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10 Writing Tips For Bloggers

10 Writing Tips For Bloggers

Are you a blogger looking to improve your blog?

Most bloggers understand the importance of providing quality content. When your articles are all of high quality, there are lots of rewards. Among the benefits of improving your content is that you can build up a strong readership, and your articles are more likely to be shared on other social media platforms.

Check out these 10 handy tips for bloggers.

1. Make Your Content Something You Are Knowledgeable and Passionate About

Most successful bloggers understand that writing useful, quality content will attract more readers. Think of something you are both knowledgeable and passionate about – some good examples are cooking, crafts, parenting or technology reviews.

Whatever you choose, it is likely you will be writing a few posts every week, so choose a subject you can write a lot about.

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2. Create A List Of Blog Post Ideas

Take a few hours to write down as many ideas for blog posts as you can. This will help you stick to blogging when you’re struggling to come up with new ideas, and it can be a great way for new bloggers to decide on a direction for their blog overall.

3. Think About How To Make Your Content Unique

The internet is so huge, it is extremely unlikely you are the only person blogging about your chosen topic. Don’t feel disheartened by this, as your content can still be relevant and original.

Try checking out similar blogs, and thinking about how you could put an original twist on your own blog.

Ask yourself these questions

– Could you find a niche within your chosen subject?

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– Is there an area other blogs seem to have skimmed over?

4. Don’t Proofread Your Post Straight Away

Unless you are immediately sharing your post, try to proofread your post a day later. Often the text is very fresh in your mind, so you can struggle to see all of the corrections you need to make.

Come back later with a fresh mind to ensure you proofread your post properly.

5. Focus On Your Opening Line

Aim to make your first sentence amazing – the opening line of your blog post is one of the most important. If you write an engaging, interesting opening line, you are more likely to draw your readers in so that they want to keep on reading.

There are various ways to do this – you can draw your readers in with a rhetorical question, or you could intrigue them by saying something unexpected.

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6. Develop A Writing Voice

Popular bloggers normally have a certain style they choose to write in. This makes their posts consistent, and will help you to get used to writing in a blogging style.

Think about how you want your posts to come across. Do you want to seem light-hearted and colloquial, or perhaps more serious?

7. Stay On Topic

To make sure your blog post stays focused and useful, re-read your title after you finish each paragraph. This can help you to make your writing even more professional, as well as making your posts even handier for your readers.

8. Put Thought And Effort Into Your Title

Normally bloggers who run very popular and successful blogs use interesting, eye-catching titles. The title is the first thing your readers will see, and will determine if they will read the article or not. There are lots of methods to creating a great title; you could use a heading that causes controversy, make it amusing or thought-provoking, or you could ask a question.

9. Make Your Posts Timeless

Popular blogs often feature timeless posts, which are just as relevant to readers years after they were actually written. Timeless posts are great for bloggers, as your post will continue to receive likes, comments and shares without any prompting from you.
It is very likely that you could create some timeless posts, so consider writing a short list of timeless subjects within your niche.

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10. Focus On The Point Of Your Post

Many bloggers can struggle to continuously come up with new and unique ideas for blog posts, but without a focus point, your post may be less useful. You already know what the subject of your blog is, so ask yourself these questions if you’re struggling to find a point in your post:

– What am I trying to communicate?

– How does this benefit my reader?

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Amy Johnson

Amy is a writer who blogs about relationships and lifestyle advice.

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Last Updated on July 17, 2019

The Science of Setting Goals (And How It Affects Your Brain)

The Science of Setting Goals (And How It Affects Your Brain)

What happens in our heads when we set goals?

Apparently a lot more than you’d think.

Goal setting isn’t quite so simple as deciding on the things you’d like to accomplish and working towards them.

According to the research of psychologists, neurologists, and other scientists, setting a goal invests ourselves into the target as if we’d already accomplished it. That is, by setting something as a goal, however small or large, however near or far in the future, a part of our brain believes that desired outcome is an essential part of who we are – setting up the conditions that drive us to work towards the goals to fulfill the brain’s self-image.

Apparently, the brain cannot distinguish between things we want and things we have. Neurologically, then, our brains treat the failure to achieve our goal the same way as it treats the loss of a valued possession. And up until the moment, the goal is achieved, we have failed to achieve it, setting up a constant tension that the brain seeks to resolve.

