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25 Blogging Tips for Fresh Bloggers

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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.

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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 October 7, 2021

Are You Addicted to Productivity?

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Are You Addicted to Productivity?

“It’s great to be productive. It really is. But sometimes, we chase productivity so much that it makes us, well, unproductive. It’s easy to read a lot about how to be more productive, but don’t forget that you have to make that time up.”

Matt Cutts wrote that back in 2013,[1]

“Today, search for ‘productivity’ and Google will come back with about 663,000,000 results. If you decide to go down this rabbit hole, you’ll be bombarded by a seemingly endless amount of content. I’m talking about books, blogs, videos, apps, podcasts, scientific studies, and subreddits all dedicated to productivity.”

Like so many other people, I’ve also fallen into this trap. For years I’ve been on the lookout for trends and hacks that will help me work faster and more efficiently — and also trends that help me help others to be faster. I’ve experimented with various strategies and tools . And, while some of these strategies and solutions have been extremely useful — without parsing out what you need quickly — it’s counterproductive.

Sometimes you end up spending more time focusing on how to be productive instead of actually being productive.

“The most productive people I know don’t read these books, they don’t watch these videos, they don’t try a new app every month,” James Bedell wrote in a Medium post.[2] “They are far too busy getting things done to read about Getting Things Done.”

This is my mantra:

I proudly say, “I am addicted to productivity — I want to be addicted to productivity — productivity is my life and my mission — and I also want to find the best way to lead others through productivity to their best selves.

But most of the time productivity means putting your head down and working until the job’s done.” –John Rampton

Addiction to Productivity is Real

Dr. Sandra Chapman, director of the University of Texas at Dallas Center for BrainHealth points out that the brain can get addicted to productivity just as it can to more common sources of addiction, such as drugs, gambling, eating, and shopping.

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“A person might crave the recognition their work gives them or the salary increases they get,” Chapman told the BBC.[3] “The problem is that just like all addictions, over time, a person needs more and more to be satisfied, and then it starts to work against you. Withdrawal symptoms include increased anxiety, depression, and fear.”

Despite the harmful consequences, addiction is considered by some experts as a brain disease that affects the brain’s reward system and ends in compulsive behavior. Regardless, society tends to reward productivity — or at least to treat it positively. As a result, this makes the problem even worse.

“It’s seen like a good thing: the more you work, the better,” adds Chapman. “Many people don’t realize the harm it causes until a divorce occurs and a family is broken apart, or the toll it takes on mental health.”

Because of the occasional negative issues with productivity, it’s no surprise that it is considered a “mixed-blessing addiction.”

“A workaholic might be earning a lot of money, just as an exercise addict is very fit,” explains Dr. Mark Griffiths, distinguished professor of behavioral addiction at Nottingham Trent University. “But the thing about any addiction is that in the long run, the detrimental effects outweigh any short-term benefits.”

“There may be an initial period where the individual who is developing a work addiction is more productive than someone who isn’t addicted to work, but it will get to a point when they are no longer productive, and their health and relationships are affected,” Griffiths writes in Psychology Today.[4] “It could be after one year or more, but if the individual doesn’t do anything about it, they could end up having serious health consequences.”

“For instance, I speculated that the consequences of work addiction may be reclassified as something else: If someone ends up dying of a work-related heart attack, it isn’t necessarily seen as having anything to do with an addiction per se – it might be attributed to something like burnout,” he adds.

There Are Three “Distinct Extreme Productivity Types

Cyril Peupion, a Sydney-based productivity expert, has observed extreme productivity among clients at both large and medium-sized companies. “Most people who come to me are high performers and very successful. But often, the word they use to describe their work style is ‘unsustainable,’ and they need help getting it back on track.”

By changing their work habits, Peupion assists teams and individuals improve their performance and ensure that their efforts are aligned with the overarching strategy of the business, rather than focusing on work as a means to an end. He has distinguished three types of extreme productivity in his classification: efficiency obsessive, selfishly productive, and quantity-obsessed.

Efficiency obsessive. “Their desks are super tidy and their pens are probably color-coded. They are the master of ‘inbox zero.’ But they have lost sight of the big picture, and don’t know the difference between efficiency and effectiveness.”

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Selfishly productive. “They are so focused on their own world that if they are asked to do something outside of it, they aren’t interested. They do have the big picture in mind, but the picture is too much about them.”

Quantity-obsessed. “They think; ‘The more emails I respond to, the more meetings I attend, the more tasks I do, the higher my performance.’ As a result, they face a real risk of burnout.”

Peupion believes that “quantity obsessed” individuals are the most common type “because there is a pervasive belief that ‘more’ means ‘better’ at work.”

The Warning Signs of Productivity Addiction

Here are a few questions you should ask yourself if you think you may be succumbing to productivity addiction. After all, most of us aren’t aware of this until it’s too late.

  • Can you tell when you’re “wasting” time? If so, have you ever felt guilty about it?
  • Does technology play a big part in optimizing your time management?
  • Do you talk about how busy you are most of the time? In your opinion, is hustling better than doing less?
  • What is your relationship with your email inbox? Are you constantly checking it or experience phantom notifications?
  • When you only check one item off your list, do you feel guilty?
  • Does stress from work interfere with your sleep?
  • Have you been putting things off, like a vacation or side project, because you’re “too swamped?

The first step toward turning around your productivity obsession is to recognize it. If you answered “yes” to any of the above questions, then it’s time to make a plan to overcome your addiction to productivity.

Overcoming Your Productivity Addiction

Thankfully, there are ways to curb your productivity addiction. And, here are 9 such ways to achieve that goal.

1. Set Limits

Just because you’re hooked on productivity doesn’t mean you have to completely abstain from it. Instead, you need to establish boundaries.

