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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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                      Published on October 8, 2019

                      How to Advance Your Career (and the Big Mistakes You May be Making)

                      How to Advance Your Career (and the Big Mistakes You May be Making)

                      The late writer William S. Burroughs once said that “When you stop growing, you start dying.” It might have a morbid undertone, but it’s one hundred percent true in terms of one’s career.

                      The days of finding a job with one company that you can stick with for 30 years, and simply relax as you move up its company escalator are few and far between in today’s world. This isn’t necessarily bad news. On the contrary, it means that you’re the one in charge of shaping your career advancement.

                      By putting these principles and behaviors into practice, you’ll begin to see how to advance your career quickly. Ready? Let’s get started…

                      1. Define What Success Is for You

                      There’s no right or wrong definition of what success in your career looks like. The important thing is to figure out what success looks like for YOU. It might, and probably will, change along the way, but if you don’t have some sort of milestone on the horizon, then you won’t know which direction to go in.

                      Think about success in your career in terms of one year, five years, and 10 years. Once you have that, it’s time to lace up your boots and get to work.

                      2. Learn How to Develop and Follow a Plan

                      Nobody just stumbles upon success accidentally. Sure, they may stumble upon breakthroughs or new methods accidentally, but all success stories have one thing in common — a plan.

                      Establish a timeline for the things that you want to achieve in your career in the next year, five years, 10 years, and so on. Consider the skills that you’ll need to learn to make these things happen and work on acquiring them.

                      3. Surround Yourself With Those Better Than You

                      It’s a rule of thumb among musicians that if you want to get better, then you need to get out of the bedroom and play with people who are better than you.

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                      By surrounding yourself with people who are better than you and where you want to be, you’ll not only see how these people climbed to where they are in their respective fields, but you’ll learn from them and naturally want to push yourself to be better in your own job as well.

                      4. Seek Out a Mentor(s)

                      A mentor will not only be able to help you refine and reach your career goals, but will be invaluable in landing promotions and finding unadvertised job openings.

                      One unique approach is to work on fostering a relationship with a mentor both within and outside of your company. This will help in giving you different perspectives as you rise up through the ranks in your company and career overall.

                      5. Stop Wasting Your Mornings

                      You may not think you’re a morning person, but if you can learn to be one, you’ll thank yourself 10 years down the road.

                      Prepare a to-do list of tasks that you want to accomplish the day before and work on knocking them out for at least one hour before you respond to morning emails. The problem with responding to emails first, is you’re giving your attention to somebody else’s agenda, instead of plotting your own course for the day.

                      6. Arrange or Attend a Networking Party

                      If you’re attending networking events simply because you might get a few free drinks, you’re doing them wrong. These events are great for meeting new people and forming relationships. Your goal shouldn’t be to get hired by the end of the night, but to simply make a good impression by being friendly and authentic. So what’s next?

                      Reach out a few days later via email or on social media to follow up and connect!

                      7. Pick Up Some New Skills

                      Nobody wants to be the old dog that can’t learn any new tricks. To move up in your career, you’re going to likely need to pick up new skills along the way. Maybe your company offers on-the-job training or you have the option of taking online classes at night.

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                      By learning new skills, you’ll not only be able to expand upon what you can already do, but you’ll make yourself more valuable to your employer and future employers.

                      8. Exploit the Benefits Already at Your Disposal

                      Remember what we just said about the possibility of your company providing on-the-job training? Take advantage of these sorts of benefits!

                      If you’re working for a company that allows you to job shadow other employees or has company mixers, you should attend these. They not only allow you to develop your skills within the company, but show seasoned executives within your field that you’re interested in more than just clocking in for a paycheck.

                      9. Make Yourself Indispensable

                      Good help is hard to find and employers want to retain outstanding employees. If you can learn to make yourself indispensable to your company, you’ll not only communicate that you’re successful, but will have a lot more job security. What’s this entail though?

                      It’s actually not all that difficult. By being reliable, adapting to new challenges, and holding your own work and performance to a high standard, you’ll stand out among your peers and others will take notice. Easy enough, right?

                      10. Get Off the Fence

                      People who advance in their careers are those who don’t shy away from voicing their opinion and stand up with authority when the opportunity arises.

                      If a problem arises in your company and you think you might have a solution or are willing to work to find one, then let others know. Employers value and promote problem solvers. Start off with something small and work your way up towards tackling more difficult tasks and projects.

                      11. Don’t Wait for More Responsibility, Ask for It

                      If you want more responsibility in your job, then be open about it with your manager. Your manager may be so busy with their own work that they weren’t aware you were looking for more challenges.

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                      Just make sure you can handle it and that you already show strong performance in your current duties. And if your manager doesn’t seem supportive about offering you more responsibility, well, then it could be time to look for new employment.

                      12. Stop Wasting Time on What You Don’t Want

                      If your career goals start with “I should do this…” there could be a problem. This kind of language in referring to goals can doom them to failure because the want isn’t there.

                      Consider using the RUMBA method (Reasonable, Understandable, Measurable, Behavioral and Agreed) when setting your goals. That “agreed” part should really be “want.” By going after career goals that you actually want to accomplish, you’re much more likely to achieve them.

                      13. Seek Out Feedback and Apply It

                      Simply doing your job might not always push you up in your career advancement. Too often, employees just assume that their bosses will notice their performance strides and reach out when the time is right to advance.

                      Don’t be afraid to regularly seek out feedback and ask for constructive criticism. It not only shows that you value your manager’s opinion but demonstrates that you care about your job and want to become better in your chosen field.

                      14. Pick Your Bosses Wisely

                      Advancing in your career can move a lot quicker if you’re working for the right people. If your boss isn’t any good at their job or doesn’t value you, then moving up could become difficult.

                      A great boss though, will be able to help you capitalize on your strengths and be an advocate for your success. If there aren’t any strong developers of talent in your management chain already, then look around for some and seek them out as mentors.

                      15. Learn to Develop Your Sense of Timing

                      The odds of asking for a promotion or raise are in your favor with over 70 percent of respondents to a survey from PayScale reporting some success. One thing to keep in mind that can make all the difference is when you ask.

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                      Some corporate cultures may prefer that employees reach out about advancement during their annual review, but maybe you work for a more free-spirited startup. The best approach may be to take note of when others advance and ask about how the organization handles employee development.

                      16. Work Hard and Promote Yourself

                      Working hard and delivering a solid job performance are the keys to advancing in your career no matter what field you’re in. This doesn’t mean you need to be completely humble about your accomplishments either.

                      Keep a record of your positive impact within the organization and let others both within your company and your field know that you’re enthusiastic about your role and work.

                      17. Don’t Just Build Your Network… Cultivate It

                      It’s way too easy to add new people to your LinkedIn network and then forget about them for all eternity. Rather than just collecting business cards or social media contacts, you should be cultivating relationships with the ones you already have.

                      Follow up with people that you haven’t spoken to in a while, offer to connect them with somebody you know in their field, or ask about a new job title they may have taken on. Doing so could be the spark that leads to a potential job referral.

                      18. Join a Professional Organization

                      The National Association of (insert your industry here) and other professional organizations can still offer a great wealth of advantages from networking to industry insights, and skill development.

                      Even outside of professional organizations dedicated to particular job fields, civic organizations can also be fantastic for making new contacts. After all, so much about career advancement is who you know, and you never know who you’ll meet who knows somebody else who is looking for someone with your skills and experience.

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                      Featured photo credit: JESHOOTS.COM via unsplash.com

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