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Ideally, this tension is resolved by driving us towards accomplishment. In many cases, though, the brain simply responds to the loss, causing us to feel fear, anxiety, even anguish, depending on the value of the as-yet-unattained goal.

Love, Loss, Dopamine, and Our Dreams

The brains functions are carried out by a stew of chemicals called neurotransmitters. You’ve probably heard of serotonin, which plays a key role in our emotional life – most of the effective anti-depressant medications on the market are serotonin reuptake inhibitors, meaning they regulate serotonin levels in the brain leading to more stable moods.

Somewhat less well-known is another neurotransmitter, dopamine. Among other things, dopamine acts as a motivator, creating a sensation of pleasure when the brain is stimulated by achievement. Dopamine is also involved in maintaining attention – some forms of ADHD are linked to irregular responses to dopamine.[1]

So dopamine plays a key role in keeping us focused on our goals and motivating us to attain them, rewarding our attention and achievement by elevating our mood. That is, we feel good when we work towards our goals.

Dopamine is related to wanting – to desire. The attainment of the object of our desire releases dopamine into our brains and we feel good. Conversely, the frustration of our desires starves us of dopamine, causing anxiety and fear.

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One of the greatest desires is romantic love – the long-lasting, “till death do us part” kind. It’s no surprise, then, that romantic love is sustained, at least in part, through the constant flow of dopamine released in the presence – real or imagined – of our true love. Loss of romantic love cuts off that supply of dopamine, which is why it feels like you’re dying – your brain responds by triggering all sorts of anxiety-related responses.

Herein lies obsession, as we go to ever-increasing lengths in search of that dopamine reward. Stalking specialists warn against any kind of contact with a stalker, positive or negative, because any response at all triggers that reward mechanism. If you let the phone ring 50 times and finally pick up on the 51st ring to tell your stalker off, your stalker gets his or her reward, and learns that all s/he has to do is wait for the phone to ring 51 times.

Romantic love isn’t the only kind of desire that can create this kind of dopamine addiction, though – as Captain Ahab (from Moby Dick) knew well, any suitably important goal can become an obsession once the mind has established ownership.

The Neurology of Ownership

Ownership turns out to be about a lot more than just legal rights. When we own something, we invest a part of ourselves into it – it becomes an extension of ourselves.

In a famous experiment at Cornell University, researchers gave students school logo coffee mugs, and then offered to trade them chocolate bars for the mugs. Very few were willing to make the trade, no matter how much they professed to like chocolate. Big deal, right? Maybe they just really liked those mugs![2]

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But when they reversed the experiment, handing out chocolate and then offering to trade mugs for the candy, they found that now, few students were all that interested in the mugs. Apparently the key thing about the mugs or the chocolate wasn’t whether students valued whatever they had in their possession, but simply that they had it in their possession.

This phenomenon is called the “endowment effect”. In a nutshell, the endowment effect occurs when we take ownership of an object (or idea, or person); in becoming “ours” it becomes integrated with our sense of identity, making us reluctant to part with it (losing it is seen as a loss, which triggers that dopamine shut-off I discussed above).

Interestingly, researchers have found that the endowment effect doesn’t require actual ownership or even possession to come into play. In fact, it’s enough to have a reasonable expectation of future possession for us to start thinking of something as a part of us – as jilted lovers, gambling losers, and 7-year olds denied a toy at the store have all experienced.

The Upshot for Goal-Setters

So what does all this mean for would-be achievers?

On one hand, it’s a warning against setting unreasonable goals. The bigger the potential for positive growth a goal has, the more anxiety and stress your brain is going to create around it’s non-achievement.

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It also suggests that the common wisdom to limit your goals to a small number of reasonable, attainable objectives is good advice. The more goals you have, the more ends your brain thinks it “owns” and therefore the more grief and fear the absence of those ends is going to cause you.

On a more positive note, the fact that the brain rewards our attentiveness by releasing dopamine means that our brain is working with us to direct us to achievement. Paying attention to your goals feels good, encouraging us to spend more time doing it. This may be why outcome visualization — a favorite technique of self-help gurus involving imagining yourself having completed your objectives — has such a poor track record in clinical studies. It effectively tricks our brain into rewarding us for achieving our goals even though we haven’t done it yet!

But ultimately, our brain wants us to achieve our goals, so that it’s a sense of who we are that can be fulfilled. And that’s pretty good news!

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Featured photo credit: Alexa Williams via unsplash.com

Reference

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