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10 Useful Blogging Tips I Wish I Knew Earlier

10 Useful Blogging Tips I Wish I Knew Earlier

Blogging is an increasingly popular hobby and profession for people around the world. To people who have been blogging for a while, it can be agreed that running a blog is as rewarding as it is challenging. No matter how experienced you are at it, there are still little things that can be improved and also little things that you may have forgotten to do over time.

If you started a blog without taking classes or reading the ‘instruction manual’ beforehand, there may have been some really useful blogging tips you wish you knew earlier.

Here are just a few of those tips:

1. Interact with other blogs

Comments
    If it interests you, make sure to leave a comment!

    It is a little known fact that interacting with other blogs is an incredibly good way to gain exposure for a starting blog. It not only shows that you respect other peoples’ work, but it also allows you to build relationships you might need in the future.

    This is also a great way to gain ideas for content on your own blog.

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    2. Good-quality profile photos are a must

    Profile Picture

      Profile photos may not have seemed relevant at first however it is actually a significant part of your blogging identity. Whether you choose to upload an avatar, logo or a legitimate photo of yourself, it is worth taking some time and consideration into its quality and relevance.

      The profile photo can be the ‘brand image’ of your site, therefore you want to make it memorable enough to make an influence on your readers.

      3. You need to name your photos

      name photos

        If you upload photos that are originally yours, for example, your own photographs, you really should name them. This way, the photo will be recognized as yours in search engines. Just like you shouldn’t use other peoples’ photos without permission, people should need to acknowledge you as the owners of the photo.

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        4. Get people to comment

        engaging comments

          It is extremely important to engage with your audience. It keeps them interested in you and the content you write about. For starters, ask your readers their opinions of your posts. Another way to interact with your audience is through the addition of polls and surveys. They might even give some helpful suggestions for future posts and things you need to improve on. You can never receive too much feedback.

          5. Monitor and manage your comments

          manage comments

            Any blog post out there can fall victim to spam comments. Nothing makes your posts unattractive quite like spam comments about Viagra or weight loss pills. As an administrator, it is not uncommon for you to have the ability to monitor and moderate the comments made on your sites. Any comment that appears to be a spam comment should be rejected. Online advice is readily available for those who need help managing spam comments.

            6. Your sidebar can be messy

            Category
              Understand how to use ‘Parent’ categories

              Although there is a lot that you want to include in that very important sidebar, having unorganized content in that one place can make it look messy and confusing to readers. There a few possible ways to reduce confusion. One very useful tip is organizing your categories into more concise topics. For example, rather than having ‘Health’ and ‘Mental Health’ as two separate categories, it might be more attractive to have ‘Health’ as the parent category and ‘Mental Health’ as a sub-category. Alternatively, you could turn it into a drop-box instead.

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              7. Headlines are important

              Headliner
                Good headlines appear in search engines more effectively

                It’s your blog and you can write however you want. It is worth noting however that although you might be going for a more casual approach to writing, you should still put a significant amount of thought into the headlines of each post. Your headline is the first thing that people see while they are skimming your blog posts for interesting material. The determining factor of your blog’s success involves being able to capture and hold readers’ attention. The headline is where this begins.

                It pays to remember that your headlines are what appear on Google search engines, so this also increases your chances of getting discovered on a broader scale.

                8. Ensure the layout is mobile friendly

                mobile site
                  Your site looks different on different devices

                  People don’t just browse blogs on laptops and PCs nowadays. Blogging is mobile, on portable devices such as phones and tablets. It comes as no surprise that it is now essential to ensure that your blog has a mobile-friendly layout. Fortunately, blogging sites such as WordPress tend to provide free themes with a mobile-friendly feature. When editing the layout of your blog, it might be worth having a look at how your site will look on mobile phones and tablets, just to make sure it doesn’t look unorganized.

                  9. Set a schedule

                  Calendar

                    Since blogging can be done virtually wherever and whenever, it is easy to fall into a false sense of security that you will be able to generate content within expected time frames. The best tip to handle this is to set your own working hours and deadlines. This ensures that articles get written on time, preventing lack of content, and also helps you manage your time and avoid burn-out (blogging can be exhausting).

