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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 November 5, 2019

5 Learning Management Systems (LMS) for Effective Learning

5 Learning Management Systems (LMS) for Effective Learning

Businesses rely on talent to generate and sell value. Without skilled people to create its products, manage its operations and execute its strategies, a business would inevitably fizzle out of the game and leave better-staffed competitors to take the field.

This is the reason why ambitious companies go great lengths to attract top talent,[1] shelling out millions of dollars in the process and bending traditional work policies just to bring highly skilled but demanding candidates into the fold.

Clearly, the contours of business are changing. But so are the demographics of work.

Millennials have become the dominant generation in the job market in terms of population, and some have already transitioned into leadership roles. Most millennials consider opportunity to learn and grow more important than overall compensation.[2]

Companies also today expect employees to come equipped with razor sharp business acumen.[3] Unfortunately, there is an alarming discrepancy between the actual skills businesses need and those currently possessed by job candidates.

To stay in the game, employers need to continually upgrade their training and skills development strategies to cover the entire employee lifecycle.

What are Learning Management Systems (LMS)?

Learning management systems are software-based solutions for authoring, presenting, consuming, storing, and tracking educational content and training materials. These systems aim to centralize all instructional content (e.g., lessons, training modules, instructional videos, presentation slides, worksheets, online quizzes, ebooks, takeaway notes, etc.) in one place.

LMS enable instructors to design and deliver learning experiences to students, with the added capability of evaluating the effectiveness of the instructional materials and grading the learning progress of students.

On the other side of the equation, learners use LMS to develop skills and acquire new knowledge virtually anytime and anywhere via the different channels and content formats made possible by digital technology.

Over the years, a wide range of features and technologies have been integrated into learning management systems to help enhance the experience of training designers, instructors, and learners. These include cloud and mobile technology, artificial intelligence, responsive design, scheduling, gamification, data analytics, and interoperability with other applications.

5 Best All-Purpose Learning Management Systems

There are dozens of LMS vendors catering to the general market or to specific segments such as K-12 learning, higher education, and corporate training.

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With so many options available, selecting the right LMS solution for your needs can be complicated and costly, especially when you end up adopting a platform that doesn’t exactly match your goals or requirements.

Short of conducting a comprehensive audit of your needs and finalizing a learning roadmap, the safest bet would be to adopt full-featured but affordable LMS solutions.

Based on user reviews, here are the 5 best LMS to help people gain knowledge, build skills, and achieve mastery:

1. Canvas Network

Launched by Instructure as an open source software in 2011, Canvas is an end-to-end cloud-based service originally engineered for the education sector.

Widely adopted for K-12 and Higher Ed learning, Canvas can be repurposed for anything that involves an instructor, a subject matter, and a student.

Used around the world by people of all ages and organizations of all types, Canvas arguably has the largest learning and support community in its class. It works on desktop computers, tablets and mobile phones.

To get a glimpse of the platform’s fresh interfaces, you can visit the Canvas Network, a learning community that provides educational and instructional materials created by colleges, universities, corporate businesses, independent course developers, and other knowledge-sharing entities around the world.

Hosting hundreds of interesting topics from data science to horticulture, the learning network also serves as evidence to the scope, capabilities, and popularity of the Canvas LMS platform.

Canvas is hosted on Amazon Web Services (AWS) infrastructure, which enhances the platform’s reliability, speed, scalability, and overall online performance.

Additionally, platform adopters enjoy a low-risk environment since cloud-based solutions require no hard stops for version updates, upgrades, or system migrations.

The Canvas website does not show a price matrix but says the service adopts a simple formula for computing fees: a one-time implementation fee and an annual subscription fee based on total number of users. It also promises free basic services for teachers who want to use the platform.

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In addition to Canvas, Instructure also offers Bridge (an LMS designed for corporate environments), Arc (a video platform for online learning), and Gauge (an assessment management system).

Check out this video if you want to learn more about Canvas Network:

2. Google Classroom

This free service from Google aims to improve the teaching and learning process using cloud technology, web apps, workflow simplification, and seamless communication between students and instructors.

Using Classroom, educators can easily create and schedule classes, distribute assignments, send feedback, and grade quizzes all in one place. By streamlining processes, Classroom helps teachers save time and organize classes more effectively. Both students and teachers can also work using any device anytime and anywhere.

Classroom works perfectly with other Google tools, having been launched initially as part of Google’s G Suite for Education. This LMS solution taps Google Drive for content storage and distribution, as well as Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides for the creation and sharing of instructional materials. Meanwhile it integrates Google Calendar for scheduling and Gmail for communication.

With G Suite, other communication channels such as chat messaging, video conferencing, and a dedicated website are enabled.

Easy to set up and manage, Google Classroom is free to use. One of my very first courses was actually hosted on Google Classroom.

