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How to Really Blog: The 43 Things That Bloggers Do

How to Really Blog: The 43 Things That Bloggers Do

    Question: “What do  you do?”

    Really Short Answer: “I am a blogger.”

    Blank look. After about 2 seconds — question: “What is that?”

    Answer: “I am a web writer and I share my thoughts online. I educate people about effective communication …”

    Thoughtful pause. Question: “As a hobby …?”

    If you are a blogger, you might have come across a similar scenario where you need to explain what occupies you during the course of your day. Or you might be searching for the answer to this question because you are the curious sort. Or you are interested in starting one and would like to know: What the job description of a blogger is. What does it entail…exactly?

    So…what do bloggers do? Many, many things.

    A blogger creates content for millions of people surfing the Internet, posted in reverse chronological order on – no prizes for guessing – their blogs, in the form of blog entries. Over and over again. They provide information that interests their readers, in “cyber-bites” – easy to digest pieces. Whatever your topic of choice is, you are bound to find hundreds of blogs writing on that same topic.

    Want to break it down even further? Well, here are 43 things that bloggers do:

    As a Writer

    1. Write blog posts, articles, web copy, and other pages. They spend hours agonizing over creating great, compelling, curiosity inducing, benefit driven headlines.

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    2. Tell great stories.

    3. Teach by writing how-tos, tutorials, in depth case studies.

    4. Upload videos and communicate via podcasts.

    5. Use infographics and images to hone their point.

    6. Curate Content.

    7. Offer subscription on their blog, possibly by offering a freebie such as an ebook or report upon sign up.

    8. Write guest post pitches and posts.

    9. Create own products such as ebooks, guides, worksheets, ecourses, etc.

    10. Participate in contests and competitions.

    11. Update their testimonials, guest posts links around the web and other honourable mentions.

    As a Researcher

    12. Research online and offline to bring you high quality material.

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    13. Link to other posts on the same topic that explains a point in question.

    14. Maintains ideas (swipe) file.

    15. Keeps an eye on what is happening – the latest trends and news.

    16. Subscribe to other blogs for pleasure and for inspiration.

    As a Learner

    17. Participate in education & training such as webinars, ebooks, courses etc.

    18. Attend workshops and conferences.

    As a Community Builder

    19. Respect their reader opinions even when totally different to their own.

    20. Encourage conversation around their posts. They respond, engage and create rappot with their audience.

    21. Answer reader questions via email.

    22. Handle guest post queries.

    As a Technical Expert – (Ok, comptence will do)

    23. Run the back end such as hosting, plug-ins, themes, coding to ensure that their site is up and running at all times.

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    24. Fix any unexpected problems on site.

    25. Track stats using Google Analytics.

    26. Conducts surveys.

    27. Optimize posts and posts for SEO benefits.

    28. Manage spam.

    As a Marketer

    29. Promote brand, create USP.

    30. Send out newsletter or auto-responder emails using email marketing programs such as aweber or mailchimp.

    31. Invest in traffic generation strategies.

    As a Networker

    32. Guest blog.

    33. Build relationships with other bloggers. Follow their blogs, comment, email, interview or engage via social media.

    34. Partner with other bloggers to create programs or ebooks.

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    35. Attend offline conferences.

    36. Speaking engagements

    As a Social Media Enthusiast

    37. Maintain their presence across many social media by sharing highly useful content.

    38. Learn about the new players.

    39. Update facebook page, set up a strong linkedin profile, enthusiastic following on twitter

    40. Keep an eye on trends.

    As an Entrepreneur

    41. Monetize through advertising, affiliate marketing

    42. Sell products such as ebooks, subscription based learning or services such consulting, coaching, speaking, seminars

    43. Bookkeeping and taxes.

    Phew! It is a miracle anyone would do all this willingly. The good news is you can take it slow and gradually tick off items on your list as you go along. Most will not apply, especially if you are blogging for pleasure.

    What did I forget? Add your thoughts in the comments below.

    (Photo credit: owenwbrown via Flickr – CC BY 2.0)

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    Marya Jan

    Marya is a business strategist. She shares tips about life and success on Lifehack.

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    Last Updated on August 12, 2020

    When Should You Trust Your Gut and How?

