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25 Blogging Tips for Fresh Bloggers

25 Blogging Tips for Fresh Bloggers
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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 July 21, 2021

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)
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No matter how well you set up your todo list and calendar, you aren’t going to get things done unless you have a reliable way of reminding yourself to actually do them.

Anyone who’s spent an hour writing up the perfect grocery list only to realize at the store that they forgot to bring the list understands the importance of reminders.

Reminders of some sort or another are what turn a collection of paper goods or web services into what David Allen calls a “trusted system.”[1]

A lot of people resist getting better organized. No matter what kind of chaotic mess, their lives are on a day-to-day basis because they know themselves well enough to know that there’s after all that work they’ll probably forget to take their lists with them when it matters most.

Fortunately, there are ways to make sure we remember to check our lists — and to remember to do the things we need to do, whether they’re on a list or not.

In most cases, we need a lot of pushing at first, for example by making a reminder, but eventually we build up enough momentum that doing what needs doing becomes a habit — not an exception.

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From Creating Reminders to Building Habits

A habit is any act we engage in automatically without thinking about it.

For example, when you brush your teeth, you don’t have to think about every single step from start to finish; once you stagger up to the sink, habit takes over (and, really, habit got you to the sink in the first place) and you find yourself putting toothpaste on your toothbrush, putting the toothbrush in your mouth (and never your ear!), spitting, rinsing, and so on without any conscious effort at all.

This is a good thing because if you’re anything like me, you’re not even capable of conscious thought when you’re brushing your teeth.

The good news is you already have a whole set of productivity habits you’ve built up over the course of your life. The bad news is, a lot of them aren’t very good habits.

That quick game Frogger to “loosen you up” before you get working, that always ends up being 6 hours of Frogger –– that’s a habit. And as you know, habits like that can be hard to break — which is one of the reasons why habits are so important in the first place.

Once you’ve replaced an unproductive habit with a more productive one, the new habit will be just as hard to break as the old one was. Getting there, though, can be a chore!

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The old saw about anything you do for 21 days becoming a habit has been pretty much discredited, but there is a kernel of truth there — anything you do long enough becomes an ingrained behavior, a habit. Some people pick up habits quickly, others over a longer time span, but eventually, the behaviors become automatic.

Building productive habits, then, is a matter of repeating a desired behavior over a long enough period of time that you start doing it without thinking.

But how do you remember to do that? And what about the things that don’t need to be habits — the one-off events, like taking your paycheck stubs to your mortgage banker or making a particular phone call?

The trick to reminding yourself often enough for something to become a habit, or just that one time that you need to do something, is to interrupt yourself in some way in a way that triggers the desired behavior.

The Wonderful Thing About Triggers — Reminders

A trigger is anything that you put “in your way” to remind you to do something. The best triggers are related in some way to the behavior you want to produce.

For instance, if you want to remember to take something to work that you wouldn’t normally take, you might place it in front of the door so you have to pick it up to get out of your house.

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But anything that catches your attention and reminds you to do something can be a trigger. An alarm clock or kitchen timer is a perfect example — when the bell rings, you know to wake up or take the quiche out of the oven. (Hopefully you remember which trigger goes with which behavior!)

If you want to instill a habit, the thing to do is to place a trigger in your path to remind you to do whatever it is you’re trying to make into a habit — and keep it there until you realize that you’ve already done the thing it’s supposed to remind you of.

For instance, a post-it saying “count your calories” placed on the refrigerator door (or maybe on your favorite sugary snack itself)  can help you remember that you’re supposed to be cutting back — until one day you realize that you don’t need to be reminded anymore.

These triggers all require a lot of forethought, though — you have to remember that you need to remember something in the first place.

For a lot of tasks, the best reminder is one that’s completely automated — you set it up and then forget about it, trusting the trigger to pop up when you need it.

How to Make a Reminder Works for You

Computers and ubiquity of mobile Internet-connected devices make it possible to set up automatic triggers for just about anything.

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Desktop software like Outlook will pop up reminders on your desktop screen, and most online services go an extra step and send reminders via email or SMS text message — just the thing to keep you on track. Sandy, for example, just does automatic reminders.

Automated reminders can help you build habits — but it can also help you remember things that are too important to be trusted even to habit. Diabetics who need to take their insulin, HIV patients whose medication must be taken at an exact time in a precise order, phone calls that have to be made exactly on time, and other crucial events require triggers even when the habit is already in place.

My advice is to set reminders for just about everything — have them sent to your mobile phone in some way (either through a built-in calendar or an online service that sends updates) so you never have to think about it — and never have to worry about forgetting.

Your weekly review is a good time to enter new reminders for the coming weeks or months. I simply don’t want to think about what I’m supposed to be doing; I want to be reminded so I can think just about actually doing it.

I tend to use my calendar for reminders, mostly, though I do like Sandy quite a bit.

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Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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Reference

[1] Getting Things Done: Trusted System

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