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How To Force Yourself To Start Blogging

How To Force Yourself To Start Blogging

At this point, most people know the many benefits of blogging. To explain briefly: the process of writing helps you think, the content you create can promote your brand and expertise, a blog is a great way to stay in touch with people and meet new people, and lastly, there are several ways to monetize a blog.

Some of the most common questions I get, and challenges I hear people having, are around simply how to start blogging. Below is my best advice for forcing yourself to start creating content.

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Forming the habit

There are many tactics for forming habits that have been written about previously. Getting into the habit of blogging was very hard for me, but now that it’s a regular practice, blogging has become much easier. Below are some of my favorite habit-forming tactics as they pertain to blogging.

Start Small

Small habits can lead to bigger habits. Starting with shorter, more frequent blog posts can help you get in to the practice of blogging. Writing a small, even just 100 word, post can help you get over the hardest part of blogging: getting started. From there you can build some momentum to start tackling more ambitious posts. Starting with a long post first can be intimidating. Starting small lowers the barrier to getting started.

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Set goals

Setting specific and realistic goals can be motivational and force accountability. If you’ve committed to yourself to write a certain number of blog posts or words within a given period of time you will feel inclined to do so. I like to set goals on a weekly basis. Reaching the goals can bring confidence, and therefore more motivation.

Find the time that’s best for you

Different people feel more able to focus on writing at different times. Experiment to see which times are most conducive to writing for you. Maybe while you’re walking or driving to work you can record yourself talking about a topic that you can later transcribe. I personally like to write on weeknights and weekend afternoons.

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What to write about

Questions

What are the most common questions you get asked? Many people find it easier to write or speak when they’re prompted to do so. Think about questions you’ve been asked in interviews or meetings, and answer them in a blog post. Think about great answers you’ve had to questions, and write it as a blog post. Browse Quora for questions on the topic you want to write about. Answer those questions as blog posts. By starting with a question, you also know there’s demand for that kind of content.

Your expertise

Even if it’s not earth-shatteringly unique content, write about what you know best. While you may take your skills for granted, someone with no experience in the field would probably find it extremely informative. Write How to [whatever you did today]. If you created a prospect list, write How to Create a Prospect List. If you cold-called, write How to Start a Sales Call.

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Your opinion on controversial topics

Most people have topics, stories, or issues that they’re passionate about or have opinions on. Comment on a article you enjoyed reading recently. You could even re-write it in your own words. Read other blogs to get an idea for how others write.

How to actually start writing

Write what comes to mind

There’s nothing worse than staring at a blank page and a blinking cursor. Write down the first thoughts on the topic that come to mind. Write an outline and then fill in the blanks. Remove all filters to help you get started.

Write immediately

When you think of an idea for a post, write it immediately. Previously, when I would think of an idea, I would simply make a note of it on my phone or to-do list. This often resulted in forgetting what I actually wanted to write, or simply losing interest in the topic. Now when I think of an idea for a post, I write as much as I can of the post right away. It helps me to write while it’s top of mind, and reduces filtering.

Write the conclusion first

Write the conclusion, which is everything you want the reader to walk away with, in a short and straightforward way. This will help you determine what you need to include in the post. Sometimes the conclusion becomes my opening paragraph. Sometimes I break up the sentences in the conclusion across the post. Writing the conclusion first is a quick and easy way to get your main points down and focus the rest of the post.

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Last Updated on December 2, 2018

7 Public Speaking Techniques To Help Connect With Your Audience

7 Public Speaking Techniques To Help Connect With Your Audience

When giving a presentation or speech, you have to engage your audience effectively in order to truly get your point across. Unlike a written editorial or newsletter, your speech is fleeting; once you’ve said everything you set out to say, you don’t get a second chance to have your voice heard in that specific arena.

You need to make sure your audience hangs on to every word you say, from your introduction to your wrap-up. You can do so by:

1. Connecting them with each other

Picture your typical rock concert. What’s the first thing the singer says to the crowd after jumping out on stage? “Hello (insert city name here)!” Just acknowledging that he’s coherent enough to know where he is is enough for the audience to go wild and get into the show.

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It makes each individual feel as if they’re a part of something bigger. The same goes for any public speaking event. When an audience hears, “You’re all here because you care deeply about wildlife preservation,” it gives them a sense that they’re not just there to listen, but they’re there to connect with the like-minded people all around them.

2. Connect with their emotions

Speakers always try to get their audience emotionally involved in whatever topic they’re discussing. There are a variety of ways in which to do this, such as using statistics, stories, pictures or videos that really show the importance of the topic at hand.

For example, showing pictures of the aftermath of an accident related to drunk driving will certainly send a specific message to an audience of teenagers and young adults. While doing so might be emotionally nerve-racking to the crowd, it may be necessary to get your point across and engage them fully.

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3. Keep going back to the beginning

Revisit your theme throughout your presentation. Although you should give your audience the credit they deserve and know that they can follow along, linking back to your initial thesis can act as a subconscious reminder of why what you’re currently telling them is important.

On the other hand, if you simply mention your theme or the point of your speech at the beginning and never mention it again, it gives your audience the impression that it’s not really that important.

4. Link to your audience’s motivation

After you’ve acknowledged your audience’s common interests in being present, discuss their motivation for being there. Be specific. Using the previous example, if your audience clearly cares about wildlife preservation, discuss what can be done to help save endangered species’ from extinction.

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Don’t just give them cold, hard facts; use the facts to make a point that they can use to better themselves or the world in some way.

5. Entertain them

While not all speeches or presentations are meant to be entertaining in a comedic way, audiences will become thoroughly engaged in anecdotes that relate to the overall theme of the speech. We discussed appealing to emotions, and that’s exactly what a speaker sets out to do when he tells a story from his past or that of a well-known historical figure.

Speakers usually tell more than one story in order to show that the first one they told isn’t simply an anomaly, and that whatever outcome they’re attempting to prove will consistently reoccur, given certain circumstances.

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6. Appeal to loyalty

Just like the musician mentioning the town he’s playing in will get the audience ready to rock, speakers need to appeal to their audience’s loyalty to their country, company, product or cause. Show them how important it is that they’re present and listening to your speech by making your words hit home to each individual.

In doing so, the members of your audience will feel as if you’re speaking directly to them while you’re addressing the entire crowd.

7. Tell them the benefits of the presentation

Early on in your presentation, you should tell your audience exactly what they’ll learn, and exactly how they’ll learn it. Don’t expect them to listen if they don’t have clear-cut information to listen for. On the other hand, if they know what to listen for, they’ll be more apt to stay engaged throughout your entire presentation so they don’t miss anything.

Featured photo credit: Flickr via farm4.staticflickr.com

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