    When Should You Trust Your Gut and How?

    Learning how to trust your gut, otherwise known as your intuition, can keep you safe. Your gut can guide you and help you build your confidence and resilience. My own gut instinct has saved me on more than one occasion. It has also guided me into making sound career choices and other exciting, big decisions. I’m also aware of the times when I’ve gone against my instincts and really regretted it later, wondering why I didn’t tune in to that valuable internal voice that we all have within us.

    In this article, we’re going to explore why and how you should listen to your gut, as well as some concrete tips on how to make sure you’re making the most out of your gut instincts.

    How to Listen to Your Gut

    The key when making any big decision is to always take a minute to listen well to yourself and your inner compass. If you hear your actual voice saying yes while inside you’re silently screaming no, my advice is to ask for some time to think, or simply take a breath and pause before the yes or no escapes your mouth.

    Use that moment to breathe, check in with yourself, and give the answer that feels congruent with who you are and what you want, not the one that always involves following the herd. Trusting your gut means having the courage to not simply go with the majority. It can be about holding your own. Here’s how to hone that skill for yourself and reap the rewards.

    1. Tune Into Your Body

    Your body gives you clues when you’re faced with a big decision. There are many visible and obvious symptoms that we feel in uncomfortable situations. Our body’s reaction is often something that we might try to hide, for example, blushing, being lost for words, or shaking. There are things we might do to try and hide that physical reaction, whether it’s wearing makeup, having a glass of wine or coffee to perk us up a bit, or learning to control our nerves.

    However, paying attention to your body when you experience these feelings of anxiety can teach you so much and help you to make sound choices. Some people will experience an actual “gut” feeling of stomach ache or indigestion in an uncomfortable situation.

    Ask yourself what’s really going on here, and explore what is happening behind your body’s response to the situation. What can your reaction or instinct teach you? Understanding that can be a clue and can help you either learn something about yourself, the situation, or other people. The answers are often within us.

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    Sometimes we’ll get this “something’s not right here” feeling and cannot quite put our finger on it or explain it. That can still be incredibly useful and really guide us away from danger, even if we don’t know the reason.

    In his book, Blink, Malcolm Gladwell also argues this, making the point that sometimes our subconscious is better at processing the answer we need, and that we don’t necessarily need to take time to collect hours and hours of information to come to a reliable conclusion[1].

    2. Ensure Your Head Is Clear Before Making a Decision

    Energy, sleep, and good nutrition are so vital to nourishing our minds, as well as our bodies. There are times when your instinct could lead you astray, and one of these is when you are hungry, “hangry” (angry because you’re hungry!), tired, or anxious. If this is the case–and it may sound obvious–do consider sleeping or eating on it before making an important choice.

    There is, in fact, a connection between our gut and our brain[2], which is where terms like “butterflies in the stomach” and “gut-wrenching” originate from. Stress and emotions can cause physical feelings, and ignoring them might do more harm than good.

    3. Don’t Be Afraid to Say What You Think and Feel

    Listening to your gut and really paying attention to it might involve standing up and being counted, calling something out, or taking a stand. As someone who works for myself, I’ve become used to following the less-travelled road, and that’s given me the chance to strike out on my own in other ways, too.

    As they tell you in the planes, “put your own oxygen mask on first,” and part of that self-reliance is knowing what you really want and like and what is safe and good for you, including what resonates with your personal and business values. Making good decisions with this in mind means making choices that do not go against your own beliefs, even when it may mean taking a stand. This is part of trusting yourself and trusting your instincts.

    This does not always mean taking the “safe” option, although keeping ourselves safe is an important part of the process. This is how we learn and grow, by following our own inner compass. When you do take risks, go outside of your comfort zone, or choose the less popular option, spending some time researching the facts can stand us in good stead, too.

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    4. Do Your Research If Something Feels Off

    As well as listening to our instincts, we can also back up the evidence for our chosen course of action before taking the leap. I had a gut feeling about the need for a learning and development network when I noticed my clients getting stuck with the same problems. I set up and now run such a network, but instead of simply going for it, without evidence, I followed up on my instinct with research.

