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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 January 13, 2020

                      Is It Time for a Career Change? (And How to Make the Change)

                      Is It Time for a Career Change? (And How to Make the Change)

                      Are you challenged at work? Do you regret career decisions? Are you happy? If the answer to the questions leads to a negative feeling, it is time to determine next steps.

                      Many people settle for a career that no longer brings satisfaction. Most will respond by stating, “I am surviving” if a colleague asks them “How’s work?”

                      Settling for a job to pay bills and maintain a lifestyle is stagnation. You can re-direct the journey of a career with confidence by taking control of future decisions. After all, you deserve to be live a happy life that will offer a work-life balance.

                      Let’s look at the reasons why you need a career change and how to choose a career for a more fulfilling life.

                      How to Know if You Need a Career Change?

                      The challenges of dissatisfaction in a career can have a negative impact on our mental health. As a result, our mental health can lead to the obvious appearance of stress, aging, weight gain and internal health issues.

                      You deserve a career that will fulfill the inner desire of true happiness. Here are common factors that it is time for you to change your career.

                      Physical Signs

                      Are you aging since you started your job? Do you have anxiety? What about work-related injuries?

                      It feels amazing to receive a pay cheque, but you deserve to work in an environment that brings out the best of you. If the work environment is hazardous, speak to your boss about alternative options.

                      In the case that colleagues or your boss take advantage of your kindness, feeling the anxiety of fear of losing your job because of a high-stress environment may not be right for you.

                      Mental Signs

                      One out of five Americans has mental health issues, according to Mental Health America.[1] In most cases, it is related to stress.

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                      I remember working at a job in a work environment where harassment was acceptable. I had to walk on eggshells to avoid crossing the line with colleagues. My friends started to notice the difference in that I seemed out of character. It was then that I knew that changing a career to freelancing was the right decision.

                      Here is a list of mental signs of workplace unhappiness:

                      • The tension in your neck
                      • Difficulties with sleeping
                      • Unable to concentrate
                      • High anxiety
                      • Depression

                      If you start to feel your self-esteem is diminishing, it is time to consider if working in a high-stress industry is for you. The truth is, this negative energy will be transferred to people in your life like friends and family.

                      Are You Sure You’re Not Changing for the Wrong Reason?

                      Most people that feel they need a career are frustrated with their situation at work. Do you really understand your current situation at work?

                      The reason it is important to think about the work situation is some people decide to change career for factors that are insignificant. Factors that can potentially change if the person works in a different department or new organization.

                      Here is a list of unimportant factors to think about before you decide to make the transition:

                      Desire for an Increase of Salary

                      The desire for a higher income can persuade some to believe they are in the wrong career. The issue with this is more money requires more time in the office or taking on several positions at a time.

                      At times, pursuing a high-income role can be the complete opposite of what one is expected. It is what happens when a colleague leaves a company to a new one and returns several years later.

                      Overnight Decision

                      Let’s face it. We make overnight decisions when stressed out or disappointed with situations at work. The problem with a quick decision is the negative and positive points is overlooked.

                      Rejected for a Promotion

                      I have heard stories of managers that applied ten times for a position throughout a 5-year period. Yes, it sounds to be a lengthy process, but at times, a promotion requires time. Avoid changing a career if you do not see the results of a promotion currently.

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                      Bored at Work

                      Think deeply about this point. If you work a job that is repetitive, it is normal to feel bored. You can spice it up by changing the appearance of your desk, socializing with new employees in a different department, joining a leadership committee at work or coming to work with enthusiasm. Sometimes, all it takes is you to change jobs into a fun situation.

                      A career change can take time, networking, education and the job search process can be a journey. Here is a list of things to consider before making a final decision:

                      • How long have you worked in your career?
                      • What is the problem at work? Do you work well with the team?
                      • Do you receive recognition?
                      • Can you consider working in a new department?

                      If after reviewing your work situation and none of the above recommendations can help, then it’s time to make a career change.

                      How a Career Change Will Change Your Life

                      I have a friend that works in the medical industry. She was once a nurse working directly with patients in one of the top hospitals in her area. After five years, she started to internalize the issues with her patients to the point where she felt depressed after work hours. It impacted her relationship with her family and she almost lost herself.

                      One day, she decided to wake up and take control of her destiny. She started applying for new medical jobs in the office. It meant working on medical documentation of patients which is not an ideal career based on what society expects a medical professional to perform. But she started to feel happier.

                      It is a classic example of a person that was negatively impacted by issues at work, stayed in the same industry but changed careers.

                      A career change can fulfill a lifelong dream, increase one’s self-esteem or revive the excitement for one’s work.