For example, there are a lot of amazing productivity podcasts out there. But, that doesn’t mean you have to listen to them all in the course of a day. Instead, you could listen to one or two podcasts, like The Productivity Podcast or Before Breakfast, during your commute. And, that would be your only time of the day to get your productivity fix.

2. Create a Not-to-Do List

Essentially, the idea of a not-to-do list is to eliminate the need to practice self-discipline. Getting rid of low-value tasks and bad habits will allow you to focus on what you really want to do as opposed to weighing the pros and cons or declining time requests. More importantly, this prevents you from feeling guilty about not crossing everything off an unrealistic to-do list.

3. Be Vulnerable

By this, I mean admitting where you could improve. For example, if you’re new to remote work and are struggling with thi s, you would only focus on topics in this area. Suggestions would be how to create a workspace at home, not getting distracted when the kids aren’t in school, or improving remote communication and collaboration with others.

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4. Understand Why You Procrastinate

Often, we procrastinate to minimize negative emotions like boredom or stress. Other times it could be because it’s a learned trait, underestimating how long it takes you to complete something or having a bias towards a task.

Regardless of the exact reason, we end up doing busy work, scrolling social media, or just watching one more episode of our favorite TV series. And, even though we know that it’s not for the best, we do things that make us feel better than the work we should do to restore our mood.[5]

There are a lot of ways to overcome procrastination. But, the first step is to be aware of it so that you can take action. For example, if you’re dreading a difficult task, don’t just watch Netflix. Instead, procrastinate more efficiently,y like returning a phone call or working on a client pitch.

5. Don’t Be a Copycat

Let’s keep this short and sweet. When you find a productivity app or technique that works for you, stick with it.

That’s not to say that you can’t make adjustments along the way or try new tools or hacks. However, the main takeaway should be that just because someone swears by the Pomodoro Technique doesn’t mean it’s a good fit for you.

6. Say Yes to Less

Across the board, your philosophy should be less is more.

That means only download the apps you actually use and want to keep (after you try them out) and uninstall the ones you don’t use. For example, are you currently reading a book on productivity? Don’t buy your next book until you’ve finished the one you’re currently reading (or permit yourself to toss a book that isn’t doing you any good). — and if you really want to finish a book more quickly, listen to the book on your way to work and back.

Already have plans this weekend? Don’t commit to a birthday party. And, if you’re day is booked, decline that last-minute meeting request.

7. Stop Focusing on What’s Next

“In the age when purchasing a thing from overseas is just one click and talking to another person is one swipe right, acquiring new objects or experiences can be addictive like anything else,” writes Patrick Banks for Lifehack .

“That doesn’t need to be you,” he adds. “You can stop your addition to ‘the next thing’ starting today.” After all, “there will always be this next thing if you don’t make a conscious decision to get your life back together and be the one in charge.”

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  • Think about your current lifestyle and the person you’re at this stage to help you identify what you aren’t satisfied with.
  • By setting clear goals for yourself in the future, you will be able to overcome your addiction.
  • Establish realistic goals.
  • To combat addiction, you must be aware of what is going on around you, as well as inside your head, at any given time.
  • Don’t spend time with people who have unhealthy behaviors.
  • Hold yourself accountable.
  • Keep a journal and write out what you want to overcome.
  • Appreciate no longer being addicted to what’s next.

8. Simplify

Each day, pick one priority task. That’s it. As long as you concentrate on one task at a time, you will be less likely to get distracted or overwhelmed by an endless list of tasks. A simple mantra to live by is: work smarter, not harder.

The same is also accurate with productivity hacks and tools. Bullet journaling is a great example. Unfortunately, for many, a bullet journal is way more time-consuming and overwhelming than a traditional planner.

9. Learn How to Relax

“Sure, we need to produce sometimes, especially if we have to pay the bills, but, banning obsession with productivity is unhealthy,” writes Leo Babauta. “When you can’t get yourself to be productive, relax.” Don’t worry about being hyper-efficient. And, don’t beat yourself up about having fun.

“But what if you can’t motivate yourself … ever?” he asks. “Sure, that can be a problem. But if you relax and enjoy yourself, you’ll be happier.”

“And if you work when you get excited, on things you’re excited about, and create amazing things, that’s motivation,” Leo states. “Not forcing yourself to work when you don’t want to, on things you don’t want to work on — motivation is doing things you love when you get excited.”

But, how exactly can you relax? Here are some tips from Leo;

  • Spend 5 minutes walking outside and breathe in the fresh air.
  • Give yourself more time to accomplish things. Less rushing means less stress.
  • If you can, get outside after work to enjoy nature.
  • Play like a child. Even better? Play with your kids. And, have fun at work — maybe give gamification a try .
  • Take the day off, rest, and do something non-work-related.
  • Allow yourself an hour of time off. Try not to be productive during that time. Just relax.
  • You should work with someone who is exciting. Make your project exciting.
  • Don’t work in the evenings. Seriously.
  • Visit a massage therapist.
  • Just breathe.

“Step by step, learn to relax,” he suggests. “Learn that productivity isn’t everything.” For that statement, sorry Leo, I say productivity isn’t everything — it’s the only thing.” However, if you can’t cut loose, relax, do fun things, and do the living part of your life — you’ll crack in a big way — you really will.

It’s great to create and push forward — just remember it doesn’t mean that every minute must be spent working or obsessing over productivity issues. Instead, invest your time in meaningful, high-impact work, get into it, focus, put in big time and then relax.

Are You Addicted to Productivity? was originally published on Calendar by John Rampton.

Featured photo credit: Christina @ wocintechchat.com via unsplash.com

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