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                    10. Revisit old ideas

                    notepad

                      Maybe there was a topic you meant to write about before, however it fell through or you just forgot about it. You may not know that it is actually extremely useful to keep a list of these failed ideas. You might be able to gain inspiration from them when you encounter a block in your ideas for future articles. And remember that just because it didn’t really work out then, it doesn’t mean it isn’t going to work out in the future. It is recommended that you keep some kind of blogger journal to keep track of article ideas.

                      Featured photo credit: Paolo Valdemarin via flickr.com

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                      Elizabeth Andal

                      Elizabeth is a passionate writer who shares about lifestyle tips and lessons learned in life on Lifehack.

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                      Last Updated on August 20, 2019

                      How to Find New Growth Opportunities at Work

                      How to Find New Growth Opportunities at Work

                      Career advancement is an enticement that today’s companies use to lure job candidates. But to truly uncover growth opportunities within a company, it’s up to you to take the initiative to move up.

                      You can’t rely on recruiter promises that your company will largely hire from within. Even assurances you heard from your direct supervisor during the interviewing process may not pan out. But if you begin a job knowing that you’re ultimately responsible for getting yourself noticed, you will be starting one step ahead.

                      Accomplished entrepreneur and LinkedIn Co-Founder Reid Hoffman said,

                      “If you’re not moving forward, you’re moving backward.”

                      It’s important to recognize that taking charge of your own career advancement, and then mapping out the steps you need to succeed, is key to moving forward on your trajectory.

                      Make a Point of Positioning Yourself as a Rising Star

                      As an employee looking for growth opportunities within your current company, you have many avenues to position yourself as a rising star.

                      As an insider, you’re able to glean insights on company strategies and apply your expertise where it’s most needed. Scout out any skills gaps, then make a point to acquire and apply them. And, when you have creative ideas to offer, make it your mission to gain the ear of those in the organization who can put your ideas to the test.

                      Valiant shows of commitment and enterprise make managers perk up and take notice, keeping you ahead of both internal and external competitors.

                      Employ these other useful tips to let your rising star qualities shine:

                      1. Promote Your Successes to Your Higher-Ups

                      When your boss casually asks how you’re doing, use this valuable moment to position yourself as indispensable: “I’m floating on clouds because three clients have already commented on how well they like my redesign of the company website.”

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                      Tell your supervisors about any and all successes. Securing a new contract or signing a new customer should be a cause for celebration. Be sure to let your bosses know.

                      2. Cultivate Excellent Listening Skills

                      Listen well, and ask great questions. Realize that people love to talk about themselves.

                      But if you’re a superb listener, others will confide in you, and you’ll learn from what they share. You may even find out something valuable about your own prospects in the company.

                      If others view you as even-minded and thoughtful, they’ll respect your ideas and, in turn, listen to what you have to say.

                      Check out these important listening skills: 13 Powerful Listening Skills to Improve Your Life at Work and at Home

                      3. Go to All Office Networking Events

                      Never skip the office Christmas party, your coworker’s retirement party, or any office birthday parties, wedding showers, or congratulatory parties for colleagues.

                      If others see you as a team player, it will help you rise in your company. These on-site parties will also help you mingle with co-workers whom you might not ordinarily have the chance to see. For special points, help organize one or two of these get-togethers.

                      Take the Extra Step to Show Your Value to the Company

                      Managers and HR staff know that it can be less risky – and a lot less costly — to promote from within. As internal staff, you likely have a good grasp of the authority structure and talent pool in the company, and know how to best navigate these networks in achieving both the company’s goals and your own.

                      The late Nobel-Prize winning economist, Gary Becker, coined the term “firm-specific,” which describes the unique skills required to excel in an individual organization. You, as a current employee, have likely tapped into these specific skills, while external hires may take a year or more to master their nuances.