                      You know a career change can be the right decision to make if you experience one or all of these:

                      • Working in a negative workplace: Don’t be discouraged. A negative workplace can be changed by working at a new organization.
                      • Working with a difficult boss: The challenges of working with a difficult boss can be stressful. All it takes is communication. You can address the issue directly with a manager professionally and respectfully.
                      • Feeling lost about what you do: Most people stay at their jobs and settle for mediocrity because of the fear of failure or the unknown. The rise to success often comes with working a tedious role or stepping outside of one’s comfort zone. If you fear the idea of being involved in activities that are new, remember that life is short. Mediocrity will only continue to make you feel as if life is passing you by.

                      How to Make a Career Change Successfully

                      The ultimate key to success is to go through a career transition step by step to avoid making the wrong decision.

                      1. Write a Career Plan

                      A career plan has a dead line for action steps that includes taking new courses, learning a new language, networking or improving issues at work.[2] A career plan should be kept in your wallet because it will motivate you to keep pursuing the role.

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                      You can learn how to set your career plan here.

                      2. Weigh Your Options

                      If you have a degree in Accounting, write down five positions in this industry of interest. The good news is diplomas and degrees can be used to a variety of roles to choose.

                      You don’t have to stick to what society holds a top job. In the end, choosing the right role that will make you happy is priceless.

                      3. Be Real About the Pros and Cons

                      It is time to be honest about strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats in the job market that are impacting the current situation.

                      A SWOT Analysis of a career can include:[3]

                      • Economic factors
                      • Direct competition: Is this role in high demand?
                      • Location: Do you need to move? If the goal is to work in tech and living in Cincinnati is not realistic, consider moving to San Francisco.
                      • Achievements: To stand out from the competition achievements like awards, committee involvement, freelance work or volunteering is a recipe for success.
                      • Education: Do you need to go back to school? Education can be expensive. However, online courses, webinars or self-study is an option.

                        A career blueprint is the first step to creating realistic goals. A person without goals will be disappointed without a clear direction of what to do next.

                        4. Find a Mentor or Career Coach

                        A mentor or a career coach that works in the desired position can share the pros and cons of working in the role. Here is a list of questions to ask a mentor:

                        • What is required to be successful in the role?
                        • What certification or educational development is needed?
                        • What are the challenges of the role?
                        • Is there potential for career advancement?

                        A chat at a coffee shop with a mentor can change your mind about the desire for a career change.

                        Find out how to pick a good mentor for yourself in this article: How to Find a Mentor That Will Help You Succeed

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                        5. Research Salary

                        Some people decide to change careers for a role that pays less or perks like benefits to make up for the difference in previous to potential salary.

                        It can reveal the cities throughout the country that offer a higher salary for those that have an interest in relocating for work.

                        6. Be Realistic

                        If your goal is to move up into an executive position, it is time to be honest about where you are in your career.

                        For example, if boardroom meetings, high-level discussions about financials or attending weekly networking events are boring, an executive role may not be right for you. If you are an introvert and working with people every day is nerve wrecking, you need to reconsider a job in sales.

                        Ask yourself if you can work in this role for the next five years of your life. If other benefits that come with the role are enticing, other roles are fit that will make you happy.

                        7. Volunteer First

                        A person that wants to become a manager should take on volunteer opportunities to experience the reality of the position.

                        Becoming a committee member to pursue a presidential opportunity can provide a perspective on leadership, maintaining a budget and public speaking.

                        Volunteer in a role until you are certain that it is the right opportunity.

                        8. Prepare Your Career Tools

                        I recommend asking a boss, colleague or mentor for career tools. If you prefer professional assistance, you can seek out resume writing assistance. Here is a list of things to consider when preparing career tools:

                        • Online search: Search your name online to see what shows up. I recommend searching images that are on Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat or other sites on a personal account. The last thing you want to realize is the job search is unsuccessful because there is unprofessional content you posted online.
                        • Be LinkedIn ready: Recruiters conduct a LinkedIn search to see if the work experience is the same on a resume. Remember to change the wording on LinkedIn from the resume, or it will appear there was no effort put into creating the profile.
                        • Portfolio: A portfolio of work is recommended for people that work in the arts, writing, graphic design and other fields. I recommend a portfolio online and one that is available in hand when attending job interviews or networking meetups.
                        • Cover letter: A good cover writer will always impress your potential employers. Here’s how to write a killer cover letter that stands out from others.

                        Bottom Line

                        It takes time to move towards a new career. Pay attention to the physical and mental signs to maintain your health. You deserve to work in happiness and come home stress-free. If you avoid the common mistakes people make, you will find a job and discover the role in a career field that is the best fit with your skillsets.

                        Master these action steps and changing career paths will be on your terms to make the best decision for your future.

                        More About Career Change

                        Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

                        Reference

                        [1] Mental Health America: The State of Mental Health in America
                        [2] MIT Global Education & Career Development: Make a Career Plan
                        [3] Creately: Personal SWOT Analysis to Assess and Improve Yourself

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