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25 Blogging Tips for Fresh Bloggers

25 Blogging Tips for Fresh Bloggers

Everybody has a blog, but creating a blog is only the first step to truly reaching your audience. There are plenty of ways to increase your readership and maximize the effectiveness of your posts, so I’ve compiled a list of 25 blogging tips to get people started:

1. Never stop learning.

Every word you write will teach you something new. You will learn as you go; about writing, about specific topics, about the internet, and about yourself.

2. Be genuine.

Let your voice permeate your posts. Write the way you talk. If people who know you read your blog, they should be able to hear you saying the words as they read them, so don’t try to be somebody you’re not. If you aren’t quite sure who you are yet, then you will learn more about yourself through your writing, as long as you are honest.

3. Discover your voice.

Write, write, write. Find out what your goals are and how you plan on achieving them. Recognize the topics about which you enjoy writing, and the problems you would like to solve in the process.

4. Be interesting.

Being unpredictable is the key to being interesting. Surprise your readers. Surprise yourself. Make yourself laugh, make yourself cringeas long as you get some type of reaction out of yourself, you are headed in the right direction. Allow yourself to think of the predictable ideas first, and get them out of your system. Then dive in deeper and pull out the more unique ideas.

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5. Be original.

Even if your topic is not totally unique, present it differently. Think outside of the box. Shoot it from another angle. If you can’t think of something new to say, then at least find a new way to say it.

6. Provide evidence.

If you are going to make an outrageous claim, at least have some facts to back it up. Sure, this is the internet and not everything is true, but you have to establish some credibility if you want people to read and actually appreciate your content. If your post is credible, it is more likely to be referenced by another blogger, which can help bring your site more readers.

7. Make connections to hot topics.

Write about current events and how they relate to you and/or your readers. This way, people will know that you a.) don’t live under a rock, b.) have opinions, and c.) care about something other than your blog. This is an effective way to bring readers to your site, and it is a great opportunity to make your content topical.

8. Write consistently.

You don’t need to write on a specific schedule, but you do want to post regularly so that you stay relevant in your readers’ minds. Depending on the focus of your blog, you might want post two or three times a week, or every day if possible. Also, remain consistent in your writing and try not to contradict yourself.

9. Read constantly.

Try to discover a new blog every day. Take note of the way other bloggers are using tools that are readily available to you, and find sites that intrigue you. If you enjoy reading about a topic, then perhaps you will enjoy writing about it.

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10. Create catchy headlines that aren’t misleading.

You want people to read your blog, but you also want people to read your blog. Be clever but don’t intentionally deceive anybody.

11. Make your posts accessible.

In the literal sense, don’t make them hard to find. If somebody is interested in reading your other posts, make it simple for him/her to access them. In the other sense of the word, try not to alienate any of your potential readers. You may have strong opinions, and that’s fine, but don’t be opinionated.

12. Weave an intricate web of links.

Give credit where credit is due. If another blogger inspires you, then acknowledge the post via pingback/trackback. This is also effective when you refer to your older posts in an article.

13. Incorporate images and videos.

Oh man, people love looking at pictures and stuff. Think about it. Would you rather read a book with only words or a book that has pictures?

14. Mind the length of your posts.

You usually need to write about 300 words for your post to be recognized by a search engine such as Google, so strictly from the SEO standpoint, you should keep that in mind. However, the length of your posts should be directly related to the attention span of your readers and the subject of your writing.

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15. Take risks.

Don’t be afraid to explore new ideas. If you come up with something that makes you a bit uncomfortable, good. Go with it. In fact, run with it. Venture out of your comfort zone and you might end up with an interesting story to tell.

16. Know your limits.

Don’t force anything. You will learn more things once you leave that comfort zone, but if something makes you feel extremely uncomfortable, perhaps there is a reason for it.

17. Use appropriate tags.

Using the right words to tag your posts can be an effective way for organizing topics, and it can also help bring traffic to your blog.

18. Promote yourself.

Share your work on all possible social media platforms to maximize your reach. Share other bloggers’ posts and they might return the favor.

19. Edit your posts.

Intelligent readers won’t pay any mind to your blog if it is polluted with spelling errors and grammar mistakes. Be sure to thoroughly edit each post before it goes public.

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20. Quality > quantity.

Don’t feel pressured to post a piece before it is completely ready. Sure, you want to give people something to read, but you also want it to be worth reading. While more posts will give you a better chance of getting recognized by search engines, you don’t want to sacrifice quality just for a few keywords.

21. Pay attention to feedback.

Allow comments, and read what people have to say about your writing. Maybe they know something you don’t; dialogue is a good thing.

22. Pay no attention to trolls.

If you allow comments, you will inevitably get unnecessary negative criticism. Most of it will be silly, but some people can be mean. Use it as fuel to succeed.

23. Connect with your readers.

Engage with them. Reply to their comments and feedback, and try to gain an understanding of what they enjoy. Don’t be afraid to make them think. They might even inspire your future content.