                      Know that your experience within the company already provides value, then find ways to add even more value, using these tips:

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                      4. Show Initiative

                      Commit yourself to whatever task you’re given, and make a point of going above and beyond.

                      Position yourself so that you’re ready to take on any growth opportunities that present themselves. If you believe you have skills that have gone untapped, find a manager who will give you a chance to prove your worth.

                      Accept any stretch assignment that showcases your readiness for advancement. Stay late, and arrive early. Half of getting the best assignments is sticking around long enough to receive them.

                      5. Set Yourself Apart by Staying up on Everything There Is to Know About Your Company and Its Competitors

                      Subscribe to and read the online trade journals. Become an active member in your industry’s network of professionals. Go to industry conferences, and learn your competitors’ strategies.

                      Be the on-the-ground eyes and ears for your organization to stay on top of industry trends.

                      6. Go to Every Company Meeting Prepared and Ready to Learn

                      A lot of workers feel meetings are an utter waste of time. They’re not, though, because they provide face-time with higher-ups and those in a position to give you the growth opportunities you need.

                      Go with the intention of absorbing information and using it to your advantage — including the goals and work styles of your superiors. Respect the agenda, listen more than you speak, and never beleaguer a point.

                      Accelerate Your Career Growth Opportunities

                      A recent study found that the five predictors of employees with executive potential were: the right motivation, curiosity, insight, engagement, and determination. These qualities help you stand out, but it’s also important to establish a track record of success and to not appear to be over-reaching in your drive to move up in your company.

                      Try to see yourself from your boss’s position and evaluate your promote-ability.

                      Do you display a passion and commitment toward meeting the collective goals of the company? Do you have a motivating influence with team members and show insight and excellence in all your work?

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                      These qualities will place you front and center when growth opportunities arise.

                      Use these strategic tips to escalate your opportunities for growth:

                      7. Find a Mentor

                      With mentorship programs fast disappearing, this isn’t always easy. But you need to look for someone in the company who has been promoted several times and who also cares about your progress.

                      Maybe it’s the person who recommended you for the job. Or maybe it’s your direct supervisor. It could even be someone across the hall or in a completely different department.

                      Talk to her or him about growth opportunities within your company. Maybe she or he can recommend you for a promotion.

                      Not sure how to find the right mentor? Here’s How to Find a Mentor That Will Help You Succeed.

                      8. Map out Your Own Growth Opportunity Chart

                      After you’ve worked at the company for a few months, work out a realistic growth chart for your own development. This should be a reasonable, practical chart — not a pie-in-the-sky wish list of demands.

                      What’s reasonable? Do you think being promoted within two years is reasonable? What about raises? Try to inform your own growth chart with what you’ve heard about other workers’ raises and promotions.

                      Once you’ve rigorously charted a realistic path for your personal development within the company, try to talk to your mentor about it.

                      Keep refining your chart until it seems to work with your skills and proven talents. Then, arrange a time to discuss it with your boss.

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                      You may want to time the discussion around the time of your performance review. Then your boss can weigh in with what he feels is reasonable, too.

                      9. Set Your Professional Bar High

                      Research shows that more than two-thirds of workers are just putting in their time. But through your active engagement in the organization and commitment to giving your best, you can provide the contrast against others giving lackluster performances.

                      Cultivate the hard skills that keep you on the cutting edge of your profession, while also refining your soft skills. These are the attributes that make you better at embracing diverse perspectives, engendering trust, and harnessing the power of synergy.

                      Even if you have an unquestionably left-brain career — a financial analyst or biotechnical engineer, for example — you’re always better off when you can form kind, courteous, quality relationships with colleagues.

                      Let integrity be the cornerstone of all your interactions with clients and co-workers.

                      The Bottom Line

                      Growth opportunities are available for those willing to purposely and adeptly manage their own professional growth. As the old adage says,

                      “Half of life is showing up.”

                      The other half is sticking around so that when your boss is looking for someone to take on a more significant role, you are among the first who come to mind.

                      Remember, your career is your business!

                      More About Continuous Growth

                      Featured photo credit: Zach Lucero via unsplash.com

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