may view conflicts as the last step before arguments. And they thus leave it aside as if they never happen. This is not true.

    Conflicts are the intersect point between different individuals with different opinions. And this does not necessarily lead to argument.

    Instead, proper handling of conflicts can actually result in a win-win situation – both parties are pleased and allies are gained. A better understanding between each other and future conflicts are less likely to happen.

    The IBR Approach to Resolve Conflicts

    Here, we introduce to you an effective approach to resolve conflicts – the Interest-Based Relational (IBR) approach. The IBR approach was developed by Roger Fisher and William Ury in their 1981 book Getting to Yes. It stresses the importance of the separation between people and their emotions from the problem. Another focus of the approach is to build mutual understanding and respect as they strengthen bonds among parties and can ultimately help resolve conflicts in a harmonious way. The approach suggests a 6-step procedure for conflict resolution:

    Step 1: Prioritize Good Relationships

    How? Before addressing the problem or even starting the discussion, make it clear the conflict can result in a mutual trouble and through subsequent respectful negotiation the conflict can be resolved peacefully. And that brings the best outcome to the whole team by working together.

    Why? It is easy to overlook own cause of the conflict and point the finger to the members with different opinions. With such a mindset, it is likely to blame rather than to listen to the others and fail to acknowledge the problem completely. Such a discussion manner will undermine the good relationships among the members and aggravate the problem.

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    Example: Before discussion, stress that the problem is never one’s complete fault. Everyone is responsible for it. Then, it is important to point out our own involvement in the problem and state clearly we are here to listen to everyone’s opinions rather than accusing others.

    Step 2: People Are NOT the Cause of Problem

    How? State clearly the problem is never one-sided. Collaborative effort is needed. More importantly, note the problem should not be taken personally. We are not making accusations on persons but addressing the problem itself.

    Why? Once things taken personally, everything will go out of control. People will become irrational and neglect others’ opinions. We are then unable to address the problem properly because we cannot grasp a fuller and clearer picture of the problem due to presumption.

    Example: In spite of the confronting opinions, we have to emphasize that the problem is not a result of the persons but probably the different perspectives to view it. So, if we try to look at the problem from the other’s perspective, we may understand why there are varied opinions.

    Step 3: Listen From ALL Stances

    How? Do NOT blame others. It is of utmost importance. Ask for everyone’s opinions. It is important to let everyone feel that they contribute to the discussion. Tell them their involvement is essential to solve the problem and their effort is very much appreciated.

    Why? None wants to be ignored. If one feels neglected, it is very likely for he/she to be aggressive. It is definitely not what we hope to see in a discussion. Acknowledging and being acknowledged are equally important. So, make sure everyone has equal opportunity to express their views. Also, realizing their opinions are not neglected, they will be more receptive to other opinions.

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    Example: A little trick can played here: Invite others to talk first. It is an easy way to let others feel involved and ,more importantly, know their voices are heard. Also, we can show that we are actively listening to them by giving direct eye-contact and nodding. One important to note is that never interrupt anyone. Always let them finish first beforeanother one begins.

    Step 4: Listen Comes First, Talk Follows

    How? Ensure everyone has listened to one another points of view. It can be done by taking turn to speak and leaving the discussion part at last. State once again the problem is nothing personal and no accusation should be made.

    Why? By turn-taking, everyone can finish talking and voices of all sides can be heard indiscriminantly. This can promote willingness to listen to opposing opinions.

    Example: We can prepare pieces of paper with different numbers written on them. Then, ask different members to pick one and talk according to the sequence of the number. After everyone’s finished, advise everyone to use “I” more than “You” in the discussion period to avoid others thinking that it is an accusation.

    Step 5: Understand the Facts, Then Address the Problem

    How? List out ALL the facts first. Ask everyone to tell what they know about the problems.

    Why? Sometimes your facts are unknown to the others while they may know something we don’t. Missing out on these facts could possibly lead to inaccurate capture of the problem. Also, different known facts can lead to different perception of the matter. It also helps everyone better understand the problem and can eventually help reach a solution.

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    Example: While everyone is expressing their own views, ask them to write down everything they know that is true to the problem. As soon as everyone has finished, all facts can be noted and everyone’s understanding of the problem is raised.

    Step 6: Solve the Problem Together

    How? Knowing what everyone’s thinking, it is now time to resolve the conflict. Up to this point, everyone should have understood the problem better. So, it is everyone’s time to suggest some solutions. It is important not to have one giving all the solutions.

    Why? Having everyone suggesting their solutions is important as they will not feel excluded and their opinions are considered. Besides, it may also generate more solutions that can better resolve the conflicts. Everyone will more likely be satisfied with the result.

    Example: After discussion, ask all members to suggest any possible solutions and stress that all solutions are welcomed. State clearly that we are looking for the best outcomes for everyone’s sake rather than battling to win over one another. Then, evaluate all the solutions and pick the one that is in favor of everyone.

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