24. Connect with other bloggers.

Read other blogs for information and inspiration, and create a network of contacts so you can expand your influence.

25. Use lists.

When people see a number at the beginning of a blog post title, they know exactly what they are getting themselves into by clicking on it. It’s finite. Readers also love lists because they can just read each bolded bullet point and skim the article to get the gist. This may not be an effective method of reading, but it is common. For example, some people won’t read this sentence.

Good luck!

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Last Updated on January 6, 2021

14 Ideas on How to Measure Productivity to Make Progress

14 Ideas on How to Measure Productivity to Make Progress

Everyone has heard the term productivity, and people talk about it in terms of how high it is and how to improve it. But fewer know how to measure productivity, or even what exactly we are talking about when using the term “productivity.”

In its simplest form, the productivity formula looks like this: Output ÷ Input = Productivity.

For example, you have two salespeople each making 10 calls to customers per week. The first one averages 2 sales per week and the second one averages 3 sales per week. By plugging in the numbers we get the following productivity levels for each sales person.

For salesperson one, the output is 2 sales and the input is 10 sales: 2 ÷ 10 = .2 or 20% productivity. For salesperson two, the output is 3 sales and the input is 10 sales: 3 ÷ 10 = .3 or 30% productivity.

Knowing how to measure and interpret productivity is an invaluable asset for any manager or business owner in today’s world. As an example, in the above scenario, salesperson #1 is clearly not doing as well as salesperson #2.

Knowing this information we can now better determine what course of action to take with salesperson #1.

Some possible outcomes might be to require more in-house training for that salesperson, or to have them accompany the more productive salesperson to learn a better technique. It might be that salesperson #1 just isn’t suited for sales and would do a better job in a different position.

How to Measure Productivity With Management Techniques

Knowing how to measure productivity allows you to fine tune your business by minimizing costs and maximizing profits:

1. Identify Long and Short-Term Goals

Having a good understanding of what you (or your company’s) goals are is key to measuring productivity.

For example, if your company’s goal is to maximize market share, you’ll want to measure your team’s productivity by their ability to acquire new customers, not necessarily on actual sales made.

2. Break Down Goals Into Smaller Weekly Objectives

Your long-term goal might be to get 1,000 new customers in a year. That’s going to be 20 new customers per week. If you have 5 people on your team, then each one needs to bring in 4 new customers per week.

Now that you’ve broken it down, you can track each person’s productivity week-by-week just by plugging in the numbers:

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Productivity = number of new customers ÷ number of sales calls made

3. Create a System

Have you ever noticed that whenever you walk into a McDonald’s, the French fry machine is always to your left? 

This is because McDonald’s created a system. They have determined that the most efficient way to set up a kitchen is to always have the French fry machine on the left when you walk in.

You can do the same thing and just adapt it to your business.

Let’s say that you know that your most productive salespeople are making the most sales between the hours of 3 and 7 pm. If the other salespeople are working from 9 am to 4 pm, you can potentially increase productivity through something as simple as adjusting the workday.

Knowing how to measure productivity allows you to set up, monitor, and fine tune systems to maximize output.

4. Evaluate, Evaluate, Evaluate!

We’ve already touched on using these productivity numbers to evaluate and monitor your employees, but don’t forget to evaluate yourself using these same measurements.

If you have set up a system to track and measure employees’ performance, but you’re still not meeting goals, it may be time to look at your management style. After all, your management is a big part of the input side of our equation.

Are you more of a carrot or a stick type of manager? Maybe you can try being more of the opposite type to see if that changes productivity. Are you managing your employees as a group? Perhaps taking a more one-on-one approach would be a better way to utilize each individual’s strengths and weaknesses.

Just remember that you and your management style contribute directly to your employees’ productivity.

5. Use a Ratings Scale

Having clear and concise objectives for individual employees is a crucial part of any attempt to increase workplace productivity. Once you have set the goals or objectives, it’s important that your employees are given regular feedback regarding their progress.

Using a ratings scale is a good way to provide a standardized visual representation of progress. Using a scale of 1-5 or 1-10 is a good way to give clear and concise feedback on an individual basis.

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It’s also a good way to track long-term progress and growth in areas that need improvement.

6. Hire “Mystery Shoppers”

This is especially helpful in retail operations where customer service is critical. A mystery shopper can give feedback based on what a typical customer is likely to experience.

You can hire your own shopper, or there are firms that will provide them for you. No matter which route you choose, it’s important that the mystery shoppers have a standardized checklist for their evaluation.

You can request evaluations for your employees friendliness, how long it took to greet the shopper, employees’ knowledge of the products or services, and just about anything else that’s important to a retail operation.

7. Offer Feedback Forms

Using a feedback form is a great way to get direct input from existing customers. There are just a couple of things to keep in mind when using feedback forms.