Going beyond the classroom environment, Google offers G Suite Enterprise for Education for large institutions. This suite provides enhanced search and analytics capabilities as well as advanced tools for enterprise communications.

3. Moodle (Modular Object-Oriented Dynamic Learning Environment)

If budget and capability equally top your list of LMS adoption criteria, then Moodle might just fit the bill. Which is to say there’s none (i.e., bill).

Moodle is a free and open-source learning solution for distance education, workplace training, flipped classrooms, and other pedagogical environments.

It is also a full-featured LMS supported by a robust community and a thriving developer ecosystem. Not surprisingly, Moodle is used in more than 15 million courses by more than 130 million users in 230+ countries.

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Among other things, Moodle enables administrators and educators to create a dynamic and dedicated website to host organic, easily accessible, and highly customizable courses that can be experienced on desktops and mobile devices anytime and anywhere.

Moodle provides a personalized and intuitive dashboard as well as a host of collaboration tools for content designers, teachers, and learners. A universal calendar, an efficient file management system, an automatic notification system, multimedia integration, and a progress tracking tool all come with the package.

Check out this video if you want to learn more about Moodle:

4. Absorb

This platform recently bagged PC Magazine’s Editors’ Choice Award for Best LMS.

Co-designed and built by former course authors, Absorb takes learning experience to the next level. This turnkey LMS solution is responsive, full-featured, and highly customizable for maximum impact.

Course developers can orchestrate a wide range of experiences depending on audience or learning situation. In addition to surveys, polls, and e-commerce integration, Absorb supports formal online learning and certifications standards such as AICC, SCORM, and Tin Can.

The user interface can also be modified to match the learner’s location, group, or department, allowing for a different look and feel for customers, channel partners, management trainees, and newly hired employees.

Absorb supports all personal computing devices from desktops to mobile phones. There are also native or hybrid apps for iOS and Android.

The only possible drawback to the platform’s powerful feature set is its pricing. The service reportedly implements a flat, one-time setup fee depending on your business and training requirements. According to the site, any plan comes with a dedicated success team for your account.

Although small companies are welcome to try, midsize to enterprise-scale organizations are probably the best segment to readily adopt this LMS solution.

Take a look at some examples of Absorb in this video:

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5. Watershed Collaborative

Created by a group of educators, this nonprofit rethinks the priorities of an LMS, asserting that too many systems miss the most essential elements of what makes learning stick. They promise a better user experience – emphasizing Learning before Management and System.

Watershed aims to support an inquiry-based learning experience through an integrated mix of online and in-person learning strategies and interactions designed expressly for teams – including collaboration, reflection, and dialogue.

While Watershed was founded initially to serve the K-12 education market, the company has since expanded its scope to cater to all types of teachers and learners with its video-rich, state-of-the-art platform.

If you’re a mission-driven educator, content creator, institution, or business, this LMS may be the one for you.

Watershed specializes in assisting you with the instructional design of courses and provides content production services to ensure top-quality video assets with lasting value. Their LMS makes it easy for course creators to continuously update and tailor content to support small and large groups, while ensuring the technology and instructional strategy supports communities of learners.

Pricing varies based on products and services, but revenues support the nonprofit’s ability to make its platform and courses available at little or no cost for high-need educators and educational settings.

Honorable Mentions

There are dozens of LMS vendors in this growing market and the brands included in foregoing list are by no means the only viable options for companies or learning institutions looking to upgrade their learning infrastructure.

Many other excellent services are worth checking out. These include:

  1. Docebo is an LMS designed for hyper-engaging students, employees, customers, and other learners. The system helps organizations identify and resolve competency gaps with strategic learning interventions.
  2. Cornerstone OnDemand is a talent, training, and performance management solution offered as an SaaS (Software-as-a-Service). This service enables learners to create personalized playlists of instructional content.
  3. Lessonly is an LMS solution that makes it easier to recall and reinforce whatever skills or knowledge you have learned through quizzes, coaching, and constant practice.
  4. Skillsoft is an online training and corporate learning platform developed by a two-decade old and billion-dollar company with the same name.
  5. D2L BrightSpace is a learning management system that has all the basics for delivering excellent, rich-media experiences for classroom or workplace training.

Conclusion

There are many ways to learn but some are more effective and meaningful than others. Whether you are a teacher looking to enhance classroom learning or an HR manager creating a long-term talent development plan for employees, the key to impactful learning is to understand and bridge the needs of learners, the goals of your institution, and the actual capabilities of the learning tools you are considering.

Note that using multiple LMS platforms is possible although not recommended. On the other hand, adopting other learning solutions beyond LMS (such as podcasts, mentoring, and onsite in-person workshops) may significantly improve learning outcomes. Always go for products and plugins that seamlessly integrate into your core LMS tool.

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

Reference

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