    Having confidence in your gut instinct through these kinds of tests can help to minimize your risks, as well as spur you on. It will encourage you to trust your gut again in the future and trust that you are an expert with foresight and experience. You are!

    5. Challenge Your Assumptions

    When you look at the assumptions your making, this could be the clue to mistakes you are making.

    In order to check that our instincts are wise, we need to ask ourselves what blanks we might be filling in, either consciously or unconsciously. This is true not just when it comes to our own decision-making. It’s also true when we are listening to someone explain a problem or situation, and we’re about to jump in and give some advice. If we can learn to be aware of our own assumptions, we can become better listeners and better decision makers, too.

    A useful tool to become more aware of your assumptions before making a final decision is simply to ask yourself, “What assumptions am I making about this situation or person?”

    6. Educate Yourself on Unconscious Bias

    Unconscious bias is something we all have, and it can trip us up big time!

    There is a vital caveat to bear in mind when wondering about whether you can trust your gut and the feelings your body gives you, and that’s having an awareness of your unconscious bias. Understanding your own bias–which is hard to do because it literally does happen in our subconscious–can help you to make stronger, better, decisions instead of re-confirming your view of the world over and over again.

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    Bias exists, and it’s part of the human condition. All of us have it, and it colors our decisions and can impact on our performance without us realizing.

    Unconscious bias happens at a subconscious level in our brains. Our subconscious brain processes information so much faster than our conscious brain. Quick decisions we make in our subconscious are based on both our societal conditioning and how our families raised us.

    Our brains process hundreds of thousands of pieces of information daily. We unconsciously categorize and format that information into patterns that feel familiar to us. Aspects such as gender, disability, class, sexuality, body shape and size, ethnicity, and what someone does for a job can all quickly influence decisions we make about people and the relationships we choose to form. Our unconscious bias can be very subtle and go unnoticed..

    We naturally tend to gravitate towards people similar to ourselves, favoring people who we see as belonging to the same “group” as us. Being able to make a quick decision about whether someone is part of your group and distinguish friend from foe was what helped early humans to survive. Conversely, we don’t automatically favor people who we don’t immediately relate to or easily connect with.

    The downside of that human instinct to seek out similar people is the potential for prejudice, which seems to be hard-wired into human cognition, no matter how open-minded we believe ourselves to be. And these stereotypes we create can be wrong. If we only spend our time with and employ people similar to ourselves, it can create prejudices, as well as stifle fresh thinking and innovation.

    We may feel more natural or comfortable working with other people who share our own background and/or opinions than collaborating with people who don’t look, talk, or think like us. However, diversity is not just morally right; having a mix of different people and perspectives that can be genuinely heard is also a valuable way to counter groupthink. Diversity stretches us to think more critically and creatively.

    7. Trust Yourself

    It is possible to learn how to truly trust yourself[3]. Like any talent or skill, practicing trusting your gut is the best way to get really good at it. When people talk about having great intuition or being good decision-makers, it’s because they’ve worked at honing those skills, made mistakes, learned from them, and tried again.

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    Looking back at decisions you’ve made, what you did, what the outcome was, and what you’ve learned can help you become a stronger decision maker and develop solid self-trust and resilience. Making a mistake does not mean you are not great at decision-making; it’s a chance to grow and learn, and the only mistake is to ignore the lesson in that experience.

    If you are in the habit of asking others for their input, then the trick here is to choose your inner circle wisely. Having a sounding board of people who have your best interests at heart is a valuable asset, and, combined with your own excellent instincts, can make you a champion decision maker.

    The Bottom Line

    The above tips are all actionable and easy to start immediately. It’s simply about switching your thinking around, slowing down, and taking great care of this amazing machine that is your body and mind!

    Learning how to trust your gut is one of the most fundamental ways to make decisions that will help you lead the life you want and need. Tune into what your body is telling you and start making good decisions today.

    More Tips on How to Trust Your Gut

    Featured photo credit: Acy Varlan via unsplash.com

    Reference

    [1] Science of People: Learn to Trust Your Gut Instincts: The Science Behind Thin-slicing
    [2] Harvard Health Publishing: The gut-brain connection
    [3] Psych Central: 3 Ways to Develop Self-Trust

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