First, keep the form short, 2-3 questions max with a space for any additional comments. Asking people to fill out a long form with lots of questions will significantly reduce the amount of information you receive.

Secondly, be aware that customers are much more likely to submit feedback forms when they are unhappy or have a complaint than when they are satisfied.

You can offset this tendency by asking everyone to take the survey at the end of their interaction. This will increase compliance and give you a broader range of customer experiences, which will help as you’re learning how to measure productivity.

8. Track Cost Effectiveness

This is a great metric to have, especially if your employees have some discretion over their budgets. You can track how much each person spends and how they spend it against their productivity.

Again, this one is easy to plug into the equation: Productivity = amount of money brought in ÷ amount of money spent.

Having this information is very useful in forecasting expenses and estimating budgets.

9. Use Self-Evaluations

Asking your staff to do self evaluations can be a win-win for everyone. Studies have shown that when employees feel that they are involved and their input is taken seriously, morale improves. And as we all know, high employee morale translates into higher productivity.

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Using self-evaluations is also a good way to make sure that the employees and employers goals are in alignment.

10. Monitor Time Management

This is the number one killer of productivity in the workplace. Time spent browsing the internet, playing games, checking email, and making personal calls all contribute to lower productivity[1].

Time Management Tips to Improve Productivity

    The trick is to limit these activities without becoming overbearing and affecting morale. Studies have shown that most people will adhere to rules that they feel are fair and applied to everyone equally.

    While ideally, we may think that none of these activities should be done on company time, employees will almost certainly have a different opinion. From a productivity standpoint, it is best to have policies and rules that are seen as fair to both sides as you’re learning how to measure productivity.

    11. Analyze New Customer Acquisition

    We’ve all heard the phrase that “It’s more expensive to get a new customer than it is to keep an existing one.” And while that is very true, in order for your business to keep growing, you will need to continually add new customers.

    Knowing how to measure productivity via new customer acquisition will make sure that your marketing dollars are being spent in the most efficient way possible. This is another metric that’s easy to plug into the formula: Productivity = number of new customers ÷ amount of money spent to acquire those customers.

    For example, if you run any kind of advertising campaign, you can compare results and base your future spending accordingly.

    Let’s say that your total advertising budget is $3,000. You put $2,000 into television ads, $700 into radio ads, and $300 into print ads. When you track the results, you find that your television ad produced 50 new customers, your radio ad produced 15 new customers, and your print ad produced 9 new customers.

    Let’s plug those numbers into our equation. Television produced 50 new customers at a cost of $2,000 (50 ÷ 2000 = .025, or a productivity rate of 2.5%). The radio ads produced 15 new customers and cost $700 (15 ÷ 700 = .022, or a 2.2% productivity rate). Print ads brought in 9 new customers and cost $300 (9 ÷ 300 = .03, or a 3% return on productivity).

    From this analysis, it is clear that you would be getting the biggest bang for your advertising dollar using print ads.

    12. Utilize Peer Feedback

    This is especially useful when people who work in teams or groups. While self-assessments can be very useful, the average person is notoriously bad at assessing their own abilities.

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    Just ask a room full of people how many consider themselves to be an above average driver and you’ll see 70% of the hands go up[2]! Now we clearly know that in reality about 25% of drivers are below average, 25% are above average, and 50% are average.

    Are all these people lying? No, they just don’t have an accurate assessment of their own abilities.

    It’s the same in the workplace. Using peer feedback will often provide a more accurate assessment of a person’s ability than a self-assessment would.

    13. Encourage Innovation and Don’t Penalize Failure

    When it comes to productivity, encouraging employee input and adopting their ideas can be a great way to boost productivity. Just make sure that any changes you adopt translate into higher productivity.

    Let’s say that someone comes to you requesting an entertainment budget so that they can take potential customers golfing or out to dinner. By utilizing simple productivity metrics, you can easily produce a cost benefit analysis and either expand the program to the rest of the sales team, or terminate it completely.

    Either way, you have gained valuable knowledge and boosted morale by including employees in the decision-making process.

    14. Use an External Evaluator

    Using an external evaluator is the pinnacle of objective evaluations. Firms that provide professional evaluations use highly trained personnel that even specialize in specific industries.

    They will design a complete analysis of your business’ productivity level. In their final report, they will offer suggestions and recommendations on how to improve productivity.

    While the benefits of a professional evaluation are many, their costs make them prohibitive for most businesses.

    Final Thoughts

    These are just a few of the things you can do when learning how to measure productivity. Some may work for your particular situation, and some may not.

    The most important thing to remember when deciding how to track productivity is to choose a method consistent with your goals. Once you’ve decided on that, it’s just a matter of continuously monitoring your progress, making minor adjustments, and analyzing the results of those adjustments.

    The business world is changing fast, and having the right tools to track and monitor your productivity can give you the edge over your competition.

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    Featured photo credit: William Iven via unsplash.com

    Reference

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